Okay, it's not quite prom time, but I don't think you'll be too disappointed. This was a fun chapter to write! And for you Nathan fans, you won't believe what he ends up doing to completely change the lives of Eddie and Mattie!
THE PREACHER’S KID: HIGH SCHOOL
by Geoff Chassen
The Transformation of Eddie Hamilton
There’s this strange thing I’m learning about sex. The more you have it, the better it gets! I mean, Matty and I are fucking, sucking, and napping pretty much the entire time we’re here at the lake house. We’re doing it in the hot tub, in the shower, even in the bed! Tuesday night, Matty took me out to the middle of the lake in the boat, bent over the back of the captain’s chair, and begged me to fuck him from behind! Whoah! That was fucking hot!
But the thing I learned about having a shitload of sex was that it stopped being about sex—and more about what we could do to make each other feel good—no, not good—exceptionally good!
Like, I learned that if I’m rimming Matty and lightly run my fingers along the back of this thigh, he will literally scream out loud and dump a gallon of pre all over his abs. Oh yeah, I also discovered that if I’m topping my boy, all I have to do is nibble on that place where his neck meets his shoulder, and he’ll nut in about five seconds.
Matty’s learning shit about me, too. Hell, I never knew I liked having my big toe sucked while he’s pumping his cock in and out of my ass. Let me just say it pretty much causes an instant nut! He also found out that if we’re on our sides and he enters me from behind, the angle of his cock against my sweet spot is perfect. Yeah, I have a new favorite position, but it sure makes a mess all over the sheets!
Matty tells me we’re learning how to make love to each other instead of just having sex for the sake of having sex. I guess he’s right about that. I’ll tell ya something—my mouth has literally explored every square inch of Matty’s body—at least twice!
It was Wednesday morning. Matty and I were in each other’s arms after an amazing morning session of making love when my phone rang. Mom. Uh-oh. This can’t be good—She hadn’t called once since we got here Friday night.
“Good morning, Eddie! I didn’t wake you, did I?”
“No Mom, we’re awake.”
“We had talked about coming up to the lake house and fix you boys a nice dinner. Would it be okay if we still did that?”
“Hold a sec, k?”
I put the phone on mute and told Matty what she had said. He said he thought they should do it since they were so cool about letting us still have a Spring Break together. And since we hadn’t really used much of the house, cleaning and straightening for them would be a breeze.
I unmuted the phone and told Mom that it would be cool. She said we needed to make sure the grill had enough gas in the tank since Dad was gonna grill steaks. I told her I would make a salad and iced tea. She said she would make the tea—apparently, mine wasn’t good enough.
We hopped out of bed, made it into the shower, cleaned each other, and stroked each other off one more time before we made it into the kitchen. Eric and Devyn were sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee. We each grabbed a cup for ourselves and let the guys know that Mom and Dad were coming up to grill some steaks for us. They were surprisingly cool about it, and Devyn commented that a break in our sex marathons would probably be a good thing.
After we finished our coffee, we opened all the windows in the house and let the breeze blow through. We wanted to make sure the tell-tale aroma of boy sex was cleared from the air.
I did a couple of loads of laundry and giggled when I saw how many cum-stained towels there were between the four of us. Fuck me. Even that got me horny, so I did what I had to do—I sat on top of the washing machine and called for Matty. He gave me another of his awesome blow jobs. When I offered to return the favor, Matty declined, saying that he would save up his load so he could fill my ass later tonight. God, I love how my boyfriend thinks!
So here we are—sitting around the table with the four boys, Mom, Dad, and the twerp. Oh, wait—I’m trying really hard to change the way I think about my little brother. He’s turning out to be way cooler than I could have even dreamt of being when I was his age.
The steaks were fucking amazing—and huge! Dad also roasted corn on the grill, and mom fixed it up like Mexican street corn. That means it was coated with queso fresco and cilantro and didn’t need one drop of butter or anything.
After dinner, we all had ice cream sundaes. After we finished those off, I asked Dad if I could talk to him out on the deck. I think I shocked the fuck out of him since I don’t think I’ve ever asked him for a private talk. Hehe. I kinda like throwing them off their game every now and then!
“You have something on your mind, Eddie?”
“Yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this Donald Harper thing.”
“I’m glad to hear that, son. It’s been on my mind as well.”
“Really? What’s been going through your mind?”
“Eddie, I’d rather hear what’s going through your mind before I say anything. I don’t want to influence your thinking.”
“Okay. I get that. You see, I agree that we needed to turn down their plea-bargain deal. But, on the other hand, when I think of the possible sentence for the actual charge, I can’t help but think that a possible life sentence is way too harsh.”
“I understand, son—and I have to say I’ve been thinking pretty much on the same lines. But now we have a real challenge on our hands.” Dad sighed and then smiled at me in this weird-not-really-parental kind of way. “So let’s say you are the judge in this case. Let’s say you are not restricted by any laws on the books. If you could handle the case in any way you would like, how would you do it?”
“Hmmm. Okay, I don’t want you to put anything into what I’m about to say, but it’s been the whole basis for what I’ve been thinking.”
“This must be real good!”
“Okay. Okay. I’m just listening now. No more comments.”
I took a deep breath. Shit! This conversation was almost as hard as coming out to Dad. Okay, here goes nothing!
“You see, whenever I did something bad—or wrong—and no, I’m not going to tell you anything about that—you see, I always felt a little better about things because I knew Jesus would have forgiven me. That also meant you would forgive me because you are always preaching about how we should try to exemplify Jesus in the way we live our lives.”
“Okay...” Damn it! There’s that weird smile again!
“So, I began wondering if Jesus would forgive Donald for the things he did to me. And then I realized that it wasn’t up to Jesus to forgive—it was up to me.”
“Where are you going with this, son?”
“Hang on, okay? Don’t worry, and I’m not going to forgive Donald and drop the charges. But there has to be something else we can do actually to help him. His hatred of gay people isn’t something that has been with him from birth. That it’s something he was taught to believe. He had to have heard from someone in his life that had a lot of influence. I’m guessing his father, in case you are wondering.”
Dad just nodded, “Go on—I’m with you so far.”
“Well, he’s been in jail for three weeks now. I can’t even begin to imagine how horrible that is. But without the constant pressure from his dad, I’m pretty sure he’s had a lot of time to think about what he’s done.”
“You might be right, but then again, this time behind bars could also make him even more resentful and angry.”
“I’ve thought about that too. That’s why I want to talk with Donald—privately—one-on-one.”
“That could be very dangerous for you, Eddie. Are you sure that’s what you want?”
“Yes, Dad. It’s what I need. I need to know why he did what he did. I need to know how he feels now. I need to know if there’s any hope that he can find a new path in his life that doesn’t involve being in a cage for the rest of his life.”
“I’m still working on that. I’ve been doing a little research on the internet on alternatives to a kid spending the rest of his life behind bars. But before I make any kind of decisions, I need to talk with him—and I need you to help get that set up.”
“Whoa! This is not what I expected from you! Don’t get me wrong, I feel the turmoil you are going through, and I completely understand the way you are thinking. But—and please be honest with me—where did all this come from?”
“Well, the thing is—and if you laugh at me, I’ll never talk to you about shit again.”
“Sorry, I wasn’t thinking—but it’s true, okay?”
“Okay—so while I was doing all that thinking about Jesus, all I could hear in my head was that What would Jesus do crap. I mean, I get the intention of the whole WWJD thing, but I just couldn’t come up with any kind of answer.
“That was when I asked myself, ‘what would Dad do,’ and I started getting all sorts of answers. I guess what I’m saying is that you do a pretty good job of practicing what you preach. You’re closer to living your life like a modern-day Jesus would than anyone I know.”
Whoa... Dad’s jaw dropped, and tears started falling down his face.
“I didn’t mean to make you all emotional—and don’t worry, I don’t think you’re Jesus. No way—trust me, you have plenty of faults! We all do! But when I get old, I sure hope I’m a lot more like you than Donald Harper’s dad.”
Dad wiped the tears from his face and started to talk in this quivery voice I’ve never heard before. “You are an amazing young man, Eddie Hamilton. What you just said is more mature and thoughtful than many of the preachers I know and respect. Hell, you sound like a pastor I could learn from!”
“Dad, I’m far from anything like a preacher. But I just can’t help think that there has to be a way to see that Donald Harper pays for what he did besides rotting away his life in prison. You said you’ve been thinking a lot about it, too. What have you been thinking?”
“Believe it or not, I’ve been thinking pretty much the same thing. There has to be a way we can help that boy.”
“Right. But before we can make any decisions, I have to talk to Donald. Can you help me make that happen?”
“I’ll do everything I can to see that it happens. I’m sure they would insist that any conversation you have with Donald be monitored, either by camera or in some kind of room where the authorities could be watching behind a one-way mirror. But I promise I’ll see what can be arranged and get on with it right away.”
“Thanks, Dad. This really means a lot to me.”
“It means a lot to me as well, son. You’ve just blown me away. I’m so proud to have you as my son.”
“I guess I’m kinda proud to have you as my dad—but if you tell anyone I said that, I’ll deny it ‘til the day I die.”
Finally, Dad laughed and wrapped me in his arms. When he kissed the top of my head, I realized that no matter how old I was, it still felt great to know that Dad was there to protect me and make my life right.
We both sighed and went back into the house, finding everyone around the Monopoly board. Ha! Nathan was beating the crap out of everyone. I love that little shit!
Dad announced that the game had fifteen more minutes so they could head back into the city and leave us boys alone! Yes! Matty’s gonna make love to me soon—I’m so fucking horny!
As soon as our guests left, the four of us loaded the dishwasher and cleaned up what was left of dinner. We walked out into the living room, and Matty stripped off his clothes. “Okay, boys! We’re back to the clothes-free zone!”
The next thing Matty did was go to the thermostat and turn the temperature down to 65. I told him we were gonna freeze our asses off, but he responded by flicking a switch and turning on the large fireplace in the living room.
“The heat from the fireplace is gonna be perfect when I make love to you, Eddie.”
Eric responded with, “What about us? We get to freeze our asses off while you two fuck?”
Matty looked at me with a look that only meant one thing, and I nodded and said, “Sure.”
“You guys can share the heat with us. I mean, it’s not gonna be an orgy or anything. I mean, if it seems to be the thing to do—maybe a shared kiss or two, but we need to stick to ourselves, okay?”
Devyn seemed to like the idea. “Sounds kinda hot to me. I mean, it would be hot as fuck to be pounding into Eric while watching two hot jock boys going at it.”
I didn’t have to say anything since my hard cock was bouncing and pretty much saying everything I was thinking!
Matty went into the hall closet and brought back a couple of comforters, which he laid on the floor in front of the fireplace. He then ran into the bedroom for the lube—his hard cock leading the way!
It didn’t take long for both couples to be completely into a hot sixty-nine. What made it even hotter was hearing the moans and grunts from Eric and Devyn. I’m guessing they enjoyed hearing our noise, too!
The next thing I knew, Matty worked his way down to my ass and was rimming and tongue-fucking the hell outta my hole! That made me moan even harder with Matty’s cock in my throat. Matty pulled his cock out of my mouth, saying he was gonna nut way too soon. He flipped me onto my back and threw my legs up to my chest.
I looked over to my right, and Eric’s face was right next to mine. We both were in heaven with our boyfriends’ tongues working our asses. I could see from the look in his eyes that Eric was big-time turned on. I’m pretty sure he could see the same thing in mine—if not hear it from my moaning. He reached over and grabbed my head and pulled me into a kiss. Wow! Eric just became the second boy I’ve ever kissed!
When he broke away from that kiss, Eric looked up to Devyn and begged him to start fucking. I looked up at Matty and moaned out, “Yeah, what he said!”
Matty eased his perfect cock into me, and all I could do was let out a long, low, guttural moan. I looked over at Eric and noticed his eyes were practically rolled into the back of his head. This boy loved getting fucked by that monster dick!
Matty reached over to the sofa and grabbed a pillow. He lifted me and placed it under my ass. Yup! It was time for my eyes to roll to the back of my head! Matty found the perfect angle to destroy my sweet spot!
I have to admit that it was incredibly hot looking into my friend’s eyes as we were getting fucked hard by our boyfriends. I looked up at Matty and couldn’t believe how fucking hot he looked. He was holding my legs up, and every muscle rippled with every plunge.
At the same time, Matty and Devyn lowered themselves down and began kissing us. What surprised me was when they broke away from that kiss and began kissing each other. The next surprise came when Devyn started kissing me while Matty ravaged Eric’s mouth.
In no time at all, the entire house was filled with moans and hard breathing. Add to that the sound of bodies slapping against each other, and I guess you could say I was in boy sex heaven! Eric reached across my chest and held on. I matched him as we looked at each other with nothing but pure lust in our eyes.
Matty and Devyn began to pick up the pace and were soon pounding us faster and harder. Their moans and panting got deeper and faster. They were going to nut soon. Eric let go of my chest and reached down, grabbing hold of my cock and began stroking. Hell, I had to return the favor and found myself stroking him.
“Fuuuuuck!” Eric was the first to nut—all over his chest, my hair, and my face. That was hot as fuck and sent me over the edge. Matty and Devyn both came at the same time, filling Eric and me with their hot nut.
The four of us collapsed on each other, and it seemed to take forever for us to recover. Devyn broke the silence with, “Wow! That was so fucking hot, but I’m gonna take Eric to bed, and he’s gonna fuck me as soon as he recovers.”
“Really? You want me to fuck you?”
“Hell yeah! Watching Matty fuck Eddie was so hot! I want to watch you fuck me!”
Devyn pulled Eric off the floor and dragged him into their bedroom. Matty helped me up. After moving the thermostat back to 76, we took the comforters and threw them in the washing machine. We went into the bathroom and started up the shower. I had to get all that cum outta my hair!
We cleaned each other with lots of kissing and rubbing, and by the time we turned off the water, we were both ready to get into bed for some more love-making.
I was eating and tonguing Matty’s ass while he wrapped his amazing mouth around my cock. His blowjob was sloppy as Hell, and I was slick and wet from his spit. The next thing I knew, Matty had pulled himself around and lowered himself on my cock! Whoa! No lube!
It was totally hot knowing I was inside my boy completely natural. I might have been imagining it, but everything felt so different! Matty was bouncing up and down on my cock, and I was meeting his motions with my hips. He was stroking his cock at the same fast pace we were fucking, and it didn’t take long at all before he was covering my chest with his hot nut. Of course, his nutting caused Matty’s hot ass to pulse around my cock, and I was soon filling him with my own nut.
The rest of Spring Break was a blast. Hey—it wasn’t all fucking, sucking, sleeping, and eating! We took the boat out a couple of times and tried water skiing. Matty was the only one who was really good at it, but the rest of us finally were able to stay up and go a little bit of a distance. The best part of the skiing adventures was the blowjobs at the end. I’m still amazed at how Eric can swallow all of Devyn’s monster! Shit! That boy has some serious skills!
The worst part of Spring break was the end. Sunday afternoon, we all cleaned the house, changed the sheets, and cleaned out the fridge. We drove back into the city, dropped Eric and Devyn off, and made our way home.
When we walked in the door, Mom had the Sunday leftovers on the stove, and damn, it sure smelled terrific! Pot roast, carrots, potatoes, brussels sprouts, and homemade biscuits! Yeah, I guess it was good to be home.
Nathan had to tell us all about his Spring break—mostly going to movies, playing video games, and a couple of sleepovers with Simon. I was glad he wasn’t going to let go of his friendship with the kid, even after the kissing episode.
When he asked what we did on our break, Matty handled it perfectly. He told the kid that we spend a lot of time out on the lake water skiing, watched a lot of movies, played a ton of video games, and cooked all our own food—except for Wednesday, of course.
“What? No sex stuff?”
“Nathan!” Mom tried giving him the dreaded look, but I could see the slightest smile at the corners of her mouth as I blushed twenty shades of red! “That’s personal business, and we don’t talk about that at the dinner table.”
I think I might have to kill Matty for laughing! Thank God—Dad to the rescue! “Eddie, I spoke with the attornies, and they have set up a meeting for you. It’s going to be on Wednesday after school at the county jail.”
“Eddie, I really don’t think you need to be talking to Harper—especially alone.”
“Matty, we’ve talked about this. You know this is something I have to do.”
“Boys, Eddie won’t be alone. Donald will be shackled and restrained, and there will be an armed guard outside the door. The attornies and I will be observing in the next room—with another armed guard.”
“Dad, will Donald’s father be there?”
“No. He won’t be involved in any way.”
“That’s good. Mr. H., do you think I could be there?”
“I’m almost certain they won’t want you there since you are a minor, but you’re welcome to come with us and be there for Eddie when he’s done talking to Donald.”
“I would really like that, Matty. Please come?”
“Of course I’ll come with you. I just don’t see what good this is going to do. Harper is where he belongs—and you’re safe.”
“I told you—I have to know why he feels the way he feels. I have to know why he did what he did. I don’t know—there’s just something about this whole thing that doesn’t feel right, and I want to get to the bottom of it.”
“Don’t forget—he tried to kill you. That’s all I need to know. He tried to take away the most important thing in my life.”
“I know. I’m not forgetting what Donald Harper tried to do. Like I said, I just need to know all the why’s behind what he did. Don’t worry. I’m not going to let him off the hook. There have to be consequences for what he did.”
Matty and I cleaned the kitchen for Mom after supper and settled in to watch some Sunday night television. At ten, we made our way upstairs and got ready for bed.
Matty was still upset with me as we crawled into bed. I had to fix this.
“Matty, we made a promise that we would never go to bed upset with each other, and I can tell you’re still upset with me.”
“I’m not upset with you. It’s Harper. I don’t see how you can even think about going easy on him!”
“That’s not what I said. You need to get out of your head and hear me. All I want to do is find out why he did what he did. Dad and I talked about it, and he agreed that we can’t just let the courts put him away for the rest of his life without knowing everything we can about things. I mean, he’s a fucking teenager. If there are other ways for him to pay for what he did, it’s only right that we explore those options. Don’t worry—we won’t make any kind of decisions without you. This is about you, too.”
“Who are you, Eddie Hamilton? When did you start thinking like your Dad—all compassionate and shit? I know you’re right. I’m still angry about what he did. I’ve never really even thought about why. Don’t worry—you have my support on how you go about this. And I’ll be there waiting for you when you finish talking with Harper. I’m sorry—I just worry too much about shit.”
“You don’t have to apologize for worrying. I think that’s the kind of thing that happens when you are in love with someone. I get it. I’ve worried about you plenty over the last year or so.” I leaned forward and kissed Matty. I was the big spoon this time. I held on to the boy I love and let him feel just how much I loved him.
It was back to school on Monday, and none of us wanted to be there. We all wanted to still be on break. We got through the day, and by the time Tuesday rolled around, we had all settled back into our routines.
Wednesday was one of those days I thought would never end. Lunch was kind of exciting, with Eric going on and on about an audition Devyn had for the national tour of Les Misérables. He auditioned for them when the show was in Charlotte back in February, and they just contacted him for a callback in New York. Eric was excited for Devyn, but I could see he was also a little sad at the thought of losing him to the show.
For me, it was nice thinking about something other than my trip to the county jail later in the day. But then, lunch ended, and my stomach started getting all nervous again—and only got worse as the day wore on.
Dad got me excused from baseball practice, so Matty and I headed to the jail as soon as we were done with last period. Dad was going to meet us at the front door. Sure enough, as we were walking from the car, there he was.
Matty stayed in the lobby as Dad and I were led down a long hallway. We went through a security checkpoint and had to leave our cell phones with the security dudes. We stopped outside two doors. Dad was taken in one, and I was told I could go in the other when I was ready—Donald was already inside and was in shackles to guarantee my safety.
I took a deep breath and opened the door. Holy shit! I couldn’t believe what I saw. There was Donald—in chains, looking down at the table.
“Hey. Can I ask you something?”
“Why are you here? They said you wanted to talk to me?”
“Yeah, I have a few questions.”
“Whatever.” Donald humphed and didn’t look up from the table.
“So, how are you?”
“Really? That’s why you came here—to find out how I am?”
“You wanna know how I am? I’m shit! I’m shit, Hamilton. My first night in that Hellhole, I was raped by my cellmate—and then nearly every night after. I couldn’t do a fucking thing about it cuz if I said anything, they were gonna kill me.”
“Donald, I had no idea.”
“Of course, you didn’t. Nobody does. Wanna know the real clincher? Two nights ago, my old man was brought in for DUI. I guess he heard about what was happening because on the way to the yard the next morning, he walked by me and spat in my face. Said he knew I was a faggot all along—and spit in my face again.”
“There has to be something you can do.”
“No. Nothing. I mean, if I want to die, I could tell one of the guards what’s going on—and trust me, there are times I’ve considered doing just that.”
“No, Donald. No matter what has happened, you don’t deserve to be killed!”
“Funny hearing that from you—since I tried to kill you and all.”
“Yeah, well—that’s kinda what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Okay, I guess I’ve been wondering why you were so obsessed with my being gay.”
“I wasn’t obsessed with you being gay. I just was raised believing that being gay was pretty much the worst thing anyone could be. And when I saw a couple of jocks—jocks that I played sports with—being gay with each other, I guess it kinda freaked me out. It wasn’t about you or Matty as much as it was the whole gay thing.”
“So why did you try to kill me? That had to be more than an obsession with the whole gay thing. I mean, there are a lot of gay guys at the high school, but you decided to go after me.”
“After I got expelled, my old man went ballistic. For the next three days, he would beat the shit outta me and tell me I had to get you. He kept saying it was your fault that my life was ruined, and there was only one thing I could do—ruin your life.”
“So all that came from your father?”
“Yeah, I guess. To be honest, the only thing going through my mind when I hit you was now that bastard will stop beating me. I didn’t even think about anything else. Thank God the guys from the team stopped me—cuz I would have kept going.” Tears started falling from Donald’s face again. “God, I’m so sorry, Eddie. I’m not a killer. I never thought about what would happen to me other than not getting beat anymore. I’ve fucked up my entire life for trying to get him to lay off me. I almost killed you. Jesus Christ! What the fuck was I thinking?”
Donald broke down into sobs, and I reached out, placing my hand on his forearm. “Let it out, Donald. I understand so much more now.”
For the next few minutes, Donald cried and apologized. Fuck! It was breaking my heart, realizing that I wasn’t the real victim here. It was Donald. My decision was made.
Once Donald calmed down, I took another deep breath and spoke. “Donald. Look at me.” He didn’t. “Please? I need you to look at me.” He looked up. Damn, he looked like Hell!
“You do realize that there are attornies and my Dad on the other side of the glass behind you?”
“I’m willing to bet they’re on the phone right now to make sure you are going to be safe here. They know about the rape shit that’s been going on, and between them and my Dad, they’ll see that you’re safe.”
“It doesn’t matter. Dying wouldn’t be such a bad option now.”
“No. Don’t talk like that. That’s not an option.”
“Look, I’m pretty sure you were pissed when we didn’t accept the plea-bargain your attorney brought to us. But, you need to know that when we found out that the only other option could end up with a life sentence, we can’t accept that either.”
“I don’t see there’s much of a choice.”
“I think there might be. Dad and I are looking into some options, and believe me—if there’s any way we can make the price you have to pay more reasonable, we’re going to pursue that.”
“Why would you do that? You should hate me and want me in prison forever.”
“Yeah—maybe you’re right. But if there’s a way we can get you away from your father and help you find your way back to a good, honest, and productive life, then don’t you think that’s something we should try to do?”
“But why would you help me? I mean, after what I did to you?”
“It’s funny, but when I was in that coma, I started having all these conversations with God. When I woke up, they didn’t stop. You see, when you come close to dying, it changes your life. The things that are important to you change. I used to live my life in this black and white world. Things were one way or the other—with no grey areas in between. And when I started thinking about what you were facing, the state has only two options. I want to see if there’s something in the middle. Even though you tried to destroy my life, that doesn’t give me the right to stand by while the state destroys yours.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“You don’t have to say anything, but can you answer one more question for me?”
“If you could change one thing, what would it be?”
“I would’ve gone with my Mom when she left Dad. That would have changed everything else.”
“Is she still around?”
“I think she’s still in Charlotte, but I haven’t seen or heard from her in years.”
The door opened, and the guard said our time was up. I stood up and looked down at Donald one more time. This time he looked up at me. Damn, he looked so fucking sad.
“I can’t make any promises, Donald. But I’m going to do everything in my power to make things right—or at least better.”
And then I left the room.
Just Another Day at the Mall
All rise! The United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina is now in session. The Honorable Judith Franks presiding. Case number 21487-44NC.”
The judge was different than the one we originally had. The lawyers explained something about the first judge refusing—no—recusing—himself after we let him know what we were going to do. I guess it really doesn’t matter. Our decision was made, and all of us, including Matty, were on board.
“Please be seated.” We sat. Matty was behind us, and he leaned forward, putting his hand on my shoulder. When he gave me a light squeeze, I knew everything was gonna be okay.
“There are several items which the court will be addressing that are related to this particular case. The state, as well as the victim, have been informed of the court’s decisions. Mr. Brashear, as the representative of the State, in this case, do you and the parties involved agree with and accept the court’s rulings?”
“Yes, Your Honor—we accept all rulings.”
“Thank you. You may be seated.”
“Mr. Donald Harper, please rise.”
Damn! Donald must’ve lost twenty-five pounds. He looked like Hell.
“Mr. Harper, you have been charged with aggravated third-degree assault with the intent to kill Mr. Clayton Edward Hamilton III. How do you plead?”
“Guilty, your honor.”
“Thank you, Mr. Harper. Now—before I declare your sentence for this crime, I must inform you that this sentence does require the full and active participation of a parent or guardian. After a complete review and investigation of your family situation, the state has ordered that Mr. Randall Everett Harmon be stripped of all parental rights. Mrs. Caroline Smathers, your mother, has agreed to the terms of your sentence and has been awarded full parental and guardian rights. Mr. Harper, do you understand the familial issues the court has addressed?”
“Yes, Your Honor.”
“Thank you, Mr. Harper. The court wishes to recognize the unusual circumstances in this sentence. Rarely does the victim and his family show great compassion when asking the court to accept an alternative sentence for such a violent crime. The court is also aware of Reverend Hamilton’s position and standing in the community. After spending a significant amount of time listening to the reverend and his son—the victim in this case—I have never been so moved and compelled to accept the alternative sentence requested by the Hamilton family—and, consequently, the State of North Carolina.
“Mr. Donald Isaac Harper, you are hereby sentenced to a minimum of two years in the WinGate Wilderness Therapy Program located in Southern Utah. During this period, you will complete the basic behavioral program, followed by specialized training to become a program counselor. You will finish your time at WinGate after completing a minimum of one calendar year as a counselor. In the event you are unable to complete this sentence, you shall immediately return to this court for a traditional prison sentence.
“In the event that you complete the prescribed sentence at WinGate Wilderness Therapy, you shall be returned to the custody of your mother, Mrs. Caroline Smathers, and you shall receive the additional sentence of five year’s probation. The terms and conditions of your probation shall be determined upon your successful completion of the WinGate program. Mr. Harper, do you have any questions?”
“No, Your Honor.”
“Excellent. Now then, it is my understanding that you wish to address the court?”
“Yes, Your Honor.”
“Fine. You may approach the podium.”
Wow. Donald walked the best he could. He had chains on his feet and his hands. When he got to the podium, his attorney unfolded a piece of paper and placed it in front of Donald. He took a deep breath and started reading:
Your Honor, Matty, Reverend Hamilton, and—most importantly—Eddie:
Four weeks ago, I was told by my attorney that Eddie Hamilton had requested a one-on-one meeting with me. I can’t begin to tell you how my emotions went from confused to scared, to angry, and then back to confused. I mean, why would the boy I nearly killed want to see me—let alone talk to me face-to-face?
We talked for just fifteen minutes. In that short time, I figured something out that changed my life. Eddie Hamilton, his family, and Matty Jacobs are good people. Plain and simple—good people.
After that meeting, I was returned to my cell. Only this time, I was taken to a private cell, and I was given extra protection. My attorney told me that Reverend Hamilton and the Assistant District Attorney arranged for that after they found out that I had repeatedly assaulted in the three weeks I had been in the county jail. For the first time since I had been sent to jail, I felt safe.
Donald turned to face me and thanked me. Dammit! I could feel the tears building up in my eyes. I definitely didn’t want to look like a big baby!
The thing about being alone in a jail cell is it gives you a lot of time to think. All I could think about was the Hamiltons being good people. I knew that I wanted more than anything to be one of those good people, too.
I even started praying to God—this God that I never knew, never spoke to, never had a relationship with. But after hearing what Eddie had said to me in that short conversation, I hoped beyond all hope that his God would listen to me—and help me.
Two days ago, my attorney came to me with the news that the court had accepted the alternative sentence suggested by the Hamiltons. Now, don’t get me wrong—I’ve not become this born-again religious fanatic. But I know that there IS a God, and He listens to people—even low-lifes like me.
I promise the court, and especially the Hamilton family that I will do more than serve my sentence at WinGate—I will EXCEL and become a contributing member of my community. I promise to become a leader with a positive outlook on life. Most importantly, I promise to become one of those good people. And maybe—someday—I’ll have the chance to show someone the same care and compassion and possibly change his or her life.
Donald turned to face me again and smiled at me—even though I was bawling like a fool. Jesus! Donald-fucking-Harper smiled at me. I’ve never seen that before! I don’t know why, but I stood and walked over to Donald. I held out my arms just enough and waited. He nodded yes, and I wrapped him in my arms.
We were both sobbing like little girls, but Donald whispered in my ear, “I’ll never be able to thank you enough, Eddie. But I promise to make you and your dad proud.”
We were interrupted by the judge banging her gavel.
“Please return to your seat, Mr. Hamilton.” I did.
“Mr. Harper, your flight to Utah leaves in two hours. You will be escorted to WinGate by a North Carolina State Trooper, and your sentence shall commence upon your arrival at the WinGate campus. Young man, say goodbye to your mother, and you will be on your way. This court is adjourned.”
The Bailiff led Donald out of the courtroom, and Mrs. Smathers came up to Dad and me. “I can’t begin to thank the two of you enough. You have quite literally saved my son’s life. Because of the information you gave the court, my ex-husband is no longer a part of Donnie’s life—and I’m going to get my boy back. Please keep him in your prayers so he will succeed. I’ll be praying too—just so you know. And speaking of that, would It be okay if I started to attend your church, Reverend Hamilton?”
“The people who attend my church call me Pastor Clay. I guess you should start calling me that, too. I would be honored to have you join us—on one condition.”
“When Donald returns home in two years, you bring him with you.”
“Well then, I’ll see you on Sunday. And again, thank you both for saving my boy’s life. You really are good people!” Mrs. Smathers dabbed her eyes and left the courtroom. We weren’t too far behind. I was so happy this whole thing was over—and I was feeling pretty good about things.
I truly believe that we did the right thing for Donald Harper. Even Matty told me he was proud of how we handled the whole thing. He even admitted I was good people—and then he told me I was a good lay as he plunged his cock into my happy ass!
Well, I have to say that seeing all the changes in Eddie kinda freaked me out at first. But then, when I actually saw how fucking remarkable he was with the whole Donald Harper thing, I was blown away. Like Harper said, my boyfriend is “good people.”
How in the fucking world did I end up with such an amazing boyfriend? I mean, I’ve always thought there was something special about Eddie Hamilton, but shit! Having him in my life makes me want more than anything to be one of those “good people,” too. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever come close to the good that Eddie is, but I’m sure going to give it my best shot!
I kinda snuck myself into Eddie’s story so I can tell you about my promposal. I had my entire musical theatre class in on it, but even they didn’t know what was going to happen!
It was the Saturday afternoon after all the court shit, and we told Eddie’s parents that we were going to the mall. Nate wanted to tag along, too. Now usually, we would do everything possible to keep Nate away while we went out for some alone time, but this was perfect! Eddie wouldn’t suspect a thing.
We decided to head to SouthPark Mall. It’s a little further away than some of the others, but it had the best stores. When we arrived, we had about twenty minutes to kill before the big moment. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited (or nervous) in my entire life. I mean, c’mon—Eddie’s going to the Prom with me. There’s no question there, but it’s the last part that has me feeling all jumpy on the inside.
Nate wanted to go to Spencer Gifts so he could get a new Minecraft poster. Man, I wanted to get a couple of the hot Shawn Mendes posters. That boy! Whew! Yeah, his music’s pretty good, too—especially the new shit.
Finally, it was time to start everything. I’m glad we were on the first floor since that’s where everything was going to happen. You see, Nordstrom’s has a grand piano on the ground floor right next to the escalators.
As soon as the pianist saw me getting closer, he stopped what he was playing and played the three-chord introduction to one of our favorite songs—from Dear Evan Hanson.
Right on cue, my favorite kid Nate started filming on his phone (yeah, he was in on the whole thing and has been totally cool about it). Nate held Eddie back a bit as I went up to the piano and started singing You Will Be Found.
Have you ever felt like nobody was there? Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere? Have you ever felt like you could disappear? Like you could fall, and no one would hear?
Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there's a reason to believe you'll be okay 'Cause when you don't feel strong enough to stand You can reach, reach out your hand
And oh, someone will come running And I know, they'll take you home
Even when the dark comes crashing through When you need a friend to carry you And when you're broken on the ground You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in 'Cause you'll reach up, and you'll rise again Lift your head and look around You will be found
As I was finishing that verse, the rest of my musical theatre class started coming down the escalator and started singing in awesome harmony! Yeah, we were creating a flash mob for my promposal! And it was going GREAT!
You will be found You will be found You will be found You will be found
Now this part of the song, there are a bunch of people talking about the Connor Project, which is a huge part of the show but makes no sense for my purposes—so everyone in the class wrote their lines and started saying them while the piano kept playing:
“Eddie Hamilton is one of those rare people who makes going to school enjoyable.”
“Eddie Hamilton? Really?”
“Yeah. Since he came back from the hospital, Eddie’s changed.”
“He always has a smile for me when we pass each other in the hall.” “No matter what, Eddie always finds something positive in every situation he’s in.”
“He has over 900 followers on his Instagram.”
“And Eddie takes the time to respond to each and every comment.”
“He’s also the reason the baseball team is heading to the playoffs.”
“He’s awfully cute, too!”
During the lines about Eddie, I watched him turn 100 shades of red. Nate turned the camera to Eddie while I spoke the last line. That’s when the tears started.
The rest of the class was standing around me and the piano, and we all sang the rest of the song:
There's a place where we don't have to feel unknown And every time that you call out You're a little less alone If you only say the word From across the silence Your voice is heard
Even when the dark comes crashing through When you need a friend to carry you When you're broken on the ground You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in 'Cause you'll reach up and you'll rise again If you only look around You will be found (You will be found) You will be found (You will be found) You will be found
Out of the shadows The morning is breaking And all is new, all is new It's filling up the empty And suddenly I see that All is new, all is new
You are not alone You are not alone You are not alone You are not alone You are not alone (You are not alone) You are not alone (You are not alone) You are not You are not alone (You are not alone)
Even when the dark comes crashin' through When you need someone to carry you When you're broken on the ground
You will be found!
So when the sun comes streaming in 'Cause you'll reach up and you'll rise again If you only look around You will be found
Even when the dark comes crashin' through You will be found When you need someone to carry you You will be found You will be found
So, the last line of the song is nice and soft—repeating one final time the “You will be found” line. Instead, I walked over to Eddie, got down on one knee, and held up a small black box as he was completely shocked and blown away! Yes! It’s working!
Go with me to prom?
*You Will Be Found from the Broadway musical DEAR EVAN HANSON
Music & Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Of course I’m going to prom with you!”
I opened the box, and Eddies tears wouldn’t stop. The crowd that had gathered was going crazy, too. I took the ring and put it on Eddie’s right hand. “It’s a promise ring. I promise to be yours until the day you marry me, Eddie Hamilton!”
I stood up, and Eddie wrapped his arms around me in a tight hug. There were at least 100 people standing around, and they were all chanting, “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!”
With our heads close together, we could talk and still hear each other in spite of the crowd noise.
“I love you, Matty Jacobs!”
“Can you believe that crowd?”
“They want us to kiss. You okay with that?”
“It’s not like they would be surprised or anything. I just prom-posed you in front of everyone!”
“And that was awesome! Fuck it! Let’s give ‘em what they want—no tongue, though—Mom and Dad will probably see this!”
“Let’s do it!”
Eddie moved his hands to either side of my face and moved my head from his shoulder to right in front of him. He told me he loved me and pulled me in for an incredible no-tongue kiss.
The people standing around us let out a cheer that would make someone think someone just scored a winning touchdown. To be honest, I’ve scored winning touchdowns before—and none of them felt anywhere close to how awesome it feels to show the world how much I love Eddie Hamilton!
Wow! I don’t know how the fuck Matty pulled that off. I really had no idea what was happening. When he went up to the piano and started singing, all I could think about was how ballsy Matty was being.
I’m so glad Nate was with us. He filmed the whole thing on his phone. I couldn’t wait to see it—I barely remember what happened after they started talking about me. That shocked the hell out of me and embarrassed the fuck out of me.
But damn! When Matty got down on his knee and asked me to go to prom, the first thing I thought of was he didn’t have to go to all this trouble to ask me to prom! I mean, we already started making plans.
But the ring! Thank Jesus and Mary! It was a promise ring. At first, I thought he was going to ask me to marry him. Mom and Dad are finally getting used to us being gay and together. I’m 99.9% positive they are in no way ready to think about us getting married. But hey—don’t tell anyone this, k? I think about marrying Eddie a helluva lot! Shhhh!
While we were driving home, Nate was punching away at his phone. By the time we pulled into the garage, that little shit had posted the video on YouTube, Matty’s Twitter feed, and to my Instagram. When we walked into the kitchen, Mom turned around from the stove. “Let’s see the ring!”
I held my right hand out to her and proudly displayed my new bling. “The right hand? Aren’t you supposed to put the ring on the left hand?”
“No, Mrs. H. It’s a promise ring—not an engagement ring. I don’t think any of us are ready for that!”
“Matty has one, too. He wanted us to have matching rings, so he got one for himself. I gave it to him before we left the store.
“And what does a promise ring mean?”
“Mom—it means that Matty and I have promised to be there exclusively for each other until the day we decide to get married. And don’t worry—that’s probably not going to happen until after college!”
“Well, that’s a good thing to hear!” Dad walked into the kitchen with his iPad. “You guys are about to break the internet!”
“What do you mean, dad?”
Nate was sitting at the table with a shit-eating grin on his face. “I posted your video on YouTube fifteen minutes ago, and that already has over 800 likes. Matty, it looks like the video will be trending soon. I made the hashtag #justanotherdayatthemall. That’s also the title of the video I posted on YouTube and on Eddie’s Instagram—which is kinda blowing up, too.
“Matthew, I have to say that your flash mob was absolutely perfect! I’m so happy my son has you in his life. And that kiss! I guess you boys don’t have very many secrets left!”
“Well, Mr. H.—Eddie and I know that we aren’t what a lot of people think of when they think of gay teens. A lot of people are surprised to see a couple of high school jocks as a couple. We want to make a difference. We want to show people that pretty much anyone might just be gay. And then we want to show everyone that it really doesn’t matter.”
“Yeah, what matters is who you are—not what you are.”
I had to see what Nate had posted on YouTube that was making the video so popular. I pulled it up on my phone and smiled at the title, “Just Another Day at the Mall.” But it was his description of the video that blew me away. Can this kid really be only twelve??
“On its own, this is a pretty awesome Promposal. But when the proposer is the high school’s quarterback, and the proposee is the school’s shortstop (and my brother), it makes the whole thing even cooler. It just goes to show you that you might be surprised by the people you find out are gay. But I was surprised that it didn’t seem to matter to the crowd that watched the whole thing!”
Wow! I mean, Nate was tuned in to exactly what Matty and I have been saying for a while now. I watched the video and was feeling all that happy shit again.
Matty and I both had shitloads of homework this weekend, so we went upstairs and tried to put a dent in it. That was a hard thing to do since our phones were exploding. It seems everyone was watching and sharing the video.
We finally decided to turn our phones off so we could get some work done. A couple of hours later, Mom came up and told us dinner was ready.
We headed downstairs to the kitchen when Dad came in with a strange look on his face. “Everyone needs to silence their phones so we can eat in peace. My phone hasn’t stopped ringing for the last hour. Boys—I think you are going viral.”
Nate was beaming. “Yep! Last time I checked, there were over 10,000 views on YouTube, and it’s trending on Twitter! It’s not even been up for three hours!”
Mom put a casserole down in the center of the table and told us to take our phones into the family room so we could at least have a quiet family dinner.
Dinner was excellent as usual. Matty and I helped Mom put every away. We were watching television and chilling when Nate looked at his phone and got excited. “Guys! The video has over 100 thousand views! You’re famous!”
“What? How did that happen?”
Matty got his phone and pulled up his Instagram. “I think I know. Nate, what hashtags did you use on the video?”
“Ummm—I did hashtag promposal and hashtag dearevanhansen. Why?”
“I follow Andrew Barth Feldman on Instagram. He’s the kid starring in the show on Broadway now. He saw the video and shared it. Wow! This whole thing is just so freaking surreal!”
I never in my life thought I would hear Dad say this, but he did! “Boys, I think it might be best if you didn’t go to church tomorrow morning. I’m afraid you being there will be too much of a distraction.”
“Really? Are you sure?”
“Yes, son. This whole thing is getting a little crazy, and I want church to be a place where people can get away from the craziness in their lives. For you two, I don’t think there’s going to be an escape for a few days.”
The next morning, Mom and Dad took Nate to church. Matty fucked me when they left—then I fucked him in the shower. We went back to bed, and within an hour, we found ourselves in a sixty-nine and got each other off again before everyone came home.
Matty checked YouTube, and holy shit!! 1.5 million views! This was insane! We read some of the comments, and it was amazing how positive and supportive they were. Even more insane was the comments were literally from all over the world!
Sunday night, we were watching Celebrity Family Feud when Dad got a call from the church answering service. Now that happens all the time, but when I saw how wide his eyes got, I knew this was something different.
“That was the answering service. I have to call this number in New York as soon as possible. It’s a producer for Good Morning America. I don’t know what they want, but if it’s what I think it is, I need to know—are you boys willing to go on the show and talk about the video? I’m sure they’ll want to talk about your relationship as well. But—if you’re not comfortable telling your story on national television, I’ll just tell them you aren’t available.”
Matty and I looked at each other with wide eyes and started laughing. I mean—what else can you do when a national television show might want to interview you?
“Mom? What do you think?”
“Well, I’m not going to tell you what to do. If you decide not to be on GMA—or any other show—I will support you 110%. On the other hand, should you decide to share your stories with a national audience, you need to think about the impact you’ll have on thousands of gay teens all over the country. You boys would be a pretty incredible example for so many.”
“Wow, Mrs. H., when you put it like that, I think we should do it. What do you think, Eddie?”
“Yeah, you’re right. It’s kinda scary, but if we can go on a show like that and show people that’s okay just to be yourself, then I think Mom’s right—we should probably do it. But—we don’t know what they want yet. Let’s see what they tell Dad, okay?”
Dad made the call, and we watched his every expression. Before he ended the call, he gave the person everyone’s name. He thanked the person and ended the call.
“Well, well, well! It turns out that Good Morning America wants the entire family to be on the show Tuesday morning. We’re flying to New York City tomorrow afternoon!”
While we were all excited about the idea of being on national television, Nate was about to explode! “I guess I did a good thing, huh?”
Dad looked at Nate with a fake look of seriousness. “Nathan, the next time you do anything with your brother and Matthew, please leave your phone at home? Everyone else—let’s pack our bags! And be sure to pack your Sunday church clothes for the show.”
Mom turned off the television, and we all headed to our rooms to begin packing. Holy shit! We’re going to New York!
Let's see... I've put my characters on Project Runway, Oprah, Ellen, and now Good Morning America! I think you all are going to really like the interview coming up in the next chapter.
And the, I PROMISE, we're going to prom!
There are only a couple of more chapters in this story. I know, I know... you don't want it to end! But there will eventually be a sequel to this book. Yeah, I love a good sequel.
Keep those cards and letters coming! See how fast I got this chapter out with all those awesome comments? It works!