Jeremy chuckled and grabbed my hand, almost dragging me thru the lunch line. We both took our lunch and headed outside to eat somewhere calmer so we could talk. He explained to me that Christopher was a kind of student counselor, that he was also the founder of the little shop that we had in the school where they sell some candies, soups, gums and chips, even some condoms and girls' protection and that he was the chief editor of our school's newspaper, the Journal. He also told me that they have been friends since last year.
"He does all that in the school and on Top of all his schooling?" I asked astonished.
"Yes and last year he was the one who started the school's Journal, he's not just the chief editor, but also the founder." Jeremy said grinning.
"Wow, he's a busy guy!"
"Yeah and I have him to thank for us being together," he said slyly.
"Um, what do you mean?"
"I'll explain to you later, we have to get back in school for the afternoon classes, we'll talk later," he said getting up.
"Yeah, OK," I said and then whispered, "I love you, Jeremy."
He grabbed me by the shoulders and looked around, seeing that no one was watching us, he quickly gave me a soft kiss on the lips. "Love you too," he said in a low tone before we headed off to our next class.
The afternoon was mostly boring. I was eager to know exactly who Christopher was and how he was the reason Jeremy and I are together. You know how when you wish something would happen fast, but you look at the clock like every five-minutes and minutes seems like hours? Well that was my afternoon. I couldn't keep my concentration on the tasks the teacher gave us.
Finally, the bell that announced the end of class sounded. I was happy that I'd finally know some more about Christopher. After stuffing the things that I wouldn't need for my homework that night in my locker, I decided to go join Jeremy at his locker.
"Hey Adrian," Jeremy shouted over the noise of students heading home.
"Hi" was the only word I could get out when I saw Christopher approaching in the corridor.
"Hey you two, come on," Christopher waved to us to follow him.
Jeremy just grinned and grabbed my arm, pulling me to where Christopher was leading. We followed Christopher to the little shop. He opened the door and we followed him. We found ourselves in the rear of the shop where they kept all the stock. There was a table in the middle, he motioned for us to sit down and took some bags of chips and a couple of soft drinks and handed them to us.
"So Adrian, I hope Jeremy is a gentleman with you," Christopher said grinning, making me blush.
"Umm yeah he is," I said looking at Jeremy who was grinning ear to ear.
"Go on, eat. I know you both must be hungry. I know it's not that healthy, but it's something."
"Thanks, Chris." Jeremy said while opening a bag of chips and grabbing a soda.
"Thanks, Chris. So how did you two meet?" I asked.
"Well, it was last year. I was asked by a teacher to help him," he said thoughtfully
"What do you mean 'help him'?"
Jeremy spoke up, "Well, I was very depressed last year because of, you know, me being gay and all. I was scared, but he showed me kindness and understanding."
"I'll tell you from the beginning, if you want," Christopher added.
"Uh yeah, OK, tell me," I said.
"So it was last year, about the middle of the year, when a teacher approached me about a kid in her classroom who looked very depressed. She asked me to see what I could do. I was known to be able to find out anything I wanted from anyone," Chris started.
Christopher's story starts here
I was busy in the office of the Journal that I started two months before, and we still needed to add something to it, so I was preparing for a meeting with all the others who joined the Journal, when Mrs. Morrison, one of the teachers in the school, came in to talk to me.
"Hello, Christopher," she said sitting on the desk, "I would like to ask you a favor."
"Oh OK, depends on what it is," I said smiling.
"Well, there is a student of mine who seems very depressed, I was wondering if you could find out why he is like that," she said.
"Why? Don't we have counselors in the school for that?" I asked her.
"Well, we tried, but he refuses to talk to an adult, we don't know why."
"OK. Well, I could try, but I can't promise anything," I said in a matter-of-fact manner.
"I know, but at least you can try, and thank you Christopher," she said, getting up to leave the room. "I knew I could count on you and by the way, I never gave you that." She left a big brown letter-size envelope on the desk and she was out before I could ask what it was. I took the envelope and checked it. My name was written on it, so I figured it was for me, but before I could open it, the other student members of the Journal came in, so I shoved the envelope in my bag and started the meeting. After the meeting I needed to go to my next class for that afternoon, I was having difficulty concentrating because I wanted to know what was in that envelope. That evening after doing my homework, I decided to open the envelope in my room.
The envelope contained a one-sheet note with a small photocopied picture of Jeremy:
Jeremy is someone whom I believe to be shy, he does not have many friends in school yet. He was transferred from another school this year. I have basically no information that I can share with you that is relevant. I have found that he usually goes to the library or the pool every lunch break.
Christopher, please do not tell anyone about this, especially Jeremy, and I do not want him to feel that I am observing him. I'm counting on you and thank you for helping. I know you will do your best.
"Well now I felt like Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible." I chuckled to myself.
After reading it all again, I shredded the note and put it in my recycling basket. After placing the picture in my bag, I prepared myself for bed. That night I dreamed of something weird, I was in the school pool and heard a big commotion in the locker room. When I entered the locker room I saw the principal talking with a police officer about a kid in the toilet stall. Before I could see anything, one of the officers saw me and made me take my stuff and exit the locker room, blocking my view to the stall. When I woke up, I had a strange feeling about it, but I pushed it to the back of my mind. I prepared myself for school, but the feeling was still there. After getting to my bus stop, I thought about the dream. It was so real, I never felt that strange about a dream before. But before I realized it, my bus was in front of me waiting for me to enter.
"You coming in or what?" the old bus driver asked.
"Oh yeah, sorry. I was thinking," I replied, getting on the bus.
That feeling was bugging me all morning, when the lunch break arrived I decided to see if I could find Jeremy. I first went in the pool area, but I couldn't find him there so I decided to check in the library; it was empty. Just then I heard a commotion in the hallway. I checked it out and saw Jeremy being pushed around by couple of older students.
"Hey guys, leave him alone!" I shouted.
They just looked at me and shouted back to mind my own business, but it was enough of a distraction for Jeremy to flee. I tried to catch him, but he was too fast.
"Oh well I'll try to find him tomorrow," I thought to myself, as I looked at my watch. "Damn, I'll be late for my next class."
The afternoon was uneventful, as usual. The evening was not much different. When I went to sleep that night I had the same dream, with the same result. I couldn't keep that dream out of my mind for a second day. When lunchtime arrived I decided to go check the library first, but as before, it was empty.
"Oh well," I thought. "I'll check the pool and if he's not there I might as well take a dip."
So I headed to my locker to get my swim bag. When I arrived at the pool no one was there so I changed and took the ordered shower before going in the pool. I first decided to go on the diving board, I always loved to dive. After being in the water for about ten minutes, I heard a loud thud in the locker room so I decided to check it out, as I didn't have a lock on my locker at the pool, because I never carried anything of value with me.
I entered the locker room silently to see who was there. To my surprise it was Jeremy, he was searching in his bag for something while sitting on the bench. I just kept silent and watched what he was up to. I thought it was weird, but then he got up and headed to the toilet stall. Then it hit me: the dream, the boy in the stall, the police officer.
"Oh God! He's not planning to... Shit!" I followed behind. I ran to the stall, surprising him. He tried to pass by me to exit the locker room, but I was fast enough to catch him by the shoulder.
"Hey! Stop fighting now," I said, as he tried to break free of my grasp.
"Let me go!" he said in a scared tone.
"Not until you stop twisting," I said, tightening my grip on him.
After that he stopped moving and started to cry in my arms. To say the least, I was shocked by all this. I kept holding onto him while he was emptying himself, crying in my arms. I moved us both to the bench and sat down, still holding him. By the time he started to control his emotions, the bell had rung; I was happy there was no class at the pool that afternoon.
"You better now?" I asked him.
He didn't reply.
"Hey don't worry, I'm not here to hurt you, OK? I'm your friend."
"Why would you what to befriend me?" he asked, still sobbing a little.
"Because I care for others, that's why."
"Why would you care for me when everyone else picks on me?"
"To tell you the truth, I care for others because it's my purpose," I said smiling.
"What do you mean 'your purpose'? Are you some kind of Guardian Angel?" he asked with a sniff.
"What? No I'm not, I'm an ordinary guy who likes to help others, that's all," I said, smiling, thinking that he thought I was an angel. "Please tell me why you here by yourself. You should know that's not the way to fix your problems."
"If I tell you, you'll just beat me like the others," he said.
"I would never hurt anyone for any reason, and I never used my fists other than for protecting myself or others in need," I said in a matter-of-fact tone.
"Do you promise?" he looked at me hopefully.
"Yes, I promise to never tell anyone and I will not hurt you."
"Well... I... I... I'm gay" he blurted out.
"And where is the problem with that, if I may ask?" I replied, trying not to sound shocked. It surprised me that he actually told me that.
"Well, that is my problem. No one likes me and if they find out, they'll think I'm a freak."
"Well, do you think you are? Because I don't."
"What? No, well not really, but why?" he looked at me like I was an Alien.
"Tell you what, I promised not to tell your secret. Do you promise that you won't tell what I'm about to tell you?" I asked the boy in my arms.
"Well that should suffice, I think," I said a little nervous, because no one knows about me, not even my folks, and I'm about to tell a boy a barely know. "I'm gay too!"
"Really? You are?" His body relaxed a little.
"Yes, and now you are the only one on earth who knows that." I said, relaxing my arms around him to see if he would try to escape. To my surprise, he didn't try to run; he just looked at me like I was something that he had never seen in his life.
"Tell me, is that why you were here?" I asked him. I felt him tense a little in my arms, but I didn't want to scare him so I just continue to hold him softly.
"Yes, no one likes me," he said, starting cry again.
"Well I like you, and I'm sure your parents like you more than you can imagine."
He just stayed in my arms while he sobbed. I tried to comfort him by rubbing his back a little. After about ten minutes he regained his composure. I told him to stay here while I changed. He agreed, so I let him go completely and let him sit on the bench while I changed. I decided not to go in the change room; I had to keep an eye on him. I didn't really think about giving him a show, as I'm mostly very shy about showing my body, even more in front of a little guy. I watch him trying to stretch to see me. I laughed to myself.
After I got dressed, I sat down beside him and we talked for about an hour; I was happy when slowly he smiled. The bell rang announcing the end of the day, but before I let him go I made him promise to come see me every lunchtime or whenever he needed to talk with someone. He thanked me and I let him go, hoping that he would stay safe.
After that day he came to see me almost every lunchtime for about a week. One day though, Mrs. Morrison came into one of my classes and asked me to follow her. I got my things and followed her to the retreat room we have for turbulent kids. I was surprised to see Jeremy sitting at one of the desks. He looked at me and I saw that he had been crying.
"Christopher, he asked to talk to you and you only," Mrs. Morrison said with concern.
"It's OK," I said. "Can you leave us alone?"
"Of course, come get me when you're finished," she said, closing the door.
That day we talked more. He was having a crash down and felt shitty after a couple of older boys had harassed him. After we finished talking and I was able to make him smile again, we both left the room and Mrs. Morrison sent him to the library for the rest of the period, while she wanted to talk to me.
She turned and looked at me after we entered her office. "So can you tell me what that was all about?"
"Well I can say some things, but some are personal," I said.
"I can live with that. Just tell me what you can."
"Well, you were right. He is a little depressed and he got harassed this morning by some older students," I said calmly.
"Oh dear, how did we miss that?" she asked concerned.
"Well, have someone check on him. If anyone harasses him, stop them, please, he is still fragile," I said almost pleading.
"OK, we will watch, don't worry."
"Thanks, I need to go or I'll be late for my next class, thanks Mrs. Morrison," I said, standing up and grabbing my bag.
Thankfully, the next day one of the teachers saw the students who were harassing Jeremy and put a stop to it. I was glad that the last outbreak he had was the final one. He came to see me almost every day after that and we became friends.
End of Christopher's story
"Wow," was all I could say.
"And I got a little worried this year because he came to see me almost every day like last year, but about a month ago he stopped coming to see me. I thought something happened," Christopher replied.
"Sorry Chris, I forgot to tell you. That's about when I meet Ady," Jeremy said.
"It's OK. I kind of figured it out when I saw you both chatting outside last week," Chris said smiling. "And I think you really found yourself a cutie." I was blushing deep red after that comment and Jeremy was grinning madly. We continued to chat a little. After that we all got our things ready and headed outside to Christopher's mother's car.
"Do you want lift, boys?" she asked kindly.
"Yes, thank you, ma'am," Jeremy replied.
We all piled in the back seat of the car and headed home. I was happy that I was with Jeremy and the fact that Chris told us that I was cute made me blush again. They both started to laugh when they saw me.
"You're still thinking about what I said, aren't you?" Chris managed to say between laughs. I could only nod, but I was happy. Jeremy grabbed my hand softly and gave it a squeeze while looking in my eyes.