Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 15:15:01 -0400 From: Cronos <email@example.com> Subject: Say You Love Me 4 Chapter 4 - "Preventative Medicine" Monday morning. God the day I was dreading. Not only was it the day of Jameson's test, but it was my first official day as Brad's seatmate. After all the weird mojo that went down on Friday and (especially) Saturday I was nervous about sitting next to him for a double period. 1 whole hour!! What made me feel worse was the fact that I had a wet dream about him on Saturday night. How that happened, I was stumped. Couldn't figure it out. I mean I admit that Brad was downright sexy but my sense of fear always overpowered my lust. Then it hit me. Was the fact that I was dreaming of Brad sexually meant that I was losing my fear of him...? The only good thing about English Lit was that today it was on the last two periods. I wouldn't have to see Brad until 7th and 8th periods. I'd have to avoid Brad until then. When I arrived at school, I decided to wait in the quad for Stacy and Josh to arrive. We shared all our classes together, and in Stacy's case that's not all we shared. Stacy and I shared our deepest, darkest secrets ( okay, my deepest, darkest secret, she was too much of a good girl to have anything dark about her). She was the only other person who knew that I was gay. Maybe I should talk to her, it might help ease my troubled mind. Speak of the devil...Stacy was walking straight towards me. She had a somewhat angry scowl on her face. She stormed up towards me and she was off- "Jessie, what is wrong with you? Where were you on Saturday? Didn't you promise Josh and me you'd meet us at the cafe so we could study for Mrs. Jameson's test?" Damn! I had thoroughly forgotten. Saturday was when...- Stacy continued, "If you didn't want to come you could have just said so. Me and Josh were waiting there for 4 hours. Why didn't you come?" I tried to explain, "Stacy I'm sorry really, but some I had to deal with some real weird stuff on Saturday." "So, what happened on Sunday, or you could have phoned", she quipped. She had me there. But this whole weekend I was more taken up with the Brad Summers Incident. The girl wouldn't let up, "So, you gonna tell me what kept you so busy this weekend?" I took a deep breath and gave her an account of everything( yeah even that ) that happened between Friday and Saturday. "Your talking 'bout that jerk, Brad Summers!?!", she asked shocked. "Yeah, any idea why he's acting so strange?", I asked. "None whatsoever, just watch yourself around him. The guy hangs out with the wrong crowd. Don't say anything to get him mad, just play it cool. >From what I've heard he can get pretty violent.", Stacy advised. Just then Josh came walking up. "Who can get violent?", he asked. We filled him in (Minus the Dream of course!!). "Don't worry, if he tries anything, I got your back. I'll be down on him so fast the fucker won't know what hit him.", Josh reassured. And he could do it too. Well that's Josh for you, the best person you could have as your friend.....and the worst enemy you could imagine. Since he was older than Stacy and me he was fiercely protective of us, even when we were kindergarteners. Practically our big brother. Just then bell rang announcing the start of 1st period. And so it begins. As I walked down the corridor with Stacy and Josh we had to pass ....Brad and some of his jock friends. Devon, Chad and Jon. Four of a kind and all trouble. I half expected Brad to call out to me. But he didn't. He only glanced at me, and that was it. I was relieved. While we were passing him Josh shot him an evil look, by way of warning I suppose. Trouble was brewing. "What the fuck is up with you Mckenzie!!", Brad growled. Back to his old self I see. "You tell me!! Why you be messing with Jessie!?!", Josh responded. Just then Brad's three jock friends decided to get in on the action. Josh could take out one..maybe two at a time but all of them at once, he was way outta his league!! "You be trying to start somethin' Mckenzie", Jon quipped. "Naw..naw. I'm here to finish somethin' mother fucker!", Josh retorted. The four of them were advancing. I had to do something to calm Josh down. "Josh man", I began, "calm down..its no big deal..really. Brad didn't do anything. Come on lets go". I tried pulling him away. Like that would work. Stacy by this time was trying to help me pull him away. Just when things seemed so volatile, the unexpected happened. "Ah ..leave the fucker alone.", it was Brad who said it. Devon chipped in, " You gonna let him dis you like that" "We got better things to do than this. Besides...hit shit and it splatters. Lets go.", Brad said. And with that they were off, leaving me and Stacy to contain Josh. That wasn't the most unnerving thing about it though. Whilst we were walking down the corridor Brad all but ignored me. When he spoke, he was looking directly at me. "THIS ISN'T OVER SUMMERS!!!", shouted Josh. "Oh, yes it is Josh. What the hell were you thinking. There were four of them. Four! No way you could take on all of them. I told you that he didn't do anything yet!", I told Josh. "Well I was dishin' out some Preventative Medicine. Better safe than sorry. You wanna wait until after shit happens to deal with it?! Come on we'll be late for class", Josh responded. I realized that he was right ( about being late for class, not for picking a fight! ) . I turned to Stacy. " Stacy come on girl, we're gonna be late." She was all quiet and had this weird look on her face. Contemplating the situation. Josh was getting impatient, "Yo! Stacy we gotta roll!!" That broke her out of her thinking and we headed to class. The rest of the day rolled on. Finally the thing I had been dreading came along. English Lit. After what had happened this morning I didn't know how Brad would respond. I walked into the class with Stacy and Josh. I almost sat down next to them before I recalled I was to sit next to Brad. While I was making my way to the desk, I saw Josh and Brad mentally attacking each other with glances of death. I took a deep breath and sat down. "Hey what's up?" It was Brad. Okay now I was confused. First the angry mask that he was wearing was gone replaced by a grin. Secondly this morning he all but ignored me in the corridor, until it looked that Josh was heading for a badass beatdown. Thirdly, he was still talking to me after all the crap that went down this morning. I had no clue what was going on. He seemed as sincere as on Saturday. I may not have understood his behavior, but I knew that he had saved Josh from a beatdown, I was grateful, even if Josh wasn't. I felt like I owed it to be at least polite to Brad. "Uh..nothing much", I replied, not knowing what to say. Just then Mrs. Jameson came in. Immediate Silence followed. She handed out sheets of paper with our tests printed on it and without further a do it commenced. Jameson then walked round collecting papers. The class took the opprtunity to talk. "I think that was the hardest one yet.", Brad said. "Yeah tell me about it. And what makes it worse is that you know the next one will be even harder. Damn She never lets up! If I'd known that this would be anything more than an elaborate storytime I'd have never signed up", damn, did I just say all that..to Brad? I guess my hatred of her( Jameson ) was that strong. He just stared at me in disbelief, then he smiled. I couldn't help it. His smile was contagious. I smiled back. "What's wrong?", I asked. Brad began, " Uh..nothing's wrong..its just the longest sentence you've ever spoken to me. Meaning you said more than 3 words at a time. I didn't know if you could." I couldn't help it. I laughed. I mean here he was going on as if my speaking more than three words was some sort of record breaking. I only stopped laughing when I noticed him staring at me, with the same look from the Dream and the park. I turned away, and stopped laughing immediately. He must have sensed something was wrong and was about to question me when Jameson croaked. "Class I have an important announcement. I am assigning you your first coursework assessment. This will be a partner project. Don't bother switching seats, your partners are your seatmates. Here is the question: It's based on Romeo and Juliet As you know the play ended up a tragedy, culminating in the deaths of the two protagonists by suicide. They each believed that they could never be together and rather than living apart chose to pursue suicide. I want you to relate it to modern circumstances and explain if such an action is justifiable. You have 1 month. I expect exemlary work. There will be no extensions. Oh, and 50% of your Mid-Term grade depends on this. I trust you know who your partners are, look next to you if in doubt. That's all." With that she was gone. How was I gonna manage this one? Just then Brad spoke up, "Uh I guess we better get started on this as soon as possible, huh?" What could I say, "Yeah guess so." Just then the bell rang. Brad continued, "Dude, I don't know about you but my sched's kinda tight, with football practice and all, I'm only free on Friday afternoon. Is that a good time? We better use your house it's real close." Stacy and Josh were walking up to me by this time. I didn't like the look on Josh's face so I decided to end the conversation quickly. "Uh yeah, I'll meet you after school and we can walk to my house." Brad responded, "Walk, hey tell you what I'll just drive us....well guess it's a date. Bye." He walked out flashing me a killer smile and Josh a death glare. Josh reciprocated. Stacy meanwhile was strangely quiet and staring at me. "Something wrong Stacy? Got a lot on your mind?" , I asked. She snapped out of it and said softly, "Yeah, I guess you could say so." It was only when we were walking out to the quad that I fully remembered what Brad had said, "It's a DATE." Why would he use that choice of words?