By Tyrel "Rock" Wolf
CHAPTER 8 - Mighty Mouse err I mean Marcel
* * * * * * *
"HA HA!! I RULE!!" Marcel yelled.
"Yeah yeah, weve heard it all before." Coach Johnson said taking down Marcels time.
Standing at the finish line, Marcel celebrated his latest victory. He was the fastest in the school and he knew it. Looking at all the people watching on the bank, Marcel smiled. Attention was something Marcel craved, and on the track is where he would always get it. He knew just how to run efficiently and with style, so everyone watching would admire his sexy self. Track was also one of the things that Marcel could always beat Storm at. Marcel didnt know why Storm ran against him when he never even won.
Storm sauntered next to Marcel panting. "Nice run, Champ." He said.
"Thanks, Storm. Hey why do you always run, when you know youll never beat me?" Marcel asked.
"I love the humiliation." Storm grinned. "And besides: If I wont, who will?"
"You do it for me, dont you? Come on, admit it." Marcel said prodding Storm.
"Yeah, yeah, Marcel. It must do wonders for your reputation to be able to beat the mighty Storm. Just remember, step into my domain and I will whip that sorry ass of yours." Storm grinned.
"Ok ok." Marcel smiled. "So Storm, you all excited for our big sweet sixteen in a few weeks?"
"Yup, just us and then Mike will be the last one to turn 16. I dont see why I always have to share my birthday with you just because were a few days apart."
"Oh come on, you love it." Marcel smiled.
"Yeah, I do, bud. Anyway, I better split. You and the coach there gotta sort some things out. Ill catch up to you later ok? Remember, youre the man. Kick ass. See ya." Storm said walking away.
"Thanks, Storm!!" Marcel yelled.
"Ok Marcel, youre our number one. Merlow is counting on you to score us some trophies at the big meet. Are you up to it?" Coach said taking a few notes.
"Are you kidding? I live to kick some ass. I am the best after all." Marcel said proudly.
"Geez. Modesty will get you everywhere kid." Coach said sarcastically. "Well weve done all we can do today. Shower up, Ill see you on the big day. DONT SCREW UP" coach said sending Marcel on his way.
Marcel walked along the bank in front of all the girls who were watching the training session. Perfectly timed, he pulled his singlet up over his head. He knew exactly when to expose his well defined bod, to get the best possible response from the fans sitting on the bank. Wiping his brow, Marcel smiled at all the whistles the girls sitting on the bank were giving him. Sure it didnt matter that they were girls, he liked the attention no matter where it came from.
"Coach, how can I screw up? Im the best there is!" Marcel yelled back.
* * * * * * *
"Sarah, wait up!!" Marcel yelled.
Sarah turned and smiled at Marcel. She held out her arm and put it around Marcel shoulder "Hey, Baby!" she said kissing him on the forehead. "Hows your day been?"
"Oh Great. As usual, I kicked ass out on the track." Marcel said proudly.
Sarah waved back to Mike and his team mates, Josh and Brad as her and Marcel walked off to class. Mike smiled back at her and headed off to his own class. Josh Barrett, quiet nice guy who seemed to get along well with everyone. A Merlow resident his whole life, he was one of those people who tended to remain in the background. Never drawing attention to himself much. He was fairly average but the fact he was a first string player on the football team made him one of those people everyone said hello to.
Brad Sisto on the other hand, was your typical jerk who liked pushing people around and always had to have someone to pick on. Leader of the Were Jealous of Marcel club, he couldnt help noticing the way Sarah and Marcel were. He thought it was very odd behavior and didnt have any qualms speaking up about it. "Mike, doesnt that bother you the way she just kissed him? And look at her arm around his shoulder." Brad said.
"Nope, dont have a problem." Mike said bluntly. "Why, do you?"
"Shes your girlfriend man, you cant let her get away with stuff like that." Brad said.
Mike stopped walking and turned to Brad. "Let her get away with it? Brad, you know how far back Marcel and Sarah go. Sarah treats him like a brother, thats how she cares about him. I dont have a problem with it."
"Everybody knows Marcel is a slut with the ladies." Brad said frustrated.
Mike smiled to himself, knowing full well that Marcel didnt like the ladies. "Oh, I see. Youre jealous because Marcel gets more babes than you." Mike said turning to walk back to class.
"No Im not. The guys a pretty boy, so what? The girls want a real man, like me." Brad said pointing to himself.
"Yeah. Ok. Whatever." Mike said not really paying attention to Brad.
"Besides, everyone knows Marcels probably gay. Isnt that right Josh?" Brad said coldly.
Josh wasnt paying attention, his eyes were elsewhere. They were soon brought back to reality with a clip across the head from Brad. "Isnt that right Josh!" Brad said forcefully.
"Yeah man, whatever." Josh said submissively rubbing his head.
Mike stopped dead in his tracks "You have a problem with Marcel dont you?" Mike asked getting angry.
"So what if I do?"
"Get over it. Before someone lays the smack down on your dumb ass."
"You gonna try?" Brad said not budging.
"That depends. Are you going to keep on acting like a jealous fuck up?" Mike asked coldly.
"You think I cant take you?"
"I know you cant."
"Really?" Brad said.
Mike stood straight faced and cool, waiting for Brad to make the next move. Brad was a bit surprised at the seriousness Mike was taking in this. To Brad, Marcel was an outsider. Marcel wasnt in the jock club, why was Mike so adamant about helping him? When Brad realized that Mike wasnt going to back down he tried to play down the situation.
"Mike, calm it down. Im just looking out for you." Brad said putting his hands on Mikes shoulder, trying to reassure him.
"Whatever, Brad. If you have a problem with Marcel, deal with it. But if you fuck with him, you fuck with me. Understand?" Mike said turning to walk into class.
"Ok man, just calm down." Brad said.
"Whatever." Mike said walking away.
Brad stood in the hallway perplexed about what had just happened. Mike was supposed to side with the Jocks, it was an unspoken rule. Brad eyed Marcel walking into class, Marcel being unaware of what had just happened. Brads eyes were red with anger, there was something about Marcel he didnt like. He liked Marcel even less now and he decided to make life for Marcel just that little bit more difficult.
Josh stood next to Brad; he knew better than to leave Brad hanging. Mike threw more weight around as far as the team went but Brad owned Josh. Josh was Brads flunky, sidekick even. Josh didnt really like Brad but he was a reserved guy who didnt like to make waves so he let Brad have his way all the time.
Mike carried on into class not bothering to see if Brad was behind him. Lucas, who had seen the little standoff followed Mike into class and sat down next to him. "Dude, what was that all about?" Lucas asked pulling his books out.
"What? Oh hey, Lucas. Oh, you saw that." Mike said.
"Yeah, Dude, whats it all about?" Lucas asked concerned.
Mike shrugged "Brad is just being a jerk off. You know hes one of those guys that just has to be picking on someone. And the lucky person this time is Marcel."
"Whoa. Brads a dork. He lets that jock thing get to his head. Marcel can take him, no sweat." Lucas said confidently.
"Yeah, I know he can. I just worry about him. Marcel can kick ass when he needs to. But he sticks up for everyone else, never himself."
"Shall we kick Brads ass in training tonight?" Lucas grinned.
"Tempting, very tempting. Hopefully hell get over it. I told him if he fucks with Marcel, Ill take him out." Mike said trying to take notes off the board.
"Dude, youre really protective of Marcel now." Lucas said trying to write and look at the board at the same time.
"Yeah. I know I said Id deal with it. But I wont lie, I think what you three are is just not natural. In fact, it disgusts me. But apart from all that, youre still my best friends. And Im going to support every single one of you, no matter what." Mike said calmly.
"Oh." Was all Lucas could manage.
The sentiment was well intentioned, but Mike still hated the fact Lucas, Storm and Marcel liked guys. He was simply, trying to deal with it. It still hurt Lucas that Mike had such a huge disliking of the way they were. It made Lucas feel like he was bad, and a freak. Lucas sat there quietly, not sure what to say. He tried to look like he was concentrating on his work but he was still hurt by what Mike had said. Yet why should he? Mike had accepted them, just without accepting them.
Mike couldnt help noticing Lucas quiet demeanor. Lucas was usually a talkative, make ya happy just for being with them, person. Mike knew why Lucas was being quiet, Mikes statement had a hurtful effect on Lucas. Not the intention Mike had. But was there really anything Mike could say to make Lucas feel better? He couldnt lie to him and say he loved the idea. "I think disgusts, was too harsh a word." Mike said out of nowhere.
Lucas looked at Mike in surprise, not expecting Mike to say anything. "Oh. Its cool dude." Lucas said faking a smile.
"Lucas, I think we need to talk. Tonight ok? After training."
"Good. Now get back to work."
* * * * * * *
"Hi, Mom." Marcel said kissing Storms Mom on the cheek.
Mrs. Marcus smiled back at Marcel; he treated her like his Mom. Marcel had come over one day with Storm after school and ever since he had been back nearly every day since. Shed formed a close bond with Marcel and especially lately he had come to depend on her a lot more. She was the only one outside of his friends who knew he was gay. He hadnt even told his own parents and it didnt seem like he had any intention of doing so. He needed a bit more attention than Storm because he was more fragile and didnt have as much of a support base as Storm did.
She tried not to get too close to Marcel in the hope he would try and strengthen the relationship with his own parents. It seemed however, that both the parents and the son couldnt be bothered with each other. Marcels parents were established folk, who focused more on work and social gatherings and reputation then Marcel. They probably thought they were doing a good job, providing him with every material thing a child could ever need. Marcel, however, was a person who cherished attention and love more than anything money could ever buy.
He got the attention from the girls and on the track. The love he got was from Storm, Sarah, Mike and Mrs. Marcus. Those four were the people who he cared about most in the world and he would do anything for them. He wanted so much for them to respect and be proud of him. It was easy for him to kill the competition on the track and get the girls to drool over him, but it was very hard for him to feel like he was good enough in their eyes. In his opinion he still hadnt succeeded, he didnt just want love from them. He wanted them to respect and acknowledge him the way everyone at school did.
One thing Marcel knew for sure, was that Storm had been a good thing for him. Storm saying hello to Marcel all those years ago had let Marcel into what had become his second home and surrogate family and Mother. On top of all that, Marcel had also been introduced to the people who he now valued more than anything. Storm was also his best friend and more and more Marcel began to look at Storm as a brother.
Mrs. Marcus had decided for Marcels own well-being in this stormy period of growth that she would be there for him as much as possible. She would give him all the speeches, the hugs and the shoulder to cry on that he needed till he felt he was strong enough to tell his parents or feel confident enough within himself to face what came. Shed already given him the its ok to be gay speech and she had noticed he seemed a little bit more at ease with himself and relaxed around her. He used to come over a lot before but now he was there all the time, he just liked being there and felt comfortable.
"How was your day?" Marcel asked.
"Busy. Very busy. How was yours?" She asked sitting down at the table.
"Oh it was great. I totally kicked as uhh I beat everyone on the track today. Im going to obliterate them at the big meet." He said confidently. "Are you going to come watch me?" he asked anxiously.
"Of course I will, two of my boys racing. Ill be there. Get yourself something to eat, Marcel." She smiled.
Marcel turned the kettle on and went to the refrigerator, pulling out the orange juice, stuffing a peach in his mouth, and using his free hand to grab some chicken. He put the food and drink on the table and by that time the kettle had boiled. He pulled out a cup, put some coffee and sugar in with a bit of cream and grabbed some cookies. He took the coffee and biscuits and put them down in front of Mrs. Marcus. "Now you have to stay and talk to me." he smiled sitting himself down.
"Thank you Marcel. What did you want to talk about?" she asked sipping slowly.
Marcel swallowed the big hunk of chicken he had stuffed in his mouth and washed it down with some O.J. "Storms birthday. Hes at training so he wont bother us. I know he doesnt want a party, but he always says that. And this is his sixteenth so were going to make it extra special." He grinned.
Mrs. Marcus rolled her eyes and took another sip of her coffee "Marcel, its YOUR sixteenth too. Now what that means is you are off the party planning committee. And besides, I already have things well under control. Mike, Sarah and Lucas have organized nearly everything. I didnt even need to crack the whip." She said laughing to herself.
"Oh man. I miss out on all the fun. Thats ok. Are you working night shift tonight?" Marcel asked.
"Unfortunately, yes. I need a vacation. Are you handling everything ok?" She asked.
"Yeah I am actually, Ive never felt better. And its all thanks to you." he smiled both longingly and happy. "I really wish you were my Mom."
Mrs. Marcus put her cup down and put her hand on Marcels shoulder "Marcel, you know I love you like a son and you will always have a home here. The same goes for Mike, but Mikes mother is gone, so I dont mind him treating me like his mother. I made a promise to his mother years ago that if anything happened to her, I would watch over him. Even with him living with his father, I will always watch over him. You have a mother though, I really wish you would try and work with them. You are such a sweet, special young man. I wish youd let them try and see that." She said stroking Marcels face.
"But they suck, they dont give a shit. I dont care if you dont think of yourself as my Mom, you are. Youre the only one who cares. If I ran away from home, they wouldnt even notice. Ever since I was a kid and first moved here youve treated me special. You always ask me if Im feeling ok, if I need anything youre always there. You even give me lectures and growlings when I do bad, and believe it or not that actually makes me feel wanted. Always feeding me, always giving me hugs and patting me on the back. They wont come to my big meet, but you will. What does that say about them?" Marcel spoke with a gentle defiance. If he was offered the chance to move in, he wouldnt even give it a second thought. Hed move in straight away. Over the years Marcel along with Mike had grown so close to Mrs. Marcus but Marcel was always put second to Mike because he already had a Mom. He knew Mrs. Marcus was keeping Marcel at length so he could get closer to his own Mom but it just wasnt happening.
"Marcel, why dont you try talking to them? Im sure theyll listen." She said soothingly. "And if they dont, Im still going to be here."
"Yeah, youre right. As usual. Ill try, I really will try. Ive never been close to them, believe it or not. I mean with Elizabeth, shed pat me on the head instead of kissing me. Whats up with that? They gonna feed me kibble next?" Marcel asked mockingly.
"You shouldnt call your mother Elizabeth, you should call her Mom. Just promise me youll try. Im not saying you have to tell them youre gay, but at least try and start talking. Be strong in yourself Marcel. Be proud of who you are. A fine, beautiful young man with a sweet and loving nature. Dont let people take advantage of your nature Marcel. Make your parents and people understand that you are Marcel Lewis, not some pushover."
"Oh man, you are the best. Storm and Dade are so lucky to have you. You are so awesome, thank you so much. I dont know what to say." Marcel smiled. "And until Elizabeth changes her name to June Marcus or starts treating me like her son instead of a trophy or their boarder, Im not calling her Mom. I promise Ill try though ok?" he smiled.
"Good boy. Thats all I can ask for." She smiled. "I need to go back to work now. You guys will have to cook for yourselves tonight. Can you make sure Dade and Storm both do their homework? And tell Mike his second training uniform is in Storms room. And dont forget dinner, and make sure the house stays tidy hmm have I forgotten anything?" She said standing up.
"Dont worry, we know the drill." Marcel said getting up.
Mrs. Marcus grabbed her keys and double checked to make sure she hadnt forgotten anything. She gave Marcel a kiss on the forehead and headed out. "Ill see you later." She said.
"Love you, Mom." Marcel smiled.
"Now dont forget what we talked about." She said sternly. "And I love you, too." She smiled back walking out the door.
Marcel sat back down at the table smiling to himself. He felt very special now, life was good and it could only get better. He was so happy he didnt even feel like eating, until his stomach reminded him he was hungry.
* * * * * * *
"Hey Dude, Ill be with you in a sec. I just want to see if Storm is back from training yet." Lucas yelled after Mike.
Lucas watched as Mike carried on into Lucas room. Lucas waited for someone to pick up at Storms house. He walked to the refrigerator pulling out some sodas for Mike and him, holding the phone to his ear with his shoulder.
Finally someone answered "Hello." The voice said.
Lucas recognized the voice as Dade. "Hey Dade. Dude, is your brother there?"
"Nope. Hes still screwing Marcel out the back."
"Lucas, you are too gullible dude. You are just no fun. You make me feel bad pulling a joke on you. And that means I have to be nice to you. Geez. Lucas, you are too much the nice guy. Come hang with Dade the master and Ill teach you how to be a prick like me."
Lucas rolled his eyes, smiling "Dade, you are not a prick. Youre awesome man."
"See, there you go again. Being the nice guy. Now shut up before I get those silly warm fuzzies you and Storm get."
Lucas laughed "Being cool must run in the family."
"Fortunately, I got the lions share and poor big brother missed out a bit. And Storm really isnt here. Marcel just went home too."
"Oh ok. Would you tell him I called please?"
"Sure thing. Ill tell him as soon as he gets back."
"No sweat. Later bro."
"Later Dade Dude."
Lucas walked into his bedroom, tossing Mike a drink. Mike lay sprawled out on Lucas bed yawning. Lucas sat himself down on his desk chair and took a big gulp down of soda.
"Looking forward to camp next week?" Mike asked.
"No. Not really." Lucas replied.
"Lemme guess, youre gonna miss your baby?"
"Something like that, wont you?"
"I will, for sure. But we both need our time out from each other sometimes. You know, the whole absence makes the heart grow fonder shit. You and Storm spend a whole lot of time together, a bit of time apart wouldnt kill you now."
"I doubt it. Absence makes me crazy, not fonder."
"Is that why youre hanging out with Josh so much. Are you trying to fix him from the evil influence of Brad?"
"Hes an ok dude. Just quiet thats all." Lucas said finishing off the soda "Oh dude, you know Claire, she just wont give up on me."
"Shes pretty hot too. Dont tell Sarah I said that. You know, Claire could be a problem. She might wonder why youre not going out with anyone. Especially since youre Mr Popularity now, Im surprised Storm isnt jealous youve taken some of his thunder."
"Do you think he is?? I never meant to. Ive noticed he doesnt seem to give as much of a shit anymore about being popular. Maybe I did that to him. But who cares about Claire, she can think what she likes."
"Storm has changed. And it is you, you did something to him. Im sure hed rather you be the popular one though. Which brings me to what I wanted to talk to you about."
"Ok Dude, go ahead."
"Did you make Storm like guys?" Mike asked bluntly.
"No, I didnt. At least I dont think I did. We love each other, hes the one. Hes the one for me. Were together, all the way."
"How do you know you like guys? How does he know he likes guys? Have you had sex?"
"WHOA Dude. And no, we havent. We nearly did one time but he wanted to wait."
"So how do you know you like guys if you havent even done it yet?"
"I just know. If you took Storm away from me tomorrow, Id die I swear. I am just soo in love with that guy. I cant get enough of him. But were waiting for the right time. I know he loves me though. Weve done practically everything else but we both agree we want the first time to be special. That and the fact hes still 15, which if he were a girl probably wouldnt cause a problem. But they come down on guys really hard. So Id get done over because Im 16 and older than the limit. We wont be doing it before he turns 16 anyway, thats for sure."
"Well, thats not far away. Week after we get back from camp. And then Ill be lucky last to turn 16. Wanna hear a secret?"
Mike leaned over to Lucas whispering, almost ashamed of what he was going to say "Sarah and I havent done it either. She wants to wait till I turn 16 too. And its just my luck Im the youngest. I wish I could swap with Marcels birthday, I mean its not like hes going to score anytime soon."
"Whoa, I thought you guys were doing it. Im still a bit nervous about the whole thing. But theres no doubt, Im in love with Storm. Heck weve done everything else apart from sex. I need to like get a grip sometimes, if you know what I mean because the dude just turns me on like you wouldnt believe."
"Something I DID NOT WANT TO HEAR!" Mike said shivering in disgust. "Ill tell you something else too. And dont tell this to anyone, not even Storm. Swear it?"
Lucas put his right hand up. "I swear it."
"Ok, I suppose the reason I am so anti you guys going out and disgusted with that lifestyle is because deep down Im scared I might be like you. I mean, how do I know? I mean Im the only supposedly straight guy, maybe Im in denial or something. Maybe were just one big gay group of friends."
"Mike, do you love Sarah? Do you really love her? Can you say, without a doubt and without hesitating that you love her."
Mike smiled thoughtfully "I love her. Without a doubt Without a doubt."
"Then do we really need to have this conversation? Mike, hanging out with us isnt going to make you like guys. We are who we are and we cant change that, we can deny it but we cant change it."
"Wow. That was great man. I feel a lot better now. Youre right, youre absolutely right. That makes me understand a little better."
"Just feel comfortable with who you are, Mike. Youre straight." Lucas said managing a little smile.
Mike picked up on Lucas body language straight away "You wish you were straight too, dont you?" Mike said softly.
Lucas lowered his head, feeling bad for even letting Mike see that. "I feel bad for even saying this but yeah. Its so hard. Its so hard, man. Itd be so much easier if I were just normal."
"Hey, fuck normal! Normal is a setting on a washing machine, Mate. You helped me deal with who you are, and who I am. Now I am going to help YOU deal with who you are. Lucas, youre worrying me. Are you going to leave Storm?" Mike asked softly.
Lucas eyes shot straight up "HELL NO!" Lucas replied instantly. "The day I leave Storm is the day Im six feet under. And you can believe that."
"Good." Mike smiled. "Feel better now?"
"Yeah, yeah, thanks dude. I cant believe I even doubted for a second. Dont tell Storm ok? Knowing him, hell dump me just so I can go be straight and live happily ever after. He always puts other people before himself, no matter what it does to him. It really pisses me off."
"Yeah, you cant help but love the dude. He really is my brother, I love that guy. Anyone who says he aint my brother can just suck it. Weve been through so much shit together, ever since we were toddlers. Thats why, Ive got him something really special for his sixteenth. Im not telling you what it is though. Youll probably go tell him straight away."
"Oh come on. Just a clue?" Lucas pleaded.
"Heres a clue SCREW YOU!" Mike said poking tongues.
"Asshole." Lucas grinned.
* * * * * * *
Marcel dragged himself up the stairs and walked into his bedroom. He threw his bag down on the floor, pulling out his track gear and throwing them in the wash basket. He stripped off his shirt and stood in the mirror looking at himself. "I am the great and mighty Marcel." he bellowed to himself.
The phone started ringing and Marcel flopped himself on the bed grabbing the phone off the night stand. "Hello" he said putting one arm behind his head and lying back.
"Hey, Baby" Sarah said.
"Sarah!" Marcel said lighting up.
"Hey, Marcel, hows my baby?" Sarah asked.
"Hes ok. Hes happy to hear your voice." Marcel said smiling.
"Really. Ok Im coming over." Sarah said hanging up.
Marcel smiled hanging up the phone. Marcel raised his hands to his face, covering his eyes. Thoughts of his talk with Storms Mom still ringing in his head, he went ever every word she said. They made him realize hes his own person and he doesnt need other people taking advantage of him or pushing him down. He nearly got knocked off the bed when someone threw themself on it next to him. Marcel took his hands off his eyes in surprise "Sarah? How did you get here so fast?" he asked shocked by her sudden appearance.
"I called you from Lindas house. You know, your next door neighbor. One of the many girls who wants to get in your pants." Sarah replied.
"Oh. What are you doing here? Its so late." he asked.
"I just wanted to see how you were, friends do that dont they?" Sarah asked puzzled.
Marcel thought about what Sarah had just said. He felt like saying Oh is Mike Busy or something along those lines. He felt like such a second choice, back up friend. He was sick of it, something had to change. He realized talking to Storms Mom that he is good enough, he doesnt have to take this kind of treatment. Its time things changed.
"Yeah. But they dont usually do it for me." he said coldly.
"What are you talking about? We look after you dont we?" She asked bemused.
"Yeah, but you treat me like the back up friend, or the baby. And you all still treat me like shit. And Im sick of it. And all of you are like paired up with each other so where does that leave me? All alone, as usual. That is, until one of the pair is busy and you need me as an accessory. The only person that seems to give a shit is Mom, I mean Storms Mom. Now how screwed up is that?" Marcel said getting a bit pissed off. He wasnt sure where it was all coming from, but lately he seemed to be getting more sure of himself and less worried about speaking his mind.
"I I didnt realize. Im so sorry Marcel. I guess we have been a bit wrapped up in ourselves lately." Sarah said a little taken aback by Marcels sudden insurrection.
"Well Im pissed off and Im not going to take it anymore. Im not hanging around with you guys in school or being just a back up friend to any of you! From now on Im getting some for Marcel. I can do a lot better than just being some secondhand bitch." Marcel said even more defiantly.
Sarah was staring at Marcel in shock. She couldnt believe how strong willed he was being. She tried to stop herself from bursting into tears. "Ok Marcel. Youre right. Youre so right." she gulped getting up.
Marcel sat there putting his shirt back on and fuming. Sarah started backing away from him, feeling utterly shattered and hurt. Finally she couldnt hold back the tears and she burst out crying. She ran out the door and downstairs crying and sobbing. "Wait, Sarah!" Marcel yelled.
Marcel felt disgusted with himself; she didnt deserve that. Sarah was there for him and this is how he repaid her. Marcel knew he was becoming stronger and more independent, but did that mean he had to push his friends away? He knew he must have hurt Sarah a lot, because she didnt cry easily. It was easier making Storm cry. "Whats happening to me?" he said to himself.
* * * * * * *
Sarah lay on her bed, sobbing herself gently to sleep. She couldnt believe what Marcel had done. She felt so hurt and rejected. What made her feel even worse, is that deep down, she knew he was right. She felt as if shed just lost a friend, the old Marcel was gone. This new Marcel she didnt know, and she didnt think he needed her. She felt so shocked and jarred that she couldnt get to sleep. An inevitable sense of loss flooded her and she could not help but think, is this where it all ends for the tight little pack. The memories of all the time she had spent with Marcel invaded her mind. He had always been the sweetie that picked her up with his smile, the unsung hero who was always the loyal friend. They had taken him for granted, treated him like a reserve player, and he had grown sick of it. No more submissive Marcel willing to jump when everyone else said so, no more pushover Marcel. No more of that sweet face that would smile and take an insult just to try and make everyone else happy. The Marcel of old was gone, forever. And what remained, was no longer theirs. Marcel had come into his own, realizing he was better than they made him feel. And he didnt need them holding him down anymore.
The next morning Sarah dragged herself out of bed and got ready for school. The memories of the night before still jarringly clear to her. She felt like she had failed Marcel somehow, she felt like she was supposed to look after him and she hadnt. There was another part of her that was angry at the way Marcel had turned on her. She didnt deserve to be treated like that. Of everyone, Sarah was the one who looked out most for Marcel. He should have just talked it out instead of letting everything fester inside. She struggled to get ready and didnt spend as much time paying attention to how she looked, not that she didnt still look beautiful. She was shaken up and hurt more than she cared to admit. That stubborn pride of hers not letting it show.
She walked to school, meeting Mike as usual. Today though, nothing was said the entire trip. Mike kept asking what was wrong, she said nothing and just kept walking. When they arrived at the school gates, sure enough, Marcel was standing there waiting. Sarah sent Mike away, Mike looking and feeling as out of the loop as ever. And still she said nothing.
Sarah and Marcel just stood there looking at each other, but today, something had changed. Sarah looked at Marcel in a new light, absorbing and accepting. Marcel gazed back, anxiously awaiting something to be said. His eyes were desperate and wanting, an unrelenting sense of dread with each passing moment of silence. Sarah said nothing, her eyes and face saying all that needed to be said. She managed a small smile, a sad and well wishing smile. And with that, she walked away, never turning back.
"Wait Sarah!" Marcel yelled running after her. He ran up to her and put his hand on her shoulder. "Im sorry, I didnt mean it. Im sorry."
Sarah stopped walking, but she did not turn to face Marcel. "I didnt deserve that, last night."
"I know. Im sorry. Im really sorry. I dont know what to say. I didnt mean to hurt you. That was never my intention. I just want you guys to respect me and treat me the same way you treat each other."
Sarahs face did not betray her emotions, outside she was as cool and proud as ever. "Thats a load of bullshit. I go out of my way to make time for you. To make sure youre feeling ok, to make sure Marcel feels special. I stick up for you whenever someone puts you down. You know Mike nearly beat the shit out of Brad for you yesterday? I am always there for you. So dont pull this bullshit on me that I dont care."
"I didnt deserve that. Of all of us, I deserved that the least. You hurt me. You made me cry. Do you know how hard that is to do? Im fucking invincible for crying out loud and you made me cry. Im angry at myself for letting an ungrateful shit like you get to me. I just dont want to be around you anymore, Marcel. You can find someone else to cry over you because Im not going to do it again."
Marcel knew it was time to put up or shut up. If he didnt come up with something soon Sarah was going to walk away and never talk to him again. It was time to put up. "NO! Youre not going to leave me. Ive been a wimp long enough when it comes to you guys. And youre right. Its my fault, not yours. I should have stood up for myself. And I should not have taken it out on the person who treats me the best. Im not going to let you ditch me Sarah."
Sarah turned to face Marcel, ripping his hand from her shoulder. "Are you trying to be the tough guy now? Huh? Its about fucking time. Marcel you need to stop whining and bitching and start making people respect you, if its really bothering you that much. But you handled it wrong. Now I am going to give you a second chance, if you stop being a fucking wimp and stand up for yourself. And that doesnt mean screwing me around either, or treating other people like shit. So harden the fuck up and stop acting like a baby."
Marcel felt as if a realization had been forced upon him. "Ill do it."
"Good. And if you ever treat me the way you did last night again. Youre going to wish you never moved to Merlow, Mister. From now on, Sarahs a bitch. So dont fuck with me."
"Umm does that means were friends again?"
"Yes. But not the way we were before. Everythings changed. Were going to start from scratch." Sarah said still fuming and angry. "Now come on, lets go to class."
"Thank you, Sarah."
"Dont thank me, Im still pissed off at you."
Marcel put his arm around Sarah, kissing her on the forehead this time. And they started walking to class "Yeah. But youll forgive me eventually."
"So is this the new Marcel?" Sarah asked.
"You betcha." Marcel replied.
"Theres one more thing I want to talk to you about before we get to class, while were still on this self improvement buzz." Sarah said stopping in front of class.
"What is it?" Marcel asked.
"Stop worrying so much about what other people think of you. Im still angry at you so Im trying not to be emotional. But Marcel, fuck everyone else. You look for attention because you think it means people love you. Well, it doesnt work like that. You know how awesome you are, and you are awesome. Thats all that matters. Start believing in yourself on the inside, Marcel."
"Geez. I wish I were straight." Marcel said smiling.
"Tempting very tempting. But its not gonna happen. The day youre straight is the day Elvis makes his long awaited comeback tour. Youre such a flirt, Marcel." Sarah said shrugging him off and walking into class.
Marcel sighed to himself, thanking his lucky stars. That was all too close, he could have lost Sarah. Marcel leaned his head against the wall, the morning rush of students still filling the hallway. Marcel breathed a few sighs of relief, feeling as if today was the start of a new and improved Marcel. Thanks in part to Sarahs usual words of wisdom, although today they werent as motherly and were more of the get off your ass and do something about it kind. Still, it seemed as if lately things were working in favor of Marcel. The talk with Storms Mom had given him a much needed boost, the catalyst for his outburst at Sarah. Which in turn led to Sarah giving Marcel a piece of her mind. And that piece of her mind was a much needed wake up call. Marcel leaned his hand against the wall, feeling the smooth edge of the polished wood. Today was indeed a good day, and he wanted to feel as much of it as he could. But as with all things good, they usually come to an end all too soon.
"Hey, Bitch." Came a voice behind Marcel.
Marcel turned around, smiling at the two jocks standing before him. "Brad, Josh. How are the jerk off partners doing today?"
"What did you say, pretty boy?"
"No, youve got it all wrong. YOU are the pretty boy." Marcel smiled. "Pretty damn ugly."
"Youve got fucking guts you know that. Gimmie two good reasons why I shouldnt beat the shit out of you, right now." Brad said leaning forward.
"One, because you cant. And two, because your shoe laces are untied." Marcel said looking down.
Brad looked down at his shoes, they werent untied. "Hey!"
Marcel smacked him upside the chin, catching him by surprise. "See ya later, Dumbass." Marcel grinned running into class.
Brad smacked himself on the head, surprised he had fallen for such a dumb trick. He couldnt very well run after Marcel now, since there was a teacher in the classroom. There were a few giggling faces walking past Brad. Josh tried to contain his smile, not wanting Brad to see how hilarious he found what had just happened. "Im going to get that fuck." Brad mumbled to himself.
* * * * * * *
I leaned back against my locker, yawning. It had seemed like such a long day, and it was only lunch time. I tapped the cold steel of the locker with my fingers, while trying to count the number of lights along the hall ceiling. I used to be one of those people who said only boring people get bored., but today I didnt feel like following that saying. I was bored, damnit. Where was everyone anyway? I would have gone to look for them, but I was too damn lazy.
"Storm! Storm!!" Lucas yelled running up to me.
"Hey, Baby." I grinned back at him, perking up a little.
Lucas leaned himself against the locker next to me smiling "Do you know what Im thinking right now?"
"Yeah. You know you shouldnt be allowed to think those kind of thoughts in public." I grinned.
"Youre good, Dude, youre very good. I have to tell you something."
"What? What is it?" I asked.
"Ive found someone."
I looked at him, yawning. "Really, what do you want me to do about it? Make a big fuss and ask you not to leave me?"
"No, silly. Ive found someone for Marcel." he whispered.
"Really? A guy?" I asked back.
"No. A dog. Of course its a guy." He said shaking his head.
"Hey, dont shake your head at me punk." I said pushing him. "So, who is it? How did you find him? Come on, come on tell me tell me."
"Ok, but dont tell anyone. Im only telling you because I share bodily fluids with you on a daily basis." He said smiling.
I smiled back at him, our relationship was as cool as ever. We had this undeniable connection, we knew just how to read each other without saying anything. We were cool with each other and relaxed. There wasnt as much tension anymore. But sometimes, ok most times, I would just want to kiss him right then and there. I was getting really good at teasing him in class too, and he would start moaning and put his head in his arms trying to block the thoughts in his head so he wouldnt completely lose it. We knew just how to act around each other without anyone thinking anything of it. We didnt see the need at causing ourselves unnecessary stress by coming out to the school. "Ok, so who is it?" I asked.
"Josh Barrett." He whispered pointing to Josh over in the corner, who was standing next to Brad the Jock as usual.
"WHOA!" I said a bit too loudly. "Youre kidding. How? How do you know?" I asked inquisitively.
"Well, Ive been over to his house a few times after training and stuff. And hes got like every single Hanson, Back Street Boys and NSync CD there is. Plus he has so many posters of guys, its so obvious. Oh yeah and I used my gaydar on him. Hes like way off the chart." Lucas laughed.
"That doesnt mean hes gay, it just means he has bad taste." I said grinning. "So Lucas, why the hell are you spending so much time with him? Are you planning on getting in his pants coz I wont give you any huh?"
"Shut up! Dont even joke about that, you smart ass." He said frowning.
"Geez, Mr Seriouso. But Lucas, thats still not enough to go on." I said.
"I know. But get this. The other day when I was at his house, this pamphlet fell out of his bag. It was a Gay Youth Center pamphlet. And you notice he is always watching the Track practice. I dont think hes watching you, I think hes watching Marcel. Hes always looking at Marcel too, in the hallways and stuff. " Lucas whispered.
"Whoa. I never woulda guessed. Thats 2 Jocks who like guys. He doesnt look the type." I said staring at Josh.
"Dude, listen to yourself. Do we look the type? No. I know Marcel thinks hes cute too." Lucas said looking at Josh. He paused and looked like he had to tell me something important. "And the other reason I know is because he told me ..right after I sorta told him about us " he said sheepishly.
"WHAT?" I screamed, pinning him up against the wall. "You stupid idiot! Who the hell gave you the fucking right to do that. Thats the second time youve done that. I dont want the whole damn school to know. Im not ready for that. AAH FUCK!" I said storming off.
I slammed my locker shut and walked off fuming. Everyone was staring at me and wondering what the hell was going on. I was in such a foul mood. Lucas threw his hair back with his hand trying not to look as shaken up as he was. I walked past Josh who looked at me wide eyed. This was all his fault. "What the fuck are you looking at?" I said pushing him out of my way.
Brad threw me up against the locker, catching me off guard. "You want some too, huh?" I said straightening myself up. Hes actually a whole lot bigger than me but once Im in the zone as some people call it, I dont back down. Sometimes to my own detriment, as Ive found out on numerous occasions. He stood there menacingly, chest out and fists clenched. Everyone gathering around us in a circle, waiting in anticipation of a fight to begin. I could feel the tension mounting up, neither of us willing to back down. I glared at him, never once flinching.
"You know its one thing when you push around one of us. But when you push around two. Ive always hated your guts. You and that Marcel bitch." He snickered.
"You know, I am really starting to get sick of you calling me that." Marcel said standing behind Brad.
"Marcel, fuck off. This is my problem." I said still glaring at Brad.
Marcel didnt move, he seemed a bit different. Maybe he was on steroids. It wasnt like him to get into a fight situation unless it was to pull people out, like me for instance. But we hadnt started fighting yet so he was a bit early. Brad turned to face Marcel, eyeing him up. That just pissed me off to no end.
"Hey dont turn your fucking back on me." I yelled going to flip him around.
Before I could put my hand on his shoulder, Lucas pulled me back. I couldnt believe it, I was getting humiliated from all over. First, Lucas pulls a shocker out on me that just pissed me off like you wouldnt believe. He seemed to have no problem taking it upon himself to just tell everyone about us. Never mind the consequences. You just cant go around doing that in the society of today. And then I get thrown against the locker by this bozo, Brad. And Marcel takes it upon himself to intervene, what the hell is up with that? Am I too weak to take care of myself? Hell no! Then Lucas pulls me back when Im about to grab Brad. Now any respect I once had in this school would be lost. To them I wasnt man enough to take care of myself. I was so angry, especially with Lucas.
"Get your damn hands off me!" I yelled pulling myself away from Lucas.
"Storm. Storm. Calm down." Lucas said trying to put his hands on my arms.
"Calm down? Screw you! This is all your fault!! You are such a fuck up. Now get the hell out of my way." I said pushing him.
I was so pissed off and angry, I didnt want to be here anymore. Fuck it, Im going home. Who cares if I get in trouble, I dont want to be here. I felt like Lucas had betrayed me and Marcel had just humiliated me. Screw Lucas and screw Marcel. I walked straight out the school gates, not caring if anyone saw me. I think Im going to go and take my frustrations out on a punching bag.
* * * * * * *
Brad stood staring down Marcel. The showdown competitors had changed but the tension was still there.
"Im really getting sick of you. I dont give a shit when you bother me, but when you start pushing my friends around " Marcel said defiantly.
Definite crowd movement here. Josh had been pushed back into the crowd and watched on in uncertainty. He bit his lip unsure of what to do. Mike had pushed his way through the crowd and stood on the fringe of the circle along with Sarah. Still no teachers, but it wouldnt be long before they turned up.
Brad leaned in toward Marcel threateningly "Marcel, you are nothing but a little bitch. Ill kick you and your Raincloud boyfriends ass."
Marcels eyes gave away how angry he was "Hey dumbass, hit me." Marcel said pointing to himself.
Brad didnt need to be asked twice. Brad threw Marcel a punch hitting him square in the jaw and knocking him off balance, stunning Marcel. Mike went to jump in for Marcel but Sarah held him back, Mike staring at her confused. Marcels face grimaced in pain, but he did not falter or fall. He was a little disoriented and nearly fell back. Brad packed one hell of a wallop, which was to be expected since he was a 62 jock with muscles to burn. Marcels jaw wasnt thanking him. Marcel tried to steady himself, shaking his head a bit to throw off the effect that blow had dealt him.
"Now why would you have wanted me to do that? Not that Im complaining." Brad snickered.
"Because now its called self defense, Bitch!" Marcel said planting a one-two punch combo square in Brads head. Marcel pushed Brad up against the lockers and kicked him in the family jewels. Brad reeled forward in pain and Marcel jack hammered his back forcing his knees to buckle before he finished him off with one last kick in the head. "Now, whos the Bitch?" Marcel said breathing hard, standing over Brad.
"Scramble!!" Mike yelled.
The crowd quickly dispersed with Josh and Mike pulling Brad out of sight so the teachers couldnt see that he had just had the shit kicked out of him. Marcel stood up feeling strangely invigorated. He didnt really want to fight Brad, but he had to make a stand or Brad wouldnt leave him alone. Mr. Hawking, a science teacher, walked up to Marcel. who was still sweating a bit. "What just happened here?" he asked sternly.
Marcel stood alone. Sarah had gone off with Mike, and Storm had gone AWOL. There was still a group of people staring at Marcel, mostly girls. They all smiled at him, and he responded with a little smile back. Mr. Hawking brought him back to reality quick smart with a tap on the shoulder. "Oh, sorry sir! Uhh nothing is going on, we were just wrestling around."
"Really. And just WHO are we?" Mr. Hawking said unbelievingly.
"Uhhh uhhh" Marcel stuttered.
"Me, Sir. Josh Barrett. We were just fooling around, didnt mean to cause such a ruckus. It wont happen again." Josh said walking up next to Marcel.
"Very well then. Dont let it happen again, gentlemen." Mr. Hawking said walking off.
"Uuuuh thanks." Marcel said bewildered.
Josh smiled at Marcel, "Hey, Im sorry about Brad. Hes a real jerk sometimes."
"Ok, more than sometimes. I just wanted to apologize and hope theres no hard feelings." Josh said extending his hand out to Marcel.
Marcel was a bit surprised by Joshs actions. He did appreciate the gesture though, wanting nothing more than to be civil. Even if it was just with Josh for now. Marcel took Joshs hand and shook it firmly, getting a strange vibe he thought. Nah, cant be. Must be over imagining things Marcel thought to himself.
"Sure man, no hard feelings." Marcel smiled.
Josh bit his lip, looking unsure of what to do or say "So umm, your Track is looking really good. You think you can take out the big meet?"
"Im pretty confident."
"Its too bad I wont be able to watch. You know Football Camp, same week."
"Oh yeah, thats too bad."
"Well, I better go see if Brad is ok. Ill see you later like yeah Ill see you later." Josh said walking off.
Marcel watched Josh walk off, that strange nagging thought still bugging him. He turned and walked the other way, seeing Lucas leaning with his head against the lockers. He looked pretty distressed, his face was red and flustered. Marcel walked up to him, flipping him around.
"And you, what did you do to Storm?" Marcel asked forcefully.
Lucas looked like he was trying to hold himself together, but he wasnt doing a good job. Marcel looked to see if anyone was looking at them, there wasnt. Grabbing Lucas, he ushered him outside to the back of the sheds. He made sure they couldnt be disturbed and sat Lucas down.
"Ok Lucas, what did you do?" Marcel asked harshly.
"I didnt do anything! I I I dont want to talk about it." Lucas said putting his face in his hands.
"Look, you know I hate your guts and you make me sick. I cant tell you how much I hate you and wished it was you back there instead of Brad. But that wont help me, you or Storm. So cut the bullshit and just tell me what happened."
"Dude, why so harsh?" Lucas said looking at Marcel confused.
"Dude, why so stupid? Now hurry up and tell me what happened."
Lucas looked at Marcel in shock "Youve changed. What happened to you?"
"I grew up. Now for the last time, tell me what happened."
"Its none of your damn business." Lucas said getting up to leave.
Marcel shot straight up and pushed Lucas against the wall, pinning him. "Now listen to me, you are going to tell me what you did that made Storm so upset. And where is he now?"
"You might be able to take Brad. But Im not as easy a pushover." Lucas replied.
"You know I never liked you, so lets just sort this out once and for all. Ive wanted to kick your dumb ass for so long anyway, why not today?"
"Fuck you. Im not fighting you. If you want to kick my ass, then you go on ahead and do it. But Im not giving you the satisfaction of fighting back. So make your move, Marcel. Its time we sorted this shit out once and for all."
* * * * * * *
"What the hell is going on today?" Mike asked Sarah as they walked home together. "I mean, Marcels on steroids. Plus we havent seen Lucas, Storm or Marcel since lunch time. And youre about as talkative as Maggie Simpson."
"Must be something in the water." Sarah said calmly.
"I tell ya, were all falling apart." Mike said concerned.
"Mike, I dont care anymore. If it falls apart, so be it." She spoke without a hint of emotion.
"Oh well, at least me and you are ok." He sighed.
Sarah stopped walking "Yeah, we are ok. Lets not worry about it." She said grabbing Mikes hand.
They walked along together, Sarah still not saying anything. Mike was starting to get worried, she was never like this. She was the mother of the group, she always worried. Something was definitely wrong. They made it to Sarahs house and Mike kissed her goodbye before waving as he walked off. Now it was time to see what the hell was going on.
Mike went over to Storms house and found no one was home, that seemed strange. Usually Storm, Marcel, Lucas or Dade was there. Mike picked up the phone and rang Marcels house. "Marcel?" he asked.
"Hey, its Mike. Whats going on man, everything is just falling apart." Mike said concerned.
"Oh. I dont know man. I really dont know. Its been a shitty day."
"Did you hear what happened with Storm and Lucas? Storms not here. Lucas isnt here. Youre not here. Sarah isnt talking. And what happened to you after Lunch? Would you come over here please?" Mike asked.
"No. I cant. I just cant right now. I have to go. Bye." Marcel said hanging up.
Mike stood there holding onto the phone in complete confusion. What the hell was going on. Everybody was acting all weird. "What the hell was going on?" Mike said to himself.
"Mike..." A voice said behind Mike.
Mike turned around "Oh...my god. What the hell happened to you .." Mike gasped in total shock.
* * * * * * *
Marcel is on a roll, Lucas is hitting Rock Bottom, Storm is AWOL, Mike is trying to work it all out, Sarah's not talking. And who is the person at the end?? Chapter 9 will be out next week, so ya'll come back now ya hear!
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