Chapter One: Let It Shines
Reading. Most kids seem to think it’s the devil’s subject, the one class that god wouldn’t approve of. I simply think it’s a class before lunch, and I actually enjoy the class.
Our teacher, Mrs. Calloway, is a short, taller than me, petite woman who wears the oldest looking clothes I’ve seen outside of a history book. She’s wearing clothes you’d see on your grandmother. She has glasses but she has the little chains on the side so she can take them off and wear them like a necklace, which makes no sense to me. She’s taught at our school, Windfield High, for over twenty years, which makes her about fifty years old but she gives us candy and occasionally cookies if we get good grades in her class which is pretty cool considering most teachers just want the day to end so they can slam there heads against walls to try and kill themselves before having to go through another day of us students constant talking and interrupting.
Her class was my third of the day, next was my favorite, lunch, so I was eagerly waiting for her lesson to end. The funny thing was everytime Mrs. Calloways says about twenty words she’ll pause and look down at her book for about twenty seconds before talking again. Trust me, I’ve timed it. I think it’s funny, but no one else in the class seems to notice while there whispering to each other, using Mrs. Calloway’s poor hearing to their advantage, or texting under the desks with their phones brightness turned down, or my personal favorite for the kids in the back of the class, flat down sleeping.
A kid once brought a pillow and blanket just to sleep in the back, which was easy as the back three sets of lights don’t work only the first four rows do, you’d think the back would be pretty lit with there being four out of three lights on but no, it was pretty dark back there.
The class had about twenty-three kids in it and only about five actually pay attention but Mrs. Calloway practically reads from the book, and if a test comes up, reading the chapters it on the night before and you’ll get at least an eight percent. Makes me think Mrs. Calloway needs to make her class a little harder but right now I was passing at her method and I don’t want to screw that up.
Her desk was covered completely, making me wonder how she grades papers on it, but I’ve seen it happen, I was shocked for about five minutes though, she practically used her laptop, one provided by the school, and used it as a clipboard. That was a clear sign she needs to clean her desk off, but the school custodians are too fearful to even touch her desk, afraid something alive is living inside her desk somewhere.
I swear I’ve heard a hiss before.
Regardless of how boring the lesson was, I found myself smiling right along as if it was the most interesting thing imaginable. I’m a smiling person, I smile 24/7 if I don’t smile for more than a couple minutes kids ask me what’s wrong. I’m the school’s happiest attender. It’s not that I love school, but it is generally better than home so I’d take it over a usually empty house.
My dad seriously overworks himself, needing to take a month break from his job at the hospital as an over-night nurse, he takes sixteen hour shifts and within the eight hours he’s off, which is between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. I never see him I’m usually at school and on weekends he’s asleep. My mom is sometimes home but when she is she’s with a man that’s not my father, and it’s usually a different man, I don’t understand why my mother does this but I’m not going to say anything, since it only gets me in trouble, not even my addictive smiles can get me out of trouble with mom getting laid with a guy she shouldn’t even be talking to, let alone having sex with. Then there’s my older brother Ross, who still live at the house because instead of putting his money into something like a house or higher education, no instead he spends it on drugs, my brother is totally addicted to whatever he can get his hands on, and like with mom, I can’t say squat on the matter, unlike with mom, Ross will hit me for trying to stop him and his love of drugs. He’s also in a gang which makes matters completely worse in my opinion.
These reasons usually make the house as empty as possible, it seems like I’m the only good person who came out of this family, if dad was around more than he’d see mom’s behavior and they’d probably be divorced by now, but since dad isn’t around a lot, it really isn’t an issue and usually it doesn’t seem like dad actually cares about his marriage anymore, let alone his children. That’s probably why I hate being home, no one’s there and when they are there doing the things they shouldn’t. The only other family member who is actually normal, other than me of course, is my aunt Meghan. She’s the librarian at the public library a couple blocks from the school, and owns a three-bedroom house further down on the main street it’s actually a pretty nice place and it’s close to the dollar store, grocery, and one of the two parks in town, but the one near her house is totally better in my opinion. Meghan is my mother’s sister, but obviously, my mother was dropped on her head at some point because Meghan thinks ’s my mother is insane and doesn’t know how I turned out as well as I did for being born to my mom. She also was the first person I came out to. I’m gay, which was a shocker for some and obvious to others but surprisingly everyone I knew, well everyone I cared about knowing took it pretty well, even my brother who looked like he couldn’t care if I was attracted to a zebra, my brother is a pretty out-of-it person, I blame his drugs, but he once came into my room and asked me how to turn on a microwave.
If only I had the out-of-it brother all the time, instead of the angrier version of him. I’d take the how-to-turn-on-a-microwave version over I’m-going-to-kill-you version any day.
Surprisingly my brother wasn’t always like this. When we were young he was the nicest kid you’d ever meet, including me, I’d been shy when we were younger, which was probably why he was protective of me before I crawled out of my safety shell and blossomed into my current self. Something changed when he hit pre-teen and whatever it was changed my brother completely, and it wasn’t overnight either, it was a pretty slow change but it was a change none the less, and change I wish never happened, because it didn’t feel like he was my brother anymore, no it felt like he was a stranger who happened to live in the same house and share the same genes as me. Except he got the taller genes, I’m only 5′3" something that doesn’t bother me a majority of the time, he’s 5′9" just as tall as dad. Mom’s 5′5" so I don’t really understand how I ended up being so short, even aunt Meghan was taller than me, she’s 5′6" and I’d do anything for her height.
Seriously, there are days I’d rather be as far from my house as possible, and I usually end up at aunt Meghan’s, she even gave me a key. Whether she’s home or not, I’m always welcome, or so she told me. She doesn’t really have a reason to kick me out considering she knows somewhat of how bad home is, she doesn’t know about Ross’s drug use. To her, Ross is just the faulty first-born, no matter how bad that sounds.
Even with all the crap I have to deal with, I still manage to smile. A gift of mine.
“For tonight’s homework, please read chapter six-ten of the book we’ve been reading and answer the questions of the sheet,” Mrs. Calloway says as she passes the papers down the row and me being the first in the third row, passes about five papers backwards to whoever is sitting beside me, and after turning around to pass them I was that it was Emma Brown, a small, slightly overweight girl with a nice hairstyle, and a love for the color black. She’s actually really sweet once you get to know her. She lost her mom during the middle of fifth grade and it turned the skinny, pink-loving popular girl into a slightly overweight, black loving loser. She wasn’t popular anymore, but she did have some friends.
“Thanks,” Emma muttered quietly to me for passing the papers and my smile widened and her cheeks flared red for half a second before returning to the slight tan her skin has taken from the outdoor P.E. classes we have to take.
I turn back around and pack up all my stuff which wasn’t exactly a lot considering I have a locker surrounding ever class, all my classes are side-to-side, so I practically didn’t have to bring everything with me, it was all within the time I have to get between classes, and still make it with minutes to spare. I got lucky, some of my classmates have lockers across the school and never make it to class on time, that or they just love being tardy. The world may never know.
What I do know is that the bell will be ringing in, Five, Four, Three, Two, and One!
I timed it perfect as the bell rang loudly through the three-storey school, and like thunder all the doors, most of them, shot open with kids trying to escape to the large lunch room, but I had to stop at my locker first, not wanting to bring my school supplies with me, my homework was made to be done at home. Or hidden in my room, since I can’t do it in the kitchen, the one time I tried mom and her ‘friend’ came in and started making out, which slowly progressed to clothes being removed and I didn’t want to see any of it, so I escaped to my room before I saw something that would scar my gay self. Like my mother’s upper chest.
I walk out of the class quietly, a smile practically bursting on my face, and the second I walk out, people greet me, saying hello, complimenting me, asking me to hang with them, inviting me to sit with them at lunch. I don’t exactly know what I did to be popular, people just couldn’t dislike me, maybe it was because I was nice to everyone and involved everyone I could into everything I could, why would I leave someone out? I also didn’t spread rumors, you got a secret, this gay boy’s gonna keep it.
I greet everyone who greeted me back, and then some, just to brighten someone else’s day, regardless of knowing that my brother was home today, he’s always home on Tuesday. I don’t know what was special about Tuesdays but he came home without exception. He usually hides away in his room, which is next to mine, he’s even punched a hole in the wall that connects our rooms and I had to cover it up with a poster to make my room look the most normal it could, not wanting my room to look like it belonged to a kid whose parents aren’t hardly around and with an evil brother, even though that was the actual situation. Life moves on though, since I never have to bring anyone home, thank god, so no one knows what my room looks like, the only people who do know are my project buddies who said we can’t go to there house and I only allowed them in, when Ross and my mother weren’t home. Would hate for rumors to spread that my house life, regardless of how true the rumors are, kind of sucks.
Not that I cared about rumors, a few kids lying was common in this school, so a rumor either dies out quickly or spreads like rapid fire, usually the first one as these kids knew each other well. There are only about one-hundred seventy kids in our grade so we’re a pretty small class. If a rumor about a popular kid started, it was usually killed quickly, you don’t mess with the popular but ever popular has a story as to how they became the popular person they are now.
Like Victoria Jenkins. Victoria was rumored to sneak into the teacher’s lounge and steal answer sheets and offer the answers for money, this wasn’t true but she was rumored to do it, the rumor died in about three days but it still made its way to the populars at the top of the chain. Including myself.
About two doors down from Mrs. Calloways stood my locker in a group of about ten others, two of which were empty. Mine was on the edge with I was thankful for, but before I could even get into my locker, something else caught my attention. Bullying.
Bullying wasn’t uncommon but it generally didn’t happen, it wasn’t something people approved off, and it was something I simply didn’t allow to happen if I saw it.
I crossed the hall and saw who the bully was. Raven Eller, a football player, but that wasn’t really Raven, he was actually a big teddy bear once you got to know him, but if you freak him out or startle him, you’ll end up pinned on something and attacked like there’s no tomorrow. Which was what I assume is happening right now.
All I had to do was tap Raven’s shoulder and his head snapped over to me, and in an instant the kid he was holding was dropped and Raven hugged me, thanking me for stopping him, though all I did was tap him, he apologized to the startled kid, and walked off, well he sort of ran/skipped.
I turned back to the kid on the floor helped him up and sent him on his way no words needed to be said, I’d saved this kid before, he was Nathan Quinn, a sarcastic loudmouth who is about 5′4" just slightly taller than me, who needs to learn when and when not to speak because currently it seemed to be a problem that got him punched more so than not.
I walk back over to my locker, getting rid of my books before finally heading towards the cafeteria, where the smell of school pizza filled my nose, and the sound of loud chatter filling my ears.
After getting a slice of pepperoni pizza, a bottle of water, and a cookie, I set off to find a place to sit, which was multiple options. When I held my tray looking for a seat, multiple people screamed for me to join them, but I decided to sit with the populars today which was including Nathan and Victoria.
“Hey, guys!” I said smiling widely at the seven others at the table. They all greeted me back, smiling as well, well except Brydan, who never smiles at hardly anybody and was only happen when he had skates on, and on the ice, yes sir, Brydan was our number one ice-hockey goalie, which made his father, a professional hockey player happy. Brydan was 6′3" so he looked scary to some with his scowling face, everyone but his friends and most definitely his boyfriend Cayden. Cayden was sitting in Brydan’s lap, which should be against school rules but wasn’t Cayden was 5′5" with pretty brown hair and green eyes that held only love for Brydan. Cayden and he have been dating since eighth grade and they were still dating today in our Junior year of high school which made me happy. It also made me wish I had a boyfriend. Shockingly I was single but totally ready to mingle. There’s a lot of fish in the sea ready to be caught, I just have to throw my net first.
We all chatted for a while, people occasionally coming up and talking to us before retreating when they find themselves not wanted or welcome anymore, I’m fine with them joining but the others find it rude when some just come and butt’s in our conversation without permission or being invited. Lunch ends pretty quickly as it does every day, and after returning my tray I get up to go to Math class when the overhead speakers go off asking me to go to the office to check out, and I instantly knew my brother was using his brotherly privilege to get me out, thinking he was doing me a favor.
Favor my butt.
Regardless he probably wanted something from me, otherwise, he wouldn’t have even stepped out of his bedroom until tomorrow for ‘work’ which was with criminals.
I wonder what ‘adventure’ he was going to drag me on this time.