Next Time Around
Disclaimer: I do not own the Breakfast Club…John Hughes and Universal Studios do. I only own James Bender, John's brother.
Summary: After the detention, Monday came and went and nothing came of it. When 5 mixed up teens can't build up the courage to like who they want to like, what happens when they all get stuck in detention again…one year later?
Rated: T for language, violence, drug use, suicide issues, and sexuality.
A/N: Finally this story is coming to an end. I hope that you all enjoyed this! This story has now been completely revised of its original version in its entirety. I want to say a quick thank you to everyone who reviewed this story. Enjoy this last chapter!
Chapter 19 - Where's the Freedom?
John caught the Miller that was slid across the table at him and grinned. His brother, James, gave him a smirk, and both boys popped the caps simultaneously. Their father had finally left the house to go bowling, and their mother to bingo. James had spent the whole day nursing a hang over, while John had busied himself for the ten thousandth - and last time - in detention.
"So that was it?" James asked, disbelieving what he was hearing.
John shrugged and took a long drink of his beer. "Yeah, pretty much. He just said I was free for the rest of the year."
James snorted. "Fucking prick let you off so easy. I guess you won't be breaking any record of mine any time soon now." He smiled triumphantly.
John just rolled his eyes at his brother. "You got lucky. Besides, I think I will find something better to do with my time than get harassed by ole Dick."
James sat back against the back of his chair and cocked an eyebrow. "Oh yeah, like what? I haven't seen you do anything remotely exciting on a weekend...ever."
John glared at him. "Fuck you, fag. You act as if I'm some dweeboid with no life."
John flicked his beer cap at him and struck him in the forehead. The older brother raised his eyebrows challengingly. "You better watch it, kid."
John rolled his eyes. "Don't call me a dweeboid and I wouldn't have to make an example of you." When his brother glared at him, John showed a smug grin. As great as he and his brother got along, they loved getting on each others' nerves.
Neither boy would classify their mother or father as parent of the year. Their mother had constantly lashed out on them verbally, going as far one time as saying she should have had an abortion; two of them to be more exact. Their father on the other hand, was usually only decent to them when he had a light buzz going on, other than that, he could care less if they took off and never came home.
Their friends really weren't any better. They had buddies that they drank with. They had buddies that bought pot off of them. They had buddies that used the basement as a place to hang out. They had girls who were looking for a good time. They had boys that liked to use their guitars and amplifiers. They, however, didn't have very many friends. They didn't have friends who understood what it was like when Ray Bender got angry. They didn't have friends who really stuck around to hang out when their stash ran dry. Most people in the boys' lives were not constant; they never stuck around very long.
One thing, however, that would always be constant in their lives was each other.
That consistency was why John loved getting under James' skin. He knew he could let his guard down around his older brother, and act like his real self. He didn't have much of a reputation to protect when with James (even though he did like to make the older Bender proud), and most of all, he knew that James understood why he acted the way that he did, why he said the things he said, and thought the way that he thought. James knew him inside and out, so silly little jokes between the two boys were never taken personally.
John brought the brown beer bottle to his lips and took a long swig of ale. He placed the bottle down in front of him and brought one hand up to his ear and fiddled with the diamond that was stuck in the lobe. He had put it right back into his ear as Claire left; just like the last time they had met. He was pleasantly surprised to get it back from her, and to have her lips on his again.
"I still don't believe that you stole that," James teased.
John cocked an amused eyebrow at his brother. "Maybe I did...maybe I didn't."
James let out a snort. "I would be stupid to think that you did. Based on the stupid grin you have plastered on your ugly face..."
"You're one to talk!" John laughed. "I still think mom was on way too much hippie crack when she was knocked up with you."
"And hippie crack would affect my facial features how?" James inquired.
John smirked. "They're just as fucked up and homely as she is."
James chucked a balled up napkin at him. "Seriously though, buddy, where did you get that?"
John shrugged and stared his brother in the eye. "The prom queen gave it to me."
James laughed as he tipped the rest of the contents of his bottle into his mouth. "Is that what bullshit you're coming up with today, Johnny?"
Bender shrugged. He knew that James wouldn't believe him; he counted on him not to. John always found it rather humorous when he was accused of lying. Somehow, whenever he was dead set on telling the truth - whether it be to Vernon, his father, or Sporto - they always failed to take him seriously. It didn't matter to him though. In his opinion, some things were better left a mystery.
"She gave me a big tonguey smooch and told me to hang on to it."
James stood up and walked over to the fridge, threw the door open lazily and grabbed two more bottles from their father's two-four. "Oh yeah? Did she propose and ask you to father her children too?"
John just shrugged again and twirled the ring around between his thick fingers. "If that's what'll put ya to bed tonight."
James shut the door with his foot and stopped to regard John's face for a moment. He stood quite dumbfounded in the middle of the kitchen floor with a beer in each hand. "You're serious, aren't you?"
John smirked. "What can I say? The ladies love me."
James shook his head and laughed, and began to walk towards the table. "You little fuckin' stud."
John grinned and accepted another beer from his brother. "It's the looks. It's all the looks."
"So you dating her?" James inquired with yet another famous Bender smirk.
Was he dating her? He wouldn't really mind it if he was. He liked Claire...she was different from the typical loud mouthed, smoker, booze hound girl he was used to. Claire was innocent, beautiful, smart, ambitious...and so pure. He liked all that about her - almost as much as those things drove him crazy. He looked back at James' expectant face and just shrugged.
"We'll see if she stills digs me Monday."
He wasn't too worried about Monday. He knew just well that Claire liked him just fine. Would she actually put things aside with her friends and come out and admit it? He had a funny feeling that this time around would be a bit different. She seemed much more truthful.
For a preppy, snot nosed princess she wasn't all that bad. John smiled to himself.
He knew for sure that he would still dig her on Monday.
Andy opened his eyes Sunday morning and was met with the glare of the sun off of the snow beaming through his window. Mornings were always so bright in the dead of winter. He pulled his sheets off of his body and swung his legs to the floor. The clock next to his bed read 8:00, and he was a bit surprised to learn that his father hadn't woken him up that morning.
He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and slowly stood on the carpet of his bedroom floor. His bedroom felt cold; he wore only a white tank top and a pair of flannel boxers. He bent over and picked up the closest pair of cotton exercise pants and pulled them on.
He knew that today he had to tell his father.
He looked back at his dresser. The envelope was no longer taunting him. He knew that he deserved what he got; he finally accepted that his wrestling days were over.
Now only if his father would feel the same way.
Would he accept it? Andy wasn't too sure how exactly he would react. He knew damn well that he would be angry - if not hysterical. But would he still love him? Would Michael Clark still accept his son and love him for who he was - unconditionally? Andy wasn't even sure if his father would let him live under his roof anymore. Even though Andy knew that his dad would be angry and disappointed, it was the repercussions that scared him. He had seen it first hand when his older sister had missed out on her scholarship. He had seen it first hand when his younger brother insisted that he had no interest at all in sports. His sister had soon after moved out of the house to explore all sorts of different jobs. His younger brother on the other hand was the lucky one; his father paid little attention to him.
He sighed and thought about the previous day. His friends in detention had no negative things to say to him. They - of course - seemed to pity him and tried to comfort him. It helped at the particular moment in time, but now all that comfort seemed to fly right out of the window. They were great in telling him that there were other options in his life besides an Ivy League school and rolling around the floor in tights. He now had the convenient - or inconvenient - option of re-evaluating what exactly he wanted to do with his life.
Yesterday had been an emotional wake up call for him. He had felt guilty and off all year about what had happened to Brian and what had happened between him and Allison. In Brian's case, the guilt had eaten away at him since the day it had happened. He knew Brian was more than just some lowly dork. They had a lot in common. When he had found out what kind of trouble Brian had been dealing with in the last eleven months, he couldn't help but feel his guilt strengthening. He knew damn well that he had told Brian 'no way' that he would never back stab him.
At least Claire had enough balls to tell him the truth.
Andy knew now what mattered. Wrestling was gone, his dad was still a prick, and surely, his friends didn't think the same way of him now that the varsity letterman title was no more. In the end, it was the Breakfast Club who still saw him for who he was: Andrew Clark. Not the jock, the super athlete, the mindless machine, or the wrestler. They saw right through any façade he tried to hide behind.
And somehow, they still liked and respected him. Even Allison had found it in her heart to give him another chance. She had been the one to turn him away when they first met. He had let his low self confidence get the better of him and figured he was just some stupid asshole that she had no interest in. Of course, it had all been one silly misunderstanding, but even after everything she learned about him - about Larry, and about Ben - she still found it in her heart to like him.
She was amazing.
For someone who claimed that she had no friends and that she needed a shrink, she had to be the most caring and tolerant person he had ever met. He had been so narrow minded; he always did what everyone else wanted him to do, almost as if he was some sort of brain washed clone. But Allison always believed in him; she made him realize that it was time for him to think for himself.
He approached his dresser somberly and grabbed the white envelope. Strangely it looked just like something that would hold good news in it. Like there would be someone's baby pictures, wedding invitation, or even a scholarship offer inside. It was crisp, clean and bright white with one single stamp in the corner. He stared at it for a few more moments before he made his way downstairs and into the kitchen.
When he walked in, he saw his younger brother sitting at the table and eating a bowl of Froot Loops. Nicky gave him a toothy smile and went back to his food immediately. Andy shuffled a hand through the ten year old's hair and made his way over to the other side of the table where Michael was sitting. He had a coffee in one hand and the newspaper in the other. He barely looked at him as he walked in.
Andy took one more deep breath and threw the envelope down in front of him. His father stared at him with surprise. "What's this?"
Andy shrugged, trying in vain to keep a mask of indifference on his face. "Just read it, and you'll see."
His father narrowed his eyes at him with annoyance and picked the envelope up out of his lap. He slid his finger underneath the seal, never taking his eyes off of his son. Andy swallowed his nervousness down and kept his gaze on his father's face.
Michael unfolded the letter inside and began to read. His expression didn't change much as his eyes scrolled down, only once or twice widening and narrowing his eyes. When he was finished, he just dropped the piece of paper in front of him and stared at it. "Is this some sort of sick joke, sport?"
Andy felt his stomach turn with nausea and swallowed it down. "No, sir."
"What is it?" Nicky asked innocently. "Are you going to Harvard?"
Michael glared at his youngest son. "No he isn't going to Harvard. In fact, your brother is just as much a quitter as your sister is."
Nicky looked from Andy to his father. "Andy isn't a quitter. Andy never quits."
Andy felt his heart beat speed up, and instantly he felt as though he let his little brother down. He looked back at his father, who was still glaring at the younger boy. "He is a quitter. Now finish your cereal and go get ready to leave."
"Where are we going?"
"We're going out to get new tires for the Bronco. Now go!" Michael pointed to the direction of the stairs and watched impatiently as the younger boy walked past them. And still, he said nothing to Andy.
"Are we going to talk about this?"
Michael picked up his newspaper and began to read. "What's there to talk about? You let me down. Again."
Andy swallowed the hurt and anger that was building up in his chest. "It was your fault."
Michael slammed the paper down on the table with a bang loud enough to make Andrew jump. He stared daggers into his eyes. "My fault? You are the one who wasn't training hard enough and slacking! I tried pushing you, and you kept on losing! This is your own damn fault for not wanting it!"
Andy felt frustrated tears build up behind his eyes, but didn't dare let them fall. "You pushed me too hard! I couldn't go anymore!"
"Get out of my face. I don't even want to look at you right now."
Andy blinked. "W-what?"
"You make me sick. You had one simple task to do to get you into a good school and you failed. I don't even want to be near you."
Andy swallowed. "Do you even care that I hurt somebody? That I could be charged?"
"I care about your scholarship, and the fact that my son was too stupid to maintain it."
Michael said no more. He just stood up and walked away, yelling for Nicky to meet him in the garage. Andrew was left alone in his kitchen. No one was home to hear more of his failures. No one was left to see the angry tears fall down his cheeks. He turned around after a few moments and made his way back to his room.
Nothing had changed.
He was still a screw up. His father was angrier than ever. Wrestling was gone from his life. He looked out his bedroom window at the freshly fallen snow and wondered how the world was still going by without him. Never before had he felt anymore useless than he did at that moment.
He stood quietly in his bedroom, in the middle of the floor. Not a sound came from anywhere else in his home.
He looked around momentarily at the walls. There were posters. There were medals. There were trophies, patches, sweaters, and athletic equipment.
He soaked it all in for another moment longer before he finally snapped.
He screamed in anger and went right for the shelf that held all of his awards. He brought his fists down in an axe-handle type position, breaking the shelf into two pieces. Trophies and picture frames went crashing to the floor in a loud manner. He picked up trophies and bent them out of shape, snapped them into pieces, and threw some against the walls.
He screamed again. This time, he went at all of the posters on his walls. He ripped them all down, even going as far as biting a piece out of one and spitting it back out on the floor.
He threw his letterman's jacket out in the hall; he tore up his practice shirts and threw them out the door as well. He wanted every last reminder of wrestling and school gone and destroyed. He couldn't think or see straight. He only saw red; anger and madness, uncontrollable rage.
He grabbed at a stack of newspaper clippings, photo albums and his year books. Page after page he tore out and threw to the ground. Using two hands at a time, he ripped and tore at paper until he had paper cuts on his fingers. He stomped angrily all over the books, until his leg finally slipped out from underneath of him and he landed hard on the floor, amongst his mess.
The house was quiet once more, only the sounds of his labored breathing were heard. He looked around the mess of his bedroom and swallowed hard. He looked down at his hands and the year book pages that were clutched between his fingers. Slowly, he opened up the paper that was in his hand and looked at it.
There were faces. So many faces lined up on the paper.
One face stood out. It was of a girl. She had long dark hair hanging over her face and a frown stretched across her features. What stood out the most was how sad she was. Her expression was so pained that it looked as though she knew exactly what he had just done and how hurt he felt.
He tossed the page beside him and just broke down. He was sick of hiding his emotions. He needed to let it all out. He sobbed and sobbed on the floor of his bedroom like a baby. He looked across the floor from where he laid, the picture still staring at him like a ghost.
He hoped to god that things would be better. He always knew that people got what they deserved, and after what he did to Ben and Larry, he was getting what he deserved by getting kicked off of the wrestling team. His whole future had crashed down before him and for once he was scared shitless because it wasn't so god damned predictable anymore.
He stared back at the picture and reached out for it. He took a deep breath as he stared at it and set it back down on the floor.
He wanted to start over.
He didn't want to be plagued by the anger and hate that over took him. For once in his life he just wanted to be a normal kid - even if that meant that he was dazed, confused, or scared. He wanted to go to school Monday and not be a bully...or a jock...or a criminal. He just wanted to go and be Andrew Clark; to start all over again and put all the pain and hurt behind him.
He knew he wouldn't be alone. He knew that it would be a long hard haul to get there, but he was dead set on getting there...wherever there was.
Hopefully, things would finally start to look up. He had one last shred of hope left that they would.
A/N: Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed and please don't forget to push that button down there and leave me a review!