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"Thanks for driving me home." Zack said trying to act as if every thing was normal and didn't know Atom's secret.
"Ummm you're welcome Zack." Atom's dad mumbles. "So when am I going to met this girl, Atom?" His dad just asked out of the blue. He seemed very happy to think that his oldest son had finally gotten a girlfriend. Zack shift in his seat a little.
"Don't worry dad, you'll meet her soon. Remember, me and her are taking things slow" More
like VERY slow. Zack's mind throws at him.
”I'm proud of you Atom.” His dad looked at him though the rearview mirror, “You're the oldest and you have to set a good example for your younger brothers. And by having a girlfr...”
“Can we not talk about this right now?” Atom snapped shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
“Fine we'll continue this conversation later.” The rest of the drive was silent.
Slowly the car stops in front of Zack's house, a small white house with a bright red front door. "Thanks again for driving me home and Atom-" Zack said as he opened the door after he unbuckled his seat belt. Zack looks him straight in the eyes. "I'll see you tomorrow at school and good night."
Atom nods and replies. "See ya there, Zack. Good night." Zack looks at Atom's father with an half emotionless half tiring look.
"Good night Sir." Atom's dad nods and utters under his breathe "You too." Zack could tell that Atom's dad didn't like him that much and he could clearly see it when ever he looks at Zack and could hear it in his deep, strong voice. Zack walks away from the blue car and quickly heads to his house. As soon as he opens the door, his parents rush towards him with worry/angry looks staining their faces.
”Where were you?” His mom demanded, “We've been trying to call you for hours and were this close to calling the cops.”
”I'm sorry, I bumped into Atom and hung out with him the rest of the day. His dad even gave me a ride home.” His parents looked relived yet still angry. Relived that he was starting to socialize again, but angry that he didn't call.
“We'll let it go this time but next time tell us were you're going, okay.” His dad said.
“Yes.” Zack agreed.
“How's Atom doing?” His mom asked, “You've haven't mentioned him in awhile.”
"Oh he is doing great." Zack says throwing a weak grin.
"I heard from his mother that he got a new girlfriend isn't that sweet?" Zack was a little shock; he had no idea that his mom was still friends with Atom's mom.
"Yeah I guess so..." His father starts to but in by saying. "It is more then great, Atom's starting to be a man. He's a good kid."
Zack nods awkwardly. "Ummm yeah what ever you say dad." His father grins a little.
"Let’s eat dinner before it turns cold." Zack looks at his father, who made a grossed out face. "It’s meatloaf." His father mouthed to him. Zack flinched and his mother turns to them. They both threw weak smiles at her. "Can't wait to dig into that yummy meatloaf, my darling." Said Zack's dad.
"Me too mom, I can't wait!" She smiles.
"Then I should make it all the time since you both love it so much." She wasn't kidding.
"Oh that would be just great, dear."
Zack smiled as they say down to eat. It was nice to know that his parents cared enough to work at making sure he healing though his sister's death. His parents loved him and he knew it. And now he couldn't help but wonder if Atom felt the same kind of love when he was at home. Or worse what it felt like to have to hide who you really are from your own family.
Dinner passed and Zack gladly helps his parents clean up. Zack's dad was putting a dish away, his mother was putting the left overs into the fridge and Zack was cleaning the table in a daze. He stares at that empty chair next to his and he felt the flashbacks threaten him once more. He breathes in deep and slow trying to calm down himself. "Zack, are you finished yet?" He shook his head to clear it but the images still threaten to attack his mind. He would not let his parents freak out over this again, the last time it happened he had to go to the hospital to check if he was having a stroke or something. "Zackie, you okay?"
”I'm fine.” Zack said taking a deep breath.
”I know you miss her.” His mom said hugging him close, “But she's in a better place now, watching over you. She wouldn't want you to be sad.” Zack nodded wiping his eyes as tears started to leak out. A small don escaped his lips. Now that he things back to it this was the first time he'd actually cried over his sisters death. "It's okay to cry, my little Zackie." As his mother hugs him tighter, more tears escapes from his eyes and small sobs left his shaking lips.
"Mom?" He sobbed
Zack took in a deep breathe to try to regain some sort of control of himself again. "Is it a good thing to dream about the dead?" At first his mother didn't answer and Zack thought he had scared her.
"Wha-what do you mean by that?" She asked trying not to flip out.
"I...keep having dreams of "her" for a while now...and I was wondering if you had dreamt about her too." He didn't know why on earth he was telling her this, maybe it's because he just felt like he could finally trust her now.
"I-No, Zackie...I haven't." It got awkward again. I hate it when things get so awkward! Zack yells in his head.
"Hey Zack, you're missing the game!!!" Zack's dad complained.
”I'll be right there.” Zack yelled back.
”Zack,” his mom stopped him, “It's alright to dream about her. It's your way of keeping her real in your mind.” She treasured him, “It's just your way of coping.”
”Thanks mom.” He smiled as he went to watch the game with his dad.
He didn't believe her; deep down inside him he knew that there was something more to the dreams. He sat down next to his dad and watched the game and finally it was time for bed. He knew his mom would probably either tell his dad or keep it to herself but he didn't care, he was too tired to think anymore. He walks up to his bed and fell flat on his face. Slowly he starts to drift and soon he had passed out. The dreams would soon attack him and maybe even give him a secret message or sign or more things to fear of what is to come.
”Dude, you should try sleeping with cucumbers on your eyes to get rid of those wrinkles.” Atom said as he slouched against Zack's locker the next morning, “Seriously.”
”Very funny Atom,”
”Cheer up, you wanted to meet Kimmy today didn't you.”
”You’re going to let me meet her.”
Atom rolled his eye, ”Come on she should still be by her locker.” Zack followed Atom through the hallway excitedly. He couldn't wait meet her.
”Hey Atom,” a girl with short brown hair and green eyes smiled at them,
”You must be Zack.” Zack could only nod dumbly, she looked hat like Karman.
"Ummm Atom, is there something wrong with your friend?" Kimmy asked.
"No why would you say that?" Atom replies confused.
"Well first off, he's staring at me really weird like." Atom looks at Zack who was staring at Kimmy like she was a ghost.
"Yeah he hasn't been around girls for awhile so." Atom shrugs.
"Oh...OH! Is he you're..."
Zack snapped out of it quickly almost screaming out. "NO!" Kimmy stares at Zack with an awkward look while Atom stares at him with hurt bright blue eyes. Zack suddenly felt really guilty and stupid. "No, we're not...Sorry." He mutters under his breathe. Kimmy nods slowly while Atom made a sort of quick recovery.
"He's my best friend and nothing more Kimmy." Atom says in a strong voice.
"Oh okay." The bell rang like angry monster just awaking. "Well I better get to class Atom." She slams her locker and glares at Zack burning green eyes that sent shivers through Zack. It reminded him a little about how Karman used to glare at him like that. "See ya, Zack." She walks over to Atom and gave him a tight hug. "I'll see you later, Atom."
With that Zack watch Kimmy walk away. "What the heck was that?!" Atom slaps Zack's arm with the back of his right hand.
"OWCH! What did I do?!"
”Staring at her like that freaked her out.”
”I didn't mean to.” Zack tried to block the next blow, “She looked a lot like Karman.” Atom's hand stopped in mid air, his looked soften a bit as he processed the new information.
”Sorry I...” Atom's voice broke off, “I over reacted. We should head to class, besides, we're late.”
”I didn't mean to react so badly when she thought that we...”
”Save it,” Atom cut him off, ”You're not into guys, I get it.” Atom's hands flexed at his side as of he wanted to reach out. ”I'll see you at lunch, Kimmy's going to be sitting with us.” And with that Atom turned towards class.
Oh great, that should be VERY interesting! Zack hissed in his head as he follows Atom to their class.
"Atom, Zack, why are you both late to my class!?" Mrs. Brown nearly screams.
"Sorry Mrs. Brown, we-" She gives them her death stare making them both frozen with fear. "Fine, I'll let this one slide, since you, Atom, are one of my greatest students." Zack heard her mumble "More like my smartest student." Under her breathe. "As for you Zack-" He looks at her when she said his name. "I'll be seeing you after school with another bad student today. NOW GET IN YOUR SEATS, BOTH OF YOU!!!!!" Zack and Atom ran down the rows of desk filled with teenagers until they made it to last row. Zack and Atom have always sat in the back together, so they could goof off when the teacher wasn't looking.
”Hey man, I'm sorry about that detention, if you want I could talk to Ms. Brown and get you out of it.” Atom said. Atom had always been a ladies man. Girls loved him and teachers adored him. So it was kind of ironic that Atom was gay.
“You would do that for me?”
”Of course I would. You're my best friend.” Atom punched him in the shoulder. Zack nodded trying not to read to deeply into the look Atom was giving him. It was the same look that Atom had always given him but knowing what he knows now he could only wonder how long Atom had liked him and how long he hadn't noticed.
"Now everyone turn to the page that we had left off from yesterday. And do please try to put more effort because you'll all be taking a test about this on Friday." Zack try’s to adnore the look of amusement on Mrs. Brown's face. She wasn't old but in fact looked very young. Big brown yet blue hazel eyes, bright red wavy hair, full lips and had an hourglass figure. She wore a brown button down shirt, black skirt that fell under her knees with brown cowboy boots. She must've moved here from Texas. Zack thought to himself. He looks out the window not caring about the story his teacher was reading. He did notice Atom listening to it though and it seemed like he was really enjoying it. Zack kept on looking out the window. He didn't care; he knew that he was going to fail that stupid test any way. Might as well do it in style. He taps the tip of his easer on his desk, day dreaming until-.
"Would you cut it out already?!" Atom's hand was on top of his, stilling him from making any further noise. Zack smiled apologetically taking note that Atom's hand lingered on his a bit longer than need be. Zack went back to looking out the window trying to lose himself in his own thoughts when a note hit him in the back, of the neck. He glared at Atom, who was doing his best to look innocent. Zack sighed opening the note, it read, “ Dude if you keep spacing out like that Ms. Brown will notice and then I'll never be able to get you out of detention. At least pretend to pay attention.”
Zack wrote back, “I'm trying but this story is so boring.”
”It wouldn't if you kept an open mind.”
”Do you mind if I ask you something?”
” Shoot.” He glanced over and watched as Atom started writing blushing lightly till he passed it to Zack, not looking at him.
”Am I really so, I don't whatever I am, to make it so that the thought of dating me made you react the way you did at the lockers?” Zack was at a loss for a response.
”What's this?” Ms. Brown plucked the note from Zack's hand. Both of the boys hearts stopped for Ms. Brown had a rule that if you get caught passing notes, she'll read them out loud.
Zack and Atom couldn't breathe, their hearts pounding hard inside their chest. "There are no passing notes in my class, Zack. You know what happens don't you?" Zack felt like he was going to pass out any moment. Mrs. Brown was about to read aloud the note when a sudden bang echoes in the class room. Everyone including Mrs. Brown whirls her head to look. Standing over Greg who was lying on the floor holding his nose was Brian. Zack and Atom stare in disbelief.
“BRIAN OFFICE NOW!!!!!!" Brian looks at her with dazzling dark brown eyes, his hair was short, messy and dark blond. He threw her a sly grin that said
Mrs. Brown nearly snarled as she screams. "GO TO THE OFFICES OR ELSE!!!!"
"Or what, you'll hit me? Oh I would LOVE to see you try babe." Brian was one of those outsider kids, the ones who have no friends and are very tough. But he was friends with Atom, Zack and the rest of their group. Brian wore a black t-shirt, black leather jacket, dark blue jeans with combat boots. He had on black gloves that you could only see his fingers and thumb. Zack looks at Atom from the corner of his eye in fear.
Atom had his hand to his chest and looked as if he was struggling to breath. Zack wanted to say something but he saw Ms. Brown move to the other side of the room to deal with Brian and the note fell from her hand. Zack groaned knowing what he would have to do. He swooped up the note and ate it. Almost instantly he saw Atom relax.
"Brian if you don't leave right now I'll call security." Ms. Brown bellowed.
"Fine, no one likes this stupid class anyways." he turned to leave smirking at Zack and Atom.
"Now," Ms. Brown smoothed out her skirt, "what was I doing before that."
"You were explaining the different metaphors in this chapter." Atom replied putting on his best good student act. "Thank