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Second Shot - 27. Chapter 27: Vigil

Peter's father arrives and the candle vigil takes place. Just when you think its as bad as it can get, well . . . read on.

Jason told Amanda and Erin about the vigil. Both nodded, but said nothing.

“Peter’s dad should be here soon.” Amanda put on her coat and gathered her things. Her haggard expression was painful for Jason. She was always so strong and collected. Peter’s rock. Seeing her this defeated nearly brought him to tears. “Call me if there are any problems.”

“Do you expect a problem?”

Amanda shrugged. “No, but with Tom I always assume the worst.” She appeared as if she was going to say more, but hugged him instead.

“Bye, Ms. G.” He let her kiss his cheek.

Sitting by the bed, Jason put his hand on Peter’s. When he saw Darryl sitting across looking at him, he pulled his hand away. “Sorry, Darryl.”

Darrel shook his head. “It doesn’t bother me. I’ve seen you two hold hands before.”

Jason put his hand back, nodding to his friend. After few minutes he lay his head on the pillow next Peter’s. Although he went to church before college, he never considered himself religious. Closing his eyes, he said a silent prayer. Exhausted and emotionally drained, Jason dosed off, still clutching Peter’s hand.

“What the hell is going on!”

Jason jerked his head from the pillow, seeing Darryl shake his head as if he’d been asleep too.

The source of the voice was a middle aged man in a dark suit standing a few feet inside the door, Mister Lee a step behind. Take away some extra pounds, add some hair, and he resembled his son.

“Mr. Gregory.” Jason got to his feet, making sure he didn’t disturb Peter.

“Jason and Darryl are friends of your son,” Mister Lee said.

It was hard for Jason to read Mr. Gregory’s face. Standing in the shadows, it appeared he struggled with what to say next.

“You must be Jason. Peter sent me a photo of the two of you.”

Mr. Gregory moved closer to his son. A small gasp escaped his lips. Jason moved away from the bed, so Peter’s father could have his seat. Before sitting down he turned to Darryl. “You play soccer with Jason, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I read his old emails on the plane.” He kept his eyes on his son. “Most of what I know of his life, I learned in those emails.”

“Darryl and I can leave you alone with Peter if you like, Sir.”

Again it appeared he was searching for the right response. “No, you don’t need to leave on my account. I’m glad he has friends who care enough to watch over him.”

“I must go for now.” Jason forgot Mr. Lee was still there. “Please tell Ms. Gregory I will be back later.”

“Yes, sir.” Jason assumed the request was directed at him.

When the older man left, Mr. Gregory grabbed Jason by the shoulder. “I’m sorry I snapped at you when I walked in. Even though I thought I was prepared for this, it still shocked me.”

“What was that? I don’t recall you snapping at me.”

“I didn’t mean to yell at you when I saw you lying with your head next to Peter’s,” he explained. “I can’t say I’m happy about his sexual orientation, if that's the appropriate term, but I’m glad he found someone to make him happy.”

“It’s okay, sir, I didn’t take any offense.” Jason tried to sound unaffected. Guilt crept back into his thoughts, Pete’s Dad didn’t know about their fight either. “I hadn’t meant to fall asleep like that.”

“Were you up all night?” He let go of Jason and resumed his place at Peter’s side.

Jason nodded. “I did get a little sleep at some point, but not much.”

“Thank you for calling last night. Betsy and Amanda don’t care much for each other. I might not have known for a couple days if you hadn’t thought to use Peter’s phone.” He never turned from his son.

Upon hearing Amanda’s name, Jason remember to give him her message. “Amanda and Erin left a little bit ago. They said you could call if you needed anything, Mr. Gregory.”

“You can call me Tom,” he said. “There’s no need to bother them. I don’t need anything right now.”

He reached out, gently stroked his son’s head. When it appeared he might cry, Jason looked at Darryl and nodded toward the door. “We’re going to go get coffee Mr. . . I mean, Tom. Would you like something?”

“No thank you.” Tom managed to whisper while shaking his head.

Harsh light, white walls, uncomfortable chairs, bad food; those words would forever define Jason’s memories of the hospital cafeteria. Sitting across from Darryl, his cup of God awful coffee barely touched, Jason wished he remembered to stop at the Java Shack for some of the real stuff before they came to the hospital. Darryl didn’t drink coffee, favoring some organic fruit drink the hospital stocked beside the cans of soda. A better choice, no doubt.

Darryl was texting someone as Jason staring into his cup. In the dark liquid, better suited for looking at than drinking, the outline of the florescent lights overhead, mesmerized him. Peering deep into the cup, the image of Peter, beaten and silent wouldn’t leave his mind.

From the corner of his eye he noticed Darryl had put down his phone and was watching him. “I’m all right, Darryl. You don’t need to watch me like a hawk.”

“No, you aren’t.” Darryl never took his eyes off his friend. “This is tearing you up. It’s okay to admit it.”

“Thanks.” Darryl knew him so well there was no point denying it. Seeing the concern in his friends face caused a new lump in his throat. “I really mean it, thanks. When I need you most you’re always here for me.”

“Of course I am, we’ve been best friends forever. We both know you would do the same for me.”

“Some best friend I turned out to be.”

“What does that mean?” Darryl shifted in his chair. His eyes narrowed as he stared harder.

Jason snorted, but didn’t look up. “Did you really want a fag for a best friend? I mean, we both know people think we are more than just ‘friends.’ Brian has suggested that to anyone who will listen.”

“Fuck, Brian!” He shook his head. “I don’t care what people say about me. I have no issues with who I am.”

Since he heard Jordan was behind the attack, Jason struggled with a heavy sense of responsibility. Sitting with Darryl and seeing the deep concern on his face, Jason felt flood of emotions being released. “I wouldn’t blame you if you avoided me. Then maybe the rumors will stop.”

“Yo, Jase, what’s gotten into you?” Darryl’s voice carried across the almost vacant room. “We've been over this before. Why are you rehashing this?”

Jason swallowed hard. “It could have been you Jordan went after.”

“How many scrapes have we been in together?” Darryl didn’t wait for an answer. “More than a few and most were because you were hanging with the black dude. You took a few lumps as I recall, but that didn’t stop you from always being there for me.”

“You’re my best friend, what else was I supposed to do?”

“And you’re still my best friend,” Darryl said. “What else am I supposed to do?”

Right then, Jason didn’t feel he deserved the loyalty his friend showed. “How dumb am I? I’m more concerned about what my being gay would do to us than you. You’re a better friend than I am.”

Darryl shrugged. “Whatever. Until this happened, you never said these things. I think seeing what happened to Peter is affecting you more than you want to admit.”

“Is that right, Dr. Freud?” Jason snorted. “I can’t believe you still bring up that fight back in junior high.”

This got a smile from Darryl. “We gave ’em as good as we took that day.”

Now Jason finally smiled. “Your memory's faulty. All you got was a scraped knuckle from some Neanderthal's head, I ended up with a black eye and a busted lip.”

“Don’t forget the bloody nose.” Darryl closed one eye and looked down his nose. “Listen, Jase, you’ve always been a good friend, the best. Stop beating yourself up. I know about the friends you lost because of me. It was a small high school, not much was kept secret.”

“They were jerks. Who needed racist friends?”

“Evidently there are more than a few jerks left.” Darryl pointed out. “I know what it’s like to have people hate me not for who I am or what I do, but because of my skin. It’s not much different with you. People who hate you or call you names, they don’t know you, they just see that you’re gay. I don’t need people like that in my life anymore than you needed those ‘jerks’ from high school.”

“Thanks again, D. I’m glad you're here.” This time a tear rolled down his cheek. He squeezed his eyes shut to stop anymore.

“Meeting Peter’s dad went pretty well, wouldn’t you say?”

Nodding, he opened his eyes. “Yeah, but Pete always thought his dad would be cool with me. Just like my dad was with Pete.”

Unable to stop, he started to cry again.

“Think positive, Jason. Peter’s going to be okay.”

“Right.” Jason tried to sound like he believed it; he needed to believe it. “Gotta keep thinking good thoughts.”

Darryl’s phone vibrated on the table. “Wendy's on her way over.”

“Tell her not to text and drive my car. Add a smiley face that sticks out its tongue for good measure.”

“She’s gonna love you for this.” Darryl smirked as he sent the text.

“Let’s go back.” Picking up the almost full cup, he said, “This was a mistake.”

He tossed the cup in the trash.

“How many times must I say, ‘go with something good’ before you’ll listen.” Darryl held up his empty bottle. “If they don’t touch it, they can’t ruin it.”

 


Tom was standing outside the room on his phone when they got back. Waving them in, he paced as he listened.

“Yes, Betsy, I know it was short notice,” he said. “As long as I need to, Dear.”

They quickly move inside, to give Tom some privacy.

“He’s my son.” He started to sound irritated. “Yes, you’re welcome, why would you think you weren’t?”

They tried to ignore the conversation, but Tom was standing inside the doorway now.

“Of course, dear.” He closed his eyes and Jason could see him clench his jaw. “We can get a hotel room. There are plenty around, this is a college town.”

“Excuse me, sir,” Jason heard Wendy’s say. He put a finger to his lips when she looked at him.

“Here.” She held out a tall cup with the word Java Shack on it. “Darryl said you needed this.”

Jason found Darryl smiling at him.

“Don’t worry, Jase.” Wendy’s voice caused him to look back her way. “No dings, no scratches, no spills.”

“You’re my goddess.” He took a sip as soon as she handed it to him. “Black no sugar. How’d you know?”

She held up her phone. “A certain person gave me my orders.”

Darryl laughed. “After four years of high school and two years as your roommate, I picked up a few hints.”

“Fine, dear.” Tom’s voice made them all turned toward the door. “Let me know your flight information and I’ll pick you up…Yes, I will. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything on this end.”

Wendy pointed toward Tom with a look that asked, ‘who is that?’

“Peter’s dad,” they both mouthed back.

“I love you too. See you tomorrow.” He snapped his phone shut and walked back inside. “Do you have Amanda’s number?”

Jason didn’t let Tom’s abrupt manner upset him. “Yes, sir.”

Once Jason gave him the number, Tom left the room, dialing as he walked.

“What was that about?” Wendy asked.

“I think his new wife is feeling insecure with him here with the old one,” Darryl explained.

“You’re kidding?” Wendy rolled her eyes. “The man’s son is beaten half to death . . . .” She stopped when she saw Jason staring at her. “Oh, Jase,”

He held up both hands. “No, it's okay. She's fussing that he's here to see his son. Not cool.” Hearing her put words to what he already knew didn’t hurt as much as remembering why Peter was alone when this happened.

“Oh, I almost forgot.” Wendy rummaged through her purse, pulling out a small slip of paper she passed to Jason. “Brian said to tell you it's confirmed; the GLBT is moving the vigil to the hospital grounds.”

“Marvelous.” Jason didn’t try to hide his displeasure

“You don’t want to go, do you?”

“Not really.” He shrugged. “I don’t know how Peter would feel about it either.”

Jason reached out for Peter’s hand. It felt so cold even though he knew it was warm. There was no reaction to his touch. Ever since they met, holding his hand made Peter smile. Sitting here he was helpless, all he could do was hope and pray Peter would wake up.

“But,” he added. “They’re trying to do something to bring attention to what happened and to show support. I should be there.”

“Yeah, you probably should,” Wendy agreed.

Tom came back a few minutes later to say he was leaving for a while. Amanda was on her way over to pick him up so he could make plans for Betsy’s arrival.

 

Nothing happened and little was said the rest of the afternoon. Various people stopped in to visit; friends, teachers, classmates, even Amanda’s next door neighbors. Amanda and Tom showed up about the same time a reporter arrived.

“We’re going to get something to eat, Mrs. G, is that okay?” Jason didn’t want to be involved in the news coverage.

Amanda motioned for them to leave. “Yes dear, you three go now. We’ll see you when you are finished.”

The journalist, a twenty something brunette, eyed them as they walked past, but Jason didn’t stop to talk. Walking away, Jason heard Amanda telling the woman what happened.

“How come you didn’t want to speak to her?” Wendy asked.

Jason shrugged. “Not really in the mood to talk about this with strangers. Let his parents or the police do the talking. I’ll only say something that will sound stupid.”

Darryl began to laugh. “Last time Jase got quoted in a paper, we busted on him for weeks.”

“Hey, come on, that’s a bad example.”

“What?” Wendy’s interest was piqued now. “C’mon, Darryl, tell me.”

Jason glowered at Darryl, who, unfazed by the nasty look, said, “It was after league championship game in high school. Jason scored two goals, including the winner with two minutes left. The local newspaper’s sports reporter came over and asked him about the game. Jason gave him the standard coach speak crap about team and how great it was that everyone played a role. Finally the guy asks what’s next, and superstar here flashes him a Texas Longhorn sign and says, ‘Dude, I’m going to Disneyland.’ Then he sticks out his tongue and half yells, half growls.

“Paper quoted him word for word.” Darryl began laughing so hard he couldn't speak.

“Did you really?”

“What? I always wanted to do that.” Jason could feel his face get red.

“Oh and they even got a picture of him with his tongue out and his hands making the horns.” Darryl kept laughing. “Google it, I’m sure it’s on line.”

“You had to go there didn’t you?” Jason punched Darryl’s arm as Wendy used her phone to find the picture and article.

Darryl gave him a hug. “Uh huh, you bet I did.”

“Oh my god, what a dork!” Wendy screamed. “I can’t believe I never saw this before.”

She showed the picture on the screen to Darryl who started laughing harder.

Jason laughed too when he saw the offending photo. “Ok, that was dorky.”

“Really dorky, Jase,” Wendy agreed.

Smiling, Jason shrugged again. For a few moments he forgot why they were here.

 


An hour later, they were walking toward Peter’s room, extra pizza in hand, when they saw Brian and an unknown female standing outside the room. Jason groaned audibly when Brian pointed toward him. No doubt she was one of the organizers of the vigil.

“Hey, Jason!” Brian called out like they were best friends.

“Not now, Brian.” Jason walked by without stopping. Thankfully the reporter was gone.

“We brought you a pizza in case you were hungry.” He held out the box. “Even slightly cold this is way better than what they have downstairs.”

Tom accepted the box. “Thank you, Jason.”

“Yes,” Amanda said. “Thank you three for thinking of us. Erin was going to bring some food when she comes back, but I’ll tell her not to worry.”

“We didn’t know what you like, so we ordered cheese.” Jason didn’t know what else to say.

“This is fine son,” Tom said. “It was very thoughtful.”

He could feel Brian hovering behind him, waiting to speak. “Yes, Brian, what is it?”

“This is Trisha,” Brian said. “She is the head of the campus GLBT Association.”

“Hi, Trisha.”

“Hey, Jason.” She held out her hand allowing Jason to see the two tattoos on her left arm. “We would like you to speak at the rally tonight.”

Jason shook her hand, but quickly let it go. “No.”

“But,” she turned to Brian who appeared flustered.

“Not going to happen, sorry.”

“C’mon, Jase.” Brian’s use of ‘Jase’ drew a glare. “Just say a few words about Peter.”

“NO!” Jason bit down to control his anger.

“Leave him alone,” Darryl said. “Can’t you see this isn’t the right time?”

“But the rally's tonight.” Trisha kept looking at Brian, as if expecting something.

“We know when the vigil is,” Wendy told her. “Stop pressuring him, it’s hard enough on him already.”

“Excuse me.” Tom looked from Trisha to Brian. “This is a family matter. If you can’t respect that, then you both need to please leave.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Gregory,” Trisha said. “I didn’t mean to upset you. We’re only trying to get . . . .”

Tom cut her off. “I know what you’re trying to do, Miss. We, his mother and I, appreciate your organizing the vigil. But if Jason don’t want to address the crowd, that’s it.”

Tom placed his hand on Jason’s shoulder. Grateful for the support, he noticed Wendy and Darryl moved closer as well. Amanda appeared on his other shoulder, leaving him between Peter’s parents. The irony of their support nearly made him cry.

“I’m sorry, Jason,” she said. “No one will try to force you to speak tonight. Will you still be there?”

“I plan to.”

“We’ll be there,” Amanda told her. “Just be certain you respect our wishes.”

“I will, ma’am,” Trisha assured them. “We really don’t have a hidden agenda. Just to bring attention to what happened and how GLBT people are being targeted every day.”

“Very well.” Amanda eyed them both skeptically. “We’ll see you later tonight.”


“Who’s going to stay with Peter?” Standing by the window, Jason could see people beginning to gather in the open ground below. They couldn’t all go. Someone had to be here in case Peter woke up.

“I will,” Tom said. “Unless you want to, Amanda.”

“No, that’s fine. I know how much you don’t want to go down there.” Gathering everyone’s coats, she handed them out before putting on her own.

“Keep your coats zipped, or buttoned in your case Jason. No one needs to get sick.”

Erin rolled her eyes when Amanda’s back was turned. “Yes, Mom,”

By the time they arrived, the area was filled with people. Trisha, along with a couple other organizers motioned for the five of them to come to a space in front.

Jason groaned. “Do we really need to be up there?”

“You do,” Wendy told him. “But we’ll be there with you.”

Jason scanned the crowd behind them noting the various teachers, friends, and classmates who came out to show their support for Peter. As he was about to turn back around, he saw Eric, then rest of the team standing as a group.

“I’ll be right back, Mrs. Gregory.” He started to walk away when Darryl grabbed his arm.

“Where are you going?”

Jason pointed toward their teammates. “I can’t believe they’re all here.”

“Why not? We’re a team and you’re the captain.” Darryl led the way as they fought their way through the crowd.

People offering Jason words of sympathy slowed their progress, but with a bit of effort, they reached their teammates.

“Hey, thanks for coming.” Jason was inundated by words of sympathy and support. “Seriously guys, thanks for coming. I’m kind of overwhelmed right now.”

Blake walked over, ignoring the others. His vacant expression scared Jason. Had something happened to him? Did someone find out and try to attack him too?

Everyone stopped talking as Jason took a step closer to his friend. “Blake? You okay?”

At first he said nothing, then, in spurt of movement, Blake quick-stepped his way up to Jason and wrapped him in a hug.

“I’m fine, Jason.” He wiped a tear from his eye as he stepped back. “When I heard, all I could thing about was how great you've been to me this semester, watching over me despite what happened. Now I want to help you, and I can’t. I just want you to know if you need anything . . .”

The barest of smiles found its way onto Jason’s face. “Thanks Blake, that’s . . . that's . . . amazing.”

Unable to say more, he grabbed his friend, burying his face on his shoulder. He stayed that way long enough to worry people might start asking questions.

“Sorry, Blake.” He tried to think of something to say to deflect suspicion from his closeted teammate. “I shouldn’t have done that, people might start talking.”

The others around him started to laugh.

“No chance of that, Jase,” Matt said. “After how you two started off, I don’t think anyone here is going to think you guys are a couple.”

More laughter helped him relax. Suddenly Matt grabbed him in an embrace. “How are you doing?

“Been better, Matt.” There was no humor to his words. This time he couldn’t hold back the tears. “It’s . . . bad, really bad.”

He put his hand around Jason’s head and let him cry against his coat. “Hey, Jase, it’s gonna be okay. Believe it.”

When he got himself under control, he said, “Damn, now they’re gonna talk about you and me being a couple.” His attempt to laugh through his tears didn’t work.

“Bring it on.” Matt never let go. “Just like Blake, I don’t care what people say right now. You need us, and we all want to be here for you; consequences be damned.”

The others affirmed Matt’s sentiments as they drew closer. Several patted Blake on the back, commenting on what he did. Jason gave his friend a wink, getting a shy smile in return.

“How are you holding up, son?” The question broke Jason’s train of thought.

“Coach?”

“Some of your teammates, Eric, Matt, and Blake in particular, told me what happened and suggested we all come tonight.” He nodded in Matt’s direction. “We’re a team, we stick together.”

Numb from all that happened, this unexpected display from his coach and team left him fumbling for words. “Thanks. I don’t know what else to say.”

“Thanks is good, man,” Eric said. “How’s Peter?”

Darryl flinched at the question. Jason took a deep breath, hoping to maintain his composure. “Not good,” was as far as he got before the tears started again.

“Sorry, Jase,” Eric apologized. “Dumb question.”

Jason shook his head. He knew from Darryl, Eric was the first to speak up in his defense when he told the team he was gay. Jason knew he was genuinely concerned. “No, it wasn’t.” He tried to say more, the words stuck in his throat.

A large set of hands grabbed him, pulling him in close.

“It’s going to be okay, Jason.” He heard his coach say.

“I know,” he got out. It took him another few seconds to get control. “They really hurt him bad, sir. He might not make it. The doctor also can’t say if he will walk again.”

He heard a couple people gasp as he spoke.

“He’s strong,” the older man said. “If anyone can pull through, he can.”

Nodding several times, he wiped his face on his sleeve. Wendy appeared at his side with a handful of tissues. Accepting two he blew his nose. Loud and honking, he started to laugh. “Sorry.”

His laughter broke the tension as everyone joined him.

“Damn, dude,” Davis called out.

“Hey, can you all come up front with me?” Jason asked. “I really don’t want to be there, but the control freaks in charge are insisting.”

“I’m not sure there is room.” Eric craned his head, looking at the front of the crowd.

“If they want me up front, they’ll make room.” Jason shrugged. “Just watch, she’ll make space.”

True to his prediction, Trisha asked everyone to step back so Jason’s teammates could join him. As Jason was introducing Peter’s mom and sister, someone walked among them, handing out candles with a paper circle at the bottom.

“Anyone got a light?” Darryl asked.

A lighter appeared, starting the process of getting everyone’s candle lit. The crowd stood in silence for a several long minutes, no one willing to disturb the moment. Trisha appeared in front of the crowd, followed by a television crew.

“I want to thank everyone for coming,” she said. “This is incredible how many people are here. What happened to Peter Gregory is horrific. He did nothing to deserve what happened. They beat him because he was gay. There was no other reason. We need to send a message that this has to stop. It has to stop now!”

Jason watched the camera man pan across the crowd. After panning to his right, the camera was slowly coming back his way. Trisha must have tipped the news people off, because when it reached Ms. Gregory, it stopped.

Trisha motioned for her to come forward to speak. Hesitantly, Amanda and Erin, hands clasped tightly, walked forward.

“My son,” she said before tears overwhelmed her. “My son can’t thank you all for being here, so his sister and I will do it for him. His father is with Peter now, watching. He would thank you too if he were here. Seeing all of you gives me hope that we can stop this kind of attack from happening again.”

She began to cry again, so Erin pulled her back. Jason admired her for doing what he couldn't; speak to the crowd. With his attention on Amanda and Erin, he didn’t notice the camera focusing on him. Suddenly a microphone was thrust into his face.

“Jason Tellerman?” A female asked. “You’re Peter Gregory’s boyfriend, right?”

Jason stared blankly at her for a moment. He nodded.

“How do feel about what happened?”

How do I feel, he repeated in his head? It took an effort not to tell her, ‘how the fuck do you think I feel, stupid?’ Before he could answer, Darryl moved closer.

“Leave him alone. Can’t you see he's upset?”

“We just want to ask him a few questions,” the reporter said.

“Go away.” Darryl growled, stepping in front of his friend. Wendy joined him, followed by his teammates. Coach Slewman stepped forward.

“You need to go. He doesn’t want to talk to the press right now.” He stood in front of the camera, moving as it moved to block the picture. With his hand he motioned for everyone to get Jason away.

A crowd surrounded Jason and his teammates as they shielded him from sight. Eventually, he found himself in the parking lot. Wendy stood next to him, holding him around the shoulder.

“You okay, Jase?”

“Yeah.” He looked around at the wall of bodies around him. “Thanks, guys.”

“No problem, man,” Eric said without turning around. “I think they’re interviewing other people in the crowd. We can probably get you home without being seen.”

“Can I go back inside?”

“That might be harder,” said a teammate whose voice he didn’t recognize. “They’re practically stationed at the entrance.”

“Fuck it.” Jason pushed away from the car. “I’m going back. They can film me if they want, I don’t care.”

Walking past everyone, Jason put up his collar to hide his face. Using the crowd as a shield, he kept to the edges, trying not to draw attention to himself. Halfway there, however, several people in the crowd approached him to give him their condolences. Like sharks to blood, the news crew noticed the activity and moved over.

“They’re coming,” Darryl warned.

“Yeah, I see them,” he answered. “Just keep walking.”

“Jason!” He heard the reporter call his name. “Jason! Can you give us a statement?”

Ignoring the repeated calls, Jason kept walking. The camera crew had a better angle on the door, allowing them to arrive first. Darryl and a couple of his teammates moved to keep them away from Jason, but he stopped them.

“Don’t bother,” he told them. “Let them film, we’ll be inside in a second.”

“Jason,” the woman called his name again. “We just want a few words.”

“Honestly, this isn’t a good time for me.” He told her as he walked into the hospital. “Ask me when Peter’s better.”

“When he’s better,” Darryl joked. “It won’t be news and they won’t need your comment.”

Jason flashed him a smile. “And that will upset me why?”

Visiting hours were almost over when they reached Peter’s room. Most of his teammates popped in for a minute then went home. Eric and Matt stuck around talking to Jason and Darryl about the rest of the season, practice and classes. When the nurse came around to say general visiting hours were over, his friends left with promises to come back tomorrow.

The news was on in the background, though no one was paying much attention until the piece about the vigil appeared. Despite finding the reporter annoying, Jason was happy with the tone of the report. Everyone seemed pleased with the coverage until they flashed his face on camera.

“The victim’s boyfriend, Jason Tellerman, was too upset to speak to us.” He heard the reporter’s voice say as he stood staring blankly at the camera.

“Shit,” he muttered under his breath.

“What’s wrong?” Amanda asked.

“My mom’s gonna freak when she sees that.”

His phone vibrated. Looking at the screen, it was a text from his brother Dean.

“Jase, mom saw the news. She is goin nutz. Dad is trying 2 calm her, but expect a call soon.”

“Thanks,” he sent back.

“Mom saw the news,” he told them. “My brother told me she’s really mad.”

As if on cue, his phone rang. “Mom’s Cell” popped up on the screen.

“And here comes the angry lecture.” Jason considered not answering it, but his mom wouldn’t stop until she spoke to him.

“Hello?”

“Jason!” Her voice was just short of a shout.

“Hello, Mom, how are you.” He tried to act normal.

“You know why I’m calling.” Her voice had a shrill note that grated on his already frayed nerves. “Don’t pretend. I saw the news. How could you?”

“How could I what? I didn’t even talk to them.”

“You had to go on TV, didn’t you? We talked about this. You’re going to those classes at the church.”

Peter was in a coma and all she could think about was his going to those fucking classes? She was so cold, she didn’t bother to find out how Peter was doing.

“I’m not going, Mom.” Only marginally better then a growl, his voice left no doubt he was angry at her. “There’s nothing wrong with me.”

“Now, you listen to me,” her stern voice warned him he was in for a lecture. “You ARE going to those classes or . . . .”

“Or what?” he challenged. “Are you going to disown me? Go ahead, if that’s what you want; do it. I’m gay, Mom, that’s how I am. If you can’t accept that or me, then…then…” He hung up the phone and tossed it down on the chair.

“Sorry,” he told Peter’s family before leaving.

His phone vibrated again, but he wasn’t around to hear it. Amanda picked it up.

“Mom’s Cell.”

“Hello,” she answered. “This is Peter’s mother, Amanda Gregory.”

Sorry for the cliff in this chapter, but it was the best place to stop you gotta admit. :P
Copyright © 2011 Andrew Q Gordon; All Rights Reserved.
If you enjoyed what you have read, please leave a reaction and/or comment for the author!

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Chapter Comments

I think Amanda's about to give Jasons Mum a peace of her mind :-) I am really glad Jason told her no. Great chapter!!

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On 01/06/2011 10:17 AM, Simonjames30 said:
I think Amanda's about to give Jasons Mum a peace of her mind :-) I am really glad Jason told her no. Great chapter!!
Barbara confronted her son at the worst time and place for her to get what she wanted. Not that he would have said yes tomorrow but standing in the hospital room was not going to endear him to her request. As for Amanda - well I suppose she is going to have a chat with Barbara, but the questions are, a) will Barbara listen to her, and if she does b ) will she care? And what will she do to Jason when she has to listen to someone else lecture her about her gay son? Chapter 28 has the answers. I hope. :P
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Just read your answer to Simon's review... You hope? Your the author the crying out loud :P

And you are really naughty leaving it on a cliffy, I think I need to learn how to hack computers 0:):P

 

havent reviewed for a while, but ive looked forward to every chapter of this story so far.

 

Thanks andy dont stop :D

 

 

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On 01/06/2011 10:46 AM, Agaith said:
Just read your answer to Simon's review... You hope? Your the author the crying out loud :P

And you are really naughty leaving it on a cliffy, I think I need to learn how to hack computers 0:):P

 

havent reviewed for a while, but ive looked forward to every chapter of this story so far.

 

Thanks andy dont stop :D

 

Naughty? Cliffs? Me? You jest right?? As for answers well I why don't I just tell everyone the ending now while I'm at it :P Thanks for the review and for reading. It is always good to hear from people whose work I enjoy.
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Just finished the last two chapters, Andy. Just couldn't resist another cliffy, could you? I can never figure you out ... here I thought Jason would end up speaking at the vigil to the camera (so mom would see it) and then it didn't happen ... no, what you did was better. Glad he told mom to flip off and loved that Amanda answered the second call. Great show of support from Peter's parents to Jason ... and LOVED the team surrounding Jason. Stop, you're gonna make me cry! Grin. Bring on 28!

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Cliffy :lmao: WOW! Andy....... :great: Great Chapter. Hurricane Barbara is still going strong. I hope Amanda will give her something to think about. Barbara don't see how she is destroying her family. Barbara has been this way all her life is wil be very difficult for her to change. Will she cut him off? Will Royce put his foot down? Looking forward to the next chapter.......:worship:

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I feel like I shouldn't say "beautiful chapter" because it's so sad but it was an awesome and well-written piece of work. Fingers crossed that Pete pulls through! And I can't wait for the two mothers to have their long-overdue showdown in the next chapter

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On 01/06/2011 02:18 PM, Drewd said:
Just finished the last two chapters, Andy. Just couldn't resist another cliffy, could you? I can never figure you out ... here I thought Jason would end up speaking at the vigil to the camera (so mom would see it) and then it didn't happen ... no, what you did was better. Glad he told mom to flip off and loved that Amanda answered the second call. Great show of support from Peter's parents to Jason ... and LOVED the team surrounding Jason. Stop, you're gonna make me cry! Grin. Bring on 28!
Thanks for reading Drew - As for the cliffy - like I said at the end of the chapter, this was a perfect place to stop. 28 will be up soon enough and I promise no cliffs at the end of that chapter. Other chapters - well no promises. :)
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On 01/06/2011 02:23 PM, montyblk said:
Cliffy :lmao: WOW! Andy....... :great: Great Chapter. Hurricane Barbara is still going strong. I hope Amanda will give her something to think about. Barbara don't see how she is destroying her family. Barbara has been this way all her life is wil be very difficult for her to change. Will she cut him off? Will Royce put his foot down? Looking forward to the next chapter.......:worship:
Monty - yes, the storm is still churning, but not everything bends before the power of a hurricane. Barbara is about to meet someone who is not going to be afraid to tell her what's what. What happens when the two speak is - going to be the subject of the next chapter :) Thanks for writing.
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On 01/06/2011 03:33 PM, C.K. said:
I feel like I shouldn't say "beautiful chapter" because it's so sad but it was an awesome and well-written piece of work. Fingers crossed that Pete pulls through! And I can't wait for the two mothers to have their long-overdue showdown in the next chapter
Thanks, Chapter 28 does reveal what Mom does in response to not only being told off by her son, hung up on, had his face and sexuality on TV, AND gets a lecture from her son's boyfriend's mother - yeah that's gonna go over well won't it??
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As always great chapter....

 

Wonder what's Barbara going to do. I don't think she'll take told off by his son's 'boyfriend's' mother well. Some thing else to think about.. if Tellermans saw Jese's pic in the news, who else would've seen it? What if Jason's grand parents saw it? and how would it affect the rocky situation....

 

guess we'll find out soon rite? I mean soon?

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On 01/07/2011 02:43 AM, boiwonder said:
As always great chapter....

 

Wonder what's Barbara going to do. I don't think she'll take told off by his son's 'boyfriend's' mother well. Some thing else to think about.. if Tellermans saw Jese's pic in the news, who else would've seen it? What if Jason's grand parents saw it? and how would it affect the rocky situation....

 

guess we'll find out soon rite? I mean soon?

Yup you will have to wait a few days to see what happens when "Moms collide." I am sure the grandparents would have seen the video, but the question is do they know about the conflict between mom and son? Probably not as Barbara likes for the world to see the perfect family, that would include keeping her conflict with jason from other family members. But then again, we will see soon enough.
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Look at me, finally all caught up! (BTW I can totally read faster than that when I'm not trying to write stuff at the same time :-P) . . . oh, wait, that's not a good thing, because now I'm stuck with a cliffhanger! Grrr!

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On 01/08/2011 11:52 AM, Sara Alva said:
Look at me, finally all caught up! (BTW I can totally read faster than that when I'm not trying to write stuff at the same time :-P) . . . oh, wait, that's not a good thing, because now I'm stuck with a cliffhanger! Grrr!
Cliffs are good, especially when folks can't just turn the page - it's like a good two part tv show that makes you wait a week for the outcome. hehe. But of course, I know what's next so I am not antsy. :whistle:
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On 01/13/2011 07:58 AM, Nephylim said:
You think THAT was a cliffie after everything you've subjected us to!!!! *gasp*
Well, kinda??? I mean I could have had Jason run into the street to the sound of screeching tires but THAT would be mean. Then again, I could put a dirty bomb in the hospital and had everyone seconds from death - another good cliffy, but instead I went for mild - :/ guess there goes my shot at Queen of Cliffhangers - oh well I don't look good in Pink Taffeta - ask Rowan and Astrin - I looked smashing in House Rafael colors :P
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For some reason, this chapter makes me think of one of my all time favorite songs (Since You've Been Gone, by The Outfield).

it's an 80's tune, and I assume 2nd Shot is set in present day, but it just seems to fit. :)
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On 01/27/2011 07:45 AM, TrevorTime said:
For some reason, this chapter makes me think of one of my all time favorite songs (Since You've Been Gone, by The Outfield).
it's an 80's tune, and I assume 2nd Shot is set in present day, but it just seems to fit. :)
Can't say I remember that song too well and I was in college in the 80's [yes you already reminded me once today I was old so I beat you too it here :P] But I do love the big mullets LOL
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On 06/27/2011 04:07 AM, K.C. said:
YES! I hope Amanda tells that Ice Bitch off!
No no no, Amanda has more class than that - she isn't about to lower herself. Right about now, she is more Jason's mom, than Barbara. But we'll see.
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any chance that the Grand parents were watching the news as well and rescue Jason ? 😬

Edited by Danilo Syrtis
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19 hours ago, Danilo Syrtis said:

any chance that the Grand parents were watching the news as well and rescue Jason ? 😬

I really can't answer that. 😇

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