Sitting in the back of the class not wanting to be seen hoping they would miss his name this year. He
wore all black hoping that he would go unnoticed by his fellow students. All he need to do was to survive his senior year.Then he’d be off far away and he will not have to see these faces
again.First period was English with Mr. Craven.He had him last year and he knew that he rolled called.The boy sunk lower in his seat.
“Nate Cogwell” Called Mr. Craven Nate’s name was the first to be called. He cursed where his name fell alphabetically.
“Here” Nate barely said.
“Nate Cogwell” Mr. Craven called again.
“Here” Nate croaked.Everyone laughed.
“None of that in my class room” Mr. Craven warned the students.
A few weeks later, Mr. Cravenassigned a group project that would be half of their grade.Nate was partnered up with the star football player
Stephen Landon. Nate groaned he didn’t want him as a partner he was hoping it would be the quiet girl who sat in front of him.
“you find it funny that I wear glasses?” amused Stephen.
“Yes” The truth Nate was surprised at his feelings suddenly seeing Stephen wearing glasses and he actually looked hot. Note was taken back when
he heard that this jock liked to read. “You read?”
“Don’t look surprised Cogwell football gets me a full scholarship to college.”
“It’s just most the football team never picked up a book unless they are made to.”
“Yeah and most will go to the community college.”
“So Landon what’s your college choice.”
“Notre Dame” Stephen looked up at Nate “You?”
“Far away from this place this country”Nate said he was going to college in the UK.
The boys when back to the project. Stephen never really asked again and mostly the two just worked on their project.It wasn’t until couple of
weeks before the project was due that they meet up again at Stephen’s house.
“I hope this is fine.” Stephen asked
Nate just shrugged dumping the materials and the scholar journals and his laptop on the table.
Hour later, “Are you hungry?” asked Stephen
“Sure, “What do you have?”
Stephen rambled off all the things in the kitchen and they agreed on ham and Swiss sandwiches.When theboyswere in the middle of putting the
power point together tension between them aroseboth didn’t agree on anything.
“No the video should go on this slide” Nate protested
“That should go after this one” Stephen said as he put the scanned photo on to the slide.
“Logically the video would be better and it fits more with our speech.” Nate tried to reason.
“No you’re wrong”
Nate turned his face towards Stephen at the same time Stephen turned hisand their lips grazed.Nate freaked.
“I…I don’t care what you do I’ve got to go” Nate left everything there even his cell phone.
Day before the project was due Stephen cornered Nate in the library. They need to practice their presentation and combine the written part to
hand into the teacher.
Both ener mentioned the bearly of a kisseach just wanted to getan A.
“You did the video first.” Nate said surprised.
“Yeah you were right.”
Nate grinned “I was what?” he wanted the jock to say it again.
“You were right.” Stephen rolled his eyes. “Don’t be so smug I wasright about we should end it.” Nate was right about that too but let Stephen
think it was his idea.
Stephenisn’t the “nice joke” that Natebelieves him to be.Everything is going according to planthe wayhe wanted it.It doesn’t bother him one bit
what he’s going to dowill destroy Nate. He a s everything set up.He kissed Nate after that day in the library and according to Note they are“secretly dating”. Stephencan see itthe way Nate has
fallen for him andhe changedand laughedhow he fooled Nate to believe that heshares the same feelings.“I got him where I want him.”
The video lay for all to see at the prom where Nate and Stephen were supposed to revile they were a couple in love.Nate stood horrified
watching himself athis most intimate moment.The way the camera was angled you couldn’t see the other young man it could have been anyone. It was very clear what it was and his moans made him
“STOP! STOP” Nate yelled as it echoed throughout the gym.
“The little fagot is gonna cry” Stephen taunted”
Eyes went wide and Nate stared at his betrayer.Nate attacked Stephen by Jumping and punching at him, which didn’t do much damage and Stephens’s
football buddies ripped Nate off like he was nothing.
“Get that sick dick lover out of here!”Yelled Stephen disgusted.
Everyone cheered as the boys dragged Nate out. If anyone was against it they said nothing did nothing because in this small Bible belt town you
couldn’t do anything to save him. The football buddies beat Nate up for being gay and they drove him home assouthern hospitality .
Nate woke up in his yard not only was be beaten but broken. He felt stupid and couldn’t take ithe didn’t want to live anymore. Going to the
shed getting the extension cord and the rigged it to the tree in the front yard and hung himself.
Nate looked at us. “Who are you?”
“We are here to help you.”
“Cross over?” he asked
“you want revenge don’ you?”
“What you mean?”
“Want to teach Stephen a lesson?”
Thirty yard line and Notre Dame Verses Pittsburgh and this will be the point forNotre Dame to win it all relied on quarterback. He needed to
make that one pass leave it up to the other guy to catch the ball and get a score.It was their first game and according to Stephen they needed to win, no they have to win. He heard the crowed cheer
as they started the play.He waited until he saw his team mate getting ready for him to throw.Just as he was about to throw the ball that’s when he saw him.He sawNate in front of his team mate and
he quickly closed his eyes and open them and Nate was still there.Stephen stood there frozen in his spot staring at the illusion. What he thought was one.He didn’t see the otherteamabout to tackle
him and he still didn’t throw the ball and not even a second he was on the ground on his back and he fumbled the ball.When Stephen sat upPittsburgh won the game andthere was no sign of what he
thought was Nate anywhere.
“What was going through your head boy!” Yelled the coachin the locker room
“I don’t know sir” Stephen looked down he couldn’t look at his coach nor his team mates.
“You need to get your head in the game boy! Now shower up!” The team mates were disappointed but it was only their first game but that didn’t
mean they let him off thehook.
At practice the next day while they were playing “practice” game with theSenior Varsity team. They were tough and you were lucky that you could
walk to the showers.Stephen yet again was ready to throw the ball but this time they were at the twenty yard line. That’s when he saw Nate again but this time Nate was walking towards him and he
started going more backward. Nate was pointing at him stayinghis lips were moving but no sound was coming out.Stephen did manage to throw the ball but it was intercepted by a senior at that same
moment Nate despaired again.
Stephen relaxed when there was no sightings ofNate at the last two games and few practices. Tonight wasn’t about football it was about a date
with one of the cheerleaders.Rayashe was from around the area and she was going to show him around the town and try some of the local cosine. He meet Raya outside of the dorm room and they headed
out for a fun day. The two of themwent into a local hangout that the college kids go to.It was a bar restraint type. Things were going really great until he saw Nate.Nate was just pointing at him
and his lips moving again.Stephen closed his eyes again.
“Are you okay?” Asked Raya
“Yeah, sorry,” Stephen shook his head.
Raya had an idea and lead Stephen out to the dance floor were the rest of the team and few other cheer leaders and few other friends from
school were there.Stephen didn’t see Nate nearby behind him he was busy dancing withthe hot chick in front of him and he was hoping that he would get lucky today. Stephen felt something cold
behind him and as Raya was dancing rubbing up against him he heardNate’s voice.
“I loved you and you will pay for what you did”
Stephen didn’t realize the stooped dancing and was stiff as a bored.
“I loved you…”
“Stephen! What is with you!” Raya asked annoyed her eye brows knottedand her lips tight.
“I’m sorry” he said again, “I guess I’m more tired than I thought I was.”
Raya sighed, “You could go back, I’m staying and I’ll get a ride with Kelly”
Kicking himself in the butt for running his evening with Raya.He thought perhaps he going crazy that he’d need to see a physiologist. He made
it to his car and turned on the Radioafter he pulled out of the parking lot.The road was had no cars which was unusual.Ashe sang along with old school rap California Love. Nate ran across the road
making Stephen swerved to the other lane and almost get hit by oncoming car. Stephen looked out for Nate all over as he made the rest of the way to the college. When he got to his dorm his
roommateMichaelwas asleep.As Stephen was getting ready for bedhe turned quickly when he saw his roommatejolt into the sittingposition .
“Mich what’s wrong?”
Still no response.
Stephen walked closer to his roommate “Hey man are you alright.”
Michael turned his head slowly toward Stephen his eyes open but not away .
“RED ROVER RED ROVER YOU’LL PAY RED NECK FUCKER”
Stephen backed up tripping over Michael’s bootswhom cloths and things are all over the place.
“RED ROVER! RED ROVER!”
“RED NECK FUCKER GONNA PAY!”
“MICH!” Stephen yelled he covered his ears and closed his eyes.He slowly opened his eyes to see Michael jolt back down onto the bed and roll
over facing him as if nothing happened.Crawling slowly on the floor towards Michael’s bed. When he got there he stared at his sleeping roommate and slowlywaved a shaking hand in front ofMichael’s
face.Slowing a big gulpand nudged Michael’s side.
“Mich?”and he just got a emmn in response.
His legs wobbly and managed to get to his bed and he laid there staring at his roommate to see if he was going to jump up again and start
yelling nonsense again and not getting much sleep.
The whole team went out to celebrate they own for the college football season. Nothing happened since the incident with his roommate so Stephen
began to relax. He laughed joked and talked about all the games they won. After the first drink that’s when Stephen started to see Nate again and he heard.
“I trusted you… How could you do that to me… I loved you”
“Stephen is a wuss he drunk with just one drink” teased one of his team mates as they all started to laugh at him.As the other took the beer
away from him.
“He’s underage anyway” said another and downed the drink.
“You guys are impossible!” Stephen said frustrated “I’m fine!”The alllaughed and the rest of the night he ignored this delusion of seeing
Nate.After he won twice in a pool game he left saying that he had a Midterm paper to write. Leaving the rest of his teammates at the college hangout.
Half way almost to the college singing along now with a Kenny Chesney song. “So far so good”he though not seeing Nate anywhere.But he was oh so
ever wrong. As he turned the cornerhe thought he saw something in the corner of his eye. “Few more miles” he said to himself.
Nate’s ghostly form went through the windshield so that his ghostly head was real close to Stephen’s face.
I LOVED YOU HOW COULD YOU HAVE BETRAY ME LIKE THIS!
Stephen screamed as he excel rated on the gas. “You’renot real, you’re not real” he repeated like a mantra.
RED ROVER RED ROVER YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU DID TO ME!
“You’renot real, you’re not real”
RED ROVER RED ROVER SEND THE RED NECK OVER!
“You’renot real, you’re not real” Stephen kept chanting as he was going pass the speed limit.He couldn’t see that the light was red.Nate
wasstill in his way.
I LOVED YOU!
Stephen was approachingthe red light and wasn’t stopping as his car was exceeding 100.He watched Nate darked eyes and black mouth open to yell
once again in his face.
RED ROVER RED ROVER PLEASE SEND STEPHEN OVER!
Suddenly Nate despaired and Stephen was about to get hit by a oncoming car as he swerved missing the car near inches but only to smash into a
lamp post few feet away.Stephen died on arrival.
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