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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
    CarlHoliday
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Remembering Tim - 20. Chapter 20 - Love for Tim

My life was over.

There was nothing left to do except get my sorry ass out of the picture. Mother was totally unreachable. It was as if she dropped off the face of the earth.

I tried to go to the funeral, but Uncle Frank was at the door and no matter how much Mr. Patterson argued with the stubborn fool, I was not admitted to say goodbye to my little sister. I left in sobs. I couldn’t help it. When we returned to their house, Mrs. Patterson gave me another tranquilizer and I went away for a while.

While I was in la-la land the Pattersons decided Mark was going to live at home and I was going to live with Gary. Well, it certainly made sense to me, but I was not to be in Mark’s presence ever again, which didn’t make any sense to me, anymore. What did it matter if everyone knew Mark was queer? They’d already gone through that and had proven to the world Mark wasn’t queer, but we were not to be friends, period.

Two days after the funeral, I got up the nerve to call Uncle Walter and ask to come back. Of course, Bert answered the phone.

After the pleasantries, Bert broke the bad news.

“Ruben came and took Ricky,” Bert said.

“Where’d they go?” I asked. I thought of a ton of scenarios, but nothing made sense.

“I asked Sugar. She said their aunt and uncle from Peoria sent for them. I guess nearly all of their family is still in Peoria.”

“Damn!”

“Yeah, I feel for you kid.”

“What do I do? When can I come back, school starts next week.”

“Geoff, you know your uncle made the decision you were to return home. He won’t go back on that decision.”

“But, what’s to become of me? I have no family except Karl and he’s still on the other side of the Pacific.”

“Let the Pattersons help. Your uncle will help with the finances and you can come down next summer, maybe for Christmas, too.”

“But Bert, I’m alone up here.”

“Geoff, life is tough. You either succumb or move on. Get your diploma, go to college, and get on with your life. I’ll help as I can as will the Pattersons. They’re good people, you know.”

Luckily, Uncle Walter was his usual generous self. Two days later a car, a blue ’62 Mercedes 190SL soft top roadster, showed up at the Pattersons. A lawyer, my lawyer, paid by Bert, had me sign a few papers. Also, he gave me some temporary checks for my Uncle Walter funded bank account. He started me off at a little over fifteen hundred dollars and I would use some of that to buy some new clothes for school. The lawyer also gave me his card and told me to call. I thanked him as he was only doing his job.

I knew the Mercedes was going to make me the most popular kid in school, but who would want to ride around town with a queer. Luckily, Gary’s apartment building had a garage and an extra space where I could park the silly thing. The other thing about living a Gary’s apartment was being close to Lake Woodin Park.

There’s nothing more soothing than a quiet park bench overlooking a duck filled lake to help keep those suicidal thoughts from having a chance to blossom into a definite plan; plus, I was immediately busy at school.

There’s nothing like a lot of schoolwork to get your mind focused on what is important in life, like homework. Bright kids get tons of homework because most bright kids are taught by dim teachers who know a lot of homework is the best way to keep those god-awful super-difficult questions down to a minimum. If the bright kids are too busy, they won’t think up unanswerable questions; except we do, but we’re smart enough not to ask some half-wit who’s been teaching with the same lesson plan since 1927.

**********

There were three lunch periods at North Park: the first one for freshmen and sophomores; the second for sophomores and juniors; and, the third for juniors and seniors. I was now a junior and got to sit with the seniors, who weren’t that bad because nearly all of them were juniors the previous year. The dolphin was back so I had to find an inconspicuous table out of harm’s way. Lunchroom protocol takes a few days to establish itself as various cliques vie for dominance and go about choosing the prime tables as their sole territory. My goal was to stay away from all jocks, period. I certainly didn’t want to sit with the bright bulbs because they were the target of ridicule and an occasion bowl of slimy gelatin dessert, especially if it was the fluorescent green stuff that tasted like puke.

I sat in the northeast corner on the first day, but had to move when the table filled up with the losers who were going out for football. With half the previous year’s team either in prison or permanently expelled, North Park was taking anyone to be on the team; a team led by none other than former football hero Mark Patterson.

I went in a few minutes late the second day so I could reconnoiter a little better. There were three seats empty by the wall at the third table from the northwest door. This was directly opposite the atrium where the dolphin was attracting a flock of tittering blondes. The first five seats were taken up by three boys and two girls. I didn’t know them, but that wasn’t surprising because with nearly two thousand students at North Park and nearly five hundred in my class, I was lucky to know the few I did. These five, including the girls, looked like auto shop types or maybe metal shop. They could’ve been art students for all I cared.

I went to the two empty seats by the wall and took the furthest one from the grungies. Well, they were all grungy with blue jeans, well the boys had blue jeans, and those blue chambray shirts you see convicts wearing. The girls had dresses. There was a dress code at North Park. Girls wore dresses. Boys wore nice blue jeans, slacks, or khakis, but not dresses, which was fine with me because I certainly wasn’t into cross-dressing. The girls’ dresses looked institutional.

I did not acknowledge their ownership of the table, besides I was at the far end and there were two empty seats between us. They stared at me.

“What?” I asked.

“You’re Geoff Johnson, right?” The boy next to me across the empty seat asked.

“The smart-assed queer,” the boy opposite said. He had acne all over his face and that long, black, greasy hair that had to be combed every five minutes.

“Yeah,” I said. I waited for the derision.

“Mark Patterson’s friend,” the girl on my side of the table said.

“No, I don’t know him,” I said, following the party line.

“You were with him an awful lot last year,” the girl on the opposite side said.

“Must’ve been someone else,” I said, nervously. I didn’t know who these people were, but they seemed to know too much about me and Mark.

“My name’s Dean,” the boy next to me said. He held out a hand. His grip was quite strong. There was grease or dirt under his nails.

“Hi,” I said, still unsure of my being welcome at their table.

“Do you have a car?” Dean asked. “I saw you on the bus this morning. Where do you come from, the Junction?”

“Yeah, I’m living with a friend down by the lake,” I said. I didn’t see any reason to tell them it was Mark’s queer brother I was living with. “And, yeah, I have a car, but don’t want to drive it to school if I don’t have to.”

“Now, what does a smart-ass queer drive?” Acne Face asked to no one in particular.

“A Packard,” the girl on my side said.

“No, a Studebaker,” the girl opposite said. Everyone, except Dean laughed.

“What do you drive?” Acne Face asked. He had a demeanor about him that said, “If you don’t tell me, I’m going to smash your face in with my fist and I don’t care if I get expelled.”

“A ’62 Mercedes 190SL,” I said. “My uncle gave it to me. It’s blue.”

They all stared at me, plus some kids at the tables close to us stared at me. The word was going to get out. There was no stopping the gossip line.

“It’s not that I don’t believe you,” Acne Face said, “but drive it to school tomorrow.”

“Sure,” I said, meekly.

“I get on the bus at Eighty-fifth and Stone,” Dean said. “Could you pick me up?”

“Oh, I’m sure Geoff would love to pick you up,” Acne Face said.

“Shut up, Arnold,” Dean said.

Did I detect something? Was Arnold, previously known as Acne Face, implying Dean might like boys like I liked boys?

Arnold stared at Dean and then gave me an evil eye. He said, “You just be in the parking lot before home period. A lot before home period because I have to be across campus at seven-thirty.”

“Sure,” I said.

Arnold, the two girls, and the other boy who remained strangely silent got up and left. Arnold gave Dean the strangest look and then shook his head before walking away.

“He’s my brother,” Dean said, “well, my step-brother, actually. He’s a senior. I don’t see you around campus much.”

“I try to stay out of sight, mostly,” I said.

“Yeah, I know how it is,” Dean said. I wondered if he really knew. The dirty fingernails were a definite turn-off, if it came to that.

“Get picked on a lot?” I asked.

“No, but I see Arnold doing a lot of hassling,” Dean said. He was now sitting in the seat next to me. Why didn’t I notice him move?

“He and his friends go down to Volunteer Park and roll queers,” Dean said.

“Do you do that?” I asked. I was horrified, but didn’t want to show I was scared to death of him. This guy wants to be my friend, I was thinking he wanted to be my friend, and his brother rolls queers for fun.

“No, I’m not like that. What’s it like?”

The sixty-four-thousand-dollar question.

“What’s what like?” I asked. I knew what he was asking. I could see it in his eyes. He didn’t roll queers because he was one and step-brother Arnold knew it, too.

“You know,” Dean whispered.

“How about we talk about it tomorrow on the way to school,” I said. “How about I pick you up at, oh say, quarter to seven?”

“I’ll be waiting,” Dean said. He smiled. His teeth were badly stained and it looked like he’d never been to a dentist. Could I kiss him with teeth like that?

**********

Dean was waiting for me when I drove up to the bus stop. I could tell by the way his jeans were filled out that he was hard. What was he expecting?

“Hi,” I said after he climbed into the passenger seat. He had a red binder with the double axes on the front. He didn’t have any books. Obviously, he was in a voc-tech program that didn’t require a lot of homework.

“Hi,” Dean whispered. “Nice car.”

“Yeah,” I said. He wasn’t doing anything to hide his erection. I pulled away from the curb and headed for War Memorial Park and a nice out of the way parking spot where we could talk because a Mercedes Roadster is not a make out car. If something was going to happen, we’d have to find someplace to do it, but not Volunteer Park where a lot of things happened and a lot of queers got rolled for trying to do it with the wrong person.

“What’d you want to know?” I asked. Stone parallels Oak Park, but dead ends at One Hundred Third, so I turned on Ninetieth and headed up Oak Park to the park. With the way Dean’s dick was tenting his jeans, I figured one of the parking stalls in front of the Doughboy was more than appropriate. There aren’t a lot of bronze statues around where the guy’s dick is plain to see, but the Doughboy at War Memorial Park had a doozy and it was hard, too. Everyone wondered what was going through the artist’s mind back in ’21 when they dedicated the statue in memory of all the North Park boys who died in WW I.

“Have you done it?” Dean asked. He was practically whispering. He was nervous and probably a little scared, too.

“Done what?” I asked. Well, we hadn’t exactly established what Dean was talking about.

“You know, done it with a guy,” Dean whispered.

“Why do you want to know?” I asked. I’m not one for kiss and tell, so why put myself in that position. If I said I did, he might want to know who. “You want to beat me up like your brother does down at the park?”

“No, I said I wasn’t like that,” Dean said.

“Then what do you want?” I asked. He did seem like a nice kid and it definitely looked like he had a decent cock, but his dirty fingernails and teeth weren’t turning me on.

“I want to know what it’s like,” Dean said. “I want to know what it’s like to be close to a guy like my brother gets close to a girl.”

“Find yourself a boyfriend or go down to Volunteer Park and find yourself a queer to suck your dick,” I said. He was a little young to be down there, but it was definitely easier than finding a boyfriend, unless everyone knew up front you were queer and looking for a boyfriend, like me.

“I can’t go there anymore,” Dean said.

“You were the bait, weren’t you?” I asked.

He didn’t answer, he didn’t have to answer. Get some cute kid, say your little brother, and dangle him in a known place for homosexual activity. Then when some unfortunate picks up on the kid, you beat the crap out of him and steal his money; except, Arnold’s plan backfired, probably in a vice squad sting.

“I thought you’d be nice about this,” Dean said with tears in his voice.

“How can I be nice when your brother beats up queers for kicks?” I asked. “What’s going to happen to me when I drop you off some night in front of your house? Is he going to come running out and beat the crap out of me, too?”

“You’d go on a date with me?” Dean asked. There were still tears in his voice, but there was a smile, too.

“Maybe, if you cleaned yourself up a little,” I said. I pulled out of the parking stall and headed for the Arboretum. We didn’t have a lot of time, but we had time to walk back to the redwood grove where there was a nice little hidey-hole where a quick blow job could be accomplished, if there wasn’t anyone using the place.

“Arnold won’t do anything to you,” Dean said. “Mom and Pop told him they’d kill him if he ever so much as touched me or any of my friends ever again. Where’re we going?”

“Someplace where I can suck your dick,” I said. “That’s what you want, right?”

“Yeah, sure, but what about me?”

“You can do it next time, but we’ll have to figure out where and how because I’m not taking this car out all that much. Come on, we got to make this quick. The way your cock looks that shouldn’t be a problem.”

There weren’t any other cars at the conifer parking lot. Dean stayed at my side as we walked back into the trees. I stopped for a moment and checked the branches on a pine tree. The two important ones were hanging as they normally did. I raised the lower one so that it draped over the one above. Hopefully, those in the know would leave us alone.

When we stepped into the grove and into the inner ring, I saw a used condom on the ground. Someone had already used the place, more than likely not a queer either since guys don’t get pregnant. On the other hand, maybe it had been because some guys, like Tim, don’t like getting their cocks dirty. The needles were dry and soft when I knelt down.

I unzipped Dean and worked at getting his erection out. He undid his belt and top button and then pushed everything down. His circumcised cock stood out proudly, excited about my interest in it. It’d been awhile, so I went slowly, intent on getting to know this cock.

Dean was a lot more ready than I was. I’d barely begun to take him back toward my throat when he erupted. Cum spewed into my mouth in three strong bursts as I felt his body shudder in orgasm. I swallowed all of it. After a few moments, I released him and stood up.

“There, was that everything you thought it would be?” I asked.

“When do I get to do you?” Dean asked. He put himself back together.

“When you clean your fingernails and have you ever been to a dentist?” I asked. “Do you ever brush your teeth?”

“I go to the dentist next week,” Dean said. “Why?”

“Because your mouth doesn’t look like anything I want to kiss,” I said.

“You’d kiss me, too?” Dean asked. We were walking back to the car. We didn’t have all that much time left.

“Well, sure, but you’re going to have to do something about that mouth of yours, you have bad breath, too.”

“Oh, okay.”

“For me?”

“Sure, for you,” Dean said, excitedly. “Does this mean we’re boyfriends?”

I felt it deep in my bones. He was going to die, run away, get hurt, or simply disappear. I couldn’t go through another loss.

“No, we’re not boyfriends,” I said. “Hurry up, Arnold is going to be pissed if I’m late.”

**********

Unfortunately, my social life at North Park was over before it even got started. Dean didn’t clean himself up for me. Maybe being in a shop class meant having dirty fingernails all the time. He simply didn’t brush his teeth, either. Maybe he hadn’t learned how. Maybe his parents didn’t care. I cared.

The only good thing to come out of this little episode in my short life was Dean did find a boyfriend. Well, enough of a boyfriend, considering his brother, to be happy.

People talk when you hang around the school’s one known queer too much. People assume things or at least one of Dean’s friends must have assumed something because one day there was a new kid at our table. He was sitting beside Dean when I went to the table and the only available seat was next to Arnold. He stared at me when I approached the table and ever so slightly shook his head. I found another table and I never saw Dean again.

I didn’t feel bad about losing him, either. It’s hard changing people to suit your needs. The way it was going, Dean was never going to change. No matter how much I dangled the opportunity to suck my dick in front of his dirty teeth, Dean took no effort to keep them consistently clean. I guess sometimes events are not meant to occur, no matter how much we want them.

I knew there was only one thing that might save me from myself. I needed to talk to someone who knew kids like me. Someone who could listen to a jumper, slicer, choker, or pill popper and didn’t immediately come to the conclusion we are crazy and need shock therapy. A little talk to a trained listener can do wonders for a troubled mind. It certainly worked for me, but my psychiatrist was dead.

That’s why I found myself walking over to see Tim’s sister. I remembered she was a psychiatric nurse at the University. If anyone, she might know a good kid shrink. So, that is why I stood in front of her door one Saturday morning and rang her buzzer.

“Just a minute,” a voice called out from the other side. It didn’t sound like Nanci. I hoped it wasn’t Harry Bird, the shock therapist. The last thing I needed right then was to have my synapses rearranged by some crazy shrink.

“Yes?” Tim asked as he opened the door.

He’d changed, grown up, but he was still the Tim I knew nearly a year ago. We stared at each other.

“Who is it, Tim?” Nanci called out from somewhere in the apartment.

We stared at each other. I didn’t want to say anything and make the hallucination evaporate into some other person.

“Who is it, Tim?” Nanci asked. She was right behind him. “Oh, my god, Geoff! What are you doing here?”

“Uh, well, you see, um, I was, uh,” I stammered. I continued to stare at Tim and he hadn’t changed into someone I didn’t know. Finally I found my words. “I need a new psychiatrist and was hoping you knew someone good.”

“Tim, it’s Geoff,” Nanci said.

“Yeah, I know,” Tim said. His voice sounded older. He’d changed.

“Well, just don’t stand there, come on in,” Nanci said.

I couldn’t move. I don’t know why, but I very much wanted to run away.

“Come on, Geoff, I know it’s a shock,” Nanci said. She had my hand and pulled me into the apartment. Tim could not move all that well, either, and kind of stood in my way. “Tim, go sit on the sofa.”

She pulled me along and sat me down beside her brother, the boy I once loved very much.

“Where are you living?” Nanci asked. “We went by your house, but it’s empty and has a for sale sign out front.”

“I’m living a couple blocks away with Gary Patterson,” I said. I was suddenly very frightened Tim might not be the person I once knew. Maybe he wasn’t queer anymore. People sometimes change when they grow up. “I don’t know where my mother is living.”

“What? That’s crazy,” Nanci said. Then she looked at me and apologized with her eyes at her unfortunate choice of words. “I saw in the paper where your step-father and sister were killed in the accident, but you don’t know where your mother is living? I don’t understand.”

“My sister and aunt don’t like me because I’m queer,” I said. Tim looked at me with the strangest look. Maybe he wasn’t queer. “They wouldn’t let me stay when I came home after the accident. I’d been living with my Uncle Walter in California and came right home when Mother called, but they wouldn’t let me be with her.”

I’d never talked to someone about what happened, not like this, like normal talking, chitchat about Sally dying and Trudy hating me. It made me start weeping. I was losing it, again. If I was at Gary’s apartment, he’d give me half of one of my happy pills, but I wasn’t there. One half made me okay, a whole one made me go away for a while, but I wasn’t at Gary’s apartment.

Nanci was instantly beside me with her arms around me, holding me. Tim took my hand and looked into my tearful eyes. I broke away from Nanci’s hug and wrapped my arms around Tim. Both of us had a good cry.

**********

We were in Tim’s bedroom on his bed. We sat beside each other. I’d told him my story and he’d told me quite a bit of his up until a pervert made him crazy. A lot had happened to us over the past year. I knew more happened to Tim, than me, from what I heard. I’d just stopped being crazy. He’d actually come close to being killed more than once and had actually killed someone.

“Tim? Remember what the doctor said,” Nanci said at the door.

“Sure, I’ll remember,” Tim said. She shut the door and we were alone.

“Remember what?” I asked.

“That bastard who brainwashed me might have given me something,” Tim said. “I’m taking an antibiotic. I’ve got a bad infection in my dick.”

“Eww, sounds gross and painful,” I said.

“Yeah, but it’s a lot better now,” he said. He turned toward me and we looked at each other, again. “I can still come, but I’ll have to use a condom if we do anything because you might get it from me.”

“Do you want to do something?” I asked. It had been a long time.

“Do you want to?” Tim asked. It had been a long time for both of us.

“A year ago, I’d have been going down on your dick the minute Nanci walked out the door,” I said. I smiled at the thought.

“We’d be racing to see who could get a dick in their mouth first,” Tim said. He fell back on the bed and looked up at me. “My mouth is clean.”

I lowered myself down on top of him. His body felt bulkier. He didn’t look like a twelve-year-old and didn’t feel like one either. I put my lips to his and felt his hands begin to wander over my body.

“You’ve been working out,” Tim said, as he quickly broke our embrace and rolled out from under me. We turned on our sides. His fingers were lightly caressing abs under my shirt. Finally, I had abs. “I can feel muscles.”

“I just started when I was in California,” I said. “Bert’s a workout freak and had me pumping iron as soon as he saw my flimsy arms. There was a gym in the house. Heck, there was everything in the house if you knew where to look.”

“Bert sounds cool,” Tim said.

“He is,” I said and knew I missed him very much. I ran a finger across his chest. “You feel like you have a few more muscles, too.”

“You should see my dick,” Tim said. He looked into my eyes. “It’s grown up, too.”

“You know, if we take it out, we might forget,” I said. I wanted Tim so much, but I didn’t know this boy. Tim had changed.

“You feel it too, don’t you?” Tim asked.

“Yeah, we’re different, we’re older,” I said. I was very afraid, but I had to ask. “Do you still want to be my boyfriend?

Instantly, Tim looked at me as if I’d torn out his heart. He put a hand behind my back and pulled us together. His lips were on mine. His tongue was in my mouth. A hand held my head to his. We kissed like we hadn’t seen each other in years, not eleven months. He started to cry. I was close behind.

We lay there on Tim’s bed sobbing and kissing for a long, long time. Our hands were all over each other’s body. Shoes, quickly followed by increasing items of clothing started appearing on the floor beside the bed. More and more skin came into contact, but Tim started giggling.

“What?” I asked.

“Your nose is snotty,” Tim said. His fingers played in the slime on my upper lip.

“Half of it’s yours,” I said and I kissed him.

“I need some tissues,” Tim said. He pulled away from me and sat up. I liked to the new look. Tim was definitely not twelve years old. I was looking at a teenager, a lusciously beautiful teen boy with lots of muscles in all the right places. His new longer, thicker dick was proudly erect, but there was a yellowish discharge at the tip. I wrapped my hand around it.

“You like it,” Tim asked.

“I want to get to know this a lot better,” I said as I stroked him, “but that’s pus, isn’t it?”

“There’s only a little bit and it still hurts a little when I come,” Tim said. He stood up and walked to the dresser.

“Oh my god!” I exclaimed. “You’ve got a new ass, too.”

“Like it?” Tim asked coyly. He turned a bit to show his profile.

“I want to kiss it, but I don’t do that,” I said.

“Did you ever do that?” Tim asked. He had the strangest look.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. He came back to the bed with a handful of tissues. His cock was so hard and stiff it barely bobbed as he walked. “You’ve done it, haven’t you?”

“I had to do it in the whorehouse,” Tim said. He was wiping the tears and snot from my face. “Blow!”

I blew the snot out of my nose into the tissues he held with one hand. I felt the other on my dick.

“I don’t like to do it, though,” I said. He stroked me.

“I don’t either.

I didn’t close my eyes as his mouth came down over my dick, but pushed his head away from me.

“If I can’t do it to you,” I said, “you can’t do it to me.”

“Do you want me to put on a condom?” Tim asked. He had that look, again.

“It was bad, wasn’t it?” I asked.

“I’ve never been so scared, so mad, so disgusted, so everything else in my life,” Tim said. He lay down beside me. His cock began to shrink. “You can’t imagine what I went through, but you know what? You kept me going. I kept thinking of my love for you and I kept trying to get back to North Park.”

“I want to love you again like I did last year only more,” I said.

**********

Needless to say, Tim was a hot item for the rumor mill at school on Monday. He had a lot of work to do to catch up and I volunteered to be his tutor, which was totally acceptable with the school. Basically, Tim had to do two years’ worth of schoolwork in one year. That’s a lot for one person, but with the two of us together most of the time I figured I’d fall madly in love with him, again, by Halloween or, maybe, Columbus Day.

Since he was on the non-honors college prep track, we didn’t have any classes together. We had the same lunch though and that’s when I saw him sitting amongst six of his former tennis buds. Jocks. I hated jocks, they hated me. There were no queer jocks at North Park. Well, as long as you didn’t count Tim, Mark, and a couple guys on the track team who seemed to be way too buddy-buddy to be anything other than queer.

I sat down at the empty seat by the wall and immediately felt out of place when six hate filled eyes bore into me. The smile next to me told me I was welcome.

“Hey fag, we don’t want any queers at this table,” one of the seniors said. He was from an area called Foundry Ridge View Estates. It was on the lower west side of the ridge. The residents had money, but not enough money to live on the ridge or in the few cul-de-sacs off of Foundry Ridge Boulevard. His parents had enough money, though, to ensure all their children were real assholes.

Tim looked at me and the smile told me everything.

“Well, Geoff, I guess we’d better leave,” Tim said. He stood up and I stood up, too. I didn’t know where we were going, but I was willing to follow Tim anywhere. I wasn’t gaga in love yet, but close.

“What’re you doing?” the senior asked.

“Well, Brian, it’s quite obvious my boyfriend and I are not welcome at your table,” Tim said. I couldn’t believe Tim just outed himself to his former teammates and most of the tables around us. People stopped talking all around us as ears were focused on Tim. “Oh, and just for the record, Brian, I’m willing to forget you sucked my cock when I was a freshman, but I know Stevie Carlson was fucking you, too. Come on, Geoff, let’s find someplace where we’re more welcome.”

I followed him out to the main aisle and over to the dolphin table, which was mostly empty. There were two girls, across from each other, over by the window. Obviously, they weren’t members of a clique or they’d be sitting at a different table. Outcasts, like Tim and me.

“Hi, girls, mind if we sit here?” Tim asked. They looked at us and both shrugged their shoulders. That was as good as saying yes.

“Stevie was doing him, too?” I asked after I sat down. The school added a white plate to the lunch menu, or maybe it was something only offered to juniors and seniors. It was, as it was that day, a grilled meat and cheese sandwich, some greasy fries, some fruit, and a milk. It was ham and the fruit was institutional grade canned peaches. They almost tasted like peaches, too, but they might have been pears because they were kind of more white than yellow.

“Yeah, Stevie was doing Brian,” Tim said.

“And, to think I thought I was in love with the bastard,” I said. “To think I nearly killed myself because of him. God, what a fool I was.”

One of Tim’s tennis buds sat down beside Tim and the other sat beside me. They were both juniors and one was in most of my honors classes.

“Damn, Tim, you did a number on Brian,” the other boy said. He turned to me and said, “Hi, I’m Tommy. That’s Craig.”

Craig and I exchanged nods and smiles. We knew each other from class, but, unlike most of my classmates, Craig never put me down because I was queer. Either he was extremely tolerant or his dick worked like mine. He was a jock, though, and that put me off. You can’t trust a jock. That was my policy.

“So you guys like hang out a lot?” Tommy asked.

I looked at Tim and he gave me an odd smirk.

“Yeah, we hang out a lot,” Tim said.

“We’re going to a movie Friday,” Craig said. “What to come with us? I’m driving.”

“I don’t have my license yet,” Tommy said.

“Well, I don’t have a car,” Tim said.

“And, mine only has room for two,” I said.

“You have a car?” Tim asked. “You didn’t tell me you had a car.”

“I’m sorry, I try not to think about it, too much,” I said.

“You have a car and you try not thinking about it?” Tim asked.

“You should see his car,” Craig said. “You’ll crap your pants.”

“Yeah, it’s cool,” Tommy said.

“What movie are you going to?” I ask.

“Don’t change the subject,” Tim said. “We’re talking about your car.”

“It’s Mercedes Roadster,” Tommy said. “It’s a convertible.”

“I don’t like it to get dirty,” I said. “So I leave it in the garage. And, don’t ask me to drive it to school. I don’t want it to get dented.”

“Jeez, Geoff, you have a car and you didn’t tell me,” Tim said. “That’s keeping secrets. We can’t be boyfriends if you’re keeping secrets from me.”

He was smiling, but he hurt me.

“I told you, I try not thinking about it,” I said. He gave me the strangest look. Stranger than the faces he made when he thought about what happened to him. Then I felt the tear dribble down my cheek. I got up and ran to the boy’s room.

All the stalls were taken so I went to a sink and began to splash cold water on my face. That was the only thing I knew that would stop the tears. I felt a hand on my back.

“I was kidding, okay?” Tim said.

“Don’t kid,” I said. I stood up and looked into his eyes. God, I wanted to kiss him, but this was school and nobody kissed at school.

“Do you think those two are like us?” Tim asked. He looked over at the stalls and said, “Oops! Ears!”

“Yeah, too many,” I said. “But, I don’t know. We won’t know unless they do something. Do you want to go with them?”

“Sure, why not?”

“Yeah, why not,” I said. Our hands were touching. It was almost as good as a kiss.

“And, you’re going to give me a ride in your car today after school,” Tim said. He was close to me, too close for school. He must have read my mind. “We have to wait until I’m better. You know that.”

“Yeah, but, well, you know how I am,” I said. I stepped away from him and at that moment Tommy walked in.

“Hey, Geoff, are you okay?” Tommy asked.

“Yeah, I’m okay,” I said. He did look cute, but not as cute as Tim. “Come on, you guys, let’s get out of here, we need to find a better place to suck cock.”

“You do suck cock, right?” Tim asked after we stepped out into the empty hall. I looked straight at Tommy. He looked back at me with eyes that said a lot, especially in the way they tried to get out of my line of sight.

“Come on, Tim, quit kidding around,” I said. He looked at me and I smiled. “Don’t mind him Tommy, he’ll be better when he’s off the antibiotics and he can put his mouth where his mind is.”

“Jeez, I don’t know if I want to be around you two,” Tommy said. “I certainly don’t think I can take you home. My parents would shit if you two talked like that around my house.”

“Don’t worry, we know how to act around adults,” I said. I put my arm across Tommy’s back and he didn’t even flinch. “You know, Tommy, you’re not such a bad kid for a jock and a breeder.”

“I didn’t say I was a breeder,” Tommy said. “And, I’m not your boyfriend so get your arm off me.”

I stopped, but Tim and Tommy continued on. Brian was standing at the corner of a cross hall. If looks could kill, I’d be dead. He came at me fast; I guess to slam me up against the lockers. He looked very mad, which was good because that meant he wasn’t thinking clearly and he wasn’t a football player, either. I faked right and went left. Hang around football players and you pick up a few moves. I also put a foot in Brian’s path. He went head first into the lockers. He was down for the count.

“Are you alright?” Tim asked. He’d run up to me, but hadn’t arrived in time to save his former tennis bud.

“You’d better check on the jock,” I said. “He looks a little out of it.”

Brian was lying face down on the floor. He was still breathing, so he wasn’t dead.

“That was beautiful how you sidestepped him,” Tommy said. “You’re not the same Geoff as you were last year.”

“No, I’m a lot more confident and I took some self-defense classes. I could’ve hit him, but I figured he had enough momentum so I let the lockers do the job.”

He was close to me, again. I still didn’t know for sure, but I did know I wanted him only as a friend. Tommy must have sensed something happening between us because he suddenly moved a few feet away.

“It’s okay,” I said. We watched as Tim sent another boy for the school nurse. There was blood. “Tim is my boyfriend, so you’re safe with me. You and Craig are good friends, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, we’re good friends,” Tommy said. “Our families do things together. You know, camping and picnics. We’ve known each other for years, but it wasn’t until he convinced me to take up tennis that we’ve gotten to know each other better. We don’t know each other like you and Tim do. We’re not that close, yet.”

The bell rang and the hall filled with kids. Tommy and I were causing a jam as students tried to walk around us in both directions at the same time. I looked into his eyes and they were calmer. He knew he was safe with me and we could be friends without fear of something unwanted happening.

I regretted that a little, but Tim was mine now and forever. I was going to do whatever was necessary to see that we would never be apart until the love between us had run its course or until we died in each other’s arms in some faraway time and place.

Tim came up to me as Tommy walked away.

“We’ve got to get to our classes,” Tim said.

“Is the dumb jock okay?” I asked.

“He’s going to have a bad headache for a few days,” Tim said. “What were you and Tommy talking about?”

“How much you and I love each other,” I said. I took him in my arms and kissed him passionately as if there was no one around.

**********

EPILOGUE

According to Scott’s prediction back in 1965, it’s August, 2043 and I have two days to live. I’m in my nineties now and it’s been a good life, no complaints, no regrets. Across the room there’s an incredibly cute, blond haired young man named Steven who comes in everyday to be with me. He knows of the prediction and has a list of people to call when the end finally comes. It’s not that I don’t expect what’s going to happen because the cancer has spread itself into places where, when death finally comes, it will be a relief. The pain is unbelievable and, if it wasn’t for the prediction, I might take my own life. My doctor asked if I wanted to take the easy way out, but told him I’d go on to the very end.

I left North Park High a year early and went back east to attend Warnton, a small liberal arts college in Upstate New York in the middle of apple country. I received a BA in comparative linguistics and went on to get a PhD from USC. There wasn’t a lot of demand for professors of comparative linguistics so I ended up back here at Warnton.

One day just after I arrived in sunny LA to attend USC—I arranged with Uncle Walter to live at his house—I went down to Jimmy’s Place and had lunch. Sugar told me Ricky was drafted one month after graduating from high school and was sent to Vietnam. He died from a neck wound two weeks before he was supposed to rotate back to the U.S.A. Reuben had died a year earlier after stepping on a tripwire that detonated a claymore mine hanging from a tree. It shredded his guts.

Tim graduated from North Park High and then went to North Park College where he followed his dream and got into the NROTC program. He got a BA in business administration and followed his dream into naval aviation. Much to his chagrin he didn’t get to fly fighters, but was relegated to flying transports. Neither of us figured out why, but he moved up in rank enough that he was able to stay in when most reserve officers are shown the door. He eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant commander before dying in the second wave of the epidemic. His ashes were scattered upon the waves of Lake Mallard.

I suppose it was inevitable, but Uncle Walter, Bertrand, and Sugar went in the first wave of the AIDS epidemic. As Uncle Walter’s sole favorite heir, my after tax inheritance, including the proceeds from the sale of the house, totaled over twenty million dollars. I like to think it was wisely invested. If anything it enabled me to move into a large Queen Anne style house here in Warnton where I have lived for over sixty years. After a while my Sunday evening dinners were the highlight of many an undergraduate’s experience at Warnton College.

David, a professor of mathematics, came into my life as the millennium came to a close. He was ten years older and looked at Warnton as a good place to retire. After six months of Sunday evenings he moved in and stayed until his death in 2027 from an aneurysm.

All around me boyfriends and lovers came and went. I don’t know how my body was able to do it, but HIV never got a foothold, though I always practiced safe sex once it became clear sharing body fluids was a sure ticket to the funeral home. I guess it was Scott’s prediction that I would die in 2043 that kept me safe.

And, now, I sit in my recliner watching Steven running the vacuum around the carpet while Sugar the black and white border collie, Darling the white and tan Chihuahua, and Bertie the German shepherd do not make any attempt to move out of the way. It’s rather comical the way they just dare him to bump into them. When he’s done he’ll take all of them out into the backyard to run around and expend some of their pent up energy. They all have homes to go to when I’m gone.

END

Well, there you have it. As always a special thank you goes out to my editor and proofreader Sharon. I've just started a sequel, but unfortunately it probably will not have Tim in it to any major degree. As I envision it, the story will center primarily around Geoff's relationship with a young man who is a student at Warnton and his houseboy.

Copyright © 2016 CarlHoliday; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Well Carl, you managed a (sort of) happy ending out of a story that didn't look like it could have one.

 

It was a very nicely told tale. Other than some unbelievable homophobes (but it was the 50's) most of the characters were really interesting!

 

Thanks for sharing this!

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On 07/25/2016 03:51 PM, skinnydragon said:

Well Carl, you managed a (sort of) happy ending out of a story that didn't look like it could have one.

 

It was a very nicely told tale. Other than some unbelievable homophobes (but it was the 50's) most of the characters were really interesting!

 

Thanks for sharing this!

Thank you for the great review.

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