Harry's Complications

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic
Harry is subjected to bullyiing from his school mates when he makes a good friend. Eventually coming to realisation with himself, he knows that he isn't just an average teenager.

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Submitted: December 05, 2011

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Submitted: December 05, 2011

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A car horn blared loudly and reverberated off the nearby houses as a vehicle zoomed down the road. Just some muppet, thought Harry as he climbed into the remainder of his forgotten school uniform. His once comfy blazer felt unusually heavy and even his new shirt peculiar, almost as if it were holding him in places that his regular attire wouldn’t bother to.
Summer holidays: six weeks off school with time to kill. No homework was set, which is what made the holidays seem so appealing. But now was the time to get back into the old routine. Now was the time to be bothered about his future, as his mother would say anyway.
Harry sighed. Taking a prolonged glance around his room, he felt nostalgic. Photos of the past six weeks were posted all over his walls and he couldn’t believe that the summer had already passed. His friends’ smiling faces were staring back at him, faces that he had known for years and years and even faces of those who had now moved on. An unbearable pang of emotion overcame Harry as he looked at the last photo – it was one which contained his best friend, George, who had departed a while back and was now so far away in Australia. A torrent of suppressed emotion sped through him but Harry cooled himself, closing his bedroom door behind him.
“Five minutes, Harry,” came a voice from the hallway. Harry wiped his eyes and descended the stairs.

“Ah, Harry. Nice of you to join us once again.” Mr. Felding’s deep and authoritative voice filled the room as Harry entered. Over twenty faces immediately turned his way and Harry couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed, despite being here for five years already. Swinging his bag off his shoulder, he took a seat at the back and was met by an outstretched hand complete with a beaming smile on the other end of it. Taking hold, Harry observed the owner. He looked quite normal. Brown hair, blue eyes, but there was something about him that Harry instantly liked, something different. He caught sight of a pierced ear gleaming and wondered why he hadn’t seen this person before.
“Nice to meet you, Harry. I’m Adam.”
When Adam was met with Harry’s quizzical stare, he was quick to respond. “Oh, I’m from St. Bernard’s.”
Harry nodded in acknowledgment. His voice sounded calming and light, even his person presented the expression that he took scrupulous care of his own appearance. Adam looked as if he wanted to share something, but the bell rang and Mr. Felding spoke before he had a chance to utter a syllable.
“Alright, welcome back, everyone. I hope you all had a lovely summer holiday and there’ll be plenty of time to catch up on all that later. So, if it’s not beyond your ability, listen for your names, please.” When the register began, Adam looked sideways at Harry. There was something in the slight smile which Harry didn’t quite understand. Something within the curvature of the lips, however slight, acted as a sign, perhaps an amiable gesture. Harry then felt another leg brush past his own and was momentarily stunned.
“Harry, if you’d like to answer your name, please. The rest of us would like to actually get somewhere today.” Mr. Felding’s voice brought Harry back to the stretches of reality. He was standing with the register in one hand and a pen in the other, his foot continuously tapping a rhythm on the floor. Harry had almost forgotten how stubborn and annoying he could be.
“Yes, sir.” He managed, although not as confidently as he usually would have done.
“Thank you.” Mr. Felding replied, resuming calling out names. But Harry didn’t hear him. He looked back towards Adam with a questioning look and wondered what he wanted to tell him that was obviously so important.

Harry was sitting in the library, nibbling at an apple and quietly observing the outside scenes with a far-off look in his eye. The trees were gently swaying to and fro and various children from younger years were adamant that running around was the only thing they could achieve in their spare time. The lack of teachers and observation was almost astounding. It was almost a test to see whether boys would naturally resort to brutality in the absence of an adult’s gaze.
Taking the umpteenth bite out of his rosy apple, Harry threw the remainder of it into a nearby bin.
“You shouldn’t be eating in here.” The librarian called as she peered at him through the thick glasses on the end of her nose.
“Where would you be without me, Miss?” Harry replied as he smiled, knowing he was one of a few exceptions to the rule. She had required help in the library from when Harry joined the school in year seven and Harry was only one of a select few who actually bothered to entertain the thought of lending a hand.
Returning his attention to the desk, Harry shifted through the sheets of paper he had emptied from his folder. He had chosen Politics, History, Psychology and Maths for his subjects, completely unsure where this would lead to in relation to his career. His mother would always sigh and think how useless he was whenever they went to careers conventions and the like, but Harry just wasn’t sure what he wanted to do for a living. Not being able to blame this on a girlfriend, his mother had reluctantly accepted that.
Harry poured his attention over his notes for twenty concentrated minutes until he felt the sneaking suspicion that he was being watched. He sat up in his chair and abruptly looked behind him only to realise it was Adam.
“Hi,” he said, dumbly. Looking at him now, Harry didn’t know what to think. He almost looked nervous, but that wasn’t like him at all, from what he gathered from this morning anyway.
“Hello.” Harry said. “I just thought I’d get a head start in my work, you know?” Adam pulled up a chair and reclined in it, then changed his mind and leaned forwards.
“That’s a good idea, actually. What subjects are you doing?”
Harry told him and Adam’s face seemed to light up.
“I’m doing History, Psychology and Maths, too. I didn’t see you in Psychology this morning. Where were you sat?” There seemed to be a newfound energy within Adam that only surfaced at certain conditions.
“I was sat in the front row. I’m guessing you were in the back somewhere?” Harry was uncertain how this conversation would go, but he was pleased all the same that somebody had made the decision to actually talk to him. He hadn’t really spoken to many people since he found out that all of his good friends had decided to move to different schools. Adam nodded.
“Yeah, I was at the back. I find Psychology so interesting though, don’t you? I mean, it also helps that we have a brilliant teacher, doesn’t it?”
“It really does, but I better tell you before I forget: I was chosen to be the Sports Captain!"
Their conversation continued until the end of lunch and Harry sensed a curious emotion which he couldn’t name. Never before had he enjoyed himself so much just by talking to someone. The sheer delight of previous conversations to other people were incomparable with what Harry was feeling at this moment.
“Well, I have to get off to Politics now, so I’ll see you later, Adam.” Harry departed, joyfully elated.

The car rumbled along the road, rattling whenever it encountered the slightest of bumps. They came to their back road and reversed into the drive. Harry still had a smile on his face and was reminding himself of the long conversation with Adam he had at lunch time. His mother looked across at him and she smiled, too.
“Good day, then?” Harry’s smile spread all the way to his ears as he unbuckled himself and went to get out of the car.
“Yeah, it was good.” His mother obviously thought there was more to it, so she delayed in unlocking the front door.
“Didn’t all your friends go off elsewhere?” She asked, almost sounding accusing. Harry didn’t mean to sound so defensive when he replied, but his mother quickly dropped the topic and opened the door.
“The slow cooker’s been on all day, so tea will be ready about quarter past six, Harry.” She said as he galloped up the flight of stairs to his bedroom. He was halfway through changing when he realised he had left his laptop on from the previous night. Opening the lid, Harry peered at the screen and saw he was still signed into Facebook. He saw he had one new friend request and his heart skipped a beat. He was unsure why he suddenly felt like that and wondered whether it was Adam or not.
Harry clicked on the button and Adam’s name appeared. His heart rate quickened as he hastily clicked ‘Accept’ and was then redirected to his page, complete with a display picture of a beaming Adam. Without even thinking, Harry’s pointer found its way to the ‘Poke’ button and he had already clicked before he reconsidered. Hoping it would be mistaken for an accident or a minor joke, Harry resorted to closing the laptop and finish getting changed.
All the while he was reading his favourite novel, a nagging thought kept encroaching in Harry’s mind. He so desperately wanted to talk to Adam on Facebook, yet he didn’t know how he would react to the ‘Poke’. Adam may not even notice, but already Harry had lost concentration from his book. Just when he was about to open the laptop again, his mother called him for tea.

“Hey, Harry. How are you?” Adam asked as he sat down under Mr. Felding’s morning scrutiny. Harry hadn’t made many friends since the start of term, and Adam seemed to be the only person who was keen on talking to him. In the few weeks that they had been back, Harry had started to accept that Adam was now his best friend; many of the fellow sports members weren’t even too friendly towards Harry and his position of Sports Captain. As the weeks rolled on, Harry accepted how easily they fell into being good friends. It was only at break time one day when he heard hushed comments directed at him. People started calling Harry harsh names, but Harry just accepted that. After all, they probably wouldn’t ever have such a good a friend as he did.

Opening his laptop one evening and signing into Facebook, Harry looked immediately up to his message notifications and found two that were unread; one more than he usually would have received. The first was from Adam, inviting him to stay over his house on Friday after school, to which Harry hastily and eagerly replied. The next, however, was from a fellow classmate, whom Harry trusted and had never shown any reason to be disloyal to him.
Harry’s heart stopped. What was in front of him, on the screen, was so violent and so vehement that he couldn’t possibly continue reading all the way to the end of it. It was abusive and brutal, unyielding in its intent to shatter any happiness Harry was feeling.
The baffling array of emotions that was spiralling through him resulted in a flash of anger at the writer of this message. This ailment was only dampened when Harry deleted the attacker as so-called ‘Friends’. There followed disbelief and sorrow. How could a friend suddenly go from supportive and merry one day to rejecting and harsh the next? Gay? Harry wasn’t gay. He scoffed at the word aloud as if to dispel the thought. They were just jealous. They had to be. No one Harry knew had such a good friend as he did.
Confused and bewildered, Harry decided to close his profile from public view. If anyone was going to say such horrible things, they weren’t worth having as friends. Nevertheless, in doing this, doubt crept into his mind. What if he was actually gay? But he couldn’t be, it’s not right. Then again, he had never had a girlfriend before. How could he ever really know?
As if reaching for any possibility that may reveal itself as a solution, Harry opened up a new message addressed to Adam. He wrote extensively on the message that he couldn’t finish reading and how there were rumours flying around about Harry’s sexuality. The passion and commitment that Harry showed to this message almost served as a new start to his character.
If anyone could help, it would be Adam. He knew who he could count on.

 

On Thursday, Adam approached Harry in the library. They greeted with a hug and sat down beside each other. They worked their way through various maths puzzles until the bell went and then moved off to next lesson.
Sitting in Politics with a detached look on his face, Harry was subject to every question. What kind of electoral system do we currently have in the UK? What are three of Prime Ministerial powers and how do they work? When has the Royal Prerogative been evoked? Harry would mumble an answer to each one in turn, lacking energy and enthusiasm. At the end of the lesson, he was the last to leave and Miss Opal quickly got his attention.
“Harry, is anything the matter? You’re not your normal self. What’s happened to your enthusiasm? Is there anything I can do?”
Harry was surprised at the level of concern he was receiving, especially from a teacher. He raised his gaze from the floor and looked up at her.
“I’m sorry. I haven’t been feeling too great these past few weeks. I . . . I guess I’m a little ill.”
“Well, I hope you feel better soon, Harry,” she said, turning to leave. Then she changed her mind and turned back. “Between you and me,” she said, “You’re the best in the class and I want you to do well because I know you can.”
An unprecedented smile formed on Harry’s face and he felt so happy that he could cry, but he held it in, thanking her all the same.

When Monday came, and a new week presented itself, Harry was in high spirits again. He had challenged himself to ignore the various exchange of hushed comments that would frequently show themselves whenever he walking into a room, even more so with Adam. On Friday, the final bell rang and Adam and Harry started walking together in the general direction of Adam’s house.
“You can stay for the weekend if you really want to, you know.” Adam said as he unlocked the front door and stepped inside. Harry was overcome with ecstasy at the sheer delight of spending a few whole days with Adam. He followed him inside and hugged him, thanking him several times with increasing intensity. Adam always knew how to cheer him up.

When work had been settled and finished, and food was comfortably churning in their stomachs, Harry decided it was time for bed.
“What a day!” he exclaimed as he released a contained and lengthy sigh.
“Tell me about it,” Adam said as he entered the room behind him. Adam’s room was quite large, thought Harry, as his eyes quickly darted to each area they could cover. Being an only child, Adam had been well-off in the aspect of receiving pretty much whatever he wanted, although that wasn’t necessarily an awful lot. He didn’t have an iPod or an iPad or anything exceedingly expensive because he didn’t want them. The only down side to Adam’s wealth was that he didn’t have any siblings, like Harry, who he could talk to and play with and fight. Perhaps that’s why he had taken such an interest in Harry and had befriended him so quickly.
Adam leapt onto his bed and bounced a moment before settling into the middle. Harry’s smile disappeared as he recalled the pernicious messages he had received on Facebook only days before. A particularly abusive comment rang in Harry’s ears. His legs suddenly felt liquidised, as if they wanted to abandon him and the useless baggage that they laboured around all day. Harry fell to the floor in a heap of tears.
It only took a moment before Harry felt Adam’s supportive hands on his shoulders. They felt reassuring and friendly, as if compelling him to steel himself against those brutish thoughts. Harry sniffed once, twice, before looking up into Adam’s compelling blue eyes. Although tears kept streaming down his face, Harry felt a surge of energy, almost persuading him to press forwards. Mixed and volatile emotions pervaded inside him and Harry didn’t know what to think. Suddenly Adam’s fixed stare was nearer. His face lingered excitingly close to Harry’s for a moment before their lips met. Adam’s tongue was pressing, yearning for entrance into Harry’s mouth. In the heat of the moment, Harry’s tongue responded, but he was so overcome with emotion that he quickly broke away and pushed Adam off.
“I . . . I can’t,” Harry sobbed, holding his hands close to his face. “I’m sorry, but I’m . . .  I’m not gay!” That said, Harry stormed out of the room and out the house.

 

When Harry came in on Monday, he was about to sit next to Adam, like he usually did, except he decided against it. Instead, he took a seat sat next to no one, by the window. The weather had suddenly taken a change for the worse and a thick layer of clouds engulfed the once-pleasant sky. Mr. Felding’s voice echoed across the room as he took the morning register and many of his classmates were staring across at Harry strangely, as if he had broken a rule that was enshrined in higher authority. Perhaps they were beginning to realise the power behind their attacks on him. Not likely, Harry thought.
Harry’s lack of enthusiasm returned and his performance in class got steadily worse. He could no longer concentrate, his mind always racing, never content on a single thought. Harry briefly considered skipping school for a while until he felt better, but he knew his mother would never allow it.
At breaks and lunch times, Adam didn’t approach Harry. The whispering continued, but it didn’t change topic. Harry was steadily growing to accept the cyber-abuse that was daily heading his way. Every week he would sign into Facebook to see how his old friends were getting on at their schools and every week he would have to delete many abusive messages and also “Friends”. Harry was so low in spirit that he lost his charismatic charm, accepting that he would only make it worse for himself if he didn’t keep his mouth shut.
But that gave him more time to think and reflect.

 

On Wednesday night, Harry was quietly eating his tea in front of the TV. His mum came into the room and took a seat, ready to watch one of her favourite films of all time, Jurassic Park. When the film finished, Harry lingered in the room and his heart started racing. If there was any specific time for it, it was now or never.
His mum made to exit the room, but Harry opened his mouth and he knew he couldn’t go back now.
“Mum,” he said, shaking slightly. His mother looked his way and gave him that questioning look for him to go on. “I . . . have to tell you something.”
As if suddenly worried, she took a seat back on the couch and raised an eyebrow. The following silence was suffocating.
“Harry? What is it?”
“Mum, I . . .” adrenalin was pumping through his body and Harry was compelled to continue. “I think I might be gay.”
His mother rushed her way across the room to embrace him maternally and offer kind words of sympathy in Harry’s emotional time of need. Her arms seemed to have an effect like no other embrace could possibly manage. This was a motherly instinct. Nothing could possibly hope to match it both in its quick deliverance and its powerful hold.
Harry’s eyes were like fountains, releasing all they could in one continuous cycle. Pretty soon he told her about Adam and their encounter a while back; about the emotions he had inside him and how badly it had hurt him. The only thing he didn’t tell her about was the bullying. Somehow, he presumed the rough and brutish words would destroy what he was experiencing now. And right now, he needed comfort and support, not someone to worry.
“Harry, it’s okay: as long as you’re happy. I know you’re confused, and times like this can be troubling. It’s okay, Harry. I love you just the same.”
Those words had an enchanting effect on Harry as he went to bed. They lingered in his mind and repeated themselves over again and again like a broken record. When he felt himself that night, for the first time he pictured Adam and experienced euphoria of reassuring comfort. Now he knew.

 

When Harry got ready for school the next morning, he seemed to be the only person in the world to have reached such a plateau of happiness. He was literally dancing around the room whilst putting his uniform on. The sun was hiding behind a veil of thick clouds, a few punctual birds were singing despite the absence of the sun, but Harry was energised nonetheless. No longer did he feel depressed or so low. Adam was now the only thing he could think about.
Under Mr. Felding’s routine scrutiny, Harry sat next to Adam once more and moved his foot to touch Adam’s. When Adam realised what he was doing, he replied by rubbing his own leg against Harry’s – he was even momentarily thrown by the fact that Harry was sitting next to him again. Exchanging ludicrously contented smiles, Harry and Adam set off to the library when the bell went for their morning free period.
Harry wasn’t quite sure what to say, but they sat down at the back of the room and stared at each other for a while. Plucking up the courage, Harry stretched his hand out towards Adam’s and held it tenderly.
“I was mistaken.” Harry said, gazing into the captivating blue eyes before him. The euphoria that had consumed Harry had expanded and he was so exhilarated that he didn’t know what to feel or what to do next. So they both sat there, hand in hand for the remainder of the period, staring into each other’s eyes.
When Harry came home that day, he was in such high spirits and so infatuated that he had lost his appetite. His love of Adam seemed to make him so content that hunger took on a more superfluous role. Even his mother sounded a bit sceptical when she called him for tea and he had to explain why he wasn’t hungry. Smiling all the same, she closed his bedroom door behind her as she walked out.
The torrent of thoughts that spiralled through Harry’s mind as he lay on his bed was astounding. When he closed his eyes, he could easily visualise Adam’s features. They were second nature to him. Even the taste of his lips still lingered and his pressing tongue no longer seemed imaginary. Harry now knew what his life was worth living for; love had given him a whole new meaning. It was almost like a second birth, something so revolutionary and yet so simple that could change a person forever.

 

In Psychology now, Adam and Harry both sat next to one another. They were on the front row and would always aspire to answer as many questions as they could. It was a competition to see who could get the most questions answered correctly and it wasn’t so tough, seeing as they were both the brightest students in the class.
In the common room during lunch that day, Tom – a relatively normal boy who decided that he liked the fuzz of hair on his chin – was beginning to get annoyed at seeing Harry and Adam in close proximity with one another and it came to a surprise when he stood up and pointed at Harry, chanting obscenities. This, however, wasn’t entirely random. The Psychology teacher – a modest professor – had previously stated that homosexuality was considered a psychological disorder until the 1980s. Tom was very popular in school and had many followers; whenever he was going to the shops during lunch or his frees, no one would turn him down if asked. Equally, whenever he didn’t have a pen, someone would always give them theirs, even if it meant that they wouldn’t then have one. So when Tom began chanting in a steady rhythm, it didn’t take long until his group of supporters followed suit.
At this moment, Harry, being the victim of such an attack, felt his heart sink.  He turned to Adam for sympathy and was met with a look that suggested they should leave. Picking up their bags, to which Tom’s group cheered in victory, they left the common room, blessing their luck that they weren’t followed.
From euphoria to despondency in a single moment because of other people’s unkindness; from an irrational fear, a fear of the unknown, of what wasn’t understood.
“Harry. Harry!” Adam said as he tried to keep up with him. Harry continued his fast pace without looking back.
“What do you want me to do, Adam?” He said, abruptly stopping and turning to face him. “I just don’t know what to do. I’ve lost all the respect that I once had and nobody likes seeing us together.” Harry’s voice wavered.
Adam slowly approached him and held him by the shoulders. His piercing blue eyes gazed at Harry with sympathy before he said anything.
“Harry, I know this is difficult, but you’ve got to stay strong – we both have. I’m not saying that we should ignore the reactions of other people because that’s just silly.” Adam embraced Harry and already his anger started to diminish.
“What do we do, then?” Harry asked a minute later.
Adam broke their embrace and gave a supporting smile.
“We have to solve this problem with the school. We need to tell our Head of Sixth-form. We need to talk to the Connexions advisors. We need all this to stop. Because,” Adam said, leaning in. “Because I love you, and I want you to be happy.”

 

The hall boomed with the sound of applause. It ricocheted off the walls and smashed into the audience. The Headmaster nodded his head in appreciation as he finished his end-of-year assembly and then held up his hands for silence. When he could be heard again, he spoke.
“Thank you, everyone for a wonderful year. I hope, when you come back in September, that you’ll give the same amount of effort that you’ve been giving thus far. But there’s just one final thing to say. Please listen now as our Sports Captain, Harry, says a few words.” That said, the Head stepped aside and motioned for Harry to take his place by the microphone.
He wasn’t nervous. He hadn’t even though about what he was going to say. But that didn’t stop him. Taking a glance around the hall at the various faces, some more familiar than others, Harry inhaled and began.
“I started my year like many other people – excited and confident – but I was always different from everyone else and I didn’t know it at the time. Most of my good friends had gone to different schools so I had to start again from scratch. I don’t suppose that many of you can empathise with me there.
“I was glad to achieve the position of Sports Captain near the beginning of the year because it’s something that I really enjoy. It’s not exactly the position of Head Boy, but I was content with it. That is, I was content until I started receiving abusive messages. I’m not going to individualise you all, but you certainly know who you are.
“I kept receiving these messages after Adam and I started becoming good friends. I felt distraught and my attitude to school continuously declined. I was at my wits end, and I thought it could only get worse. Do any of you realise how that feels? Going from extreme happiness to complete despair in a short time; it’s not good. You’ve all been told of the dangers of such things from a previous assembly, so I won’t bore you with reiteration.
“I’m almost finished, but I have to make something clear. I would be a fool to think that Adam and I are the only people who are different in the entire school, but this concerns you all. Three words – it gets better. When you feel that you’re in a rough patch or that nothing can get any worse, believe me when I say this: it gets better.
“I have to thank a certain organisation for this success though, the It Gets Better Project. This can be found online, and I thoroughly advise joining it. Thanks to them, and various Connexion talks, I have emerged from the dreariness that I was experiencing and have come to realise that I am the way that I am and I should be glad about it! Thank you.”
When Harry stopped his poignant speech, there was silence in the hall. Someone at the back started to clap and this followed with someone to the left who stood up proudly and clapped in appreciation. Pretty soon, half a dozen boys were standing and clapping happily. Then the cheering began and the hall was once more filled with the glorious symphony of applause.

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Sam Spam. All rights reserved.

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