Disclaimer:The following contains scenes of sexual activity between males. If you find this offensive or if it is illegal for you to read this in your particular jurisdiction, the author asks that you not do so. The author does not advocate the violation of any laws.
This is the conclusion of The Outsider's Tale. I thank you so very much for your many supportive emails, (and even for the flames I received for the scenes between Stephen and Brad). Should you wish to comment, please email me at Free7Thinker@netscape.net .
I hope soon to complete my other story, The Moon in Your Eyes. Thank you for the many inquiries about that story and please accept my apologies for the long hiatus.
I also hope soon to start a new Canterbury series centered at Canterbury College. Look in the College section of Nifty for that!!!
And, now, the conclusion of:
A Canterbury Tale
The Outsider's Tale
Oscar Wilde once referred to homosexuality as "the love that dare not speak its name." In the months since I had found my refuge in Canterbury, I had lost much of the shame I had felt for being one of those lost souls in search of the forbidden love. The Mancinelli family had given me acceptance and friendship when I had none. Donald and Patience Goldstein gave me trust, and Davy had given me the love I needed, and did so unconditionally.
As I lay in the bed Sunday morning, holding Brad's sleeping body, his head on my shoulder, I was in such a torrent of emotion. All night, we had held each other, caressed and kissed, given ourselves to each other. It hadn't been the hot and nasty romp of Friday night. Instead, it was a boy lost and desperate for acceptance searching for validation, for friendship, for warmth. With each kiss, I was amazed at the depth of feeling and emotion passing between us. I looked at the boy in my arms and saw the bully, the tough guy, the loner. I felt the need, though, of a teenager begging in his own way for me to rescue him.
And, that was my dilemma. The morning sun was warming my room as I looked out the window. I could feel Brad's breath on my neck, his arms wrapped around me. Loving Brad had been a beautiful experience; but, Davy was coming home that day. My Davy. I loved Davy. I intended to spend the rest of my life with Davy. I couldn't imagine my life without Davy. And, yet, not only had I had a sexy romp with Brad Friday night, but I had spent Saturday night and Sunday morning making love with him. I didn't want to spend my life with Brad, but he moved me in ways Davy didn't. Were those emotions greater than what I felt for Davy? I was certain not. Was it lust that moved me, or love, or sympathy, or all three?
I knew I had to rescue Brad from the life he was leading. I had to give him friendship and acceptance and get him out of that hellhole he shared with his mother and help him escape having to hustle for food. But, could I rescue Brad, give him the friendship he needed, and not lose Davy? Could I keep Davy and not lose the chance to help Brad?
Sex was not an important part of this. I knew that. The sex I had with Brad had been fun and hot and intense Friday night. Sure, I was drunk and stoned when it happened. But, I was glad it happened. And, yes, making love to him all night and most of the morning had been beautiful and intensely arousing. But, there was definitely something else there. I had always prided myself on my ability to look at things rationally and cut through the bullshit, and I was certain that, in this case, I was not bullshitting myself.
I felt Brad stir next to me. He moaned and breathed heavily on my neck as I felt his cock begin to swell against my hip. I looked down at him and he smiled up at me.
"Good morning," I whispered with a kiss to the tip of his nose.
"Hey," he replied groggily as his cock reached full erection. With a moan, he reached up and kissed me on the lips as his hips thrust into me. I squeezed him tightly and felt my own arousal growing.
"You going to church this morning?" Brad asked with a grin.
Affecting his style of speech and without even looking at the clock, I replied, "Fuck, no." He chuckled.
And, then, it happened.
Outside, I heard the unmistakable rumble of the Goldsteins' Volkswagen bus chugging up the driveway. My heart stopped and my face must have shown my panic for Brad, at first looked curious and, then, realization came over his face and, with it, pain.
"He's home!" I whispered in panic.
I quickly sat up in bed, a look of horror on my face. In terror, I looked around the room, though for what I was searching I had no idea. Brad simply lay there, a blank look on his face. As I glanced down at him in my panic, I knew what that neutral expression meant and my heart broke.
I jumped out of bed and ran to the window. Davy was just climbing out of the van. He looked up at me and gave a joyous smile and wave before running to the stairs leading up to my room.
Oh, my God. I was dying. Everything was crashing down around me. I saw the resignation and surrender in Brad's eyes. I heard Davy racing up the stairs.
"Oh, God," I moaned as my life seemed to end at that moment.
Davy was pounding on the door.
"Stevie! Open up!"
I took a deep breath as Brad sat up in the bed, a look of defeat on his face as great as the pain that must have disfigured my own. Slowly, as if I were walking to my execution, I went to the door, unlocked it, and opened it.
Davy burst through.
"Stevie! I'm home. We came home early. Donald and Grandad got into a fight so we came home early!"
He wrapped his arms around my naked body and his new winter coat was chilly against my warm, naked skin. I wrapped my arms around him and with the weight of the world in my voice, whispered, "I love you, Davy. Always, always remember that. I love you, my sweet Davy."
He pulled back with a look of, first confusion, then concern in his eyes, until he looked past me.
He saw Brad McKenzie in my bed.
Davy stood motionless, his arms hanging limply at his side, his eyes locked on Brad. My back was turned so I couldn't see what Brad was doing, but my eyes couldn't have left Davy's face for anything. At first, his face was a blank, as if he couldn't comprehend what was happening. Then, as realization overcame him, I could see the pain and anger form.
After a moment, he looked up at me. He said nothing. He didn't need to. He turned and walked out the door.
Lamely, I went to the door and standing naked in the icy winter air, barefoot on my snowy porch, I moaned, "Davy, please let me explain."
It was useless. I knew it was. If I were Davy, I would have done exactly what he was doing, which was ignore my plea, walk woodenly down the stairs and out of Stephen Kissinger's life.
I stood naked on my porch, my life over, watching the most wonderful thing in my life disappear. I was ready to die.
Slowly, I re-entered my room and closed the door, oblivious to the cold outside. Woodenly, I walked into the room.
Brad was already standing up at the side of the bed, his jeans on. He was pulling his tee-shirt over his head. When his eyes met mine, he turned away and sat down to pull his socks and boots on.
"Brad," I said softly.
"Ah, Steve, don't say anything. I know he's the one you want. You aren't the kinda guy who would stay with me. I'm not the kinda guy for you. I'm the guy you fuck with when the real one's outa town. I know the score."
I dropped to the floor. That wasn't the situation at all, but how could I tell Brad that? How could I tell Davy that? How could I tell myself that? I sat on the wooden floor, in a heap, unable to speak, unable to look at the pain in Brad's face.
He pulled on his leather jacket, walked across the floor in his scuffed and filthy boots, and muttered, "See ya," before he, too, walked out of my life.
I had no idea what time it was when I finally crawled up from the floor. Almost as if in a trance, I took a shower and dressed, pulling on old jeans and a ski sweater. I stood before the window and stared across at the window to the room in which, before July 2, Davy had slept. I saw no movement. Taking a deep breath, I turned to the door and marched down the stairs, across the snow to the back door of the big house and, since I was considered a part of the family, (a status I wasn't sure I would continue to enjoy), entered the back door.
Patience was standing at the counter preparing sandwiches with some kind of green leafy things as I entered the kitchen.
"Oh, Stephen. I'm so glad you're here," she said in her ethereal voice. "Are you OK?"
I looked down at the floor in shame.
"No, ma'am. I'm not."
She nodded with understanding.
"Davy's upstairs in his room."
"What the hell did you do to The Larva?" Donald demanded as I entered the hallway. He was emerging from his study with a slightly glazed expression. I took another deep breath.
"I... I... I was untrue to him."
Donald looked at me blankly for a moment and then spit as he suddenly burst out laughing.
I was definitely NOT in the mood for Seventies Liberal Sexual and Political Liberation at that moment and forced my way past him and up the stairs.
"Oh, my God!" he shrieked as he fell against the wall. "Oh, Pizza Hut! You're killing me!" he declared in between guffaws. Then, in an affected dramatically Victorian voice, he declared, "Oh, my dear Dr. Goldstein! Please forgive me! I've cuckolded your son! AH HAHAHHAHA! Oh, God, Pizza Hut! I can't take it!"
If I had ever wanted to murder Donald Goldstein, it was at that moment. With every ounce of strength in my body, I turned and walked the rest of the way up the stairs.
The Goldstein's house was a huge old Victorian monolith with rooms everywhere. I passed the tower room and stopped in front of Davy's door. I raised my hand, but I couldn't bring myself to knock.
I could hear nothing from inside. For several minutes I just stood there, building up strength and then retreating and then building up strength. At last, I just knocked.
There was no reply.
"Davy, it's me," as if it could have been anyone else.
"Davy, please let me in."
"Davy, let me explain. Please. I'm... I'm begging you."
"Davy! I have to talk to you! Please!"
The silence was killing me.
"Davy! I don't know what to say except, I love you. I will always love you. I will do anything for you. You are the Love of My Life. You mean Everything to me. I've hurt you. I know. I need to tell you how it happened. Please! Please let me talk to you! Please!"
"God damn it, Davy! Talk to me!! Talk to me!!!"
I was crying. I fell to the floor in utter defeat, falling against the door.
"Oh, Davy! Oh, God, Davy!" I wailed.
In my tears, I saw Donald standing at the top of the stairs, a strange and unusual, (for him), look of compassion on his face. Slowly, he moved down the hall to me and held out his hand.
"Come on, Stephen," he said softly. "Let's talk."
Trying to stop my sobs, I stood up unsteadily and leaned against Donald as he put his arm around me and guided me to the stairs.
When we came to the living room, Patience was sitting in her usual decrepit Twenties-era chair by the dormer window, eating her green-thing sandwich. A plate with a similar creation was sitting on the coffee table atop a stack of Daily Workers and The Nation. Donald pushed me down onto the couch, sat next to me, offered me a bite of his lunch, which I declined, took a bite, and then turned to me.
"OK, my friend. What's happening?"
I swallowed and looked at the floor in shame.
"I suppose I should start at the beginning."
"That's usually the best, although if you want to start at the end and work your way back, I'm sure we can sort things out. By the way, you want a hit?"
Donald picked up the bong sitting on the coffee table, (they never seemed to be more than three steps away from one in that house; it was as if they had emergency bongs stashed everywhere for every possible contingency). He handed it to me.
"What the hell," I replied. "I'm already going to Hell. Why not?"
After taking a hit, I sat back and, indeed, felt more relaxed. I looked up at Patience and saw such a look of space-out benevolence that I knew I could unload on them and they would not only understand, but just might be able to say something that could, eventually, actually help.
"OK," I started with a deep breath. "Friday afternoon, I went over to Nicky and Jamie's and spent the afternoon drinking beer with them and listening to music and just, generally bullshitting with them."
"Good for you," Donald declared. "I have to admit I was doubting your humanity there for awhile."
I rolled my eyes and continued.
"It was about seven or eight when I left and I was feeling pretty drunk and pretty lonely with Davy gone and pretty depressed about not being home and... and... I don't know. I was walking up Main Street toward campus and I saw the Queen of Diamonds there and... well I thought `what the heck' and decided to see what it was like."
Donald dropped his sandwich on the coffee table in shock.
"YOU went to the Queen of Diamonds?"
I was completely exasperated.
"Why does everyone constantly act like I'm such a goody-two-shoes? For God's sake, Donald, I'm sleeping with your thirteen year-old son!"
He looked at me thoughtfully for a moment and then replied, "Well, you do have a point."
I sighed and continued.
"Anyway, I went in and it was boring and after a few more beers, I left and I saw this guy standing outside. He's this fifteen year-old kid name Brad McKenzie, whose a real hard-ass and a bully and I had to throw him out of the restaurant last week because he shoved Jon right there in the middle of the place. Well, like he's this really hot guy and... and... I don't know, he was like standing there hustling and... and... well..."
I was dying there, but I had to say it.
"I took him home and we did it all night."
I looked at Donald in horror.
"Are you crazy?"
Donald waved his hand dismissively.
"Go on with your story."
I was beyond understanding anything that was happening at that point. I took another hit from the bong, which prompted Donald to say, "Maybe your need more of these soul-shattering experiences, dude."
"Whatever," I replied. "Anyway, he's not a bad guy. He's just had a lot of shitty luck. His mother is a prostitute and he doesn't know where his father is. Davy and I caught him digging for food Wednesday in the dumpster behind the restaurant. He's selling himself because he has to. Well, anyway, last night, he came back by my place and this time, we just, like, laid in bed and... and... it wasn't like all hot and nasty. It was nice and he's a really nice guy and now I've fucked him up and I've fucked Davy up and... and... I wanna die. I love Davy more than anything and I would never do anything to hurt him. But, I can't leave Brad out there to sell blow-jobs so he can eat and... and... I... I just wanna die."
I dissolved into tears again. I had always prided myself on my rationality and my ability to deal with situations. But, this was beyond anything I had ever experienced. I was lost.
Donald and Patience were silent as I sat in shame and desolation. When I regained control. Donald scooted over to me and put his arm around my shoulder.
"Stevie, you're one of the most decent people I've ever met. I know we don't agree on a lot of things. But, I would trust you with my life. I trust you with my son and I know you would never do anything deliberately to hurt him. But, remember, Stevie. You may be eighteen and in many ways you're a man, now. But, in other ways, you're still a kid. You're still learning. You're still growing. And, you're still human. You can fuck up. Its OK. In fact, you're supposed to fuck up. That's what humans do. We fuck up and then we learn."
Patience handed me some tissues and I blew my nose. Donald continued.
"Now, the thing with Davy is tough. I know he's being a bit of a hypocrite here. I know he gets it on with Jon and Anthony. For some perverse reason, he seems to have a thing for Beaver Cleaver types. God knows why. We've tried to raise him with an elevated consciousness and there are enough liberal progeny in this town for him that he doesn't have to seek out these Pat Boones, but that's neither here nor there. The point is, he fools around and he's crushed that you do. In a way, it's a double standard. But, look at it from his point of view."
I looked up at him and saw the kindest expression in his face. Yes, Donald and I did have our difference, especially over how to raise kids. Yet, he was genuinely being a friend to me now, and I was crushingly grateful.
"Stevie, you're probably the most stable influence in his life. Patience and I have tried to raise him to think independently and to act independently, to be free of the cultural hierarchies that shape our paradigms. But, maybe, just maybe, kids need some hierarchy, some stability. You've provided him with that. He relies on you to be his rock. He truly expects to spend the rest of his life with you and when he saw you with Brad this morning, he saw that rock crumble and that stability shatter. He's scared and angry. He needs time and he needs reassurance that you're still his rock."
I swallowed and looked at Patience. Her dreamlike smile was almost angelic. Donald squeezed my shoulder.
"What should I do about Brad?" I asked softly.
"Well, if you fuck him again, I'll kick your ass."
Donald gave me a severe look that shook me to the core, and then burst out laughing.
"Ah, man. Pizza Hut, you're too much. Shit, I don't care. I trust you to do the right thing for you and for Davy and for Brad. I do have one rule though."
I looked at him in surprise.
"Yeah, yeah, I know, I never have rules. But, I do have one here. I trust you to take care of Davy. But, I don't want Brad to hurt him. If you can stay friends with Brad, fine. But, he doesn't fuck Davy and he doesn't hurt him. I trust you to make certain."
Solemnly, I replied, "I will guard Davy with my life."
Donald rolled his eyes.
"God, don't get all Gunga Din on me here. Just watch what happens. OK?"
"Meanwhile, where do you think we could find Brad, now?"
Donald looked at Patience and raised an eyebrow. He was rewarded with a giggle.
"Well, we need to start another commune."
Had he completely lost his mind?
"OK. We lived in this really cool commune near Shelburne when I was working on my PhD at UVM. It was a couple of years after Davy was born. It was great. Well, here we are in this huge old house with six empty rooms. Why not?"
Well, my parents already thought I was in the middle of a hippie commune. Why not?
"I'll call Nicky and Jamie and see if they can help me talk to him. So where can I find him?"
"Well, he lives at Second and Ford," (even Donald cringed at that news), "but he'll probably be outside the Queen of Diamonds tonight."
Donald stood up.
"Well, its all settled. Now, you go up there and woo my son. Patience and I are going to celebrate."
I didn't want to speculate too much on what form that celebration might take, so I returned to Davy's door. It was still deathly quiet inside. I knocked softly, but said nothing. No response.
I decided to violate my principles. Slowly, I tried the doorknob. It turned.
Slowly, I opened the door. Davy was sitting at his desk, staring out the window at the garage, his eyes seemingly fixed on the room where he and I had lived together and loved together for nearly six months. I could see the model of Old Ironsides which Davy and I had built in July sitting in the window.
"I heard," Davy said softly. I said nothing.
After a moment, he slowly turned in the chair. His eyes were swollen and his face was red. I saw the pain I had caused him and it ripped at my heart.
"Was he good?"
I looked at him and then took a deep breath.
Another pause, as he looked into my eyes, apparently examining me, judging me.
"Are ya gonna do it again?"
I knew that at that moment, more than at any moment since I had first laid eyes on my wild boy as he climbed down the trellis outside his room that hot June afternoon, I had to tell the truth.
"I don't know."
He set his mouth firmly.
"Do you love him?"
When I didn't immediately answer, his head cocked slightly to the right.
"Nnnno. I don't love him. But, I really like him and I am really concerned for him. Davy, he's not a bad guy. He's really a kid whose been dumped on really bad. He talked to me. His mom's a whore. Her boyfriends like to either beat him up or fuck him. Sometimes, the only way he can eat is to go through dumpsters or to sell blow jobs outside the gay bar. He needs someone to give a damn about him. I do. But, Davy..."
Tears formed in his eyes and I fell to my knees in front of him. I took his right hand, holding it as if I held the most precious jewel. I looked up at him.
"I... I can't make a speech. I don't know what to say or what I could say to take away the pain I've caused you. All I can say is, I can't live without you."
The tears flowed down his face. Slowly he stood and pulled me up. He leaned against me. My arms automatically folded protectively around him. He held me, his arms squeezing progressively tighter. We said nothing. Nothing needed to be said.
We spent the rest of the day in our room, our home, cuddling and loving, reading together, listening to Chopin, making up for lost time. Late in the evening, certainly after nine, I was about to shower and get ready for bed as I had to work at Mancinelli's in the morning, when we heard an uncertain nock on the door. When I opened it, I saw Brad, still wearing his filthy jeans and battered leather jacket. He seemed afraid, but I looked back at Davy. My sweet boy sitting cross-legged on the bed with Jonathan Livingston Seagull, nodded. I stepped aside and let him enter.
I offered him the same chair he had sat in Friday night when he had acted so provocatively and seductively, (or, rather, when I had encouraged him to act so provocatively and seductively). I sat behind Davy and wrapped my arms around him.
"Listen, I just want to say I'm sorry," Brad said softly as he looked down at the floor. "And, I want to say thanks, too. Donald's gonna let me stay in the big house and he's gonna talk to Mancinelli and see if maybe I can get a job."
"That's great," I said. Davy leaned back against me and wrapped his arms around the my arms.
"And, ah, he says its all because of you, Steve. Thanks, man."
"Its OK, Brad. You're a good guy."
He stood up.
"Listen, you ever need anything, ever need any help, you call. You too, Freakle."
Davy smiled. Brad stood up.
"You, know, Freak, you're pretty God damn lucky."
Davy looked up at me and smiled.
Brad walked to the door.
"See ya later, alligator."
Davy and I both squeezed each other in appreciation as Brad unknowingly used one of our favorite expressions.
After he was gone, Davy looked up at me again and whispered, "I am lucky. I'm the luckiest guy in the world."
I kissed his forehead.
"Maybe, I'll wait till the morning to take my shower."
He gave me his evil Davy grin and we crawled under the sheets.
They were both wrong. I was the luckiest guy in the world. I thanked God for sending me to Canterbury.