“Yeah, we have the same homeroom. Bert McCracken? That is such a cool last name. Like, what’s crackin’ McCracken?!” he laughed, the most angelic sound I’d ever heard.
Sobs into my knees were no match for the sound my ears could pick up of the doorknob turning. Fear forced more tears out of my eyes and soaked my jeans. Leslie was going to step inside in a matter of seconds; to taunt me, strangle me with spirit crushing jeers. Knowing how much God loathed my guts, it wouldn’t end at that. Physical abuse would have to be used as well. I couldn’t be angry towards anyone about it, though; not God or even Leslie. Punishment like this was only brought forth upon me in an attempt to cleanse my thoughts and beliefs of impurities. In my probably disturbed mind, the effort was a huge waste of time. I was convinced that I was too far gone for chastisement to help me realize my mistakes. But no one else really gave a shit for my opinion on the matter, especially not Leslie. Everyone knew God controlled the devil. Satan (AKA Leslie) was simply a big, dumb henchman, carrying out orders from God, Supreme ruler of Earth, hell, and the heavens above. Or maybe using me as a punching bag proved to be more fun than I imagined it to be.
Either way, I stayed in my wet, curled up position without bothering to breathe too much; it was pointless since all the air would be knocked out of me soon anyway. However, my heart contradicted my breathing by speeding up drastically when I heard the dreaded creak of the door opening. I looked up with my watery eyes. A small crack of light peered into the closet. I braced myself by hyperventilating. Then, the door closed. The light was gone. All I heard was the shuffles of numerous feet outside; the school day commencing.
I stared blankly for a few minutes, it might even have been an hour. My sense of time was lost, along with all emotions. The latter crashed back into me eventually. Happiness shot through my body. It hurt a little bit. But I was just so overjoyed that God had actually cut me some slack! He held his evil counterpart back from pounding me into dust. Through my mouth passed a deranged sort of giggle and the last hint of tears on my face evaporated. Rising to my feet, I danced to a random tune in my head. My lack of talent failed to stop me. I felt so fucking alive! And that moment, inconveniently, was when the door opened.
I paused in mid-dance move and looked into a pair of confused eyes. My body switched from the awkward stance in which I was stuck in to standing position. I felt hot blood rush to my cheeks. How fucking embarrassing!
“I...uh...I was, um...just...” I stammered a few more meaningless words before my speech was disabled completely.
The boy at the doorway stood there, staring at me with two amber-flecked brown eyes. I didn’t recognize him so I stared back with a small hint of curiosity. His shaggy, blonder than blond hair rested perfectly on top of his head. Some parts caressed his face and forehead. His complexion was pale and smooth looking; annoyingly better than mine. His narrow chest was covered with a bright yellow shirt while his legs were embraced in dark jeans. Scrutinizing him up and down once more, he looked like one of those “hot” popular guys. Staying true to my title as a faggot, I had to admit that unlike most of those guys, he actually was pretty damn hot. Which made my situation all the more humiliating.
I should have just pushed past him and ran to whatever class I was supposed to be at, but I didn’t.
Instead, I found courage in that cowardly heart of mine and held out a hand, “Uh...hey there, I’m Bert.”
The boy let out a sigh, as if he was relieved to know I wasn’t going to attack him with a random sword I pulled out of the air. His hand reached out and gripped mine firmly, shaking it up and down. I noted that it was a little clammy. Aw, he was nervous!
“H-hi, Bert. I’m new here. My name’s Quinn...I was looking for the bathroom and I got lost...um...could you, maybe, help me?”
I smiled and nodded, but soon cleared my face. I hated the way my smile looked; the way my upper lip curled inwards when I did. It made my hideous face appear to be worse looking than usual. The last thing I wanted was for Quinn to think I was ugly...but it was probably already too late. I stopped my thoughts right there. I knew where they would be going if I let the roam free. I reminded myself that the only thing God meant for me to do with Quinn was lead him to the boy’s room. Then, he would be sucked into the elite circle of popularity. He’d always be surrounded by girls— attractive girls—and he’d never give me the time of day. His time not spent fucking random whores would be spent playing football with his jock friends. It was all planned out clearly in my head what would become of him; I knew this school better than anyone. His fate was inevitable, but it still disappointed me. My heart miserably sank in a pit of dejection as I gestured for him to follow me out the door.
Despite my shorter stature, I walked at a much quicker rate than him. This speed was developed from all those times I needed to rush away from Leslie, and whoever else happened to after me. Quinn’s pace was way too slow, which was probably a good thing. It kept both my eyes and my mind away from him. He didn’t seem to want to keep it this way, so he started to jog by my side. It was a flattering notion, but one that just made me want to rip my hair out. Did he have any idea how tempting it was for me to just pin him against a locker and smash my lips into his? No. If he did, he would have been jogging in the opposite direction.
“So,” he panted, “You’re a sophomore, right?”
I replied with a curt nod.
“Sweet, me too.”
“Awesome,” I responded unenthusiastically. It would take two days at most before he started thinking it wasn’t “sweet” to be in the same grade as me.
“Yeah, we have the same first period math class. I heard your name being called for attendance. Bert McCracken? That is such a cool last name. Like, what’s crackin’ Mc Cracken?!” he laughed, the most angelic sound I’d ever heard.
I could hardly mumble a thank you.
“So why weren’t you in homeroom?” he continued, “Oh right, you were in that closet. Why?” he suddenly gasped, “Hey, your leg’s bleeding! What happened? Are you okay?”
My tone came out sharp and overprotective, “It’s none of your business.”
I hadn’t meant for it to come out harsh, but it just did. I was almost afraid to look at Quinn’s reaction.
Out of my peripheral eyesight, I saw him frown, “Hey, are you getting pissed off? Because I could shut up, if you want me to. I just tend to talk a lot. I don’t want to annoy you, though.”
I stopped suddenly to stare at him curiously. Someone—someone cute and undoubtedly cooler than me—had said something indicating that he cared what I thought. And earlier, he actually cared about my bleeding leg! He seemed genuinely interested in making me feel comfortable. Never in my life had I met somebody like that. However, since I couldn’t smile at him, I only pointed out the bathroom, which was only a few feet away from us. His eyebrows furrowed momentarily, hinting a sign of distress that I didn’t want to see. With slightly slumped shoulders, he began to walk towards where I directed him. I stood my ground, rebelling against my mind, which told me to grab him from behind and hug him. But then I remembered something.
“Quinn,” I stopped him suddenly.
He head turned around snappily. “Yeah?” it was a hopefully spoken word.
“What period is it?”
“Oh...it’s the beginning of third,” he answered quietly.
I didn’t bother to say goodbye or even thanks and spun around. I wanted to be as unfriendly as I could. It was true, he sounded like somebody whom I would have loved to make friends (not to mention make out) with. And yeah, he might have been the sole person who wouldn’t have minded hanging out with me. But walking away from him had to be the best decision of my lifetime. I was saving him from the horror that was me. The last thing he needed as a new kid was the reputation of being around the freaky friendless faggot. He’d go far in this school without me to hold him back. Doing this would benefit me as well. If I did become friends with him, what would he think if he ever came over to my house? If he ever found out about my little Mormon room with no escape routes? It was for the sake of both of us that I was doing this. I kept telling myself the same thing in as many different ways as possible, to help me forget about the blond boy; to help me forget that I was ignoring my only ride away from loneliness.
Thank you to the three people who reviewed and the four people who rated. I feel so fucking special. I'll hopefully write more soon. That is, if you still want me to continue.