Warning! This is a tale about men loving men. If you find this disturbing - click off. If it's unlawful for you to read this - click off. If you under age - good luck if you can get away with it.
This is not a story for getting your rocks off. Just thought I'd let you know, so you won't waste your time if that's what your looking for. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy my writing.
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Chapter 27 Epilogue
It was time for my first outpatient appointment with Allen. I was pretty much back to my old self. Charley and I had started running every morning and my stamina was building. I was going great guns on my new novel. Charley had gone to work for Dave.
When I stepped into Allen's office there were two men and a woman with him. They were introduced as the Hospital Administrator, The Director of the state Board of Nurses. And the Local Director of Nursing.
After introductions and we'd all sat, Allen turned to me. "Jake, in the last session, the day you were released from the hospital, you mentioned that Jim had slipped you a pill be for taking advantage of you."
I glance at them. I could feel my face flush.
"I don't mean to embarrass you. But plain talk is called for here. When I interviewed Jim before my first visit with you I had a strong feeling that he was hiding something. Especially when he said he had gotten you drunk. And then when he told me about your revenge, he hesitated several times. I just marked it up to embarrassment at the time. I had recorded the session and after our last session," he pointed at himself and me, "I went back and listened closely, his pauses were in the middle of sentences as though he were editing what to say. Jake, we need for you to tell us exactly what occurred that evening. We are all medical professionals so please don't be embarrassed.
I cleared my throat. "I assume that what happens to Jim is out of my hands?"
One men who appeared to be the spokesman for the three answered. "Mr. Shipman, Jim Provost is a registered nurse. It is abominable that he would even think of using illegal drugs, especially a date rape drug. As to whether you press charges for the rape is up to you. We do not know what the extenuating circumstances were, but personally I feel he should get the maximum penalty for such a thing."
My mind was screaming. I hadn't put a name to those innocuous little pills. Things were beginning to make sense suddenly. I had read somewhere that one type was an extreme depressant. I'd have to think about this some more later. I nodded to the man and thought for a moment about Jim going to prison, cleared my throat again and started with going out to dinner with Jim. When I got to the second beer and coming back from the restroom one of the men interrupted me. "You never saw him slip the drug into your drink?"
"No, I didn't."
He nodded and I went on with the telling. When I got to the part where I demanded the pills from Jim after I'd tied him to his bed, the same man stopped me again. "Would you, please, describe the pills, Mr. Shipman.
"Well, they looked just like the saccharin tablets my mother once used in her coffee. They were white and the same size."
"And the vial?"
"About the circumference of a pencil, maybe an inch long with a red rubber stopper."
"And how many pills were in the vial?"
"Thank you. Please continue."
I couldn't help but notice the grimaces and covert smiles as I described what I had done to Jim. I stopped at the point that I left his house.
"Mr. Shipman, would you, please, tell us everything you remember up to point you awoke in the hospital.
I continued, even telling them the dreams that were still so vivid in my memory. I noticed Allen raise his eyebrows. I hadn't told him anything about them.
When I wound down, the man thanked me and apologized for using my session with Allen. They all shook my hand and I left. Charley was sitting in the reception room. He rose looking at me intently. I must have been scowling. "What's going on, Babe? Are you alright?"
I told him about the interview.
"Oh, That's why I have been asked to be here."
Allen came out and smile apologetically and asked Charley into his office. I laid my head back against the wall, closed my eyes and waited for Charley.
He later told me that they had queried him about Jim's confession. "I guess his ass is cooked, Babe." he said.
"Yeah. I've been sitting here thinking about it all. Jim had no business as a nurse using any kind of illegal drug for any purpose. His ass should be fried. As for the rape, I guess he has paid enough. I surely don't want to go through a courtroom scene. So I think the best thing to do is move on with our lives."
"So what about Jim?"
"What about him?"
"Are you still going to be friends with him?"
I studied Charley's face for a clue of how he felt about it. He wasn't giving me one. "He saved my life. But he is the one that put it into jeopardy to begin with. He's seemingly contrite about what he did, but that doesn't negate the fact that he committed two acts against me." I sighed. "No, Charley, I don't want to be friends with him. No way in hell. I don't even want to see him again."
My next session with Allen was probably the most extreme, having to go over those damned dreams again. As I sit here writing, they are as clear as the moment I had actually dreamed them, but they don't bother me any more. I understand them now.
Closure. Everyone uses that buzz word these days. I always thought of it as a bunch of hog wash. But as the days turned into weeks and my weekly sessions with Allen continued, it became clear to me that if I was going to get completely past all of detriment that Jim had dumped on me, I was going to have to see him and discuss it all with him, just to get the closure.
We decided that it should be under Allen's supervision with Charley there, too. I didn't look forward to it.
When the day came we were in Allen's office a little early. I didn't really know what to expect. Everyone that had talked to Jim said that he was very contrite. My unspoken cynical response was 'Of course he is. He fucked up and lost his license. And he probably would never find another man to respond to his fucking like I used to.' I didn't voice that out loud. I simply held my council with a wait and see attitude.
There was a quiet knock on the door, which Allen got up and opened, inviting Jim in. He nodded to each of us and took the chair that Allen indicated. He'd lost a lot of weight. He looked haggard. I felt like I should be getting some satisfaction from that, but I just felt sad.
Allen explained to him and us why we were all here, and that it was to attempt to bring closure to me as well as possibly Jim. Allen looked at me. "Jake would you like to start this conversation off?"
I'm fairly good at not showing what I am feeling. I don't know if anyone sitting in that casual circle could tell, but I was at that moment a complete basket case. Anger, guilt, a feeling of helplessness, frustration; Allen and I had gone over every emotion and feeling I'd had since my evening with Jim. I thought I'd basically gotten passed it all. No way. Every bit of the anger and hurt were right there, ready to explode. I bit my lip and shook my head and glared at Jim.
He wouldn't meet my eyes as he stared at the floor. Charley cleared his throat. "Jim, maybe you should tell Jake some of the things you told me that evening in the hospital cafeteria."
There was a hesitant look of gratitude in Jim's eyes when he looked up at Charley. I bristled. Charley put hand on my shoulder and rubbed my back, reassuring me. Jim turned his eyes to stare at the center of my chest.
"I'm sorry, Jake. I'm so sorry."
Like a bottle of champagne I exploded. His words ripped the wire off the cork of my anger. I aimed it at Jim, my vituperation effervesced into the room. "Bullshit! You planned the whole thing, you son of bitch. The only things you're sorry for is losing your goddamned license and nearly losing your fucking balls. I should have left you tied to that frigging bed and let your goddamned testicles rot the fuck off," I screamed at him. I never used language like that and hearing it spew out of my mouth scared me. I forced myself to back off and calm down.
Jim had curled in on himself his whole upper body nodding in agreement. "I did. I planned it. I was hurt that you left me without a word," he mumbled.
"You were hurt? You were hurt? You never even stopped to think what kind of hurt you were causing me. I left so I wouldn't have to feel that hurt any more. It was you who didn't want a relationship. It was you who said no. Did you really expect me to just hang around just to get your cock?"
"No, no I didn't expect it, but it still hurt. I wanted to say yes to you, but my fears wouldn't let me. I did love you, Jake." He glanced up at me through his tears. Even through my anger I could see the truth in them. "I was just too scared to ever admit it. Scared that you would walk out on me, leaving me open and vulnerable."
The searing white anger I'd been consumed with faded to a dull dark red. I sat back in my chair and closed my eyes. After several gulps of air, I leaned forward. "I never knew, Jim. If you had told me, I'd never have left. I can't say I'd have ever felt for you like I feel for Charley, but I would have stayed and loved you."
He looked me in the eyes for the first time. "Thank you, Jake, for telling me that. I wish I could have told you."
Reason had settled back into my brain even my warped sense of humor was coming back. I couldn't help but chuckle. "I suppose it wouldn't be kosher to say this, Jim, but I'm really glad at this point you couldn't tell me. I'd never have found my soulmate if you had. I'd never have met Charley."
For a moment he looked like I'd slapped him and then he smiled. "I'm glad that you found him, Jake. You're a good guy. You deserve to be happy."
I bowed my head and thought about that for a moment. 'Yes,' I thought, 'I am a good guy, and I do deserve to be happy. I didn't deserve what Jim had done to me. But I'm over it. It's time to move on.' I looked up at him. "Thank you, Jim. I feel the same about you. I'm sorry you had to lose you nurse's license, but you still deserve to be happy."
His eyes were leaking when he looked at me. "I don't suppose we could still be friends, could we?"
I could see the sincere desire in his face. It tore at me. "Maybe some time in the future. Friendship involves trust. I don't know if I can trust you again. Right now I'm still angry. And I have to deal with that before I can think about being friends with you again. You and Charley still work for the same family. We'll be seeing each other. Let's see what happens."
"I have no right to ask more than that." He looked at Allen. "If there's not any thing else I need to get back to work, if you can call attending a friend work."
"Jake, Charley, either of you have anything more to say?"
Charley shook his head. I looked up at Jim as he stood. "Just one thing, Jim. I am glad the ol' fellow kept you on. I wish you good luck."
"Thanks, Jake. Charley." He bowed his head and didn't offer to shake hands. He turned to Allen. "Thank you, Doctor. I do feel better." He turned back to me. "And I hope you do, too." He left the office with his head still bowed.
Allen looked at me and I looked at him. We both simultaneously said, "That was a good thing," and we all laughed.
Well, that's the end of this episode. Charley and I have found our house. It's just a few block from Pete and Jason's. I'm
deep into writing my next novel and Charley will be going to Chicago with Johnny Paolini for special training for body
guards. Life is good.
Post Script: I know you're all wondering about that money Dave endowed me. After talking with Dave and Charley, Dave agreed to matched the amount he'd given me and we are supporting programs administered by the University all aimed at helping youth who need help, whether they are homeless or just need guidance and counseling. The unique thing about these programs is that it is the students that work and run them, guided by qualified professionals. The money is doing a lot of good. Charley and I certainly don't need it complicating our lives.
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