concerns teenage gay males who are
involved in sexual situations. If it is illegal for you to read such
or if you do not like to read such stories, please leave now.
This story is copyright 2006 by the author who retains all rights.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
This is my second submission to Nifty. This is a continuation of “Kiel’s Story” which was last posted on 7/24/06. It is not necessary to read “Kiel’s Story” to enjoy this, but it may help you understand where the character relationships started. Any comments or questions are welcome at: email@example.com
A warm thank you goes out to all who’ve written. I appreciate knowing someone is actually reading this stuff. I try to respond to all, including flames, but time is precious in my life, so if I didn’t answer yours, please accept my apology.
by Carl Holiday
Chapter 9 – Forgive Me
I wanted to take both of them in my arms and hug the piss out of them, but I simply smiled. I couldn’t touch Mark, fearing a deep sadness might come upon me. Our love had budded, but the blossom died in his trepidation over suddenly becoming gay. I couldn’t risk being caught up in their mutual happiness, only to be filled with deep regret, again.
“It’s beautiful,” I said. “It’s perfect.”
“Is that all?” Mark asked. “I told Sam you’d be hugging and kissing both of us.”
I lost it, but not before handing Sam the Corsair. All of the unhappiness I felt over losing Mark suddenly came back as tears filled my eyes and I fell onto my bed blubbering like a little kid whose puppy died.
“I’ve never seen someone so happy they cried,” Mark said. “I’ve seen it in movies, but I’ve never actually seen someone do it.”
“He’s not happy,” Sam said as he lay down behind me and took me into his arms.
“I don’t understand,” Mark said.
“Go down to my room. I’ll be there in a little while.”
“But, why is he crying?”
“He misses you too much.”
“But, I see him everyday at school and I’m here practically every afternoon.”
“Mark, please, go away.”
I could hear these words pass between them as I continued to cry uncontrollably. I wanted Mark so much, but I couldn’t have him. Losing love is one thing, but to have it practically thrown in your face every day was something I wasn’t able to handle. All of Mark’s rejection of our love came crashing down upon that new Corsair.
“But, I don’t understand why he’s crying,” Mark said. I could hear him start to lose it, too. He knew why I was crying, but he couldn’t bring himself to believe I still loved him. Then he was gone.
“Damn it,” Sam whispered, but he kept me in his embrace as the sadness ever so slowly began to fade away.
“Sam? Do you need any help?” Doctor Randall asked. “Do I need to give him something? Mark’s down in my office crying his eyes out. What’s going on?”
“Are you okay?” Sam whispered in my ear.
“Go to him,” I said between gasps.
“What’s wrong?” Doctor Randall asked as Sam got up.
“He still loves Mark and Mark just figured it out,” Sam said. “You can have Geoff, I’ll take Mark. It’s my fault anyway.”
I felt Doctor Randall sit down behind me and his hand rest upon my shoulder. He was suddenly in dad mode. He was getting better at this and I was beginning accept his new role in our screwed up little family. He was more of a father than my real dad who was too afraid of expressing love to his sons lest, for some obscure reason, they become homosexuals. I felt more love towards Doctor Randall than thought I ever could.
I rolled onto my back and looked up into his eyes. He looked older than when we first met, more like a dad, I guess. He and mother had set a date for their wedding, a date when I wouldn’t be home. I was going to California to spend three weeks with Uncle Walter and when I returned Doctor Randall was going to be my stepfather. I felt like crying, but I already was.
“Do you want to tell me what’s going on?”
It took more than a long moment for me to come back enough to answer his question. Finally, I said, “I never stopped loving Mark. It’s as simple as that. Sam stole his heart in an attempt to save him from being gay and now it’s all come crashing down upon us. Poor, dear, sweet Mark, he has too much happening to him right now.”
“He’s a teenager. Shit happens when you’re a teen.”
“No kidding, did you read that in a textbook?”
“No, I was a teen myself one day. You may not believe this, but I was rather cute when I was your age.”
“Well, you still have the body. It’s just your face that’s gone to hell.”
“And, thank you very much. But, by the way, there was a boy at school who was kind of like you, in a way. He had the worst crush on me, but thought there was no way he could ever have me. I think it was winter break of our junior year when our destinies finally came together. I grew up in a small town in Upstate New York, north of Syracuse and it was the best place in the whole world, or it seemed so to me. It’d been snowing the night before and I was going around the neighborhood shoveling snow off of sidewalks and porches, just for something to do. I was that kind of kid, too good to know any better. I finally worked my way over a couple streets and was actually shoveling that kid’s sidewalk. His father came out and asked me, ‘What the hell are you doing? I ain’t paying to have my sidewalk cleaned when I’ve got a young, strapping boy in my house.’ ‘It’s free, sir,’ I said, ‘I just don’t have anything else to do.’ ‘Well, you stay right here. I’ll get you some help.’ Tommy was outside with his snow shovel before he knew what was happening. We worked practically the whole day and all we got was a bunch of thank yous, more hot chocolate than we could ever drink, and lots and lots of Christmas cookies. We ended up at my house and he kissed me.”
“He kissed you?”
“Yeah, and it wasn’t all that unexpected. I knew he’d been watching me. You know watching me. Of course, at the time, I didn’t know what that meant, but I quickly found out that afternoon.”
“Did you guys do it?”
“No, not that day. No, that didn’t happen until the following summer out at the old swimming hole. It was actually a small lake, but it was secluded on this old farm. Everyone in town knew it was there, but I guess it was a place for kids only, as if there was a sign at the start of the trail that said, ‘Warning: Kids Only! Adults Not Welcome!’ It was hot and humid and we were skinny-dipping, which, also, seemed to be a rule for the lake, if it was just guys, or if you were out there with your girlfriend. I still don’t know how it happened, but we came together somehow and I ended up on the receiving end of an incredibly horny teenage cock.”
“He fucked you?”
“Yeah, without lube, just spit, but we went slow; or, as slow as two randy teens can go. I fell in love with Tommy that hot Fourth of July. Three years later he was dead on a bloody beach out in the Pacific, but I didn’t find out until I came back from Europe in ’46. We’d enlisted on the same day thinking the Army would keep us together. Boy, were we wrong about that. I still think about Tommy and the good times we had together. And, no, I’m not gay.”
“But, you said.”
“I said we had sex that one day and that was the only time. I think it was a shock to both of us that our love could be so strong that we’d end up having sex. Well, we nipped that in the bud right then and there. It was hard, though, not being with Tommy in that way. I can still remember jerking off at night imagining him with me and making passionate love to me, but it was not to be.”
“Did you meet anyone else?”
“We met while I was in medical school. Jean was from Buffalo and she had the prettiest face I’d ever seen. We were married a couple years later and Thomas Alexander Randall was born on July 4, 1955. He was a beautiful baby boy.”
“You named him after Tommy?”
“Yeah, it was my only choice. On the night of February 4, 1957, Jean and Tommy left me. We were living in a nice neighborhood, in a nice suburb, outside Chicago. I was just starting my work with adolescents and was looking forward to many fruitful years helping young boys like you to learn how to cope in this world of ours. He was eighteen years old, hadn’t been in school for years, barely getting by. The police think he was looking for money, maybe, just asking for money. He shot Tommy once in the head. He raped Jean, sodomized her, and then shot her in the head. Two years ago he was knifed in prison and died.”
“That’s okay. Hey, I’m sorry for the sad story.”
“No, I appreciate you telling me. Does Mother know?”
“Not all of it. She knows I’m a widower and I guess that’s all she wants to know. Now, how about going downstairs and talking to Sam and Mark. You guys need to work this out.”
“Yeah, I know, but it’s hard when I keep falling in love with practically whoever bumps into me.”
“You need to find someone permanent.”
“I did, but I don’t know where he is.”
We worked it out, sort of, at least to where I wasn’t bawling every time Mark got close to me. That first Saturday probably was the hardest, though they did get easier. I was ready to leave the house at eight o’clock, but I didn’t need to be at our pickup point until one. I read. I stared at the Corsair wondering where Tim was hiding, if he was alive, which made me cry. I sat on my bed staring at nothing. I went down to Sam’s room, but he hadn’t come home from spending the night with Mark. I went up to Johnny’s room, but he was still asleep from staying up with me to watch a war movie. I went down to the kitchen and fixed a bowl of cereal. And, then it was nine.
By the time twelve-thirty rolled around, Sam, Johnny, Sally, Mother, and Doctor Randall were practically pushing me out the door just to get me away from them. I was nervous as hell, but I was driving them nuts with my pacing, crying, whimpering, talking meaningless shit, and losing at Chutes and Ladders. I thought the walk would do me good, but I walked the nine blocks faster than I intended and got there at ten to one. Mark was already there. We looked at each other, but stayed apart.
“Hi,” I said. I wasn’t supposed to say anything and he didn’t respond. At least was holding up his part of the bargain.
I started counting the pebbles in the dirt, then moved to counting only the blue ones, then altered my tactic and only counted the obviously blue ones. I looked at my watch and it was five to one. I looked over at Mark, but he was staring at some dog, a big dog, a German Shepard, across the street that was looking at us. I didn’t know dogs. There was a Golden Retriever at Mark’s house, but it was old and slept in its corner all the time. The German Shepard suddenly broke into a run and came straight toward us. Mark knelt down and the dog nearly knocked him on his ass.
“Hey Jerry, long time no see,” he said as his fingers started scratching the dog’s ears. “What’s the puppy want?”
The dog looked up at me. I shrugged, smiled. What do you do with a dog named Jerry? He came over to me and stood about a foot away and stared.
“Squat down slowly,” Mark whispered. “He’ll be less nervous if you’re at his level.”
When I got down the dog pushed me so hard with his nose I fell over onto my ass. Instantly, he was on top of me licking my face and neck.
“Jerry sit!” Mark commanded.
The dog sat down on my crotch.
“This is better?” I asked.
The dog was sitting at Mark’s feet.
“I thought you had a Golden Retriever?” I asked.
“This is our neighbor’s dog. He must have followed me. We’ll have to take him home before we go to Gary’s.”
“Okay.” I mean what could I say, “No, we can take him with us. He can watch.”
Gary must have known Jerry, too, because he had no qualms about letting the dog in his beat up Dodge, although, Jerry and I had to share the backseat. Mark took Jerry up to his home and the dog was welcomed back like he’d been gone for years. Dog people, I’ll never understand them.
“I still don’t understand what this is about,” Gary said as he drove toward his apartment. “But, I’ll go along with it as long as you guys cleanup your mess. As in, put the sheet in the hamper and wipe up any stray splatters of come. You can’t imagine what it was like to cleanup after the last time you spent time at my place. By the way, which one of you has the aiming problem?”
“That’d be Mark.”
“Well, little brother, you need to remember where that stuff is supposed to go. Mouth, ass, body, not headboard, wall, nightstand, dresser, and the fuckin’ lampshade. I didn’t even notice until one night I went in there to get something and turned on the damned lamp.”
“Sorry, I get carried away sometimes.”
Then, Mark and I were standing in the extra bedroom in Gary’s apartment. He’d gone off to do something, probably so he didn’t have to stay and listen to two horny teens having sex. We’d broken the no talk rule. It had been Sam’s addition to our compact, so it wasn’t all that binding, anyway.
Mark unbuttoned my shirt, carefully pulling the tail out of my slacks to get every button, then eased it off my shoulders, dropping it to the floor. I pulled his sweatshirt over his head and stared at his erect nipples before dropping it onto my shirt. He pulled my t-shirt out of my pants and over my head, then dropped it onto the other shirts. I knelt down and untied his shoes. He stepped out of them, then raised each foot so I could remove his socks. I stood up and he knelt down to do the same for me.
I looked into his gray eyes and they smiled back at me. I knelt down, unbuckled his belt, pulled down his zipper, and saw he wasn’t wearing any underwear.
“Sam told you to do this,” I said.
“No, it was my idea, but he thought it was a good idea.”
He was hard and ready. I hadn’t seen this cock in a long time and wanted to take my time. I leaned in and kissed his ball sack. Then selected a likely subject and sucked it into my mouth. Mark’s hands were on my head, his fingers running through my hair. I leaned a little more and licked behind his balls. His hands pressed my head into him. His scent was overpowering, I wanted more of him.
I pulled back licking over to his thigh and up toward his cock. I reached out and put my hand between his legs and found his portal. My other hand took hold of him and my mouth enveloped the head, my tongue going crazy over the soft, spongy flesh. A finger slipped easily into him. I smiled. Mark was pre-lubed. My mouth worked itself down over his erection, my lips pressing against the skin. Another finger slipped into him, harder this time. I couldn’t wait a moment longer. My other hand began to work up and down the shaft. My mouth returned to the head, allowing my tongue to drive Mark to the edge, as my fingers found what they were seeking. He shuddered as his hot juices pulsed into my mouth.
“Wow! You certainly didn’t waste any time,” Mark said when I stood up. We kissed, his tongue darting into my mouth. I held his bare skin against my chest and felt him undoing my belt. My zipper descended. Then my slacks and briefs headed toward the floor.
“Come here, I need you,” Mark said, pulling me toward the bed.
He lightly pushed me down, then raised my legs up onto the bed. He was kneeling over me. I looked up into his gray eyes as he lowered himself down onto me. I rubbed his thighs as he got into his rhythm bouncing up and down on my aching erection. I watched his cock harden as I tightened myself. His tempo changed to slow ups to where he was nearly out of me, then quickly down deep inside him. I reached out and stroked his erection. I bit my lip trying to hold back, trying to keep it going, but a wad of come splattered into my nose breaking my concentration.
After cleaning us, Mark lay down, snuggling up against me.
“I missed you,” he said. “No, really, I did miss you, but I was afraid. I didn’t want any more trouble than I already had.”
“You don’t have to announce this to the whole world,” I said. “I don’t, but people figure it out eventually.”
“What about Sam?”
“You know our agreement. You’re his, except for every other Saturday afternoon. We all agreed, even Sam. I know you two are in love. I can see it. You might like this, but you love Sam.”
After awhile it began to seem very contrived, almost as if all of the getting ready (Brushing my teeth twice, showering with lots of soap and not jerking off.), saying goodbye to Sam (Who acted like he didn’t care, when I knew he did very much.), walking the nine blocks to the corner (It was exactly halfway between our homes.), not acknowledging Mark’s or Gary’s presence, taking each other’s clothes off, kissing, touching, sucking, fucking, and whatever else we did between one-thirty and around three-thirty when Gary dropped me, and usually Mark, at my house.
Yet, I looked forward to those times simply because I was with someone I loved.
Sam and Mark remained lovers. They’d gone beyond best friends, boy friends, and whatever else they could be other than deeply in love. Love dripped from them whenever they were near. You didn’t need special glasses to see they were in love with each other. What made it very special was Mark’s parents who accepted Sam into their family as if he was Mark’s fiancé. Sam’s parents were the only problem because their lawyer was coming up with a lot of legal shenanigans that kept Sam home more than he wished so he could be kept under “close” supervision. Doctor Randall got around that by having the court officially sanction Mark’s parents as “supervisors” when he was at their house. There were dark clouds on Sam’s horizon, though, and we all knew the time was coming when he was going to leave us to be sent down to either a county or state facility for stricter supervision.
“Boy’s I’d like to introduce Scott to you,” Doctor Randall said. We were all up in my bedroom, which seemed to have become group therapy central for us. “Scott will be staying with us from now on.”
“Hi, Scott,” the three of us said in our own way. We were staring at him. Picking him apart, the little mole under his left eye, the longish straw blond wispy hair hanging over his ears, the faint eyebrows, the blackhead on the right side of his nose, the way his eyes never left the floor, the way he was biting his lower lip, and all the other things that made him different from us.
“Peter’s not coming back?” Johnny asked.
“Uh, no,” Doctor Randall said.
“Is he okay?” Johnny asked. He sounded worried. After all, Peter had been his best friend. I moved my chair next to his and took his hand in mine.
“He’s okay, but he won’t be rejoining the group,” Doctor Randall said.
“Can I ask why?” Sam asked. He looked a little sad, too.
“He tried to bribe a guard to give him some drugs. Unfortunately, that was a test and he failed miserably. We don’t really know what we’re going to do with him, but he won’t be coming back here. And, for what it’s worth, this wasn’t my decision. Personally, I think Peter just wasn’t suited for a residential placement.
“Anyway, we have Scott with us now. As you can see Scott is extremely shy, hardly says a word to anyone unless he trusts them completely. What we’re trying to do is get him out of the shell he’s put around himself. And, that’s where you guys come in. I know it’ll be hard and Scott will probably ignore you, but hopefully, with time, we can get him back to being a normal teenage boy. Now, Geoff, why don’t you show Scott to his room.”
“If it’s all the same to you, I rather you let Johnny do it,” I said. “I think his temperament might be better suited to Scott’s problem.”
“Johnny, how do you feel about this?”
“If Geoff thinks I can do it, then I’ll do it. But Geoff, you will back me up? Right?”
“Okay, then, we’ll suspend the group hug until Scott is willing and able to join us.”
Doctor Randall, Scott, and Johnny left the room. I could tell Sam was close to losing it. I went over to him and pulled him up into a hug. His body was tense as if struggling to keep his composure. We were alone and he knew I didn’t mind a tear or two, but losing Peter was too much.
“Have you decided what you’re going to get Mark for Valentine’s Day?” I asked. Distraction always seemed to work on me, so I thought I’d try it.
“A big teddy bear like Mr. Crowley,” Sam said. He lost it and began to cry. Not as bad as I usually did, but a close second. I held him close and felt his arms finally go around me pulling us closer together.
And, then, suddenly he stopped. I pulled away from him to get a good look, but he still looked horribly sad. He must have noticed the questioning look I as giving him.
“I can do that,” he said. “Don’t ask me how, but I can turn off the tears in an instant. Doctor Tim says he’s never seen it before, but there are references to it in some old books.”
“But do you feel any better?”
“No, I feel like I could lose it at any moment. Mention something about Peter and me and I will.”
“That’s why I asked you about Valentine’s Day. It’s next week. You don’t have that much time.”
“Can I sleep with you tonight?”
“Just sleep or something more?”
“Do you mind?”
“No, I don’t mind at all.” No, I didn’t mind at all. What was there to mind? Sam had a great body and was great in bed. He fucked like a mad man, but I was probably as crazy as he was. He could get a little physical, but I liked a lover who was in control. Nothing could dissuade me from wanting his bare skin next to mine. “I could lock my door and we could practice a little.”
“Just hold me, okay?”
“Okay, but I’ll go ahead and lock it in case you want to get naked or something.”
“God, Geoff, why are you so horny all of a sudden? How long has it been since you and Mark were together?”
“Yesterday, maybe I’m still wound up. I don’t know, maybe it’s the new kid. He looks kind of cute, in a bashful sort of way. I always thought Bashful was the cutest dwarf.”
He walked over to my door and shut it. Then he locked it. Then he locked my bathroom door. Then he came back to where I was standing.
“Get on your knees,” he said. He dropped his jeans and briefs. His cock was half-hard, but quickly rising to the occasion. “Suck it.”
I leaned in opening my mouth slightly to take it in slowly. Sam slapped the side of my face, hard, almost knocking me over. I looked up at him, but Sam wasn’t there. My face tingled with pain, but before I could react a fist lashed out at me and plowed into my nose. Stars, yes, stars exploded across my field of vision. I could taste blood, then another slap on the other side nearly knocked me over, again. A fist slammed into my face. I screamed and tried to protect my face from the pummeling. Then I grabbed one of his hands and wrenched it down pulling him along with it. I was on top of him forcing his hands down to the floor. He was kicking, trying to get me off of him. I knew I had to stay on top or he’d have too much of an advantage.
My door swung open. Doctor Randall had a key too all our bedrooms, for emergencies, like suicide or a fellow patient going crackers. Sam didn’t stop struggling until Doctor Randall was able to get the needle in his arm and push in the medicine.
Only then did I see another syringe being readied by my mother. I looked up and Doctor Randall saw me, saw my face for the first time. A smile faintly broke across his worried face. I got off Sam who was quickly succumbing to the medicine and started to pull up his pants.
“Arlene? Get some ice for Geoff’s face,” Doctor Randall said. “And, maybe, a towel to soak up the blood. Geoff? Do you feel up to helping me with Sam?”
“Anything for someone I love, but what set him off?”
“That’s the bad side of Sam. He was probably very mad Peter isn’t coming back and you simply became his target. It could have been any of us, but you were here now.”
I helped get Sam down to his bedroom and Johnny helped as soon as he saw us in the hall. This wasn’t a very good welcoming for Scott, but that’s what happens when you get a bunch of crazy kids together. We got Sam down to his briefs and t-shirt, then Doctor Randall brought out the restraints. Johnny and I looked at each other, but helped the doctor tie Sam to his bed. No one wants an angry crazy kid wandering the halls looking for someone to beat up.
When I got out into the hall Mother was there and walked me back to the kitchen. My nose was still bleeding and I was becoming very aware of a lot of pain across my face. I let her set me down and I tried to tilt my head back, but suddenly got very dizzy. I saw Doctor Randall with the syringe, but couldn’t stop him before the needle went in and after a moment everything went blurry.
“Just something to calm him down,” I heard him say in his badly dubbed movie voice. “I’ll give him something for pain before he goes to bed.”
“Noam, salride,” I mumbled.
“I don’t know if you’ll remember this,” Doctor Randall said, “but you defended yourself today and did a very good job of subduing Sam. I think you are really getting better.”
“Thanss,” I mumbled. I did feel good about it. I fought back instead of simply letting Sam beat the crap out of me, or worse, kill me like he almost did to his sister. So, this was the real Sam. Scary was a good word for how I felt about what happened.
Johnny slept in my bed that night. Nothing happened as I couldn’t kiss and the pain medicine I finally accepted did wonders for the pain, but totally destroyed any good feelings Johnny was trying to induce in my groin. He reluctantly gave up and snuggled against me before falling to sleep.
Sam was gone when everyone woke up the next morning. Somehow he’d gotten out of the restraints and ran away.
Doctor Randall made the necessary calls and Johnny and I stayed home from school.
Things didn’t seem right with Mark since Sam skipped out on us. He stopped our Saturday afternoon trysts. Was moodier than ever to the point where he nearly killed three boys bent on beating him up. They thought they had surprised him, but he was always waiting for someone to try to attack him. He’d crossed the bridge into an insane land where taunts, jibes, derision, and hatred were best handled with a left hook quickly followed by a right to the left side of the face, but the police were reluctant to arrest him because it was plain to everyone he hadn’t thrown the first punch. The only good thing to come out of it was no one tried to attack him anymore. I guess the word got out that not only did Mark fight like a crazy, he fought dirty, too. There are places on a boy that are not meant to be severely bruised.
And, Mark, seemed somehow happy, too. I suspected he either knew where Sam was hiding or he was helping Sam to stay hidden. Either way, I suspected they were continuing to see each other.
The reporter Officer Tomlinson talked about was around a lot a school interviewing students, teachers, and the staff. It seems he went to the school board for permission to investigate the possibility North Park High School was trying to force Mark Patterson to quit school because he lied to the police about who actually beat him up. They bought it and gave him free access to North Park High. Quite possibly, he was looking into Mark’s situation with an open mind and not jumping to conclusions before he finished his investigation. Whatever he was doing, he’d call me every now and then to say the investigation was progressing well and there should be an article out sometime before Mother’s Day.
I kept eating lunch with him. As long as I was there, no one seemed inclined to dump a tray of food on Mark. Yet, Mark seemed unappreciative of my presence, as if he was now in control of what happened around him. Or, maybe, he was just waiting for the chance to physically injure the next fool who tried to do it and my presence was keeping him from doing that.
Then on the Friday before Spring Break, I had to go to the dentist. I was gone during the morning, returning to school just before lunch. By the time I got to the cafeteria, the fool was carrying his tray toward Mark. Everyone was still talking, but all eyes were on the fool with his tray. It was heaped with lunches from other students. This was going to be the biggest mess dumped on Mark, ever.
I stood and watched. I felt I knew what was going to happen. The fool came up on Mark’s blind side, but just as he was raising the tray to dump it, Mark grabbed his crotch. The tray dropped to the floor with a thud because there was so much food piled on it. The fool had his mouth open, but nothing was coming out. Then he seemed to be dropping to his knees. There was a very brief struggle then the kid bolted, food smeared all over his head, he ran out holding himself with both hands, which made him kind of hobble along rather than actually run with any speed. Pain clearly showed under all the food on his face.
“Okay you bastards, who’s next?” Mark yelled as he climbed up on the table. “Who wants to sing soprano in the school choir? I don’t care. Come on, you fuckers, who wants to see if I can kill?”
Not surprisingly, no one volunteered, no one said anything, not even Vice Principal Washington. I went over to the table and looked up at Mark, reached toward him and said, “Come on, I’ll help you down. Come on, it’s okay. Vice Principal Washington? Your office I presume?”
Mark was calm. The calm you get after the storm. He didn’t say a word, didn’t start weeping, just kind of walked along beside me, a prisoner on the last walk of his life. Principal Jennings was just coming out of his office when we walked into the school office. He looked at me, but I led Mark to Vice Principal Washington’s office.
“We had a little incident in the cafeteria,” Vice Principal Washington said behind us. “Send the nurse to the boy’s restroom by the cafeteria. There’s a boy in there who might need assistance.”
“Billy, I want that boy out of here,” Principal Jennings said. “He’s caused his last disruption in this school.”
“For you, Steve, that’s probably a good thing,” Vice Principal Washington said. “Because the other boy’s testicles, and maybe his penis too, are going to be sore for a long, long time. I guess he can thank you for that.”
Well, that certainly told me whose side William A. ‘Billy’ Washington, Boy’s Vice Principal, was standing on, which kind of surprised to me. I expected the whole staff to be on the Coach’s side, but maybe I didn’t know school administration politics.
Mark’s mother arrived in a few minutes and the secretary showed her into the office. Mark was still quiet. Billy, who would probably kill me with paddle if I called him that, and I chatted about mostly me, I guess. He said I handled the situation admirably and would be calling Doctor Randall to fill him in on the situation. I told him it really wasn’t anything, but he said he was going to call no matter what I said.
“Mrs. Patterson, I sorry, but Mark is being suspended for the remainder of the year,” Billy said.
Mark sat there and didn’t say a word. His expression was frozen.
“Geoff? What are you doing here?”
“He helped Mark come down to my office,” Billy said. “He seemed to know just what to do.”
“Yes, well, I guess that’s understandable considering where he lives,” Mrs. Patterson said. “It’s okay, Geoff, I’m just saying you have more experience in dealing with boys who, uh, need help.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Patterson,” I said. “I thinks its time Mark went home. I’m sorry it had to turn out this way.”
“What way was that?” Mrs. Patterson asked.
“Mark finally fought back,” Billy said. “But I afraid it didn’t do him any good.”
“I suppose its time for our lawyer to look into this.”
“And, maybe, Doctor Randall, too?”
“I think that might be a good idea, Geoff,” Mrs. Patterson said. “Come on Mark, let’s go home.”
He didn’t move. Then he looked at me and I smiled, “It’s okay, Mark, go with your mother. I’ll see you soon.”
The tears came, but they weren’t much. He was too emotionally exhausted to even cry. When they stopped, he left with his mother.
“Thank you, Geoff,” Billy said. “I guess he is your friend.”
“No, we loved each other, once, a long time ago, in another life.” Or, so it seemed to me. The Fairy Table was going to be lonely now. I thought about moving, but figured I didn’t have to worry about it until the week after Spring Break.
Saturday morning, Mother went somewhere with Sally. Then Doctor Randall took Johnny somewhere else. I was left to “babysit” Scott, who hadn’t talked to any of us since arriving nearly two months earlier. He ate, went to his “special” private school (special as in all the kids were screwy in the head), cleaned his room and body, did his homework, and watched television. He was just an everyday kind of kid, except he didn’t talk and barely acknowledged anyone’s presence. Only Sally seemed to be able to communicate with him, probably because she wasn’t a threat.
I was down in the living room, for a change, since Scott’s room was on the main floor. I was reading a magazine, or simply looking at the pictures since there aren’t a lot of magazines that interest me. Too fucking smart for my own enjoyment. You can be too smart, trust me.
I heard something and I looked up. Scott was standing in the foyer staring at me. He looked very scared. We’d never been alone together and I don’t think he was ready for this much change in his life.
“Come on in and sit down,” I said, calmly, trying to empty all emotion from my voice. “You can watch whatever you want.”
He screamed and ran into his room and slammed the door.
Well, I figured his time had come. I wasn’t putting up with his shit any longer. I went to his door and noticed it wasn’t latched. He’d slammed it too hard and the bolt didn’t catch. I sat down on the floor leaning my back against the opposite wall.
“Scott? We need to talk,” I said, not too loud, but loud enough for him to know I was close.
“Go away!” He screamed.
I wished Doctor Randall was here to see this. The kid could actually talk, well, scream if the door was closed. It was communication, sort of.
“I’m outside your door, sitting on the floor.”
“Go away!” He screamed, again, but not as loud or forcefully.
“I want to know why you won’t talk to me.”
“Because you’re a homosexual.”
Wow! The kid was scared of queers, which suggested something. He wasn’t a dummy. No, Scott was smart, he was just a little screwed up in the head, that’s all. I began to wonder if he’d had a bad experience with someone of the same sex, bad enough to lock him in a mental shell that suddenly seemed to be full of cracks, as long as the door was closed.
“Geoff? Are you still there?” The voice was close, close enough to be on the other side of the door.
“I haven’t gone anywhere,” I said. I heard a bit of scrambling as if he was backing further away from the door. He was one scared little shit, but I wasn’t about to give up. He was talking. We were communicating, not well, but he was responding to verbal stimuli.
“Scott? Can you tell me why you’re afraid of homosexuals?”
“He said he’d hurt my little sister if I told.”
Damn! Someone close to both him and his sister. Father? Stepfather? Older brother? Next door neighbor? They were all suddenly on my suspect list. And, threatening to harm a little girl. We had a real sicko here.
“Scott? Have you noticed I haven’t come into your room?”
“Yes.” It was soft, barely audible.
“Do you know why I haven’t come into your room?”
“No.” Still soft.
“House rule number one. I cannot come into your room without your permission. Do you understand that?”
“Yes.” Stronger, firmer, knowing.
I could’ve left Scott at that point. We’d establish a boundary that I couldn’t cross and we’d communicated, sort of. But, I wanted to know who abused him so much that he had to withdraw from the world to find any peace.
“Scott? I want you to know something. Your door isn’t latched. You slammed it too hard and the bolt didn’t catch. You know, I could easily be in your room right now, but I can’t because I don’t have your permission. Can you understand why I haven’t come into your room when I can easily do it?”
“A little, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to, want to, want to.”
“What do you think I want to do to you?”
“No! Daddy said he’d, oh, no! Oh, no!” Scrambling noises, a thunk, a thud, more scrambling noises.
Dear old dad, why wasn’t I surprised. Well, I don’t know if Doctor Randall was going to like what I’d done, but I knew I wasn’t through. I had to open the door.
At first, I couldn’t see Scott. Then the whimpering got louder. Obviously, he could see me and was deathly afraid I was going to come in and get him. I sat back down on the hall side of the door jamb. Only then could I see Scott under his bed, back against the wall. I immediately thought of Doctor Randall giving me five swats for this fiasco.
“Scott? I am not your Daddy. I am Geoff Johnson. I live in this house with my mother and little sister. My dad is dead. Doctor Randall lives here, too. And, so does Johnny. I know you like Johnny, don’t you?”
“But, Johnny isn’t here. I’m here. I want to help you, but I can’t help you if you’re under the bed. Also, I want you to see I have not come into your room. You have not given me permission. I opened your door because I was concerned about you. I know you still don’t trust me, but I want you to come out from under the bed.”
Silence. No whimpering. Nothing. Then the softest of sounds, a mouse whispering from far away, “Okay, but don’t move.”
I watched him slowly extricate himself from under the bed. He sat down against the wall with his knees up to his chin, holding his legs. He was fourteen, but acted more like a five year old. This was one fucked up kid. Then I wondered how fucked he was, how many years had he been fucked. Dear old dad.
He was scared, but I wasn’t certain if he was still scared of me.
“Okay, Scott, at least I know you can talk and you’re willing to talk to me. Right?”
“Even if I’m gay?”
“Gay, queer, homosexual, they all mean the same thing. What they don’t mean is that I like you. You’re a nice kid, but I have no interest in being close to you.”
“Who told you about homosexuals?”
“Do I have to say?”
“Did he say you were one because he was doing things to you?”
“Yes.” Barely audible. Dear old dad was getting on my nerves.
“Is your father at home?”
“No, he and Mommy got a divorce. He lives in another house. Debbie and I go there on weekends. And, he does things to me and makes me do things to him.” He was crying. I wanted to go to him and comfort him, but I couldn’t, I didn’t have his permission.
“Okay, we don’t have to talk about this anymore. I’m going back to the living room and I’ll turn on the television. If you want to, you can come out and watch whatever you want. But, before I go I want you to know another house rule. I cannot touch you if you do not give me permission. Do you understand?”
“Good. Now, I’d like to give you a hug to make you feel better, but I’m not going to ask you. I’ll be in the living room reading a magazine. You do not have to come out. You do not have to sit on the sofa. You do not have to do anything you don’t want to. Okay?”
He looked so pitiful as he sat against the wall, scrunched up into a ball, tears dribbling down his face. I went back to the living room, turned on the television and changed the channel to my favorite cartoons. I sat at the far end of the sofa and picked up the latest issue of Life. At least it had good pictures.
After a few minutes I felt a body sit down and lean itself against me. I raised my arm and Scott snuggled up against me. It wasn’t long before I noticed he was asleep.
And, then Johnny bounded into the room and stared at us. Then he left and in a moment he came back with Doctor Randall, who looked at me with his “what the fuck is going on” face.
I felt Scott jerk a little. He was awake.
“We’ve been talking, haven’t we, Scott?”
“Yes, and Geoff has been nice to me. I like him.”
“Scott, I have to go talk to the doctor. Okay?”
“You remember what he said. He said he’d hurt Debbie.”
“Shush! It’ll be okay. He isn’t going to hurt Debbie, or you, ever again.”
“Now, see if you can talk to Johnny, too.”
“Come on Doctor Randall time to go back to work,” I said.
I told him everything, including Scott hiding under the bed. When he asked me why, I said, “I was tired of his shit and decided since no one else was going to do anything about it, I might as well do it today since we were alone. And, yes, I could have failed horribly and you’d have a worse mess than I when I started.”
“Well, for what it’s worth, I thank you for breaking his shell, but I think we’ve got a lot of work ahead now that we know his problem.”
“What about his father?”
“I have some friends down at the County Sheriff’s office. I’ll let them know.”
“I hope he runs so they can shoot him.”
An unusual April sun brightened Sunday morning, but I think seeing Scott and Johnny laughing made my day special. Scott still wasn’t too sure about touching or being touched, but talking was definitely a good thing now. In fact, he seemed to be always talking, you couldn’t shut him up, but he smiled now, that made everything okay.
Mother came into the kitchen and announced Scott and Johnny were going to help her make hotcakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon. They looked at her like she was some kind of crazy woman, but she told Johnny he was going to do the bacon and Scott would prepare the hotcake batter.
When the telephone rang, I was too busy watching Scott and Johnny to be bothered with answering it. Then Sally, who probably was destined to be a receptionist, called out, “Geoff for you!”
I didn’t want to miss seeing hotcake batter flying through the air, but went to see who wanted me. Maybe, just maybe, it was Tim down at the bus depot needing a ride home. I could hope. I had hope. I still had hope.
“Geoff? Please forgive me.”
“Mark? Is that you?”
“Please forgive me.”
“Mark, are you with Sam?”
“Why won’t you forgive me?”
“Where are you?”
“Garage, but why can’t you forgive me.”
“Mark, I want you to go outside right now. Get away from Sam. Don’t listen to him.”
“Geoff, please! Just say you forgive me.”
“I forgive you. There I said it. Now, go outside!”
The line went dead. I dialed the number to the Patterson house and waited, listening to the ring, ring, ring.
“Damn it! Somebody answer the phone!”
Ring, ring, ring.
“This is Geoff. Mark just called. I think he’s out in your garage with Sam and they’re going to try to kill themselves. Get your parents and stop them. Please.”
“Oh, god! Mom! Dad!”
The line went dead. I stood there a moment trying to think.
“What’s up?” Doctor Randall said behind my back.
“Mark called. It sounded like he was going to attempt the big end.”
“Shit! Go to the car, I’ll be right behind you.”
Doctor Randall was a bad driver. Inattentive as hell. It’s best not to even watch where he’s going because he missed the power poles by inches, if old ladies in crosswalks had sponges they could wash the car as it sped by too close for comfort. Normally, it took almost fifteen minutes to get to Mark’s house. We got there in less than ten.
The firemen had Mark and Sam on stretchers and they were giving them CPR. I could see the rope burns around their necks. Doctor Randall went to Mr. Patterson, but I stayed in the car. Donny came over. He didn’t look very good.
“How’re you doing Donny?”
“They were quivering. It looked horrible the way they were wiggling and quivering. Dad cut them down with his pocket knife and got the ropes from around their necks. I helped him. Mother called the fire department. They’re just around the corner. Oh, Geoff, I don’t want Mark to die.”
I got out of the car and put my arms around him. He was crying. Gary drove up and came over to us. He took his brother from me and walked him toward the house.
Suddenly, I had no one and I felt the all too familiar sense of doom descending over me. If I had a weapon I’d use it. If there was a bridge I would jump. I leaned back against the car.
“Mrs. Patterson, I’m sorry.”
“No, thank you for calling. Hopefully we got to them in time.”
She was on the edge. We all were. Those two boys. Those two love birds. I loved them both, equally. They had special places in my heart.
“Geoff? I want you to go with Sam,” Doctor Randall said. “They got a pulse and are taking him to North Park Memorial. I’ll follow in the car. Hurry up, they’re not going to wait for you.”
“They’re still working on him. He seems to be worse. Hurry up. Go!”