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The Little Guy
Terry Scheffield had always been the little guy. Only five foot six in height and a hundred and thirty eight pounds soaking wet. He had been always picked last in gym and never made the football team because he was too small. Although if you ask anyone from the team, they'd tell you he could hit harder than anyone on it. That's how he got the nickname "Rudy". Everyone at Formoth High would be lying if they told you he wasn't the most feared guy at school.
Terry was known for his short fuse and wicked physical strength for a tiny guy. One day, a typical high school jock named Buddy Giege made the mistake of calling him "midget boy". Terry was on him before the victim could say anything else. Terry left that fight with a ten day suspension and totally unscathed, except for his knuckles of course. The jock wasn't so lucky. He spent three days in the hospital and was afraid what would happen if he pressed charges. Yes, sir, Terry was a regular Joe Pesci.
Terry idolized former heavyweight champion of the world Rocky Marciano. Not the biggest guy in his weight class, but he wasn't afraid of fighting anyone, just like Terry.
I'm writing this today because Terry died yesterday afternoon. He was found beatin' to death with a blunt object. Terry was only seventeen years old. No one knows who did it or what kind of people he was involved with who would beat him to death, but with his temper and willingness (almost obligation) to throw the first blow, it could've been anyone. I should've known something was wrong when he didn't invite me. We were always together.
Terry was my bestfriend. We've been best friends since sixth grade when he pulled three bullies off me and clocked them each once and they ran off. I developed a close relationship with Terry. He needed me and I needed him. We were always hip to hip after that day. Terry himself was not homosexual but even though I am, it didn't change anything between us. I started feeling this way when I was nine. I started dressing differently from the rest of the boys and that's probably why those boys attacked me that day. I was still another person to him and both I and himself considered him my personal bodyguard.
Terry's funeral was today. Almost everyone from school was there to pay their respects, including all the teachers. The school actually shut down for the whole day so they could have the funeral in the gym all day.
When I walked up to him, I spent a good twenty minutes looking him up and down. The fellas at the funeral had done h*ll of a job putting him back together in that Rudy form we all remembered. They must've spent so much time on his face and head that they either didn't bother or simply forgot to fix the rest of him. When I looked at his knuckles, I saw some seemingly raw scrapes and scrathes on all eight of his knuckles. Terry went out fighting. Probably busted one or two of their noses and may have knocked one of them out. That thought put a big smile on my face.
Other than his haggard knuckles, Terry looked like he always did, wild and rebellious. I had never seen him in a suit. It was sad that the only time I got to see him wearing one was in a casket...
I talked to his mother (his father passed when Terry was in fourth grade). She seemed calm, but that was for show. I could see the water in her eyes.
Exactly one month ago today is when Terry passed. Everyone at Formoth has seemed to forgotten about it already...Not me. He crosses my mind a billion times a day and it's hard to think of anything else. Terry Scheffield was my best friend, my ONLY friend. So now I have nothing. My parents, or any of my family for that matter, haven't wanted anything to do with me since I came out.
I wish they could've beat me to death instead of Terry. They'd have got more satisfication beating to death a gay kid than some tough, loud mouthed little guy.
I visited Terry's grave today. He's buried in his families own personal plot. He's surrounded by great uncles and aunts, great grandparents, and of course his late father. There were still many flowers, cards, and wreaths on it. So I added something to the collection, a picture of Rocky Marciano. It was a picture The Rock had autographed himseld after his famous last bout with Archie Moore. His great grandfather had gotten it back then and gave it to Terry when he was ten. It was his most prized possesion. I'm not leaving it there. I layed it down and put a big rock on top of it so it wouldn't blow away. I'd come back for it tomorrow.
Terry's parents let me look through some boxes they were gonna put in storage to see if I wanted a little momento (other than the Marciano picture). There was so much stuff: an asortment of Peewee baseball trophies, some boxing gloves, dumbells, books by Dean Koontz, a ticket stub from a Black Label Society concert we went to last summer, etc. The only thing I took, the only legit picture in the box, was a picture of Terry and I that his mother snuck of us during last Thanksgiving. We had been wrestling around, he had me in this weird headlock and his mom thought it was the perfect opportunity to take a picture. Both of us had these horsy and funny looks on our faces. We were laughing and expressing our refusal. Terry said he was going to throw it away as soon as his mom developed the pic, but he had kept it, probably in a sock drawer away from public eye.
Wow, I was and still am in shock after I found this journal. I haven't thought about Terry in years. It's been a little over ten years since he was murdered. Now all my memories are coming back. It saddens me that I forgot about him for so long.
Terry, Terry, Terry. My old friend from Formoth. I thought I had lost this in the move to Indianapolis. When I lost this, I lost my memories.
I read this from front to back and realized for the whole two years I wrote this, Terry came up in every
entry. He helped me through everything and I forgot he ever existed. Wow...
I guess it just happens sometimes. To quote Stephen King: "People come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant".
I also realized Terry was with me everywhere I went these last ten years. Without realizing, I had been taking all the advice he had given me all these years subconsciously.
Like when I got my first real job, Terry had said "Make them remember you. Dress nice, be clean shaven, have your hair neat, no jewelry on you, and talk intelligently. And always make sure to brag about your high knowledge of whatever. The job is yours, kid".
Even when I met my first boyfriend, Terry was there. "Just remember, it's all about confidence. No sweating, stuttering, or red face".
Terry, I never got a chance to thank you for all your help. I never even had the chance to say "I love you" or "goodbye". So I'll say it now. Tomorrow, I'm getting rid of this old journal for good and the picture of us I found within the the pages (not the Mariciano picture though. You loved it too much to be thrown aways. I'm keeping that locked away in the attic). I'm throwing it in the fireplace. I have to forget you, it might take another ten or twenty years but I have to let you go once and for all. I can't let your death be in my mind forever. I love you, but it's too much for me to handle. I wasn't and never will be as tough as you. To quote S.E. Hinton's 'The Outsiders', stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.
Love, forever and always,
Gregory Simon Bodelle
P.s. Thanks, buddy, for all your help over the years. No one living will ever be more a part of my life than you are.