Now we get to hear some more background and the story from Mom's POV!
Eddie and Matty are gonna be just fine!
THE PREACHER’S KID: HIGH SCHOOL
by Geoff Chassen
A Mother Knows These Things
I suppose I should introduce myself since I’m kidnapping my son’s story. My name is Margaret Scott Hamilton. My friends call me Maggie. My husband calls me Mags. My kids call me various things—depending on their moods—but it’s usually just Mom.
I’m married to the Rev. Clayton Hamilton—or Pastor Clay, as the members of the church call him. Clay is the pastor of a very large, non-denominational church in Charlotte, NC. My husband was ordained in the Southern Baptist Church, just like his father, but soon became quite disturbed by the messages of hate that were coming from the leaders of the denomination.
It was over twenty years ago when things went south for my husband and the Baptists. He was perplexed when the denomination called for a boycott of Disney due to their providing benefits for same-sex partners.
Now, the issue of same-sex relationships was always a point of contention with Clay. The leaders would pick a couple of scriptures to show how wrong it was, yet forget about the other passages in the same chapter that forbade the eating of shellfish, divorce, or even mixing different fabrics. For Clay, all that matters is that Jesus told us to love each other. That means everyone—not just the people who agree with you or the people you happen to like.
After weeks of fretting over the situation, Clay asked me if I would support him should he choose to start his own independent church. He wanted to lead a church that was not a part of any denomination or the rules and regulations that got in the way of his experience with God.
I agreed, and although it was a scary venture, we managed to get a six-month lease on a storefront located in a suburban strip mall without anyone in the church finding out. The next week, at the end of his sermon, Clay told the congregation that he could no longer be a part of a denomination that preached hate and condemnation to groups of people that made them uncomfortable. After his heartfelt explanation, he walked down from the podium and took my hand. Together we walked down the aisle and out the front doors of the church.
When we stopped to catch our breath, we were both surprised to hear applause from a rather large group of people who followed us out of the church. Clay told them to get in their cars and follow us to our new church.
It was quite a sight, seeing at least thirty cars following us to our new spiritual home, Rising Hope Church. Once we arrived, I looked at my beaming husband and told him he did the right thing. We got out of the car and opened the doors to the large but empty space.
There were well over fifty people plus a handful of children. Clay told everyone how much he appreciated their support and promised there would be a service the following Sunday.
Dexter Grimes, one of the men in the crowd, spoke out, “Well, if you ask me—which you didn’t—we need to churchify this place before next Sunday. Whaddya say, folks? Do we have enough volunteers to get the ball rolling on our new church?”
Clay and I both had tears of joy in our eyes when every adult raised their hand and promised to do whatever it took.
Frank Ellington, a general contractor, promised to oversee any construction that needed to be done and said he would have it done by Thursday. He also said he would call in several favors and have the city inspectors issue the permits for construction and occupation.
One of the women suggested we put together a contact sheet with everyone’s phone number to coordinate everything that needed to be done. I have to laugh when I think back to those days, realizing that even without email or the internet, we still managed to do some pretty remarkable things.
That evening, Frank, Dexter, and a couple of others came to our small house and worked with Clay on the floorplan and design of our new church. We were then told to stay away until Friday. Clay surprised me by agreeing to their request, saying that he wanted Rising Hope to be a church just not for the people, but just as much by and of the people.
I have to confess that I was a ball of nerves that week. Clay, on the other hand, was as cool as a cucumber. I couldn’t tell Clay why I was bouncing off the walls, however. I wasn’t quite sure how accurate those home pregnancy tests were, but the one I had picked up at the local drug store came back positive.
Here we are, trying to start a new church from scratch, and I may be pregnant! Of course, I’m thrilled that I may be having a baby—but the timing couldn’t be any more inconvenient. Then again, I don’t think anyone ever said children were convenient, have they?
Luckily, I was able to get an appointment with my OB-GYN Thursday morning. It didn’t take long at all for her to come back with the news that I was indeed about eight weeks pregnant. I thought I should probably wait until after the weekend to let Clay know. I hope he’s as excited as I am about this! Oh my God! We’re going to have a baby!
On Friday afternoon, Frank came by the house and told Clay and me that he wanted to take us to the new church. We got into his car and made the quick fifteen-minute drive.
The first thing I noticed as we pulled into the parking lot was the large, block-letter sign over the door and front windows—Rising Hope Church.
We walked into a small lobby that would hold ten to twelve people. On the right side was a still empty room, but Frank said we could use it as a Sunday School classroom or a nursery. To the left was Clay’s new office.
We were then led through the double doors and into the sanctuary. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Clay gasp in the time that I’ve known him, but he certainly did the moment he saw his new church.
It was a sight to behold. All the people who helped with the construction were standing in the seating area—where there were over 150 chairs. The band from the old church’s youth services was set up on the right side of the dais, and there was a podium on the left. In the center was a beautiful cross made of stained glass with a dark wood border. It literally glowed as it was lit from behind. Painted on the wall above and behind the cross were the words “All Are Welcome.” Along each side of the sanctuary were colorful banners. Each one had one word—Peace, Love, or Joy.
Clay and I walked up to the front of the church and stood on the dais. The volunteers were applauding and cheering. We must have looked foolish with our mouths hanging open and tears flowing down our faces. Clay took my elbow and led me over to the musicians.
“Guys—what are you doing here?”
The keyboardist stood and spoke first, “We heard what you said Sunday, and we all talked about it and decided that we would rather be a part of your church than trying to look like we cared about a church that didn’t represent anything about how we feel.”
“But I don’t think we can afford…”
“Don’t you worry about that, Pastor Clay,” the guitarist piped in. “We all agreed to play for free for three months. Then we’ll figure out what can be done.”
“I’m stunned. Absolutely stunned. Of course, we would love to have you play for our services. And I promise we’ll get you guys paid as soon as possible.”
Helen Carter, one of the volunteers, spoke up from the crowd in front of us. “If you don’t mind my saying so, these wonderful young people deserve to be paid at least what they were paid in the old church. My husband and I will cover their salaries for the first three months.”
Suddenly several other people spoke up and promised to help with that expense. Clay and I stood in front of our new congregation and beamed as we shook our heads in disbelief.
In just two months, our congregation grew to the point where we had to add a second service to accommodate everyone. Six months later, we signed a new lease on the building and added a third service.
By that time, I was starting to show my pregnancy to the point that we weren't able to keep anything a secret from anyone. We knew we were going to have a girl, but we kept that information between the two of us.
Haley Elizabeth Hamilton was born on November 22. She was a delightful baby and was the pride and joy of her daddy. Clay was wonderful with changing diapers and late-night feedings.
Having a baby the week before Thanksgiving made it impossible for me to prepare a feast for my new family. But that didn’t stop members of our congregation from taking the ball. At 10:00 in the morning, three of the women showed up with bag after bag of groceries. They told me to relax and spend time with my husband and daughter while they began to prepare a meal for us.
At 1:00, their husbands and children arrived, and we suddenly had a house filled with people as we properly celebrated the holiday with so much to be thankful for.
Four years later, the church had grown to the point where we had purchased a fairly good-sized plot of land and built a sanctuary that seated 300 people along with several rooms for our Sunday School program. I had also grown quite a bit—I was pregnant with our second child. This time it was a boy, and I think it was one of the longest-running disagreements Clay and I ever had. He wanted to carry on the family legacy by passing his name on to our son—and adding a horrible roman numeral “III” at the end.
I wanted a less entitled-sounding name—something normal. But in the end, when I saw how much this meant to my husband, I finally gave in. Clayton Edward Hamilton III was born on July 25, and little did I know how incredibly special that little boy was going to be.
Trey’s labor was remarkably quick and easy. He almost immediately slept through most of the night and rarely cried. I loved that little boy more than life itself. Whereas Haley was, without a doubt, Daddy’s little girl—Trey was Mama’s boy.
The entire time he was dependent on me holding him, he would look into my eyes and stare. It wasn’t long before an adorable, toothless smile accompanied that stare. It was the beginning of a connection that developed between mother and son that many would call “spooky.” I just called it beautiful.
I would somehow know what he needed or wanted before he even knew. His first words were to me. When he learned to walk, he walked to me. When it was time for him to go to school, he couldn’t understand why Mama couldn’t go with him.
Five years later, I gave birth to our third child, Nathan Daniel. He was the complete opposite of Trey in nearly every aspect. He was more connected to Clay. He was mischievous and always plotting his next move to get his brother and sister in trouble.
Trey was a great student. He worked hard, always completed his homework, and got excellent grades. He loved sports and excelled in just about anything he tried.
In middle school, he started asking us to call him Eddie. Clay hated that idea! I thought it was rather cute, but Clay refused to budge. I didn’t want to confuse our son, so I kept up with calling him Trey.
I began to believe that my son might be gay at that same time. Middle school is a tough time for boys, but Trey and our next-door-neighbors’ son Matthew helped each other through some of those tough times. Matthew and Trey had been best friends and literally inseparable from the day they were born.
I began to notice that as the boys grew older, they had developed an unusual method of non-verbal communication. I could see it in their eyes. They would look at each other, nod, and smile. I had no idea what they would be thinking, but it was fascinating to watch.
The closer Trey and Matthew became, the more I began to wonder about my son’s sexuality. I could tell he loved Matthew more than anything on Earth. Trey was always extremely affectionate—more than Matthew, but Matthew always enjoyed the attention he got from Trey and quite often returned the attention in his own way.
As the boys entered high school, I was beginning to believe my suspicions to be true. Trey never showed any interest in the girls who were always surrounding him at church functions. He would just stick to Matthew’s side and act like there was nothing unusual about it at all.
Matthew, on the other hand, enjoyed the company of the pretty girls. I heard him tell Trey that the reason he got involved in the school theatre was that there were a lot of girls in the program. That worried me. The last thing I wanted was for Trey to develop feelings for his best friend that would go unreturned.
When I would mention my suspicions to Clay, he’d look at me like I was crazy. He didn’t think Trey was gay. He believed that his son was so involved with sports that he just didn’t have time for girls. In a way, that was a valid theory. Trey was quite athletic and extremely serious about his sports activities. At the same time, however, he always had time to be with Matthew.
Matthew and Trey would spend the night at each other’s houses more than they would spend the night alone. Clay and I had no problem with the situation. There are so many negative things going on in kids’ lives these days, and we felt lucky that the boys had each other.
If my suspicions were correct, I wanted to find a way to let Trey know that he could trust me and talk to me about it. I went online and searched for gay youth programs and found the Charlotte chapter of OutYouth. I contacted them and was extremely impressed with the work they were doing. I immediately became a volunteer. When they announced they wanted to build the first shelter in North Carolina for homeless LGBT kids, my heart swelled with the knowledge that I was with the right organization.
About six months ago, Sue Jordan—Matthew’s mother—became quite ill with cancer and passed away rather quickly. It was hard on all of us, but it was Matthew who took it the hardest. There were many nights I would check in on the kids before I went to sleep and find Matthew sleeping in the bed next to Trey. I never let on that I knew Matthew was sneaking into Trey’s room. I’m just glad he had a friend he could go to and count on to help him through the difficult times.
Clay and I were aware that George Jordan, Matthew’s father, started drinking as Sue became more and more ill. We weren’t quite sure how serious it was until I went to wake up Trey the other morning and found Matthew—severely beaten—lying on Trey’s chest. At first, I thought it was a sweet sight and smiled at the thought that the boys were discovering their true feelings for each other. Then I saw the bruises and welts on Matthew’s back.
I gasped out loud, and Trey put his finger to his mouth, asking me to be quiet. I went over to the bed and sat on the side of it while Matthew slept. Trey whispered to me what he knew about what had happened. I knew that I had to get Matthew to the emergency room.
Once I got down to the kitchen, I wrote a note to Clay, letting him know what I knew about what had happened to Matthew. I told him I was at the emergency room, and Trey was with me. I suggested he go over to see George and find out what happened last night.
When I got to the hospital, I took Matthew to the front desk and registered him under the church’s insurance program. When the triage nurse asked what was wrong, all I mentioned was the cut on his forehead and felt he might need stitches.
When we got into the treatment bay, I was happy to see Dr. Forrester was the attending. Sometimes it pays off to have your husband on the Board of Directors at the hospital. I told the doctor that there was one other thing I wanted him to look at. I told him that we knew of the situation that caused Matthew’s back injuries. Clay and the church were handling it, and we would contact CPS if, and only if the situation required it.
Dr. Forrester was more than understanding but told me that he was required to report such things to the police. That caused Matthew to panic, and I glared at the doctor for upsetting Matthew. He assured me that he would not do a thing, but he wanted to be the doctor that handled the follow-up visit. If nothing had been done in the two weeks, he would make sure the authorities knew what was going on.
When they took Matthew to x-ray, I took the opportunity to call Clay. He had just woken up and found my note. I told him Matthew was going to be okay, but he needed to do something about George. I was not going to allow Matthew to go back to that house until George got treatment and became the loving father he was before Sue died.
Now, I rarely see Clay get angry. I can tell you that I was glad not to be at home when I heard his reaction to the news that George Jordan beat his son to the point that he required emergency room treatment. Clay assured me that Matthew would live with us for however long it took to get George well.
I told Clay that he might want to call Trey and see if there is any more information he could get before he went next door. He promised to call our son as soon as our call ended—which he did.
As Dr. Forrester finished up with Matthew, he congratulated me on doing an excellent job with Matthew’s injuries the night before. Matthew corrected the doctor and told him that it was Eddie who took care of him.
“Eddie? Who’s Eddie?”
“That would be Trey, my son.”
“Oh! Of course. Well, please tell your son that he did a wonderful job taking care of his friend last night. That kid has a good head on his shoulders!”
It took us another hour to leave the emergency room and pick up the prescriptions for Matthew. When we arrived home, Clay was sitting at the kitchen table with his laptop. As soon as we walked in, he closed the computer and asked the boys to sit with him. I decided to get lunch together.
Clay explained to Matthew that his father had checked into a hospital to treat his alcohol and emotional problems. He also told him that he would be staying with us until his father came home.
It broke my heart to hear Matthew panic over Child Protective Services. Apparently, George had told him that if anyone found out about what was going on with the beatings that CPS would take him away from his school and his friends. No wonder that poor boy hid everything from the people who loved him!
I don’t know if Trey or I was the one who was more shocked when we heard Clay call his son Eddie for the first time. He told our son how proud he was of him and said he earned the right to be called by whatever name he wanted to be called. Good for him! Between you and me—I hated that Roman numeral at the end of his name!
After lunch, we sent the boys up to Eddie’s room for a much-needed nap. Clay had errands that had been delayed from the morning, and I realized that I needed to make up a shopping list. I have another hungry mouth to feed now. I wasn’t complaining at all! I loved Matthew as if he were my own son. In fact, I was rather looking forward to mothering that sweet boy a little. He certainly needed some of that!
After cleaning up from lunch and getting myself organized—I went upstairs to let Trey—I mean Eddie—know that I would be out for a while, and he needed to apply the lotion to Matthew’s back when he woke up.
I tapped on the door and heard nothing, so I slowly opened the door. I could only smile when I saw Matthew asleep in Eddie’s arms. I know the boys genuinely care about each other’s well-being. I know they love each other in a way that’s only known to them. I truly believe Eddie saved Matthew’s life. I may not fully understand the extent of their love for each other. But I promise to be there and support these beautiful boys wherever they may end up.
Do I worry about what might go on behind our backs? Oddly enough, I don’t. They are both good boys. Deep in my soul, I know that neither of them would do anything to hurt the other—and when it all comes down to it, that’s the most important thing.
Yes, they are teenage boys. Yes, they will most likely experiment should their relationship go in that direction. I could choose to prohibit them from sleeping in the same bed, but that would only foster sneaking around and creating situations where they would be forced to lie about what they are up to.
I have decided, however, to stay alert and be aware of what’s happening—well, as much as I’m able—and be there for those times when feelings get hurt or their minds become filled with doubt. I am confident that even if their relationship evolves to the point of sexual activity, they will be respectful of each other and not force anything. When two people love each other as profoundly as Eddie and Matty, who am I to put a stop to it? Who am I to judge?
As a mother, I can only love them unconditionally—truly unconditionally and be there for whatever their needs might be.
I enter the room and walk to the bed. It still breaks my soul to see the wounds on Matthew’s back. I look at Eddie and see that he’s awake. I quietly tell him about the ointment, and he agrees to make sure it’s applied when Matthew wakes up. “How is he doing?”
“He’ll be okay. He’s kind of freaked out, but when things settle down, he should be okay.”
“He’s lucky to have you. I’m so proud of how you have been there for him ever since his mother passed.” I kissed my son on the forehead. “I have to go run some errands and stock up on some more food now that I have two athletic boys under my roof. Your father had to do some hospital visits and will be out the rest of the afternoon. He wants to take us all out to dinner tonight, so plan for that, okay?”
“Sure—and Mom? Thank you for taking Matty in. I would hate to think what would happen to him if you didn’t. I know I don’t say it enough, but I really do love you and appreciate you for all the cool things you do.”
“Thank you, son. Just know that you and Matty are two of the dearest things I have in my life. I’m happy that for a short time, I get to be a mom for him. I think he could use a little mothering—especially now. Now—I can see in your eyes that your brain is racing faster than a race car. Try to relax and get a little sleep.”
I placed the ointment on the nightstand, kissed Eddie and Matthew on their head, and quietly left the room.
For the rest of my life, I will never forget the sound of Matty moaning as my tongue touched his. For the rest of my life, I will always remember the feeling of Matty running his hands up and down my back, pushing me into his body. For the rest of my life, I will never forget the feeling of my heart—ready to explode from the overpowering feelings I never even knew existed. That was one fucking incredible kiss!
I wanted that kiss to last forever, but it didn’t. Matty pulled away and looked at me with his eyes wide with—I don’t know—with something.
“I-I’m sorry, Eddie! I’m so sorry!”
“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean for that to happen!”
I took Matty back into my arms and ran my fingers through his hair as I whispered into his ear, “Dude—I was the one who kissed you. I’ve wanted to do that for-fucking-forever. Maybe I should apologize to you? Do you feel like I took advantage of you?”
“No! God, no! I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have apologized.”
I pulled back from Matty and looked into his eyes. “I don’t know about you, but I just experienced the most amazing kiss I’ve ever had in my life. I sure as fuck am never going to be sorry for that. Matty, I love you, too—more than should probably be allowed. I’ve loved you ever since I knew that two people could love each other in that way.”
“Have you ever…”
“What? Done anything with a boy? Or with a girl? I’ve kissed a few girls at the end of boring dates. You’re the first boy I’ve done anything with—and the only boy I’ve ever wanted to do anything with. How about you?”
”I’ve kissed a couple of girls. Felt a few boobs—which bored the fuck out of me, just so you know. And, umm—please don’t be mad at me—I’ve had a blowjob—from a boy.”
“Really? You lucky shit! Who was it?”
“I can’t say. I promised him I would never tell—even though no one would ever be surprised.”
“Was it good?”
“Really?? Dude—I’m seventeen. If anybody does anything with my dick, it’s going to be good!”
“Duh! Of course.”
“But I have a confession.”
“Don’t laugh at me, k? I really couldn’t get into it until I closed my eyes and pretended it was you doing that to me.”
“Yeah, it’s true. Eddie—you’re the only person—boy or girl—I’ve ever even thought about doing stuff with. Do you know why that kiss was so amazing? It’s because I felt your love every second of it. I know you felt mine.”
“Yeah, you’re right. But Matty? As much as I’ve wanted this to happen. I’m scared. It all scares the fuck outta me.”
“I know, I’m scared, too.”
“Hell, yeah! I mean, think about it! I’ve loved—no, been in love—with one person my entire life. A jock at that, even. You have no idea how long I’ve wished for this to happen. And now that it has, I’m afraid I’m gonna fuck it all up. I can’t lose you, Eddie. Not when I just got you.”
“Matty. First off—you’ve always had me. I’ve been yours before we even knew there was a chance for this. Second—no fuckin’ way you are gonna fuck this up. This is too perfect. Can’t you feel it? This is the way it’s supposed to be. Yeah, there might be some rough spots down the road. But if we’re 100% in this together, we can get through anything. Nobody’s fucking anything up.”
“But—don’t laugh at me, k? I don’t know the first thing about what to do with a guy. I don’t know how to make you feel good. I don’t—"
“Dude. Where’d you learn to kiss like that?”
“I didn’t. It just happened that way.”
“Exactly. Neither one of us knows what the fuck we are doing when it comes to the physical shit. But that kiss just happened naturally. Dude—that kiss nearly made me nut, it was so fucking hot!”
“You too? Really?”
“Yeah. And we have a whole lifetime to figure out what to do with our cocks, our mouths, and anything else we feel like adding to the formula, right?”
“Oh, Eddie. I love you so fucking much! Can we kiss again?”
“If it’s anything close to our first kiss, I’m gonna nut so fucking hard.”
“What the fuck are we waiting for then?”
I thought our first kiss was hot as fuck and well—perfect. Well, I was so totally wrong about that. Our second kiss was indescribable—but I sure as fuck am gonna try!
The first time Matty and I kissed, it started off kinda tentative—tender—sweet. Not this time! Matty-fucking-Jordan threw me down onto my back and looked down at me. He just hovered over me, staring into my eyes. I’d never in my life seen a look like that on another human being. All I know is it made me reach up and wrap my arms around his neck.
“Kiss me, fucker!” I pulled my boyfriend down to me, and we kissed with so much passion it could have been filmed and sold as hot boy porn!
I’ve never been so turned on in my life. Matty started grinding his hard cock into mine, with only the thin fabric of our boxer briefs between us.
I threw my legs up and around Matty’s waist. As he ground harder and harder, I could feel us both getting harder and harder. Matty broke away from that kiss and yelled, “I’m gonna nut, Eddie! Do it with me!”
That was the easiest thing I did all day. In just seconds, we soaked our underwear with scalding hot loads while the kiss continued. Holy Fuck! I’ve never nutted so much or so hard! Thank God we were kissing when we exploded since we both screamed into each other’s mouths. I’m pretty sure the people down the street would have heard those screams and called the cops!
The next thing I knew, it was twenty minutes later. I think we both passed out after that! I opened my eyes, and Matty was staring at me with the goofiest grin on his face.
“Do you know how fucking cute you are when you’re asleep?”
“Do you know how fucking hot you are when you nut?”
“Speaking of which—we should probably shower before the grownups get back, don’t ya think?”
“Yup. You know what else I’m thinking?”
“I’m thinking that the shower should be shared, and I can’t stop thinking that if that’s what fake sex feels like, I don’t know if my heart can take the real thing!”
“Eddie. There was nothing fake about anything we just did. But I think I know what making love feels like.”
“Yeah, good call there, Matty—‘cuz that was all about pure love. Nothing more. Nothing less.”
“This might sound kinda weird, but I’m kinda glad all the shit that came down last night happened. I mean, think about it—this wouldn’t have happened if that didn’t happen.”
“It would have, Matty. It might have just taken a little longer for us to get our heads out of our asses and figure it all out.”
“Yeah, you’re right. But now, we need to clean up and get ready for dinner with the ‘rents!”
And that’s what we did. For the first time, I took a shower with my boyfriend. We got dressed in some nice clothes and headed downstairs. This has been one fucking amazing day—and it’s still afternoon!
There you go! Fake sex and all! I hope you enjoyed hearing from Eddie's mother! I kinda like her. She's pretty damned cool--especially for a preacher's wife!
Keep those comments coming. It's what keeps me writing!
There might be a bit of a delay in the next chapter or two. Had some personal family stuff happen last week and it's going to take a while to get everything settled.