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High School Development
|I hope it was worth the wait. I know this chapter ends at a rather awkward place, but I just can't resist throwing that little extra suspense in there. And I PROMISE it won't be as long a wait for the next chapter!|
|“Alright, we’re done. Grab your stuff and get outta here, I don’t want you watching the cheerleading practice any more . Got it?” The coach was yelling over the voices of fifty young athletes, and finally gave up any chance of reaching them. “See ya tomorrow, guys.”
Scott ran up to Owen. “Listen, Owen, uh…”
The quarterback turned around. “What?”
“Uh…about yesterday…” “What about yesterday?” “That thing we did…” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “Huh?” Scott was perplexed. “But…” Owen lowered his voice, his eyes darkening. “I said it never happened. You got that?” “Yeah. I got it.” “Good.” Owen’s countenance brightened, and he slapped Scott’s ass. “Now get in there, you punk!” He grinned and playfully shoved Scott into the locker room with the rest of the team, leaving Scott to his own confused thoughts.
Jamie was getting good at acting the jock. He could play football all day and then go clubbing with his friends and hit on women, and then go home alone and research on the internet. He’d found pictures of the Barkley family online – father, mother, and their only son – and pictures from the funeral in old newspapers. He was starting to get obsessive over tracing this thing.
He’d go to school and it would never fail. One day, he’d see some nerd in the hall, struggling with their books and being dwarfed by all the jocks. Then the next day the nerd would be bigger, his shirt tighter, his glasses gone. Slowly it would go, until, about a week later, that nerd would be a six-foot stud. His pecs would be straining against a tight white t-shirt and his deep voice would rumble through the halls as he addressed one of his friends – possibly Jamie. Pretty soon they’d be at football practice with the rest of the guys, and probably cheating with one their teammates’ girlfriends. One time, he’d seen one of the math nerds with his hands down his pants in Epic Lit, moaning as buttons popped right off his shirt. It was a bizarre thing to witness, and even weirder for Jamie because no one else would ever notice.
Jamie had just been going into the cafeteria when his coach called him over. “Yeah, Coach?”
“Roark just called me. He’s sick and can’t play today…” Jamie stared intently at Coach Hughes. Usually, the man was just a screaming figure at the other end of the football field. It was rare to talk to him face to face, and now that Jamie had a good luck at him, he recognized something…
“Can you do that?” Jamie was snapped out of his diversion by the coach’s question. He thought fast. “Uhhhh…sure.”
“Great, Jamie. I…” And it started back up again. Something about the shape of the mouth, or of the face. Where had he seen it before?
And then it clicked. Jamie was floored. “Holy shit…”
“’scuse me, Taylor?” “Nothing…it’s nothing. I can cover for Roark.” Jamie hoped that that was what he’d been asked to do. “Good. See you tonight, then.” “Yeah.”
Jamie jogged to the school library. Lunch would have to wait for today.
Patrick Kline had been Jamie’s best friend. After their “encounter” in the Barkley House, both had grown into jocks, but of strictly different natures – for reasons unknown, Jamie’s mind didn’t change with his body. Patrick’s did in some ways, and not in others. The pleasure he’d felt from his newly gorgeous body, and from all the amazing sex (with both himself and others) had been too much to handle for just one person. He wanted to spread the love a little bit…so he started to deal what he thought was cocaine.
Patrick didn’t care who was giving him his supply, in fact, he didn’t even know. He’d sell a bag and go back to the Barkley house and another one would be sitting there, as if by magic. It was like free money from heaven.
Patrick was eating when one of the kids from Chemistry Club sat down across from him, twitching nervously. What a nerd, Patrick thought. They’re always such pussies when they want some coke.
“You’re, uh, you’re Patrick Kline, right?” “Yeah. A bag is thirty bucks.” The nerd pulled out two crumpled twenties. “Do you have change?” “Yeah.” They exchanged money, and Patrick stood up. “The shit’s in my locker. Follow me.”
They walked awkwardly for a few meters, Patrick’s brawny chest and powerful torso swaggering down the hall, dwarfing the dork next to him. The silence was deafening. Finally, they reached the locker.
Patrick spun the lock and was about to open the locker when he stopped. “What’s your name, kid?”
“Casey, Casey Black. My sister’s on the pom squad…” Patrick remembered Whitney Black well. She’d been very good to him. “Okay, Casey. I’m gonna be blunt with you…do you whack off a lot?” “Uhhh…um…why do you ask?” “So you do.” “Maybe.” “Because this cocaine…it’s different. Have you ever done coke before?” Patrick was not at all surprised when Casey shook his head no. “Okay. It’s cocaine that’ll make you…different. You’ll act different, you’ll be different. But it’s a good different. And you’ll feel great. Still wanna do it?” “Yeah.” Patrick didn’t say anything, but pulled Casey right up against his body and, with one swift motion, grabbed the bag from his locker and stuffed it into Casey’s hands. “Don’t let anyone see that,” he hissed. “I’ll see you around.”
Patrick scurried down the hall and back to the cafeteria. Casey looked down at the bag, and the empty hall. Then he grabbed his keys and walked out to his car, pulled out a notebook, and poured a little of the fine powder onto the top. Then he pulled out another dollar bill…
Jamie sat in the library, silent, motionless. He stared at the picture on the computer screen in front of him, completely in shock. He didn’t know whether to be angry or perplexed, but he did know that he was going to go see Coach Hughes right then. Who gave a shit if he was late to his next class?
He printed out the picture and stormed over to the athletic wing of the school, reached Coach Hughes’ office and knocked on the door.
“Come in.” Jamie heard the familiar voice and entered.
“Hey, Jamie. What’s going on?”
“This is what’s going on, Coach.” Jamie slammed the printout onto the desk. Coach Hughes took it and calmly looked at it before setting it down.
“I know a lot about you now, Coach.” The coach grinned. “Like what?” “Like the fact that your son died on the football field twenty-two years ago, or that you and your wife did some weird-ass thing with his ashes, or that…that you’re Harold Barkley.’
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