Casey is an average fifteen year old about to enter into the first year of high school. With an extremely Christian dad, and a deceased mom, Casey has more than academics on mind. Making new friends, creating bonds, but keeping a large secret is all in a day’s work.
Warning: This is rated M for a reason. Some of the chapters may seem tame, but it will get into sexual and adult situations. Please be aware. Do not read if these things may upset you.
I stood in front of my full length mirror and gazed at my reflection. This was the first time I had done this and didn’t feel full disgust at who looked back at me. My face was still too clean, but I had used a razor against it every morning. It wouldn’t bring full facial hair like I wanted. It was done to show marks of shaving. Another wish that couldn’t happen until I left my father’s home. Still, who this person looking back wasn’t all unpleasing. My short dark hair was spiked up today. My clothes for the day were still behind me on the bed. I decided that boxers would hide what I needed to hide. My ace bandage was hidden underneath an almost skin tight and thick “wife beater” tank top. A boy looked back at me; I looked back at me.
A smile lit up on my face as I rushed over to my clothes. I pulled on my jeans and then my Pearl Jam t-shirt. Watching myself in the mirror, I began practicing only taking off the t-shirt. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t ever show my binding. The white tank top was tight enough that it didn’t move. My changing room dilemma had been fixed.
One less anxiety issue.
I ran out the door quickly to catch the bus. My black backpack was still in the kitchen where I had sat to do my limited first day of school homework. Today was going to be a good day, I decided.
By lunch time, I had concluded that it certainly was a wonderful day to be alive. I was walking toward the court yard with my hands full of school lunch when my name was called out. Ben was waving his arms in the air from a nearby table. My feet took me over.
“Hey,” I said as I put down the tray and began to eat whatever meatloaf mess the cooks had pulled from some factory mess.
“How come you didn’t tell me yesterday that you had B lunch?” Ben asked. He had an apple and a water in front of him.
“I was so nervous about being shanked,” I laughed.
“Where is your lunch?”
“I’m on a diet. My mother says I need to lose some weight. Something about needing a girlfriend to enjoy high school,” he grumbled. After a swig from his water he added, “What if I don’t even want a girlfriend?”
I shrugged, “Some of the girls here would probably be too far out of our leagues, anyway.”
“Not for you, pretty boy,” Ben punched me in the shoulder hard.
My laugh was cut off as Ashley, the girl from math class, came over to our table. Behind her sat a group of giggling girls and about three boys. They were all freshmen that I recognized from various classes. Jenny was hiding her face behind her hands as another girl whispered into her ear. Ashley sighed and rolled her eyes, “I was sent to invite you over to our table for lunch.” She did not seem very happy to be inviting me over.
Ben looked from me to Ashley, “Why?”
“Not you,” Ashley sighed again. “Just Casey.”
“Ben is my friend. We both have to go over,” I shrugged. I didn’t abandon friends. I wasn’t about to change my personality just for a girl, either.
She turned and must have lipped something I couldn’t see. One of the giggling girls nodded back. Turning toward us again she said, “Fine. Can I go eat now?”
We both stood up as Ben answered, “We never stopped you from eating.” He was matter of fact about it. She rolled her eyes as she stomped back to her place around the crowded table.
I glanced over at Ben as we both walked to the table behind the reluctant girl. One of the boys, a very muscle bound blond guy that was taller than Ben and myself, kind of eyed us as we pulled chairs over to the table. “Hi,” I said as I smiled at them all. The girls laughed again and Jenn brought her hands down. She had an awkward smile and bright red blushed face.
“So, Casey, you’re new to our area, huh?” one of the girls asked. I saw Ashley roll her eyes.
“Yeah, moved from the other side of the city.”
“Oh wow! Where did you go to school there?” another girl asked. I wished I could remember their names from roll call. I knew they were in my English class.
“Uh, Mary Academy,” I really did not want these questions. I was here to make a new start.
“We play them,” the blond boy finally spoke. His voice was a lot deeper than mine. I now wished for hormones to make my voice just as deep.
“Play?” I asked as if I didn’t already understand his implications.
“Football. C’mon man! Never played the game?” he leaned forward to intimdate me. I didn’t back up or lean forward in retaliation. Do not ever fight the jock. I already knew this rule.
“Nah, I had other things to do,” I shrugged easily. “I do follow professional, though.”
“Come join the team,” the boy next to Jenny also leaned forward.
“I can’t,” I said. I took a bite of the nasty food. Anything to make it seem like I was through with this conversation.
“Can’t? Don’t know how to play? Or are you afraid?” the blond sneered.
“Shut up Mark,” Ben came to my defense.
“Who asked you, tubby?” Mark, the blond, leaned forward to grab onto Ben’s shirt. My hand shot out automatically to grab his wrist. I didn’t squeeze, but the warning was clear.
“I didn’t invite them over to be in a fight,” Ashley said. I let go of Mark’s arm.
“No, you brought them over to fuck Jenny,” Mark and the jocks stood up. He turned to me, “Careful pretty boy. Next time I’ll break your nose for touching me.” I glared back. I couldn’t stand bullies, and I learned a long time ago that they hated to be stood up against. I probably wasn’t as strong as Mark, but that didn’t mean I had to take the abuse.
I went to stand up to prove just that when Ashley, who was sitting next to me, grabbed my arm in warning. I stayed. He stomped off.
“Well, that was fun. We should do this everyday,” Ben stated as he finished his apple.
“I’m sorry,” Jenny said suddenly. I looked over at the true reason I had come over to the table. Tears were forming in her eyes. Her two friends gathered her into a hug.
“He’s just a jerk,” the one on her left said.
I looked over at Ashley, “Why was he even at this table?”
“He has been trying to get Ashley to go to the movies with him for a year now,” Ashley said as she moved to clean up the trays left by the guys.
I turned back to Jenny, “Not your type?”
Her face turned bright red and the tears disappeared. The girls started to giggle again. I looked at Ben confused. He shook his head. The only sound from the table was Ashley as she sighed when she returned. “God, really?” In frustration Ashley turned to me and asked, “Will you take Jenny to a movie one of these weekends?” I looked over at the girl in question. She slid down in her seat to hide beneath the table top. The cackling was extremely loud, but the whole lunch room was already roaring with so many people.
“Uh…” I didn’t know what to say. I was saved by the bell ringing for the end of lunch. Ashley and the girls quickly grabbed their trays and ran off before I could answer. I sat in shock as Ben voiced what was running through my head, “What just happened?”
With no real answer or clue to the teenage girls, we grabbed our things. I waved as I separated from Ben to get into my large Concert Choir class. My backpack was pushed underneath my chair in the tenor side of the class as the teacher began passing out our folders for this semester.
I was working on one part of our new song with the guys in my group when I was jabbed in the back suddenly by the end of a pencil. I turned around to see one of the friends from the table in the soprano section right behind me. “Yes?” I asked.
“You will take Jenny out, right?” she asked me.
“I don’t know,” I lied. I was going to ask her, but why did these girls have to be in on this?
“She really thinks you’re cute,” she said. She looked me up and down, “I don’t think you’re bad looking, honestly.”
I was flattered. I was good looking? Really?
“I don’t know your name,” I admitted.
She giggled quietly. The groups were still practicing around us. I kept glancing over at Mrs. Smith to make sure she didn’t notice us not working. The girl answered, “Rachel Cropper.”
“I will think about talking with Jenny about that date. I have to make sure I get my allowance first. I also have this horrible thing with my dad. He doesn’t want me to date during high school. Said not to be distracted by girls or something,” I smiled at her. “Let me get everything cleared at home. I don’t want to say I can take someone to the movies and then get grounded.”
She laughed and we went back to our choir rehearsal. Maybe high school life wasn’t going to be so bad. I certainly wasn’t going to be lacking in girlfriends.