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  1. Ronyx

    Chapter 6

    “Jack!” my mother hollered up the stairs. “Karen! Dinner is ready.” I waited until I heard my sister leave her room before I went downstairs. I arrived at the table just as my father was sitting down. He looked over at me and Karen and asked, “How was school today?” Dinnertime is usually the Spanish Inquisition at our house. It’s the only time when my family gets together quietly, so my parents take advantage of the situation to question us about school, homework and anything else they want to discuss. Lately, they have been spending a lot of time discussing Karen’s behavior. Since she turned eight, she thinks she’s eighteen. I never went through a rebellious stage, but I still think that eight is a little too young to be starting. Mom had prepared fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner. For some reason, the large breast on my plate sickened me. I just couldn’t eat it. I ate a little of the mashed potatoes, and I pushed the green beans around on my plate. My mother asked, “Why aren’t you eating, Jack?” “I don’t know,” I replied. “I just don’t feel very hungry.” My father laughed and said, “You’re a growing boy. You should be on your second plate by now.” I nodded my head and pushed a few more beans around. My mother reached over and felt my forehead. “You’re not sick, are you?” she asked as she felt to see if I was running a temperature. “No, Mom,” I responded as I pulled away. “I feel fine.” “Then why aren’t you eating?” she asked again. “I’m just not hungry,” I replied. I pushed myself away from the table and asked, “May I be excused?” I got up and left before she said anything. I went back to my room and tried to do some homework, but it was futile. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I attempted to do some geometry problems, but I know I worked them all wrong. Then, I tried to read a story that was assigned to us in Literature, but Edgar Allan Poe just didn’t seem interesting. Finally, I went over to my computer and sat down. I googled, “gay,” but I got like a gazillion responses. I needed to narrow down what I wanted to find out. I then typed “gay teen,” and again there were thousands of sites that appeared. A lot were sites that featured gay teen porn. My parents trust me, and I don’t have a block for such sites, but I was still afraid to open one. I was afraid that Karen might come in my room someday to play a video game with one of her girlfriends, and by accident find the sites I visited. It would only take her a few minutes to run downstairs and tell Mom what she found. I sure wouldn’t want to explain to my parents why I had visited a site called ‘Sexy Teen Boys.’ I know that you can delete your search history, and I usually do at the end of the night if I’ve used my computer. However, Robert Dow at school once told us that administrators have a way of finding deleted history if we download something on a computer at school that we shouldn’t be looking at. Sonny Jeffers got really scared because he said he had looked at some women’s breasts once at a site he found in the library. For weeks, he was afraid he was going to get expelled. He didn’t, but it still made us aware that just because we delete something doesn’t mean it disappears forever. After scrolling several pages, I finally found an article that caught my eye, ‘Teens Coming Out.’ It appeared to be an article that was featured in a gay magazine. I began reading it, but the more I read, the more worried I became. The article tried to sound positive about being gay, but some of the stories about coming out scared me. All my fears seemed to be justified by reading the article. It warned about some of the problems that might occur. It discussed how my parents might react to finding out I am gay. One thing was certain, they wouldn’t do cartwheels in the street when they find out. I don’t think they would abandon me like in some of the examples they gave. One guy’s parents put him out, and he had to live on the streets. He eventually turned to prostitution and drugs. However, that was the most extreme reaction. The article explained how there might be a period of adjustment until parents finally accept the fact that they have a gay or lesbian child. Another thing the article discussed was how friends might accept it. There were many examples how a gay teen experienced rejection and loss of friendship when he or she came out. Reading that really frightened me. It confirmed what I was most worried about. The article stressed how if a friend is really your friend, they will accept it. But what about someone like me who can count their real friends on one hand? When I held up my hand and imagined three of my fingers being Jimmy, Tyler and Brian, I pushed them down when I considered if they would be my friend if they discovered I was gay. All I was left holding up was a fist. The more I read, the more worried I became. Finally, I closed the site and deleted my history. I didn’t want to read anymore. I had decided that I couldn’t come out. I went to the bathroom across the hall, took a quick shower and then crawled into bed. But sleep didn’t come easily. I woke up in the middle of the night with a nightmare. I sat up quickly in bed, and I was wet with sweat. My heart was pounding so rapidly, I thought it would explode. I started out dreaming about Tracy dancing onstage. He was alone, and I was enjoying watching him as he floated across the stage. Suddenly, Jimmy, Tyler and Brian danced onstage beside him. At first, they were wearing pink tutus. They circled Tracy and mocked him for the way he danced. They then began to taunt him and ordered him to dance. Jimmy grabbed his body and tossed him to Tyler. He screamed, “Dance you Poof!” Tyler spun him around and threw him into Brian. Suddenly, the audience began to chant, “Take the poof to the roof!” Jimmy and Brian grabbed Tracy by the arms and forced him offstage. The audience trailed behind as they continued to chant. A big door appeared, and it led to the top of a building. It must have been thirty stories high. They dragged Tracy to the edge, and the crowd shouted, “Take the poof and throw him off the roof!” I woke up just as they lifted Tracy, tossed him and his body disappeared from sight. “No!” I screamed as I sat up in bed. I looked around quickly as I realized I had just had a nightmare. There was a tap on the door, and my mother peeked her head in. “Are you alright, Jack?” she asked as she tiptoed across the floor. “Yeah,” I assured her. “I had a bad nightmare.” She sat on the edge of the bed and asked, “Do you need to talk about it?” “No,” I responded. “It was just a bad dream. I’ll be okay.” She patted my arm, rose from the bed and went back to her bedroom. I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night. It was only a quarter after three, but each time I rested my head on the pillow, I kept seeing Tracy being thrown from the building. I was afraid to go back to sleep because, if I did, I might see him hit the ground below. When I went down for breakfast, my mother was frying bacon on the stove. She turned and asked if I had anymore nightmares. “No, Mom,” I replied. I didn’t tell her that I lay awake the rest of the night. Karen entered so she started talking to her, and she didn’t ask me anything more. As we were eating, Mom informed us that my sister Stephanie was coming home for the weekend. It was the first time she had been home in several weeks. “She’s bringing a friend,” she informed us. She then turned to me and said, “She said he’s a guy.” I asked, “Is it her boyfriend?” As far as I knew, she didn’t say she had a boyfriend. However, she might have since the last time she was home. “I’m not sure,” responded my mother. “She said his name is Darren, but she didn’t mention if he is a boyfriend.” She turned, started washing dishes in the sink and said, “He’ll be sleeping in your room, Jack.” “What?” I shouted. “I have to give up my room for some college guy?” “Well,” huffed my mother. “I can’t have him sleeping on the couch, and he’s definitely not going to sleep in Stephanie’s room.” “Why not, Mommy?” asked Karen. “If he’s her boyfriend.” My mother looked at me aghast. I started giggling. “Yeah, Mom. Why not?” She quickly composed herself because I think she was afraid Karen would continue to question her. “It’s just not the proper thing to do,” she replied as she turned and continued washing dishes. “I still don’t know why I have to give up my room,” I huffed. I looked over at my sister. “Why can’t he sleep in Karen’s room.” “Forget it,” replied Karen. “I’m not giving up my room. Besides, you’re a boy.” “What’s that got to do with anything?” I asked. “That’s enough,” my mother interrupted. “Jack, he’s sleeping in your room. If you don’t want to sleep on the couch, then you can bring a sleeping bag from the basement and sleep on it in your room.” I asked, “Why can’t Darren sleep in the sleeping bag?” I stuck my tongue out at my sister when she mimicked my mother saying, “It’s not the proper thing to do.” I waited a few minutes longer before heading out to school. Jimmy hadn’t stopped by, so he was probably still mad at me for defending Tracy in front of Brian and Tyler. I watched out the window as Tracy made his way down the sidewalk. When he was a block away, I pulled my bookbag over my shoulder and headed out the door. All the way to school I grumbled about giving up my bed to my sister’s friend. I laughed to myself when I thought about peeing in the bed Thursday night and making him sleep in it over the weekend. I passed Jimmy in the hallway on the way to first period. He was with two guys on the basketball team. He looked over, but he turned his head and appeared to ignore me. ‘Fine,” I thought. ‘If he wants to play this game, I can play it too.’ After third period, I saw him and Tyler approaching. I turned and started talking to Jill, a girl in my class. She seemed surprised that I talked to her, but we chatted all the way to fourth period. I know she likes Jimmy, and I think she wanted to know if he ever said anything about her to me. He has mentioned that he likes her, but I didn’t want to tell her. I wasn’t about to play matchmaker to someone who wasn’t talking to me. At lunch, I wasn’t sure what I should do. I considered heading to the library to work on a homework assignment, but the librarian is strict, and she won’t let anyone enter without a pass. I really wasn’t hungry, so I didn’t go through the line when I entered the cafeteria. I headed to an empty table toward the back where I hoped no one would notice me. I took out a handout that had been assigned in geometry and began to work a problem. I looked over when someone sat across from me. It was Jeff Munson! He smiled, waved his hand and said timidly, “Hi, Jack.” “Um,” I hesitated. “Hi, Jeff.” I looked around to see if anyone noticed that we were sitting together. I asked, “What are you doing here?” A hurt look appeared on Jeff’s face. He pushed himself away from the table and stood. “I’m sorry,” he apologized. As he turned to leave, I said, “No, Jeff. Wait.” He gave me a puzzled look. I told him, “If you want to sit down, go ahead.” “You sure?” he asked. When I nodded my head, he smiled and sat down. I continued to work on my geometry problem. I didn’t want to be rude, but I was hoping he would take the hint that I really didn’t want to talk and leave. He unwrapped a hamburger and started nibbling on it. “Aren’t you eating?” he asked. I shook my head. “I’m not hungry,” I replied. I looked into his face. I had seen Jeff for several years from a distance, but I never dared to stare at him. I was surprised how cute he was. His eyes are amazingly blue, and they seemed to sparkle like glitter. His face was free of blemishes, unlike most boys are age. It was also hairless, not even a wisp of a mustache. His hair is blonde and unkempt which I find really sexy. It flows over his forehead and covers his left eye. His lips are a pale pink. He bit the right side as he stared back at me. “Why aren’t you hungry?” he asked nervously as he looked away. I glanced around as more students began to sit nearby. Two girls looked over, whispered to each other and giggled. My voice cracked as I replied, “I got too much homework.” He giggled and said, “You can eat and do homework at the same time.” When I looked up at him, he brushed some stray hair that had fallen across his eye. As soon as he did, it fell back again. I glanced quickly around again, leaned forward and asked softly, “What do you want, Jeff?” He shrugged his shoulders and answered, “I don’t know. I just thought we could talk. Tracy said…” “Look, Jeff,” I said hurriedly as I shoved my homework inside my bookbag. I stood, looked down and said, “I gotta go. Okay?” I didn’t look back as I rushed from the cafeteria. When I passed the table where Jimmy, Tyler and Brian were sitting, they let out a loud laugh. Now I’m mad as hell at Tracy. He must have told Jeff what we did in the back of the van. Why else would he just unexpectedly sit down with me at lunch and start talking. We’ve gone to school since the first grade, and at one time we were friends. That is, until he came out. Since seventh grade all of us have avoided him. Tracy must have told him I’m gay. Worst yet, Jimmy, Tyler and Brian saw him sitting with me. Now they are probably wondering if I’m gay. Why else would Jeff sit beside me? As I did this morning, I waited around after school. Jimmy and the others had basketball practice, so I wasn’t afraid of running into them. I didn’t want to see Tracy. I was afraid what I might say to him if I did. I had to be careful, however. I never came out to him, and he never asked me if I was gay. He simply told me he was, and that is why we couldn’t be friends. So, if I approached him and asked him about Jeff, then he might wonder why I was upset. Tracy seems really smart, so he could figure it out quickly. If I tell him I don’t want to associate with Jeff because he’s gay, then I would sound like a hypocrite. I’m gay, yet I can’t talk to another gay boy because he’s gay? Tracy is gay, too. However, that is easier since he won’t talk to me. This whole thing is getting confusing. It’s more than I can handle. Why do I have to be gay? It’s not something that I can change. But it is also something I don’t want to be. I know my world is going to change when I do come out. And right now, the odds of not coming out are getting slimmer every day. Tracy suspects I’m gay. Hell, he knows I’m gay. Why else would I have stroked his dick in the back of the van? If I had been able to, I probably would have put it in my mouth. I wanted to put it in my mouth, and I’ve never done anything like that before. I’ve thought about it- a lot. When I look at guys on the internet, I’m always imagining what it would be like to have sex with them. But it scares me to think about that. I can’t even imagine doing it. I don’t know what to do. I would say I’m on a roller coaster ride, but I’m not. At least on a roller coaster you have highs where you feel good. Right now, all I feel are lows, and they seem to get lower each day. Things were okay until Tracy moved in and had to do ballet in his room and let Jimmy see him. He started out jokingly calling him a poof. But now, he seems to really resent him. I don’t think it’s because he’s gay. Before Tracy, Jimmy never talked about a gay person. He would occasionally call someone a fag or a cocksucker, but it wasn’t in a mean kind of way. But poof sounds mean. It’s insulting to me. He never called Jeff that. Thinking back, he really never called Jeff anything. Like all of us, he just stopped talking to him when he came out. He’s pretty much left him alone. But for some reason, he instantly didn’t like Tracy. Maybe it’s because Jimmy is an athlete, although he’s not a very good one. He plays basketball, and in the summer, he enjoys playing baseball. We’ve gone bowling on the weekend, and we have tried to play tennis. Jimmy enjoys competitive sports. I don’t think he considers what Tracy does as athletic. If he could just watch him like I did the other night, he would realize that ballet takes more skill than any sport he competes in. Jimmy is like my mom and dad. He thinks ballet is for sissies, or poofs, as he calls them. Any guy who dances is weak and effeminate. And Tracy is a lot like Jeff. If someone watches him long enough, they will certainly suspect that he is gay. He is very graceful when he walks. And when he talks, it is somewhat girlish. The few times we’ve talked, he seems to talk with his hands. I’ve noticed Jeff doing the same thing when he’s with a group of girls at school. They make a lot of gestures when they talk. I never thought much of it until I watched them eating together in the cafeteria. I then watched Jimmy, Brian and Terry talk. Not once did they make any movements with their hands, except when Brian talked about Emily Spencer. She has huge breasts, and he cupped his hands over his chest to show how big they are. Now, I’m watching how I talk, and I wonder if I use gestures. I’m becoming so conscious of it that I’m beginning to look like a zombie with my hands to my side. I’m afraid if I make too many movements then I’m afraid people with think I’m gay. As I approached my house, I noticed Tracy sitting on his steps. When I came nearer, he rose, walked across the street and waited for me. “Hey,” he said as I stopped before him. “Hi,” I replied. I was puzzled why he was talking to me. He asked nervously, “Can we go somewhere and talk?” “About what?” “Please, Jack,” he pleaded. “We need to talk.” I looked at my house, and I considered inviting him to my room. However, I was afraid Karen would be in her room. She would wonder why Tracy was with me. I’m sure she had picked up what Mom and Dad had said about Tracy. She is only eight, but even at eight she knows what gay means. Tracy asked, “How about my room?” “I don’t know,” I responded skeptically. The last time I was in his room was uncomfortable. He had caught me watching him dance. He grabbed my arm and started to pull me across the street. “I’m not going to molest you,” he laughed as he tugged at my arm. Reluctantly, I followed him across the street. Once inside, he toed off his shoes in the foyer. Unsure if it was something I was expected to do, I toed off my shoes. Fortunately, my socks were clean. As we walked into the living room to his bedroom, his mother was sitting on the sofa reading a book. She stopped and looked up at us. “Hello, Jack,” she said with a smile. “I haven’t seen you around lately.” “I’ve been kind of busy,” I responded. Tracy grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the room. We walked into his bedroom, and he closed the door behind him. I watched as he began to undress in front of me. He pulled his shirt over his head, and let his pants drop to the floor. He had his back turned to me, so he didn’t see me staring at his nicely rounded ass. “What are you doing?” My voice was raspy from nervousness. I thought he was going to get naked and seduce me. He turned and replied, “I’m getting out of my school clothes.” My eyes immediately noticed the bulge in his underwear. I could feel myself start to harden. It was just a week ago that I had my hand wrapped around it. He walked over to the closet, removed a tee shirt and athletic shorts hanging inside and got dressed. When he finished, he walked over to the bed and sat down. He motioned for me to sit beside him. “Sit down, Jack.” Reluctantly, I walked over and sat beside him. I looked over and asked, “Why am I here? You’ve acted all week like you don’t want to talk to me.” He smiled and answered, “I’ve changed my mind.” I gave him a puzzled look and asked, “What’s that mean?” “Okay,” he stated. “We didn’t exactly get off on the right foot.” I nodded my head. He laughed and said, “Well, it did start off kind of nice in the back of the van.” My face reddened and I started to apologize, “About that, I’m really…” “No,” he interrupted me. “It didn’t bother me.” He looked down at my crotch. “In fact, it was kind of fun.” I giggled and said, “Yeah, it was.” We both looked down at my crotch as it was beginning to strain from the material. He turned toward me and sat Indian style on the bed. “I want to try and start over again.” “Why?” I asked. “You have to understand something about me,” he started to explain. I nodded my head and waited for him to continue. “I’m a fighter. I’ve had to be. When I was little, I knew I was different than most boys. I think I began to realize when I was probably about seven that I was gay.” He stopped and waited to see if I would say anything. When I didn’t, he continued, “It was around that time that my mom took me to see The Nutcracker at Christmas. It was the most interesting thing I had ever seen. I came home and told my parents I wanted to dance like the Prince. They tried to talk me out of it, but I kept insisting. After that, they enrolled me in a dance class, and I’ve been dancing ever since.” All I could think of to say was, “Wow.” He giggled and asked, “Just wow?” “No,” I replied. “I think it’s cool you wanted to be a dancer.” “I’ve been practicing almost every day since I was seven,” he said. My face reddened when I told him, “You’re really good. I enjoyed watching you.” He smiled and asked, “You did?” “Yeah,” I giggled. “I don’t know what you do, but I like it.” It surprised me when he grabbed my hand and held it. My first instinct was to pull away, but I didn’t. “I really want us to be friends. Jeff says you’re a really nice guy.” “Jeff?” “Yeah,” he frowned. “He kind of got upset when you left the table at lunch.” “Well…” “No,” he said as he gripped my hand tighter. “It’s okay. He understands. He told me how you guys avoid him. It hurts him, but he knows why you do it.” I started to pull my hand away, but he held it tighter. I didn’t want to try and explain that we avoided Jeff because he was gay. He looked into my eyes and asked, “Are you gay, Jack?” I stared into his green eyes and considered whether I wanted to tell Tracy the truth; although, I was sure I really didn’t have to say anything. He squeezed my hand tighter and pleaded, “Please Jack, say it.” Before I knew what happened, I heard, “Yes,” slip from my lips. “Thank you.” He leaned over and kissed my cheek.
  2. Ronyx

    Chapter 19

    @droughtquake Could you explain your thinking behind Richard’s motivations and actions, please? I think Richie expressed it best when he said that he suspected everyone knew, but they just didn't say anything. They are only sixteen, and I'm sure the parents didn't want to openly condone them sleeping together- hence no king size bed to frolic and have wild passionate sex on. Separate them with twin beds. LOL. Besides, Linda saw them kissing, and I'm sure she told Richard. I also gave several indications that Richard was okay with Richie being gay. He paid for Wade's funeral. He accepted Freddy being gay, and after telling the Matthew Shepard story and the guy having 'gay' carved into his chest, he put his hands on Richie's shoulders and said "Sorry, Son." Also, he sent Richie to live with his aunt and uncle not as a punishment for admitting he was gay, but he 'set him free', hoping he would return. These are subtle signs of acceptance. I didn't feel that I needed to include a big 'coming out' scene. As for the car, it was a big thing with him and Gabe for years, like every sixteen year old. My parents bought me a car when I turned sixteen, so I didn't see it as trying to buy Richie's love as much as fulfilling a teenager's biggest dream. Interestingly, I read an article recently that stated its not a big priority for teenagers today to have a driver's license and a car. Who accompanied Melinda in the amusement park, Linda? Okay. I can't think of everything. My focus was on the boys. We'll assume she spent the day with her father and Linda.
  3. A Mourning Storm is completed.  A Mourning Storm


    1. Timothy M.

      Timothy M.

      So did he stay with his uncle and aunt ? Or did you go for the predictable ending with him giving in to the manipulative bastard ?

  4. Ronyx

    Chapter 19

    I was nervous the entire day. It had been a couple of years since I had celebrated my birthday. Mom tried, but she was usually too weak for me to enjoy it. After eating ice cream and a store-bought cake, I would take her to her bedroom and put her in bed. She would kiss me and wish me happy birthday. She knew when I turned fifteen it would be the last birthday she would celebrate with me. I think I did too, but I didn’t want to admit it at the time. “You’re turning into such a handsome young man,” she said weakly as she brushed my long black hair from my eyes. Then she just stared at me. She didn’t say anything. She just stared. Then tears formed in her eyes as she looked up and smiled. She sighed, put her head back on the pillow and closed her eyes. I knew the reason for the tears. Gabe and Freddy surprised me at lunch. When I sat down, Gabe pulled out a cupcake from a lunch bag and put it on the table in front of me. I started laughing because it contained sixteen candles. You couldn’t see the icing because of the candles. “I’d light them,” said Freddy, “but I don’t want to get suspended for starting a fire in school.” He pretended to light them with an imaginary match. “Now blow them out and make a wish.” I pretended to blow them out as the guys at the table laughed. “What did you wish for?” Gabe asked excitedly. “That you’d grow a bigger dick,” I replied. The guys at the table erupted into laughter as Gabe’s face turned a bright red. A teacher walked over and asked us to quiet down. Gabe and Freddy were waiting for me when I arrived at my locker after school. We were talking as I put my books in the locker when Earl came walking up. He reached out and gently touched my arm. “Hey, Richie.” He looked at Gabe and Freddy and brushed the hair from his eyes. “Hi, Guys.” Freddy nodded and Gabe merely rolled his eyes. He turned back to me and asked excitedly, “Are you still picking me up in the morning?” “Sure, Earl,” I assured him. “We’ll be there around ten.” He flipped his hair back and smiled. “I can’t wait,” he replied enthusiastically. He then turned and started skipping down the hall. Gabe looked angrily at me. “I’ll kill you, Richie, if I get stuck with him all day.” I started laughing. “Maybe you’ll get lucky and lose your virginity.” I ducked when he swung a book at me. As we walked home, Gabe kept talking about how much fun we were going to have. He was trying to make my birthday feel special. Since his birthday was in a couple of months, he was planning a huge party. I think he felt guilty that mine wouldn’t be as big as his. Freddy looked over and asked, “Why don’t you spend the night with me?” “Ohhh!” Gabe squealed. “Birthday sex!” He laughed when we both started blushing. “No!” Freddy insisted as he looked at me. “It’s not like that, Richie, honest.” His face continued to redden. “I just thought it would be fun if we slept together tonight.” “Damn!” Gabe laughed. “Birthday sex!” Freddy’s face started to redden even more which caused Gabe to laugh harder. Freddy nervously looked pleadingly at me. “I just thought it would be fun if you spent the night after the party tonight. I don’t want to have sex or anything.” I reached out and touched his arm. “I know what you mean.” I turned to Gabe and frowned. “Even if this idiot doesn’t.” Gabe grinned. “You have to admit, birthday sex sounds like fun.” “Okay,” I said. “We’ll plan it for your birthday.” I put my hand to my chin and pretending to be thinking. “Let me see, should it be Sasha or Teresa?” I started laughing. “I know. I’ll ask both of them.” Gabe’s eyes lit up. He reached out and high-fived me. “Hell, yeah!” Freddy and I started laughing when he reached down and rearranged his growing cock. ******** “Don’t be so nervous, Dear.” Aunt Barbara turned around in the car and smiled at me. I tried to return her smile, but it was difficult. My stomach was turning flip-flops. I hardly ate anything for dinner because I was afraid I would throw it up. One of the things that worried me was feeling like I was part of ‘their’ family, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. Returning home and enjoying myself would seem like I had abandoned my mother. So much heartache had been felt there the past few years, it didn’t seem right that I should be having fun. Dad had moved in with Linda and her children. Andrew and Melinda seemed to be accepting the situation. But to me, it didn’t seem right. I felt that everyone had forgotten Mom. When I visited Freddy the past couple of weeks, it seemed like with each visit more of Mom disappeared from the house. Gone were the pictures on the wall. The furniture she and Dad had purchased was slowing being replaced by newer. Even the pink towels in the guest bathroom that I had always told her were ugly were gone. In their place were designer blue towels. Home didn’t seem like home anymore. Even my bedroom had been redecorated. Freddy never took me there; but once when I was thirsty, I went upstairs to the kitchen. No one else was in the house, so I snuck down the hallway and peeked into it. I didn’t recognize it as being the place where I had spent fifteen years. When I looked into Mom’s room, the same bedroom furniture was there, but it had been rearranged and completely redecorated. It also smelled fresh. Mom’s sickness had been removed. My hands started trembling when Uncle Ray pulled into the driveway. Seconds later, Andrew and Harley came running out to the car. When I got out, Andrew threw his arms around me and hugged me tightly. I could also feel Harley hugging me from behind. “Happy Birthday, Richie!” Andrew shouted excitedly. “Yeah,” mimicked Harley. “Happy Birthday.” When I turned around, he was grinning. “We’re going to have chocklit cake. Mommy made it special for you.” He grabbed my hand and started pulling me toward the house. Linda greeted me at the door and gave me a hug. Freddy was standing behind her smiling. I walked to him and he pulled me into a hug. I was startled when my father came in, walked over to me and gave me a quick hug. “Happy Birthday, Son.” He pulled away and patted me on my back. Melinda then ran into the room and hugged me. Harley grabbed my hand and pulled me into the dining room. “We got you some presents,” he announced excitedly. “I made you a birthday card at school.” He rushed over, took it from the table and handed it to me. Linda walked over and gently took it from my hand. “I think we should wait at least until Richie has blown out the candles on his cake.” Harley let out a squeal and sat down in front of the beautiful cake in the middle of the table. It was decorated in yellow icing and had a large, “Happy 16,” written in brown icing. I turned to her. “It’s beautiful,” I remarked. “Thanks, Linda.” I then gave her a hug. I looked over at my father. He was standing with his hands on Melinda’s shoulders with a wide smile on his face. “I want some cake!” Gabe shouted excitedly. My father took out a match and lit the candles. “Blow them out!” Harley shouted. I took a deep breath and blew them out in one breath. “Did you make a wish?” Linda asked. I smiled and nodded my head. Freddy stepped up beside me and asked, “What did you wish for?” “I’ll tell you later. Okay?” He smiled and nodded his head. Linda cut the cake and gave me the first piece. Harley, of course, got the second. My father went around the table and scooped out strawberry ice cream onto everyone’s plate. I was surprised that he remembered it was my favorite flavor. When we finished, Harley took his card from the table and handed it to me. “I made it myself,” he said proudly. I opened it and it said, “Happy Birthday to my brother.” He had signed it and put a smiley face beside his name. “It’s beautiful,” I remarked as I gave him a hug. “Thank you.” Andrew started to cry. “I didn’t make you a card.” He handed me a wrapped gift. “I just got you a stupid movie.” I unwrapped it and smiled. “I’ve wanted to see this for a long time,” I said excitedly. His face lit up. “Really?” “Yeah, sure,” I reassured him. “I didn’t get to see it when it came out at the theaters.” “Can we watch it together sometime?” he asked hopefully. “I’d like to see it too.” Harley shouted, “Me, too!” “Sure,” I replied as I gave them both a hug. Gabe walked over carrying a package wrapped in the Sunday cartoon section. “I guess I’m next.” He handed it to me. I held it up and shook it. “It’s not going to explode, is it?” Everyone started laughing as I carefully unwrapped it. “You didn’t!” I shouted when I saw the printing on the box. It was the latest Xbox 360 video game. I gave him a big hug. “Thanks, Gabe.” “It’s more for me than you,” he laughed. “Now I can come over and beat your...” “Gabe!” My aunt shouted. Everyone started laughing. Freddy walked over next and handed me a large package. “Mom and I made this for you.” I started crying when I opened it. It was a large picture frame, and they had taken pictures from a photo album and made a collage of Mom, me, Andrew and Melinda. In almost all the pictures we were smiling and laughing. Most appeared to be taken during vacations when we were little. Andrew was only a few years old in most of them, and I appeared to be about six or seven. Dad was in one of them. He and Mom were sitting on the beach with their arms around each other. “Thanks,” I said tearfully. I gave Freddy and Linda a big hug. Andrew took it off to the side and he, Melinda and Harley sat on the floor and looked at the pictures. “That’s a hard act to follow,” my father said as he walked up to me. “It’s taken them several weeks to put that together. I hope you like it.” “I do,” I responded as I looked down at the floor where my brother, sister and Harley were giggling at how young we all looked in the pictures. He nodded to Freddy. Freddy left the room. When he returned, he was carrying a large teddy bear. He handed it to my father. “I hope you like it, Son.” He handed me the bear. I took it and gave him a puzzled look. I was becoming angry because I thought he was trying to embarrass me in front of everyone. “Thanks,” I said disappointedly. I looked over and saw Freddy put his hand to his mouth as he tried to stifle a laugh. I then looked back at my father. “What’s going on?” “You don’t like the bear?” He, too, was trying hard not to laugh. “It’s okay,” I said, “but don’t you think I’m a little too old for stuffed animals.” I looked over as Freddy started laughing loudly. Even Linda started laughing. “Maybe,” replied my father, “but I don’t think you’re too young for what is in his hand.” I gave him a puzzled look as I opened the bear’s hand. A car key was tied around one of its fingers. I removed the key and held it up. “What’s this?” My father took it from my hand. “It looks like a key.” He held it up and examined it. “I wonder what it goes to?” He put his hand on my back and led me towards the front door. Everyone was following closely behind. When we stepped out onto the porch, I immediately noticed a silver Honda Civic sitting in the driveway. “No fucking way!” Gabe shouted. “Gabe!” My aunt, uncle and Linda shouted. He ran over and started looking in the windows. I looked up at my father, and he nodded. “It’s yours, Richie.” Freddy followed me over to the car. I opened the driver’s door and sat down. Gabe got in the passenger’s seat. “Jesus, Richie!” he said excitedly. “You got a fucking car for your birthday! You lucky shit! My parents are only going to buy me a new computer.” I listened as my father talked to Uncle Ray as they stood outside the car. My father told him he had bought the car at a sheriff’s auction. It had been seized in a drug sweep. When I got out, he called me over to him. “Now, Son,” he said as he put his hands on my shoulders. “You realize there are certain responsibilities to driving a car?” I nodded and tried to hold back tears. Images of Wade’s driving suddenly appeared in my mind. “I have two requirements for you having a car so young.” I nodded my head. “First, you will start Wednesday taking a three-week driver’s education course taught by one of my friends. Agreed?” I nodded. “Second,” he said. “I will pay for your gas and maintenance the first year. When you turn seventeen, I expect you to get a part time job and maintain the expenses yourself. Understand?” I nodded my head. He then handed me a plastic card. “What’s this?” I turned it over in my hand. It was a gasoline credit card. “Like I said,” he explained. “I’ll pay for your gas the first year. Use that card. Just don’t take a trip to California.” He smiled and patted me on my back. Gabe asked excitedly, “What about Florida, Mr. Ferguson?” Everyone started to laugh. “How about to school and back?” My father responded. He turned back to me. “Well, aren’t you going to take it for a spin?” “I can’t drive, Dad,” I reminded him. He looked over at Freddy. “Freddy can drive you around.” He opened the driver’s door and Freddy got in. “Shotgun!” Gabe shouted. I walked over to the passenger’s door and leaned in toward Gabe. “Can we go alone?” He gave me a disappointed look. “Please? We’ll come back and go somewhere later.” He got out and I sat down beside Freddy. He backed out onto the street and drove away. I didn’t have to say anything to him. It was as if he read my mind. We rode in silence as we passed through the double wrought iron gate. We drove up the winding road. I took a deep breath and then got out of the car. As I approached, I noticed that the grave was no longer bare. There was now a marble gravestone with her name engraved on it. Grass was beginning to grow where there once was dirt. Judith Ferguson 1972- 2009 She is now an angel among us I sat down cross-legged before it. “Hi, Mommy.” Tears welled up in my eyes. “I wanted to come here because today is my birthday.” I sat silently for several minutes before saying anything. “I’m keeping my promise to you,” I said tearfully. “I’m trying to be good now. I’m back in school and making good grades. I’m not getting into any trouble.” I ran my hand over the new grass. “I’m getting along better with Dad.” I wiped the tears away with my sleeve. “He bought me a car for my birthday.” I pulled a blade of grass and started tearing it into small pieces. “He said we’re trying to find a middle ground. I think I know what he means.” I turned and saw Freddy still sitting in the car and looking worriedly at me. “I want you to meet someone. I hope you won’t be mad, but he’s helping me find my way back.” I motioned for Freddy to come over to where I was sitting. He approached slowly and then sat down beside me. “This is Freddy.” From the corner of my eye, I noticed him wave timidly at her gravestone. I reached down and took his hand. “I like him, but I guess you already know that.” Freddy squeezed my hand tighter. I wiped my eyes dry and then stood up. Freddy stood beside me. I looked down at the gravestone. “I just wanted to come by so you could wish me a happy birthday. I know you wanted to.” I leaned down and kissed the cold marble. “I love you, Mommy.” I turned, took Freddy’s hand and walked back to my silver car. ******** When we returned, Gabe had already left with Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ray. We went downstairs, cuddled up on the couch and watched a movie. I was almost asleep with my head on Freddy’s shoulder when Andrew and Harley came bounding down the stairs. “Whatcha doing?” Harley asked as he plopped down in my lap. Andrew scooted in between me and Freddy. I looked over at the clock. It was past ten. “Shouldn’t you be in bed?” Harley wrinkled his nose. “I’m not tired yet,” he said. “I’m too excited about going to the park tomorrow.” “You’ve got a sugar high from all the ice cream and cake,” Freddy replied. Andrew sat up and looked over at me. “Can we sleep down here with you guys tonight?” Harley jumped from my lap and stood before me. “Yeah!” he squealed. “Please?” Freddy looked at me then back to his little brother. “We only have one sleeping bag, and it’s for Richie.” “We can sleep on our blankets,” squealed Harley as he grabbed Andrew’s hand. “Come on. Let’s go get them.” They tore off screaming up the steps. Freddy looked at me and frowned. “So much for a quiet night.” “Don’t worry,” I assured him. “If I know Andrew, he’ll be asleep as soon as he lies down.” “Don’t count on Harley to,” he replied. “With everything he’s eaten tonight, he may not be able to fall asleep.” Just then both boys came bounding down the stairs carrying their pillows with their blankets thrown around their shoulders. They placed them on the floor and made a bed for themselves. They then covered themselves and grinned at us. “Comfy?” I asked. “Yeah!” Harley said excitedly. “This is fun.” They watched television for a little while. Soon we heard them both snoring softly. “That didn’t take long,” laughed Freddy. He stretched his arms out and yawned. “I’m kind of tired myself.” I looked around the room. Except for the sofa, there didn’t appear like there was any place for both of us to sleep. “How are we going to do this?” Freddy shrugged, and then looked down at the two sleeping boys. “I’ve got some blankets in the closet,” he said. “I’ll go upstairs and take some out of the other bedroom. We can sleep on the floor like them.” He walked over to the closet, pulled out the blankets and pillow and tossed them to me. I laid them down on the floor. I wasn’t sure if I should make two beds or one like Harley and Andrew had made. I decided one would be better. Freddy smiled when he returned and saw that I was planning for us sleeping together. We completed making our makeshift bed. Freddy looked nervously at me. “How do you want to do this?” I shrugged my shoulders. He walked over, turned out the light and then started removing his clothes. I couldn’t believe it when he pulled off his boxers and then crawled into the bed naked. I was trembling when I took off my clothes and crawled in beside him. We lay quietly on our backs for several minutes. I stopped breathing when he rolled over and put his arm across my bare chest. He then leaned in and kissed me. I turned and looked over at our brothers who were lying about six feet away. “Do you think we should be doing this?” “Probably not.” His voice was trembling as he rubbed his hand up and down my chest. “But I can’t stand it anymore, Richie.” He rolled over on top of me. His hard cock rested atop mine. He moaned into my mouth as he kissed me passionately. After several minutes, he pulled away and looked down at me. “Do you want me to stop?” I shook my head. He kissed me again and then began to move down my body kissing me gently. I had to put my hand over my mouth so that I wouldn’t shout out. I looked over at Harley and Andrew. They were still sleeping with their faces turned away from us. Freddy continued to move downward. Even though he was under the blanket, if one of the boys awoke, they would be able to see what we were doing. I gasped when his warm mouth engulfed my stiff cock. He gently ran his lips up and down my shaft. I again had to cover my mouth so I wouldn’t moan. When he quickened his movements, I thrust my hips to match his. After several minutes of ramming my cock into his mouth, I was ready to cum. I grabbed his head to pull him off, but he batted away my hand. I started whimpering softly as I erupted into his mouth. I quickly looked over to make sure that Harley and Andrew were still asleep. He continued to suck me until my cock became soft. He kissed it gently, moved up and lay down beside me. He put his arm across my chest and pulled me into him. “Happy Birthday,” he whispered softly into my ear. I nodded and then kissed him. “That was the best present ever.” “Better than the car?” “Yes,” I replied as I kissed him again. “Better than the car.” I looked over at our brothers. They were still sleeping. I reached down, grabbed Freddy’s hard cock and started to slowly masturbate him. “You don’t have to,” he whispered lustily into my ear. “I know,” I whispered back, “but then my birthday wish won’t come true.” His body stiffened when I disappeared under the covers and covered his cock with my mouth. It was wet with precum. Sucking him was different than sucking Wade’s. He was much larger, and it was covered with foreskin. I gagged when I tried to force as much of it into my mouth as I could. Soon I found a rhythm I was comfortable with. After several minutes, I felt the head swell in my mouth. I knew from sucking Wade that he was getting ready to cum. Within seconds, I felt a flood of cum invade my mouth. I tried to swallow it, but there was too much. I opened my mouth and let it ooze out onto his cock. Tears appeared in my eyes as I tried not to gag. I pulled off and started coughing. I froze when I heard one of the boys stir next to us. A minute later, Freddy grabbed my shoulders and pulled me up beside him. He reached over, grabbed his tee shirt and then wiped himself clean under the blanket. When he was done, he rolled over and smiled at me. “I love you, Richie Ferguson.” He leaned in and kissed me. I pulled away with tears in my eyes. “Me, too,” I replied as I kissed him gently. I rolled over on my side. He spooned his body against mine. A few minutes later, we were both sleeping peacefully. ******** It was nine when Gabe came bounding down the stairs. The younger boys had left an hour earlier to get ready for the day. Freddy and I were on the sofa. I had my head in his lap and he was running his hand over my head. “Hey, Guys!” Gabe suddenly stopped when he saw us. “Shit!” he exclaimed. “What?” I asked as I sat up. “You guys had birthday sex!” Without thinking, I said, “How do you know?” “I knew it!” he shouted as he sat down beside us. Freddy looked up the stairs. “Would you be quiet! Mom’s going to hear you.” “You Fuckers!” Gabe frowned. “Now I really gotta get me a girl to give me some on my birthday.” “There’s always Rosy Palms,” I giggled. Freddy rolled over on the sofa laughing hysterically when Gabe turned his hand over and looked at it. Dad hollered down the stairs that everyone was ready. I heard him telling Harley and Andrew to stop playing and go get in the car. Uncle Ray was waiting for us outside. I gave him directions to Earl’s house. Earl was waiting on the porch when we pulled up. He came running down to the car with a big smile on his face. Freddy scooted over nearer to me while Earl jumped in beside him. “How was your birthday?” he asked as he handed me a small package. Gabe turned around and told him about the car my father had given me. “You’re lucky,” he said. “My mom says I can’t drive until I graduate from high school.” He and Freddy watched as I opened the gift he had given me. Inside the box was a gold pin with the rainbow colors on it. “It’s beautiful,” I said as I leaned over Freddy and hugged him. I couldn’t resist giving Freddy a quick kiss when I sat back. Earl’s eyes widened and then he started grinning. “Lucky shit!” he muttered softly. Freddy and I started laughing. Most of the car ride consisted of us talking about school. Gabe wanted to talk about sports, but Earl wanted to talk about boys. I noticed Uncle Ray shake his head several times in disbelief from some of the unusual comments Earl said. Since he was already familiar with Earl from the meeting in Mr. Latham’s office, I guess he was somewhat prepared for some of his comments. Gabe let out a loud sigh when we exited the car. Earl walked ahead with Freddy while we lagged behind. “I swear to God, Richie. If I ever have to spend another two hours with Earl again, I’m going to poke drumsticks through my ears.” I laughed and patted him on the back as we headed for the entrance. Once inside the park, Aunt Barbara gave her usual warning. We were to meet back at six, which gave us more time than previously. Gabe immediately disappeared. Freddy remarked that he was probably going to look for someone to give him birthday sex. Earl stayed with us for a while, and then he too headed off to ride some rides alone. Freddy and I rode several rides, but since most of the lines were long, we just decided to walk around and watch others having fun. I wanted to hold his hand as we walked, but I knew I couldn’t. Occasionally, we’d let our hands touch lightly as we walked beside each other. We did manage to make out briefly. We rode a caged ride that stopped at the top while others got on. Since no one below could see us, we kissed until the ride started again. We were sitting on a bench in the shade eating a hot dog when Earl approached. He had his hand on another boy’s arm. I recognized him as a freshman at our school. He was also a boy whom I had suspected was gay. We had looked at each other a few times in the hallway, but we hadn’t spoken. He was about a foot taller than Earl. He had mousy brown hair and brown eyes and a slight a goatee. “Hey, Guys!” Earl said excitedly when he came nearer. He took the boy’s hand and pulled him toward us. “This is Jeremy.” He waved timidly at us. Earl was beaming with excitement. He kept looking up at Jeremy and smiling. “I talked to your dad and he said it was all right if I stayed later with Jeremy. He called my mom and okayed it with her. Jeremy’s mom is going to take me home.” He looked up at Jeremy and then grinned at us mischievously. “If I go home tonight.” “You don’t care, do you, Richie?” I was amused because it was if he was getting my permission to see another boy. I stepped forward and gave him a hug. “Of course not. I’m happy for you.” He whispered in my ear, “I think he likes me, Richie.” I squeezed him tighter before he pulled away, grabbed Jeremy’s hand and walked away. When I looked over at Freddy, he was grinning. “See,” I laughed. “Now you don’t have anything to worry about.” “I wasn’t worried anyway,” he stated confidently. “What makes you so sure?” I kidded him. His expression softened. “Because you love me.” Our eyes meet. “Yeah,” I replied softly. He put his arm around my shoulder, pulled me into him and we walked away. Gabe came running up to us as we were heading toward the exit about ten minutes before six. He was waving his cell phone in front of him. “I got five girls’ numbers!” he announced excitedly. “Maybe one of them will give you birthday sex,” joked Freddy. He waved his phone over his head and shouted, “Hell, yeah!” Everyone was waiting for us at the place we were to meet. Harley and Andrew appeared ready to fall asleep. Aunt Barbara also looked exhausted. She had been the one who had to follow them around all day. “Are you ready, Boys?” My father asked as we approached. He turned to me. “Did you have a good time, Son?” “Yes, Dad,” I replied as I looked over at Freddy. “I did.” As we headed to the exit, a man walked up with a camera. He showed my father a card and explained to him that he was a photographer for the park. He wanted to take a family photo of us. My father agreed, so we began to position ourselves for the picture. I was in the center. My father was to my left with Linda beside him. Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ray were next to her. Freddy was to my right with Gabe next to him. Andrew, Harley and Melinda knelt in front of us. Just before the photographer took the picture, my father put his arm around my shoulder. I put my arm around Freddy’s waist, and Gabe locked his arm around mine. “Smile!” The photographer shouted out as he pointed the camera at us. “Say Rumplestiltskin.” Harley and Andrew started giggling. After Linda admonished them, the photographer lifted his camera. “Smile!” The camera flashed. ******** The picture hangs in our bedroom. Our bedroom is Freddy’s and mine. I moved back home about a month after my birthday. Dad fixed up the basement for us. It looks like a small apartment. He put in a dividing wall and turned half the basement into a bedroom for us. We were afraid to ask for a king size bed, so we ended up with twin beds. I think they suspect that Freddy and I are boyfriends, but right now we are acting like we are just best friends. Gabe is the only one who really knows. After everything everybody has been through, it seems to be the best thing to do. I still wake up in the middle of the night thinking about Mom or Wade. Freddy will hear me sniffling softly. I try not to let him hear me crying, but he always seems to know. He’ll get out of his bed, crawl into mine and hold me until I stop crying. I then fall safely asleep with his arms wrapped around me. I’m falling deeper and deeper into love with him, but I still haven’t come right out and said the words to him. I know he’s waiting to hear those three little words from me. It won’t be long, though. Dad and I have found that middle ground he talked about. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to love and trust him like I did when I was younger, but I don’t hate him anymore. I even like Linda. She mothers me, but without trying to be my mother; if that makes any sense. Gabe’s still jealous. He received the computer for his birthday, and I got my driver’s license. I now drive the three of us to school each day. The storm clouds don’t hang over my head like they used to do. The sky darkens up now and then, but Freddy or Gabe is there to help me. Uncle Ray was right when he said it gets easier with each day. The hurt is a little less than the day before. I don’t ever want Mom or Wade to become just memories. I want them to live in my heart forever. Like my uncle said, they’ve become a part of who I now am. I’m finding it easier to live with that, and it gives me strength to face a new morning. And Gabe- he didn’t get any birthday sex. THE END
  5. Ronyx

    Chapter 18

    Oh, Drats, @droughtquake You know I don't like readers who ruin a story with a spoiler! 😋
  6. Ronyx

    Chapter 18

    Do you have any idea how boring in-school suspension can be? Earl and I started it yesterday, and thank God, we only have one more day to go. We enter the room quietly, sit at a cubicle and we remain there the entire day. We can’t even go to the cafeteria for lunch. I feel like I’m a prisoner. The only good thing about it is, I have managed to catch up on all the work I’ve missed the past few months. Earl keeps flirting with me. Since our ordeal in Mrs. Livingstone’s class, I guess he thinks we have bonded or something. I really don’t mind it, though. He is cute, even if his mannerisms are a bit girlish. We almost got into trouble yesterday when he passed me a note. The warden, Mr. Erving, saw him do it. “Mr. Buckman!” I thought I was going to shit my pants when I heard him shout out Earl’s name. I could only think of what happened the last time his name was shouted out in class. I quickly stuffed the paper he had passed me inside my notebook and prayed Mr. Erving wouldn’t come over and get it. “Would you like another day of suspension?” he hollered. Besides Earl and me, there were four other students sitting at cubicles across the room. They were too scared to turn in their seats to see what was happening. “No, Mr. Erving,” replied Earl in a trembling voice. And that was it. I let out a deep sigh when Erving picked up his newspaper and began to read it. Earl looked over at me and then buried his head inside the cubicle. We didn’t look at each other the rest of the day. I did read his note, though. I smiled when I saw what he had written. I’m glad Mr. Erving didn’t get it. He had drawn a pair of kissing lips. Underneath he had written, “I haven’t forgotten.” I should never have promised him I would kiss him. It wasn’t that I minded doing it. The past couple of days I found myself looking at his lips. They were full and had a pink color to them. I just didn’t want to give him the wrong impression that I liked him. He had been hurt too many times, and I didn’t want to make matters worse. When the bell rang at the end of the day, we stood and put our books in our book bags. Earl flipped his hair back and smiled at me. “One more day,” he said cheerfully. “I guess it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would me.” His smiled widened. “Of course, I’ve been able to spend it with you, Richie.” I looked around the room. Everyone had left but the two of us. “Look, Earl,” I said. “I’m not looking for a boyfriend. You’re a great guy and all...” He put his finger to my lips. “Don’t worry, Richie,” he said softly. “I know a guy like you will never want a guy like me. So you don’t have to worry. Just let me dream a little, okay? It’s harmless.” Tears started to well up in his eyes. I looked quickly around the room to make sure we were alone. I then walked over to him…and kissed him. Not a kiss like you’d give your grandmother, but a big, wet, passionate kiss. At one point, I even let him push his tongue into my mouth. My cock strained inside my pants. He let his hand brush gently across it. After a minute, he pushed away from me. His eyes were sparkling with excitement. I looked down and noticed an obvious tent in his pants. “Wow, Richie!” He raised his hand to his mouth and touched it. “That was better than I ever expected.” I smiled back at him. “Yeah, it was.” His face started to redden. “I’ve wanted to do that for years,” he confessed. “I had a dream once that I was kissing you.” He started grinning. “What we just did was even better.” “I only did it because I promised you I would,” I reminded him. When his smile disappeared, I added quickly, “But I still liked it.” I reached down and grabbed my still erect cock. “See.” “I know,” he giggled. “You let me feel it.” “I did not,” I said playfully. “You just brushed your hand against it.” “Well,” he smiled. “I still felt it.” “Come, on.” I pulled my book bag over my shoulder. When I did, Earl reached down, gripped my cock and tugged on it. “Now I’ve felt it,” he giggled. Before leaving, he grabbed my arm. “Thanks, Richie,” he said. “I know I shouldn’t feel this way because of the things that happened, but I’ve enjoyed the past few days.” “Me, too,” I smiled. I thought he was going to cry when he looked at me and said, “Thanks for being my friend. I don’t have too many.” I put my hand on his shoulder as we left the room and headed toward the exit. ******** I was surprised when I went home and found Gabe and Freddy sitting on my bed talking. They looked up when I entered. “What are you doing here?” I asked as I took my book bag from my shoulder and let it drop to the floor. Gabe grabbed imaginary bars and grinned at me. “How was prison?” “Only one more day,” I replied as I flopped down on the bed between them. “Actually, I’ve gotten a lot of my work done.” I looked at Freddy and wiggled my eyebrows. “Now I can spend more time helping you catch up.” Gabe rose from the bed and acted as if he was leaving. “I’ll leave you guys alone.” He looked at me and grinned. “I know Richie. I’ll come back in about two minutes. He should be done by then.” “Bitch!” I screamed as I threw a pillow at him. Freddy was howling with laughter. He sat back down on the bed. “So,” I said, “You didn’t tell me why you’re both here.” Gabe looked over quickly at Freddy. “Okay,” responded Gabe. “I know you’re going to say no, but...” “No!” I interrupted. “I haven’t even finished.” “I know you, Gabe,” I replied. “When you start out saying I’ll say no, then the answer is no.” “But your birthday is next week,” he announced. “You’ll be sixteen.” I stared blankly at him. “It is?” With everything I had been through for the past few months, I had completely forgotten that I had a birthday coming up. “Next Friday,” he informed me. He looked back over at Freddy. “We want to do something special for you.” Freddy nodded his head. “Please don’t say no,” Gabe pleaded. I jumped off the bed and started pacing around the room. I stopped and stood before them. “I don’t know,” I said. “I don’t think I want a party.” Gabe jumped up. “It doesn’t have to be a party, Richie. Let’s just do something special, okay?” He started grinning. “We could always streak the neighborhood again.” Freddy fell back on the bed and started laughing. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t feel like celebrating my birthday, but I knew that Gabe wouldn’t take no for an answer. Since his birthday was two months away, we had talked for years what we would do when we turned sixteen. He already had plans for us when we turned twenty-one. Most of his plans involved going to a liquor store, showing them our ID and then going home and getting drunk. Of course, we’d have to wait until his birthday to do it. I definitely didn’t want a party. Most of our friends probably wouldn’t come anyway since I was now out and everyone in school knew I was gay. Attending my party might start rumors about their own sexuality. Other students would snicker and joke about it. If I had a small birthday party with just family, then Dad and Linda would be there and I’d feel uncomfortable. Even though Dad and I were getting along better since our dinner, I hadn’t been able to accept him back into my life completely. I was still trying to figure out what that middle ground could be. I stopped pacing and stood before them. “Okay,” I said as I crossed my arms. “We are not going to streak again.” “Damn!” Gabe looked over at Freddy and smiled. “So? What do you want to do?” “I don’t know.” I shrugged my shoulders and looked over at Freddy. “How about we just go back to the amusement park? This time I can ride the rides.” Freddy smiled and nodded his head. “That doesn’t sound like a way to celebrate a big birthday, Richie,” Gabe complained. “I thought we could do something more fun. We can always go there.” “You asked me I wanted to do,” I said defensively, “and that’s what I want to do.” The amusement park seemed safe. It would get Gabe off my back, and I wouldn’t really have to be with anyone, but perhaps Freddy. Except for that afternoon we spent studying in the den at home, we really hadn’t had a chance to get to know each other very well. The last time we were at the park, we hardly spoke to one another. I was looking forward to it being like a first date. Gabe asked, “You sure it’s how you want to spend your sixteenth birthday?” “I’m sure,” I assured him. “Besides, your birthday is in two months. We’ll celebrate then, okay?” His face brightened. “Deal,” he said as he held out his hand and fisted mine. “But I want girls!” he exclaimed. “Lots of girls!” I looked over at Freddy and grinned. “All right.” I pretended to write on my hand. “Let’s see, we’ll invite Teresa. And Sasha, we have to invite her too.” “No!” Gabe shouted. Freddy and I started laughing. “Maybe a lot of girls isn’t a very good idea.” He patted the bed and asked me to sit down. Freddy sat beside me. “Okay,” he said. “We have something else to discuss.” “What?” I asked skeptically. “Well, duh.” He made a stupid face at me. “You’ll be sixteen.” He pretended like he was holding a steering wheel. “Driver’s license.” “Yeah, right,” I frowned. “Like that’s going to happen.” It had been something else that Gabe and I had discussed over the years. His father had already told him he would teach him to drive. He had even promised him a car as a graduation present. But who was going to teach me? Uncle Ray probably would if I asked him. However, getting a car now wasn’t even a possibility. Even if I did get one, I wasn’t sure my aunt or uncle would even let me drive it after what happened to Wade. “You’ve got to do it, Richie,” pleaded Gabe. “We’ve talked about this. I don’t want to drive it you don’t.” He started grinning. “Well, that was kind of a lie.” I looked disappointedly at him. “And who is going to teach me? You?” He sat up and smiled. “I can if you want, but that means I’ll be driving before you.” He looked over at Freddy. “You can teach him.” “You have your license?” Since I’d never seen him drive, I just assumed he didn’t know how. He smiled and nodded. “But you don’t drive.” “Mom lets me drive to the store once in a while,” he responded, “But that’s about all.” Gabe started to get excited. “Then you can teach Richie.” He made it sound like it was a done deal. Freddy shook his head skeptically. “I don’t know, Gabe. This plan won’t work.” “Why?” “Well for starters, I don’t have my own car.” He looked over at me. “And two, I’m not sure Mom will let me.” Gabe leaned toward him. “Maybe she can do it. She taught you, didn’t she?” Freddy got off the bed, walked over to the dresser, picked up the television remote and nervously twirled it in his hand. “Well she did, didn’t she?” Gabe asked again. “No.” Freddy looked nervously at me. “Richard did.” “Richie’s dad?” Anger swept over me, but I tried to hide my feelings from Gabe and Freddy. He had stayed out of my life, but he treated Freddy like a son. I got off the bed and walked across the hall to the restroom. I looked at myself in the mirror. I started taking deep breaths. “You can handle this, Richie.” I told myself as I looked at my image. “Don’t lose it now.” I took a few more deep breaths. “You’ll be all right,” I tried to convince myself. I then took another deep breath and walked back across the hall. Gabe and Freddy stopped whispering when I entered. “We’ll just wait a few months until I get my license,” Gabe suggested. “I’ll teach you to drive.” I tried to smile. “It’s okay, Gabe, really. I’ll just have you chauffeur me around when I have to go someplace.” “Bet!” responded Gabe as we fisted. I looked over at Freddy, but he still had a worried look on his face. ******** What started out as a birthday outing with Gabe and Freddy turned into a huge event. My birthday was on Friday; but since we had school, we decided to go on Saturday. When we went downstairs and asked my aunt if she could take us, Uncle Ray asked if there would be a problem if he went. “I haven’t been on a ride with Barbara in years,” my uncle said as he grabbed Aunt Barbara’s hand. “It will be like old times again.” Gabe looked at me. I shrugged my shoulders. How could I tell them no when we needed them to take us. When Freddy went home and asked Linda if he could go, Harley overheard him. He told Andrew. They got excited and convinced Freddy to let them go. However, that would mean another car would be needed. Linda volunteered to drive. Freddy said when she discussed it over dinner that night, my father told her he’d like to go with us. That also meant that Melinda would join us too. If that wasn’t bad enough, I happened to mention to Earl that I was turning sixteen in a week. He got excited and told me he was going to get me a gift. I tried to talk him out of it, but he insisted. I then accidentally mentioned where I was going to spend my birthday, and he asked if he could go. When he thought I was going to turn him down, he looked like he was going to cry- so I agreed. He’s been bugging me all week about it. You would think I asked him to marry me. The only problem was Freddy. Now that we were beginning to like each other, I was afraid Earl might mess that up. Freddy would be hurt if he thought Earl was interested in me, and I was afraid of hurting Earl’s feelings. For someone who wasn’t interested in finding another boyfriend, I sure had gotten myself into a mess. Then Gabe almost had a stroke when I told him I had invited Earl. “You did what!” he shrieked. I had to grab his mouth and hold it since we were eating lunch in the cafeteria. He looked angrily at me and whispered, “I swear to God, Richie, I’ll kill you if I have to end up riding rides with him all day.” It didn’t help that I started laughing hysterically. I could only imagine Earl trying to kiss him when they stopped at the top of a ride. So, what had started out as just the three of us going to the amusement park to celebrate a quiet birthday had grown to eleven. Gabe, Freddy, Earl and I would ride with Uncle Ray. Linda had a van, so everyone else would cram into it. ********** I went home after school with Freddy on Tuesday to help him with an assignment in history. He said he was almost finished with the make-up work, but that he would continue to need my help. I think it was just his way of spending time with me. Linda was in the kitchen preparing dinner. She smiled when she saw us. She walked over and hugged Freddy. “How was school?” He shrugged his shoulders. “It’s school,” he replied as he took a cookie off a plate and nibbled on it. Linda then approached me. She started to hug me but stopped. “May I?” she asked as she held out her arms. I nodded and reluctantly said, “I guess.” She gave me a quick hug as I kept my arms to the side. She and Freddy continued to talk about school for a few more minutes. Linda gave me a glass of milk and a couple of cookies. I sat at the island and listened to them. It was much like the conversation Mom and I used to have when I me home- except Linda’s cookies tasted better. We heard the bus pull up outside, and a minute later Andrew and Harley came bounding into the kitchen. “Don’t run, Boys!” Linda admonished them as they dropped their schoolbooks on the floor and grabbed a handful of cookies. She told them to pick up their books and go to their room. “Can we go swimming, Mom?” Harley asked. She went to the window and looked out “Isn’t it a little cool to swim?” “The pool’s heated,” remarked Andrew excitedly. “Can we Linda, huh?” I was surprised to hear my brother call her Linda. Since she had moved in, I was afraid that she and dad would try to get Melinda and him call her Mom. When I asked about it later, Freddy told me that Andrew did call her mom once. She sat him down and explained that she wasn’t his mother, and that he had only one. She was watching down from heaven and she wouldn’t like it if he called her that. Freddy said Andrew started crying while she held him. Since then, he’s called her Linda. She looked out the window again. “All right, but only for a little while. I don’t want you getting sick.” “Yes!” Harley shouted as he grabbed his books and raced Andrew to their room. Freddy and I headed downstairs to work on his assignment. We had no sooner sat down before he leaned in and kissed me. “I’ve wanted to do that all day.” His face began to redden. “You have?” I leaned in and kissed him quickly. “Why?” I kissed him again, only a little longer. He moaned softly. I laughed when he dropped his hand to his lap and rearranged his growing cock. “We’d better stop,” he said sadly as he pulled his history book from his book bag. I admired him for not wanting to go too fast in our relationship. I was still trying to deal with Wade’s death. Every time Freddy and I kissed, it made me feel guilty. I think Freddy understood and he knew we had to take small steps. I was beginning to really like Freddy. I trusted him. Sometimes it seemed like he knew what I was thinking before I even knew myself. If I felt sad, he would just reach out and touch me. If we were alone, he would hold my hand. Other times he’d just look at me and smile and seeing the sparkle in his eye would make me smile. I felt I was starting to fall in love with him, but when I’d have those thoughts it would scare the hell out of me. I had lost two people I loved. I think I was afraid to love again. “Did you hear what I said?” I looked up and Freddy was staring at me. “What?” “I said I have something important to ask you.” He had a worried look on his face. “But I’m afraid you’ll say no. At least give it some thought.” “What are you talking about?” He sighed. “Okay, but just think about it.” “What!” I was beginning to get upset with the game he was playing. “I want to throw you a small birthday party Friday night.” “No!” I startled him when I shouted. “I told you I don’t want a party!” He looked at me pleadingly. “But it’s your sixteeth birthday, Richie. It doesn’t have to be a big party. Just some ice cream and cake. Mom said she would bake whatever your favorite cake is.” “You know I don’t want a party,” I insisted. He leaned in and kissed me. “Please?” he pleaded. “For me?” He kissed me again, only a little more passionately. “That’s not fair,” I said as I pulled away and looked into his smiling face. “I know,” he replied as he pulled me forward and kissed me again. “I don’t play fair,” he moaned into my mouth. “So?” he asked hopefully when he pulled away. “Or do I have to try and convince you more?” “I don’t...” he pressed his lips to mine before I had a chance to finish what I was going to say. His hand dropped to my lap and he gently squeezed my erection. I started giggling and removed his hand. “That’s really not fair,” I laughed. He smiled, “So is it working?” “You’re an idiot,” I laughed as I kissed him quickly. “Okay, but only because you convinced me.” “Yes!” he shouted as he kissed me again. “I promise, it won’t be anything big. Just Gabe and us.” I knew the us meant Dad and Linda too. “Of course, you can ask anyone else you want.” A slight frown appeared on his face. “You can ask Earl if you want.” I started laughing. “Is someone jealous?” I kidded him. I even pretended to toss my hair back like Earl. “What if I am?” he pouted. “He follows you around like a puppy dog. You even asked him to go with us Saturday.” I patted the side of my face. “I can’t help it if I’m irresistible.” He frowned, then grabbed his pen and started to work on his assignment. I could tell he was hurt. He thought that I was interested in Earl. I took the pen from his hand and laid it down. I then took his hand and held it. “There’s nothing going on with Earl. I promise. He just needs a friend, a close friend. We both understand that.” I started to grin. “Besides, I told him I was kind of seeing someone.” “Who?” Freddy pretended to be hurt, but I could tell he was holding back a smile. “This really great guy.” He leaned in and kissed me. “Do I know him?” “You may.” I kissed him back. “Does he love you?” I pulled away and stared into his eyes. Tears started to form in mine. He had finally said the word I was too afraid to admit to myself. “I can’t say it, Freddy.” He wiped away a tear that was falling down my cheek with his finger. “I know,” he said softly as he leaned in and kissed me gently. “I told you I can wait.” He pulled away and smiled. “Forever it you want me to.” I leaned in and rested my head on his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around me and held me tightly. “It won’t take that long,” I mumbled into his neck.
  7. Ronyx

    Chapter 17

    The movie, The Laramie Project, is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1qiTmF0p4A The play format is also available.
  8. Ronyx

    Chapter 17

    @droughtquake One thing that keeps Matthew's memory alive for the younger generation is the play, The Laramie Project. In the past two years, I've seen it performed at a major university and a large church with numerous young people attending.
  9. Ronyx

    Chapter 17

    @Wesley8890 Wesley be like:
  10. Ronyx

    Chapter 17

    Mr. Latham’s secretary brought in a chair for my father. He sat slightly behind between Earl and me. The secretary sat in a chair off to our left. Mr. Latham turned to her and asked, “Are you ready, Mrs. Davenport?” She positioned a steno pad on her lap and nodded. “All right then,” he said as he scanned the room. “Let’s get started.” He crossed his arms on the table and leaned forward in his desk. He first looked at me, then Earl, and finally Mrs. Livingstone. He then turned his attention back to Earl and me. “We are here for a preliminary hearing concerning a very serious incident that occurred his morning,” he stated as looked around the room. He then turned to Mrs. Livingstone. “It’s one that warrants immediate attention.” He looked at my father, Aunt Barbara, Uncle Ray and Earl’s mother. “I informed you on the phone what has been alleged.” He rose from his desk, came around and sat down atop it. He was directly in front of me. “The first matter I’m going to address is the boys’ behavior.” My heart started pounding when he peered down at us. “I’ve spoken to several students who witnessed the incident.” He looked over at Mrs. Livingstone and then back at us. “I’m dismissing the disruptive behavior complaint.” I let out a sigh of relief. “There doesn’t seem to have been any evidence of that by what other students have said.” My hands started to tremble when he looked down at us again. “But, I cannot, and will not, tolerate students speaking disrespectfully to a member of my staff. If you feel that a teacher is wrong, then you can come see me. Calling a teacher out of her name will not be tolerated.” I jumped to my feet and stood defiantly before him. “But she can call me a faggot and get away with it?” Earl stood beside me. “Yeah, Mr. Latham!” he loudly exclaimed. He looked over at Mrs. Livingstone. “We’re going to get in trouble, and she’s not?” My father stepped forward and put his hands on our shoulders. “Sit down, Boys,” he said softly but sternly. “Let Mr. Latham finish.” Earl and I looked at each other and then sat down. My father stood between us and kept his hands on our shoulders. The principal nodded at my father and then proceeded. “Normally, I would suspend a student for five days for such behavior.” I started to jump back up, but my father pushed me gently back into my seat. “But under the circumstances, I am going to issue a three-day in-school suspension.” “What!” I looked over as Earl started to get to his feet, but my father pressed down on his shoulder. Mr. Latham looked back down at us. “I know you don’t understand, but I must be sure that all the school’s policies are strictly enforced.” “That’s not fair,” Earl muttered. Mr. Latham got up and returned to his seat. He thumbed through some papers. The room was deadly quiet. It was as if everyone were holding their breath. Finally, he looked up. “Now as to the other matter.” He put his hands to his chin as if in prayer as he looked over at Mrs. Livingstone. “Young people are impulsive.” He looked at Earl and me. “They sometimes say what is on their minds, and then they regret it later. They also learn too late that their actions have consequences.” He turned back to Mrs. Livingstone. “However, adults, particularly those in positions of authority, should weigh their actions carefully before acting.” My father put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed it gently. Mr. Latham looked around the room. “I think we all know what happened in that room today.” He turned and glared at Mrs. Livingstone. “A member of my staff said something that was hateful and demeaning to a student. She called Richie a name that I can’t even bring myself to say.” I looked over, and she had her head down as he spoke. Mr. Latham was visibly upset. He sat back and took a deep breath before continuing. He then leaned forward and looked at me. “Do you have anything you want to say, Richie?” I know the expression on my face must have looked like a deer in the headlights. My face began to redden as everyone looked at me. My father gently squeezed my shoulder. “No..., Sir,” I managed to stammer out. He turned to Earl and asked if he would like to speak. Earl seemed as nervous as I was. He shook his head. I noticed my father squeeze his shoulder like he had mine. “I have something to say.” Earl’s mother stood up and faced everyone. Tears were shining in her eyes. “Mother, don’t!” Earl tried to pull her back to her seat, but she pushed his hand away. “Let me talk, Baby,” she cried. “I think this woman,” she pointed to Mrs. Livingstone, “needs to hear this.” “As the mother of a gay child,” she spoke as tears started to fall down her face, “I can’t begin count the heartaches I’ve endured over the years.” She turned and looked around the room. “How can you hold your son and tell him everything is all right when he comes home from school crying because the other children were teasing him because he’s different than them.” Earl buried his head in his hands and started weeping loudly. I scooted my chair over to him and put my arm around his back. “How do you try to convince him that he’s going to lead a happy, normal life when you can’t even convince yourself that he ever will?” I could hear sniffling coming from all around the room. “How do you hold a precious boy in your arms and tell him it’s okay to be gay, when...” she walked over and stood before Mrs. Livingstone, “when others call him a faggot!” Her words were filled with years of anger. She turned to Mr. Latham. “Maybe you can’t say it, but my son has been hearing those words all his life.” She sat down and sobbed loudly. Earl’s head dropped into her lap as she held him. By now I was crying, as was everyone else in the room- except Mrs. Livingstone. She sat with a cold expression on her face. Mr. Latham took a box of tissue from his desk and handed it to my uncle. It was then passed around the room as people dried the tears from their eyes. “May I say something?” I was startled when my father spoke behind me. “Of course, Detective Ferguson,” responded Mr. Latham. My father patted my shoulder and then moved around and sat down on the edge of Latham’s desk. He looked around the room before speaking. “I’ve been a detective for almost twenty years. In those twenty years, I’ve investigated many crime scenes.” I held my head down as he spoke. I knew if I looked up, I would burst into tears. “I’ve investigated automobile accidents, murders, suicides and robberies,” he said. He paused for a second before continuing. “But the hardest to investigate are the hate crimes. The hateful, senseless, irrational actions that people display toward others.” He looked at Mrs. Livingstone, but she had her head down and refused to look at him. “I’ve been called to scenes where derogatory words were spray painted on a black family’s garage. Or someone hung a black cat on their porch as a warning that they weren’t wanted in the neighborhood.” He sighed deeply before continuing. “I’ve been to a crime scene where a young man was beaten outside a gay bar and left to die in a dark alley.” His voice trembled with emotion. “He had the word ‘fag’ etched into his chest with a switchblade.” I looked up briefly and saw tears in his eyes. I quickly looked away. “I attended a Hate Crimes Conference in Dallas a few years ago. At the beginning of the conference they showed pictures from the crime scene of Matthew Shepard on a giant television screen. I’ve investigated hundreds of crime scenes without emotion. I, as well as others in the room that day, broke down and cried.” He walked over and stood before Mrs. Livingstone. “It was just a word to you. However, it was filled with hate. It cut into these boys’ hearts just like that knife cut into that boy’s chest in that dark, cold alley.” He walked slowly and stood behind me. He put his hand my shoulder and squeezed it. “Sorry, Son,” he muttered softly. I lifted my sleeve and wiped the tears from my eyes. Earl took my hand and held it. Again, the room was deadly silent. Everyone looked at Mr. Latham while he nervously pushed some papers around on his desk. He looked up. “Does anyone else have anything they’d like to add?” He turned to Mrs. Livingstone. “Would you like to say anything in your defense?” She shook her head and looked down. Then, suddenly, she cleared her throat and looked menacingly at me and Earl. My father stepped nearer. She finally stood and pointed her thin, narrow finger at us. “Look at them!” she spat angrily. “You act like they are the hurt ones. But... but... they are nothing but perverts!” There was a collective gasp in the room. “Perverts!” She spat again. “Mrs. Livingstone!” Mr. Latham shouted as he got up from his desk. The man in the business suit grabbed her arm, but she pulled away. “My little nephew was ten when one of their kind molested him in a playground.” She started to cry as she looked down at Earl’s mother. “How do you explain that to a little boy?” She pointed her finger at us again. “All you perverts should die and go to hell!” With a jerk, the man in the business suit pulled her screaming from the room. “Die!” Everyone in the room was stunned. We couldn’t believe what we had just witnessed. I don’t know why, but I felt sorry for her. She must have been carrying a lot of hatred around inside her for a long time. I, if anyone, knew what that felt like. “I’m very sorry,” apologized Mr. Latham. “I didn’t know she would react like that.” He looked worriedly at Earl and me. “Are you boys all right?” We looked at each other and then nodded. He sat back and looked at the people in the room. “I’m very sorry this incident occurred. Believe me when I tell you it is not the typical behavior of the staff here.” I looked at Earl when he made a clearing sound with his throat. Mr. Latham glanced at him quickly before continuing. “This matter will be handled in a professional manner. However, I can assure you that as long as I am principal, Mrs. Livingstone will not teach here or at any other school.” He stood, walked over and shook Earl and my hands. “Sorry, Boys.” He then went around the room and shook hands with the others present. Earl and I slowly made our way out the door. “Wow!” Earl exclaimed as we stepped into the hall. “That was something. Mrs. Livingstone went crazy in there.” “Yeah,” I responded. “Your Dad said some cool things, though,” he remarked. “You’re pretty lucky. My old man split a long time ago.” I started to say, “So did mine,” but I didn’t. I simply nodded my head. Our eyes met and he grinned mischievously. “So,” he smiled, “since we’ve been through so much, maybe we should go out sometime and talk about it.” “Nice try,” I smiled. “But, um… I may be seeing someone.” I wasn’t sure if Freddy and my friendship would deepen, but I didn’t want to take any chances. Earl’s shoulders drooped, and I thought he was going to cry. “Again? Well, I thought you were single.” “I am,” but quickly added, “I might be. I’m not sure yet.” “Who is it?” “I don’t want to say,” I replied. “At least until I’m sure.” He moved forward and gave me a hug. “Well, if it doesn’t work out, I’m always here for you, Richie.” “I’ll keep that in mind,” I replied. He looked at me mischievously again. “Can I at least kiss you?” My eyes widened. He started giggling. “I’ve always wanted to know what it was like to kiss Richie Ferguson.” I looked nervously around. “You mean here?” He shrugged his shoulders. “Sure, why not. No one’s around.” Just then, the office door opened, and my aunt and uncle came out. “Damn!” he hissed. “So, can I? Please.” I looked over and saw people were coming out of Mr. Latham’s office. My father had just exited the room. “Okay,” I said hurriedly. “But not here.” Earl’s eyes lit up. “Really?” I nodded my head. “When?” “I don’t know, but sometime soon,” I replied. “Just don’t expect it to be too much.” “I don’t care,” he said dreamily. “Promise?” I crossed my heart. “Yeah,” I said as others approached. “Promise.” He gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before joining his mother as she talked to Mr. Latham. My father was the first to approach me. “Are you all right, Son?” He leaned forward to hug me, hesitated, and then took a step back. “I’m fine,” I replied. I thought about reaching out for him, but I didn’t. Aunt Barbara walked up and said, “Let’s go home.” At first, I started to follow Dad, but then I realized that she was heading in the opposite direction. I turned and followed her and Uncle Ray out of the building. ******** “No shit!” Gabe was sitting cross-legged on my bed. I had been telling him about the meeting in Mr. Latham’s office. “She really called you guys perverts?” “Yeah,” I said. A grin appeared on his face. “I’ve known it for years. How did she find out?” I tried not to laugh, but Gabe was making a stupid face at me. “It’s not funny.” He stopped laughing. “I know, Richie,” he replied, “but this shit is too unbelievable. I can’t believe a teacher feels like that.” “I know,” I said. “She must have been going around for years giving any student she thought was gay a hard time.” “I had her last year for lit,” he replied. “I always thought she was cool.” “You’re straight,” I reminded him. “Yeah.” He started to say something but my cell phone rang. I got off the bed and picked it up off the desk. When I saw who it was, I threw it on the bed without answering it and then sat back down. Gabe looked at the name on my caller ID and laughed. “You’re not going to answer it?” I shook my head. He picked it up and opened it before I could stop him. “Hey, Fucker!” he giggled into the phone. I watched as his face began to turn red. “No, Sir,” he replied nervously. “This isn’t Richie.” He looked at me and grimaced. “Gabe, Sir.” He paused again. “Yes, Sir.” He then handed me the phone. I refused to take it, but he thrust it in my hand. “Hi, Dad.” Gabe was looking at me excitedly. “What’s he want?” he mouthed. I shrugged my shoulders. I listened for a minute. “Yes, Sir.” I looked over at Gabe and frowned. “But, Dad,” I started to protest but he had hung up. “Why didn’t you warn me, Richie?” He covered his hands with his face. “I called your Dad a fucker!” I started laughing. “It’s not like I haven’t called him that before. Why do you think he’s in my contacts with that name?” “He’s going to hate me!” he moaned. “I’ll never be able to face him again.” Again, I tried to assure him that it was probably all right. Dad had actually been laughing when I answered the phone, but I didn’t tell Gabe that. I thought it would be fun to watch him worry about it. Gabe scooted nearer to me. “What did he want?” “He’s taking me to dinner.” “What!” “He says he wants to take me to dinner,” I informed him. “I have to be ready in a half hour.” “Where are you going?” “I don’t know,” I said as I got off the bed and walked over to the closet. I pulled back some clothes and took out a grey suit. “What are you doing?” Gabe had a puzzled look on his face. “I thought you were going to dinner.” I shrugged my shoulders. “We are. He told me to dress up.” “Damn,” Gabe replied as I ushered him from the room so I could get ready. All my father had said was that he wanted to take me to dinner. I was to be ready in a half hour and to wear a suit. He hung up before I had a chance to protest. A half hour later, I heard the doorbell ring. I took a final look at myself in the mirror and nervously made my way downstairs. ********* I looked around his black sedan when I got in. I had never ridden in it before. When he left home, he was driving a Dodge van. I was fascinated by his built in GPS system. It was the first time I had ever seen one. We rode in silence. Occasionally, he would look over at me and smile, but he didn’t say anything. I was relieved when we pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant. It was a big white building with a canopy over the front door. A valet ran out and took the keys from my father. He put his hand on my back as we walked up the stairs. “Good evening, Detective Ferguson,” the lady standing behind a podium sang out. “We have a table for two reserved for you. Follow me.” Again, my father put his hand on my back as we followed her to a table toward the back. She turned and said, “Is this all right, Sir?” My father nodded, and she walked away. I sat down and looked around. The place was elegant. There were chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. The tables were ornate with red tablecloths and a large floral centerpiece. I thought that it must be costing my father a fortune for us to eat here. A young waiter walked up and stood over the table. He was attractive. He looked Hispanic and spoke with a heavy Spanish accent. “May I get you something to drink?” he asked politely. “I’ll have a bourbon and water,” my father replied. The waiter then looked at me. I grinned and said, “I’ll have the same.” He looked down and smiled. “A bourbon and water and a Coke. I’ll be right back.” I heard my father snicker as he walked away. My eyes widened as I read the menu. I couldn’t believe the prices. A steak cost over $40, and lobster was $60. The waiter returned with our drinks and asked my father if we were ready to order. “I’ll have the porter house steak, medium.” The waiter nodded and turned to me. “And you, Sir?” I looked questioningly at my father. I was used to ordering a Big Mac at McDonald’s. I wasn’t sure what I should have. “How does a steak sound, Son?” I shrugged my shoulders. My father quickly scanned the menu and then looked up at the waiter. “Let’s try the rib eye, medium.” He looked over at me. I again shrugged my shoulders. “Very good, Sir.” The waiter sang out. “Would you like an appetizer while you are waiting?” My father scanned the menu. “Shrimp cocktail.” “Excellent choice, Sir.” The waiter closed his pad and scurried off. My father sat back and smiled. “Well,” he said. “What do you think?” “It’s... it’s...” I looked around the room. “It’s not McDonald’s.” He started laughing. His mood quickly changed. “You look nice tonight, Richard.” He cleared his throat. “I mean, Richie. You’re growing up so fast. It seems like yesterday you were a little boy sitting in my lap.” I looked down and started playing with my napkin. I was beginning to understand why he brought me here. “Richie?” I looked up and met his eyes. “I’m sorry, Son.” Tears were starting to form in his eyes. I looked down and continued to twist my napkin. “It’s okay,” I mumbled. I now understood his plan. He got me dressed up in a public place so that I couldn’t yell and scream at him. I was trapped. I couldn’t get up and walk out. I had to listen to him. “No, it isn’t, Richie.” His voice was filled with emotion. “I should have been there for you, Andrew and Melinda. Believe me when I tell you I wanted to.” I looked up at him. “Then why didn’t you?” I was trying hard not to cry. Several people around us were beginning to notice the emotional state we were in. Just then the waiter walked up with a large glass containing jumbo shrimp hanging from the side. The glass contained some red sauce. “Your shrimp cocktail.” He gave us a puzzled look and then walked away. My father took a shrimp, dipped it in the sauce and took a bite. He held it up to me. “This is good, Richie. Try one.” I shook my head. “I’d rather not.” He leaned toward me and spoke softly. “Your mother was a wonderful woman.” His voice was quivering and emotional. “There was a time we were deeply in love. But as often happens in a marriage, we started to drift apart. We tried to make it work for you, Andrew and Melinda, but we couldn’t. When I left, there were a lot of hard feelings.” “But she was sick,” I said as tears welled up in my eyes. “She wasn’t when I left,” he replied. “And when she became sick with cancer, I asked her if I could return to help. She refused.” I looked into his eyes. “What about Linda?” “I wasn’t with her when I left your mother,” he explained. “She wasn’t the reason I left home.” He sat back and sighed. “If I had to do it over again, I would have been more forceful with your mother. I should have been there.” I wiped tears from my eyes with the napkin. If we had been at home I probably would have been standing and yelling at him. I would have unleashed the years of hurt that was trapped inside me. Instead, I let silent tears flow. I looked at him through tearful eyes. “But you hit me.” He cupped his hand over his mouth as more tears appeared in his eyes. “You have no idea how bad I feel about that.” He reached for my hand, but I pulled it away. “You hated me, and I knew it. I couldn’t deal with it, so I acted defensively.” “But...’ He raised his hand to stop me. “I know,” he said tearfully. “For a while, I forgot you were my son.” He reached for my hand and this time I let him touch it. “I’m sorry, Son.” I finally asked him the question that had been plaguing me for weeks. “Why did you put me out of the house?” “I didn’t,” he responded. “I set you free.” I gave him a puzzled look. “Set me free?” “Yes, Son,” he replied. “There’s a saying that if you love something, you set it free.” He lifted his napkin and wiped tears from his eyes. He then looked sadly over at me. “I just hoped that you would return home someday.” A man in a tuxedo walked up to our table. “Is everything all right, Sir?” My father nodded and waved him off. “Richie?” I looked up. “I know I’ll never have your love again. I doubt if I deserve it.” He wiped tears again with his napkin. “I just don’t want you to spend the rest of your life hating me. Perhaps someday, we can find a middle ground.” I nodded and stared down at the red tablecloth. I pushed myself away from the table. “Excuse me,” I said as I rose to my feet. “I have to go to the bathroom.” Several people gave me puzzled looks when I walked down the aisle. I know they wondered why I was crying. I went into the restroom and leaned against the wall. I could see myself in the mirror. I looked remarkably like my father. Even though my hair was still short, my facial features resembled his. I was his son. I couldn’t deny that. I walked over and splashed water on my face. I took some paper towels and dried myself. When I looked back in the mirror, again I saw him. I began to wonder if I was more like him than just looks alone. A man entered and looked over at me before stepping up to the urinal. I turned and left. As I headed out, I passed the entrance. The woman who had taken us to our seats smiled at me as I stopped and stared out the door. I wanted to leave, but I couldn’t. As hard as it must have been for him to do it, he took the first step in trying to rebuild our relationship. I just wasn’t sure if it was in my heart to forgive him, though. People stared at me as I walked toward the back of the restaurant where he was sitting. He smiled at me as I sat down. “I thought you might leave,” he said. I looked at him and forced a smile. “I considered it.” “I wouldn’t have blamed you if you did,” he replied, “but I’m glad you came back.” Just then the waiter came up to our table carrying a tray with our steaks. We ate in a comfortable silence.
  11. Ronyx

    Chapter 16

    @droughtquake It took me a while to understand what you were talking about. Thank goodness for Google. I'm sure a few younger readers are scratching their heads.
  12. Ronyx

    Chapter 16

    We stood facing each other. I had hoped that I wouldn’t run in to him. And by the look on his face, I don’t think he was aware I was in the house. Freddy’s mother rushed from the kitchen and grabbed me by my arm. “This way, Richie,” she insisted nervously as she pulled me into the dining room. Andrew, Harley and Melissa were already seated. Freddy walked over and sat down beside Andrew. “Move over a seat, Dear,” she instructed Freddy. She then had me sit between Andrew and Freddy. The seats had been situated tightly together. Andrew was practically sitting in my lap, and my right leg was pressed firmly against Freddy’s. He walked in and took a seat. He glanced quickly at me before asking Linda, “Is there anything I can do to help?” She came hurriedly from the kitchen carrying a large bowl of spaghetti. She placed it in the center of the table. She looked nervously around the table before disappearing again. Seconds later, she returned with a plate of garlic bread. She sat down, folded her hands and said to Harley, “You say grace.” I bowed my head while Harley gave thanks for the spaghetti because it was his favorite dish. Andrew started snickering to my left. “And thank you Jesus, for letting Richie eat with us tonight. Just don’t let him eat too much spaghetti.” Andrew giggled again as Linda lightly smacked Harley’s hand. “Amen.” Everyone took a heaping portion of the spaghetti. It looked delicious. Linda kept looking nervously at me. I think she was afraid I would get into an argument with him as I had in the past. “Did you boys work on Freddy’s history assignment?” She asked as she attempted to ease the tension at the table. “Yes, Ma’am,” Freddy replied. “We got quite a bit done. Richie’s pretty smart.” My Dad glanced quickly over at us. “You’re smart too, Freddy,” she assured him. “Yeah,” giggled Harley. “You just suck at hiskory.” “It’s history, Dear,” she corrected him. “And your brother doesn’t suck.” She looked quickly at Freddy and exclaimed, “Oh, My!” I looked over as his face turned scarlet red. My father was trying to stifle a laugh. “Yes, well,” he said quickly. “Perhaps we should change the subject.” He turned to me. “Richard,” he asked, “How are you doing in school?” I tried to ignore him by reaching for a piece of garlic bread, but Freddy elbowed me in my side. “Fine, Sir,” I replied without looking at him. Freddy dropped his hand from the side of the table, took my hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “I’m learning to add!” Harley announced excitedly. “Listen, 3 plus 3 is 6.” The rest of the dinner conversation involved Andrew quizzing Harley on his math skills. I thought he did really well for his age. Since Linda did the cooking, it was customary for the children to clean the table and put the dishes in the dishwasher. Freddy told the younger children they didn’t have to help. They hurried from the room before he changed his mind. Linda and my father disappeared to their bedroom, leaving Freddy and me alone. “Are you all right?” Freddy asked me when we took a load of dishes into the kitchen. “Yeah,” I started laughing. “Dad and I were actually in the same room without getting into a fight.” “I know,” he sighed. “I think Mom and I were worried the entire time.” He nudged me in my side. “You handled it really well.” We walked back into the dining room and returned with more dishes. “Just don’t get used to it,” I replied. “I don’t plan on making it a habit of eating here.” His smile turned quickly to a sad expression. “Okay,” he said. “I was hoping we could spend more time together.” “We can,” I assured him. “But maybe at my house, or even in school.” He remained quiet as we continued to clean up. As we were standing in front of the dishwasher, I nudged him in his side. I started giggling. “So, you don’t suck?” He put his hands to his face and moaned. “I can’t believe Mom said that. I was so embarrassed.” I smiled at him. “I thought it was cute the way you turned so red.” He elbowed me in my side. “Shut up.” I continued to tease him. “You never did answer my question,” I giggled. “Do you?” He glanced down quickly at my crotch. “If you’re good, you may find out.” I started laughing and replied, “If you’re bad, you may.” His face reddened again. I leaned in and quickly kissed him. We turned when we heard a noise behind us. “Oh!” His mother exclaimed. “Excuse me.” She turned and hurried from the kitchen. ******** My aunt and uncle were sitting in the family room when I got home. I entered and plopped down on the sofa beside my aunt, toed off my shoes and rested them on the coffee table. She quickly hit my leg. “Were you raised in a barn?” she asked. I started grunting like a pig. She and my uncle burst out laughing. “Someone is in a good mood,” she smiled. I guess it had been a long time since they had seen me laugh. “Did you have fun last night at Gabe’s?” “Yeah,” I replied, “I did.” I sat and watched television with them for a while. It was some old action movie I had never seen before. The special effects sucked. I couldn’t believe that people used to watch things like that. After a while, I went to my bedroom to finish an assignment in literature that was due on Monday. I lay on the bed and opened my lit book to chapter six of Beowulf. My eyes instantly closed, and I fell asleep. I must have slept for about an hour when I felt a tickle on my nose. I tried to ignore it, but it continued. When I raised my hand to scratch it, I felt foam on my face. I opened my eyes when I heard Gabe roaring with laughter. Uncle Ray was standing behind him holding a can of shaving cream. “What the hell!” I yelled as I looked at the white foam covering my right hand. I then lifted the hand to my head and smeared more cream onto my face. Uncle Ray left the room laughing so hard tears were flowing down his cheeks. Gabe was standing over me laughing uncontrollably. I jumped from the bed and lunged at him. We both tumbled to the ground as I attempted to smear what remained of the shaving cream into his face. We wrestled on the ground for a few minutes before stopping. He scooted back and rested against the bed while he tried to catch his breath. I got up, went into the bathroom and removed the cream with a towel. He was still laughing when I returned. “That was so fucking funny!” he laughed. “I got to hand it to your uncle, I would never have thought of doing something like that.” “This was his idea?” “Yeah,” Gabe continued to laugh. “He’s a pretty cool guy.” I looked over and scowled. “You know I’m going to get even with you someday?” “Ohhhh!” He pretended to shiver. “I’m so scared.” I threw the towel I was holding at him. I sat down on the bed beside him. “What did your Dad say to you after we left?” I knew Mr. Dyson well enough to know that he would not forget about us streaking. I figured I would probably be helping Gabe clean out the attic next weekend or something. Gabe frowned. “I can’t see Sasha next weekend,” he announced. “He said he won’t take me. I can’t wait until I turn sixteen so I can get my license.” “What about your mom?” “She’s mad at us too.” “Us!” “Yeah,” he replied. “It was your idea.” “My idea!” I screamed. “You’re the one who talked me and Freddy into doing it with you. You were naked before we even climbed down from the tree house.” “For the record,” he grinned. “It was your idea. I just told them I did it because you talked me into it.” I sighed and sat back on the bed. It was no use to even argue with Gabe. He turned to me. “So, what about you and Freddy?” “What about us?” I was afraid to say anything to him because I didn’t want to out Freddy. Gabe raised his eyebrows. “Come on, Richie,” he asked, “Do you like, like him?” He giggled when he saw my face begin to redden. “You do, don’t you?” “Gabe,” I insisted. “I really can’t say anything.” “Why?” he asked. “It’s okay. I know he’s gay.” “You do?” “Yeah,” he grinned. “I kind of figured it out because of the way he was always looking at you. Why do you think I got you guys naked last night?” “You had us streak so we could get together?” "Yeah!” His face beamed with excitement. “Did it work? I saw how you guys were sleeping when you woke up this morning.” My eyes narrowed. “You planned this whole weekend, didn’t you?” “Yeah, sure,” he giggled. “Did it work?” “What about Cindi?” I couldn’t figure out why he had tried to get Freddy to go out on a date with her if he knew Freddy was gay. “Oh, that,” he replied. “I didn’t plan that, but it worked out pretty good. Did it make you jealous when he was with her?” “What!” “It did, didn’t it?” he asked excitedly. “I knew it!” I hit him in his arm. “You, Fucker.” I acted like I was mad, but I couldn’t stop grinning. “So, did you guys like do it when you went back to your house?” He made a gesture with his fingers. “No!” I shouted. “We didn’t,” I imitated his gesture, “do it!” “Damn!” he replied disappointedly. His eyes brightened up. “Did you at least kiss him?” He started laughing when my face reddened. “You did!” “Shut up, Fucker,” I said as I elbowed him in his side. “Umpph,” he moaned. “I find you a boyfriend and this is the thanks I get?” “You didn’t find me a boyfriend,” I insisted. “So, when did you kiss him?” He sat up and waited for me to reply. I looked into his eager face and smiled. “Why are you so interested this?” His face softened. “I just want to see you happy, Richie.” Tears started to form in his eyes. “You’ve been through so much shit you deserve to be happy.” I leaned in and gave him a hug. We embraced for about ten seconds before he started to giggle. He pulled away, grinned at me and asked, “You’re not going to kiss me, are you?” “You should be so lucky,” I laughed. I then lifted my leg and kneed him in his nuts. “Ouch!” He screamed as he curled into a ball and moaned. “That will teach you to play matchmaker,” I laughed. He pulled me down on the bed and we wrestled around for several minutes before Aunt Barbara came to the door and told us to quit acting like children. ******** I stood nervously outside the large doors of the school waiting for Freddy to arrive. Gabe had even noticed I that I was edgy, but I used the excuse that I was worried about a test in biology. Actually, I had been nervous since his mother had seen us kissing in the kitchen. She was still in her room when I left. Freddy said he would ask her to take me home, but I thought it might be a little awkward. She knew he was gay. She also knew I was gay. So that wasn’t what worried me. For some reason I felt we had committed incest. Even though we weren’t close, he was like a big brother to Andrew. I guess that kind of made him my big brother. There was also the possibility that we could live in the same house someday, although I had decided I would never again live under the same roof as my father. I just needed to see Freddy and see if he was feeling like I was. I certainly wasn’t interested in becoming involved in another relationship. I still thought about Wade. There wasn’t an hour that would go by that I didn’t picture his face. We had only had sex a few times, but I relived those few times often. It wasn’t the kind of thoughts that I would have late at night in bed, get an erection, and then masturbate. They were more like… I don’t know how to describe them. Maybe warm feelings would come closest to how I felt. I would picture his mischievous grin just before he did something funny, and I would find myself smiling. Then I would have to fight back tears knowing I would never see that smile again. So, no. I wasn’t ready for anyone to love me; at least not yet. Not until Wade’s smiling face began to fade from my memory. Uncle Ray told me the hurt would go away, and then I would just have memories. I just didn’t know when that day would come. Maybe never. Freddy smiled when he saw me standing on the steps. He pushed his book bag back onto his shoulder as he approached. “Hey, you,” he said cheerfully. “Waiting on me?” I grabbed his arm and squeezed it. “About yesterday,” I said, “I’m really, really sorry. I should never have...” I looked around to see if anyone was nearby. “I should never have kissed you,” I whispered. His brown eyes lit up as a big grin appeared on his face. “It’s okay, Richie,” he assured me. “I liked it.” “But your mom,” I said a little louder before lowering my voice. “She saw us!” “If it bothered her,” he replied, “she didn’t say anything this morning.” “But, but…” I stammered, “We’re practically brothers.” He started laughing as he grabbed my arm and led me up the stairs. “Let’s just think of each other as kissing cousins.” “Did she tell Dad?” He seemed to have accepted what happened between Wade and me, but I wasn’t sure he could accept me doing something with Freddy. Now that we were becoming friends, I didn’t want him to persuade Linda not to let us see each other. Freddy shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. He just comes to the table, drinks coffee and reads the newspaper in the morning. He may say something later.” The warning bell rang for first period and he headed to class. “See you at lunch.” He gave me a wave and then ran off to class. I made it to Mrs. Livingstone’s class just as the bell rang. As I sat down, Earl Buckman came into the room and took a seat beside me. He looked over and smiled as he opened his book bag and took out a notebook. I was almost asleep as Mrs. Livingstone lectured from the front of the class. Most of the class had their heads down on their desk. At least I was able to sit up and stare blankly toward the front. If I had completed all her assignments, I would also have been sleeping like everyone else. “Pssst!” Earl was trying to get my attention. I looked over and he handed me a small piece of paper. It had been folded several times. I opened it and then blushed. When I looked back at him, he grinned. I looked down at the words he had written with a red pen. 'I really think your hot, Richie. I’m waiting for you to call me.' I folded the paper back and looked over at him. He was smiling at me. “So?” he mouthed. I shrugged my shoulders. I couldn’t tell him I really wasn’t interested. I knew I should never have told him I would consider it. A boy like Earl seizes on any opportunity he thinks opens up to him. By the look on his face, he was probably already considering me as a boyfriend. “Earl Buckman?” I looked quickly toward the front of the room. Mrs. Livingstone had stepped away from writing on the blackboard and was walking down the aisle toward us. Students started raising their heads from their desks to see what was happening. Earl’s face was turning red from embarrassment. I lowered my head so she wouldn’t shout at me. “Would you like to share with the class what you and Richie have to say?” It was now my turn to become embarrassed. Several students around us started sniggering. “He probably wants Ferguson to fuck him,” I heard one student mumble off to my left. “No, Ma’am,” Earl said defiantly. “Besides,” he looked around the room. “Everyone in here is sleeping. Why are you picking on us?” She walked over and peered down at him. “Because your behavior is disruptive.” Earl jumped to his feet. I reached out for his arm, but he pulled away. “Disruptive! You crazy bitch!” Several students let out a gasp. “So it’s all right for us to sleep in your class, but if we do manage to stay awake during one of your boring lectures, then we’re disruptive?” Her hands were shaking as she pointed to the door. “Get out!” Earl looked angrily at her as he stuffed his notebook into his book bag. “I’ll be glad to leave,” he responded angrily as he headed for the door. Several students started laughing. Before leaving, he turned and flipped them off. Mrs. Livingstone then looked down at me. “Richie, you have two nights of detention.” It was now my turn to spring to my feet. “What?” I shouted. “Why? I didn’t do anything!” She held up three fingers. “Three nights of detention.” Again, I heard laughter coming from around the room. Before I knew what I had said, I heard the word, “Bitch,” come out my mouth. Her eyes narrowed in anger. “Get out!” She screamed. “Get your faggot ass out of my classroom!” A surprised look appeared on her face when she finished uttering the words. The room became deadly silent as everyone waited to see how I would react. “Fine,” I said as I picked up my books off the desk. “I’ll leave your classroom.” I then held my head high and paraded from the room. I could hear subdued talking as I closed the door. Earl was leaning against the wall across the hall when I left. Tears were in his eyes. I walked over and stood beside him. “Did she throw you out too?” I nodded. “She called me a faggot.” His eyes widened. Suddenly, anger consumed me. I looked into Earl’s eyes and realized he had put up with this type of discrimination all his life. I had watched other students jeer and heckle him since elementary school, and I had stood by and said nothing. Until I had been outed by Stephen, I was reluctant to talk to Earl in school for fear other students would think I was gay. Now I had received the worst form of discrimination- from someone I had formerly respected. If someone like a teacher could harbor such bigotry and hatred, then how deep could it be for others? “She didn’t?” Earl asked incredulously. “She really called you a fag?” “Faggot,” I said. “She told me to get my faggot ass out of her room.” “Damn,” he muttered. “What are we going to do?” “We?” Earl was looking expectantly at me. “Sure, Richie!” he said excitedly. “We can’t let her get away with saying something like that. She’s a teacher. Isn’t it against the law or something for her to say that?” I shrugged my shoulders. “She’s still a teacher. And we are gay. Who’s going to stand up for us?” “Yeah,” he said sadly. “I’ve been called a fag all my life. When I complained to the principal last year, he told me I should just ignore them.” Tears formed in his eyes. “Ignore them. He doesn’t have a fucking clue how much it hurts.” I put my hand on his back and patted him gently. I wanted to hug him, but I was afraid he might misread my intentions. “Fuck it!” I muttered as I put my arms around him and held him. He pulled away after a minute. “Thanks, Richie.” He wiped the tears away with his sleeve. “You’re a good friend.” We both froze when we heard Mr. Latham, the school principal, announce over the PA, “Would Earl Buckman and Richie Ferguson report to the office.” There was a short pause before he added, “Immediately.” The office secretary looked up when we entered the reception area. She motioned for us to have a seat while she rose and went into Mr. Latham’s office. She returned seconds later and told us he was waiting to see us. Mr. Latham is a rather large man. He briefly played football for the San Diego Chargers before he injured his knee during a playoff game. I had never dealt with him before, but I heard that he was very strict and intimidating. All he had to do was holler down a hallway before a bell would ring, and students would scatter to their classes. He was reading a paper when we entered his office. Without looking up, he motioned for us to have a seat in two chairs facing his desk. We sat down and waited timidly for him to speak. He sat back in his leather chair, folded his hands behind his head and stared at us. He looked over at Earl. “Earl,” he said. “I warned you the last time that if I saw you in my office again, I was going to suspend you.” “But, Mr. Latham,” Earl’s voice shook with emotion. “I didn’t do nothing. Honest.” “That’s what you always say, Earl.” He took the paper on his desk and held it up. “Disruptive talking in class.” He leaned toward Earl. “And you called Mrs. Livingstone a bitch?” Earl jumped to his feet. “I get in trouble for calling her a bitch,” he looked over and pointed at me, “but she can call Richie a faggot?” His face was red with anger as tears started to appear in his eyes. A surprised look appeared on Mr. Latham’s face. His eyes then narrowed in anger. “What did you say?” “Honest, Mr. Latham,” Earl pleaded, “She called him a faggot.” He looked at me. “Didn’t she?” I started to blush from embarrassment. Mr. Latham’s eyes were boring into me as he waited for me to speak. “Yes, Sir,” I answered timidly. “She told me to get my faggot ass out of her room.” I let out a deep sigh after the words were finally out. Mr. Latham leaned back in his chair. He didn’t say anything for a minute as he thought about what we had said. Finally, he leaned forward. “I want you boys to go to your second period class. My secretary will write you a pass.” “That’s it?” Earl asked. “You’re just going to send us to class?” “Earl,” Principal Latham spoke very professionally. “Matters like this have to be handled carefully.” Earl stood and spoke defiantly. “So, we just have to ignore it then, like you’ve told me before.” Latham spoke very calmly. “I’m not asking you to ignore it. This is a serious matter, and there are procedures that must be followed. Due process, if you will. You go to class and let me handle this.” We left his office, got a note from the secretary and headed to class. Once outside in the hall, Earl was still skeptical that anything was going to happen. “Bullshit!” he said angrily. “More fucking bullshit! He’s just going to let her call you a faggot in front of the class, and he’s not going to do anything about it. I just know it.” “I don’t know,” I replied. “We’ll just have to wait.” We hugged and then headed off to class. Gabe was standing at the cafeteria table waiting for me to enter. As soon as he saw me, he ran over to the door and grabbed my arm. “Is it true, Richie? Did Livingstone call you a fag?” “When did you hear that?” I asked as I headed for the cafeteria line. I noticed that many students stopped to stare at me. “It’s all over the school!” he informed me. “Everyone is talking about it. She really called you a fag in class?” “I guess,” I said as I made my way through the line. After purchasing a salad and iced tea, he followed me to my seat. Several guys were already seated. They nodded when I sat down. Gabe bit into his hamburger and asked, “So what happened? There are so many rumors going around.” Just then, Freddy walked over to the table. I scooted over and he sat down beside me. I looked at him and joked. “Better be careful. You’re sitting next to the school faggot.” “This ain’t funny, Richie!” Gabe admonished me. Freddy gave me a worried look. “She can’t say something like that to you.” I explained what happened between Earl and me, and then how Mrs. Livingstone had singled us out and said we were being disruptive. “Bitch!” Gabe said angrily when I was done. “I hope they fire her.” Freddy looked worriedly at me. He let his hand graze against mine. I could tell he wanted to hold it, but he was afraid what others might say. “Are you going to be all right?” “I think so,” I laughed nervously. “I’ve been through a lot worse.” We talked about the incident for the rest of the lunch period. When the bell rang, some students waited until I had walked past them before they left. I could sense that I was the topic of conversation. I looked for Earl on my way to class. I hadn’t seen him since we left Mr. Latham’s office. I was taking notes in my fifth period class when a student entered the room and approached my teacher. He motioned for me to come to his desk. He then informed me that I had been summoned by the office, and I was to report immediately. When I entered, Earl was sitting in a chair. I walked over and sat down beside him. “Do you know what’s going on?” “Nope,” he responded. “My teacher told me to report here.” “Mine, too,” I said. Just then, the office door opened, and Mrs. Livingstone entered. She seemed upset as she scowled down at us. She walked past without saying a word. A minute later, the school secretary came out of the principal’s office and motioned for us. When I entered, I quickly scanned the room. There were many people sitting around the office. I immediately noticed Aunt Barbara and Uncle Raymond sitting off to the left. They looked at me worriedly. “Come in, Boys,” Mr. Latham ordered. He pointed to two seats in the middle of the room. “Sit down.” A crying woman to the right of Earl rose and took him into her arms. I assumed it was probably his mother. They sat down and she continued to hold him. Mrs. Livingstone was sitting in a chair off to our right. There was a man dressed in a business suit seated beside her. I heard the door behind me open. Mr. Latham looked up and gestured with his hand. “Come in, Detective Ferguson.” My breathing stopped when I heard his name mentioned. Seconds later, he placed his hands gently on my shoulders. “Are you okay, Son?”
  13. Ronyx

    Chapter 15

    Gabe returned about fifteen minutes later. He lifted a large laundry basket up the ladder and heaved it into the tree house. Freddy and I had been talking quietly while he was gone. Most of it was about school and teachers. He was having trouble in an American history class. The teacher, Mr. Fletcher, was a real hard ass. Freddy explained that he had been trying to catch up on the assignments since he enrolled in our school. “He’s expecting too much,” Freddy complained. “Besides doing the regular daily class work, he expects me to turn in ten additional assignments each week. I’ve already taken two zeros because I didn’t get them completed on time.” I have Mr. Fletcher fourth period. Freddy has him sixth, so I knew what he was talking about. Fletch, as he is called by the students, doesn’t tolerate anyone who slacks off in class. I had been experiencing a similar problem since I had missed so much work the past couple of months, but I’ve been able to keep up with the work. “Why are you taking American history, anyway?” Since he was a year ahead of me, he should have already completed the class. “I kind of failed it last year,” he answered embarrassedly. “Kind of failed it?” “Yeah,” he explained. “I was in the middle of doing a major project when we moved. My computer was down for a couple of weeks, and I didn’t have a way to the library. The teacher wouldn’t extend the due date. It was a major part of our grade. So, I kind of failed the class,” he grinned. “Mom was furious when she found out. She says I should have told her I was having trouble.” “Maybe I can help you in Fletch’s class,” I volunteered. He replied excitedly, “God, Richie, that would be great! If I fail his class again, I’ll won’t be able graduate next year. I already have to make up two classes in summer school.” “You let me know what assignments you’re missing,” I said. “I may have them in my notebook. You can copy them.” He looked at me skeptically. “I don’t know, Richie. Isn’t that cheating?” “Do you want to have to make it up in summer school?” “Well, no.” “Then I’ll help you,” I insisted. “I’m almost caught up, so I have the time.” “Cool,” he responded. “When we leave tomorrow, you can go home with me.” He stopped suddenly. “I’m sorry,” he apologized. “We’ll go to your house, and we can go over the assignments I’ve missed.” I felt saddened when he talked of home. I could tell by the expression on his face that he felt uncomfortable talking about it. My home was now his home. Even though I loved my aunt and uncle, it still didn’t feel like I could call it home. I felt more like I was living in foster care. “What’s all this?” I asked as Gabe pushed the basket toward me. I looked over at Freddy and shrugged my shoulders. “Things we’ll need tonight.” He entered the tree house and tried to catch his breath. “We didn’t use to need all this,” I reminded him. “We just came up here and slept.” “We’re not little anymore,” he said. He began to unload the contents of the basket onto the floor. “Blankets,” he said as he pulled out four and held them up. “Food!” he said excitedly as he took several bags of chips, cookies and a big jar of dill pickles. Gabe always had a thing for pickles. Almost every meal includes them. He pulled out a six pack of soda. He then lifted his laptop computer out of the basket. “Can’t forget this,” he announced. “I thought we were going to rough it tonight?” I asked. “Are you serious?” He gave me a questioning look. “We’re not kids any more. Besides, I have some email I have to send.” “Are you going to email Teresa and tell her about Sasha?” I teased. “Hell, no! We’re only dating. It’s not like we’re going steady or anything.” “She’s going around school telling everyone you are,” I informed him. “Who told you that?” “Everybody knows about it,” I said. I looked over at Freddy. “Isn’t that right?” He looked at Gabe and said, “I heard about it last week.” “What!” Gabe started to stand but hit his head on the roof of the tree house. Freddy and I started rolling on the floor laughing. “Give her another week and she’ll have you married.” “Shit!” he hissed. “I gotta stop seeing her. I like her and all, but I’m too young to get married!” Freddy and I looked at each other and broke out laughing again. Gabe unloaded several more things onto the floor. He then reached into the bottom of the basket and pulled out a six pack of beer. “Tada!” he said excitedly as he held it into the air. “Where did you get that?” Freddy asked. “Our parents will kill us if we drink.” He again looked over at me sadly. “Sorry, Rich. I keep forgetting.” “Listen, Freddy.” I looked over at Gabe. “You, too. I’m a big boy now. You don’t have to worry what you say around me.” I took a deep breath. “I know Mom’s dead, and I’m living with my aunt and uncle. I’ll let you know if you say something I don’t like, all right?” They both nodded. “Now let’s party!” Gabe shouted as he tried to stand but bumped his head on the ceiling again. Freddy and I roared with laughter. We had a good time. I felt better than I had in several years. It seemed like old times, but now Freddy was included in our banter. Several times Gabe started to talk about girls at school, but he stopped. I guess he figured neither of us was interested. After we each had drunk two beers and eaten most of the food, Gabe said excitedly, “Let’s streak the neighborhood!” “No!” I shouted. “Yes we can, Richie,” he laughed. “We used to do it all the time when we were little.” “You guys ran around naked?” Freddy almost shrieked out the words. “Yeah,” Gabe replied. “We were only about ten or eleven, but we had fun. Mrs. Stevenson down the street caught us one night when she was walking her dog.” He looked over at me and laughed. “Remember that, Richie?” I nodded. “She called our parents and we were grounded for a month.” “I think she enjoyed seeing us naked.” I lay back and laughed. Gabe lay beside me and put his head on my stomach. “Do you remember the look on her face when we turned and mooned her?” We roared with laughter. Freddy, too, started laughing. “You guys are idiots!” he laughed. “I’d like to have seen that.” Gabe sat up. “You can,” he said challenging. “Let’s go out in the yard and take off our clothes. This is going to be so cool. I may even call Greg.” Greg is one of our friends who used to get a kick out of watching us run bare-assed past his bedroom window. Gabe would always call him and give him an advanced notice when we were going to streak. “Don’t you dare!” I shouted. Gabe looked at me and grinned. “You game?” I looked over at Freddy. “I don’t know.” Gabe waited for Freddy to respond. When he shrugged his shoulders, Gabe jumped up, hitting his head on the ceiling. “Last one naked is a rotten egg!” he shouted as he removed his shirt and headed for the door. Gabe was already naked by the time we climbed down the ladder. Freddy’s eyes widened when he saw his sculpted body. Years of playing sports showed as he stood nude before us. He was holding his cell phone to his ear. “Greg?” he shouted into the phone. “Look out your window in five minutes.” He closed the phone and started laughing. He looked over at us and threw up his arms. “Come on, Guys. I feel a little funny here.” I looked over at Freddy. “You want to do this?” He grinned and started taking off his shirt. “Sure, why not.” Gabe started dancing around in the yard. We removed all our clothes except our underwear. I stood waiting until he removed his. Finally, he pulled them down and stood before us naked. I felt my cock start to harden looking at him. Even though I had seen his cock at the park, seeing him standing naked before me aroused me. He didn’t play sports, but his body was as firm and defined as Gabe’s. “Come on, Richie,” hollered Gabe. When he realized I was reluctant to pull down my underwear, he ran behind me and quickly pulled them down. Freddy’s eyes widened when he saw me standing with an erection. Gabe reached out and thumped it. I bent over and moaned. “We’re supposed to be streaking here, not having sex.” He grabbed my arm. “Come on. I told Greg five minutes.” Freddy looked at me and giggled when Gabe started running. He took off and I followed, watching his ass under the moonlit sky. It didn’t help my boner any. We ran to Greg’s house. He had his window open and was leaning out. He started roaring with laughter when he saw us approaching. Gabe stood and wiggled his body at him, making his cock sway side to side. “Hold on,” Greg whispered as he started to climb out the window. He was naked! “I’ve wanted to do this with you guys for years,” he laughed as he stood before us with his hands over his cock. Greg was a heavy boy who had few friends at school. Gabe and I had known him all our lives, and we never tried to avoid him like other students did. Many times Gabe had invited him to eat at our table in the cafeteria. The first time he did, Gabe had to practically drag his large body across the cafeteria floor. He objected because he wasn’t a jock, but Gabe had responded. “You’re our friend, that’s all that counts.” Other students started to treat him kinder after that. “Then come on!” Gabe shouted as he tore off through the neighborhood. We ran past Mr. Cunningham, an elder gentleman a block away. He was getting out of his car carrying a bag of groceries. He stopped and laughed when he saw us streaking past. “I’d join you,” he hollered, “but this old body won’t run anymore.” Gabe turned and waved. Mr. Cunningham gave us a thumbs up and then walked away laughing. We ran through several blocks before finally returning home. When we dropped Greg off at his house, he thanked us and said it was the most fun he’d had in years. We collapsed exhausted on the lawn outside the tree house. I looked over at Freddy. He was lying on his back and his chest was heaving as he tried to catch his breath. My eyes focused on his uncut cock. “Take a picture,” Gabe giggled. My face turned several shades of red when I realized I’d been caught staring at him. After a few more minutes, we put on our underwear and climbed the ladder to the tree house. “That was fun,” Gabe exclaimed as he sat down. “I almost forgot how much fun we used to have.” “I can’t believe I streaked the neighborhood,” Freddy moaned. “If Mom finds out I’ll be grounded until I’m twenty-five.” I looked over at Gabe, leaned in and gave him a big hug. “Thanks,” I whispered in his ear. Nothing more needed to be said. Gabe had restored my childhood. With everything I had been through, it felt good to be a kid once again. He knew that. That’s why he had us do what we did. Gabe opened his phone to see what time it was. “We’d better get to sleep,” he announced. “It’s after midnight.” “I thought we were going to pull an all-nighter?” He started to make a bed on the floor with the blankets. “Can’t,” he said. “I got practice in the morning.” “It’s Sunday!” I shouted. “Tell the coach that,” he replied as he and Freddy continued to make a bed. “We can’t play on Friday if we don’t show up.” They laid three on the floor, leaving one as a cover. Gabe was the first to crawl in. Freddy looked at me. I guess he didn’t know if I wanted the middle or if he should take it. I shrugged and then lay down. Freddy got in beside me. Gabe rolled on his side and fell asleep immediately. After years of spending nights with him, I knew it didn’t take him long. A minute later, he began to snore. I lay on my side facing him. Freddy tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable. After a few minutes, he spooned his body against mine. I froze when he pressed his body against me. “Is this okay with you?” He whispered in my ear. I nodded. He then wrapped his arm around me and pulled me closer to him. I wrapped my hand around his arm and soon fell asleep. Gabe was the first to awaken. The sun was beginning to shine through the window of the tree house. I opened my eyes and saw him smiling at me. I then realized that Freddy was still spooned against my body with his arm around me. I could feel his erection pressed against my ass. “I gotta piss,” Gabe announced. When he pulled the cover back, his cock was straining against his underwear. “What?” He laughed when he saw me looking at it. “You had one last night.” He tugged on it a few times and then crawled to the door. I laughed as he climbed down the ladder. Freddy stretched out. When he did, his hard cock poked my ass. I giggled and then turned toward him. “Morning,” I smiled. “Sleep well?” He batted his eyes, trying to figure out where he was. He rose up on his elbow and looked around. “Yeah, I did.” He lay his head back down and stared at me. He looked so cute. His hair was tousled, and he had slight mustache which I hadn’t noticed before. His brown eyes darted as he stared into my face. “Morning,” he said nervously as he leaned in to kiss me. I closed my eyes and felt his lips touch mine. Both of us started giggling at the same time. He rolled on his back and covered his mouth. “Morning breath!” I cupped my hand to my mouth and let out a few breaths. “Eww,” I giggled. He rolled back over and looked at me. He covered his mouth and said, “Maybe we should try this again later.” "Good idea,” I laughed. Gabe came up the ladder and crawled in beside us. He was dressed. “What’s so funny?” “Nothing!” We said in unison. Freddy and I hurried outside and got dressed. I couldn’t take my eyes off him while he put his clothes on. His eyes didn’t leave my body, either. “Here!” Gabe threw the laundry basket down at me. Freddy stepped over and helped me catch it. When we entered Gabe’s house, his mother was in the kitchen preparing breakfast. “Did you boys have fun last night?” We looked at each other and started laughing. “Yeah, Mom,” said Gabe. He gave us a wicked grin. “We ran into a problem, but it turned out okay.” She gave us a puzzled look when we started laughing. “Boys.” She shook her head. “Go clean up. Breakfast will be ready in fifteen minutes.” We were eating when Mr. Dyson walked sleepily into the room. He sat down while Gabe’s mother poured him a cup of coffee. He looked over at us. “Morning, Boys.” He picked up the syrup bottle and poured some on his pancakes. He then looked back over and grinned. “Did you enjoy your morning run?” Gabe started choking on a piece of bacon. I looked over at Freddy. I don’t know whose face was redder, mine or his. Mr. Dyson smiled again and started pounding on his chest. “Nothing like an early run to get the old heart pumping, huh, Boys?” “Yeah, Richie,” he laughed. “A good run makes a lot of things pump up, right?” The orange juice I was drinking sprayed from my mouth onto my plate. “What on earth are you rambling about, Carl?” Gabe’s mother asked as she sat the cup of coffee in front of her husband. “Nothing, Dear,” he looked at us and grinned. “I have to remember not to get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom.” Gabe looked at me, then Freddy, then back to his father. His father leaned back in his chair and roared with laughter. He then stopped laughing, leaned toward Gabe and warned, “We’ll talk about this later, Son.” “Yes, Sir,” Gabe answered sheepishly and very red-faced. “What do you think he’s going to do to you?” We had finished eating breakfast and were sitting in Gabe’s room. Gabe was pacing nervously around the room. “I don’t know,” he said worriedly, “but whatever it is, you’re going to help me do it.” “But it was your idea,” I reminded him. “So?” He looked at me and Freddy. “You didn’t have to do it.” “What!” Freddy jumped up, but I stopped him. “Forget it, Freddy,” I laughed. “When Gabe gets in trouble, everyone gets in trouble.” “Damn, straight!” Gabe said as he walked over and fisted me. Freddy reluctantly returned it. We sat around talking for about a half hour. Gabe’s father came into the room to get him for basketball practice. “You ready, Sport?” He walked around Gabe examining him. Gabe gave us a puzzled look. “Yep. Got all your clothes on.” Gabe turned to his father. “You’re getting a kick out of this, aren’t you?” His father laughed and said, “Let’s just say I have a mean streak.” He emphasized the word ‘streak.’ “Come on, Guys.” Gabe angrily picked up his gym bag and left hurriedly from the room. His father trailed behind him laughing. He dropped Freddy off first. Before he got out of the car, he asked me, “Do you want to come in for a while? I can show you what work I need help with in history.” I looked worriedly at him. I then looked at the driveway to see if his car was parked outside. “I don’t know. Why don’t you come over later to my aunt’s house?” He looked sadly at me. “I’ll ask Mom to bring me over later. I really was hoping you’d come in, though.” He got out of the car without saying goodbye. I knew by the expression on his face he was upset. We had gotten along so well, and now I had disappointed him. Gabe turned to me when he saw Freddy walking up the driveway with his shoulders slumped. “Why don’t you go in with him?” I hesitated a moment before opening the door and climbing out. “Hey, Freddy!” He turned and smiled when he saw me exit the car. “Wait up!” His smile turned to a wide grin when I walked up and threw my arm around his shoulder. “Richie!” Andrew was first to see me. He came running across the living room and jumped into my arms. We fell back onto the sofa. Seconds later, Harley came bounding into the room and jumped into my lap. I started tickling them until Harley jumped up and shouted that I was going to make him pee his pants. I looked up at Freddy. He mouthed the words, “He means it.” I put Andrew down and patted his butt. “Why don’t you guys go play? I’ll join you later.” “Promise?” Andrew asked. I gave him a hug. “Promise.” He hit Harley, yelled “you’re it,” and they ran from the room. I turned when Freddy’s mother came walking into the room. She was dressed in a light blue sweat suit. It appeared she may have just returned from jogging. She stopped suddenly when she saw me standing beside Freddy. “Richard!” She gave me a warm smile. “It’s Richie, Mom,” Freddy informed her. “He likes people to call him Richie.” “Of course,” she replied as she walked over to me and extended her hand. “I’m pleased that you’re here.” My first instinct was to remind her that this wasn’t her home, but mine. I should be welcoming her to MY home. But I glanced quickly at Freddy. He was biting his lower lip nervously. I think he was afraid how I might respond to meeting his mother. I took her hand and shook it. “Thank you, Mrs. Brumbaugh.” “Linda,” she smiled. “If you like to be called Richie, then please call me Linda.” “Okay, Linda.” She smiled warmly at me. A wave of guilt swept through me. I wanted to hate her, but I couldn’t. She seemed genuinely nice. I could now see where Freddy got his gentle nature. She took my arm and started to lead me into the kitchen. “Come boys,” she said. “I just baked some oatmeal cookies. Harley’s been bugging me for weeks to make them.” When we entered the kitchen, Freddy and I sat at the center island while she poured us a glass of milk and placed some cookies on a plate. She kept looking at me and smiling. She seemed really pleased that I was home. I heard the patter of feet. Harley and Andrew came running into the kitchen. “Oatmeal cookies!” Harley shouted. He ran over and hugged his mother. “Thank you, Mommy!” She gave him and my brother a glass of milk and a handful of cookies. “Now you two go out on the deck and eat.” As they ran for the door, she shouted out, “And don’t make a mess!” She turned to us and laughed. “Boys.” She poured herself a cup of coffee and then took a seat across from us. “Did you have a good time last night?” she asked Freddy. He quickly glanced over at me. “Yes, Mother,” he replied. “I had a wonderful time.” She looked at me and asked, “He didn’t get you in any trouble, did he?” “Mother!” Freddy said loudly. “I’m not a kid anymore.” “Of course, Dear,” she replied. She stood up and walked over to the counter. “I just don’t want you running around and getting into trouble.” For the second time that morning, I sprayed my drink onto the table. She turned and gave us a puzzled look. Freddy grabbed my arm and pulled me to my feet. “Let’s go to my room,” he laughed. “Boys!” I heard her exclaim as we left the room. We went downstairs to the family room. Freddy’s clothes were neatly piled in stacks in the corner. His shoes lined one wall. The sofa had been made into a bed. I then remembered him telling me that he was now living down in the basement. He walked over to the sofa and sat down. “See,” he smiled when I sat down beside him. “She’s not a monster.” “Maybe not,” I grinned, “but her son is an ogre.” He laughed before jumping on top of me and pinning me down on the sofa. He smiled and then leaned in and kissed me. It was soft and gentle at first, but then the kiss became more passionate. “Wow!” He said when our lips parted. He sat up and looked over at me. I tried to return his smile, but I couldn’t. I enjoyed the kiss, but it seemed to have happened too soon. I was still getting over Wade’s death, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for another relationship. “I’m sorry, Freddy,” I said sadly. “I’m just not ready for this yet.” He grabbed my hand and squeezed it. “I know that, Richie,” he assured me. “It’s just I’ve wanted to kiss you since the first time I saw you.” “You have?” “Yeah,” he replied. “You have no idea how much I’ve been hurting because I thought you hated me.” “Really?” I couldn’t think of anything else to say. I was surprised that he had wanted me for so long. I then thought back to how awful I’d been treating him. I suddenly felt embarrassed. “It’s okay, Richie,” he assured me. “As long as I know you don’t hate me, I can wait.” Tears were shining in his brown eyes. I leaned in and kissed him again, only not as passionately as we had the first time. “Thanks,” he said as I pulled away. We sat back on the sofa. He reached over and took my hand in his, and I locked my fingers around his. For some reason that I couldn’t even explain to myself, I felt safe when he was holding my hand. I asked, “Does your mother know you’re gay?” “Yeah.” I looked surprisingly at him. “She does?” “Yeah,” he said as he squeezed my hand. “I told her about two years ago. She’s okay with it.” “She is?” I couldn’t believe that he had come out to his mother. I always thought it was something you kept hidden until you graduated or something. He started laughing. “Not everyone thinks we’re perverted.” “My father does,” I replied sadly. “No, he doesn’t.” I gave Freddy a surprised look. “He knows I’m gay. He’s never said anything bad about it to me.” “He knows you’re gay?” He started laughing at the stunned look on my face. “Of course,” he laughed. “When I came out to Mom, she asked if it would be all right if she told your father. He’s seems pretty cool with it.” “He is?” Freddy sat back and laughed. He squeezed my hand tighter. “Not everyone is a monster like you seem to think.” He leaned over and kissed me quickly. He rose, walked over to a table and got a book. “We did come back to study,” he reminded me when he sat back down. I scooted closer to him as he opened his book. We worked for the next few hours on some assignments he had to make up. I wanted to go home and get my notebook, but he said it was better if we did it without cheating. When we finished, he only had a few assignments remaining. “You’re a life saver,” he remarked as he closed the book after we’d finished a long assignment. I started smiling. “I had a good time. In fact, the past two days have been fun. I’m glad we finally met each other.” “Me, too,” he said as he kissed me quickly on the lips. Just then the upstairs door opened, and his mother hollered down. “Boys! Dinner is ready.” I looked over at the clock. I hadn’t realized that so much time had passed. “I can’t stay for dinner,” I responded worriedly. “Why?” “I...just...can’t,” I stammered out. I didn’t want to face him. I wasn’t yet prepared to see him again. I thought that I would be gone by the time he got home. I should have been more aware of the time. Freddy followed behind me as I bounded up the stairs. I opened the door, hoping to make it to the garage door before he saw me. As soon as I walked out, I ran into him. “Son?” “Daddy?”
  14. Ronyx

    Chapter 14

    It was getting dark when we finally arrived to drop Andrew, Harley and Freddy off. I got out and gave Andrew a big hug. “What about me?” Harley seemed hurt that I had turned to get back into the car without saying goodbye to him. “Sorry,” I said as I reached down and picked him up. He giggled when I raised him above my head and did a raspberry on his stomach. “That tickles!” he screamed as he tried to pull away. I put him down, and then Andrew ran up to me. “Do me!” Since he was much larger than Harley, I had trouble lifting his body. Gabe noticed me struggling to lift him, so he walked over and helped me. He did his back while I did his stomach. “Stop!” he laughed. We did it again before finally putting him down. He grabbed Harley’s hand and they ran into the house. Gabe turned to Freddy and me. “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not ready to call it a night. It’s Saturday, and we don’t have school tomorrow. Why don’t you guys come home with me, and we’ll stay up all night.” Freddy looked over at me. When I didn’t respond, he told Gabe, “I’m kind of tired. Maybe we can do it some other time.” I realized he was disappointed that I didn’t want to join them. I looked at him and smiled. I said challengingly, “I’m game if you are.” He grinned and asked, “You sure?” When I nodded, he said, “Let me go get some clothes to wear. I’ll be right back.” Gabe laughed when he raced into the house. We explained to Aunt Barbara what was going on. Gabe phoned his dad to make sure that he had permission for us to spend the night. “All set,” he informed me when he closed his phone. Just then, Freddy came running from the house carrying a plastic bag. “Shotgun!” Gabe shouted as he jumped into the front seat. When Freddy got into the back seat beside me, he looked over and smiled. We stopped by my house to pick up a change of clothes. “Do I need pajamas?” I looked over at Gabe. In the past, we had always just slept in our underwear, but I didn’t know if we would with Freddy joining us. “Naw.” He looked over at Freddy and grinned. “We’ll just sleep naked.” Freddy’s eyes widened. “What?” Freddy asked excitedly. Gabe grabbed me and we laughed uncontrollably. He turned back at Freddy and asked innocently, “You do sleep naked like me and Richie, don’t you?” “I’ve...never...” He started to stammer. We laughed even louder. I walked over to the dresser and pulled out a pair of pajamas. “Party pooper,” Gabe said disappointedly. Freddy let out a sigh of relief. Gabe’s mother and father were in their bedroom when we arrived. He went to talk to them while I led Freddy to the family room. I walked over and turned on the big screen television. “What do you want to watch?” He shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t care.” “You’d better decide now,” I warned, “because when Gabe comes back and we aren’t watching something, then we’ll be looking at sports the rest of the night.” I quickly turned it to the movie channels. When he saw something he liked, we sat down on the sofa beside each other. Gabe glanced over at the television when he entered and frowned. “I thought we could watch some college basketball.” I turned to Freddy. “He wanted to watch this movie, right?” He looked at me and nodded. “All right,” Gabe sighed as he toed off his shoes, sat down on the floor and rested against the sofa. I could tell he was disappointed, but Freddy was a guest and he didn’t want to be rude. We had been watching the movie for about ten minutes when Gabe’s cell phone rang. He looked at the number and turned to Freddy. “It’s Sasha.” “Hey!” he said excitedly, “I didn’t think you’d call. Is Cindi with you?” He turned to Freddy and gave him a thumbs up. He then jumped up on the sofa, pushing Freddy towards me. “Yeah, he’s here. Hold on.” He handed Freddy the phone. I listened to them talk and giggle for several minutes before getting up and leaving the room. Most of their conversation was about the good time they’d had at the park. I went into the kitchen to get something to drink. When I returned, Gabe was trying to set up a date with Sasha. He said he was going to talk his mother into driving him to where she lived. I turned and again left the room. I walked out the back door and stood on the patio. I could hear an owl hooting in a tree in the backyard. I looked up and saw the old tree house Gabe and I used to play in. His father and mine had spent a weekend building it for us when we were seven. We had spent many nights in it. Gabe also gave me my first introduction to sex in the tree house when we were twelve. Late one night, when he was sure his mother and father had gone to bed, he pulled out a flashlight and a magazine. “Look!” he said excitedly as he lit up the magazine cover. I read the words, Playboy. There was a picture of a scantily clad girl on the front. He had me hold the flashlight while he opened the pages. My eyes widened when I saw the images of naked girls. “Where did you get this?” I squealed. “Shhh!” he warned. “Mom and Dad will hear us.” “Where did you get this?” I asked again. “You’re going to get in trouble if your dad finds it.” My eyes wouldn’t leave the naked images before me. “I found it in the street,” he said. “Some perv must have thrown it out.” “Well,” I replied, “you’re a perv now.” He looked at me and giggled, “So are you.” We thumbed through the magazine several times as our small cocks throbbed inside our pants. Gabe and I had seen each other naked many times, so it wasn’t unusual for us to strip our clothes off. We had heard boys talking about jacking off at school, but we had never done it. That night we did, several times as we looked at the pictures of naked girls. Neither of us was able to cum, but it was still a fun night. I sighed when I thought about how much our lives had changed. Gabe was still interested in girls, but I wasn’t. Suddenly, I felt lonely. I felt that I would never again be happy. I looked out over the backyard and at the tree house. The ladder was still there that led up to it. I walked over and stood on the first rung. I tested it to make sure it would still hold my weight. It seemed sturdy, so I climbed up into the tree house. “Ouch!” I muttered when I hit my head on the ceiling when I tried to stand up. I realized I hadn’t been in it in years. It smelled musty. There was a full moon, so I was able to see around me. I picked up a dirty towel with the tips of my fingers and started laughing. It was Gabe’s cum rag. He told me when he was thirteen, he would come up here and jack off so his mother wouldn’t walk in on him in his bedroom. I leaned against the wall and closed my eyes. ‘I wish I was seven again,’ I thought. ‘Life was much simpler then. Mom was alive and Dad...’ My thoughts trailed off to a happier time. I remembered the weekend that Dad and Mr. Dyson built the tree house. Gabe and I had helped them unload the wood from his Dad’s truck and carry it to the tree. We watched excitedly for hours as they climbed around on ladders and tree branches making our new place of adventure. We imagined playing Tarzan while our fathers laughed above us. I relived the moment when they added the ladder and announced that it was ready for us. We jumped and screamed with delight as we jumped into our father’s arms and hugged them tightly. But that was long ago. I must have been in the tree house for about fifteen minutes when I felt the tree house begin to sway. I thought it was Gabe coming to look for me, but I was surprised when Freddy’s face appeared in the small doorway. He squinted his eyes and looked into the darkened room before he saw me sitting against the wall. “You all right? he asked worriedly. “Gabe thought you might be out here.” When I didn’t respond, he pulled himself into the tree house, crawled over and sat down beside me. He looked around the dimly lit room. “This is kind of neat,” he remarked. “Did you and Gabe build this?” “No,” I answered. “Our dads did.” We sat in silence for a couple of minutes before I spoke. “Why are you always following me?” When I looked over at him, he shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know,” he replied. We stared into each other’s eyes briefly before he looked away. “I thought you and Gabe were talking to those girls you met today.” I tried not to sound hurt, but I wasn’t sure I could hide my feelings. “Yeah, well,” he laughed nervously. “Gabe is still talking to Sasha.” “Why aren’t you talking to Cindi?” I was curious why he still wasn’t on the phone to her. “I told her I had some other things to do,” he responded. “Don’t you like her?” “She’s all right,” he said as he shrugged his shoulders. “I’m not really looking for a girlfriend.” “Why?” “I don’t know,” he sighed. I could tell by the tone of his voice he didn’t want to say any more. We sat silently for several more minutes. Finally, he started to get up. “I guess I better go,” he said sadly. “I’m sorry I bothered you. I kind of figured you didn’t like me.” He was about to climb down the ladder when I stopped him. “You haven’t exactly given me a reason to like you.” He climbed back in and sat down beside me once again. “I’m not the enemy, Richie,” he stated adamantly. “I don’t like what’s going on any more than you do.” “Yeah,” I said angrily, “but you’re in my room while I’m staying with my aunt and uncle.” “I’m not in your room,” he informed me. I gave him a puzzled look. “When they moved your things out, I started sleeping in the family room in the basement.” I turned toward him. “Why?” “It didn’t seem right,” he said. He reached out and gently touched my arm. “Look, Richie. Mom and I have been fighting ever since we moved into your house. I’ve been against this since the beginning. I even called my dad and asked him if I could come stay with him.” “Where does he live?” “Tokyo, Japan.” He looked over and frowned. “He’s a contractor for the Defense Department. He told me he wouldn’t fly me there. Besides, he has remarried and has a family over there.” “Oh,” I replied, not knowing what else to say. We sat again in silence for several more minutes. “How can you put up with him?” I finally asked. If he wanted to leave, then he must feel the same way I do. “He’s not a bad guy.” I sat up and looked at him. “We got along pretty good for a while.” “You like him?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Yeah, until...” he stopped and closed his eyes. “Until what?” “Until that night I saw you on your bike.” “When?” “We were eating in a restaurant and you came by on your bike,” he said. I recalled that incident. It was the first time I had seen him with her. “Mom told me he was married when they met,” he informed me, “but I didn’t think about it until I saw the hurt look in your eyes.” He let out a deep sigh. “Things kind of changed after that.” I couldn’t believe that both of us felt the same way. Seeing him with her, Freddy and Harley that night had been the beginning of my hatred for him. Now it appears that Freddy had experienced a similar feeling. He looked at me. “Mom really loves him.” I sat back and crossed my arms defensively. “She tried to explain to me that she never meant to hurt your mom.” I started to get up. “I don’t want to hear this,” I said as I started to crawl toward the door. He put his hand out and grabbed my arm. “Please, Richie,” he pleaded. “Let me talk. I don’t want you to hate us.” I hesitated before scooting back and sitting down beside him. “Mom said when she and your father met,” he continued, “he told her his marriage to your mom was over. He was still at home, but they had agreed on a separation.” I knew for months that he was sleeping downstairs while she slept in the master bedroom. I just thought they were angry at each other. “My mom and I fought a lot back then,” he confessed. “I even called her a whore once.” He gave me a puzzled look when I started laughing. “What’s funny?” “Never mind,” I said as my laughter subsided. “The next thing I knew,” he continued, “we were moving into a downtown apartment with him.” “Yeah,” I sighed, “I know.” “Things were going along pretty good for about a year, and then suddenly everything changed.” “How?” “It’s when your mother got sick,” he replied. “I think it really broke him up.” “He sure didn’t act like it,” I said angrily. “He never once came around when she was dying.” He sat up and looked at me. “He wanted to, but your mother told him she didn’t want to see him. I heard him tell Mom that every time he would call, she would hang up on him.” “I’ve heard enough,” I said angrily. I started to leave but he again stopped me. “You have to believe me, Richie,” he pleaded. “Why would I be lying to you?” “Because you’re on his side!” I shouted. When I started to crawl away, he grabbed my arm with both hands. “He loves you, Richie!” I raised my hand to hit him, but he stopped me. I started to cry hysterically. “He hates me!” I screamed. “If he loved me, he wouldn’t have left me when I needed him. I had to take care of her by myself. I was just a kid!” He pulled me into his arms. My head fell into his lap as I cried uncontrollably. He gently ran his hand over my head. “People make mistakes.” His voice shook with emotion. I continued to cry as he rocked me in his arms. After a few minutes, I sat up and wiped my eyes dry. Freddy asked worriedly, “Are you all right, Richie,” “No,” I answered. “I don’t think I’m ever going to be all right.” When I sat back against the wall, Freddy scooted nearer until our bodies were touching. I looked over at him. “If he loves me like you say he does,” I asked, “then why has he been so mean to me?” Freddy laughed nervously. “You haven’t exactly been the easiest person to live with. I guess you kind of pushed all the wrong buttons.” “But he hit me!” I screamed. “And he shouldn’t have,” he said angrily. “But sometimes you deserved it.” “Deserved it?” “Yeah,” he laughed nervously. “Like that time you said you’d been fucking Mom all night. I wanted to come across the room and hit you. I would have if your dad hadn’t pushed you out onto the deck.” “But still...” I sat back and remembered that night I had come home after drinking. I had tried to get him to hit me. I looked over at Freddy. “Sorry I said those things about your mom.” “It’s okay,” he replied. We sat silently for a few minutes. He kept looking over at me. Finally, he spoke. “Can I ask you something?” “I guess, what?” “When you were in the hospital, what did you say to your father?” “Why?” “It was really strange,” he explained. “He came home after seeing you, and we were eating dinner. Suddenly, he started crying. I’d never seen a grown man break down like that. He left the table, and Mom followed him into the bedroom. They were there the rest of the night and never came out.” He stared at me. “The next day they removed your things from your room. What did you say to him?” I rested my head against the wall and closed my eyes. “I’d rather not talk about it.” “It’s going to be okay, Richie?” He reached over, took my hand and held it. For some reason, I didn’t feel like pulling away. I turned my hand over and locked my fingers around his. “Can we just sit like this for a few minutes?” I asked. For the first time since meeting him, I felt close to Freddy, perhaps even closer than I had with Wade. Maybe it was because we had shared similar feelings for the past few years. Maybe it was just because I was tired of being lonely. “Sure.” He leaned into my body and gripped my hand tightly. After a few minutes, he turned to me with a concerned look. “So, what are you going to do now?” “What do you mean?” “Your life,” he responded. He continued to hold my hand tightly. “You ever going to come back home?” I rested my head on the wall and sighed deeply. “I don’t know.” I sat up and looked into his eyes. “I just want to be happy for a change. I’m tired of living like this.” Tears welled up in both our eyes. “You’ll find happiness someday,” he assured me. “Trust me.” Tears started to fall down my face. He smiled and gently wiped them away. I thought he was going to lean in and kiss me. I even closed my eyes and waited for it. But suddenly the tree house started to shake. He pulled his hand from mine and quickly scooted away. Gabe’s head emerged. He squinted to see us in the darkened room. “There you two are,” he said as he climbed in. “What are you doing in here? Jacking off?” He started to laugh until he saw that both of us appeared upset. He moved around and sat down beside me. “This old place hasn’t changed much, has it, Rich?” He looked at me and smiled. “We had some good times in here.” He looked past me at Freddy. “Did he tell you about the Playboy magazine yet?” Freddy laughed and looked over at me. “No,” he smiled. “He hasn’t.” Gabe crawled across the room, lifted a small rug and held up a worn magazine. “Here it is.” He scooted back over and sat down beside me. “Remember this, Richie?” I nodded my head. “We were about ten when I found it.” “Twelve,” I reminded him. “Yeah, yeah,” he said. “Twelve.” He handed the magazine to Freddy. Freddy quickly thumbed through it and handed it back. “Just like Richie,” he smiled as he replaced the magazine back into its hiding place. “What do you mean?” I asked defensively. “Just like me?” “Relax, Richie,” he replied. “It’s just that you didn’t much like looking at the pictures either. Me, though.” He made a gesture as if he was masturbating. “I did.” I laughed and then grabbed the blue towel sitting on the other side of him. “I know.” If it hadn’t been so dark, I’m sure we would have seen his face turn a bright shade of scarlet. “Hey!” He threw up his arms. “I’m a teenager. We all do it.” He looked over at Freddy. “Right?” “Um...I... I...” Freddy started to stammer. “Relax,” Gabe laughed. “You really don’t have to answer that.” When I saw how embarrassed Freddy was, I tried to change the subject. “How did your talk with Sasha go? Are you going to go out with her?” “I think so,” he answered excitedly. “She’s pretty cool.” He looked back over at Freddy. “Cindi’s kind of upset that you didn’t want to talk to her. It’s okay, though. I told her you were seeing someone.” He looked back and forth between Freddy and me and grinned. “What?” I asked when I noticed his grin. “Nothing,” he laughed. “Everything’s cool.” His eyes darted back and forth between us. “Everything’s cool.” He scooted over and sat in front of us. “I know what,” he said excitedly. “Let’s sleep up here tonight.” He looked at me and smiled. “It will be just like old times. What do you say?” “You’re not going to get out that magazine and make me jack off with you, are you?” Freddy turned to me with a surprised look. “You guys did that?” Gabe laughed. “Well, duh,” he giggled. “We were twelve. Of course we did.” He started crawling over to the door. “You guys stay here. I’m going to the house and bring us back something to eat.” He turned to me and gave me an evil grin. “I’ll bring back a flashlight.” He ducked when I threw the stiff, blue towel at him.
  15. Ronyx

    Chapter 5

    When I went downstairs, Dad was helping Mr. Craft with the deck. Tracy was standing off to the side with a container full of nails. When Mr. Craft held out his hand, Tracy would hand him one. I walked over and stood beside him, but he ignored me. I helped as much as I could. It seemed like I was more in the way than anything else. I helped lay large boards in place while my father and Mr. Craft hammered nails in them. Not once did Tracy attempt to say anything to me. It took over three hours to finally finish the deck floor. There were still steps that had to be added, but Mr. Craft said that could wait for another day. “How about a beer, Jerry?” he asked my father. My father isn’t a big drinker, but he does like to drink socially. I was becoming worried that if he and Mr. Craft became good friends, he could turn into an alcoholic. When they went inside, Tracy followed. I wasn’t sure what I should do. After our exchange earlier in Tracy’s bedroom, I thought it would probably be better if I went home. When I entered, my mother asked, “Where’s your father?” “He’s drinking beer with Mr. Craft,” I informed her. She pointed to a chair and asked me to have a seat. She took two bottled waters from the refrigerator, handed me one and sat down at the table across from me. I became uncomfortable when she said nothing but just stared at me. “What?” I finally asked. “I know I’m being foolish,” she replied, “but do you think there is something strange about the Crafts?” I gave her a puzzled look and asked, “Strange? What do you mean?” She lowered her voice and looked around. I don’t know why because no one was in the kitchen with us. “I don’t know,” she replied. “Don’t you find it rather strange that they don’t see anything wrong with Tracy taking ballet lessons?” I shrugged my shoulders and replied, “I guess it is kind of weird.” She looked around and lowered her voice and asked, “Do you think he’s gay?” My face must have turned fifty shades of red. I wasn’t sure how to answer her question. Earlier, Tracy admitted to me that he was gay. And not just gay, but openly gay. Since his parents obviously knew, then it would probably be only a matter of time before his mother would say something to my mother. I wasn’t sure if I should be the one to tell her. And if I did, she might just ask me how I know. Since she was being so secretive, I didn’t know how she would react if I told her Tracy told me he was gay. She might question why he told me. “Well?” she asked again, “Do you think he is gay?” I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know, Mom,” I replied. “He could be. But just because he likes to dance, does that mean he’s gay?” I really had no idea about dancers since I had never even remotely been interested in the subject. My mother enrolled my sister in a ballet class a few years ago, but after a few weeks she lost interest. That was extent of my knowledge of dance. I asked, “Aren’t there straight ballet dancers?” She gave me a puzzled look. “I guess there may be,” she replied, “but I still don’t think it’s something a normal boy would do.” I took offense to the way she said normal. I had never considered my mother might be homophobic. It had never been mentioned except in a passing comment about a gay character on television. Even then, it was never mean or malicious. I was becoming increasingly upset with the conversation. I couldn’t understand why my parents seemed bothered by the fact that Tracy might be gay. My father had so much as said it at the dinner table when he suggested that Mr. Craft should have insisted that Tracy play a ‘man’s’ sport instead of taking ballet lessons. I could tell he offended Mr. Craft by his statements, but I suppose it was something that he had heard often. I know if my parents had given me ballet lessons, all my relatives would have had something to say. Both my grandfathers were like dad, they enjoyed watching sports. Whenever we visited, there was always a baseball or football game playing in the den or family room. My grandmothers also enjoyed sports as much as my grandfathers. Thinking back, I don’t think I had ever seen them watch anything other than sports or regular television shows. They probably would have laughed if I suggested watching a show on PBS or Animal Planet. I also didn’t know how they felt about gay people. I guess, like most families, it is never discussed. I once was alone in the family room. Everyone else had gone to the mall to buy my sister a new pair of shoes for school. As I was surfing around looking for something to watch, I ran across a show called Ru Paul’s Drag Race. By the name, I thought it was a NASCAR show. Boy, was I surprised! It was men dressed up like women, and there was this really flamboyant guy who was named Ru Paul. It was interesting hearing men being referred to as a girl. I had never heard that before. As I watched, I really became engrossed in the show. I found myself rooting for a competitor named Ginger. He, I mean, she, was very pretty. What I found fascinating was how handsome he was when he looked like a man. As I watched it, I wondered if that is what I would become when I come out as gay? Will it make me more like a girl? I’ve watched Jeff mature over the years. As he grows older, he looks prettier. Not in a guy sort of way. Since he wears his hair long, he looks girlish. I think he’s really cute, but I could never tell him or anyone that. And Tracy. He is even prettier with his sparkling green eyes. If I knew I wasn’t gay, then it would probably worry me if I found them attractive. Now after watching Ginger on TV, I wonder if that is what Jeff and Tracy want to look like. I guess what I’m wondering is can a gay boy look like a normal boy? Oh, God! Now I sound like my mother. Maybe she thinks that. If I ever do come out, will she be worried that I’ll start wearing a dress or something? I can tell by the way she talks about Tracy that she thinks he probably dances with a tutu on. I know he doesn’t because I’ve seen him dance. Although, the times I’ve seen him dance, he’s worn sweat pants. I’m sure he doesn’t wear a tutu onstage when he dances. Does he? I heard my father come in downstairs. It was getting dark outside, so I suppose they had finished for the night. I walked over to my bedroom window and looked across the street at Tracy’s room. It was like I was becoming obsessed with him. His room was dark, so I went downstairs to watch television for a while. Dad was asleep in his lounger, and Karen was lying on the sofa with her head in my mother’s lap. She put her finger to her lips and looked over at my father. I don’t know why I had to be silent. When he goes to sleep, they could excavate the house next door, and he wouldn’t wake up. I sat on the floor with my back to the sofa in front of my mother. They were watching some movie that didn’t look very interesting. That’s the only thing wrong when Karen watches tv. My mother thinks everything must be G-rated. Karen is eight, and I’ve heard her playing in her room sometimes when her friends come over. Mom would wash her mouth out with soap if she heard her say some of the things I’ve heard her say. Fifteen minutes later, someone knocked on the door. I got up to see who it was, although I was pretty sure by the knock. Only one person knocks two times quickly, and then a single knock. Sure enough, it was Jimmy. “What are you doing, Jack?” he asked. “Not much,” I replied. “Watching some boring movie.” He motioned for me to come out and sit on the porch. “Wait a minute,” I responded. “I gotta get a jacket.” When I returned he was sitting on a step. I walked over and sat down. I asked, “Isn’t it a little late for this?” It was almost ten. “I’m bored,” he replied. “All the guys are busy.” “Thanks,” I responded sarcastically. “So, I’m your last choice.” He laughed and replied, “I didn’t it mean it that way. It’s just it’s Saturday night, and we don’t have anything to do.” “I was watching a movie,” I reminded him. He quipped, “You said it was boring.” We sat and talked for about twenty minutes, but our conversation was awkward. The more we talked, the more I began to realize that Jimmy and I really didn’t share any of the same interests anymore. He started out by talking about the upcoming basketball season. He complained for several minutes about how bad the team was. Then, he started talking about a couple of girls he had met earlier at the mall. He went on and on about how pretty they were, and how he was trying to get up the nerve to call a girl named Cindy. He even admitted that is why he came over, so he could get up the courage to call her. “What do you think, Jack?” He looked at me expectantly. “What would you do?” I just stared at him. What could I say. It’s not like I have a lot of experience talking to girls on the phone. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever talked to a girl on the phone. I mean, I’ve talked to my older sister and some of my cousins on the phone, but that really doesn’t count. “Um,” I replied. “I don’t know. I guess I would call her.” “You don’t think she would think I was kind of desperate calling her right away?” I laughed and said, “Well, you are desperate.” “I don’t know, Jack,” he replied worriedly. “She’s awful pretty. What if she doesn’t want to talk?” “Jesus, Jimmy!” I moaned. “Just fucking call her.” “Yeah!” he said excitedly. “I will.” He hesitated before adding, “Tomorrow.” We sat a few more minutes talking about school, when I looked up at Tracy’s window when the light came on. ‘Oh, shit,” I thought to myself. ‘Please don’t start dancing.’ I looked over at Jimmy, and he was watching the window. “That poof done anymore dancing?” he asked. I let out a sigh to let Jimmy know I was upset. It was obvious that he was just using the word because he knew it upset me. If I didn’t respond, then maybe he would quit saying it. “God,” hissed Jimmy. “He’s doing it again.” We watched as Tracy danced in his room. After his little performance for me earlier, I had some idea what he was doing. Jimmy, though, continued to get angrier as he watched. He stood, looked up at the window and said angrily, “I can’t take any more of this shit! Jesus, Jack! You need to tell him people can see what he’s doing from the street. He’s going to upset the whole neighborhood.” He then hurried down the sidewalk toward his home. I continued to sit and watch. I know it sounds weird, but I was captivated by his movements. They seemed effortless. I wondered what he would look like on a stage dancing before an audience. Suddenly, Jimmy came walking down the street with Tyler and Brian following behind him. He stopped a few feet away and pointed up at the window. “See guys,” he said. “That’s the shit I’m talking about.” Tyler and Brian stood on the sidewalk and stared up at Tracy’s window as his silhouette danced against the blinds. “What’s the fuck’s he doing?” asked Tyler. Brian responded, “Looks like a friggin’ ballerina to me.” “I told you guys he was gay,” responded Jimmy. “He’s a poof. A sissy one at that.” He turned and muttered, “I’ve seen enough.” “Me, too,” replied Tyler as he turned and followed Jimmy down the sidewalk. Brian walked over and sat down beside me. He asked, “Why are you sitting out here watching him, Jack?” I froze. I had no answer. I couldn’t tell him I enjoyed watching Tracy as he danced around his room. “Um,” I replied. “Jimmy came over, and we was sitting here. I didn’t feel like going back in and watching a boring movie.” “This is more interesting?” he asked skeptically. “No,” I responded quickly. “I haven’t been watching him. Honest.” Brian stood and looked down at me. “You better be careful, Jack.” He said as he looked up at the window. “Jimmy says he’s gay.” I replied, “Yeah,” as he turned and walked away. * * * * * * * Something happened at school on Monday that I’m not very proud of. In fact, I really hate myself. Everything was going fine until after third period. I was heading to my fourth period class when I noticed a commotion in the hall. Usually, it means that two students are getting ready to fight. As I tried to make my way past the students who were waiting for something to happen, I heard Tyler’s voice. He had asked someone, “Well, are you a fag?” I stopped and tried to stand on my tiptoes to see who he was talking to. It was Tracy. He had him pinned to a locker. It wasn’t forceful or anything. He just had his arm out against the locker and wouldn’t let Tracy get past him. Tracy sneered, “I don’t think it’s any of your fucking business.” There was a gasp from several students standing nearby. Tyler’s face reddened. Knowing Tyler, he really wasn’t looking for a fight. I think he was just trying to embarrass Tracy. However, it looked like Tracy wasn’t in the mood for his antics. Tyler nervously looked around trying to figure out what to do next. He then noticed me in the crowd. “Jack!” he hollered out. “Tell everyone what we saw last night.” I turned and walked away. So, that’s why I’m mad at myself. I should have stayed and defended Tracy. Like Tracy, I should have insisted that it was really none of Tyler’s business what he was doing. But I got scared. If I sided with Tyler, then I would have felt miserable. Yet there was no way I could defend Tracy without making Tyler suspicious of why I was defending someone who he thought was gay. I did the cowardly thing and walked away, and I’m not very happy with myself. I skipped lunch today. If I had eaten with Tyler, he would have asked me about it. I’m not really sure what happened when I left. I don’t think they fought. If they did, everyone would be talking about it. Besides, Tyler plays basketball, and I’m not sure he would risk getting suspended and kicked off the team over something so trivial. He thought we would be cute and embarrass Tracy in front of others, and it backfired. Mr. Craft had said that the students had given him a hard time at his former school, so he probably knew how to respond to intimidation. Also, he may be a dancer, but he is built like an athlete. He’s not some sissy who can be picked on like Jeff. Jeff used to get a lot of abuse in the middle school. But since we started high school, the rules changed. Mrs. Alexander warned us during an assembly our first day as freshmen that the school has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. She stated that sixteen students had been suspended ten days since she became principal. She looked out over three hundred scared freshmen and dared us to be the seventeenth. Four days later, Darryl Osborne became that student when he called another student a faggot and slammed him against a locker. It took Mrs. Alexander about a half hour to find out what happened and call Darryl to the office. The next day after a parent conference, he was gone for ten days. We know Mrs. Alexander means what she says. I headed home alone after school. After the last bell, I went to the library and sat at a cubicle for fifteen minutes, enough time to know that Jimmy, Tyler and Tracy had left. I just didn’t feel like talking to anyone. I know that Tyler would have confronted me and asked why I didn’t tell other students what Tracy had been doing. I probably made him look like a fool when I walked away. I definitely didn’t want to see Tracy. He already thought that I was weak. He wouldn’t talk to me because I couldn’t tell others I was gay. I probably looked even weaker in his eyes because I walked away and wouldn’t confront Tyler. Who is he anyway? What is the big deal about coming out? Just because he did it, doesn’t mean everyone can. I’m only seventeen, and I’ve got friends I’ve known since kindergarten. I can’t stand on a chair in the cafeteria and ask for everyone’s attention while I shout out, “Hey Everybody! I’m gay!” What does Tracy expect? Everyone to stand and applause? He’s new, but he’ll see. He must have already experienced it because he left his old school because he was having problems. That’s what his father said. So, he can’t go judging me because I don’t want to go through the same shit he went though. Besides, he’s just started school here. This isn’t some backwards school in North Dakota. Mrs. Alexander may enforce a rigid bullying policy, but students can still do subtle things. They do it to Jeff all the time. I can’t begin to count how many times he’s been tripped or stumbled because some guy decided to stick his foot out just as he walks by. And probably the worst thing is the isolation. You’d think Jeff has leprosy or the flu. No one associates with him in school. He may have friends at other schools, but when he’s inside our school, everyone ignores him. I’m not exactly a social butterfly, but I don’t think I could stand that. And if Tracy isn’t careful, he’s going to find out that the only person willing to talk to him is Jeff. I don’t know. Maybe that’s what he wants. I arrived home and went straight to my room. Usually, I stop by the kitchen for a soda and a snack. Mom likes me and Karen to eat an apple or banana, but we usually will sneak and eat cookies, chips or something else she warns us is bad for our health. Karen usually beats me home because her school lets out fifteen minutes earlier than the high school. Mom used to make her go across the street with Mrs. Richmond until they moved away. She thinks she’s too young at eight to be left alone. She’ll probably ask Mrs. Craft to keep an eye on her until I get home. However, she mentioned to Mom the other night that she was looking for a part-time job somewhere. I could hear Karen upstairs stomping around in her bedroom. When I peeked in and asked her if everything was alright, she told me to mind my own business. If she is this annoying at eight, I can’t imagine what she’ll be like when she becomes a teenager. Hopefully, by then, I’ll be in college. I went to my room, closed my door and lay across my bed. This thing about being gay is really bothering me. It’s not the fact of being gay. I think I’ve kind of accepted that. It’s just that I don’t want others to know. But I’m starting to become obsessed with it since Tracy moved in across the street. Life was going along well. I was just me. Nothing special about that. But now, I’m scared to death that others will find out I’m gay. I’m really trying to understand why I have this dread. I think it’s because I’m afraid that once I get branded that title- gay, then my life will then revolve around that. I won’t be normal Jack Woolery anymore. I’ll become GAY Jack Woolery. And I know I’ll lose all my friends. Jimmy definitely won’t talk to me anymore. Neither will Tyler and Brian. I don’t have a lot of real friends, so I’m scared of losing the few I have. So, if I come out, I’ll lose all my friends, and I’ll have to find new ones. There just aren’t that many options. I guess Tracy will become my friend once I’m out. I’m sure Jeff will be too. I’ll then have two friends- two gay friends. And then my life will be what I fear it will be- a gay life. I’m only seventeen. I don’t even know how to live a gay life. I was having trouble living a straight life. I was kind of just plodding along, usually trailing behind Jimmy, doing what he wanted to do. If I lose that, then who will I follow? I thought about doing some homework, but I was too upset to concentrate. I lay across the bed and tried to sleep, but again, I just tossed and turned. I could hear Karen across the hall screaming to someone on her phone. It seems like some boy she likes was interested in another girl in her class and she was jealous. She was plotting how to break them up. She’s eight. How can an eight-year-old be so devious? One good thing. Mom and Dad won’t have to worry about her being a lesbian. I was startled when the door flew open and Jimmy, Tyler and Brian came barging into the room. I sat up in bed and shouted, “You guys scared the shit out of me!” Jimmy laughed and sat down beside me. Tyler sat next to him, and Brian sat at on my computer chair. “What’s up?” I asked. Jimmy spoke, “Me and the guys have been talking.” “About what?” He replied, “That poof across the street.” “Yeah, Man,” asked Tyler. “How come you walked away this morning? I wanted everyone to know what that freak does in his room.” I stood and started pacing around the room. I said angrily, “I don’t get why you guys are bothering Tracy. He hasn’t done anything to you.” Jimmy scowled and said, “But he’s a freaking ballet dancer.” “So?” I asked as I stood before him. “He’s a ballet dancer. What does that have to do with you?” Jimmy looked at Tyler and Brian to give him support. When they didn’t say anything, he remarked, “He’s a poof.” “So?” I asked again. “What does that have to do with you?” “That shit just ain’t right,” he replied. “Maybe it ain’t right,” I said, “but it still doesn’t involve you.” “You sound like you’re taking up for that poof,” he replied angrily. He stood and faced me. “What are you a poof too?” “Jesus, Jimmy,” I said angrily. “You’re an idiot.” I started to turn, but he grabbed my arm and stopped me. “I’m serious, Jack,” he said. “Why are you defending him?” “I’m not defending him,” I insisted. “I just don’t think it’s any of our business. What Tracy does, doesn’t concern us.” Jimmy looked at the other guys and stated angrily, “I’m sick of this shit. What he does is my business. I don’t want any poof running around our school. It’s bad enough that everyone knows that Jeff is a homo. We don’t need two.” Jimmy headed toward the door. “Come on, Guys,” he motioned for Brian and Tyler to follow him. They stood and approached the door. Before leaving, Jimmy turned and said, “I’m beginning to wonder about you Jack.” They left, and I sat on the side of the bed and worried that my world may be falling apart.
  16. Ronyx

    Chapter 13

    Gabe ran to the car and shouted, “Shotgun!” He then jumped into the front seat of the car. “Come on,” I whined. “Let me sit up front.” I didn’t want to sit in the back seat with Freddy and his little brother. It was a two-hour drive to the theme park, and I didn’t want him trying to talk to me. “Fair is fair,” he grinned through the window at me. “I called it first.” I flipped him off and then climbed into the backseat. Andrew jumped into my lap while Harley sat in the middle and Freddy on the other side. “I thought Harley was going to sit in your lap?” I asked my brother as he wiggled around in my lap trying to get comfortable. “I wanna sit here,” he insisted as his weight smashed my left ball against my leg. “Ouch!” He giggled as I spread my legs and made him sit on the edge of the seat. “This is uncomfortable,” he whined. He looked down at Harley. “Trade places with me. You’re more littler than me.” Harley looked at me and grinned. “Yeah, sure!” he said excitedly. Before I could protest, he slipped his small body into my lap while Andrew fell into the middle seat. He turned to me and smiled. “I’m Harley.” It was really the first time I had seen him up close. He had a mischievous look about him that reminded me of Wade. His hair was curly blonde, but not as long as Wade’s. His eyes were also big and brown. They seemed to dance with excitement when he spoke. He had freckles running across his nose, and a front tooth was missing when he smiled. I looked over at Freddy and then back at Harley. They didn’t resemble each other. Like Andrew and I, they must have inherited the characteristics of different parents. I had seen their mother and Freddy looked her. Harley, I thought, must look like their father. “Hi, Harley.” I returned his smile. “I’m Richie.” “I know who you are, Silly,” he replied. “Andrew talks about you all the time.” “I do not,” replied my brother. “Do too,” insisted Harley. “Don’t.” “Do too.” This went on several times until Aunt Barbara told them to stop. I looked out the window on the way to the park. Andrew and Harley started to sing songs they had learned in school. My aunt even joined in on a few. Occasionally, I would look over at Freddy and he would smile nervously. Gabe was right, he did seem like an all right guy. It didn’t hurt that he was also cute. Today he was wearing a blue baseball cap and designer sunglasses. He had on a pair of shorts that nicely showed his tanned legs that had a light dusting of hair. He caught me staring at them several times. Harley continued to rearrange himself in my lap. Several times, his wiggling made my cock start to harden. I would have to position him so he wouldn’t notice. However, on one occasion I saw Freddy staring down at my lap. When he looked away, I looked down. My dick had made a very obvious tent inside my shorts. We had driven for about an hour when Harley turned in my lap and faced me. “Would you be my big brother?” “What?” I asked surprisingly. I looked over at Freddy. “You already have a big brother.” “I know, Silly,” he huffed. “But I need another one.” “Why?” “There’s this kid in my class. His name is Russell,” he explained. “I don’t like him.” He wrinkled his nose, and Andrew started giggling. “Why don’t you like him?” “Because every time someone picks on him, he tells them he’s got two big brothers who will beat them up.” “You’ve got your brother,” I reminded him as I looked over at Freddy. He was trying hard to contain a laugh. “Yeah!” he said excitedly. “But he’s got two.” He looked at me pleadingly. “I need another brother so I can tell him I got two brothers, too.” Gabe turned around in the front seat. “Harley,” he said, “You tell them you have three brothers.” Harley’s face lit up. “And if anyone gives you any problems, you tell me and I’ll kick their…” Aunt Barbara shouted, “Gabe!” “Cool!” Harley squealed as we erupted into laughter. By the time we arrived at the park, I never wanted to hear another round of ‘99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.’ My aunt started it, and of course Andrew and Harley had to go through the song twice. Even Gabe, who had begun singing with them, had his head hanging out the window and was howling like a dog. Freddy had sat quietly the entire time and never said anything. A few times I noticed him staring at me out of the corner of my eye. When I would look over, he would quickly turn his head away. “I wanna ride the roller coaster!” Harley shouted as soon as we got out of the car. He grabbed my hand and tried to lead me away, but my Aunt stopped us. “Here’s what I want you boys to do,” she said sternly. “I don’t want the younger boys out of your sight, not even for a second.” She looked at Gabe and me. “If you older boys want to ride on a ride, then I want at least one of you to stay with Andrew and Harley.” “Where will you be?” I asked. I had thought that maybe she would stay with my brother and Harley. “Me?” she laughed. “I’m going to find a nice shady spot and wait for you boys.” She looked at her watch. “Synchronize your watches.” Gabe started laughing as he pulled out his cell phone. “Barb, no one wears a watch anymore. We use our phones to see what time it is.” She looked at him and frowned. “Anyway,” she instructed us. “I want everyone to meet me back here at the gate at four. It’s noon now, so that will give you four hours.” “Four hours!” I shouted. “We have to stand in line for a half hour to ride just one ride.” “Then find shorter lines.” She turned and walked away. After paying for our admission, she reminded us to meet sharply at four. “It’s a long walk home,” she warned. We walked for a little while around the park. Harley held my hand while Andrew held Freddy’s. I thought it was strange since I was sure that Andrew would have preferred to be with me. Harley was the first to see the roller coaster. He started jumping up and down. “I wanna ride!” he shouted as he pulled me toward the ride. “Uh, oh,” Gabe said as we approached. He pointed to a figure that appeared to be about five feet tall. ‘You must be this tall to ride this ride,’ it said. Andrew was two inches too short, and Harley didn’t even come close. “What’s wrong?” he asked Andrew when he saw the sad look on his face. “We’re not tall enough,” he told him. Tears formed in Harley’s eyes. Freddy walked over and picked him up in his arms. “There’s a lot of rides for you,” he assured him. “You’ll still have a lot of fun.” “But I wanted to ride the roller coaster,” he said sadly. Freddy wiped a tear off his cheek. Andrew looked up at me, “Me too.” He walked over and wrapped his arms around me. I looked over at Freddy. “I guess we better find them some rides.” He nodded his head. “What about me?” Gabe asked. “Don’t tell me I have to ride everything by myself while you guys babysit.” “We’re not babies,” Andrew said defensively. I grabbed Andrew’s hand and started to lead him away. “No, you’re not,” I said. I turned toward Gabe. “You go ahead. I’ll call you later, and we can meet after they get tired.” “All right,” he said before turning and heading toward one of the larger attractions. When Andrew and I started to walk away, he grabbed Freddy’s hand. The four of us walked in a line toward the children’s rides. Freddy and I sat quietly on a bench under a shade tree as Andrew and Harley ran from ride to ride. I kept wondering when they would tire out. Freddy kept looking over at me as if he wanted to talk. I know it looked stupid as we sat side by side without speaking to each other. There wasn’t much I wanted to say to him. Finally, he turned to me. “You think they’re ever going to get tired of riding?” I looked at him and shrugged my shoulders. We sat in silence for several more minutes. He turned to me once again. “You don’t like me very much, do you?” “I don’t have anything against you,” I responded without looking at him. When he looked back to watch his brother and Andrew on a ride, I glanced over at him. As Gabe said, he really was a nice guy. For weeks, he had tolerated my disdain for him. I guess he understood why I didn’t like him. However, he really wasn’t to blame. He was only doing what he was told to do. He had even offered me my room back on a couple of occasions. I glanced over again, only this time longer. He was attractive. Most guys our age are cute, but there was something different about him. He seemed grown-up. He didn’t act like most guys our age. Today he had on a blue ball cap and dark sunglasses. To a stranger he could pass for eighteen. He was staring straight ahead, and the sun was shining through the branches of the tree, casting a soft shadow on his face. I thought he could have been on the cover of any teen girls’ magazine. I wondered why girls weren’t always following him around. Maybe the rumors about him were true. After all, he had stared at me when I came back home high and drunk that night I partied with Wade. I stood unashamedly naked before him, and he couldn’t keep his eyes off my cock. He even seemed to enjoy wiping my naked body off when I got out of the shower. Other than that, though, he had never given me any indication he wanted more. Then again, I guess I really hadn’t given him a chance. I laughed when Andrew jumped off a ride and fell to the ground. Harley quickly ran over and helped him up. I turned to Freddy. “I guess they’re at least having a good time.” “Yeah,” he said as he looked at me surprisingly. It was the first time I had actually said anything to him. “Why don’t I call Gabe and he can come get you,” I offered. “I’ll watch Andrew and Harley.” “ It’s okay. I’ll stay here,” he replied. His voice sounded sad. I guess he thought I was trying to get rid of him. We sat quietly for several more minutes before Andrew came running over. Harley was close behind. “I gotta go pee,” he said urgently as he grabbed his dick through his shorts and squeezed it. “Me, too,” squealed Harley as he mimicked Andrew’s action. I grabbed both their hands and looked around for the nearest restroom. A sign to my left indicated there was one nearby. Once inside, they ran into a stall and I could see their shorts fall to the floor. They started giggling when their piss began to hit the water. I walked over to a urinal, unzipped my shorts and relieved myself. I turned and looked at the door when someone entered. It was Freddy. He walked up to the urinal beside me, unzipped his pants and pulled out his cock. My eyes widened when I glanced over quickly and saw the size of it. It was uncut and about four inches long soft. Mine was only about an inch larger when it was hard. I glanced over quickly again and watched as a yellow stream flowed from the covered head. Freddy took a step back, giving me a better view. I looked up and he was staring down at my cock. Without realizing it, I had finished pissing and my cock was beginning to harden. My face reddened as I quickly pushed my erect cock into my pants. He stepped forward when a man entered and walked up to the urinal. I was nervously washing my hands when Freddy stood beside me and began washing his. I looked at his face in the mirror. The dark sunglasses masked what he might be thinking. By the embarrassed look on my face, I’m sure he knew what had been on mine. Andrew and Harley came bounding out of the stall. They rushed over to the faucet and raced to see who could wash their hands the fastest. “Hey, no fair!” grumbled Harley when Andrew ran over to the hand dryer and started wiping his hands dry. “You didn’t put soap on your hands.” “Did too,” insisted Andrew. “Did not!” “Did too!” Freddy and I left the restroom laughing. We walked around the park for a while. I held Harley’s hand while Andrew took Freddy’s. For some reason, Harley seemed to want to be with me. He had even enjoyed sitting in my lap in the car. I guess at six his life was filled with innocence. He didn’t sense the contempt I had for his mother and my father. My cell phone rang. When I looked, it was Gabe. “Where are you guys at?” I looked around. “We’re in front of the water slide.” “Cool,” he said. “We are not too far from there. Stay put.” “We?” He hung up before I finished asking who was with him. It didn’t take long to find out. A minute later Gabe appeared with two girls beside him. He was grinning like a Cheshire cat. “Hey, guys,” he said timidly. “This is Sasha.” Sasha was about sixteen and very pretty. She had long brown hair, blue eyes and a flawless complexion. “This is her sister, Cindi.” Cindi was just as cute as Sasha. She looked to be about a year younger. She had braces on her teeth. Every time she smiled, she would cover her mouth with her hand. Gabe introduced us to the girls. They both gave us a shy wave when he was done. “They want to ride the water slide,” he announced. He grabbed Freddy by the arm. “Come on.” He then turned to me. “You don’t mind do you, Richie?” Before I could answer, he led Freddy away. Gabe walked beside Sasha while Cindi took Freddy’s arm and wrapped hers around his. I was furious at Gabe. He hadn’t even asked me to join them. He could have at least let me and Freddy decide who would go. We could have flipped a coin or even done rock, paper, scissors. I guess because he knew I was gay, I wouldn’t want to be with a girl. I tried to have fun with Andrew and Harley, but I couldn’t help wondering what Gabe and Freddy were doing. It even crossed my mind a few times that I might actually be jealous. Jealous? Why would I be jealous? However, I couldn’t escape the feeling. It couldn’t be for Gabe. He told me he had kissed Teresa and I teased him about it. I wasn’t jealous then. So that meant… No, I told myself. I couldn’t be. That wouldn’t even make any sense. I would hardly talk to him. Why would I be jealous if he was with a girl? I rode twice on a smaller water ride with my brother and Harley. The ride operator at first said I was too big to ride, but I was able to talk him into letting me ride with the younger boys. Besides, he was about seventeen and I think he was flirting with me. He tried to get us to ride a third time. We looked like drenched rats when we finished. Andrew and Harley’s long locks were sticking to their face. I had to take them back into the restroom and have them stand under the hand dryers until their hair was reasonable dry. “That was fun!” Harley squealed as he tried to pull me back toward the ride. “Let’s do it again.” “I’m hungry,” I said. “Do you guys want something to eat?” “Yes!” They shouted in unison. We were eating hot dogs at one of stands near the water slide when my phone rang. It was Gabe. “Where are you?” “Eating,” I answered coldly. “Where?” “I don’t know.” “What do you mean?” he asked. “What is around you?” “Andrew and Harley,” I answered. “Funny, Asshole,” he laughed. “Where are you? We want to join you.” “That didn’t bother you earlier,” I replied. I looked down at my phone. It was 3:42. We were to meet Aunt Barbara at the gate in twenty minutes. I figured it would take us that long to get there. “We’re heading to meet my aunt,” I informed him. “She said four.” I closed my phone and placed it back into my pocket. “Time to go, Guys.” Frowns appeared on Andrew and Harley’s faces. I got up and started to walk away. They ran up and grabbed my hand as we walked back to the entrance gate. I had to listen to them whine about going home until we met up with Aunt Barbara. She looked behind me and asked, “Where’s Gabe and Freddy?” “Dunno,” I answered. She looked at her watch and then once again behind me. “There they are,” she announced. I turned and saw them approaching. Gabe was walking with his arm around Sasha, while Cindi was walking with her arm still wrapped around Freddy’s arm. All four were engaged in a lively conversation. “Now be sure and call me tonight,” cooed Sasha to Gabe. He held up his cell phone and kissed it. “I have your number right here.” I rolled my eyes, turned and headed for the exit gate. “You too,” reminded Cindi. I looked over my shoulder just as she stood on her tiptoes and kissed Freddy on the cheek. “Where did they meet them?” My aunt asked as she walked beside me. “They’re very pretty.” “Beats me,” I answered angrily. I looked behind me as Gabe and Freddy waved goodbye to the girls and ran to catch up with us. “Did you have fun, Buddy?” Gabe threw his arm around my shoulder. I reached up and removed his hand. “It was all right,” I answered as I stepped away. He gave me a puzzled look and then stepped over to Freddy. I could hear them talking about Sasha and Cindi. As we approached the car, my aunt unlocked the door with her remote from about twenty feet away. Andrew whispered something to Harley, and they bolted for the car. “Shotgun!” They screamed as they opened the front door and jumped in. “Hey!” Gabe ran to the door and began pounding on the window. “That’s my seat!” Harley grinned and shouted, “We called it first.” He flipped them off which resulted in a stern look from my aunt. He then opened the back door. Freddy got in first and the he got in. I walked to the other side and opened the door. Freddy scooted toward Gabe to give me room to sit down. It was more crowded with Gabe in the backseat than it had been earlier. Harley giggled when Andrew looked over the front seat and stuck his tongue out at Gabe. “I’m going to cut that off with a paring knife,” he warned. “Won’t,” giggled Andrew. “Will too.” “Won’t” “Will too!” “Boys!” Aunt Barbara shouted. “Do I have to listen to this all the way home?” “He started it,” Gabe whined. Andrew turned around and quickly stuck his tongue out again. Harley giggled beside him. As soon as we exited the parking lot, Gabe started talking about Sasha and Cindi. He seemed really excited about having met Sasha. “You going to call Cindi?” he asked Freddy. Freddy shrugged his shoulders. “She’s pretty, Man,” he said. “She seemed to really be interested in you.” “We’ll see,” he responded nonchalantly. I leaned back and rested my head on the back of the seat. Gabe continued to rant about Sasha. He couldn’t wait to get home to call her. She and her sister lived about twenty-five miles from us, so he would have to have his mother or father take him to see her. I was going to ask him about Teresa, but I decided to keep my mouth shut. Andrew and Harley began a game of who could spot the most license plates from different states. After a while they got quiet, so I assumed they had fallen asleep. I leaned my head to the side and soon fell asleep myself. I don’t know how long I had slept before I awoke from a pressure on my shoulder. As I awakened, I realized that Freddy had fallen asleep and had his head burrowed comfortably into my right shoulder. When I stirred slightly, he let out a little mumble, licked his lips and then continued to sleep. I didn’t know what to do. The side of his face was lightly touching mine. I could feel his breath on my skin. He stirred, and when he did, his hand fell onto my thigh. It was only inches from my crotch. My heart started pounding as my cock began to expand inside my shorts. I opened my eyes slightly. Everyone seemed to be asleep in the car except Aunt Barbara. Gabe’s head was turned away from us as he rested against the window. When I moved to sit up, Freddy moaned softly and nestled his head further against my shoulder. Suddenly, his eyes shot open and he stared at me. It took him a couple of seconds to realize the position he had fallen asleep. He quickly removed his hand, but not before noticing the bulge in my shorts. “Sorry,” he muttered embarrassedly as he sat up. “I didn’t…” His voice trailed off as he once again stared into my eyes. “It’s okay,” I assured him. His eyes again dropped to my noticeable erection. His face reddened when he looked back up at me. I was disappointed when he shifted in his seat and turned toward Gabe. I rested my head against the window and sighed.
  17. Ronyx

    Chapter 12

    Things are starting to return to normal- a little. I’ve been back to school for about three weeks. It isn’t as bad as I thought. Most people just leave me alone. A few students stare at me as I walk down the hall, and I can hear a few of their remarks as they pass, but I just ignore them. If it wasn’t me they are talking about, it would just be someone else. Trying to catch up on the work I’ve missed has been a bitch. My counselor summoned me to the office last week and told me that there was a chance that I might not pass this year if I didn’t start applying myself better. How can I ‘apply’ myself with all the shit I’ve been through? But they don’t care. All they focus on is your GPA. There should be some way of factoring in a person’s personal problems. It shouldn’t be based just on class work and test scores. Shouldn’t a student who is going through their own personal hell be evaluated differently than the nerdy boy who has nothing to do at night but stay holed up in his room studying all the time? I’ve come to realize over the past few years that life isn’t fair. Actually, when you come right down to it, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense. There isn’t any continuity to it. You can go along one day and everything is fine. Then bam. You go to a doctor and he tells you that you have the Big C. Like my mother. Or you can go out to dinner and have the best meal of your life. Then anticipate going back and losing your virginity to someone who you’re falling in love with. Then bam. You get broadsided by a car and he’s dead in an instant. Like Wade. I’ve learned that life offers one guarantee- there is no guarantee for life. It can leave your body slowly or it can leave in a split second. But one this is guaranteed- it will leave. I’m fifteen and I already know that. I’ve watched it happen twice. Gabe wants me to join him and the other basketball players for lunch, but I don’t have the time. I come to the library each day to try and catch up on some work. It’s quiet and I don’t have to deal with anyone. That’s something else I’m finding myself doing more and more- withdrawing from people. I don’t think I’m depressed or anything, I just want to be left alone. I’m working shit out in my mind and people just get in the way. Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ray are beginning to realize that. For a couple of weeks, they tried to get me to do things with them, but I’d always refuse. They would sit at the dinner table at night and look worriedly at me. One night I just opened up and talked to them. “I’m all right,” I assured them. “I’m not going to do anything to myself. I just need some time to be alone.” “Perhaps we should find you a counselor,” Aunt Barbara suggested. “Your father has agreed to find you someone.” I bristled at first when they mentioned his name, but I didn’t say anything. I knew he was worried about me. Why, I don’t know. But sometimes I can hear Uncle Ray talking to him on the phone late at night. For some reason, it seems like he is attempting to get me to come back home. But that is something I am determined that I will never do. Even though I miss Andrew and Melinda terribly, I do get to see them almost every Sunday. He drops them off in the early afternoon and they stay until after dinner. Many times Aunt Barbara will take us some place, and I spend the afternoon with just them. Last week we went roller skating at a nearby roller rink. I don’t think I’ve had so much fun in such a long time. Andrew couldn’t stand upright on the skates. Every time he would start to wobble away from me, he’d fall down. He’d pout and I’d roar with laugher. Finally, I held him in front of me while we skated around the rink. By the time we left, he was doing it by himself if he was holding my hand. Then after dinner, I return to my quiet room. I’m doing a little writing. I find that it helps if I put down my feelings on paper. They only problem is, most of the time I don’t know what my feelings are. At times I feel sad. Then the sadness turns to anger, and the anger turns to rage. Then I get mad because I’m angry, and then the sadness returns. I feel like a hamster running around inside a wheel. Everything is going in circles, but I’m running to nowhere. Gabe’s a good friend. The best anyone could have. He rides his bike over almost every night to spend time with me. Sometimes we play video games, but most of the time we just sit around and say nothing. He’s also about the only person who can make me laugh. One night last week, we sat around watching television. Neither of us had said anything for almost fifteen minutes. He looked over worriedly at me and asked, “Would you like me to kiss you again?” I sat up and looked surprisingly at him. “What!” I shrieked. He gave me a goofy grin. “Well,” he responded, “the last time I did it, it made you feel happy. I just want to see you laugh again.” I started grinning. “Thanks, Gabe,” I replied. “You’re a good friend.” He smiled. Then I started laughing and said, “But you’re a lousy kisser.” We started laughing and he pushed me back on the bed. “Am not,” he grinned as he leaned in toward me. “I’ll prove it.” When his lips reached mine, I stuck my wet tongue into his mouth. “Ewww!” He screamed as he raised his sleeve and wiped my slobber from his mouth. “You’re fucking gross!” I lay back on the bed and roared. “I told you that you were a lousy kisser.” “Fucker!” He mumbled as he rushed over to my bathroom and wiped his mouth out with water. I then heard him gargling. I was still laughing when he returned. He sat down beside me and started laughing. “At least you’re happier,” he smiled. “And you’re still a lousy kisser,” I laughed. Good old Gabe. The best friend anyone could have. ******** I looked over when someone sat down beside me at the library table. “Can I sit here?” It was Earl Buckman, the student who had passed me the note when Stephen had spread the news that I was gay. “Free world,” I replied as I pushed by book bag away so that he could have room to work. He fumbled around his book bag before pulling out a notebook and his literature book. He kept looking over at me and smiling as he opened the book and started to read. He turned and looked at me. “Did you do the assignment today?” “Not yet,” I replied. I had been trying to catch up with my algebra assignment. I was going to do Mrs. Livingstone’s assignment when I got home. He read a few more minutes before scooting over towards me. He pushed his leg against mine as he looked over at me. “Do you know what this word means?” When I scooted away so that our legs weren’t touching, a disappointed look appeared on his face. “It means you’re not sincere.” I said as I leaned over and looked at the word he was pointing to. “What?” “Disingenuous,” I said. He looked down at the book. “It means insincere.” “Oh, yeah,” he replied as he wrote down the definition. He looked back and stared into my eyes. “Thanks.” Earl is a cute guy, but he is rather effeminate. Wade had long blonde hair, and he was always brushing it back, but he didn’t look like a girl when he did it. Earl has a habit of brushing his brown hair back as if he is waving at someone. Students sit in class and mock him. Many times I hear a student tell someone that they are “so gay.” The person would act insulted and brush aside their hair in the same manner that Earl would and then reply with a lisp, “I am not.” It usually ends with a round of laughter. I had found myself many times feeling sorry for him over the years. It was obvious when we entered middle school that he was different from the rest of the boys. He instantly became the butt of many jokes. Around that time, I was beginning to question if I too was like Earl. That was one of the reasons I had hidden my sexuality for so long. I didn’t want to become like Earl Buckman. I didn’t want other students to tease and ridicule me the way they did him. Earl is actually a great guy. Besides being cute, he is kind and generous. He is usually the first to volunteer for projects that involved helping other students, especially around the holiday season. He organizes a ‘giving tree’ each year to buy unfortunate students presents for Christmas. Unfortunately, his participation often discourages other male students from becoming involved. Guys are particularly hesitant to participate because they don’t want other students thinking they are involved because they want to be closer to Earl. That is the reason that Earl is usually surrounded by girls. They find him funny and charming, and they feel safe being with him. I could tell he was looking at me, so I turned toward him. He frowned and said, “You never called me, Richie.” “Look, Earl,” I started, but he stopped me. “It’s okay,” he replied sadly. “I really didn’t expect you to. It’s just that you’re a really nice guy. I’ve had a crush on you since the fifth grade.” His face started to redden as he brushed the hair from his eyes. He started gathering his books and quickly stuffed them into his book bag. “I’m sorry, Richie,” he said softly. “I don’t know what made me think...” He got up and looked down sadly at me. “Bye, Richie.” I watched as he walked slowly from the library, pushing his book bag onto his shoulders. I called out his name. “Earl!” He turned and looked at me. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t.” He gave me a big grin and then waved. I waved back as he turned and left the library. ******** “You did what?” Gabe shrieked when I told him about the incident with Earl. We were heading to his house after school. He needed help with a chemistry assignment. Help usually means do it for him while he watches a rerun of a football game on television. “Well he looked so sad,” I replied. “If you could have seen the look on his face.” “But Jesus, Richie,” Gabe said as he looked over at me. “You told him you would go out with him.” I stopped and turned toward him. “What’s wrong with going out with Earl? I don’t plan to have sex with him. Besides, he’s the only other gay boy I know.” “But Jesus,” Gabe stammered. “He’s so..so..you know.” “So what?” I asked angrily. “Gay?” “Well, yeah,” he replied. “Duh!” I turned and started walking down the street. Gabe ran up and grabbed my arm. “Come on, Richie. You know what I’m talking about. I don’t mind you dating a guy.” He gave me a worried look. “But Earl?” “I’m starting to get bored sitting around the house all the time,” I insisted. “I need to go out.” “You got me,” Gabe responded. “Don’t we have a good time together?” “When you’re around,” I said. “But now that you’re dating Teresa, I hardly ever see you anymore.” “I’ve told you,” he reminded me, “that you can go with us.” “Oh, yeah,” I rolled my eyes. “That would be fun, watching you two swap spit all night.” “We don’t swap spit,” he laughed. “Well, maybe.” His face reddened. “When I drop her off at night.” I started off down the street. He ran to catch up with me. “We’re going to the movies this weekend. Why don’t you come with us?” I turned and grinned. “Can I call Earl and ask him to go?” Gabe’s eyes widened. I knew I’d caught him off guard. It was fun watching him try to come up with some excuse why he couldn’t go with us. Finally, he shrugged his shoulders. “Okay,” he said apprehensively. “I’ll tell Teresa tomorrow. I don’t know how she’ll react, though.” I threw my hand around Gabe’s shoulder. “It’s okay, Gabe.” I laughed. “I was just teasing you. I wanted to see what you’d say.” He gave me a look of relief. “So, you’re not going to ask Earl out on a date?” “Naw,” I said as I started to walk away. “Not this Saturday, anyway.” “Wait, Richie!” Gabe said excitedly as he ran to catch up with me. “What does that mean?” I started laughing. ******** “You seem in a happy mood.” My aunt was sitting across from the table smiling at me. I shrugged my shoulders and ate a big scoop of cereal. “Why do you say that?” She frowned. “Don’t speak with your mouth full.” She threw the newspaper at me when I opened my mouth and showed her the contents of half eaten cereal. I started choking when I started to laugh. “Serves you right,” she said as she got up from the table, poured herself another cup of coffee and sat back down. I was feeling in a good mood. In fact, I hadn’t felt so good in a long time. Since it was a Saturday, he was bringing Andrew over. Gabe and I were going to take him to a nearby amusement park. I hadn’t been there since my mother got sick, and I was looking forward to going. When Gabe had suggested it, I asked him if Andrew could go along. He said he would like that, so I had asked Aunt Barbara to ask him if he could go with us. After talking to him on the phone, she said that he had readily agreed. He thought it was a good idea that I wanted to spend time with my little brother. When she said he even volunteered to take us, I told her I wouldn’t go if he did. After discussing it with him, he agreed to let her take us. The phone rang and Aunt Barbara got up to answer it. She returned and handed the receiver to me. “Hello?” “Richie!” It was Andrew. He sounded excited. “I know you won’t like it, but can Harley go with us? He’s sitting in our room crying because he can’t go with us. Can he go, huh? Please?” I looked over at my aunt who was staring at me. I think Andrew had probably said something to her and she had decided to let me make the decision. I had really hoped that Andrew and I could spend the day together, but he wouldn’t have fun if he knew Harley was sitting at home alone and sad. “Sure,” I answered reluctantly. I looked over and saw my aunt smile. “He can go.” “He can?” I held the phone from my ear when Andrew squealed excitedly. “Thanks, Richie!” I started to hang up when he stopped me. “Richie?” “Yeah, Andrew?” I could hear Harley talking to him in the background. Finally, he came back on the phone. “Harley wants to know if Freddy can come with us?” I didn’t mind Harley going, but I was skeptical about Freddy joining us. I still didn’t feel comfortable around him. He and Gabe had become good friends, and Gabe was always trying to get me to talk to him. So far though, I had been able to avoid him. I knew that he wasn’t involved in the decision of moving into my room. However, he was there, and I wasn’t. That was enough for me not to like him. “I don’t think there’s enough room in the car,” I said. Again, I heard Andrew and Harley talking. “Harley says he can sit in my lap,” Andrew suggested. “He don’t mind.” I looked over at my aunt. Even though she couldn’t hear Andrew’s question, I was pretty sure she knew what he had asked me. “Hold on,” I told my little brother. I covered the receiver with my hand. “He wants Harley and Freddy to join us,” I informed her. “Tell him the car won’t hold all of us.” I tried to hand her the phone. “He knows better than that,” she replied. “Besides, what’s the harm of them going?” “I don’t want Freddy to go.” “Why?” she asked. “I don’t see anything wrong with him joining you boys.” “Fine,” I said angrily. “Tell Andrew that they can go. I’ll just stay home.” I pushed myself away from the table and stormed to my room. I pulled out my literature book and started to work on a homework assignment. I was upset because I had wanted to spend the day with my little brother. We hadn’t seen each other for a week, and then we went out with Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ray to the video arcade in the mall. Harley went with us then, and Andrew spent most of his time playing games with him. There was a knock on the door, and then Gabe entered. He sat down on the bed and looked over at me. “Barb said you don’t want to go with us.” I pretended to write and didn’t look up at him. “I got too much work to do.” “But you were excited about going yesterday.” “Well,” I huffed, “I’m not excited now.” I turned and faced him. “Go and have a good time,” I said sarcastically. “Ohhh,” he grinned. “Someone’s in a shitty mood.” “Fuck you, Gabe!” I turned and pretended to write something down in my notebook. Just then Andrew came running into the room and jumped in my lap. “You ready to go, Richie? Me and Harley want to ride on the roller coaster.” “He’s not going,” remarked Gabe as he gave me a snide look. He knew I couldn’t tell Andrew no to anything. “Why?” Andrew looked sadly at me. “I thought we were going to have a good time together.” I pulled him from my lap and stood him on the floor. “You got Harley.” “But he ain’t you, Richie.” Tears started to form in his eyes. “Please go with us. It won’t be any fun if you don’t go.” I looked over at Gabe. “You still got Gabe, Harley and...” my voice turned to a tone of anger, “and Freddy.” I heard Gabe mutter, “So that’s it.” He stood up and walked over to Andrew. He gently led him to the door. “Why don’t you go in the family room and wait for us.” He turned to me with an angry expression on his face. “I’ll try to talk this hard-headed brother of yours into going.” Andrew timidly waved at me before leaving. Gabe slammed the door shut. “Don’t start on me!” I said angrily. “I’m not in the mood.” Gabe walked over and looked down at me. “You’re going to miss having a good time with your brother just because Freddy is going?” “That’s not the reason I don’t want to go,” I insisted as I turned and picked up my pencil. He snatched it from my hand. “When are you going to grow up, Richie?” His expression was more hurt than anger. “Freddy hasn’t done anything to you. He doesn’t like the situation any more than you do. He told me he’d love to leave, but he has nowhere else to go.” “He could live with you,” I replied sarcastically, “since you two are such good friends anymore." “Fuck you, Richie!” He balled up his fist, but then he walked over to the window and let out an exasperated sigh. “Freddy has done everything he can to be your friend, and you treat him like a piece of shit.” “Maybe he is a piece of shit,” I responded. Gabe walked back over and stood before me once again. “You know better than that. If you would give him a chance, you’d find out he’s a really great guy.” I turned and started writing in my notebook. Gabe watched for a minute before turning and heading for the door. He stopped before leaving. “I hope you get your assignments done,” he stated sadly. “I just hope it’s worth missing out having fun with Andrew today. He’s been looking forward to this all week.” I jumped when he left and slammed the door behind him. I didn’t know what to do. I had also been looking forward all week to spending time with Andrew- alone. Sure, Gabe was going, but he understood that I needed to spend time alone with my little brother. Things just didn’t fit anymore. I missed my home, and I missed my room. I missed eating breakfast with Andrew and Melinda in the morning. I missed wrestling with Andrew in the family room as we watched television at night. I missed helping Melinda with her math homework after school. Most of all, I missed tucking them into bed at night and kissing them on their forehead. Now, two strangers had taken my place. Now it was Harley wrestling on the floor with Andrew. Freddy was helping Melinda with her math. He was putting them to bed and kissing them goodnight on their forehead. Tears appeared when I thought about all the times he had put me to bed when I was Andrew’s age. “Read me a story, Daddy,” I would beg, “Please?” He’d ruffle my hair and smile. “Sure, Sport. What story?” I would then get out of bed and grab the book he had been reading for the past few days. Harry Potter had been one of my favorites. “Here, Daddy,” I would say as I jumped back into bed and pulled the covers over me. He would turn the book to where he had inserted the marker, lean back on the headboard and start reading. I would listen for a while before my eyelids would become heavy. After reading a few more pages, he’d close the book, kiss me on my forehead and then turn out the light. “I love you, Son,” would be the last words I’d hear before sleep overtook me. “Damn it!” I sighed as I wiped the tears from my eyes with my sleeve. Just then the door opened, and Andrew entered. After noticing I had been crying, he walked over and climbed into my lap. “It’s going to be okay, Richie.” He too started to cry. “I promise.” I held him tightly for a minute before removing him from my lap. I reached up and wiped his tears away with my finger. He leaned in and hugged me again. “You’re the best brother in the whole world,” he stated proudly. “You are too,” I replied as I kissed his forehead. I stood and took his hand. “Let’s go. You and Harley have a roller coaster to ride.”
  18. Ronyx

    Chapter 11

    I know I was. As a teen, I was extremely bullheaded. If my mother made me mad about something, I would give her the 'silent treatment.' I could go for days or even weeks refusing to look at her or speak to her. It drove her nuts; and being a teenager, I loved it. 😁
  19. Ronyx

    Chapter 11

    The house was empty when I got up. I guess my aunt and uncle weren’t going to force me to go back to school until I was ready. I really wasn’t sure I would be able to face people again. I’d already had to endure their looks when Stephen spread the rumor that I was gay. I could only imagine what they would think about Wade dying in the car accident. Dying. It was still hard for me to understand. Uncle Ray had helped me a little the night before, but it was hard for me to imagine a bright future. I just couldn’t see a rainbow ahead. My mourning had become a storm. Dark clouds surrounded me, and there was no way the sun could ever peek through again. I sat in the family room for a while and watched television, but I soon discovered I was looking at the screen, and I wasn’t really paying attention to what was on. I went to my room and checked my email, but again nothing. I picked up the cell phone on my desk and played a game, but I couldn’t concentrate long enough to even make a decent challenge. Tears welled up in my eyes when I opened my contact list. Only one name appeared- Fucker. Why? Why had he paid for Wade’s funeral? It didn’t make sense. I had humiliated him in front of his coworkers. I had intentionally tried to hurt him. And I know I hurt him. I saw the look in his eyes when he was pulled from my hospital room. I expected him to hate me. I wanted him to hate me. And I still wasn’t sure that he didn’t. He did agree for me to live here with Uncle Ray and Aunt Barbara. By the belongings in my room, it appeared he had completely cleaned out my room at his house. It was obvious he never expected me to return. He hadn’t even spoken to me at Wade’s funeral. A nod of his head was the only acknowledgement that I was at the church a few seats away. He had held Wade’s mother and comforted her, but he couldn’t walk over to me and comfort me. I am hurting. I needed someone to hold me. Two people I loved deeply were now gone. I loved him once, a long time ago. I had loved him before he left us- before he hurt Mom. My mind is wracked with confusion. I want to hate him. But deep inside I want to be a little boy once again. I want to catch a blue gill and listen as he laughs with pride at what I have done. When Uncle Ray held me last night, I wanted it to be him. But I hate him. Right? ******** I was asleep in bed when my phone indicated I had an email. I looked over at the clock. It was 3:36. I got up, sat down at my desk and opened my phone. Gabedaman: can I come see u? I sat and stared at the message for several minutes. I couldn’t decide if I was ready to see Gabe again. He was right when he had said that I wasn’t the same Richie he knew. I had changed and I didn’t know if he would like the new me. I didn’t even like the new me. I wondered if it would be best if I would just let him forget about me. I had too much baggage and I didn’t want him to try and carry it for me. He’d been doing that for years. He didn’t deserve a friend like me. After all these years I knew he felt obligated to be my friend. I wanted his friendship, I needed it. But I was no longer the old Richie. I wasn’t the friend he had grown up with over the years. Something was different. Our friendship would be different. Richierich: yeah, sure I regretted sending it the moment my finger hit the key. I wasn’t prepared to talk to him. I didn’t know what to say. Richierich: can we make it another time? I sat at my desk and waited nervously for his reply, but it never came. He either had left his house before reading it, or he had decided to ignore it. I got up, removed my pajamas and put on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt. I walked over to the window and looked out, waiting for him to come. If I had been at home, it would have only taken him a few minutes. But my aunt’s house was about fifteen blocks away. I looked over at the clock: 3:58. I knew it would only take him about ten minutes to ride his bicycle here. My body began to shake when I saw him ride up into the driveway. He rang the doorbell several times before I got up the nerve to walk to the door and open it. He had his head down but lifted it and attempted a slight smile when he saw me. “Can I come in?” he asked when I stood staring back at him. “Yeah, sure.” I stepped aside as he entered. He was carrying an armload of books. “Here,” he said as he laid them down in a chair. “I brought your homework for you. I wasn’t able to get your computer science assignments because there was a sub today.” He looked up and our eyes met. “Thanks,” I managed to smile. His lips curled into a smile. He then walked over and wrapped his arms around me. My body stiffened as he clutched me tightly. “Are you all right, Richie?” Tears filled my eyes as I rested my head on his shoulder and nodded. His eyes were misty when he pulled away and looked at me. “I know I should have come to see you,” he apologized, “but I didn’t know how to take all this.” Tears started to flow down his cheeks as he pulled me into another hug. “God, Richie! You almost died!” We both started to cry uncontrollably. I don’t know who was more emotional, me or Gabe. One thing was for certain, I hadn’t lost my best friend. He was still here for me, flaws and all. It surprised me when he pulled away, stared into my eyes and then…kissed me. On the lips! I think it startled him as much as it did me. He jumped away, and his face flushed with embarrassment. “Jesus, Richie!” he exclaimed as his face continued to redden. “I didn’t mean to do that!” I held out my arms. “I know that, you idiot.” He walked over and we hugged once again. “But thanks anyway.” He pulled away and said excitedly, “If you ever tell anyone I kissed you, I’ll kick your ass into tomorrow!” I started laughing. I knew Gabe meant nothing by it. It only showed how much he really cared about me. I may never tell anyone about the kiss, but I’ll always cherish it. It sealed our friendship forever. I put my hands on my hips. “What?” I tried to sound insulted. “I’m not a good kisser?” “No,” he said quickly, “you’re a good kisser.” “I am?” I continued to tease him. “No,” he blushed. “I didn’t mean it that way.” “It’s okay, Gabe,” I said trying to make him feel more comfortable. “A kiss doesn’t always mean you want someone. It can show that you care for someone, like when you kiss your grandmother.” It was his turn to put his hands on his hips and act insulted. “So now I kiss like someone’s grandmother?” “Dunno,” I shrugged my shoulders. “You didn’t kiss me long enough for me to tell.” “Well, you’re never gonna find out again,” he insisted. “And if you ever tell anyone...” “You’re going to kick my ass into tomorrow,” I laughed. “Damn, straight,” he replied. He put his arm around my shoulder and led me to the sofa. When we sat down, he turned toward me, tucking one leg under his other. “So, are you all right?” I shrugged my shoulders. “I guess I don’t have much of a choice, do I?” “Guess, not,” he replied sadly. “But you know I’m here for you if you need me?” “Yeah, I know,” I sighed. “Good old Gabe watching out for fucked up little Richie.” He reached out and touched my arm. “Don’t, Richie.” “It’s okay,” I replied when I saw how upset he was getting. “I’ll be all right.” I stood up. “Let’s go to the mall. I need to get out of the house for a while.” He started to grin. “I heard Footlocker is having a sale on Nike’s. Dad gave me my allowance last night. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of money. “Damn!” My eyes widened. “What did you do to get that much money?” “Cleaned out the garage.” “Without me?” I shrieked. “How come he’s never paid you when I’ve helped you?” “You didn’t get me in trouble, Asshole,” he laughed. “When you help me it is usually because you got me to do something stupid at school. Cleaning the garage was our punishment.” “You mean your punishment,” I giggled. “I never got into trouble.” “Fucker!” he laughed as he held up the money. “And if you’re nice, I just might buy you a Big Mac.” “You were going to buy me a Big Mac anyways,” I grinned evilly. “What makes you so sure?” “I’m blackmailing you for kissing me.” “Fucker!” He pulled me back down onto the sofa and pretended to hit me. “I’ll kick your ass.” “Tomorrow!” I screamed as I threw him on the floor. I held out my hand and helped him up. “Let’s go, I’m starved.” He put his arm around my shoulder as we headed for the door. ******** I intended to go back to school the next day, but I didn’t get any sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, Wade’s face appeared. Tears filled my eyes when I saw him grinning with his brown eyes shining with mischief. God, I miss him so much! What I miss the most is not giving him my virginity. I had planned to do that after he had taken me out to the steak house. As we ate, I really began to fall in love with him. He would look over and smile innocently. And his eyes, those brown eyes, they would stare at me with so much love. When he told me that I was the first person he had ever told that he loved, I believed him. And I had wanted to give him the only thing I could to show that I loved him to- me. But now... I was curled in a ball hiding under the covers when Uncle Ray entered the bedroom. He sat down and didn’t say anything for several minutes. I guess he didn’t know what to say. What can you say to someone whose world has been shattered completely? He finally reached out and rubbed me on my back. “Just remember what I told you, Richie. It won’t last forever.” I nodded and then he got up and left the room. I slept for about two hours until my cell phone rang. I was puzzled who was calling me because I hadn’t given it out to anyone. When I picked it up, I saw the word ‘Fucker’ on the screen. My hand started to tremble as I held it, but I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him. I turned it off and put it back on my desk. After showering and eating some cereal, I went out into the garage and got out my bike. It took me about thirty-five minutes to ride across town. When I entered through the wrought iron double gates, I saw a large, green tent with many people standing outside. I wondered who they had come to mourn. Was it someone they loved, or were they there because it was the proper thing to do? Then I thought again of him. Did he attend mother’s funeral because he still had feelings of love for her, or had he been there because it was expected? He was, after all, still her husband and our father. I stood beside my bike as I looked at the large number of people surrounding the tent. Who had this person been that brought so many people to say goodbye to them? Tears filled my eyes as I wondered why no one had attended Wade’s funeral. He was a great guy, perhaps greater than the person whose casket sat under the tent. But no one came to say goodbye to him. Even I couldn’t bring myself to follow the hearse for the last ride to the cemetery. I remembered how difficult it was to watch as the long black vehicle led the procession to where I now stood. It would have been too emotional for me to have to do it again so soon. So, I went home and buried my head under the covers of my bed. Now I didn’t even know where he was. I got back on my bike and rode it up the sloping hill to where my mother was. As I approached, I noticed a black BMW. He was here. I turned and headed to a large oak tree and hid behind it so he couldn’t see me. He was sitting on the ground beside the now wilted and dry flowers. Andrew was sitting in his lap and Melinda was pressed up against his body with her head buried in his shoulder. She was holding a bouquet of fresh pink carnations. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but it appeared he was trying to console my little brother. He put his arms around him and held him tightly. I dropped to the ground and started crying silent tears. I didn’t want to make any sounds because I didn’t want him to know that I was watching. After several minutes they got up off the ground and he put his arms around Andrew and Melinda and stood staring down at the ground. She leaned down and carefully placed the bouquet atop the mound of dirt. They turned and headed back to his car. Harley jumped out from the back seat, ran to Andrew and embraced him. Freddy got out of the passenger’s side and helped Melinda into the car. When he turned, he saw me standing behind the tree watching. Our eyes met. We stood staring at each other briefly before he nodded slightly and then got into the car. I watched as his black car pulled away and he drove off down the sloping hill and through the wrought iron gate. After I was sure they wouldn’t return, I walked over to her gravesite and sat down. I crossed my legs and just sat staring at the flowers my sister had placed upon the grave. After several minutes, I finally began to speak. “I don’t even know where to begin,” I said tearfully. “So much has happened since you’ve left.” My shoulders began to shake, and I leaned forward and cried for several minutes. Finally, I sat back up and wiped my face clean. “Did you know?” I picked a fresh carnation from the bouquet and held it in my hand. “There were so many times I wanted to tell you, but you already had so many other things to deal with.” I plucked a few petals from the flower and let them fall to the ground. “Somehow, I think you knew, though. Mothers always know, don’t they?” Tears again filled my eyes. “I want to make you proud of me. I really do. But things are so hard right now.” Again, I feel forward and started sobbing loudly. I sat back up and plucked a few more petals from the pink carnation. “I fell in love, Mom. His name was Wade. I think you would have liked him.” More tears. They wouldn’t stop flowing from my eyes. “He died, though.” I sat staring down at the mound of dirt. “I wish you were here. I’m so confused.” I plucked more petals from the pink carnation and let them fall to the ground below. “But I guess you’re not here, so I’m going to have to learn to do this by myself,” I said sadly. “Life sure is hard, isn’t it?” I lifted my sleeve to my eyes and wiped them dry. “Where ever you are, I hope you’re not in any more pain. I hope you’re watching over Andrew, Melinda and me. I’ll try to do good. I promise. It’s just isn’t easy.” I plucked a few more petals from the carnation. “I guess I’m going to have to be a man now, huh?” I blinked back the tears. “Dad is taking good care of Andrew and Melinda. Don’t worry about them.” I reached for more petals, but there were none. “He hates me, so I’m living with Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ray; but I guess you already know that.” I looked up as a flock of birds flew overhead. I sighed and sat motionless for several minutes. I watched as the mourners at the big, green tent walked quietly back to their cars and drove away. “I guess I better go,” I finally said. “I’m meeting Gabe and we’re going to the mall. He’s still my best friend.” I fought back tears. “I don’t know why, though.” I took a deep breath. “I love you, Mom. I know you didn’t want to leave us.” I leaned down, kissed the dirty ground and then sat back up. “I promise I’ll try to be good. I won’t let you down no more.” I wiped the tears from my eyes and then stood up. After staring down the mounded soil for another minute, I walked to my bike and headed home. ******** Gabe was sitting on the porch waiting for me when I arrived home. “Where the hell have you been, Richie?” He looked down at his watch. “I’ve been sitting waiting for ten minutes.” “Wow,” I laughed. “Ten whole minutes?” “Well,” he pouted. “It seemed like a long time.” “Did you get the money for the shoes?” I asked as I opened the door. He followed me up to my room. The shoes he had seen the day before cost more than he had, so he was going to ask his father if he could do more chores to make up the difference. “No,” he frowned. “He told me I had to learn to live within my means. I’m fucking fifteen, I don’t have any means. Whatever that is.” “You saw that other pair you liked,” I reminded him. “They were cheaper than the ones you wanted.” “Yeah,” he frowned again. “But everyone is wearing the ones I wanted. They’ll know I couldn’t afford them.” “Does it really matter what they think?” He threw up his arms. “Well, duh, yeah,” he replied. “I play basketball. If I’m going to get a girl to look at me, I have to look good.” I scanned his body, fell on the bed and started laughing. “You gotta have a body to look at first.” He jumped on the bed and pinned me down. I continued to laugh as I attempted to wiggle from under his lanky body. “So now I’m ugly?” I continued to squirm under him. Finally, I was able to break away. I ran to the middle of the room and turned. “Yeah,” I laughed. “And you can’t kiss, either!” “Fucker!” he screamed as he shot up from the bed and chased me into the living room. He tackled me, and we went tumbling to the ground. “I can to kiss,” he insisted as he held me to the ground. “I just can’t kiss another guy.” “You didn’t have a problem yesterday,” I squealed as he pressed me harder into the ground. “And besides, you’ve never even kissed a girl.” “I have to!” he shouted. I stopped squirming and he let me up. “Really?” I looked over as his face reddened. I knew Gabe talked to a lot of girls, but I had never know him to date any yet. “Who?” “I’m not going to tell you,” he said as he sat up and tried to catch his breath. “You’ll tell everyone if I tell you.” “No, I won’t,” I promised. “Who have you kissed?” He studied me for a minute before responding. “Promise you won’t tell anyone?” I nodded my head. “Okay. Teresa Scott.” “Teresa Scott!” I started laughing. “I knew it. You two have been looking at each other since the sixth grade. When?” “When what?” “Idiot,” I laughed. “When did you kiss her?” “Two weeks ago,” he blushed. “After a ball game.” “Did you?” I ran my finger inside my fisted hand. His eyes widened. “No!” He screamed. “We only kissed for a few minutes.” He scooted back, leaned against the sofa and looked over at me. “What about you?” “What about me, what?” “You know.” He started making the same gesture with his hands. Tears filled my eyes as I got up and walked into the kitchen. Gabe jumped up and followed me into the room. “Jesus, Richie!” he apologized as he grabbed my shoulder and turned me toward him. “I’m really sorry. I forgot.” “It’s okay.” I got a paper towel from the counter and wiped my eyes. He continued to look at me. “So, you two were like... in love or something?” I started laughing nervously thinking about Wade’s proposal. “Yeah. He kinda wanted us to get married.” Gabe’s eyes widened. “No shit! Weren’t you too young? And besides, is that even legal?” “Dunno,” I responded sadly. I wiped a few more tears from my eyes. “I guess now it’s never going to happen.” Gabe walked over and pulled me into a hug. “I’m sorry, Richie,” he said. “I was such a dick. I’m sorry for all the things I said about him. I didn’t know.” I pulled away and walked across the room. “I guess I really didn’t give you a chance to know, huh?” “I’m your best friend, though,” he said. “I should have known.” He walked over and stood before me. “Promise one thing though.” I nodded my head. “If you ever fall in love with another guy, let me know, okay?” I started laughing at the serious look on his face. Good old Gabe. I knew why he’d been my best friend for all these years. “I don’t think it will ever happen again,” I smiled. “But if it does, you’ll be the first to know.” “Good. I better be.” He hit me lightly on my arm. “Now let’s go to the mall. I guess I’ll have to settle for the cheaper shoes.” “Gabe?” “Yeah?” “You’re not ugly.” I smiled. “I’m sure you’re going to kiss a lot of girls.” “You think so?” he asked hopefully. Gabe is cute, athletic and smart. He is also a bit naïve and clueless about the charm he possesses. I have been jealous for years about the way girls fawn over him, trying to get him to pay attention to them. “Yeah, I’m sure of it.” I threw my arms around his shoulder. “Let’s go.” As we headed for the door, he suddenly stopped. “Wait a minute!” He reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope. “I almost forgot. Here.” He thrust the envelope into my hand. “What’s this?” “I stopped by your house to talk to Freddy before I came over here,” he explained. “When I told your dad I was going to the mall with you, he gave me that.” He nodded at the envelope I was holding. “What’s in it?” “Dunno,” I said as I fumbled to open it. I reached in and pulled out a large wad of money. “Jesus, Rich!” Gabe grabbed it from my hands and counted it. “There’s two hundred dollars here!” he squealed. When he handed the money to me, I pushed it back into his hand. “You keep it,” I insisted. “I don’t want it.” “I can’t take this, Richie.” “Sure you can,” I insisted. I didn’t want anything he gave me. “It’s only guilt money, anyway.” “Guilt money?” “Never mind,” I smiled. “You want those shoes we saw yesterday, don’t you?” “Hell, yeah!” “Then let’s go buy them.” “You sure?” He looked at the money he was holding in his hand. “I’m sure,” I smiled. “You’re my best bud.” I threw my arm around his shoulder and we headed for the door. I started laughing when he shouted, “Fucking, hell yeah!”
  20. Ronyx

    Chapter 10

    Thank you, @droughtquake. Such valuable information.
  21. Ronyx

    Chapter 10

    “Are you ready?” Aunt Barbara picked up my gym bag for me. “I can carry that,” I insisted as I took it from her hand. A nurse was waiting nearby with a wheelchair. I still couldn’t believe it when she and Uncle Ray told me the night before that he had called them and informed them that I could live with them. “Why?” He had been so insistent that I live with him, his whore and her children. I guess he couldn’t handle having a gay son. Even though I was delighted that I didn’t have to return to his house, I was hurt that he had so readily given up. Even though I hated him, it still hurt to know that he no longer wanted me. “He called us the other day,” Uncle Ray explained, “and told us to come by the house and pick up your things. We’ve prepared the guest bedroom for you.” “Did he say anything to you?” I was sure he had told them the reason he didn’t want me to return home is because I was gay. “We’ll talk later,” my aunt said as looked around the room to see if we had gotten all my personal items. Since she seemed to be avoiding the subject, I determined that they now knew. I walked over to the mirror and looked at the side of my face. My head where I had hit the window was still swollen and heavily bruised. My short black hair had been shaven, and the nine stitches were obvious. I took the wool cap my aunt had brought me and carefully covered my head. "Do I have to ride in that?” I looked down at the wheelchair the nurse had pulled up to me. “Hospital policy,” she replied tersely. She gave me a stern look until I finally relented and sat down. We left the room and headed toward the elevator. My doctor stepped out from the nurses’ station when he saw us approaching. “Now you take care of yourself,” he said warmly as he extended his hand. I hesitated before finally reaching out and shaking it. “No skateboards for a while.” He started to laugh until he noticed that I rolled my eyes. He reached down, patted my shoulder and walked away. We rode home in silence. Uncle Ray kept looking in the rearview mirror at me, and Aunt Barbara would occasionally turn and attempt to say something, but she would stop when I’d look out the window. I didn’t mean to be rude. I just... I guess I just wasn’t in the mood for anyone to care about me anymore. The only two people who loved me, and I loved back, were dead. Love hurt. My heart ached and I couldn’t stop it from hurting. My mother’s death had devastated me. It had drained me of life. Wade had come into my life and given me a ray of hope that I could again find happiness. We had only known each other for a short time, but it was enough for me feel that my life had a new meaning. His death destroyed that. I no longer wanted to feel anything. I didn’t want anyone to feel anything for me. Life hurt. And I no longer had any will to go on. I was fifteen, and I couldn’t, and didn’t, want to face a dark future. “Here we are,” Uncle Ray announced as we pulled into the driveway. I got out and walked slowly up the steps and waited for him to open the door. I then walked into my new home. I’d spent many nights with them, so I knew which bedroom was mine. I was surprised when I opened the door and walked inside. It looked almost identical to my old bedroom- now Freddy’s. My posters were hanging on the walls, and my computer was on the desk that my mother had given me when I was ten. I was surprised to see the cell phone he had given me next to my computer. I picked it up and examined it. “Is the room all right, Dear?” My aunt walked up and put her hand on my back. “Freddy spent yesterday getting the room ready for you. He’s such a nice young man.” I stepped away and opened the closet door. Most of my clothing appeared to be hanging inside. My shoes had been placed neatly against the wall. “Do you need anything?” She walked over to the dresser and checked out the contents on top. “Do you have deodorant?” “I’ll check later,” I yawned. I toed off my shoes and lay across the bed. She walked over, kissed me on my forehead and then left the room. I fell asleep for about an hour. I then got up and walked across the hall to the restroom. As I washed my hands, I opened the medicine cabinet door and looked inside. I saw several vials of pills. I carefully read the labels until I found a name I recognized- oxycotin. I had given it to my mother numerous times when she was in severe pain. I stuffed the vial into my pocket and then filled a glass with water. When I was done, I crept back to my room. I sat on the side of the bed, emptied the pills into my palm and counted them. There were twenty-three. ‘That should be more than enough,’ I thought. My mind kept telling me that what I was doing was wrong, but my emotions were winning the battle. I thought back to the past three years that I had endured my mother’s sickness, and then her death. I thought of him and how much hatred I had for what he had done to her. And I thought of Wade’s listless body as it slumped into my lap. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. Tears wouldn’t flow. I was determined to carry through what I felt I had to do. If I thought about it, became too emotional, then I knew I couldn’t finish the task. I lifted the pills to my mouth. Suddenly, I heard footsteps running down the hallway. I slipped the pills into my pocket just as the door sprang open and Andrew came bounding in. He jumped into my arms and buried his head into my shoulder. “Richie!” he cried. “I’ve missed you so much.” He wrapped his hands around my neck so tightly I could hardly breathe. When I looked up Aunt Barbara was standing in the hallway with tears running down her face. Behind her was my sister, Melinda. She, too, was crying uncontrollably. I held out my arms and she rushed into them. Aunt Barbara closed the door and left the three of us alone. I held them tightly for several minutes. I had forgotten just how much they had meant to me. “Why ain’t you living with us anymore?” Andrew finally asked. Melinda looked at me, awaiting an answer. “I don’t know,” I answered. I couldn’t tell them how much I hated him. From what I had seen when I was there, they both seemed to be adjusting to the new situation. I didn’t want to influence them into thinking like me. “You’re going to come back home?” Melinda asked hopefully. I had to slap Andrew’s hand away when he started lifting my cap to look at my head. “Are you all right, Richie?” Andrew asked. He reached for my cap and this time I let him look underneath it. “Ewww!” he screeched. “Daddy said you’d been in a car wreck.” Melinda said. “Is that what happened.” She wrinkled her nose when she saw the stitches on my head. “Does it hurt?” Andrew started poking at my head. “Oww!” I pulled his hand away and pulled the cap back down. “Of course it hurts.” “I’m sorry, Richie.” I pulled him into a hug when it looked like he was getting ready to cry. “It’s okay, Big Guy,” I assured him. “I’ll be all right.” He looked at me and asked, “When are you coming home?” “I’ll tell you what,” I said as I placed him and Melinda on my knees. “Give me a few days to think about things, and then I may come back. Okay?” They both shook their heads. Andrew asked, “Can I stay here with you then?” I frowned. “What about Harley? I thought he was your new brother?” Andrew leaned in and hugged me tightly. “He’s not you, Richie.” Melinda hugged me tightly also. The bedroom door opened, and Aunt Barbara walked in. “Your father is back, Kids.” Melinda asked, “Isn’t he going to come in and see how Richie is?” Aunt Barbara looked at me and frowned. “You’d better go now,” I said as I put them down on the floor and patted Andrew on his butt. “I’ll see both of you soon.” They gave me another hug before leaving. I walked over to the window and watched as they got in the car. Harley was waiting anxiously outside the car for Andrew. As he pulled from the driveway, my father looked up and saw me watching them leave. I closed the blinds. I then retrieved the pills from my pocket and placed them back into the vial. Even though I didn’t feel like living, I couldn’t put Andrew and Melinda through another tragedy. I walked across the hall and put the bottle back into the medicine cabinet. When I returned to my room, I sat down at my computer and opened my email. There was only one. I had been in a severe accident in which two people died, and only one person had sent me an email. When I opened it, it was only an advertisement for a new video store that had opened downtown. No one cared. I wasn’t used to getting a lot of email, but several friends always managed to write something each day. What hurt most was that Gabe hadn’t written. In fact, he hadn’t even visited me at the hospital. There was a time when if I got even a splinter in my finger, he would be there helping me until I had dug the sliver out. I had almost died, and he wasn’t even around. There was a knock on the door. Aunt Barbara entered with a glass of milk and some cookies on a plate. “Are you hungry?” She walked over and sat on the side of the bed. I signed off, and then joined her. She smiled as she handed me the glass of milk. “Be careful of the cookies,” she warned. “I just took them out of the oven.” I nibbled on the cookie, aware that she was watching me. Finally, she reached down and took my hand in hers. “Are you all right, Richie?” I looked into her eyes. My head dropped. “You know, don’t you?” She squeezed my hand tighter. “Yes, Dear,” she said softly. “Your father had a long talk with Raymond when he went to get your things.” I started laughing nervously. “I can just imagine what he said.” “I think you might be surprised,” she said. “He’s very hurt.” I jumped to my feet and looked down at her. “Hurt! After what he did to Mom, he’s hurt?” Aunt Barbara patted the side of the bed. “It’s complicated, Richie,” she said as I sat down. “I’m not sure you can even begin to understand.” “What’s to understand?” I responded angrily. “He left us when we needed him.” “That is what has hurt him the most,” she said as she held my hand. “He knows that not only did he lose his wife, he lost his son. He came back to make it up to you.” I started to laugh uncontrollably. “He sure did a good job of that.” Images of him hitting me came surging into my mind. She reached out and ran her hand over my covered head. “A lot has happened to you. More than anyone your age should ever go through. Perhaps someday you’ll see things differently.” I looked angrily at her. “You act like you’re forgiving him. Look what he did to your sister.” “Oh, no,” she laughed. “I still hate the son of a bitch. But then again, he’s not my father.” I started laughing and then leaned in and gave her a hug. “Just keep an open mind, okay? Hatred can be a bigger and more bitter son of a bitch than him.” I nodded my head into her shoulder. ******** I sat in the car in front of the small church, refusing to get out. “I thought you wanted to attend the funeral?” My aunt looked worriedly at me. “Would you like for me to take you home?” I looked at the large oaken door and took a deep breath. “No,” I responded. “I should be here.” My hands trembled as I reached for the door handle. I knew I needed to attend Wade’s funeral. Aunt Barbara had placed the newspaper on my desk with the obituary section where I could see it. Chenoweth, Wade, age 15. Died unexpectedly on Monday. Preceded in death by his father, George Chenoweth. Survived by his mother, Frances Gibson, sister Rhonda, brothers George Jr. and Edwin. He is mourned by other family members and friends. I had closed my bedroom door, lay on my bed and cried for hours. I don’t think even my mother’s death had affected me so much. I had been prepared for hers. In a way, after all the long months of suffering, I had almost welcomed it. She was no longer in pain. But Wade’s death was cruel. One minute we were laughing and joking, and the next I was holding his dead body in my lap. For days I had tried to give his death some meaning, but I couldn’t. Why would someone like Wade, who enjoyed life and living, be gone in a second? There was no warning. No preparation. It just happened. And I didn’t know why. My aunt took my hand and led me toward the church. Several people turned when we entered. My body was trembling. I would have collapsed onto the floor when I saw the brown casket had my aunt not reached out to catch me. She led me to a seat in the back. I fell into the pew and stared forward. The casket was closed, so I could not see Wade’s body. I think it would have been better had I seen him because it was still hard for me to comprehend that he was really gone. Just days before we were holding and kissing each other. I still hadn’t come to accept that I would never again see him. His family kept turning to look at us. Except for his immediate family, the church was almost empty. No one else had come to mourn his death. I thought that Doug or Stephan might have been there, but even they hadn’t come to mourn him. His foster mother was sitting about three rows behind them. She had her head down and would occasionally daub her eyes with a pink handkerchief. Only seven people sat looking at the brown casket. There were only two floral arrangements sitting beside it. One was the one my aunt had sent with my name on it. I wanted Wade to have white carnations like my mother had. She would have liked Wade. She might have even accepted him as my boyfriend. She enjoyed life like he did. Through all the suffering she endured, she rarely complained. I know she cried late at night because I could hear her when I’d stand outside her bedroom. But in the morning, she would greet me with a smile. Wade was like that. He had been dealt a bad hand. His father had died when he was young. His mother had been absent the past several years and he had to live in a foster home. He hadn’t seen his sister and brothers in years. But he never complained. I guess when you got nothing to lose, you look at life differently than other people. Like him and my mother, when you have nothing to look forward to, then you live each day at a time. I watched as his mother got up and approached us. She was a small, frail woman. Her face was gaunt, and she seemed to appear much older than she was. Her clothes were shabby, and her hair was unkempt. She appeared like someone who would be scavenging for food in a deserted alley than someone who was attending the funeral of her youngest child. Wade must have looked like his father, I thought. He didn’t have any of her characteristics. “Thank you for coming,” she said weakly. She extended her hand to my aunt and then me. “Are you one of Wade’s classmates?” “No, Ma’am.” Tears started to appear in my eyes. “I’m Richie Ferguson. I was with him when he …” My head fell onto my aunt’s shoulder as I continued to cry. His mother sat down beside me and patted my leg. “It’s all right.” She too began to cry. “He’s in a better place now.” My immediate instinct was to scream at her. “In a better place! How can you sit here and say that?” But when I turned and saw the hurt in her eyes, I knew that was the only thing that was probably helping her accept Wade’s death. I merely looked at her and nodded. I couldn’t believe what she said next. “Thank your father for what he’s done.” I looked blankly at her. “What do you mean?” She took my hand and squeezed it tightly. “He’s such a generous man. I don’t know what I would have done without his help.” “What help?” I managed to ask. “Don’t you know?” I shook my head. “He’s paid for everything. When he found out that I couldn’t afford to bury Wade...” Her voice began to tremble, “he paid for the casket and the other funeral expenses.” She buried her head in her hands and wept. I looked at my aunt. She looked as surprised as I was. Wade’s sister came back and led his mother back to the front. She sat quietly staring at the brown casket until a minister entered from a side door. He walked over and talked quietly to her for several minutes. Just as the minister stood before the podium and began to speak, he walked in and took a seat in the back on the other side of the church. My aunt grasped my hand tightly. “What’s he doing here?” I whispered. “I don’t know,” she replied as we both looked over at him. He looked at us and nodded slightly. First, he paid for Wade’s funeral expenses. Now, he suddenly appears at the church. I didn’t even hear the words that the minister spoke. I kept looking past my aunt at him. He never looked at us. He kept his eyes staring straight ahead. Occasionally he would nod at something the minister said. I wanted to hate him. I wanted to be consumed with the rage I felt at my mother’s funeral, but I couldn’t. I knew that Wade wouldn’t have been buried properly if it had not been for him. But why? After all the hurtful things I had said at the hospital, I would have expected him to hate me and Wade. He knew Wade was my boyfriend, and now he does this. I couldn’t get ‘why’ out of my thoughts as I sat and looked over at him. I heard the minister say, “Amen,” as everyone else repeated it. I looked to the front of the church and saw Wade’s mother walk over to the casket and kiss it. She then started weeping softly. His sister tried to comfort her, but she was inconsolable. Finally, his brothers managed to pull her away and lead her toward the back of the church. They stopped and talked briefly to him. She hugged him, and he helped her from the church. When my aunt and I left the church, we saw some men taking Wade’s casket to the hearse. His mother and sister were sitting in an old car behind it. His brothers were parked behind it in a newer model car. I looked around for him, but he I didn’t see his BMW. “Do you want to go to the cemetery?” my aunt asked softly. “No, Ma’am,” I replied. “I just want to go home.” She led me to her car and helped me get into the passenger’s side. I closed my eyes and rested my head on the headrest on the way back to my aunt’s house. When we arrived, I went straight to my bedroom and slept the rest of the day. ******** My aunt woke me around six for dinner. I told her I wasn’t hungry, but she insisted that I join her and Uncle Ray. “You can watch us eat,” she joked. I pushed food around on my plate while my aunt looked worriedly at me. A few times I saw her look at my uncle and shrug her shoulders. “Are you going back to school tomorrow?” I looked over at my uncle. “I dunno,” I responded. “Do I have to?” “You have to go back sometime,” my aunt remarked. I looked down at the green beans and stabbed several onto my fork. I looked at her and shook my head. “I mean, what’s the use?” “But you’re going to miss too much work,” she responded worriedly. “So?” I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. “Look what good it did for Wade.” I pushed my chair back and rushed from the dining room. She started to get up, but Uncle Ray stopped her. I heard him say, “Let me talk to him.” It was rare for my uncle to come into my room and talk. He was generally a quiet man who had little to say. My aunt did most of talking; but many times I felt that she was merely echoing what he thought. I was lying on my stomach with the pillow over my head when he walked into the room and sat on the side of my bed. “Richie?” I didn’t respond. “Richie, sit up.” I sat up and wiped the tears from my face. He put his arm around me and pulled me into his chest. I sighed and nestled comfortably into his arms. I felt like a little boy sitting in his lap before he left my mother. There was a time when I worshipped him. He was strong and determined. There was a time I was proud of my dark hair and brown eyes. There was a time I was proud he was my father. Then he and my mother began to fight. I’m not even sure when it began. I must have been about ten. It was before she got sick. It started as muted arguments. By the time he walked out and left us, it had turned into loud shouting. But it wasn’t always like that. He loved to take me fishing. I was about four the first time he took me to the lake. “Our lake,” as he called it. We would drive about an hour to Timberland Lake, just me and him. We’d walk along the bank until we found just the perfect spot. He would make a game of it. “Do you think the fish are biting here?” he would ask me. Then he’d roar with laughter when I’d shake my head and point out that the fish looked better “over there.” Then we’d walk to the spot I picked out. He’d put a worm on my fishing pole, then I’d sit beside him and watch for the bobber to go under the water. “I got one!” I would shriek with joy. “Pull it in, Son,” he encouraged me. “Good job!” he’d say with pride as I held up the little blue gill. Those were the happy moments- before he left us. My body began to shake as I quietly sobbed into Uncle Ray’s shoulder. He held me tighter as he wrapped his strong arms around me. “I know you don’t believe this now, Richie,” he said softly. “But things will get better someday.” “I doubt it,” I cried. He pulled away and looked at me. There was a tenderness I had never seen in him before. “Life is filled with ups and downs. You probably feel right now that life isn’t worth living.” I nodded as I wiped tears from my eyes. “But things don’t last forever. The biggest thrills in life are only temporary. And the worst moments don’t last forever, either. That’s why we cherish the good times because we never know when a worst moment will come into our life.” He pulled me into him, and I rested my head once again on his shoulder. “Your mother was a wonderful woman. I don’t think there’s anyone I admired more. That even goes for your aunt.” He started laughing. “Don’t ever tell her I said that.” I nodded my head into his shoulder. “She had a strength about her. Even in the worst of times, she still found time to see the good around her.” He looked down at me with tears in his eyes. “You were one of those good things around her, Richie.” I leaned back into his shoulder and started crying. “I’m not all that good,” I sobbed. “Yes, you are.” He squeezed me tighter. “You’re just in one of those worst moments. Sometimes they make us lose our way. Sometimes we think that there’s no end to the suffering. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe not next week or next month. But one thing you must believe, things will get better. Someday all the hurt and pain will be a memory. But it’s the bad times that make us appreciate the good times more. Do you understand what I’m saying?” I nodded into his shoulder. “I think so,” I muttered. “You shared a lot of good times with your mother,” he said. “Focus on those. She loved you, Andrew and Melinda very much. You were her world. And I never met Wade, but I’m sure he was a wonderful young man.” I nodded once again. “He was,” I replied softly. “Then think about the good times you had. Just because you only knew him for a short time doesn’t mean that the hurt is any less.” “I think I loved him,” I responded sadly. “Of course, you did.” He again squeezed me tightly in his arms. “And don’t ever let anyone tell you that you didn’t. Just because you were young didn’t mean you didn’t feel strongly for each other.” I sat up and looked over at him. “So, what do I do now? I don’t know what to do.” “Of course you don’t,” he said. “And I don’t know what to tell you. We each come to terms with our grief and mourning differently. Some people recover quickly and move on to their next journey in life. For others the process is a little slower.” He reached out and held me by my shoulders. “But someday you have to start making the journey forward. That doesn’t mean you have to shut out the past. Your mourning is now a part of you. Until the day you die, your mother and Wade will be a part of you. Their deaths have now defined the man you’ll become. “Your future is now up to you. You can live forever in the past. You can live with the might-have-been, or you can accept that which has happened. Sometimes our grief makes us stronger.” “I doubt that,” I replied. He smiled down at me. “I know that’s hard to understand,” he said. “But many great men and women have experienced grief and pain, and then gone on to change the world.” “Really?” “Yes,” he said. “Look at Helen Keller.” “Who’s she?” “She was born blind. She had a horrible childhood,” he explained. “But she overcame it and changed how the world viewed blind people.” “Or Franklin Roosevelt.” “Who’s he?” “He was a great president,” he said. “He led us through one of America’s worse times, the Depression and World War II.” “I remember studying about him in school.” “Did they tell you he suffered from polio?” I shook my head. “He suffered almost his adult life, but he never let it get him down. He faced it head on and made a great impact on the world.” He pulled me into him and hugged me. “What I’m trying to say, Richie, is that the world is filled with people who have faced bad times. Some people let it destroy them. For others, it has made them stronger. I could give you thousands of examples. Read your history books and find out for yourself.” I nodded. He pulled back the cover on the bed and I climbed in. I felt like a little boy once again when he pulled the cover over me and kissed me gently on the forehead. “Think about what I’ve said, Richie. Dig deep and find the strength I know you have within you.” “I will, Uncle Ray.” He got up and started to leave the room. “Uncle Ray?” “Yeah, Richie.” “Thanks. I love you.” “I love you too, Richie.” He turned out the lights and closed the door.
  22. Ronyx

    Chapter 9

    We drove around for about a half hour. Wade kept circling a particular house. He would slow down, but he never came to a complete stop. “Who lives there?” I asked after the third time we drove by. “My brother,” he replied as he pulled the car to the curb. He sat and looked at the house for a minute before getting out. “Wait here.” I watched as he walked up the drive and then disappeared behind the garage. A few seconds later I heard glass breaking. I looked at the ignition, but I realized the car didn’t start with a key. I was going to attempt to drive away. I waited a few more minutes and then I got out of the car and started walking quickly down the sidewalk. I didn’t want to be around in case someone had seen him entering the house and called the police. When I was two blocks away, I looked back but the car was still parked in front of the house. I turned left and started heading back toward the school. I figured I would probably have about a half hour walk. I had walked about a block when I heard a car horn behind me. I turned as Wade pulled up beside me and grinned. “Want a ride, Cutie?” I stormed over to the car. “What did you do back there?” I looked into the back seat and saw a small flat screen television. “Got us lunch,” he giggled. “Get in.” “Did you steal that?” I shouted nervously as I looked once again into the backseat. “Naw,” he said. “He owed me some money. I’m just collecting.” “You broke into your brother’s house and stole his television!” He looked nervously into his rearview mirror. “Come on, Richie,” he begged. “We don’t have time to argue about this.” When I heard a siren in the distance, I got into the front seat as Wade gunned the engine and pulled away. He turned into an alley and drove down side roads and alleys until we came to the house where he had sold my cell phone days earlier. “Wait here,” he said as he got out, removed the television from the backseat and headed onto the porch. Someone answered the door and he disappeared inside. I looked around nervously, scanning the road for a police car. After hearing the siren earlier, I was sure that someone had probably seen him enter the house and notified the police. I was relieved when Wade finally came out and ran to the car. When he got in, he turned to me and smiled. “Where do you want to eat?” “I’m not hungry,” I responded angrily. “Come on, Richie,” he pleaded. “Don’t be mad at me. I only did it for you.” I covered my face with my hands and sighed. I couldn’t believe he had stolen from his brother just to buy me lunch. I jumped when he snaked his hand into my shorts and wrapped it around my flaccid cock. “Let’s go eat and then go back to my place.” I looked over and he wiggled his eyebrows. I could feel my cock hardening. He gave it a few more squeezes and then pulled his hand out. “Where to?” I put my head back against the headrest. “You decide,” I replied. Ten minutes later, he was pulling into the parking lot of one of the town’s best steak houses. “We can’t eat here!” I exclaimed. “It costs too much.” Wade pulled a large wad of money out his pocket and grinned. “I got it covered.” He got out, walked around to my side and opened the door. “This way, Sir.” He put his hand against his stomach and bowed. “Idiot,” I giggled as I followed him into the restaurant. Wade was unusually quiet throughout lunch. He would look over at me and smile shyly. Finally, I couldn’t take the silence. I asked, “What’s wrong?” “I just feel strange,” he answered. “This kind of feels like we’re on a first date.” I looked at him and smiled. “Yeah,” I giggled. “It does.” He scooted nearer to my chair and reached down and took my hand. “I really love you,” he said. “You’re the first person I’ve really felt this way about.” His eyes became misty with tears. “I know,” I replied. “I’m falling in love with you too.” “Really?” He looked at me hopefully. “You are?” “Of course,” I said as I squeezed his hand tighter. Wade looked down at my half-empty plate. “Are you done eating? I want to get back to my place.” He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows. “Sure.” He motioned for the waiter and asked for the check. I tried to see what it had cost, but he carefully hid it from me. I was surprised when he pulled out two twenties and then told our waiter to “keep the change.” When we got to his car, he looked around the parking lot before leaning over and kissing me. “I want you inside me again,” he moaned as thrust his tongue inside my mouth. We stopped when a car pulled up beside us. The man inside gave us a disgusted look as he got out. “Asshole,” Wade muttered as he started the car and pulled away. When we stopped at a light, Wade reached over and once again placed his hands inside my shorts. My cock instantly hardened. I then reached over and started rubbing my hand over his erect cock. He stretched his body out so that I could feel him better. We continued to rub each other as he drove toward his house. Wade looked over at me and smiled. As he did so, he didn’t see the light ahead of us turn red. “Wade! Watch out!” The last thing I remember was the horrible grinding crunch of metal as our car collided in the intersection with another. ******** “Can you tell me where you’re hurting?” I could faintly hear the siren blaring above me. My eyes focused on a woman staring into my face. She put her hand to my eyelid and raised it, and then shined a light into it. I squinted and tried to close my eyes. I fought to sit up. “Wade!” I began shouting, looking wildly around the ambulance for him. “Lie back,” she said soothingly as she pushed gently on my shoulder. “Where’s Wade?” I screamed as I tried to sit back up. “You must lie still or we’ll have to sedate you,” she warned. “Where’s my friend?” I pleaded as I laid my head back. “Is he all right?” I looked into her face trying to find and answer, but she turned and began adjusting the monitors behind me. I grabbed her sleeve and tugged on it. “Tell me if he’s all right.” She turned and placed a syringe into the tube running into my arm. Within seconds, my world darkened. ******** I was awakened when I heard someone calling my name. “Richie?” The voice whispered as they gently tugged at my shoulder. “Can you hear me?” Again, I batted my eyes and focused on a man in a white jacket. He had a stethoscope around his neck, so I assumed he was a doctor. As I became more alert, it was obvious that I was in the emergency ward of a hospital. “Richie?” The voice asked again. “Can you tell me where you hurt?” I looked down at my body which was wrapped tightly in a white sheet. I moved my hands and then my feet. “Excellent,” the voice said. I winced when he touched the side of my head. “Did that hurt?” He asked as he ran his hand over the side of my head. Again, I winced and nodded. I turned when the door opened, and two more people entered the room. They were dressed in the same white jackets as the man above me, so I assumed they too were doctors. “Is he alert?” A woman who appeared to be about forty asked. She walked over and looked at the side of my head. “I’m Dr. Austen.” She leaned in and examined my head closely. I yelled out in pain when she pushed on the side of my head. “I’m sorry,” she said. “But this is necessary so I can see how badly you’re hurt.” She held up two fingers. “How many fingers do you see?” “Two.” “Do you know what year this is?” “2009.” “Who is the president?” I had to think for a moment. “I didn’t pay much attention in school. Is it George Bush?” She looked down and smiled. “You should have stayed awake.” She turned to the other doctors. “I think he’s going to be all right.” “What’s wrong with me?” She turned back and looked down. “You received a pretty bad concussion when your head hit the window.” She patted my hand. “You’re a very lucky boy.” “What about my friend?” The smile on her face vanished. I didn’t need to be told. “Someone will be in shortly to talk to you,” she said sadly as she stepped over to the other doctors. They turned out the light as they exited the room. Silent tears started to flow down my cheeks. Wade was dead. Moments later, a nurse walked in and gave me a shot. Again, my world went black. ******** The next time I awoke, my Aunt Barbara was calling my name. “Richie?” I felt her squeezing my hand tightly. I opened my eyes and saw Uncle Ray, Dr. Austen and a stranger standing against the wall. “Can you hear me, Richie?” I turned my head away from her. I wanted everyone to go away. I wanted to be left alone. I remembered the accident, the grinding of metal and the scream of Wade echoed in my ears. “Richie!” Then silence. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to hear the words. I wanted people to go away and leave me alone. I wanted it to have been me instead. First my shoulders started to tremble. Then my body began to shake uncontrollably. Aunt Barbara reached down and pulled me into her, and I felt Uncle Ray wrap his strong arms around me. “NO!!!!!” It started from my mouth as a low moan. Soon a wailing, mournful shout could be heard throughout the floor. Dr. Austen rushed over and administered another shot into my arm. Darkness once again. ******** When I awoke, I was alone in my hospital room. I sat up and looked around. There was a tube running into my arm, and the blue monitor to my side was making a beeping sound. For the first time since arriving, I felt that I was alert and aware of what was going on. The tragic accident came rushing back to me. I could remember Wade fondling my erection inside my shorts. I remembered screaming when I saw the red light above, and I shuddered when I recalled Wade shouting my name. And I remembered in a split second a large SUV ramming the driver’s side of the car. Then I could recall was my body being hurled into the window. I had blurry images of Wade’s body leaning over the steering wheel. Blood covered his face as he lay motionless. I could also remember the excruciating pain on the right side of my head, and the warm blood that flowed down the side of my face. And I remember calling out Wade’s name, but he didn’t respond. When I touched his body, he dropped to the side and his head fell over into my lap. I knew then that my first love was dead. Medics had to use the jaws of life to remove our bodies from the car. As I drifted in and out of consciousness, I could hear the whirring of the blades and the urgent screams as they tried to rip open the car. They kept asking me where I was hurting, but not once did they ask Wade. He was dead. When they managed to tear off the roof of the car and carefully remove me, they left Wade’s body behind. He was dead. And now I lay alone in a sterile hospital bed while he lay somewhere in a cold storage shelf inside a morgue. Why couldn’t it have been me? Wade loved life. He made living fun. He had for a brief moment lifted me from my depression and gave me a reason to live. And now he was dead, and it should have been me. I again had no reason to live. I turned my head away from the door when it was pushed open. I didn’t want the person to see my tears. But when I put my hand to my face to wipe them away, there were none. I had no more tears to give. “Good morning, Richie.” A sweet voice sang out my name. “How are you feeling today?” She came around the bed and looked down at me. She then lifted my body and placed me back onto the pillows. “Are you comfortable?” she asked as she continued to inspect the monitor beside me. “Is there anything you need?” “I gotta pee,” I responded angrily. It felt as if my bladder was full and I didn’t think I could hold it much longer. “I’m sure you do,” she replied as she opened a cabinet and then handed me a plastic urinal. “I’m not peeing into that,” I insisted as I started to sit up. “Help me out of bed.” “You can’t get out of bed yet,” she warned as she looked down at my arm. “You’ve got an IV hooked up to you.” I reached down and pulled the tube from my arm. A searing pain shot up my arm as I yelled out, “Well, it’s not now!” An alarmed look appeared on her face. “Oh, Dear!” she exclaimed. “I’ve got to go get some help!” When she ran from the room, I crawled out of bed and stumbled across the floor to the bathroom. As I did, I saw myself in the mirror. My face was white and gaunt. The side of my head was shaved, and there was a dark bruise with a large bulge protruding from my skull. My right eye was also black and swollen. I touched it and winced in pain. “There he is!” I heard the nurse shout. I looked over as a male doctor entered and rushed over to me. “You need to return to bed!” he shouted. “You’re going to cause more damage.” “I don’t care!” I shouted back as I entered the bathroom, opened my gown and started to piss. He held my arm and steadied me as I relieved myself. When I was done, he helped me from the bathroom and back into bed. “That was a foolish thing to do, Young Man!” he admonished me as he pushed the IV back into my arm. Again, I winced in pain. “Do you think I give a damn?” “Maybe you don’t care,” he replied, “but there are a lot of other people who do.” I started laughing. “Yeah, right, everyone cares about poor Richie Ferguson.” When he was done, I watched as he inserted a needle into my arm. Darkness again. ******** I was sitting up in my bed the next morning nibbling on some toast. The nurse had earlier brought me breakfast. The eggs looked dry and the bacon was overcooked. The orange juice felt refreshing as it went down my throat. An aide had even brought me another glass when she saw how I had quickly drunk the first glass. Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ray had come to visit the night before, but I lay with my eyes closed pretending like I was asleep. They must have sat for several hours without saying a word before finally kissing me on my forehead and leaving. The IV had also been removed from my arm. I guess the nurse didn’t want to deal with me having to go to the bathroom again. I was startled when the door was pushed opened and two men dressed in suits entered. My eyes narrowed in anger when he walked in behind them and stood against the wall. One of the men was extremely tall. He must have stood over 6’5”. I was frightened by his appearance. He looked mean. He walked over and looked down menacingly at me. The other man was shorter and looked friendlier. He smiled as he spoke. “I’m Detective Owens.” He extended his hand, but I refused to shake it. He pointed to the tall man beside him. “This is Detective Burress.” I looked over at him. His arms were crossed, and he had a frown on his face. I then looked back at Detective Owens. “What’s going on?” The taller detective stepped back beside him as Owens came closer to my side. “I know this is going to be difficult for you, but I’ve got to ask you some questions about the accident.” I looked back over at him. “I don’t have anything to tell you.” “Richie,” insisted Detective Owens as he touched my arm. “You’ve got to tell me what you know. Two people died in that accident. You’re the only one who knows what happened.” I sat up and stared into Owen’s face. “I told you I don’t remember anything.” “Richard,” he said from the side. “You’ve got to tell Detective Owens what you know. This is very serious. Because you were in a stolen car, you could be in serious trouble.” I stared at him defiantly, and then rested my head back on the pillow. “I don’t know nothing,” I muttered as I closed my eyes. He walked over and grabbed me by my shoulders, lifting me from the bed. “Richard!” he shouted. “What happened in that car? Why did that young man run a red light?” I looked into his concerned face and started laughing. Laughing. The situation seemed absurd. He was treating me as if I was a criminal. I wasn’t his son. He was working, and I was no more than someone he had to interrogate about a crime. He gave me a puzzled look and then stepped away from the bed. I saw my opportunity to finally humiliate him-to make him hate me. I turned back to Owens. “You want to know what happened?” I shouted as I sat up in bed. He took a pad and pen from his suit pocket and waited for me to continue. “Write this down!” I spat angrily as I looked over at him. “The great detective Richard Ferguson has a fag son!” His eyes narrowed in anger. I looked back over at Owens. “Yeah,” I said. “A flaming, screaming fag! And you know what else?” Owens had an astonished look on his face. He quickly glanced over at him and then back to me. “The driver of the car was my boyfriend. He had a name. He wasn’t a young man. His name was Wade!” “Owens!” he shouted. “Stop this questioning now!” “Oh no, Father!” I hissed angrily. “You wanted to know what happened, I’ll tell you. Wade and I were going back to his place to fuck!” “Shut up, Richard!” He moved toward me, but the tall detective stopped him. “He had his hands down my pants!” I shouted. “That’s why he didn’t see the light turn red.” “Richard!” He screamed as the detective held him back. “He was going to fuck me, Father!” I shouted louder. “We were lovers, and he was going to fuck me!” Owens turned to Burress, “Get him out of here!” I watched as he leaned back against the wall. He would have fallen to the ground had the tall detective not grabbed him by the shoulders. Before leaving, he turned and stared at me. I tried to read his reaction, but I couldn’t. It didn’t look like anger. He looked...sad. I rested my head back against the pillow and closed my eyes. I had finally won. Then why did I feel so bad?
  23. Ronyx

    Chapter 8

    When Wade pulled away, his face was streaked with tears. He looked so cute with his eyes full of tears- tears for me. He smiled and then reached down and grabbed my hand. “Come on,” he said as he dragged me back to the car he was driving. “Is this your car?” I looked around at the messy interior. Paper and pop cans littered the floor. I also noticed that the steering column had been broken and it appeared the car had been hot-wired. “Naw,” he replied. “It’s a friend’s car. He lets me borrow it occasionally.” “Well, then,” I looked at the wires hanging out from under the steering wheel. “Is it his car?” “Dunno,” he said as we pulled away. We drove silently, and it appeared we were heading to his house. I became nervous when a police car turned from an intersection and followed us for several blocks. I let out a sigh of relief when the cruiser finally pulled into the parking lot of a strip mall. “Relax,” giggled Wade when he saw my nervous reaction. “I’m a good driver. Nothing is going to happen.” “But you’re only fifteen!” I replied excitedly. “A mere technicality,” he laughed. “Besides, I’m a lot better than an eighty-year old woman.” “But she at least has a valid driver’s license,” I reminded him. He started giggling again. “A mere technicality.” He parked about a block from his house. As soon as we entered his back door, he threw himself on me and began kissing me passionately. “I’m so sorry, Richie,” he said between kisses. “All night I kept thinking about how much I hurt you.” “It’s okay,” I replied as I looked into his tearful eyes. “Really. It’s not like we’re a couple or anything.” He grabbed my hands and held them. “But I want us to be,” he replied. “I’ve thought a lot about this. I want us to be a couple.” I started laughing when he got down on one knee and looked pleadingly at me. “Please marry me, Richie.” “Idiot,” I laughed as I pulled him up. “One, we’re only fifteen. I think you have to be at least eighteen. And two, gay marriage is not legal in the state we live in.” “Mere technicalities,” he said as he got up and hugged me. “Then how about we go steady?” I again started laughing. “How about we just be best friends with benefits?” “That will work,” he grinned as he pulled me into his room. “I’m ready for a benefit now.” He removed his shirt and tossed it in the floor. Minutes later we were naked on his bed. He straddled me, grabbed my hard cock and placed it against his ass. “I want you to fuck me, Richie. I want to be all yours.” “I don’t know,” I replied hesitantly. “I’ve never done anything like this before.” “That’s just it,” he said as he leaned in and kissed me. “I’ll be your first.” He jumped from the bed and got a condom from the dresser. After stretching it over my erection, he sat atop me and I felt it enter a couple of inches. He stopped and looked down at me. “Let me get used to it,” he said as he kissed me again. “I love you.” After a minute he sat back up and looked lovingly at me. He then sat back until my entire cock penetrated him. “Ummmm,” I moaned. He smiled and started to move up and down on my stiff cock. “It feels so good, Richie!” he cooed. “This is the first time I’ve done it with someone I love.” I grabbed his small waist and forced myself deeper into him. “I love you, too,” I moaned as his movements met mine. “God, Wade!” My eyes rolled into the back of my head. “This feels so amazing!” “Yeah,” he said as he leaned in and kissed me. Suddenly, I felt my balls begin to tighten. I knew I wouldn’t last much longer. “I’m going to cum,” I warned him as I tried to pull myself out. He pressed down and my cock entered him even deeper. “Arrgggg!” I screamed as I shot deep inside him. He reached down and started masturbating. Within seconds he let out a purring sound as he erupted on my chest. I could feel his muscles contracting around my cock as I shot my last drops of cum inside him. I wrapped my arms around him when he collapsed onto me. He buried his head against my neck, and I could feel his heart pounding against my chest. “God, Ritchie,” he mumbled. “That was fantastic!” I turned my head and gently kissed him on his neck. He moved his head so that our lips met in a passionate kiss. I felt my softening cock pull out of his ass. “You sure we can’t get married?” he asked as he stayed pressed against my body. “I want to do this with you all the time.” I laughed, “I think marriage is more than just sex.” “Mere technicality,” he mumbled. We lay in each other’s arms for about ten minutes before he finally pulled away. “I have to piss,” he announced as he jumped from the bed. I laughed when he grabbed his ass and ran into the bathroom. “I gotta shit, too!” he shouted as he closed the door. While he was gone, I lay thinking what had just happened. For the first time in my life, I had told someone other than my mother that I loved them. I wasn’t even sure he had heard me say it. I knew we were too young to really be involved with each other. His actions with Doug made me apprehensive that he could truly devote himself to someone. But I had decided that I would give it a try and see where it might lead. I just had to be careful. So much had happened the past year, and I knew I wasn’t ready for any more emotional roller coasters. “Hey,” he said as he lay back down beside me. “You all right?” “Yeah,” I said as I pulled him on top of me. “Never better.” He rose and turned until we were in a 69 position. He took my cock and started licking it. When he put his against my lips, I opened my mouth and engulfed it. He let out a little whimper. Twenty minutes later we were lying comfortably asleep in each other’s arms. ******** It was late when I entered the house through the back door. He was sitting at the island counter reading the newspaper. He looked up angrily when I walked through the door. “Sit down, Richard,” he ordered. I crossed my arms and remained standing by the door. He got up and walked over to me. I flinched and closed my eyes when he raised his hand out to me. “Give me your phone.” I opened my eyes. “What?” “Stupid. Now you’re deaf, too,” he replied angrily. “I said hand me your phone.” I looked at him. His eyes narrowed in anger. I reached into my pocket and fumbled around before sheepishly saying, “I set it down at school and someone took it.” He started pacing around the room. “I spend two hundred dollars on a goddamned phone for you, and you have the tenacity to tell me you were so irresponsible?” I looked at him wide-eyed. There was no way I could tell him I traded it for some weed. “Well?” I jumped when he shouted. “Nooo,” I stammered. He reached in his suit coat pocket and pulled out my phone. “Would you like to know how I got it?” Again, I stood silent. “Let me tell you,” he shouted angrily as he shoved the phone into my chest. “An officer took it off a guy who held up a carryout this morning. When he ran the serial number, it came back as belonging to me.” He shoved the phone into my chest again. “Now would you like to tell me how a robber had your phone in his pocket?” “I told you I don’t know,” I lied as I tried to make my way past him. “It got stolen at school.” He grabbed my arm and turned me roughly around. “I’ve had it with you, Richie.” He stared down angrily at me as he twisted my arm tighter. “Then let me go live with Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ray!” I yelled. His eyes grew angrier. “Never!” he muttered as he threw me back against the kitchen counter. I stumbled but managed to catch myself before I fell. “I know what you’re trying to do,” he said. A grin appeared on his face. “I’ve dealt with some of the hardest bad asses in this town.” He moved closer to me and looked down threateningly. “If I can deal with them, then I think I can deal with you.” “We’ll see,” I replied as I pushed past him and headed downstairs. I could hear him laughing as I descended the stairs. I was lying on the sofa doing homework when I saw a pair of familiar legs coming downstairs. I didn’t say anything as he walked over to my computer and sat down. “What happened to your keyboard?” Gabe looked around to see if he could find it. “It won’t do you any good,” I said. “He took it the other day.” “How are we going to play a game on it?” I shrugged my shoulders. “Go upstairs and ask him for it back then.” “Wait here,” he said as he got up and bounded up the stairs. I was surprised when he returned a few minutes later with it tucked safely under his arm. “Tada!” He beamed as he walked over to my computer and plugged it back in. “How the hell did you do that?” I sat up and looked astonishingly at him. “I just asked nicely,” he replied. “You should try it.” “Yeah, sure,” I replied as I lay back down and continued finishing an algebra problem. “Wanna play a game?” “Why?” I asked. “I thought I was on your shit list.” “You are,” he responded. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t beat you in a game.” I walked over to the television and took out the Xbox controls. “I’d rather play here,” I said as I sat down and crossed my legs. Gabe sat down beside me. We then started playing an intense game of Grand Theft Auto. Several times I would look over at him, but he kept his eyes glued to the game. After he beat me, he put down the control and looked over. “So, just when were you going to tell me?” Our eyes met and he looked hurt. I quickly looked away. “Someday I guess,” I mumbled. “Look, Richie.” He turned toward me, and I could see tears in his eyes. “I’m your best friend. You could have trusted me.” “It’s not that easy,” I turned to face him. “I know I could trust you. And there were a hundred times I felt like telling you.” “Then why didn’t you?” “I don’t know,” I said as tears welled up in my eyes. “Do you know what it’s like to wake up one day and realize you’re gay?” He looked at me and shook his head. “Yeah, right. I guess not.” I couldn’t hold back the tears. They started to flow down my cheek. “You look around and the whole world seems different than you. You know? All the guys are starting to talk about girls, and you don’t see them that way. Then you turn on the television and many of the programs are about guys trying to get a girl to like them, or it’s about a family with kids. It seems like the whole world is straight.” “But you...” I interrupted Gabe. “Do you think I want to be gay?” I laughed nervously. “I’d give anything to be like you. You’re going to grow up and get married.” I looked at him and smiled. “And have little Gaberiel Dysons.” He rolled his eyes. I wiped tears away with my sleeve. “And what will I have?” He looked at me and shook his head. “Don’t, Richie.” “Fucking nothing,” I cried. “If I’m lucky maybe some guy will want to screw me until he gets tired of me.” I fell forward into his arms and wept. “And you wondered why I couldn’t tell you.” I could feel his body shaking with emotion as he clung to me. “It won’t be like that, Rich,” he said as he held me. “You’re a great guy. Someone will come along.” “Sure,” I said. “Someday you’ll meet a girl and get married.” He looked at me and rolled his eyes again. “I don’t think that’s going to happen to me.” “You never know,” he said. I started smiling when I remembered Wade getting down on his knee and proposing to me. “What’s so funny?” Gabe gave me a puzzle look. “Nothing,” I said. “I was just thinking about something that happened today.” He moved closer to me until our bodies were touching. “Look, Richie,” he said. “The other day you told me you loved me.” I nodded my head. “I thought about that a lot that night. And I realized that there’s a real bond between us. I love you too. I always will.” I started laughing. “Give me a little time and I’ll probably change your mind.” He opened his arms to me. “Come here.” I leaned forward and hugged him tightly. “Thanks, Gabe,” I said tearfully. “I really needed this.” He squeezed me tighter. ******** Gabe met me outside on the sidewalk the next morning. “You’re late,” he remarked as he looked at his watch. “I am not,” I laughed. “You are or you would have come in.” I noticed Gabe look behind me. I turned to see what he was looking at. Freddy had come out of the front door with his book bag slung over his shoulder. He walked up to us, but he said nothing. It was Gabe who spoke first. “How do you like Highland?” Freddy looked briefly at me and then at Gabe. “It’s all right,” he answered. “It’s school. Isn’t it written somewhere that all schools suck?” Gabe laughed and then he walked over and threw his arm around Freddy’s shoulder. “I like this guy,” he said to me. I rolled my eyes and looked up the street for the bus to arrive. Gabe and Freddy chatted until the yellow bus came rolling to a stop. They acted like they had known each other since the first grade. That is Gabe. No one is a stranger when he is around. I used to tease him that he could get a mime to talk to him. It irritated me when Gabe sat down toward the back of the bus and pulled Freddy beside him. I started to take the seat behind them, but he reached out and pulled my pants leg. “There’s room for the three of us,” he said as he scooted nearer the window. Freddy looked up at me and then scooter closer to Gabe. I looked at Gabe, rolled my eye and sat down. He smiled and started laughing. I tried not to rub my body against Freddy’s, but if I didn’t, I could feel myself slipping out of my seat. It was bad enough that the three of us were crowded into a seat when there were plenty of empty ones. It would be worse if I fell onto the floor. As they had at the bus stop, Gabe talked non-stop. He kept asking Freddy questions. Most were about school. The usual ones- what classes did he take, who were his teachers, was he a good student and did he participate in any sports. I acted like I wasn’t listening, but I was learning a lot about Freddy. Even though he was athletic looking, he didn’t play sports. He said he had played some football in junior high school, but he had to quit the team when they moved away. He ignored Gabe when he asked him what happened. “You should run track!” Gabe suggested excitedly. “You’ve got the build for it.” I glanced at Gabe and shook my head. He had used the same line on me. When I showed up for try-outs last spring, the coach had me attempt to run the 100m hurdles. After tripping over the first two hurdles and landing on my face, I decided that track wasn’t my sport. Freddy shrugged his shoulders and responded, “We’ll see.” I also learned that he liked reading science fiction and Harry Potter books. I already knew that Gabe was a huge Potter fan, so this led to another conversation that lasted until we arrived at school. When we got off the bus, Gabe invited Freddy to join us at lunch. “I won’t be there,” I said quickly. I remembered the tension at the table the day before when I had to get up and leave because the guys didn’t want a gay boy sitting with them. They definitely wouldn’t want two; that is, if Freddy was even gay. Gabe had never mentioned girls or dating to him. I wasn’t sure if he was intentionally avoiding the subject or if he was too busy talking about other things. He walked over and threw his arm around my shoulder. “It’s okay, Richie,” he assured me. “We talked after you left yesterday and everyone is cool with it.” “With what?” Freddy gave me a puzzled look. “His hair,” Gabe said quickly. “He thought the guys were teasing him about his new haircut.” Freddy scanned my body before looking at my shorn hair. “I think it looks good,” he remarked. Gabe closely watched Freddy’s eye movements. He looked at me and raised an eyebrow as my face reddened. “I got to get to class,” I announced nervously. Freddy looked at his watch, “Me, too,” he said as he started to walk away. “Catch you guys later.” Gabe watched him walk away and then turned to me. “Jesus, Richie!” he said excitedly. “Freddy’s into you!” “Shut up, Gabe,” I muttered as I started to walk away. Gabe grabbed my shoulder and turned me. “Did you see how he looked at you? He practically undressed you right here on the sidewalk.” “Well, I’m not interested,” I insisted. “Even if I was, he still is the son of that whore.” “Damn, Richie. You need to get over that shit.” I gave him an angry look. “Well I’m not.” “Sorry,” he said as he threw his arm around me and we headed into the building. “We still got to find you a boyfriend.” Before I realized what I was saying, the words “I already got one,” came flying from my mouth. Gabe stopped and stood before me. “No shit?” he asked excitedly. “Really? Who?” My face reddened when I saw his excitement. I didn’t want him to know about Wade yet. I wanted to see where our relationship was going before I told him. “I was just shitting you,” I replied, hoping he’d buy it. “No, you weren’t, Richie,” he said. “I’ve known you too long. Tell me who he is.” When I didn’t respond his expression changed from excitement to anger. “It’s that Wade guy, isn’t it?” “What if it is?” I replied angrily. I removed his hand from my shoulder and started to walk away. Gabe ran up beside me. “What are you doing with him? He’s bad news.” I wasn’t in the mood to argue with Gabe again. After all, we had just made up from an earlier argument involving Wade. I shook my head, turned and walked away from him. ******** On the way to third period I spotted Becky walking down the hall talking to Jeff Murdock. When she saw me looking at them, she reached down and took his hand. She hadn’t even waited a day to move on and forget about me. Lunch didn’t go much better. As soon as I walked into the cafeteria, I saw Freddy sitting at the table beside Gabe. All the seats had been taken. I guess Freddy had now taken my spot. Oh well, fuck it. I walked out, went outside and sat in the quad area. “There you are.” I heard a familiar voice behind me. I turned as Wade came running up. “I’ve been looking all over for you.” “Hey.” I couldn’t help but smile. Wade’s presence always seemed to cheer me up. If only they could bottle his energy. A drug manufacturer could make millions. “Did you eat yet?” he asked as he sat down beside me. “Naw,” I replied. “I’m not very hungry.” Just then my stomach started growling. Wade listened and then began giggling. He reached down and took my hand. “Let’s ditch this place and go get something to eat.” I pulled my hand from his. Even though other students now knew I was gay, I didn’t feel comfortable walking around school holding another boy’s hand. “Where do you want to go?” “Depends,” he said. “How much money do you have on you?” I reached into my pocket, pulled out some change and counted it. “Seventy-eight cents.” “Is that all?” “Yeah,” I said. “I use a cafeteria card to eat lunch. How much do you have?” “Seventy-eight cents,” he giggled as he took the change from my hand. I looked at him and frowned. “We can’t even get two hamburgers at McDonald’s on that.” “I got a plan.” He looked at me with a wicked grin. “Oh, no!” I moaned. “Is this going to involve us getting our asses shot at again?” “Naw,” he laughed. “Well, maybe.” “Shit!” I exclaimed. Wade draped his arm around my shoulder and led me to the car he had been driving the day before.
  24. Ronyx

    Chapter 7

    “What are you doing here?” Stephen looked at me with a surprised expressed. Doug looked back and forth at us. “Do you two know each other?” “He dates my sister,” Stephen replied. Without looking over, I could tell that Wade was curious about our exchange. I had never mentioned Becky to him. “I don’t date her,” I insisted. “We just go out.” “Not to hear her tell it,” he started to laugh. “She practically has the two of you married.” He looked down at Wade and grinned “I guess that’s never going to happen.” My face began to redden. The last thing I expected for the evening was to be outed to someone I knew. “Well yes, Darling.” Doug started to pull Stephen away. “Let me introduce you to a few other people. If we’re lucky, you won’t know them.” He grabbed Stephen’s hand and led him away. “Shit,” I hissed under my breath. Wade looked over. “I’m screwed.” “You didn’t tell me you had a girlfriend.” I looked at him and rolled my eyes. “I don’t have a girlfriend,” I insisted. “I only date her to make people think...” I stopped when I realized how awful my reply would sound. Wade started giggling. “I know a lot of guys who have girlfriends as a cover.” “I don’t have a girlfriend,” I insisted angrily. He grabbed my hand and squeezed it. “Whatever you say,” he replied. He then leaned in and kissed me forcefully. When he reached down and squeezed my hardening cock in his hand, I didn’t push it away. The girl sitting beside us got up and walked away. I guess she didn’t want to watch our amorous display. After making out for several more minutes, Wade pulled a couple of joints from his pocket. “Let’s get a beer and go outside.” He got up and I followed him into the kitchen. I felt uncomfortable when Stephen looked over and grinned. We went out the back door and sat in two chairs. The backyard was dimly lit, but I could make out others sitting around. Most seemed to be talking quietly. Occasionally, the end of a joint would light up and then I would watch as it was passed to the next person. “Here.” Wade leaned towards me. “Let’s do a shotgun.” “What’s that?” He took a deep draw from the joint and then pressed his lips to mine. I could feel him begin to exhale the smoke from his mouth into mine. I inhaled it deeply before releasing it. “Your turn,” he said as he passed me the joint. I mimicked what he had done. Not only was I getting very high, I was also getting extremely aroused. I looked down at his pants and it was obvious Wade was also. When we finished, he drank what remained of his beer and announced he was going to get us another. “Wait here,” he said as he started to teeter off. I giggled as I watched him bump his shoulder into the door. I rested my head and closed my eyes. For some reason the marijuana we were smoking had a different effect than the previous night. I must have fallen asleep for a few minutes before a burst of laughter woke me up. I looked over and watched as a group of guys encouraged a girl to pull down her halter top and show them her breasts. I got up and stumbled back toward the house. As I was getting ready to enter, Stephen met me. “Hey, Richie.” He grabbed my arm and led me back outside. “Are you having a good time?” “Where’s Wade?” I asked as I tried to move around him, but he took a step to the side and prevented me from passing. “Don’t worry about Wade,” he replied as he pushed me against the side of the house. He put out his arms as he attempted to pin me. He then leaned in to kiss me. “I didn’t know you were into guys,” he said lustily. “If I had known, I’d have made a move on you a long time ago.” I could smell alcohol on his breath as he leaned for a kiss. “Stop it!” I shouted as I attempted to duck down under his outstretched arms. He pulled me back and pinned me to the wall. “Come on, Richie,” He said as he leaned in to kiss me once again. “It’s only a little kiss.” When his lips touched mine, I lifted my knee and hit him in his crotch. He jumped back and let out a moan. “You fucker!” he screamed. He lifted his hand to hit me, but I grabbed it and held tightly onto it. “I’ll fucking kill you, you little faggot!” I kneed him again. When he bent over in pain, I tore off inside the house. I ran through the rooms looking for Wade. When I didn’t find him downstairs, I ran up the stairs and began looking in the upstairs rooms. When I came to the last room, the door was closed. I quickly opened it. My heart dropped when I saw what was happening before me on the bed. Wade was lying naked on his back with his knees pulled back to his shoulders. Doug was on top of him, holding Wade’s legs and thrusting his cock into his ass. They looked over when the light from the hallway rushed in. Doug grinned as he continued to ram his hard cock into Wade. Wade opened his eyes and I could tell he was completely wasted. He started smiling and slurred, “Hey, Baby.” He patted the side of the bed. “Why don’t you get naked and join us? Doug’s a great fuck.” I stood in shock, unable to move. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Wade was the first boy I had ever had sex with. I was beginning to like him. And now this. I turned when I heard footsteps stomping up the steps. It was Stephen. He ran towards me, but I was able to run around him. He stumbled and fell into the open doorway. “I’ll get even with you, Bitch!” he screamed as he lay on the floor. When he started to rise, I bounded down the steps and out the front door. Once on the street, I looked back. No one had followed me out. I then began the long, solitary walk home. ******** I reached into my pocket for my phone, but then I remembered I had given it to Wade to buy weed for the party. Party? Yeah, right. I thought you were supposed to have fun at parties. I didn’t know they were supposed to fuck your life up more than it already was. I pulled my shirt collar over my neck. The wind was picking up and it was getting colder. When I reached Elm Street which led to our house, I turned right and headed away from my home. I wasn’t ready to go back and face him yet. I knew it was late and he would be waiting up for me. Instead, I walked down Elm until I came to Broad Street. I then turned left and headed out of town. It took me about forty minutes to arrive at my destination. The moon was shining brightly over the hillside. The top of the tombstones glistened from the lighted sky. I trudged my way around the narrow path until I saw a mound of flowers. As I made my way toward the grave, the pink arrangement was wilting. When I saw the word, Mommy, formed by the white carnations, I fell to the ground and started wailing. “Why?” I screamed as I tore the white flowers off and tossed them to the side. “Why did you leave us?” I reached for the arrangement and scooped it up into my arms. “I don’t know what to do anymore!” I buried my head into the wilted flowers and sobbed uncontrollably. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this!” I cried. “You were supposed to be here to help us!” My shoulders trembled as I lay crying. I pushed some ground aside. “I don’t want to live anymore if you’re not here.” I lost all control. I screamed. I wailed. I tore the flowers atop the mound of dirt and threw them into the air, cursing a cruel God. I must have cried for an hour before my body tired and I lay still upon my mother’s grave. “I’m sorry, Mommy,” I cried. I thought back to the events of the past few days and felt ashamed. “I’m sorry I’m not the nice boy you wanted me to be.” My head rested upon a soft mound of dirt and I fell asleep, still clutching the arrangement that said Mommy. I awoke when a light rain started falling on me. Soon it became a torrent. I sat up and rearranged the flowers atop the grave before leaning down and kissing the wet dirt. “I love you, Mommy,” I whispered. I brushed the dirt from my mouth and then stood. The sun was coming up over the horizon so I knew that it was early morning. He would be angry. ******** I trudged home in the pouring rain. I walked up to the front door but then remembered he had changed the locks. I went around to the back hoping I would find the door unlocked. She was sitting at the counter drinking coffee. She jumped to her feet when she saw me shaking from the cold on the deck outside. “Oh, Dear!” she exclaimed as she opened the sliding glass door, grabbed me by my shoulders and led me into the kitchen. “Richard!” She screamed out his name before I could stop her. I turned and saw Freddy run into the room. Then he appeared in the doorway. “Where the hell have you been?” he shouted. He ran over and grabbed me by my shoulders and started shaking me. “Are you just now getting in?” He looked at the clock on the wall. “It’s after nine!” “Stop it, Richard!” she shouted as she pulled me from him and wrapped her arms around me. “Can’t you see the boy is sick?” “Sick my ass,” he huffed. “He’s fucking drunk!” He grabbed me from her and yanked at my collar. I looked past him and saw Freddy still standing off to the side. “I’m going to ask you one last time, where have you been all night?” I looked over at her and started laughing. I then turned to him and grinned. “I’ve been fucking your whore all night. Didn’t she tell you?” His face went from red to redder. He picked me up by my collar and tossed me across the room. I landed against a stool and fell to the floor. Even though I was in immense pain, I couldn’t stop laughing. I looked up at his enraged face. “Did she tell you I was a better fuck than you?” He reached down, grabbed me by my arm and tossed me against the refrigerator. A crock pot sitting on top of it fell off and hit me on my shoulder. He grabbed me again and tossed me through the screen door. I fell to the deck floor outside. “Stop it!” She screamed as she raced to him and tried to stop him from approaching me. Freddy ran over and stood in front of him, but he tossed him aside. “It’s time you stopped acting like a spoiled brat!” He picked me up from the deck and tossed me into the pool. When I swam to the side of the pool, he lifted his foot to kick me in my face. “Richard!” she screamed. I looked over as Freddy handed her a cell phone. “I’m going to call the police!” “I am the goddamned police!” She walked over and stepped between him and me. “I’m serious, Richard!” She opened the phone. “If you touch him again, I’ll have you arrested!” He looked down at me. Hatred filled his face. I stared back defiantly at him before he turned and stormed into the house. She ran over to her son. “Help Richie out of the pool and get him downstairs. Hurry!” Freddy reached down, offered me his hand and pulled me from the water. “When you get downstairs,” she said urgently, “lock the door.” He nodded and then led me away. Once downstairs, he locked the door and led me to the bathroom. “Get undressed,” he ordered. When I pulled my shirt over my head, he left. I could hear him shouting upstairs. Even though their words were muted, I could tell she was trying to prevent him from coming downstairs. I removed my clothing and stood naked in front of the full-length mirror. Several bruises were beginning to appear on my sides. I also had a deep scratch on my neck where the crock pot had hit me. Suddenly, Freddy opened the door and peered in. His eyes widened when he saw me standing naked in the middle of the bathroom. His gaze fell to my cock. After a few seconds, he looked back up to my face. “Are you all right?” he stammered nervously. “Yeah,” I replied sarcastically as I turned and examined the bruises. “Why shouldn’t I be?” I didn’t even bother to cover my nakedness. He tried to look me in my face, but his eyes would drop to my cock. He cleared his throat. “If you need anything, I’ll be just outside the door.” I nodded, and he slowly closed the door without taking his eyes off my body. I turned on the water and stood under the hot shower. No matter how hard I tried to wash away the sorrow I was feeling, it just kept getting stronger. My body started trembling and I fell against the shower wall. My body went limp and I felt my back sliding down the side of the shower. I curled myself into a ball and started crying. A few minutes later, I felt an arm wrap around my body and lift me to my feet. Freddy had come into the shower in his clothes. He held me tightly as he led me into the family room. He went back, grabbed a towel and handed it to me. When I refused to take it, he started to wipe the water from my body. I was numb. It seemed like my mind had stopped working. I just stood unemotionally as he gently ran the towel over my body until I was dry. He then helped me into a pair of pajamas and placed me on the sofa. I curled into a ball as he pulled the covers over me, turned out the light and sat down in a chair across the room. Within seconds, I was asleep. ******** I wasn’t sure how long I had been asleep when I felt someone sit down beside me on the sofa. I slowly opened my eyes and saw my aunt looking worriedly down at me. Freddy was still sitting in the chair across the room with the same worried look on his face. “Richie?” My aunt leaned in and kissed me gently on my forehead. “I want you to come home with me.” I sat up and looked hopefully at her. “Am I going there to stay?” She frowned and patted my hand. “No, Dear,” she replied sadly. “Your father wants you home by ten.” I looked at the clock. It was almost five. I had slept most of the day. I looked past Aunt Barbara as Freddy got up from the chair and stretched his body. He looked over at me and smiled slightly as he left the room. Aunt Barbara waited until he left. “His mother said he’s been down here all day keeping vigil. She couldn’t get him to come upstairs, not even for lunch.” I looked over and watched as his legs disappeared up the steps. I then looked into my aunt’s face. “Why can’t I come live with you? I can’t stand being here anymore.” She looked down and smiled. “Why don’t you get dressed and we’ll go home and discuss it.” I sat up and replied angrily. “You mean you’ll try and talk me into staying here and being a good, little boy. I suppose he called you and told you to talk to me.” She sighed. “It’s out of my hands, Richie. He is your father. He’s threatened to never let me and Ray see you ever again.” “Then you’ve done what he sent you here to do,” I said angrily as I lay back down and wrapped the blanket around me. “There’s no sense in me leaving if I only have to come back.” She sat and rubbed my back for a few minutes before she leaned forward and kissed me on the cheek. “I’m sorry, Richie.” I could tell by the quiver in her voice she was crying. I knew she was only doing what she had to do to be able to visit us. She got up and left. A minute later Freddy returned to his vigilant seat across the room. After that I fell asleep and didn’t wake until the following morning. ******** I had a feeling the day was only going to get worse when Gabe didn’t show up to walk with me to school. He had managed to deal with my moods for several years, but now I think I had finally crossed the line. I felt bad for telling him to stay out of my life. He was the glue that had held my life together. At the time I felt he was making me chose between him and Wade. Now I realized I may have made the wrong decision. He was gone when I went upstairs. I always looked to see if he was in the kitchen before I went in to get something to eat. Andrew and Harley were sitting at the island giggling and throwing cereal at each other. Even though I was miserable with our new situation, he was happily enjoying his new, little brother. When he saw me standing in the doorway, he jumped off his stool, came running over and leaped into my arms. “Richie!” I squeezed him tightly and kissed his forehead. “How’s my little man?” “Linda is taking me and Harley to SwimWorld!” he said excitedly. “Do you want to go?” I frowned. “Shouldn’t you be going to school?” He looked at me and grinned. “Daddy says I don’t have to go back until next week.” My skin curled when I heard Andrew say ‘Daddy.’ My first instinct was to grab his hand and take him over to Aunt Barbara’s. Rage consumed me. But then I looked into his innocent face and I knew it wasn’t right for me to transfer my hatred for him to my little brother. If he was adjusting to mother’s death with the help of Harley and her, then how could I hurt him? The hatred I had was mine. His actions had been etched forever in bitterness and anger. Andrew was too young to understand. Maybe someday I could sit him down and make him understand why I couldn’t share his happiness. “So?” He looked hopefully at me. “Do you want to go?” I kissed him on his forehead and put him down on the floor. “No,” I smiled. “I go to big boys’ school. I can’t play hooky like you.” “I’m not playing hooky,” he giggled. “Daddy said I could stay home. That’s not playing hooky.” Again, my skin bristled at the word Daddy. I walked over to the counter and grabbed some toast and headed out the door. I looked to see if Gabe was waiting, but I knew he wasn’t. I began the long walk to school by myself. I entered the building and headed to my locker. As I was taking out the books I would need for my morning classes, a boy bumped into me and mumbled, “Fag.” I turned to see who it was, but the hall was crowded, and I didn’t see anyone I recognized. I closed my locker and headed to my first period class. On the way I passed Tiffany Jordan, Becky’s best friend. She looked at me and rolled her eyes. I stopped and watched her quickly walk away. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Several other students gave me strange looks as I made my way to class. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was happening when I entered Mrs. Livingstone’s class and Earl Buckman, one of the school’s openly gay students, sat down beside me. “Here.” He smiled as he handed me a folded piece of paper. “Call me.” He got up and took his seat. I unfolded the paper. It contained his cell phone number and the message, ‘Let’s hook up sometime. I think ur cute.’ I turned and looked back at him. My face reddened when he winked at me. I didn’t hear anything Mrs. Livingstone said. My mind was trying to figure out what was going on. First someone called me a fag, and then Tiffany rolled her eyes and ignored me. Now a gay student was hitting on me. The only thing I could think of was that Stephen had kept his promise to get even with me. He must have somehow started a rumor around school that I was gay. My assumption was confirmed when I saw Becky in the hall on the way to third period. She was walking with Tiffany and didn’t notice me approach. I walked up beside her and put my arm around her waist. She looked over angrily and pushed away from me. “Drop dead, Richie!” she exclaimed. Tiffany grabbed her arm and started to pull her down the hall. Becky stopped and said loudly, “Or would it be better to tell you to bend over?” My face reddened as students stopped and started giggling. I turned and hurried to my third period class. Several students snickered when I entered Mr. Bower’s history class. He politely asked me how I was doing as I headed to my assigned seat. I shrugged my shoulders and walked past him without answering. I sat down, pulled the hood to my jacket over my head and rested my head on the desk. I fell asleep when he started rambling on about the Founding Fathers attempt to form a government in America. I awoke when the bell rang. I looked down and saw a small puddle of drool on the desk. I looked around the room before wiping it off with my sleeve. I got up and headed to the cafeteria for lunch. After going through the line and getting my usual salad and carton of milk, I headed over to the table where Gabe and my friends were sitting. Gabe didn’t look up when I sat down. When I sat next to Buddy Taylor, he edged away from me. As I scanned the table, it was obvious they were all trying to ignore me. I stared at Gabe until he lifted his head and our eyes met. He attempted to smile but looked down at his food and continued to eat without looking up again. “Fuck it!” I mumbled as I pushed myself away from the table. I hurried from the cafeteria and walked out the building through a side door. I was two blocks from my house when a car slowed down behind me and the driver honked the horn. I looked over. It was Wade. He stopped and hollered out my name. “Richie! Wait up!” I quickened my pace as he drove slowly beside me. Finally, he sped up. I thought he was driving away until the brake lights came on and he stopped. He got out of the car, walked over to the sidewalk and waited for me to approach. “What do you want?” I asked angrily as I pushed past him. “Richie, please talk to me.” He ran around me and stood in front of me. “Please?” he pleaded. “There’s not much to talk about,” I insisted as I stepped past him and continued walking. “Look, Richie.” His voice quivered as he started to cry. “I’m really sorry. I fucked up,” he said as he walked about four feet behind me. “It’s just I get drunk and then I get horny,” he explained. “Me and Doug have messed around before. When he pulled me into the bedroom, I was too drunk to say no.” He grabbed my arm and turned me around. “I’m really sorry.” Tears were flowing down his cheeks. “I never meant for it to happen. Since I met you, things have been different.” I turned and started walking away, only this time not as quickly. He ran around in front of me, blocking my path. “I love you, Richie.” He wiped tears away from his eyes. “I’ve never said that to anyone.” He reached out, placed his head on my shoulder and sobbed. I kept my arms at my side, unsure what to do. When he whispered once again, “I love you,” I raised my arms and returned his embrace.
  25. @Thorn Wilde Hahaha. I guess I could have worded it differently.
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