The following contains scenes of sexual activity between males. If it is illegal for you to read this in your area or if you feel you may be offended by doing so, please do not continue. This story is complete fiction and any similarities between people and places in the story and those in reality are purely coincidental. Some of the characters may engage in behavior which could be construed as illegal or unsafe. This is not an endorsement of such behavior. The author does not condone the violation of any law, nor does he encourage unsafe behavior. Please do not copy or post any part of this story without the knowledge or consent of the author.
Please send any comments to my new address, chriswriter @ operamail.com. Thank you for reading my story and if you enjoy it, please let others know about it.
The Secrets of Waldo
by FreeThinker (ChrisWriter)
Dave Ryan was not generally a violent man; nor was he given to frequent bursts of anger. However, there was one thing that would set him off faster than anything and that was bullying. He had seen it and experienced it himself as a boy and teenager and, now that he was a teacher, he was damned if he was going to allow any punk to get away with shit like that if he could help it. So, when he saw Jack Purvis trip Sean Lindquist in the cafeteria, it was all he could do not to run over and punch the bastard's lights out. Aware the entire cafeteria, including those faculty and administrators too uncaring or frightened to get involved, were watching, he took a deep breath, forced himself to remain calm, and, as casually as he could, strolled over.
The insolence of Jack Purvis was well known among the staff of Emerson High. But, Dave Ryan was not prepared for what he was to face with Jack Purvis that day. The two marched out of the cafeteria, the teacher's hand firmly holding the boy's shoulder until they arrived in the school office. Finding Mr. Huber indisposed for the moment, Mr. Ryan pushed Purvis into the principal's office and directed him to a chair.
“You look a little pissed, there, Mr. Ryan,” Purvis said with an insolent sneer and he leaned back in the chair. Mr. Ryan was leaning against a wall, his arms crossed, a look of utter disgust on his face. He said nothing in response to the kid. Undeterred, Purvis allowed his eyes to roam up and down the figure of the furious teacher, pausing for only the briefest moment on his crotch before continuing onward. When his eyes returned to the man's face, he smiled. Sliding his ass forward in the chair, he spread his legs wide and rested his hands on his thighs.
“I think you need to relax a little.”
Mr. Ryan remained impassive, his look of contempt unchanged.
“You know, I could help you relax, man.”
The teacher exhaled and shook his head with revulsion.
“The only thing you could do to help me relax, Purvis, would be to quit causing so much trouble around here. Now shut up until Mr. Huber gets here.”
“Dave, Dave. Calm down, man,” the kid persisted. “You're gonna stoke out, man. Tell ya what. Why don't I do somethin' to help you relax and you do something to help me out, here.”
Slowly, Purvis' hands began to move up and down his thighs. Mr. Ryan's eyes watched the movement despite his best efforts not to. The teacher knew that he should look elsewhere. He knew what the boy was doing, but he could see the lump in Purvis' crotch growing as the boy rubbed his legs, and he couldn't tear his eyes away.
“Tell ya what, Dave. Why don't you let me go and I'll meet ya after school and we'll see what we can do about that bone starting in your pants, there.”
Mr. Ryan's eyes shot up to Purvis' face. The shock of a student speaking to him so brazenly awoke him.
“What the Hell is the matter with you, Purvis? I'm a teacher! You can't talk to me that way!”
Purvis sneered again as his hands moved up from his thighs to the very large rise snaking to the side of his denim-clad crotch. The teacher was now standing upright, his fists on his hips, staring at him in outrage. But, the kid knew he had the upper hand.
“I got your number, Dave. You're sweet on Seany-boy. You like that pretty little fag with his puffy pink lips and that pretty blond hair, don't ya Dave.”
Mr. Ryan's fists were clenched tight. He was trembling with rage. There was nothing he wanted more at that moment than to plaster the kid’s face. Well, there might have been one other thing, and that thought simply added to his fury.
“Why don't we start helpin' each other out, here, Dave,” Purvis said softly. “You can make my life a lot easier here and I can give ya a little of what you want.”
Purvis squeezed his erection. Mr. Ryan watched, mesmerized. Voices out in the main office startled him. He took a deep breath and softly said, “Get out of here.”
Purvis gave a wide grin, revealing yellow, tobacco-stained teeth.
“I figured we could work somethin' out.”
With a swagger, he stood up, making no effort to hide the erection in his jeans, knowing it would be obvious to all as he emerged from sitting alone in the office with Mr. Ryan. He opened the door and gave the teacher a wink.
“You arrogant bastard,” the teacher said. However, he stopped himself from continuing as he saw Mr. Huber approaching. Purvis stepped aside to allow the principal to pass.
“Well, Mr. Ryan, I see Purvis is back again,” he said with an effort as he lumbered around his desk. “What's happened this time?”
“Purvis,” Mr. Ryan said with as even and controlled a voice as he could, “get to class. No loitering. Go. Now.”
Purvis grinned and nodded and sauntered out the door and through the outer office.
“So, what's this about, Mr. Ryan.”
The teacher swallowed and as he started for the open door, he muttered, “Never mind. I have it under control. Sorry to have bothered you.”
Standing in the boys’ room, Adam had wanted nothing more than to hold Sean and kiss him at that very moment. But, the door burst open and several upperclassmen rushed past them, laughing and cajoling each other as they moved toward the back. The two boys simply looked at each other and silent understanding passed between them.
As they stepped out the door and into the hallway, Jason Huffnagle and one of his friends from the lunch table were approaching.
“Hey, Sean. You, OK?” he asked.
Embarrassed, Sean smiled slightly and muttered, “Yes, thanks. Thanks for... for...”
“Hey, no problem. Purvis needs someone to kick his ass.”
He grinned at Adam and added, “Hey, Adam, this is my friend, Daniel."
His friend was the dark-haired boy at the table, the one who hadn't seemed cocky when they approached earlier. Adam smiled nervously and felt an electric charge as their eyes met. Daniel's were a deep, almost dark blue that contrasted sharply with his pale skin and raven-black hair. His hair was striking, sweeping down across his face from the side. It swept back over his ears like everyone else's, but it was that downward sweep across his face, on top of those mysterious eyes that really seemed to make his the most intriguing face Adam had seen in his two days at Emerson High. They shook hands and Daniel seemed to hold his for just a fraction too long.
"Hey," they both said to each other simultaneously.
"Daniel's not much of a jock and I don't know why I hang with him," Jason said with a grin, "but, he's OK. Just don't get him off on golf. He's obsessed."
Daniel threw him the finger and replied, "Fuck off, Huffnagle. I am not."
"Fuck if you're not!" He grinned at Adam and added, "Hell, he even paints his balls orange and plays in the snow!"
"That’s pretty weird," Adam replied with his own grin.
"Fuck you, too," Daniel said with an interesting twinkle to his eyes.
"Come on golf perv," said Jason with a pat on Adam’s back. “We gotta get to Fourth Hour.”
And, with a cheerful look over his shoulder, he added, “See ya, Adam!”
Adam chuckled happily. It seemed that life at Waldo was not going to be the way it had been back in Arlington. He might actually be able to make some good friends, maybe even be popular! He didn’t notice, however, as they, too, began to make their way to their own Fourth Hour classes, that Sean wasn’t smiling. They parted outside Adam’s Art class.
“Hey,” he said softly as Sean started to turn away. “I’ll see you in English, OK?”
Sean nodded and smiled tentatively.
Adam gave him a reassuring smile and disappeared through the door.
Sean’s Fourth Hour Music class was not uneventful. He was able to lose himself in the soprano section with Tim Zitisky and a dozen girls as the class practiced “Come, Holy Spirit.” However, his voice cracked several times and both he and Mr. Robbins were becoming frustrated. Sean could see the teacher’s irritated glances at him and they only served to add to his frustration. During a break, Tim nudged him.
“What?” Sean barked, irritably. Tim backed off fearfully.
“Nothing. I just... wanted to know if you were OK?”
Sean immediately felt guilty for snapping at the kid, who was only trying to show concern for his friend. He smiled sheepishly and looked down at the floor.
“I’m sorry, Tim. I’m just kinda... upset, I guess, with everything. I’m sorry.”
Tim smiled with understanding.
“Its OK. I think its cool the way Adam Foster took up for you today. And, yesterday, too.”
Sean looked away and said nothing. Suddenly, he wasn’t certain how he felt about Adam taking up for him. He was grateful, yes. But...
By the end of the hour, Sean was thoroughly confused and upset. He kept seeing the image of Adam joking around with Jason and Daniel, two of the Big Men on Campus. He didn’t like the idea of Adam being one of “them.” He rather liked the image he had of Adam as another of the “alienated,” sharing his loneliness, his feelings. There was more, but he didn’t want to think about the rest. Jealousy? Resentment? Love? Anger? Shame. Yes, shame.
Gavin Dietrich and Craig Sutherland both shouldered him in the hall on his way to Fifth Hour History, knocking his history text and notebook out of his hands. Tim helped him retrieve everything, but Sean’s internal anger was building. By the time he took his seat in History, he was seething. He didn’t notice Mr. Ryan’s concerned look as he stood at the lectern, glancing over his roll and checking off names as the students entered. It was not until after an hour’s discussion of the causes of the American Civil War and the end of class bell had sounded that Mr. Ryan finally spoke to the boy.
“Sean, could I see you for a moment?” he asked as the members of the class gathered their things and headed for the hall. Sean sighed. He was not ready to discuss anything with anyone, least of all with a teacher; and, the fact that Mr. Ryan was so nice made it just that much more difficult.
“Sir,” he said, standing almost at attention before the teacher’s desk.
“At ease, soldier,” said Mr. Ryan, leaning back in his chair. “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”
Mr. Ryan smiled and shook his head.
“Never mind. Look, Sean, I was a bit concerned about you after the incident in the lunch room, today. Are you OK?”
God, would people ever quit asking him if he were OK? He just wanted to be left alone. Why couldn’t everyone just leave him alone!
Sean contained himself with supreme effort, staring at the papers on Mr. Ryan’s desk. After a long moment, he merely nodded and whispered, “I’m fine.”
Mr. Ryan sat there for a moment, seemingly in thought. Sean saw the look of compassion on his face, but it merely served to inflame his irritation and the need to get away.
“Sean,” Mr. Ryan said, as the last of the fifth hour students left the room. “I know that life is pretty hard for you around Emerson. And, I know how ugly it can get. I know from first hand experience what freshman year can be like.”
He seemed to give Sean a look that was trying to convey a message.
“I know how tough some things can be, some times.”
What was Mr. Ryan trying to say?
The teacher, seeing the lack of comprehension on the boy’s face, swallowed.
“Sean, I think... you and I may have some things in common and I want you to know that what you’re going through is probably something I went through at your age, as well, if you know what I mean.”
Oh, My God! Sean thought. His eyes grew wide and he looked at his teacher in shock. Mr. Ryan nodded.
“Yes. So, I understand what you might be going through. I just want you to know that you are never alone. If you ever need to talk about anything, I’m here for you.”
Suddenly, Sean’s anger seemed to diminish by half, dampened by the surprise of Mr. Ryan’s admission. He didn’t know what to say. No one had ever discussed the subject with him. He had never discussed the subject with anyone else. That someone else, an adult, a teacher, knew, was stunning. But, even more of shock was that that person was himself someone who...
“Thank you,” he said softly.
Mr. Ryan nodded.
“You need to get to your Sixth Hour and I need to get busy with my planning hour. Just remember, my door is always open.”
“Thank you, sir.”
In a daze, Sean stumbled from the room and headed to his locker. By the time he had climbed to the second floor and reached English, the bell had already rung and Mrs. Pendergast was standing before the blackboard with her pointer at the ready.
“Mr. Lindquist, you’re late,” she declared.
Her grasp of the obvious was truly astounding, Sean thought.
“I was speaking with Mr. Ryan. I’m sorry.”
She raised an eyebrow and said, through her nose, “The next time Mr. Ryan feels the need to converse with one of my students during my class period, be so kind as to ask him to provide a hall pass. Sit.”
Sean sighed and headed toward his desk. For only the briefest moment, he saw Adam a few desks behind and his look of concern. He quickly sat down. A few desks to the right, however, Gavin Dietrich leaned over to someone and, in a very audible whisper, said, “Seany wants to cwy.”
“Mr. Dietrich,” intoned Mrs. Pendergast, “what are the different types of essays?”
And, from there, both Sean and the class, to Sean’s relief, were immersed in the joys and beauty of The Essay.
At one point near the end of the period, Mrs. Pendergast assigned a reading in the text book. Sean, however, found himself merely looking at the page as his mind wandered around the events of the day and his feelings. He found his resentment and anger growing and found the image of Adam doing nothing to assuage that anger.
When the bell finally rang, Sean, as did the rest of the class, stood and began to organize his things. He glanced back and saw Adam smiling as he picked up his things.
"So," asked Adam as he came up beside Sean, "what do you have planned for after school?"
Sean looked at the floor as the two negotiated their way through the other students toward the hall.
"Um, I've got some stuff I need to do."
"Oh. Oh, well. I was thinking, maybe, you might want to drop by my place for awhile. Maybe we could, like, you know, maybe pick up where we left off yesterday in fourth hour," he said with a nasty grin.
They were out in the hallway and heading toward the stairs. Sean's face seemed to take on a strange look of irritation. Adam immediately felt guilty and embarrassed.
"Of course, we could just hang out or something. I could show you my hobby."
Sean was about to ask what Adam's hobby might be, but at that moment, he wanted nothing more than to be alone.
"Look, um, I gotta go," he muttered as he hurried on down the stairs, leaving Adam hurt and confused.
Sean rushed down to the first floor and pushed his way through the crowds to his locker. After stuffing the textbooks he would need for homework into his satchel, he paused and looked down the hallway toward his History class. Yes. That was what he needed. He needed to talk with Mr. Ryan. Mr. Ryan told him he understood. Mr. Ryan would be able to help him, to explain why he was feeling anger and resentment, gratitude and love, bitterness and joy all at the same time.
Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Adam a few lockers down from his, getting his things ready. Quickly, he turned and pushed onward up the hall.
The classroom was empty, though the door was open, when he arrived. Mr. Ryan was no where to be found. He sighed. The teacher would have to come back at some point to lock the door. Sean decided to kill time in the restroom. Perhaps, Mr. Ryan would be back by then.
There were only a few boys in the restroom, all upperclassmen who paid no attention to him. He emptied his bladder, washed him hands, threw cold water on his face. As the others left, Sean found himself alone before the mirror, looking at his face. He hated what he saw, a pathetic little sissy-boy whom everyone treated with disdain and disregard. Hell, even the boy who seemed to want to be his friend treated him as if he were something fragile that needed protection. The thought made him sick.
Adam. The boy who had befriended him. Suddenly, blind fury grew within and his face turned a bright red with anger. He turned and opened the door.
Down the hall, he could see the door was now closed to the History class. Damn! Had he missed Mr. Ryan in just that short period in the restroom?
He hurried down and sighed with relief as he saw the lights of the classroom through the window in the top of the door. Mr. Ryan was in there and they could be alone as they spoke.
Sean opened the door and stepped forward.
Mr. Ryan was seated at his desk, looking forward, an expression of shock on his face. In front of him, Jack Purvis was leaning his butt against the front of a student's desk, his legs spread wide, the snap of his jeans undone and the flaps open. His hand was inside his jeans.
"So, whaddaya say, Dave?” Purvis muttered seductively as Sean stood in shock watching the scene unfold before him. “You want it?”
Sean gasped. Purvis and Mr. Ryan both turned, a look of utter consternation on the teacher’s face, amused contempt on Purvis’. Sean stood frozen for a moment and then, spun on his heels and ran out the door.
“Sean! Wait!” Mr. Ryan called out as he sprinted toward the door. He saw the rapidly retreating figure of the boy as he ran down the hall.
“Sean! Come back here!”
Sean could hear Purvis laughing behind the teacher as Mr. Ryan called after him. He had to get out of there. Now, he understood why Mr. Ryan wanted to befriend him. He was doing it with Purvis and he probably wanted to do it with him, too! Mr. Ryan was just a pervert!
Sean burst out the front door of the school and immediately slipped on the frozen steps, landing on his butt and throwing his satchel into the air and down onto the sidewalk before him. A passing city bus threw slush all over it.
His frustration was almost too much. He began to cry as he sat on the front steps, a frigid breeze stinging his face and eyes, After a moment, he struggled up, his sobs unabated, and trudged down to the sidewalk to retrieve his satchel. As more traffic lumbered past, he felt the rain of slush and mud flung over his pants; yet, he didn’t care. He merely trudged on down State Street, oblivious of his surroundings.
He had crossed the light at 11th Street and was stumbling zombie-like toward 15th when he looked forward and saw a figure moving south a block away. He recognized the maroon backpack and the hooded beige winter coat. Deep within, he felt the desire to call out to him. It would be nice to feel Adam’s arms wrap around him and hold him, to feel Adam’s strength and love and caring. But, no. Adam was just like all the rest. His teacher didn’t really want to help him; he just wanted to get into his pants. Jason Huffnagle and his friends had come to his aid that morning in the cafeteria, but only because Adam was there. Adam wasn’t the understanding boy he thought he was. The way he had become so buddy-buddy with Jason and the jocks showed he was just like all the rest. There were the jocks and rich kids who ruled the school and it would always be that way. Adam was one of them, not someone like Sean, and he would never understand what it was like for Sean to be Sean. Adam was one of them,
Sean felt utterly alone, utterly defeated, utterly despondent. By the time he reached 15th Street, he saw Adam up ahead, turn onto 18th. It figured. Adam lived in one of the big fancy houses in South Midtown. So, he really was rich.
There were no snowball fighters waiting in ambush this afternoon as Sean trudged up 15th Street. No one to cheer him up and dispel the depression that had settled over him. Even his grandfather's housekeeper, Marvella, leaving by the backdoor and kissing him on the cheek, and her husband Theodore, waiting in their old ‘62 Impala and throwing a friendly wave, did little to warm his emotions.
When he had removed his coat and gloves and galoshes in the mudroom, he found his grandfather in the living room, sitting before the fire with a glass of sherry and reading his Voltaire. He simply stood in the doorway and as his grandfather turned and saw the stricken look in the boy’s face, he rose and rushed to the boy, taking him in his arms and holding him as Sean sobbed against his sweater. Slowly, he guided him to the couch. They sat, the grandfather’s arms holding the sobbing boy, the grandson seeking support from the only person he felt could love him.
Adam was totally mystified as to why Sean would act so strangely after school. Sure, that moment in the cafeteria must have been horribly embarrassing and humiliating for the poor guy, that moment in the boys room, when their eyes met and that special understanding seemed to pass between the two seemed to be something singular and extraordinary. It was as if he looked into Sean’s soul and Sean had looked into his. Why would Sean be so weird and freaked after school?
Adam crossed State Street and headed south the eight blocks toward his house. The afternoon traffic was pretty heavy heading out of downtown Greenfield and by the time he reached 18th Street, his pants were filthy, covered with mud and slush and road salt. It didn’t help his mood at all as he pondered just what was going on in the head of the beautiful but strange boy who had so captivated him.
Well, first, the boy was a bit of a wussy. Yeah, he was beautiful, but Adam wondered if there was anything else behind the beauty. He didn’t really know that much about Sean except that he was beautiful and liked to beat-off and was probably gay and didn’t really seem to take up for himself very much. He had felt something, though, as they looked into each other’s eyes in the boys room after the cafeteria incident with Purvis. It was as if Sean was looking at him worshipfully, as if he were looking at Adam as his protector or something. It made Adam feel funny; good, horny, but weird. It didn’t seem right; and, yet, it seemed just right.
As he reached the house, he stopped and gazed up at the edifice. The house was much too big for two parents and one teenage boy. There was a five foot slope up from the sidewalk to the front yard. The house was two stories with white Ionic columns before the front door and ivy crawling up the red brick. Holly bushes in front were covered with snow and two giant oak trees, their strong twisted branches covered in ice that sparkled in the afternoon sun, stood guard over the lawn. A driveway, shoveled perfectly clean by the neighborhood yard service, rose up the side and twisted around toward the back. Adam sighed as he looked at the sight. This place was even more pretentious than the one back in Arlington. Chip would have snorted if he could see this monstrosity. Chip was always able to see through his parents.
Chip. Adam thought of his big brother. Chip was always the only person he could talk to and not worry about being yelled at. Chip always understood. There was no way on earth that Adam could ever talk to his father about anything without risking ridicule and contempt. But, Chip was always there, always ready to listen.
The problem was, would Chip understand that his little brother had a crush on a boy?
Besides, he was hundreds of miles away at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. Adam was alone.
He climbed the slopping driveway to the back of the house and entered the backdoor.
“Don’t track mud into the house!” was his mother’s warm greeting from the den.
“No, ma’am,” he replied loudly. “I won’t.”
His mother was watching the Dinah Shore Show as he passed the den with his backpack.
“How was school?” she asked, not taking her eyes off the television.
“OK,” which was his standard reply. Adam had long since learned that this conversation was merely a formality, a ritual performed everyday because... well, because that’s what they did. She didn’t really care what happened at school as long as he didn’t do anything to embarrass the family.
In his bedroom, Adam dropped his backpack beside his desk, stripped out of his clothes and briefly considered whacking off before deciding that, for once, he really wasn’t in the mood.
Man, he thought to himself. I really must be messed up if I don’t want to whack.
He pulled on a pair of tight jeans and an old brown pullover sweater on top of his tee-shirt and dropped into his chair. Looking out at the skyline beyond the naked trees of South Midtown, the sense of loneliness grew again.
Sean was probably too weird and there was no way someone as cool as Jason Huffnagle or Daniel would really want to be friends with him. He was probably just going to remain alone and solitary, just as he had been in Arlington. The Solitary Man. That’s what people had called him back in his old school. Solitary Man. God, it was taken from a Neil Diamond song. They couldn’t even give him an insult from a decent song. It had to be from a Neil Diamond song!
Adam reached across his desk and turned on the radio. No. No, he couldn’t take Ready Freddie and the Afternoon Zoo on Z-93, even if he was introducing Jive Talk by The Bee Gees. He flipped the dial to the album rock station, Q-102, and settled for Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.
Adam looked down at his backpack. No, he couldn’t face homework at that moment, either. No, he had to turn to his one friend, the friend who never let him down when he was depressed and lonely. Brooks of Sheffield.
He pulled a clean sketchbook from the shelf beside his desk, sharpened a pencil, and opened the cover. There was his clean, white page waiting for him to create a new adventure for his teenage hero. Brooks would rescue him from the world of the mundane. Brooks would deliver him into adventure and danger. Brooks of Sheffield was COOL.
Sean folded the sheet of notebook paper with his homework in half and inserted it into his Algebra book, shutting it with relief. He was finally finished with his homework. He sat back in his chair and looked out the window at the blackness outside. Actually, it wasn’t black at all. The lights of the city night reflected off the clouds that had gathered again during the evening and made the snow glow with a silver gleam. The radio beside him softly played Tony Bennett singing “Fly Me to the Moon.” Sean loved music of all kinds and had learned an appreciation for jazz, among many genres, from his grandfather. Depending on his mood, sometimes he would listen to dance and pop on Z-93, or rock on Q-102, or classical on the college station, or, like tonight, when he was down and quiet, as he often was, he would turn on one particular AM station.
The evening DJ was like a friend. He was an older man with a deep soft voice that sounded like good aged scotch, or what Sean thought good aged scotch might sound like, having never tasted it. But, it seemed like a good metaphor, or simile, or whatever. He would sit there and have a conversation with his listeners, commenting on the day’s news or sharing his memories of Ella or Peggy Lee or Rosemary Clooney or Frank or Dean. You could here him sip his coffee and often his comments were punctuated by the metallic click of a Zippo lighter. He was like a kind friend as he introduced his old fogey songs. The truth was, he sounded a little like Sean’s father and when he was lonely and sad, it was comforting, sometimes, to hear the comfortable voice and night club songs his father loved so much.
When Tony was finished asking what spring was like on Jupiter and Mars, Sean turned off his radio and listened to the silence. Silence?
He turned his head and listened. Normally, his grandfather was in the living room reading and listening to his old records; either that or he would be in his bedroom with the Ten O’clock News on the television. However, Sean heard nothing.
He stood and walked carefully toward his door and listened. The only light in the house seemed to come from down the hall in his grandad’s room. Quietly, he crept toward the door. There was still no sound, but when he peeked around the door, he felt his heart break.
His grandfather was sitting in a stuffed chair beside his dresser, a small lamp on the dresser softly illuminating his kind face and the thinning gray hair. In his hands was one of the half dozen framed photographs from atop the dresser. Sean looked up. His grandmother, whom he had never known, looked down sternly in her flowered fifties frock. His parents, young and happy, smiled in front of an arbor. A three year-old Sean grinned proudly in a little red vest with a little red bow-tie. A teenage boy in a cap, looking like a younger version of his father, standing in front of an old Studebaker, smiled as he proudly held a balsa wood airplane in his hands. The missing picture was the one of his grandfather and his grandfather’s best friend from high school, taken on the night of their graduation. There were tears in his grandfather’s eyes and he held the frame and gazed at the old and yellowed picture.
Sean tentatively stepped forward. His grandfather looked up, the pain evident in his eyes.
“Grandad,” he whispered with concern.
His grandfather watched him approach, his eyes moist. He raised a hand and took the boy’s in his own.
“Its not fair that you should know such pain,” he whispered as he gazed with infinite compassion at the boy. “Its not good. Its not fair that the pain of the grandfather should be visited upon the grandson.”
“Grandad,” Sean whispered, feeling tears form in his eyes, as well.
Sean looked down at the picture, at the teardrops on the glass, and then up at his grandfather’s stricken face. And, then, he knew.
His mouth opened; he started to speak and then, found he couldn’t. His grandfather gave him a weak smile before looking downward again.
“My dear Sean. You father was such a strong and good boy. He was so happy and so joyful. I prayed that God would spare him the curse of his father and he did. Dear, sweet Sean. If I could take the pain you feel and free you of this burden, I would. I can only pray that you find the joy I knew once, but lost.”
The tears flowed down Sean’s cheeks. His grandfather stood uncertainly and the two held each other.
Finally, his grandfather whispered, “You should go to bed now.”
He held the boy’s face and smiled sadly down at him.
“Go to sleep and dream of your kind and brave hero.”
And, with that, he leaned over and kissed Sean on the forehead. Sean hugged his grandfather and walked slowly away.
At the door, he turned.
“I love you, Grandad.”
Standing in front of the chair, one hand on the dresser, the other clutching the photograph, the man smiled and replied, softly, “I love you, Sean.”
Thus ends Chapter Four. To see if life for Sean and Adam finally becomes a bit more cheerful, tune in next week for Chapter Five in the saga of The Secrets of Waldo! In the meantime, please let me know what you think by writing to me at chriswriter @ operamail.com. And, if you like the story, please tell others about it!!!! Thanks. :-)