This is a fictional story dealing with love and consensual sexual activities between males. If you are not of legal age, reside in an area where viewing such material is illegal, or are offended by homosexuality and/or homosexual themes, leave this site now.
The author retains all rights to this story. No reproductions or links to other sites are allowed without the permission of the author.
Note: Thanks to Tim for feedback on the draft chapters. I owe special thanks to Robb and Rock for doing the final proofreading and catching all those silly little errors I missed.
by Jeff Allen
I didn't sleep much that night. I kept picturing Isaac South going from the cab of a truck to the old Ford Taurus and from there to another truck. What was going on? Drugs? Maybe, but he'd stayed too long in the one truck for just a drug deal. Another possibility came to mind, and I tried my best to drive it away from my conscious thoughts, but it kept resurfacing more frightening each time.
When morning finally came I was resolved to let Isaac know that we'd seen him at the truck stop and to ask him what he'd been doing although I was afraid I already knew the answer.
He spent the lunch hour in my classroom with a tutor. That would be the perfect time to talk to him.
We'd finished the showers after the soccer team's morning run, and I was just pulling on my shirt when Ryan O'Herron walked into my office. He had picked up Isaac for his morning tutoring so he hadn't been at the run.
"Hey, Coach, I thought you ought to know that Isaac isn't feeling too well today. I think he might be coming down with a stomach bug or something. He didn't want any breakfast, and he kept holding his stomach like it was hurting. I asked him about it. He said he was okay, but he really didn't look too good to me. Just thought you'd want to know."
"Thanks for the heads up, Ryan. I'll check it out later. I have him in class for second period."
When Isaac walked into the classroom that morning, I knew Ryan had been right on the money. His face was drawn and pale. With blond hair and a light complexion Isaac didn't have much natural color to start with, so to say he was paler than normal meant he was a whitish gray.
I walked over to his desk. "Isaac, you don't look good. Do you need to see the school nurse?"
"No, Coach, it's just a little stomach upset. I'll be all right." His body language didn't match his words. He was holding his arm across his stomach like he was afraid it would fall out.
"Okay, but if you start to feel bad, let me know, and you can go down to the nurse."
I started class but tried to keep one eye on Isaac. About the middle of the period, Caleb Stuart who was sitting next to Isaac suddenly called out, "Coach, I think Isaac's gonna pass out!"
I rushed over to Isaac's desk just in time to break his fall as he rolled off the seat toward the floor. I laid him down on the floor. He moaned and then vomited on my pants. I looked down. There was blood in the vomit!
All of the classrooms in the school were equipped with two-way intercoms and a "panic button" on the wall that could be pressed if a teacher needed assistance. "Caleb, go hit the panic button. I want everyone else to stay in their seats!"
Caleb pushed the button. Almost immediately the secretary's voice came over the intercom, "Mr. Arnold, do you need help?"
"Yes, I have a student who's passed out and has vomited blood. We need the nurse."
"We'll be right there."
Not more than two minutes later the school nurse and Dr. Bergman, the principal, rushed into the room. The nurse took a quick look at Isaac whose head was now in my lap as I sat on the floor with my bloody vomit covered pant leg stretched out away from us.
"I want this boy to go to the hospital." She walked over and punched the panic button and told the secretary to call the paramedics.
Isaac started to come around. I cradled his head, stroked his hair, and spoke softly to him as we waited for the paramedics and ambulance.
Dr. Bergman asked me, "What's this student's name? We need to notify his parents that he's going to the hospital."
"Oh, I don't think we have a phone number for his parents. I'll check."
She got up to leave, but Isaac suddenly became agitated. He said he didn't want anyone talking to his parents. I held him tighter against my chest and began rocking back and forth trying to calm him.
He quieted down, looked pleadingly into my eyes, and asked, "Will you come with me? I don't want to go to the hospital by myself."
I looked up at Nancy Bergmann. She nodded her head. "Go. I'll get someone to cover your classes until you can get back."
Dr. Bergman took all of the other students out of the room to settle them into a study hall for the remainder of the period. The nurse waited with me for the paramedics who arrived within just a few minutes.
In no time at all the paramedics had Isaac loaded into the ambulance for the short trip to Carter County Hospital less than a mile away. The Emergency Room personnel took us into one of the curtained treatment areas and got Isaac into a bed and took his vital signs. They were very sympathetic and kind, but they were also insistent that they couldn't run any tests on Isaac until they had a signed permission form from his parents. I told them that the school was going to try to get in touch with his parents.
An attractive young woman came in and introduced herself as Dr. Kennedy, the ER Staff Physician. She asked Isaac all sorts of questions about when he started to feel bad, if he had any pain, if he'd had an injury that could have caused the bleeding. His answers to her questions were vague. He couldn't remember feeling bad or having any pain. I could sense her growing frustration.
"Isaac, I want you to take off your shirt so I can check your heart and lungs. Can you do that, or do you need some help?"
"Do I hafto. I . . . I don't want to take off my shirt." The panicked look was back in his eyes.
I leaned over towards him. "Isaac, buddy, take off your shirt."
The panicked look stayed in his eyes, but he started to lift the bottom of his shirt.
Dr. Kennedy and I gasped in unison as Isaac's stomach and torso were revealed. His body was covered with bruises. Some were almost faded but still visible. Others were that sick color of greenish yellow that bruises take on as they age past their prime. Still others were dark, angry looking, and obviously very fresh.
"What happened? Where did you get those bruises?"
He looked at me with tears forming in his eyes, but he didn't answer.
Dr. Kennedy sat down on the bed next to Isaac. She gently touched one of the newer bruises. "Isaac, did one of your parents do this to you?"
He looked away and didn't answer.
I felt sick. And I felt angry. I knew. I'd seen it at the truck stop.
I took one of his hands. "Isaac, what happened to you is wrong. It has to stop. Tell us who did this to you, and I promise he'll never do it again."
Isaac's voice was a whisper. "It was my pa. He kicked me."
Dr. Kennedy stood up. "I'll be right back. I need to make a phone call, but I'll be right back." She looked at me. I could read the anger in her eyes. "This changes everything. When I get back, we're going to admit Isaac to the hospital and document his injuries. He seems to trust you. Will you stay with him?"
Things began to move rather quickly in the ER. Isaac was examined by two male doctors plus Dr. Kennedy and x-rayed. One of the male doctors returned, introduced himself as Dr. Howard, and asked Isaac to remove all of his clothes. I stepped outside the curtained area to give them some privacy, but in just a minute or so the doctor pulled aside the curtains and asked me to come back inside saying that Isaac had asked for me.
I stood at the edge of the bed as the doctor examined my young student. Isaac was naked on the bed. The bruises Dr. Kennedy and I had seen on his torso extended across his back, buttocks, and down both sides of his legs. I found myself gripping the edge of the bed to keep from screaming or crying. The doctor asked Isaac to roll over again so he could check his rectum. As the physician pushed apart the boy's cheeks, it was plain to see that he'd been abused sexually as well as physically. His anus was swollen and angry-looking. Gently the doctor swabbed samples from the inside of Isaac's hole and then applied an ointment telling him that it would reduce the swelling.
Dr. Howard helped Isaac into a hospital gown and told him, "There will be some more people coming in to talk to you a little later. I want you to try to get some rest. We're going to start an I.V. to give you some fluids. You've got fresh bruises on your stomach. Those injuries may have broken a few blood vessels in your stomach. Those should heal quickly, but until we figure out if that's why you threw up blood, I don't want you to eat or drink anything. I want to talk with Coach Arnold for a few minutes. Will you be okay by yourself?"
Isaac nodded his head, but the frightened look in his eyes told me he didn't want me to be gone too long.
I patted his leg and told him I'd be right back.
Dr. Howard took me into a room with several chairs. He indicated one of the chairs and closed the door.
"As you could see, Isaac has been beaten repeatedly. Some of those bruises are only a few hours old; others may have been inflicted a week or more ago. I also found indications of sexual abuse. I took some swabs to test for Gonorrhea, and I'm ordering blood tests to check for Syphilis and HIV. I think the physical abuse has been going on for some time. The x-rays showed some ribs that had broken and healed. I'm going to order a CAT scan to look for damage to his stomach and kidneys. We've notified the Sheriff's office and the Department of Social Services. They will be coming in later to talk with him. Dr. Kennedy said that Isaac blamed his father for the bruises."
"DSS and the Sheriff will also want to find out about the sexual abuse. I'm trying to remain professional here, but I want Isaac's father to rot in jail for a long time for what he did to Isaac, and if he was the one who sexually abused the boy then I want him to spend the rest of his life being gang raped in the prison showers.
"Right now Isaac is very scared. It's plain to see that he trusts you, and he's much calmer when you're in the room. Can you stay with him?"
"I'm sure it won't be a problem. I'll need to make a couple of phone calls."
"I'll take you to the nurses' station, and you can use the phone from there."
"No, Mr. Arnold, thank you. Isaac is going to need a lot of support over the next few days and weeks. Your staying with him today is a big help. Oh, and I'll ask the nurses to get you a pair of scrub pants so you don't have to keep wearing Isaac's upchuck for the rest of the day."
"Thanks, again. I imagine I'm a little potent."
"Let's just say that you'll be more pleasant without the pants."
I called the school from the nurses' station. I explained that I needed to stay at the hospital with Isaac for a while. Since I didn't know how long, I asked the secretary to get a message to Trey to let him know where I was in case I wasn't back by the end of the day.
When I finished the phone call one of the nurses handed me a pair of blue scrub pants and a plastic biohazard bag. She pointed me toward the bathroom. I gratefully accepted the scrubs and bag. With my stained trousers (and their developing odor) safely sealed in the biohazard bag, I returned to my young student.
I accompanied Isaac when they took him for the CAT scan. A short time after that he was moved into a regular hospital room. Almost as soon as he was settled into the room he fell asleep. He whimpered, and I moved my chair over to the side of his bed and took hold of his hand. He quieted down almost immediately and went back to a peaceful sleep.
I napped off and on in the chair beside his bed for the next couple of hours. Isaac slept soundly as long as I held his hand or laid my hand on his forearm. If we lost skin contact, he would become restless until I touched him again. Dr. Howard had been right. Isaac was going to need a lot of love and support from someone to get over the abuse.
It was early afternoon before we saw anyone except the nurses on the floor. Dr. Howard had indicated that someone from the Department of Social Services would come by to talk with Isaac so I was surprised when the first visitor was Sheriff Enoch "Red" Stuart. The Sheriff and I had talked a couple of times the previous fall when he'd come by the soccer field to pick up his grandson, Caleb, after practice. Red Stuart weighed in at about 250 but carried the weight easily on his 6'3" frame. He'd gotten his nickname early in life from his sandy red hair although that hair was now thinning and mostly gray everyone still called him Red.
We shook hands and then the big man pulled the other chair over to the side of the bed and sat down before addressing Isaac.
"Isaac, do you know who I am?"
"Yes, Sir. You're Caleb's grandfather, and you're the Sheriff."
"That's right, son. I've got some bad news for you. We sent a deputy out to your house to let your parents know that you were in the hospital. When the deputy got there your dad wouldn't open the door to talk with the deputy. When the deputy started to go back to his patrol car someone in your trailer took a shot at him but missed. My man got back to his car and called for backup. When the other deputies arrived there were a couple more shots from inside the trailer. The deputies returned the fire. Something inside caught fire, and before my men could do anything the whole trailer exploded and burned. No one inside the trailer could have survived that fire. I'm sorry, Isaac, but we think your father's dead."
The Sheriff's words stunned me, but Isaac didn't even flinch. I couldn't see any emotion on his face. "What about my momma and Mutt?"
"There was a woman inside the trailer with your dad. The deputies heard them yelling. If the woman was your mother, then she's gone too. Who's Mutt?"
Isaac still wasn't showing any emotion; however, Red Stuart was close to tears. "Son, if Mutt was in the trailer, there's no way he could have survived."
"Mutt wasn't in the trailer. Pa got mad and chased him out back in August and wouldn't let him come back in. He wasn't in the trailer."
"My men didn't say anything about a dog. I'll radio out there and have someone check for your dog. The fire department and the coroner are still out there."
"Mutt won't come to any one else but me now. Pa has him too scared."
"Isaac, do you know what your father had inside the trailer that made it explode like that?"
He glanced at me and then looked down at his lap. "I . . . I think so."
"What was it, son?"
Isaac didn't answer.
"Isaac, we've got a good idea what was in there. If it's what we think it was then there'll be a lot of toxic chemicals in the wreckage. The firemen will need to know so they can protect themselves before they look for your mom and dad. Do you know what was in there?"
He kept his eyes in his lap when he answered in a whisper, "Meth."
Red Stuart straightened in his chair, but his expression never changed as he said, "That's what we thought it might be. Cooking methamphetamine is pretty dangerous, and the residue is very hazardous. Was your dad selling the stuff?"
"Do you know where he was selling?"
"Yes, sir. Mostly at the truck stop down at the Interstate."
"Okay. We'll check that out. Thanks for telling me about the meth, Isaac. It's important that who ever is looking around in the remains of your trailer has the right kind of protection. You did the right thing by telling me.
"If I remember right all of your grandparents are gone, but you've got an aunt here in town, right?"
"Yes, sir. Esther Finch is momma's sister, but she won't want me. She and my momma didn't get along."
"Esther and Roland Finch are your only living relatives. I'm sure they'll take care of you."
"I don't think so. They won't want me, and I don't want to go there either. Uncle Roland is almost as mean as my pa."
The names suddenly connected in my mind. Esther and Roland Finch were Donnie Micheaux's in-laws. The ones who still refused to acknowledge their beautiful nine-month-old grandson. Given Mr. and Mrs. Finch's attitude toward Donnie and their grandson, I didn't think they'd be too welcoming of Isaac.
When the Sheriff left, Isaac still kept his eyes down cast.
"Isaac, tell me what you were doing at that truck stop."
His head snapped up. "I . . . I . . . I wasn't at the truck stop."
"Isaac, Trey and I saw you there last night."
His eyes went back down to his lap. "If I tell you what happened then you won't like me any more."
I sat on the edge of his bed and lifted his chin so we were looking eye to eye. "I watched you go from truck to truck. You were delivering the drugs, weren't you?"
I could barely hear his whispered, "Yes."
"I think you were doing more than delivering drugs. You stayed in the trucks too long. What else were you doing, Isaac? What else happened to you inside those trucks?"
"I was having sex." He voice grew louder. "That's what you saw! It was $20 for a blowjob and $50 for getting fucked up the ass! There! Now you know that I'm nothing but a cheap faggot whore! Go on back to school and tell everyone that Isaac South's a queer, a cocksucker. Go on!"
I gathered him into a hug. "I'm not going to tell anyone, Isaac, and I'm not leaving you either. I saw what your dad was doing. I know he was the one who made you sell yourself. It's not your fault, son. Your father's the one to blame, not you."
His voice was muffled against my chest. "But sometimes I liked it. Most of the time the truckers treated me like a piece of dirt `specially once they got their rocks off, but some times the guy was nice to me. That's when I liked it. That means I'm a faggot."
I held him tighter. "It's alright if you're gay, Isaac. There's nothing wrong with it. What was wrong is that you were forced into having sex. You're safe now. No one's going to force you to sell yourself any more. You're safe."
The tears came then. He buried his face against my chest and cried. I rocked back and forth and rubbed his back as I held him. After several minutes his sobs eased and then stopped, his body relaxed, and I realized he was asleep again. I held him for several more minutes before laying him back down on the bed and drying my tears.
My feelings turned out to be right on target about Isaac's aunt and uncle. Red Stuart returned about an hour later to tell Isaac that his uncle had refused to consider the idea of taking him in.
"Sheriff, I'd like to have Isaac live with us."
Red Stuart nodded, and his lined face broke into a smile, "I think that would be an excellent place for young Isaac. Normally, the DSS isn't too keen on single men being foster parents, but since you're already the guardian for your nephew, and since the DSS is short on foster parents willing to take in teenagers, and since I'll put in a good word for you, I think it can be arranged. Thank you."
We shook hands. I looked over at Isaac. He had tears in his eyes, but there was a smile on his face. It was the first time he'd smiled all day.
(To be continued)