Forever My Love
This story is completely fictional. Any similarities to any persons or events, past or present are purely coincidental. This story may contain scenes which involve sexual situations between young males. If this type of material is offensive to you, or it is not legal for you to be reading this type of material, please do not read any further. This story is copyright © 2007 by Jason. Please do not copy this story for distribution or post on any online server without the author's permission. Please send all your comments to: email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit my site at: www.jasonfinigan.net. Thanks and enjoy the story.
"Students, staff of Lord Elgin High School, and distinguished guests. I bid you a good morning, and my thanks for coming out today.
"On this day, we come together to talk about a subject that has been spoken of for many years, but for the most part has largely been dismissed as being normal, and to be expected. Today marks day one of Anti-Bully month. Rather than stand up here and have you all listen to a bunch of teachers talk about how we will work together to end bullying in this school, this year we have a student who has asked to make a presentation.
"To most of you, he isn't a stranger. Chances are, if you haven't met him, you've at least heard about him. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like you to give a warm round of applause for Jason Finn!"
The sound in the auditorium was deafening. Never before in my life did I have so many people cheering for me, or applauding so loudly. This couldn't all be for me, I thought. But here I am, about to get up before the whole stage to deliver my speech to the entire school. It was daunting, even though the last couple of weeks had been a blur.
It isn't often that you hear that you have a family member working for the school, nor is it often that you have another teacher arrested for trying to punish you for being who you are.
I ended up working for weeks with Mr. Rayne on my speech, perfecting it, and making sure that I could get the message across without trying to sound too dramatic. Not an easy task when the subject is something that is close to your heart. Jon helped me of course as well, though when it came to the end of my speech, I didn't let him near me. I wanted what I put in there to be a surprise for him.
Ever since I had found out that Mr. Rayne was actually my older cousin, he and I had begun spending more time together. I even got to see Tim, his husband. It made things so much easier on everyone when we all lived so close to each other. Tim and Mr. Rayne actually lived closer to the school than Jon and I did, but on the other side of the school.
Jon and I also started to see more of Simon and Terry, and of course Terry's sister, Emily. With Tim's help, they actually managed to find a safe place where that albino deer they almost ran over could grow up safe. Jon and I, and our whole family took a weekend to go up and see her. I already knew they had named her powder, and now that I had had a chance to see what she looked like, I could see that the name suited her perfectly.
Paul had been spending some more time with Ryan and Kyle, who had been released from the hospital. Ryan had a long talk with Paul, and told him gently that he couldn't have any kind of relationship with him other than friendship. It hurt Paul a lot, as he had thought he found someone he truly was in love with. I think he was, it was just that Ryan was looking for someone older, and couldn't fall in love with someone as young as Paul. In the end, Paul was content to just be Ryan's friend.
What was amazing to me was that Simon used to babysit Kyle when Kyle was living with his mother before she died. When they were reunited, it was like watching two long lost relatives seeing each other for the first time. They played together for the longest time with Ryan's other two boys, Greg and Adam. Even though Simon was now a full-time lifeguard at Nelson park, he agreed to be Kyle's, Greg's, and Adam's babysitter, which made the four of them very happy. Ryan even let Terry babysit with Simon.
Jon's and Paul's father's trial had been moved back, and was now going to be taking place only two weeks into November, which was in only fourteen more days away. They were both really nervous about the trial, though I could tell that Paul was even more shaken up by everything than Jon was, and with good reason.
To have one's own father beat and rape you is something that no child should ever have to be subjected to, especially not for some irrational hatred and fear over homosexuality. This is in part of what I had hoped to convey during my speech, and here I am getting ready to basically confront every bully that was in the school.
I stepped up to the podium, placed my notes in front of me on the dais, and waited for the cheering and applause to die down. Several of the teachers who were standing at the side of the auditorium managed to get some of the more rowdy students to settle down. I took a deep breath, and taking one final look at my notes, began.
"Honored guests, students and staff of Lord Elgin High School, I stand before you today a survivor. I am not a victim. I will never be a victim.
"Today I stand up for myself against those who would try to put me down, ridicule me, destroy my self-confidence. Today I refuse to give the bully power over me.
"There are many of you here today who know me. Some of you because of friendship, others because we share a common background. And there are some here who know me because of rumor.
"Every day I walk down these halls I can feel the stares, hear the whispers of those around me who gossip about something they know little about. Well, let me say it openly and clearly. I am gay, and I am proud to be gay!
"Now I ask you, is my being gay reason enough to be put down, trampled on or beat upon? Is the mere perception of being gay reason enough for someone to take it upon themselves to attack another? The answer is a resounding no!
"Too often I used to get called all sorts of names. I'm used to it. I was the nerd, the dweeb, and yes, I was also the fagot. Every word used against me in this manner served to put me down, to take from me my self-respect. Well, I'm here today to tell all you bullies out there that you failed, and you always will fail.
"I will tell you why. So long as there are people like me who refuse to back down, who refuse to give you that power over us, you will fail. So long as there are people willing to stick up for the abused and the marginalized, you will fail. So long as there are people who refuse to sit idly by and watch you ruin another person's life, you will fail.
"You will fail because in the end, until you realize your own strengths and accept your faults, you will never be half the person the one you bully is.
"Some of you here will have heard that this school recently lost a teacher, though not many of you know the real reason why. I have been given permission to tell you what happened a few weeks ago.
"After first period, there was a disturbance in the hallway involving four students. One of them was myself, the other was a boy by the name of Jon. Together we were heading towards second period class, when we were confronted by two individuals. I will not name them here, though I'm pretty certain most of you are aware of who they are by now.
"These two students had the intention of physically assaulting both Jon and myself for the simple fact that we are gay. What was alarming to me was that their actions towards us weren't based on fact, but that they were merely picking on us because of a rumor. A rumor!
"How many people here have been picked on, or called names simply because of a perceived trait? How many here have been called a fagot, or gay, or dyke, or any other derogatory name, simply because of a perception? I see a few hands, and to me that is a few hands too many.
"Thankfully, before things could get any worse for Jon and myself, a teacher came by and put a stop to the two bully's actions. Had Mr. Rayne not been there, I am certain that Jon and I would have been forced to fight to defend ourselves. As it was, we were late for second period class.
"Ms. Thomas was not impressed with our tardiness and gave both Jon and I detention. What Jon and I didn't realize was that she had also heard about us being gay, and she herself decided she was going to do something about it.
"I hear several of you gasping in disbelief, but what I am telling you is the truth. Over the course of the school year, events have necessitated my having to involve the police. One police officer, who is on this stage right now, I have become very close to, and so has my family. It was Constable Vivian Caldwell who helped Jon and me stop Ms. Thomas from harassing us any further.
"We went to detention that day, and we went there to confront her about her prejudice. She became threatening, and verbally abusive, and in the end the principal was forced to fire her, and the police arrested her.
"This is what hatred and prejudice does. It turns us against each other. It makes us into something vile, and disgusting. My parents had always taught me to never judge another person because more often than not, the person who judges, is himself judged in turn.
"You and I, we are all the same. We are one family, and like any family, we will have disagreements and differences in opinion, but we remain a family. We're tied together by bonds which not even the most learned scholar can comprehend. So why then are there those among us who seek to separate us? The answer is simple. They do it because they themselves are lost, and they are looking for someone to help them find a way. They aren't lashing out in anger or hatred, they're reacting in fear and confusion.
"Over the course of this month, I'm sure you will hear many stories about the damage bullies can do, but you will also hear some stories where the bullies wake up and refuse to give in to their own fears. I have seen it happen myself.
"Some have said the answer to end bullying is to expel or suspend those who do the bullying. But I don't see this as the answer. We need to instead find a way to reach the bully, to help them, to comfort them and to love them.
"Love is the most powerful weapon we as human beings have against hatred and violence, and too often love is forgotten. Instead we choose to punish those who do us wrong, when instead what we need to do is find out how we can help them deal with whatever it is that is troubling them.
"All of us needs a shoulder to cry on sometimes. If we're not willing to do that for them, does that not make us just like them?
"Jon has taught me a lot about love and forgiveness. Even at my worst, he was always at my side, holding me, and comforting me, and never letting me give in to my anger. Thanks to him, I was able to see the good in those who tormented me. Thanks to him, I found it in my heart to forgive my bullies and show them love. Because of him, I have made a friend of my enemy.
"I want to ask Jon to join me up here on the stage."
The whole auditorium was silent as Jon uncertainly rose from his seat in the front row and made his way to the stairs leading to the stage. Once he had joined me, he looked at me and smiled.
I walked over to him from behind the podium, and took his hands in mine. "Jon, in front of all these students, I'm thanking you. I'm thanking you for being there for me when no one else would. I'm thanking you for being someone I love with all my heart. You have asked me to marry you, and I have said yes. But now I am reaffirming my love for you in front of everyone here today.
"Jon, I love you. I always will. There is nothing anyone can do that can take you away from me. Not a bully, not a teacher, not an angry father. No matter what it takes, my love for you will never die. You are forever my love, forever a part of me." By now Jon had tears running down his cheeks. I could see in his eyes the same love for me that brought us together.
"Forever babe," I whispered, pulling him closer to me, and bringing his lips to mine. We stood there in front of the entire school, kissing, with our arms wrapped around each other.
The entire auditorium was on it's feet. Students, teachers, and guests alike were clapping for Jon and me as we enjoyed the first kiss in front of everyone. No more fear of being outed, no more bullies to stand in our way. From that moment on, we would be open about who we are.
Eventually Jon and I had to sit down, sitting in two seats on the stage that I had reserved for us beside Vivian. She was smiling at the two of us as we sat there holding each other's hands.
The rest of the assembly went on, featuring a skit being performed by the theatrical club. All in all, I would say the first day of Anti-Bully month was going to lead to the most successful campaigns our school has ever seen.
A week following the first assembly, Jon and I already began to see a difference in the behaviors of the students around us. There was significantly less bullying, and those that did happen were reported quickly, with the bullies pulled in to the office, not for detention, but this time for counseling.
Luke and Daniel had returned to the school. Jon and I weren't looking forward to seeing them, but we were completely surprised by the change in them. In fact, we found out something about them that they hid for most of high school. They were gay, and were now dating. Both their parents had difficulties accepting it, but were slowly coming around. Pretty soon, they both became really good friends to Jon and me, and we spent a lot of time together.
The week that Jon and Paul were dreading finally arrived. Jon's and Paul's father's trial was about to begin, and we were sitting in the hallway outside of the courtroom waiting for the trial to begin.
It seemed to take forever for court to be called, but soon we saw Jon's and Paul's father being led into the courtroom wearing an orange prison issued jumpsuit and handcuffs around his wrists. He looked up at Jon and Paul, and glared at them. I could tell he learned nothing in Jail, and seemed to harbor more ill feelings towards his sons.
"This man will never change," I thought to myself. In a way I felt sorry for him. He'll never again know freedom, or pleasure. Instead he'll spend the majority of his life behind bars, and probably become someone's bitch. Child molesters and abusers aren't viewed upon favorably in jail.
Unlike TV shows that show you what happens in court, only Jon's and Paul's father was allowed into the room, as well as anyone who was not going to testify. Since all three of us were going to be testifying against him, we couldn't be in the courtroom where our testimony could be influenced by what was said in there.
In a way I though it was a good idea, but it also was extremely frustrating as we had to sit out here on really uncomfortable wooden benches waiting for our turn to be called to testify.
Paul was called upon first. He gave the two of us a smile before being led into the courtroom by a court officer. Neither Jon or I knew what was going on inside that room, but we sat there on the bench holding each other's hands.
I wanted to give him a kiss right there, but we both knew that it wasn't the place for it.
Time slowly moved forward, my legs had begun to fall asleep sitting there and had to get up to walk it off. Jon stayed sitting down on the bench, though I could tell he was just as uncomfortable as I was.
Suddenly the door to the court room opened and Jon was called in to testify. Paul walked out, slightly shaken, but smiling. He sat down where Jon had been sitting and looked at me.
"So? How did it go?" I asked him.
"Well, I'm not allowed to say what went on in there, but I think it went pretty well. I was nervous at first, but the more I looked at my father, the more angry with him I became. I wasn't going to let him get away with what he did to me."
"I'm proud of you for standing up to him Paul," I said, sitting down beside him, and putting my arm around him. "Not many people would have the courage to face the person that hurt them like you did."
"You did," he said.
"Yes, but you are different. Where your father is just filled with anger and prejudice, you refused to give in and decided to be the person who you are and not who your father wanted you to be. You beat him."
"Maybe. But in a way, I still feel sorry for him," Paul admitted.
"That just means that you really do care about him, even if he doesn't deserve it. I learned that hatred is a wasted emotion, a useless one. There's no hope to change people if we return their hatred and anger with more of the same. Like I said in school, the best weapon we have is love, and you my brother have lots to give."
"I just wish I could find someone that would love me back," he said.
"Don't worry Paul," I said, hugging him close. "You will. Just remember that you still have family and friends who love you, so you are never alone."
"And I thank each and every one of you for that Jason. Jon is really lucky to have you, and I feel very lucky to be your friend and brother."
"Nothing will change that Paul," I told him. We sat together like that for what seemed like ages. After about an hour or so, the court room door opened and Jon walked out. He looked exhausted, but from his expression I could tell that everything went well in there.
"Jason Finn?" The court officer called.
"Yes?" I answered.
"Can you follow me please?" he asked. I stood up and gave Jon a brief hug, then followed the officer into the court room.
Inside, I was greeted to another sight which I wasn't used to in a court room. While it was furnished much the same as I had seen on TV, I was totally unprepared for the lack of people that were sitting in the room. On the right hand side was Jon's and Paul's father sitting alone with his lawyer. On the left hand side of the room stood the Crown Prosecutor. All of them were looking at me as I was led down the rows of benches at the back of the room. My mother and father were sitting in the benches behind the crown prosecutor, and so was Vivian.
I was led not to where the Crown Prosecutor was standing, but rather to the witness box beside the judge. After entering the box, the court officer brought a bible on which he told me to place my left hand and swore me in, after which I was instructed to have a seat.
The chair in the witness box was nothing like the benches in the court room. It was large, and made of leather, and was extremely comfortable to sit it. I guess they made it that way to try and put whoever was testifying at ease. It only partially worked in my case. The moment I sat down, the Crown Prosecutor looked up at me from her notes, and cleared her throat, grabbing my attention.
"Jason, please describe for us your recollection of the events that occurred on the twentieth of September?"
"Jon and I were with our parents and we were heading for Bronte Park in Oakville for a picnic. It was a really nice day out, and after we had finished eating Jon and I decided to go for a walk. We ended up by the creek, and that's when we found Paul's body."
"Could you describe for us the condition in which you found Paul?" the Crown asked.
"Well he was unconscious, and we could see that he was badly beaten. He had blood on his face, and was curled up in a ball, as if he was still trying to protect himself."
"What did you do then?"
"Jon and I both ran from the creek to get help from our parents. My father called 911 and we waited for the ambulances."
"Did you see Paul in the hospital?"
"Yes I did. We all went to the hospital to see him. It was there that he told us what happened, and who it was that hurt him."
"Excuse me your honor," Mr. Hayes' lawyer interrupted. "My friend, it seems to me, is leading the witness."
"How so counselor?" the judge asked. "It sounds to me as if the witness is simply stating what he remembers."
"Your honor, forgive me, but to me the witness is beginning to stray into the realm of hearsay, commenting on things someone has told him."
"Were you physically present when Paul mentioned who he had been attacked by?" the judge asked me.
"Yes your honor, I was," I replied.
"Very well. I'm sorry counselor, I can't agree with your interpretation of the witness' testimony. Seeing as the witness was present during the conversation in question, his testimony cannot, in this instance, be considered hearsay."
"My apologies your honor," the defense lawyer said, sitting back down beside his client.
"You may continue," the judge said to the crown prosecutor.
"Jason, can you point out for me the person who Paul indicated was responsible for his injuries?"
"Yes I can. He's sitting right there," I said, pointing at Mr. Hayes.
The Crown Prosecutor questioned me for a little while longer, asking me about how I knew Paul, and how I felt about him. I answered all of her questions truthfully, not holding anything back. Then it was the defense attorney's turn.
"Good morning Jason. I promise I won't be long. I have one question for you though. What is your relationship to Jon Fisher?"
"Your honor, I fail to see the reason Jason's relationship to Jon has anything to do with my friend's client's defense."
"I have to agree counselor. Please keep your questions relevant to the case before us."
"Yes your honor," Mr. Hayes' attorney said.
"I will answer that question your honor," I told the judge.
"Jon is my fiancée. When we are both old enough, we plan to get married."
"So it is true that you and Jon are homosexuals."
"Yes we are, and the term is gay sir," I told him.
"Is it also true that you have been harassing Mr. Hayes, rubbing your homosexuality in his face, despite knowing that he does not condone such behavior?"
"Neither Jon nor I ever once talked to Mr. Hayes, or even saw him in person."
"And you deny that either you or Jon turned his son gay?"
"Your honor! I must object to my friend's line of questioning!" the Crown Prosecutor said, standing up.
"I agree. Counselor. This line of questioning is entirely inappropriate."
"My apologies your honor. Jason, is it not true that you hated Mr. Hayes?"
"I don't hate anyone sir," I replied.
"No? From what we have heard in court today, Paul was for the most part responsible for most of the bullying you endured in school."
"Yes, he was. But that doesn't make me hate anyone. Not even Paul."
"I see. Is it not true that you blamed his father for how Paul treated you?"
"Yes, I would say that was accurate. I thought Mr. Hayes was a rotten father for Paul. Had he been raised differently, I'm sure Paul's life would have been a lot different, and definitely better."
"I'm going to suggest to you that you wanted to get Paul's father out of his life."
"No, that is not correct. What I wanted was for Paul to be who he was meant to be, and that his father would support him, and love him like a father is supposed to."
"So you wanted to make sure Paul was gay."
"That's insulting sir. Paul was born gay. If it wasn't for his fear of his father, he would have been able to be himself."
Mr. Hayes' attorney questioned me for what seemed like hours. When I looked at the clock, I realized that I had only been on the stand for about an hour. In the end, I felt that I did pretty well up there. I never lost my cool, or slipped in any way.
After my testimony was finished, I was asked to step back outside. Court continued on for another three hours before it was all over. When the doors opened at last, the Crown Prosecutor motioned us all into a side room just inside the doors leading to the court room.
"Okay, I want to tell you what happened today since we have completed the testimony phase and summissions. Tomorrow will be when the judge makes his ruling and then if Mr. Hayes is found guilty, he will be remanded into custody and we will have to appear one more time for the sentencing hearing. If he is found guilty, Paul will need to prepare a victim impact statement for the judge to consider when determining the sentence.
"I want you all to know that you did very well today, and my feeling is that the judge will rule in our favor, and that by next week at the latest, Mr. Hayes will be behind bars for a very long time."
"Thank you ma'am," Paul said, shaking her hand. "I just wanted the chance to live my life, and you've helped make that happen."
"No, thank you," the Crown Prosecutor said. "This is a case that's needed to be heard for a long time. I'm just sorry that you got hurt in the process."
"If it gets my father the help he needs, then it was worth it," Paul said.
"You boys really are remarkable you know that?" she said, smiling. Then gathering up her briefcase, she walked out of the room.
"Alright boys, lets get going," my father suggested, leading us out of the room, and out of the court house.
For the rest of the day, we stayed at home. Jon, Paul and I were playing with the kittens in the living room, while my father was sitting on the couch watching the news with Vivian. I thought they really did make a good looking couple, and I thought they'd definitely be getting married. I actually thought it would be neat if they chose to get married on the same day that Jon and I did.
Jon and I slept very well that night, though we were both a little nervous about finding out what the verdict was going to be. I don't know what I would do if the judge came back and ruled in Mr. Hayes favor, but I knew that no matter what, Jon and I would stand by Paul, and make sure that he would be able to be happy, and not have to worry about the man who calls himself his father.
* * *
I don't think anyone waking up that morning was really in the mood for much conversation. Several times one of us tried to strike up some small talk, but in the end we all were thinking too much about the ruling that the judge was going to make later on in the morning.
We were supposed to be at the court house by ten that morning, and we arrived there with a few minutes to spare. The Crown Prosecutor was standing outside the court room, waiting for us.
"I hope you all got some sleep last night," she said when she saw us approaching her.
"I think I can speak for everyone here when I say it was the most nerve racking sleep any of us had," my mother replied.
"Well, I bet it's nothing compared to the sleep that Mr. Hayes had last night. If he got any that is," the Crown Prosecutor laughed.
"I guess you're right there," my mother agreed.
At that moment, the doors to the court room opened up, and we were instructed by the court officer to enter. Mr. Hayes was already in the room with his lawyer, having arrived from the local lock up earlier that morning.
We had barely had a chance to sit down when the court officer directed everyone in the room to stand, after which the judge walked into the room from a side door.
"Please be seated," the court officer said after the judge had taken his seat behind the bench.
"After reviewing all the evidence presented to me yesterday, and having reviewed all relevant laws pertaining to this case, I am prepared this morning to render judgment," the judge said. "Would the defendant please rise?" Mr. Hayes and his lawyer then stood. I could tell from where I was sitting that Mr. Hayes now looked a little worried.
"In the case of Her Majesty the Queen versus the defendant Jim Hayes on the charges of child endangerment, aggravated assault, first degree sexual assault, and attempted murder, I find you, Jim Hayes, guilty on all counts. You are ordered remanded into custody until sentencing, which will take place at ten o'clock, Friday morning, on the eighteenth of November. This court is adjourned until then."
He then stood up and walked out of the room through the same door he walked in earlier. Two police officers cuffed Mr. Hayes and led him out of the court room from a door on the opposite side of the room.
All of us were speechless. It was all over. The suffering that Paul's father had caused was now coming to an end, and the healing could begin. Jon and I sat on either side of Paul, holding onto him as it began to sink into him, that for the first time in his life, he was truly free.
Well, I am very happy with the way this chapter and story turned out. I do feel a little sorry for Jon and Paul's father. I must admit that it is very little. I believe that is a shortcoming on my part. I agree that most bullies are frightened and lonely people. Most of the time they take out their frustration on others to boost their own egos. They are often bitter and hateful and they let their hate rule their feelings and actions. I also know that the only way to truly stop the bullying is to break the cycle. Having said all that, it is still very difficult to keep from cheering when someone subjects a bully to his own medicine. I know in my heart of hearts that it is just as wrong as what was done originally, but still there is a part of me that cheers when it happens. I am actually ashamed of myself for that. I am glad that that man will spend time in prison and be kept far away from the people that he has hurt. The criminal justice system is a fickle system. Some people pay dearly for their transgressions, while others who have done similar or worse crimes get their wrists slapped and are sent into the world at large to do it again or do something even worse. The original reason for putting people behind bars is, I believe to rehabilitate them, and make them realize that they were in fact wrong for having committed the criminal act, or acts. It of course also has the side benefit of keeping said criminal away from the public where he might do more harm. Most of the time, however, I think people are imprisoned to punish them for what they did, and the devil becomes the winner. There is usually no remorse for doing the crime or if there is, it is remorse for having been caught doing it. Damn I am getting long winded, aren't I. I will stop here before I go off on another tangent. Thank you Jason for this wonderful story. You gave us a lot to think about, and I for one, am very proud of you for writing this heartwarming story.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher
A fitting way to end the story I think. Paul's father in jail. Jason and Jon are together, and Paul is finally free from the abuse that his father put him through. Stay tuned for book 2 of this story. You can reach me at: email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit my site at: www.jasonfinigan.net