The story starts out as one of those typical high school stories. The insignificant, unnoticed kid falls madly in love with the popular kid and so on. However, this story has a slightly different ending. So here I start my "journal"; as my therapist calls it; but let's be real, it's a diary. She wants to make sure I can come through and tell her everything so she can actually help me. So my story begins.
I can still remember the first day I saw him. The best guy I have ever known, aside from my dad. As I sit here by the water holding this amazing guy's hand, I ponder about what my life had been like before I met him: a joke, to begin with; miserable, stupid, lonely, awkward, annoying and just plain boring. I had one friend, who was a long distance away. My Facebook page was full of nothing but posts from pages I had liked. My only Facebook friends were my parents and people I didn't know from different countries because they were suggested for me and I was naive enough to accept. I didn't want to delete them, because then my life would seem even sadder.
So I was standing at my locker between my math class and my gym class, switching books for gym clothes. I could have used a lock on a locker in the locker room, but I didn't care enough. As I stood there moping about and errantly flipping through book pages, I happened to look up and see a gorgeous, six foot something guy with dark hair and naturally tan skin. He wasn't buff, but he was toned and lean. I think he ran track or something. Anyway, when I saw him, our gazes locked on each other and for a second we shared something magical. Well, I thought it was magical. He may not have. I blushed when he smiled timidly and did that kind of wave popular people did to those other people who weren't cool but they secretly didn't mind.
I looked away quickly and stared at the back of my locker. My heart was fluttering out of my chest, and I was almost too anxious to think for a moment. Was this seriously happening? No, I had to breathe and be calm. I had to think about what I was doing. Gym class, I needed my clothes. Where were they? As I threw things carelessly around my locker searching for them, I heard a soft knock on the locker next to mine and looked up. There he stood, looking godly and stunning. He was close, very close. It took my breath away for a second and then I composed myself.
"Can I help you with something? I'm kind of busy at the moment."
He looked at me quizzically for a second and then smiled.
"Yeah, you could say I need help. I'm not too good at judging people, but I can see that you're not very good at talking to people face-to-face."
"I don't see how I can help with that. Was that even you telling me a problem? I'm really confused."
"Alright, I don't need help. I just came over here to say that if you look at me like that again, I'm going to have to beat you. Understand?"
He said it loudly enough for his friends who were looking on intently to giggle.
I stared him dead in the eye and felt my hopes die.
"Fine, but next time you shouldn't give me the wrong impression."
I grabbed my clothes, slammed my locker door shut and strutted off down the hall, with him looking as if he had just been slapped in the face. It made me smile. Good. Someone else got hurt besides me for a change.
After gym, I returned to my locker to find all of its contents scattered all over the hall. Seriously? This was getting old. As I began picking various books up from the floor, a kid had the nerve to step on a paper I was about to grab.
"Excuse me asshole. Get your fat foot off my paper or I'll cut you with it."
The kid stepped off and I looked up at him. He was ugly and smelled really badly. I knew him. He was even more unpopular than I was. He had been hitting on me since eighth grade.
"Oh god, seriously? How many times do I have to tell you to get away from me? I am NOT INTERESTED! Learn to take a hint."
He looked quite upset after this and I immediately felt terrible.
"Henry, I'm sorry. I'm just really stressed out because, well, you can see why."
He simply nodded and walked away sadly. I sighed and continued picking things up. Some time later, the gang of preps stalked around the corner and saw me knelt on the ground, busily trying to clean up. The really hot one was absent for the moment.
The leader of the gang cat-called menacingly.
"Damn! Look at that ass! Shake it baby!!"
His gang of cronies laughed hysterically. Taking this as initiative to continue, he picked up a heavy book and slapped my ass with it. Then he began kicking my sides until I was on the floor. He dropped the book and then pulled me up to the lockers and held me by the throat. He then tried punching me in the face. I moved my head in time for him to punch the locker next to me. He let go of my neck and I kicked him in the nuts. As soon as I did, three of the guys in the group held me against the lockers. The leader's girlfriend went to help him off the floor and the other girls just stood there. When the leader was up, I was already struggling against the guys holding me down. He was about to punch again when a teacher walked around the corner and yelped in surprise.
"Boys! What are you doing! Put that thing down! Do you all want to lose your scholarships because of your behavior?"
The guys set me back on my feet and pushed me again, threatening. Then they walked away. The teacher; self satisfied bitch Mrs. Libyer; stalked off with a disgusted look in my direction. As soon as they all left, I went back to the ground and continued picking up the contents of my locker. My sides hurt, and it was hard to breathe, but I pushed through it. Just before the floor was cleared, a hand came down and grabbed a piece of paper I was reaching for. Sighing, and then wincing in pain, I looked up, expecting another bully. Instead it was Mr. Beautiful, the guy I locked eyes with.
He looked down at me with regret and he looked almost hurt. He then knelt down and looked right at me. It was as if he was looking into my soul. I was trying to hold back the tears from the pain, but also the humiliation. Through increasingly watery eyes, I clumsily kept cleaning, and when I leaned in, my shirt lifted up to show my sides and I heard a sharp exhalation. Then hands were on my side, softly caressing. Feeling uncomfortable, I immediately sat back upright and stared at the kid with disgraced eyes. To my surprise, his eyes were beginning to water.
"I told them not to do it. I knew they were planning it and I told them not to, but why listen to me? I'm secretly not one of them. It doesn't matter what I say."
After I didn't respond, he continued.
"I'm really sorry about them. And about what I said before. I was trying to impress them because I wanted to be part of their group. Now that I see this, I don't feel so strongly about being one of them. I can't bear to think about hurting someone like that for no reason. I'm just not that kind of guy."
I looked at him now, confused.
"I thought you already were one of them."
He shook his head.
"I mean, I used to be. But they kicked the crap out of me last year when I tried helping someone they had beaten. I've been trying to get back in their good graces since, but now I don't really give a fuck."
I breathed in sharply as I tried to stand and he heard.
"Are you hurt badly? Those bruises looked pretty awful. Let me help you."
He came over to me and helped me get up. I yelped in pain as I felt my ribs move in ways they shouldn't. He looked at me in concern and nodded.
"As I suspected: broken ribs. Let's get you out of here."
"But I need to finish-."
"Don't worry about it. I'll clean it up later."
He helped me walk all the way to the nurse's office and told me he'd visit me in the hospital later, if that's where I was. He then gave me his number to let him know what was going on. I couldn't help but stare at his back in confusion as he walked out of the room. What the hell had just happened?
Later that day, I realized I had the deepest crush on him. This entry is a little heavy on the emotions, so don't be too critical of me. Also remember that I had just been through a lot of trauma, so yeah.
I laid in my hospital bed, body taped tightly to form the cast for my ribs. I wasn't lonely necessarily, I had the beeping of the machines to keep me company and my parents were there, although it would be better if they weren't because they added unnecessary stress by pacing back and forth constantly. When I gathered up the courage, I texted the guy; whose name I now knew was Jacoby; and let him know where I was and how I was doing. It felt silly, texting someone like this. He quickly responded that he would be there as soon as he could.
I put my phone back down and tried drifting off to sleep, but my heart was beating too quickly to let me. Damn nerves. What was happening to me? Was I so desperate for human attention that the first guy who talked to me and seemed nice enough would be the love of my fucking life? Seriously? Sam, pull yourself together.
My parents then came in from wherever they had run off to and told me they had to go to my little sister's parent-teacher conference and that they would be back later to check on me. I simply nodded and looked away, at some lonely spot on the floor. I didn't care much. I needed to be alone for a while to cry.
They left and a nurse came in, checked my vitals, gave me more pain meds, and then left again, closing the curtain behind her. I felt the first tear before she was gone. I had never been so humiliated in my life. Sure, the locker thing had happened; it happened whenever I forgot to lock my locker; but the beating was a first. I felt so ashamed and I just wanted to curl up in a ball and die. As I began to really sob, I heard soft footsteps come in the room and the curtain pulled back enough for me to see a nurse's face.
"Dear, there's a young man here to see you. Would you like me to send him in?"
I nodded slowly and she left for a second. She came back and opened the curtain enough to let Jacoby in and then she closed it again for privacy. When she was gone, he carefully took my hand and squeezed it slightly. He saw my eyes were red and puffy and frowned a little before he let my hand go and it fell back to the bed kind of hard. He winced apologetically.
I laughed a little.
"It's my ribs that are broken, not my hand. I'm fine."
He brightened a little when he heard me laugh and then he ran a hand through his hair nervously.
"You know, with everything that's happened, I haven't even asked you what your name is. I think I heard a teacher call it out once. It began with an 'S' I think."
"My name is Sam."
He looked right at me and smiled.
"Sam. I like it. Mine's Jacoby, but you knew that from my name in your phone. I just wanted to introduce myself personally because it's proper manners."
I narrowed my eyes at him.
"Who in the hell cares about proper manners these days? How old are you, like…fifty?"
He laughed out loud and I laughed with him.
"I guess no one really does care, but still. It's how I was raised. And no, I'm seventeen, not fifty."
"I could tell."
He smiled at me again and took my hand. This time he didn't let it go.
"You're okay, Sam."
I grinned as my heart began beating faster than a horse's hooves hitting a racetrack at full speed. The heart monitor sped up to match, and I flushed bright red in bemusement and embarrassment. Jacoby looked at our hands and then at me and burst out laughing.
"Sam, is this the first time anyone has held your hand? I mean, other than your family."
I nodded and he let my hand go.
"You're quite adorable."
We sat there gazing at each other for a minute in comfortable silence before he got up.
"Well, I should get home. I have homework to finish. Uh, do you want me to bring your homework to you from school tomorrow?"
"Would-would you be ok with that?"
"I wouldn't ask otherwise, goof."
"Okay then. I don't like being late with homework; with anything, really."
He smiled and took my hand in his own and kissed it gently.
"Adorable. We have more in common than you think."
I smiled at him and he smiled back. He hesitated another second like he wanted to say something else, but he didn't.
"Alright. I'll see you after school tomorrow then?"
"I'll be here." I said sardonically.
"Ok. See ya."
I watched as he pulled the curtain aside and stepped through. The curtain fell back and I stared back at the ceiling until I found sleep at last.