Two Boys

Rocco Paperiello


This is the final Part IV of a four part story. (See Part I for Index). It is a story 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? Find a different story. Or perhaps read on; you may be persuaded to think differently.

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 six. I definitely don't want the thought police after either of our butts.

Please, this story is sort of my property, so if you ever want to quote some of it, please e-mail me and also give proper attribution.

Note that an author welcomes any feedback. Constructive criticism is appreciated, and all e-mails will be answered.

Rocco Paperiello

PART IV -- Graduation and College

Chapter 92b -- Events Out of Control

I was almost in shock myself when I first found out from Rocco what had transpired that Sunday after the carnival at our school. Rocco blamed it all on me. I was at first aggravated at his remark but when he started saying something about the piece of pizza being instrumental in the subsequent argument with his father, I realized he was making a bad attempt at humor. Rocco was supposed to be over that Sunday afternoon to help go over some review notes for the finals the coming week. And `other' things of course. Tim was being quite a monster that day and I could have had help there too. I wasn't too worried though, a couple of times in the past relatives suddenly showed up on Sundays and Rocco had to stay at home. But this time he never called. Finally I decided to get Tim out of the house before he was killed by any one of us. We collected Billy and that helped. But Tim was still getting quite rambunctious when he had `nothing to do,' as was his now common compl aint. So we went to the park near the falls playing with his Frisbee as everybody now calls them. They had actually been around for quite a while but for some unknown reason they were suddenly making a comeback and started being the new rage.

Of course I only realized what Tim was doing when it was about five seconds too late. Tim was pretty good with the thing, and kept tossing it so Billy kept chasing it back further and further towards the edge of the creek right where it started over the falls. The last toss carried it just to the brink and when Billy lunged back for it -- `ka-splash'! Billy not only fell part way into the creek, he got totally `mucked-up.' And then started yelling. Tim was instantly repentant but couldn't at first understand just why Billy was so upset. Neither did I at first.

"But I'm gonna' get killed! I didn't change my pants after church. I was in a hurry to meet you guys."

His pants were quite a mess. I was wondering how we could clean them up and then get them to dry.

"But you don't understand. They can't be just washed. They need the cleaners."

Shit! And Tim was now all contrite and was so upset he even confessed to his best friend what he'd been doing with the Frisbee. Fortunately Billy was such an easygoing kid he didn't get that mad at Tim. He was just so upset over the prospect of getting `killed' at home.

Finally we got back to the Webster's, snuck upstairs, and got him into a pair of Tim's old pants. (Mr. Webster was asleep in front of the TV set with the baseball game on). They were just a trifle big but this was an emergency. It was now funny watching Tim. He kept trying to make Billy feel better and kept offering to do things for him. But that seemed only to get Billy upset even more.

"Look Tim, the only thing that will help is if my pants were suddenly clean."

Then Tim seemed to get an idea. He went to a drawer in a table he used as his desk and got out a couple of dollars. That was quite a lot of money for Tim.

"Sorry Billy. I can't stand you mad at me none. How if we bring them to the cleaners tomorrow? I'll pay!"

Billy I could see was having quite a conflict.

"I never lied to my Mom before."

But Tim was as smart as Rocco kept saying. "You don't haf'a lie none. You can just put them back in your closet." Then after a pause he added: "Or even if you have ta say somethin' to your Mom, at leas' you can make it better by sayin' you'd got them clean again."

Billy was feeling better. And it worked out pretty well. Later he said his Mom wasn't even that mad.

"Mom said she liked me taking the `nishitive to get them clean."

If only all problems could be so easily solved. I met Rocco that Monday morning ready for school and right away I knew something BAD had happened. He's usually able not to cry anymore when he's so upset but he still can't hide anything.

"My parent's found out I wasn't going to our church anymore."

He said that right out of the blue and at first I didn't understand. But then he explained everything. And then I saw something in my White-boy I'd never seen before. And it`s hard to put into words. It's like he almost became a sort of different person. I thought he'd be all upset and keep trying to `explain' things like he does sometimes, but this time he acted so different.

"I need you so bad now Jade. I'm losing my family and I need you so bad." And now he started leaking some tears and I gave my White-boy a big hug. I was so scared thinking maybe somehow his folks found out about us. But then he started explaining. And the more I heard, the more I couldn't understand how anyone could get THAT upset about going to a different church.

"You don't understand Jade. Catholics, or I guess really fanatical Catholics like my parents, going to a different church is like treason. And you're now going to hell."

He tried to explain more but I still couldn't quite understand. I finally asked: "So you're not supposed to see me anymore? So what are you really going to do?"

And then he did something that completely surprised me. He even smiled. And I was sure glad he smiled or I don't know what I would have first thought when I heard his words.

"Well, first we need to get our marriage annulled. Then I will clothe myself in sackcloth and ashes and do a year of public penance. After that I'm not sure yet."

I was sure glad I knew he was joking, or I'd a' been scared. But this was NOT the White-boy I thought I knew.

"You don't sound as upset as I'd expect?" I made it into a question.

"You can't know HOW upset. But I'm just determined no one will stop us from carrying out our plans."

I have to admit I had gotten quite worried about that. There was still a small part of me which kept worrying that somehow something will eventually happen to destroy everything. And in spite of Rocco saying that that was the `colored' part of me thinking, I thought it more complicated than that. Although I suspect he was at least partly correct.

We got to school and we were almost late because of talking about all this stuff. One thing he did say which almost shocked me was his intention to leave his parents' house.

"They've made it impossible for me to live there any more Jade. My Dad said I can't even work for my uncle this summer. I've just decided that I can't do that. I mean do what my Dad says. I have to figure things yet, but somehow I'm moving out as soon as school's over."

I was a bit stunned. I was thinking about my losing a couple homes and it ain't easy. Then I got this selfish idea. "You can move in with me. We're married after all. That's where you belong."

We both smiled.

"Not sure exactly what I will do. I need to find out stuff. Like how can I live somewhere else without my parents not forcing me to do what they want?"

I suddenly realized that since Rocco wasn't yet 18, his parents still `owned' him so to speak. Remembering about what happened with my uncle and having to get foster parents and all, I remembered someone telling me that my uncle in prison still had more rights than I did before I turned 18.

All that week I kept being more surprised how well Rocco seemed to be doing. I mean considering. He barely passed some of his finals but said he didn't care. He also said he'd seem Twain's Mom about lawyer stuff and said he'd even gotten an apartment. I tried to talk him into moving in with me again but he argued that it was better to show everyone he could live on his own.

"And besides, it's just a couple of blocks down from the Webster's. We can still spend our evenings and nights together."

We both started work two days after graduation. The speech Rocco gave at the graduation ceremony was quite short and was an appeal for love and tolerance. I could feel his emotions all through it. A lot of other people could too. In fact he was crying during the last few sentences. And I could see Father McNeil have this questioning look on his face the whole time. I learned later that both speeches had been typed up a week earlier and apparently this wasn't even close to the speech that had been `approved.'

The day after we graduated I got with Dan and we drove Rocco to Sears and got some luggage. We waited outside his house while he was packing. My heart ached thinking what he was going through.

Even thought he had his own place which I helped him fix up, he still was with me at the Webster's a lot. That very first night I lay in bed with him the entire night and we fell asleep just holding onto each other.

And we started work at his uncle's warehouse the very next day. Although I was in the office and he was out in the warehouse most of the time. Rocco was quite at home riding that big forklift. And he was frequently at job sites, especially the two big ones, with the small fork distributing materials to specific locations. There was a new machine for that this year his uncle was trying out. Not only could it move things around but it had this huge arm which could lift things up two stories.

Last year after using the small forklift for a week, his uncle let Rocco try the big one. I couldn't believe how he was able to move that huge thing around without hitting anything. Especially with a full bundle of lumber on it. The thing was quite something. You could go in straight and lift an entire bundle, then turn the entire fork 90 degrees and carry it off to the side. His uncle, I found out later, would only let a certain few people use the thing. Rocco was a little kid on a big machine and was in kid heaven. His Aunt Valley was quite nice and she taught me their entire inventory system that first week. But this Summer there was something new. Because two of the sites were positively huge, they had their own inventory system right there on site. I went out with Rocco's uncle at least twice a week to each of them to make sure everything tallied with what we had in the office. I also now kept better track of all vehicle and equipment allocations

Strange but when off work Rocco seemed to want to be with Tim almost as much as I did. It was a couple of weeks later or so when he showed me again that he was this different person.

"You know Jade, except for my Mom and Dolores, I think I will miss Tim the most. And guess what? I'm eating with my family tomorrow."

I was surprised: "You mean your folks are letting you live there again?"

"I wish. No. But I just called up my Mom the other day and we talked a lot. She still can't understand but she loves me anyway. She said so. And then invited me to dinner. She said that Dad wouldn't say anything as long as I didn't aggravate him. Meaning so long as I don't talk about religion. . . . Or you."

The old Rocco would have been more inclined not to show up at all. To avoid any possibility of a confrontation. But this was the bolder model. And I liked it better.

I caught a big ordering mistake at work that next week just before it was almost too late to do anything and I got a bonus in my pay check. I was quite proud. Rocco and I took Tim and Billy to the amusement park that Sunday and there went the bonus. Consuela and Dan went too so we had transportation. Allen was working overtime on a big deal with Sears. Seems like they were trying to figure out about opening some new stores and closing others.

Things were going quite well but I realized as the summer progressed I started worrying about some of my friends, especially Joey, and what would happen when they eventually found out that Rocco and I were a couple. Especially Joey. I started to tell him quite a few times about Rocco and me but I kept chickening out. Sure, I mentioned that I was raised Baptist, but I barely was one. Now Joey, he carried his Bible with him every Sunday and Wednesday evenings, and was steeped in their entire ethic. And being gay was WRONG. End of discussion! Thinking back on it I am amazed all over again how my Mama was able to think different.

And Mrs. Webster. Maybe having a gay kid helped. But there were still plenty of kids in fear of being kicked out of their `religious' households. I thought it quite ironic that the kids would have been better off raised by non-religious parents.

I only threw in that last paragraph trying to sidetrack you. So you wouldn't remember that I'd chickened out about telling Joey about Rocco and me. When I told Rocco that I was more cowardly then him he smiled.

"You're afraid to tell one person. I'm afraid to tell the whole world!"

I know that his rejoinder wasn't precisely logical but it made me feel better anyway.

Copyright 2007 by Rocco Paperiello