The Moon in Your Eyes
Disclaimer:The following contains scenes of sexual activity between young males. If you find such to be offensive, please read no further. If it is illegal for you to read such in your jurisdiction, please do not do so. The author does not condone the violation of any laws.
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And, now, the conclusion of...
The Moon in Your Eyes
I was on my back and Mike Baldwin had me pinned to the concrete of the walkway. His fist hit my face. The pain was incredible. He hit me again. I felt something warm and moist on my face. He raised his fist again and...
Through the pain and blood and sweat, I saw a hand grab his arm and hurl him backwards. With my hands suddenly free, I covered my face. Someone was helping me sit up.
It was Jeff, sobbing as he held me.
"Come on, buddy. Look at me. How many fingers am I holding up?"
What a stupid question, I thought to myself, until I realized it was Father Parker. He was wiping my face with his handkerchief, but my nose hurt so intensely and my eyes were watering so badly that I couldn't see.
He wiped away the tears from my eyes and I was able to see Mr. Ostrander pulling a struggling Mike Baldwin away from me. There were dozens of kids standing around watching. Mr. Bloodworth, the Dean of Boys was rushing down the steps toward us, his typically agitated expression almost apoplectic.
Baldwin was struggling and cursing as Mr. Ostrander and Coach tried to subdue him. Mr. Bloodworth began ordering everyone to head to class.
"Mr. Forrester!" he declared looking at me with distaste.
"Later, John," Father Parker said as he helped me up. Jeff was holding me under my left shoulder, Father Parker under my right, as they led me up the front steps and into the school. Moments later, I was in the nurse's office and she was washing my face. Jeff had been sent to class and Father Parker had left to speak with the Headmaster. Eric had followed us in and left my jacket and book bag with me. After the nurse bandaged my nose, I was left to sit alone and to think and worry and ponder and obsess.
I had never done anything such as this before. But, then, there were a lot of things I had never done before coming to St. Stephen's. I could imagine what my mother's reaction would be when she heard. I was certain I would be sent home. What really frightened me was what my grandparents would think. They were the ones who were paying for what the scholarship didn't cover. What if I lost my scholarship? What if I were expelled?
My stomach was hurting from worry more than my nose was from the pummeling Mike Baldwin gave me when Dean Bloodworth entered the nurse's office.
"Come with me, young man," he said in his bloodcurdling way. I stood up, put my blazer back on, and trudged behind him with my book bag over my shoulder.
When we came to the Headmaster's office, Mr. Fenster was seated regally behind his desk. Mike Baldwin was seated in a leather chair to his right, a sullen expression his face. Mr. Ostrander was standing behind him, obviously struggling to keep a look of triumph off his face. Father Parker was to the Headmaster's left. He gave me a warm and encouraging look.
"How's the nose, Scott?" he asked with a smile.
Fenster, however was in no mood for pleasantries.
"Father Parker, let's dispense with the banalities. Mr. Forrester, why did you attack Mr. Baldwin?"
I was rather taken aback by the Headmaster's abruptness. I looked at Father Parker, who was obviously just as surprised. But, he smiled at me and nodded for me to answer.
"Mike Baldwin and his friends have been bullying me and my friends since school began and today he was insulting me and my friends and I couldn't take it anymore."
"So, you admit that you hit him first?"
"Headmaster!" Father Parker objected.
"What the Hell?" Mr. Ostrander demanded.
"Mr. Ostrander! You will control your language! Father Parker, let me remind you that you are here as a courtesy. Now, Mr. Forrester, answer the question. Do you admit that you struck Mr. Baldwin first?"
"Yes, but he started it by..."
"Enough! Childish schoolyard taunts are not justification for violence."
"But, he's the one who got Chad arrested! He was laughing at us and saying filthy things about us!"
Mr. Fenster's eyes suddenly lit up and Father Parker's seemed to be trying to convey some message to me. I couldn't decipher what his eyes were trying to tell me and, thus, was left to face the Headmaster's interrogation without knowing what to do.
"Mr. Forrester. Were you at the party at Mr. Fielding's Saturday night?"
Things were not going smoothly. I knew that I had to be careful. My heart was racing.
"Yes, sir. For awhile. But, we left early."
Mr. Fenster's eyes narrowed. I could see disappointment on his face.
"Why?" he asked.
I thought fast.
"I... I overheard some older guys saying that Mike Baldwin had sold Chad some pot. We left after that."
Should I mention everyone and possibly get them in trouble or should I protect them. How much did Mr. Fenster know? I looked at Father Parker. Almost imperceptibly, he nodded.
"Well, Eric Penfield and Jeff Robinson. Patrick Monahan. Sean Linley. Kelly Patterson and Randy Allenwood."
I saw Fenster writing down all the names.
"We all left because Mike Baldwin sold Chad some pot and when we were leaving, I saw Chip Livingston's car out front and they were all in it. Mike sold the pot to Chad and then called to police to bust him. He wanted to break up The Freaks!"
"Enough! I've had enough of this vendetta against Mike and his family! The Baldwins are longtime supporters of this school and the church and I am tired of all the attacks and accusations. And, I am putting an end to this Freaks group of yours. We'll have no more of this vigilantism and the disruptions. No more of this childish chanting. You will not gang up on people you envy. We will not allow a mob mentality in this school."
I was stunned and both Father Parker and Mr. Ostrander were about to protest when Mr. Fenster raised his hand to silence them. He then turned his gaze back to me.
"Let me remind you, Mr. Forrester, that you are a student of this school by invitation and that this invitation may be withdrawn at any time."
"Now wait a damn minute!" Mr. Ostrander demanded. The Headmaster, however, seemed determined.
"You will be suspended for one week. Gather your things and leave immediately. Mr. Bloodworth will escort you off the school grounds."
I was speechless. Mr. Ostrander was not.
"Now listen here, Fenster. Scott's the victim in all this. You know damn well..."
The Headmaster, in a rare show of fortitude, stood up and faced down Mr. Ostrander.
"Sir, I will no longer tolerate your insubordination to me or to the Board. You will gather your things as well and leave. You're services are no longer required."
I was not witness to what transpired next as Mr. Bloodworth, who had entered the room without my knowledge, suddenly grasped me by the shoulders and pulled me from the room.
I was in a daze as he escorted me to the front door. I remember very little of the walk home except that I trudged up Franklin Avenue in a fog. I had been suspended. Me. Scott Forrester. The kid who never did anything wrong. I had never started a fight. I was the nice kid. My grandparents had always said so. I was always the one who was attacked. I was always the one who was mocked and teased and harassed and bullied and beaten.
I had tried so hard. I had studied so hard. I had dreamed of a school where I could flourish and excel and succeed and from which I could graduate and move on to Harvard or Yale.
I knew that my mother would throw a fit. However, that was not what I feared. I was accustomed to my mother throwing fits. It was my grandparents I worried about. What would they say? Would they understand? Mr. Baldwin was the President of the bank my grandfather worked for. Would he be fired because of me?
By the time I crossed the front yard to the front door of the house, I was sick with worry and shame and bitterness. Before I could even open the door, I leaned over the side of the porch and threw up on Mother's azaleas. She opened the door just as my spasms subsided.
She took a look at my bandaged nose and my vomit-strewn face and cried, "Oh, my God! Scott! What happened?"
She rushed me to the bathroom, where she cleaned my face as I explained what happened. When I came to the part about my suspension, she looked at me indignantly and demanded, "Why didn't you just apologize? For God's sake! You've been suspended! My, God, Scott! I would have expected that from Bobby, but not from you! What's gotten into you? What's the matter with you?!"
I couldn't take much more of this, so I excused myself and retreated to my bedroom. I changed into a pair of jeans and a blue knit pullover, and sat at my desk, staring out the window.
Eventually, Mother brought up a cheese and bologna sandwich. She placed a hand on my shoulder and then left. I let the sandwich sit for awhile and then slowly ate. I picked up David Copperfield and read some more, but I couldn't concentrate. I watched the sun move across the sky and the shadows move across the lawn and thought of my sweet Jeff and the pain and fear he must be feeling, not knowing what had happened to me. I prayed that he would come to me as soon as school was out. I needed him. I needed my Jeff.
Just before two o'clock, I turned on my radio and as a Carpenters' song was ending, the news came on. And, my heart stopped.
"Radio Eight-Ninety's Ted Stevens is on his way to investigate a report of a disturbance of some kind at St. Stephen's Hall, the exclusive private school on Thirtieth Street. Westport Police are responding to a report of a mass demonstration outside the school. We'll have more details as they become available."
I jumped up. A demonstration? At St. Stephen's? The police had been called? Jeff. I had to know if Jeff was OK.
I ran downstairs.
When I reached the living room, Mother was standing before the TV. Channel 3 had interrupted The Guiding Light with a bulletin.
"... details are sketchy but we understand a large number of students have left the building and are staging a demonstration of some kind on the school grounds. Westport Police are responding. There is no indication of any violence, but the reports we have received here at Channel 3 are that a large number of students, possibly numbering over a hundred, are gathered outside the school and refusing to return to class. We have no indication of any violence or danger to students but Newscenter 3's Dave Bingham is on the way and will report by walkie-talkie to give us the latest. This has been a special report from Newscenter 3. We now return you to regular programming."
"What did you do?" Mother demanded as she looked at me.
"I don't know what's going on! This is crazy! I gotta go! I gotta make sure Jeff is OK!"
Mother grabbed my shoulder.
"You're not going anywhere near that place! You stay right here! You've caused enough trouble!"
She pushed me into a chair. I sat in utter frustration, clenching my hands and cursing the idiotic soap opera on the television. Mother sat on the couch and looked at me.
"Is there anything you haven't told me?"
I looked at Mother helplessly and held my hands out.
"I don't know anything about this. But, you have to let me go. What if Jeff gets hurt? I have to help him!"
Mother looked at me for a moment and suddenly her expression changed. It became almost, well, tender.
"He... he's really important to you, isn't he?"
I didn't know what to say. I saw her eyes looking deeply into mine and, suddenly, I realized she knew.
She said nothing for a moment and, then, nodded.
Before either of us could say anything further, Channel 3 interrupted The Guiding Light again.
"We have more details on that apparent protest and demonstration at St. Stephen's School from Newscenter 3's Dave Bingham who is now reporting by radio from the scene. Dave, what can you tell us?"
I was so frustrated. Why couldn't someone invent a portable television camera that they could take to events like this so we could see what was happening?
"Roger, its an incredible scene. I'm standing on the corner of Thirtieth and Norfolk and I can see maybe three hundred students ranging in age from maybe twelve or thirteen all the way up to seventeen and eighteen. They are all sitting on the walkways and in the grass. They are very peaceable, there is no apparent anger or violence. There are also, remarkably, several adults who could be teachers sitting with the students, including one man who appears to be a clergyman."
I looked at Mother in shock.
"That's Father Parker! They're having a sit-in and Father Parker is sitting-in with them!"
"Now, I see another group of students emerging from the front door of the school. It appears to be about a dozen, maybe fifteen or sixteen years-old and they are joining their schoolmates. There are about a dozen police officers standing around the perimeter of the demonstration and they are prohibiting anyone from approaching the students. A number of parents are also starting to converge on the area, but it appears that the police are preventing anyone from stepping onto the school grounds. I can see a few mothers calling out to their children, one mother seems quite angry."
"Dave? Any explanation for the demonstration? Do we know what has prompted this extraordinary action?"
"No, Roger. There is no chanting, no one is speaking and there are no protest signs. No, wait. They are starting to chant. There is a boy about thirteen or fourteen standing up and another slightly older and they seem to be leading the protest now. They are chanting, well I'm not sure, but I think they're chanting `Freaks!'"
"Yes, Roger. That's what it seems to be. Three hundred kids sitting in front of St. Stephen's School all in their uniforms chanting `Freaks.' I can assure our viewers that everything seems calm here and there appears to be no danger to any students. We will try to learn more and our camera crew will have film on the Six O'Clock Report. Until later, this is Dave Bingham, Newscenter 3, at St. Stephen's School."
"It's the Freaks!" I screamed.
"What in the hell are you talking about?" my mother demanded.
"That was Jeff and Eric! Jeff and Eric! They're leading a sit-in at school! I have to go!"
Before I made it to the door, Mother had me in vice grip.
The phone rang. I knew better than to take advantage of Mother's absence. I remained in my chair, cursing the inanity of The Guiding Light and eavesdropping on my mother. For the hundredth time that day, my heart stopped. It was my grandmother.
"Yes, Mom, I've heard. No, actually Scott is home. He's not in the demonstration. He was sent home this morning for fighting. Yes. He's been suspended for a week. Yes, I couldn't believe it either. Well, he's up in his room right now. Why don't I have him call you back later when he feels better. Well, he's very upset. Yes. No, I don't think it was his fault and I think its just your typical schoolboy thing. Well, at least he's fighting back now. Yes, I think it's a good thing. Yes. Well, I'll have him call you when he's feeling better. Ok. Give my love to Dad. OK."
I looked at Mother wide-eyed as she returned to the living room. She waved a hand dismissively.
"You didn't need to listen to her harp at you."
I was impressed.
It was almost three o'clock when Channel 3 came back on.
"We have rushed film from the scene of the demonstration at St. Stephen's School and developed it. This is unedited film and our reporter on the scene, Dave Bingham can tell us what we are seeing. Dave?"
Suddenly, there was St. Stephen's on our television! And, there were kids everywhere sitting down on the walkways and the grass! I couldn't believe it! And, there was Jeff!!!! Jeff was standing up in the middle of the crowd with Eric and they were leading the kids in chanting "Freaks!"
Then, suddenly, the film cut to Jeff! They were interviewing him! Jeff was on TV!
"We have the leader of the demonstration, now, young Jeffrey Robinson, a thirteen year-old eighth grader. Jeffrey, why are you and your friends staging a sit-in?"
Jeff looked directly into the camera with the most amazing un-Jeff-like confidence. I was beyond amazed. Too much had happened and I was just in a numb state of shock. If Jeff had taken his clothes off and declared his undying love to me right there on Newscenter 3, I would not have been surprised.
"Well, for a long time, there's been a terrible problem with bullying here at St. Stephen's and a lot of the bullies are the rich kids whose parents run the school and they always get away with it. And the teachers are afraid to say anything because the Headmaster and the Dean of Boys always take up for the bullies. Well, today was the last straw when Mike Baldwin, who's Dad is on the Board of Trustees, attacked Scott Forrester, who's a hero!"
In the background, Eric was leading everyone in chanting "Scott! Scott! Scott!" I was dizzy. I couldn't even look at Mother to see what her reaction was.
"And, when Mr. Ostrander, our history teacher came to break it up, he was fired by the Headmaster and Scott was suspended!"
Jeff then turned to the crowd and shouted, "We want Mr. Ostrander back!" And, the kids all screamed and yelled.
"We want Scott back!"
More yelling and screaming.
"We want the Baldwins out of here!!!!"
The crowd went apoplectic. They were standing, jumping, waving their fists, screaming even louder than before.
"The Baldwins are always getting in trouble with the police and they always get away with it. The police never do anything about them selling drugs and causing trouble and the Headmaster and the Dean never do anything about them and their friends causing trouble here at school and we've tried everything and the Headmaster and the Dean and the Board of Trustees won't listen. So, we have done the only thing we can. All of us are out here and we won't go back to class until Old Man Baldwin is kicked off the Board and Mr. Ostrander is brought back and Scott Forrester is unsuspended!!"
The crowd went wild. The camera panned around. There was Father Parker sitting on a bench and Mr. Gordon applauding and Mme. Bouchard nodding her head! And, Coach was cheering, too!
Then, the film ended and the reporter summarized everything over the walkie-talkie.
"So, Roger, there you have it. This sit-in is in reaction to allegations of bullying and favoritism at one of Westport's most exclusive schools. We will try to have reaction to this later on the Six O' Clock Report. Reporting from St. Stephen's School, Dave Bingham, Newscenter 3."
Slowly, I turned my head to Mother. Her eyes were like laser beams pointing right at my head. She said nothing.
The school was demonstrating for me! They were taking up for me.
I shook my head.
"They're taking up for me. I can't believe it. For me," I said in wonder. "No one's ever taken up for me. No one."
Suddenly, I head sniffs and looked up. Mother was crying. She stood up and I ran to her. We hugged.
"I'm so sorry, sweetie. I am so sorry. I didn't know it was that bad. I never paid attention to how bad you felt. I am so sorry. I'm so sorry."
I didn't say anything. I couldn't. Mother loved me. She was apologizing! She really didn't mean all the terrible things she had said to me in the past. She really loved me.
The telephone rang. We remained standing in our hug. Soon the ringing ended. We pulled apart.
"That was probably your grandmother. I suppose I should call her back."
But, as she walked to the kitchen, the phone rang again. She answered it.
"Hello? Yes. Yes. What? Yes, I'm his mother. I don't know what you're taking about. No, I... "
Then she hung up.
"That was a reporter from the Chronicle. What are they doing? Are they crazy?"
The phone rang again.
"Don't answer it!" I said, fearful of what I did not know.
Mother clutched her hands and then ran to the phone. It rang, but she picked up the receiver and then slammed it down.
I sat in the living room, wringing my hands, until my brother and sister returned. Mother gave them a look and they refrained from any obnoxious comments or questions.
At three-thirty, I went outside to sit on the porch. I prayed that Jeff would make it home safely. Cars drove by. Birds flew past. The breeze tossed my hair. Shadows moved across the lawn. I was about to ignore my mother's admonitions and run down to the bus stop when a beautiful head of blond hair above a blue blazer and gray slacks appeared on Berkshire. My heart sang.
I jumped up and ran toward him. The moment he saw me, Jeff ran, as well. We met in the middle of the intersection and embraced desperately in front of the entire neighborhood.
"Jeff! Oh my God, Jeff! Are you OK?"
"Scott! It was so incredible! It was cool! It was so cool, I can't tell you! The minute we all found out what happened to you and Mr. Ostrander, everyone was furious! Even the teachers! Mr. Gordon's eyes bulged out and his face turned as red as a tomato! When we went to lunch, it was all everyone was talking about. When Eric sat down with me, I was about to cry when I suddenly got an idea. You remember the protest we saw Saturday at the University?"
"That's what gave you the idea?"
Jeff's beautiful smile just exploded.
"Yeah, decided to have a sit-in! We told everyone in the lunch room and told them to spread the word. And, they did! Once we got the word out about what really happened Saturday night and what Fenster and Baldwin did to you and Mr. Ostrander, everyone was ready to go! You're a hero!"
"Why me? You're the one who led the protest? Jeff! I saw you on TV! I saw you on TV! You were leading the protest! I couldn't believe it!"
Jeff blushed and grinned shyly.
"Yeah, well. They made me mad!"
"I'm so proud of you!"
Old Lady Kaiser's aircraft carrier honked at us and we both realized that we were hugging in the middle of the intersection. We waved and ran to my yard.
"But, I saw Father Parker and Mr. Gordon and Coach and Mme. Bouchard and a whole bunch of other teachers!" I exclaimed.
"Yeah!" Jeff replied. "That's why it worked. The teachers agree with us! They hate the Baldwins and Fenster, too! Isn't it great?!"
"But, Jeff, what if you get expelled?"
My boyfriend grinned at me.
"No way! Father Parker said that if they did, there would be a total rebellion. He said the Bishop called him and there's gonna be a meeting of the Board of Trustees tonight and he wouldn't be surprised if they just fired Fenster and kicked Old Man Baldwin off the board! Everyone's sick of the special favors! Can you believe it?"
I couldn't believe it. It was too good to be true. I looked nervously at the grass.
"What's the matter?" Jeff asked.
Forlornly, I muttered, "Something's going to go wrong. It won't work. Baldwin's going to win. Hey always do. God hates me."
Jeff took my hands in front on my mother, who was standing on the porch about to say something.
"Scott. Things can't always go wrong. I thought I would never find a real friend. I thought life was horrible. I was about to kill myself. And, then, you came along. Things do work out, sometimes. Sometimes, things do go right."
I smiled. I wanted to kiss him right there, but I thought that would be too much for Mother.
"Come up to my room and tell me everything."
Mother smiled as we ran past her and when we reached my room, Jeff tore his blazer off and we fell on my bed in a frenzied embrace and, kissing each other crazily, we kept repeating, "I love you, I love you!"
Soon we calmed down and gazed into each other's eyes and Jeff related all the details to me. By the time he left, just before dinner, I felt so relieved and so much more confident.
Lurch was even nice to me. He took one look at my nose at dinner and gave an appreciative nod.
"Well, its about damn time!"
"What?" Mother demanded. "That some hooligan punched him in the nose?"
"No! That he finally stood up for himself. I'm proud of you!"
I was floored. I was speechless. I was stunned. The Lurch had actually complimented me! He actually said he was proud of me!
"Well, um, well, thank you," I replied with a blush as I picked up a forkful of mashed potatoes.
"The Revolt at St. Stephen's" was the lead story on the Six O' Clock News on Channel 3. Once again, there was Jeff out front leading the chanting and addressing the reporter's questions. But, what was different was when they cut to a second reporter.
"Channel 3 has learned from unnamed sources within both the Westport Metro PD and from the City-County Prosecutor's office that several students at St. Stephen's have had contact with the police over the last several years and that pressure was brought to bear both on the police and on the juvenile division of the Prosecutor's office to take no action. The cases involve, among other things, charges of vandalism and of dealing drugs. And, the one name that was mentioned by each of our anonymous sources was that of William Baldwin, President of Mercantile National Bank and a member of the St. Stephen's Board of Trustees. Calls to both Mr. Baldwin's home and office were unanswered. Channel 3 will continue to investigate."
"YES!" I yelled as I jumped up. "YES!"
I ran over to Jeff's and found him grinning insanely in the den while his mother looked on in horror.
"Are you insane?" his mother demanded. "The Baldwins are one of the best families in town! We'll be ruined!"
"Shit," Mr. Robinson grunted over his highball. "The bastard's gonna finally get just what he deserves and Jeff here's gonna give it to him."
He reached over and shook Jeff's hand. My boyfriend looked on in shock.
"Are you insane?" his mother screamed again.
"Coo coo kachoo, Mrs. Robinson," Jeff said with a cute grin as he led me from the room.
The next morning, dressed in my jeans and a short-sleeve "nerd-shirt" as Jeff called them, I waited at the corner to say good-bye to my boyfriend on his way to school and I didn't give a damn if anyone saw me kiss his cheek. When he was gone, I went back inside and ate a huge breakfast of pancakes and bacon and eggs. The morning paper had a story on the front page about the revolt, but it was just a repeat of what had been on the news the night before. I spent the day restlessly wandering around the house, unable to concentrate on either my reading or the mindless game shows and soap operas on TV. Mother fixed fried bologna and cheese sandwiches for lunch and tried to calm my grandmother down when she called in the early afternoon in near hysterics after she pointed out that my grandfather worked for Old Man Baldwin at Mercantile National Bank. Mother assured her that nothing would happen, but I could see she worry in her eyes.
The telephone rang just before three as The Guiding Light was ending. I had been trying to read the article on astronomy in the World Book Encyclopedia, but my mind just couldn't focus. I listened.
"Hello? Yes this is Mrs. Forrester. Well, actually, its Mrs. Hatfield. Yes, I'm Scott's mother. Yes. Yes. Oh, how wonderful. Yes, we are proud of him. Yes. Well, thank you, Father. I'll tell him."
"What?!" I demanded as Mother entered the living room, my hands trembling and my eyes huge. She smiled.
"That was Father Parker. Your suspension's been lifted and he says you can go back to school tomorrow!"
"YES!" I yelled as I jumped up. And, Mother and I danced around the living room and laughed. I hadn't done something like that with my mother since I had been in kindergarten or first grade.
This time, I didn't wait for Jeff on my front porch. I ran down to Twenty-fourth St and waited for the bus. As I watched it turn the corner on Franklin, I cursed it for being so slow. But, it finally lumbered up to Berkshire and stopped. When it finally moved on, in a black and choking cloud of diesel fumes, I saw Jeff standing on the other side of the street with the biggest grin on his face.
When a break in the traffic opened, he darted across, oblivious to the honk of a speeding red Corvette. When he was safely on the north side of the street with me, we hugged, once again unmindful of who might see us.
Jeff was crazed.
"We did it! We did it!" he screamed.
"What?" I demanded.
"It worked! It worked! Everything! Fenster's been fired! Baldwin's been kicked off the Board, Mike and his brother have been expelled! And, Mr. Gordon's been named the new Headmaster!"
I didn't know what to say. I just stood there, my mouth open, in shock, as the mid-afternoon traffic roared past on Twenty-fourth.
"You can't be serious," I was finally able to utter.
Jeff simply grinned.
"We did it. We did it. You did it. If you hadn't have gotten into that fight with Mike Baldwin, this wouldn't have happened. You're a hero, Scott."
"No, you're the hero, Jeff. If you hadn't have started the sit-in, this wouldn't have happened."
And, the next morning, as Jeff and I walk across campus to the front door, dozens of kids from all grades from all groups, came up to us and patted us on the backs. Even Jack Spenser nodded at me. And, when I walked into First Hour Civics, everyone in the class stood and cheered and the substitute teacher who was taking Mr. Gordon's place joined in the applause.
At lunch, I hugged Eric in the middle of the cafeteria and Kelly and Randy were almost too excited to sit still at the table. And, in English, the nasty female who had been grossed out by my hard-on when I had been reading Wordsworth, actually came up to me and told me she thought I was cute. That was too weird.
After dinner that night, having finished my homework after school, Mother gave me permission to run over to Jeff's. He was sitting in the back yard with his sketchbook drawing the roses growing beside the garage. The sun was just setting and dusk was just starting to settle over neighborhood.
Jeff was sitting cross-legged in the grass in his tight bell-bottom jeans. I sat down next to him, put my arm around his shoulder and kissed his cheek. His roses were beautiful; but, then, he was the most amazing artist. They would have to be beautiful.
There was a crescent moon just about to descend below the trees to the west as the sky began to darken. An unusually cool late September breeze chilled my bare arms and made Jeff shiver as we both looked up.
"Its beautiful," he whispered.
He looked at me.
"I'll never be able to look at the moon without thinking of you."
"You know, the Greeks and Romans thought the Moon was a god. Maybe they were right. The Moon brought you and me together."
"I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Scott. I love you."
"I love you, too, Wim. And, I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Jeff kissed me on he lips and then looked up at the crescent moon in the darkening azure sky.
"The Moon will always be ours. We can always look at the Moon, no matter where we are, no matter if we are together at that moment or not, and we'll know that we love each other. And that we will always be there for each other."
And, as the Moon sank behind the neighbors linden tree, I whispered, Eekhowfanyou, Wim Linden."