This story may occasionally include explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adult males.  If you are underage or it is illegal to view this for any reason, consider yourself warned.  If you find this material offensive, please leave.

 

This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entirely a coincidence. As the author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me.  This work is copyrighted 2016 by Steven Wells.

 

I love to hear any feedback you have, be it positive or negative.  Send me an email with any comments or questions at MaWriterBoy@yahoo.com.

 

 

Jeffery Comes Home

Previously

 

"Food insecurity exists in every state and every county in the U.S. And, yes, even in this county! We have families living in poverty and in food insecure households."

 

"I am very proud to announce the United Church of Christ in Olney Illinois Board of Trustees has agreed to host a community garden project on the back 5 acres of the lot where the church sits. Everyone is invited to participate."

 

"Also, You and I Together will join our community effort to raise funds and awareness for those people who are living in poverty or in food insecure conditions by presenting three concerts at the high school theater auditorium in November. All of the proceeds collected for the concert series will go directly to organizations within the community to help our community members who are living in poverty or in food insecure households. These three concerts will serve as the launch of You and I Together's first album called Lean on Me."

 

"Please join Christopher Williamson and the choir of the United Church of Chris in Olney as we sing the final song of the service, `Lean on Me.' The video is courtesy of You and I Together."

 

When the song was finished, I looked over at Philip. He and I both brushed away a tear from our cheeks.

 

"Trevor is one terrific son," I whispered to Philip.

 

"I know," Philip replied. "I know."

 

Chapter 18: Life in the Fast Lane

 

"Daddy," Tim announced as he and Sam circled my chair. "Barkley and Barlow want to ask you something."

 

I looked down at Barkley and Barlow. They were sitting on the floor in front of me. Each tail was sweeping the floor as they intently stared at me. I arched my left eyebrow.

 

"What do they want to ask me?" I asked the boys.

 

"They want to know when they can go to school," Sam replied.

 

I looked at Sam. Then I looked at Tim. Then I looked at Barkley and Barlow. Then I looked back at Sam and Tim.

 

"Dogs generally don't go to school," I replied.

 

"How will they learn how to read?" Tim asked.

 

"Ah...," I stammered. "Dogs generally don't learn how to read. You need to read to them."

 

"So, when do we go to school?" Sam asked.

 

"Probably in another year," I replied. I kept looking at Sam..., then Tim..., then Barkley..., and then Barlow. I almost panicked when I suddenly realized Philip and I had two four-year-old boys and two two-month-old dogs who were totally dependent upon us for their well-being.

 

`God! We're actually parents!' I thought.

 

"So, boys," I said. "How would you like to go to the farm and visit your Daddy Phillip and talk to Mabel?"

 

"Yesssssss!" Tim and Sam shouted in unison.

 

"Can Barkley and Barlow come, too?" Tim asked.

 

"Of course," I said as I picked up the phone to warn Phillip of our visit.

 

After a flurry of activity and a short drive, we arrived at the farm. Phillip was waiting for us as the two boys, two dogs, and I exited the car.

 

"Mabel is eagerly awaiting your arrival!" Phillip said as the boys and dogs scampered to him.

 

I looked in the direction of Mabel's hangout in the field. There she was. Smiling her cow smile. "Moooooo!" she bellowed.

 

The boys turned their attention to Mabel and began their dash to the fence which separated Mabel from the rest of us. The dogs were in hot pursuit. When all four stopped inches from the fence, Sam began the introductions. "Mabel this is Barkley and Barlow. Barkley and Barlow, this is Mabel."

 

The dogs sat and swished their tails on the ground as Mabel began to sniff them.

 

"Mooooo!" Mabel bellowed again.

 

Barkley was the first to stand and pose as though he was in herder mode. Barlow immediately followed suit.

 

"Daddy," Tim began to ask. "What are Barkley and Barlow doing?"

 

"They've decided to go to work and protect Mabel," Phillip replied.

 

"Why?" Sam asked.

 

"Instinct," Phillip replied. "They are born with the need to herd and protect the other animals in their presence."

 

"So," Tim continued. "They don't need to go to school! Right Daddy?"

 

"Apparently not," I replied as Phillip and I smiled at each other. "We are lucky to have found two smart dogs to go along with our smart boys."

 

"Did you mean `smart ass boys?" Phillip whispered in my ear.

 

"If the shoe fits," I whispered back as Phillip lifted Sam and I lifted Tim so they could be face-to-face with Mabel.

 

Sam offered his sugar cube to Mabel. In one swift sweep of her giant cow tongue, the sugar cube was gone and Sam giggled profusely. Tim's sugar cube disappeared with the same fanfare.

 

"So, what is on your mind, Jeffery?" Philip asked. "You usually don't come out to see Mabel every day."

 

"I suddenly realized today as I was talking with Sam and Tim," I began. "We have two four-year-old boys and two two-month-old dogs who are totally dependent upon you and me for their well-being."

 

"Getting cold feet, Jeffery?" Philip asked.

 

"No, of course not," I lied. "Well, sort of, but not cold feet."

 

"What then?" Philip asked.

 

"We need a plan," I replied.

 

"What kind of plan?" Philip asked.

 

"Contingency," I replied.

 

"Contingency plan as in what if you or I or neither of us are in the picture suddenly?" Philip asked.

 

"Yes," I replied. "And a college fund."

 

"Public or private?" Philip asked.

 

"At least one or the other," I replied.

 

"I can talk with our financial planner about setting up a college fund for both of them," Philip suggested. "We need to speak to our attorney about the other issue. Also, we will need to find someone who would be willing to serve as guardians if we both were to depart."

 

"You sound like we are planning a vacation," I replied.

 

"If the shoe fits...," Philip began but stopped short. "I think we need to discuss this after other ears are not present."

 

"Okaaaay!" I responded knowing he was right. "What about those goats?"

 

"We don't have goats," Philip replied with a smile. "We have sheep."

 

"I feel like I have been sent to football... inferno. But, it is not football, but rather farm animal inferno," I replied also with a smile. I looked down and saw Tim and Sam looking at me, and then Philip, depending on who was talking.

 

Barlow and Barkley suddenly took off as though they were going to the other side of the moon. Like magic, they had corralled five calves about to get themselves lost. Almost no sooner than the dogs took off, the calves were returned to their mother.

 

"Amazing," Philip said as he watched Barlow and Barkley. "I don't believe we need to worry about Tim and Sam getting lost as long as these two are with them."

 

As Barlow and Barkley returned, I handed Tim and Sam dog treats to give to them.

 

"Mooooooo!" Mable replied as she looked at the mother and calves.

 

"I think Mabel is trying to tell me I need to go home and finish my talk for Sunday," I said to Philip.

 

"What is the talk's topic?" Philip asked.

 

"How do I know?" I replied. "It's only Wednesday. Ask Mabel. She might know."

 

-------------------

 

The day after the boys and I visited Mabel at the farm... Oops... The day after the boys and I visited Philip at the farm, I heard a knock on my open door. Trevor, Jamison, Alastair, Rob, and Johnathan stood outside me office.

 

"How may I help you today, gentlemen?" I asked.

 

All five of the boys hovered around my desk.

 

"We need your advice, Dad," Trevor began. "How can we learn sign language?"

 

"I know a little," I said and signed.

 

"Really?" Trevor asked.

 

"I said a little," I replied. "I know enough to get someone out of a dark alley and into a safe place. I assume one of the teachers at the high school knows sign language."

 

"Nope," Trevor said before he explained his position. "There is a new kid at school. Lucas is deaf. He can read lips, but we thought it would be helpful if we could sign, too."

 

"Very admirable," I replied. "Anthony Chow-Sanchez knows sign language. Call him at the center. He might be able to help you or find someone who can. Ah... Why this interest in the new kid at school who is deaf?"

 

"He's our age," Trevor replied. "He moved here with his mother. She teaches computer science at the college."

 

"And he is cute as sh... everything," Jamison replied.

 

"We're hoping he might be gay," Alastair added.

 

"He wanted to try out for the swim team," Johnathan explained. "Coach Donovan told him a deaf kid can't be on the swim team. He wouldn't be able to hear the commands."

 

"Really?" I asked. "Who is this Coach Donovan?"

 

"He tried to kick me off the swim team," Johnathan replied.

 

"Why?" I asked. "You are one of the best on the team!"

 

"From what I understand, Coach Donovan thought I had two strikes against me," Johnathan replied. "One, I am gay. Two, I am black. Which might be another reason why the coach doesn't want Lucas on the team. He's of Middle Eastern descent and also Muslim."

 

I sat calmly in my seat. However, I suddenly felt my blood ready to boil. "You believe your swim team coach might not want Lucas on the team because, one, he is deaf, two, he is Middle Eastern descent, and, three, he is Muslim."

 

"Dad," Trevor began. "If you change the word `believe' to `know,' then we will agree with you."

 

"I think I understand now," I said to the group. "How long has Coach Donovan been with the school?"

 

"This is his first year," Rob explained. "Our old swimming coach, Coach Monroe, is the swim coach at Georgetown now."

 

I instinctively picked up my phone, found Devon Wright's phone number, and dialed.

 

"Devon Wright," Devon said as he picked up the phone.

 

"Devon!" I began as I turned the phone onto speakerphone. "This is Jeffery Harris-LeBlanc. I am sorry to bother you, but I need some advice."

 

"Not a bother, Jeffery," Devon replied. "Remember, I am on a fairly large retainer to help out. How's southern Illinois?"

 

"Not as progressive as I'd like it to be," I replied. "Hence, my call to you. I have the phone on speakerphone."

 

"Tell me all about it, Jeffery," Devon replied.

 

"I have five boys in my office," I began my explanation. "One of them is Trevor. These five guys are on the swim team. This year the swim team has a new coach because the old coach started coaching the swim team at Georgetown University. A guy just moved here when his mother began teaching computer science at the college. Lucas, the new kid, has a hearing problem. Coach Donovan told Lucas he couldn't be on the swim team because he wouldn't be able to hear the commands and start signals."

 

"Hasn't coach Donovan heard of the Americans with Disabilities Act?" Devon asked.

 

"Apparently not," I replied. "It gets better. You remember Johnathan Harmon? He's with us today."

 

"Of course," Devon replied. "Hello, Johnathan."

 

"Hello, Mr. Wright," Johnathan replied.

 

"The same Coach Donovan tried to oust Johnathon from the team," I explained.

 

"Why?" Devon asked.

 

"The boys feel Johnathan had two strikes against him - their words not mine - when this came about," I continued. "Johnathan is gay. He's black. Lucas has a hearing deficit. He is of Middle Eastern decent. He is Muslim."

 

"Which rock did they find this coach Donovan under?" Devon asked. The boys snickered.

 

"We don't even know who hired him," I continued. "I didn't want to fan the flames, so to speak, until we have a little more information."

 

"What is his first name?" Devon asked.

 

I looked at Trevor and his friends. "Justin," Jamison replied.

 

"Did this Justin Donovan creature give you and Alastair a hard time, Jamison?" Devon asked.

 

"You would have thought so," Alastair replied. "One of the first things he told Johnathan and me was he knew my mother from her work in California."

 

"And, Devon," I added. "If you ever have the pleasure of working with the boy's mother, Janet Lopez, you will find she doesn't back down. She digs in her nails and fights. Don't get in her way."

 

"Got it," Devon replied. "Do you have your mother's phone number at work?"

 

"Sure," Johnathan replied. "It is 555-555-5555. Tell her you know Jeffery. You will have her undivided attention."

 

"I will try to collect some information about this Jason Donovan," Devon explained. "Don't ruffle any feathers until you hear from me. I will try to be as discrete as possible. I will call you, Jeffery, when I have more information to give you."

 

"Thank you, Devon," I replied.

 

"It's the least I can do," Devon said as we signed off. "You can buy me a drink the next time we see each other."

 

"Consider it bought," I replied as I hung up the phone.

 

"So, guys," I said to the group. "Don't say anything to anyone about anything until we hear from Devon."

 

"Got it," Trevor said as the boys began to leave my office.

 

Once the boys left, my mother poked her head into my office, "I'm sorry to listen to the conversation, but I suspect you are not happy with Richland County schools at the moment."

 

"How could you guess?" I asked.

 

"I'm on a roll," my mother replied. "I am somewhat surprised this person's hatreds went unnoticed after the Ritter scandal. I would hope the Board of Ed is a little more cautious now. But, I see it is obviously not."

 

"How do you think the hiring of Coach Donovan might have slipped through the cracks of the background check?" I asked.

 

"I would hope it is just an unfortunate mistake," my mother announced. "But, knowing the way things work in this town, I am fairly certain it wasn't an unfortunate mistake."

 

My phone began to ring. It was Janet Lopez. "Jeffery! What the hell is going on?"

 

"I wish I knew, Janet," I replied. "I take it Devon called you about Coach Donovan."

 

"Let me warn you, Jeffery," Janet continued, "this man is scum from the bottom of the earth. How in hell was he hired at the high school? He is a racist bigot, a religious zealot, a dangerous homophobe, and stupid misogynist. I do not want my boys around this man."

 

"How do you really feel, Janet?" I asked.

 

"You know I will not let this go until I am certain my sons are safe," Janet replied.

 

"I can understand he is not the best role model for the boys," I replied. "But, surely you don't believe he will try to harm any of the kids at the high school."

 

"I would not put anything past him," Janet replied. "I will wait until I have a chance to speak with Brandon about our options. But, I am leaning toward pulling Jamison and Alastair off the swim team."

 

"I think they would be devastated, just like Trevor will be, if it comes to that," I replied.

 

"I need to run, Jeffery," Janet said. "I have a coffee meeting with some alumni who are planning on hosting a major fundraising effort next spring. And, I am in the perfect mood to meet them and be civil and bubbly!"

 

"If anyone can pull it off, it is you, Janet," I replied. "Keep in touch if you hear any other news."

 

"Talk soon, Jeffery," Janet said as she ended the phone call.

 

"I am certain you are grateful Janet is on your side, Jeffery," my mother said as she shuffled out of my office.

 

I sat and gazed at my computer until it was time to leave.

 

-------------------------

 

My phone rang about 10 am one day after learning of Coach Donovan and his ideology. It was Devon Wright.

 

"Devon!" I exclaimed. "Any news?"

 

"Donovan is bad news," Devon replied. "Who the fuck hired this man to work with kids at the high school? Once you know who hired him, you should be able to uncover what you are fighting. Do you know anyone at the school you could talk with?"

 

"I know a few people," I replied. "My mother knows more. I will ask. What are we looking to find?"

 

"I am not at all certain, but I suspect he has joined a hate group in your idyllic southern Illinois town," Devon explained. "He has dealt with a few groups in California which were either anti-gay or tied closely with right leaning pro-Christianity groups. Intolerance is his specialty. I don't know the players, but I do believe he has the backing of some local people who share in his intolerable beliefs. You might discretely look into the situation."

 

"In this town, nothing will be done without the knowledge of the whole town," I replied. "Rumors spread quickly. Especially rumors about people who are not FROM this town. Coach Donovan is not FROM this town. Therefore, the whole town will know as soon as I open my mouth."

 

"I'm sure you can handle the situation, Jeffery," Devon replied. "Think positive and watch your back. Let me know if I can be of any other assistance."

 

"I will," I replied as I ended the phone call.

 

I immediately called Philip, "Philip! We need to talk."

 

"About the coach?" Philip asked.

 

"Yes," I replied. "I talked to Devon a few moments ago. We have some decisions to make."

 

"Mel's coffee shop in 20 minutes?" Philip asked.

 

"I'll be there," I replied. After I hung up the phone, I visited my mother in her office.

 

"Mom," I said to my mother. "If you have a contingency plan for security here, I suggest you start putting it in place."

 

"Really?" my mother asked.

 

"I just spoke with Devon," I explained. "He suggested we find a contact at the high school and ask questions about the coach."

 

"Good luck, Jeffery," my mother said. "I don't like how this is progressing. It shouldn't be happening in 2016. But, it is."

 

I grabbed my keys and phone and headed to Mel's coffee shop.

 

"Hello, Mel," I said as I stepped through the door.

 

"You left the dynamic duo in the hands of Mrs. Drake?" Mel said with a smile. "I hope she remains sane until you relieve her of her duties. Are you enjoying your free time?"

 

"Free time!" I almost shouted. "I haven't had any free time since Trevor and his friends sat in my office yesterday and explained... never mind... I need to relax."

 

"I see your white knight arriving," Mel said. "I hope he can calm you down, Jeffery. I haven't seen you this agitated since... since... since never! What's up?"

 

"Can't talk about it right now, Mel," I said. "All I can say is stay focused on the people around you."

 

"Sounds serious," Mel said. She sounded worried. "I won't bug you. Just be safe, Jeffery."

 

"Thanks," I said quietly.

 

Philip silently took a seat across the table from me.

 

"What' wrong, Jeffery?" Philip asked.

 

"I don't know," I replied. "To tell you the truth, I am scared for the first time since I moved back here from San Francisco. I never expected to deal with this kind of nutcase here. In San Francisco, it was a given. Here, not so much."

 

"Why?" Philip asked. "What make you think this won't work out?"

 

"I've seen similar situations before, Philip," I explained. "They never end well. People who pursue hate for a living are, many times, wound up so tight, a feather could make them break. I hope I am wrong, and this one will work out."

 

"What do you mean by similar situations?" Philip asked.

 

"Nut cases like Donovan," I replied. "Some of these people are time bombs waiting to go off. They can be very, very destructive. This is what post-traumatic stress disorder is made from."

 

"I've never seen you this nervous up about something," Philip replied. "It scares me."

 

"It scares me, too, Philip," I replied. "My hell on earth is hostage situations or suicide attempts. I thought I was over dealing with this shit after I moved back here. When Trevor and his friends told me about this Donovan person, I was, at first, pissed. Then, it hit me. This man could be just another time bomb."

 

"What should we do?" Philip asked. "Ask Trevor to quit the team?

 

"I don't know," I replied. "But, if we make Trevor pull out of the swim team, Coach Donovan could get concerned someone is on to him. He could hurt someone. One of the kids on the swim team. Other teachers if they try to stop him. Anyone if they try to stop him."

 

"You know this how?" Philip asked.

 

"I've watched this play over and over again," I replied. "No one but Janet Lopez and Brandon Martin are aware I was placed in a psych ward after I witnessed a hostage taker shoot six unarmed men in a gay bar on Castro. I tried to stop the shooting. I froze. I couldn't move. I couldn't speak. I just stood and watched as the shooter took each person down with one shot to the head. He pointed the gun at me. I thought would shoot me. Instead, he turned the gun on himself. Seven people shot dead, and I couldn't do anything about it. I don't want this situation to be another time I couldn't do anything to prevent something from happening. I have dealt with angry people before, but this is different. I know the kids. One is our son."

 

"You didn't tell me about it because you couldn't talk about the incident?" Philip asked.

 

"Yes," I replied softly.

 

"I am so sorry you had to go through this. But, you said you `watched this play over and over again.' Are there more times?"

 

"Yes," I replied.

 

"Fuck! What are we going to do with Trevor?" Philip asked.

 

"One part of me wants to push Trevor into a hole until the asshole has been take care of," I replied. "It needs to be his decision though. We can't hide him."

 

"I know," Philip replied. "I think we are beginning to be real parents, huh, Jeffery!"

 

"Yea," I said as I smiled at Philip. "It feels good, doesn't it?"

 

"Yes, it does," Philip replied.

 

-----------------------

 

Philip and I returned home about the same time. Trevor sat at the kitchen island with books covering the countertop.

 

"It looks like someone has home work," I said as I put my keys on the hook near the back door.

 

"I think I am drowning," Trevor replied. "I should never have agreed to take Ms. Shaw's history class. I am stuck with writing a paper on the Aids epidemic. The more I read, the more I get depressed. I can't imagine living with the fear of being HIV positive in the 1980s. I only think of a death sentence and what must have been going through the minds of these men. They knew they were dying. They knew they had no hope of surviving."

 

"Fortunately," I added. "Now there is hope. People are living with the disease. It can be controlled."

 

"You might want to watch a few movies," Philip continued. "Philadelphia, and The Band Played On. Be prepared, though. These movies explore very powerful stories. They pull at your heart strings."

 

"I wouldn't recommend watching them alone," I added as Philip and I took seats next to Trevor. "We need to speak with you about the swim team."

 

"You want me to quit, don't you?" Trevor asked.

 

"It will be your decision, Trevor," Philip explained. "We believe you would be safer if you withdrew until your coach has been replaced. You need to make the decision, though."

 

"I have thought about leaving the team," Trevor began. "It doesn't add up to any real solution. Coach Donovan wins if some of us leave. We can't let him win. I want to stay on the team. Perhaps we need to be more vocal about his perceived social values. This is another epidemic. Only this time the disease is homophobia, bigotry, misogyny, and misguided religious values."

 

"You have a long way to go before we wipe out this epidemic," I said. "Don't ever forget... We will be right behind you doing anything we can to support you. We are extremely proud of you, Trevor. You stand up for your beliefs. Not many people really do."

 

"Thanks, dads," Trevor replied. The three of us had tears running down our cheeks.

 

"I think we have company," I whispered as I noticed Sam, Tim, Barkley, and Barlow standing in the doorway. They looked worried.

 

"What's up guys?" Philip asked.

 

"We have something we need to tell you," Tim said quietly.

 

"Okay, we're listening," I said to the boys.

 

"We didn't mean to do it," Sam continued. "It just happened."

 

"What happened?" Philip asked. He was smiling.

 

"It was an accident," Tim further explained.

 

"I think we are getting somewhere now," I quietly said to Philip before turning to Sam and Tim. "What kind of accident?"

 

"The accident happened in our bathroom," Sam continued the roundabout explanation. "It just slipped."

 

"What slipped?" Trevor asked. "I need to get into the act too, dads!"

 

"The plant," Tim continued.

 

"It slipped into the toilet," Sam further explained. "We didn't know what to do."

 

"Barlow said we needed to tell you," Tim added.

 

"Thank you Barlow for your words of wisdom during this latest crisis," I said to Barlow. I turned my attention to Philip. "Shall you and I try to rescue the plant from the toilet?"

 

"Sure," Philip said to me. "Trevor, keep an eye on these two. They could be trouble."

 

"I'm on it, Dad," Trevor replied.

 

Philip and I began our journey to the bathroom Tim and Sam used. "I thought they had thrown something through the window."

 

"Quiet!" Philip said softly. "They might hear you. We don't need to add ideas to their playlist."

 

Once we rescued the plant, Philip and I returned to the kitchen.

 

"Are you mad at us?" Sam asked.

 

"No," I replied. "Why should we be mad? It was an accident. Somehow, the plant accidentally moved from the opposite side of the room to the toilet and just tumbled in. Now, why don't you get Barkley and Barlow their dinner while we properly dispose of the remains of the plant?"

 

Sam and Tim raced to the other side of the kitchen. Barlow and Barkley followed. All four slid to a stop near the cabinet containing the dog food.

 

"I believe those two have an inner speed demon who keeps pushing them to race from point A to point B," Philip said.

 

"And there is the inner demon who made them carry the plant from one side of the room to the other and drop it into the toilet so their dads could have fun digging the remains of the plant out of the toilet," I added.

 

"Two down," Philip said. "How many more do you think they have left?"

 

"We'll know in about 18 years," I replied.

 

"I thought about another issue we haven't talked about in ages," Philip said. "We talked about getting you a piano for the living room. Do you still want it? It could soothe your nerves after a day with the two whirlwinds."

 

"We could go looking for one," I replied.

 

"Black Steinway Grand," Trevor added. "It would look really nice in the big condo you will buy me my sophomore year at UIUC."

 

"Fat chance, Trevor," I replied as I threw a kitchen towel at him.

 

Sam and Tim appeared next to us in the kitchen.

 

"Dad," Tim asked. "Can we get a fish tank?"

 

"A fish tank?" I asked. "Why a fish tank?"

 

"Cats like to watch the fish in a fish tank," Sam explained.

 

"We don't have a cat," I replied. "So, why would we need a fish tank?"

 

"Don't you want a cat, Dad?" Tim asked.

 

"I believe we have enough animals in this house for the moment," I replied.

 

"Jay down the street told us his dads were considering getting him a cat from the cat place," Sam explained.

 

"They are cats who need homes," Tim continued. "We have plenty of room for a cat."

 

"It could be a small cat," Sam added.

 

"Barkley and Barlow would like to have a cat, too," Tim explained.

 

"I hate to ask this, but how do you know Barkley and Barlow want a cat?" I asked.

 

"They told us," Sam continued.

 

"We could get some sheep for the back yard," Trevor injected his comments with a smirk across his face.

 

"Maybe we should move Mabel into the garage," Philip added.

 

"No cats! No fish! No sheep! No Mabel! End of discussion," I replied.

 

------------------

 

My eyes glazed over as I looked at the blank screen on my laptop. It was a blank screen because I didn't know how to even start writing my talk for Sunday. This is Friday. `I am so screwed,' I thought to myself.

 

Fortunately, my phone rang. "This is Jeffery," I said into the phone.

 

"Jeffery," the voice said. "I'm one of Trevor's math teachers, Brian Willis. He said you would like to speak with me about something."

 

"Yes," I replied. "Did Trevor tell you about why I wanted to speak with you?"

 

"He did not, but I suspect it is related to a new staff member," Mr. Willis replied. "Do you have time to meet with me this afternoon?"

 

"When and where?" I asked.

 

"Mel's coffee shop in about 30 minutes?" he asked.

 

"Perfect," I replied. "I am looking forward to meeting you."

 

"I am looking forward to our meeting as well," he added. "I will see you in a few minutes."

 

I leaned back in my chair. Took one last look at my laptop and turned it off. I grabbed my keys, shoved my laptop into my bag, and stopped by my mother's office.

 

"Sorry to bother you," I said. "I'm on my way to meet one of Trevor's teachers, Mr. Willis. He and I want to discuss a certain person who has become an annoyance."

 

"Good luck," my mother replied. "You'll need it."

 

"Thanks," I said as I headed out to my car.

 

I parked in front of the coffee shop. When I entered, Mel greeted me. "Jeffery! What brings you out today?"

 

"I am meeting a teacher from the high school to discuss a few matters," I replied. "I also thought I might bribe you to write my talk for Sunday."

 

"No way, Jeffery," Mel replied. "I ain't got no writin' skills in my little brain."

 

"So, you are abandoning me, too," I said with squinty eyes.

 

"Yup," Mel replied. "I can plie you with food and coffee to show my support."

 

"Do you have a scotch on the rocks?" I asked.

 

"Nope," Mel replied.

 

"Coffee then," I added.

 

"Coming up," Mel replied as I opened my laptop. `I may as well get some more face time with my blank screen before talking with Mr. Willis,' I thought to myself.

 

I almost jumped out of my skin when I heard a deep voice reach out to me, "You must be Jeffery. I'm Brian Willis. Thank you for meeting me. I believe we have some common interests."

 

"I appreciate your time this afternoon," I said. I hoped my eyes didn't bulge as I looked at the hunk of a math teacher standing in front of me. "My son Trevor and some of his swim team friends are concerned about the team. I thought you might shed some light on their concern."

 

"I can't get too deeply into the matter because there are a group of teachers who want to file a grievance with the principal," Mr. Willis replied. "But, we don't believe it will go further than the principal's desk. We are concerned he might feel a grievance would fuel some reprisal."

 

"In other words, the person who would be named in the grievance could be trouble," I added.

 

"Yes," Mr. Willis replied. "I would suspect from what some of the other teachers and I have witnessed, it is extremely probable someone could get hurt or smeared through the mud."

 

"What if some of the parents of the boys on the team were to approach the principal?" I asked. "Or confront the coach?"

 

"I believe the principal would still not make any decisions about the coach," Mr. Willis replied. "However, if your son and his friends can provide solid evidence about the coach's adverse behavior, we might stand a chance with the principal."

 

"I just had a thought about a possible resolution to our problem," I replied. "If you and your husband would like to attend our service at the UCC on Sunday, we would be pleased to have you as our guest."

 

"Are wheels really turning in your head?" Mr. Willis asked. "You look as though you were the cat who ate the canary!"

 

"Tune in Sunday morning and you will understand my newly hatched plot to rid this town of yet another racist bigot, religious zealot, dangerous homophobe, and stupid misogynist," I said with a smile. "Those were not my words, but the words of someone who has personal knowledge of the man."

 

"I can't wait to hear your talk," Mr. Willis replied.

 

We said goodbye. I watched as Mr. Willis walk to the door. `Nice butt!' I thought to myself.

 

To be continued...

 

I am starting a new e-mail list because the previous one contains several incorrect e-mail addresses. If you would like to be on the NEW announcement list for "Jeffery Comes Home," please send an e-mail by clicking here.

 

 

I would enjoy hearing your comments about this story. You can write to me at MaWriterBoy@yahoo.com.

 

This is my 18th posting of my fourth story on Nifty.org.

 

I also have three other stories on Nifty:

 

Sam and Chris in the `College' section

 

John's Journey Forward in the `Beginnings' section

 

Life With Tom in the authoritarian section (Please note, this story is not for everyone because there are several scenes depicting Master/slave and BDSM relationships. So, if you are not interested in this activity, please, please do not read this story.)

 

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