West Otter Lake

Copyright© 2013 – Nicholas Hall


West Otter Lake – Chapter Ten– "We need not power or splendor; wide hall or lordly dome; the good, the true, the tender, these form the wealth of home." – (Sarah J. Hale)

What do you say to a broken-hearted teen, feeling so forlorn, focused on his misery, his loss, and imagined abandonment he fails to see his gain? Rather than offer some banal "feel good" words, offering little more than a precursory, fleeting and feeble attempt to make the speaker feel good rather than the recipient, for at least "saying something," I chose to remain silent, for the moment; finding any remarks I might make would be similar to those made by well-intentioned mourners at a funeral patting you on the arm saying, "I feel your loss." No, they don't; not one fucking bit, but they offered the only consolation they felt they were able to and thus, we should appreciate their concern.

I did only what I wanted when I was in his shoes, someone to hold me, tell me they loved me, and make me feel safe from the assholes of the world. Doing as Grandpa Johnson did to me, I held Ollie, rocking him back in forth as a mother would a fussing babe, and whispered in his ear that he was loved and safe here at the Resort, with us, his brothers, grandmother, Leandro, and Luis. His wracking, wrenching, cries and sobs began to subside, but I continued to hold him until he quieted enough to listen to what I had to say.

I kissed him on the forehead again, "Ollie, I can't say I know exactly how you feel, but I had similar experiences; to say you won't face problems as a gay, black male in this redneck country would be a lie. I can say you'll have my love and support as your older brother. There's no way I can ever replace your Uncle Riedel, but I can love you and so will Leandro, Luis, the Twins, and Grandma Mae."

"When I was in high school, the principal, Mr. Wilcox took me aside one day and said, `Conner, always be true to yourself; it doesn't matter what you are, what you believe, or who you love. Accept others for what they are, no more and no less, and expect them to do the same. If they don't, then that's their problem, not yours,' and you know something, Ollie, he was right. Once I was comfortable in my own skin around people outside of my home, the better I felt about life and others. It didn't make me like some of the assholes any better, but at least I could avoid making mistakes around them and most times, physical abuse at their hands."

"Mr. Wilcox is still the principal at the high school. I know he'll still feel the same toward you and every student, gay or straight. Give us a chance, Ollie, and we'll make a home here for all of us; you, Terell, Treyvon, Grandma Mae, Luis, Leandro and me. We'll have some good times and some bad, but we'll have them together. O.K.?"

He nodded ever so slightly on my chest and became very quiet, snuggling in closer to my warmth, his breathing changing from the rapid, labored, distressed inhalations of air, to the slow, deep rhythmic breaths of sleep. I felt it and Leandro saw it, rising carefully from his position next to Ollie, he found a blanket and covered us both. Kissing me good night, voicing softly I should stay with my brother and he'd see me in the morning. I stretched out in order to make myself more comfortable and in the process, Ollie rolled over on me, his teen body flat on mine, his head on my chest; not quite the most comfortable position for me, but evidently for him.

Each time I moved, he reached for me, tightening his grip around my body, holding on as if fearful I'd disappear and he'd be left alone. About two in the morning, he raised his head, wiped the bit of drool from the corner of his mouth, smiled at me sort of goofy-like and announced, "Conner, I have to piss," rolled off, and started for the stairs. I followed him upstairs; made certain he was tucked into bed after he'd loosed his stream, and meandered back to our room.

Leandro heard me as I entered the room, waited patiently while I disrobed, and then held the covers up for me when I climbed into bed, melding my body with his, as he re-covered us.

"Well?" he conjectured.

"I think he's going to be just fine," I speculated, "he emptied himself of a lot of baggage or least shared it and wasn't rejected for it."

Kissing Leandro, reaching down to his crotch to lovingly fondle his growing tumescence, sliding my finger tip inside the foreskin to dust it across the glans and piss slit, I pondered aloud, "Did Luis ever have any of the problems such as Ollie had?"

Thoughtfully, slowly, Leandro revealed, "Luis was gay and made no bones about it; not flaunting it, but not hiding it either. I think he really wanted to find a boyfriend and get fucked, as you notice when he wiggles his ass, but just never found the right guy. One thing he had in his favor was me, an older, gay brother, to talk to. Besides, if anyone ever gave him any shit, he decked them."

I dropped his cock, sat up in bed, sputtering, "Luis – little, light-weight, slim-jim, Luis? How, for God's sake?"

"Well, he doesn't fight fair for one thing. I taught him that – kick the guy in the balls first to get his attention and when they bend over in pain, put a knee into their face. Works every time; well most every time and those times it doesn't, then run like hell! I really don't think Ollie will have much to worry about with Luis around to protect him," he chuckled.

I settled back into bed, resumed my palpitation of his phallus, bringing it to full staff on flag day and a moan of "roll over, lover;" which I did and backed myself up to his staff of pleasure, allowing it to find its familiar home and fill it with swimming little soldiers.

We knew it was morning when Terell and Treyvon bounded into the bedroom and wormed their way under our covers, their warm, wiggly little bodies energetically attacking us in wake-up hugs. After a few minutes of good-natured and welcomed horse-play, I gave each of them a kiss on the forehead with the instructions, "Go wake your brother and Luis." As they scampered across my stomach to do as I asked, pushing the wind out of me in the process, I gave each a gently swat on his pajama covered butt.

Leandro just shook his head, not in dismay, but in satisfaction and contentment. Grinning back, I giggled, "See, I told you so; no more morning rides, buried deep in the saddle, old chum, unless it' early – real early," and gave his morning woody a bit of a tug!

Mae already had breakfast started by the time we were cleaned up, dressed for the day, and wandered down stairs to the kitchen. She poured us each a cup of coffee and when the four boys made their ravenous appearance, three of them dressed for school in new clothes, she had them set the table.

The twins did a bit of a turnaround for her so she could see them in their new duds.

"What do you think, Grandma?" Terell questioned.

"Ollie helped us get dressed," Treyvon continued without hesitation or pause from his brothers appeal.

"Just you," corrected Terell, "Luis helped me."

"But we look good, don't we, Grandma?" they chorused.

"Yes, boys," she responded, kissing them both, "just as handsome as ever."

After breakfast, before the boys were excused to clear the table, and while we were all present, I suggested Luis ride to school on the bus, much to his disappointment, while I drove Mae and the rest of the boys to school to register them. I think Luis was looking forward to taking his "brother" to school and showing him the ropes, but registration might take some time since we had the twins to enroll in the elementary and Ollie in the high school. I assured Luis the boys would ride home on the bus and he more than likely would see Ollie during the day. I'd try to get them in the same lunch, at least.

The bus stopped, picked up Luis; as he boarded, he stopped in the aisle, said something to the driver and flicked his thumb over his shoulder at those of us sitting in the pickup truck at the end of the lane. The bus, flashing lights now off, lumbered down the road toward its next stop as I turned out of the lane in the opposite direction, toward Otter Lake and the school. I pointed out to the boys that although Luis was one of the first to be picked up in the morning on the bus's somewhat circuitous route, he and they'd be one of the last off in the afternoon because the driver reversed the route. We'd be early to school, but I wanted sufficient time to register the boys. Although all twelve grades were under one large, educational complex, we'd have to visit the elementary wing first to register Terell and Treyvon, and traverse the lengthy hallways to the high school wing for Ollie.

My three brothers were quiet on the ride to Otter Lake, evidently apprehensive concerning a new school, new people, new problems I should think; I certainly would be if I were a stranger, especially a black stranger, in an almost white land. Luis had settled in well, so I anticipated few problems for Ollie, Terell, and Treyvon, but one never knows, does one? While they were silent, I, on the other hand, spent the time assuring them all school rules, from one town to the next, were basically the same, wherever you go. The secret, I suggested casually, was to know the rules and who the referee was. It made learning, adjustment, and life so much easier. The fact I'd attended this same school seemed to help relieve the stress somewhat.

The secretary at the elementary office greeted us as we entered and I introduced the twins as my half-brothers and Mae as their grandmother. She tried not to look surprised when I did so, but she looked at me, then to my African-American brothers, and back at me. This was the same secretary that was there when I was in grade school and was a real peach! She looked one more time, smiled, and finally sighed, "Conner, you always did seem to surprise us every now and then, didn't you?"

Mae filled out the enrollment forms while Ollie, Terell, Treyvon, and I looked over the brightly covered bulletin board filled with all sorts of pictures, announcements, lunch menus, recess times, and activities. The principal was outside, greeting students and supervising the debussing as they arrived, but the secretary sent a teacher's aide ask her to come in; there were new students enrolling and she liked to personally greet and get to know them.

Arriving in the office, seemingly on the double quick, smiling, she flashed a cheery, "Good Morning and welcome to Otter Lake Elementary," and invited us into her office. Before she joined us she requested the guidance counselor step in to help assigning the boys to classrooms. I didn't know this particular principal; she'd only been here four or five years.

Her smile was warm and welcoming as she introduced herself, more to Terell and Treyvon than to Mae, Ollie, and me. "I'm Mrs. Abrams; I don't think I've ever had identical twins in one of my schools. After I learn your names, how am I ever going to tell you apart, for goodness sake?"

"You can't," giggled Treyvon.

"Unless you know the secret," snickered Terell.

"And what might that secret be?" raising her eyebrows in expectation and invitation.

The boys must've felt more than comfortable with her and secure, because without hesitation, they left their chairs, trotted up behind her desk, and with one boy whispering in each ear, told her. I wish to hell they'd tell me, but no, they tell her and she nodded in understanding and pledged complete silence on the issue! The secret of distinction was up to the boys to relay, not her. I must say, I was very impressed with her and so was Mae; I'd bet the kids just love her.

Turning her attention to the guidance counselor, she conveyed her understanding of the quirks of some identical twins, "I don't think we want the boys in separate classrooms. They're too close for that and I don't think the separation would be advisable; right boys?"

Two little black-haired, brown-faced heads bobbed up and down in agreement.

The guidance counselor, agreeing, looking at the twins school records that Mae produced, responded, "I think we'll place you in Mr. Polistrini's classroom. I'll bet you'll really like him, although you may have to help him sometimes. He's new to our school this year, just like you, so he may have to have you help him. He taught at the University school for a couple of years before joining our faculty and has some great ideas for learning things."

The latter was said more for our benefit than the boys as a way of reassuring us the boys would be challenged and guided in a learning environment that would cause them to develop at their full potential; a learning environment that would be suitable for young, very quick, receptive, and retentive minds.

She stood, extended her hands, and to the boys, "Terell and Treyvon, do you have your school things in your backpacks? If so, give your grandmother and brother hugs and we'll go to class."

The boys would've followed her or the principal to hell and back if that's where they wanted to go, did as she requested, and out the door and down the hall they skipped, happy as a couple of pigs in shit.

"Well, that went better than I expected," I exclaimed.

Mae smiled, but the principal raised her eyebrows, commenting, "Mrs. Thompson, I hope you realize what a challenge those two boys are going to be for us."

Oh, shit, I thought, here comes the bad news; just when things were going so well. Ollie just slid his chair closer to me, fully anticipating the same news as me.

"If the records you gave me concerning your grandsons are correct, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, the boys are very, very bright and we'll have to work to keep up with them."

Mae interrupted, "It's not so bad, Mrs. Abrams; they really are self-motivated learners as Ollie is as well. Point them in the right direction, ask the right questions, give them the tools to work with, and turn them loose! I'm convinced there's nothing my three grandsons can't learn when properly motivated and encouraged, but I'm certain there must be something that'll stump them somewhere along the line. Young people love to be challenged and then rewarded when they succeed; don't you agree?"

The longer I'm around Mae Thompson, the more respect I'm gaining for her. There's more to her than I realize, I think.

We excused ourselves with the usual amenities and walked through the labyrinth of halls through the middle school to the high school to enroll Ollie. By the time we arrived at the high school office, the buses had unloaded and classes begun. Mrs. Cromley, the secretary, had been there just as long as Mr. Wilcox, the principal, and greeted me warmly when we walked in the office door.

"Conner; first Luis and now you bring in another handsome young man! For ever me, where do you find them! This one's cute enough I may have to take him home with me."

Ollie dropped his head bashfully, raised his face back up and smiled that radiant, enchanting smile of his at her. She made him feel welcome right then and there!

"This is my half-brother Oliver LaHood Johnson, but he prefers `Ollie,' and his grandmother, Mavis Thompson," I announced proudly, "and we're here to enroll him in ninth grade."

The guidance counselor overheard us talking from his office, stepped out, hailing me, "Conner, please introduce me," and I did. He put his arm around Ollie and leading him to his office, I overheard him say, "Let's let them do all the paper work while we talk about a schedule for you, okay?"

Mr. Wilcox finished his rounds and entered the office as Mae and I were finishing up the paper work. He looked over Ollie's records, raised his eyebrows in a similar manner as Mrs. Abrams had, and motioned us into his office as he asked Mrs. Cromely to have Mr. Raymond and Ollie to join us in there.

While we waited, Mr. Wilcox smiled at me and remarked, "Conner, you do have some of the darnedest surprises for me. How did you manage this one?"

"It really wasn't my doing," I explained. "This was Wesley's doing and I wasn't aware of it until the other day."

After I explained the relationship and the story behind my brother's and Mrs. Thompson's arrival at the Resort, Mr. Wilcox pursed his lips, wrinkled them up in disdain, declaring, "Wesley always was a bit of nasty boy and I can see he hasn't changed one bit. I'm sorry you have to shoulder what should be his responsibility, Conner, but you know I'll support you, Mrs. Thompson, and your brothers, don't you?"

Of course I did and really appreciated it.

Mr. Raymond and Ollie joined us; Ollie all smiles and relaxed. Mr. Wilcox introduced himself to Ollie and when Mr. Raymond proffered Ollie's schedule, seemed to question it.

"This is a pretty heavy schedule for freshman, Oliver," and reached for Ollie's records again, "or do you prefer `Ollie?' Your brother never did like `Wesley' so we used `Conner' and he was much happier."

Ollie grinned, "Ollie, please, sir."

Mr. Wilcox perused the records again while Mae, once receiving Ollie's schedule, handed it to me once she looked it over. It was basically the same schedule as Luis,' putting them in all of the same advanced study classes.

Mr. Wilcox looked at Mae expectantly, then addressing Ollie, "Ollie, you're a very bright young man and I hope you can excel here as you have in your past schools. You'll make us all very proud."

Mae coughed quietly, drawing attention to her concern. "I approve of his schedule," she began, "it addresses all of his educational needs except one. I don't see a chorus or music class on this schedule or whatever they have here as an equivalency."

Mr. Raymond quickly answered her concerns; "It wasn't on the class schedule he brought with him or on his last grade report, so I didn't make any provision for that."

"No," Mae explained, "it was an extra-curricular and not offered during the day for academic credit. Is it offered here?"

"Oh, yes, we have a vocal music or chorus the same time Ollie has a study hall; but if we put him in the music class, he won't have any study periods during the school day. We can certainly arrange for him to tryout in order to find his vocal range and knowledge of music."

"I think Ollie can handle his academics with no study hall," Mae divulged. "and I hardly think it's necessary to arrange for tryouts. Ollie sings a first to second tenor with vocal strength in second tenor, but generally provides accompaniment for the chorus."

Okay, now I'm really interested in what Mae is saying and what musical talents and expertise Ollie has!

Mr. Wilcox conjectured aloud, "He studied piano under whom, might I ask?"

"Yes, he did and does," Mae affirmed, "under me. I have a degree in music - piano performance."

To be continued


Thank you for reading "West Otter Lake – Chapter Ten - "We need not power or splendor; wide hall or lordly dome; the good, the true, the tender, these form the wealth of home." – (Sarah J. Hale)

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Nick Hall


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