|Love and War (LAW)
Author: Reve de Neons PM
Ryan lived the simple life of a highschool nobody until the day he crossed paths with Holiday Boulstridge – the older rebellious senior. Ryan had believed he was straight for nearly all of his life but now he can't understand why he can't resist Holiday's snake-bite studded smile. Holiday wants Ryan more than anything - only problem is; he has a girlfriend. PREQUEL TO FOLLIES.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 25 - Words: 99,868 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 05-10-13 - Published: 11-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3076946
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter Four: Invisible Boys
Friday March the 19th
Ryan Gabriel Tramblay
It was the last Friday before March break. After this Hunter and I could finally sleep for a whole week without worrying about Brett and his horrible friends.
"We should buy some Sweet Chili heat Doritos to celebrate!" Hunter cheered. He grabbed my shoulder and squeezed it tightly as if the extreme pressure he was exerting on my shoulder was an indicter of the extreme happiness that he was feeling. "A week without Brett? Count me in!"
"I actually like Sweet Chili Heat Doritos. I thought it was a stupid combination but it was soo good. It has the perfect balance of spiciness and flavour." I said with a smile. "Well actually, it sets my mouth on fire but it's worth it."
It was the end of the day and Hunter and I were making our way toward the portables where Holiday's math class was. "See? Mixes are good!" Hunter cried. "Like Canadians and Egyptians," Hunter said with a smirk. "Or like French people and Germans. Or like Nadia and me."
"You like Nadia El Hassar? Isn't she a little-" I circled the air around my ear with my index finger and Hunter giggled like a nine year old girl. Nadia liked to put her hair into buns, wear fuschia lipstick and wear crazy clothes.
"I like freaky girls. The freaky ones are the best." Hunter swivelled his head around on his neck like a girl with sass. We both laughed.
Holiday exited the portable and my heartbeat sped up. He looked so good in his black Bench. jacket, his cyan hair messed artfully, and one snakebite dotting his lip. He turned to me and smiled brightly at me.
"Is this the guy you're dating?" Hunter whispered. I nodded vigorously like a bobble head on the dashboard of a jolty car.
"Hey Ryan. Hello Ryan's friend," Holiday said.
"This is Hunter, my best friend." I hadn't even thought about the words when I said it. Hunter was my only friend anyway, and when you only have one friend to concentrate on instead of two, you become friends faster. It's like painting one picture instead of two. "Hunter, this is Holiday. My special friend." When I said that we all giggled.
Hunter held out his hand and did a complicated but awesome handshake with Holiday that I wondered how they both knew. They did a high five with their hands laid out horizontally and then slid their hands across each other. Just when their hands were about to come apart they bent their fingers and locked their hands together. Then they released their hands.
"You're Archer's little brother aren't you?" Holiday said sizing up Hunter. "I would have never guessed it but you two have the same nose," said Holiday. He had a rather high nose with a pinched bridge.
"I never pegged you for the multi-coloured hair type, Ryan," Hunter said with a chuckle.
"I never knew you guys could handshake like that," I countered.
"Do you guys want a ride? I don't mind," Holiday offered kindly. He pressed a button on his car keys and the trunk of the car popped open. Gladly Hunter and I threw our bags into the gaping maw of the trunk and then we slid into the backseat. I would have sat with Holiday in the front seat, but I didn't want to make Hunter feel like a third wheel.
"Hunter, are you the friend that was there when Ryan bombed that Brett guy?" Holiday asked s he cruised through the parking lot. He turned on the radio and a Metric's song Stadium Love wafted through the car.
"Yup! I was the one who proposed the idea to Ryan, but he wanted to exact revenge on Brett," Hunter said proudly. He sat up straight and puffed out his chest.
"Holiday, it was so awesome! You should have been there! Ryan and I nearly busted our guts."
"Can we not talk about Brett?" I groaned. "We've just started March break and we still have a whole week of sleeping in, going to bed late and having fun. I've worried about Brett for six weeks on end and I'm tired of it." I finally let the words that had been caged up inside me spill out.
"Ryan, we have to do something about it," Hunter said, the bright giggly light in his eyes dulled to seriousness. "We can't just go around with our legs between our tails forever."
"I could give him a thorough talking to and then a beating if that doesn't get through to him?" Holiday offered from the driver's seat. We pulled up to a red light and Holiday reached over to his glove box and extracted three strawberry candies which he offered to Hunter and I.
"That's not going to get us anywhere. TJ beat up Brett and he is still coming after us," Hunter said. He stroked his hairless chin, his lips turning down at the corners.
"What are we going to do?"
I thought back to what Klaus had told me in the kitchen. How nonchalantly he had given me advice as though he was sure of what he was saying. "Klaus – my brother told me that we need to do something that Brett isn't expecting."
"Spy on him," Holiday suggested from the front of the car. I could hear the dulled tick of him tapping his tongue ring against the hard candy even though I was all the way in the back seat.
Hunter and I whipped our heads around at nearly the same time. Hunter's expression was giddy while mine was grim.
"It's genius!" Hunter exclaimed.
"No, it's not. It's far-fetched. How are we going to spy on him now? I mean it's already after school on the day that begins March break," I countered.
"I know where Brett's house is. Did you forget that we were once friends? I've been going to Brett's house since I was five," Hunter relayed that fact with surprising
conviction as though his familiarity of the Lamontagne house was supposed to put me at ease.
His words had the opposite effect on me. I was taken back. I had never had a single friend that had lasted me that long. If Hunter was turning fifteen this year it meant that he had been friends with Brett for ten years!
"We could get charged with breaking and entering," I said trying to reason with Hunter who had become wild with revenge. His eyes and his smirk were impossibly wide.
"Brett could get charged with assault twice – once for you and Hunter. And Ryan's still got the proof," Holiday said regarding the gold marks left behind by my black eye. The skin was still healing.
Was everyone around me crazy? We could not just drive to Brett's house and spy on him! I mean we would have to break into his house and there was a huge risk that we could get caught and then get into even more trouble with Brett. I mean if he caught us in his house he might just upgrade his charge to murder.
"Let's go!" Hunter cried. "You've got a t-shirt under that or something right?" Hunter asked pointing at my uniform shirt. I cursed myself silently for wearing a blue thermal beneath my uniform button-up. "So we don't look like we came fresh from St. Vlad's even though we did.
"Holiday, can you drive us to Brett's house please?" Hunter asked Didn't Holiday have work or something? There had to be some way for him to say no! Didn't he have important high school senior stuff to do like tuxedo shopping, or studying? Oh, how I prayed that he would say no.
"Of course! Tell me where that ass-hat lives and I'll have you there in a moment." I could feel Holiday's car surge forward as he pressed onto the gas. He hadn't even heard the directions yet and he was itching to go!
Hunter gave Holiday the directions and we made our way to Brett's house. It was a plain brown house with beige double garage doors split right down the centre so that two families could live in either side of the house simultaneously. It was a town-house! The big rich guy in town lived in half of a house.
Holiday drove slowly in front of the house and there was no one there. Hunter cheered out loud when he realized that Mr. and Mrs. Lamontagne weren't home because the driveway was absent of cars.
Holiday slowed to a stop and Hunter climbed out of the car. Hunter and I unbuttoned our shirts and I handed mine to Holiday. When I was about to pull away when Holiday grabbed my forearm. "I've got a good feeling about this. I think you guys are finally going to get Brett off your back," he said to me. He held my chin in his hand and kissed my lips. "Just be careful."
"Of course you have a bloody good feeling about this. You're not the one risking your neck," I joked. I kissed him hard and then hopped out of the car.
When Holiday drove away I knew there was no turning back. I either returned to his car with some valuable dirt on Brett or I returned a loser. If I did this maybe Holiday would realize how daring and adventurous I was.
I felt so scared then that my palms were filled with sweat and my heart felt like it was having a seizure in my chest.
Hunter walked toward Brett's house all calm and cool in his Teflon Don t-shirt. I was trembling in my Bleach t-shirt. Hunter bent down and picked up a ceramic frog. It's colours had faded from green to white from sun exposure. "The Lamontagne's keep their spare house key in here. Stupid of you ask me." Hunter walked over to the house and was about to grasp the doorknob when I grabbed his wrist.
"Don't!" I whispered. "What if Brett's in there?" I could feel the air on the tops of my eyeballs because of how wide I opened my eyes. I held Hunter's arm tighter than a corpse's rigor mortis.
"That's what we're hoping for!" Hunter said nodding his head like a madman. He slipped the key into the lock and where we usually would have made some sort of sexual joke we were quiet. He turned the key and the sound of lock clicking open hit both of our ears. Hunter handed me back the key and he opened the door.
I put the key back into the frog's wide mouth and placed him what I hoped to be the spot where he was last. Hunter waved me in and I followed him. He shut Brett's front door behind him, which had a large glass window in the middle of it.
Hunter twisted a thick lock on the door and once again the sound of Brett's door locking reverberated through the air. Now I truly felt locked in. Once we got started getting deeper into Brett's house it was going to be difficult getting out.
Hunter and I took off our socks and shoes so that we could creep through the house in absolute silence. First thing first we crept through the hallway, to the living room and then to the kitchen. Hunter actually ate one scoop of the chocolate hazelnut spread right out of their fridge as if he was in his own house.
We poured out glasses of juice and toasted to revenge. I even partook in The Eating of The Chocolate Hazelnut Spread with Hunter and we mixed peanut butter to simulate the flavour of chocolate peanut butter cups. We finished our juice and left the glasses and spoons in the sink for Brett to clean up.
When I passed the living room I noted a family picture of the Lamontagnes. Brett's Dad was as stocky and thick-necked as his son with pitch black hair and piercing blue eyes. Brett's mom was a round woman with a huge mass of dark curly hair and deep brown eyes. Mrs. Lamontagne must have cheated on Brett's Dad because Brett and his little sister had the same eyes as their mother, but the little sister looked totally Spanish. There was no way that the white-as-freshly-fallen-snow French Canadian Mr. Lamontagne had a hand in creating her.
Hunter and I snuck up the stairs, holding our breath as we went. Every damn step in those stupid stairs creaked like a door with dry hinges. You know when you're trying to be quiet and then every sound you make sounds a million times louder? That's exactly what was going on with Hunter and I.
The only thing that soothed me was that it was 2:45 PM. So that meant Brett's little sister wasn't going to be coming home anytime soon as the Elementary school's let out at 3:15 PM. On the downside St. Vlad's had already let their students out so Brett could be crashing into his house at any moment now.
Brett's room was painted blue with white stripes and it was actually very nice for such a destructive boy to be living in. The walls were covered in all sorts of sports photographs from baseball to soccer and a poster of a girl in a clingy wet bikini. Hunter showed me with a smile the poster behind Brett's door which was an old picture of a busty blonde with a wet t-shirt pasted onto her ample chest and the words Got Milk? written on the shirt. We stifled our laughter and moved on.
"What exactly are we looking for?" I asked Hunter as we moved through Brett's room. Hunter opened Brett's dresser drawers and dug through them before moving onto the next.
"Proof of what? Proof that Brett's a smart, athletic regular teenage boy that enjoys wanking to pictures of blondes? That's all around us." I said folding my arms over my chest. I was feeling more and more nervous by every passing moment.
"No!" Hunter stopped going through the drawers and looked at me. "Remember that day in the beginning of March the last time that we sat with Brett? When I threatened him telling him that I knew about him and what he'd done?"
I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to bring myself back to that painfully embarrassing day. Hunter's nostrils flared and his eyes opened wider then I had ever seen them before. "Do you know what, Brett? Fuck you. Don't forget that I know about you and all that you've done and when the time is right so will the whole school." I had never seen Hunter so angry in my whole life. In fact, I had never seen Hunter angry until this very moment. He always seemed like such a laid-back type of guy.
I nodded vigorously, waiting for Hunter to bless me with the knowledge of what he knew. This was the stuff of dreams for us invisible boys. I was finally going to hear the secrets of the most popular boy in school.
Just as Hunter's lips parted so that he could speak we heard the sound of the front door behind unlocked. Our hearts beat in panicked unison. Our eyes widened and Hunter pointed toward Brett's closet. We scrambled into it and I scraped my fingers on the floor when I dragged the door shut from the inside.
Brett's closet was littered with dirty underwear, sweaty uniforms and sticky copies of adult magazines. In short; it smelt like rotting fecal matter. Hunter dragged a comforter out of the deep recesses of the closet and spread it over the clothes so that we would have something slightly more sanitary to sit on.
I wanted to press Hunter for the answer about what had happened that day, but he held a finger to his lips.
"Are you seeing this? God, sometimes I hate my mom. That's why she's such a fat bitch. Look at her eating peanut butter and Nutella straight out of the jar!" Brett's angry voice carried through the house and up into his bedroom.
"She can't be that bad," sounded Nate Richardson.
"She is! She never lets me do anything and she never gives me anything either! For my birthday she got me the old Xbox instead of the Xbox 360," Brett grumbled.
"I'm not even washing the dishes. She can do that when she comes home. Women belong in the kitchen anyway."
"Did you ask her if you could throw the party next week?" Nate asked. They were moving through the house. In fact, they were coming closer because I could hear their voices getting louder and louder.
My heart was going nuts inside of my chest. Dear God, they were coming. They were going to walk right into Brett's bedroom. What if Brett opened his closet and saw Hunter and I crouched in there like a pair of rats? Oh, he would have been so mad he would have clobbered us with Nate. I grabbed Hunter's arm and he shushed me quietly. In the dark he pulled out his cell phone.
"No! Nate, why are you so stupid? Why would I ask that dumb bitch anything when she always says no? When her and Dad go to Val-d'Or tomorrow we're throwing the party." Brett hissed. His footfalls got louder and heavier until they were right outside of the bedroom door.
"So, I'm invited right?" Nate asked. That struck me as an especially dumb question. Of course Nate would be invited! I mean he was Brett's right hand man, wasn't he? Or perhaps that was Rex. Nevertheless he was a part of Brett's tight social circle.
"You're going to have to prove your worth," Brett said in a strange low voice. I heard a soft wet popping noise. I grabbed Hunter in alarm and he nodded in an assured way. He gestured to his phone to show me that he was indeed videotaping this moment, even though all he was capturing right now were the kissing noises and the darkness of the closet.
Hunter and I scrambled to fit our eyes in front of the crack in the middle of the door so that we could see what was happening. When I saw what was going on I could hardly believe it. Brett had the sides of Nate's face in his hands and was kissing him forcefully. Brett's eyes were shut and his cheeks were red, while Nate was kissing him back awkwardly.
"That's not good enough!" Brett hollered breathlessly. His blue eye glittered. "Bow to me." Even then his ego struck me. How could he think so highly of himself? Who in the 21st century told someone to bow to them as if they were some evil overlord?
Still Nate dropped to his knees and quickly worked on Brett's pants. Brett's maleness protruded clear out of his pants as soon as Nate had pulled down the zipper. How could someone so damned homophobic get so hard from kissing a boy? And then it all clicked into place. It was so simple that I wondered how I had never seen it before.
Brett was all angry and homophobic because he knew that he wasn't straight and despised himself for being like that and wished he could be as open and as happy as TJ.
Hunter put his mouth so close to my ear that I could feel his breath on me. I was afraid that Hunter had suddenly made the turn and that he was about to jump me when he said; "Brett's in the closet."
I nodded with a happy smile. This was good! In fact this was great! If we ever got a picture of Brett with his prick in Nate's mouth we would shut them down for good. Oh, how perfect that would be! We could blackmail them for the rest of our high school life! They would never even think mal thoughts toward us because we had this delicious piece of evidence.
Nate tasted the tip and his face wrinkled up. Brett grabbed the back of Nate's head with a startling amount of force. "What are you doing, Nathaniel? Don't you want to be a permanent member of my group? Or do you want to be like Hunter, who gets beaten up by my friends and lives in constant fear of me?"
"Did . . . did you make Bam Bam and Rex do this?" Nate asked, his voice so quiet that we had to strain to hear it in the closet. His brown eyes looked up at Brett with such regret I actually felt sorry for him. I don't think Nate realized how pathetic he looked right then. He looked like a boy desperate for a place to fit in, so desperate that he was willing to compromise his dignity.
"No. I never had to. But you, I knew I could get you to do whatever I want. You're as big a slut as Taylor Jude Tramblay and Melanie Ivory. I know you wanted my dick. If you didn't we wouldn't be here right now. And if you tell anyone about what I made you do, I'll make sure your life is miserable." Brett said with a grin. "Get it nice and wet. Take it all in."
The scene unfolding before me was too horrible to even describe. I couldn't stand to watch Brett smiling and moaning in pleasure as Nate was there . . . pleasing him. Tears streamed down Nate's cheeks and my stomach knotted. This image was going to be forever seared into my eyeballs and every time I would look at Nate I would see the boy on his knees his face buried between the legs of a monster.
Hunter's phone bleated loudly as it began to die.
My heart stopped beating for so long that my body burned for blood and my lungs screamed for air. My eyes were so wide I thought my eyelids had dried up and receded into my skull. I grappled around for Hunter's arm so that he could look at me and assure me that everything was going to be okay, but Hunter wasn't next to me.
He had burst forward, thrusting the closet open. His phone was pointed up at Brett and Nate capturing the scene totally. Brett's pants on the floor, Brett's member in Nate's mouth, that lewd grin on Brett's face, Brett's hand on the back of Nate's head.
No one in the room dared to breathe or dared to move. Our eyes did quite a bit of darting. Brett's eyes were as wide as mine and looked from Hunter, to me, and finally to Hunter's camera. Hunter's eyes were locked on Brett's. Nate's eyes stared at Hunter and I, leaking more tears all the while. I spared Nate my glances, but I kept my eyes on Brett. He was as powerless as a newborn bird. I realized now that he could do nothing to us, especially in this position.
"Hunter." The first word came from Brett's mouth. His whole entire head was glowing red. He forced a calm mask onto his face. His words were soft and quiet. "What
are you doing?"
Hunter ended the video and then turned off his phone. He put it in his pocket and then stood to his feet. He held out his hand to me and helped me up. While I made my way to my feet Nate took his mouth off of Brett and tried to run out of the door. Brett grabbed him by the collar and flung him back onto the ground so hard that there was a red ring around Nate's neck.
"Let me go!" Nate wailed, thick cords of spit connected his top and bottom lips. How ugly he was when he cried! The way he twisted up his handsome face into a visage of pain and sorrow!
"You're not going anywhere!" Brett screamed. He didn't even make an effort to cover himself. Both of them were pathetic; Nate and Brett. Brett was nothing more than a coward. "Hunter, my friend. What are you going to do with that video?" Brett moved toward Hunter with a terrifying smile. It was a mixture of mock friendliness and fear. Brett clasped Hunter's hand in his own and Hunter snapped his hand back.
"You know what I'm going to do," Hunter said. He took the phone out of his pocket and then pressed his small phone into my hands and folded his arms across his chest. "Brett, things really didn't have to turn out like this. Things never had to come to this."
"I had no other choice!" Brett screamed. "What was I supposed to do? I . . . I just can't be gay! Do you think it's just that easy? I just come out and everything is just perfect? If I ever come out I'll never have it this good again!"
"This is good? Is blackmailing people into degrading activities and making people miserable good?" I heard the words coming from my own mouth.
"You will never understand what being on top is like, Ryan Tramblay. I have everything at my disposal. Girls, grades, awards, trophies and the love of my father. If I came out do you know what would happen? I would be nothing, like YOU. Rex and Bam Bam would make my life miserable!" Brett hollered, his eyes wild.
"If you're on top, I'll take being at the bottom any day." I said. I gestured toward his state, and when Brett looked at himself his face reddened even deeper.
"If you don't leave us alone I'll e-mail this to someone who I know will spread it around nicely. And I know you won't go to your parents for help. You don't want to let down your Father, now do you? We'll let you stay where you are, but if you so much as sneer in our direction it's over," Hunter growled. "Let's go Ryan."
I couldn't have been happier when Hunter uttered those words. We started to make our way out of Brett's room when we heard the sounds of two boys crying; Brett's supressed sobs and Nate's gasping wails. Hunter and I put on our shoes and walked out of the house with our heads held high.
"You knew about him from a long time ago, didn't you?" I said to Hunter as we began to walk around the block to find Holiday's car. Both of us kept our eyes peeled for a bright burst of cyan hair and a glossy black car.
"Yeah, since the summer going to high school. He came onto me, but it wasn't like the way he came onto Nate. He wanted me and him to date but I told him that I wasn't into guys like that and he was crushed. He made me swear up and down that I wouldn't tell," Hunter said as we walked. He held his hand out for me to give him his phone and I did so a little reluctantly. That video was our ticket to a relatively bully-free high school life. If that video fell out of Hunter's hands and got ruined, what would we do?
"And you still stuck by his side," I said thinking back to the fight between Damon and I. Things had just been awkward since he had tried to kiss me, and instead of trying to patch things between us I just let our relationship expire.
"Of course. Brett wasn't exactly all homophobia and ass-hole-ry. He reminded me a little of you – before all of his craziness," Hunter paused.
I didn't know if his words were meant to be a compliment, but they scared me. Brett Lamontagne reminded Hunter of me? I didn't want to be like Brett at all. I didn't want to become the monster that he had become.
"He was hilarious and chill, a little shy too. Then he realized the power that he had and the secret that he had to hide. He just got horrible, and now there's no point in hanging out with him." Hunter and I finally saw Holiday, who looked like he was talking to himself until I saw his black iPhone pressed to his ear.
"It's sad," I muttered. "How good people just become . . . something else. I feel bad for Nate." I didn't add the fact that I felt sorry for Brett too.
Hunter punched me softly in the shoulder. "Don't be sad. Something good came out of this situation; our friendship. You saved me, you know?"
"Me?" I croaked, absolutely surprised. Who was I to be saving anyone?
"Yes you. I wanted Brett to go back to the way he was in grade eight. Obviously things aren't that easy. I wanted to leave but I had nobody to hang out with. You were my ticket out."
Sheepishly, I smiled at Hunter. As we approached Holiday's car we realized it was empty. He was pacing back and forth on the side walk with his phone to his ear. He said nothing but listened, walk back and forth and mumbled the occasional yeah.
Hunter and I settled into the back of the car waiting patiently for Holiday. "What are you going to do with the video?" I asked.
"I'm going to download it onto the computer and then put it onto two USB keys. One will stay at home as a back-up and I'll carry the other around to threaten Brett with it." Hunter said.
Holiday looked completely distraught. Who could he have been talking to? Perhaps it was his mother? He had often told me that she was an incredible pain in the ass, and that her collagen enhanced mouth was pregnant with negative phrases. At the same time I was worried that it was Piper he was talking to, and that didn't set me at ease at all.
I wouldn't be surprised if she wanted Holiday back. Of course she would want him back. They didn't expire because they had gotten into a fight or someone had cheated. They ended because Holiday stopped having feelings for her and just decided to break it off. Of course she would still have feelings for him.
Holiday hung up the phone and opened the driver's side. "So how did things go? I bet they were good. You guys look content," Holiday droned. He wasn't exactly in a good mood but he was trying to be happy for us.
"It was just what we needed," Hunter said, and that simply summed up everything.
Holiday followed orders exceptionally well because he managed to drop of Hunter quickly and without managing to get lost. Then Holiday and I headed back to the movie theatres. On the drive there I asked him about why he looked so worried.
"It's Piper. She's . . . upset to say the least. She's mad that I'm dating you and I told her that she can't tell me to do anything anymore. We're not even dating anymore. I don't know why she's trying to run my life," said Holiday. "Let's go see a movie, shall we? We can watch anything, but it would be better if it was old so there would be no one in the theatre."
And we did. We paid our tickets for The Tooth Fairy and waltzed into the empty movie theatre. We raced up the stairs to the seats in the back of the theatre – which I considered the best ones. They gave the most perfect view of the screen as well.
Holiday and I settled into the seats and held hands. We kissed for half of the movie and then we watched the rest – if you can even call it that. We were making fun of the movie and pretend to talk as the characters and that made it all the more interesting.
When the movie was done, we bought popcorn and ate it in the car ride home. Part of me wondered if Holiday was ever going to tell me everything that he and Piper talked about, and then the other part of me knew that whatever happened between them was between them – not including me.
We made out until I felt sure that I was about to compromise my innocence and then he finally dropped me off at home. In a way I felt a little bad for working Holiday up so much only to let him down. I liked making out and I thought it was fun. We could have fun without doing anything major, didn't we?
I should have been happy and excited; when I got back to school Brett wouldn't be bothering me anymore and I could spend a whole week going out with Holiday and hanging out with Hunter. But I felt strangely empty. Holiday wasn't exactly happy and that bothered me. And the whole fiasco with Brett was gnawing at my brain. I couldn't get over the fact that Brett was not only a closeted gay, but he had humiliated Nate in the most degrading and dehumanizing way ever. How could I ever forget something like that?