My Life Started After High School

8. First Steps - What are You Waiting For?

Noah's POV

I sat outside the main doors of school waiting for Aidyn to arrive to pick me up. He's back for the weekend, and we're going to spend all of it together! Cairo is coming over to do a little bit of studying, so he'll meet Aidyn. It should be a good day.

Swaying my legs back and forth I waited for my favorite car to arrive. That was when Ashton decided to come out of the doors. “Oh hey Noah, Aidyn isn't here yet?”

I shook my head. “Nope, still waiting for him.”

Ashton smiled. “I guess that means I can ask you something then?” I shrugged and waited for him to ask his question. “Well, last time we did stuff, we almost went there... If I had asked, would it have happened?”

Okay, that wasn't what I was expecting. So like I said before Ashton, and I have done stuff together. The last time we ever did stuff it got really really heated between us and I was like 90% sure we were going to do anal. We didn't, but we were like centimeters away from making out.

Ashton has always been super attractive to me. Sure he's wearing cheap suits all the time, but he looks snazzy in them. He's like a mini NPH with black hair. Neal Patrick Harris for all those uncultured shits. Ashton is always ready to 'suit up'!

We stopped though because Aaron knocked on my door and interrupted us. It killed the mood, and we ended up jacking off until we shot our loads. But would I of? I don't know if I would have said yes or no...

Maybe? I don't know; we'd have to go back to the moment and see.” Ashton nodded as he started walking down the steps. “Why do you want to know?”

Just curious...”

I hopped down from my seat. “You're not interested in experimenting anymore, yet you want to know about this? What's going on Ashton?”

He rolled his eyes, realizing he's been caught Ashton put his hands at his sides. “Kayde is not someone I would want to do stuff with. Honestly at this point, I'd want someone who I could be more dominant with. Just feels more natural to me.”

Fair, maybe you can find a younger guy?”

In my dreams, all of them are taken. The only ones I know of are Skylar and Greyson.” Ashton shook his head. “Got to find the right girl, I guess.” If he finds a girl that wants to do anal, go for it, man. I doubt many of them want to.

Ashton went down just as a car pulled up, my favorite car. Aidyn hopped out of the car, and I bolted down throwing myself at him. Wrapping his arms around me, Aidyn held me up smiling at me.

Oh hello Noah.”

I gave the biggest smile my face could manage. “Hi!”

Shall we be on our way?” I nodded. “You want a ride, Ashton?” Aidyn offered.

Ashton shook his head. “No I'm good; I don't live to far from here. I'll see you guys.” He gave a wave and set off on his way home.

Do we need to give Sky a ride?” I asked him.

Aidyn shook his head. “Nope, it's just you and me. He's hanging out with Greyson this afternoon.” Perfect. “Shall we be off then?”

Like that Aidyn and I went straight to my place. Aaron had gotten back today too, so those two started having a long talk about how school was going. I snuck away into my gaming room. Those two will probably be at it for a while.

I turned on my Xbox 360 and started up Rock Band 3; gotta get hyped up for Rock Band 4. I was rocking out to Carry On My Wayward Son, playing the guitar and doing a pretty good job. Aidyn will probably join in as drums when he comes in.

Whoa!? You have Rock Band?” I heard a younger voice yell out. I paused and turned to see Cairo standing in the entry way eyes wide. “Can I join in?”

Of course, what do you wanna play?” I showed him all the instruments in the corner of the room. “Your choice.”

Cairo came over and looked at his choices. The Second Guitar, drums, mic, he looked at them all but couldn't decide. Mrs. Craven came into the room and interrupted him. “Cairo, I'll be back in a couple of hours. I hope you can get some studying done in that time.” Cairo blushed and looked towards the ground.

I will...” Cairo let out a small sigh before pulling off his backpack. He took out his books and sat down at the table waiting for me to get to tutoring. “See you later.” Mrs. Craven smiled before leaving us to study.

What are we going to be studying today?” I looked over at the books he brought out. He's brought his Science, and Socials books. “Science and Socials?”

And English, we're starting poems, and I have to pick a song to show the class. Everyone has to present a song, and we have to talk about the meaning of the song and stuff like that.” I remember this project; it was one of the best projects in grade 8.

Cairo had a good list of songs to choose from. He has a very different musical taste; he likes all kinds of music. By the time we brought the song list down to 5 songs, Aidyn had walked into the room finally. “Hey, how's it going in here?”

Pretty good, trying to pick a song for the grade eight project.” Aidyn came and sat down beside me.

Grabbing the piece of paper with the songs and read them aloud. “Unsteady, Beautiful With You, Asylum, Whispers In The Dark, Alive. Five different songs all with a good meaning to them. How will you choose?” Cairo shrugged his shoulders. “Well, I did Asylum in grade 8...”

Cairo smiled. “Then it's off the list. I don't want to do one someone has done before.” He continued to look over the list. “Unsteady is really new; someone else will probably do it. I think I'll do Beautiful With You; it means something to me.”

What is that?” Aidyn asked him.

Cairo looked down as he smiled. “Well when I was little, kids would always make fun of my eyes, but then my dad got remarried, and I got the best big brother ever. He made me proud of my differences.”

At his place, there are no pictures of him, and now he says he has a brother? Things just don't add up with Cairo. “Carter is your older brother, right?” Aidyn suddenly asked out of nowhere.

Both Cairo and I had shocked looks on our faces. “Yes... How did you know that?”

I room with Nathan in college, and Carter shows up sometimes.”

Cairo got really, really excited. “You room with my cousin?” Aidyn nodded. “That's so cool! So you room with my cousin and know my brother... That is awesome, when did you last see him?”

A while ago, just over a week or so.” This entire conversation seemed to really relax Cairo. He seemed happier than when we started.

Cairo looked directly at me as he began to speak again. “I'm in foster care at the moment; I have been for a while. I've been hoping to see Carter soon...” That explains a lot actually. All the pictures of kids, almost never two of them in the same picture. That being a foster care house makes it all understandable. “Can we get back to work now? I really need to get this done.”

It felt more like Cairo was closing himself off again. Nonetheless, I got answers to some of my questions. I hope Cairo hasn't been through anything too rough.


Greyson's POV

I was just about to head out to meet up with Sky when I had someone grab my arm and pull me aside. “Hey, who are you? Where are we going?” I tried to stay focused; we headed off towards the science wing entrance but turned somewhere else.

We stopped, and I think I knew where we ended up. I grabbed his wrist and wouldn't let go. “I'm not going to hurt you Greyson.” This voice... I know it. “It's Kayde Virtue.”

I glared at him. “What do you want? Why did you drag me off?”

He laughed; I was not impressed at all. “I wanted to ask you something in private.”

What are you doing with Greyson?” Sky! Where did he come from? “The hell, Kayde?”

I felt Sky grab me. I knew it was him, his skin it's different than everyones, it's so silky and just heavenly to feel. He's impossible to mistake. “You can ask me something if you want, but Sky is here to hear it too.”

He didn't say anything for a time. “I wanted to see if you thought you and Sky would want to do something with a third guy...”

No thanks...” I spoke quickly. “I would rather not right now.” after I said it I kind of regretted it. I could feel Sky's grip loosen slightly.

So what's going on between you too?” Kayde had a cocky smile to his voice. Like he had popped his hip and put his hand on it. It pissed me off, and it couldn't even see it.

Sky snorted before speaking. “Nothing that has anything to do with you. Go find someone who isn't in a relationship to have fun with. Have a good day Kayde.” Sky started walking off pulling me along with him.

For some reason, I held my head down as we walked off. It felt like I had done something wrong, that I was about to get scolded by my parents.

Sky brought me to his locker. We remained quiet while he scrambled through his locker before closing it. “Greyson...” Sky sighed.

I'm sorry,” I said sliding down the locker onto the floor.

Sky placed his forehead against mine. “What did you do to be sorry for?”

The way I responded to Kayde gave us away.” You can't tell me he didn’t; just from Kayde's reply I can tell he knows there is a rift between us. It's all my fault too.

Sky gave me a peck on the lips, just a quick one before pulling me up. “Who cares what Kayde thinks is happening between us. I know that when you're ready we'll go there. Until then don't feel sorry or ashamed of how you feel.”

Thanks, Sky...”

Sky gave off his signature giggle. “Anytime Greyson, anytime.”


Abel's POV

Kyler and I were on our way home, taking the stupid bus. “Dude, you should come over sometime, we could watch MCU!”

Kyler showed me a bit of the MCU, mostly Daredevil and Jessica Jones. My parents have Netflix, but they like to check what everyone has been watching. It sucks! He's talked to me about it in general, and it sounds really interesting.

That would be cool. I would have to talk to my parents about it. They can be strict about whose houses I go to.” There have been a few times where I have to go home because they don't like the house or the rules. My parents are strange. I've asked to go over to Kylers but they don't want me to without them meeting his parents.

Kyler shrugged. “Should I not wear my piercings? You're fun to hang out with Abel; I don't want to jeopardize us hanging out.” Aww he's so sweet, he's pretty awesome. His stop came up, and that guy was there again. “I gotta go, I'll see you later Abel.”

See ya Kyler.” He got off the bus and headed off.

I sat alone, humming to myself until my stop came up. Jude, my older brother, was waiting at the stop. Only me and a couple of other kids got off the bus. “Hey, Jude!”

He rolled his eyes. I say it mostly to mock the song by the beetles. “Haha, that's funny. I have to head off to work; you have to go over to Greyson's. Mrs. Payne already knows you're heading over.”

What about Zina?”

She's at a friends.” Jude knew exactly how that made me feel. I can't go over to Kyler's, but Zina can be at a friends... This isn't fair at all. “I know, bring it up later and I'll back you up. Anyways, I have to go, see you tonight.”

I gave off a small wave while he headed off. I walked slowly to the Payne's house, kicking the ground with each step. When I got to the door, I lightly knocked. There is nothing wrong with the Payne's; I was just looking forward to being at home.

Mrs. Payne answered the door. “Hello Abel, how was your day?”

I shrugged. “It's been okay. Greyson home yet?”

She smiled. “Yes, he's up in his room with Skylar. You're welcome to join them.” I guess I should consider myself lucky I've been in here before. Now I shouldn't need someone to show me where Greyson's room is.

As I made my way up the stairs, the noise coming from Greyson's room became clearer. It sounded like they were playing some kind of fighting game, or at least Skylar was. When I got to the door, the tv said the words “Finish Them.”

What happened next on the screen was... oh god. This bug lady stabbed through this police girl with spider arms; I guess you could call them that. Anyways, the arm had a heart at the end of it, and then another arm went through the skull and took out the brain. The bug girl then proceeded to take them both and squish them. Gross.

I stood there stunned at the sight I had just seen. Not sure if it was the coolest thing I've ever seen or if I was terrified. “Oh hey, Abel.” Skylar greeted me, knocking me out of my trance. “Come on in and take a sit.”

Greyson smiled. “Skylar is playing Mortal Kombat X; he's going to change soon, though. I can only stand the sound of the hits for so long.”

Mortal Kombat? They let games like this exist?”

Skylar laughed. “Not in Australia! Mortal Kombat was banned there for a while. I'm not surprised you haven't heard of it.”

What's that mean?” I crossed my arms, furring my brow.

It means you're kinda sheltered,” Greyson explains. “It's not on you; we're not making fun of you I promise.” Well, I guess they're right. But I still don't like the jab at me.

Skylar played a few more rounds of MKX, as they started to refer to it as. Some of the 'Fatalities' were boring, but still gross. Others were needlessly complex. Overall it's a really gory game.

Skylar closed down MKX shortly, though, and we went to move to a different game. “Shit, I think I left it downstairs. I'll be right back.” And I was left alone with Greyson.

Last time Greyson and I were together, he was getting onto that I was gay... I hope he doesn't remember it. “What game is he looking for?”

Uncharted Collection. It's the first three Uncharted games on the ps4.” Greyson threw himself back onto his bed. “So about last time you were over.”

Oh no. “Ya, what about it?”

I was going to ask you something. Mind if I ask it now?” I took a gulp before nodding. “Are you into guys?”

I said nothing in reply. The room had this awkward silence until Skylar returned. “I got them!” And then he read the situation. “Did you ask him?”

You know!?” Well, I basically outed myself to these two now. My life is ruined.

Greyson giggled. “Sky and I are boyfriends; we tell each other everything.”

My eyes went wide. “So when you two were holding hands that one time...”

It wasn't just to cross the street,” Skylar spoke so proudly. “Shame I couldn't see you shirtless that day, though.” I pulled my knees close to my chest.

Not only are these two gay... they are boyfriends. Plus Skylar just basically said I'm cute. What's going on in my life right now?

Greyson placed his hand on my shoulder. “Don't worry Abel; we've got you back. We won't tell anyone else, promise.”

Skylar laughed while scratching his head. “I kinda already talked about it with Aidyn, my brother. Which means he's probably told Noah by now.” Oh great, the circle grows ever bigger. “But they won't tell anyone; they're good people. Trust me.” I don't really have any other choice at this point.

Welcome to the club Abel! We meet every Sunday around noon.” Greyson cheered.

I'm at church at that time...”

Skylar rolled his eyes. “He's joking; anyways want to play something multiplayer? I've got Towerfall; it's pretty fun.” And we went from my outing to video games just like that.

These two... they're a special kind of special. I mean that in a good way. They are cool to hang out with, even if I don't get them at times. I guess moving here wasn't so bad after all.


Carter's POV

I've been at Tre's place for a few days, and I've mostly stayed to myself. They've had company over a few times, but I remained down in my room. Even as a kid I remained by myself in times where there were tons of kids around.

But then Tre comes along and ruins that. “What do you think of talking about everything?

I hate that idea,” I said flatly staring right at him.

Tre sighed. “I thought I would get that from you. But you need to get out all that angst you have bottled up.” He's right, but I don't want to. “It's what you got to do to move on. Go for a couple of sessions if it's not helping we'll do something else.”

I know Tre wants the best for me, but this is going to suck. No one there will get what I've done, what I've been through. There's just no way. I doubt any of them have done anything close to me. It'll just be a waste of time.

When is the first meeting of this... group?”

Tre finally went from his serious face to his happy face. “This evening after dinner. It's at 7 pm.”

I glared at him before turning my gaze away from them. “Thanks for dropping that ball on me.” I crossed my arms and let out a snort in frustration. “It's a dumb idea; none of them are going to get it.”

Just give it a chance and maybe you'll like it.” It felt like Tre wanted to say more but he left it at that. I hate it when I get this feeling. 'I'm the adult' my mom would always say to me when I questioned her decisions. So to this day, it's a horrible thing for me to hear.

So we had dinner together. Tracy and Michael already knew about it. We had to explain it to Rownin what the whole thing was for. Tracy talked about it pretty nicely actually. “Carter is going to talk with people about what he's done. So he can help them, and they can help him.” It was a nice theory.

Eventually, Tre and I headed off to the meeting. It was just at a local building usually filled with offices. Banks on either side of it, it was basically known as the bank building. Waiting outside was a bunch of kids, younger and older than me, and some parents. I don't want to know what I'm getting into.

Sorry everyone, I was a little late. I'll get the door unlocked so we can get started. He noticed me as he walked by. “Ahh, a new face. We'll get to know you inside. Let's get this door unlocked and get everyone inside.”

In a few short minutes, we were all sitting around a room in a circle. I feel like I'm in Alcohol Anonymous with a drinking problem. I just lived on the street for a few months. I didn't drink too much alcohol; I'm not addicted to it.

Welcome everyone; I hope you've had a good week. Today we have a few new faces, my name is Raymond Kent, and you may call me Ray. I'm the group leader; I have a masters degree in mental illness care and during the day I talk to kids one on one. How about we go around the room and say our names?”

Tre stood up and spoke first. “My name is Tre, and I'm here for my friend Carter here.” Tre looked down at me; I just rolled my eyes. “He's gone through some stuff, and I think he needs some place to let out his pain.”

Welcome Tre, I hope this place can start the healing process for Carter.” Ray looked towards me. “Would you like to say a few words, Carter?”

I took a deep breath and crossed my arms. “My name is Carter Victor and being here is a waste of mine and your time. No one here will or can understand what I've been though. My life has been harder than anything anyone in this room has ever experienced.

I'm here because Tre thinks I need an outlet, I don't. There is no reason for me to be here other than to satisfy Tre.” I could see the disappointment in Tre's eyes, but I don't care. Ray sat there patiently waiting for me to finish. “So why don't we continue so we don't have to settle on this.”

Jay got up. “Well then, that's not the worst intro speech we've had. Carter, we aren't here to compare how hard someone's life is compared to another. Everyone in this room has had a rough life, some might have gone through more than another, but that doesn't mean it's harder, just hard.

Some of us have faced abuse; others are part of the LGBT and the common feelings that come with. So Carter, which is harder; living on the street, or living in fear that tonight, could be your last night because your parents beat you. Telling someone you're gay or telling someone you have a brain tumor.

I don't expect you to be accepting of this right now, very few are. I would like if you sat and listened for this meeting. I think you'll be surprised what people have to say about what they've been through.” So I did. I remained quiet through the entire meeting.

Sure enough, as more and more people spoke, the more I could relate on some level. One kid was kicked out of his house for just being bi-curious. Another has been abused by his mother for years until he finally told someone. Now he's guilty about her ending up in jail. A mother is here because her husband abused their kids. Several kids are depressed; a few even have tried to commit suicide.

After everyone had started to leave, I walked up to Ray. “I would like to apologize for what I said earlier.”

Ray smiled and put his hand on my shoulder. “It's fine Carter; I've heard much more aggressive opening speeches. I just hope that you can find a place for you to open up and let out your anger.”

I think... When is the next meeting?”

A week from today. I do hold smaller meetings for kids with similar issues. I do have to hear a bit from you first, though.”

So you're a shrink?” I raised an eyebrow and put a hand on my hip.

Ray nodded. “Yes and no. In places like this, I am here for people to talk about their problems with others. For people to see that they aren't the only ones who have experienced things. So right now I'm not a shrink, I'm volunteering right now.” Wow, he talks with his hands a lot. “During the day, I do run private therapy sessions. If you're not up for it, then I won't push it.”

I think, for now, I'll come to these meetings.”

Tre came up and surprised me. “You're really willing to come back?”

Ya, I think it'll help a little bit.” I threw my hair into my face in an attempt to hide my smile. “Can we go home now?”

Sure, thanks for the meeting Ray.”

I'll see you next week Carter.” And like that, we finished the first meeting... I'm very surprised that I actually agreed to come back for another meeting. Who knows maybe it'll be helpful. I guess I just have to wait a week to find out.

Chapter End.


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