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    WolfM
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Alone in the Night - 8. Chapter 8

It seemed like in no time, summer was passing and with it, my birthday came and went. When one day looks like any other, it’s kind of easy to forget what day it is. I was actually happy I had forgotten about it. That meant I couldn’t feel bad no one else knew about it either. When I did think about it though, it wasn’t the birthday that came to mind. It was the one year anniversary of living on the streets. I don’t think I’ll ever get to where I will like September again.

Walking through downtown I saw a cute guy handing out flyers in front of a bookstore. When I passed him, he smiled and handed me one. “I hope you can make it.” His emphasis on you surprised me, but I took the flyer and looked at it. It was for a gay pride festival the following weekend. I’m not sure why, but I never expected something like that here in Richmond.

It was a boring week, but when Saturday finally got there I took care of what I needed to and made my way through the rain to where the Pride Festival was supposed to be. I quickly found that it had been moved indoors because of the storm. It really wasn’t much, but I was in awe being at my first Gay Pride event ever. I walked around, looked at the vendors and even talked to a couple cute guys. I saw a booth for a gay youth group and talked to them for a little bit, but when they ask me a couple questions I got nervous and walked off. I didn’t want them to know I was living on the streets. I found someplace to sit and just watched people. I don’t know what I expected, but even with the bad weather there were plenty of people and the bands performing were good. It was cool to see as many people as I did that looked like they were my age or just a little older. I saw Chad once and he was holding hands with someone. I was glad he didn’t see me but also pleased he looked happy. I felt a hand on my shoulder and jumped only to find Dan and Andrew were standing behind me. I was about to take off running for the exit.

“Please wait.” Dan’s voice was soft.

I stopped, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t look at them. I was still too ashamed of what happened, both with their friend and how I left in the night.

They walked the few feet over to me and each gave me a big hug. Before either of them could say anything, I pulled away and did my best to look up at them. My eyes kept settling on the floor instead. I had tears running down my face. “I’m sorry for the way I left.” I couldn’t manage to get anything else out before my voice decided it wasn’t going to work anymore.

Dan pulled us into a group hug. “We just wish we knew what we did. You seemed so happy during the week.”

I was openly crying. “It wasn’t you guys or anything you did. I just couldn’t stay.”

That wasn’t going to satisfy them, so they pressed the issue. “Why couldn’t you stay? If it wasn’t something we did, then what? You were smiling and happy most of the week and at the New Year’s party.”

I knew they weren’t going to let the issue drop and they weren’t going to let me go. I was crying harder then I had in a long time. I sat on a bench with my head in my hands and sobbed. “I didn’t want to cause any problems between you and your friends.”

They didn’t understand. Andrew wrapped his arms around me. “What do you mean, cause any problems with our friends? You didn’t and couldn’t cause any problems.”

I tried to get up to run, but they wouldn’t let me. I took a deep breath. “One of the guys at the New Year’s Eve party recognized me from the streets. He’d been a customer of mine before. He thought you’d hired me as a party favor for the night. He was drunk and forced his way into the bathroom behind me. He pinned me to the sink and…..” I couldn’t finish it, but they knew what I had intended to say.

Andrew held onto me like he was never going to let go whispering he was sorry. Dan’s hand rubbed my back. He tried his best to control his anger. “Can you tell us who it was?”

I didn’t even try to look up from Andrew’s chest but shook my head.

Andrew stroked my back gently. “At least now we know and understand why you left like you did. We’re so sorry we couldn’t keep you safe, but you should have come to us when it happened. We would have helped.”

I felt like a little kid trying to speak between sobs. “I couldn’t. I know how much your friends mean to you. It was my fault anyways because of what I do for money.”

Dan surprised me and actually scared me a little when he barked out, “It wasn’t your fault! Don’t ever say something like that or even think it. We can’t make up for it, but if you ever want to come home, we do want you with us.” He walked a little ways off to pace. Andrew continued to hold me. In my mind, I just knew regardless of what Dan said, it was me he was disgusted with.

The day finally came to an end. I was emotionally exhausted and told Andrew I was going to be leaving. I think he was still in too much shock over the revelations on why I left to argue with me. They both felt horrible that one of their friends had raped me in their own house. As much as I was able to, I still cared for them and wished I could have been their son. They both hugged me and I left the festival. I found a box in a nearby alley that would keep me dry and settled in for the night.

******

The weather was continuing to get colder as autumn progressed. I’d made it through last winter by just dumb luck and the kindness of a few people. I wasn’t sure if I could count on that a second time around. I tried to prepare myself as much as I could for the coming winter. There were several different spots I’d found where I could spend the night depending on what the weather was like. I never liked leaving my home at the river, but to survive you sometimes have to do things you don’t like. I learned that early on when I started hustling.

Before long it was already Thanksgiving again and then Christmas. On both holidays I called Andrew and Dan to wish them a happy holiday and let them know I was okay. I wanted to spend the holidays with them, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I kept telling myself I’d given up my chance to have a happy life with them. Regardless of what I wanted now I had to live with my decisions. I did my best to keep my holiday depression in check and although some days were better than others, I didn’t let myself just give up on living this time around. I guess what one of the other homeless told me last year was true. The first holiday season on the street is the hardest.

I had made it through another year and felt a little emotionally stronger then I had in a while. I still had my good days and bad days, there were still problems I had to deal with and the utter distaste for my profession, but I managed to get by. I had learned how to better deal with the bad weather and only cought the occasional cold or flu. I tried not to dwell on the last year, but did allow myself to hope for a better new year. Hope was a dangerous concept to me that could easily lead to a cliff.

The months continued to pass by quickly. I guess that’s because in a way I had gotten use to living the way I was. I was still a ghost to most of the people you see walking down the street, but a few of the more careful observers paid attention and knew when I was around. They were almost always friendly and would ask how I was doing. I’d stop in at Goodwill or other thrift shops from time to time and see if I could find clothes to replace what was wearing out. Sometimes I’d pay cash and others I’d trade services for goods. Shoes seemed to need to be replaced all the time, but I did do a lot of walking.

I started going to the library when I could and studied for the GED test. I wanted to eventually go to college and since I hadn’t been able to finish high school, it was the best I could do. After several weeks studying, I found where I could take the test and was pleased that I passed it on my first try. I had been calling the guys a little more often and told them I’d passed. They congratulated me. Dan asked I’d be at all interested in a job working at the stable they had taken me to. I loved the few times I was there with them and immediately said yes.

“We can drive you out there tomorrow if you like. Do you want me to pick you up tomorrow?” Dan’s voice sounded hopeful. “Or would you consider coming to the house today and staying the night?

I agreed to stay the night.

A short time later, I was in the car and we were heading back to the house. It had been over a year since I’d last been there. I wasn’t scared to be in the house again, but I did feel ashamed for having stayed away from them for so long because of the actions of someone else. I showered and heard Dan yelled to me that there were some new clothes for me in my room. When I came back out, Andrew was putting dinner on the table and told me to sit down. It was a nice evening and it felt good to be there. We talked about a little of everything then sat down to watch some TV and I fell asleep cuddled up between them on the couch. I must have been out of it, because I didn’t wake until the following morning and found myself in bed.

I got ready for the day, then went out to join them for breakfast. They were happy to have me home even if it was just for the night. I could never understand why they became so attached to someone who started out as nothing more than a hitchhiker to possibly have sex with. I probably never will. They took me out to the stable and when they saw Margaret, they all greeted each other.

Andrew hooked his arm around hers. “Do you still have that job opening you told us about?”

“Yes, I do. I’m always looking for good workers.”

Dan smiled down at me. “I think we may have a good candidate here for you.”

Margaret nodded and led me off to the office asking questions and explaining the job. About an hour later, we came back out with her smiling. “I may just have to give you a free months boarding for bringing this one around to me.”

They congratulated me and Andrew pointed towards the horses. “Do you to go riding?” They already had a horse setup for me.

Margaret waved her hand at the mare. “You might as well start getting use to being on one.”

We spent the next couple of hours riding the trails. I had such a good time I almost forgot about the last year away from them.

That evening, they told me to celebrate both passing my GED and getting hired at the stable that they were taking me out to dinner. We drove to downtown and parked. Before I even realized it, we walked into Gail’s restaurant. Even though I hadn’t been by there in a long time, she immediately recognized me and greeted me like an old friend. I told the guys this was where I spent the first Thanksgiving in town and that she had helped me out several times as well. She seated us and told us our server would be with us soon. I told them about Chad and what he and Gail had done for me. Our server came by and dropped off menus and took drink orders. A few minutes later Chad came walking passed to clear a nearby table. I don’t think he knew what to say since I was with Dan and Andrew so he just smiled and kept working. I finally said “Hi” to him.

We had a great meal and Gail sent over a complimentary desert for us. After we finished I excused myself and went up to her and asked if Chad was going to be taking a break anytime soon. She smiled and nodded. “I think he’s just about due for one.”

I went back to the table. “I’ll be right back. I promise I won’t take off. I need to talk to Chad.” I walked around the outside and Chad was just coming out the back door.

He stopped when he saw me, then ran over and gave me a hug. “I’d been worried about you. It’s been so long since I’ve seen you. And after the last time we talked, I didn’t think I’d ever see you again.”

“I’m sorry for how mean I was that day. I was angry about a lot of things and you just happened to be in the way when I finally went off.”

His smile put me at ease. “Well, if you ever want to hang out, here’s my number.” And he wrote it down and handed it to me.

I pushed it into my pocket. “So does that mean you’re not dating the guy you were with at Pride?”

He looked surprised and almost a little upset. “You saw me there and didn’t at least say hi?” Then softened realizing what he’d done. “No, we’re not dating anymore. He moved on to someone else.”

“It’s his loss if he doesn’t know a cool guy when he has one. I need to get back to my friends, but I’ll try to call you to hang out sometime. I would like to get to know you.”

He hugged me and gave me a nice light kiss on the lips before I walked back inside. The guys asked me if everything was alright and I nodded. We thanked Gail for a great dinner on the way out, and then they took me back to the house. Yeah, it was nice sleeping in a bed again.

******

I started work right away and it didn’t take me long to learn my way around and get into the swing of things with working at the stable. I loved it and was willing to take on any job they asked of me. I didn’t care if it was moving feed or cleaning out the stalls. I never complained about any job I did and was happy to learn all I could. Most all the other employees didn’t mind taking the time to show me things or answer questions I had. I was lucky there was a bus line that ran right past the stable making it easy for me to get to work. It was nice there was someplace the employees could shower at the end of the day since the work was somewhat of a dirty job. I’m sure anyone on the bus was grateful that I cleaned up before getting on. It was hard work and didn’t pay as well as hustling, but I felt better about myself for doing it. I still did the other job on the side trying to put money aside for school or an apartment. Most days I was too tired to think about it. I did spend some nights at the guy’s house, though not all.

Trying to get identification was not easy for me. Even after all the time that had passed I still had my military dependant ID which was the only thing I had to try and prove who I was. It took some effort, but I was able to eventually get a state ID card once I turned eighteen. It didn’t hurt that one of the people at the Motor Vehicle Department who helping me had been a client on many occasions in the past, but I never used that to my advantage.

With an ID in hand and being eighteen I was finally able to get a small studio apartment for myself. The rent was cheap and they didn’t ask for a big deposit. The stable also vouched for my employment. Andrew and Dan bought me some basic necessities for the apartment and I found some cheap used furniture without depleting my savings. They kept telling me how proud they were that not only did I get off the streets but that I did it all on my own. It was too late for me to enroll for the fall semester so I started doing what I needed to do for starting college in the spring. I took my placement exams and tried applying for financial aid. When I did get enrolled, I took a medium load of classes since I had been away from school for so long and I didn’t know how it was all going to get along with work. Having been off the radar for so long I found I didn’t qualify for in-state tuition since I couldn’t prove I’d lived in Virginia more than a year. It made school expensive, but I wouldn’t let the guys help pay for it.

I gave up hustling all together and ended up getting a second and third job so I could afford school and all the expenses that go with it. The guys were a little worried I might end up taking on too much between work and school. I made them a promise that if things got too hard for me and my grades started to fall that I would cut down work to a minimum and move into the house if needed. They agreed to those terms and are happy to have me as a part of their lives. I was determined to do this on my own and make them proud. Anytime I’m around them, which unfortunately isn’t as much as I’d like, they always introduce me to everyone as their nephew and at times adding that they hoped to make me their son. I still have a hard time thinking of them as my parents because of what my biological parents did to me, but I’m working on it. At any rate, they have become my family. I think they would have made near perfect parents if there is such a thing and I wish I could have been raised entirely by them.

I wouldn’t wish what I went through on any kid and I hope that my case is more the exception in what most young gays have to go through when coming out or getting outed. Coming out and being yourself shouldn’t be traumatic for anyone. I lived through a hell that made me consider suicide many times and in some cases do more than just consider. I gave up on life many times and lost hope that things could ever get better. Somehow, every time I was close to letting my life end, something or someone pulled me back from the edge. I was lucky that I had a lot of help along the way from many wonderful people. I did what I had to do to survive and ultimately made it through.

Because of my experiences I refuse to hide my sexual orientation. I’m also not out there waiving a rainbow flag everyplace I go shouting for all to hear that I’m gay. I’m a person just like everyone else and just happen to be gay. I know there will always be people out there who will hate me for that one reason. Fortunately, I don’t care what they think. I don’t care who judges me for the things I did to survive while I was on the streets and I don’t care if anyone has a negative opinion about me. The only person that can judge me is myself and at the end of the day I can once again look myself in the mirror and be happy with who I see.

I went from a gay kid who had been kicked out onto the streets by my biological parents to a hard worker that’s supporting himself. I let my pride and inability to trust others keep me on the streets for two years when I could have been part of a loving home with two wonderful uncles who are sometimes my dads. Through it all though I managed to pull myself together and get myself off the streets. No matter what happens from here on out, I want to make a life for myself. Andrew and Dan are helping me to trust again, and even Chad and several others, although that’s going to be a long process. Chad became a nice cuddle buddy and I enjoyed being around him. When he moved away to finish college I missed him being near.

Someday maybe I won’t be as much of a loaner. And maybe I will let the walls I’ve build around me to come down. Right now it’s still one brick at a time and I built those walls very thick and tall. I have learned that no matter how bad it gets, there is always a tomorrow and tomorrow holds the promise of a new day that might just be better than today.

I want to thank you all for reading Alone in the Night. I tagged this as fiction for reasons of my own and wanted to wait until people reached the end of it to find out that this is in fact a true story. While all the names have been changed, the life that was lived by Matt in this story was my life. I've survived many attempts at suicide as well as living on the streets for two years. The two portrayed by Andrew and Dan remain an important part of my life. I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for them and a few other people. I still work with horses, though I've changed cities to escape some of the bad memories. Life goes on and between my horse and friends my long night has turned into a bright day.

Alone in the night, WolfM, 2011-2015, All Rights Reserved
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Chapter Comments



The human condition always gives me pause.

 

Wolf, I am not putting you on a pedestal when I say you are remarkable. I knew from the very first paragraph that this was more than likely a true story because we write about what we know. 

 

You make me so happy for the the human race because of your strength and resilience. And dude, you write so damned well.

 

Thank you, thank you.

 

- John

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This is my second reading of this story. I don't think once the tears stopped streaming down my cheeks. You have achieved a lot and have much to be proud of. I hope you are surrounded by happiness and love.

Emu xx

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On 6/2/2017 at 10:55 PM, jbjack said:

The human condition always gives me pause.

 

Wolf, I am not putting you on a pedestal when I say you are remarkable. I knew from the very first paragraph that this was more than likely a true story because we write about what we know. 

 

You make me so happy for the the human race because of your strength and resilience. And dude, you write so damned well.

 

Thank you, thank you.

 

- John

Thank you John

On 6/17/2017 at 4:16 AM, AustralianEmu said:

This is my second reading of this story. I don't think once the tears stopped streaming down my cheeks. You have achieved a lot and have much to be proud of. I hope you are surrounded by happiness and love.

Emu xx

Thank you Emu

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Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. Your ability to find strength inside is a true testament to the human spirit. I know you have so many good things waiting on you in life!!

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2 hours ago, Okiegrad said:

Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. Your ability to find strength inside is a true testament to the human spirit. I know you have so many good things waiting on you in life!!

Thank you Okiegrad :)

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I enjoyed this just as much the second time! I am thankful you got yourself off the streets. I am afraid there are too many teens who don't. Thank goodness for your guardian angels and your own stubborn determination! This was a moving and enjoyable story. Enjoyable doesn't feel like the best word to use, but your story was really good. Thanks. Jeff

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21 hours ago, JeffreyL said:

I enjoyed this just as much the second time! I am thankful you got yourself off the streets. I am afraid there are too many teens who don't. Thank goodness for your guardian angels and your own stubborn determination! This was a moving and enjoyable story. Enjoyable doesn't feel like the best word to use, but your story was really good. Thanks. Jeff

Thank you for the compliment Jeff

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I had a feeling that this was either you or someone you were close to that went through this; it was just to personal and had to many small points that only someone that truly understands that life would have used.  Glad to see that you made it through and found your way to the other side...

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4 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

I had a feeling that this was either you or someone you were close to that went through this; it was just to personal and had to many small points that only someone that truly understands that life would have used.  Glad to see that you made it through and found your way to the other side...

When I originally wrote this, I found it was easier for people to read when they thought it was just fiction.  Thank you, I'm glad I made it through as well.  Hugz

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A well written story which I recommend even though difficult to read at times. Partway through I also had the feeling that this was a true story. No child deserves to be thrown out if the home because of  their orientation. Wolf I am so proud of you for overcoming your difficulties and making such positive strides. Well done!  You give encouragement to others. Please continue  to live your best life possible.

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4 hours ago, Cinnamon said:

A well written story which I recommend even though difficult to read at times. Partway through I also had the feeling that this was a true story. No child deserves to be thrown out if the home because of  their orientation. Wolf I am so proud of you for overcoming your difficulties and making such positive strides. Well done!  You give encouragement to others. Please continue  to live your best life possible.

Thank you Cinnamon.  I'm one of many that's survived.  I tend to try and live life to its fullest.

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I guess I am on a WolfM marathon. In reading the comments, I realized this is a third reading for me. Even knowing a lot of what was coming next, it was still a good story. Engaging characters in a sad, but well written  story. I applaud not only your writing skills, but your strength and  stubbornness to survive. I hope life is mostly good for you. Happy holidays and thanks for this story.

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3 hours ago, JeffreyL said:

I guess I am on a WolfM marathon. In reading the comments, I realized this is a third reading for me. Even knowing a lot of what was coming next, it was still a good story. Engaging characters in a sad, but well written  story. I applaud not only your writing skills, but your strength and  stubbornness to survive. I hope life is mostly good for you. Happy holidays and thanks for this story.

Thank you again, Jeff. Life is much better now. I'm still stubborn, but some things just aren't meant to change ;) Happy Holidays to you as well.

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I can't help but to admire your values,

The situations is something  I cannot envisage.

I felt several times that I was being led (drawn) into the "Running with the Pack".

I would have loved to have been a Andrew or Ben for you.

May you continue to confront and expose the demons of the mind and excel in life. 

May God Bless You - Hah - I'll bless you instead!

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12 hours ago, Peter J. Gee said:

I can't help but to admire your values,

The situations is something  I cannot envisage.

I felt several times that I was being led (drawn) into the "Running with the Pack".

I would have loved to have been a Andrew or Ben for you.

May you continue to confront and expose the demons of the mind and excel in life. 

May God Bless You - Hah - I'll bless you instead!

Thank you, Peter. At times I'm not sure what values I had other than to try and survive. A lot of things were done that would offend people and plenty I'm not proud of. But I did try to hold on to some things even if I faltered at times. If I hadn't written this it's doubtful I would have started Running With The Pack. It was a safe place for that story to start and was a fantasy escape while on the streets. :hug:

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Trying to stay alive is a massive value. But values some times come with a clause called compromise, no matter what you were asked, subjected to, right choice or wrong, to survive, Did you have a choice? were you forced to make one ,

Sorry but I will comment later. (the easy wt out)

 

Hey You Rule

To say the truth You have not met me not I you, but your story  Lovitit

(Me 61 - Single - Not looking - found you - Thanks

Edited by Peter J. Gee
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Wow made me 😭 I will never understand why some parents do that am not a parent and it’s really painful to read but am happy u are doing well and u got the help u needed and I hope you found the man who raped u in their home so they don’t associate with him anymore he is a horrible man really disgusting and did u ever try to get In touch with ur mom ? 
sorry 😐 if am bringing up painful memories .

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Thank you for your story. I understand it's not easy trusting people especially if you've been hurt by someone whose suppose to love you unconditionally. And as far as what people think of what you did to survive. Screw'em you did what you had to do. If they can't understand that then that's there loss. Much Love keep doing you.

P. S. Are you still in contact with Chad? Just curious if it's none of my business just let me know I'll understand.

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On 6/1/2020 at 3:21 AM, Nana Atuwa said:

Wow made me 😭 I will never understand why some parents do that am not a parent and it’s really painful to read but am happy u are doing well and u got the help u needed and I hope you found the man who raped u in their home so they don’t associate with him anymore he is a horrible man really disgusting and did u ever try to get In touch with ur mom ? 
sorry 😐 if am bringing up painful memories .

Thank you, Nana. I'll never understand it either. I will never make an attempt to get in touch with her or the sperm donor. I attempted to contact my grandparents and it didn't go well, but made good material for one of my poems. Memories are only painful if you let them be. Mine are unpleasant, but I've stopped giving them power over me.

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22 hours ago, crazyd said:

Thank you for your story. I understand it's not easy trusting people especially if you've been hurt by someone whose suppose to love you unconditionally. And as far as what people think of what you did to survive. Screw'em you did what you had to do. If they can't understand that then that's there loss. Much Love keep doing you.

P. S. Are you still in contact with Chad? Just curious if it's none of my business just let me know I'll understand.

Thank you, crazyd. I don't give much thought to what people think about my past as a hustler. I did it and managed to survive. I've surrounded myself by people who view me by who I am now, which is all I could ask for. Sadly, I've lost contact with Chad.

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13 hours ago, belisima said:

I loved each painfully beautiful word.  Thank you.

Thank you, Belisima.

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