Lucas Bear – Age 13
Dad and his fiance were busy doing wedding planning. They insisted that it be a family affair. This meant Blake, and I were stuck entertaining our future step-sister Rita, who is a great person.
She's the worst.
“You two look stupid in those suits.” She sat there with a sucker in her mouth. “You should just be removed from the wedding entirely.”
I glared at her. “You're stupid.”
Dad smacked me. “Be nice.”
“She's the one who started it.” I scowled.
“I'm ending it,” Dad spoke clearly. “Now get along.”
“Yes, sir.” All three of us spoke together.
The rest of the time spent at the shop seemed uneventful. We just didn't talk to each other. Dad judged the various tuxes we were trying on. I think we tried on five full suits before dad decided on what we would be wearing.
Once we finally made our way to the car Riley, dad's fiance and dad had a not so quiet conversation. “I don't like who was helping Blake straighten up his suit.”
“Why is that dear?” Dad asked.
Riley shook her head. “Something about him seemed off. Like he was gay or something.”
Dad nodded. “Oh yes, I see it now. That's not something that should be around our children.” My eyes went wide. “That kind of thing should be sheltered from kids; boys shouldn't be with boys, they should be with girls.”
My mind went in a rush, but I did my best to remain calm on the surface. Acting out now would only show them that I may be gay... so I did my best to act normal. It was the best thing to do at the time...
Shane Hearing – Age 13
After our date, Lucas had a bunch of wedding stuff to do with his family. So we didn't have much time to hang out. Now its school though so now was the perfect time to catch up and hang out!
I waited by our usual spot where we meet up, but no Lucas. I walked around the school, but there wasn't any sign of him. All throughout the day I didn't see him anywhere, even the classes we share.
“Hmmm.” I sat down in English and zoned out looking at my phone and wondering why he hasn't answered any of the texts I sent him.
“Hey, Shane!” Came a voice.
I turned to see our friend Chester. “Oh hey, Chester, what's up?”
“Nothing really? Where's Lucas?”
I shrug. “No idea, Lucas hasn't been here all day. He hasn't sent me a text or anything yet either.” I let out another huff and rest my head on the desk.
“I'm sure he's probably just sick or something Shane. He'll message back in no time!” Chester tried reassuring me.
This went on into the night though. No messages or anything. Everything I could check if he were on, he wasn't. It was just weird, spending a day not talking to Lucas even once.
When I got to school the next day, I saw Lucas go inside. So I thought it would be awesome and I would be able to hang out with him today. Then he wasn't in our spot.
I found him talking to someone, likely catching up on classes he missed. Before I could reach him, he walked off, and class started. That left me heading in the complete opposite direction.
Chester was in this class, so I decided to sit beside him today. “Lucas is here today, but it feels like he's avoiding me.”
“Did you do something to upset him?”
I shook my head. “I don't think so at least.”
“Weird maybe he's just having an off day?” Chester shrugged, and then the class began.
At recess, I found Lucas and walked up to him. “Hey.” He turned to see me, clearly upset. “Why have you been ignoring me?”
“I'll see you later Lucas.” The person he was talking to walked off.
Lucas turned to me. “Shane, really? I can't talk right now.”
“Sure you can.” I cut him off. “There's fifteen minutes to talk actually. So why have you been ignoring me?”
His eyes darted away. “Follow me.” Lucas led us to a hallway that didn't have many students in it. “Shane... I'm not sure we can be boyfriends.”
“Okay, then we can just be friends then. If the date weirded you out that much then we won't do it again.”
“I meant that... I'm not sure if we can be like we were before that either.”
I stopped for a moment. “Wait, what? Why?” Lucas didn't say anything. “What happened? What aren't you telling me, Lucas?”
He shook his head, tears coming from his eyes. “I'm sorry Shane, I can't.” And he took off out of the school. I stood there stunned at what had just happened.
“What did I do...?” I broke down and cried too. I made my way under the stairs nearby; some privacy is nice at this time.
Since I moved here, Lucas had been my only friend. Now suddenly we can't be friends after we went on a single date? I don't get it.
In the midst of my sob, a group of older kids walked down and saw me. “What a loser.” One of them said.
“Yeah probably got dumped by his first girlfriend.”
They all laughed. “Or maybe got a boy to turn him down!” The group erupted into laughter as they continued their way down the hall.
I wiped my tears and stood up. My nose was still runny, and I'm sure my eyes were red, but I didn't feel as stressed about it all.
“Hey...” A guy looked over the railing. “Everything okay?”
I gently nodded my head. “Yeah.”
He quickly came down and walked up to me. His grey eyes filled with concern. “You hurt?” I shook my head. “Why are you crying then?”
I grabbed my arm. “My only real friend just told me they didn't want to hang out anymore.”
“That doesn't make them a real friend then does it?” He looked at me dead in the eyes. “My name is Sam, yours?”
“Need a hug?” I nodded and began crying again while we hug. It felt so stupid crying into this boy's shoulder, but it was helping me. Once I had stopped again, he looked at me. “Well, class is way past starting, want to come to my mom's spare?”
“What do you mean?”
“My mom is a teacher here; she teaches cooking mostly. Come on.” He grabbed my hand and led me to her room. “Hey, mom. Shane here needs a space to clear his head.”
“Oh!” Mrs. Small!? This guy is her son! All I hear about her is how nice she is. “What class should you be in right now?”
“Mrs. Holmes' social's class.”
“I'll let her know you're here, take all the time you need Shane.”
I stayed in the classroom for the entire next block. And then again during lunch. Sam came back and ate with me, bringing his friend Gage along. They did their best to cheer me up, and it worked a little, enough that I went to my next class at least.
It was the next day I saw Lucas again. This time it was in the cafeteria we both walked into the line at the same time, and he ignored me like before. We almost made it through the line when I had to speak up. “I don't understand Lucas...”
“There's nothing to understand other then what's been said.”
I stomped my foot. “Yes, there is Lucas! Something you're not telling me.”
“Just drop it, Shane.”
“No, not until you tell me what's going on.” I glared at the back of his head.
There was this awkward tension between us in the line. The cafeteria seemed quieter than usual, almost like they were listening to us. Lucas refused even to turn around and look at me.
“Why do you not want to be my friend anymore?”
It was a flash. He turned on his heel, took in a big breath and yelled at me. “I don't want to be friends with people like you!” His words were like venom to my ears.
To anyone else who heard him, it could mean anything, but to me, it meant one thing. That I was gay... “Lucas...” I took a step back in shock.
He left the cafeteria, running out of the room. Everyone just stared at me, and I couldn't take it. So I went to Mrs. Smalls cooking room. I didn't say anything while I was in there, just sat there emotionless. What just happened?
Lucas Bear – Age 13
What did I just do? I basically outed Shane in front of half the school. How could I do that to him?
“Dude, what's going on?” Chester stopped in front of me. “I heard you yell something and saw you book it here. What's up?”
“Can you keep a secret?” I just really need to talk about all this right now.
He squatted down with me. “Yeah of course.”
“Shane and I like each other,” I spoke low so that if anyone were near, they wouldn't hear me. To my fear, two people walked by right after I said it. “Do you think they heard me?”
Chester shook his head. “No, you were to quiet. So you two like... like each other?” I nod. “So then why did you yell at him?”
“Cause I do not want to continue that, he is.”
Chester looked at me. “That didn't sound like that kind of yell. To me, I may not have heard it exactly; it sounded like it was you ending your friendship with him.” I nod. “So your solution to your interest in Shane is to cut him out?”
“Yea... I couldn't think of anything else.”
“Not even, oh I don't know... talk to him?” Chester spoke sarcastically. I didn't look up at him. “Seriously, go try talking to him!”
“What am I going to say now? I basically outed him!” I spoke louder then I intended. “I've done enough damage... Shane and I won't ever be friends again...”
And it's my entire fault for being such a dumbass.
Gage Bells – Age 14
“So that Shane kid has been hanging out in your mom's room at lunch?”
Sam nodded. “Yeah, he's been there for a couple of days now. He seems like a chill dude.”
I stopped right in the middle of the hallway, grabbing Sam's shoulder. “Yeah... is that Shane's locker?” I point to a locker with one word painted onto it. 'faggot.'
Sam's eyes went as wide as mine did. “I don't know...”
We both looked at each other and went off in different directions. It was like we both knew what the other was doing; finding Shane. Had he seen it already or maybe we could warn him.
I rushed around the school looking for the kid I'd only seen a couple of times. I looked down every hallway and even crossed Sam's path a few times. Hearing a commotion in the lunch room, I went there.
“...us, you faggot?” I saw a few grade elevens surrounding Shane. “We don't need people like you fucking up our small town.”
Shane was clearly uncomfortable with everything happening and trying to find a way out. They kept throwing insults at him, some not even making sense.
They had gathered a small crowd around them by the time I gathered myself. I took a deep breath and stepped forward. “You seriously going to beat down a kid?”
“Yeah!” Their leader barked at me. “You going to defend this gay boy? You gay too?”
“It doesn't matter if I'm gay or not, I'm defending someone who has done nothing wrong. You know a common reason people bully is to put their insecurities onto others.” I gave the guy a sly smirk seeing that my remark went right over his head. “I'm implying you're gay too.”
He flipped. A chair went flying away from him, and he marched right to me. “What was that you little prick?”
I decided not to take the set up I was given. “Maybe take a good look at yourself before you make fun of others. Shane has done nothing to you, so leave him alone.” Our eyes were super close to shooting lasers; we were glaring hard at each other.
“Who the fuck you think you are kid?”
“Gage Bells, a bisexual grade 9, and you?” I just outed myself to this bully... smart idea? Maybe... but I didn't really care at the moment.
“Adam Bruce, your new worst nightmare.” He shoved past me, almost knocking me on my ass. “Come on; let's get out of here.” The whole group followed him like the betas they were.
Shane didn't move at all. I didn't realize how many more people showed up to watch my interaction. My cheeks warmed slightly before turning to Shane. “You okay?”
“You outed yourself...”
I laughed and scratched the back of my head. “Guess I did, oh well. How are you doing?”
“I didn't plan on coming out today... but I guess I don't have much of a choice.” Shane looked down at the floor. “And then I dragged you into it.”
“That was my choice; you didn't drag me into anything.” I reaffirmed Shane.
Sam bolted into the cafeteria out of breath. “What the hell did you do!?”
“The school knows I'm bi now I guess.”
“Your mom is going to know by the end of the day; you know that right?”
“Wait!” Shane's eyes lit up. “You said Bells... as in Mrs. Bells?”
“That's my mom!” I smiled proudly.
“No wonder you're friends. Your moms are friends.” Shane gave us a small smile.
Sam gave off his signature glowing smile. “You're welcome to come hang out with us anytime Shane.”
“Yep!” I pulled him in for a squeeze; he seemed to like it but said nothing. I think he was just happy in the moment he had someone to turn to. If my theory is true, that's good enough for me.
??? - Age 14
“Okay, it's finally time for you to get off.” The stewardess came to me as the last passenger got off the plane. “Lizzy here will bring you inside. Have a good stay.”
I said nothing to her or this Lizzy person as we made our way into the airport. Flying as an unaccompanied minor sucks, you can barely do anything. Luckily that was all to be over soon.
Lizzy seemed to take the hint that I didn't want to talk. My headphones did come back on as soon as they were allowed. It was a longish walk to where I would finally see my Aunt.
When we got to her, she and Lizzy spoke for a little bit and finished filling out the necessary paperwork. I stood there listening to my music watching the conveyor belt. It started moving, and my bag actually was the first one to come along the track.
Returning from grabbing my bag, Lizzy was gone, and there stood my Aunt just looking at me impatiently. I removed my headphones. “About time.”
“Hello how's it here?”
My aunt rolled her eyes. “It's been fine, how have you been?”
I shrug. “Bored I guess. Glad school is over for me.” I should be going to school for another two or three weeks, but that's two flights away from here.
“You're going to be bored all summer, and I won't hear the end of it.” She wasn't wrong; I was going to be bored and am going to complain. “At least I'll have company now.”
“Sure, but I'm listening to music on the way home.”
She swatted my hands away from my headphones. “Like hell you are Zacharius. You're going to spend some quality time with your Aunt.”
“Oh god, the horrors!” I faked my fear as we made our way to the car. Well, I'm here now, might as well enjoy it.
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