Chapter 4: A Sleepy Wiseman


"Jace, are you gay?" Merry asked.

Wow! This shocked me. The question came unexpected!

Okay, calm down. Try to put things straight and explain how you feel...



But let's go back a little through the day. Better, start from the beginning.


I couldn't exactly sleep tonight. Be it there was a sudden show of affection and a kiss within hours reach, which my mind still couldn't process. I now knew, however, his name, Marian, no, Merry -- that's what he said I can call him.

It could have meant nothing, though. It wasn't like we French kissed, I didn't even take any part. It was a friendly kiss on the cheek, which, because of being full of friendly character, left me awake through the whole night. It didn't mean anything, right?

But if it did... I know the feeling well, only the previous times it wasn't this much powerful. I was attracted to him from the first moment I saw him; drawn to his miraculous eyes. I was falling in love!

I was tossing and turning in bed, my inner demons fighting within myself. He was a freshman, he was young, innocent. I could be his brother, better than anything, for all I knew! Would just remaining friends with him be that difficult?


I didn't get enough sleep, none at all actually, but when the clock rang I knew I had to get up. I was a little groggy and messed up this morning. School was the last thing on my mind.

I was looking forward to see Merry today, but at the same time I wanted to avoid him. How would I look at him, what would I say? Maybe I was misjudging things. There wasn't any real evidence that he liked me, was there? Apart from what could be called chemistry and a feel of soul connection, but that was in my mind only. I didn't know how he felt. Again, in my half-awake state, I tried to convince myself that he liked Andrew...


Twenty minutes later I pulled up at the parking lot and entered the school.

The first face I saw wasn't the most pleasant. Funny, but it didn't bring up any feelings like it did in the past.

"Good morning, Jace. I was waiting for you." An obnoxious sneer showed itself in front of me.

I just passed him, without saying anything. But he was tenacious.

"Ashton, get out of my way," I said annoyed.

"Tell me, Jace, are you a fag?" The words sounded ominous, coming out of his mouth.

I was looking him with half-closed eyes, too tired to deal with him.

"Why, do you want a date?" I answered with a wit.

"You only act tough cause you are with Reece. If it wasn't for him..."

But just then Ashton had a close encounter with the lockers in the hallway.

"Good morning, sunshine." Reece was smiling wide. "But you don't look so good. Like someone denied you the pleasure of having hot, passionate sex and left you in the middle of the desert. You look like a rag."

Sometimes he can figure me so well that I think he is reading my mind.

"Yes," he said.


"I can read your mind," he said, grinning.

"Uhh... Just shut up. I'm tired."

But that tenacious, stubborn voice wasn't going away.

"You two think you can do whatever you want, huh?" Again, Ashton honored us with his presence.

"Could you, please, shut up?! I haven't slept at all and your idiotic ramblings are too noisy."

"Jace, you wouldn't want something happening to that boy, right? What's his name?"

"What?!" I snapped.

"No, Jace, wait. What class do you have now?" Reece said.

"History, but that will wait until..."

"No, no, go and sleep. I'll deal with it here."


"Go, we'll see each other at lunch."

I flashed Ashton a serious look before leaving, the one that said: If you do something to him, I'll make you regret it for the rest of your life.


All through the classes I only wanted to get some sleep. I was so tired that the teachers' words barely made any sense to me, not that they usually made any. Luckily, there was always someone to wake me up so that I could move to my next bedroom.

I didn't see Merry until lunch break came.

"Hey, Jace, over here," said Reece as I entered the cafeteria.

"Why didn't you give me a ride yesterday?" asked Hayden as I sat down.

"I think you deserved it for what you did."

"Haha, she really did a number on you!" Reece laughed. "It was for the best. Hayden, I had an even crazier idea, which is still in the move, by the way."

"What is it with you people? Leave me alone."

I couldn't keep my eyes open, my head was leaning on my arm. I was losing my concentration.

"Your eyes are all red. What did you do last night?" Hayden asked me.

"Nothing. Just couldn't sleep."

"Did something happen?"

"Yes, it happened when you decided to invade my class."

"I thought you would like it. Someone had to trigger things."

"You didn't have to embarrass me, to read my story, or to embarrass that boy."

"You mean the boy you like?"

"Ahh, I don't have the energy to argue with you."

"Cheer up, Jace," Reece said. "Do you want me to tell you his name?"

"What makes you think I don't know it already?"

Their eyes were going to pop out.

"So, something did happen. Tell us!" Hayden insisted.

"I'm too tired now. Another time, maybe."

But in the next moment I gathered all my strength and concentration to stay awake as I associated the voice with the person who was following it.

"Hey, guys. Mind if we sit with you?" Andrew asked us.

I shocked them all by immediately agreeing.

"No!" They all looked at my sudden `explosion'. "I mean, go ahead."

"Hi, Jace!" Merry was beaming.

He took a seat opposite of where I was seating, facing me. Just by looking at him I was able to completely forget about falling asleep. His face looked so smooth, his blond hair so perfect, those were the lips that touched my cheek, my skin.

"Hey, hi, Merry. What's up?" The most stupid question?! I could do better than that.

"Didn't you sleep?" He giggled.

"No, I couldn't after there was a certain unexpected surprise." Our eyes met.

Okay, keeping my plan in tact wasn't going to be so easy! What?! It wouldn't work at all.

"You guys seem to be getting close," Andrew said, suddenly lifting the veil with a gap underneath it. We were in school, there were people around us. But it so felt like we were the only ones!

We talked through the rest of lunch, containing ourselves. Reece and Hayden got to know him better.

"You will be at the Creative writing class, right?" Merry asked me.

"Yeah, sure."

"Cool. I have something that I want to read. Can I?"

"Of course, I don't see what the problem is." I smiled at him.

"Then we'll see each other then." He smiled. "Let's go, Andrew. Nice meeting you, Reece, Hayden."

After they were gone, Hayden leaned closer to me.

"He adores you." To which I furiously blushed.

"Haha, Jace, you make a great couple." Reece said.

"Okay, okay."

"No, seriously! You have a lot in common and the same passion. You were all tired and when you saw him you became all excited. You two were acting as we didn't exist, you were in your own world."

"Reece, I don't think he feels the same way." I tried...

"Who, the boy that was drooling over you?"

I rolled my eyes. The fatigue was again affecting me.

"By the way, what did you do to Ashton?" I asked Reece.

"Nothing. I just talked to him." He smiled.

"Ashton? You mean the Ashton who you liked?" Hayden knew too much about me.

"No, no, Hayden, he means the Ashton who threatened the boy he likes. It was good I was there to stop him."


As much as the desks in school were comfortable and best for sleeping, I couldn't manage to keep my eyes shut. I was tired, but the same happened as during the night. My whole mind was caught up in that bashful smile.


"Aren't you going teach us something? Isn't that why you are here? If you are so great, that Mrs. Anderson has let you lead her class, then you didn't do a good job the previous time." My eyes fixed on a girl with glasses, sitting on the front row.

Ten minutes have passed since I entered the room. All I did was blankly gaze at the empty space in the window. I knew that he was in the room and I didn't want to look him in the eyes. But the comment that girl made irritated me.

"Sarcasm! That is a key point in a story," I spoke. "If you must know, it's not like I begged Mrs. Anderson so she could let me. You won't see me the next time." I looked at them, ready to collapse any moment. "The answer is no, I won't teach you anything." An aggravated look appeared on some faces. "However, I can say a few things, which I doubt you would hear from any teacher. Does that work?" All fifteen heads nodded in approval. It's strange, but I felt a sudden rush of energy. I got up and stood in front of them. "I will say it for writing like Abbé Faria from The Count of Monte Cristo has said it about philosophy: writing can't be learned; writing is the combination of the acquired sciences and skills with the genius, who practices them.

Everyone can write and scribble something, just like everybody can count and use numbers. I say writing, and talk about it like it was a gift and art of heaven, when, actually, it is everywhere around us in our daily lives and we don't give it much thought about why some find it so special and illuminating. But those few people have something, which the others lack. They can feel that ink on the paper with their souls, as though it was part of them. That is what I mean by writing. It is the highest form, standing along with the others, of expression of our inner world.

It is the power to create. All arts share that feature. Creativity is our greatest strength, it makes us omnipotent. Just think, whole worlds coming to life, as our thoughts move the hand with the feather, and not just in our imagination, no! They literally live their own lives! It is a cycle of continuous inspiration.

Writing is a skill. The well, from which that skill is granted, is the language itself -- one of the greatest treasures, that has been gifted to us; it stands equal to the other endowments, bestowed from the gods: love and beauty, the illumining fire, our ability to think and have consciousness. With that craft our feelings and thoughts manifest into the material realm. So, for the one, who writes, to become a writer he has to sink in that well, like in an ocean; he has to grasp it, because it feels like magic. Only when you become one with the world of language, it can lend you its true powers. Because it lives and goes far beyond rationality and irrationality, it unites and unifies them, because it creates them.

Many writers and poets talk about the World's Poem, which, like history, continues to be written, as we expand our knowledge. It consists of all of humanity's creations, from the past and present, and is said to remember them all. Because, otherwise, it is unimaginable what the horror of oblivion would feel like; to not be remembered; to die without the memory of your actions, thoughts, creations. And so, the works of the writers, who have been forgotten by their brethren, are remembered by the Universe, only to be reincarnated again in an unknown time, again, in the future."

I paused to take a breath after this long speech. By the looks of their faces I knew they didn't expect something like this. I amazed myself, even, that I could speak so freely, without getting embarrassed. It was because I didn't have my sleep. It had this effect over me like I was drunk or something and the confidence was rushing through my veins. I continued.

"I have always thought that before a person starts to transform that passion into words, he must first ask himself the question: Who am I. Finding one's self is essential, because the reason for writing, which will push you forward, will lie somewhere along the answer. The meaning to this largely used phrase is to most people shrouded in mystery or discarded as gibberish. On a grander scale it means discovering and nurturing your individuality: being true to your emotions, accepting yourself, as who you are, without being afraid of any dark secrets, cherishing your inner world. All of these form the existentialism of the soul, which is meant to be free, far away from any confines, such as prejudice and judgment! But I will not bore you with philosophy anymore.

I can give you two advices on how to improve your writing. The first is to read a lot. It depends on the person, but knowledge and inspiration could be obtained from every book. Reading is experience, so treat it as such. It's not only for that, though, in the process of reading you familiarize yourself with various styles and see different viewpoints of authors. It's like an exchange of ideas, every time you dive into the world of their book or story. You also train your inner voice and decide how exactly you want to sound when writing your story, for instance.

The second advice is to write. It doesn't matter what; it might be something mindless or full of thought. When you are bored -- write; when you are happy -- write, express that joviality; when you are sad -- again, write, let the paper soak with the mixture of tears and ink. It is like this that you will learn to sink deeper and deeper into the well, into the world of language, with your soul."

I paused again. My feet were aching and I took a seat. I leaned my head on my arm.

"I think that is all I wanted to say," I said yawning. "It may sound to you like empty theorizing, but, sooner or later, you will come across at at least one of the things I mentioned. And do give some thought to my ramblings. It will give me peace to know I didn't waste my time. All of the rest, such as styles, forms, character definition, dialogue, poetry, even literature theory, and all of the similar crap will be covered by Mrs. Anderson by giving you needless and pointless exercises."

For the first time since class started I looked at Merry. Meeting his eyes I quickly remember that he wanted to read something. There was just enough time left.


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