Degrassi Freak Fiction

106 - Free Bird (II)

Tom is looking out for himself but he isn’t doing too well. Signs of his face and a reward are all over the streets. When Matt finds him, will he turn his friend in? Or listen to the reason he left?

Matt stared in awe as his best friend who leaned over and threw up again. He lifted Tom up and took him over to a sidewalk. Matt couldn’t talk so Tom started.

Tom: So Matt, long time no see?

(Matt was half crying.)

Matt: Tom, I-I-I can’t believe- you’re- you’re alive! It’s a miracle! Wait until Paige hears-

Tom: No, Paige will know nothing.

Matt: Paige told us what happened Tom. You and her are brother and sister.

Tom: That’s not it, I don’t want to live with JT.

Matt: Tom, everyone thinks you’re dead. You will be if you stay out here.

Tom: I’m fine.

Matt: You threw up all over the road. You’re not fine.

Tom: Mind your own business Matt!

Matt: I’m doing this because I care! Tom, you’re my friend.

Tom: Well stop caring!

Matt: Well sorry.

Tom: Yeah, you should be!

(Tom started to walk away when Matt stood up and grabbed his arm.)

Matt: Tom, please. Turn in, you’ve been out here for 2 weeks. If you’re trying to prove yourself to anyone you succeeded. The whole school is looking for you.

Tom: My dad lost his job, kids made fun of me because I got free food from the government.

Matt: Who? Me and Cody will beat them up.

Tom: Well, no one. I never used it.

Matt: You’re worried over nothing. I would be like ‘Lucky, that kid has free food.’

(Tom laughed.)

Matt: Come on! Let’s go back to my house and get something to eat.

(Tom’s smiled faded.)

Tom: Nice try.

Matt: It was worth a shot.

Tom: Good luck Matt.

(Tom started to walk away.)

Matt: Where are you going?

Tom: I’m leaving Toronto.

(Matt flashed a serious look.)

Tom: I can’t risk getting caught.

Matt: Then come back.

Tom: No, imagine what JT will say? I want to come back, and if I could, I would.

Matt: But you can, JT will be the happiest man alive if you come back!

Tom: Sorry Matt, I just... can’t face him.

Matt: But you can at least face Paige.

(Tom looked down.)

Matt: She misses you! At least before you leave say goodbye to her!

Tom: I can’t!

Matt: Well then face my dad.

(Tom stared at Matt. Craig Manning was a nice guy but could he really talk to him about JT? Would he tell JT about Tom? He sighed.)

Tom: Would your dad say anything to JT if I talk to him?

Matt: Not at all, you could even hide out in my garage for now. You just need to have something to eat other than frozen hot dogs.

Tom: Ok, whatever you say.

(Matt helped Tom across the street to his house. He opened the garage door and sat Tom on top of a stool used for drumming. Tom smiled.)

Tom: Thanks man.

Matt: No problem let me get my dad.

(He ran inside the house. Tom sat on top of the stool and became lost in this thoughts.



It was sunny out, Cody, Matt, and Tom were in the Manning’s garage during the summer. Cody had fixed the amplifier for his guitar and the microphones. Matt re-strung his bass, and Tom got new stickers for his drum.

Cody: Ready guys?

Matt: Yeah!

(Tom nodded and put headphones on.)

Cody: Then, Dirty Little Secret by the All-American Rejects it is! Hit it!

Cody (singing): Let me know that I’ve done wrong, when I’ve known this all along. I go around a time or two...

(Matt stopped playing and shot him and Cody a grin.)

Cody: What?

Matt: We are going to come on top of that talent show this year!

Tom: Fame, here we come!

Cody: We’ll never get to fame without a name or a hit song. We’ll never get a hit song if we don’t start playing!

Tom: Right.

Matt: Sorry.

::End Flashback::


Tom was smiling on the bench as Craig and Matt came into the garage. He stopped when he saw Craig, who looked as white as a ghost.

Tom: Hi, Mr. Manning.

(Craig turned around and headed for the kitchen. Matt took his arm and pointed at his friend. Craig ran his hand through his hair and took a deep breath. He sat down next to Tom on an empty chair. Matt left the room.)

Craig: Tom, is that you?

Tom: Yeah, it’s me. So go on lecture me, hit me, just what ever you do, don’t call JT.

Craig: I’m going to lecture you, and let you decide if you want me to call JT or not. One thing I won’t ever do to anyone, is hit them.

Tom: Why?

Craig: My birth dad, he was abusive.

Tom: Oh, I’m sorry.

Craig: You have no excuse to run away!

Tom: Yes I do! I bet you wanted to run away because of your dad!

Craig: Yes, yes I did. Once I did run away, but not because of my dad.

Tom: Then, why?

Craig: I was 17, just got out of my junior year of high school. I was going to be a senior the next year. Ashley- Mrs. Manning- was going to England for the whole summer. I didn’t like that. Earlier that year we found out I was diagnosed with a chemical disorder called bipolar. I was kind of crazy if I didn’t take my meds. Anyway, Ashley didn’t want me to go to England with her because she would be too worried the whole time. I got mad, so I stopped taking my meds. I got into a cab, my step dad, Joey, thought I was going with Ashley. I told the cab driver there were a change of plans and that I was headed towards Degrassi. I got there but couldn’t stay long, there was going to be a movie done and such. I went out on the road, I was crazy, and a boy named Skinny beat me up and stole my guitar. Lucky for me Joey found me not too long after. Tom, if you stay out, you might end up like me. Having someone named Skinny beat you up and steal your guitar, or prized possession.

Tom: I never thought of it that way.

Craig: A lot of people care about you Tom.

Tom: How can I face JT?

Craig: You don’t have to face JT just yet, you can face your friends.

Tom: Cody’s my only friend left.

Craig: No, you have Maddy, and Katie, and Paige, and Aubrey, and pretty much the whole school. They’ve all been looking for you. A lot of people love you Tom.

Tom: I caused that much of a commotion?

Craig: Yeah, scary isn’t it?

(Tom nodded and got up.)

Craig: I have some chicken left over, you want some?

Tom: Yes sir!

Craig: Just in time for dinner too. Come on, let’s go eat.

Tom, Matt, Ashley, Craig, and Roxie enjoyed their meal together. Matt offered Tom to stay the night, he agreed. Tom woke up the next day and got dressed into some of Matt’s stuff. He was ready for school, Ashley was downstairs cooking breakfast as the two boys came downstairs.

Ash: Hello boys! Hope you’re hungry.

Matt: Yes Mom!

Tom: Thank you Mrs. Manning.

Ash: Are you going to go back to your house today Tom?

Tom: Yeah, I think so... Mrs. Manning-

Ash: Yes?

Tom: Can Matt come with me, for moral support?

Ash: Of course.

Tom smiled. When he and Matt got to school the whole school cheered. He was allowed to take the day off with his closest friends, go to the Dot and celebrate. He took Maddy, Matt, Paige, Katie, and Cody with him. Tom got home that day with Matt by his side. He rang the doorbell, JT stepped outside and dropped his cup of coffee. He looked at his son in awe as he walked up the steps to his house.

Tom: Dad, I’m ready to come home. (End)


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