Chapter 13

Summer was finally over and the new school year was about to start. I didn't know what to do. I knew I wanted to stay with Alex Sunday night but I also knew I couldn't since school is now starting the same routine as before summer started, WEEKENDS ONLY. Which really sucks, but hey what can I say, nothing. Well, my Birthday came and went over the summer and so did Alex's, turned out we are three days apart and he is older. My birthday was July 14th and his was July 11th, and we had a blast. Had some friends over and just partied. Billy W and Jamie were there of course and they had fun as well. We promised them again that we will NOT forget about them and we are going to keep that promise.

Two more days and we will be freshmen. I'm both scared and happy, scared because we're gay and I don't know what is going to happen yet and happy because we will be together through it all. The weekend before school started we stayed at my house and his and just relaxed, we didn't want to rush anything so we had fun just being with each other. I just wish I knew what would of happened before it did.

Monday came and I got up at 6 for school, I took my shower got dressed then headed down stairs. I had my breakfast then went to the bus stop. There were the middle school kids but also the high school kids as well from this block. Billy S. and Jarad were there and they both looked nervous, as I was.

"Hey guys, how's it going?" I asked

"Pretty good, scared but otherwise OK," Billy said leaning into Jarad. Jarad leaned into Billy and nodded his head in the affirmative. I knew how they felt; I was scared too. The middle school bus pulled up and the middle school kids got on. A few minutes later the high school bus pulled up and we got on scared and nervous. I was the first to walk on. It was kinda quite for it being so early, but I knew that some of the kids weren't awake yet, which was cool with me. I was about to sit down by myself when a hand on my back made me stop. I turned around and smiled when I saw the person touching my back was Alex. I sat down quickly and Billy and Jarad sat across from us. I wanted to hug Alex so badly but I wasn't sure how the kids on the bus would react. What we didn't know is that Brandon, the QB for the Varsity football team, was on the same bus. Alex, Billy, Jarad and myself spoke quietly all the way to school.

When we pulled up we all took a big gulp of air and started getting off of the bus. We walked off the bus and looked at all of the kids there. Some of the ones directly in front of us that were out there talking quit talking when they saw Alex and me. I was starting to get a little scared when I spotted our group, so that's where we went, to where the JV team was. I was glad that they were there and I felt MUCH better. We were quietly talking when a voice interrupted us.

"Don't worry about anyone around here guys." We all stopped talking and turned around to see Brandon standing there smiling at us with a few of his football team. "They know which ones are gay and they are either going to try and start trouble or leave you alone. If they start trouble let us know," he said.

"Well, most of us don't care, we're more worried about Brett here. We can take care of ourselves but Brett is a different story. We take care of him, he helps us with our homework and our studying, he makes sure that we pass our classes and can stay on the team, we protect him for that. Even if he didn't do that he would still get our protection," said Tyler. I turned around and saw Tyler and his girlfriend smiling at me. They nodded their heads and I lowered mine down. One for shame because I couldn't protect myself and also out of embarrassment. Alex grabbed my hand and squeezed it. I looked up at him and he smiled letting me know I had nothing to feel sorry for, I smiled back and squeezed his hand. I was about to pull back but he wouldn't let me. I looked at him questioningly and with the look on his face I understood. The school already knew about us so why hide it. I nodded my head smiled at him and stepped closer to him. I couldn't believe we were going to do this, but hey life is a bitch. Brandon looked at us, then smiled and nodded his head.

"Well, if anyone tries anything and y'all need some help let one of us know OK?" he said. We all nodded said thank you then he left. I took a deep breath then with Alex's hand in mine turned around to face my new school and classmates.

Alex looked at me and smiled, "It's OK babe, they know about us so no more hiding OK?"

"OK, I love you Alex," was all I could think of, he smiled then leaned down and kissed me on my cheek. I kissed him back, then turned to face the front of the school, there were a few kids there who were smiling and a few who weren't and looked like they wanted to kick our ass's, but knew if they did they would have to deal with the football team, I felt safe in public at a school for the second time in my life, and I was happy. As we started walking towards the door people got out of our way, some said a few remarks but I let it pass; why get upset they're just words, yeah they hurt, words will ALWAYS hurt, but I won't let them get to me no more, well not if I can help it. We walked through the front doors and saw the Principal standing there. I didn't know what to think, here we were holding hands and he just looked at us. He smiled and pointed towards the auditorium. We smiled, nodded our heads, then with me holding Alex's hand, we walked in there. We found some seats big enough for all of us and sat down. Most of the kids that were in there were from our school and they knew us. They saw Alex and me holding hands and gave us the thumbs up with a smile. We smiled back and I put my head on Alex's shoulder. The principle got up to the podium and started his speech. He welcomed us here and went over all of the rules that we needed to know; at one point he was looking directly at Alex and me when he said what he did next.

"Also please remember there will be NO harassment of any kind in my school. If I find out that a student is harassing another student because of his/her color, ethnic background, his/her sexuality, where he/she comes from or for any reason that may cause the student harm then the student doing the harassment will be suspended and if we feel that is it necessary, expelled," he said as he smiled at me and Alex and we smiled back.

After he finished his speech we were sent to the cafeteria to get our schedules. As we stood in line me and Alex talked with a few of the students and they said it was as if the Principal was looking right at Alex and me. We told them we agreed and that we couldn't wait to see how the school year turns out.

When Alex and me got our schedules we compared them and found out that we had only about 3 classes together but that was all, the main one we did have together is gym. It was as if they were going to make sure I had someone there for me. A few of our friends got their schedules and we compared them. I had at least one or two JV football players in each class. I pointed this out to Alex and he smiled. He was happy that I would be safe.

The first few periods were cool and nothing too hard, English, math, and science. Alex was in my science class and apparently the teacher knew of us because she made the comment to the class, if any of you talk too much and play around you WILL be separated. She finished that by looking at Alex and me and smiling at us. I slipped down in my desk and blushed which made Alex chuckle. We made it through that class then headed to lunch. When we walked into the lunchroom we saw some of the other team members, and we also saw Billy and Jarad there. We got our lunches then joined everyone at a table that soon became known as the JV table. Unless you were a football player or were asked to sit with us no one sat with us, except the Varsity football team, that is.

As we were sitting there I saw two mean looking guys dressed all in black head to a table where another 9th grader was sitting reading and not bothering anyone. They went up to him and knocked his book out of his hands.

Let me take a second to describe this boy, he was maybe 5'0 even maybe 110 lbs. soaking wet with brown hair and brown eyes and he wore glasses. He wore the latest clothes and his hair was nicely done in the latest fashion, so he wasn't a geek by any means. After knocking his book out of his hands they pushed him out of his seat and threw his food tray at him, covering him with the food. He lay there for a minute then started picking himself up when one of the boys put his foot on his back and shoved him back to the floor using the poor boy as a foot stool. Alex saw this and got red.

Alex got up and with the rest of the team went over to the boys. When he got there this older, taller meaner looking teen looked up at Alex like he was stupid or something. Well that was until Alex pulled him out of the chair and throws him on the ground. Alex put his foot on the boy's back and just stood there for a second before he said anything. While this was going, on the other boy tried getting up but the rest of the JV team stopped him. While Alex spoke I got up and went over to the boy who was originally sitting at the table and helped him up.

"You OK?" I asked. He nodded then looked up to see who was helping him. He couldn't believe what he saw.

"Wow you guys really do help the younger guys don't you?" he asked. I just nodded and helped him clean up as best he could. Alex bent down to the boy he was holding and talked to him.

"So you think you're so big and bad for doing that? Well how does it feel to have it done to you? Not very good does it?" he said. I noticed some of the regular high school football players' come in. They came up to us and smiled then looked down at the scum on the floor. They just looked then walked away letting us handle the situation.

"Well I think you should remember one thing, if you EVER try and hurt anyone again you can deal with us. GOT IT?" he said loud and clear. All the boy under his foot could do was nod his head and grunt his assurance. Alex got his foot off of him then we all walked back to the table. I later found out the boy we'd helped was named Mike. He just watched us walk away. He was dreaming it was he and Alex smiling at each other. I wish I had only known, what was going to happen.

The months went by and we all did VERY well in school. We still hung out with Jamie and Billy W, like we promised we would and they were happy at school. Turns out they are the presidents of the GLBSA, we were proud of them. We were all passing our classes with me helping the JV team and Varsity team as well. Everyone was happy. We had VERY little problems out of bullies or anyone from wanting to hurt us if he held hands. Things were going great. My relationship with Alex grew. We made love on the weekends and held each other during the week. Things were going good, too good.

One day I was walking down the hall after school going to meet Alex like I did every day, as I turned the corner I couldn't believe my eyes, there was Alex kissing another boy. I couldn't believe it, tears started to stream down my face and my heart started beating faster and faster, I silently keep saying "no, no" as the tears streamed down my face. The boy he was kissing was Mike; the boy we helped a few months ago.

I turned around and ran out of the school, I heard Alex calling my name. I ran out the front doors of the school and took off. A few of the kids saw me and were wondering what was going on. I just kept running.

After running a few blocks I stopped and rested, I saw a pay phone and called my Mom. She came and got me and we went home. I couldn't figure out what just happened? Why did it happen? These thoughts and questions I kept going over and over in my head. My Mom tried finding out what happened but I wouldn't talk. When we got home I ran upstairs and cried myself to sleep.

When my Dad got home he too tried talking to me but I wouldn't talk, even Alex called and came around but I refused to see him. I did see him long enough to call him a lying, cheating, sonofabitch. I think that hurt him but I didn't care.

For the next week all I did was cry at night and stay alone. I didn't sit with the football team or associate with them. I saw Mike a few times and he smiled at me, I just stared at him then ran to the bathroom and cried my eyes out. I didn't know what to do. Why did Alex want him over me? What does he have I don't? I didn't know but I knew I was just too tired to try. I went home for the weekend and sat alone. I felt like this when I first started Bartlett, well I guess I didn't know anything, about love and relationships. I guess Alex never really loved me. I cried that weekend and hurt like I did when I was beat up, wishing things could be different, and praying I would die, but I didn't want to, I wanted to live and prove to everyone I could survive and make my life better.

The next Monday they had an assembly in the auditorium. I didn't care what it was for or why. All the kids the week before saw how I was, and saw I didn't care anymore, and that I didn't care what happened around me. Even Mike, that guy that Alex was kissing, noticed and I even saw him upset because of the kids and the way that I didn't stop anyone from being beat up. In fact I almost got beat up myself by a few bullies the only thing that saved me was a few of the varsity football players came by at the time and I was able to get away. So there I sat in the middle of the auditorium sitting around some of the football teams, both of the teams actually. I tried getting up but they wouldn't let me. I looked to the side and saw Brian and Eric sitting there shaking their heads no. I just sighed and sat there not really listening.

The Principal droned on about what has been happening and that the JV football team is now a part of the Varsity football team. I was glad and happy for them. Then he said something that made me stop breathing, "Alex Daniels of the football team would like to say a few things." With that he stepped back and Alex stepped up on stage.

"Thank you, Principal. Well, as some of you may know there have been a few problems in the JV team as of recent and I would like to put them straight. First, we have all gone through the trials and passed to get on the team, we did not get on it any other way. Now for the biggest message, this is personal and with the Principal's permission, he has allowed me to say some things about what happened between me and Brett Mikells."

When he said my name I tried getting up only to be pushed down again by the teams. I slipped down in my seat and just listened. "Now let me start by saying the following," and with a deep breath he began, "Brett, I swear to GOD above I did NOT kiss Mike. Before you showed up he came up to talk to me and, he said, to thank me for helping him. I told him it was no big deal. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was waiting on you. He said oh, OK and cool, as I was about to turn around he threw himself at me and kissed me. When he broke off I saw you and started hollering for you. I swear Brett I didn't cheat on you. I told you when we got our rings that I would NEVER cheat on you and I haven't. As I ran after you, Mike ran after me, when I couldn't find you he even told me not to worry that he would always be with me, I told him NO, I didn't love him and never will. I told him I loved you and that I would be faithful to you till I die. Brett, PLEASE believe me I love you and to prove that I am going to sing this song from the Back Street Boys. I love you Brett."

With that music started and Alex started to sing.

Even a lover can make a mistake sometimes
Like any other
Fall out and lose his mind
And I'm sorry for the things I did
for your teardrops over words I said
Can you forgive me and open your heart once again
It's true
I mean it
From the bottom of my heart
Yeah, it's true
Whatever happened
I know that I was wrong, oh yes
Can you believe me
Maybe your faith is gone
But I love you and I always will
SO I wonder if you want me still
Can you forgive me
And open your heart to me once again, oh yeah

About that time I started crying, I knew it wasn't his fault and now I can say I'm sorry. I got up but this time no one stopped me. I went to the aisle and started walking towards Alex on the stage. As I got there, Alex bent down and started singing directly to me.

It's true
I mean it
From the bottom of my heart
Yeah, it's true
Without you I would fall apart

Alex helped me up on stage and held my hand, and sang while we faced each other.

I'd do anything to make it up to you
So please understand
And open your heart once again
I was crying and now so was Alex.
It's true
I mean it
From the bottom of my heart
Yeah it's true
Without you I would fall apart

The song ended and Alex and I hugged. He pulled back and kissed me in front of the whole school. We got a standing ovation; we smiled at each other then got off the stage. We sat down together holding hands. The rest of the day went by fast.

Alex came over to the house and Alex and me stayed in the room until supper. My Mom noticed us together and figured out we must have had a disagreement and fixed things. I loved my parents and Alex to death.

Thanksgiving, then Christmas came and went and we were still together and happy. This year we gave each other necklaces. They were beautiful, gold hearts with our initials on them. We stayed together Christmas evening again and just like last year I gave myself to Alex, besides it was our anniversary, you could say, and believe it or not even my Aunt and Uncle were there with my idiot cousin. He was going to try and stay in our room but I told him he couldn't that Alex and I were going to celebrate our engagement together. He understood and stayed downstairs. That was one of the best Christmases we ever had.

One night, around the middle of January, I was asleep. It was Friday night and Alex couldn't stay because he was supposed to go to his Aunt's house the next day, that was cool, I understood and we were happy that we would be able to see each other Sunday. I awoke Saturday morning screaming. I had this vision of Alex getting hit by a car. I calmed down and got out of bed, something didn't feel right. I walked downstairs and saw my Mom and Dad sitting at the kitchen table. They had tears in their eyes. Now I knew something was wrong.

"Mom, Dad what's wrong?" I asked getting upset. My Mom looked at me and in that look I knew Alex was hurt. She opened her arms and I flew into them sobbing. Somewhere in between sobs I asked about Alex. "What happened to him, where is he?" I asked sobbing. My dad got up and put his arms around me and Mom.

"Son, he's at Memorial Medical, he was hit by a car this morning. He was coming over here to see you. Turns out his Aunt was sick, so they couldn't go. HE was crossing the street when a drunk driver hit him. He's in critical condition. I am SO sorry son." My Dad said with tears falling down his face. I was crying and sobbing now.

"NOOOOOOOO this can NOT happen, not now," I cried. My Mom and Dad held me. They calmed me down enough for me to get dressed and go to the hospital. I dressed and cried. We got in the car and drove to the hospital, I saw the different places around me and remembered all the times Alex and me would go to places and play around, just having fun. We pulled up at the hospital and got out. For the first time in my life I was afraid of the hospital. I didn't want to go in but I knew I had to. We went up to the second floor where the critical patients were, and found Alex's parents. When his mother saw me, she hugged me and started crying. We cried for a few minutes, then she let go of me. They showed me where his door was and I went there. It took a few minutes before I could open it but I finally did.

What I saw shocked me SO badly that tears started down my face. Alex was lying in the bed, with tubes and hoses going into and coming out of him. His head was bandaged and his right arm and both legs were in casts. I wanted to scream but all that came out was a silent cry and a silent scream before all went dark.