This is a story of friendship, commitment, love and trust. It is not a sex story. However, this story deals with love between male teenagers. If you are offended by stories involving love between two teenage boys, please do not read this story. There may be some sex scenes in this story; however, sex is not the main theme. If you are under age 18 or 21 or it is illegal to read this story where you live, don't read it. Reproducing this story for distribution without the owner's permission is a violation of that copyright.
Author's Message: Not much to say.
Why? Why can't I tell Dawson how much I love him? That what I feel is more than brotherly love. I think it's because I don't feel I am good enough for him. I mean Dieter has got looks and smarts. Dawson's always calling me bro and so that's what he thinks of me – I'm just his `brother'. I know he loves Dieter.
When I saw him coming out of the hotel with his backpack I knew he was leaving. It hurt that I couldn't go. I walked with him as far as the metro. As I watched him go down to the platform below I began to cry. Not out loud, just tears trickling down my face. He stopped, turned and mouthed, "I love you". Through my tears I forced a smile.
As I walked slowly back to the café I passed Madam Jardin's vegetable and fruit shop. "Good day Sven. Why do you look so sad? Did you and Dawson have an argument?"
"No. He's going south for a few days."
"Awww! You and he are perfect for each other. You should have gone with him," she said.
"We are not lovers, Madame Jardin."
"Well, you should be! He loves you! I can tell and it is obvious you love him."
"No, he has a boyfriend," I said.
"It won't last!" she exclaimed, "Here have an apple."
I thanked her. If only her insistence that Dawson loved me and not Dieter were true. How she knows he's gay I don't know. I've never admitted to her that I am gay. I know she adores him. I remember the day they met. Saturdays Dawson doesn't go to school, so he normally spent most of the day drawing and painting.
When he draws or paints he is totally intense, totally focused. It is so awesome to watch him work because he shuts out everything except the subject he is painting. If you happen to be the subject as in a portrait he's always talking with you. If you are not the subject sometimes you can talk to him and sometimes not. He told me once that he has super selective hearing; and I believe him, because sometimes you can actually shout at him and unless he has you tuned in he doesn't hear you. It's really weird.
Anyway this particular Saturday he chose to do a pen and ink of Madame Jardin and her vegetable and fruit stand. It was early and there were not too many people around. As it happened Dawson was standing right in the middle of the side street when a car came along, And honked violently at him as cars do in Paris. He didn't move. When the guy yelled at him to move he, not speaking French at the time, simply continued his drawing. The driver got out of the car and cussed and swore at Dawson to move. Dawson didn't hear him. This big man was about ready to pick Dawson up and physically move him when Dawson's drawing caught his attention.
The driver, mesmerized by Dawson's work and his intensity, stood watching the artist.
Another car came behind the first and the driver went through the same act . He too was mesmerized by Dawson's intenseness.
Like Dawson, I am an early riser and I saw this traffic jam. Being curious I went to see what was up. I found Dawson with about fifteen people gathered around behind him commenting and watching.
Within a few minutes he finished the drawing and of course he becomes aware of all these people. Turning, he sees me, the traffic jam he's caused, and starts apologizing in English and very broken French.
No one was angry or upset, which amazed me. Several of the people offered to buy the drawing, but Dawson shook his head no.
He taking my hand he led me over to Madame Jardin.
"Tell her this is a present from me to her," said Dawson.
I did. She took the drawing from Dawson, looked at it, handed me the picture, hugged Dawson, and then hugged me. She offered to pay Dawson; he refused, so she made us both a basket of fruit and vegetables. Since then we have been fast friends.
As I entered the café I saw Ian with puffy eyes and Dieter with puffy eyes and Alex looking sad but with no puffy eyes. I had to do something so I took a bite of my apple and in a cheerful voice said in English "Hi guys! Man, where's the funeral?"
"He's gone," said Ian nearly bursting into tears.
"Who?" I asked.
"Dawson," said Alex solemnly.
"Yeah, I know. He's gone to Nice because it's nice!" I said cheerfully, "Well, that's what he said to me. I walked with him to the Metro."
"How can you be so cheerful!" cried Dieter, "He's gone!"
"Yah, and he'll be back."
"How do you know? He probably hates me," Ian was now crying.
I rolled my eyes.
"I know because he loves us. Ian, he told me to tell you that he loves you so much. And Dieter... well you two are almost boyfriends. Alex you know he loves you as a best friend. And me well, we're bros."
"Dawson has some issues that he has to sort out for himself – let's give him the freedom and time to do that. And cheer up! Damn, you know Dawson would be kicking our butts if we sat around doing nothing except mourning his absence!"
"How can anyone so perfect have anything to sort out?" asked Ian.
"Nobody is perfect, Ian, not even Dawson," I said, "I mean what do any of us know about Dawson and his life before Paris? I'd say Dieter knows the most because I know Dawson is so in love with Dieter. It's only logical that he would confide in Dieter more than the rest of us. It doesn't surprise me that he has some issues to sort out, but I don't think it is issues he has with us so much as issues with himself and his past."
"He really said he loves me?" asked Ian.
"Yes. He said tell Ian that I love him and in case Alex forgets he has to tell you the story about Count Fleacula."
"Oh my God! I forgot!" exclaimed Alex. "Ian, Dawson told me the same thing and gave me this note – hmm – where did I put it?"
"Try your pocket," laughed Ian.
"Who is Count Fleacula?"
"It's a story I wrote for Dawson," Ian chuckled, "'The Revenge of Count Fleacula.' I'll go get it. Be right back!" Ian ran up to his room above the café chuckling the whole way.
When he returned he read us the story. It was the funniest story I think I ever heard and had all of us laughing.
That led to us telling anecdotes about Dawson for the rest of the day. My point of view is that he inadvertently did the right thing by leaving. When you're in Dawson's world you tend to get so involved in everything that you don't really realize the good influence he has on you.Dawson
I slept practically the whole way to Nice waking just as the train arrived.
Waking up in Nice was like waking up in a storybook fantasy world . I don't think I've seen any place so beautiful. The Rue de France, the pedestrian shopping street, runs from the end of the Place Massena, roughly parallel to the seaside. This area is full of shops, including some exclusive clothing boutiques, and restaurants and cafés with outdoor terraces - a great place to sit and watch the world go by, while you eat or drink. I guess I walked around for nearly three hours stopping occasionally to sketch some scene.
Around ten I found myself back on the Rue de France. I was starved and decided to have a large breakfast of eggs, bacon, a couple of croissants and coffee. From where I sat I could look out and see the beautiful Med.
As beautiful as Nice was and this breakfast and all the people around me, my heart was in Paris. I missed Sven and I wanted so much to share Nice with him. I looked at the drawing I was doing and although it was good it lacked something and I knew that it was because I was just mechanically drawing. I thought of Ian and a tear escaped and trickled down my cheek and plopped on my drawing. I changed the page and imagined Ian in his beautiful red hair was sitting across from me - I started drawing with my ink pen. Ian has thin lips but they are perfect -especially when he's laughing about me and my fleas...suddenly the picture I drew seem immaterial because although it was very good and I put a lot of work into it, it was really not what I wanted to express. What I wanted to express was my love for him, so I started again and by the time I finished it was lunchtime.
The waiter was a little antsy - I guess because I had been occupying this seat for a couple of hours. I called him over and ordered a sandwich for lunch and more coffee and pressed the equivalent of $20 into his hand - he smiled and asked me if I would mind switching tables as he had a regular customer who always preferred the table I was sitting at. I moved to a different table.
Ten minutes later a man in his forties arrived and sat at the table. He was quite a handsome gentleman and vaguely familiar, but for the life of me I couldn't remember where I'd seen him. He had a pleasant smile, but as I continued to watch him I noticed his eyes were sad. He would talk to the waiter and then while sitting there he'd stare off into the distance with a look of sadness, which didn't belong. I started sketching him. I wondered what had happened to make such sadness. If only I could bring him some happiness. It wasn't until the sketch was nearly complete that he looked in my direction. I smiled and almost immediately there was a look of surprise like he'd suddenly recognized a long lost friend. I turned around to see who it was behind me that he recognized but there was nobody. I turned back to catch him wiping a tear from his cheek.
I quickly finished off my drawing and signed it with my usual JDP signature. The man kept watching me as I worked. The waiter approached. "Mr. Lamartine would like you to join him for coffee." I picked up my backpack and walked over to his table and put my stuff down.
"Hello, I see you are an artist." He said with a pleasant smile.
"Dawson, the artist, pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Lamartine," I said and then handed him the drawing I had finished, "This is for you. I hope you like it because you looked so sad when you were thinking of someone or something and this is such a beautiful day. Nice is so different than Paris."
He looked at the picture for several minutes not saying anything, and then just one word...'sadness'.
"How perceptive you are. You remind me of someone..."
He looked at me a little unsure of what to say before he said quietly and with some sadness in his voice, "Michael my lover. You look so much like him I cannot believe it. Especially your smile."
"Where is he?"
"He died a few years ago."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. You must have loved him so very much. I lost my Grandfather almost a year ago - I miss him so much...he wasn't just my grandfather but more like my father and mother and best friend all wrapped up into a package called love. And when he died I was all alone with nobody..." I couldn't believe I was telling a complete stranger about my g-dad. I guess the sadness in my own face must have touched him because he reached across the table and gently squeezed my hand.
"I cannot get over how much you look like Michael... just a much younger version."
I smiled, "Would you like to take a walk along the beach? Then you can tell me all about your Michael and I can share my life with my grandfather with you."
He agreed. It's funny - I rarely make friendships with people way older than me, but Mr. Lamartine was so likable - maybe it was because he was gay and I had never known a gay adult that I knew I could talk to.
"Why don't we go to my hotel first and you can leave your things there?"
"As long as you don't try to seduce me that would be fine," I said jokingly but meaning it, too.
"You have nothing to worry about. I am not a pedophile and you are far too young for me."
We arrived at his hotel and went to his room or I should say suite. "Wow! What a view!" I said in English as he showed me the place.
"You're American?" he asked in English.
"Oui," I answer in French.
"Your French is perfect! Not even a hint of an American accent. You sound Parisian - I assumed you were French."
"This is so amazing..."
"You! You look so much like Michael and he was an American too. Feel free to look around I need to use the bathroom," he said and disappeared into the bathroom closing the door behind him.
I looked around and even checked out his bedroom and that's when I saw it - the drawing of my father! I couldn't believe it! On the nightstand stood a drawing of two teenage boys – one was my father, the other his best friend. That's why Mr. Lamartine had looked so familiar. Mr. Claude Lamartine was my father's best friend – his lover. My father was gay.
I knew it was he because my grandfather had the same drawing and had given me a copy. I was to go and meet my dad two years ago, but he had died. It didn't seem to matter at the time because he was a complete stranger, but now... Now I needed him. I needed my grandfather. I needed someone. I sat down on the bed holding the picture as the tears of a lifetime poured down my cheeks.
Mr. Lamartine came into the room and saw me holding Michael's photo. "Dawson, what's the matter?"
I looked at him. I couldn't speak, just uttered uncontrollable sobs. Quickly, he sat next to me and took me into his arms, but I couldn't stop and for at least ten minutes we remained like that, finally I tried to speak again. "He's my dad. Why did he have to die? Why couldn't he have waited? I was supposed to meet him! Why, Mr. Lamartine, why?"
"Oh, my god! Oh, Dawson!" cried Mr. Lamartine as he realized what fate had done to us. He had lost his life partner - I had lost my father who had only lived in the fantasies of a young twelve-year-old boy. We both cried our hearts out.
I fell asleep in his arms and woke again sometime late afternoon still in the arms of my dad's lover and life partner. I turned over. He was awake. "Are you feeling better? You've been asleep for quiet a while," he said softly.
"No. Just rested," I forced a small smile, "Can we go for that walk?"
I said very little more until we were walking along the beach. I held his hand as we walked - I figured people would think we were father and son even though we looked nothing alike.
"All my life, for as long as I can remember, I wanted to meet my father. First it was just because I was curious and I wanted to know what it would feel like to call someone papa. As a kid I would imagine having adventures with my Dad. He would take me places and teach me things just like Sam, Sam Phillips, my grandfather did. I met my mom - what a let down! Then I had to live with her for a while - what a nightmare! I was an unwanted - unloved child with the exception of Sam."
"Sam was so excited about me meeting my dad when I was twelve. I was excited too - and nervous - nervous because I thought maybe he'd be like my mom. I thought maybe he'd hate me too. Sam said he loved fencing and I thought that maybe he'd love me and take me to his home and we'd fence together and become a real father and son team and be famous."
"Then a week before we were to meet Sam got word that Dad had died. It was the only time I ever saw Sam cry. And I cried too, but only because my Sam was so sad. I didn't cry for my dad. He'd only lived in my dreams. He'd never been a real person...until I saw the drawing on your nightstand...when I saw it I realized... my dad was a real person who was loved by you and Sam..." I stopped and looked at Claude, "It's just not fair! It's not fair that I didn't get to feel him hold me in his arms, or kiss me goodnight! It's not fair that I didn't get to tell him that I loved him!"
"That is true, life is not always fair to us humans...but then maybe life is trying to make up for what she has taken away from you and me."
"What do you mean?" I asked as we resumed our walking.
"Life took your dad, my Michael, and your Sam away from us. I know for myself I have been very depressed. I came here to die," he paused, "yes, Dawson I was going to end my life because life had been so unfair - it had taken my love away from me and I became impossible to live with. Yet, look at what life has done! It has by fate or whatever brought us, two complete strangers together. Your father until a few years ago never knew you existed. He and Sam had had a terrible argument and he left home never to return. For years I tried to get him to make up with Sam and eventually he did...and he found out that he had a son, Jason Phillips. I did not remember your middle name. That's why when you said your name was Dawson I did not recognize your name. In our whole life I had never seen your father so happy as when he found out that he had a son." Claude let out a chuckle.
"You and your father had the same worries, what if Jason hates me because I'm gay. What if he just hates me? I want him to love me like I know I'm going to love him. I want him to love you too, Claude. Oh, Claude, what if he hates you? What will I do?"
We continued our walk, I must have asked him a million questions about my dad and him and their life together, and what he did for a living and what my dad did and did my dad like art and fencing.
"I am surprised that my father and I had so many common traits," I said.
"I'm not," voiced Claude, "You both were raised by the same father – Sam. Michael told me that Sam taught him to fence. I imagine you will be as hard headed as Michael," laugh Claude.
"I'm not hard headed! Just determined to get my way," I laughed.
"So, what brought you to Nice other than fate?"
I sighed. "I needed time to think. I've met four wonderful friends. Alex – Alex is German and a hottie. He is so cool and a calming influence on me – well, all of us. Alex is madly in love with Ian, the Brit.
"I love Ian, he's the writer in our group. He is totally in love with Alex. Both, I am sure, are scared of coming out to each other and I have to be careful all the time not to let Alex know that Ian is gay or Ian know that Alex is gay. I've tried to get each of them to come out to the other - but they are so scared.
"Next there is Sven. The second I saw Sven I fell for him. He loves me a lot but he's not gay. I reminded him of his best friend who was gay but committed suicide. Sven, I think, sort of feels responsible for Johan's death. I have talked more with Sven and spent more time with him than any of the others. We get along so well I just wish he were gay. I guess he's my best friend.
"And finally there is Dieter. He is a drop-dead gorgeous model. He loves me and I think I love him. I'm physically very attracted to him. If Sven were gay there would be no one else.
"Anyway, Dieter was getting serious and I needed time to think – time away from them," I smiled, "Time to meet you."
It was seven o'clock and I was getting hungry and so was he, so we headed back to the hotel.
"Claude, were you and my dad true to each other or did you ever have other lovers?"
"Your dad had one affair very early in our romance...it didn't work out...and in his words it was the worst experience in his entire life. As you said earlier she was a let down - your mom. Years later when he found out about you he said - "funny that the worst experience of my life should be the cause of such happiness for me so many years later." I personally think if he'd known you would be the outcome of that experience he would have suffered the nightmare, too."
"Claude, I can understand why my father was so in love with you. If he hadn't died I would have been living with both of you. I would have had two papas."
"Yes, well, now you only have one, me."
"Can I call you Papa Claude?"
"My boy, you can call me Papa Claude, or Papa or Claude. You know when you were sleeping I realized that if Michael had not died, I would be your second papa and I would grow to love you as much if not more than Michael. Well, if Michael died after that then I would still be there for you and I would still be your papa. All afternoon I was hoping for an opportunity to tell you that I have accepted you as Michael's and my son and I will do my best to be a good father to you, if you want me in that capacity. Do you?"
I was totally overwhelmed with joy! I did what comes so naturally to me - I hugged him. "YES! I WANT! Oh Papa! I love you!"
As we walked into our suite Papa Claude said, "You know I think the boy - uh, Dieter?"
I nodded, "Yes, Dieter Rosenberg."
"Well, I think if you two become life partners and mates then he will have gotten the best part of the deal."
I smiled, "Wait till you've lived with me around you for a while, then you'll change your mind and will be begging Dieter to take me away...OH MY GOD!"
"I was supposed to call him at six! It's eight o'clock!"
"Well, my son, you'd better call him! He's probably worried sick by now!"
Claude left the room, smiling, while I hurriedly dialed the number to the café.
"Ian, it's Dawson. I need to speak to Dieter."
"Dawson. Dawson. I'm so sorry. Please come back - I'll never write again if you don't come back. I'll do anything you ask anything - I'll, I'll give you my bed! I loved the gallery!"
"Is Alex there?"
"Yes and Dieter and Sven."
"Good - I'll come back when you tell Alex that you're gay and how you really feel about him."
"I can't do that, Dawson. It would be the end."
"No. Ian, it would be the beginning of your life together. He loves you, you idiot! Now tell him. I want to hear you. Trust me!"
"Alex only, you other two go over there," I heard Ian say, "Alex, uh, uh, I'm uh, uh, gay and I love you." There was a moment of silence, "If I've just made the biggest mistake of my life I'm going to kill the little bastard on the other end of this phone..."
Alex must have taken the phone from Ian because I heard Alex say, "Thanks, I owe you." Next I heard cheers in the background and could only imagine the two were engaged in a serious lip lock.
"Dawson, I barely beat Dieter to the phone. As you may have guessed, Ian and Alex are unable to come to the phone. I just want you to know that I love you, and your boy here is throwing a fit because I beat him to the phone ... is about to hit me cuz he wants to talk. Bro - you've only been gone a day and we can't stand living without you cuz your boyfriend is driving us crazy!! OW! Dieter! that hurt!" I really loved hearing Sven's voice.
Finally Dieter got on the phone, "Are you okay? I love you and I miss you."
"I love you too. I've had the most fantastic day; there has never been one day in my life that has been better. So, much has happened today."
Claude came into the room and saw I was still on the phone and started to leave. "Papa, it's okay I don't mind you listening." He smiled and came over and gave me a kiss on my forehead.
I explained some of what happened.
"Oh, my love, I am so happy for you. I miss you so much," I knew he was crying.
"Dieter, I want you here with me, I want to tell you everything good and bad about me and most of all I want you to meet someone very, very special...my papa..."
"Papa, can Dieter come an stay with us?"
"Of course! Let me talk to him."
I handed the phone over to him. Then he said, "You need to go wash up for dinner. He'll still be on the line when you get back."
I left and went to wash up. When I returned Claude was still talking to Dieter and laughing, which I took as a good sign.
As I entered Papa Claude said, "Well, your love is back and anxious to speak, I can tell." I blushed. He laughed and handed the phone back to me.
"Oh! Dawson, your papa sounds like a wonderful person."
"He is and so are you. So will I see you tomorrow?"
"Maybe," he teased.
"Maybe," I whined, "No! Not maybe. Definitely. Positively! Absolutely!"
He giggled, "I love you, but I have to go catch a train to Nice to see the most beautiful boy in my life! I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, and I love you!"
"I love you too!"
I hung up and Papa and I went down to dinner.
When we got to the dining room I stopped. All the people were well dressed and I only had on my old jeans and a T-Shirt. Papa was in slacks and a decent shirt.
"I'll go down the road to eat, I'm not going in there," I said.
"Look at me! I look like some street urchin you picked up !"
"Hmm. I see your point. Wait here."
He ordered a complete three-course meal to be delivered to our room. During and after dinner Claude and I continued to talk and learn about each other.
I had to go to the bathroom and when I came back Claude told me that Dieter had missed the train and it meant that Dieter wouldn't be here until noon, which was a bit disappointing.
"Papa, Dieter is going to be here tomorrow and I am so afraid that when he learns the truth about me he will not want to be with me."
I spent the next three hours telling Papa all of the horrible things in my life and all the things that I feared Dieter would hate. I think I figured if Papa hated me then I could just leave and never see anybody again. I cried a lot, but in the end I had told all.
"Do you hate me, Claude? Should I leave?"
"Sam once said to me after your Dad's death - we all make mistakes - learn from them - I think you have. We all tend to be much more critical of ourselves than we should be. I think you are. Dawson what your dad and I learned was if you really love someone you will always be there for them no matter what. If what you have told me upsets Dieter then it only means he is hiding things from you that he feels bad about. The mind is a funny thing it just works that way. So don't worry. I am tired and I think we should retire. May you have pleasant dreams and may tomorrow be the happiest day of your life."
He kissed me on the cheek and I did the same to him. I stripped to my boxers and crawled into the couch bed and sleep soon came upon me.
So do you like this story? Let me know - Sam.