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The Day My Life Began
Chapter 3 - The Funeral
I unlocked the front door and Jimmy went straight to Sean's room to change. I needed to do some laundry tomorrow because Jimmy's dirty clothes were becoming more that mine. I got into a pair of sweat pants, and made myself a very light drink. More coke that Crown Royal. Before sitting down to watch the news, I saw Jimmy head into my bedroom but he never came out. When the news was over, I turned off the TV, rinsed out my glass, locked the door and went to bed. Curled up on his side sound asleep was Jimmy. He used the toilet but he was so tired, he never flushed. After using it, I flushed and crawled into bed. Just as I had put my hand on his chest, I felt his hand touch mine. I kissed the back of his head and slept like a rock.
And sleep I did. When I awoke, the sun was pouring in through the blinds and my bladder was screaming. Jimmy was not in bed however, the door to the bathroom was open and that only meant only one to me, the room was empty. I headed straight to the toilet and cut loose. Just I was about to put things away I heard a voice from behind me say "Morning, Mr. Thomas." I quickly put it away, flushed and said "Hey, don't you know how to close a door when the bathroom is in use? You almost gave me a heart attack, not to mention me almost peeing on the floor."
"Now, now," Jimmy said, "A big boy like you can't hit the toilet?"
I couldn't reply. He was in the bath, not the shower. I could have flushed the toilet and froze him like he did me yesterday. Eleven years old and still takes a bath. He and Sean were identical in that respect. I was caught by his remark that I couldn't think of a single witty comeback. I walked out of the bathroom and grabbed my sweatpants to put on my body. Suddenly, I felt a semi-dry naked boy hanging on to my waist. I turned around and picked him up into my arms. Just before his butt got down to my arm, I popped him a good one with my free hand.
"Hey!" Jimmy said, "What's that for?"
"Just cause." I said.
"Just cause what? Jimmy shot back.
"Just cause there was a good target there." I finally finished. I knew he would be pouting when I finished so I kissed him on the lips, like I would do with Sean. Jimmy had seen our games so my times and he had even been in on a few himself, that he knew every line and word by heart. I looked at his face and instead of a pout, I saw a smile. Just like Sean's, but it was definitely Jimmies. While Jimmy was sitting on my hip, I suddenly realized I was getting one hell of an erection. I set Jimmy on the floor and told him to get dressed and I needed to use the bathroom again.
I went inside and closed the door. I don't think Jimmy knew what my problem was, BUT I DID. I splashed some cold water on my face and thank God that worked, my problem went away.
What made that happen in the first place? Shit, I'm not attracted to an eleven-year-old boy am I. He's like another son to me. I never had this happen when I held Sean naked. Hell, I had bathed both these boys before and this never happened, so why now?
Just as I was about to open the door, Jimmy knocked on it and said the coffee was ready.
I opened the door and a dressed Jimmy was standing there with a smile and his arms raised like he wanted to be held again. I picked him up and went down stairs to have a cup of coffee. "Humph," I said "Smells good. You make this?" He nodded his head as I set him in a kitchen chair. I poured a cup and sipped the hot liquid. "Not bad, Jimmy" I said smiling. You want some cereal for breakfast?"
"How about the Corral? They have a breakfast buffet...all you can eat." Jimmy said smiling.
"Can I finish my coffee first?" I asked.
"Well," he answered "Yeah, I guess so. One other thing."
I had just taken a mouthful of coffee so I couldn't answer him so I raised my eyes at him.
"You need to get dressed, they won't let you in like that." Jimmy said laughing his head off.
Shit, I thought. This is twice he's got me today plus he's given me a boner to boot. I should go back to bed and start this day over. I went upstairs and changed. Just as I slid my sweat pants down, boom, damn it's happening again. What the hell is going on here. I'm up here, he's down there...and he's dressed. WHY? I went into the bathroom and took another leak and it went down. Why in the fuck was this happening now? I had no idea but I had to think this problem over. The last thing I needed to happen would be having Jimmy cuddled next to me in bed asleep and him feel me with a hard on. That would send the wrong message to him and probably screw his mind up. Yeah, I know he is gay, but he has never has any kind of sexual experience. Zip, none, zilch, nada. I can't let that happen to him. I know I'll be talking to him about sex when the time is right but it isn't NOW. I changed my clothes and put my socks and shoes on we headed for the restaurant.
Jimmy and I spent the rest of the day together watching football on TV. Marge made steaks and all the fixings for dinner. I can say one thing for Marge, she could cook. Jimmy wanted to stay again and I said OK. When he went to change, I told Marge, he probably would want to stay here until after the funeral but he should go back to school maybe Thursday or Friday. She agreed and that's how things were left. I even told her that Jimmy had commented on how much I had started drinking. I had drunk more than I ever had before. I told Marge that I had promised Jimmy that I would not drink for a while and he was pleased with that. I took my shower after Marge went home and we spent the rest of the night glued to the boob tube.
Jimmy went to bed about 10 and I waited for the news. Crawled into bed and had a hand on my hand before I was completely in. Ah, what the hell. I lay down and fell right to sleep.
Monday was a hard day on both Jimmy and myself. I had to go to the funeral home to see if things were alright. I had been there before and knew the work they did. I was willing to just trust them but I knew that if something was wrong with Sean and Jimmy saw it, he would never forgive me.
Everything was fine at the funeral home. My God, they looked so peaceful. Just like they were sleeping and all I had to do was wake them up. I wanted to kiss them but I was afraid that if I did, I would start crying and ruin the make up. I tried to keep Jimmy out but he would have none of that. He saw Sean and immediately started crying. I let him stay there for a while and he got himself under control. He set a picture if Sean and himself taken last summer in our back yard by the pool. They were dry and they had matching haircuts. Same cut, different color. They even had on the same color trunks, blue. When I saw the picture beside Sean, I just looked at Jimmy and he nodded his head. That was all that needed to be said. He slipped his hand into mine and we walked out the funeral home to go and get some lunch. We had lunch back at my house.
Marge was getting things ready for tomorrow. She had told me that she would open her house for after the funeral so my house could stay clean. I made arrangements for a cleaning company to come in after and clean the whole house for her. At first, she tried to argue with me then she gave up. We watched a movie and got ready to go to Marge's for dinner. Dinner was early so I could be at the funeral home by 6:45. Jimmy wanted to be there so he could show Denise's and Sean's friends from school where to go. He wanted to do this job and I wasn't going to deny him this.
Just after seven, Dave and his family arrived. His kids saw Jimmy and the three of them went and stayed together. Sean and Denise were in one room and Michele was in another but there was a sliding door opened between the two rooms to make it bigger. Jimmy was a trooper. He did everything a host should do and never once lost control. I wish I could say that. Even Dave's two lost it when they said their good byes. Jimmy held on to them both while they cried and he never shed a single tear.
There were a lot of my friends from EMS and the fire department. There were even some I did not know but said their children were in either DD's or Sean's class. Those two hours dragged by. About eight, Marge showed up. I told her about Jimmy and she was amazed. I said. "Just wait until everybody leaves." She just nodded her head. At about five till nine, people started leaving. Dave and his family were the last to leave.
Dave said "Hey, guy. Don't come back until you're ready."
Just then I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Captain Greer. I put my hand on top of his and he whispered that I had 60 days paid leave if I needed. I looked at him and just smiled thanking him. He just nodded his head, turned and quietly left.
Dave said that he had taken care of getting the leave arranged. I told him I didn't know what to say. He just said "Take the time and get back to work. We all miss you." I felt four arms reach around me. I looked down and it was Dave's boy and girl. They each kissed me and told me how sorry they were and my two kids would be missed. I thanked them and Dave left for the evening. He told me that he would see me tomorrow. He'd changed shifts with another supervisor so he could be at the funeral.
Jimmy had gone in and was kneeling by Denise and Sean's casket in silent prayer. As he finished, he crossed himself and when he saw me, he jumped into my arm and completely broke down. He stayed in my arms for fifteen minutes crying. Lucky for me, I did not wear the suit I was saving for tomorrow. My jacket was soaked.
Marge, Jimmy and I headed out the funeral home. It seems, Marge took a cab so I would not have to drive. She went to the driver's side and unlocked the back door and I set Jimmy in the backseat and put on his seatbelt. When she started my Ran, the two-way radio came on and I heard dispatch calling for ambulances and for a supervisor. I listened while I got into the front seat then I had heard enough.
I picked up the microphone and said "Medic 51 to dispatch."
A voice replied, "Medic 51"
I returned saying "How may calls holding and who is at the hospital?"
Dispatch replied "2 calls holding, Rescue 520 and Rescue 423 are at the hospital."
"Are the clear?" I asked.
"Negative," She said back.
"Stand-by. Medic 51 to Rescue 520." I said slightly ticked.
"Rescue 520, go ahead Medic 51." A voice replied.
"Are you clear and available?" I asked firmly.
"10-4, Medic 51, clear and available." The voice said back.
"Stand-by, Medic 51 to Rescue 423." I called,
"Rescue 423, clear and available, Medic 51." Another voice said.
"Stand-by, Medic 51 to dispatch, you have two units available for calls. Give them what's holding." I said. "And have the duty supervisor call me on my cell phone."
"10-4, Medic 51, will do and thank you."
"10-4 dispatch, Medic 51, clear." That was my last words to the dispatcher and Marge was pulling into my driveway. Jimmy had fallen asleep in the back seat. Marge opened the house and I carried Jimmy inside and laid him on Sean's bed. Just then my cell phone rang and it was the duty supervisor. I informed him that I did not like having to do his work on my time off and if I heard anything like that ever happen again, he would be written up and given time off without pay.
Marge shrugged her shoulders and we went back to the living room. I fixed myself a cup of instant coffee and turned on the TV. Marge looked at me and I told her I was alright. She nodded her head and went on home.
I thought about what that little guy had said to me earlier and the hard truth is Jimmy was right. I'd had 4 drinks in two days but for me 1 drink in a month is lot. I rarely drink. I have wine with my wife when we go out to dinner on special occasions. That's it. I put the bottle under the bar and got ready for bed. Booze was not the answer. I got Jimmy undressed and I put him in Sean's bed. I turned the light off and went into my room. I used the can, and crawled into bed. Just as I was reaching for the light, Jimmy came out of the shadow and I just lifted the covers for him. He hopped in and I wrapped my arm around him, turned the light off and went to sleep.
I woke up and went into the bathroom to do my morning duty. I slept as well as could be expected. The coffee had just finished and I had just poured a cup when I say Jimmy standing in the doorway in his white BVD's. He had a morning pee hard and I said "Hey pal, don't you think you better use the bathroom?"
"Huh, oh yeah." he said as he turned and used the downstairs bathroom. While he was using the can, I sat down and started looking at the paper. Just then, Jimmy crawled up on my lap just as I opened the paper that showed a picture of the wreck that took my family. I just sat there staring at the picture and started crying. Jimmy turned around and held me as I cried.
He closed the paper and said "Mark, it's OK. They didn't suffer. I remember what you told me. Shush. It's OK." He said it over and over until I finally calmed down.
I looked at this precious child and said "Thanks pal, you seem to know just what to say. Don't you?"
He kissed me lightly on the lips, smiled and said "Just like you."
I had to the luckiest guy in the world, I thought. How he has held me together through this is remarkable. I looked at Jimmy and kissed his cheek and said "Thanks."
I fixed him some cold cereal with milk and poured myself another cup of coffee. I looked at my watch and saw it read 8:30.
"Hey pal," I said. "When you're done eating, you need to get a shower and then put your suit on. We have to be ready by 10, OK."
"Can you give me a ...."
"No, Jimmy." I said. "I need to shave and get ready also. Hey, no pouting now pal. Please."
"OK, da ah Mr. Thomas." Jimmy said slipping.
I just smiled at him as he put his bowl in the sink then headed upstairs to get into the bath.
Jimmy was in my bathtub and the little squirt left the shower curtain open. I was about to start shaving when he asked "Ah da, ah Mr. ah Mark, would you wash my back?"
I went over and did as he asked and while doing so, I asked him "Jimmy, what's this dad thing? Why are you starting to call me dad?"
"I don't know," Jimmy answered. "It just seems right. You treat me like as son and that makes me want to call you dad. Does that bother you?"
"Well, no," I answered. "I wonder what your mom will say if she hears you call me dad, that's all. I don't want you to get in trouble."
"I'll think she will understand." Jimmy replied.
"You better hurry up and get finished, OK?"
"OK." Jimmy said as he finished him bath.
I quickly shaved while Jimmy finished. He got out of the tub and as he dried himself, I noticed that he spent extra time drying his privates. When he finished drying down there, he was sporting a boner. All of a sudden, I had one as well.
I left the bathroom as fast as I could and began to think to myself again. Man, what's happening here? This kid is making me get hard every time I see him naked. This is not like me. I was married, I gave both those boys bath before and nothing like this happened then. So why NOW! I could not understand this at all. Shit, I'm not gay. I'm not bi-sexual. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE! WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME? I have to try to figure this out and SOON, or I'll go crazy.
While I was dressing for the funeral, I had could not think of a valid reason for this to happen. It was almost 10:00 AM and I knew the limo would be at the house any minute now and I had to have Jimmy ready for the drive to the church. I could think about this thing later.
Marge arrived about 9:55 AM. I wanted to let her ride with Jimmy and myself. She had done a lot for me since the day my world stood still. I have no idea what I would have done without the both of them.
When Marge saw Jimmy in his suit, she thought he looked very handsome, as did I.
The limo was right on time. It took us 15 minutes to get to the church. Once again, Jimmy was strong, even when he kneeled by Denise and Sean. I was not that lucky. I broke down when I saw them in the church. It was about to be final. I would have only two more chances to tell them just what a very large part of my life they were and how much they had meant to me.
There were a lot of firefighters and EMS personnel there for the funeral. The Captain knew that I liked the music from the pipes (bag pipes). As the mass began, there was a single piper marching down the isle ahead of the priest playing "Going Home".
Father gave a beautiful eulogy. Two EMS paramedics read special passages from the Bible and Dave gave a special eulogy. When the service was over, all the firefighters and EMS personnel were standing on the sidewalk in single file. Every person in the line saluted each casket as it passed on the way to the hearse. Every firefighter and EMS personnel walked behind the hearse whilst the piper played. At the cemetery, the piper played "Amazing Grace" while everyone walked to the three graves. I kept my composure but not without the help of Dave, Marge, and course Jimmy.
The hardest thing was that after the prayers were said and everyone started leaving, the caskets were lowered into the graves. The lowering of the casket meant finality, the end, the end of a life as I knew it for the past 12 years. This hurt. There is no way to describe what I was feeling at that time. It took two firefighters to help get me back to the limo. My face was expressionless, void of any life. This was the day my world ended. Without the three who made my life and soul complete, I was empty.
When we arrived at Marge's, I started to get lost. She opened her bar and when I saw that, I wanted to drink until the pain was gone. I had coke, just plain coke.
Just as I finished pouring the drink, I saw a worried look on Jimmy's face. I took him aside and let him know that I was not having a drink, I said it was plain soda and I did not intend booze to be used as a crutch. When I told him that, he looked up at me and smiled. There was food galore. All that good food and I forgot to bring my appetite.
There were people coming and going the better part of the day. My head was in a fog most of the time but Jimmy was close by my side the entire afternoon. I knew he would lose it again when the last guest left. The day dragged by and I was exhausted both physically and mentally. Finally, about 7 PM, the last guest left. I helped Marge put the rest of the food away and Jimmy picked up trash. The cleaning crew would be here tomorrow and do the rest.
When the house was cleaned up, I went and sat down. Jimmy came into the room and as he was heading towards me he started to lose it. He ran the last few feet and jumped into my arms. I held him while he cried. He said he was sorry for not staying while the caskets were being lowered into the grave but it hurt too much. I told him I knew how he felt and I really did. He cried for about fifteen minutes. He lifted his head up and looked into my eyes and said, "I'm alright now, dad." Jimmy suddenly tensed as he felt a hand touch his arm. He looked to his left and saw his mother sitting beside us. His head dropped and he was about to say something when his mother put her finger on his lips.
"Ssshh," She said softly and with a smile. "I understand. I know you love Mark just as much as Sean did. I also know Sean knew how much you loved Mark and he was happy to share him. If Mark says it's alright for you to call him dad or anything else like that, it's alright with me."
Jimmy jumped into her lap and wrapped his arms around her neck and said "Thanks mom, I love you."
"Jimmy," I said. "Why don't you get out of that good suit and put on some play clothes. Your suit belongs here and not at my house. Also, while you're back in your room, get some clean underwear and socks."
Jimmy climbed down and looking at both Marge and I said, "OK, mom, OK dad."
I went to take a pop at his butt and he started running down the hall laughing as he went. I looked at Marge and said with a laugh "That's our boy."
"Mark, can I ask you something?" Marge asked very sincerely. I nodded alright. "Look, when I was going through your papers for the insurance and stuff, I noticed you made arrangements for DD and Sean. That made me think about Jimmy. I want to name you, Jimmy's legal guardian in case something ever happens to me." Suddenly Jimmy gasped. "Now hold on son. I'm not saying anything will ever happen to me. I'm not sick or have cancer or any other disease. I want to know that if and I mean IF anything happens to me, that you are taken care of properly. I can't think of anybody I could trust more than Mark. Do you?
All of a sudden, Jimmy's face lit up. No, mom," he said "I think you made a great choice." Jimmy sat between us for a while and for this particular moment, all was right with the world.
I got up and poured myself a cup of coffee. I saw the clock on the wall and it said 8:30 PM. I was getting tired. It had been a very long, exhausting day. Not only was my body tired, but my mind was also. I put my cup in the sink and told Jimmy to say good night to his mother if he was sleeping at my house. Otherwise, I would see him in the morning. He grabbed my hand and kissed his mom on the cheek as we headed for the door. I kissed Marge on the cheek and said good night and we would see her when she got home from work.
When I opened the front door, I went straight into the bathroom. I had to go and Jimmy was using the one upstairs. I climbed the stairs and went to my bedroom to get out of my suit. I was getting undressed when I saw this blonde hair blue eyed little boy smiling at me from the bedroom door. He felt safe, no matter where he was or whom he was with, he felt safe. As I was putting my sweatpants on I said "Happy, son?"
He said quietly, "Happy, yet very sad. I gain a dad but I lose the love of my life. God isn't fair. Why is he doing this to m.... Oh, dad. I'm sorry, I'm sorry..."
I picked him up and said, "It's OK pal. I'm not mad, Ssshh now." We went down the stairs and into the den. I sat down in my recliner with Jimmy still attached to me. I gained an octopus for a son. I saw the coffeepot and poured a cup and heated it in the microwave. One minute later, the octopus and I sat down. After a few minutes, he had turned around and started watching TV. After the news went off, my octopus had reattached itself and we went off to bed. I put Jimmy down and I went into the bathroom. All the coffee I consumed over the last several hours had to come out. I crawled into bed and a hand grabbed my arm before I was down. I had my hand and arm pulled around a little boy's chest. "Good night, son." I said as I kissed his head. I turned out the lights and my lights were out.
I rose to an empty bed and my usual, overfull bladder. After it was empty, I put on sweatpants and went down to greet my octopus and the day.
He jumped into my arms and said "Morning, dad. Here's your coffee. Can I ask you a question?"
"Sure son," I said putting him down. "Let me sit down first. Now, OK shoot, what's on your mind?"
Jimmy looked at me and said "Dad, tell me all about sex."
"What? Sex? Oh good grief."
To be continued
How does Mark handle this problem? He never had this talk with Sean. What does he do now?