Sam kicked his backpack to the corner when he entered his room. He had such a bad day at school so he took it out on the punching bag hanging from the ceiling. Not only did Haley embarrass him in front of his peers, his English teacher also kicked him out because he forgot to do his homework, for the third time. A Facebook notification came through but he dismissed it temporarily, concentrating solely on the swinging bag in front of him. A second notification came and this one he could not ignore.
He opened his Facebook chat.
Taylor: Your sister sure knows how to fight, huh?
Sam stared dumbfounded at how shallow this Taylor person seemed to be.
Sam: What do you want?
Taylor: Nothing, just wanna talk. Is that so wrong?
Sam: You must be pretty lonely if you have no one else to talk to except me.
Taylor: And you must be pretty depressed being in that closet... How about I do you a favor and let you out?
Sam: I don't care, okay? It's not like being gay is something I should be ashamed of.
Taylor: Oh, so you are gay?
Sam clenched his jaw. Taylor continued typing.
Taylor: What about that girlfriend of yours? What's her name again? Sophia, right?
Sam didn't reply.
Taylor: You don't have feelings for her?
Sam: I like her.
Taylor: But you obviously don't love her lol
Sam: Go to hell!
Taylor: I get you, Sam. I get you. With a girlfriend like Sophia I'd turn gay as well.
Sam: Are you in my class?
Taylor: Am I? Am I not? Now, that's the question! I like how curious you are. Go on, ask another question.
Sam: I'm not playing this game of yours. I'm logging out.
The door to his room opened suddenly. Sam turned and sighed.
" Mom! Will you knock?"
His mom stood in the doorway with a confused expression once she saw his room.
" Sam, this room is a mess! When will you tidy it?" she stepped in and picked up one of his socks.
" I was about to ask if you have any clothes that need washing but I can already tell that won't be necessary." Priscilla bent over and put the remainder of his dirty clothes into her laundry basket. Sam sighed.
" I'm sorry. It's just that lately I haven't had time to tidy my room. I'll do it tomorrow, I promise."
Priscilla frowned at him. " Why can't you do it today?"
" Because..." Sam tried to come up with a decent excuse. " I am behind in my school work... I have three essays that I need to write for my English class and an upcoming exam to study for in about a week."
Priscilla pursed her lips. Whenever his mom did that Sam could tell she was irritated.
" And how in the world do you expect to study in a room like this? Messy room, messy mind, Sam. Remember that."
Sam grumped in response. Priscilla narrowed her eyes at him.
" Is everything okay, Sam?" she studied him for a moment.
" Yeah." Sam said looking away. Priscilla sat on his bed, observing him for a while.
" You're spending a lot of time in your room lately. Why don't you come to the pool anymore? You used to do that before."
" I have lots of school work." Sam glanced at her but looked back down again.
" It's October. How come school is already so intense?" she frowned.
" Look, mom. Can you just leave me alone, please?"
" You know you can talk to me about things, right?" Priscilla gazed at him. Sam looked up.
" And if you ever feel down, I'm here."
" I know you're in those formative years where you're gonna come face to face with some challenges but don't ever feel like you have to hide your feelings just because you're a boy. Okay?"
She stood up and kissed him on the cheek.
" And you're tidying this room today!" she said decisively and closed the door behind her.