Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
Catstaff would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Richard's Redemption

By Catstaff

Drama / Romance

Chapter 1

They don't understand why I did it. They all think I'm nothing but a suck-up and a fink. I suppose that's true, but not for the reasons they think. They don't know what I've been hiding so desperately all these years. They don't know the loss I felt when the news came. I've never showed it, never showed anyone my real feelings. But I needed to hurt someone else as badly as I was hurting. It couldn't be them, and it couldn't be Neil's father, so there was no one left but Mr. Keating. Neil had pretty well worshiped the man anyway, so it must have been his fault. Or so I told myself.

I just wish it had worked. But all it did was make the others turn on me. Especially when Todd Anderson pulled that little stunt of climbing onto his desk in front of Dean Nolan, when Mr. Keating came for his things. What surprised me the most was that everyone followed along. Even me.

And now it's welcome back to “Hell-ton” following the winter break. Welcome back to a class missing two of its members. Welcome back to the place where I no longer have anyone willing to count me as a friend, however grudgingly. Welcome back to an announcement from Dean Nolan that everyone was getting new dorm assignments, to “keep us from dwelling on the past.” As if anything is going to stop that from happening.

I sigh as I head towards the dorm following the start-of-term ceremony in the school chapel, wondering who my new roommate will be. Hopefully no one as crazy as Charlie Dalton was. Nuwanda. But I'm sure they'll have made sure not to put any of the members of the Dead Poet's Society together, since they're trying to make like Neil never lived and died. And why does it still hurt so much to think of it? He never really liked me, I know that. My fault, really, but I never really wanted anyone to like me. At least not until I learned what it felt like to be truly despised. I hope my new roommate is from one of the other sections of the class. At least if he is, he won't have known Neil quite so well.
But my heart nearly stops when I check the board for the new listings. Anderson? They're putting me in with Todd Anderson? I drop my suitcase, I'm so surprised. As I pick it up and straighten up again, a hand lands on my shoulder. I manage not to yelp, but I do jump a little.
“Mr. Cameron, I'm sorry to have startled you,” Dean Nolan says. “I'm sure you've seen your new room assignment. As I'm sure you know, Mr. Anderson refused to sign the statement against your former teacher. I felt it best to have him rooming with someone the faculty knows they can rely upon to report any further irregularities in his behavior. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir, I do,” I reply automatically.
“Good.” Dean Nolan nods once, looking over the pile of yet-unclaimed suitcases sitting by the notice board. “Have a successful term, Mr. Cameron.”
I head for the stairs as the Dean walks away. Wonderful. Even the Dean is convinced that I'm nothing more than a bootlicker. For the first time, I seriously consider chucking it all. But I'm too scared. I don't know how to do anything but meet the expectations of those in authority. Until earlier this year, it never even occurred to me that there might be other options.
The room is empty when I get there, although Todd's suitcase is open on one of the beds. He must be off greeting someone else. Probably Overstreet. Or Meeks, or Pitts. No matter. I unpack methodically, preferring the solitude to the silent treatment I know I would get if any of the others was in here talking to Todd. He'd changed almost out of recognition in the last couple of weeks of the old term. It was as if a switch had been thrown in him, from the moment he stood up on his desk in defiance of Dean Nolan and in honor of Mr. Keating. The hesitant and shy Todd Anderson had vanished, and the new Todd Anderson seemed almost cocky. As if he was serving notice that he no longer had anything to lose.
Maybe he didn't.
Neil had been Todd's first real friend. Even I could see that. Neil had stood between him and a lot of teasing, had smoothed his way socially with the others, and encouraged his writing. I'd wondered sometimes, was there something about Todd in particular that made Neil want to help him? Or was it just Neil being Neil, helping out the new and nervous person who'd been randomly assigned as his roommate? I wondered if Neil might have liked me better if we'd been assigned together as nervous new students... if maybe he would have seen through my walls the way he seemed to have seen through Todd's. But that had been five years ago, and fate had given me Chet Danburry as a roommate back then, and the only thing Chet did was convince me that hiding my feelings was the best way to avoid becoming his punching bag. I was glad when he flunked out the following year. But by then, I never wanted anyone to know how I felt about anything.
I wish I'd been able to tell Neil how much I liked him.
Todd returns to the room as I shove my empty suitcase under the bed. My breath catches in my throat slightly as I look up at him. With that new confidence or cockiness or whatever it was, the way he walks now reminds me of Neil when he'd gotten the role of Puck in the Henley Hall play. Todd's eyes are different, though. Neil's had sparkled with the joy he'd had in doing something he really enjoyed. Todd's eyes only show pain and loss, which made me want to comfort him somehow.
But I don't even have time to stand before a shutter drops down behind Todd's eyes. He sweeps me with a look of disdain... which I deserve... and turns his back to finish his own unpacking. I sit on my bed, trying not to watch as Todd moves from the bed to the wardrobe and back again. He never says a word.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long term.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.

Ashley Stryker: So I'm writing this review, keeping in mind that this is a work in progress and it's part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so my "deeper" critiques will be saved until it's all finished up.+ Chapter One: A stewardess would not talk to anyone quite like that, particularly a clear minor...

Usagi Kita: This story is emotional from beginning to end. You get to watch the characters struggle and grow, maturing in different ways so that they come to be the people they are meant to be. Inea is insanely adorable, and his antics made me laugh more than once, and Kaedon is perfect for him in so many wa...

RubyScars: I absolutely love your story! It killed me when I finished, I read it all at once and then it stopped at the epic cliffhanger! Uggggggh. But, that said, it just means that you have done such a lovely job. I am so in love with your complicated characters, and even the ones I didn't like you slowl...

FateFellShort: I have read this story and have followed the writers on tumblr from the beginning. Its a wonderful story. Beautifully written with a really nice pace, that makes it enjoyable to read more than once. For me, fairy tail has very good characters but what the writers have done is give them more depth...

tyleroakleyfan: thank you for writing this story I loved it. it was great I enjoyed every minute of it I couldn't stop reading you did a fantastic job. Thanks for killing ron he was starting to piss me off. he was being a dick. I love that you made it a gay love story its about time someone did. love it great job.

Animeviewer: It is one of the best stories I've ever read. This story will have you riding a roller coaster of emotions and nearly dying to know what happens next.You will get very attached to the characters and in my case I relate well with some of their very traumatic or emotional experiences, Just Juliet f...

Jessie: I wrote a review on fanfiction but I thought it would be fitting to write on on here too :) This story was honestly stunning. I am a budding writer myself and to read this- to FEEL this- reminded me of why I am honoured to have this passion and drive for a craft that is just so raw and beautiful.

More Recommendations

Jordan Young: *ALERT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Where to start? I don't know how to sum up this review, this story was absolutely sensational. Brilliant. Flawless. I loved every single bit of this story, it is truly amazing. I read this story in fifteen hours, it is magnificent. I loved everything about it, the p...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."