School was just around the corner when calamity happened.

"How long will you be gone?"

"Don't rightly know just yet. Could be a week, could be a month. Depends how long she hangs on. My dad is all broke up. Don't blame him none neither. Ya only get one Ma."

"What about school? You'll be way behind if you're gone that long. Maybe even set back!"

"I know, but it's family and anyways, I can't stay here alone."

"I'll have to start school alone and they'll all know about the two of us."

"Well, that parts no different than if I was here. Either way they would know that. Just watch out for Buster Cornberry and Kenny Jackson that's all. Those two got a mean streak in `em. I seen it in . . ."

" . . . in their eyes, Ya, I know, just like a hound dog. Look it was alright when I was going through it with you. You always seem to know what to do and say. And they know you so you would be the one they would start talking shit to. Joining in is a lot easier than being on point. They'll eat me alive."

"Nah, recon that'd be my job." Tad said with a big smile.

"And that's another thing, a week without you is one thing, but a month! I can't do a month alone. Not now that I know . . .you."

Tad took his face in his hands and looking lovingly into Andrews eyes, he used his thumbs to gently caress away the tears.

"I'm sorry you got them tears but I got to tell you they make me feel better than anything in my entire life. Nobody has ever cried over me. It makes me feel more than just loved, makes me feel needed." And he kissed Andrews eyes and held him close.

"You got a strange way of seeing things Tad Bit Gay." Andrew held him close like he could never leave as long as he held him. But the time came all too fast. And he was gone.

The school bus to hell was right on schedule. Andrew waited for it alone; his dread building. His anger at having to face this alone was becoming overwhelming too.

How could he let this happen? If I had just not owned up to it; plausible denial, isn't that what politicians do? It's too late for that now. No sense crying over spilled . . .,giz. The bus pulled up and the door opened.

As he started up the stairs the bus driver said, "Hey, you're not a Tad Bit Gay!"

Andrew froze and looked to see who was on the bus before he spoke, "Of course I'm not. I'm completely!" And he watched, as her jaw dropped and her week old gum fell out of it as he spun into the first seat opposite the driver.

He had done it. He set the course there was no turning back now. He could hear the whispers and the sniggers behind him. As the bus pulled up beside the school and came to a stop all the kids started to gather their book bags to get off. Andrew stood up and held onto both of the front vertical grab bars and blocked the way off as he addressed the back of the bus.

"My name is Andrew Makis Harter. I am in love with Tad. Anybody have any questions ask them now."

Buster stood up, "So you're his new city slicker dick sucker. Do you let him Fuck you in the ass too?"

"You must be Buster, Cornhole is it? I can tell by the empty look on you face and the pathetically small package you've got."

The bus erupted in gasps; apparently no one had ever spoken too him like that.

"To answer your question, we would not limit our love making to just that. We would make wild and passionate love for hours on end. Sometimes we would come eight or ten times before we were done. Now your turn. How many times a night can your hand satisfy you?"

He could see he had just kicked a hornets nest. Buster was climbing over Kids to get to Andrew and Buster was a much bigger boy. But as Buster drew back to swing, Andrew kicked him in the groin and he went down faster than a West Virginian cousin on payday. Andrew turned and left the bus. As he did, he handed the bus driver a stick of gum.

"Here, you seem to have lost yours . . .again." The other kids followed suite, stepping around the crumpled body lying in the middle holding his package and rocking in pain. He seemed to be having trouble keeping his breakfast in too.

The bus driver opened the stick of gum and folded it into her mouth as she went into the school to get her coffee freshened she said, "Expect you'll be cleaning that up before you go in for class. I'll tell'm inside you'll be a little late."

In the school Andrew went to his home room class and found a seat. Much to his surprise people walked by and patted him on the back, muttering things like, "Way to go!" and "That jerk has needed that for a long time." Only one comment was made about him being gay. A girl asked him, "Does he love you too!" she said, "Too bad, if you ever want to try a girl . . ." He smiled at her, "I have, I'm a lousy kisser." She smiled and said, "Maybe you just need more practice." As she did the teacher called the class to order.

Buster never made it to class that day. Seems something upset his stomach. Word must have got around because Kenny Jackson who was a bit smaller than Buster never said a word. Andrew reveled in his first day's glory. He spotted smiles on the faces of a few boys who, he thought for a moment, had something in their eyes that looked familiar.

He missed Tad more than ever all of a sudden.

One of the boys who had smiled at Andrew came up to him at lunch the next day and sat down next to him but seemed to be ignoring him. Then he heard it; a faint whisper. He couldn't quite make it out but he clearly heard the names "Buster" and "Kenny" and he thought he also heard "after school."

"Thanks." He said in a normal voice.

He didn't need to have him repeat it to know it was trouble.

It was Friday and that meant no homework at this school. Andrew decided he better leave his books in his locker. He was going to need his hands free if what the kid said was true and he didn't doubt it. The only thing worse than a bully was a pack of them. A pack gives them all false courage. Andrew sized them up.

If it was just the two he wasn't too concerned. But if it triggered a feeding frenzy then he could be in trouble. He was really glad his mom paid for those three years of karate before his dad died. He debated whether to tell them or not and decided against it. He just hoped he remembered enough to save his ass.

What happened next he would not have believed if he had not seen it with his own eyes. Better than half the pack circled around Buster and Kenny and one other friend and formed a line between them and Andrew facing Buster.

One of the boys said in a slightly trembling tone, "If you fight him then you fight me too." A couple other kids chimed in, "ya, me too!"

"Well I didn't know we had so many faggots in this school. Did you blow them all to help you?" He said looking directly at Andrew.

"Maybe they are smart enough to know that it doesn't matter. Maybe they are secure enough in their skin that my way of life doesn't threaten them." Andrew stepped through the line and was standing directly in front of Buster.

"So how's this work exactly? You kick my butt and I turn straight or I kick your butt and you start sucking dicks or what? Before I go and skin my knuckles all up tell me what I have to gain from this. Are you willing to start sucking if I win?'

"I'll never do that, even if you kill me."

"And I will never stop loving Tad; even if you kill me. So look, I'm willing to let you all live but you are going to have to keep your mouth off of me and start acting like adults instead of children."

"You'll let us live!"

"Ya, now one at a time, or the bunch of you? We can get along or get it on. Your choice."

Buster and Kenny glanced at each other and dove. Andrew stepped sideways and pushed Buster in front of Kenny.

"This is a bad choice guys. Kenny landed a punch on Andrew's cheek. Andrew spun around back handing Kenny knocking him back. Buster had regained his footing and was rounding on Andrew. He snap kicked Buster in the nuts and he went down.

"You know Buster you always seem to leave yourself open there."

Kenny was back in the game, another punch to the jaw. Andrew countered with an open hand blow to the throat catching Kenney just below the Adams apple. Kenny staggered back a couple steps. Seemingly unaffected he advanced on Andrew again.

Andrew held up a finger, "Wait for it!"

Kenney looked at Andrew like he was crazy, then it happened. He felt his wind pipe closing up. He was short on air. Andrew took the opportunity and swung hitting Kenny squarely on the nose. He went down like a rock.

Andrew turned to see where the third was and to his surprise the other kids had him on the ground beating this piss out of him.

"Thanks guys, you need any help?"

Without looking up or stopping the assault on their victim they said, "Nope we got him thanks."


Andrew went over to Buster and grabbed him by the hair and turned his head to look him in the eyes.

"Look, I don't ever expect to be your friend and frankly I would never desire it. But what I do expect and now demand is tolerance. You keep your backwoods, sister fucking, cornhole licking mouth and hands off me and mine. Think you can do that?"

"Fuck you," he managed to get out between gasps while still holding his badly bruised balls."

"Wrong answer, Hey everybody! Did you hear Buster? He said he wants to fuck me. I knew he was getting too upset over this. He must be a closet queen!"

The crowd roared. Andrew looked down at Buster and pulled his head up by his hair again. And said, "I wouldn't fuck you with Kenny's dick if your mother was pushing my ass! But I'm flattered." Andrew kissed him right on the lips. He responded by taking a feeble swing at Andrew who nailed him right on the tip of his nose sending a gush of blood down the front of him.

"But! You are now officially out of the closet! The whole school just saw you get kissed by another Homo! Oh where might this lead?"

Andrew walked away with the others leaving the three of them alone on the ground holding their wounds.

Before climbing on the bus, Andrew turned to the following group.

"Look, I don't know which if any of you are gay and which are straight and I don't care. Thanks for helping me be allowed to be me and others which are now free to be who they choose. No more hiding in the shadows because you have too. Only because you choose to. But I got to tell ya, until you declare yourself, if ya are gay, then it'll eat at ya til ya die."

And he climbed onboard the bus to applause and cheers, for Andrew, and for themselves.