All You Need is Love

Chapter one: Making a Stand.

My name is Ryoma Echizen, and I am gay. Unfortunately the world is full of bigots that have a problem with this.

My first kiss was in the fifth grade. His name was Eric, he had the most adorable puppy dog eyes and I thought that he was my soul mate. It happened one day at recess, we had been hiding under the jungle gym and suddenly he lent forward and pressed his lips against mine. Eric tasted like apple juice, and his lips were chapped but it still was one of the most wonderful moments in my life. Unfortunately, nothing good ever lasts. The playground supervisor saw us kissing and came to pull us apart. She drug us all the way to the school counselor, calling us dirty, nasty children all the way.

The school counselor is someone that I will never forget she was a witch like woman whose face was constantly twisted into a sneer. Her gray hair was pulled back in a tight bun and her hooked nose appeared to be particularly menacing. Honestly she reminded me a little too much of a witch. For almost two hours she kept us in her stuffy office telling us what we were doing was wrong that it was a sin against god and that we were both going to go to hell if we didn't change our ways.

By time she finally called our parents both me and Eric were bawling our eyes out. I didn't understand what was so wrong. I loved Eric, what was wrong with that.

My mom goes there ten minutes later red in the face and panting. I think she ran all the way to the school. She entered the office looking so worried. She asked the counselor what was wrong. What had happened? Was Ryoma alright?

The old witch took one look at my mother and said this: "Mrs. Echizen your son is a fagot."

It got so quiet in that small office you could've heard a pin drop. I remember be so scared, I had no idea what it meant to be a fagot but from the lecture she had given me and Eric I knew that it was something bad, and I was so afraid that my mom would hate me. I remember starting to cry and my mom just stood there staring at the counselor.

"What is wrong with you?" She suddenly screamed at the counselor, startling both of us. "How dare you say something like that about a little boy? What gives you the right to say something like that?"

The witch looked so shocked when my mom said that. Her face twisted even more then it was before. "Mrs. Echizen I don't think you understand the current situation. The supervisor caught your son and another boy kissing."

"So what." Mom had on her court face. The look that she always had on before she went to win a case. The face that she had on when she knew the person in front of her was complete scum and was going to prove it.

"Mrs. Echizen, what Ryoma was doing was wrong and immoral and will not be tolerated at this school."

"Let me get this straight. Was it wrong and immoral that he was kissing another student? Or was it that he was kissing another boy?"

I was so embarrassed and uncomfortable; all I wanted to do was craw into a hole and never come out again. I wished me and Eric had never kissed. And at the same time I wished that I knew why it had been so wrong to do so. I had seen other students kissing before and they hadn't ever gotten into trouble. None of them had been called fagots and had their parents called in before. Why me? Why was what I had done so wrong?

"If it hadn't been another boy we wouldn't be having this conversation would we Mrs. Echizen." The witch spoke slowly, as if she thought mom was stupid or something.

"I see. Ms. Chyme we apparently have a problem."

"I can recommend several therapists that will be able to fix him. I can get you their numbers right away it you want."

"That's not what I meant Ms. Chyme. I wasn't aware that I had enrolled my son in a school that endorsed discrimination against the students. I wasn't aware that this school victimized young students. And I wasn't aware that I trusted my son's safety to a cruel old Hag.?"

That's when I knew that everything was going to be alright. That there was nothing wrong with me. That my mom didn't hate me and that yes my school counselor was in fact an evil witch. Mom reamed her out for another ten minutes and I watched in awe as the old witch turned seven different shades of purple before mom grabbed my hand and together we left the building. We went out for ice cream and mom told me that there was absolutely nothing wrong with loving other boys and if anyone had a problem with it they were ignorant and intolerant and no matter what anyone said there was absolutely nothing wrong with me.

We went home and as I cleaned up mom explained what had happened to my old man. The first thing he asked me when I came downstairs was "was he cute?"

I never went back to that school. Mom had me pulled out and transferred. I never got to see Eric again either. Unfortunately, Eric's parents weren't as accepting and took the old witch up on the offer to have him fixed. I was sad but I had learned an important lesson that day. At the age of nine I learned that adults could be cruel. That people didn't always like what was different. That day I learned what it was like for someone to hate me for just being me. But I also learned that I have the right and I have that responsibility to stand up for myself, and to stand up for others when they were being victimized. I never wanted to feel like I was wrong for being me ever again. It was a horrible feeling, and I didn't want anyone else to have to experience it either.

This happened almost four years ago. Since then I have realized that yes I am gay, and I am proud of it. But today I realized that some people might not be okay with it. I never thought that Momo-sempai would be the type to go around dissing homosexuals. I never thought the person that I was beginning to consider as my best friend would be so homophobic and I never thought that I would face this kind of problem in my middle school tennis club.

Momo and some other second years were hooting and hollering about how they had spent last night tormenting some poor kid for being gay. Some of the things that came out of their mouths were so horrible and so cruel. And I couldn't help but feel sorry for this poor kid that had faced all this cruelty on his own. Some of the other members joined in and laughed along with them. Some looked away awkwardly and pretended not to hear. Others just completely ignored them. I never thought that Tezuka-bucho would be the type of person to stand by and watch discrimination go on. Then again I never thought that Momo was the kind of guy to dish it out so heavily. I guess that's what people mean when they say you can't trust first impressions.

But the thing that hit me hardest was the look on Kikumaru-sempai's face, and the way Oishi-sempai gripped his hand tightly. They both looked uncomfortable and somewhere deep underneath I could tell that they were both terrified. At that moment I truly hated Momo-sempai, I hated him for reminding me of that old counselor that wanted me fixed, I hated him for what he had done to that poor kid and I hated him for what he was doing to Kikumaru and Oishi. Before I knew what I was doing I had walked over to their giggling group of heartless hyenas stopping right in front of the ring leader. I stood right in front of Momo-sempai and he grinned gleefully down at me.

"Here to join the party Echizen?" he asked me.

The entire team was staring at us, and all I wanted to do was slug him in the face. I remember the humiliation that I felt that day when that cruel old witch was so certain that there was something wrong with me. And suddenly I can see a stunning resemblance between Momo and her. They have the same cruelty in their eyes.

Out of the corner of my eye I can see Kikumaru-sempai's crestfallen expression and the grim set to Oishi-sempai's. I can tell that they think that I'm about to join in on the reindeer games. And why shouldn't they, what with the way everyone else is acting. I can see Tezuka-bucho looking stern and I find it in myself to hate him just a little as well, because he has the power to end this. Just one word from him and it would all stop. He not saying anything is just like him saying that he supports them; it's just like if he was over there laughing along with them. It's like he's saying that what they did to that kid was okay and what they are putting Kikumaru- sempai and Oishi- sempai through right now is okay. For all I know that might be exactly what he thinks, but I don't know, I can't read his mind. All that I know is that he's not doing anything.

I look Momo dead in the eyes, I'm using that stare that mom used all those years ago for me. I wonder if he has any idea what I'm about to do? Probably not, he doesn't seem like the type to read too deeply into things.

I clench my fists and think about how much I want to hit him and I begin.

"Hey Momo-sempai guess what?" I asked him trying my hardest to keep my voice level.

I waited until he asked 'what' before I continued.

"I'm gay."

AN: This is the first story that I have published here. I would appreciate comments and constructive criticism.

This story will be continued (I'm not just going to leave it there).

All events and characters in this story are fictional. I do not own Prince of Tennis, I am only borrowing Ryoma and the others for this story.