I woke to Greg's alarm clock. It sounded funny, but what did that matter? I opened my eyes.
Did I go blind later, afterwards? I can't see shit! I know my eyes are open. Shit!
Then I noticed the faint glow of the outside light outlining the cabin door. I blinked a lot, and was sure it was just the dark. I hadn't woken up there at night before.
Okay, where's the alarm clock coming from? I don't see anyone else moving. What the hell?
I sat up, and everyone else was obviously asleep. I had to pee anyway, so I stood up and almost lost my balance. I wavered, waving my arms, and took an unsteady step. A few more followed, and soon I was in the bathroom. The light worked, but I turned it right back off. I closed the door, did what I had to do, then plodded my way back to my bunk. I sat down and pulled my feet from the floor and rolled into the middle of the bunk and right into something warm and soft.
Oh, shit. Wrong bunk? Fuck! Where am I, then?
I started to roll away but he rolled toward me and his arm went over me. He was behind me, I was nearly on my side, and then he actually snuggled up to me. He was warm and soft, and it felt great. And he was hard. It was right up against my right butt cheek. It had to be. Or he had a warm hotdog in his boxers.
I couldn't tell what he mumbled, but I was relieved he mumbled it in his sleep. He moaned softly, then mumbled again. This time I caught some words I knew, "I," and "you." I had no idea what the middle word was or meant. His breath blew down my neck, and that tingled like crazy. He was so warm, too. I turned my head toward him just a bit and found my nose in his hair. He smelled like shampoo and faintly of chlorine. He mumbled two more words in German, one I thought I knew but wasn't sure. I shivered. I turned my head back forward and took a breath.
The words he said next I knew, as he actually used English. He was having some dream. He just didn't know which English words to use with a girl, as he got it backward.
Oh, come on! I thought in disgust. I come to this place hoping to figure out how to get the gay out, and I stumble into another guy's bunk while he's having a hot dream, and end up snuggled together! I mean, what the hell! What's next? He gonna have a wet dream all over me?
With him laying against me the way he was, and the way he seemed to be almost moving his hips, and what was poking all warm and hard against me, and what he was mumbling, his having a wet dream all over my jeans seemed a real possibility right then, and one I was deeply torn over. I wondered what I would do. Thoughts of reaching down behind me and feeling things out, so to speak, were both tempting and disgusting.
I felt my body responding to his, and that only made me even more angry. He hadn't mumbled or moved again, so I slid slowly sideways under his arm until I could drop off the edge of his bed and get away. I almost jumped into my own bed, then yanked the covers from under myself to pull them over me.
I was hard. And panting. And sweating. And awake. And tired.
I was still frazzled from the lightning, and the constant ringing was annoying. The weakness, dizziness, and brief shakes I had been told to expect for a while. Also, headaches and nausea were common after a lightning strike, though I didn't have either of those. I did have a raging hard-on from four days of abstinence, including the sexual thrill of the naked twins in the woods, the movie, seeing Robert, James, and Holt naked or nearly naked repeatedly, and just now feeling Robert's warm body against mine, and his boxers-clad erection against my butt.
I thought about going outside and finding a place to take care of business, but before my mind could take me down that road, I lost it in the darkness.
In the sound of an alarm clock, I heard an alarm clock. That is the best way to describe being woken up that morning. Greg chattered, guys groaned and moaned, and I wanted another shower. It would have been pure bliss to lie in bed, but I had sweated in fear and pain yesterday, and at the hospital, then for another reason overnight, and I smelled like the inside a pharmacy that had a dead animal in the ceiling.
I groaned my way upright on the edge of the bed, and wavered a bit there.
"Morning, sunshine," James chirped.
"Yeah," I replied blearily.
"Morgen, Lehrer," Robert offered.
"Morgen, Schueler," I replied.
There wasn't any morning wood, so I didn't have to wait for it to go down. Greg excused me from calisthenics for the morning, so I laid on my stomach as they went through them.
Afterward, on the way to the showers, everyone looked at me, even kids from other cabins. Some nodded or threw a thumb at me, some said hi or hello, and a couple used my name. I had to tell some of them what high school I was going to, as they told me theirs, and I met seven that I would be joining in high school.
That was the showers. By the time breakfast was over, which I couldn't stomach, having no appetite at all, and I had told the same story about a dozen more times, I had met another ten boys that were going to the same high school as me.
And now they all knew who I was.
All had parents with money or connections, or they wouldn't be there. Poor kids' parents couldn't afford the place, and it had no scholarships or a student loan plan. And almost to the last one, they were all arrogant, preppie, elitist, jock, pricks.
Light Bulb Boy. Next most used was, Electro Dude. Then there was, The Human Lightning Rod and others.
The other talk of the day was the storm. Almost every building had been damaged by at least high winds, if not a small tornado. Or they had hail damage or damage from falling tree limbs. A huge tree had come down behind my cabin, but I hadn't seen it from the front of the cabin. I had kept my eyes on my feet, or the wall under the shower head, or the locker in front of me.
In the classes we found out exactly what projects and things we would be working on. I was looking forward to the Astronomy assignment, which meant lying out looking at the stars for hours with a small, tripod telescope, following trails of stars to find others. Robert and I planned on taking snacks and drinks, and making a camping trip out of it. Robert made the plans, I simply went along because if I protested enough to get out of it, it wouldn't be normal. I had to go along to get along - in the shadows. Or as much as I could now, being known as The Human Lightning Rod.
I had no classes with James, but I was kind of glad of that. He wasn't a bad guy at all, in any way, he just seemed incapable of remaining silent for any stretch of time, even while reading something he liked.
I had future classmates in every class. Lunch was excellent, and I really hoped my high school's food would be as decent. I felt much better by then, as well, even starting to fall into a decent mood. Maybe it was that James had lunch somewhere else and his noisy threesome of friends hadn't joined us either.
After the bus ride back to the cabin, I asked Robert what, "Liebe" meant. He said it meant, "love." Later on, I asked what, "Kuss mich," meant. He corrected it, and I said it sounded more like I remembered it, maybe. He asked where I had heard it, and I said it was in an old World War Two naval action movie I had seen at home last week. He laughed and asked what part it was at. I said I couldn't remember, that I just remembered the words. He said it had better not been on board the warship or between sailors, because it meant, "kiss me."
Knowing those words now, and the two words in English he had used, proved it had been one hot dream. And that he had better get his words correct before he got them backward like he had last night, but with a girl, and asked her to fuck him.
The rest of the day wasn't as bad as I feared. By supper the worst was mostly over. I was left alone with Robert and the lasagna, which was nicely firm, thick and rich, spicy, and even a little sweet. The lasagna, not Robert. Well... never mind. The garlic bread couldn't have been better without having it directly from the oven. I was ravenously hungry. James and his friends made a brief appearance during dinner. They were a noisy whir of forks and spoons and words about projects and assignments, and then were gone. It turned out his three friends I had been ignoring were Dennis and the twins we had rescued from the trees.
As they thanked us again, I was able to see them in the light for the first time. Dennis was very attractive to me. Like Holt, he was a redhead, and I just loved that. I found myself wanting to stare at him, and I kept seeing those glimpses of his privates in the flashlights.
Robert and I didn't mind their thanks again, and we were both glad when they all left in their usual flurry of voices and limbs. I met more future classmates before we went to our cabin, where a total of six of them now stood out like enemy spies. Two of them were the two guys I found revoltingly snobbish and elitist.
It wasn't so bad, then, either. I was left to read alone again. Robert and I swapped words now and then. I felt more normal than I had started to grow used to. The buzzing sensation in my head that I hadn't noticed until the actual ringing in my ears lessened, was now itself weakening. I hadn't noticed any dizziness for hours.
When I went to open the window above my bed, I noticed that it was covered with transparent plastic sheeting.
"I heard they would start replacing the glass tomorrow, but so many cabins have missing glass that will take a couple of days to get to them all," James told me. "You should have seen the mess in Greg's room in the fuse box. Everything in it was all black and burned. I guess it blew every fuse and they had to get other ones from somewhere and then fix a wire or something and they got the power on again just a few minutes before you got back. I still can't believe you survived that! Man! What was it like? Do you remember anything?"
He went on, and I answered a question now and then. He seemed used to people ignoring some or many of his questions when he dropped them into his constant stream of speech.
I was reading Dune and thinking about Astronomy when James called back my full attention with, "You know you're lucky you didn't wet yourself. Or worse. I mean, people who get knocked unconscious or almost killed like you sometimes do."
"I wasn't almost killed. I got shocked, is all. I don't even think I went unconscious."
"Oh, you did. I saw. Robert lifted you up off the floor and couldn't get you to do anything. And your eyes were closed and all of it. He didn't think you were breathing, but I checked, and your pulse, and you were fine. You were out for a couple of minutes for sure. At least."
"No, I remember hearing Greg ask if I got hit or not. So I heard him, so I wasn't unconscious at all. I even heard you and Robert yell for him. And Robert didn't lift me up off the floor, I was still on the floor when..."
No, I barely remembered. I was on the bunk when I woke up.
"Greg didn't get to you until the storm went away a little, and you were still out. He didn't know you got hit until more than a minute after what lightning bolt I think it was that had to have hit you."
"True," Robert agreed.
So, I was actually unconscious for more than a minute. Out enough that I didn't feel or notice Robert moving me from the floor to the bunk. Weird. Don't remember a thing. Oh well.
I shrugged and went back to Dune until dinner. After eating, James went off somewhere and Robert and I returned to reading and occasionally swapping words. I began thinking about having been knocked unconscious. I wondered why I didn't remember anything. I remembered being huddled up against the wall as the wind shook the cabin and tore through it. Then I felt fuzzy and warm, but odd. Somebody was there. Not familiar, not from my life, but familiar all the same. I couldn't see him, and I couldn't hear him, but I knew he was there. And that I should trust him. Or her. Or it didn't matter, he or she. Both? I just knew that I should do what this person expected, and wait there, and go back in a bit, wherever 'back' was. Then I heard Robert and James talking, and then Greg. It was as if I were waking up after having fallen asleep, was all, but had been drugged into sleeping after being beaten badly.
I got a headache, which made reading unpleasant. I took off my glasses and lay down in the hope that the headache would end.
Thinking seemed to hurt, so I retreated into the familiar quiet of thinking of nothing, of being nothing. I slid smoothly into nowhere.