W.A.R. Part Three - The Broken Boy
Chapter One - The Chair
by Jeff Wilson
If someone told you life is easy when you're fifteen, they lied to you. When you're a kid, your life is supposed to be easy. You're supposed to not have a care in the world. You're just supposed to do your school work, learn, and play. Somebody else pays for your food and clothes and takes care of you. Your life is supposed to be pretty good.
What a load of crap! Let's start with school. Every day is a savage cut-throat battle for survival. The teachers are boring autocrats, and the kids you have to share the experience with are obnoxious teenage assholes. There is the constant pressure from parents to do your best and get the grades, and there is the constant pressure of your peers to fit in and join the herd. And that's not even getting into the more intimate relationships. Boyfriend and girlfriend become the most important words in the world, and if you don't have one yet, there's obviously something very wrong with you and you need to be picked on and tortured so that no one would ever make the mistake of going out with you.
And that's just the kids who fit in. What about the smart kids? What about the kids with glasses and braces? What about the kids who don't have a girlfriend? Maybe not because they can't get one, but because they just don't want one? What about the kids who are so sick of their parents expecting them to be this perfect person who never swears or lies or gets into trouble at school, or who god forbid jacks off every chance he gets? What about the boys who maybe find their happiness in the company of another boy and who occasionally express their happiness by getting together and just being naked with each other and enjoying each other's company?
That was the place my mind had gone to on that warm late March Wednesday as I was sitting in the chair. Maybe my mind should have been on the beautiful weather outside. Maybe I should have been enjoying having some time away from school. Maybe I'd have rather been in school instead of sitting in that chair? But no. There I was, in the chair.
The leaves were in full bloom and spring had come early that year, just in time for Easter. With the early spring had come early allergies. The pollen was especially bad. I was constantly blowing my nose and rubbing my bleary green eyes. My sinuses had so much pressure on them that I would have welcomed my head exploding. All that pressure in my head had turned me rather crabby. All the allergy medicine had done was make me sleepy and even more irritable. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I didn't want to have to be the nice guy. I just wanted to be a jerk if I wanted and get some sleep to relieve my headache.
I'd gotten my eyes checked in school at the start of the year and they recommended I get glasses. I'd convinced my mom that having to wear glasses while having braces would just be inviting people to stick `kick me' signs on my back. I was already enough of a nerd, I didn't have to look like one. But now I had to wear my glasses and not my contacts because my eyes were just too bloodshot and sore.
"Can you open a little wider for me, Billy?"
I obeyed, like I always do. Good little Billy always does the right thing and always does what he's told. I was getting a little sick of myself. I was tired of being the good kid. I was tired of getting picked on. I was tired of being the perfect little angel.
A strange tool was jammed into my mouth. I hoped that this time it would go quickly. POP! POP! POP! POP! I could feel each band being snapped off my braces. Then a pair of pliers (I swear, honest to goodness real-life pliers!) were used to rip the metal wire of my braces out of my mouth.
"OWWW!" I yelped. "That hurt!"
"Settle down Mr. Roberts!" Dr. Martin, my beloved orthodontist, insisted. It was his torturous chair that I was sitting in. He never seemed to care if I was in pain, and I was getting tired of being told, "This wouldn't be nearly as difficult if you'd just relax."
"I am relaxed!" I snapped. "You just don't care if it hurts, that's all! Well it does hurt! And any time I complain you tell me to relax! How am I supposed to relax when you're hurting me?"
"Looks like we'll need to get the bottom wire too," Dr. Martin announced, ignoring my plight.
"You said I'd only need the top done this time!" I protested. "This is stupid! How did you even get a dental license?"
Dr. Martin laughed and reached for the band-removing tool again. "This might hurt a little. Just relax," he said.
"I'll relax you," I thought. It wasn't just my orthodontist that I had been snippy with lately. Nobody had been spared my wrath recently. There was just so much of my life that I couldn't stand anymore. I almost hated to look in the mirror and see that kid in there looking back at me. Somewhere along the way, I had just stopped caring about what people would think if I said something they didn't like. If it was hurtful, so what? That was their problem, not mine. I was tired of trying to make other people happy. Why should I care if they were happy when I wasn't happy myself?
Dr. Martin's work was quick and efficient, I had to give him that. In no time, he had everything out of my mouth except for the metal brackets glued to my teeth. After a quick cleaning, he had to leave me to get more equipment to jam into my mouth. While he was gone, I grabbed a mirror to check out how things were progressing. It was weird to smile and not have wires in there. Even though the gap between my two front teeth had almost disappeared, it had been so long since I'd seen it without a wire in the way that I thought it looked bigger than ever.
"Looking good huh?" I heard Dr. Martin ask as he came back in.
"It will look a lot better when you get all this metal out of my mouth."
"Oh don't worry, you're coming along a bit faster than expected. Besides, braces are cool nowadays."
"Do you get paid by the American Dental Association to say that?" I asked.
"Who told you that?" Dr. Martin asked in mock horror, as if I'd discovered his darkest secret. I had to laugh. "That's better! You always look much better when you smile! Just think, by next year we'll be all finished."
Now he said next year, but what I heard was, "Billy, you will have braces for the rest of your life! Mwah ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I sighed. The new wires Dr. Martin put in were tighter than the last ones. I'd be in pain for a few days until I got used to them. He asked me what color I wanted for the bonds to hold the wires in place. He should have known I always chose plain gray. I didn't want to draw attention to myself with funky colors on my braces. I just wanted them to fix my teeth and be gone. The less people noticed me the less they'd make fun of me. Once he was finished, I was free to escape his evil clutches. I joined my mother in the lobby and she scheduled my next appointment.
"Sure is a nice day out here," I said as we left the office.
"Yes, it is," mom replied.
"It would be a shame to have to waste it by spending it indoors," I hinted. "Yeah... A good mom wouldn't want her son wasting a nice day like this in a boring old building like school."
"You have to go to school, Billy," mom said.
"But why?" I whined. "The day's half over anyway! Dustin could bring my homework home when I go to his place tonight!"
"No way mister!" mom insisted as we reached the car. "Besides, the school is on the way to work, and home is the totally opposite direction."
"Can I drive then?" I asked.
"In nine months when you get your permit," mom replied.
"You used to be cool," I sulked as I got in the passenger seat.
"We both know that's a lie," mom replied, laughing. Well, at least she was honest.
Mom was right of course. The school was on the way to the hospital where she worked. It would have been silly to drive the opposite direction to drive me home. I thought of another idea.
"Could I go with you to work today?" I asked.
"Why on earth would you want to do that? You think school is boring, what would you do at the hospital? Besides, you're going to Dustin's house tonight and I won't be home until late."
"Dad could pick me up," I suggested.
"Why are you trying to avoid going to school? I thought you liked school."
"Nevermind," I sulked. "Just take me to the stupid retarded school. You don't care about me. Just because my stupid mouth hurts doesn't mean you should care."
"Oh stop it!" mom said. "What is with you lately?"
"Nothing," I replied crossly. I folded my arms and stared out the window. "You don't care anyway, so why should I tell you anything?"
"Why does everything have to be so dramatic with you? You've been really mouthy lately," mom said. "You better learn to watch that temper of yours or it's going to get you into trouble someday," she warned.
"Whatever," I grumped.
Mom just kept driving. She knew there was no point trying to talk to me anymore when I was like that.
I really used to like school. I was smart. The teachers liked me. I had lots of friends. But over time things had changed. I don't know when or how it happened really. There wasn't one big event. Just slowly over time I started to feel like I didn't fit in anymore. I had always lived in a backwards world. You know those desks that are one connected unit that so that the seat and desk are hooked together? Yeah, try writing left-handed in one of those bastards. It's fucking impossible! Those are the desks that the school decided would be perfect for almost every class I'm in. Ever try to use a pair of left handed scissors? Could you give me those scissors when you're done with them? Because apparently my school's never heard of them. My handwriting looks like shit. You know why? Because I can either get ink smeared all over my hand or get a cramp from holding a pen like an idiot. Oh, and notebooks put the metal spiral thingy on the left-hand side too! God, I hate being left-handed! But that's just the logistical stuff. The worst part was the relational crap. The friends I'd made in elementary school and middle school kind of moved on. Everybody got into different things. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't hated or anything. Nobody was threatening to beat me up or take my lunch money. I wasn't a pariah and I still had friends. I just wasn't one of the popular kids. I was just... there. Nobody would have cared if I just disappeared. Nobody would have even noticed.
As mom pulled the car into the school parking lot, I knew that there was no convincing her to let me out of school. The least I could do was make her feel bad about leaving me there.
"Do you have your excuse?" she asked.
"Yes, mother," I snapped.
"What about your lunch money?" she asked.
"My mouth hurts too much to eat. You know, because I have these stupid braces that you made me get because I wasn't good enough for you, like always. Besides, it's too late for lunch," I whined.
"Okay. Well, you have fun at Dustin's house tonight! I love you!" mom said, doing what she did best, ignoring what I said and doing whatever she wanted to do.
"Whatever," I replied. I left the car and walked into the school. Mom didn't leave until I was inside, I guess she was making sure I didn't sneak away when I got the chance. I checked in at the office and headed to my class. It was the last day before Spring break, and I knew that we wouldn't be doing much in class that day. I had missed my favorite classes. My afternoon classes were all stupid except for physics. But I still had gym, math and history left before dismissal. I was just in time to have to go to gym class and have to participate. The rest of the class had already changed clothes and was playing basketball. I had the locker room to myself as I changed into my gym clothes.
Basketball day... sigh... I hated basketball day. A bunch of testosterone fueled baboons fighting over a stupid bouncy ball. After being yelled at by stupid adults for dribbling the stupid thing with the wrong hand for so long, and absolutely sucking at bouncing it with the so-called "right" hand, I'd given up any hope of ever being any good at it. It reminded me of having to use a right-handed glove in baseball and wondering why I couldn't throw the ball more than thirty feet. Nobody wanted me on their team, of course, so the gym teacher assigned me to a team. I heard the groans of disappointment from my team mates. I suck at sports. I never touched the ball. None of the other boys wanted to pass it to me, and I really didn't want it either. To me, gym class is like school in general: a game of survival more than anything else. I try not to be seen and stay out of the way. So I was disappointed when the ball got loose and rolled to me and sat at my feet. I couldn't just let it sit there so I picked it up and held it as a group of boys surrounded me and shouted for me to pass it to them. You'd think I was holding a million dollars the way they were yelling and jostling. It was just a stupid ball. Through the crowd, my best friend Dustin emerged and held out his hands eagerly.
"Pass me the ball, Billy!" he shouted urgently. I tossed it to him and he laughed. "Thanks, buddy!" Then he ran the other direction and put the ball in my team's hoop. I couldn't believe how stupid I'd just been! Dustin wasn't on my team, he was on the other team! I'd just handed him the ball like a sucker. Dustin had tricked me!
"You're such a fag, Roberts," one of my teammates informed me as he bumped into me as hard as he could with his shoulder, knocking me on my butt. I stood back up and brushed myself off and then I just stood there and silently fumed as the game continued around me. Bobby Rush crushed the kid who had called me that word I'd heard far too often with a hard foul. Dustin ran past me a couple times and kept telling me he was sorry. I wasn't really mad at him. It was a smart play on his part actually. I just felt so stupid and out of place on any kind of sports team. I was so happy when class ended and we went to the locker room to change. A few of my other teammates let me know I sucked as well.
"I'm sorry, Billy," Dustin said for about the tenth time as he pulled his shirt off. "I didn't think you'd actually pass me the ball." He pulled his gym shorts off and pulled on his regular pants in one quick motion while I danced around trying to get both my pale skinny legs into my pants. It was the dance we all played, trying to be in just our underwear for as little time as possible around other boys.
"Whatever. I don't care," I replied. I just wanted to get changed and get out of the locker room before I got beat up. We didn't have to shower if we didn't want to, so nobody ever did in ninth grade. That also meant that most of the time the ninth graders smelled like sweat covered in deodorant for the rest of the day. "Hey, we're going to have fun tonight. I promise," Dustin said, pushing his long red hair out of his eyes. He hadn't had a haircut in almost a year and a half since his dad had shaved him bald. It covered his ears and the back of his neck and was on its way to reaching his shoulders, and he was constantly pushing it out of his face. I knew he was only growing it so long in silent protest to what his dad had done to him, but he never talked about it. "I'm sorry I tricked you," he said yet again.
"I said I don't care," I replied sharply. "Forget about it. It was just a stupid game." I slathered deodorant on myself, put my glasses back on and got the heck out of the locker room. Why hadn't my mom just let me go home?
Halfway through my math class, I asked to go to the bathroom. It wasn't like we were doing anything anyway. After I used the restroom, I slowly meandered through the hallway back toward class. To my surprise, my other best friend, Brett Reilly, came walking down the hall. When he saw me he smiled.
"Hey, fancy meeting you here," he said happily.
"Hey!" I said. I felt happy for the first time that day. "What are you doing out of class? Did you get sent to the principal's office again?"
"Just going to the bathroom," Brett informed me, showing me his hall pass. "Time to take a dump. Besides, I haven't been sent to the principal's office at all this year, I'll have you know. That's some kind of record for me. But who cares about that? How'd the appointment go? Show me what they did."
I smiled widely, exposing my full metal smile. Brett frowned. "Grey bands again? You're so boring, Billy. The least you could do is get green to match your eyes or something! If I had braces, I'd always have different colors."
"If you want braces, you can have them. My mouth really hurts this time," I complained.
"I know a way to make it feel better," he said seductively in his smooth voice that was a shade deeper than mine. He pulled me closer to him.
"Brett stop it, we're in school," I said. "Somebody's going to see us."
"Let'em!" Brett smiled. "I'm tired of hiding. I don't care who knows about us." He held me around the waist and pressed his hips against me. His thing was causing the front of his pants to bulge. "You feel it. Don't you? It always gets this way when I'm around you. You're driving me crazy, Billy. I like kissing you and all, but I want to get naked with you again. It's been way too long! I mean, we've been playing this game for over a year now. I thought maybe now that we're both fifteen we might get more serious. I want to see you naked again. I want to do stuff with you. I'm ready to do so much more than kiss you. You have no idea how hot you are... What you do to me. I can't take it, Billy. You wanted to give us some time to get to know each other some more, and we have, but I think we know enough now to know we both want the same thing. I'm tired of jacking off trying to keep myself from exploding. I want to do things to you that'll make you feel so good. Don't you want to take the next step?"
"I don't know..." I said. I don't know what was keeping me from doing more with Brett. I wanted to do more. But at the same time, I was scared. He was right. Our first kiss had been well over a year ago, and while we'd had many other kisses since then, we hadn't gone much further than a grope here and there. I'd never even seen him shoot his load. Brett had managed to sneak his hand into my underwear a few weeks back and had grabbed my thing, but I stopped him when he went for my zipper. It was obvious that Brett was ready to do more gay stuff than I was. I was more scared of where I would let him take me than anything else. I had never been able to show much resistance as far as Brett was concerned. I knew that once I opened that door that I was going to give Brett pretty much get anything he wanted. Once the dam broke I knew there'd be no stopping what was coming (or stopping me from coming). No. As long as I could resist his temptations, as long as I could hold off from turning our friendship into a sexual thing, I could avoid really dealing with what I knew was the truth about myself. As long as I wasn't having gay sex I couldn't really be gay. Right? I could still pretend that I was just really good friends with Brett and not desperately and madly in love with the guy. Right? As long as we kept our dicks to ourselves no one could really say that we were queers. Right? Right?!?!
"What are you afraid of?" Brett asked, holding me tighter. He smelled so good. He was driving me insane. "I love you, I wouldn't hurt you."
"Brett..." I protested. "I can't..." He just didn't understand. He thought that things would be better if people knew about us. He didn't care if people thought he was gay. He wanted to be gay. Well I didn't. Wasn't my life already shitty enough without giving people a nuclear bomb to use on me?
He let go of me and adjusted himself. "Okay, fine. I promised I wouldn't push you into something you weren't ready for and I meant it. I just think you're ready, that's all! I see the way you look at me. Just know that I am so in love with you that I can hardly take it. It's killing me. I need to get laid. I just want to rip your clothes off and fuck you right here in the hallway. Think about that while I'm away."
"You ready for your trip to the Big Apple?" I asked, eager to change the subject. The thought of Brett ripping my clothes off and fucking me was enough to make both of my heads explode. I had to get my mind off of what it would be like if Brett did the things he wanted to do to me or I'd burst.
"I guess," he said. "It's not going to be the same. This'll be the first time I've been back since it happened."
"It" was the 9-11 attacks. Brett had grown up in the shadow of the World Trade Center. One of his cousins had died there when the planes hit. It had really messed Brett up when it happened. He loved New York more than anyplace in the world. I'd never seen him so distraught about anything. For me, it was something far away. For Brett, it was happening in his backyard to his family.
"You going to be back for Easter?" I asked.
"Nah. Mom wants me to see the city before somebody blows up the rest of it," Brett said sarcastically. "We'll be back on Monday or Tuesday."
"Well, I guess I should head back to class," I sighed, adjusting my glasses. Thinking about five whole days without Brett was even worse than thinking about the things Brett wanted to do with me.
Brett smiled. "I like when you wear your glasses. They make you look older. I think you should wear them more often."
I laughed. I just couldn't figure out what he was seeing in me. "You can have them, too," I said.
"You're still coming over later, right?" Brett asked.
"Yeah, before you go," I replied.
"Okay. I'll catch you on the bus then," he said. Then he leaned closer to me. I looked around the hallway to make sure nobody was around. He sighed, then we kissed. The whole time I kept waiting for a door to open or for the class bully to tap me on the shoulder or something bad to happen. It didn't though. After we finished he grabbed my hand and held it against his chest. "Someday you're not going to look around to see if anybody's watching," he said. Then he kissed the back of my hand and shuffled off down the hall. I missed him already and he hadn't even left yet. It was going to be a long vacation!
Welcome back! It's great to start a new adventure with you as we begin Part Three of W.A.R. I want to offer one bit of notice, in this story the language can get pretty rough, and Billy in particular will make use of the word "retard" in a way that can be quite offensive. It's not a word that should be used, and Billy will learn that over the course of the story, but I just wanted to warn you that he does say it alot and it's an ignorant thing for him to do. Another character will use the n-word in a future chapter, and again, it's a repugnant word, but the character that uses it is pretty repugnant as well. I just wanted to warn you in advance, because words can and do hurt others. I don't want to hurt anyone. While we're giving warnings, this part of the story will delve into some pretty heavy territory and may not be suitable for all readers. If the first two parts were rated PG-13, this part is definitely rated M. If you're concerned about what lies ahead, feel free to write to me and ask. I'd be happy to give you a heads up about what's in store. I can't say too much here without giving away some major spoilers. Reader discretion is advised!
Anyway, I would love to hear from you! You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next time: Tug-of-War