Two Boys

Rocco Paperiello


This story is about relationships between and among teenagers. This includes intimate relationships between young males. If you don't approve or are offended, then how come you're reading this? Go to some other Internet Site. (Of course some people actually cultivate being offended; if that's the case, read right on). As far as detailed descriptive sex acts, I think you may find some good ones in other stories right here on Nifty, but as of now I do not envision a lot of explicit detail in this one.

If, for some legal reason, you are not allowed to read this in your area of the world because of illogical laws, again I will not condone (publicly) anyone breaking the law, so either move or read sentence four. I definitely don't want the thought police after either of our hind quarters.

Please, this story is sort of my property, so if you ever want to quote some of it (whatever for I wouldn't know), please e-mail me and also give proper attribution. As of now no one has permission to put this story on another Internet Site.

This story is almost entirely fictional, and autobiographical ONLY in the sense that many of the incidents in the story really happened, but in some cases to different people and under different circumstances. In other words I've simply adapted things that happened in my life to a fictional story. In fact, some aspects of both main characters are in part modeled from my own experiences. Some of my family members are also in this story, and perhaps (definitely) distorted a bit (a lot) at times and sometimes approaching caricature, but since I really don't expect them to sue, I'm taking the chance. All other characters are fictional, except as noted).

I welcome any feedback. Constructive criticism appreciated.

Rocco Paperiello


PART III -- Confrontation and Resolve

Chapter 65 -- The Best Laid Plans . . .

"The first thing I'm goin' the fuck do, is break this god-dammed faggot's arm just to let you know I'm serious; that's what I'm goin' to do! Then I'll start breakin' other things." Jade's uncle had me by the arm and was speaking to Jade.

"Had me by the arm" was quite the understatement. My arm was being pushed up high in the back and hurt so much I could hardly pay attention to anything else. I tried to yell, but he had his big hand clamped over my mouth. I was then dragged down the stairs to the basement. He let go my arm finally. What a relief, though now I had a hard time even moving it. I tried to get away but he was too strong. And he smelled. Strangely, with all that was happening, it was his odor that got to me.

He reached for something, and opened the door to the storage closet. "Was he going to lock me in there?" I wondered. I supposed he was. I was so scared, I found I had pissed my pants. Now I stunk. What the hell was Jade doing all this time?

Jade's uncle turned a light on and I tried to scream. This could only be a scene out of an Edgar Allen Poe story. It wasn't a storage closet at all. It looked like it used up about a third of the basement, and had a small cage in one corner, made out of bamboo criss-crossed like a large weave. There was also a small table nearby that was strangely tilted and was smaller but higher that a normal table.

"Get the fuck in here, or I start breaking things?" He must have been talking to Jade. Jade came in all right; in fact he ran in and lifted his left arm and started swing down on his uncle as hard as he could. I could see the determination on his face. Eerily he never said a word.

Unfortunately, his uncle saw him too soon. I tried to grab his uncle's arm, but his uncle threw me to the floor like I weighed almost nothing -- and I did weigh almost nothing compared to him. And just as Jade got to him, he blocked the hook as it descended and he simply punched him with the other hand. Jade went down and I started screaming. I tried to get up and run over to him. But his uncle grabbed me again and said. "Tell you what white-assed faggot. You don't do exactly what I say, and you don't see your precious butt-buddy boyfriend again." (There were a lot more curse words in there but I didn't think they were needed to give you the idea of what he said). "And what the hell did you just do? You're such a sissy, you wet your pants?"

I backed up but hit the wall in just one step. "Please, don't hurt him. What do you want?"

"Take off all your clothes, and . . ."

Well you get the picture. Things weren't going well. Jade thank goodness was stirring and was even starting to get up. The worst thing was, Jade's uncle kept getting one of us to do something by threatening to hurt the other.

But for now at least, except for the sheer terror of not knowing what he might do, we weren't even hurt that bad. At first that is. I was so worried what he'd do to Jade I did anything he wanted. The next to worst time for me came when was he sodomized me. He had me totally unable to move and the worst thing, especially after we got away and were thinking about what had happened, was that I was actually sexually aroused by what he was doing. Of course that was until he started forcing himself into me. I felt so guilty I didn't know how I was ever going to face Jade again. Now I know something of what Jade had been feeling before. Even with some gooey stuff he used it was excruciating. I couldn't stop screaming for him to stop. And I swear he deliberately dragged it out just because he enjoyed hurting me that way. When it was all over and I started feeling something other than the pain; I got real scared as I felt wetness running down my legs. I was bleeding pretty good.

But then the absolute worst thing happened. Jade had been put in the cage naked. His white cast the only thing I could see clearly in the dimly light room. I still couldn't move, and it was no longer causing me to get aroused, thank God. Jade's uncle got Jade out of the cage and looped a cord around his neck and pulled him roughly over to me.

Jade refused to do what his uncle asked and the beating Jade received as a consequence, was horrific. And all because of me. I couldn't stop screaming and crying. Jade refused to rape me as his uncle demanded. It probably lasted only 10 minutes but it seemed like forever. By this time I had been put into the bamboo cage and it was Jade now strapped down. I was horrified when Jade stopped screaming. All kinds of terrible thoughts were circulating through my brain. I could even see some blood dripping onto the floor. I kept yelling and cursing and threatening but of course to no avail.

I guess when Jade stopped screaming, it was no longer fun for his uncle.

He eventually left us there that way, locking the door behind him. On the way out he said: "This is just the beginning you . . ." (Again you get the idea).

I leaned back against the bamboo squares behind me. I could only sit flat by putting my feet through the big squares of the front of the cage. At first I couldn't stop crying, but I finally wound down. I looked over at Jade. "How stupid could I have been? And because of it I made you go through hell. I can never forgive myself. I'm so sorry Jade. It's all my fault."

"That's OK White-boy, I'll be OK. How're you doing?"

I was stunned. I hadn't even realized he was conscious nor had I realized that I actually spoken out loud. "OK I guess. How YOU doing?"

"Aside form hurting like hell, OK. I never could believe that being hit by a strap could hurt so much. And it BURNS!"

"I'm so sorry Jade. Please forgive me. I don't think I can ever forgive myself for what I did to you." I pulled in my legs and tried to see him, but the cage wasn't high enough. I could only see his legs and arms. They were strapped to the sides of the table-thing.

"I really don't blame you at all. I agreed to this plan you know. I guess I understand a bit more about why I shouldn't feel so guilty myself for what I let my uncle do to me." Jade stopped and gasped. It looked like he tried to pull on the straps. "Damn, White-boy, I can't say I'm not scared as hell. It never occurred to me that my uncle could do anything like this. He must have gone totally `round the bend."

"Sorry Jade." I couldn't think very well. I stank of urine that dried on me and I never realized how blood smelled so bad before. It was getting me nauseous.

"Now White-boy, I'm counting on you. Get us out of here." I think Jade then actually chuckled.

"Working on that right now." I said. It came out almost as a string of disjointed words. I was exerting myself to the limit. "I'll have you off that contraption in a jiff."

Jade, this time, actually did chuckle. I heard him trying to move but if he were trying to see me, the edge of the table was in the way.

"I'm serious Jade. Don't stop hoping. Remember that escape from the garage through that window?"


"Well, maybe for the second time in my life I will be glad that I'm so small." I stopped talking as I had to concentrate on trying to get my hips out of the small square formed by the bamboo at the bottom front of the cage. I got my head and shoulders through with only a little struggle.


"What's happening?"

"I'm half way out. And sort of stuck. I think my butt grew some from last year. Maybe I shouldn't have got involved in running Cross Country. Uggngh." My shoulders really started hurting. I think I half dislocated my shoulders squeezing them through. "I got to back up a bit and try pulling my hips through the other diagonal. It looks a bit bigger." I was so busy squirming now I was just grunting and groaning now and then. I was sweating so much it sort of helped lubricate the bamboo. And thank goodness he used bamboo. There was a minuscule amount of give in it and the best part the poles were smooth. I screamed as I finally pulled through. And then lay panting. I was drained.

"WHAT HAPPENED!?" Jade screamed anxiously.

"I'M OUT!" I yelled. Now I just lay there gasping. "Let me get my energy back a second." I finally got up. I ached all over. I looked over to the table and gasped when I saw Jade's back. And I started bawling. I limped over. I realized I must have really hurt my hip or leg somehow when I squeezed through those bars. My leg even started hurting worse than my shoulders or even my butt. I started undoing the straps, after wrenching my eyes from Jade's bloody back. Oh my god he was really hurt. I sobbed loudly, "Sorry Jade. I caused this. We got to get you to a doctor. That must hurt horribly."

"Right now it's down to a bad burning sensation. Thanks for rescuing me again." His words came out in disjointed gasps. I thought he hurt more then he was letting on.

The last strap was undone and I tried to help Jade to his feet. He screamed as he twisted his back. "You know, White-boy, Dan mentioned something about some really sick people who actually like getting beaten when doing sex stuff. Well I can now officially state that I am definitely NOT one of them."

I couldn't believe how Jade could be joking. "We have to get out of here before your uncle returns." I tried the door but it was locked fast. I couldn't find any key. "Can't open the door. We have to break it down somehow." I looked around while Jade just leaned against the wall. I looked at one of his hooks that got tossed aside, but then lit on a small piece of two by four on a stack in a corner. I guessed he was going to build something else. I started ramming the door next to the lock. I didn't have much strength left "Know where he might have gone?" I asked between smashes.

"Probably to a bar somewhere. He does that a lot. Hay, it's starting to splinter."

"Good thing it's a fairly cheap door. I think it's giving." Suddenly I bashed my hand on the splintered door as the board suddenly broke through. "Agghagh. That hurt!" My hand was now bleeding. But I ignored it. I started smashing harder. The first breakthrough gave me encouragement. Finally I had a hole big enough to squeeze through. I must have scraped my body all over on the splintered wood, but I hardly gave it a thought. In fact, it didn't even hurt. I was just so concentrating on getting us out of there. I found the key on the same ledge and opened the door.

Jade stumbled out. Damn, he looked bad. I started fantasizing about having a real gun this time and blowing Uncle Mike's head off. No, first his testicles. I mentioned this to Jade. Strangely he didn't reply.

"Now what?" he asked. "I can hardly think."

"Simple, we get out. Let's get upstairs. I'll go to your room and find some clothes to put on. I couldn't find any in the room we were locked in. Your uncle must have put them somewhere."

We managed the narrow stairs and Jade collapsed backwards onto a kitchen chair. I got a couple shirts and two pairs of his shorts from his room. Way too big for me but it didn't matter now. I got the shorts on him, but he started yelling when I tried to help him put on the shirt.

"Sorry, but I'll have to do without the shirt. It hurts too much."

I ran into the living room. I had a tough time reading the phone book but I finally got a cab called. I said it was an emergency and needed one right away. Then I ran, OK, wobbled up to Jade's room again and found his stash of cash. I grabbed a 10 dollar bill. Then grabbed the rest. Way too much, but I was in a hurry. Downstairs again I realized I was still naked. I pulled on one of Jades shirts. The sleeves I had to roll up. Then the shorts. I saw a piece of sack cord on the table, so I put it through a couple belt loops and tied it tight. At least they would stay up.

"Hay Jade," I yelled, "Let's wait for the cab outside."

We were both now holding each other up. "Why a cab? How about an ambulance?"

"The police run the ambulances, and I want to talk to my Mom first before she comes unglued by the police calling her. She'd need more doctor's help than me."

I couldn't believe it. The yellow cab was turning the corner already. That was the fastest I'd ever seen them respond. I ran (OK, stumbled with a semi-fast lumbering gate) to the street and waved my arms. He stopped. He was a white guy and gave Jade a sour look. But his expression made a remarkable change when he saw him close up. In fact he opened his door, got out, and ran to him. "Holy shit. What the hell! You OK? Who the hell did this to you? We got to get you to a hospital." All of a sudden, it didn't matter if Jade were black, white, or green; the cabbie was very solicitous. He went pretty pale himself. He helped Jade onto the front passenger seat. "Don't worry. It cleans easy." It was made of some fake leather stuff.

I got into the back. He got in and called his dispatch saying he was taking two boys to the emergency at Nazareth Hospital. "Have a police car meet us there. One's in real bad shape."

But by the time he went a couple blocks and was waiting on the light at Frankford Ave., I said: "Thanks a lot, but could you please take us to my family doctor first? I really have to talk to him. It's really important and he's only several blocks from here." Well, about ten is several, isn't it?

He seemed to vacillate and finally turned left. I directed him. He pulled up and the cabbie rushed to the office door. No answer. I went to the front door of his house. I realized it was the Forth of July. I'd been there a couple times before when visiting Nestor.

Doctor Krazenski answered. He stared at my appearance. I must have looked pretty bad. I had scrapes and cuts all over from the splintered door and, especially along with my hips, I was hurting enough to be limping. But what he seemed to stare at most was the caked blood that had run down the insides of my legs. I think it had started bleeding again. "My god Rocco, we have to get you to a hospital. What happened to you?" He was now looking around and saw the cab and the cabbie running back this way.

"Doctor, I'm OK, but my friend's in real bad shape. But I needed you at the hospital. Sorry, but I'm so upset that I needed someone I knew. Sorry."

"No need to be sorry. Of course I'll come."

By this time his wife was behind him. She whispered but it was loud enough for me to hear: "Not again George, this is your first full day off in two weeks!"

"This is too important, hon. I'll call from the hospital." He went down the steps and to the cab. By this time Jade was trying to get out of the cab but didn't manage it. He was really stiffening up. And moaning.

"God damn!" I never heard a doctor curse before. "You should have called an ambulance!" He turned to the cabbie. "Go to Nazareth emergency. I'll be right behind." I was realizing that I really should have, but it was too late now.

By the time we got there, there were two cop cars waiting. It was a contest between them and the orderlies, who could shout questions the loudest. That's what it seemed like. By this time Jade was really bad and moaning loudly. The pain must have escalated. I refused to answer any of their questions. I kept shouting for them to help Jade. They put him on a stretcher on his stomach.

It was now ten minutes later. I couldn't believe it. I was so angry I was hoarse from shouting. They said they couldn't treat Jade without his parent's signature. I think I had just won the world's cursing contest in one breath!

I finally got Doctor Krazenski's attention. By this time I was half screaming, half crying, and half pleading. "Please, help him. Can't they see he's hurting? He's got no parents and the person who is his guardian IS THE ONE THAT DID THAT TO HIM! So there IS NO ONE TO CALL!" I was so angry I could have simply shot anyone who wouldn't listen to reason. I asked (in a slightly raised voice): "If a kid came in from an accident in which his both parents died, would you wait `til St. Peter got a hold of his parents before helping him? I hope I never go brain dead when I grow up."

It was Dr. Krazenski who then said: "Please calm down. You got me here because you trusted me. Please keep trusting me. I've already given him a shot for the pain and they are setting up an IV now through which he can get more pain meds. Please, he IS being helped. Now we need to contact one of your parents to take care of you. And before you say it, we will do what is needed right now."

Doctor Krazenski did calm me down a bit. I was sure glad I thought of him. One of the cops then started asking again what happened. He was pretty insistent.

"Jade's uncle did this to us. He raped both of us and beat Jade with a belt while he had him strapped down so he couldn't move." I said it pretty loudly. There were a few gasps from a couple nurses there. One was a nun. It certainly got everyone's attention. A Candy Striper was hurried from the room.

The cop involuntarily looked at my legs when I said this. He saw all the caked blood. "HOLY DAMN! Can you give me his name and where he lives?"

I did.

He called the information into his station, I could easily over hear what he was saying. "I hope the god-dammed son-of-a-bitch resists arrest. Please God, please make him resist arrest!" Meanwhile, his partner was trying to pump me for more information.

"Please, I can barely sit up I'm so exhausted." I felt so suddenly about to collapse.

Then I started blushing when one of the nurses tried to take off the shorts I had on. She had cut the cord and then started cutting through the fabric. I squirmed.

She said: "Sorry, but we have to clean you up so the doctor can examine you properly." And I knew exactly what the doctor needed to examine. She then laid a towel over me and restarted cutting.

I looked to the cop. "Please, I will tell you everything. Just let me call my Mom first. I don't want her worrying. If you tell her first, I'd go home, but she'd have to be admitted."

He chuckled at that. "OK, mate." He looked over me. "Hay Bill, bring that phone over here. The cord should reach."

As I dialed, I couldn't believe how my hands were shaking. And now I was feeling so cold. In fact I started shivering. Come on Rocco, it's over. How come you're going to pieces now? And I kept worrying about Jade. They pulled the curtain and I couldn't see him anymore. Finally the cop dialed for me, after my two bad tries.

"Mom, this is Rocco." She answered and asked why I was calling and if I were still at Jade's house, and how come I didn't call sooner since I missed lunch, and that I was in trouble for not calling and letting her worry, and when Dad got home I'd be in even more trouble. Etc. I guess my Dad wasn't home yet. He and my brother had gone night fishing last night out of Barnegat Bay. But Mom was being Mom. I let her wind down, and kept assuring her I was OK.

"Look Mom, please! I'm fine." What a whopper that was. That even caught the cop's attention. "Actually I'm not calling from Jade's. That's why I'm calling. Jade's hurt and I got him to the hospital. He's hurt pretty bad, but should be OK." That started my Mom's worry genes going full tilt. And she sure had more than the usual supply. She went into full Mom mode. She asked ten questions without taking a breath.

"Please Mom, I really am OK. Just need a couple stitches maybe. Don't know."

(Then more worried-Mom stuff).

"No. Honest. I'm on the phone aren't I? So at least I'm not unconscious." Damn, I shouldn't have said that.

(Much more worried-Mom stuff).

"Actually that's good. Since they need you to sign stuff." She was going to call a cab and come to the hospital.

(Some more worried-Mom stuff).

I wanted to get off the phone and find out about Jade. "Please Mom, Dr. Krazenski is already here. He's been great. He said I may need a couple stitches and some antibiotics, that's all. And no, I'm not hurting." Another lie but not necessarily a whopper, just a semi-biggie. (I have a whole catalogue of lie categories). My ass hurt like hell. But at least not like before. "I promise I'll still be here when you arrive. Please, no need to panic. And why don't you bring Dolores with you? I'd like to talk with her anyway." I thought it would be better if Mom came with someone.

I hung up the phone and collapsed onto the gurney. All this time I was trying to ignore the nurse washing my legs and my other cuts. They were using some anti-bacterial soap she said. It stung like hell. I must have had more cuts than I realized. And my hip sure hurt when she got to it. I couldn't remember bruising it.

The cop persisted. I gave him my name and address, and all kinds of other stuff.

"Look, we need to get a formal statement from you as soon as possible. I have someone coming who can record what you say. We already have people looking for the person who attacked you. I just need a bit more information for now. We can't ask the other boy since the pain medication has let him sleep. First of all, what led up to the attack?"

"Can't this wait so I don't have to go all over it again? We were trying to blackmail Jade's uncle when it backfired and he grabbed me and locked me in this small room in his basement. How's that for now?"

His partner was back and both their eyes went wide. They weren't expecting that. I even smiled.

He finally asked: "What do you mean you tried to blackmail him?"

"He'd been raping Jade for a good while and we told him he had to quit or else we'd tell the police and send him to jail."

This got him all agitated. "He was already being raped by his own uncle?"

"Yeah, at least five or six times. The first time he sodomized him, Jade was hurt pretty bad."

"But why didn't he or you just report it to us? This makes no sense."

"Well, Jade didn't have anywhere else to live. His Mama died last year and his Dad left when he was real young. He was afraid. And I promised I'd not tell on him. So I came up with a plan to get his uncle to stop. And instead I got my best friend really hurt!" My voice kept rising as I spoke. The last part I forced out while sobbing and had to yell to get it out.

The first cop scrunched up his face. And laid his hand on my shoulder. It was strangely comforting. I wish my own Dad would do that once in a while. How about even once? I couldn't stop crying. Damn. I was almost 16 and couldn't stop crying in front of strangers. "Please, I need to see Jade."

The nurse came back and said that Jade was doing fine and would be taken upstairs soon. Finally Dr. Krazenski came back in.

"Please, how's Jade?" I asked through some tears.

"He'll be fine. Maybe not even any heavy scarring. A lot of blood but most of the cuts weren't deep. In fact I didn't even put in any stitches. We're treating his back more like a burn. He'll be on IV pain meds for several days, until his back starts healing. And he's already been taken upstairs. I had them put him into a private room rather than the children's ward. You'll be put there too."

"What do you mean I'll be put there too? I'm OK."

"A precaution. You've bled a lot and can also get infected. You'll be put on some IV antibiotics."

I asked what that meant. He told me. Damn. Mom's really gonna be worried with me in the hospital. "OK. I just hope Mom don't get too unglued."

Krazenski smiled. "Now I have to examine you and this will hurt a little. I can't help it. I will swab it with a topical anesthetic but there will still be some pain."

Damn, just raising my legs like that hurt. He brought out this weird contraption. "What's that for? Some torture device?" I even managed a smile. I was sure glad it was Dr. Krazenski.

He laughed. "It's to help open your poop chute so I can get a good look and to help clean the tears. I have to see if you need some stitches."

"And what's that big tray for?"

"He looked at me seriously for a moment, then said: "It's a rape kit. To get evidence. I never used one on a boy before."

I couldn't resist. "Oh, and I guess poop chute must be doctor talk for ass hole." I tried for my most innocent expression.

We both laughed. And then it really hurt as he started doing his stuff. Let's skip ahead. Let's just say I got almost a dozen stitches and they hurt like hell. Finally the ordeal was over. Krazenski first tried to insist I have this done under anesthetic in surgery, but I was adamant. I wanted it over with.

Then the doctor got serious again. "I will need to talk this over with you later. Going through what you just experienced is quite traumatic and can leave deep emotional scars. I also would like you to talk to a psychologist about it. He should be able to help you recover in time from the trauma."

"Do I have to?" I got suddenly scared. It must have showed.

"I can see that this has really disturbed you. But I really think it advisable."

"You don't understand; there's things I can't talk about." I was visibly trembling by now. "Please. Talking about it will feel worse than going through it." Not a total lie, just not the whole truth.

Dr. Krazenski looked at me with this strange expression. "Tell you what. I'll catch up with you this evening. I'm going home for diner right now. And you don't have to tell me anything you don't feel comfortable talking about. How's that?"

I agreed.

My Mom had come in a while ago but I didn't see her `til all this was finally over. But I could definitely hear her. Mom was being Mom. They told her some of what happened and about the nature of the assault, and she did come unglued. They finally let her in to see me.

"Please, Mom, honest. I'm doing OK. Great even. It doesn't even hurt anymore. And I guess it's different for a guy, `cause I don't FEEL raped, I just hurt some." That wasn't the right thing to say either. Of course, I guess nothing was the right thing. I finally convinced her to go home and get dinner and I'd tell both of them all that happened when she and Dad got here that evening. And I told her to tell Mariann I was sorry that I messed up her birthday. It was then I had to make a formal statement for the cops. And this was something I COULDN'T keep from my parents, as much as I wanted to.

The big cop thing occurred about an hour after dinner. If Jell-O and juice could be called dinner. How come they still thought starving someone was healthy? I only found out later that the seventh person sitting in for my moment of glory was actually a psychologist they snuck in. I thought he was a cop. He only asked a few weird questions. Dr. Krazenski was there also but strangely never asked a thing. My father I thought acted as if I were the cause of everything. It was all my fault. I could see the cop/psychologist give him a few dirty looks now and then. I only found out why later. It seems that psychologists worry a lot about the victim feeling guilty by this type of thing. The only thing I felt guilty about was thinking up the stupid plan in the first place and getting Jade hurt. Well, that and getting sexually aroused when being strapped down. Jade slept through the whole thing. He was in the bed next to me. Snoring away. OK, wheezing away, it wasn't really a snore.

The whole thing started out bad as soon as my father came into the room. "What the hell is that nig. . . that boy doing here?" pointing over at Jade. "It's him and his damned uncle that caused all this to happen. They should both be put away for a hundred years."

And wow, my father NEVER used words like that, especially in front of Mom. Later it would become all my fault again.

"Dad, Jade is also a victim. How can you say that about him? He's my best friend and he's hurt bad and how about having a Christian attitude here." And I NEVER talked to my Dad like that before either. I was always too scared. Too much a coward. But I was too upset to care. Especially when he was attacking my boyfriend. And more especially I just started realizing that Jade was really in trouble now. Just what he'd been trying to avoid all along has happened. Where would he now live? I got real scared for both of us. I had to do something about it, but didn't know what. I just HAD to get someone to help him.

Finally after almost interminable bickering by a number of people they all sat down. There were Mom and Dad, Dr. Krazenski, two policeman in plain clothes that I'd never seen before, and the man in a bad suit in the back. The cop/psychologist. And some secretary taking it all down. Holy shit. What a mess.

The cop started it off telling everybody to not ask questions unless they approved, etc etc etc. He looked back at me. "Now tell us what happened from the very beginning."

And so I did. "It all started about six weeks ago." And I told them about the beating Jade got and then the one about two weeks ago that started the main crises. "He was sodomized then and he said he bled very badly. . ."

I was suddenly interrupted by Mom who screeched: "Do you have to use that disgusting language? That's plain sick!" And she then turned to the cop. "You really can't expect him to continue with this gutter talk do you? That's abominable." I kid you not, the first time in my life I ever heard the word "abominable" used in a regular conversation. That's my Mom. I think she deliberately cultivates her sensitivity to what she calls bad language, and which included almost any word that's remotely sex related.

I finally asked the cop to come closer. I sat up and whispered: "Maybe my parents can get an expurgated version later." He took my suggestion. So much for killing seven birds with one tale. (I was definitely going to lie to keep from revealing certain things. I am an equal opportunity liar. Everyone can be included, well maybe except God. I've even lied to Jade on the rare occasion, but I always confessed afterwards).

My Dad fumed, and my Mom complained, but fortunately to no avail. The interrogation eventually got restarted.

The kind looking cop/psychologist in the back asked: "Are you still up to this? You want to do this later? How are you feeling about what has happened to you?"

"Yes, no, and angry at Jade's uncle and pissed at my self for getting Jade hurt."

"Remarkable." That was the cop/psychologist.

Dr. Krazenski looked over at him but didn't say anything. I just then remembered that this was supposed to be the doctor's day off. So I looked in his direction and added. "And please apologize for me to your wife."

All the doctor did was nod and smile. But the other cop/doctor asked what that was about. Dr. Krazenski said he'd fill him in later. Finally the other policemen came back and we continued.

Again the cop/psychologist asked: "You don't seem too embarrassed talking about these things. I was wondering why."

Since it was not specifically a question, and one I actually didn't want to answer, I ignored it. He didn't push it.

We started again, I explained (very abridged version) about how it came about that we decided to come up with our "plan."

Cop one: "But I don't understand how you got involved at all?"

Me: "Jade's been my best friend for a couple years and I knew something was very wrong and I wouldn't go until he told me what. Nothing mysterious about it. I eventually pried it out of him. You can ask him all about it when he wakes up tomorrow."

Cop two: "But why didn't you just go to the police?"

Me: "Because Jade asked me not to."

Cop one: "Why didn't he want you to go to the police?"

Me: "Because he only had his uncle left to take care of him and he'd then have no one."

Cop/psychologist: "There had to be more motivation than that. Do you know what else may have been motivating your. . . friend?"

I didn't like the way he said friend. I started getting real nervous. Me: "No." (I was glad I wasn't hooked up to a lie detector).

Cop one: "What happened next?"

Me: I explained how I came up with a plan to get his uncle to stop hurting or molesting Jade. And how the next morning confronted his uncle to try to blackmail him by threatening him with jail if he didn't stop. "And it didn't work. I should have had a contingency plan in place but I was too arrogant to believe I needed one. And Jade paid for my arrogance. It was all my fault." I was crying by the end of that.

Cop/psychologist: "Do you need a break?"

Me: "No. I'll be OK."

Cop/psychologist: "Your friend agreed with you to this plan? Don't you think then that he should share half the blame?"

Me: Damn. Who the hell IS this cop? "It was MY plan. And Jade went along with it because I asked him to. It was my fault."

Cop two: "Then what happened?"

Me: I explained how his uncle grabbed me and coerced Jade to the basement. And then all the gory details. Well, not all. I explained that I was sodomized, then Jade. I know I shouted it out earlier, but this time it was difficult to talk about. I started crying again when I told about Jade's horrible beating. (A lot of what I had been feeling I deliberately left out). I got to the point where his uncle left us.

Cop one: "There's one main thing I don't understand too well. I don't understand why you two just meekly followed the uncle's instructions? For example why didn't Jade simply run from the house for help when he grabbed you?"

Me: I was puzzled. "I don't understand why you don't understand. You mean to say that if a friend of yours was threatened, you wouldn't try to negate the threat?" I think I remembered that phrase from a Perry Mason show.

Cop/psychologist: "Don't worry lad, I understand completely."

Cop two: "How did you escape?"

Me: "I got out of the cage he locked me in, got Jade off the table gizmo, bashed through the door, and called a cab."

Cop one: "Quite succinct. Perhaps you can elaborate a little. For example, how did you get out of that cage? Reminds me of a book I once read. `After getting out of the inescapable room. . .'."

Cop two then pulled out a photo: "Is this the one?" It must have been taken with a flash. And how the heck did they get the pictures developed so fast?

Me: "Yeah, that's it."

Cop one: "But how did you get out of it? When we got there, its door was still securely locked in place."

Me: (I smiled). "First time, actually second time in my life, I was glad to be so small. I simply squeezed through one of the square holes."

Cop two: "But the bamboo polls had to be no more than 10 or 12 inches apart."

Me: "And I sure got the bruises to prove it. My shoulders and hip are still hurting a lot."

Dr Krazenski: "His chart will show that Rocco suffered from partial displacement of both shoulder sockets and one hip socket. The pain must have been quite severe squeezing through that hole."

Me: "That's strange. I hardly noticed it. They sure hurt afterwards though."

Cop/psychologist: "Why didn't you just call an ambulance, or the police, or at least have the cab go right to the hospital."

Me: "Well, Jade and I were involved in a series of burglaries and we needed time to get rid of the loot." I was the only one that laughed.

Cop one: "Please don't record that answer." Then to me. "Rocco, we need to be more serious here. Could you please answer the question?"

Me: "I didn't want to get my Mom worried until I could call her. I guess I wanted to get our family doctor involved to help insure that. As far as calling the cops, I never thought of it at the time. I was only worried about getting help for Jade."

Cop two: "How about for yourself?"

Me: "Well, you can see I'm hardly hurt at all. Just a lot of scratches and a couple bruises."

Cop/psychologist: "Wouldn't you consider your rape and the tears in your anal sphincter serious?"

Me: "Yeah, at the time it really hurt. But after the pain mostly went away, I was just worried about Jade. I knew I'd be all right."

Cop/psychologist: "What were you feeling when you were about to be sodomized?"

Me: I only told part of the truth. "Fear."

Cop/psychologist: "And that's all?"

Me: "OK, find a word that's about ten levels above regular fear and that's how I felt."

Cop/psychologist: "Then what were you feeling when it was happening, other that the physical pain?"

Me: "A terrible anger, and a worse guilt."

Cop/psychologist: "That's interesting. This guilt is strangely a normal reaction. As if you are somehow guilty for your own attack. But I assure you, you have no reason to feel guilty. Perhaps this subject can be discussed sometime later."

Me: Showing some confusion. "First of all, I didn't feel guilty for that reason at all. Why should I? I felt guilty for not understanding fully why Jade had felt guilty when his uncle was sodomizing him." And I looked at him carefully and then to Dr. Krazenski, and then back. "And I also don't understand your saying `discuss sometime later'? Aren't you a policeman?"

Cop/psychologist: A small chuckle. "I'm sorry if you got that erroneous idea, but I'm the staff psychologist here at Nazareth Hospital. I'm usually involved in all cases like this, and this is certainly a most unusual one. And I have an additional question for you. You were under extreme stress and pain, both emotional and physical, and you claim you were thinking about your friend? Could you search your memory and perhaps you in fact were thinking about this much later when the ordeal was over?"

Me: I got real upset. "That's bullshit." I looked at the real cops and Dr. Krazenski. "And I refuse to answer another question while that fake cop is in here. I specifically said that I would not under any circumstances talk to any psychologist." I was more than upset. I was furious. I looked at Dr. Krazenski. "YOU BETRAYED ME. I WANT YOU OUT ALSO. I DON'T EVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!" I was almost in hysterics. I started reviewing all the psychologist's questions and my answers, and I got cold scared. He could easily have figured me and Jade out. And they believe that we were sick. I was so worried about being institutionalized, that I almost went berserk. "I'm done! No more questions. EVER! To anyone!" I suppose I wasn't completely coherent. But they understood nonetheless.

The cops said that they had a few more questions, but I adamantly refused to answer. I was both thoroughly angry and scared at the same time. How stupid could I get? I should have realized by the type of questions.

Finally everyone cleared out and a nurse came in and started putting something into my IV. I was still very angry. I stood and grabbed the needle before she could do anything. "What's this?"

She looked at me indignantly. "It's whatever the doctor ordered."

"What doctor?"

"Why Doctor Ambrose, the resident psychologist. It will just calm you down a bit."

"I don't want to be calmed down." I was in quite a quandary. I no longer had any ally. I was hoping for Dr. Krazenski. I had to make myself think.

I finally made a desperate decision. "Could you please see if Dr. Krazenski would come in for a minute before you give me that?" I was trying my best to both calm down and be conciliatory. I was really in trouble. Or at least I believed.

She looked at me a second and held out her hand. I gave her the hypodermic.

A few moments later the doctor came in. I was very leery. He said right out. "Rocco, I am sorry. I did not know he would be here until the last second. Then because hospital policy dictated that you be questioned by him because of the nature of the circumstances, he insisted he be in on the interview."

"But don't I even get the courtesy of knowing about it?" I was getting angry again. But I was desperate. "What's happening out there? It's pretty late. Are my parents still here?"

"They are right outside. They want to talk to you."

"How's Jade doing? They won't tell me much?"

"He's doing fine. May not even develop much scarring. But psychologically he may need a lot of help to get over this."

"Don't worry. He's a fighter and pretty brave. He'll do all right on that score." I fully believed that.

"I really should caution you about that. You can hardly be in a position to judge how he will respond to such a trauma."

"When do you think he might wake up?"

"Well, according to his vital signs, he is now only sleeping. He could wake up any time."

"Thank-you. I have a couple questions. You said earlier today that you wanted to talk to me. Could you tell me why?"

Dr. Krazenski looked at me for a few moments. It looked like he was trying to decide something. "First I have a question for you. If you thought I betrayed you, why did you ask to see me?"

Now I had to make a decision. "Out of shear desperation. I had no other possible ally."

"So I am now an ally?"

"Are you? I desperately need to talk to you, but I more desperately need what I say to be kept secret. Can you promise me that what we talk about is kept in confidence? I know that I'm a minor and my parents may ask you questions, but I can't chance anything I say getting back to them. Otherwise I can't discuss anything with you."

"I'll tell you what. It's getting late. I suggest that we both allow ourselves a night to think on what we need to do and I will see you sometime tomorrow. It's supposed to be another day off, but my long suffering wife will understand."

"Dr. Krazenski, I am very scared. Please believe me. I am exceedingly scared. And I really need someone I can talk to in confidence. I also need to know what the psychologist will do. He will obviously write up some report. Can I see a copy of it, and can it be NOT shown to my parents?"

Dr. Krazenski looked at me with a strange expression. Finally he answered: "You are a remarkably perceptive young man. I will see what I can do. Unfortunately I can make no promises right now. But please, I really am on your side. You have to believe me."

I looked at him and said sardonically: "Yeah, whether I want to or not." And tried to smile.

He left and my parents came back. My Mom started to say something but my father barged right in. "I'd like to know what the hell you were thinking by not calling the police right away when you knew what was happening?"

I think I became momentarily possessed. "Oh, hi Dad, I'm doing fine, and thanks for being concerned. And oh yeah, I was kidnapped, raped, and my life threatened, and thanks for asking how I am." At the end I was almost yelling, and then I just relapsed into crying.

My Mom rescued me. "Oh Carl, can't you see he's upset. Can't you just be happy that he'll be all right? That doctor said that we shouldn't be assessing blame. That's not what's needed now." (Thanks Mom). She came over and hugged me. It felt remarkably good. I needed it right now.

"How ARE you doing?" she asked.

"Actually, considering all that's happened, pretty well. And, please, before either of you get all worried about how I'll react to all that's happened, please believe me. I hurt, and the worst was that I was really scared, but it's all over now." (I was only lying a little. But I really felt I could get over this OK). "What I am really worried about is Jade. He went through so much more than me. And Dad I am sorry. Mom, he's actually right. I made a terrible and stupid blunder. Unfortunately, it is Jade that is suffering most for it right now. So please, we need to help him."

My Dad looked at me with a strange look. When have I ever agreed so readily with what he was thinking? But then he looked over at Jade with a scowl.

I tried appealing to Mom. "Please, Mom, he really needs help now. He has no one now. How do you think he will feel when he wakes up, after going through all this, and nobody to care about him?" I almost started crying again. "He's been my best friend for a couple years, and he needs us now -- real bad. Please!"

"OK Rocco, but I'm not sure just what we can do to help. Juvenile Services will take care of him now."


I didn't have the energy anymore to put up any fight right now. But I sure intended to regroup in the morning. As far as I was concerned, Jade took precedence over everything else.

We talked a bit more. Apparently Dolores and Carl stayed home after all. I hadn't seen them all day. I told Mom that I needed to talk to Dolores some time. There was no phone in the room. I wondered if we could get the TV set from Jade's room for the hospital room. I'd have to ask about it. Remarkably, Dad even made some kind remark before he left. And more remarkably, Mom left me a book that she said Carl had gotten me to read. He had it from the library, but still amazing for Carl to even do something like that. It was a Science Fiction by Hal Clement called The Needle. I told her to thank him. And just as they were starting out the door, Mom looked back and said: "In all this terrible confusion, I almost forgot. Dolores said to say hello to Jade. Do you know what that's all about?"

I laughed. (Well, I wasn't going to cry). "Just a private joke Mom. Thanks."

This time the nurse came back in. Someone must have gotten Jade's hooks; she put them on the counter. She left for a moment and then came back with a couple small clear bags. She checked Jade first and hung one of the bags and somehow connected it to his IV. She came over and did the same to mine. I now saw that the new stuff was connected by way of some valve gizmo. "This is an antibiotic to help stave off any infection. You will also be given something to keep your stools soft. And I know this will be embarrassing for you, but I have to see if you have any additional bleeding from your sutures." It WAS embarrassing. I hope Mom can also get my pajamas. Of course Jade might like the view my current wardrobe afforded.

"How's Jade doing?" I kept asking that question.

"Pretty good. His fever is not high, indicating no infection, his heart rate and blood pressure are down, indicating he's not feeling too much pain, and he didn't need stitches -- anywhere."

I was almost in shock. "Didn't you just commit nurse treason by telling me?"

She smiled at that. "Telling you what? We were just passing the time of day. And by the way, you two are now famous."

"How's that?"

"You don't know? Your story made the first thing on the local TV news tonight. Two boys kidnapped and assaulted. Thankfully they didn't describe the assault. And also your names weren't used. But Jade's uncle's name was, along with some news shots of him being arrested at his house this afternoon. He gave quite a fight and the cameraman got a lot of it. It's amazing; the cameraman got there before the police and was waiting."

I gave a little chuckle. "The policeman this afternoon said he hoped Uncle Mike, I mean the man they arrested would resist arrest." She even smiled at that. And I thought maybe I could get her to do a favor. "Could I have something to drink besides water and more important can I sit by Jade for when he wakes up?"

"I tell you what. I'm the duty nurse in charge. Why don't you stay in bed and I promise I will wake you when he wakes up. How's that? You need your sleep too." She sure seemed nicer than the nurses I remembered from my last visits to the hospital.

I really WAS exhausted in spite of sleeping several hours that afternoon. As soon as she left, I got the book Carl had Mom bring, and opened it to the last couple pages. OK, you caught me. But I always make sure a book has a happy ending before I invested so much time in it. I CAN'T STAND un-happy endings. What's the point of writing the story in the first place?

Wow. I was asleep before I even got my drink. Of course, I only realized this when at about 2 AM, the same nurse woke me up. "This is also against the nurse's code of conduct, but I am moving your bed next to Jade's so you can talk. He's been asking about you. He just woke up a while ago."

"Thanks." A few moments and a small bed ride later and we were talking. Mostly at first, about how are you and so on. Jade said his back wasn't too bad anymore. Maybe it was still the pain medication. I told him what the doctor and nurse said, so he was a bit relieved.

I was sure glad I could finally really talk about some of this stuff. "And it's my poor butt hole that hurts me the worst. Damn, did that hurt. And I feel so guilty Jade. Please, I have to tell you this before I chicken out. I can't believe it, but when he was strapping me onto that table thing, I was hard. I was sexually excited. I know that's gross, and I feel really guilty about it, but I sort of liked what was happening for a while. Until all the pain started. I'm really sorry Jade. I feel that I sort of betrayed you." I was crying by now.

Jade was quiet for a while. A long while.

"Jade, you going to answer? Please forgive me! Please say you forgive me!" I was really getting upset.

"Hay, White-boy, it's not that. I was just remembering what you said yesterday. Damn was it just yesterday? Well anyway, I was remembering when you told me so readily that you'd forgive me a hundred times if you had too. I was thinking then how I couldn't understand how you could do that. Well now I know. Please! I would do the same for you. Of course I forgive you. Please don't even think of it again." And then Jade was quiet for a good while.

"Hay Jade, you fall asleep?"

"Yeah, White-boy, and I'm dreaming I got the best boyfriend in the world."

"Oh yeah? And who is he?"

We both started giggling.

Jade finally said quietly: "You know I was just thinking. Just how much did you really enjoy getting tied up?" And he chuckled a bit. But I realized he was being half-serious.

I was almost afraid to answer. I really liked it when Jade took charge. Even when he became quite physical. Especially when he started forcibly holding my arms and stuff. Was something wrong with me? Should I like these things? But I took a chance. "I think it would depend on who's doing the tying."

We both kept our own thoughts for a while. I was hard as a rock just thinking about things.

Then we got into everything else. I filled Jade in about everything. The police, the interrogation, Dr. Krazenski, my parents, and then last, my real worries about that stupid psychologist. Actually I was afraid he WASN'T stupid. I told Jade about my worries especially since he asked the wrong questions. That is, "wrong" if we were to keep our secret.

Jade was on his stomach, and his head was turned awkwardly to see me. He asked: "So what do you think? Does he suspect?"

"Sometimes, I'm so stupid. Jade I'm sorry. I thought he was a policeman. By the time I found out it was too late. The questions he asked really seemed to indicate that he suspected something was going on. And unfortunately it's my big mouth again. I said some things I wouldn't if I'd know he was a shrink. Sorry Jade."

"Actually it'd be worse for you I guess, than me. I don't have any parents to worry about. Or even my uncle now."

That got to me and I started crying again. Damn. Almost 16 and I cry at the drop of a hat. "Sorry Jade, I just wasn't thinking again. The thing now is what the hell will happen to you? I can't stand to be separated. Or you to go to one of those horrible boy's homes. We have to find you a foster home. And fast."

"I would be lying, if I said I wasn't worried. This is exactly what I was most worried about. But we can't do anything now. I guess we just have to hope for the best. But damn it, White-boy, I'm really scared."

"I'm scared for you. I promise you this. Maybe I can't really do anything. But whatever is in my power, no matter what, I will do to help you."


"And one more thing. Please, Jade, please don't try to hide things from me again. We really need each other now more than ever."

"Don't worry. I won't make that mistake again. Sorry."

"I do have one real small hope. I can't say completely why, and I know I said he betrayed me, but I really think Dr. Krazenski might actually want to help us."

"Do you mean that he already knows about us?"

"No." Then I thought about what he said. "Well, I'm not exactly sure. But he's pretty smart. And he kept looking at me funny. But I don't really know. He said he'll talk to me this morning. You want to be with me?"

"That's up to you. What do you think?"

"Well if we tell him the whole problem he will have to be told everything. I just don't know if I can trust him not to tell anyone else, especially my parents. Since we aren't 18 yet, we have no legal rights. I looked it up."

"What ever the hell made you even think to look that up?"

"When we were at St. Joe's that last time. I remembered passing the law section and when we had about a half hour free, I wanted to find out about if my parents could put me into an institution without my permission. And unfortunately they can. They just need a doctor's order."

"Damn, that sucks."

"I second that."

"So anyway, teenagers have NO rights. A convicted murderer has more rights that we do. Your uncle right now has more rights than we do."

"I wonder if they caught him yet."

"Oh, I meant to tell you. They arrested him this afternoon. I guess I mean yesterday afternoon. It must have been pretty soon after we got to the hospital. They got him just as he got back to your house. He tried to put up a fight. He's charged with kidnapping, and assault. Nobody mentioned sexual assault."

"Damn, you know what happens to us if they do, don't you?"

Now I was perplexed. "What do you mean?"

"Well, anything sexual, no matter who's really at fault. It always winds up being the victim's fault as well."

"I hope you're wrong." But I realized we had another worry.

"I do too."

"Our names weren't mentioned."

"Well it wouldn't take a genius."

I was getting real tired, and I was just ready to say something when Jade said it for me. "Well, whatever happens, we have each other."

I looked around, and then leaned over and kissed Jade. "Thank you Jade. You are half my soul."

I didn't know when it happened, but my bed was back in the morning. Somewhere along the line I had fallen asleep.

Amazingly, the cops beat everyone else into the room that morning. Even breakfast. They started right in on Jade. But he was prepared. He gave only bare bones answers. I could hear everything. I guess they didn't care that I could overhear. When they were done, breakfast arrived. (Well the stuff they were calling breakfast). I was starving five minutes later. Maybe someone could slip me a couple soft pretzels and mustard later on. Funny what you crave at times.

My parents showed up next. It was a Thursday, so my Dad must have stayed home from work. That was pretty amazing. All the usual solicitations. This morning Dad didn't even blame me for anything. Maybe Mom and he had a talk last night. I hoped it wasn't a fight. Carl and Dolores and Mariann also showed up. I was actually glad to see everyone. Hospital life was boring.

I finally got up my courage, and asked. "Dad, do you think you could go over Jade's house and get his TV set? It's pretty boring here all day and they said he'll have to be here probably five more days, and maybe a week."

He looked really annoyed. But it was Mom who answered. "We'll see. If the police say we can get into his house." Damn, I hadn't thought of that.

"Thanks Mom."

Carl actually had another book. "In case you didn't like the other one. This one's by Robert Heinlein, Door Into Summer. You said you liked time travel stories." I was amazed that he cared enough to have remembered that. I was thinking I was going to have to rethink some things about my brother. I asked if there was anything else in the news about what happened to us but didn't get much information. We then talked about Mariann missing her birthday. And then about stuff that didn't really matter. Like everyone was afraid to talk about what happened.

Dolores came back a few minutes after everyone else left. "You guys listen. Mom's probably looking for me already. I said I was going back to the car."

Dolores walked up to my bed and said: "Rocco, and you too Jade, are the stupidest boys in all the world. Of course that's not saying a lot. Girls at least would have had more common sence. Rocco, that was the stupidest thing you have EVER done. How could you POSSIBLY have expected to get away with that? This guy is sick. He don't think normal!"

We were both a bit agog. "Well,. . ." That's all the further I got.

"At the very least you should have told me, or someone, so when you didn't come right out of the house, someone would know something was wrong. Mom was in hysterics last night. You could have been killed! And she and Dad argued again." I translated that to mean they had a big fight again. I felt sick about that.

"Tell Mom we're sorry. I already told Dad I knew we were stupid."

Dolores looked back probably to make sure no one was coming yet. "Well, she's pretty calmed down this morning. I think Dr. Krazenski gave her something last night. You know every time you get yourself hurt, Mom is twice as bad off as you. And I hope you realize that you are her favorite!"

Now I was stunned. "You can't know that. And it can't be true anyway."

"For someone so smart, you can be really stupid. Rocco, Mom has ALWAYS favored you. You can tell how she always gives in to you and how she always defends you to Dad. She sure don't do that for me. Of course you get into twenty times more trouble, so you need a lot more defending."

"I don't know how you can be so sure. I always feel she never listens to me."

"Well, she has trouble listening to anybody. But that don't mean she don't care for you."

"Well, maybe."

Jade finally piped in: "Dolores, what's everybody saying? Does anyone know what was done to us?"

"I don't think so. Only the family. I listened in when somebody was talking to her on the phone. And I probably don't know everything. I also know the neighbors don't know. They were asking Mom this morning. Mom just said you guys were hurt but that's all. Wow, you guys made the news last night. They didn't mention your names though. But we knew the story was about you guys."

Jade was a bit relieved. He said: "I just hope no one finds out. Ever. I can live without that."

Dolores looked over at Jade as if she were seeing him for the first time. She finally asked him: "Rocco says he loves you. Do you love him?"


"That's it? Just yes?"

"Well, what do you want me to say? We are serious. We plan on being married."

Dolores twisted up her face. "Sorry, that really takes getting used to. I can't really understand yet. But I'm trying."

Jade responded: "Thanks, Dolores. You've always been nice to me. And I'm grateful."

Dolores turned to me. "But you're Mom's favorite. I don't know how she'll take it."

"Hopefully I won't have to tell her. Well not for a least a couple years yet."

"Look, I won't tell. But if you two keep looking at each other like you are now, everyone will suspect in nothing flat."

I wanted to talk more but Dolores said she'd probably be in trouble already. She left.

Both books Carl brought were interesting.

Later that day I got real worried when I was "taken for exercise," while the shrink talked to Jade. When I came back it was all done. It went a lot faster than for me.

"Well, how'd it go, Jade. With the shrink I mean?"

"No sweat, I hope. You're not the only one who can lie. Well, remarkably I never actually lied a whole lot. I tried not to do that. But boy did I make sure that I emphasized certain things, and didn't say others." And then Jade started laughing.

"What's so funny?"

"Well, I kept pretending I was so worried about my back. If it scars. Finally he asked me point blank why I was so worried. Well, I told him that I wanted to look good for the girls. He actually wrote that down. I also took your advice. I played dumb when he asked me about you. I even once asked him how come he kept asking such dumb questions about you. I even hinted that we couldn't ever be really close friends because you were white. He even went red when I intimated I didn't like him either!"

I started laughing. "I'm relieved. I hope he forgets about the whole thing concerning us."

Dr. Krazenski finally came back later that afternoon. "Sorry Rocco, but I had to wait until Dr. Ambrose could see me. And for that I had to wait for him to write up his report. I have bad news but I also have ultimately, for you that is, good news. Let me get right to the point." Just then a nurse entered. She did a few things with the IVs and then left.

I started to panic at him saying "bad news." I really couldn't handle that kind of suspense.

He continued: "Now, let's just cut to the chase, I really don't have the time to be cute, and I need really straight answers. If I don't get them, I can just as easily go home and watch the ballgame. I assume I should be talking to the two of you?"

Now I got worried for different reasons. I looked over at Jade, but he didn't know what we should do. I asked: "Please, doctor. Can we assume that anything we say here never gets to my parents?"

"Now before you start to panic, let me completely finish. To answer your question bluntly, no. Because I have to act ethically. However, I do know your family situation and anything that is mentioned concerning sexual identity will remain between us. Is that blunt enough?"

Damn. "I guess we should have known. OK, I don't see any other choice. And we definitely need help." I looked over at Jade.

Jade looked at me and then at the doctor: "You're the doctor."

"Good. Now I have a lot to cover so please pay attention. First I will say that my talk with Dr. Ambrose was both instructive to me and fruitful for you. I convinced him, being your long time family physician, with credentials in the field of adolescent psychology, that it was in your best interest that he give me all his notes and reports and that I should continue with whatever therapy or recommendations as I deemed necessary, after you are discharged from the hospital." He saw our expressions. "I see by your expressions that something I said surprised you."

All I said was: "Adolescent psychology?" I looked at Jade and he was thinking the same thing.

"Yes, didn't know that did you? Anyway what this means, you are all mine!" And he smiled at some private joke apparently. "Also you too Jade. Dr. Ambrose's report on you was pretty slim. I got the distinct impression he really didn't care to work with you. You must have really rubbed him the wrong way!" Jade and I both started laughing.

"I detect I am missing something."

Jade answered. "I made sure of it."

Doctor Krazenski looked at him a second and smiled. "I am sure you did. I see you two must have had a long and fruitful talk last night. Whatever you did Jade it worked. But let me continue in an orderly manner."

"First, I will paraphrase some of Dr. Ambrose's reports first for you Rocco, and then a few sentences for Jade. That should suffice. Dr. Ambrose wrote: `Rocco exhibits all the symptoms of an inverted and arrested psycho-sexual development.' That means he has determined that you are a homosexual." He looked at me to see how I was reacting. "I see that comes as no surprise. You were remarkably insightful last night about his questions, Rocco. And you were indeed, correct to be worried. Any trained individual could easily see your profound affection for Jade. To put it in layman's terms, you are obviously in love with him."

I started to get all excited. I wondered where he was going with this. My big lie just got exploded to smithereens. But Doctor Krazenski put me off.

"Don't get all excited, Rocco. Remember what I said last night. I'm on your side. To continue." Dr. Krazenski consulted some notes. "`Rocco's immature and inverted affection for his friend, Jade Brown, (see folder #-------), could be deemed akin to an adolescent infatuation. As it is assumed that no constructive nor mature relationship can be achieved by said individual so long as he remains in this arrested stage of psycho-sexual development, extensive therapy is recommend with the goal of correcting this abnormal neurotic condition, along with any further neurotic tendencies that must necessarily come to light.'"

I tried to state my objections, but was forestalled, by Jade. "What it says, Rocco done need therapy to correct his sickness liking boys."

"Crude, but succinct. Many psychologists subscribe to the theory . . ."

I interrupted. "Please, doctor, both Jade and I know all that bullshit. We read enough of those stupid theories in a number of books over the winter. I find it noteworthy that almost all the people in those "studies" were already in psychiatric care, or in prison. Using the same methods of acquiring your sample, I bet you could conclude that all heterosexuals were also neurotic. But more important, what do you believe?"

"I believe that something obviously has happened to both of you to cause this condition. However, I've been recently investigating just this precise phenomenon. I have also been in correspondence with a few psychologists who now believe that homosexuality is neither a legitimate psychological diagnosis -- and for you this means it isn't anything to be cured -- nor something that can be changed, at least in many people. But the wheels of psychiatric medicine turn slowly."

"I don't think I am divulging a confidence, but Nestor and I talked about this on many occasions. His father specifically sent him to the states to get him away from what his father described as an unhealthy influence. The unhealthy influence referred to was another boy. Nestor and this boy had gotten very close. Nestor was mostly all teenage boy and liked to have his fun, but he really had a mature understanding of his sexuality. He didn't try to hide his homosexuality, but neither did he advertise it. He didn't say anything at school for obvious reasons. The good fathers wouldn't have been so open-minded about it. Nestor and I investigated many things together. A very intelligent boy."

Now I was almost in shock. I interrupted. "I wish he could have told me. I had such a crush on him last year. What's he doing now? He hasn't answered my recent letters."

"His father has shipped him off to another province. He is now happily in charge of that area of the family interest. He is also back with the same boy that his father tried to separate him from."

"I'm so glad."

"Well, let us return to the subject at hand. Because of Nestor I investigated all the latest findings and theories. Some now claim that in fact, one's sexual orientation is not only determined at a very early stage of development, but may possibly be largely genetic or chemical in origin. I can see by your expressions that that remark has struck home. We are almost finished here. I will of course keep all this between ourselves. I see no constructive outcome in divulging any of it to anyone, especially not your parents." The doctor smiled as he saw my expression. "I can see you are greatly relieved."

Now he looked over at Jade. "For you I need only a few moments. You will be glad to know that you successfully hoodwinked the good Dr. Ambrose. I am happy to tell you that his report on you, that must necessarily be sent onto whatever agency finally takes charge of you, that you are a healthy, though somewhat narcissistic, heterosexual. In other words, perfectly normal for your age and background. In addition I might add, you have an inherent and suppressed instinctual animosity towards white people."

It took a few moments, but Jade and I looked at each other and started laughing. I finally said: "I knew it nigger. I knew it all along. You hate my white guts." He smiled. Dr. Krazenski didn't know what to make of my remark at first. But then Jade replied. "Don't have the faintest idea what yo talkin' `bout, honky. I just LOVES white people. I even have one for a fren'." And we both laughed again.

Dr. Krazenski finally interrupted. "I must now get back to my wife. I send her a photo of myself every week or so, so she can remember whom she married. Anything else we need to discuss at this point?"

I looked at Jade and he just shrugged. So I looked at the doctor. It couldn't hurt anyway: "Actually there is one very important thing. And now it's probably the MOST important. Jade has no hands. This was difficult at best when he had someone to help him all the time. And he is frightened out of his wits about how he can survive unless we can find a good foster home for him. I know enough about any boy's homes from my cousin, he'd be in terrible trouble there, if not outright danger. And the only other alternative is the Gerard School and that is even worse. Is there anything you can do? I know that the state has all the authority, but is it possible you can be of any help in finding someone he can live with, at least until foster parents are found?" I was almost in tears. The more I thought about it, the more frightened I got. I was starting to understand the real extent of Jade's fear. "Please, and if anyone finds about either what his uncle did to him, or that he is homosexual, he will be a target for everybody."

Jade was even shaking by now. He hugged me, as he realized I was starting to really comprehend his terror.

Dr. Krazenski then pleasantly surprised us. "Don't give up hope yet. And this time don't do anything rash. I will see what I can do. I do know a few people. And I volunteer my time at a couple of these boys' homes as a family doctor and psychologist. I'm well aware of the running conditions in those places. I do have credentials as I have indicated. I can't make any promise, but I will see what I can do."

I looked at Jade and smiled. There was hope. We made that silent communication.

The doctor stood up, looked at his watch, and said: "Damn, she'll kill me again." He looked up at us. "One last thing, I will be glad to talk with you in the future. What you two just went through is traumatic and you will need to talk about it from time to time. One of the strongest allies you two will have, however, that will help you get through this, is the obvious affection you have for each other. In addition, I would like someday to use you two in a monograph concerning sexual orientation. I hope you might agree to this. Good luck."

And he rushed out. I was certainly feeling better. Of course the worry was still there, but now we had some hope.

Dinner was brought to our room. That's the only positive thing I could say about it. Jade and I started discussing a number of things. He mostly sat in a chair now with the chair turned backwards. His back was so sore yet. The nurse changed the bandages and said everything was looking good. After she left I remarked: "Thank goodness he didn't get your bottom very much. I couldn't stand it if it weren't cute anymore."

"Look, White-boy. I would respectfully request you refrain from sexual innuendo, `til I can do something other than just sit here!"

"Innuendo? Even in the hospital, you're continuing our contest? And you're starting to talk like Mr. Alexander." I was almost smiling.

"Holy smoke, that just came out; I think I'm getting erudite."

And we both laughed, but he laughed last when I said he gained two more points. I didn't know either word.

"And just who is starting to talk like my father?" That was asked by Jimmy who had just entered the room. We just got blindsided by the Alexander family. They were all here. I was really happy to see them. They were the closest I knew to the perfect families you see on TV. But they were real. And Stan walked in right behind them.

I laughed. "Jade started using a whole bunch of hundred dollar words. And it made me think of your father. All with proper respect of course."

Mr. Alexander laughed. "Thank you for the kudos, I'm sure they were sincere." And he turned. "Jimmy, you have that newspaper?"

Jimmy brought over today's Bulletin. "You guys are famous. Front page and all. I thought you might want to read about yourselves. It doesn't use your names but it IS obvious."

Mrs. Alexander chimed in: "We were sure shocked to find out that the boys assaulted by the man in the news last night were you two. I hope you are doing OK." She looked over to Jade. "Oh my dear, how is your back? Those bandages look gruesome."

Mr. Alexander looked at his wife as if to say; "You don't have to remind him about it." But he then smiled and actually said: "The paper was very unspecific as to the nature of the assault, but I got very curious when Jimmy was certain that this Mr. Mike Brown was indeed, your uncle."

Jade and I looked at each other. Should we tell anyone?

Especially the Alexander's? We ESP'd a message of no to each other. So I changed the subject: "Thanks for coming over. There's nothing to do in this room. My brother brought a couple books for me but that's it." My ESP must have been running on all cylinders.

At the very moment Mrs. Alexander picked up a large shopping bag and pulled out a billion items. It was Mr. Alexander who spoke however: "We picked up a few things on our way over here. The Merry Shoppe proved quite helpful. There are numerous activity books, puzzle books, brain puzzler books, and a number of your usual games. Let's see." And he proceeded to leaf through some of the items. "Sorry, Backgammon, Checkers, Parcheesi, Monopoly, and several more." He smiled his typically restrained smile. Jimmy kept grabbing things and looking at them himself. Finally Stan spoke up. "I hope you can get back in time. We have the ultimate tournament set up in a few weeks. Even Jablonski, Walker, and the Robinsons are getting interested. I haven't been able to get a hold of Franny Simpson yet. I'm working on it. (These were all boys I'd played with for a number of years). Teague is enlisting several guys from his neighborhood."

Stan looked at Jimmy who continued. "Joey also called and he said a number of guys there are practicing. Rocco, you started a monster."

That really made me feel good. I was hoping that Jade would be able to attend. Who knew where he'd be by then. We looked at each other and I saw he was thinking this too. But it was he that answered: "Hope to make it. Sounds great. I get this cast off in a few more days. And the doctor says I should be good as new by then."

I could see by Mr. Alexander's look, he thought the cast was from the recent assault. "So soon?"

Jade lifted his cast. "Oh, this is from an accident I had a while ago."

We talked only a short time further. When they left I was caught up in my own thoughts for a moment, and then could hear Jade quietly crying behind me. I turned and went to him. He was back sitting on his bed, and was trying unsuccessfully to untangle his IV line. He normally didn't let things like that frustrate him so easily. I fixed it, and hugged him. "I know. But I'm with you remember."

Copyright 2006 by Rocco Paperiello