We joined Noah’s merry band of misfits on the trampoline stunt part of the center. We were doing backflips and front flips, (well they were doing them, I wasn’t coordinated enough to flip 360 degrees and land on my feet so I was mainly going into foam pits).
We had a great time. I wasn’t completely sure if the group was “woke” in modern-day terms and realized people weren’t all the same or if one had personal reasons for standing up for us. I think Noah did. He said he was sick of Harry after a semester, I don’t know how Porter lasted two years with him and especially from my short experience with him. He seemed worse than Julian in his own way.
Around 3:15 pm we told them we had to go. We went to the changing rooms to change into the extra clothes we brought. We approached and unlocked our lockers. We started taking things out. I took off my shirt and put on a new one and took my shorts off and put my jogging pants on. Porter did the same. We threw on our coats, boots, scarves, and mitts and retrieved our quarters from the lockers.
We made sure we had everything, zipped up our bags, and exited the change rooms. We made it outside into the cold and walked to Porter’s parents’ car. Out of nowhere Harry appears and pins Porter to the car causing the alarm to go off.
“You think you can just come back here and take over, you fag, huh?” he mutters to him.
“Get off him,” I curse getting between them and pushing him away.
“He won’t last,” he comments to Porter.
“You’re sick and broken,” he continues.
“Lay off,” I hear Noah shout out of nowhere.
“You like them so much, you can go have a threesome with them somewhere but I don’t want to see that shit,” Harry responds.
“Get out of here, you’re not invited to the News Year’s Eve party. You show up, you will get kicked out,” Noah throws back. “We will not tolerate you anymore.”
With this response from Noah and the other four before, who did Harry think he was? Who had taught him this hate? Because no one is born with this type and amount of hate and prejudice towards people.
Porter slumps to the ground behind the car.
I kneel down beside him.
“It’s okay,” I whisper quietly touching his shoulder.
Harry backs off and disappears.
Noah kneels down beside us.
“You okay, man?” he asks.
Porter looks up at Noah, his eyes seem spacy, I think being jumped by Harry scared him. As if he realized the threats made to him last year were very real or remembered they were real.
“Yeah,” he replies but I can here shakiness and uncertainty being covered up in it.
“Should I call your parents?” I ask quietly.
I honestly didn’t want him to drive in his state. We didn’t need to crash or get a speeding ticket.
“I’m going to report him,” Noah mutters under his breath.
“That’s the worst thing you can do,” Porter replies quietly directed at Noah’s statement. “He’s going to come after you.”
“If he tries anything I have four friends, they won’t let shit happen to me,” he reassures Porter, since all of their death songs are quiet, I’m inclined to believe that statement.
“I think we should call your mom,” I continue.
“I can wait with you in case he comes back,” Noah continues.
"Thanks,” I reply quietly taking Porter’s bag from him. I open the back door of the car and throw them inside. I take Porter’s phone out from the bag and dial’s his mother’s phone number.
I sit on one side of him and Noah sits on the other, he’s curled up in the fetal position, hiding his face in his knees.
Just as the phone starts ringing, Porter gets up.
“I’m going to sit in the car,” he stated quietly.
“Okay,” I reply worried watching him.
He gets in the back of the car. His mother finally picks up on the line.
“Porter, are you having fun at the trampoline center? Are you going to be home for dinner?” she starts.
“Mrs. Hollow. Can you catch a cab here? Something happened and I don’t think Porter’s in a state to drive and I can’t,” I explain quietly.
“Is he okay?” she asked.
“Physically, yeah. He ran into one of his old classmates and they weren’t the nicest, though,” I reply.
“I should be there in twenty-five minutes,” she states after a pause probably to check the time.
“Okay,” I reply.
“Thank you, Ryker,” she states quickly.
“For what?” I ask.
“For being there for him,” she replies. “Through the good and the bad.”
“You’re welcome, but he’s done just as much for me,” I reply.
“I’m sure he has,” she replies, I can hear the smile in her voice.
“I’ll be there soon,” she finishes. “Bye, Ryker.”
“Bye,” I reply and hang up.
I stand and lean against the car.
Now that I’m alone with Noah I can hear his song clearly. It reminds me of the Travis Atreo cover of “Rise” by Katy Perry. It’s interesting.
“So, what’s your deal?” he asks knocking me out of my thoughts.
“Huh?” I reply.
“What’s your story?” he replies. “Are you actually his boyfriend?”
“Yeah, I came with him to spend Christmas with his family,” I answer.
“Your parents were okay with that?” he questions.
“They’re not big on holidays or me,” I reply.
“What, did they reject you?” he asks. “Is that why they sent you away to private school? Did they think it would straighten you out?”
“They don’t know, I’m not sure they’d understand either if I did tell them because I’m bi. I still think that it’d just be one of the thorns in the bush, there are other things they dislike,” I answer.
“It’s worse when it’s family who’s rejecting you,” he continues. “Like if they don’t accept you, who will?”
“Well, my brother does so at least I have him and Porter,” I answer.
“You don’t have to stay, if you have places to be or you want to go back to your friends,” I add.
“Are you sure you’ll both be okay?” he asks, I can hear the concern in his voice.
“Yeah, I think Harry’s had his fun,” I reply.
“Here,” he says holding out a piece of paper. “In case you guys ever want to hang out with us again.”
He smiles and I take the paper.
“Right,” I reply.
“See you guys around,” he says.
“See you,” I reply.
I watch him walk away. I get into the back seat with Porter putting Noah’s number in my pocket.