For the first time I realized how important friendship is. I always thought it was sex. Yeah, sex is important. And even though I said friendship lasts forever, it's not true. It only lasts forever if you work at it like you'd do in any relationship. It's strange how Dr. Walker could make this all so clear without telling us. The light just came on.
Matt was willing to sacrifice our friendship to keep me from doing porn. That's how much he cared for me. Writing that now brings tears to my eyes. And all that time I thought it was having a sexual relationship with him that was important. I know you could have a boyfriend or girlfriend and not have sex, but that just wasn't going to work for me. So for the time being, I just had to settle on having a friend that was a boy.
The problem with that was it didn't satisfy my need for sex. I'd sit around and see Thomas and Colt, Emily and Alan, Ollie and Sonia, and wonder why I couldn't have that. Of course, the only ones I knew were probably having sex were Thomas and Colt, but I wasn't even sure about that.
What was I to do? My parents and Matt's parents didn't give us much chance to have sex. And while Matt wasn't for a relationship, he wanted sex just like me. Even Jason Settles was beginning to look good at this point. That's a terrible thing to say, but I was horny and he was ripe for the picking. At least I thought he was. It would be a lot easier to get off somewhere with him than with Matt. Little by little the thought began to haunt me.
But I was getting ahead of myself. That Saturday, Dr. Walker wanted to finish talking to Matt and me about our relationship, but as you can see, I already kind of worked it out in my head.
Dr. Walker was shocked by Andy's close call with porn and he let him know it. But we were there that day to talk about Andy's and my relationship, so Dr. Walker got us back on track. But it actually started when Andy said friendship was more important than sex. That really surprised me. The most important thing was that Andy forgave me. My biggest fear was that he wouldn't. And without forgiveness, our friendship would have ended.
Dr. Walker's work was easy after that. Andy decided that he could accept our friendship as it was, because he suddenly began to understand that it was the most important thing, not sex. Andy and I were still going to have sex if we could ever get away from our parents for five minutes, but we'd be seventeen in March, and I figured they'd basically consider us adults and would let up. But at that point in time, they did everything they could to keep an eye on us, and ninety percent of the time they wouldn't let us spend any time alone together.
Football season was ending and basketball was starting. Andy was well enough to play basketball, and it was going to be great playing together again on the court and not just in bed. Dr. Walker kind of led us there that Saturday by asking his usual questions and letting us discover everything for ourselves.
As we talked, I began to realize that maybe our lives might be getting back to normal. Dillon's trial was behind us. The kids at school soon forgot about the trial and our foursome. I had come close to being the starting quarterback as a junior, but missed out because I chose to tell on my best friend. We'd confessed the prostitution to our parents. I've have to tell you, it's hard for me to write that now. What the hell was I thinking? Talk about my dick and greed getting the best of me. I had told on Andy and we were still friends, and thanks to Dr. Walker and our parents, it looked like the rest of our junior year might be something positive that we could remember.
If you learn from your mistakes and don't repeat them, your life can get back to normal eventually. At the time, it seemed like it would take forever, and yet, high school was only four years of our lives, even though it seemed like twenty.
It's easy for me to have that perspective now, because Andy and I are older and wiser than we were then. It hurt me then, and it hurts me even more today when I hear of a high school teenager committing suicide because they think life is too unbearable to live. I have to tell you, there were many times when life seemed too unbearable to live. Some say "Time is the great healer", but I think perseverance is the great healer, and if not the great healer, it's at least the great equalizer. The old saying that "what does not kill us makes us stronger" is actually true. Young people need to see the terrible things in their lives as preparation for a better future. Learning to cope, and finding ways to deal with the pain of life make us stronger, gets us through the tough times, and soon we're as tough as the things that threaten us.
I can't say Dr. Walker was responsible for all these insights, but he sure helped. He helped us to put things into perspective. I don't know if any of you have ever seen the movie, What About Bob, but it's worth watching. Bob, played by Bill Murray, is a little crazy and drives his psychiatrist, played by Richard Dreyfuss, crazy because Bob follows the advice of the psychiatrist in his book Baby Steps. Bob takes baby steps to his recovery. If you just watched the movie for the humor rather than the message, you might not realize how true it all is. What we all need to do is take baby steps. Take one step at a time to recovery.
Andy and I took some huge steps, and when you consider we might live to be ninety, a wrong turn uncorrected would take us to places we might never return from. I'd love to say Andy and I both stayed on the right track, but for Andy, life was full of temptations he couldn't resist. For me, it was different. Andy was always the daring one, the guy who was a little reckless with his life. I hadn't been that way until sex became one of the most important things in my life. It still is, but I learned to live a more balanced life. A balanced life is what we should all seek because a balanced life doesn't have all the ups and downs or the highs and lows an unbalanced one does; a balanced life has more stability and keeps your boat from tipping over.
Sorry I got off on a tangent, but these thoughts were going through my head as I thought back on our time with Dr. Walker. He told us we'd probably only meet two more times each after that last session, and I hated to see it end. But it was time for us to move on. To take those baby steps and to persevere, because like I said, perseverance is the great equalizer.
Andy was always jealous of Thomas and Colton because he saw that they had what he wanted. They spent more and more time alone. They'd run off during lunch and find a quiet place to talk and maybe hold hands or kiss. He often wondered what else they did and wanted to ask, but never did.
Thomas and Colt kept their sex life to themselves, but they'd moved on from their innocent foreplay to sex in as many positions and as often as they could. But they kept it between themselves. Andy was jealous and decided Colt was a better choice than Jason Settles. He knew Thomas would never cheat on Colt. He didn't know Colt as well, so didn't know if he would or not, but he decided to find out.
Colt wasn't into sports, so Andy teased him during lunch and suggested he play basketball. "Thomas plays. You should too."
"I'm not any good."
"Hell, you don't know unless you try. You have that hot body and look like an athlete. You need to give it a shot."
Thomas interrupted. "If he doesn't want to play, he doesn't have to."
"But you'll be playing. Wouldn't it be nice if you were on the team together? I really like having Matt on the same team as me. Colt, you'd look hot in a basketball uniform."
Colt blushed. "Thanks."
"What are you up to, Andy?" Matt asked.
"Nothing. Just trying to help the JV team out. They can always use another player, and Colt looks like he'd be good."
"Well, knock it off."
"Knock what off?"
Matt pursed his lips. "If Colt wants to play, he'll play. He doesn't need you on his back."
"You mean like Thomas?"
Everybody at the table booed.
"Okay. I'll knock it off."
He did, but every time Andy saw Colt after that, he'd flatter him and tell him how hot he was. Andy wasn't a Dillon Burke, but he'd learned a few things from him and was taking advantage of the fact he was a year older. Colt was flattered, and Andy was clever enough never to say anything bad about Thomas.
Thomas came up to Andy in the hall between classes and gave him a hard punch in the shoulder. "What the fuck do you think you're doing? Leave Colt alone."
"I'm not doing anything."
"Hell you're not. It's gotten so all Colt talks about when we're together is Andy Gibson and how he builds up his confidence. When we're together he wants to know why I don't build up his confidence."
Andy smiled. "Why don't you?"
Thomas got a serious look on his face. "This isn't a game. You're trying to get Colt into bed. I saw how Dillon worked. I'm not stupid."
"I'm no Dillon Burke," Andy snapped.
"Maybe not, but trying to steal someone else's boyfriend is not right. Leave Colt alone."
"He's a big boy. He can handle himself, and if you're right for him, then you have nothing to worry about. You guys are in a committed relationship aren't you?"
That stopped Thomas for a couple of seconds. "Yeah."
"So what's the worry?"
"I'm not worried. I just don't like this horseshit you're pulling. So knock it off."
Andy wasn't going to give up. "Wouldn't you like to see Colt on the basketball team?"
"Have you encouraged him?"
Thomas stared at the ground. "No, but I don't believe in forcing someone to do something they don't want to do."
"Well, maybe if you did, he wouldn't accuse you of not building up his confidence."
"Uh. You're confusing me." Thomas balled up his fists. "I'll give you that one. I will encourage him. But he doesn't have to if he doesn't want to, and I want you to leave him alone."
"Hey, it's a free world. I just don't see what's wrong with encouraging a guy by saying nice things about him."
"Well, I do. So stop."
Things didn't end there. Colt caught up with Thomas before basketball practice. "Did you tell Andy to quit talking to me?"
That pissed Thomas off. "What the fuck, Colt. Don't listen to Andy's crap."
"Did you tell him not to talk to me?"
"Not exactly. I told him to quit flirting with you. Maybe not in those exact words, but I told him to knock it off."
"You call what he's doing flirting? He makes me feel cool and desirable. You should like that. You do think I'm cool and desirable, don't you?"
"Of course. But Andy's after more than just getting you on the basketball team or making you feel cool and desirable. Trust me."
"Believe what you want to believe," Colt said as he started to walk off. "You can't tell him or me who we can talk to."
Thomas ran after him. "Wait. I'm not. I'm just warning you. I love you. I think you're cool and hot and think you'd make a great basketball player, but you should only play if you want to. Andy wants to get you into bed, and that pisses me off. Just when I think the guy's going straight, he pulls this kind of shit. I guess he's never going to change."
"I think you're jealous because he doesn't say those things about you."
Thomas put his hands on Colt's shoulders. "Look. He knows I wouldn't listen to that shit. He knows what we all went through with Dillon. Dillon did the same thing to us. He flattered us and made us feel important. So he goes after you instead. Plus you're cool and hot, a great fuck, and an excellent cocksucker. He wants what we have. I love you, but watch yourself. We have something special, and I don't want to see it threatened. Do you understand?"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don't worry. I know what I'm doing."
Andy never learned. He loved tying more knots in his life. Just as it seemed our lives were back on track he decided that he thought Colt was hot, and he was challenged by the idea of stealing Colt from Thomas. I warned him, but as usual, he didn't listen. You can't compare this with doing child porn or prostitution, but it was still wrong.
I confronted Andy while we walked home after basketball practice.
His response was typical Andy. "Hey, if Colt and Thomas are tight, it shouldn't make any difference what I do."
I shook my head. "You're so full of shit. Why tempt the guy? Leave him alone. Thomas has always been our friend. Is this what you do to friends? If so, then maybe I need to reconsider everything we've been through together and everything we talked to Dr. Walker about. Would you try to steal my boyfriend or girlfriend?"
"Depends on what?"
He grinned. "If I could get away with it or not."
"That's it? What about our friendship? You'd sacrifice that after everything we've been through?"
"No. I'd never do anything like that to you, but Thomas and Colt are different."
I rolled my
eyes. "You never cease to amaze me. Won't you ever stop doing this crap?
"Hey, like I said, if Thomas and Colt are tight, it won't make any difference."
I didn't know what to say to that and ended up saying, "Maybe you're right. But let me tell you this: if you convince Colt to break up with Thomas, I'm going after Thomas. So I suggest you think carefully about what you're doing. I would never do anything to get Thomas, but if you do something that ends their relationship, that's different."
That pissed him off. "So you won't commit to me, but you would with Thomas?"
"I didn't say that. But Thomas and I have had some hot sex, and we have a lot in common. So you do what you gotta do, but keep in mind, you'll have to live with the consequences. Thomas will hate you, and you'll end up with Colt, a guy that can't be trusted to keep his commitments. Are you willing to take that chance?"
He stopped walking and looked directly at me. "Hmm. I'll have to think about it."
I'm home from Thailand, which is 95% Buddhist, so I'll end with a few quotes from The Buddha:
As a net is made up by a series of knots, so everything in this world is connected by a series of knots. It anyone thinks that the mesh of a net is an independent, isolated thing, he is mistaken. – Buddha
Human desires are endless. It is like the thirst of a man who drinks salt water; one gets no satisfaction. -- Buddha
If you like this story, please write a review, click like, and follow me. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I answer all emails.
I'd like to thank Lisa for taking the time to edit Knots 1, 2, 3, & 4. As the author, I take final responsibility for all parts of the story, including any errors.
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.