Regina Morris is black, recently moved from New York, and has a huge crush on Alan Bosley. Will she pursue a relationship with him during Alexandria, Virginia’s most trying time?
A Remember the Titans story...
, Original Fiction Characters:
Friendship, RomanceStory Status:
Adult Situations, Extreme Language, Fluff, Original Characters, Racism, Work in Progress
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
1. Cast by mocasoul
2. Chapter 2 by mocasoul
3. Chapter 3 by mocasoul
4. Chapter 4 by mocasoul
5. Chapter 5 by mocasoul
6. Chapter 6 by mocasoul
7. Chapter 7 by mocasoul
8. Chapter 8 by mocasoul
9. Chapter 9 by mocasoul
10. Chapter 10 by mocasoul
11. Chapter 11 by mocasoul
12. Chapter 12 by mocasoul
Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass
Coach Herman Boone
Coach Bill Yoast
Jerry "Rev" Harris
It was the worst summer Reggie Morris picked to move his family from Manhattan, New York to Alexandria, Virginia his daughter, Regina, thought. It was 1971, the year of the really bad race wars because some white store owner shot a black teenager. If that wasn’t bad enough, they decided to integrate the schools which was horrible for Regina, a black girl from the North not being able to understand why it took them so long. The first day of school was hell as her father pulled up a block away from the chaos going on from both blacks and whites. Yelling and screaming and picketing was the thing that welcomed her to her first day of school.
“Great…Not only did you pull me out of my school my senior year for a move I didn’t even want, you move to a place that’s currently having a race riot. Lovely.”
“Don’t give me that attitude, Regina. You know I had to take this job, and it forced me to move here. I’m sorry you have to leave your friends and everything you love in New York, but you know I had to take this job. I’m sorry, sweet pea.” he said with an apologetic face as she rolled her eyes. “Now go ahead and make the best of your first day.”
“Okay, daddy. I’ll try not to die today when these crazy crackers try to kill me.” she said with an overly cheerful and sarcastic smile as she got out of car and closed the door.
“Watch it, Regina. I’m serious. Watch the attitude. Now, try to have a decent day today at school. And don’t flip out on anyone. Bye, sweet pea.” he said before he drove off. She walked towards the front of the building following the other black students in. She tried to obey her father and control her attitude, which meant her temper, and ignore the many white hands pulling at her and the voices shouting that she shouldn’t be here.
Everything was mixed up that day because of the craziness and the new additions to the school, and it took her a while to find her classes on her own because there was no way she was asking a white secretary to help because she knew she would lose it, then. She settled into a seat near the window in her English class watching the chaos continue. She was amazed it was still going on and it was the third period.
In her class there was a clear line of separation of races. The whites occupied the seats in the front and the only choices for the blacks was the back seats. She knew they had done that on purpose, but she wasn’t the type to sit in the front of the class anyway. The only white person sitting in the back was a blonde haired boy sitting beside her.
“Alright class,” said a young woman with red hair standing at the front of the class. “I am your English Literature teacher, Ms. Sterling, and I would like to welcome you to the wonderful world of English Literature.” she said trying to ignore the noise outside. “Let’s start by turning in your book to an incredible piece, Hamlet.” she said in a cheery voice and Regina felt like she would vomit. She was clearly from the north like her, but she seemed like she had been there a while and had grown accustomed to life in the South.
“Excuse me…” said a clean cut boy sitting next to her in a quiet voice as the teacher began reading. “My pencil fell and rolled under your desk. It’s right by your foot.” he said as she looked down and saw his pencil. She picked it up and handed it to him. “Thanks.” he said with a smile as he stared at her. She was about to give him one of her ‘what the hell are you looking at?’ looks when she noticed his blue eyes. They were an almost jewel tone blue…not as deep as a sapphire, but not as light as blue topaz either. But that wasn’t the part that was bothering her. She was thrown off by the way he was staring at her. It was almost as if he was attracted to her, but that couldn’t have been the case because she was black and he was white and all that yelling and screaming going on outside wasn’t for nothing.
“Now,” Ms. Sterling began. “Who can tell me what ‘To be or not to be’ means?” she said as Regina raised her hand to answer.
“It was a line meant to question whether to live or die. It also speaks of the fleeting nature of time.” she said as everyone looked at her. Even the pair of jewel tone blue eyes.
“That is correct.” Ms. Sterling said with a smile. “That’s very good…” Ms. Sterling said as she paused to learn her name.
“Regina Morris.” she said trying to avoid the many pairs of eyes on her.
“Is that a Northern accent I hear?” Ms. Sterling asked with a smile and bright eyes.
“Yes, I’m from New York.” she said wondering why Ms. Sterling kept talking to her.
“That’s lovely. Okay, now, we’ll discuss the fight scene…” she trailed off as she continued the lecture. The riot outside the school still haven’t stopped and she was starting to miss her old school more and more with her friends. Suddenly the bell rang for lunch as people left the classroom. “Regina?” Ms. Sterling began. “I can tell you’re going to be a joy to have in this class, and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only Yankee here.”
“It is. Okay, bye.” she said as she left the classroom and walked down the hall. She still heard the noise outside wondering how long it was going to last.
“Excuse me…”someone said coming up to her as she stood at her locker. She turned around to see the cute clean cut boy with jewel tone blue eyes staring at her. “Regina, right?”
“Yeah…” she said knowing she sounded guarded, but she didn’t know what to expect.
“I’m Alan. Alan Bosley. I sat next to you in English. Well, I…” he was saying until a goofy looking black guy came up behind him and slapped him on the back. She thought for sure that there was going to be a fight until the two boys started laughing. “Hey, Petey.”
“Hey, Alan. Now, who is this pretty thing here?” he said as he stared at her as Alan elbowed him with an embarrassed look on his face.
“I’m Regina Morris and I’m out of your league…” she said as she walked away. She heard a group of white and black guys laughing at the, now shamed, goofy looking boy.
She went into the lunch room and saw people still being separated and she didn’t know where she would fit in because she was new and didn’t know anyone whether they were black or white. She figured she would join the crowd and sit at a table full of blacks. She was walking over to the table when she noticed a table full of white and black guys. She saw Alan sitting at the table laughing and joking with the goofy looking guy and a big white guy. She thought she was seeing things, but she could’ve sworn she saw him wave her over to them. She walked over and stood with her tray wondering what was going on.
“Guys, this is Regina. She moved here from New York. Make her feel welcome.” he said as a long haired guy stood up and offered her his seat at the table. “Regina, this is Louie, Petey, Sunshine, Rev…” he said but was stopped by her speaking.
“Hi…” she said awkwardly. “Nice to meet you guys…”
“We’re the Titans.” he said and she finally realized that they were football players. She had forgotten that along with the school, the sports teams and any other clubs were also. “I figured you would want someone to sit with since you’re new.”
“Thanks.” she said as she ate her lunch. She was mostly quiet and was surprised by the warm welcome, but she still felt awkward. She was the only girl at the table so she let the guys talk and joke with each other while she, secretly, stared at Alan. She had to admit he was cute for a white boy. Maybe the school year wasn’t going to be that bad. Yeah right, she thought.
By the end second week, the chaos had died down a bit and Regina was settling in to her new life. She had never returned to the Titan table, but she did sit near it. She had made friends with a girl she took home economics with, so she was sitting with her at lunch. She was glad that the table was near the Titans so she could stare at Alan often. She wasn’t normally shy, but the thought of talking to a white guy in a racially split town wasn’t a good idea.
“Hey, Regina.” said Bernice, the girl she befriended as she sat down at the table with her. “What cake were you gonna make for home ec?”
“I don’t know…I really don’t bake. Hell, no one in my family bakes. Not even my mom. That was the great thing about having bakeries down the street from where I lived.” she said with a laugh. “I guess I’ll just find something easy.”
“Well, I know I’m making my grandma’s coconut cake. I’ll lend you some recipes if you can’t find anything. I know my family got a bunch of ‘em.”
“Thanks.” Regina said as she began to eat her lunch. She looked around the room and saw the school was still as divided as the first day. “Do you think this school will ever come together. I mean, look around this room.”
“I know you from the North and all, but you know that ain’t never happening. It’s the way it’s been and it’s going to stay that way.”
“I know…can’t blame me for trying.” she said with a shrug. “And it was separated and stuff in New York, but things weren’t this bad. I mean there’s some hope, right?” she said as she stared at Alan. He saw her and waved with a big smile on his face. Bernice turned around to see why her new friend was suddenly smiling and saw a guy with an equally big smile.
“Is this about this school integrating or are you trying to get closer to a certain white Titan who goes by the name of Alan Bosley?”
“Why would you say that? And stop talking so loud…he could hear you.”
“Uh huh…you got a thing for him alright. You know that’s never going to happen, right? I’m not trying to put you down, but you got to be a little realistic about this. I mean, his dad is known for not liking our kind too much.”
“What?!” Regina said in genuine shock. “But, Alan is so…friendly with blacks. That can’t be right.” she said as she stared at him joking with his teammates.
“I don’t know…maybe over the summer the guys bonded and they’re thinking a little ahead than the rest of us. I mean, they did have to go up there together and I heard that Coach Boone made blacks and whites stay in the same rooms. Maybe he is different…” she said as the bell rang and people were leaving the cafeteria.
“Hey, Regina?” Alan said as he tapped her shoulder as they walked out together. “How do you think you did on the first quiz?”
“I don’t know…good I guess. How about you?”
“Oh, I know I failed it. English just isn’t my thing. It never has been.”
“Well, English is surprisingly easy for me. I don’t know why.”
“Well, maybe you can tutor me.” he blurted out and she looked at him strange. “See, I kind of need to keep my grades up to stay on the team and…”
“Right…” she said knowing that it was something behind his cordial conversation after about two weeks of not talking to her besides saying hello. “I’m not doing your homework for you, Alan.” she said before turning to walk away, but he stopped her.
“I didn’t say you were doing my homework, I just wanted some help. Please.” he begged with a puppy dog look on his face. The expression on his face was so cute, she swore she would kiss him, but she stopped her urge by thinking about what Bernice said about his dad.
“Okay, fine…I’ll help you.” she said, reluctantly, agreeing to help him. “I guess I could use my expertise in English to help those who aren’t as lucky.”
“That being me.” Alan said with a sheepish grin.
“Yes. So, I’ll torture you, Alan.” she said with a smile.
“Thanks.” he said with a smile before walking into his next class.
She rushed to her class at the end of the hall before the tardy bell rang. She sat in class thinking about Alan’s smile. Maybe it was just a one-sided crush, she thought. Even if it was, she would try to be his friend because she was now, curious as to why a boy with a father that is known to hate blacks can get along with them so well.
“Okay everyone, you will be partnering up today with the person sitting next to you. So, everyone partner up.” said her biology teacher. She was sitting next to a blonde haired girl who was less than enthusiastic about partnering up with a black girl.
“Mr. Bearer., I would like another partner.” the girl said as she sneered at Regina.
“Brittany, there’s an even number in the class and everyone has a partner already.” the teacher said with a sympathetic look towards the blonde haired girl as if he was sorry she had to be partnered up with a black girl. Regina almost lost her temper, but she remember what her dad said and swallowed her anger.
“Okay, class, you will be looking at the cell of a potato root at different stages. Tell which stage your slide is and why. Take turns looking at the slide. You may begin.”
“I’ll go first.” the blonde girl said and Regina, begrudgingly, let her. She figured it was a small fight that she didn’t need to get in that day.
They got through the assignment by not really talking to each other. She still couldn’t believe that after almost two weeks, people were still trying to fight the integration. She wasn’t expecting for blacks and whites to hug each other and be friendly. She wasn’t that stupid. She was just hoping they would at least settle to civil terms.
The bell for class to end rang, and Regina walked down the hall to her locker. She was happy that it was the last class of the day, because she knew she couldn’t stay calm after her biology class. That girl had tested her limit for the day, and she knew she would snap. She felt someone tap her on the shoulder and she turned around to see Alan standing behind her.
“Hey, Regina. I was wonder if…Well, I…” he said struggling to get out the words.
“Yes, Alan?” she said as she stared at him. She couldn’t stop staring at his dreamy blue eyes as they seemed to be fixated on her full lips. But, that could just be her own eyes playing tricks with her mind. She had pushed all thought of him actually being attracted to her out of her mind the moment she learned about his dad.
“I was just going to ask you to meet me at the library tomorrow at two. That’s if you’re not busy on Saturdays. If so, we can meet some other time.”
“I’m not busy on Saturdays. I really haven’t found anything to do here that would catch my attention…” she said with the same sheepish grin he wore, earlier. “So, see you tomorrow?”
“Absolutely. Although, you know some Saturdays I can’t make it because of the away games. Sorry about that.” he said with an apologetic face.
“It’s okay. So, I’ll see you tomorrow, then. Goodbye.” she said with a smile before walking off wondering if he, indeed, did like her.
Regina sat in the library waiting for Alan to show up. She figured she would go there early to see the books they had there. She saw a lot of Jane Austen books she had read a dozen times, but wanted to read again. Of course the librarian looked at Regina strangely as she walked down the aisles. Regina rolled her eyes as when she caught the gray-haired woman staring at her with a suspicious look while she pretended to straighten up books on the shelf.
“Hey Regina.” Alan whispered as he walked up to her and the librarian almost dropped the book she was holding as she saw him talking to Regina.
“Hi. Alan, I know you wanted to study here, but can we go somewhere else?” she said nodding towards the nosy librarian, but he wasn’t getting the hint.
“Um…sure. Where do you want to go?” he said as they started walking to the doors.
“I don’t know. Do you know a place that’s quiet, yet comfortable? I still don’t know this place all that well, and I don’t want to get lost.”
“How comfortable are you with studying outdoors?” he asked with a smile.
“Outdoors? Like woods and forest and stuff? Uh…I guess. Yeah, okay.” she said wondering if she should go with him to secluded forest with no one around. She was starting to wonder if his nice guy to blacks thing was an act.
“Great. I’ll drive you.” he said as they walked to his car. He opened the passenger side for her as she climbed in placing her books on the floor. He got in and started the car. She almost cringed hearing a country music station on the radio. She felt like she was in hell, listening to what she considered torture. “You don’t like country, do you?” he asked after about ten minutes of no talking between them.
“No…I’m sorry if I’m not sparing your feelings, but I can’t stand it. I’d rather walk on glass.” she said and he let out a boisterous laugh.
“Okay, I’ll change it.” he said as he changed it to a soul station and left it there. She thought he was just keeping it there to please her and she would have to sit there in guilt for making him change his music to suit her needs. But, that changed when she saw him nodding his head a little. She stared at him in shock. “What?” he said as he noticed her stare.
“You like soul music?” she asked in disbelief as he nodded. “Okay, how did you get into soul music. I have to know, because you don’t look like the type to dig it.”
“Well, the guys at camp got me into it. I still listen to country, but I listen to soul every now and then.” he said as he stopped the car and she saw that they had stopped near a small pond.
“We’re studying here?” she asked with caution in her tone.
“Yeah. It’s quiet and comfortable. I come here all the time to think, so I figured we could come here to study since we have to think. We can stay in the car, we don’t have to get out unless you wanted to get to know nature.” he joked.
“We could stay in the car…today.” she said as she bent down and picked up her copy of The Raven. “Okay, this is one of my favorites by Poe.”
“I started reading it, and I have to be honest…I hated it.”
“Well, Poe isn’t for everyone. Why do you hate it?” she asked feeling genuinely curious.
“I don’t know…I don’t get why he’s talking to a bird.”
“The bird isn’t a literal bird. Ravens are symbolic for death and sadness. The guy is asking the bird, and that could also be his conscious, about his future with his lost loved one and the response nevermore, could be the realization that his lover is dead. Do you understand?”
“Yeah…I’m starting to.” he said as he stared at her.
“Good. Now, personally, I think this is Poe’s way of getting us to fully realize the presence of death. No matter how invincible we think we are…death awaits us all. What do you think?” she asked not realizing that she was going over his head. He gave a look and she let out an embarrassed chuckle. “Sorry. I sort of get caught up sometimes. We’ll take it slow.”
“You really love English, don’t you?” he asked in amazement that she would love it so much. She nodded and let out a chuckle. “What?”
“I found out why I love it so much. I used to read all the time when I was younger. It was my comfort, I guess. My dad told me that my first word was book, but I think he’s lying about that. How about you? Why do you play football? What’s the attraction to it?”
“Well, my dad got me to play football. He said that I loved it since the day I saw one of my cousins playing it. I think he was lying about that, too.” he said with a chuckle. “I love the feeling of winning and the rush I feel when ever I play.”
“It sounds a lot more fun and losing yourself in a book like I do.” she joked and they both laughed. As the laughter died down, she couldn’t stop staring at his blue eyes. Moving her gaze lower to his lips. His bottom lip looked delicious enough to suckle.
“Is everything alright?” Alan asked after a few moments of silence. She didn’t know how long the moments were, but they were long enough for him to notice.
“Yeah…so, lets move on to another work from Poe.” she said as she stared down at the book with a collection of his works.
Hours later they were ready to leave. They had covered the three works they were required to read for class Monday, so they decided to leave. They made small talk about how much she was adjusting to the South. She even made a joke that spending the day in nature wasn’t as bad as she thought it was…even if her day was spent from the inside of a car. They listened to soul music as he drove back to the library.
“You can just drop me off here. I’ll just walk home. It’s not far.” she said as he drove stopped in the parking lot of the library.
“I’ll take you home, if you want. It’s pretty dark out.”
“Alan, I know you’re trying to be nice and all, but I walked all the time in New York. This is nothing compared to the distance I used to walk…in much more dangerous looking neighborhoods than this. I’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure you’re okay to walk by yourself? Maybe I could go with you.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, but thanks anyway. Well, I’ll see you in class Monday. Goodbye.” she said as she got out of his car and started walking towards her house. She knew her dad didn’t care that he was white, but she knew Alan’s dad would care that she was black. Hell, she figured them talking in the library probably got back to him. She reached her house and went inside finding her dad on the couch watching TV.
“How did the study session go, sweet pea?” Reggie asked as she sat down next to him. She had been spending a lot of time with him lately since she barely saw her mom because of her late nights working at the hospital as a nurse.
“It was okay. We went through a few of Poe’s pieces for the discussion we’re having Monday. Nothing much beyond that. He didn’t like The Raven much.”
“And I know you lectured him on why he should like it, didn’t you?”
“You know me so well, dad…” she said as she leaned against him. “I’m going to bed. Goodnight.” she said as she went to her room.
The following week, Regina was starting to notice that Alan was talking to her more. He would hold little conversations with her in the hallway in between classes, during lunch, and at the end of the school day. It was getting so obvious that they just wanted to be around only each other, she and Bernice moved to the Titan table to mask it. The thing she wasn’t expecting was for him to ask her to come with him to a party Blue was having after the game. They dedicated it to Rev who had been injured in the game.
The party was a mixture of people. Blacks and whites dancing and having a good time. Regina was happy that the first party she went to in her new town was a good one. She had to stop herself from laughing whenever she saw Alan dance. She would never tell him, but she was cringing at how bad he was off rhythm when the Titans warmed up with soul. She swore to herself that she would fix that.
“Are you having fun, Regina?” Alan asked her as they danced.
“Hell yeah, I’m having fun. I haven’t been to a party like this in a long time. Thank you.”
“No problem.” he said a he continued dancing and Regina couldn’t hold in her laughter any longer. She didn’t know what he did to make her laugh, but she did. “What?”
“Nothing…” she said as she tried to stifle her laugh and continue dancing.
“It’s my dancing, isn’t it.” he said with a laugh as he danced more and she simply nodded.
“I’m sorry…I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing with you.”
“Yeah…sure…” he said as he laughed. “That statement would be a lot more convincing if I was actually laughing.” he said as he stared at her.
“You’re not that bad, actually. At least you’re not as bad a Gerry.” she said looking over at Julius trying to teach Gerry to dance. He was horribly off rhythm. “You have a little rhythm. It’s white boy rhythm, but you have rhythm.”
“Thanks, I feel a lot better after that.” he said sarcastically as he danced and she just laughed. He was cute in his half-way rhythm less way.
The song changed to a slow song and Alan and Regina stood there awkwardly not sure of what to do. They were seeing people pair up, and neither of them were interracial. Just then, they saw Sunshine dance with a black girl and she took that as a sign. There was no way he could get out of dancing with her to that song, now.
“We could still dance if you want…” she said as she stared at him.
“Okay…” he said as he wrapped his arms around her waist and she wrapped her hands around the back of his neck. They sway to the music feeling eyes on them, and she knew people were staring at Ronnie and the girl he was dancing with also. “So, how am I, now?”
“You’re actually a better slow dancer.” she said loving the way he was holding her. He knew how to hold a girl tight without squeezing the air out of her. She saw the size of his arms and saw the average size biceps. He wasn’t as big as Julius or Gerry or any of the other guys on the team. In fact, she was wondering how a skinny guy like him made the team in the first place. He seemed to be interest in football, true, but he didn’t quite fit right in the sport.
“Thanks” he said with a smile. Her eyes traveled over his face stopping at his wonderful blue eyes, then to his lips. She wondered if he felt the same way about her features. She started to wonder if he admired her big lips, her brown eyes…her brown skin. “You know I don’t have to tell you want a great dancer you are.”
“I know…” she said in smug tone knowing that she was a lot better than him.
Her gaze moved to his neck and her arm, and she noticed the difference in their skin complexions. The paleness of his skin was intensified in contrast with her brown skin and she began to wonder if she was making a mistake in pursuing a relationship with him. His father hated blacks and she knew he would kill him if he found out his son was friendly towards blacks and, more importantly, a black girl.
“Regina, are you okay? You stopped dancing. Are you sure I’m not that bad?”
“Yeah…I’m sure. Sorry, I kind of blanked out for a minute.”
“What’s wrong?” he said with a concerned look on his face. She looked down to the floor as she pulled away from him. “Regina?” he said in confusion.
“I can’t do this, Alan…” she said as she went through the crowd of people as the music changed and he went after her. She stopped on the front porch and sat down on the steps. She tried to stop herself from crying. She swore to herself that she would never cry over him.
“Regina, what’s wrong? Talk to me…” he said as he stood behind her, but she wouldn’t look at him. She couldn’t turn around and see the white face she was falling for not knowing if he felt the same way because she wasn’t as white as he was. “Regina…” he said as he sat down next to her. She turned her head away from him.
“I like you, Alan…a lot. I know being your girlfriend wouldn’t please your dad too much, and I wouldn’t mind being your secret girlfriend…that is…if you felt the same way.”
“I do. I’ve been thinking the exact same thing. I know my dad would kill me if he found out about you, but that’s his problem. I know we’re different, but we can make this work.”
“Alan…there’s no easy way to say this, and I still have that Yankee bluntness in me, so here goes. You’re white, and I’m black. The only thing that’s starting to bring people together is football, but they still wouldn’t like the idea of you and me dating. Their stomachs would turn at the thought of you and I kissing.”
“You want to kiss me?” he said, jokingly, and she knew he was trying to lighten the mood.
“I’m serious, Alan. And, yes, I do want to kiss you, but that’s not the point.” she said staring at his lips as they twisted into a grin. “Can you honestly tell me you’re ready for that?”
“Regina, I don’t care if my dad murders me for talking to you. I still want to date you. You’re smart and pretty and interesting and funny…”
“Okay, I get it. Listen, I’m not going to pretend to not be offended if you want to hide me from your dad, but I understand. I know you’re not ashamed of liking me…are you?”
“No. Are you ashamed of liking me?” he said as he looked at her.
“Nope. I like who I like and I don’t apologize for it.”
“So, your dad won’t have a problem with us dating?”
“I would be lying if I said he was going to be completely okay with this, but it wouldn’t bother him that much…at least, I hope not. I’ve never tested that limit.” she said with a chuckle.
“Well, we’ll just have to find out, won’t we?” he said as he wrapped an arm around her. She leaned in and planted and soft kiss on his lips. She was so unsure in her kiss, but she had to test the water. She had to see what would happen if she kissed him. Pulling back, she waited for a response. “Wow…” he said with a strange look on his face.
“What that a good wow or a bad wow?” she asked not wanting to know the answer.
“What do you think?” he said as he leaned in a kissed her back. The force behind his kiss was enough to make her weak in the knees. She was glad she was already sitting down.
“I think you’re a better kisser than you are a dancer.” she said with a playful smirk as they laughed. “Let’s get back inside.” she said and they went inside and enjoyed the rest of the party.
A week later, Regina and Alan was sitting in his car studying by the pond. It felt a little different, but it was in a good way. Alan was her boyfriend and she was his girlfriend. She had refused to let the fact that they had to hide it to protect themselves ruin her moment.
“Regina…” Alan said as he place the book face down on his lap. “Let’s take a break. I feel like my head is going to explode.”
“Okay…we’ll take a break.” she said playfully rolling her eyes as she placed her book down also. “You’re getting better at this. Pretty soon, I won’t even have to tutor you.”
“But, that wouldn’t give me an excuse to see you and do this.” he said as he kissed her. Regina felt herself melt when his lips came in contact with hers.
“Alan…” she said as she pulled away from him. He looked confused, but she just simply smiled. “As much as I want to spend all my time kissing you right now, we have a big paper coming up and…” she said but paused when she saw a pink tongue dart out of his mouth and, quickly, licked his bottom lip. She knew the action wasn’t done on purpose, but as she saw that, she knew she had to kiss him. “Forget it…” she said as she leaned over and kissed him.
“Whoa…” Alan said as he pulled back from the kiss after what seemed like minutes. “What about the paper?” he said as he laughed.
“Oh no…don’t turn this on me. You’re the one that wanted to take a break…” she teased. “Ooh, I love this song!” she said as she turned up the radio to hear Stevie Wonder’s “If You Really Love Me”. She turns towards the door and grabbed the door handle.
“Wait, where are you going?” he asked as he watched her get out.
“Dancing.” she simply said as he went to the front of the car and started dancing. She watched him follow her after he turned the volume up. He was getting better at dancing, and she thought he was very cute. However, something was bothering her. The weather was still very much summer and very hot and Alan was wearing a jacket. She knew he must have been sweating bullets in that jacket if she had to wear a halter top and hot pants.
“Why are you staring at me like that?” Alan asked with an uncertain look on his face as the song changed. “You’re staring at me like you want to ask me something.”
“I’m trying to figure out why you’re wearing that jacket. It’s like an oven out here.”
“Ah…It’s not that bad.” he said and she gave him a skeptical look. “What?”
“Not that bad?!” she said with a laugh. “Look at what I’m wearing.” she said as she gestured to herself. “I’m sweating…even in this.”
“Really? I couldn’t tell because I can’t stop staring at those beautiful legs of yours in those shorts. Excuse me…hot pants.”
“Ha, ha…” she said as she stared at him with her hands on her hips. “There is nothing wrong with hot pants” she said as she walked up closer to him. “But, seriously, aren’t you hot in this?” she said as she grabbed his jacket by the collar and pulled down and she almost gasped when she saw bruises on his shoulder. “Oh my god, what happened, Alan?”
“Nothing. I got in a fight with a couple of guys…it’s nothing.”
“A fight? When? With who?” she said as she tugged at his jacket, but he pushed her hand away. “Alan, talk to me. If your getting hurt because of me…” she trailed off.
“It’s not about you. Look, I told you it was nothing.”
“This isn’t nothing. You have bruises on you. That isn’t nothing, Alan.” she said as she yanked his jacket off and pointed to his bruises. “What’s going on?”
“Look…I got in a fight with my old man. Ever since coach Yoast pulled me off and put Petey in…he’s been angry with me.”
“So, this fight got…physical?” she said as she saw him nod his head.
“He said I was stupid for allowing someone like Petey…someone black to take my spot. He was talking about moving me to a different school, and I don’t want to move to a different school. I don’t want to leave you, my friends, or T.C. Williams.”
“Alan, maybe we should rethink us dating. Your dad would kill you if he found out about us. I like you and all, but I don’t want you to die if…”
“Regina, my dad doesn’t run my life. I like you and if I want to date you…”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Alan. I’m not worth this trouble. Look at what happened to you when he’s mad about the whole football thing. Imagine what he’ll do when he finds out about you being friends with your black teammates and even worse…dating me.”
“I told you I didn’t care. I know we have to hide this, but I’m not going to let it completely stop me from seeing you.”
“That’s all nice and all, but you’re not listening to me. Your fascination with me is not worth ending your relationship with your father.”
“What do you mean by fascination, Regina? I really like you. Where is this coming from? I thought you knew that I liked you.”
“I know, I know…I’m just making sure. I’m just making sure you’re not risking a very important relationship for one you’re not completely sure about. I mean, are you, really? I’m not going to lie, I’m not really sure if this is worth it. I hate hiding that I like you and that you’re my friend and that you’re funny and silly and…someone I care about.”
“Okay…I’m having doubts, too. But, maybe one day, you and I could date and hang out and dance without anymore giving us a second look.”
“Yes, one day, but it’s not that day. We should break up…”
“I don’t want to break up with you. Hell, we’ve only been a couple for a week, Regina. Let’s just at least give this some time. I know you see people starting to come together. Look at how much people have changed already. Just think of how good it would be in a month.” he said as Regina rolled her eyes. She wanted to believe him that everything would okay, but she knew it wouldn’t. She knew that no matter how long it took, people were never going to see them for them. They would see the color of their skin first.
“People came together over football. Not a relationship, Alan. Look, we should probably get back to studying.” Regina said started walking back towards the car, but Alan stopped her.
“I don’t care what other people think. I believe everyone will come together one day.”
“The only reason you guys came together was because of football, Alan.
“True, but…that’s just a sports thing. Like you and Emma, Gerry’s girlfriend, could talk tonight …” he trailed off with a look that made Regina suspicious.
“What do you mean we could talk? Did you set me up to hang out with her?!”
“Sort of. Couch Yoast was having a birthday party for Sheryl and some of them wanted to bring their girlfriends. I want you to come.
“Alan…” she said wanting to protest and tell him no. But, she took one look into those jewel toned blue eyes and her wall broke down. “Fine, I’ll go. Now, let’s get back to studying.”
“What if I’m not finished with the break.” he said as he kissed her.
“Alan. Study. Now.” she said as she laughed at Alan’s feigned pout as they walked back to the car. Though Regina was smiling, she wasn’t looking forward to the birthday party.
“Happy Birthday, Sheryl.” Regina said to the little blonde girl who had turned 10 that day. She was trying hard not to feel uncomfortable as she sat there being the only black girl there. She knew, by now, most of the white Titans knew she and Alan were an item, but there were still stares in her direction and she could hear the whispers from the other party goers. She swore she was going to kill Alan for this humiliation. Maybe, she thought, that’s what he wanted to do. Humiliate her. She didn’t want to admit this to him, but a part of her still believed there was malicious intent behind his actions.
“Thank you.” the girl said as she stared at Alan’s hand holding hers. Thankfully, the girl was called over by her mother as Regina later learned.
“Alan, what is this? I’m the only black girl here and I don’t see any of your black teammates here. I want to leave…now.”
“Regina, I didn’t know you were going to be the only…I thought the other guys were coming, too.” Alan said with an apologetic face.
“Let’s just go, okay? I can’t stand being stared at like an animal in the zoo.”
“That’s what you are…” she heard a boy say to her and she just closed her eyes and breathed. She had to stop the urge to hit him. She knew it was going to be difficult because she could already feel her hands balling up into fists.
“You got a problem with my girlfriend, Jacob?” Alan said to the boy as he got in his face.
“Yeah, I do…” Jacob said as he stood toe to toe with Alan.
“Alan, let’s just go…” Regina said as she tugged on his arm.
“Hey!” Coach Yoast said breaking the two boys apart. “Jacob, I think you head home.”
“Fine…” Jacob said before he stormed off making sure he bumped Alan’s shoulder on the way out. Alan was about to chase after him, but Regina stopped him.
Suddenly, the music was changed by Coach Yoast’s ex-wife. It was “Black Magic Woman” by Santana and everyone started dancing and forgot about the fight that was about to happen between Alan and Jacob.
“Are you two okay?” Coast Yoast asked and they nodded. “Try to enjoy the party.” he said as he gave a pat on Alan’s back before he left.
“You didn’t have to get into a fight over me…” Regina said as she rolled her eyes. She felt guilty about accusing him of wanting to humiliate her.
“Yes, I do. I feel bad for bringing you here. If I had known…”
“It’s okay. Let’s try to enjoy the party as much as we can.” she said as she rubbed his shoulder and he winced. “Sorry…I forgot.” she said referring to the bruises his father put there.
“Who is this? It’s sounds kinda weird, but I think I can dig it.”
“I’ve already dug it.” Regina said as she started dancing.
“You like rock?” Alan said in a shocked tone.
“You like soul?” Regina said as she mocked his shocked tone.
“Okay…you got me. Hey, look, Petey and Blue are here.” he said as he pointed to them walking through the door and Regina felt some relief, but it annoyed her that he had to point out that there were other black people at the party to make her feel comfortable.
“You didn’t have to point that out to me, Alan.”
“Don’t get upset with me. I was just showing that there were more…you know. I’m sorry if I upset you…” he trailed off and she felt bad for getting angry.
“It’s okay…Oh, there’s Emma and Gerry…Should we go over there?” Regina asked Alan as she stared at them. Emma wasn’t on the same page as Gerry when it came to accepting the change and, to make things worse, Ray Budds wasn’t Regina’s biggest fan and he was with them.
“Yeah…” Alan said as they walked over to Gerry, Emma, and Ray. As soon as Emma saw Regina walking towards them with Alan holding onto her hand, she regarded them with caution and slight disgust. Ray didn’t even hide his hatred for Regina in his expression.
“Hey, Alan. Regina.” Gerry said with that welcoming smile as addressed them. Something in his eyes told Regina that he would have to apologize for Emma and Ray.
“Hey. Looks like Sheryl’s getting bigger everyday. Where’s Julius?” Alan asked before he could think. Mentioning Julius around Ray and Emma was such a touchy thing since Gerry, himself, chose the team over his friendship with Ray. Even now, you can tell the tension between the two boys was thick, but for the sake of the party they were civil.
“I don’t know…” Gerry said as he looked around the room. “He said he was coming. He probably haven’t made it yet. Rev is somewhere around here. Oh, Regina, this is Emma, my girlfriend. Emma, this is Regina. She’s from New York.”
“Nice to meet you, Emma.” Regina said as she extended her hand and, reluctantly, Emma accepted it. After pulling her hand out of Regina’s grasp, she wiped it on the skirt of her dress and that angered Regina to no end, but she let it go and decided to kill the girl with kindness. “I like your dress. It’s very pretty.” Regina said feeling as if she was forcing herself to be nice to this racist girl. She knew Alan was trying to do a good thing, but it wasn’t going to work. Emma and Regina were never going to be friends.
“Thank you…” Emma said bitterly before Gerry nudged her and she plastered on a fake smile with a hint of a devious look in her eyes. “So, you and Alan are…together?”
“Yes, we are.” Regina said boldly as she squeezed his hand tighter. She was feeling herself lose her patience as Emma stared at them with disgust.
“Oh…” she trailed off before turning to Alan. “What does your dad think, Alan?”
“Emma…” Gerry said in a warning tone. He was visibly embarrassed.
“You have a problem with my girlfriend, Emma?”
“Yes, I do. And so does everyone else at this party, in fact, this town. You think you can just up and date someone like her because the schools are combined and…”
“Emma!” Gerry shouted and a few people looked their way. “Enough.”
“No, Gerry. I told you that night that you had your priorities mixed up. Just seeing you with Julius is, is…I just don’t like it.”
“Emma…that’s my friend…” Gerry said with a hint of hurt in his tone.
“I’m your friend, Gerry!” Ray snapped. “Ever since that black son of a bitch…”
“Excuse you?!” Regina said as she got into Ray’s face and Alan tried to pull her away.
“Oh look, Alan’s little chocolate drop. You fighting your boyfriend’s battles now. Why don’t you just run along and go back to your cage…monkey.”
“You think the pitiful attempt to insult me will make me back down? You have another thing coming, Ray. I’m not afraid of you or anyone else like you…”
“Come on, Regina…” Alan said as they walked away. Gerry looked at them with an apologetic face as they went up to Coach Yoast and Sheryl. “We’re going to head out. Just wanted to give Sheryl a last happy birthday before we left.” he said and saw the look on Coach Yoast’s face. Alan turned his head around and Regina noticed Alan’s face turned pale. She turned her head to see an angry man storming towards them…It was Alan’s dad.
There Regina stood face to face with the infamous Fred Bosley. He looked in disgust as he stared down at them holding hands, something Regina didn’t even realize they were doing.
“Alan…” Fred said in a cold tone that chilled Regina down to her bones.
“Dad, I…” Alan said as he held her hand tighter. She was happy that he wasn’t backing down. “This is my girlfriend, Regina.”
“Alan…if you do not let of her that girl’s hand and come with me…” Fred warned and Regina could feel him flinch.
“I’m staying at the party, dad.” Alan said in a soft voice. Just then, Coach Yoast stepped in.
“Fred, come on now, this is my little Sheryl’s birthday party. Now, don’t cause a scene that you’re gonna regret causing later.”
“Bill…look at what he’s doing! You and the others around here try to act like things are normal as if you forgot about what these people did…all because some nigger kid got shot.”
“Excuse you?!” Regina said as she stepped forward and was in Fred’s face. She could see him sneer down at her, but she didn’t flinch.
“Get out of my face, girl. I don’t even know what my son sees in you…”
“I see everything you don’t see, dad.” Alan said as he pushed her behind him. “I see an amazing person interested in literature and music and me. I don’t care what you say…I’m dating her.” Alan said in a tone that angered Fred and if there weren’t too many people at the party he probably would have hit him.
“Alan…I’ll see you when you get home…” Fred said in a dismissive tone as he left and there was a queasy feeling in the pit of Regina’s stomach.
“Don’t go home tonight, Alan.” she begged, suddenly.
“Why? I’m not afraid of him. Not anymore.”
“But, I’m afraid for you. He’s gonna kill you now that he knows you and I are dating. I mean…look what he did to your shoulder for the whole Petey thing.”
“I know, but I can’t avoid him. He’s my dad, but I’m not going to let him run my life.” he said before Coach Yoast walked up to them.
“Alan…am I hearing this right? Is your dad hitting you?”
“No…” Alan said as he stared down at the floor and Regina couldn’t let him do that.
“Yes, he is!” Regina said and Alan look at her as if she had betrayed him. “Alan, forget your pride and save your life. If you go home, tonight, he’s going to kill you.”
“He won’t do that. Yeah, he’s mad, but he won’t…”
“Sometimes…family can do more harm than your worst enemies, Alan. I’ve seen it happen. Don’t go home tonight, please.”
“I know my dad, Regina…he won’t do that. And for the record, he doesn’t hit me. We just get into fights a lot.” Alan said and Regina rolled her eyes. Damn male pride.
“Are you sure, Alan?” Coach Yoast asked as he stared at him.
“Yes, I’m sure. Oh heck, you shouldn’t eve being worrying about me. This is your daughter’s birthday party, after all.”
“You’re like a son to me, Alan. I can’t go on with one child knowing that the other is hurting.” he said and that made Alan smile.
“I’ll be fine, coach. Trust me…I know how to handle him. He just needs to cool off.”
“Okay…but if you need anything, I’ll be here for you.” Coach Yoast said as he walked away.
“Regina…” Alan said in a slightly angry tone. “Why’d you say that?”
“You should be thanking me. I’m trying to save your life. You dad beat the crap out of you for allowing Petey to take your spot…I don’t even want to know what he’s going to do now. Alan, I really care about you and I don’t want you to get hurt or…”
“I will be fine, Regina. Don’t worry about me. Come on…let’s just enjoy the party.”
“I can’t do that knowing that if you go home your dad will try to kill you…it’s all my fault.”
“How could you say that? You’re the one that wanted to break up with me when you found out about the bruises on my shoulder. I’m the one that wanted to date you, still. I care about you too much to let my dad’s feelings get in the way.” he said as he grabbed her hand.
“Alan…” Regina said in a soft voice. “Don’t have so much pride. That’s gonna get you killed if you’re not careful.” she said as she kissed him on the cheek. “Now, let’s have fun.” she said with a big smile as they made their way to Petey and Blue.
“Hey, Petey, Blue.” Alan said as they walked up to them. Petey had gotten over Regina’s rejection and saw her as more like a sister. He wasn’t quite sold on them dating, but it wasn’t as big of a deal to him as it was with other people.
“You okay, man?” Blue asked as he looked at Alan. “We saw what was going on there.”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just had my relationship out in the open to my dad before I wanted to, but who cares what he thinks? Who wouldn’t like this girl here?” Alan said and she blushed.
“Your dad doesn’t like me…” Regina mumbled and Alan looked at her with a sad look. She knew he wanted his dad to like her, but he also knew that he wouldn’t.
“I know…but he doesn’t matter, remember?” he said with a smile.
“I guess…” she trailed off as she watched everybody at the party. It seemed as if she and the Titans were in another world in which black and white got along. She knew Alan was the only one at the party talking to her, Petey, Blue and Rev. Gerry tried, but Emma and Ray were there to ruin the moment. “I’ll be right back.” she said to them as she went to look for the bathroom. She was almost there when Gerry stopped her.
“I’m really sorry about Emma and Ray…” he simply said as he stared down at the ground out of embarrassment. “I just…I’m sorry.”
“Thanks…” she mumbled as she stared at him. “Gerry? If you’re such great friends with Julius…why are you still friends with Ray and dating Emma?”
“I don’t know…Ray’s been my best friend since we were kids and Emma…well, that’s kind of difficult to explain. Why are you with Alan? You know…knowing how things are here and especially his dad.” he said as he stared down at the ground again.
“That’s a good question…” she said with a chuckle, then stopped and smiled when she saw Alan laughing with Petey. “I don’t know…there’s just something about him that makes it worth it. The stares we get, the looks of disgust and shock and disapproval. It comes from everybody. Black and white people don’t like seeing Alan and me together. I know you probably wouldn’t admit this, and I’m not trying to jump to conclusions, but I can tell you don’t really like that we are dating. I know you don’t hate me…but you wouldn’t like seeing us together. Am I right?”
“I hate to say it, but…yes. I really don’t hate you, but something in me keeps saying that this ain’t right. I just don’t see how you could date knowing how people would feel…”
“Well, at least you’re honest. I respect you for that. Well, I have to go, but thanks for the apology.” she said as she went to the bathroom and returned to Alan, Blue, Petey, and Rev. They enjoyed the rest of the party and left. Alan dropped her off at her house and she made him promise that he would come directly to her house if things went bad with his dad. She knew it was…
There was a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach as she awakened by a loud pounding at the front door. She slept on the couch to be the first one there if the was smart and went to her house instead of going to his. When she opened the door, she almost cried. Alan had been beaten up, bad. His nose looked like it was broken and streaming blood, he was holding his mid-section, and he had cuts and bruises all over his face and he had a black eye.
“Hey…” Alan said as he leaned against he doorframe, and Regina touched his face and he let out a hiss of pain. Through a tired gaze, he stared at her.
“Dad!” Regina shouted over her shoulder as she helped Alan to the kitchen table. “Could you get mom’s emergency first aid kit?”
“Y-yeah…sweet pea.” he said as he went into their bedroom.
“I told you not to go home!” Regina yelled at him. “If you weren’t injured already, I would smack you right now.” she said, angrily.
“I didn’t think my dad would try to kill me. I, honestly, thought he would do this.”
“Here you go, sweet pea.” Reggie said as he returned with the first aid kit and turned the kitchen light on before sitting on the couch.
“What happened?” Regina said as she was examining his face. She knew he would have to go to the hospital because his nose was definitely broken.
“I came home, and my dad was sitting in his chair…waiting. I don’t even know how it started, but we got in an argument. He pushed me, I pushed him back. I knew there was no going back after that and he swung at me. Kept hitting me and cursing and calling you names. Ow.” he said when she applied pressure to his nose.
“Hey, dad. Is mom still working?” she called over her shoulder.
“No. She said she was getting off a little early. You think he needs to go to the hospital?”
“Yeah…I think his nose is broken. Maybe she could fix it when she gets here.” she said before turning back to Alan. “Go on.”
“Anyway, we started brawling. I got in a few good hits, though. Damn near broke every piece of furniture in there, though.”
“You could’ve died. He could’ve been so angry that he might have…even if he wasn’t trying to kill you on purpose. You should’ve stayed with Coach Yoast. Oh, my mom’s here. She’ll help you. But…you might have to be taken to the hospital.”
“Fine…I’ll go.” he said as he saw the door open and a chunky woman in a nurses uniform came in. She almost dropped her keys as she saw Alan’s condition.
“Okay, who the hell is he and what the hell happened to him?” she said a she rushed over to him. She was inspecting his face with an intensity that nurses had.
“Mom…this is Alan.” Regina said and her mother just lifted her eyebrows.
“So, you’re Alan, huh? Well, judging by your face…even in this state…I’d say you’re quite the handsome young man. Nice to meet you.”
“Thanks…” he mumbled feeling a bit uncomfortable and embarrassed.
“Well, the nose is severely fractured, but it ain’t broken. Now, as for your mid-section…I think you might have a bruised ribs. You need to go to the hospital, son.”
“I’ll take him.” Regina said as she stood up. “I mean, I don’t mind.”
“I’ll go with you. They would respond faster if I’m with you.”
“Okay. Alan, can you stand up?” Regina said as she prepared to help him up.
“Yeah, I can get up.” he said with a hiss as he stood up. It was a wonder to her how he managed to walk this far to her house alone in the state he was in.
They were in her mother’s car and were driving to the hospital. Regina was in the back seat with Alan and she was holding his hand. She tried to forget what his father had said to her. She tried to forget that cold, disgusted look he gave her when he saw that she was with Alan. It chilled her to think about it and she knew his face must have been worse when he was fighting with his son.
“We’re here, honey.” Shirley said as she parked the car. They helped Alan into the emergency room. “They’ll see him in a few minutes. I’ll be talking to Roberta if you need me.”
“Regina…I want to say I’m sorry. I should’ve listened to you. I shouldn’t have gone home.”
“I know…but, you’re alright and that’s what matters now.” Regina said with a smile as she stared at him. He was smiling also as he stared at her. “Do you think you need to stay somewhere tonight?” Regina asked as she held his bruised hand.
“I’ll be fine. I think I’m just going to stay with coach. I’m sure his offer still stands.”
“Okay. Hey, Alan…Now, that your dad knows about us…what do you want to do?”
“I’m not breaking up with you, Regina. So, he kicked the crap out of me. Big deal. If he can’t deal with his son being in love with someone different, then…to hell with him.”
“You say that now, but he’s your dad. Are you sure you’re ready to cut him out of your life for me? What if you and I go to different colleges and we meet people? It wouldn’t be worth it to have your dad out of your life, then.”
“I’m still not breaking up with you.” he said with a smirk on his face.
“Okay…what if it would be better if you and I didn’t date. I mean, come on. We’re getting stared at just sitting together here.”
“Then, they’ll really stare if I do this…” he said as he kissed her. When she pulled away, she stared at his busted lip before looking into his eyes. Those wonderful blue eyes, one surrounded by purple and yellow bruise, were staring at her with so much caring and love. Yet…they seemed full of hate and rage because of his father.
“In my defense you kissed me in case someone wants to point the blame.” Regina said with a chuckled. “Your dad really did a number on you…”
“Yeah, well…that’s what I get for being so damn weak. According to him, little Sheryl Yoast could take a tackle better than me.”
“That’s not true…I’ve tried to tackle you hundreds of times and you wouldn’t go down.”
“Yeah? When did you even try?” he said with a laugh.
“Don’t worry about it.” Regina teased as she saw a nurse coming from the back. She was white and looked at Regina and Alan with caution as she saw their hands in each other’s.
“Well, it looks like I’m going to get fixed up. Wish me luck.”
“Luck. I’ll be out here waiting on you.” Regina said as she sat there and reached for a magazine. Her mother came back and sat next to her.
“So, I take it Alan’s father isn’t to happy about your relationship with him. And I, also, take it that he isn’t happy because you’re black.”
“Yeah…he hates me. Hates me even more since I stood up to him and embarrassed him in front of a bunch of other white people. It’s so stupid mom. Just because Alan and I are dating…”
“Regina…you know the exact same thing would happen in New York.”
“Yeah, but it wouldn’t be so bad…it’s like the entire town is stuck behind and…well, I hate it. I want to be able to date Alan without worrying about what people will think.”
“One day, you will, baby…one day, you will.” her mom said in a comforting tone.
After hearing of his fight with his dad, Coach Yoast opened up his home to Alan, and Regina was relieved. He told him that he would talk to Fred, but she didn’t know if that was going to do any good. Fred was a well-liked man.
“Hi, Sheryl.” Regina said to the little blonde girl as she stood outside waiting on Alan to come to the door. “Did you like the presents you got for your birthday?” she said making small talk.
“Everything but one. My step-dad got me a doll.” she said with a grimace and Regina wanted to laugh at the tomboy.
“Hey, Regina.” Alan said as he stood behind Sheryl and the little girl went outside as Regina went it holding a basketball “You should see how she destroyed that doll.”
“I would imagine.” Regina said as she sat down at the kitchen table with Alan. “Your bruises make you look like crap.”
“Ha, ha. You’d look like this too if your dad kicked the crap out of you.”
“My dad wouldn’t do it because he doesn’t care about the color of your skin or our relationship.” she said, seriously, as she stared at him.
“Well, your dad is a good man. I used to think my dad was a good man, but…anyway, are we still on for studying together or…?”
“Just like you to want to study together after getting your ass kicked for dating me. Alan…”
“Let me guess…you want to break up.” he said as he stared at the floor and, for the first time, Regina could see that he might consider it. That bothered her a little.
“Do you want to break up?” she asked as she stared at him and he let out a long sigh.
“Regina…no matter how much better it would be for the both of us, I don’t want to break up. I like you a lot and you like just as much.”
“Your dad is going to disown you if we don’t stop, but…I really, really don’t want to. We’re insane…” Regina said with a laugh.
“Then, we’ll just be insane. What my dad did to me won’t change how I feel about you. And it sure as hell not gonna stop us.”
“But, do you think his rage will stop? It won’t. He’ll be just a pissed as he was at the party and when you two were fighting years from now.”
“Well, that’ll be his problem. So, do you want to study? I really need help on the paper coming up. Shakespeare is so hard to understand.”
“Me doth thinks you make it more complicated than it should be…” she teased and Alan rolled his eyes and laughed.
“Yeah…I didn’t understand a word you just said. See? I need help.”
“Alright, get the book.” she said as Alan went into the back room and returned with the play they were reading in class, Henry VIII “Henry VIII is one of Shakespeare’s most difficult plays. A lot of people find it hard to understand. Even thought it’s based on actual history.”
“You should be a teacher.” he said and Regina laughed. “I’m serious. You would make a great English teacher. You already know so much.”
“True…” she said feeling a little arrogant that she did know so much. “Alan? Could I ask you a question?” she said in a cautious voice.
“Sure…What is it?” he said as he stared at the play.
“How long has your dad been hitting you?” she said and he looked up an met her eyes.
“Ever since my mom died…” he said in a soft, serious voice and she wanted to hug him.
“I’m sorry, Alan.” she said with her head hung low. “Do you mind if I ask how long ago that was?” she said knowing she had to know how long his dad had been hitting him.
“About five years ago…” Alan said as he tried to fight tears Regina knew were coming and she regretted asking her first question to start all of that.
“You know what…this was a bad idea. Let’s just forget talking about this and go back to studying, okay?” Regina said trying to move on. She didn’t want to upset Alan.
“It’s okay, Regina. I like talking about my mom. She…kinda balanced everything out, you know. My dad was always hard on me and she was there to comfort me. He didn’t start hitting me until she died. You know…I’ve never told anyone that before.”
“I’m glad I’m the first. Alan…I’m going to regret saying this, but…maybe you should talk to your dad. I know he won’t change his mind about us, and I know he hate that we are dating…but, he’s your dad and you’re all he has.”
“He hates me, Regina. I don’t know…maybe I remind him too much of mom. People always said I looked more like her than him. I don’t know if she was as accepting of, you know, blacks as I am, but…she was a good person.”
“I believe that. I mean, look at you. You’re on a football team with blacks and whites playing together…on the same team. You’re dating me. You have your mother’s heart and more. If your dad could see that, he’ll love you again. He’ll just hate you as well, for being with me. I okay with that, actually. I know some people won’t change no matter how much everyone around them are. You’ll just have to see if your dad had loved you, then…after your mom died and before you started dating me.” Regina said as she stared in his blue eyes.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door and they panicked. Surely, Fred wouldn’t try to finish the job or try to take him back with him so soon after their fight. They were relieved to see Coach Herman Boone standing there with his daughter and Sheryl behind him. Alan stood up and let him inside. He make a courteous nod toward Regina and she returned with a slight wave.
“How are you holding up, Alan?” Coach Boone asked as Coach Yoast walked into the kitchen. Regina stared at the men that were almost like father figures for him.
“I’m doing fine, coach. The doctors said I shouldn’t play for at least a week or two, but I think I’ll be fine for next week.”
“No, you’re not, Alan.” Regina said in a voice that was similar to the tone her mother used when arguing with her dad. “Remember what my mom said…you need time to heal.”
“Yeah, yeah…” he said and as the two coaches stared at her with a smirk. She knew she had reminded them of their wives. “Her mother’s a nurse.”
“Yeah, I think I met her.” Coach Boone said as he turned to her. “Your name is Regina, right?” he said as he held out his hand to her and she accepted it. This was a formal introduction to the infamous Coach Boone. The tougher of the two coaches.
“Yes, it is. Nice to meet you.” she said before turning to Alan. “Hey, how about we meet up tomorrow to discuss the Henry VIII paper?”
“Sure…” he said as she gave a smile to the two coaches before leaving. Just as she was going back to her father’s car, Alan ran out and stopped her.
“Regina, do you mind if we go to the lake to study? I like Coach Yoast and all, but I kind of feel uncomfortable at his house.”
“Of course, we can study there. I was actually starting to miss the lake. Looks like you got me to accept nature. Not fully, but…anyway, I have to. I’ll see you tomorrow.” she said as she kissed him before getting into the car and driving off.
Sitting in her father’s car with Alan, Regina was trying to explain the play to him as best as she could without him getting too confused.
“What?” she said as he just stared, blankly, at her.
“Your eyes become the brightest brown when the sunlight hits them.”
“Alan…this is serious. The paper is due in a week. And thanks for the compliment.”
“You’re welcome. You know my bruises are healing up good. Pretty soon, I’ll look as good as you do.” he said with a crooked grin.
“You’re the only guy I know that would joke about this bruises like that.”
“I know, but that’s why you like me, right?”
“Right.” Regina said as she kissed his cheek. “So, have you talked to your dad, yet?”
“Why did you have to bring him up? I don’t care if I never talk to him for as long as he lives. He kicked the crap out of me for dating you because you’re black. It’s such a stupid reason to hate me. His own son.” Alan said in an angry tone.
“I know that, but don’t you think cutting him out of your life is extreme? Look, as I said before, he’s not going to change his mind about us. I know this, and you know this…”
“Why should I be the one to extend the olive branch? He should be the one apologizing. Regina, you don’t understand. This has been going on way before the schools integrated. He’s always hated me. Ever since mama died…”
“Well, do you think he’s hurt?” she asked and Alan looked at her in shock.
“Are you taking his side?” he asked and Regina let out a sigh. “Regina…he…”
“I know what he did, Alan!” she snapped. “Look, I’m sorry. I don’t like feeling a little sorry for him…especially knowing how he feels about me and you and all blacks for that matter. But, part of me feels like he’s using that pain he feels and taking it out on you. You need to talk to him. If not to convince him that blacks are not evil, you need to talk to him about your mother.”
“What if he won’t listen?” Alan asked as he looked into her eyes. Regina could see the deep sadness that was held in his eyes. She knew, deep down, Alan wanted to talk to his father about his mother the way she said he should.
“Make him listen. Just don’t start another violent fight with him. I would like to kiss my boyfriend without having bruises on his face.”
“But, the bruises make me look so manly.” he said with that cute crooked grin before he let out a laugh causing Regina to roll her eyes and shake her head.
“Are you done? Can we get back to studying?”
“Yeah…I just have one question. What do you miss about New York?” Alan asked as Regina scoffed because it had taken her by surprise.
“Wow…that’s a…um…question. Well, I miss my neighborhood, my friends…not that I don’t like my new friends here. I just miss them, you know. And…I’m not saying everything there was perfect, because it wasn’t. I just miss it, you know…”
“Yeah. I think so. So…” he said as developed a serious look on his face. “Where are you thinking of going to college?”
“Um…Let’s not talk about that right now. Let’s get back to studying…”
“You’re going to college in New York, are you?” he asked and she let out a sigh.
“Don’t do this now, Alan…” Regina said wishing he had never said that. Of course, she was going to college in New York. She had planned on doing that ever since she was a little girl.
“Forget about the paper right now. Regina…I may not get this English Literature stuff, but I ain’t stupid. I know you’re going to college in New York. I’m not mad. I just don’t want to lose you. Hell, we only started dating weeks ago.
“I know, but going to Sarah Lawrence was a dream of mine ever since I can remember. I don’t want to talk about his, right now. It’s not even January, yet…” she said feeling shocked that time had gone by so slow, yet she felt as if it was flying by. In a few months, they would be graduating and, most likely, going to different colleges.
“Okay…I’ll let it go, for now. One thing at a time, right?” he said with a chuckle. “Now, about this paper…” he began, but Regina leaned over and kissed him. “What was that for?”
“Making our time together count for as long as I can.” she said with a smile. “Oh, Carole King!” she said as she tuned the radio up and started singing along to, “It’s Too Late”.
“Ah…girl music.” he said and she, playfully, hit him on the shoulder. “Ow…”
“Carol King is not girl music. You’re just jealous of my great taste in music.” she said as she stuck out her tongue and continued to sing along.
“I’ll get you to like country one of these days.”
“I doubt it, but you could keep trying. I like you, but I just can’t do it…”
“You will…” he said as the song changed and Regina turned the music down. They continued studying and going over the play until Regina dropped him off at Coach Yoast’s house. She was happy that his coach had taken him in and kept him away from his dad, but she knew he need to talk to his dad.
“Regina…I’m sorry for bringing up the college thing…” he said in a sad tone as he held his head low. She didn’t want him to feel bad about talking about it.
“It’s okay. We’re going to have to face it sooner or later. I don’t know…just because we might be going to different colleges doesn’t mean we have to stop talking to each other. We could write each other and stuff like that. Maybe a call on our birthdays. I don’t want to stop being your friend. I just know…the college I want to go to is in New York.”
“I understand. I don’t know where I want to go, yet, so I might be going to college in New York. You never know. I doubt I would fit in, though.”
“You would fit in…I think people would make fun of your accent the way people have been making fun of mine.” she said jokingly.
“People made fun of your accent?” Alan asked in surprised.
“Yeah…mostly Petey…” she said as she rolled her eyes and shook her head. “But, seriously, Alan. Don’t base your college choice on where I’m going to be.”
“I know…I just don’t know where to go. I never have. Honestly, I didn’t think I would even go to college. I never thought I was smart enough. That was until you…”
“Aww…” she said as she kissed him. When she pulled back, she saw Coach Yoast standing at the window peaking through the blinds. “I think you should go in. I see your coach peaking out the window…” she said with a light laugh.
“Yeah…I’ll see you at school tomorrow.” Alan said as he got out of the car. “Regina?”
“Yeah?” she said as he stood beside her car with the door open.
“I want you to meet me in the library after school.”
“Why?” she asked feeling curious as to what he was up to.
“Just meet me. I promise you won’t regret it. I have to go. See you tomorrow.” he said as he shut her car door and went inside. She was pulling out when she saw Alan standing in the doorway waving at her. She just shook her head and laughed at her crazy boyfriend.
Regina stood in the library waiting for Alan to show up. She had bugged him with questions the entire day trying to find out what he was planning, but she wouldn’t tell her. Why the library? It just seemed like a strange place to meet him, but she just went with it. A lot of things with Alan, she had to just go with the flow and it was okay with her.
She turned around and saw Alan was walking towards her with a rose in his hand and he wore a ruffle shirt and she wondered where he got that. Oh, how much is fellow Titans would tease him constantly. And she, herself, thought it was rather silly…yet it was also sweet.
“Alan?!” she asked as he got down on his knees in front of her and that caused everyone to stare in their direction. If Regina was white her face would be beet red from all the blushing she was doing. “What are you…?”
“She speaks. O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art…” Alan said as he lifted the rose to her and she took it. She knew he was quoting from Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet.
“Alan…people are staring. As if they didn’t do that enough when we’re together.” Regina said as she leaned down. “Where did you get the shirt?”
“Theater. I’m kinda borrowing it. I know I look silly, but I was hoping you’d like it. Do you like it?” Alan asked as he stared up at her with a hopeful look.
“Not really…but it looks good on you, though. Want to get up?” Regina said knowing Alan might have wanted to be rescued from his embarrassment.
“Yeah.” he said as he got off the ground and Regina could hear the hushed giggles and laughter from many people in the library. Just then, Regina kissed him and those laugher and giggles turned into gasps and sharp breath intakes. “If they weren’t staring before, they’re staring now.” Alan said with a chuckle as they sat down.
“Obviously. So, what’s this all about? Not that I don’t like it, I‘m flattered and speechless, in a good way. But…I’m confused.”
“Well, I wanted to show you that I’m understanding Shakespeare a little more and I wanted to impress you. Don’t you think you can relate to them…a lot of people hate our relationship.”
“Yeah, but Romeo and Juliet is such a tragic story. We don’t have to be so tragic. Yes, there are people that aren’t happy about us, but it’s not that bad. Speaking of people not liking our relationship, did you ever talk to your dad?” Regina asked and Alan scoffed.
“No. Regina, I still don’t see the point in talking to him. Even with time, he’ll still feel the same way. So, I’m not going to bother with it.”
“Okay…I won’t force the issue. I don’t know…I guess I didn’t want you to feel like you have to shut him out for my sake.”
“I’m pretty sure I’d be shutting him out even if I wasn’t dating you. Regina, this has been going on long before you showed up. I just took it because I was all he had. I don’t know…I think you showing up made me see that I didn’t have to put up with it.”
“You didn’t have to put up with it. Shame on your dad for making you feel bad about everything. Alan?” Regina asked in a hesitant tone. She didn’t want to ask this, but she knew she had to. “Did he ever blame you for your mother’s death?”
“Yeah…and said I was a disappointment. That’s what he would say to me. Before he found out about you, he actually said that he was shocked my grades in English were getting better. Said I was too dumb to actually read.” he said and Regina felt her heart break for her boyfriend as she stared into his gemstone blue eyes and saw the sadness within them.
“You’re not dumb, Alan. Your dad is, but you’re not. In fact, if he was right here right now, he wouldn’t even be able to understand the line your recited.”
“Hell, I barely understood it.” he said with a sheepish grin and Regina laughed. “I hope you like the rose.” he said and Regina brought the rose to her nose and inhaled it’s scent. Looking around the library, she was aware that everyone’s stares were trained on them.
“Sometimes, I wonder if things will always be like this in the future. You know, when we’re old, do you think we’ll be stared at like this in the future.”
“I don’t know. I don’t see anyone else when I stare at you. How am I going to get through college without you, Regina?”
“Let’s not talk about that, right now. And you’ll do fine. We’ll be fine, and I promise you we’ll keep in contact with each other. I don’t want to stop talking to you even if we’re apart.”
“Okay. So, what do you want to do? Since I’m out of the game for a few days…”
“Uh, two weeks. I’m not kidding, my mother said you shouldn’t play or practice for at least two weeks and you shouldn’t.”
“What are you going to do about it if I do go?”
“Are you willing to test me, Alan?” Regina asked and he let out a laugh. Just then, they were shushed my the librarian who had been watching them ever since Alan walked in and gave her the rose. “You’re favorite librarian is watching us.”
“Ignore her…” he said as he rolled his eyes and a small smirk tugged at his lips and she could tell he was thinking of something sneaky. “Or we could…”
“Whatever you’re thinking, stop. I already have enough people staring at me. Not that I care, but it’s still very uncomfortable.”
“I was thinking about having just one great kiss as you’re checking out a book.” he said with a boyish grin and a mischievous twinkle in his jewel blue eyes.
“Okay…” Regina said wanting to kick herself for not being able to turn him down. There was actually a book I wanted to read, so I guess I’ll be checking it out.” Regina said as she got up from the table. She couldn’t stop herself from smiling at the sweet gesture he did for her. However, she couldn’t help feeling that misery in him when it came to his father. She knew bringing it up was a bad idea, but she was always the type to be direct and never let the slightest thing slide.
Walking to the Jane Austen collection, she picked up a rather old copy of Northanger Abbey. She walked up to the front desk and saw that librarian glare at her. She reluctantly checked out the book, but paused when she saw Alan coming behind Regina.
“Regina…” he said and she turned around. Grabbing her face, she felt her heart race and almost forgot about the mean librarian standing behind her. This was truly a romantic moment, or it would’ve been if a million pair of eyes weren’t on them. Okay, so it wasn’t that many pair of eyes, but it felt like it to Regina. But, staring into Alan’s blue eyes make her weak. And staring at his pinks lips made her mouth water.
Just then, Alan press his lips against her in a sweet kiss and she could hear the librarian, loudly, clear her throat trying to break them apart. Regina knew they was so close to being banned, but she didn’t care. Alan was just as pissed with this ignorant woman as she was.
“Young man,” the librarian said as he broke the kiss and all Regina could see was Alan. “I don’t know what you’re trying to pull, but I am not amused.” she said and Alan just simply smiled as he gathered Regina’s book and they left, hand in hand. They stopped outside the door and began laughing, hysterically, until they were in tears.
“You’re going to get us banned.” Regina said as she tried to stifle her laugh.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.