One Person at a Time
Eddie's story - part three - Joyride into the River
I loved Luc's dad, but most of all I loved the interaction between Luc and his dad. Luc told me his dad was his hero. Only once did I ever see Mr. Baxter angry at Luc.
It was the summer I turned 13. Luc's dad had taken us fishing. I was hopeless at fishing – fishing would be a total bore if it hadn't been for Luc. He kept me from being totally bored. I guess fishing was his time to think thoughts out loud and ask his dad questions.
He had cast his line then said, "Dad, how do they know how many stars there are in the sky? Does someone sit there and count them and if they do, how do they keep from counting the same star twice or three times? When I try counting I keep losing my place or I fall asleep. In either case I have to start over again. I've never gotten past seventy-six."
"Huh," said Mr. Baxter.
"Am I talking too much?" he asked.
Mr. Baxter smiled.
"Yeah, I am, huh," Luc giggled, "It's boring here the fish decided to go to the river instead of the creek. Can we go to the river? I always catch fish there."
"Sure, thing kido. You want to go Eddie?" he asked.
"Yeah, it's boring here," I replied.
"Let me have the keys Dad I want to run ahead," said Luc.
Mr. Baxter gave him the keys and Luc took off. I decided to walk with Mr. Baxter.
"You don't like fishing that much, do you?"
"No, not that much," I replied.
"Why do you come?" He smiled.
What do I say? Do I say it's because I am totally in love with Luc and have been since day one? That's the truth but then he'd know I was gay and might stop me from seeing Luc. When unsure of how to answer shrug your shoulders. That's what I did.
He smiled and there was a look on his face that said he knew how I felt about Luc. Nothing was said. I noticed he looked deep in thought as we walked back to the car.
As we came to the parking area Mr. Baxter stopped. I stopped.
"You know when I was a boy about you guys age I had a best friend. We were really close like you and Luc seem to be. We were so close that often we'd know what the other person was thinking. We talked a lot and sometimes it was about our feelings. We never had secrets from each other – not one. You know what? He and I are grown men now; we have our own lives and we are still best friends, still have no secrets and we still make time to talk to each other or see each other at least once a month."
"That's really nice Mr. Baxter," was all I could think to say.
"Yes it is. I think you and Luc need to communicate more. The only reason he goes fishing is he thinks you love fishing."
"But I don't."
He laughed and said, "That's what I mean – you two need to communicate more and be totally honest not just say things you think the other person wants to hear."
Luc was sitting in the driver's seat.
"Dad, the car won't start," complain Luc.
"How much do you weigh?"
"That's why. This is a stick-shift and you have to weight at least one hundred and twenty pounds before the engine will start. It's a safety feature."
"Aww man, that sucks," whined Luc.
We drove over to the river which was about a fifteen minute drive. I was in deep thought about what he said. Luc was talking but I have no idea what he was talking about. Occasionally, I would glance in the rearview mirror and one time I saw Mr. Baxter looking at me. He winked and I blushed. Oh god he knows.
I was praying that he wouldn't embarrass me in front of Luc. It terrified me to think of telling Luc I was gay.
Telling him I loved him was no problem cuz for the last month we said that almost every time we parted. Why? It was Luc's idea. He said he saw a sad film and one of the characters died in the film and his friend never got to tell him that he loved him.
"I never want to get hung up because I didn't get to say I love you," Luc said, "I mean we are best friends and we love each other as best friends right?"
But this was different this was like telling him I wanted him sexually. I've known about jacking off for months now. I always think of Luc when I do it. I wonder if he knows about jacking off – probably not he's only eleven his voice hasn't even changed. My voice is getting deeper and sometimes it cracks.
The place we fish at on the river is just off the main road downs a short dirt road to an flat grassy area where we park then a drop-off to the river about twenty feet away. The drop off is about ten feet to the water which is about six feet deep. Sometimes we fish off the drop-off but most the time down by the bridge, which we get to by following a path through the trees and bushes to the south. That's where we went.
After fifteen minutes of fishing I was going crazy with boredom. "Luc, do you really like fishing? Cuz your dad says you're just doing it cuz you think I love it. I don't - I am so bored."
"Dad, can I have the keys? We're bored and so we're gonna listen to the radio." Mr. Baxter tossed the keys to Luc and Luc led the way back to the car.
When we got to the car Luc turned on the ignition and put the roof down on the Vette and turn on the radio.
We sat for a few moments listening to the music.
"I thought you liked fishing," said Luc.
"I don't. It's boring. I only go because I thought you liked to go."
"I don't. I only go cuz I thought you liked to go."
We didn't speak for a while. Luc looked like he was thinking of something to say. He seemed a bit nervous because he was fiddling with the keys.
"Eddie, I need to tell you something," he said while a quiver in his voice. He was playing with the keys and turned them full on. Instantly the car started he had such a shock look on his face and the car shot forward. We screamed and the next thing I knew we were sitting in a rapidly sinking 1998 Corvette Convertible.
"Luc swim towards the bridge that's the only place we can get up," I said as the car sunk below the water.
When we got out of the water Mr. Baxter said, "Why were you two in the river?"
"We had an accident," mumble Luc.
"What? Accident? Where's the Vette?"
Luc looked at the ground, "In the river," he mumbled.
What do you mean in the river? Eddie what happened."
"It was an accident. Luc didn't do it on purpose. He turned the key, the engine started and the next thing we knew we in the river."
"Oh my God! YOU DROVE MY CAR INTO THE RIVER? ARE YOU AN IDIOT?" yelled Mr. Baxter as he ran to the parking area.
After a five-minute castigation by Mr. Baxter I couldn't stand by and watch my best friend get bawled out. Tears were streaming down Luc's face.
You have to understand the center of Luc's universe is his dad. His dad is his hero and to be bawled out by him hurt as much as a physical beating.
"It was an accident!" I screamed.
That got Mr. Baxter's attention.
"Eddie, stay out of this. I know you love Luc and I know you're trying to get me to shut up but he drove my $60,000 car into the river and he could have killed you as well as himself."
"It wasn't his entire fault."
"Oh, and what did you do tell him to do it?"
"No sir, it was partly your fault too."
"Yes sir, you told him he was too small. That the car wouldn't start because he was too small. I saw the look on his face when the car started. It scared the heck out of him," I said with as much calmness in my voice as I could muster.
Mr. Baxter is a lot like Luc in that if you calmly tell Luc he is wrong and why he listens to you and if you are right he apologizes. That's exactly what happened.
Mr. Baxter looked at me for a moment, then at Luc whose tears had stopped then back to me. He shook his head slowly as it dawned on him I was right and a sheepish smile appeared on his face.
"You're right Eddie. Luc I'm sorry. I guess it was my fault," he said softly as he opened his arms which Luc ran to. They embraced.
Mr. Baxter looked at me saying, "You too, Eddie. You deserve a hug."
I smiled and joined the hug. It was always nice to get a hug as I never got hugs from my dad. But this one was special. Luc leaned over and kissed my cheek. It wasn't the first time Luc had ever kissed me but like the others it was a moment that I treasured. It meant that he loved me.