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"New Kid In School 46"

It was like having all the muscles in my stomach tighten up at once. It almost became difficult to breathe. There are certain frustrations that are extremely hard to diffuse once they begin to boil past a certain point.

As if I hadn't used nearly Christ-like patience with this situation as it was...but there was my boyfriend...again...with Sean right there by his side. His 'friend'. Or so he says. Sean was giving him that flirty grin and shaking his stupid, floppy, blond hair all around. He was practically batting his eyes at him. And Ryan was LETTING him do it. I think that's what pissed me off more than anything else. Why can't he just...stay away from him? Why can't they just stay away from each other?

"I take it this is the end of your pleasant pre-test snack, huh?" Cody smiled. "Hang in there, dude. Just remember what I told you, ok? Being in love doesn't trump being human. Sometimes, the motives of other people are exactly what you think they are."

He opened his soda and started to leave. "'re not gonna sit with us?" I asked.

Cody laughed at the idea. "Riiiight. Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather give somebody else a chance to ruin the rest of my day. For Sean, it's no challenge at all anymore. Best of luck." And with that, he was gone. Leaving me to do battle with the beast all on my own.

I told myself to calm down. I forced myself to take the anger and the insult, and swallow it down like a giant cinder block, letting it sink to the bottom of my stomach and smother me in pain and ache while I tried to digest it. But once I was able to work up a somewhat believable smirk, I walked over to say hello.

Sean started right away by tapping Ryan on the arm and saying, "Shhh, shhh, hehehe! Stop laughing. We look 'suspicious'. Hiiiii, Randy." I swear, he gets more and more blatant with his bullshit every day. I was suddenly glad that the cafeteria only allowed students to have plastic forks and knives to eat with. Not that I'd meet much resistance if I went for the eyes. Or the NUTS...

"S'up, Randy." Ryan smiled. Normal as always. Nothing out of the ordinary. No surprised look like, 'oh no, he caught us'. Ryan was just being Ryan. And you know, deep down, that should be enough.

And yet, Sean's arrogant beauty and smug grin kept me from feeling any comfort from that at all.

The three of us got a table together. The cafeteria was much emptier than usual during exams. I guess there was no reason for kids to have to stay in the building, so they usually took the every available opportunity they could get to escape this dreaded place and get back out into creation. I wouldn't mind joining them, if I wasn't forced to keep an eye on my boyfriend.

I don't know if it was their closeness that kept me from talking all that much at lunch, or if my not talking contributed to their closeness...but I was clearly an invisible party at this table today. Which sucked even worse once Sean started grinning and whispering repeatedly in Ryan's ear right there at the table. I did let it cross my mind that this might be one of the ways that Sean might be using to 'press my buttons', as Cody would put it. So I did my best to act like I didn't care. But after a few minutes, I knew that if I kept grinding my teeth the way I was, they would surely crack under the pressure.

So I said, "Secrets today? You guys don't wanna share, or what?" Did that sound snotty? I didn't want it to sound snotty. If for no other reason than I didn't want Sean to know that he was getting to me.

"It's nothing, Randy. Really. Hehehe!" Sean grinned, but I wasn't even talking to him. I kept my eyes on Ryan, who was fucking 'blushing' at the moment.

Ryan answered, "It's nothing big. Sean thinks it is, but I'll believe it when I hear the full report."

Sean giggled again, "You can be skeptical all you want, but I'm telling the end of Spring break, I'll be able to tell you exactly what he tastes like. I'm guessing it'll be like fresh peaches."

I was a bit confused, but Ryan cleared me on what was going on. "It seems that Sean here got Scott's phone number after all yesterday. He thinks Scott is going to let him have sex with him. I'm thinking it's something a LOT more innocent. He's not gay, dude. He just isn't."

"I TOLD's not about him being gay or not. Hehehe, I can suck his dick and not ask for a kiss afterwards. I just want a taste, that's all. The buffet is wide open in this school. I wanna sample everything that I can." Sean said. I could see the room darken around me as I narrowed my eyes at him. But for Ryan's sake, I just took another bite of my food and kept my mouth shut.

Ryan and I talked a little bit...but Sean didn't shut up long enough for us to have a real conversation of any kind. Sean barely talked to me at all the entire time. He just kept making goo goo eyes at Ryan. He talked about other boys, sure...but I'm not an idiot. I know that he'd pounce on Ryan the second he thought he had an opportunity. That alone kept me from blowing up and walking away. But he was pushing it. He was really pushing it.

Before, I was wondering if this thing was all in my head. If I was just being a jealous jerk and creating some bullshit scandal where there wasn't one. But at this point...I'm either sinking deeper into my delusion, or I'm waking up to the truth. Either way, Ryan and I need to have a serious 'talk' about this Sean thing.

I had to leave the cafeteria a bit earlier than they did. My final was at 11, and theirs wasn't until 11:45. Which meant leaving them there alone for at least another half hour. That really didn't sit well with me at all. It only worked to make matters worse. In fact, I almost thought about ditching my exam completely just so I could sit there and chaperone. But......


I was trying to extend my trust. Possibly further than it's ever been extended before. Hate me for being selfish, I don't care. Because I don't know a single person who wouldn't be thinking the same things that I'm thinking right now if they were in my shoes. I just....I LOVE Ryan! I know he can see that. I just...I wonder if maybe it's been so long since we've been together that he's begun to take that love for granted. For someone like Sean...that's the only opening he needs. Complacency is the greatest weapon any rival can have when it comes to taking the love away from someone else.

"Are you sure you don't wanna walk with me or anything? Just to talk?" I asked before leaving, hoping that Ryan would take the hint.

He didn't.

I guess he was having too much 'fun'.

"Nah, I'll catch up with you later I'm gonna try to get some last minute studying in anyway." He said.

Sean was like, "So, you're gonna sit here and make me watch you read facts out of a book for the next 30 minutes? That would suck if you weren't so cute."

Ryan peeked up at me when Sean said it. Almost as if to gauge my reaction to it. I didn't fake it this time. I rolled my eyes just before walking away from the table. And luckily, I heard the sound of Ryan's chair being scooted back from the table. Sean called after him, but Ryan said, "It's ok. I'll be right back. It'll only take a minute."

Should I be comforted by the gesture? Probably. But it didn't bring as much of a secure feeling to my troubled mind as I wish it would have. If anything, I felt even worse. Because now I felt like I was FORCING Ryan to 'tend to me' like some sort of spoiled child. How long will it be before Sean uses THAT obligation against me too. I swear, if this is the kind of opponent Sean is to my relationship, then Cody is right. He's a threat to everything he touches. Like radiation poisoning.

"Your final's gonna be a breeze, Randy. I hope you're not stressing about it." Ryan said, walking with me a bit further down the hall.

"Aren't you worried that your company is gonna get lonely in that great big cafeteria all by himself?" I said. It was really hard to control my envious tone. I tried, but I just couldn't do it.

"Who? Sean? He'll be fine without me for a few minutes." Jesus! Is he totally clueless or what?

"Whatever. Look, you don't have to walk with me if you don't want to."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means whatever you want it to mean." I said. "Maybe you don't want it to mean anything. Whatever. I don't care."

I tried to keep walking, but Ryan took a hold of my arm and pulled me to the side of the hall before I could get away from him.

"Whoah whoah whoah....hold on. I know that tone of voice, Randy, and that means something's wrong. Talk to me. What's going on with you?"

"Nothing..." I said at first, but tried to relieve a little bit of the pressure by adding, "...It's just...I thought you and I were going to have lunch together today. Alone. But you're always bringing him along. Doesn't he have any other friends to eat lunch with? Why is he always with us?"

Ryan said, "Dude, come on...Sean's new here. He doesn't have that many friends yet. He's working on it. In the meantime, he likes hanging out with us."

"He likes hanging out with you." I said.

"He likes hanging out with BOTH of us. He's just having some fun. But, you know...the whole out of the closet thing, it can be really hard to fit in when people are whispering behind your back all the time. He could use some cool friends on his side to keep him afloat until he settles in and people get used to having him around. I just remember how it feels, Randy. I was the 'new kid' once too, ya know?"

I hated it. Everything about Sean's very presence in our lives was damn logical. So innocent and non-threatening. I didn't really have any way of disputing it or being paranoid about it without coming off like some kind of insanely jealous maniac. But he was DANGEROUS!!! Except for Cody...why couldn't anybody else see that he was DANGEROUS???

Don't fight. That's what I kept repeating in my mind as I gritted my teeth and choked down every angry and suspicious word that I had for him. It wasn't easy. My forehead burned with fever, my throat tightened with rage, my heart began to harden itself involuntarily as it prepared to be damaged beyond repair. But I didn't say anything other than, "Fine. I've got to go. I'll talk to you later, k?"

"Yeah, for sure. Good luck on your test." He said.

"Thanks." I mumbled as I walked away from him. I was a bit offended that Ryan still acted as though there was nothing wrong with him spending so much time alone with Sean. A big flirt with a history of fooling around, who has an obvious interest in him, talking on the phone, hanging out, making plans...if he's so insensitive that he can't see how much this is hurting me, then...what else can I do but walk away to keep from making it worse?'s times like this that I wish I didn't need Ryan's love soooo desperately. It's times like this that I could actually picture my life without him. Because right now, Sean's not just screwing with my relationship...he's destroying my life. My future. My very sanity. The day Ryan changes his mind about being together with me...everything that ever made me happy comes to an end. Possibly forever.

More distracting thoughts to push aside as I tried to take one of the most difficult tests of the week. My next report card is going to look like total shit.

I left the school feeling exhausted. My brain was buzzing with the tiresome sensation of severe overuse. I wish that I could somehow gauge how well I did on my last final...but to be totally honest, I hardly remember taking the test at all. I couldn't even imagine how well or how poorly I had done on it. I'll just have to wait for the awful truth to smack me in the face some time next week, I suppose.

I came home, and my mom had made a decent snack of Hamburger Helper for me to scarf down when I came back, but I was a total zombie at the table. She asked me, "How did your finals go?"

I barely grumbled back with, "They were alright, I guess." I didn't want to think about it. Didn't want to think about much of anything. Sometimes my mom sits down at the table with me when I'm eating, but today she seemed to have something else on her mind. Other things to do in the house. It crossed my mind that maybe she was uncomfortable about having to possibly bring up the topic of me kissing another boy in the car outside this very house. But I didn't really have the energy to entertain that particular bout of paranoia either. If she saw...if she knows...I'm just hoping that we can both keep it a secret and not talk about it. Like...ever. Besides...if I lose my won't even matter anymore.

Like Cody said...I'd be out of the 'love' business for good. That life may sound lonely, but dammit, at least it's safe.

I ate and rinsed out my plate to put it in the dishwasher. Then started stumbling towards my room, my eyes half closed. My mom asked, "Randy? Are you feeling alright?"

"Yeah. I'm ok. I'm just...I'm dealing with a million things right now, and it's just taking a major toll on me. That's all."

" you want to sit down and talk about it?" The very mention of it seemed to frighten me deeply. Was this it? Was this how the 'are you gay' conversation begins?

There was a part of me that...I don't know. I almost wanted to sit down and maybe get it over with. Just be 'free' of this secret and get on with the rest of my life. But sometimes that blind leap of faith can be soooooo terrifying. Especially when you haven't prepared for it.

I made that my temporary excuse tonight. That it would be better if I thought out what I needed to say to her if she asked. Something honest, well planned. Something that wouldn't freak her out too much. Especially if she didn't know ahead of time. The LAST thing I wanted to do was come out of the closet if I didn't have to. But my mind, the concept of 'preparation' became a very logical and sane excuse for keeping my mouth shut At least for one more night.

"I'll be fine. Right now, I think I just wanna sleep for a little bit. Ok?"

"Well...ok, hon. Not too much though, ok? You've got another final tomorrow, and I want you to get a good night's rest beforehand, ok?" She said.

"K..." I told her, and left the room. I really hadn't planned to take a nap or anything, but as slammed myself, face first, down on the bed..the pillow felt sooooo good that I couldn't help dozing off anyway. I really was exhausted. Geez! Whatever. I just worry too much.

At least...I HOPE I do!

Thursday morning. I didn't know if I should expect Ryan to come over that morning or not. Since Sean has been around, I don't know what to think. Well...I waited around for a while. No Ryan. So I got my stuff and I left. I did look down the street and noticed that Ryan's father's car was still in the driveway. But that didn't mean much. I guess he just wasn't interested in seeing me this morning.

I'm sure that if it was somebody else thinking the same thing, I would tell them that they were being silly. That love conquers all and all that garbage. But when it's just doesn't work like that. I mean, can anyone imagine growing up in a household where parents didn't say 'I love you' once in a while? Where they don't hug you, don't kiss you, don't make you feel like you're a major and important part of their lives? I mean VERBALLY. Actually saying it to you out loud as often as possible while you're growing up. Not doing that is a form of child abuse. It's called neglect. Well how is it any less traumatizing to completely give my heart to someone who would rather spend his time being friendly with someone else than talk to me anymore? Ugh! Should I feel this BAD for thinking things like this? I feel like I'm whining. Like I should be thanking God that a boy like Ryan is in my life at all. I guess I'm just....

...I'm used to getting soooo much more from him. And now that it's gone, I miss it. I miss it, and it hurts.

Maybe this 'date' thing for Saturday is a bad idea. Maybe I should wait for this Sean thing to blow over. God knows I don't want to 'force' Ryan to care about me like that right now. That kinda defeats the whole purpose of us having an intimate night out together. It was supposed to be our chance to start over from scratch. A new beginning. A way to make our relationship official and stronger than ever before. But the way things are going right now...he would probably spend the whole night talking about him anyway. And I don't think I could handle that right now.

I got to school a bit later than I expected to, and had to rush to get to my first exam. I noticed that the halls were pretty empty at the time, but I did catch sight of Ariel coming my way and headed in the other direction. He I can't explain it, but he was in no hurry whatsoever. He was just kind of shuffling along at a slow pace, his eyes directed slightly upwards with a goofy smile. He was holding his books close to his chest with both arms, hugging them like a kid would his favorite teddy bear on Christmas eve. I'm surprised he even knew where he was going. The way he looked at that particular moment, he could seriously step off of a CLIFF and smile all the way down to the bottom. I take it he was in a good mood today.

"Hey, Ariel..." I said breathlessly as I hurried past him. But I don't even know if he heard me. He was in a whole other world. I wonder if it's a wacky side effect from an overdose of pineapple juice. Because he was being a total JUNKIE about it the other day! Anyway, I'll ask later. Right now, I needed to focus.

I sat down. I got the test in front of me. I was still breathing a little hard after rushing through the halls, and it was hard to just relax at first. Then the test began, and I just...I froze. The whole thing might as well have been written in another language. With only a few recognizable words here and there to let me know that it actually WAS something that we studied at one time. But the harder I tried to concentrate, the more emotions betrayed me. I tried my best to bottle them up and put them aside until later, but I just couldn't do it. Ideas of Ryan talking to Sean on the phone...laughing and flirting and getting closer as...'firends'. I thought about my mom and the pressing conversation that was bound to happen any day now. What would I say? How would I start? How would I finish? And once she finds out about Ryan...will that make things even worse? If I tell her I have a boyfriend, not only do I have to talk about my sexuality, but about SEX itself. She'll start thinking about all those mornings that Ryan came over and she left early for work. All those afternoons that we spent alone. That would be bad. Even if I was straight, I wouldn't want my mom knowing about my sex life. That would just be awkward and weird. Arrgh! I'm taking a test here! FOCUS!!! Ok...question number 21...think. Dammit, THINK!

I struggled through the entire final. Not one question came as easy as I was hoping it would. And some I just tried to guess at without sounding like I was just guessing. As the hour dwindled down, I felt a nervous anxiety creeping up into my chest as students began to turn in their tests at the front of the room, and the room began to slowly empty out. Leaving us stragglers behind. Shit. Shit shit shit....I've got to finish. I've got to at least finish this. My head is spinning. This sucks. Big time.

I think what frustrated me more than anything when my exam was over was the fact that it was the one I was most worried about, and had studied for the hardest. All that hard work, al that extra review...wasted. Just wasted. When the pressure was on, I collapsed. And it's all because I just can't seem to get my emotions in order. It put me in a seriously foul mood.

I sulked and pouted my way through the halls, lost as to how I was gonna 'fix' things. I didn't want to be selfish or overbearing, but I didn't want to be stupid either. How do I find a rational balance between the two when emotion is so irrational to begin with?

I was completely enveloped in my aggravated thoughts when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was a friendly tap, but in my current state of mind, it felt like a punch in the gut. "What???" I said. It came out kind angry, and I didn't mean it that way. Honestly. I saw Matt standing in front of me, and he kind of jumped from my reaction. "Awww....dude. I'm sorry. Don't...I mean..." Shit. This is worse than I thought it was. "I'm just having a really stressful day, that's all. I'm sorry."

Matt smiled at me. "It's ok. I just didn't expect you to be wound up so tight. Hehehe, are you ok?"

I lowered my head, "I honestly don't know, Matt. I really don't." I think he could se something seriously wrong with my current attitude, and he seemed concerned.

"Hey...are you going to another exam right now, or...?"

"No. I've got a 45 minute break before my next one. So..."

"Good." He said. "I'm done for the day already. Why don't we go grab something to eat outside. You look like you need a unhealthy distraction right about now." I started to say no, but Matt was already taking me by the arm and leading me back to his locker where he grabbed some money and led me outside to get some food from a nearby burger joint. I thought we were going to eat it there, but he told me we were going back to the school lawn where we could talk, and where I wouldn't be worried about rushing back for my next test. What could I say? Maybe he was right, you know? Maybe I needed a distraction. Just to help me get back on the right track before I screwed up another final like I did the last one.

He was sure to make some small talk, but I could tell that he was just buttering me up for the main event. And sure enough, after a few minutes, he asked, "So...are you gonna tell me what's bugging you, or am I gonna have to keep coming up with meaningless 'surface' talk? Hehehe!"

I felt bad. I mean, I felt bad before, just for thinking it...but I felt even worse having to say it out loud. Just because I knew that it would sound just as silly to him as it was supposed to be to me. But he insisted that it would be cool either way. So....

"Matt? Is it weird that I boyfriend is falling in love with somebody else?"

Matt actually chuckled at the idea at first. "Ryan? Really? Hehehe, dude...I highly doubt you have anything to worry about. You guys are, like, the poster boys for a model high school relationship."

"But that's just it, Matt. A high school relationship. I mean...what if it doesn't last?"

He said, "It's lasted this long."

But I told him, "I know. And it seems like that should be enough for me...but since this 'Sean' character came along, I'm not so sure. I mean, Ryan's an awesome boyfriend and all...but he's human, you know? I mean, I've looked at other boys before and thought they were cute. I'm SURE that Ryan notices how cute Sean is. And now they want to hang out...I'm just...I'm worried. I don't like it. Does that make me an asshole?"

Matt thought about it for a second, and he said, "No. I don't think so. I mean, love makes you selfish. It just does." Then he added, "Have you talked to Ryan about it. At least let him know how you feel?"

"I tried. But all he does is defend Sean and say that he's just goofing around. And I'm supposed to just take his word for it and forget about it, when Sean is all he talks about." I sulked even more, losing my appetite and wrapping up the rest of my burger to eat later when I was in the mood. "He says he loves me and Sean doesn't matter...but that's not enough. I wish it was, but it's not. He wouldn't stand for ME being this way with another boy, so why is he doing it to me?"

"I don't think he's doing anything to you, Randy. Maybe they really are just friends. Just let Ryan know that it makes you uncomfortable having Sean be so close to him all the time. He's a good guy. He should understand how you feel and work to find a compromise. I think that's fair."

I fidgeted a bit, and said, "You think he'll just stop if I ask him to stop?"

" can't stop him from having friends..." Matt said.

"I don't want to stop Ryan from having friends. But Sean has a reputation for just not giving a damn. Sleeping around and taking sex for granted.'s just like chewing bubblegum, and it's no big deal. All Sean talks about is getting laid and finding another guy to snuggle up with for the night. I mean...would you trust someone like that to just casually hang around with your boyfriend?"

Matt grinned a bit, and said, " I guess I wouldn't. know, me and Sam went through something like this with the whole Tyler situation. And I know how you feel. You want to be exclusive. And it HURTS when there's somebody else who's sharing a piece of someone that's supposed to be meant for you and you alone. So I get it. But Randy, sometimes you just have to make sure that you keep talking to him. And not just talking 'AT' him, making your demands known and trying to control how he reacts to them. Sometimes...just letting him know how you honestly feel is enough. If he truly loves you...TRULY loves you...then doing something just to make you happy should be a piece of cake."

I have to admit that my mind flashed back to images of what Matt, Sam, and Tyler, would all look like having sex together on his basement floor. That concept alone left me breathless. But I was too disturbed with other thoughts to hold onto it for very long.

"Yeah, I guess you're right." I said. "I just...I feel like Ryan has lost interest in me. Not completely. I know that he loves me. But....he's not excited by me anymore. There used to be a time when he'd sneak in my bedroom window and make love to me while my mom was asleep. There was a time when all we did was talk and giggle and kiss every single day. And now? Now it seems like we just kinda stay together to keep from being alone. The novelty has worn off. And with Sean providing something 'new' for him to get all giddy and happy about...."

"Awww, Randy...dude, don't do this to yourself." Matt said. "Spring Break is next week. Just take some time to chill out with him, get him naked, and remind him why he fell so in love with you in the first place. If you need a basement, you know that I've always got room for you. Just let me know when. K? You guys just need some time together. You've been apart for way too long. It's got you feeling all weird and nervous again. It'll be an easy fix once you get some privacy."

"You think so?"

"I know so. Look, why don't you guys pick a day next week to come over, and put a few dents in the mattress. Hehehe! Sam and I will even clear the premises if you guys feel like making any weird animal noises from behind that door."

We both shared a few chuckles over the idea, but all in all, it did kinda make me feel better. You know, like there was hope. Like maybe...Ryan could remember what was so special about me again. I NEVER forgot what was special about him. I'd give him all I had, without hesitation or humiliation. I just want my sweetie back. Nothing else matters. Nothing.

"I might just do that." I grinned. "Thanks, Matt. I have been really stressing out lately, and this is totally the wrong week for me to be full of worry and insecurity. So...thanks, dude. I mean that."

Matt said, "Don't sweat it. Trust me, if we weren't jealous, our boys wouldn't think we cared at all. They should be flattered that their interactions turn us psycho on a weekly basis. Hehehe! You just make sure that Sean doesn't find a reason to talk to Sam once you boot him out of Ryan's life. I'm not going to take it as well as you have so far. I'm liable to fucking STAB him in the nuts and rub sat in the wound if he so much as SMILES at my boyfriend! If he's so hot, let him go find somebody single to be 'buddy buddy' with. My baby's off limits."

It felt good to know that I wasn't just being a paranoid jerk about the whole thing. Good. So it's natural to be suspicious. Good. Great, even. That helps. Now...if only I can get Ryan to realize that I'm not being a psycho for not wanting my boyfriend being chummy with a notorious 'man-thief'. I agree, maybe it was Cody that made me more sensitive about this than I should be, but caution is caution, and I'd rather not take a gullible chance on losing someone I love because I was trying to be 'nice'.


When lunch rolled around the next day....

My sensible outlook on the situation didn't last.

I only had one final on Friday, and I figured that I could wait around for Ryan to go to lunch so we could spend some time together. After all, I was babysitting Wilson later on tonight, and I just wanted to 'connect', you know? Maybe show Ryan that I can still be fun and new and exciting too. He doesn't have to go anywhere else. I'm right here whenever he needs me. But when I met up with him after his first test, I didn't get the kind of greeting that I was hoping for.

The moment I walked up to him, he seemed to be looking around for someone else. As if I don't know who that 'someone' was. I said, "You know what? Why don't we go out for a while. We've got time. And it's Friday. Last day of finals. Let's celebrate by getting out of here. Just you and me?" I was hoping that Matt's isolation technique would work on Ryan too.

But he just said, "Oh man, you know what? That sounds awesome, but I really can't do it today. I kinda promised Sean that I would meet him after his test so we could put some of the finishing touches on our project today. We kinda wanted to get it out of the way before Spring Break, and since you and I have our big night tomorrow night, I didn't want to put it off any further. You understand, right?"

No. No I didn't understand. I tried to push a little harder. "Come on, let's just go. Let's get out of here. You can work on stuff later. I just...I kinda want to be alone with you right now. It would really make me happy to just share a lunch with you. We can talk. Don't you think it would be..."

But I was cut off as Sean came strutting up to us in the hall. I saw Ryan smile as he caught sight of him, and it soured my stomach all over again. I think I'm starting to see why Cody doesn't want to be around this son of a bitch any more than he has to.

"Hey guys, what's up?" Sean said, his snooty grin directed more at Ryan than it was at me. "Let's grab some grub. I'm starving."

Fighting it was difficult. I was extremely disgusted by the fact that Sean showed up at all. I choked down the emotion, and ended up following them towards the cafeteria. Tight lipped and silently angry, I kept my composure. But Sean kept feeling me out for weaknesses. It's like I could feel it. He could clearly see that I was upset, I'm sure of it.

It wasn't until he said to Ryan, "I think Randy's being a mute today. Hehehe! You know....if you had an 'open' relationship, he wouldn't be so stressed. He could get some quiet time to himself to think. And if you didn't want to bother him....and you weren't getting the kind of attention you wanted from your boyfriend...then you could come see me. And Randy could rest easy knowing that his cutie was well taken care of." That's when I start to boil over with hatred. That was when I just didn't see the point in holding it in anymore. "I know you guys are in love and all. I'm just saying...hehehe, what Randy won't do, somebody else will. Every day. Ten times a day if you want. Hahaha!"

I stopped walking instantly. My feet just stopped, and Sean was still grinning, and Ryan had this stupid smile on his face too. I know what Cody told me. I know he said...don't fight. I know that Ryan told me to trust him. I know that Matt told me to just talk to him about it. But I was sooooo fucking ENRAGED at this point, that biting my tongue was no longer an option. I said, "You know what, Sean? That shit isn't funny! Like, at ALL!"

They both looked back at me, and Sean said, "Hehehe! What? Dude, come on, you know I'm just playing around."

"You are NOT just playing around!" I growled. "I'm sick of this shit. Do you not find it inappropriate to be doing this in front of a couple? Do you get off on this, is that it?"

Ryan stepped in and said, "Randy...dude, calm down. It's not like that."

But I couldn't re-bottle the emotions now. "Not like what? I am so SICK of you making your little comments about you and Ryan being together every chance you get. You already KNOW that it bugs me! It's NOT a joke! And it's NOT a game! So why don't you just knock it the FUCK off????"

They looked at me like I was crazy. And who knows? Maybe I was. But at that moment, I had given him every opportunity to cut it out! I'm NOT being paranoid! Trust or no trust, Sean should respect his boundaries and stay the fuck out of our love life. And Ryan should stand by his boyfriend instead of always taking his side.

Sean grinned to himself, and it made me sick. I nearly reached out and grabbed the fucker by the fucking THROAT to choke the living SHIT out of him until that smug little grin left his face permanently! But instead, I looked over at Ryan, who seemed to be more shocked at my behavior than his. I could just tell that Sean had completely blindfolded him with his so-called 'charm'. He was looking at me like I was the asshole in all this. And I wasn't! I WASN'T!!!!

I rolled my eyes, and said, "You know what? Fine! I'm the crazy one. Screw this! I give up! You guys wanna go 'satisfy' each other, then go ahead. Like I give a fuck! Later!" I turned around the opposite way and just figured that I'd find my own way to my next class. The adrenaline rushing through my system was sooooo intense that my hands were shaking. I'm surprised that Ryan even bothered to come after me.

He tugged on my arm, but I pulled away from him. "Randy? What the hell is the matter with you?"

"What's the matter with ME??? How can you let him repeatedly disrespect me like that? Why don't you step in and tell him to stop?"

"I DID! I mean, Randy...Sean doesn't mean half the things he says. It's just his sense of humor. I can't police every comment he makes at random. He's a good guy..."

"He is NOT a good guy, Ryan! Don't you get it?" I said angrily. "He is trying to break us up. And you are so busy giggling and blushing that you don't even notice it."

"Oh please. Are you serious?" Ryan said with a dismissive chuckle. "Ok, you know what this is? This is you thinking too much, like you always do. You've been hanging around Cody Monreau, and you've been letting him get in your head with that garbage. You have to stop listening to him. Cody and Sean broke up! Cody still sore hearted and hurt, and the only way he can get back at Sean is to bash him behind his back..."

"No! That's not it at all!" I said, having to remember to keep my voice down a little bit. "Cody may have his reasons for disliking Sean, and he may have had his heart broken, but he's not like that. Does Cody strike you as the kind of person who would go out of his way to mess with someone that he doesn't even want as a part of his life anymore?"

"As a matter of fact, yes, he does. And you're acting just like him right now."

That only rubbed salt in the wound, and my anger was seriously beginning to erupt out of control. "Ask yourself why you think Sean can do no wrong. I mean it. Ask yourself why you think he is just soooooo great..." I said.

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"You want him, don't you? That's what it is. You like having Sean wiggle his ass and flirt with you and talk about all the boys he's slept with..."

"Ok, you know what? I'm not even going to answer that. You're being an ass right now. You have NO reason to treat me this way! Sean is my FRIEND! That's what I said, that's what I meant." He said, and then he added, "I can't believe that you don't trust me. After everything we've been through, you really don't trust me."

"I don't trust HIM, Ryan! And the way you've been practically drooling over him the last week or two, I don't know what to think about you anymore." It was more hurt than anger that was fueling my outburst, but if I let this go on any longer without saying anything I was going to explode. "If you cheat on me, Ryan, I'll never forgive you. I swear to God...."

"You know, that's some pretty harsh shit to say to me! You know that?" He was just as angry as I was, and that only escalated things to a whole new boiling point. "If you can't trust me it's because of what's going on in your HEAD! I shouldn't be the one defending himself here. Or do I need to remind you that I wasn't the one who was 'unfaithful' in this relationship? Or have you conveniently forgotten about that? If you ask me, you owe me a freebie."

That was it. That was the knock out punch. It was one of the most hurtful things Ryan had ever said to me, and I felt my eyes watering up immediately at the mere mention of it. "I told you...that was a mistake. It was a long time ago and it was an accident...." I whimpered.

"Yeah, well...acidents happen. Don't they?" His eyes stared at me coldly for a moment, but when a single tear streamed down my cheek, his expression softened up. I turned my back on him and just started walking. I don't know where I was headed, I just couldn't stand to look at him anymore. It hurt to even breathe. I felt as though a cannonball had been fired directly into my chest, and I just needed to find a place to completely collapse. "Randy.....dude, come on. Wait...."

"Fuck you!" I said, and I left. I left him behind. Back there with Sean. Stupid! Stupid!!! He said not to fight. Cody told me this would happen, and I just...I fell for it like a sucker. I can't believe he said that to me. I can't believe he betrayed me. I can't believe he brought up Tyler like that. Oh God.....

Oh God, I'm really losing him aren't I? My special fairy tale is coming to an end...and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.

I'm not taking my final today. I'm sick. Sick inside. I'm leaving. I'm going home. Any reason that I had to care about anything abandoned me five minutes ago....

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