Chapter 4 : You Still Smile.
This story is fictional based on fictional characters. Any similarity to any person living or dead is coincidence. This story may contain man/teen boy or man/preteen boy or teen/preteen boy sex. It may contain no sex at all. I haven't decided yet.
If this is legal for you to read and is the sort of stuff you enjoy reading then read and enjoy. If this is not legal for you to read and/or is not the sort of stuff that you enjoy then do not read. You have the choice.
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"Forgiveness flows when I do you wrong.
How I wish I could undo it all
But through it all
You still smile"
You Still Smile – River Disturbance - Deliverance
[The song above in part inspired chapter 3, and the words above are my main inspiration for this chapter. I heard it for the first time while trying to piece Chapters 3 and 4 together]
To say that the last few weeks have been hell would be an understatement.
I have a new disrespect for the police. For what they did to Bob. For what they did to his family. For what they did to mum. For what they did to me.
And for what they tried to do to David.
It was another 2 days before we had any real news from the hospital. David very nearly died when I was there. In fact he did, but the staff were able to bring him back. For the next few days his condition was extremely critical.
The police arrived again that night. Two unmarked cars, plain clothed officers. One pair went to Bob's house and the other came to mine. At first they claimed to be giving us some information on the accident – which they did. But then when my mother went off to make some coffee they started asking me about David – had he tried to do anything sexual with me, had he touched me, how long had I known him. All sorts of stuff.
While they were talking, my mother called someone, then came out and handed the phone to one of the officers. The officer seemed a bit upset as she spoke to whoever was on the other end. Well, when I say "spoke" I mean "uttered a few grunts here and there". She didn't get to say a single sentence during the entire call. After the call ended the officer turned to my mother.
"You did not need to get your lawyer involved!"
My mother took a few deep breaths. I recognised the warning sign, and prepared to block my ears. The other officer saw the look on my face and I think he realised what was about to happen as well. But he has not had the years of experience to learn from.
"Excuse me?" my mother said politely, almost as if she had not properly heard the female officer.
"I think we should head back to the station now. If you want.." The male officer was silenced by a glare from my mother. The female officer still had not clicked. So much for "woman's intuition".
"I was only saying that there was no need for your lawyer to be involved in this".
"YOU ARE INTERVIEWING MY SON WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, WITHOUT MY PERMISSION, AND YOU SAY WE DO NOT NEED A LAWYER?" mum screamed.
The male officer already had their things gathered and was making his way to the front door.
"Mrs Hastings, please calm down. There is no need to.."
"GET OUT OF MY HOUSE THIS INSTANCE! You have broken the law in regard to interviewing my son. You now have no legal right to be here. If you try to remain, then not only will I be taking you to court for your illegal treatment of my son, but I will also be taking you to court for trespass. NOW MOVE!".
Without another word, both officers left. But instead of heading to their car they headed to Bob's place.
Mum went over there as soon as she saw where they went.
I was not privy to what went on, other than to hear Bob's mother yelling something about "DON'T EVER LET ME CATCH YOU NEAR MY SON AGAIN!" as all four officers departed her house in somewhat of a hurry.
The same thing as with me. Bob's mother had left them alone with Bob for a few minutes and they started interrogating Bob about David.
Mum told me that there was some concern that David may have tried to do something sexual with me, and the police were wanting to find out.
We spoke about it for a few minutes. She made it clear that she had no worries about David, nor did Bob's parents. They were happy for us to spend whatever time with him that we wanted, within reason..
Through the conversation I nearly came out to her about all that I had been thinking over the weeks and months that I had been feeling love for David, but it never came up.
That night, I thought about what the police had told me about the accident.
A drunk driver sped through an intersection. From what Bob had told me about one of their experiences, I could picture it in my mind.
Like with his driving, David takes pride in being the best rider he can be. He would never normally ride when emotions were running high – anything that could distract him from the hazards he faced on the road.
I broke down as I realised that, since his car was in the shop, David's only way to come to see me was by bike. And he would not have ridden while upset unless he felt it important enough to take the risk.
I could feel it as he slowed down for the bend in the road just before the intersection. I could feel his annoyance at the guy for pulling out like that as he braked and got ready for a swerve. I could feel my muscles tense as his would have in the second or so the accident took.
The drunk driver went into the intersection too fast. Not only should he have stopped, but he was going to fast for his turn.
I could picture the look of horror on David's face as the driver swerved wildly, rammed a parked car, then had his car flip, bounce of an oncoming car, and straight into David's path. The officer said that had David been in a car, he probably would've been killed as the car would have landed on the drivers compartment crushing it totally.
As it was, 5 people were badly hurt in that crash. But David was the worst off by a long shot.
As all this played out in my mind, I was aware of something else. David would've been fighting to be able to move. To get up and help the injured. He told me a couple of times to get first aid training, and even on his bike he had a decent kit stashed in the top box. "Pray for the best, prepare for the worst" was his motto when it came to crashes and first aid. He hoped to never have any involvement in a serious crash, but made sure that should it happen, then he would be able to help save lives.
I have cried myself to sleep every night since.
When the hospital finally called, they told us that David was still in a very critical condition, that he was in a medically induced coma, and that it could be some time before he was well enough for visitors, if ever. He was still critical and could still die. However, they said that on the positive side that he appeared to have sustained no brain injury, nor spinal injury, and although it could take years, he could make a full recovery.
I made a vow to myself there and then to stay by his side as much as I could to help him.
The following day Bob spoke to me finally. It wasn't a very nice conversation and I won't repeat it word for word here.
David phoned Bob on the day of the crash to ask him if he could speak to me to see what the problem was, and told him that he was coming out to see us. That is why Bob had come over.
Bob blamed me for the accident. I did manage to explain something of what had happened between us that day.
I was told that sometimes that happens with David. He has a lot of friends around the world, and sometimes there are days where he would spend a lot of time on the phone with them. He would never talk to someone local when someone was calling long distance on the other line. Also, if someone had a broken down car and they needed it the next day for work, David would be there until that car started or they got something else sorted out.
That made me feel worse, and for the first time ever I openly cried in front of Bob.
The next day was a little better, as Bob came over to see me. At least that friendship had survived.
But what of David?
I visited the hospital as often as I could, as did Bob. There were occasional slight improvements in his overall health, but he never even flickered his eyes. He never spoke. There was nothing to show that he knew I was there. I would talk softly to him, tell him how sorry I was, how I hoped he could forgive me.
5 days later a man a little older than David showed up at the door asking for me. Out of earshot he spoke to my mother briefly before coming in to talk to me.
He introduced himself as David's brother. He had been at the hospital the night before, and David had been semi-concious for a few minutes. He told me that David had not been able to say much, only "Nathan.. Forgiven.. Tell him. Find... forgiven CD. Make sure he gets it".
David had a CD with songs related to love and forgiveness on it, and his brother had managed to find it and find out who I was and where I lived. He handed me the CD and said that he felt sure that David wanted me to hear it, and that I would know what he meant.
That night as I lay in bed, crying softly, I decided to put it on.
The song "You Still Smile" by the group "Deliverance" came on, and as soon as I heard the words, I broke down into a deep, uncontrollable crying. I wasn't aware of anything else around me. Not for some time did I realise that mum and Bob were in the room, both holding me, both crying to some degree.
Sands of times are falling
The colours are starting to fade
Still I'm not a rich man
Like I told you I would be
But through it all
You still believe
Through it all you still smile
I believe in the name of love
Let the road become my only one
You would let me live
You would die
You took my abuse when I
Should have been left
You became my sanity when my mind went
If there had been any with a Christ like spirit
It was you for me.
Through it all you still smile
Forgiveness flows when I do you wrong
How I wish I could undo it all
But through it all
You still smile.
While I still don't have much money
But we've never been any better
I guess what you said 10 years ago is true
That our love will last forever
Through it all you still smile.
When the day has overcome me
And we haven't seen light for a while
[promise me one thing]
That through it all
You'll still smile
I somehow knew when I heard this, that David intended for me to hear those words. That he wanted me to forgive him. That he had forgiven me. It felt as though that song had been written for us, for this moment.
And I knew that he wanted us to be together forever.
The depth of sorrow I felt as those words hit home were so much more than I have ever experienced. I was crying uncontrollably when Bob and mum came in, and they joined me and stayed with me till we had passed through this darkness together, one on either side of me. When I came out of it, I found that I had put an arm around each of them. I was not aware of doing this, and have no idea how long we were like that. Nor did I hear any of the rest of the CD, although it played right through.
As time went on, David's condition continued to gradually improve. The police who had tried to question Bob and I were suspended over the events of that night. But other's came. There was no escaping it for a little while. Even my school counsellor became involved. More than once I was grilled about my relationship with David, as was Bob. But nothing could come of it. Neither of us said he had done anything improper, and we were now both above the age of consent, so we could do whatever with whoever and no one could stop us.
Those weeks taught me a lot. They taught me that I could not trust the police to do the right thing. They taught me that time was precious, and we should not waste it.
And they taught me that forgiveness is the greatest gift available – both for the giver and the receiver.
I would do everything I could for David. I have already started. His beloved bike was a mess, but with the help of a few others, we are getting her back on the road.
David's love has touched many. As news of his accident spread around those who knew him, tributes and parts and money started coming in from all over the world. From Canada, a new petrol tank from a couple who David had helped when their marriage was on the rocks. Wisconsin, US. New wheels – a man who had struggled with his faith until David gave him some things to think about. England - £5,000 towards his recovery. A man who was gay and wanted to be a Christian, but could not reconcile the two – David taught him how to happily live with it.
People who had struggled with their marriage. People who had struggled with their faith. People who could not figure out how their faith and sexuality could work together. People who had struggled with money. People who had struggled with their songs. All these and more did something to thank David for his help over the years. Many who had been very young boys several years ago when they knew David, and he helped them in some way.
Perhaps the most special gift came from Australia – a special tribute from a young girl who had been suicidal and spoken to people in a so-called Christian chat room. While the others there abused her for being a 'troll', David spoke to her quietly and helped her through some very tough times. Her song of thanks is one that he will hear when he is well enough to handle it. The song is actually a collaborative song. Many of David's friends are musicians or singers, and while the girl wrote the song, they all recorded their own parts. Logistically it was a nightmare, but it came together very well in the end.
Many more parts and cash have come in. Close to $30,000 as well as enough parts to rebuild his bike and then some. Plus, all the special projects he had planned for his bike, at least as far as we knew, would be completed and installed.
By the time everything had come in, a trust fund had been set up in David's name with enough money to take care of his recovery, and perhaps some to invest as well. By the time he wakes, his pride and joy will be in show-room condition, with as many original parts used as possible (I know he has a thing about keeping as much original as possible on his bikes, as did most of those who helped with the repairs – just don't tell him that the engine needs a major overhaul and many worn parts will be replaced).