I bet you thought that was the end of my story didn't you? Yah me to, or at least I hoped it was, but then again, since when has anything gone my way.
It has been a whole glorified three week's since I have dumped Wes, yes, before you say anything, I broke up with him because I decided he was a cheating bastard…
The football players still have a vendetta against me, proven by the blossoming bruise on my left shoulder from when some meathead shoved me out of his way. The track team is still treating me as if I have some highly contagious disease, with the exception of Derek who has decided that he feels guilty for ruining my life. And Donalee, well… we… cope, which is my nice way of saying that we have mutually agreed that ignoring each other is the best road to take at this point.
I shake my head clear of thoughts as I walk to the lunch line, oh the joys of mystery meat and processed cheese, I mentally muss as I make a beeline to the snack counter, which is only slightly more healthy than the regular lunch but oh so much more pretty to look at.
Once I purchase my miniature bag of beef jerky, chips and soda, I scope out the lunchroom for an empty table, which surprise! Was not there. It was only then that I cast a disdainful look towards the courtyard, which was covered thinly with a powdery snow.
I sigh, before walking outside, at least here I will not have to pathetically pretend I'm busy doing something important like the homework I had forgotten to do, after all, homework is more important that having an active social life.
I walked passed the tables to the old swinging bench that students aren't normally allowed on, but I figure that the school would have to pay the teachers a lot more to care about who was on the bench in this weather, they would rather pretend to not see me than brave the cold.
I brushed off the snow from the bench before slinging my backpack on the bench and sitting next to it with one of my legs neatly tucked under my bottom to prevent a wet spot later on. It was only now that I thanked God that this area was not visible from the cafeteria, so I would not have to worry about homophobic thugs for at least this lunch.
I set my bag of jerky and soda on my backpack before opening my chips, ummm junk food, my favorite part about school, but that is also one of the side effects of having an overbearing family.
I reached in the bag, carefully selected a chip and ate it without abandon, and for a second I almost thought about laughing out loud, I had an entire class period to eat my lunch and enjoy the silence.
I closed my eyes as I let out a sigh, it was only then that I heard the hushed whispers and stifled giggles, but by the time I jerked my head to find the perpetrators, a ball of wet, cold snow collided with my face.
"What the-" I started but stopped when the intensity of the wet snow fell over me, and in an act to somehow ride myself of this sensation I jumped to my feet, or… I tried to jump to my feet, but this a feat more easily said than done, especially when… just moments before I had my left foot curled protectively under my bottom.
To say it simply, in my plight to escape the coldness of the well-aimed snowball, I did not land on my feet. And to my disdain my chips did not survive the fall either, they were now colorfully decorating the snow.
"Oh shit," from the pathetic heap that was me, my ears perked at this voice, followed instantly with the feeling of lead being dropped in my stomach, yes the pity party has arrived.
The next moment I could feel two hands firmly pulling me off the ground, this caused me to whip around and throw a nasty glare at Wes before turning back to his, 'not-so-publicly-known-boyfriend'.
"Derek you DICK!" I all but screamed, yes screamed, at this point I could care less if I sounded like a girl, I was wet, angry and out for revenge.
Derek put up his hands in a mock attempt to call a truce, but my pride was far to hurt to give up with out any sort of redemption. I took this moment to reach down scoop a large amount of snow from while it had been piled into a bank and threw it at the man-devil.
For a second there, Derek almost look scared as the ball of packed snow went flying towards him, but this only lasted a second before the ball fly past him and landed in a far off area that I hadn't aimed for. Seeing this both Wes and Derek burst out laughing.
I bit my lip and decided that I had had enough of this; I mean one person could only take so much. I walked over to my stuff, scooped up my lunch and my bag, before starting in the opposite direction.
Wes and Derek didn't follow me, they had tried the first few times they had come to visit me in their attempt to make amends for my pathetic life (that they had ruined), but that hadn't ended well. I'll spare you the details, because no matter how I look at it, it still seems pathetic, even with me trying to justify my actions.
I took the long way around the building so I could take refugee in the library with out to many people noticing me, and of course so I could avoid Wes and Derek. As I entered the building a rush of warm air enveloped me making a shudder pass through my body and the feeling returned to my limbs.
I walked down the hall and enter through a pair of double doors that marked the entrance of the library.
I was about to make my way to the back of the library when the old woman behind the desk spoke, "Excuse me, you can't have food or drinks in the library," she bluntly stated and waited for me to put my beef jerky and soda in my backpack.
After I was done, I looked back up at her for a nod or some gesture of approval; the lady had a scowl on her face and did not look to inclined to let me go, but finally nodded. With a smile I moved to the back of the library, where I located a table on which I could do my homework, which I had been neglecting lately.
I pulled out my anatomy and physiology and flipped to the section that we were on and started doing the end of the chapter questions. I only had to do the multiple choice, (which had the answers in the back) and the first six short answer questions, it really wasn't that much, and if I could get it done, I could probably ask my teacher really nicely to accept it late.
Encouraged by this, I flipped to the back and copied down the correct answers to the corresponding multiple choice questions…don't judge me, I'm not going to sit here and actually work them out when the answers are right in front of me.
With this down, I flipped back to my place and started on the rest of my homework, only six more questions; I smiled a little at this.
"Is this seat taken?" I looked up at the offending voice, wondering who would dare risk their reputation to sit with me, only to find Donalee smiling down at me. This was clearly violating our unspoken terms of coexistence, and he knew this.
I opened my mouth to respond, but no sound came out so I merely nodded, for a lack of anything better to do. I looked back down at my homework as I became unconsciously aware of how Donalee sat across from me and started pulling out some of his homework.
I was almost waiting for my former friend and teammate to say something as I filled in each question, one by one, but he didn't. This made me relived.
Donalee didn't ask any pestering questions of how I was doing, or how I was handling a life where everyone seemed to hate me; he didn't say 'I told you so' or bring up Wes in any way. He didn't mention what happened before he quit the track team and he didn't apologize profusely like he had been doing ever since the incident.
In short, it was nice, not having to sit alone.
I didn't take long for me to finish my homework; in fact, I would probably have enough time to turn it in before lunch was over. I sighed in relief as I started packing up my books, when I was done; I looked up to see Donalee looking at me. I smiled awkwardly as I grabbed my backpack and stood to leave.
"Hey Adrian," Donalee's voice came, I sighed, I knew we couldn't have an encounter without saying something weird regarding what happen when I was going out with Wes.
"Yah," I replied as I looked back at him.
"Are you going to be in tomorrows track event?"
"Yah," I replied, taken slightly aback. Oh yah, I guess I forget to mention, the couch was surprisingly forgiving the other day when he claimed he had changed his mind and that I was going to the meet, but that also probably has to do with Derek's new opinion of me.
"Is it alright it I come and watch?" Derek asked as he looked up at me with a hopeful look, catching me, once again off guard.
I smiled at him, remembering how much he loved track, it must have been hard for him to quit like that out of the blue, "I don't think the coach will mind."
Donalee was silent for a moment before he spoke, "No, I meant is it alright with you," Donalee was looking down now, as he played with the ends of his paper, in a nervous manner.
I stared at him for a moment, before I realized he was trying to earn my trust back, little by little, and for a second I wanted to demand that he stayed away from me, but only a second.
Wes and Derek in their attempt to make up for what they did explained a few things concerning Donalee. First, Derek told me that way back when, Donalee had been accused of being gay, which was why he stole my essay, in a defiant way to prove his straightness. Which totally doesn't excuse what he did, but at least he had a reason that didn't involve wanting to make my life miserable. And secondly, Wes told me what he and Donalee had been discussing the day that they had gotten into a fight which still doesn't excuse him for slapping me… or molesting me, but at least I know that at first he was concerned about me being involved with Wes, when he apparently knew that Wes had been previously dating Derek.
I guess I was so worried about my problems at the time I never took the initiative to care what Donalee's side of the story was.
"Yah, you can come," I finally said, as I smiled down at Donalee, who looked up with a smile on his lips that I hadn't seen in a long time.
I turned slightly red as I awkwardly sought out what to do next, I could leave, which seemed a little insensitive when Donalee was trying so hard to make amends, or I could continue talking to him, which would be kind of weird being that no topics of discussion popped into my head.
"So…" I started making me want to kick myself mentally. Nothing ever good comes out of a conversation that starts with 'so…', my face started turning red as the silence carried on, apparently Donalee was waiting for me to say something. "I-I have to go," I said hurriedly before turning on my heel and leaving.
Oh yah, its all about compromise, I said something… and then left. As I walked towards the science wing to turn in my homework, I mentally mused about how I was the master of compromise, and if there were a king of compromise, I would defiantly be it.
After a small lecture on the importance of being responsible, my anatomy and physiology student teacher finally released me from his lair. I'm not sure if I have told you or not but he is really good looking, and being in the same room as him… alone is not good, especially if your face gets as red as mine does, I'm surprised that he didn't ask if I was constipated or something equally embarrassing.
Just as I started looking for a place to eat my lunch, the bell rang, I inwardly groaned, as I readjusted my path to the direction of my next class, which thankfully, was not that far away.
When I reached the classroom, I walked inside and took my seat. There was about five or six people already there making me wonder if they ran to class just to make sure no one took their spot.
I sat in a desk that was towards the back and watched as the other students pilled in. from my vantage point at the back of the classroom, I observed my classmates, namely the boys, taking notice of the details that I hadn't before. I secretly wondered if there were any other gay guys in my class, and if so how I found out, I could always ask them, but I couldn't imagine that going over well.
Finally the bell rang and the class settled in for a boring lecture, and after this one there would be another. And to spare you from the boredom I suffered, I will tell you that track was also boring.
People still avoided me in the locker rooms, but that was fine… I guess, the couch was still demonic, and Derek was still acting like my best friend. But at least that only lasted till the ninth lap, there is a reason after all why Derek is not a long distance runner.
At home, things had finally become less tense, being that my mom had finally convinced herself that the present that had been mysteriously left outside the door was accidentally delivered to the wrong house. Now she commonly discussed the unreliability of postal services today.
To keep the awkwardness at bay, I failed to remind her that the present was found in the living room, not outside of the front door, and of course that the present wasn't in a postal box to begin with.
When dinner was finished I excused myself and thankfully retreated to my room. After closing my door, I walked across the room and jumped onto my bed, picking up the newspaper that was lying on it and started looking it over.
Surprisingly, my mom had agreed when I asked her if I could get a job, now all that was left was finding one that was within walking distance and would pay well. In case your wondering, my mom is still against getting me a car, but I'm starting to think that has more to do with her not wanting to pay for it.
So far I have narrowed my search down to being a clerk at a hotel or some kind of sales person, but you know, being that I have never had a job before, I'll probably do anything as long as it has a decent pay check, I might even lower my standards and become a waiter, although I cringe to think of the pain it will cause my feet.
I pulled out a tablet and started copying down the address of each perspective job keeping in mind how far each of them were from my house, this might just be me, but I'm not willing to walk five miles to a job that only pays minimum wage, and then five miles back, call me lazy and I won't deny it.
After I finished this, I pulled out my homework, which I would have to give to my teachers before school due to the track meet that was looming in the near future, haunting me with its presence. I cringe to think of the impending doom that my teammates threaten if I were to loose… again, and this time Donalee will be watching. With that thought I instantly began to regret letting him come.
I shuddered with the thought as I get started on my homework, once that was done, I went to bed, I would need my sleep… and a good carbohydrate filled breakfast if I were to do good.
It wasn't until three hours later that I actually fell asleep.
The next mourning I was up by five, fed by six and out the door by six thirty. Twenty-five minuets later I arrived at school, I handed in my homework and was out at the field by seven fifteen.
No one was there yet, but then again, I was forty-five minutes early. I pulled out my CD player and sat down in the bleachers to wait, people would start showing up soon and I wanted to look as preoccupied as possible.
I pulled my jacket tighter and watched as people slowly migrated towards the field while trying to look like I wasn't watching… yah… no comment. But I will say that my efforts were almost not in vain, I say almost because Donalee was now making his way towards the bleachers that I occupied.
I quickly looked away, but the damage was already done. Donalee sat down next to me causing me to hold my breath as I silently fumbled with the volume of my CD player. I turned down to volume so I could hear what he said, but I kept my earphones on so he wouldn't know… I think this is starting to turn into a trend… crap.
"You know, their not as scary as you make them out to be," Donalee said quietly as he looked towards the track team that was huddled near the bench.
I didn't know what to say to that… well actually I did, I just didn't want to say it, because it made it seem like I was gay… but then again, I am gay.
"They don't think that you're gay," I said flatly as I looked away from my teammates.
"Adr-" Donalee started but was cut off by the horrid sound of coach Johnson yelling at the top of his lungs.
"GET YOUR ASSES OVER HERE LADIES," I suddenly felt like I was going to puke, I slowly got up, turned off my CD player, stuffed it into my bag and made my way towards the field with Donalee right behind me.
"TODAY WE ARE FACING OFF AGAINST FORMIDABLE ENEMIES…" the coach started and I immediately put my effort into ignoring him, being that I was probably the butt of all of his jokes. I went slightly red as I thought about that, normally I wouldn't mind so much, but I didn't want to …I don't know seem so … pathetic in front of Donalee.
After a long and tiring pep talk, people started filling onto the big bus of doom, as I slowly climbed the stairs I noticed that once again all of my teammates had formed their own groups, so I sat in the front…again.
I set my bag next to me and leaned against the window so it almost looked like I was trying to go to sleep; that is until someone moved my bag to the seat behind me and took its place. I looked over to see Donalee, and seconds later Derek's head appeared from behind me.
I shot Derek a glare that clearly said that I hadn't forgotten about the snowball incident, which only caused him to smile.
"Don't give me that look pip-squeak, I wouldn't have thrown it if you hadn't been so vulnerable," at that a devilish grin spread over his face that reminded me of Wes, which only served to deepen my scowl.
"Don't tell me you kick puppies to," I shot back at him before I had a chance to think over my words, and I almost cringed to, at the thought of him hitting me, but before I had the chance to laughter erupted from both Donalee and Derek.
Before I knew it I was laughing too, it was nice, talking to Donalee and Derek like we had been friends our entire lives, it seemed very… normal.
When we got to the high school that the meet was held at I almost didn't want to leave the bus, and now that I stand in front of Coach Johnson and the other teams coach, I wish that I hadn't.
The coach from the other team called for our attention before coach Johnson started listing the order of the events. First the coach listed the order of the field events, they were starting with pole vaulting, discus throw and shot put, followed by the triple jump, high jump and long jump, each located at different stations in the middle. While on the track, the ten thousand was first followed by the five thousand. After that would be the four hundred followed by the four hundred hurdles, the eight hundred, the fifteen hundred and finally the one and two hundred would be last, the one hundred on the right and the two hundred on the left. After announcing this, the coach briefly expanded on the behavior he expected from his team and the home team, and where the schedule would be posted if someone forgot when they would be competing.
I however, did not listen to this, because I was to busy contemplating my impending doom. I was running in the five thousand, which meant that I would be competing in the second event on the track. After the coach released us, I slowly made my way to the locker room and changed into my ugly green track uniform, with this done, I made my way to the bleachers and set down my stuff before going back to the track and stretching.
This is where Donalee and Derek found me, "Hey Adrian," Derek yelled even though I wasn't even three feet away from him before sitting down next to me, following him was Donalee.
I glared over at him, "what?" I asked as I took a moment to calm my nerves.
"You look like you're about to throw up," Donalee said offhandedly as he sat down next to Derek.
I glared at them as if they were the cause of my problems and just like that the conversation seemed to die away, I don't think I have ever been more grateful in my life. I don't know if its just me, but if they started with the 'dude don't worry, not even a Neanderthal could loose to these guys' talk, this would remind me all to much of last time, and how badly I lost...
I walked to the track, trying to locate a safe area to stretch, with Donalee and Derek following me like lost puppies. When I finally found a place that looked decent I plopped down on the ground and started stretching, after a minuet Derek joined me, followed soon by Donalee for whatever reason, I guess he just didn't want to be left out. Again I am reminded of just how hard it must have been for Donalee to quit track, poor guy.
Donalee and Derek started talking softly about random things, I listened a little, but for the most part I was off in my own world, thinking of all the things that could go wrong. By the time that the ten thousand was over, I was almost on the verge of tears.
I slowly got up, followed by Donalee and Derek who seemed to think that I was incapable of doing anything by myself, and took a deep breath, trying not the think about the way my hands seemed a little shaky. As we walked to the starting line, I noticed that people were starting to gather, all I wanted to do was run away, looking around I tried to devise a plan that was cunning enough to get me out of sight before my two body guards wised up to my antics. But woe is me, Donalee noticed, he always notices.
"Hey," he said to me, I looked at him like a deer caught in headlights. "I'll be waiting for you at the finish line," that's all he had to say and my plan fell apart at the seams. He was going to be waiting for me.
I scowled at him causing him to smile before ruffling my hair in a playful manner that seemed to instantly get rid of my nerves, darn him. Someone yelled for everyone to take their places, and just like that Donalee moved away from me. I felt like I was loosing the battle already, against the foes on either side of me who seemed so confident and sure of themselves.
"On your mark-
I paled as the people around me held their breath in anticipation of this infamous 'Go'.
I looked one more time to my side; Donalee and Derek were smiling at me, just at me. I felt like crying, like screaming, like... giving up before I could be disappointed again, but oddly, I just smiled back. I smiled, and a part of me was happy because it was only then that I realized that this time I wouldn't be running away. No, this time I was running towards something, towards Donalee.
I ran, because just around the bend I would see Donalee again, always just a little bit ahead of me, making me wonder, just how long I will be chasing him before I finally catch up?