Chapter 6: Cyst
The next day, Mark found out that he and Jeannie had several other classes together, and not just homeroom. She missed most of her other classes that first day because she had to finish filling out the paperwork, confirm immunization requests, and take placement tests.
Even thou it was only her second day; Jeanie was already the talk of the school. Being the new girl Jeanie was getting lots of attention anyway, she tried very hard to down play her premature development with over-sized sweatshirts, sweaters, and elastic sports bras, but the bounce and sway of her curves underneath was unmistakable.
Once the other students found out where Jeanie lived, and that her parents were well off, she was sent to the top of the pyramid. Every student male or female, once identified, had to be catalogued, sorted, and placed, such was the cast society of modern American high-school.
Normally this is established during kindergarten, in the larger cities you might have up until grade school, a exceptionally beautiful girl with money could be the exception, but she would have to be tested.
This was done during lunch, in-between classes, Etc. But this indoctrination process had homework assignments as well, for not everything could be done in the school.
It was not just the way you dressed, or the people who accepted you as their friends, and it had much more than if you decided to try out for the cheer-leading squad, or if you had to work after school at the Mall.
Jeanie might have been trapped in the post modernization prison planet that was highschool, but she refused to be institutionalized. And always avoided the less civil behavior of her privileged adolescent friends. If she was forced to assimilate into an organization for her own survival, she would be a double agent.
Now most of the school knew Mark and Jeanie were friends, as they sat next to each other in many classes, and if they didn’t Mark would always arrange some way for them to find out.
One time after class Mark slide five one hundred-dollar bills, to a teacher sitting behind his desk, so that he could have himself moved behind Jeanie in History class. She sat near the front and he needed to sit next to her specifically because only she could solve his hearing problem.
When the teacher tried to refuse the money by sliding it back in a token gesture, Mark balked, “Look I found the money on the floor, if its not yours, why don’t you find the owner, I don’t care what you do with it, I’m just trying to be a good Samaritan, now are you move me or what???
The teacher swept the money into the center drawer of his desk, pulled out his attendance binder, and Mark was moved the next day. He would walk Jeanie home every day after school instead of taking the bus, because they lived so close to the school. He wanted her to himself.
Jeanie wanted to downplay their relationship, and she explained to Mark that she needed to make her own friends apart from his, otherwise she may never be accepted by the other girls.
Mark just looked at her dumbfounded.
“What are you talking about, Mi Casa, Su Casa!!!”
Jeanie did not want to be defined solely by who she was friends with. Plus, it would look very inappropriate if they announced that the two of them were already an “item” so soon after meeting.
Mark still looked dumbfounded.
“It’s a girl-thing, she explained.”
“Oh, right, right, Mark pretended to understand.”
Mark agreed to “pretend” that the two of them were just “friends” at school, if Jeanie secretly agree to be his “girlfriend.” outside of it.
“But that’s the complete opposite of how we started, she said, me pretending to be your girlfriend at Assad’s, when we were actually just friends at the time.”
Art imitating life he said.
Jeanie told him that if he wanted to see her, that they would have to hide the truth about their relationship from everyone, especially her parents because they did not want her dating. And she did not want that getting back to their friends because that would humiliate her. And he agreed. But Mark wasn’t very convincing and sometimes he got so bad, that Jeanie wouldn’t even acknowledge him when she was with her girlfriends. Sometimes she acted coolly, other times annoyed, some-times downright rude. But she explained that it was the only way to throw off her girlfriend’s suspicions. And she had to be convincing.
Of course, Jeanie would have to listen to Mark complain about how poorly she treated him, all the way home, thru the trail in the back of the woods that led to their subdivision.
Jeanie wouldn’t say a word; she would just let him drone on and on until she felt Mark had got it out of his system, and when she thought he might be done, she would tease him, “I’m sorry baby, I don’t deserve you, kissing him on the lips, I was practicing my assignment from “Drama-Club,” can you ever forgive me for being such a convincing bitch?
“I said I could handle red-heads, as he smacked her lightly on her bottom.”
“I just need the right man to straighten me out, she’d tease.
So, your testing me, he’d asked?
But other times when she may have been menstruating, and the argument was early, when her “period” was late, she would warn him, with “That will be quite enough, Mr. Winters.”
And then he would shut up. Other times he didn’t even get that much, and she silence him with two words: Enough Child!!!”
When he saw that gleam in her eyes, Mark knew that he had pushed her to the limit, and to keep his smart mouth shut, he was a fast learner, even with a bad memory.
Thirteen years old was a bad age for boys. Adolescent males who weren’t even in High School yet, were constantly distracted by thoughts of sex. Boys who were physical aggressive with girls at this age, always accompanied an undercurrent of sexual attraction. It was an excuse to touch the female body. Grabbing, pushing, even play-fighting.
Jeannie who over-developed early was surrounded by boys who were nowhere near her sexually maturity, physically or mentally.
So, manifesting their sexual urges by becoming inappropriately physical was also a subconscious outlet. Every grade has at least one trouble maker, and the New Baltimore Jr High was no exception. Gary Cyst was a miserable son-of-a-bitch since kindergarten, and before eight grade he usually stuck to bullying just boys.
But recently this last year he had been harassing some of the females as well. Sometimes he would spank the ass of an attractive female as he walked passed her. Overtimes he would randomly snap a bra-strap of a popular girl who would turn around angry, but then immediately smile or laugh when she realized who it was that did it.
“Oh, I’m sorry Gary, I didn’t know it was you.”
Some even took it as a compliment, rather than an insult. Gary was a bad-boy after all, feared and respected. Always a headache for weak teachers, and it wasn’t long before Gary made his move on Jeanie.
One day a few months after her arrival, Gary spotted Jeanie in-between classes after the bell rang, he came up behind her and shoved her against the lockers roughly.
When she was bent over, Gary rammed his hips into her, trapping her, with his hands, and reached around to give each of her large breasts a firm squeeze.
Once Gary discovered Jeanie’s breasts were natural and she didn’t pad her bra (there was a rumor going around that she did), he instantly let her go surprised.
When Jeanie could turn around; she slapped his face as hard as she could. He just stood there open-mouthed, and then started rubbing his jaw, no girl had ever stood up to Gary before, not too many guys either.
Mark had always tried to meet Jeanie at her locker in-between classes, but on this day, he was late. But he did turn the corner just in time to see Jeanie pinned to the wall, when he realized what was happening, he instantly dropped his backpack, and ran to try and help Jeanie.
Mark had his fist cocked and blindsided Gary with a punch on the other side of his face that Jeanie had not slapped him on. The momentum of Mark’s run had him crash into Gary even before his fist landed, and they both wound up on the floor.
Right after Jeanie slapped him, Gary was standing one second then seemed to disappear in a blur the next as Mark tackled him to the ground.
After Mark hit Gary, they both fell into the lockers, Mark however never stopped punching, during or after and by the time Gary figured out what had happened, he started blocking. His lip was already cut, and bleeding.
Once Gary got his barrings; he started wrestling Mark on the ground. The beginning of the fight with the first punch and element of surprise, favored Mark.
But Gary was tough, and savvy, and soon he had Mark from behind, in a choke hold. Mark slipped underneath his grip and bit his wrist as hard as he could to get out of it.
Gary let him go but this time he didn’t want to wrestle, he decided to slug it out instead. Gary was the stronger of the two and the longer the fight raged on the advantage Mark had would diminish and favor Gary, who was shorter, but stockier.
His skin had Mark’s teeth Mark’s embedded in it, but no blood had been spilled, except for his lip. His other skin seemed that tough.
Jeanie had run to the principal’s office, when Mark and Gary were rolling around on the ground, but she decided that the office was too far, and to get one of the male teachers, whose room was closer to break up the fight instead. She feared Mark would be seriously hurt.
Jeanie was holding her shirt together with her arms crossed to cover herself while she ran, not just to conceal her movement, but in case Gary accidentally ripped it, undid any of her buttons, or tore her seams.
Mr. West, a Math teacher who taught fractions and percentages, came running back with Jeanie in tow. She had a sweater tied around her waist now, but still had her arms crossed as she ran.
Mr. West got in-between the two boys, and while in the middle, Gary knew the fight was over, at least for now, so he decided to hit Mr. West in the back, pretending the shot was meant for Mark, but missed.
He just wanted to hit Mr. West once because he had failed him last year, and told him, “I hope you like summer school, because that’s where you’ll going to be, instead of vacation.”
Gary looked worse for the wear, but it was difficult for either side to declare a clear victory. Mark was trying to kill that prick, but despite Mark’s best shots Gary did not go down, Gary checked his wrist for blood, the one that Mark had bitten. No one ever did that before, and it scared him.
Mark was taller, but Gary was stockier, and because, Mark had fought with rage, but Gary with skill, Gary took some hard shots, but he was walking around laughing and pretending like he wasn’t hurt, but he had been in a fight, no one could deny that!!!
Truth be told, Mark was fortunate that Jeanie had found Mr. West and had got him to break up the fight early. Back in the day, schools did not take bullying, fighing, or even shootings as seriously as they did today.
Nor did they label Gary’s attack on Jeanie a sexual assault, or even consider it a molestation, it would be another thirty years before society would even begin to consider taking something this “trivial” as serious, as it was.
Everything in this almost entirely white-school was handled very quietly. Gary’s parent didn’t have money, like Mark and Jeanie, but his family did have an attorney in it, so unfortunately that saved him.
Mark got suspended for the following day, which was a Friday, that gave him an early start on the week-end. Gary got detention, one hour for two weeks for “inappropriate roughhousing” but that was it.
Gary already had numerous incidents on his record, Mark had nothing. Gary even tried claiming that Jeanie instigated the entire thing while walking backwards into him on purpose!!!
Everyone else know better, especially the teachers, but Mark and Jeanie’s “relationship” status had been blown, if the rest of the school didn’t know they were a couple before the fight, they certainly did afterward.
Mark was much more upset over Gary touching her, than Jeanie was. Jeanie was more upset about how beat-up Mark looked.
“Mark Winters, have you lost your mind, I told you that I didn’t want any negative attention. So, there you go and make a damn fool of yourself in front of the entire school, but she was beaming.
She even skipped school herself the next day, so she could be home with him in solidarity. Where he goes ‘Est, I follow, and everyone admired Jeanie for that.
Mark’s parents knew about Jeanie calling in sick to skip, but her parents did not. Mark was grounded for the weekend in addition to being suspended for the day, so he was not allowed to leave the house following the incident. And that meant he could not go out after school, use the pool, or even use the phone to call Jeanie. He wasn’t being punished for fighting, but for getting suspended because of it.
Handle your personal business on your own time, not during school hours. If Mark was caught, John his father always punished him for it, no matter the circumstances.
It had nothing to do with winning or losing, or even fighting for the right reasons. He was punished for not handling his business on his own time. There was a proper way to everything.
He embarrassed his father. If his father would have actually had to go down to the school, he would have gotten an ass-whooping besides.
Jeanie inspected the bruises on Mark’s face and treated him with some first aid ointment.
“Dammit, Mark complained.”
“Stop moving, you big baby, you’re making me smear this, and then she dabbed some on his nose, where he didn’t have a bruise, Jeanie said as he squirmed.”
“But you’re hurting me, Mark said.”
“You brought this on yourself, Jeanie said.”
“Did not, Mark said.”
“What you did was really stupid Mark, Jeanie scolded him.”
“No, what he did was stupid, what I did was justified, Mark replied.”
“It wasn’t your business, Jeanie said glowing.”
“You’re my business Jeanie, and one is going to touch you, Mark said.”
“And you can put yourself on that list Mr. Winters, Jeanie replied.
“I have Diplomatic Immunity, he said.”
“You have Diplomatic what, Jeanie asked?”
“Immunity, he repeated.
“What the hell does that mean, Jeanie pretended to be confused?”
“You belong to me, that’s it, Mark said Chauvinistically.
Now go make me a sandwich and cut the crust’s off like my mom does!!!
“Mark don’t treat me like some prize that you won in a fight, I am a human being with feelings, I have a heart, and a soul, and the brain, so I can decide for myself who I want to be with and why, Jeanie finished.”
She looked angry.
“I love you.
Mark was jealous, possessive, and needy, but most of all in vulnerable and in love, she knew how desperately he needed to hear her say “I love you” back, for she had never it one time.
And when he said it, she begged him not too.
Now, Jeanie melted right there on the spot, but she could not return the sentiment. She turned away instead, trying not to cry.
“If my parents find out I skipped school I’m going to be in so much trouble, Jeanie replied instead.”
Mark looked so sad and hurt when she refused to say it back that he reminded Jeanie of a lost puppy, who couldn’t cry, but only beg with its eyes. That look haunted her so bad, that when she remembered it right before she went to bed, she burst into tears, and cried herself to sleep.
“I’m sorry, she kept saying to a picture of Mark she had of him, over and over.”
“My dad says you have a criminal case against Gary and his family and a civil case against the school if you want to litigate, Mark said changing the subject, but it was obvious how hurt he was.”
“No, I just want this entire thing to be over, Jeanie said.”
To be continued…