Chapter Eight - The Memory of a Kiss
by Jeff Wilson
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" Dustin shouted. The knock on his door that he'd hoped would go away only got louder and louder and he finally decided to just go and find out who had woken him up. It was obvious that the noise wasn't going to stop. Dustin didn't even bother to check the peep hole. He unlocked the door and swung it open.
"I'm trying to sleep... Billy!" Dustin's tone immediately changed when he found his best friend waiting in the hallway. Dustin couldn't help himself. He gripped Billy Roberts around the shoulders and hugged him. "It's great to see you, Lefty!"
"Your pants are wet, Dusty." Billy replied. "You piss the bed or something?"
"Long story." Dustin replied.
Dustin released his friend and looked at him. He was only two inches shorter than Dustin, but he didn't have Dustin's lankiness. You could tell that he had always been better fed than Dustin. Adulthood had added a few pounds in the right places and Billy had filled out nicely from the bony teen he'd been. His face still had the boyish charm that betrayed the hot temper that had always lurked below the surface when they were growing up. It was almost impossible to stay mad at someone so innocent looking. Adding to his youthful look was his dark blond hair, which had grown way longer than it'd been when they were growing up. Billy's bangs had grown over his forehead and now stopped somewhere just below his eyebrows. He'd allowed his hair to grow over his ears and past the nape of his neck. Dustin liked the way it looked on him.
Dustin reached behind Billy and ran his fingers through his hair. "Wow. Brett must love this."
"Heh heh... Yeah. He likes to run his fingers through it, too." Billy laughed. "I'm enjoying it while I still can before I have to look professional."
One thing that hadn't changed was Billy's eyes. Dustin had always been fascinated with Billy's dark green eyes. They didn't change color like Nate's eyes. They had always been just like Dustin remembered. Dustin realized that he was staring and smiled. He invited Billy to come inside.
"So... What in the world were you doing last night?" Billy asked.
"What do you mean?" Dustin asked.
"Mom has a police scanner."
"Oh, that..." Dustin frowned.
"Yeah, that." Billy replied.
"I just... I wasn't thinking."
"Well, duh!" Billy said.
"Dusty, you're an idiot."
"Hey, I wasn't feeling right, okay! I was in a bad mood."
"Okay, you said two things there. Was it a bad mood or were you feeling like you did when you stole Mike's car?"
Dustin scoffed. "Hmph! I don't need your medical opinion, Billy."
"Why'd you sleep in a pair of wet pants?"
"Because I was fucking tired."
"'Fucking' tired. Yeah. Somehow that doesn't surprise me."
"Why are you always on my case, Billy?"
"Because I love you, you big dumb ass!" Billy said angrily. "God... You fuck anything that has two legs and a place to put your dick. You don't think it's going to come back to haunt you? You went from trying to kill yourself with a knife to trying to kill yourself with your dick."
"I have to take a piss." Dustin said. He slipped out of his pants on the way, and didn't bother to close the door as he relieved himself. He found a pair of boxers and a new pair of pants in his room and slipped them on before walking back out to where Billy was sitting on the couch. Dustin sat in his comfortable chair.
"I'm not trying to kill myself, Billy." Dustin said.
"You might not be doing it on purpose, but you're doing it."
"Did Brett tell you about Sarah?"
"Who?" Billy asked.
"Wow, he didn't." Dustin said, a bit surprised.
"If you asked him to not tell me something he wouldn't. He's more reliable than me."
"I fucked Sarah Taylor. That's why my life is so fucked up." Dustin interrupted.
"Oh..." Billy said. "Ewwwww! You fucked the princess of darkness?"
"Yeah." Dustin said.
"Wow, you really will fuck anything." Billy replied.
"This comes from a guy who had sex when he was fourteen." Dustin fumed.
"With the guy I'm married to!" Billy corrected. "Not with five hundred guys."
"Wow, sex with the same guy for all these years. How boring."
"Dustin, there's nothing more exciting in the world than having sex with the same person for all these years. You think it gets boring? It's the greatest thing in my life. My relationship with Brett is everything to me. When we were younger, it was one thing. But now, it's so much more. Sex is just the icing on the cake, Dusty. The day-to-day relationship is the cake. You're just filling up on icing all the time. That's why you're never satisfied."
"Why do you always compare sex to food?" Dustin joked.
"Because it's just as good." Billy replied. "Seriously, Dusty. I get to wake up every single day of my life next to the man who I love. My soul mate... I've never understood how you can so totally separate sex and love."
"So how often do you and ol' Brett do it?"
Billy laughed. "Oh once or twice..."
"That's all? You go through all that relationship bull shit just to have sex one or two times a week?"
"A week?" Billy laughed again. "Try a day."
"Whoa!" Dustin exclaimed.
"Seriously. I can't keep my hands off him. He's so fucking awesome."
"And you talk about me, you fucking rabbit."
"Well, when you love somebody..."
"How do you guys walk?"
"It's not always anal. We do all kinds of stuff. You'd be amazed at the things that Brett can do with his tongue."
"Okay, enough! Enough!" Dustin interrupted.
"Okay. So how did you end up hooking up with the bitch?" Billy asked, stretching out on the couch and putting his hands behind his head.
"She just walked into Janet's one day and we started talking."
"Okay, that was your first mistake."
"Anyway... We were talking, and she wasn't that bad. Then my dad came back and all that shit happened."
"Yeah, Brett told me about that."
"Well, I just really wanted to talk to somebody. You weren't home. So I called Sarah. I went over there, we talked. One thing led to another and the next thing I know I'm fucking her."
"So it was just like all of your other relationships then?"
"Pretty much, yeah. Except... She was the one who started it." Dustin replied.
"She came on to you?"
"Yeah. I just wanted to talk. She's the one who turned it into sex."
"Okay, so how did that lead to you getting arrested last night?"
"I got her pregnant." Dustin said softly.
Billy didn't say anything at first. He looked at Dustin with a slightly confused look on his face. "Oh..." He finally said.
"What?" Dustin asked.
"Well it's just... You know, Brett and I have talked about having kids somehow eventually. I never expected you to be a father."
"You don't think I can do it?"
"No, I just don't think that I'm ready to see you that way."
"I'm twenty-one. My mom had Amanda when she was seventeen."
"Well we see how well that turned out." Billy replied.
"But I've learned from my parents' mistakes. I'm not like them, Billy."
"No you're not, Dustin. You're so much better than them. You didn't deserve the shit hand you got dealt. But what I mean is, I don't see you being a dad yet. You're still the kid who used to bounce on my bed and try to crush me when we were little."
"Ah yes, the Dust-Buster..." Dustin smiled.
"Well, times change Billy. We grew up. And now you're married to Brett and I'm going to be a father. And I'm not going to be like that piece of shit that raped me. Hell, I'll be lucky if I get to see the kid, the way Sarah was acting."
"I don't imagine she was too happy."
"Well she told me she was on the pill, Billy. She told me to cum in her pussy. She liked it. Hell, she begged for it. So how the fuck is it my fault when she gets pregnant? It was her mistake, not mine."
"Don't let Brett hear you call it a mistake. He'll knock your head off. Does her dad know?"
"No, that's what she was so freaked out about. I'm not good enough to be with her. I'm good enough to fuck her, but not good enough to have a kid with her."
"That's what pissed me off. And that's why I got in trouble."
"Oh, so it wasn't your fault at all that you got arrested then, huh?" Billy asked.
Dustin smirked, "No, I know what you're getting at. Yes it was my fault for losing my temper."
Billy smiled. "Well I know a thing or two about losing your temper. At least you're accepting it. You've finally stopped blaming your dad for everything that's wrong in your life."
"It wasn't my fault I was raped." Dustin said.
"No, but the way you choose to deal with it is. Your dad may have robbed you of your innocence, but he didn't make you go out and fuck all the guys you've fucked. You made the choice, one partner at a time."
"Or two at a time if you count last night." Dustin said off-handedly.
"Oh my god, Dustin. What did you do?" Billy asked.
"Oh, I went to a stupid party."
"Jeez. You get released and the first thing you do is go get laid?"
"No I changed clothes first. What's the big deal? You have sex two times a day!"
"See these apples? See these oranges? There's not a comparison, Dusty!! It's amazing we made it through high school without you trying to fuck me."
"Who says I didn't try, Mr. I'm-in-a-committed-relationship? And I almost had you senior year."
"Well you didn't, and you only got to second base. So there!"
"Dry humping is second base?"
"I think French-kissing is second base. Isn't third base oral? And when did we ever dry hump?" Billy laughed.
"If you're asleep it still counts." Dustin relied.
"Oh Dustin!! Eww!!" Billy replied.
"You want to know the sad thing, though? All the sex I've had... All those guys... And the most romantic thing that ever happened to me in my whole life is still the time we kissed each other. You don't know how many times I've been doing some guy and thought back to that moment."
"That was the one time when I've been that close to somebody where my mind didn't just shut down so my body could go through the motions. I remember everything like it happened yesterday. You said that I was an amazing person, and I told you that you would be the only person in my life who having sex with would mean something. And then... I kissed you. Right on the lips. And you just kind of sat there for a while, but then, you put your hand right here, behind my head. And then you started kissing me back. You opened your mouth, and so did I. I didn't know how far we were going to go, but I didn't care. You slipped your tongue into my mouth. I closed my eyes, and then I felt you start to rub your hand on my dick. And then you put my hand on yours, but you had your pants unzipped so I was rubbing you through your underwear. You unbuckled my pants and I felt you so close to me. As close as you'd ever get... We just kept kissing and kissing and rubbing. I slipped my hand beneath your underwear, and I felt you for the only time in my whole life. And then you stopped and said that you couldn't do it and you buckled up and didn't look at me in the eyes for a month."
Dustin realized that he had closed his eyes, picturing every moment as he described it to Billy. He opened the clear blue windows to his soul and looked at Billy. "That was the most erotic thing that ever happened to me. And we never even got our clothes off."
"Wow..." Billy said softly. "I'm sorry."
"Because I never should have done that to you. All this time I've always been so concerned about what that moment did to me and Brett. But it really messed with you... There's nothing worse than getting cut off like that."
"So you wish that you'd have kept going?"
"No, I wish I never would have started. Dustin, you can't spend your life wishing that you could have had me that day. We were meant to be friends. We were never meant to be lovers."
"No, Brett gets to have you. Well I wish that things were different."
"But they're not, Dusty. Things are the way they are. And the Billy that you've been thinking about all this time, well, he wouldn't have existed without Brett. Brett's the reason that I am who I am today. He's the reason why I didn't end up fucking a hundred guys already. So without him, you never would have had that kiss in the first place. And I'm sorry that I hurt you the way I did. It never could have been anything more than that kiss."
"I wanted it to be more, Billy. I love you. I've always loved you. I just couldn't admit it. Brett beat me to it."
"Dusty, I love you. But not the way... It's different from anybody else in my life. It's different from Brett. It's different from any other friend I have. You're my brother. You're always there for me, and you know that I'm there for you. You mean so much more to me than the fact that you have a big fat dick. I love the real Dustin Smith. The one who could cry because his parents were arguing. The one who could love so much without thinking about what was in it for him. I love the Dustin Smith who wouldn't leave my side when Brett punched me in the mouth. The Dustin Smith who even loves the person who raped him."
"I don't love him, Billy. I hate him with everything I have in me."
"Dustin, you hate him because he betrayed the love that you gave to him so freely. You loved your dad so much. You used to get so mad when somebody would talk about him being a drunk or anything. You thought the world of him. And he betrayed that love and twisted you into somebody who thinks that sex is just something that bodies do and has nothing to do with love. You've got it so backward. Sex is supposed to be the ultimate expression of love, not the first thing you do when you meet somebody and don't remember their name."
"I wish I could live on what ever planet you're on, Billy. What the fuck does love have to do with getting my dad's dick shoved up my ass until my insides burst open? What the fuck does love have to do with almost getting killed because my dad was bored on a Saturday night? What the fuck does love have to do with looking in the toilet and seeing my blood pour out of my asshole because I got a hole ripped in my guts? If that's love, then love is fucking stupid. Love is just an excuse to keep guys from going out and fucking whoever they feel like."
"But you said you love me, didn't you?"
"Eh, I was just being stupid. I was hoping I could talk you into fucking."
"You're not as good a liar as you think you are. I know that you're still the Dustin who loved so freely without even thinking about it."
"Oh, forget it." Dustin moped.
"You know what happened to you? You think you're so tough. But you're really easy to hurt. You love people so much that when they disappoint you they break your heart. So you try to pretend that you don't believe in love at all." Billy said.
"You make me sound like a child." Dustin scoffed.
"In a lot of ways you still are a child. You grew up, but you're still stuck emotionally at the age of fourteen."
"Oh thanks a lot." Dustin said sarcastically. "I'll just make a wonderful dad, won't I?"
"I think you'll be an awesome father." Billy said seriously.
"Why?" Dustin asked. "Why do you think that?"
"It goes back to what I said before. You love people so much. You'll be a great dad, Dustin. This kid's going to be so lucky to have you for a dad."
"That's if I ever get to see it. Sarah was such a bitch when she told me."
"Well if you need any help, just ask me. I know a lot of people who'd be willing to help you if it came to a legal fight. That baby's as much yours as it is Sarah's. You have the right to see your kid."
"Can you help me fix what I did last night?" Dustin asked.
"What, the party?" Billy asked.
"No, the police thing." Dustin replied.
"Oh. Well, I'm not a lawyer yet. I can't give you legal advice legally."
"Well as my best friend, what would you say?"
"What did you do?" Billy asked.
"I ran a stop sign and kind of tore through the old neighborhood." Dustin admitted.
"So what did they charge you with?"
"Reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct."
"I could see reckless endangerment. You could have hurt somebody riding around like an idiot. How did you end up with disorderly conduct?"
"I think they gave me that instead of resisting arrest." Dustin replied.
"You resisted arrest?" Billy asked.
"I didn't really. Honest! I just couldn't stop myself. It was like the old days, Billy. Look." Dustin pulled his hair back to show Billy the stitches under his hair.
"You bashed your head into something again, didn't you?" Billy asked sternly.
"I didn't want to. Really. I couldn't stop myself. I didn't do it on purpose."
"Dustin, when was the last time you did that to yourself?"
"I don't know. I've thought about it sometimes. But I couldn't stop myself like I usually do."
Billy sighed. "I really worry about you, Dusty. When you hurt yourself like that..."
"It's not what you think, Billy. I'm not suicidal again. It was just a really stressful night."
"You want my advice? Plead not guilty to the disorderly conduct. Tell them that you have a diagnosed medical condition that caused you to snap and that you're seeking professional help. Ask them to drop that charge in exchange for pleading guilty to the reckless endangerment charge. The magistrate will most likely accept that deal because he won't have to deal with a trial that way. Those guys hate having to actually do their job."
"But I don't want to plead guilty!"
"They're going easy on you as it is. At least you're giving them something. You won't have any jail time, but you'll probably pay a fine and have to do some community service."
"What about my record?"
"Well yeah, it'll be on your record. But having reckless endangerment is a lot better than having both if you're found guilty. And you would get thrown in jail for a month or so if you were found guilty of both. They'd take your juvenile record into account for sentencing. But remember, you didn't get any of this from me."
"Of course." Dustin said. "Thanks."
"I just hope this is the last time I have to do this, Dust."
"Will you stay with me for a while today? We hardly get to see each other anymore."
"Sure. I'd like that a lot." Billy replied.
"Let me see if Sarah is home and then I'll feel a lot better. Then I'll make you some lunch."
Dustin tried to dial Sarah's number, but there was no answer. Dustin knew that she was avoiding him, and vented his frustrations to Billy as he prepared some sandwiches for lunch.
"How does she expect me to help her if she's ignoring me?" Dustin asked.
"I don't know. You could try to call from my cell, but if she sees my name pop up on her caller id she'll probably throw her phone up against the wall."
"Yeah... She seemed a lot more mellow about you than she used to be. But then, she ended up being a bitch anyway, so who knows."
After they ate, the boys spent the afternoon talking about a variety of things, just like they had always done as they were growing up. Dustin didn't tell Billy about seeing his dad at the party. Not only was he a little embarrassed about being there in the first place, but he knew Billy would get mad that his dad had hit him.
"So besides school and sex, what's going on with your life?" Billy asked.
"Well there's not much."
"You meet anybody interesting?"
"Well there was this one guy..." Dustin admitted, blushing slightly.
"Why Dustin! Tell your best friend more!"
"It's nothing. He was just more interesting than most of the guys I've met."
"How was he interesting?"
"Well... He's sort of like me. He had trouble with his parents. You might know him actually."
"Oh really? Who is he?"
"He's Pastor Steven's son." Dustin answered.
Billy looked confused. "Pastor Dickhead has a son?"
"That's weird. What's he like? He probably dresses in a closet so that he can't see that he has a dick."
"Actually I fucked him the first time I met him." Dustin replied.
"Wow. You fucked Pastor Dickhead's kid. That's so awesome." Billy replied.
"He hates Pastor Steven more than you do. He ruined Nate's life."
"Yeah. Only he added an 's' to the end of his name so he's Nathaniel Stevens"
"Do you like him?"
"He's got a boyfriend." Dustin replied.
"Oh? And that's stopped you before?"
"I fucked the boyfriend too." Dustin said softly.
"Is that shame I hear in your voice?" Billy asked.
"A little. I'm not proud of everything that I do, Billy."
"More growing up." Billy replied.
"No, more stupid." Dustin replied. "Neither one knows that I fucked the other one. If they find ever out, it'll really hurt them. I never meant to hurt anybody. It was just supposed to be a little harmless sex."
"Uh huh... What's with the smell in here anyway?"
"What smell?" Dustin asked.
"It smells like burning shit." Billy replied.
"Oh, Craig..." Dustin replied. He lit a candle to neutralize it and explained his neighbors to Billy.
At around five o'clock, Billy had to leave to meet Brett. As the two walked outside Dustin's apartment door, Billy noticed Mr. Johnston sitting in a chair outside his door.
"So you must be Mr. Johnston." Billy said, as the ancient man climbed to his feet. "I'm Will Roberts." He said, extending his hand to shake.
"Will?" Dustin asked.
"We're getting older, Dusty." Billy smiled. "Only the people who knew me growing up still call me Billy."
"I didn't hear the usual sounds when you have company, Red." Mr. Johnston smiled.
"Sex with Billy?" Dustin laughed. "No, he had his chance. He's a pain in the ass, but not in the good way."
"Oh thanks a lot, Dustin." Billy replied.
"Oh, so is this your brother, Red?" Mr. Johnston asked.
"Yeah. Billy Roberts is my brother. Do you even know my last name you senile old bastard?"
In a little house in Coal Center about that same time, Lucas Cunningham sat alone staring at his boyfriend's computer monitor. He didn't know why there were tears streaking his face. He knew he was just as much to blame as Nate was. But, Nate had lied to him. It was right there on the screen. He had been lied to by everybody. His heart burned with hatred for the one who he had taken in and loved so selflessly. The anger was boiling over in him. He wanted to smash something. He wanted to hurt something. More precisely, he wanted to hurt somebody. A couple of somebody's, actually. He laughed cruelly at Nate for thinking that he could save chat logs and then hide them from a computer major. He knew Nate would fuck up eventually, but he would have expected more from BigRed05.
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