*** Ch. 9 will be the final chapter I post here. I think I'll start posting this story on another website. Shame, because I've been on here for years. Oh well. Hope you guys enjoy the first third of Street Lights, and thanks for reading! [[The beginning is for Ms. Joan. May she rest in peace.]] It's been about two weeks since that party and everything is normal now.
It's Monday and I'm sitting here at the front desk early in my tightest khakis, blue polo shirt that has a gray polo logo, and classic chucks. I wanted to look nice today. My hair is even pressed to hell and back. The attendance clerk, Ms. Joan took her seat across from me at her desk and logged in. Ms. Joan is the coolest lady I've even met in my life.
She's an older mexican lady. Have you seen the Mrs. Butterworth's syrup bottle?
She looks EXACTLY like it, but a mexican version. Her attitude is "one size BETTER fit all". That should say a lot about her. She was always like a second mom to me. I remember when I first came to register, she picked me out of the crowd and we talked about anything and everything, school related or not. She made me feel welcome at Century High. In fact, she even requested that I be her exclusive aide for 1st period.
God I'd like to be like her when I grow up. "Mi hijo, you look nice today! What's the occasion," Ms. Joan asks me, peering at me over her bifocals. "The school board is going to be here all week, remember? We have to impress," I smile at Ms. Joan. She blushes and looks at her screen.
A few moments later her face brightens up. "Oh mi dios, me acuerdo [Oh my God, I remember]! Let me button my shirt all the way up," she says to me. She begins to button her blue silk blouse. I just chuckle and start getting the paperwork ready. She has been teaching me a little spanish all year, so I could at least tell the spanish speaking parents basic information when they call in.
In exchange, I teach her the slang that the kids are using so she can eavesdrop on conversations. I sit back and greet the administration and teachers as they pass by with a grin on my face. Did I ever mention I've always been a teacher's pet for teachers that I didn't have? Anywho. Ms. Joan's phone rings. Ms Joan picks up her phone and begins talking to whoever it is. Then my phone begins to ring. "Hi! Thanks for calling the Century High Attendance Office! This is Link, how may I assist you?" I cheerily say into the phone.
"Your boyfriend is weak. Look outside," the deep voice on the phone says. With a twisted look on my face, I look up and through the glass doors facing the patio. I see Brad sitting next to Carter alone at a lunch table, talking. smiling. My chest begins to burn. "Thanks for the tip," I say into the phone as I hang it up. "Are you okay, chico? You look like you've seen a bruja [witch]," Ms.
Joan says to me. I turn to her and sigh. "I think I'm okay. Random call about someone getting their puppy hit by a car," I lie. "Las mentiras [lies], Link," Ms. Joan says and looks at me with concern on her face. "That's how I feel though! You're right. Ok. Here it is. One, I'm gay. Two, I see my man out there with a guy I hate," I admit to Ms. Joan. She reaches over and takes my hand, rubbing the back of it with her thumb.
She skin was so wrinkled yet so soft. Warm and inviting as well. "Yo se como se siente [I know how you feel]. I remember when I was una chica joven [a young girl]. All I can say, chico, is to trust him.
I didn't trust mi primer amor [my first love] when it happened to me and I lost him forever," She says in her infinite wisdom. It makes me feel better that she can relate.
I smile weakly at her and thank her. She nods and answers the next call. I'm sitting here watching Brad and Carter. Damn I wish I could read lips.
Brad looks so damn good today in his cargos and Diamond Supply tank top. Hair spiked up as usual, and low-cut chucks with black tube socks with white stripes at the top. I tell myself I'm lucky. Carter is rubbing his arms and shoulders now, giggling and talking.
Looking him in his eyes. Brad is just sitting there soaking it all up like a fucking sponge. My chest is starting to burn even more. Carter takes his phone out and I see Brad saying something while Carter talks. Then I see Brad take his phone out and hit something.
They're both smiling. It looks like They take a picture of each other and they start talking again.
My phone begins ringing. I pick it up, still keeping my eyes on them. "Hey. Century High Attendance. How can I help you?" I regurgitate into the phone.
"Hi! What time does school start today," the parent asks over the phone. Are you fucking serious lady? It's February, where the hell have you been? "First period begins at 8:30. For future reference, check out our website or your child's handbook.
Also, if you press 2 when the automated system comes on, it'll tell you the schedule in full detail," I politely remind her. "Thank you," the parent says and hangs up. Dumb broad. Ms Joan looks at me like she just heard what I just said in my head. She begins laughing and pats my arm. "Oh chico," she says in a sweet tone.
This gets me to smile. She begins typing on her computer. I look outside again and they're gone. This throws me for a loop. The bell rings, signaling the beginning of the week. I pull out a red ink pen and the sign-in sheet and put it on the desk. Let's get this shit over with already. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - I walk into the science class and take my seat. I pull my hair into a pony tail and begin to braid it.
I needed to keep my hands busy if I was going to not knock Brad through his desk. "Hey Link, what's up," Brad says to me as he comes in and sits down. God he smells so good. You can never go wrong with Irish Spring. "You tell me," I say, looking straight forward. By now the class was starting to fill up. "Well. Other than fucking you all weekend, nothing much," he says in a tone just loud enough for me to hear. I feel slightly disgusted.
"Can I see your phone," I ask Brad, finishing up my braid. "Uhm yeah," He says, unsure of what I was about to do. He slides me his BlackBerry and I open up his contacts. I type in a "C". Carter is the first to show up. I tap on it and see that his picture is even there. I tap the text message icon and see that they've been texting since last week.
I close everything out and hand it back to him. He gives me a curious look. I shrug and cross my arms. The teacher comes in and I raise my hand. "I forgot to get my textbook, can I go get it," I ask. The teacher nods and I get up, grab my stuff and roll out. I wasn't going to sit here and feel like shit.
Not today. I go to my locker and put my bag in. I pull out some hair spray and a hot comb and head off to the boys bathroom. I need to re-straighten my hair. I'm standing here doing my hair slowly, lost in my own thoughts, reflecting upon the situation while I watch my reflection. I should have asked why he has his number and what the fuck was going on this morning.
I see someone walk in and go over to the urinal. I don't say anything. After he finishes up he flushes and comes over to wash his hands. "Hey! Link, right?" The guy says to me. I look over. The gazebo kid! I feel myself blush red. "Ye-yeah! Hey! How's it going man?" I ask him, obviously excited to see him. He looks me up and down while washing his hands. "It's going. Doing your hair, I see. Is that a Con-Air classic?" he asks me, pointing to my hot comb.
"Yes! It is! Whachu know about styling products?" I ask with a grin. He just stands there for a moment. I check him out. About 5-6, athletic build, off grey eyes, full pink lips. God his lips. Slightly wavy hair that's been cut to look like Bruno Mars' hair. He had to be mixed. The way his black v-neck hugged every cut of his midsection and the way his stonewashed jeans hugged his thighs and legs.
Even his Jordan's were sweet. "So my sister.", he begins, breaking my thoughts, "my sister owns a little beauty shop downtown. So I know a few things." He reaches out and runs his fingers though my hair, making me shiver. I put the hot comb down and look at him with a stupid grin on my face. "You're a cute little motherfucker. I'm Avery by the way," He says in a dreamy tone. "Haii." I say back. Dammit Link, get your life together man!
"I have to go. Hit me up sometime," He says. He pulls a Sharpie out of his back pocket and writes his number on the palm of my hand and leaves. Good. Lord. I turn around and look into the mirror. What the hell?
I was red as a strawberry. I can't be here today. I finish my hair and head back to my locker to grab my bag. Just as I turn the corner to get to my locker, I see Brad standing there by it. "Link! Where the hell have you been," he says in an annoyed tone, "what's going on with you?" "Nothing of interest," I say, clenching my fist and putting it in my pocket as I approach him.
"Don't lie to me man," he says. Fuck him right now. I need to go get in the bed, like, now. "It's nothing. I have to go," I say quickly. I dial in the code and grab my bag and phone. He slams my locker. "Look, Link, whatever it is you need to tell me," he says, begging. "What part of 'nothing' do you not understand? I need to go, that's all there is to it," I spat at him.
I turn around and head for the nearest exit. - - - - - - - - I'm sitting here at my computer playing the Sims. I've been playing since I got home. My phone has been ringing off the hook since school was out.
Everyone from the clique called, but I wasn't in the mood to talk. I check the time. 12:03 am. I decide to call Avery and see if maybe he was up. I dial his number up and wait. Ring. Ring. Ring. Just as I was about to hang up. "Hello," A voice says on the line. "Hey, is this bad time to talk?" I say into the phone, hoping he would just hang up.
"Link? Not at all man. I was hoping you would call," he says. Is that a smile I hear? "Oh yeah? Well. Heh. What's up?" I ask. We start talking about his day and then school in general.
Somehow we started talking about the Illuminati and then our biggest fears and dreams. I felt like I had known him all of my life. "Link?" he says. "Yeah Avery?" I answer back. "Uhm. Never mind, another time" He says. I check the time. 6 am. "Man, you should get ready for school. I need to get ready as well bro.
I'll see you at school?" I say into the phone, yawning. "Oh fuck. Yeah man. For sure. See you man," Avery says. He hangs up first.
I hope I was making the right choice. - - - - - - - - - - - - - I'm sitting here in Chem again. Brad comes in and plops down next to me. He reeks of sex and body spray. We look at each other at the same time. "Hi," I say, keeping it short. "Hey Link, what's up? What happened yesterday?" He asks, trying to sound concerned. "I had an emergency, can't talk about it," I lied. He looked at me for a moment and nodded. "Is everything okay," he asks.
"Of course," I lie again. I ask for his phone. He hands it to me without question. I download a tracking app on his phone and hide the icon. He asks what I was doing, I tell him I sent a text to myself. He nods and I hand his phone back. My phone vibrates and I show him the message, just to prove it. He nods again and that's it between us in class.
- - - - - - - - - - - - At lunch, they're all asking where I was, and I tell them like I told Brad. I had an emergency. They all just eat it up and they start talking about our summer plans. We all wanted to go to Rocky Point down in Mexico since Stacy was graduating.
After lunch Avery texts me. A: Down to meet up? Not feeling like class. L: Uhm. Yeah sure. Meet me by the old black box. A: ok I put my phone away and begin heading there. KyShea catches up to me. "Link, we need to talk, now," KyShea says. We stand there in the hall for a second before she starts. "Are you and Brad an item? Because if your are, you're a jerk for not telling us," she says.
I look at her for a moment. "Nope. We're not anything," I say. She studies me. "Okay. I didn't think he was gay anyways," she says in a relaxed tone. I nod and I tell her I needed to hit the bathroom before class. She went on without me. - - - - - - "Didn't think you would show up," Avery says as I let us in with the key I borrowed from the janitor again. "Why not," I ask. He doesn't say anything back. We sit down in the front row, the skylight beaming directly down on us, warming us up.
"Have you ever thought what this school was like when it first opened back in the 40's," he asks after some time. "Meh. I'm more of a here and now kind of guy," I say, looking over at him, while he was studying the sunlight.
Just then I hear keys in the door. I grab Avery's hand and we run to the top of the seats and lay down on the floor. After a few moments I hear a voice.
"This is so wrong," I hear a familiar voice say.
"Yeah, but it's my kind of wrong," The other voice says. I feel Avery tense up when he hears the other voice.