Tim and the Guys
The following fictional narrative involves sexually-explicit erotic events between men. If you shouldn't be reading this, don't.
In the world of this story, the characters don't always use condoms. In the real world, you should care enough about yourself and others to always practice safe sex.
The author retains all rights. No reproductions or links to other sites are allowed without the author's consent.
Thanks to Tom for doing the editing chores, and to my Nifty Six colleagues.
>From Chapter 3:
"Max, according to Angel, Ced has what's called `selective amnesia'."
"I've heard of that. How much does he not remember?"
"He's lost just about the whole last year of his life. When he saw Tim, he seemed surprised and wanted to know what he was doing there. He was polite to Tim, but puzzled. Angel says he remembers Tim as one of his favorite professors. But that's all. He has no memory whatever of Tim as his lover. She says Tim wished Ced a speedy recovery, hugged her and Jake, and left. They tried to get him to stay, but he just rushed out."
"Oh, Lord. Poor Ced! Poor Tim!"
"Yeah," Chaz said.
"They needed to stay with Ced, so they didn't call Chaz and me right away. But then they worried about how Tim was going to handle all this and thought he might need us."
I took a deep breath.
"Okay, I'm beginning to get the picture. Now, tell me this. Is Ced likely to get his lost memory back, and if so, how long will it take?"
"That's part of the problem. Nobody knows. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe never."
Trey and Chaz had told me they were sure Tim was inside, but that he wasn't answering his door.
"Guys, maybe he just wants to be alone," Chaz said.
"Chaz, Tim shouldn't be alone right now. I know he's hurting. It isn't fair, but he must be thinking that Ced has suddenly rejected him. He needs someone to be with him," Trey responded.
"Well, then, Max, if you have the key, let's go in there and see what's up with him."
Trey said, "No, Chaz, I don't think we should all barge in there. That's why I called Max. He's the one Tim needs right now."
"Okay, I'll go see how he's doing. I don't know what to expect or how long I'll be with him. But I promise to call when I can. Don't wait up, though. He must be bone tired after the vigil he's been keeping at the hospital, and I'm going to try to get him to sleep."
Trey gave me a hug. "I know you'll do what's best for Tim. Call us if there's anything we can do."
"I will. Thanks, guys, for the heads up. Keep Ced, his family, and Tim in your prayers, please?"
Chaz squeezed me so hard he almost forced all the breath out of me. "Max, you can count on that!"
So they left, and, using my key, I went in.
It wasn't dark yet at 8:30, but dusk was coming on, and there were no lights on inside the house. Allowing my eyes to adjust to the gloom, I saw Tim lying on the sofa. He was asleep. He was wearing a short-sleeve button-up shirt and khakis. He'd kicked off his shoes. On the coffee table were an empty glass and a nearly full bottle of Remy Martin. So, I assumed he'd had a drink and then simply collapsed. I said his name softly. When I got no reply, I did something I shouldn't have, probably. I bent down and kissed his cheek. There was no response.
Feeling I needed to be there when he woke up, I took off my shoes and padded into his kitchen, turning on the lights there. Using my cell phone, I called the Jones's home, figuring someone would be there. It was Angel who answered.
"Angel, this is Max. I just wanted to tell you how relieved I am that Cedric has regained consciousness. That's wonderful news."
"Max, you sweet boy!. Thanks for calling. Yes, a lot of prayers have been answered, and I want to thank you for yours."
"How is Cedric?"
"He's fussing that he wants to come home, and physically he's in better shape than we had dared hope, especially since he was in that coma for so long."
"Yes, Father, I do thank Him."
"But, Angel . . . "
"I know what you're going to ask, hon. You've been talking with Trey, I imagine."
"It's true. Cedric just can't remember anything that's happened since before Keesha's accident a year ago this spring. He doesn't remember applying to law school or being accepted. Worst of all, the child just doesn't have any recollection of the relationship he's had with Timmy. And speaking of Timmy, have you seen him? How is he doing?"
"Well, right now he's asleep. I just got here, and from the looks of things, he came home, didn't eat anything, but fixed himself a stiff drink and then zonked."
"Bless his heart, he needs his sleep."
"As you all do, Angel. I hope you and Jake can get some rest."
"Oh, we will, now that our boy is out of the woods. And I'm just sure that he'll get his memory back soon."
"We'll continue to pray for him and for you and Jake. What is the prognosis about his memory?"
"Well, if it doesn't come back in a day or so, they're going to call a specialist. There's a woman on staff at University Hospital who's supposed to be very good in cases like Ced's."
"Angel, I'd like to come and see Cedric, but he won't have a clue who I am, will he?"
Her voice caught as she said, "No, Father Max, I'm afraid he won't. And the doctors are saying right now it's important not to confuse him. Tim left too quickly for anyone to tell him that, but they're saying it's better if he stays away for a while, too, until Cedric's memory does come back."
"That's going to be tough on Tim, but I know he'll want to do what's best for Ced. Meanwhile, I hope you won't mind if we call for updates on his condition pretty frequently."
"We certainly won't. We expect you to keep in touch. And when Timmy wakes up, you tell him Jake and I love him, and Cedric does, too, only he just can't remember that right now."
"Yes, ma'am, I'll surely do that."
I went back to the living room and sat in one of the chairs at right angles to the sofa. Tim had turned onto his back but was still asleep. Despite the intervening years, he looked like the guy I had loved in college. He still had a boyish body, with nice shoulders, a flat chest, and narrow hips. I admired his pale skin and his lovely auburn hair which just then was tousled, making him look all the more appealing. He wasn't snoring, but his mouth was open slightly, and he was breathing regularly. His shirt was pulled up, revealing his navel and a red treasure trail leading down into his wrinkled khakis.
Tim sometimes joked about his dick being small, but it had always seemed perfect to me, and he had nice balls. Just then his bulge looked pretty inviting -- so inviting that I began to get an erection. Then I felt overwhelmed with guilt. Here was my friend who had just received a piece of dreadful news about his lover, and I was sitting there drooling over him instead of thinking of how to help him.
"Forgive me, Lord," I prayed silently. "Let me do and be for Tim what he needs, now and always."
I don't know how long I sat there. Darkness came. The only light in the room was from the kitchen fixtures. At some point, Tim stretched, groaned, scratched his balls, and opened his eyes. I didn't saying anything, not wanting to startle him.
"Oh, God!" he groaned. Then he sat up and saw me.
"Max, what the fuck are you doing here?"
"Hi, Tim. I'm glad to see you, too."
"Sorry, Maxie, you just surprised me. So, what ARE you doing here?"
"Trey called and told me the news about Cedric, and I'm here because I should think you're pretty upset right now and might need a friend."
"You're right. I am upset. But there's nothing you can do. There's nothing any of us can do – but wait, I guess."
"Some of us are going to keep on praying. I just talked with his mom, and she says he's in pretty good shape physically, that he should recover completely from all the breaks, bangs, and bruises. I'm sure a lot of people praying for him helped there."
"Well, we've had that discussion often enough before, haven't we? But in Ced's case, I'm grateful for any help from any quarter. So, yeah, please keep on with the prayers, that he gets his memory back. I just don't know what I'll do if he doesn't."
He was sitting with his elbows resting on his thighs, his hands clasped together, tears running down his face. I went over, sat beside him, and put my arm around his shoulders. "We'll just have to keep on praying, then, won't we?"
"Well, Max, you know about me and prayer. Besides, it isn't that I'm ungrateful for Ced's physical progress, because I am. But I can't help think your God has played a cruel trick on Ced and me by letting us have so much happiness and then taking it away."
"Yeah, I understand what you're saying. But it's early days yet. Ced may be calling you and demanding a blow job because his clavicle's broken. You hold good thoughts and we believers will keep on praying, for Ced, for his family, and for you, Tim."
He leant his head on my chest and said, "Max, I've probably never told you how grateful I am for you."
I gave his shoulders a squeeze. "I think I understand, Tim. It works both ways, you know. And I'll never forget how you practically `adopted' me after David and I broke up."
"I still don't understand what happened there. I thought you and David had a good thing going. But I don't want to pry. Just know I am grateful you're in my life, and I love you for coming to check up on me. I really don't want to be alone right now."
"What do you want to do with the rest of the evening? You must be drained from all the tension and worry and lack of sleep. Want to hit the sack?"
He picked up the bottle of Remy. "No, Hewitt, I want to get shit-faced drunk. Care to join me?"
"How could I refuse an offer like that?"
He took a pull of the bottle and handed it to me. I took a good swallow of the superb cognac, enjoying the lovely warm feeling as it went down. I was thinking how shocked some people would be that Tim and I were drinking cognac, very good cognac, from the bottle.
We didn't talk much. I thought he just needed me to be there. We passed the Remy back and forth like a couple of winos sitting under a bridge with a bottle of Mogen David. Eventually, we got about to the point he'd desired. I was feeling no pain, and he didn't seem to be either.
When I awoke, I was lying back on the sofa, and Tim was lying on top of me. I had a painful erection. It took all the willpower I had not to start kissing him. By shifting him a little, I was able to look at my watch. It was just a little after 6:00 AM, already full daylight. I was amazed I didn't have a killer headache. Perhaps because of the quality of the cognac, I'd escaped the usual consequences of the amount of drinking I'd done the night before.
My thoughts went back to what he said the previous night about David and me breaking up. How could I ever tell Tim what David had said, that he knew our relationship never stood a chance when he saw how I looked at Tim? I did love David. Were my feelings for Tim that obvious? One thing was for certain, I couldn't allow myself to take advantage of Cedric's amnesia.
I set Tim upright and, again resisting the temptation to kiss him, said, "All right, Mead, it's time for a run!"
"Huh? What? Oh, yeah, Max. What time is it?"
"After 6:00. You go get that scrawny ass into your jock and your running gear and I'll be back in fifteen minutes."
"Max, come on, not this morning! I just want to sleep."
"You've had enough sleep. How long has it been since you've run?"
"Over a week, I guess."
"So, like I said, get into your running gear. I'll even be nice to you. I'll be back in half an hour instead of fifteen minutes. And if you aren't ready, you're in deep shit."
He gave me a wan grin and said, "Yessir. But I'll get you for this."
"Yeah, yeah. Just be ready. Thirty minutes, okay?"
Afterward, I had to go to work, as usual, but I called Trey from the church.
"Trey, it's Max."
"Hi, Max. How's Tim doing?"
"I think he'll make it. He's pretty worried, and he misses Ced, especially since he can't see him."
"Why can't he see Ced?"
"The doctors think that might be confusing, so they're asking Tim and me to stay away. Tim because Ced doesn't remember their relationship, and me because Ced won't remember me at all."
"Max, I'm glad you were there last night for Tim. What happened?"
I chuckled. "He wanted to get drunk, so we did."
"That doesn't sound good."
"It was okay. I got his ass up and made him run with me this morning, and he seems to be dealing with the problem."
"There isn't any reason why Chaz and I couldn't go see Ced, is there?"
"None that I can see, but you'd better call Angel first. I don't know whether the doctors would want you telling Ced about what happened during the period he can't remember or not. But he will certainly remember his brothers, you and Chaz. Too bad Mark isn't around to go with you."
"Yeah. I think I'll call Ced's mom and check in, and then Chaz and I will go see our brother. And, Max – "
"I'm glad Tim had you there. I would have done it, for sure, but I knew you are the one who should have been with him. I don't think Tim will be in very good shape as long as Ced's memory loss continues."
"Trey, you are a wise and compassionate man. You know I'll be there for Tim. But I'm glad Tim has you, too. In fact, I'm glad to have you and Chaz as friends. You guys are special, you know."
"As are you, Max. Now, I'll go tell Chaz what you've told me. And let's stay in close touch, okay?"
"Oh, and Max, please give Tim our love when you see him."
"You can count on that, Trey. Love to Chaz."
* * *
I realized that Max, Trey, and Chaz made something of a project of me in the weeks following Cedric's emergence from his coma. Gradually he improved and was allowed to go home. He was, Angel informed me, having regular sessions with a counselor who was working with him on his memory loss, but there seemed to be no progress. And no one had any idea why it was more or less the time since he and I had become lovers that he couldn't remember.
I told myself, Max reminded me, and Trey reiterated that it wasn't my fault. I couldn't help feeling both guilty, since it was our time together that Ced couldn't remember, and rejected, even though I knew he couldn't help the amnesia.
As I was saying, Trey, Max, and Chaz called or dropped by frequently, sometimes so often I was almost irritated until I realized they were all doing it out of love.
Max and I ran every morning, and since he really didn't enjoy cooking, I fixed dinner for him a couple of times a week and he took me out to dinner about as often. I don't know what I would have done without the guys. Trey, my special soul-mate, was wonderfully attentive, and he had a knack for knowing when I was feeling particularly depressed. He'd often call or drop by and say "I know you're down. Let's talk." Or "Let's go catch a flick." He and Chaz would sometimes drop by in the evening with a dvd they'd gotten at Blockbuster.
Steve Metz dropped by from time to time. He was taking summer courses in his nursing program and was very busy, but he made a point of stopping by the house occasionally. He was very much in love with Rebecca and missing her because, since she was home in Erie, they were able to be together only on weekends.
Steve also brought me up to date on Jared and Dante and said maybe some evening the four of us could have dinner together. I agreed that would be pleasant.
I think I was acting on advice I'd once heard for people who were grieving a lost loved one: whenever anyone asks you to do something, say "yes." The longer Ced's memory stayed lost, the less optimistic everyone was that he'd ever get it back. And as long as he couldn't remember us together, I wasn't going to intrude. I didn't want to put any pressure on him. But I missed him terribly, grieving for him as if he were dead, when, in fact, he was only dead to me.
I became practically asexual. When Ced was with me, I never needed to masturbate. Now that he was gone, I couldn't think of sex. I even began having the occasional wet dream. I suppose that one's balls have to expel that stuff from time to time. But I wasn't looking at anyone, men or women, in a sexual way.
I've said I fought against feeling rejected. I knew that Cedric wasn't intentionally shoving me away. But I worried that something subconscious had made him mentally suppress our love, our life together. Of course, I'm not trained in psychiatry, and I tried to caution myself against being an amateur shrink. The problem was, I began to brood on the whole thing. I knew I really had been rejected by my parents. I had literally heard nothing from them, not even a birthday or a Christmas card since they had let me go out into that storm the night I told them I was gay. I heard occasionally from Suze about what was going on in Belpre and it seemed my parents were living their lives as usual. I sent them cards for their birthdays and at Christmas, but that was the extent of our communication. All one way, from me to them.
One evening in July Max and I were sitting in his living room listening to Bach on his stereo. Neither of us was saying anything. We didn't need to. We'd been good friends for so long we could enjoy just being together.
The music was interrupted by the ringing of my cell phone. Max got up and turned off the stereo.
"Timothy, this is your mother."
"Hello, Mom. Are you all right? How's Dad?"
"No, I'm not all right. Your father had a heart attack this afternoon and died just a little after suppertime."
"Mother, would you like me to come there? I could be there in a few hours."
"That won't be necessary. There will be a viewing at the funeral home on Friday evening, and the service will be at 11:00 on Saturday at our church, with interment immediately afterward. I do think it would be appropriate if you were there for the funeral."
"But, Tim . . ."
"I hope you won't embarrass me by bringing that colored boy I hear you've been living with. I just couldn't take that, and it would be so disrespectful to your father."
I bit back a rejoinder. "No, Mother. Cedric won't be with me. I'll be alone."
At that point, Max, who had been following the conversation and had had his arm around me almost from the beginning, said "I'm coming with you, Tim. No arguments."
"On second thought, Mother, do you remember Max Hewitt from Kenyon?"
"Of course, Tim. Max is a sweet boy. What about him?"
"He'll be coming with me. We won't stay over. We'll just come to the funeral and the graveside service and then come back here."
"I didn't know Max was even in the area. Didn't he go out west at some point?"
"Yes, Mother, but he works here now. Perhaps he'll explain when we see you."
"Well, dear, I'm so relieved you have a friend like Max."
"Mother, is there anything you need? Are you sure you don't want me to come now?"
"I'm quite sure, Tim. There is nothing you can do here. You won't need to come to the house at all. Just be at the church by about fifteen minutes before the service is to start. We'll have to sit together, you know."
"Call me, please, if you think of anything you need me to do."
"Thank you, Timothy. And don't forget to wear a dark suit."
Early in the conversation I held the phone away from my ear and turned up the volume so that Max could hear everything.
When I ended the call, he hugged me and said, "Tim, I'm so sorry about your father. And I'm just as sorry that your mother feels about you the way she obviously does."
"Thanks, Max. You know, he threw me out and hasn't had anything to do with me since. But he was my dad, and we did have some good times together when I was little. I can't help thinking a part of me has been sliced off."
"That's a very normal feeling, babe. What can I do at the moment?"
"God, Maxie, I don't know. Maybe you could just hold me?"
We sat on the sofa, and Max put both of his arms around me. For some reason, I put my head on his chest, let go, and wept.
The next day, Suze called and said she and Frankie would fly in for the funeral if I wanted them to. I told them not to bother. I couldn't guarantee they wouldn't be embarrassed by something my mother or Suze's parents would say, so I told her I loved her and suggested she and Frankie stay home.
Trey and Chaz said they were coming. They were going to be there for moral support, and that's all there was to it.
Trey volunteered to drive, so that Saturday morning we left early in his Lexus. We arrived at the family church in plenty of time. I went into the church parlor to find the minister and my mother and Suze's parents, who'd flown up from Asheville. Max, Trey, and Chaz went into the sanctuary and sat in a pew toward the back.
Mother and I were led in by an usher and seated in the first pew. Suze's parents, according to some time-honored protocol, sat in the pew behind us, even though there was plenty of room in the pew where Mother and I were sitting.
The sermon was long. The minister went on and on about what a good citizen my father had been, what a pillar of the community and the church he was, and he kept stressing the word "righteous." I guiltily kept thinking that "self-righteous" was the more appropriate term.
Finally, the whole thing ended. I rode to the cemetery with my mother, aunt, and uncle in the funeral home's limousine. The minister held forth at much greater length than I thought appropriate there. Mother and I placed roses on the casket, the minister said a final prayer, and the crowd broke up. I walked with Mother back to the limousine, though I was planning to rejoin Trey and the other guys for the trip back to campus.
"Tim, we're having a buffet lunch at the house. You and Max had better come. It would look strange if you weren't there."
"Well, I realize it's important not to look strange, but some friends of mine came with me. In fact, one of them drove, so I think we'd better be starting back."
"Tim, how could you do this to me? Is it too much to ask that you make an appearance at the house? Surely Max won't mind, and I'd like to see him. And I'd like to meet the other boys. Are they the ones with Max over there?"
"Well, they are certainly clean-cut young men. I'm glad you have such wholesome looking friends and have quit running around with the gay crowd."
I had to bite my tongue to keep from commenting. "Okay, Mother. I'll go ask the guys if they'd mind coming to the house for a bite to eat."
What were they going to say? So we all went to the house.
Mother was the grande dame. She went around, thanked everyone for coming, and managed to give everyone a pat or a hug when they offered condolences or help. She found time to say hello to Chaz and Trey and thank them for coming and for "being there" for me at this sad time.
I particularly enjoyed watching her with Max. She obviously hadn't known he was a priest.
"Max Hewitt, or I see I must say Father Max, it was so sweet of you to come today. I haven't seen you since you boys graduated from Kenyon. I had no idea you were going to seminary."
"Well, Mrs. Mead, when I graduated from Kenyon, I had no idea of that either. My call came a little later."
"And now you are at the university?"
"Yes, ma'am, I'm campus minister and assistant to the rector at St. Peter's church there."
She actually patted his cheek. "Well, Max, I'm so very glad you're there. Timothy needs friends like you. Maybe you can straighten him out." I noticed that Max was having trouble not grinning at that point.
We all nibbled finger food and made polite small talk. My hand was sore from being shaken, and my shoulders were sore from being hugged by people telling me what a great man my father was and that they'd keep an eye out for Mother to see that she got along okay.
Finally, the time came when the guys and I decided we would start back up I-77. Trey and Chaz had gone to bring the SUV from where it had been parked, around a corner on a side street. Max was walking a little ahead of me as I said goodbye to Mother. I was surprised that she actually came out onto the front stoop with me, shutting the door behind her.
Then she said, "Timothy, don't you ever forget that you killed your father."
"I killed him?"
"Just as surely as if you had plunged a knife into his heart. The poor man never got over the blow you gave us when you told us you were a, uh, homosexual. I hope knowing that will motivate you to give up your filthy ways and lead a decent life."
She turned and had her hand on the door knob.
"Mrs. Mead, just a moment please."
It was Max, coming back toward us with a determined look on his face.
"Max, it's all right. Let it go, man, please."
He put his arm around my waist and said, "Sorry, Timmy, I can't let this go."
"What is it, Father Max?" Mother asked. "Surely you agree with me. Or did you know that my son is queer?"
"I know that he's gay. I also know that what you just said to your son at this sad time is abhorrent to me as a man, as a friend of your son, and as a Christian."
"I can't believe this? And you call yourself a man of God?"
"Yes, I serve our Lord. And He never said anything about one's sexual orientation. He gave us but two commandments, to love God with all our hearts, and our neighbor as ourselves. I can assure you that Tim is one of the most Christian men in that regard that I've ever been privileged to know. You should be proud of him. He is a nationally-known scholar. He is a very popular professor, respected by his students and his faculty colleagues alike. He is a kind, thoughtful, loving, and very wise man. He has a group of devoted friends who love him, and I'm honored to be one of that group."
Mother stood there looking flabbergasted.
"I think," Max continued, "If you'll forgive my saying so, that you speak out of ignorance, Mrs. Mead, and from what I've heard about your husband, he was more full of hate and prejudice than any truly `righteous' man should ever be. Tim is a remarkable man. By cutting yourself off from him, you are losing something precious. Now," he turned to me, "I see Trey and Chaz at the curb waiting for us. I think we should go. Good bye, Mrs. Mead. I hope the Lord will shine his light upon you."
Mother ignored Max, glared at me, turned, and went back inside.
* * *
I kept my arm around Tim until I got him into the car. He was shaking. When we were buckled in and Trey moved away from the curb, I looked over at Tim and found, to my amazement, that he was not crying. He was laughing.
"Whooee, Max, I've wanted to speak up to her for almost a year. Did you see the look on her face? And what about those two fine upstanding, obviously straight boys in the front seat? Isn't it great that they'll be a good influence on me and keep me from running around with all those queers on campus?"
By this time Chaz had turned around in his seat and Trey was looking at us in the mirror. Tim explained what his mother had said about them and then gave an almost verbatim account of what she had said to him and what I had said to her. We all chuckled at that.
As we were passing the Cambridge exit, however, I noticed that Tim was sitting quietly, staring out the window, and he had tears in his eyes.
I couldn't hug him because we were both buckled in. I put my hand on his thigh. He took it, squeezed it, and then held it until we pulled into the rest area near the Strasburg exit.
To be continued.