OF LOVE AND CHANCE
Chapter Two: Giving LOVE A Chance
a story by:
This is a
story about, well,
love and chance. It is for the most part, a work of pure fiction,
though some of the situations discussed are drawn from life experiences
(particularly the romantic ones). Though not in the beginning,
this story will eventually contain sexual acts between consenting
adults. Gay characters have gay sex, so if this bothers you, or
if it is illegal to read such materials due to your age or where you
live, then please do not read further. All copy rights are held
by the author, so please do not duplicate, print, alter, or resubmit (or
anything else I may have missed ) this
story without first obtaining written
permission from the author.
Further notes: This
story will address several social issues in a
perspective in which you may or may not agree. It is also a story
centered around life and love between friends, family, and partners,
along with romance, and it is not intended to be a jerk-off
story. There are spiritual and paranormal themes which affect the
lives of the characters. Finally, the story is told in the
various points of view of the characters involved. (To make this
process easier, each character's story is distinguished by a specific
color and font style dedicated to that character.)
This is my first attempt at
writing fiction of any kind. If you
have any comments, ideas, suggestions, etc., I would love to hear
them. I have greatly enjoyed the comments I have received thus far and
wish to thank you all for taking the time to send them.
Please contact me via email@example.com
I entered the house in a stupor, to say the least. I was totally
lost in thought, replaying everything that had happened from the
instant I walked into that bookstore over and over again in my
mind. Somehow, I had mindlessly dropped my books down in the
middle of the
foyer and walked into the living room, where I collapsed into one
of the overstuffed chairs. However, I really do not remember any
of this, for I was deeply lost in my contemplation.
I could see him, my little wizard, in all his splendid glory. He
was just so damned adorable... his hair, arranged so conservatively,
and how it compared to it being messed up after the rain storm... his
smile, with perfect pearls of white teeth, accentuated with innocence
given by his dimples... his full, soft lips... and his body, as his
rain-soaked clothes clung tightly to his well-developed form.
Then, there was his eyes... those emerald green windows that were
illuminated by a soul so beautiful that it was beyond
description. My body reenacted other sensations as well, for I
could feel the gentleness of his touch... the tingling sensations that
raced up my spine simply from being near him... the sound of his soft,
sexy voice and how it made my knees quiver... the smell of his cologne
and his own scent that aerated during the storm and on the drive
home... his lips grazing my own... the taste of him as we kissed... and
the feel of him pressing against me. The experience was just so
Killian is the embodiment of perfection. I guess love can make
you see things... make the person you fall in love with take on
characteristics your mind wishes were there. Someone on a more
average range can rank much higher in the eyes of the one who adores
him. Then, when you take into consideration the heart of the man
you love, that ranking becomes multiplied a million times over.
Having the love you feel returned? Well that shoots the score up
that no other man could possibly compete with the one you love. I
suppose that is what has happened to me in Killian's eyes, for I have
never understood why someone so angelic... so special... so far beyond
anything I could ever plausibly hope to be worthy of loving... chose to
love ME. But, as
for my perception of Killian, well the
reality of him is far more than I can fathom. His beauty
supersedes well beyond what my limited mind and heart can
could live a thousand lifetimes and never even begin to truly
understand just how wonderful he really is.
I replayed all the events in my mind. The more I thought about it
all, the more I determined that this was no mere accident, no chance
encounter at all. These were not simple random forces that drew
us together, this was destiny. Even Valerie had said so, that God
had fashioned us to be complementary to one another. But, if it
was in fact ordained for us to be together, then why was the message
she gave us 'As God is giving your
love a chance, so shall he give you both a chance to love'
Then it hit me. Chance means more than a random accident of
circumstance. It also denotes more than experiencing windfalls
of luck. Chance signifies possibilities and opportunities.
In those terms, the message made sense. We would need to be open
to all the possibilities love
would bring and seize each opportunity
to express our love. Feeling certain I had solved that riddle, I
began my efforts to decipher the other cryptic messages Valerie had
mind, I could hear voices echoing off in the distance, but I was too
lost in my own world to give them much heed. Suddenly, an
ice-breaking chill drove me from my thoughts as I plummeted back to
reality. "What the Hell!" I
screamed out in shock.
" 'Bout damn time you snapped out of whatever it was you were
in. What the hell is wrong with you?" Jena asked in
a firm, yet concerned voice.
"And if you're mad about the water, it was Ethan's idea," Jena
said in a sudden panic, grabbing her brother and slinging him in front
of her like a sacrificial lamb, "so go
ahead. Slug him! Slug him good!"
"Why you lying bitch!" Ethan said in shock. He then
quickly maneuvered Jena back in front of him and held her steadily by
the arms. "Deck her
'Nawha. She is the one who decided to douse you with the ice
water. Now you are gonna get what is coming to you, you lying
To say I was pissed would be an understatement. But as I
looked at their faces, I could see the concern that brought all this
on. They had no idea what was going on in my mind, nor what
events had transpired today. In looking at the whole situation, I
could not help but smile.
I stood and both twins quickly made a break for it.
However, my long arms quickly grabbed each, and I pulled them both into
a big bear hug. Laughing, I said,
"You guys just kill me sometimes. You know that. God, I am
just so lucky to have two wonderful friends like you in my life.
I just don't know where I would be without you." I truly
felt this way, blessed to have them both.
The twins just looked at each other perplexedly. Then
Ethan turned to me and said, "OK, who
the hell are you, and what have you done with our roommate?"
I chuckled. "What?
Can't a guy just have a good day and want to share it with his best
"OK. Now you are really scaring me." Ethan
said. Then he looked at his sister. "Girl, it is my professional opinion that
he has totally cracked up."
Though it is true I would have normally pelted them both for
this but good, I was different now. Killian's effect on me, I
surmised. I just rolled my eyes at him. Then Jena spoke up. "OK. If you have not totally
lost it, then tell me what is wrong."
"Nothing. Nothing is wrong at all, why?" I asked,
in the most reassuring way I could muster.
"Don't you try and pull that shit on me Kanawha. You have been
slumped over here in this chair for a good twenty minutes while Ethan
and I have been trying to get your attention. We were worried
sick about you! Now, tell us. What the hell is wrong with
you?!" Jena demanded.
"I told you already. Nothing is wrong. I just..." I
paused to collect my thoughts.
"I met someone today, OK. There. That is all it is. I
was just replaying it all in my mind, and I guess I just did not hear
you guys. I am sorry if I worried you, but believe me, nothing is
wrong. For once, everything is right."
"Oh, my God, Ethan! He is in love! Hehehe! I
never thought I would say that about you Stormy." Jena
"This morning, I would've never
thought it were possible either. But you are right. I
am. I am SO in love!"
She then sat on the arm of one of the chairs and pat the
seat beside her. "So, park it
and spill it. I want to know all about how you lost your heart
to... hell, I wanna know when you got a heart to begin with!"
I snickered at that one. Then I sat next to Jena in the
seat of the chair and Ethan sat on the foot stool. So I told them
about our meeting. "Well, we met
in the bookstore and it just happened. We then had lunch and a
wonderful time walking around campus. I have never felt so alive
in my life. God! I feel wonderful!"
"Oh! Guy, you SO suck at this!" Ethan interjected, while
Jena shook her head in agreement.
"Details man... you know...
descriptives... what did they look like, what all happened, what was it
like, where did you go, how did you feel... actually tell us about it."
I pondered on this a minute, trying to figure out what to say
next. How revealing did I really want to be? You have to
remember, I'm not one for opening up to people, especially about mushy
shit like love and feelings. I realized that Killian was
part of my life forever, and I was overjoyed by this fact. I
quickly accepted that I wanted to sing it from the mountain tops.
So, I decided to tell Jena and Ethan everything. " OK. He is about 5'11" tall,
dark brown hair with slight auburn highlights, a cute little button
with a few freckles here and there. He wears these cute little
wire-framed glasses and has a smile that just melts your heart,
especially with those dimples of his. He's clean shaven, with
smooth, pale skin. Just one look in those beautiful emerald green
eyes of his, and I was totally smitten. There is just something
about him... being with him makes me feel different. Hell, it
just makes me feel. He makes me want to be a better person,
someone worthy of loving him. I have never been so alive!
touched my hand, I almost passed out. That is how intense it
was. Like I said, we met in the bookstore, and I was instantly
drawn to him. I even initiated our meeting by getting his
attention, if you can believe that. Anyway, we then ate lunch at
the corner café. Remind
me to tell you all about that later. That was one weird
experience... good, but weird. Afterwards, we went for a
wonderful stroll around the
campus, and we even danced around in the rain. Then, he dropped
me off here. Oh, and we have a date! Me... I have a
date! I am so excited... and a little anxious to be honest. And,
I almost forgot. He kissed me!"
"What was the kiss like? Did it get you all boned up or
what?" Ethan enthused.
"Guy, you just don't know the half of it! It was just so
passionate. And that firm ass of his, it just..."
"HE, huh!" Jena interrupted. Then, she slapped me on the
arm. "You fucking bastard!"
was somewhat surprised
when Kanawha came home the way he did. He just dumped his books
in the middle of the floor, did not take his shoes off at the door, and
came into the living room and flopped down in one of the chairs with
soaking wet clothes on! You have to understand, he is one of the
most anal persons I have ever met when it comes to being neat and
tidy. This was just way out of character for him.
big guy. You feeling alright?"
No response. "You
know, you are gonna get sick, not to mention ruining your furniture,
staying in those wet clothes, "
I went over and tried to shake him, but zero
reaction. I was really worried by this point. Kanawha was
just sitting there with this glazed look in his eyes and this goofy
smile plastered on his face. I almost thought he was in some sort
of epileptic seizure, but the signs and symptoms said otherwise.
So, I thought I would use the trump cards. "Yo!
Well, knowing how
much he hates anyone making any kind of cracks about
his heritage, I figured if neither of those worked, then nothing would,
except for one thing.
I then broke out my
Sis. How soon can you be home?... It is Kanawha... I
am not sure what is wrong with him. He is just acting really weird, and
I cannot get a response out of him. He came in, dropped his books
in the middle of the floor, then flopped down in a chair with his shoes
and wet clothes on... Yea, I realize that is not like him. Why do
you think I called you?... Well, I called him 'Injun boy'
and 'Half-breed', but nothing... Yea, Sis, I realize that
he would normally rip my ass into, but like I have told you before, he
is not responding... Yea, that is why I asked how soon you could
be here. I mean, if you cannot get a response from him, then he
is lost forever... Well, hurry up and get here, already!...
sometimes she is so
annoying! I mean, she is my sister and all, and God knows I love
her, but damn it! She just gets on my nerves sometimes.
Anyhow, within a few
minutes, the bitch arrived home. "So, what was he doing before he got here?"
"Sis, if I could get that out of him,
I would not have needed to call you in the first place." I
"Well, Stormy, I can understand you
ignoring Ethan like that and all. I mean, who really wants to
talk to that looser anyway, right? But I am here now, so you can
drop the act." No response. "Well, I know you think I am beautiful, but
really, you don't have to go all speechless on me. Come on
Kanawha. Say something." Zero reaction. Let me just say
here that part of
me was really worried about my best friend. The other part of me,
however, enjoyed seeing that Jena, being such the cocky bitch that she
is, was having no more
success than I had.
After several more
attempts, many of which were really good insults I
plan on saving to use later, Jena just shook her head. "Well,
if you ask me, he is in some kind of
a stupor or something, not responsive at all." Jena said,
"Really? I had no idea.
Thank you so much for pointing that out!" I growled.
"Don't you think I know that
already?!" I shot out.
Then, I took ten and calmed
down. "The question is, what do
we do about it."
Jena thought a moment. "Well, I
think we should slap him."
"OK. You wanna slap Kanawha, then be my guest. Go on tough
girl. Slap the big hulk of a man that can tear you into a hundred
pieces." I sneered.
"Well, Psycho boy. You are the one working towards being a
psychologist. You tell me what is wrong with him and what to
do." She said, her temper
rearing its ugly head. Man, I hate it
when she does
that... belittles me and what I do.. dismissing it all as if I were
nothing. Lord, she can push every single button I have, and I
just want to strangle her sometimes. You have any family like
"In all honesty, Jena, it could
be any number of things. He could be in shock, but his
breathing is normal, not shallow and labored, so I don't think
could have had some sort of mental
trauma that brought upon a defense mechanism, like a conversion
disorder. Without more to go on, I just don't know." I admitted in
frustration. I was so
worried and stressed.
cannot think straight, Sis. I mean, he is my best friend... my
only friend besides you. God, we can't loose him like this." I
said, starting to tear up. "Some
psychologist I am going to make! In the midst of a crisis and I
then sat on the love seat and rubbed my head in
came over and sat beside me, rubbing my back gently.
don't be so hard on yourself. You said it yourself. He is
our best friend. You are just too involved to see things
clearly. And I for one think you will make a fine
psychologist. You have a good heart and you are intuitive.
I really think you will help a lot of people, and I... well I am proud
of you. Whether I show and tell you that or not, I
am. OK. So don't be hard on yourself. After
all, it is my job to be hard on you, and I do it so well, don't
had to laugh at that.
best." I admitted eagerly. See,
it is times like this that I realize how lucky I am to have Jena.
rest of the time, she is just a big pain in my ass. But, in
would be lost without her. We're soul mates, we both know
that. And I
really do love her. But she can be rather annoying regardless.
"Well, you don't have to agree so
quickly, sheesh." Jena
joked. I could tell the
wheels were turning in her head.
tell you Ethan, I am tired of just sitting here all helpless."
that, Jena strolled into the kitchen and returned with a pitcher
of ice water.
"Well big guy, just remember I love
enough to do this to ya!" She
then dumped the ice water
over Kanawha's head.
I was so relieved when Kanawha snapped out of his
stupor. Jena, of course annoyed me when she tried to blame
it all on me. Though I have to admit, it was clever and
funny. I just
knew we were dead meat, but I did not expect him to hug us and tell us
how lucky he was to have us as friends. I mean that is not the
Kanawha I knew for the past 18 years. That is why I reacted as I
did, that and to be a smart ass.
admit I like to joke
around and be a smart ass sometimes. Shoot me.
I was torn with mixed feelings of excitement for Kanawha and a
sense of loss for myself as he told us all about his new found
love. However, seeing as he is my best friend, I decided to be
completely supportive. Things were going well, when Jena had to
open her big trap.
"He, huh! You fucking bastard!"
swore as she smacked his arm.
I had to smile at that, because I knew why Jena was upset.
Kanawha, on the other hand, had no clue as to why she turned on him,
and he had such an anguished look on his face. I knew I had to
intervene quickly. "Hey, big
guy. Don't get upset or
worried. It is not what you think. We are both happy for
you, aren't we, Sis."
"What? Oh, Lord! Stormy,
babe, I am so sorry. Of course I am happy for you. I am
just pissed because asshole over there was right!" Jena
replied. She then dug in her purse and pulled out a fifty dollar
griped, slapping the money in my hand.
"Hehehe! Right and fifty bucks
richer, I must say." I gloated.
"What?" Kanawha asked in
"Well, see, we kinda had this bet."
Jena started. "I bet that you
would never tell us you were gay or in a relationship with anyone,
unless of course you were caught in the act. In that case, you
would only admit to what you had to..."
"But I believed you would tell us both, most likely together, as soon
as you found that special guy." I smiled. "See, big guy, I believed in you!
Hehehe, and believing in you got me fifty bucks!" I taunted
The Kanawha I have
known was then back. "So, let me get this straight. You
two made a bet about my sexuality and my coming forth about it?!"
"Well, not exactly. I mean, we
both knew you were gay. We just bet on whether or not you would
actually tell us of your own free will." Jena stated, and
I shook my head in agreement.
"Some fucking friends you are!"
"Oh, like you and Ethan have
never made bets about me, or you and I have never made bets about
Ethan." Sis, shot back. "Face
it. If this bet had not been about you, you would have been all
The big guy was
silent for a few moments. Then he began to
chuckle. "Yea, and I would have
bet just like you did, Jena. I would never normally have admitted
anything like that freely. It is just the effect he has on me."
"Who?" I asked.
"What do you mean, Who? Who have
we been talking about this entire time?" Kanawha growled.
"That 's just it, smart ass. You
never told us his name. I just want to know his name is all."
"Oh! Well, I didn't realize
that. His name is Killian. Killian Anderson Lord."
"Ooh! I like that."
Jena enthused. "It sounds so
stately and, well, kinda sexy."
"Oh, Jena. The name just does
not do him enough justice. He is so adorable. I cannot wait
for you guys to meet him!" Kanawha beamed. "You guys and Grams will just love him."
"Well, anyone that can get you to open
up and admit what is going on in there must be someone special."
Jena said, placing
her hand on his heart. "Hey, have you told Grams, yet?"
"Well, no. I am kind of dreading
it. I am just not sure how she will react to it all."
he admitted, lowering
"YES! " Jena
shouted. "Things are looking
up!" She then kissed
Kanawha on the cheek. "You just made my day, Stormy!"
"Huh?" Again, he was lost
"See, Grams bet you would tell her
first, but we knew if you ever told, it would be to us first...
later, if you ever told her at all. Hey, I am up a hundred bucks
thanks to you big man!" I told him.
reaction, I consoled him. "Yea,
guy. She knew it, too. So, at least you don't have to worry
about her disapproval of you or anything. But be sure and tell
her you told us already... and tell her I want my fifty in cold,
"Well, at least I broke even. Poor Grams. She lost one
hundred bucks today. Lord, though. She should have known
better!" Jena said.
"Well, I am going to my room to get cleaned up. Be sure and tell
Grams I want mine in cash, too. K Stormy?"
"Do I have 'Big Fag' written on my forehead or something?"
"Look, we are your friends and family. We know you better than
anyone. Hell, probably better than you know yourself. It is
nothing that you did or said. We just knew. OK. And
no, I don't think anyone can tell just by looking at you. And it
has nothing to do with your being a man or being manly. I mean,
you are probably the most masculine man I know. I just knew,
maybe because I am a woman... Grams maybe because she is your Grams...
and Ethan, well,..." Jena soothed.
"Hey, if you don't know your own kind, then who do you know?" Ethan
interjected. "Besides, who cares
what anyone else thinks anyway. We are the important ones.
We are your family. And Killian I am sure is delighted that you
are gay. Otherwise, he would be out one handsome boyfriend.
as for you, well you damn sure better be happy with it, cause you have
yourself one hell of a case of love going on in there." I said
rubbing his chest.
Kanawha pulled us
both close into another bear hug. "Thanks, guys. You mean the
world to me. You know that, and I love you both."
It was kind of
strange getting used to Kanawha expressing any
kind of feelings openly, but I was really happy for him in finding
someone. I still had a few concerns eating at me in the back of
my mind, but I would just deal with them in my own time. Or, so I
thought. Jena went on to her room, and then Kanawha grabbed me
into another bear hug.
"So, tell me all the details.
You know, like on a scale of one to ten..." I started.
"Guy, he is so far beyond any scale..."
He said, as he began
to tell me in great detail everything that had
happened. It was so obvious just how in love he was.
Kanawha was just so animated in telling his story, I had to
smile. It was real love, the kind most people can only dream
about... the kind you are willing to wait your entire lifetime to find,
if only for one moment, and feel it was worth it all. The whole
thing just brought tears to my eyes.
'Killian sure is one lucky guy,' l smiled to myself, 'but it seems as though Kanawha is equally
"... And then it
happened. We leaned in and our lips met. His lips were so
soft, and he tasted so wonderful. I never knew kissing someone
would be like this. The feel of his body... and to have him feel
mine... I was so close to the edge, Ethan. But, we cooled things
off, and just slowly came down from our hormonal high. Then, he
asked me out. It was so cute, the way he bit his lip because he
was nervous and all. Now, I just miss being near him." Kanawha
said, finishing his love tale up.
I just smiled at him, took his chin in my hand, and kissed him on the
tip of the nose. Then I gave him a big hug. "I love you, big guy."
"What was that for?" he
"For rekindling my hopes and faith in
love and romance, and for just being you... my best friend and big
brother." I replied.
"So, you gonna tell me what is
bothering you, or do I have to play the guessing game again."
"What? Oh, it is nothing
really. I am so very happy for you, though. You know that,
right? You are a wonderful guy, and you deserve to live a happy,
full life with someone who brings out the best in you. It seems
apparent that you have found him." I replied.
"But, nothing. Look, it is no
big deal. Really." I avoided.
"Ethan. Tell me already. I
cannot fix something if you don't tell me. Look, I know I have
not always shared every little thing going on inside my head, but with
anything serious, like I know this is, I always turn to you.
Now, please, bub, tell me what is wrong."
I got all teary at
this point and a few fell down my face.
Kanawha gently wiped each one from my cheek with the tip of his finger
and held me close, sitting me on his lap.
"It is stupid. Really, it is. I love you, more than
anything. Not like sexually or anything. I mean, you are a
good looking guy and all that, but you are my best friend and more like
a brother to me." I paused and
Then, I began again. "Well, I
guess it is a mixture of things.
For one, I realize that you will be spending a lot of time with
which is totally understandable. I guess I am afraid we will not
be as close... and that I will miss seeing you so much...
when you eventually move out and in with Killian... That is what
couples do you know, so don't look at me like I am stupid... Thank you,
and don't roll your eyes at me either... As I was saying, I also
am a little jealous that you have someone special and I don't.
That one is totally stupid, but I am just being honest here...
the biggest thing is that you have always been there for me...
are there to protect me whenever anything goes wrong... When I first
came out to you, you never reacted in any way whatsoever other than
being totally loving and supportive... When someone would pick on me,
you would beat their ass... You are my
knight in shining armor, big guy. But, now, you are Killian's
knight... not mine anymore. I am just scared I won't ever find my
"Oh, Eth. Man, I swear it will be alright. I will always be
here for you, and even if I am not here in this townhouse, I will never
be all that far away. You are my best friend and brother. I
could never live my life without your being a huge part of it." Kanawha
assured me. "As for your knight,
hehehe, I never knew you looked at me like that. Now you got me
all blushing and stuff. I am really flattered by that,
though. But, hey, you are a great guy, and a fine looking one,
too. I'm sure you are gonna find someone terrific, and a lot
sooner than you think. Hell, all I did was go into the bookstore
and look what happened to me." he laughed. "Hey, you might even be the knight
for someone else, you never know."
I had to laugh at
"Kanawha, I am all of 5'7". I seriously doubt I will ever be
"I don't know, you have saved my ass a few times." he
reminded me. "All I am saying is
that you have a big heart, and you try to always help someone in
need. That is just part of who you are, something I have always
admired about you. I don't think you have to be a big hulk of a
man to be a hero. You just have to care enough to try to help."
"You know, I could really get used to you being like this, not
that I did not love ya before. But, I don't know... It just seems
like there is more to you now... Something I always knew was there, but
you always kept it tucked away behind the facade of, well, an ass."
Kanawha just shook his head and laughed. "I know what you mean.
Wow. I have changed so much in just one afternoon. I
wonder what I will be like a year from now."
"Well, bub, this has been fun, but you have a date. I figure you
should go more formal for this. You may want to call Killian to
be certain. You also need to call Grams. I am going to lie
down for a while, but if you need me, just yell. OK."
I said as I stood. Kanawha
shook his head in agreement, and I walked to the stairs and up to my
gonna give you a play-by-play of our conversation with Kanawha. I
mean, you already know what happened, right? But I do want to
clear a few things up. I am sure you got the impression from
Ethan that I am a bitch. He probably even told you that.
Well, for the record, I am not a
bitch, I am the
bitch... there is a big difference!
Now, as for Ethan, well he is my brother. Of course I love
him. He just makes it so easy to press his buttons, and I just
cannot help myself. It really bothers me, though, when he starts
downing himself. He has always been such a small guy, and I guess
that is the stem of it. He always thinks he is inadequate for
some reason. I guess sometimes I don't really help matters, but I
am the bitch, what can I say. One thing I
find strange though is how he sees himself as a man small in stature,
yet everyone who knows Ethan sees him
as a man with a giant heart.
Anyway, I really did mean what I said when I told him I was proud of
him. He just has no idea how much. He got the big heart and
great personality, and I got the big mouth and poor attitude.
What I am
about to say is strictly between us, and if I find out he
knows, then I know where to come looking, and who I am after.
truth is I really admire him. I know I make him mad to the point
that he wants to kill me most of the time, but he is the first one
there to pick up the pieces when my life falls apart. He is my
hero, my little knight. And, he is my soul mate. I just
dread the day when he finds love and moves away. I don't know how
I will live my life without seeing him every day.
Now, Kanawha is another story. He is this big lug, and despite
his being a total ass, you just have to love him. Even though we
are all the same age, he is like our big brother. Sure I bust his
ass as often as I get the chance, but that is what sisters are for.
Again, between us, I could have slapped myself for making him feel like
I disapproved of his loving Killian. He has had enough pain in
his life as it is, and to know that I caused even one moment more just
made me feel terrible. That is why I went to my room. I
went there and cried my eyes out for being such an inconsiderate
ass. If you could have seen the look on his face. It just
broke my heart.
I could not believe his reaction to us knowing he was gay,
though. After all, we are his family. But it honestly is
nothing in what he said or did. We just knew. Kanawha is
truly one of the most masculine men I have ever met. I mean,
would you want to take him on in a dark alley... A 6'4", 258 pound hulk
of pure muscle... Three times state wrestling and boxing champion...
enough rage bottled up inside him to fuel a nuclear power plant for
years on end? What, no takers? I didn't think so.
I will tell you that I had to laugh my ass off watching him get ready
for his date. After he talked to Grams (actually, it was while
Ethan and I talked with Grams), he called Killian on his cell.
Well, Killian agreed that a more formal evening would be great (See, my
little Ethan is very intuitive). Poor guy. Kanawha was so
nervous he could not even get his shirt buttoned right. As gross
as it is, he puked three times during the process from his nerves.
And it was so funny watching little Ethan help big Kanawha get
dressed. I totally lost it when I walked by the bathroom and
Ethan was standing on the toilet to reach Kanawha's neck to help him
tie his bow tie. I must admit, though that he was looking really
sharp when Ethan was finished with him.
Oh, and just so you know, Ethan told Kanawha about calling him injun and half-breed while helping him get
ready, apologizing like a hundred times for "saying something so out of
line." It made no sense to me. Hell, Kanawha was so far out
of it, he never even heard it. But, it bothered Ethan that he had
even said it. So, he continued to apologize, while Kanawha
reassured him that there was no need to do so. I just wish my
little knight would get some self-confidence and not have the need for
I was delighted that my grandson
called me. It had been almost a week since I had heard from
him. He was so nervous when he told me about meeting Killian and
falling in love with him. He also told me that Jena and Ethan
wanted cash, and that he knew about the bets. I just laughed it
off and told him that I did not care about the money at all.
Every penny I had was nothing compared to his happiness.
I swan to goodness! I was
just so happy to hear he finally
found someone. It was an answer
to prayer that his loneliness would finally come to an end, and tears
of joy flowed from my eyes like a river. That boy has had such a
hard life. I would give anything if I could have bore the brunt
of the pain he felt, but such is the way of life. I was also
thankful that he found this Killian when he did, because I knew that
some hard days were approaching by the end of the week. It was
always hard for my grandbaby this time of year. 'Killian.' I thought to
myself. 'I knew a Killian
once, and he was a fine man. If this Killian is anything like
him, then I have no worries whatsoever for my Kanawha.'
Kanawha told me a rather quick story of what had happened, and it
sounded like a fascinating tale. He then asked me if I was coming
to see him, like I always do, and I reassured him I would be there
tomorrow afternoon. He was so excited for me to meet Killian, and
I have to admit I was equally so. He told me he needed to call
Killian, so he had to go.
Then I talked with my other grandson, Ethan. He was filling in a
few more details when Kanawha started calling for his help. That boy just
panics so easily sometimes. Ethan just laughed and said
his goodbyes, promising to be waiting at the front door for my arrival
tomorrow. He had a few new games for the PS2, and his challenge
had been made with me.
I think Ethan is the sweetest little fellow I have ever had the
pleasure of knowing. Kanawha could learn a few things from that
one, but so far, nothing has rubbed off. One could only hope it
Finally, I spoke with my granddaughter, Jena. She told me about
how terrible she felt over hurting Kanawha when she had realized she
the bet to Ethan. I assured her that he was fine and that I
didn't think it was really anything to worry about. For a girl who
puts on such a brave front, she does have a soft heart.
Jena relayed a play-by-play of events while Ethan readied Kanawha for
his date. I swear that girl can tell a tale! She just has
such a funny persona about her. I do not think I have ever
laughed so hard. And it was as if I were there watching
everything going on, the way she told it. Jena promised to take
pictures with her digital camera, so I could see how handsome my
Kanawha looked when I arrived tomorrow.
After our goodbyes, I finished fixing dinner and ate. I cleaned
up everything and finished packing. Then, being an old lady, I
went to bed. I had a very long drive ahead of me and I would need
to be up really early to make it there on time.
came home just bubbling with excitement. He called everyone into
the living room to make an announcement. We all knew it must be
important, because Kal would never want to intrude upon or purposely
bother anyone. Not that we would mind, he's just like that.
Most mornings, he quietly creeps downstairs and into the kitchen so as
not to disturb anyone. I guess you could say he is
As everyone gathered around, Kal started, "Guys, I have the most fantastic news!
Wait. Let me call Nanna so I can tell you all at the same time."
With that, he picked up the phone and called. "Hey! Nanna, I have some wonderful
news, and I just could not wait to tell everybody... yea, they are all
here waiting... Yea. Let me put you on speaker phone, so you can
join in on the conversation, OK?" Once done, Kal was free
to pace the floor. It is funny, but
he does that every time he gets excited. He just gets so wound up
and fidgety, he cannot sit still if his life depended on it. I
thought he was the cutest little thing when we were in kindergarten,
with all the little nervous ticks he had. And he has never
outgrown them. He is still in many ways that same little five
year old boy. Not that Kal is childish, I would say he is
child-like. He just has this innocence about him that most of us
loose as we grow up and become jaded and bitter towards the
world. Kal is the most optimistic person I have ever known, and I
love to be around him because of it.
"OK. Now the big news.
Guys, I am in love!" he enthused and was met with nothing
but positive, joyous response. I really cannot say who was more
excited, because Kal is special to all of us. In his own unique
way, he had changed our lives and made us into better people. We
were nothing but a rag-tag bunch of misfits, but Kal believed in all of
us. And it was that eternal optimism that transformed us into
better people. See, Kal saw us all as friends, whether or not we
acted like a friend to him. Gradually, we one by one accepted his
rose-colored perception, and that became our reality. He is the
glue that holds us all together... our rock during times of trouble.
After a million questions at once, Kal began to tell us everything that
had transpired. "I was in the bookstore, squatted down in the
floor, looking for my books, when the most gorgeous creature I have
seen stepped in front of me. His name is Kanawha, and he is just
breathtaking. He stands about 6'4", very muscular, and well
tanned. He has raven-black hair and the deepest blue eyes I have
ever seen. And his voice... oh Lord, his voice is so nice.
He has this southern accent that just..." he blushed as he
realized what he was about to say. "Well, I won't go there,
hehehe. Let's just say, it is a really nice voice." Kal
wove a great tale of their experiences today, as they met, ate lunch,
and got to know each other better. When finished, everyone was so
intrigued, especially with the parts about Valerie. I noticed
that even Hela was moved to tears a few times, particularly the part
where Kal told Kanawha that he wanted to thank the good Lord for
answering his long awaited prayer, and Kanawha responded by saying that
he knew exactly what he meant. Go figure.
Anyway, I was totally thrilled for him. He above all people
deserves to be happy. You may think I am biased, but you just
have to know Kal to know that it is the God's honest truth. See, he helped me through a very
difficult time when I was 15. I had a lot going on... an abusive
boyfriend, low self-esteem, an eating disorder... my parents were
getting a divorce... my grandmother was dying from cancer... and I felt
like a complete failure. I was on the verge of suicide,
literally. I was at the edge of a cliff, ready to jump, when out
of nowhere, Kal leaped at me, knocking me back from the edge. He
talked me through it and secretly arranged for me to get some
help. He never once told a single soul about that night.
When we came to the university, he started volunteering at the
mission. With that way of his, he hornswoggled us all into
volunteering, me as a peer counselor for troubled youth. My very
first day, I helped a suicidal girl, much like I was back then.
>From those experiences, my life course was set, and I am currently in
the last stages of earning my Master's in counseling. It was also
there that I met my husband, again thanks to Killian. (My
husband, Thomas, is currently oversees serving a tour in Korea. He is a
marine.) So maybe
now you can understand just how special that little imp is to us all.
my thrill when Kal called... Oh, I was not surprised that Killian
called me. Lord, he does that every night. I was just
elated that he
had found someone to love, and so quickly too. As I listened to
that had transpired, I was reminded of the day Kal was born. I told
his mother that I knew the Lord had a great purpose for this young mans
life. I could tell he had a destiny to fulfill. Hearing
Valerie had said just made my heart jump for joy.
Listening to him describe Kanawha, I could tell he was truly in love,
and it sounded like he had done rather well for himself. I just
this Kanawha would take care of my little man. He may be a fully grown man of
almost 26 years of age, and he may be taller than his Nanna, but he
will always be my little man.
Everyone had so many questions, but he thoughtfully answered
every one of them. It was time for him to get ready, so he
himself from the others. He took me off of speaker phone and
with me on the hand held as he went through his wardrobe deciding what
to wear. The other line beeped, and he switched over. A few
later, he came back on, apologizing for putting me on hold. He
it was Kanawha, wanting to know what to wear. It seems that one
Kanawha's roommates suggested a more formal attire, which I thought
sounded like the makings of a very nice first date. Back
in my day, we had many formal occasions, of which today are just
unheard. But I think the young people of our present society miss
on a great deal of learning the social graces by the lack of formality
we now have. Sure things are streamlined and much more quickly
accessed, right down to divorce. I guess everything has its pro's
As I was saying, Killian was looking for something formal to
and I suggested the tuxedo he had worn to Mic's wedding. I also
suggested some accessories to really bring out those eyes of his.
He asked me how I was holding up, alluding to this coming
assured one another that each was fine, but I promised him that I would
be there tomorrow afternoon. I also told him I expected to meet
Kanawha first thing. He laughed and gave me his word that I
we said our goodbyes, I left him with some sagely advice. "Killian," I
said, "I know you love your
friends. I have grown to love them just
like they were my own. But I have to warn you son, if you ever
see Kanawha alive again, then you best not leave him alone with
She will make short work of your fellow."
He just laughed and conveyed the mental images he pictured when
thinking about what I had said. He also told me that was very
advice. With that, we said our goodbyes, as he needed to shower
was overwhelmed when Kal strolled down the steps. Man did he look
fine. I have always thought he was a handsome little devil, but
he was truly stunning. He was wearing his black tuxedo that was
made in a roaring twenties style,
with the usual white shirt. However, he had emerald and gold cuff
links that just sparkled class. His tie and cumber bun were also
emerald green, which really made his eyes stand out. His shoes
were so bitchin'. They were black throughout the bottom, but
white at the tops, like the ones you see in old gangster movies.
His hair was different. Normally, he pastes it down flat to his
head, but tonight, he just let the wild curly locks fall where they
may, and it was one hot hairstyle for him. 'There's something else different.'
I thought. 'Glasses! He
is not wearing his glasses!' WOW! What a difference
that made. Like I said, I have always thought he was handsome,
but you could really see how well his features were fashioned without
the glasses. "Oh, Kal,
babe. You are such the fox! And since when did you get
As usual, Kal just turned three shades of embarrassed. "I've had them for a long time, just never
worn them before for more than a few minutes."
"Not that I don't like the glasses,
but whew do the contacts make
a difference! You can see just how much of a work of art you
really are!" I hormonally bellowed. "Why did you break them out for this
evening?" I mischievously inquired.
The response was priceless. Kal was so stunned and racked with
embarrassment, he totally froze. "W-w-wel-l-l."
he stuttered. "I-I..."
He just hung his head as his cheeks burned even brighter.
"Hey! You leave my man alone."
Hela warned. "This is his big
night, and nobody is gonna mess this up for him if I have to kick some
serious ass to make sure of it." Hela did not offend me, because I
new I had crossed her line. No one would ever hurt Kal as long as
she drew breath. And to be honest, I not only respected that, I
admired her for her resolve. Kal had done a lot for her, just as
he had done for the rest of us. This was her way of paying him
back, and I was smart enough to stand out of the way.
"It's alright Hela." Kal
replied. "OK. While we
were in the car, I whipped the rain out of my hair, and Kanawha seemed
to really like it all messed up and curly. In fact, he said I
looked as sexy as can be. So, that is what's up with the
hair. My glasses were fogging up, so I took them off to clean
them. Well, he totally loved that, telling me I looked
breathtaking." he sheepishly admitted.
"Oh, gurl! Are you trying to get
you some or what?" the ever inappropriate Roe asked. "He might just jump you in the car and take
your V away, sugar."
*SMACK* "I warned you, you
perverted little slime!" Hela snarled as she prepared to pelt
Roe for a second time.
"Ouch! Bitch that hurt!"
"It wasn't meant to tickle. Now,
you will apologize to everyone in this room and then keep your mouth
shut, or the emergency room can wire it back together for you!"
"OK! OK! Sorry Kal and
company. I am just a filthy-mouthed fag who needs to learn to
keep it zipped." Roe said.
"Y-y-your mouth or your pants!"
Jew shot. Everyone, including Roe laughed at that. Just to clue you in, Jason has a
small problem with stuttering. It only happens now when he is
really excited or really nervous. When we were kids though, it
was a terrible problem. And with kids being kids, he got picked
on a whole lot. The more they picked, the worse he
stuttered. Kal, on the other hand, took to Jew immediately.
In a matter of a short time, when Jew was in smaller groups, he hardly
stuttered at all... provided Kal was with him. He drew his
from Kal, an unending supply of support, encouragement, love, and
friendship. Soon, the rest of the group followed Kal's lead and
took to Jason. With the six of us running interference, his
bullies learned to look elsewhere for their victims.
"Well, actually both, I suppose."
Roe laughed. "You know my three
biggest weaknesses: any chance to be uncouth, jewelry, and men!"
Boy, was that the truth.
Roe is what I like to call a man-whore. His DATES are just
one-time encounters, and he has those daily, sometimes even more than
once a day. I guess it is all in what you want out of life.
Some people are like Roe and live in the now, hooking up with Mr. Right
Now. Some people are like Kal, who save themselves for their destined
soul mate, content to wait it out for Mr. Right. Others are
somewhere in between. But most of them are like Roe but want to
pretend to be like Kal. One thing I can say is that at least Roe
is real, and he is honest. What you see is what you get. No
false pretenses whatsoever. He does not simply exist. He
lives life. He may not make great choices, but he is a great guy,
regardless. That's all that is really important anyway.
"So, what time is dream boy supposed
to be here?" Shaft questioned.
"Actually, any minute now. Guys,
promise me you will take it easy on him. At least give him a few
visits before you drill him. Please." he humbly
begged. We all reluctantly agreed, and Kal raised his eyebrow and
scowled. "OK, that was just way
Before anyone could respond, the doorbell rang and Kal dashed for the
door. As he peeped through the window, he stage whispered, "It's him guys! Now remember you
Kal opened the door and there he was. I have to hand it to Kal,
he definitely has fine taste. Kanawha was one gorgeous hunk of a
"WOW!" they both said
together as one looked the other over. Then they laughed.
After a few awkward moments, Kal finally found his voice. "So, you wanna come in for a few minutes." Then,
he leaned in and whispered. "They
are all dying to meet you and I don't think we will leave her alive if
we try to make a break for it now."
Kanawha chuckled. "I would love
to meet them. I hope you don't mind that I brought two uninvited
guests with me." Boy
was Kal right about his voice. M-m-m. It is the stuff
dreams are made out of.
Kal just peered out the door. "Where
are they? I don't see anyone."
"Oh, they're there alright. Over
in the bushes. They sneaked and followed me here. I guess
they were just as anxious to meet you. So, is it OK if they come
in?" he asked.
"Sure, love. Hey, that will only
leave us having to meet Nanna and Grams." Kal
replied. "Nanna will be here
"So will Grams." Kanawha
said, wiggling his eyebrows and grabbing Kal into a hug. "God, I missed you." Then, he
kissed him, and I was ready to ball. It was just so romantic the
way it happened. Kanawha then turned to the bushes and yelled, "You two can come out now. Killian
has invited you both over to play at his house."
Two figures arose from the shrubbery. "You're not mad at us, are you?" a
shaky male voice asked. "You
aren't gonna pound us or anything, right?"
"Will you just get your asses in here!" Kanawha shot. The two figures quickly
complied. Turning to Kal and the rest of us, Kanawha said. "Hello everyone. I am Kanawha
Darkstorm, in case you haven't figured that out yet, and these two are
Ethan and Jena Lafferty, my roommates and best friends."
"Hi" Ethan ventured.
"Pleasure to meet you." Jena said.
"And this, guys, is my love, Killian Anderson Lord." he
said to Jena and Ethan, as he pulled Kal into an embrace. I could tell already I was just
gonna love this Kanawha guy.
as I saw her, my mouth went dry, my palms became all sweaty, and my
stomach churned. It was just like being in the seventh grade all
over again. Jena Lafferty was the most beautiful thing I have
ever seen. She had dark red hair, not orange, but a deep RED, that
flowed half-way down her back in ringlets. Her eyes were jade,
and they pierced deep into my heart. Her skin was a pale, creamy
color, that made her hair and eyes stand out all the more. She
stood about 5'9" and was so well proportioned. She gave new
meaning to the term hour-glass shaped.
I was utterly speechless.
"It is a pleasure to meet you both,
though I feel I already know you the way Kanawha has gone on and on
about you two." Kal said as he shook both of their
hands. Oh, to be his
hand. He then turned to us and made introductions. "Love, Jena, and Ethan, this is my friends,
roommates, and family: Helaina Lené aka Hela, Michelle Lawson aka Mic,
Ryan Alexander Monroe aka Roe, and Jason Edward Wilson aka Jew from his
initials. And these two are brother/sister twins just like you
guys. This is Gabriella Nicole Romero aka Cole and her brother
Carmine Romero aka Shaft. To bring you up to speed, everyone,
except you Love, calls me Kal, which, like Jew, is from my initials."
Everyone gave their welcomes as they were introduced. I just
blushed deeply and waived my hand to them. I just knew I would
stutter if I said anything in front of her, and I did not want her to
think I was a big looser. 'Man,
this is hopeless.' I thought.
Everyone began intermingling, but Hela pulled shaft over to me and
spoke quietly. "You two have it
bad, don't you?" she inquired.
"Sh-sh-she is j-j-ju..." I
stopped and hung my head. Tears began to well up as I realized I
would never be able to approach Jena.
It really shocked me when Hela hugged me and soothed, "Oh, babe. Now don't you start.
I promise. We will get through this. Somehow, we will work
it out. Just relax and don't be nervous. That is what makes
it happen. Besides, somehow, I just know you are gonna totally
rock in her eyes. It's a woman thing. We can tell.
Trust me on this, Jew." Lovingly, she wiped the tears from
my eyes. "You know, you were
the first of Kal's recruits. I have never forgotten what he did
for me, but you were a part of it too, and I owe you big for what you
"N-n-no y-y-ou don't. W-w-we are
f-f-friends. That is what w-we do f-f-for each other." I
muttered. "I-I-I love
y-you. Th-thats why I d-d-did it."
"And that is why I am doing what I am
about to do for you. OK?" This was something new, but I
could tell Hela was completely sincere, so I agreed and did not ask any
questions. "That's my handsome
man." she said, gently stroking my face. "Don't worry about a thing. I have it
now, so let it go. Have a little faith in me, OK."
"I-I do. Y-you are m-my f-f-friend. Alw-ways. I-I-I
have t-t-total-l f-faith i-i-n you." I stuttered out. I hate it when this happens.
I feel like a mutant, and I know I sound like I am completely without
any wit at all. All those years of people laughing at me,
putting me down. You just don't know how awful it
makes you feel to be ridiculed, much less because of something so
completely beyond your control. And adults are just as bad, if not
worse than kids were to me growing up. I pray so hard every day
that God will help me overcome this little disability of mine, and I
can be normal for a
change. But, then I think of how so many people are way worse off
than I am, like the ones we help at the mission, and I ask God to
forgive me for being so selfish. It is just really hard
sometimes, always living life on the outside.
"I know you do, babe. I promise,
we will get past this. Just hang in there." She
comforted. Then Hela turned to Shaft. "Now, what about you?"
"Oh, Hela. I mean, you saw
him. Ethan is just so hot. And he is my size, too.
I don't think he will be interested in me. I'm pretty sure he is
gay, but that does not mean he will want to have anything to do with
me. And I could not start something up without telling him
first. Then, I am sure he would walk away and never look
back. But, suppose by some slim chance he went out with me. How
would I know it's not because of guilt or pity? I don't want to be
anyones good deed." Shaft sulked.
"Like I told Jew, just have a little
faith in me. I promise we will get through this, together. OK?"
Hela had a resolve in her as she said, "Now
come on guys, let's go mingle. We wanna make a good impression
for Kal." I knew immediately that she had some kind of a
plan forming in her mind.
Kal looked so nice.
Well, actually, he looked like he had stepped right out of the pages of
a men's catalog. Then, when I saw him with Kanawha, I could tell
just how made for each other they really were. 'Now that is one
lovely couple.' I smiled to myself. I was just wondering if the
heavens above would ever give me a chance to find love when in walked
Ethan Lafferty. What a sight he was to behold.
Ethan stood around 5'7" tall, which is perfect for me, seeing as I am
the same size. He had on a pair of low-rise jeans and a blue
wife-beater. His skin was golden brown and completely flawless.
His shoulder-length light blond hair was almost white from the sun's
bleaching, and it was tossed about, loosely falling over his forehead
and left eye. His lips were thin, and when he smiled, his big
white teeth illuminated the room. He was very fit, and he had a
really nice bubble butt.
But, the most striking thing about him was his eyes. They were
just so unusual... a warm tan, almost golden color like my cat Aaron
had, back when I was growing up. They pierced the veils of my
heart and beckoned me to follow him.
Evidently, I was not the only one awestruck by one of the Lafferty
twins, because Jew was beside himself over Jena. Slowly, Jew
pushed himself further and further away from the group towards the back
of the room, trying desperately to become one with the rear wall.
Hela grabbed my arm and drew me with her as she approached him. I
just knew she was gonna start something, but I was shocked to find that
she only wanted to help us.
Poor Jew was suffering so from his affliction. If anyone could
understand what he was going through, though, I could. What
chance did either of us honestly have? We are both realistic.
People would make fun of him, if not to his face, surly behind his
back. As for me, well my affliction would cause people to handle
me with kit gloves. Most people would simply run when they found
out about either of us. Sure, they would be nice and act as
it were no big deal, but you would never see them again once they were
gone. With the exception of our friends, the few that remained,
well they only did so as a means to feel better about themselves... the
good Samaritans doing their civic duty. Neither of us wanted
that. We did not want to be someone's cause. Jew wanted
someone who would see the wonderful person that he is, not his
stuttering. I just wanted somebody to love who love me because I
was me, not because of... well, I just don't even wanna go there right
now. But, we both had learned that the reality of our situation
was beyond hope. We were destined to be either shunned or
Hela urged us both to have faith in her as she provided counsel to our
emotional needs. She had a plan brewing in her head, that was for
certain. I just resolved that a man without hope has nothing, so
I willingly placed it all into her hands. Hela then told us to go
mingle, for Kal's sake. Of course, she knew that we would do
anything for Kal. He is just one special guy.
Jena and Ethan had commented on the house, and Hela suggested Kal take
them on a tour. She grabbed Kanawha by the arm and told him he
could stay and keep us company. I guess he realized it was his
time on the firing range, but he took it like a trooper. He told
Kal to go on without him, giving him a rather long, passionate
kiss. Kal then led Jena and the lovely Ethan upstairs to tour the
old hotel which we called home.
Once they were out of ear shot, Hela seated Kanawha on the sofa.
Everyone gathered around, and she began her interrogation. "So, what do you think of our little Kal?"
"He is the most remarkable person I
have ever met. I mean, sure he is hands down the most attractive
guy I have ever seen, but there is so much more to his beauty than
that. I don't know what it is, but just being near him has
changed me, somehow. He makes me want to be a better person, and
I think he has made me more of the person I should be, if that makes
any sense." he replied.
We all laughed and agreed, sharing our experiences with what we have
coined The Kal
Effect. Kanawha beamed with love and pride as he learned
more about the man he has come to love. I could tell, he was
scoring points big time from us all, including Hela. Just by his
reactions, it was so obvious the love he felt for our friend, which put
us all at ease. The biggest points he scored, however was when he
answered Roe's question. "So,
what are your intentions towards our little Kal?"
Without any hesitation at all, Kanawha responded. "I have thought about him all day,
replaying everything in my mind over and over again. I honestly
do not understand why or how he could possibly choose to love me. And yet, he does, with all of his
heart and soul. Of that, I have no doubts." He
paused, as tears began to flow down his cheeks. "God knows I do not deserve him, but I plan
to live each day trying to be worthy of that love. And if I can
give him back but just a fraction of the happiness and joy he has
brought to me, then I know that day was not spent in vein. What
are my intentions? I intend to devote my life to Killian... and
love him with everything there is within me... praying that in every
moment which passes, that capacity to love grows, if only to offer him
more love... and to thank God for each blessed day he gives me to spend
with the man I love."
Weeping, Hela drew Kanawha into her arms. "See that you do." she said softly. "I really like you, and I can see
why Kal loves you so, but he is very special to me. Take care of
my little man, because if you ever hurt him... or cause him one moment
of pain or sorrow... with my dying breath, I will make you sorry you
were ever born. I pray it never comes to that, but I mean every
word of what I say."
"I pray it doesn't either."
Kanawha softly said, kissing Hela on the forehead. "He is so lucky to have a friend like you
to watch over him. And, I can tell that you love him."
"Honey, we all do. And, in that,
I include you." Hela replied.
As the two hugged, Kal questioned. "So, does this mean he passed?"
Behind Kal, Jena arrived. Then, the world was once again
illuminated by the presence of Ethan.
"With flying colors." Hela
Kanawha. You have our blessings." Looking at her
watch, she cautioned, "Hey, you best
be leaving guys, or you are gonna be late."
Everyone said their goodbyes and the eight friends watched the
two lovers leave for their night of romance. Hela then invited
Ethan and Jena to stay. Ethan laughed what a joyful sound it was, "Hey,
we can all wait up here and act like the furious parents when they get
back!" Everyone laughed and agreed. Now two plans
were in motion, Ethan's and Hela's.
Everyone was rather jovial about my good news. Nanna killed me
when she warned me not to leave Hela alone with Kanawha if I ever
wanted to see him alive again. She is so funny, and she is
shining example of how lively elderly people really are. I was
rather calm getting ready for our date, but I guess I usually am.
Sure, sometimes I can get all bent out of shape, but it honestly does
not last for very long. The way I see it is that life is what you
make of it. Anyway, I decided to break out my contacts and
wear my hair all curly and messy, seeing as how Kanawha reacted to
these things earlier. I
really do not understand what all he sees in me. I am just a
plain-Jane kind of guy... Nothing special to look at really. I
eat a balanced diet and exercise, but I am far from a knock-out or
anything like that. I know that everyone seems to think I am
charismatic or something, but I am not. I just have faith in
people. Deep down, I think everyone wants to love and be loved in
return, so people are really good at heart by nature. I think that if
you are willing to trust them, people will guard that trust. So
far, no one has ever let me down enough to change my views upon
that. I know that we are all both good and bad, but I believe
that the good in each of us far outweighs the bad. Now, I am not
naive enough to believe that evil does not exist, because it
does. But is there really more evil in the world than good?
I know that all you hear about on the news is the bad stuff, but the
news caters to its audience. In one day in a man's life, 1000
good things can happen along with one thing he sees as negative, and
all you will hear about is that one negative thing. I choose to
celebrate the 1000 good things that happen, because to me, they far
outweigh the one negative thing. And no matter how bad the
situation gets, there is always something for which to be thankful...
just something to think about.
I got quite a reaction when I came downstairs, and an even better one
from Kanawha when I answered the door. Man, was he a
vision! He had on a well-tailored black tux with sapphire blue
gold cuff links, which coordinated with his sapphire blue tie and
cumber bun. Boy did that bring out his eyes. It was so
the way he hugged me and told me he had missed me, and that kiss was
extremely nice. Ethan and Jena seemed to fit right in with the
group, but I noticed that Jew and Shaft had a rather strong reaction to
the twins. I just hoped it would work out for them. Lord
knows, if anyone deserves to be happy, it is those two.
Hela played divide and conquer, so I took Ethan and Jena on a
tour. They gave me the grilling I knew Kanawha was getting.
They asked me a lot of really good questions, and seemed to like my
answers. I think the one that won them over was when Ethan asked
me what my plans were for the future. I responded, "Kanawha is my future, my destiny. He
is every hope, every dream, I have had personified. My plans are
to spend every second of my life devoted to him, the man I love... to
make every moment count as if it were our last... to give him hope if
ever he feels discouraged, faith if ever he feels lost, and love above
all else. Look, I really don't know why he loves me, but I do
know why I love him. And every time I think of him, or even hear
his name, I am reminded why I am the most blessed man on this
earth. I have a wonderful man who loves me, unconditionally, with
every fiber of his being... and until my last breath, I will honor
that love, returning it with all that I have to give."
Jena just smirked and said, "Damn!
Your good. We give you a loaded question, and you hit the nail on
"So, does this mean you like me?"
me around in a circle. "Well, let's just say that the big guy has
fine taste in picking out his mate."
I blushed, of course, and Jena giggled, "Lord, what is it with you guys? You
embarrass so easily."
Ethan gave me a hug and said, "Welcome
to our little family. I think you are gonna fit in fine.
But, there is one warning."
"Stormy has had enough pain in his
life for 100 people. If you ever hurt him, we will hunt you down,
and then things get ugly. Just don't let it ever come to that."
With the inquisition over, we headed down the stairs. I suddenly
remembered what Nanna said about leaving Kanawha alone with Hela, and
was really starting to feel a touch of panic. What a relief to
see Kanawha kiss her head as they embraced. "So, does this mean he passed?" I
"With flying colors." Hela
Kanawha, you have our blessings." She then noticed the
time and told us we better get going.
We walked to the car, and Kanawha opened my door for me and then closed
it once I was seated. 'What a gentleman!' I noted to
myself. As we made our departure, I had to laugh at the eight of
them standing on the porch watching us leave. I wondered if they
would still be standing there when we returned. It was like we
had eight anxious parents waiting for their baby boys to come back
home. I shared this image with Kanawha, who also found it
We drove in relative silence. It was not an awkward silence, just
a pleasant stillness, one where you just enjoy being with the one you
love. Kanawha gently stroked my hand as it rested in his.
At every traffic stop, he would lean over and kiss me. I was so
glad there are a bunch of stop signs and traffic lights in my part of
Raven Cliff. We parked in the parking garage just down the street
from the theater. The musical, written by an acquaintance from
university, was called A KISS SAYS IT ALL. 'Well, that has proved to be true in my
experience' I mused to myself.
Kanawha again showed his chivalry and opened my door for me. We
then walked to the theater hand-in-hand, soliciting many stares from
passers-by. I will say that no one made a comment about it.
But, honestly, would you say
something out of the way to Kanawha? So, I was not
"Well, love, here we are." he
"I hope you like musicals. I
really enjoy them, but if you don't, it will not offend me. We
can easily do something else. I would be content to sit and watch
the grass grow, so long as I have your company." I commented.
"Oh, now that is sweet of you."
he said, taking my hand to his lips and kissing it gently. "But, honestly, I enjoy a good
musical. I have not been to one in a couple of years,
though. Grams and I used to go to them a lot when she came to
visit, but now Ethan has her hooked on PS2, so most of her recent
visits were spent playing some mindless game. Sometimes, I just
wonder about her." he chuckled. "I was really excited when you
suggested it, and I hear this one is fantastic. Elliot Hoffman
wrote it, a guy I know from the university... well, we had a few
classes together over the years."
"Yea. He seems like a nice
guy. I heard it was really romantic." I started, then
blushed, realizing that my ulterior motives for the musical had been
But, Kanawha spared me any embarrassment. "Then it should make for a lovely
evening. An excellent choice for our date, my love." Then,
of course, he kissed me... right there in line with well over 600
people... and I could have cared less what one of them had to say...
because I was totally into that kiss. When we broke the kiss, the
line had moved quite a bit, so we had to move up a ways to catch back
up to the line.
I gave the man our tickets as we approached the front of the line, and
he gave us our programs and started with general directions to where we
were seated. I explained that these were patron of the arts seats
(it is a program where you pay a flat fee and have the same seats for
two showings of each production throughout the year. They were a
Christmas present from the guys.), and he thanked me for my supporting
the arts. Kanawha and I purchased bottled water (at $3.00 each, I
might add), and headed for our seats.
The view was fantastic in our little two-seater balcony (My friends
believe I deserve the best for some reason.), and the acoustics of the
theater were superb. We snuggled together through the course of
the production, as Kanawha wrapped his arm around me and I leaned my
head against his manly chest. What an emotional roller coaster
that was. It was such a good blend of humor, sorrow, and
romance. Suffice to say, the musical was everything we had heard
and more. It definitely paved the way for a romantic dinner for
two, though I still had no Idea where we were going to eat.
Kanawha said it was a surprise.
As we droned our way in the exit line, I noticed it. The
sign. I knew that sign all too well. I guess I should explain this a
little. Remember when Valerie said that I had a gift similar to
her own. Well... how to explain it... hmm... well, I guess the
best way is to say that I see the writing on the wall. It is in a
language I do not know, nor do I know what language it even is, but I
can somehow interpret the meaning. The glowing symbols just
appear in front of me sometimes. It is not predictable or
anything like Valerie's gift, because I don't think hers ever shuts
itself off. Mine just happens every now and again, usually when
something needs to be done or in times of crisis. The symbol meant danger, and the fact
that it was glowing red meant that it was very serious. I pulled
Kanawha's arm with my free hand to bring us to a stop.
"Love, what's wrong? You look
like you have seen a ghost or something." he inquired.
"I don't know, but there is danger
near. Trust me. Be extra careful, and stay close to
me. If I get anything else, I will let you know." He
looked kind of puzzled, but accepted my words without question.
As we began to exit the theater, another symbol appeared before me, but
I did not know what this symbol meant. It consisted of four ovals
that were joined overlappingly as one, with no starting or ending
point. The oval closest to myself began to glow a bright
blue. I turned to Kanawha, but the symbol moved with my line of
vision. The oval that was closest to Kanawha began to glow now,
turning a crimson red. I was really worried, but I did not want
to unduly alarm him, especially not knowing what the symbol
meant. But, somehow, I was certain that he was the one in
danger. Maybe it was the fact that the oval nearest him was
red. Everything in me just said to watch out and protect
We were walking in the alley ready to enter the parking garage when the
symbol of danger appeared again. I froze in my tracks. "Danger." I warned, looking around
everywhere in search of some clue. I then turned to Kanawha, who
turned to look at me.
Suddenly, he tensed up. "Someone
is here." He said. "I
can feel him. Don't ask me how, but I can feel him, and he's
close by." He let go of my hand and took a few steps off
to the side, casting his gaze about the area. The unknown symbol
stretched out in front of me. My oval was glowing blue, while
Kanawha's was glowing red. Suddenly, the oval opposite my own
began to glow in violet. Before I could say a word, Kanawha
pointed in that exact direction. "There.
He is there."
>From out of the shadows, a masked man stepped forth. Symbols
appeared all around him. "Kanawha!
Don't move. He has a gun!" I shouted.
"So I do." the stranger stated
coldly. He then withdrew his pistol and aimed it back and forth
between Kanawha and myself. "And
I am not afraid to use it."
Kanawha edged his way back to me, moving himself in front to protect
me. I placed my hand on his shoulder and moved around him. "No love. It is I who must protect
you." There was no argument, for Kanawha was frozen in
place, probably from shock or fear.
"Look, I will give you whatever you want. Just don't hurt him,
OK." I pleaded.
The stranger began to slowly move forward, and I stepped closer to him
as I attempted to place a buffer zone between the stranger and Kanawha. He hissed, "Well isn't that just sweet.
Protecting... HIM!" I was not for sure, but I felt as if he had
recognized Kanawha for some reason, which seemed to only fuel his rage,
for the danger symbol grew even brighter. "The little guy is pleading for a
deal while the big, tough guy is scared shitless." he shouted
in anger, then looked at Kanawha. "What a pathetic looser!"
"Look, I will give you everything I
have, just please, please don't hurt him." Despite my
resolve to keep a brave front, I began to weep as visions of Kanawha's
death flashed before my eyes.
"Why? What is so special about
him? He is standing there, frozen in fear, leaving you totally
unprotected. Why worry about him?" he taunted.
"Because I love him. He is my
whole life. I am begging you, please don't hurt him. If you
are going to use that gun, then shoot me, but please, leave my love
"Love? Oh, gag! Like
you mean any of that shit." He growled.
"I would gladly die for him."
I softly said.
"You really mean that, Don't you?"
he stated, more than asked. I looked him in the eye and quietly
shook my head yes. His rage seemed to decrease, and the danger
symbol began to dim slightly. I read the symbols about him,
searching for the key, trying to find something to defuse the situation.
"Look, I know that you are
hurting. Being alone is a horrible thing. Believe me, I
know." I said softly. "So
does Kanawha. Our lives have been anything but easy.
Finally, though, we have found a little piece of happiness in one
another. Please, you can have whatever you want. Just don't
take that happiness away."
He was now standing before me. "WHAT?
And that is supposed to do WHAT? Make me feel pity for you?" He
studied me eye to eye for a moment, then softly said, "What about me?" His resolve was
beginning to waiver as he contemplated his own question. Then, he
studied Kanawha for a moment. As he turned to face me, the symbol
for danger began to glow brighter and brighter as his rage
rekindled. "Do you think HE
would feel pity for ME?" he shouted. He drew up the
gun and pointed it towards Kanawha. Rushing towards him, he
yelled, "How would you feel if I just
blew your brains out right now?"
I moved to stop him, but, alas, I was too late to save my love...
get to have my say! So, I was excited for Kal in finding
love, but I was kind of saddened at the same time. I have devoted
a part of myself to watching out for him, and I was worried that he
might not need me anymore. I knew it was silly, but I was worried
none the less. It sounded as though he had quite an adventure
today. I just could not wait to meet this Kanawha fellow and give
him the once over. As Kal stood before us in his formal wear, I
felt such pride, like I was his mother or something.
Hehehe! I guess I act like I am his mother most of the
time. Maybe that is why I thought to myself that my baby boy was
all grown up.
When Kanawha arrived, I was rather impressed. My little man has
excellent taste for sure. Kanawha started winning me over the
moment he hugged Kal up and said, "God
I missed you." When they kissed, I could feel myself
starting to swoon. When I finally got to divide and conquer, I
was happy that Kanawha passed the test. He is truly in love with
Kal, and I think I really like him.
Now, Ethan and Jena were an added bonus. Matches made for two
more of my special little guys. Jew and Shaft seemed so lost in
desperation, but I could see the pangs of love radiating from their
eyes. I knew if it were to happen, I would need to take action,
because those two had all but given up on love a long time ago. I
could see two lovely little pairings in the making, and I was the bitch
to get the job done right. My aim in talking to Jew and Shaft was
to let them know that I understood, and that I was there for
them. Not only that, but I was gonna move heaven and earth to
push love on its course.
philosophy on life is this. There are three kinds of people in
this world: drivers, passengers, and passers-by. Drivers
took charge of life and made things happen. Passengers allowed
life to take them where it may and let things happen. Passers-by
were totally clueless and just sat around wondering what the hell
happened. I am a driver for sure, and that night, my intended
destination was to drop these four turkeys off at Lover's Lane.
With Kal and Kanawha out of the way, it was time to get things
going. Roe, as annoying as he is, can read me really well, and he
knew what I had in mind. He suggested we have a movie
night. He dragged Cole and the boys upstairs to the movie room to
get things ready. That left Ethan and Jena with Mic and me in the
kitchen preparing snacks, a perfect partner for my little plan. He is a cleaver little shit sometimes, I
will give him that much.
Ethan, do you know your way around a kitchen?" I asked.
"I do OK, I guess. Jena and I do
all the cooking at home. The big guy could not cook to save his
life. He even makes a lousy bowl of cereal." He
joked. "Honestly, one time, he
burned boiled eggs. Yep, he let the water boil out of the pan,
and then the pan caught fire."
Jena added, "And he ruined one of my
good pans with that little stunt. So, I set down the ground rules
to the kitchen after that. Stormy can fix anything that requires
no cooking or is a microwavable dinner with instructions on the
box. Otherwise, he waits for us to cook or he gets take
out. Say, now this is a kitchen!" She enthused as we
entered the kitchen. Being an old hotel, we had a restaurant
sized kitchen. We modernized it as we did repairs, but it still
has a large, old fashioned cook stove that burns wood and coal.
It's great for when the power is out, though I like to use it for
biscuits and cornbread as well.
"So, what do you guys want to snack
on?" Mic started. "I
know Jew likes diced up pepperoni and pepper jack cheese cubes."
"M-m-m. That sounds pretty good."
Jena replied. "Add a few rye
crackers, and I am there!"
"Well, then," Mic responded, "I'll leave that one up to you...
Pepperoni and the cheese are in the fridge, and the crackers are in the
left-hand cabinet just beside it... I
know Jew will be happy enough with the snacks that he will not care if
we watch some girly movies. He is the only straight boy in the
house. Then, we will only have to worry about Ethan, here."
'Roe, if I wasn't worried about
getting sepsis, I would kiss you.' I smiled to myself.
"Oh, no problems here. I am quite
fluent in Fag." He laughed.
"Well, if you ever need a date, we
have two left to choose from." I slid in.
"So, is Sha... I mean, are they
both single?" he asked, showing a little heat from embarrassment.
"Well, Roe is single about 22 hours
out of the day. The other two hours, he is hooked up with his
latest conquest. Shaft, on the other hand, has never really dated
anyone, well not since we met in seventh grade anyway."
"Really?" Ethan asked, a little
'Hell! I will have to give you
a kiss for that one, Roe.' I tallied to myself.
"Yea. He is a great guy, just a
bit gun shy is all. Jew is the same way, and he is such a
doll. If things were different, I would have surely made a play
Ethan, can you cut up some fruit in the bowl behind you there on the
counter. Thanks... As it turns out, though, I met Thomas
four years ago, and we have been happily married for 2 1/2 years now. Being an active
duty marine, he is currently oversees serving a tour in Korea. He
will hopefully get to come home for Thanks Giving. Lord, I miss
him... Hela, if you cut up some
veggies, I will make us that spinach dip you like so much... But,
I have always found Jew to be adorable. Hey, I may be married,
but I 'm not blind. Not that I would ever betray my husband or
anything." Mic added.
"Well, I think he is kind of cute, I
guess." Ethan said.
"Kind of cute? He is a total
babe!" Jena corrected.
"HA! Got ya!" he
taunted. "I knew you had a
thing for him!" he gloated.
"Oh, like your bulging eyes for Shaft
were SO not noticeable." Jena shot.
Ethan blushed deeply and hung his head. "Was it that obvious?"
"Yes!" the three of us replied.
"I am SO glad I am gay!" he
glared at us, and we just laughed.
"Oh, don't worry, Ethan. I
thought it was cute. Besides, I think he was kind of checking you
out, anyways." I said matter-of-factly.
"Really? Wow! And he is my
size!" Ethan bubbled.
"A match made in heaven, if you ask
I coyly stated.
Jena sighed. "Well, Jew avoided
me like the plague. Am I man-poison or something?"
I just chuckled. "No. You
just have to know Jew. When he gets really nervous, he backs away
and gets really quiet. The moment he laid eyes on you, he was
"So, how do I get him to relax and
quit running from me?" she asked.
Then, inspiration hit me, and I knew exactly what to do. "You just leave that one up to me.
Trust me, this one will be easy."
I was so mesmerized by his beauty as soon as he answered the
door. Immediately, I noticed the hair and contacts. 'Now, how sweet is that!' I noted
to myself, knowing that Killian was trying to please me. He
looked so incredible in his formals. But truth be known, he would
look incredible no matter what he wore. Ethan and Jena, of
course, followed me, thinking they were some kind of secret agents or
something, like I would not notice that bright yellow car of
hers. Anyways, I introduced them to Killian and the rest of his
friends. Killian then introduced his crew to us. I noticed
that Ethan and Jena were awestruck by two of his roommates, Jew and
Shaft. I just hoped it worked out for them. Everyone seemed
very nice, and I think we three fit in well with them. I really
liked Hela, even though she grilled me. If the situation were
reversed, I would have been much worse on her.
As we drove to the theater, I took advantage of every stop in traffic
to kiss my beloved. My hormones were roaring in overdrive by the
time we parked the car. I think Killian appreciated my southern
gentleman qualities as I opened his door for him. If it bothered
him, he never indicated as such. Hand-in-hand, we left the
parking garage and walked through the alley way to the street.
Then, we headed up to the theater. I have to say that people can
be so judgmental sometimes. The stares we received for holding
hands was kind of annoying. But, at least no one said anything
out of the way to us.
love, here we are."
I said, breaking our comfortable silence.
Killian studied me a
moment and then replied. "I hope
you like musicals. I really
enjoy them, but if you don't, it will not offend me. We can
something else. I would be content to sit and watch the grass
long as I have your company."
now that is sweet of you." I smiled. 'Lord, I am
so lucky to have this man!' I reminded myself. Taking his
my lips, I gently kissed his fingers. "But,
honestly, I enjoy a good musical. I have not been to one in a
of years, though. Grams and I used to go to them a lot when she
visit, but now Ethan has her hooked on PS2, so most of her recent
visits were spent playing some mindless game. Sometimes, I just
about her." I joked. "I
was really excited when you suggested it, and I hear this one is
fantastic. Elliot Hoffman wrote it, a guy I know from the
university... well, we had a few classes together over the years."
He seems like a nice guy. I heard it was really romantic." Killian blushed, which made
me aware that he had ulterior motives to the musical.
'Hey, I am totally game
for a little romance with my Love.' I thought honestly, so I just found
that to be even sweeter. "Then it
should make for a lovely evening. An excellent choice for our
date, my love."
At that point, I just had to kiss him. However, there was no
embarrassment about public displays of affection this time. I did
not care who saw it or what they had to say about it. I was
kissing the man that I loved regardless. The line had moved
considerably during the kiss, so we had to play catch up. Killian presented our
tickets, and the man gave us our programs. As he began to explain
our seating locations, Killian explained that these were patron of the
seats, so the guy thanked him for his supporting the arts.
We then got two bottles of water, and Killian grumbled about the price,
which I just found amusing. 'He
and Grams will get along fine' I inwardly laughed. 'She is big on pinching the pennies, too.'
Killian had scored us
some very posh seats, to say the least. As the program began, we
snuggled together as he lay his head on my chest, wrapped up in my
arms. The musical was truly a masterpiece, a great blend of
emotional themes. I was so ready for our little romantic dinner,
and I hoped he liked my little surprise. I made special
arrangements and would not tell him where we were going.
We were in the exit line,
when he brought us abruptly to a halt. I noticed a look of panic
come over Killian. "Love,
what's wrong? You look like
you have seen a ghost or something." I asked.
"I don't know, but there is danger
near. Trust me. Be extra careful, and stay close to
me. If I get
anything else, I will let you know." he responded.
I was immediately reminded of Valerie's words concerning one of
Killian's gifts, so I became cautious. 'Why now?' I questioned to
myself. He acted strangely when we first made it out of the
theater, but never said anything was wrong, so I did not ask.
We walked down the street and entered the alley way towards the parking
garage, when he again warned, "Danger." He was looking
around everywhere for some sign of the danger he was sensing.
We turned to look at one another. Suddenly, my body tensed up as
I felt a presence. "Someone is
here." I told him. Somehow, I could feel the
presence of another man within our proximity. "I can feel him. Don't ask me how,
but I can feel him, and he's close by." I released his
hand and walked a few paces about, relying on this new sense to help me
find this presence. Then, I felt it again, but way stronger this
time, and I knew where he was "There.
He is there." I said, pointing to the shadows across the
He then stepped from the shadows, clad in a full-face toboggan.
"Kanawha! Don't move. He
has a gun!" Killian shouted.
"So I do." The stranger
menacingly stated. He then withdrew his pistol, waiving it back
and forth between Killian and myself. "And I am not afraid to use it."
I carefully moved back to Killian, placing him behind me so as to
protect him. He then touched my shoulder and moved around
me. "No love. It is I who
Before I could argue, a voice beckoned, "BE SILENT AND STILL." and I found
myself unable to move or respond. The voice spoke again. "HAVE FAITH AND TRUST YOUR SENSES."
I was really freaking out, but the voice then said, "NOW, REMEMBER."
Immediately, my reoccurring dream ran through my mind. As I
at the scene in front of me, I saw Killian and the strange man.
Then it happened. It is so hard to describe it in words. I
could feel this energy all around me, and it moved forth to rest in
front of me. The aura of this energy began to take shape and
there in front of me was the image of a grizzly bear, standing tall,
ready to strike. I could then see energy swirling around Killian
and the stranger, and it too began to take shape. All about
Killian stood the image of a fox, and about the stranger stood a
badger. I had no idea what was happening to me, and I was
A calmness fell around me, as the voice once again repeated, "HAVE FAITH AND TRUST YOUR SENSES." The
lower part of my abdomen began to burn and shot with pain. The
pain grew stronger and burned throughout my body. I was assaulted
by emotions: rage, fear, sorrow, desperation, betrayal, shame,
hurt, and a terrible loneliness. The emotions grew more and more
intense as the strange man drew closer. The bear moved back and
was about me once again, its energy coursing through my veins.
The dawning of revelation came upon me, and I finally understood.
The stranger raised his gun up to my head, and at that instant, my body
With a speed I have never before possessed, I lashed out at the man's
hand. The blow knocked the gun free as it went sailing across the
alley. Just as quickly, I grabbed the man with both hands. "How do I feel? HOW DO I FEEL?"
my voice bellowed. I knew what must be done. I drew the
stranger into me, embracing him close to my chest. "Sorry. I am so, so very sorry."
I could feel his pain, his sorrow, his hurt, his shame, all the
negative emotions that have plagued this poor guys life. As the
emotions reached their apex, release came, and we fell to our knees,
while I held him close to me. "And
I feel ashamed that I added to your pain today, little guy.
Please, forgive me." He began to weep, lying in my arms,
and I shared in his tears. "That's
it little man, let it all out. You're safe now. I'm here
for you. Just let it go." He cried a lifetime's
worth of tears, pulling me tightly into his embrace.
Killian rubbed my shoulder, and I looked up to him and smiled.
Tears flowed from his eyes, as I knew he was giving thanks for our
survival. I reached up and took his hand, drawing him down with
us into the huddle. As he embraced us, Killian rubbed the little
guys back, looking into my eyes questioningly. The little fellow
seemed to have calmed down some, so I raised him forward slightly and
removed his mask. "It's him."
I explained to Killian. "The
kid we met today in the university gardens."
Killian rolled his eyes and looked upwards, saying a small
prayer. When finished, he stood and pulled the little guy up to
his feet. He placed an arm around his shoulder and lifted the
little guys chin. "I think we
need to talk." He said calmly.
... because, in that instant, he had already saved himself. As
the stranger put the gun up to Kanawha's head, his hand flew up and
knocked the gun across the alley. In a blur, he grabbed the guy
up by his shirt. "How do I
feel? HOW DO I FEEL?" he bellowed. Then his voice
became so soft and tender. "Sorry.
I am so, so very sorry." he admitted as he drew the guy into an
embrace. The two then fell to their knees, as Kanawha added, "And I feel ashamed that I added to your
pain today, little guy. Please, forgive me." The two
began to cry as the emotional pain this guy felt was released. "That's it little man, let it all
out. You're safe now. I'm here for you. Just let it
go." and the stranger began to wail.
The sign of danger grew dim and disappeared, as the symbols about the
stranger changed, indicating things were now safe. I rubbed
Kanawha's shoulder as I thanked God for leading us through this
ordeal. My love took my hand and pulled me to them. I
embraced Kanawha with one arm, and rubbed the little guys back with the
other. I could tell something major had happened to Kanawha
during his 'time out,' and I knew he was aware of something else, so I
looked at him questioningly. It all made complete sense when he
removed the guys mask and explained, "It's
him. The kid we met today in the university gardens."
I looked above for guidance, and then arose to my feet. I studied
the symbols before me carefully and they confirmed my thoughts. I
pulled the young man up to his feet and draped my arm around him.
I lifted his chin and looked him in the eyes. "I think we need to talk." I
He kept trying to look away, but I kept bringing his eyes back to my
own. I could tell he was deeply ashamed for his actions, this act
of desperation. "I 'm real sorry
about all this. Truly I am." His eyes filled with
tears. "I was desperate.
I needed some money, or they were gonna hurt me."
"Who was going to hurt you?" I
asked, already knowing the answer from my reading.
"There's this gang of guys. If
you don't give 'em money every week, they hurt you... " he
trailed off in fear and shame. "Normally,
I get lucky begging for food money. But, not this week. I
have to have it to 'em by 10:30, or they'll come lookin' for me.
One of the kids last week didn't pay up. They found him yesterday
at the trash dump, beaten to death."
My heart ached for him, but I knew I had to hold my resolve and play
this out. "So, you decided to
rob us, is that right?" I asked calmly.
"Look, I don't wanna die. I
really wasn't gonna hurt nobody. The gun ain't even loaded."
he rebutted. "I was just gonna
take what I needed, just fifty bucks. You guys looked like you
could've afforded that much." He stopped and looked at
Kanawha. "When I got close
enough to see you guys, I recognized ya, and I got real mad."
"I am sorry about today. I feel
just awful about it." Kanawha replied. "Hey, why did you say those things and try
to hit me to begin with?" he asked the question I was
wondering myself at that moment.
"Look, every time I see ya, you look
at me like I am some low-life trash. I'm just a kid. I
can't help it that I ain't rich." he retorted.
"I don't think I have ever seen you
before today." Kanawha stated.
"Yea, ya have. We see each other
almost every day. And it is always the same look you give
me. Like I am disgusting and you are so much better'n me."
he shot. "Well, I thought I'd
return the favor today when I saw ya bein' all touchy feely with him."
he said, pointing to me. "I
figured that most people look down on that sorta stuff, so I was in a
position to look down on you for once. Truth is, I don't really
care 'bout that, you two bein' together and all. I have too many
other things to worry 'bout,
like my next meal and stuff."
"Again, I can only apologize for my
actions towards you. I hope you can forgive me."
said, obviously saddened by the effects his previous actions.
"Its OK." he said.
Then he cast his gaze back to me. "Like I said, I really wasn't gonna hurt
ya', but I got all mad. I'm real sorry about that now though."
"Let me say this, and you just think
about it. Now granted, you told us the gun was not loaded, and I
believe you. But what if one of the two of us had a gun, and ours
was loaded. What if we were so frightened that you were going to
hurt us, that we shot you?" he thought about that a moment
and shivered. I continued, "Yea.
Guns are weapons. They are not toys. Weapons are used to
defend, protect, hurt, kill, and destroy. In every instance there,
someone gets hurt or dies." I let that sink in a
moment. "Now, as far as needing
the money, I understand your motivations, but it is still wrong to take
something from someone else, regardless if they can afford it or
not. There are other ways to get money, you know." I
"I don't wanna do that stuff.
Some of the kids do that, but I don't wanna do that." he said,
his eyes getting really big, and I quietly thanked God this poor kid
had not traveled down that path.
"He is not talking about hustling,
kid." Kanawha explained. "What
about getting a job, or doing legal things for people, like mowing lawns?"
"Who'd hire me?" he said
sadly. "If I came to your
house and knocked on your door, just wantin' to see if you'd let me cut
your grass, what would you do? Look at me." he said,
with his arms raised, turning about in a circle. "You would call the police, not even
botherin' to answer your door. You'd think I was some low-life
thug tryin' to rob you or somethin'." My heart
broke knowing what he said was true.
"Is there no one at home to turn to?
No one in your family?" I asked, again knowing the answer.
"What family? What home?
Look, I don't have nobody. I live on the streets. They put
me in those state homes, but the streets are better'n living
there. They've got so many of us orphans to look after, they
prob'ly never even noticed I's gone. No one came lookin for me
anyway." he sadly answered.
"Well," Kanawha said, "We'll just have to see what we can do
about that. Right now, though, I am kinda hungry. We were
on our way to go eat when we ran back into you."
"Oh, right." he said, looking
to the ground. "Well, maybe
I'll see ya' around sometime." and he started to slowly saunter
"Well, kid." Kanawha beckoned.
"Are you not coming with us?"
He turned around, looking both shocked and excited. "You mean it? After what I did?
You want me to come with you?"
"To dinner for starters." I
answered. "To live, if you like."
"WHAT?" he exclaimed.
"Yea, kid. WE WANT YOU.
There is just
something very special about you. Somehow, I know we will never
able to live our lives without you being there with us."
He ran and hugged us both, tears streaming from his eyes OK, tears were
streaming from all our eyes. Kanawha kissed his forehead,
headless of the dirt and grime that covered our little man. "Well, kid, I think you are a little bit
too old to be called kid, so I was wondering if you had a name."
I looked at Kanawha as if to say 'What?
You mean you have to ask? You don't know?', but his
responsive look assured me that he did. Not surprisingly at all,
the kid answered. "My name is
Chance. Chance Samuel Givens."
that wraps up chapter two. Thanks for reading, and please let me
know what you think. Chapter three will be coming soon.