The following morning Matt woke up snug in his brother’s arms. Sighing Matt knew he must have been either talking or moaning in his sleep again. Something had to have awakened Ian, alerting him that he was having a bad dream. Trying not to disturb his brother Matt scooted to the foot of the bed. Standing he stood over his brother thankful that he never had to question whether Ian loved him. It was apparent from the way Ian was always looking out for him. At times though Matt wished he didn’t need his brother so much. Ian deserved to have a normal life not one filled with worry over him.
Walking from the room Matt went downstairs to shower. Yesterdays events laid heavy on his mind. It was one thing to be beat up for something you believe in or defending someone. But to be beat up because they thought you were something you weren’t felt awful. He wondered how people lived with it, being beat up because of something they couldn’t change. Looking at his reflection in the mirror Matt knew he wasn’t gay. Shaking his head he wondered why he was letting Malcolm’s words affect him so much. He liked girls; especially the pretty blond girl who sat in front of him in home room. If only he could talk to her without sounding like an idiot. It seemed like every time he opened his mouth something stupid popped out when she was there making him nervous.
Combing his hair he grimaced at himself mumbling ‘its time to put on my happy face’. Leaving the bathroom he began to whistle ‘You are my Sunshine’. Sitting down for breakfast he smiled at his mom “good morning” he said with a cheer he didn’t feel.
“Good morning dear, sleep well?” she asked.
“Like a baby,” he lied looking sideways at Ian hoping he wouldn’t mention the nightmare.
Ian looked up at Matt wondering why Matty always tried so hard to present a happy front even when he was miserable on the inside. Not for the first time Ian wondered if he should say something to their dad. Something was eating at Matt and it was more than Malcolm and his thugs. Eating his pancakes in silence Ian decided that after school he was going to pin Matt down and get him to talk to him. Matt needed to know that his happy-go-lucky act wasn’t fooling him. He looked over at their dad and he doubted it was fooling him either.
When Ian went upstairs to finish getting ready for school Gene followed him. “Ian do you know what’s bothering your brother?” Gene asked.
Shrugging Ian didn’t want to say anything at least not until he had a chance to talk to Matt. “Not really” he mumbled. Ian saw the look of disbelief flit across his dad’s face and knew he wasn’t buying it. “I know he’s been having nightmares again,” Ian admitted.
“Did he have one last night?” Gene asked concerned.
Nodding “I’ll talk to him. I promise. Right after school.” Ian said hoping he could stall for time. He had an idea what was bothering Matt but he didn’t want to break his promise…
“I know you Ian,” Gene sighed “you know something. Why won’t you tell me? I can’t help if I don’t know what’s going on.”
“I know dad but I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone,” he grabbed his backpack and ran towards the stairs “if he doesn’t tell you soon I will. I promise.”
Gene watched his son skip down the stairs envying him his ease of movement. Shaking his head Gene knew something was wrong, he could feel it. There was something tearing Matt apart at the seams and his cheerful act was only a poor attempt at camouflaging the black-hole that was growing inside him. Gene knew that feeling all to well. Instead of pretending to be happy all the time he turned to alcohol, drugs and suicide attempts. He would do anything to keep Matt from going down that path.
Walking to his home room class Matt sat behind the beautiful girl of his dreams. She turned around and smiled at him. His heart leaped into his throat as he returned her smile. She leaned over the desk to whisper in his ear “you’re cute.”
He knew his face turned fifty shades of red under her steady green-eyed gaze. She gave him another smile as she patted his hand. Giggling she got up and walked around his desk to sit on his lap. Wrapping her arms around him she ran her fingers through his wind-blown hair. She brought her lips down on his.
Matt didn’t know what was happening or where to put his hands. He struggled at first until he surrendered to the pleasant sensations of having a pretty girl kiss him while sitting on his lap. A loud cracking sound resounded through the class room as the teacher brought his pointer stick down heavily across Matt’s desk top startling both of them. “Mr Bennett, Ms Robinson. Office Now.” He nearly shouted pointing towards the door. Scrambling to their feet, gathering their stuff the left the room to gales of laughter from their classmates.
“I’m sorry Matt,” Angelica said as they walked towards the principles office. Before he could respond someone grabbed him and dragged him into the boys bathroom. He was thrown across the room to the far wall where two boys pulled his arms behind him. He watched while Malcolm pulled Angelica into an embrace kissing her passionately “did he give you any trouble?”
“No it was easy. I had him eating out of my hand,” she smiled sweetly at Matt “one things for sure…he’s not gay. He was enjoying it a little too much,” she giggled as she left.
With a sinking feeling Matt realized he had been set up. From the narrow eyed look of malice on Malcolm’s face he knew he’d be lucky to get out of this alive. “So you like kissing my girl,” Malcolm growled as he approached “it’s time you learned your place little boy.” Malcolm hit fast and low knocking Matt’s breath away.
Matt fell to the floor once they released his arms. He had lost track of how many times Malcolm hit him. He was in so much pain dying would almost be preferable to living. He heard Malcolm ask one of the boys “do you have the stuff?” Malcolm smiled as the boy handed him a syringe “this should send him to the moon and back. Hold him still,” Malcolm instructed.
Screaming Matt tried to break from the boys who were holding him down. He watched at Malcolm pulled up his shirt sleeve to plunge the syringe into his arm. “Please don’t…I’ll do whatever you want. Please…” he pleaded but it fell on deaf ears.
“As tempting as that is I’m not interested not after what your sister did to me. Don’t worry Bennett you’re about to join the ranks of some sorry ass druggie and I’m going to enjoy the show.” With that Malcolm jammed the needle into Matt’s arm.
A strange burning sensation in his arm caused Matt to squirm in pain “what … what did you give me?” he mumbled having difficulty forming the words.
“I…I don’t feel so good,” Matt tried to sit up but his arms and legs refused to work. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest as the room began to spin.
“How much did you give him?” Scott asked leaning down watching in horror as Matt started to gasp for air.
“I don’t know whatever was in the syringe,” Malcolm ran his hands through his hair.
“I don’t think he’s breathing,” Scott said standing up and running for the door. Malcolm followed after the others leaving Matt alone on the floor.
Late for class Celia squeezed herself against the lockers as Malcolm and his gang ran out of the boys bathroom and down the hall. Curiosity had Celia hesitating outside the door. Hesitating a moment to glance in both directions down the hall before she opened the door a crack to peak in. She wondered what had frightened that pack of hyenas enough to run. Peering through the crack she saw something or someone on the floor. Opening the door wider she saw a boy lying motionless on the floor. Rushing over to him she noticed he had been severely beaten and with trembling fingers she reached out to check for a pulse. At that moment someone walked into the bathroom behind her.
“Matty?” Ian cried as he walked into the bathroom. Seeing his brother unconscious on the floor made him feel sick to his stomach and light-headed.
“Do you know CPR?” Celia demanded of him. Nodding he dropped down beside her on his knees unable to take his eyes from his brother.
“Snap out of it,” Celia yelled as she slapped him “he’s not breathing.” Shaking Ian leaned over and started to breathe into his brother’s mouth. Celia watched for a moment to make sure Ian really knew CPR before taking her I-phone out to call 911 “I don’t know who he is. He just needs help. I don’t have time to run to the nurses office. What don’t you understand? The kid isn’t breathing what difference does it make whether I make the call or the nurse does. Are you some kind of idiot?”
Standing Ian motioned for Celia to take over CPR as he grabbed the phone from her. “My brother isn’t breathing. He’s been beaten up and we found him lying on the floor passed out. His name is Matthew Bennett age 14. Hurry.”
“Quick help me turn him,” Celia yelled at him “he’s going to aspirate and we need to keep his airway clear. Doing as he was told Ian was never more thankful that she seemed to know what to do as he watched her clear Matt’s airway. Double checking his pulse and breathing she turned to Ian “he’s your brother?”
Nodding Ian knelt beside Matty “do you know what happened?” he asked staring at Matt.
“I think Malcolm and his gang are responsible for this,” she glanced up as the nurse entered followed by the paramedics. They stood up and backed away to make room for them. As Celia moved her foot it knocked into something, looking down she found a syringe. Picking it up with her fingertips she stuffed it into her bag.
Nurse Moore turned to the kids “you should have come to get me before calling the paramedics,” she scolded. Looking down at Matt she continued “what drugs did your brother take?” As she spoke her contempt for both Ian and Matt were evident in her scathing tone and her lack of concern showing as she scanned the floor as if she were looking for something.
Ian felt his mouth go dry as he responded “Matty doesn’t do drugs…”
The nurse rolled her eyes sneering “we all know who your father is. Once a druggie always a druggie.” Pointing at the paramedics the nurse callously said “if you want to save your brother you’d best tell us what drugs he took.”
Shaking his head Ian felt tears build up behind his eyes as he was overwhelmed with despair. “He isn’t on any drugs” he said firmly lifting his chin refusing to let this woman reduce him to tears. He resented how people assumed he and Matt were a certain way because his dad was a celebrity. The school was full of celebrities. Why pick on them? Other celebrity parents used drugs Ian had no doubt. He knew his dad made mistakes in the past. Why keep digging up ancient history? What did that have to do with what they did or didn’t do? He looked down as he felt Celia squeeze his hand “what?” he asked.
Glancing over at the nurse who seemed to be doing her best to obstruct the paramedics then helping. Celia tugged on his hand and led Ian from the room. Looking both ways down the hall before reaching into bag “I found this on the floor….”
Ian stared at the needle as blood drained from his face. With shaky hands he reached for it growling “let me see that.” He couldn’t believe it….Matty wouldn’t be stupid enough to do drugs. He was so positive that Matt wouldn’t. This couldn’t be happening.
Before Ian could touch the syringe Celia dropped it back into her bag. “Don’t touch it,” she said “we may be able to get fingerprints off of it.”
“Why? What would that prove?” Ian asked as he brought a hand up to rake through his long hair.
“I don’t think your brother took whatever was in that syringe voluntarily. I think Malcolm and company gave it to him. I saw them running from the bathroom like the devil was chasing them.” She sighed “it’s what made me curious. It’s why I went into the boys bathroom…I wanted to know what could scare those idiots.”
“I’m glad you did for whatever reason….you probably saved Matty’s life,” Ian said sliding down the wall as his legs gave out beneath him “we should tell them…”
“We will at the hospital….” Celia joined him leaning against the wall. “I don’t like Nurse Moore. There’s something about her that’s just a little off. She doesn’t seem to be all that interested in helping Matt. What if I give her the syringe? I have a feeling we’ll never see it again or ever know what was in it.”
Leaning his head on his knees Ian tried to figure out what they should do. His brother’s life depended on it. Jumping to his feet as he heard someone call his name.
“Ian” Gene called as he ran towards them. “Where’s your brother?” he asked pulling Ian into a bear hug.
Pointing towards the closed bathroom door “in there,” Ian muttered as his dad moved past him towards the door. Ian grabbed his dad’s arm “dad they think Matt was doing drugs.”
A muscle ticked in Gene’s jaw as he digested the news. Two police officers approached them before Gene was able to go and see Matt. “Mr Bennett” an officer said. Turning Gene recognized him as the same man who had arrested the crazy stalker girl almost ten years before.
Nodding Officer Barnett confirmed “they do whenever they suspect drug involvement,” his voice and eyes conveying his compassion.
Gene sighed accepting it as an inevitable procedure the school had to do. The administrators couldn’t prevent his kids from being bullied but they would turn them in to the cops if they were doing drugs.
Mustering her courage Celia approached Gene and the officer. “Excuse me but I have something you should see.” She went on to explain what she saw and found.
Taking the syringe from her Officer Barnett smiled grimly “we’ll get this analyzed and see if we can get fingerprints off of it.” Turning to his partner he instructed “we need some more men here to canvass the school and put out on APB for Malcolm Moore as a person of interest in an ongoing investigation.” Turning towards Gene he said “this Malcolm kid is a real trouble maker. I suggest you get a good lawyer Mr. Bennett because Malcolm’s father will be playing dirty and twisting this situation into being your son’s fault. I’ve seen it happen multiple times and so far the Moore money has kept that boy out of prison.”
At that moment the door opened behind them as the paramedics appeared taking Matt out on a gurney. Gene moved towards them asking “how is he?”
Before the paramedics could respond Nurse Moore responded “he’d be doing a lot better if we knew what drugs he took.” She gave Gene a nasty look “maybe you could enlighten us since he probably got them from you.”
Taken aback by her snide insinuations and callousness Gene clenched his hands into fists. “What makes you so sure he’s on drugs?”
Eyeing him up and down she laughed “it’s a reasonable conclusion considering who his parents are.” She pushed past him saying coldly “now if you’ll excuse me I have more important things to do.”
“More important things…” Gene growled wanting to go after her.
One of the paramedics shook his head at the retreating nurse “I don’t get it she acted like she wanted the kid to die.”
His partner nodded “she acted nervous like she was looking for something and couldn’t find it.”
Gene noticed that Officer Barnett was silently taking notes of the exchange. He wondered why but elected to ignore it as he asked “How is he?” Gene reached out and lightly touched his son’s battered face. It was the single worst thing he had ever experienced, seeing his child like this with a tube inserted in his mouth…god how did his father do this? The gut wrenching worry was eating him alive. Gene had a new understanding and perspective of what he must have put his dad through all those years ago …
“We’ve opened up his airway but his respiratory system is being depressed by something,” Looking uneasily at Gene the paramedic continued “drugs are usually the most likely cause. He aspirated before we got here. Whoever cleared his airway most likely saved his life.” With that the paramedics continued on their way with Gene following.
Staring after his dad and the paramedics Ian reached for Celia’s hand “you did that. You saved my brother…” his voice dissolved into sobs as Celia gently pulled him into her, holding him while he sobbed on her shoulder.
Authors Note: I forgot to mention last chapter that Celia Nugget was created for me by legendofsim/thepartysim. She’s a beautiful sim and she’s sure to be a lovely addition to the game/story.