Those Golden Eyes
"Good morning, Clyde, Dave Gates here."
"Good morning. What can I do for you this morning, Dave?"
"I've been thinking about what I would do if I was nineteen years old and had a large amount of money just handed to me. I'd probably go bananas buying everything that I could think of. We need to set up this money up in a trust for Pete where there is some control on the amount that he can spend each year until he's mature enough to handle it sensibly."
"Dave you're a wise man, and a very caring one too. To just hand that money to the boy would be very unkind. It would warp his sense of value, probably beyond repair. Doing what your suggesting will help him learn to use the money properly and in the long run he will thank you for it. In what increments would you like it doled out to him?"
"Oh, $25,000 a year until he 25 or until he has achieved his masters degree, which ever come first. And then $100,000 a year until he is thirty at which time he has access to the entire amount."
"At which time the original five, with proper investment, should be considerably more." Clyde concluded. "Dave in investigating Pete I have discovered that his parents have mortgaged their farm to the hilt to put Pete through school. They are really struggling to survive. I don't know whether Pete is aware of this or not."
"I'm sure he is, but let's see how Pete handles it. If he puts the first allotment toward the debt, I will pay off the whole debt."
"And if he doesn't?"
"I believe that he will, Clyde."
Pete had been moved into a private room, out of intensive care. His parents seeing that he was going to be okay and out of the hospital in a week or so felt they had to get back home. Dave accompanied them to the hospital the morning of their departure. Jason was sitting on the edge of the bed, holding Pete's hand. When they entered the room, George and Pat saw Jason quickly stand up. Pete held tightly to his hand not letting him go. Jason blushed.
"I've got to do this now." Pete said in a harsh whisper.
Jason could only nod. He looked up at Pete's parents and gave them a tentative little smile. His big brown eyes frighten as a deer's caught in a cars headlights. They both smiled at him, and then at their son. Pete was sitting up, his upper chest in a cast that extended down his right arm to his fingers. The bandage on his head had been reduced to cover only the shaved area where his scull had been tapped. Dave followed them in.
"Good Morning, Son. How are you feeling this morning?" George asked. Pat just smiled. She was afraid that if she spoke she'd break down and cry. She knew the moment that she had been dreading had arrived.
"Hi, Mom, Dad. Hey, Dave. You've all met Jason?"
"Not really. We've seen him getting on and off the elevator." George answered. He extended his hand to Jason. "Hi, I'm George, and this is my wife, Pat."
Pat just smiled and nodded to him.
"It's good to meet you. Hi, Dave." Jason said
Dave stood back by the door. He nodded.
"Mom, Dad. I know you're going to hate to hear this. I've put off telling you for a couple of years. I can't keep it hidden inside me any longer. It's really eating at me." Pete closed his eyes. Tears slipped out and coursed down his cheeks. "I just hope you can still love me."
At this point Pat's mothering instincts took over. She moved up to his bed side, leaned down and kissed him on the forehead.
"No matter what you tell us, my dear son, we will always love and accept you." She said.
Jason had moved back to let Pat up to the bed. She stepped back and gently pushed him back towards Pete. Pete watched this with wonder in his eyes. He'd been so sure that his mother would condemn him and reject him like she had her brother. She took Jason's hand and placed it in her son's.
She nodded. Pete looked at his dad. George smiled and nodded, too.
"I still have to say it." Pete squinched his eyes and then looked back at them. "Dad, Mom, I'm Gay and I'm in love with Jason."
"We figured that all out. Jason, welcome to the family. We love you, Petey. And we're very proud of you, son. It takes a real man to stand up for what he is." George leaned down and kissed his sone on the forehead. Pete's eyes got big. His dad had done that since he was about ten years old. George had moved back and snaked his hand around his wife's waist. He pulled her up against his side as he looked down at her. "And I'm really proud to be your husband, Pat."
" As long as you and my son are happy, I am, too. I've still got to go home and face Sam. And I'm changing churches. I'm going to find one that teaches love, not hate." Pat said.
"Well, in that case I just might join you, my dear."
Pat turned to Dave.
"David Gates, you are an angel. Thanks for all you have done for us. But most, thanks for helping our son."
"It has been a pleasure, Pat. I've enjoyed all I've been able to do. I am very happy that you are still together as a family."
Yes, we're still together and thanks to you, I've just gained a new son." Pat said beaming at Jason.
At moment George was so proud of his wife that he just beamed and nodded his head.
The emotions washing through Jason as he stood frozen next to Pete's bed were overwhelming. If the grip that Pete had on his hand were released he felt that he'd surely crumple to the floor. He'd been filled with fear when they'd been caught holding hands as Pete's parents had entered the room. It took all the bravery that he could muster not to pull away and flee the room. After what Pete had told him about how his mother treated his uncle, Jason had been sure that she would scathe both of them.
He grinned at Pete after they were left alone in the room. Pete reached up and pulled his face down to his. The kiss was so feathery light it left Jason's lips tingling , wanting more. He bent into Pete's lips searching with his tongue. Pete opened to him. Finally the kiss got to be too much for Pete.
"You've got to stop, Jay," he said, breathing hard, "I'm going to mess the bed." Jason pulled back out of breath and red faced. They smiled at each other as they calmed down.
"I'm so proud of you Pete. But you have wonderful parents. Your mother is nothing like you lead me to believe."
"For sure she is nothing like I lead you to believe. I wonder what happened to my old mom?"
"I'll bet Dave had something to do with her changing."
"You know, I have always been afraid that mother would reject me like she did Uncle Sam, but what was worse was that I knew I would be a disappointment to my dad. Yet he showed total acceptance and really seemed happy that you and I are together.
That afternoon when Dave had returned from the airport he went back to visit with Pete knowing he could visit without any interruption with his parents now gone home and Jason in class. He greet the young man with love and warmth. The look in Pete 's eyes said that it was a mutual feeling. Dave pulled a chair up beside the bed,and sat down taking Pete's hand in his. He looked at him for a few moments as he gathered his thoughts. When he finally spoke his eyes were blurry.
"You know, anyone else would have probably just yelled a warning at me and hoped that I would get out of the way of that car. What you did, Pete, putting your life in harm's way, was beyond the call of duty. Such actions should not go unrewarded." He took a deep breath, "I recently came into an inheritance. I want to share a bit of it with you."
"Dave, I didn't do it for any reward."
"If I thought that you had I probably wouldn't give it to you, Pete. Anyway, being that you are still in school and not yet of age. All of your school will be paid for. I've set this up so that you will receive twenty-five thousand a year until you're twenty five or have gotten your master's. At that time you'll get a substantial bit more until you are thirty at which time you will receive the rest in a lump sum. I'm not revealing the total to you, but it will be invested so that it will be accruing interest until the day you get it." Dave studied Pete for a moment and then continued.
"I think you are sensible and mature enough to use this money wisely. But I think you should also enjoy it. Thank you, Pete for being my hero." Dave smiled at him.
"Dave, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. And to hell with any reward." Pete was frowning.
Being rewarded for doing something that came natural made him uncomfortable. He showed no emotion over what Dave had just told him.
"Has Jason been in to see you today?" Dave asked changing the subject.
"No, this is the one day that he doesn't have any breaks until five."
"When are they going to release you?"
"Doc said it would be a couple more days. As you see I've still got a couple of wires and tubes connected to my brain."
"Well, don't worry about coming back to work until you feel up to it. You are still going to work for me, aren't you."
"Damn right, I am. That twenty-five grand is going to pay off some of the debt on the farm. I won't let my parents struggle while I play around. So I'll still have to work for spending money. Although I may not be much use until this cast comes off."
Dave smiled to himself. He had read Pete correctly.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you, Pete. The debts your parents have taken on putting you through school have all been paid off. The farm is free and clear."
For the first time since Dave had started talking about the reward Pete's face lit up, tears of gratitude rolled down his cheeks.
"Wow, Dave. Dad and Mom have sacrificed so much for me to go to school. Oh, man, that is so good of you. How can I thank you enough?"
"Hey, it's the least I could do for you."
It was a joy for Dave and Joe to be able to lay in bed, their arms wrapped around each other. There's just something magical about being in full body contact with the love of your life while discussing your day.
"You know, Pete showed no emotion when I told him about the money. He didn't blink and eye. I kind of got the feeling that he was almost resentful. But when I mentioned that I had paid off the mortgage and loans that George and Pat have taken out on the farm, he really got excited. It apparently weighed heavy on his conscience." Dave said. Joe's hand wandered up and down his back in a gentle caress. Joe's head lay on Dave's arm while his fingers combed through Joe's sun bleached mane. Dave got lost staring in to those golden eyes
"Pete's a great kid." Joe and was cupping Dave's bubble buttocks funning his fingers through the hair that graced his crack.. "By the way, what exactly happened with Pat the other night at dinner. When she stepped off the elevator she was so uptight. And then when you two came out of the bedroom, she had obviously been crying, but she was like a different person. You know, warm and loving. I was speechless when she kissed me on the cheek when they left."
"Well, when you went down to the lobby with Tim's dinner, Sue had gone to the bathroom. I went out to call them in to the table. They were having a conversation about us. I stopped to listen. Joe, George said something to her that I had never thought about. She apparently belonged to a holy roller church for years where the pastor preached that if you were gay you were going to hell and all good Christians should cast you out of their lives. George asked her if God makes mistakes. She adamantly said no. So he asked her if God had made all humans in his image how could he make a person gay and it be a mistake. That really got Pat to thinking. She has a gay brother that she hadn't spoken to in years. She decided to change churches and make up with Sam, her brother. And George also laid the ground work for her accepting her son, too.
"Pete is gay?" Joe asked. His hand stopped moving. "I'd never suspected from what little I've seen of him.
"Well, he came out to his parents this morning. I think George had long suspected it. Anyway, Pat took it right in stride, and told Pete she accepted it and still loves him. She did the neatest thing. It blew Pete's mind, I think. His boy friend was there and she pushed him up to the bed where he had been when they entered the room, and then she took Jason's hand and laid it in Pete's."
"Cool. It makes all the difference in the world to have parents that love you and accept what you are."
"Well, you and Johnny sure lucked out. You've got the best parents in the world." Dave rolled onto his back. Joe laid his head on his chest. His wandering fingers were now discovering the weight of Dave's balls.
"Yeah, we do don't we? What about your parents, Dave, you've never said a word about them." He was drawing an inward spiral through the hair on Dave's belly. Dave's arm was wrapped around Joe's back, his hand caressing his shoulder. His free hand supported his own head on his pillow.
"Well, my dad was a Viet Nam War Vet. He lost his legs and sustained other internal injuries that plagued him the rest of his life. He died before I graduated from college. My Mom lives upstate, near my sister. She loved Bill like he was her own son. She always spent more time talking to him on the phone than me. I believe that she will love you, too, Joe. I talk to her every other day. She's dying to come down to meet you. She wants to get together with your mom and compare notes she said."
"What does that mean?" Joe asked, lifting his head to look at Dave. Their faces were just inches apart.
"I don't know, but you can bet that you and I will be the subject." Dave lifted his head and pecked Joe on his lips. Joe pecked him back.
"So, it was just the two of you, your sister and you?"
"Mmm hmm, we were really close growing up. When I came out to mom and her, she was okay with it. Lloyd, who was still her boyfriend at the time seemed cool, but after their first child he really became an asshole towards me. He was nice in front of Mary and Mom, but let them get out of sight then he'd start with the innuendos. So I stay away. Mary doesn't understand and I won't tell her why, so it's become a stalemate. I really would have liked to share in my nephews growing up, but-- ."
"How many nephews do you have?"
"Three. The oldest starts to college this fall. Mom says he wants to go to school here. But Lloyd is against it. I'm sure it's because I'm here."
Both men lay quietly in thought for a while, just enjoying holding and touching each other. And then Joe raised up on his elbow and looked at Dave.
"How well off are they, Dave? I mean, is it going to be a financial burden to put three boys through college?"
"Well, probably, Lloyd is a masonry contractor. He makes fairly good money, but--, yeah, it's going to be tough. Mary works full time too, so that they can put the money away for the boys education."
"And they don't know about your inheritances?"
"I've not said anything. I'm sure that reading financial papers or magazines is not something either of them would do. I don't think Lloyd would allow David to accept my financial help,"
"Dave, how about an anonymous scholarship. Or better yet." Joe sat up, folding his legs in a Lotus, he turned around to face Dave. "Let's set up a foundation to supply grants to kids that need the financial help. We could call it The Way Foundation. We could offer the first one to your nephew. What is his name?"
"Lloyd David Brown. They call him David."
"So we'll go through the University to let them give us the names of recipients. As each of your nephews graduates from high school we could give them a grant, too."
Dave thought for a bit.
"I really like the idea. Joe you're a genius. I'm going to call Clyde first thing in the morning to get this ball rolling. But first
there's something that has come up that need taking care of." He rolled around to where his head was in Joe's lap. He started
licking the problem. Joe laid back and let Dave take care of it. And then he twisted around so that they could both take care
of the whole matter simultaneously.
Two weeks later an official looking Manilla envelope arrived at the Brown residence addressed to L. David Brown.
As David had examined the contents, a big grin spread across his face. He handed the introductory letter with it's logo of The Way Foundation to his hovering mother. At first she thought it was from a religious group, but as she read she realized this was a real foundation and that David was one of the first recipients. Something nagged at the back of her mind that she couldn't quite get a grasp on.
When Lloyd looked it over, he glanced at his son. The two of them were in the living rooms alone.
"This isn't something that you applied for, is it?"
"No, Dad. I've never heard of the Way Foundation.
"Well, David, the ball is in you court, fellow. I suppose that if you accept this grant, the money that we have put away for your education could go toward your younger brother's. You mom wouldn't have to work anymore. But I still don't know if I want you going to that University."
"Dad, I know you don't want me to go to there because Uncle Dave lives there. Besides, any college is going to have lots of fags in them. I don't think Uncle Dave will be any problem. Maybe he can even help me find a place to live."
"You'll live in the dorm where you'll be safe."
"I'll be eighteen soon and I think I'm man enough to protect myself."
"Fine. Fine. As long as it isn't with him."
"Dad, I'd rather live with guys my own age, not an uncle as old as you are."
Mary was in the kitchen, sitting at the table thinking about dinner. She could hear her son and his father talking. She didn't pay any attention until she heard Dave's name. She listened closely after that. She began to put things together in her mind and realized that Lloyd was the reason that Dave was so distant. So many little things over the years began to make sense.
She waited until that evening when the boys were in bed and Lloyd was getting ready to go to bed before she brought up the subject that had her boiling mad. Lloyd had removed his shirt, he was sitting on the edge of the bed unlacing his boots. Mary pulled her dress off over her head.
"You know Lloyd I've lived with you all these years and I thought I knew you." Mary's voice was cool and soft.
"What are you talking about, Mary?"
"All these years I thought I had done something to offend my brother. I could never understand why he started keeping his distance from me after David was born.
"What are you getting at?"
"I'm getting at, Lloyd, that you are a homophobic bastard that has deprived me of my brother, and my sons of their uncle for the last eighteen years." Her voice crackled with anger.
"He's a faggot, Mary. I did not want him around to molest my boys."
"You use that word again referring to my brother and I'll cut your tongue out. He may be a homosexual but he is not a child molester. You should have feared more for yourself. He thought you were one of the sweetest most handsome men he had ever met back when I was dating you. Well, he was right about the handsome part anyway.
"Mary, it's a known fact that homosexuals are pedophiles. They like little boys." Lloyd had his boots off and now stood up and dropped his trousers and stepped out of them. Almost casually he bent over and picked them up, folded them and laid them in a chair.
"You amaze me. You're an educated man. And yet you sit there spouting nasty little myths that have no basis in truth. If you would look at the statistics you would clearly see that most pedophiles are married men with children. And the ones that aren't married are very seldom homosexuals."
"Are you saying I could be a child molester?" Lloyd looked startled.
"Don't act stupid. You know damned well that is not what I said."
"Well, I still don't think that I was wrong in keeping him away from my boys." He stretched out on the bed and pulled up the covers.
Mary stood at the foot of the bed contemplating him. Her voice was quiet and soft, deadly, when she spoke. Lloyd had to strain to hear her.
"Lloyd. If you want to keep your boys you're going to have to get yourself educated. And then you are going to apologize to them, me and Dave. Fail in any one thing and I am out of here, with our sons. I will not have them growing up to be bigots. And I will not knowingly continue to live with one.
"I'm not a bigot."
"You'll not be one by the end of next week or you will be wifeless and childless. There is a group of parents and friends of gays. Mother belongs to their association. You will attend their meetings and get counseling."
She stared at him for a moment as she contemplate her nest move.
" I'm sleeping in the guest room tonight." She said, striding out of their bedroom.
End of chapter 11