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Friday, 2115 hrs
Whitney walked into the Zinc a second time this week to meet a bunch of his old buddies from high school. Mark, Hector, Dan and Brent. Their table sure seemed a fun place to be. There were shots of tequila and vodka and God knows what the fuck else. Obviously the new entrepreneurs behind Zinc weren't looking at IDs closely enough. As soon as he entered, the first thing Whitney noticed was how dark the place was. The next thing he saw was.. Clark Kent. And how his eyes shone like amber even in that darkness. Eyes fixed firmly, warmly at Whitney. Eyes that beckoned him to the table that wasn’t Mark, Hector, Dan and Brent’s.
Its amazing how normal and peaceful Whitney looks on the outside.
//Good thing he cant look inside of me huh.//
After talking briefly with the couple and promising Chloe to do something the next night, Whitney turned away from Clark and Chloe’s table with a weird feeling at the pit of his stomach. The feeling you get when you know you were supposed to do something very very important but just cant remember what it was. Like when you hear this song and you know you’ve heard it before but cant figure out when. Like this face you know you’ve seen before but cant place where. Like you have been living an empty existence and your soul has fled you and then it flitters right in front of you and you are close enough but not close enough to catch it and it drifts away again, your only chance passes you by and you are once again left with empty nothingness.
//Get a grip Fordman. At least know what you are ranting away about. //
Whitney reached the foursome’s table and remembered to smile again. They all got up and greeted him with great enthusiasm. He felt like a hero returning home. Which was half true anyway.
“Hey Fordman, how's it going”
“Good good. Great to see you guys”
“yeah you too man, you look all.. I don’t know.. polished” Chuckles.
“yeah they shine me every morning” Bad joke. But they laugh anyway.
And so it went. Mark, Hector, Dan, Brent and Whit. The king and his subjects. The devil and his minions. At least that’s how it was a year ago. Somehow the new Whit wasn’t the same jackass everyone worshipped any longer. The new Whit was so.. quiet and reserved and…
Friday, 2255 hrs
They’d been at it so long. The guys were a spoiled clientele obviously. The beer and the vodka and the tequila flowed and flowed and the conversation slurred and slurred.
Finally they got up and filed into Whitney’s red truck to go for a drive. Whitney was totally wasted so Brent took the wheel. He took off his jacket and lay back on the seat between Hector and Mark with his eyes closed. The guys seemed like just another bunch of school kids only decked in black leather and downing alcoholic beverage. It occurred to Whitney, however drunk he was, that the others didn’t seem as drunk either. Maybe it was just him who’d been working his way through all the vodka and tequila while others stuck to the beer.
He wasn’t far from the truth.
Brent was saying something about football. Figures, he was the second best contender for the much coveted scholarship after Whitney. In his currently intoxicated state, he could talk of nothing else.
“Fordman, you were one pain in the fucking ass”
Peals of drunken laughter. Left, right and center. Mark laughed hard, Whitney harder.
“You my man, had everything I ever wanted. I was a better quarterback any day but all that asshole coach Higgins ever noticed was you.” Another slug of beer.
Hector spoke up next. “What did you do to him anyway? Gave him a taste of Whitney Jr. in the shower?”
“Sure did spend a lot of time there supposedly alone.” This was Dan.
They were sniggering. Whitney thought he ought to be upset about the things being said but couldn’t get himself to care enough. They were accusing him of doing better than them in football by bloody jerking off the coach.
“Cut the jealousy crap guys. I was good and you know that.”
“Jealousy?” Brent was all incredulous and angry at the same time. “Man you don’t know shit. You should have seen yourself that last week you were here. You were so pathetic. You were a disappointment to us all. Jealous my ass.”
Whitney still didn’t care enough. He downed another gulp of vodka straight up as Brent continued.
“Whining for Lana, whining for the fucking scholarship. Whining for Clark.”
”Clark?” Whitney was as wide-eyed as a drunk sod could get. “What the FUCK do you mean?”
The ex-friends exchanged knowing glances with smirks on their ragged faces.
“You think nobody knows? You jackass.”
“Everybody saw your face that night when we strung the farmboy up at Reiley’s. You were so hot you couldn’t keep it down long after we drove away leaving him there man.”
Brent suddenly swerved and made a sharp left turn. The truck was almost flying now. Whitney was not sure if he was hearing things or he was hearing things. His head hurt and his insides were burning with all the alcohol and no food. And Clark? He squinted at his friends again. They couldn't be serious could they? No of course not, they were still pulling his legs. And it was making his head spin like crazy. Dan’s lips were moving. He put his hand on his forehead and strained to listen.
“Let me let you in on a secret..”
This was going to hurt.
“Whitney Fordman, star quarterback for the Smallville Crows. You were everywhere and everyone loved you, wanted you, wanted to be with you. You were Da Man man. You were king. But that was until that Kent boy showed up in school. Then you exposed yourself as the cheap cock-sucking white trash you really are!”
Whitney was sure he was hallucinating.
“Nobody wanted to face off with you 'cause you were the school hero and all. But that night at the scarecrow, it suddenly made sense. You fucking fairy. That’s how you got to coach Higgins didn’t ya?”
The truck was flying at supersonic speed. And Whitney wasn’t sure who spoke next. It all blended together.
“You say we’re jealous? Well maybe yeah. You had everything anyone ever wants in high school and outside of it. And you know what's the worst part of it all?”
“Jeez man I don’t think I wanna know” Was that squeak actually his voice? Whitney wasn’t so sure, and then came the first box right in his face. Whitney’s head jerked back only to land at Hector’s shoulder who pushed him back to place.
He was baffled beyond reason. He started to struggle to get out from between them but he was being held down. The alcohol was slowing him down and he was no match for three sturdy sober guys all hell bent to keep him from getting away while the fourth was whisking him off to God knows where.
“You don’t have a choice slut!”
The words had been spit out with such menace it almost cleared up his head of the haziness and replaced it with fear. He still didn’t wanna know. Whitney managed to get his left arm free and lashed out at whoever he could reach. A slap landed on his face and he was pushed forward in the seat. Both his arms were twisted behind him so painfully he couldn’t help but scream. He yelled all the obscenities he learnt at the academy as he felt the wire chords going around his wrists and cut into his flesh. Deep. Whitney had never felt so helpless in his life.
Then someone grabbed his hair from behind and pulled his face back. It was Hector.
“So may I continue?” oh-so-polite.
“What do you want from me?”
“Only that you listen Fordman. Can you do that for me?” Hector was stroking his face with one hand like a lover but his eyes were that of a crazed maniac so full of hatred. Whitney tried the chords at his wrists and tried moving his legs but couldn’t get an angle to make impact. He realized he had no choice. Fear gripped at his heart. He sagged a little.
“The worst part Whitboy is that you had it all but you never realized the true worth of anything. You deserved nothing, and you threw everything away. You are an ungrateful little piece of shit!”
An arm snaked around his throat with the clear intention to slowly torture-choke him and it was working.
“What were we to you huh? Stupid sidekicks to be at your beck and call?” Whitney still didn’t understand. Nor did he know where the different voices were coming from. None of this was making any sense. He was too busy choking.
“You think you were the only one who wanted Lana ?”
Here it is.
“You kept us all at bay but she didn’t love you. Never did. She was never yours to keep Fordman then why didn’t you just let me have her?”
“Who’s me?” Whitney could have kicked himself if he could. He really shouldn’t be trying to act smart and witty right now.
A big punch landed in his gut. And Mark’s voice rang out “Quite chatty aren’t we?” Another punch and another and another.
“We were always together in all our transgressions remember? You were never above us. But when it came to the little princess Lana, you’d get all so god damn self-righteous!”
The hits rained anew.
“You’re nothing you … you’re fucking nothing!”
“Your kind cant love. You don’t know how”
“My kind? Guys please…” Whitney finally managed to get something out of his already swelling mouth. Couldn’t believe he was begging already.
Suddenly the truck was flooded with lights. A car was heading towards them from the opposite direction. The guys shoved Whitney down to the truck floor and pressed their feet onto his prone body.
One of them kicked his legs apart and dug his foot cruelly in between. Whitney screamed a second time that night. But his voice was drowned in the loud gunning of two engines.
The car passed them by before it even registered in Whitney’s agonized mind that he could have been rescued.
“What do you think this was Fordman? A homecoming party for the golden boy?”
Whitney thanked God for his terrific sense of sarcasm. Surely they couldn’t see his head nodding away on the floor.
“You think you’re this smart alec who got to escape fucking Hellville huh? Fucking bastard. Tonight you’re gonna regret you ever came back.” They picked him back up and gagged him with a black grease-covered truck rag and threw him on the floor again. Then the kicks started again.
“Lets make it a night you’ll never forget what say?”
Reiley’s field was thirteen minutes away.
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