-6- Seventh Grade Bullshit

WARNINGS: If you haven't read the original, read this: I apologize for not saying anything earlier, but this contains rape (of the non-graphic sort), drug use, alcohol use, and self-injury. If you can't handle it/don't feel comfortable with such topics, I completely understand if you stop reading.

I fixed what sentences MSWord told me were fragments on my own, because I have no beta. Excuse any horrible mistakes, once again, I have no beta and therefore don't have the eye of one. –hinthint- And I apologize. You'll know why if you read it.

---

There's something wrong with seniors everywhere, at least in my school. The people in my choir class just stare at me when I open the door, and I swear to god, my breath fucking echoes.

"Um...nice to see you, too," I say sarcastically. Where's Raymond? I only saw him for ten minutes before he ran off, scared look on his face.

I take my seat and shift uncomfortably. They're not even trying to hide their staring, and the choir teacher could even help me out at this point. The girl sitting next to me finally taps my arm and I turn to look at her. "What?"

"Is it true?" she asks softly, pulling her hand away. I raise an eyebrow in question. "Is it true that you're a fag?" Oh, Christ. Are you kidding me?

"Go fuck yourself. Who cares if it's true?" I snap back at her, and turn forward, hearing the girl gasp in shock. Ha. Bitch. I search for the choir teacher, and seeing none, growl. "Is this idiot day or something? Where the hell is our teacher?"

"She had a dentist appointment today, we're left to do nothing," some quiet kid in the corner replies. He doesn't even look up from what he's doing, just sits there, drawing or writing or whatever it is he's doing on his arm. It's a shame they don't make paper. I feel like telling him that, but he hasn't done anything to me, so instead, I pick up my backpack and head out to the library. Maybe I won't get stares there.

---

Time drags and drags and drags on until lunch, where I meet up with everyone, except for Rachel. Being that I still have no idea where she's at or what she's doing, and I'm still not on good terms with her, I don't even bring her up. Mikey, Noah, Ray, and Julie are already sitting, whispering quietly to each other. Glaring, I take my seat next to Ray, and clear my throat. "Sharing secrets?"

Mikey glances across to Noah before saying "You've got to talk to Rachel,"

I have a 'ha-ha-ha-ha-serious' moment and glare at Mikey. "Why should I?"

"Because I don't think you're immature and I also think that you shouldn't hate her, considering you've been best friends for ages,"

"I don't care. She was being a bitch. I'm not going to take that just because she's my friend,"

"See?" Mikey says, pointing a finger at me. "She's your friend. Talk things over,"

"With Rachel, things always blow over alone,"

"But--,"

"End of conversation."

"Ryan..."

"I'm not talking to her." I say, glaring at Mikey. He finally shrugs, and I feel even worse for not hearing him out, but it's too late to go back now. Raymond doesn't even look at me. Actually...he hasn't even looked at me yet today. "Hey," I say, nudging him with my elbow. He looks up at me. "What's up?"

He doesn't even have to say anything, because the shadow that drapes across the table answers for me. "Hey. You're the fag,"

I close my eyes and look up at the group of people standing by us. "What?" I ask, confused. Why the sudden realization that I'm gay? And how'd it get out? And why did it get out?

"I said that you're the fag. It's been going around school all day," Great – the rumors. Just what every senior year needs.

"Fuck off."

"Yeah, I bet you'd like that. Go receive." he leaves, clearly satisfied with my answer, and I turn to Raymond.

"What's going on?"

"Our date, it got out somehow, it's been circling around the school all morning," he mumbles quietly, and I wonder if he's just as pissed off as I am.

"Can't you do anything about it?"

"It's a rumor, how can I stop it? People are going to talk no matter what we do, even if we fight in the middle of the cafeteria, we're still going to be called on it,"

I'm not pissed at Raymond. I'm not. But I can't help the anger flaring up. "I'm going home. Fuck this. I'm not going to take a replay of seventh grade when I only have nine months of high school to go. I'll see you guys later," I storm out of the cafeteria, and though I can hear someone following me, I don't turn around.

I get outside, rain pounding against the ground. Wow, I really chose a good day to skip school, didn't I? "Ryan!"

"What, come to make fun of me again?" I yell in response, pulling my hood over my head and stuffing my hands in my pockets.

"Ryan, just come here." a hand grabs my wrist and tugs me backwards, into a hug. "I know this isn't the norm for seniors, but you've just got to plow through it,"

"I can't do that, not when I have reminders constantly coming up to me and asking if it's true," I push him away. Just because I'm dating a guy doesn't mean I want the entire school to know that I'm gay. Though...kissing in public on Saturday probably didn't help my cause that much. Jesus, what have I gotten myself into?

Raymond pulls me to him again, and I attempt to fight against him, but his grip is tighter and I'm a fucking wuss anyway. "Look. They don't know it's true right now. Right now, they're just listening to the rumors. You can deny it if you're not comfortable having everyone know. I'm okay with that. You need your privacy, and I completely understand," he pulls back and looks down at me. Inspecting me, or searching me for…Something. He sighs when I don't say anything and lets me go. "I'll call you in a while, okay?"

"You...my number..." I mutter, sticking my hands back in my pockets. He smiles and nods, pulling a slip of paper from his pocket.

"I looked up 'Martin' and then your address. Go home. We'll talk later," he waves me away before heading back into the school. There's something completely odd about him, and it frustrates me a little because I fucking can't read him and I want to. Why I had to be attracted to someone with his feelings wrapped in chains is beyond me. I can only hope it'll be worth it.

---

My mother asks me why I'm home early, but I just shake my head and head upstairs. It's not like she'll bother me, because she never has in the past, and...Come to think of it, she's more caught up in her and dad's problems than her own.

Falling on my bed, I bury my face in a pillow, which smells oddly like incense, tickling my nose. I sneeze and toss the pillow to the floor, rolling onto my back, grateful for my blackout shade/curtain things. It's always nice to have a dark room to head into when I feel like this, even though it brings back memories.

I turn again, rustling through my bedside table until I find it. It's kind of obvious as to what it is, and I've always felt immature whenever I say it, bring it up, or do it, because...I don't know. It's stereotypical to those that look like I do.

I toss it back in the drawer without even giving it more thought and turn over, kicking off my shoes as I block out any thoughts on the morning.

---

My mother wakes me up sometime later, and though she has to wake me up, I still deny that I was sleeping - naturally. "Ryan, hey, it's someone named Raymond," I stumble for the phone across the sea of clothing and CDs scattered around my floor and push her out, rushing downstairs and outside as soon as I can.

"Hello?" I say, finally out of earshot. This has got to be suspicious, but I don't care. I don't want her overhearing me, for any reason. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't want her overhearing me even if I was talking to a girl. Privacy thing, I guess.

"Feel any better?" I sigh softly, closing my eyes.

"No," I say. I'm not sure if I'm lying or if I'm telling the truth. Either way, I'll get his attention. I can hear my mother open the door, and I wave her away. He's silent for a few moments, but that's okay. Mom would overhear him anyway. She's got ears like a hawk. Does that even work? She takes the hint and leaves, thank God.

"You want me to come over?" I shake my head, and stutter over a 'no' as soon as I realize that he can't see me do so.

"No, no, no...You don't have to...I..." I'm silent for a few minutes, just listening to him breathing. Jesus, now I feel like a stalker.

"You want to come over here?" that's weird for me, for some unknown reason. I don't know. I want to say yes, but Mom would have my fucking ass if I went over there, considering I came home early.

"Yeah...if that's alright with you," I whisper, staring across my lawn to his house. Jesus. He's right over there, and yet he decided to call me on the phone. Why?

"Yeah…Of course it is. Why wouldn't it be?" I swear to fucking god, if I wasn't feeling horrible, his words alone could melt me. "Give me ten minutes and you're free. Dad's not home either, so, you know, don't feel like you have to hold up an image,"

"Okay," I wouldn't hold an image anyway, but okay. "Alright…I'll be right over."

---

There's always this revelation moment when I'm in a relationship, and they both fall into one of two categories, the bad and the good. The good revelation moments is when I start thinking that whoever I'm dating isn't going to just screw me over, and is actually dating me because they feel that I could be the one. The bad revelation moments are the ones I realize that I'm in a horrible relationship, kind of like the ones I've had with Jade. Actually, there's a third – the absolutely horrible, which are also the Double Revelation moments. I think at first that it's going to be amazing, and then – bam! – three months later, I'm a complete mess, all because I thought it was something completely different.

I get the good revelation with Raymond, though it's more of a 'he kind of actually gives a shit' rather than the whole The One thing. And isn't it funny how, after a certain age, we're all intent on finding The One, in some way or another, whether it's through one-night-stands or through real dating?

I'm lying with him on his couch, wondering how the hell we're so close with only one date under out belts…For that matter, I'm not even wearing a belt. I briefly wonder where the saying came from as Ray starts to drag his fingers through my hair.

"You don't think we're moving too…fast, do you?" his words break through the silence and I blink a few times before shaking my head.

"No. Do you?" he shakes his head and we fall back into silence, my mind on a totally different track now. I've always been partial to moving fast, that's no surprise, but it's always gotten me into some sort of problem, somehow.

We lie like that for a while before I realize it's close to ten o'clock and I should get home. Raymond walks me to the door, hand in hand, before kissing me, pulling away with a smile. "I'll see you tomorrow?" I nod, smiling back at him though I don't really see a reason.

I drag my feet as I walk back home, completely put out, and tired. I feel like I should curl up in a ball and sleep the rest of my life off, but I feel like it's going to be half-ass decent for the next while. I sigh when I find that the door has been locked, and that no one comes to my rescue when I knock.

Raymond's house might have been a nice place to stay, considering that I'm locked out of my house. I work my way to my window before pulling off the screen and climbing in, landing with a loud 'thump' on my floor.

I contemplate lying there until morning, but the soft comfort of my own bed is too much for me and besides, I have things to do and homework to forget about before I can fall asleep.

And besides, I'm not that big of a fan of spiders – especially not when they seem to like my floor. When I was younger, I was told that they'd crawl into your mouth if you had it open because they liked moist places. Imagine how that could scar a kid.

I sigh, stand up, walk out of my bedroom to the bathroom, brush my teeth, take a quick shower, and fall back into bed before realizing I never checked my email. It happens, and even though I'm on a strict schedule that I only check it once or twice a week – due to the fact that I never have anything really vital in there – I don't always pay attention to it. Strict my ass.

I fumble for the blankets, having felt cold since I left Raymond's couch, and sigh again. I don't feel like I belong here. But there's only nine months of school and I'm free to leave.

It's not that I don't like my parents, it's just that I want to leave, to start out on my own. I want to create a life of my own, with new people and without being looked down upon because I'm still a student in high school, without being looked down upon because I'm into guys or because I look like I should be older.

I fall asleep with false hopes of the future in mind, and don't dream.

Chapter seven - 'The Friend Zone Part One': The party Mikey was talking about in chapter four. Noah realizes his true feelings, pretty much.