By: Eric Case
To those whom it may interest, this story, and all my others - some of which
won't be on nifty - are available at my website "The BookCASE", so you
can check it out and let me know what ya think. Oh and if ya go puleeaaze sign
the guest book! :)
http://thebookcase.tripod.com/ - The BookCASE
At the time my mom was checking Max's injuries, my dad was at Max's house. Max's dad had been laying at the bottom of the stairs when my dad rang the doorbell. The noise woke Morgan, Max's father, up and he came to the door holding his head. "Are you Max's father?" My dad asked.
"Yeah Max is my son, why what happened to him?" he asked.
"You started beating him and came at him with a baseball bat," My dad said with forced composure.
"Oh God not again," Morgan said.
"God had nothing to do with it," my dad said flatly. "Max is at my house right now and he's going to stay with us until you get some help.
"Is he okay?"
"No he's not okay. He's blaming himself for everything! Your sixteen year old son spent the last 25 minutes pouring his heart out to us because he has nowhere else to turn to. He says you're all he has and if that's the case you should be doing everything in your power to protect him!" My dad said pausing and wiping his face. "Get yourself cleaned up and take care of business." My dad turned to leave.
"Wait," Morgan said hurriedly. "Take him some of his things, can you?"
"Yeah," dad said. "Yeah I can." He waited for Morgan to get Max some clothes he could wear and get his things together. When Morgan came back with a bag of clothes and personal stuff he handed it to my dad. "You know, Max told me that you have another son you haven't seen in years. You've still got Max and he still loves you. Be careful you don't lose that too because without it, you have nothing."
My dad turned again and left Morgan and drove back home quickly.
* * *
Max was seated at the foot of my bed where I had brought him to sit and relax for awhile. He was actually supposed to get some rest and there wasn't much more I wanted than to be able to sleep in my bed after he had been resting on it, but Max didn't want to sleep. Instead he sat and talked to me about stuff. We didn't talk about much in particular. Just general things like what classes we were both taking, what teachers we had, and little stuff like that. Eventually, though, we got onto the subject at hand when my dad got back home and came upstairs with a black Nike gym bag.
"Max these are some things from your house. Your dad is alive, and I've told him you'll be staying with us for awhile, and he gathered up some clothes for you."
"You want me to stay here?" Max asked seeming to make the whole room brighten with his hint of a smile.
"Yes Max, you're free to stay as long as you want," my mom said standing in my bedroom doorway next to my dad.
"When does he expect me back," Max asked.
"I didn't set a time limit to anything. When you think you're ready to go back home, then it's up to you. Our door will always be open to you to Maxwell, and there's plenty of room for you," My dad said in his usual cool manner.
"We even have an extra chair at the kitchen table for you," I added leaning to the side bumping Max's shoulder with mine.
"I don't know what to say," Max said shaking his head slightly.
"How about what's for dinner?" I asked smiling.
"How does pizza sound?" Dad asked getting a big smile from Max. "Okay we'll order it later, and for now Jared, get Max set up in the spare room okay?"
"Okay dad," I said grabbing Max by the arm and pulling him past my parents and down the hall to the spare room. "This is your new room," I said hearing mom and dad heading down the stairs. "This computer here's kinda old, but it works for like writing essays and stuff, so if you wanna use it you can go ahead. There's like card games and stuff on it too."
"Okay thanks man," Max said looking around the room.
"The dresser's empty. There's some stuff in the closet I'll take outta there and I'll go get your bag," I said and headed quickly back down the hall to get Max's bag.
I walked back into the room and set Max's bag down on the floor next to the dresser. "If you wanna get some more clothes from your house like sometime I can come with you if you want," I said in my most supportive voice.
"Thanks little man," Max said sitting down on the bed.
I sat down on the bed next to him on the bed and bunted his shoulder with mine again. "We'll skip the gym today okay?" I asked looking at him seriously. His eyes seemed to search mine for a moment, then he nodded.
"I guess I had enough of a workout for one day huh?" He said resting his right arm over my shoulders.
"Yeah," I said as my voice cracked a bit and I felt Jared Junior stretch and start to wake up. "Uh.. I'll clear out your closet I said getting up quickly. I mean I liked his arm being around me like that, it's just I knew Max would be living with me now and I didn't need him finding out I was gay.
"Okay.. I guess I'll mess around on the computer for awhile if it's alright?"
"Sure it's kewl with me," I said as I opened the closet door. Max turned on the computer and it started with it's usual beeping. I started taking some of the pairs of pants and jackets I had hanging in the closet and headed back down the hall to hang them up in my closet. When I got back Max was at the Windows98 log-in screen and asked what my password was. "Lincoln," I said simply. I just used the street name for most of my passwords since it was easy to remember.
"Okay," Max said turning back to the computer. I heard him keying in the password but in the back of my mind alarm bells were going off and I wasn't sure why. Then it hit me like a tonne of bricks and as I turned around looking over my shoulder towards where Max was seated at the computer.
"Ummmm," Max said as he stared stupefied on the desktop screen. He turned his head to see me standing looking from him to the screen and back again, mouth hanging open, and breaking out in a cold sweat. As I had remembered just after he keyed in the password, the last time I had been on the old computer, I had set my desktop as a picture from the "legendary" Kevin series from the internet. It wasn't a nude, pic, it was just one of the ones with him sitting on the couch in his underwear, and definitely not a picture for any "normal" 13 year old guy to have as his wallpaper.
It only took me about five seconds before I realized that my whole life was now over. My big secret was out to Max and he was the one person who had believed in me. I mean my parents did, yeah, but that was kinda their job. Max pushed his chair back and stood up looking me dead in the face. I couldn't read his expression though as he walked over to the door, but I figured he was headed downstairs to tell my parents. Then he walked over and closed the door. Now I was really worried! "Then again," I figured, "maybe he'll just beat the hell outta me and keep it a secret."
I started to back away when he turned around facing me. Each step Max took towards me "It's not what you're thinking," I said nervously as tears started to build in my eyes and my face flushed hot as it blushed red. Sweat started to build almost instantly and my heart pounded violently in my chest. I was caught, and caught by Maxwell Thomas.