"Is...is that it? Just tell you what I want..."
"...And I make it happen for you. Simple as that. But you're going to have to find out exactly what it is that you want to ask for, aren't ya?" He said. Gideon patted me on the shoulder, and gently pushed me in the direction of the school. "The day after tomorrow, same time. Meet me on the bleachers out by the soccer field and we'll talk. Got it?"
"Same time? You mean ditch another class?" I was going to have to go ANOTHER day without Josh's lovely vision crossing my path???
"You can call in sick and ditch the whole day if you want. Just be there!"
I turned around to walk back to class, thinking if maybe he could pick ANY other period to do this...whatever the hell kinda weirdness he was planning. So I turned around to ask, "Do you think that maybe we could...?" But he was gone. Completely gone. Not a single trace of him left. How the hell does he DO that, anyway? I stood there, looking for him for a second or two longer, until I heard the school bell ring off in the distance. I would have to practically run in order to make it back on time, so I let it go and just started a trot back to class.
I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about everything that Gideon had said to me. Only half of it making sense, and the other half 'seeming' like it should make sense when it really didn't. Was it something that I was missing? Maybe I'm too slow to get it right. Maybe there IS no right when you think about it. Just...my opinion and how I let it guide me towards being a better person. I wonder. Well...if this was my answer, than I could at least give it a shot.
I looked at the drawings again that night after dinner, and I thought about finding something to like about them. I couldn't. In fact, I was starting to wonder why I chose these drawings at all. They weren't that great. Arrrgh! I liked them just FINE yesterday! Sigh...I don't know WHY I liked them, I just...did. I got frustrated after thinking about it for 25 minutes with no answers, and took a break before I started banging my head against the wall. I had been sitting in the living room, watching some old reruns on tv, for only ten minutes or so when the phone rang. I expected Faith to run to it like she always does and laugh hysterically with one of her many friends that she can gossip and bullshit with for what seems like hours everyday. But the phone kept ringing and annoying the hell out of me. No matter HOW bad you try to ignore a ringing phone, it's just NOT possible! I jumped up and grabbed the receiver. "Sigh...hello?" I said with a frustrated groan.
"Television won't help to inspire your artwork, Gavin. I believe we had a deal." Said the voice on the other end.
"Gideon? How did you get my number?" I asked, surprised to hear his voice.
"Asking me questions won't help you either. Get your priorities straight, turn off the tv, and think about your tasks. You have to focus. This isn't some lame assignment that you can put off until the last minute and then rush through so you can turn it in for 'credit'. You wanted a full experience, and that won't come from half ass effort. You get me?" And before I knew it, I heard some static...and then a click. He hung up on me.
I frowned up a bit at the intrusion, and was wondering if he was standing outside my window or something. But when I looked outside, I didn't see anything at all. I went back to the tv for a few minutes more...but believe it or not, my conscience began to screw with me, and I had to turn it off. Grrrr! The son of a bitch had me under control, even over the phone! I got up and went back to my room, beginning an hour long search that actually allowed me to come up with a few decent things to write down on both sides. I kept going, and then grabbed my set of pencils and ink. I stared at the blank pages of my sketchbook. I had finally written down what I hated and loved about my drawings...the 'hate' side being much much longer. And now all I had to do was completely improve on everything that I've ever done in my whole life...in the next two days. Sigh...they always say that the first line you draw is the hardest. Here goes nothing...
I woke up the next morning with bloodshot eyes and extremely groggy. I don't know how it happened, but I realized that I had spent almost ALL of last night trying to draw some new stuff. I only got three hours of sleep, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to make it through a whole day of school without dozing off in one or two of my classes. I'm just not sure what came over me, but that first drawing actually turned out to be pretty decent when it was finished, and after looking at it I just HAD to start on a second one. Even though I was REALLY tired and could barely see at the time, I couldn't go to sleep until that second one was finished too. The first thing that I did that morning when I got up, was look at them again. The first one being a colorful vision of a dragon breathing fire while in flight. I must admit...I was kinda proud of myself for that one. I looked at it, and admired the detail of the muscles, and the scales, and the flames. I don't think I ever concentrated so hard on making everything so perfect before. I imagined myself as someone else, trying to look at my work through the eyes of another person. And I loved it. I impressed myself. The second drawing was one of a giant wolf on a mountain top, howling endlessly at a silver moon placed delicately in a star filled sky. Another picture that I could be proud of, with extra attention to detail that I usually skipped over or left alone. I'm glad I gave it a shot. That little challenge made me push myself to do something I probably wouldn't have even considered if Gideon hadn't told me to. Maybe that was the first lesson. Maybe I'm actually passing the first of God knows how many tests he has for me. I wasn't sure what the third drawing would be, but I'll worry about that later.
I jumped into the shower, thinking about Josh as I always do, still rock hard to the point where it was almost painful, and I enjoyed another daily release. God...as empty as I felt afterwards, that swift moment of total bliss before my ejaculation, that one split second where I know that I can't stop the orgasm from taking over my body completely...was the most magical moment of my life. Each and every day. It was like...I made it real. In that single moment...I brought Josh into my arms and loved him enough to solidify any dreamy image I may have ever had of him. The girl that gets to be his lover is going to be SO lucky!!! I'll spend the rest of my days crying with a level of anger and jealousy that would rival anything ever felt by another human being. But he'll be happy, and I suppose that should be enough. Breathing hard, and still shuddering from an intense climax, I tried to let the images of Josh linger just a little bit longer before letting them go back into hiding again. Deep in my mind where, hopefully, none of the other kids could find them and laugh at me. Scoffing at my attempts to win over someone so beautiful. I'm not worth it. I'm SO not worth it.
The majority of my school day, I walked around with my heart in my shoe. Sinking as low as it could possibly go, and still trying to escape by dropping lower. It only got worse once I got to my English class that afternoon. Just...seeing him there, sitting so close and seeming so far away. It hurt to look at him. It felt as though my heart was going to leap forward out of my chest and into his arms, because it wanted him soooo badly and my body was too scared to move even an inch closer to him. It was almost hard to breathe, the air around me turning into a thick gelatin and practically suffocating the life out of me. Sighhhh....my eyes traced every soft curve of his lips, seperated every beautiful strand of his hair, and my sight tenderly caressed what looked to be the smoothest skin in creation. I watched as his little stomach expanded with each breath, and the way the fabric of his pants stretched out over his soft thighs. I licked the back of my teeth, imagining that it was the erotically gentle curve of his long neck. I looked at his hands, at his shoulders, at his knees...I almost wanted to cry from the raw lovliness that surrounded him at all times. He looked sooooo warm. I just wanted to hug him tenderly and nibble on his ear, to kiss the soft flesh of his smooth cheek and feel the heat radiating from inside him.. He wouldn't have to do anything at all, just...lie still, and let me love him. My erection was fully stiff now, and begining to pain me as it struggled to point in Joshua's direction. Loving him must be so unreal. I doubt that I'd be able to survive a single kiss, much less anything else. He switched a little in his seat, and I gasped at the fact that he was moving. Art in motion, bigger and better than anything that I could ever draw. God...he's SO CUTE!!!
Then, he caught me STARING! I tried to look away in time, but he had already seen me! I KNOW he had! I was too terrified to look back. Hoping that he would just write it off as me just looking around the room randomly out of boredom. But I had to look back eventually. I HAD to! And when I did, he was sitting differently...legs closer together, and turned away from me a bit where I couldn't see him as well. As though he was covering up to keep me from having something to stare at. As though...he didn't want me to look. Ever.
I almost felt my heart breaking right then and there, and it got even worse when he looked at me, quickly turning away again. But I did my best to keep it together. It's all in your head, Gavin. It's all in your head. I mean, he doesn't even know me, right? And the fact that I'm staring at him probably freaks him out a bit, so...don't go thinking he hates you. I'm fine. I'm ok. Really. Wow...he's so cute. My mouth is litterally WATERING for the smallest sample tasting of him. Arrrgh! Ok...stop. Stop. Just....slow down a bit, don't look at him, and get yourself together. He's just a human being. Nothing more. My strategy and self pep talks never lasted for more than 30 seconds before I was looking at him again. I couldn't STOP! And everytime I looked, my heart leapt up into my throat and my erection would begin to stiffen again. And even when I wasn't looking, he was still there in my mind. It was as though his image was permanantely burned onto my retina. This feels really good, but it SUCKS at the same time!
The bell rang about twenty minutes later, and I got up on shakey legs to head for the door. Somewhere between trying to totally absorb him with my eyes, and attempting to ignore a beauty that was shining so bright that it was almost blinding me, I had come up with the stupid plan to actually talk to this young god for the first time. It was something that had crossed my mind many times before, but only as a fantasy. I never actually considered DOING it before. Sigh...ok, Gideon...I'm going to assume that you're going to make me cool one day soon, so maybe this won't be a total bust. I just want to talk to him, just to see what he'd do. Just to try it. Just once. Just...say hello. He can't argue with hello. I can't possibly embarrass myself with hello. I don't THINK I can! Why am I shaking like this? I can't stop trembling, he's going to think I'm an epileptic. But as much as the thought of finally speaking to one of the most beautiful boys on Earth brought a feeling paralyzing terror and despair to my life, I decided to take a chance. So...I got up, and I waited for him to head for the door. I followed him into the hallway, my heart beating a thousand times faster than normal, beads of sweat appearing on my forehead. I was so nervous that I thought my lungs would burst from the amount of pressure I was putting on them to breathe normally. And he was walking right in front of me. Right there, only a few steps ahead. Oh wow, everytime he passed a window, the sunlight illuminated his delicate features and brought him to life like you wouldn't believe. I was literally melting at the very sight of him. It was hard to walk with me being so weak in the knees, but I managed to catch up to him anyway. I was afraid to get too close, but also afraid to let him get away. I probably won't have the courage to try this again if I give in today. I walked beside him for a minute, not saying anything. Just taking a quick glance or two at his profile and trying to think of the exact tone and pitch of my voice to say hello with. Trying to find just the right moment, just the right section of the hallway, maybe when he passed the stairs...I just WISH I was cool enough to not worry about doing this shit all the time! I mean, SHIT! He was RIGHT THERE! He was walking next to me! And all I had to do now, was open up my mouth and SAY something! ANYTHING! Please??? Don't let me chicken out of this now! Speak! SPEAK, damn you, SPEAK!!!
I cleared my throat, and with an extremely nervous and shakey teenage voice, I stuttered, "Um...h-h-hello..."
He turned to look at me, and his eyes were almost enough to knock me down! DAMN he was sexy! Please don't tell me to get lost! Aww, that would absolutely KILL me! Say something sweet, baby. Please? Don't break my heart...I couldn't live with that. I'd rather you say nothing at all and let me keep the fantasy. You are soooo adorable. The most beautiful boy I've ever seen. Let me love you...I'm begging you. Please...let me love you. Then, with a slight, and I mean very slight, grin, he spoke to me. "Hi..." He said, and then he kept walking. My heart stopped, not knowing whether this was a good thing, or a bad thing. But I wanted more. So much more! I wanted to speak to him again, but wasn't exactly sure what to say! I mean...'hello' was my big finale. I didn't really have a follow up or a back up plan. I tried to think of somethng else, tried to somehow come up with some kind of interesting comment that would maybe catch his attention. That would make him notice me, that would make him want me. Come on Gavin! You've been thinking about every single day since you first laid eyes on him, you've GOTTA have something you want to say to your love god!!!
But...by the time I was through arguing with myself and wrestling with my doubts and fears, he was going into his next classroom. "Um...bye." I said. And he looked back to repeat a farewell greeting. And that was it. The whole thing was over, and I was no closer to getting Josh to notice me than I was before making this idiotic attempt to make myself seem somewhat cooler than I am. The only thing worse than the class dork, is when the class dork actually TALKS to you and won't leave you alone. Maybe that's what I should do...just...
...leave him alone.
As I continued walking on to my next class, I felt my feet get heavier, my heart begin to drop again, and my one moment of excitement was replaced with a vision of lifelong torture. One where I was always walking behind the boy of my dreams, and never at his side. If only I had something to say, if only I could have been somebody else. I walk through the halls and see a hundred young blond teenagers that I'd want to trade places with. People that I watched get whatever they wanted. If I could just be ONE of them, if only for just a little while, maybe I could be happy too. Maybe then I can have lots of sex and have people fall for me, only waiting for me to return their feelings. Instead of always wondering if they'll return mine. That day, the walk to my next class was one of the longest walks in history. A walk with no destination, because every new place that it took me was just as lonely as the last.
Needless to say, I didn't draw the third drawing that night. I opened my sketchbook, and simply didn't have the heart to even attempt to create something out of the pain I was feeling inside. All I saw was Josh, pulling further and further away from me. Never thinking about me, never considering me as anything more than background in his mundane everyday ritual of going to class. And I'd never be anything more. The thought of it stabbed through me, leaving a hole in my chest and making my heart weak from the inside. I put my sketchbook away, and figured, what the heck is Gideon going to do? He's not my dad for crying outloud. He's another kid, just like me. I'll tell him that I wasn't in the mood, and he'll just have to accept that. Case closed. I went to sleep still aching over what had happened that afternoon, and trying to inspire the pain to hurt me enough to MAKE me stop loving him the way I do. But it didn't. It only made me want him more. But I guess it was for the best. Sometimes...you sleep a lot better once you let the tears out.
Next morning, alarm, get up, hate reflection, shower, orgasm, feel bad, bus, back to school. Same as always. The only thing that changed today, was the fact that I was willing to test my luck and ditch school about halfway through the day. I didn't feel like facing Josh, I didn't feel like facing Gideon...I didn't feel like facing 'life' today. And when I found the opportunity at lunch, I snuck out and caught the first public bus home. I was going to miss my meeting with Gideon, but dammit, I didn't see how he was going to help me. Unless he was telling me to be somebody I'm not and fool everybody into thinking I'm somebody special. I doubt that it would work, and even if it did, what kind of life would it be if I couldn't ever be myself around people? I can't imagine.
The entire time that I was at home, I felt my mood getting angrier and angrier. So disgusted with myself for not being what he needs me to be in order to accept the love that I could give to him so infinitely. This isn't fair! It's NOT! I sit here like a fucking punching bag, emotionally crippled because I have to bear seeing the boys I want constantly looking for someone else! Any one of them willing to knock me down to get to the cute youngster standing behind me. My heart has been broken time and time and time AGAIN! For what??? Am I supposed to LEARN something from this each time? Am I supposed to 'hang in there' and cross my fingers, and say 'hey, maybe NEXT time'? Fine, how about this, I'll just throw myself out of a fucking ten story window, die, and maybe get reincarnated as someone beautiful enough for people to give a shit about! Is that my only answer? To be somebody else, or settle for less? I bet if I looked like the kids in the fancy music videos, the teen jean models, the boy band dolls, or one of the many sexy people that I see plastered all over the internet porn sites, I'd have a lovelife to speak of. Maybe then I could actually allow my heart to fall in love with somebody without completely hating myself for not being worthy enough of being with them. Maybe I wouldn't be so scared of getting my heart stomped on or left for someone prettier in the long run. Looks like I'll have to be dead and gone for anyone to notice I was around at all. And if that's my only answer...then maybe I should start making...'arrangements'.
A knock came at my back door, and I quickly wiped the few streaks off of my face where my tears had fallen. Then I straightened myself up as best as I could, and went to the door. When I opened it...it was Gideon! Here? At my house? "Good afternoon, Mr. Blake. Took the day off, I see?" He smiled.
"What are you doing here?" I asked, as he pushed his way passed me, walking into the kitchen.
"I believe we had an appointment today at 2 O'clock. The time is now...2:09, sorry I'm late."
"Late? Appointment? Dude...how did you find out where I live? What are you doing here?" I asked, just wanting him to go away so I could sulk for a while longer.
"You made a committment, Gavin. You didn't think I was just going to let you walk out of it, did you? I figured that you wouldn't show up today, and it looks like I was right. See? When you trust your deepest instincts, they're usually pretty accurate. I thought you might need a boost, so I decided to drop by."
"Yeah, well...now is not a good time." I said, but he kept walking until he got to my bedroom. It was as though he hadn't even heard me. I followed behind him, my feet stomping angrily as I approached him from behind. "I SAID...now is not a good time!"
"Let me guess...you want some more time 'alone'. Right?" He said, now fiddling with stuff on my desk.
I pushed his hands away from my stuff, "Yes! As a matter of fact, I do! If you don't mind!"
"Why do you want to be alone THIS time?"
"WHO GIVES A FUCK WHY??? I just DO! And this is MY house!" I shouted.
"Calm down. You're going to mess around and pop a blood vessel if you keep this up for much longer." Gideon said calmly...enticing my rage to burn even hotter than before. Then he turned to me and smiled. "Let me tell you something, Gavin...'alone'...it's for pussies. Hate to tell ya that, but it's true." My mouth dropped open, my eyebrows frowned up as I prepared to make the decision of whether I wanted to punch him right in the eye to disprove his whole 'pussy' theory completely!
"I am going to give you 30 seconds to leave my house." I said through gritted teeth.
But Gideon just kept talking, without ever flinching once. "Alone...depressed...self pity...sulking...doubt. Sure, we all have our moments where we need to indulge in those things. But it's up to YOU whether it takes over or not. It's your decision whether or not you want to spend ten minutes crying over something, or ten weeks, or ten YEARS. You hold on to the sadness for as long as you want to, and when you finally get tired of feeling like shit, you let it go and you move on. So what the hell are you drawing it out for? Just say to yourself that you don't WANT to feel bad! Start with that prospect, and you can begin healing right now. Whatever it is that's bothering you...THIS time...won't get any better until you decide that you want to MAKE it better. Otherwise, you're just going to sit here and cry and whine and complain and feel bad until you want to stop punishing yourself for some shit that you're probably blasting way out of proportion anyway."
"I said get out...." I was doing all that I could to control my temper, but it wasn't working too well.
"You wanna know why you like holding onto the pain?"
"I don't think you're hearing me asshole!"
"I'll tell you why. Because it's 'safe', isn't it? It feels good to wallow in your pain. It's eerily soothing sometimes, our misery and our ability to exploit it to its highest limit. See, love, friendship, trust, joy...you need other people for that, don't you? You have to actually share those emotions with someone else in order to make them complete, in order to feel their effect to its fullest potential. But self pity? Depression? Pouting in a corner about what you want and can't have? You don't need anybody for that, do you?"
"I won't ask AGAIN Gideon!" I shouted.
"No...those emotions allow you to be 'alone'. You get to wrap yourself up in your sorrow and pull the blankets over your head so you can be safe from making any effort or taking any risks of getting hurt any more. You get to shut out the whole world and all of its big bad problems while you hide away in the impenetrable walls of misery. No fear, no rejection, no risk. And you finally get control, because you don't have to come out of your depression until you want to. You don't have to talk to anybody or smile or be a part of life...ever...unless YOU feel like it. And to demonstrate that, you just hold on to your problems like a toddler clinging to his mommy's leg. For as long as you can, just to prove that you don't need them." Gideon leaned back against my desk, and looked me in the eye. "Then, you later get to 'brag' about your pain because that will make you a big man, right? A better man. Because you've supposedly suffered through something that someone else hasn't, and that makes you a great big sob story. Oh, boo hoo!" The audacity of this jerk!!! "You know, we all have problems, some bigger than others, some EVEN bigger than yours, and I understand that they can be downright devastating at times. I KNOW, believe me. It hurts deep down inside where you can't reach it, and you feel it eating away at you every single day like an acid."
I was angry, hurt, disgusted...but I didn't expect tears to begin leaking from my eyes as I listened to this beautiful blond boy, who obviously had fucking EVERYTHING, tell me that MY life is supposed to be 'all gumdrops and candy canes'! "Why are you doing this?" I sobbed, the heated tears making hot rivers down both of my cheeks.
"Because I'm trying to HELP you, Gavin! I'm actually standing right here, right in front of your face, and telling you that I care and that I want to help you make things better in your life. And you know what you're doing? You're shutting me out. Don't you GET it? You're running away from me and hiding in your fantastic little dreamworld where nothing ever goes wrong, where it never rains, and you get everything that you want out of your life. You're hiding from the ONE person who's trying to give you some fucking answers! And do you know why? Because deep down inside, you don't WANT to get better. You want to keep this little piece of drama in your everyday life so that you'll always have something to cry about when you need it. Because this pain, this agony, is the only life that you've built for yourself. If that's what you want, fine. Just let me know so I can get a safe enough distance away from you so I don't have to LOOK at it. Because, frankly, I think it's pathetic!"
God...every word stabbed right through me like a dagger, and I tried my best to keep from breaking down into a fit of tears in front of him. "Stop! Just leave, ok? Just...fucking leave!" I cried.
"Now you want me to go. Just 'go away' and stop ruining the fantasy that you're some great Christ-like martyr and the whole world is going to stop spinning if you're feeling down. Is that what you want? Is that what you see yourself doing for the rest of your days on this Earth? Just a few smiles and daydreams in between depressions?" Gideon was still staring me right in the eye, intensely. It was intimidating, and kept me frozen in place, my eyes flooded even worse now.
"Stop this..." I sobbed weakly.
"YOU STOP THIS!!! You've got the power inside you, Gavin! It's RIGHT THERE in your heart, and it's scratching and clawing to get out despite your attempts to bury it alive! I can't make you feel better, NOBODY is going to fucking make you feel better! They may care for you, love you, advise you, be there for you...but unless you're ready to stand on your own two feet and become determined to fix the problem areas in your life, it's all a waste of their time AND mine! Do you think that anything that I could possibly do for you is going to help you unless you WANT to be helped? HELL NO! You've got to stand up and TAKE what you want! You've got to put forth some kind of EFFORT! Nothing is going to drop out of the sky and land in your face, and if it DID, you STILL wouldn't catch it because you would never leave the confines of your house to go out and get it! So what are we doing here, Gavin? Are we going to work to make things better, or are you going to sit here and waste another few hours, days, or even years, of your life whining and crying about the same old bullshit? Because I've got better things to do than sit here and help you self destruct." I slid down to the floor, and felt my heart burst open, weeping outloud at what he said to me. How could he be so mean, so cruel? It hurt to the point that I thought the sobs would force me to pass out any minute. That's when he put a hand on my shoulder and said, "Listen...I'm not here to cuddle you. I'm not here to lie to you and tell you it will all be ok if you just sit here on the floor and wait for it. I'm not here to comfort you and help you to feel sorry for yourself when I know that you're so much better than this. But you've got to want it, Gavin. You've got to stand the fuck up and ask yourself 'Have you had enough?'" As I sit, still crying by Gideon's feet, he lifted my head from my hands and repeated, "Have you had enough?"
"I don't understand..."
"MAKE yourself understand, Gavin! TRY! Challenge yourself! Challenge your thinking, challenge you safe little confines, and stop fighting for something 'comfortable'! You wake up everyday, go through the same damn routine without any real thought or effort of any kind. No dreams, no ambition, no risks at all. You do the same thing over and over again, predictably allowing your life to lull you to sleep with no thought of the time you could be using to reach for something more. That doesn't have to be you. You can go after the things that you need to be happy any time you WANT to. It can be YOURS if you want it, Gavin."
"I never get what I want. Never." I mumbled.
"I've got a secret for you, kid. NOBODY gets what they want in this life! They get what they WORK for! And the second you're willing to make a committment, and FORCE yourself to stick to it, no matter what anyone tells you, no matter what they do to stop you or knock you down...you can HAVE it! If you don't like your life, then change it."
"I CAN'T!!!" I screamed!
"What is it that you want? Huh? WHAT? You want to go to Paris? GO! Sell your computer, your cds, your clothes if you have to, get some money, and just go. You want to play guitar, take lessons. You want to be an artist, get some books on it, improve your craft, sell it to somebody. If no one has ever done it at your age, fuck it, be the first! The whole world wants you to believe that everything is so hard, so damn impossible. If everyone believed that, we'd still be in the stone age! What about airplanes, light bulbs, the Civil Rights Movement, the Pyramids, telephones, the internet...do you think if any of those people just 'accepted' the world around them and believed that they couldn't do any better, that we would have made any advancements at all? People have been JAILED, TORTURED, and EXECUTED, for trying to think differently from the people surrounding them, even with the best of intentions. But they made advancements by keeping their faith and moving forward no matter what forces were pushing against them. Even when people laughed at them, told them they couldn't do it, called them crazy and ridiculed them...they believed in their visions strongly enough to make them a reality. It didn't come from sitting on their asses and making excuses as to why they were so stupid for even TRYING to be anything other than average. It's not as awful and difficult as you make it out to be. With will power, faith, and patience, you can do anything...or you can sit here on the floor and do nothing. Later wishing you had." Gideon firmly took a hold of my hand, and then gently tugged on it. Not enough to really pull me to my feet, but just enough to let me know what he wanted me to do. "I'll take you by the hand, Gavin...but you have to stand on your own." He said.
I hesitated a minute, trying to wipe the tears away, but he told me not to. He said that tears are a part of life. That they don't weaken me, they make me stronger. And that's when I shifted my weight, and rose to my feet. That's when he asked me once again if I had 'had enough', to which I whispered..."Yes."
"I'm not convinced, Gavin. Have you had enough???" He said louder.
"Yes." I said a bit louder, feeling my voice raise in pitch, almost cracking at the slight strain I was putting on it.
"Not yet you haven't! You're still letting doubt put a strangle hold on you! I still don't feel it! SAY IT! Not popular, no love life, no real money, low self esteem, dirty room? HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH???" He shouted! And I replied by shouting back, "YES! I've had enough! Happy now?"
"Fuck what *I* feel! This is about YOU! There isn't anyone else in this room but you, buddy boy! If you want to do this and do it right, you've gotta FEEL it, and you've gotta accept the fact that everything that you want isn't easy, but it's FAR from impossible. Just a matter of being hungry for it. So if you WANT it, you go get it! There are no butlers in your mind that are going to bring it to you, you've got to snatch it from the world around you. If you've had enough, if you're truly willing to work this and stop wrapping yourself up in a candy coated world where misery is your best friend and being alone all the time is ok, then you let me know. And I'll snap you out of your 'trance' once and for all, and show you how to rise ABOVE all of this emotional quicksand. I can do it, Gavin. I'll teach you everything that you need to know, and when we're through here, your life will be so radically different that you will be amazed at how much of the 'magic' goes to waste every single day in the people around you. It'll make you sick. You want magic...then give me three weeks. Just three weeks, every single day, you and me. After that, your level of thinking will be strong enough, open enough, and challenging enough...for me to teach you the really cool shit!" He grinned wickedly.
I asked..."Cool shit...l-l-like what?" Gideon's smile got even wider, and I watched in complete shock as his eyes began to turn entirely white, flashing with small sparks of electricity. The shocks grew outside of his eyes and little pops and static shocks could be heard in the air around him. It was only a brief second or two, but long enough for me to know it wasn't just my eyes playing tricks on me.
Then Gideon moved closer to me, his eyes back to normal, and whispered, "We'll save that for later my friend. You just concentrate on your 'initiation' first. THEN we work on the 'parlor tricks'. Your mind isn't ready to accept what I have to show you just yet. But it will be if you work with me. Do we have a deal?"
Something inside of me made me feel better than I had felt in a long long time. Almost as though I were blessed with 100 times more determination than I had when I saw those kids in the mall that day. The one time when I wanted to be better, to change. And Gideon was right. I wanted it, but never believed it, and that's why it never lasted. That's why the fire never burned hot enough to force me to act on it. I think that out of all of his theories and mindbenders, that was one of the first ones that I had really caught onto. The first of many more to come. I wanted this. I NEEDED this. And as I felt his hand leave my shoulder, I realized that I was still standing proudly in the center of my room. On my own without a wall or a desk or another person to lean on. Just me, and the will to put an end to these tears once and for all. It was a feeling like being angry, but not quite. This was focused, this was inspiring. I was angry with myself, but it wasn't self pity. It was more like yelling at my own soul the way Gideon had been yelling at me. This has got to stop, right now. No more bullshit! No more tears! No more hiding! I have had enough...and things are GOING to change!
Gideon flashed me one more smile before leaving and said, "My my my...I do believe I've made contact."
"Just tell me what you want me to do, and I'll be there." I said, a soldier's arc in my back as I felt a certain sense of pride flood into my bloodstream like an electrically charged adrenaline rush.
"Just be at the soccer field tomorrow. Two o'clock. Don't be late, and bring your drawings. We're going for a little walk, and I'll begin your initiation. You have the desire to learn, to challenge yourself, to grow...and that, Gavin, can be the hardest test to pass. I'll see you then?"
"I'll be there." I said.
"Oh, and one more thing..." Gideon pointed at my sketchbook, even thought it was closed, and said, "Finish the third drawing. Don't half ass me on this one. K? Consider this an extention."
"I will. I'll have it tomorrow. Promise." Before he left, he somehow was able to guess what I had written on the back of my favorite drawing. More than anything, I wanted Joshua Roth to love me, but that was being a bit overambitious. Besides, if I ever get his attention, I would hope that he liked what he saw. So I started with something just as hard to achieve, but a bit simpler than the affection of the godlike boy that I've been falling for since day one.
Gideon spoke the word outloud. "Popularity. Hmm? What is it with you guys and this particular request, anyway? Ah well...we'll start on it tomorrow. It's not as hard as you think, you know? People in general aren't as 'scary' as they appear from a distance. Especially if you just walk up and say hello."
"Easier said than done." I said under my breath.
"The only gap between 'said' and 'done', Gavin, is the one you make by not giving it a shot. Keep that in mind when we go out tomorrow, got it?" Gideon smiled, walking behind me and towards my door.
"Ok..." I said. And I turned to say thank you...but he was already gone. Again, not a trace. But he would be there when I needed to find him, I was sure of that. For the first time...tomorrow was something to look forward to. Little changes...that's all improvement is...little changes in my life. What will I start with? What indeed? I sat down at my desk, a strange feeling of excitement circulating through me so rapidly that I was almost trembling, smiling to myself and feeling silly. And yet...I didn't care. I flipped my sketchbook cover back, and took a pencil in my hand. The first line is the hardest...but wherever it lead me, I'd know that this drawing was going to be the best one yet. And if this was only the beginning...God only knows how far Gideon can take me.