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Aaron Garrett is many things in life: he is a son, a friend, a student, and caring boyfriend to his lovely girlfriend Leigh Ann. In these roles, he is kind, hardworking, smart, loving, dedicated, and considerate. At Jefferson High School, he is a leader, a football star, and well-respected by his peers. Aaron’s life is perfectly on track, he is pursuing a college scholarship and hopeful for the future, except for just one thing: Aaron Garrett is gay. When a former child star from Aaron’s small Southern town saturates the national media after making homophobic comments, Aaron’s life is turned upside down as supporters rally around the sentiments. Social media attention begins to swell nationally and locally until it begins to eat away at every part of Aaron’s existence.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Principal Bernard began to speak. “Students, if I can have your attention, please. I’m sure you likely noticed that Mr. Reynolds is not here today. Some of you may even have heard rumors regarding his absence. Unfortunately, Mr. Reynolds came in this morning to find his classroom vandalized.”
Aaron and his classmates began surveying the room, searching for a hint as to what vandalism the principal was referring to.
“I’m not in the mood to play guessing games, so I will inform you that profane language was found written on the blackboard. It is obvious that it was left deliberately and with intention. Mr. Reynolds was very disheartened as he is a dedicated instructor and prides himself on the rapport he has built with his students.”
As Principal Bernard spoke, Aaron eyed the chalkboard. In the far corner, he noticed a light outline of letters. It was the dusty evidence of the word that had been wiped away. He squinted in an effort to make out the faintly visible letters. He finally was able to read a capital F-A-G, FAG. The chalkboard said “FAG.” Aaron was disgusted and sad at the same time. Mr. Reynolds was a fair and altogether good teacher. Aaron couldn’t take his eyes off the word. Beside it, at the edge of the chalkboard, was a laminated poster Mr. Reynolds had taped up. The poster displayed a quote by Candice Stine: “There is nothing better in this world than seeing a student succeed and knowing that you helped. That’s a teacher’s passion.”
Krissy Bells was born and raised in the Detroit metro area. A former school secretary, she now spends her days as a stay-at-home mom. She is passionate about her family and friends, her Dachshund named Harry, and anything topped with cheese or chocolate. Krissy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading!
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