(under College section)
(All under boy-bands)
NEW! Admitting the Truth
(Posted July 12/01)
(Posted May 29/01)
(Ended Jan 28/01)
(Posted Oct 31/00)
(Ended Feb 6/00)
(Posted May 8/00)
Set You Free
(Ended Apr 11/00)
Ten Guys, One Night
(Posted Apr 7/00)
Only three parts left after this!
Thank yous to Neo and Rune, as always, and to David the archivist.
1. If you're too young, I don't want to know it.
2. I don't know the Backstreet Boys or any other celebrity. The story is completely made up. Tyler is from my own imagination.
If you have any comments about this story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thank you for reading!
Tyler looked around the room in amazement. The room was quite large and had a variety of furniture ranging from the stereotypical leather couch, to bean bag chairs and a hammock. Tyler spotted a porch swing loveseat next to a window and immediately walked to it. He sat down and pulled Brian down beside him, refusing to release his hand. They sat close, gently swinging as they looked at Jason.
Jason smiled at the pair. "I thought that might be the one you took! So lets get started." He looked down at a folder. "Now I know you were referred to me by Kelly Armstrong. I must admit that I gave her a call to see if she could give me any background. With doctor confidentiality she couldn't tell me much except that you have had a rough few years and a particularly bad few months." He waited to see Tyler's reaction.
Tyler watched his feet as they slowly pushed the swing. He nodded. "That sounds about right," he said softly.
"Tyler," Jason said quietly, "I'm going to need a little more information than that. I do want to say though, that whatever you tell me, I'm not going to say I understand or know how you feel."
That comment caused Tyler to jerk his head up and look at Jason. Jason smiled. "Is that what you expected?" Tyler nodded slightly. "Tyler, even on the off chance that I experienced the same physical circumstances that you did, we are two different people, with different backgrounds. There is no way I can know what you are feeling because I'm not you. However, I would like to help YOU understand your feelings and hopefully deal with whatever has happened so that it doesn't hinder you from living a wonderful, fulfilled life."
Tyler smiled slightly. "That sounds good," he murmured, glancing at Brian.
"Okay. Now if we can just set one ground rule? Brian is here only as long as you want him to be." Jason held up his hand to stop Tyler's objection. "I know. You want him with you, and I certainly have no objection to that. But if, at any point, you would be more comfortable without him in the room, end of discussion," Jason stated firmly.
"My choice?" Tyler asked softly. Jason nodded. "Okay."
Jason smiled and sat back in his chair. "Good. So I guess the first question that should be asked is 'why are you here?'."
Tyler leaned back and relaxed a little when Brian put his arm around Tyler's shoulders. Quietly, but in a clear voice, Tyler told Jason about his life; the abandonment by his mother, the abuse from his father and how it escalated to the final confrontation. He talked about what happened on the streets leading up to the rape. He finally looked up at Jason with a smile. "Then I found this bus. I crawled onto it expecting to die, but instead found a reason to live." He turned his head and kissed Brian's cheek. Brian hugged him tightly, amazed that Tyler had gotten through the entire story so calmly.
Jason looked at them thoughtfully. "Tyler, you are quite an amazing young man. You are remarkably well adjusted considering all that you've been through." He looked at his watch and stood up. "I think that's a good place to stop for today. I would like to schedule you in for tomorrow. For the first couple of weeks, I'd like to see you Monday, Wednesday and Friday if that's possible?"
Tyler looked at Brian questioningly. Brian shrugged. "Whatever is required baby," he whispered.
Tyler nodded. "Okay, we can do that," he agreed.
"Good." Jason led them back to the waiting room. "Chris will schedule you in. And I will see you both tomorrow," he added. He turned to Chris who had risen from a chair where he was reading a magazine. "Would you book Tyler in for tomorrow, then Monday, Wednesday, Friday for the next two weeks. Then we'll re-evaluate after that." Chris nodded and walked over to the desk. Tyler followed.
Brian turned to Jason. "Thank you Jason. Tyler feels comfortable with you, and I know things will get better."
Jason smiled. "So it must have been a shock to you and your band mates when you found Tyler?" he suggested.
Brian nodded. "You could say that! You should have heard the yell I let out. And Tyler was in such bad shape," he added with a frown as he remembered that first encounter.
Jason patted Brian's shoulder. "You're lucky to have each other. I'll see you tomorrow." Brian smiled and turned to find Tyler. Chris was just handing Tyler an appointment card.
"See you tomorrow, Tyler," Chris said.
Tyler smiled and nodded. "Thank you." He joined Brian and they returned to the foyer to put on their shoes before going out to the car.
Neither spoke until Brian began driving down the street.
"So what do you think Ty?" he asked.
Tyler smiled and looked at Brian. "I like him. I like them both," he said sincerely. "I think it's wonderful that they are both so comfortable with their sexuality too," he added.
Brian agreed. He wondered if that was why Kelly had recommended the therapist. Not that it really mattered. Tyler liked the man and that was the important thing.
Over the next couple of appointments Tyler opened up about everything that had happened to him since he crawled onto the Backstreet tour bus. Jason listened but also asked questions that forced Tyler to think. When they returned to the subject of Tyler's parents, he asked Tyler what was the key issue he was having trouble dealing with. That was the first time Tyler broke down during therapy. He began to sob as he wondered aloud how a mother could abandon her child or how a father could beat a child. Brian had to restrain himself from yelling at Jason, knowing deep down that Jason was helping Tyler face his problems. But it didn't lessen his desire to protect the younger man. In between the therapy, Brian and Tyler just relaxed. They began to take regular long walks and swam every evening. Every other day found them at Kevin's horseback riding. And all the while, they talked, getting to know more and more about each other.
Just over a week after the first appointment, Tyler and Brian were on their way to the office for appointment number five.
"Brian?" Tyler said suddenly. Brian glanced at him. "Would you be upset if I said I wanted to go in alone today?" he asked hesitantly.
Brian looked intently at Tyler before returning his gaze to the road. "Of course not! Tyler, you remember what Jason said right from the beginning. I'm there only as long as you want me to be. If you want to talk to Jason alone, you should. And I promise to wait for you in the waiting room," Brian added, answering Tyler's next question.
Tyler reached over and squeezed Brian's hand. "Thank you Bri."
Jason hid his surprise when Tyler followed him to the office, minus Brian. He waited until Tyler sat down on the now familiar swinging loveseat.
"So this is different," he casually commented.
Tyler smiled and nodded. "Yeah. I just felt like it was time. I know he's going to be out there when I'm done. I don't have to see him or feel him to know that."
Jason smiled at that. "Its obvious that you and Brian are really close. Can I ask you about that?" Tyler nodded, but stopped swinging. Jason noticed. "If you aren't comfortable with that tell me Tyler."
Tyler pursed his lips then nodded. "No. It's okay. You can ask."
"Actually, all I wanted to know was exactly how you feel about Brian. I guess I have a concern that he has become simply a safety net for you, because he saved you," Jason commented then waited for Tyler's reaction.
Tyler remained still for a moment before sitting back and starting to swing again. "I suppose," he said quietly, "that at first he was my 'safety net'. I know that if I hadn't stumbled onto that bus I would have given up. I was injured enough, and it was cold enough that night that if I hadn't found shelter I would have died," he admitted and looked directly at Jason. "Brian saved me. He cleaned me up, fed me, and held me through the nightmares." Tyler pushed himself to his feet and began to wander around the office. "I can't say exactly when I realized I was in love with him. I mean, what do I know about love?" he asked rhetorically. "But I do know that when he smiles at me, I can feel my heart beat faster. He listens to what I have to say. I feel happy and content, when we just sit quietly together. I never imagined someone as kind and considerate as him. Brian showed me that life is worth living. When his arms are around me I feel protected and loved. Is that wrong?" he asked turning back to Jason.
Jason shook his head. "Tyler I'm not trying to make you doubt yourself, or your feelings. I just wanted to give you a chance to examine your feelings. I believe you love him, I see it every time you look at him."
They continued to talk about Tyler's feelings until the end of the session. When Tyler left he was feeling good, really good. He was starting to understand that he was allowed to love and be loved.
He smiled at Brian and grabbed his hand as they walked out to the car.
"Everything go okay?" Brian asked casually, not wanting to pry, but still interested.
Tyler grinned and nodded. "It was good. I'm feeling good. Do you think we could go to the mall for a while? I don't want to go back to the house yet. Its nice to be out," he said excitedly.
Brian could only nod and agree. He quickly called home to let his parents know they wouldn't be back for dinner.
Brian donned plain glass eyeglasses and a hat to help disguise himself before they went into the mall. Tyler laughed at him, but didn't say anything. He knew the necessity of the costume having been on tour with the singers. The two just wandered through the large building, stopping at stores when something attracted the attention of one of them. Brian was delighted to see the exuberant Tyler instead of the sad, quiet boy from weeks earlier.
Brian paused outside a clothing store when he saw something his Dad might like.
"I'll be right back Ty," he said as he entered the store to find out if the shirt came in the right size. Tyler waited outside, looking around at the other stores in interest.
"Tyler!" someone said loudly from behind. Tyler turned to see Kevin rapidly approaching him.
"Hey Kev!" he greeted the older man. He lost his smile as he noticed the serious expression on Kevin's face. Before he could say anything, a commotion began behind him. Tyler turned around to see what was going on. There was a crowd of four men surrounding one man. It appeared as though the man was being put into handcuffs.
Tyler froze as a couple of the men moved and he could see the man in cuffs. It was his Dad. He barely noticed Kevin's hand when it gripped his shoulder. He couldn't move his gaze away. Then his Dad looked up and saw Tyler.
"This is your fault you ungrateful little brat!" he hissed loudly. The arresting officers began to pull him away from Tyler and out of the mall. Even when the five men were gone Tyler didn't move. He couldn't.
"Ty. Ty, look at me!" a voice insisted. Tyler forced himself to look away from the empty spot in the hall and refocus on the man in front of him. It was Brian. It was always Brian. "Let's go Ty. Kevin will explain everything later," Brian said quietly. Tyler nodded absently and followed as Brian grasped his wrist and led him to an exit. He could feel Kevin beside him.
They reached the car and Tyler was seated in the back seat. Brian climbed in beside him, while Kevin took the driver's seat. Tyler was shocked. How had his Dad found him, and why? He thought once the court case ended, he wouldn't have to worry about the man ever again. He'd obviously been wrong. Tyler felt Brian's arms wrap around him and pull him against a firm chest. He relaxed into that comfort, still not quite believing what had happened.
"Brian, where do you want me to go?" Kevin asked as he pulled out of the mall.
Brian gently stroked Tyler's hair and thought about it. Tyler was fairly unresponsive due to the shock. A sudden idea came to him. "Kev, I think we should go back to Jason's place," Brian said. He gave Kevin the address and settled back, holding Tyler close and whispering to him. "Everything is okay baby. He won't hurt you. I promise," he murmured.
Tyler only looked up when the car door opened. It was then that he realized they were back at the therapist's office and home. Kevin put his arm around Tyler, while Brian ran up to the door. A few seconds later Kevin began to walk Tyler up to the building.
Tyler didn't pay any attention to the people around him. He was still wondering and worrying about his father. Now that the police had his Dad, what was going to happen? Would he have to go back to court? What would happen if his Dad were released? All these questions raced through Tyler's mind as he was led to a chair and sat down.
"Tyler?" a new voice said. Someone knelt in front of him and gently grasped his chin. Tyler was forced to look. "Tyler, listen to me. You're safe here. I need you to tell me that you understand," Jason said urgently.
Safe? Tyler thought. "What if he comes back?" Tyler whispered. Brian sat down beside Tyler and picked up his hand.
"Tyler, I don't think he'll come back now. But if he does, then you do whatever you have to, to get away from him," Brian said softly.
"Tyler?" Jason said quietly. Tyler finally looked at the therapist. "Are you to blame for your father being in jail?" he asked.
"Yes," Tyler whispered, then, "No."
"Tyler, are you responsible for your mother leaving, and your father beating you?" Jason asked then.
Tyler didn't say anything, but his mind was racing. He wasn't responsible for his parents' behavior. Seeing his father again so suddenly brought back a surge of memories, and a new feeling, anger. Anger that his father had caused him so much pain and fear. Anger that someone who was supposed to love him had stolen his youth.
Tyler looked up. "No! She made the decision to leave, to leave without me. He made the decision to hurt me. It's his own fault that he's in jail," Tyler declared, finally realizing that he wasn't at fault.
Jason smiled. "That's right Tyler. People are only responsible for their own actions. Don't forget that." Jason stood and looked down at Tyler. "So are you feeling a little better now?" he asked.
Tyler nodded and blushed. "Yeah. Sorry we had to bother you," he apologized. "I just couldn't process it all, seeing him suddenly when I thought I would never see his face again."
Jason smiled. "Don't worry about it Tyler. It was obviously a shock." He glanced at Brian before he turned to look at Kevin. "So what exactly happened?"
Kevin stepped forward. "I'm Kevin by the way, Brian's cousin. I guess I can answer that question the best. I got a call from one of our attorneys. Apparently Johnson's work had found out about the hearing and he was fired. When the court tried to get the money he was ordered to pay Tyler, he disappeared. Somehow Johnson found out where Tyler was getting mail sent. We had a couple of people looking for him and they found him here. I tried to call Brian at home, but Jackie said you guys had gone to the mall. So I went to the mall to find you," Kevin explained.
"Why didn't the police pick him up when our guys found him?" Brian asked.
"State lines. The court ordered payment wasn't enforceable, only the restraining order was. So I called a couple of cops and the four followed him to the mall. When he was within the 100 feet distance of Tyler, they could legally arrest him," Kevin said.
"Will I have to face him in court?" Tyler asked in a small voice.
Kevin shook his head. "Not likely. Our lawyers are going to meet with him and present an offer he can't refuse," Kevin said seriously.
"Thanks Kevin," Tyler said sincerely. Kevin just smiled.
"Are you sure you're okay now Tyler?" Jason asked, looking closely at the young man.
Tyler inhaled deeply then nodded. "Yeah, yeah I think so," he replied.
"Good!" Jason said with a smile. "But, I want you to feel free to call me any time, okay?"
Tyler nodded and stood up. "Thanks Jason. I guess I'll see you next week?"
Jason grinned. "Of course!" He walked with the three men to the front door. Tyler never released Brian's hand. "Have a good night guys," Jason said as he watched them walk back to the car.