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Dutch - 5. Chapter 5 Goodbye Friend

Kevin left the field on his bike more confused than ever. With today’s events and hours of riding in the sun, his energy was mostly spent. He wandered through his parents home and found his dad sleeping on his favorite chair by the TV in the family room. In the winter there’d be a fire going next to him is about the only difference. His momma was in the laundry room washing most of Kevin’s old clothes. “Momma, you are the best mother in the entire world. But, you don’t have to do that for me. I am capable, the Army made sure of that.”

”Did the Army explain that your mother wants to do all she can to keep you happy and that she will want to do this for you while you are home?” She mocked scolding him.

”No Ma’am. they failed to mention that one. But, I will be sure to write my superiors to inform them of their oversight.” He kissed the side of her neck. “Momma, it didn’t go unnoticed by me, but with coming home and getting out, I didn’t ask. I think I know what you’re going to say, but I gotta ask, where’s Bear?”

His momma stopped her folding and had a genuine sad face. “Oh my baby boy, I’m so sorry. We couldn’t find him for a couple days. We were searching everywhere.” Kevin couldn’t hold back tears but he refused to all out cry. “Your father found him by the pond under the old oak you would sit under with him. I guess it was his way of saying goodbye to you. Your father buried him there with a cross and his collar.”

”I’m going out there now.”

The walk was difficult enough when he wasn’t crying, but he had a hard time keeping his balance as he wept for his best friend. Soon enough he found where he laid and told him all the things he loved about him. He held his collar and could smell his scent on it. “There will never be another dog as good as you. I look forward to seeing you in heaven.”

Kevin cried himself to sleep there next to Bear. He only woke to the sound of something moving in the now darkness. Not from fear, more precaution, he stayed quiet so not to provoke a wild dog or even a real bear. “Kevin, are you out here?” He heard Dutch call out from about 10 yards away.

”Yeah, over here.” He heard him getting close. “Down here.”

”Your momma called worried sick about you.” Dutch explained as he sat close. At this level his eyes could adjust to be able to see Kevin’s face.

”Thanks, that was good of you to do that for her.” His gratitude was cold and flat.

Dutch could understand his sadness for his dog, but he sensed there’s more to that tone. He took his time, mostly trying to come up the best words. Thing is he isn’t sure Kevin will respect anything he has to say. ‘Here goes everything’ “Kevin, I’m sorry if I lead you to think I’ve been messing around with every guy I know. It just isn’t true. I only know how much I want more of you in my life. Don’t get me wrong, but I don’t see us joining any Pride Parades, or acting girly.” He wants that to sink in. “I’m hoping we can spend time together that will make this stronger. I am afraid maybe you don’t have the same feelings for me. And buddy, if that’s true then that’s fine too.”

The silence was deafening and started to make Dutch want to leave. As he began to shift, Kevin grabbed his arm stopping him. “I’m scared. What if we hate this and we’re forever labeled as queer?”

“Are you serious Kev? Do you honestly believe, that if any of the people we love realized how much we truly loved each other, that any of them would hate us? Because I don’t, I know these people, if anything they might be scared for our well being out of love and compassion.” Dutch felt that all the way down in the depths of his soul. “I tell you what, Kev. I will make you a deal. If you agree to this deal you need to know you are committing to an exclusive relationship with me, and only me. And I to you. No other men or women will come between us.” Dutch is really going out on a limb here. “We will not confirm nor deny, to anyone, the extent of our relationship. When they ask, ask why would it make a difference, or why they’d even ask. Be sarcastic with some and say we kiss each other all night long, or that we take turns wearing dresses before bed. Kev, my point here is that we go on behaving exactly how we always have. How many times have you pointed out to our friends that I like your butt? And, I always have, by the way. Or, how many times have we danced a slow dance together in a goofy but awesome way? I want that.”

“Wow.” Kevin was just blown away. “Where do you get this stuff, from magazines like Preteen Magazine?” There is one more piece to consider. “What are you going to do about Darla? She’s beautiful and sweet. Are you really going to break up with her?”

”She’s also my lesbian house keeper. She has the whole 3rd floor for now, but I am planning to build a guest house for her, and maybe a couple more. She does add a certain confusion to the mix and I like that.” Another thought was blaring Dutch in the face. “You thought I was cheating on my out of town girlfriend, with another man. And, in the process I confessed to having lots of men in my bed? I am definitely a flirt, but have you ever known me to be shallow and careless with peoples emotions?”

Kevin couldn’t hold back his feelings. He began crying and weeping. Dutch grabbed him and put his head on his shoulder. Dutch started rocking while letting his hands enjoy the warmth of Kevin’s arm, back, chest and underarm. Dutch kept kissing the top of his head. “Dutch?” Kevin sounded so wounded and Dutch just hummed mmhhmm. Each word that came out of Kevin was slow and deliberate, so full of emotions “I want that, all of it, at least till we are ready for something different, together. I think I have always wanted that with you, but didn’t know how to voice it. Thank you. I love you Dutch.”

Now it’s Dutch’s turn to cry uncontrollably. Those are the three words he prayed for every night since they met. There were plenty of times he believed it would never happen, but he just couldn’t let it go because he knew he loved Kevin even if Kevin didn’t love him. All Dutch could say was, “I love you too.”

Copyright © 2021 PhillMakracken; All Rights Reserved.
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