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After about a week in total I got the okay to go home from the hospital. Liam stayed with me the entire time entertaining me and calming me down. I don't think I can do anything without Liam right now.
When mom started to drive home, the closer we got, the more nervous I got. When we turned onto our block, my breath became heavy. Mom stopped the car in the middle of the road. “Nolan are you okay?” She must have heard me breathing.
I shook my head, and Liam spoke, “You’re scared, aren't you?” I nodded. “I guess we were right...”
Mom turned around in the car, “How do you feel about living at Liam and Leif's place for a bit? I have got to finish the month here, but I will find a place for us to live close by. You'll still go to the same school; I'll make sure of that.”
“Ok... Let's do that.” We turned around immediately and headed off in another direction. I had no idea where we were going. We just ended up parked at a new house I've never been to. “This is your house?” I asked Liam.
“Ya, it's small but it's got three bedrooms. You and I can bunk together while you stay here.” I couldn't help but smile. Liam wasn't just doing that because he could. He knew that its the only way to calm me down from my nightmares.
Getting out of the car, I looked around the street. It was just houses up and down the street. I couldn't see any park or stores anywhere nearby. I wasn't sure to be happy or sad about that.
From the corner of my eye, I saw two figures running down the sidewalk. I turned to see Randi and Richie coming towards me, “Hey Nolan! How have you been?” They stopped right in front of me.
Liam stepped out from somewhere, “Hey, who are you guys?”
They both stepped back. “Got yourself a bodyguard there Nolan?” Randy smirked. Liam took another half step forward. “I'm kidding. We know Nolan from school. He hadn't been at school lately so when we saw him here we had to come over.”
Liam lowered his guard a bit. “My name is Liam. I'm his cousin.”
Richie looked back to me, “You never mentioned anything about a cousin.”
“I didn't know I had one until a few days ago... I would have mentioned something if I knew.” I really would have, please believe me.
Randy smiled, “Of course you would have, Mr. Talkative. So how come you've been away from school? Henry said it was because you were in the hospital, but no one believes him.”
Liam went back on the defensive. “What do people think?”
Richie sighed, “It's not that people don't believe him, they just want more information. He didn't share even a bit of it with anyone, not even us! He went to visit you after you skipped out on his sleepover.”
“I didn't skip out!” I retorted. “I had to go home, just ask Connor!”
They gave each other a look, “We would if he still sat with us.” Richie replied.
“What do you mean?”
Randy rolled his eyes, “There have been a couple of guys at school making fun of the group, and he thought it was because of him. He's been sitting at his usual table ever since. You've got a lot to catch up on Parks.”
Mom called from the front door, “Nolan, I think you should come inside now. Tell your friends goodbye, please.”
“Okay mom!” I turned to the twins, “I guess I got to go... I'll see you later.”
“Ya for sure! We live like five houses down, number 55. Come over whenever dude!” With that, the twins turned and walked off towards their house.
When I got inside Leif gave me the grand tour. He showed me literally everything. The kitchen, and every drawer and cabinet. I was showed his room and Liam's. The bathroom and then when we got to his mom's room the tour got canceled, dinner was ready.
Dinner was uneventful; it wasn't till after dinner and Leif was in bed that mom brought up a serious topic. “Nolan, do you think you're ready to go back to school?” To be honest, I didn't know the answer. “Liam and Leif aren't registered yet, they won't be until later this week. Liam won't be able to go to school with you.” That scared me.
“I can be just a phone call away though. I can give you the house phone number, and I'll stay here all day until school is out. I'll even meet you at the bus stop if you'd like. Richie and Randy will be able to help you out on that front, right?”
I nodded, “I don't know...”
“You don't need to go back to school just yet if you don't want to,” My Aunt spoke. “You're more than welcome to stay here until Liam gets registered.”
My head said I needed to stay home, my heart though... said I should go back to school. If Connor is back to sitting by himself, I want to know why. I was able to talk sense into him before; I could do it again. I also needed to thank Henry for the sleepover and coming to visit me in the hospital.
I shook my head, “No, I want to go back.”
“Are you sure honey?” Mom sounded concerned.
“Yes,” I spoke with conviction. “I should go back. I've missed a lot. Plus I think knowing Liam is just a phone call away I will be fine,” and that settled that. I was off to school Monday morning.
Like Liam said, Richie and Randy helped me out. They usually catch the bus, so I just followed them. Richie made it clear that he would make sure nothing went wrong.
The day was going by fine. I stayed out of the change room during gym class. I got my own room for changing. English was when everything changed though. Everything was fine until the last few minutes of class.
Tracy walked into the room. I started to have a panic attack the moment I saw him. My breathing started to get heavy, and my hand started to shake. Randy noticed immediately, “Nolan what's wrong?”
“I don't know.” I lied. “I'm just freaking out.”
Randy got up and walked over to the teacher, “I need a phone for Nolan.”
“Why does Nolan need a phone?”
Randy sounded irritated. “Don't you teachers ever read your invoices? I just need one, okay?”
“We're in the middle of class Mr. Campbell. It can wait until after class.”
Randy grew more irritated and persisted. “No, it can't! You have to trust me and let Nolan use the phone.”
The teacher stood up from his desk. “Excuse me Randy but I am the one who makes the rules in this classroom.”
“Yes but you have a student in the middle of a panic attack, and there is only one way to calm him down! He needs a phone to call his cousin; only Liam can calm him down!” Randy was getting angrier and angrier as the conversation continued.
Meanwhile, I was getting worse. Half the class was focused on Randy and the teacher, the other half was looking at me. I began to shake more and more. The room looked like it grew and shrunk in size at the same time. I was beginning to become scared.
I felt a hand touch my shoulder. “Here” A girl handed me her phone.
“Grace Williams, put your phone away!” The teacher yelled.
I could barely hear him though. My mind was so caught up in grabbing the phone and calling Liam. I kept missing the right numbers, but I got it after a few tries. I pressed call immediately and waited for his voice.
Grace moved to the other side of me. I could barely see the teacher over her, “He is clearly in a panic attack, and if what Randy says is true then he needs Liam.”
“Nolan?” Liam's voice came through the phone.
“Liam!!” I shouted into the phone.
The teacher frustrated returned to his desk, “I'm calling the principle here.”
Liam heard him over the phone. “What's wrong Nolan? Who was that?”
“My teacher wants to take the phone away. It's a girl's phone, Grace.” I calmed down a bit, but I was still shaking. “I don't know what's wrong.”
“What happened? Did you see something that triggered this?”
I didn't know what to say. I'm in the middle of class; Tracy was still in the room. In fact, he hadn't even had a chance to ask the teacher anything. I couldn't tell Liam that Tracy more than likely cause all of this.
“No... I'm just freaking out.”
“Okay, Nolan just calm down. I promise you everything will be fine.”
“You're not here, you can't promise that!” I screamed into the phone. Everyone was watching me. I went underneath the table out of their sight. “Help...” I leaned against the leg of the table.
“Nolan, you're fine, I promise.” Liam tried reassuring me, but it wasn't working. I wasn't getting worse, but I wasn't getting better. “Nolan...”
I felt a hand on my shoulder. Richie had come up to me without me noticing. “I got you, okay?” I started to calm down with Richie and Liam helping me.
The principle came in and explained the situation to the teacher. He and I spoke a bit as I finished calming down. He made sure I was fine before I was let go for lunch.
I immediately looked over at Richie, “No one is allowed to know I just had a panic attack.”
“Just... I don't want Henry to worry.” Richie nodded, and we continued into the lunch room.
I already had my lunch so I could have sat down with Justin, but I had something to do. Connor was sitting by himself at his table; I wanted to get him to sit with us again. “Hey Connor.”
I surprised him, “Hey... you're back?” I nodded. “I'm glad you're okay.”
“Me too. Why don't you come and sit with us?”
He shook his head. “I don't want you guys to get made fun of cause you sit with me. I'm a loser.”
“No, you're not. You're a great friend, and I want you to sit with us. If someone is making fun of us for sitting with you, that's their loss.”
The look on his face couldn't be any more serious. “You weren't here for it Nolan. He called everyone 'faggots' because of me. I know how he works, and it's not going to stop at just that. It'll get worse!”
“Pfft, who cares what that nobody thinks?” Justin sat down at the table. “We're in high school, who knows what kids do in their room by themselves.” Connor and I both blushed.
The twins came over too, “You're part of 'us' now Connor. We're all in this together.” Randy smiled.
Richie continued his brother's thought. “Even if this guy is being a royal dick, we just got to stay in this together! He can't knock us all down together!”
“That kid's a nobody anyways.” Tobi sat down and smiled.
“And if Nolan likes you, we do too!” Henry got everyone into a fit of giggles.
Connor looked around at everyone at the table dumbfounded. “You guys are so stupid for doing this, you know that right?”
Tobi of all people shook his head, “Not stupid, stubborn and idiotic.”
Justin rolled his eyes, “Same shit Tobi!”
Dylan walked up with a confused look on his face, “Why is everyone over here? What was wrong with our old table?” Again we all shared a laugh and filled him in on our takeover of Connor's table.
It was a great lunch period, filled with us cracking jokes and just catching up. In the last few minutes though, a kid walked up to our table. He was stocky, not the tallest but muscular. His blonde hair was slicked to one side but was really short. His blue eyes had this 'I'm better than you' look to them.
“Look at the fairy group today!” He was bigger, not senior big, more like junior big. So grade eleven. “I'm glad your newest member is okay, so I can teach him a lesson.”
Tobi glared at the kid, “Go away Sterling; no one wants you here.”
“Why don't you go suck your buddy off Tobias?” Tobi stood up knocking his chair over. “What are you going to do, kiss me to death?”
“You have no idea what you're getting yourself into Sterling!” Tobi growled back at him. The entire table just kind of looked around not knowing what to do. When the bell went, Sterling disappeared into the crowd. Tobi still had this look of anger on his face. I didn't have much time to dwell on it; I had class to go to and catch up on work.
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