Play Maker By RettaMichaels “The Queen of Gay Romance” Disclaimer:
This is my disclaimer for 2009 folks! As you know, I change them, so please read and smile!
This is a fictional character. I'll say that until I'm blue in the face and yet, someone will write to me and tell me I've got something wrong, or he/she is that character, or they're going to sue me because their client has a family member with that name.
I can put disclaimers on a story all day long and still, I get someone who is just about nuts who will do the above paragraph. It makes no sense to me, but apparently, there are people who take themselves so seriously they want to be a fictional character. Well to those of you who choose to be that way, go read someone else's story and be a fuck-tional character.
By the way, if you're reading this to jack off. I'll smile and you hold it in your hand and read until the end. If you've spilled a load, I bet it wasn't reading a scene here! Everyone else who knows my writing is probably laughing their asses off right about now...I know I'm chuckling!
If you can hold it in your hand and type, then please BY ALL MEANS write me an email and send a photo of it. I want to see the man's appendage which can write, type, and just plain want to know it better!
If your appendage says it's straight, get a clue and get to a different site. If you're that confused, go to your search engine and type in Mental Health Help and seek the one in your area. Your appendage has my permission to cut and paste.
Just to make it an official disclaimer, if you're above the age of 18...great. If you're 118, super great...put a napkin over the keyboard and you won't get any drool on it. If you're under the age of 18, please find the off switch on your computer and press it. It'll make your day and mine a lot brighter. If you come back to this site when it reboots, please repeat until you lose interest. If it takes more than once, get a clue you dumb fuck!
Notes From Retta:
This story is written mostly as a retro piece. I intentionally made sure some prices were lower and I made sure the older stars were used in the piece. You need to realize this was written in the era of Bush I (around 1991). I did it from memory, so sue me if it's not completely accurate.
“Hey Martin! Are you going to play ball or what!”
“I'll be right on it Chris.”
I glared at Jared, he asked, “So you don't want me because of my dad?”
“I don't want to die. You're hot, but you're so not worth it.”
“What happened to you wanting to find out it was him?”
“I got told to wait until we were 18 so you could testify against him...if you do that.”
“I said I would, are you calling me a liar?”
“Jared, friends came out of the woodwork during the time I was burying my grandma. You weren't one of them. I'll see if you're there through everything when I need you from now on.”
“I said I'd be there.”
“Well, you weren't. Now, do you want to meet someone else, or not?”
“No, if it's not you, I don't want a replacement.”
“Your loss.” I went out onto the field and he came out. “Hike me the ball.”
“You're moody today.”
“I hate having to break up with you before we ever got together. When you go home tonight, you think about that. You think about the man you stare at and think I don't want to mess with him.”
“Who do I need to talk with in regards to the investigation?”
“Talk to John down at the police station or Prosecuting Attorney Mike Musselman.”
“What do they want to know?”
“What you've been told. Hike the ball.”
He hiked the ball and we set the play into motion. The line moved in slow motion (it seemed) and I ran back and looked for my people to get clear. I saw Jared moving like a bulldozer forward getting through his guy. I looked right and left and then, Jared opened the hole. I ran forward and made it up the field fifteen yards before I was brought down with a mind jarring tackle.
The way it goes is when you're tackled, it's an unnatural fall. First of all, you're supposed to clutch the ball to you and fall. It's unnatural because falling on the ball hurts. It's not solid, but it's unmoving and doesn't feel good at all to land on when you've got someone landing on you.
The second part of being tackled which isn't nice is the person tackling you is trying to dig for the ball and try to break it free until the play is deemed dead.
When it was called dead, I went back and told Jared, “Nice blocking, you did a great job.”
“I'd do anything for you.”
“And me you, but I won't die for you. It's as simple as that.”
“You know who it is, right?”
“Yeah. I know and we've got a lot of evidence against him. We need that evidence proving your dad was the one who ordered it. Also, see how Tom Colburn figures into it too.”
“How'd you know Tom?”
“I heard. Now, why did you keep anything about him quiet?”
“I didn't mean to, but I never heard anything about him with your parents. Furthermore, I think he wasn't a member of my dad's church at that time. I think he didn't become a member until '84 or '85. Your parents died in '78.”
“I'm going to do a check to see where he lived. Believe me, I want him in that group beside the others.”
“What did you get for evidence?”
“Everything but the smoking gun. We've got video and photos putting Ronnie Brown at the scene. We've also got him taking parts from my parent's car, a receipt signed he took what he took, and a video of him taking the brake lines from the car even though they were cut.
He sure can't say he was using them for another car because they were cut and he couldn't use them even if he'd taken them for that reason because it's against the law to use brake line parts from junk vehicles.”
“How'd you know that?”
“Ben Prather said. I checked into it after he said, and he's right.”
“So, you've got Ronnie, but not much on my dad.”
“I've got your dad calling Ben Prather asking to buy the car and that girl's car who got killed. Ben told him in both circumstances the car wasn't for sale.”
“You saw the car?”
“Yeah, not much left of it. It's laying upside down in a field with a lot of weeds growing around it. I looked inside, but it's pretty much all crumpled up and cut up so it's an extreme total.”
“I'll say the same thing when I'm there seeing the Sodium Pentothal pumping through your dad's veins at that injection date. Play ball.”
“You're touchy about this.”
“I've been moody since my grandma died. It's stirred up a lot of feelings which should've been left alone.”
“He hiked the ball and I ran back. It was a quarterback blitz. I looked forward and saw Chris clear. I ran back and then got the clearance I needed to get the ball to him. I threw it, it cleared my tacklers and what's funny is I went down into a crouch and two of the guys tackled each other directly over me. They came crashing down on top of me and I was able to see Chris run it home through the jumble of arms and legs.
Jared came over and pulled me out of the melee just as coach whistled to call it a day for practice.
Jared asked, “What are you going to be doing after practice?”
“I've got to go to the dealership and see how the building is coming along and then, I'm going out to the station to pick up Grant and take him to dinner. Afterwards, we're coming back and working out at the gym and doing our soak and steam. You're welcome to work out there if you want.”
“I don't know.”
“I guess you should go ahead and go home. Let that be another answer why I can't do it with you.”
“Most people who want a relationship aren't afraid of their actions pissing off people. They can answer and go where they want. It's nice because it leads to an air of honesty with the other people in your life. With you, it's all a big secret, therefore I would've been a big secret”
I went over to the Coach, “Coach Williamson, could I have a word with you alone?”
We walked up the track together. He asked, “What's on your mind?”
“I want Riefs off the first string.”
“You two not getting along?”
“A bit more than that. It's going to affect families if he stays in that position.”
“What's that mean?”
“I can't discuss it. Let's just say it's about to blow up into something legal. When it does, he's most likely going to either be pulled from school, or from the team.”
“You certain on this?”
“The charges are coming. I do know that. Exactly when, I don't know, but I do know it's going to be at a significant time for the Riefsdels and their church.”
“I don't want to hear anything in regards to something away from the team. If it's affecting his position on the team, it needs to be something personal between you two and not outsiders.”
“Ok, but you just remember this conversation because the day I'm called up and asked to do an interview of how I could've possibly played football with the son of my parent's killer, I'll gladly point to you and tell you to answer the fucking question.”
“His dad killed your parents!”
“He ordered them killed. Someone else did it. It's all been proven and now, we're waiting of the thing with my grandma dying to settle out before we arrest those responsible. But in answer to your question, Jared's dad is responsible.”
“You were young.”
“I was young, but I found a notebook with a note written by my dad. He points the finger and that's not all. There's video proof, photographic proof, and taped proof of everyone being involved.”
“Is that why you two were in such heated conversation out there on the field?”
“He tells me I can count on him and he'll be loyal. When it's putting me up against blood, I'm not going to count on it too far.”
“How do you two get along otherwise?”
“If things were different, we'd be a lot closer. When the news breaks, you'll hear how close we were.”
“Is this saying you're gay?”
“I'm gay. It depends upon who you ask him in front of if he's gay, or not.”
“Just the same, I've moved on and found someone else. He's going to be there for me and some time, I'd like for you to meet him.”
“Is he a local fella?”
“Go to this school?”
“Older than that.”
He looked at me with a smirk, “Sort of like the older guys huh?”
“Yeah, they commit without playing games. They don't have to ask their parents and all that stuff.”
“I understand. Just understand this town is a lonely place for gays.”
“Not really. I've found another couple which we have get togethers at my house and theirs. They're older too.”
“How much older?”
“About your age.”
“Your partner is my age?”
“I don't know. How old are you?”
“Too old for you.”
“Well, I'm not asking you to be my partner.”
“I'm trying to tell you if you've got someone my age, I don't think it's right for you.”
“Then, consider my offer of coming over stricken from the record.”
I turned around and went into the field house. I began to get undressed when the coach came over, “I need to speak with you Martin.”
“I believe if it's in regards to that topic, it's now off limits.”
“I'll need to report this to the authorities.”
“Be thankful I didn't give you names and be thankful you're so comfortable I'm not deciding to mess with your life.” I paused and stared at him, “Now, step away from me and never come at me like this again.”
Jimmy Johnson asked, “What's wrong Martin?”
“The coach is delving into the world of calling DFS's hotline to make ghost reports. With things as they are at my house, it's going to disturb what little peace we've got and I'll remember it when it's most inconvenient for the coach to have me remember...like the half time of the state play off. I'll walk off the team then and you guys can play on your own. When I'm done having that press conference explaining why I did it, I'll leave the finger pointing at the coach.”
Coach Williamson said, “Martin, I've got to make a report when I feel a student is threatened.”
“Do students get to make reports when teachers are threatened? Even when there's no proof and no verifiable evidence? Or do we just nod and smile when things happen.”
Jimmy Johnson said, “Count on the whole team walking off the field when you want to do that. We'll have our press conference and we'll see if the man has a contract to teach here next year.”
I nodded and walked by the coach, “Anonymous report my ass. I'll know exactly who made it. Let's hope two come in so I can point to you and your significant other.”
I went on to the shower. Jimmy Johnson came in and asked, “What's that about?”
“I'm gay. The man who's my guardian is gay. The coach is supposing something's happening there when it's not. He's supposing, I'm guessing, something is going on which isn't. Now, he wants to throw out those accusations to DFS.”
“Yeah, but he's entitled to make the reports and I'm entitled to have to be inconvenienced with DFS looking over my shoulder all the time.”
“Maybe we should make them look into the coach's life a little bit harder.”
“No, I know what's there.”
“I know what's there too. If he wants to jeopardize you, then he needs to realize more can be jeopardized with him and his than with you.”
“I don't want to go that far.”
“Your guardian is a school mascot. If they start probing, how many times are they going to ask him if he's had kids sit upon his lap and make it seem all sinister when it's not? You know as well as I, he doesn't wear that many clothes in that costume, but the coach isn't thinking about that when he wants to be a goody two shoes.”
“Tell the coach what you've said. Maybe it'll wake him up. I've got to call Grant and get him the the school administration offices.”
We went out of the shower and Johnson went right to the coach's office. I went over to my locker and called Grant.
“Meet me at the school administration offices.”
“Coach Williamson's about to call DFS to make reports. He's going off suppositions about who my partner is and he's going off nothing more than my telling him my partner is above age to make the report.
You know as well as I, when that report gets made, it's going to make life at our house a mess. Well, I'm about to offer the man a tit for tat proposition.”
“I'm heading that direction.”
“OK, I'll be there.”
I hung up and finished getting dressed. Johnson came and said, “The man's an idiot.”
“Would you go with me to the administrative offices? You could admit what you've heard and help me out.”
“I'll be there.”
“I'm going to go tell the man we're going there. I want him to know his home life is getting messed with just as much as mine is.”
“Well, he doesn't know I'm going to be blowing this thing out in the press.”
I went over to the coach's office. “Coach, I called Grant and he's going to meet me at the administrative offices. I imagine he's already calling the press in on this.”
“Who's he to you?”
“He's my guardian. If you make a report, he's the one who's got to field it. With both of us being gay, it's going to probably get me yanked out of my house. It'll probably get him removed from being the team mascot, but it'll mean you and your partner don't have jobs as soon as I get to the press.
If you think you can embarrass one of the pillars of this community and one of the leading benefactors of this school, you need to know I'll come out fighting completely on this.”
“I had no idea it was Grant.”
“Well, I did. You're telling me it's suddenly making a difference?”
“I know him.”
“I do too. You didn't when you were making threats about him without knowing who it is. It also shouldn't matter who he is if I'm willing to come fighting on behalf of him.”
“I don't like the idea of you potentially being hurt.”
“Let me decide that. You weren't so concerned when my grandma died, but that's a natural occurrence when a woman gets stabbed multiple times in her kitchen.
You weren't real concerned to hear my parents were killed, but that's a natural occurrence where someone gets to go out and get broadsided by a semi and get crushed to death in their car.
No, that's no worry when I've got to be the one who deals with life afterwards. So, you mess with him and get him taken away in a cloud of controversy and I'll deal, but I'll tell you I'm not going to be nice.
Now you know it's him and you want to suddenly want to back off. Is it his money that caused it? Or, is it something else?”
“He's gay. When we moved here, he was nice to us when no one else would be. He pointed us in the right direction to find a place to live. Little did I know he owned the whole entire apartment complex!”
“Well, for your information, he's my partner. I wouldn't tell you normally without asking his permission, but we were wanting you to be friends with us. Now you know what you can either settle down, or you can stir up. We'll come out swinging if we need to, or we can be peaceful.”
“Let me give him a call.”
“He's probably already headed over to the administrative offices. I wasn't going to let grass grow under our feet on this.”
“Let's get it cooled off.”
“Coach, there are other gay guys on our team. I know one might find someone older than him. He's the son of a close friend of ours, so you need to know it coming into this?”
He looked agonized. “I really don't like knowing things which could harm my job.”
“Then leave your job here and our personal lives as that. You're the one making it tough. I've got this year and next and then, I'm out of your life forever except if some press people want to contact you.”
“You're not getting what I'm saying. I see this as sexual abuse.”
“Ok, then stay at home and don't find a life outside of it with friends who support you. I'm not getting hurt. If you want to see it as me being hurt, look at me losing my parents at three years old as me being hurt. Then, you look at me losing my grandma and me being hurt.
What Grant's done has been to pick up the pieces and not do anything else. You're putting sex into it when Grant and I haven't had sex. I don't know why you do that, but maybe it's you thinking the only relationship I could have with someone like him is sex. I don't know.”
“You're not having sex?”
“No, he doesn't want to have it until I'm eighteen. Why? I don't know, but to me it's just a date on my birth certificate. I guess it's a thing I'll understand later, but you're sure not saying anything about all the football players who go out and bang some girl when both of them are underage.”
“I don't like that either.”
“Do you like sex between anyone period?”
“I don't think you're understanding. I'm not against a couple taking their relationship to that level after they've gotten to know each other real well.”
“But only people above the age of eighteen.”
He looked at me and said, “I guess it's that which I'm comfortable with.”
“I'm trying to get it, but I don't. I'll try understanding it, but it just makes no sense to me.”
He said, “My partner and I waited nearly two years to have our relationship to that point before we did anything.”
“Ok, so if Jared and I had gotten together and since we've known each other for fifteen plus years, it'd be ok?”
“No, because you're under age.”
“Ok, I've got it, but I don't get it. I've got to call Grant and tell him this is just a shell game. He'll decide if he wants to trust you because I'm totally lost if I do.”
“I want to instill trust with you. I really do, but I don't want to be at a point where I'm knowingly condoning anyone under the age to practice sex with each other.”
“Well, I guess my getting emancipated would suddenly make things right.”
I went over to the phone and called Grant's cell. “Hello?”
“Forget going over there. You might come to the field house and speak with him. I think it's a big shell game where he's in an uproar with anyone who's having sex under the age.”
“Did you tell him my position?”
“I did, but I think he'd much rather judge off what he doesn't know than what he knows.”
“Is he standing there?”
“Tell him I'm going to come over and speak my piece. Tell him if I'm not satisfied, I'll go ahead and make an appointment at the country club with the superintendant.”
“Hang around there because I'm not going to chase that man all over the place.”
“I'll do that.”
“I'll see you when I get there.”
I hung up and said, “You're supposed to stay here. He's coming here and then, he's going to make an appointment with the superintendant of schools for dinner just in case he can't get his point carried over. He said he wants you to stay here so he doesn't have to chase us all over the place.”
“I'll do that for him.” He said, “Come out here and sit with me. I'd like to ask you some questions.”
We went outside and sat upon the steps. I hit the record button on my car video system.
He sat with his elbows on his knees and asked, “How long have you known Grant?”
“For a while. Why?”
“I've known him since we came to town. I've thought he was nice, but I didn't know him. I was wondering what sort of person he is.”
“Grant's not like me. He's wealthy, but he's got to answer to a lot of people. As you know, he owns a lot of things all over the place, but he'll have everyone thinking his family owns all the things he owns.
They run them, but even when he has them employed, they can be a total screw up and he'll stay faithful to them running something for him.
Me, I'm exactly opposite. If you screw up working for me, I'll fire you. It doesn't matter if you're family, or not, it's my business and I've got to pull a profit from it.”
“Where do you own things?” he said with a smirk.
“Let's see, I was left a whole lot of stock in a lot of companies. My grandma invested my parents life insurance in them and invested the proceeds from the sale of our house and all those possessions into stocks too.
When my grandma died, I got her house, those stocks, life insurance well into the millions, and a lot of other stuff. One of the first things I did was I dealt with Grant to buy the Chevrolet dealership from him so I could get it to operating right.”
“So that's all yours?”
“Yeah, but if I have to go to the welfare system, they'll gladly sell it all to say they certainly provided a home for me, but they'll also admit they stripped me bare of everything as a way to have me pay for my care. I don't think it's right, but that's our state for you. They don't care whether they're stripping someone of everything, what matters to them is I'm cared for.
Grant stepped in and got guardianship of me. That's good because I can live in my grandma's house and keep all my stuff. I get my car and don't have to go to a home.”
“You don't have family anywhere else?”
“I've got an aunt and an uncle who are my dad's brother and sister. My aunt is stuck on herself and no one else can even compare and my uncle is in a religious cult where a snake is supposed to scare the hell out of you to save your soul.”
“I've heard of that church.”
“I went there at five years old. They chased me around with a snake and that's the last time my grandma made me go. I've not asked to go because they viewed me peeing my pants as the devil leaving my body. I'll tell you I was that scared.”
“That doesn't sound proper.”
“It's not, but fortunately, the state hasn't made me go that direction because if they did, I'd run the other direction with my stock certs and all the money I could grab.”
“Some in the school system think you're homicidal. Is that true?”
“I know who killed my parents. It's a conspiracy and it's all stemming because two babies grew up being affectionate towards each other. The reverend Riefsdel thinks because Jared and I kissed, we're condemned to hell. My dad argued with him about it and a systematical thing started where not only were our lives threatened, but a lot of things were damaged. He finally got someone to cut their brake lines and loosen their lug nuts and got them killed when they couldn't stop and got killed by a semi hitting them.”
“Who was it that helped him?”
“A local mechanic. He's a member of their church and we've got enough evidence to get a conspiracy to commit murder charge on him. We can't prove he did it, but we sure can prove he was involved.”
“That's had to be an overwhelming thing to grow up with.”
“It's caused me a lot of problems. I've not trusted people and sure look at everyone to see if they're involved in some way before I trust.”
“Why trust me?”
“You're gay. That gets you off the hook because if you were in that church, you'd most likely be dead. The second thing is you said you came here later. That tells me you weren't involved.
If I find out you were involved and you don't get the charges, you'll certainly get the civil suit which we're filing on everyone else. I'll also tell you the second I find out you're involved, I'm going to be to the superintendant myself and telling her to get you out of our school system and away from me because accidents happen and the last thing you'll probably see after that said accident is my face telling you it was no accident.”
“You do realize that statement could get you a murder charge?”
“You do realize I've lived my life knowing I'll probably have to bring my parent's killers to trial my way. If that's what it takes, I'll take my chances in front of a jury and gladly plead my case.
If you think I won't have a little old lady on that jury who's currently thinking the system is fucking her raw because they took her husband's social security away because he died a month before he was supposed to collect, you think again. The one thing you can't out deal in a game of poker is the person's lives playing the game. The state can try stacking the deck, but I've got to play the hand and know as much as I can about everyone I'm playing.”
“So it's all a game to you?”
“And if you say it's not a game to you, you're a liar. You're in this life to get the best you can. I'm in this life to try getting the best I can. Your partner is too, and your advantage is when you're working as a team to get it together.
What you never underestimate in the game is the person who has less to lose and more to gain to see you go broke. With me, what matters in this world isn't all the money, that car out there, or anything other than seeing my parent's killers are brought to justice.”
“What about your grandma's killers?”
“They're in a world of hurt already. The case against them is cut and dried. They'll receive the death penalty simply because they were incarcerated and escaped. While they were out, they killed her. That gets them the death penalty without a real honest trial.”
“How can you say that?”
“Look at them. They're already in. They've got their previous record coming at them in that court. They've got the statements to a judge and jury saying they did this while they were escaped. If you don't think those two statements upped it a notch in the juries mind, you need to think again.
That jury is going to take those statements and instantly think those guys would have done anything to keep from going back. That's going to be thought before they are shown that stab wound to her back and the some thirty odd ones to her front, face, neck, and hands. I'll tell you now, that prosecutor is going to say they snuck up behind her and got her from behind to put her down. BUT, they're going to have to fight her and she put up a helluva fight while laying on that floor.
Those photographs are going to really strike immediate fear, repulsion, anger, sadness, and anger in that juries mind. When they go into that mode, there's not much which can be said by a defense attorney to sway them the other direction.”
“They did all that to get her car?”
“I think they were trying to get what they could from her period. I'd be willing to bet you had she been younger, they would have stayed longer and gotten more. Just the same, they didn't get to go far before they dealt with me. I only wish I'd been there to let them know I wasn't going to put up the same fight she had. I'd be willing to bet you, they'd been laying there instead of her.”
“Be thankful you weren't there.”
“I am, but that's for an altogether different reason than anything which happened.”
“I saw my dad and got to speak with him.”
“You saw a ghost?”
“Not just any ghost, but my dad. I've seen him on numerous occasions, but this time, he made it so Grant saw him this time, and we both got to speak with him. Later, both my parents and my grandma made themselves seen so the police officer at the scene saw them and got permission from them to give Grant custody of me.”
“Anyone else see them?”
“Why? You don't believe me?”
“I'm not saying that. It's rather far fetched.”
“Listen, you're probably the most negative person I've ever dealt with. I bet your lover finds you the most challenging soul he's ever met, or he's finding you a real idiot who challenges he really DID go to the grocery store for milk when you're accusing him of everything else.
BUT, I don't have to ask him about that. I'm dealing with the here and now. I've got you here, I've got your record on the football field, and I'm imagining when you see a player make a touch down, you don't believe it until the ref makes them put the score on the score board.
I'll tell you right now, I was there. You can believe me, or not, and I don't really give a damn whether you like me getting pissed about your attitude on this. Grant was there and I challenge you to call him a liar because he was totally freaked. The cop was there and he really freaked, but he held it together and that's what matters.”
“You're really pushing to get off my team.”
“You're really pushing to get out of this school system. The second I'm kicked off the team for telling you what a nay sayer you are, I'll be there pulling witness after witness in to prove you are exactly what I say I am. Right now, I'm pissed because you're implying I'm lying but you've already been implying I'm a liar all along.
I'll tell you what. I'll sell my stocks. I'll buy up everything Grant doesn't own in this little burg and save back what isn't used for that to buy into the town you relocate and try your shtick on the next school.”
“No one can prove we had this conversation.”
“Wanna make a bet? I've got video. If you don't think I've got sound with that video, play me and I'll prove you out to be a total liar.”
I stood up and walked to my car. I dialed Grant, “Hello?”
“Where are you at?”
“I'm less than a block away.”
“I'm way beyond pissed at the man. I hope you have your appointment with the superintendant because I'm going to play her video. The man's calling everyone a liar and I'm just down to the point of going nuclear on him.”
“You still with him.”
“Yeah, he's not moved. I'm down at my car checking sound on video to see if it was all gotten. If it is, I'll tell you now, I'm going to use it myself with or without your permission on him.”
“Yeah, but I'm going to play it for everyone who will listen. He's to the point he's now saying he can kick me off the team and I'm telling him he can try, but I'll have him out of this school system and will haunt him to the next school system before I'm done messing with him.”
“I see you now.”
Grant pulled out and walked over to me. “Here's our appointment.”
He held out his arm and showed me the writing on his hand. I chuckled, as it was totally Grant.
Grant turned and said, “Coach Williamson. Jake here has told me what's going on. He's upset, but I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.”
“Don't worry about him. He's off my team.”
“Then I believe our conversation is over. I've got an appointment with the superintendant for dinner with Jake, and Jake's got video of your conversation out here. He's upset, but I'll let him handle that portion.
Now, regarding my portion. You've implied you're going to stir up trouble between us and for us. I'll tell you now the second that pot gets stirred, I'm going to start suit against you personally for uncountable millions of dollars for that defamation of character.
I'll also start proceedings against the school system for allowing you to run ramshackle over someone who is mentally at his weak point and using that against him.
When you combine those things with the fact I've got video which will be played on the news tonight, I'll have all the student's parents who've seen it rolling to that school board meeting requesting your removal immediately.”
“Grant, I've got no quarrels with you.”
“If you have a quarrel with him, realize he's got enough money and smarts to fight you way beyond what you think.”
I went up, “Don't waste your breath. I've explained to him the stocks, inheritance, and all that. He thinks I'm a liar. I tried explaining to him about us seeing my dad, mom, and grandma and he thinks we're liars. His comment when I told him even a cop saw them was to immediately want to know who else was there. Three people all seeing the same thing isn't enough for him.”
He turned to the coach, “I'm sorry you're apparently so used to being lied to you don't realize the truth. Just the same, I'll stand behind Jake on that statement and prove the point by calling John, who is the police officer who was on that evening.”
“You know him by first name basis? Who isn't on your payroll in this town?!”
He turned to me, “Do you have that on tape still?”
“Video and sound running clear?”
“Stop the tape and play it back for him...just the audio through your sound system. I want him to know we've got him being recorded. You did tell him he's being recorded, right?”
“Several times. He's still thinking I'm a liar.”
I went back and rewound the tape. It pulled up and began playing back. Grant's face went red. He turned to me and said, “You told him we weren't having sex and he's insisting we are, right?”
“He's an idiot. I'll call my lawyer now. I've got our dinner appointment and I'll play it for her. On our way to dinner, I'll call a friend of mine down at KOMU-TV and have him ready to play this tape on the news. We'll pull all the people we can up and we'll get this man away from our students.”
He turned to the coach and said, “Coach Williamson, fortunately, your partner's name wasn't mentioned. His job is safe if he doesn't play into this mess standing beside you. If he does, then we'll seek his removal too. You will be outed with this tape, but that's your price for attempting to make us have to go legal with this. You have a wonderful evening, but I'll not submit my resignation with the team over this. You'll have to seek it for me.”
“That's no problem. My first priority when I go back in will be to have your things thrown out. Jake's not going to be on the team, so he need not worry about playing here ever again.”
Grant turned and said, “Ready?”
He came over and said, “Let's go to the country club. We've got a table waiting.”
“Do they have video?”
“I've requested their conference room with the school board members we could get at short notice.”
I got in and drove to the country club. When I got out, I pulled the tape and went over to Grant's truck. “Here it is. Tell them this is the only one and they can have the copy after it's given to the press.”
He nodded, “Come on, I'm not liking this one bit.”
We went in and were shown to the conference room. When we went in, I saw Principal Jackson there. He smiled, “Jake, it's good to see you!”
“It's nice to see you too, however I wish it weren't under these circumstances.”
“What's going on?”
“You'll see. We're waiting on the rest of the people to arrive, but once they do, my suggestion is to watch with a pad and pencil because there's a whole lot of things you'll have grounds to dismiss on.”
He frowned, “I was told this was an urgent matter.”
“Yeah, but I'll tell you now I don't like we had to go this far.”
Superintendant Wilson came in. “Jake! How are you!”
“Fine ma'am, things are going well. School's great since I've been back, but with the exception of one person, that is.”
“I've been told. Grant had his cell phone on when he was speaking with you and our coach and I heard it all.”
“The man is really negative. He doesn't believe anything anyone tells him.”
Grant walked back into the room with the DFS woman. I saw her and instantly felt paralyzed. She saw my fear and came over, “Jake, don't worry. Grant asked me here to head off any problems.”
“Don't make me have to go away.”
“We're not” she said with a smile.
I looked at Grant, “I've got to go.”
“No, stay. If it goes bad, I'll get you enough notice to get away. Just have some trust.”
A goodly number of people arrived including assistant Principal Yeager. He waved towards me and that's when I saw John. “John!”
He smiled and came over to give me a hug, “I was told you needed me.”
“Yeah, it's bad.”
I felt an arm slide around my waist and looked to my right to see Ben Prather there. “Hi Jake.”
“Hi Ben, why are you here?”
“Believe it, or not, I'm on the school board. They want me here tonight for a little shin-ding.”
“Well, I sort of have a problem. We'll get it all out, but I have a feeling it's going to be the trial before the trial.”
“You sure you want to do that?”
“I don't have a real choice. It's on the tape.”
“You might see if Mike Musselman is going to be here.”
“I'll check with Grant.”
I turned around and saw Grant ushering Mr Musselman in right then. He came over and shook my hand. “Jake.”
“Hi. We're in a world of hurt.”
“No, you're doing the right thing. If the trial takes place during the school year, you'll need them to excuse you. We might as well request it at this meeting.”
Superintendant Wilson stood up and rapped her fork on a glass, “Everyone, we're called here tonight for an informal meeting. I'm assured nothing is going to be requested on our parts, but we're merely to listen, and watch a video of what we've got heading our way.
As you know, we're in a proactive stance on any disciplinary matters with our teaching staff. It's been brought to my knowledge by Grant Oberling we've got a problem and he'd like to have our being made aware so we can get a handle on things before it gets out of hand.”
I went over towards Grant and Grant stood up, “Everyone, Jake's had problems at school today. Well, not at school during school, but after school at the field house. I'd like for you to listen to him and he'll relay what's happened.
What he's got here is some video of the incident happening further after I was already made aware and the superintendant was contacted. So, this isn't something where it's went down in escalation, but risen.”
He turned to me and said, “Jake, get up and tell them what all happened.”
“Yeah, start at the beginning and don't leave anything out.”
“Ok, but this could be bad.”
“Trust me. If it's bad, we're amongst friends.”
“Ok, but I don't like this.”
He nodded and said, “We need the whole truth.”
I started to tell everything and then got to the point where we went outside. I showed my key fob for the car and how we'd hooked the trunk button on it to activate the video recording system for the car.
Ben Prather explained the system a little more and said it was also hooked to a mercury switch which if jarred would automatically begin recording from all the heads hooked to the car.
I showed the video and had to have the volume up quite a bit. When it finished, I said, “That's not all which was said. As you know, Grant was there by this time and more got said. He had his cell phone dialed to Superintendant Wilson and she heard what else got said.”
Superintendant Wilson stood up and said, “Thank you Jake.”
I went and sat down. She stood at the lectern and said, “On my phone system in my office, I've got a dictaphone which records at the push of a button what I'm hearing. Here's that tape.”
She played it and it didn't take nearly as long. When it was over, she said, “That's what we've got. We've got threats of lawsuits which if they see the light of day, they're going to be founded and we're going to be liable.
Where we might be a little leery of what was said by Jake, he never made any admissions and he in fact clarified it wasn't as he stated in the video tape. What I think we do have here is a lot of cautiousness on the part of a coach who reacted totally adverse to the student's best interests and also against the best interests of a generous benefactor of our schools.”
She paused and said, “Those of you who weren't privilege to some of the information which came out on this tape need to know you're to keep that information secret. It's an ongoing investigation and I'd like for Mike Musselman to come ahead and explain it to you all.”
Mr Musselman stood and said, “Guys, please understand two things. The first thing is I'm not here as prosecuting attorney on this matter. I've recused myself from the case, so it's in the hands of my assistant. I am on the matter as Jake's attorney in the civil matter and he's pretty much given away half our case.
What he hasn't said is we've got loads of evidence. If you think we don't have it, please understand his father had a friend who even went to the extent of freezing Jello tainted with antifreeze in his freezer so the evidence would be there. There's blood dna on window glass and there's a lot of other circumstantial evidence including some which was collected by Ben Prather out at his place. What's not there is a load of police reports which have evidence already on those matters.
Thise evidence puts those people in a rather compromising position whereby they'd most likely threaten Jake's life if it were leaked prior to the arrests.”
Someone asked, “Why are you sitting on the evidence and not arresting?”
Mr Musselman said, “To be honest, we're waiting on a piece of key evidence to be added before we arrest. As soon as that evidence is obtained, the arrests will happen.”
“Can you say what that evidence is when all the rest is so compelling?”
“It's a statement. The person making the statement at this time is a juvenile. As you know, without parental permission, that evidence is useless. At the time when the juvenile is above age, it suddenly holds weight and becomes a key piece of evidence which not only puts the reverend in the thick of it, but behind the very framework of it's construction.”
The DFS lady asked, “I need to ask what measures are being taken to protect Jake from all threats which could endanger him.”
Mr Musselman smiled, and said, “Principal Jackson and his assistant Mr Yeager are both aware. I could go into it further, but just be assured there are those working in the school building who are undercover police officers.”
She nodded, “They have routine contact with Jake?”
“One does. The other is on the fringe of things.”
I instantly was thinking to myself who it could be.
He said, “Jake doesn't even know who they are. We feel if he doesn't know who they are, he's not going to jeopardize a situation by playing it up. What he knows is just being told to him now apparently by the look on his face. I'm satisfied he's being told, but I won't divulge it further to jeopardize him, or the officers there.
What I am told is one of those officers was already making a report into this situation when it became knowledge of Mrs Wilson. We're doing what we can to keep things good for Jake, but as you can see, we're trying to increase his trust levels.”
She asked, “Jake needs therapy. It's apparent he's suffering from anxiety in regards to all these traumatic events. I need to ask that be made a part of his care plan.”
Grant said, “I'll try to find someone he can trust. He's extremely leery of anyone who is a part of the system and as you heard, he's got it in his mind they're out to get him.”
She nodded, “Unfortunately, according to our laws, he's altogether right about a lot of what would happen. Kids under our care seem to have no rights except what we say they have. In his situation, he very easily could be manipulated into giving up a lot of net wealth to be under our care. I don't like it, but that's my personal opinion.”
A lot of people nodded at her statement. Ben Prather said, “What I'd like to do is have an immediate action taken so they're protected if a hotline call gets made. They've came to us asking for help and they're clearly not asking for it to be covered up. In fact, it's contrary to even somewhat making them look a little bit suspect in situations.
What I'm seeing is we've got to have a sit down with the coach. He needs to know he doesn't dictate school policy and he needs to know his decisions against someone aren't to be made pursuant to his fears of reprisal against his actions.
Yes, he started out in Jake's best interests, but that quickly headed south. It seems he played into those fears of Jake's and seemed to challenge the situation escalate.”
Several people nodded.
Superintendant Wilson said, “Grant's generosity to our school system isn't taken into this consideration. We appreciate his benevolence, but that's not a part of this for me.
Where we are is we've got to lay fast some clear and concise rules out to Coach Williamson. He's to know first and foremost what he was spoken with in regards to this case can and will set this school system up for an immediate lawsuit should that information be leaked. Although I don't like that information being leaked by Jake, I think he was doing it as a matter of trusting someone who did in fact use it against him as a form of reprisal.
Where that reprisal bothers me is as Mr Prather stated. It's not school policy and he can't dictate that. Had this incident not been brought before us, Jake very well could be off the team and we'd not known the exact situation which got that deed carried out.
The other situation is about Mr Oberling's being school mascot. I'm not going to dare say it's not setting him up for what could be misconstrued to be something vile. Each of us in the school system bite that bullet each and every day. I'm not going to state he can't be school mascot because I think he's a very fine one there for not only our school's benefit, but he's also done it showing he cares and shares his facilities he has in the absolute best example of being someone who gives back to the community.”
Grant stood up and said, “I think it's time I stop doing that. For some time, I've had reservations about being the mascot, but I've received great satisfaction from it, but at the same time, I've done it when I think a student could be that mascot. We've not looked for someone to fill that position and what I'll state is I'll step down as soon as we can get someone to do it.”
A lot of people disagreed with him, but Principal Jackson asked, “Would you train someone if we could find that person?”
“Providing it's a student. I think the position should require a student in good standing and someone who would give us the role with the same vision as we've had it being.”
Several people wanted to know who it could be and I said, “Guys, let's put the position up for try outs. We do it for cheerleaders and they have to demonstrate they get grades and can be there for all the functions. That same thought should go into the school mascot.
I don't like it Grant's feeling compelled to step down on this, but he has reasons and those reasons are right for our school also.” I paused and said, “Since this is an unofficial meeting, I think everyone should be made aware of what we've got in our mindset for the students.” I looked at Grant and said, “Would you like to tell them, or have me do it?”
“You tell them.”
I looked up and said, “I'll need to have the lectern. It's sort of that kind of statement.”
A few people chuckled and I went up to the lectern.
I looked out at everyone and said, “As you're aware, we've got plenty of money. I like the idea of having money, but I don't like it. If you asked me if I'd rather have parents or money, I'd tell you parents would be that answer each and every time.
Just the same, I don't get that option, but a lot of kids in our town don't have the option of having parents who can give them an education which is furthered beyond the free education they're afforded.
What Grant and I have talked a lot about is how we can give back which isn't jobs and fast food joints, but something which gives to those who achieve and what we're trying to decide is exactly where we draw that line. What I'm trying to get across here is we're wanting to start an endowment fund which gives scholarships to each and every student who desires to further their education.”
An audible intake of breath was heard around the room.
“What Grant and I have a problem with is this... He thinks we should have a line drawn where we have C average students and above in those scholarships. I think we should involve everyone.
He thinks he doesn't want to waste money on someone who is a D and F student who doesn't want to apply him or her self at school. I think that person needs it just as much as someone else who might not need that money.
My stance is I know some D and F students who can pick up a tool and repair a car or build a house, but if you ask them to recite to you the Gettysburg Address, they'd look at you like you just asked them to do it in Chinese while they were at it. However, if you asked them for a math problem asking them for board feet on a house, they'd give it. Or, they'd do it if you asked them how many coats of paint it'd take to cover a fender.
What you need to know is we're aware we're wealthy. It's not about wealth. It's about giving approximately a hundred to two hundred people a chance at a better future where none might happen for them.”
Grant stood up and said, “Guys, I want to clarify something to you. Jake has a little bit of it wrong.”
I smiled, “Ok, well, get on up here and make it clearer then!”
He chuckled, “I've gotta! You're giving away tickets to Harvard and I'm hardly paying for that!”
A lot of people laughed.
Grant came up, “He's saying it right, but he left out one leading thing here.” He paused and said, “We want to give them scholarships to Moberly Area Community College. It's clearly less than a full ride to Harvard, so I don't want you folks thinking we're being like the Rockefeller's or something.”
A lot of people laughed.
I said, “Well, it's still several million a year, but that same money could go into a fast food restaurant or three. Rather than doing that where the people don't build futures, we're thinking of saving that money and putting it out on a good will offering to the community.”
Grant said, “Folks, it's not like this is really costing us money. Please don't think that. What we're spending is basicly some of the accrued interest on our money.”
He looked around and said, “Guys, I know what you're thinking and I'd think the same thing. You're thinking, 'Oh man, daddy warbucks thinks he's not rich, but he's throwing several million away like piss in the wind.' What I'm saying is if you had it, you'd do it too. Well, maybe you would, or wouldn't, but we're choosing to do it.”
Superintendant Wilson said, “Guys, don't explain it anymore than you have. We understand you're thinking with your hearts and that's what matters. That's what we who've received from your offerings before have thought and that's what got us into the room here tonight. We saw you were threatened and we came out en mass..”
The DFS woman asked, “Can we discuss this for a moment?”
Grant said, “Sure.”
She said, “I agree more with Jake than I do cutting the grade limits off. I'll give you an example and then, you can see where you might not have given a scholarship.” She paused and said, “I'm giving a hypothetical example of an individual here because I don't know the person, and I don't know his particulars. What I do know is he came from a disadvantaged home and while in school, his grades were atrocious.
What he did was he knew he could work on a farm here or he could go on to the military. He chose to go to the military where he rose up the ranks and eventually retired with the rank of Admiral.
Had he been afforded the scholarship, I think he would have taken the opportunity and exceeded your expectations. He probably would've made such high grades he would have used that entry level endowment to get himself others and probably been head of some Fortune 500 company before he was done.
What you're failing to realize is a lot of kids from disadvantaged homes don't make good grades. They have things like caring for younger siblings on their mind more than grades and studying. They are worrying about survival in a home where mom and dad aren't real attentive to anyone's needs but their own.
Now, let's turn the situation around. You've got a thought about giving endowments to some who probably don't need it and probably will go on to better things, but there are going to be some people who receive those opportunities who might not do much with those golden opportunities.
What I suggest is giving the opportunities to everyone and then having a grade requirement for further assistance in return for their future receiving of the monies.”
Several nodded and I said, “I realize some won't do good, but I agree a lot of those who don't make grades will do them better if they're in a technical trade education which gets them ahead in that manner.”
Grant said, “I guess I'm not all up on all that. I thought they'd have to have a good solid background in math in order to measure for cutting a board.”
I said, “Grant, let me say something and then you'll see where I'm at. Ok? I don't mean to argue, but as soon as I say one name, you and everyone else here are going to suddenly know the person.”
I paused and said, “P.O. Paul. Now, all of you know him, and you know that shack he has down by the tracks.
One day, Chris and I were down there and some railroad people had knocked down P.O. Paul's shack. We saw him out there with a ruler and we saw him with a saw. He had a hammer and he had some bent up rusty nails.
What we did was we helped him. He'd measure and he'd measure and he had that shack back up standing proud like all the rest of the shack's he'd ever built.
First of all, P.O. Paul didn't have a degree in architecture to get that shack built. As many of you know, he'll tell you he graduated from the 5th grade but didn't go to sixth or any higher. He'll also tell you the easiest way to cut a board is to measure and cut it and then cut the scrap into another portion for something else. He doesn't add or divide fractions to do it, but he does it simply.
Now, had someone gotten to him and had someone afforded him the opportunity to further himself in school, I bet you he'd learned addition and multiplication of fractions and he'd probably became an architect. All I know is he had a pile of scrap made into a house big enough for him and it didn't burn down when he had a small fire going inside it.”
A lot of people smiled.
Ben Prather said, “I'll give you a bit of knowledge about P.O. Paul because this is going to strike an uncanny chord with Jake.
As some of you know, Jeff was Jake's father. Well, Jeff worked for me at the tire shop. He did it and he did a really hard job and made it into what is now a thriving Goodyear dealership. What you don't know is none of us knew how to make some of that equipment operate when we had it there. That equipment sat in a corner and it didn't get used.
One day, Jeff saw P.O. Paul and called him over. He took him into the shop and said, “P.O. Paul, that machinery over there is junk. If you can figure out how to work it, it's yours. If you can teach me what it is, I'd appreciate it, but if it's no good, we'll scrap it and you can have the money from it's sale if you'll help me load it onto a truck.”
Ben smiled and shook his head. He looked down and then looked up. When he did, he had tears in his eyes. “That man thought we were all fools. He got excited and he started jabbering away as you know he did... and then, within a matter of two days, he had it all constructed in the shop and from the parts, he constructed what is now that art deco cross up on the church out on Morely. Someone had taken it from the civic center throughout the years and taken it apart.”
Everyone was stunned, Ben smiled and said, “P.O. Paul needs a monument to that cross. I'll tell you he built that cross back up and the whole time, he'd jabber away.
What's ironic is Jeff knew the language P.O. Paul spoke. He said everyone said it was jabbering, but in reality, it was Dutch. He knew the language from his grandma and said the whole time P.O. Was constructing that cross, he was telling Bible stories and how everyone who helped take down that cross ought to be strung up on it.”
Ben turned and looked at everyone and said, “We all thought he was simple minded because he didn't know our language, but no one took the time to realize and connect with him. Jeff did and that kid got P.O. Paul's heart.”
Grant turned to me and I could tell his eyes were red rimmed from repressed tears. I looked over at Mike Musselman and he had tears sliding down his face.
The DFS woman said, “We all knew him and all of us judged him, but only one person listened and really listened.” She shook her head and said, “I'm guilty of it like a lot of people.”
I asked, “What happened to him?”
Mr Musselman said, “They found him dead one day in that shack. The cause of death was natural causes. He was old.”
I took a breath and said, “Ok everyone, we offered you dinner and this is turning into a blubberfest. Someone please tell Grant it's ok to cry and he'll let loose.”
Grant chuckled, “Kid, I was trying to keep it in.”
“Ok, well, order an onion salad and blame it on that.”
He got up and ruffled my hair, “Guys, that's why I love him. He doesn't treat me like I'm anything other than just plain old me.”
“You're not you!” I said rolling my eyes. I turned to everyone and said, “He keeps telling me he's got a cape and tights, but until he shows them to me, I'm going to say he's a big old ballet dancer.”
Everyone laughed, Grant's face was red. “Let's order our meals and get our families in here. The meeting is over I'm guessing.”
Superintendant Wilson came up and said, “Ok, since this is an informal meeting, there's no set forum or any directives taken. Those of you who can do something, see it gets done. Those of you who might receive reports in regards to this, know this is what it is and we've got the word from them exactly how it's came about.”
The DFS lady came up and asked, “Jake, can you speak with me for a moment?”
“Yeah, you have your family here?”
“No, I'm single.”
“Ok, then eat with us. I'm sure Ben over there will be sitting with us. He's nice and has false teeth so his bite isn't worse than his bark.”
Ben chuckled, “That kid needs me eating with him.”
Ben came over and turned towards him, “If you don't mind, I'd like for you to sit at our table.”
She looked anguished, “I was wanting to speak with Jake alone.”
I turned to Mr Musselman, “Mike, can you come this way?”
I turned to her, “It's not that I don't trust you, but I don't trust your position and your authority.”
“That's fine.” she nodded.
Mr Musselman came over, “Sure Jake, what's going on?”
“She needs to speak with me and I need to have you there. As my attorney, don't let me get taken away.”
He looked at her and asked, “I'm hoping this isn't that sort of conversation.”
“No. Not at all. I'm wanting to discuss with Jake about him seeking some counseling.”
I said, “I don't feel up to it. You can order it, but it doesn't mean I'm going to connect with that person.”
She said, “Jake, I know someone who's young whom I think you might identify with moreso than anyone you might meet elsewhere. She belonged to that church your uncle attends.
What you'd be surprised to hear is a good number of those people who attend church there lost their children due the the situations you stated. She was one of those children taken.
What you don't know is she's had a lot of anxiety issues because she was taken from her home. Her trust level because of the loss and being put into foster care probably did her more harm than good.
Just the same, she went on to go to school and get a social worker's license. She got a counselor's license and she's now counseling those in your situation.”
“Is she around here?”
“Yes, I can give you her address for her office.”
“Can she arrange it around my schedule?”
“I'll have to ask her, but I'm sure she'd be flexible.”
I looked over at Grant. He was speaking with one of the school board members.
“Ok, but I need to speak with her. If she can't make it so it's in my schedule, I'm not going to make my schedule change for her.”
She nodded, “Jake, I'm not an enemy here. I've heard a lot of things tonight which had me concerned, but I also know you clarified it and I also know you were honest.”
Mr Musselman said, “Jake, as your attorney, I'm going to tell you in the future not to say anything about you and Grant's situation which can be perceived to be anything other than him being your guardian. She's telling you it could've been worse than it was had it not been clarified, but she's also stepping up to your defense.”
“How's she defending me?”
“She's taking notes to give the jury of how you've been traumatized by all this. You said on that tape you're not after those men who killed your grandma. I'll tell you I'm going after them and the state on that issue. You've been damaged and someone needs to know those damages need to be attended to.”
She nodded, “I think you're absolutely correct. Anytime you need me to testify, I'll do so. I do think your position would be stronger if he sought help and we had more than one professional opinion to say it.”
“So you're wanting me to have a battery of shrinks say I'm messed up! No thanks. You don't realize they'd not let me near a professional football field if they thought I was nuts. You can make your case one direction, but realize the second you do a convincing job, others are going to use that opinion to get me out of the pros.”
Mike nodded, “You're correct. We need to remember that could occur.”
She said, “Jake, what I'm saying is with me on the stand, the jury is going to say, “Yeah, but she's seeing he had trauma, but she didn't get him help.” We need to have someone there to tell them you got help and you're adjusting through it.”
“I'm not going into your wacko ward either. You people will find any way to get my stock certs. No thanks. You might try, but as long as I've got a car and those, I can go anywhere and live a life without seeking any damages and not have to worry one bit.”
Mr Musselman said, “Jake, we realize your security is in the things you defend. We're not going to mess with them. I'm NOT going to let anyone mess with them. We're not trying to get you into a mental unit and we're not going to try getting you into a home for foster care either. We think you need to speak with someone who is there for you and someone you can discuss your fears and see how to overcome them.”
“Let me think on it. I'm not comfortable with being pressured to do it.”
He nodded and said, “We've got the answer he feels best with.”
She put her hand on my arm. “I'm not pressing any further. I understand you don't trust me and I can understand why.”
John came over and said, “Hi Jake.”
“John, you saw my grandma, dad, and mom, right?”
“Yeah, clear as day.”
“Well, be sure to let that coach know you saw him. He didn't believe me.”
The DFS woman asked, “How did they appear?”
“Just out of the blue. We were out in front of the house and they appeared. When we were told they wanted Grant to take care of him, they started to walk to the end of the driveway and disappeared.”
She nodded, “I'm not doubting one bit. In fact, I'm not even putting it in the report. I put Grant received familial permission and it was witnessed by a police officer. If the state wants anything further, they can get it through different means. My interest is because I swore I saw things when I was little. There are times now I swear I see things and then they're gone.”
I said, “When you see those things, do yourself and them a favor. Say a quick prayer of Blessing their soul. It helps them and it lets them know you saw them. IF you do that, you might get a longer appearance with them the next time.”
She asked, “You said you saw your parents previously. When was that?”
“When I was little. They'd come in and say good night to me and sometimes, they'd put their hand upon me and say good night. It was comforting and not once did I have a nightmare about anything like a boogey man. I think they watched over me and when I needed them and Grant was there, I think they chose to communicate more because I think he needed to know they were there for him too.”
She asked, “You said your dad told you to get home NOW. Did he state specifically why?”
“He'd already said my mom was with my grandma. When he said to get home NOW, it told me something was out of my mom's hands and it scared me.”
“So, we hauled home and as you know, about that time is probably when my grandma was killed. My mom was probably there at that time protecting my grandma, but I think good angels can only do so much against evil when it's happening here.”
She nodded, “You're probably more right than you know. If they could do something, there'd probably be no deaths due to bombs, murders like your grandma, or for murders like your parents too.”
Mr Musselman said, “Jake, I'm going to go over and sit with my wife. IF there's anything else you need, give me a yell.”
He started to walk away and then asked, “Have you spoken with Robbie?”
“No, Robbie's not came up to me either.”
He asked, “I get it you don't really like him much, can I ask why?”
I looked at the DFS woman and decided to lay my cards on the table. “Yeah, but it's going to take a bit.”
“Ok” he said. “I need to hear.”
“Please don't take this the wrong way, but people like my friend Chris and I are in the income bracket you tried to get away from when you were growing up. Robbie is in the income bracket of what you strove to become.
He's up here with his nose up here. He views us as peons and he's less than kind...well, the exact terminology would be he's an asshole towards people like what Chris and I are, and what you and my dad were.
I've been there to speak with him, but got a look at me like he wanted to know why I would dare speak with him. I left it alone and that's where I'm at with it. I think if you asked my friend Chris, his term would be probably more direct as not urinating on him if he were on fire.”
He nodded, “I'm sorry. I'll have a talk with him.”
“Mike, can I suggest something?”
“In some instances, talking is more of what someone doesn't need. He's not going to understand where you came from because he's never had to live it. I understand it because my grandma raised me to know the value of a dollar.
I've been told Robbie has a television, phone, and a whole lot of things. You gave to him those things because you strove for him to have what you didn't have. It's not a bad thing, but in giving him those things, you also gave him what he passes judgement on real easily...your past.”
“Thanks for being honest.” he said rather resigned. His eyes looked sad and he walked off.
“You were rather hard on him.”
“No, he needed to know for his own good. What you're not getting is Grant made an investment into a corporation for a bunch of the friends they had when they were little. In doing that investment, he also gave to their families.
As soon as it was done, I told Grant he made a mistake and he asked why. I told him he was trying to buy his friends being close again when a phone call and invitation to a barbeque on a Sunday would suffice.
Grant casually made those invitations and a good number of those 'friends' never bothered to show. Mr Musselman's family had a prior engagement four weeks in advance. I'm stating if we'd sent out invitations with the card stating the corporation would convene and they were being given the several million dollars, they would have all shown. Since they weren't told they were receiving, they declined.”
“All of them did?”
“No, the ones who were there had a great time. Nothing was said about the investment and afterwards, Grant and I had a talk and we decided to invite others. That's why I was trying to invite the coach and his partner to be a part of the group. As you can see, gays have a problem making time just as much as the straights do. Just the same, I bet they would've shown if they'd been told we were handing over several million dollars.”
“What's that investment?”
“One of the stocks I have is in a company which is called Worldcom. It's in a company called Sprint. This cell phone is a part of that company.
What Grant invested in was cell phone towers. He put fifty million into the company which is putting up cell phone towers in a lot of cities in Colorado. If it's a town over two thousand people in Colorado, it's safe to say their cell towers are in our corporation. Well, it's all the way up into Wyoming and Yellowstone also.”
“So this all exploded because you were trying to secretly get them to be a part of an investment club in which they would've profited handsomely. Instead, it's caused a lot of grief.” She said shaking her head.
“Yeah, but as the old adage goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. What's bad is Grant's upset enough about it, he's compiling a list of the towers, the investment, the returns, and then the number of events people were invited to, and yet declined. When it's over, they're going to receive a card stating a sympathetic remark about their membership to the group has been declined by their lack of attendance.”
She smiled, “Remind me to accept an invitation to one of your barbeques!”
I smiled, “If you receive one, you've got a heads up on why you were invited. Just know if you come, it's going to have a lot of guys who are gay there and not to pass judgement.”
“I'm not that sort. I'll tell you now.”
“Good. I'm glad to hear it because it means a lot to me. We have a hard enough time when we're out in the community, but we don't need to be judged where we find haven.”
“It's strange for me to hear it's my house, but yes, it's my house.”
She nodded, “It's a part of moving on.”
“Nah, I've moved on completely. If you saw the house now, you'd say it was totally day and night different from when grandma lived there. It's been remodeled and we've put a patio out back with a lot of privacy fence. It's landscaped out there and the neighbors might not like it, but we're able to be ourselves there.”
“Why the fence?”
“Because when we're having a function, we might like to sit with our partner. Someone looking over at our yard might yell a slur if they saw it, so we put up a fence which has to be viewed over in order to see in. Where they'd have a problem is the landscaping is such the yard is smaller because we've put some Poplar trees on the inside which is a high hedge against viewing in.”
“I'm not following. If you're not doing anything wrong, why hide?”
“Ok, let's say this. Let's say you and your boyfriend go out on a date. You kiss, what happens?”
“Ok, me and my boyfriend go out and we kiss. What happens?”
“Yeah, so at our parties, we have a gay couple there. They hold hands, or they sit together and no one yells, no one jeers, and no one sees it being less than affection.”
“Do you and Grant do that?”
“Can't answer, won't answer, don't come to the party to find out if you're going to use it against us. If you do, I'll throw a match, the place burns down, and you see the tail lights of a 'vette leaving town and you never get to say you messed with me again.”
“Jake, I'm not asking as someone in my office. I would really like to know if you're finding happiness.”
“Yes and no. That's the most honest answer I can give. My boyfriend will hug me but he won't kiss me. He won't make love and he won't do anything because he's afraid of what's on my birth certificate. Your department has him that afraid he'd go to prison over it.”
“That hurts you.”
“Damn right it hurts! I mean, if I was dating a girl, I'd get that right. Since I'm under the age and he's above it, it gets handed to me like some present not to open until I'm 18. Now, do you want to know what I think about that?”
“There's a breeding resentment about it. When my 18th birthday happens, he might think he's suddenly ready, but he's liable to find me packing my car and saying adios because the contract was fulfilled and what he waited too long to cultivate is now dead to me and I'm ready to go find it elsewhere.
You don't know it, but my grandma kissed me good night. He won't even do that. Does that mean she was molesting me? No. But, you have him so afraid to even do that it's something he can only demonstrate with a hug...a freakin' hug. It sucks, but don't think I don't care. I do, but being told to wait is pure bullshit.”
She nodded, “You need to have a talk with him about it.”
“I've talked until I can't speak anymore. It's just not happening. The man will hug me and go do a thousand situps and then tell me it's hard on him too.”
“What's that mean?”
“Oh man, I'll tell you but if you dare put this in a report, as I said, I'll be over the Illinois state line before you get that chance to pull me from the house.
Grant doesn't jack off. He hugs me and then does a thousand sit ups, or two hundred and fifty push ups and he gets rid of that energy until he exhausts himself so he can't think about sex.
Well, that's it to me. It hurts. It's painful. It's not right, but when I turn 18, he's liable to see it didn't do him any good to hurt me.”
“You'd abandon the relationship?”
“What relationship? I mean Mother Teresa probably would kiss someone, but he won't. If I'm abandoning it at the age of 18, when I'm legally allowed to leave, then he's abandoning it when he's had ample opportunity to demonstrate he has feelings.”
“It's messing up!”
“Well, your department calls it and he's not going over the line. You know the results of what it's about, but had I been a girl and he been a guy and we'd been in Arkansas, I'd be allowed to get married to him at the age of 13. Go figure it out because no one's calling it child abuse down there.”
“Can I speak to him?”
“Don't. It'll mean he knows I told you and that's hurt worse than what good it'd do. Just know that's what's in the back of my mind.”
“You shut people out.”
“I shut those out who hurt me. He's not the first and he won't be the last.”
“You need to speak with my friend.”
“You're not understanding. I understand me. It's everyone else's need to understand me who treats me like the guinea pig. They think if I go subject myself to the questions, that person will speak and they'll get insight. It's not happening because the second that person divulges what I said, it means that person lost her license.”
“Can I ask you questions?”
“If you wanted to know the information, that's all you had to do.”
“My best time? I'll tell you that's about twenty minutes daily and that's right after school when I dress out for football and I'm waiting on everyone else to get their slow butts out of the field house.”
“Why not say something to them?”
“What's the use? They think they have all day to practice, so we don't start that hour until they get to the field. They bitch about it later, but they sure don't do what they can to hurry it along. Rather than hurry them, I can schedule an appointment in that time and probably have more than that twenty minutes.”
“Ok, I'll be there.”
“I need to tell you if you see my friend Chris hovering around, don't be surprised. He's usually out there before others and that's when he and I catch up with each other on our day.”
“Oh, well, then I won't do that.”
“No, we speak a lot later at the gym. He's there, but he'll not mind if he thinks someone else would understand me.”
Grant came over and asked, “You ready to eat?”
“I was hungry when I was trying to get everyone else to eat. Nothing changed except the grocery bill. It went up significantly.”
He laughed, “I imagine it did.”
He turned to her, “You're welcome to sit with us. If I'm not mistaken, you've got an admirer if you'd pay him some mind.”
She looked embarrassed, “Who?”
Grant turned and said, “Ben, are you still sitting with us?”
“Yeah, be right over.”
She smiled, “Man, I never wore makeup or anything.” She put her hair behind her ear.
I said, “You look fine. The man finds beauty in wrecked cars for chrissake. If he doesn't realize you're better than that, then he needs to get glasses.”
She smiled, “Thanks.”
Grant pulled out a chair, “Your seat ma'am.”
“Thank you!” she said with a blush.
He smiled at me, “Your seat sir.”
He walked around the table and pulled out a seat. He sat down and I stared at mine. I pulled out my seat and connected eyes with hers. I nodded briefly and said, “Eighteen.”
She shook her head slowly.
Grant took the menu and said, “Eat what you like, it's on us.”
She gave me a look, I smiled wanly, “It's rather nice here. Their appetizers are nice. Don't get that platter thing, otherwise you'll be stuffed with them and not get to eat what you've ordered.”
She looked at the menu, “It all looks so good!”
Ben came over and sat down, “Whew, I thought I'd never get here. With all the people sitting down and not talking, the temperature will probably lower twenty degrees in here.”
She chuckled, “Ben, what do you suggest?”
Grant smiled and looked at me, as soon as he looked, his eyes immediately gave me a question of 'what?' I shook my head sadly because he just wouldn't get it.
He turned to Ben and said, “They've got Prime Rib tonight. I'm guessing they've got enough people here they decided to put it on the menu.”
“Good, that's what I'm getting.”
I looked at the menu and nothing looked good. My appetite was gone. I said, “I'm sorry, but nothing is appealing to me right now. I'll excuse myself and go get something later.”
Grant turned, “What's going on?”
“Nothing which can be changed. It's no use discussing it.”
“You want me to come?”
“No, it'd be rude.”
I looked across at Ben and said, “I'm sorry, but I need to go.”
I got up and left. When I went outside, I was about to get into the car and Grant stopped me, “What's going on?”
“Nothing which can be changed. I said!”
“You're hurting and I can't know why?”
“Ok, one more time and then, you realize your answer is always the same as what can't change. I'm not getting any intimacy and others can. I can't have anything other than a hug, and others can. I want you so bad, and when I say it, the fucking door gets slammed and I get told to wait.”
“Yeah, and when I turn 18, you'll realize I waited too long.”
I got in the car and said, “Grant, you do what you've got to do and I'll do what I've got to do.”
“Don't you understand!”
“I understand. You're not going to bend and I've got to. My heart bends and you expect it not to break. Well, it chips into little pieces and I'm begging for what I need and you're not giving it.”
“Don't you see?”
“Don't you?! Jeez, I tell you and I tell you and the day you're going to finally understand is the day these tail lights drive away from you forever and you're not going to be able to stop them! You'll wake up and you'll swear you were an idiot, but you held fast and everyone... EVERYONE is going to look at you and tell you exactly what I've told you time and time again. You broke it and it's to the point it's not fixable. Don't be surprised because I'm telling you and you're just not getting it.”
“Well, go and get something to eat. I'll go make my apologies and exit. They're bound to want to know why you're in a snit and I'll not be able to tell.”
“Unfortunately, if you think that, you're blind to what just happened. She knows and she thinks you're in a losing situation.”
“Well what does she say about it!”
He turned around, “Jeez, don't you see I want you so friggin' bad and I can't!'
“I can see a part of it, but I'm seeing an excuse. You find a way around it. If you can't then get me emancipated so we're not bound by that fucking law.”
I started the car and said, “Grant, I'll say it one final time. If you wait, you've waited too long.”
I put it into gear and he said, “I'll see you when you get home.”
“So does that mean since I'm not sitting in there pretending to make nice by playing along that I can't go to the gym?”
“I didn't say that.”
“Then I'll see you out at the gym. If you don't show and I see you at home, then know I'm going on with life choosing to exercise my fucking arms off and doing crunches until my guts so sore I can't touch you.”
“I do that too. Don't think you're the only one.”
“When your pleasure becomes your pain, don't think you're a masochist.”
“Can I have a hug?”
“Yeah, jeez, why do I have to stop it at a hug when a kiss would do?”
“Because someone would see and my ass would be in jail sooner than not.”
I hugged him and then rolled up the window. I backed out and then went out to the highway. On impulse, I decided to drive down by the dealership. I drove down and saw Jack and Roger outside. They had their arms around each other and were standing and staring at the sign. I pulled into the lot and stared up at the sign. Over the sign, I saw a big vee of geese heading south for the winter.
I pulled over where they stood and Jack smiled, “Hey!”
“Hi guys, I see it's looking real good!”
“They're working on the electricals. They roughed a lot of them in today.”
Roger looked at me and asked, “What's going on?”
“They had a bunch of school board people and school people at the country club for a meeting. Coach Williamson put a foot in it today, so they're deciding what to do about him.”
“What'd he do?”
I told them and the more I spoke, the more they were appalled. I said, “Guys, it's but one more thing which is making me want to be away from here all the more.”
Roger said, “Don't do anything rash.”
“I can't until I'm 18. They've got me until then, and after that, I've got me.”
Roger chuckled, “Grant's got you!”
“I doubt it. We just argued about that and he's not seeing I'm not likely going to even be there for him when it happens.”
“You understand his hands are tied.”
“His hands are, but his lips aren't and his hugs are getting to be a bit too little too late.”
“You need to understand where he's at.”
“I understand. I'm doing all I can to understand, but you guys think about it and realize even you guys get to stand out here and have your arms around each other. You show that intimacy I can't be afforded and where I'm at is the second I reach 18, I'm fully expecting him to recoil back and tell me he can't. When that happens, I'll be packed and out of here in a flash. He'll see I wasn't about waiting around and he'll see the one who had the great fall was the one who could have put it together.”
Roger shook his head. “You've spoken with him about it?”
“Yeah, until I'm blue in the face. He's saying the broken record and I'm saying mine. We're locked into the abuse of it and part of me wants to go home and get what's mine and cut on out. The other part wants it to work, but putting up with it until then is going to be a mind breaker for me. Until then, I guess I get to suffer, but I'll not do it in silence.”
Jack asked, “He won't do it at all?”
“I don't get a kiss good night. I don't get anything other than a hug. Now, tell me how much you'd like to sleep with someone's wood between the cheeks of your ass and not get more than a hug? That's what I get. It's like he's straight and I'm suffering being with him.”
I realized I was about to cry. I snapped my mouth shut and said, “Well, that's the day of my life. A friggin' soap opera and nothing's changing.”
Roger said, “Well kiddo, if you need to talk, I'll be there for you.”
“I know. Both of you are great. Well, I've got to go get something to eat. Then, I'm going out to the gym and work myself into a frenzy because I can't have what I want.”
Roger touched my hand, “Aaron wants you to call him.”
“What's going on with him? I don't see him at all at school.”
“That's why he wants you to call.”
“I'll call him. Tell him it'll be later, but I'll call.”
He nodded, “I appreciate it.”
I went out and drove towards the strip. At the strip, I decided to go get a barbeque instead of any of the fast food slop. I took a left and went to the snack shack. When I got out of the car, I saw Aaron over in a truck.
I went over and said, “You wanted me to call?”
“Yeah, but I can't talk right now.”
He motioned with his eye. I saw one of the football players and he said, “We're sort of together.”
“I need to talk with you about it.”
“Then you see my car. Get in and we'll talk. The second he thinks he can do anything to my car, the second mistake got made.”
“I'll talk with you later.”
The guy came over to the truck, “This jerk bothering you?”
He turned to me, “Back away from the truck. You might think you run things but you don't run me.”
“Ok, see you on the field.”
I walked back to my car and dialed my phone, “Yeah Jake.”
“Aaron's sort of in a relationship with DJ Carter. DJ is on the football team and just told me I couldn't speak to him. He says I might think I run things on the football field, but I don't run him. Well, we'll see if I ever throw his direction again.”
“Aaron didn't speak?”
“It's like he was afraid to. He said he'd talk later. When you see him, tell him my chance to talk drove off the lot when I did. If he wants that sort of relationship, then you'll get told what I think of it.”
“Where's he at?”
“I'll be right there.”
I hung up and went over to the window. “Barbequed rib sandwich please. I'll take some onion rings and a large cherry shake.”
The girl went to making it. I saw DJ leave his truck and go over to the guys at the side of the building. All I heard was a snippet of “Faggot Mother...” and decided the calvary would get there a little too late.
I pulled my phone and called John, “Hello?”
“John, you in your patrol car?”
“Head toward the snack shack.”
“Ok, what am I looking for?”
“I'll tell you when you get here. If you get here a little too late, you'll most likely see it happening before you can get it stopped.”
My phone was yanked out of my hand and thrown across the hood of my car. “Like I said faggot, you don't run much here. Get in your car and I'll eat your food.”
“Nine hundred dollars for the phone and I'll get in the car. If you don't have it, then make some calls. I'll wait.”
He put his face up next to mine. “Faggot, I'm warning you!”
“Not intimidated. Try someone else.”
He lifted me by my shirt collar. I heard Aaron's voice, “DJ! Put him down!”
“Not happening. He's got to pay to stay on my turf.”
I got thrown onto the hood of my car. I slid off and landed on my feet. I calmly went to the trunk hatch and opened it. I pulled out three baseballs and my tennis racket.
I stepped out into the parking lot and took aim. The first ball went through the rear window of DJ's truck.
“What the fuck!”
“That's partial payment for the phone.”
DJ came storming at me. I threw the second baseball up and served it it went at DJ and bounced off his forehead. His eyes rolled back and he fell where he was walking.
The patrol car entered the parking lot. John got out and asked, “This is your problem?”
“Yeah, I sort of got my phone busted while I was talking with you. He damaged the hood of my car and busted the phone.”
“Anyone else see it?”
“The girl inside and Aaron saw it.”
Aaron came over, “I don't want to get involved.”
“Aaron, your dad's on his way. You're involved already.”
“Oh man, you've messed it up!”
“Not quite, your friend messed it up. He's messed up my phone, my hood, his football career, and if you choose to side up that direction, I'll take my charges, but our friendship is messed up too.”
“You don't understand! I'll be beat up!”
“Yeah, the second your dad falls, I'll step back up. If you think that's happening, you need to think again.”
John came over, “The girl said she's got it all on video. You said his dad's on his way?”
“Good, I'll need to explain obstruction of justice charges to both of them.”
The girl brought out my dinner. “Here hon, it's about time someone did that to him. I like your style. Live by the sports, fall by the sports!”
She went back inside and I went over to my phone. I said, “John, it's valued at over nine hundred dollars. The hood on my 'vette will be a lot more than that. I'll press charges.”
“Ok, I've got video proof, but he'll most likely press charges on you for assault.”
“Go ahead and arrest me. I'll go down and post bond.”
“We need to call an ambulance. You might've scrambled his brains.”
“Should've worn a helmet.”
“Use my phone. You might want to call Grant.”
I took John's phone. It was a newer slimline version of my big shoebox phone. I dialed and Grant answered, “Hello?”
“It's me. I'm at the snack shack. I'm getting arrested.”
“You heard me. John told me to call you.”
“What's going on?”
“I'll tell you when you get here.”
“Don't get like that. Do I need to bring Mike?”
“It wouldn't hurt.”
“What'd you do!”
“Scrambled someone's brains.”
“Oh jeez, is he going to live?”
“Wouldn't hurt anything if he didn't. I'm running up John's minutes.”
“Hang on a second, what's the charge?”
“I don't know. I've got charges against the guy and he's got that charge against me. He's laying on the ground unconscious and I'm standing here talking to you trying to get off a phone.”
“I'll be there.”
I hung up and handed the phone to John. “Thanks.”
“I'm not pressing charges. I think whatever charges he had against you would be leveled off with the charges you could level against him.”
“Well, I never kept anyone in my vehicle out of fear. He did. His boyfriend over there won't talk, so I guess that won't stick. All I can say is his dad's on his way and he might deserve to get the ass beating he's got coming just for ruining our friendship.”
“Yeah, so when you make that report, remember mine's going to state that. If he denies it, I'll say it all the way to the supreme court just to be sure I get to say it a lot of times.”
“I know his dad. He was out there at that meeting.”
“Cool. We'll see if he stands by me when he sees what I did to his son!”
John chuckled, “He was telling me about how his son was one of your best linemen.”
“I got told I'm not running shit and I'm not running him. That's when I decided he's never getting another pass thrown to him again. That's right after I got told I couldn't talk to Aaron in the truck.
Then, I went over there and made my order and called Roger, Aaron's dad, and told him what I found. You were the next call and now you know why I was telling you what I was because he was over there referring to 'fucking faggot' this and 'fucking faggot' that.”
“That's a hate crime.”
“Don't press it. Missouri doesn't have that law.”
“It's nothing but peace disturbance. If he were calling me anything derogatory like as to my race, or my religious affiliation, you'd have grounds, but in regards to video, I handed over my tape at that meeting tonight.”
I heard Roger's 'vette before I saw it. It stopped and he got out. He walked over and looked down, “Holy shit, who's that?”
“Aaron's boyfriend. He picked a fight and lost. I served baseballs for supper.”
He smiled, “Where's Aaron?”
“Over in this clown's mobile.”
“Why's he not over here?”
“He's not allowed to get out of the truck. He came over and totally denied our friendship, so it's best he stay over there away from me.”
Roger looked around, “I'll be back.”
I told John, “You might want to see if an ambulance was called.”
“I'm waiting to see if he comes to.”
“He's liable to lapse into a coma and then, I'll be in real shit.”
“Grant's on his way. I've got to stay here.”
“Hey, you told me to call him and tell him I was going to be arrested for assault. He's probably bringing Mike with him, so it's going to be wall to wall brass here in a moment.”
“Hey, if you don't mind, I need to eat. If I'm going to jail, I'll need my strength to fight off Bubba.”
He smiled, “You'll be in a holding cell if you go. Bubba's not there.”
“Not according to Night Court, he's in the holding cell.”
“This is Moberly, Mo. Jake. We don't have night court.”
“Ok, so that means I'm ass out on school tomorrow.”
“You'll bail out tonight...if you get arrested. I'll let Mike see the tape and see how he wants to handle it. From what I say, you were justified.”
“Can I have my baseballs back then?”
“Go get the one out of the truck. The one which bounced off his noggin is over there next to the building.”
I looked the direction of his point. All of DJ's friends had disappeared.
“All his friends disappeared when they saw you come on the scene.”
“If you pay attention to the video, they were running when you were serving balls.”
“I only took three out. They had no chance of getting one aimed at them.”
“That's comforting to hear.”
Roger came back over. “He's in my car. He's afraid he's going to be beaten up again...like there was a first time.”
“Was there a first time?”
“He's not talking. He said he wanted to talk with you, but you ruined it for everyone.”
I looked at Roger, “First of all, I didn't ruin the party. That sort of got ruined when this fucker tried making my phone a hood ornament for my car.”
Roger looked at the hood of my car and said, “Son of a bitch!”
“Yeah, like I'm going to walk away from that damage. He'll pay, or I'll make him pay every fucking day on that football field until the season's over. He has no clue how I can make him look like an idiot. I can always throw a ball a little too far ahead of him so he doesn't complete the play, or I can choose to never get the ball to him and choose to run it myself. Or, I can always just see about getting him off the field with me and have it never come up I need him on the field. I think I'll get paid for the hood of my car and for my phone.”
Roger went over and leaned into his car, he came back and said, “Aaron's now willing to talk. He just got told you're wanting half the damages go to him to pay.”
John smiled, “I'll go get the statement.”
John went over and Roger asked, “You in the clear on this”
“He says I am, but we're waiting on Grant and Mike to get here to be sure.”
“ Mike will press charges against everyone.”
“So be it. If I have charges, and he's got them, I can sue for the hood and the phone in small claims. I'll get my money.”
“You have video proof?”
“Yeah, plus that girl as a witness. He assaulted me by putting his hands upon my being and then snatched the phone out of my hand. Then he held me up in the air by my collar and threw me onto the hood of the car. That's when I went back and decided a little game of baseball was in order. We never made it to two strikes before he was out.”
He smiled, “You're funny. I'm not supposed to laugh, but I like it. It's irking me Aaron's being the way he is right now.”
“What was he doing with that clown in the first place?” I looked over and said, “You might tell John to block in that idiot's truck. He's liable to come to and try taking everyone out getting out of here.”
“Let me go tell him.”
He went over and I saw movement downwards. I stepped out of the way just about the time I saw a leg come kicking towards me. “DJ, your dad's on his way, the prosecuting attorney's on his way, and your boyfriend is over there singing like a canary to the cops. You sure don't need me kicking your ass again. It's best to lay there and play dead.”
“I'll kill you!”
“Too late to try that. Any damage on top of the phone and the hood of my car would probably be more than you can afford. Your dad might choose to let me work it out in trade for that fat ass of yours.”
“You keep saying that, but let me remind you as quarterback, I do decide whether or not you play on my line. I also decide if I ever throw the ball in your direction again, and I also decide whether I can mess with your world by making you seem like a fool for not catching that incredible pass I threw just a little too far. Now, You messed with me, so I'll mess back. Apparently, I didn't scramble your brains as much as they needed. Let me try again. Ok?”
He sat up against my car. “Get off my car. You're about to damage the door.”
“When I kick your forehead, the back of your head's going to cave in my door. I'll bet you that...wanna bet?”
He leaned forward. “You called my dad?”
“He got called when I had to call Grant. Needless to say, with all the word usage you've been using, I'll see to it Grant never has you on the line to work at the station again.”
“Fuck you man.”
“Sorry, only one guy's getting a piece of it and it's not you. Your boyfriend couldn't even get what you're wanting, so don't think you're in a league without players.”
“He's not my boyfriend.”
“Whatever, your dad will be told otherwise.”
“He's nothing to me.”
“Well, he's over there telling John what you were to him, so I bet you a statement will be filed you were something to him. Plus, my statement will tell them you didn't want me talking to your boyfriend. See if I'm running something when that statement gets made.”
Grant rolled onto the lot. With him was Mike Musselman.
“There's Grant, your dad's not far behind. They were coming from the same place.”
“The country club. We had a meeting about getting the coach removed from the team. We'll see if that happened tomorrow.”
“What the fuck man!”
“He sort of threatened me without busting my phone and hood of my car. Let's see if you stay on the team after that brilliant move.”
“I can't get kicked off the team.”
“No such thing as can't. You'll find out if you stay or leave when I ask for you to go to third string.”
He looked at me and Grant came over, “What's up with DJ?”
“He made threats and thankfully, this place had video because I don't have a back up for my car.”
“He was keeping Aaron in his truck, and made threats towards me. I called Roger and then ordered my food. He came over and assaulted me and then threw my phone against my hood when I was calling John. The next thing I know, he's thrown me across the hood and I sort of slid off of it only to decide it was time to play baseball. Strike one went into the rear window of his truck and the second strike went against his forehead. He went down and all his rat bastard friends abandoned ship. John arrived and then, I called you.”
Mr Musselman asked, “What's your charges?”
“Waiting on you to decide that. It's all on video and I'm not backing off suing him for the phone and the hood of my car. He can sue for the window and his forehead, but I'll have it out there he's gay and forcibly keeping his boyfriend in his truck while we're throwing things around.”
“What's John done?”
“Stood around and decided to wait on you guys to get here. He's sort of worried because he thinks I'm going to upset his dad like he's someone who can't be upset.”
Grant said, “Dan Carter is someone not to mess with.”
“Damn, someone forgot to explain to me the rules. If he wants to go that route, I guess I've got to show him how his son went down. Maybe he'll realize I don't take intimidation lightly.”
Grant rolled his eyes. He turned and said, “Mike, do what you gotta. Jake's said he's guilty of that.”
“Yeah pops, hang me out to dry!”
“You're guilty Jake!”
“And you're apparently hanging me out because you think I'm going to stir trouble with Dan the man...ipulator.”
“Jake! He's head of the biggest plant left in this town!”
“Oh...excuse me, I forgot to shiver in my boots. Which one of them is it? I bet you I can be his boss in about three take over moves.”
Mr Musselman came over with a smirk on his face, “Jake, you're too much like your dad. He didn't cow to Dan either.”
He turned and said, “I'm going to watch a video. If it's as he said it was, Jake's not getting charged, but I'm willing to bet I can make charges appear out of thin air on this kid.”
DJ asked, “Is my dad coming?”
“Can't say DJ, it seems like he might've bailed on the thought of having a gay son.”
Grant gave me a look. “Dammit Jake!”
“Grant, do me a favor, there's a corner over there. GO stand in it. If his dad intimidates you so bad, think about what I'm smelling here when you're standing over there.”
He looked, “Garbage?”
“Hey, it didn't take you one step to figure out what I'm smelling.”
I walked away from him and went over to John. “John, DJ's sort of begging for his dad to be called. You might tell him his son's got himself into a fracas with his boyfriend and his boyfriends ex friend sort of beat him up.”
John smiled, “His dad's an asshole.”
“Roger's being nice to this asshole, so maybe they can meet up and Aaron can get himself a real thing instead of an imitation.”
“Jake, go over there and stand. I'm taking a statement.”
“Ok John. Can I get another shake since my last one sort of went dry?”
“Yeah.” he said with a smirk.
I went over and said, “I need a pineapple shake this time.”
“What's going on?”
“No one can make up their mind if they want to tussle with DJ's dad. Personally, I could care less.”
“He's (whispering) mafia.”
“So! Like they don't make concrete shoes in the form of Nikes?”
She smiled, “There's not a river close by.”
“Then maybe he'll have to piss up a river...since everyone's so scared of him.”
She laughed, “You do know you're probably in deep trouble, don't you?”
“Right now, I could care less. Someone's going to pay for my phone and the hood of my car.”
She made my shake and I went back out to the side of my car. “DJ, everyone's a bit afraid of your dad. They want to whisper he's mafia like I'm to be intimidated just like you tried. I'm sorry, but I just failed to give a shit.”
“Man, he's nothing to mess with.”
“Then you should've thought about that when you messed with me. You see, my parents are dead. My grandma is dead. I'm fresh out of people to kill except for Grant over there and personally, he's pissed me off twice today, so if he's going for a third, your dad might see me take him out before he gets a chance. I'll promise you one thing, I'll do it with a tennis ball so he can feel the slow burn instead of the hard one.”
“What'd he do to piss you off?”
“Shivered when the state DFS lady said 'boo' and shivered before your dad got a chance to say anything. Needless to say, I don't need to pay attention to someone shivering to realize they just don't give a fuck.”
“Welcome to the club man. My old man will run out there to save you when it makes him look good, but won't do anything for me.”
“Trade ya. At least you've got one to be disappointed in. I'm willing to bet you I could make your dad happy he's got a son with me around. I know I'd be willing to be happy I've got a dad around.”
“You say that, but I'll probably have the fuck beat out of me when I get home.”
“IF you fucked up his phone and his car and came home to me, I'd sort of beat your ass too. Just the same, I'll talk to your dad and ask him to allow you to work it off for me and see how long that takes.”
“Ummm, let's see, I own the Chevy dealer, so maybe you could sell a car or three. Or, you could wash a car or a thousand. Since you throw the faggot word around, I'll have to nix that because most everyone out there would have you thrown off the lot before you got a chance to sell anything.”
“They're all gay?”
“Who knows? They like me and they know the second shit flows like that out of your mouth, they're going to have you off the lot for friendship to me. Well, most of this town's like that, so I'd say you'd probably not get to work many places.”
“My dad's place.”
“Ooh yeah, you work off what you owe me working for him. Yeah, I bet you'd toil away there learning lessons.”
“You have no clue.”
“I probably don't. I know we need a pool cleaned out at the motel, but Grant's probably already got that done. Needless to say, he probably paid thirty or forty dollars to do that instead of the several grand my phone and hood are going to cost.”
“The back window on my truck is going to be several hundred.”
“Ok, here, I'll pay for it. I'll make a call on my busted phone and have my car dealership repair it.....Oh! My phone's busted! I guess I'll have to send that message by smoke signal. Is it ok if I burn your truck to get that across?”
John came over and said, “Aaron's gave a full statement. It's not looking good for DJ.”
“How much time will he have to do before I get my phone paid for?”
“What I've got is a non-lawful restraint. It's a misdemeanor to the kidnapping law. With what you've got him up on, I'd say he's in a world of shit.”
“You hear that DJ? Your boyfriend over there says you liked him so much you couldn't part with him.”
“HE's not my boyfriend.”
John said, “Son, before you say that, I might tell you he's saying you and he have had sex nine times but all of them were consenting. Nine times tells me there's more to it than what you're saying. It'll go into his statement about that false restraint charge you have.”
DJ looked sick. I said, “DJ, I'd practice how you're going to tell your dad you sort of varnished the vienna with him that many times by accident.”
John smiled, “Aaron's saying he can identify DJ's pecker in a line up.”
“Man Deej, your boyfriend's wanting to see your whanger in a line up so he can pick it out! If I was him, I'd do a scratch and sniff. With the amount of shit you're putting out, you might be able to throw off the blood hound.”
DJ sort of smiled, “So what's going to go on?”
“Mike's taking a lot of time back there. I'd say he's probably eating desert. Since Grant's not out here, I'd say he's probably doing sit ups next to the fudge machine.”
“What's that mean?”
“He thinks about sex, and he's an excercising fool. Now you know why he built a gym.”
John chuckled, “You're too funny.”
“If it were that funny, I would've laughed. Instead, it's about to cost him what mattered to him for a second time.”
John got a serious look on his face, “You're about to dump him?”
“John, don't tell me to wait to the point I don't see the point in waiting. I listen to Aaron getting laid nine times and think even though it's rotten sex, at least they were getting laid. Me, I get to watch what I want do crunches, sit ups, push ups, and become some God who I can't touch. Rather than do it and stay committed, I'll get the fuck out of dodge with my busted ass hood and tell him to call me on that trashed phone.”
“Does he know?”
“He's been told too many times. He'd rather look at you and the DFS lady and tell you he's being a good boy. Well, he's a good boy alright, he's being good all the way to seeing me decide whether it's time for me to go or to wait. I'll tell you right now, I can afford to leave a helluva lot more than I can afford to stay mentally.”
DJ was listening, “I'm about to go to jail because I got some and he's about to lose you because he doesn't want to go to jail. It's a fucked up world man.”
“DJ, the second you would have tried that 'stay in the truck' bullshit with me, I'd been serving tennis balls. You'd had sore nuts for a week, but you'd had scrambled brains to take your mind off the sore nuts.”
He looked over towards Roger's car. “He doesn't like me?”
“Would you like you if you'd been subjected to that bullshit?”
Grant came out, “Mike wants to see you.”
“I'll be back.”
I went to the back of the restaurant and went in. Inside was a myriad of smells, I saw the office and saw Mr Musselman in there. I went.
“I'm watching the video...if that's what you're being told to come in here about.”
“Ok, so it's all there.”
“Yeah, now we've got a problem.”
“If it's about Dan being mafia, don't bother telling me it's a problem when you've not spoken to him.”
“No, it's not that.”
“Well, then what is it?”
“Grant said you're being hard on him about the sex thing.”
“Nope, fresh out of that with him. Hard was what I was to him before I found out he broke our silence and blabbed it. Now it's beyond hard...call it diamond tough and you've got a clue of where I just took it.”
“He's afraid he's going to get arrested.”
“Gotta do something to get arrested, but that's not happening just as soon as I can get to my car. You pass along that information because the DFS lady wanted to talk with him about it and I told her no. Now I find out you want to talk with me and I think it's pure horse shit he'd do that to me.”
“What if I told you I told him to keep it between you two and nothing would happen?”
“Then he should've kept it between you two and came at me like I wasn't a part of a violation of trust conversation. Now, you take it back to him and tell him I'll see him exercising his life away before I share that part of myself with him because I'm not going to be a laughingstock for anyone.”
“I'm not laughing Jake. He loves you.”
“Well, the decision to tell me that was when he decided it on his own. As my lawyer, get me cleared so I can get the fuck out of this town and away from this prison everyone wants to call life here.”
“My partner just chose to have you tell me instead of him. I could've done that with the DFS lady. I didn't. Instead, he has my lawyer tell me and yes, I'm taking it in that authority because he's sure had to have talked with you in that aspect.”
“What if I said I was putting you up on charges too?”
“So be it. What's the bond and do I have to do probation, or do I have to pay a fine? If it's a fine, can I forfeit bond and leave town, or do I gotta stay and attend court?”
“You need to be a lawyer. You shut your emotions down damned fast.”
“It keeps me from showing hurt. You never answered my questions.”
“Do you want charges?”
“Can I still sue them?”
“He's going to have charges on him too.”
“What's my charge?”
“Assault. Damaging property. Creating a disturbance, and disorderly conduct.”
“Ok, what's that mean?”
“You'll probably have probation.”
“Emancipate me. Let me do the probation where I settle. I'll not do it strapped to a man who doesn't want me.”
“He wants you.”
“So you and he drum up a whole fucking book full of charges to keep me with him. Yay rah, I'm supposed to be happy. Well, slap the cuffs before I get to my car because you'll have to extradite me from Mexico where I'll spend life without him and without the football contract you all conspired to fuck up.”
I stood up and he asked, “Do you care about him?”
“Then what's the problem?”
“Ok, here we go. Let's say this. Let's say you and your wife are having issues and she comes to me. She tells me Mike can't get it up and her vibrator is the only thing giving her pleasure. She tells me if you'd slip her the tongue occasionally, you'd get some pussy. Now, I come to you and not only am I telling you how to get laid, I'm telling you she violated that bond and she's told me way more than what she should have. Now, do you feel violated?”
“So fuck me a running because my ass is out of here. You two want to fuck with someone and violate him on top of injure him, then you do that. You throw the charges and you piss and moan about how Jake's a poor fucked up soul who needs therapy. I'll tell you when it comes to friends, I sure don't need enemies when you guys are lining up to do me favors.”
“I'm sorry. I never thought about that.”
“I could have went there with the DFS lady. She was willing to tell him. Rather than do that, I get to have him pull out her chair and point at mine. I get to pull out my own because he certainly can't do that for me in a restaurant. Then, he wants to show her how he can be a good boyfriend to everyone except me and inside, I'm just falling apart. So, I leave there and I come here to get assaulted, called a faggot, and hear about how that piece of shit DJ knocked off nine pieces of ass while I can't get made love to once. Am I pissed? Yeah, because while I'm hearing about that fucked up relationship, I get to find out my partner is back here telling you how messed up our relationship is by violating me.”
“Jake, he was trying to help.”
“Trying is a word which doesn't get shit done. It means effort to not succeed. Completed means the effort met it's objective. You can try all day long, but you're not getting anything done.”
“Well, since I know my charges, I want to know his. I certainly hope that fuck head sees prison time out of his. I mean, my life gets ruined over this, his might as well too.”
“Let me rethink this.”
“Well, decide because I've got to go get another car. Mine's a little bit fucked.”
I got up and walked out. I looked at DJ, “You might want to get the fuck off my car. It's about to move. If you're leaning against it, I'll gladly kill you just to make my point.”
He gave me a look and started to get up. Grant came over, “Where are you going?”
“Go talk to him and find out. It seems we're communicating through him. When he tells you, find out where I am because I'll tell you where I won't be and that's in your bed.”
“Fuck with someone else.”
I got in the car and slammed the door. “Move your truck.”
“Ok, you asked for it. I've got to get a new car anyway, I might as well move it.”
“Jake, hold up, I'll move it.”
He moved his truck and I peeled out backwards. The front end flew around and I shoved it into forward. The rubber got laid for a good fifty feet down the street and I pulled right at the nearest intersection. I went up that street and back around the block to Morely where I took it out to the house.
I put the car in the garage and went in. I went and got my stock certs and then decided on taking the whole safe. It got put in the back and then I went and got three outfits of clothes. They went to the car and then, I went back. I got photo albums and a few things to remind me of grandma. I took the evidence box and mom and dad's personal effects box.
The phone rang. “Hello?”
“Jake, stay there.”
“Not happening. You live here and that's not happening.”
“I need to talk with you.”
“A little bit late for conversation.”
No two words shut me down any quicker than those two words.
“Are you there?”
The tears started. “Yeah, I'm here.”
“I'm on my way.”
I hung up the phone. I went into the living room and sat down. I stared off into oblivion when he came running inside. He threw himself onto the couch next to me, “Are you ok?”
“Want to talk about it?”
“Well, I do.”
“Do I gotta listen?”
“I love you. I didn't want to love you like I do, but it happened. It scared me the depth of love I have for you because each time I thought about violating that law, I got told I needed to do something else to keep me away from it.”
“Who told you that shit?”
“Me, the rational side.”
“So you're split personality?”
“No, well, no, it's just that I love you and I don't want to jeopardize it. What's bad is you lay it out there what you're feeling and today, I just felt you were telling me for the last time and I needed to get my head out of my ass and listen.”
“It's about time.”
“Well, I finally went to Mike as my lawyer friend instead of the prosecuting attorney. He told me the law and he told me you're in the gray area where you told me that a long time ago.”
“So what changed?”
“You left and then went out and jeopardized us. You don't know it, but that stunt could have them removing you from the house.”
“Do I rightly care? Check my car. It's packed. You apologizing shut me down. If I'd not answered that phone, I'd be on the highway right now not caring where I went.”
“And you would have taken my heart with you.”
“You've already chipped chunks of mine away today.”
“What's that mean?”
“I told the DFS lady what I felt for you. She talked to me off the record and she told me what she thought. She thought if you love me and I love you that it's between us. She thought you were being a bit over the top with it, but it's doing me more harm than good.
So, we go to sit at the table and you pull her chair out and not mine. Boom, a chunk falls...take that Jake, your heart's breaking and I don't give a shit...Then, you want to act the boyfriend to everyone at the table but me and boom, another chunk falls and I'm to the point I'm not even going to stay there and take the abuse anymore. I'd rather just get away from it and she's over there telling me with her eyes she knows what I'm going through. Yahoo, someone understands and she's going to get together with someone who could get her laid way before me.
Then, I go and yeah, I get into it with a total dick head and I don't give a fuck if his daddy is mafia, but the guy got laid nine times by Aaron and even if it's bad sex, it's still sex and they weren't together before us and I've got to wait.
So, while I'm out there finding that great piece of information out, you're in violating my trust and that would've been fine had you came out and told me....go home now because I want your ankles rubbing my ear lobes, but no! I gotta go in and hear it from the prosecuting attorney how it's ok with him to be discrete. Well, if it was so fucking discrete, why doesn't my boyfriend keep it discrete and keep him out of it? Nope, can't have that, I get to hear how he's going to throw charges out the ass at me and how he's not sure what he's going to throw at dick head because his daddy's mafia. Well piss me off some more jacko because all that did was send me to the moon. You want him dead, I can arrange that because my career in football is just as over. Thank you very much Mr boyfriend, screw me a little harder because I'll be in Mexico where I can retire on some stocks and finally get laid because the age of consent down there isn't shit with a mule!”
He smirked, “You're wound up.”
“Not likely any of your fault. I mean, I was outside telling people you were doing situps next to the fudge machine for chrissake.”
He chuckled, “Nope, the bananas got a moan from me, but not the fudge.”
“Don't even begin to tell me you're a bottom. You're fucking my legs raw and juicing so much my nuts got slimed each time you slept.”
He laughed, “I'm sorry.”
“I'm not! It was driving me insane. I was wanting to cheat so much and just ask you to sleep nude with me one night so I could 'accidentally' get it. But no, that's cheating...we can't have that!”
He turned to me, “Will you?”
“Will I what! Shut up? Not happening. Be pissed off a little more than I am now if that jerk off doesn't have to pay for my phone or my car? Ooh, don't even think it won't register on a richter scale someplace.”
“No, Will you be my lover?”
“I'm already in that sad state. It's there. I'm about to check out of that small motel because it just doesn't have room service. All night fantasies, but...”
His kiss muffled me. The first thing I did was thought, “Holy Shit, he's going to be so pissed when he realizes he just did this.” The second thing I thought was, “Oh man, he makes this so much better than that one time.”
We broke apart the kiss, he looked into my eyes and said, “Jake, that wasn't an accident. I love you and didn't mean you to be hurt by us being together. I know you feel it to and it's killing me not to give to you all we need to have.”
“Hang on a second, I need a second opinion.”
“Do that again, my mind's not made up.”
He chuckled, “Alright.”
He leaned in again and smiled, “Grant, so help me, if you ever put me through this much agony ever again, I'll find ways to make you hurt just as much.”
“You already have.”
He kissed me and call it a time warp, but we let time slip by.
Notes From Retta:
To those who have been patient and have waited for the chapters to be posted, I would like to Thank you. If you'd like to see the upcoming chapters, please email me and I'll send them to you. I've already given a lot of people the chapters and have no qualms about sending them if you'd like to read them sooner.
Thanks for your interest in the story.
From My Keyboard To Your Heart,
The author, RettaMichaels copyrights this story and retains all rights. This work may not be edited, changed, or duplicated in any form, media [ known or unknown ], without the author's expressed permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. RettaMichaels does NOT give editorial consent in order for this to be published. If it is deemed unpublishable in it's context, permission much be granted before publication or changes occur.
Trademark Notice – 2008 by RettaMichaels
“From My Keyboard To Your Heart”,”'Retta”,“RettaMichaels”.“Retta”,“Rhett”, and “Rhette” are all Trademark of RettaVonnMichaels L.L.C. None of these trademarks may be used, or authorized without consent.
Disclaimer: All individuals depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to real persons, locations, or incidents is purely coincidental.