Monday, September 17, 2012

No Better Than Before

Henry woke in a sweat. He forgot where he was, but then he knew when he bumped his head. He was on the bottom bunk.

Of course, he'd been dreaming of Derrick. It wasn't of the romantic sort. Yet, Derrick found him. Somewhere. Henry winced thinking it was in the middle of an empty football field. Had to be after a game he guessed. The middle of the night. Such a muddled dream.

He wanted Henry back. But he kept saying something ominous. "You know, you'll always be the girlfriend, don't you?"

Even now the words stung him as he laid there in bed. He didn't want to be the girlfriend.

Luckily, he awoke when the five o'clock alarm went off. Hurded to the showers, wishing for hot water but only getting lukewarm. Then it was on to the cafeteria for breakfast is bandcamp casual attire, matching band Tee shirts tucked into crisp jeans.

Thankfully, they had his favorite cereal, Honey-Nut O's. If only he could have had three bowls, but he snagged a biscuit on the way out with his group.

He got a glimpse of Shannon eating alone. One would have thought it was his last meal with all the bacon and pancakes he was shoveling in. Henry couldn't help but watch. He almost tripped over one of girls trying to practice on her flute before they got to their first pep talk with the band director.

Soon enough he was headed with the rest of the drummers. He got ready to march. Finally, he noticed Shan's group was in yellow. He'd noticed at breakfast what he was wearing. And he'd even smiled at Shannon, except Shan gave him a look that he shouldn't be smiling.

Henry couldn't help it.

"What are you smiling about?" The one and only girl in their drum corp wanted to know. Kelsey was a freshman, but she was fantastic with her timing and everything else that drummer's needed to know.

Before Henry knew it, he heard Geoff snicker, remarking about Henry's love life with Derrick.

Kelsey looked over at Henry all weird, with a puffed up frown. When they started in on their steps, she beated the thunder out of her snare. Henry could hardly keep up, but there was no time to talk. He could tell she was pissed, probably at him. Before she'd been so friendly. He didn't exactly think of it as flirting.

Now he winced with concern, wondering if she thought he'd been flirting with her. Had he? God, he hadn't meant too, he thought. He was being friendly. He wanted to be friends.

But the morning wore on. He wanted to say something, but what? What was he suppose to say to her? Was he suppose to apologize? Why should he? If she had a problem with him...

He did his best not to think about it. But still, he couldn't help it. He wanted people to like him.

Finally, a quick fifteen minute break. It was mainly a bathroom break. Maybe get a cool drink. Rethink. Re-group. Kelsey high tailed it to the restrooms.

"Wait!" Henry ran after her. Thinking they should talk. Finally, he caught up to her at the locker rooms. "Look, I thought you knew."

"What? That you're gay?" She winced still moody with her arms crossed.

"Yeah." He managed to say as he kept looking down at her hoping she could deal.

She made it sound like an ugly disease. Henry didn't know what else to say. But this quietness was not what Henry wanted either. "I should have told you." He didn't want to say he was sorry.

She shrugged. Still indifferent.

"But..but I can..I can still help you with ..." He started to say, but she walked away.

Henry guessed he should have expected it. Be used to it, but he really wasn't. He didn't want to be someone he wasn't. He bit at a fingernail then, wishing he was anywhere but here. Wishing, he'd get a chance to see Shannon again, but he definitely wasn't feeling lucky today.

No comments: