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Is this a dream or a nightmare- or neither?
Thanksgiving Break- thank goodness. I hate school and having a break is always nice. What a huge relief- just when I needed it most. Maybe life doesn’t hate me as much as I thought it did after all.
I looked over at the clock to see that it was about noon. I ran a hand through my hair in an attempt to fix it and then sat up. I blinked, unable to believe my eyes. There was someone in my room. When I gasped, the figure turned.
“Cam!” I realized as he walked closer to me. I hadn’t seen him for a while, and now he looked pale and frightened. I was sure that he knew what was coming to him.
“Um, if you don’t mind me asking… why are you in my room?” I barely managed.
“Oh… well, I can’t go talk to anyone else about skipping, you know. But you’re new to all this… I can probably still trust you, and even if I can’t, I’ll just tell you anyway. Everyone else is going to know pretty soon.”
“You know, I’ve gone all good-boy on them. I’m keeping my grades up, I quit drugs, I’ve quit hanging out with them. They’re a bad influence. Besides, I have better things to do on Friday nights.”
“Well, I certainly don’t.”
“Is that why you go to those parties?”
“I’m basically trying to fit in. Give me a break. If Kaiel wasn’t my friend, I’d be alone.”
“Okay, but how long do you think that’s going to last, Alex? He started going out with Caryn a week ago, didn’t he?”
“Yeah,” I admitted.
“And who’s he paying more attention to, you or her?” Cam demanded.
“Caryn, of course. I’m no one’s priority, Cam, you need to see that. But if that’s the best I can get, I have to take it.”
Cam shook his head. “You don’t want to continue down this road, Alex. It’s not all fun and games like they want you to think. It’s just stupid.”
“I know that.”
“Then why don’t you act on it?”
“Because even this is better than not having any friends,” I whispered.
Cam exhaled in exasperation. “Look, Alex, I’m trying to help you. Do you want to leave or not?”
“Well, yeah, kind of…”
“It’s not as easy as it sounds, Alex.”
“What do you mean?”
“Come on, Alex, they’re not going to just let us walk out of the group. They’re probably just going to beat us up.”
“Are we allowed to fight back?”
“I don’t advise it. You’re supposed to just stand there and take the punishment. If you’re strong enough, you can get away with it. If you’re not, it’ll kill you.”
“And you’re willing to take that risk?”
“Well, yeah, do you want to keep drinking?”
Cam shook his head again- the action was starting to get kind of annoying. “you may say ‘maybe,’ but your eyes tell me a different story- they tell me that you’re afraid to find out.”
My eyes widened when he said this because he was absolutely right and he had seen through the lie. Not many people can do that. It gave me some respect for him.
“Fine- I’ll start working out, I won’t go to Friday parties, and if you want, we can do something else.”
“We can watch a movie…”
“Yeah, something like that.” I sighed. “Uh, Jane likes to come into my room, so…”
“I know.” He opened the window and dropped softly to the ground. “Later,” he told me, then disappeared, like the nightmare that I wished that this was. But maybe, just maybe, he was saving me from the true nightmare of myself…