Excerpt for Emergence by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Emergence


Christopher Teese


Published by Christopher Teese at Smashwords


Copyright 2017 Christopher Teese


Smashwords Edition, License Notes


Thank you for downloading this ebook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied, and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains complete in its original form. If you enjoyed this book, please return to your favorite ebook retailer to discover other works by this author. Thank you for your support.


Emergence


14 year old Will Shepherd stood in the bathroom, shirtless, in his blue flannel pajamas, looking intently at himself in the bathroom mirror, hands firmly clasped on either side of the bathroom sink.

He didn't move. Just stared at himself.

The bathroom was dark. The only source of light was the small nightlight on the middle of the wall to the right of the sink. He would be able to see well enough even if it weren’t there, though. His eyes had adjusted to the darkness.

He stared at himself in the mirror. At the fake twin image of himself. But what he saw reflected there was not a reflection of the same Will Shepherd that the rest of the world saw and knew.

He only saw an abomination. A doppelganger.

He looked ugly. He hated himself.

That's not to say that he actually thought he was physically bad looking. What he saw as ugly was not his outside physical appearance. No, he was seeing past the facade. He was seeing past the image he had been trying so hard to build and maintain in front of others and himself.

But today had been a bad day. A really bad day. Moreso than ever before, as he looked into the mirror, he could see the truth staring back at him, stronger than before, and the truth was so utterly repulsive to him.

Oh, God.

He felt as if he were at an epiphany. Like he was finally on the verge of admitting it to himself.

Admitting it to yourself was the first step. Then once you did that, you could choose to divulge your newly confessed truth to the world and live with the consequences, or you could choose to hide it forever and live in silent pain for the rest of your life.

Of course, you could also deny the truth to yourself and try living out your life based off the lie that you have already crafted and preferred to tell yourself, but wasn't that what he had already been doing? He felt pretty miserable.

No. No.

Yes, he was on the verge of confessing it to himself. But he didn't want to. Couldn't.

He closed his eyes and started thinking of Julie. Of Addison. Betty. Matilda. All the prettiest girls in school. He tried to imagine himself with them, in various scenes in which he was in heated make-out sessions with each one of them and… more.

Nothing. I feel nothing. Why do I feel nothing?

In his fantasy, he was going at it with Matilda. Thinking about her pretty, long, curly brown hair, her smooth lips, and her tight gorgeous body.

His tongue was in her mouth, and their hands were in each other’s hair. Their bodies were pressed close as they passionately grinded up against each other.

Yes... this is it... this is the way things should be...

Fantasy Will pulled away from the make out session briefly to look into Fantasy Matilda's eyes, but was horrified to see that Fantasy Matilda was no longer Matilda anymore but had become Fantasy Jake.

NO!!!

No no no no no no!!!!!!

Will slammed his fist hard into the side of the sink. His hand was going to smart later, but he didn't care. Breathing heavily, he held his head in his hands and shook it violently as he slowly sank down onto the floor.

He tried to kick the fantasy out of his head. But now that it was already there, it was unstoppable. He wanted to be rid of it, but there was something else, something much deeper, that pushed him hard to continue the fantasy.

He was trying to push it out of his mind. But he was losing the battle.

Jake had resumed the passionate make out session and was kissing him hard now. In the fantasy, they were in the middle of the school hallway, alone. Even though Will knew this was the last place he would ever want to fathom something like this taking place, he found that he didn't really have much control over where the fantasy was taking place either.

Jake was furiously attacking his mouth. Will found himself melting in Jake's arms in a way he never could have with Matilda. He was putty in Jake's embrace. He reached up to grab Jake's hair and started returning the kissing with a fiery passion.

Jake made a sudden movement and slammed Will up against the lockers. Fantasy Will didn't protest, but instead welcomed the roughness and sweet, sweet brief rush of pain that pulsed throughout his body. He wanted Jake to be rougher...

Then the scene abruptly shifted to Will's bedroom. Jake was shoving Will down on his bed, then was on top of him, kissing his neck, moving his hand up Will's shir...

NO!!!!!!!!!!!

Will was lying in the fetal position on the floor. He was crying now.

Why? Why did this keep happening to him?

Dare he admit it? Dare he admit that he was actually...

Will tried to throw the mental image out of his head. Tried to imagine Matilda replacing Jake once more. But Matilda reappearing in his fantasy and him imagining kissing her like he had been Jake made Will feel like throwing up.

Will reached up and grasped the sink, slowly pulling himself up.

He looked at himself in the mirror and was even more horrified now at the image he saw.

"No!" he whispered angrily to himself, tears still coming to his eyes. "You can't be like this! You just can't! This isn't the way you're supposed to be!"

When he had first hit puberty, everything had seemed alright. He had gone on a few dates. Even received his first kiss (from a girl). But for some reason, things had never gone any farther than that. He couldn't really explain why. They just didn't.

It was himself. He knew it was himself. It was like there was some kind of mental block in his mind that he couldn't explain.

But it had begun to dawn on him as time went on. It wasn't girls that got him all hot and bothered. It was other guys. This had profoundly disturbed him. He had tried to push it out of his head right then and there. He was determined that he wasn't going to be gay. He was going to be straight. A ladies man. Like his older brother, Tom. It was his choice.

Except it kind of wasn't. Will never fantasized about girls. He couldn't. He tried. But his fantasies always found themselves going back to the boys at school.

Jake was openly gay, Will knew. And single.

Jake was always nice to Will. Of course, Jake was always nice to everybody. But he always seemed extra nice to Will in particular. Will wasn't sure if he was just imagining it or if it was just wishful thinking.

Will usually went out of his way to avoid Jake. He didn't want to, but he had determined he wasn't going to give into his unnatural desires. He had been determined he was going to beat this at all costs.

But he never could.

He had seen Jake this afternoon. They were on opposite sides of the hallway. Jake had seen Will across the hallway and had smiled brightly, waving at him.

Will usually returned such gestures. But he couldn't today. His thoughts about Jake had been at their all-time strongest this morning. He had been so upset over it he couldn't think about anything else.

Seeing Jake this particular day, and that warm, kind way he had smiled at him had nearly caused him to crack.

Will didn't smile or wave back. He immediately did an about face and starting walking really fast in the opposite direction.

His brain had been a blur at that point. He walked past a janitorial closet. Deciding it was the most preferable place he wanted to be in his current state of mind, he looked around to see if anyone else was looking in his direction and then discreetly slipped in.

He had started sobbing.

He had cried for two reasons. One, because he could not control or repress his pent up feelings. And two, because he knew Jake had seen his reaction, and he was now thinking of how Jake probably felt.

Could it have been, that Jake had a crush on Will like he had been secretly hop... thinking? And now he had gone and blown that. Jake's feelings were probably hurt. Will would probably run into him tomorrow, see him with some other guy, and his heart would...

Will had passed by Jake towards the end of the school day. Will had been so lost in thought he hadn't realized Jake was even in the crowded student hallway. He saw Jake, but Jake didn't even look at him. This made Will feel like crying again.

Tom had told him he looked upset on the way home. Will had denied it, but Tom didn't seem to buy it.

Tom...

The thought of his brother brought another surge of rage through Will.

Will had been hurting really bad that evening. But he and Tom were playing Street Fighter on their Playstation 3 in the living room. The rush of competition and spending time with his brother had been helping to take his mind off his problems. Then he and Tom had started getting a little too competitive and things ended up turning into a wrestling match in which they started shooting off typical good natured insults at each other, until Tom suddenly let loose with one that was unforgivable: "Bring it on, faggot!"

The words had felt as if they had struck Will hard at the center of his soul. He almost lost control of himself again.

Tom had noticed Will's hesitancy, but misunderstanding it, had laid in some more.

"What's the matter? You want some more or not? Come on and take it like a man! Unless you like to take it like a girl!"

Will had slugged him. Hard.

He realized what he had done only the moment after his punch connected, and a very shocked Tom went falling on his back, a little bit of blood in his mouth.

"What the HELL...?" Tom had said angrily.

Oh crap shouldn't have done that shouldn't have done that

Tom leapt up and a punch of his own connected with Will's face. Will just sat there stunned and looked at Tom. Tom's eyes were anger (hate) filled.

Will wanted to cry. Instead he got up and headed for their room.

"Lay off me!" he had said.

"Lay off YOU? YOU'RE the one who got so competitive you punched me hard in the face! HEY!" Tom had yelled.

"DON'T YOU DARE TALK TO ME!" Will had yelled as he entered their room and slammed the door hard.

"WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM, MAN? WHAT'S BEEN UP WITH YOU TODAY?" his brother had yelled.

Will didn’t answer. He jumped onto his bed and laid on his side. He didn't move. He didn't cry. He was feeling so much hurt on the inside he couldn't process anything. Tom didn't come in the room after him or hardly acknowledge him for the rest of the day.

Will had laid on the bed until their mom had gotten home and fixed dinner.

The dinner table was more awkwardly silent than usual. Mom hadn't realized both he and Tom had bruises on their faces until they were all sitting together. She was a little livid over the fact that they had gotten into a fight where they had bruised each other, but she couldn't get either of them to tell her what it was all about.

Tom couldn't tell her because he honestly didn't have a clue. And Will couldn't say because... well, he just couldn't say. Mom had told them they had until tomorrow evening to sort out their differences or they were both grounded.

Will felt his brothers' eyes on him the entire meal. Will couldn't look him in the face.

Tom didn't speak to him the rest of the night. Tom had spent the rest of the night playing his game by himself, and Will had spent it on his laptop.

When 10' o clock came, they both climbed into their beds without a single word to each other. Tom drifted off within minutes. Will couldn't. He was still too upset.

Will couldn't explain to Tom why he did what he did. Ever.

Not after what Tom said.

"Bring it on, faggot!"

It was an insult. A playful insult, but an insult nevertheless. It was meant to imply that being gay somehow meant that Will was less than human. At least, that was the way he felt.

"What's the matter? You want some more or not? Come on and take it like a man. Unless you like to take it like a girl!"

He couldn't explain how Tom's words, playful though they had been, had brought on such sudden indescribable emotional pain.

It was at that moment that Will's real identity shown through. At least in his subconscious, he confessed to himself in that who he really was. And he hurt.

Tom's epithet was not merely just a humorous insult. It was an attack on his identity, rejection of him for being who he was.

Will looked at himself in the mirror and started to laugh. It was not the laugh of humor.

His laughs were as silent as he could possibly make them, as he didn't want to wake anybody.

"I'm gay." he whispered to himself in the mirror, and laughed some more.

So, that was it, was it? The jig was up? He had finally confessed it to himself?

His mind still didn't want to believe it. But his subconscious was telling him otherwise.

He found himself slowly collapsing to the ground again. He curled up into a ball in the fetal position.

"I'm gay." he whispered again to himself.

Yeah... that's why it hurts so bad. So much.

Will didn't want to be gay. He wanted to be normal. He wanted to fit in. Now, because of this, he would be an outcast. If people knew, if anybody ever figured him out, he would be constantly made fun of and ridiculed.

He already had to put up with some bullying because he was a total nerd. He could only imagine what he would have to go through once his true sexual identity became known.

And Tom...

Tom has already rejected me.

Technically he actually hadn't yet. But he would.

He imagined confessing his secret to Tom. He imagined the disgusted look Tom would surely get on his face. His and Tom's relationship would be torn apart. Tom probably wouldn't even want to sleep in the same room with him anymore. Not that they had much of a choice in the tiny house they lived in ever since their parents had gotten a divorce.

And then the ridicule wouldn't just end at school. He could only imagine the torrent of insults he would have to put up with at home from Tom.

He had already done it. He had already shown EXACTLY what he thought of gays. Will didn't think he could handle being hated by his brother.

As much of an ass as Tom could be sometimes, he was the closest thing in the world to Will. Being hated by Tom would be unbearable.

Will closed his eyes. The scene with Jake returned.

Will found himself longing now for it to NOT be a fantasy, but a reality. He wanted to go to school tomorrow, find Jake very first thing, apologize, and tell him how he really felt.

But he couldn't do such a thing without cluing Tom into the fact that his baby brother was in fact an actual "faggot".

Will didn't even want to think about what his parents would think of him. How disappointed they might be.

He could tell Jake. He might reciprocate, and Will would find himself in a fulfilling relationship for once. But then he would be hated by everyone he cared about and persecuted by most everyone else at school.

Or he could just keep it to himself. Be accepted. Lose Jake. Live his life alone, secretly feeling forever miserable on the inside.

There was no way he could win.

Will managed to pull himself up one last time and slowly trudged back to his bedroom.

He looked over at Tom's bed. Tom was sleeping contentedly smiling in his sleep. Probably dreaming about some girl. The bruise from where Will had slugged him was still very noticeable even though it was dark.

Will started feeling angry again, but it was less anger now and mostly a very deep hurt.

Will turned away from his brother, pulled himself into his bed on his side, and pulled the covers all the way over the top of his head.

Tomorrow he was going to have to make a decision. Either way, he was sure it was going to hurt like hell.

He wanted to just fall asleep and forget, if for only a blissful short time, that this day had actually happened. But then the sobs started to come. They were heavy. He tried to be as silent as he could, but he had officially lost all control.

"Will? WILL!" Tom said in an elevated whisper.

Will felt his comforter being pulled back.

Shit.

He had been too loud. He had woken Tom up.

"Will? What's wrong?"

Tom sounded genuinely concerned. As Will turned to look up into Tom's face, he could see actual worry etched in his brother's face. The anger from earlier seemed to be long gone.

Worried, is he? Will thought. Well, let's see just how long he's worried. Let him know. Let him know his brother is a stupid little "faggot" after all. Might as well. Might as well hurry up get the rejection over with. I'm sure I won't be able to hide it forever anyways. Why not? I'll tell him. Then he can hurt me. Hurt me like the worthless little faggot I am.

In between heavy sobs, Will simply looked up into his brother's eyes and said: "I'm gay."

Tom's face took on a look of confusion, then shock, then finally lit up as he suddenly put two and two together and it dawned on him. "Oh, God." he said.

Here it comes. Will thought. He was prepared for whatever was about to happen. He just hoped it came and went quickly.

Tom sat down on the bed, grabbed Will, and gently pulled him into a hug.

"I'm sorry, Will. I'm so sorry. I didn't realize... I mean... I didn't mean what I said the way I did earlier. I didn't know!"

Tom sat there, holding him, not moving the rest of the night, as Will continued to sob, feeling the pain beginning to wash away for the first time in nearly a year.


The End.


About The Author


Christopher Teese lives in from Houston, TX. He has written several books, mostly of the drama/dark fantasy variety.


Other Books by Christopher Teese:


The Pit


The Pit 2: The Boy Who Lived In A Pit


The Pit 3: The Plastic Garden


The Pit 4: The Inverted Pit


The Death of Gemini (Poetry)


Connect With Me Online


Smashwords


Facebook Fan Page


Twitter



Download this book for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-11 show above.)