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                       I’m not the first choice,
                          not even second. 
                     But all of this comparison, 
                      just seems so ridiculous.


Poison Ivy, by Goldenshane



Outside in the front yard of the school, Noah had been practicing the oboe. With the music sheets spread out on the bench, Noah began.

Instantly, he was transported to another world. His fingers and breath never once faltered, nor did he ever loose his place. His eyes closed, and for a moment, he forgot where he was, he forgot everything in life, he just concentrated on the music. Every fiber in him was awakened, and his mind was soothed. His acid lips turned soft, and he allowed the music to flow in him.

Suddenly, he heard a noise.

Noah delicately placed his oboe down and muttered, “Crap!" He looked to the right, and his heart sunk.

Coming in his direction, was his brother Cameron and his girlfriend, Ivy.

Cameron was huge-no, he was massive. His muscles rippled from his white V-neck, and his sandy brown hair was gelled perfectly in place. His tight jeans, although loose, seemed tight on his, and his gait resembled that of a celebrity. To most people in the school, he was one.

Ivy wore a tight black spaghetti-strap, but it just made her already invisible waist even smaller, if that was possible. Her jet-black hair had a pink streak in it, and her jeans looked more like body paint. Her ice-cold blue eyes were accurate, they peered into you with uncaring measures, and they had no sense of favoritism.

Ivy’s superficial smile suddenly turned into one of disgust. Noah quickly bit his lip.

She heard him playing.

She turned to her boyfriend, also sporting the same smile and eyes, and whispered something into his ear. Cameron’s smile dropped, and he rolled his eyes. It was no secret that Ivy disliked Noah, and whomever she disliked, Cameron disliked as well. Even if it was his own Brother.

“Yo, Noah!” Cameron called. Rage flushed all throughout Noah.

“What is it, oh wonderful brother of mine?” Noah asked. He made sure those words had a sting attached to it.

“Little buddy, haven’t we had this discussion? Why do you have to be out here, embarrassing me like this?”

“Wh-what do you mean?”

“That little instrument. Dude, that’s such a stupid thing to play. ”

“Uh, no! It’s not!”

“Let me handle this, Cammy.” Ivy said with an acidic tone. “Look here, No-one, why can’t you be more like your,” she turned to Cameron and her voice became sugary sweet, “super strong brother?”

“Oh stop, you’re embarrassing me!” Cameron said playfully. Noah bit his lip.

“Like I’m taking advice from the slut who’s so insecure, she needs a ‘big buff’ guy to come and make her feel important.” Noah retorted. Ivy gasped. No one ever dared to challenge the ice-queen. A few mascara-filled tears streamed down her face. Noah smiled a sadistic grin.

He had hit her where it hurt.

However, Ivy was not the type to give up. Turning to her boyfriend, she began to cry hysterically. Most of those tears weren’t real; Noah knew that much. A crowd began forming around the three of them. Most of the stares were on Noah.

“Oh, Cammy,” Ivy said, “go teach your brother a lesson.”

Cameron rolled his sleeves up. “You don’t have to tell me twice! No one messes with my Ivy!”

And the beatings began.

However, it wasn’t the punches that hurt, nor was it the fact that everyone was cheering on his single-minded simpleton of a brother.

It was the poisonous grin of Ivy.

All during the beatings, no one stood up for them. Likely, it was due to Ivy enjoying the spectacle. It only fueled the hatred that Noah had for the girl. His hatred was so great, that he never felt the bone-crushing blows of Cameron. Only when it all went black, did he actually feel pain.

When he woke up a few minutes later, Noah was sore all throughout. His body was littered with bruises. He looked up, and saw a painful message.

His oboe was shattered. Someone had manhandled his precious possession, his baby. Noah knew who it was: Ivy. However, Noah kept it inside, and simply walked away.

It was his fourth oboe this year, and it had only been three months.


Later that day, in a black walled room, Noah sat on his bed with a book in his hands. It wasn’t abnormal for that to take place. In fact, his parents often joked that he was born with a book in his hands. However, it was a place of serenity, a place where he could be who he wanted.

And no one could take it away from him.

On the multicolored quilt, Noah lied down on his bed and tossed the book aside. A few tears escaped from his eyes.

It was a rare moment that he let down the walls.

Suddenly, his door creaked open. “Go away, Cameron!” Noah yelled. Out of impulse, he figured.

“Noah, I’m not your brother.”

Noah opened his eyes and saw who it was. It was his brother, Keith.

“Whatever, go away.”

“No.”

“Why?”

Keith let himself in. He took his strong arms and wrapped them around his sardonic brother. Noah wriggled himself free.

“What do you want, to beat me like Cameron? Or agree with that evil queen, Harriet? Or maybe be like everyone else at school and side with the jock? Oh wait, you did last year!” Noah yelled. Keith looked down.

There was no denying it, Keith had beat him up last year, in the same place as Cameron did, and for the same reason. However, that summer, Keith had changed. His girlfriend cheated on him, and he felt rejected. She was the reason he was popular, and after that he was a nobody. She left him, for a stronger guy named Cameron.

Noah himself had ratted out Ivy. However, that didn’t deter her from dating Keith’s own brother. Cameron never once thought about it. He was too high on his newfound popularity and fame to notice.

Keith also began to take a liking to Noah. Noah was the black sheep of the family. While all of the guys were jocks and all the girls were models or popular, Noah wasn’t. Today wasn’t the first time he had been humiliated for liking something “unmanly”. Today’s beating was a mixture of revenge, but also for that very reason. Last time the beatings happened, Keith stood up to Noah’s defense. However, Noah never once believed that Keith had changed, and since then, Noah’s treatment of Keith had only gotten worse.

“Noah… dude, you have to understand-“

“Understand what? That you’re a strong guy and I need protecting?” Noah opened the door and pointed outside. “Out!”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“…Then what do you want?”

“You to finally open up and tell me what’s going on.” Keith answered.

Tucking away his emotions into a place where no one could find them, the bookworm closed the door and let himself be questioned.

“Noah,” Keith said softly, “I’m not ashamed of you.”

Noah’s brow furrowed. “Yeah… just like what mom and dad say.” Noah said.

“I mean it. I think it’s awesome that you play the oboe.”

“Played.” Noah corrected.

“Wait, he broke another one!?” Keith asked. With tears in his eyes, Noah nodded. “...Just... wow.”

For a while, Noah just sad there, stunned. Tears continued to flow, but Noah didn’t try to stop them. Finally, he raised his tearstained face and asked quietly, “Keith, what did I do?”

“Nothing but be yourself.” Keith answered. Noah lowered his head again. “But Noah, Ivy’s just a girl who’s insecure, and Cameron’ll figure things out.”

“Yeah right.” Noah said through tears.

“No, Noah, I’m here.” Keith said.

At this point, Noah unleashed it all. The waterworks flowed.

All of this, due to one person caring about him.

Noah lied in Keith’s arms, crying. All the pain from injustice and prejudice washed away. Keith just sat there, letting him cry like a baby.

The next day, Noah walked into the hallways with a genuine smile on his face, and a newfound confidence.

Trivia

  • This story is actually an allegory about how God views us. He doesn't care about what we like. When we move in our talents, it moves His heart. He loves us when we are ourselves. I wanted to show that with Keith. Keith loved Noah, even though he had a so-called "unmanly" talent.
  • I guess in a nutshell, the moral of the story is to be yourself, and don't compare yourself to others.
  • Originally, Ivy's name was Lisa. However, I admire someone named Lisa, so it didn't feel right. I renamed her Harriet. However, when I thought of the name, I thought it'd just be right.
  • The title is pretty much describing Ivy. However, it also is how I personally describe a sardonic person. And Noah is very sardonic.
  • Cameron's quote, "Dude, that's such a stupid thing to play!" Or something like that, originally was, "Dude, the oboe is so gay!" Or something like that. I really didn't want that, as I don't feel as I don't think that Cameron would be homophobic. I didn't want anyone to get mislead either, as I don't think that Noah is gay, nor do I support the usage of the word, gay, in that sense. While Cameron is not me, it didn't feel right at all using that quote.
  • Ivy's "body-paint pants" is a shout-out to Taki from the Soul Calibur series. Taki often was a body suit that looks painted on. Also, her black wardrobe is from a friend who said "I'd like to have a pink streak in my hair, but then I'd have to wear all black in order to make it work". Every girl there agreed.
  • Noah playing the oboe was a shout-out to TAU, as I know he based Sebastian off of himself, so I just figured that like Sebastian, TAU played the oboe.
  • Noah's brothers being buff and his sisters being mentioned that they were supermodels is based off of Sunshine's fic, My Life as an Ex-Reality Show Contestant. She described Noah's siblings as just that, and Noah was the black sheep of the family. I feel like that is very realistic, so I put it in.
  • Originally, Noah and Keith uttered the word, "damn". However, I really felt like Noah's usage was unneeded, and I wasn't comfortable with Keith saying it, so I replaced them.
  • The quote on top of the page is from an original song from someone who I admire a lot. Plus, the song has really ministered to me, and I think it really fits the overall theme of the story.

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