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Episode No. 30 - Consequences

written by Lady Guinevere

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About this story

Published: 09 Jul 2010 | Size: 41 KB (7300 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13

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Everybody seems to deal with the consequences of something; staying away during an entire night, giving up secrets, a beautiful female substitute-teacher, being diagnosed with a possibly deadly disease, analyzing chemistry too much, and being able to put an end to homelessness.

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

Angela VO: “Since last Saturday night - the night Danielle and I didn’t come home- it’s like I’m living inside a prison and my mom is the guard. We’re grounded until further notice and the only conversations I have with my mother are like, the exchanges of common courtesies. It’s kinda weird for Rickie though, being caught in the middle of this like, Shakespearian family feud.
My mom totally freaked out; raging at me like a tornado. She’s not half as mad at Danielle as she is at me, because she thinks I should have known better. That is like, so unfair; it’s not like Danielle is *stupid* or anything; she like, could have known that my parents would worry for her too, you know?
But I’m sticking up for Danielle, because she deserves a big sister who’s looking out for her; even if she seems to have run behind enemy lines again. Running away must have been really hard on her; she is still a little girl after all, in need of her parents’ protection.”

[Monday morning, Chase’s house]

“Rickie dear; try not to worry too much today, okay?” Patty asks Rickie slightly worried; trying to comfort him by patting him on the cheek.

Angela VO: “I might as well have stayed put at Jordan’s house, being ignored like this. It’s like all of a sudden Rickie is the son my mother never had. It’s probably because in her eyes, he doesn’t do the stupid things I do, like staying out all night and having sex with *dangerous* teenage boys like Jordan Catalano.”

“Ugh.” Preventing herself from prolonging her home-arrest, Angela bites her tongue before she spills all of her disgust. Getting hold of her backpack, she walks out the door to wait for Jordan.

Rickie watches Angela leave, and answers Patty, “Yeah, thanks Mrs C, for everything. I’ll be glad when this day is over.” Mr Katimski will get back his CAT-scan results today, and honestly, Rickie doesn’t have a good feeling about it.

“Bye.” Hastily, Rickie walks out the door to catch up with Angela.

Angela VO: “My mother actually told me she thought about forbidding me ever to see Jordan again, but fortunately for her, she realised that wouldn’t work anyway. I wonder if my mom like, realised the consequences that prohibition would have had. Because I *really* would have moved out of the house, no doubt about it.”

“You okay?” Despite Rickie’s trouble he still feels sorry for Angela. But, he is grateful to her mother so he can’t really afford to pick a side now. It seems his destiny to be stuck in the middle all his life.  

“Yeah, I’m okay. You?” Feeling slightly guilty for being so consumed with her own troubles when Rickie’s troubles are far worse, Angela feigns a smile at Rickie.

“Yeah, I’ll be fine, I guess…” Rickie’s eyes wander off, hiding away the agony and anxiety souring through his body.

From a distance Jordan’s car approaches; making them both feel relieved to be able to leave this place and have their minds distracted by the consuming and demanding everyday school life.

[Outside school]

Rickie, Angela and Jordan get out of Jordan’s car and walk towards the school building. Getting hold of Angela’s hand, Jordan gives Angela a coy smile. Eyeing them as they close in on him, Brian Krakow is sitting down on the outside steps of the school.
Continuing her way into school with Jordan, Angela sends Brian a deadly stare.

Angela VO: “It’s *Brian’s* fault my mother knows I had sex. So basically it’s *his* fault my mom like, grounded me and forces me to come directly home after school, keeping me from being alone with Jordan, like almost all the time. Why does he have to keep ruining my life?”

Greeting Brian hesitantly, Rickie takes a seat next to him. “Hey Brian, so, how’s the whole I’m-a-leaper-so-please-ignore-me-thing working for ya?”

“Don’t get me started. My life is like, *really* over now; not that I actually *had* one to begin with, but still. Remind me never to try and chase after the truth again; it’s like social suicide, you know? Sharon hates me, Angela hates me; and if Jordan were a little bit smarter and had like, his own opinion, he’d probably hate me too. What about you, aren’t you supposed to hate me? You know, to show Angela your support or something?!”

“Yeah well, I like *get* Angela and all, but I get your side like, too. If one of my friends walked around with a bunch of papers like that, I’d want to know too, I guess. It just sucks that parents like have, a nose for these things and show up at the worst time you can imagine. It’s not like I can totally pick Angela’s side right now, living at her parents’ house, you know? God, I do *hate* being like, in the middle all the time.” Sighing, Rickie stares into oblivion.

“Yeah well, I’ll just have to wait till this blows over again, I guess. Knowing Angela something else dramatic will certainly like, happen and she’ll forget all about me. I hope…” Brian pauses for a while and then gets up to go into school, asking Rickie, “You coming?”


[Inside Mr Katimski’s classroom]

The students are minding their own business; some are chatting to each other, while others are practically sleeping. It’s chaotic and loud, with no one there to guide them.

“Pssst, Krakow!” Looking around shifty, hoping nobody notices what she’s doing; Rayanne passes Brian a note.

Blankly, Brian eyes her and gets hold of the tiny piece of crumpled paper. Their fingers brush over one another, sending tiny sparks of electricity through his body. What does she want this time? To remind him again to shut up about what happened? He just doesn’t understand her; she totally ignores him most the time.

His fingers unfold the hastily written note and his eyes take in the irregularly written words. “Boiler room - next period”

Rayanne flashes Brian a quick, naughty grin. Surely he understands what she wants from him, doesn’t he? Insecurely, she eyes him for his reaction.

Brian’s disbelief makes place for a warm feeling in his stomach. The boiler room can only mean *one* thing; she wants to make out with him again. It’s not the place where students go to like, talk, or anything. By displaying a grin, he reassures Rayanne he will definitely be there.

Followed by a beautiful blond haired woman in her late thirty’s, Mrs Lerner enters the classroom. “Class, if you’ll excuse me for a minute?!”

Slowly, the class falls silent and all eyes turn to gaze at the two women in front of the class.

Mrs Lerner continues, “As you all know, we’re still waiting for Mr Katimski to recover. Hopefully today will bring us some good news. Until then, we’ve found you a new substitute teacher. This is Mrs--”

Hastily, the slender looking woman interrupts Mrs Lerner. “I don’t go by that name anymore; I use my maiden name now. It’s *Ms* Summers.”

“Oh, I wasn’t aware of that. I do apologize, *Ms* Summers…” Mrs Lerner gives her a non-comprehending look and emphasizes the ‘Ms’.

“It’s okay, *Mrs* Lerner,” Ms Summers smiles at Mrs Lerner a little too innocent. Her eyes dart into the classroom and perceive some students laughing silently.  

“Anyway, *Ms* Summers here; will be taking over this class for now. If you could fill her in, that would be great. Now, I’ll leave you to it then, I guess. Good luck…” Mrs Lerner leaves the classroom.

Sitting down on her desk, Mr Summers crosses her legs; meanwhile eyeing the seating chart. “Can anyone tell me where Mr Katimski left off?” Her piercing blue eyes examine the students’ faces.

Suddenly the classroom is being over flown with eagerly held up boys’ hands. Angela takes in the sight of all the willing teenage boys eyeing Ms Summers. Jordan’s hand is not up in the air, but he’s smiling dreamily and observing the teacher intensely.

Angela VO: “I really don’t understand adolescent boys! You’d think they have seen a real-life woman before, right? Sure, *Ms* Summers is an annoyingly perfect beauty with her shiny golden hair, body with all the right curves and eyes bluer than the ocean; but she’s like *old* enough to be their mother. And are my eyes deceiving me, or is Jordan actually checking her out as well?!”

Ms Summers’ eyes examine the quiet-looking boy in the back of the class; the only one whose hand *isn’t* up in the air. “Umm, Jordan Catalano, could you tell me where Mr Katimski left off?”

Instantly, Jordan flushes, because of all of the attention directed to him; especially *her* attention gets to him. Guiltily, his blue eyes dodge hers.

Before Jordan gets a chance to open his mouth, Angela speaks. “No, he can’t tell you, because he’s hardly ever *in* this class…” She sends Jordan an angry stare, making him feel she’s not thrilled about his drooling and goggling over *Ms* Summers.

“Angela Chase, is it? Why won’t you let *Jordan* answer the question I posed to him? Unless he can’t speak ofcourse…” Ms Summers’ words sound belittling, while her face keeps displaying that far too innocent smile.

Angela’s cheeks turn red and she tries to make her self as little as possible. She already hates *Ms* Summers from the bottom of her heart. Jordan’s reply never reaches her brain; she’s far too busy feeling ashamed and scorned. Her mind stays unfocused during the rest of the hour.

At the sound of the buzzer all the students get up. Over the screeching of chairs and sounds of chatter Ms Summers’ voice rings through the classroom. “Mr Catalano, could you please stick around for another moment?”

[Outside the classroom]

Angela’s nose is pressed against the glass of the classroom-door; her eyes take in the sight of a nervously acting Jordan and a far too sweet and innocent Ms Summers talking and laughing with him. Her stomach gets twisted in a knot; and jealousy takes over her being.

“Are they even *allowed* to be alone in a classroom together, with like, no supervision, I mean?” Angela eyes Rickie and Rayanne uncertain.

“I think they are; otherwise she wouldn’t like, do it, I guess,” Rayanne answers dryly, before she continues fiercely. “Oh, come on Angelica! You don’t seriously think that Jordan like, wants her?! She’s like, old enough to be his *mother*! Ugh, that’s like a really gross thought…”

Getting on her toes, Angela presses her nose against the glass again. “Just *look* at her! She’s so beautiful! Her eyes are even bluer than Jordan’s are! She’s like, this perfect creature… And I’m like, not…”

“Angela, besides it being like, totally illegal for a teacher to *do* something with a student; don’t you like, trust Jordan?” Eyeing Angela curiously, Rickie leans against the wall.

Angela removes her nose from the glass and slides down onto the floor. “Maybe I don’t; I don’t know. I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time he…” Her eyes drift to Rayanne who is seemingly unaware of Angela’s reference to her and Jordan.

“Technically, you weren’t even like, together then… And if you ask me, Jordan Catalano is like, totally into you! He would like, never do anything to hurt you again; I’m sure of that.”

“Yeah, maybe you’re right. But what does she like, want from him anyway?” Angela can’t stop sulking. It hurts to think of Jordan with someone else.

When she feels a nudge in her back, Angela startles. Turning around to see what it is, it occurs to her she’s blocking the door. In an attempt to look relaxed and bored, she hastily gets up, trying to lean against the nearest lockers. Immediately, Rickie and Rayanne dash off, giving Angela the chance to talk to Jordan alone.

Walking out the door, Jordan is taken by surprise by Angela’s presence. “Oh, hey…”

“Hey, so… What did *Ms* Summers want from you?” Trying to sound calm, Angela’s eyes take in the sight of Ms Summers sitting at her desk, just before the door shuts.

“She umm… she offered to like, tutor me,” Jordan answers hoarsely; flicking his hair behind his ears.

“Oh,” Angela can’t think of anything else to say without sounding like a jealous girlfriend. When it occurs to her she *is* his girlfriend and she has a right to know what he is doing; she continues steadily. “So, are you gonna do it? I mean, will you take her up on her offer?”

“Yeah, I think so. I mean, Brain like, won’t do it anymore, so…” Insecurely, Jordan eyes Angela. Is she like, mad at him? She embarrassed him in front of Ms Summers and the whole class earlier. But she signed him up for tutoring in the first place, so why can’t she just be happy for him?

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. You should do it; I mean, let her teach you… I mean, like, *tutor* you…” Angela’s lips have trouble forming the right words; everything sounds like it has a double meaning all of a sudden.

“You okay?” Jordan seeks out Angela’s hand.

“Yeah, just, you know; the whole fight with my parents and being grounded and stuff, it keeps me thinking, I guess…” Trying to cover up her true feelings, Angela uses another excuse. “It sucks that I can’t hang out with you after school anymore, you know?”

“Yeah, I know. Hey, you could like, skip your last hour and umm, meet me in the boiler room?” Jordan’s eyes spark with hope and mischief.

“Yeah, you’re right; we’ll always have the boiler room…” A smile lights up Angela’s face at the thought of being alone with Jordan again, right back in the place where it all started.

[In the hospital]

In a small chamber with room for only *one* bed, Mr Katimski is lying down. His life-partner is sitting on a chair next to the bed browsing through a magazine, when a doctor and nurse come walking in.

“Richard, how are you feeling?” The nurse gives him a smile.

“Gee whiz, I’ve had better days, I can tell you that!” Smiling faintly at nurse, Mr Katimski turns his eyes to the doctor.

The doctor greets both Mr Katimski and his partner before he continues, “We have your CAT-scan results back, Mr Katimski. It seems… that you are suffering from a rather large brain-tumour…”

“Gee whiz…”

“Oh Richard…” Grabbing hold of Mr Katimski’s hand, his partner’s sorrowful eyes seek out Richard’s.

The doctor flashes both men an awkward smile. “The tumour *is* operable, but because of its size and location; the operation is extremely risk full. There’s actually only a five percent chance you will survive this…”

“Five percent… That’s not much…” Mr Katimski pauses for a moment before he continues, “What will happen if you umm, *don’t* operate on me?”

“If we don’t operate on you, you will probably die within a year…” The doctor eyes him seriously. “I need your consent to perform the surgery, but I understand you need some time to think about this. However; the sooner we can operate, the better.”

“Gee whiz…” Mr Katimski’s eyeballs are rolling in their sockets from digesting the information he just heard. He has to make a choice between staying alive for a year tops, and undergoing a surgery with only a small chance at survival.

The doctor and nurse leave the room; while the two men are left behind, eyeing each other and trying to hold back their tears.

[Girls’ restroom]

Talking to each other, Angela and Sharon walk into the girls’ restroom.

“So, your parents weren’t even like, *mad* at you when they found out?” Angela looks at Sharon sceptical.

“Maybe it was my luck that my *dad* found out first; and broke the news to my mom like, gently, I guess. I still don’t get it, you know? It’s like, I’m still waiting for the news to sink in, and have them yell at me, or something.”

“Yeah, it’s like, way too freaky for parents to remain this calm, when something this huge happens; especially to their only daughter!”

“I know! But you know, my dad really has changed since his heart attack, so in a way it makes sense, I guess. But I’m not risking anything foolish yet, just in case…” Smirking at Angela, Sharon gazes into the mirror and puts on her lipstick.

“You’re better off than I am, that’s for sure…” Angela leans into the wall and her eyes drift off into oblivion.

Lowering her lipstick, Sharon eyes Angela via the mirror. “Not that I’m on *their* side or anything; but you could have guessed they’d be worried sick about you when you stayed out all night… Even I wouldn’t be like, dumb enough to pull a stunt like that. One measly night isn’t worth risking a life-long supply of house arrest for; it’s like committing social suicide…”

“Ugh, please don’t remind me; I’m like, *living* the social-suicide as we speak…”

Angela VO: “Sharon has a point, but I’m not going to admit it. It’s become a matter of standing my ground now. In my humble opinion, giving in would be equal to like, giving up…”

[The boiler room]

Nonchalantly, Rayanne is leaning against the wired fence. Her eyes are looking around the room shifty with every tiny sound she hears, afraid someone will come down and catch her while she’s waiting around for…Brian Krakow.

Standing on the other side of the door to the boiler room, Brian hesitates to go through it. Nervously, he scans the hallways for spectators. When the coast is clear he opens the door. His eyes adjust to the semi-dark surroundings and he spots Rayanne downstairs. The sight of that tough girl hanging around there acting kinda nervously; is too unreal *not* to register with his camera. Quickly, Brian snaps a shot of her before he walks further down to encounter her.

When Brian approaches her, Rayanne has difficulty posturing herself. Her voice sounds cool and calm when she greets him; like they ran into each other down here by accident. “Hey.”

Getting rid off the camera hanging around his neck, Brian puts it on a nearby stool; greeting Rayanne by grinning shyly. “Hey.”

Suddenly, Rayanne’s face is being lit up by a naughty grin and her eyes spark mischief; like someone else took over her body out of the blue. With her eyes fixed onto Brian’s face she walks around him in circles, eyeing her prey like a predator.

Brian’s body tries to keep up with her movements; meanwhile he can’t stop chuckling insecurely at her behaviour. For a moment he hesitates, wondering if he should ask her why she is doing that. Deadly afraid he might break the spell and scare her off; his mouth opens anyway to phrase a question, “Wh--”

“Sshh!” Rayanne shuts Brian up by placing her finger on his lips.

Rayanne’s sultry stare travels over Brian’s body, right before her lips brush over his in a promising kiss. Getting hold of Brian’s collar, Rayanne’s hands compel him to turn around; his back almost touching the wired fence.

Hungrily, she kisses Brian and crashes her full bodyweight into his; his back smashing into the fence forcefully. Brian’s eyes flutter open and startled he grumbles out a low moan; his hands reaching to the sides for a place to hold on to.

“You’re like, *wild*, you know that?!” A bit scared but still full of wonder, Brian eyes Rayanne, his heart racing like a maniac.

“So? You say that like it’s a *bad* thing…” In a kinky growl, Rayanne curls her lip up at him.

Brian can’t help but laugh on the inside. Maybe she’s wild; maybe she’s not. Then again, what does *he* have to compare her with? If he keeps rejecting her, she’ll come to her senses and walk out on him.

“It’s not; it’s just, well…” Brian is lost for words; thinking doesn’t come natural to him when Rayanne is around.

“Yeah, I know, the whole *virgin* thing…”

“Could you, like, stop making fun of me, just this once?”

“Does it *look* like I’m making fun of you?” Pausing for a while, Rayanne stares at Brian with her mouth open; tapping her shoe on the floor impatiently.

“You know what, Krakow, bite me! I don’t even know why I, like, came down here in the first place. I’ve got like, better places to be; and like, better people to do, you know?!” Angrily, Rayanne barges up the stairs, walking out the door without looking back.

“Good job, Brian Krakow. Leave it up to you to be left all alone in the boiler room…”

Brian bangs his head into the wired fence several times; before turning around, leaning against the fence and shutting his eyes. His chance of becoming a participant instead of the ever by-standing spectator has passed him by again; and he can’t blame anyone else but himself for this self-inflicted pain.

[In the guidance councillor office]

Cathy Kryzanowski has asked Rickie to come in and see her. Nervously, Rickie sits down  in the appointed chair, eyeing her curiously.

“Rickie… We got a call from the hospital…” Mrs Kryzanowski continues hesitantly, “Mr Katimski seems to be suffering from a [pause] brain tumour…”

“A what?! A *brain* tumour; you’re like, serious? So, what’s gonna happen to him now?” Rickie’s eyes radiate disbelief; his hands twitch nervously.

“They’re not sure yet; they can perform a surgery on him, but there’s only a small chance he’ll make it out alive…”

“How small?” Rickie wants to know, no matter how much it may hurt him.

“Only five percent…”  

“And if they *don’t* operate on him…?” The question slipped Rickie’s mouth before he could stop it.

“Then he’ll probably die within a year…” Mrs Kryzanowski feels immensely sorry for Rickie, who’s obviously struggling to stay strong.

Rickie is processing the information he has just been told. His dear friend and the only person who *really* seems to care for him as a son; is going to die. Within a year, or maybe even sooner. How can life be like, so unfair all the time?!

“Rickie? Are you okay?” Mrs Kryzanowski tries to get eye-contact with him. “I also have some *good* news for you; I know probably nothing can cheer you up now, but maybe it will ease your worries a little…”

Hardly seeing anything because of the tears that are blocking his vision, Rickie looks up at her. He can’t think of anything that might be able to cheer him up right now.

“If you want to, you can have a look around in the Pride House. They’ve got a place for you, from next week on.”

“Oh, well, that’s like, convenient now, I guess…” The irony strikes Rickie; the same day he finds out his care-taker will die shortly, a place opens up for him in a new home.

At least his *body* won’t have to be homeless anymore; even if his *heart* will remain so for a long time to come.

[Boiler room, during Angela’s last hour]

Calling out Jordan’s name, Angela walks down the stairs of the damp, scarcely lit basement. “Jordan? Are you down here?”

When Angela reaches the last step, she spots Brian Krakow jumping up hastily. Instead of asking him annoyedly what on earth he is doing down here, she ignores him.

Angela VO: “I’ve got like, a very good hunch about Brian’s presence down here, thanks to Danielle. I still can’t imagine *Rayanne* making out with Brian though…What does she see in him? And why would someone intelligent like Brian Krakow make out with someone like Rayanne Graff? Is she like, a substitute to him? A substitute for *me*?”

As he walks past her rushed, Brian’s eyes flash into Angela’s direction. The shame is clearly displayed on his face. He walks up the stairs, and bumps into Jordan Catalano who opens the door just as Brian wants to open it. “Great,” Brian mumbles to himself.

Raising his shoulders, Jordan eyes him and walks down the steps; having already lost his interest in Brian again. When he catches the sight of the red-haired girl waiting for him against the wired fence, a smile spreads across his face.

“Hey.” Gaining his proximity, Angela smiles at Jordan warmly.

“Hey.” while studying Angela’s face, Jordan’s eyes smile; the fingers of his left hand reach out to stroke her hair.

Their faces draw nearer to engage in a teasingly slow passionate kiss; their hands wander the familiar yet never boring territory. Their kiss intensifies and demandingly, Jordan presses his body into Angela’s. Her back bumps into the wired fence; her hands disappear under Jordan’s shirt.

The feel of Jordan’s arousal grinding into Angela’s body, is enough to elicit tiny moans from her lips. Button by button his fingers gain excess to her silky skin; caressing her gently at first, continuing to knead her breasts until her moans become louder and her breathing more ragged. Stealthy fingers unhook her bra and slide her blouse from her shoulders; in almost one, subtle movement. His tongue wanders from her hot, demanding mouth over her almost fully exposed upper-body.

[In the girls’ restroom]

Looking almost pensive, Rayanne is sitting on the window ledge.

“What are you like, still doing here?” Rickie asks Rayanne, surprised.

“Dunno.” Fiddling with her shoe-laces, Rayanne answers Rickie without looking at him.

“Did you like, hear about Mr Katimski already?”

“Oh no, Rickie…” Giving Rickie her full attention, Rayanne notices his eyeliner isn’t surrounding his eyes neatly anymore; the look of someone who has been crying is too familiar to mistake for something else.

“He… he…” Rickie starts sobbing.

Jumping down from the window ledge, Rayanne embraces Rickie, rubbing her hands up and down his back. “Oh Rickie, is it like, *really* that bad?”
She just can’t believe it; since she performed in the play she developed a soft spot for Mr Katimski as well.

“He’s got, like, a brain tumour, and if they don’t, like, operate on him, he’ll like, *die*, within a year…” Irregular breaths keep interrupting Rickie’s sentence while tears are streaming down his face.

Backing out of his embrace with Rayanne, Rickie continues in an unsteady voice, “But the cha--…the chance he will survive the surgery is only like, five percent…”

Holding back the tears she feels welling up in her eyes, Rayanne eyes Rickie sorrowful. Normally she blurts out whatever comes to mind, but nothing seems to come to her mind right now. She can’t find words strong enough to express herself.

Rickie knows Rayanne well enough to see she’s struggling to express herself. He calms down a bit before he asks Rayanne, “You think… they’ll let me see him?”

“I’m like, *positive* they will! They’re probably rolling out the red carpet for the great Enrique Vasquez as we speak… Let’s not keep them waiting, amigo!”

Rayanne isn’t sure *who* she’s trying to cheer up, herself or Rickie. She whisks Rickie away from the girls’ restroom, off to the hospital.

[In the school hallways]

Once Brian has reached his locker he suddenly becomes aware of his missing camera. He left it in the boiler room. The same boiler room he was in like, half an hour ago; with Rayanne. That is, before he chased her off.
But it’s still the same boiler room where Angela and Jordan are down now, doing God-knows-what. He seriously doesn’t want to be confronted with Jordan’s groping hands all over Angela, let alone his erection poking at her somewhere it shouldn’t be.  

Brian’s thankfullness of *not* getting caught while Rayanne and he were sorta making out down there, disappears at the thought of Jordan and Angela having sex, like, again.
But his camera is far too expensive to be left down there, ready for the taking. He has no choice but to go into the dragon’s den…

For the second time that day, Brian’s hand lingers on the door to the boiler room. This time, he dreads going down there even more than the first time. He inhales deeply, opens the door and sneeks down the steps as silently as he can; hoping Jordan and Angela won’t hear him climb down the stairs…

A flashback to the unfolding scene in the storage room of Angela’s dad’s restaurant, penetrates his brain. After reaching the left step, Brian looks around wondering; to his surprise Angela and Jordan are nowhere to be seen.
Relieved he walks over to his camera and picks it up from the stool; instantly freezing on the spot when he hears muffled noises coming from a distant corner. Against better judgement, he cocks his head around the corner and focusses his eyes into the direction of the sounds; hardly perceiving anything but a vague silhouette.

He picks up his camera to zoom in to the direction of the silhouette and can clearly make out that the silhouette isn’t *one* person, but *two*. Angela and Jordan, all tangled up. Brian catches his breath; as uphauled as he should be by watching Jordan’s tongue flicker over Angela’s almost naked upperbody, he can’t help but be turned on. For a brief moment he lowers the camera; hiding around the corner, wondering what to do.

Slowly Brian turns his body around the corner again, holding up the camera like an extension of his eye. It’s like, looking at them through the lense of his camera, makes it *legal* somehow. He’s not a voyeur, he’s not even a dirty little man. He’s an artist, painting a picture of the steaming hot love between two young, beautiful people.

Captivated, Brian’s finger clicks away; catching Angela’s extacy and Jordan’s teasing tongue. The muffled noises become clearer and louder, sounding like passionate moans; outdrowning the sound of Brian’s loudly pounding heart.
Things seem to intensify all of a sudden; Angela’s hands unbuckle Jordan’s belt while Jordan’s hands start to lower Angela’s shorts. Swiftly, Brian ducks back behind the corner again; his heart still throbbing wildly because of his arousal and anxiety. He just *can’t* take shots of them actually *doing* it, can he? He’s already gone too far as it is like,  *now*…

For a split second, his fingers relax, releasing the camera from their tense grip. In a reflex Brian drops himself onto his knees in order to catch his precious equipment before it has a chance to shatter onto the floor. Thankfully the camera-strap is secured around his neck, so the camera dangles onto his chest safely.

“Did you hear that? I thought I like, heard something, didn’t you?” Jordan’s voice becomes clearer as he approaches the corner behind which Brian is hiding.

Startled, Brian scrambles to his feet and makes a run for it, up the stairs; as fast as his quivering legs can carry him. His heart is beating so fast it’s threatening to dig itself out of his chest. He can hear loud thumping footsteps closing in on him quickly; and just before he reaches the door, he’s being tugged down by his feet.

Defeated Brian falls down onto the floor, pointing his camera upward to keep it from being damaged. After his back clashes to the floor, his hands quickly cover up his face; expecting Jordan to pound him into a bleeding pile of raw meat.
When nothing happens, he lowers his hands and stares into the silhouette of Jordan hovering over him. Over Jordan’s head a bright light is shining, absorbing the light from Jordan’s body and face. He’s actually thankful he can’t read the expression in those cool, blue eyes; afraid of what they will make him feel.

“What were you like, *doing*, down here, Brain?” Jordan’s voice sounds calm; his body still hovering over him threateningly, states the opposite.

A million thoughts pop into Brian’s head; all things which he can’t tell Jordan. So he gives him the short version, and the *actual* reason for his precence down here. “I um, came to get my camera.”

“Oh…” Jordan answers shortly, stepping back slightly.

Brian scrambles to his feet yet again; his eyes flick down the steps where Angela approaches, just buttoning up the last button of her blouse again. Her face looks flushed and her hair dishevelled. Her eyes express her contempt for him; like she *knows* what he just witnessed, and even knows he captured it on film. But maybe he’s reading too much into the look she’s sending him; after all she’s still mad at him, like the look she sent him this morning proved to him.

He prefers her rage being unleashed on him to this demeaning silence of hers. Her eyes pierce right through him; uncovering all his deepest, darkest secrets. Unable to move because of her paralizing stare, Brian just lays there for a brief moment; unable to unlock his eyes from hers. Like a cripled man who just regained his strength, he finally gets to his feet and leaves the boiler room; feeling like a pathetic excuse for a man.

Angela VO: “Why does Brian Krakow always seem to be around to like, mess up my life?! Isn’t it enough he got me grounded for like, the rest of my life?! Every time Jordan and I are about to have sex, he *magically* shows up, killing the mood. Did my mom, like, send him after me or something, like a big, Brian-shaped birth-control pill?”

[At the restaurant, around dinner time]

Angela VO: “Most nights my dad still has time to fix us dinner at home; but certain nights he’s like, busier than usual or something, and we eat at the restaurant. So; basically I’m like, grounded, but my mom makes an exception by releasing me from my cage to like, *feed* me. Oh joy. I get to spend the evening in a place I don’t want to be in, facing the person I don’t want to see, doing the thing I don’t want to do in front of her, like eat.
My dad is like, okay to hang around with; he’s like not so judgmental as my mother. If it were up to him, Danielle and I wouldn’t have to be grounded anymore; I like overheard them argue, you know. But he’s busy cooking dinner for all his guests, so I’m stuck here with my wicked mother and little sister.”

In the otherwise almost full restaurant, Angela, Danielle and Patty are sitting down at one of the tables. Graham is working his magic in the kitchen, while Hallie is serving their customers with a smile. Danielle gets up from her seat and skips into the kitchen to hang out with her father.

Stabbing her fork into the table mindlessly, Angela is slouching in her seat, bored. Her mother keeps urging her to, “Stop it!” Angela’s response is an ugly face, with a tongue sticking out of her mouth.

After a while Patty grabs the fork from Angela’s hand. “Stop it; I already told you a thousand times before!” She’s not only irritated by her eldest daughter’s mindless wrecking of her husband’s new table; Angela’s attitude is rubbing up against her badly.

“Could you like, give me a freaking break?”

“Why won’t you stop sulking, and try to act a little less hostile…”

“I won’t stop sulking, and if you stop, like, being the enemy who is ruining my life, I’ll stop acting less hostile…”  

“Young lady; you chose to *act* like a little child, now you have to deal with the consequences of being treated like one!” Patty’s heldback anger is reaching the surface rapidly.

“It’s *so* unfair! Do you have any idea how much you’re ruining my life, like, with your *stupid* rules? You’re not *half* as mad with Danielle as you’re with me!”

“That’s not true, Angela. You’re both grounded, and you both pulled the same ridiculously dangerous stunt.”

“Yeah, but she like, doesn’t have a life anyway, or a boyfriend! And you were just *worried* about her when she stayed away; while you got mad as hell at me!” Sick of looking at her mother and sick of dealing with her rules, Angela looks away from her.

“Thank God Danielle hasn’t been stupid enough to let some guy sweet-talk her into bed yet! You *knew* what you were doing when you stayed away, and Danielle didn’t!” Patty can’t hold her voice down any longer; the feelings of rage and despair are consuming her.

“Oh, I knew it was about Jordan! You still don’t like, understand that I *love* Jordan Catalano, do you? And having sex with him was my own choice, because I was like, ready for it! Besides, how can you be judging me for something you did too, at my age?!”

Angela VO: “I am *so* close to walking out of here. If my mother doesn’t say something really good to me now, something that will righteous her behaviour; I’m leaving and I’m not coming back. I don’t care where I have to sleep, but I’m *not* going home, ever again. I won’t ler her ruin my life anymore!”

Suddenly aware of being inside her husband’s newly opened restaurant; it occurs to Patty that picking a fight isn’t the ideal form of advertising.

Patty hisses at Angela, “I get that you love Jordan, believe me, I do. And I really hope that you didn’t have sex with him before you actually felt ready, because sex is a big deal. And ofcourse, I had sex too, but that’s not the point here. And maybe I even stayed out without permission once or twice; but again, that’s besides the point as well. Don’t you think *my* mother was pissed at me for doing it? I didn’t agree with her back then, ofcourse I didn’t, but if she hadn’t set me straight, things would have spiraled out of control. And I know now, she only did it because she loved me; no matter how hard that is to understand for you right now. Don’t you get it Angela, I don’t want to see you ending up pregnant like Sharon Cherski did, and waisting away your life and future.”

“Sharon isn’t pregnant…” Angela replies dryly, like she didn’t hear another word her mother said.

Angela VO: “For now, my mother’s words are good enough to keep me from running away. I *get* that she’s scared I’ll end up pregnant, but I’m not like, stupid, am I?”

“No, I know she’s not; but she came unbelievably close, and so can you. Believe me, I know how close you can get to thinking you’re…” Patty pauses for a while, thinking back to an uncertain time in her life, happening only a few months ago.

“Mom, I get it, okay? Jordan and I are like, doing it safe, all the time. Would you please just let me spend more time with him again? Before I grow old and even more ugly?”

“I’ll ease up on the rules a bit; you can stay out after school again, but… you still have to be back home at supper time. And you have to promise me your homework won’t be affected by it, ofcourse. As for parties and all other things that take place during the evening and night; they are *still* forbidden. You have to realize the seriousness of what you put your dad and me through that night…”

“Thanks mom; I’d even hug you, you know, if…”

“Yes, I know…” Patty smirks at her daughter; given the promise of a hug means a lot, coming from Angela.

[In the hospital]

“Gee whiz, Enrique!” Enthusiastically Mr Katimski greets his visitor, looking up from his bed. “And Miss Graff; what a *pleasure* is it to have both of you here in this somewhat umm, unfit establishment…”

Thinking how he doesn’t look deadly ill at all, Rickie smiles cheerfully at Mr Katimski. “Hey Mr K!” He walks up to him and gives him a hug; reluctant to release him.

“Hey Mr K, so, how’s the food in here?” Pacing around the room nervously, Rayanne keeps her distance.

Smirking at her, Mr Katimski answers sarcastically, “Please, can we talk about umm, something cheerful, instead of the so-called umm, food of this establishment?!”

“So, I heard about your…” Rickie swallows away a lump in his troat before he continues, “tumour…”

“Enrique, don’t worry about this old man. I’ll be fine; and so will *you*…We’ve decided to go with the umm, surgery, by the way; I intend to beat the umm, odds!”

“So, when will they like,… operate on you?” Rickie feigns a smile, not able to share Mr Katimski’s enthusiasm.

“Tomorrow, Enrique, tomorrow,” Mr Katimski eyes ask for Rickie’s understanding when he continues, “It’s a slim chance, but it’s still a chance, you see? Who knows what will happen if I umm, wait around for this umm, tumour, to eat my brain, you know?”

“I never like, thought of it that way, I guess. This is better, it really is…” Rickie stares down at his hands in his lap which are slowly turning into a blur, because of the tears clouding up his eyes.

“Gee whiz, cheer up, Enrique! I told you, I will *beat* the umm, odds!” Mr Katimski’s hand reaches out to clumsily pat Rickie’s arm.

“But what if you like, *don’t*?”

“Enrique, enrique… It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all… Remember that…”  

“I will never forget you, ever. You were like, the *only* one who really cared for me, and like, the only one I could be *me* around; like, without being judged. You made like, all the difference in the world to me. Thank you, Mr K, for everything…” Once again Rickie embraces Mr Katimski, releasing his tears freely now.

“Enrique, it was my pleasure and *great* privilige to umm, take care of someone like you. I ensure you we will meet again; if not tomorrow, then another day…” With the young boy in his arms, Mr Katimski sobs silently; he’s more afraid of what will happen to Rickie than he is about his own future.

Reluctantly, Rickie releases himself from their embrace and takes a few steps back to give Rayanne the opportunity to say something to Mr Katimski before they leave.

“Thanks, Mr K, you know, for like, giving me a sence of direction and for like, believing in me. No one has ever done that before; well, maybe Rickie here has, but, he doesn’t really like, count, if you know what I mean…” Rayanne smirks at him. “Good luck tomorrow.”

Without looking back Rayanne leaves the room abruptly. Outside in the hallway she takes her flask from her coat pocket and pours down most of its contents in one sip; in order to drown her sorrows in a numbing oblivion.

“Yeah, good luck tomorrow, Mr K. Until we meet again, I guess…” Once more, Rickie walks up to Mr Katimski and takes hold of his hand. Their eyes do the rest of the talking; then Rickie leaves the room.

Looking back over his shoulder once more, he tries to memorize the kind and wise man for good; fearing this may be the last time he lays his eyes on him.

To be continued…

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Episode No. 31 - Face Your Demons by Lady Guinevere
Published: 09 Jul 2010 | Size: 57 KB (10100 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
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Facing your demons is never easy; Rickie has to face his with Mr Katimski in a coma and the chance to start a new life in a new home. Angela has to face her demons when some knowledge about ‘Ms’ Summers changes her perspective on the woman drastically. More demons come to her in the form of an embarrassing picture. Brian has to face his demons, when the love for his camera leads him into problems again. Jordan has to face his demons when someone from his past wants to be part of his future. Rayanne has to face her daily demons and more when her secret is about to be revealed.

Read this story now: Episode No. 31 - Face Your Demons

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“Lately, I can't even look at my mother without wanting to stab her repeatedly.”

Angela Chase, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"