Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Storybook Index

Note: The StoryBook Index will now appear at the top of all posts. Because You Suck will still be updated as usual. This just makes it easier to post different stories. Because You Suck will not "die," since it's my main focus. This is just so I can publish other stories I've kept hidden!

Because You Suck [updated May 2, 2012]
Opposites attract and make unlikely bedfellows in this epic high school soap opera, where a shameless conformist falls for an unlikely rebel. Two boys, one unconventional love story.

Most Recent: Because You Suck: Chapter 22: Part 29
Chapter 22: Part 28 /Chapter 22: Part 27 /Chapter 22: Part 26 /Chapter 22: Part 25 /Chapter 22: Part 24 /Chapter 22: Part 23 /Chapter 22: Part 22 /Chapter 22: Part 21 /Chapter 22: Part 20 /Chapter 22: Part 19 /Chapter 22: Part 18 /Chapter 22: Part 17 /Chapter 22: Part 16 /Chapter 22: Part 15 /Chapter 22: Part 14 /Chapter 22: Part 13 /Chapter 22: Part 12 /Chapter 22: Part 11 /Chapter 22: Part 10 / Chapter 22: Part 9 /Chapter 22: Part 8 /Chapter 22: Part 7 /Chapter 22: Part 6 /Chapter 22: Part 5 /Chapter 22: Part 4Chapter 22: Part 3 /Chapter 22: Part 2 / Chapter 22: Part 1

Start: Because You Suck: Chapter 1: Part 1

Valentine's Day Sucks
So does kleptomania, hypothermia, and being alone. How two boys make the most out of a holiday spent stuck in their school's icy-cold basement.
Most Recent: coming soon
Start: coming soon

Friday, May 4, 2012

Because You Suck: Chapter 22: Part 30

Note: (About Previous Chapters) In response to a question... I attended a very preppy school where most parents visited the office every time their kids got in trouble. Some did it to smooth things over (like Zach's parents.) This is extremely commonplace in preppy schools, where school politics affect grades and college recommendation letters. Bringing gifts/food is not unusual. Parents visiting the office would normally talk to a vice principal (like Ns. Nasty.) My school had several VPs, including 1-2 who routinely met parents in the hall without introduction. One of them addressed parents and students the way Ms. Nasty does. Public accusations and humiliation happened constantly around that person, and I suspect that many people hung around just to watch and talk about it later.

               Some days Gentry thought that he was a dynamic person in a static world, a world with too much clutter. Today had been good. It was good to see people like that, people who stood together but not because they were the same. He thought about his parents. Wondered.

Did Sophia think about him?

Did she shove him out of her mind the way she shoved out everything else that hurt her? Had she closed the door on this chapter of her life?

Don’t ask questions you won’t like the answer to.

Don’t ask questions. He never asked questions. What could he possibly do with the answers? Teenagers were irresponsible. Things needed to be kept in order…
His foot kicked at the moldy wet leaves and trash which covered the porch of Carly’s home, and forced his key into the keyhole.

Entered loudly as always, murmuring hello so as not to startle him. Alcohol stung his senses. Wrinkled his nose but kept his mouth shut the way it did everytime. Heavy sneakers clambered over the doorstep, and the wind slammed the door shut behind him.

Carly was sprawled on the couch, eyes closed mouth open. Legs spread and head tossed back. A dried trail of drool glistened down the side of his mouth, and his face shone red.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Because You Suck: Chapter 22: Part 29

Note: Chapters 27, 28, and 29 were uploaded at the same time. So much for daily, huh?
This incident is based on a true story (like many events in this story.) The form and account are real, but with details censored/altered for protection. Although I don't name names, I heard and watched many of these events unfold while I was in high school. I wrote them down in a notebook that I carried everywhere. I also spent a lot of time in the office :)!

At that moment, Ms.Nasty walked by. She stopped dead in her tracks, pointed to the package and snapped,

“What’s that?”

“Pecan pie for the office.” Replied Gentry.

“From where?”

“From them.” Gentry replied, motioning to the family.

“Open it?”

Gentry did so, carefully untying the blue ribbon and opening the white box. The pie lay in the package, freshy cut and glazed.

“She said it’s for everyone.” He added, politely.

Delilah gazed at the family, specifically at Zach, then stormed over to Delilah.

“Do you know why your son is here, Mrs.Tyler?”

Delilah eyed her firmly, and clipped, “Yes, I do.”

“He got into a fight with a police officer.”

“Wasn’t much of a fight.” Zach interjected, then promptly quieted down when his father rested a hand on his shoulder.

“We are both adults, perhaps you can appreciate this school’s concern about your son’s increasingly provocative behavior.”

“Which behavior would that be?”

Gentry leaned on the desk, his eyes shifting from one party to another. He’d seen Nasty do this before, cringing whenever the unsuspecting parent erupted into apologies. No one wanted trouble with school authorities who had so much influence in the office…

“You might not know it,” said Ms.Nasty, her eyebrows rising over her glasses, lowering her voice discreetly as she said, “your son comes to school in baggy pants and clothes that aren’t weather appropriate, such as wearing baggy clothes in the summer. Are you aware of this?”

“Yes.” Delilah’s tone remained the same, “I don’t like his clothes, either. But he says they keep him warm and make him feel ready to take on the day. What coffee or drugs are to some people, baggy pants are for him.”

Gentry glanced up from the notepad he’d been scribbling circles on. Well, this was something. Now he knew where Zach got it from…

“Well,” Ms.Nasty scoffed, putting down her coffee cup, “those clothes might be appropriate for a mall or an arcade, but not a work environment. Why do you let him go out like that?”

“Because he made a valid point. We reason things out at home, and Johan and I have always encouraged Zach to speak his mind.”

Ms.Nasty stared at her in disbelief, and then snapped, “Whatever point he made, school is not a home and those clothes are not appropriate for a work environment. Students and teachers have come in to complain… your son’s clothes violate the dress code.”

“There is no dress code,” replied Johan, “and he does his work.”

“And if any students or teachers have an issue with that,” added Delilah, “I’d like you to bring them here the way you brought my son.”

“Those clothes are not appropriate for school.” Ms.Nasty raved, her eyes bulging, “Baggy pants are for gangsters, not schoolchildren! If he were my son, I’d burn them!”

Delilah eyed her firmly, staying silent for a good moment before replying:

“Well, then I’m glad he’s not your son.”

Gentry stole a slice, sliding it into his mouth before anyone saw. Some days… well. His parents never did that. Some days he wished that, just once, they would have. Just once.

“What you’re doing is child abuse!” Ms.Nasty yelled, so the whole office could hear,  “Those clothes are not weather appropriate!”

A few of the secretaries and office personnel stopped, shocked to silence and exchanging look. They never went against one of their own, even…

“Zach, get up.” Delilah said stiffly, “We’re leaving.”

Because You Suck: Chapter 22: Part 28

And Zach wouldn’t look at him. He only looked up to exchange an apologetic look with his father, and searched his mother’s face for something. Then he murmured something in a language Gentry didn’t understand, and the woman whispered a reply.

Immediately afterwards, she stood up and approached the desk.

“Excuse me.” She drawled in her softest, most whispery voice.


“Yes?” asked Gentry, looking up from the clipboard he pretended to read. His eyes tried to steal a look at Zach, but since Zach still wouldn’t look at him, he contented himself by staring at his mother like any other stranger.

“I noticed the nametag by your desk says Ms.Dakota, but I’m guessing that isn’t your name. I like to memorize peoples’ names, could you tell me yours?”

Gentry hesitated. Was she trying to know his name so she could file a complaint? Why did she want to know? He eyed her warily and said,

“Gentry Lee Johnson.”

“What a beautiful name… Unique, too, you’re very fortunate to have parents who put so much thought into a name. Are your parents from Alabama, by chance? Since I notice you also have a very slight accent.”

Was she trying to curb a favor out of him or something? Get information for a lawsuit?

“Yeah. I’m from Alabama.” He said, dryly, “Can I help you?”

“Yes… I want to know where to put this. It’s for the entire office… because I know you work long and stressful hours.”

… What the hell.

“What is it?” Gentry asked warily, watching her hoist up a small gift-wrapped package. Was this a bribe? Not likely. Bribes usually went to just one person.

“It’s not a bomb.” She joked, awkwardly, and in the background Zach rolled his eyes.

“It’s a cake.” He spat.

“A pie.” Delilah corrected.

“A pie.” Gentry repeated slowly, “What kind of pie?”

“Pecan pie. It’s already pre-sliced into twenty servings, so there should be enough for everyone.”

“Pecan pie.”

“Yes, Gentry, it’s Pecan Pie.” Zach snapped again, then quickly resumed his silence.

So did Delilah, who stared at Zach for a good, long moment, then at Gentry, then at Zach— until her husband father interrupted:

“The only thing that will kill anyone in that package the corn starch.”

He cast a nudge of a look at Zach, who Zach slouched into his seat the way Gentry had seen him do the last time he was in the office. That all-too-funny look of “get me out of here.”

“It won’t kill them to eat just one slice. Besides, it’s organic. And pre-cut.” Delilah interjected, slowly easing the wrapped cake toward him. With one slow, nudging finger.

Gentry cracked a smile.

“I’ll put it out.”

“I’ll get plates.”

Because You Suck: Chapter 22: Part 27

Few parents ever challenged anything. Most took what they got and assumed the bureaucracy worked, even if there was a student sitting at the desk firing off orders. Although the parents depended on the bureaucracy to function, they were hardly ever humble— they came in $300 cellphones and expensive suits, probably dressed down just slightly to sympathize with the underpaid school worker. They’d pal around with you, try to earn a favor for their kid. But the moment Timmy or Jeffy got a bad grade they’d come to you outraged and demanding an answer. The secretary who worked the front desk was actually a nice enough lady, and Gentry had seen plenty of shit-faced mules storm in to demand where they could see so and so about some unfair teacher or another. No hello, no goodbye, no one bothered to memorize her name. No one ever bought her presents at the end of the year, because no one needed her or valued her work.

Gentry sat at her desk, and would earnestly promise to “deliver this message” or “that paper” for people who addressed him with “hey.” Then he would put the paper away and leave it alone, since doing nothing usually did more harm than doing something.

But Johan and Delilah seemed nice enough. Too bad their kid was a troublemaker. Gentry felt bad for those types of parents, even though he sometimes scared them more by citing fake rules. Then he would pretend to reverse them, and sheepishly accept their thank-you’s. Yet he didn’t have the stomach to do it with these ones… he was too excited to keep a straight face.

The man took a seat beside his wife. The wife gave Zach a quick, nervous smile that was probably meant to lift spirits. For Gentry, it did the opposite. Sophia smiled that way, too. Not with her teeth, just the corners of her mouth… a smile so small you could miss it if you blinked


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Because You Suck: Chapter 22: Part 26

God, wars were exciting. And the office had never been more on edge— or more lively. Secretaries tromped past each other with fierce bravado and, save for the sound of their thick heels on the carpet or the occasional climper of a keyboard, the office was dead silent. High noon was about to start, and Johan and Delilah had just closed the doubled doors behind them with visible apprehension— polite people who never wanted to cause too much trouble. Gentry knew the type, smiling when he saw Zach saunter in behind them. He was dressed down, and a visible anxiety straining his features. What did he expect? That’s what happened when you resisted an officer.

Of course, Nasty wouldn’t have called the police if Zach hadn’t argued with the attendance lady. And the attendance lady wouldn’t have argued about the Delinquency (or two) she stamped on Zach’s permanent record if he would’ve checked into the office after that test. None of this would have happened if Zach would have stopped by the office before going to class. But no, Zach fucked up the natural order. Gentry perched his head on one hand. Delinquent.

Although it wasn’t his job, Gentry sat at the front desk. He almost always fooled people into thinking he was the secretary, because those kinds of things were easy with a grim expression and a firm voice. The real secretary was off on her lunch break, but parents didn’t know and at the moment, neither did the office.

“Can you be helped?” Gentry asked the man who approached the bar. This was probably Mr. Johan Tyler. But you were not supposed to use peoples’ names when addressing them; only students did that. Adults used “you” a lot, and if they didn’t it was because you were probably in trouble.

“We have an appointment with Grau Harolds, the Principal?”

“He’s busy. Please take a seat by the door.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Because You Suck: Chapter 22: Part 25

Note (to Susan:) So much for me not flaking off, huh ;)? Your words literally brought a tear to my eyes. Thank you :). Yours is the first, and only, human-written comment of this entire year. I thought nobody read this story anymore, and figured no one would notice if I didn't post all of it. I'm glad I was wrong. I'll update it again, regularily this time.
Additional Note: Aha! Type-o's fixed. Thanks to Susan, the awesome editor :3. Inconsistencies are fun!

Letter Addressed to the School Board

June 14, 2007


Union High School District


Date: 6-14-07

Partial Days: 1

Full Days: 2

Grade Level/Grade Year: 011/2007

ID #: 698822

Since we at Kennedy High school are interested in maintain ing our close relationship with the home, this notice is sent to inform you that Zach Tyler has been suspended for: insubordination

Because this represents a serious violation of our stanfards and of our education code 48900 k, Zach has been suspended and may return to school on 4-21-07.


(indeterminable signature)

Attached: Statement by Zach Tyler

I was called out at the beginning of 3rd period. I was mad about that, because I already told the secretary that I don’t like being called out of class. Not all my teachers post their homework online so if I miss their lecture, I could miss homework information. A large part of my grade is participation, and it suffers when I’m not in class. When I went to see the attendance secretary, Ms.Peruvia, she said that I had two offenses which would be on my permanent record. When I asked for verification, she said that I should already know the policy, since it was explained to me and she had documented it. When I figured out what she meant, I answered that I didn’t check back into the office for my yellow “return” slip after returning from the test. I told her that if she wanted proof I came back, she could see my teacher’s attendance list, and that the policy didn’t matter because she knew where I was, and that was all that counted. Then I also told her to stop calling me out of class, since part of my grade is on partitipation and class time was already ticking away.

She answered that she did not like my tone, and that she could call me out of class whenever she wanted. Then she called Ms. Nasty, asking me to talk to her. Ms. Nasty and I also don’t get along ever since she threatened me with a dress code violation which was fake, since the outfit I wore broke no violations I had heard of or she could think of. There is no official dress code, I already told her that. But she doesn’t want to argue out points, and makes it clear that you must obey her way, or no way. She talked to me as if I were a dog, motioning “come here” with her hand and behaving very rudely. I had no desire to speak with her, because she wasn’t the one who called me out of class this time. I was threatened with suspension. I said I would only leave with Ms. Nasty if Ms. Peruvia would secure me an appointment where we could come to an agreement on the issue of calling me out of class. She would do no such thing, so they threatened to call the police. I told them they could do what they wanted, because I wasn’t leaving until I got that appointment. Ms. Nasty guarded the door and called in Mr. Brokeshaw, while complaining about how I was wasting her time. Mr. Brokeshaw seemed visibly upset.

There were two police officers, Mr. Linden and an unnamed balding one. They told me to move to the principal’s room, but I declined because he was not where my problem was. I was forcefully pulled out of the room. The unnamed officer was holding too tightly on my arm, and I tried to loosen his grip by complaining of pain and moving my arm slightly. He grabbed my arm harder, yelling at me, twisting it even though I loudly complained it hurt my bones. In Mr. Harold’s office, the balding officer told me to get into a chair. I did not want to sit down, so he yelled at me and very roughly pushed me into the chair. He then proceeded to call me a “very annoying problem.” He demanded to know my grades, and Mr. Harold made a wavering motion with his hand. But I had no problems with my principal since he was more professional. Mr.Harold was helpful and understanding, but I don’t think there was much he could do about the secretaries. He doesn’t watch them.