The Dark Side of the Moon
I took another sip of water to try and get that puke taste out of my mouth and then turned my head, shuddered and looked at Jimmy. Then to complete the look I started to cry. I felt like I was crying because I was so deep down scared but I figured that I was also crying for a lot of other reasons that I didn’t want to think about yet.
For a while I thought we were gonna stay like that, Jimmy standing in the corner looking like he wanted to be on the moon instead of here and me in the bed crying and wanting to pull the covers up over my head.
Jimmy was the first to move but then I figured that he should be. He walked slowly to the foot of the bed and stared at me like he had stopped breathing.
“That’s what I do to you?” He brushed his nose with the back of his hand. “You can’t even talk to me without puking?”
I was leaning against the headboard and had pulled my knees up tight to my chest and wrapped my arms around them. I mumbled into my knees. “I didn’t tell the cops about you guys. Really, I only told em about the guys that………did that to me.”
He walked over to the side of the bed and I scurried quickly to the far side. He held out his hands and said, “It’s okay, I’m not gonna hurt ya. Geez, Robbie, will ya calm down, I’m your brother, you’ve known me your whole life.” His hand went to his forehead and he drew a deep breath.
“The thing is, Robbie that I wanted to tell ya that we made a mistake.” He stopped and sighed. “Shit you look like hell! What the fuck did those bastards do to ya?”
I figured that if he didn’t know the answer to that question he was the only one in town, by now, who didn’t.
“Karen said…….said that you’re afraid of us………..of me.” His fingers were twisting the edge of the sheet. “Robbie we didn’t do anything to you. I mean, I agree we made a hell of a mistake with that kid but we never hurt you. And for all of that we never hurt him, not really. It’s not like it doesn’t happen all the time to a lot of kids and it’s all in fun.” He sighed. “Okay, so maybe he didn’t have fun but it’s not like it’s never happened to anyone else.”
I just stared at him but I was getting angry. I said, “You mean because it’s tradition?”
“Well, kinda. It happens every year to a lot of kids. It’s not that big of a deal.”
My insides were shaking. “So if somebody, three strangers, grabbed mom or dad and made them strip off all their clothes or they’d beat em up and then made em put them back on inside out or in the wrong order that’d be okay?”
“No! No………..Robbie…….I know that it was wrong.”
“So did you apologize to the kid?” I had pulled the blanket up to just under my nose.
He snorted. “No, why……..”
“The guys who attacked me are gonna go to jail.”
“Robbie, we didn’t rape the kid!”
I was starting to sob and shake so bad I wasn’t sure if my body could handle it, mainly I think because I figured he was never gonna understand and that I had been right all along and I was never gonna have my brothers back and I could really use em now.
I almost shouted, “He didn’t do it voluntarily did he? Or maybe it was his idea, maybe he wanted you to make him strip off his clothes to humiliate him, maybe it was his plan all along. Maybe he wanted to have to run home and hide afraid to tell his parents what had happened to him.” He was just standing there with his mouth open and I couldn’t seem to shut mine.
I was kneeling now but I still had the blankets pulled up to my chin and I was ready to piss in my pants, well if I had any on. I started to choke on my own saliva. There just seemed to be fluids coming out of me everywhere.
I kept gasping for breath. “I fucking loved you! I thought you were like dad that you were somebody nice but your not your just a fucking criminal!”
The doctor appeared in the doorway of the room and looked at us both and then walked up to my brother and got right in his face “You’re one of the brothers, right? Well I want you fucking outta here! I dunno what you did to this kid but I know you did something and I want you out!”
Jimmy practically screamed. “I didn’t do anything to him!”
The doctor pointed at me. “So he always looks like that? He didn’t look like that before you got here! He’s got a concussion and you upsetting him is not the way to get him well.”
The doctor looked at me and said, “Robert, I want you lying down flat on your back and I want you to rest. The world seems to think that concussions aren’t anything to worry about but they’re wrong.”
He looked a Jimmy. “You’re still here.”
“Look, doctor, I’m sorry that I upset him. That was the last thing that I wanted to do but can I just have a couple of minutes? Please! I won’t upset him anymore.”
The doctor stared into my brother’s eyes for a long time and then finally said, “Five minutes! I hear him yelling and I call security. Got it?”
“Yes, Sir.” The doctor turned abruptly and walked out of the room.
Now that I was lying down Jimmy walked over next to where my head was and hunkered down just like my dad did. Geez he looks so much like my dad. I don’t look like anybody.
“Robbie…………I’m gonna think about what you said.” He took a deep breath. “The thing that I wanted to tell you………….actually the only thing that I really wanted you to know when I came here is that I…….well we, cause it’s true for Chase and Connor too…….we love you. I know that we fucked up. The thing is that I’m gonna try to make it right. You’re not the only one that I disappointed. I disappointed Dad and I gotta make it right for him too.
He crossed his arms on the edge of the mattress and rested his chin on his arms. “I thought about you all last night, what you went through………with those guys. We haven’t even had a chance to talk about that yet. You musta been terrified,” He closed his eyes for a moment, “I mean I can’t even imagine. I thought about that and then I thought about how I seemed to make you feel the same way and I can’t get that outta my head.”
He reached out and gently wiped my tears away with his thumb. “I just want you to give me a chance……….a chance to prove that I’m not that guy, that guy that scares you. Robbie, it would kill me to think that that was the only way that you were gonna think about me.”
Okay, the thing is that I was prepared for him being a jerk, I more or less expected it but I wasn’t prepared for him being my brother, the brother that I had always known. So I said something that surprised even me something that I hadn’t been consciously thinking.
My voice was low because I felt like I was telling a secret. “They hurt me so bad, Jimmy.” I pulled my hand out from under the covers and wiped my eyes but I knew that the tears weren’t gonna stop. “And now I can’t sleep cause when I close my eyes they’re there………..and it’s all happening again.” I wiped some of the snot off of my upper lip with the back of my hand. “It’s over………and the thing is that I thought things would get better………but they’re not………..it………it just seems like they get worse……….and I don’t think that I have the strength…….the strength to keep doin this.”
Jimmy covered his eyes with the his hand for a moment and then he reached out and while he brushed back my hair he stared into my eyes. “I’m gonna talk to the doctor about something to help you sleep, where you won’t sleep and have dreams. Seems to me I read someplace they got stuff like that. He took my hand in his. “I won’t leave ya Robbie till I know that you’re gonna be asleep and be okay.”
The next morning I was alone but I didn’t remember having dreamt. Someone had already been in and set the breakfast menu down on the movable table thing and I called right away and ordered food and then tuned around the channels that the TV got. I tried to remember Jimmy leaving but the last thing that I remember is taking the pill that the nurse brought in and Jimmy wrapping his hand around mine.
Anyway the crying had stopped and I was really happy about that. It was beginning to get on my nerves and I pretty sure that nobody else was thrilled with it either. I was thinking about Jimmy and wondering if there was any reason that I shouldn’t take what he said last night at face value. I mean, after all that is basically the Jimmy that I’ve always known and I began to wonder if what was done to me didn’t fuck up my judgment.
I’m pretty sure that I’m goin home today although they always seem to holding out the possibility that it won’t happen and it’s not like I’m all that sure that I want to anyway. I figure that I know my mom and dad are okay with me and after last night I gotta figure that Jimmy is too but that still leaves Chase, Connor and the wild card Karen.
For one thing I haven’t seen any sign of Chase and Connor and that surprises me a little and there was something about the way Karen was acting but then maybe I’m just seeing stuff that isn’t there.
A social worker comes in and talks to me for about a half an hour and it’s almost like she’s speaking some language that I never even heard before cause after she left I couldn’t come up with one solid thing that she said.
The hospital shrink stopped in next and basically just gave me this card that had his office number at the hospital and another number where they’d give you referrals to other shrinks. I must not have looked like I was getting it cause he stopped after a while and asked if I thought he should wait and talk to my parents. I told him no.
I was killing time waiting for somebody to pick me up and I tried to call my friend Carl but then realized that he’d be in school. I started to wonder if he’d even want to talk to me. In high school becoming famous for being raped doesn’t guarantee popularity, usually just the opposite. I was also beginning to get a home alone feeling.
My dad showed up around eleven o’clock. He had gone to work and then left to pick me up and take me home and then he was headed back to work which meant that I’d be hangin at home by myself for most of the day.
The nurse told me that he was coming and she gave me my regular clothes but I guess that nobody thought about the condition that they were in what with the blood stains and tears. Well, it didn’t matter. I could live with it for as long as it took to get home. I checked the pants out it the bathroom mirror and they were worse than I thought. The whole backside of the pants were blood soaked but it was dry so it wasn’t like it would stain the seats in my dad’s car or anything but it did kinda advertise what had happened.
I guess that my dad hadn’t thought about my clothes either because he got this really shocked look on his face and then I realized that he probably hadn’t even seen these clothes. He didn’t look like he was handling it well.
He put his hand on my shoulder and gently turned me around. He shook his head slowly. “Geez that looks like a lotta blood!” Of course blood and shit are two things that go an awful long way when you start spreading them around.
I know that I was blushing, the fact is that I felt responsible for everything that had happened including my bloody pants. I felt like I should offer to pay for them.
“I’m sorry but I never thought to tell you guys about the pants. I had em on and I guess when I got here they took em off me.”
He smoothed out my hair and said, “No, don’t worry about it. It’s not like it’s your fault or anything.” He held my face lightly in his hands and examined the bruises.
“Your swelling has mostly disappeared but that bruising is gonna take a few days.”
For some reason, even though I know that he knows it, I say, “Jimmy was here last night.”
“I talked to him this morning. He said that he felt better, that he thought you guys were getting along.”
I nodded yes, pretty sure that it was true but knowing just as surely as I knew anything that not everything was right with everyone and that there was a lot more to come.
On the way to the car and once we got home dizziness had begun to reassert itself and my dad insisted that I lie down in the family room but as soon as he went back to work I went upstairs, one stair at a time, to see what my room looked like.
The lamp and the radio had been replaced but if you looked for it you could see a couple of dents where the radio and lamp had hit the wall. I looked in the mirror above my dresser. Geez I looked like shit! Big yellow and black bruises and the swelling wasn’t all gone. I looked like a freak.
I stripped off my clothes and changed into clean ones and then lay down on my bed. I was exhausted. Ever since it happened I’ve been exhausted. I keep thinking that I’m gonna wake up and it will have been a dream. I know that’s stupid and I know it’s not gonna happen but it’s all I’ve got.
I must have fallen asleep if you can call what I do sleep. When I woke up I laid there on top of the covers listening to the sounds of the house and the traffic outside and thinking about the changes in my life that happened because I decided to take a piss in one men’s room instead of another.
Even assuming, and it was a big assumption, that I could straighten out the problem with my family there was still the matter of going back to school. It was gonna be bad but I just wasn’t sure how bad. It seemed to me a given that the few friends that I had would stay clear of me. After all, who wants to hang out with the wounded gazelle when the lions are waking up?
I heard a loud car turn into our driveway with a squeal of tires and knew that my brother’s were home. This time there was the usual arguing but it didn’t have a good-natured bantering quality to it and there was no laughing.
I thought about listening but then decided that I just didn’t want to deal with it and wrapped my pillow around my head which blocked out all but the loudest words, like faggot and cocksucker.
As soon as the pillow was over my head the movie began and I was back at the school in that john taking a piss and the door opens and three big guys come in. The guy with short black hair walks over to the urinal next to mine and just stands there as his buddies lean up against the sinks.
He reaches down and curls his fingers around his bulge and then shakes it and says, “Aaaahh!”
I can feel the heat from his body and I’m very aware of the other two guys over by the sinks who seem to be watching us without looking.
He spreads his legs wider than he needs to and his right foot is almost touching my left.
Finally he unzips and pulls his dick out and gives it a good shake.
I know that he’s trouble and I somehow know that it’s not the ordinary shit that you run into in high school and I know that even if I get past him I won’t get past his buddies. It’s funny because even in that moment before it happened some tiny part of my mind was already looking at the aftermath and wondering how I’d be able to deal with it.
His voice isn’t particularly deep but it’s got an edge to it. “I said………..ain’t it fucking big?”
I’ve stopped peeing now and am putting my own cock away but mumble, “Yeah, I guess.”
He practically yells, “You guess?” Then more quietly, “Maybe
you need a better look at it.” He turns towards me. “Go
ahead, touch it. Go ahead.”