The Journey of Jacob and Kyle
by Andrew Davis
Chapter 16: This Cold Heart (Cont.)
Time line: Monday
Kyle, Jacob, and Amanda walked hand in hand into the fresh air outside. The sky was blue as far as their eyes could see, without a single cloud within their sight. A light breeze gently brushed through their hair as they made their way out the front doors and into the bright glowing sun that shot blindingly into their eyes. It was a beautiful day that held limitless possibilities for all of them, but what was yet to come, no one could’ve foreseen, and as they happened to walk past the flagpole that stood waving the American flag high up in the sky, Kyle stopped to look at the concrete steps below and further down the path.
“Hey Amanda, did you know that right here in this very spot was where I first held Jacob in my arms?” Kyle gleefully announced with a smile, his index finger now pointing towards this special point of interest beside the flagpole. “He was standing right here, waiting for me as I approached him from behind and boy let me tell you, I was hoping with all that I could muster that I’d be able to give him a fright. But, in the moment that my hand touched him, the little shit turned his body around so fast that he managed to lose his balance, and right here in this spot, I caught him in my arms.” Kyle felt an unquenchable joy radiate through his entire body as he reminisced of this time of fateful happenstance; it was a jubilant moment in his not-so-distant memory, a place where his excitement still resided, and a place where his emotions were free to overflow without any fear of condemnation.
After all, this was one of Kyle’s fondest memories recently, for it held a special place in his heart and he knew that he couldn’t let go of it so easily, even as he continued playing it repeatedly within his mind, while Jacob and Amanda stood by, watching his mind take him further from reality.
Kyle stood immobile, his face looking blankly towards the parking lot; he was in a daze that consumed his every waking moment. An emotional response would soon follow and cause a tear to escape from his bright blue eyes, which rolled down his cheek, and down towards the ground below.
Amanda couldn’t help but notice this momentary lapse in Kyle’s composure, because in her eyes it was a tiny glimpse into a heart that felt nothing but love for Jacob. “Aww, that’s so cute, Kyle. I can see how much that moment really means to you. But besides all of that mushy stuff, really? You actually did that to Jacob? That’s beyond hilarious; it’s on some other level shit, let me tell you.” Amanda then began giggling as her chest heaved rather uncontrollably and she was left gasping for air. After a few solid moments of air reaching her lungs, she released her hand from Kyle’s, which broke his dazed state, and darted off for Jacob’s hips, which evidently happened to be the most ticklish spot upon his body.
“Hey, what the hell, Kyle … you told her about my sweet spot? I thought that was going to be kept between us!” Jacob protested, while trying to keep his distance from Amanda’s long reach. “Go away, you! Go away this very instant!” he demanded with an even firmer tone in his voice. His fervent desire was loud and clear, but Amanda wouldn’t hear his cry for mercy.
“Nope, I won’t do that, Jakey.” Once again Jacob shot a look of bewilderment towards Kyle. This was a pet name that only Kyle had ever used, and by that very thought, it raised his suspicions dramatically. “So, what are you going to do about it, huh? Run all the way home?” Amanda mocked as she chased him further around the parking lot. However, had it not been for Jacob’s swift moves of diversion, he surely would’ve been caught by now. “Because let me tell you right now – you’re going to feel the hold of my amazing grip no matter what you do. You’ll never get away from these hands, because I’m going to tickle you until you drop dead from laughter.” Amanda continued laughing as she chased Jacob around the parking lot, she was rather enjoying this time of bonding, or so she perceived it to be.
“Kyle, call her off, call her off, damn it!”
“And I should do that … why? This is far too funny to stop.” Kyle laughed just as Amanda had laughed; it was a hysterical scene filled with Jacob running around in circles, trying his best to distance himself from Amanda’s wanting hands. Nevertheless, as Amada grew ever closer, Jacob made even bigger strides to make distance between them. Eventually, Amanda and Jacob’s bodies grew tired and because Amanda’s speed just wasn’t up to par with Jacob’s smooth moves of diversion, she stopped chasing him and took a moment for a breather.
Neither of them would care to admit who’d given up the game of cat and mouse first, lest some form of pride sneak in. But, after running around for a good fifteen minutes, their bodies had given up the fight and were far too weak to put up any sort of fuss to the contrary. Their fatigue was self-evident, and was set deep within their muscles as they slowly returned to Kyle, who’d since stopped his nonsensical laughter and had made himself comfortable on the steps where he’d once caught his beloved in his waiting arms.
“Well, I hope you two burned off some energy,” Kyle expressed with some swift hand gestures. “Because if I know my mother like I know I do, she’s definitely going to want to feed us a five-course meal when we get there. And yes, she treats me very well as I’m sure Jacob can easily confirm with her recent offering of cookies.”
“What are you talking about? I still have loads of energy … but that’s the least of my worries right now,” Jacob explained. Kyle gave a look of bewilderment towards his beloved and with a casual rolling of his wrist, as if to suggest for Jacob to elaborate why he was so concerned, he waited with baited breath. “I don’t trust her, honey. I know that in the very second that I try to sit my little rear end down, she’s going to leap after me again and then I’ll die, just like she said. And let me tell you, I surely can’t have that, I just can’t.”
Amanda began laughing as she sat herself down beside Kyle. “Ha! I’ll surely give you some trouble, but I don’t plan on bothering you right at the moment. Now you can bet on that one.” Amanda’s laugher grew harder, as she patted her leg, and laughed fiercer than she had before. Eventually she stopped and gasped for some air to hit her lungs and then she continued. “But luckily for you, I’m far too tired now. So, as a sign of our friendship, let’s shake on a truce and that’ll be the end of it for the day. But, please don’t take this to mean that I won’t try again tomorrow, because tomorrow’s a new day and I’ll surely bring the tickle upon that tiny body of yours once again.”
“Is that so Amanda? Do you solemnly swear, or affirm, that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” Jacob paused to wait for a response. But all he received in returned was a set of blank stares. “Sorry, I heard that on TV a little while ago and I’ve always wanted to say it. And yes, before you even say it, I know I’m a dork,” Jacob nonchalantly mentioned as he went on to mocking Amanda. “And to be honest, I don’t know if I should be shivering in my boots or just laughing at your speed, or lack thereof. But I’ll gladly accept this truce for the moment, and then I’m going to give you a great big hug.”
“Oh is that so, hmm, and why do you think I’d even allow you give me a hug? Because in all honesty, I think this is some sort of trick to get back at me.” Jacob almost looked offended when she said this. He meant what he said. After all, he thought she’d like this genuine form of affection, but he could’ve been mistaken. “– HA, got you!”
“And you seem to think you’re a comedian now? Ha, now who’s funny … oh yes, me of course.” Jacob then stood up, threw his arms into the air as if to say how could she not know, and after a moment of thought, he let his heart speak with all the wisdom it could muster. “Amanda, in all honesty, after everything is said and done, I know you care about Kyle and me.”
Jacob smiled at Amanda and looked down towards the ground. He was a little shaken by all of this. He’d never been this open with a girl before, let alone one he’d only just met recently. He couldn’t help it though, his voice wouldn’t allow him to be strong enough to actually say what it really wanted. However, this didn’t go unnoticed by Amanda, as she clearly heard the shakiness in his voice. Even though Jacob’s words were simple and straightforward, she didn’t have any doubts of his sincerity, because for all intents and purposes, she could see that his words were filled with compassion and thankfulness. This was something she’d never seen coming from Jacob, and she felt deeply honored to have witnessed this moment of clarity within him.
“Maybe it’s even possible that you love me for who I really am, and to be quite honest with you, I deeply appreciate that coming from you. You’re truly someone I can look up to – well, that’s until you tried to tickle me.” Jacob smiled once again and reached for Amanda’s shoulders and affirmed his heart even further. “You’re someone who’s very special to me and I don’t know how else to say it; but I love you the only way that I can.”
“Aww, do you have any idea how cute you are, Jacob? I love you too, even if we hardly know each other just yet. But, I guess I can only hope we’ll become the best of friends and change that.”
“I’m sorry to say this, but if you don’t mind me asking, why is it that you love us? It’s not like we’ve ever done anything for you,” Jacob pried further, totally oblivious, and unable to grasp the latter of her statements. In the end, it was one thing for him to be appreciative in having someone like her in his life, but it was another for her to return such affections without cause. It wasn’t like love required something of merit to be of worth … or did it?
Amanda gave a moment of pause and pursed her lips while she pondered Jacob’s questions deep within her own mind. She could see the lingering doubt that rested in his facial expressions, with his eyes speaking most of all with a need that longed to be filled. It was a cry for an understanding, a faith-building question that was to somehow draw them closer as friends. However, no matter how hard she tried to reason, there was no denying that Jacob needed to know. More so, he had to know. But, how was she going to say what was held deep within her own heart? This was something that was problematic for her, because even for her, it was never easy to put her feelings into words, especially to someone as edgy as Jacob. It made things more difficult for her because she’d really come to love Jacob and Kyle, and she wanted to make sure that every word, every syllable was the right one, but how was she to say the right words and have Jacob understand them?
Amanda gazed into Jacob’s eyes, touched his hand, and let the words that came to her mind speak for itself. “Well, I guess the easiest way for me to explain it is that I just do, Jacob,” Amanda expressed compassionately. “As I’ve said to you before, I think you’re special, and no, I don’t mean special as in special education special, but in a way that is you and only you. You’re unique Jacob and I like that about you. And I firmly believe that beyond the mask you always wear that you’re just a little teddy bear, and for that, I just want to snuggle, hug, and tickle you all day long. Plus, if you really must know, I think you two are safe, and you’re everything that most other kids aren’t. You and Kyle have something that’s really special and it’s almost contagious, and I think you’ve somehow infected me with it too!” Amanda tilted her head slightly and smiled.
“Are you trying to say that in one way or another we’ve infected you with our gayness? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO SAY?” Jacob demanded, his attitude changing from one of appreciation to pure anger in that very instant. He then took a step backwards and ripped his hand away from Amanda’s.
Kyle immediately stood up and got in between Amanda and Jacob, with his hands firmly placed on their chests to distance them from one another. “Are you being serious right now, Jacob? For fuck’s sake, that’s not what she meant at all. You need to take a step back, settle the fuck down, and take care of that rage you’ve got built up, because you’re the only one that can deal with it. I surely can’t do it for you, baby. And I for one don’t appreciate you treating Amanda like that, she doesn’t deserve that. Look at what she’s done for you and me. And I know she wouldn’t say something like that. So, before you manage to fuck everything …”
Amanda immediately raised her left hand and stopped Kyle from going any further. It was easy for Amanda to see that matters were far worse than she’d previously anticipated. “Kyle, it’s quite all right, really, I got this. No, that isn’t what I meant at all, Jacob. I honestly don’t know why you’re so snappy today. But, what I really meant by it was the love you both share with one another, that’s what’s infectious. I just love how you two are so connected, so bonded, like some sort of super glue, and I believe in that. I can feel the emotions flowing between you, and in essence it radiates around me too,” Amanda explained. “So, stop being so goddamn arrogant and understand that I’m here for you no matter what, and in all honesty, no matter what you do, and I do mean that, you’ll never be able to get rid of me. You’re stuck with me now. SO, DEAL WITH IT!”
Jacob was stunned. Did he hear Amanda correctly? Did she just tell him to ‘DEAL WITH IT?’ In his heart he knew she meant every word of it. Even the look in her eyes spoke of something that was truer than the air in his lungs, and in that moment of remorse, he learned what it truly meant to have someone stand by you, to be your rock, and without any sort of guidelines or conditions to conform to. This was something of a realization, almost an awaking in his heart and mind, and this made him feel proud in having someone like her in his life.
Nevertheless, Jacob was still beside himself and feeling terribly guilty for the way he treated Amanda these past few minutes. He couldn’t believe he jumped the gun like that, he never even considered thinking before he spoke, and now he was to live with the consequences of his choice of words. But, would they be ammunition used against him? What would Amanda think of him now?
As Jacob’s conscience did a number on him, Amanda took this chance to approach Jacob again. She swiftly took his hand into her own. “Darling, what’s going on in that brain of yours?”
He sighed and squeezed Amanda’s hand back. “I’m really sorry about that Amanda, but I tend to get a little stupid sometimes. Kyle’s usually the only one that can stop me from biting, per se. You see, as of late I’ve just had this evil venom flowing through my veins and sometimes it just comes out when I don’t want it to. Forgive me?”
“I can totally understand that, Jacob. At times my little brother can be a real pain in my rear, but you know what? He’s my brother and I love him regardless. So, please for once in your life, don’t be so hard on yourself and trust that I’m going to be here for you and that I’ll always be your friend. You can count on me, just like I count on God to look out for me. You see … you’re never going to be alone again, no matter what happens. I promise.”
By now, Kyle had heard enough of Jacob’s woe is me bit, and was getting ready to snap at him again, but ultimately he allowed Amanda’s guiding words of wisdom direct him to a better course of action. “All right, I think it’s about time we get ourselves moving. I don’t know about you, but I surely don’t want to be sitting around for the rest of the day, so how about we get a move on to my place?”
As soon as Amanda and Jacob agreed that it was time to start heading out, Thomas came charging out of the front doors, and stopped almost immediately. He didn’t know what to do next as he stumbled upon some people whom he could easily recognize from behind, standing just a few yards away. ‘Should I run back inside?’ the thought sprang to his mind. ‘Should I approach them? Or run and hide?’ Although, Thomas couldn’t understand why seeing them at this very moment was something that frightened him, he quickly reasoned that Jacob’s recent actions was a major deciding factor in not wanting to be seen.
Thomas decided in the twenty seconds that it took to come to a conclusion that it would be best just to avoid them altogether and went to run back into the school. But as Amanda turned to her left, just as Thomas was about to run back inside, she saw a boy who looked absolutely terrified. “Oh hey, Thomas, are you okay? What’s going on?” She swiftly beckoned towards him with a wave.
Thomas now had no place to go and slowly walked with his head hung low towards Amanda. “Meh, nothing much I suppose. I was just about to head home.”
“Oh … well that’s good. There’s really no need to waste all your time here at school. I mean who’d want to do that? So, do you live around here, pumpkin?” Amanda questioned softly, taking a glance at Thomas’ posture.
“Why are you calling me pumpkin? That’s just freaking weird,” Thomas protested, taking a step backwards. “But yeah, I do live around here, sort of. But, I’m close enough that I can walk to school every day. Why do you ask?”
“I don’t know. It just seemed right in the moment. Anyway, did you want to walk with us? We’d really love it if you to tagged along.”
Thomas took another step backwards and looked around. His eyes glanced to his left, then his right, all the while his hands slipped into his pockets where they attempted to form a fist. “I don’t believe that’d be wise,” he gritted through his teeth after taking a thorough look around, though his lips never moved, almost as if he were a ventriloquist.
Amanda shrugged off an uneasy feeling in her gut. Though, she wondered why Thomas was being so precautious before responding. “Oh, don’t be silly. So, that’ll be enough of that, you’re coming with us.” Amanda then charged forth, grabbed Thomas by the hand, and dragged him closer to Jacob and Kyle. “So, Thomas has agreed that he’ll be coming for a walk with us. I’m sure we’ll have to part ways at some point, so how does that sound?”
Kyle gave Thomas a good once over and saw his damp hair, the terrified look in his eyes, and his stained clothes that almost appeared dirtier than before. “Thomas? Are you okay, bro? You’re looking kind of pale, like you’ve seen a ghost. Did something happen after we left?”
“No, nothing happened. It’s nothing really, you know …” Thomas looked Kyle straight in the eye. “You know,” he stressed further, hinting at something more, something subtle that only Jacob and Kyle might pick up on. “I really don’t want to go home, Kyle. Especially, considering that Mr. Matthews gave me this note to give to my father.”
“Oh, you got one too?” Jacob chirped in. “I thought I was only getting one, I guess I was wrong on that one, huh?” Jacob shrugged nonchalantly. “But I know what you mean, Thomas; I think my dad’s going to kill me for getting in a fight too. I just hope he doesn’t ground me for it. I don’t think I could stand not being able to see Kyle. Anyway … any ideas what’s actually written in the letter?”
Thomas shifted his eyes again and gave one final look around before speaking. “I don’t know, I suppose I could always check mine since the envelope isn’t sealed.” Thomas then removed a white envelope from his back pocket and handed it to Jacob. “See, it’s not even sealed.”
Jacob didn’t hesitate as he quickly retrieved the letter from within its folds. “I wonder why mine’s sealed and yours isn’t. That’s really weird.” When Jacob’s eyes met the page he read it aloud.
‘Dear Mr. Daniels,
I’m currently writing you this letter to inform you that your son, Thomas Daniels, was involved in a fight with another student during their first period class. As I’m sure you already know; this goes against all of our school policies as we have a zero tolerance in regards to violence. The school authorities, including myself, have firmly dealt with this issue regarding your son and the other student. According to Mr. Henson, Thomas’ first period teacher, Thomas made several derogatory comments about people of other sexual orientations and those remarks further provoked another student to take action against Thomas.
These events transpired after an announcement was made about anti-bullying week. It has always been the school’s intention to encourage students to be accepting of other people’s ethnicities, orientations, and genders, and this became further complicated by the actions of both Thomas and the other student, Jacob.
Our intention is to merely inform you of this infraction, and to let you know that it was firmly dealt with at the school, and that no further discipline will be necessary. This will however, be reflected on Thomas’ permanent record.
If you could please sign this letter at your earliest convenience, and have Thomas return it to me, it would be very much appreciated.
Mr. J. Matthews
Principal, Naples High School’
Jacob pulled his eyes away from the page and folded the letter back in place within the confines of the envelope. “Well, I suppose that’s fair considering all that happened. I think he’s being pretty fair. But, unfortunately, I don’t know what my father’s going to say because Mr. Matthews sealed my letter, or I’d show you. But they probably say the same thing, except my name is used instead of yours. I guess I’ll find out later.” Jacob then showed his sealed copy to Thomas. “I just wonder why he left yours unsealed … probably doesn’t trust me or something.”
“That’s okay Jacob, I believed you. But I agree, it probably says the same thing mine does. Although, unlike you, I have no idea what my dad will do.” Once again, Thomas’ eyes shifted as he looked between Kyle and Jacob, and then Amanda. “That’s kinda why I don’t wanna to go home.”
“Do you need us to walk you home? I mean, you know, no matter what your answer is you’re still coming with us,” Amanda instructed, mostly to herself. She then grabbed Thomas’ hand and tried to bring comfort to his fears. She didn’t know what Thomas was afraid of, but something deep in her chest told her that Jacob and Kyle knew more than what they were letting on. “What’s the worst that could happen?” She swiftly followed up.
“There’s a lot that COULD happen!” Thomas barked, without elaborating anything further. “But I’m not going to discuss that with you guys. Sorry. So, I guess I’ll walk with you until we get closer to my place. Then we can go our separate ways.”
“Okay, that sounds fair,” Amanda responded, squeezing Thomas’ hand tighter in her own. “So, how about you take the lead and we’ll leave you once we realize you’re going in a different direction.”
Amanda knew most of all that while she couldn’t come to understand what was locked deep in Thomas’ mind, she could still try to find out what was troubling him. Especially after seeing that sheer look of fear in his eyes, it made her deeply aware that something just wasn’t adding up, and this genuinely concerned her. Although she was never one to draw any foregone conclusions, she came to suspect that something was going on in his home life. ‘Is it possible that Jacob and Kyle know what’s going on? All this cryptic talk seems a bit … weird,’ she thought, before concluding that she wasn’t going to jump to any conclusions without all of the facts.
“I would just like to say for the record, that if you need someone to talk to Thomas, then I’m all ears. Okay?”
“I’m okay, really. Now just lay off.”
Amanda released her hand from Thomas’. “Fine, have it your way. So, let’s at least get something accomplished here and get going.”
Thomas liked the thought of leaving school, even though he considered it a safe haven from his unfortunate situation at home. Rather though, he didn’t want to be followed, may it be home or otherwise, let alone having them to know where he lived. But what choice did he have? It wasn’t like he willing to wonder around aimlessly, dragging his fellow schoolmates to God knows where, although he did consider such things before starting his walk home.
As they finally left the parking lot, Amanda slowed her pace and let her steps become shorter. This was every bit intentional as she tried to distance herself further from Thomas. And once she was satisfied that she was out of ear shot, Amanda grabbed Kyle by the wrist and made sure that he and Jacob had no way of passing her.
Kyle was every bit as shocked with Amanda as Jacob was when she stopped them, forcefully in their tracks. “What’s wrong?” Kyle quickly posed the question, but the look of concern on her face made him feel uneasy. Was it possible she knew? This thought unnerved Kyle, and he began to wonder even further. But this opportunity of thought wasn’t permitted as Amanda’s lips began moving without making a single sound. “FOLLOW HIM HOME,” her lips mouthed out, her instructions being made loud and clear to the both of them, and with a swift nod, they began trying to catch up to Thomas, who was now forty feet ahead of them.
When they finally caught up to Thomas, Kyle gave his mind free reign to think without anything holding him back. It was a wise choice to follow Thomas home, he thought, since this would give them the opportunity to see where Thomas lived and a chance to scope out his situation, and if a problem were ever to arise, they would break the promise they made to Thomas in a heartbeat.
Ten minutes later, Thomas rounded his final corner and stopped to take a look at Amanda. “Do you need to go this way too?” he asked, secretly hoping she’d say no.
“Yeah, we all live down this way. So, why don’t you continue on and we’ll see you off at your front door I suppose,” Amanda replied with haste.
Thomas’ last hope was dashed in that very instant. And with a heavy heart, he continued walking down the sidewalk and towards his house. Deep down he was terrified, because from where he currently stood, he could see his father off in the distance lying on the porch. This was something he didn’t want his fellow schoolmates to see, but what choice did he have? “Oh, okay,” he finally replied sheepishly, unable to mask the fear that resonated from his voice.
Thomas then stopped short of his house and peered up towards his father, who appeared to be dead to the world, and snoring up a storm. He could see rather easily that his father was in another one of his drunken stupors, and while this didn’t surprise him, it was somewhat embarrassing because this was an everyday occurrence at his house. At present, his father’s posture wasn’t anything normal, but was more so less animated, with his legs spread eagle across the porch for all to see. Beside his father were several empty beer bottles that were tipped over on either side, with several stacks of empty cases lined up along the front of the house. Thomas was shameful to call a place like this his home, but ultimately he knew that Jacob, Kyle, and Amanda needed to leave before his father could rouse and realize that anything was out of the ordinary.
“Well, I suppose I’ll see you all at school tomorrow,” Thomas swiftly said, taking a quick look away from his father. “I’m really sorry you had to see … my father like this, I mean.”
“Yeah, I suppose that’d be right,” Jacob muttered, before lowering his voice down to a whisper. “You be safe now, you hear, if you need help just let Kyle or me know.”
Thomas felt genuinely surprised by Jacob’s concern and as such gave a smile and a nod in reply. “I guess I’ll see you again soon,” he concluded with a wave, and in a flash he ran up the stairs, skipping a step or two at a time. By the time he managed to reach the porch, he could see how deeply intoxicated his father was, let alone the smell of alcohol on his breath, which could be detected even in the summer’s air.
Thomas didn’t want to wake his father. He knew where that would lead, and with that decision, he tiptoed around him in an attempt to get away scot-free. But his plan was foiled when his father decided to turn over, and in the process his foot struck his father in the arm. His father awoke and stared evil-eyed towards his son. “And what the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
“I was – just um, going inside. But since you’re awake … I, um, got a letter from school that you need to sign.” Thomas watched as his father stirred further and he quickly backed himself into the front door.
“Oh, is that so?” his father slurred as he tried to sit himself up from the porch.
Meanwhile, Amanda hadn’t moved an inch from her spot and she watched with great concern as Thomas’ father raised a fist.
“I got in trouble for fighting,” Thomas announced quickly, hoping his father wasn’t going to strike. The demon had awoken, like a venomous snake, and was ready to lash out.
When his father’s eyes fully adjusted to the glaring sun beaming into his eyes, he looked down towards the street and saw Amanda, Jacob, and Kyle looking onward. “Mmm, what’s going on down there you sexy little thing? Are you having a hard time taking your sweet eyes off this sexy body?” Thomas’ dad, Terry said, pinching his right nipple and giving it a twist. “Oh, I know you can’t look away. It’s too difficult, isn’t it? So, how about instead of standing down there, how about you come up here and give Daddy a sweet little kiss. I know you want to.”
“Hmm – as exciting as that may sounds, here’s a better idea for you to munch on. HOW ABOUT YOU GO FUCK YOURSELF, YOU SICK FUCK!”
“THEN FUCK OFF WOULD YOU! AND WHY DON’T YOU GET THE FUCK OFF MY BLOCK YOU LITTLE FUCKING SKANK!”
Amanda had heard enough and took a step forward. She wasn’t afraid of a man twice her size, but had it not been for Kyle grabbing her by the arm and tugging her backwards, Kyle was sure Amanda would’ve made more than just a scene. “Amanda, it’s not worth it. We know where he lives now, our mission’s accomplished. Let’s just get the hell out of here before we make it worse for Thomas.”
After another tug on Amanda’s arm, and some smooth talking on Kyle’s part, Amanda turned face and followed Kyle back towards Calvin Avenue. When they finally rounded the corner from which they came, they started heading towards Kyle’s house, which was four blocks of backtracking away.
“I can’t believe that asshole, pardon my French. But, NOBODY calls me a skank, or a slut, or anything of the sort. I’m a woman with dignity, a woman with pride, a woman with strength.”
“You’re a woman?” Jacob piped in.
“Shut up, Jacob,” Kyle broke in.
“Yeah, shut up Jacob,” Amanda said with a smile. “It’s already bad enough that I’ve been called a slut today at school and I know I said that I didn’t care, but it hurts when people say stuff like that when they know absolutely nothing about me.”
“You know they’re wrong,” Jacob touched Amanda on the shoulder. “I know what you mean. I know how words can hurt, as the saying goes, sticks and stones –”
“Jacob … we’re five years old again – I’m sure she already knows the rhyme, so there really isn’t a need to be spouting it off to her, baby. Although, with that being said, I think the only suggestion that I could make to you is to not to listen to those people, they know nothing, nothing at all,” Kyle added to what Jacob had already said. “Please try to not let Thomas’ father ruin your day, because we’ve still got lots that we’re still going to do, and I’m sure you’re going to have plenty of fun. So, please, I beg of you, let me see that smile return once again.”
“Stop it, would you. I’m the one that should be encouraging you two. But, I know you’re right; I can’t let their words wreck my day.” Amanda smiled again, grabbed Jacob and Kyle’s hands into her own and off they walked towards Potter Road.
Thomas’ father, Terry, dragged himself off the porch after a few minutes and stumbled into the house to find Thomas. After a bit of yelling to get the whereabouts of his son, he entered into Thomas’ room. “So, who were those fucking kids out in front my house? Did you bring them here, you little shit?”
“No Dad, I didn’t ask them to come with me. I meant to avoid those kids most of all, but then that girl saw me and offered to walk home together. I thought maybe they’d leave before I got here, but that just didn’t happen, unfortunately.”
“So, who were they then? Actually, never mind that, what’s this about you getting in a fight at school?” When Thomas didn’t respond, he raised his hand. “I said, what’s this about you getting in a fight at school? Show me this note that you’ve got so I can see what kind of trouble you’ve been getting yourself into.” Thomas didn’t move. He never liked it when his father was drunk; it always sent shivers down his spine. Only bad things came from times like these. “Let me see it, and boy it better be fucking good!” his father demanded when Thomas neither moved, nor acknowledged his request.
Thomas slowly stood up, retrieved the note from his back pocket, and swiftly handed it to his father before retreating back to the comfort of his bed. Terry didn’t hesitate as he pulled the letter from the envelope, and as soon as he read the final line of the letter, an evil smirk appeared across his face. “That’s my boy, that’s a very good job, son,” Terry proclaimed, happy that Thomas had taken a fist, a shoe, or whatever, to the face of one of them lowlife, evil, appalling, faggots. “I’m so happy that you stood your ground and put a beating on one of those faggots. And all I can say is you better have won, because if you didn’t … believe me, you don’t want to know.” Terry then showed his fist and stumbled into the wall for support. “So, did you win you little fuck? SPEAK UP ALREADY!”
Thomas lost all hope in that very moment. He knew where this was going to lead; a beating was going to be coming his way, and very soon. “I actually l—l—l—lost. He was too strong.”
“EXCUSE ME? I don’t think I heard you properly. Did you just say that you got beat up by one of them … them … things? Because if that’s what you’re telling me, then here’s an idea for you. WHY DON’T YOU GO FIND THAT THING, BEND OVER, AND LET HIM FUCK YOU! But then again, I think you’d like it too much.” Terry hit his tipping point and his rage flowed with ferocity. “No way, no son of mine is going to get his ass handed to him by a faggot. NOW GET THE FUCK OVER HERE. AND DON’T MAKE ME TELL YOU TWICE!”
Thomas’ survival instincts then kicked in and he tried to make a run for it. He tried slipping around his father, but Terry was blocking the door and without much effort on his part, he grabbed his son by the throat. “So, you think it’s funny do you? You think it’s okay to get beaten by those things? Because if so, I’m going to teach you some moves, teach you some things, show you all that there is to know, and most of all, let me show you what REAL PAIN IS!”
Thomas’ face started turning blue; his oxygen was being cut off by his father’s powerful grip over his windpipe. “How’s that so far, son? Do you want some air, you little pussy?” He then threw Thomas into the wall and quickly removed his belt from his pants.
“DAD, STOP, PLEASE!” Thomas pleaded as the tears streamed down his face. “I’ll win next time, I promise. Please don’t do this.”
“And why should I believe what you’ve got to say, you little shit?” Terry then charged for Thomas, wrapped his belt around his son’s neck and dragged him out into the hall, down sixteen steps, and threw him into the corner clear across the living room. “You stay right there, you little fuck, and if you think of even moving from that spot, SO HELP ME GOD!”
Amanda made an abrupt stop and peered back down the road. “Something wrong Amanda?” Jacob questioned when her hand slipped from his own.
“Something just doesn’t feel right to me.”
“What do you mean?” Jacob asked.
“I’m not exactly sure. I’ve only had this feeling once before, and that was after saying a prayer to ask God to use me so that I could help others.”
“So, you believe in all that hoopla too?” Jacob questioned further.
“Of course, don’t you?”
“I’m not sure what to believe right now, because between Mr. Morris and you believing in a quote unquote God, I don’t know what to say. Both of you have treated me really well. You’re both the kindest people I’ve ever met, other than my father, and once upon a time, my mother.”
“I can understand that.”
“I’m sure it’s easy for you to say you understand.” Jacob looked towards Kyle as if to say shut it for once. “But then I think of those other so-called Christians that say all those hurtful things and speak such bad things about those that aren’t straight or fit their own personal cultural norm.”
“You spoke like a person beyond his years right there, Jacob.”
“Oh, thanks,” Jacob smiled gleefully. “I just don’t understand how someone can say that they love everyone, as the bible says they should, and then turn around and be like you’re going to hell for being gay, lesbian, whatever. I don’t like that.”
“This is true also.”
“Jacob, honey, let’s not overwhelm her right now. I think what’s most important is the way she’s feeling. Maybe if you can remember what happened last time, then you can figure out what it is you’re experiencing. So, what does it feel like anyhow?”
“I’m scared, and even my skin feels clammy, like I’ve been sweating nonstop for hours. It’s almost like I have no place to go, and to be honest with you, the last time I had this gut wrenching feeling, I felt afraid for something, though that time my skin wasn’t clammy like this. I was actually praying the first time I felt this feeling, and I felt a pull in my stomach that God wanted me to do something, and I honestly don’t know if what I did had any effect or anything. But I grabbed a CD I had on my bedside table, wrote a quick little note on a sticky pad and dropped it off at a house around this area. And please don’t ask how I knew where to drop it off; I just had this strong feeling that it was the right place.”
“Oh yeah? Wow, that’s really, um, amazing, uh, yeah,” Kyle was astonished while he looked Amanda straight in the eye, unable to speak a word coherently.
“It really sounds like a lot of hoopla to me. But hey, whatever happens to float your boat. Like I really don’t wanna sound mean, but if God were to somehow exist he’d really need to prove it to me. Sorry, but no offense to you Amanda, it just seems so farfetched, like some sort of fairy tale that our parents used to read to us.”
“Taste and see that the Lord is good, Jacob, that’s all I can say, I can’t show you Him, you need to seek Him for yourself.”
“How about, um, we keep walking. We’re almost to my house,” Kyle suggested.
“Okay, I just hope I can figure this out, because this doesn’t feel right.”
After ten minutes, Kyle rounded onto his street and whispered to Amanda. “How do you feel now?”
Amanda’s mouth dropped, as they approached a house she quite easily recognized. “You don’t happen to live at that one do you?”
“Don’t say another word. Please!”
“Hey, what’s with all the whispering?” Jacob complained.
“Oh, nothing much really. I’m just trying to calm her down with my sweet baritone voice. I think it may soothe her.”
“Uh, okay darling, whatever you say.”
“Oh, and before I forget,” Kyle blurted loudly. “I’m really sorry that I um, touched … your chest back at the school. I meant nothing by that, I just wanted to keep you two apart.”
“Oh, is that so? And for your information they’re called boobs.”
“I knew that. I was just …”
“Afraid to say boobs? HA! Don’t worry about it Kyle, I’m not worried. Your heart was in the right place.”
“Yeah, I suppose it was. Again sorry about that, I feel kinda guilty for touching your boobs.”
Amanda smiled and continued off towards Kyle’s house.
Feedback is the only payment our authors get!
Please take a moment to email the author if you enjoyed the story.