Excerpt from We Don’t Say Gay at Tranquility Bay
Thought you were safe, didn’t you? Ha! I outfoxed you.
Julian never liked school except for Phys. Ed., so he always claimed a seat in the back of the room. Today he’d placed his backpack on the other half of his lab table, saving it until the tiny room filled leaving only one place Nick could sit.
Right next to me.
Nick looked around for an empty seat. Relishing the moment, looking directly at him from across the room, Julian lifted his backpack from the lab table, leaving the only seat open. As his situation became clear, Nick’s eyes narrowed. Julian watched him scan the classroom once more, looking for any other seat, and grinned when he saw Nick’s recognition of his fate. He even took advantage of the teacher’s turned back to crook his finger and beckon his victim closer.
That’s right sissy, you know you’re gonna get it, so come on and get it. You got to learn to take your beatings like a man, like we all do.
Nick slid gingerly into the open seat next to him, facing forward. Refusing to look at Julian he kept his eyes on the teacher, watching every move she made. His eyes only left her long enough to take a quick note or two.
Just keep looking away loser, Julian thought. He leaned over and hissed in Nick’s ear, “You made a big mistake. You can’t hide from me, not here or anywhere. There’s a penalty to pay for not engaging the enemy.” He stared right at the side of Nick’s face, and kept on staring all through class. He stopped staring only long enough to write a short note, which he folded and threw in front of Nick as the passing bell for the last period rang. It read:
It looks like you’re going to need some help this year. I’ll be your bodyguard, because some people think you’re going to need one. Not me, I think you’ll be fine. But if you ever feel threatened, just turn around.
I’ll be there.
Your friend, Julian
WE DON’T SAY GAY AT TRANQUILITY BAY
Expected Publication Date: June 1, 2022