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    Mac Rountree
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Discovering Home - 17. You Know I Love You

Happy New Years. Sending good wishes for 2021.

“You know I love you, don’t cha?”

“Yes, Rolf, I know. I love you, too.”

“Good, Miemie, some things are about to change.”

Laramie turned in the truck seat to look at Walter, who had an inscrutable look on his face. Laramie looked down at his hand which was wrapped in the larger boy’s hand. He felt so small beside Walter.

“What is going to change?”

“I’m going to come out.”

Laramie caught his breath. He couldn’t imagine Walter coming out at high school. Walter was going to be a senior and was a star on the football team. He was part of the jock set. He had his public persona as a big man on their little campus. However, he had his private persona as Rolf when he was with Miemie.

They had adopted the nicknames of Rolf and Miemie after seeing a roadshow production of “Rent” at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Laramie explained that it was based on “La Boheme,” and the two of them listened to a recording of the opera the next weekend. Walter said he like “Rent” better, but there was something about the music in “La Boheme” that made his heart soar. They listened to the opera, made sweet love, and then Walter started calling Laramie, Miemie, after the opera's heroine. Walter looked at his young friend and saw a slight, beautifully made teen with wild unruly hair who was completely trusting when Walter made demands. They were breathless afterward and Walter had never felt closer to anyone in his life. This boy who had grown into his lover had taken up residence in his heart. They spent the late afternoon wrapped in a quilt, being affectionate with each other. Their level of intimacy surprised each of them; they had been together many times but never in such a way that revealed their innermost needs and desires. Miemie cried when Rolf left that day. He had never felt bereft before when Walter had to depart. Walter-Rolf: they were now one in Laramie’s mind as the public and the private personae merged that day. Laramie couldn’t tell anyone of his love for the one person who was the very essence of his life. They maintained their secret so they could survive in their rural community and public school.

“Tell me more about you coming out.”

“Well, there is an organization called “Out Sports.” I contacted them a few weeks ago and said I needed to talk with someone. They help people involved in sports no matter whether they are at the high school, college, or professional level. They connect you with someone to talk. I spoke with this college coach, who came out a couple of years ago. He is really nice and gave me some useful tips. You know I want to go to State, and they are interested in me. There is a pretty good chance I will get a scholarship. This coach talked to the folks at State and found out if it was safe for student athletes to come out. He didn’t give them my name. They sounded supportive. My being out won’t impact my ability to get an athletic scholarship if I can keep up my grades and am a benefit to the team. That benefit to the team seems rather subjective, but it is a chance I have to take.”

“You didn’t tell me.”

“I love you so much and knew you would worry. I wanted to have all of the information before I told you. If the coach had told me to stay in the closet, I probably wouldn’t have said anything. You seem to trust Joe and Thomas, and I want to hear what they think. I can see us being together when we get as old as them. You just have to look at them to know they are still in love. I want you for the rest of my life, Miemie.”

Laramie saw tears running down Walter’s face. He reached out and wiped them off of his cheeks.

“Why are you crying?”

“Because I love you so much. You are my everything. Aren’t you tired of us lying? I can’t go on like this.”

“What? You want us to walk down the hallways at school holding hands.”

“Fuck, yeah!”

Walter burst out laughing and Laramie grinned.

“I want to push you against the lockers and kiss you until you melt and run down the locker onto the floor. I want to kiss you when I score a touchdown. I want to kiss you at the Senior Prom in front of the whole fucking school.”

Laramie didn’t know what to say, so he sat in silence.

“Don’t you want that?”

“I think I do.”

Walter took his foot off of the gas pedal.

“Talk to me, Miemie. Something’s wrong. You have reservations.”

“I want to carry your babies. I want to grow old with you. I want nothing more in the world than to be with you.”

Walter grinned.

“Yeah, we need to work on me getting you pregnant. I can see you at graduation with your graduation gown pushed out because you are about eight months pregnant. I will grin like the proud daddy.”

“Aren’t you afraid that we will get beat up? I don’t want to be bullied in school. I don’t want to lose you.”

At that point, Walter slowed the truck and pulled onto the shoulder of the road. Walter turned in the seat until he was looking at Laramie.

“You will never lose me. If anyone gets near you, I will beat the hell out of them. I am so proud to be the lover of the valedictorian of the senior class. Your mind amazes me. Your kisses amaze me. You amaze me when we make love. You take me to another world.”

Walter leaned in and started kissing Laramie. Walter pushed Laramie against the door and crawled on his body. He pulled Laramie’s shirt off so he could worship his nipples. He didn’t notice the vehicle that had pulled off the road behind them. When someone knocked on the truck window, both boys bolted upright in the seat. Laramie was trying to put his shirt on while Walter slid across the seat and started to roll-down the truck window. Walter looked out and saw a county deputy.

“Are you boys, okay?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Did you breakdown?”

“No sir, we needed to talk about something, and so I pulled over so I wouldn’t be distracted while driving.”

The deputy tried not to smirk.

“Can I see your driver’s license?”

The deputy looked at Laramie and asked if he had a license. Laramie pulled it from his wallet and handed it across.

“I’ll be back in a minute. No more horizontal talking until I get back.”

Deputy Hank Langdon went back to his car and entered the license numbers into his laptop. He had notified the sheriff’s office that he was stopping a vehicle, so it was standard procedure for him to enter this basic information. If he didn’t respond with the basics from their licenses, the dispatcher would automatically send a back-up vehicle thinking the officer was in trouble. They came up clean. The deputy also needed time to recover from seeing the fellows enjoying each other so much.

Walter and Laramie were about to crap their pants. The boys were afraid they were going to be arrested by the deputy. Walter was holding Laramie’s hand to help calm him. When Deputy Langdon returned to the side window of the truck, he noticed the tears in Laramie’s eyes. He felt compassion for the young man.

“Boys, everything checked out okay. A word of advice if I may: you should not pull over on the side of the road to have those conversations. Someone with ill intent may have come up to the window, and I hate to think what would have happened to you. Also, you weren’t doing anything illegal but let me say that fornication in public is an offense. I caught you before you got to that point. Now be careful in public. I would hate to see something bad happen to such handsome men.”

Deputy Langdon handed them their licenses and gave each one of his cards.

“If anything ever happens, you call Deputy Cartwright or me. Either of us is more than willing to help you. Understand? Here, let me write his telephone number on the cards, or you can just call the Sheriff’s Department and ask for either of us. If it is an emergency, they will contact us immediately. Take care.”

Deputy Langdon tipped his cap and was grinning as he walked back to his car.

Walter shifted the truck into gear and continued down the road. The deputy did a three-point turn and departed in the opposite direction.

“I think my dick has retreated into my body. It feels like I have a pussy instead of a dick. I have never been so scared.”

Walter chuckled and said he was the same.

“Do you think he was gay?”

“No way. He probably has a brother or someone he knows who is gay.”

“Well, I can tell you he was sporting an erection. When I looked out of the window, it was hard to miss.”

“Really?” Laramie started cackling. “We are fucking everywhere.”

“Let me get you home. We need time to talk this week, so when we meet with Joe and Thomas, we put on a united front. You are in favor of me coming out, right?”

“I am in favor of being the boyfriend of the most handsome man in Orange County, the football star, the most incredible lover, and I am ready for the world to know it.”

Walter pulled up to Laramie’s house and grabbed a quick kiss before heading home. He had borrowed his brother’s truck and needed to return it. He would need it next week, and he was late getting it back. His brother was standing in the yard waiting for him. He didn’t look happy.

 

The next Sunday, Thomas was smiling while in the kitchen fixing dinner. He hoped that Walter and Laramie liked meatloaf. Thomas thought it was a safe choice. Joe had popped in and out of the kitchen all afternoon while Thomas was humming and fixing two peach pies. He had also bought vanilla bean ice cream to serve with the pie.

“What do you think they want to talk about?”

“Who knows? I hope it is not sexual. I am not prepared to get into that.”

“But Joe, you are the best lover in the world. I can’t imagine them asking anyone more accomplished unless they call Dr. Ruth.”

They laughed at the memory of that tiny dynamite of a personality who had no compunction about talking about anything sexual. They had watched her television show every week when they lived in Philadelphia. The guys who were staying with them in the rectory would want to watch also, so Joe bought a television stand on wheels so they could roll it into a room where everyone would gather around. The talk would turn rather smutty among the men about their own behaviors. Sean would sit on the edge of the group taking in all of the information. He was a teenager who needed to know about the birds and the bees, or that was Joe’s rationale for letting him hear some of the tales. The guys would good-naturedly tease Sean about being the only straight boy in their midst. He gave as good as he got, and sometimes Thomas would be shocked about what came out of his son’s mouth. Joe would just roar with laughter.

After the show, there was a general let-down as the guys remembered the better times in their lives. Thomas, Joe, and Sean made sure they spent time with the guys to help with the transition from talking about hot sex to the medications they needed to take that night to keep them alive for a while longer. The three would crack jokes and help ease the emotional pain of the guys knowing they would probably never have sex again.

Joe was fairly sure that Laramie and Walter weren’t coming to talk about sex. The internet provided that information in the modern age. Joe looked out the window and saw the boys ride up on their bicycles. They were winded but smiling. They knocked on the kitchen door, which was the door that family members used. Thomas smiled and hollered that the door was unlocked and for them to come in.

Laramie was the first to come barreling through the door and flung himself at Thomas. He mussed Thomas’ hair and kissed his cheek. Thomas was amazed at how quickly they had reached this point of familial love. Walter gave him a man hug, which meant his hips were pulled back and away from making contact. Joe came into the kitchen and hugged the boys.

“Why don’t we go into the den where it is comfortable?”

Thomas fixed them glasses of ice tea which made Laramie give him a second look.

“Wine with dinner. None until then.”

Laramie laughed and looked at him with puppy dog eyes. Thomas said that look didn’t work on him. Walter tried the look and Joe laughed and said they were immune to such requests.

“Well, we tried. I don’t think I can talk about what we came here for without some fortification.”

Thomas was about to return to the kitchen to pour them glasses of wine when Joe spoke up.

“How about them Raiders?”

He then burst out laughing. Laramie was confused, but Walter started grinning.

“Well, if you aren’t going to tell us the big secret then we are going to talk football.”

“I thought they were a basketball team?”

Thomas’ statement had them all guffawing. Even Laramie knew they were a football team. Walter and Laramie sat on the sofa, took a sip of their tea, looked at each other, and then held hands. Joe and Thomas sat and waited. They had lots of experience waiting for someone to talk. Finally, Walter took a big swallow of his tea and then started to speak.

“Well, it is like this. I love Laramie. I mean, I love him more than life itself.”

Joe and Thomas sat and listened. They all looked at each other.

“Are you like therapists or something who never speak?”

Everyone chuckled.

“I must say you are a beautiful couple. But that isn’t what you came to talk about, is it?”

“No, sir. It is hard for me to say.”

Laramie reached over and pulled Walter into a hug. The big boy leaned over and let himself be comforted by his boyfriend. Laramie whispered into Walter’s ear, which resulted in Walter nodding his head and wiping the tears from his eyes.

“Let me start again. I love Laramie, and I am ready to tell the world.”

Nobody said anything.

“Well, say something.”

Joe looked at Thomas, who nodded.

“You are obviously in love, but you are not ready to tell the world. You couldn’t get that sentence out of your mouth without breaking down. It is a very emotional thing to come out, so if you are going to tell the world, then you are going to have to toughen up. You need to practice what you are going to say, just like you practice football, until it is second nature. You need to be able to control your emotions and the conversation.”

Laramie looked at Joe and smiled.

“This is exactly why we are here. We only come out once, and we want to do it right. We need your help.”

The four sat in the den and talked until the timer announced that dinner was ready.

“I think you earned your glasses of wine.”

The boys grinned.

“What flavor?”

“This is not a soft drink. Wine doesn’t come in flavors unless you are drinking Boone’s Farm. Tonight, we are drinking a Cabernet Franck. It is a light red, which will be perfect with the meatloaf.”

“I love meatloaf.”

“Good, it is a la France meatloaf.”

“Huh?”

Thomas and Joe laughed at Walter and told him to help take the serving platters to the dining room table. Joe lit the candles, poured the wine, and Thomas said the grace. The boys tucked into the food, and Thomas remembered how much food boys ate. Walter finished eating and was patting his stomach. He pushed it out like he was about to explode. Laramie pushed his out and said it looked like he was six months along. The boys slyly looked at each other. The look was not missed by Thomas and Joe. Maybe they did need to watch Dr. Ruth.

The dishes were removed, the coffee was brewed, and just as Thomas was plating the pie and ice cream, there was a knock at the front door. Joe went to the door and had a brief conversation before escorting someone to the dining room. Walter and Laramie both gasped.

In the doorway stood Deputy Langdon. The deputy nodded to them. Thomas said they were getting ready to have dessert and asked the deputy to join them.

“It is peach pie and ice cream.”

“Well, if it is peach pie, Father, I want in. I will help you in the kitchen.”

As soon as the deputy left the dining room, Walter and Laramie slid their wine glasses in front of Joe and Thomas’ plates. The deputy and Thomas brought in plates of pie and ice cream, mugs, and the coffee pot.

“Let me introduce our guests tonight, Hank.”

“I have already met these young men. It is good to see you again, gentlemen. I didn’t see your truck outside.”

“It is my brother’s truck, and he got mad because I got home late last week, so he said I couldn’t use it tonight.”

“I see. How are you going to get home tonight?”

Joe spoke up and said he was taking them home.

“Good. I’m not patrolling Roxboro Road tonight so be careful.”

Joe and Thomas knew there was more to the story. Walter and Laramie were blushing.

“Were you boys in trouble?”

“No, sir. It was just that Laramie and I had something to talk about on the way home last Sunday night, and I pulled off the road so I wouldn’t be distracted while driving. Deputy Langdon came upon us and made sure that we weren’t in trouble.”

Hank Langdon nodded his head in agreement.

“I gave them my card and told them if they ever needed assistance to call either Dave Cartwright or me. I am glad to know they have you to support them and to help them make thoughtful decisions.”

Thomas and Joe knew that the statement was loaded with meaning.

“Well, Joe helped them with some decision making this afternoon. We believe they are good boys, and we are pleased to support them in any way they need. We are happy to know that you are ready to support them also.”

“We take care of each other, Father. I remember what it was like when I was their age. Sometimes situations overtook our reasoning. I remember one time getting caught out at the quarry. I was buck naked with another guy. Luckily, we weren’t doing anything when Sheriff Pierce pulled up and threw his spotlight on us. He asked what we were doing and we told him we were swimming. Of course, neither of us was wet. He shined his flashlight on something on the ground and there was the used condom. I knew I was dead meat at that time. He smiled and said we needed to be careful because some hunters would go out at night and might mistake us for a pair of fine bucks. He said he would hate to find out that we had been shot by mistake. He told us to get dressed and to find someplace safer the next time.”

Walter and Laramie were staring at the deputy. Hank chuckled and said they were all young at some point. He then said he was aware of some crazy people in the northern part of the county and wanted the boys to stay safe. The deputy finished his pie and said it was undoubtedly the best peach pie he had ever eaten. Thomas thanked him and asked if he just happened by for pie, or was there some other business since he was in his uniform.

“Some crazy stuff with Mr. Harden. I swear, that man needs to spend some time in the psych unit at Dorothea Dix. I hated to serve the summons, but I wanted to do it rather than have someone else deliver it. Plus, I know you generally have something good to eat around here. I live by myself and those Little Debbie snacks just don’t satisfy a man. By the way, I noticed that you and Joe are double-dipping in the wine tonight. Each of you are drinking from two glasses instead of one. Of course, the glasses moved while I was in the kitchen, Father. I know you wouldn’t be serving wine to underage boys. Just be careful driving out Roxboro Road way. There is a new deputy covering that area tonight who thinks he is Deputy Dawg. These newbies take a while to settle in.”

Thomas blushed at being caught serving wine to the boys. Joe kept his composure while the boys wanted to slump in their chairs until they were under the table. They had been caught.

Joe showed Hank Langdon to the front door and thanked him for coming by.

“Be careful giving those boys wine, Joe. If they talk, I will have to investigate, and I would hate for you to get in trouble.”

“Thanks, Hank. You are a good man.”

“We take care of each other, Joe. We take care of each other.”

Copyright © 2020 Mac Rountree; All Rights Reserved.
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50 minutes ago, Tonyr said:

Oooooooh Hank ...

Tony,

I agree.  Hank is a hunk.  And a man in a uniform............

Mac

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Would that all teens had men like Joe, Thomas and Hank in their lives!

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