Ever think "Man, school sucks."? Yeah, I'm sure you have. But, you probably don't have it as bad as people like me do. The constant bullying, the teasing, the ignorance. Every. single. day. Of course, that's what I never considered when I became an openly gay freshman in high school. I had way more enemies than friends. Not even enemies, more like people that I'm simply terrified of.
I was currently lying on the ground outside the school, taking my daily after-school beating. Alex and Shaun. Always those two. They rarely beat the crap out of me, but they always push me around. Today it was "Push Nick to the Floor" Thursday. Honestly one of my more preferred days.
"Aww, does wittle Nicky want his mommy?" mocked Shaun. I wanted to wrangle my hands around his neck. Surely he knew very well that my mom had been dead for seven years. Like the jerk he is, he wouldn't care about my feelings.
"Probably wants us to start taking our clothes off over him," said Alex, getting a few laughs out of the surrounding kids. Typical of them to just stand there and watch. And Alex.. Alex Stacey. How could he? He used to be one of my best friends. Him, me, and Rex Regalis. Alex and Rex were the first two I'd ever told about being gay. And while Rex was perfectly fine with it, Alex got creeped out and left us, telling everyone, and ruining my life in the process.
Just as Alex and Shaun walked closer to probably kick me, I was saved by my usual, only backup.
"Yo! The hell are you doing?! Unless you want each other's foot shoved down your throats, you better not touch him!" said Rex. He always manages to show up at the right times. Everyone loved him dearly. He was kind, polite, generous, especially good with the ladies. He was also in amazing shape for a freshman. He was tall, maybe a little less than six feet, broad shoulders, arms, and legs. He wasn't buff, but he had great muscles and biceps. And I've seen him shirtless at his eighth grade pool party. He's got a nice broad chest and a toned six pack. He also had beautiful brown eyes, dark, dark brown hair, and luscious lips... okay, I'm getting off track. No.. I don't have a crush on him.. completely. He was my best friend. He never left my side and I've always appreciated that.
Anyway, as he walked over to us, Alex and Shaun looked nearly horrified and ran off like children. It was quite a sight. While everyone adored Rex, he also had a little perk of his that made people fear him when he's not happy. He reached his hand down to me and helped me up. Then he turned to the people who were watching and gave them a snarl and they went back to minding their business.
"You alright, dude?" he asked, smiling at me. He always had a nice smile.
"Yeah. I think so," I said. I hesitated to let go of his hand. "Though I would have enjoyed watching you shove their foots down each other's throats."
He laughed, which brought a smile to my face. "I suppose that would have been quite entertaining. Hey, how 'bout you have dinner with us tonight? My aunt's making her famous lasagna, and you could probably stay over for the night."
"Yeah, that'd be awesome! I gotta ask my dad on the way. That okay?"
He nodded kindly and we left the school, heading to my house a few blocks away. "Thanks for standing up for me again," I said. "I don't know what state I'd be in if I didn't have you to save me."
"No worries. You'd do the same for me."
"Yeah, if I were ripped, maybe."
He stayed silent for moment, probably thinking about what to say to that. "I'm sure you're capable of more than you think."
"That's what my mom used to say. My parents always believed in me, but what's there to believe in, really?"
Rex seemed to take that seriously. I knew what he was thinking. He was thinking about his father. He'd lost him just like I'd lost my mom. Even worse, his mother went missing not long after that. All he had was his aunt. It makes me realize what some mean by "Sometimes the nicest people are the ones who have been hurt the most". That was one of our connections. We understood what it was like to lose those we love.
We approached my house, old and ratty, the lawn nearly dead. It isn't exactly what you'd call a palace but it was home. We stepped inside and there was my dad, sitting in his comfy chair reading the newspaper like always. When Rex walked in behind me, my dad gave him a suspicious look, again like always. I don't know why, but my dad never really seemed to take much fancy in Rex.
"Um.. hey Dad. Is it okay if I stay over at Rex's tonight?"
He glared at Rex and narrowed his eyes, then he looked back at me. "Fine. Be careful." I knew what he meant by that. Make sure Rex doesn't try to hurt me, blah blah blah. No matter how many times I tell Dad how much Rex means to me, how much he's helped me, he won't seem to get to like him.
I pulled Rex outside to get away as soon as possible and he laughed. "He's still a bit tense, huh?"
"Ugh," I said, rolling my eyes. "He doesn't get you. That's Montgomery for you!"
He laughed again and led me down the road towards his house. I was excited for the night ahead with the most handsome.. um.. hehe I mean the nicest guy around.