Hate Me

After a shocking experience in his past, sixteen year old Christian Rothschild is left with twin babies: Clarice and Jacob - their mother Amber long out of the picture. Twenty-six year old art teacher Alex Archer is a divorcee left alone with his four year old Elijah. His life has long since been happy.
What happens when these two meet at a single parent's club? And even more, what happens with Christian goes home with Alex?
Can Alex get over his homophobia, and keep afloat with all he's got on his plate? And can Christian keep their relationship secret, when he is on the rise to fame?

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8. Christian

My first day at sixth form was a nervous one. In my schoolbag, I had a map of the school and I had my timetable. I sat beside Max in the car, already feeling anxious about having left behind Clarice and Jacob. Cathleen said she’d be waiting for me by the entrance to meet one of her friends in my form. I reluctantly got out of the car when we reached the school, and was about to say goodbye when my dad spoke up. “Christian,” he said, and I bent down to see him as he spoke. “Leave your phone on. The school said Marie was allowed to call you if something happened with the twins, you’re also allowed to leave if you miss them too much” And with a quick nod from me, our father closed the car door and drove off. Max smiled, “you’re lucky.” He commented, “Dad would never let me come home for something like that.” I shrugged off his comment, already seeing Cathleen’s small figure standing behind the gates. “He lets me come home because he understands the anxiety of parenthood.” I thought of the times I was allowed to watch the news in my captivity, and the times I saw my father begging for me to come home. I’m sure Max was thinking about the same news reports. “I think dad knows enough parental anxiety for the entire schools’ parents.” He mumbled.

“And then some.” I added.

We didn’t continue our slightly morbid conversation, because Cathleen had called my name, and began running towards me with another figure following behind. I waved goodbye to Max and braced myself for Cathy’s hyper personality. “Hi Chris,” she called, and I smiled at her. She reached me, barely breaking a sweat. However, the boy running behind her was panting. “You alright?” I asked him, looking past Cathy for a moment. He nodded. “I get out of breath easily - heart condition.” He explained, and I knitted my brow.

“Yikes. What kind?” I queried, and he shrugged.

“Aorta some shit.” He dismissed, and I nodded.

“Excuse Christian – he’s gotten extra paternal over people recently.” Cathleen told the boy, and he smiled, looking up from my short friend to me. His soft blonde hair brushing past his eyes. “That’s fine. I’m Ruan, by the way.” He introduced, putting out his hand. I was surprised – I didn’t know people still shook hands these days – especially not sixteen year old boys. “Christian – but you probably knew that.” I replied, shaking his hand firmly.

“Yep. Christian Rothschild – the lead singer of Oh Captain My Caption.” He surprised me by recognizing me from my band, instead of by my children. My eyes widened slightly. “You’ve heard of my band?” I asked, dumbfounded. Ruan smiled and nodded. “I bought your album in town last week – I might have to politely ask you to sign it someday. Your voice is amazing.” He complimented, and I blushed a little. Cathy grinned, “I already see a beautiful romance blossoming.” She teased, and both myself and Ruan looked at her with an embarrassed look. I turned to him, smiling goofily, “If you wanted to…I could introduce you to the rest of my band…” I suggested, running my hand through my hair – pulling back a section that was curling into my eyes. Ruan smiled back, “I think I’d like that.” He replied politely. Cathy sighed, “Well, I trust Ruan to support you through this change to sixth form from full-time dad. I have to get to my form room now, but I’ll check on you later, Chris!” She called, already sprinting off.

We were both left standing on the path, younger students milling and trickling past. “She always was sporty.” I commented, watching Cathleen’s long ponytail of dark brunette hair flowing behind her. Ruan nodded, “you should have seen her on the past sports days. She’s an amazing athlete – I don’t know why she hasn’t taken PE as a subject.” He replied, looking back at me.

“it’s because she’s always wanted to be an art teacher.” I explained absent-mindedly, and he nodded as we began walking. Ruan’s school bag bumped on his hip as he walked.

“So how long have you and Cathy been friends?” He asked, only making light conversation.

“Like six tears or something. I met her when we started school.” I replied absently, Ruan frowned.

“Surely then it would be something like ten years?” He corrected, and I looked away.

“Yeah, but we weren’t in contact for the four years when I was missing.” I countered quietly. He looked away, and there was an awkward moment where I assume he was mentally shaming himself for making me bring it up. “It’s surprising you two stayed friends after so long.” He noted after sometime, I chuckled. “I was in hospital for a while after, and one day, down the hall I hear this girl screaming ‘I want to see Chris! I want to see him now!’ And I could tell it was my ballsy midget friend before I even saw her – even after four years I could tell it was her. So I got out of bed, and into the hall and sure enough she was stood there glaring at the receptionist.” I laughed again at the memory of a four foot eleven girl in a sailor fuku and a lollipop in her mouth glaring at a man who was about two feet taller than she was. “I called her name, not wanting to leave the twins alone in our room. And she just burst into tears right there in the hallway. She actually had to be led to my door by the receptionist.” I told him, and Ruan’s lips went up in a slight smile.

“Cathy’s never really upset. I think I might want to see her cry at least once – just to see if she’s capable of it.” He muttered, and I shook my head.

“The people who never cry are the kind of people who hold everything up until when they do cry, it’s not just for the one reason that tipped them over the edge, but for everything else that’s made them sad before. That day Cathleen wasn’t crying because she could see all the torture I endured – she was crying because of every difficult thing that had happened to under since the last time she cried. And watching someone cry out the past torments of their life is not an experience I would recommend.” I explained, and he looked up at me.

“Aren’t you a wise one.” he commented, “I always liked intelligent boys.” He added in a much quieter voice.

We reached the staffroom, and Ruan didn’t hesitate to knock. A middle-aged teacher answered the door. “Hello,” Ruan greeted, in a very polite tone. “Is Miss White in there? If she is, could you tell her Christian Rothschild is here?” He asked, and the teacher nodded, sparing a sideways glance at me. I figured even the teachers knew about me. “Very well, Ruan. You two wait here.” He said, closing the door. Ruan leaned against one of the English display boards. “Well, Christian, this is your point of no return.” He warned, raising a blonde eyebrow. I smiled, running a hand along my clean-shaven jaw. I missed my stubble. “You’re mistaken – I can leave at any point, if I miss my darling daughter and son too much.” I bragged, and he scoffed.

“Do you think you will?” He queried. I shrugged,

“I’m never usually away from them like this. Usually I have tutoring that allowed me breaks for feeding and such. Nothing like that here, though.” I answered. That was when the door opened, and my new form tutor walked into the hallway, and I knew from just the way she looked at me that my decision to join high school would not make me equal to anyone else. It was only going to set me apart that much more.

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