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Emo Boi Finds Love

Chapter Twenty Seven

by Terrance MacDonald

Abby ended up ordering them each another glass of wine as their plates from dinner were being collected. Tyler wasn't so sure he should have another, but the lady insisted. Not wanting to be rude, Tyler reluctantly accepted. The flight attendant looked at him a bit disapprovingly, knowing that he was young, but deferred to the elderly woman sitting next to him and brought the additional glass of wine. He decided to nurse the drink. He didn't want to be drunk the first time he and Thomas were going to meet each other. Abby on the other hand was taking rather large sips from her glass.

Tyler asked her to tell him more about her family. She obliged. Abby told Tyler that Mitchell, her son, seemed to take after his father. He too had been fairly intolerant of anyone he considered different than himself. His bigotry however had been directed more along racial divisions. The way he lived his life, by the way Abby described it had taught their son a lot about hate and prejudice - that it was something to be embraced rather than reviled.

It was Tyler's impression from the way Abby told the story that her life with her husband had not been a particularly happy one. With all the hate and bigotry that her husband and son seemed to have had in them, he couldn't imagine how it could have been otherwise. Tyler gave her hand a gentle squeeze as a reassuring gesture. Abby gave him a smile in return. She picked up her wine with the other and drained the glass.

The flight attendant came through the cabin a few moments later. Abby asked for a double Glenlivet. Tyler frowned. He had only known the lady next to him for a very short time, but she was putting away a lot of alcohol and Tyler was becoming concerned for her. Before she was half finished with the scotch her words were even beginning to slur a bit.

Then she rang for the flight attendant, and simply raising the glass indicated that she cared to have more. Tyler frowned.

"Abby, this may not be my place to ask," he began. "But isn't that quite a lot to drink?"

When Chris ran into the locker room he found Tyler sitting on the bench facing his locker. He was resting his face in his hands, and he seemed to be crying. Tyler's back was to him, and apparently he didn't hear Chris approaching.

Tyler was startled when Chris, standing directly behind him, put a hand on his shoulder and spoke. "Tyler, are you alright?"

Tyler jerked when Chris touched and spoke to him. He tried to brush Chris' hand from his shoulder, but Chris wasn't having it. His grip on Tyler's shoulder only tightened when Tyler had tried to knock his hand away. "Tyler, what happened? Why did they do that to you?"

Tyler hadn't expected anyone to follow him into the locker room - unless maybe it was one of the coaches coming in to berate him, and probably give him more detention for running out of the class. Chris was the last one Tyler expected, particularly after what Tyler perceived as betrayal during the choosing of teams at the beginning of the class. But now, when Chris had followed him into the locker room, and found him crying, Tyler was all the more embarrassed.

"Just stay away from me," Tyler sobbed, again trying unsuccessfully to shake away from the grip Chris had on his shoulder.

He didn't really mean it. He wanted someone to give him some comfort, and he knew somewhere in the back of his mind that this was what Chris was trying to do. But at the same time, he didn't want Chris to see him crying. He hadn't wanted Chris to see him being the victim of the school bullies either, but that was completely out of his control. Now it seemed that his crying was out of his control too. Try as he might, Tyler was unable to stop his sobs.

Tyler had hoped that he would be able to make a favorable impression on Chris, at least something that would allow them to become friends. Andy had told him that Chris was straight, so a sexual relationship was obviously out of the question, but Tyler still wanted something - any connection with Chris. Tyler felt that was totally out of the question now though. Why would this boy who seemed simply to exude self-confidence want to have anything to do with him now?

"Just leave me alone," Tyler sniffled. "You don't want to be seen with me anyway."

Chris finally removed his hand from Tyler's shoulder. Tyler thought Chris was going to do as he had asked and go away, but Chris stepped over the bench and sat next to him. He sat close and put an arm around Tyler's shoulders. "Tyler, I want to help. Just tell me what's wrong, why were they picking on you? And then... " Chris let that last question trail off. He wasn't as sure now as when he started how to phrase it.

Tyler turned to look at Chris. Their eyes met as Tyler sniffed back one last sob and wiped the tears from his face. "You're gonna get labeled as a fag if you hang out with me," Tyler stated flatly. "That's why they were messing with me. I'm gay and they know it. They'll think you are too."

Chris smiled. "They won't think anything. You're pretty good friends with Andy Miller. Nobody thinks he's gay because of it."

Tyler shot a glance at the arm Chris had around his shoulders. "They would if they walked in right now. No one ever walked into an empty locker room and caught Andy with his arm around me."

Chris smiled at him. "You might have a point." Then Chris tightened his grip on Tyler for a moment, hugging him and patted his cheek. As Chris broke the embrace and stood to move toward his locker he looked back to Tyler and smiled again. "The bell should being ringing any second now; we might as well get an early start changing. That'll give us plenty of time to get to detention."

Tyler wiped his eyes with the heel of his hand, and made a brave attempt at returning the smile. He'd told Chris the most closely guarded secret a kid could have, and Chris hadn't reacted at all. It didn't seem to bother him the slightest bit. Tyler's smile grew as he spun the combination to open his locker. A moment later the end of class bell rang and the locker room began filling with students.

Tyler was still smiling as he changed back into his regular school clothes. He'd just finished pulling up his trousers and was about to pull his undershirt over his head when he was suddenly pushed forward. Tyler's arms were caught up in the sleeves of his undershirt, so he was powerless to keep his face from connecting with the cold steel of the locker frame. His nose took the brunt of the impact. He was stunned from the blow and took a moment to recover. He felt something warm and wet on his lip. On instinct he raised the white undershirt to his face. When he pulled it away and looked down at it, there was large red stain. There were also drops of blood on the floor below.

He turned to face his attacker, and when he did he was shoved backwards into the lockers. Ian Phillips stood in front of him. "What's the matter fairy?" he sneered. "Can't handle a simple game of volleyball so you run away crying?"

"Leave me alone!" Tyler shouted back at him. "It wasn't my fault!"

"It was volleyball, not catch, pansy!" Ian retorted as he put his left hand out to Tyler's shoulder and drew back his fist.

Tyler tried to steel himself for the blow he knew was coming. Then suddenly Ian was gone. Tyler looked around, confused. He saw Ian a few feet away on the concrete floor. Chris was on his knees above him, his fist poised above Ian's face, ready to strike.

Tyler didn't think violence was the right way to handle things. That would be sinking to the same level as the scum he rightly thought Ian was. He was about to yell at Chris to stop, when Coach Alexander appeared. He grabbed Chris by the shirt collar and pulled him up.

Ian struggled to his feet once Chris was off him. "He attacked me for no reason, Coach!"

Chris was struggling to get back at Ian, but the 6'-4", 270 pound coach had a firm grip on his collar.

"It wasn't Chris' fault coach," Tyler spoke up. "He was just keeping Phillips from hitting me again."

"Phillips? Is that true?" the coach asked, taking note of Tyler's bloody nose.

"No! Ask anyone, I didn't do anything to the little fag!"

"Then explain the bloody nose, Ian! And don't call him a fag!" Chris countered.

"I can't help it if the little homo is clumsy and fell into the lockers," Ian protested.

Chris struggled again to get out of the coach's grasp and get to Ian. "I told you to quit calling him names!"

"Why, is he your boyfriend?" Ian taunted.

Coach Alexander stopped the exchange. "Phillips, get to the bench, now. I'll join you in a few minutes."

"But Coach, school's over. That was the last bell," Ian argued.

"I didn't think I phrased that as a question," Coach Alexander responded. "Now get your skinny little butt to the bench."

"But I haven't even changed yet... " Ian started.

"NOW!" the coach bellowed.

Ian sulked, but did as he was told and stalked off toward the principal's office, muttering under his breath. "Goddamn faggots are gonna burn for this... Before they burn in Hell... " Had anyone been able to hear what he was saying, they might have mistaken it for an idle threat - unless they were well acquainted with him. Ian believed in action more than threats, as anyone who knew him well was quite aware. It was for this reason that St Ignatius was the third school Ian had attended in as many years.

Fifteen minutes later Chris and Tyler were sitting next to each other in the cafeteria as Mr. Biggs checked off the roll for detention. When he finished he noticed there was one student present whose name he had not called - Tyler. "Young gentleman, would you please explain to me who you are and why you are in my detention hall if you aren't on my roster?"

"Tyler Johnston, sir. Coach Al just gave me detention for being late to class at the beginning of sixth period."

"I should have had that information already. You aren't trying to crash our little party are you?" the large, dark black man asked, chuckling.

"No sir," Tyler answered. "There was just some, uh, just a little trouble at the end of class, so he might have been, um, detained for a few minutes."

"Well young Mr. Johnston, I shall record your attendance with us this afternoon, and if you were not intended to join our little party, I shall invite you to join us again."

Tyler leaned over to Chris and whispered, "He's got a strange sense of humor."

"Mr. Johnston, you aren't yet a regular denizen of my little afternoon party, so you aren't familiar with the way things are done here. That being the case I shall excuse your ignorance just this once. You may study, you may work on your homework, you may sit quietly and be bored, but you certainly may not converse with your fellow inhabitants."

Tyler glanced over at Chris, who rolled his eyes and shrugged. He opened his notebook and quickly scribbled a note: 'Don't worry, you'll get used to it.'

Tyler gave Chris a quick grin before reaching over and adding below Chris' note: 'I don't plan on spending that much time here.' He punctuated his comment with a smiley face.

Chris looked back to Tyler and smiled.

As they left detention, which Mr. Biggs had mercifully ended fifteen minutes early that day, Tyler moaned. "I have no idea how I'm going to get home now that I missed the bus. It'll probably take me an hour to walk from here."

"Why don't I give you a ride then?" Chris asked. "My car's down in the parking lot."

"You have a car?" Tyler asked, surprised. He didn't expect another sixteen year old to have his own car. It certainly wasn't the norm in his neighborhood.

"Yeah, it isn't much, but it gets me from point 'A' to point 'B'," Chris responded.

"Are you sure it won't be too much trouble?" Tyler asked.

"It's no problem, and I have plenty of time. I got almost all my homework done in detention," Chris told him.

"That would be great!" Tyler said excitedly. Aside from not having to walk all the way home, he would get to spend more time with Chris.

There were only a few cars left in the student parking area as Tyler accompanied Chris down the hill in front of the school that led to the lot where students were allowed to park their cars. When they reached the lowest level of the tiered parking area, Chris walked toward a small sports car. It was an older model MG-B convertible, but it seemed to be in pristine condition. Tyler noticed the vanity license plates as they approached the little, dark blue car which was backed into a parking space. The tag on the front bumper read 'C A R'.

"Odd license plate," Tyler commented as Chris unlocked the passenger door to let him in. "You think people can't tell this is a car?"

"What?" Chris looked confused for a moment before he realized what Tyler meant. "Oh, that... I think my father thought that would be funny. It's actually just my initials."

"Your initials are C A R?" Tyler asked.

Chris unlocked the passenger door, opened it for Tyler and gave an exaggerated bow. "Christian Ambrose Reynolds at your service, sir," he stated as he waved Tyler into the passenger seat of the little car. Tyler took a seat in the car and Chris closed the door, then walked around to the driver's door, unlocked it and got inside.

'That was weird,' Tyler thought. 'He was acting almost like we were on a date.'

Chris started the engine and eased out of the parking space. He stopped at the school's exit and looked over at Tyler. When Chris didn't proceed any further, Tyler looked over at him.

"Well?" Chris asked.

"Well what?" Tyler responded.

"What direction do we go? I don't know where you live yet, remember?" Chris pointed out.

"Oh, sorry. Hang a left," Tyler told him.

Chris turned into the street and wound through the gears as they drove up the hill away from the school.

Ian Phillips watched from upper level in front of the school as Tyler and Christian left the school. "Little fucking fairies," he muttered under his breath. He'd always thought of Chris Reynolds as a fag, but now it seemed he was being proven right.

Ian was waiting for his father to arrive to pick him up. He was being given a week of suspension because of the fight in the locker room. His father was going to have to speak with the principal before they left, and this wouldn't be good for him. He placed the blame for his suspension not on himself, but on Tyler and Chris. He reaffirmed his vow to himself that they would burn.

He knew he would have to do a little research, but as little as Ian knew about computers, he did know that Google would lead him to the information he needed.

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