What the Future Holds

by double_entendre

Copyright© 2012 by double_entendre

Coming of Age Sex Story: Jamie's life is turned upside down when a mistake made by someone else ruins everything he ever worked for. Can he forgive the betrayal of his family, friends and most especially the woman he loves?

Caution: This Coming of Age Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Consensual   Romantic   Fiction   Spanking   Safe Sex   Oral Sex   Teacher/Student   School   .

This is a story that I wrote some time ago, which I originally posted on another site. For the most part my readers seemed to enjoy the plot, but my spelling, grammar and punctuation errors received a lot of criticism. My new editor Bachgen has graciously taken the time to correct my many typographical errors so that I can re-post this on SOL for your enjoyment. I would like to personally thank him for doing this, as I am sure that it will make for a much better read. – Double_entendre

What the future holds:

If there was a single word that best described James Mantle it would be gifted. He was a straight A student from as far back as anyone could remember, with a near photographic memory. He excelled in everything academic, from math to English to science, there did not seem to be any subject that he could not master. School work always came very easy to him, as did his vast array of personal interests which seemed almost endless. If James could read about it he could learn it, and he was always reading. Jamie, as he was known to his family, classmates and the few friends that he managed to acquire during his life, was shunned by most of the other students, now young adults, that attended Michaels High School. Being written off as your average nerd, few people saw Jamie's true potential. The one person who managed to look past the nerd persona was Carol Dawson.

Carol moved next to the Mantles about four years ago, when Jamie was just entering high school. She had just finished her Bachelor's Degree in literature and had been offered her first teaching position as an English instructor at Michaels when they met. Fresh out of college, a stranger in town, new job and scared to death, Carol quickly befriended the Mantle family, who seemed to welcome the new outsider to their small community with open arms. James's father Joe offered his own as well as his son's help with moving her things into the house she was renting, while Sherry, James's mother, concentrated on cooking up a fine meal for the four of them. Over the next few months Carol drew closer to the Mantle family, whom made her feel so welcome. Sherry became almost like a second mother to her, always inquiring about her day, what was going on in her life, and if she was happy in their little town. Joe, on the other hand, was a bit different. She found him a bit racy, borderline crude on occasions, but quite harmless, and yet at times so funny that you couldn't help but be drawn to his quick wit and warped sense of humor. And then there was Jamie.

Jamie was quiet and shy, but yet there was something special about him. If you could manage to get him talking, which was a task in and of itself, he could discuss just about any subject with the intensity and knowledge of a college professor, quoting facts, figures, theories and their authors straight from memory. Carol had of course inquired about Jamie's vast intellect and why he was still in the normal phases of high school, when he could have easily tested out and advanced to a much higher degree of learning. Sherry confided that she and Joe felt that Jamie needed the social structure that would be provided by being around people of his own age group. After high school was completed Jamie was free to handle college at whatever speed he chose to. Sherry did mention that perhaps this restriction was a mistake, since Jamie showed almost no interest in his high school classmates, and preferred to spend his time with his nose stuck in either a book or his computer screen. His only social outlet seemed to be the gym that he joined a few years back. She said that he attends it about three times a week, and although he doesn't say much about what he does there, Sherry had noticed that his physical appearance seemed to improve greatly. Hoping that he must at least be interacting with someone there, she never really pushed him for any more information. Carol could tell that Joe and Sherry, though nice enough people personally, were just of average intelligence, and may not fully understand the complexities of their son's rather exceptional gifts. With no one else to do it, and since she was new to teaching, and a bit gung ho, Carol took it upon herself to befriend Jamie and try to guide him into using his mind to the best of his abilities. Although he was not officially her student yet she still demanded great things from him, and he always delivered far beyond her wildest expectations. They talked about books, political subjects and technological advancements, each challenging the other to keep up with the latest goings on in the world beyond their little community.

As Jamie entered his senior year of high school, he knew that he had secretly fallen in love with Carol over the last few years. His fantasies included not only the giving and receiving of pleasure through the coupling of their variously body parts in every position that his advanced copy of the karma sutra described, but also the accepting of his proposal of marriage and the birth of their future children. Jamie knew that Carol, or Miss Dawson, as he would soon be calling her, at least in her classroom, shared none of his feelings, and thought mainly of him as a friend, or possibly even a little brother. Although only five years his senior Jamie realized that Carol could never fall for him as a mere high school student, but perhaps, just maybe, he would have a chance with her after college, that is of course if she hadn't found someone else by that time.

Jamie knew that Carol was a strict teacher, and he suspected that she would be roughest on him, demanding only that which she knew he was capable of producing. She was big on discipline and kept a wooden paddle hanging beside her desk out in plain view, where her students would be sure to notice it. She promised to tan the hide of any student she felt did not show her proper respect or turn in their assignments when due. Jamie was not concerned about this, however, as he had always been the perfect straight A student. He had never been suspended or punished, he had never served detention, and his school record was spotless, and besides, Carol was his friend.

Jamie turned 18 during his senior year and everything seemed to be going his way. His grades were impeccable, and he thought he had a real shot at being valedictorian. He had aced his SAT's applied to MIT and was anxiously awaiting their response. Jamie and a few other students were invited to attend a competition that one of the major universities was hosting, where they could win a $5,000 dollar scholarship to the college of their choice. The game was set up similar to Jeopardy, and although the top prize was not substantial when compared to the cost of most college tuitions, it would definitely help, and look good on a transcript as well. Two other students from Michaels were in attendance, along with himself. Miss Dawson, as he still had to call her, had volunteered to be the chaperone and driver for the trip. Harold Smith and Trisha Olson, who happened to be the principal's daughter, got knocked out in the early stages of the competition, but Jamie not only managed to make it into the final round, he won the match, leaving his opponents who were favored to walk away with top prize scratching their heads.

Carol watched in awe as Jamie advanced in the rounds, showing the confident side of himself that he kept hidden from most of the people who knew him. Carol had always been attracted to highly intelligent men with strong personalities, and as she watched Jamie she picked up on something that only someone who knew him very well would have been able to notice. She started to suspect that he actually knew more of the answers then he was letting on. It was all very subtle, but she could see that when a question was asked his hand would automatically twitch like he was reaching for the buzzer, and then stop suddenly. His eyes also seemed to light up a bit, and there was this tiny smirk that would come across his face for just a second and then would quickly disappear, leaving Carol to believe that he was letting the other players appear to be giving him a more respectable challenge than was actually the case. She came to the conclusion that he wanted to win, yet he did not wish to crucify his opponents. It was during this time that Carol began to realize just how attractive Jamie really was.

Carol Dawson grew up rather shy herself. She was smart as well as frugal, and she took most of her required courses at a junior college before moving onto a four year university to get her degree. Although she did not enter college a virgin, the after prom experience did little to satisfy her high sex drive. Carol decided to acquire a small array of toys, which were meant to help ease her desire for human companionship of the opposite sex while allowing her time to concentrate on her studies. Her plan was going fine for the first few semesters, until she walked into his classroom.

Dr. Brian Winters was a thirty something recently divorced and brilliant instructor of mathematics at the university Carol attended. His class was a requirement, and although she struggled with the subject she had no choice but to sign up. At first everything seemed to be going ok for her, but during the second half of the semester she started to really have problems with the assignments. The F she received on her pop quiz told her that she was in trouble, and rather than fail the class she went to the professor for help. Curiously, instead of assigning her a tutor he took it upon himself to try and open her mind to the complexities of the subject matter. He had her come in during and after office hours, corrected her assignments before she had to turn them in, and made up practice test just for her in an effort to help improve her grades. The day she aced the final exam, securing her a solid B in the class, she came to his office and engulfed him in a big bear hug. When he bent down and placed his soft, hungry lips to hers all forms of reason suddenly decided to take an extended leave of absence, leaving only passion and desire to drive the vessel of her body to its intended destination. They ended up locking the door, closing the blinds and making love or at least lust on the couch in his office for the next several hours. Carol discovered an outlet to her sexual frustration that only an experienced lover could provide, and her toy collection couldn't compete with it. This began a long term affair which lasted throughout the remainder of her time at the university.

Brian Winters rented an old farm house about 5 miles outside of the town in which he taught. It was spacious and cheap, with the nearest neighbor being over a mile and a half down the road. This allowed him the seclusion and privacy necessary to carry on whatever affairs he may choose with minimal risk of being caught. Carol ended up practically living with him, and although she never spoke of her secret lover, even to her closest friends, it was painfully obvious that she was at least unofficially off of the dating market. After graduation, Carol wanted to go public with their relationship, but Brian convinced her that if someone were to suspect that they were having an affair while she was his student it could put both of their careers in jeopardy. Although she didn't like it, Carol agreed to carry on a long distance relationship with Brian for a couple of years, and then they could claim to meet up again, fall in love and finally be able to go out in public as a couple.

As Carol and the three students were sharing dinner together and talking about the contest that Jamie had won, they were approached by a representative of the university that was hosting the event. "Good evening and congratulations. My name is Dr. Simmons, and as director of the events held here today I would like to extend an invitation for the four of you to stay on an extra day as our guest and have a tour of this fine university. I assure you that we have many opportunities here to offer students like yourselves, and we would love to have a chance to discuss them with you on a more personal level." He stated.

As Harold and Trisha were eagerly contemplating this new turn of events, Carol quickly stated that she couldn't possibly afford to spend another day away from her work at home. Jamie of course knew that this was not the case, as she had confided in him before they left that she had got all her grading finished and was looking forward to a relaxing weekend with nothing to do. Carol hoped that Jamie would not rat her out to the others, and of course he didn't.

"I have a possible solution, Miss Dawson. Since everyone here is at least 18 years old, I suggest that we call their parents and get permission for them to stay on un-chaperoned. I would then be happy to personally see to it that they get back home safely after the tour tomorrow," Dr. Simmons replied, smiling. Carol wasn't too keen on the idea, but the others seemed excited about the prospect, and with them all being of age she really didn't have much say in the matter, especially when all of their parents approved of them staying. After all, she figured that since Trisha was the principal's daughter and if he approved of the situation then it must be ok. She did however make sure to personally speak to him as well as all the parents, just in case one of them tried to pull a fast one by claiming to have permission to stay when they really didn't. Jamie, although having his heart set on MIT, decided that a tour of this university would be a good experience, and if word got back to MIT that other colleges were interested in him it might make them more eager to offer him a deal.

With Dr. Simmons taking responsibility for Jamie and the others, Carol decided to head back early. On her way home she was replaying the scene where Jamie was on stage. There was something different about him on that day. He showed confidence and strength. He stood tall and seemed older or more mature then his 18 years would suggest. If it came right down to it, she would have to describe his behavior tonight as nothing short of being sexy. It frightened her to know that she could feel this way about one of her students. Jamie being her neighbor and friend on top of it made this situation all the more stressful. Carol knew that she was sexually frustrated being away from Brian for so long, but she couldn't let her desires cloud her judgment and force her do something that she may later regret. As she was going over this in her mind she looked down at the map and realized that the university she graduated from was not that far out of her way. Feeling horny as hell and without any students to attend to, she made the changes to her GPS, and an hour and a half later pulled into Brian's driveway for a surprise visit.

Brian seemed shocked, and for some reason even a bit nervous, when Carol crawled into his bed unexpectedly in the middle of the night. He had long since given her a key to his place when she practically took up a residency there herself during her college years. Brian felt that he had masked his reaction rather well, and the couple went on to have a marathon sex session that would have put any porno movie to shame. It started right after she arrived and stretched long into the wee hours of the following morning, leaving Carol both tired and satisfied as she left Brian's house Sunday afternoon.

Jamie was surprised to find that Carol had not returned home when he arrived Saturday night after being dropped off by Dr. Simmons. He started to get a bit concerned until he saw her car pull up a little after 5:00 PM Sunday evening. He noticed from his window that she seemed happy, although a bit tired, as she made her way into the house. At first he was a bit put off thinking that she may have been with a boyfriend all this time, but then he remembered her saying that some of her old girlfriends were at the event, and he convinced himself that she probably stopped off to see them on her way back. At any rate he did have a fun time touring the college with Dr. Simmons, and knew that winning the Jeopardy contest would surely increase his chances of securing a scholarship to MIT.

His final month of high school had been a whirlwind for Jamie. Word got out how he had helped a few members of the football team when they were in danger of becoming ineligible to play due to failing grades. The tricks he showed them for remembering facts and dates helped tremendously in improving their test scores, and now, with the end of the school year looming, Jamie's time had become a very sought after commodity. A representative from MIT contacted him and said that although they preferred more extracurricular activities in their applicants, Jamie's grades and SAT scores were more than enough to gain him admittance to their university, but to be granted a full scholarship he would have to be named valedictorian of his class. Jamie didn't see this as a problem, as he only had about a week left to go now, and he was as usual acing all of his classes.

With as busy as he'd become, Jamie had not seen that much of Carol outside of class. He was, however, becoming slightly concerned with her demeanor as of recently. She seemed rather moody lately, even to the point of being short with him when he asked if she was feeling ok. She did apologize to him later, claiming that she thought she was coming down with a slight case of stomach flu. This puzzled Jamie somewhat, as it was not the right time of year for something like that to be going around. Jamie did not have time to dwell on it, though, as he was tutoring other students, preparing for his own graduation, and getting ready to start his new life as a college student. He had just finished up a ten page report on William Shakespeare for Carol's class that he felt was some of his best work yet. This paper would be worth 30% of his semester grade, and he could hardly wait to hear Carol's reaction to it.

Jamie was sitting in Miss Dawson's class about a week before graduation, and he was really starting to get concerned. Carol was now not only moody, but she seemed to always be losing focus and yelling at everyone for no real apparent reason. She still refused to tell Jamie what was bothering her, and he was seeing a side of his teacher and friend that quite frankly was not very appealing. Throughout all of this he still was head over heels in love with her, and hoped that one day in the near, or maybe not so near, future that she just might return his feelings. As the bell rang to signify that class had ended Jamie stood up ready to hand in his report when one of the guys that he had been tutoring stopped to thank him for his help. As they were chatting there was some commotion coming from the hall, as happy seniors were enjoying their last days of high school. Miss Dawson angrily stormed out of her classroom to yell at them to keep quiet, while Jamie walked up to her desk and set his report neatly on the top of the pile before being the last to exit the classroom to enjoy his weekend.

The following Wednesday afternoon found Jamie again sitting in Miss Dawson's classroom, only this time they were lazily relaxing while a move played on the benefits of creative writing, and how one could use various styles to entice the imagination of his or her reader. Carol seemed different today, lost but focused, angry but controlled, almost like there was a split personality ready to take control at any given moment. All kinds of thoughts had passed through his mind as to what might explain her behavior, everything from a sick relative, to a relationship problem to an issue with her job. He just wished he knew what was bothering her.

The movie ended right before the bell rang, and as she continued passing back the graded reports she purposely skipped his desk. "Mr. Mantle, would you please see me after class." Now any other time this statement would not have come as a surprise, as she would probably want to discuss how much she enjoyed his paper, but the way she said it and the coldness in her eyes made him wonder if he may have done something to upset her, although for the life of him he could not fathom what that would have been.

"Mr. Mantle, would you like to tell me why you did not turn in your paper last Friday," She asked?

"I don't know what you are talking about, Miss. Dawson. I did turn it in. In fact it should have been on the top of the pile in a red report cover," Jamie replied, stunned at the accusation.

"Well, Mr. Mantle, I don't remember you turning it in. I have completely checked over all of the papers, and I did not find yours among them," she spat, still again referring to him as Mr. Mantle instead of Jamie.

"I swear to you I turned it in on time. It was a ten page paper on William Shakespeare, and I was just about to walk up to your desk when Billy stopped to thank me for tutoring him. It was during that time that we heard a commotion out in the hall. You went to investigate, and I went up to your desk and laid my paper on top of the pile," Jamie replied.

"So no one actually saw you turn in the assignment?" Miss Dawson asked

"Well, no, I don't think so. Look, it doesn't matter the paper is still on my computer. I will just print out a new copy and bring it to you tonight after I get home," Jamie stated.

"I am afraid that will not do, Mr. Mantle. It would not be fair to the rest of the class that you got an extra weekend to work on your assignment when everyone else had turned theirs in on time. You know that I don't accept late work, and you also know the consequences for not turning in an assignment," she angrily said.

"But I turned it in on time! It is not my fault that it got lost." Jamie exclaimed, now getting a bit angry himself!

"I don't believe that it did get lost. I think that you got so busy that you did not get it finished. Now instead of admitting your mistake you are trying to weasel you way out by claiming that I misplaced your paper" She replied.

Jamie just could not believe what was happening.

"Look, Carol," He begun to say.

"Miss Dawson to you Mr. Mantle," she loudly replied.

"Sorry, Miss Dawson, come over to my house tonight and look at my computer. There is a record showing when each file was last modified. I got done with that paper three days before it was due. There have been no changes to it since, and the records will show that," Jamie said confidently.

"I know how good you are with a computer, Mr. Mantle, and I have no doubt in my mind that if you wanted to you could easily modify the dates to show anything you wanted," she stated.

"Carol, um, Miss Dawson, are you really listening to yourself. I thought we were friends. How can you possibly accuse me of such a thing?" he asked totally stunned.

"It wouldn't be the first time that a guy had tried to use friendship to get away with something," Carol spat back.

"Look, I don't know what has gotten into you, but I swear I turned in that report Friday at the end of class. What you managed to do with it afterwards I have no idea," Jamie hotly replied.

"Fine, if you're so certain that I misplaced it I will look for it once more, but you had better be prepared to take your punishment tomorrow when I don't find anything," Carol snapped back.

"Whether or not you find my paper has no bearing on the fact that I turned it in, and I refuse to be punished for a wrong that I did not commit," Jamie stated.

"I will look for your paper tonight, Mr. Mantle, even though I feel it will be a complete waste of my time, but mark my words if you refuse to accept your punishment tomorrow I will have no choice but to give you an incomplete for this class and you will not graduate young man," she practically yelled as she was leaving the room.

Jamie was absolutely stunned at Carol's behavior. He didn't know what the hell was wrong with her, and at the moment he wasn't sure that he cared. He had to get home and talk with his parents. Hopefully they would have some clue how to resolve this situation before it became any worse.

At home Jamie sat both his parents down and began to explain what had transpired between Miss Dawson and him that afternoon.

"Why didn't you turn your paper in on time?" his mother asked.

"Mom, I just got done explaining to you that I did turn it in. She must have lost it somehow," Jamie frustratingly replied.

"Well, I know Carol, and I don't believe that she would be accusing you of not turning in your assignment unless she was sure," his Mom stated.

"You know Carol! You know Carol! What about knowing Me. Carol only moved across the street a few years ago, you've known me my whole life. In that time have I ever once not turned in an assignment on time? Have you ever been called to school because there was a problem? Have you ever known me to openly lie to you about anything? Haven't I always brought home straight A's on my report cards? Haven't I been nearly the perfect son these past 18 years," Jamie spat back in a raised voice.

"Yes, you have been a great son all these years, but I still don't believe that Carol would be acting this way unless she was 100% sure that you did not turn in your assignment. Now, if she finds your paper, fine, I will be the first to offer you an apology, but know this, I will not let you miss up your graduation by refusing to take your punishment. Is that clear," she said.

"Dad, will you please talk some sense into Mom. I have done everything I can to prove that I turned in my report on time, including offering to have Carol come over here and look at my computer to see that the last time my paper was modified was three days before it was due," Jamie pleaded.

"What was her response to that," he asked?

"She said that I was smart enough to manipulate the dates to show whatever I wanted them to," he explained.

"Well, could you?" He asked grinning.

"Probably if I researched how to do it, but I never would," he complained.

"Well, son, I agree with your Mother. It sounds like Carol has put a lot of thought into this and you must have done something to make her feel this way," he replied.

"I just can't freaking believe this! My own parents don't believe me! Some family loyalty," he yelled.

"Well, fine, who needs you? I will just go to Principal Olson's office tomorrow and tell him what's going on. I am his best student. I'm sure that he will believe me," Jamie screamed as he ran to his room slamming and locking the door.

"I have never seen Jamie that upset, Joe, what if he is telling the truth?" Sherry asked her husband.

"Look, honey, you know perfectly well that boys his age do all kinds of things that they try to get away with. He was just caught this time, is all, and now he has to own up to it and take his punishment like a man," Joe replied.

"But what if he is innocent?" she asked back.

"Do you really think Carol would put him through all of this if she wasn't sure?" he asked his wife.

"Well no, but maybe I'd better call her and get her side of it," she replied, picking up the phone.

"Sherry, put down the phone. He is a grown boy, he doesn't need his Mommy to fight his battles for him, besides, if he is not guilty of this I am sure that he has done something wrong that he has gotten away with," he said.

"Oh, Joe, that's terrible," she replied.

"Come on, Sherry, by the time I was his age I had pulled more stunts then I care to remember. Believe me, no matter how it seems, he is no angel," Joe said.

"I guess you're right, Joe, anyway I trust Carol. If she said he did wrong then he probably did," Sherry replied. "Let's go to bed."

But Joe was not right. Jamie had walked the straight and narrow most of his life, focusing on grades and his future rather than the trouble he could get into.

"I'm sorry, Jamie, but since no one actually saw you turn in your report there is really nothing that I can do," Principal Olson stated after Jamie had explained the situation to him.

"Why should I be punished because Miss Dawson misplaced my report? I told you that it has not been changed on my computer since three days before it was due. That proves that I had it done on time," Jamie pleaded.

"I understand what you are saying, James, I really do, but Miss Dawson has been teaching here for a while now, and I have always found her a tough but fair instructor. I just would not feel right about overriding her decision on this matter," he said.

"Sir, you know that I am one of your best students. I have never been sent to you for any problem that I have caused, I have an impeccable school record, and the wall outside this office contains quite a few academic achievements that I have won during my time here. This paper represents 30% of my grade. I swear to you I handed it in on time. I would think that someone with my reputation deserves at least the benefit of the doubt in this matter," Jamie stated.

"I'm sorry, James. I do agree that you made some valid points, however I still feel that Miss Dawson is a fair and competent teacher, and I will not override her decision in this matter," he said.

"But Principal Olson," Jamie started to say.

"I have made my decision, young man, now if you'll excuse me I am rather busy. Good day, Mr. Mantle," he stated, dismissing Jamie.

"Well, Mr. Mantle, I searched through my papers again and I still didn't find yours among them," she smugly stated.

"Look, Miss Dawson, I am in a no win situation here. Just suppose for one minute that somehow my report got lost after I turned it in. You tell me what would I need to do to prove to you that I really did hand in my paper on time?" Jamie asked.

"If you turned in the report I would have found it by now," she replied.

"I am very disappointed in you, Mr. Mantle. I thought that by now you would have owned up to your actions," she said.

"And I, Miss Dawson, am disappointed that you are not using logic or reason in this matter. Why is it so much easier for you to believe that a straight A student who has always handed his assignments in on time suddenly not only fails to turn in a paper that is worth 30% of his grade, lies about it, and manipulates computer records to show that he had the report done days in advance, but it is impossible to fathom that the great Miss Dawson could actually lose a paper?" he asked angrily.

"Look, I see no point in discussing this any further. I am giving you a zero on the report, and if you refuse to take your punishment I will be forced to give you an incomplete for this class and you will not graduate. I cannot let my friendship with you impair my duties as your teacher," she said.

"Well I am not going to let you mess up what I have worked four years to accomplish, so I will submit to your damn punishment, but know this, as of right now our friendship is over," Jamie hotly replied.

"Watch your language, Mr. Mantle. Now drop your pants and bend over the desk," she spat.

"What?" Jamie asked, totally bewildered.

"You heard me, shorts too, I do not want anything to come between your back side and my paddle," she stated.

"Fine, do your worst, lady, but I will never forgive you for this," he angrily replied, as he reluctantly took the position of shame.

And then it began. Smack after painful smack could be heard as her paddle made contact with his poor defenseless rear end. Tears welled up in his eyes as she repeatedly struck him far more than a situation of this magnitude allotted for. His once all white bottom, now took on an angry reddish color with white streaks and purple welts. When she was finished he rolled off her knee onto the floor bawling like a baby.

"I have to use the ladies room and then I will drive you home," she stated in a shaky almost whispery voice.

Carol really didn't have to use the restroom, but she did need a few minutes to compose herself. Spanking Jamie had not been easy on her, but she felt he richly deserved it, even though she may have taken it a bit too far. Carol felt that she gave Jamie every opportunity to come clean and admit that he had not handed in his report as he claimed. She thought that he would eventually have broken down and told her the truth, but alas that was not the case. Carol was hopeful that they could somehow maintain their friendship, despite Jamie's claim that it was over. After washing off her face with a wet paper towel she walked back to the classroom, only to discover that Jamie had already left.

By some miracle Jamie actually managed to make it home safely, after nearly causing two accidents due to his inability to focus through the severe pain he was in. Jamie entered his house through the back door and proceeded to limp and crawl to his room. He heard his father's voice yell "How's the ass, son," as he began to chuckle, making Jamie wonder just how he had managed to live this long and not realize what a dick his dad really was.

"Joe, you can be so cruel at times?" Jamie's mother exclaimed.

While knocking on his door Sherry asked? "Honey, are you alright,"

"Just leave me alone," Jamie yelled back.

"Let the boy be, Sherry, he is just licking his wounds. He'll be fine," Joe said.

"Sometimes I wonder why I ever married you, Joe Mantle," his wife replied, leaving the room in a huff.

Jamie knew that what Carol did to him was far worse than the average school spanking. He had thought about going to the hospital, getting the authorities involved and having her charged with abuse or assault and battery, but in the end he decided that he did not want the publicity that such an act would create. Jamie did decide to document his injuries, and although it hurt like hell to do so he got out his digital camera and reached behind himself to take a few photos of his tortured back side. Next he gently applied some aloe lotion that he had left over from a previous sun burn to his throbbing bottom, laid down on his stomach and cried himself to sleep.

The next morning things went from bad to worse for Jamie. He knew that his parents had some business to attend to in town, and he pretended to be asleep until they left so he wouldn't have to deal with them. Tomorrow was graduation day, and then after the summer he would be off to MIT and away from all the people whom he felt had betrayed him. About one o'clock in the afternoon his phone began to ring. Jamie was going to ignore it when the caller ID showed that it was an out of state number. "Hello," Jamie answered.

"Hello, is James Mantle there?" the voice asked.

"Speaking," Jamie replied.

"James, this is Bill Bruster from MIT. I am calling to inform you that I checked on your records, and found out that you ended up with the final grade of a C in your English class this semester. I am afraid that puts you out of the running to be valedictorian of your school. I am sorry, but that also makes you ineligible for the scholarship that you applied for," He said.

"But Mr. Bruster, it is all a mistake. My teacher lost a report that I turned in last Friday, and as a result she gave me a zero on the assignment which brought my grade down to a C. It was an A before this happened, and I swear to you, sir, that I did turn my report in when it was due," Jamie replied while visualizing his future crumbling before him.

"I'm sorry, James, but my hands are tied. When your records showed that you became ineligible I had to award the scholarship to another student. Your grades and test scores are more than sufficient for enrollment at MIT, but I am afraid that you must come up with another form of financial aid. Unfortunately you are required by law to claim your parent's income until such time as you turn 25 years of age, and that leaves you ineligible to qualify for any of our grant programs," he sadly stated.

"I understand, Mr. Bruster. Thank you again for calling," Jamie replied in a shaky voice.

"You're welcome, James, and again I am sorry," he replied before ending the call.

Jamie threw himself on the bed and began to cry. In a matter of just a few days that bitch had not only caused him severe physical pain, but also managed to destroy something that he has worked his ass off for four years to try and accomplish. "His ass." he thought. Yeah, don't even remind him of that, like he could really ever forget about it anyway, especially since it was still throbbing.

After he calmed down a bit, Jamie thought about all the people who have hurt him in the last few days. His Dad, who laughed when he was in pain, his Mom, who knew her girlfriend Carol better than she did her own son, his Principal who had no trouble asking him to tutor some dumb jock so that he could still be eligible to play sports, yet was too busy to intervene on Jamie's behalf when he had a problem, and last but certainly not least, Carol. She was supposed to be his friend, yet she had punished him so badly that he thought he might actually pass out, and then she managed to destroy his future in the process.

"Well to hell with her, and to hell with them all," Jamie concluded. "I'm leaving! I don't care if I see this damn town or anyone in it ever again," Jamie decided, but before he could make his exit he still had one thing left to accomplish.

The Mantle's returned late that evening after doing some shopping for their son's graduation party the following day. The pair actually seemed to be getting along a bit better today, as Joe had wisely decided to refrain from making any snide remarks about the situation with Jamie and Carol. Joe wasn't a bad guy, actually, but his old school upbringing and his warped since of humor could sometimes be misconstrued as malicious when it really wasn't meant to be. Sherry knocked on his bedroom door before trying the handle only to find it locked again. Jamie did not acknowledge her request to talk to him, and a few seconds later he heard her footsteps as she walked away.

Jamie was up early the next morning and left before his parents got out of bed. He did leave a note, but it simple stated that he had an errand to run and would be back later. He signed it J.

"What brings you in today, James?" Principal Olson asked nervously.

"I came to pick up my diploma," Jamie answered.

"But wouldn't you prefer to wait and receive it at graduation tonight with the rest of your classmates?" Principal Olson asked.

"If that was what I wanted I wouldn't be here right now," Jamie replied coldly.

"Very well," he sighed, as he dug through the stack of diplomas on his desk until finding the one with James's name on it. While bidding him congratulations, his principal stood and handed Jamie the document in one hand, while extending his other for the customary handshake. Jamie took his diploma but did not return Principal Olson's gesture.

"I'm sorry that it has to end like this. You were always one of my brightest students," Mr. Olson remarked.

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