Chapter Two: Rehearsal

I untangled myself from the pile of costumes that had fallen on me, in the shock of hearing little Shakespeare yell something like that. What was going on? I went to the railing in time to watch Christopher run off of the stage and out into the hall. I knew something was wrong, considering the laughs from the rest of the class. I ran down the stairs, nearly tripping. When I reach the bottom, some of the students in the class stopped laughing, I am known as one of the meanest guys in school after all; I looked over to my friend Katie who stared back me with worried eyes.

"What's wrong Katie? What happened? Why'd…"

"Better go after your boyfriend punk!" I recognized the voice at once, he was Jonathan Marche. He was known as the best football player that Rodger Smith High had seen in years. Personally I felt he was just another stuck up jack ass who didn't know anything except for how to throw a ball. But that wasn't the point, the point was he was making fun of Christopher-a guy I barely know- and it ticked me off. I turned on the guy, glaring at the teen, taking three careful steps forward before being stopped by a hand.

"Just ignore him and go after Christopher-Allen!" Katie grabbed my shoulders and almost immediately upon her words I dashed out the door, and towards the bathrooms, I mean come on! What's a more private place to cry than a bathroom? When I entered the sterile white room my heart seemed, to stop until I heard a soft sniffling come from one of the stalls.

"Hey Shakespeare, you ok in there?" I leaned my head against the cool steel door waiting for him to respond; just the sound of his sniffling made my heart rip into so many pieces.

"Go away…please." His voice cracked, and I knew he was crying.

"Come on Shakespeare forget about that jerk off! There's no need to worry about what he thinks right? He doesn't matter…." I was met with more sniffling, but a bit of a laugh… so small I could barely tell. "Come on, get out of there already…"

"But…"

"Everyone's worried…and we've got rehearsal in a bit. Come on…" I tried my best to coax him out of the stall. When he finally emerged his eyes were red and puffy. I smiled at him holding out my hand. "You a bit better now?" He nodded silently and sniffed again. I knew he was hurt, but for some reason I couldn't see why.

"Is everyone really worried about me?" He looked into my eyes and I finally got to see them clearly. They shimmered a blue/green color and his sandy tawny brown hair hung to his eyes. I smiled a bit at the sight.

"Everyone who matters."

"Who's that?"

"Well Katie, V.C, and…well, me of course!" I handed him a paper towel and lead him out of the bathroom. "There now, come on, the bells gonna-" I was cut off by a shrill noise and I winced, "ring." He laughed at last and ran towards the auditoriums back doors.

"Come on Benedict! You're gonna be late for rehearsal." He laughed, swinging open the door.

"All because of you!" I yelled back chasing after him. Great…. Now for rehearsal…. Something I really did not want to deal with. Oh well, too bad for me. When we got onto the stage I saw the director Mr. Oswald Van Carringer –we all call him V.C for short- talking with Katie. He hadn't been on stage when the whole incident occurred.

"There they are! Sean! Christopher-Allen!" Katie ran up to us and hugged Shakespeare tight around the neck.

"Ack… I can't breathe!" He struggled a bit, trying to pull out of her vice like grip.

"Katie, I think you're killing him." I laughed, tapping her on the shoulder, noticing V.C coming towards us.

"OH! Sorry Christopher…"

"Please call me Chris." He sighed, and I could tell he was getting annoyed with the formalities.

"Ok."

"Are you doing better Claudio?" V.C steeped forward, looking at Shakespeare.

"Yeah, I'm doing a lot better. Thanks director." He smiled and shot a quick glance at me, before going up to the costumes. "I'm changing…" Katie chased after him.

"HOLD ON! YOU HAVE TO CHECK OUT YOUR COSTUME!" I laughed as she yelled running up the stairs. Shrugging I began to clear the stage of the chairs from the last class: as V.C went to look over something or other. As I finished moving the chairs and getting stuff ready for blocking, I heard the door open and close, and I could hear three voices.

"Katie! You're brothers here!" I yelled up noticing the freshman boy walking in with two other freshmen. I knew the blond as Zane, Katie's little brother. The other two were brothers. I knew the younger of the two as Daniel. I had helped him out quite a while ago, towards the beginning of the year, and we had become friends.

I walked through the halls late one day after a tech meeting and noticed that it was no where near as quiet as usual. I could hear some older guys laughing and a soft whimper from someone else, someone much younger. When I came across the room I saw three senior guys surrounding a young boy with dark hair.

"Aw come on little kid, fight back already!" One of the senior guys pushed the kid into a desk, and I could see the look of terror and pain on his face.

"Hahaha… This kids just another wimp!" Another laughed and swung his arm out, striking out at the guy.

"Hey!" I stepped In between the boy and the senior, catching his fist and glaring at him. "What are you three doing? Shouldn't you be 'pumping iron' or what ever you jocks do? Not bullying freshmen who aren't fighting back?" I threw his arm back and stepped back ready to get hit. Instead the three of them stood back, glared at me, glared at the kid, and then walked out. I turned to the freshman and extended my hand. "Hi there, I'm Sean. What's your name?" I smiled and helped him up. He winced at first then let me help him.

"I'm Daniel…" He looked at me, and I simply smiled.

"Don't worry they won't mess with you, ok?" He nodded and I walked him to the front of the school where my older brother was waiting for me. "Well I'll see ya around school ok? See ya later, Daniel!" He smiled and waved.

Daniel waved to me, while his brother looked over with a scrutinizing glance. Something had me thinking that he didn't like me too much. I shrugged it off and decided to ignore it. Everyone gave me those kind of looks these days. Daniel and his brother pulled up chairs and sat on stage waiting for the others.

"Hey there Sean." Zane walked up waving. He was wearing a shirt his sister had made him. On it where the words 'Krypt Keeper', which was the name of his band. "So how are you? I heard you've been forced into the play and that you're being tutored by that English teachers pet."

"He's not a teachers pet. He's really nice so shut up." I looked down at Katie's little brother and he just shrugged.

"Whatever." He walked towards the door. "Hey, when I yell down to you can you give me power up in the booth?"

"Yeah sure." I walked over to the power box waiting for him to get to the booth. After a few moments I heard something behind me walking down the stairs. When I turned around I saw Shakespeare walking towards the center of the stage in semi costume. His hair was gelled down He looked much more like an actor and less like the shy guy I had been hanging out with all day.

"Hey Sean! Give me power up here already!" Zane's voice boomed over the god mic. I quickly flipped the switch to change over control of the lights from the stage side control panel to the booth. "Thank you Seany!"

"I thought I told you never to call me that again!?" I yelled back. Oh well not like it would stop anytime soon, that's just how Zane was. Katie walked over to me her hands on her hips. "Yes Katie dear?" I joked and looked over at her.

"Time for you to get fitted for your costume, COME ON!" She grabbed my arm and began to pull me up the stairs. Almost fifteen minutes later found me in costume, with my hair gelled down in my eyes and my black eyeliner and lipstick gone. She even had took out my eyebrow piercing and my earring. I sighed when I looked at myself in the mirror, so many memories flashed through my mind, all of which I pushed to aside and walked down the stairs. It was time for rehearsal.

Two hours later the entire cast was waiting to hear what V.C thought about how we did. He looked at me and began to give notes.

"Alright first Sean: Your hair needs to be stripped of that purple and back to you're natural hair color." I jumped up and began to protest. No one would ever make me die my hair back to the way it was, no one.

"No I won't! I'll wear a wig or something but I refuse to change my hair color!" He looked at my determined face and sighed.

"Alright, alright, you win Sean." He looked at Shakespeare, "Please would you be so kind as to style a wig from the make-up room for him?" He nodded and V.C turned to Daniel's brother who was mumbling to himself. "Alright, Sir,…." There was no response. "Sir, Sir-Leung Mei!"

"The flannel pajamas we not my fault." He said looking up at the teacher and I could hear Daniel snicker. I guessed that this was something that Sir did quite often.

"I'm sure they weren't. Now it's time for notes so please pay attention." Sir nodded and continued to look at V.C in a very nonchalant manner. "Alright, Sir, you need to project more other than that you're doing fine. And finally, Daniel you need to be a bit angrier with you're brother, he's the bastard son." Daniel pulled out a notebook and small matching pen, and jotted it down. Then he looked at his brother and pouted a bit. I knew it was going to be hard for him, from what he told me he and his brother were very close. "Alright then. Rehearsal dismissed!" Everyone stood and stretched. We had gotten out of costume already so we all began to walk out the door and towards the front.

"So I guess you got put in the play huh Sean?" Daniel looked at me as he walked on my right, in between his brother and me.

"Yeah but that's ok." I shrugged as we walked out through the front double doors. I could see my brother's truck waiting for me, his face contorted with anger. "Well there's my bro, I better get going…" I sighed and waved to the rest of the gang.

"He doesn't look very nice.." Daniel stated as he watched me leave. I turned around.

"Yeah, not everyone is as lucky as you are to have a cool brother." I laughed and slid into the truck. My brother gave me a scrutinizing look and started the engine.

"So what's that all about?" He looked out at the group.

"They're just my friends, Nathaniel. No one worth your attention." I looked to the side. Ever since my parents' death, my brother was my guardian and a horrible one at that. But it's not like I could really do anything at this point in time. I'm only seventeen. So we peeled out of the parking lot and started off towards home.