I Think I’ve Flipped Chapter 5

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Disclaimer: First of all, I was above the age of 18 when I wrote this story and I own all rights to this. Any resemblance to actual living persons and places within this story is purely coincidental. If you are underage or it is illegal to view this story in your area, please hit the back button now. This story includes scenes of male teenagers engaged in male/male sex when permitted in the narrative. If you are uncomfortable with this, kindly exit now as well. Anyway, here goes:

 

 

I Think I’ve Flipped. Chapter 5.

 

 

(Will’s POV)

 

Here I am sitting in my history class barely paying attention for two reasons. First, I hate History and find it boring as hell.  What is in the past should stay in the past. We should be concentrating on the here and now and what is yet to come. Secondly, the air conditioned in the room is broken. The classroom is engulfed with so much heat that we had to open the windows for some ventilation.

 

It didn’t make a difference when we opened them it still felt like I was sitting in a sauna.  I noticed most of the students inside the room were either sweating or wiping their sweat away. However, as much as I fanned myself, I sweated along with the rest of them.

 

Even though I was dressed casual wearing a red t-shirt, and jeans, I still managed to sweat. Fuck, I hate sweating in class. I feel like a pig in an oven. I was about to run my hand threw my damp brown mop of hair when I heard someone ask me a question.

 

“So…..what time is Tyler coming to your house tonight?”

 

I looked over my right shoulder to see Rocky leaning in towards me. He had a pissed off look on his face as the sweat was dripping down the side of his face. I could see why he was sweating so much with the hoodie he was wearing.

 

I leaned into him and answered, “They are coming over for dinner … So it should be around 7 p.m.”

 

Rocky scowled, “I still don’t like this whole idea….not one bit.”

 

I mentioned to my friends about having dinner with the Beaumonts.  Rocky was the only one who seemed to be so vocally opposed to it.

 

“Look…. I told you I have no say in this. My mom dropped this dinner thing on me. I couldn’t argue with her about it,” I said as I momentarily glanced up front trying my best not to shout. The last thing I needed today was to have the teacher send me to detention.

 

“I’m sure there’s a part of you that is happy he’s going to your house tonight…” Rocky replied as he rolled his eyes.

 

I glared at him. And wondered what was up with him. Do I still have feelings for Tyler Beaumont? To be honest, I thought I didn’t anymore, but seeing him again after four years, I can’t be positive that I still don’t hold something inside for him. I told Claire I still like him, but in reality I was afraid. I was always afraid of how I felt when I am around him. I tried blocking these feelings out, but I just can’t help it.

 

I was about to snap back at Rocky when the teacher dismissed us for lunch. Rocky and I grabbed our books as we disappeared into the hallway together towards our lockers.  Rocky’s locker was in the opposite direction near the history classroom, so I told him I would find him in the cafeteria.

 

Once reaching my locker, I opened the lock quickly and began to throw my books inside. This is when I noticed a piece of paper folded in half lying on top of my English book.  I picked it up and opened it to find a short message.

 

It read in all caps, “STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM TYLER BEAUMONT.”

 

I glanced around the hall trying to see if the person who slipped it into my locker was still around. I suddenly began to feel paranoid as I wondered if the person was somewhere around watching me. I didn’t find anyone who might have left it.

 

All I noticed were students hurrying to get to the cafeteria. I did see Sterling coming towards me. I slipped the note inside one of my books and quickly closed my locker. Sterling walked up to me as soon as I turned around from my locker. No sooner had I done that,

 

“Hey Will, ready for lunch?” he asked with that sexy smile of his.

 

“Oh yeah, I’m ready. I could eat a horse, let’s go!” I said a bit too anxious. Sterling must have picked that up, because he raised his eyebrows in response.

 

“Okay…okay,” he said as he slung his arm over my shoulders and dragged me to the cafeteria.

 

I think the newness of me to school had dwindled down to nothing. When I entered the cafeteria, there weren’t as many people staring at me. Even though there were a few weird instances when Richard Jones, the super creepy guy who runs the school gossip blog, approached me a number of times to do an interview with him. He hasn’t asked me today. It may have been due to Rocky punching him in the face yesterday after he bugged me for the 13th time for an interview.

 

“So…Will I was wondering… if you have any plans for tomorrow?” Sterling asked me as we stood in line to grab our food.

 

“Tomorrow? Hmm… Nothing really. Oh wait! I have a shopping date with the girls, remember?” I told him.

 

“Oh yeah,… how could I forget?” Sterling replied disappointed.

 

“Why?” I asked.

 

“Never mind…. It’s alright…. Forget I mentioned it,” He replied hastily as he grabbed his soda and headed to our table.

 

Way to go Will. You seemed to have made Sterling uncomfortable. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going when I bumped into someone spilling the contents of my tray.

 

“Oh shit! I’m so sorry!” I announced as I noticed the huge stain appearing on the guy’s jacket.

 

“It’s okay Will. No harm done.”

 

I glanced up and looked at the person I accidentally spilled my food on. I saw a head full of golden blonde hair and an apologetic look on his handsome face. I was wondering if my day could get any worse. Oh this is just great, of all the people for me to spill my food on.

 

“I’m sorry Tyler,” I said as I gave him a couple of tissues from my tray, “It was my fault really. I wasn’t paying attention.”

 

Tyler took the tissues from me as he desperately tried to wipe away the stains from his varsity jacket. When I saw that he couldn’t get it off, I looked down in embarrassment and shame.

 

“Will, look at me,” He replied as he was smiling at me.

 

“It’s fine. Don’t worry about it, okay? Wow! Your tray looks like it has seen better days. Let me buy you another,” Tyler asked as he was reaching for his wallet.

 

“No no! It’s fine. I really wasn’t that hungry anyway,” I said a bit too hastily as he shrugged his shoulders in response.

 

“Let me pay to have your jacket cleaned?” I asked trying my best to offer a solution to this problem and shift the attention away from me.

 

“What? Don’t be ridiculous. My mom would be able to take this out in no time at all. Don’t worry about it!” Tyler said.

 

“If you say so…”

 

“Well okay. I gotta go and change. I guess… uhmmm.. I’ll see you tonight for dinner at your house?” Tyler asked.

 

“Uh huh… Yeah,” I answered back.

 

“Okay… Well…. I’ll see you later then,” Tyler said as he began to walk away from me.

 

As soon as he disappeared into the hall, I noticed a few people from the lunch line gawking at me.

 

“Why don’t you all take a picture… It will last longer” I snapped at them. I swear Rocky and Claire are beginning to rub off on me.

 

I started to walk toward our table when I caught Sterling staring at me. When he saw me looking at him, he glanced down at his food and began eating. What is going on with him today?

 

When I reached the table, I found all of them almost done with their food except for Sterling since he and I were a bit late to lunch.

 

“Hey guys, what’s up?” I asked.

 

“Nothing much,” Claire answered as she went back to talking with Taylor.

 

I am thankful to the heavens above that none of them saw what had happened with Tyler a few minutes before. I can’t afford to have another stern lecture from my friends.

 

“I’m afraid this seat is taken,” Sterling replied as he blocked the seat next to him with his foot.

 

“Sterling!” Claire screamed as she was shocked at Sterling’s sudden rude behavior.

 

“Chill out Claire…I was just joking,” Sterling replied as he looked down to his tray.

 

Sterling is upset at me for some reason and I don’t know what I may have done or said to him. To be honest, I had a feeling it wasn’t a joke.

 

“It’s fine… Claire. Sterling likes playing these practical jokes on me lately, “I announced trying to ease the tension among us with some humor.

 

“Yeah, It’s not as if Sterling has the hots for Will,” Taylor replied as she sent him one of her bitchy stares. Sterling fought back and sent her a glare of his own.

 

I must be totally out of the loop. I could sense some thing was going on between the two of them and I wasn’t included for some reason.  Sterling placed his feet back down on the ground and resumed eating.

 

I sat down beside him and muttered, “Thanks…” to which I received no response. I swear I can’t figure him out. What in the hell is his problem?

 

“Will, what happened to your food?” Rocky asked as he pointed at my messy tray. By this time, all of them were staring at the tray in front of me. The daily lunch surprise was all over the tray, leaving me with just a couple of bites to go along with the rice which didn’t manage to spill.

 

“It looks like it met a tornado on the way here,” Claire said, as she looked at me for an explanation. Actually, all of them were. Four pairs of eyes stared at me each with different expressions.

 

“Did any of the football players rough you up?” Rocky asked as his eyes quickly darted towards the football table down the room.

 

“Look, it’s nothing! I just bumped into someone in the lunch line. Why do you guys have to make a big deal out of everything?” I replied in anger.

 

I am annoyed at how overprotective they are of me. I mean it’s nice to know you’ve got friends who’d stick up for you no matter what, but there has to be some point where you have to draw the line.

 

Claire and Rocky looked a bit stunned and hurt not only by what I said nut also by the harsh tone I used

 

“Guys, I’m sorry. It’s just… I’m kinda on the edge here. All I could think about is this dinner thing with Tyler and his family. I’m sorry I snapped at you,” I said as I covered my face with my hands. The pressure of pretending everything’s fine between the both of us is beginning to take its toll on me.

 

“Aww …Will, its fine. Don’t worry. Just hit any of us up and we’ll rescue you,” Claire replied as she grabbed my hand and patted it.

 

“May I ask just how do you plan on rescuing me?” I chuckled.

 

“Well we’ll have Rocky drop by and kick Tyler’s ass again,” Claire announced with a mischievous grin.

 

“What the fuck? Why is it always me?” Rocky said in disbelief causing everyone at the table to laugh.

 

The next few minutes were spent on me eating as most of them were already done.

 

“Are you still hungry? Surely the leftovers of your spilled lunch weren’t able to satisfy your appetite?” Taylor asked me.

 

“Yeah, I’m still kinda of hungry, but lunch time is almost over so I don’t have enough time to fall in line again,” I frowned as I stared what was left of my food.

 

From the corner of my eye, I saw Sterling push my tray away and offer me his. I noticed that he barely touched his food.

 

“You can have mine,” Sterling announced as he seemed to be looking someplace else.

 

“Are you sure it’s okay?” I asked him. I stared at him prompting him to look back at me.

 

He stared back at me and for a moment, I saw a brief smile when he responded, “Yeah…  Anyway I’m not that hungry.” He replied as he once again looked away.

 

“Thanks,” I said as a smile crept onto my face.

 

I noticed the other three grinning at us like a couple of mad hyenas.

 

“What?” I asked.

 

“Nothing,” Claire said, still grinning like a madman. I just rolled my eyes in response. Honestly?… Really?… Nothing’s happening between Sterling and I okay?

 

The rest of the day went pretty much uneventful. I haven’t seen Scott lately, which was a good thing. The less he is in my life, the better. I didn’t see Tyler for the rest of the day either. I heard he had football practice until early evening, so I guess I won’t be seeing him until dinner.

 

When I got home, I found my mother and Marco cooking inside the kitchen. You wouldn’t know it from his looks and quite abrasive personality, but Marco is an amazing cook. He likes to download all these weird recipes from the internet and modifies it according to the available ingredients in our kitchen.

 

He uses Blake and I as guinea pigs for all of his taste testing. We have yet to get sick from his experiments, so that’s a good thing. Sometimes I think he’s a better cook than mom. The guy or girl that wins Marco’s heart will be a happy camper that’s for sure.

 

Oh! Did I forget to mention? Marco’s bisexual. He doesn’t use the term though as he thoroughly hates labels and stereotypes. He just calls himself an ‘open-minded person’. Blake and I would always snicker at that term. His twin, Blake, on the other hand is straight as a ruler. Yeah, twins could be very alike and be very different at the same time.

 

“What are you guys cooking?” I asked as I stepped inside the kitchen. The aroma floating around the room was making my mouth water.

 

“Marco is cooking baked lasagna with herb-roasted kitchen as well as preparing a batch of his delicious brownies. I, on the other hand, am just an underling tasked to relay him the ingredients,” my mother said sitting down on one of the nearby stools. I glanced from her point of view and found Marco preparing the chicken on the counter by himself.

 

“Mom! I need pepper!” Marco ordered as he stretched out his palm.

 

“See? I told you!” my mother exclaimed as she handed the pepper to Marco and sat down once again. I just laughed at the scene.

 

“Now honey,” she said, turning towards me, “why don’t you go upstairs take a nap so you will be rested for tonight?”

 

“Uhh… Okay.”

 

“And Will… Please do whatever it takes to tame that unruly brown hair on your head,” my mom said as she brushed her hand through my hair.

 

“I’ll do my best.” I replied as I walked out of the room. It is going to take a whole lot of gel to tame this beast. I’m gonna need a whole lot of gel to tame this beast.

 

I made my way towards my room up on the second floor. As soon as I entered inside, I made my way to my closet to pick out the clothes I was going to wear for tonight’s meal.

 

I chose a black collared shirt and some well-fitting slacks to wear. The next priority was what shoes to wear. I opened my shoe cabinet and settled on a nice looking black, suede shoes.

 

I glanced at the clock on top of my door and found out that I have around an hour and a half to kill before 7pm. Well, might as well get some shut-eye before they come over.

 

 

“Will! Your collar’s a little crooked. Let me fix it,” my mother asked as she began fumbling with the collar of my shirt, “and stop fidgeting. This is just dinner. No need to get so nervous!”

 

Here we are at the moment I’ve been dreading. My entire family was huddled around the front door waiting for the Beaumonts to arrive .Jesus, I can’t help it if I feel nervous okay? He’s coming over! Tyler is coming over! Oh god.

 

I felt a pair of hands clasp my shoulders and I looked at my sides to see both Blake and Marco standing beside me. Blake and Marco were wearing the same style of collared shirt but in different colors. Blake was wearing blue, while Marco was wearing red. You’d think they’d outgrow this whole twin synchrony thing.

 

“If Tyler does or says anything nasty to you-” Blake started.

 

“Come running to us and we’ll take care of it,” Marco finished.

 

I smiled at both of them, shook my head and said, “It’s okay. I can handle myself.  I can handle myself. I can handle myself…”

 

“You’re not Thomas the Train, you know. Saying things over and over again ain’t gonna help,” Marco announced laughing at me as Blake slapped the back of his head.

 

“Owww!!!” Marco said as he glared at his twin. I just laughed at their exchange. At least I could count on my brothers to give me a laugh throughout the night. My laughter didn’t last long as our doorbell suddenly rang. It’s time, I said to myself.

 

“Okay guys, our guests are here! Let’s make sure we all make them feel welcome and at home, okay?” my dad asked us as he gripped the doorknob. He was wearing a buttoned up shirt and some black slacks, his brown hair neatly combed and such.

 

My mom was dressed in a pretty, floral, pink dress. Her short brown hair was carefully swept to one side. I guess my family went out of their way to look well groomed and dressed. Even I, and my now overly gelled up hair, was no exception.

 

After we all agreed, my dad finally opened the door and shouted, “Beaumonts! Welcome to the Lakewood household! Come in! Come in!”

 

“Sean, it’s nice to see you…. and Cecilia, it has been way too long. You’re still looking beautiful these days,” Mr. Beaumont said as he stepped inside as he shook my dad’s hand and gave my mom a quick kiss on her hand. He was wearing a white long-sleeved shirt and a tie with some black slacks. I couldn’t help but notice what he was wearing. I’m gay after all.

 

Mrs. Beaumont stepped inside wearing a white tube dress and some really high heels. “Sean, Cecilia, it’s good to see you again!” she said as she gave both of my parents a quick kiss on the cheeks.

 

“It’s nice to see you both again as well!” my dad bellowed, “well, don’t just stand there, come inside! Let your kids come in as well!

 

Once Mr. and Mrs. Beaumont stepped inside to the foyer, Tyler and his sister stepped inside. His sister Emily greeted my mom and dad with a kiss on the cheek as well. She was gorgeous, no doubt about it. Her blonde hair was perfectly curled and she was wearing this absolutely breathtaking navy blue dress that looked really, really expensive.

 

Tyler was decked up in a button up shirt, a black blazer, and some khaki slacks as he stepped inside. Fuck. Was he hot! His blonde hair was neatly combed in place, not one piece of hair sticking out. I couldn’t help but stare at him.

 

“Good evening Mr. and Mrs. Beaumont,” he said with a smile, before turning his direction at me and awkwardly said, “Hi Will.”

 

“Well now that everyone’s here, let’s head to the dining room, shall we?” my dad said as he accompanied Mr. Beaumont to the dining room.

 

My mother and Mrs. Beaumont followed suit, lamenting how awesome my mom managed to decorate the house in such a short time. Blake immediately jumped the gun in escorting Emily to the dining room leaving just me, Marco, and Tyler at the front door.

 

I gave Tyler an awkward smile at the whole situation. He shyly smiled back. The both of us are uncomfortable with the situation.

 

“You look really good Tyler. I like your blazer,” I said trying to make some small talk.

 

“Really?….. Thanks? It’s nothing special really,” he said as he looked down at his blazer, “You look nice too Will.”

 

“Really now?” I heard Marco suddenly say. I stomped on his foot to shut him up. The last thing I need right now is to have Marco start a fight now. Given his temper, I think need to rein him in a bit.

 

“Okay, let’s go to the dining room. Follow me,” I told Tyler. As I made our way to the food, I glanced back to see Tyler behind me looking around, with Marco taking up the rear.

 

As soon as we made our way to the dining room, I could see all of them were seated already. My dad was at the end, with Mr. Beaumont to his right and my mom at his left. Mrs. Beaumont and Emily were beside Mr. Beaumont. Blake was already sitting beside my mother. There were only three chairs remaining.  The first one was at Emily’s right and the other two beside Blake.

 

“What took you guys so long?” my dad laughed as he beckoned us to sit down.

 

The three of us didn’t need to be told twice. Marco sat beside Blake as Tyler sat beside his sister. I sat my ass down at the only vacant chair on the table, beside Marco’s and across Tyler’s. Shit! Now every time I look up, I’m going to have to see Tyler’s face. Great! Just fucking great.

 

“Okay everyone, time to dig in!” my mother announced as she placed a serving spoon in the lasagna.

 

I watched the Beaumonts grab a hefty serving of each, before my mother allowed our family to get food. Guests first, she always says.

 

“Mmm… Cecilia, this lasagna is delicious!” Mrs. Beaumont said after taking a bite of it.

 

“Well I’m glad you like it Angie, but my boy Marco made that along with the herb-roasted chicken,” my mom said as she glanced down the table at Marco, who was blushing.

 

“And a great chicken it is!” Mr. Beaumont said as he raised his wine glass towards Marco in appreciation.

 

“It is. It’s really good,” Tyler’s sister, Emily said to Marco. I swear he blushed a little bit. I also noticed Blake glaring at his twin. I rolled my eyes. Ugh. Boys…

 

“So Sean, where are you working now?” Mr. Beaumont asked my dad.

 

My dad glanced at my mom before he laughed, “Well actually, I’m back at my old job here. The folks over at the office were kind enough to let me come back.”

 

“Oh so you’re back being stuck as a clerk in your office?” Mr. Beaumont rudely asked my dad.

 

I looked at Marco and Blake and noticed they also picked up on that as well. They eyed each other. Growing up with them, I noticed a few of their quirks as twins.

 

“Yep, I’m just thankful my boss let me have my job back!” my dad said before bursting into laughter. I let out a sigh of relief. It’s a good thing my dad never takes things too personally.

 

I was about to take a bite of lasagna when I noticed Tyler wasn’t eating. He was just sitting there, his head bowed down staring at his plate. I also saw the fork in his right hand trembling slightly. When he caught me staring at him, he quickly resumed eating.

 

I wonder what is going on with him. I know something is wrong and not quite right.

 

“So where are you boys studying? I know Will’s attending Ridgemont with Tyler. What colleges do you attend?” Mrs. Beaumont asked the twins.

 

“Oh well…we’re actually taking a leave from college for a semester,” Blake said looking at my parents.

 

“Yeah. We’re planning to apply for some jobs so we could afford the tuition for the college we’re planning to attend. Their music curriculum isn’t the cheapest,” Marco added with a smile.

 

My mom and dad just beamed at them. It takes a lot of courage and patience to pay for your tuition in college. Marco and Blake told my parents that they should concentrate saving money for my college tuition instead of theirs.

 

I never really understood why they did that. I asked them about it once, but they just looked at each other and smiled. That was one of their twin quirks I have never really comprehended.

 

“Working for you own college tuition? That’s a very noble and courageous thing to do,” Mrs. Beaumont noted as she smiled at the twins.

 

“You should’ve gotten a scholarship like Tyler did!” Mr. Beaumont interjected.

 

“Dad…” Tyler began looking completely uncomfortable and embarrassed.

 

“Why he’s receiving a number of scholarships from different universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford!” Mr. Beaumont continued.

 

“Well, he just applied actually. We haven’t gotten any word yet,” Mrs. Beaumont replied looking at her husband.

 

“But they will come Angie. It will come! Why Emily here already received one from Columbia!” Tyler’s dad added which Emily just blushed.

 

My mom and dad glanced at each other. I’m sure they’re at a loss at how to respond to this. I looked at Tyler and he just stared down at his plate. I have a feeling his dad’s behavior had upset him.

 

“Congratulations on your scholarship Emily!” I chirped in suddenly. Everyone just looked at me after. Might as well continue this charade we’re riding on.

 

“And Tyler,” I said causing him to look at me, “I hope you get your scholarships.”

 

“Uhh… thanks Will,” Tyler responded with a sheepish smile.

 

“Yes! I do hope you get your scholarship Tyler! If you’re as good as you were back then, you’d have no trouble getting that scholarship!” my dad bellowed out laughing.

 

“Now Emily, what scholarship did you apply for in Colombia? Goodness, I’m very curious about this!” my mother replied as she jumped into the conversation.

 

The awkward moment now passed. Everyone around the dinner table was back to eating and talking, forgetting about Mr. Beaumont’s tirade of praises for his children.

 

Tyler mouthed a silent, “Thank you” at me for preventing things from getting out of hand.

 

I responded a silent, “You’re welcome” before both of us resumed eating and joining in the conversations.

 

 

“Marco, I must say that baked lasagna you did was absolutely spectacular! You must give me a copy of your recipe!”

 

“Oh thank you Mrs. Beaumont. I could write it down for you right now if you want?”

 

I saw Marco disappear into the next room to grab a pen and a piece of paper to write down his lasagna recipe.

 

We just finished dinner and were now currently in the living room eating Marco’s brownies. Dad, mom, Mr. and Mrs. Beaumont were huddled sitting on one side of the couch. From what I could hear, they were discussing the recent political unrest in Libya. Blake and Emily were on the other end of the couch talking to one another. If I didn’t know it, I could say that my brother Blake has a huge crush on Emily. And now, he’s putting the moves on her.

 

I made my way to the arch between the living room and the hall to find Tyler staring at the couch with a forlorn expression on his face.

 

“Not enjoying the night either huh?” I asked as I stood beside him staring into the living room as well.

 

“It’s my dad,” Tyler responded not missing a beat, “I hate it when he acts so condescending and superior over people.” He momentarily glanced at me before turning his gaze back again to his dad.

 

“It’s fine Tyler. The twins didn’t take any offense to it,” I replied.

 

“No Will. It’s not fine. I’m appalled that he had the balls to act like that in public, but in your house no less! Fuck. He’s such a jack-ass sometimes. I’m sorry for the way he acted,” Tyler replied as he looked down to me.

 

“It’s not your fault Tyler. You don’t have to apologize. Really, you can’t control you father,” I said to him trying to ease off the tension I could sense coming from Tyler.

 

Tyler snickered at my attempt at humor. This made me smile. At least I managed to lighten the mood.

 

“Tyler, not that I don’t like it, but aren’t your family a little overdressed for just a dinner party? I mean, you’re wearing a blazer after all…” I said pointing at his clothes.

 

He looked down at where I was pointing and just muttered, “My dad…” Hmm… I guess there’s something between his dad and him after all.

 

“Well… you look handsome,” I said looking away momentarily. When I looked back at him, he was grinning. I swear I think I blushed. Oh god, I hope I didn’t!

 

“Hey Will. I know I’m supposed to keep a distance for you to adjust and stuff. I’m just sorry, this kinda happened,” Tyler said as he looked at me with his deep blue eyes.

 

I smiled back until I saw my mom stand up and started to head towards our direction.

 

“I’m going to get us some lemonade. Will dear, why don’t you take Tyler up to your room and play some of those video games you have? I’m sure you two can’t be enjoying being with all us adults down here. Go on, go!” my mother said as she shooed us up towards the stairs before disappearing into the kitchen.

 

“Do you want to?” I asked Tyler.

 

“Sure, why not?” he replied with a smile.

 

“Well, uhm… okay,” I said as I made my way up the stairs.

 

I was at the top of the staircase when I noticed Tyler was still at the bottom of the talking with Marco. Alarmed at what may happen, I was about to head down the stairs, when Tyler began walking up not a scratch or bruise on me. I decided to wait for him upstairs.

 

“What did you and Marco talk about?” I asked him.

 

He just waved his hand in front of me and replied that it was nothing to worry about. I eyed him suspiciously before deciding to let it go. If Tyler doesn’t want to talk about it, then I shouldn’t force it out of him. After all, we’re still in the budding process of our friendship.

 

I guided him throughout the second floor to the last room at the end of the hallway. I felt nervous as I opened the door.

 

“Uhhh… Welcome to my room,” I said as I opened the door as wide as possible, beckoning Tyler to come in.

 

 

 

***

(Tyler’s POV)

 

“What are you going to wear tonight? … Hellooo? Tyler? You there?”

 

I snapped back to reality to see Dana, my girlfriend, waving her arms in front of me. I was standing at her locker waiting for her to go to the cafeteria for lunch. I didn’t realize that I was off in my own little world.

 

I couldn’t help it; I’ve not been myself lately.  The reason for this is because tonight is the night my family and I are heading to the Lakewoods for a dinner party. I was nervous because I’m not sure if Will is totally comfortable with me being there. I mean especially after he made it clear he needed some space after we mended our friendship.

 

I don’t know how to act at the party tonight. Should I be friendly? Or should I be distant? But if I’m too distant, would Will interpret it like I don’t want to be around him? Fuck, I’m so confused!

 

“Tyler!” Dana shouted once again, this time her hands were on her hips. Oh shit she’s clearly pissed. I know the meaning of it from past experience.

 

“Sorry. What were you saying?” I replied giving her a toothy grin as she seemed to lighten up on me.

 

“I asked you if you have anything to wear to your dinner party with Will’s family tonight.” Dana asked one last time.

 

“Errr… I don’t know really. I have no idea what to wear,” I replied.

 

I told my girlfriend and Jason about Will’s dinner party. I didn’t see anything wrong with telling them about the dinner. However, I didn’t share everything with Dana. I never said a word to her about what happened with Will four years ago. As far as she knows, it’s just a simple innocent dinner party.

 

“Well I’m sure you can find something in your closet. Do you want me to come over and help you pick an outfit?” she asked me as we both headed down towards the cafeteria.

 

“Nah… It’s fine. I’m sure I can manage… one way or another,” I replied.

 

“Okay, just don’t wear anything too sexy. Wouldn’t want Will to fall in love with you now, would we?” she asked laughing.

 

I hope she was joking because it wasn’t funny. I looked down at her and found her still giggling. Surely, it was just a joke, right? Besides, the thought of Will liking me was simply crazy.

 

As soon as we entered the cafeteria, we both fell in line to get our food. Then afterwards, we went our separate ways. Dana headed to the cheerleaders’ table while I headed down to the football table. When I arrived, I found a couple of players as well as Jason already eating.

 

“Dude, you do not want to eat the daily lunch surprise. Believe me!” Jason told me as I sat down across from him.

 

“That bad…. huh?” I asked him as I tried poking this unrecognizable blob of food dubbed as the daily lunch surprise. What the fuck is in this shit? It looks really, really nasty! I swear cafeterias and their lunch special will be the death of me.

 

“It is way past bad. Worse! Much, much worse! Logan almost threw up a couple minutes ago. He couldn’t stomach the shit!” Jason replied with a smirk.

 

“Okay, if Logan didn’t stomach it down, there’s no way in hell that I can. It’s a good thing I brought a little something from home,” I said as I pushed my tray away. I grabbed a sandwich from one of my jacket pockets. It was my mom’s chicken and tuna spread. Granted it wasn’t the most satiating, but hey it’s gotta be better than the daily lunch surprise.

 

I was about to take a bite out of my sandwich when I noticed Jason staring at me with these puppy-dog eyes. I sighed.

 

“Do you want a bite?” I asked him.

 

Jason quickly smirked, “Well don’t mind if I do!”  . He knows I can’t resist it whenever he does that.

 

I gave him my sandwich for him to take a bite.  I might as well have given him the whole damn sandwich. He took a huge fucking bite of it.

 

“Jason! What the hell? That bite was huge!” I replied with an annoyed look upon my face.

 

“Aww, love you Tyler,” he said in between munches. Then he smiled, showing off the remnants of the sandwich on his teeth.

 

I punched him on the shoulder and said, “Ew, Jason! You sick little bastard!” That prompted a laugh out of him. A few football players beside us who noticed our little exchange laughed as well.

 

“Okay, well I’m going to get a bottle of water first,” I said as I stood up and made my way to the lunch line.

 

I was almost near the serving area when I heard Jason holler, “Loser!” to no one in particular. Of course, I knew he was talking about me. I turned around and flipped him off.

 

This caused him to laugh once again. As soon as I turned around, I bumped into someone, causing their food to spill down my varsity jacket.

 

Shit!

 

“Oh shit! I’m so sorry!” the guy in front of me said. I looked down at him and noticed it was Will. Okay… It’s a good thing I’ve learned to control my temper over the past few years or else I’d be hurling Will across the room right now.

 

“It’s okay Will. No harm done,” I told him.

 

He looked up at me and I saw a hint of embarrassment in his hazel eyes. I offered a sheepish smile. I just hope this doesn’t make things awkward between us tonight at dinner. Things are already awkward as it is for crying out loud!

 

We talked a few minutes more. Will kept debating whether or not he should have it cleaned for me or not. I told him my mom would be able to clean with no trouble at all.

 

He was reluctant all the while, but in the end I managed to convince him that it wasn’t a big deal. I said goodbye to him and went to change my stained jacket in the locker room. Guess I’ll see him later at tonight’s dinner then.

 

When I stepped outside into the hall, I saw Scott and a few of his cronies laughing like hyenas. They stopped once they saw me coming down their direction. I eyed them suspiciously. You better not be planning something Scott or I swear to god you’re gonna fucking regret it. Once I passed them, I heard them snicker. Hmm… I need to talk to Jason about this soon.

 

Once inside the football locker room, I took off my jacket and washed it for a few minutes to at least wash off the smell reeking from it. Daily lunch surprise my ass. More like daily lunch shit. There should be a law against serving potentially dangerous food in school cafeterias!

 

Once the smell subsided, I threw my varsity jacket inside my locker. That’s when the locker room door opened and Jason’s head popped in.

 

“Tye! There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you! Classes are about to start dude!” he said as he stepped inside.

 

“Sorry, my jacket got spilled on a few minutes ago. Had to wash it out for a bit,” I said as I closed my locker.

 

“Well come on, we’re going to be late for algebra!” Jason said as he opened the door for me to pass through. I rolled my eyes as we both stepped into the hallway.

 

“Hey,” I mentioned to Jason, “do you know if Scott and his posse are planning something?”

 

Jason gave me a puzzled look and answered, “No, not really. Why do you ask?”

 

“Well,” I started, “it’s just that I saw them laughing in the hall around ten to fifteen minutes ago. I don’t know, maybe I’m just a bit paranoid…”

 

“Hmm… I’ll ask around the team if they heard anything,” Jason said as we rounded a corner.

 

“Thanks Jace,” I said as we both entered algebra class together. Good thing the teacher isn’t here yet. We both went to the back of the classroom to our seats.

 

“So,” Jason started as he sat down, “how you holding up? You know, with the entire dinner thing at Will’s?”

 

I sighed before answering, “Dude, I am so frickin’ nervous. I’m afraid something might happen over dinner.”

 

Jason gave me a sympathetic look.

 

“I just hope everything goes well…” I said looking at him.

 

“I’m sure everything will go fine Tye. Honestly, you worry too much,” he said as he lightly punched my shoulder.

 

Jesus Christ. I hope so.

 

 

I stared at my reflection in the mirror and I look like shit.  I was wearing a collared striped shirt and some khaki pants and brown loafers. My blonde hair was combed down like I like it

 

. I’m not sure if this look was appropriate for tonight’s dinner. I mean it was just a dinner party after all, not some formal charity gala. I didn’t want to overdress for goodness sakes.

 

After settling with this look, I jumped onto my bed. I still got a half hour left before my family and I head over across the street. Might as well relax my mind before then. It wasn’t long before I heard a knock on my door.

 

“Tyler, are you ready?” said a male voice. A second later, my dad appeared out of the doorway.

 

“Yeah. I’m ready,” I said, not looking up, as I began fiddling with my iPod.

 

I saw my dad frown and asked, “You are not going to the Lakewoods dressed like that.”

 

“What?… Why not?” I asked in disbelief. I looked at what my dad was wearing and found him dressed up in almost in his office attire: long sleeved polo shirt, slacks, a tie, and leather shoes.

 

“This is a sit-down dinner Tyler, not a barbecue. Wear something more appropriate,” my dad snapped.

 

“I bet the Lakewoods wouldn’t be wearing anything formal!” I protested as I stood on my feet.

 

“Don’t argue with me Tyler! Just do it!” my dad shouted as he stepped outside and slammed my door shut.

 

Do I really have to dress up? Fuck, this was just dinner after all. I don’t see why his boxers are in a wad. I was pissed off as I quickly chucked my collared shirt across the room.

 

I opened my closet for something more ‘appropriate’ as my dad called it. I was busy going through my wardrobe when I heard a knock on my door.

 

“I’m busy!!” I yelled.

 

I heard the door open and close. I turned around to find my sister staring at me. She was wearing a navy, blue dress that fit her perfectly. I also noticed she curled her hair for tonight. She looked beautiful, no doubt about it.

 

“What do you want?” I asked as I crossed my arms over my chest. I was already annoyed with my dad barking at me, I didn’t need my sister to add to that by invading my privacy. I hope she had a good reason to be standing in my room.

 

“I heard dad shouting awhile ago,” she said looking at me.

 

I rolled my eyes at her Great! This just isn’t what I needed. I think she wanted to rub it in.

 

“Let me guess,” she started, “he didn’t like what you were wearing and now you’re pissed you have to change?”

 

“How’d you guess?” I asked her as my eyebrows raised in suspicion.

 

“Why do you think I’m wearing this expensive dress I’m wearing?” she asked me.

 

“A-ha. Touche,” I replied. She just smiled.

 

“You too huh?” I asked her, my arms falling down onto my sides. It was then that I just realized that I was half-naked. I quickly turned around, starting to rummage through my clothes for something else.

 

“You know dad, he always wants to put-”

 

“-on a good show,” I said, finishing her sentence for her, “I know, I know. But it’s just annoying. The Lakewoods aren’t his clients. They’re our neighbors! How would you feel if we invited them for dinner and they dressed better than us?”

 

Emily laughed at me, “Like that would ever happen! Dad will never allow it.”

 

I snorted in reply as I knew she was right.

 

There were another few awkward minutes before my sister stood beside me. “I swear Tyler, you have no sense of fashion in you,” she said as she surveyed my closet.

 

“Well …please help me then,” I said in defeat as I let her take over. I saw her stare at my clothes for a few seconds before grabbing a black blazer, a red button up shirt and some khaki slacks before throwing them across the bed.

 

“There you go! I’ll leave you to decide what shoes you’re going to wear. I am not going to go near your smelly shoes,” she laughed as she left my room.

 

I glanced at the clothes she picked out for me. Hmm… Okay, these could work.

 

 

“Uhhh… Welcome to my room,” Will said as he opened the door.

 

Dinner was over and here I was standing in front of the doorway outside Will Lakewood’s bedroom. His mother ushered us upstairs seeing how both of us were bored out of our minds downstairs in the living room.

 

I was about to follow Will until his brother Marco stopped me for a second. He basically told me that if I were to hurt Will in anyway, both he and Blake would come after me. Honestly, I don’t know where all this hostility came from. We were all friendly a couple of days ago and now he’s acting like I’m here to hurt Will. That is fucking crazy. I would never ever hurt Will again.

 

“Uhhh.. Tyler, are you going in or not?”

 

I nervously entered his room, not sure what to expect. I mean what does a gay teenager’s room look like?  I certainly didn’t expect it to look this way.

 

Will’s room was a tad bigger than mine. His bed was at the corner right beside his window seat leaving a great empty space in the middle of the room. I guess this is where he sits as the television and his various gaming systems were right beside the door. His desk was right beside his home entertainment system. I stopped at the center of the room and noticed that his ceiling and walls were littered with various amounts of bands and artists I’ve never heard of.

 

His room was even more awesome than mine! My room was literally bare. Will’s room was decked out with everything he possibly would like to post. I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous at this. My mom would never allow my room to be overrun by posters and other of this cool stuff.

 

“Uhh… so what do you want to play?”

 

I turned around to find him kneeling down at his Playstation 3. He was holding out a couple of videogames for me to pick.

 

I made my way to him and knelt down. I couldn’t help but look at his collection of videogames.

 

“Call of Duty, Skate 3, Tekken 6, Super Street Fighter IV, Uncharted 2, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age, and Rock Band 3? Fuck Will, your collection of games are amazing!” I said in surprise as I glanced at him. I noticed he was smiling shyly at me.

 

“Well uhh… thanks I gue-”

 

“Holy Shit! You have Marvel Vs. Capcom 3!!?” I screamed causing Will to jump.

 

“Yeah, I got that last week before we left LA,” he answered back, giving me a puzzled look.

 

“Will, these haven’t hit our mall yet. Jason and I have been waiting for this since it came out! Mind if we play this?” I asked him. Shit. I’ve been waiting for this game since forever!

 

Will laughed, “Sure. Just hand me the game first!”

 

I laughed as I handed him the game. Pardon me if I’m too excited at the moment.

 

“Oh Tyler, can you turn on the adaptor on my desk first please?” Will asked as he brought out two controllers for us to use.

 

“Sure thing,” I said as I stood up and headed to my right. I easily found the adaptor switch and turned it on fairly quickly. I was about to kneel down when my eye caught a collection of CDs on top of Will’s desk. I grabbed them and began to flip through them real quick before I stared at Will.

 

Will managed to turn on the game before he caught me staring at him. “What?” he asked.

 

“Will, really?” I asked him as I shook the bunch of CDs in my hand towards him.

 

“Huh?” he asked in confusion as he grabbed the CDs from me.

 

I knelt down beside him and read each of the artists out loud, “Phoenix, Florence and the Machine, Passion Pit, Neon Indian, Mumford & Sons, Tegan and Sara, Lykke Li, Arcade Fire, One Night Only, General Fiasco and Ellie Goulding… Dude, we have the fucking same taste in music. I can’t believe it. Finally, someone who appreciates all the sick shit I’ve been listening to.”

 

“No shit?” Will asked me, “You mean you like these too?”

 

I nodded in response. Will smiled at me.

 

“Tyler, are you serious? Oh my god. Have you heard Florence’s new song?” he asked a bit excited.

 

“Of course I did! I can’t wait for her album! I heard it’s coming out in-”

 

“-May!!” Will said finishing my sentence for me. When we realized what had just happened we couldn’t help but blush. Then there were a couple of seconds of awkwardness.

 

“Here,” Will said as he handed me a controller.

 

“Thanks,” I said still a bit embarrassed.

 

“I promise to go easy on you,” he said with a mischievous smile.

 

I looked him directly in the eyes and said with a smile, “Bring it on Lakewood! I must let you know that I’ve been practicing with the demo version in the mall!”

 

Will laughed, “Like that’ll help Tyler! Just shut up and play!”

 

I laughed at that moment, not realizing how we managed to break the ice easily.

 

The hours of playing the demo version did not help at all. Will massacred me so many times. I did manage to win a few matches, but I had a feeling that Will was letting me win on purpose. I asked him about that and he just grinned and shrugged. I think I managed to shove him once or twice he did that.

 

We managed to play for around 45 minutes until I finally realized I’ve had enough of being massacred by this 5’6″ brunette beside me.

 

“So, what do you wanna do now?” Will asked me as he tucked away the controllers.

 

“I don’t know. What else have you got in mind? Wait… What’s that noise?” I asked, noticing a distant noise in the background.

 

“Oh that’s probably my brothers playing in the garage. I bet they’re rocking out for your sister,” Will said as he sat beside me.

 

“They’re really good,” I said as I digested the quality of sound they’re producing.

 

“Really? I just call it noise to be honest with you,” Will laughed. I stared at him while doing so. When he found me staring at him, he immediately stopped.

 

“What?” he asked.

 

“Okay, I don’t usually go for cheesy lines, but Will, I’m glad we’re friends again,” I said sincerely to him.

 

Will stared at me for a few seconds before turning away and muttering, “Me too…”

 

“I’m sorry, what was that?” I asked him, pretending I didn’t hear what he just said.

 

Will glared back at me before grabbing a nearby soccer ball and throwing it at me. I just laughed that after four years, he still couldn’t take compliments. Will just shook his head and smiled.

 

“But seriously Tyler, what do you want to do?” he asked me again after I’ve calmed down.

 

“I don’t know… got any movies we could watch?” I asked him.

 

“Sure, follow me,” he told me as he stood up and went to his desk to grab a couple of DVDs. I followed suit. Will was about to hand me over his collection when he noticed me wiping away my sweat from my forehead.

 

“Do you want to take off your blazer? You’re sweating like a pig,” he said to me.

 

“Fuck yes. I’ve been wanting to take this stupid blazer off, but I wasn’t really sure if it was alright with you,” I told him as I removed my blazer.

 

“Well just take off the blazer and ONLY the blazer,” he told me.

 

“Why? Afraid you’ll stare?” I asked him jokingly to which I received a punch on my shoulder. Damn. Will’s punch hurts. I grabbed the DVDs from him as he hung my blazer on his desk.

 

The range of genres in his collection was so diverse that I couldn’t decide which one to watch until I found one little movie I’ve yet to see.

 

“What’s this?” I asked Will as I showed him the DVD.

 

“That’s the Land Before Time,” he answered. When I registered a blank look on my face, Will asked, “You haven’t seen that?”

 

I sheepishly shook my head. Was I supposed to watch this? I never recall this being out in the cinemas.

 

“Okay, that’s settled. We’re watching this!” Will said as he grabbed the DVD from me and chucked it in the player.

 

We both sat down on the floor beside each other. There was only a feet separating us from each other as we prepared for the movie. At first, I couldn’t help but curse myself for allowing Will to make me watch this.

 

It was a cartoon for crying out loud! I’ve certainly passed that phase in my life already. But it wasn’t long until I managed to get into the movie. And it wasn’t long until Will asked me something.

 

“Tyler… Are you alright?”

 

“Yeah… I’m… uhhh.. Fine.. Perfectly… uh… fine,” I muttered facing away from Will. Oh shit. I can’t let him see me like this. I’ll never hear the end of it.

 

“Are you… crying?”

 

“No!!” I answered back, a little too defensively.

 

“Oh my god! You are crying!!!” Will laughed when he heard a few of my sniffs.

 

I looked back at him annoyed and shouted, “How can you not cry?!? Littlefoot’s parent just died!!!!” That prompted him to laugh even more and I swear I could see tears falling from his eyes as well. Of course, those tears were totally different from mine.

 

“You’re so fucking heartless Will,” I said as I tried pushing the tears away. I silently cursed myself for allowing my emotions to show during this movie.

 

“Tyler, its fine. I cried the first time I watched this too. You don’t have to embarrassed. But you need to remember I’ve watched this too many times. I’m sorta immune to that scene already,” Will said after his laughter subsided.

 

I just snorted.

 

“Look, I’m sorry if I made fun of you. That wasn’t my intention, okay? Peace?” Will said as he apologized to me. It was sincere, but there was still a hint of gleam in his eyes.

 

“Yeahh…” I said once I managed to control my feelings, “Who knew the quarterback could be such a softie?” Will laughed at my question and after a few seconds later, I joined in.

 

We tried to continue watching the rest of the movie, but it wasn’t long before my eyelids started to get heavy. I guess football practice wore me out even more than usual. I didn’t remember the excat time I fell asleep.

 

I slowly opened my eyes. A different ceiling, littered with all sorts of posters greeted me. Where was I? Oh yeah, I’m in Will’s room. We were watching The Land Before Time before I managed to fall asleep on his bedroom floor. Where was Will anyway?

 

I turned to my left and found his sleeping face. We both fell asleep. That’s just great as I sat up. I looked back down again at Will and just stared at him. His face was peaceful as his mouth was slightly open. I could see a little bit of drool coming down from his mouth. I laughed as I thought he looked extremely adorable.

 

I honestly thought this night was going to be boring and uncomfortable as hell, but it turned out to be pleasant surprise finding out that Will and I share the exact same taste in music. I normally couldn’t even get Jason to listen to the music in my iPod, but it’s nice to know that someone else does.

 

Will began to stir and slowly, he opened his eyes. When he saw me staring down at him, he quickly sat up.

 

“What happened?” he asked nervously.

 

“We were watching The Land Before Time remember?” I said while laughing, “That was until we both fell asleep.”

 

“Oh…” he said as he groggily rubbed his eyes, “What?” he asked once again.

 

“You’ve got marks of your planked floor on your face see?” I said to him as I reached out to his cheek to point out the patterns the wood made with his face and gently touched it.

 

“Will! Is Tyler there?” said a voice as we suddenly heard a knock from the door.

 

Alarmed, both of us quickly stood up and put a couple of feet away from each other before Blake’s head popped in.

 

“Tyler… there you are. Your family’s leaving in 5 minutes. They told me to get you ready,” Blake said as he looked at me.

 

“Ahhh… okay, uhh… tell them I’ll be down in a few minutes…” I said nervously.

 

“Uhh… Okaaaay,” Blake muttered before giving Will and I this weird stare. Shit. He must think something must have happened between the two of us.

 

I saw Will staring at me, with a hurt expression on his face.

 

“It’s okay Tyler. You don’t have to be friends with me anymore if you don’t want to,” he said before he knelt down and tried putting away his DVDs.

 

“What… Will? Why’d you think that?” I asked him, dumbfounded at where that came from.

 

Will glared at me, “I saw the look on your face when Blake came. If you don’t want to be friends with a gay person, all you have to do is tell me. In fact, it’ll make both of our lives easier.  I thought you wouldn’t care. Guess I was wrong.”

 

Oh shit. Okay, I didn’t mean it that way. Fuck. The night was already going great until this.

 

“Will…” I started. He ignored me and just continued on with his cleaning.

 

“Dammit Will,” I said as I marched up to him, knelt down and forced him to look at me, “I’m sorry if that came out the wrong way, okay? I’m just trying to get used to this just the same way you are.” I saw Will get startled at my roughness.

 

“I’ve been living my entire life with preconceived notions about gay people from my parents, Church, and society. Then here you are breaking all of them. I’m certainly confused and I’ll admit, but I really want this friendship to work out.”

 

He just stayed silent.

 

“I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed tonight. Heck, I haven’t had this much fun in a long time. Just please understand Will, you’re not the only one who has to cope here. I don’t care how long it’s going to take but I want us to be friends,” I continued.

 

There were a few moments of silence before Will finally said, “I’m sorry.”

 

“Don’t be.”

 

“No, I mean it Tyler. I enjoyed tonight too and here I am trying to dampen the mood,” he muttered.

 

“Will, its fine. You’re still not over what I did to you back then, I get it. I hope you’ll find it in your heart to totally forgive me. I deeply regret what happened four years ago. I mean this from the bottom of my heart,” I explained to him as we were both sitting on his floor facing each other.

 

“Okay…” Will muttered.

 

I smiled at him as I stood up and made my way to his desk to retrieve my blazer.

 

“Tyler?”

 

“Yeah?” I asked turning around to face Will, who was already standing up.

 

“Would you like to come over some time? Play videogames once in awhile?  I could burn you a CD of new music I’ve been hearing off the internet these days?” he asked me.

 

“I’d love to,” I answered back with a smile. I tugged my blazer a little bit too forcefully, causing a bunch of Will’s school books and CDs to crash onto the floor.

 

“Shit Will! I’m sorry!” I cursed myself as I dropped on my knees to pick up the stuff lying about.

 

“It’s fine Tyler. No need to panic,” Will laughed as he bent down to help me pick up his stuff from the floor. He was busy picking up the CDs while I was busy picking up his books.

 

Once I gathered everything, I handed them to Will. When he grabbed his books from me, a small piece of paper fell out.

 

“Oh Will! This fell out,” I said as I bent down to pick it up. As I did; however, I managed to read the message on it. I looked up at Will who was busy re-arranging his stuff on his desk, oblivious to what I just said.

 

“Will…. who sent this to you?” I asked him, holding out the piece of paper in my hands.

 

“Sent me what?” he asked before turning around. When he saw what I was holding, his eyes went big in shock.

 

“Will, you need to tell me. Who sent you this?” I asked sternly once again, holding out a piece of paper that said, “STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM TYLER BEAUMONT.”

 

 

 

TBC

 

***

 

Something’s brewing in the cauldron and it smells good. LOL. Hello everyone! How’d you like the new chapter? Did I meet your expectations with the dinner party? Or were you expecting something more grandeur to happen? Please feel free to e-mail me at flipped100@yahoo.com okay? I’d like to hear some feedback.

 

So a lot of things happened, but out of curiosity who do you think sent the note to Will? Seems like Will and Tyler are in for a bumpy ride.

 

Okay, for some of the readers out there, I’d like to address the issue that new chapters are going to be out in 1-2 weeks after the previous one. If it doesn’t show up in Nifty or my alternative site: flipped100.wordpress.com then that means, I’m suffering from writer’s block. Unlike most writers, I don’t have an outline for the entire story because I’m really fickle. I tend to change plot lines in a whim. Usually, it only gets finalized when I send the chapter to my editor, Tim (who is amazing by the way).

 

In case any of you may ask, Will’s taste in music is largely based on my taste in music in real life. I suggest looking up the artists I’ve mentioned on Youtube. It’ll be worth it. I promise! Hehe

 

Anyway, keep safe out there and let’s continue to show our support and prayers to Japan and other countries in turmoil right now.

 

Cheers.

 

Nick

 

 

 

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I Think I’ve Flipped Chapter 4

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(Will’s POV)

 

I kept my stare on Jason Harrington as we stood there for what seemed like five minutes. However, it was only a few seconds. He was a member of the football team with Scott and Tyler. For this reason, I had to remind myself to be extra cautious. If he acted in any way like Scott had done today, I would be ready to defend myself better this time.

 

“What do you want?” I asked him again with a touch of annoyance in my voice.

 

He kicked at a small pebble on the ground as he made his way towards me. I quickly balled up my fists as he kept coming towards me. At that moment, I had no idea of what to expect from him.  The run in I had with Scott this morning made me wary of all football players at Ridgemont High. It seemed to me at the time he wanted a piece of me as well. After all, he was involved in the incident four years ago.

 

I expected to feel the pain of not only being punched several times, but also being shoved and called a queer or faggot. Instead, he threw me for a loop when he stopped a few feet in front of me and extended his hand

 

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. If anyone could see the look on Jason’s face, then they would see that he didn’t believe it either. There must have been a few seconds of awkwardness as Jason began to speak.

 

“Well?”

 

“Well what Jason?” I asked as I was slowly losing my patience with him.

 

“Are you going to shake my hand or not?” he asked through gritted teeth.

 

“Why should I?” I asked as I was beginning to enjoy watching him squirm where he stood.

 

“Okay Will… Look…I am here to apologize to you. I know how much Tyler wanted to make things right with you …..I want that as well. I know what Scott tried to do this morning and how Tyler defended you.

 

“I don’t need any defending…” I replied as I stared at him.

 

“Tyler’s actions have now made him a walking target. I think that it would be easier to keep an eye on the both of you if you and I aren’t hostile to each other.”

 

I looked directly into his eyes and felt his apology was as fake as his sorry attempt at a hand shake.

 

“So let me get this right. The only reason why your even attempting to apologize to me is to smooth things over with you and Tyler, is that it?” I asked him.

 

“Damn it Will…I’m really sorry about what I did to you before okay. It is really hard for me to say these things. I don’t do well with apologies. I just… maybe..oh Fuck it.. I just thought we could work this out and be okay with each other. Tyler’s trying and I want to as well. Besides, you’re going to need a few people to help keep Scott away from you. You know he isn’t going to let this go and he isn’t finished with it.,” Jason explained with a touch of urgency in his voice as he ran his hand through his hair.

 

I didn’t say a word as I stared down at the ground. Today was filled with craziness and surprises. I still can’t make heads nor tails of this. Tyler apologizing was one thing, but I would have never guessed in a million years that Jason would have done the same thing.

 

“What do you say.. Friends?” Jason asked me, extending his arm out again for a handshake.

 

I continued to look at him trying to figure out if was being genuine or was there something else up his sleeve. To be honest, I couldn’t tell and this was scaring the hell out of me. I couldn’t allow myself to be hurt down the road. However, there was a small part of me who was always optimistic. You know that part inside of you that always wants everything to go better. The little voice of optimism kept telling me that if I could do it with Tyler than Jason would be the nest step right?

 

“Look Jason, I think I can forgive you, but I can’t change the way I feel overnight.. I need some time,” I replied

 

Jason smiled when I finished. This is definitely not going to be the easiest thing I have ever done. Jason is not only handsome but he also matured over the years. It was apparent he took care of himself.  He ranked just below Tyler on the Hotness scale. Did I just call him hot?

 

“Are you going to shake my hand or not?” Jason asked again, still with a grin on his face.

 

I rolled my eyes as I extended my arm and shook his hand.

 

“Thanks Will… you won’t regret it!” Jason said as he enthusiastically shook my hand. It was a little too much if you ask me. It felt like my right arm was going to fall off.

 

“Ouch.. Hell Jason… What are you trying to do?” I replied as the pain seemed to increase as he continued to squeeze my hand.

 

“Sorry Will. Didn’t mean to get carried away,” Jason said as he let go of my hand, which I had to rub to ease off some of the pain away.

 

“It’s… fine Jason,” I replied.

 

“Okay, look man, if Scott and any of his cronies fucking try to do anything to you, just let me know okay? Tyler and I will deal with his ass, okay?” he asked as his eyes narrowed at the mention of Scott’s name.

 

His sudden show of concern for me caught me by surprise. I still hadn’t recovered when I gave him my answer. I think it came out sounding as if I didnt care.

 

“Oh… okay,” I replied as I was still trying to make sense of it all as Jason stood smiling at me

 

After that, there were a few moments of awkward silence. After all, Jason and I never really had a friendly conversation in our entire lives. Today seemed to be the start.

 

“Listen,” I started, “I need to get home now.”

 

“Oh.. Don’t worry about it. I guess I’ll see you around?” he asked as he winked at me.

 

What the fuck just happened? Did Jason just wink at me?! I nodded at him in response. Did I mention how awkward this situation was  for me? Today seem to have just gotten stranger with each passing minute.
“Will… thanks again for forgiving me… bye,” Jason replied with that gorgeous smile of his before heading down the street as I waved back at him

 

Walking gave me the time I needed to think about what happened today. It seems unreal to me to have both Tyler and Jason apologize to me. The one thing that surprises me the most is Jason wanting to tell me he was sorry. Ever since he moved here when we were kids, we never had the chance to have a friendly conversation with him. Now after all these years, I find it strange that all of a sudden he wants to be friends with me.

 

Maybe its guilt that is forcing them to apologize, but right now, I am ready to let the past remain in the past and make new friends. I want to move forward and I can’t until I deal with this once and for all. So I figure this is the first step in starting over and having a happy and productive life. However, I still need time to work out the built up tension and resentment I have towards Tyler and the rest of them. In time I know I will be able to forgive them and hopefully we can become friends.

 

I hadn’t realized how long I had been walking and thinking about this. Before I knew it, I spotted a bright red truck sitting in the driveway across the street. It belonged to Tyler, which meant I had made it home. I looked at his house and realized that nothing had changed in the past four years.

 

The Victorian house looked clean and spotless as always. There wasn’t a single piece of chipped paint or a broken board to be seen. Their Lawn was covered with an array of beautiful flowers. Our lawn could have taken lessons from theirs.  I looked and realized how horrible ours really was and made a mental note to do something about it as soon as I had some free time.

 

“Mom…Dad… I’m home!” I shouted as I walked inside and threw my book bag at the foot of the stairs as silence greeted me. I found this strange since Blake and Marco would be normally practicing their instruments about this time.

 

“Hello? Is anyone here?” I asked again as I looked in the living room and the dining room.

 

“Will! I’m in the kitchen!” I heard my mom hollered.

 

I went into the kitchen and found my mom busy unpacking the remaining five boxes of kitchen items.

 

“Where’s everybody else?” I asked her as I picked up a few of the things inside the box beside her.

 

“Your dad and the twins went grocery store to pick up some things.” My mother answered as she stacked a number of plates into one of the top cabinets

 

“Why? Didn’t we just by groceries two days ago?” I asked her.

 

“Well…” she started as she continued to put the plates away, “Yes we did, but that was before we decided to invite some quests for dinner this Friday.”

 

“Oh… who’s coming?”

 

“The Beaumonts are dear.”

 

I nearly dropped the plate I was holding at the mention of that name. Good thing I was able to catch it before it shattered on the floor.

 

“Will, honey, be careful with that!” my mom replied as she grabbed the plate from my hands.

 

“Wait… Tyler and his family are coming over here on Friday?” I asked trembling.

 

“Yes dear. Your dad and I figured it would be a good idea to catch up with each other,” my mother said, “And oh…By the way honey… how was your day?”

 

I didn’t get to answer my mom’s question that moment as I was preoccupied with something else in my mind. Oh shit. Just when I told Tyler I’m going to need time to be friends with him, my parents decided to have their family over for a sit down dinner. This is all happening way too fast! Shit. I am not ready for this.

 

I didn’t hear my mom’s question since my mind was still registering the information she had just dropped upon me. Oh Shit! This was just great. I had just told Tyler I needed time to be friends with him again and my parents decide to invite them to dinner. This was happening way to fast. Hell… I am not ready for this.

 

 

 

***

 

(Tyler’s POV)

 

 

“I arrived back home with a smile upon my face. Today, I managed to have Will forgive me for all the shit I did to him four years ago. TO be honest, it felt great. I can’t tell you how much lighter it makes me feel. It’s as if  a big  chip was knocked off my shoulders. I am thankful to God not only for Will’s kindness, but that he also has such a forgiving heart.

 

I turned off the engine of my truck and proceeded to head inside. As soon as I opened the front door, I hear a loud noise coming from within the living room. Curious, I headed toward the source of the sound. I found my mom vacuuming the carpet. I noticed her apron being incredibly dirty, probably from a whole day’s worth of cleaning the entire house.

 

I made my way to her and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, which caused her to jump a little.

 

“Oh … Tyler!  You scared me!” she replied as she playfully slapped me on the arm with her rag.

 

“Sorry mom,” I said with a mischievous smile.

 

She turned off the vacuum and proceeded to put it away in the nearby closet when she asked, “So, how was school dear? Did you see Will there?”

 

“It was alright… Yeah…  I saw him today. Why are you asking?” I asked.

 

I left out the part of Will almost getting into it with a certain meat headed football player. I wouldn’t want to explain to my mother why all this hostility was present among us. I couldn’t control my blood boiling whenever I think about Scott acting like an asshole.

 

“Tyler, are you alright?” my mother asked me.

 

I stared down at her, she was a few inches shorter than my 5’9″ frame and I noticed a look on her face that had worry and concern at the same time.

 

“Yes mom, I’m fine…. still trying to get used to waking up so early in the morning,” I said to her as I made my way outside the living room.

 

I didn’t want her asking anymore questions about Will. I was afraid she might figure out that something was wrong. I didn’t want that to happen now that Will and I were cordial with each other once again.

 

I walked up the stairs and proceeded to head to my room when I heard my mother holler from downstairs at the foot of the banister, “I’ll call you when dinner’s ready dear!”

 

I shut my door behind me as I plopped my bag on top of the beanbag beside my door. I jumped onto my bed and just stared at the ceiling and my thoughts drifted to Will. I really didn’t want to mess up this new chance he had given to me. Ever since he left four years ago, I vowed to never again treat people badly because of being different. And up to this day, I kept that promise. But now, the reason for me making that promise is back in town and I certainly will show him how much I have changed since then.

 

I managed to fall asleep while thinking about Will. I woke up a few hours later, just a few minutes until dinner time. It was then I decided to change into some more comfortable clothes. I was beginning to reek of sweat.

 

After finally making myself get up, I made my way to the drawers across the side of the room and grabbed a tank top and some shorts. I quickly changed clothes and threw my school clothes into the hamper beside my dresser.

 

I couldn’t help but stare at myself in the mirror. I noticed how much my body has changed over the past few years. The tank top I was wearing accentuated the fact that my arms were extremely cut and well-defined. My shorts were hugging tightly to these tree stump legs of mine. And my usually neat golden blonde hair was slightly messed up.

 

The sound of buzzing distracted me from admiring myself in the mirror. I wouldn’t call myself vain or anything, but I couldn’t deny the fact that I was indeed somewhat attractive.

 

I made my way to my laptop, which I always leave on to find Jason buzzing me to log onto YM. I opened up my Yahoo Messenger Account and typed in a greeting followed up with a general question, “What’s up?”

 

This wasn’t anything new to the both of us. We usually YM each other after school and today wasn’t anything different.

 

“Nothing much…” he replied quickly.

 

Jason and I practically grew up together and during those years, we learned to pick up hidden messages or signals whenever something is wrong with the other one. Right now, I picked up that something was bothering Jason

 

“Okay Jase,” I began typing, “What’s wrong with you man?”

 

It took him a few minutes for him to respond back, “I talked to Will alone today after school.”

 

Call me a worrywart, but the names Jason and Will shouldn’t fit into one sentence. My mind went instantly into overdrive filling it with possible scenarios of what could have happened between the two of them. Did Jason pick a fight? Or would Will be the one to start? Were any of them hurt? Are they okay? Fuck. A hundred possibilities of what might have transpired scared the shit out to me.

 

I needed a few moments to calm myself down and think rationally.

 

“What the fuck did you do?” I typed in, before hitting send. Fuck. If anything happened, I…”

 

“Dude, nothing happened okay?! I told you I was going to leave him alone, and I did just that. I approached him because I just wanted to apologize to him, that’s all,” Jason replied.

 

Okay. That’s a relief. No fighting occurred. That’s good… right? I mean no one technically got hurt…

 

“So what did he say?” I asked him.

 

“He said it’s going to take a little time for him to forgive me.”

 

“He said the same thing to me,” I replied.

 

“Yeah… Well glad that’s over with. Dude, you do realize that once Scott sees you’re buddies with him, it’s going to cause a rift in the team right?” Jason typed back.

 

“I know, but FUCK SCOTT!!! I don’t really give a damn what he thinks. If he tries to start anything with me, I’m going to kick his ass!!!!” I typed in, a bit too forcefully I think. It felt that my keyboard was going to come off.

 

“And I’m going to be in your corner!” Jason replied back. I couldn’t help but smile. It was good to know that my best friend was on my side.

I was about to chat some more when I suddenly heard some shouting going on downstairs. From the voices, I could tell my mom and dads were having a heated discussion.

 

“Hey Jace, I have to go. There’s some sort of commotion between my parents downstairs. Talk to you later?” I asked him.

 

I waited for his reply before deciding to figure out what exactly my mom and dad were arguing about.

 

He answered a few seconds later, “Sure thing Tye. Hope it isn’t too serious!” As soon as I received that message, I momentarily logged off and carefully opened my door to the hallway and headed towards the end of the hall.

 

That was strange, I thought. The screaming subsided almost completely. I peeked over the stair railing overlooking the foyer and quickly caught my parents heading inside the office. Great, I wouldn’t be able to eavesdrop on them anymore. The office is almost soundproof. So much for that…

 

Disappointed, I made my way back to my room only to hear footsteps going up the stairs. I turned around to see my older sister Emily, eating out of a bowl of cereal.

 

“Hey,” I faced her, “Know anything about what mom and dad were shouting about?”

 

“Well dad’s pretty upset about this whole dinner with the Lakewoods,” she said as she proceeded down to her room, which was directly beside mine.

 

“Dinner with the Lakewoods?” I asked in confusion. We’re having dinner with the Lakewoods???

 

“Yep… This Friday, we’re heading over to their house for a sit-down dinner. Apparently dad’s pretty unpleased with this whole affair, which got mom riled up. You know how dad is… Sometimes he could be such a jackass,” she said as she went inside her room.

 

I was left standing in the hallway alone thinking about what Emily just said to me. We’re having dinner with the Lakewoods at their house this Friday?  Holy Fuck, I’m going to be at their house with Will!   A wave of panic rushed through me momentarily. I can’t want mess this up. I need to make a good impression. No, scratch that… I have to make a good impression. Otherwise…… I’m royally fucked.

 

 

TBC

 

 

***

Hello everyone. I’m dreadfully sorry about the delay with the story. After my thesis submissions (which I passed btw, yay me), I kinda got stuck in the rut with how I wanted Chapter 4 would be. Anyways, I’ll try to have a new chapter out in a week or two.

 

Hit me up at flipped100@yahoo.com for your comments, suggestions, inquires about the story. How do you think the upcoming dinner would be like? LOL. Also, I’m uploading this story at flipped100.wordpress.com the same time I send a new chapter at Nifty, so maybe it’d be wise to visit that site at least once a week or so.

 

Again, great thanks to Tim and his wonderful editing powers. Lol.

 

Laters!

 

Nick

 

I Think I’ve Flipped Chapter 3

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(Tyler’s POV)

 

The first day of school is here, and to be honest, I’m not looking forward to it. My truck came to a stop in my usual spot as I continued to grip the steering wheel.  Today was going to be fucking crazy… Will returning to Ridgemont will be the highlight of today’s gossip among the student body. I can’t imagine how Will is going to deal with this shit.

 

I looked at my watch and realized in a few minutes the bell would ring signaling the start of this stressful day. Before I grabbed my books, I did a last-minute check of myself in the rear view mirror. I frowned at my hair, which was looking like I just woke up a minute ago.

 

I grabbed my gym bag from the passenger seat and took out a comb from one of the side pockets. I looked back at the mirror and ran the comb through my hair. .I grabbed my books from the backseat and stuffed them inside my shoulder bag as I slammed my truck door.

 

There were many students who were staring at me as I made my way toward the main building. The attention I receive from them comes with the territory of not only being the most popular athlete in school, but also looking my best in public at all times. I mean after all, I have a reputation to uphold.

 

Today I was wearing my blue and yellow varsity jacket.  Some believe I wear it simply to show off, but I really do love wearing it. It’s comfortable and I feel proud when I wear it. However, today I wasn’t looking my best or feeling proud since I was just wearing jeans and tennis shoes. The reason for this was simple, I had to much on my mind.

 

I opened the main door and slipped inside as I made my way towards my locker around the corner, Once again, I received several more stares and unsurprisingly, a couple of sighs from two girls. I hadn’t run into or seen Will so far. I hoped that everything for the time being would remain normal.

 

No sooner had I arrived at my locker, the school bell rang. How could things get any worse? I mean me being late on my first day of school. What a way to start off the school year! I could hear the scuffle of feet around me as various students started heading down to their respective classrooms.

 

I threw a few things I didn’t need in my locker and  ran to my first class  On the way, I overheard  what seemed to me to be a heated conversation.

 

“-Didn’t you get enough the last time? Coming back for more are ya?”

 

I recognized that voice anywhere. It was Scott Alexander. If I know Scott, he must be picking on some poor defensive student again. To say I don’t like him would be an understatement. In fact if we weren’t teammates to begin with, I doubt I’d put up with his shit and pompous attitude. He is a 6’2” meathead and is notoriously known around the school as a bully. Scott and I have this mutual dislike for each other. I didn’t like him for his rotten attitude and I could sense his dislike for me stemmed from the fact that he didn’t get the quarterback position like he always wanted. Scott was a year older than me and I could tell he was pissed that he had to follow orders from someone younger than he is. Hey it wasn’t my fault I started school earlier than he did! And the fact that he’s dumber than me.

 

“What do you want?!”

 

I froze when I heard that voice. It was Will.

 

Alarmed, I followed the direction of their voices. When I came around the corner I found Will and Scott .Will was busy trying to ignore Scott’s taunts as he was getting his books from his locker. Scott, on the other hand, was leaning against the adjacent locker with a bemused expression on his face.

 

“I just want to make sure I didn’t forget to say hi to my favorite faggot,” Scott replied with an evil grin on his face.

 

“Well you did! Now leave me the hell alone,” Will shouted as he closed his locker and began to walk away.

 

“Ooh, a little touchy are we?” Scott sneered as he shoved Will down to the floor as his belongings scattered in the process.

 

“What the fuck is wrong with you?!” Will shouted in anger as he turned to look at Scott from down the floor. It was a good thing that there wasn’t anyone else in the hallway or else Scott would have been five times nastier. He loves to have an audience.

 

I approached the two of them before things had a chance to really get out of hand.

 

“Scott. What the hell are you doing?”

 

The two of them stopped and looked at me.

 

Scott sneered, “Oh hey Tyler. I was just giving him a little welcome back to Ridgemont.” And he proceeded to lightly kick Will at his knees which earned him a death glare from the boy on the floor.

 

I looked down at Will. I bent down and offered him my hand. I could see a look of surprise in his eyes. He reluctantly took it as I pulled him back up to his feet.

 

“Uhm… thanks,” Will said as he looked at me. I wasn’t paying attention to him as I was fixing my gaze on Scott who also had a evil look on his face.

 

“I saw you knock him down Scott,” I said as I narrowed my eyes at him showing him that I wasn’t amused by his antics.

 

Scott snarled, “Well that’s where his kind belongs! I for sure didn’t think I’d ever see his sorry ass again. He’s got some fucking nerve coming back here after four years. I’m just showing the little fuck what I think of him. Besides, why are you defending the little faggot anyway? Don’t tell me you’re turning into one as well?”

 

I didn’t know what came over me, but the next thing I knew I was slamming Scott against the lockers. “Listen to me you fuck. I’m getting sick and tired of your defiant attitude. And I sure don’t as fucking hell appreciate you calling me or anyone else in this school names. I don’t want you starting any shit either. I don’t want the whole team going down in flames this year because you got your sorry ass in trouble. You may be my teammate Scott, but I ain’t afraid to kick your ass. I know a few on the team who would love to teach you a lesson when it comes to respect,” I screamed as my hands were locked on his collar.

 

He shoved me off him, straightened out his varsity jacket before looking at me and Will. I crossed my arms and I glared at him. Scott looked like he was ready to charge. I’m not sure if it was me or Will he was after.

 

A few seconds later though, a teacher popped from around the corner. “What’s going on here? And why aren’t you three in your classes?”

 

I just looked at Scott and said, “Don’t do anything stupid Scott.”

 

He looked at me and Will before he snarled and stormed off.

 

I turned around and looked at Will. From what I could see, he wasn’t hurt or anything from the push Scott gave him earlier. I mean I could see a few dirt stains on his white graphic t-shirt and on his black jeans, but other than that he seemed fine. He looked confused at the moment, his hazel eyes staring at me with a weird expression. I looked away, not really knowing what to say.

 

“Well? Do you want me to send you two to the principal’s office on the first day of school?” the teacher in the hallway asked.

 

Will and I both looked at her. She was new here, I could tell.

 

“No ma’am, we’ll get to our classes right away. My friend here just had a bit of a problem with his locker.  He couldn’t get it open, so I offered to help. My other friend was getting impatient because we were already late that he just stormed off,” I said as gestured my thumb at Will and his locker.

 

The woman narrowed her eyes before saying, “I doubt that’s the truth, but I’ll let it slide for now,” she continued, this time smiling, “Wouldn’t want to put our school quarterback into trouble first day of the year, now would we?”

 

I laughed, “No ma’am. We wouldn’t want that to happen either.”

 

“Well hurry up before anyone else catches you here and actually sends you down to the principal’s office!” she said as she walked away.

 

I turned back to Will, who was busy picking up the books on the floor. I bent down and helped him pick them up. We both stood upright as I handed him the ones I retrieved. He was quite reluctant to accept them at first, but then did so anyway.

 

I watched him pack up his books in his backpack. He looked back at me, still with that unreadable expression in his eyes.

 

“You really didn’t have to do that you know. I was fine…,” he murmured quietly, before turning his gaze down at the floor.

 

Fine? Are you kidding me? You were on the floor for crying out loud. How could you be fine? But of course, I didn’t say that. I think by now, I knew better than to berate him with sarcastic remarks.

 

“Just be careful okay?” I said to him earnestly and walked past him. As soon as I said that, I saw from the corner of my eye that Will turned around. I presumed he did that to say something but there was no sound. No thanks. Nothing.

 

So much for gratitude. I just kept walking forward as I proceeded to head to my classroom.

 

“Ah, Mr. Beaumont. How nice of you to join us on the first day of school,”  Mr. Taylor announced as I entered the classroom.

 

“I’m sorry,” I said as I stood in the doorway of the classroom. I glanced at the room and found everyone staring at me. Jason was in the rear, silently mouthing to me “about time.” I also spotted Will’s friend Claire in one of the seats in the front row. She gave me long, hard questioning look.

 

He waved his hand at me, “Well, since it is the first day I could cut you some slack. Go on and take a seat. Just make sure you don’t make this a habit of yours.”

 

I went straight to the empty seat beside Jason and sat down. I slumped down and tried to ignore Jason’s burning stare.

 

To be honest, I couldn’t really concentrate in my morning classes. Every time I tried to concentrate on the lesson Will, Scott, and their scuffle this morning seemed to creep back into my head. I could see Jason giving me weird looks all morning long. During science, he passed me a note that read, “Talk later.” I sighed as I looked at him to tell him there wasn’t anything to talk about, but he was already facing the chalkboard. I sighed. I wasn’t really in the mood to talk to anyone about what happened this morning.

 

After science class, Jason quickly approached my side and asked, “Okay, something’s bothering you. What is it?”

 

“… I caught Scott being an asshole to Will this morning. Almost had a throw down. I was late because I had to break them up in the hallway,” I whispered.

 

He gave me a look and said, “Well, what do you expect after everything that happened? We’re talking about Scott here. He’d pick a fight with a lamp post if he can.”

 

I just rolled my eyes. His statement was true though.

 

“Beside, why are you so concerned? Are you that hung up on what happened?” Jason asked in concern.

 

“Look… I.. I don’t know, okay? It’s just… I think it’s about time people grew up, forget what happened, and move on!” I said looking at Jason, confused more than ever.

 

“Look man,” he started, “I promised you I’m gonna leave Will alone and that’s what I intend to do. I slept on it last night and well I hate to admit it but you’re right. We were stupid back then and didn’t know any better.”

 

I stopped walking and stared at Jason. When he noticed I stopped, he did as well and turned to look at me.

 

“What’s wrong?” he asked at me.

 

“Did I hear what I just said? Jason Harrington admitting he was wrong?” I asked him with a smile. Jason always has a hard time admitting a mistake and I take great pleasure reveling whenever he does so.

 

Jason scowled and punched me on the shoulder, “Asshole. I’m not repeating myself okay? Let’s just get to lunch!” and stormed off.

 

I couldn’t help but laugh a bit before catching up to him towards the dining hall.

 

As usual, the dining hall was filled to the brim with students. The large rectangular area was filled with a number of tables and chairs, all segregated according to the various social cliques in the school. The nerds were near the garbage cans; the Goths and punks were in the darkest corner of the room; the hipsters were nearest to the lunch line; the jocks and cheerleaders were seated near the large floor-to-ceiling windows on one wall; and the rest of the student body were scattered around the middle.

 

Jason and I, both in our varsity jackets, grabbed our lunches and headed towards our usual table located on the north side of the room. I noticed most of my teammates were already there, Scott included.

 

As soon as he saw me, he quickly brought up Will Lakewood to the entire team. Great, I haven’t even sat down and this shithead is already starting to create some drama.

 

“Yeah I saw him this morning. I literally had to do a double-take though. He certainly has changed,” one of my teammates, a lean-looking redhead named Logan said in response to Scott’s inquiry on the matter.

 

I sat down at our table, trying to be as nonchalant as possible. Jason sat across me.

 

“What are we going to do about him, Tye?” another one of my teammates, Vincent asked. He was one of the few African-American football players in this school.

 

Jason looked at me while sipping his juice, intrigued at what I was about to say. I looked at him for a second before turning to the guys and saying, “Look guys. I don’t know about you, but I don’t wanna cause any drama with Will. This is, for the most of us, our last year playing for football. I don’t want to screw this up by picking unnecessary fights with anyone, okay? And that includes Will. We just can’t afford to have any of you getting suspended for something as stupid as bullying and other shit got it?” I announced as I stared at Scott who just rolled his eyes at me.

 

I was relieved to hear that more than half of the team agreed with me regarding this situation. I was even more surprised when I found out that a lot of them were also regretting what happened four years ago. Scott and a few of his posse didn’t.  The ignorant bastards just sat there as if they didn’t have a conscious.

 

We continued eating. Afterwards. Jason and I were discussing our chances with the championship when I suddenly felt hands around my chest. I turned around and found a redheaded girl hugging me from behind.

 

“Oh! Hey Dana,” I said as she let go of me and sat down beside me. She gave me a soft kiss on the cheek before turning to the boys.

 

“Hey fellas!” she said.

 

The team gave out a round of hello responses, which made her giggle.

 

She then turned to Jason and waved at him, “Hiya  Jase. How are you?”

 

“Doing good actually,” he said with a smile before going back to his food.

 

“That’s good to hear,” she said as she turned her attention back at me.

 

“So, what’s so important you had to leave your cheerleading table and sit down here?” I asked.

 

Dana feigned a hurt expression and replied, “What?! I can’t come over here and talk to my sexy boyfriend?” I heard Jason snicker at that comment. I glared at him from the corner of my eye.

 

“I actually came here to talk to you about the new student. Will Lakewood, ” she said.

 

“Why?” I asked slightly baffled at Dana’s sudden interest in Will.

 

“I heard he is gay.”

 

Oh yeah. I forgot Dana only moved here two years ago. She didn’t know who Will was and what role he played in my life. I certainly have no intention of telling her whatsoever.

 

“So what if he is?” Jason asked, as he leaned forward across the table, suddenly showing more interest in this conversation.

 

“I don’t know,” Dana shrugged, “I kinda think it’d be nice to have a gay friend.”

 

“Why?” Jason and I asked at the same time.

 

“Well for one thing, he could be my new shopping buddy or something. I’m sure he’ll be more fun to hang out with in the mall than you,” she said as she turned around.

 

I followed her gaze and saw that she was staring at Will. He was seating in the one of the tables in the middle of the room with his friends, Claire Gonzales, Rocky Hunter, and a few others I admit did not recognize. I could see him smiling and laughing. I have to admit, it was kinda nice seeing him happy. It took a little of the guilt away.

 

“Don’t you have your cheerleader friends to do that with?” I asked, puzzled.

 

“Them?” she laughed, “Are you kidding me? They’re nothing but two-faced backstabbing bitches. It’s not fun hanging out with them in the mall. Drama just ensues everywhere!”

 

Sometimes I can’t understand girls and what goes in their brains. If you don’t like each other, I don’t understand why you have to bottle the emotions up instead of getting it out in the open.

 

“Well I think I’m going to introduce myself to him,” Dana said as she stood and briskly made her way towards Will and his table.

 

“Dana!” I called after 5’4” girlfriend, but she just kept on walking. When she reached their table, I could see Will’s confused face. This isn’t good. The moment she sat down in their table, I immediately turned around and hid my face in my hands.

 

“Shit, I can’t take this Jason,” I whispered to him desperately trying to hide myself as much as possible.

 

“What if they….” I stopped as I caught Scott staring at me. I leaned over the table and whispered quietly, “….What if they tell her? Oh fuck….. Just tell me if she’s mad or something. I’ll bolt out of here as fast as my feet could carry me.”

 

After a couple of minutes, Jason had a look of surprise on his face. He looked down at me and said, “I don’t think you have to worry about anything.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Well, take a look,” he said as he pointed behind me.

 

I turned around and saw Dana walking towards our table with a smile on her face. When she sat down, I stared at her anxiously awaiting what they conversed about over there.

 

“Well that went well,” she said with a smile, “He accepted my shopping date! Imagine that. We might head over to the mall this weekend Tye. Just giving you a heads up.”

 

“Uhhh… okay,” I said as Dana got up, kissed me on the cheek, and headed back to her table.

 

I was clueless with the present scenario. My girlfriend just asked my long-lost gay neighbor out on a shopping date. What the fuck is happening? I feel like I’m stuck in The Twilight Zone or something.

 

As soon as Dana sat down on her table, I turned my attention back to Will’s table and as luck would have it, he was staring at me again. I quickly turned around to find Jason giving me a stare, but he didn’t question anything further. Shit this is so awkward.

 

The rest of the day was much calmer. Scott stayed clear of Will for the rest of the day. In fact, he stayed clear of bullying anyone else in the school. I didn’t know if it would last, but I was appreciative of the drama-free afternoon. Will’s return did cause a stir, as I informed by Jason in one of my afternoon classes. But it eventually died down when he laid low and didn’t really pay attention to anyone except Rocky and Claire. I guess that was one part that didn’t change.

 

As soon as school ended, I decided to head home immediately, and get some much needed rest from today’s events. It was a good thing practice doesn’t start until Wednesday or else I’d be dead on the field by now.

 

I was about to open the door of my red truck, when I felt a tap on my shoulder from behind. I turned around and was surprised seeing a certain brunette standing there.

 

“Will?”

 

He was standing in front of me with a serious look on his face.

 

“Is everything okay?” I asked noticing his somber expression. I’m not sure if he was angry, annoyed, or sad. So far he’s been pretty hard to read today.

 

“Hey can we talk?” he asked.

 

Uh-oh. My gut feeling said this was all Dana’s fault. I forgot that Will wanted to be left alone. And Dana just had to force herself into his life all of a sudden.

 

“Listen Will if this is about Dana, I’m sorry. I forgot you wanted to be left alone and my mind totally shut down when she started approaching you this afternoon at lunch,” I said earnestly.

 

“Dana?” he asked in surprise, “Oh! No, it’s not about her,” and then he smiled, “And actually I don’t mind her at all. She seemed nice.”

 

“Well that’s my girlfriend for you. Always friendly!” I beamed at admiration for my girl.

 

“Oh yeah, girlfriend…” he replied and stared vacantly ahead. I couldn’t help but notice a change in his tone. I couldn’t place my finger on it, but it sounded that he was disappointed or sad…

 

“Anyway,” he said as he looked back at me, “I just want to say thank you for this morning. You know, the whole situation with Scott and all. You really didn’t have to do that.”

 

“Are you fucking kidding me?” I scoffed at him, “Will, it’s the least I could do after what happened!”

 

He jumped slightly at my reply. I guess I shocked him with the tone of my voice.

 

“I mean look,” I continued, “I’m really trying to change here. I wasn’t kidding about what I said to you yesterday. I really mean it. Look, I’m different now and I realized what I did to you was wrong and was a mistake. Every day I wish I could take it all back, but I fucking can’t. I’m hoping one day you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I’m not the same person anymore. Will, I don’t expect us to be the best of friends, but I do wish to be friends with you sometime in the future.”

 

Will stared at the ground afterwards for awhile. I’m sure he’s digesting what I said and contemplated on what he should do.

 

“Tyler, I’m sorry. I just… I just-”

 

“Just need more time. I know,” I said dejectedly.

 

Will looked up to me and said, “I’m sorry…”

 

“Sorry? Why are you apologizing to me Will? It’s you I’ve hurt! You don’t have to apologize to me of all people,” I said in haste. I was confused. Will’s like a cryptic puzzle that I just can’t seem to crack. Normally, I tend to have a good judge of character and find out if people are actually genuine with me because they actually like me or they’re just doing it to get something else in return. Will was the exception. I can’t get a good read at him.

 

“Look Tyler, I want to forgive you, but every time I look at you I feel pain,” Will stated as he pumped his fist at his heart, “I know it’s been four years Tyler and I could see you’ve changed a bit. Like for today, you could’ve walked away from my scuffle with Scott but you didn’t.”

 

“Will, I told you-”

 

“Wait. Let me finish,” he said, interrupting me, “You could’ve left me alone to fend with Scott but you didn’t. You could’ve joined Scott tormenting me, but you didn’t. Don’t think I didn’t notice. I couldn’t stop thinking why.”

 

“Will I…”

 

“But the fact that you apologized to me, I don’t know, it felt… sincere and genuine. Do you know you’re the only one who apologized to me over what happened? Tyler, I really want to believe in you… It’s just… I still need a bit more time getting use to us being around each other again. The pain still burns whenever I see you. I hope you don’t take it personally.”

 

I nodded, fully understanding where he was coming from. “Listen Will,” I began, “I’m not going to force you into anything you don’t want to do. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be your friend once again. One you could grow to trust with your life at that.”

 

Will looked at me and then said, “Okay then. Kiss me.”

 

I stumbled a few steps back. Kiss him? What the fuck!? Did he really mean that? We’re in school for crying out loud!

 

“Here? Right now?” I asked nervously, as I glanced around us to see if there was anybody nearby.

 

Will looked at me strangely, “Oh god Tyler. You didn’t actually believe I was serious, did you? I was just joking!” He laughed afterwards.

 

“Oh,” I said before I ended up laughing at my own stupidity and naivety. Will just smiled and shook his head.

 

“I swear you straight boys are so crazy,” Will chuckled. I feigned a hurt look on my face, which earned him a few laughs. Well that’s good. At least he’s laughing around me now.

 

Will looked at his watch and said, “Hey I gotta go. I guess I’ll see you around.” And he proceeded to walk away.

 

“Will, wait!” I shouted as I grabbed his left arm, a bit too forcefully to the point where he almost stumbled backwards.

 

“Jesus Tyler! Easy! In case you haven’t noticed, I’m still shorter than you!” he said to me. He was rubbing the arm that I pulled, trying to see if it was broken. Great Tyler, Will hasn’t forgiven you for more than 5 minutes and here you are breaking his arm.

 

“Sorry… Will, but Dana doesn’t know about what happened between you and I…” I trailed off not being able to finish my sentence. I ran my fingers through my hair again, a bit nervous about this whole situation between my girlfriend and my neighbor.

 

Will just rolled his eyes and said, “Hey. I won’t tell her as long as you don’t okay?”

 

I looked at him straight in the eye. I certainly didn’t imagine Will to be this understanding or this… well… nice.

 

“Thanks Will,” I said.

 

He just smiled, waved and walked away. This time, for the first time, he wasn’t trying to run away from me.

 

“Hey, you want a ride?” I hollered back at him, “we do live across each other after all.”

 

“Tyler, remember… time,” he said as he smiled at me.

 

“Okay then. Well, later,” I replied. There wasn’t any harm in asking though. He waved a small goodbye as I watched him walk down the street before getting inside my car and driving off.

 

Somehow, I think everything’s going to be alright.

 

 

***

(Will’s POV)

 

I looked at the building on the horizon. Ridgemont High… I’d honestly thought I’d never be back here. I sighed and proceeded to walk towards my impending day of torture.

 

As I neared the building, I realized it hasn’t changed that much at all. Ridgemont High consisted of three main buildings. The biggest one was the main academic building, where all the normal classes take place. It’s divided into two main wings on opposite sides. It also houses the library and the various offices used by the administration. The smaller building to the right of it was the special classes building where the special ed classes are held: sewing, carpentry, art, music. You name it, it’s there. And the building to its left was the gym. The last time I was here, it only housed a basketball court. I wonder if they added anything else while I was gone. The football field was located directly behind the main building.

 

The first room I’ll be passing by before reaching the main entrance was the library and I could see two people very familiar to me standing there. There was a petite little girl, about 5’3” with jet black hair dressed in rolled up polo and jeans. That’s my friend Claire. There was a guy beside her, about 6’0” high with midlength brown hair tied into a ponytail. He was wearing a simple printed T-shirt and some dark denim jeans. That’s my other friend, Rocky. Well his real name is Rockwell Hunter the third, a name he grew up to dislike. So instead we call him Rocky.

 

As I was approaching them, I could hear them arguing.

 

“Claire, please tell me there’s a reason why we aren’t heading inside. Unlike you, I actually care about my attendance record. I hope you aren’t trying to make me ditch class, because if you are, I’m not letting you copy off my exams for the next month.” I smiled, missing Rocky’s dry sense of humor.

 

I saw Claire shushing him with her hand, “Just be quiet. I’m just waiting for someone, okay? He’ll be here in a minute.”

 

I guess she didn’t recognize me as I neared them because she was still scanning the horizon for my presence.

 

I stopped a few feet from them and sheepishly said, “Hi.”

 

Both of them looked at me, each had a different expression on their face.

 

Claire’s black eyes suddenly sparked up before she ended up screaming, “Will! Oh my god! It is you!!!” before engulfing me with a huge forceful hug.

 

“It’s nice to see you too Claire,” I said as I hugged her back. In the corner of my eye, I saw a couple of students started pointing towards me and share some hushed whispers. I guess the gossip mill officially starts now.

 

As soon as Claire let go of me (and still smiling like an idiot at that), I turned toward the boy in front of me. Rocky had an expression I couldn’t really decipher. There was this sort of mixture of surprise and vacancy in his eyes that was hard to look at.

 

“Hi Rocky,” I mumbled. He didn’t say anything for awhile and then he started approaching me.

 

“Ouch! Hey what gives??” I shouted when Rocky punched me hard on my left arm. And I mean, really hard!!! I began rubbing it immediately to ease some of the pain while staring at him with a questioning look.

 

“That’s for leaving without telling me or Claire!” he said, his brows furrowed in anger. I had to look down in guilt. Okay, Rocky’s angry. This isn’t good.

 

“And this…,” he continued as he approached me once again. I closed my eyes, expecting another punch coming my way. But it didn’t come.

 

“… this is for coming back you little pipsqueak,” Rocky bluntly said as he suddenly engulfed me in a huge bear hug, trapping myself within his arms. I was taken aback in surprise especially when I felt him carry me off the floor. I looked at my right at Claire, who was just smiling that big-ass grin of hers.

 

Jesus, help me out woman!

 

When Rocky brought me down, he roughed up my hair a bit. Rocky and Claire were older than me by a year, and they always treat me like their younger brother. I must admit, I missed them a lot when I was in LA.

 

“Well I take it back, you’re certainly not that pipsqueak we used to hang out with,” Rocky said as he circled around me. What am I, a lab specimen for you to study?

 

“Yeah, you’re looking mighty fine! If you weren’t gay and my friend, I’d totally sex it up with you!” Claire said as she began circling around me as well.

 

I blushed, which caused both of them to laugh out loud.

 

“Well, I guess that part of Will hasn’t changed a bit,” Rocky said.

 

“Yeah, still a prude!” Claire responded.

 

“Will you two please stop.” I replied as they both laughed.

 

Rocky looked at his digital watch and said, “Class is about to start in a few minutes. We should chat while walking. I want to know everything!”

 

“Sure,” I said as the three of us started walking inside. I was sandwiched between Claire and Rocky and began to explain to Rocky about my disappearing act four years ago. I explained to him clearly that it wasn’t because of Tyler Beaumont. As soon as I mentioned that name, he frowned. Rocky got into a fight with him because I failed to explain earlier about my relocation. I think I felt guilty about Rocky getting sucked into this mess and I felt the need to apologize.

 

“Well even if he didn’t play a part on you leaving, what he did to you was still unacceptable. And either way, I still would’ve kicked his ass,” he said as the three of us entered the main building.

 

I wasn’t even inside for more than ten seconds, and already there were a couple of dozen stares and hushed whispers going around the room. I guess this will be a little harder than I thought.

 

Claire must have sensed my discomfort when she suddenly screamed in the hall, “Well, what the hell are you guys looking at?!? Don’t you have anything else better to do than gawk??” That caused most of them to stop staring when Claire suddenly gave death glares around the room.

 

“Stupid dickheads!” Claire muttered under her breath. She turned to me and asked, “Are you okay!” the anger in her face gone.

 

“Yeah, I’m fine. It was just a bit… unsettling to have everyone stare at me,” I said.

 

“Rocky could always kick their asses for you,” Claire told me.

 

“What the fuck?” Rocky exclaimed. Claire and I just laughed at him.

 

“Hey listen, I kinda need to visit the principal’s secretary first before I head to class. She has my class schedule or something,” I said to the both of them.

 

“You sure, you’re going to be okay?” Rocky asked.

 

“Yeah, yeah. I’m going to be fine. You guys worry too much,” I said as I walked away from them with a wave.

 

“Well, okay. See you at lunch!” Claire called out to which I gave a fake salute to. My brothers’ antics are rubbing off on me, I swear.

 

I walked towards the end of the hall and entered the principal’s office. The principal’s secretary, a slightly old lady named Mrs. Lark, greeted me with a smile. I see, she still remembered me. We chatted a bit about where and what I was doing this past four years.

 

I should take this moment to explain that the only people who knew what happened to me four years ago were the students. It was kinda a close kept-secret just among the teenagers, which I appreciated at the very least. No one from the faculty or the other parents knew. Heck, I wouldn’t want my parents to know about that fiasco.

 

After chatting up a bit, she gave me my class schedule, locker location and told me to hurry out and get to class as the bell was about to ring. She’s still nice, though slightly partially deaf, but still nice nonetheless!

 

I headed towards my locker and decided to empty a few contents of my bag in it. A minute passed by when I suddenly saw a figure leaning against the adjacent locker. I looked at my right and saw the sneering face of Scott Alexander looking back at me. I could see he was wearing the school’s blue and yellow varsity jacket. Oh this is just what I need another dumb ass football player.

 

“Well, well. I heard in the hallways that you came back. I didn’t believe it at first, but imagine my surprise… Will Lakewood is back in town,” he said, a smirk plastered on his face.

 

I rolled my eyes at him and just said, “Good for you.” Scott was on top of my list of people I dreaded seeing again. I think he even beat out Tyler from the top spot. I hate Scott Alexander with every fiber of my being.

 

“I’m just wondering what would possess you to come back here. Didn’t you get enough the last time? Coming back for more are ya?” he goaded at me.

 

I stopped, narrowed my eyes at him and vehemently asked, “What do you want?!”

 

“I just want to make sure I didn’t forget to say hi to my favorite faggot,” Scott said as he tried to cup my chin.

 

I jerked away, pissed at this douche bag in front of me. I can see he still hasn’t changed one bit. Still the same ass he’s always been.

 

“Well you did! Now leave me the hell alone,” I shouted as I closed my locker and began to walk away. I wanted to leave Scott right there, before he decides to try to do something.

 

“Ooh, a little touchy are we?” I heard him say from the back, before I felt a pair of hands forcefully shove me from behind. I was surprised and caught so off-guard that I literally fell unto the floor, my books and a few of my papers scattering around me.

 

I looked back at him and shouted “What the fuck is wrong with you?!”

 

“Scott. What the hell are you doing?”

 

I looked behind me and found Tyler approaching the two of us. He was wearing a varsity jacket. Oh great, he’s a jock too.

 

“Oh hey Tyler. I was just giving him a little welcome back to Ridgemont,” I heard Scott say behind me as he kicked my knees. I glared at him back. I was about to stand up myself when I saw a hand beside me.

 

I looked at it and saw Tyler offering me help to stand up. It was quite a surprise. I certainly didn’t think he’d be cordial after I told him off yesterday. I hesitantly took it and found myself being hoisted up to my feet.

 

I mouthed a small gratitude, but I could see Tyler wasn’t paying attention to me. The blonde boy was busy staring at Scott, who looked like nothing bad happened.

 

“I saw you push him to the floor, Scott,” Tyler said.

 

I heard Scott snort, “Well that’s where his kind belongs! I for sure didn’t think I’d ever see his sorry ass ever again. He’s got some fucking nerve coming back here after four years. I’m just showing the little fuck what I think of him. Besides, why are you defending the little faggot anyway? Don’t tell me you’re turning into one as well?”

 

I balled my fists and began to approach Scott when Tyler beat me to him. I gasped in surprise when he slammed Scott against the lockers.

 

“Listen to me you fuck. I’m getting sick and tired of your defiant attitude. And I sure don’t as fucking hell appreciate you calling me or anyone else in this school names. I don’t want you starting any shit either. I don’t want the whole team going down in flames because you got your sorry ass in trouble. You may be my teammate Scott, but I ain’t afraid to kick your ass. I know a few people on the team who would love to teach you a lesson when it comes to respect,” Tyler said angry.

 

I just stood there with my mouth wide open, not really sure what’s currently happening.

 

Scott pushed Tyler off him and began eyeing the blonde. Oh shit, they’re going to fight.

 

“What’s going on here? And why aren’t you three in your classes?”

 

I turned my head and found a teacher staring at us with her hands on her hips. Oh thank god. She arrived in the nick of time.

 

When I turned my attention back to Tyler and Scott, I found the latter storming off down the hall before disappearing around the corner. I exhaled a sigh of relief. Drama early in the morning is not healthy at all.

 

I looked down at the floor and found my things stills scattered on the floor. I bent down and began picking them up, eager to get this day over with.

 

I saw Tyler bend down and started helping me retrieve my things. When he was done, he offered them back at me, a concerned look present on his handsome face…. Geez Will, of all the times to turn fan boy mode!

 

I got the books from him and proceeded to place it in my bag. Once I was done, Tyler was still looking at me. Okay, what do I say to him? I really wanted to thank him for helping me out, but for some reason my mouth just couldn’t bear to bring the needed words out.

 

Instead I murmured, “You really didn’t have to do that you know. I was fine.”

 

I could see him arch his eyebrows in response before telling me, “Just be careful okay?” And he walked past me after that.

 

Oh god. He must think I’m ungrateful or something. I turned around to Tyler, wanting to say I was sorry, but again I couldn’t find the words. I just stared at him as he too disappeared around the corner. I sighed in disbelief as I headed towards my classroom.

 

I couldn’t concentrate in class that morning. My classmates were taking numerous short glances at my direction whenever I wrote something down. And I swear I could feel eyes from the back rows burning at my back. Thank goodness Rocky was there to keep me sane. I was so close in losing my cool there.

 

We didn’t meet Claire until lunch. She was standing at the entrance to the dining hall, just as we used to do before when someone got dismissed earlier than the rest.

 

We did a few greetings before heading inside. The stares inside were more than ever. People who I never knew to begin with were also staring back at me like I was some sort of weird alien. I took a deep breath.

 

“You okay?” Rocky asked as he rubbed my back.

 

I smiled at him and responded, “Yeah. Still getting used to the stares.”

 

“You want me to scream to leave you the fuck alone?” Claire asked me.

 

I laughed at her and abruptly stopped when I realized that she wasn’t kidding. I just shook my head.

 

“Nah, let’s just get our lunch and get this break over with!” I said a bit enthusiastically.

 

We grabbed a few lunch trays and fell in line. After paying at the end of the line, Rocky and Claire both guided me to their usual table at the center of the room. I was surprised to see two people already sitting there.

 

“Will this Taylor Brown,” Claire started as she pointed to a slightly lanky, tall girl with short black hair dressed in a frilly shirt, jeans, and red flats.

 

“Hi Will, it’s nice to meet you,” she said as she gave me a small wave. I noticed she had a small tattoo around her wrist. Cool. I wanted a tattoo for the longest time! I better ask where she got hers.

 

“It’s nice to meet you too,” I said.

 

“And this is Sterling Wolfe,” she said, pointing a gorgeous looking, muscular guy sitting across Taylor. He was about 6’2” if I’m not mistaken, topped with short spiked, brown hair. And when he turned, I noticed he had the most beautiful green eyes hidden in black rectangular framed glasses.

 

“It’s good to meet you Will,” he said as he extended his hand at me. Oh Jesus Christ. He has a British accent. Holy fuck.

 

“Err… It’s nice to meet you too,” I said as I slightly blushed. Thank goodness no one noticed… especially Claire. Oh god. If she saw that, I’d never hear the end of it.

 

As soon as we were all settled, I did a little asking at Taylor and Sterling. Taylor explained to me that she and her mom moved here a year ago to escape her step-dad’s physical abuse. She said that this is where her mom grew up so it was kinda more of a homecoming for them in the long run. I didn’t want to ask what became of her step-dad as it was too early in the relationship to delve into something that personal.

 

Sterling the sexy Brit, God bless his soul, actually settled down here three years ago. His parents were actually traveling businessmen and decided to finally retire here when they saw how quiet and quaint Ridgemont was. I also found out that he too, was the youngest in the family as he had an older brother off in college.

 

We were busy in the middle of eating our lunches when Claire suddenly asked out of the blue, “Will… were you late for class this morning?”

 

“Uhh.. yeah, a bit. Why?”

 

“Tyler was late to class too,” she answered matter-of-factly.

 

Everyone stopped eating at that point and looked at me.

 

“Okay, what did he do?” Rocky asked as he crossed his arms.

 

“Nothing!” I answered back, “nothing happened I swear.”

 

“Will…” Claire began.

 

“I said nothing happened okay? Can we just drop it?” I said, annoyed.

 

I could see Claire wanting to say something, but she just let it go… for the moment.

 

I turned to look at them and noticed an understanding look coming from Taylor and Sterling’s expressions. Wait a minute… Do they know as well?

 

“Wait, you guys know what happened four years ago?” I asked the two of them.

 

“Well,” Taylor started as she momentarily looked at Sterling, “everyone kinda has some twisted version of what happened to you four years ago. You’re like this school’s urban legend or something. Claire and Rocky here informed us of what truly happened though.”

 

She then leaned in forward and whispered, “Just among us at this table, some people out there have very sick imaginations about the incident if you know what I mean.”

 

I pouted, “Great… So apparently I’m the poster boy for the pathetic in this school. Ugh. Kill me now!”

 

I saw Sterling deeply staring at me, blushing a bit.

 

“What?” I asked him.

 

He just smiled and said, “You’re kinda cute when you pout.”

 

“What?!” I said, blushing a deep shade of red. Everyone in the table just laughed at that moment. I manage to let out a small chuckle in embarrassment. Yeah, I still find taking compliments a bit weird.

 

I couldn’t gauge if Sterling was gay from that comment. I don’t know why, but my gaydar just didn’t sense anything from him. But then again, my gaydar hasn’t been reliable based on past experiences so… yeah.

 

Everyone was still laughing at my expense when I a heard a small “Hello” behind me.

 

I turned around and saw a really pretty redhead standing before us. She had really nice brown eyes and was looking at me with them.

 

“Oh… hello Dana,” Rocky greeted the redhead.

 

Dana turned her attention to everyone in the table and greeted each and every single one.

 

“Mind if I sit down?” she asked.

 

“Oh but of course,” Sterling said as he scooted farther away from me so Dana could sit between the two of us. As soon as she was settled, she looked back at me.

 

“So Will, I heard you’re gay.”

 

“So what if I am?” I asked cautiously, not knowing where this conversation was going.

 

“Well I just want to say how brave it is for you to be out. I don’t know a lot of people who are courageous enough to freely be who they want to be in this city,” she stated.

 

I just blinked at her. I certainly didn’t see that coming.

 

“I was wondering if you would like to go to the mall with me sometimes and help me go shopping. I’m kinda curious to see if you gay guys would be able to help me more than straight guys can. Of course Claire and Taylor would be more than welcome to join us,” Dana said as she stared at the two females in our table.

 

“Count me in!” Claire answered fairly quickly.

 

While Taylor on the other hand mumbled, “I guess so.”

 

Dana clapped her hands in delight. “Good, it’s settled then! Let’s try going out this weekend!” she said as she stood up, “Oh and Will, if anyone gives you any trouble, you just tell me, okay?” She waved goodbye and walked back down the dining hall.

 

“How in the hell can she help me?” I asked in confusion as I took a sip of juice.

 

“Will love, Dana is Tyler’s girlfriend,” Claire answered.

 

I nearly choked right there as I accidentally spat a few drops of juice on the table.

 

“Whoa! Are you okay?” Sterling asked in surprise as he grabbed a few tissues and began to wipe the mess I made on the table.

 

I couldn’t answer him as I was still busy coughing. I just nodded the entire time and held a hand up saying I was fine.

 

“Dana is Tyler’s girlfriend?” I asked in disbelief as I turned around to look at Tyler’s table. He was hunched down on the table. What on earth is he doing? Hiding?

 

“Yeah. They started dating when she moved here two years ago. She’s in the cheerleading squad, which puts her in a powerful position. Surprisingly, she’s one of the nicest people in this school. It’s ironic that she fell for that metal head over there though,” Claire said as she rolled her eyes.

 

I stared at the both of them and found Tyler turning his head towards our table. Our eyes met for a second before he quickly diverted his gaze elsewhere.

 

During the last couple of periods, all I could think about was Tyler. A part of me really wants to forgive him, but there’s still that small part inside me that just can’t let go of the pain.

 

Aah, I’m so confused. Every time Tyler looks at me, I see this concern and guilt in his eyes that keeps haunting me. I can’t get that image out of my head!

 

After class, I knew exactly what I needed to do.

 

As soon as the dismissal bell rang, I quickly met up with Claire, Rocky, Taylor, and Sterling at the main entrance. They were going to the malt shop down Main Street and asked if I wanted to go. I declined saying that there was still unpacking needed to be done.

 

When they left the school grounds in Sterling’s SUV, I scanned the parking lots to find Tyler’s bright red truck. I saw Tyler get inside it last night when he left their house.

 

I saw it parked under the lamp post. I looked around and saw that most students were already gone. I decided to confront Tyler again. He was busy fumbling with his car keys when I suddenly tapped him on the shoulder. When he turned around, his eyes almost popped out of its sockets in surprise.

 

“Will?” he asked me. I just stared at him. I tried to smile, but at that moment I couldn’t.

 

“Is everything okay?” he asked, concern present in his blue eyes once again. Ugh. Why must be so gorgeous?

 

“Hey can we talk?” I asked him.

 

His eyes switched to panic in an instant as he started blurting out really fast, “Listen Will if this is about Dana, I’m sorry. I forgot you wanted to be left alone and my mind totally shut down when she started approaching you this afternoon at lunch.”

 

“Dana?” What’s this got to do with- Oh yeah I forgot I asked him to leave me alone. But I wasn’t bothered by that at all.

 

“Oh! No, it’s not about her,” I added, “And actually I don’t mind her at all. She seemed nice.”

 

“Well that’s my girlfriend for you. Always friendly!”

 

“Oh yeah, girlfriend…” Ugh. Just saying that word made my mouth dry. Will snap out of it. Tyler has a girlfriend. Stop making grandeur illusions of you two ending up being together.

 

“Anyway,” I said as I looked back at him, “I just want to say thank you for this morning. You know, the whole situation with Scott and all. You didn’t have to do that really.”

 

“Are you fucking kidding me?” he bellowed, “Will, it’s the least I could do after what happened!” I jumped slightly at the sudden increase of volume in his voice. Jesus Christ. He nearly gave me a heart attack!

 

“I mean look,” he continued, “I’m really trying to change here. I wasn’t kidding about what I said to you yesterday. I really mean it. Look, I’m different now and I now realized what I did to you was wrong and was a mistake. Everyday I wish I could take it all back, but I fucking can’t. I’m hoping you could see that one day you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I’m not the same person anymore. Will, I don’t expect us to be the best of friends, but I do wish to be friends with you sometime in the future.”

 

I stared at the ground, thinking. Tyler Beaumont was genuinely asking for my forgiveness right now. But I was conflicted. On one hand, I want to move on. But on the other hand, I just couldn’t.

 

“Tyler, I’m sorry. I just… I just-”

 

“Just need more time. I know,” he said quite quickly.

 

I looked up at him, his shoulders slumped down in misery, eyes casting down on the ground. “I’m sorry…” I began.

 

“Sorry? Why are you apologizing to me Will? It’s you I’ve hurt! You don’t have to apologize to me of all people,” Tyler said quite forcefully. I took a good look at him. His blonde hair was neatly combed down. His handsome, chiseled face scrunched up in confusion. And his beautiful blue eyes were brimming with remorse. I think it was then that I realized Tyler was truly sorry for everything.

 

“Look Tyler, I want to forgive you, but every time I look at you I feel pain,” I stated, “I know it’s been four years Tyler and I could see you’ve changed a bit. Like for today, you could’ve walked away from my scuffle with Scott but you didn’t.”

 

“Will, I told you-”

 

“Wait. Let me finish,” I interrupted him, “You could’ve left me alone to fend with Scott but you didn’t. You could’ve joined Scott tormenting me, but you didn’t. Don’t think I didn’t notice. I couldn’t stop thinking why.”

 

“Will I…”

 

“But the fact that you apologized to me, I don’t know, it felt… sincere and genuine. Do you know you’re the only one who apologized to me over what happened? Tyler, I really want to believe in you… It’s just… I still need a bit more time getting use to us being around each other. The pain still burns whenever I see you. I hope you don’t take it personally…”

 

All these years I resented Tyler, but now all my anger just seemed to evaporate into thin air. I wasn’t angry anymore. Hurt yes, but anger? Nope. I mean that’s a step in the right direction right?

 

“Listen Will,” Tyler said “I’m not going to force you into anything you don’t want to do. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be your friend once again. One you could grow to trust with your life at that.” And with that, he flashed me his pearly white smile.

 

I looked at him and decided to keep the mood light and all so I said, “Okay then. Kiss me.”

 

When I said that, Tyler’s eyes went wide. He backed off a few feet and I could tell he was getting uncomfortable at the idea. I just laughed.

 

“Here? Right now?” he asked nervously as he looked around if there was anyone nearby.

 

I looked at him strangely and then realization of what he said hit me like a bullet train. Oh my god. He was actually going to do it! Shit! Tyler Beaumont had no problem kissing me…. Fuck.

 

You have no idea how much I had to restrain myself from planting a huge one on his lips, but I didn’t want to take advantage of his guilt so I just said, “Oh god Tyler. You didn’t actually believe I was serious, did you? I was just joking!” Besides I didn’t want to give him any trouble with his girl.

 

And then I tried to laugh it off. When Tyler realized that I was just joking, he managed to laugh at the situation as well. Okay, good.

 

After the laughter, I looked at my watch and realized I really should be going home. I told Tyler, “Hey I gotta go. I guess I’ll see you around.” And began to walk away.

 

No sooner had I walked two steps, Tyler shouted, “Will wait!” as he grabbed my left arm, the very same one Rocky sorely punched this morning. I think Tyler dislocated it or something as I came nearly down on the floor.

 

“Jesus Tyler! Take it easy will ya. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m still shorter than you!” I said to him as I began rubbing my arm.

 

He looked sheepish. “Sorry… Will, but Dana doesn’t know about what happened between you and I…” he said as he ran his fingers through his hair.

 

I just stared at him. Dana doesn’t know? Well that’s a surprise! I was quite offended he’d think I’d spoil his secret to his girlfriend. In the end, I decided to just let it go so I said, “Hey. I won’t tell her as long as you don’t okay?” Dana’s actually nice and I don’t want to kinda rain on her parade with Tyler.

 

He looked at me straight in the eyes, wondering if I meant that last part or not. When he was satisfied he said, “Thanks Will.”

 

He offered me a ride back home, but I declined saying it was still a bit too early to be close buddies. I’m glad he didn’t take it personally. I was walking down the school courtyard when I saw Tyler’s red truck drive by me. Tyler lowered his window and gave a small honk and a wave. I returned the wave with an embarrassing smile as he sped off into the distance.

 

I was thinking about what happened a few minutes ago. I mean, it was a step in the right direction right? I was busy contemplating what transpired when suddenly someone shouted, “Hey, Lakewood!”

 

I turned around at the source of the sound and found a figure leaning under shade of a big old oak tree. I didn’t really get a chance to get a good look at the face, but I know for a fact that it was a guy from the voice.

 

“Who are you?” I asked as I let my guard up once again.

 

“Now, now. No need to be a bitch. It’s just me,” said the figure as he stepped into the sunlight.

 

“What do you want Jason?” I asked as I continued to stare at him.

 

 

TBC

 

 

***

Hello again everyone! I just want to say that I am extremely grateful to all those taking their time e-mailing me and telling me how much they enjoy the story. You have no idea how much it makes my heart so fat with appreciation :3 LOL. I enjoyed writing Chapter 3 so much, I hope you enjoyed reading it too.

 

How do you guys feel about Will and Tyler finally trying to bury the hatchet? I think it’s time, don’t you think? Now as for that mysterious scuffle four years ago, which I will be aptly calling The Event, you guys would just have to wait and read it out. For now though, I’d like to focus more on Will and Tyler’s present relationship (whatever that may be).
Again, feel free to hit me up at flipped100@yahoo.com for your comments, suggestions, inquires about the story. I try my best to reply as fast as possible to every e-mail I get. I also do enjoy a good conversation every now and then. LOL.

 

Before any of you ask, chapter 4 will be DEFINITELY be uploaded sometime after Valentine’s Day. My thesis is due on that day and my professor recently gave me a lashing for being so mediocre. I need to step it up if I want to graduate on time and I can’t afford to write chapter 4 while doing that. Even though I really, really want to. I do hope you guys will be patient enough to wait for chapter 4. Afterwards, I’ll do my very best to produce a chapter every week.

 

Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my editor, Tim (yay!). He’s been such a great help cleaning the chapter and making the transitions between dialogues smoother. So any praises I receive goes to him as well! LOL. Tim, you’re awesome. Just saying.

 

Anyway, wish me luck with school! I think I’m going to need it… huhuhu

 

Cheers!

 

-Nick (brimming with lots of loooove)

 

 

 

 

I Think I’ve Flipped Chapter 2

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(Tyler’s POV)

 

Yesterday was probably the weirdest day I’ve had in my entire life. I mean that. It certainly beats the day I woke up drunk in the middle of the park in my boxers And let me tell you, that in itself was really, really weird! But yeah, yesterday seemed to top that.

 

Will Lakewood was back. And I’m getting bothered by it a lot.

 

“Yo! Earth to Tye!! You there man?”

 

I gave a small yelp, startled at the hand waving in front of my face. I grumbled in annoyance and moved the hand away and found Jason staring at me.

 

Jason Harrington’s my best friend in the world. We’re practically inseparable ever since he moved here in fourth grade. I don’t know why, but ever since then we were like brothers. He’s the older one though. Being a year older than me, he’s a bit controlling sometimes, but still he’s a good dude.

 

Where I typically look like the all-American teenager with the blonde hair and blue eyes, Jason on the other hand had black hair and brown eyes. His hair is perfectly trimmed and always styled as Jason does kinda have the metrosexual gene in his body. Although we’re about the same height, he’s a little slimmer than me still he’s ripped too. And yeah, he’s in the football team too.

 

“Tye! What the fuck is wrong with you man?” Jason asked he sat on the bench across from my position.

 

We were chilling at his porch in his house. He called me earlier if I wanted to come over and play some of his new video games, so I did. After a few hours playing Call of Duty and Resident Evil, we got bored and decided to take a few hours to chill outside and watch people walk by. And here I am, leaning over the railing doing just that.

 

“TYE!!!” Jason shouted, annoyance clearly present in both the tone of his voice and from the expression etched on his face.

 

“Look Jace, I’m sorry, but I’ve got a lot of mind,” I said as I sat on the railing, facing him.

 

“Girl problems again? Aww, dude. I’m sure Dana would get in the mood soon,” he said with a laugh.

 

In case you’re wondering, Dana’s my girlfriend. We’ve been together for about a year now and even though Jace’s comment was below the belt, it was kinda true. Dana didn’t want to have sex. I don’t know if she’s one of those girls who are waiting to be married before doing it, but yeah, she’s totally being a flake about it. Still, Jace’s comment was uncalled for and way off mark.

 

“It’s not about a girl. It’s about a boy,” I said, trying to be as nonchalant about this as possible.

 

Jason looked at me with a feigned appalled look, “Dude. Don’t tell me you’re becoming a fag?” He laughed at his own joke, which I didn’t find funny at all. Yeah, Jason can tend to be obnoxious at times too.

 

“Will Lakewood’s back,” I said bluntly.

 

Well that surely got his attention. Jason’s laugh disappeared all of a sudden and stared at me with his brown eyes wide in disbelief.

 

“WHAT?” he asked as he stood up in surprise.

 

“Will’s back Jason. They moved in yesterday… He’s back living across my house,” I said, looking at Jason who was just staring at me.

 

“Shit man. I thought we’d never see his sorry fag ass again,” Jason said as I frowned at his choice of words. He plopped back down on the swing as he continued to look at me.

 

“I met his parents too. They seemed happy… which was weird,” I added.

 

Jason asked, “They weren’t angry at you?”

 

“Well if they did, they had a funny way of showing it,” I said as I brushed away bee buzzing dangerously near my ear. Ugh. Leave me alone will you? Bother some fucking flowers instead!

 

Jason kept staring at me and he was being awfully silent about it too. Not a good sign.

 

“Is he going back to Ridgemont High?” Jason asked all of a sudden.

 

I looked at him alarmed. He had this weird gleam look in his eyes, which meant he was thinking ways of dealing with Will. Uh-oh.

 

“We do absolutely nothing, okay?” I answered quickly. I could see Jason quite taken aback. I continued, “Listen Jason, I can’t begin to say how bothered I still am over what happened four years ago. We were young, we didn’t know any better. And judging from Will’s attitude yesterday, I still sense there’s animosity within him.”

 

“But…” Jason said as he tried interrupting me.

 

“Listen,” I said as I cut him off, “we’re in high school now. Any shit you pull could presumably lose that scholarship you’ve been trying to attain for the past three years. I just want to start fresh with him and not bother him anymore, okay?”

 

Jason looked at me with a pout, “Fine. I’ll leave him alone for your sake. I can’t speak for everyone else though,” Jason said as he crossed his arms in defiance.

 

I sighed. I didn’t say anything else as I know how stubborn and hard-headed Jason could be so I left it there. Honestly, all this talking about Will Lakewood has gotten me pretty exhausted.

 

“Look dude, I’m beat. I’m going home. See ya tomorrow at school okay?” I said to Jason.

 

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever,” Jason snorted before giving me a fist bump. As soon as it was done, he headed back inside as I made my way towards my house on foot.

 

Walking back, my mind began tracing back what happened four years ago.  Looking back, I can’t say how much I regret it. I was a huge douchebag back then. Because of what my friends and I did, we caused Will a lot of pain to the point where he had to move away.

 

Honestly, I didn’t know what came over me back then. Was it peer pressure? Or was it because I was so fed up with Will back then? I couldn’t really tell. It was just one of those moments I wish I could erase from my memory.

 

As I came closer to my house, I noticed the Lakewood boys playing a little soccer in their lawn. I stopped in surprise. Will playing soccer shocked the hell out of me. Well for one thing, he was really fast. He expertly dodged the incoming advances of Marco… or was that Blake? Ugh. Whoever!

 

I never saw this side of Will back then. All he was before was a geek and a nerd in my eyes. And now, he’s some sort of athlete. Jesus, I can’t imagine what else changed in him from that four year absence from Ridgemont.

 

I guess I didn’t notice I had my mouth open in shock when one of the twins hollered out to me.

 

“Tyler! Hahaha. Dude, what’s wrong? Never seen soccer before? Come over here!”

 

I made my way across the street, my hands tucked away in the pockets of my jeans. Once there, I sheepishly produced some sorry-looking wave of hello, “Hey… uhh…” I stammered not knowing if this twin in front of me was either Blake or Marco.

 

“Haha. It’s Marco. Blake’s the one who has the pierced ears, see?” Marco said as he pointed at his twin who was flashing his pierced ears to me. I nodded in agreement and kinda blushed from the embarrassment of this situation.

 

“So you wanna join us? We can do two-on-two?” Marco asked.

 

I briefly looked behind him to look at Will. He was all sweaty, with small drops of perspiration falling down on his face, which had a hardened expression. I could tell he didn’t want me to play… So I declined.

 

“Naah dude, maybe some other time,” I answered while pointing at my jeans, “Jeans isn’t probably the best thing to sweat in.”

 

The twins laughed in unison. I swear I’m still a bit creeped out with this whole twin synchronization thingy. Still I managed a chuckle.

 

“Well, we’re going to head inside now. Maybe some other time,” Blake said as he gave me an informal salute goodbye. The three of them proceeded to head inside.

 

I guess my conscience was kinda eating me from the inside, but I couldn’t delay this really late conversation with Will.

 

“Will, can I talk for you for a moment?” I asked. At that moment, I chucked my hands in my pockets once again, feeling sheepish about this.

 

Will abruptly stopped and turned around. He stared at me momentarily before turning his attention to his brothers. He gave them some sort of look, which caused them to smile and head inside. Once the twins were inside he started walking towards me, stopping about 3 feet from me.

 

“What do you want Tyler?” he asked as he crossed his arms, sweat still dripping down his forehead. He looked me right in the eye as he asked that, which made me look away in shame and guilt.

 

Once I gathered myself, I looked at him back in the eyes, “Look Will. I just want to say that I regret with all my heart what I did to you back then. Words cannot say how sorry I am, okay? If I could take back what I did to you, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I just want to forget about it and make sure you understand how incredibly sorry I am. I want to start fresh with you.”

 

After a few minutes of silence, Will looked away from me and murmured, “It’s… not that easy Tyler.”

 

“But why?! It’s been four years already. Can’t you find it in your heart already to forgive me?” I asked in frustration. I was desperate for his forgiveness just so I could finally let go of all this guilt.

 

Will looked back at me, his eyes sharp and deadly like daggers, “Look Tyler, you don’t have the right to tell me that I need to forgive you already! What you did to me was beyond awful! To this day I still can’t believe you were capable of doing that to me!”

 

I winced at his words. I don’t want to admit it, but they stung. Every single word. I had to look down. My emotions were actually beyond control at this point. I was angry, sad, pissed all at the same time. I wanted to punch or kick something so bad just to release this pent up aggression.

 

I hear Will sigh in front of me before he says, “I… I just need time okay?”

 

I looked up at his face and saw he had a forlorn expression. I just want him to be okay with me.

 

“So what happens now?” I asked as I crossed my arms.

 

Will closed his eyes for a moment, thinking. A few minutes passed before he opened his hazel eyes and looked at me, “You ignore me. I ignore you. It shouldn’t be too hard for you right Tyler? After all you seem to be pretty good at that all those years ago.” He turned around after that and made his way back to the house.

 

I was taken aback. I certainly didn’t see that coming. It wasn’t fair for him to use my behavior back then as an excuse. Can’t he see that I’ve changed? I’m really making an effort here for crying out loud!

 

I walked up to him, to prove him that things would be different, when he suddenly shut the front door in front of me. Fuck. Why was this so difficult?!? I was out here ready to do anything for this to be over and done with! And what does he want me to do? Ignore him? Should be easy for me? What kind of a rebuttal is that anyway? Damn it! Fuck this!

 

I stormed my way off the Lakewood property and made my way across the street towards my house. If leaving him alone will make him happy, then fine, I’ll leave him alone.

 

 

***

(Will’s POV)

 

“So what did you say to him?”

 

“Nothing much. Pretty much told him to buzz off, but you know, in a more subtle way. And don’t worry, I’m fine,” I said. I was currently in my bedroom, sprawled on the floor talking on the phone. I couldn’t really sit on my bed yet as it hasn’t been assembled yet as of yesterday. I mean the parts were in my room and all, but I just couldn’t concentrate enough to actually finish constructing it. Not after seeing Tyler Beaumont. No frickin’ way.

 

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t actually sleep on the floor. I slept on a sleeping bag on top of the floor. But it wasn’t a big improvement either. Haha.

 

“Will, are you sure you’re fine?” the receiver on the other end of the line asked me.

 

“Claire, I’m fine really,” I responded. I was talking to my friend Claire Gonzales on the phone. I figured she and I really needed to talk. After all, we haven’t seen each other or heard from each other for more than 4 years. As soon as I called her up, she squealed so loud over the transmitter, it made my ear ring for quite awhile. Then she took about half an hour being angry and pissed at me for not telling her I why I left. It took me the next half hour to explain myself.

 

Claire is actually one of the only two people I’ve told of what happened between me and Tyler back then. And let’s just say she didn’t take it very well. She went directly at Tyler’s house, slapped him in the front door and walked away. God, I fuckin’ love this girl.

 

“Hmm.. Okaaaayyy,” she said, skepticism clearly present in her voice, “Are you sure you didn’t leave because of what Tyler and his crew did to you?”

 

“Claire…” I sighed as I have no intention of repeating what I told her a couple of minutes ago.

 

“I get it. I get it. Sheesh. Just making sure,” Claire said.

 

Contrary to what everyone else believes, I did not move because of what happened four years ago. My dad received a very good job offer in LA that he had to move the entire family from one to coast to the other. He was doing pretty well at his job, gotten promoted and everything. The only problem was the company seemed to have been slapped a lawsuit and lost, deploying it into bankruptcy. With my dad jobless, we couldn’t really afford paying for our pretty expensive abode in LA. In the end, my dad contacted his old job here in Ridgemont and as luck would have it, they were happy enough to have him back. So in the end, we moved back down here.

 

Let me take this moment to re-iterate the fact that the move wasn’t because of Tyler Beaumont. I repeat, not because of Tyler Beaumont.

 

“So,” Claire started, “have you talked to Rocky yet?”

 

“Heck no. You know how he is with surprises. He’d most likely hang up on me over the phone,” I cringed in reply. Rocky was my other friend who I left in Ridgemont. He’s also the other person I told about what went down four years ago, “It’ll be better if I just speak to him in person tomorrow. That way, I can follow him around if he gets mad at me and avoids me.”

 

Claire laughed on the other end, “You’re probably right. That does sound like Rocky…” The next second, she became all dead serious again, “You do know what Rocky did when he found out you left right?”

 

“What? No! Oh my god. Did he do something to himself???” I asked, sitting up in panic. Shit. If Rocky did something harmful to himself, I don’t think I’d have the coura-

 

“Relax you doofus,” Claire laughed. How could she laugh at a time like this!? I was about to scold her when she continued, “Rocky’s fine! It was Tyler Beaumont that wasn’t!”

 

“Tyler??? What’s he got to do with this?”

 

“Well,” Claire started, “after Rocky heard of what Tyler did to you after you so infamously left, he kinda went up to him in school and clocked the lights out of your neighbor big time! I’m not kidding Will, it was a full blown fight!!!”

 

“Really? Rocky did that?” I asked her again, surprised Rocky was in a fight. It’s weird because he’s always been… well… cool and collected all of the time. I guess me leaving upset him really badly. Sigh. I need to make my apology good tomorrow. I could hear a faint “yeah” from the other end of the line. I guess Claire must be also surprised about Rocky’s behavior.

 

There was a few seconds of silence when I asked, “Is that what the school thinks?”

 

“Think about what?” Claire asked back, clearly not on the same page as I am.

 

“About why I left. Do they think it’s because of Tyler?”

 

“Well yeah. But you can set the record straight now that you’re back!”

 

“Claire… I’m not… going to do that.”

 

“Whaaaaat??” Claire shouted in surprise, causing me to hold the phone away from my ear. If this continues, I’m going to end up deaf tomorrow in school.

 

I thought it was over and was safe to put the phone back near my ear, when Claire shouted again, “Why not?!?” Jesus, calm down woman!

 

“I don’t wanna indulge the gossip mill of the school. I’d rather lay low rather than have the school talk about me,” I explained to her.

 

Claire snorted, “You do realize that the entire student body WILL be talking about you tomorrow regardless if you don’t talk to a single soul there.”

 

I rolled my eyes at the comment. What she said was true, but I didn’t want to aggravate the situation even more. “I know, but I’d rather have the school stop at my return and nothing more,” I said.

 

“Hmm.. Whatever Will. It’s your life… Tyler doesn’t know why you left, does he?”

 

“Of course not! He’s the last person on earth I’m going to tell!!!” I shouted over the phone.

 

“… I thought you weren’t going to tell anyone?” Oh my god. This girl is getting on my nerves. If she- “Will, I’m kidding okay? I know what’s going on in that head of yours. You need to lighten up. I’m serious. This is the type of shit that will make you age faster than normal.”

 

Her comment caused me to laugh out loud.

 

“But yeah,” I said, “you get the picture. I just can’t get over the fact that he did that to me, you know? And it was just my luck when I saw him yesterday in those stupid looking boardshorts and white shirt of his. I was watching him from the attic and he had the same stupid frickin’ smile plastered on his face as if nothing-” I suddenly stopped talking, noticing that the other end had gone eerily quiet.

 

“Uhhh… Claire? Are you still there?”

 

“… You still like him, don’t you Will” Claire asked.

 

It took me a few seconds to digest the question before answering, “Who Tyler? No I don’t!” with a snort in the end.

 

“Yes you do.”

 

“No I don’t!!!” I said. I snorted again at the thought of me liking Tyler… again.

 

“Will, we’ve been friends since preschool and whenever you lie, you kinda tend to make a sound afterwards. You snorting twice in a row confirms that,” she said.

 

I’m actually picturing Claire smiling over the phone as we speak. Sigh. She’s such a mind reader, I tell you.

 

“Just admit it Will,” Claire cooed.

 

“…. Fine. I still li-”

 

“I KNEW ITTT!” Claire screamed. I cringed once again. Its official: I’ll be deaf by tomorrow.

 

“Claire! Would you stop screaming!? You’re making my ears bleed!!!” I hissed.

 

“Sorry. Sorry!” she apologized, “But wow, I still can’t believe you still like him after what happened!”

 

I couldn’t believe it either. Tyler Beaumont did manage to make my life miserable and showed no remorse over what he did. Still, I couldn’t bare myself to hate him completely. Is it because of his sparkling, blue eyes? Or is it because of his golden locks of hair? Or was because we were actually friends at one point?

 

Yes, you heard that right. Tyler and I were friends before. He and I used to hang out during first grade right before fourth grade, where we kinda seemed to have nothing in common anymore. That was also the time when Jason Harrington moved into town.

 

“I know… it’s messed up,” I murmured over the phone.

 

“Will, it’s not… Okay maybe a little, but I think it’s cute you still like him after all this years.”

 

“Don’t you think it’s a bit pathetic I still like him after… you know?” I asked.

 

Claire gasped over the phone before answering, “William Lakewood! I don’t want you to ever hear you call yourself pathetic again okay? You are one of the smartest and most genuine kids who live around here. And believe me, there aren’t a lot of them!!!”

 

I couldn’t help but smile, “Thanks Claire. Problem is I’m still angry at him, but at the same time, I can’t help but like him. Does that make any sense?”

 

Claire took a moment before responding, “It does make sense… well a little. But you know, the heart’s a weird thing.”

 

“Oh god. You’re so fucking cheesy!” I said, laughing. At that moment, my door suddenly burst open and Blake’s head popped out of the corner.

 

“Hey, you up for some soccer outside? Marco wants to kick our sorry little asses again out there,” he said looking at me with a grin.

 

“Hey Claire,” I said over the phone, “I gotta go. I’ll see you tomorrow morning at school okay?”

 

“Sure. Rocky and I will be waiting at the corner of the library for you before the bell rings! BYE” Claire cheerfully responded before hanging up.

 

I hung up the phone and went to my still unpacked boxes to pull out some clothes for the game. I grabbed a Real Madrid jersey and some shorts because they were on the top of the pile. I was about to change when I noticed Blake was standing in the doorway, with a silly grin on his face.

 

“What are you smiling about? Do you mind? I’m going to change so we can play already,” I said.

 

“Why are you always so touchy whenever you have to go naked?” Blake smirked, “you do know you’re sexy right lil’ bro?”

 

“BLAAKE!!!” I shouted in embarrassment. I blushed a deep shade of red at his comment. I still find it weird whenever someone compliments me on my body. My brother just laughed, went inside to ruffle my hair a bit before going downstairs towards the lawn.

 

I rolled my eyes as he left my room. Now don’t take me wrong here. I love my brothers, I really do. It’s just sometimes they get a little bit… carried away? But then again, what older brother doesn’t?

 

As soon as I got downstairs, we headed straight to playing. Now it would be weird with just the three of us playing, after all, the team’s going to be pretty uneven. But in reality, it wasn’t all that difficult. Blake and I always team up because Marco was in the varsity back in LA and was good… really, really good. Even if there was two of us in the team, we still lose. Haha. Yeah, we’re losers I know.

 

We were playing for more than half an hour when I heard Marco suddenly scream, “Tyler! Hahaha. Dude, what’s wrong? Never seen soccer before? Come over here!”

 

My feet stopped abruptly as I looked at behind me and found Tyler Beaumont coming his way over to our house. Again. He was wearing a nifty green looking plaid shirt, jeans, and some sneakers. Fuck. Was he hot. I couldn’t help but stare at him, which Blake evidently noticed as he gave me his signature silly little grin. I shook my head. Ugh. Older brothers.

 

I turned my attention back to Marco and Tyler. Apparently Marco wanted Tyler to join in the game. I was miffed to say the least. I didn’t want anything to do with Tyler at this point. I’m still mad at him. And then I caught him looking at me. I wanted to make some smart-ass comment, but I decided to just let it go.

 

What he did next surprised me though. He actually declined to play with us. I never knew Tyler to be the type to turn down a challenge into anything since… well, forever.

 

“Well, we’re going to head inside now. Maybe some other time,” I heard Blake say to him before he proceeded to go inside with Marco.

 

I followed their lead when I suddenly hear Tyler saying, “Will, can I talk for you for a moment?” That caused me to stop right then and there. I turned around to look at him. And I mean really take a good look at him. I looked for some sort of sign in his face of what this might entail and all I could see was doubt and possibly a hint of fright. I looked back at the twins and gave them my get-lost-look they know all so well. They smiled at me before leaving me and Tyler alone outside in the lawn.

 

Once my brothers were inside, I walked towards Tyler, but stopped a couple feet away from him. After all, I didn’t know if he was going to be rough about this or something.

 

“What do you want Tyler?” I asked him as I crossed my hands, trying to show him I was still pissed at him. He looked away from me. Good. He’s guilty.

 

It took him quite a few seconds, but eventually he looked back at me in the eyes and said, “Look Will. I just want to say that I regret with all my heart what I did to you back then. Words cannot say how sorry I am, okay? If I could take back what I did to you, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I just want to forget about it and make sure you understand how incredibly sorry I am. I want to start fresh with you.”

 

I blinked my eyes. I really didn’t expect Tyler Beaumont to apologize, not this way. All this time I was expecting some measly apology that would make me easily hate him later on, but no. I could see in his eyes how truly remorseful he was. I just had to look away.

 

“It’s… not that easy Tyler,” I said. After all, what the hell I was supposed to say? I couldn’t think of anything at that moment. No proper response. No smart rebuttal. None whatsoever.

 

“But why?! It’s been four years already. Can’t you find it in your heart already to forgive me?” Tyler asked again, this time a bit of forcefulness present in his voice. That kinda set me off quite a bit.

 

“Look Tyler, you don’t have the right to tell me that I need to forgive you already! What you did to me was beyond awful! To this day I still can’t believe you were capable of doing that to me!” I shouted at him, my eyes gleaming with venom. I saw him wince from what I said. And for the second time, Tyler surprised because he was biting his lip. He was holding back his feelings, I could tell.

 

I sigh at my own conflicted emotions before saying, “I… I just need time okay?”

 

“So what happens now?” he asks right back as he crossed his arms.

 

I closed my eyes. I needed to think. What I really want to say was that it was going to be alright and that I wanted a fresh start too. But it was more complicated than that. There was still a part of my heart that couldn’t get over his betrayal four years ago. And I don’t think I could take anymore drama he might bring in my life considering we’re in high school where every corner is filled with it.

 

I wasn’t thinking clearly when I suddenly opened my eyes to look at him and responded, “You ignore me. I ignore you. It shouldn’t be too hard for you right Tyler? After all you seem to be pretty good at that all those years ago.” I turned around and made my way back into the house.

 

At that point, I was getting pretty emotional. I didn’t mean to sound so harsh, but Tyler would be better without me meddling in his life. He doesn’t need someone like me. His life would be a lot easier without me. That way he didn’t have to endure whatever insults might come if I do decide to become friends with him again. I know I’m mad at him, but seeing his face in pain like that. God. That brought me to my knees.

 

I quickly shut the door behind me as I wiped my eyes clean. Sorry for being overly dramatic, but I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.

 

“Did he finally ask you out?”

 

I turned around to see Blake and Marco staring at me with identical grins. When they saw my face however, their grins disappeared.

 

“Will, what’s wrong?” Blake asked as he and Marco both approached me.

 

I shook my head and said it was nothing.

 

“Did that son of a bitch do this to you?” Marco asked, “I’m gonna beat the living daylight out of this creep!!”

 

He was about to turn the handle of the front door when I grabbed his arm. He looked at me, still angry and told him to let it go. He softened up after that and hugged me tightly afterwards. “It’s his loss, you know,” he said as he looked at me in the eyes, love present in his.

 

“Do you wanna talk about it?” Blake asked. He also gave me a hug.

 

I pulled away and shook my head. I forced a smile trying to tell them that it wasn’t a big deal. Afterwards, I decided to head back upstairs to my room. In the corner of my eye, I saw Blake stop Marco from following me. I smiled at the gesture as he felt I wanted to be alone right now, which was true. God. Do I need to be alone right now.

 

Back at Ridgemont, I’ve walked away from Tyler Beaumont twice already. Hopefully this time, it’s for good.

 

TBC

I Think I’ve Flipped Chapter 1

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(Tyler’s POV)

I woke up today with the sun glaring at me through my window. I glanced at my alarm clock and groaned. Fuck. It wasn’t even 9am for crying out loud. Stupid sun, why can’t you shine your rays somewhere else!

 

I threw my pillow at the window in frustration. Of course that didn’t do anything or solve my problems, still I needed to vent. You see, today was the second to the last day of summer and I really, really wanted to catch up on some Zs before waking up again for 6am for school.

 

I lazily got up from my bed and dragged my barely awake body outside the hallway towards the bathroom. Once inside, I quickly washed my face only. Bath can be done later. Yes, I’m that lazy today. I guess summer does that to you. Make you lazy as fuck.

 

Oh I should introduce myself. My name’s Tyler Beaumont. Well Tye for short, but that’s only reserved for my close friends. Hehe. I’m 5 feet 9 inches tall, have a head full of blonde hair, and I’m told I have the most beautiful blue eyes in school. Well okay, my mom was the person who actually said that last part so it doesn’t really count. But still! A compliments a compliment, right?

 

What else could I say about me? Oh, I’m 16 years old and I’m a senior in Ridgemont High. I’m also the quarterback of the football team, which is the pinnacle of the social ladder in school. And it helps scoring with the ladies either. I’m not saying that I’m a womanizer though! I have a girlfriend and she’s all the action that I need. Yeah, I’m a pervert, but let’s keep that a secret ok? Hehe.

 

I guess that’s it for now as my stomach started to growl. I hastily went back to my room to change (or basically put on clothes since I was just wearing boxers). I grabbed a plain white undershirt and slid it over my toned body, a feat I take great pride in. After all, you can’t be the quarterback without being hot. That’s like an unwritten rule or something! Anyway, I put on some boardshorts and a pair of flip flops as I head downstairs for some much needed breakfast.

 

As soon as I walk downstairs, my dad and my sister were in the living room, which was a surprise. Usually at this hour, they’d be at the dining table eating. My dad and my older sister Emily were staring out the window. Weird.

 

“Uhh…What are you all staring at?” I asked as I made my way to the window as well.

 

“We have new neighbors,” Emily mentioned as she pointed across the street.

 

“Really?” I asked as I peered through the glass and saw a moving truck parked right in front of the house across the street.

 

There were a couple of delivery guys hauling all sorts of furniture inside the house. I didn’t really get a glimpse of the family though.

 

“I wonder what kind of people our new neighbors are…” my sister murmured, with her face still glued at the window pane.

 

“Well whoever it is, they don’t look particularly rich,” my dad said as he pointed at some grizzly looking couch being hauled inside. I laughed at his comment, while my sister just rolled her eyes.

 

“Yeah, it looked like it came from some rundown flea market,” I added as I looked at my right. My dad snickered while my sister just stared at me with that are-you-serious look. Geez, I swear she has absolutely no sense of humor in her bone whatsoever.

 

“Well we’re going over there to welcome them.”

 

All three of us turned around and saw my mom clutching a freshly baked cherry pie from the kitchen.

 

“Ugh. Do we have to?” I asked in annoyance. I was hungry and seeing that scrumptious pie in my mom’s hands made it even worse, “Can’t I eat breakfast first??”

 

“You could have your breakfast later Tyler. All four of us will head down there and give our new neighbors a welcome greeting. It won’t take more than 10 minutes. I’m sure you won’t die,” my mom answered back.

 

I pouted at her response, which made my sister snicker. Oh great, now you laugh, you witch.

 

“I’d be glad to honey, but I’m late for work,” my dad said as he got his suit from the coat rack.

 

“Steve!” my mom exclaimed as she put her hands on her hips, a sign she was incredibly pissed.

 

“Look Angie, I’m sorry, but I really have to go. This meeting is too important to be late for. My promotion rides on this meeting today! Just tell me all about our new rifraf neighbors when I get home ok?” my dad said as he quickly kissed my mom on the cheek goodbye and quickly bolted out the front door.

 

I looked at my mom, who had her eyes closed, calming herself I guess. I know she didn’t like that rifraf comment my dad said a moment ago. As soon as car left the driveway, she took a deep breath before opening them and looking at me, “Well let’s go.” Good she wasn’t pissed.

 

I headed out the front door with my mom behind me when she suddenly hollered back, “Emily. Stop combing your blonde hair there already! Let’s go!”

 

“Alright! Alright! I’m coming!!” my sister said as she caught up with us at the door.

 

My mom had me carry the pie as she led the three of us across the street towards our new neighbors. As soon as we hit the curb, I took notice of the lawn, which was unsurprisingly ugly to say the least. The last occupants of this house left 4 years ago and in that time, no one came by to prune the bushes or take out the weeds. I swear if you add a monkey or two, it would fit right in!

 

My mother rang the doorbell as she, in a last minute effort, tried to fix herself and look trim and proper. Like my sister and I, my mom was blonde too. My dad on the other hand was a brunette, though you wouldn’t really notice that since he’s bald now. I’m hoping to God I didn’t receive the bald gene from him.

 

I was busy contemplating the future of my hair, when the door suddenly opened. A woman, who looked surprisingly familiar answered the door. She had short brown hair and a caring-looking face. Ok, hard to describe, but what I mean is that she’s the type you know who never gets mad.

 

“Angie! What a surprise!” said the woman in front of us.

 

I stared at my mom who had a look of surprise on her face. “Cecilia?” she responded, not sure of herself.

 

Cecilia? Where have I heard that name before? Hmm…

 

“It’s so good to see you!” Cecilia said as she suddenly hugged my mother. Where have I heard that name before? As soon as she finished hugging my mother, she turned her attention to Emily and me.

 

“And this must be Emily and Tyler! Look how you’ve grown!” she exclaimed as she sized us up.

 

I looked at my sister hoping she would know who this lady was. I didn’t want to seem stupid this early in the morning. And something terrible came out from my sister’s lips, “It’s nice to see you too Mrs. Lakewood!”

 

Lakewood? Lakewood?!? Oh no… Oh no. Oh no. Oh no!!!

 

“Well, it certainly is a surprise seeing you here again! We brought over some cherry pie for you and your family,” my mother said as she grabbed the pie from me and handed it to Cecilia.

 

“Oh Angie, you shouldn’t have,” Cecilia said in response, “Well come on in. I’m sure Sean and the boys would be happy to see you.”

 

And with that she opened the door for us. My mother went inside first followed by my sister. I, on the other hand couldn’t move at all.

 

“Jason,” Mrs. Lakewood smiled as she added, “no need to be shy.”

 

I slowly walked inside the house, receiving the stares of my mom and sister as if I’ve gone mental. I honestly could care less right now what they think! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I’m going to see him!!!

 

“Sean! Get the boys down here! We have guests in the living room!” Cecilia hollered towards the stairs. She smiled at us after doing so.

 

“Guests? Cecilia! Why did you let them in? We’re not done packing yet!” a burly man with cropped brown hair bustled down the stairs followed by two identical looking boys and another boy who had a frown on his face.

 

As soon as the man caught a glimpse of us he hollered, “Well shiver me timbers, if it ain’t the Beaumonts!!”

 

My mother waved at the man, “Hello Sean, it’s good to see you. It’s been waay too long. I’m sure you remember my daughter, Emily and my son, Tyler.”

 

The man crossed his arms and peered at us like some sort of lab experiments, “Sweet mother of Pearl! My have you guys grown up!” he added a laugh after that. My sister was being extremely friendly by saying a long hello to Mr. Lakewood.

 

“Angie,” Mrs. Lakewood said as she approached her family, “I’m sure you remember my boys, Marco and Blake,” she said as she pointed her finger towards the identical looking boys beside Mr. Lakewood. My mother of course agreed, which ended up with the twins giving her pleasant compliments.

 

“And of course, we have William here,” Cecilia said as she patted the boy behind the twins.

 

“It’s nice to meet you again, Mrs. Beaumont,” the brown haired teenager said as he smiled towards my mother.

 

“My Will, you’ve grown to say the least!” my mother said. I looked at back at the teenager and could tell he was not amused by any of this. I think my mom or his parents failed to notice it. And fuck, he was staring at me. I know the reason why and it’s making me sweat like a pig in discomfort.

 

“Well Sean, I brought over this delicious cherry pie and it would be such a shame if you guys don’t eat it while it’s hot,” my mother added as she pointed at the pie Cecilia was holding.

 

“Well let’s take a bite of it shall we?” Mr. Lakewood replied with a hearty laugh, “Blake and Marco, help me set up the dining table and chairs.”

 

The twins responded, “Sure” at the same time. A bit unnerving if you ask me.

 

“Angie, I’m sorry but I think I need to unpack our plates and utensils first,” Mrs. Lakewood said with a frown.

 

My mother simply smiled and said, “Oh that is not a problem. Emily and I will help you.” And with that the three women made their way to the dining room leaving me and Will alone.

 

When I looked back at him, I found him staring at me with a neutral expression on his face. Fuck was I spooked! There was silence in the room for quite a few minutes. I had a feeling he wasn’t going to talk first so, I kinda broke the ice.

 

“So uhh… you look good you know,” I said to him.

 

He arched his eyebrows in response as if I was joking around. Well to be honest, I wasn’t. I really meant what I said. Will looked pretty handsome if I have to admit it (though won’t probably do so publicly). His hair changed from back then. He now had a bit of an unruly brown hair. He still had the same hazel eyes, which was looking mighty pissed at me. And he’s actually toned now. I could see the muscles in his arms. He’s not as big as me though. I guess you could say he’s more… lean looking.

 

I waited for his response. Readying myself to whatever onslaught he might dish at me. But he shrugged just his shoulders in the end, “Whatever,” and headed swiftly into the dining room.

 

I had to blink a few times before digesting what had just happened. I silently cursed myself as I ran my fingers through my blonde hair. I was royally fucked big time. The Lakewoods are back, and I’m not the very least happy. I followed Will into the dining room a few moments later, still dumbfounded at the certain turn of events.

 

Remember the last occupants of this house who moved out 4 years ago? Well they were the Lakewoods and as you can see they’re back. All five of them. I’m uncomfortable with this situation. Ok, extremely uncomfortable! And it’s all thanks to one particular person in the Lakewood family tree.

 

And his name is Will.

 

 

***

(Will’s POV)

As soon as I opened the door to the attic and smelled the scent of old wood, I knew I was home. I stepped inside quite a bit excitedly, which prompted the dust in the attic to swirl around the room causing me to cough a bit. Yeah, I forgot this house was uninhabited for around 4 years.

 

I carefully traced my fingers through the walls, trying to find that spot where my parents used to mark my brothers’ and my heights with a marker. I’d be extremely sad if the measurements faded out in those 4 years. It was kind of a reminder of the good old times I had in this house.

 

To my relief, it was still there with all the measurements we took since birth. I stared at the last entry, Will age 12. I laughed at the vast height difference of that mark from my current height right now. Granted I’m not the tallest one in the school yard (I’m only 5 feet and 6 inches high), yet I was still surprised how small I was before! I guess puberty does work wonders after all.

 

So as you guess it, my name is Will. William Lakewood if you want to be formal about it. I have hazel eyes and an unruly mop of brown hair, which my parents don’t mind at all. Thank God for that. I’m 16! Going to be a senior in two days. I’ll be back to Ridgemont High.

 

I’m honestly not looking forward to that at all…. Surprised?

 

You see, I’ve lived here before. My family and I moved back after our 4 year stay in LA. And by family I mean my dad, mom, and my older twin brothers. I’m so going to miss LA. The beach, the weather, the boys!

 

Oh yeah. I’m gay. And before you ask, yes my family knows about it and they’re pretty cool with it. That’s another thing I like about Los Angeles. People don’t really give a crap about you being gay different unlike this loser dump of a town. Sigh. Yeah I’m gonna miss LA.

 

“Will?”

 

I turned my head towards the door and found my dad looking in the room, his face barely peeking out of the doorway.

 

“In here dad!” I hollered as I waved at him.

 

He stepped inside the attic and instantly threw a bunch of coughs, which made me laugh. “Ok, we definitely need to clean this place up!” he said after his fit as he made his way towards me.

 

“It looks like it’s still here!” he said as he pointed at the measurements on the wall.

 

“I know. I can’t believe it,” I said as I traced my fingers over the marks.

 

My dad must have noticed my gesture. “Well, I’m sure we could add more measurements. What do you see we do it tomorrow?” he asked as he stared at me with his deep brown eyes.

 

I laughed at his question and shook my head, “I don’t think that would be appropriate in my age dad.”

 

My dad laughed at my response. “Good. I was afraid you’d say yes!” I shook my head in disbelief, which made him chuckle. “Anyway, I’ll be re-arranging the furniture with Marco and Blake. Come help us when you’re done reminiscing the past!”

 

“Trust me. There’s not much to reminisce about,” I hollered as I watched my dad exit the attic.

 

After staring at the measurements for a few moments longer, I’ve decided I’ve had enough of reminiscing a bit. I stood up and made my way towards the lone, single window inside the attic. I stared at the neighborhood and finally made a conclusion that a lot has change in 4 years.

 

There were a dozen new houses down Maple Street and a few new buildings near the direction of Ridgemont High. There’s also a couple of playgr-

 

I stopped my train of thought when I saw three figures from the house across the street approach our house. Suddenly, I couldn’t help but frown in disdain.

 

How could I forget who lives in that house? Nearly impossible I tell you!

 

I stared at one particular person in that threesome: a seemingly smiling blonde boy clutching some sort of welcome wagon gift. My mind raced back to all those years ago and I almost lost my emotions right there. Yes, I can never forget Tyler Beaumont. How can I?

 

I suddenly took a sharp intake of breath when I heard the doorbell ring. I know for a fact that my mother is going to invite them in. After all, we were neighbors. No scratch that, we still are.

 

I contemplated on how I would react towards Tyler. I didn’t want to come across overly vindictive so I’ve decided to be civil as possible. Yes, civil. Shouldn’t be too hard… Right?

 

A few moments later, I hear my mom calling for me and the rest from downstairs. I dreaded each step going down towards the second floor. I really did. I found my father and my brothers coming out from one of the rooms.

 

“Your mother brought in guests? NOW??” my dad exclaimed in surprised frustration. I looked at my brothers and they just shook their heads. Note to self: chat about this outburst with Blake and Marco later. Afterwards, I followed them downstairs towards the living room.

 

“Guests? Cecilia! Why did you let them in? We’re not done packing yet!” my dad bellowed as he marched down the staircase followed by Marco and Blake. I sheepishly made up the rear trying to delay the inevitable as possible.

 

But no. As soon as I saw his face, I couldn’t help but frown. And my insides began to rumble, ready to explode at any moment. Ok, so much for the being civil plan!

 

I wasn’t really paying any attention to the conversation going around, as I was just staring at Tyler the entire time. I must admit he’s gotten hotter and cuter since the last time I saw him. His blonde hair actually looks cute, a bit messy and shaggy. Hmm… He probably hasn’t bathed yet. Knowing Tyler and his summer habits, that’s a high probability. I could most definitely make out the muscles he had. He must be in the football team. Yeah, with guns like his? Umm… yeah. His striking blue eyes are darting around the room, as if trying to avoid my gaze. Asshole. Hmph.

 

My mother’s pat brought me out of my trance, “And of course, we have William here.”

 

I stared at the blonde lady before me. Ok, granted Mrs. B was actually a pretty nice lady. A bit too proper, but still nice nonetheless. It would be unfair to treat her rudely because of some altercation her son and I had a few years back.

 

“It’s nice to meet you again, Mrs. Beaumont,” I said before returning my gaze back to Tyler, who was now looking at me. I could tell he was flustered or uncomfortable. Ha! Serves him right! Mrs. B made some compliment directed at me, but I really wasn’t paying any attention.

 

Is it possible for you to be consumed with one thought that you automatically block off everything else? Well that’s what apparently happened to me. One moment I was talking to Mrs. B and the next they were headed out towards the dining room leaving me and Tyler alone in the living room.

 

Honestly, I didn’t know what to say. How could I really? It was an eerie silent few minutes when he suddenly spoke, “So uhh… you look good you know.”

 

I arched my eyebrows in response with no hesitation.

 

Now I don’t know if that comment was some sort of backhanded insult or if it was truly genuine. Knowing the douchebag in front of me, it would be probably the former. Well how the hell does he think I would look after 4 years? Did he expect me to still be the geeky kid from back then?

 

When I moved to Los Angeles, I’ve decided to take up a few sports to work off the pent-up “frustrations” I’ve had since our move. I took up tennis and even a little baseball and I usually had time to kill at the school gym. So I kinda lost weight and got a bit more toned in the process….

 

Hmm… Maybe Tyler did mean that last bit as a genuine compliment. But I’m certainly not going to give him the satisfaction of me appreciating what he thinks of me so I ended up saying, “Whatever” with a shrug of the shoulders.

 

I left him in the living room before he could make any other response.

 

Whatever?!?!? Really Will? That’s the best thing you could come up with after 4 years?

 

Ugh. I feel so pathetic right now. I can’t believe I had to meet Tyler the first day I move back to Ridgemont. The universe must have some twisted sense of humor. Now I’m stuck in my house with Tyler Beaumont, the guy I hate and still love at the same time.

 

TBC

 

 

 

 

 

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