Short Story: Toxicity by Sarah W.

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This is another story I wrote about one of my personal favorite fictional characters I’ve written, Warren. This one takes place when he’s fourteen and it’s about his unhealthy relationship with an older guy.

TW: Statutory Rape, Sexual Coercion, Homophobia

I met Theo at school and we started hanging out a few months ago. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t started going places with him because of what we’re doing and me feeling guilty. I know Mom would be angry with me and she’d think I was messed up. All I can say is I’m not gay and I know it’s probably sinful but I’m just experimenting. It was Theo’s idea. He’s nineteen and that makes what we’re doing illegal but he says age doesn’t matter. He says I’m plenty mature for my age and I think that’s true because I’m a lot more mature than most of the fourteen-year-olds I know.

A lot of them are having sex and that’s not even what I’m doing. We do lots of stuff together that doesn’t even involve those kinds of things but on some days we go someplace and kiss. He says I’m a good kisser but I feel sloppy. The only other person I’ve kissed is stupid Janine and she doesn’t even count. Theo has a girlfriend but I hope she doesn’t count either. Her name is Hailee and she’s nice even though most people like to make fun of me.

She always smiles at me and says ‘hi Warren’ and I think about what she’d say to me if she knew. I’m not a bad person and I don’t want to make her feel bad or make her be disgusted by me. I wish I could tell her how it feels to be me. The one time Theo tried to jack me off I thought I’d stop seeing him. I was so scared, I kept thinking about my parents and how much they’d hate me. My dad already pretty much hates me but my mom acts like she’s proud of me even though I’m a loser and I love her so much.

I wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt her or make her wish she hadn’t had me. That time with Theo was in his house when his mom was out and we were playing video games on these beat-up bean bag chairs. He kept winning and I was getting mad because he always got to practice the games at his house and I pretty much sucked at them. I tossed the controller on the coffee table too hard and then he sat on the same bean bag chair I was on and said ‘hey, chill out Warren. It’s just a game.’

I said something whiny and he said ‘lie down.’ He said it as a bossy order like something you’d say to a dog but I did it anyway. He said ‘hey, calm down. Close your eyes’ and I did that too. It was hard to keep from opening them. He undid my belt buckle and unzipped my pants and when he started touching me I gasped.

‘Hey, it’s okay. We’re not doing anything wrong.’

‘Theo, your mom.’

‘She’s not here. Trust me, we’ll hear her if she comes in. She always makes a racket. Sshh, you’re so stressed out all the time.’

‘I just get scared. I don’t want to get caught.’

‘I don’t want to go to prison, but I’m not scared. Fear is for pussies. No regrets, right, Warren?’

‘No regrets.’ He kept rubbing and I was breathing so heavily I don’t think I would have heard Mrs. Connelly on the off chance she did show up. Then something went off in my head and I got up and zipped up my pants and tried to ignore that I had a hard-on.

‘I wanna go.’

‘Warren, sit back down.’ It was an order again and this time it pissed me off.

‘I’m not gay.’

‘I thought we had already been over this.’

‘My mom would be so angry at me.’

‘What, are you planning on telling her about this?’

‘Man, I can barely look at her. I feel so gross sometimes.’

‘So what, you don’t want to see me anymore? I hate to break it to you but you don’t have a lot of other friends.’

‘I know, I know.’ I was desperate to head out the door.

‘You know the only reason you feel so guilty that I was getting you off is because you liked it so much.’

‘I’m going to have a girlfriend someday. I can’t have something like this in my past. We would have to be honest with each other.’

Theo looked amused. ‘Frankly, no one is expecting you to have a girlfriend any time soon.’

‘Shut up. My mom says there are lots of girls at church who like me.’

‘Religious fundie girls always go for fags.’

‘I’m not a… that is just not fucking true.’

‘Dude, I’m not calling you a fag. I’m just making a point.’

‘Please listen to me. I might not be 100% straight but I’m not 100% gay.”

‘Sure. Bi pride.’

I left and when I walked home my legs shook the whole way. I kept imagining a girl doing what Theo had been doing and trying to make my body feel the same way. Theo’s masculine. I mean, he’s no Steven Seagal but he’s not feminine. I think he considers me a little bit feminine but I feel like a man. I’m a little bit different but everyone is different. My mom always said if everyone was the same life would be boring. 

Despite all that though I started seeing Theo again a few days later. When he kissed me he held the back of my head and pushed me toward him so I couldn’t pull away. It made me feel uncomfortable but then we spent the afternoon hanging around Blockbuster and he bought me Taco Bell and we started to feel like friends again. 

‘You know, Warren. I think you really underestimate yourself. You’re smart and good-looking and you act like you’re a big fat zero.’

I laughed. ‘I don’t think I’m a zero. A two, maybe.’

‘I don’t waste my time with twos. You’re at least a seven.’

‘What’s Hailee?’

‘Are you jealous of her?’

‘I’m just wondering why you don’t break up with her.’

‘Warren, you’re not gay. Didn’t you tell me that literally a few days ago?’

‘Yeah, but I’m not 100% straight and I like being with you.’

‘Show me. Hailee does things and you won’t do them. Show me why I should break up with her.’

‘There’s a lot of stuff I haven’t done. I don’t know if I’d be good at it.’

‘There’s a first time for everything. I’ll tell you if you’re doing a good job or not.’

We were standing out in his yard with all the random junk piled up in the grass. It was starting to get really cold and I felt really light-headed. I knew I was trying to make me do things I wouldn’t normally feel comfortable with but maybe it’s about time. I feel like I’ve gone far enough that I can’t really go back.

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