Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
Slash. Ivan abuses Bobby, thus befriending him.
Ivan is a very intelligent, gifted child, but often seems lost in his own world. I often worry that he doesn't feel comfortable around the other children; he rarely associates with his classmates. Perhaps Ivan would benefit from counseling.
My biggest concern regarding Ivan is his extreme, anti-social attitude. As a growing adolescent, he should be making friends and discovering his own personality. Ivan is not doing this, and may end up making poor decisions in the future because of his stunted social skills. I STRONGLY recommend that Ivan begin therapy, and soon.
They stop caring the moment you enter high school. But I never asked for them to care, so its okay. Anyway, its not as though my teachers wrote those letters to my parents out of concern. Teachers work double time as amateur social workers these days. Maybe that's why my parents liked to ignore them. My parents like to ignore many things. Ignoring is What They Do. And I'm okay with that.
I do not need counseling or therapy of any kind just because I prefer to be alone. So I don't have any friends? That doesn't mean I never will, I simply haven't found anyone that I have met to be a worthy candidate. But I have time. Fifteen years is not so long as others think it is.
No. I, Ivan Edgar Flintstaff am not a depressed, anti-social time bomb. I just chose to take life at a more careful rate then others.
The really ironic thing is that the moment I made my first friend, Bobby Lovejoy, was the moment that life really did start to get difficult.
Bobby had been at Shiller High School for a year before I arrived as a pink-cheeked Freshman. He easily could have passed for a middle-schooler, being a short, petite boy. His entire bearing seemed small, except for his eyes, which bring to mind certain wide-eyed hobbits. The dark-rimmed glasses he wore downplayed the effect, though. Bobby was, like me, a kid with a limited social arena. But yet he walked about as haughty as you please, and totally alone. In a way, I envied him deeply. For all the years that I had spent in voluntary solitude, I had never been able to master the Proud Loner stance. I am tall, but not looming; for some reason, my spine has decided to relax itself into a slight, loose slouch. I look rather like a wind-bent tree.
Before I even knew his name, Bobby was always a source of fascination. I decided that he could become a friend. If it was to be, then Fate would provide, so I waited.
Sure enough, Second Semester put me in Chem. lab with him. Bobby wasn't supposed to be in a predominately Freshman class, but he had failed last year, as the teacher pointed out to us on the first day of class. Sitting next to me (I purposely sat at the same worktable as him, because Fate can only do so much), he just shrugged it off. Our teacher, a young, shaky sort of man who wasn't sure how to handle a class yet, blushed at his foiled attempt to be smart. Mr. Lennox seemed nice enough, but a bit dense. Also, dead boring. The man lectured for three consecutive days about Barium during the first week. It takes a special talent to be that long-winded and dull.
But it was during this barren time that I had my revelation.
Against the droning of Mr. Lennox, I found myself very fascinated with the back of Chris Shandley's head. He had soft blonde hair, a perfectly pristine shade of gold, unlike my own murky color. It caught the light in strange ways, making the cheap fluorescents seem like the lights of the Divine. I guess I didn't realized how engrossed I was until I had started to lean across the black table and lifted my hand to touch Chris's hair. At that moment, Bobby (who still allowed me to sit by him, by principle of imprinted habit) whispered breathily into my ear, "Queeer!" His breath was uncomfortably hot, so close to me. My out stretched hand curled into a fist, and collided with Bobby's delicate jaw line. He fell off of the stool dramatically, glasses knocked askew by the force of my blow. I was stunned. We were both stunned. The class turned as one to watch Bobby stare at me quizzically from the floor. Silence. I reached my hand out help him up, and that was it.
The class was not impressed. A girl at the next table called out to Mr. Lennox (who was happily scrawling notes on the whiteboard as this happened), "Ivan just punched the skinny kid!" Mollified, the class buzzed excitedly. Mr. Lennox turned round, a look of pure shock on his face. As if on cue, the dismissal bell rang.
"Ivan? Um. Bobby? A word, please?"
Mr. Lennox waited as the last of the class took their time to leave. He still had the blue marker he was using clutched pathetically in his hand.
Finally, he sighed deeply, sinking into his chair.
"I knew it was only a matter of time... So, what's the deal?"
All I could do was stare at the floor. What had just happened? I wasn't even angry about Bobby calling me queer, just perplexed. Bobby laughed nervously.
"I think I startled Ivan. Sorry then. You didn't really have to punch me though."
Mr. Lennox turned to me. "So. Hmm. Quite some panic reflexes you have. I'm just going to let this one go, because stuff like this amounts to a pile of bureaucratic paperwork that I don't want to do right now. Keep your fists to yourself next time, okay Ivan?"
I glanced at Bobby, who smiled faintly. "Yeah. Sorry."
"Now go home, its Friday." Mr. Lennox waved us off, and Bobby and I left.
He walked home with me that afternoon. Our breath hung on the air in clouds of steam, and he bypassed a warm ride on the city bus, but he didn't seem perturbed in the slightest.
"You know, I really am sorry that I startled you. I know I startled you because you helped me up afterwards. Normal punchers don't pick up the punchee." He paused to remove his glasses to polish them, looking at me slyly. "I guess I just thought you already knew, from the way you were sizing up poor little Chris."
My ears grew hot. I looked away from him hastily.
"Oh come on Ivan, the Gay Plague doesn't just show up overnight!" He paused thoughtfully. "No wait, I tell a lie. Night is when if first manifests." With an evil grin, stopped walking abruptly.
"Well, this is where I must part ways with you, Ivan. Care to come over? We're practically best friends now that you've abused me to your liking!"
I laughed, holding back a little. "Um. No, I better not today... Um."
He shrugged, "Okay. I'll look up the Most Noble House of Flintstaff in the phone book and bother you later. Unless you wanna save me the trouble and just write it down, maybe?"
"Err. No pen." I replied nervously.
"I have one!" he replied happily. "Here, write it on my hand. It's the only way I remember things."
Bobby handed me the pen and extended his hand. I never felt more swishy in my life as I held his little Cinderella hand and wrote down my number.
The subtle way Bobby had asked for my phone number stuck in my mind the remainder of the day. I know it's weird and obsessive to be thinking about someone you just met so much, but he was...strange.
I hadn't ever given my number out to someone. At least, not as offhandedly. I put it on application forms and such, but that was the extent. I mean, I hadn't ever wanted to give someone my number...but at age 15, it'd give you something to be proud of if you weren't planning on losing your virginity anytime soon.
So I went home, Bobby a constant thought in my mind. It scared me a little - I had been attracted to people before, but hadn't ever had a crush. I never expected to have on someone I had just met, either. I'm not saying I was obsessed; far from it. In fact, I was intrigued. Few people who get punched become friends with whoever had punched them. So he didn't really have a reason to start talking to me and call us "friends."
As my feet pounded against the concrete that the sidewalk consisted of, I began thinking about why Bobby would suddenly begin speaking to me after I punched him.
A particularly large gust of wind flung my hair into my face, stinging as it collided with the cold and sensitive skin. Bobby hadn't mentioned anything about his own sexuality; just mine. And if it was that obvious, I'd have to tone some things down a bit. The only problem with "toning things down" was that I had no idea what made my homosexuality so obvious.
I turned down my driveway, eyes still trained on the ground. The lack of tire tracks in the driveway proved my parents weren't home. In a way, that comforted me. I loved my parents, but it made things easier at that moment. My parents didn't heed my teacher's concerns, but they did read all the referrals. And finding out I had made a "friend," they would either a) not care, b) tell me how proud they are and make me feel embarrassed (like most parents do), or c) grunt and ask me what I wanted for dinner.
Normally when my parents worked late or went out, they didn't work the next day, which also meant that they wouldn't be home until eleven or twelve.
As I took off my coat and threw it next to my messenger bag, I pushed all thoughts of my parents, Bobby, and the reactions everyone would have out of my mind. I'd have to deal with it later, when...whenever it flagged me as important.
I made my way to my bedroom, which sat at the left back corner of the house. My room wasn't anything special - bed, mattress, desk...but it was manageable...and I liked manageable.
So I fell on my bed and stared up at the ceiling. The dots that seemed to make it up swirled and twisted together, making a murky color quite like my hair. I took a handful of it and compared it to the ceiling, and before I knew it, I had fallen asleep.
My mother had woken me up. It was dark, which meant it was after 6:30. Had I really slept two hours? And why was she home? "What're you doing here?" I asked groggily, trying to read the red numbers on my alarm clock. They were too bright and contrasted against the black, making damn near impossible to read. "What time is it?"
My mother dismissed both question and instead handed me a phone, saying "some Bobby person," and left the room.
Bobby? Why had he called me already? Granted, I supposed it could be Saturday night, maybe I just slept through the night and all day Saturday.
"Hey, anyone there?" he asked, hint of amusement in his voice.
"Yeah, sorry...guess I'm still half asleep,"
"So that's what you were doing...I tried calling you four or five times," four or five times? What is with his sudden obsession over me? Now he's even more intriguing. No one's been obsessed with me. Well...I suppose I don't know if he is...but...
"Yeah. Your parents been home all night?" he asked. There's odd noises on his end and I wonder what he could possibly be doing.
"No. They worked late. What time is it?"
"Eight thirty. Hey, you wanna hang out on Sunday?" Bobby had asked so casually; it was weird. If it was a date, he sure didn't make it seem like it. Maybe he's nothing like me; maybe we'll go back to barely knowing each others names and I won't ever have to relive such a weird experience.
But, against my better judgment, I found myself saying yes.
I held on to the phone for a long time after that conversation. Everything felt dusky and surreal. All I could do was to lay on my back lethargically, letting my imagination take over. One scenario built on another, and another. A vague future outlined, and its prospect excited me too much. I had to stop myself. The more I try to predict things, the less they turn out the way they should. Life had taught me that very early on. Fate will take over. It always does. I took three slow, deep breathes, just as I had trained myself to do in these kinds of situations. I came down to earth again.
My high having lost its edge, I was finally able to roll over onto my side. I unconsciously reached for my hair and fell asleep again.
When I woke up, there was a note taped to the outside of my door. Apparently, my parents had something to do somewhere. Separately. Mom would be home tomorrow evening, and Dad sometime next week. They're around less and less these days. Maybe they have other Ivan's more compelling then I in cities about the world. Ha.
I mentally shrugged. This could work to my satisfaction. Bobby was rather vague about the terms of our "hanging out"; my empty house could be the stage now. Something deep inside of me surged out through my limbs at this thought.
You are irrationally gay. Go take a shower.
Shut up. But I do need a shower. My hazard red alarm clock read 11:34 AM. I rooted through my bed and found the handset. It was still warm from my obsessive grasping. I dialed his number slowly, carefully.
Ring. Won't I sound weird asking him to come over to my empty house?
Ring. Okay, no one home, hanging up...
A high pitched child's voice answered. "Hellllllooooooo LOVEJOYS!"
"Um. Is Bobby there?"
"Oh hi, this is Booby's sister Charlette, how's it going, BOOBY YOU HAVE A PHONE CALL!"
She talks like Bobby. Like a dam bursting.
"He's coming, he's currently delayed, so I can talk to you! What's your name? I'm 10, you sound older then Booby, how old are you?"
"WOW! Here's Booby, bye bye!"
"Hey Ivan! So how was your chat with Charlette? I swear I wasn't that annoying at her age," he said amusedly. She must have heard. A dull plunk from his end perforated my ear drums.
"Charlette, go fuck off, I'm on the phone!"
"So... Bad time for me to call?"
"No, she's just being a shit. I was about to call you anyway. Wanna do our funness at your place, maybe?
I fumbled with the phone. Funness?
"Yeah, actually that's kinda what I was calling you about. Okay then. Um."
He laughed. "God, you're so cute and awkward on the phone. You live on Regal, right? I'll take the bus to the stop there, could you meet me?"
"Excellent, see you in an hour!"
I sat down on my bed gasping. Something funny was happening in the vicinity of my chest. Then I realized what it was; I'm nervous. Its a new feeling, one that I haven't felt since my first day of Kindergarten. But what the hell is the point of? I can't do anything about what is making me nervous; I want it to happen. Maybe that fact is scarier than anything else. That I might want something for once.
Add confusion to the list of my current moods. This is the most I've felt in a very long time. Someone ought to write this down.
I took a fast, scalding shower and turned my attention to my hair. It likes to do its own thing; I can't remember it looking different since I was eleven. Longish, not straight but not kinky (ha, the irony), an uncertain shade of brown, stuck between truly dark and truly light. Boring.
I dried it with a towel and frowned at the resulting fluff. Bobby has great hair, it really is dark, it has character that mine doesn't...
Hair. I am thinking about hair. I don't do this.
My reflection stared back at me, my eyes oddly glistening as though I was about to cry. This doesn't make sense. Bobby is fucking with my head. I turned away from myself, running my fingers through my hair to tame it. I never really brush it anyway. And it doesn't matter.
A glance at my eyeball-searing clock read 12:10. I'm going to leave early; I always do. It's a bad habit of mine. I am early about nearly everything; I leave early, I arrive early, I get things done early, and worst of all, I plan early. I don't want to though. Fate handles everything as far as I'm concerned, but I still plan. I know I don't have control over things, but God, I wish I did.
The afternoon air felt stale and cold on my exposed face and hands. I hate winter with a passion. You would think that the sea would warm the weather, but we live on the wrong side of the country for that kind of air. Washington is a depressing and bitter state, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. It has a certain sadist's charm about it.
Bobby was already there when I arrived at the bus stop. He was lightly hoping from foot to foot, hands shoved into the pockets of his jacket. Suddenly, I was clumsy and sick and light-headed. A beam of sunlight hit the lens of his glasses, flashing a glare in my direction.
"Hello Ivan. You're early. Or I'm early... We're mutually early!" He smiled. I did too.
"I'm early for everything. Terrible habit, I suppose."
Bobby giggled. "Yeah? That's not a bad thing. I can't be trusted with anything."
I shrugged, ignoring the implications of what he just said. The happiness is too fresh to be disturbed.
"Show me your home. I want to see it all." His eyes were on full-beams. If something bad doesn't happen in the next five minutes, I am going to lose my gentle grasp on reality.
But nothing happened. We walked silently, slowly, too closely to leave any question of what would happen next.
Bobby had found me adoringly awkward. Is that even correct grammar? It's not like it matters, anyway, because that's what he said. He actually said that, word for word. He giggled at my flushed face. I remember.
Our walk home was quiet. Almost too quiet. Normally people talk while walking somewhere. Hell, they find something to talk about. The weather is better than silence. But the silence that filled the air around us on the way back to my house was, god forbid...okay. Bobby kept flashing me smiles, which made my heart skip a few beats and my feet almost trip over themselves.
I hadn't felt like this in a while. And I knew Bobby was catching onto it, because he'd send me this smile - not that bright, flashy one, but a sweet one. It looked weird on him. We'd be silent for a few moments, start speaking, in which he'd do it again and my feet would repeat themselves.
When we arrived at my house, I continued the trail up the driveway. It took a moment before realization had hit me; Bobby was no longer by my side. I turned around, but he wasn't in sight. The freshly fallen snow wasn't crushed on our lawn, which meant he hadn't strayed too far.
I continued to look around. Where the hell did he go? Something cold and icy hit the back of my head and bits of it slid down my jacket and seeped through my shirt, sending shivers down my entire body and a gasp escaped from my mouth. I was hit with a snowball.
Oh, how childish. Where the fuck did he go?
There's an evil laugh coming from behind the fence. Nervousness fled from my stomach as I reached for the ground, trying to scoop snow up between my frozen fingers. A larger snowball hit me in the back, sending me face first into the snow, scraping my nose a bit on the driveway that lay beneath it.
"Oh, shit!" the fence seemed to speak. I turned over, a look of utter amusement on my face, and I could tell. Bobby ran up next to me, looking almost scared. "You okay?" he asked, holding out a hand that seemed to be just as red as mine.
I looked up at him, smile still bright on my face. I took his hand, but instead of pulling myself up, I pulled him down. I obviously didn't think this through, because suddenly Bobby was lying on top of me and I knew that something was going to go wrong, or more awkward silences would fill the rest of our "hanging out" time.
But Bobby just grinned, proving that it was funny. To him, at least. I found the situation to be quite serious. One of his hands was between my waist and his waist, while the other was somewhere off to the side.
His next move scared me. He got this positively evil look on his face, and my pants were unbuttoned, zipper going down with them. My breath hitched and my eyes slid down to what his hands were doing. But that smirk was still on his face, and I knew something was going to go wrong.
He sat up, and his other hand, clasped closed, joined its companion.
Bobby's hands were suddenly gone, and I looked at him; hopefully he hadn't noticed anything. And then there was that cold; that utter fucking cold, and I shoved him off, zipping my pants and rushing towards the house, begging whatever god there was to not let the snow soak until I took off my pants and boxers.
Bobby's howls of laughter filled the air as I ran up to the door and even after I had gotten into the house. He put snow down my pants. How the hell could I get him back? How would I get the nerve? There was absolutely no way at all to get him back; he had won, whatever we were "playing." If I would've known this is what we'd been doing, I would've worn two pairs of boxers. Or a thicker pair. They were starting to soak and I quickly shoved my shoes off, pulling my pants off and grabbing a pair of boxers off my bed. A dirty pair of pants sat in the corner of my room, and I peeled off my soaked boxers before pulling on the clean pair.
As I made my way back downstairs, I admitted defeat. He was sitting on the couch downstairs and flashed me a grin when he saw me.
"Care to show me your place?"
I laughed. He's playing cocky bastard again.
"Do you deserve it?"
"Ahh. The snow. You deserved that one." Giggle." And it was too fun not to do it."
My face colored. "Um, well... this is the Clutter Room." I joined him on the couch. It's a relic from the 70s, bright orange shag with brown flowers. Call it character. Everything in the room is some level of ugly and old and interesting.
"My parents bring random shit back from their little trips. It congregates here." Bobby was up, poking through piles of junk in an instant.
"Yeah, I noticed! What's this?" He was holding an enormous, ancient rubber bat. It's wings alone are twice the size of a normal bat. Scary thing, really.
"Oh yeah, that's Bela Lugosi! My mother brought him back for me when I was eight."
Turning it over in his hands, he examined every inch of Bela carefully. "Weird. I didn't know your mom was a Goth."
"Uh. I don't think she is..."
An odd look crossed Bobby's face. He clasped Bela to his chest, "A secret life! In which she listens to Siouxie and the Banshees and befriends crows! How else did she manage to get a huge bat named Bela Lugosi. Your mom is totally a Goth. I can see the family resemblance!"
Funny. I can too.
I grinned. "You should see my dad. Completely emo."
"Aww, now that's low. You know I'm the only emo in your life." Bobby took my hand platonically. "Now, show me your room. I want to see where you sleep."
In an instant, I was awkward and sick again.
He's holding my hand. What do I do?
My hand held back, uncertain. "Okay. Uh. Come on." I lead him to the rear of my home, to my door. Normal people my age have clever signs on their doors. I don't; just the note from this morning that I didn't bother to take down. Bobby insisted on reading it.
"Wow. Holy shit, they leave you alone a lot?" He looked... genuinely concerned. I shrugged. It is their way, and I'm used to it. What can I say?
He just shook his head, tightening his grip on my hand.
I opened the door. Bobby was in before I was, looking over everything. Having someone that you may or may not have a crush on in your room is like having you vital organs examined. You feel exposed and nauseous, afraid of what deadly flaws they will find. And Bobby is more curious then anyone I have ever met. He was giving everything thorough attention in turn. My spare-looking bed, the battered desk, dirty clothes on the floor, my papers and things, all being matter-of-factly searched over. I watched him, sitting on my bed with my back against the wall. He just seems so.. authoritative
, like he belongs here. Maybe that's why I let him prod.
After about five minutes, he finally spoke. "Ivan, if I were to take one item from this room, which would you miss the most?" I hesitated. I just don't want to have to tell that story today, not now.
Suddenly, he was in front of me, eyes demanding an answer.
I know the answer. He must too, to have asked it. But how could he?
"This blanket," I whispered. One hand spread over it protectively. This ragged blanket is all I have left of my brother.
Bobby's hand joined mine. "I promise I won't steal it, than," he said softly. He leaned in closer, a rapidly shrinking inch was all that separated us. I moved forward a fraction, and Bobby took the cue. His lips collided with mine; I tilted my head back against the wall, allowing him free-range of my mouth. I had never been kissed before, and he was more then willing to do the work for me.
It was lazy and sloppy, and soft, and lasted for hours it seemed. My heart was pounding all over my body and I needed air more than I ever have in my life. Bobby is breathing fast now too. We will blissfully suffocate together.
I turned my head to my left, breaking away from him with one of those awkward, uncouth sounds that you wish never existed. His head fell serenely onto my right shoulder.
"That," he said heavily, "Was most excellent."
"Yeah," I gasped, sliding down the wall onto my back. Soon, Bobby's fingers were in my hair, petting and massaging and caressing. The world around me blurred. I was dimly aware of him shifting over, placing my head in his lap. The ceiling swam, colors of Bobby, and the sun and my despairingly painted wall mixed, swirling together peacefully. I drifted off to sleep, happier then I had been in ages.
Nope. Too warm.
"Ivan.. I've finished pleasuring myself all over your stomach."
My eyes flew open, unmoving. There was something warm and oddly heavy on my abdomen. I didn't dare look. Who knows what Bobby could do.
Carelessly, I threw a hand in the general direction of the warmth. It contacted with something solid and Bobby-shaped.
"Oww. You poked my eye."
I peered down. He blinked at me, resting comfortably against my middle.
"Hi. Did you know that you sleep completely silently? Not a single sound. It was slightly scary. "
The room was dimly lit now. Shit. He stayed here with me for who knows how long while I slept...
I sat up abruptly, Bobby's head fell into my lap. He grinned happily.
"Bobby, I am so sorry.. really, I am . I don't know, you were playing with my hair, and that just relaxes me to sedation... God, I feel like an ass. I'm sorry."
"Its okay. I liked watching you sleep. And then I did for an hour or so... But I mostly just watched you sleep. And then I found food! When is the last time you ate?"
Shrug. I lay back down and Bobby took up his former position. He brought my right arm with him.
"Hmm. Well that fridge is a barren wasteland. There was a carton of interesting looking rice near the back, so I had some of that. Quite good, fucking spicy though." He was absentmindedly stroking my arm; I was fading out of consciousness again.
"Which reminds me, we can't do anymore kissing tonight. I taste icky now."
"Mm. I'm going back to sleep..."
"Cheeky. I better go soon."
My lethargic mind snapped to attention. "Why? What time is it?"
"Quarter to six... Charlette will be home from our aunt Frieda's at six thirty."
His hand laced with mine. "Are you going to be alright here? I mean.. alone..."
"Yeah. I'm used to being alone."
Silence. "I could call her Frieda and ask her to keep Chalette there. I could stay with you, if you want me to."
"No," I said sharply. "I'm fine. Just go home if you need to. It's okay."
"Yeah. Okay," he said, voice strained.
I am an inhuman, vile person.
He was grabbing his jacket, walking out the door. Before he left, he turned around and looked at me hopefully.
"This was cool. I like you Ivan. See you tomorrow?"
I couldn't nod fast enough. "Yeah, of course. I mean.. yeah."
With a small wave, he was gone.
For a time, I just sat and stared out the window. It was snowing now, gently and carelessly. I felt at peace with my life, with anybody else's life. I made my way for the clutter room. It has a huge bay window facing the street, but you never could tell from the inside. I have a space cleared out near it that I like.
But something about the room felt wrong, it felt disrupted and forlorn. I switched on a green teller's lamp and immediately realized what was off about the room.
Bela Lugosi was gone. He was nowhere.