True Dreams=Bad Grades.Mature

   “To be a porn star you need three things: A good agent, Low standards, and the ability to orgasm on cue—” Was all Lloyd could get out before he was stopped immediately by his career’s teacher.

   Lloyd Awen Wayfire was an eighteen year old boy living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He stood an average 5’9, weighed an average 170, had average brown hair, and average blue eyes. The only thing he wasn’t average at, was school, having a grade point average of ninety-seven percent, which is why everyone gasped when he said he didn’t want to be a Doctor. Or a Rocket Scientist.

   In fact, he had barely even had a chance to set up his display board before being ripped from the front and sent down to the office.

   Mrs. Decicco carried him by his arm like he was a child who’d just wet himself, almost afraid to get to close to him lest she wanted her clothes to be urinated on as well. All the while spouting nonsense like “You have no idea how inappropriate that was, Mr. Wayfire!” and “You’re parents would be ashamed of you!”

   “You don’t know my parents…” Was all he thought as he was hopelessly dragged down flights of stairs like a ragdoll. “For all you know they could support me! They could have even put the idea in my head!” Which wasn’t true. If his parents ever found out, he’d probably be disowned right then, but she didn’t know that.

   Finally they had reached their destination, and just as she pushed him into the air-conditioned space, she took off back to the class. With not even a warning of why he was there, the two receptionists at the desk eyed him, wondering what the hell this kid did this time.

   “I was sent here by—” Lloyd tried to hide his embarrassment as Marge, the receptionist that knew him by his first name, raised her eyebrow.

   “What the hell did you do this time, Lloyd…” She sounded disappointed like his mother would have been.

   “I was just presenting my careers presentation,” Lloyd tried to cover himself. “But it was deemed—” He raised his hands to quote. “—inappropriate.”

   “What was it about?” The second asked. Her name tag read her off as Debbie.

   A small silence squeaked by before Lloyd answered in a whisper. “It was on how I want to be a—”

   “Lloyd Wayfire!” Came the giant growl from behind the cubicles behind the receptionist desk. He knew that raspy voice anywhere… “What the hell are you doing down here again. I thought we discussed—”

   “I was just presenting—” Lloyd sighed before being cut off again.

   “No matter,” The big man with the power suit and comb over stepped into view, making Lloyd’s stomach lurch. It was none other than his V.P. Mr. White. “Step into my office, son. We’ve got something to discuss…”

   It was an awkward walk that followed, feeling the eyes of the busy-bees inside the palace of his High School. It had grown somewhat familiar, this being his seventh time this semester having gone in, but that didn’t mean the familiarity had become comfortable.

   “Sit—” Mr. White motioned a meaty paw toward the rolly desk chair that sit in front of his desk.

   “Mr. White—” Lloyd tried to say, but felt his breathe cut short by his hand.

   “Mr. Wayfire, I don’t know how you keep putting yourself in this kind of situation,” White sighed. He had pulled out a folder. “Witnessing a fight, shoving un-marked tests into the garbage—”

   “That was an—”

   “Accident,” White smiled. “I know. They’re ALL accidents, but somehow you always end up with that same red in your cheeks each and every time you come here.”

   “Do you even know why I’m here, sir?” Lloyd asked, swallowing. His throat had long since gone dry and he was trying his best to get his saliva flowing again.

   “You want to be a porn star,” White replied like it was the most ordinary thing in the world. “Decicco called down a bit before you left.”

   Lloyd just sat there, waiting for his punishment. He didn’t know what to say, and how could he? It had always been this way. He had a desire, others would assume the worst, and he would get in trouble for it. It happened all the time with his brother, and now was no different. He has learned a long time ago to just suck it up and move on.

   “I have a question, though, Lloyd,” White said. “Why exactly do you want to be a porn star?”

   “Not that this isn’t really awkward already,” Lloyd said. “But could I have like, a cup of water or anything?”

   “You don’t want to tell me, do you?” Said White.

   “Well, sir,” Lloyd could barely speak above a whisper. “Thing is, I kind of can’t see myself telling you anything without my throat caving in.”

   White nodded as if he understood and pressed a red button on his twelve-channel phone base, which sat right humbly right next to his husband’s face in a heart frame. “Misses Gray? Could I get a cup of water in here please?”

   “Your secretary is a color too…?” Lloyd almost didn’t believe it, but when his V.P. nodded, he just took it for face value.

   In about ten seconds, the old bird walked through the door trying her best not to spill, all the while there sat Lloyd feeling his throat tense up. He almost snatched the cup as he stood from the desk, taking in every drop he could of the sweet elixir that cooled and wetted and brought his voice back to life.

   “Good water, huh?” White asked as he crossed his hairy arms, sitting back.

   Lloyd could only nod as he savoured the relief.

   “Now then,” His V.P. gave a stern expression. “Why do you want to be a porn star?”

   Awkward silence fluttered in his ears and he stared again. “Well?”

   “Because I like sex, okay?”

   And in Lloyd’s case, he did. He loved sex like a drug, even though he had just done it once that previous Saturday. It had left him with such a feeling of completeness that his left and right hand lacked all together, that he had researched everything he could by the time the girl woke up with her hang over. She couldn’t remember anything, which left him with a sort of predator instinct as she picked up her underwear off the floor and shuffled out with her hand on her head.

   “Lloyd,” Mr. White said, sincere like a father would say to his son after he caught him masturbating to porn on his computer. “Just because you like sex, doesn’t mean you have to become a porn star. I mean look at me. I like—”

   “Please,” Lloyd said, eyeing the picture beside his phone again. “For the love of God don’t finish that sentence.”

   Mr. White let out a snort and raised his hands. “Fine, fine. But you know what I mean. Sex as a profession isn’t meant for people like you.”

   Lloyd raised his eyebrow, wondering if he had just become a victim of racism.

   “You’re attractive, you’re smart, and you’ve got a good career ahead of you,” White sighed. “Don’t become one of those dropouts who sell their bodies for a living. It’s just not done.”

   “I think I’ll be the judge of how my body is used in my profession,” Replied Lloyd like it was a business proposition. “Now if you’ll excuse me—”

   “We haven’t discussed you’re punishment, Mr. Wayfire,” Groaned Mr. White. He held out a slip and waited for Lloyd to snatch it. Which he did, followed by an exaggerated sigh that complimented a nice look of pleading guilty.

   “Can’t you just say you gave me a stern talking to and you’re sure I’ve learnt my lesson?”

   “This is your SEVENTH time this year, Lloyd,” He exaggerated “seventh” like it was his “seventh” DUI. Or his “seventh” patient to die on his table.

   “I didn’t do anything wrong!” Lloyd pleaded, only to feel the extensive slap of a three-day suspension fall upon him in the form of a pink-shaded piece of paper.

 

***

 

   “You… What?!” Her voice came just the way Lloyd had predicted. Sharp and jolting like a lightning bolt, piercing him like he was wax paper. Mama Wayfire had always been known for her shrewd temper when she hadn’t had her fix of ganga that hour. Vast mood swings became the way of life that made Lloyd want to move out THAT much sooner, ya know… Once a job and a friend who wanted the same rolled around at the same time.

   “I got suspended for my careers project,” Lloyd said it faster this time, hoping to high heaven that she would just send him to his room without asking any questions.

   “Why would you get suspended for your careers project…?”

   “Damnit…” He had to think of something fast. Thankfully, his teacher threw his board in the dumpster right after he slugged his way upstairs to retrieve his backpack. “I, uh…”

   “Don’t you lie to me, Mr.” She said. “For all you know the school could have called me and told me themselves.” She eyed him with laser beam vision as he chose his next words carefully.

   “Ya know,” Lloyd sighed. “I’m not really feeling so hot—”

   “I don’t think so,” Mama Wayfire picked up the portable phone. “If you want to start getting phone calls from the dent in your head, then I suggest—”

   “I made a careers report about my desire of becoming a porn star, okay?” Lloyd just blurted it all out, right then and there. It wafted like gas and as soon as he was finished he looked her in the eye. “There. I said it.” She was dumbfounded. “I’m gonna go up to my room now, kay?”

   She just kept the same expression, holding that phone like it was her heart. The sound of the plastic, stressing under the enraged and confused grip of Mama Wayfire almost ripped Lloyd eardrums out of his head. He waved to see if she was still conscious, and then retreated upstairs to his haven, afraid to look back.

   Just then, as he reached the top, with its thick carpet fibres thumbing between his socked feet, his cell vibrated in the bottom of his pocket. Lloyd jumped, sighed, and picked it out before it stopped.

   “Hello?”

   “Dude,” Came the voice. Adrian Fisher was the owner. “How the hell did you get suspended?!”

   Adrian was the closest equivalent of a best friend Lloyd could have aimed for. He meant well, dressed in hippie clothes, and put forth what he could into his relationships. Fact was, most of the time it was for himself. He was selfish.

   “I displayed my final project in careers today,” Lloyd sighed, stepping into his room, whispering. He shut the door behind him before he finished. “Needless to say, I failed… And got suspended for it.”

   “I thought you spent like,” Adrian’s voice screamed aggravation. “Ya know? A month researching what you wanted to do?”

   “I did,” Lloyd sighed. “But apparently wanting to become a porn star is grounds for suspension according to Mrs. Decicco—”

   “Cock juggling thunder fuck,” Adrian sighed. He was also known for his swearing sense. “Of course Depsycho would flunk you for it! Hence why I told her I wanted to be a McDonalds Manager.”

   “When, of course, you wanted to—”

   “Own a bath house,” Adrian cut him off. “You got it.” One final note. Adrian was gay.   

   “How could I have forgotten that?” Lloyd chuckled. “Oh well, it’s not like my grade average won’t fall below eighty-five percent anyways. I’ll still graduate.”

   After that, he listened to the constant babbling of his friend, bitching about how his boyfriend took his favourite shirt last night. It was somewhere between there and the fact that the Moulin Rouge soundtrack Adrian was downloading was taking forever to finish that he felt his mind start to cool in the darkness of his room. Sort of like and engine does when it’s been chugging away all day.

   The only light filtering in was through the crack in his door, which he expelled by throwing an arm over his eyes. It was then that he assessed his whole situation. Here he was with one more week of school left, and then he was free.

   College? I don’t think so. It was to the West for him, and he couldn’t wait. He spent a month planning it all out, every safety line and way of getting there, fool-proofing ever detail.

   Living arrangements? He’d move into his Uncle’s loft and live in the attic, just like they had planned when he was seven and his Uncle still visited. Now he kept to himself in California, barely even replying to the emails Lloyd sent him, but when he did it was always positive.

   “Are you listening, Lloyd?” Adrian sighed, sounding even more annoyed then when he talked about how ugly Ellen Paige’s outfit was when she cleaned up the Indi spirit awards for Juno. “I JUST told you that my Pride bracelet snapped today, and you act like it’s nothing!”

   The black hole that was currently displaying the sweet, bright future for Lloyd swallowed up in front of his eyes, snapping him back to reality. “I’m listening?” He lied. “Pride bracelet, got it.”

   “You’re watching porn aren’t you,” Adrian said. “That’s why you’re distracted from me!”

   “I’m not watching—”

   “Lloyd Awen Wayfire,” Came the shout that made Lloyd’s balls retreat inside of him. “You better get your ass down here in five seconds or prepare to lose it!”

   It was his father, Glen Wayfire. Big, mean, and a fighting machine, his father used to be a pro wrestler before he lost his arm to a table saw trying to construct a crib for his bouncing baby boy, which used to be Lloyd. Now he works a desk job and can miraculously type seventy-seven words a minute with his one hand.

   “I gotta go,” Lloyd gulped. “I’m about to get the shit kicked—”

   “Fine!” Adrian cut him off. “I’ll go cry to Ashley! At least she cares about me!”

   “I care about—” But before he could finish, he heard the click that made him sigh and roll his eyes.

   It didn’t take long for Lloyd to move himself from his bed to the living room. Not five seconds, mind you, but a short enough time for his father not to sock him one, and if you’ve never been socked by a one-armed ex-wrestler you couldn’t understand the amount of pain they can deliver. Incredible.

   Lloyd entered the living room in a pant, keeping his eyes to the floor. His father was sitting in his recliner built for two, while his mom lay sprawled out on the couch with a damp cloth over her head.

   “Explain yourself,” Glen growled, doing his best to cross his arm, which ended up in him pawing at his shoulder until he latched onto his shirt sleeve.

   “I—uh—” Was all that came out of Lloyd’s mouth while his stare stayed locked with his father’s.

   “I’m waiting?” Came the reply.

   “It’s just that—” Lloyd tried a different angle, but found his words escaping, along with the drying of his throat.

   “You know what? Don’t,” His father held up his hand. “Your mother already told me everything, and I have to say I’m severely disappointed in you…”

   “But dad,” His son sighed in return.

   “You’re going to medical school. And you’re going to become a doctor, whether you like it or not.”

   “Actually,” Lloyd’s dry voice followed up. “I’m moving to California, into Orville’s loft. And there I’m going to become—”

   “A porn star?” Glen chuckled as if amused. “Really? You want the Wayfire name to die because of this false dream? You’re going to give up riches? And titles?”

   “What did your parent’s say when you wanted to become a pro wrest—”

   “Stop right there,” Glen said. “This isn’t about me. I tried following my dream, and look where it got me. You,” He paused and got up. “You’ve got the makings of greatness! You’ve got the smarts! You can actually become something!”

   “Oh sure,” Lloyd sighed. “Live to be something my father wanted me to be… A shell with money? Is that what you want?”

   His father broke their staring contest for a moment, thinking. Minutes seemed to pass like eternity as each second on the grandfather clock thumped in each of their ears, ticking in rhythm to their beating hearts.

   Finally he looked up and eyed him. “You’ll be happier that way.”

   “I’ll send you letters from Cali,” Lloyd said, turning his back. “But don’t think you’ll get much more than that.”

   “You’re my son! You think I’m just going to let you give all this up, you’re crazy?!”

   Lloyd looked back, and he didn’t think he’d have it in him. He hesitated as he felt the next five words ice up his throat, situating on his tongue before being catapulted out. “You don’t have a choice…”

   And with that, he walked up to his room and slammed the door.    

The End

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