W.A.R. Part Three - The Broken Boy

(2nd edition)

Chapter Eight - Classroom Chaos

by Jeff Wilson

The month of April flew by very quickly. Things got very busy in my life. For one thing, the second half of the baseball season started. That occupied a lot of my time as the scorekeeper for the high school team. I also thought of a way to spend more time with Brett. I offered to tutor him. That gave me an excuse to get off the bus at his house, and more time to spend with the boy I loved. Brett thought I was joking about tutoring him at first, but I really did want to help him. I didn't know what I'd signed up for!

I'd always thought that with the right teacher Brett could get over his problems. Yeah, that lasted about five minutes. I learned more about my boyfriend in that first hour of tutoring him than I'd ever imagined. I'd never really understood Brett's dyslexia until I started working with him. I still don't completely understand it. I just thought he reversed letters or words. But there was more to it than that. He could comprehend things just fine if they were read to him, but then he'd look at the very same thing I'd just read to him and have no idea it was the same exact thing he'd just understood. Then he'd get mad at me for trying to trick him. He would get more and more frustrated as the hour went on and we almost never made it through our whole time without him reaching his limit and lashing out in anger at me. Having the attention span of a gnat didn't help much either. He squinted at everything written down to the point that I asked him if he needed glasses. That resulted in him storming off to his room and not talking to me for the rest of the afternoon. His writing was illegible and what was there made no sense. The boy had apparently never heard of a period. Everything was one long jumbled sentence.

"Why do I have to learn stupid writing anyway?" he'd ask, frustrated.

"Because Spot is a dog, not a bog!" I replied even more frustrated. Yeah... I spent the rest of that afternoon apologizing to Brett's bedroom door.

He was not lazy, in fact he was working really hard and trying his best. But he would get frustrated and exhausted quickly. I knew Brett well enough to know how poorly he handled pressure, but I had no idea what I had signed up for. At first, he'd try to play and stall for time. If I let him get away with it, he'd joke around until our time was up and he'd managed to avoid having to work. But when I really made him work he'd start to grumble and complain. I could be sitting completely still and he'd complain that I was distracting him. After listening to him read aloud, I began to understand that he had a kind of mental `bank' of short words that he knew by sight even if he didn't always know what they meant in context. We started reading "See Spot Run" every time we got together. He hated it.

"'See S... pot... Spot! See S... pot... See Spot run... R... Run S... pot. Run Spot!' This is really fuckin' stupid."

"Just keep going," I encouraged him. "S and p is just one sound, like spit."

"I could think of things we could do with spit rather than read this stupid book."

"Nice try. Keep reading," I replied.

"See spit... I mean S... pot. Spot. Fuck Spot! And fuck this stupid fucking book!" he slammed it shut, threw it on the floor and burst into tears. "This is stupid! I'm never going to get it! It's a stupid waste of time! I'm just dumb, okay! I'm a stupid idiot and you're just going to have to accept that! Fuck this!"

Brett stormed off to his room and I heard his door slam from the living room.

"I guess we're done for today..." I said to myself. I quickly began to understand why his teachers got frustrated with him.

It seemed like his mom was around all the time for the first few weeks of tutoring, as if she'd adjusted her schedule to be there at the same time I was there. She would often `rescue' him when he started to whine that I was pushing him to hard. Her presence also meant we didn't get much chance to do anything `boyfriendy.' We'd get to do some kissing occasionally, and maybe reach a hand in the other's pants from time to time, but not much more. But one day she finally left us alone in the house and I finally got to return the favor for Brett and blow him. It was amazingly awesome! Brett wanted both of us to be completely naked while I sucked his dick, just like we'd been when he sucked mine. He laid back on his bed with his arms folded behind his head and moaned like crazy and he popped in less than a minute. I had no interest in having a load of splooge in my mouth, and I'd never seen him ejaculate before, so when he said he was about to shoot I pulled off and jerked him off. His dick pulsed in my hand and I watched closely as he shot his milky seed on his chest and belly, with a lot of it running down his dick and over my hand. Something about seeing him exposed like that really made me feel closer to him. It was like we trusted each other to let the other see what no one else could ever see.

We were cruising through the baseball season with a winning record thanks to Dustin. He was such a good player that he was already starting at second base as a freshman. He was the only freshman starting on the team, and he was leading the team in batting average and stolen bases. In all of his spare time, he was working with Mike on getting his store ready or was over there playing computer games. Dustin was still poor as dirt, but at least he had a little spending money from Mike. He'd managed to buy himself a new pair of shoes and even some new clothes. I was surprised since the store wasn't even open, yet Mike seemed to be paying him quite well. Better than I would have paid him to sit around playing video games.

I helped my dad a few more times while Donnie was injured. I couldn't do much, but it seemed to make my parents happy that I was going with him. Dad didn't seem as sharp as he could be though. He was tripping over words a lot more than usual. He was taking a lot longer to figure things out too. He was sweating like crazy and getting tired very easily and he was almost more exhausted than he was when mom wasn't working. It didn't stop him from living his life the way he always had, though. He was smoking just as much and still eating all the wrong things.

School was still bad, but it had gotten better. I had been scared one day as I was walking down the hall with Brett when Max came walking toward us. But instead of being abused, Max was actually almost civil.

"What's up, dude?" he asked.

"Not much, man," Brett replied. Max kept walking his way and we kept walking ours.

"What was that about?" I asked.

"Nothing," Brett replied.

"Does he know you? You know, I've been meaning to ask you about..."

"We had detention together," Brett interrupted. "We're not exactly friends but we know each other. He's not such a bad guy if you'd get to know him. I do have a life when you're not around, you know. Not everybody's an introvert like you."

So I didn't think anything more about it. I mean, I'd had a nagging little feeling that Brett was hiding something from me for a while, but I let it go. Besides that little incident, school had gone fairly well. Sure I was still getting called names sometimes, but I just brushed it off like Brett did. He told me that the reason people were picking on me was because I would get so mad, and kids wanted to see what I would do. He encouraged me not to ignore what was happening, but to try laughing it off instead. "People don't like it if you act like it doesn't bother you. It's not as much fun. It's funny to watch somebody flip out over shit. You need to get used to people not liking us because we're not like them. We're special, and people hate that. We're not always going to be a secret. I have no intention of staying quiet forever. I want everyone to know how much I love you."

But there were still days...

One of those days started innocently enough on a Friday in the middle of May. There were only three weeks of school left and we had reached that point in the year when nobody, not even the teachers, particularly wanted to be there. We were all kind of running out the clock at that point. Jerry Freemont was acting a little weird, but then Jerry was usually a bit off, being a big druggie and a friend of Max. But this was different. He looked even more pale than usual and he was breathing heavily.

Bobby Rush poked me in the arm and pointed at Jerry. "I think Freemont's wasted," he whispered.

I looked up from my book and nodded. "Probably," I replied.

"SHHHHHH!" Sarah Taylor scolded us. She was sitting in the front row center seat, just as she did in all of our classes and couldn't possibly have heard us whispering. She really pissed me off sometimes.

The morning continued on as usual. The only problems were that Sarah shushed me two or three more times and that Jerry fell asleep in history class and got yelled at.

At lunch, Jerry didn't eat and sat alone at the table where Amanda and Max usually were seated, but there was no sign of them. Dustin didn't know why his sister wasn't there, as he hadn't seen her all morning, but it wasn't unusual for her and Max to be skipping school. I hated that Brett ate in a different lunch period than me, but I doubted that I'd be able to keep him and Dustin from bickering while we ate. I was surprised when Joey McKenzie sat next to me.

"Hey, Billy," he said, smiling.

"What do you want?" I asked suspiciously.

"Don't be so defensive," he laughed. "You'd think I was going to throw a condom at you or something."

"Don't start, Joe," Dustin said.

"I'm just trying to be nice," Joey replied. "I wasn't the one who threw the condom."

"Oh, who was then?" I asked. "I know it wasn't Sarah because I hear she doesn't use them."

Joey and Dustin both laughed.

"That's a good one, Billy," Joey replied. Then he got up and sat with his gang of bible girls. I wondered what was going on with him. Was he trying to be friends again?

The answer to that came when I opened up my book in math class and found a picture of a naked man in it. I quickly crumbled it up, put it in my pocket, and looked around the room. Joey and Sarah were snickering to each other. Joey must have slipped it in there while I was distracted.

Our math teacher put a problem on the board and asked us to find the answer. It was a particularly difficult one and even I was having trouble figuring it out. But then Dustin raised his hand and gave the correct answer. Everyone in the room was kind of shocked. I leaned over to him and asked how he had gotten the answer so quickly.

"Mike and I did a bunch of these a few days ago. He's been helping me with my homework and stuff."

"Wow, you're really getting along well with him, huh?" I asked.

"He's really nice," Dustin replied.

"It's just, that's all you've been talking about lately and..."

"SHHHHH!!!!!" Sarah Taylor scolded me yet again. I'd had enough.

"No. You shut up," I snapped angrily at her. "I swear you are the most annoying person in the world."

"Mrs. Andrews!" she tattled. "Billy's got a dirty picture in his pocket."

"What?!?! You fucking bitch!" I exploded. I jumped out of my seat and started walking toward her. I don't know what I expected to do. It's not like I was going to hit a girl, even a bitch like Sarah. Before I could do anything though, Joey had a hold of me. Without even thinking, I pushed him as hard as I could. He bumped against a desk, which kept him from falling down.

"What is your problem, you dirty queer?!" he shouted as he lunged at me and speared me in the ribs. I grabbed hold of his shirt and I wrestled him to the ground.

"You stupid asshole!" I shouted. "I'll kill you!"

"Faggot!" Joey yelled. We wrestled around on the ground for a minute while all of our classmates and our teacher shouted at us. It was a wild scene. Joey managed to flip me onto my back and jumped on top of my chest. He reared back and was about to punch me in the face. But then, in the commotion, Joey went flying off me. Bobby Rush had grabbed him by the back of the shirt and lifted him right off the ground.

"You're a faggot, Roberts!" Joey squealed, being held back by Bobby. "Let go of me you stupid nigger! My dad will sue all of you assholes!"

I jumped to my feet ready to attack, but then Mrs. Andrews herself held me back. "Principal's office! Immediately!" she shouted.

I shrugged her off me. "He started it," I protested.

"NOW!" she roared. "Both of you! Bobby, go with them. If either of them so much as breathes out of line..."

As we walked down the hall, Joey kept on calling me every nasty name he could think of. "You no-good dirty cocksucker. You don't deserve oxygen. You're gonna burn in hell, Roberts."

Finally, before I could respond, Bobby told him to shut the fuck up. I'd never seen Bobby as pissed off as he was that afternoon. I don't think he'd appreciated Joey's choice of words when Bobby had grabbed him. When we got to the school office, Bobby dropped us off with the school secretary and he whispered something to Joey that I couldn't hear but made Joey turn three shades whiter before he went back to class. Joey and I sat on a bench outside of the principal's office door.

"Faggot," Joey muttered quietly under his breath.

"Retard," I returned the favor.

The door opened and Mrs. Patrick, our principal stood before us. She ordered us to come into her office and sit down. She was pissed.

"Three weeks until retirement, and I've got to deal with two honor students in a fist fight? What in the world happened boys?"

I pulled the crumbled up picture out of my pocket and showed it to her. "He put this in my math book," I tattled.

"I did not!" Joey protested. "He said he'd kill me! The whole class heard him. He's a dirty no-good queer!"

"No I'm not!" I yelled. "Quit saying that I am!"

"SILENCE!" Mrs. Patrick yelled. "Did you put the picture in his book, Joseph?"

"It wasn't my idea!" Joey insisted.

"What, you did it because Sarah made you?" I asked. "You stupid dick! All this so you could get some skanky girl to fuck you?"

"MR. ROBERTS!" Mrs. Patrick scolded. "Control your language immediately!"

"But it's true!" I retorted.

"I don't care," she snapped. "What a shame! Two otherwise good boys... I am so disappointed in both of you. To start with, I'm going to have to suspend you both three days for fighting."

Joey actually started bawling. "No! Please don't suspend me, Mrs. Patrick! My dad'll kill me!"

"You should have thought of that before you put that picture in his book, Joseph. I take sexual harassment very seriously."

"Please! You can't do this! I've never even been in trouble before!" Joey begged, tears streaking down his face.

"That's why I'm not expelling either of you. After the suspension, you will each have an additional week of after-school detention."

"No!" Joey cried, tears streaking down his face. "Please, Mrs. Patrick! My dad's gonna kill me! Please! This isn't fair!"

"Yeah. It's not fair. Sarah's the one who started it," I said. "What happens to her?"

"Nothing," Mrs. Patrick replied.

"But it was her idea!" Joey cried. "She even gave me the picture!"

"Do you have any evidence of that, Mr. McKenzie? Besides, you two were the ones who were fighting."

I fumed. "It's just because her dad is the school board president."

"That has nothing to do with it and I take great offense at that insinuation Mr. Roberts!" Mrs. Patrick scoffed. "I have always treated my students fairly. If that weren't the case, I wouldn't be punishing Mr. McKenzie, considering his father is the school's solicitor. I don't care about politics, William. I'm retiring soon anyway and don't have time to play games..."

Just then her phone rang. She answered, but then quickly leaped out of her chair and ran out the door. Joey and I sat there looking at each other. We weren't sure whether we should stay or wait for her to come back.

"So, why'd you do it?" I asked.

"I don't know," Joey replied. "I just want Sarah to like me."

"I don't hate you, you know. I miss being friends with you."

Joey smiled at me and wiped his eyes. "I know. I guess I have been a real jerk lately. I wish we were still friends, too. I'm sorry, Billy. I'm sorry for everything! God, my dad is totally going to kill me when he finds out... I don't know why I've been acting like a douche. I know you're not gay. I don't know why I did all those things to you."

"What if I were gay? Would you still act like you did?" I asked.

Joey thought for a minute. "I don't know... I mean, wait, are you saying you really are a queer?"

"I'm not saying that, I just..."

Before I could say anything else, Mrs. Patrick's secretary came to the door and found us still sitting there. "Are you boys still here? You can go back to class. Mrs. Patrick will call your parents when she has a minute." Joey and I started leaving when the secretary stopped us. "Wait! Whose room are you in?"

"We came from Mrs. Andrews' class," I replied.

"Oh... Then you need to go to the auditorium," she informed us.

"Why?" Joey asked.

The secretary just shrugged her shoulders. So we walked to the auditorium. We weren't quite sure what to expect when we got there. But we found our classmates all scattered about the room.

"What's going on?" I asked.

Dustin ran up to me. "Dude, Jerry's dead!" he said seriously.

"He didn't die, jackass!" Bobby scolded him.

"Dude you weren't there! He was blue, man!" Dustin said. "After you guys got kicked out, we started moving our desks back into place when Jerry started having a seizure. He threw up and fell on the floor and was shaking and everything. Mrs. Andrews called for the nurse. They were doing CPR on him when Mrs. Patrick showed up and kicked us out of there. I'm telling you, he's dead."

"Stop saying that, Dustin!" Emily scolded him. "This isn't funny!"

"Who's laughing?" Dustin asked. "The dude just collapsed on the floor and died right in front of us. It's insane!"

During all the commotion, Sarah had come up to Joey with tears in her eyes and pulled him to the side. They sat together and he hugged her and consoled her as if she'd just lost her best friend. It made me sick. She didn't give a shit about Jerry or about Joey. I hated her even more than I had before.

The door to the auditorium opened and Mrs. Patrick and Mrs. Andrews came in looking very stoic.

"They're going to tell us that he died," Dustin said grimly.

"He's not dead, Mr. Smith," Mrs. Andrews scolded him. "They're taking him to the hospital now. We're just going to stay in here for the rest of the period while things get calmed down. Mr. Roberts, you can go sit on the right side of the stage by yourself. Mr. McKenzie, get up there and sit on the left side of the stage. I don't even want to hear either of you so much as breathe for the rest of the period! Shame on both of you!"

I sat alone on the stage in front of my classmates, feeling pretty stupid. Everything had gone so horribly wrong in just a few minutes. This was all the more reason to keep quiet about my relationship with Brett. This was what it would be like every day if people knew about us. It would be one horrible experience after another. I couldn't let Brett get hurt like that! No, we just had to keep things quiet. I loved Brett so much and I knew it hurt him to keep everything a secret. But he just didn't get it. We were going to get destroyed if people found out.

I thought about Jerry. "Poor Jerry," people would say. I didn't feel sorry for him. Most likely, he'd done whatever it was that happened to him to himself. He'd probably had some bad dope or overdosed on pills or something. That's probably why he threw up. I felt kind of bad that his life had gotten so messed up that he felt that drugs from Max were the answer. I was glad that I wasn't into that kind of stuff. I had no respect for someone who would use illegal drugs. What kind of idiot needed shit like that in their life? I certainly didn't want to be friends with a drug addict or anybody associated with drugs.

I used to be friends with Jerry. Back in elementary school, before he got mixed up with Max and his gang we had been friends. Not like best friends or anything, but we used to talk from time to time. We had been on the same baseball team with Dustin. He had been a fairly nice boy, a little on the quiet side. I remembered how when we were in kindergarten how he used to pull his pants and underwear all the way down to his ankles when he'd pee and how the other boys would make fun of him. Wow, as I think of it, Jerry's butt may have been the first one I'd ever seen. He tended to keep to himself mostly, and his parents were good people. But once he got on the wrong path, he went downhill. I had to think to remember what color his hair was before he began dying it. It was kind of blond, if I remembered correctly. Now it was so long he could make his whole face disappear behind it.

The bell rang, but neither Joey nor I were allowed to leave for Miss Winston's class. Mrs. Andrews made us sit there on stage while her next class came in, which was humiliating. Brett was one of the last arrivals, coming in after the bell had rung. He gave me a strange look when he saw me sitting there, but Mrs. Andrews was in no mood to answer any questions. She just declared a study hall and assigned the class a page of problems to solve from the book. Brett kept looking at me and tried to figure out why I was being punished, but I couldn't really give him any information in my position. I just sat there mindlessly running my tongue over my braces. After what seemed like an eternity of sitting there and being bored, Mrs. Andrews walked onto the stage and demanded to see both of us. She wanted to know what we were thinking, of course. Neither of us had an answer, which just made her even more angry. It was funny watching Brett sitting in the front row straining to try to hear what we were talking about.

By the time the last period ended, two rumors had made the rounds through the school. One was that Jerry Freemont was dead from a drug over-dose. The other was that I'd gotten into a fight with Joey in the middle of math class. Only one of those rumors was true, but at least the false one was sucking up the attention away from me.

On the bus ride home, everybody wanted to know what was going on. Dustin continued to spread the rumor that he knew Jerry was dead to all who would listen. Brett was more concerned about my fight. I quietly explained my side of the story to him. I expected to convince him that this was just another reason for us to keep things quiet. But he found it more amusing than worrying.

"You've got a long way to go to catch up to me in the total days suspended from school department," he laughed. "Three days? That's nothing. Talk to me when a school throws you out."

"They almost did, Brett! Why are you making a joke out of this? This is serious! My parents are going to flip when I tell them," I moaned.

"You'll be fine. Your mom and dad are cool. Think of it as a three day vacation. I'd find a way to do something to join you, but my next suspension would be for ten days."

"How are you not in the emotional support class?" I asked.

"Oh, they wanted to put me in there. My mom wouldn't let them. She says I'm fine. Maybe I'll let you borrow some games to pass the time. I'm still looking for a place to buy the new Elder Scrolls."

I tapped Dustin on the shoulder. "Hey, does that Mike guy have the new Elder Scrolls game?"

"Who's asking?" he asked.

"Brett," I replied.

"Oh... No, I don't think he does."

"Really?" I asked. "But you said he has all the new games."

"He doesn't have it," Dustin insisted.

"Well see if he can get it," Brett chimed in. "If he's good, maybe I'll buy Warcraft 3 off him when it comes out."

"He doesn't need your stupid money, Reilly," Dustin snapped. "Go buy your crap somewhere else."

"Fine," Brett replied. "You don't have to be an asshole about it."

Brett's bus stop came, and we got off together. I wondered if this would be the last time I'd get to tutor Brett for a while. I figured my parents weren't going to be too happy when they found out about school. Unfortunately, Brett's mom was home so our time was spent studying nouns instead of anatomy.

Around five o'clock, I started walking home. Even though I figured I was going to be in a lot of trouble when I got home, I really didn't care. The day was just too beautiful! The sun was shining brightly, the temperature was perfect, and the sky was as a brilliant blue. But the beauty of the day faded away when I found Dustin sitting on a stump at the top of the hill. His nose was bloody and his face was scratched up. I ran to him.

"What happened?" I asked.

"All bloody crap broke loose at the house. I think the cops are there again now."

"Why?" I asked.

"Max, dude," Dustin explained. "He was there screwing my sister when the cops showed up. They arrested him!"

"Really? It's about time."

"They knocked on the door and I let them in. They asked where Max was hiding and I told them. They didn't even let him put his shirt on before they took him away."

"Then how did you end up like this?" I asked, offering him a tissue for his nose.

"My sister," Dustin said. "She flipped out on me. Threw a frigging lamp at my head..."

"No fuckin' way!" I gasped.

"Yeah, hit me right in the face with it. Then she started smacking me around. Said it was my fault. I guess it was. I let the cops in the house. Then mom got home and it really hit the fan. She threw Amanda out."

"Really? Wow! That's crazy!" I said.

"That's why the cops are there. I think they're still down there fighting. Why does my life have to be an episode of the Jerry Springer Show?" Dustin asked. He blew his nose and wiped his face with the back of his sleeve.

"You want to come to my place with me until everything blows over?" I asked.

"Nah. Thanks though. You're in enough trouble after what happened in school. I think I'll go to Mike's place. He should be home by now. I was just hiding up here until things settled down. I don't want to get killed in the crossfire. No one ever comes up here but you."

"Oh, okay," I said. "If you're sure."

"Yeah... Hey, don't send Reilly over there. Okay? Mike doesn't like him."

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because Mike is my friend, not his," Dustin replied.

"I don't understand," I said. "He can make a lot of money off Brett. Brett blows money on video games he doesn't even like. He hasn't even met Brett!"

"We don't want him around," Dustin snapped. He stood up and started walking down the hill toward his house. "Tell him to stay away from Mike!"

Dustin stormed off down the hill and I watched until he was out of sight. I scratched my head and then continued on my way home. Sometimes I just didn't understand Dustin at all! How could Mike not like Brett? How could anyone not like Brett? Especially since he'd been so good lately?

When I got home, I slipped in through the back door and hoped that no one was home. Unfortunately I could hear my mom talking on the phone in the living room. I hoped that I would have the chance to talk to her before she found out about what happened at school.

"He just came in now," she said to the person on the phone. I tried to casually walk through, but she stopped me. "Don't you take another step, mister!" she warned.


"Oh no, Mrs. Patrick, I completely understand," she continued.

Double crap!

"No, that won't be a problem. We'll make sure someone is there to pick him up... Of course we will. Thank you. You too. Bye."

She put the phone down and sighed.

"Would it help if I said I'm sorry?" I asked.

"Oh, you're going to be sorry all right!" Mom warned. "You got into a fist fight in the middle of class! You threatened to kill Joey McKenzie! You could have been expelled, Billy! You're lucky to only be getting a suspension!"

"It wasn't my fault, mom!" I insisted. "That stupid retard Joey put..."

"Don't you dare blame Joey for what you did, young man!" mom snapped.

"But it wasn't my fault!" I protested. "If you'd just listen to me!"

"Billy, what has gotten into you?"

"Nothing!" I replied. "Just let me explain!"

"I understand that you're a teenager and you're supposed to be obnoxious. I get that you think everyone is stupid except for you. But we didn't raise you to get into a fist fight in school!"

"It wasn't my fault! Stupid Joey..." I yelled.

"Shut up, Billy!" mom shouted at me. I don't think she'd ever said that to me before. I stood there with my mouth open but no words came out. "I can't believe you did this! Of all the stupid, idiotic... We raised you to be better than this! What is wrong with you? I have never been more disappointed in you. How could you be such an idiot?"

I stood there unable to reply. She was only saying what I'd been thinking all day since it happened. But it still hurt to hear her call me an idiot.

Mom breathed heavily a few times to calm herself down. She shook her head. "I don't know what we're supposed to do with you. Maybe we should have paddled you as a child or something. I've never been so disappointed with you. How am I going to explain this to Joey's mother? Did you think about that? This is major, Billy. For starters, you're grounded for a week. No television. No games. No phone. No friends. No fun of any kind. Nothing. You're going to work with either your father or me while you're suspended, and then you're going to do your school work. That's it. You'll eat and sleep and do homework. That's it."

"Yes ma'am," I said. I knew I deserved everything she said.

"After your suspension is over, you are still grounded. You go to school, you come home. That's it. I will let you go to the baseball games, but only because you have a responsibility to the team. Right afterward, somebody will pick you up or maybe I'll talk to the coach and you'll come straight home."

"What about Brett?" I asked.

"What about him?" mom asked.

"I still need to tutor him," I replied.

Mom laughed. "Oh no. That's over. You're not going over there to play around. You're coming straight home after school and that's final. If you're lucky, we might consider letting you go back to tutoring him after your punishment is over. But you have a lot to prove before you're going to be doing anything with him again."

"But that's not fair!" I cried. "We were finally making progress! He needs me!"

"You should have thought of that before you decided to threaten to kill Joey and get into a fight in class! Well maybe next time you'll think before you act, but knowing you I doubt it."

"This sucks! It's not fair!" I protested.

"You better calm yourself right now, young man! I am in no mood to..."

"No!" I yelled. "You didn't even want to listen to me! You never do! All you care about is yourself! I don't care what you have to say to Joey's parents! They're jerks anyway! I hate you! I hate this stupid fucking house! I can't wait to move the hell away from you!" I stormed off to my room and slammed the door. I heard the handle jiggle, but I'd locked the door.

"William Aaron, you open this door!"

"Fuck off!" I yelled.

"Add another day for that language, and another for the attitude," I heard mom's muffled voice through the door. I stormed over to the door and kicked it as hard as I could.

"Go away!" I cried. "I hate you!" I threw myself on the bed, covered my head with my pillow and bawled. I hated my mom so much! She was going to keep me from seeing Brett forever! It would kill me! I cried and cried for an hour, as loud as I could. I wanted her to hear me and feel terrible that she'd hurt me so! What a crappy day it had turned out to be!

Hello again fellow internet traveler! Thank you for the response last chapter. Sometimes You wonder if you're just writing to nobody when you do this sort of thing. I really appreciated the support.

So... What did you think of this chapter. Lots of stuff going on as we're heading for a big crash here soon. You can reach me at: jkwsquirrel@yahoo.com

Next time: Going Down Swinging