Status: updates when inspiration and free time collide.

Sotto Voce


There were several things that I didn’t mind spending money on – songs, photography equipment, skateboard accessories, Brett and weed.

And the weed was always worth the price.

After church, my parents started making lunch, but I slipped away to the subdivision’s park. There weren’t that many little kids that lived here. It was mostly teenagers, so they were usually at the fitness center at the other side of the subdivision. It had a gym, tennis court, basketball court, and pool. I went there to swim a lot during the off season.

Today, though, I decided to hit the park so I could smoke in peace. I climbed up so I was sitting on top of the monkey bars and then I lit up. It’s been a while since I’ve touched my weed stash. I used to smoke daily back when everyone was giving me so much shit about my nudes online. I stopped for a while, thanks to Brett, and I also started again, thanks to Brett.

Last night… it was probably just too much. She’s been homeschooled most her life. She must have been scared to kiss me. Or… Or she just didn’t want to kiss me? I didn’t understand, and I didn’t want to think about it, so, naturally, getting high solved all my problems. Well, not really, but it made me forget them for a while.

I was feeling pretty hungry after I finished the joint, so I went back home after half an hour. I was still a little high, though, so I kept my words to a minimum and went to my room the first chance I got. I was playing guitar when my phone rang. “Hello?”

“Zack, where were you yesterday?”

“Oh, it’s nice to hear from you, too, Alex,” I chuckled, putting my guitar down. “I had Saturday school.”

“What, did they find weed in your locker again?”

“Shut up.”

The guys knew about me and my weed, but they never really bothered me about it, because I never smoked it around them. “You didn’t show up for band practice, bro.”

“My bad. Something came up,” I muttered, recalling the day I spent with Brett and her family. Brett clammed up so easily, and it was only when her emotions got the best of her that she truly spoke her mind. I learned that, if I wanted her to answer something honestly, I’d have to rile her up a bit first. I learned that she mumbled when she was happy. I learned a lot about her last night…and I also learned she didn’t return my feelings, judging from the way she didn't let me kiss her.

Oh, wow, listen to me, talking about feelings and shit. I’ve only known her for a few months now. Is it alright to have feelings like this so soon…?

“Really? Like what?” Alex asked insistently, snapping me out of my thoughts.

“Forget it. Look, I’m sorry I missed practice, alright? Won’t happen again.”

“Can you just tell me what was so important that it took precedence over our band?” Alex said melodramatically. I let out a frustrated sigh in reply. Alex was silent for a few minutes, processing my reaction. “So, what’s her name? Or his? I know you swing both ways.”

Alex knew that very well… considering we fooled around quite a bit in our younger years. Alex was a bit bi-curious, and I served to satisfy his curiosities quite well. We were more or less just fuck buddies, but we weren’t even fucking, just making out every chance we got. It was his words that sucked me in. Alex’s lyrics or even just little rants were amazing. Yes, I got turned on by his syntax and vocabulary. Sue me. We’re not like that now, but consequently, Alex knows me that much better than the others do.

“Alex,” I scoffed, trying not to blush. I was pretty gender blind because I was mostly sapiosexual. There was this one adorable boy in my class last year, but he graduated early because he was enrolled in oodles of extra courses. Not to mention his intelligence was coupled with condescension, so that spoiled him for me. Kelly was blonde as can be, but she’s the one who came on to me, so…yeah. I usually went for the smart ones, though.

“When do we get to meet this person?” Jack asked from somewhere in the room.

“Never… I got friend-zoned.” I heard my friends groan collectively in sympathy.

“Bro, I’m sorry to hear that,” Alex muttered after a moment. “Look, don’t worry about band practice this weekend. Rian’s going out of town, so we can hang out, if you want. Dave and Buster’s?”

“Sounds fun. Alright, well, I’m gonna…go, now,” I said vaguely, hanging up without more of a goodbye.


I was sorely tempted not to go to school the following Monday, but I felt like Brett would suffer more harassment without me around, so I went to school…late. And I really shouldn’t have.

I didn’t see Brett at all today, not even at lunch. I went from bummed out to worried about her.

I left our locker hallway for the parking lot to try and sneak in a smoke, which would hopefully calm me down a bit, but that didn’t happen. Kelly and a bunch of her little cronies were cornering some poor soul in the parking lot, out of sight of the security cameras. And they were all obviously dishing out some physical abuse. Whoever it was, they were on the ground, because Kelly was stomping and kicking furiously. Kelly herself was weak. All her little girly friends were. But a string of little things together can equate to a few larger things, of course.

“…so remember this the next time you think about messing with me, got it?” Kelly said loudly.

“Oh, I’ll remember, alright…and next time, I won’t just break your nose.”

Kelly’s face twisted in rage and she was about to go at it again, but Hannah stopped her. “Come on, she’s not even worth it,” Hannah scoffed, pulling Kelly away. “Oh, and if you tell anyone about this, Jude will make sure they won’t believe you,” she added as the girls strolled back inside.

When I walked over to see who it was, I wish I had done so sooner. Jesus fucking Christ, it was Brett. She was in a crumpled heap on the ground, a nasty looking cut at her brow and probably much more damage underneath all her layers of clothing. Brett sighed and rolled over on the asphalt so she was on her stomach, grabbing the fender of a nearby car to at least get to her knees.


She cringed at her name and looked around in panic, but when she saw it was only me, the tension left her body. “Look who decided to show up,” she scoffed, but I think it was more out of pain than any actual malice. “Can you fix this? I don’t want to go to the school nurse; she still thinks my name is Brad… and I don’t really feel like going to my afternoon classes anymore, so…”

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” I muttered under my breath, hooking my arms under her knees and around her waist.

“Gently,” Brett gasped, wrapping one of her arms around my neck and the other around her rib cage. I was afraid to know the damage, but I knew it had to be assessed. “Thanks,” Brett managed to whimper when I lowered her into my car. “Don’t you dare think about bringing me to a hospital,” she said sharply, buckling herself up with shaking hands.

“I wasn’t going to,” I laughed weakly, shutting her door and getting into the driver’s seat. “I promised your mom I’d take care of you. And I keep my promises.”
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thanks for reading; hope you enjoyed it!
oodles of love to all of those who commented last chapter :)