Starting Over

by tim

This is my sixth story on Nifty, and my fourth currently running story. I had to start this story though. I was listening to a song and the story came to me so vividly that I couldn't ignore it. I would like to thank Kenny Chesney, who's singing inspired me to write this one. This story is © 2004 by tim and is protected by copyright law. Please do not copy or post this story to other sites without the author's permission. This is a fictional story. Any similarities to actual persons or events are purely coincidental. This story may contain sexual situations between young males. If this subject offends you or you should not be reading this type of story, You assume all responsibility for continuing. Please send all comments to: . Thanks and enjoy this one.

Other stories by tim the story guy on Nifty:

Starting Over - new story.

Training Day - in the adult/youth section (completed 9/17/04)

What A Gas! - in the adult/youth section (last update 9/22/04)

Allen & Allen 2 - in the high school section (last update 9/23/04)

No One Else - in the high school section (last update 9/25/04)

Fate - in the high school section (completed 5/21/04)

Starting Over - by tim

Chapter 1

Carter Williams sat in the back of the church, in a pew by himself. The funeral he was attending was for his best friend, Travis Brown. Carter and Travis had been the best of friends since the day they were born, about two hours apart. Actually both boy's parents had been friends since they were in school together, so Carter and Travis naturally became friends as well. The boys spent sixteen summers playing together before Travis was killed in a single car accident, in the fall of their sixteenth year. Carter knew the truth about the accident though, that's why he sat in the back by himself. He didn't want to take any chance that someone else also knew the truth.

The church was very large, which was a good thing because both boys had many friends. Everyone tended to like Carter and Travis, so the turnout for Travis's funeral was huge. Also in attendance was a grief counselor by the name of Wayne Owens. Wayne sat near the back of the church watching a lone boy, who the experienced counselor knew was taking Travis's death very hard.

"Why?" Carter asked himself over and over again. "Why did I have to kill the person who meant everything to me?"

Carter blamed himself for the death of his best friend, and Wayne Owens could see all of the signs. Wayne watched as the boy cried and talked quietly to himself, but what concerned him was when the boy would hit or kick himself so that no one else could see him. No one except Wayne, that is. Before the funeral ended Wayne quietly found out who the boy was, and who his parents were. Then Wayne asked permission for the boy to accompany him to the cemetery. Carter's parents were more than willing to let the counselor talk to their son alone, because they could not get any words out of the boy since Travis was killed. Towards the end of the service, Wayne went back and sat down next to Carter.

"Hi." said Wayne. "My name is Wayne Owens, and I was wondering if you would like to ride with me to the cemetery."

"Were you related to Travis?" asked Carter in a sullen tone.

"No, I wasn't." replied Wayne. "I'm a grief counselor, and I thought maybe you might like to talk."

"Actually, I hate to talk now days." said Carter. "But if you want to waste your time, please be my guest."

After the service, Wayne guided Carter to his car. True to his word, Carter sat in the stranger's car quietly. Wayne decided that he would have to give it his best shot, if he wanted the boy to talk.

"Travis certainly had a lot of friends, didn't he?" asked Wayne.

"Yeah." replied Carter. "Everyone loved Travis, some more than others."

That was Wayne's first clue, so he decided to press on. "It's terrible to see a boy die so young, especially in such a tragic accident." remarked Wayne.

"Yeah, an accident." said Carter sarcastically. "Are you just trying to piss me off mister?"

"No," replied Wayne, "I"d just like to know why you blame yourself for Travis's death. No one else blames you Carter."

"That's only because no one else knows the things that I know." said Carter, who was now on the verge of tears. After composing himself, Carter continued, "How did you figure that out anyway mister? I don't even know you."

"First of all," said Wayne, "if you don't stop calling me mister and call me Wayne instead, I'm going to start calling you kid. To answer your question, I'm a pretty smart guy when it comes to my job."

"Okay Wayne, so I'm your job now?" asked Carter sarcastically.

"No," replied Wayne, "you're a boy who needs help. My job is to help people like you Carter."

"Well, you're too late then." said Carter. "No one can help me now. I killed my best friend, and I'm going to burn in hell for it!" At that point Carter began crying heavily.

Wayne put a hand on Carter's back and said, "Go ahead Carter, let it out. It's only going to hurt you to keep all of that inside you."

Carter cried all the way to the cemetery, and Wayne did what he could to comfort the hurt boy. It was all Carter could do to compose himself enough to get out of the car at the cemetery. Wayne explained to Carter's parents that the boy was in pretty bad shape, and that he should spend more time with Carter after the service. Carter's parents agreed, so Wayne returned to Carter's side for the service at the graveside. After the service, Wayne guided Carter back to his car.

"What are my parents going to think about you kidnapping me?" asked Carter.

"Your parents want me to help you if I can." replied Wayne. "They're very concerned about you."

"I thought we already covered that." said Carter. "Remember? I'm beyond help."

"Fortunately I don't believe that anyone is ever beyond help Carter." replied Wayne. "You may be ready to give up on yourself, but that doesn't mean that you're beyond help."

"Really?" asked Carter. "Did you see Travis's parents at the cemetery?"

"Yes I did." replied Wayne. "They are very upset right now because the loss of a child is the hardest thing that any parent can face."

"How much more upset do you think they would be if they knew that I killed Travis?" asked Carter.

"Somehow I'm going to get it through to you that you didn't kill Travis." said Wayne. "I'm not leaving you alone until we get past this."

"You must have plenty of time on your hands then." said Carter.

"All of the time it takes to help you." replied Wayne. "I did read the police report about the accident before I came out here today though. Travis was traveling alone when his car left the road at a high rate of speed and slammed into a tree. How can that possibly be your fault. There was absolutely nothing wrong with his car when the accident happened, and sabotage is the only way that another person could have caused that accident."

"Mister," said Carter, "I mean Wayne, I've rode with Travis quite a bit since he got his car. Travis never drove at a high rate of speed, and he'd never even hit as much as a bug with his windshield. I know Travis didn't accidentally drive his car into that tree."

"Are you saying that you think Travis may have killed himself?" asked Wayne.

"Geez, you are smart, aren't you?" asked Carter.

By this time Wayne had arrived back at his apartment, where he lived alone. He suggested that they go inside to continue their conversation.

"You're not some kind of child molester, are you?" asked Carter.

"No," replied Wayne, "I work with kids all the time in my line of work, and nothing like that has ever happened. As a matter of fact, I was married up until three years ago. My wife left because she said that she couldn't deal with the type of work I did."

"Oh well," said Carter, "I guess we can go inside anyway."

Once inside the apartment Wayne offered Carter a soda, then they sat down to talk more. "I'm going to go way out on a limb here." said Wayne. "Were you and Travis more than just friends? Is that why you think he may have killed himself?"

Carter took a deep breath and replied, "You don't waste any time, do you?"

"It's just that the sooner we get to the bottom of this, the better it will be for you." replied Wayne. "So, tell me about the relationship between you and Travis."

"I hate to tell you, but it's not quite what you think it is." said Carter.

"Then what exactly is it?" asked Wayne.

"The police report didn't say what Travis was doing before he got into his car, did it?" asked Carter.

"No," said Wayne, "no one has that information."

"I do." said Carter flatly. "He was with me."

"I want to hear about it." said Wayne. "Just start from the beginning, and tell me everything about you and Travis."

With a resigned look on his face Carter said, "If you're sure you want to hear this. Just remember one thing though, I didn't want Travis to die. I loved Travis, and I would have rather been dead myself than to see him dead."

"I'm not going to judge you at all Carter." said Wayne. "Just lay back on the sofa and tell me everything."

Wayne moved his chair near the sofa as Carter laid back and took a few deep breaths. Carter didn't want to do this, but someone had to know. Carter was beginning to trust this stranger, and thought that maybe Wayne could let everyone know what really happened if something were to happen to himself. Those thoughts had been creeping into Carter's mind quite a bit since Travis had died. Carter knew that he couldn't live with the guilt inside of his head for much longer.

"Travis and me were always best friends." started Carter. "Our parents were very close friends, and we were born at the same hospital about two hours apart. Our cribs in the nursery were next to each other. We never spent much time apart as little kids. I guess we were always as close as two friends could be, and there was nothing we wouldn't do for each other. One time he accidentally set his parents garage on fire. I knew that he would catch hell for it, and he was really looking forward to a trip that was coming up. I went ahead and took the blame so he wouldn't get in trouble, after all it was really an accident. Travis vowed that he would make it up to me somehow, and he did. We were always helping each other out like that. I always loved Travis more than anyone else I knew.

Then about three years ago, our hormones started kicking in. I could see myself developing in one direction, and Travis developing in another. My love for Travis was starting to take on a new direction, and I knew it was a direction that Travis was not going in. I never gave up though, even when Travis got his car last March for his sixteenth birthday. When that happened, he started dating girls. I was jealous of all of them, but I never let on that I was jealous. I always thought that if Travis knew how I felt about him, that he would understand. The only problem was, I was scared shitless to tell him. That is, until the day of the accident.

I told Travis that I had to talk to him after school that day. We drove to the park, where Travis asked what was bothering me. I tried to act like nothing was bothering me, but he said that he could tell something had been bothering me for months. He said that it seemed especially bad that day, and I guess it was. I was about to throw up, thinking about what I was about to tell him. I was also thinking that maybe it would be easier to just kill myself than to talk to him about what was bothering me. Now I wish I had followed that instinct. When I came right out and told Travis that I loved him, he just played it off. He said, "Sure you do. We're best friends, and I love you too bud." Then I told him that it was different with me. He seemed kinda confused by that, so I leaned over and kissed him on the lips. Then I told him that I was gay, and I had fallen deeply in love with him. That's when both of our lives began to fall completely apart.

He asked me, "W-w-what do you mean, gay?" So then I placed my hand on his crotch and kissed him again. Then I told him that I wanted to make love to him, and that I could be better than all those girls he had went out with put together. I wish I could take that day back so much, that I can't live with myself anymore. When I looked into Travis's face, he had the most horrified look that I had ever seen on anyone's face before. I knew that I had fucked up, so I begged Travis not to hate me. I told him that I would control my feelings and not like guys anymore, if he would just not hate me and still be my friend. Then he said something that will never stop hurting. He said, "Dude, we've been friends forever and I can't see us apart, but I'm not a faggot! How could you do this to me, dude?" Travis literally kicked me out of his car, then tore off out of the park. Twenty minutes later the guy that I loved more than I loved myself was dead."

Carter began crying harder than anyone Wayne had ever seen cry before. This was also the closest Wayne had ever come to losing control of his emotions in front of someone he was trying to help. Finally Wayne lost the battle, and began crying with Carter. After five minutes Wayne began to get control of his emotions again. He also noticed that Carter was crying so hard, that he was having trouble breathing.

Wayne took the boy who was dying in front of him into his arms and kept saying, "Breathe now Carter." at regular intervals.

After nearly thirty minutes, the crisis began to pass. Wayne knew that this was not nearly over yet though. Carter was going to need to grieve more than anyone Wayne had ever seen before. He now knew that a part of the fragile boy had already died, and he was going to have to teach Carter how to live on without that part of himself. Fortunately Wayne had also been licensed as a medical doctor as well as a psychiatric counselor, so when Carter's breathing had returned to nearly normal, Wayne gave the boy enough sedatives so that the boy could rest. This was always a last resort, but Wayne needed a little time to think of the best way to help Carter. He knew the boy's life depended on him now. After about an hour of thought, Wayne picked up his phone.

"Hello, this is Frank Williams." said Carter's father as he answered the phone. "What can I do for you?"

"Hi Frank, this is Wayne again." said Wayne.

"Hello again Wayne." said Frank. "The wife and me can't thank you enough for helping Carter through losing his friend. How is he now?"

"I'm not going to lie to you Frank, Carter is in worse shape emotionally than I've seen anyone in quite some time." replied Wayne. "Right now your son is suicidal. It's so bad that his body is trying to shut itself down. I'm really amazed that he made it more than a few hours past the accident."

"How could it be that bad?" asked Frank. "I know the boys were close, but the way you describe it makes it seem like they were a part of each other."

"I'm positive that the boys were that close." replied Wayne. "It's as though a part of Carter died when Travis died, and now he is wracked with guilt because he was the last person to see Travis alive."

"What do you suggest?" asked Frank. "Do you think Carter needs to be hospitalized?"

"A part of me says yes." replied Wayne. "But then another part of me says that it might make matters even worse. There is an alternative though."

"What would that be?" asked Frank. "We'll spend whatever we have to to make Carter better again."

"I want to take Carter away from here for a little while." said Wayne. "I have a vacation home down south, and my schedule is clear right now. Carter needs time and space to recover from this whole incident, and I'm more concerned about him than any patient that I've ever seen."

"How much is that kind of service going to cost us?" asked Frank.

"Money is not important." said Wayne. "That's why I gave up my private practice and got into this type of counseling. The money was great, but I got tired of helping little old ladies who were at their wits end because they couldn't decide what color to dye their poodles. I don't need anything for my time and services because Carter is more important than money. All that I'll need is a living allowance to take care of Carter's needs while he's away."

"How long are we talking?" asked Frank.

"I'll evaluate that after one month." replied Wayne. "Hopefully I can have him back here at that time, but he is going to need counseling for quite some time into the future."

"We'll do whatever we have to to help Carter." said Frank. "What do you need to do this?"

"I'll need you to pack him for an extended trip, then bring his stuff here." said Wayne. "I want leave in the morning."

"Okay," said Frank, "but we want to see him when we stop by this evening."

"That will be fine." replied Wayne. "It would be best for him to hear that you approve of this anyway."

After Wayne got off the phone, he began to make arrangements for the trip. Fortunately he had a few months of leave time built up, and the resources to take an extended trip. His only worry now was how Carter was going to react to what was happening to him without his input. An hour before Carter's parents were to come over, Wayne woke the sleeping boy.

"Carter, wake up!" said Wayne as he shook the boy gently.

"What? What is it?" said a groggy Carter.

"I need you to wake up Carter." said Wayne. "Your parents are going to be stopping by in a little while."

"Is it time to go home already?" asked Carter, as he tried to wake up.

"Actually you are going to be staying with me for a while." replied Wayne. "Your parents will tell you all about it when they get here. How long has it been since you've eaten anything?"

"I don't really remember." replied Carter. "A while, I guess."

Wayne went ahead and fixed Carter something to eat while waiting for the boy's parents, then made sure that Carter ate what he fixed. As Carter was eating Wayne said, "You should know something before your parents get here. We will be going on a little trip tomorrow. I have a vacation home on the beach in Florida, and I thought it would be good to spend a little time there."

"The beach in Florida?" asked Carter. "Are you sure that you're not going to try to molest me?" Then Carter almost smiled for the first time since well before the accident.

"I'm reasonably sure." chuckled Wayne. "I am going to do everything humanly possible to help you though."

"Good!" exclaimed Carter as his expression changed back. "I"m going to need it when everyone finds out what really happened."

"Are you feeling any better now?" asked Wayne.

"I can't really tell." replied Carter. "I guess maybe a little bit."

"Good then!" said Wayne. "At least that's a beginning. I promise you that it will get better, but it's going to take a lot of time."

A short while later, Carter's parents arrived at Wayne's apartment. Wayne welcomed Frank and Rebecca Williams into his apartment, where they were immediately hugged by Carter.

"You seem to be acting a little better now sweetie." said Rebecca.

"I just want you and dad to know that I love you very much." said Carter. "Please don't ever forget that. I also love Travis's family too. We always seemed like one great big family."

"Honey," said Rebecca, as she held her son, "parents never forget how much their children love them. We love you too son, so do whatever Doctor Owens tells you to. We want you to be able to move on from this horrible tragedy, and have a happy life."

"That goes for me too son." said Frank. "I know that you and Travis were as close as two friends could be, but this will get better. You may never be able to forget him, but at least you will be able to move on someday. Now, how is Wayne treating you son?"

"Doctor Owens is okay." said Carter. "He was a little pushy at first, but I trust him now."

"Good then." said Frank. "You just do what he tells you while you're down in Florida. When you come back, we'll be as close of a family as we always were. Just remember son, there are things that we have no control over once they are set in motion. This thing has happened now, and all we can do is try to move on."

"I'll try to remember that dad." said Carter. "And you remember what I told mom, I've always loved you both and I always will."

Frank then turned to Wayne and said, "I trust you to take care of my son doctor. This little exchange today is the most he's spoken since the accident, so I know that you're doing something right. We just didn't know how to handle his mood after Travis died."

"Don't worry," said Wayne, "I will take care of Carter as if he were my own son. That reminds me, I will need you to sign some papers for me so I will have the authority to travel with him and get him medical attention in case of an emergency."

Frank and Rebecca signed the papers, then began saying good-bye to their son. They hated the idea of Carter being so far away, but they now realized that their son had been acting depressed and suicidal after Travis died. Wayne seemed to be helping him quite a bit already. Carter was very nervous as he said good-bye to his parents. He didn't know what to expect over the next month, but he did see himself as being lucky that he had not been placed in a hospital instead. After Carter's parents left, Wayne prepared the boy a bed in the guest bedroom.

"I guess it's just me and you for the next month now Carter." said Wayne. "Are you okay with that? I know you didn't have a lot of input into what is happening."

"I'm kinda nervous." said Carter. "I'm glad you didn't tell my parents to have me put away though."

"I have to tell you that the thought did cross my mind." said Wayne. "That most likely would have done more harm than good though."

Wayne and Carter did sit up for a while longer and talked. Wayne did not yet want to go further into Carter's feelings about Travis though. He felt that topic would be best left for when they were settled in down on the Florida beach.

There is the first chapter of what I hope will be a very important story. Wayne now has to teach Carter that suicide is not a way out, and the truth is always best even if it hurts. Please send all comments to: .