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Rock and a Hard Place

Chapter 17

By and © Hans Schrieber

Special thanks to my editors, Flip, Smallfox, Lisa and Pablo for their valuable assistance in making this story so much better.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I was just getting into our three way jerk-off in my parent's shower when I swore I heard another noise. "Guys, stop!! I think I heard something." We all froze mid-stroke. Cautiously, I slipped from the glass shower enclosure and tiptoed across the throw rug and then gingerly across the tile floor to the bathroom door. I peered out, cautiously, but saw nothing. I turned to Scotty and Kirk and shrugged. Just as I was about to return to the shower, I thought I heard something else. My heart raced.

Naked, wet and dripping, I crept through the bedroom and peeked out into the hallway. Nothing was there, but I was sure I heard noises in the garage. I scurried down the hallway to the garage entry door and put my ear to it. I inched the door open and peeked through the crack.

My heart was pounding as I watched the garage door come to a jolting stop as it hit the concrete. I shut the door and leaned against the wall, naked and dripping. I wondered what dad would say about finding us in the shower together. It must have been him that I heard, and I appreciated that he just left and didn't make a scene or embarrass me in front of my friends. Realizing there was nothing I could do about it, I headed back to the master bathroom to find Scotty kneeling in front of Kirk. Kirk was leaning against the tiled wall between the two shower heads. His arms were spread eagle with his palms pressed against the black tile. Spray from the two shower heads was splashing on both sides of Scotty's head in stereo. Kirk's head was bowed in order to inspect the service being performed on his precious body parts.

In the turmoil of being discovered, I'd lost my interest in participating. Little Rock shrank before I'd even gotten out of the bedroom while investigating the noise. Watching my friends go at it, who were so into it that they didn't even notice my presence, was kind of exciting. I pulled a fluffy beige towel from the rack and draped it over my shoulders. I sat my bare ass cheeks on the cold, shiny black, toilet seat and watched in fascination. I leaned back against the toilet tank and the lid pressed into my back just below the shoulder blades. It was like watching a live porno. I smiled as I watched the scene unfold in front of me. Kirk's mouth was gaping and his chest expanding and contracting with deep breaths. His fingers began crawling against the slick, black tile as the effects of Scotty's blowjob kicked in. Scotty's head bobbed in a steady rhythm as he worked his magic on Kirk's turgid wand. Little Rock grew interested in becoming a participant instead of just a spectator and I immediately handled his request.

Just minutes after I became an active voyeur, Kirk began writhing against the shower wall and making a face like he was in mild agony. He pulled his hands from the tile wall and clasped them around the back of Scotty's buzzed head. He took control of the pace of the action and sped up the operation. I matched the stepped up pace of the action in the glass enclosed stage. Soon, my face was twisted in the same frantic anticipation that Kirk was displaying on his face. My hand was racing up and down my erection in a harried effort to reach a simultaneous climax with the actors in front of me. Kirk's broad chest was flushed and Scotty slid his hands off Kirk's buttocks and caressed down his thighs, calves and back up again. Suddenly, Scotty reacted defensively to Kirk's forceful jamming of Scotty's face deep into Kirk's groin by tensing and retracting against the forceful pressure. Quickly though, Scotty's fight or flight instincts passed and he relaxed into Kirk's deep thrusting explosion.

I crested over my own threshold and welcomed the familiar tingles of a satisfying morning cum. I quivered and shook as three shots of warm cum splattered over my bare chest and stomach. I slowed to a crawl as the remaining breakfast juices slipped slowly from Little Rock's tiny slit. I watched in amused understanding as Kirk released Scotty's head and steadied himself on his shoulders instead. Kirk was hunched over and gasping to regain his breath. Scotty pulled off and turned his head with his mouth wide open in the shower spray. Getting a mouthful, he washed down the remnants of the large helping of Kirk's protein shake he'd just taken in. I chuckled and thought to myself, "Now that's what I call one hell of a breakfast burrito, they should serve that at McDonalds."

My heart was nearly back to its normal pace when Scotty rose from his haunches and stood face to face with Kirk. The possibility of what might happen next caused a full skip in my heartbeat as I feared they might kiss. I didn't want Scotty to kiss him. I don't know why exactly, but I just didn't want to see it. It's not like Scotty and I were committed to each other in any way, and I had no right to expect them not to kiss, but I didn't want them to do it anyway. I almost turned away as Kirk wrapped his arm around Scotty's neck, pulled him into a headlock and said, "Thanks, dude. That was amazing!" As he did this, his eyes caught mine and he was startled at first, then remembering it was actually my house, I guess, he broke into a smile. I was relieved they hadn't kissed and smiled back and winked.

I stood up and started to clap. "Bravo, bravo!" I exclaimed. Scotty spun around and they both smiled initially in mild embarrassment, but quickly changing to pride in their performance. "Encore," I said giving two thumbs up. Scotty took a deep bow.

"Encore my ass," Kirk said. "You didn't even pay for the show, so screw you."

"Okay!" I said turning around and waving my ass at them. "Who's going first, and who gets the sloppy seconds?"

Scotty laughed and said, "Dude you gotta get a ticket from now on if you want to watch the show. How'd you get in here anyway? I'm gonna have to fire the bouncer."

They turned the water off and I tossed them each a towel as they stepped from the shower. "So did you find the ghost?" asked Kirk.

"No." I decided to lie. "It was just my imagination, I guess." I figured if Dad had chosen not to embarrass us, I didn't need to tell them we'd been caught. I'd just deal with the consequences on my own. I wondered what those would end up being. I supposed I'd get a lecture on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases at a minimum and an admonishment to stay out of his bed and bathroom. Given the crazy way things had been going with my father lately, there was no real telling how he was going to react.

We hustled upstairs and dressed quickly. I scribbled out excuse notes for them and Scotty forged one for me. We all sent our parents a text letting them know to support our lies when the school called to verify the tardy. Mine was a bit coy: "As u know, I b l8t. say I overslept if school calls. TY <3"

"OK" came the short reply back.

"Can we get a ride?" I added to my text string.

"No, at hospital." I was surprised that he went back to the hospital. I guessed that he felt like it served us right to have to walk to school. I was a little worried now that he was going to be really pissed off if he'd left something important to come home just to give us a ride to school and then found us messing around in the shower instead of being ready.

"We're on our own guys. We better get hoofing it or we won't make second period." We all grabbed our packs and double timed it out the door and all the way to school. We decided not to enter the office all at once. When I walked in, I looked for Gina but realized she didn't work in the office until later in the day. A crabby old woman took my note and studied it suspiciously. I stared blankly at her sagging tits and wondered if she could possibly be wearing a bra. She logged me into the computer and sent me off to class. I brushed against Scotty as I exited and he entered. School was a bit of a blur. I had to collect the previous day's assignments after each class.

When I walked into the forensics room, William came right up to me with an enormous smile. He did something completely out of character and gave me a hug. Then realizing what he'd done in public, he backed quickly off and stared at me in uncertainty. I raised my fist and we bumped knuckles. He smiled and began talking about his latest ideas for the debate topic. He was dressed in the t-shirt and pants I'd bought him and of course, he had on the black Vans. I smiled. Class was kind of fun. Our teacher had teams take turns giving their opening arguments and then we all tried to find evidence to refute them. It got annoying to the others and eventually to the teacher that William always had one or more things to share. I found it impressive, but Mrs. Jones stopped acknowledging his hand after a while, hoping to get participation from some other students.

William was elated to be back at school. He asked me if I wanted him to accompany me to lunch, or if I minded if he went and played chess with his nerd buddies. Of course, I didn't mind, and he was clearly relieved not to have to endure the wrestling table. He was also a little excited for the chance to be the center of attention as he told some, but not all, of the details of why he'd been absent so long. I wasn't eating anything at all since I'd splurged on the weekend. I wasn't too worried about making weight, but I was anxious to check on the scales in the locker room later to see for sure.

Talk at the table was the usual bravado banter. Goob was snorting coke at the opposite end of table. Someone offered him ten bucks to try it. He had a straw in Little Willy's Diet Coke can and was attempting, unsuccessfully, to snort it up into his sinuses and spit it out of his mouth. Everyone hit the floor laughing as he jerked himself up away from the table and sprayed out a nasal shower of fizzy brown Coke, coughing, gagging and sputtering. A proctor came over and lectured us to behave. Goob was muttering curse words and dabbing at his stinging nostrils with a napkin as the proctor walked off. I saw the Proctor break into a wide smile as he turned his back to us. Goob has to be my favorite idiot ever. I swear he'll be bigger than Adam Sandler one day.

On my way to English, I passed by William in the hall who was showing off his shoes to some fellow chess mates and didn't even notice me. He'd actually pulled one of his shoes off and was holding it up engaged in animated conversation. I thought about getting his attention to be polite, but decided not to butt in on his conversation. I also worried a little what he might say about my involvement with the shoe, to be perfectly honest. There was a group of baseball guys across the hall pointing and laughing at him and that pissed me off. One of them was passing his phone around and I supposed he'd taken a picture of William holding up his shoe, so he could mock him. I almost went over and threatened them, but knew I'd be late if I did and it was harmless enough, even if it was rude.

I enjoyed going over the Iliad in English class. The whole Ancient Greek culture intrigued me a lot and I decided to learn more about it, especially the naked wrestling. My dick stirred a bit as I thought about wrestling with Scotty, Kirk and Dig in the nude. I even included Little Willy with his giant dick in the imaginary match. My mind had wandered into that little fantasy when the bell rang. I slapped my book shut and was headed out the door when Mr. Cramer called to me.

"Yes sir?"

"Kyle, there is a scholastic writing contest coming up that I'd like to encourage you to enter. You write very well and I think you could win it. The top prize is $1000."

"That sounds cool. What do I have to write about?"

"Well, it relates to our current topic actually. It's a 5,000 to 7,500 word essay on the influence of the Ancient Greeks on modern civilization. I'm requiring a two page essay from everyone on the topic, but if you choose to do this, you can use it for that as well."

"Sounds like a good deal. You really think I got a shot at winning?"

"Certainly, I do. Don't underestimate your ability."

"Thanks. I'll give it a shot. What have I got to lose?"

On my way to the next class, I came up with a great idea to enlist William's help in doing some research for the essay. I was pretty sure he'd be willing and even eager to do it. I hurried after the last class to the gym and quickly stripped down. I pulled on just my thin, nylon shorts and hurried over to the scales. I stepped onto the platform with no small amount of trepidation and was relieved to see that I was less than a pound overweight. I could easily drop that before Thursday's meet. I jotted my weight on my chart in the book and headed back to my locker. Dig was there and just getting naked in his usual five second strip act. I glanced at his large dickhead and smiled at myself. It was nice not having to wonder about how it might look all boned up for a change. Now, I knew how it looked, and it held much less fascination than it had before.

"How're things with you and Rochelle?" I asked.

"Fucked up," Dig answered curtly. "She avoids me."

"That sucks. You two made a pretty good couple except for the sex thing."

"Yeah, I know. I fucked up by pressuring her into it. What's really messed up, is that after you made me realize what an ass I was being, I figured out I really like her for who she is and not just for the sex stuff. I really miss hanging out with her."

"That really stinks. Maybe after a while, she'll give you another chance."

"Not likely. I doubt I'll ever get another date ever. Pretty much every girl in school knows what I tried to do to her. I guess I won't be going to Fall Formal. Are you going?" Dig asked.

"Yeah, I'm going with Gina again and doubling with a couple from the debate team."

"Oh really? You and Gina going out now?"

"Nah, it's just that after I asked her to Fall Formal, she asked me to the Ladies Choice. I kind of like her though. She's easy to talk to."

"Yeah, and I hear you like her nice rack too," Dig joked.

"Shut up! Who told you that?"

"Bodie. He told me what you did at the end of the dance. You can't fool me with all that nerdy, straight A and debate shit; you're just a horny little ass like the rest of us."

"Yeah well," I started with a wicked grin, "You should know better than anyone about my horny ass, I guess."

"Oh you little fucker, shut the hell up. I'm so gonna kick your ass today if we get paired up," Dig was shaking his head and smiling in spite of himself as he gave me a playful shove off the bench. We finished lacing up and headed to the mats.

Coach showed us a new move for breaking out of the defensive referee's position. The tactic involved an element of surprise, so Coach recommended only using it once during a match. In the referee's position, the bottom wrestler starts on his hands and knees with his hands spread apart in front of the forward starting line and his knees spread apart behind the rear starting line with his legs held together. The other wrestler on the top (in the offensive starting position) then kneels beside him with one arm wrapped around the bottom wrestler's waist (with the palm of his hand against the opponent's navel) and the other hand on or over the back of the opponent's near elbow for control.

Coach showed us how to immediately spread out flat on the mat on our stomachs when the whistle blows and pull our free arm up underneath us. Usually, that would be our right arm since most guys choose to start on the left side when they are in the top position. Then, the bottom wrestler hooks his foot over the ankle or calf of the opponent and at the same time shoves upward with the free hand, rolling the top guy off of him and onto his side or back. Quickly, the bottom wrestler maneuvers around and hopefully scores an escape or reversal. Coach asked us to pair up with someone about our size and practice it. Scotty immediately grabbed my arm and announced he was with me. Dig shot us a look and then paired up with Kirk.

"Which do you want to be first, top or bottom?" I asked.

"I'll be top since you were top the last time we wrestled," Scotty answered.

"Last time? I don't remember ..." I looked at Scotty's precocious grin and it dawned on me what he meant. "Oh my god, shut up." I could tell I was blushing mildly. Scotty was obviously very proud of his little joke as I knelt down in the defensive position. Whenever I took this position, I couldn't help but think about being in the receiving position for doggie style sex like I'd seen on some gay, internet porn videos.

Scotty took a knee beside me and grasped my arm. When we were all in place, Coach blew his whistle and I sprawled out flat, tucking my free arm under me like Coach had demonstrated. I hooked my foot over his and gave a shove, pulling his foot into my roll. Scotty countered with spreading his left foot wide to prevent me from rolling him, but I still had enough momentum to spin away and get an escape. Being very quick, I continued my roll and was behind him. I grabbed him around the waist and hooked both my feet around his shins and dropped him to the mat for a reversal resulting in two points instead of just one for an escape.

Coach gave a few more pointers and we switched positions. I checked and no one was looking at us, so I slipped my right hand down from Scotty's naval and rubbed his bulge. He pulled away and cocked his head around to give me a quick "are you crazy" look. I just returned a wicked smile and slid my hand back up where it belongs. On the whistle, Scotty went prone and hooked my foot like he was supposed to. Since I knew what was coming, I instinctively pushed with my left foot and moved my full weight over his back preventing him from pushing up and rolling away. I realized it was unfair of me to do that since I wouldn't really know it was coming if I was a regular opponent. I apologized and told him it was just a natural reaction. I offered to be on top again.

"I think you just prefer being on top," Scotty joked.

"Yeah, but who can blame me when the bottom is so cute?" I said, pinching the bottom of his ass cheek through the tight, Lycra suit. He glanced nervously around to be sure no one was watching.

"Dude, you gotta cool it. Someone's going to pick up on us and that could only be bad," he scolded.

"Okay. I guess you're right. I'm not used to putting on an acting job. I guess you're better at it since you've been practicing a while with the whole nudist thing," I whispered. Then I got back down beside him and this time I delayed my reaction and he easily rolled me. I didn't let him get a reversal though. My competitive nature wouldn't allow it.

When practice was over, Scotty and I hurried into the showers. Coach had Dig stay and help Kirk with the move one more time. We took the corner showers where Scotty always showered. I looked down and Scotty had sprung his usual erection. "How come you always get boned in the showers?" I asked.

"I think because I just conditioned myself that way as a kid. I'm like those Pavlov dogs. I learned about jacking off in the shower when I was little. My sister used to come in and experiment with me while I showered and then I always looked forward to shower time. After that, I started jacking off every time I shower. It's like something I have to do. He then poured a glob of shower gel over his dick and started jacking himself facing the corner and told me to keep an eye on the doorway. I started to bone up as I remembered his inverted boner slipping over my tonsils.

"Holy shit," I said, "And you warned me to be careful out on the mats? If you get caught doing this in here, our reputations are definitely toast." Just then he grunted, and I glanced at the cum dipping down the tile. "Here comes Goob!"

Scotty nonchalantly splashed water on the tile and started to shampoo his hair. I slipped two nozzles away from Scotty and begged Little Rock to go back down. He just jiggled up and down as he laughed at me. I washed myself quickly while facing the wall, but there was no real hiding the effect Scotty had on me. Dig and Kirk were coming in just as I was making the best timed exit I could with as few spectators as possible. Dig stopped dead in his tracks and said way loud, "What the fuck, did you catch the boner virus from wrestling with Scotty today?"

I turned bright red as everyone who had noticed and been too shocked or too polite to say anything started laughing. "I guess I did," was all I could think of to say. I grabbed my towel and rushed to my locker and pulled on my boxers and shorts. I was just putting my shoes on when Goob came up to me and sat down on the bench with as serious a look as I had ever seen on his face before. He was wrapped in his towel and had his cell phone from his locker in his hand. "What's up?" I asked.

"Dude, don't get mad at me telling you this okay?"

"Telling me what?" Now I was curious and a little nervous.

"At the bonfire, Tyler Jacobs took this pic with his phone and he's mailing it all over the place." He turned his phone around and to my horror there was a picture of William sprawled on the ground screaming while some unidentifiable asshole held his arms and asshole #2 pulled his boxers and pants off. Goob flicked a button on his phone and the next shot was a cropped close-up of William's surgically repaired dick and solitary ball. In the picture, he looked completely hairless since the little nubs of his pubes weren't visible. "I thought you should know."

I was fuming. I felt the veins in my neck popping out. "Thanks. I'm gonna kill Tyler tomorrow."

"Dude, the look on your face is scaring me. Don't do anything really stupid, okay?"

"Why the hell do people have to be so damn cruel? Mean people really do suck." I spat. "Send me those so I have the evidence."

"I know. I'm sorry, man. I know you like the dude."

"He wouldn't hurt a fly and everyone just gives him crap all the time. It's so unfair." I was on the verge of tears, and so I grabbed my bag, stuffed my towel in it, slammed my locker and stormed off. I was madder than hell and started running towards William's place but passing the baseball diamond, I changed course. I jetted straight for the JV field as their practice was breaking up and I spotted Tyler in the dugout holding out his phone to a group of laughing infielders. I snapped.

"Hey Rock," Bodie said as I pushed past him, "What're you doing here?" I didn't answer Bodie but walked right up to Tyler.

Everyone looked up at the same moment as I approached the circle of hyenas. "What's so funny?" I asked as I snatched at Tyler's phone. My quick motion caught him completely off guard, and I easily plucked his phone from his paw. "You're an asshole, you know that?" I yelled. "How many people have you sent this to?"

He just shrugged and demanded his phone back. "No way," I refused. "I'm taking it to Principal Matthew's office." I think she needs to see what you're passing around. I stuffed the phone in my pocket, spun and started walking away when I was propelled forward onto my face by a cleat in my back. The stabbing pain was crazy making and I jumped up with fury in my eyes. I barreled into Tyler wrapping him up and lifting him easily off the ground and performing a completely illegal slam onto the concrete floor of the dugout. His teammates spread out and away as I sat on him and started flailing wild punches into his ugly, zit covered face. The third baseman pulled me off him and as he was doing so, Tyler took the opportunity to kick me in the balls. I hunched over, but fortunately it wasn't a direct blow. Still, it hurt and pissed me off. My reaction caused the third baseman to lose his grip and I dropped and slammed my fist with all my might directly into his groin. That turned out to be a bad idea. I forgot baseball players wore cups. He still groaned from the blow, but I got the worst of it as a searing hot pain exploded in my wrist.

Tyler sat up and glanced a blow off my cheek bone. My head snapped dramatically to the side as I cocked my left fist and smashed him squarely in the nose. He screamed and started yelling that I'd broken his nose. I watched in satisfaction as blood poured down his chin. Just then, the baseball coaches showed up. One of them attended to Tyler while the other one roughly hauled me to my feet.

"What the hell is going on here?" He demanded.

"He stole Tyler's phone," some faceless player in the crowd accused.

"Did you?"

"No, I took it to show Mrs. Matthews the bullshit pics he has on it and is passing around the school. He started the fight by kicking me in the back with his cleats. Ask Bodie, he saw it." Tyler was screaming for his phone as they were trying to take him off to the nurse's station. The coach who had hold of me turned to Bodie.

"Well, did Tyler start this?" Bodie looked like he just drank a whole quart of sour milk. He looked from Tyler to his scowling teammates and then back to me and the baseball coach. I realized during the uncomfortable silence that I'd literally put him between a Rock and a hard place. "Well?" the coach demanded, not used to being ignored. Finally, Bodie just shrugged.

"Coward," I thought. The baseball coach looked disgusted and annoyed and turned his attention back to me.

"Give me his phone," he demanded.

"No," I refused, flexing and twisting from the coach's grasp. Defiantly I added, "I'll only give it to Principal Matthews. She has to see the pictures Tyler has on it first."

"Give me the goddamned phone now or I'll take it." The coach was red in the face, Tyler was still screaming and Bodie was backing away. I shook my head in defiance. "Then show me the pictures on it that you're talking about," the young coach insisted.

Again I shook my head in defiance. "No. You can see them when we go to the Principal's office."

"Oh you little piss-ant," the coach hissed. "Grab him," he said to two players behind me. They each grabbed an arm and he tried to force his hand into my pocket. I twisted and squirmed and fought them off and yelled at the baseball coach, "If you stick your hand in my pocket, I'll make sure you get fired and put on the child molester's website. I mean it; my dad will sue your ass. Just take me to the office." I was shrieking but the stupid coach kept trying to get the phone. I flicked the small kid on my left side into the benches and he hit the Gatorade jug sending it flying onto the floor. The lid fell off and ice and water poured out all over. We slipped on the ice in the struggle and the coach landed on top of me. He used this advantage to shove his hand in my pocket just as the head coach of the Varsity came running up to the chain link on the dugout and yelled for us to stop. We both looked up at his scowling face.

"What the hell is going on in here?" he yelled.

I was smart enough to answer first and said, "This pervert is trying to grope me." The JV coach let go of the phone and jerked his hand from my pocket.

"I was not! He stole Tyler's phone and I'm trying to get it back." He was flushed and sounded ridiculous.

"I offered to turn it over to the Principal because it has illegal pictures on it she needs to see, but he wouldn't let me do that and instead tried to grope me."

"All right, get up and we'll all go see Mrs. Matthews and figure this out. And get Tyler to the nurse for hell sake before he bleeds to death." He instructed the two guys that had been holding me for the JV coach to come along as witnesses and I insisted Bodie come also. He looked less than thrilled by the invitation. All the way to the office, the head coach was giving the JV coach shit for physically assaulting a student. He kept telling the JV coach to shut up every time he tried to defend himself. At the office, Principal Matthews audibly groaned when she saw our entourage enter the foyer. She led us to a conference room and the sorting process began.

I pulled the phone from my pocket and explained why I had gone to the field and started the "ruckus" as Principal Matthews called it. I explained that a friend had shown me the pictures that Tyler had taken and was passing around the school. I slid the phone over to Mrs. Matthews, who turned on the phone and opened the photos. Her mouth dropped and she slid the phone to the coaches. "That's William. He's a student here and he's really shy. I talked him into going to the bonfire at Bodie's ranch after the Ladies Choice dance and those baseball players pantsed him there and Tyler took those pictures. Now, he's sending them all over and making William into a big joke."

The JV coach blurted out, "Is that it? Pictures of some nerd's dick that weren't even taken on school grounds?" The head coach looked away and rolled his eyes.

"He may be a nerd, but that doesn't make it okay for the baseball assholes to ridicule and harass him. I'm sick of everyone picking on William. He doesn't deserve it. He's a great kid and just wants to be left alone."

"Calm down, Kyle," Mrs. Matthews said. I sat back in my chair. "Tell me about the fighting?" she asked.

"I snatched his phone when he was showing off those pictures to some players in the dugout and laughing about them. I told him I was taking it to show you. He kicked me in the back with his cleats and knocked me down. I jumped up and defended myself. Then, this coach came and tried to get the phone from me, but I told him I would only give it to you and he got on top of me trying to fish it out of my pocket until Coach Sanders came and made him stop groping in my pocket."

She looked at the players and asked, "Is that accurate?" They all nodded, but the tall third baseman added that I'd gone a little "nutso" on Tyler and was sitting on him swinging away before he pulled me off and then added the part about me getting kicked in the nuts and how I went "nutso" again after that. The double reference to nuts and "nutso" evoked some snickers that Mrs. Matthews quickly silenced with her glare. I didn't snicker. I didn't find it funny.

Just then, Tyler entered with his bloodied shirt and a wad of gauze stuffed in each nostril. A metal bar with blue Styrofoam was taped over his nose to protect it. He was given a chance to give his own version and he tried to claim I took the first swing and denied kicking me. The players all stood by my version however and I displayed the cleat marks on my back.

Mrs. Matthews sighed, rubbed her temples and said, "Normally, I try to resolve these messes within the realm of the school disciplinary system. This time, there are some clear laws that have been broken and need to be redressed. First things first, however. Tyler, please contact your parents to come take you to a doctor for medical care."

"My dad is outside already," Tyler said in an odd, whistling manner since his nose was clogged up. "Can I have my phone now?"

"No." Mrs. Matthews took it from the coach. "I'll be turning this over to the police. Clearly, an assault has been made on William and this is evidence." Tyler looked sick. "Additionally, both of you are suspended for at least a week and restricted from all extracurricular activities for that time while I decide on the ultimate outcome. We have a zero tolerance policy for fighting as you both know. She held her hand up to both of our objections. I recognized the no argument look on her face, but Tyler persevered and launched into a small tirade about how unfair it was since I provoked him by stealing his phone. Mrs. Matthews listened to it for a full minute then interrupted him to announce that he was suspended from school for a week still and from extra-curricular for a month. Tyler gasped and so did the JV coach. The coach and Tyler started to argue again, but Mrs. Matthews gave them the "look" and they clamped their mouths shut. She walked Tyler out and spoke to Tyler's father, who appeared to be quite upset and very animated. The nut clearly didn't fall too far from the tree.

When Mrs. Matthews returned, her annoyance meter was a notch higher. She looked at the JV coach and said, "Your services coaching young men are officially terminated. Coach Sanders, find a suitable replacement." Then she continued addressing the rest of us ignoring the JV coach's sputtering objections, "Everyone call your parents and have them come to get you. I want to speak to them," she stated. I sent my dad a text that I needed him to come to school. I told him I needed him to talk to the Principal about a problem I had at school. He sent a text back that there was absolutely no way he could leave right then.

"Umm, Mrs. Matthews," I said cautiously. "My father's an oncologist and he is in the middle of something at the hospital that he can't leave right now. I can just walk home and he can come see you tomorrow."

"Then call your mother."

"Well, I can't. She walked out on us last week."

She looked momentarily sympathetic, but stated, "Then I will be forced to call the police and turn you over to their custody. You have potentially committed a crime by taking Tyler's phone. Plus, we still have to sort out the assault issues."

"Let me try again," I plead. I shot a desperate text off to my dad. "Please come. I need a parent or I can't go home."

It took a while for him to text back. "Can't. Sorry." I started to panic. Mrs. Matthews was clearly not bluffing. I feared I may end up in juvenile hall and I started to hyperventilate. I showed Mrs. Matthews the text and she just shrugged.

"I'm sorry," she said sincerely, "I can't let you simply leave on your own. I have to turn you over to the care of a responsible guardian. It's strict policy."

"Okay. Let me try my mother, but I doubt she will come." I sent her a text, "Mom, help! I need you to come to my school now. It's urgent. Please come, dad can't." I was a nervous wreck waiting for a reply. It seemed like an hour before my phone finally vibrated. I was so tense; I jumped when it went off. I fumbled to pull up her reply.

"Are you hurt?"

"No, I just need a parent here urgent. Please come."

"Okay. I'll be there soon." I breathed a tremendous sigh of relief.

"My mom's coming!" I announced. Mrs. Matthews smiled with relief. When Bodie's parents came, they were visibly shaken by the turn of events. I know they were worried about getting sued over it all since it happened at their ranch. I was pretty sure that was the last of the bonfires at Bodie's. I was the last to get picked up and Mrs. Matthews and an assistant principal waited for my mom to show up. I was starting to get nervous. We all sat in Mrs. Matthews' office so she could get some work done while we waited.

I sent a text to William, "Hey bud, how u doing? School go ok for u today?"

"Yes. Most magnificent. Thank you." I was pretty sure that he hadn't seen the pictures since he replied that way and I was relieved. I hoped it could stay like that.

Mrs. Matthews looked up from her work and said, "Kyle, I know you did what you did with the best intentions. It was noble of you to try and protect your friend. Your approach was poor, but I do not question your motives, only your methods."

"Yes ma'am. I realize I let my impulsiveness mess things up again. I need to work on that."

"It is a strong man who acknowledges his weaknesses." She went back to her work. I stared again at the clock. I was about to text my mother for the fourth time when she finally walked through the door. She was overdressed and was acting very strange, almost egotistical.

"Hello sweetie," she said to me through her artificial smile. "I'm so glad you're not injured." Then turning to Mrs. Matthews, she said, "What exactly seems to be the problem?" I was invited to leave the office and they spoke behind closed doors for a time.

"C'mon sweetie let's go now," my mother said smiling artificially at me as she emerged from the office. The faked concern she exhibited for me was overwhelmingly nauseating. When we were in her car, her demeanor changed immediately. "What is wrong with you? I can't believe how humiliating it is for me to have to come here and spare you from being arrested. What exactly is your father doing? I am very concerned about you. We have been much too lenient. You need some discipline in your life."

"Mom, I can explain. I was tryin ..."

"I'm sure you can," she snapped, cutting me off like usual. "You always have an explanation, don't you? You always have a reason why it's not your fault. If you weren't involved in that brutal sport, you wouldn't be so aggressive and delinquent. I just don't know what's happened to my sweet, adorable, innocent little boy. I don't think your father is a good influence on you. And to think this is all over you befriending that little, gay miscreant, William. I tell you, he is trouble. He's the product of white trash and you should stay away from him, do you hear?"

"Dad's great and so is William. You have no right to judge either of them! Dad just has to work late sometimes. Don't start in about Dad, and I mean it. You could never measure up to the parent he is, nor could you be as caring and charitable as William really is."

"Well maybe I should just take you back then and let them call the police. Your wonderfulfather or your charitablefriend can then bail you out of jail tomorrow!"

"Look, I don't want to seem ungrateful or anything ..."

"Well then don't say whatever it is. If you can't say anything nice, then say nothing at all."

"Yeah, I know how the nursery rhyme, or whatever that is, goes. But it's just like Dad has been there for me since you took off. Speaking of that, why the hell did you ..."

"Oh no, mister. You are not twisting this into being about me. This is about you. I'll not hear another word from you about me."

My god, I was fuming. She frustrates the crap out of me. She never lets me finish a sentence. We pulled into the driveway and she hit the button for the garage door. She followed me in. "Look, there's no need for you to come in. I'll be fine now until Dad comes home, okay? Thank you for rescuing me."

"No. It's not okay. I want to see what's going on here. She made her way through the house scoffing at the shape of things. I couldn't help but think what she would have thought before we took a whole day cleaning it up, especially being in the nude when we did it. She took pictures of the moldy stuff in the fridge before she threw it out. I couldn't believe we actually forgot to clean out the fridge when Dad and I did our house cleaning. She did the dishes and made me clean my room to her satisfaction before announcing that I was simply not being given adequate supervision and I needed more discipline.

"Okay, mom, I got it. I need more discipline and wrestling is an aggressive sport and I need better friends. You've said it at least twenty times. I appreciate that you saved me today and I promise it won't happen again. Can you leave now so I can catch up on my homework that I missed yesterday?"

"Why did you miss homework?"

"I didn't go to school yesterday. Dad let me stay home because ..." I had to pause to gain my composure. "Because Sam died."

"Sam who?"

"Sam! My dog I've had forever. That Sam!"

"Oh for heaven's sake. You didn't attend school because a dog died? That's nonsense. I tell you, you need some discipline in your life."

"Wow, can you really be that cold? I can't even understand you, even a little bit. Where did you come from? Another planet?"

"You will not speak to me in that tone. I will not have it!"

William's words rung in my head. "Honor thy Father and thy Mother."

"You're right. I shouldn't talk to you like that. I'm sorry. Thank you for saving me. Can I do my homework now, please?"

"Of course." She put on her fake mommy smile and said, "Goodbye sweetie, I'm glad you weren't hurt."

I watched in absolute and utter amazement as she walked down my hall and onto the stairs. When she was out of sight, I made a grotesque face, stuck my tongue out and waggled my head back and forth in defiant frustration. I raised my right hand in a one-finger salute just as she popped her head back into the hallway. Brilliantly, in an instantaneous maneuver, I shoved my finger up my nose, acting like I was digging for gold. "Are you hungry? Should I fix you some dinner?"

"No thanks. I can't eat, I'm a little over my weight class." Then in a moment of disgustingly undeniable mother abuse, I extracted the finger from my nose and slipped it into my mouth. "Mmm, salty," I said. She wrinkled her brow, involuntarily gagged and snapped her head back into the stairwell without speaking. I pulled my finger out and clasped my hand over my mouth to stifle the laughter. Mission accomplished.

Before starting my homework, I read through my children's book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I was really beginning to identify with poor Alexander.

I heard a strange noise downstairs and I went to investigate. I found the source of it when I walked in to find my mother lying on her bedroom floor and a chair turned over near her. "Are you okay?" I asked.

"Oh yes, certainly. I just fell while reaching for something in the closet. I'm fine."

"Can I help you get whatever it is?"

She declined my offer much too quickly and sharply. It raised my suspicions about what she was after. I helped her to her feet and she replaced the chair. "I'll be going now sweetie. Bye-bye."

"Bye," I muttered as she exited into the garage.

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