Friday, September 16
The house looked so odd. Completely empty; sort of scaring me. I just stared at it until the door flung open, as if a monster had just escaped out of it. Almost as if it were the cage of an over sized animal that drank toxic waste. My mom called out to me from the car as my dad walked out the front door with Erik behind him. "Sweetie, get in the car!" She shouted at me. For some reason she would always baby me. Maybe it was because I always faint or get super sick. Coughing up blood: or maybe cause I AM the baby being only 11 years old. I'm Paul Fisher, Mr. Girl-ly as my friends say. I apparently look like a girl but I just don't see it. As I walked to the car, I began to go over the turn of events. Last month, dad got this new job some where up in Tangerine, Florida. What job, I couldn't careless. I have this gut felling that no matter where we go, it will always be about the Erik Fisher FootBall Dream.
As dad drove, mom sat in the passenger seat asking over a million questions about Tangerine, Florida. I sat next to Erik soundlessly because for some reason I just knew if I tried to talk to him, dad would quickly interrupt me as he always has. "Is the house safe for Paul?" Mom questioned dad. I glanced at her through the reflection; at least out of two parents, one cared about me and not Erik, big time foot ball player. Erik was number one on his former team. He never kicked the ball under thirty-seven yards at the least; or at least that what dad always says when he's bragging about Erik. "Anyways, Erik you've been accepted onto Lake Windsor Downs High. Your in the big leads." Dad praised Erik; never even paying me any kind of attention. Mom gave me this look of sympathy through the rear-view mirror. I'm already starting to see the truth in this matter. Nothing is going to change, It never will.
Saturday, September 17
Mom helped me move all my things upstairs, including the full body mirror grandma sent me. It's glass was always clean though I've never cleaned it before, the frame was black stained wood that had ancient characters on it. Next to soccer, that was also something I love. Anything Japanese interested me; draws me into it with out trying. "Be careful." "Yes mom." I answered back out of routine. It was common for us, like a never ending tape that someone was just too lazy to turn off. Picking up the almost UN-SHARP box cutter, I set to work. First came the box filled with me cloths. It was all folded so I placed everything onto the draws, by color because my mom would just re-arrange them later if I didn't do it like that. Next came shoes, then trinkets. I don't have as much compared to Erik. He has super expensive things that he doesn't even use; but no one ever thinks of that. It's as if they just don't care. Soon, I found myself collapsing onto my black bed, my eyes heavy with a mixture of sadness and hatred.
That night, dad had taken us out to celebrate Erik's what ever. "Dad," I started, hoping he would remember. "Aren't you forgetting something? Something important?" He stopped in front of the driver's door. "Nope." Suddenly another wave hit me. But not a mix of sadness and hate. No, it was that of hurt and anger and…. Just plain pain. The tears welded in my eyes and before I knew what I was doing, I ran away crying. I had no clue where I was going nor how long I ran. Yet still in my mind, I heard that one crushing word, "NOPE". He forgot. Mom forgot. They all forgot; all about my birthday. Soon I reached this large lake. It seemed to be man made, seeing as it was a perfect circle. "Perfect like Erik." My brain supplied me bitterly. Plopping down by the lake, I wiped my eyes and zoned out slightly. 'Was I just not that important to them?' I asked myself. "NOPE." Dad's voice echoed in my head. "Hey, what's wrong with you?" A voice, which sounded like a teenage boy, said. Whipping my head to the left, I say a boy with black hair with a miniature version, around my age, stood next to him. "Your too cute to cry you know. I'm Joey Costello." The miniature version, Joey said. I felt blood rush to my face. "I'm a boy." "We know. Your Paul Fisher. Best soccer player in Texas. I'm Mike." I continued to stare at the two. In the end, we just sat next to each other, me being in the middle, just gazing out onto the lake that was lit by the moon's reflected lights. It was breathe taking.
I don't really know when, but all I know is that after just sitting there in silence, mom and dad and Erik came running up to us. "Oh sweetie, are you OK?" Mom questioned, inspecting me for any injuries but gave a sigh of relief when she found none. Dad was glaring at me harshly. I could feel Erik's glare as well but after a few seconds of me looking at my brother, it softened till I found myself in his arms. "You're a total idiot!" He shouted at me before letting go. I smiled at Erik. This is the Erik I consider my older brother, not Mr. Hard. "You DO know you just made us miss our reservation -" "Hush!" Mom told him harshly. That night me, her, and Erik left dad at home and went out alone.
Sunday, September 18
I tossed my glasses straight in to the garbage can. I've gone a whole week with out wearing them, I don't need them. They were extra fat, thicker than my two thumbs together. But as soon as mom saw me with out them, she soon found them and forced them onto my face. Well, AFTER disinfecting them. "You know you have to wear these every day honey." She chided to me. With a sigh, I went into the living room and sat down on the couch next to Erik. Dad was no where to be seen. I found myself once again wrapped in Erik's warm arms. "These things are too damn big for your face." He told me, yanking the glasses off my face. I could only smile at him. He would act so different when dad left. When dad as around, he wouldn't talk to me that much, probably because dad always stopped us. "Thanks." "You look like rape bait. Maybe you SHOULD keep those Martian things on." Erik said with a laugh. I love this Erik.
A few hours later, I realized we had fell asleep. Erik still hugged me as we lay on the couch. My eyes slowly drift back shut but then dad and mom walked in with three other pair of feet. "ERIK!" Dad shouted angrily. "What now?" He asked tiredly as he sat up after letting me go. I saw Mike, Joey, and a heavy set man who I assumed was their father. "What was that?" "We fell asleep. SO?" Erik seemed to have a fire of defiance in his eyes. As if saying "Fuck you" loudly to dad. Mom soon intervened. "Um, anyway. These are the Costello's." Erik shook the heavy set man, Jack's hand then Mike's. I could just FEEL dad's heated glare at me. It made want to piss my pants but I was determined to change things. For once it will be about me, not Erik Fisher. No, Paul Fisher the great.
Monday, September 19
Mom drove me and Erik to the joined middle and high school an hour early for our try outs. Erik for foot ball, me for soccer. I was an all around type but mainly a goal tender, or in simple terms goalie. As we pulled up to the school, I felt stares fall on Erik. Nothing new there. I saw the cheer leaders gawking at him. Still nothing new. It's always been like this and I hate it. "Good luck Paul." "Thanks. Enjoy your first run." I told Erik back, who snorted his laughter. " This is just a formality for us. It don't count as try outs or first runs. Plus I've been at this for years." He said, but with no bragging tone. In honest option it had a sad tone. Very sad, and filled with true sorrow. "Yeah." Is what I found myself saying as we separated.
My run was great. I got on the starter team, meaning I'm on the bus. They could only afford one bus and so they had the ones who go to away games and the ones who stay. I felt very happy. "What wrong cutie?" Gino Deluca asked me. I must have been staring off into space because he looked worried. "Nothing." I lied. I felt awkward after Joey told me about the way things around here worked. Gino was the head around here, and was the reason why the whole county accepted gays and bi's. He himself was bi and got interested in me. He even cornered me in the locker room while I was changing. I was totally embarrassed. "Kay then. I'm having a get together for the team at my house after school, wanna come?" He asked me. Nodding a yes, Gino walked away after giving me his address. "Wow. The girls must be so jealousy." Joey snorted through his laughter. My face soon flush when I realized what he meant by that. "It's not a date." "But it soon shall be." When I asked what he meant, he just walked away from me with a smirk on his face.
During class, I kept drawing in my journal. Things like anime eyes and other expressions in anime form. Soon I began to draw whole bodies with pretty outfits on like kimonos or regular clothing. "My. Fisher, care to show the class what your drawing?" The teacher, Mrs. Morris stated more than asked as she snatched the grey note book of my desk. "Class, direct your attention to the projection screen." She said in the normal drone voice. Everyone in the class saw them, my drawings that not even my mother knew of. Only Erik; and now over twenty people I don't know. This one girl started laughing causing the other girls to laugh as well. I think she was probably the ring leader with the way those girls repeated her. "Your drains are SO lame." "Yeah, totally lame." They kept on laughing and soon I found myself angry. "At least they look better than your faces. And I thought clowns wore too much make-up." I snapped which made everyone laugh them. The teacher just didn't seem to care anymore for some reason. After that, I felt much better now.
Tuesday, September 20
When I woke up this morning, it wasn't because of my white alarm clock like it normally is. It was due to the sound of yelling; mainly mom and Erik. I snuck down the stairs and hid behind the wall of that connected to the kitchen. "It's not fair dad! You can't treat him like that!" Erik shouted at dad who's face was red like a cherry. Mom was crying as she yelled at the man. "You are NOT going to do this to my baby!" "I have no choice!" Dad snapped back. I wondered what they were going on about because it seemed to involve me as well. "Your right, YOU DON'T but I DO! He's not going there with them!" Mom shouted loudly at him. Erik's face soon made a look that he normally gets when I'm around. Crap. He had caught me. "Paul come here." He told me gently as if he I was a scared kitten. Which I sort of was. I went over to him and mom, who's crying went away. She hugged me tightly whispering "It's gonna be okay sweetie." over and over, as if reassuring herself more than anything. "Paul." I looked up at dad, fear clearly in my eyes. What is he gonna do to me? "Go up stairs and pack enough cloths for a week. Your staying with your Uncle." And with that he left for work. "Erik-" "I'll help you pack little man." Was all he told me as a few tears went done his face.
After that, I soon found out that today was my last day at Lake Windsor Downs Middle. Good thing too because the coach kicked me off the team today as well. "I can't have a handicapped student on my team." He said. I was the best player he said! But I can't play anymore which is why I ran home crying. My life I horrible. I don't want to go to Tangerine Middle. I finally made friends. When I reached my house, I told everyone I met the news. Gino and Joey were yelling bloody murder at my dad after school. "He's going for a good reason." Dad told them, Erik clenched his teeth. "Oh yeah?" Joey asked heatedly. "Why then?" Gino finished. Dad just looked at them calmly as if it didn't matter what they said or yelled or threatened him with. "Because he's getting in the way of Erik. I can't have that." I saw Erik stand and punch the wall, barely missing dad's face. Gino and Joey just stood there in shock. I DID tell them my dad is obsessed with the ERIK FISHER FOOTBALL DREAM. Guess they thought it was just an exaggeration. But so did mom when I told her that.
Wednesday, September 21
Today, mom and Erik walked into Tangerine Middle with me. We walked past a group of thugs, gangs, and karate kickers. Two of them stared at me before they walked up to me. The stocky looking one with curly hair spoke first. "Who are you suppose to be." He demanded more than asked. I just looked at him as if he were crazy and judging by his growl, he kind of is. "Paul Fisher." "Isn't Paul a boy name?" He asked as if he were about to laugh. The boy standing next to him hard dark brown hair and dark eyes. I blushed when I noticed his hard stare. "I'm a boy. Who are you two?" I asked him. Suddenly this huge smirk got on their faces and I felt like hiding behind Erik and mom. "Of course the cutie wouldn't know who WE are. Have you ever heard oh Victor Guzman?" A head shake no is what seemed to set them off. The one who made me blush started to laugh hard and even harder when the curly hair began to stutter like a idiot. "Sweetie let's go." Mom said in a rushing voice. I knew she was about to break one of them. But I stayed and asked once again, "Who are you two?" Finally he stopped laughing. "Tino Cruz. That's Victor Guzman." Tino began to laugh again because Victor just stood there stuttering. "OK, see you around then." "Yup, later Fisher." Tino said through his now calmer chuckle.
Mom and Erik seemed scared to leave me alone as they walked out the main office which was on the second floor. The smell and look of the building told me that is was old but not run-down like some other schools and the walls were not chipping like those high school kids told me. "Theresa will be your guide for the first week Paul. Have a wonderful day." Dr. Johnson told me with a smile. I followed Theresa, who looked a lot like Tino, out the door and to the halls. "Um, do you know anything about the soccer team Theresa?" I asked the silent girl. This seemed to get her attention quickly which I liked a lot. "Yeah, I do. But my brother Tino would know more. It's the only team in Florida that has both boys and girls on it." She told me with what seemed to be a proud sound. "Cool. I met Tino and Victor earlier. They kept calling me cutie even after I told them I was a boy." I told her . She didn't seem very surprised, not one bit to tell you the truth. I expected her to freak but no. "Not surprising really. Those two have a thing for any girl or boy but mainly boys. Says their harder to get pregnant." That's weird, it's exactly what Gino told me and the others.
At each class she would introduce me to the teacher and then let me sit with her , Shandra, Maya, Nita, and Dolly who were on the soccer team. By time lunch came around I knew everything I needed to now about Tangerine Middle School. After buying my lunch, due to being too lazy to make one, I sat down next to the girls. "Hey Paul." Maya greeted me followed by a string of other greetings. Maya and Nita sat across from each other, Dolly was across from Shandra, and next to Shandra was me then Theresa. "Hey cutie." Tino's voice said. I looked up from my chicken sandwich, I say him sitting down across from me , Victor next to him. I felt a blush come on at the feeling of a shoe covered foot forcing it's way between my legs. It pressed on my crouch and began to rub up and down gently. "What school you come from Fisher Man." Victor's voice rang. I found myself stuttering out "Lake Windsor Downs. Stop that already." The foot retreated to it's owner who had to be Tino since he sat across from me. The blush never went away because Theresa asked me how I felt. "Lake Windsor huh? Their soccer team is shit." "What do you expect, we play in a sink hole." I told him honestly. I knew this very well as did dad who didn't care what so ever. Victor almost choked on his burger while he started to laugh at my comment along with Tino. "You do play-" I cut him off saying "DID play." which caused to ask me why I don't play for them anymore. There was no point in lying to them. "The coach kicked me off because the counselor told him I was handicapped." "Are you?" Shandra asked me yet another question. "Sort of. I have non-terminal cancer." But this didn't faze them. They claimed to not care, I was "A regular person.", as Tino put it.
Later on after school mom drove me to my Uncle Sam's house. His a farmer and has four kids, Samantha, Samuel, Fang, and Fionna. Mom told me that he was very kind it was just that she didn't want to let someone take me away. We drove past old Tangerine trees and farm signs. Then the road turned to a plain dirt road as we pulled up to a house that had a old blue pick up truck and a gray van in front of it. "Here we-" "Fisher Man!" I heard a shout, Victor's voice. Looking across the street at the citrus grove with the green truck that read 'Tomas Cruz Groves, Tangerine, Florida' I saw him and Tino running across the street. Mom's face had a nervous look on it before it turned to confusion as Victor opened my door and gave me a kiss on the forehead. "Hey! That's MINE!" Tino shouted before dragging me away from Victor. Then, a man walked up to us. He had short dirty blonde hair and black eyes, and seemed to be in his 20s. "Break it up boys. He belongs to neither of you." "Sam, it's so good to see you again. Where's those brats?" Mom asked in a playful tone. "Right here. Paul your so cute!" Soon I was knocked to the ground by Samantha and Fionna. Samantha looked like her father and Fionna looked like her mother having purple-black hair, purple-black eyes, and olive tan skin. "Too cute." Fang said emotionlessly. He to looked like his mother. He stood next to Samuel who looked like a 15 year old version of Uncle Sam. "I live over there so I guess we'll see each other a lot huh?" Tino told me with a smile. Everyone seemed shocked so he must not smile that much. I was happy that he smiled at me, just for me. But I STIIL blushed like crazy.