Chapter 3


Written By: Justin Case

Edited By: Ed


September 25, 2001


Disclaimer: This story contains sexually graphic material about gay love, you must be of legal age to read it. By reading this material, you are accepting full responsibility for your actions, as well as stating you are of legal age to view it. This tale is fiction, created by the writer for educational and entertainment purposes; any similarity to actual people, places and events is pure coincidence. If this type of art is not to your liking, right click your mouse and back out of this site. This work is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. ©2001JCPCo


SoapBox®: Hey everyone, how are you all doing? I trust all is well in your lives, and pray that it is. I want to thank the many of you that have been writing and IMing me, welcoming me back. It sure does make me feel good, to know so many have missed my work. I am glad to be here, writing down my thoughts and dreams to share with you, and am truly grateful for your kind words in exchange. If you'd like to write me and don't know the address, it's you can often find me on line, if you'd rather IM me as so many do. I love hearing from you; it keeps things real for me. I also want to thank the people who've recently signed my guest book. If you'd like to view my site, you can find it at

For those of you that have never read my work before, welcome aboard! This is my first attempt at writing a story about real life and the challenges some face. Most of my work to this point has been romance, and very surreal. While I am a romantic at heart, I thought I'd try a stab at something a little different. I hope you like this story, and continue to follow it, as the characters and story develops. Thanks for reading my stuff.

As Always, But not forever, Just, Justin <>


Jeremy was in his senior year at Oakdale High. He was in the top ten percent of his class, and college bound. He was a small-framed boy, who stood about five foot four. He had met the girl of his dreams the year before, but she had a boyfriend. Her name was Joanna; she was a year younger than Jeremy was. They were both avid art students, Jeremy had met her in the Art room where they often went to work on their projects after class.

Jeremy had always struggled with his weight as a young child, since he hit puberty he had trouble keeping slim and trim. Not that he was ever fat, he was rather pudgy. Until he met Joanna and she became his object of affection. When he first saw her sitting in the art room, he weighed in at 130lbs, that was almost a year ago.

He used artwork, and the time the two were in the art room, to flirt with her. Like most teenage boys who suffer from a weight problem, he decided to do something about it. He managed to take off thirty pounds, he felt good about himself, and that came through to Joanna. It was his confidence and his sweet boyhood charm that captured her feelings for him. Not to mention he was an upper class-man, and much more mature than the boyfriend she had when she first met Jeremy. The two started dating about three months after they met, and have been practically inseparable since.

Jeremy wore gold wire frame glasses, the same style that Benjamin Franklin wore. His hair was light brown, and he always kept it short. His brown eyes always gave away his feelings, while he wasn't a boy of many words; he could communicate with mere looks. He was extremely shy and self-conscious, even after he took the weight off; he still suffered from a less than perfect complexion. His blemishes really bothered him. He tried everything to get rid of those nagging pimples, but always had three or four that appeared.

Joanna was a lot more outgoing, that was one of the things that Jeremy liked so much about her. She seemed to have a lot more friends than he did, while she wasn't a social butterfly, she was popular with a lot of the better kids in the junior class. Her sincerity and pleasantness captured his heart. She stood about five foot two. She had long flowing brown hair, much darker than his. Her rounded face was pure white, and looked so soft. Her dark brown eyes were inviting to look at, and her cute smile enchanted most who met her. While she was outgoing, she tended to be soft-spoken, and quite honest with her feelings.

The two young lovers spent hours planning their lives, and talking about their dreams and hardships. Nothing was sacred between them; they shared their most intimate thoughts, fears, and desires.

"Hey, Huggy Bear," Jeremy called out to Joanna as she rounded the corner of same hallway she came up every day at the end of school. The same corner they had been meeting at for the last several months.

"Oh, am I glad to see you, I just got out of Mrs. Richards' class. Have I got some good news for you," Joanna said as she hugged him.

"Really, what is it?" he asked, his voice sounded a little defensive, almost like he thought he had done something wrong.

"You silly, why do you worry so much?. It's not bad news; it's good news. I love you, Jeremy." Joanna gleefully told him as she reached for his hand and the two walked out of the school into the bright autumn afternoon.

"Really, what is it?" Jeremy's voice sounded apprehensive.

"Well, Mrs. Richards says she's going to put our projects in the main bulletin board. You know, the one right in the lobby by the central office?" Joanna was bubbling over with pride.

"Cool." Jeremy's eyes reflected his innermost thoughts.

"I'm sure your parents will come and see it. I know your mother will."

"I know, I just wished I could please my father. Nothing I ever do seems to be right," Jeremy told her as he opened the door to his Buick for her.

"Yeah, your father and my mother ought to get together," Joanna chuckled as she slid into the front seat.

"Hey, Huggy, what do you want to do later? I was thinking of maybe taking you out for dinner," Jeremy sweetly asked her as he sat behind the steering wheel.

"That's cool. Hey, do you feel like seeing a movie after? I'll pay for the tickets and popcorn," Joanna quickly volunteered. She liked spending time with Jeremy, but didn't want him to spend all his money, she often helped pay for their entertainment.

"Sure. Oh darn, I just remembered. My dad and Marty invited me over for dinner tonight. My dad said he has something to tell me. I wonder which one of my grades isn't up to his standards, this time." Jeremy sighed.

"That's OK, we can go to the movies after, and I'll still treat." Joanna reached her left hand to his right thigh as she softly tried to reassure him.

"No, you can come with me to his and Marty's. I'll call him as soon as we get to your house. Then we can go to the movies after," Jeremy reasoned with her, although his real intentions were to have her along as a buffer of sort. Paul could be rather demanding, without his even realizing the effect of his words.

"Oh, Jeremy, look at the pretty colors in the leaves. I love this time of year."

"Yeah, me too. I know, let's go camping this weekend. We can take a drive up to our property in Vermont, and check out all the scenery from the mountains." Jeremy sounded excited as he sputtered the idea out.

"Yeah, I'll ask my sister. My mother is working all weekend, I won't see her because of her shift." Joanna knew that her older sister was a pushover.

When they got to Joanna's house, Jeremy used the phone to call Paul. He wanted to make sure it was OK to bring Joanna with him. Marty answered the phone, after a little hesitation, he told Jeremy that it would be fine. It was the slight delay in Marty's conversation that left Jeremy with the feeling that Marty was just being polite. He didn't care though; he was going to bring Joanna anyway.

"Marty had to think about it, but said you could come," Jeremy told Joanna as he hung the phone up.

"Hey, I got a video, `Matrix'. I know how much you said you liked it. You want to watch it?" she announced.

"Really, you bought Matrix? For me? Oh, Huggy Bear, yeah, let's watch it and cuddle," Jeremy told her, his excitement beamed in his eyes as he kissed her on the cheek.

Joanna got the tape and gave it to him, she decided to make some popcorn. Jeremy took care of starting the VCR and fast-forwarding through all the trailers, as Joanna worked in the kitchen on the snack. The two spent the afternoon cuddling on the sofa and watching Keanu fly around the television.

At six-thirty, they headed to Paul's for dinner. The ride was rather quiet as Jeremy was wondering what his father wanted to talk to him about. Joanna sensed his tension and kept her thoughts to herself as the two listened to the radio.

Jeremy walked up the driveway with Joanna's hand held firmly in his own, he rang the doorbell. He turned and looked her in the eye; the stress he felt was evident. Joanna squeezed his hand and gave him a reassuring smile.

Marty answered the door; he still had on his red shirt and white pants. "Hey, you two, come on in. It's good to see you again, Joanna," Marty fired off his welcome.

He led them through the office that Paul had built. The house originally was a cape, but Paul had converted it into a colonial, and added a garage and the office. The office was added between the old home and the new garage, so unless you went to the front door, you had to enter the house through the office. Paul had grown up in the house, and after his father died decided to convert it, almost as if to get away from the memories the structure held for him.

The office was done in shades of turquoise. The walls were a very soft greenish-blue, almost white, the trim was painted with a bright white semi-gloss paint, while the carpet was commercial grade and a darker shade of turquoise with a burgundy and gold diamond shaped pattern. There was a computer center, a conference table, a bench mounted on one wall, a stereo system with speakers hanging around the wall. The ceiling was an open one with a massive skylight and a ceiling fan. On one wall was a wood stove and brick hearth; on the side of it was a solid oak book closet. The back wall was only a half wall and the top of it was all window that looked out into the backyard where the in ground pool and patio area were.

Jeremy used to spend hours at the computer in the office. That was when they were a family, still together. Three years ago, it seemed so long ago. He had never really felt comfortable anymore when he came into the home. Not since the divorce and Marty moving in, it just wasn't home anymore. For that matter neither was living with his mother and her Leslie, no the only place Jeremy really felt at ease was with Joanna.

"Hey, Buddy, how you doing in school?" Paul asked as the three walked into the kitchen.

"Good." Jeremy gave his one word answer, fearing it might be a loaded question.

"Yeah, we just got our standings. Jeremy is number nine in his class," Joanna bragged.

"That's wonderful, just like your mother, it shouldn't be too difficult be to become number one?" Paul asked, not realizing the pressure he made his son feel, he was just reminiscing about how Allyson had been the valedictorian and making a comparison.

"I'm just happy to be number nine," Jeremy said, his eyes looked to Joanna.

"Well, I'm proud of you no matter what," Paul told him.

"I still remember her speech," Marty offered.

"Whose speech?" Paul quipped.

"Allyson's, her speech to the class."

"That was so long ago, my god, can you believe we have our twentieth reunion coming up this November?" Paul asked rhetorically.

After some more small talk, Paul told Jeremy and Joanna to go ahead and sit in the living room, while he and Marty finished getting dinner ready. Paul was an avid cook and decided to cook at home. He remembered Jeremy's favorite was his steak and lobster, he also made his potato salad, which Joanna loved.

The two young lovers sat in on the sofa, and turned on the television. Jeremy was quiet; he was still feeling unworthy of his father's pride. He thought about how hard he had worked in school to be were he was, and yet his father seemed to want more from him. Joanna knew he was hurting, she held him closely as the two spaced out on MTV.

"Wash up," Paul yelled into the living room.

A few moments later the four gathered around the large oak table in the center of the dining room. A Tiffany lamp hung over the massive table's center from the ceiling. The table was set with the fine china and linen that had been Jeremy's grandmother's. The family dishes were usually kept in the corner hutch that Paul had built into the room and only used for special occasions. The only other piece of furniture in the room was the solid oak buffet that was part of the Pennsylvania House dining set Paul and Allyson bought after Jeremy was born. In the center of the table, two candles had been placed and lit.

The dinner conversation was kept light. It wasn't until Marty served the dessert that Paul told Jeremy he had something to talk about with him. Jeremy felt his heart as it skipped a beat. He looked to Joanna for comfort, and Paul asked her and Marty if they wouldn't mind having their dessert in the living room, so he could talk privately to Jeremy. Marty seemed put out, but Joanna didn't mind at all.

The father and son sat at the dining room table, the one that for many years had been shared with Allyson. Paul looked over to his son; his own heart began to pound as he collected his thoughts.

"Jeremy, I have something to tell you. I really don't know quite how to begin. I don't even know how to tell you what I have to. All I know is that I hope you know I love you, and no matter what you will always love me," Paul managed to say.

Jeremy said nothing, as he looked into his father's face.

"I've talked to your mother, and told her I was going to tell you. I'm sure she'll want to talk to you too."

Jeremy still said nothing.

"Do you remember how poorly your mother and I got along? How unhappy we were?" Paul asked his son.

Jeremy nodded.

"Well, you see, most of the problem was me. I was never happy. I tried to be, but couldn't be. I was trying to be someone I wasn't. Deep down inside I knew the truth, but kept trying to deny it. I guess there is no other way to say this, other than to just come right out with it." Paul held his breath for a second, while he continued to collect his thoughts.

Jeremy just stared at his father.

"I'm gay, Jeremy. Marty and I are both gay." He stopped there, he decided not to tell his son about the upcoming wedding plans. He thought this was enough information to give his son for now.

Jeremy's face went totally blank. He couldn't believe his ears. While he knew some gay people at school, he never imagined his father was gay. He began to wonder what it all meant. He had to think about this, he certainly felt he needed Joanna's input.

Paul continued to look at his son, waiting for a response that didn't come. He worried about what Jeremy thought. While he may have been tactless, he truly loved his son and looked to him for the love in return that any father looks for from his children.

Jeremy finally spoke, "May I be excused? Joanna and I were going to go camping this weekend up in Vermont. Can we use the property?" His voice held no emotion.

"Sure," Paul answered him, baffled by his son's response.

"Thanks, Dad. I love you," Jeremy told his dad, and got up from the table.

"I love you too," Paul said, still confused and wondering what his son was thinking.

Jeremy and Joanna left a little while later. Marty had been on pins and needles the whole time Paul was alone with Jeremy, and until the two teens left. He could hardly contain his thoughts. He and Paul both walked the kids to the door, and the minute it closed, he turned to his lover.

"Well, how'd it go? How'd he take it?" Marty asked.

"I don't know, he didn't say a word. He just asked if he could use the property in Vermont to go camping with Joanna."

"What?" Marty couldn't believe it.

Meanwhile in the solitude of his car, Joanna asked him if he was all right. Jeremy told her he was fine. He also told her he was looking forward to spending the weekend looking at the foliage. The two drove back to her house and collected some clothes and CD's for the trip. Jeremy figured he'd digest what his father had told him before he'd share it with Joanna. Joanna didn't even ask about it, she always gave him his space.


Well, my good friends, there you have it. I hope you liked it. Until the next time.

I'd like to thank my wonderful editor Ed, for all his fine work.

As Always,

But Not Forever,