2-7-2001

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
A Step Away

Author: me! Znma!

Archive: anyone??

warnings: major ooc, au (so who is to say if they are really occ....) drug stuff

parings: relena + some guy, 3x4, 2 + solo (i think thats in for this part)

notes: book not by me, borrowing plot, any non g-wing chara's mine! (jaren, renzie, etc.) for my koi, fallen angel, for her love and support ~ keep shining and to everyone who encouraged me to continue, it means a lot!

-------

November 7, AC 195

Dear Friend,

I met someone new today. She was one of the girls at the party with the tattoo and bellybutton ring. I see her at lunch sometimes and she smokes with Trowa and Duo. Her name is Hilde. The reason I bring this up is that today is such a nice day and Hilde, who has been a Buddhist since July, was telling me about moments of Zen and stuff.

She told me all about Zen and how I was connected to everything, even grass and dogs. She told me how her tattoo symbolizes it all. Although I don't really remember what she said, except for the fact that Zen is a day like today when you feel part of the air and you remember things. (1) Beyond that I think the only other thing she talked about was how expensive cigarettes are.

Trowa told me how him and Quatre got together. Apparently Trowa used to be pretty popular until Duo got him in to good music. So Trowa and Quatre were both drunk at this party, even though Trowa said that Quatre was acting drunker than he really was, and they were sitting with this girl named Teagan, and when she got up to go to the bathroom they were left alone. Trowa said it was both exciting and uncomfortable, so they just talked.

And when they ran out of things to talk about they started fooling around, right there in the basement. But on Monday Quatre kept saying the same thing:

"Man, I was so wasted. I don't remember a thing!"

He said it to everyone at the party, even to Trowa. It didn't matter that no one had seen that they did. Then, the next Friday there was another party and they were both stoned, even though Trowa said that Quatre was acting more stoned than he really was. They ended up fooling around again. But at school Quatre said the same thing.

It went on for months and Quatre eventually would get drunk or stoned before coming to school. Not that they ever fooled around at school, or anything. Quatre wouldn't talk to Trowa in the halls but they still did stuff every Friday night.

When summer rolled around Quatre was getting drunk and stoned all the time. He showed up at this big party that Trowa and Duo had at their house and that caused quite a stir because it was a lot less popular crowd than Quatre usually hung with. But after a lot of the people left Trowa and Quatre went into Trowa's room.

They had sex for the first time that night.

I won't go into details because it pretty private, but I will tell you that Quatre was what Trowa called the uke. After Quatre started to cry really hard and he wouldn't let Trowa hold him, which I think is very sad because after I have sex with someone I would want them to hold me.

Finally Trowa just pulled up Quatre's pants and told him to pretend he passed out. So Trowa went back to the party and asked anyone if they had seen Quatre. No one had and eventually they found him asleep in Trowa's room.

Trowa called Mr. Winner, Quatre's dad, and he came to pick him up. They took him to rehab, because Mr. Winner didn't want him to ruin he chances at a football scholarship. Trowa didn't see Quatre for the rest of the summer and no one could figure out why he had been getting stoned and drunk all the time.

Once the school year started Quatre avoided Trowa a lot and they never went to the same parties until about a month ago. That was when Quatre threw rocks at Trowa's window and told him that nobody could know, and Trowa understood. They only see each other now at night on the golf course or at parties like Rashad's where people understand.

I asked Trowa if he felt sad that he had to keep it a secret. Trowa said he wasn't because at least now Quatre didn't have to be drunk or stoned to make love.

Zechs gave me a B for my paper on "Peter Pan." I thought about being a writer when I grow up, so I started working on a 'zine, an underground xerox magazine, called "Punk Rocky" about punk music and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". I don't write for it but I help out.

Hilde is in charge of it, just like she is in charge of the local showing of RHPC. Hilde is weird because she has a Zen tattoo and a bellybutton ring and wears her hair to make somebody mad (2), but when it she's in charge of something, she is all business. She is a senior, and says me sister is a tease and a snob. I told her not to talk about my sister that way.

Of all the things I've done this year I think I like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" the best. Trowa and Duo took me to see it on Halloween and it was so much fun! Everyone dresses up in costume and they shout at the movie on cue. Also people act out the movie in front of the screen.

Trowa plays "Frank 'N Furter" and Duo plays "Janet." I asked why he was playing the roll of a girl and he said it was because he was the best at tryouts and Hilde has a crush on him and wanted to see him in nothing but women's underwear. I thought that was funny. It is very difficult to watch with Duo walking around as Janet and I can see why Hilde would like it.

To tell you the truth, I love Duo. Not like the movie kinda love either. Sometimes I just look at him and think he is the nicest prettiest person in the whole world. Which brings up another problem. Solo.

Solo is older than my brother; I think he is in his twenties. He plays "Rocky" in the show and is Duo's boyfriend (3). Trowa says that Solo is "cut and hunky." Trowa has weird phrases sometimes.

But I guess he is right. Solo is "cut and hunky" and also very creative. He is a great photographer and he is a male model for clothing magazines. There is one picture of Duo that he took. It is hard to describe but I will try.

If you listen to the song "The Stance" and think about beautiful days and great memories. And you think about the pretest eyes you have ever seen. And you cry and the person holds you back, then you will see the picture.

I want Duo to stop liking Solo. You may think it is because I am jealous. I am not. I just don't think that Solo really listens to him. Take for example the picture of Duo he took. He would think that the picture is beautiful because of the way he took it. If I took the picture I would know that the only reason it is beautiful is Duo.

I think that it is bad when a guy looks at someone and thinks that the way he sees them is better than they actually are. And I think it is sad that the only honest way he can look at them is through a camera. And it is hard for me to see Duo feeling better about himself just because an older boy sees him that way.

I asked my sister about this and she says Duo had low self-esteem. According to her, Duo was known as "The Blow King" his sophomore year. I really can't think about Duo like that though. I really am in love with Duo and it hurts very much.

I did ask my sister about the boy at the dance and she said she wouldn't tell me anything until I promised not to tell anyone, even Zechs. So, I promised. Relena has been secretly seeing this boy and they are going to get married after they both finish college and he finishes law school.

She told me not to worry because he hasn't hit her again and that he won't ever. She didn't say much more but she did keep talking. It was nice to just sit there and talk with here. I was surprised that she told me as much as she did. But I guess she just needed to tell someone.

But as much as she told me not to, I do worry about Relena. She is my sister, after all.

Sincerely,
Heero

--------

(1) i don't know much about Zen but this is kinda what the book said and some of my friend who is into that told me... sorry if i offened anyone by this.
(2) its prolly to make Noin mad that they have practally the same hair cut... hmmmm
(3) i'm sorry about the solo thing... duo just needed somone before heero could come into the picture like that....

-------

November 15, AC 195

Dear Friend,

It was raining today and I was sitting in class looking out the window watching the rain. It really got me thinking. Of all the people in the world I can't be the only one watching the rain from my school window wishing I were anywhere but here. Then I got thinking about how old the school is and that I wasn't the first person to watch the rain from the exact same window. Rain makes me think things like that and the sun makes me tired. I'm not sure why.

Wufei called home for the first time in a few weeks yesterday and up until then my mom was talking about grades and sleeping habits and healthy eating. My dad keept telling her not to worry because he isn't going to get hurt.

Personally, I like to think that he is having the kind of college experience like the movies. Not a frat movie like "Animal House" or "PCU" but one where the guy who meets a smart girl who is pretty in an unconventional way. I think that would be good for him, keep him on his feet.

The thing is when my brother does call home he doesn't talk about much else except for football because their team is so good. There are some great players on the team, and my brother says one will most likely go pro even though he is as "dumb as a post."

Wufei told a story where the whole team was sitting around the locker room talking about all the stuff they had to do to get into college football. Finally they got around to talking about SAT scores.

This guys said, "I got a 710."

And my brother said, "Math or verbal?"

And the guy said, "huh?"

And the whole team laughed.

I've always wanted to be on a sports team like that. I'm not sure why. I guess it would be nice to have "glory days" to look back on and tell my kids about. I mean I used to play basketball and I was pretty good, but that was before everything changed.

Perhaps I could tell my kids about "Punk Rocky" and Trowa and Duo and watching the rain. Maybe these are my "glory days" and I don't even realize it because there is no ball.

It's like looking at old pictures. Everyone always looks so much happier than they do now and they talk about the "good old days." I look at the pictures of my mom and dad when they were younger and think about what they were feeling when they took the picture and if they ever thought about what it would be like to have someone look at the picture years later.

I look at the pictures and wonder what made them the way they are now. I wonder what Relena's face will look like if she marries her secret boyfriend. And what Wufei's face will look like on a football card. Or what it will look like if it is never on a football card.

My dad had "glory days" once. He always tells this story where he is playing college baseball before my mom got pregnant. Anyway, it is the bottom of the ninth, his team is down by one with two outs and my dad was up. This game was like for the state championship and the other members of the team were nervous because he was a freshman. So after a few balls he got in "the zone" and he knew exactly how the next ball was going to come. And he hit it straight out of the park and got a home run. The thing about the story is it never changes and my dad isn't one to exaggerate.

I think about this when I watch football with Trowa and Duo. I watch the guy who just scored and wonder if he knows that these are his glory days. And if his kids are going to look at his pictures and think that he was happier.

So, Wufei called to say that he wouldn't be able to make it home for thanksgiving because he needs to catch up on schoolwork. My mom was upset so she took me shopping. She didn't stop talking once the whole time. I just made sounds of acknowledgement every once in a while, but that's it. First it was about Wufei not coming home, then about Relena applying to college. Finally she was talking about how green was my colour.

I wore the clothes she got be to school today and Duo said I looked good. I told my mom that and she asked if I wanted to invite Duo and Trowa over for dinner after the holidays. I called them and they said yes!

I'm really excited because the last friend I had over was Catherine. I was still young enough that it wasn't weird to have a girl spend the night. We weren't tired and so we went for a walk around the neighborhood when my parents fell asleep. Catherine looked in all the windows that were quiet and dark.

She said, "Do you know if those people are nice?"

"The Ryerson's? Yea, they're old."

"What about those people?"

"Mr. Welty doesn't like baseballs going in his yard."

"What about those people?"

"Mrs. Clark spends most of her time at her mom's and Mr. Clark spends it in the back yard. I don't know if they are nice. They don't have kids."

"Is she sick?"

"Mrs. Clark?"

"Yea."

"I don't know. My mom would know and she didn't say anything."

Catherine nodded. "They are getting a divorce."

"You think so?"

"Uh-huh."

We just kept walking really quiet for a while. Catherine had a way of doing that. I think I should mention that Catherine's parents are divorced now. I wonder if she saw it coming?

Sincerely,
Heero

-----

November 23, AC 195

Dear Friend,

Thanksgiving in my family is quite an experience, as with all holidays that include my extended family. But, they are interesting for 2 reasons. 1) Everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other and 2) the fights are always the same.

It all starts when my grandpa (my mother's father) finishes his third drink. He starts talking about how the neighborhood is falling apart and that the cities corrupt. Relena tries to argue with him but he says she doesn't know what she is talking about because she lives in the suburbs. Next comes the rant about how nobody visits him in the retirement home. Then he will start to tell family secrets, like, such and such cousin knocked up the waitress at the Big Boy. Of course he doesn't hear very well so he is saying this all very loud.

Relena always fights with him but she never wins. Then he yells at my Aunt Cailin for making the food "too dry" even if it isn't. Then Aunt Cailin will get upset and lock herself in the bathroom. Unfortunately, there is only one bathroom in my aunts house so after a while if you look out the window you see my cousins doing their business outside. It's actually quite humorous.

During all of the aforementioned activity my dad just sits there. He is not much of a drinker but when we have to visit my mom's family her gets "loaded" as my cousin Tim says. I think my dad would rather spend the holidays with his family in Sank. He doesn't like my grandfather much, but her never says anything, just sits there and gets drunk.

And when the night is over someone has to drive my grandpa back to the retirement home. But first we have to carry him to the car and let me tell you that is no easy task. One year my brother drove him back and I went along for the ride. Wufei is the only one who ever got along with him. And it was snowing and grandpa started talking like he never had before.

He told us how he was 16 when he had to quit school to support the family. He talked about how he had to work at some sort of factory. And then he started talking about my mom and Uncle Jay.

But this year was different. Wufei wasn't here to control grandpa, but we did have a tape of his game to watch. So the whole family gathered around the TV and we started watching his game. My mom looked nervous, like she was afraid she was going to get hurt, which is weird because we had watched this game already. And everyone else had huge smiles on their faces, even Relena. But not my grandpa, he was crying a very soft and quiet way. I could tell he was very proud of Wufei.

When the game was over we all went to eat dinner and got to say what we were thankful for. A lot of it was about the family and God and they all meant it. When it came to me I said:

"I'm thankful that we could watch Wufei's game so nobody fought."

Everyone looked around the table uncomfortably. Some looked mad and other looked embarrassed. But then it was Aunt Cailin that broke the silence with one simple word:

"Amen."

And it made it all right.

Right before we left I hugged my grandpa and he pushed me away like he didn't know what I was doing. I'm glad I did, though, in case he dies. I never got to do that with Uncle Jay.

Sincerely,
Heero

-----

December 7, AC 195

Dear Friend,

Have you participated in "Secret Santa?" It's an activity where a group of friends draw a name out of a hat and they are supposed to a lot of Christmas presents for the person that they choose. The presents are secretly placed in their lockers when they are not there and at the end there is a party and everyone finds out who their secret Santa is and exchange the final presents.

Duo started this with his group of friends about three years ago and now is a tradition with them. And the final party is said to be the best of the year. It happens the night after our last day of school before the break.

I don't know who picked me, but I got Trowa. I'm really glad I got him even though I wished for Duo. I haven't seen Trowa much except for in shop class because he has been spending most of his free time with Quatre. So this is a good way to keep me thinking about him.

His first present was a mixed tape. It's called "In the Mirror" because it is the type of music that makes you think about life and yourself. The first side has what we like to call 'driving music' on it with songs by Blondie and The Misfits and some random techno music that is fun to drive fast to. But the second side is my favorite. It's packed with the self-reflection songs.

Here they are:

The Stance - Anti 45
God Called in Sick Today - AFI
Al's War - Less Than Jake
Perfect Day - Pennywise (not the same song as the one Duo played me)
Another Day - Slow Gherkin
Me vs. Myself - Shower with Goats
Restraints - Fury 66
A Place Called Home - Ignite
Soulmate - No Use For a Name
Amazed - The Offspring
Knowledge - Operation Ivy
Moonlight Dreams - Tiger Army

And finally--

Danny is a Homophobe/sexual - The WhyiOughtas (because I think Trowa would get a kick out of it!) (1)

I spent all night working on the tape. Making a mixed tape isn't as easy as it sounds. You need a theme then all the right songs, but, and this is the important part, they need to be in the right order or nothing works. If you have done everything right it feels amazing to hold the finished product in your hand. You feel proud, as if they are your own original songs. I wonder if the artists are that proud and feel good to have affected at least one person's life the way they did. I would.

Sure enough, Trowa loved the tape. But I think he knows it was me who gave it to him. I'm the only one besides Duo who would make a tape like that, plus he knows my handwriting. I probably should have saved it for the last gift. His second gift is going to be one of the "how to blow balloon animals like clowns" books, just because I think that everyone needs something like that.

As for my gift, it wasn't that special. I'm actually more disappointed that I thought I would be, probably because I put so much to Trowa's I figured that someone would do the same for me. I'll bet Hilde has me; she's the only one that would give me socks.

Sincerely,
Heero

------
1) so the Danny is a homophobe/sexual thing.. i was thinking about making it into a songfic staring Heero but im not sure... well see

----
December 21, AC 195

Dear Friend,

Wow. We were all sitting in Duo and Trowa's house. I have never been there before but it is a really nice place. It was snowing outside and there was a warm glow about the house. I just felt nice.

It was also the first time I had met Mr. and Mrs. Barton. Duo's mom is very pretty and Duo said that she used to be an actress when she was younger. Trowa's dad is a tall handsome man that is a great cook. It was great because they didn't make me feel awkward or anything. And after dinner they left and let us have the whole downstairs to ourselves. They didn't even check on us once, they let us pretend it was our own house. So we decided to have the party in the games room, which has no games but a great carpet.

It was reviled that I was Trowa's Secret Santa and everybody laughed because everybody already knew. Trowa did his best to act surprised though. So every body asked what my last gift to him was and it was a poem that Catherine had made a copy of for me. I have read it a thousand times because I don't know who wrote it or where Catherine got it. But I want to know who wrote it and know if they are ok.

So everyone asked me to read it. I stood up and I wasn't shy about it because we were all feeling grown-up drinking brandy and all. I asked that if anyone knew who wrote it to tell me. After I read it everyone was quiet. It wasn't a sad quiet just a quiet that was good. And I looked at Duo and Trowa and they looked at me. And they understood. I'm not sure what but they did, and that's all you can ever ask for in a friend.

Then Trowa put on the second side of the tape that I made for him and poured everyone a second glass of brandy. I think we all looked kinda silly drinking brandy but we didn't feel silly. Well I did a little because I was told to wear my presents to the party, which by the way, besides the socks, were thrift store suit pants, shirt, belt and tie. I figured I was gonna get the coat now and was wondering if this had any point to it.

Hilde stood up next and she didn't have the coat. She wasn't my Secret Santa after all. She had a present for the girl from the last party with the tattoo whose name turns out to be Sally. She gave her some black nail polish and some medical scrubs that she had her eye on. Sally says they make great pajamas.

Duo stood up next and gave Rashad a handcrafted marijuana pipe from back in the 1960s Common Era. It seemed appropriate.

More gifts were exchanged and more hugs were given. Until there was no one left but Trowa. He asked if anyone wanted more chips then went into the kitchen only to return with three tubes of Pringles and a suit coat. He said that all great writers wore suits.

"But I don't even know if I want to be a writer." I told him.

Trowa just smiled and said that I would be, he was sure of that. "Plus, Duo thought you would look cute in a suit."

I know I must have blushed like crazy after he said that.

So I put on the coat even though I didn't feel like I deserved it since I only write essays for Zechs. But I felt good when I had it on and everyone said I looked good in it. I don't really think that life should be based on muscles and hair and stuff but when sometime when you look in the mirror and things just look right you feel good. That how I felt.

Then the rest of the non-Secret Santa gifts were exchanged. Rashad gave Trowa an eighth of marijuana with a "Happy Retirement" card attached. Duo gave Sally and Hilde earrings, and they gave Duo hair products. I have to admit I felt a little sad because other than Duo and Trowa no one got me a present. I mean I'm not that close with them but I still felt a little sad.

So it was my turn. I gave Rashad some bubbles in a pink jar. It just seemed
to fit him and I guess I was right.

"Out of control." That's all he said. He spent the rest of the night blowing
bubbles at the ceiling.

I gave Sally a pre-med book since she is always talking about how she wants
to be a doctor, I guess that's part of the reason she likes the scrubs. She
was amazed that I knew that about her. I guess she doesn't realize how much
she talks about it or how much I listen.

I gave Hilde $40 and a card that told her to make the next issue of "Punk
Rocky" in colour. She just looked at me weird for a minute then avoided eye
contact with me after that.

Then it was Duo's gift. I knew what I was going to give him from the first
time I really saw him. Not the first time I met him, but the first time I
really saw what a beautiful and wonderful person he is. Uncle Jay gave me it
when I was little and I wanted Duo to have it. An old 45 record of Billy
Joel's "For the Longest Time." I used to listen to it when I felt sad.

When I gave it to him he gave me a huge hug. I closed my eyes because I didn't want to know anything else besides Duo's arms. Then he whispered in my ear, "I love you."

I know he meant it in a friendship kind of way but it was still wonderful to hear him say to me. It was only the third time I had heard it since Uncle Jay had died. The other two times were from my mom.

After that I couldn't believe that Duo had actually gotten me a present because I thought that "I love you" was it. But he did. He brought me to his room and stood me in front of his dresser that was covered in a black pillowcase. I guess Trowa and Duo went to the same thrift store because their gifts when together. So, Duo pulled the pillowcase off I was standing there in my suit staring at an old typewriter with a new ribbon around it.

Inside was a piece of paper with the words on it, "Write something about me sometime."

And I stood there in my suit in Duo's room with my new old typewriter and I typed back to him, "I will."

Then it was quiet for a minute. We just sort of looked at each other. So I moved the typewriter again and wrote, "I love you, too."

And Duo looked at the paper then he looked at me.

"Heero…have you ever kissed a boy?"

"No." I answered.

"Not even when you were little?"

I shook my head.

Duo then told me about his first kiss. It was a friend of his dad's. He was seven. He never told anyone except for Hilde and then Trowa last year. He started to cry. And said something I won't ever forget. Ever.

"I know you know I like Solo. And I know that I told you not to think of me that way. And I know we can't be together like that. But I want you to forget all of that for a minute. Okay?"

"Okay."

"I want to make sure that the first person that kisses you loves you. Okay?"

"Okay."

He was crying harder now and so was I because I cry when people say things like that. I just couldn't help it.

"I just want to make sure of that, okay?"

"Okay."

And then he kissed me. He kissed me in a way that I could never tell my friends about out loud. The kind of kiss that made me feel like I was never truly ever happy before.

~ Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines he wrote a poem
And he called it "Chops" because that was the name of his dog
And that was it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo
And he let the sing on the bus
And his little sister was born with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine signed with a row of X's
And he had to ask his father what the X's meant
And his father always tucked him in to bead at night
And was always there to do it

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines he wrote a poem
And he called it "Autumn" because that was the name of the season
And that's what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because of it new coat of paint
And the kids told him that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left the butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister glasses with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed when he asked her to go se Santa Claus
And the kids told him why his mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him into bed at night
And his father got mad when he cried form him to do it

Once on a paper torn from his notebook he wrote a poem
And he called it "Innocence: A Question" because that was the question about his girl
And that's what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because he never showed her
That was the year Father Tracy died
And he forgot how to end the Apostle's Creed went
And he caught his sister making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed or even talked
And the girl around the corner wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her but he kissed her anyways
Because it was the thing to do
And at three a.m. he tucked himself into bed his father snoring soundly

That's why on the back of a brown paper bag he tried another poem
And he called it "Absolutely Nothing"
Because that's what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A and a slash of each damned writs
And he hung it on the bathroom door
Because he didn't think he could reach the kitchen ~

That was the poem I read for Trowa. Nobody knew who wrote it, but Rashad said he has heard it before, and that it was some kids suicide note. I really hope it wasn't because then I don't know if I like the ending.

Sincerely,
Heero

----
there you have it... the first real 2+1 stuff going on in the story... just bear with me.. it will happen....

------

December 23, AC 195

Dear Friend,

Duo and Trowa left with their family on vacation yesterday. I don't feel too bad because I can still remember Duo's kiss and I feel peaceful. I even considered not washing my lips again, like they do on TV, but I decided that it would get too gross.

I'm really glad Christmas and my birthday are soon because that means they will be over soon. I can already feel myself slipping like I do around this time. After Uncle Jay died I got into a really bad place, so bad that I had to go to the hospital and was held back a grade (1). But I'm trying not to think about it too much because that makes it worse.

It's kind of like when part of your mind says "look at that table over there." But the other part says, "that's not a table it's a dragon." Then they start to argue with each other and I start to breathe really fast. I open my eyes and there is nothing there. This doesn't happen all the time but when it does I get scared.

It almost happened this morning but I thought of Duo's kiss and it went away.

I probably shouldn't be writing about it too much because it brings up stuff. And it makes me think too much when I am trying to participate. It's just hard because Trowa and Duo are away.

Tomorrow I will be going with my mom to buy presents for everyone and then we are celebrating my birthday. Did I tell you that my birthday was on December 24? Well it is. After that we are spending Christmas with my dad's family and my brother. Then I take my driving test.

Zechs gave me a new book to read. It's "The Catcher in the Rye." Zechs said it was his favorite book when he was my age, the kind of book you made your own. I started reading it and I'm not sure what I think of it so far. It does seem appropriate to this time.

I really hope that Duo and Trowa call on my birthday. It would make me feel a lot better.

Sincerely,
Heero

----
1) this explaines why heero is 15, well almost 16, and a freshmen...

----

December 25, AC 195

Dear Friend,

I am sitting in my dad's old bedroom in Sank and the rest of the family is still downstairs. I don't know what's wrong with me but I am starting to get scared. I wish we were going home tonight, but we always stay over. I don't want to tell my mom because she would worry. I would tell Trowa and Duo but they didn't call yesterday and we left this morning after we opened presents. Maybe they called this afternoon. I hope its ok that I'm telling you this. I just don't know what else to do. I wish Catherine was here, or Uncle Jay. I always miss him when I'm like this and reading doesn't help either. I'm thinking too fast. Much too fast.

Its like tonight my family watched "It's a Wonderful Life" and all I could think about is why they didn't make a movie about Uncle Billy. George Bailey was important to the town. Because of him a whole bunch of people got out of the slums. He wanted to live an adventure but stayed behind so he could help the town. And the angel came down and showed him how everything would be different if he was never born and how his wife would be an "old maid." And Relena didn't even say anything about that this year. Usually she says that just because she isn't married doesn't mean that her life is worthless. Maybe it has to do with her secret boyfriend or what happened in the car on the way here. I just wanted the movie to be about Uncle Billy because he drank a lot and was fat and lost the money in the first place. I wanted the angel to come down and show us that his life had meaning. I think that would have made me feel better.

It started yesterday at home. I don't like my birthday at all. I had to go shopping with my mom and my sister, and my mom was in a bad mood because of parking spaces and lines. Relena was in a bad mood because she couldn't buy her secret boyfriend a present with mom there. I felt really weird because I didn't know what to get my dad. I knew what to get Trowa and Duo. My brother likes posters of cars, Relena likes hair products, and my mom likes old movies. But I didn't know what my dad wanted. He only likes golf and that's not a winter sport. But I wanted to get him a really good gift.

"Well, why don't you chip in with you sister and buy him a sweater?"

"I don't want to. I want to buy him something. What kind of music does he like?"

My dad doesn't listen to much music any more, and the stuff he likes, he already has. He doesn't read much anymore because he listens to books on tape. I had no clue what to get him.

Relena decided to get him a sweater by herself then started to get mad at me because she needed time to come back to get a present for her secret boyfriend.

"Just buy him some golf balls, Heero!"

"But that's a summer sport."

"Mom. Would you make him buy something?"

"Heero. Calm down. Its ok."

I felt so sad. I didn't know what was going on. She was trying to be helpful but it wasn't really helping.

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry, Heero. You want to buy your father a good gift. There's nothing wrong with that."

My sister got really upset then. We went to four different stores but I finally found the perfect gift. I found a video of the last episode of M*A*S*H without commercials. I felt a lot better and started telling my mom about how we watched it together.

"She knows. She was there. Lets go!"

My mom told Relena to mind her own business and listened as I told her the story that she already knew.

We were sitting at the kitchen table waiting for my dad to come back from the airport with Wufei. She was getting worried because it was snowing really hard. She kept Relena home because she needed help with dinner. But she just wanted to buy her boyfriend a present. She was in a really bad mood. And my dad finally called and said that because of the snow my brother's flight was going to be late. I could hear my mom's side of the conversation.

"But it Heero's birthday…I don't expect you to do anything about it…did he miss the flight?…. I'm just asking…. no…. I can keep it warm… it'll be dry… but its his favorite… your already and hour late… well you could have called…"

I don't know how long my mom was on the phone. I couldn't stay and listen and I wasn't hungry anymore. I went into my room and a few minutes later my mom came in and said that my dad called back and they should be home in thirty minutes. She asked if anything was wrong and I knew she didn't mean Relena, or Wufei and dad.

"Is it Uncle Jay?"

It was the way she said it that made me start feeling.

"Heero, please don't do this to yourself."

But I did it to myself just like I do every year on my birthday.

"I'm sorry."

My mom wouldn't let me talk about it. She knows what happens when I start to breathe too fast so she covered my mouth and wiped my eyes. I clamed down enough to get down stairs and enough to be happy when my brother got home.

My family gave me some really nice presents. Relena was still mad at me but she gave me the Anti-45 album anyway and Wufei got me a poster signed by the whole football team. My dad got me some CDs that Relena told him to buy and my mom gave me books that she liked when she was my age. One was "The Catcher in the Rye."

So I started reading my mom's copy where I left off on Zechs' and that was a good distraction.

Christmas morning was nice. Dad liked his copy of M*A*S*H, which made me feel better, especially when he told his own story about how we all watched it. He left out the part with him crying but winked at me so I knew he remembered. Even the two-hour drive to Sank was ok for the first half-hour, even though I had to sit bitch, in the middle of the back seat, because my dad kept asking questions about college and my brother kept talking. He is dating some cheerleader named Addison (1). My dad was very interested in that. Relena made a comment about how cheerleading is stupid and sexist, and my brother told her to shove it. Addison was majoring in philosophy. I asked my brother if she was beautiful in an unconventional way.

"No she's hot beautiful."

And Relena went off on how the way a woman looks is not the most important thing. I agreed, but then my Wufei started saying that she was a "bitchy dyke" and a "stupid onna." Then my mom told him not to use such language in front of me, which is funny because I am the gay one.

So my dad asks how they met. Wufei said they met in some restaurant called Ye Old College Inn or something equally as dumb. Addison was with her sorority sisters and they were playing old video games and feeling nostalgic. So Wufei was playing some game with his friend from the team and she came up and asked to play against him. He didn't want to play with a woman at first but then he agreed. And she beat him! I guess he was impressed because he asked her out. Then I asked if Addison drinks cocoa.

"Are you high?"

Again, my mom asked Wufei not to say such things in front of me. Which is funny because I think I'm the only person in the family who has been high. Maybe Wufei but not Relena.

Relena spent the next ten minutes denouncing the Greek system of sororities and fraternities. She was telling stories of hazing and how kids died before. Then she told this story of how a sorority made a girl stand in her underwear while they circled her "fat" in red marker. My brother had enough at this point.

"Bullshit!"

I couldn't believe that Wufei swore in the car but I guess its ok because he is in college now. The word didn't faze my sister.

"It's not bullshit. I heard it."

"Watch your mouth, young lady." My dad said from the driver's seat.

"Oh yea? Where did you hear it?"

"I heard it on National Public Radio," Relena said.

"Oh, Jesus." My brother laughed.

"Well, I did."

My dad slowly started turning up the volume of the Christmas music on the radio.

"You are so full of shit. How do you know anything anyway? You've never been to college. Addison didn't go through any of that."

"Oh, yeah… like she'd tell you."

"Yeah she would. We don't keep secrets."

"Oh you're such a sensitive new age guy."

I didn't want them to fight any more so I asked Wufei another question.

"Do you talk about books and issues?"

"Thank you for asking, Heero. Yes. As a matter of fact we do. Addison's favorite book is "Walden" by Henry David Thoreu. And Addison says that the transcendental movement has close parallels with today."

"Ooh big words." Relena rolled her eyes.

"I'm sorry. Was anyone talking to you? I happened to be telling my younger brother about my girlfriend. Addison says that she hopes that someone good runs against President Dremail so that we finally have true pacifism. That's right. Pacifism, the same thing you're always squawking about. Even cheerleaders think about those things and they can actually have fun in the mean time."

Relena folded her arms in front of her and started to whistle. Wufei was too much on a roll to stop though.

"But there is a difference between you and her. You see… Addison believes in pacifism so much that she would never let a guy hit her. I guess I can't say that about you."

I swear to god, we almost died. My dad hit those brakes so hard Wufei almost flew over the seat. When the smell of the tires started to wear off, my dad turned around and stared at Wufei. He didn't say anything at all.

Wufei looked like a deer caught in headlights, but eventually turned to Relena and apologized.

"Relena, stop crying. I'm sorry, ok?" I think he really meant it too.

Relena was crying so hard it was scary. But my dad just snapped his fingers in her face to distract her and my mom told us not to fight once we got to the house. Then my dad got out of the car, in the middle of the road.

"Heero." He said.

"Yes, sir."

"Heero, I want you to drive."

That was probably the worst thing that he could do at the time but no one was going to argue with him. So I got out and he got in between Relena and Wufei in the back. I stalled the car twice but got us to his mom's house.

My dad's family is just like my moms. Wufei says they are the same cousins with different names. The only difference is my grandma. She bakes the best cookies in the world. When I was younger I used to call her "cookie grandma." I also used to call pizza crust "pizza bones." I don't know why I am telling you this.

Anyways, after all the handshakes and hugs we went inside and my dad's whole side of the family was there. Great Uncle Garrett with the fake teeth, and Aunt Cai who is my dad's sister. Mom said that she had just gotten another divorce so we shouldn't mention it to her. All I could think about was cookies, but my grandma didn't make them this year because of her bad hip.

So we all sat and watched TV and talking about sports. When we ate dinner I had to sit at the "little kids" table because there are more cousins on my dad's side.

After dinner we started watching "It's a Wonderful Life" but that made me more sad so I went upstairs to my dad's old room, but spent a lot of time looking at the old pictures in the halls on the way there.

My grandma's first husband died in the War of AC 153 and left her with 2 kids. I guess she felt guilty about that so she married this guy who owned an auto shop. It turns out that he it Cai and really hit my grandma. Eventually my Great Uncle Garrett saw the bruises on Cai and asked what happened. She told him the whole story. So Garrett and some buddies went to the shop and beat this guy up really good. He died in the hospital four days later.

Uncle Garrett likes to tell the story when grandma's not around. I asked my dad once why he didn't get in trouble for what he did. My dad said that things were different then, if somebody messed with your sister or girl, they paid.

But unfortunately things change because Cai married a bunch of men just like her step-dad. I wonder how her kids are going to turn out. The daughter might end up like her, and one of her sons might be like their father. But I think the second son will be like my dad because he is really athletic. I used to get jealous that my dad would go and play catch with him but then he would tell me that he is the only one in their family that has a chance. He needs my dad, I understand that now.

My dad's room is pretty much the same as he left it. Posters on the walls and news paper clippings of him in college. But I understand why he had to leave. When he saw that his mom couldn't find anyone else because she was too trusting to know what too look for. And when he saw Cai bring home the same type of men, he just couldn't stay any longer.

I don't know if Aunt Cai and his mom ever really forgave him for leaving. Only Uncle Garrett understood that. It is weird to see how much he changes around his mom and sister. He always feels bad and he always talks to Cai privately. Once I looked out the window and saw him giving her money.

I wonder what Aunt Cai says in the car on the way home. I wonder what her kids think. I wonder if she talks about us and thinks about who has a chance to make it. I bet she does.

Sincerely,
Heero

-----
(1) i was going to pair Wufei with Sally, but then i realized that i made her one od Duoa and Trowa's friends sowe have anothe of my origional charas, along with Uncle Garrett and Aunt Cai...

----

December 26, AC 195

Dear Friend,

I finally got home from Sank today. The drive wasn't that bad. Relena and Wufei didn't fight so I didn't have to drive. Each year on the way home we go visit Uncle Jay's grave. I don't think my dad or Wufei really like it, and Relena is indifferent, but it is important to my mom and me.

When we go there my mom and I like to talk about something great about Uncle Jay. I usually talk about how he let us stay up and watch Saturday Night Live. Then we put down flowers and cards to let him know that he is still loved. My mom says that he never got that enough when he was alive. I think she feels guilty like my dad does with Aunt Cai, but instead of giving him money, she gave him a place to stay.

I want you to know why my mom is guilty. I'm not sure if I should even be writing this, but I have to talk to someone about it and it is not something that we talk about in our family, its just not.

I won't tell you who and I won't tell you when. But Uncle Jay was physically abused. Someone very close to him did it. It wasn't his dad. He tried to tell his dad once but he didn't believe him because of how it was. Eventually it got so bad that he lost one of his hands and had it replaced with a metal hook. The person passed it off as an accident. Uncle Jay's dad believed the other man.

I guess he was never really the same after that, but he was good to us. He let us stay up late and he was one of the only people who bought me two presents, one for my birthday and one for Christmas. They were always the best.

On December 24, AC 188, a policeman came to the door. Uncle Jay was in a terrible car accident. It was very snowy and the roads were in no condition to be driven on. The Policeman told my mom that Uncle Jay had passed away. My mom started to cry and he told her that was a very bad accident and that he was killed instantly. In other words, no pain. No pain anymore.

The policeman asked her to come identify the body. My dad hadn't come home from work yet and I was left with Wufei in charge. It was my seventh birthday. Relena saw my mom crying and asked what was wrong. The policeman got down on one knee and told us what happened. Relena and Wufei cried. I didn't. I knew the policeman had made a mistake.

When my dad came home he asked what was wrong and we told him. He didn't cry but asked if we were ok. My brother and sister said know. But I said yes. Then when my mom came back from the morgue and she was still crying I knew the truth.

I'm not sure what happened after that. I remember sitting in a room with bright lights talking to a doctor and telling him how Uncle Jay was the only one who ever hugged me. I remember everyone sitting around on Christmas day not saying anything. I remember not being able to go to the funeral. I remember not being able to say good-bye.

I don't know how long I kept seeing the doctor or how long they kept me out of school. I know it was a long time though. When I started to get better I remembered the last things he said to me.

He put on his coat and I handed him the car keys because I was the only one who could ever find them. I asked where he was going and he said it was a secret. I kept bugging him, which he loved and finally he bent down and whispered in my ear.

"I'm going to buy your birthday present."

And that was the last time I ever saw him. I like to think that Uncle Jay has that great new job he was training for. And that he found a good wife.

Despite everything that the doctors and my mom have said to me I still feel like it is my fault. I know that Uncle Jay would still be alive today if I weren't born on a day it snowed. Or if he just bought me one present like everyone else. I would do anything to make this go away. I really would.

Sincerely,
Heero

----

December 30, AC 195

Dear Friend,

After I wrote to you last time I finished "Catcher In the Rye" and then I read it again. I had nothing better to do. Duo and Trowa finally come back tonight, but I don't get to see them. Trowa is meeting Quatre somewhere and Duo is meeting Solo. But I do get to see them tomorrow at the Big Boy and then at the New Years Eve party.

The cool thing is that I get to drive to the Big Boy all by myself. My dad said I couldn't drive until the weather cleared up and luckily it did yesterday. The first time I drove by myself was to see Uncle Jay. It was the first time I had seen him without my mom and I bought him flowers and made a mix tape to leave by the grave and that made it right.

I told Uncle Jay about my life. I told him about Duo and Trowa and the party tomorrow. And I told him about Wufei's big game on New Year's Day. And I told him about "The Stance" and about Zechs' English class.

Then as I was about to say good-bye I started to cry. I mean really cry, not that panicky cry that happens a lot. So I made a promise to Uncle Jay that I would only cry about important things because I would hate to think that crying as much as I do would make crying for Uncle Jay less meaningful.

I read the book again that night because I was afraid that I would start crying again. The panicky type. I read until I was completely exhausted and had to go to sleep. And in the morning I finished the book and started reading it again. Anything to keep from crying because I made that promise to Uncle Jay and I wasn't going to break it. And because I don't want to start thinking again. Not like I did this past week, not ever again.

I don't know if you've ever felt like that. Where you just want to curl up and sleep forever and just not exist. Or to not know you exist. I think wanting that is very dark and morbid but I can't help it. That is why I'm trying not to think. I want it to stop spinning. If it gets any worse I might have to go back to the doctor. It's getting that bad again.

Sincerely,
Heero

---
January 1, AC 196

Dear Friend,

Its 4.00 in the morning, which is the technically the New Year, but is not because its not until you fall asleep. Everyone else is either asleep or having sex. I've been up eating jello and watching TV. And watching things move. I want to tell you about Trowa and Duo and Quatre and Solo and Rashad and everyone else, but I can't remember right now.

It's very peaceful outside. I drove to the Big Boy earlier to see Trowa and Duo but they were with Solo and Quatre. That made me sad because I wanted to be alone with them. This has never come up before.

But things were worse an hour ago. I was looking at this tree but it was a dragon, then a tree. And I remembered how one day I was part of the air. And how I used to mow the lawn for my allowance and now I shovel the driveway. So I went outside and started to shovel Rashad's driveway, which is a weird thing to do at a New Year's Party.

My cheeks were red cold like Mr. Mangenelli's drinking face and his black shoes and his voice telling us that when a caterpillar goes into the cocoon, it goes through torture and that it takes seven years to digest gum. And this kid named Kerri who came out of nowhere told me to look at the stars. So, I looked up, and we were in this giant dome, like a glass snowball, and Kerri said that the amazing white stars were only holes in the black glass of the dome, and when you die and go to heaven, the glass breaks away, and you are left with a giant sheet of bright star white that is brighter than anything you have ever seen before, but it doesn't hurt your eyes. It was so vast and I felt so small.

Sometimes, I look outside and think that others have seen this snow before. And that they have read the same books, and heard the same songs.

I wonder how they feel tonight.

I probably shouldn't write tonight. I am still seeing things move. I want them to stop but they aren't supposed to for another couple of hours. That's what Rashad said before he went into his room with some girl names Laura that I don't know.

I guess what I am saying is that it feels familiar, but it is not mine. Someone else has done this before. When its peaceful outside and things move and everyone is asleep. And all the books you've read have been read by other people. And all the songs you've heard have been heard by other people. And the person who is beautiful to you is beautiful to someone else. And when you are feeling good about yourself you like this because it is 'unity'.

Like when you see a couple holding hands and you think you are very happy for them. Another time you see them you hate them because they are a couple. And you just want to feel happy for them because of you do, then your happy too. I just remembered what brought this up. I'm going to write this down because if I do then maybe I won't have to think about it. And I won't get upset. The thing is I can hear Duo and Solo having sex, and for the first time in my life, I understand the end of the poem.

And I never wanted to. You have to believe me.

Sincerely,
Heero
----