Status: Not sure, it's an old story I'm thinking about reviving

Let It Pour


I can't take this much longer. I don't understand what it is about me that is so damn repulsive. I get up every morning and look in the mirror and see what I've always seen. I'm six foot, average build, sandy blonde hair, green eyes. I'd fit right into Anytown, USA's high school. But apparently Taos, NM isn't Anytown, USA. Because I don't fit in. I stand out like a sore thumb and every day I pay for it. I've lost all of my friends because of it. The only person I have left is Cole, and after our argument earlier I'm afraid I'm in danger of losing him too. Its funny, the way our teachers make us sit through assemblies about bullying and lecture us like we're five and being taught the 'seven pillars of character' again. Because they can lecture us all they want. And they can tell us how important it is to accept others no matter how different they are. But when they turn a blind eye to the torment that goes on right under their noses, it doesn't get a damn thing done. And it never will.

My phone buzzed and looking down I saw it was another text from someone in my group for our English project. I didn't want to read the message because I knew it would essentially say the same exact thing the others had. Still, I had small sliver of hope that I could be wrong, so sighing I picked up the phone and pressed on view message.

"Hey man," it began. "I'm gonna change groups. This project just hasn't really been working for me, ya know? I hope you understand. No hard feelings, right?"

I cursed under my breath, took a deep breath and tried to restrain myself from throwing the object in my hand across the room as I felt the familiar burning begin behind my eyes. I was not going to cry over this. It was just a stupid group project. At the rate things were going, though, it would just be Cole and I left in the group pretty soon. Not that I would really mind, but the thing about a group project is, well, they're meant to be done by a group. Not a couple.

"Jonathan!" My mom called, breaking into my thoughts. "Your sister has to be at school early today, remember? You'll have to drop her off on your way. Jonathan..."

I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and then my mom's head was poking around the corner of the doorway. "Hey, did you-" She broke off and gave me a worried look. "Honey, is everything okay?"

"I'm fine mom," I replied, but my voice came out lower and huskier than it should have. It was apparent in my voice I wasn't fine, even if I did try to hide it. I looked away to avoid eye contact and began gathering everything I needed so I could leave for school. My act, however, wasn't fooling my mom. I listened as her footsteps entered my room and approached me. She stood still for a second and in that silence I tried to come up with something to say to make her leave me alone.

"Jo," She said softly, laying a hand on my shoulder. It was the name she called me when I was younger and having a bad day. It always made me feel better, being called Jo and being wrapped up in one of her hugs. After my dad died, those hugs were the only thing that kept me going. But right now, the thought of being held by my mother made me want to cry even harder. I was the man of the house. I was supposed to be the strong one. And yet here I was. Meeker and more feeble than I had ever been in my life, and weaker than I would ever let show.

"Bubba?" My little sister padded into my room saving me from a total meltdown. She was only six years old and although she was actually older than a lot of kids, she was the smallest in her grade. "I havta gets to the school early cause we havta get ready to go on the field trips!" She exclaimed, her excited mood getting the better of her speech.

"Alright Munchkin, I'll be right down stairs to drive you, okay? Let me get the rest of my things. I'll even let you pick what we listen to on the ride if you're good until we leave." I told her and she smiled at me before running down the stairs to grab her breakfast.

My mom watched her go and turned back to me. "I have to go help her with breakfast, okay? I'll talk to you after school today. And Jo, I love you sweetheart." She stood on her tiptoes to kiss my cheek before following my sister down the staircase and leaving me to my misery.

I wanted to crawl back in bed and sleep until graduation but the sound of my sister's giggles drifting up from the kitchen was like a magnet pulling me down the stairs. I grabbed my backpack, picked up my keys, and followed the path taken by both my mother and sister.

My little sister was unusually quiet on the way to school. "Elle what's up?" I asked, looking over to my passenger seat. She looked so small and delicate with her school Tshirt, which was at least three sizes too big, on. Elle never met our father. When he died my mom didn't even know she was pregnant with her, so I was the only prominent male figure in her life. She looked up to me, but I often found it difficult to be what she deserved. "Elle? Aren't you excited for the field trip today?"

"I am edcided." She muttered, not looking up from her tiny hands that lay folded in her lap.

"Elle. Sweetie, what's wrong?" I asked again. But communicating with a six year old is a subject I was never taught.

"We... My class is havin a dance at the last of the school. And we havta take our daddies with us. And Jonadan, we don't have a daddy." She said this hushed, almost ashamed while she wrung her hands in her lap.

"Elle, when is your dance exactly?" I asked. We were in front of the school, and I knew if I didn't drop her off right now I would be late. But I stopped the car and killed the engine anyways.

"Its the day before your graduadion. On that Fiday. But Jonadan, I don't wanna go." She looked up at me eagerly now, and the hurt was clear on her face. "Everyone else is gonna have there daddies. Jonadan, I can't go without a daddy!" Her face crumpled and tears poured over. Her small frame wracked with sobs, and I was again reminded of how inadequate of a father figure I was for her. Still, I reached over and put my hand on her back.

"Shh. Elle, shhh," I sat there for a second while carefully picking out my words. "I'll go to your dance with you, okay?"

"You... you mean you're gonna be my daddy, Jonadan?" She looked up at me with red eyes, sniffling and wiping her nose on the back of her hand.

"For your dance sweetheart, I'll be like your daddy."

"Just like make believe?" She asked, her tears no longer flowing.

"Yeah, just like make believe Elle." I knew my presence would be easily paled compared to all of her classmates' fathers, but I couldn't stand her being so heartbroken.

"You're the best Jonadan!" She cried as she unbuckled her seat belt and jumped across the middle console to try and wrap her little arms around me in a hug. "I love you so much! Bye, have good day at school Bubba!" And just like that, she was out my door and running up the sidewalk to the front door while her tears were still drying on her face. The best part was, being completely consumed by my sister's problems I almost forgot about the hell waiting for me at school.

I pulled in at 8:07. It was already seven minutes past the tardy bell so I decided to wait a few more minutes before entering the building. I pulled my phone out of my bag and turned it back on to see if I had received any more messages since leaving home. I had two more. One was another person dropping out of my group, and the other was from my mom reminding me I had to pick Elle up at five. I blew out a stream of air that pushed my bangs off my forehead. I was so popular.

I looked at the clock again. 8:09. If I went right now I would have to be there for seven hours and eleven minutes. I could wait off a few more of those minutes. But as I reached to change the radio station my phone went off. It was a text from Cole. Smirking because he was having to sit through Ms. Huckabee's start-off-the-day lecture and I wasn't, I opened the message.

"Where the hell are you? Nat, I swear if you don't get here soon I'm walking out." Seeing he used my nickname made me smile and want to see him so I shot him a reply saying I'd be there soon and left my car.

The front office clerk stared at me with a disapproving glare when I walked in. Only eleven minutes into the day, and a couple of meth-heads were already waiting outside the door of the principal's office. It seemed to me she should be glaring at them, not me. I signed in, grabbed a tardy slip, and wrote down 'family emergency' as my reason for being late. I glanced at the meth-heads again on my way out and one of them snickered. As the door closed behind me I swore I heard one of them say "And thaaaaaaat's what happens when you don't have a father around..." Great I thought. I'm getting hell from the druggies now too. This is going to be a wonderful day.

I waited for someone to open the classroom door for me and when I stepped inside I took in the scene before me. A couple of snickers from people around the room. Ms. Huckabee made a note on her attendance. Cole was sitting in the back corner looking helpless, but also relieved to see me.

"Jonathan," Ms. Huckabee repeated, "Thank you for deciding to show up. Now, please take your seat. We were just starting to talk about our group projects. Now class, as you know, you have three weeks until graduation. But in two weeks, your group projects will be due. Now, we briefly talked about groups on Friday. I want you to work in groups of three to six people each. You picked groups and I wrote them down here," She said, pulling a piece of paper out of her desk. "Now, before we make these groups final, is there anyone who would like to change?"

Four hands shot up. Cole and I were alone. Oblivious to the quiet snickers from around the room Ms. Huckabee scratched off the four names. Something was going on. I glanced at Cole, but he was staring at his desk with his cheeks on fire.

"Okay, you four can have your own group. But that leaves Cole and Jonathan alone together."

This time there was no snickering. It was straight up laughter, coming from all sides of the room. Someone coughed "Faggots" under their breath, and the laughter escalated a level.

"Quiet!" Ms. Huckabee yelled, slapping her desk. The room immediately became still. She never yelled. Ms. Huckabee was young, only twenty-something. Usually she was totally laid back and cool. She rarely gave us homework, made our assignments actually interesting, and connected with us on a level our older teachers couldn't. One thing she never did, however, was be harsh with us. She didn't have to, because we all listened to her. The girls liked her, and the guys behaved because they wanted to impress her. This was a side we had never seen from our young teacher. ""I never want to hear language like that in my classroom again, understood?" She stood glaring around the room, letting her gaze fall on each and every student. And when she looked at me we locked eyes. He expression softened, if only for a second, and my face burned. I looked away, hoping nobody noticed the momentary difference in her death stare. "Now. Everyone will break into the new groups. Christina, I would like to talk to you at my desk for a minute please."

The noise level rose again, but this time it was just the quiet chatter of people moving around the room. I stood to go back to Cole, and when I did one of my classmates passed me, hitting my shoulder roughly on his way by. I was used to this treatment in the halls, but it was only first period. Something was off today.

"Cole, what's up with everyone?" I asked as I sat down in the desk in front of him. I turned to look at him, leaving my legs in the aisle. He was still studying his desk, and although his cheeks weren't as flushed as they had been, I could tell he was still embarrassed. I took advantage of his silence and admired again how beautiful he was. He was a little shorter than me, only 5'10. He had a slender build and a stomach most guys and girls alike would kill for. His skin was tan year-round and his short brown hair was always in a mess that looked almost intentional. His chocolate brown eyes were framed by the longest and most full eyelashes I had ever seen, but right now they weren't lit up as usual. Cole shifted in his desk and cleared his throat. Looking up at me through those eyelashes he sighed.

"I got texts this morning saying they were dropping out of our group. I got to school and there was whispering in the hallway. A couple dirty looks from the people who usually smile. And then this," He said quietly. I stared back at him with a knowing look on my face.

"It was pretty much the same for me, minus the hallway. But I got that part in the front office signing in from a couple of druggies and from behind the desk too."

School had always been hard for both of us. I got the worst end of it though. Cole could walk down the halls and get some smiles, some high fives, and he even had a small group of other friends. I was always welcome with them, but I never really felt accepted. And when I walked down the halls I didn't have anyone calling out hello to me. I got my shoulders rammed into, and occasionally I was shoved into the lockers. Although I hadn't been physically hit aside from the pushes since middle school, I was always apprehensive about leaving school. I guess old habits die hard.

"Hey, Nat, what happened this morning?" Cole asked. I looked around to see if anyone noticed the use of my nickname, but everyone was too absorbed in their own conversations to pay attention to the two quiet boys in the back corner.

"My sister had a breakdown. Her class is having a father's dance the night before our graduation and she wasn't going to go. It's so damn hard, sometimes, to know what to say when there's a six year old crying in your passenger seat about something you know will never be right." I blew my bangs off my face again before continuing. "So I offered to take her, ya know? I mean, what else could I do? So now I'm going to be her 'make-believe daddy' for a night, as she puts it."

"Shit, that's so rough. I don't know how you do it, Nat." He paused for a second and looked around the room before reaching for my hand. This was way out of line for class, but Cole didn't seem to care. "Look, about last night, I'm sorry."

"No Cole, don't worry about it. Really. Look, it was as much my fault as it was yours. I understand you're stressed about college. I am too. Let's just let it go, okay?" I put my other hand on top of his and he nodded his head. He opened his mouth to speak.

"Christina!" Someone called from across the room, causing the Cole and I to jump back. Looking up I realized Christina was only a few desks away from us, and she was headed towards the two of us. "What's up with that? We've been waiting on you!"

She laughed before replying. "You can actually do something for once! I'm gonna work with Cole and Jonathan."

The room became almost silent again and everyone stared. Cole and I looked at each other confusedly. I guess we had our group of three.

"You don't really want to work with those queers, do you?" Someone else said, closer and a little quieter.

However, he wasn't quiet enough. Ms. Huckabee stood abruptly out of her chair and sent it spinning into the wall behind her desk. "Mathew Aarons!" She yelled. "You are to come with me to the principals office right now, do you understand?" There was pause in everything, during which nobody moved, not even Mathew.

"I said now." Ms. Huckabee ordered, calmer this time, but deathly cold. Mathew rose from his desk and walked to the doorway as our teacher followed him out and slammed the door behind her.

The two left and the silence that followed was as cold as Ms. Huckabee's voice had been moments before. Christina stood glued to the floor where she had been standing looking confused, not daring to move. The air conditioner kicked on, making all of us jump, and as everyone laughed at how easily we were scared, normal conversation began to pick back up.

And Christina was walking towards us again. My once-was best friend. The first person I ever told. The only person I've ever told besides Cole himself. She had a tentative smile on her face, and as she drew closer I looked at Cole one more time.

"I had nothing to do with all of this, I swear," She said shakily. Cole looked confused, glancing from Christina to me and back.

But as the last word left her mouth everything began falling into place for me. I knew the reason everyone had requested to leave our group. I understood the snickering and the stronger laughing about us being called faggots than would have usually occurred. The joke made in the office even made sense to me now. And it was something I didn't want. Something I had planned on keeping to myself, at least for the next three weeks.

"These next three weeks are going to be harder than hell, Cole," I whispered, finally meeting his gaze. I knew he'd be okay, though. He always has been. I, however, was worrying about myself. I already got the name callings, the pushes in the halls, the snide remarks. And that was just for being quiet me.This was going to be a new me, one that would be hated even more than middle school me. Thinking about the next three weeks caused the burning behind my eyes again. But it had been so long since I cried in front of Cole. I wasn't going to break that streak now. So I looked to Christina for help. She was once my sole confidant. And looking at her with devastation across my face I was hoping she could help once more.

She cleared her throat and pulled a desk closer to ours. "There was a mass text sent out last night. By now everyone in the school has probably gotten it. Like it or not guys, you're out. And just so you should know, nobody here likes it."

The last sentence she said sealed my fate. I was no longer attending high school. I was just signing my own death sentence.
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Thoughts so far?
I'm hoping yall like it. I wasn't too sure where I was going with Jonathan's character when I wrote the first chapter, but when I started writing this one everything just kinda fell into place. Back to Christina's point of view next, for a little more history and some stories about them when they were younger(:
And a special thanks to everyone who read the first chapter or who is reading this, and especially to those who have subscribed! It means a lot:D