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  1. Past hour
  2. I remember when Penn State and Miami were both independent and played each other all the time. Colt, I think, wasn't even aware of how much he'd been holding in. Avoidance is a way of dealing with issues that doesn't always work. Even after years of not interacting, a mention from Mrs. Mann, and one glance at his former friend in the diner both made Colt lose it.
  3. mikedup

    Chapter 24

    Awesome chapter, some people have heads made of rocks and cannot or won't listen to reason, the boys seem to having an great time
  4. jaysalmn

    Chapter 11

    I agree with everyone. I love the story, but I hate when a writer just cuts it off and tells the readers to draw their own conclusions. Its your story, they're your characters, not ours. This same thing happened to another story I just read, and its beyond frustrating.
  5. chris191070

    Chapter 24

    Great chapter. It sounds like Cody and the boys had a great day in London whilst Alan had a bad day at office trying to make a business client see sense.
  6. Tonyr

    Chapter 24

    @CLJobe Sometimes i hate you! Not all the time; Only when i finish reading a very short chapter...😂👍
  7. ROMPS Rob often meets prostitutes secretly SAVID
  8. chris191070

    Simba Ch 13

    Great chapter. Aaron is going to celebrate his 21st Birthday. The Kuishi Project now has property from which it can begin to set up.
  9. grahamsealby

    Chapter 13

    13.1 Joining Elysium Meadows. ‘1620 Forest Drive Mount Matha, please driver. I’ve never been there before so I can’t help much. Will it be a problem?’ ‘Nah mate, I’ll just put it into Google Drive and it’ll be sweet. Just put yer luggage in the back and we’ll be off.’’ After depositing his suitcase, Jason got into the cab and the driver took off. Just to be on the safe-side, he checked the address again on the pamphlet headed ‘Elysium Meadows’. It showed a big rambling house in sculptured gardens. Inside paragraphs promised a restful stay, with hours of personal introspection, outdoor activities, and professional guidance. It also promised total success in rehabilitation. Other services included psychotherapy, and healing of errant traits. Various treatments were available based on personal needs. Group therapy and individual sessions were also available. Well here goes! It’s a crock o’ shit but if it helps my family then I’ve got no choice. OK, the course is for two weeks, so I’ll just haveta bunker down and get on with it. At least Kathy is enthusiastic. The look on her face when I told her about the programme was pathetic. She really believes that I’ll be cured. Cured! I hate that word. There ain’t nothing to cure, because I ain’t crook. Oh, how George and the Pastor raved on about the success stories the centre has achieved. They think that isolation and constant prayers can achieve miracles. I must admit that whilst I’m sceptical I’m a little curious to see what it’s all about. When I told Eric he just laughed and called it stupid. He also warned about any damage I could incur and said to be careful because it could be dangerous. He’s become a good friend has Eric; some of the best sex I’ve had for some time. But he’ll only ever be a friend and we both accept that. Hmmm, now Karl. Geeze he’s lookin’ good. I’m dying to get him in the sack but whilst I could’ve arranged something at Eric’s, it just wouldn’t be right. That dream the other night; Karl on his back and me buried deep inside, watching his face slack with ecstasy. Why do I have this urge . . . no, it’s a need . . . to spill my seed inside him. Every time I’ve been with him lately, I feel the craving to merge our souls together. That’s when I gotta jerk-off to relieve the pressure. I wonder where our lives are gonna go? I wonder if he feels the same for me as I do him? Jason interrupted his musing as the cab pulled up in front of double iron gates in a high wall that surrounded several acres of sculptured landscape. A short private drive ended in a large mansion; several stories high. A sign on the gate read ELYSIUM MEADOWS Peace and Rehabilitation With the main gates locked, a small side gate provided entrance to the complex. Gathering his belongings Jason tentatively approached the Mansion front door. An old-fashioned iron knocker invited visitors to announce their presence, but then another sign encouraged; COME ON IN – THE DOOR IS OPEN So, he did, and walked into an empty foyer with an all-white theme and indoor plants placed strategically to soften the impact. But there wasn’t anyone around. Then at the end he saw a sign that indicated OFFICE. Knocking on the door a voice bade him to’ ‘Come In.’ He entered cautiously, and a lady, probably mid-forties, rose to meet him with, ‘Welcome, welcome, you must be Jason. Sit, sit you down and we’ll get to know each other. I’m Ava and I’ll be your (laughing) leader, confidant, confessor, problem-solver, friend, and . . . whatever. (pause) Now, let’s talk and then I’ll get you settled into your room. It’s going on 5:30 pm; we eat at 6:30 pm so you’ll have plenty of time to get settled before dinner.’ ‘(Uncertainly) Thank you . . . err, err, Ava. Sounds good.’ Jason studied Ava closely. The wrinkles around her eyes confirmed her age as mid-forties. She dressed primly in a black dress suit that purposely hid her cleavage. A strange half-smile seemed permanently fixed on her face and he didn’t know if this was a character trait or something purposely effected. With her hair pulled back in a bun she portrayed the image of a friendly, open, but at the same time, professional woman. On the wall behind, a framed certificate asserted her to be a graduate of The Sydney University School of Psychiatry. ‘Hmmm, I’ve read your file so there’s no need to go over your background. I should tell you I know your dad, Pastor Anderson, and George . . . umm, George . . .’ ‘Err, Jacobs . . . it’s George Jacobs. He’s our Office Manager.’ ‘Yes, good. Now Jason (she leaned back in her chair and appraised Jason closely) you’re here to redress some unfortunate choices you’ve made recently about your life. I’m talking about your descent into homosexual practices. We have had many souls come through our doors and I’m proud to say we’ve had remarkable success. You’ll meet your Team Leader, Ernie, tomorrow, although I dare say he’ll say hello to you at dinner tonight. Ernie came to us several years ago as a committed gay man. After a short time here, he was able to cast off his homosexual cravings and become a normal man with a normal attraction to the opposite sex. He’s a wonderful person and you should listen to his story. It’s inspiring. He’ll meet with you . . .’ Whilst Ava talked, Jason inspected her office layout. A large desk emphasized her authority and he thought it something of an over statement. The walls were wallpapered with vertical brown lines with a soft blue background. Beside the framed Diploma, few other adornments appeared on the walls. Of course, a large artificial green aspidistra plant sat in a corner. He also noticed a picture on the desk of two young female children. The desk itself, being somewhat sparse, indicated a tidy, organized, and competent person. When Ava finished, he decided to be frank. ‘Look, I’d like to know more about the treatment you propose, rather than getting to know your people. I must be honest; I firmly believe I was born gay and don’t see how that can be changed in a short time-frame. Sorry, if I sound a little brash.’ ‘No, no not at all. Scepticism is healthy and I respect your concern. But let me hasten to point out we simply offer alternative choices and then have you go away and practice those alternatives. We provide all the help and professional input, but you must work with us. Basically, you have regular one-on-one sessions with Ernie, and sometimes myself, and then group sessions with your fellow travellers. Of course, I’m talking very generally; you’ll get a far better insight tomorrow when you and Ernie talk.’ ‘Oh, I see. Yes, you’ve only outlined the programme generally; I guess I’ll have to wait until tomorrow.’ ‘Great. Now looking at your file I see that you have a great deal of motivation to change your lifestyle. I note your father has high expectations and has made some strict stipulations. He must be very proud of you and expresses his confidence that you’ll succeed in meeting his prerequisites . . .’ Wow, that’s a subtle threat if ever. So, she’s been in contact with the bastard and she’s letting me know I’m under scrutiny. That pisses me off. ‘Let me make myself clear, Mam; I’ve put up with my father’s religious bigotry for many years and have now dissociated myself completely. He’s a bully, a disgraceful representative of the Christian community and should be prohibited from preaching totally. Both my sister and I have decided to stop going to church on Sundays. Putting it bluntly, I’m not here to please my father. He and I are going our separate ways, and he can do his damnest. I’m here because of my mother, and of course my wife.’ Jason’s outburst clearly rocked Ava Scott. The Pastor promised a large donation on the understanding that Jason be cured. Now she realised her leverage had gone. She thought she had such power and influence over Jason, that his cure would be easy. Now . . . this calls for a new strategy. Still with that enigmatic smile, she focussed on Jason carefully as she responded. Her eyes locked on his and never wavered. ‘Well, I’m sorry to hear that . . . no, I’m shocked to hear that. Your father spoke of you in the most positive terms and never indicated that there was any ill feeling between you two. Quite the contrary. I see we have another challenge to consider for your treatment. I regard your dad as a great man; a good Christian, a distinguished community leader, certainly a fine husband and, from what I’ve heard, a wonderful parent. Would you . . . ‘ ‘Clearly you don’t know him as I do. Frankly, I think I’m in a better position to judge my father than you. If you think I’m going to change my mind you’re mistaken. Because I won’t! Now if that’s unacceptable, (getting ready to stand) I’ll simply retrace my steps and leave. Thanks for . . .’ ‘(Urgently) No, no Jason. Please . . . please sit back down. Please . . . sit back down; hear me out. Perhaps I gave you the wrong impression. Your relationship with your father is quite separate to being cured of inappropriate . . . ‘Being gay? ‘Yes, of being gay. You said you’re here for your mother and your wife. That’s my understanding (Jason nodded) Well let’s start from there and forget any reference to your dad. (She clearly wanted Jason to acknowledge but he remained silent). Now nothing will change from the programme we’ve outlined for you. I think I should get you settled and give you time to unpack before dinner. (From her desk drawer she pulled out a map of sorts) Here is a map of the house and grounds. I’m sure within a few days you’ll be familiar with our premises. By the way your room-mate is a young man called Tony Jordan. If he’s not in his room, you’ll meet at dinner. Now . . . if you’re ready?’ Jason’s room turned out to be pleasant and structured for two persons. With no sign of his roomie, Jason reluctantly emptied his bag into the drawers and closet provided. All finished, he consulted his house map and went in search of the dining room. But back in her office Ms Ava Scott fretted about the interview with Jason. He’s a tough one. I’ll have to talk to Ernie about a change in the agenda. Shit I really put my foot into it about the father, didn’t I? From what he told me, Jason would be fearful of the consequences of failing the course. Christ, anyone would because what the Pastor threatened scared me. Still the donation promised is large and I’m not going to let that slide just because some little poofter has a nark with his parent. No way! Just means we’ll have a bigger challenge with the creep. He’s very good looking. I owe it to the sisterhood not to let this one escape to the dark-side. I wonder what he looks like in the nuddy? No one knows we have cameras in every room, so I must spend some time on the monitors to see him undressed. 13.2 The first dinner Jason opened the door and shyly entered the dining room. A reasonably large area, it contained a very long table, about a dozen chairs, and against the wall, near the door, a large cabinet holding heated tureens. It seemed tonight’s meal offered a variety of choices to the assembled persons. At once conversation ceased and eight pairs of eyes inspected Jason. Into the silence, he offered, ‘Hi . . . err, my name’s Jason, and . . . err, I’ve just checked in and, . . . and, well . . . err, Ava said to come join you for dinner, and I . . . err . . .’ Suddenly, a man in his late twenties, early thirties jumped up and . . . ‘(Extending his hand) Hi I’m Ernie, umm . . . Ernie Mathews. I’m a sort of instructor around here. Welcome Jason. Let me introduce you (pointing to each person in turn) this is Tony who I believe is your roomie, and the lovely lady next to him is Sandra, then meet Charles, now meet Wendy, but you better watch out ‘cause she has a mean punch, and the three boys next to her are Max, Conrad who is our resident blond spunk, and lastly Frank, our handsome red-head. Don’t try and remember names because you’ll see enough of them over the next few days. We’re very informal here and only use first names.’ ‘Thanks, it’s nice to meet you all.’ ‘Here, come with me Jason and I’ll explain how the food service goes.’ Ernie led Jason to the tureens and explained the contents of each one. Selecting a plate from a stack at one end, Jason picked out his meal and returned to an end seat at the table. By then the conversation had resumed and he ate in silence. When finished he found his roomie Tony, staring at him from the other side of the table. ‘So, Jason, it take it you’ve been to our room and unpacked?’ ‘Yep. All done. What time lights out?’ ‘Look I only arrived yesterday, as did we all, so I’m still getting to know the rules. If last night’s any guide, we can cut the lights any time we like. I don’t believe they impose any regimentation here; we’re free to do as we choose. Tablets and Laptops are encouraged, but not phones. Have they taken yours away yet?’ ‘No, not yet. What about yours?’ ‘Oh yes, first thing this morning. (leaning over and whispering) I got a bit sneaky and kept a second phone buried in my gear.’ After a stroll around the grounds Jason returned to his room to find Tony reading from his tablet. Undressing, he got into bed and lay staring at the ceiling. The silence made him uncomfortable, so after a while he turned towards his roomie and asked, ‘We each have a story as to why we’ve ended up here. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.’ ‘Look, I had a meeting with Ernie and the witch this morning and they stressed we should not talk about backgrounds to each other. Any discussions must be only in group, with Tony, or Ava, or with them both. I don’t know why but dem’s da rules. You’ll have your audience tomorrow morning I suppose, so best wait till then.’ ‘Do you agree with that? I mean my coming out has been traumatic and I really need to talk with someone who’s been through it and can relate.’ ‘I understand and agree. But we’re supposed to be curing ourselves of being gay, and that’s what this programme is about. Looking at my schedule tomorrow we have individual meetings and the following day is group together. Maybe then we’ll have a better idea how the course works.’ ‘(Sigh) Maybe, but I’ve got so many questions and no answers. The biggest question I’ve got is do I want to be cured?’ Tony put his tablet aside and rolled to face Jason. ‘That’s weird, mate. If you don’t want to be cured then why are you here? I mean we’ve each got a story, we’ve each got a motivation and we’ve each got an objective, yet here you are saying you don’t want to change. I ask again why did you come?’ ‘Maybe their right. Maybe it’s better I talk about this when we’re together. Sorry Tony for raising the subject; best we get some shut-eye now.’ 13.3 Interview with Ernie and Ava ‘Whist we’re waiting for Ava to join us, I’d like to tell you a little about myself; why I’m here as instructor. Is that OK? Or perhaps you’d like us to talk about things that are troubling you?’ ‘No, no that’s fine. I’m curious to hear your background and experience; how you ended up here as an instructor.’ After breakfast finished around 8:30, Ernie requested Jason join him in the sun-room. Arriving at the appointed time, Jason noticed the room had been set up with three chairs arranged in a rough semi-circle. Indeed, it truly lived up to its name, as sunlight streamed through the tree bay windows that looked out onto the manicured grounds. Over-all, a pleasant setting. Ernie occupied the centre chair leaving Jason to choose the left chair. ‘It’s probably a familiar story and I’m sure it applies to all young folks who come to us. From an early age I felt something, nothing specific but I felt I wasn’t wright. Something weighed down my soul. I had strict but loving parents who, although churchgoers, always used our home-life to display the love at they had for each other. They’ve both passed now, but left me and my siblings an example of what a happy home-life should be. (He stopped here and took a sip of water from a jug nearby) But I felt being dragged in another direction and it wasn’t until I started my teen years, I now had a name for what troubled me. Homosexuality; or in street language, poofter, queer, faggott, pansy and others. Other names that reinforced my poor self-image. Gradually I succumbed to the evil which plagued my soul and I indulged in shameful practices. This went on for several years, in fact all through my teen years and early twenties. One morning, after a night of indulgence . . .’ At that point Ava entered the room and took the empty chair. ‘Good morning. Sorry for interrupting, please continue what you were doing.’ ‘Mornin’ Ava. I decided to give Jason a summary of my background; the reason why I’m here today, in this room, talking about my journey. Now, where was I . . . (pause) Yes, yes. I woke up one morning and found myself in some sleazy room, totally nude, and next to an equally naked boy whose name I couldn’t remember. Around us lay the detritus of last night’s orgy, empty bottles, used condoms, cigarette stubs and traces of cocaine use. Add to that the smell of sex and a peculiar stale smell which I recognised came from myself and my young partner . . . She’s staring at me with that same weird smile. Whilst my attention is on Ernie, she just sits there watching me. Creepy. I’ll just ignore her. Poor Ernie, he must’ve been a player and hit rock-bottom. All this is designed to soften me up so I’ll just go along for the moment to see where this leads . . . ‘. . . Revulsion. A wave of disgust coursed through me. I vomited. I thought . . . is this what my life has become. Will be? Nights of debauchery followed by mornings of loathing and efforts to recover. No! I said, No! I can choose not to be like this. I can choose a different path. I got up, dressed meself, and left. Although near staving and dehydrated I headed for the nearest church, and began to pray. I asked god and my departed parents to forgive me and promised to choose another life-style. (after taking a sip of water Ernie leaned forward to look Jason in the eye). I felt so ashamed; my parents had instilled in me a respect for myself and here was I debasing myself just to satisfy my sexual needs. I spent . . .’ ‘You see Jason, Ernie had such a poor self-image he couldn’t control his sexual urges. (Ernie nodded) They controlled him, and that’s what our programme is about, controlling your desires and making positive choices. If Ernie can do it, anyone can do it. We have a small chapel here and I urge you to spend some time there thinking about where you want your life to go. But look, my apologies Ernie, I interrupted. Please continue.’ ‘Well, there’s not much more to tell. I invoked the power of prayer and resolved to attend church every Sunday to renew my vow to change my life. I’m now engaged to a beautiful lass and planning to marry early next year. I’m happy, contented, and proud. Do you have any questions before we continue?’ ‘No, what you’ve told me is very general. When we get into specifics, I’ll definitely have questions. Thanks for sharing your story. It must . . .’ ‘Well I have a question for you Jason. (Ava smiled gently in Jason’s direction) You are about to become a father. Aren’t you motivated to be the best dad possible for your child? Don’t you want the joy seeing your infant grow up in a happy house and become a reflection of your guidance? Surely this is only possible if you abandon your homosexual lifestyle?’ ‘Yes, of course. But you make it sound so simple. Just go to church each Sunday and renew my vow to stop being gay. But it’s not that simple is it? Yes, that’s a fine objective, but making that promise and sticking to it requires more than just prayer.’ ‘Umm Ava, if I could respond. (she nodded) You’re right, it needs something more. You would be familiar with the properties of an iceberg; only a small portion is above the water whilst the major part is below. Well it’s the same for our brains; our conscious is only a fraction of our total brain capacity. The remainder, or our subconscious, is the driving force that defines us. Down there are our memories, experiences, and pre-conceived characteristics. There are negative traits and positive traits. What we must do is focus on the positive and try and subdue the negative. Here, look at this. (handing over an A4 drawing of an iceberg representing a brain with a line separating the conscious and sub-conscious) Here we want you to write down in the sub-conscious part your positives and negatives. Each morning you should review the positive attributes and ignore the negative. Do you follow?’ ‘Err yes, yes I think so. But can you give me some illustrations?’ ‘Of course. You’d agree that you’re caring, you’re conscientious, you’re intelligent and you enjoy people. On the other hand, you’re rebellious and a little conceited. Write these down under the sub-conscious. Then when you get back to the room try and add other aspects, concentrating on positives but also recognising negatives. As Ava pointed out, you have a motivation to be a great father and I would hold onto this as an over-riding objective. How does that sound?’ ‘OK, I’ll give it a try. I promise.’ ‘Good lad. I should point out that we can offer other treatments involving medicine and special therapies. Access to any of these would depend on your progress and needs. In practise we usually don’t have to rely on these other remedies as the self-help aspects are usually sufficient. (Pause) Now just a few housekeeping rules we have here. These are only to make sure your time here is optimised and spent concentrating on changing your lifestyle.’ Eric spent a few moments going over rules and activities both daily and occasionally. They gave him a daily agenda and asked to be on time for any scheduled meetings.’ 13.4 Jason and Tony Share experience Back in his room Jason tossed the ‘Iceberg’ sheet aside and looked at the agenda. They allowed for plenty of free time except for one-on-one and group meetings. Tomorrow would be his first group conference. Then he began to muse about this morning’s encounter. So that’s the process; soften me up, with an inspirational story, give me an emotional objective to focus on, do a self-audit, and prayer . . . in a church. Then there was the oblique reference to other special therapies. Did this mean chemical castration and electric shock. Probably, because Ernie only mentioned them in passing. So, I’m supposed to sit here and write ridiculous notes on a piece of paper about my blessings and weaknesses. They must think I’m a fool. Only a fool would go along with this crap; not only go along, but expect to be cured of sucking cock. Jeessus Karl, where are you mate. Shit I need you now. I remember staring at his tanned knees the first time he came to Sunday lunch. The only time he came to Sunday lunch. They were the sexiest knees in the whole world! What I wouldn’t do to lick my way up his leg, starting from a knee, up his brown muscled thigh, until my mouth swallowed the great bulge in . . . Just then Tony entered and Jason had to hide his erection by placing the ‘Iceberg’ sheet over it. ‘G’day mate, whatcha been doing?’ ‘Been down the library working on my PC. Much better set up than in yer room. I take it you had yer meeting with Ernie and the wicked witch this morn. How did it go?’ ‘Well Ernie told his sob-story. They listed my good and bad points, gave me an objective, and told me to pray. All of which is supposed to stop me sucking blokes’ cocks!’ Tony suddenly doubled up with laughter. ‘Yeah, same here.’ ‘And has it stopped . . .’ ‘Shut up! Shut the fuck up! We’re not supposed to be thinking of such things. I think you’re gonna be a bad influence on me Jason. If I gets a stiffy, I’ll have to take care of it.’ ‘Great, can I watch?’ ‘(Laughing loudly) NO, No, you can’t. Well, only if you let me watch you. I mean, it’s only fair, right?’ ‘You know, makes you wonder why they puts two healthy young gay males together, don’t it? Surely, much safer if we bunked with a lezzo. Anyway, just had a look at the agenda; it seems tomorrow we have a group session. That’s gonna be interesting ain’t it? Then what am I gonna do with all this free time? I’ll go bonkers with boredom.’ 13.5 Silent Watcher snoops on Jason The watcher sat back thoughtfully. This Jason’s going to be a hard nut to crack. A real challenge. We know the danger putting two young gay men together, but it’s part of the therapy. If they’re going to overcome their disgusting urges then what better place to start than with their room-mate. With Jason we may have to resort to electric shock to affect any change. How we do that is going to be hard. Tony seems to be malleable and will submit to Jason’s leadership, so any sexual overture will most likely come from Jason. We’ll just have to work on Tony more rigorously. 13.6 First Group Session Around 9 a.m. the eight group members assembled in the same large sun-room used yesterday for Jason’s indoctrination. Shaped in a rough semi-circle the arrangement allowed each participant to see and talk to each other. Across the top, two chairs sat facing the participants. In no particular order, each person grabbed a chair and sat waiting. Within minutes, Ernie and Ava entered and took the instructor places. Jason found himself sitting between Tony on his left, and the girl called Sandra on his right. ‘Thank you all for being on time this morning. The intent in holding a meeting such as this is to enable each person to be truthful about their background and the reason we’re here today. As time is valuable, we’ll only hear from two of you each day. I must stress this is your opportunity to bare your souls to the group so that questions can be asked and hopefully advice received from your peers. Nothing that is said in this meeting will ever be repeated, I stress will never be repeated anywhere.’ Ava wore a black dress that simply highlighted her slim body. She wore no adornments such as earrings or similar jewellery. Minimal make-up gave her a stern countenance but offsetting that she wore her enigmatic smile. She continued. ‘Homosexuality is an abhorrence to God as well as being dangerous to our species. Obviously were we all to be homosexual our genus would never survive. But homosexuality does exist when we make choices based on a poor upbringing, denial of the almighty, and simply to rebel against the norm. It is a form of rebellion and must be addressed by examining the issues that allowed a perfectly normal person to choose a different path. This is what we’ll address in our group get-together. Look at the comparisons. A normal healthy relationship between a man and a woman produces a loving union, the fruit of which are children who bring happiness and fulfillment to our lives. Such unions are blessed by god and he, in his own words, encourages the union of a male and female. On the other hand, he condemns any union that is homosexual in nature. Then there are the family objectives; some financial, some parental, and some educational that we strive to obtain, and in so doing, create a happy home-life. We all need to be loved, to be accepted, to be welcomed, and to be cared for. This can only be achieved in a loving family environment. To be honest not every union is successful but normal people, who perhaps are unsuccessful in their first marriage, eventually find their true soul-mate. And then there’s the aging process. As we grow old, we must be cared for. As we grow old then each partner looks after the other and if they both become infirm then the children share the load of looking after their parents. This is particularly evident in Asian communities where old age is venerated . . .’ Jason sat open-mouthed at this torrent of drivel. She knows nothing of gay life, or gay people. She’s just making assumptions based on bigoted and bias convictions. Of course, gay people can lead wholesome lives; they do, in fact many do. She’s got to be kidding with all this crap about happy families. Happy families! HUH! When the divorce rate is soaring and kids are left to suffer. I wonder if anyone is falling for her crap? ‘So that’s our objective; to put you all on the road to a wholesome family life, a happy family life. I want you to think hard about what I’ve said. But you’re not alone because God is there to help. Prayer. Take as much time as you want to pray; to pray for acceptance, to pray to overcome your base and evil desires, and to pray for forgiveness. I assure you that earnest prayer has its own reward.’ Then followed a silence that became uncomfortable. Ava bathed each person with her enigmatic smile, like a mother hen protecting her flock. But the silence was eventually broken when Ernie asked, ‘Thanks for that Ava. Does anyone have any questions?’ No one responded. ‘Well then it’s your turn now. We want to hear from each of you; your background, perhaps why you’re here today, what problems you have and anything you think may impede your progress towards reform. Because of time we’ll only hear from two today. So, . . .Tony, let’s hear from you.’ ‘(Agitated) ME? No. No please ask someone else. I’m not good at speaking to strangers. My problems are private. I don’t want to talk about them. Please. No.’ ‘Tony, we totally understand your reluctance. Think of this; in a way we’re doing you a favour by going first. You get it over and done with whilst others must wait nervously for their turn. Let me coach you. Tell us your name, your birthday, where you went to school, and what education level you achieved.’ ‘Umm, hi, I’m Tony, I’m 19 and got my GED.’ ‘Thanks, now tell us the reason you’re here.’ ‘(inhibited) Well . . . umm . . . geeze this is hard . . . I err . . . always thought I were different, even when I were a young’un. Didn’t know what it was. I ahh . . . didn’t know . . . No, I can’t tell; it’s too embarrassing.’ ‘Go on, Tony. Get it out. I suppose this’s the first time you’ve talked openly about your, err . . . your condition?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Go on then. Be courageous.’ ‘Well, I err . . . as I said I didn’t know why I felt different, I just was. In school I started to fantasize about other boys. One boy in particular I had a crush on – a heavy crush. Am I going OK?’ ‘Yes, please go on. We’re all interested to hear from you.’ ‘Well, err . . . I didn’t know much about sex and me parents were more Catholic than the Pope, so I weren’t given any talk about what were happening to me body. Me dad was a Papal Knight fer Christ’s sake, and . . .’ ‘Tony, just a quick injunction. Please don’t take the Lords name in vain. It’s inappropriate and offensive. That goes for all of you.’ ‘Umm thanks Ava, sorry Ava, I hear ya.’ ‘Good, now please continue.’ ‘I err . . . started to have dreams about the boy, and I started to masturbate thinking about him. Then some time I heard the word ‘gay’ and soon realized it was me. I freaked out. I got scared, real scared. And alone, so bloody alone (most of the group started to nod in agreement which encouraged Tony) Of course the boy were straight so me infatuation were goin’ nowhere. My body was craving sex. I didn’t know any other gay blokes at school so I started to visit local beats.’ ‘How did you know where to look?’ ‘It weren’t hard Ava, the kids at school talked about lotta stuff and it just came up in conversation, I guess. I don’t rightly remember. You could always tell though; go into any public shit-house and see the graffiti on the wall. Guys would write an invitation and all ya had to do was visit at night to see the action.’ ‘That’s disgusting.’ ‘Why is it disgusting Ava? Where else could ya gets sex relief?’ ‘(Interjecting) I’d like to comment, if I could.’ ‘OK, go ahead Jason, but be brief please. We need to hear from Tony today.’ ‘With the straight world being hostile to gays we’re forced to find sex wherever we can. In a sense gays are fortunate in that they know going to a beat they’ll get off. A straight bloke has to wine and dine in the hope of getting’ his rocks off. If his lady-friend won’t give out, he goes home with ‘blue’ balls and must masturbate. If he gets too frustrated, he can turn violent. But then straights form relationships as couples and it’s accepted they will indulge in sex - if they’re in a committed relationship. But we can’t because, as you say Ava, it’s disgusting. Our life-style is disgusting and we’re forced to do things we hate all because your world won’t accept us. I know . . .’ ‘Jason, your comments are inappropriate an unacceptable. You’re actually defending homosexuality whereas our objective here is to put you on track to resume a normal life when you leave here. I won’t sit here and listen to someone defend what the normal world finds repugnant. Now, as to . . .’ ‘Excuse me Ava, we’re off track. Tony is trying to tell us about his life and the reasons why he chose to live his unfortunate life-style. Let him continue.’ ‘Oh of course. Thanks Ernie. Jason side tracked us. Please continue Tony.’ ‘Do I have to. I was enjoying Jason’s comment (several the others nodded ascent).’ ‘No Tony, please continue.’ ‘(Sigh) OK Ernie. Well I became very sexually active; it seems I have a high sex drive. I made excuses for late nights, weekends away, and secret phone calls. But all the time I lived in fear that my parents, in particular my dad, would find out about me. Then one morning my mother found a bunch of gay magazines under my bed and, and . . . well, the fallout was awful. That afternoon they marched me up to the local Catholic church, forced me to go to confession, and suffered a lecture from the priest. During that he mentioned this place. My father insisted I go and asked the priest to set it up. So, that’s why I’m here. That’s all.’ ‘Thanks Tony. Would anyone want to ask Tony questions?’ ‘That’s probably the biggest pile of bullshit I’ve ever heard. Was like listening to a pathologist doing a post-mortem . . .’ ‘Sandra, we don’t use bad language here. If you can’t express yourself without using language then please desist. ‘Oh, sorry ma’am, I didn’t mean to offend your delicate ears. I’m only venting what we all feel. What about the hours crying into yer pillow, Tony? What about being bullied? What about feeling alone? What about the fear of ostracism? What about wanting to top yerself; have you ever considered that? And what about just being miserable? I went through all those things, and I hate it! Hate it! It’s no way to live, and yes, I’ve often thought about ending it. If there’s a chance to feel good again then I’m in.’ ‘Thank you for that Sandra. Why don’t you give us some idea of your background? ‘Gawd, me and my big mouth. OK, OK. Look I experienced all the things I said. As Tony mentioned I knew early I was different but didn’t know what. I just felt more comfortable in female company and this soon morphed into desire. I met a girl who was like-minded and we indulged in all kinds of petting. Then we graduated to full-blown sex. This continued for several years and I came to accept it was long-term. Then (choke) then (choke) she up and got married to a guy. Just outta the blue. It devastated me. Betrayed, I felt betrayed. If felt other things like anger, depression, suicide, and abject misery. Eventually, my mother demanded to know what ails me . . . and, . . . and, I told her. I shocked her, but I didn’t care, I just wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear from the living. She’d heard of this place and, . . . and, well here I am.’ The room became quiet as each digested what had been said by both Tony and Sandra. Then, ‘I really don’t know who’s the culprit here, the incidence of homosexuality or the refusal of the hetero world to look after, protect and support gay people. It seems if there were more acceptance of an alternate life-style all our problems would disappear.’ There followed a shocked silence and each person craned to look at Jason and then Ava. ‘Jason, you are not being helpful. A statement like that is cruel. We’re here to help each one to have a better happier life by being part of accepted society. You seem to imply that normal society is wrong and that’s unacceptable. I know why you’re here Jason, and right now I’d say you’re on very thin ice. You’re just not trying; instead you’re trying to undermine everything we do. If your attitude doesn’t improve then I’ll have no choice to ask you to leave.’ Ava’s eyes were fixed on Jason and each person waited to hear his response. A heavy silence descended. Then Jason, ‘(Staring back) That’s entirely up to you, Ava.’
  10. Today
  11. CLJobe

    Chapter 24

    Dinner that night was at a pub that I visited many times. It was pub food and I watched as the boys ate pasties for the first time. They liked them and asked if they could have another. One was enough for me, but Cody joined them. They were having a good time. Cody took a picture of them eating their pasties. When we got back to the hotel, there was a message for me from Dave about meeting in the morning. “Cody, I'll be meeting Dave for breakfast. You and the boys can come with me or follow later, just remember the dining room closes at 9:30.” The next morning I was up at 7:30 and by 8 I was ready to go down for breakfast. “Why don't you go for breakfast, I’ll get the boys up and we'll see you in the breakfast room.” I met Dave at eight for breakfast. He had a few reports for me to look over while I had my coffee. “I don’t understand why they are experiencing a drop in sales. Do you have the financial report from Brad?” Looking over the financials, I spotted the problem right away. “Why are they buying back such a large quantity of stock?” “I think they might want to go private.” “Then they need us more not less. Going private is tricky, particularly if the stock holders think that they are being or will be less influential in the company’s business. I'd think the Board wouldn’t have to agree to the buy back. Not that I’m against a buy back, but they are driving the company into a debt that will take years for them to pay off. This is the road to bankruptcy.” “That’s why Robert wanted you along on this trip. You know these people, maybe you could drum some sense into their heads.” Just then Cody tapped me on the shoulders and behind him like a file of soldiers where the kids. “Cody, there’s a buffet or you could order an English breakfast which I recommend.” With a squeeze to my shoulder, he seemed like he marched the boys to a large table. After they were seated, Nels came over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “Did you sleep well?” “Yes, the bed was really comfortable.” “Good I’ll see you tonight. Tell Pop you want to go to the Tower of London this morning.” Smiling he went back to his breakfast. Dave just looked at me and smiled. We took a taxi to the client’s office. After introductory hellos and handshakes, we began our discussions. It took us the whole day minus lunch to try and make sense out of what they were trying to do. I explained that all they were doing was driving the stock prices up and if they kept going, they would bankrupt the company. Initially they were one of our success stories now they would be one of our failures. I tried to explain that if they wanted to buy back their stock, they had to do it slowly as to negate any effect on the stock price. I showed them the price of the stock before they went hell bent to buy it back. I made a simple graph which showed them as they bought the stock, prices kept rising. “If you keep this up, you'll be bankrupt within 1 year. The amount of debt you already have accumulated will take you 50 years to pay off.” By the end of the day, I didn't think I made any inroads. “Dave, don’t count on them as future clients. I got the impression they didn’t like what I said. If they continue, they will be bankrupt within a year. Have Robert send them a letter briefly stating that if they continue on the road they are now, we cannot support them any longer. Try and get out while we can. I think their contract is up at the end of July. Don’t renew it if they continue, it would be bad publicity for us. You need to make that clear to them in your letter highlighting our recommendations. Do you want to meet with them again tomorrow?” “If they don’t change their mind, what’s the point. If the stock holders get wind of this there will be a large bailout which will drive the stock down until it is worthless. They will have a high debt and worthless stock. Their profits won’t support that debt, ergo bankruptcy.” “That is why we need to go on record as to what we discussed today. The faster you do that the better off we’ll be. Call Robert tonight and brief him. Do you want to have dinner tonight with us?” “I’d like to but I need to finalize our meeting today. I’ll check with them in the morning and if they want to continue with what they are doing, I’ll make arrangements and head back home.” “OK lets meet in the morning for breakfast and you can tell me what you want me to do if anything.” Going to my room, I laid down with a slight headache. I must have fallen asleep when I heard the door open. Cody entered and was surprised to see me. “I thought you’d be going to dinner with Dave.” “The meeting didn’t turn out so well. I think unless the company has a change of heart, Dave will be heading home. So how was the Tower of London?” “The boys liked it but how did you know that's where we went?” “I told Nels to ask you to go there. Where are the boys?” “In their room, I noticed that Nels seems to hang around you a lot.” “Yes, I noticed that as well where as James seems to hang with you. I’m not sure why but it doesn’t bother me. I kind of like having a tag-a-long.” “Maybe it’s the age or the absence of a father in Nels life more than James. Either way I’m glad we have them.” That got someone a hug and a kiss. “Where should we go for dinner?” “The boys want to go back to the pub. There was a steak and kidney pie on the menu.” “Unless you like kidneys my advice is to stay away from that. I would suggest Sheppard’s pie or steak and ale pie. Both English traditional pub food. Maybe for lunch we can find a fish and chips place. I’ll ask at the desk.” “Is you business finished?” “I think so, the British are a little strong headed at times. They are buying back their stock in such large quantities that the stock price keeps going up. They are over their head in debt. Dave will document our meeting and I’ll meet him for breakfast in the morning. If there is no change, then he'll go back to New York.” Before I could say anything else, 4 boys landed on our beds. “How was your day?” The jumble of voices all trying to tell me how their day was, one could only get a snatch here and there. I started to laugh and when I had a chance, “Are you hungry?” That stopped all the talking and I had 4 boys ready to go and eat. I washed my face and we headed downstairs. I made a move to go to the dining room, Nels grabbed my hand, “Dad, we want to go back to the pub we ate at last night.”
  12. CLJobe

    Chapter 23

    If you're flying, I hope your plane isn't the one in the GIF. Yes, I have experienced what Alan has many times when I traveled to England. That has been so long ago. Oh well, maybe one of these days.
  13. CLJobe

    Chapter 23

    You have provided a song and a dance for those who read the comment. I have one word for you GREAT
  14. CLJobe

    Chapter 23

    One of the nice thing about comments, readers add to the story, but they also create a reason to check out the comment section. You have also given them a song and a little dance. GREAT
  15. CLJobe

    Chapter 23

    I wonder if anyone read the comment pages, now I know. Yes but with a gut, poncho seemed more appropriate.
  16. I don't know about wolves, but I know you're not supposed to give dogs chocolate. If you want some strange looks today, go Hug Your Boss. In celebration of the Airforce Birthday, the Tradesman will be serving Cheeseburgers. Arrrg! In a preview of tomorrow, let's Talk Like a Pirate today.
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