The warm spring breeze felt good against his face. He stuck his head out the card window like the way dogs do when riding in a car. He closed his eyes and smelled the early days of summer approaching.
His best friend Evan had just gotten his car for his sixteenth birthday. They drove down the streets of downtown Austin, Texas with their other two friends George and Lenny, taking in the air, taking in the world.
Evan cranked up the radio. DMX sang about losing his mind up in here, up in here. They whizzed by a couple of college girls who waved to them. Being teenagers, they all got their little thrills.
He still remembers that day as if it had just happened. It was the last happy memory he had.
He could hear everyone in the lunchroom talking loudly. He overheard conversations about who is dating who. He heard about what teacher gives easy A's and he heard what guy did what with what girl.
He had gotten a stale looking burrito from the lunch line with a coke but hadn't touched either one. His stomach growled but he didn't dare eat. He knew he SHOULD eat since his pants were fitting more loosely now.
He felt a pair of blue eyes looking at him across the lunchroom. He knew who it was but didn't dare look back. It seemed everyone else around him, was ok. Everyone else was going on about their day as if nothing in the world had gone wrong.
He stood up and took his tray and dumped the stale burrito in the trash and put the tray on the counter where all the other trays were. He took his coke with him and suddenly felt dizzy. No, it wasn't because of his refusal to eat, but it was because he knew that in order for him to leave the lunch room, he'd have to pass by them.
Them, being his ex-best friends. Evan, the one with the blue eyes hadn't said anything. George, their big husky friend, ignored him completely but it was Lenny the tall, handsome one that every girl in school wanted, that always said something.
He took a deep breath. Lunch was still for another twenty minutes. He wanted to get the hell out of there ... fast! He walked as fast as he could past his ex buddies.
"Fag." He heard Lenny say loud and clear.
He paused and clenched his jaw but continued to walk past them. Once he was out of the lunchroom, he was finally able to breath. He walked down the deserted hallways and went towards his locker. He planned to leave school yet again. It was only the third day of school but he didn't care. He didn't care about anything anymore.
He walked down the street towards the bus stop. He'd have to take three buses to get home. He lived way on the other side of town. He lived in the projects but had been fortunate to attend a good school across town because of his academic grades. Now, he wanted to fail miserably and be banned from that school. He wanted to attend school with his neighborhood kids and forget he ever met Evan, George and especially Lenny.
He got on the first bus which took him near the malls. He decided to kill some time at the arcade. He played for hours until he had spent all of his week's lunch money. Then went walking around looking at all the stores he would never be able to afford. He had nice clothes because of Evan. Evan had bought him several nice outfits for birthdays or Christmas. Not just one or two outfits at a time but more like six or seven.
Today, though, he wore none of the outfits Evan had ever bought him. He was dressed down in no name brand jeans and a Hanes t-shirt which his mother bought at Walmart. His shoes were old converse shoes his father had bought for him last year with his hard earned money.
After killing time at the mall, he realized it was past three. He'd have to rush and take the next bus home in order to make it seem like he had been in school. Once at home, he went straight to his room and grabbed his mp3 player that George had gotten him last year for Christmas and laid on his bed staring up at the cracked ceiling. That was one thing he didn't dare want to throw away. He listened in on the Geto Boys singing about their mind playing tricks on them.
He put the music so loud so he could block out the entire world. At that moment it was just him and the music. No one else to bother him or pick on him. He enjoyed the isolation.
It only took a fourth day of skipping class, when his mother received a phone call from the school about the days and classes he'd skipped.
"What the hell is your problem Oscar?" Sophia's angry voice rumbled the entire tiny little room.
He just shrugged. "I hate that school."
Sophia's nostrils flared. What horrible timing it had been because then Ramon, Oscar's father walked in from work. He looked tired. He was a carwash man down at the Rep Carpet Carwash.
"What's going on?" He asked concerned when he saw his wife and son in a serious mood.
"You're SON has been skipping school! I mean school just started this week for crying out loud! And then I ask him and he just says 'I hate that school.' Can you believe that Ramon?"
Ramon sighed. "What's the matter with you Oscar?"
Oscar sat there in silence. His parents could scream all they wanted. He didn't want to go to that school anymore.
"You can send me to Lamar. I'll be fine there."
Sophia laughed. "Are you kidding me? Lamar? No way!"
"Are we too good for that now?" Oscar asked angrily.
"Don't talk back boy," Ramon warned.
Oscar looked down.
"You are going to get your ass back to that school and if you mess up again, Principal Sawyer says he will make sure you are kicked out so I'm asking you not to disappoint us!"
Oscar nodded in a silent agreement. "Can I go to my room now?"
"Yes, go to your room and stay there."
He walked into his room and shut the door. He leaned against his door and could hear his parents talking.
"I don't know what's going on. You think he's on drugs?" Sophia asked Ramon.
"I hope not. Why hasn't he been talking about Evan or George or that other loud one ... what's his name?"
"Lenny," Sophia reminded him.
"Yeah ... have you noticed ever since after his birthday in July, none of his friends have come around? You think they have stopped being his friend because we're poor?"
"That's ridiculous Ramon. They wouldn't have been his friends in the first place. I really do hope it's not drugs. You see how skinny he is? He's hardly been eating. If he was a female I'd understand because you know how girls now days want to be skinny but he's a male. Don't males want to be bulky and muscular?"
He stopped listening and went back to hearing his mp3 player. Eminem sang a song about a guy named Stan.
The following day, Oscar didn't even make it to lunch. He took off after History class and went to the clinic. He had to get checked. He had no idea where that other person had been before. He feared hearing the worse but at least he'd know, he wouldn't wonder and possibly spread disease to anyone else, not that he would ever want to BE with anyone else.
He walked in and filled out a form as instructed by the receptionist.
Name: Oscar Deleon
Allergies: None (that I know of)
Reason for visit: I think I might have caught something from some bastard.
He scratched that last part off and just put personal. He filled out other miscellaneous information and went to turn in the forms. He waited for over two hours until they finally called his name. He didn't complain though. Two hours was pretty good for a free clinic.
He was led to a back room where he was weighed and had his blood pressure taken. The medical assistant was a tall skinny girl who was probably only 21 or 22.
"What is the reason for your visit?" She asked.
"I need blood work," he said.
"Ok, well ... the doctor will be with you shortly," she said in a snobby way and left him waiting in a small room that was too cold.
Oscar shivered until a tall black man with a thin mustache walked in. He looked at Oscar and raised a brow. "Do your parents know you're here?"
Oscar nodded. "I don't want them to know either."
"I'm Dr. Watson. What brings you here?" The doctor asked cautiously.
"I need blood work. I think I might have some kind of sexually transmitted disease."
Dr. Watson raised a brow. "Do you not know about condoms?"
Oscar wanted to laugh. He wanted to crack up so hard but if he did, he'd only end up crying. "Yeah I know. I guess I forgot that day."
"Ok ... we'll we can get you some blood work. Do you have burning sensation when you pee?"
Oscar nodded. "No it's not herpes or Chlamydia or any disease like that. I need to be checked for A.I.D.S."
Dr. Watson was taken back. "Oh ... I see ... do you know if the person you were with has A.I.D.S?"
"I don't know anything about this person. I just really need to get checked."
"Very well then. Our phlebotomist is out towards the left wing of the building. Just give them this paper," the doctor scribbled something and handed him a piece of paper. "They'll get your blood work done for you."
"Thanks," Oscar said and left the room.
"You sure you ok son?" The doctor called out.
Oscar stopped and turned to look at the doctor. "I don't think I'll ever be ok doc." Then he went off to the left wing to get his blood work done.
"Two weeks?" He asked himself as he rode back home on the city bus. "I have to wait two fucking weeks to know if I'm going to die or not?" He was beyond pissed. He looked out the window as the city passed him by.
Life used to be so easy. Everything was where it should be. He had friends, he had girls that liked him, he enjoyed being a teenager. Now, he only wished he were dead.
He was amazed how just one incident could change a person's life around. It seemed like just yesterday he had the world in his hands and now he had nothing. He felt nothing.
He got off a few blocks down from his apartment complex and walked slowly. He knew he mother would eventually get a phone call by the end of the week to let them know he was being kicked out. Or at least he hoped so.
He got home and his mother was crying on the couch. Oscar put his backpack down and went towards her. "Mom? What's wrong?" The school couldn't have called that fast could they?
"You're daddy. He had a h-heart attack," his mother sobbed.
Oscar blinked. "I-Is he ok?"
"Yes, but it was a close call! He was at work and suddenly his arm began to hurt and then suddenly he was on the ground! His coworker called an ambulance and they called me here at home. I had gone down to the hospital earlier but came back to wait for you to get home from school so we could go to the hospital together."
Oscar felt major guilt. His mother had thought he'd been at school when he'd been out taking blood tests. "Ok we'll go mom. We'll go together."
They drove his mother's beat up Toyota truck down to the hospital where Ramon was.
"Oh my goodness! How in the world are we ever going to pay this hospital bill? I told Ramon to stop eating so much. I told him to cut down on the greasy food but he still ate so much of it! I told him not to work too hard. So with the greasy food, hard work and now worrying about you leaving one of the best schools in town, he was bound to have a heart attack!" My mom was ranting hysterically.
He began to space out. He sat back and vaguely listened to his mom bitch at him. As if his dad's heart attack was HIS fault. But then He began to think maybe it WAS his fault.
"Mrs. Deleon?" The tall black nurse asked poking her head into the waiting room that was filled with crying babies, moaning injured people and all the poor people that couldn't afford a better hospital.
"Yes?" Sophia stood up abruptly.
"You can see your husband now. He was very lucky. It was only a minor heart attack."
Sophia breathed a sigh of relief and followed the nurse. He trailed after his mom. The got to the room where his father lay peacefully in the hospital bed. His eyes fluttered opened when he heard them come into the room.
"Oh Ramon! How are you feeling?" Sophia asked. She walked towards him quietly. She grabbed his hand and squeezed it.
Ramon licked his dry lips and smiled weakly. "I guess this is another bill to our worries huh?" He joked.
"Shhh. Let's not worry about that right now," Sophia whispered and kissed his forehead.
"Hi dad," Oscar said quietly.
"Oscar," Ramon wheezed. "Did you go to school today?"
Oscar's heart dropped. "Yeah."
Ramon smiled wider now. "I'm glad son. Look, your mother and I only want what's best for you. We don't want you to struggle in life like we have. We want you to get a good education and make something out of your life. I dropped out of school at your age and now look at me. I'm a loser."
Oscar felt like crying. "You're not a loser dad. I think you're a great person ever." He meant it too. His father wasn't like most fathers in the projects. His father had an honest job and didn't drink or do drugs. He didn't beat on his wife or have bastard children with other women.
"Oh son, you're just being nice. I want more for you. That's why I really want you to get your act together and stay in school. Not Lamar, in Hendricks. It's a great school son."
Oscar swallowed back tears.
"You promise me you'll stay there?"
Sophia glared at her son and then looked back at her husband. She kissed his lips softly and then suddenly the machine that was hooked up to him, began to make a loud noise. Oscar watched the lines go from up and down to flat. His father passed away within seconds.
Oscar didn't cry at his father's funeral. He rode in the car with his mother. Only a few of his father's coworkers showed up and some of Oscar's estranged aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a small funeral with a quick religious service.
Oscar listened to his MP3 Player as his mom drove them home. Bone Thugs N Harmony sang "The Crossroads" which went perfect with the day, the weather and the sadness that surrounded them all.
Oscar decided that no matter what, he would have to go with his father's wishes. He'd stay at Hendricks and tolerate his ex best friends for the next two years. It was only two more years, he told himself.
Going back to school wasn't easy. He went to apologize to Principal Sawyer for his truancy. Principal Sawyer accepted his apology and warned him not to do that ever again. He praised Oscar's grades and asked why he wouldn't be on the basketball team that year again.
Because my ex best friends play basketball and they all hate me. They think I'm gay and they like to taunt me. Instead he just explained that he'd like to concentrate more on his grades than sports.
He continued going to his classes and concentrating on school. He avoided eating lunch and anxiously waited for the results of his own death sentence.
"He used to be so cute but now ... I don't know. He's too skinny. Lenny said he has AIDS. Ewww!"
Oscar heard a few girls talking about him as he passed them by. He tried his hardest to ignore their hurtful words but it was impossible.
"Yeah Lenny said that's why they don't hang out with him anymore. I think he's gay."
"Gay? Oh I thought he was going out with Cristy Buyers last year."
"He was, but then I don't know what happened. Now she's going out with Lenny."
"How does Lenny know he's gay?"
"He told Lenny himself!"
"What? Oh my god!"
The conversation faded after he completely passed them by. Did they think he was deaf? Or were they just out to hurt him? He was pissed. He wished he could punch someone out right then and there!
Oscar looked. He hadn't realized he'd bumped into a tall curly haired guy. He guy fell onto the floor and cursed.
"Watch where you're going!" The guy yelled.
Oscar realized he'd never seen this guy before. He had to admit the guy was dressed cool. He wore baggy black jeans and a bright yellow Marc Ecko t-shirt. Dark brown Vans and dark blue Kangol golf cap completed his look. His eyes were green as emeralds.
"Sorry," Oscar mumbled.
The guy got up and dusted off his jeans. His books were all over the floor. Oscar bent down to help him gather the books and the papers that had flown out.
"You really need to watch where you're going man."
"I said I was sorry ok?" Oscar snapped.
The guy smiled and extended his hand. "Hey I'm Daniel."
Oscar was hesitant to shake his hand for some reason but went ahead and did it. "I'm Oscar."
"I'm new here. I transferred from Lamar. Well ... me and my twin sister did. Her name is Alicia."
"Oh you have a twin?"
"Yeah. It's all good."
"Ok ... we'll I'll see you around I guess," Oscar said nonchalantly.
"Alright bro. Take care." With that, Daniel walked away. After having talked to Daniel for that brief moment, for the first time ever in months, Oscar felt at ease.
Oscar had decided to get a job to help his mother out. Since his father had passed away, Sophia had no other choice but to get a full time job. She had worked part time cleaning offices two or three nights a week, but now she was working five at night until sometimes midnight Monday through Friday.
Oscar applied at McDonald's and got hired immediately. He worked the drive through four nights a week. He made sure to work weekends that way school nights would be free. It's not like he had a life anymore so working weekends wouldn't really bother him.
He'd stay at school until almost five and then go on to work. He worked six to ten at night. He'd managed to stay away from his old friends and not be bothered. Everything was going so well until one late Thursday night.
Oscar had stayed to use the school's computer in the library to finish up an English report. He walked out of the library quietly tossing his backpack over his shoulders. He saw Michael Thompson, one of the schools member of the student council waiting by the library.
It was known that Michael Thompson was gay. He didn't hide it from anyone. Michael was tall, lanky and had longish blonde hair and big blue eyes. Oscar spotted him but kept walking.
Oscar paused when he heard Michael call his name. He turned slowly and saw the blonde smiling at him.
"How are you doing?"
Oscar felt his entire body tense up. "Fine."
"Oh ok good to hear. I heard you weren't going to be on the basketball team this year. Is that true?"
Oscar clenched his jaw. "That's none of your business queer."
Michael's smile faded. "That was uncalled for Oscar. I'm just asking a question."
"I don't talk to faggots," Oscar spat.
Michael smirked. "That's not what I heard. I heard you were in the closet."
Oscar blinked and then felt his fury take over. He threw his backpack on the ground and ran towards Michael pushing him and knocking him down. Michael yelped when he hit the ground. Oscar began punching him like crazy!
"I hate you! I fucking hate you!" Oscar yelled.
"Get off me! Help!" Michael screamed.
"I wish people like you didn't exist! You should die! You should all die!"
He kept punching Michael over and over until there was blood all over his hands and on the floor. He felt someone grab him hard and pull him off Michael. Then he heard Principal Sawyer's voice.
Oscar turned to see who had pulled him and saw it was Daniel the boy he had met before.
"Hey, hey bro what's up? Why are you all mad?"
Oscar was fuming. Principal Sawyer and a few other students now surrounded him.
"Oscar? Please go to my office," Principal Sawyer said in a stern voice.
Oscar grabbed his backpack and walked towards the office. He wondered if suspension would happen. He didn't care for a moment. All he felt was rage.
He didn't get suspension. Instead he got in school suspension which wasn't as bad. In school suspension meant he could still do his school work but he'd be in one classroom all day. The school office workers would bring in his school work that he needed to do.
One of the office workers that came in was a pretty light brown haired girl. She was petite, with long hair, big brown eyes and dark eyelashes. He saw her when she walked into the room and handed Mr. Baskins, the in school suspension teacher the school work.
She looked up when Mr. Baskin called his name. The girl looked at him and gave Oscar the sweetest smile he'd ever seen.
"Here you go Oscar," Mr. Baskin said nonchalantly.
The girl looked at him and turned slightly red. She looked at Oscar for a while and he at her. He wanted to say something, anything. All he could do was say "thanks," and walked back to his seat.
The girl left slow and closed the door behind her. Oscar looked up once she'd left wishing he could have had a chance to look at her just a little longer.
In school suspension was going to be two weeks long. Oscar was enjoying it because it meant no bumping into Lenny and no uncomfortable glances at Evan or George. He spent his whole day in a room with about four other students who were rich kids but trouble makers. They were the type of kids that didn't appreciate going to a good school and having a good life. Or maybe they were just as troubled as him, Oscar wondered.
He hadn't seen the brown haired girl in a few days. There had been other office workers that had stopped by to give him his school work. Then after a few days of seeing uninteresting faces, the girl came back. She handed the work to Mr. Baskin's and once Oscar went up to get the work, the girl smiled again and walked out. Oscar's heart raced.
He took his paper work and sat back down. He shuffled through the papers when he came across a purple paper that was in between his school work. He opened up the letter and in pretty girl writing it said:
Hi I'm Alicia. Call me. and it had her number printed. The letters were in dark black color and so neatly written. He held the paper and stared at the bold letters. He wanted to call her, he really did. Instead, he just crumpled up the paper and made sure to throw it away after school.
On the second to the last day of his in school suspension, Oscar got out of class well after four o'clock, after everyone else went home or the hallways were clear. He walked towards his locker and began putting his books inside. Once he closed his locker, the girl stood there smiling and looking at him.
Oscar jumped up. He hadn't expected her to be there. "Oh shit, you scared me," Oscar said in a shaky voice.
The girl laughed quietly. Such a sweet laugh. "Gee, I'm not that ugly!"
Oscar couldn't help but laugh. "I didn't mean it like that, I meant that I didn't know you'd be standing there."
The girl smiled wider. "So how was prison life today?"
Oscar tossed his backpack around his shoulder. "Ok I guess."
"Can I ask why you haven't called me?" She asked directly.
Oscar began to fidget. "I ... I lost your note," He lied.
The girl sighed and took out another purple paper out of her purse and took a black pen and began to write. Oscar watched as her hand formed the beautiful black letters again.
"Here," she said handing him the paper. "This time don't lose it."
Oscar took the paper.
"I'll be waiting for your call, Oscar."
The way she said his name...
He didn't get to say anything else. The girl walked away leaving him secretly drooling.
After school, Oscar went home since he didn't have to work that night. He figured he'd finish up his Chemistry homework and then move on to Calculus. After getting a snack, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Oscar sat at the kitchen table working on his school work when the telephone rang.
Oscar answered the phone and a deep male voice came on the line.
Oscar tensed up. "Yeah?"
"This is Dr. Watson."
Oscar felt sick.
"We got your test results."
Oscar wanted to faint.
"Good news, they came back negative."
Oscar almost dropped the phone.
"Oscar? Are you there?"
"Y-yeah," Oscar choked.
"So are you glad to hear the news?" Dr. Watson asked.
"Yes," Oscar wanted to cry.
"Just make sure to use protection next time son. Take care ok?"
"Y-yes," Oscar stammered.
He heard the phone go dead after Dr. Watson hung up. He felt relieved. After weeks of worrying if he was going to die or not, it was revealed he would live. He looked towards the kitchen table and that purple paper stared back at him. He reached over and grabbed it. His shaky hand dialed the numbers printed on the paper.
As the phone rang he wiped his tears that began to form in his eyes. He heard the soft feminine voice answer.
"Alicia?" He asked.
"This is Oscar."
"I knew you would call. I've been waiting."
"So you mean to tell me you've lived in the Wiggins projects all of your life and you've never seen me?"
"Hey, you've never seen me either," Oscar challenged her.
After having a nice long half hour conversation with Alicia, Oscar discovered she lived in the same projects complex as he did. She had lived there for years and he swears he'd never seen her. Maybe he was too caught up with his rich friends to really hang out with the neighborhood kids.
After their phone conversation, Oscar decided to meet Alicia at the park near the projects. It was a big park that needed a lot of renovations but it was where the neighborhood kids went to play basketball and hang out.
They sat at the benches watching a few guys playing basketball.
"So my brother tells me you got in a fight," Alicia said without looking at him. She kept looking at the basketball game.
"Yeah, that's right. Your brother is Daniel right?"
Alicia nodded. "Why did you get in a fight?"
Oscar clenched his jaw. "Some dude was picking on me. Telling me shit."
Alicia looked at him. "You seem to have too much class to be getting into a fight. This guy must have said something really awful to you."
"Yeah..." Oscar's voice trailed.
"So tomorrow is your last day of prison huh?"
"You got plans for this weekend?"
"I love me some Mickey D's."
Oscar smiled shyly. Alicia reached over and touched his hand. Oscar absorbed her warmth immediately. "Too bad you're working. I wanted to ask you out on a date."
Oscar felt his face turn red. "Maybe we can hang out next Thursday. Wednesday or Thursday?"
Alicia shrugged. "Maybe. Depends on how much homework I get."
"We can do homework together," Oscar offered.
Alicia looked at him. Her hand was still over his. "Ah ... a study date huh?"
"Yeah. Why not?"
"Sounds good Oscar. Shall I come over to your place or you want to come over to my place?"
"You can come over. My mom works in the evening."
Alicia took her hand off his for a moment. "I hope you know we are not having sex..." She stood up and crossed her arms. She glared at him for a moment making Oscar squirm in his seat. "Anytime soon," she finished her sentence and walked away slowly turning to look back every other second to make sure Oscar followed her. And he did.
Once Monday came around, Oscar had to get back to the real world. That meant bumping into Evan, George or worse, Lenny. He was going to try his hardest to go through the hallways his ex best friends never went through and spend his lunch time in the library hiding behind books.
Just as he was about to go into the library, he felt a soft warm touch on his arm. Alicia.
"Hey, it's lunch time. Are you going to go eat?"
Oscar hesitated. "I have to finish up a report for English class."
She frowned. "Oh. I didn't want to eat by myself. I usually eat with my brother, but he's busy with the year book club."
Oscar felt bad. "Well, do you want to join me in the library?"
She nodded. "I'm hungry. I can't eat in the library."
Oscar hated to let her down. She'd been so nice to him. "Ok ... I'll join you for lunch then."
Alicia smiled sweetly. Oscar's heart melted.
They got to the noisy lunch room. Oscar's eyes searched the cafeteria and he felt relieved when he didn't see a sign of his ex best friends.
"You get free lunch?" Alicia asked.
"Cool, here," she said placing milk on his tray as they got in line. She grabbed milk and a fork and spoon and got utensils for Oscar as well. They waited in the lunch line while the cafeteria ladies served the other students. Oscar felt a lot of people staring at him. Oscar wished the line would hurry up.
"You going to get pizza or mac and cheese?" Alicia asked.
"Mac and cheese I guess," Oscar muttered.
Alicia searched his face. "You ok?"
Oscar nodded but continued to feel all eyes on him. He heard people snickering and whispering. He knew they were talking about him. He looked down and tried his hardest to avoid them.
Once they showed their free lunch card, they went to look for a seat. Alicia didn't seem to notice the people staring at her and talking about why the hell she was hanging out with a loser.
She led them to a table near one of the windows. She placed her tray down and sat down. Oscar hesitantly took a seat. He wasn't feeling very hungry. The eyes were still on him.
"You sure you're ok?" Alicia asked caringly.
"Y-yeah," Oscar stammered.
Alicia opened her pint of milk and began to stir her mac and cheese around. She started talking about her art class and how much she loves to draw. Oscar tried his hardest to concentrate on her words and her beautiful voice, but those stares were burning a hole through him.
Oscar blinked. He looked at Alicia. She stared at his tray which hadn't been touched. She was almost finished with her food. "I asked you if you would rather hang out on Wednesday or Thursday. Are you listening to me?"
Oscar sighed. "I'm sorry. I just have a lot on my mind."
Alicia stood up. "That's fine. I better go anyway." She picked up her half empty tray and started to walk away. Oscar quickly got up and touched her arm.
"I'm sorry," he said.
She looked at him and smiled weakly. "It's ok Oscar. Whatever is bothering you I hope you know that you can talk to me anytime? I'll see you later." She walked away slowly. Oscar felt those glares. He grabbed his tray and went to dump the contents out. He practically ran out of the cafeteria.
Oscar turned to see Daniel, Alicia's brother walking towards him in the hallway. Oscar had just run out of the cafeteria.
"Hey," Oscar replied breathlessly.
"My sister is in the art room."
Oscar furrowed his brows. "Huh?"
Daniel laughed. It was hard to believe Daniel and Alicia were twins. Daniel had inherited someone's green eyes while Alicia had soft brown, beautiful eyes.
"If you want to find her, she's in the art room. I saw her walking out of here fast and cursing. She never curses, unless she's upset about something. So I know my twin quite well. I know she's mad at something or someone. When that happens, she goes to the art room to paint."
"Oh," Oscar said and looked down the hallway. The art room was not far.
"Go to her. She really likes you," Daniel said and slapped Oscar on the back.
Oscar smiled. "I like her too you know ... it's just things are just ... complicated."
Daniel raised a brow. "Complicated? How so?"
Oscar shrugged. "I can't really get into it. I just ... I guess I'm just finding it hard to believe someone like Alicia could like me."
"Why not bro? You seem like a cool dude. Besides, my sister can spot a jerk from a mile away so she obviously thinks you're no jerk."
Oscar stood for a moment staring down the long hallway when he heard a familiar voice.
"Hmmm long time no see Oscar. You've been too busy with your fudge packing friends?"
The blood drained from Oscar's face. He turned to see Lenny. Lenny who was once his best friend. Lenny who had promised never to tell a soul. Lenny who he had once trusted.
Lenny stood there with George while George snickered at Lenny's remark.
"What's the matter little faggot? Dick got your tongue?"
Oscar felt himself making a fist. Daniel got between them. "Alright now, ya'll need to back off. He's not doing anything to you."
"Who are you? His new boyfriend?" Lenny asked angrily.
Daniel looked shocked.
Great, Daniel thinks I'm gay now. Great. Just fucking great! Oscar thought.
Everyone looked up to see Evan standing by the cafeteria. He was standing with Mr. Sawyer.
Lenny looked at Evan and then back at Oscar. "You got lucky fag boy," Lenny whispered, then he walked away with George.
After they left, Daniel cleared his throat. "What a bunch of losers those guys are. You alright?"
Oscar felt numb. He felt himself shaking from fear, from anger.
"Oscar?" Daniel asked.
Oscar clenched his jaw. "I'm going to see Alicia." With that, he ran down the hallway.
He found her painting beach scenery. She ran the brush slowly forming big blue waves of water. She turned to see him standing at the doorway.
"Hey," Oscar said in a low voice.
"Hi," Alicia replied nonchalantly and turned back to her painting. Alicia Key's "A woman's worth," played softly in the background. He noticed Alicia had an old beat up radio playing in the room.
"I'm sorry about earlier. There are some things that are going on in my life and I don't want to drag you down with me."
Alicia stopped painting and put the brush down. She turned to look at Oscar. "What if I want to help you? Have you ever thought about that?"
"Oscar, I like you. I like you a lot. I like you probably more than I've liked any other boy. So if I'm a bit temperamental you'll have to understand it's because of my strong feelings towards you."
"I know ... it's just that ... it's..." Oscar choked.
Alicia walked towards him. Her loving eyes were glued to his. She put her arms around him and held him tight. Oscar felt tears spill down his cheeks. He wanted to tell her the reason why he was so afraid to fall for her. He wanted to tell her that if she ever knew, she wouldn't look at him the same way. No female would look at a male the same way.
She pulled away slightly to be able to look up at him. She wiped his tears and reached up and placed the softest, most gentle kiss on his lips. Oscar was so lost in her kiss that he barely remembered Lenny's angry remarks and could hardly hear Lauren Hill sing about an Ex Factor.
"I hope you open up to me someday Oscar. I really hope you do," she whispered in his ear before attempting another kiss.
Oscar spotted her immediately when she walked in. She wore blue jeans with yellow wedge heels, and a soft white button up shirt. Her hair was in a ponytail and she wore big silver hoop earrings to compliment the look. Her smile seemed to brighten up the whole room. Oscar was working in the back but could clearly see her. She had one of her friends from the neighborhood with her.
"Hey, I'll be right back ok?" Oscar called out to Jose, his coworker.
Oscar went around to the front counter and Alicia leaned towards him. "I would ask for a kiss but you're at work," she said sweetly.
Oscar blushed. "Yeah. Too bad for me huh?"
"And me," she added and then turned to introduce her friend. "This is Gloria, she lives at the other side of the apartments."
"Nice to meet you," the dark haired girl said and extended her hand for a handshake. Oscar shook her hand.
"Hey Oscar, these two your friends?" Gina called from the register.
"Yeah, can you hook them up?" Oscar asked.
Gina smiled at them. "Sure, it's on you right?"
"I told you he was the best," she said to Gloria.
"What do you want? Chicken Nuggets?" Oscar asked.
"Oh no, we are some hungry girls here ... how about you get us two big macs?"
Oscar raised a brow. "You two must be hungry."
The girls giggled.
Oscar told Gina to put an order for the girls. He went to the back to make their meals and made one for himself. His break was coming up anyway.
He went to join the girls at one of the booths. He thought Alicia looked so beautiful. He could hardly eat because he kept staring at her.
"So Oscar?" Gloria asked me. "What's the deal with you and Alicia?"
Alicia turned red. "Gloria!" She warned her friend.
Gloria smiled wide. "What? You told me yourself you weren't sure if you two were an item or what."
Alicia looked nervous. "Ignore her Oscar."
Gloria looked Oscar straight in the eye. He could tell Gloria was very protective of Alicia. He remembered being protective of his best friends ... once up on a time.
"I like Alicia..."I turn to look at Alicia."I like her a lot."
"Uh huh so is she your girlfriend or what?" Gloria asked straight up.
Oscar shifted in his seat. "Um ... yeah ... I mean if she wants to be."
Alicia smiled and took a quick sip of her coke.
"There you go. He's officially your boyfriend. How hard was that to ask?"
Alicia looked at Oscar and put her hand over his and gave it a gentle squeeze. He couldn't believe he had officially become a couple with her. Part of him was extremely happy but part of him was extremely scared too.
"So you and my sister are a couple now huh?"
Oscar looked up to see Daniel standing in front of him. Oscar was outside in the park bench watching some kids playing basketball while finishing up his English Literature homework. He was waiting for Alicia since they had agreed to meet at the park after school.
"Yeah ... I guess we are," Oscar replied shyly.
Daniel took a seat next to him. "I hope you treat her right bro," he said in a serious tone.
Oscar looked at Daniel. Daniel's green eyes glared at him. "She was hurt very badly in her last relationship."
"Oh?" Oscar gulped.
"Yeah, the dude used to beat her up. Even after I went over to kick his ass, he still beat on her. Finally my sister came to realization that this dude was no good. She got smart and left him. A few weeks later the fucker died. He used to do cocaine."