Status: in progress

I'm Happy if You're Happy with Yourself

Chapter 4

Jack cleared his throat, gaining Alex's attention. "So? Start talking," he finally said when Alex failed to speak up.

Alex began panicking. What does he say? What if Jack thinks he's even more of a freak when he tells him? Oh God, he probably will, Alex thought. He'll probably hate me and have the whole school make fun of me even more than they do already. Oh my God, I can't do this.

"Dude, are you okay? You look like you've just seen a ghost," Jack said. He could tell Alex was nervous, but honestly, there was nothing to be nervous about.

Alex looked down at his feet, which were now hanging in front of him as he sat on top of an old desk. "I-I have to go to the bathroom," Alex said, although he knew he wouldn't actually be going to the bathroom. He just felt extremely uncomfortable right now, and he knew he was making such a big deal out of it, but he really couldn't handle this.

"No," Jack said bluntly. Alex looked up to him questioningly. "You're seriously not going to let me go to the bathroom? What if I piss myself?" Alex asked.

Jack sighed. He knew Alex wasn't going to the bathroom when he was sent to check on him. He just knew. The kid said he had a stomach ache, but in all honesty, if someone had a stomach ache you'd smell it. And Jack didn't.

Alex had always intrigued Jack. He was absolutely certain that Alex wasn't the happiest kid. He knew what people did to him; what they said to him. He knew all about it. Jack also knew about self harm. An old friend of his used to do it, Oli, but he moved away a few years ago. He kind of had a feeling that Alex did it too. He couldn't be sure, though; Alex didn't always wear hoodies or long sleeved shirts, and there was never anything on his wrists, but that didn't mean he didn't do it. Oli had cut his hips and thighs, and he wondered if Alex did too. He wondered if he did it there because he didn't want people making fun of him even more if they saw his cuts. Jack sure as hell wouldn't make fun of him. Still though, Jack wasn't completely sure if Alex hurt himself; he just had... a hunch, you could call it. It's just an idea that stuck the second he thought of it.

Alex asked to go to bathroom a lot in history, the only class the two shared. He would stutter when he asked. The first few times, Jack always ignored him, pretty much like how he tries to ignore almost everyone. But as Alex continued to ask almost every class, and would stutter every single time, he had managed to intrigue Jack. He wanted to know why he'd stutter every time, or why he always just had to go. Mr. Flyzik never really questioned him, but he often gave him a hard time. Sometimes he'd make him wait until he was done teaching something, which seemed to drive Alex crazy. He'd start tapping his pencil on the desk, shaking his leg, anything to, what most people guessed, distract himself from having to go to the bathroom.

Jack started looking over at him a lot, wondering when he'd ask to go to the bathroom. Jack soon found out that right before Alex asked, he'd zone out, much like he did in class earlier that day. He'd look like he was in another world, just staring off into space. His eyes went wide as he stared at seemingly nothing, although today he stared at Jack. Jack had a feeling he really didn't mean to. He was just pressuring the poor kid because he simply wanted to know more.

As Jack sat, waiting for Alex to speak up, he wondered why Alex just asked to go to the bathroom. He knew for a god damn fact that he was not going to piss his pants if Jack didn't let him go. Alex seemed so nervous; Jack pondered the fact that maybe Alex was going to go... no. He wouldn't hurt himself now? Would he? What if he did every time he asked to go to the bathroom? Does he ask to go in every class he has? Jack started worrying for the boy's wellbeing. What if he does this often, like, quite a few times a day? That isn't healthy!

Right then and there, Jack knew he had to get to the bottom of this. Otherwise, his curiosity, and worrying, would eat him alive. He wanted to know for sure if Alex hurt himself, and if he did it every time he went to the bathroom in class.

Alex still hadn't spoken, and as Jack pulled out his phone to check the time, he realized that over five minutes had passed. He had decided that Alex had enough time to think, and that it was time to start talking. Jack really didn't want to force the kid into talking, he truly felt bad for him, but he needed to know. He just had to.

"Look. I know you really don't want to talk, and I know you're nervous, but please just tell me what happened. Why were you staring at me?" Jack asked.

Alex sighed. He was really hoping he could put this conversation off for as long as he could. "Why do you want to know so bad?" Alex asked in quite a nasty tone. He was getting irritated. Why is this random, popular boy barging into his life trying to find things out about him? He just wanted to leave. Hell, he'd almost rather be in literature now. At least his teacher would let him go to the bathroom, and, you know...

"Because," Jack said. He was taken aback by Alex's rude tone, and he could tell that his answer only angered him further. He sighed once more, thinking of the right words to say. "Okay, fine. It's because... I find you interesting, Alex. I hope that doesn't sound as weird as I think it does. I just want to know why you always zone out like you're in another world; why you always do that before you ask to go to the bathroom; why you ask to go to the bathroom so often; why do you always stutter when you ask? Come to think of it, you stutter a lot, don't you?"

Jack continued to ramble on with stupid questions that Alex really didn't want to answer, but he was kind of flattered that he had caught the interest one of the most popular kids in the school. Honestly, Alex thought there was absolutely nothing interesting about him, but if someone thought so, he might as well start talking. Maybe he could finally have more than two friends. Maybe this Jack-football-guy would be nice and understanding. He already seemed more understanding than Zack and Rian. Then again, Alex would be stupid to trust someone like him. But, then again... you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Believe it or not, all of Jack's ramblings and questions began to make Alex feel more comfortable. He felt like Jack was genuinely interested and genuinely cared. Alex hadn't felt that in a long time, and it was a damn good feeling. He hadn't even realized he started to smile at the boy's cute ramblings until Jack tried to get his attention.

"Hello?! Did you pay attention at all to what I just said?" Jack asked, seemingly annoyed when Alex had just stared at him with a little smile on his face, obviously not listening at all.

“No,” Alex stated, although he starting giggling when Jack got so annoyed. He couldn’t remember the last time he actually “giggled”. Jack seemed relieved that Alex wasn’t so nervous anymore, so he starting laughing along with Alex.

The two had been laughing for nearly five whole minutes when Alex finally decided it was time to speak up. “Look,” Alex started. He was surprised he wasn’t stuttering by now, but Jack just made him feel… comfortable. He made him feel safe. Alex paused for a moment to contemplate what he was going to say next. “I really, truly, did not mean to stare at you. I honestly just zoned out. I do that a lot, I guess; although, I never really notice it. I kind of just go off in my own little world.”

Alex didn’t really know why felt the need to say all of that. All he really needed to say was that he wasn’t staring at him and that he zoned out. Jack had already stated he’s seen Alex zone out before. The words just kind of spilled out of his mouth.

“I figured,” Jack said. “I just wanted to hear it coming from you,” he finished with a small smile. Alex smiled back. It felt good to smile; he hadn’t done it much in a long time.

The two sat in a comfortable silence before a thought came to Alex's mind. “A-are you g-going to make fun of me now? L-like to the rest of the school?” Alex asked. The question had been eating him alive. Sure, Jack seemed like a nice guy now, but he was a popular quarterback. When were those kind of guys ever completely nice? What if he went and told the whole school some lie like, “The gay kid locked me in a room and tried to put it up my ass!” Alex thought if that happened then he just might kill himself.

The look on Alex’s face just made Jack feel bad for him. He was smiling and even laughing, and he’s never seen him do either, yet he’s still worried about that. If anything, he was a little offended. Did he really come off as that much of a douchebag? Sure, he’s the quarterback and sure, he’s “popular”, but he’d never do that; not to anyone.

“Alex, I promise you I’m not like all those other douchebags on the team. I swear I won’t make fun of you or say anything,” Jack said. He gave Alex a genuine smile just to prove his point. Jack’s words seemed to calm Alex down. The nervous look and frown that was previously on his face had been replaced by a smile.

Looking at the time on his phone once more, Jack realized that they still had twenty minutes left of this class. Although, to them it wasn’t really a class. “So, we have twenty minutes left. Why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself?” Jack asked, trying to spark up a new conversation so the boys would have something to do. He'd also been wanting to know more about the boy, and this was a good way to find out.

“W-well, there’s not much to me, really,” Alex replied, looking down at his hanging feet again. Jack could tell Alex didn’t feel like talking just yet; maybe he was still recovering from the previous conversation, Jack didn’t know. But what he did know was that, even though Alex’s nervousness was cute, Jack felt bad for the kid so he decided he’d go first and tell Alex about himself and make him feel more comfortable.

“Okay then. I’ll start instead and you can talk when you’re ready, okay?” Alex nodded. “Well… As you know, I play football, and I’m the quarterback. I have two other friends, Kellin and Vic. They’re gay, together, so sometimes I feel like the third wheel, but it’s okay. They’ve been my best friends for years so I’m okay with it. Believe it or not, I actually like school. I do pretty well, to be honest. I love to read. I love the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games. Once I even read Dear John…”

Jack continued to ramble on about all his favorite books, and even went into some of his favorite movies. One of them was Home Alone. But as Jack talked, and talked, and talked, and talked, Alex realized something. He wasn’t sure how he felt about this, but he realized that he was starting to fall for this chatter box; this popular quarterback.

Falling for Jack was probably the stupidest thing Alex could do, but he couldn’t help it. He liked how comfortable and safe Jack made him feel. He liked that Jack seemed like he actually cared and tried to make Alex feel less nervous. He really liked that Jack had managed to make him smile and even laugh, just when Alex was beginning to think he had forgotten how to do both.

At least Jack wasn’t a homophobe; although, he never did state his sexual preference. He also never said whether he was single or taken. He had said he had two gay friends, so he probably would have said if he was gay then, but who knows? Maybe he likes girls and guys, and that’s okay too. Maybe Alex had finally gotten lucky and would have a chance with this Jack boy. But Alex knew better. He knew it was stupid to get his hopes up, but he couldn’t help it. No one can really control who they fall for, and that was the scary part. Alex just hoped that maybe, just maybe, Jack would somehow fall for his pathetic self, too.
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Woah, this is long for me. 2, 242 words to be exact. I kind of liked how the ened turned out, but I don't exactly like the beginning all that much. Sorry I take so long to update! It takes me a bit to get motivation. I'll try to update again tomorrow or Sunday because I'm going away Monday and won't be back till Friday. Leave me comments? :)