Morning came far too early; my night was full of dreams and restlessness. I got up and went to the mirror to see if I looked as bad as I felt. What I saw looking back at me was worse then I felt. My eyes were sunken in with deep dark bags under them. My skin looked pale and clammy. What the hell is wrong with me? I seem to be asking my self that a lot lately. I grab some shorts and head next door, the room Mark is using. I knock twice and hear him say "CLAIR Door" and think to my self he seems to learn fast. The door slides open, and I walk in. He's still in bed with the covers pulled up. I tell him he can raid my closet and dresser for something to wear since we're the same size. As I'm leaving I tell him to help him self to a shower and then grab some food if he wants it.
As I get back to my room the only thing I want to do is go back to bed and forget every thing that has happened. I know I can't just stick my head in the sand and pretend the world is not moving around me. I lock the door in the open position and head to the shower. I lean up against the wall and let the hot water cascade over me, hoping that I can get my mind in order and back on track. I hear a knock on the bathroom door and look up, it's Mark. Maybe if I ignore him he'll grab the cloths and leave. I can't deal with this, hell I can't deal with him right now. Luck is not with me to day it seems. "Alex, it's Mark can I come in for a minute? I want to talk to you."
I snap back with out meaning to, "Can't you wait 'til I'm out of the shower?" I instantly regret my tone of voice. With a sigh I turn off the water, and wrap the towel around my waist stepping out. I'm in a really bad mood this morning, but that's what happens when your own mind and body turn against you, and turn your life up side down. "Look I don't mean to take my bad mood out on you, I'm sorry. What is it you wanted to talk about?"
"Well, your bad mood for one, and then last night too." He pauses, probably waiting to see if I'm going to comment. I don't, so he goes on. "I'm sorry you had a bad night, really I am. I don't know what happened last night, but it won't happen again. I know I made you uncomfortable after what happened in the pool, but I needed time to think about it too."
After getting a better look I see he doesn't look any better off then I do this morning, looks like we both had rough nights. "It's fine; we'll probably both feel better after showers and getting some food in us." I smile at him, or at least try, hoping that it will lighten the mood. I realize that as freaked out as I am about the way I'm starting to feel I still don't want him to leave. I want to be his friend. No! I need to be his friend. Everything else I'll deal with later. He nods once then folds his arms across his chest and turns to leave, stops, waits for a second, then walks out. Once he is out of the bathroom I get back in the shower. Feeling somewhat better I finish quickly not bothering to jack off this morning.
I get into the kitchen and see Mark sitting at the breakfast bar eating what looks like scrambled eggs, George must have made him breakfast. I have to admit he looks good in my cloths, he picked out a red Aéropostale polo with white strips and cargos to wear. The polo fits him perfectly and clings to his chest. I stop that train of thought before it can run away with me, the last thing I need is another day like yesterday. I go to the dry storage closet and grab some cereal then stop at the fridge, grab the milk and a bottle of Sunny-D and sit next to him. Taking the bowl off the ledge I turn it over and fill it up and proceed to eat in silence. Neither one of us talks to the other but I keep catching him glancing at me out of the corner of my eye. I don't want things to continue the way they are, so I lean into him for a second and ask, "Are we still cool man?"
"Yeah." He smiles. "So when is John getting up to take us to school?"
Just as he says that John comes in "What up guys? Ready for another fun day at school?" He asks the question laced with sarcasm. He grabs a banana off the counter;. "Let's go." We follow him out and he pulls me into a side hug. "Get in back bro."
I get in back and Mark gets in next to me but is sitting as far away as possible now. I find this makes me sad. I have to figure this out, what is it about this guy that is wreaking havoc with my mind. When we get to school John tells me to wait, he wants to talk to me.
"Alex, if Lee gives you any shit today let me know, I'll deal with him."
"I will John; I know you have my back. I don't know why I mouthed off to him yesterday; he is really getting to me with all his shit. We never did anything to him, I don't know why he's taking this out on us. I'm just glad him and his Dad have not violated the nondisclosure agreement and told everyone that our Dad owns Olympia Corp. As bad as it is with us just being rich, it would only get worse if everyone knew the truth. I have to get to homeroom; I'll see you at lunch. Thanks again." I walk off toward homeroom and see my sister coming. "Hey sis did you have fun last night."
"No, I couldn't fall asleep. I kept thinking something was wrong with you, I almost called to check on you. It looks like you didn't get much sleep last night either. Anything you want to talk about?"
"Maybe some day when you're older" I say as I playfully bump into her.
"Jerk, I'm 5 minutes older then you!" She says it with an angry edge but then breaks out into a smile and puts her arm through mine.
Together we head in the room and take our seats. Mark leans over. "What did John want?"
"He just wanted to tell me he had my back if Lee tries any thing."
"So do I; that guy seems like an ass."
"Thanks, but be careful, he's not exactly a push over. Also, you and John have to play football with him. I should have just kept my mouth shut yesterday."
Our conversation is cut short by Mrs. Weber calling us to order. The days goes by quick. On the way to lunch, Lee passes me and bangs my head into the locker hard enough to place a nice cut on my forehead. Mark is coming up behind me and sees it happen. He comes up to me and checks my head. "Let's get in the bathroom and get that cleaned up and see if it needs stitches." He says.
We head into the nearest bathroom. He takes some towels, wets them, and starts dabbing my cut. I wince when he makes contact. He says sorry then wets the towel again and continues to clean it. He leans into get a good look, before I know what is happening I lean my head towards him, pause, and look into his eyes and start to lean in more. I know in my head that if I don't stop I'm going to kiss him, but I can't seem to make my self stop. Just before my lips touch his he side steps me and clears his throat. "It doesn't look to bad, but you may want the nurse to take a look at it."
That's it; he turns around, and walks out the door leaving me standing there feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. What was I about to do? If he didn't stop me I would have kissed him. Is that what's wrong, am I attracted to him? More confused then ever, I go to the lunch room and sit down next to my brother and tell him about Lee.
"Is there something else bothering you besides Lee? Come on Alex, it's not like you to be so down like this. It's not the first time you've been hit." He says as he puts his arm around my shoulder puling me into him.
"No, it's something I have to deal with. I'll see you later; I'm not very hungry to day." I get up and make my way to the clinic office. I'm going to take the cowardly way out and go home. I walk into the clinic and ask the nurse if I can go home saying that I don't feel well. She gives me a questioning look and I see her gaze slip up to my cut. She smiles at me.
"You will have to call your Dad and get permission. Is there someone that can come and get you?" She says.
"Yeah, I can get our housekeeper to take me home." I pick up her phone and dial my Dads cell.
"Hey Dad, it's Alex. I'm not feeling to good. Can I go home?"
"Are you in the clinic office, Alex?"
"OK, call Dolores and have her come get you. Now can you put the nurse on the line please? I want to tell her it's OK."
"Yeah, here she is Dad"
"Yes, Mr. Daniels, I have Alex in here in the clinic."....... "He has your permission to come home?" ….... "OK, and the housekeeper will be coming for him?" ….... "Yes, thank you Mr. Daniels you have a good day too."
With that I head out the door to wait for my ride. It takes her about 20 minutes to arrive. I climb silently into the car and she takes me home. When we stop in front of the house she lets me out before taking the car to the garage. I head straight up to my room, flop onto my bed and start crying. I'm so confused and can't control any thing anymore. I must have cried myself to sleep, cause the next thing I know someone is siting down on my bed. I look up and it's John.
" Anything you want to talk about?"
I just shake head no, crawl over to him and hug him. We sit like that for a while; him holding me and me just lying in his arms.
"What is it bro? You know you can tell me anything."
"I can't tell you this, I can't tell anyone, ever."
"You know we're all worried about you. You have been really down lately ever since Dave moved away in the summer. The twins say you have not spent any time with them for close to a month now. They think your mad at them. Your sister is carrying your emotional baggage around. I won't pretend to get the connection twins have but your bad mood is effecting her too. We thought maybe you were getting over it when you seemed happy yesterday and this morning. Then, you drooped back even worse than before. I heard Dad talking to Dr. Reed about you. They're worried you may be falling into a depression. Even Mark seemed worried when you left today." With that the sobbing starts again and he pulls me tighter to him.
"I'm sorry John. I know I've been an ass and in a real bitchy mood for the last few months. I don't know what's wrong with me. I have some stuff I need to figure out on my own, but when I'm ready, I'll talk to you. OK? Can you have the twins come in, please? I have some apologies to make to them."
"OK Alex, by the way you missed dinner. I figured you weren't up to eating so I covered for you with Dad and George."
"Thanks John. I love you. I hope you know that. I could never ask for a better big brother then you." He gives me one more hug before getting up and leaving.
After a few minutes Scott and Jacob come in looking nervous. "It's OK guys I just want to talk to you two for bit. Come and have seat on the bed with me." Just like when we were little they each go to one side of me lying down next to me and rest their heads on that spot between the pec and shoulder. "I'm sorry for the way I've been acting toward you guys. I want you both to know I'm not mad at you. I'm just dealing with some stuff. Why don't we all spend the night together like we used to? Does that sound good to you guys?" They both light up like a Christmas tree.
"COOL, Me and Jake will go get our stuff." They both run out the door and come back in a few minutes with their things.
"We still have some time before bed!" I say while laughing. "Well, we wanted to get an early start." says Scott "You never sleep with us any more." and Jacob finishes his sentence for him.
"OK let's get ready and we can hang out in here and cuddle 'til we fall asleep." We all get up and get ready for bed. When we meet back in my bed, I pull them into me and settle in for the night. "So what do you guys want to do, watch TV, listen to music, read a book?"
Jacob looks up at me, "Will you read to us like you used to?"
"Sure Jake, What do you want me to read to you?"
"The Lightning Thief ©, will you read that to us?"
"Sure, but you will have to go get it from your room." He takes off and is back in less then a minute. I read to them 'til they fall asleep, each one cuddled up to each of my sides. "CLAIR lights."
The next day dawns. I wake up with my two little brothers cuddled up to me. I can tell I did not move much in the night, my back is killing me. I look over at the clock and see that is late, well late for me but about the right time for the twins to get up. I shake them awake and tell them they need to get ready for school. They run off to their room, and I roll out of bed and head down to the kitchen. I see my dad sitting at the small table in the corner. "Morning Dad."
"Good morning Alex. I'm going to let you stay home today, but I want you back in school tomorrow. If you are still depressed and moping around by tomorrow night your going to go see a therapist."
"Dad I don't need a therapist; I just have some things to work out."
"Well you can work them out with a therapist then, since you can't or won't talk to your family."
It's not worth arguing with him, "OK Dad." I lost my appetite again so I head back to my room and let the misery have me. I wake up around noon and roll back out of bed and go to my book shelf grabbing Book two of The Hythrun Chronicles © I go back to bed, curl up, and read. I must have fallen asleep at some point, I roll over to look at my clock and nearly shit myself. Mark is sitting at my desk watching me. "What the hell do you want? How did you even get in here for that matter?"
"After the last 3 days I guess deserve that."
"Yeah, you do; so back to my questions, how and why?"
He sighs slightly. "I came to make sure you were OK, and your brother let me in. You were sleeping so I decided to wait 'til you woke up."
"Not that it is any of YOUR business but I am fine. Now you can go." I roll back over with my back to him.
I think he has gone and start to cry again that's when I feel someone sitting down on my bed. I know it's Mark without even have to turn over. He starts to rub my arm.
"Alex, I have to ask you a question, and then I promise I will explain my actions for the last few days."
"Fine ask away."
"Are you gay?"
My heart stops, shit that is the very question I have been struggling with for the last week. How do I answer him. I roll back over and look up into his perfect blue eyes. My breath stutters and I briefly consider saying no.
"I don't know." He seems to think about that for a second.
"Why did you try to kiss me yesterday?"
"I don't know. When I'm around you I can't think straight, all I want to do is take you in my arms and hold you. I can't explain why; I have been freaking out over it since I first saw you. I know that if you were not around I wouldn't have to worry about this, but I can't stand the idea of not talking to you or seeing you any more. I'm sorry that's just the way I feel. You can hate me all you want, but please don't tell anyone."
Silence, all that can be heard is the sound of our breathing and our hearts beating. One minute goes by, then another until finally he talks. I look at his face I see sadness there and pain, it makes my heart break. I have to look away.
"I don't hate you. I don't think I can"
I look up at him more confused then ever. "What's that supposed to mean?" I ask.
"I have the same problem that you do. I can't seem to make myself stay way."
"Then why do you keep pushing me away. You can't tell me you don't feel it too. Every time we touch it's like electricity is flooding through our bodies."
"I can't be gay. My Dad turned out to be gay and told us last year. It ripped my family apart. I can't do that to my mother. I can't be gay, too. I'm sorry, but this can never work between us."
I feel a rage build in me that I have never felt before. I push it down "Then leave, all you're doing is hurting me more by staying, so leave, get out!" I here him apologize one more time before he leaves. I make sure he is gone, then fall apart. After what seems like forever I pull myself together and put on some running shorts. I take off up the drive and turn on to the road and start running. I run hard for over an hour letting the beat of the road clear my head. When I'm finished, I head back to the house and take a shower. Once again I don't eat this makes two and half days since I have eaten anything. I just go to bed knowing I have to face school tomorrow and worse I have to face him.
I wake up in a daze and spend most of the day that way. I can't even remember if I took a shower this morning or what I'm wearing. The day passes without my input for I am unaware of its passing. What seems like a day, could be a week or more. I am vaguely aware of my surroundings, of voices in this endless night of misery.
One month later.
Morning comes to all those still living; today is no different. I remember going to lunch and getting something, but I don't remember eating it, I don't even remember getting up or coming here today. What I do remember is going outside at the end of lunch and seeing Lee coming at me. I keep walking and make a turn around the corner of the building hoping to loose him. No such luck. I feel his hand on the back of my neck as he pushes me up against the wall. I can feel his hot breath on my neck, then, he whispers into my ear, "No one around to save you this time Alex. Having your brother step in for you was a mistake." I feel my head hit the wall hard, I can feel the blood dripping down my face. I get thrown to the ground and feel him kick me in the side. Then pain. It becomes hard to breath. I feel him get on top of me and start to hit me in the face. It feels like my head is exploding. My vision starts coming in flashes and I can see his mouth moving but I can't hear anything but a dull humming. I see him get up I can't feel anything anymore, his leg goes up and he must be kicking me again or stomping on me I can't tell which. It comes to me then that, I'm going to die here, he's going to kill me. His foot connects with my head then blackness.