A/N: Hah, I edited this chapter today, because I'm bored and thinking about writing a sequal and trying to get input on AIM from friends who aren't responding promptly. Well, I think this version is better, more detail, less confusion on who is talking, nothing's really changed at all though, so you don't have to reread it, if you even notice it's updated!!
A brown haired teenager strode purposefully across the crowded cafeteria amidst annoying chatter of incredibly annoying teenagers. A tray full of toxic food clattered onto the puke green cafeteria tabletop. "From now on, you will address me as James," a slight teenager announced.
Three pairs of eyes looked at him, demanding further explanation. Or if they weren't, well too bad, because that's what they were going to get. "My parents think, they had the nerve, the audacity, to think that me, their only son, the fruit of their loom is," and here would be a great place for a drum roll but he would have to settle for a dramatic pause. "….gay!" Done with the theatrical performance, he looked expectantly at his friends.
Those same three sets of eyes suddenly found their lunch and homework far more interesting. "Well…Jamie-" his blond friend started.
"James," he corrected.
"Right, James," she drawled. "You do have a tendency to act a bit….um, how shall I put this."
"-Queer. You act gay. You're wearing a pink belt for god's sake!" Drew pointed out in a rather blunt way. He was the only male at the table. Besides Jamie, but then, he really didn't want to hear their take on that at the current moment.
"That's irrelative. My mother thought it would look cute," Jamie explained. He frowned at the incredulous looks on his friends' faces. "What?"
"Sit down Jami-James. Let us eat our lunch in peace, we'll humor you later," Drew said.
"What do you mean, humor me? There's nothing to humor! I'm not gay!" he hissed, jaw clenched.
"That's right honey, you're not gay. You shouldn't feel the need to label yourself. You are your own person," Deborah chimed in, her long brown hair pulled back in a out of date side ponytail.
"James is still a pretty gay name," Ashley added, twirling a piece of her blonde hair.
"A name can't be gay," Deborah corrected, both of them momentarily ignoring Jamie. "Does a name have attraction to another name? If you're speaking Spanish does it say, I'm attracted to this name because it's masculine, I want to jump its bones? I don't think so. You shouldn't be so closed minded."
"Could you stop talking like I'm not here?" he snapped. Both girls looked at him, clearly annoyed their discussion was interrupted. "And being gay isn't just about wanting to fuck someone who's the same gender of you!"
"You know what? This conversation is going places I don't want to be. I think I'd rather sit with Vicky. Besides, how do you know what being gay is about James?" Drew mocked. Leaving the table, he strode across the cafeteria, throwing himself into a chair next to a bubbly girl.
"Obviously there's more to being gay than wanting to screw something. I mean, there's more to being straight than wanting to screw every girl you set your sights on, right?" Jamie asked. Ashley had also decided to ignore their conversation and was back to copying someone's homework onto her own sheet.
"You're asking us? That won't get you anywhere. And shouldn't you know?" Deborah questioned. The brunette glared at the girls.
"Of course I know! I was just asking so you'd feel included in my stressful situation! If you're not going to support me in my quest to prove the extent of my heterosexuality, then who needs you?" he grumbled.
With a dramatic flair that he used quite often, Jamie stormed across the cafeteria, throwing his food away. His tray was tossed on the tray collector thing before storming through the double doors.
"Think he'll get over himself any time soon?" Ashley asked, taking a bite out of her burger.
"This is a tough time in his life, coming to terms with his sexual identity. We've had years to get used to it, this must be quite a shock for him. We should just give him some time; he'll understand he's still the same person eventually."
Ashley stared at her. "You do realize this whole situation is completely backwards, don't you?" she asked. Deborah shrugged. "Right, what was I thinking? Jamie never does anything the normal way."
"Do you think he's realized the fact that his full name isn't James, it's Jamie?" Deborah wondered, twirling a fry in ketchup.
"Fucking friends, some help they are," Jamie muttered. He had ended up at his locker, a place he often tried to avoid.
He attempted again, in vain, to extract his books from the beast. That would have been easier if the aforementioned contraption would open. "Oh, I see, you're in on it too, aren't you? It's a conspiracy to ruin my life and now you, my loyal locker, has taken a stand against me!" Not that it didn't all the time.
"You're turning the knobs the wrong way," someone offered. Jamie yelped, taking a step back from the green locker.
"Yo-you talk?" he asked, dumbfounded.
"You're and idiot. Lockers can't talk," the mysterious and insulting voice replied.
This time, the sixteen year old spun around, locating the actual speaker. A fair headed teenager was grinning at him and rolled his eyes once he saw he had Jamie's attention.
"I resent that. I am not an idiot. I'm having a bit of a bad day! And who are you to say lockers can't talk? You don't know them! Actually, scratch that last statement."
Scowling, Jamie turned his back on the intruder, hiding the fact that he was turning the dial the way he had been instructed. He growled when it clicked open on the first try. "Argh! You're in on it too, aren't you? You're helping them out with their latest goal: Ruin Jamie, no, James Lazlo's day in five easy steps!"
"Uh, no. You were just in my way," the instigator pointed out. Jamie, deciding it would only be fair to remain at his locker and irritate the newcomer in revenge, did just that. "So what are the five easy steps?" Mr. Stranger questioned.
The brunette looked at him in confusion, blinking stupidly. "Wha?"
"You said someone was out to ruin your day in five easy steps. What are they?" Now that he thought about it, he didn't really know. Five was just a number thrown out there. Four seemed too few and six was too close to ten, and he probably couldn't come up with six steps anyway.
"They began the assault this morning," Jamie started, pulling a story together as he went along. Something he was quite accomplished at. "in my own home. The two people I formally delighted in calling my parents barraged me with accusations, none of which are true, might I add!"
"Right. Uh, again, you're in my way. I do have a class to get to after lunch is over." Jamie moved so he could pass, unsure of whether or not he should follow. Oh hell, he should at least be given the opportunity to finish spilling his sad tale to some complete and utter stranger. "I take it you're going to continue your dramatic story telling?" said stranger asked.
"Right, so, where was I?" Jamie pondered. Not that he didn't know, it just seemed the right thing to say in such a situation.
"Apparently your parents were accusing you of something, the nerve of those people," the taller boy said more than a little sarcastically. If Jamie noticed the mockery he ignored it.
"Exactly. So, after I stormed to my room, I proceeded to get dressed, something I'm more than able to do myself. Then my mother, that evil creature, walks in," he began, only to have his tale interrupted.
"While you're getting dressed?"
"No, no, I was dressed by then. That would be creepy," Jamie said, shuddering purely for effect. The blond boy was silently laughing, this action also going unnoticed by Jamie. "Anyway, she hands me this belt, which I have to admit, looks good on me, but then, what doesn't. I digress. You know, that's probably the most common phrase people use to make other people think they're smart. Ah, I'm doing it again."
They arrived in an art room and Jamie sank onto a stool, talking while the blond collected things from various shelves. He continues his woeful story while the stranger sets up his supplies to, Jamie assumed, paint or some such arty thing.
"She tells me, 'Oh, this would look so cute dear.' I'm sixteen years old, I'm more than able to pick out my own clothing, but noooo. Not that this really ruined my day, but I pretended it did at first. Then she tells me, 'it'll really help you express your inner self'."
The other teenager couldn't help it by this point, he started laughing. His head hit the table the pair was seated at and he continued all but giggling. "Go on, don't let me stop you," he choked out in between his bursts of laughter.
Jamie scowled but did as told instead of complaining. Well, he was kind of complaining anyway. "So I stormed out of the house at that point. Then I get to school and my friends, instead of, oh, I don't know, siding with me, they tell me my parents are right!" Jamie cried. The other teen was biting his lip, successfully stopping himself from laughing outright for a second time.
"They use the belt as evidence! Then, Drew, the bastard, leaves the table, claiming the conversation has become too disturbing for him. Ashley and Deborah don't secretly side with me after he leaves, no, they continue going on about how he's right. Then, I left, stalked to my locker, and it wouldn't open. And the rest, as they say, is history."
"I don't think that's exactly what they mean when they say that, but alright. So…your parents accuse you of something, your mother makes you wear a belt you really like but pretend you don't. Your friends then side with your parents. And then your locker is mean to you. That's four things. Three things really, because the locker thing really was your fault," the strange boy pointed out, still looking incredibly entertained.
Jamie scowled. "I don't think-What's your name?"
The blond raised an eyebrow. Only one. Not two like a normal person. How Jamie hated that one eyebrow thing. "Took you a while to ask. But it's Jeremy," he supplied.
He nodded as if he had known this all along. "Right, well, Jeremy, I don't think I like you very much," Jamie said matter-of-factly.
"Glad to know you spend your time complaining to people you don't like," Jeremy returned. He was already adding more lines to a half complete drawing, not looking disturbed by Jamie's declaration in the least. "What were your parents accusing you of, anyway?"
"They, for some unknown reason, think that I'm gay," Jamie informed him. This time, the blond, no, Jeremy, dissolved into laughter again. Before Jamie could even get one retort in the bell rang. "No, I defiantly don't like you," he snapped. To the sounds of chuckling, he left the room. No, he stalked from the room. "What is it with people today?" he wondered aloud.