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In God's Eyes

In God's Eyes

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In God's Eyes

Länge:
359 Seiten
5 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jan 8, 2008
ISBN:
9781386042532
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

   What if you and your best friend shared a secret? A secret that threatened everything about your life, and what if you discovered that you shared that secret with two of the most unlikely people? 

   Travis Espinoza and Mary Reeves have walked through the halls of Saint Francis Academy as social outcasts. Just as privileged as their classmates, but unable to fit in. Jessica Trea and Devon Court have always been on the inside, and yet these four teens find themselves drawn to each other by the one thing they cannot escape; they're gay. And in their world being gay isn't just unacceptable-it doesn't exist.

   When a final project forces Travis and Devon together, they start a chain of events that begins to slowly unravel their fragile lives. With the pressures of high school and the dogmatic fundamentalist values of Travis' stepfather and preacher grandfather-as well as the the social pressures of their world the four friends learn that nothing is certain, and the desire to be themselves will take more courage than they ever thought possible. In the end the dark side of religious ideals are revealed; bringing one of them to the very threshold of death's door.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jan 8, 2008
ISBN:
9781386042532
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Marcus James is the author of Following the Kaehees and a contributor to Ultimate Undies: Erotic Stories about Underwear and Lingerie and the forthcoming Best Gay Love Stories: NYC Edition. He is twenty-one years old and lives in El Paso, Texas.

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In God's Eyes - Marcus James

Thoughts

In God’s Eyes

A Novel

By

Marcus James

Also by Marcus James

Following the Kaehees

Blackmoore

––––––––

Anthologies from Alyson Books featuring Marcus James:

Ultimate Undies: Erotic Stories About Underwear and Lingerie

Best Gay Love Stories: New York City

Ultimate Gay Erotica: 2007

Dorm Porn: 2

Travelrotica: 2

Best Gay Love Stories: Summer Flings

Island Boys

Frat Sex: 2

Best Gay Love Stories: 2009

In God’s Eyes

A
Novel
By
Marcus James

––––––––

Midnight Choir Books
In God’s Eyes
A
Novel

By

Marcus James

Midnight Choir Books

In God’s Eyes

All Rights Reserved ©2008 By Marcus James

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the publisher.

©Midnight Choir Books 2008

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All registered trademarks mentioned in this book are the property of their respective owners. No infringement is intended or should be inferred.

Printed in the United States of America

For Shelly, Mike... and myself;

We survived.

For those out there still struggling with who they are and to those who already know, don’t worry; you’ll survive it too.

In God’s Eyes

A Novel

By

Marcus James

Acknowledgments

I want to thank my editor Evanne Freeman-Casey. You are an artist. To Anne Rice, I would not have survived any of the things in my life without you helping to see me through. To Tori Amos... you were a voice in the darkest moment of my life. your siren song taught me to never give up.

In God’s Eyes

Author’s Note

In God’s Eyes is not an attack on Christianity, nor is it an assault on the beliefs of individuals themselves, but instead an unraveling, an unraveling I wrote four years ago. Through the window of fiction I have been able to venture into a very dark time in my life, a time that still fills me with so much anger towards people in my life, an anger that dangerously borders on hate.

To say that through the written word I will be able to shed this is foolish, and I will not make such claims. The pain is still there, deep inside, it clings to my memories and refuses to let go. Though I have tried often, I cannot give up the ghost. The point of In God’s Eyes is to remind ourselves that no one can speak for God, in whatever form you see God to be. We don’t even know if God exists. But if God does exist, then we have to remember that no one can judge us, and that we must Live the life we Love, and Love the life we Live.

In God’s Eyes

A Novel

By

Marcus James

––––––––

Midnight Choir Books

You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?

You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?

You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?

You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

You who boast the Law, you’re breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?

For the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you, just as it is written.

—Romans 2:21-24

––––––––

It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles... what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles, for out of the heart comes evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, false witness, slander; these are what defiles a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.

—Mathew 15:10, 18-20

I am distressed for thee my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women

The Present

––––––––

He was so thin. He lay in that bed, lost in delirium, the bruises and slight lacerations not quite healed, not quite clean. His brain was drifting in and out of the past. He stared at the square, white ceiling of this room, wishing for someone to come and rescue him, wondering if anyone knew where he possibly was – wondering if perhaps he would die here and no one would know.

He missed Mary. He wished so desperately that she was here with him; where was she to protect him now? Did she know where to look? Was she even looking? Of course she was; Mary was his best friend, and best friends never give up.

He hadn’t eaten more than a few slices of bread in a week. Perhaps it had been two. Time no longer seemed to exist; he was in hell. He hadn’t been sure before if a place like that even existed – but now, being here, locked in this room with no contact from the outside world, he was convinced that he was in it and that there was no escape.

He wondered how people who claimed to love him could do this. Was it truly possible to love someone though you’ve pushed them to the very edge of death?

No.

This wasn’t love. This was sadistic hate and fear; this was vile and evil. This was not love.

He tried to get up; tried to will his body to move, but he could not. He had no energy, and the shadow of depression had taken its toll. Like a horrid poison it was there, moving beneath the skin, following the course of his veins. He could feel it; it burned, it festered like a vicious sore and there was no medicine to weaken it.

Someone, please.... His voice was so weak, his throat so dry. The pitcher of water that was left for him had been empty for the past twenty-four hours, and now the sun was beginning to set in the evening sky, splashing gold light through curtains that were never opened. The gold lettering of the Bible that sat next to the bed seemed faint and distorted, and in his delirium he thought that it had read: The Devil.

He began to fall into memories, drifting back into five months of joy and loss, of anger and regret – five months that he wished he could have back, and perhaps do again.

Devon.... The name passed his lips, and it seemed to take the remaining strength in his body with it, pulling him into a heavy sleep. A tear slipped down his face as his lids closed, knowing that he was going to die in this place, this house of God.

December

––––––––

He didn’t want to wake up. The idea of mulling through the day was suffocating, to say the least. The prospect of having one friend in the entire world that he could rely on and confide in was not a promising venture when you only saw one another at lunch and before classes in the morning. Yet it was those morning visits that kept his sanity intact, because without it he would indeed go mad.

Travis, get up; you’re going to be late! His mother’s voice rang in his ears like a throbbing beat from a speaker, setting his nerves into frenzy and his heart into a thunder of beats. Travis Espinoza opened his eyes. His lids fluttered with the automatic contact of light that seeped in from the slits of his curtains, pouring dim gold onto the carpet and plaid covers of his Burberry blanket.

I’m up, Mom.... I’m up.... His voice trailed off as he sat up, shaking his head, black strands falling in his large brown eyes. His delicate face was olive in color, cheeks naturally rouged, and his lips plump. His looks made him appear too soft when it came to the minds of others, especially the jocks who seemed to go out of their way to make it known to him how they felt about boys too pretty to know any better, boys who were too pretty for their own good.

He stood and stretched, looking about his rectangular room, deep blue walls covered in posters of various classic films and original works of art. He chose to lose himself in the world that he saw on the screen or read in literature, knowing that through these tools of imagination he could block out the rest of the world, trapping himself in the delights of the mind.

Travis was five foot six and skinny, a bad combination when you matched it up against the slight sway of his hips when he walked and the automatic cock of the wrist when he moved his hands. There were many things that Travis was ready to deal with, but at fifteen, this was not one of them.

He slipped off the oversized black tee and stripped down in front of the body-length mirror attached to the back of his closet door, looking at himself naked with self-conscious and judging eyes, seeing everything that was wrong with him and nothing that was right.

On his smooth belly there was a little mole, a horrible birthmark that he used to feel nothing for until the age of ten when his grandmother saw it and told him that it was probably cancerous, and that he should have it removed. Since then he had hated it, desperate for no one to see it – which, along with other things, was the reason why he never took off his shirt in front of anyone, even his own parents.

Disgusting! he exasperated, shaking his head and reaching for a little black polo shirt that hung loosely from a white plastic hanger on the left side of his walk-in, throwing it over his head, quickly concealing what he considered to be a gross deformity. From his dresser drawer he grabbed a pair of white briefs and slipped them on, followed by a pair of True Religions that lay on the back of his leather desk chair, the bottoms frayed and nearly covering his feet.

I didn’t do my homework. It was the first serious thought that came to him while he slipped on his socks, followed with his gray Vans with the brown soles, knowing that he was quickly failing and that the first semester of the year was coming to a close. He was a sophomore now; freshman year had come and gone with little event, and yet by the end of the year the grades were slipping, going from A’s to C’s in a matter of three months. Now with this new year, he was already suffering two F’s out of six classes; the other three were floating on steady D’s. In fact, his only good class was English, where he was progressing smoothly with a perfect A.

Travis, let’s go! his mother called again, this time from the other side of his door, her perfume slipping through the space beneath.

Mom, I know!

Don’t you dare get that tone with me! She walked away, and a heavy feeling seemed to be weighing down in the pit of his stomach, the hope of a somewhat good day gently drifting away from him, replaced by a thick cloud as black as the midnight sky, and filled with nothing but torment and self-doubt.

She’s going to kill me.... It was the second serious thought of the morning. That was always an indication of how the day was going to go, and thinking positive had nothing to do with it.

He took a deep breath and opened the door, grabbing his messenger bag, which slipped over one shoulder. The jocks called it a purse whenever they saw it, but it wasn’t a purse, and that was the one tease he could ignore out of the thousands that he tried so hard to but couldn’t; especially since he knew the rest to be true.

Finally. I thought you had died in there. Anne Griffin rolled her eyes at her son, standing before him in a Donna Karan gray-and-black pinstripe skirt suit, a pink silk collared shirt underneath, and a little gold cross around her neck with a diamond in the center of the arms, nestled between her breasts.

Her face was round like her son’s, yet her eyes were blue like a spring sky and her face was decorated in a light wash of makeup. Her hair was blonde, though her natural auburn roots were beginning to show, and even with the cover-up, her freckles could still be seen on the bridge of her nose and scattered lightly just beneath her eyes.

She was young, only thirty-three, and tall enough as well as thin enough to be a model or an actress, but she was a mother instead. A mother who recently married a police officer, a devout Christian like her own father, who was a minister at the Church of Christ in Olympia. Before her husband, they had never gone to church, and now it was an every-Sunday event.

She locked the door behind them, standing in silence within the elevator as they went to their vehicle. They climbed into her black Lexus and pulled out of the parking lot of their condo, driving through downtown Tacoma at an alarming speed. Travis knew that his mother thought that they were running late, though in reality they still had twenty minutes.

Skyscrapers were capped in morning fog, and the orange glow of the street lamps had yet to turn off, though the sun was well on its way to taking over the entire sky – a wash of pinks, purples, and gold on a canvas of blue – and for once it wasn’t raining. They sat in silence, his mother steady on the wheel listening to country music and quietly singing along, paying no attention to her son, who was drifting into his own personal hell.

Travis’s thoughts lingered to the year before, the year when he had first begun to acknowledge his affection for the same sex, the year when the illusions of his world had begun to slip away from him. The year that had marked the beginning of the end for his peace of mind.

He had been in freshman gym, a class that he had loathed since middle school when they began having to use a locker room and showers, a practice that carried over into high school. The locker room had stunk of sweat and cologne, a cheap way to cover up natural body odor, the narrow space with the floor made up of tiny blue and white tiles, though the dirt of years past made it look dingy and gray. The lockers were painted in red and blue, which were the colors of the school.

The wood benches looked as if they had been coated in Vaseline, slick and shiny as they were. The chill of the Northwest slipped in through cheap seal at the base of the windows, causing everyone to shiver.

Travis was careful when he changed. He took off his shoes and pants first, feeling a sense of security when his shirt was still on, somehow protecting his vulnerability from the rest of the students. He never looked around the room as he changed, feeling that all eyes would be on him, observing him and gawking at him. Knowing that he was too skinny compared to the other boys who seemed to spend time in the gym at least three hours a day, most of them sports players – the main sport being football.

But it was one fateful day in March that he decided to lift his head and prove to himself that he had nothing to worry about when looking around the room. He felt that it had been the biggest mistake of his life.

Once he lifted his eyes, he suddenly saw himself in a jungle – a jungle made up of human flesh, plants and trees of male skin, a jungle of toned bodies and attractive faces, a jungle that he would never be able to escape.

Taut abs and firm legs in various states of undress, crotches in boxers, others in briefs, the rest in a combination of the two. They laughed and whipped each other with towels, language so vulgar filled the air, speaking of sex and those that they had conquered. Queer things, a world of normal boys that Travis knew that he could never be a part of... a world so alien to his own.

One person in particular had caught his attention, and it was the one person that he would never be able to forget or avoid – a person who seemed to be an expression of unmatched beauty.

His name was Devon Court, a sophomore and one of the chosen people, those created by God to reign down amongst the rest: a wolf amongst sheep. Devon stood a couple of inches taller than Travis. The auburn of his hair was just short of two inches in length. His face was soft and his jaw-line chiseled, as if crafted from stone by Michelangelo himself, and his body was just as perfect.

Rich blue orbs stood out like flames in his sockets and his lips were plump, like soft rose petals in full bloom. His nose seemed to be that perfect shape, a slight round with a little up-turn, and there was a tiny mole on the right side of his chin. His body was that of a runner – lean but not thin, his abs visible but not overtly so, his quarter-size nipples slightly darker than the rest of him. To Travis’s delight and repulsion, they were erect from the cold.

The only imperfection that seemed visible on Devon was the fact that he had braces, but Travis concluded that this could hardly be considered an imperfection since they gave a boyish quality to someone who had already dealt with a year of high school, while Travis was still in the eighth grade.

While staring at Devon, he could feel the heat rise on the nape of his neck. The blood was beginning to rush between his legs, going to a place that Travis considered forbidden, a place that Travis feared above all else.

He threw off his shirt and slipped on the burgundy sweatshirt that was only worn for gym, slipping his feet into a pair of old sneakers, his legs clothed in black track pants. He closed his locker and spirited past the rest of the guys, trying to avoid their smirks and stares. But as he made his way towards the door he bumped into Devon’s shoulder, and when he looked up to muffle an apology he was shocked to find those blue eyes staring into him, kind, lacking the invisible daggers that seemed to meet him from the rest of the male populace.

It’s okay, Devon said, grinning. The grin wasn’t vicious or condescending; it was gentle, deliberately gentle, as if making it a point to Travis that he had nothing to fear from him, that somehow he was different.

Sorry... he said again, averting his eyes to that dingy tiled floor, hurrying past him and slipping out through the heavy wood door, taking what seemed to be his first breath since his fourteen years of existence, no longer inanimate, no longer a dumb corpse. Finally he was alive, and existence was terrifying.

Okay, time to go. His mother’s voice brought him back, and to his amazement they were on the curb outside of his school, a mammoth structure created in the late fifties and named after Saint Francis of Assisi. It had the distinct honor of being the first co-educational Catholic high school back in its inception.

Later. He opened the door and stepped outside, smelling the crisp winter air, the green grass touched with frost. The puddles in the cracked pavement were frozen over with ice.

Everywhere students huddled with mugs and cups of coffee, laughing and complaining, dressed in scarves, warm coats, and soft gloves by Marc Jacobs. Most of these students had money – and if they didn’t, they faked it, not wanting to be one of those that stood out.

Though Travis’s family had money, he still stood out like a sore thumb. All the nice clothes in the world couldn’t protect him from the sneers of others, and he knew that in the end, it was all bullshit anyways. Those who threw their money around like their hair were using it to distract from something else, a vapid self-loathing that they knew could be fed on by others if they smelled it – hyenas laughing as they tore their prey apart, bloody flesh after bloody flesh until there was nothing left but bones, membrane, and flies.

Hey! He turned to see his best friend Mary Reeves standing behind him, her petite frame clothed in a pleated skirt of blue and purple plaid, and a tiny black cashmere turtle-neck keeping her warm against the cold. Pink cheeks brightened her sweet face and gentle smile; her hair was red, and reached to her shoulders. She wore a pair of wire-rim glasses on her face and had a star-shaped scar on her left cheek, just beneath her eye.

A Spice Girls backpack was strung over her shoulders, and a copy of The Witching Hour by Anne Rice in her hand, the pages nearly tattered from the constant turning of the pages. It was her most beloved book, and one that she had read a thousand times.

What’s up? They were huddled beneath a metal breezeway that stretched out like arms over the outside walk, the outside lights casting them in eerie orange glow, as if mocking the warmth of summer sunshine.

Freaked out about mid-terms. I swear, I’m going to kill myself! Mary had a tendency to do this to herself, getting worked up over things that she already knew, and then surprising herself in the end when she made it through with straight A’s, or possibly one B.

Dude, don’t worry about it; you’re going to kick ass like always. She rolled her eyes and shrugged, doubting herself because it kept her on her toes. She figured that if she became confident then she would grow lax in her studies, and that was something that she could not afford.

So, what did you do last night? Travis shrugged. Your homework, perhaps?

He shook his head, knowing that she would be disappointed. No....

Mary nodded. Travis, you need to do it. What if you don’t pass first semester? He didn’t want to think about that possibility, fearing what his stepdad might do if he found out. There was a good chance that it would result in Travis being tossed across his room.

I know; it’s just... goddamn, things are getting to be so hard, and all I want to do is write. I’m going to be a writer, you know?

She nodded. I know. I’ve always told you that you would be, since eighth grade; you’ve had a talent for it. Her eyes drifted over his shoulder briefly.

Yeah, and so do you. It was true: she was an amazing writer, and on some occasions Travis found himself wishing that he could write like her.

But it comes harder for me. You have a use of language that I don’t. I can put it together, but you – you have passion in it. Travis couldn’t deny that this didn’t make him feel better in some slight way, but in her voice there was something else. As if being a professional writer wasn’t her destiny. Though there was slight disappointment in her tone, there was also acceptance, as if knowing that she was meant for something else, something greater. Travis was convinced that Mary Reeves was going to save the world.

No matter what, you’ll always be my favorite author. They grinned at each other, sharing silent conversation and understanding without words the depths of each other’s souls.

Ditto. They laughed just as the bell sounded, screeching out into the air like a strangled cat, letting them know that it was time to part. The halls were marked by numbers, and the 900 hall was reserved for English classes. It was dark and dreary; no matter how many lights hung above their heads, they could not brighten the building. The lockers clanked around them, the sound like that of kicked garbage cans.

People skirted past them as if Mary and Travis were infected with some sort of disease. They feared exposure, as if by merely bumping shoulders with them, they would become instant outcasts, left alone without any friends, where not even members of the chess club would want to hang out with you.

So, you going to watch Gossip Girl tonight?

Travis nodded, knowing that if he didn’t he would regret it – mainly because he would get an earful from Mary the next day. Of course!

They laughed and hugged, both of them secretly never wanting to let go. I love you, Mary said, stepping into her Honors English class, run by the intelligent Ms. Sue Brewery.

I love you too. Travis went next door into his second-year English class, the English class that students took when they couldn’t get into honors. The room was bright, a sharp contrast to the outside hall, forcing the students who entered to squint their eyes from the blinding white fluorescent.

In silence, he skirted to his seat in the back of the room, hating it because he sat next to the jocks, hating it because he sat next to Devon Court.

It wasn’t until a minute before the tardy bell sounded that the popular people strolled in, girls with perfect bodies dressed in hip-huggers and skirts from Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana. Guys dressed in purposefully-stressed jeans from Filmore and Chip and Pepper and khaki cargos, baseball caps that read American Eagle, and turtle-necks and polos from Armani and Tom Ford.

They had million-dollar grins on their faces, and they could care less about paying attention to the assignments that were being handed out.

Devon came in, nodding and grinning at Travis. Those blue eyes seemed to absorb all of the light in the room, and the gray turtleneck contrasted with the color of his hair nicely. He slid into his desk with perfect ease and Travis took note of his butt, which was shaped to perfection in his boot-cut jeans. That familiar heat began to rise on the back of his neck, his ears becoming hot and slightly red.

Following Devon was Brandon Taylor and his on-again-off-again girlfriend Rory Price, one of the biggest bitches in the junior class. In fact, all three of them had failed their second semester of sophomore English, and yet being doomed to repeat it didn’t seem to bother them – except for Devon, who it seemed perceived it as a growing weight on his shoulders.

Hey, Nancy boy... Rory said, laughing. She had an angular face and layered blonde hair, dressed in flare jeans and a tiny V-neck fleece pullover, the color powder pink with gray stripes running the underside of her arms, and a diamond choker around her neck. She was beautiful, but vanity was one of her greatest attributes; it made Travis sick to his stomach.

Not cool, Devon said, glaring at her. She rolled her eyes and looked at her boyfriend, who lifted his brows in perplexed questioning. He was nearly six feet in height, dressed in stonewashed jeans and a plain white T-shirt, his skin olive in color. His face was narrow yet very attractive, dark eyes that seemed soulless, and his chestnut hair was parted at the middle line, the strands still damp, grazing his cheek bones.

Sorry, Devon mouthed. His braces reflected the light above them, his book bag resting on the top of his desk, which he now placed his arms over, resting his head in the cleft of his elbows.

Everett Tan walked into his classroom, prepared to face his students, thinking himself ready for whatever they had to throw at him. The semester was coming to an end and he had to deal with them for another one, knowing that his three failed juniors would most likely be back the coming January to give him continued grief.

He was a first generation Chinese-American, his parents having immigrated to San Francisco in the mid-Sixties. Everett was only two at the time, and so China was a faint memory, one that he could only barely recall. He was

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