“You know Zach, I just had to say--- Congrats on coming out.” Casey lisped as Zach sat down, which in turn caused him to smile sheepishly.
“… That was 2 weeks ago.”
“Better late than never. I still can’t believe you keep a list of gay events! What did your parents say?”
“They’ve been quiet…” his eyes shifted left, then right, “I don’t know…”
“So it didn’t work as well as you thought it would, huh?”
“I need more data to reach a conclusion.”
Mikey flicked his tongue, “Come here.” And pulled him into a sloppy kiss, “I’m so proud of you…”
Felix laughed, and Casey yelled, “Hey you two, get a room.”
Mikey had a black eye, split lip, and a chipped tooth; and he made sure to tell everyone that it was because of Gentry and Gentry’s homophobia. It seemed having bruises gave him more power than fighting back. The whole school was talking about this, divided on what to think about Gentry’s attack and Mikey’s bruises.
“Hey Casey, stop hating and take a picture.”
Casey grunted back a false laugh and Felix pulled out his cellphone.
“Hey,” murmured Felix, “Do you want me to airbrush off the, uh…”
“No. I’m not going to hide. If at all, Gentry should. I have nothing to be ashamed of.”
“You should sue.” Said Casey.
“Nahhh. If I file a lawsuit, it will only make the school look bad. They’re strapped for funds as is.”
“Boo hoo.” Murmured Zach, as he slumped lethargically onto the table.
“Gentry’s dad is a lawyer,” Mikey continued, “I’m not going to pit the school against him.”
“The school can go to hell.” Zach replied as Mikey pulled away from him. “It’s their own fault. Gentry gets away with everything; he beat you up, and he’s still here. He’s like the Teflon Student! Nothing sticks to him; that’s not right.”
“Yeah, and guess who took over for Nilla.” Mikey spoke up.
Casey glanced up at Mikey, and after chewing over his macaroni and cheese for a good minute asked, “Who?”
“Mr.Johnson. Mr. Lee Johnson.”
“Ohh. Gentry’s dad. Yeah. Wasn’t he was already active in the PTA? I saw him in the office a few times.”
“It’s obvious by now. Gentry wrote the e-mail. And now his dad took over the vice principal slot.”
“They probably worked together. Shameless.” Casey tsked and sighed as he shoved a hearty spoonful of macaroni into his mouth. He slowly chewed it over as Mikey continued,
“That works for both of them, too. What’s the word, uh…”
“Symbiosis.” Said Felix, to which Mikey gave an approving nod.
Casey sighed in exaggerated frustration, “Gods. That’s just… shallow. It’s so disappointing what happened to Gentry--- to think I used to be friends with him. He’s changed.”
Zach raised his fork, “Hold up.”
All eyes fell on him.
“There’s something missing here. Gentry hates his dad, he wouldn’t want him working here. I’m sure of that. But I wonder why he would want Nilla out in the first place. I don’t think they ever got along, but to go so far is drastic. It doesn’t make sense. There’s something missing…”
“You’re looking into this far too much, dear.” Casey drawled in reply.
Mikey cut in, “You know what? I think Gentry had an interest. A lot of people here have a high GPA, so the Valedictorian is selected based on an essay they submit.”
Casey grinned, “Ahhh, and the vice principals review it. That’s so… Hey Mikey, you should run against him.”
“That’s what I’m planning.”
Zach put down his fork, “Is that the real reason you aren’t suing?”
The table ignored it, and Casey asked, “Zach, are you hanging up posters after school?”