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chapter six

When Frances had gotten to lunch that Monday, they were together. Trevor and Maureen were already sitting together at the table she and Maureen usually sat at. She hadn't talked to Maureen since the incident in the mall on Saturday. Maureen had called Sunday, but Frances had told her mom to take a message. Now it was Monday, and Frances didn't want to talk to Maureen, but she also didn't want to eat lunch alone. She stood at the window, staring outside at the two of them sitting at the picnic table, trying to figure out what to do. Too late. Maureen had spotted her and was waving her over. Frances headed for the door and the two of them.

"Hey," said Maureen as she sat down, "no need to apologize for Saturday. I was a bitch. I know it. I shouldn't have said what I said."

Frances tried to smile. Jealousy was eating her up inside. She could see that Maureen and Trevor were holding hands under the picnic table. How the hell had that happened so fast? "It's okay. I am sorry."

Maureen grinned. Her face lit up in a way that made her look light and carefree. Maureen never looked like that. Frances felt sick. "God, I can't wait to catch up, Frances. We so have to hang out. Lots is up."

Trevor eyed her, a teasing grin on his face. "What are you gonna tell her?"

Maureen elbowed him, smiling back. "Nothing. Girl stuff."

Frances stood up. "I don't really feel hungry. I think I'm gonna hit the library. I've got a big test in calculus, and I don't know what the hell I'm doing."

"Frances?" said Maureen. "Are you okay?"

"Fine," said Frances.

"Okay," said Maureen. "Well, call me tonight."

Frances nodded. She couldn't get out of there fast enough. She half-walked, half-ran to the west wing bathrooms and locked herself inside. Sitting on the floor, she inhaled every bit of the lunch she'd brought. Then, without using her finger or anything, she vomited it all back up again.

She was still wiping at her mouth when she ran into Jared in the hall.

"You okay?" he said.

"What the hell do you care?" she said, trying to slide past him. She was too big. He was blocking her path, because she was so fat that she had to have a huge path. God. She was trapped by the guy who'd shot spitballs at her face and made her cry. Could this day get any worse?

"I don't," Jared admitted. "But I want to talk to you."

"Just let me through."

"You know," said Jared, "I used to be fat."

Where was he going with this? "Good for you," she said, moving left.

Jared moved with her. "Actually, it wasn't good. But it was good when I lost weight."

"I'm sure it was." She moved right.

Jared moved too. "Wanna know how I did it?"

"Not really."

Jared took a pill bottle out of his pocket. "Prescription pills," he said. "Want them?"

"Do I look like an idiot? For all I know that stuff will just make me fatter. You'd only try to help me if you were actually trying to hurt me."

Jared considered. "Maybe. But what if it were like a trade?"

"What?" Frances had given up trying to get past him.

"I need a favor," he said. "Maybe two favors, actually."

"I'm not doing you any favors. Now can I go?"

"You like Trevor Gordan, don't you?" Jared said.

"No."

"Sure you do. I saw the way you looked at him in calc. You want him bad. You want him maybe as bad as I want Maureen."

Frances looked at him. This was starting to sound a little bit more on the up and up. "I thought you liked Maureen."

"I do. She's real, you know. Everybody else is so fake."

"Uh-huh." Whatever. That made no sense at all.

"Well, I guess you saw her with Trevor today, didn't you?"

Frances nodded.

"Trevor told me that if you weren't so fat, he'd rather date you."

"He did not." Did he really?

"I can help you get thin," said Jared. "With a little nudging, he'll fall into your arms, and Maureen will fall into mine." He jiggled the pills in her face. "Just try them. If you don't see a difference in a week, deal's off."

* * *

Trevor quietly closed the front door and slipped into the darkness of the kitchen. It was late. After midnight on a school night, and he didn't want to wake his parents. He and Maureen had been making out in his car for hours. He had a dreadfully apparent hard-on that would not go away, and he wanted to get to bed and rub one out before his balls started to hurt.

"Trevor?" called a voice from the living room. "Where have you been?"

Shit. They were awake? They'd noticed he was gone? What the hell? They barely knew he was alive.

Trevor went into the living room, his penis instantly deflating. Funny how that worked. Both his parents were sitting up on the couch.

"I, um, was studying," he said. "At a friend's house. We didn't notice how late it was."

His mother held up three full pill bottles. He kept those in his sock drawer with his porn. Jesus Christ, this was not good.

"How long?" said his father. "How long have you not been taking your pills?"

Did they find the porn? God. Trevor decided righteous anger was the best course. "How dare you go through my stuff?!" he shouted.

"Please calm down," said his mother.

Trevor sat down opposite them in an easy chair. "You had no right," he said.

"How long?" repeated his father.

"Four months," Trevor said.

"Trevor," said his mother, "you're not well. You need�"

"I'm fine," said Trevor. "I'm fine. I don't need them. I'm fine."

"You'd never have gone out this late when you were taking them," said his mother.

Trevor shrugged. "Going out late is a normal teenage thing, Mom."

She started to cry.

Oh Geez. Not the crying. He couldn't handle it if she cried.

"Mom..."

"Evelyn..." said his father.

"I just can't believe you lied to us," she said.

"I can't believe you went through my stuff," said Trevor.

"Where were you really?" she said tearfully. "Were you really studying?"

"Yes," said Trevor.

"Please," said his father. "The truth, Trevor."

Trevor decided he didn't care. "I was with my girlfriend," he said.

His mother stopped crying. "You have a girlfriend?"

"Yeah," he said. Was she mad?

"Oh, honey," she said, "that's wonderful. Oh, that's�" She started to cry again.

"Evelyn, please," said his father. "We can't be sure he's telling us the truth."

"You think I'm lying?" Trevor couldn't believe it. "You think I'd tell you I had my hands up some girl's shirt for the last two hours in the hopes of getting myself off the hook?!"

His father coughed. "Trevor, please. There's no need to get graphic. We did...remove the, uh, magazines."

He was going to die. Trevor felt his face redden.

"Michael, don't embarrass him," said his mother. "After all, he's a teenage boy. He has certain urges�"

"Mom, don't," Trevor choked out.

"Although," she said, "I do want to make sure you're being careful, Trevor. If you're too embarrassed to buy condoms�"

"Mother!"

"We want to trust you," his father said, getting back on track, "but in light of the fact you aren't taking your pills, we feel your behavior could be too erratic. We simply can't be sure."

Fuck this. Trevor stood up. "I'm not taking the pills anymore. I don't need them."

"Please, don't be that way," said his mother. "Sit down. Let's talk."

"No," said Trevor. "I'm not taking them."

"We just don't want you to do anything that you'll regret. Without the pills, you're not in control," said his father.

"I'm in control," said Trevor.

"No," said his father. "You aren't. You need them. They were prescribed to you for a reason, and if you stop taking them, you might�"

"Rob was taking his pills like a good little soldier when he pumped his classmates full of lead," Trevor interrupted, his voice low and even.

"Oh God," said his mother. "How can you�"

"How can I what? Say his name? It's easy. Rob. Robbie. Robert. Your other son, remember?"

"You're upsetting your mother," said his father tightly.

"Did you know that psychotropic drugs have been linked to violence?" Trevor said. "Do you know how many mass murderers were on Prozac or Lithium or�"

"Stop!" screamed his mother. She stood up. "Don't take the pills. I don't care." She started forward, then turned. "He wasn't. What you just said. That's not what Robbie was." She walked out, stumbling like she was drunk.

Trevor and his father stared at each other silently for a few minutes. Finally, his father nodded. "Okay, then," he said. "Don't take the pills."

There was a funny look in his father's eyes as he left the living room. Trevor stood alone for a moment, thinking about it before he went to his room. He'd almost never seen that look in his father's eyes. It was fear.

* * *

"I'm gonna take the bus," Maureen said to Trevor. They were standing outside the school at the end of the day in front of the student parking lot.

"The bus doesn't get here for another forty minutes," Trevor said. "Let me give you a ride home."

"I have some homework I can get done while I wait for the bus," Maureen said.

"You can do your homework at home," said Trevor, "after I take you there. You'll be home in ten minutes."

Maureen shook her head, smiling. "Come on, Trevor. You and I both know that if I get in that car, the last thing I'll end up doing is homework."

"I promise. I'll take you straight home," Trevor said.

"I need a break," said Maureen.

"A break?!" "No, not like a break break," she said. "I just need a night, okay? I need to do homework and go to bed early. And it's Wednesday. Frances and I have movie night on Wednesdays, and I blew her off last week to be with you, so I owe her, all right?"

"Maureen, just get in the car," said Trevor.

"No," she said.

"This is stupid," he said. "You're being stupid."

What the hell was Trevor's problem? She spent every spare moment with the guy, and she didn't really mind. He was gorgeous and totally into her, and she felt lucky to be alive. Twice every day she pinched herself to make sure she wasn't dreaming. But suddenly, because she wanted to get some homework done, he was calling her stupid?! "I'm stupid, huh?" she said. "Great work trying to convince me. Little shaky on the dismount."

"Maureen�"

"I'll see you tomorrow in school, Trevor."

"I'm sorry."

Whatever. She went back into the school building. Before dating Trevor, she used to use this time after school to catch up on homework. The bus to her house didn't show up for nearly an hour after school let out. That didn't bother Maureen, because by the time she got home, she was usually done with whatever homework she'd had, so the evening was hers to do with what she would. Since dating Trevor, she'd started to get woefully behind on her homework. It had only been a few weeks. They'd been hands down the most wonderful weeks of her life, but the way they'd been living was starting to wear on her. She'd been sneaking out after her parents went to sleep almost every night. Trevor would pick her up at the end of her driveway and they'd make out for hours. Which was also awesome, but Maureen sometimes worried they were moving too fast.

And sometimes, like today, she worried a little about Trevor. He was so possessive. He wanted to be around her all the time. At first, she'd felt exactly the same way, but now, she was afraid if they kept up the pace, her life would crumble into tiny pieces and she'd have nothing left but Trevor. What was scarier was that she sometimes felt like that was what Trevor wanted. They almost never talked anymore. They just kissed. And...other stuff too. She was starting to feel like, even though she'd been fairly intimate with Trevor, she didn't really know him at all.

And Frances wasn't around much anymore. She never called. She'd talk to Maureen if Maureen called. She sometimes showed up at lunch, but she never ate anything, which worried Maureen. When she'd said that stuff to Frances about going on a diet, she'd meant a normal, healthy one, where you ate food, just not as much. Frances was losing weight, though. Maureen could tell. Everyone could tell. Frances seemed pretty happy about it. Maureen couldn't blame her, but for some reason, she wasn't happy for her.

* * *

Trevor glared after Maureen as she disappeared into the school building. He couldn't believe she'd just blown him off like that. He'd thought everything was okay between them. But if she'd rather do homework than spend time with him, things were clearly not okay. Shaking his head, he turned and headed for his car. Jared was leaning against it.

"Get away from my car," said Trevor.

"Troubles with the little woman?" Jared asked.

"Get away from my car," Trevor repeated.

"You ever think the two of you just might not be right for each other?"

"What the hell are you doing?"

Jared backed away from the car. "What am I doing? I'm gonna make some bombs. Do you like bombs, Trevor?" He laughed, a low, rolling chuckle.

Trevor's heart stopped for a second. His breath stuck in his throat. "You stay away from me," he rasped. Trevor got in his car and drove away as fast as he could.

No way. No way, no way. It was just a coincidence.

* * *

Five years ago, Trevor was twelve years old, waiting for his brother to get home from school. Both his parents were still at work, and Robbie had the Sega in his bedroom. Trevor wanted to play a video game, but Robbie had told him never to go into his room when Robbie wasn't there. So Trevor waited. He knew Robbie meant business when he said things like that. Once, Robbie had told him not to play with his Star Wars action figures. "They're collectibles," he'd said. But Trevor hadn't been able to resist. Robbie had caught him doing it. He'd pulled Trevor to his feet by his hair and slammed Trevor's head into the wall three times. Trevor had cried and claimed he would tell, but Robbie said, "If you tell Mom and Dad, I'll kill you, Trevor. I swear to God, I will."

Trevor believed him. So, he wasn't going into Robbie's room. No way was he going into Robbie's room. He waited and waited. Finally, Robbie showed up with his friend Simon. Trevor didn't like Simon. He was never very nice to Trevor, and Simon had a kind of scary smile. It reminded Trevor of the Joker on Batman. Simon was very fair, with blonde hair like corn silk and eyes like ice. He had huge shoulders and enormous pectoral muscles. When he looked down at Trevor, his face was half-hidden by them.

"Hey, Trevor," said Robbie.

"Hey, kid," said Simon, smirking at Trevor.

The two took beer out of the refrigerator and went to Robbie's room. Trevor followed behind. He still wanted to play his game.

"Get lost, Trev," said Robbie, when Trevor followed them into his room.

"But I wanted to play Sega," Trevor said. "You said it was okay if I was quiet."

"Not today," said Robbie. "Simon and I have stuff to do."

"But you said�" started Trevor.

"No," Robbie said. "Go away."

"Come on dude," said Simon from behind Robbie, "let the kid play a game."

Robbie looked at Simon as if Simon were crazy. "No way, dude. I don't want him hearing shit."

"He's a kid," said Simon. "What's he know, anyway? Besides, he'll be paying attention to the game."

"Hey," said Robbie, "he's a smart kid. He's my brother. No way. I don't want him mixed up in this. Go away, Trevor."

"I won't listen," said Trevor.

"See?" said Simon. "He won't listen."

"What are you doing, anyway?" Trevor asked.

"Nothing," said Robbie.

"We're gonna make some bombs," said Simon. "Do you like bombs, Trevor?" He grinned his horrible Joker grin, and Trevor shivered.

Robbie shoved Simon. "Dude, what's your problem? That's my kid brother. God." He turned to Trevor, and his words were the same, but his voice wasn't. It was softer. Sadder. "Get lost, Trev, okay?"

Simon chuckled. His icy eyes bored into Trevor's own. Trevor turned and ran.

* * *

When Trevor got home, neither of his parents was home. Not that it mattered. Since the big argument about the pills, they'd mostly steered clear of him. Things were back to normal. They were pretending he didn�t exist, and he was doing whatever the hell he wanted. He wouldn't admit to himself, but he almost wished that when they'd found the pills and the porn, they had taken some kind of action. He didn't want to be punished, and if they'd tried to do anything, he wouldn't have listened, but it was kind of disturbing that they hadn't even tried. It was like they'd just given up. They really didn't care about him.

He wished he were with Maureen. When he was with her, he didn't have to think so much. It was weird. He hadn't planned on pursuing her. He hadn't planned on having a relationship with her. But now that they were together, he was seriously attached. She was smart and witty. She might dress kind of funny, but she was actually very pretty. And she had a beautiful body. She looked like a model. He just couldn't believe she was an outcast at school. And she'd been right. Dating her had not helped him socially. He'd even had a few guys say shit to him about it. He didn't care if people mocked him for dating her, though. He liked her a lot.

Just thinking about her had kind of turned him on. It was still afternoon, but... He pulled his shades and locked his bedroom door. There were lotion and tissues in his sock drawer. He got them out, squirted some lotion into the palm of his hand, and closed his eyes.

He imagined he was undressing Maureen, one piece of clothing at a time. She was undressing him. They were kissing. He had his hands on her and she was jacking him off. He pumped furiously with his hand, feeling an inevitable orgasm building. He dropped the fantasy and just felt it. It was overwhelming; the pleasure was growing and growing and�

An image flashed in front of his face. It was Maureen. She was naked. Her stomach was ripped open, and her entrails were spilling out of it, red and steaming. She had caught them with one hand, as if she was trying to push her guts back inside of her. Blood was gushing over her fingers. She was screaming.

He came.

Waves of pleasure racked his body and he spasmed again and again and again. It was the best orgasm of his entire life. It had never felt that good.

Trevor heaved and threw up all over himself.

chapter seven >>

Copyright (c) 2010 Valerie Chambers