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Thesavagestrigger107

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PreviouslyOnTheSavages

The Savages, originally a dynamic group, becomes divided after Joe Bender joins, plotting to push Trae Ventura’s leadership to a demise. Joe targets Nate Osbourne and forms a friendship with him, only to encourage him to quit The Savages after feeling neglected. Meanwhile, Alex and Gina become close after restarting their friendship. Zachary becomes Trae’s protégé, but secret romantic feelings leave Zachary in a depressive, anxious mental state. Is Trae the right one for Zachary? Meanwhile, Rufus King is the most current member of the Savages, but because of his lack of participation, most of the members ostracize him. Rose De Vil’s in danger of losing her principal status after many reports and parental concerns, but her focus on the video scandal investigation irritates the Savages, who decide to plot a direct approach against the school. Also, who created the video? In due time, you will know.

____________

Raindrops splattered inside the hallways as soon as The Savages fiercely ran inside. There were screams, chants, and wild approaches. All of the students started with confusion. Once the noise increased, teachers began to watch fearfully. A few students—Iesha, Sena, Angelika, Alyssa, and a few of the jocks and Sexxx Symbols all joined in.

Trae lifted his baseball bat and took the first hit as soon as he ran inside. BOOM. Trae’s baseball bat put a large dent in the first set of lockers. Trae screamed as he ran inside with the others.

Behind Trae, The Savages screamed “ANARCHY! ANARCHY! ANARCHY!” and Sydney tore papers from bulletin boards, walls, and jostled through two teachers.

Trae was determined to release his anger, he shouted, “We're not gonna take it. No, we ain't gonna take it…”

“We're not gonna take it anymore!” The Savages chanted behind Trae.

Felix and the Moneybags looked at The Savages in awe as they stood in the hallway. Mike Daugherty was puzzled by the commotion, and Cass was taken aback.

“What the hell’s going on?” Kyler asked Felix, who rose his eyebrows and shrugged carelessly.

Sydney grabbed the baseball bat from Trae and with aggression, the bat hit the metal lockers repeatedly. Her furious expression transformed into an evil smirk as she strutted down the hallway as everyone watched her.

She chanted, “We’ve got the right to choose and there ain’t no way we’ll lose it. This is our life, this is our song!

Gina and Lily pushed Felix and Kyler while making their mark in the hallway, and the girls looked back, putting their middle fingers up. Sydney tossed the baseball bat to Carl, who kicked the door of a classroom to walk inside.

Carl sang, “We'll fight a 1000 legions, don't pick our destiny 'cause you don't know us, you don't belong!”

Carl slammed some of the empty desks, while Mr. Baxter tried to stop him. Carl pushed him to his own desk and he was completely in awe of Carl’s actions.

Lily stood on top of Mrs. Stansfield’s desk, chanting at her while she sat in her chair. She sang, “Oh you're so condescending. Your goal is never ending. We don't want nothin', not a thing from you!”

Mrs. Stansfield was startled.

Alex broke into the teacher’s lounge, and Gina followed him inside. The teachers, including Ms. Ortiz, Mr. Baldwin and Mrs. McFadden all sat. Mr. Baldwin stood up to confront them, until Gina boldly screamed, forcing Baldwin to place himself down.

“Your life is trite and jaded, boring and confiscated,” Alex sang.

Gina chanted, “If that’s your best, your best won’t do!”

The Savages gathered together, and a few students became interested in the riot. Iesha and Angelika looked at each other before following the group to the school’s main office. Trae knew what he had to do. While the Savages were confronting the faculty, they forgot one main target: Rose De Vil. Trae was eager to break inside of the office and confront Rose once and for all.

The Savages, alongside members of the Red Hot Cheer Peppers, Cass from the Moneybags, Liam and Glenn of the Sexxx Symbols, and Matt from the Jocks, walked all together. Brian witnessed the riots and he was completely confused. Vik looked at Brian from a distance and rolled his eyes.

The Savages sang, “Whoa... whoa...”

“We're right!” Trae chanted.

“Yeah!” The Savages yelled back.

“We're free!”

“We'll fight!”

“Yeah!”

“You'll see!”

“Yeah!”

Eventually, more students began to join. Joe and Nate watched the Savages from a distance, refusing to join in the commotion. However, Nate believed this was the best opportunity for him to confront The Savages now that he quit. Joe kept his arms crossed and nudged Nate on the shoulder.

“You know what to do, Nathan,” Joe said to Nate, who looked back at him and nodded his head.

The Savages made their way to the main office, while the teachers watched the commotion from the classroom doors. They didn’t know what to do or what to say. Mr. Baxter yelled out, “Hey! Hey! Stop!”

The response made no difference at all.

The group kicked the door of the main office and Mrs. Haynes looked at the mob, immediately hanging up the phone.

“Oh, we're not gonna take it. No, we ain't gonna take it. Oh, we're not gonna take it anymore!” The Savages yelled. The students sang along.

“We're not gonna take it, no! No, we ain't gonna take it. We're not gonna take it anymore!”

“Just you try and make us!” Trae yelled at Rose, who stood from her door with confusion. The mob continued to chant as Trae spoke out.

We're not gonna take it. Come on. No, we ain't gonna take it. You're all worthless and weak! We're not gonna take it anymore!”

“What the hell are you doing? What is wrong with all of ya’ll?” Mrs. Haynes yelled.

Lily bluntly replied, “Shut up, bitch!”

Mrs. Haynes gasped and she began to take off her earrings, as if she was preparing to fight Lily herself. Lily stood close to her, “What’s up?”

“So, what’s up?” Mrs. Haynes yelled back.

“So, what’s up?!” Lily wrapped her hair in a ponytail and walked closer to Mrs. Haynes.

“Little girl, ALL THIS right here is Bankhead, little mama,” Mrs. Haynes confronted Lily. “Take your ass back down to the Yellow Brick Road.”

“Sure, you can come with me, they have treadmills there.” Lily replied.

“Oh, shit,” Iesha snickered with Angelika.

As the two continued to argue, Trae turned around to Rose again. Rose couldn’t believe what was going on.

“Really, Trae? You’re really going to risk your education—for this?”

“This is what you asked for, right?” Trae moved closer to Rose. “I told you, Rose. We don’t play games. Either you give us what we want or else.”

“Or else what, Trae? You’re gonna break a chair?” Rose didn’t believe Trae was bold enough to do anything dangerous at the school. Trae was nonchalant about her response; he nodded his head and turned back to Sydney.

Trae took his baseball bat from Sydney and placed both of his hands on the wooden object. With force, he swung the bat towards the glass windows of Rose’s office. The windows shattered and he continued to hit the windows until they were completely damaged. Trae pulled himself back to prove a point, while Rose stood in shock.

“Are you insane?” Rose yelled.

“What did I tell you?” Trae asked. He moved closer to her face. “We. Don’t. Play. Games.”

“You should’ve gave us our rights, girl,” Sydney shrugged as she and Trae walked away from Rose. Trae appointed the members of the Savages to do tasks.

“Lily and Carl, cover the cameras. I don’t care, break the hell out of them,” Trae commanded, “Syd and Alex, come with me. We got some more work to do.”

Alex and Sydney followed Trae’s lead, while Lily and Carl ran to Rose De Vil’s office. Rose attempted to chase them inside.

“Don’t you do it, don’t you dare, don’t—” The door slammed on Rose.

They locked the door on her. Carl put his middle finger up at her as they walked back, pushing everything from Rose’s desk to stand up top. Sydney removed the camera completely from the room and threw it on the ground aggressively. The camera was damaged. Rose realized the windows were shattered the point where she could go inside. She tried to run in until Gina blocked her.

“Nope.” Gina resisted.

Rose scoffed, “Woods, move out of my way or you’re out of the National Honors Society.”

“That’s fine,” Gina smirked. “But you still can’t go in. Move with Nikki Parker over there,” referring to Mrs. Haynes.

Mrs. Haynes looked at Gina, “Wh-wha… You watch The Parkers, too? Girl, that’s my show! Every night on BET, I watch—”

“Shut up,” Gina said immediately.

“Gina, what happened to you?” Rose tried to interact with her. “You went from the smartest kid in the entire school and now you’re just like…. them.”

Gina chuckled, “Intelligence is not a personality, Rose. It’s a gift. So is my social life. Something you and your screwed up faculty took from us. You took our freedom. You, of all people, should know that.”

“Haynes, call the cops,” Rose demanded. Haynes grabbed the phone, but Angelika and Brianna snatched the phone from her hand, throwing it on the ground. Mrs. Haynes stood up and pointed at the girls, trying to stay professional.

“Principal De Vil, I swear, if these were my kids, they’d need more than Beyond Scared Straight. I’m from Bankhead.”

“Oh, you’re from Bankhead—I’m from DC, baby. What’s good?” Brianna said.

“Little girl---” Mrs. Haynes began to lose patience.

____________

As Trae, Alex and Sydney began spraying paint on lockers in the hallways, writing “THE SAVAGES” everywhere. Joe Bender and Nate Osbourne watched in disbelief. Alex shakes the can continuously, while the teachers roam around the hallways, trying to spot wrongdoings.

Joe snickers as the trio vandalize school property; Trae, fed up with Nate and Joe’s behavior, becomes confrontational.

“You got something you want to say, Bender?” Trae dropped his can of spray paint and walks closer to Joe.

Joe rose his eyebrows, “Geez, Trae, take it easy.”

Sydney followed Trae from behind, “Oh, no, don’t play the victim now, Joe.”

“What are you talking about?” Joe was confused, turning to Nate.

Trae confronted Joe, front and center in the hallway. It was almost empty despite the destruction. “We got bad blood, baby. You and me—we got problems.”

Joe scoffed, “I don’t know whether to cringe at you quoting Taylor Swift or laugh at this ‘all-new’ Trae that’s in my face right now.”

“Ridiculous,” Nate scoffed and replied under his breath.

“I believe he was talking to Joe, not his dummy, Nathan Fake Osbourne.” Sydney said to Nate.

“Excuse me?” Nate replied.

“D-d-d-did I stutter?” Sydney said.

Nate rolled his eyes, “Fuck you, Sydney.”

Joe was confused, “What the hell is your deal, hunty?”

“No, what’s your deal? Are you that desperate?” Trae said.

“The pot’s calling the kettle black,” Joe commented. “Look at you, guys. Pathetic. In what world do you guys think you’ll get away with this? This is high school, not World War III. Don’t like what the school has to offer? It’s called transferring, not rioting.”

“We’re pathetic, yet you’ve been trying to take over The Savages for weeks. You wish you were just as badass as me,” Trae responded.

Joe scoffed, looking at Trae up and down, “You call that badass? I mean, did you shoplift from The Salvation Army’s thrift store just to prove a point? You guys look like hand-me-downs.”

“This is all your fault, Joe,” Alex yelled. “We’re suffering because of what you did, and you’re just too much of a pussy to admit it.”

“Admit what? How flawless I am?” Joe said.

“Dude, we know you leaked that video of Gustin and Nichols,” Alex replied. “And tried to pin it on us so you could take us down.”

“I mean—you’re right about one thing, but do you think I’m that stupid to expose two dumbass jocks who can’t hold their junk in their pants?” Joe said.

It was silent at first, and Trae looked around, “I mean, you are stupid.”

“No, you’re stupid. You’re stupid because you wish you were me. Besides playing with Dirty Dan’s boner every night, you’re pretty much known for being a closeted gay man-loving whore in denial with a 3.8 GPA. You’re stupid for thinking that Nate was your friend when in reality, he hates everything about you. You’re stupid for thinking I wanted to be in your little clan of Ghetto Teletubbies…”

“—Laa-Laa over here…” Joe pointed at Sydney.

“You’re Dipsy…” He said to Alex.

“And Tinky-Winky….” Joe said to Trae; he chuckled hysterically until Trae balled up his fists.

At this point, Trae grabbed Joe by his neck, pushing him to the men’s bathroom door. Alex and Sydney followed him, while Nate tried to pull Trae off of Joe.

“Get the hell off of him, what the hell?” Nate yelled, until Sydney pushed him down to the floor, slipping on the puddles of the rain on the floor.

“That’s for being a follower with no mind of your own,” Sydney said before walking back to follow Trae, who continued to have Joe in a chokehold. Alex rooted for Trae, in contrast to holding him back from Felix days before.

Nate retaliated towards Sydney, by pulling Sydney’s hair and yanking it. Sydney squealed until she kneed him in between Nate’s legs. Nate grunted. Rose and the students, including Gina, Lily and Carl, could hear the commotion in the hallway.

They could hear Trae yelling when Joe pushed and pinned him to the ground. Alex tried to pull him off, but Joe put Trae in a chokehold.

“I thought we were friends, Trae!” Joe yelled hysterically. “We could have taken the world by storm, man.”

Joe’s body wrestled with Trae’s on the floor. Sydney was too occupied with attacking Nate that she didn’t notice Trae was in a bad position.

“You’re not stronger than me, Trae!” Joe yelled. “You fucked up, man… You—”

Joe felt a hit on his head. He fell to the ground, grimacing and grunting in pain. Trae tried to breathe until he saw Zachary standing right in front of him with a baseball bat in his hand.

“Nice hit,” Trae complimented him.

Zachary tossed the bat to Alex, “I wanted to do that ever since Oregon. Piece of shit.”

Joe slowly stood up from the ground, inching towards Zachary to retaliate. Zachary slowly walked backwards, but he looked at Trae who raised his eyebrow at him. Zachary took the initiative of hitting Joe again. Zachary punched him to the ground and briefly smiled at Trae.

Meanwhile, the students of James A. Masters High School began to riot across the hallway. Lily lead the group, yelling “ANARCHY! ANARCHY! ANARCHY! ANARCHY!”

~

A student attempted to take a Snapchat video of two students—Angelika and Iesha twerking on two tables in Mr. Baldwin’s classroom. Sena ran inside, yelling, “What the hell are you guys doing?”

“Oh, go best friend, that’s my best friend, THAT’S MY BEST FRIEND.” Iesha yelled as Angelika continued to twerk on the desk. “Yas! You better fuck it up!”

Mr. Baldwin walked inside, noticing the antics. “You guys got three seconds to get off those desks, right now!”

“What you gonna do?” Iesha yelled, stomped on the desk four times. “WHAT. YOU. GON. DO?”

The desk collapsed and Iesha squealed, “Oh, shit.”

Angelika began to laugh and Sena covered her face, “That’s what you get.”

~

The commotion continued as the students proceeded to the courtyard, witnessing a wrestling match between Sydney and Nate. The altercation between the two became public, to the point of outside viewers witnessing the fight. As staff members tried to intervene, students like Lily and Carl pulled them back, letting Sydney fight her own battle.   

Sydney and Nate flipped around the concrete, and Felix tried to stop the altercation. Trae shook his head immediately, walking towards him.

“Back the hell up, back up,” Trae yelled.

Felix pushed Trae back, still holding animosity from Trae’s attack on him days before, “Don’t touch me.”

“Take your privileged ass off the courtyard, this has nothing to do with you.”

“Make me, Malcolm F.”

Trae chuckled, “You know what—I kicked your ass the first time, don’t make it the second. Step off the courtyard before I slide yo’ ass.”

“Do it.” Felix yelled.

Before Trae could even make a move, from behind, Felix felt a kick in his balls. It was Alyssa—Trae was taken aback. Alyssa continued to kick Felix in the legs while he stood on the ground. Angelika ran to Alyssa and picked her up.

Alyssa kicked and kicked the air, screaming, “No, let me at him!”

“Alyssa, sit in the day care section, it’s too dangerous out here for you!” Angelika yelled.

Alyssa headbutted Angelika and jumped from her grasp. Angelika gasped.

“Don’t tell me what to do, bitch!” Alyssa yelled before she ran back to attack Felix. Trae pulled himself back from the commotion, while Sydney and Nate continued to wrestle.

Rufus kept himself out of the equation and watched the altercations from the windows. The students were yelling out: “Rose is a devil, I’m a rebel, I’m a rebel! Rose is a devil, I’m a rebel, I’m a rebel.”

The Sexxx Symbols—Liam and Glenn peed on the courtyard with their middle fingers up. Joe crawled outside, still suffering from head pains. As the commotion continued, Rose De Vil and the staff members stood together in agony.

All of a sudden, there were the sounds of sirens. Police cars arrived at the school rapidly. The students were resistant to move, they continued to chant, and the altercations continued to go on.

Four police officers stood from their vehicles. One officer had a megaphone, “Step back inside of the school and there won’t be any problems.”

The more he used the megaphone, the more the students chanted.

“Step back inside of the school now!”

“No, fuck you!” Trae yelled, leading the pack. The students continued to chant while police officers moved closer to the students, threatening them with force.

The students attempted to block the long-going wrestling match between Sydney and Nate. Assuming it was a completely physical altercation, two police officers ran, jostling through the students who continued to chant.

“What the hell is wrong with you?!” A student yelled.

“YOU PIG!” Another student yelled.

When the officer gets a hold of Nate, attempting to break up the fight. Another officer grabs Sydney’s hand, but his grasp slips off and Sydney runs back into the school building. As Joe continues to crawl, he finally gets Zachary where he wants him.

From behind, Joe puts Zachary in a chokehold. As his force puts them both the ground, a police officer noticed from afar. He noticed Zachary suffering.

“Hey!” The police officer yelled.

Trae also noticed Joe putting Zachary in a chokehold while protesting in front of the police. At this point, he was fed up. Joe was a problem and he wanted to end him once and for all. He didn’t care about going to jail or getting in trouble. Trae wanted to protect Zachary, and that’s what he did.

Trae ran, jostling through the mob of students. As soon as Trae made his way to Joe and Zachary, he tried to jump in to stop it, until a gunshot fired, and another was fired. Once the sounds hit the air, there was silence. Everyone stared and looked around. Joe’s arms slowly released from Zachary’s, and his face looked stunned.

Rose De Vil covered her mouth, while Alex and Carl couldn’t believe what just happened.

Everything felt like it was in slow motion—the world just stopped at the point when Trae felt two bullets piercing through his abdomen. Blood gushed from his hoodie, dripping and dancing with the raindrops in a puddle.

Trae turned around and noticed the hundreds of faces staring at him. He looked down, and looked vaguely at the officer who shot him. All of a sudden, all he could feel was gravity pushing him to the wet, dirty concrete. His face was wet with rainfall.

Zachary was devastated; he screamed, “Trae, no!”

He pulled himself up off the ground and from Joe’s proximity to run towards Trae. The students backed up as they stood watching Zachary react. Alex, Gina and Carl rushed to see if Trae was okay. Trae lied still like a corpse. He still had his pulse, but he was still unresponsive.

“Trae? Trae!” Gina’s tone of voice cracked, to the point where she was going to cry.

Alex felt for his pulse, “He’s still alive.”

The police officer who shot him was in awe himself—he walked towards Trae and the others who were near him.

“Trae, please. Don’t die on me,” Gina cried.

Zachary began to cry, “Trae, listen….”

Trae’s eyes were halfway closed, but he could still see everyone surrounding him. At this point, everything was blurry. He could barely see Zachary, but his voice still remained.

“Trae, you’re okay. Don’t leave me, man,” Zachary tried to keep him up, but there wasn’t any way to do that. Zachary continued to sob.

“Don’t leave—I love you, Trae. I love you, okay? Please don’t die on me. Please.”

Gina and Alex looked at each other with sympathy. Sydney peeked from the courtyard door and noticed Trae on the ground. She screamed, “Trae?! Trae!”

When Mr. Baldwin pulled her back, “No, don’t go over there.”

“Get the fuck off of me, that’s my friend!” Sydney yelled, running towards him and the others. Rose De Vil was still in awe. As much as she wanted Trae and the Savages to suffer—she didn’t want it to go as far as it did. The others stood in shock as well, even Joe and Felix had no words to say.

“I love you,” Zachary continued to repeat. Trae could hear those three words, and he replied slowly.

“I…. love….” Trae said, until he fainted from the blood loss in his abdomen.

Zach screams loudly outside of the courtyard, out of anger and pain. Sydney wrapped her arm around him until he escaped her comfort. The officer looked at Zachary, “I’m so sorry.”

Zachary looked up at the officer and angrily asked, “Dad, what did you do?”

Sydney, Gina, Alex and Carl looked at each other in shock; they couldn’t believe that the officer who shot Trae… was Zachary’s own father.

Thesavageslogo

__________

Media coverage caught this riot and made James A. Masters High School even more notorious than it already has been. News channels continued to discuss Trae Ventura’s shooting and the riot before it. Social media became enraged with the police officer’s actions of shooting Trae.

From the KIRO 7 News Channel, one of the news anchors reported the incident.

“This just in. Around 8:00 am this morning, a student riot at James A. Masters High School—the same high school known for a racy video scandal involving two teenage boys—just caught public eye from authorities who shot a student who was identified as 17-year old Trae Ventura.”

From 6ABC’s Action News, Rick Williams reported the incident as well.

“According to sources, Ventura was assumed to be a posing threat to the police officers during the time of the riot, apparently joining in an altercation between two other students.”

Another news reporter from a news channel commented:

“The officer then proceeded to shoot Ventura twice in the stomach. He was sent to Seattle Medical Center for hospitalization, but no further information about Ventura has been given about the status of his health. This is Monica Vazquez with your local news.”

~

Whoopi Goldberg lead the topic of discussion on the talk show, The View.

“So, if you haven’t heard about the latest news, turn up your volume because this is about to get real---and I mean, real disgusting,” Whoopi stated. “Just yesterday, a black student named Trae Ventura was shot twice during a riot at James A. Masters High School for stopping an altercation between two other students. The information on the riot is unknown, but a statement from the principal is slated for tomorrow morning at a conference.”

“I just want to know what you guys think about this,” Whoopi said. “Do you think it’s fair that this handsome young man, 17 years old, is almost shot to death for stopping a fight?”

Raven-Symone cleared her throat before speaking, “I just feel like… this is what we see every day. Same story, different cast. Young teenager gets shot by the white authorities.”

“But how do you know if the officer was white?” Candace Cameron-Bure asked Raven. “He or she could have been responsible for the shooting regardless of race.”

“The story is typical, Candace. I feel for Trae, I do. But now, it’s like… the media is trying to feed us more pity stories on black victims who are shot and killed and that’s when we all come together and Kumbaya for two weeks and forget all about it until a celebrity mentions it,” Raven claims.

~

“I feel like it’s just a crock of bullshhhhhhh…” Tamar Braxton commented on the topic on the talk show, The Real. “Like police officers—get yo’ life.”

“I don’t understand it all,” Tamera Mowry commented. “Why did the officer shoot him if he was only trying to stop a fight?”

“Maybe they thought he was a threat?” Jeannie Mai said.

“No, it was because he was black.” Loni Love bluntly stated. Adrienne Bailon nodded her head, “Yup.”

The audience applauded, agreeing with her statement.

__________

Nurses and doctors surrounded Trae, unconscious, eyes closed and covered while on a gurney. Trae’s mother, Stacey followed the lead. As the doctors immediately rushed to the emergency room, Stacey tried to run inside, but the doctors pushed her away.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, you can’t come in here while he’s in this condition.”

Stacey tried to jostle through the doctors, but they resisted.

“That’s my son, that’s my son!” Stacey shouted and began to sob. Sean came from behind to hold her back.

“Stacey, Stacey—everything’s going to be okay. The doctors know what they are doing. He’s gonna be fine, trust me,” Sean tried to be optimistic.

Stacey sobbed on Sean’s chest like a pillow, and Sean wrapped his arms around her as she cried.

Zachary, Alex, Gina, Carl, Sydney and Lily sat in the waiting room, anxious and distraught after what they witnessed. Zachary’s body continued to trembles Sydney moved next to him. She looked at Zachary and placed her hand on top of his. Zachary looked up and gave a small smirk. Gina lied on Alex’s shoulder as he looked around at the patients in the waiting room.

~

Trae lied on the gurney as the doctors and nurses began to work on him. He was bare-chested, and the bullet wounds near his abdomen were visible.

“Okay, his pulse is still going, try to extract the bullets,” One of the doctors demanded.

He was hooked to an EKG and an oxygen mask covered his face.

“I don’t know—looks like he lost a lot of blood, Doctor,” one of the nurses said.

“Damn—let’s hit plan B, then,” The doctor said.

~

“I have to go to the bathroom,” Zachary stood up with a solemn statement. He dragged himself to the restroom near the hallways of the hospitals. He looked at each window door, and noticed Stacey and Sean holding each other.

He briefly looked at one window on a door and noticed the doctors surrounding Trae. He slowly walked closer to the door and saw Trae with the oxygen mask covering his face. His eyes closed like a corpse.

Zachary felt a tear shed from his eyes. He touched the glass softly.

“How can you see into my eyes like open doors?” Zachary sang. “Leading you down into my core where I've become so numb.”

The lights began to flicker—in a fantasy—Zachary noticed everything became dark.

“Without a soul, my spirit's sleeping somewhere cold until you find it there and lead it back home.” Zachary continued.

Zachary looked back in the window of the door, and Trae’s eyes opened while the doctors continued to recover him.

He screamed out, “Wake me up!”

In a call-and-response, Zachary sang, still looking the window: “Wake me up inside!”

“I can’t wake up!”

“Wake me up inside!”

“Save me!” Trae sang.

“Call my name and save me from the dark,” Zachary sang.

“Wake me up!”

“Bid my blood to run!”

“I can’t wake up!”

“Before I come undone.”

“Save me!”

“Save me from the nothing I’ve become!” Zachary backed away from the door window and looked around, everything began to rumble.

Bring me to life.” Trae and Zachary harmonized, while Trae yells, “I’ve been living a lie, there’s nothing inside.”

“Bring me to life.”

Zachary walks through the hallways, “Frozen inside without your touch, without your love, darling. Only you are the life among the dead.”

Trae sings, “All this time I can't believe I couldn't see. Kept in the dark but you were there in front of me.”

“I've been sleeping a thousand years it seems. Got to open my eyes to everything.” Zachary sang.

“Without a thought, without a voice, without a soul. Don't let me die here, there must be something more.”

“Bring me to life,” Zachary sang.

“Wake me up!”

“Wake me up inside!”

“I can’t wake up!”

“Wake me up inside!”

“Save me!” Trae sang.

“Call my name and save me from the dark,” Zachary sang.

“Wake me up!”

“Bid my blood to run!”

“I can’t wake up!”

“Before I come undone.”

“Save me!”

“Save me from the nothing I’ve become!”

“Bring me to life.” Trae and Zachary harmonized, while Trae yells, “I’ve been living a lie, there’s nothing inside.”

“Bring me to life.” Zachary escaped his fantasy—going back to reality, only to see that nothing seemed to be working for Trae. He turned back and looked at Sean and Stacey consoling each other. He looked down and slowly walked himself to the waiting room.

__________

THE NEXT DAY

Despite the damages, James A. Masters High School’s janitors made an effort to clean up for the next week of school. There was silence—a very unusual silence. Ever since the riot, everyone just walked to their classes and no one spoke to each other. As if the shooting took a toll on all of them.

THE SAVAGES was still coated in red spray paint on the metal lockers. That morning, a majority of the students attended class that day. The Savages, however, barely. Lily stayed home, and so did Zachary. When Alex closed his locker, Gina approached him. Seeing Gina seemed to be the only bit of relief for him; he smiled at her.

“Hey,” Alex succinctly stated.

“Hey,” Gina smiled back, replying. “You okay?”

“I’ve had better days—are you okay?”

Gina, wrapping her arms around her two binders, “I couldn’t sleep this weekend, I kept thinking about what happened. It feels weird…  being here… you know?”

“I didn’t want to get out of bed either—I don’t think any of The Savages are coming to school today. After all that we’ve done, I feel guilty.”

Gina scoffed, “I don’t. Rose asked for it, honestly.”

Carl walked in between Alex and Gina with sunglasses covering his eyes.

“Please don’t tell me you’re hungover, dude.” Alex said. Gina looked at him up and down in confusion.

“Let’s just say I had a shot of vodka and counting, Dirty Dan was the hookup.”

“Or you mean you hooked up with him?” Alex raised his eyebrows.

“That, too.” Carl said.

Alex and Gina grimaced and looked away in disbelief.

“I won’t even ask—what are you doing here? I thought you said you weren’t coming in the group chat?” Alex said.

“My mom made me—it was either that or boarding school. After what happened, she wants me to transfer because it’s quote on quote—too dangerous.”

Alex sighed, “My dad threatened to assassinate the cop that shot Trae; he was cursing out the news in Spanish last night and I just couldn’t take it.”

~

FLASHBACK: Alex’s father sat across from the television in the living room. When news coverage identified the officer that shot Trae—Richard Foxx—Alex’s father went on a tirade.

“Hijo de puta! Cómo se atreven a él? Lo mataría yo mismo! Pedazo de mierda!”

TRANSLATION: That son of a bitch! How dare he? I’d kill him myself! Piece of shit!

As his father continued to speak in Spanish, Alex covered his face with the pillow on the couch. He sighed.

~

“He hates cops,” Alex looked down as Carl and Gina stared at him with confusion.

Gina sighed as the three walked together, “I just can’t believe that cop that shot him is Zachary’s dad. I feel bad for Z, he’s head over heels for Trae.”

“So, Trae was right, though—Zachary did have a thing for him.” Alex commented.

“Wait, he knew?” Gina stopped.

“Zachary was ignoring him for a few days and he thought that was the reason why.”

“Where’s Zachary anyway?” Carl said.

Gina looked back, “Do you think that he’s going to come today right after what just happened? I think he needs time.”

“Did any of you guys see Trae on the weekend?” Alex said.

“My mom, dad and I went to see him on Saturday—he’s still in intensive care; he’s in a medically-induced coma right now,” Carl said.

“This probably wouldn’t have happened if Joe didn’t strangle Zach out of nowhere.” Alex said.

A sudden voice came to approach the three. It was no one other than Felix Winchester. He seemed very careless about the situation.

“No, none of this would have happened if your little ringleader didn’t decide to destroy almost entire school.”

“If you ask me, he had it coming.” Felix continued.

Gina walked closer to Felix, “I’m curious—who asked you anything?”

“I take it you don’t remember the definition of opinion, Gina Waters.”

“Maybe not, but I’m pretty knowledgeable about the castration procedure,” Gina said with a smile. Alex looked at her with fear.

Felix nodded his head, “Oh, Gina. You’re not a tough as you claim to be. I always wondered what Ventura was thinking when he turned Steve Urkel’s little sister into the Bride of Chucky.”

Gina flipped her middle finger up at Felix.

“You know what, man, why don’t you just shut up and walk away?” Alex defended Gina.

“Alex, you know I heard Go, Diego, Go was cancelled, so I slightly can’t comprehend some of the things you say anymore. Ever thought of speaking en ingles?

Alex tried to calm himself down— “Vete a la mierda, zorra!”

“Seems like he has a lot to say to us now that Trae isn’t here.” Carl scoffed.

Felix made a sarcastic response— “Oh, wow! The little one speaks?”

“Yeah, I also chop down trees, so don’t try me, Winchester,” Carl replied.

“I know—I saw you working at The Home Depot, but I didn’t know children under 13 could work there,” Felix said.

“And I didn’t know 18-year old boys needed hair growth miracles, too. I thought that was for 30-year old men and up,” Carl claimed.

“Nice one,” Felix said. “You guys are just mad that I’m still here and your puppet master? R.I.P.”

Carl balled up his fist, but Alex pulled him back— “Stop. We just came back. He’s not even worth it.”

“Yeah, I’m not worth it. That’s not what Marisol said before she left.”

Gina gasped and looked at Alex’s reaction—but he chuckled and walked away with Gina.

“This guy,” Alex shook his head and departed from Felix’s proximity in a mature manner. Carl still stood in front of Felix with his arms crossed.

“Here’s some real talk for you, Winchester,” Carl chuckled. “I’m the last… and I mean the last person you want to disrespect.”

Felix smirked at Carl, like he couldn’t take him seriously.

You see, I’m not Trae. I don’t use my fists. We’ll just keep it to that extent. This is your warning. The next time you continue to fuck with me, fuck with Trae, fuck with any of my friends. I’m sure all the money in the world won’t cover your life support,” Carl makes a threat.

He walks away from Felix, who crosses his arms carelessly and walks towards the other direction.

___________

The students that attended school that day were to watch Rose De Vil’s public statement on behalf of the school district; in front of reporters and administrators of the school district, she had to make a statement regarding the events of the riot. In Mr. Baxter’s classroom, Gina uncomfortably sat alone. Trae was absent, so it wasn’t exactly fun to sit by herself.

Suddenly. Viktor Nichols approached her. She was surprised to see him walk to her, hence the scandal and their lack of interaction with each other.

“Mind if I… sit here?” Vik asked hesitantly.

Gina gave a small smile, “Sure.”

Mr. Baxter was nervous walking in front of his own classroom; he was a little paranoid from all of the commotion, and he feared that he’d be attacked—again. He cleared his throat as he pleulled the television inside of the classroom. The students looked at him and it made him even more nervous.

Gina’s eyes turned left as she still seemed puzzled. Why did Vik want to sit next to Gina? Is this his way of trying to give fake condolences to Trae? Is it his way of telling her that he deserved what happened?

Vik’s eyes looked straight to Mr. Baxter.

“Um, good morning, everyone,” Mr. Baxter said. “To those who are present today, thanks for hanging in there and being such good students. I know a lot has happened in the past few days and I—”

Mr. Baxter looked at Angelika and Iesha who looked very dissatisfied. Iesha crossed her arms and slowly placed a Hot Cheeto in her mouth to crunch.

Mr. Baxter immediately changed the subject. “So, before we get to our lesson of the day—your principal, Rose De Vil, is appearing on broadcast televisions to speak.”

“Um, Mr. Baxter, why do we have to watch it?” A student asked.

“Following the events of Friday, I think that it’s important we see what she has to say,” Mr. Baxter replied.

“More like bullshit,” Angelika crossed her arms.

“Mm-hmm,” Iesha replied.

Mr. Baxter turned on the television to the news channel. There stood Rose De Vil, in the middle of school district administrators. Jennifer Gordon stood across from her, expecting her to be presentable.

The bottom of the screen stated: PRINCIPAL OF JAMES A. MASTERS HIGH SCHOOL MAKES STATEMENT AFTER SCHOOL RIOT

“Good morning, everyone. My name is Rose De Vil, and I am the principal of James A. Masters High speaking on behalf of Seattle Public Schools. On Friday, our school faced a major crisis. With respect and consideration to the students who are concerned with the school’s policies, from myself and the faculty of James A. Masters High School, we sincerely apologize for being the catalyst of the shooting of one of our most intelligent students…. We…”

Rose couldn’t believe what she was reading. As sympathetic as she was, she felt like the statement was too generic and fake. She scoffed. She placed the paper front in center and ripped it in half and fourths. The audience gasped.

She threw the papers in the air and removed herself from the stage.

“De Vil, what on earth are you doing?” Jennifer Gordon asked her.

“Get that camera out of my face,” Rose was infuriated. The camera continued to follow her until she lost it.

“I said, get that [bleep] camera out of my [bleep] face!” Rose pushed the camera man down. “[Bleep] off!”

~

The students were shocked at what happened. Iesha tried not to laugh, while Felix looked at the student next to him.

Mr. Baxter turned off the television—he cleared his throat, “Okay, well, perhaps we should get to work? Everyone take out your Othello books and let’s get started.”

While Gina took out her book, Vik turned around to ask Gina a question.

“Have you heard anything on Trae? How is he?” Vik asked randomly.

Gina took a few seconds to respond due to her confusion: “He’s in a coma…. I’m just surprised by your concern.”

“I’d never wish death on anyone, even if I dislike them,” Vik responded softly. “Besides, we’re both hate this school, so at least we have something in common.”

Gina chuckled, “You, of all people hate this school? I guess the privileged white jock persona is a little too much for you to handle?”

“I’m not privileged—haven’t you heard the saying, “Don’t judge the book by its cover?””

“100% sure that’s what you did with Zachary when he was on the football team?” Gina replied. “I heard The Waterboy references.”

“Seriously? Zachary’s different. He didn’t even know the difference between a quarterback and a kicker. It’s called knowing your place.”

“Why are you sitting next to me, anyway?”

Vik rolled his eyes, “Look—I know your little Savage group is the Kidz Bop version of N.W.A. and you guys hate the police, but I was wondering if you could do me a favor.”

“No, I will not be your gay beard, Viktor,” Gina said.

“I’m NOT… gay,” Vik looked around quickly.

“How should I know? Slick Vik’s your nickname for a reason,” Gina said. “Besides, I don’t do favors for the enemy.”

“I’m not an enemy. I thought we were friends, G-Nasty?”

Gina replied, “The only words you ever exchanged with me is “What did you get for number 4?””

“Okay, fine,” Vik said. “I was just hoping your group could help me figure out who leaked the video of me and Brian.”

Gina rolled her eyes and groaned, “You’re still on that? I guess I felt bad at first, but now it’s just getting old. We get it—you got your freak on with the guy. Paris Hilton did a sex tape. So, what?”

“But—”

“—Our friend was almost shot to death and he’s barely alive and you’re asking for help over a stupid video? It’s been 2 months. No one cares anymore. The person who did it just has a reason to masturbate in front of his or her own laptop because he can’t afford PornHub Premium. If it’s not about trashing this school to the ground, I don’t want questions.”

Gina rolled her eyes, covered up her side of the desk with an open binder and began to read her book.

Vik looked at Gina with anger and tapped his hand on the desk out of frustration.

__________

“What the hell was that about, De Vil?” Jennifer yelled, interrogating Rose after her public mishap on television. Rose sat across from her in her office and she was already irritated by something else.

Rose was calmer than before, “Mother Nature can be a bitch, boss.”

Jennifer responded, “You know you just screwed up everything about this school’s reputation, right? How do you feel now that you’ve made this school look like a bunch of hooligans?”

“Oh, please,” Rose replied. “This school was already a mess before I stepped in here. I was clearly doing my job the way you asked me, and now because of your stupid rules, every single kid sends me notes in my mailbox—telling me how much they hate me.”

“Well, what did you expect? You expected to be their friends? You’re not supposed to be on their level, Rose. It’s your job to monitor the school’s academic and social efforts. Not your job to sit around and let things happen.”

“How could I monitor their efforts when all you cared about was prohibiting students from wearing weaves? What the hell type of rule is that?”

“Wearing weaves will teach these kids to spend more money on hair than education,” Jennifer Gordon said.

“So, if I was bald under my weave, I’m gonna have to walk around looking like Caillou? Bullshit.”

“Watch your language, I’m your boss.”

“I don’t care—don’t ever say that I didn’t do what you told me. I’m not fit to be a bitchy principal. Yeah, those kids are little demons, but I literally had to suffer watching a 17-year old boy get shot for seeking justice. I won’t defend what he did, but I will defend him for the fact that he was smart enough to realize how much of a wretched school district we have. And then you give me this staged, fake speech with the “Sure, he got shot, but it wasn’t our fault” response? You don’t care about these kids—you’re worse than the administrators of the Philadelphia school district. Poor lunches, barely any books. But, oh, let’s keep them for wearing weaves so we can make them suffer even more…”

Rose continued to rant, “That’s discriminatory, biased and sad.”

“You know what else is sad…” Jennifer asked with an evil smirk. “Your resignation papers.”

Rose was shocked, “So, you’re firing me?”

“You fired yourself—I’m sure there’s an extra pole waiting for you to dance on. Get out of my office.”

Rose stood up slowly. She knew she was speaking the right thing, but she hoped that Gordon would give in. But the good thing? She didn’t have to deal with going back to the school district. She walked out of the office and slammed it. She spits on her window door and departed from the district offices.

__________

The Savages stood outside of the courtyard, but it was awkward to be out there. Sydney could still see the blood stain on the concrete. Sydney, Lily, Alex, Gina, Carl and Rufus stood outside, sitting on the table together, while the other cliques seemed to interact. Carl gave a dead stare at the Moneybags.

“Sometimes, I just wish Felix never existed,” Carl said angrily. “He’s testing my patience.”

“He did it to Trae, don’t let him do it to you—he’s not worth it,” Gina replied. “We don’t need any new burdens on our backs.”

Lily began polishing her nails black. “Do you want me to sacrifice him, Carl? I know someone who sacrifices chickens, I can send him to her.”

“Are you talking about Azealia Banks or…?” Sydney asked.

Carl sighed, “I just—I just want to him to suffer. He’s all bark and no bite, and he thinks he has the right to say what he wants because he’s privileged. He acts like he’s on the Forbes list.”

“He’s not that rich, kid,” Sydney said. “His house isn’t Beyoncé’s, so that’s all that matters.”

“Okay, why don’t we just jump him?” Lily asked, still continuing polishing her nails.

Gina scoffed, “Trae would kill us, Lil. You know he doesn’t believe in that.”

“But, Trae isn’t here,” Lily said honestly. “And it’s not like he’ll know if we don’t tell him. Besides, Felix needs a taste of his own medicine.”

“Wait, what did he do to you guys?” Rufus randomly asked.

Alex—he had enough. Not only did he have to deal with Rufus being in the same clique as him, but his inactivity forced him to say something that he kept inside for weeks.

“I really gotta get something off my chest. It’s been too long and I can’t take it anymore,” Alex chuckled. “Why are you here, man?”

Rufus was confused at first. “I’m a member of The Savages? Why else would I be here?”

“Are you sure? Because I thought we were called The Savages, not The Strangers.

“I don’t get what you’re trying to—”

“—The point is, Doofus, you’re never anywhere to be found,” Alex confronted. “How can you be a part of the team when we can never count on you. Where the hell were you when we got stranded in Oregon? Oh, that’s right—you chose not to go! Where were you when we came up with the riot? Oh, you didn’t wanna do it! Where were you when Trae was shot? NOWHERE.”

“Damn, Ruf,” Lily commented.

Rufus defended himself, “Look, I’m not the type of guy that gets involved in fights or stupid pranks. That’s just not me.”

“Dude, you knew what you were getting yourself into when you asked me to join,” Carl said. “I supported you when no one wasn’t sure you deserved a spot.”

Alex sighed, “Carl—you told me to give him a chance and that’s what I did, but I haven’t seen anything ‘savage’ from him. Why is he in the group?”

Rufus couldn’t take Alex’s constant belligerence towards him, he stood up from the table and jumped off to face him.

“You know what, ever since I joined, you’ve been nothing but a bug on my back; you always have something negative to say about me and I’m sick of it.”

“Well, besides the fact that you took my quarterback title and my popularity, why would I ever want to join forces with a thief?”

Rufus chuckled, “Are you fucking kidding me? That’s what this is about? You hate me cause you ain’t me anymore, right?”

“Watch it, pendejo.” Alex warned him.

Rufus scoffed, “What are you going to do, Alejandro? Hit me?”

“Ooh, he said Alejandro, man, you better get him,” Lily instigated.

“Slap me? Kick me around? Tell me, Alex. What have you done in this group? Have you even fought anyone? Or is it just your mouth that got you in here. You say you’re badass and you’ll hit anyone, but will you really? You wanna hit somebody, why don’t you just hit me? You want to be tough? Let’s be tough. You’re nothing but a brat who lost his spot.” Rufus antagonized him.

Alex pushed him aggressively across the table. Rufus hit his head and other parts of his body as he fell to the ground, grunting. Sydney’s mouth went wide open.

“That’s it?” Lily said.

Gina got up to pull Alex back, “Okay, Alex, stop. I don’t want you to get in trouble, all right? He’s not worth it. Just like FELIX, is not worth it, Carl.”

Carl rolled his eyes, “If you say so.” In his mind, he was already plotting an attack. He didn’t care what everyone else had to say.

“Let’s go, guys, I’m in the mood for some basketball,” Sydney stood up and walked towards the court, and Alex, Gina and Carl followed.

Rufus remained on the ground, still trying to get up. Carl stopped and walked back to him.

“You coming?”

“No, let him stay there. He’s nothing but a jock who wishes he was a Savage.” Alex said. Gina nudged him and pulled him to her.

“Just leave me alone,” Rufus said angrily. Carl shrugged and followed the rest of the Savages.

Rufus stood up, watching the Savages go to the basketball court. He looked at the jocks and the other students in their cliques, and he became isolated.

“Just a castaway, an island lost at sea. Another lonely day with no one here but me. More loneliness than any man could bear. Rescue me before I fall into despair…” Rufus began to sing, while he walked around the courtyard with rage.

“I'll send an SOS to the world. I'll send an SOS to the world. I hope that someone gets my, I hope that someone gets my, I hope that someone gets my..”

“Message in a bottle…. Message in a bottle.”

Rufus continued to hover around the students, and noticed the isolated students who were different from those like the cheerleaders, the jocks and the Moneybags.

“Walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw. A hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore. Seems I'm not alone at being alone. A hundred billion castaways, looking for a home…”

“I'll send an SOS to the world. I'll send an SOS to the world. I hope that someone gets my, I hope that someone gets my, I hope that someone gets my..”

“Message in a bottle…. Message in a bottle.”

“Sending out an SOS...” Rufus ended, after staring at The Savages playing basketball. Alex shot a basketball into the hoop and everyone cheered.

“Touchdown!” Lily yelled.

“Really, Lily?” Sydney crossed her arms.

“What? Cheerleading is what I do best.” Lily said, guilty of her ignorance of sports. Gina and Ales laughed and smiled at each other.

Rufus looked one last time before deciding to go back inside of the courtyard.

_________

Zachary’s mother stopped in front of the Seattle Hospital; he sat in front of the car picking with his fingers, a part of his anxiety. He didn’t know what to feel—he just wanted to see Trae once again. He was scared something happened to him and it was his fault. It was even difficult for Zachary to look at his mother because of what his father did to Trae.

“I’ll be outside when you’re ready. I’ll be in the parking garage, sweetie,” His mother said.

Zachary ignored her and departed from the car. His mother was concerned.

“Sweetie?”

He shut the door and entered the hospital’s automatic doors. When he walked in, babies cried loudly and the environment of the building felt like rush hour. His heart began racing a bit before he approached one of the nurses near the desk.

“Um, excuse me—what room is Trae Ventura in?”

“We can only allow family visits, sir,” the nurse replied. “He’s in a coma.”

Zachary tried to find another way to see Trae—by making up a lie, “I’m his brother. I’m adopted. I was brought here by our mom. What room is he in?”

The nurse was suspicious at first, but she thought it was believable.

“Room 043, make a right and you’ll be on your way,”

“Okay, thank you,” Zachary said, rushing to the right of the hallway.

Once he saw the numbers 0-4-3, he placed his hands on the door knob, slowly giving it a twist. With ease, he opened the door, only to see Trae lying on a hospital bed. His face was covered with an oxygen mask, breathing slowly.

The sounds of the heart monitor kept ringing. Zachary closed the door and gently pulled a chair closer to Trae to feel near to him.

“Hi, Trae… it’s Zach,” Zachary softly spoke. Looking at Trae in his condition almost made him tear.

“I, um, I know you probably won’t recognize my voice or maybe you will. I never been in a coma,” Zachary gave a small chuckle. “I just—wanted to see if you were okay. I didn’t go to school today. I couldn’t eat or sleep, can’t even talk to my parents. I had another panic attack after they sent you here—so bad, I thought I’d be in here with you.”

“But—yeah, I didn’t really have any flowers or anything to give you, but I figured my presence would be better than material things.”

Zach was silent for a few seconds, “I should have saved you from those bullets. I could have done something.”

“You didn’t deserve that. I don’t think I deserve you as a friend. I don’t deserve you at all, don’t I? I’m so sorry for what happened. I’m so sorry for what my dad did.”

“Please wake up, Trae—don’t be mad at me, okay?”

Trae had no response.

“Everything feels like my fault. It’s all my fault,” Zachary slowly sobbed.

Zachary placed his hand on Trae’s, putting his head down to face the floor, and suddenly he felt a movement, and a voice responding to him; it was raspy, difficult to hear— “It’s not your fault.”

Zachary was shocked; he immediately lifted his head up. Trae’s eyes were opening, and he could feel the warm touch of Trae’s hand.

“Holy shit,” Zachary whispered to himself.

__________

The school bell rang; the final bell for dismissal. Carl was already prepared to leave. Even though he wasn’t in the mood for an altercation, he didn’t know what he was getting himself into that moment. Carl walked to his father’s van in the parking lot, which was halfway empty. All of a sudden, he passed by Felix and the Moneybags, who seemed prepared for Carl’s appearance. The only person that strayed away from the drama was Mike Daugherty.

Carl was prepared to approach him—he bravely walks in front of them.

“What’s up, greaser?” Felix said.

Carl sighed, “Winchester, you really don’t know who you’re dealing with, bro.”

“Oh, come on, now, why would I fight a minor? Isn’t that child abuse these days?” Felix looked back at the Moneybags, who laughed at his remark.

“You know your jokes are just as whack as your crew, dude,” Carl nodded and talked calmly. “Like, you guys are just—pathetic. I’m gay, and even I would get more girls than you guys ever will.”

“You need to be above legal age to do that, sir.” Kyler spoke out.

“Kyler, like you’re a pedophile, so who are you to talk?” Carl shrugged. “Everyone knows you dated Alyssa on the low.”

Kyler looked away with guilt; so therefore, he decided to keep things to himself. The Moneybags’ attention quickly went to Kyler’s at that point.

“For such a small guy, you have a big mouth.” Felix insulted him.

Carl chuckled, “I also have a big fist and I’m ready to use it.”

“If you want to hit me, hit me,”

“Don’t make me unleash the beast,” Carl chuckled. “If you want it, let’s go.”

The tension in the air increased. Carl was an army of one, but Felix had the Moneybags on his side no matter what. They were all ready and Carl? He wasn’t afraid one bit.

The Moneybags chanted, “Let’s goooooo! If you want it, you can get it, let me know!”

“Let me know!” Felix rapped.

“We’re ‘bout to break this thang up, let’s go!” The Moneybags yelled. “If you want it, you can get it, let me know!”

“Let me know!”

“We’re ‘bout to break this thang up, let’s go!”

Carl’s eyes never moved away from Felix’s—he was eager to prove that he could handle things on his own.

“If you want some, come get some,” Carl rapped. “Cause where I'm from we tote big guns, and everybody know somebody that know somebody that know something' bout it!”

Felix looked at the Moneybags with doubt and shook his head.

“And I want answers now: who, what, where, when and why? See, a lot of dudes like to act a fool, and all get all loud but that ain't my style.”

“What?” The Moneybags chanted.

“Who he gonna get and what he gonna do? Run up on me if you want to! Out there impressin' his homies, but inside, he impressin’ his mama.”

“I mop up the flo' wit em, and I kick in the door and let the .44 get em. I got fools that'll go get em. That's for him, his crew and the dudes that run with em!”

The Moneybags chanted, “Let’s goooooo! If you want it, you can get it, let me know!”

“Let me know!” Felix rapped.

“We’re ‘bout to break this thang up, let’s go!” The Moneybags yelled. “If you want it, you can get it, let me know!”

“Let me know!”

“We’re ‘bout to break this thang up, let’s go!”

Felix took the initiative of pushing Carl towards his father’s van. When Carl collapsed to the ground, the Moneybags—except for Mike—began to laugh at him. Felix chuckled and made a sardonic remark.

“Where’s your crew at, now, Touché?” Felix said.

Carl got himself back up, brushed his back off from the rust on the bottom of the van. Felix continued to vex Carl, to the point of action. Carl slowly picked out something from the back pocket of his Levi Jeans. It was wooden, round shaped and all of a sudden, swoop.

It was Carl’s Spyderco pocket knife. The blade was sharp, pointy, and apparently easy to use. After noticing the knife, Felix and the Moneybags kept quiet.

Carl looked at the group and sarcastically responded, “I told you you’ll need more than life support when you’re done with me.”

Felix stood still as Carl inched closer and closer to him with the knife, aiming for his face.

“What part of—Don’t fuck with me—do you not understand? I’m dangerous, man. So’s my dad.”

“Your dad works for my dad’s business, he’s not about that life, man,” Kyler responded.

Carl shook his head, “You don’t know my dad like you think you do.”

All of a sudden, a car stopped by right next to Carl’s father’s van. It was red like the color of blood. The person walked out with a leather jacket, shoes and jeans that were almost ripped. It was Carl’s own father. Carl had a smirk on his face.

Felix and the Moneybags were taken aback.

“Is everything cool, son?” Carl’s dad asked.

Carl’s focus turned back to the Moneybags, “Is everything cool? Or do I have to tell him?”

“Tell me what?” Carl’s father looked at Felix with angst.

“Oh, nothing—everything’s cool. We were just telling Carl how awesome of a person he was. I wanted to invite him to my party tonight,” Felix smiled with fear.

Carl chuckled and looked at his dad, “I’ll think about it—now, get out of my face.”

Felix pulled himself back, apologizing for the commotion. Kyler rolled his eyes and walked with the rest of the Moneybags, while Mike stood there, refusing to follow their lead. He was concerned with something else.

“Thanks, Dad,” Carl chuckled.

“Anything for my son,” Eric said. “You know your mom forced me to come here anyway to make sure nothing happened to you.”

“Dad, I’m fine—it’s just other things I have to worry about,” Carl said. The two began to walk away into their separate cars until…

“Carl, wait!” Mike ran towards them, and Carl was confused, but ready for more.

Carl moved closer to Mike, who pulled back, “I take it you want some, too?”

“No—I’m not like them,” Mike said. “I just wanted to know if Trae was okay.”

Carl sighed, “He’s fine. Just got the memo that he’s out of his coma, so…”

“If you get a chance to visit him, could you tell him Mike Daugherty asked about him?”

“Yeah, whatever,” Carl pulled himself back and entered his father’s van. Eric hopped back into his car and the two drove away, leaving Mike by himself.

“Daugherty, move your ass,” Kyler yelled from afar. Mike followed their lead.

_________

Stacey slowly opened the door, hoping that what she heard was true. Was Trae able to talk? Was he up from his coma? She walked inside and gave a small smile— “I know I’m probably the last person you want to see, ain’t I?”

Trae slowly moved his head towards his mom, still scarred from the medically induced coma, could barely talk as much.

Stacey sat down across from Trae with flowers in his hand.

“I remember… the first time you were sick. You were sick for two months when you were a baby. Doctors kept telling me that it was just a temporary thing, but everyday you’d get worse. Turned out, you had bad asthma. I remember the time you were just three and we rushed you to the emergency room because you ate those Christmas cookies. Now, look at where we are.”

“D-d-do you a-always have to…” Trae attempted to speak.

“…No, don’t speak—I don’t want you to feel worse than you already do,” Stacey said. She became emotional.

“Finding out that you were shot—by a police officer,” Stacey continued. “It scared me….”

“…I already lost one child to the streets—I didn’t want to lose another getting shot. You were my only hope, Trae. My only hope. You may not believe it, but I always wanted the best for you. I was hard on you because I wasn’t hard on your sister. I’m hard on you because I wanted to protect you.”

“I-I-I…” Trae continued to stutter.

“No, don’t…”

“Love you, mom…”

Stacey smiled a bit for that moment—she never heard those words from him ever since he was a child. A tear fell from her eye and she replied, “I love you, too.”

Trae’s hand slowly moved towards hers and they held each other’s hands, before Trae’s face turned away to the other side to rest.

_________

Rufus entered the football players’ locker room and Matt was the first person to notice him. At first, Matt wasn’t as pleased to see him, but he still made a response towards him.

“Surprised to see you here, Savage boy,” Matt commented while placing his football gear on his body. Rufus walked to the locker next to him and grabbed his items as well.

Rufus replied, “You won’t have to surprised anymore—I quit the Savages.”

“You what?” Matt was shocked—sarcastic.

“You heard me right.”

“Or did they kick you out?” Matt questioned.

“Sort of?” Rufus said.

“I assumed that—I saw what happened in the courtyard today. You stood up for yourself. Why did you join that club in the first place?”

“Because I felt like I wasn’t where I belonged. I didn’t feel like a jock, I didn’t feel like anything but a regular student, Matt,” Rufus said.

Matt sighed; when he stood up he patted Rufus on his shoulder, “Listen, bro. I get you’re trying to find your way in the status quo, but… sometimes, you have to know your own place. Like I said, football is right for you. You took the quarterback spot for a reason. No one plays football like you—not even Alex, no matter how much he bitches.”

“I just want our friendship back,” Rufus sighed. “No one liked me in that group because I didn’t do what they did.”

“That’s how all cliques work, man. You can’t just join a group and not do anything. Why do you think everyone disliked Waterboy when he joined the team?”

“It’s like—this whole clique thing is ridiculous. Because of this school, I don’t even know where I stand.”

“You stand with the football team, Ruf. You stand with me—yeah, I’m still angry at you for ratting on me to Lily and Iesha, but you’re still my bud.” Matt lent out his fist.

They pounded each other’s fists. Rufus was glad he was back on good terms with Matt and he felt relieved that he left the Savages.

_________

Alex and Gina made their exit from Trae’s hospital room; leaving after spending an entire hour with him.

“Glad that he’s doing well—I was scared we would lose him for a bit,” Gina commented. Alex nodded his head with no specific response. Trae was out of his mind now; it was all Gina.

Gina looked at Alex, noticing that he wasn’t saying anything, “You good?”

“I wanted to wait until later to tell you this, but there’s still a lot more I have to get off of my chest.”

“What’s up?” Gina smiled. The two decided to sit in the reception room where the couches were. There were two older people who watched them and stared. Alex turned himself around to confront them.

“Hello,” Alex said. The older people stood up slowly to depart from Alex and Gina.

Alex took a deep breath and tried to think of the words to say to her, “Maybe you still think that I’m just this lover boy that hits and quits, but… I’m honestly tired of hiding what I feel for you, Gina.”

“Alex—”

“—I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just a lot about you that I adore. The fact that we knew each other in kindergarten shows how much we were destined to be together,” Alex continued. “I know you probably won’t feel the same, but I just had to put that out there. I really like you.”

Gina was out of words at that point. She didn’t know what to say.

“Phew.” Gina responded. “Listen, Alex…”

“I know, you can’t reciprocate the same feelings I have for you,” Alex assumed.

Gina replied, “I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t say I had feelings for you, too. You’ve done a lot more for me than any other guy would have. You defend me no matter what. You always give the best advice. You even convinced me how genuine you are. You taught me not to judge a book by its cover when it comes to guys.”

“It’s not that I don’t want to be with you—I’m just scared of what I might do.”

“What do you mean?” Alex said.

Gina took a few seconds to explain herself, “I’m not perfect—not all you’d probably expect in a girl. Sometimes, I let my insecurities take over me. I just hope that, if you do agree that we should date, you would take me for me and not leave me behind like those other guys.”

“I wouldn’t do that, Gina,” Alex said. “I’ve been left behind, too. You know that.”

“I just hope you make it out alive…” Gina slowly stood up from her seat, leaving the hospital. Alex followed her lead.

She sighed when she waited for the cab to come to their direction. As they opened the cab, Alex responded, “57th and Roosevelt, please.”

Gina sat facing the windows, singing, “Broken hearts are made for two. One for me and one for you. Tell me have you heard the news, we are now in love, so I guess that I should mention that I am in no condition to put you in this position. I might fuck this up.”

Gina turned around, facing Alex while the cab driver continued to speed on.

“But whatever the case, you're my favorite mistake, more than happy to make you. If you decide to stay, know there is no escape, there's no one here to save you.”

“But you're so brave, stone cold crazy for loving me. Yeah, I'm amazed, I hope you make it out alive,” Gina vocalizes.

Alex looked at Gina and held her hand as they removed themselves from the cab.

The two strolled down the sidewalks together, and Gina continued to sing, “Please don't take my hand if you don't plan to take a stand and be a man who understands that I'm no walk in the park. All these scars on my heart…”

“It's so dark here… But if you're a warrior, there's nothing to fear, nothing to fear.”

“But you're so brave, stone cold crazy for loving me. Yeah, I'm amazed, I hope you make it out alive,” Gina vocalizes.

The song plays on, while Alex and Gina stand together face to face.

“Gina—I’m willing to take any risk, as long as I take it with you,” Alex said. “I don’t know what you’re going through, but I want to know and help you get through it.”

Gina smiled, believing every word he said. Gina pulled closer to Alex for a kiss. Their lips slowly connected and it felt like a dream. Once they locked lips, everything else to them didn’t exist. Alex finally met his goal—to find the girl of his dreams.

________

Felix’s mansion blasted dubstep music and the lights were off—neon lights flashed all around. Girls in beach bikinis were dancing, gyrating over the guys. The others were in the back, jumping in the pool. Angelika and Iesha jumped in the pool together and cheered.

Glenn Pierce swam towards them, believing in potential opportunities.

“Well, well, well,” Glenn said excitedly. Liam followed him from behind and they approached Angelika and Iesha with flirtatious intentions.

“Seems like the party’s just begun, huh?” Glenn attempted to wrap his arms around Angelika, while Liam circled around Angelika and Iesha.

Angelika scoffed with disgust, “Save your breath, Glenn, I don’t carry Tic-Tacs.”

“Oh, come on—you mean to tell me you girls don’t wanna get down with the get-down?” Glenn asked.

“I’d rather commit arson, sweetie,” Angelika smiled.

“Don’t listen to him, guys,” Liam tried to be suave. “You guys wanna dance?”

Iesha gave in— “I’m down, zaddy.”

“Really, Iesha? Really?”

“What, he’s cute!” Iesha defended.

“He’s also gay?” Angelika yelled. Iesha looked at Liam, who took a huge gulp.

“I play for both teams?”

“Whatever, let’s dance,” Iesha didn’t care, she and Liam attempted to depart from the pool until Vik ran to the four.

“Guys, guys—have you seen Felix? I can’t find him anywhere.” Vik asked Angelika, Iesha, Liam and Glenn.

Glenn shrugged, “Don’t know, don’t care.”

“I don’t know, why?” Angelika asked. “You need someone to pay for your gay porn debut?”

“No,” Vik said angrily. “I need to talk to him—someone just told me they know who leaked the video.”

“You’re still on that?” Iesha sighed.

Viktor yelled, “Yes, I am, Iesha.”

“Don’t yell at me,” Iesha yelled back.

“Yeah, don’t yell at her!” Liam yelled at Vik as well.

“Well, if you know who did it now, why do you need to talk to him?” Glenn was confused at first.

Viktor bit his tongue for a few seconds and slowly looked around before responding, “Because the person that did it was his boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” Everyone said in unison.

“Who the hell is his boyfriend?” Iesha said. “We never knew that.”

Angelika replied, “Of course we wouldn’t. No one really cares about Felix, we only care about his free-for-all parties.”

“If I tell you guys who, will you promise not to say anything? I’m serious.” Viktor said.

“Whatever,” Angelika said.

Viktor looked around and kneeled down. Someone from afar watched Vik interacting with the others; the person walked away and left Felix’s house, wearing a hoodie. As soon as the person left, they went into a black car and put the key into the ignition.

The person took off the hoodie, and there was Kalleb Banks, the tech. His fingers wrapped around the steering wheel as he began to drive away in the night.

_________

That night, Zachary went with Sydney back to the hospital for another visit. They sat in the waiting room at one point due to the high volume of patients in need. A few seconds later, Trae’s mother Stacey left the room and walked back to the waiting room.

“Hi, Mrs. Ventura?” Zachary stood up, walking towards her with Sydney.

“Yes, can I help you?” Unaware of who they were, Stacey questioned them maturely.

Zachary whimpered a bit, “Hi, I’m… Zachary, this is Sydney—we’re some of Trae’s friends. We just wanted to know how he was doing.”

Stacey regained familiarity with the two. “Oh, I know you guys. Trae told me a lot about you.”

Zachary gave a small smile before Stacey continued to speak.

“He’s doing much better now,” Stacey said. “But if you guys are here to see him tonight, I don’t think it’s the right time. Hospital visits are pretty short these days; and he’s getting some rest—just like you guys should.”

“We just want to do anything we can to help… Mrs. Ventura,” Sydney said.

“Please, call me Stacey,” she said kindly. “If you want to help, you’re more than welcome to help me out around the house tomorrow, if you’d like. I have to bring a few things to Trae’s room, and his phone, so feel free to stop by tomorrow after school—if you’re okay with that.”

Zachary and Sydney nodded, “After school’s fine—what’s your address?”

“I’ll send it to you by text. We’re pretty private. Just text my number,” Stacey gave them her card from her clothing store, Stacey’s Selects.

“I’ll be working until 3, so, just give me a call.”

“Okay, thank you,” Zachary said.

Stacey smiled and she walked away, departing from the hospital with the keys to her car in her left hand.

Zachary sighed as he sat back down on the chairs.

“You’re really into him, aren’t you?” Sydney said.

“I never felt this way about a guy ever since…. Jesse McCartney,” Zachary said. Sydney chuckled.

“He’ll come around, I promise that,” Sydney smiled. “Now, come on—let’s grab something to eat and you can stay at my place, since you’re not comfortable at home. All right?”

“Yeah, thanks for helping me out, Syd,” Zachary said.

_________

Rose De Vil spent her final day in her own office at James A. Masters High School. She looked at the shattered glass windows across from her. The boxes of her items, packed and sealed tightly, surrounded her area.

The lamp on her desk still stood in front her; she kept tapping her fingers, anxious and confused.

She picked up her iPhone from the desk, unlocked it and called Coach Radnor. The phone continued to ring and a sudden voice picked up.

“Hello?” Radnor asked.

“Jarrett, hey, it’s Rose,” Rose said optimistically.

“What’s up?”

“I was wondering if you were available to talk? I wanted to meet with you—maybe at the diner or somewhere else?”

“I’m pretty busy, can you call me back in like maybe a few hours?”

“Um, okay, I’ll do tha—”

“Sweet,” Radnor ended the call.

Rose didn’t know what to do—she needed to talk to Radnor. But at that point, she knew it was her time to leave. She had two boxes on her side. She turned off the lamp and stood up from her desk, preparing to leave. Everything was bittersweet.

 

“I know you’ve been hurt by someone else. I can tell by the way you carry yourself. If you let me, here’s what I’ll do, I’ll take care of you. I’ve loved and I’ve lost…” Gina sang.

The music coincided with the sequence of Rose’s departure.

Rose picked up both boxes and slowly walked across the hallways. As she looked, she looked at the damages that the students made. THE SAVAGES written on the lockers and graffiti everywhere in spray paint. Everything felt the same after that Friday morning.

“Yeah, it’s my birthday, I'll get high if I want to. Can’t deny that I want you, but I'll lie if I have to. Cause you don’t say you love me to your friends when they ask you. Even though we both know that you do, you do.” Alex sang.

Rose placed the boxes in the backseat of her car and she started the ignition, leaving James A. Masters High School for good. She drove away and went to the pharmacy right near it.

“One time, been in love one time. You and all your girls in the club one time, all so convinced that you’re following your heart. ‘Cause your mind don’t control what it does sometimes, we all have our nights though, don’t be so ashamed. I’ve had mine, you’ve had yours, we both know…”

Rose immediately grabbed a box from an aisle and placed it on the counter. The older lady stared at her and looked back at the box. She scanned it, and Rose paid for it.

“We know… you hate being alone. You ain’t the only one. You hate the fact that you bought the dream and they sold you one. You love your friends but somebody shoulda told you somethin’ to save you. Instead they say…

Rose quickly drove to her own home, ignored the boxes in the back of her car and immediately unlocked the door. Her black cat ran across the living room before she closed the door and turned on the lamp.

She walked upstairs slowly to the bathroom as if she fell to depression.

“Don't tell me, I don't care if you hurt, I don't tell you, you don't care, if you're true. Don't tell me, I don't care if you hurt, I don't tell you, you don't care, if you're true…”

She locked the bathroom door and sat on the toilet. She looked up, looking around at the items in her bathroom for 30 seconds.

“I know you’ve been hurt by someone else. I can tell by the way you carry yourself. If you let me, here’s what I’ll do, I’ll take care of you. I’ve loved and I’ve lost…” Gina sang.

A few seconds after, Rose dared not to look underneath and between her legs.

She lifted up an object she held in her hand, and there it was—a pregnancy test. Her eyes gazed at the signals. She saw two straight red lines clear as day. She was positive. She was pregnant.

Rose’s mouth trembled and her shoulders twitched. It almost felt like she didn’t know how to breathe. It was hard for her to believe that she was pregnant. She remained on the toilet seat for the time being.

__________

That same night, Carl’s family were laughing with each other—trying to push aside all of the negativity from the past few weeks. The family sat across from each other for dinner, but there was an empty chair. Eric and Carl’s two siblings were joking around, but Carl continued to twist the noodles of his spaghetti.

Caiden and Charlotte were laughing at Eric’s jokes, and Karen gave a smile.

“You’re funny, daddy!” Charlotte said gleefully.

“Is everything okay over there, Carl?” Eric asked with concern.

Carl continued to rotate his fork, and he looked back up to respond, “Oh, yeah—I’m fine.”

“You sure? It doesn’t look like you touched your food tonight, sweetie?” Karen replied.

“I said I’m fine—I got a lot on my mind right now,” Carl said.

Karen said, “If you need anyone to talk to, Carl—you know we’re here. We know how hard it is for you. Trae’s one of us and we hope he’s getting better. I’ll call Stacey tomorrow and see how he’s doing, all right?”

“Thanks, Mom,” Carl smiled. “But I’m okay, I promise.”

Karen gave a smile, and turned to Eric for a question. “So, when’s your work buddy coming tonight? I don’t want the food to get cold before he comes, Eric.”

Eric ate a mouthful of food, gulped it down and responded, “He’ll be here shortly. Besides, he’ll eat anything. Cold or not. He’s a hungry man.”

“Hungry man? Is he fat?” Caiden asked rudely.

“Caiden…” Karen tried to admonish him.

“No, he’s not fat, Caiden,” Eric chuckled. “He just loves food, just like you love video games!”

“Does he like video games?”

“Well, you can ask him that when he gets here!”

“Does he like unicorns? I love unicorns!”

Eric and Karen looked at Charlotte and smiled at her optimism. Carl rolled his eyes. The doorbell rang and Eric jumped up, “That must be him.”

Eric walked to the door and looked at the peephole, when he opened it, Carl could hear someone with a thick, loud Italian accent greet Eric.

“What’s up, my man? Long time no see,” the man said to Eric. He gave him an aggressive pat on a back after shaking his hand.

“Ah, the usual, man—the usual,” Eric replied calmly.

“I bet so,” the man said.

Eric brought the man to the dining room table. “Well, guys, this is my work buddy, Eli.”

Carl looked up and noticed something so familiar about him; everything came back to him now. Eli Hawk? The guy that literally chased him and The Savages around Portland, Oregon? How did his father know this guy? Carl’s anxiety levels heightened and he didn’t know how to cope with what was going to come next.

“Eli, this is my beautiful wife, Karen,” Eric introduced him to her, and Karen stood up to shake his hand.

“A pleasure to meet you, Eli,”

“And a pleasure to meet you, too, madam,” Eli gave a small kiss on her hand, impressing Karen.

Eric continued, “…And these are my three kids, Caiden, Charlotte and Carl.”

“Do you play video games?” Caiden stood up and asked bluntly.

“Super Mario and NBA 2K?”

“ALL RIGHT!” Caiden was happy. Charlotte rolled his eyes, “Hi! I’m Charlotte.”

“Nice to meet you, Little Miss Sunshine,” Eli smiled. He walked towards Carl, who continued to tremble. It was at a point where he believed Eli would approach him and kill him right in front of everyone.

“And you must be Carl,” Eli gave a big smile. “Papa Touché told me so much about you.”

Carl tried to keep it together, not to make things awkward, he smiled at him briefly. Eli lent his hand out for a handshake. Carl’s right hand slowly went to his.

Carl kept straying away from reality—Eli yanked Carl from the table, putting him a headlock. “Where’s that van, you little fuck? Where’s that van?”

He snapped back to reality.

“Carl, aren’t you gonna shake his hand?” Karen said.

Carl proceeded to do so, with uncertainty, he shook his head. Carl felt Eli’s strong, rough hands touch his and there was a huge grip. Eli pulled back and walked towards Eric, “Kids, man.”

“Well, Eli, there’s plenty of food, hep yourself to anything you’d like—we saved a special spot for you.”

“Ain’t nothing like getting your grub on. Feels like family dinner,” Eli said with enthusiasm. Eric smiled and patted his back, while the others continued eating. Carl couldn’t keep his eyes away from Eli’s intimidating appearance. Eli looked back with an evil smirk on his face—he recognized Carl, but to keep it in the family; he bit his tongue and kept his composure.

Carl died inside. Was this the end for him?

__________

That next morning—someone’s life was about to change for the worse. Before anything escalated, Alex, Carl, Gina, Lily, Sydney and Zachary walked by the students in the hallways. Carl talked to everyone about his situation.

“Are you sure it was him?” Alex asked Carl, curious of Eli’s sudden reappearance.

Carl immediately replied, “Alex, I recognized his face from anywhere. He was the main person that told us to pull over. Buzz cut, muscular, thick New York Italian accent, a fucking mobster in my house for dinner.”

“How does your dad know him?” Gina asked.

“I don’t know—they’re ‘work-buddies’ apparently,” Carl said. He shrugged.

“Sounds like funny business to me,” Lily said. “Looks like your dad’s occupation is on the D.L.”

Carl looked away, believing that something was up. The money he and Trae found in his father’s van. Everything just kept adding up and he didn’t want to talk to his father about it at all. All of a sudden, The Savages stopped. Joe and Nate were walking together

The two pulled apart as they walked near the Savages. Joe walked on Zachary’s side, and Nate walked on Sydney’s side. Joe dared not to look at them, instead, he bumped Zach on his shoulder, and Nate did the same.

Sydney and Zachary looked at each other and tried to keep calm— “I think they’re testing me.”

“They’re out to get us, Syd,” Zachary said. “The Savages, we damaged them—now it’s they’re turn to damage us.”

The remaining Savages all looked from behind and watched as they walked together hand-in-hand, as if they were dating.

~

All of a sudden, a group of police officers, including Superintendent Jennifer Gordon, stormed inside. Gordon strolled in the middle of the officers, on the search for the culprit behind Brian and Viktor’s video scandal. It was the final straw. The students stopped to stare, and the Savages watched her.

“Who’s that?” Alex asked.

“Superintendent Jennifer Gordon,” Lily replied. “She’s the one who fired Rose De Vil yesterday after that little public outburst.”

The police officers walked inside of a classroom with Dirty Dan and a few other students inside. They were using their laptops, preparing for their daily computer course for first period. Dirty Dan looked up as Gordon and the police officers surrounded him.

“Um, hi?” Dirty Dan said, confused. “What’s going on?”

“Are you Daniel Daniels?”

“Yes, I am. May I ask what’s going on?”

“Sir, we have a warrant to check your laptop,” one police officer said. Dirty Dan looked confused, “What if I don’t want anyone to see my computer?”

“It’s our duty to search, sir,” another police officer claimed.

“Yes,” Superintendent Jennifer Gordon said, “It’s their duty to search—unless you have something to hide.”

Dirty Dan looked at other students and they shrugged, not understanding the situation.

“Isn’t it my right to know why you’re searching my laptop?”

The officers ignored Dirty Dan’s question. They searched for multiple areas to find what they wanted. All of a sudden, they searched through Dirty Dan’s file explorer and opened up a folder that was easily hidden in multiple folders—the folder was entitled “Masters Miscellaneous.”

As soon as they opened up the folder, they noticed multiple photos and videos included. The first one? They clicked it open, opening the video player to view it.

There it was—Brian and Vik were passionately kissing each other, touching each other on film. There were extra scenes that were NSFW—like Vik softly asking a question to Brian, “You wanna see it?”

Dirty Dan couldn’t believe what he saw on his own computer screen. He looked at everyone else, and they looked away. They were surprised but they weren’t surprised. In the sense, they knew that Dan was capable of doing something like that.

“I-I-I didn’t do this! I never did this at all, I swear!”

“Tell it to the judge, TripleDz.” the officer opened up silver handcuffs. “Daniel Daniels, you’re under arrest for voyeurism of sexual acts involving minors. You’re also arrested for alleged acts of sexual exhibition in the school areas.”

“Wh-what the fuck? I didn’t do this! Get off of me, man!” Dirty Dan was resilient. He kept his word that he didn’t do it, but the computers—made it clear.

The officers dragged Dirty Dan out of the classroom—the teachers were appalled as well. As soon as he exited to the hallway, students were lined up on different sides of the hallway, watching Dirty Dan being sent to the police car.

“Get off of me!” Dirty Dan yelled. “Hey! I didn’t do this!”

The Savages watched as the police officers manhandled Dirty Dan. The Red Hot Cheer Peppers watched him suffer. As soon as Dirty Dan looked at Brian and Viktor, they looked back at him in disgust.

“Vik, you know I wouldn’t do this to you,” Dirty Dan yelled. “We made love, dude. I wouldn’t do this…”

Everyone looked back at Viktor after that comment and Vik looked down in guilt. Brian looked on the side, “So, you’re not gay, huh?”

“GET OFF OF ME!” Dirty Dan yelled. All of a sudden, he stopped towards Kalleb, who couldn’t even look back at him. Kalleb was the one who told Vik that he did it.

“You son of a bitch, you’re dead! YOU’RE DEAD!” Dirty Dan yelled out before police officers pushed him through the school doors.

Kalleb looked away and shook his head.

There was sudden applause from the students, who seemed relieved that it was finally over. That was until Jennifer Gordon yelled in the hallway.

“ENOUGH!” Gordon said. “If you haven’t met me already—I’m Superintendent Jennifer Gordon. As you all know, your former principal was too unfit to represent you. So, she resigned yesterday. Until we find a replacement principal, I will be your new principal and I am excited.”

It was silent as everyone looked in confusion with what was going on. Jennifer Gordon? The new principal. It was going to get 10 times worse—considering the fact that she made all of the rules that Rose De Vil proposed to everyone.

The Savages looked at each other with fear.

“This is not going to be good,” Gina said.

__________

“Then it turns out Dirty Dan leaked the video, and he was arrested today,” Sydney said to Trae on her phone, while she and Zachary were inside of Trae’s home.

Stacey went to the store and allowed them to stay in with Sean before they packed a few items for Trae.

Trae, slowly recovering, lied on his hospital bed using the phone above him.

“I should have known it was him,” Trae commented, voice still raspy. “How did they find out?”

Sydney shrugged, “I’m assuming the police officers had a warrant to use his computer to find it. It was all in there, including a few extra pics of Sena making out with someone, too.”

“It was pretty obvious, too, I mean—TripleDz? Dirty Dan Daniels? Triple D. That was apparently the username of the YouTube account he leaked it on. Oh, yeah, he also got charged cause I guess someone gave him sloppy top in the school and someone reported it late.”

Trae chuckled softly, “Well… I guess that’s the end of a chapter.”

“I guess, so,” Sydney said. “We miss you, man.”

“I miss you guys, too,” Trae said. “When are you guys coming to see me?”

“In a few minutes, hopefully. We’re at your mom’s.”

Trae raised his eyebrows, “The hell are ya’ll doing at my mom’s?”

Sydney chuckled, “Dude, keep your hospital gown on, we met your mom last night and she wanted us to help her bring some of your favorite things to the hospital. We know you’re going to be there for a few more days until you recover, so, Zach and I are here to help.”

“How sweet, helping a Savage in distress,” Trae said. “While you guys are there, can you guys grab my phone? I didn’t bring it with me the day of the riot. It should be already charged up.”

“Yeah, sure,” Sydney said.

“Cool,” Trae said. “See you guys soon,”

“Later,” Sydney hung up the phone. While Trae slowly placed the phone back where it was. He moved a little bit to rest until they arrived.

Zachary and Sydney stayed in the living room until Stacey arrived back in the house with her Louis Vuitton purse and a bag of snacks.

“Whew, it’s cold out there, damn,” Stacey said while walking inside. “Ya’ll not cold?”

“No, ma’am.”

“I had to buy a few of Trae’s snacks, just to snuggle in some things because I hate using vending machines. You guys can go up to his room and get a few things he may need. I’m sure you got his permission, right?”

“We did, I think,” Sydney chuckled. Stacey laughed as Syd and Zach both walked up the stairs into Trae’s bedroom.

~

For about five minutes, Sydney and Zachary walked around Trae’s bedroom, organized, with the fresh citrus aroma around the room. Stacey walked upstairs to his room and asked for a few favors from Sydney and Zach.

“All right, we’ll be heading out in a few—just grab a few of his pants and shirts from his drawers and anything else he may need and we’ll be on our way, all right?”

“All right,” Sydney smiled and replied politely to Stacey.

Sydney looked at Zachary, “She’s too nice to us that it’s scary.”

“Didn’t she put Trae on punishment at one point?” Zachary whispered to her as they walked towards Trae’s drawers.

“Well, yeah, because of the whole Oregon joyride,” Sydney said. “Trae makes it like she’s just this mean woman.”

“Like you never said you hated your mom at one time in your life,” Zachary scoffed.

Sydney began to think at one point, “Well, yeah—I wanted an Easy-Bake for my birthday and she didn’t give it to me. So, I told her I hated her. She knew I wasn’t serious.”

“Because you were a kid,” Zachary chuckled, Sydney laughed along.

“All right, let’s get these things so we can go,” Sydney said. Zachary opened up his drawers to find pairs of jeans for Trae, while Sydney searched for Trae’s phone.

Before Sydney could even pick it up, there were 20 missed calls, 15 voicemails and 20 unread messages. The latest message came from someone under the name, “KB.”

Sydney read the messages on the push notification lock screen, curious to see what it was about.

X

“What the hell?” Sydney whispered. “Who’s KB?”

Zachary looked back while finding clothes for Trae, “What are you talking about, Syd?”

“Read these messages, dude,” Sydney showed Zachary his phone notifications. He read each message out loud from the timeline to up.

“The deed is done… like you asked…. Give me the hard drive?” Zachary said. “Maybe it’s for a project.”

Sydney nodded her head, she was very skeptical, maybe she was overthinking, “How could it be for a project… if Trae is in the hospital? And who is KB?”

“Sydney, maybe you’re just overthinking it, come on,” Zachary shrugged. He walked back to the drawer to take out more jeans.

All of a sudden, underneath those jeans was a black laptop. On the top, there was a bright red sign with TOP SECRET bolded in white letters. Next to it, there was a hard drive, wrapped in black tape, with initials, K and T in nail polish-like print.

Zachary stood amazed— “Sydney? I think you see this.”

Sydney followed him to the drawer. He took out the laptop and placed it on the empty desk of Trae’s.

“Top Secret?” Sydney was confused. “What’s so secret about it?”

Zachary opened up the laptop and there was a log in screen; Zachary thought of an immediate password for it.

He typed in “Brokeback,” and immediately logged in.

“What the hell did you type in?” Sydney looked at Zachary, and he shrugged, “I just guessed. I think of a lot of things Trae says to me.”

“This is the hard drive?” Zachary put it up for Sydney to view.

“Hook it to the computer,”

There was a lot of suspense doing this. They felt like they were invading someone’s privacy, letting their curiosity get to them. Zachary slowly entered the hard drive into the USB port. The folders of the hard drive opened, and there was one of the folders, “Masters Miscellaneous.”

The folder opened and there were at least 20 photos and 10 pictures. One of them? Brian and Viktor passionately kissing each other. They clicked on a 30 second video of Brian and Vik and they gasped.

“Oh, my god,” Zachary and Sydney said in shock.

“You want to see it?” Viktor asked Brian.

“Fuck yeah,” Brian replied. The sounds of belt buckles and zippers could be heard around the room, but at that point, the person behind the video pushed away from the locker room and left one of the doors.

Right next to the recorder, stood Trae, asking, “You caught ‘em?”

“Got ‘em!” the recorder replied, laughing with Trae, who gave the person a pound on the fist. The camera quickly turned face front, and immediately, there was Kalleb Banks.

Zachary and Sydney could not believe what they saw. Zachary was in shock to see Trae, wearing the same clothes and looking the same way he did, seconds before he bumped into him. Zachary was inside of that locker room, and now he knew who was involved.

“Zach—Dirty Dan was framed…” Sydney said to Zachary, he turned around and she continued to speak.

“Trae did it… he leaked the video,” Sydney finished. Zachary was in shock. The video paused to Trae and Kalleb’s faces.

~

 MONTAGE:

“Everyone likes a good scandal,” Trae commented, while watching people pass him by.

“Who knows? It could be anyone,” Trae commented. “People will do anything to instigate.”

“I even heard that he masturbates to Brokeback Mountain,” Trae crossed his arms with a smirk.

Zach’s eyes widened with a mixture of confusion and discomfort; he shook his head, “Okay, that is so wrong on many levels. How do you know most of this stuff anyway?”

“I have my sources.”

“…I’ll tell my friend Kalleb to hook us up,” Trae said, mentioning the preparation for a protest.

“Who’s Kalleb?” Gina asked.

“You don’t really hear much of him, but he always helps me out,” Trae said.

~~

Zach had entered the locker room—but he could hear moans, and unusual sounds.

“You like that?” A voice said from afar.

“Mmm, yeah,”

Zach raised his eyebrow, as he slowly and surely looked behind the lockers. There stood Slick Vik and Brian, passionately kissing each other. The two stroked each other’s bodies. Brian grasped his hands around Vik’s waist as they kissed.

Zach’s eyes widened. He was in awe with what he was witnessing. The locker room’s atmosphere intensified as Brian and Vik continued to kiss; while moaning, their bodies were tightly pressed against each other. Brian’s hands softly rubbed Vik’s cheeks.

However, what Brian and Vik didn’t know was that they were being recorded. A mysterious, unknown person remained silent as they recorded the two on their iPhone. The two continued to kiss each other as the person recorded their moment of pleasure.

There lied Kalleb, watching Brian’s every move. He gave an evil smirk as he continued to record him, shaking his head in disbelief.

_______

“He really did it,” Zachary was still shocked at the thought.

Sydney nodded her head, “That smart, stupid son of a bitch…”

“You guys ready?” Stacey entered the room.

“Yeah, we’re ready!” Sydney and Zachary replied. Stacey left the edge of the bedroom and the two followed her lead.

“Ready to kill him,” Sydney whispered to herself before exiting his bedroom and slamming his door. The computer remained on the desk with the same clip still of Trae and Kalleb.

THE END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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