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Chapters 7, 8 and 9
by Branden Hart
It's one thing when people can tell just by looking at you that you're different.
Not me, though. I wear the same t-shirts, the same baggy pants. My style is non-descript. Blend in. Camouflage for the unwashed masses.
Short hair, nothing fancy, nothing I even need to run a comb through in the morning. People used to call it a buzz cut, but now so many people I go to school with sport them that it's become the norm, and there is no reason to distinguish the norm from the abnorm with a name, because it blends in. It's ignored.
You can only tell I'm different by really watching me, and high school kids are about one step below paramecium in their ability and/or propensity to pick up knowledge through careful, analytical observation. Plus, I have my 'quirks,' and I have them so rehearsed that I can pull them off naturally. I watch people walking into the classroom, waiting for a time I can go in and stop-start-stop-start in the doorway--my prerequisite number of times to enter any room—without anyone knowing any different. Touched a desk without wiping it down? No problem! I just head to the bathroom, act like I'm taking a piss, and then wash my hands. Nobody will bother someone because they washed their hands after taking a piss. A couple of people have said things about my hands being too dry. So I started lathering them in Vaseline and sticking them in socks at night. Dry hands equal attention. No dry hands equal just another guy at school.
That day, I'm going through my ritual in the parking lot. After waiting for most of the students to leave, I begin my walk past the rows of parking spaces. I'm walking by, doing my look right, look left, look right, look left, look right, look left, alright next two rows, look right, look left thing, when I hear someone running up behind me.
"I'm Melissa," pants the girl from the other day in the library.
Somehow I manage to spit out a garbled version of my name. I don’t see how she can understand what I said, but she repeats it. It's been a long time since anyone has introduced themselves to me--no reason to introduce yourself to something in the background.
We stand there for a second. I shift on my feet. Ok, who's job is it to start the conversation? Anyone? Anyone?!?
"So you like Camus?"
I hear camels and think she's asking me out on a date, which makes me even more nervous and I slide back into a car and the alarm goes off, and I stutter, and she walks over to me, pulls at me to get me standing up.
"Are you alright?"
I tell her I like camels.
She laughs. "Me too. Maybe we should go to the zoo sometime. But I saw you taking Camus out of the shelf the other day in the library. Wondered what you thought of it?"
I panic. First I think she asks me on a date, panic, then find out she wasn't asking me, but then she does, and now I feel like a complete fool fool fool...
She doesn't call after me as I run. Just stands there, silent, watching, observing. More than I'd ever seen any of her peers observe anything. A part of me, a part I think used to speak up a little more a long time ago, screams for me to turn around, to get back to her, she obviously wanted to talk.
But the part of me I listen to at this stage in life says to run, and to count your footsteps in multiples of three, six, nine, yes that's right, eighteen, twenty-one, twenty-four...oh yeah, you know the way to rock my world...
It isn’t long before I have tax-break foster parents. What that means is that the people who take me away after I’ve been in the foster home for a couple of months take in foster children for the tax breaks. In my short time at the home, I saw fifteen through seventeen year olds snatched up every day. You'd meet one, the next day they'd be gone. Most of them had been to jail a few times, and talked about life 'on the outside', and how rough it was, and all they wanted was a couple of tax breakers and a room of their own. Just kind of chill until eighteen. I always said it sounded good to me.
The thing is, the rest of these kids that I watched come and go every day, they were off the streets. Or tossed out by some other foster family. But me, my father had left without a single word. That meant baggage. That meant that I would be upset—possibly suicidal—and upset kids meant trouble. Most of these kids talked about doing nothing but sitting in their rooms, smoking dope, just relaxing until they could turn eighteen and hit the streets to be on their own. Because the tax breakers didn't give a shit, as long as you didn't give them any trouble.
"You don't talk much, do you," asks my foster dad Edward on our way home from the home.
I shake my head.
"That's a nice change of pace," he laughs, slugging his wife Tillie a little on the arm. She laughs too, and slugs him back.
"You can't hit the driver!" he shouts, happy as a little boy wrestling with his best friend. I have to smile a little.
She turns around. "Eddie thinks I talk too much. I say it's all relative. You like Einstein?"
I actually do. "Yeah."
"Smart kid. Well listen, let's get home, and you talk if you want, don't if you don't. What do you feel like eating?"
"We were thinking pizza."
I haven't had a pizza in over a month. I want it like dogs want bones.
Over pizza and a little beer, we talk about the rules of the house. Come and go as you please. In their opinion, my way of paying rent is the tax breaks they get, and they tell me that point blank, and that is that. But the only way it will work out for all of us is if I obey their rules. No smoking indoors (but I can do what I want with my lungs outside the house, even in the backyard). No parties (but I can have one or two people over at a time if I ask them and we stick around upstairs in my room). I think it's bullshit until they show me the eleven-hundred square foot loft that would be my home for the next two years. Last: use common sense when interpreting the rules; just because they didn't say I shouldn't smoke crack doesn't mean I should start up.
I like them because they don't say things over and over, and they make sense, and most of all, they seem to respect me.
What I see in my room now is a wall. There is a large vagina on the wall, the largest I've ever seen. That's because it's the biggest wall I've ever been able to use the projector on. I'm jerking off, watching these two men shove a beer bottle up this slut's pussy. She's not shaven, which I dig, and the guys are hung like horses, which I also kind of dig in a weird, guilty way. She's really getting off, and pretty soon, her juice is everywhere, all over the guys, and they're licking it off of her, and she's still moaning and cumming and the juice is running everywhere and the guys are both jerking off and then they cum, all over her tits and face and she's lathering herself up with it, rubbing it all over, massaging it into her skin, the whole time still moaning, and then I cum, all over the place, an unexpected, TNT-type of explosion, and just then the reel runs out and starts fap-fap-fapping on it's roll, and my eyes are closed tight throughout, and when I open them, Tillie is standing at the edge of my bed. The top of my erect cock hides her face from view, but the curly red hair is a dead giveaway.
She's looking at me, panting, and I search her face for anger, but I can't really look at her eyes, because she's looking down, but not down at the ground in shame of finding me this way.
She's looking at my cock.
"You can watch anything you want," she says. Her voice is sultry, different from when we were in the car earlier. Then it was chirpy, PTOish. Perfect mother. Now, she uses a voice I only hear on the porns I watch. "Just keep the volume down a little. Edward needs to sleep."
She looks me in the eyes for one second before she leaves, and smiles. Then, on her way out, she pats my bare foot a little. It almost feels like she rubs the bottom of it with her thumb, and this immediately makes me hard again. I watch her walk out, hips swaying underneath the shiny fabric of her gown. Her tits swing a little, and I realize they were a little bigger than I initially thought.
I listen to her go down the stairs. I count her steps. When she gets to thirteen, she stops. There are nineteen steps.
Shaking and thinking of her, I reach up and rethread the film. In less than a minute, it's ready to play, and she hasn't moved from the thirteenth step. I start it up, with the volume turned very low, so the only noises are so muffled I can barely hear them, and lay back down on the bed. She's left the door open. I start to jerk myself off again, a little sensitive to the touch after the first session, but get into it pretty quick, and I listen, and then she's moving down the stairs again, onto the carpet, where I can't hear her walking, but she's in my head, and there, I can see her naked.
"Let me ask you something." He leans up on his desk, supporting himself with his hands. "Do you ever do anything that you don't think is necessary?"
"I'm here, aren't I?"
I didn't really mean it, I explain. Just seemed like the right answer at the time.
"I appreciate your honesty, but that isn't really what I mean. You know, like counting things, or washing your hands, or anything else that most people would not do?"
I nod. "Everyone has their quirks."
He shakes his head. "You use that word a lot, quirks. I do not think it means what you think it means."
"So what does it mean?"
"A quirk is a habit or practice someone has that may seem abnormal, but doesn't do any harm. It doesn't get in the way of normal life for a person."
"I don't see how my counting gets in the way."
He writes this down.
"So you do count things, is that what I'm hearing."
"Well, everyone counts. You can't make it through the day without counting."
"But you can't make it down the hall, correct?"
He's looking at me over his glasses. I feel like he's asking a rhetorical question.
"It's not that I can't, it's that I don't want to. I want to know what's there, I want to count. It's my meditation; it's the way I relax on the way from one class to another."
He shifts in his chair. "What about talking to friends? Do you ever talk to friends in between classes?"
I look down. "I haven't been here that long, and haven't had time..." but I can't finish because he's already writing.
"Can you stop that!" I yell.
He looks up. I'm more shocked by the outburst than he is.
"I'm sorry, but..." I sigh. "I'm supposed to be talking to you and I don't even feel like you're listening to me. Just writing things down. I can't even see what you’re writing down?"
He writes this down.
"No, you can't. I know it's frustrating, but I have to work like this. I can't tape you—because that's illegal—so I have to write down what you say because I may not remember it later, and it's later, when I'm pouring over all of this, that I really start listening to what you say. You might as well think of this time as me just collecting information."
"Then what the hell do I get out of it?"
He writes this down what seems like four or five times.
"You will hopefully get some decent advice and guidance by the time all of this is over. But for now, I have to learn more about you, about who you are, so I can try to figure out how to help you. Now, have you met any friends at school?"
Just a girl that turns me on so much I want to fuck the shit out of her every time I see her. I want to grab her tits and shove them in my face and suck until they're bright red with the blood running to the surface. I want to plant my dick so far inside her she screams with pain but asks for more. I want to make her feel me.
"Yeah, a girl."
"What's her name?"
He does not write this down.
"Melissa who. Is she your year?"
"She's a senior."
He puts down his pen and stares at the wall, over my head. I turn to see if there's anything of interest there, but it's just a blank wall, covered with the institutional white paint that lined the halls of the school.
It catches me off guard. "Actually, I don't think I know her last name. I mean, I don't know her last name."
He writes this down. I wonder if he's left her name out.
"Good. Friends are good. Melissa is a good kid. Tell me something, how is your life with your new foster parents?"
Seems okay, except it seems like my foster mother is kind of kinky, and I'd like for her to come up to my room one night and watch some pornos with me, and then fuck me, I want her to fuck me, to fuck me rotten, to leave me so sore that I might have to call in sick from school the next day, or at least walk around kind of funny.
"Fine, so far. Nothing special. They give me my space."
He writes this down.
"Now you know that nothing you say here goes anywhere else, right?"
I don't give much thought to the question when I shake my head yes.
"Good. So how is your sex life?"
"My sex life?"
"Yes. Are you sexually active, or not?"
It catches me off guard.
"You mean, do I have sex with people?"
"No, I've never had sex with anyone," I say.
He writes this down. Then he takes off his glasses.
"You don't have to answer this question if you don't want to. I really shouldn't be asking you, but I trust you. I don't think you're the kind of kid who's going to run out of here shouting that you were asked an uncomfortable question. I don't think there are uncomfortable questions for you.”
He waits for me to say something, but there’s nothing for me to say. He’s right.
"Do you think of sex as something dirty?"
My answer is no. He sighs, relieved. The bell for lunch rings, and he asks me if I'd like to see him again the next week, and I say yes, because I have a couple of questions to ask, and as far as I can tell, Mr. Granger is the only person who might give me a straight answer.