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Maybe It’s Me

Maybe It’s Me

Sayre Savage No Comment

(This is a work of fiction.  Kind of a vent-story thing.  Hope you enjoy it!)

        “I personally think that if you are as attractive as Andy Sixx, you should have to be President.  Just an opinion.”  My best friend Jake stated.  I laughed.

     “I suppose you’re right; He is gorgeous.”  I shifted my heavy bag from one shoulder to the other.  I hated not having a car.  Walking home seriously sucked.  

    “Here.  Give me your bag.  I know your shoulder is still screwed up.”  Jake said.  I grimaced.  My dad and I had gotten into a fight the night before. Well, he’d fought.  I had just tried not to die.  He knocked me into the wall and bruised my shoulder really bad.

   “Nah, Jake, I’m good.  Don’t sweat it.”  He stopped directly in front of me.  I tried going around him, but he moved right back in front of me again.  

   “Jinxx.  I’m serious.”  He held out his hand expectantly.  I knew he wouldn’t move until I gave in.  I sighed and handed him my bag.  He slung it over his shoulder.

   “Holy crap, Jinxx.  What’s in here, bricks?  No wonder you couldn’t carry it.”  I rolled my eyes and made a grab for it back.  A spasm of pain shot through my shoulder and I gasped.  Jake dropped both our bags.  “Dude, are you ok?”  He helped me sit down on the sidewalk.        

  “I’m good.  It’s nothing.  Just a little bit sore.”  I brushed my hair out of my eyes.  I kept it long and dyed black, which was one of the many reasons my dad beat on me.  He said it made me “look gay” and I quote, “No son of mine will be gay.  If I ever catch you with a boy, you better say your motherfuckin’ prayers, bitch.  Now get the fuck out of my sight.”  All this was said sober, so you can imagine the amount of joy he brings when he’s drunk.

  “ Here, come to my house.  It’s closer and Mom can check out your shoulder.”  Jake’s mom is a doctor.  “Don’t worry,”  He said when he saw my face.  “We’ll tell her you fell skateboarding, dude.”  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I got up and followed Jake down the road.   

      When we got to Jake’s house, my shoulder was aching and I knew Jake was getting tired of carrying both of our bags.  I helped him haul them through the door.  His dog Meenie started barking like crazy.  Meenie’s the tiniest dog I’ve ever seen, but she’s convinced she’s nearly deadly.  Hence the name.  

     “Jake, hon?  Did you get the mail?  And is that Jinxx?”  Leila called from the kitchen.  Jake’s house is pretty freaking huge.  

    “Nah, Mom, I forgot the mail.  And I was too busy hauling TWO bags in because SOMEONE fell of his skateboard.”  Leila came out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on a dishtowel.  Jake’s dad Hal followed, sipping a cup of coffee.  Hal worked the nightshift at the hospital while Leila worked days at a pediatric clinic.

    “Really?  How’d that happen?  I thought you boys were champs on the ‘board.”  Hal smiled.  Jake rolled his eyes.  

    “We all fall off, Dad.”  He turned toward his mom.  “Ma, can you check it out for him?  Please?”

Leila smiled at me and glared at Jake.

      “I am not ‘Ma’.  You know better.  I gave birth to you.  Or have you forgotten?”  Jake and Hal laughed.  I smiled sadly.  I wished my family was happy like this.  I mean, I know the Harpers’ are not a perfect family, but at least they don’t hit each other or scream all the frigging time.  Leila turned back to me.  “Come on, Jinxx.  We’ll get you all checked out.”  She led me to the kitchen and gestured for me to sit down at the island.  I did and she lifted the back of my shirt.

    “Oh my.  Hal, come here.  Take a look at this.”  I bit my lip nervously.  Hal set down his coffee and joined Leila behind me.  

    “Son, are you sure you got that falling down?  That’s a very serious bruise.  You need to get it checked out at the doctor’s or the hospital.  It could be bone deep.”  I stared at Jake in panic.  He mouthed “sorry” back.

   “No, Hal, Leila, it’s totally fine.  I’m fine.  I don’t want to bother my parents with this.  I mean, my dad’s really sick and Mom’s crazy busy.  I”ll be fine.  Thanks so much for checking it out.”  I quickly pulled my shirt back down and winced.  Hal and Leila exchanged a look.  

   “Anyway, I should probably get going.  Thanks so much, guys.”  I started to get up.

   “Jake, drive Jinxx home.  Then come straight back.  No little rendezvous.  Understood?”  Hal tossed Jake the keys.  Jake did a little victory dance, but was quickly shut down by a glare from Leila.

          I was pretty quiet on the ride back.  I couldn’t stop panicking and overthinking.  What if Leila called my parents?  What if they called the cops?  No, that was ridiculous;  they had no reason to suspect my dad.  Right?  Jake reached out and grabbed my hand.  I looked up.  In the near dark, his purple hair looked black.  He glanced at me out the corner of his eye and his mouth crooked up in the smile I loved.  He was the most beautiful human -inside and out- that I had ever met.  And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love him.  Yeah, as my best friend, but also love love him.  You know that thing in middle school, where everyone was all, “I like like them”?  Well, that’s how it was.  Only bigger than middle school’s ‘like.’  And less lame.  I stared at him, finally acknowledging the facts that A) I was into a GUY, and B) That guy had been my best friend since sixth grade.  And now we were sophomores.  It took me five fricking years to figure this out????? FIVE??!!!

            “What, dude?  Is my hair a mess or something?”  Jake laughed and shook his hair out of his face.  It was down past his shoulders now.  I was suddenly overcome with the need to do something.  Before I could think, I was saying: “Hey, Jake, dude, can you pull over?  I need to do something.”  He shrugged and pulled over.

            “What?  Do you have to pee?  Because you probably shouldn’t do that here.  I mean, we’re kind of in publi-”  He didn’t get to finish his sentence because I leaned over and kissed him.  At first, I could feel his shock and I started to pull away.  He caught my hand and gently grabbed my chin, turning me back to him.  He kissed me.  I could feel him smiling as we moved our lips against each other.  Slowly we pulled back.  His smile lit up his face.  “You have no freaking clue how long I’ve wanted to do that.  Now, care to explain why exactly this joyous moment has been set forth?”  I smiled back.

            “I frigging love it when you talk like that, dude.  And I just realized that I like you.  Um, actually no.  I love you.  I’m in love with you.  And oh my lanta, it feels so good to say that.  So yeah.  I love you.  A lot.”  I was gasping because I had just rushed that all out in one breath.  

            “I love you, too.  I have since, like, seventh grade.  Glad we have come to this conclusion.  Now, as much as I would love to continue this beauteous moment, I have to be a responsible adult and get you home.  Before we have another episode of last night.  By the way, did you call your parents?”

           “Shit!”  I groaned.  Oh, well.  We were almost home anyway.

              When we pulled in, Jake kissed me goodnight and I ran up to the house as fast as possible.  I opened the door quietly.  It was dark.  I flipped on the light and saw my dad standing in front of me with a knife.  

         “Dad?  What’s going on?”  I said slowly.  “Please put down the knife.”  He took a staggered step toward me.  He was clearly very drunk.

       “I saw you.  With that boy.  I told you.  I warned you.  You are not gay.  If anyone found out, they’d say I was queer.  So, I’ll make sure that never happens, by pretending you never happened.”  With that he lunged.  

              I woke up in the hospital six days later.  Apparently, Jake had sensed something and called the cops while running into my house.  He was able to yank my father off me.  I guess my dad started sobbing on the floor and Jake did his best to stop the bleeding.  He saved my life.  And now, six years later, we have our own happy ending.  The end.

          Hi guys!  Kerriann here.  Just wanted to say that I hope you liked this.  I wrote it to bring about awareness to a very real, very scary issue.  A lot of people are abused, killed, or severely beaten emotionally and physically just for being who they are.  I just hope this story brings about realization that we can change this if we try.  Thank you!

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