Richard Bambrough, the blond hunk in Carl's math class, had his own take on what had transpired. In fact, he sees things considerably differently from Carl. Let's listen to the same narrative from Richard's point of view...

Chapter Two

Richard's Dilemma

Mr. Clayborn's not a bad teacher and math is one of my better subjects. But he was explaining the same solution to the same problem over and over again for some of the thicker skulls in the class. I found my mind starting to wander. Then my head started to swivel to my right as it has so often this past week. I was going to check out the new kid again. I don't even know his name since Mr. Clayborn hadn't bothered to have him introduce himself to the class or anything. But he sure is cute. I'll bet he only comes up to my chin. That makes me feel kind of creepy actually. You know, him being only about as tall as an eleven or twelve year old. Am I more than just gay? Am I some kind of Pedo? But that's stupid cause he has to be my age, 14, to be in this class doesn`t he? So he's short. He's just small for his age. That doesn't make me a pedo does it?

I've wanted to go over to him and introduce myself a number of times but I've felt kind of bashful about it. I guess it's mostly because he is so young looking and all. God, I hate all these mixed feelings. Probably the best thing is not to do anything. Being so short and all he probably has enough problems in his life without having to deal with a fairy. But at least I can check him out once in a while. That won't hurt anything will it? He is definitely some eye candy though.

When my eyes settled on him I noticed that he was looking this way. Oh my gosh, he was looking right at me! At least I think he was looking at me. He is either really brazen or I'm just imagining that he's looking at me. No, damn it, he was staring straight at me. He was looking kind of dreamy eyed too, like looking at a puppy in a pet shop window. I needed to see if I could get some kind of reaction out of him so I gave him the old Groucho Marx routine with the eyebrows. That did something. His eyes just got as big as saucers and his head snapped towards the front of the class. Oh my God, that was so cute. He was sliding down under his desk. There was nothing showing but the top of his head.

"Look at that cute mop of brown hair. Oh man. Now I feel really guilty. I've just embarrassed the shit out of the poor kid. Wait a minute, I haven't done anything! What did I have to feel guilty about? It was him that was checking me out wasn't it? But, what if he was just sort of staring off into space - not really looking at anything. Then he would feel embarrassed because it would have looked like he was scoping me out. Of course that's probably It. Not everyone is as twisted in the head as you are Richard. I'm probably the only guy in this school that actually checks out other guys. And besides, as young as he is, rather as young looking as he is, he probably doesn't have a sexual thought in his head. At least not your kind of twisted sexual thoughts at any rate."

"I need to do something to set his mind at ease. Maybe I could catch him before he left the classroom. Just go ahead and introduce myself or something. This is kind of the opportunity I was looking for anyway. Besides, I didn't intend to actually do anything with the guy! But it would sure be fun to be able to be friends with him though. It would feel way to creepy trying to do anything else. Jesus, would you listen to me! I haven't had the nerve to do anything with anyone so you know damn well the kid's safe."

The bell was just about to ring and Mr. Clayborn had given us our assignment for Monday. I jotted the problems down in my notebook and then gathered everything up. There went the bell. Whoa, easy people. I know it's Friday but take it easy will ya. If the door didn't cause a bottleneck the class would be empty now. Well not quite empty. My little buddy was still under his desk. Oh my God, he must have been like super embarrassed. Maybe I ought to just leave and let him salvage a little dignity. He was probably just waiting for me to get the hell out of the classroom so he could gather his stuff and go. But, if I didn't talk to him then, when would I ever get the nerve to do it again?

So with that thought process out of the way I sauntered over to his desk. Well there was a little more that the top of his head sticking up. I could see his eyes. Damn cute eyes too. Brown, kind of like a doe. I settled down on one knee to tried to look a little less intimidating. Oh my God. He slid even further under his desk. The chair in front of him squeeked across the floor with his knees pushing it. I couldn't help it. This really struck my funny bone. I started to chortle and then said something like...

"Hey dude, see if you can spot the gum I stuck under that desk last year. I'll divvy it up with ya." Sometimes my own wit surprises me and I was really laughing now. And then he said something that got me rolling on the floor. He said

", which one is yours - the Dentyne or the Double Bubble?" This guy should be on the Jay Leno show. I was holding my gut I was laughing so hard.

Mr. Clayborn brought me back to reality by saying something to the effect that we better get our butts out the door or we would be late for the next class. Well I started to get up but Mr. Comedian whipped out from under his desk, grabbed his stuff and shot for the door like the boogy man was after him.

"Hey new kid. Hey, ...wait up" I hollered. I trotted to the door but by the time I got there he was a good 30 feet down the hall.

"Hey hold on dude" I yelled.

He turned to look back at me but kept on going. What I saw when he looked at me just made my stomach drop out from under me. His face was streaked with tears.

I just stood there, rooted to the spot. My mind reeled, "Oh my God Richard. You insensitive fucking ass! That kid didn't think you were laughing with him. He thought you were laughing at him." I took what was an embarrassing moment for him and turned it into a total catastrophe. God, sometimes I can't believe myself. It reminded me of what our swim coach said to the screw ups on the team. "You're such fuck ups you'd probably take peanut butter to a cock sucking party"! Of course most of the guys didn't get it, they just laughed because he said `fuck' and `cock sucking'.

I just stood there staring down the hall for awhile. I didn't think it would be a good idea to go after him. I'd just end up slinging more peanut butter on him. Then I walked back into the classroom. The teacher was busy erasing the blackboard.

"Hey, Mr. Clayborn, what's that kid's name?" He looked at me for a few seconds trying to figure out who the hell I was talking about.

"You mean the little guy?" I nodded yes. He said

"Carl Fuller. He just moved here from California."

"Thanks" I told him. Then I turned and headed out into the hall again. The bell rang just as I reached my locker and I grabbed my English book. I was a couple of minutes late to class but the teacher was writing stuff on the board so she didn't see me sneak up to my desk.

I don't even recall anything about that last class. I didn't write down the weekend assignment or anything. I just sat there feeling like this huge dork. I even felt my own eyes brimming over a couple of times. What was I going to do? Nothing, that would probably be the best course of action. If I had done nothing in the math class, just simply left after the bell rang, then Carl would only be half as embarrassed as he is now. It seems that when I try to fix things the muddier they seem to get. But damn it, I didn't want to go through the weekend feeling like shit. I'm not such a bad guy, honest. Ask any of my friends. Shoot, I'm buds with everyone on the swim team and I've made a lot of friends elsewhere around the school to. Of course they are mostly guys. I just don't seem to know what to say to the girls and, to be honest, I really don't have a lot of desire to say anything to girls.

The bell rang and I still hadn't come to any kind of a decision. Screw it, I was going to talk to him before he left the school grounds. With my mind made up I figured the best place to be sure I would see him would be outside. I knew he walked home because I had seen him a couple times. So I walked out the door, down the steps and just plunked my butt down on the planter by the flagpole. I didn't even go to my locker first. I still had my English book in my hand.

I was checking out everyone that came past me. That wasn't easy either because the kids just came pouring out of the building. Well, duh, it's Friday. The building will be like totally empty in ten minutes. I had to look at faces cause a lot of the seventh graders were about his height. Carl and I were big cheese ninth graders, but, poor Carl would easily pass for one of the younger kids. All at once there he was. He was standing in front of me at the bottom of the steps. He'd spotted me too. He just stood there holding this green sorta laundry bag over his shoulder. I guess they were for his books.

I still had no idea what I was going to say to him. It's not as though I had planned this out or anything. One thing I did know, if he bolted then I would just let him run. God, I hoped he wouldn't burst into tears or anything. That would just about kill me. But he actually started walking up to me, kinda slow like. I stayed sitting down cause I wanted to stay shorter than he was. Maybe that would help a little. He had this look on his face like he was walking up to the gallows. I didn't expect that. I guess I didn't know what I expected. If it had been me though I think I would have flipped me the bird and then kept right on walking.

He looked me right in the face until he'd got to just a few feet from me and then he looked down at the ground. He looked like he was expecting to get bawled out or something. God he looked so cute and vulnerable. I wanted to say something to put him at ease but I was tongue tied. Just as I was about to say something I felt the waterworks begin to start up. I tried to hold them back but I didn't know how successful I was going to be.

Hmm, same story, two different points of view. Which one is accurate? None you say. The dickens you say. How will things ever get rectified? In the next chapter you will hear two loud popping sounds- that's Richard and Carl pulling their heads out of their asses...hehe! About time you say? I couldn't agree with you more.

Copyright by, Jan 15, 2007