Chapter 1: Always the Same

'Eating lunch alone, again', I thought to myself. I had gotten used to it. Or at least I thought I did. I had always told myself that, 'life will get better', but being alone every day, being made fun of, had impeded that idea. Being the only gay kid at my school pretty much destroyed my chance at having the slightest of a normal high school career. But today was different. I wouldn't be eating lunch alone for much longer…

"Hi, can I sit here?" I looked up from my food tray to see a tall, fit kid standing there. His brown swishy hairdo immediately brought images of Zac Efron into my mind. I was surprised, "uhh, yeah sure".

"Thanks!" He eagerly sat down and opened his brown paper bag. Pulling out a sandwich, he stopped and presented his hand to me.

"Hi, I'm Sam. Sam Evans. It's nice to meet you."

I was hesitant to shake hands with him. I had seen him around school before, but I didn't really know him. Was this a cruel joke that the jocks were playing on me?

"I'm Blaine".

He smiled, showing perfectly lined teeth hidden behind two large pink lips.

"Hello Blaine. What's wrong? Listen if you don't want me to eat lunch with you-"

I was a little surprised at how easily he seemed to charm me. I smiled and interrupted him,

"No, no! It's fine. It's just, I really don't usually get too many people wanting to come and sit next to me."

Sam's eye brow rose as he took a bite into his sandwich,

"Why's that? You don't bite do you?"

How could I become so smitten so quickly? Especially with a kid who I knew I'd never have a chance with. I didn't know whether or not to tell him the truth. Until now, I didn't even know his name.

"I don't know, they just don't I guess" I lied.

Sam blew it off with air of calmness. 'I guess it worked'.

"So Sam, how come you've suddenly decided come eat lunch with me?"

"I'm a freshman, and we're only about half way through the school year. Yeah, I'm on the football team, but that doesn't automatically come with popularity. So, I decided to sit with some upperclassmen or something like that".

I continued the conversation,

"Well, you know I'm only a sophomore. I'm not an upperclassmen yet."

Sam blushed,

"Oh, sorry. You seemed older." We both stared awkwardly at our lunches.

I finally decided to end the silence,

"I really appreciate you sitting here".

Sam smiled a perfect smile,

"Yeah dude, of course".

I was thankful for the fact that none of the jocks had this lunch. Would they have bullied me there? Would they attempt to ruin this new, blossoming friendship? I was sure that they would. Tomorrow was a new day, and a different day.

The lunch bell rang, and Sam quickly got up so he wouldn't miss his next class. We shared goodbyes, and I began walking to my class.

Half way there, I saw Mark. The students in the hallway split as though Moses himself attended Brown High School. Mark, the star football player, strutted down the hall. Surely he had to be the most threatening kid in Lima. He continually went out of his way simply to make my life a living hell. And today was no different.

He walked right by me, making sure to bump into my as hard as he could with his shoulder.

"Watch where you're walking, fag!"

Him and his friends laughed, but everyone else ignored it like they always did. Why should they get involved? It's not their problem. It was the same every day. Nobody helped, nobody tried to stop it. Why would today be any different? Fag. The word had started to lose its sting.

Looking down the hall, I saw Sam. I knew that he had seen what just happened. And in that same moment, I knew that he had figured out why nobody would sit me with me at lunch. He had figured out that I was gay. Great.

I offered a slight wave when we passed each other, but he didn't return it.

'Great, there goes another potential friend'. Would life get any easier?