Knots is the story of two fourteen-year-old boys searching for their sexual and emotional identify. Both boys struggle with doubts about their new feelings for each other and the girls in their lives. Each chapter is either a first person account from the two boys, Matt and Andy, or a third person account with a camera's eye on the action in the story.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales, is purely coincidental and no slanderous intent is implied.
Contact me at email@example.com
Andy, Matt, and Dillon lived their lives as if nothing had happened. Matt saw Andy for their lawn jobs, but most of Andy's time was spent with Dillon. Matt never joined Andy for Dillon's infrequent coaching sessions.
Football started, and as usual, two practices and sometimes three a day sapped all their energy. Matt and Andy would sit in the shade between practices, drink water, eat lunch, drink more water, and then just lay stretched out on a blanket until the next practice.
One day, Billy Martin, Ernie, Randy Carter, and Alan all sat with them. Billy Martin threw some grass at Andy. "So Andy, you been getting any lately?"
"None of your business. Have you?"
Billy rubbed his chin. "Lots. The girls have been chasing me all summer."
Andy rubbed his chin like Billy had. "Doesn't appear any of them caught you. You were with Randy every time I saw you."
Randy leaned on one elbow. "Billy scared them off. You spent a lot of time with Dillon, didn't you?"
"Yeah. He tutored me and then coached me so I could get my QB job back from Matt."
Billy opened his arms and held his hands up. "That's never going to happen. Anyway Andy, did Dillon try to kiss you or grab your junk?"
"Fuck no. What makes you say that?"
"Rumor has it around school that he's gay."
"Hell no. The girls swarm around him like they do you, Billy."
Randy sat up and leaned back on his hands. "Heard he had quite the birthday party and the only sophomores invited were you and Matt. Also heard there were two incoming freshmen. How was it Matt?"
Matt leaned back on his elbows. "I was only there a short time. Didn't feel good so went home early."
Billy turned on his side to face Andy. "How was it Andy?"
"Great! The food was awesome. It was cool mingling with the upper classman, most of whom never gave me the time of day before."
"My brother was there," Billy said. "He stayed till the end. He noticed you were still there when he left"
Andy shifted uncomfortably. "Dillon and I were going over to the park in the morning to work out, so he asked me to stay over."
"Did you guys fuck?"
Andy jumped on Billy, hitting him in the face with his fists until there was blood. "No. Do you know something I don't? Maybe he fucked you."
Billy was trying to ward off the blows when Randy and Matt pulled Andy off. "If the coach sees you, he's going to suspend you or kick you two off the team," Randy said.
Billy ran at Andy and knocked him out of Matt and Randy's grasp, knocking him to the ground. Billy jumped up quickly to avoid being hit by Andy. "Why so sensitive? Did I hit a sore spot?"
Andy brushed himself off. "Don't make accusations you can't back up."
"I didn't accuse you of anything." Billy shrugged. "I just asked if he fucked you, and you went all ballistic."
"How would you like it if I asked if Randy fucked you?"
A smile crossed Billy's face. "I'd say no and add that I wouldn't have sex with Randy because he's ugly and smells. What does Dillon smell like?"
Andy thought maybe he was protesting too much, so tried to calm down. "I have no idea. I've never gotten close enough to find out. Anyway, I'm sorry. I kinda over reacted, but it pissed me off that you'd accuse me of having sex with Dillon."
Billy stuck out his hand. Andy shook it. "Sorry man."
Matt watched it all knowing that something terrible was going to happen. He didn't know what, but he felt it. The guys knew something was up and he didn't know why or how.
The practices went well for both Matt and Andy, but Matt kept the QB job. Andy went back to halfback prior to the first game. Andy accepted his fate with indifference, and this disappointed Matt. Both did well in that first game against Marshall High. Andy scored two touchdowns and Matt threw for two. They won the game 28 to 13.
Andy and Dillon often drove out to the Oxford Suites on Sunday for their sexual olympics. Everything seemed fine until Dillon didn't show up for Monday's practice. Andy called Dillon after practice and got his voice mail. He called his parents three times trying to reach him and got the answering machine.
That same morning, two detectives, Officer Billingsley and Officer Ellis made an appointment to meet with Andy's parents at which time they told them they believed an older boy was having sex with their son. "The older boy has been arrested and placed in jail to prevent him from continuing his relationship with his victims.
Andy's dad said in a casual voice. "Our son has been hanging around a lot with a boy named Dillon Burke. Dillon was tutoring him and helping him with his football. I'm sure it's not Dillon."
Office Ellis turned to them. "We're in the process of determining the facts. We didn't want to take Andy out of school or keep him from football practice because we didn't want to cause a scene and have everyone talking. But we'll need to meet him as soon as he gets home."
Billingsley turned to Mr. Gibson. "You need to go to school, pick your son up after practice, and bring him straight home."
A worried looked fell across the Gibsons' faces. "I think it's too late." Mr. Gibson said. "Practice is already over. Andy often goes over Dillon's after practice."
Officer Ellis turned to Billingsley. "Check at Dillon Burke's and see if Andy's there."
Andy was just pulling up on his bike as Billingsley drove up in front of the house. Andy figured something happened to Dillon and the officer came by the house see if anyone was home.
Billingsley got out of the car and approached Andy. "I'm Officer Billingsley. Are you Andy Gibson?"
"Yes. Has something happened? Has Dillon been hurt?"
"Afraid not. Dillon Burke was arrested for statutory rape, having sex with minors."
Andy could feel the pounding in his chest when he heard the plural, minors. He squeezed his eyes hard as he thought of Thomas and Randy. His head cleared a little and he knew right then his world was about to turn and become shittier than it already was. He dropped his bike and started to run, but Billingsley grabbed him before he had a chance to go two steps. "Hold it son. You haven't committed any crime. We just need to talk to you."
"I have nothing to say."
"We have reason to believe you are a victim of sexual assault. You have nothing to be ashamed of. We need to talk to you."
"I need to talk to my parents or a lawyer or something," he said, thinking of all the crime series he'd seen on TV.
"Your parents are waiting for us. Put your bike in the trunk and I'll drive you home."
"Can't I ride my bike?"
"No. It's better if you come with me."
Officer Billingsley opened the back door of the police car, waited for Andy to get in, and closed it.
Shit. Matt warned me. I didn't listen and now I'm in deep shit. So is Dillon. I wasn't sure if I heard the officer say minors, like there were more guys than me. I'm sure I was mistaken. No way would Dillon have others. Matt only had suspicions. He didn't really know.
How the hell did they find out? I figured it was Matt because he knew it was the only way he could get me to stop. He was jealous. But deep down I knew it wasn't true. Matt wouldn't do that. He'd stuck by me through everything. I didn't have any idea who could it be.
I sat in the back seat of the car like a prisoner. The officer made small talk. "How long have you known Dillon Burke?"
"Since the end of last year."
"Did he molest you?"
"Did you have sex with him?"
"Do you know anyone else Dillon Burke may have had sex with."
"No." I figured he was being clever and was going to casually interrogate me in the car. "Sorry officer, I don't have anything else to say."
The car went silent as I realized I was going to have to talk to the police and face my parents, Matt, and the kids at school. My life was already half over and now it was going to be completely over. I thought the best thing might to be run into the house, get my dad's gun out of the bedroom, and shoot myself. It would be over just like that. That was my plan except the officer had already thought of that possibility and handcuffed my hands in front of me before I stepped out of the car.
"What's that for? I thought you said I'm the victim."
"You are, but sometimes victims have a tendency to do the unexpected. You have a lot of life ahead of you so don't think about it."
He thought of everything. He pulled my shirt out to cover the cuffs. Guess he didn't want the neighbors to think I'd committed a crime. I wondered how they arrested Dillon?
I'm not sure what bothered me the most, the possibility of not having sex with Dillon, visiting him in jail, or everyone knowing I'm gay. At the time I thought, "I'd rather be dead."
My parents were waiting in the front room, sitting like they had just come home from a funeral. Another officer was with them.
Billingsley took off the cuffs and introduced Officer Ellis. I shook my hands as if I was shaking the cuffs off. Officer Ellis extended his hand, I shook it, and then sat at the love seat across from my parents who were sitting on the sofa. No one said anything for a few seconds, but it seemed like minutes.
Office Ellis turned to me. "We have reason to believe Dillon Burke has been having sex with three minors. You and two other boys."
My mind spun. I thought I was going to faint. All that went through my head were the words, "You should have listened to Matt. You should have listened to Matt."
Officer Ellis continued. "What can you tell us about your relationship with Dillon Burke? Were you and he having sex?"
I looked at my parents who were both staring at the floor. My dad kept his eyes on the carpet as he said, "Tell them, Andy."
All I could think of was Dillon with two other boys besides me. I was fucking pissed. It was then I decided to take the son-of-a-bitch down with me. "Yes, he raped me."
Ellis wrote in his notebook. "Was it only that one time?"
"No. He wouldn't leave me alone. Eventually it became a regular thing He threatened to tell on me if I said anything."
"Do you know the names of the other boys?" Ellis asked.
"I thought I was the only one until a few weeks back. There were two incoming freshmen. Their names are Thomas and Randy. I don't know their last name. Are they the ones?"
Ellis set his notebook on his lap. "Sorry, that's confidential information."
I knew it had to be them. Who else could it be? What kept running through my head was a vision of Matt shaking his finger at me and saying, "I told you so." God, I'm a dumb shit. I hate to say it, but love makes us do strange things. Dillon kept telling me he loved me. I needed his love. What a fool I was. And now it was over, the hot sex and everything that I thought Dillon and I had.
I looked at Officer Billingsley and stood. "I have to go to the restroom." I had every intention of going to my dad's room, getting the gun like I'd thought earlier, and shooting myself, but Billingsley followed me. Looking back now, the idea of killing myself seems stupid. But at the time, I felt trapped, and for a short time it seemed like the only way out. Like someone said, "Never make an important decision when you're stressed and your life has turned to shit." Actually, that's me looking back in retrospect.
"Are you going to come in and help me pee?"
"No, son. You can do that yourself. But I'm coming in with you."
"How `bout if I have to take a shit? Are you going to wipe my ass?"
"You can do that on your own, too, but I'm going to watch."
I rushed into the bathroom and tried to close and lock the door before he could follow me in, but he already had the flat of his hand on the door. "Sorry, son. This is for your protection."
I sat on the pot while he watched. The bathroom was an excuse to get away, but here I was sitting on the pot with Billingsley watching. I thought of all the times Dillon saw me naked and of all the things we'd done. Now it was over, and my life was over. I washed my hands when I was done as if life was normal. I turned to Billingsley. "Can I make a phone call?"
I want to call my best friend, Matt Spence, and have him come over."
He followed me into the living room and faced Ellis. Andy would like to call his best friend and have him come over. Would that be all right?"
Ellis asked, "Is he a victim."
I got a little belligerent. "Just let me call him."
"Maybe we should talk to him at his place," Billingsley suggested.
"Let him make the call," Ellis said. "We can sort things out better if they're both here. It would be helpful Andy if you told us if he's a victim or not."
"I can't. You'll have to talk to him."
Ellis nodded his okay.
Matt's mom answered the phone. My voice was shaking. "Mrs. Spence, can I talk to Matt?"
"What's the matter Andy, your voice is trembling."
"Nothing, Mrs. Spence. I just need to talk to Matt."
She called Matt to the phone. "Dillon's been arrested," I said as soon as he said hello "The police are at my house asking questions. Can you come over?"
Matt's voice was flat. "I need to talk to my parents. My dad was concerned when I came home early from the party. He tried to get me to talk then, but I wouldn't. But I told him I'd talk to him later if I needed too. I think I need too. I'll call you back in a few minutes."
The dominoes were starting to fall. My cell rang. "Andy, my parents won't let me go unless they come."
"Damn," I thought. "Soon the whole world will know. Thomas and Randy have got to feel as shitty as me. I spoke into the phone. "Matt, I'd rather they didn't."
I expected him to say, "I told you so," but he didn't. I'm sure he was thinking it though.
"Okay. See you when you get here."
I'd warned Andy. He wouldn't listen, and just like that the shit hit the fan. My dad was pissed because I hadn't told him the night of the party. "Didn't you realize he might rape other kids? We could have stopped him. I'd have gone over and kicked the shit out of him myself."
"That's why I didn't tell you. Besides I knew what was going on with Andy and thought if I told you I'd have to tell on Andy. He thought Dillon loved him."
My dad shook his head. "He's only fifteen."
I raised my voice. "This is why I didn't tell you. See how you're acting."
My mother stepped into the fray. "How do you expect us to act? Our son's almost raped, his best friend is being molested by an older boy, and you don't say anything."
"Andy wasn't being molested. He chose to be with Dillon."
"Bullshit," my dad said. "That's the way Dillon wants it. Make the victim feel it's okay because he chose to do it."
I knew they were right and I was wrong, but I wanted to protect Andy. I guess I should have told my dad that night. Now I'm wondering who told on Dillon. Obviously, someone with more courage than me.
It was a long ride to the Gibson's. Visions of what would happen when we got to Andy's flashed through my mind. Everything looked so peaceful when we go there. Dad knocked and a police officer opened the door. He introduced himself as Officer Billingsley. He escorted us into Andy's living room. His parents glanced quickly at us, giving us weak and shameful smiles. My parents nodded and walked over and sat on two chairs brought in from the dining room. Billingsley introduced Officer Ellis. My parents shook his hand when he extended it.
Ellis sat down. "Andy." he nodded in Andy's direction, "indicated that your son may have had some physical contact with Dillon Burke. We'd like to ask him some questions?"
I looked at Andy. I had no idea what he'd told them and said, "Can I hear what Andy told you?"
Officer Ellis focused on me. "Sorry, son. We want to hear only your side at this time." He paused and then casually asked, "Was there any sexual contact between you and Dillon Burke?"
My stomach spun and I felt light headed. There wasn't any way I wanted to tell them what happened. I'm not sure if it was shame, or fear of what it might to do Andy, or the dread of what it might say about me. "What do you mean by sexual contact?"
"Did you have sex with him?"
That was a question I could easily answer. "No."
"Did he make advances toward you?"
"What do you mean, advances?"
Ellis hesitated. I'll have to admit, it didn't seem like he much liked this part of the job. "Did he put his hands on you or touch you in a sexual way?"
That was going to be a little harder. "He touched me. But what do you mean in a sexual way?" I'm not sure why I was making it so hard on both of us. It would have been easier to just say he tried to rape me, but the thought angered me and I didn't want anyone but Andy and my parents to know.
Ellis waited and waited and waited until I said, "He rubbed his hands on my chest and stomach."
"What did you do then?"
I wanted to say, "What the hell do you think I did. I told him to get his fucking hands off me." But only said, "I told him to get his hands off me."
I didn't want to say anymore, and kept thinking, "Was this ever going to stop? Was I ever going to just let it out" I hadn't done anything wrong, but I felt shame as if I'd wanted Dillon to rape me and feel his hands all over me. I finally managed, "I went to the door, but it was locked."
The words Here it goes went off in my head. "He grabbed me and threw me on the bed. He stuck his knee on my chest. I tried to get free, but the harder I fought the weaker I got. He held me down until I couldn't fight anymore." I'd said the words but I kept thinking, "You could have resisted longer and harder. Maybe you just gave in because you wanted him to suck your cock." There was nothing but doubt and anger inside. I was angry that I was here and had to tell these things, angry at Andy for his relationship with Dillon, angry at Dillon for forcing himself on me, and angry for these hateful feelings.
I looked at my parents expecting to see hate and anger, but they gave me timid smiles. My dad said, "Go on Matt. It's all right. It's not your fault."
I heard his words, but the shame and guilt remained. I wondered if it would ever go away. I glanced quickly at Andy. Tears ran down his cheeks. He gave me a hopeless look. I was afraid he was ready to slit his wrists when this was all done.
Ellis nodded at me after my dad spoke. "What happened next?"
I dropped my head and started to cry. My dad sat beside me and put his arm around me. "It's going to be all right Matt." I guess he didn't think I believed him the first time and he was right. There wasn't any way it was going to be all right.
"Haven't I told you enough?"
Ellis cleared his throat. "We need to know if he sexually assaulted you. The only thing we know now is that he assaulted you. We need to know everything."
I wiped my tears, quickly glanced at Andy, and looked down at the ugly green carpet. "He put his knee on my chest and held my hands down. I tried to roll out from under him, but was too exhausted. I think I was. I'm not sure. Yes, I was exhausted. He handcuffed my hands to his bed."
Ellis waited for me to say more then asked, "Why didn't you scream?"
That pissed me off. He made it sound like I wanted it and that's why I didn't scream. "I don't know." I paused. "I thought about it, but I couldn't. Nothing came out." I was too embarrassed to tell him I thought only a girl would scream.
"I understand. What happened next?"
It now seemed like Ellis was getting his jollies off my story. He wanted to know every gory detail, but I wasn't going to tell him everything. "He pulled my pants off."
Ellis wrote a few notes. "What then?"
Right then I wished Dillon and Andy were tied to his bed and I could beat the shit out of both of them instead of enduring this verbal beating from Ellis. "Like I said, I wanted to scream, but couldn't. So I told Dillon I was going to scream in order to get him to stop. He told me the room was sound proof."
"And you believed him?"
"Officer Ellis," my dad said. "My son is the victim here. I'd appreciate it if you'd quit acting like he's responsible for what happened."
Thank you dad, I thought.
Ellis looked away from my dad and back at me.
"Yes, I believed him."
Ellis' face softened. "I'm sorry if it appears I'm after you. I'm not. Sometimes the facts are hard to get, and we need to know as much as possible. He looked away before he asked, "Did he touch your penis once he had your pants down?"
My mouth was paralyzed for ten seconds. "Uh, yes."
"What did he do?"
Oh shit. Is this ever going to end? "Like what?
Ellis looked away and then back. "Did he rub your penis or stick it in his mouth?"
Keep in simple, Matt. "Both."
Ellis jotted more notes. "What happened then?"
I realized for the first time that the police love playing "twenty questions." At the same time, I also realized from here on out it was all downhill. "Andy knocked on the door. He couldn't get in because it was locked."
At this point, I figured what the hell. "Dillon panicked. He uncuffed me, told me to run into his bathroom, fix myself up, straighten my clothes, and come out and look at his trophies."
"So the room wasn't sound proof after all?"
"No," dumb shit. I guess I was a dumb shit too for believing it. "Anyway, Dillon opened the door for Andy and Andy wanted to know why it was locked."
"Did you tell him?"
I was obviously wrong. This crap was going to go on forever so I decided I'd bring it to an end. "No. Andy thought Dillon really loved him. I didn't want Andy to know what happened, so said I was sick and ran down the stairs into the front yard. Andy chased me and wanted to know what happened. All I said was, `Dillon...Dillon,' as I ran off. I gave Andy an angry look. "What really pissed me off is it never occurred to Andy that Dillon had locked the door because he was inside attacking his best friend. Anyway, I called my dad and he picked me up. That's where it ended."
Ellis turned to Andy. "Is this what happened that night?"
Andy glanced at me, tears still running down his cheeks. He wiped them away. "It seems stupid I know. I thought Dillon had locked the door by accident. Matt was looking at the trophies when I walked in and everything seemed fine. Dillon told me he locked the door by accident and I believed him. Matt later told me what happened. I refused to believe him at first. I thought he was jealous of my friendship with Dillon."
Ellis wrote notes in his pad. "Did you ever believe him?"
There wasn't any way Andy was going to tell the truth on this one. Hell, he finally accepted my story and continued in his relationship with Dillon because he was still convinced he loved him "in his own way." Andy's my best friend and all, but he's a dumb ass. But then I guess that makes me a dumb ass too for keeping all this from my parents. Whoever told on Dillon at least put this predator out of business. I feel bad that it wasn't me. But I carried too much anger and shame to do it. I realize that now.
Andy looked Ellis in the eye and said, "No."
"So you didn't know there were others?"
Ellis and Billingsley stood as Ellis closed his notebook. "Dillon's been arrested based on the testimony of two other male victims. His parents are seeking bail, but their request is being held up until we talked to you. We're asking that no bail be set because we prefer he not have contact with anyone else."
I was relieved. It was about time someone did something about that asshole. I should have, but like I said, I was angry and ashamed. My erection as Dillon was raping me made me ashamed and guilty because I couldn't help but wonder if I wanted his mouth on my cock. Where do you go for something like this? Is it normal to have this happen or does it mean I wanted it to happen? I don't know.
Ellis got to the door and turned to all of us. "You boys have nothing to be ashamed of. Dillon was the predator. You are the victims. Mr. and Mrs. Spence, it might be a good idea if Matt stayed with Andy tonight."
Ellis was right about me and maybe Andy being victims. I'm was unsure if Andy was a victim because on the surface it seemed like Andy went willingly. Looking at it now in our twenties, I think he was seduced by Dillon's good looks, hot car, money, status, and Andy's own needs. Dillon succeeded. And while I always figured Andy was guilty for having this relationship with Dillon, it probably would have never happened if Dillon hadn't pushed himself on Andy. I felt a little of that too. Maybe I've judged him harshly. I understand it better now that it's happened to me. Of course, Andy always said "sex is just sex and meant to be fun." I wonder what he thinks now. He didn't know that his life would be tied in knots. Andy figured there weren't any consequences as long as he practiced safe sex. But I don't think he did with Dillon. I sure hope Dillon doesn't have Aids or some other sexually transmitted disease. All Andy'd need is one more problem on top of all the shit he faces now and will face when this gets around school.
My dad and mom hugged me after the door was closed. It'll be all right, Matt. Don't forget, you're the victim here. You too, Andy."
Andy's parents stood there motionless until his dad said, "Right Andy. Everything's going to be all right. Why don't you and Matt go up to your room so we can talk to Matt's parents."
Andy and I were heading toward his room when I turned back and asked, "Is it okay if I stay with Andy tonight like Officer Ellis suggested?"
My dad hesitated. "Of course. I think it's a good idea."
Andy's parents nodded in agreement.
I think they knew there was the chance Andy might do something to himself. Otherwise, I'm' sure they'd have said, "no."
Andy and I entered his room. I closed and locked the door behind us.
Chapter Quote 1: In chapter 2, Andy said, "...something happened that changed my life...It made me realize how fragile our lives are and how important it is to be careful how we use them. Suddenly Matt's quote from the movie, Kids, came to mind. "When you're young, not much matters when you find something you love. That's just it, fucking is what I love. Take that away from me, and I really got nothing."
Chapter Quote 2: Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences. -- Robert Louis Stevenson