A New Beginning Chapter One Middle school. A confusing time for everyone. Struggling with grades, fitting in, and exploring interest in all sorts of new fields, the least of worries is being…different.
Jason Mcdermott, an only child to a workaholic dad and a sweet and over-bearing mother grew up his whole life in the city.
While he wasn't in school, he was often at the ballpark, where his nickname J-Bomb was hooted and hollered on a nightly basis by his teammates, because when he hit the ball, it was always rocked deep in right field as he put all of his 175 pounds into his big, uppercut swing. A slow changeup left in the middle of the zone was no match for Jason. And when the "cling" of the aluminum bat was heard, you knew J-Bomb had struck again.
Next came the trot around the bases, as the 14 year old, pushing his shaggy, sand brown hair out of the way, was all smiles, the six foot giant arrived at home plate, and was greeted by his teammates.
The game was over, 5-4 in extra innings. "Nice job, Mcdermott!" Replied his coach, "I'm damn proud of you boy." "That ball was fucking crushed man! Way to go," said his lanky left fielding teammate Nicky. Jason felt on top of the world, he was named Richmond's Little League U14 MVP, he completely blew away the team with his excellent performance at first base, and his .400 batting average wasn't too shabby either.
He dived into his car and was greeted by his father, as usual, on the Bluetooth headset talking about work. "Hey dad! I…" "Not now son, I got important things to take care of," replied his dad gruffly.
So the rest of the car ride was silent, but Jason didn't care, he smiling that toothy smile of his the whole way past each block. The ride was short, and when they arrived home he took off his dirty uniform and went to the shower. All clean and still grinning, he went to find mom, she'd be proud and happy to have his company. Mom looked, worried, a troubled disposition wasn't the norm for mom.
She was a free spirit, tall and had long, curly ginger hair that ran down to her mid back. Jason finally realized she had been crying, as her eye makeup was smeared. "Mom, what's the matter." "Ja.Ja&hellip.Jason. How are you baby?" "I was doin alright, til I see you in a bad mood, what's wrong." "Jason…there's no easy way to say this.
so I'm just going to come out and say it. Your dad, he's a workaholic, he isn't in love with me anymore, he's in love with work. He doesn't sweep me off my feet anymore, he doesn't seem to care much about you.
He's…turned to drinking, you know that Jason…" Jason's mom sputtered. "Mom…I don't know what you're trying to say, I know all of this, you've said it before," Jason was listening attentively. "Well…I've…I've gotten a job offer. It's in Johnson City, Tennessee. I'd be making a living to support the both of us…I know this is tough, but it will make us both happy and better off.
We'll be a team, you and I. If you pack your things, we'll leave tonight, I'll buy you a new bed, and new dresser, and all that, focus on your clothes, your most valuable, and most personal items.
We'll leave tonight at 3 A.M, if you want sleep before hand that's fine, just tell me so I can wake you up. We're going to disconnect our phones, and have new numbers, so don't go posting on Facebook anything too personal besides you're leaving. Okay?, what do you say." Jason was at a loss for words, his whole life had just been flipped.
He would no longer be J-Bomb, no longer would he get to walk to the corner store and buy a beer because the clerk Sarjay liked him…no longer would he be in middle school, he was graduating, he'll be in high school, with all new people…and he wouldn't know where anything is, he'd be lost… But he was determined to make his mom, the only person who ever gave a shit, happy, even if it was at his own expense.
He was ready to make a stand against his dad, he was ready, for a new beginning. "Mom…I think it's freakin crazy…but I'm ready to go wherever we need to." Jason's mom had smiled for the first time that day, a nervous laughter with lots of relief ensued.
She knew her son was in it for the long haul. As they moved 400 miles for a new life, as a team. At midnight, Jason brought out three suitcases and started packing them full of old trophies, his collection of Call of Duty games, his clothes, and his old stuffed animals that brought him comfort through the hardest times.
He had finished packing up his collection of quarters and baseball cards when it was time to go. His room was about half empty, and all that really remained was a bed, TV, and other furniture's along with a handwritten note on the floor that simply say, "Dear Dad, hope to see you around, later. Jason" As they loaded the car up, they loaded up their memories, their past…but also they smirked, ready for a new and refreshed future that didn't look as bleak as before.
They drove away, ready to embark, on a journey, as a team… Chapter Two They reached the Virginia-Tennessee border when mom went into more specifics. "I found a smaller house to begin with, it's only temporary… About six months or so, but once I have paychecks built up we can look for a ranch, with lots of land for you to ride four wheelers or play football with your friends." Jason grinned at the thought of four wheelers, he wanted to experiment with the new culture he was about to join, he had never gone fishing, hunting, or four wheeling before.
He was a city boy, with a collared shirt and groomed hair. Not a country boy with a lifted truck and mud tires. But he was embracing of change, and was excited, not fearful, for his new opportunities. "Thank you for being such a good boy, Jason," his mother said, "you're handling this like a champ." That made Jason grin from ear to ear, he always loved his mom's compliments.
"The first thing we will do is put our stuff in, then we're gonna go look for beds, and couches. Next, we'll go food shopping." The Mapquest directions said we were only about 20 miles out, rows of fields lined up as far as the eye could see, Jason rolled his window down, and smelt the crisp, country air. It was unlike the city, it felt pure in the lungs, and rolled out of the nose smooth. It was the best air Jason had ever had. A breath of fresh air.
They finally pulled into a driveway, the house was brown on the outside, one story, with a garage and a sidewalk leading to three brick steps with four columns, two on each side supporting a elongated roofed front porch that was about six feet long, where one could go out for a smoke, or just to sit down. "Well here we are, 432 Valley Ave.
Our new home." It was a modest place, on a secluded street with only six other homes, they weren't too far from a house on the left, and had an empty lot on the right.
Mom had the key to the lockbox and we stepped in. It wasn't so bad. The entrance led to a hallway on the left with rooms, and an open living room to the right with sliding glass doors backing the back wall, leading to an outside porch with two rocking chairs and a table under-cover, then the kitchen came and then a master bedroom.
The house was wood floored except for the kitchen, which was a beige tile, and the appliances were all new. A note on the counter was from the landlord, it was friendly and simply said "Rents 1200 a month, call if you have an questions, 752-2013. ïŠ" They moved all of things into their respective rooms, Mom was on the other side of the house past the kitchen, while Jason took the biggest room in that hallway right as soon as you walk in.
They then got back into the car to purchase beds and couches, then went food shopping, luckily Jason ended up with a queen sized bed and a nice, pre-owned flat screen that would be hooked up with cable in a few days. Also, he was able to score a nice pre-owned laptop that would have Internet soon. "Luckily, it's July and school doesn't start til August here, I'm glad we had good timing," mom said. Jason agreed and went outside for a walk. He was glad to have fresh air as he walked down to the end of the cul-de-sac and back up.
Walking back up the gravel road, Jason saw a boy who lived next door to me. He had just come out to take the trash and saw me. He was a fine looking young man, about Jason's age, tan, with short blonde hair and deep, green eyes, he was about Jason's height, but a little more chubby and not as developed and muscular.
"Hey there! You, come on over here," the boy smiled. Jason walked over with a grin and said "Hey, nice to meet you, just moved in today, names Jason" "Thomas, but call me Tommy," he said, "what makes you move down to these parts? You from the city?" "Yeah," Jason replied, "I'm from Richmond, Virginia, my mom is recently separated with my dad, and she got a job offer down here, we figured we start a new life." "Boy, that's sure swell!" Tommy said, "You'll like it here as long as you go with the norm, listen to some Jason Aldean, buy a four wheeler, and a fishing pole, and get outta dem collared shirts and get you a pair of Levi's and a hoody, you'll be just fine." Jason grinned, "That sounds just fine to me Tommy." Tommy finally cracked a toothy smile and said, "Why don't you come in, we'll talk and I introduce you to my folks.
Tommy stepped into the house where they were both greeted by Sandy, a lab mix who was just a pup. "Hey mom!
Pa! We got us a new neighbors!" Tommy hollered. Pa and Mom walked over and Jason stuck out a hand and they all exchanged greetings.
"Just call us Mr. and Mrs. Durham, pleased to meet you Jason." "Same to you, Mr. and Mrs. Durham." Tommy then ushered Jason to his room where they finally got to know more about each other. Jason found out they have a lot in common, like their love of video games, the color red, and baseball and football. "You're 14, right Tommy?" Jason asked. "Sure am, I take you are too." Tommy replied.
Jason nodded and asked "You the only kid around here?" "Yeah, it's nice to meet a new guy, I don't have many friends at school…They all just ain't as friendly as you I suppose." Jason grinned and said "Sorry for all the questions, but why don't you feel you have a lot of friends, you're alright man, you sure are nice, and you seem to be the norm." "Aw shucks," Tommy blushed, "Thanks Jason, but I ain't the norm…they are too judgemen'll and don't accept people for who they are." "How could you be different?" Jason asked.
Right then is when Tommy changed the subject, but did it gracefully by saying, "Boy, you got some size even on me, you play football?" "I play baseball as far as with a team, I play football for fun though."… "Hey Jason, bet you couldn't get past me on a kickoff," Tommy challenged "Oh buddy, you're so fucking on," Jason replied.
Tommy punted the ball down the side yard all the way to where Jason was standing, Jason caught in and started running straight at Tommy. Gaining speed, it looked like two freight trains were about to collide when Jason put on a nice spin more to oust Tommy, but it didn't work, as Tommy had him wrapped up and brought Jason hard to the ground.
Jason had the wind knocked out of him, and Tommy felt enormous guilt. "Aw shit man, I'm so sorry," Tommy knelt beside him, "You alright?" Tommy questioned as he put a hand to his stomach. Jason sputtered "Never been better," and spastically coughed. Tommy hadn't let his hand off Jason's chest, and kept it there while he stared deep into Jason's eyes. Jason finally spoke up, "you can get your hand off me now," Jason giggled. "Aw sorry man, didn't mean to make nothing awkward," he said, scratching his back.
"I think it's best you get home, good night man. Sleep well, I'll see you tomorrow?" "Yeah man, I'll catch you around." Jason crept inside and met his mother and told her about his new mate and his friendly parents, she breathed a sigh of relief knowing her boy would have a friend around.
Jason took a shower and stood standing at the foot of his bed. And grinned as he thought about Tommy not letting his hand off him… Then, he became puzzled, he had never thought about girls much, much less a guy, what was he doing? Jason broke out of thought and began speaking out loud, " Am I a queer? Do I really have feelings that are…more than friendly towards Tommy?
We had just met, it couldn't be…it couldn't be…and how was Tommy different? Why'd he change the subject?…but boy…Tommy sure is tan, and I like that he's big and stout…he…aw shit Jason stop it.stop it! Tommy's a guy! He can't be…but he's so friendly, more friendly than any damn girl, and he's so chill and relaxed…what's going on!" Jason cried and through his body into the bed, "What the fuck is going on!
Why can't I control my god damn emotions, I'm in this new place, I can't be fucking different! I can't be…a queer! I just can't! But…he really is a nice guy…and who cares what society thinks, isn't it whether or not I'm happy!" Jason fell asleep confused, but with a hard on, and a solution.
He had to find out if the boy next door was his first relationship.