23 September 2004
Well, it looks like summer is finally starting to slowly slip into
fall. Soon the leaves will be turning, the weather will be
cooling, the cats will start shedding all over my furniture again,
etc. Where has the year gone? Anyway, I hope everyone
enjoyed the last chapter and thank you to those of you who wrote to say
so. As always, I do try to respond as time permits, so if you
feel like you have any comments about the story, please feel free to
Kind regards and best wishes for a safe and happy week,
And now, on a very special "Two Lives - Two Loves"...........Just
kidding; sorry. I had to get it out of my system...I hate
that overused phrase. I'd almost rather visit my dentist than
watch a 'very special'
anything. My feeling being that if they have to tell you it's very special, it isn't. Anyway, I
hope you enjoy the story:
This story is a work of
Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or
dead, is entirely coincidental. This
story also deals with love and consensual sexual activities between men.
If you are not of legal age, reside in an
area where viewing such material is illegal, or are offended by such
not read further and leave this site now.
The author retains all
rights to this story. Reproductions or
links to other sites are
not allowed without the permission of the author.
Lives – Two Loves
Jon’s goosebumps had plenty of company now.
The dead phone continued ringing in my hand. Dead;
There was an ironic choice of words.
I had a really good idea of who it was and I wasn’t terribly
it. But what was gnawing at my stomach
the most was that it was coming to Jon’s phone, not mine.
“It’s for you,” I said meekly, trying to inject some humor
into the situation as I handed the phone back to Jon.
“No hablo ingles, dude,” he cracked, waving the phone away
like it was radioactive. “Ain’t nobody on that thing I want to talk to!”
I smirked at Jon for sticking me with the dirty work.
I flipped open the cover with the same
tentativeness that’s usually reserved for when a kid checks his closet
“Hello?” I said. I’m
sure it goes without saying that there was absolutely no one there.
“Hello?” I said again.
I don’t know why I said that again.
I don’t know why anybody would say hello again.
I’m holding an obviously dead phone in my
hand, there’s absolutely no one on the other end; hell, for that
there’s not even an ‘other end’ for anyone to be on, and yet I said
again. There must be a stupid-gene,
common to all mankind, that clicks in at times, like in the movies,
someone’s talking on the phone and it goes dead and they start tapping
cradle switch like the other party’s going to magically reappear.
I didn’t feel too stupid, though; I had other
thoughts going through my mind.
“Hmm,” I mumbled as I flipped the cover shut, ending the
“Well?” Jon asked.
“Who was it?”
“Nobody,” I said, handing the phone back.
“There was nobody on the phone,” I said again, maybe a bit
more sharply than I should have.
Jon wanted to say something.
I could see words trying to get from his brain to his tongue,
weren’t coming. He gave up trying and
clipped the phone back on his belt as he shook his head.
I had just eased us back onto the path again when
his phone started that damned ringing again and I slammed on the
again. This was starting to get really
old, really fast and I was getting more pissed than scared.
Jon, however, was clearly more scared than
“Is it still off?” I asked as I slammed the gearshift into
park, lurching us to a halt.
“Hey! Easy with
that…” he started to say before I cut him off.
“Is it still off?” I asked again.
Jon looked up at me and just nodded. He
hadn’t turned it on when he’d clipped it
back to the holster. He was solid
goosebumps now, and I put my hand on his thigh, rubbing him, trying to
down and remind him I was there for him.
“Baby, I think you’re gonna have to answer it if we’re gonna
get any peace,” I said.
Jon put his hand on mine and nodded. His
other hand shook as he unclipped the
phone and flipped it open.
“Hello?” he whispered.
I studied him as he listened. Sometimes I
can hear the murmuring of the
other party on the line but this time I couldn’t. Jon,
however, was apparently hearing more
than he wanted to. His golden tan gave
way to an ashen white as his mouth slowly fell open.
He listened for a minute or so, squinting, his eyebrows knitting
together as if he was trying to hear better.
I shrugged, asking who it was with my upraised palms.
Jon shook his head and held the phone to my
ear. There was nothing, not one sound.
“I don’t hear anything,” I said. Jon
looked at me as if I was crazy as he
pulled the phone back to his ear.
“You can’t hear that?” he whispered quickly. I
could only shrug and shake my head.
He listened for a few seconds more and pulled the phone away
from his ear, staring at it like it had just spoken in tongues.
Well, I don’t know; maybe it had.
He flipped it shut and held it in his lap.
“Well? Who was it?” I
“I don’t know,” he said.
“But it was the same voice as at home this morning.”
“So what’d it say?”
Jon hesitated for a moment, cautiously collecting his
thoughts, wanting to sound as rational as possible.
“I’m not sure,” he said. I didn’t
interrupt. I let my hand go back to his
lap, letting him know he wasn’t alone in whatever was going on.
“It was hard to pick out, you know?” he began. “It
was garbled at first, then I thought it
said ‘need you’, ‘need your’ or ‘heed your’, something like that; then
“Garbly?” I’m sorry,
but every now and then Jon would make up words on the fly, particularly
his mind was racing. It was my duty as
an upperclassman and fraternity brother to call him on it.
“Yeah, garbly,” he said, ticked at having his thought
interrupted. “Got a problem with that?”
“No,” I said, straight away.
“Then it got all garbly again, and?” I prompted.
“And it sounded like it said ‘joy’ or something like that,
you know,” he continued. “Then it got
all GARBLY again,” he said, punching
at my favorite word just to poke me in the ribs a little.
I winced appropriately. “…and then the phone
I had no idea of what to make of it. “That’s
all you got?”
“Pfft,” he snorted, “I think that was enough. It
was like trying to listen to somebody talk
through water, you know?”
Jon was obviously excited, but I knew that if he said ‘You
know’ one more time I was going to lose it.
I did my best to let it pass.
I also knew exactly what he was referring to. In
those dreams I’d had, the voice on the
other end of that incessantly ringing phone had a similar sound to what
described. There was another sound, too.
“Was there kind of a weird, deep hum that faded in and out,
kinda like when you’re trying to tune in a weak AM station?”
Jon looked up at me, relieved that I didn’t think he was
insane. “You know it?”
“Oh, yeah; I know it,” I confirmed. “That’s
the same thing as happened with that
phone thing in my dreams.”
“But we’re awake,” he said.
“And it’s happening to me,
“Yeah,” I said. “This
is definitely getting out of control.
We’ve gotta get some answers out of Alicia.
This pussy-footin’ around crap’s gotta stop.”
“No shit,” Jon said, nodding agreement.
We were mostly quiet as we headed back to town. We
stopped to get the tanks refilled and I
gave Dave the highlights of our dive. I
didn’t tell him about the trailer, though; I didn’t feel like listening
lecture about proper dive procedures or being just too stupid for words.
Jon poked around the store while Dave and I talked.
He kept winding up at the display case with
the watches. His was seriously
waterlogged from the other day at the pool and would probably cost more
repair than to replace. He just looked,
though. He didn’t ask to see anything.
His browsing was just a pretense. We both
knew it. He was worried about the phone
calls and was
trying to be nonchalant about. He didn’t
want to let down his guard and be seen as anything other than mister
football guy, at least not in public.
When we were alone it was a different story.
He didn’t bother with pretenses at home. He
opened himself freely to me and allowed
himself to be anything but rough or tough.
He’d never admit it but Jon was a very sensitive guy when you
away the veneer, and I’m not talking about his clothes, mostly.
Beneath that rock hard chest beat the heart
of a real humanitarian and I thought it was perfect that he wanted to
While Dave went to check on the tanks, I watched Jon as he
rambled around and let my mind drift. My
‘sight’ was getting clearer, sharper.
Practice, I guess. I could see
him as a comforting physician who cared more about his patients than
billings. I could see him taking from
his own pocket or doing without himself so that someone could get the
care. God, I loved him so much.
I wanted to just wrap my arms around him and
never let him go. I had to resist
temptation, though. Jon didn’t like
public displays of affection, not wanting it generally known that he…we
lovers. I had to be happy with just
admiring his body when we were out and about.
“What?” Jon asked, catching me smiling at him.
“Nothin’,” I leered.
“I was just thinking that we need to get the young doctor home
“Huh? Oh!” he said, catching on.
“Diabetes or something?
Sorry to hear that,” Dave said as he dragged two of the tanks
the back. He was obviously one to say
whatever crossed his mind. “Yeah, I’ve
got a cousin with that. Has to watch it
like a hawk. You a doctor?
Look kinda young.”
“Pre-med,” Jon said.
“Yeah, I need my injection,” he began, looking at me from under
eyebrows. He was afraid I might be
getting a little too close to giving us away.
“But we’re meeting some friends for lunch first.
I can hold out.”
“Yeah, well, you keep an eye on it,” Dave said, not really
knowing what to say other than the usual, harmless chit-chat.
“You guys stay safe.”
It was almost noon when we pulled into the Beef N’ Bird, but
the parking lot seemed light for it being near lunchtime.
I got the impression that this was the kind
of town where people ate early rather than opting for a fashionably
We spotted a Sheriff’s patrol car a few spots away, facing
out in case of an unexpected call.
Alicia had beaten us here and found a quiet booth in the back,
the few customers, so we could talk freely.
“Hey, guys!” Ron greeted us at the hostess stand, menus in
hand. “How’s things going?”
“Dude; you get promoted to hostess?” Jon asked, taking the
opportunity to needle Ron. “Where’s
Ron flushed a little but tried not to show his
amusement. He knew Jon meant the small
jab good-naturedly. “You wish.
She called in sick, which means her highness
shopping or something. The rest of us
are just seating the customers when we see them,” he said, seeming
his added duties. “Come on, I got you
all set up.”
“There they are!” Alicia grinned as she set her iced tea
down to shake hands. She looked all
business now in her uniform and hair pulled back, not the softer Alicia
the night before. “How’d breakfast turn
out, Brad?” she said with that air of knowing damn good and well how it
“Ooooooh, it could’ve been better.”
“What?” Jon said.
“You knew about that? I thought
the place was on fire!”
“I just suggested he do something nice for the both of
you. I didn’t tell him to burn the house
down, hon,” Alicia chided. “I heard the
call,” she continued. “I’d’ve come out
but I was on another call at the time.
Everything okay, though, I take it.”
“Alicia,” I sighed as I slid around in the booth after
Jon. “You would not
believe the morning we’ve had.”
“You guys want to order first before you get started?” Ron
asked. “I don’t want to miss any of
We gave the menus a quick look, gave Ron our order and he
hurried off to get it in. Jon and I were
both starved and we probably ordered more than we should have, but
something about nearly getting killed that sharpens a guy’s appetite.
You look for even the most mundane things to
remind you that you’re still above ground, or water, as the case may be.
Ron brought us back some sodas a basket of chips to crunch
on and then fell silent as I started telling them, with Jon jumping in
occasionally to fill in details and generally take care of the color
about how busy our morning had been.
There was no restaurant beyond the limits of our booth.
It was just us around the surrogate campfire
of the table candle listening to the story.
I started with a recap of my morning meditation.
Ron and Jon just listened intently; Alicia
nodded knowingly and with approval. They
chuckled when I told them about the smoking sausages and the fire
cringing when I mentioned the broken window.
Jon piped in to tell them about the phone call he got as the
department was breaking in and I saw Alicia’s eyebrows go up like a
“Wait! Hold on a sec,
there, hon,” she said, holding up a hand as if stopping traffic.
“No, wait; it gets better!”
Jon said. “Tell ‘em,” he said,
nudging my arm.
I watched Ron and Alicia’s mouths slowly fall open as I told
them about the quarry, about the trailer; well, not everything about
trailer, that part was just for me and Jon.
I told them about my seeing Grandfather and barely getting out
skins intact, about going back a while later…
“…and it was just gone,” I said, looking at their
“Oh, my God!” Ron whispered.
Jon turned to me sharply.
“You didn’t tell me that!”
“Sweet Jesus!” Alicia added.
“Didn’t want to upset you,” I shrugged. Jon
just rolled his eyes and shook his head.
“I’m telling you here and now,” Alicia began. “You
two guys were meant to live. Not a doubt
in my mind. Do you realize what a gift
“Gift?” Jon grunted.
“Remind me not to come by your
house on Christmas.”
Alicia smirked at Jon but let it slide. I
could tell she knew he was still greatly
stressed and she’d seen enough stressed out people in her line of work
knew when a barb was sincere or not.
“Oh, that isn’t the end of it,” I said.
“Hold on a sec; I don’t want to miss this,” Ron said as he
bolted for the kitchen. He came back and
set our burgers in front of us and we paused long enough to take a
“And then?” Alicia prompted.
Jon waved at me to do the talking while he continued to
inhale his food and I told them about the phone calls on the dead phone.
Still chewing, Jon unclipped it from his
shorts and waggled it in the air for his touch of emphasis.
Alicia took it in her hand and studied it,
turning it over and over like she was trying to get its vibes.
“Whoa,” Ron murmured.
He stood there searching for words but none came.
“So having said all that,” I began. “What
the hell’s going on here?” Jon nodded in
agreement as he sucked down the
last of his fries.
Alicia looked back and forth at us and then down at the
table. She just spun Jon’s phone around
a couple of times, trying to think of what to say, forming her thoughts
carefully as if she was giving testimony.
“Well, if there is such a thing, let’s start with the easy
part,” she began, running her fingers through her tightly bound hair.
Brad? I want to tell you that I’m
glad you started your meditations, so are your guides.
I saw that you had really good results for a
first time out.”
“Hon, I can see them almost jumping up and down, they’re so
excited. Like they’re saying ‘it’s about
time’. You know, some people take a long
time to get as far as you did this morning, in just one
sitting,” she said, wagging her finger at me. “…even
though, in reality, it’s just a small
step. Some people never get there at
all. But then something happened.
It’s like you vaulted over a spiritual fence
like some suspects I’ve chased.”
We chuckled at her analogy and I could feel Jon loosen up
now that he was securely among friends with a full stomach.
“Is that the gift you mentioned,” Jon asked.
“Kind of. It’s a
multi-parter,” she said, taking another sip of her tea.
“What I don’t think you fully appreciate,”
she continued, looking me straight in the eyes.
“…was that when it looked like you two were history, you kept
and opened yourself like you’ve never done before.
Well, consciously, anyway. This
wasn’t like those dreams where something
came and got you when you were unguarded; you called on your guides and
Grandfather came, and you listened.
You’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.”
We were too stunned to speak. Ron had to
go take care of another
table. The lunch crowd was starting to
filter in but he made sure we were left alone as best he could.
I was thankful for that. Anyone
overhearing us would be sure we were
certifiable. Alicia could tell I wasn’t
completely grasping the importance of what she was telling me.
“Congratulations, son,” she began again. “You
had your first real, all-by-yourself
kind of vision.” I shook her extended
hand. “Some people go their whole lives
looking for a vision and never get one.”
“First?” Jon asked.
“What about all the little flashes he gets now and then?”
“They’re flashes,” Alicia said. “Some
people call them intuition, things that
just come to them. It’s like up to now,
your guides found the right frequency for you all to talk on but your
was turned way down.”
“And that’s different from what happened how?” I asked.
“You believed and trusted.
You were ready, and you opened yourself up to hear and when you
was like trying to compare AM radio with high definition TV.
There’s just no comparison.”
We paused. I didn’t
know what to say and had to let it sink in for a moment.
“The rest of the gift,” she began again after a moment.
“…was for both of you.” Jon looked
up from the candle he’d been
staring at intently while he listened.
“It’s really kind of a left-handed gift, but it was your
shared experience of nearly drowning together.”
“You call that a gift?” Jon asked.
“When you consider that people usually have to go through a
near death experience to get the lesson, then yeah, I call that a gift!”
Alicia said, getting perturbed with Jon’s
“Sorry,” he mumbled.
“Me too, hon,” she whispered. “I know it
hasn’t been one of your better
days; I’m sorry.”
“So go on,” I broke in.
Alicia paused and took in a deep breath, “Your experience
was a reminder to get your priorities straight.
It was a kick in the pants to realize that there’s something
important than fast cars and ‘cool gear’; all that stuff is just window
dressing. Any good, stiff wind can blow
it all away at any time. Guess what’s
left after that?”
We sat there silent, like a couple of schoolboys who didn’t
want to risk giving the wrong answer.
Alicia said, mimicking every teacher we’d ever had.
Neither of us spoke.
“Hmm,” she said, disappointed that neither of us spoke
up. “Well, you’re not fooling me with
that silent bit; I know you both know the answer. That’s
only part of it, though,” she
continued, leaning closer to us, making sure we wouldn’t be overheard.
We leaned in to her. Jon
winced, shoving the candle aside when its
heat started to singe his nose.
“See, the lesson was given to the two of you,” she said
softly. “…it confirms what I’ve been
“Which is?” I asked.
“Oh, my God; it speaks!” Alicia jabbed. I
rolled my eyes and saw Jon snickering out
of the corner of my eye. I waved at her
to go on.
“It tells me that you two are meant to be together.
You guys are two halves of the same coin.”
She studied our reaction, or non-reaction as it were.
It’s like when your mom tells you exactly
what you’ve been up to after you’ve been trying your hardest to keep
it is a secret. You go to ground and
keep quiet, like a rabbit trying to get away from a fox.
“Yeah, I know,” she said.
“I understand you don’t want your relationship generally known.”
“Kinda figured you knew,” I said.
“Ron didn’t tell you?” Jon asked.
“Didn’t say a word,” she said, shaking her head. “He
likes you guys a lot; I know that for a
fact. And he respects your privacy.
All I’m saying is that your experience is a
sign, to me at least. It’s kind of the
Universe’s way of confirming that you belong together, that it’s
supposed to be
“So you don’t have a problem,” Jon began, then paused to
look around. “…with us being gay?”
Alicia slumped towards Jon, seeming disappointed but staring
him dead in the eyes. “Jon, I’m sworn to
uphold the law, not stupidity.” Jon sat
back and beamed his trademark smile. A
sense of relief washed over both of us.
“You two belong together. That’s
all I can say. It’s like, if one of you
didn’t exist, the other’d be nothing.
Well, maybe not nothing, but seriously incomplete.”
the call from her radio on the table next to her. Alicia
picked it up and thumbed the key.
“Thirty-two, go ahead,” she said, adjusting the volume and
holding it to her ear so as not to disturb the other patrons.
She listened intently for a few seconds.
“Ten-four,” she answered, clipping the radio
back to her belt. She got up quickly and
tossed a few bills onto the table.
“What’s up?” I asked.
truck out at the power plant. I’ve gotta
meet the Highway Patrol. What a world we
live in,” she sighed. “Wanna come?
See if you get any vibes?
Practice never hurts,” she offered.
“No thanks,” I said, waving it off. “I’ll
“Suit yourself,” she said.
“You might not have a choice much longer, though.”
“Meaning what, exactly?” I asked, not knowing what to make
of her somber tone.
“Hey, what about the phone calls?” Jon interjected, trying
to squeeze in one last question before she ran.
“Yeah, we need to talk about those; don’t worry about it for
now,” she said, her steady voice betraying a note of concern.
“Are we still on for tomorrow?”
“Yeah, say around ten-ish?” I said.
“Good. I want to read
that house again; gotta run!” she called, waving as she headed out.
We listened and heard her sirens as she flew
out of the parking lot, fading in the distance as Ron came back to see
if we needed
“Sorry, guys; we got busy all of a sudden. What
did I miss?
“We’ll fill you in later,” I said.
“Yeah, we’ve gotta run.
You’re coming by for dinner, right?” Jon asked.
“Say around four-thirty, fiveish; thought we’d hang out at
the pool for a while.” I said. “We’re
having another guest join us, by the way.”
“Who?” Ron asked skeptically.
“One of the firefighters who was at the house this
morning. Nice guy. Said
he wanted to know if the house is really
haunted, so I said he should come see for himself,” I said.
“I think you two might hit it off.
Besides, we need a fourth for bridge!” I
added, smiling at my own small joke.
Ron gave me a sideways glance with a twisted smile.
I think you’re just trying to get me into trouble.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said with the
feigned innocence of a baby lamb.
“Yeah, right, Yenta,” Jon said. “Let’s
“He’ll explain it later,” Jon said, thumbing at me as he
slid out of the booth. “I’m staying out
“Oh, don’t pay him any mind,” I said. “Just
remember to pack a bag.”
Neither one of us spoke much as we headed home. We
didn’t need to. Jon was the only one to
talk, warning me
about a radar trap he saw up ahead. It
was close; we narrowly missed getting caught as I eased us back to 53.
I swear, he could see a fly on a barn door in
the next county, just like with the trailer.
I definitely had to get my eyes checked, but, trust me, that was
least of my concerns. Jon and I were
both in a hurry.
It had been a long, difficult morning and we were just happy
to be here but we desperately needed some alone time.
Not with Dave, not with Ron or Alicia, not
with half the Fire Department standing in the front entry, no one; just
away from prying eyes.
With a cloud of dust trailing behind, I gunned the engine as
we turned into the front drive. I was
about to turn off to go around back when I noticed Jon squinting at
“Pull up to the front,” he said, pointing.
Jon didn’t say anything.
He just kept squinting at whatever it was, cocking his head as
to bring it in clearer. I pulled to a
stop in front of the house as dust from the gravel drive swirled up
“Look,” he said softly, pointing at the front door.
“Yeah? So what
abou…” My words trailed off when I saw
what he was looking at.
The front windows were completely intact. No
broke panes, no plastic, no nothing. It
was like nothing had ever happened.
“Oh, Jesus,” Jon muttered.