Chapter one: Becoming the Cat.
What the fuck is the point of living? Every damn day I do the same damn thing. Wake up before my alarm goes off, turn the alarm back on, get in the shower, attempt to manage my mess of cardboard colored curls, wear anything thrown in my room, walk outside to catch the bus, attempt to learn something in school, get back on the bus, go home, play video games, listen to music, eat, fall asleep, repeat. Okay, maybe there's a little more to it than that. On Saturdays I wake up early to watch my favorite cartoons and on Sunday I'm practically forced to go to church. But all together, that's it. Friends are foreign to me. I haven't had one since the fourth grade when Elijah Tanner decided to join the "Let's all bully the socially awkward kid" club. That was eight years ago, and although I've become less socially awkward, there are still some people around that tease me left and right. I don't usually bother to give them the responses they so desperately crave for, so they back off. I'm tired of living. It's exhausting, and I haven't even finished high school.
Once again, Ethan finds himself lost in his depressing train of thoughts as he listened to music while looking out the window. He was on the bus going to school, with his usual sense of dread. It was cold outside. The kind of cold where you could see your breath. Ethan liked the cold, but not constantly. It grew irritating for him after a while. He sat by himself in his usual spot, using the music to drown out the horrid sound of gossip and typical high school nonsense.
Ethan felt the bus stop and prepared to enter the school, books in arms and backpack fully attached to his back, his phone shoved in his pocket, and still blasting ambient rock. As he got off the bus to enter the school, he looked down to his black sneakers while puffing his breath to view it in the air. He was quite fond of condensation. If he cared at all, he might have noticed a student with flawless blonde hair looking at him strangely, observing him make odd faces whenever Ethan blew air.
The first hallway is quite long and narrow, but it isn't until Ethan turns right at the end of the hall is when he reaches his locker, number 424. He easily remembers his locker number, because it's the same number as his birthday, April 24th. Just as his thumb brushed up against the lock, Ethan was inadvertently bumped out of the way. He rubbed the place of impact, and turned around to see who had bumped him.
'Oh, wonderful. It's douche Danny and his gang "The Dicktwads". It is way too early for this.' Ethan thought with disgust.
"Haha, yeah son! She was so tight, and I thought she was never-- Oh, if it isn't Ethan McCunty. Listen, just because you're a customer of mine, doesn't mean I'm gonna go all soft on ya." Danny stated.
"Wait, what? Lil' ol' Ethan here smokes yer stuff? Learn somethin' new everyday." One of Danny's goons spoke.
Though, the way it happened wasn't your typical bargain.
It was only about three days ago, a Sunday night. Ethan had stormed out his house after having a heated argument with his mother, as usual. Always the same thing, "I'm not religious!", "I'm not going out with anyone!", "I'm not on drugs!", "I'm not going to college!", "I don't drink!", and so on. He had grabbed his skateboard and road it furiously down the sidewalk. He heard the rough wheels grind against the hard cement, while shivering slightly in the cold winter night air. He was heading for the supermarket to pick up some snacks, the trip was only meant to calm himself down. Just as Ethan turns to a corner to leave his small, rather broken development, he heard strange noises coming from a trailer park next door. Curiosity struck Ethan, so he played the role of the cat.
He lifted his skateboard from underneath his feet and held it with one arm, as he entered the dirt road that belong to the park's entrance. Trees surrounded the small area of trailer homes, and it was dark, but light came from only one trailer specifically. Of course it had been from the one the noise originated from. Ethan tip-toed cautiously while making his way to the cream and red colored home. He heard the door swing open from the other side of the trailer, so he hid in a bush close to him. It had to be the footsteps of at least six people that threw Ethan off.
'How can six people live in such a small ass trailer?' He thought. Then, a body fell to the ground with a loud thud. Not dead, just unconscious. A very noisy cackle could be heard, and only a few footsteps behind the body laying in the grass. Soon, other loud cackles joined it, what revealed to be a crowd of six women. All of them drunk. One with blonde hair, just barely able to stand on her high heels spoke,
"That waz a great time, wuzn't it?"
"Yeah, but the real question is," said a short haired brunette in a red dress, using her high heel to trace the unconscious body's face, "What are we gunna do wid him?"
"We should just-- HIC! Leave him here!" The smaller woman suggested.
"Awwh, 'shame to leave such a cute widdle face all alone in the dirty ground." said the woman in the red dress, picking up the man's face and squishing his cheeks, mocking him in a baby tone.
'Holy shit, it's Danny,' Ethan thought, getting a better look at his face, 'Wow, he's got himself in some seriously embarrassing business."
"It's hiz house, so it's hiz problem!" The smaller woman spoke, again.
The woman in red nodded, "C'mon ladies, we'll catch a ride home."
And so the women swaggered their way through the trailer park and out into the streets. The smaller one stayed just a little behind to dump some Vodka on the boy's face, and say
"Poor lil' boy, maybe if yer package wuz bigger I'd-- HIC! Take you home wid me."
The women could almost be heard for miles with their laughter. And then, finally, there was silence. Ethan got out of the bushes, leaving his skateboard behind. He tip-toed his way to Danny. There he was, lying on the ground, face red as a stop light, and dark hair ruffled up. He was an absolute mess. Ethan sighed.
'The asshole brought this upon himself, so why the fuck should I care? He's so pretentious, he could make Kanye West's outburst on the MTV Music Video Awards look like poetry. Okay? That's just it. I don't care about his stupid baby blue eyes or his nicely toned biceps. He's trash, and that's all he'll ever be. Which is why I'm going to pick him up and put him in his trailer, because throwing trash on the ground is littering.'
Ethan grabbed Danny by wrapping his arms beneath Danny's underarms, and pulled him to the already open trailer home. Inside, the first room is the kitchen, then the living room shortly after that. There were three doors around the whole home. Ethan assumed two bedrooms and a bathroom. Lastly, the whole entire trailer was a disaster. There were women's underwear scattered about (one even hung from the sink's faucet) and the empty beer bottles caused the place to reek of alcohol. Ethan couldn't stand to smell the place, and thought of leaving as soon as possible. He dragged Danny to the couch in the living room, which had torn cotton sticking out from it. He laid the unconscious boy on the couch as gently as he could. When he was certain that Danny would be comfortable sleeping in the position he laid him in, Ethan made his way for the door, when he felt something wet and squishy get stomped on by his shoe. He lifted up his foot and saw that his whole foot was covered in whip cream.
'Ugh, why the hell is there whip cream on the floor? Damn it.'
He knew if he went back home he would probably be questioned by his Mom, and would probably attract insects, so Ethan decided to open the door he thought would be the restroom, but was really Danny's room. He could tell it was his room, because Ethan was sure Danny's mother wouldn't have posters of women in bikinis on her room walls. Ethan closed the room, and tried the next door across from it. Bingo, the bathroom it was. There were some bras hanging around the shower faucet, so he decided it would be best to reach his leg up to the sink and wash off all the sweetly flavored gunk on his shoe and ankle. Once Ethan was nicely clean and dried off, he heard a painful moan come from the next room. He froze.
'Shit, shit, shit! What if he doesn't remember what happened?! What if he thinks I had something to do with this? Oh fuck, no!'
Ethan began to panic. There were no other windows or doors in the bathroom, so he knew the only way he could leave would be by facing Danny. Ethan's heart was nearly going to jump out of his chest. All he could hear were the throbbing sounds of blood pulsing throughout his body. He carefully made his way to the bathroom exit, slowly opening up the door. He looked to the side to look for Danny, but Danny could not be seen anywhere from his point of view.
'What? Where did he go? I left him right there.'
Suddenly, Ethan's back was slammed against the wall. His eyes widen with absolute fear, as he saw Danny pinned him to the wall with one hand, and the other had a raised baseball bat, ready to strike.
"Wait! Holy SHIT, WAIT! IT'S ME, ETHAN, IT'S JUST ME!" Ethan shouted.
"Ethan?" Danny's brows furrowed, "What the hell are you doin' in my house?" he asked.
"A bunch of drunk bitches threw you outside and left. I was walking to the supermarket and overheard their laughter, and waited until they left. I went to lay you down on the sofa when I stepped in that whip cream--" He pointed, "-- And went to go wash it off. And now I'm here. Being threatened instead of being thanked for helping your drunk ass." Ethan truthfully described.
Danny took his hand off of Ethan and dropped his baseball bat. His hands ran through his own messed up hair, and then he groaned.
"God fucking damn it! I knew those whores would do this, I just fucking knew it! So they got me drunk, had sex with me, trashed the place, and just fucking leave me here to deal with the aftermath. Perfect!" Danny looks at his watch, "My mom'll be home in an hour."
Danny begins to clean his house up, collecting the bras from all around, wiping up the whip cream, when he says
"Well? Are you just gonna stand there, or are you gonna help me?" asked Danny.
Ethan heard his words as harsh, but he saw the soft vulnerability in his eyes.
"Yeah, sure." he answered.
Once the trailer was clean and free of any possible evidence that mischief went on, Ethan and Danny stood by the front door. Danny had a very frustrated look on his face as he spoke,
"Listen McCunty, you can't tell nobody about this. Alright?"
Ethan scoffed, "Why should I do you any favors? And my name is McCounty."
Danny's nostrils flared, "Because I fucking said so! And I'll call you whatever I damn please!"
"Hell no. In fact, I can't wait to tell all those pathetic monkeys you call friends at school tomorrow," Ethan remarked "And if you think you can beat me up to get me down, you've got another thing comin', 'cause you know I fight damn good."
Danny punched the door in frustration.
"LISTEN, ASSHOLE!" Danny yelled, and then he sighed, attempting to relax, as he whispered, "Because I'll do whatever you fucking want, okay?"
Ethan raised an eyebrow, "Anything?"
"Yes, now say what you want because my ma's comin' home in three minutes and I need you to leave." Danny stated.
Ethan pondered for a moment, 'Anything I want? Wow, this is way too good to be true. I could ask for money, but I don't even know what I'd do with it, and giving his living conditions, he mustn't make much anyway. I could ask for popularity, but I pretty much hate everyone anyway. I could ask for a date, but I'm not the kind of guy to force that kind of thing on somebody. Then, there is that one thing...'
"Give me some of your cigarettes." Ethan demanded.
"My cigs," Danny repeated, "You want. My cigs.''
"Yeah, is there a problem?"
Danny had a questioning look upon his face, "No, I just never thought you were the kind of guy that smokes." He explained.
"I'm not, but I've always wanted to." he admitted.
Danny nodded, still rather baffled. He went to his room and pulled out a box from underneath his mattress.
"Here ya go." Danny said, handing him the box of cancer sticks. Ethan stuck the small box in his front pocket. From a distance, head lights could be seen outside. Danny's eyes widened, and he pushed Ethan out the trailer.
"Go, go, go! Get outta here!" Danny yelled. Ethan ran out of Danny's house and found his skateboard in the bush he had hid in only an hour and a half ago. He used it to skate his way out of the neighborhood. From a distance, he could hear Danny's mother happily greeting him.
"Yeah, it was a real shocker when he asked me, but who am I to refuse if he's givin' me money, am I right?" Danny laughed.
'Yeah asshole, I paid you in full cash, and absolutely no refunds.' Ethan thought in a sly manner. Then, the bell rung.
"Later, I gotta head to class." Ethan noted.
"Yeah whatever, kid," Danny said, "C'mon gentlemen, we've got a cafeteria to raid."
The day went by like usual. Ethan slept in all his classes. He didn't dress for gym. He didn't even eat lunch. Safe to say, he was depressed. He didn't enjoy living, he hasn't for a while, but he's too much of a wimp to actually end his life. Once he got home, he found a note from his mother that told him she had to work late tonight.
'Perfect.' Ethan thought. He had been waiting for a moment in which he could use his cigarettes he obtained from Danny. He thumbed the paper material as he used a lighter to flare it. When he did so, he walked upstairs, and laid on his bed.
'There ain't ever gonna be a time again in my life where I can feel happy.' He thought, as he looked up at the ceiling in wonder.
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