Life's Revised Expectations

Chapter 2 - Small Steps Forward

This is a retelling of Kuragari129's first story he wrote. If you are interested in the original you can read it here:


Lucas Bear – Age 11

Hi, my name is Lucas Bear, and I'm in grade 6. My blonde hair goes perfectly around my face and shows off my blue eyes perfectly. Compared to other 11-year olds I'm a little bigger than average, I'm a healthy weight.


It was the start of a new week of class, and today was going to be different. The teacher said we were going to get a new kid in our class today. I kept my eye out all morning for someone who I hadn't seen before, someone coming in with their parents. To be fair Blake, my brother was distracting me so that they could have walked right by me.


At the moment the class was waiting for the teacher to come back into the classroom. She was currently outside the room, talking with the parents of the new kid. I sat here anticipating the reentry of my teacher.


When two bodies finally returned to the room, I almost jumped out of my seat. “Okay class, like I said we have a new classmate starting today. Everyone this is Shane Hearing, he will be spending the rest of his grade six year with us.”


I looked at Shane, whose eyes wandered around the room anxiously. I raised my hand and spoke before called upon. “If you're interested, you can sit with me, Shane.” I was one of the few kids with a chair beside me, and something drew me to this boy.


He looked at me for a moment before his eyes dropped to the floor. “You can sit where ever there's an empty seat.”


“Thank you,” Shane spoke softly; almost so quiet I didn't hear him. I didn't think he would, but Shane did end up coming and sitting beside me. Shane gave me a shy smile before class started.


Most of the lessons I spent distracted by Shane. I wanted to talk to him, but the teacher would be pissed at me. Don't need a teacher mad at me; I'm already not a model student.


Once we got to work, I turned to Shane. “I'm Lucas. It's nice to meet you, Shane.”


“Nice to meet you too.” He smiled meekly before turning back to his work.


I looked down on at the math before me, confused as ever. “Do you understand all this math stuff?”


He nodded. “Yeah, it's pretty simple. I was in a split class last year and learned some of the grade six stuff.” Shane started explaining the work again, but just slightly different from the teacher. The way he explained it made more sense to me.


“Wow, I can't believe I'm done my work... Mom's gonna be so happy!” I laughed in the middle of my excitement. I even shook Shane as I jumped in my seat. “Thanks, Shane! You're the best!”

Shane giggled as he gently pushed my hand away. “No need to shake me, I'm glad to help.”


“Oh sorry!” I gave Shane a couple of pats on the shoulder to apologize. “I got very excited, didn't mean to shake you. You want to hang out at lunch?”


“Sure.” He replied simply.


Shane and I got to know each other a bit over lunch. I learned he isn't living with his parents and that he has an older brother named Noah. Also that Larissa was his foster-sister, but he just met her not too long ago.


I told him about my parents being divorced and my little brother Blake, who he got to meet at lunch. There wasn't much else I could have told him about myself, wasn't even sure there was much more.


We spent the rest of the day just goofing off and enjoying each other. Shane seemed like a guy who I would never grow tired of. He just seemed like a really good friend.



Shane - Age 11

“My name is Dr. Bear; you must be Shane.” It never clicked until just now that I see her... this is Lucas' mom. “Being shy is common, why don't you and Noah come into my office so we can talk?”


I did as he asked. Noah right behind me supporting me.


I'm still caught up on this is Lucas' mom. I just met him yesterday and here's his mom, being my therapist. Isn't this a conflict of interest? I guess in a small town these things happen quite a bit.


Once we got into her office, we all took seats on the couch or chair. She took out her notepad and gave me a very genuine smile. “I'd like you to tell me about yourself, Shane. How do you like your new school? Are you making any friends?”


That felt very much like a leading question. My brain wasn't paying enough attention though, so I blurted out, “You're Lucas' Mom.” and got instant blush all over my face from embarrassment.


She laughed. “Yes, I am. Lucas has talked to me about you and seems to really enjoy you being his newest friend. Do you want to talk about Lucas?” I shook my head. I don't need her telling him all I have to say about him. “I'm sworn not to tell anyone, even my family, who I see or what I say. You can tell me anything, and no one else will know.


“This rule only has one exception though. If it's to protect you or someone else from harm, I will tell people. Do you understand Shane?” I nodded. “Okay, so tell me what kind of things you like. Or anything about your life. The floor is yours.”


It took me a minute before I could think of anything to say. But I did. “I think the Abriels are very nice, even Scott who's a little rougher on the outside. They are very kind to let my brother and me into their home.”


“Yes they are, you two are very lucky. Scott and Paula are very nice people.” She wrote something down on her pad. “How do they compare to the other houses you've been at Shane?”


I shrugged. “I don't know, we've only been there for a little while.”


She turned to Noah. “Your thoughts Noah?”


Noah cleared his throat and then spoke. “The Abriels are the best house we've been at by far. The last two didn't accept that Shane is too scared to talk about his nightmares, but they are fine with it, they understand that Shane has been through quite a bit.”


“That's very good to have, their support.” She flipped through the file she had on me, I assume. “You've been in three homes, and a group home. The group home you two left three times now?”


“Yes, ma'am,” Noah answered for us.


She lifted her head and looked at me. “What did you think of the group home, Shane?”


“It was fine, some of the kids were rude, but I obeyed the rules and didn't get in trouble.” I don't know what all this has to do with anything, but I guess if it helps her that's fine. “Noah being with me made it a lot easier.”


Dr. Bear's smile went from ear to ear. “Big brothers can be very good protectors. I'm glad you have Noah, Shane. He seems like a very good big brother to have around.”


“He really is.” I cuddled a bit into my brother; he put his arm around me. I was still a little nervous, but I was opening up a bit. I was uncomfortable and needed my big brother close to me. “I love him more than anything.”


She took a minute before she said anything. She must have been taking in my actions. “Are you feeling comfortable here Shane? Is this too much for you?”


I shook my head. “It's not too much; I'm just not sure. I'm a little uncomfortable at the moment.”


“What is making you uncomfortable?”


I looked away from her. “The questions that you will ask in the future.”


Noah squeezed me a little, trying to comfort me. “Well Shane,” Dr. Bear spoke more softly than before. “This session is to get to know you. I just want to know about you and your experiences with life in general. We aren't going to address those nightmares of yours just yet.”


I gave a little smile as we continued our session. Dr. Bear is a very nice lady. The more time that passes, the better I feel about where I am now. This is a good feeling; things are really looking up for me now.



Isaac – Age 10

Another day, another bully. Today it was this Arius kid. “Nice scarf’s, did you cut yourself a bit too deep emo brat?”


I glared at him not knowing what else to do. His group of friends all burst into laughter at my expense. I was the easiest kid to bully I guess, and I got the brunt of it all.


“Not meeting daddy's expectations?” Another kid yelled from the back of their group.


They all join in another round of laughter echoed through the playground. Where was all the teacher at a time like this? Arius pushed me, hard, trying to knock me over. “So what is it Wizzy? What's got you so down that you have to cut yourself to feel better?”


“What did you call me?”


“You got ears right?” Arius laughed. “I called you 'Wizzy.' I took wussy and your name and put them together, Wizzy.” The group laughed again in unison.


I turned to walk away from them, but Arius was faster than me and blocked my path. “Get out of my way.”

“Or what?” He chuckled. “You'll cut me like you do yourself? You'll get sent to juvie if you do that looser.” Arius had this attitude about him like he knew everything. He was clearly the brains of the group, well if there were to be one it would be him.



“Poor little Wizzy!” Another kid spoke, which caused their stupid cheers yet again.


“Ya, Isaac here is a wizard when it comes to classes.” It was a new voice. “I bet no one in the whole lot of you have a single grade that's higher than Isaac's.”


The group parted, and there stood my savior. Easily a grade seven, his blonde hair was wavy and not well kept. It could be described as a mop easily. His brown eyes cut through everyone.


Everyone in that group was silent, not one word was said. Until Arius, the idiot opened his mouth again. “I'm getting a B in science!” it was like it was a grand achievement or something, the way he spoke.


I snorted. “Only? I'm getting 99% in science.”


“Ya but that's grade five bullshit!” Everyone inhaled as Arius swore.


My defender laughed. “What did you get in grade 5 science Arius?” Arius' face went red, but he didn't say anything. “Exactly what I thought. So do something productive like study or something. Leave Isaac alone; he has enough on his plate.”


Arius waved him off but left anyways. His group followed their stupid leader as they left me with my new hero.


He watched them leave before returning his attention to me. “Looked like you needed some help back there.”


“Ya, thanks.” I grabbed my left arm, just above my bandana. “I don't cut myself, just so you know.”


He shrugged. “And? What's the difference? The reason you wear those is your own. I don't need to know why or if they are hiding anything. It doesn't affect me.”


I smiled for the first time in a couple of days. “Thanks... I don't know your name.”


His teeth showed as he smiled. “It's Leo.”


“Nice to meet you, Leo.” I copied his grin. “Thanks again.”


He shrugged. “All in a day's work for a superhero!” I snorted, and we both broke into laughter. “Ya I'm not much of a 'super' hero am I?”


I shook my head. “No, but you certainly are my hero today.”



“What's that Isaac?” I had a piece of paper out at the dinner table. A drawing I had been working on was almost finished. My mom was looking at it over my shoulder.


I did the finishing touches on the left front paw. “I was inspired today to draw a lion. I think I'm going to give it to them.”


“Someone inspired you to draw this?” She took a closer look at it. It was an adult male lion pouncing over a cub. It was a good drawing for a ten-year-old. “It looks very lovely, and they will be very lucky to get one of your drawings.”


“You think so?” I turned to my mom, dropping my pencil.


She smiled her motherly smile. “Of course! Who knows maybe one day you'll get paid for your drawings.” That would be so cool! With mom on my side, what could go wrong!



At school the next day I went out of my way to find Leo. I did, just as he got to the school. “LEO!” I called out to him.


He had just a brief moment of confusion. “Oh hey, Isaac. What's up?”


I swung my backpack off and opened it up to grab the picture. “I made you this as a thanks.” Handing it to him I stood there proud of my work.


“This is amazing Isaac. I can barely draw stick figures.”


Flattered, I couldn't stop smiling. “I'm glad you like it. It's yours.”


“Feels like I should be paying for it.”


“My mom said something about getting paid for my drawings one day. Maybe I will.”


Leo carefully put the drawing into a binder of his. “I'd be first in line to pick the best one you got.” After that, we went our separate ways for the day, but I was happier than I had been in a while. It was all thanks to Leo.


Gage – Age 13

Tonight was going to be a happy night! Colby, my favorite babysitter, was gonna be here until the morning. Clair doesn't like looking after Nick and me and would rather be out with her friends when Mom and dad go out.


Nick and I were planning on playing Mario Party with Colby for most of the night. We might hate each other afterward, but we wanted to play it nonetheless. Colby didn't have a choice in the matter.


We waited at the foot of the stairs, staring at the front door, waiting for Colby to arrive. He finally showed up, and mom could barely get a word in. Nick and I were telling him all about our plans for the night; you know the important stuff.


Once mom finally told Colby everything she needed to tell him, they were off. This left us three boys to get up to all our antics! “You two boys are crazy.” Colby shook his head at my brother and me. “How do your parents handle you day in and day out?”


“Who knows!” Nick yelled out before laughing. Colby shook his head once more as we laughed together. “Maybe mom is crazy?”


“Crazy in love possibly.” Nick stuck his tongue out in disgust. “One day you'll understand all that stuff.”


“One day I'll be old!?” I rolled my eyes at Nick's comment. “I don't wanna be old; I want to stay a kid.”


I stood up, all proud of the statement I just thought to myself. “You're only as young as you think you are!”

“Very true Gage.” I grinned from ear to ear, all proud of myself.


The night went on with our crazy antics. We got pizza and ate most of it, leaving some leftovers for tomorrow. Then we watched a movie together, which Nick fell asleep during. Colby carried him up to his bed, tucked him in and returned to the living room.


“What do you want to do now Gage?” He plopped himself down on the couch and looked over at me. “We could watch another movie or play a game.”


Now that Nick was in bed, it was the perfect time to talk to Colby about something. So I took my chance and opened my stupid mouth. “You're gay right?” I realized how direct my question was and blushed. “Sorry, that was kinda blunt.”


“It's okay. Yes, Gage, I am gay. Why do you ask?”


“What does it mean to 'be gay'?”


Colby had to think about this for a moment. He had a sudden realization and then spoke. “It means as a boy, you are attracted exclusively to other boys, and as a girl, you're exclusively attracted to other girls.”


“So, what happens when you like both guys and girls?”


“You're bi.”


“And when you like neither?”


“Ummm....” I stumped Colby. “There's a word for it; I just don't know it. It does exist though. Why are you asking me these questions, Gage?”

I shrugged and laid down on the couch. “I don't know, just curious I guess.” Pretty sure he didn't believe my excuse. He wasn't wrong to have that opinion, to be fair.


“Okay, whatever you say Gage.” Colby turned to the tv and started surfing through channels.


He'd caught me, and I knew it. “Fine, I'm probably bi.” Colby motioned with his hands for me to elaborate more. “Well, there's this boy that's getting my attention.”


“Who is he?” Colby giggled in excitement.


I blushed and looked towards my feet. “Sam...”


“Your best friend?” I nodded. “That's adorable Gage, be careful though, you don't always get who you want.”


“I know. I haven't told Sam yet... Should I?”


He shook his head. “No, not yet. It's difficult to tell someone close to you that you like them more than friends. It can break your connection with them, so you have to be careful.”


“I promise I'll be careful. Sam means too much to me to lose him.” Sam, as Colby said, is my best friend. Losing him would be the worst thing possible, and I don't want that.


Chapter End.


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