-Milton Tray-

You know the feeling you get when you think that you are better then someone else? For some people it is a feeling which they are a little too used to, even if they aren't better in any aspect, they enjoy feeling like that and parading around with their self absorbed, somewhat untrue made up, superiority complex. Milton Tray, however, had never felt this way. He knew he was what other people considered to be somewhat of a loser and that they often used him as a catalyst to make themselves feel superior. It happened every day, at school. He would try to avoid it. You know, the popular kid, who also happens to be a bully? That was the one thing Milton feared, that and, rug burn.

Sam Sherwood, making people feel like shit for damn near 7 years. He enjoyed it too, not so much that he would consider it a hobby or anything. But whenever he saw someone that didn't quite fit in or someone he just didn't like he would be very vocal about it. Something that would eventually be the determining factor in his short-lived life. Sam was the type of stereotypical teenager that most people come to know and appreciate. You know, the high school football hero. Sam never did well in school, the rare times that he did try; he made a fool of himself. So instead all he looked forward to was partying on the weekends and seeing what young lady he could meet while drunk. Quite the opposite Milton was. Milton was a quiet kid, with few real friends. He sometimes prided himself on his lack of communication with anyone, as he was a firm believer that actions speak louder then words. Underneath his subdued, quiet personality was something that everyone strives to be. Themselves. Milton didn't bother hiding who he was. He found no point in fabricating the only left that could be considered real to him. Sometimes, people saw this as a weakness; however, Milton could often be seen breaking down in tears, often from frustration, mostly from embarrassment.

His day consisted of taking guff from Sam and his friends every time he was in the hallway. Sam always seemed to find Milton. The simplest things would get to Milton, and Sam knew it. Milton would be walking quickly through the hall with his head down. As if this was a tactic that would keep unwanted people away. It never did work. Sam would trip Milton, he would fall to the ground dropping his binder full of math assignments and such, and would often lay there for a few seconds as people laughed and joined in the name-calling. During these few seconds, Milton often came to the realization of just how sick the world is. With that he would bring himself to his feet brush his sweater off and continue walking, looking at the ground and trying to ignore peoples derogatory comments. You can only pretend to be okay for so long.

Milton could never wait until he got home to just go to his room and read. Milton enjoyed books, mostly novels with fantasy settings in which the good guy always won. Over the years he had acquired quite a selection of books, almost comparable to a small library. He had read every one of them at least 5 times each. It's not that he never got tired of reading the same books several times over. He just needed to escape.

His parents would rarely ask him how school was going. When they did, he always replied "fine". Milton was never the type of person to put his problems in somebody else's way. Especially when the problem was his life itself. Milton's father was a retired Navy officer. He often told Milton how he wanted him to join the Navy and how it taught values and was a great life experience. Milton never wanted this. Milton's dream job was that of a career in Military weapon testing and designing, or he thought, anything that involves technology. His relationship with his father was weak; they rarely talked or shared similar thoughts.

Milton felt closer to his mother who knew more about him then he often thought. She was, however, still very ignorant to the happenings in her sons life. The time Milton spent at home was only considered good because he could be left alone to do what he wished. Milton had been writing his own fantasy story for quite some time now, in it, he was the hero. He was the good, he always won. Monday's were usually one of the better days for Milton as Sam was usually in some kind of a football practice or team meeting. His friends however would still roam the hallways, looking for excitement. They never touched him though, only called him names and insulted how he looked and dressed.

The day was over and Milton considered it to be an okay one, which was rare. He gathered the books from his locker as the final bell rang out. As he stepped outside the school, he raised his head, somewhat cautiously, and looked around and began his walk home. It was the first time that Milton could ever remember walking without looking at the ground. He smiled. Another rare display of emotion. As he turned down an alley his smile quickly faded when he heard a car approaching from behind along with people yelling. "Hey Milty!" "Loser!" it was all too familiar. Milton kept walking. The car pulled up beside him and sure enough it was Sam, along with a careful of his friends. Milton looked at the ground as the car followed along side him. "Hey, Milt, I never saw you all day, where were you man?" yelled Sam from the driver side. Milton didn't say a word. He kept walking. Sam's friends each took turns calling him names before they all chucked half full beverage cups at him. They hit him in the face, and chest. He was soaked. "See you around, loser!" yelled Sam as he sped away before bursting into laughter and high-fiving all his friends. Milton dropped to his knees and brushed the wet hair from his face. And tried to hold back the tears as long as he could. Right there in the middle of the alley Milton Tray broke down in tears of frustration. He threw his backpack off and hit the ground as hard as he could again, and again and again. All the while yelling and screaming and crying all that he could. After several minutes he got to his feet and started walking home again. Head to the ground. When he arrived home, stepping in the door, his mom asked how his day was. Milton bit his lower lip and tears welled up in his eyes "fine, just fucking fine" he said quietly and ran to his room.

His mother was worried about him asking what she should do, his father, of course, never even looking up from the TV said "so he had a bad day, what's the big deal? leave him be. Milton Tray had had enough. It had been piling up of course. But he was out of things to do. And yet, still no solution presented itself.

That night Milton had a dream. He dreamed he was in a hospital. It looked as though he had been in some kind of an accident. He was being wheeled into an emergency room. He was looking up at the roof counting the bright fluorescent lights as they screamed by at an amazing speed to his right he saw his mother. Tears in her eyes, she was looking right at him, screaming something, but Milton couldn't hear it, he didn't want to hear it. Feeling extremely dizzy everything faded to white, he heard now, people screaming for IV's and other hospital supplies. And his mother, asking him to forgive her. The next morning Milton told his mom he wasn't feeling well. He ended up staying home the rest of the week.

By Friday morning he claimed to be well enough to go to school. That morning Milton ate breakfast. 2 blueberry muffins, a glass of chocolate milk and a bowl of corn flakes. Milton decided to himself that it was the best breakfast he had ever had.

When he got to school he saw no sign of Sam or his friends. Strange, but welcome anyway. It ended up; he never caught a sight of Sam the entire day. Milton went home as he did everyday. He read a little, and wrote a little. At 12:31 AM Milton put his sweater on and decided to go for a walk to the 7-11. Milton bought himself a slurpee. While waiting in line he noticed two girls he had seen in school. Going over plans to attend the big party that was going on. Of course, Milton knew nothing of this and didn't want to. He continued listening until he heard "Sam Sherwood's house, yeah I know where that is, lets go". Milton looked at the ground as he paid for his Slurpee. And walked out of the store. Milton started walking home following the dimly lit sidewalk; he stopped after a while and turned around. He was in the mood to party, he thought.

He arrived at Sam's house shortly after 1 AM. He stood on the front lawn looking at the house as he heard people partying, and loud music coming from the backyard he slowly walked around the side of the house, looked around the corner and recognized a lot of people from school. Milton turned and began walking away before hearing "holy shit, Milt, you little bitch!" someone grabbed him by the collar of his sweater and dragged him into the backyard, much to all the drunken partygoers delight. They let him go and he was in the center of a mass of people. Sam emerged and asked him what the hell he thought he was doing. Milton didn't say anything, and didn't plan on saying anything. Sam kicked him in the ribs, people cheered for it, he then took a sip of beer and crouched down and spit it in Milton's face. More laughter. He again asked Milton what he was doing in his backyard and kicked him in the mouth. Milton rolled over onto his back and let out a painful moan. Sam laughed and turned his back to accept praise from his friends. "I never saw you all day, where were you man?" asked Milton mockingly and almost too quietly. Sam turned around to his surprise. Milton had never said anything to Sam before. "what?" said an enraged Sam as he put his boot to Milton's face while laughing. Milton then swiped his feet out from under him and Sam tumbled to the ground. Milton climbed on top of him.

It's safe to say that at this point Milton realized without a doubt that his belief that actions speak louder then words was going to have to be shown. You can only pretend to be ok for so long you know. Sam stared at Milton with complete shock in his eyes. Milton looked back, his mouth bloody, tears in his eyes he reached behind him and picked up a large stone from the garden and raised it above his head. Milton slammed it down into Sam's nose with a sickening crunch and with that came a scream of sheer pain. Everyone was quiet now, staring at Milton, not believing what they were seeing. Drunk or not, this was not supposed to happen they thought. Milton continued to bring the stone down on Sam's bloody face with amazing force for quite some time. Finally, someone pulled Milton off of Sam's limp body. Milton threw the stone down and looked around, his face filled with an anger and rage nobody had ever seen or expected to see.

When the police arrived to take Sam's body away they also slapped the cuffs on a distraught Milton. That night Milton Tray walked out of Sam's yard, hands behind his back, tears streaming down his face. His head held high, as it had never been before.

Written and owned by Dan Chubaty 2001