Learning to love

Part 12

A leavetaking and The Main Event 

[This story was fabricated and created by me, the author.
Any similarity to any real life situation,event, or person(s) is purely of coincidence.
Please do not distribute this story in any way, shape, part, or form without my expressed consent.]

 

I made it to my room. Downstairs was eerily quiet and I admit I crept up the stairs. I took my book bag into the study and sat it next to the desk. I turned my computer on and sat down. Immediately when it booted and messenger connected, I was barraged with IM messages that had been left by the guys in LA. Shit, I thought, I forgot all about the message I had sent them telling about important new from me. As I read the messages, I could see them getting more and more desperate in their questions and demands for me to answer. I made sure to reply to each of them separately, so they wouldn't feel cheated, but it was pretty much the same message and I decided to play a little bit.

Message:

I'm in love with Tommy. He's all I can think of and whenever I'm thinking about him I can't see myself with anyone else. I know this might seem sudden to you all, but he's definitely the one for me. Oh, and I told my dad that I'm gay. He was really cool about it. He knows that I love Tommy too, and he said he's happy for us. It's a little funny that it took me so long to say that I loved him, but now that I know I do, well, I just want to say it all the time. I hope you guys are happy for me! I'll chat you all later. I've got a boyfriend! YEAH!

I sent the message and laughed. None of them knew who Tommy Weber was, but they all knew who Tommy Rinald was. He got the same message everyone else did, matter of fact. I could just see the shocked expressions on their faces when they read that message. Tommy R. would probably pass out...

I had come out to my friends when we were all in the 8th grade. Cheryl and Stephie said they weren't surprised at all. They both knew for years (yeah, right!). Julian actually seemed hurt by the news for all of 5 minutes then he gave me a hug and said he was cool with it and I'd always be his bud. Tommy on the other hand just sat and stared for at least thirty minutes. He was expressionless as he stared and the rest of the group started to get weirded out by him.  He refused to answer them during this time and even refused to answer me, he just stared. When he finally moved, it was to grab my arm and pull me with him. Julian stepped in to get me away from Tommy, but Tommy told him it was none of his business, he was just going to talk to me. Tommy took me a good 20 yards away from everyone else and stopped and looked at me.

"I love you Brent." Were his first words to me? I blinked in surprise and started to ask him something but he stopped me. "I've loved you for so many years; I don't even know when it started. If I were gay I would kiss you right now and ask you to be my boyfriend. No one would make me happier than you could." He looked around us and then back at me. "Right now, all I can think about is how much I wish I were. I sat there and tried to convince myself that I could be gay just for you. Isn't that weird?"

"Tommy I don't know what to say to all that. What you're saying is confusing me and scaring me a little too. Are you telling me that you can't be my friend now that you know? You don't have to be gay to be my friend!" He started shaking his head before I had even finished.

"You don't understand Brent. One of these days I'm going to probably see you with another guy. I'll see you kiss him and he'll be your boyfriend. I don't think I could handle that. How does someone watch someone that he loves kiss someone else? I'd want to kick his ass because your mine." He shook his head. "See what I mean. I'm losing it!"

"Now you really have me confused. Um...Tommy if you really feel that strongly for me, what makes you think your...well...your not gay, or maybe your bi?"

"I thought that maybe I could be bi. I thought about it when you told me you were gay. The problem is that I'm not sexually attracted to you or any other guy. I love you Brent and it's not like a brother, its way more than that!" He looked at me like I might have the answer to it. His face changed when he read my total lack of intuitiveness to answer him. Shit, I couldn't even begin to understand him. "Brent, do you...do you have a boyfriend?"

"No Tommy. I don't have a boyfriend and I think it will be a long time before I even think about looking. I only told you guys because it was bothering me that you all didn't know something so much a part of me." I explained to him.

"Good, because I need time to change." My eyes opened wide and looked intently at him. He chuckled, "I don't mean I want time to make myself gay for you. I want time to be comfortable with thinking about you with another guy before I have to actually see it. Right now I know for a fact, I would fight every guy in Berendo Middle School if I even saw them smile real big at you. If I saw one of them kiss you, I'd probably kill him."

"Tommy you are one freaky guy! I think that's why I let you hang around with me! But don't worry, you have lots of time. Just make sure whoever you think about me with that he's HOT! Oh, and he can't look any thing like Russell!" He and I laughed and then he looked at me with intensity again. "Yeah, Russell." I nodded and then so did he. I asked him if he and I were cool now and he said we were. He hugged me and whispered in my ear, " love you though."...

Tommy had told me over the summer before my family moved to Beulah that he thought he had come to terms with his feelings, and that if I wanted to find a boyfriend, it was ok with him. I remember us laughing our asses off when I thanked him profusely for his permission. I never put it to the test, we moved here.

I turned the computer off and walked to my bedroom, and froze when I heard a knock on the outer door. "'Brent, may I come in?" It was my father. My blood started to thaw at the sound of his voice, I was sure it would be my mother.  I told him to come in and after our hug, "We all need to go down to the family room and have a talk. I already asked Connie to join us there, and your mother is already waiting for us." He obviously saw the dread creeping into me. He put his hands on my shoulders. "No ones going to hurt you son. I won't allow it. You need to say goodbye to your mother and she needs to say goodbye to you. She's known this day would be coming for six months, but I know you just found out this morning. You have me and Connie."

I took a deep breath. "Ok dad, but...can I walk down with you?" I didn't want to walk in to the lions den alone. He smiled and told me it was why he was still waiting for me. I followed behind him as we left my room. Once downstairs, my nerves were taking control of me and I could feel myself shaking. I told my father to wait just before we entered the living room. The family room entrance was just off this room and my knees literally felt like they were knocking together. He turned and stopped with me.

"Brent, there is no need for all of this nervousness. She's your mother, not some stranger that's here to judge you." He gave me a hug and I clung to him. She may not be a stranger, but right now she was Themis, the female Titan, and was about to witness me piss my pants! I had to get this over with, so after one tighter squeeze of my father, I nodded to him and we walked through the living room, into the family room.

My mother was sitting on a loveseat, across the room from the door. She watched my father and I walk in with that same social smile she always wore; it never reached the eyes. Connie was standing behind a couch that formed a part of an L to the left of where my mother sat. My father bent down and asked me to go sit on the end of the couch closest to the loveseat. I looked at him and nodded, then kept my eyes glued to Connie as I walked over. "Connie thanks for being here. Would you like to take a seat next to Brent when he sits down please? There are a few things we all need to discuss and be made aware of tonight." My father asked her. Connie said she would and after hearing this, I almost sprinted to the couch so I could have Connie next to me as soon as possible. I sat down and Connie was at my side immediately. I looked over at her and felt tension flood out of me when she smiled. My father actually went and sat next to my mother. Then he began the opening statement.

"There have been many changes in the family in a short period of time. We all had to make sacrifices when I decided it was in our best interest to move from Los Angeles to Beulah. These sacrifices were more for some of us than others. Brent had to give up the only home he had ever known and also friends were left behind that he grew up with from a toddler until just 3 weeks ago. He had to start a new school as a high school student without even knowing one person from his life in California, and I know this had to be a tough adjustment." He looked at me and said, "I'm very proud that you seem to have made some adjustments and are now more comfortable here. My decision to move, I have already explained to you and I hope with more time that what I hoped to accomplish will reward us all." He then looked at Connie sitting next to me.

"Connie there are many words I could use that would express how valuable you have been to Brent, but the most obvious is love. I don't need to tell you why, you know. What I do need to tell you is thank you. I also want to ask you if you will please stay a part of Brent's family and...and mine for as long as you wish?" I looked at Connie and she turned to look at my father.

"Mr. Stewart, I have one thing that keeps me on this earth and it is my love for Brent. I go, where he goes." I couldn't help myself; I turned to her and grabbed her in a hug. She folded her arms around me and told me she loved me. I told her I loved her too. After our display of affection, I sat back up and looked at my mother. She was looking at me with that smile.

"Very well Connie. Please call me Bill from this point forward. I will not have a member of my family address me like an employer. I have some paperwork that needs your signature, we can take care of it tomorrow, which will transfer funds to any account you wish. As of tonight, your employment is terminated and you are welcomed as part of this family to choose to do as you wish." I looked at Connie and the look of surprise made me chuckle and I grabbed her hand.

"Now we come to perhaps the moment of most change to our family." He looked at my mother sitting next to him and I saw her nod here head. My father slightly cleared his throat and began. "Mary Louise and I are divorced. Six months ago we filed for divorce and with the waiting period prescribed by the state of California, it was effective as of August 15. We have been divorced for 10 days as of today. I spoke to Mary Louise this morning after speaking with you Brent and told her your decision to remain with me. At 14, you had the right to decide which parent you wished to live with. Brent, you and I will need to make a trip to Los Angeles and you will need to swear before a family court judge about your decision, but your mother has asked that you tell her yourself and..." He looked at my mother again and I noticed his eyes momentary contract with anger then they cleared "...she would like to know why in your own words." He had turned to look at me before making this final clarification. Oh shit is what I thought! I was all set for goodbye mommy dearest, see you once a year...maybe, but to sit there with her looking at me and tell her why I didn't want to go with her? Before I bolted, I felt Connie squeeze the hand that I had been holding hers with.

I felt everyone's eyes on me now. I squeezed Connie's hand and let it go. I needed to do this on my own, so to say, and I turned to face my mother. I looked at that false smile she was still wearing and that above all else firmed my resolve. "Mother, this would probably be a much harder decision for me if I was Brandon Weber and you were his mother. You might ask why and it is a simple answer. Carolyn Weber loves her children and they know she does." Keep Tommy out of this I was thinking. No needs to have him become a part of her defense or I might tell more than I want to her.

"Wait a moment sweetie." My mother interrupted me. This was going to be much harder with interruptions. "I love you dearly. You're my son and a mother always loves her son." Ah now I have ammunition. Thanks mommy I thought.

"What mother that loves her son, when called by the school when he is just eight years old, instead of coming herself when she is told he fell at recess and has broken his arm, sends his nanny, instead of coming herself? What mother, when her son is only 11, receives a call from the beach patrol and is told that he is being rushed to the hospital because he had an accident while surfing and almost drown, the only thing that saved his life was CPR given to him my his equally 11 year old female friend, sends his nanny and then does not even come to the hospital for the week he is kept there with a concussion? Dad came to the hospital. Connie slept there until the day I was released." I looked at her and having dredged these memories up, now pissed me off. "The list could go on and on about how more important your gatherings and social events were to you than I was. Saturday was the first birthday party of mine you have ever attended. I'm 14 now. That's 13 years you have not attended a party for me. Do you know something else mother? You did not even talk to me on Saturday, nor did you wish me a happy birthday. That's 14 years that you still haven't done that."

I stood up from my seat and looked at her. My hands were clinched by my side and I felt heat in my face. "I want to live with my father, because I need him. I don't want to live with you because I don't need you. I have Connie, mother. She was there to comfort me, nurse me, kiss me, hold my hand, cheer for me, hug me, care for me, and most of all she was there to love me and I know she loves me. She was there for me EVERY SINGLE TIME!" My mother flinched on each word as I emphasized those last three. I thought about this next part and I was confident in my resolve. "I will leave with you when you go if you can name one time you were there for me when I got hurt. Just one time mother. Anytime. A splinter, a bruise, just one time you were there for me mother." She looked at Connie and then up at my father, who was no longer sitting beside her, but had walked over to stand beside me. She had no reply and I knew she wouldn't. "I hope you have a pleasant flight when you leave and I do not wish you any ill will. You are my mother because you gave birth to me, but Connie is my mother because she made sure I lived and continue to do so. My father is my father because he was necessary in my conception and if I gave him the same option I just gave you, I would be staying with him because of his reply. I know the times he was there for me. They may only have been a couple of handfuls of times. That is more than none." I sat back down and now my mother was being faced by my father, Connie and me. She stood up and smoothed her dress, and I stood as she did.

"Verywe then. I will be leaving tomorrow for LA. I will be living in our house that we have there. If you need to speak to me Brent, please call me whenever you wish. Despite how you may feel, I do love my son and I care for you deeply. I will look forward to the times you can come and have a short visit with me. If everyone would please excuse me, tomorrow will be a busy day and I think it were best if I retire. Goodnight to each of you." She turned and walked out of the family room into the living room and left me standing there with my father and Connie. My mother left me there, and would be leaving me for California tomorrow and she did not even give me a hug or a kiss on the cheek before she left the room. She said I could call her anytime I wished, yet she would look forward to my SHORT visits with her. I looked at my father and dropped into his arms and cried without stopping for at least the next hour. She really didn't care about me. It was obvious. Her last actions, spoke volumes.

Connie kissed me goodnight and left to go to her room. My father was sitting on the end of my bed as I undressed and went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. When I was finished and walked back out he was still there. He had held me as we walked from the family room to my bedroom, with Connie following behind us. I stopped and looked at him. "I promise dad, I'm ok now. It was all the tension and then...her leaving without even hugging me or kissing me goodbye. I don't know why it hit me so hard, but now it's over." He stood up from the bed and came to me.

"Brent I was so proud of you son. I sat there and listened to you as you spoke to her and I was really amazed at how you defended your choice. I also heard when you mentioned my lack of being there for you when you needed me. Your right about what you said. A handful or two of being there for you does not earn me the right to be your father..." I had to stop him.

"Wait, I didn't say that. I didn't say you weren't my father because you were only there a handful of times. I said you did deserve to be my father because your two handfuls beat her none." He was shaking his head.

"It may not be how you feel about it, but it is how I feel about it. Son, I told you this morning what you mean to me. I was being completely honest with the way I feel. There is no single person or thing in this world more important to me than you are. I will spend the rest of my life proving those words to you and showing you how much I love you, so I can earn your love in return." He looked around my bedroom and then turned and looked out into the game room. He turned back to me and asked, "Do you mind if I sleep in your game room tonight? I will bring a cot in. I want to be close to you tonight, it would really ease my mind."

"Um...sure dad. You can sleep where ever you want." Does he think I am going to try to commit suicide over my mother leaving? I thought to myself. Then I realized that my father had been married to her for more than 24 years. What must it be like to be a divorced man with a 14-year-old son to take care of? I looked at him and then asked, "Dad, if you don't mind...well...my bed is big enough for both of us. I know I'm a little old to be having someone...well...to be having my dad sleeping in my bed. Just for tonight?" He looked at me and I don't know why, but I blushed. He smiled at me.

"Thank you son. I think it will be ok for just tonight. You need to put some pajamas on and I'll go and get mine." He turned to leave and then turned back to me. "You're never too old to need your dad Brent, and I know for a fact that I will never be too old to need my son." He turned and left my room. My father was a smart man and he saw right through my offer. He knew it was for his benefit that I didn't want him to be alone tonight of all nights. But deeper down, I didn't want to be alone myself.

My alarm went off and I reached and shut it off. I looked over to where my father had been sleeping and the bed was empty. It was strange at first to have him in my bed, but when he fell asleep beside me before I did, I had listened to his gentle breathing for awhile, and it actually lulled me into a, thankfully, dreamless sleep of my own. I jumped out of bed and showered, brushed my teeth, and dressed for school. I smelled breakfast as I got close to the kitchen and found Connie busy making waffles and my dad sitting at the kitchenette drinking coffee with the morning paper in his hands. They heard me enter and both focused on me and I received twin smiles from them both. Connie was the first to speak and the first to offer me a good morning hug and kiss.

"Good morning demon child. Go have a seat with your father and I'll have you both waffles in just a minute more. There's your glass of milk on the counter, and carry your dad's over to him, please." I looked at the end of the counter and picked up my glass and my fathers. Before I sat, my father rose and gave me a hug and said good morning.

"Did you sleep ok?" I asked him, and took my seat as he did.

"Moderately well. I did have to defend myself from an elbow to the side, but the bruise should disappear in a couple of days." He laughed as I blushed. "Actually I slept very well. It was nice to have your company, but I think I prefer my own bed. It fits better." Connie set two plates on the table in front of us. Waffles were one of my favorite breakfast foods and nothing goes better on waffles than maple syrup and loads of butter. My father put his paper aside and when he looked at his own plate, he smiled at me with big eyes and I swear ten years dropped off of his face. We dug into the food. I didn't expect to see my mother this morning, and my expectation was correct. When Hank honked for me from outside, I had already finished my breakfast and after hugging Connie and my father, I went out and climbed into the SUV. I shook my resentment off like a blanket and smiled to him.

"Good morning Hank! What a great day, don't you think?" I gave him a vapid smile and wide eyed look. He looked at me.

"Good morning Brent. I think Connie needs to stop giving you sweets in the morning. Going to school all chipper and bright-eyed is a sure sign of sugar imbalance. It takes three sticks of dynamite and revelry blasting to get Scott up." I grinned bigger at him, and he shook his head and we drove off to school.

"So why doesn't Scott ride in with you in the mornings and you drop him off when you do me. The elementary school is just across the road from the high schoo1?" I asked.

"It would be a bit silly considering we only live maybe 3 blocks from his school. He rides his bike."

"Ah, well, that explains it then. So does your wife work or does she stay home?" Hank was a good guy and his care of me since I got here was awesome. I could recall what a hick I thought he was on the drive from the airport, but he had turned out to be one of the few people who I looked forward to seeing, almost daily.

"She works at the Sakakawea Medical Center in Hazen with Carolyn. They're both nurses. Emily was one of Carolyn's best friends and that's how we two met." He pulled into the school parking lot and we both saw Tommy standing there waiting for us on the curb side. Hank turned and looked at me when he parked. "You know something Brent? I knew that Tommy was gay and I have absolutely no problem with it. What surprises me is that you are also. Both of you don't fit what I think is the stereotype, but you fit it even less than any. It really amazed me yesterday. Now before you think I'm getting at some hidden point here, I'm not. What I want to say is that Tommy is a country boy. He knows nothing except what he has learned from no more than 50 miles in any direction from here. He's a great kid and I hope he can be who you want him to be. I love my nephew and I really wouldn't want him to get hurt, nor would I want you to either."

"Hank, I'm not going anywhere and Tommy fits me perfectly. Just so you know, I asked him to be my boyfriend. He said yes and he makes me happier than I've ever been. I love him Hank." I turned and looked out the window and Tommy was standing there looking at Hank and I through the glass with a 'GET OUT' look on his face. I looked back at Hank. "He'd survive anywhere he goes, because he's got me. See you after school. We'll probably be going to Tommy's house. Have a good day Hank, and Hank...I like you too." I smiled at him and opened my door.

"What the heck were you two talking about? You wasted 10 minutes of MY time!" Tommy was almost jumping up and down. Hank yelled from inside the SUV at Tommy.

"You get your time and I get MY time! Deal with it." He laughed and told us he'd see us both after school. I closed my door and he drove away. I looked at Tommy and grinned. He looked around us and moved a little closer to me.

"Say it! I haven't heard it since yesterday!" Tommy had this habit now of looking me directly in the eyes when he asked me a question he wanted to know the answer to for certain. His soul searching look is what I started to call it in my mind.

"Tommy I love you dude." It's hard saying that without kissing him to seal it. Makes me feel itchy all over. "Now?" I cocked my ear to him.

"I love you more and you're coming home with me after school! Right?" I laughed and told him nothing could stop me today. We turned and started walking towards the school. It was so comforting to have him next to me.

The first few periods of school passed as normal. Frank was his usual self in IT and I began to have doubts that we were going to remain partners throughout the semester. Mr. Smith, I'm sure, dreaded his fourth period class each day with us two in it. Lunch was less of an event than it had been yesterday, especially since it passed without me getting embarrassed. I did notice Missy staring over at me a couple times and knew that one of these days, she and I were going to have a confrontation that I wasn't particularly looking forward too. My day livened up in gym class however. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever have a normal, no eventful day in Beulah.

We had all changed into our gym clothes and were waiting for coach to tell us to start the workout. Frank was telling some highly improbable tale about a date he had gone on once with a girl in 8th grade. I was spacing out until I felt someone close behind me run their finger across my left ear. I jerked my head around, and there sat Bobby Schafer smiling down at me from one row just behind and to the left of me. His legs were parted just enough to give me a view and he had his cock out of his shorts' right leg opening and was masturbating it practically in my face. Shane was next to him on his left and he was also smiling at me. I jumped up and walked down one row and turned back to face them both. Matt was sitting next to his brother, but must not have been aware of what was happening, because he looked when I suddenly moved and I turned to face the three of them.  He then looked over at his brother and Bobby. Bobby was in the processes of putting his member back up into his shorts when all hell broke loose in the bleachers. Matt tackled both his brother and Bobby, knocking them backwards. The commotion focused Frank on them and then he looked at me and saw my red face. Frank jumped up and joined in battle. It was a fucking free for all in the bleachers for at least 10 minutes, until coach made it up to us. Frank had gone absolutely wild on Bobby and had him pinned between the rows and pounding him in the face. Matt had his own brother in the same position and doing his own damage. I had been trying to pull Frank off of Bobby and Tommy was trying to keep us all from tumbling down the bleachers.

"BREAK IT UP!" Coach yelled and started grabbing bodies. A couple of the other guys had followed him up into the bleachers and through the crowd that had surrounded the fight. Coach pulled me off of Frank and almost threw me and Tommy both down the bleachers. Tommy caught me and steadied us both. Coach grabbed Frank around the upper body and literally lifted him up off of Bobby. Bobby's face was a bloody mess and Frank was still fighting Coach to get back at him. The other guys had dragged Matt off his brother and were holding him back, while someone else was helping Shane to stand up. "Manouli! Son you better stop fighting me and settle the hell down!" Coach yelled at Frank, maintaining his grip around Franks' chest. A couple of the assistant Coaches came running up into the bleachers and while one helped Coach with Frank, the other started looking after Bobby, who was laying there moaning with his hands covering his face. Coach turned and yelled, "EVERYONE INTO THE LOCKER ROOM!" He looked around himself and said, "Stewart, Weber, Ritter's, Schafer and YOU," he said to Frank, "Don't move!" Everyone else assed up and started moving towards the locker room. The guys, who had been holding Matt took a close look at him, then let him go and also walked down the bleachers and towards the lockers. Shane was sitting on one of the rows and he was holding his chest and still breathing hard. Coach released a now more subdued Frank and said, "Sit!" He got right up in Franks' face as he sat down on the row and told Frank, "Don't you dare move from that spot or son, you will regret it!" Frank looked at him and then nodded.

While all the Coaches got involved with helping Bobby to stand up and then sit down on the row, Tommy and I moved to sit around Frank. Coach looked to see what the movement was and then turned back to look at the damage to Bobby's face. Frank's arms, legs and entire body were shaking. I sat next to him and asked, "Are you ok?" Well, that didn't go over well, because Coach turned around and yelled at me to shut the fuck up. It rang so loud in the empty gym that the words echoed off the walls. I shut up. After sitting in the bleachers for another 15 minutes, the two assistant Coaches half walked and half carried Bobby down. Coach took one of Shane's arms and put it around his neck, then looked at the rest of us. "You four follow me and God help you if you get more than five feet away from me." He shared a look between us. "I better not hear a peep out of you either. Now follow me!"

Coach walked Shane out of the bleachers and Frank, Matt, Tommy and I followed. We were all huddled around behind Coach as we walked out of the gym and directly to the main office. When we got there, Shane had recovered enough to be walking on his own and we were all escorted into a vacant room with a long table and chairs in it. In the room were the House Principals for the freshman, junior and senior houses. Mrs. Walters, the head principal was also there. We were told to take our seat, that our parents had been called and that when they arrived we would begin. Bobby was not in the room with us and five minutes after we were seated, the nurse came in and checked over Shane, who told her he was ok. She did a cursory exam of his chest and then left. No one in the room said a word after that.

Mr. Schafer was the first parent to arrive in the room and was told that Bobby was still in the nurses' office and he left to go see to him. Mr. Manouli, Frank's father, came next and took a seat next to him and started asking him what had happened. Mrs. Walters asked him to please wait for the rest of the student's parents to arrive and everyone would be told what had happened and each of the students would be able to give their account of the events for all. Mike was next and he entered like a thunderstorm. He went strait to Tommy and stood staring down at his son; the look on his face was enough to drive nails. Mrs. Walters repeat what she had said earlier and while she explained to him what would happen, he looked over at me too. The look didn't soften at all. Connie came rushing into the room and made a beeline straight at me. She pulled me up from my chair, hugged me, and then started an examination. My father came walking in right behind her. He had the consummate lawyer face on and he surveyed the room then walked over to Connie and me. Connie finished her exam and after the Principle explained the procedure we were all going to follow, Connie sat next to me but my father took up position behind my chair and did not move. The last to arrive was Mr. Ritter, Matt and Shane's father. I had never seen a man that looked like he could kick the ass of an entire army, but Mr. Ritter had that look. He was a very big man at least 6'6" tall and I bet even his toes had muscles on them. The Principle welcomed him and he went to sit in the chair that had been vacant between his two sons. Mr. Schafer returned and after looking at everyone in the room, focused on my father and you could see him visibly cringe when my father looked at him. He took a seat on the end and the Principle called the attendees to attention. She made introduction of each of the house principals and the Coach, then began.

"Coach Adams would you please explain what you viewed and what occurred during your 6th period physical education class?" Coach walked to the front of the room and told everyone what he had seen. It consisted of only the fight and having to break it up with the assistance of two other coaches and a couple of students helping. He said he did not know what precipitated it, that that was what we were all here to determine. "Thank you Coach Adams." She looked around the room then said. "Right now we have one student still in the nurses' office and have called the hospital in Hazen who is sending transportation for him. He is Robert Schafer and the main assault on him was made by you Franklin Manouli." She looked at Frank and I saw Mr. Manouli stare at his son in shock. "Now I want you to stand up and tell all of us what cause you had to attack Robert in the bleachers."

Frank looked around the table, at his father, then at me and stood up. "Bobby and Shane had done something to Brent and when I saw Matt jump on them, I went to grab Bobby. When I had pinned him down, he said..." Frank looked at me and I could tell he was uncomfortable, but then he looked back at the principal and said, "He said 'What Manouli? You think you're the only one who gets to fuck Brent and the rest of us have to do without?' then he sneered at me. Brent is my best friend and that's all. Bobby had no right to say something like that to me or about Brent. It...It pissed me off and I just lost control." He finished. Every head seemed to turn to look at me and I felt my fathers hand on my shoulder. I looked around the room and felt like sinking through the floor. The principal nodded her head at Frank and asked him to sit back down. "Matt Ritter, it appears that you were the one to make the initial assault against Robert and your own brother Shane. Please stand up and tell us what your involvement was." Matt looked at his father who was looking at Frank. Matt then stood up and faced the front.

"I was sitting in the bleachers beside Shane and Bobby. I saw Brent jump up from his seat and walk down one row and turn around and look at Bobby and then Shane. His...his face was red and I looked over at Shane and saw him smiling at Brent, and then I looked at Bobby." Matt looked over at Mr. Schafer and then down at his father. He started fidgeting and finally the principal told him to continue. Matt drew in his breath and then looked directly at Mr. Schafer and said, "When I looked at Bobby, he had his right hand wrapped around his erect penis and was stuffing it up his shorts leg, smiling the whole time at Brent." Matt turned and looked at me. "Brent is my friend and from the way he was looking at my brother and Bobby, I knew they must of had done something he did not like so I got mad and tackled them." Mr. Ritter looked down at his son Shane sitting to his right and I was very glad I was not Shane. Mr. Schafer was in shock. He was just staring as Matt took his seat beside his father. The principal now turned to me and asked, "Brent, it seems this all began because of something that occurred between Robert, Shane and yourself. Please stand and tell us how this all started?" Every eye in the room was glued to me as I stood up from my chair. My father moved and stood on my left side as I turned to face the principal. My face was hot and I looked at Tommy. Just seeing the love in his eyes for me, gave me courage to say what I was about to say. I looked back at the principal.

"I was sitting in the bleachers waiting for Coach to tell us to begin our warm-ups. Frank was telling Tommy and me about something he had done in middle school when I felt someone run their finger along my left ear from behind me. I looked behind me and Bobby Schafer had his penis out of the leg of his shorts and he was masturbating himself very close to where my face was and smiling at me. Shane was watching him do this and smiling at me when he saw my reaction. I jumped up and walked down a row to move away from what Bobby was doing and turned around to look back at them both. Before I could say anything to either of them, Matt tackled them and knocked them backwards. Frank looked to see what was going on and then he looked at me. The whole incident had embarrassed me and also made me mad, and he must have seen that in my face. He then jumped up to help Matt and I heard Bobby say what he did to Frank. Frank's face turned red and then he started hitting Bobby. I want everyone here to understand something. I did nothing today or in the past that would indicate that I would welcome what Bobby did. It was not funny to me in the slightest way. I was minding my own business with my friends. Frank is one of my best friends and Matt and I are friends." I looked at Tommy and then at the principal. "Tommy Weber is my best friend and he had no part in any of this. He was only standing close to where the fight happened because Frank, him and I were sitting together. That is what happened."

The room was silent when I finished. Mrs. Walters asked me to sit down and then turned to Shane. "Shane, please stand up." Shane got up from his seat and Mr. Ritter stood up at the same time. He moved back from Shane and stood watching him. "Is what Brent just told all of us correct?"

Shane was red faced and very nervous facing everyone in the room. With his father standing beside him looming over, Shane cleared his throat and said, "Yes Mrs. Walters. What he said Bobby did was correct and when I saw what he was doing, I laughed because I thought it was funny. I didn't think what happened next was going to happen. It was just funny to me." He looked at me and said. "I'm sorry Brent. I should have known that you wouldn't find it funny or appreciate what he did. I only reacted because of the situation."

"You may be seated Shane." The principal said to him. She looked around the room. After maybe 5 minutes, she walked over to the house principals and conferred with them for about 10 minutes more. She returned to the front of the room and spoke to us. "Mr. Schafer, because of the statements made my Brent Stewart and Matthew Ritter, as well as confirmation by Shane Ritter, your son Robert Schafer will be suspended from Beulah High School and must attend the Alternate High School program for the remainder of this semester. He needs to receive counseling for his behavior as well. The school board takes a very proactive stance against sexual harassment of any kind." She turned next to Mr. Manouli and Frank. "Franklin, while many here may understand your involvement, and your wish to defend a friend, this school does not condone violence of any kind. The Coach was available at the time and you should have taken the matter before him. I have no alternative but to suspend you for four weeks from attending classes. You may make arrangements to have class instruction brought home to you and completed and returned, but you are prohibited from entering school grounds during your suspension." Next she turned to Mr. Ritter and Matt. "Matthew, you too should have sought out the Coach and told him what you had witnessed, not taken matters into your own hands and physically attack your brother or Robert. You too will receive a suspension of four weeks and are allowed to make arrangements to have your class work brought home to you. You are not permitted on school grounds during your suspension." She looked at Shane. "Shane Ritter. Although your involvement in this was only to laugh at what you had witnessed and had no direct action in what Robert Schafer inflicted on Brent Stewart, I would suggest that you think about it and review what is humorous and what is offensive and moderate your actions in the future." She turned to Mike and Tommy. "I apologize to you Mr. Weber for causing you any problems and disrupting your day. Thomas was innocent, as was Brent Stewart in what occurred this afternoon. He was brought with the others because of his close proximity to the incident. However, I think it is best if he be excused for the rest of today and you may take him with you and leave whenever you are ready. I apologize once again, to you both."

She turned from Mike and Tommy to look at Connie, my father and me. "Brent, I wish to personally apologize for what happened to you today. As you heard me tell Mr. Schafer, what Robert did to you is in no way tolerated at this school. We wish to provide a safe and protective environment for all of our students, where they are free to learn and grow without the fear of violence or harassment from fellow students, faculty or staff. Your house principal is available at any time for you if you feel you are being subjected to unwelcome attention or you may bring it to the attention of a teacher if it occurs in a classroom. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart," she looked to my father and Connie, "I extend the same apology to you both that I gave to Brent. Please be assured that we will do everything in our power to assure that your son is not subjected to any future harassment while he attends our school." She finished and I looked over at Connie. She had a blush on her face and I knew for certain it was caused by the principal's reference to her being my mother. I smiled at her and held her hand. She gave mine a soft squeeze in return. "If no one has anything further, I would ask the parents of those receiving suspension to please remain. The rest may depart, the meeting is concluded.

"One moment." My father spoke up and everyone paused in what ever action they were taking.

"Of course Mr. Stewart, please, did you have something to add?" ask Mrs. Walters.

"I think the incident that occurred today has caused enough damage and should not be extended to affect anyone not in this room. I do not wish my son to be subjected to whispered conversations and innuendo from the general spreading of gossip by other students. Although what Robert Schafer did in physical education class should not be condoned, neither should he or his family be subjected to ridicule or accusation. I believe that the proper action has been taken to punish the offenders. I do not wish to carry it further outside this room. In an effort to stop the rumor mill, Brent will not be back to school until Friday, which will more than likely be viewed by the student body as compliancy in what happened. He will also be instructed not to talk about the incident on his return. As far as I'm concerned, the matter is settled here and now. Thank you for your attention." He looked down at me, "Brent lets go son. Connie?" Mike stood up at this point and also told the principal that Tommy would not return until Friday as well, as did Mr. Ritter concerning Shane. The principal looked at Mike and Mr. Ritter, and nodded in response. Before we left the room, Mr. Schafer stopped my father and me.

"Mr. Stewart, I apologize to you and Brent for the actions of Bobby. Sir, if you require it of me, I will resign my position under your employment effective immediately." My father placed his hand on Mr. Schafer's shoulder.

"Karl, you have worked on our farm since you and I were boys together. It is my hope that you will leave it only when you wish to and for no other reason than that." My father then turned and saw Mr. Manouli still sitting with Frank and asked them both to come over for a moment. When they were standing with us, my father continued. "Ed, Karl has just asked me if I wished his resignation and I refused it. We are all in a unique situation because we all live in a small town. Many of my son's friends have parents that happen to work for me, but at no time will I ever take action based on what happens between our children. Karl, you and Ed, along with Steve, Daniel, Phillip, Mike and I, all grew up together, were friends and remain friends. Mike is the only one who doesn't currently find himself under my employment. If it takes an order from me as your employer, then I order you all to remain my friends and you may deliver the order to the others that are not here Ed." My father looked back at Mr. Ritter still sitting at the desk with his two sons. "Did you here me Daniel?"

Mr. Ritter looked at my father and smiled. "I heard you Billy, but what I do to my own sons will be between them and me. I can guarantee your son and anyone else's, that they won't be hassled by either ever again."

"I'm sure they already grasp that. Now if everyone is through, I would like to take Brent home. Karl, Brent and I will be by the hospital in Hazen to see Bobby if he is still there this evening. Please call us and let us know if he is released before then. In any case, we will either be by there, or be at your house this evening. Good day everyone." With that, he collected Connie and me and out of the room we walked. The office was closer to the admin entrance, so we exited there and waiting for us was Mike and Tommy. I hurried over to Tommy.

"Are you ok?" I asked him and he looked at me surprised.

"What do you mean am I ok? Are you ok?" Tommy and I focused on each other and just stared. Ah...I love this guy.

"Alright you two, no diddling outside the school house." Tommy and I turned and looked at his father. "Wait til you're in private and then you can diddle til they both fall off." We both blushed and my father wore a twin smile to the one on Connie's face. Hank came walking fast up to us and looked me and Tommy over.

"Ok, who's ass am I going to have to mop the floor up with from one end of the school to the other?!" My father looked at him.

"Hank, it's a good thing you lived in Hazen and were a brat to boot when we all went to school, otherwise you and I might have been really good friends." He smiled at him and Hank actually colored a little in the face.

"Well I know he's your son, and that Tommy's my nephew, but I'm in charge of that boy standing next to you and no one messes with what I'm in charge of." Hank adamantly declared.

"How about you just take us all home and you can do the janitorial service for the school another day?" My father asked him and reached out and squeezed Hanks shoulder and let him go. Hank turned and walked back to the SUV he had parked right in front of the admin building. My dad turned to Mike, "You two going to come over? I hope you will, because I have a feeling I would be put back in the doghouse if Brent didn't get to spend the afternoon with Tommy. He didn't have time to yell at me last night because of...other things, but nothing would stop him tonight." My father ruffled my hair like I was 8 years old. It earned a frown from me.

"I guess we aught too. I don't have time to watch this one and keep him off the top of the barn. But we have to be home by 3:30pm, I have the rest of the crew coming in around then." Mike said. Tommy and I looked at each other and we were in no way happy. With the meeting we just had it was already 2:50pm and that only gave us less than 30 minutes once we got to my house. The going to Tommy was nixed by my father's promise to Mr. Schafer of us going to check on Bobby.  My dad looked at us and then Mike.

"Take Brent home with you and have Tommy pick up some clothes for three days. Since we pulled both of them out of school for today until Friday, Tommy and him can spend the time at our house and Tommy can ride to school with him on Friday morning." My father looked at Mike and then said, "Better yet. Brent and I have some business we have to take care of in LA and this is the perfect opportunity to do it. Tommy can go with us as company for Brent."

"Whoa, wait just a minute Billy. Remember I don't work for you; I work for a little lady I live with that would tan my hide if I made such a decision with out her. Besides, I don't know how I feel about Tommy being that far away from me." Mike told my father.

"What's the matter Mikey, you don't trust me?" My father shot back and raised his eyes at Mike. This comment earned a look for my father from Mike that would have had my ears burning.

"With my life Billy! With my LIFE! Don't you ever say something like that to me. To ME!" Mike ducked his head and turned his back on my father. My father rushed up to him and pulled him over to by the SUV. We couldn't hear what he was saying to Mike, but I did notice Mike wipe a hand across his face. A few minutes later, while Tommy, Connie and I stood where we were, dumbfounded at what had just occurred and what was happening over by the car, they both came walking back over to us. "You two go jump in the truck, here's the keys. Let me borrow that phone of yours Tommy before you run off." Mike said to Tommy. He handed his father his phone and then he and I left to get in their truck.

"What do you think that was all about?" Tommy asked me as we were walking to the truck. "I've never seen my father act like that before. I think your father hurt his feelings or something. I think that's how I would act, but I don't think I've ever saw him with hurt feelings."

"I'm not positive Tommy, maybe it's something you should ask your dad about." Of course I knew what it was, but I had not talked to Mike about Tommy knowing his and my dads shared past and I felt terrible keeping it from Tommy. However, Tommy was smarter than I gave him credit for, because his reply was unexpected.

"I need to watch what I ask you so that I don't force you to be completely honest with me, when I don't intend for you to be. How about we agree to alter your total truth requirement? If I look you in the eyes and ask you a question, it's a question I want a complete and honest answer to and you do the same to me. If not, then you only answer as much as you feel comfortable answering and I'll do the same." He stopped me. "But we don't lie in any case, we stretch it to our comfort, but we don't lie. Ok?"

"Tommy I love you. If we weren't in the parking lot of the school, I'd kiss you right now. I agree. We'll do it your way." I said to him. He nodded his head.

"Agreed then. Now since you answered me the way you did, it sounded like the agreement you made with my folks about them questioning you about me. You know something but you don't feel you can tell me because what you know was told to you in confidence. It was only a thought I was throwing out to you, not really a question, but now I think I have a few questions for my dad. So, why don't we leave it at that Babe? And you know what? I love you too!" He smiled at me and my heart melted.

"Tommy trust me and let me talk to your dad first before you start asking him a bunch of questions. I don't know what you have in mind, but please just let me talk to him and then I would feel much better." I asked him and he looked at me.

"Ok, I will." His expression changed in a split second to one of excitement. "You think my mom will let me go to LA with you two! I never flew on a plane before or even been out of this state!" He looked like the excitement was about to make him explode.

"I don't know, but if you can't go, then my dad is just going to have to wait until another time, because I'm not spending 3 days away from you this week and that's final!" We had made it to the truck now and Tommy unlocked the doors. He and I climbed into the back of the cab. Once I closed the door, Tommy looked around and then kissed me. I hugged him to me and returned the kiss. We remained kissing until we heard someone open the drivers' side door. It was Mike. We jumped apart and turned innocent faces towards him when he looked back at us after climbing behind the wheel.

"I spoke with your mother Tommy, and you two stop looking at me like you was Saints. I know what you were doing!" Mike chuckled. "Tommy you need to pack a suitcase, because you're going to California with Brent and his dad..." That was as much as Mike was able to get out before Tommy let out a yell and started pounding on his dad AND me in his joy. Mike looked at me and me him and we both smiled at each other. Tommy was a bundle of unbridled excitement for the rest of the trip to his house. I started getting excited as well, when I realized that I was going to be able to introduce Tommy to my friends from home and also get the opportunity to see them again. I also thought about my mother having left for California today, but even thinking of her didn't dampen the mood. I looked at Tommy several times on the way to his house and he was all smiles. I was soon to return to my roots, with the love of my life at my side.

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I hope you enjoyed this segment of Learning to Love.   I know every part doesn't have hot, mind blowing sex, but how many times did you get to express your unbridled lust as a teen? LOL  They'll get some more, just not every day!  If you would like to send me an email, you can send it to jmedinacorona@gmail.com . Stay tuned for more to come! A few readers have asked me about myself.  If you really want to see who I am, well you can take a look at my MySpace page.  But be kind and don't flame out on me.  I'm me, can't change much.