The first day of senior year goes pretty much the way he expected, except for that one thing.
Brendon walked down the street on the sidewalk with the music on his iPod pouring into his ears. He pulled his backpack up further on his shoulders and studied the pavement as he walked on it. It was the first day of senior year in his new high school, and believe it or not, he had no desire to be going.
It wasn’t just that he hated school; it was that he didn’t want to go to this one. He wanted to go back to his old high school. But, of course, some stupid kids had to get arrested, his parents had to freak out about it not being safe anymore and his mom and dad enrolled him in the high school across town. He wasn’t going to know anyone and he wouldn’t even have the chance to get to know anyone. All of them would have gone to elementary school and junior high together and had the time to establish tight groups and relationships.
Las Vegas is a big city with plenty of suburbs and lots of families. There were several different elementary schools where all the kids moved up to the same middle school then all the kids moved to the same high school, it was all based on where you lived. The schools he’d been going to were close enough to his house and he’d gone to all of them, staying with the same group of people. Then there was the arrest and now he was going to the one across town that had some kind of safety plan that appealed to his parents.
He sighed and tilted his head back to look up at the gray sky. Now he would be the new kid and he’d heard all kinds of things about how being a new kid in high school sucked. Luckily, he had his successful audition to think about and keep his mind off of all the strange people in the strange new school and the inevitable stares he was going to get. He was in a band and that was enough to distract Brendon from school for a long time.
Yesterday he’d followed the instructions that Brent had given him to Spencer Smith’s grandma’s house and auditioned for Spencer and his friend for the guitarist position that they had open and were desperate to fill.
Brendon was standing on the doorstep of the nice house, playing with the hair behind his ear and fidgeting with his shirt because he was insanely nervous. He had just rung the doorbell and he could hear footsteps coming and he saw a shadow through the frosted glass of the door. He bit his lip and tried to keep still. The door opened to reveal a smiling old woman. She looked nice enough and the sight of her calmed his nerves down a little bit.
“Um, I’m here for the band auditions?” he tried saying, but it turned out to sound more like a question and he mentally told himself to calm down. This wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle. He was just going to be playing his guitar, what he did all the time.
“Oh yes, come in. My grandson and his friend are right here in the living room,” she said, motioning for him to go into the house with another nice smile. He followed her and they ended up in a living room where two boys were sitting and talking. They both looked up when he and the lady showed up at the door.
“This nice boy is here for your band. Spencer, do you want me to get some snacks for the three of you?” she asked, directing the question at the blue-eyed, brown-haired boy on the couch.
He looked up, “Yeah, come back in in a few minutes though, Grandma,” he said.
“What do you say?” she asked like she was talking to a little kid.
“Please,” the teenager sighed while the skinny, brown-haired boy next to him laughed silently.
“That’s better,” she said, leaving the room with another smile.
“So you’re the guitarist that Brent was talking about. Brendon Urie, right?” Spencer said.
Brendon nodded, trying to keep his fingers still at his side. He had his guitar case hanging from his hand and he was just waiting to see what they wanted him to do. He could feel his palms sweating and he wished he could talk and seem at least sort of normal, but all he could do was stand there with his guitar in hand and look at the two teenagers who looked back at him.
“I’m Spencer Smith,” the boy said.
“I’m Ryan Ross,” the other boy said.
Brendon nodded and by some miracle he could talk again. “Um, you already know my name so, uh, do you want me to start?” he was almost beyond nervousness at this point and it was ridiculous. The other two nodded at him, though, and they didn’t look particularly hostile.
Brendon knew that he was just here for the guitarist position so he’d decided to play ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey, figuring that of anything to audition with, that was one of the best things to play. He could play it in his sleep and it was easily recognized.
He sat down and pulled the guitar into his lap, ducked underneath the shoulder strap, and took the pick off of the neck. Brendon took one deep, steadying breath, and then he started to play. He wasn’t sure if he should sing or not, so he hummed along softly. Since it was one of his favorite songs, he couldn’t just sit there and play it, but he knew that the other two were more concerned with his guitar than his vocal abilities so he had to keep it quiet.
All was silent for the duration of the song and when he played the last few notes it was silent for a few more seconds. He kept his eyes trained on the white carpet beneath his feet because he didn’t want to see their reaction yet. He had slipped on a note or two because of his nervousness in maybe a few places. They’d probably picked up on it and he didn’t want to watch the rejection, hearing it would be enough.
“That was great,” Ryan said, sounding sincere. Brendon looked up in surprise. Beside Ryan, Spencer was nodding with wide eyes. “I’m serious Brendon. That was awesome. I say that you’re in. What about you Spence?”
“Fuck yes.” As soon as he said it, he glanced at the door, probably making sure that his grandmother wasn’t there to hear him say that. Brendon laughed when Spencer turned back around and sank back into the couch, not being able to help it. Ryan was also laughing at the other boy, though, so Brendon didn’t feel so weird about it.
“What? Do you really think by grandma would be okay with me using that kind of language? She’d have a heart attack then she would tell my mom.” Spencer still looked a little worried, even though the coast was clear.
“Your mom lets you use that language, Spencer,” Ryan said.
“But my grandma would still have a heart attack.”
Ryan turned back to Brendon, shaking his head about his friend. “So, when can you do rehearsals?” There was a glint of excitement in his eyes and the beginnings of a smile on his face.
At least he had that thought to keep him a safe distance away from what was going on around him. It got awkward at one point when they had to take him home and they got stuck in traffic, but they both seemed nice and he could definitely see himself becoming friends with them if they would actually have him.
Brendon turned the corner and there it was; his new school. There were other kids going through the doors and crowding the front yard, catching up with each other after summer vacation. Brendon readjusted his backpack again and plowed on. He went up the steps and into the front hallway that was even more packed than the front lawn. There weren’t any teachers anywhere and he assumed that they were all in their classrooms because classes started in about twenty minutes and they didn’t want to govern a bunch of teenagers.
He already had his schedule and he was looking at the signs on the openings of the hallways to find the English room. Brendon stopped right under one of the directories and was in the process of reading it when a group of guys that were nearby apparently noticed him.
“Hey is that a new kid?” one of them asked.
“It looks like it.”
“And look at those big ass glasses. They take up half of his face,” one of them pointed out, saying it loud enough so that Brendon was sure to hear it. There was a laugh in his voice and Brendon just let the jab settle around him, allowing himself to start adjusting to what the year was going to be.
“And the tight pants, how the hell does he fit into those, do you think?”
“He’s probably gay, you know all of the gays wear those tight pants,” one of them said, still audible to Brendon’s ears. He started wishing that he hadn’t turned off his iPod since it would now be too obvious if he took it out and turned it on again.
“Hey kid! How the hell do those things fit on your face?” one of them called out. Most of the noise in the hall quieted and he could feel everyone stare at him, looking forward to the entertainment. The guy seemed to take encouragement in that and he also yelled, “And, really, do you think the pants are tight enough?”
Brendon raised his head and pushed his glasses further up his nose. At least, that’s what he wished he would have done, what he really did was slip the glasses off of his face and put them into his sweatshirt pocket just so they would leave him alone, then he made his way to the English room down the hallway that he was facing.
Once Brendon was safely in the room, he took an empty seat and set his stuff down. He took a deep breath. Humiliation on the first day of school, it was already looking like this was going to be what he always heard it was. Sighing, he looked up at the board and realized that the words were a complete, blurry mess. He put his hand in his pocket for the glasses, but they weren’t there.
Groaning, he let his head fall on the top of the desk. Just fucking brilliant, he’d dropped his glasses somewhere and they’d probably gotten stepped on by now. At least he wouldn’t have to come here anymore since his parents would murder him tonight. Silver linings, they could be found anywhere.
A few minutes later he felt a tap on his shoulder. “Uh, I think you dropped these.”
Brendon looked up to see his glasses, folded up, without a scratch or bend. His eyes traced the skinny arm up to a face that he recognized and that was reflecting the same disbelief he felt. “Ryan?”
Ryan nodded, looking interested, and he sat down in the empty seat next to him. “Hey Brendon. You don’t normally come here, what happened?”
“A few kids at my old school got arrested, my parents thought that it wasn’t safe enough for their “baby boy” any more and they sent me here,” Brendon replied.
“That sucks. And all of your old friends are back there?”
“Yeah, all of my invisible friends.”
“Well… now you have me and Spencer,” Ryan said.
“Do we have any classes all together?” Brendon asked, warming up to the idea of being at this school where his band mates were. It might make it even easier for him to forget about the school aspect of it all.
“I doubt it, he’s a junior. But we might have some classes together.”
“Spencer’s a junior?”
“Yeah, his birthday’s in September and he’s about a year younger than me, though if you ask him he’ll insist that he’s technically only eleven months younger, which isn’t wrong. He uses that as a defense whenever anyone asks him why one of his only friends is a year older than him.” Ryan shrugged.
Brendon took that in. “Maybe being here won’t be as bad as I thought.”
“Just hang out with the two of us, now take your glasses back, I risked life and limb to save them,” Ryan said, motioning the glasses that he’d set on the table.
Brendon picked them up and slid them on his face. “Oh really? I should probably repay you.” He looked over at Ryan and smiled.
“No, no, all out of the kindness of my heart, sir,” Ryan answered, looking serious and making Brendon smile wider. Strangely, he felt comfortable around this kid that was almost a complete stranger to him, but he decided to go with it because he got the feeling that the year wouldn’t suck too much, now.
“What happened out there? I came in the doors and I saw someone drop their glasses and everyone else staring at them, and now I know it was you,” Ryan asked, looking curious. Kids from the hallway began to stream into the room and he lowered his voice so that their conversation could still be private.
“A group of guys noticed that I was a new kid and made fun of my glasses loud enough that everyone else heard and started staring at me,” Brendon answered, leaving out the gay bit on purpose.
Ryan sighed, sounding annoyed. “Don’t pay attention to them, they have nothing better to do but make fun of you. Just don’t let it get to you, they’ll move on, hopefully it was just a one-time thing,” he said.
Brendon nodded. “I figured something like that.” Ryan nodded and then the teacher got up from her desk and started class.
English class was actually kind of interesting and Brendon found that he wasn’t probably going to mind most of the things that they would be covering through the year. He looked over beside him and saw that Ryan seemed completely absorbed in what the teacher was saying. Brendon smiled to himself. He’d thought that this whole new school deal was going to be miserable, then he found out that two of his band mates were here and he wouldn’t be completely alone. It was good to know that the world didn’t hate him as much as it sometimes seemed to.
When class was over, he and Ryan looked at their schedules but saw that they didn’t have either of the next two classes together. “Okay, so find me at lunch. Spencer will be with me. We’ll also probably be in a corner somewhere in the back.” At Brendon’s raised eyebrow he explained. “All of the other people like to sit close to the food, like it matters, so we sit away from them.” Brendon smiled a little and nodded. One of the warning bells went off and he knew that he had to get going no matter how much he wanted to stay and talk to Ryan. It looked like Ryan kind of felt the same way, too.
History wasn’t really the most interesting thing to him but from what he could tell by the way the teacher talked and introduced everything that it might be better than it was at his old school. At least this teacher could keep his attention by talking about what they would be studying. If the man could do that then there was a good chance that he could make the Cold War seem interesting.
The next class was math. He didn’t really pay too much attention during that because math failed to interest him at all. Brendon wasn’t exactly sure what kind of math it was because almost as soon as the teacher started talking he zoned out. It wasn’t fully his fault because he did have a reason for not being able to pay attention to things that didn’t interest him. It was mostly his brain’s fault. The medicine was supposed to help, and it did help with outbursts and most of the hyperactivity, but he still couldn’t pay too much attention to anything that wasn’t interesting to him.
When the bell rang he grabbed his backpack and filed out with everyone else. There wasn’t a point in going back to his locker since the next class was in the opposite direction. He could only hope that he had everything that he needed. It wasn’t like he really cared since he was just looking forward to lunch and seeing both Ryan and Spencer again.
The lunchroom was already almost full and he knew that he looked like an idiot going around and scanning tables. He knew he probably looked pathetic, too, since everyone knew where they were sitting and they all knew that he was the poor new kid. Luckily, he found the table and saw that both Ryan and Spencer were there.
“Brendon! What are you doing here?” Spencer asked when he noticed the new body at the table.
He looked at Ryan. “You didn’t tell him?”
“Slipped my mind,” Ryan muttered, pushing his food around on his plate before he took another bite.
“So why are you here?” Spencer asked, sounding eager.
“My parents freaked about an incident at my old school so they enrolled me here,” Brendon said.
“Two kids got arrested for “blowing up” a bathroom using “bombs” that they learned how to make in science,” he explained using air quotes.
Spencer sat back wide-eyed and nodded. “Interesting school,” he said. Brendon shrugged. None of it really bothered or shocked him. The only thing that was shocking about the whole ordeal was the reaction that his parents had.
“Are you going to get food?” Spencer asked, looking at the empty space in front of him.
Brendon shook his head and put his chin on his crossed arms. “No, I don’t feel hungry.”
“What class do you have next?” Ryan asked, speaking of his own accord for the first time.
“Um…” he looked down at his schedule and made a face. “Art. And hey, I don’t have music, I applied for it.”
“The school cut the music class because the sports teams needed more money,” Spencer grumbled. Ryan was scowling too. “They don’t believe that music is actually helpful to people and that it will last longer than sports.”
Brendon groaned. “That sucks. Damn sports.”
“Yeah, but I’ve got art next, too,” Ryan said.
“It won’t suck that much then,” Brendon said, looking up and smiling a little, hoping that Ryan could make that hated class better.
“Maybe not,” Ryan answered, still looking down at his food as if it had personally insulted him.
Before Brendon knew it, lunch was over and it was time to go to art, which was never a class that he had enjoyed. He didn’t like to follow the directions of what the teacher wanted the project to be and since he didn’t follow directions he didn’t get very good grades in the class.
Art, in his opinion, art of any kind, whether it be drawing or sculpting or painting or music or theater or writing or dancing or any form of art, shouldn’t have rules. Art of any kind shouldn’t be guided; it should be free and be able to properly express how the artist was feeling at the time without it having to fit a set of guidelines. Art also shouldn’t be graded, because how does a person get off on grading something that someone else made? Maybe the lines were supposed to look rough or be dark in one place and light in another without a smooth transition. Maybe the face was supposed to be a little distorted. Who were they to say if it was bad or good? It was just his opinion, though.
Those were points that he often brought up with his former art teacher. Then he would get threatened detention because it would turn into an argument. He would always have to back down at that because he really didn’t want detention. His parents would be horrified and he wouldn’t be able to explain it to them because they didn’t really understand that art concept either.
When the bell rang and everyone was settled down, the teacher explained to them the kinds of projects they would be working on throughout the year and then told them to just draw for the rest of the period.
Beside Brendon, Ryan sketched intricate designs and patterns. None of them had a particular place where they started and all of them ended rather abruptly. It looked like he was concentrating, though, and that was more than could be said for Brendon. He turned back to his piece of paper and tuned out Ryan’s occasional muttered curses when a design didn’t look quite right to him.
He sketched six lines and labeled them top to bottom. E, B, G, D, A, E. Then he began to fill the lines with numbers that came from his head. The numbers went all the way from one to nineteen but rarely went past fourteen. He stacked some of the numbers on top of each other and eventually he had to draw six more lines underneath the first set. Off to the side, he copied the lines but in a different format.
This was his form of art, the form of art that none of his art teachers ever understood. It proved to be true with this one as well. The bastard was making his rounds of the class, looking over their shoulders to see their drawings, probably guessing how his grading curve would look. Eventually he made it to their table and he looked at Ryan’s paper first. “Nice work George, but you might want to have a theme next time.” As the teacher moved away, Brendon saw Ryan look up and glare at the teacher’s back after he realized what the man had actually said.
“Brendon, um, this isn’t what I asked you to do,” the teacher said when he was behind Brendon, eyeing the lines and numbers.
He’d been expecting something like that and he looked back up at the teacher with the most innocent expression he could manage. “Yes it is, you told us to draw.”
“Like a picture. I don’t even know what that is. Are you doing math homework in my class?”
Brendon tried his hardest to suppress an eye roll and it was hard but he managed. “No. I drew what I’m feeling.”
The teacher looked like he was about to say something else then he must have realized that it was the first day of school and that it didn’t really matter. So he simply said, “Pictures, that’s what I’m looking for Brendon, pictures.” Then he moved on.
“Let me see what you’re drawing,” Ryan said, reaching over and taking the paper. He flipped it so it was right side up and started laughing.
“What?” Even though Brendon had a pretty good idea what the other boy was laughing at.
“Tablature. If you keep stuff like that up, you’ll get on his bad side faster than everyone else. See, everyone gets there eventually, you’ll just be one of the first,” Ryan said, still looking amused and handing the paper back to Brendon.
Brendon laughed, too. He looked at Ryan again and asked, “Did he call you George?” He was confused by that part of the encounter, having expected everything else.
The light look in Ryan’s eyes died immediately and he looked Brendon in the eye seriously. “Forget that you heard that,” he muttered before looking back to his paper and drawing random lines that started connecting eventually.
Even more confused, Brendon started numbering the lines again. He figured that he’d have to ask Spencer or Brent about that if he wanted answers. The class was almost over and it ended quickly. He had the next one alone but the last two with Ryan.
He went to science and sat through the teacher explaining the things she wanted to cover that year. It sounded alright and he didn’t think that he would hate this class as much as he would hate art or math, some of it sounded tolerable even if the teacher wasn’t.
Study hall was next. That teacher didn’t really care what they did and let them choose their own seats and everything. Brendon had yet to talk to anyone else at the school today and Ryan wasn’t in the classroom yet. That in mind, he picked a pair of seats that was as far away from everyone else as they could be. He didn’t care that he looked antisocial because in truth, he was, just a little bit.
Ryan came in looking pissed and he was grumbling something under his breath. No matter how much he wanted to ask him what happened, the look on his face convinced Brendon not to. He didn’t really want to be murdered anymore today and he’d already learned with Ryan that the boy was not one to be pushed because he would shut down and Brendon didn’t doubt that the other boy might actually explode if he was tense enough.
When Ryan noticed that Brendon was sitting there in the corner with an empty seat, his face relaxed a little and he went over. He sat down without a word. Brendon refrained from asking any questions and merely nodded at him before opening up his notebook and focusing on that instead.
Obviously since it was the first day, the teachers were all too lazy to give them any homework yet so he was bored. Whenever he was bored he usually found a way to entertain himself without having to involve other people, it came with having siblings and busy parents that couldn’t always spend time with him to keep him occupied.
For the whole class period of forty-seven long minutes he wrote or came up with some things that he wanted to try on the guitar. A few times he’d looked over at Ryan, who was hunched over a notebook, writing and crossing out and re-writing with an intense look of concentration on his face. Brendon didn’t even try to see what he was writing and just continued his unconcerned daydreaming.
When the bell finally rang and rescued them from this boring-as-hell class he got up thankfully. Brendon’s stuff was spread out and Ryan’s wasn’t, but the older boy waited for him so they could walk to their next class together: Computer.
Brendon hated computer class. It was the most boring thing in the entire fucking world, he’d decided. He really did know how to use most of the programs already and didn’t appreciate having to do meaningless little assignments on them. He was actually pretty positive that the class didn’t even count toward anything since he definitely wasn’t going to be a technician or anything, most of the people in the class probably weren’t either.
The school obviously didn’t agree with him though since they stuck him in it anyway. It probably had something to do with the fact that they just had to put him in something since music wasn’t an option anymore, and computer class was the easiest.
The good things about the class were: Ryan was sitting by him and seemed to hate the class as much as Brendon did, so they could probably entertain each other if need be, and the class was thankfully at the end of the day and the teacher seemed like the type to get lazier as the day passed so the class would probably be pretty loose. Brendon turned out to be exactly right and he and Ryan passed notes while the teacher droned on and on about what they were going to cover through the year.
The notes were mostly comments and observations about the teacher and the class. Brendon shared his theory about the class and found that Ryan agreed with him wholeheartedly. The other even went a step further, saying that the schools felt responsible to teach things about computers to the age that already knew everything that was available about computers to make up for their own lack of knowledge.
Thankfully the bell rang and they both shot out of their seats near the front and by the door—picked on purpose that way—and out to their lockers. “Thank God that’s finally over,” Brendon sighed, leaning against his locker and putting all of his stuff away.
“I know. There is absolutely no point to that class except to fill up some time and make kids that couldn’t make up their mind about an extracurricular take something.”
“They could replace that class with music.”
“No because then we’d have terrible people who will fuck it up on purpose because they hate the class, it’s best they take out their frustration on computer class.”
“You’re probably right,” Brendon took his empty backpack and put it on his shoulders. Ryan did the same two lockers down from him.
“Do you want to come over to my house today? We could maybe do some band stuff or just hang out, Spencer’s coming, he’s actually always there because apparently my house is better than his,” Ryan said, turning to look at him.
Brendon sighed. “Can’t. I have to go home or my mom will freak and think I’ve been kidnapped or something. I don’t think she’ll let me go out again, either,” he answered, disappointed and wishing that his mother was less strict. It was the first time since elementary school that he’d been invited over to someone’s house.
“Oh, some other time this week then?” Ryan asked, sounding a little disappointed too.
“Maybe, I’ll have to ask about it but I don’t think they’ll say no,” Brendon answered, offering Ryan a hopeful smile.
“Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow then,” Ryan said.
They stood there awkwardly for a few seconds before Brendon finally waved and turned around. He wasn’t really the best in social situations, somehow he managed to make them more awkward than they already were or just make them awkward period. It was a good thing his family wasn’t rich and he didn’t have to meet and talk to people all the time.
He went through the doors and down the steps to start walking the sidewalk that took him to the other side of “town”, where he lived. He dug into his pocket for the iPod that was always there and unwrapped the earbuds, putting them in his ears before turning it on. He glanced up for a second to make sure that he was on the right street when he saw them.
It was the same group of boys that had pointed him out and made fun of him earlier in the day. Brendon could feel his heart thud a little louder as they stared at him. For a moment he considered running back and over a block or two to take a longer way home. But, too late, they were already approaching. If someone didn’t like you in school and chose to make it known, outside of school was when it got even worse, physically so.
“Hey, you have to tell us something,” one of them said, coming up to him and making a move to put his arm around his shoulder. Brendon ducked and stepped back a few steps just in time. The boy scowled and moved his light brown hair out of his eyes.
“Look kid, you’re new. There are rules in that school. We make and enforce those rules. We’re just going to go over them with you now, so you know about them and you’ll know why you get what you get and why there’s nothing you can do about it,” one of the other’s said, he had close shaved brown hair and was considerably bigger than Brendon was.
Brendon felt his body seize up and his mind shut down. Dammit. This happened whenever he got scared or stressed or intimidated. He looked at all of them one by one, apprehensively, wondering at his chances of this working out evens semi-well for him. Now he really wanted to run away but he couldn’t make himself move and he knew he wouldn’t be able to until it was too late to do anything.
They formed a circle around him and he felt his stomach fall. Here it goes, he thought. “First, we run the school. Forget all your fantasies about standing up to us, because you will lose and no one will stand with you,” a tall, buff, blond one said.
He was still unable to move and simply stared back at them with wide eyes, hoping that this might be the only thing he had to go through. Intimidation was much better than being beat up. “Second, you don’t tell anyone about anything we do. We will find out that it was you and you’ll pay,” the boy had black hair but otherwise looked exactly like the first one.
“Third, you are on the bottom of the social status. Any move to go up will result in punishment. We’ll let you use your imagination for that one,” another one with black hair said. There were about seven of them in all and his hopes were slowly disintegrating.
“Those are the three main rules, there are some others that branch off of them but you don’t need to know them right now. Now, repeat,” the one who was apparently the leader said. He wasn’t as tall as the first three, but it was clear that he commanded the other six as they all backed down a little when he spoke, and he was taller than Brendon anyway, effectively making him the alpha.
Brendon was scared enough that he would have if he could, but as it was, he couldn’t respond. His brain was frozen and had taken his vocal cords with it. The only thing he could do was stare back at the brown-haired leader who was staring steadily back at him.
He opened his mouth and tried to force his throat to emit some kind of noise but it was useless. The only thing he could do was look at them and wait, damn ADHD. “He told you to repeat him,” the one that had first talked said, stepping menacingly closer.
More time passed and still he made no sound. He was a little surprised that they let him go this long without answering. “Okay kid, time’s up,” a thin, redhead said, moving forward and grabbing him by the arms, holding them behind his back and lifting him a little bit off the ground. He knew what was coming. In reality, he’d known all along.
The blond one stepped forward and cracked his knuckles. Brendon closed his eyes and tried to brace himself, there was no point in begging or whimpering. “Wait, we have to find something out, men,” one of the others said. The tone made him feel sick.
He was lowered to the ground and he dared to open his eyes. Everyone was wearing a harsh expression and staring at him as if he’d done something wrong. The leader stepped forward and looked down at him. “Are you gay?”
The question honestly surprised him. It was direct and it was that question. As for the answer, he wasn’t gay per se. He maybe wasn’t completely straight, but he’d never been into any guys that he could think of. Not that it probably mattered to the other seniors. They were going to beat him up anyway and they already thought that he was.
Somehow he could now talk and he stuttered out, “N-nnot rreally.” The only reason he answered was because he knew they were going to keep him there until he did. The leader nodded and the redhead one picked him back up in the same way he had before. He barely had any time to brace himself before a solid fist connected with his stomach, hard.
Brendon curled in on himself and was let go by the redheaded boy so that he fell onto the ground, gasping. The others looked down at him and the leader said, “It’s only going to get worse. Enjoy this.” Then the seven of them walked away, spitting by him as they passed, some kicking at his head.
He lay on the ground, getting his breath back for a few minutes before he pushed himself up and stood. His iPod was somewhere on the ground because it had fallen out of his ears and his grip. Luckily he’d turned it off before the whole encounter, though. He found it, picked it up, made sure that it was still working, and put it back into his pocket. Brendon couldn’t bring himself to turn it on again for right now. After a short pause to gather his thoughts, he shoved his hands in his jeans pockets, head down, walking home.
When he walked through the door, his mom was on him immediately, wondering where he’d been, what he’d been doing, asking who he’d been with and if there were drugs or alcohol in the same vicinity. He answered all of the questions automatically and without much thought and when she asked how his day had been, he told her it was fine and that he had made some new friends and that his teachers seemed good. Then she let him go up to his room.
Brendon walked through the door, threw his bag in the corner and collapsed on the bed, burying his face in the pillow. His stomach hurt and he felt his frustration rising. People stared at him all day today and then those seven boys harassed him twice, and told him that it would only get worse, meaning that he had beatings to look forward to now. Spencer wasn’t in his grade and Ryan seemed a little distant after the beginning of first period. If he really thought about it, the day had sucked and the only bright part was when he had Ryan with him in class.
Beside him, his phone vibrated and he picked it up. It was a text message from Spencer asking if he was going to Ryan’s house. He just stared at it, then turned the phone off. He didn’t want to do anything besides lay on his bed and maybe sleep.
When Brendon was called down for dinner, he put on a face and talked with his parents until he was done and went back up to his room. He put pajamas on and turned his light off, burying himself in blankets and closing his eyes. All he really wanted was for the day to be over so he could stop thinking about what tomorrow might be like. Another part of him wanted the day to go on forever, though, so the next day didn’t come so soon. It was a dilemma.
I did another edit last night so it shouldn't be too bad. Also, finding a song that actually fit this chapter well was hard, so I just went for title. I hope this chapter doesn't kill anyone's excitement or expectations. YouTube playlist link: http://tinyurl.com/8o9llbb