No one could argue- being thirteen sucked. Skin flaring, things popping up when you didn't want them to (like in class when you were reading your paper out loud in front of the class and all the sudden... bam!), and you find you're not even safe in your dreams anymore. Jason was no different. He was too skinny and was definitely not any kind of strong boy, and his dad told him about that frequently. By eighth grade, his zits weren't too much of a problem, but he was still incredibly awkward. But while he was awkwardly skinny, his sister just went from chubby to fat... and kept going. He felt bad for her- it wasn't easy to be Nadia. But it wasn't easy to be Jason, either.

So dreaming was somewhat of a threat. Because of that whole wet-dream thing... only, his dreams were different than other guys'. Not like he'd ever talk about it or anything, but it didn't take a genius to figure out that other guys dreamt about girls. Not...

He couldn't even say it.

Boys. And it wasn't just dreams, either. There was a guy in his math class who made him feel all nervous and awkward whenever Jason was around him. A crush. He had a crush on a boy.

Next year he'd be going to boarding school. He was terrified that he'd talk in his sleep, and his roommate would figure out his secret. So terrified, in fact, that he asked if he could room with Nadia. No luck. His dad wanted him to make friends, meet people. Jason just knew it wouldn't work out well... What would his dad say if he found out...?

He wouldn't find out, that's how he'd get around that problem.

Jason went to freshman year rooming with a kid named Tyler. The kid was barely passing all year, and spent many a weekend totally wasted. At the end of the year he did end up failing. He was too busy fucking up his own life to notice what was going on with Jason's, which was a good thing. Jason lived through his first year at St. Cecelia's with a very strict rule: never tell anyone. Never speak a word about those feelings you have. If you don't speak them aloud, they don't exist. Never act on them. Do nothing. They'll go away.

Maybe he didn't meet the right girl yet.

But he didn't actually fear getting discovered after awhile. The girls provided a perfect hiding place for him- they adored him. Followed him around, giggled a lot, always silly and stupid. Frankly they annoyed him and made him uncomfortable, but he was still grateful for their attention. No one would ever guess that the guy with all the girls falling at his feet would be... well.

He had more friends than anyone else. Guys wanted to be him, girls wanted to be with him. He had fantastic grades, teachers adored him, he was the best cross country runner and soccer player at the school.

It should feel good to be the guy-who-has-everything, but Jason frequently felt himself losing control. The world would tilt, the pressure making him buckle under its weight.

At the end of the year on one of the last nights before everyone went home, he got drunk for the first time. The party was in this kid Lucas' dorm and he had alcohol and some other stuff that Jason didn't touch. Not yet... he'd just have alcohol first.

But be careful, he told himself. Not to say anything, once you're drunk.

Turns out it wasn't a problem. He had several beers, too many, and fell onto the bed with this cute girl, Maria. She'd been groupie number one for the past couple weeks, and she'd made it clear that she was open to anything he wanted to do. So he hooked up with her, messily kissing her (it was slobbery) and fumbling with her bra (why was it so bulky?) until it was off and he was just left... bored. Was this what people did for fun? He didn't want to go any further, but she seemed to, and he didn't know how to get away without hurting her feelings, or worse. Having her guess...

Turns out he didn't need an excuse. A minute later, when he'd imagined himself getting outed in front of everyone, he started feeling the beer more than he should... Dizziness, nausea... and then he had to run to the bathroom before he made a fool of himself in front of everyone.

As he retched into the toilet, he did not feel any better. His reputation was everything. He was the star athlete, the most popular guy in school. Up till tonight, he'd never been drunk, but he'd led most of the school to believe otherwise. He'd also led the school to believe he wasn't a virgin. So when he couldn't hold down a couple beers, what would everyone say? Would they shun him? Would he have any friends with?

Would school become a living hell, or would this... pressure be gone?

Suddenly he felt a lift on his shoulders. If he wasn't cool anymore, he wouldn't be expected to be a certain way. He wouldn't have to go to these parties, wouldn't have to hide so much. Maybe he could figure out what was going on with those fucking dreams... Maybe...

But it turned out he didn't need to worry about that. Apparently it was cool to barf up your beers, or something. When he came out of the bathroom, several people clapped.

Before he left for the summer, he had a pocketful of girls' phone numbers and a yearbook filled with too-friendly signatures. He had plans to hang out with several people he knew he wouldn't see over the summer. He knew that his time at home- when he was away from his father, at least- could be his only time not to be the cool guy. He'd take advantage of it.

"Time to go, son," his dad said, patting him on the back and smiling proudly when several kids waved and bid him goodbye. Jason swallowed- what the hell was going to happen to him?


I hope you liked that! I'm going to make this a series. I've never written for bare before, but I love the music. REVIEWS PLEASE!