My Very First Worshiper, My Last Real Friend
Joe Henderson was 5’7 with big brown eyes that looked like they would pop out the socket at any given moment if he wasn’t careful and the grossest zit I’ve ever seen in my life. Probably explains why he became my best friend in Phoenix (no one can top Andreas). He was a loser-like me.
The first time I saw Joe was in detention when the teacher, Mrs. Minish, was out of the room. Mr. Baits and Principal Evans came up with that punishment. I had to serve every day after school for two weeks.
Anyway, after the teacher left, he too had made the mistake of asking the goth girl what she was in for. After she gave no reply, he put his head on the desk, only to have gum stuck to his neck by none other than Jake Croffman.
“Gross!,” Joe yelled, pulling the wet, sticky gum off his neck.
Jake laughed. “No, what’s gross is that zit. Ever heard of proactive?”
Some guys sitting next to Jake laughed.
Joe lowered his head and muttered, ‘****’, under his breath.
“What’s the matter? Did we hurt your feelings?”, another jock that I recognized hanging with Tom said.
“Dude,” Jake called out. “You better stop hurting this fag’s feelings before he runs home and tells his mama.”
“Oh **** off, Jake,” I spoke up. “He’s not bothering you.”
Not only was everyone else shocked that I just said that. I was shocked I said that. Jake Croffman was like the Randy Couture of Southshore. Anyone who challenged him was just asking for an **** kicking.
Jake turned away from Joe, facing me. I was sitting to the right of Joe who now had his head turned all the way now, probably just relieved to see that he was no longer Jake’s victim.
“Kaulitz, I think you better stay out of this,” Jake said. “You would if you know what’s good for you.”
“Oh really?,” I asked. “Well how many times have you said that and haven’t done ****? To be honest, Croffman, I think you’re bluffing.”
Everyone in the English speaking world could hear the oooohhh’s that followed my response. The room was silent shortly after, just waiting to hear Jake’s response.
He arose from his chair and stood in front of my desk.
“I think you better shut the **** up,” he said, shaking the desk.
“Make me,” I said, standing up.
I have no idea what took over me at that instant because the sane Bill wouldn’t have done it. It was as if I was possessed by some alter ego and I had no control over what I did, or said anymore.
Jake looked around as all the other guys and the goth chick waited for his response.
This guy was pathetic. He couldn’t even think of another threat. And the one he came up with was the lamest in the book.
He finally pulled the collar of my shirt so that I was face to face with him.
“I’ll beat the dude out of you!”, he said and everyone laughed.
“There is no dude to beat out of him, Jake!” the other jocks called out.
“He’s just a sorry-**** pussy!”
“Yeah, now why don’t you put Tom’s little sister down!”
I did my best to ignore them all and prepare for the **** kicking I was going to get for mouthing off to Jake.
“Is there a problem, Mr. Croffman?”
Mrs. Minish had returned, thank God!
“No ma’am,” Jake said, realeasing me.
“Good,” Mrs. Minish replied. “Now sit down. All of you, unless you want Saturday detention.”
I could feel Jake’s angry eyes on me through the rest of detention.
“That was cool how you stood up to Jake like that,” Joe said after detention was over. “I’ve never seen anyone who had that much guts to do that.”
“Yeah, well no one sane would have,” I replied. “It was a big mistake.”
“I don’t think so,” Joe said. “He deserved it. He needs to get a taste of his own medicine.”
“Yeah, sure,” I said, sitting on a bench outside the school doors. “But it just means and **** kicking for me.”
Joe plopped down next to me and began picking at the zit on his face. (I soon found out that was a regular habit.)
At that same instant, Lucinda Garcia came running out the school, Jake running after her.
“Jake stop!”, she yelled, doing that sweet little giggle and flashing that beautiful smile as she ran past me.
Jake caught up to her a couple steps away from where Joe and I were sitting and wrapped his arms around her waist.
“Got ya”, he said in a husky voice, tickling her up and down her torso.
She giggled again as he pulled her into a long kiss.
I watched as she caressed his face, moving her delicate, dainty fingers to grab the collar of his shirt. When she pulled away, her eyelashes fluttered and she giggled again as Jake whispered something in her ear. She gave him a deviant look before smiling and nodding.
I frowned as Jake’s car sped off across the parking lot. I was so engrossed in that whole scene that I didn’t even notice Joe waving his hand in my face.
“She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”, he said with a grin.
“Lucinda,” he said. “You can’t stop staring.”
“Well neither can you,” I replied.
“Have you ever talked to her before?”
“Yeah,” I said, recalling the day when she fell into my arms.
I seriously thought Joe’s eyes were literally going to pop out his face, the way his eyes widened.
“What did you guys talk about?”, he asked in total astonishment.
“I don’t know- this and that,” I said trying my best not to blush at the thought of her.
“Wow,” he replied. “So you like her, then? A lot?”
I tried to play it off. “Not really.”
“Doesn’t seem that way,” he replied.
“Why do you say that?”, I asked.
“You’re as red as I am after eating my mother’s jalepinio soup.”
“What? I am not!,” I said.
I sighed. “Well so what if I do.”
“How are you going to get her?”
“It’s never going to happen,” I said.
“Well how would you know if you don’t give it a shot?,” he asked. “Do you want my opinion?”
“No, not really……..”
“You’re really different from most guys around here. Lucinda would love the change. And with my help, you could be the one she wants,” he said.
“What do you do know about girls?”
“Absolutely nothing at all,” he said with a sigh, putting his head down. “But I’d like to find out!”
“Haley Rodrigez is Lucinda’s best friend,” he answered. “If you get involved with Lucinda, maybe I’d have a better chance with Haley.”
I sighed. Was this guy out of his mind? Why in hell would Lucinda Garcia want to go out with me? I was the exact opposite of Jake Croffman. I’m pretty sure those are the only type of guys her, and Haley for that matter, fool around with. The chance of us hooking up with them was zero. Not to mention the whole Jake Croffman factor. Making moves on his girlfriend was the last thing I needed to do.
“What do you say?”, he asked extending his hand.
I sighed again. Though the punishment off getting my **** kicked by Jake was clear in my head, the thought of being with Lucinda, running my hands up her body, kissing those soft lips, was like HD. I couldn’t resist the urge to try.
“Ok. Fine,” I told him.
I noticed he was still holding his hand out.
“I’m not shaking that after you’ve spent the last few minutes picking at your zit.”
He smiled. “Fair enough. I’m Joe.”
And that’s how I gained my very first devoted worshiper.