The Journey of Jacob and Kyle
by Andrew Davis
Chapter 11: This Cold Heart (Cont.)
Time line: Monday
“Shit we’ve only got four minutes to get to class. Thank God we start a few minutes later than Matthew,” Jacob announced, running towards his locker, Kyle following a few feet behind him. “Quickly go grab your things and I’ll meet you in class.”
“Okay! I’ll see you in less than two minutes,” Kyle announced, running past locker after locker.
Jacob stopped running when he reached his locker; good old number sixty-nine. He reminisced for a second, remembered only last week when he had barely made it to school and had to run to this very locker. He’d watched Kyle walk past him, he was in awe of his baby-smooth skin; this was also the day they started speaking to one another. A smile quickly returned to his face as he recalled this sweet and special memory.
Like many other times before, the bell rang for the beginning of the day. Jacob quickly shoved his backpack into his locker and went to grab one of his pens, along with his binder. He really despised Mr. Henson’s class, as it was an everyday occurrence of loathing; most days it was enough to make him fall asleep. Be that as it may, he reluctantly grabbed his biology textbook, and added it to what was already in his hands. He then heard the sound of shoes slapping against the hard floor. His eyes quickly looked around for the source and spotted Kyle darting down the hallway towards him. They smiled at one another and entered into their first period class, taking their seats in the back of the room, with Kyle sitting directly in front.
“Good morning students and welcome to a lovely Monday morning. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and you know what that means: it’s time to get those thinking caps on,” the intercom system squawked.
“Again, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Just a reminder that Wednesday will be a professional development day (P.D. Day); this means that the teachers will be in meetings all day and there won’t be any school. So please enjoy the day off with your families. In addition, this week is anti-bully week for our wonderful school; I would also like to thank one of our fellow students for this idea. So please be sure to step up, brighten up, and bring up any situation to protect a friend, or someone you don’t even know.
“This is my challenge to ALL of you this week, so let’s see some of that real school spirit. We will also be selling pink t-shirts to commemorate this special occasion and they will be available for purchase during lunch period this week for only ten dollars. All monies raised will be donated to Woman’s Place, which helps struggling families who suffer from violence, may that be physically or emotionally. I, as well as your teachers and other faculty, hope that everyone will buy one of these amazing pink t-shirts this week in support of this wonderful cause.
“Oh, and just so you know, there’s also a perk for buying a shirt and wearing it; you will be exempt from any normal school uniform policy for the week. That means you can wear your hats, baggy pants, so on and so forth while in class. But, please don’t go nuts and come wearing miniskirts or anything.
“Furthermore, we’ll be having a school assembly on Friday about anti-bully week. This will be an open forum for those who wish to speak about what it means to not be a bully, or to talk about how you helped someone this week. Thank you and have a fun-filled day of learning.” The intercom went silent, leaving everyone to ponder.
“Oh my God, that was so fucking funny, ha-ha-ha! Not ever going to happen!” Thomas yelled from the front of the class. “I’m not going to be one of those faggot huggers.”
“EXCUSE ME Mr. Daniels?” Mr. Henson was taken aback by this sudden comment; it surprised him and concerned him at the same time.
“Are you fucking deaf teach? If one of those defective fuckers touches me —”
Thomas never had the chance to finish his sentence for Jacob had already heard enough. “YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!” he yelled, standing to his feet and charging full speed ahead. Venom was coursing through his veins; this was the straw that had broken the camel’s back.
Jacob quickly took a hold of Thomas’ t-shirt and dragged him out of his chair. With a firm grip upon Thomas, he pushed him towards the blackboard, where he pinned him against it with all the force he could muster. “Excuse me? I don’t think I heard what you said just there. Say it again, and by God, you’d better say it to my face.”
Kyle was stunned by Jacob’s actions and wished his eyes had forsaken him; but alas, his eyes only spoke the truth. He quickly catapulted forward from his desk and rushed to the front of the class. “JACOB! Calm down, please!” he demanded, but to no avail. He then tried pulling Thomas away from Jacob and his rampage, but that didn’t work either.
“NO, I WILL NOT FUCKING CALM DOWN KYLE! I’M TIRED OF THIS FUCKING SHIT! FUCK YOU THOMAS,” Jacob yelled, staring deep into Thomas’ eyes. “FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON!”
Kyle was at a loss for words, he didn’t know what to say or what he should to do. Jacob had snapped, and he knew the reasons why, but that didn’t give him the right to be acting like a raving lunatic.
Kyle then watched as Mr. Henson approached from behind and tried to diffuse the situation. He also attempted to separate them from one another, but when Jacob swatted his arm back to shoo Mr. Henson away, he quickly backed off. Mr. Henson was now out of options and quickly ran to the intercom to call for help.
In the eyes of those watching, time came to a standstill, and with each second that passed felt like an eternity. Meanwhile, Jacob continued to stare at Thomas, all the while forcing his entire body weight onto Thomas and forcing Thomas’ back harder into the blackboard.
“Now, you fucking listen here. If I ever hear –” Jacob didn’t get the chance to finish his sentence because the next thing that happened was Mr. Matthews rushing into the room and separating Jacob and Thomas. Jacob had been grabbed by his shirt and pulled away like a rag doll.
Mr. Matthews wasn’t small or frail like Mr. Henson; he was an ex all-star football player, all American, and had the body to prove it. “Explain your actions this instant young man,” Mr. Matthews demanded, standing his ground in between Jacob and Thomas.
Jacob attempted to explain, but couldn’t force his lips to say any words coherently. He didn’t have an answer for his principal, just the feeling of shame hanging over his head. In that instant, he turned around, looked at his fellow classmates, and saw the fear and shock across their faces. ‘What have I become?’ he thought, looking down at the palms of his hands.
Though, this moment of shame and regret was short lived, very short. “Let me tell you; I think he’s one of those fag huggers. So that would make him no better than a fag,” Thomas exclaimed loudly for all to hear.
Before Thomas could spit another word out, Jacob went behind Mr. Matthews and took a swing, clocking Thomas right in the mouth. “Oh really … is that so,” Jacob spat sarcastically. “Well let’s just say you’ve had your ass handed to you by one.” Jacob was furious, his eyes filled with fire and brimstone, he desperately wanting to see blood. He then spit at Thomas, who had collapsed to the floor, holding his jaw.
“That’ll be enough of this nonsense. Now get to my office this instant,” Mr. Matthews commanded, grabbing Jacob by the wrist and directing him towards the door.
Jacob made a fuss as he tried to wrangle himself free from Mr. Matthews grip; he pulled and tugged, but his principal was too strong. “Are you going to settle down Jacob? Because I won’t be letting go until you decide to do so.” Finally, Jacob calmed himself and felt his wrist become free. “Now please go to my office so we can have a little chat,” Mr. Matthews instructed firmly.
Jacob took one final glance towards his fellow classmates and exited out of the classroom. As he entered into the hallway, he found the silence of these lifeless halls bring a sense of realism to his actions over past few minutes. Fear quickly entered and his nerves quickly took hold as he thought of what his punishment was going to be. Not only did he need to worry about that, but also that he’d just come out in front of his entire class; something he’d always feared would happen, and now, it was out to everyone. It would spread like wildfire through the entire school and that would be the end of his days.
Escape wasn’t an option at this point, though he wanted to get out of this predicament, there just wasn’t any use in trying to run, even though his life was likely ruined. When he finally stopped dabbling in his thoughts, he felt a hand graze his shoulder. This unexpected touched caught him off guard and he swiftly swiped at the unknown hand and turned about. He soon realized the hand belonged to Kyle, and quickly embraced him, with tears following shortly after. “I’m so sorry Kyle. I can’t excuse myself for my actions; I’m such an idiot.”
“It’s going to be okay Jacob. I’ll tell Mr. Matthews that Thomas started it, and that what he said couldn’t have come at a worse time. And if we have to, we’ll tell him what’s happening at home, so please don’t cry baby,” Kyle begged, staring Jacob square in the eye. “We’ll figure all of this out together – I promise you.”
“I’m sorry Kyle, but I couldn’t help myself. It was like he was speaking directly towards me. Once he started, I lost all control.” Jacob began to cry harder and gradually tightened his grip around Kyle. “I just – I couldn’t, please just forgive me, please!”
The atmosphere in the hall was considerably different than it had been in class. No longer was the venom coursing through Jacob’s veins, but rather a peace flowed through him. Just by having Kyle standing firmly by his side, comforting him, was like light unto darkness; it was what pierced through and brought clarity to Jacob’s body, mind, and soul. “Thomas is a jerk, we all know this Jacob. You just need to learn to filter out his words,” Kyle explained, hoping that Jacob would hear his words and consider Thomas’ words as nothing more than that of raving lunatic’s antics.
“Holy shit, they really are fags!” Thomas belted out laughing as he and Mr. Matthews walked out into the hallway, seeing their shared embrace.
The sound of Thomas’ rather high-pitched squeal made Jacob’s body stir uncontrollably. In that moment, his face turned red with anger, and his eyes gazed deep into Thomas’ brown eyes. He looked at Thomas as if he were a piece of meat, as a cat would its prey. There was no means of stopping him now; the fire in the pit of his stomach raged for blood, and his eyes were like burning embers trying to wipe that smile off Thomas’ face. Jacob wanted to punch him again, but that was proving difficult while Kyle restrained him with a tight grip.
In Jacob’s struggle to get away, twisting and turning, he accidently hit Kyle’s ticklish spot and broke free. Within seconds, he had charged towards Thomas, pinning him directly to the locker, and lifted him up off the ground. “Jacob, he’s not worth it! STOP PLEASE!” When Jacob didn’t reply, Kyle looked towards Mr. Matthews and urged him to do something.
“Jacob, by law I’m technically not allowed to touch you, therefore I’m going to ask you to do the right thing here. Otherwise I’m going to have to call the police,” he instructed quickly.
Jacob knew they were right, he was already in enough trouble, he knew this, and that would more than likely mean he was going to get suspended. But something deep inside of him wanted to hit Thomas once more.
Slowly he lowered Thomas back to the floor and raised his fist, ready to strike. With his entire weight behind him, he struck the locker, and hit beside Thomas’ head. “You make sure you remember this fucking moment,” Jacob urged through gritted teeth.
“Very good Jacob, thank you for that,” Mr. Matthews said, then redirected his attention to Thomas. “Now, if I hear another word come from that mouth of yours about Jacob or Kyle, then I’m going to suspend you right here on the spot. Do you understand me young man?” Mr. Matthews was direct and firm.
“Oh, so what are you going to do, call my Mommy and Daddy?” Thomas mocked.
“Why yes – of course that will undoubtedly happen. But also the police will be called.”
Thomas laughed. “And what are you going to have me charged with dickweed?”
Mr. Matthews placed his index finger to his lip, looked down at Thomas and sneered. “Oh let’s just say, hmm, I wonder. Hold on a minute you might have just stumped me … a hate crime maybe? You’ve clearly made a slur against Jacob and his lifestyle, well that’s if he’s gay I mean. So in essence, that’s a hate crime. So what should I do? Should I call the police and let them know about your actions? Not only that, but did you seriously not hear what I said this morning? Are you that damn thick-headed?”
Thomas didn’t care to press the issue, because if he was wrong, something far worse could happen. “But you saw all of this Mr. Matthews, he clearly attacked me, so what are you going to do about that?” Thomas questioned after moving a safe distance away from Jacob.
“As true as that statement is; you clearly provoked him. Therefore, no harm no foul. You’ve brought this all upon yourself Thomas, so don’t try to play the victim here. Now if you would please go meet me in my office.”
“Whatever, you fucking sympathizer,” Thomas said, flinching as he walked nervously past Jacob and Kyle.
After Thomas had rounded the corner, Mr. Matthews gestured over to Kyle. “Come here for a second Kyle,” he beckoned. Kyle then casually walked over. “So let me get this straight, you’re on the wrestling team are you not?”
“Yes, that’s a fact, totally legit. But if I may, what does this have to do with anything?”
“So, I suppose you’re going to tell me, with you being a wrestler and all, that you couldn’t hold Jacob back from Thomas?” His tone struck Kyle as peculiar; it was more of a curious question, and not a demanding one.
“Oh yes, of course sir. I mean, I tried; sweaty hands maybe?” Kyle shrugged.
“Well nothing young man,” Mr. Matthews smiled. “But enough of this, now if you could please meet me in my office Jacob and we’ll get this straightened out. As for you Kyle, would you please return to class?”
Kyle wasn’t going to have any of it; he wasn’t going to leave Jacob by his lonesome, especially when Jacob needed him most. Kyle simply grabbed Jacob’s hand and held it in his own. “Fine, suit yourself. Now please meet me in my office and I’ll be there in a few minutes,” Mr. Matthews concluded, firmly.
Jacob didn’t much care to give up any form of protest; for he was emotionally drained and shocked by his actions. ‘Maybe my dream was right after all. Perhaps I’m just this evil person deep down inside,’ Jacob thought, feeling as if this was a revelation and believing in its web of lies.
Kyle promptly noticed the look of sheer sadness over Jacob’s face and was quick to reassure him. “First let me say that I still love you and no matter what happens next in Mr. Matthews’ office, I’ll still be here for you no matter what. But, I can’t say that I’m not a little disappointed in what you did to Thomas; you lost your head, and that just wasn’t very cool.”
Kyle’s words made Jacob feel remorseful. Although, in spite of the current events, he wasn’t a fighter; he’d never been in trouble at school before, unless you counted being late for class every now and again, other than that he had a clean record.
As much as Kyle hated this, and didn’t fancy bringing the lamb to slaughter, he swiftly grabbed Jacob by the shoulder and turned him around. “C’mon let’s go face the music,” he suggested with a gentle shove towards the principal’s office.
When they finally made it to the principal’s office, they found Thomas already sitting in a chair just outside Mr. Matthews’ office. Jacob and Kyle chose not to acknowledge his existence and continued on to speak with the secretary, who then ushered them into Mr. Matthews office.
The wait for Mr. Matthews was painful and the silence wasn’t helping either. He didn’t know what to expect next; was he about to be suspended? Was his father going to be called? Was he going to be grounded? This was a relatively big deal, and even if Kyle wasn’t going to get in trouble, he sure was and that worried him greatly.
By the time Mr. Matthews entered the office, and had taken a seat down behind his desk, they had already waited for about five minutes. Mr. Matthews didn’t speak; just stared at the two boys in front of him with his hands clasped together. Eventually, Jacob couldn’t stand this staring contest, and opened his mouth. “What?”
“Well, I’ve looked over your file,” Mr. Matthews said slowly. “It would seem that you haven’t had any previous record of fighting, disciplinary action, nothing of the sort. So, my question to you is this; what do you think I should do about you? You’ve assaulted one of my students.”
Jacob thought long and hard, trying to think of a way out, but nothing came to mind. “I suspect that you’re going to suspend me. But please believe me when I say this; I’m truly sorry for my actions, Mr. Matthews, really I am. I just couldn’t stop myself.” Jacob’s eyes began to well and tears slowly fell down his cheeks.
“I don’t have any doubts that you aren’t remorseful, but listen; I don’t really want to be forced to suspend you.” Mr. Matthews sighed, and a glimmer of hope arose in Jacob. “However, what you did today is against school policy, and totally unacceptable, and if you ever assault one of my students again, then you’ll force my hand and I’ll suspend you indefinitely. Now this doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook. I will be sending a letter home with you today as well as calling your parents, and I expect the letter to be signed and returned to me tomorrow. Do we have an understanding?”
Jacob didn’t know if he should be happy or sad. Not being suspended was a good thing, but now his father would know about what happened, and he would still probably be grounded for his actions. His reply to Mr. Matthews was plain and simple. “Yes sir, loud and clear.”
“Now, if you could humor me and answer something for me, and please don’t feel that you’re obligated to answer, but are you gay? I only ask this because your response to his accusations would seem terribly odd to me if you weren’t. And as you already know; anti-bully week is all about acceptance and bridging the gap of understanding, so please be honest with me,” Mr. Matthews questioned.
Jacob was sure this news had already hit the entire school, or would be shortly, and chose not to beat around the bush. “Yes, I’m gay. My parents already know all of this though.”
“Okay, well I thank you for your honesty. Now here comes the hard part,” Mr. Matthews said, pursing his lips, tapping his pen upon the desk. “Are you having problems at home? I’m genuinely concerned for you; your outward actions say that this could be a possibility, or that you have anger issues of some sort. I’m here to help you in any way that I can, so if you want to talk about it then feel free.”
Jacob’s subconscious mind sent the explicit indication that there were some issues at home, but it wasn’t his intention to display such things; he managed to do this by looking down at the floor, tears continuing to fall down his rosy cheeks with greater ferocity. Jacob felt sick to his stomach and felt a deep sense of remorse for his actions. It also didn’t help matters that he was still holding onto the pain that his mother had caused in his heart, which left him feeling broken. All of these things weighed heavy on Jacob’s mind and he was left unable to speak.
“Listen Mr. Matthews, yes there’s some issues at Jacob’s house,” Kyle explained carefully. “But, it’s really difficult to discuss. Let me just say that he’s not being abused, so please don’t worry about that. I personally know what’s going on and it’s very hard for him and me. I also don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but I think we need to deal with this on our own.”
“No problem, I understand. Just know that my door is always open if you need to talk. You two can stay here until the end of the period; this should give Jacob enough time to calm himself. Then I want you to make your way to your next class,” Mr. Matthews instructed. “Just do me one favor, try to make the best of the day. I will also have the letter ready for you by the day’s end, so make sure you don’t forget to pick it up. Oh, and one last thing, I had a nice little talk with Thomas and he won’t be suspended either, but on one stipulation; he will be required to apologize to the both of you, and if he doesn’t, be sure to let me know.”
“Thank you Mr. Matthews for everything you’ve done. I appreciate it.” Kyle extended his hand.
“No problem, just keep those noses of yours clean,” Mr. Matthews instructed, placing his hands onto the desk and forcing himself up from his chair. “Old wrestling injury, not to worry though, it only hurts sometimes.” He finished with a smile and made his way for the door.
Kyle watched Mr. Matthews as he walked out of the office and closed the door softly behind him. Now he was free to attend to his beloved without anyone’s prying eyes watching them. Jacob was a complete mess as he sobbed uncontrollably, that even Kyle was beginning to worry, though Kyle could see that this was a good thing; it was making Jacob release the pain and venom that had entwined itself around him like razor-sharp barbed wire.
It hurt Kyle to see Jacob in pain, torn apart from the inside out; the emotional baggage Jacob was carrying was too much for him to carry on his own. With Kyle being the caring type, he placed his hand upon Jacob’s knee, and brushed away the tears from Jacob’s eyes. “It’s going to be okay Jacob – it’s not the end of the world you know.” Kyle stopped and thought about what he’d just said. These were wise words and ones he should have thought of before, but everything was better now. “Baby, are you able to stop crying? Cause if you don’t stop soon; I’m going to cry too.”
“I’m sorry Kyle. I’m a total wreck today. If you don’t love me anymore then I’ll understand; I know that I’ve acted like an asshole,” Jacob breathed out through the heaving of his chest.
“No, please stop talking like that. I love you more than anything on this planet we call Earth. Just please try to stop crying and getting angry with people – you’re better than this, I know you are. Don’t worry so much though; we’ll get through this together, side by side.”
Bill was ready for the biggest confrontation he’d ever been faced with, this wasn’t going to be easy, and more along the lines of World War Three; at least it was his perception on the matter. He couldn’t be any more ready than he already was; for he’d already played out every possibility within his head, her mindless rebuttals, especially her venomous words that he’d become accustomed to. This was the moment of truth; he had all the tools that he required sitting on the passenger seat, and if this didn’t manage to break through her idiotic way of thinking, then nothing else would.
Bill took the time to collect his thoughts, prepared himself mentally, before setting out to put his plan into motion. Only then did he gather his belongings and get out of the car. The fresh air then filled his nostrils and he took a long inhale. He stood immobile for a moment in front of his sister-in-law’s immaculate home with pearl white siding and wonderfully manicured flowerbeds that lined the walkway. Finally, he made his way towards the front door and rang the doorbell.
A few moments later Sarah arrived at the door. When Bill saw Sarah, he noticed her unkempt hair, like she’d just got out of bed; she looked a fright and was still wearing a pink housecoat and slippers.
“Mind if I come in?” Sarah nodded her head, and so he entered, removing his shoes at the front door. “So where’s Jessica and Dave, have they already left for work?” he questioned, looking about. Sarah nodded once more. “Well that’s good. That should give us plenty of privacy to talk. I have a lot I want and need to say to you. So, if you’ve ever loved me and our boys then I need you to come in with an open mind and hear what I have to say. Do we have an agreement?”
“I’ll do my best,” she said softly, though her tone quickly changed to bitterness. “If I must be honest, I highly doubt that you’ll be able to change my mind, but go ahead and give it a whirl.” She twirled her finger in the air, as if to say in defiance that her walls were impenetrable.
Sarah then slowly walked away from the door, went into the living room, and found a spot on the sofa. Bill followed and put a DVD case down onto the coffee table before taking a seat beside his wife.
Bill cleared his throat. “Well, I don’t know how I should start this, so I’ll just jump right into it. First of all, Jacob found the letter you wrote in the trashcan. You’ve acted completely irresponsible in writing it and you’ve hurt him very much. He loves you so much and yet, you’ve chosen to drop our kids off the face of the earth. I have personally seen how much Kyle and Jacob love one another and the same thing goes for Matthew and Nicolas, this isn’t a bad thing Sarah. Love isn’t limited to any specific gender, and I know you’ll unequivocally disagree with me on this, but it’s as true as I’m sitting here. I have seen all of them comfort each other, lovingly for that matter, without a care in the world on who sees them; because for them it’s as natural as breathing. Their gentle, loving affections put a smile upon my face, and you know why? Because for the first time in as long as I can remember, I see that they’re truly happy. And all you’ve done is trample upon them and that, I’m not sorry to say, is unacceptable.” Bill didn’t lose his temper, but came close several times; the calm in his voice was merely the stillness before the storm.
“You know what Bill? It doesn’t even matter because as long as they CHOOSE,” Sarah stressed, “to love their, what would you call them, boyfriends? Then they’re dead to me. Their actions have pushed me away and because of their choices it has forced me to do these things. Now don’t get me wrong, I do still love them, but I have a really hard time accepting all of this as factual. Are you sure this isn’t some sort of cry for attention?”
“Are you for real, Sarah? This definitely isn’t some sort of cry for attention, if you could only see what I have. Now listen, I want you to check out this website, it’s called itgetsbetter.org. It talks about how teens have been bullied and ended up committing suicide because they were gay. This site challenges all those who are struggling and lets them know that it gets better. It’s not only for people that are gay either; it could be for parents, friends, and family. I implore you to watch the videos on the site, I truly believe that it’s imperative for you to do so, because what you’re doing to our children is essentially bullying in the most primitive form.
“You’re supposed to love them no matter what, unconditionally, through thick and thin, and yet, you’re being the cruelest of all. How do you think they feel that someone who’s supposed to love them has abandoned them for something they have no control over? Can you also explain to me how you go on every single day saying that you love them and still treat them like trash? A school bully could do no more damage than you are right now, yes, they have the same repercussions, but your actions are far worse than any of them could ever accomplish. By you acting as a bully, like a school kid, you are traumatizing our children and that is very bad. So why can’t you open your damn eyes and see these things?”
Bill was out of breath; it had been a mouthful of information, and he hoped that at the very least this would make a crack in the walls she’d built. Rather still, he was flustered and doubt began to set in; he felt helpless and thought he hadn’t made any headway in his attempts to resolve this situation. The more he thought about it, the angrier it made him; it was as if the words he’d spoken had hit a brick wall and ricocheted back to hit him in the face. However, it was sad to say, but he rather expected this type of hostility from his wife.
“Listen, you’ve always been stubborn, hard headed, and difficult the past eighteen years that we’ve been married. For once in your life, set aside all preconceived notions and for the sake of our children, look past your own personal issues, and see the love that they share within their hearts.”
Bill didn’t allow Sarah to get a word in and continued to drive the nail deeper. “Do you remember the first time you held the boys after they were born? You held them in your arms and cried. You said you’d always be there to protect them, love them, and keep them safe. Whatever happened to that promise Sarah? If you can’t keep your word, then your word is nothing. Either way, it’s in our best interests to see them for who they truly are and love them unconditionally. I know you can move past all of this Sarah, but you’re putting me in a hard position with what you’ve chosen to do, and I’m afraid to say it, but if we can’t resolve this, and soon, then I want,” Bill explained, exhaling slowly through his mouth, “a divorce.” Saying the terrible ‘D’ word made it more real in Bill’s mind and reaffirmed his commitment to his boys, unconditionally.
“I – no, I, no – we can’t do that. I love you Bill, with all my heart, but it’s just too difficult for me. I’m sorry,” Sarah stammered, trying to find her words; she didn’t want to be a divorcée.
“Well, there’s nothing else I can say or do, so I’m going to give you one week to think it over. Please give this a chance and watch the movie that I’m leaving behind for you. If not for the kids, do it for me,” Bill suggested, getting off the couch and making his way towards the front door.
Sarah remained motionless on the couch while Bill got up and left the room. Her gaze never left Bill, even while he was putting his shoes on and casually letting himself out. In her mind, she pondered her husband’s words, but even they were hitting walls she’d set up around herself; it was an impenetrable fortress.
Jacob had all but stopped himself from crying and was now a calm and emotionally stable boy. His mind was still worried though and was uneasy about how the day had ultimately started. His concern was based upon the gossip that would surround him and how the entire school probably already knew of the events that transpired in first period. However, he wasn’t about to let Kyle know of this concern and tried his best to suppress it from Kyle’s all-seeing eye. But, most of all, he was worried about Kyle not being with him during the next period, he would be all alone to fight whatever came his way; this scared him deeply.
“So am I going to see you later?” Jacob asked nervously, feeling as if he were a ball of malleable mush. “I don’t want to go the rest of the day without you.”
“Of course, don’t you worry – just try to stay calm; after all, it’s only math class and what can possibly happen there? I mean, Thomas isn’t in that class, is he?” Kyle questioned, trying to reaffirm Jacob of the safety net that was in place.
“Nope, we only share first period with him. But I bet everyone’s already talking about what happened, and that makes me a little bit nervous. I’ve always kind of dreaded this information getting out, you know?” Jacob explained.
“Well then there you have it, everything’s going to be okay, and if you have to, just think of me,” Kyle instructed with a smile.
“Okay Kyle, I’ll do my best, but you better be waiting for me once lunch time comes along,” Jacob demanded even more nervously, walking away with his math book in hand.
Jacob briskly walked into his second period class and took a seat in the very back of the room; he didn’t want anyone looking at him, and he rather wished he could turn invisible and not be seen by anyone. Though, in reality this was physically impossible. Instead, he placed his textbook onto his desk, stood it up in front of him to hide behind, and hoped that no one would take notice.
All around him he could hear the sounds of his fellow classmates chatting up a storm. He couldn’t be positive, but he had his suspicions they were discussing what had happened during first period. Yet, one thing had remained sure; he could feel everyone’s eyes gawking down upon him, like a hawk would its prey. Nevertheless, he didn’t care to find out if his fears had been correct, and merely chose not to respond in any form or fashion; the only thing on his mind was getting to lunch period so that he could be near his beloved Kyle.
When Jacob’s math teacher, Mrs. Tacoma, finally began her lesson for the day, he felt more at ease within his own skin and suspected that he would be safe until next period. Though as he listened to the lesson, curiosity began filling his mind, and he quickly peeked over his textbook towards the front of the class. He carefully glanced around the room and his eyes soon connected with a fellow classmate by the name of Amanda, whom he discovered staring at him. The look upon her face quickly startled him and he swiftly returned his face behind his textbook.
From the look that fell upon Amanda’s face, he gathered that she pitied him; for it had been etched across her face, and needed no real interpretation. Though he wondered how she would have known, because she wasn’t even in his first period class, but he didn’t care how she knew, all he could manage to see was that his life was in ruins and his worst fears were now realized.
As fifteen minutes tickled slowly by, Jacob remained behind his textbook, hoping and praying for the clock to move faster. Suddenly, he heard a loud commotion from the front of the room and his curiosity forced him to look over his textbook. He saw Amanda out of her seat, hovering over two boys in the front of her, screaming. “SHUT UP THE BOTH OF YOU! Leave him alone this instant! I’m sick and tired of hearing you guys whispering these past fifteen minutes and I’m sick of it. Grow up you jerks!”
“Oh, so now he’s got a girl protecting him? What are you, his girlfriend?” the boy stressed, clasping his hands together. “Oh wait HA-HA! He’s gay and he doesn’t like girly girls.”
“Yeah seriously, why don’t you shut it you little slut,” said the other.
“Um, excuse me boys!” Mrs. Tacoma interrupted, piercingly. “I think you’ve just earned yourselves a visit to the principal’s office.” She pointed towards the door and restated her desire for them to leave. The boys were dumbfounded by her strict tone, for they had never known her to speak louder than a whisper. When they finally got over the shock, they glared at her and gave her the evil eye. “GO NOW!” she reiterated one finally time. They’d awoken the dragon and they didn’t want any more of it and swiftly left the room without a peep.
After they had left the room, Mrs. Tacoma resumed her lesson, and only when she had finished giving out her instructions did Jacob get up from his chair to approach her. “Mrs. Tacoma, can I please be excused from class,” he requested softly.
“Yes, you may Jacob,” she replied, smiling.
“Thank you,” he smiled back.
As he casually walked towards the door, he wondered why she hadn’t asked for a reason, though he deeply suspected she already knew about what happened earlier. A frown quickly returned to his face as he entered into the hallway. The halls were desolate and absent of any form of life; this also reflected how he felt inside, alone. It made him angry and sad knowing that his teacher could already know what had occurred, though it was bound to happen after what he’d done; it seemed to be spreading like wildfire around the entire school. Yet, the more that he thought, the less attention he paid to his surroundings, and was soon startled when hands touched his shoulder.
Jacob quickly turned around and found Amanda directly behind him. “Listen, I’m really sorry about those jerks. Try to not let them get to you,” Amanda said softly, grabbing for his hand.
“Hey, why the fuck are you touching me? Get away from me!” Jacob barked, pulling his hand away and taking a step backwards.
“Sorry, but I know you didn’t mean that,” she said sternly. “Anyway, I know that you might lose some friends over this, but please remember that you might also gain some. So what I’m saying is; I want to be your friend.”
“Listen, I don’t need your pity, nor do I want to be your good cause of the week, so please don’t even bother,” Jacob exclaimed.
“No, it’s not like that at all, I swear to you,” Amanda explained.
“Whatever, just please leave me alone,” Jacob protested, forcing his way past her.
As he made his way down the hall, he realized how rude he was and wished he hadn’t been so mean, but now wasn’t the time to be bothered; he needed some silence, some alone time, in order to think and figure out all this madness. With that in mind, he swiftly turned the corner and walked directly for the side exit.
Upon exiting, he spotted a wooden bench under a tree. ‘That’ll probably be a good spot to think things through,’ he thought, walking towards it.
The moment his rear end touched the bench, he relaxed and felt a warm breeze blow over him and through his boyish hair. He could hear the leaves in the trees high above rustling within the dashes of wind and the sound of birds chirping off in the distance. This was what he needed; a place of quiet and serenity.
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