Chapter Fifteen: Bite-Marks

Sunday March 28th 2010

Ryan Gabriel Tramblay

For the Invisible Boy, March breaks have always been odd. With no friends I usually spent my March break sleeping, cleaning the house and playing video games. This year was dramatically different.

Hunter and I hung out nearly every day going all over the place from the local Chapters to Square One. Then Holiday and I went on a bunch of dates, he even gave me a tour of Mississauga from the three-floored library at city hall, to Streetsville – the village inside Mississauga. Holiday, JJ (one of Holiday's friends), Hunter and I got together to get some volunteer hours which was helpful, because now Hunter and I have 20 hours each – so we only have 20 more to go.

The last time we were together Holiday confessed that he wasn't going to graduate this year. He was quite self-conscious about it because he thought that I was going to think he was a loser, but I didn't think that. Bad things happen to good people right? I was ecstatic because that meant that Holiday and I could spend one last glorious year together.

That Sunday night I slept as restlessly as the time that Brett was pursuing me. I flung myself from side to side in my bed like a fish trying to flap its way back into the water. I drank a glass of water and then got up to go to the bathroom two hours later.

"Dude, what's wrong with you?" TJ finally asked. "I was trying to sleep and all I could hear was the sound of your bedsprings creaking."

"I can't sleep!" I cried and then I regretted it a moment later. TJ jumped out of his own bed and then started to climb into mine. It's cute and infuriating that TJ thinks that most of my problems can be solved by him sleeping next to me like when we were babies. I wouldn't mind it so much if I didn't have to share a cover with TJ and if he didn't sleep so recklessly. Once we went to bed laying upright side by side and when I woke up he was upside down and his foot was in my face.

"Tell Taylor Jude all about it," TJ said.

"Bring your own cover and I'll let you stay," I ordered. TJ obeyed me and within a moment he was back in my bed.

"There's nothing wrong with me," I said my voice barely above a whisper. I didn't want to wake my parents, who would blaze up in anger over me and TJ being awake at 2:00AM. "I just can't sleep. I mean nothing's wrong. My life is actually great."

"Thanks for bragging," TJ said. There was an awkward silence until TJ pinched my cheek and chuckled. "I was joking. Things are actually looking pretty good for me too since I stopped seeing Duke. There's this grade eleven named Erik Milligan and I think he's interested in me!"

"I'm glad for you. I never liked Duke and you together. It didn't even seem like really liked you for you."

"Neither of us liked each other. I just liked Duke's body, but Duke really liked me. When I told him I wanted to stop . . . uh . . . hanging out he got so mad. He actually started crying. He said he thought that hooking up with me was going to make me want to stay with him and that made me feel like a total jerk. I mean, when did I turn into the ass-hole who uses someone for sex?"

I really had nothing to say. I had always heard about those douche-bag guys who use girls for sex and then just leave them but I had never thought I would befriend one, let alone be a brother to one. Everyone paints them as being horrible, but TJ wasn't a horrible person.

"Duke promised me that we weren't going to get our feelings involved, and then he flips the table on me and now I'm the bad guy." TJ sighed. "Anyway, Erik is so wonderful. He's really clever and his e-mails are sweet. He dropped off a bag of watermelon candies at the house yesterday because he knew how much I liked them.

"I told him about Kristoff, Greg and Duke and he doesn't even care. He says that's in my past and that I've got the capability to be in a good, stable monogamous relationship."

"Why would you bring up your exes?! Isn't it rule number one to never bring up your exes when you're trying to get with a new guy?"

"Shh! He told me about his exes too. We were sharing life stories and I just told him about my past," TJ giggled. "Do you know what I do when I can't sleep? I masturbate. It makes everything feel so much better."

"TJ, you are sooooo weird!" I said. My face was as red and as hot as a stove burner turned up to the max. I laughed; I had to. That's all you can do in awkward situations like those.

At the same time I knew what TJ meant. Sometimes, all you needed was that one good feeling and everything was set right. Before you do it, the bed feels tough and the pillows smell of mould – but after a few strokes? Oh, the bed was softer then down and the pillows were fragrant with the scent of sleep.

"Just do it. I'll go back in my bed. Or we could do a little back to back action-" TJ only stopped when I slapped him and we erupted in giggles. "Seriously, though. Just jerk off. You'll be better."

"I'm not going to do it just because you told me. And even if you go back into your bed, you're going to listen and that's weird."

"I'm not going to listen! Ryan, I don't care. I've heard you doing it before when I was pretending to sleep."

I was so shocked by this revelation I was speechless for a brief moment. "What is wrong with you!? This is DIFFERENT! I know you're listening now!"

TJ simply chuckled. "You're so cute when you're embarrassed. Go in the bathroom."

"You know I can't just go into the bathroom. Mom and Dad's room is directly across from the bathroom and if the light is on for more than five minutes Dad breaks open
the bathroom door," I protested.

"Are you gonna do it?" TJ asked excitedly. The whole bed shook when he rose from his pillow and sat upright in the bed. "I'll get you a sock."

"Don't get me one. I don't want to use one that you've touched. That's going to give me weird vibes. I'm going to the bathroom. If Dad asks about anything tell him that I've got the runs or something." I took off the comforter and shimmied out of bed.

I rummaged through my sock drawer until I found a thin men's dress sock which would be best for catching the mess, but thin enough to still get some feeling through. I was so desperate to sleep that I was willing to try TJ's crazy remedies.

"Here's your perfect fantasy body," TJ started to say and already I could tell that the next few sentences he was going to spout were going to be absolute rubbish. "A person with a double-D chest and the well-hung lower half of a man. You bisexuals like those sorts of things right?"

"Just go to sleep. We have school in six hours," I said, smiling at TJ's words. I carefully opened my door and tip toed into the bathroom. I didn't even bother flipping up the lid on the toilet seat and got to work.

Five minutes past and I thought back to the times when I was so new to jerking off that a few touches was all it took. Now I was seasoned, and I needed more to bring me to that desirable destination.

Two quick knocks sounded at the door. "Whosinthere?" Dad drawled, his voice thick with sleep. I could hear his footsteps outside of the bathroom and I stopped my strokes. It was far too awkward to try and do anything while I knew my dad was right outside of the door.

"Ryan's got the runs. That poutine didn't sit too well with him," TJ said coming to my rescue. I was so happy to have a brother like TJ who defended me even though he was a rarely sane.

"Lactoseintolerance," Dad grumbled. I heard more footsteps as he moved toward the master bedroom. Then came the sound of the door shutting and the sound of the bed groaning as Dad presumably climbed in.

I finished my task and tossed the sock in the hamper. Mom wouldn't think twice and she would simply toss the sock into the wash and in a day or two I would have a freshly washed dress sock folded up on top of my bed.

With a sleepy yawn I crawled over TJ and back into my bed. TJ was too right. My bones felt tired and longed for the embrace of the soft bed. The pillow enveloped my head with gentleness and the covers caressed my skin.

"See? Don't you feel so much better?" TJ said.

"I hate to admit it, but I feel so much better. You should come up with a home remedy book called Dr. Strange-bone's Taboo Remedies or something like that," I said snickering.

"I should!" TJ cried and we both chuckled one last time before we drifted into sleep.

Monday March 29th 2010

Ryan Gabriel Tramblay

When Mrs. Hale walked into her English class she was greeted with silence. Silence not created by the absence of her students or the politeness of her students, but rather because all of her students were trying to sleep.

"Get up, you lazy adolescents! You've had all week to sleep in early. Now's the time to get to work!" She exclaimed. We all groaned at her words and dragged ourselves into somewhat of a sleeping position.

The only thing good about today was the fact that it was a "Civvies day" and all of the students got to dress up in their normal clothes instead of their uniform. Hunter wore a black wife-beater under a plaid shirt and dark blue jeans. I wore a black and white Metric t-shirt with Emily Haines's beautiful visage on the front with that pair of red plaid jeans I bought at Hot-Topic and a pair of dark high tops.

Mrs. Hale read the attendance out loud today and when she called out "Brett Lamontagne?" there was no reply. All the rest of the Gang seemed to be there aside from Brett; their ringleader. Even Nate was there even though he wore dark purple bags beneath his eyes.

We had scared the mighty Brett Lamontagne. We had thrown him off of his horse so hard that he was terrified of us. He was probably too afraid to even face us in public.

Hunter nudged me excitedly and I nodded with a smile. Though in the quiet of my mind I wondered how bad Hunter and I had damaged Brett.

At lunch TJ's new object of affection actually sat with us. He looked a little too perfect. Smooth jaw, slicked back hair, pressed button up shirt and a white bow-tie. His
smile was so white and his teeth so neatly organized that he looked like he had false teeth.

When Erik smiled at TJ and he smiled back as they joked about doing mental quadratics I knew they were going to be one of the most powerful - and annoying couples - in the school.

Hunter and I ordered an extra-large pizza from Pizza Nova and had it delivered to our cafeteria to celebrate our victory over the forces The Gang. Half was topped with Hunter's favourite; anchovies, mushrooms, bacon, and pineapples and the other half had my favourites; mushrooms, chicken, and extra cheese. All of the people that sat at our table were able to eat the pizza from Travis to Everett.

We joked and laughed like never before. "Brett's not even here! That's how scared he is!" Hunter cried jovially as he gestured toward the popular table, which was silent in the absence of their king. Nate caught Hunter's eye for a brief moment before turning away in embarrassment.

"Where are you going?" I asked TJ as he rose up from the table. There was still fifteen minutes left of our lunch period and usually we spent it huddled around our table in the cafeteria. Where could TJ be going so early?

"To my locker, of course! Do you think I'm going to carry my science book around with me when I don't even need it? Everyone's going so you might as well come along," TJ replied. "Erik, come see my locker! I've got a whiteboard in there and you can write on it."

The whole entire table was going with them, or at least that's how it seemed. Hunter and I grabbed the last two slices of pizza – which had been saved for us as we are the ones who vanquished Brett once and for all – and followed them suite.

As we made our way down the hallway, we passed the communications technology classroom. It was the only room in the school that gave the school a façade of being rich. I mean how could an underfunded Catholic school afford to have a room full of cutting edge MacBooks and a photo-shoot area?

I was about poke Hunter in the shoulder to show him the computers when I realized that while I was gazing at the dark classroom the group had moved much farther ahead. Well, they weren't too far. I was sure I still had time to take a gander in the classroom without them getting too far.

I grabbed the door handle when something else pushed open the communications technology door and grabbed my hand. It had a tight grasp on my wrist, and before I could make so much as a scream I was dragged into the room.

I was lowered onto my knees, and a hand was clapped tightly over my mouth. My heart felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest. It was pounding so hard I could scarcely hear anything over its thrashing. Oh God, was this about to be one of those school murders? Didn't the school have cameras to detect these kinds of people?

"Ryan?" I heard the sound of Hunter's voice calling out for me.

"Don't answer!" The voice hissed. It was stretched thin with stress and was hoarse as though they had spent the day screaming. They grabbed the collar of my shirt and dragged me from the doorway and behind the long tarp-like material that made up the photo-shoot area.

It was only then that they released my mouth. The person tossed my backpack aside and they grabbed both of my hands behind me and held them together forcing me straight to the ground on my stomach.

"I told you I was going to get you back one day, didn't I?" It was then that I realized who my captor was. I heard the quick whooshing – the sound of Brett's uniform tie sliding out of his collar. He must have not realized today was civvies day and came in his uniform. In a moment I felt the soft silk of the tie being wrapped around my wrists, leaving me bound.

I drew in a breath to scream but Brett shoved his fingers so hard into my mouth I gagged. "Don't even think about screaming." He flipped me over so that I was looking up at him. His eyes were red rimmed as though he had been crying. "You think that you can just wrong me and get away with it?" His laugh was a single dry

I closed my eyes and waited for Brett's revenge. I waited for the feeling of his fist coming down into my face or the burn of his foot against my ribs, but nothing came. Only the feeling of Brett sitting on my hips and his breath on my lips.

"I don't want you because I think you're cute. I'm doing this to you to hurt you. You'll hurt as badly as I do," Brett said. His eyes were narrow slits between which I could glimpse the cold pieces of blue ice that were his eyes.

Instantly the knowledge of what Brett was planning on doing to me filled me with horrible dread. I had to get out of there. I might have even let Brett beat me up and because I felt guilty and Brett needed to vent his frustrations, but not this.

I thrashed and kicked my legs, but it was no good. Brett was sitting too high up on my body for my kicks to have ever reached him. He bent down and kissed my neck lightly before he bit into it with such strength I knew he had punctured the skin.

I howled in pure pain and Brett punched me hard for that. Right under the area that Bam Bam had punched, a new bruise was going to start to surface. Brett started to work on my fly when the lights in the room flickered on. Brett's eyes widened and I heard him take in a sharp gasp, only to slap his hand over his mouth and my own a moment later.

"Hol, are you sure we're supposed to be in here?" asked JJ. I had never been so happy to hear the voice of Holiday's best friend in all of my life. I prayed that they would round the corner and see Brett on top of me.

"We have class in like five minutes anyway. Besides, I need to take one last photo before I can enter that photography competition. Let me take a picture of your bare shoulders," came Holiday's voice.

"Get outta here!" JJ cried. "What would Ryan say if he heard you say that?"

"I'm not flirting, I'll shoot it in sepia with a plain background and it's going to look all artsy-fartsy," Holiday said with a giggle. "Okay, take a picture of my bare feet then."

"No! Why would I take a picture of your bare feet? HOLIDAY NO! Don't take off your – Aw, man! Now the whole place smells like broccoli and cheese." JJ and Holiday laughed at this. I heard the sound of Holiday's shoes hitting the floor.

Brett grabbed the collar of my shirt and that's when Holiday rounded the corner. I felt relief wash over me. Brett stood up and tried to bolt from the room when Holiday grabbed him and pinned him to the teacher's desk so hard that his head bounced. He bit his lower lip so hard I could see it reddening from the pressure.

"JJ, call Mr. Jadney," Holiday barked. JJ stumbled from behind the curtain of the photo-shoot area, his jaw dropping open with shock as he took in the scene. "GO!"
Once Mr. Jadney was there I told him what had happened and moments later the entire school administration was down there along with the cops that frequented the school. Once I nervously told them what happened they arrested Brett right on the spot and called both of my parents.

Instantly Brett was suspended for twenty two days for assaulting a student. Principal Jass and Brett's vice-principal Joan Cartrell were trying to decide if they should expel Brett all together.

Holiday and one of the cops escorted me to the office so that I could get my wound looked after. Holiday gripped my hand through the whole thing and looked at me with a helpless look in his eyes. I squeezed his hand so tightly when the nurse dabbed my wound with peroxide that his fingers tapered down into one three-pronged super finger.

Dad broke into the nurse's office and took one long look at Holiday holding my hand. His eyes so wide I could see the perfect circumference of his green eyes. Holiday got the picture and took his hand away from mine and kept it folded up in his lap. Still glaring at Holiday Dad rushed over to me and hugged me tightly. He kissed me on the forehead and looked down at me with his brow wrinkled.

"Ryan, I'm so sorry!" He said.

"He didn't do anything to me, Dad," I grumbled my voice muffled by his button-up shirt. He pulled away from me and lightly touched the bandage on my neck which made me wince.

"That looks like something to me," Dad said. "You can take off the rest of the day." Dad looked to Holiday, the boy with the cyan hair and then back to me. "Thank you for looking after my son," He replied.

Holiday looked shocked for a brief moment but then regained his composure. He smiled charmingly at my Dad and grabbed my shoulder. "I'm always there for a friend."
I scooted off the chair in the nurse's room and followed my Dad out of the door, through the school and out into the parking lot. All I could think about was the fact that Brett's secret was going to be revealed to his father. What would happen to Brett then?

Dad got into the driver's seat and I slid into the passenger's side next to him. I kept my bag on my lap and my face buried in the bag. At first the drive down was filled with nothing but silence. Then Dad broke the silence; "Did he? . . ."

I knew without having to press Dad what he was saying. "No," I replied. "He was working on my zipper when Holiday saved me." What if Holiday hadn't been there? What if Brett had gotten a chance to continue fully? I didn't want to cloud my brain with the horrible possibilities.

"Thank God," Dad sighed. "I don't know what I would do to that kid if he had," He said pounding the steering wheel. I could see by the outline of his teeth behind his mouth that he was clenching his jaw tightly. "We should press charges."

I thought of how much trouble both of our families would have had to go through if we decided to pursue Brett like that. We would both have to hire lawyers, set court dates, I would probably have to testify against Brett and get questioned by an annoying and deeply evil prosecutor.

And what would we really get out of that case that wasn't going to unfold in the next week? Some financial compensation? Brett living his life with a criminal record?
Brett didn't rape me, he was going to but he never got the chance. If he truly and sincerely apologized with no intention of getting anymore revenge, I would forget about pressing charges. I told my father my thoughts verbatim, and he listened pressing his lips together angrily.

"Ryan, I think we should go ahead and charge him."

"Dad, Brett's life is a mess. He has way more problems than I have, and once his homophobic dad finds out about this, he's going to be living in his own personal hell. All I ever wanted was an apology; a truce between us. If he gives me that, I'll forget about this," I couldn't even believe the words coming out of my mouth right now. I was King Ryan of Revenge, what was I doing having mercy on Brett?

Either the essence of Hunter was becoming a part of me or I was finally coming to my senses. I realized now that revenge wasn't about to get me anywhere with Brett. I figured if Brett was granted some peace, perhaps he would grant me some as well.

"Is that sure that's what you want to do?" Dad asked me and when I nodded he said; "I think we should go over this with your mother and then we'll make a final decision." We had finally pulled up at the house and both of us hurried out of the car. I checked my watch and I had managed to escape a full day of school by a feeble hour.