A/N: So…here's my new story. I have the story line all written down and broken into chapters, I just need to write the actual chapters now. This is a first for me, usually I just make it up as I come along, but this one cooked in my head for about two weeks.
I don't know how often I'll be able to update: however long it takes to put the actual chapter down and then edit it. The second chapter is halfway written though, so that one will come faster.
I'm posting this to see what reactions I get. I'll still write this story, regardless of how it's welcomed, only the rhythm will differ accordingly.
Constructive Criticism appreciated!
Warning: This is a slash story, that means boy x boy action. If it makes you uncomfortable, don't go further. Story rated M for language, slash scenes in the future.
Chapter 1:Twilight Zone
Matthew Crowe's POV
A woman enters the classroom at a brisk pace, holding a clipboard in her hands. Her heels click loudly on the floor. I hate that sound, it gives me the chills. I look at her, feeling suddenly apprehensive. She is around 30, I suppose. A thin, balanced body, blonde, cascading hair, perfect make-up and a sharp, professional suit. I have no idea who she is. She moves the chair from the teacher's desk and sets it in front of the class, before taking a seat and looking at us.
"Good morning. My name is Janet Moore and I'm a psychologist. Beginning from this day, every Sunday for the rest of this year, we'll meet together for 2 hours and discuss. Your presence here is not optional. Any absence shall be reported directly to the principal. One more thing: What is discussed here with me shall remain here. I'm bound by the confidentiality clause; by taking part in this program, you are too. That is to say, you are not at liberty to discuss whatever shall be revealed here with anyone outside this club, not your friends, not your parents, not anyone. Is that understood?" She sweeps her eyes over everyone, not really expecting an answer. She doesn't get one.
"Good. Now I'd like to get to know everyone here. I want everyone here to state your name and age. "
"Amy Phillips, 17. " Dark hair, dark eyes, a blank expression on her face. A good girl, a good friend of mine. Member of the Arts club: she paints awesomely, and her picture taking skills aren't half bad. With a usually cheerful disposition, but serious when the situation asked for it; mature, collected, determined. She has brains and knows how to use them, coupled with a sharp tongue and a talent for irony. She has friends, and those who know her either respect or envy her.
"Clarissa Adams, 17." Blonde, Barbie's twin sister. Not dumb at all, merely superficial and plain evil. She is petty, jealous, consumed by envy. She needs the attention of all those around her, one who does not take well to rejection or being ignored. If you don't fawn over her, she does her best for you to hate her. Like I said, neutrality isn't an option; in her opinion, being hated is infinitely better than being ignored.
"Evan Salinger. 18." Brown hair, tall like hell, Ken to the previous Barbie, bully extraordinaire and the "King" of the school. More like a Hitler clone, behavior-wise. Had ruled the school with an iron hand up until recently. He isn't stupid either, not in the way you'd think. He knows that two plus two equals four. But he is ignorant, full of prejudice, intolerant, homophobe, racist, sexist: all those great qualities that make a person scum. And, of course, let's not stop here with creating the perfect jock picture: yes, Clarissa is, indeed, his girlfriend.
"Matthew Crowe, 17." Uhm, yeah, that would be me. Not much to say, really. I am considered a nerd, part of the geek crowd for the simple fact that I have great grades and like writing. I am also member of the newspaper club, which somehow warrants disdain from those illiterate jocks. I have actually been pretty much invisible up until a few months ago. Things changed then.
"Angela Thompson, 18." Strawberry blonde hair, green eyes, pretty in a calm, controlled manner. The poor girl, she must have reached the end of her string by this point. Year rep and valedictorian, she had taken it upon herself to maintain the peace between our peers, but hadn't managed much except do a little damage control. She is the perfect leader: responsible, smart, collected. She thinks good and hard before acting, and always weighs everything before making a decision. I know her from the newspaper, she is part of the team, though I haven't talked to her all that much through the years.
"Landon Wright, 18." Tall, dark hair, black clothes, hot Goth boy. Hot as both sexy and hot-blooded. He has a short temper, it does not take much to light his fuse and when he snaps, it isn't a pretty sight. He has various level of annoyance, like the speeds of a car. One is wise not to keep pushing or attempt to test his limits. Otherwise, he is okay: loyal to his friends, principled. He does not take to obeying rules easily, he chooses to make his own, and follows them accordingly. It had been his arrival that had changed things in our school.
Oh, and he is also my boyfriend, but I'll get back on that.
Mrs. Moore nods and after finishing her scribbles on her pad, she turns back to us.
"So, do you know why we are all here?"
Now, that is an interesting question.
It is Sunday morning and I am currently at school with several other students, all from senior year. We are a peculiar group, that much is obvious even from the outside, without being required to know who we are. I am rather confused, since I have no idea why I am here. It's weird, really. But you've probably already realized all about that and now you're wondering why exactly we aree here in the first place. But first some basic info.
We've all been in high school, and by now are aware of how it is, of what it is. They say they don't teach you about real life in school, but they have no idea what they're talking about. Fuck, if real life was anything like high school, we'd all be screwed up in the head. High school is a jungle, a constant struggle for survival, as dramatic as it sounds. You know it's true. It's like a war: there are those that try and conquer, those are conquered, and those that do their damnest to stay neutral, like Switzerland. Let me tell you, neutrality is overrated, it rarely works. And it's the way of the cowards. I was one of the cowards, at least in the beginning.
Burnbridge High School is just like any other high school: a turf, a war field. A battle waged between the jocks and their crew, and the rest of the school. Their word was rule, properly enforced through physical treatment. It was a dictatorship, one man made the law, his cronies enforced it, and we obeyed. Or suffer through the consequences.
They were smart about it. First time you'd stray, you'd get a warning. Second time, you get the whole blue-black make-up and a few days holiday, spent in the hospital ward. Third time, well, third time it was your little brother or sister, your best friend, your girlfriend. And while most of us could probably cope with a little rough treatment occasionally, tell me one person who'd stand by at seeing his family or friends hurt. I bet most of them would eventually end up working for the mafia.
And it wasn't that no one reported these incidents, they did. And then they moved away, with no one hearing from them again, while the jocks got a slap on the wrists. Teachers did not take notice of any incident. Acknowledging them meant they had to admit our school had a discipline problems. That, of course, was unconceivable. Yeah, who said life is fair?
Our generation had Evan in the centre of the usual cult worship tradition. Evan Salinger, captain of so many sports teams that no one really kept track anymore. He was it, the stuff of nightmares for geeks, emos, gays, pretty much everyone that wasn't preppy. You probably think I'm exaggerating. I tell you, I'm not.
A day at Burnbridge consisted in attending classes, in a manner that would not attract attention upon you; the breaks were spent out of the jocks' way, skulking, hiding, running, crawling, whatever it took to make sure they don't take notice of you. Being noticed by the preps was not a good thing, at all. Basically, you were invisible: you didn't speak if they could hear, lest you say something that might set them off; you don't look them, should they consider you were being rude or offensive or any other emotion besides fear, really. It was a dictatorship, with Evan as our Hitler.
Of course, there were a few activists, those who still fought against him, if in a subtle manner. Those people were waiting for the right moment to take him down. One moment of weakness, and he'd have gone down in a blink of an eye. And he knew it all too well.
This particular year, my last one in that hell hole, thank you God, is unforgettable. Not only for me, but for everyone who is a student there at this time. For me, there are two reasons never to forget this particular year of my life: the first - it is the time when I found love; the second, and the one that apparently brings all of us here in the first place, is that, during this senior year of high school, I lost a friend.
All through high school, the situation had been much the same: the jocks enforced their will, and we were too scared to retaliate. There had been some isolated cases, poor students that thought they had what it takes to stand up against the system; needless to say, they had been dealt with pretty quick, and order was restored immediately after. Yet this year turned out to be different, for two reasons: the first, one Michael Sutherland was revealed as being gay; the second reason, a new student transferred to Burnbridge in our year: Landon Wright. Like the moth to the flame, people rallied around him, and the real fight begun.
"Now that we've established who you are, I am going to tell you how this is going to work. First part of the meeting, I'm going to ask a few questions, and we're going to talk. Then, each of you will write his feelings and thoughts both regarding the subject discussed and anything else that bothers you and feel the need to share." She looks at each of us. "I remind you that it is all confidential: whatever is written on those papers shall not be read by anyone else than me. No one else will know their content."
I look around at the others, and notice one thing: everyone is skeptical about the wisdom of this method. It simply isn't okay to put us all in one room and expect to share out thoughts with our enemies. But I guess the school management is desperate for the conflicts to stop: desperate times require desperate measures, I suppose.
"Now, as to why we are here in the first place. We'll start with what happened with Michael Sutherland. Who wants to start?" She sweeps her eyes over us.
"Fuck you." She frowns, but I guess the look on his face stops her from pushing further at the moment.
"Clarissa?" She chews thoughtfully on her gum and pops a bubble. Out of the corner of my eyes I see Amy throwing poisonous arrows at the cheerleader. It would be funny, if it weren't so tragic. Mrs. Moore's frown deepens and she sighs.
"Matthew?" I clench my fingers together and take a deep breath.
"Matt, please. Uhm…"
"As if you don't know, bitch. He killed himself. " Amy's voice rings loudly in the small room, causing me to flinch. I hear a sob and realize Angela is crying. My hands start shaking. Landon's mouth tightens. Evan's face is set in a scowl, but something shifts behind his eyes. Even Clarissa has stopped chewing her gum.
"Michael killed himself." Amy's voice breaks and silent tears start flowing down her cheeks.
All of us gathered here had a part in it. We are a group of high school clichés, thrown together in what seems a bad remake of The Breakfast Club. Because of that, you might think you have us all figured out.
You know our names. You know our place in the high school hierarchy, as the jock, the geek, the cheerleader, the goth, the artist and the valedictorian. But you don't know us. Yet.
3rd POV: First meeting essays
This is stupid. Why am I here? I didn't do anything to him. This is dumb. Everyone knows the kid had problems, he was nuts. He was a fag, a whiny little boy. Look at his friends, all weirdoes: a bitch, a geek, a Satanist. Dear Amy keeps glaring at me, as if I killed her precious Michael. Ooops, I think I broke a nail.
Why am I giving up on my Sundays for this? I could be shopping right now. And you could be dyeing your hair: it needs it, seriously. The color is, like, horrible.
Or I could be on a date with Evan. But he's been in a mood lately, every since this whole mess with… what's his name, Michael, I think? Anyway, he's impossible to hang around with, scowling and bitching about everything. You'd think he's the one with the PMS, the jerk. Not that I care or anything, but it's starting to get boring. Hope he comes to his senses soon.
But I guess I could get Jason to take me and my girls to the mall, too. He likes me, he'll probably do it. Or maybe I'll call my brother. Haven't seen him in so long. Maybe he can have a talk with Evan, I don't like how he treats me. He's been an ass lately.
I want out of here, the mall opened an hour ago.
The fucktard. He just sits there with that fucked-up smirk on his face. I feel this irresistible urge to just punch his face until even his mother would have problems recognizing him. What an ass-fuck.
You ask about Michael and he says: "Fuck you"? As if it's not his fault Michael killed himself? As if it wasn't him beating the shit out of him every fucking day for the simple, idiotic fact that he was gay? Who the fuck cares? Get over yourself, idiot.
I bet you everything he's a closet case. Bet his panties get all hot and bothered when he's in the locker room with all his retarded teammates. Probably why he's so scared. He thinks I can't see it. Beyond that smirk, behind that lame imitation of a bored face, he's scared. Because I know it, and everyone knows it. Even him. There's no student in this school who doesn't know Evan had a hand in Michael's suicide. He might not have actually killed him, but he definitely contributed.
And his stupid bitch. Chewing gum as if Michael isn't even worth her full attention. I don't know how they sleep at night. They're a match made in hell. Perfect for each other. At least if they poison each other, they spare others.
But I'm going to take care of him. He better start praying. He's been lucky up until now, the others wanted to work it out in a less aggressive manner, but not anymore. Matt'll be angry, but he'll have to understand: this shit cannot go on.
You can even cite this to the principal: If he didn't take attitude ( and he didn't, the spawn of Satan is here after all), we will. Michael was a friend, so I have no choice. I will.
By the way, this essay thing is kind of stupid, but whatever.
This is pointless. Michael is dead. My best friend is dead because everyone chose to turn their eyes from what was happening. No one better think things will stay this way. If no one wishes to stand up and take responsibility, they we will take the matters in our hands. Just like we did until now.
He's fucking dead, bitch, and you're making us write essays? What, you think Evan will suddenly grow a conscience? You think Micky's father will repent? You think Clarissa gives a shit? This is nothing but a way for the principal to cover his ass, and I'll not stand for it. None of Micky's friends will.
Why is Evan here, still in this school? He's a monster, a criminal. He should be locked up in the darkest pit, with the key thrown away in the fucking Pacific. Or a padded cell.
That dumb Barbie wannabe is examining her nails, for God's sake. Oh, she better not think she'll get away unscathed.
Make no mistake, Mrs…., shit I can't remember, not that it matters. Do you think I care about Principal Granger's ass? I don't! He'd better think long and hard how he's going to deal with this, because as long as these criminals are still in here, this fight is long from being finished.
My best friend of over 10 years is gone. Hope you can sleep well at night knowing you're helping these monsters get away with what they did to him. Sweet dreams, bitch!
It's been a week since Michael Sutherland took his own life and I still can't believe it. I guess it's natural. We're so young, we think we're invincible. We can't die. We definitely don't commit suicide. But he did.
I can't believe it all went down to this, with a student losing its life. I tried so hard to tone it down, to calm both sides. I've been trying to put an end to the preps' domination and bad behavior since freshman year. I first talked to Clarissa. I thought that, us bring girls, we'd understand each other easier, that I'd be able to get through to her easier, instead of going directly to Evan. He'd have brushed me of. Clarissa smiled sweetly and ignored me. Then she seduced every boyfriend I'd had since. It doesn't bother me as much as it should; if they let themselves caught in her clutches, they deserve being discarded after a week. Clarissa always goes back to Evan. Always.
I went to Evan next: he threatened me. I tried again. He beat my little brother. I went to our year's advisor. She shrugged and asked for proof. I went to the principal. He did the same. He also recommended me not to stick my nose where I'm not welcome.
For the past months, all I could do was damage control, mostly trying to get lesser punishments for those who stood up for themselves and their friends. I lost count of how many times I avoided the expulsion of Michael's friends. They're all good people. They didn't deserve all they went through. Michael didn't deserve it either.
I've lost hope in the authority figures in our school. For years they've stood behind the lines, turned their eyes the other way at the bruises some of the students displayed, that were not the result of their collision with a door or tripping over the stairs. Money goes a long way to making one's life easier and covering unpleasant things up. But money people have their weaknesses, too. And those corrupted by it are vulnerable, too.
I'm joining the fight. No more neutrality and peaceful means. The students in this school are all grieving Michael. They want justice. I'm going to try my best to see they get it.
I don't really understand what the principal is trying to accomplish through these meetings. We've tried reasoning with Evan and his friends. For years I've stood by, just like so many others, and let them perform their dominance acts. I've managed to stay out of their way. I've never had a broken arm and I've never been more ashamed. I've watched my friend doing the same. She's half Asian, she stood out. She'd have fought them, but she feared for me. So Raiko stood by with me, hid with me. She'd cry every time another student was bent and broken. I've watched my best friend, my only friend, cry for others for years.
This year we've made other friends. We met Amy, and Michael, Angela, and Landon. I learnt to fight for others, for friends. Raiko stopped crying and started retaliating. She's never been happier. We've never been happier.
Until last week. We lost a friend to injustice, cruelty, cowardice and corruption. The very adults that were supposed to protect us failed to do so, turning their backs on us. I guess it's on us to see that such things come to an end. I owe it to all those students I've ignored all those years, I owe it to my boyfriend who is far from being a coward and does not need one beside him, and most of all, I owe to my friend Michael.
I'm curious to see what conclusions you come to after reading all these. You're not going to solve anything, though. No matter how much you pick and prod at our minds, break us apart and piece us back together, you won't solve anything other than satisfy your curiosity. We don't trust you, at this point we only trust each other.
Fuck! Why am I here, for fuck's sake! All this shit about a dead fag. Good riddance, at least I don't have to see his cocksucker face around the school anymore. I really don't see what the big deal is.
And this essay stuff, it's crap. What the fuck am I supposed to write? That I'm sorry he died? Well, fuck you. He fucking killed himself, no one pushed him. On top of being a fag, he was also suicidal. Talk about being screwed in the head. Or maybe too much ass-screwing. Now if only his other two fag friends, present here, take up his example. That would make the world a better place.
I don't need this right now. I have enough with that bitch Clarissa yapping all day long and calling me an asshole. I swear, her mouth just doesn't shut up, drives me bat-shit crazy.
Oh, I'm sorry. I should get to the point of this paper. Here it goes.
I'm heart broken over the death of one of our esteemed colleagues. He was a kind, caring kid that was loved by everyone. Our lives are surely to never be the same without him. I pray he's gone to a better world.
Except they don't quite allow suicidal fags in Heaven, do they?
Oh, just for the record. If anyone else sees this paper, your tight little ass goes straight to jail. It's all about confidentiality and all that jazz, right? Nothing personal.
A/N: This is the present timeline. Next chapter takes us a few months back, when everything that led to this moment began. POV's will change throughout the story, it's necessary to get several opinions to get the whole picture, I hope it won't turn too confusing.
The second part of this chapter was actually meant to be a separate chapter, except: nothing actually happens, so it was mostly a filler, and I thought it important to get a feel of the characters involved. So yeah.