The New Kid

Skylar stopped at the corner, looked around, and stepped into the alley. He fidgeted with the straps on his backpack and cursed the man for being late. Where was this guy? Skylar glanced at his watch, seven-thirty. Sky was on time; the guy was not. Finally, the man entered the alley and walked over to Skylar.

“Hey, kid, sorry I’m late. You got the money?”

“Yeah. Right here.” Sky showed the man a bundle of cash. “You got what I asked for?”

The man pulled something out of the pocket of his hoodie. They exchanged the money for the merchandise. “Kid, don’t do anything stupid. I don’t want to regret my decision to sell to you.”

Skylar scowled. “Give me a break, dude. You know you don’t care what I do. You have your money, don’t worry about anything else.”

“Whatever, kid.” The man turned and left.

Skylar shoved the bundle into the bottom of his backpack and walked the rest of the way to school.

Jack sat in the back of the classroom and watched as the new kid, Skylar, arrived not ten seconds before the last bell rang. He also watched as, once again, Nate tripped the kid, sending him sprawling down the aisle between the desks. Idiot. Bullies are such cowards, and the people that laugh and do nothing are just as bad. Jack decided that the time to act was coming soon, maybe even today.

Skylar got up off the floor and quickly sat down. He blushed furiously when almost everyone in the class laughed. Sky held his backpack in his lap and caressed the outline of his new purchase. He was tired of being the target of bullies. If no one was going to help him, then he needed to help himself. Skylar decided that the time to act was coming soon, maybe even today.

Jack was in the cafeteria, eating his lunch. He saw Skylar walking across the room, tray in hand, looking for a place to sit down. He was about to call out for Skylar when he noticed Nate walking quickly, angling straight for the boy. Jack decided that the time to act was now. He got up so fast that his chair fell over and rushed towards the other two boys.

Skylar was walking through the cafeteria just trying to find a quiet place to sit down. The next thing he knew, his lunch tray flipped up, spraying the food all over him. He looked up just in time to see Nate’s fist connect with the side of his head, knocking him down. Tears of pain and rage welled up in Sky’s eyes. He didn’t even hear what Nate was yelling at him. Unthinkingly, his hands unzipped his backpack, and he reached inside. His hand reached the bundle that he put there this morning, and he began unwrapping the cloth from around it.

Jack reached the other two just as Nate knocked Skylar to the floor. He crouched down next to Skylar. “Hey, you ok? You want me to call a teacher or the nurse?” He rested a hand on Skylar’s shoulder. “First let me get rid of this idiot.” Jack gave Skylar a reassuring smile.

Skylar was unsure what to do. No one had ever helped him before. He decided to let go of the item he was holding and see what happened. He zipped his backpack securely closed again.

Jack stood up in between Skylar and Nate. “Nate, what is your problem anyway? Are you so insecure with yourself that you have to pick on other people? Grow up.”

“Shut up and stay out of this, Jack. This is between me and the little fairy.” Nate said with a sneer on his face.

“Fairy? Name calling now, Nate? What is this? Third grade? Your bullying of him and of everyone else for that matter ends today. Unless you want to try and bully me.” Jack’s track teammates had started to gather around the boys.

“What are you a fairy, too, Jack? Sucking dick in the locker room after school?”

“Whether I am or whether I’m not, that isn’t what this is about. It’s about you trying to target someone who you think you can get away with bullying. That stops now. You can stop on your own, or I can stop you. Your choice. I almost hope you want me to stop you.”

“You know what? Screw you. Screw all of you. I’m outta here.” Nate turned and stormed off.

Jack turned and saw his friends gathered in, watching. “You guys can go finish lunch. Thanks for having my back, but I can handle jerks like Nate.” After the crowd dispersed, he knelt next to Skylar. “Hey. He hit you pretty hard. You want me to walk you to the nurse?”

“No. I’m ok. Why did you do that? No one has ever helped me before. I didn’t think anyone even cared. Usually, everyone just laughs at him.” Tears streaked down Skylar’s face, though he tried his best to make them stop.

“Hey. Stop that.” Jack reached over and brushed away Sky’s tears. “Let’s go somewhere more private.” They walked out of the cafeteria and into an empty classroom. “Skylar, I’m so sorry I never stepped in sooner. I never laughed. I… I don’t know. I should have said something to a teacher or did something sooner. I’m so sorry.”

Skylar looked up at him through fresh tears. “I’m surprised you even know my name. I loved my old school, but I hate it so much here. No one even talks to me.”

“Well, that’s gonna change, starting right now.” Jack put an arm around Skylar’s shoulders. “You’re under my protection.” They both grinned. “By the way, don’t you have a study hall with Mrs. Jamison next period?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Ditch it. Come to art class with me. I’ll have Mr. Jenkins call her and tell her he said it’s ok. I’ve seen the drawings in your notebook. You need to show them to Mr. Jenkins. You belong in art more than I do!”

“You’ve seen my doodles? I didn’t think anyone even knew I existed in this school. I’m not really that good, but I’ll come to class with you.”

“Good. Come on. Let’s go.” The two boys headed down the hall towards the art room.

The last bell rang, and all the kids ran out to either catch a bus or walk home. Skylar looked around for Jack, not seeing him, he started walking home.  He was just crossing the Stormy Brook Bridge when he heard Jack yelling from behind him. “Skylar! Hey! Wait up!”

“Hey, Jack. I thought maybe you took a bus. I don’t even know where you live. I forgot to ask you which way you went home before we left art class.”

“I live on Mitchell Drive. What about you?”

“Only two streets further. Monument Street.”

“I guess we get to walk home together then.” Jack nudged Sky’s shoulder with his own.

“Jack, I need to tell you something. I know we just started talking, and we don’t really know each other very well yet, but I need to tell you this. You have to swear to me that won’t tell anyone. Not your parents, not my parents, not the police, no one! Promise me!” Skylar said, leaning against the railing of the bridge, with tears forming in his eyes.

Jack grabbed both of Sky’s hands and held them in his own. “I promise. Whatever it is, I promise. You can tell me anything, Sky.”

“I bought something this morning. It’s in my backpack. I bought it because of Nate and all the people who laugh instead of stopping him from hurting me. In the cafeteria today, I had my hand in my backpack. I had it in my hand. I was going to use it. Then, like a miracle, you showed up. I don’t know why you picked that moment to show up and help me, but if you hadn’t, I would have used it.” Skylar had slid down the railing. His head was resting on his knees, his arms wrapped around his knees, sobbing uncontrollably.

Jack knelt and wrapped Skylar in his arms. “Shh, stop crying. I’m glad you told me this, and I’m glad I was there today. If that had happened, I never would have gotten a chance to meet you and talk to you. I’m sorry I didn’t get involved sooner, Sky. I’m sorry you felt so alone, but I’m here now, and I’m not going anywhere. I never want you to feel alone ever again.” He took Sky’s face in his hands and made him look at him. “If you’re talking about what I think you’re talking about, what do you plan on doing with it now? Are you going to keep it?”

Skylar stood up and set his backpack on the railing. He fished the bundle out and held it in his hand. Sky looked from item in his hands to Jack and back to the bundle again. He slowly unwrapped the cloth revealing the gun that he had been carrying around all day at school. He reached over the railing and dropped the gun into the river below. He smiled as relief flooded over him. “It actually feels like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders today. Jack, what you did for me means more than you can ever know. I’m happy for the first time since I moved here.” Skylar’s smile lit up his whole face, his bright blue eyes twinkling as he looked at Jack.

“I’m so glad you dumped that gun. If you hadn’t, I might not have done this.” Jack leaned in and kissed Skylar. Shocked, Skylar pulled back at first.

“Oh, my God. I’m sorry. I’m such an idiot. I thought you …. Oh my god….” Tears of embarrassment filled Jack’s eyes.

“Hey… hey stop. You were right. I do. You just surprised me.” Skylar grabbed the front of Jack’s shirt and pulled him close for their first real kiss.

Jack grinned from ear to ear. “For a minute I thought you were straight, and I’d ruined things already.”

“Hell no. How can I be straight when I’m around hot guys like you?” Sky teased.

Jack rolled his eyes. “I’ve created a monster.” They both laughed and continued their walk home.

The Sun

The golden effulgence of the sun,

begins its rise as I run.

Dappled shadows beneath my feet,

is much cooler than noonday heat.

The sun at its zenith, it’s time for the beach,

soaking up the radiance, my mind out of reach.

The joy of the summer solstice frees my mind,

and lets my stressed-out body slowly unwind.

Migraines

The sunlight filtered into my room.

Pain exploded like a boom.

This damn headache won’t go away.

It’s been with me all through the day.

I close the blinds, lay back in bed,

Trying to soothe my aching head.

The darkness helps to ease the pain,

So, I try to shut down my brain.

As I drift off to sleep, I pray,

That this headache will go away.

Ruled By Anger

Anger rules my every day,

Turning blue skies into grey.

I try and control my foul mood,

So, I won’t be mean and rude.

Anger is such a hungry beast,

It devours your soul just like a feast.

Anger can drive away your friends,

And bring your relationships to an end.

Take control, beat that foe,

Do your best to let the anger go.

The Hike

This hiking trail is rocky and steep,

into the forest, oh so deep.

Over the hills and across the streams,

it goes on forever, or so it seems.

At peace with nature, yes, I am,

walking alone or with the fam.

Sometimes I take in the view,

Other times I take a few,

pictures of what I see,

to share with you and with me.

I put my camera back away,

for the day is turning grey.

This hike now nears its end,

I see the trail start to bend,

toward the place that we did park.

Then my dog starts to bark,

at the cars or at a toad,

soon we are on the road.

Our hiking day is now done,

as always, we had lots of fun.

Upon the Sea

The sand squishes between my toes,

And the sun beats down on my nose.

The beach is where I find my Zen,

That, or writing with my pen.

I get up from where I sit,

And jump into the water for a bit.

The power of the ocean calms my mind,

Allowing my tired body to unwind.

Whether I swim, surf or ski,

I long to be out upon the sea.

The crashing waves and rolling surf,

Will always be my home turf.

Lazy Weekend

I stretch and yawn as I rise,

wiping the sleep from my eyes.

Another day does now start,

sometimes that is the hardest part.

Putting my feet onto the floor,

feels like such a hefty chore.

The smell of bacon fills the air,

and my mind becomes aware.

I finally leave my comfy bed,

shaking sleepiness from my head.

I follow my nose to the food,

coffee soon brightens my mood.

The day started out slow,

but now I am ready to go.

Another lazy weekend day,

Is officially underway.

Man’s Best Friend

The pitter patter of little feet,

running down the hall to meet

me at the door each day,

takes a ton of stress away.

How can you think of school,

when you’re covered in dog drool?

Percy has been with me,

since I was only three.

Every night he lays his head,

at the foot of my bed.

Annabeth soon was there,

they are like a matching pair.

Anna took to my brother,

like there was no other.

Kam and Anna would never stay

still for long, they’d always play.

Next came Niko to the troupe,

three boys, three dogs, what a group!

They say dogs are man’s best friend,

I will believe that until the end!

The Park

From early morning ‘til nearly dark,

All sorts of kids play in the park.

Little kids, big kids, every age,

jungle gyms, see-saws, a batting cage.

Good kids, bad kids, they all stop by,

basketballs, baseballs, kites that fly.

Lots of things you see in the park,

skaters, bikers, dogs that bark.

So, if you want to have some fun,

go to the park, bring everyone!

The Best Season

The sand was hot beneath my feet,

I didn’t care, I welcomed the heat.

Me and Summer are like one,

I love the warmth of the sun.

Winter is gone, I am so glad,

Though in Spring, I can be sad.

School and snow are both such bores,

In the summer, I don’t mind my chores.

I’d rather dig a garden in the sun,

Than shovel snow when it’s minus one.

Summer is the time for me,

The only time I feel free.

I can lay on the beach all day long,

And listen to the ocean’s song.

The ocean song fills my mind,

Allowing me to unwind.

If I need to cool my skin,

I race to the sea and jump in.

With all I’ve said I need no reasons,

To say Summer is the best of seasons.