Sometimes...I wake up in the middle of the
night...and I can still feel it. It's like an itch, tickling its way
through my mind. Haunting me. Taunting me. I wonder if it is just a
figment of my imagination. Or perhaps...if I just wish it was.
It had been almost five years now since I had been free of them. At the
age of 19, I was now moving forward into reality. A somewhat normal
life. I was beginning to view my whole experience as just some surreal
hellish fantasy. A nightmare that I had finally escaped from, never to
be taken into those blackened depths of myself ever again. But...it
isn't over is it? They're out there somewhere, aren't they? I know they
are. I can feel them inside me. I can see their faces in the recesses of
my thoughts. I can hear their faint laughter carried on every gale of
wind carried over the top of those mountains. And despite the time that
had lapsed, despite my attempts to forget the events of my life that
took place when I was fourteen years old...I know that one day they'll
come back for me. They'll come back to finish what they started. And I
won't be ready for them.
Even now, I can sometimes look outside my window at night, and see a
slight flash out of the corner of my eye. Two small glowing orbs...a
pair of watchful eyes...that simply vanish the very second that I notice
them. Faster even. It's times like this that I know they're watching.
Waiting. Calling me back. Perhaps giving me my last chance to
return willingly, before they sweep me up like the divine hands of God
Himself. The strange thing is...a large part of me knows that I belong
with them. Maybe...even envy their perfection. Such a conflict to go
through on a restless night like this.
Cyrus used to tell me..."A person must lose innocence in order to gain
knowledge." And he was right. He was right about everything. I've never
been so frightened of feeling so alive. I know that next time, and there
will be a next time, I won't be able to handle it. Next time...whatever
innocence I have left...will be gone. That summer...just five short
years ago...I both found and lost more of me than I'll ever allow to
happen again. At age fourteen...
I found out just how pleasing madness can be...
It had been almost five years now since I had been free of them. At the age of 19, I was now moving forward into reality. A somewhat normal life. I was beginning to view my whole experience as just some surreal hellish fantasy. A nightmare that I had finally escaped from, never to be taken into those blackened depths of myself ever again. But...it isn't over is it? They're out there somewhere, aren't they? I know they are. I can feel them inside me. I can see their faces in the recesses of my thoughts. I can hear their faint laughter carried on every gale of wind carried over the top of those mountains. And despite the time that had lapsed, despite my attempts to forget the events of my life that took place when I was fourteen years old...I know that one day they'll come back for me. They'll come back to finish what they started. And I won't be ready for them.
Even now, I can sometimes look outside my window at night, and see a slight flash out of the corner of my eye. Two small glowing orbs...a pair of watchful eyes...that simply vanish the very second that I notice them. Faster even. It's times like this that I know they're watching. Waiting. Calling me back. Perhaps giving me my last chance to return willingly, before they sweep me up like the divine hands of God Himself. The strange thing is...a large part of me knows that I belong with them. Maybe...even envy their perfection. Such a conflict to go through on a restless night like this.
Cyrus used to tell me..."A person must lose innocence in order to gain knowledge." And he was right. He was right about everything. I've never been so frightened of feeling so alive. I know that next time, and there will be a next time, I won't be able to handle it. Next time...whatever innocence I have left...will be gone. That summer...just five short years ago...I both found and lost more of me than I'll ever allow to happen again. At age fourteen...
I found out just how pleasing madness can be...
"Hey Wes! Check this out..." He had said to me, looking around and reaching into his bag as we got dressed for service. He pulled out a small clear plastic Coke bottle with the label half torn off. But the liquid inside was clearly not Coke. He twisted the lid off and gave me a whiff.
"Augh! God, Darryl! What the hell IS that???" I said in a loud whisper. It was like it had cleared every sinus that I'd ever had.
"It's some of my papa's moonshine. I dipped a little out of the barn this morning before coming in."
"What are you gonna do with it?"
Darryl gave me a devilish grin. "I'm gonna add it to the Communion wine..." He could hardly keep from snickering at his own plan. "I can't wait to see the look on their face when they get a taste of this shit."
"Darryl!" I said, making sure my voice was down. He always was a bit of a clown and a prankster, but we could get into real trouble for this. "You CAN'T do that! What if they find out it was you?"
"Don't worry about it. Look, every morning when their setting up for 11 o'clock service, they bring all of the communion materials and sit it behind the altar so we can bring it to them. It's left completely unguarded when Mrs. Tate goes to tune the piano and put leaflets in the pews. When you and I go out to light the candles for service, and then go in the back to walk out with your dad...I'll slip in the mickey and..."
"Darryl, NO! Ok? Just...no. I don't need the punishment right now."
"Come on, Wesley....where's your spirit?"
"My 'spirit' is still grounded from the time you put xeroxed pictures of pornography in each of the Hymn books." I said.
"Oh yeah...hehehe, that was a good one too."
"Darryl, tell me you're not gonna do this." I said, but he just turned his back with a smile and continued to get dressed in his robe. "Darryl? DON'T...ok? Just DON'T!"
That was just under an hour ago, and now, as I sit here trying to control my sweat glands as much as possible, I worry whether he was able to resist the temptation or not. It hardly seemed worth the punishment, the short burst of laughter and satisfaction that he would get from doing it. I never would have done it. But...as I looked over at Darryl periodically throughout the beginning of the service, my faith in his restraint kept dwindling. He did it, didn't he? I KNOW he did it! I didn't actually see him go through the motions, but as I saw the smile on his face, widening ever so slowly the closer we got to Communion, I just knew he was guilty. My dad kept preaching and running the service as he always did, not knowing what was waiting for him in that glass of spiked wine. I knew I was never going to hear the end of this.
When the time came for the wine to be poured into the chalice up front, my nerves got a hold of me. I thought for sure he would smell the tangy odor of a heavily added dose of moonshine and whip me good in front of everybody. My father was a preacher and a fair man most times, but he was hardly one to go through weighing a bunch of evidence before dishing out the punishments. I doubt he'd give me much chance to talk my way out of it, guilty or not. He'd assume I was somehow involved even if it wasn't my hands pushing the plot forward. Sighhhh.....dammit Darryl.
My father poured the wine, the red liquid hiding an invisible invasion of hard core liquor in its flavor, and Darryl began to giggle to himself. He coughed in an attempt to cover it up, but his smile was still breaking through. I widened my eyes in his direction, upset that he would risk BOTH of our necks for a silly prank. I mouthed the word "Asshole" at him, and when he began to snicker again I did my best to silently hush him up.
"Ahem..." My father said. It was a short pause, but one where both he and Mrs. Tate gave me a stern enough look to let me know that I was walking on thin ice. It was a silent warning to knock it off with the innappropiate behavior in church, and I almost wanted to stop the service to keep this prank from going through to completion. I could stop this. I could tell them it was Darryl and I wouldn't have to be punished again with more housework or groundings or, God forbid, another whipping. But I kept silent, and Darryl watched happily as his plan went into effect.
The music began to play, and the congregation lined up to come and receive communion by kneeling on the pads in the front of the altar. The wafers went out first as the body of Christ, an assistant priest giving them out one by one on the line. That was the easy part. My father then swished the wine around in the chalice and put a small fabric napkin over his arm as he walked down to deliver the wine a few steps behind him. He'd be the last to drink, the last one to find out what had happened. I tensed up and cursed under my breath at Darryl, who was too busy watching the crowd to pay me any mind.
"This is the blood of Christ. Amen. This is the blood of Christ. Amen. This is the blood of Christ. Amen." I peeked out of the corner of my eye, cringing inside at what was happening. I watched as person after person, young and old, male and female, tightened up their faces and squinted their eyes as they got a taste of the alcoholic poison that my father had given them. Mrs. Henderson's eyes shut tight as she forced the wine down with a cough. Mr. Clarke nearly spit it out on first taste, but swallowed it anyway. Not one member of the congregation would dare spit out the wine during communion. So they all kept quiet, trying to pretend as though it wasn't even happening. Darryl began to cough to himself again, trying to hide his own laughter, and despite the fact that I was probably going to end up being served a 'life sentence' in my room for this...I had to admit that the looks on their faces WERE pretty funny. Especially when little 12 year old Billy Hertz took a sip and, instead of gagging on it, swallowed it with ease and looked up to smile at me and Darryl with approval. Evidently he had been dipping into a few barn stashes of moonshine himself at his age. As each person sipped from the 'cup of life', it got funnier and funnier, and I had to bite my bottom lip to keep from giggling outloud. I couldn't look at Darryl, or I would have burst out laughing for sure. But I could hear his masking coughs anyway and that made me want to laugh even harder. I closed my eyes for a moment and held my breath in an attept to stop the jittery sensation building up inside of my chest. However, when I opened them again to see Mrs. Henstridge swallow a hefty gulp and immediately start fanning herself from the burn of the liquor, the giggles returned to me with a vengence. And the killer came when old man Kelly took a sip and experienced a joyful shiver as it went down his throat. He looked like he was ready to volunteer to drink the rest of it. I nearly screamed when I saw the smirk on that man's face.
Darryl and I both held it in as much as we could, coughing and smiling without giving ourselves away too much. However, that fear...that gripping fear, came back to me as I saw my father reaching the end of the line. There was still a half chalice full left after everyone else had taken a sip, and I knew that it was the preacher's duty to finish the rest afterwards. It was just a part of the service. The prank was well executed, and it WAS entertaining for a while, but the gig was up. And I just wanted it to stop right there. I felt my breathing get labored, and I looked down at the floor as he came back with the half full glass of tainted wine. He swished it around a few times, holding it up over the altar, and said a quick prayer before lowering the cup and tilting it towards his lips. I gasped as he took in a huge mouthful, and Darryl's eyes nearly split from being opened so wide. As soon as the liquid washed over my father's tastebuds, he knew something was wrong. The sting was already burning the surface of his tongue, and his throat was prepared to lock up and deny the intruding alcohol its access. But it was too late, he had already taken a mouthful and swallowed some of the chalice's contents before realizing what had happened.
His eyes burst open and he violently SPAT out the wine with a heaving cough, spraying the red liquid all over the white cloth of the altar! He coughed and wheezed and gagged, holding his chest as the alcohol burned in his throat. Darryl burst out laughing and fell over on his side, grabbing his stomach, unable to hold in the pleasure of it all anymore. And me? I tried soooo hard to keep from laughing, but my body betrayed me. The smile turned into snickers, the snickers turned into giggles, and the giggles turned into a full blown hysterical laugh as my father tried to regain his composure. I couldn't help it! God knows I tried! But the laughing wouldn't stop no matter HOW hard I attempted to hold it in. Darryl's uproar only increased my laughter to the point where I could hardly breathe for trying to stop it. And when all was said and done, I knew I'd pay dearly for desecrating the service like this. There was no way out of that. But...Darryl got him good, and I guess, just this once, it was worth it. It feels good to laugh with such freedom, especially when you know that the 'consequences' of said actions will stop you from doing so for a long time to come.
Later on that evening, just before dinner, I waited in my room for the conversation that I was sure was going to take place once the four of us sat down to dinner. About my misconduct and my lack of discipline, my inability to be a 'good boy' even though I did my best to play that role almost every second of the day. My mother and father would drag it out for as long as they could. Guilt was a weapon that they both weilded like a well trained samurai. And my brother Nick, just a little bit younger than me at age 11, almost 12, would make a joke about the whole thing as often as possible. Taking it RIGHT to the edge where he was in danger of me beating the living shit out of him, and taunting me from behind that thin line of safety. It felt like I loved him out of obligation most times, because he was my brother. When he was on your side, he was a lovable person to have around. And it's not like he was a pest or anything. But there was something in his 'normalcy' that always bothered me. Made me jealous and angry and want to search for a flaw in him somewhere that would somehow make both him and I equal on some level. He just had this free spirit about him that I couldn't match. Not with all of my pushing and emotional suppression could I ever be as lively, as funny, as witty, or as sickeningly 'straight' as my younger brother was. And deep down, that really pissed me off.
As Nick grew older, he was beginning to become more of a complete 'person'. He had more of a separate personality to feed off of. He was gaining good friends, and was just at the beginning of noticing that girls gave you a slightly different feeling inside than boys did. A lesson that I never learned, thanks to a harsh roll of the dice and fate's need to make me suffer by living life as abnormally homosexual. I knew what was to come in the next few years. Nick was a cute kid, and as his baby fat melted away to reveal a raw but innocent sexuality, I knew he'd turn out to be one of those kids that can have his pick when it came to girls. He would soon be bringing home love letters and secretive notes. He'd begin asking the kind of questions that normal teens are supposed to ask at that age. And he'd start dating and kissing and feeling up some young bitch in the back seat of a car every weekend. And my parents would look at me and wonder why I wasn't doing the same. They'd wonder what was 'wrong' with me, and that would lead to a parental investigation that I was neither prepared to deal with nor willing to answer to. It's only a matter of time before my parents pick me as the odd man out...and at that time...I KNEW that I was going to have to tell them 'something' when they finally got around to asking. I just don't know if I have the guts to do it. Not now. Maybe not ever.
I guess....deep down...my brother represents what I could have been if life had given me the proper chance. He represents the destruction of my soul's every secret, and the downfall of the lie that I call my life in the public's eye. For this...I can't help but look at Nick with a feeling of anger and disgust. It hurts to love my brother so much with this kind of backwards perspective gnawing at me from behind.
"The boy needs boundaries, Helen! He's getting out of control." I heard my father's voice in the kitchen, and I peeked over the side of the banister upstairs, looking down on our living room. I listened closely as my mother responded.
"He's just a boy, Henry. It was a little bit of mischief on a hot Sunday afternoon. Nothing more than that."
"He's getting to a tough age now. All of those bad influences out there...that music, those movies...you can't even turn on the tv anymore without seeing some kind of horrible image on every channel. And don't think I haven't been keeping an eye on that Darryl boy either. He needs a kick in the ass worst of all." My dad kept talking, and I was slightly distracted as I noticed Nick coming to the top of the stairs to join me. I wanted to tell him to get lost, but I knew I'd miss half the conversation while trying to convince the little bastard to go away. So I scooted over and gave him the signal to be quiet. "I don't know what to do with him anymore. Honestly. It's like he doesn't even want to listen to me anymore."
"He'll be fine. He's making new friends all the time, his schoolwork is always a breeze for him, he generally seems to be happy. A teenager, yes, but a happy one."
"Kids need discipline, and I'm going to make damn sure that he gets it while living under this roof." My mother began to speak against it, but my father interrupted immediately by saying, "I will NOT be embarrassed!" And I suppose that was the unspoken end of the conversation as far as friendly negotiations were concerned. As usual, he had made up his mind and that was that. "I can't turn my back on him for a single minute. He'll be completely WILD by the time I get back from the church's camp program this summer. You know, I'm severely considering taking him with me next week just to keep my eye on him."
"Wow...he sounds pretty upset this time." Nick whispered.
"Isn't he always?" I answered.
"What do you think he's gonna do to you?"
"He's not going to do anything. I didn't even DO it!"
"Well you better tell him that, because I don't think he knows." Nick was already getting on my nerves, but lightened me up a bit when he whispered, "Don't worry. I thought it was funny, Wes."
The talent of being adorable...it was like he could turn it on and off at will. Just when I thought I could get annoyed enough to strangle him, he reminds me how much he means to me. What a dirty trick. "Shhhhhh..." I whispered, and went back to listening at the conversation downstairs.
They sort of discussed my need for strict guidelines and a solid set of rules, before my father mentioned his committment to the camp program again. Every summer, the church sets up a Bible camp with these freaky activities and more mentions of our Savior than I wish to remember. And here I thought HITLER was the one who had the art of brainwashing down to a science! Anyway, I spent one summer there and vowed to never return, even though my dad didn't seem to be giving me much choice this time around. My mother, knowing how much I hated going there and also being aware of how much of a bull my father could be, she offered a slight compromise. "Well honey, listen, why don't we all go?"
"The four of us?"
"Sure. We can get away for a little while, get some fresh air...maybe you and Wesley can spend some quality time together. Straighten things out."
My father thought through the idea for a moment. "It might do the boy some good to put him to work for a few weeks. Teach him some sense of responsibility." I felt my stomach tighten in insult when he said it. I WAS responsible! He just didn't care enough to take notice of it half the time.
"Oh Henry. Don't be such an ogre all the time. Maybe if you two got a chance to be 'friendly' again instead of you always trying to rule with an iron fist, you might be able to reach some sort of middle ground." My father huffed in a stubborn grumble, but my mom wrapped her arms around his shoulders from behind and smiled warmly. "It'll be a good vacation in the mountains for all of us. Father Johnson has a cabin not far from there, he only uses it twice a year, if that. I'll give him a call and ask if he'd mind us staying there for a little while. You could practically walk to the campsite from there if you're up for the excercise. Even in the early mornings before prayer."
"That's actually not a bad idea. Not bad at all. I'll let the boys know to start getting their stuff together for next weekend. I'll see what I can work out with the administration about getting him a job working the camp while he's there. I won't have him slouching and pouting around the cabin the whole time." My father...always holding onto the bad, never wanting to accept the good. By the time they had worked out a few more ideas and details, I was preparing to be informed of my summer plans without question. The next words out of my father's mouth were, "Make sure you let Father Johnson know that we're coming."
"I will. I'll call after dinner." She replied, and gave him a kiss on the forehead.
A trip to the mountains...for WEEKS! With just my weirdo parents and my little brother Nick to keep me company. What's worse, no internet connection. And THAT means no porn! I wonder if I should start printing out photos and the like to take with me right now. "Nick! Wesley!" My father called upstairs. "Come down for dinner. Your mother and I have some news for you." Wonderful. This is one of those times when I really wish I had a choice in the matter. I suppose that's just wishful thinking.
"Coming, Dad!" This is gonna be a looooong vacation.
The following week passed by without any slow down at all. The more I dreaded going back to that awful place, the faster the minutes ticked by, bringing me ever closer to it. By the time I had even begun to think of a way of getting out of it, we had the car packed up and were pulling out of the driveway. Nick seemed to be happy to be going on an adventure for a little while. But then again, Nick was their perfect little golden child, he was always happy. Automaton. Anyway, sitting in the backseat of the car and watching the usually boring flat landscape transform into something a bit more naturally artistic, I guess I should be thankful that this would be taking the place of a much more agonizing punishment. Not that trading scriptures with Jesus freaks was going to be a picnic, but it was better than anyone of a million other alternatives, I suppose.
The trip took us a little over three hours, the mountains seemingly creeping up on us as we drove into them. Now, when we say 'mountains', we're not talking about snow capped earth mounds of majesty like the Rockies or anything. These are midwestern mountains, which are basically just big enough to not be classified as a 'big hill' anymore. Still, it was a big change from where we were. I saw the steep hills escalating upwards on both sides of the road, the trees looking as though they would lean over and collapse in on us any moment. The ground was littered with years of broken branches and fallen leaves, mixed with the occassional piece of civilized trash thrown out of a car window by anyone who wasn't afraid of being caught spoiling the landscape of the preserves. There were a few cabins here and there, but there didn't seem to be much life at all outside of a few squirrels and raccons. Sighhhhh.....I SO don't want to be here right now.
I looked over at Nick, who was wearing a set of headphones and bobbing his head around to whatever Radio Disney type sing-song music that he was allowed to have in the car, and enjoying himself without restraint. He was good at that. My mom and dad were up front and simply satisfied being completely silent for most of the trip. I guess they were good at that too. And while I should have been happy to have some time alone with my thoughts, the quiet ride was maddening once I noticed it. I was tempted to playfully slug my little brother in the arm just to provoke some kind of commotion. My mind began wondering if I could actually jump from the moving vehicle and make a clean getaway without being banged up too bad. I can't believe I even agreed to do this. I should have put up a fight.
"The cabin is about ten minutes up the road here, and over to your left." My mom told him.
"Well, why don't we pull over and fill up on gas? And we should be good for a while." My father found a place and pulled into a gas station with a convenience store on the side of it. It was one of those places that almost looked run down to the point of being abandoned, but you could tell that they made a pretty penny there because it was the last resort for anyone going any further into the wilderness. After that, no more snacks, no more cigarettes, no more magazines, no more beer. I'm sure it was an oasis for a lot of folks passing through. The only thing it was missing was an old toothless coot in a rocking chair on the front porch, totin' a shotgun and spitting tobacco into the bottom half of a cut up plastic 2 liter soda bottle. Even at slow speeds we kicked up dust pulling into the station, not that it mattered, because we were the only ones there. "Okay everybody, if you want to stretch your legs, now's the time to do it." My dad got out of the car to walk around to the pump.
"You boys want some snacks?" My mother was already digging around in her purse by the time she had asked. Which basically meant, 'bring me a snack and get something for yourselves'.
"Yeah!" Nick was enthusiastic, endless energy in that kid. I, on the other hand, was planing to pout non-stop for at least the first week. I dragged myself out of the car and walked with him towards the porch of the old place. Nick still had his portable cd player with him, taking off his earphones to let me listen to it. "Here, check this out."
I pushed his hand away, "Um...no thanks."
"What? It's Dream Street. You'll like it."
"Not my thing. You can keep it, boy wonder." I said.
"I'm NOT grouchy. I just don't wanna pollute my ears with your teeny bop pop music right now. That's all."
He gave me a look, and then put his ear phones back on with a shrug of his shoulders before saying, "It's pop, but I know you wanna listen."
"And I know that you've got an Eminem cd disguised as Aaron Carter in your backpack. So save it." I think he was surprised that I knew about it, but he knew I wouldn't tell. If anything, I was glad to know that he wasn't a total 'goodie goodie'.
We entered the convenience store with a ring of the bell by the old screen door, and Nick ran straight for the candy shelves, somewhat crooked as they were. The place was a bit dusty, but overall a clean store. Carrying just enough of the neccessities to supply the few folks that lived in the area. A dozen or so gallons of milk, a few loafs of bread, a couple bags of sugar. All one brand name mostly. I think candy was about the only thing that they had any real wide variety of. As I walked around, I could hear a small boombox playing a Jimi Hendrix cd in the background. 'Angel' was the song on at the time...ironic now that I think about it. Because I saw a young boy, about my age, give or take a year, cleaning up a spill in the back by the cooler. And believe me, to say that he captivated me upon first glance would be an understatement.
I first caught a glimpse of his medium length sandy blond hair from behind, shining a bright shade of gold, shimmering like ice even in the dim light of the place. It hung down softly to the back of his neck, almost below the ear, but the lobes peeked out from underneath it. He was pretty slim, but had that midwestern 'solidity' to him. The kind of soft lean muscle you get from chores and housework...never too skinny, never too bulky. But rather that gentle perfection in between. He was wearing a white apron over a plaid button down shirt, and a pair of faded jeans that covered a pretty nice piece of ass, if I may say so myself. A bit flat at first glance, but soon you'd notice that it had just enough roundness and fullness to give it the cutest shape imaginable. The very look of him just held my attention, and this was just seeing him from behind.
"Do you boys need any help?" Came a voice from the front of the store. It was an older guy, my father's age maybe, and he was walking back behind the counter after coming out of a room in the back. His voice got me to turn my head, and I accidentally knocked a small box of Kool Aid packets onto the floor. That's when the boy in front of me turned around, and my breath got caught in my throat. I could literally feel my body freeze up inside, as I looked into a huge pair of bright hazel eyes, shining almost completely green from accross the room. The features of his face would catch anyone off guard, soft and subtle, with a level of beauty that it takes a few seconds for your eyes to even understand or define correctly. And perfect lips, lips that would invite you to stare in amazement for hours, begging for the opportunity to see them move. By the time I had realized that I was staring like a lovestruck idiot, he was already looking down at the packets on the floor.
"Oh...oh man, I'm sorry. It was an accident." I got down on one knee and started picking up the packets to put them back in the box. I tried matching up the colors as fast as I could as I reorganized the whole thing, I hope he's not looking at me. When I looked up again, he was walking over to help. Up close, he was even more of a walking miracle than I had anticipated from a distance. "I...I am so sorry..." I repeated.
"It's ok. It's just Kool Aid." He said, his voice was young. Younger than he looked, but so sweet in its tone. He squatted down near me and helped me gather the packets up by color. "It's the third time it's fallen over this week. I think we should try gluing it to the shelf next time." My hands were moving pretty slow, my eyes drinking in as much of him as a few awkward glances would allow. I was paying more attention to him than anything else. He was CUTE! Intimidatingly so. The kind of cute that causes you to smile with boyish infatuation whenever you look at him. The kind of cute that you can feel in your chest, sending shivers out to consume you from the inside out. Jimi seemed to be speaking to me through his music at the moment.
'Fly on by, sweet angel. Fly on through the stars. Fly on by, sweet angel. Forever I will be by your side.'
It's not like me to be so caught up in anyone like this. I think this would be a first.
I was almost sad to see the box of packets put back in order when we had finished. The boy lifted it back onto the shelf, scooting it inward a bit more to keep it from happening again. Then he flashed me a sweet grin before walking back over to finish cleaning up the other spill he was tending to when we walked in. Don't think the thought of knocking something else over just to spend another few moments looking at him up close didn't cross my mind either, because it did. But instead, I pretended to browse for a bit longer, peeking curiously at him repeatedly over the shelves of the old place. Wow...he really was breathtaking. If this is what the boys around here look like nowadays, I might just like it here afterall.
My mind tried to organize itself...taking years of conversational practice and trying to find a way to approach him again. Maybe to ask him where something was in the store. I just...I felt like I just needed this contact. It was so strange. Then, I heard the bell over the screen door ring, and my father walked in with money for the gas. The man seemed to recognize him right away. "Father Patrick, how are you? Is it summer camp time already?"
"Yes, yes. You know me, I'm always happy to do it. Practically locked into it these days."
The man behind the counter looked over at me, "Are these your boys then?"
"Yes, this is Nick. He's the youngest. And of course you remember Wesley."
"Oh yeeeeah, Wesley. Wow, the last time I saw you, you were only ten years old. My how you've sprouted up these last few years." The man looked somewhat familiar to me, but to say that I had any idea who he was would be a lie. Still, better to be polite than honest in such situations.
"Hi..." I mumbled with a faked friendly smile and a small wave. Then I looked back at the boy in the back of the store, and noticed that he took a glance at me before bringing his eyes back down to the floor. No no NO! I thought to myself. I'm not a Jesus freak...I SWEAR! Arrrrgh! I hope he doesn't think I'm one of those weirdo preacher's kids.
"Well, are you guys ready?" My dad asked, and Nick, of course, jumped over with a handfull of candy treats. "Two candy bars, Nick."
"Two, and no more. You'll ruin your dinner." My dad met eyes with me, "Ok, kiddo. Let's go."
We picked up a few treats and enough stuff to cook a decent dinner for the night. We'd have to drive almost an hour into town to go grocery shopping the next day, but the gas station had enough to fill our bellies for the time being. My father exchanged a few more pleasant words with the store owner and then said his goodbyes as we walked out. I managed to glance back over my shoulder at the boy in the back, and saw those bright hazel specs catch mine for a swift moment before being ushered back out to the car. I mean it...this boy was unnaturally beautiful. My God...the thought that someone is going to get to 'have' him someday is driving me CRAZY! I don't think I'll ever forget his face. Those eyes. Those lips. Sighhhh...it was hard not to show my interest. God forbid if my father ever found out what I was thinking. He'd probably take me to the deepest part of these woods and leave me there if he even suspected that I was gay.
The rest of the drive wasn't that bad, but I was happy to get out of the car once we pulled up into the yard of the cabin. It was a decent looking home and all, but definitely not 'home'. It literally was a log 'cabin'. More for camping out than living in. Total Swiss Family Robinson type of thing. We had a porch and two bedrooms, which meant me and Nick were going to be in close quarters for the whole time. If we can make it three days without a shouting match at LEAST, I'd be surprised. We got out of the car, carrying a few bags each of our belongings, and marched up the steps to the front door. My dad opened it with the key and walked into a pretty open spaced living room. Fireplace, bookshelves, old wooden dining room table, windows with no curtains, and a couch that looked pretty worn out, but comfortable. Whatever, it was better than sleeping outside, I suppose.
I dropped my bags down on the living room floor next to the kitchen, except for my backpack. And I headed towards the bedroom that I guess would belong to me and Nick for our stay. "I'll be in my room." I said, ready to go set up and make it somewhat cozy. It'll take some getting used to.
"Wesley..." My father stopped me, and I turned to see what was going on. "We need wood for the fireplace."
"What?" I asked.
"Wood. We need wood for the fireplace. There's a wheelbarrel out back, if you follow the road down a ways I'm sure you'll find plenty..."
"Wait a minute...you want ME to go get firewood?" I asked.
"Yes, I do."
"This is not a vacation, boy. I didn't bring you up here to sit in your room and sulk for three weeks. You're going to get some work ethic in you and learn some responsibility if it kills you. You understand?" I was speechless. Punished for a crime I didn't even commit. This was SO unfair! "Now you go on out back and grab that wheelbarrel. Don't wander too far from the road, and fill it up with as much kindling as you can find. You're in charge of starting the fire tonight, and tomorrow morning you're gonna come down to the camp with me and greet this summer's campers. Hymn and Bible study, the whole nine yards. I've already set you up with a few jobs that you can do to help out while we're here."
"Dad...I already told you that I was innocent. Why am I even here?" But he wasn't having any of that. He merely picked up his bag to take to the other bedroom.
"I suggest you go before it gets dark. The sun sets in a few hours. I want you back by then." And he walked away. Grrr....I swear...turning 18 and getting out of this house is going to be the happiest day of my life!
"I'll go with you, Wesley." Nick said, but my mom wouldn't let him.
"Nick, I want you to help us unpack the car and set up the kitchen. You let your brother get the firewood." She said. I felt almost betrayed by her, but there was a loving look in her eye that let me know that it was supposedly for my own good. And that conflict at this point was going to be more trouble than it's worth. So, with a frustrated grunt, I dropped my backpack on the couch, changed into some 'grubbier' clothes, and walked out the back door to start serving my sentence in back woods hell.
The back of the house was worse looking than the front. It was like the trees had vomited a wealthy stash of muddy leaves and broken branches all over the ground for the sole purpose of tripping me up and watching me fall down to the muck below. Then again, my vision was tainted with my frustration of even being locked in such a screwed up situation. So everything looked out of whack as far as I was concerned. I saw the old rusted wheelbarrel sitting out by an old tree, and wiped off the dirty handles before moving it. It stank something awful from being left outside for Lord knows HOW long. So badly that you could practically 'taste' it, and it was like sucking on a moldy penny. However, even though I almost wanted to stand forever in that backyard in protest, the afternoon light was already turning shades of grey, and I didn't want to be out after dark. The bugs alone in this place would probably eat me alive.
So down the road I went, grumbling and mumbling to myself every step of the way. Occassionally finding a rock on the path big enough to kick as hard as my forward momentum would allow. I was ANGRY. This is so unfair, this whole damn trip was bullshit! I didn't tell Darryl to spike the Communion wine with moonshine. And if I had stopped the service to warn everybody my dad would have been mad anyway. I mean, what the hell does he want from me? I'm a good person! Isn't that enough? I don't curse at my parents, I make good grades, I do my chores and my homework...I'm even nice to my little brother most of the time. I know kids TEN times worse than I am, and they get away with EVERYTHING! They don't have to answer to anybody. They just do what they want, get a slap on the wrist, and then they do it again. I could see if I was doing drugs and drinking corn liquor while selling cigarettes to minors on a grade school playground and getting head from a nun...but I'm NOT! I fight every personal demon that I have to be a good boy, and they treat me like a delinquent anyway. I just wish I knew what it was about me that causes them to think that I'm some demon seed in the making. A delinquent just waiting to happen. Like I said, this just isn't fair.
The wobbly wheelbarrel was a strain on my arms as I pushed it further and further away from the house. After a fifteen minute walk I figured I should be turning off into the woods somewhere to gather the kindling I needed, Especially now that I was going up a slight incline, and my legs were getting tired. Aggravated and absorbed in my thoughts, I had hardly taken notice of two figures coming from the other direction to meet me on the road. I couldn't make out any features really, seeing as they were a bit too far away, but I could tell they were young. Maybe about fifteen years of age. They were either there for camp, or maybe the children of someone who lived in the area. Who knew? But I suddenly felt like a complete idiot pushing this smelly old rusted wheelbarrel down an abandoned road wearing clothes that are barely suitable for the 'grunt work' I was being forced to do. If I'm lucky they be polite enough not to laugh until I'm out of ear shot.
As I got closer to them, more of their features became more visible. And I could see that they definitely looked alike. Identical twins, with smooth shiny hair down to their cheekbones, dyed a dark shade of crimson red, mixed with the natural dark chestnut brown color they were born with. They were actually pretty slim in size, almost skinny, with seductively sucked in hips. And they walked in unison too. Same speed, same sway, same foot forward at the same time. The only thing that kept me from thinking I was seeing double was the fact that the boy on the left was holding a dirty old sack in his right hand. It looked like an old pillow case or something, and was full of something that looked like it had a good deal of weight on it. The boy on the right, however, was playing with matches. The small stiff wooden ones. One by one, he kept pulling them out of their little cardboard slide box and lighting them. He'd strike the match with his thumb, watch it blaze brightly for a few seconds, and then put it out with his fingers, only to toss it away to the side of the road. By the time the match had even stopped smoking, he was reaching in the box for another one. It was a strange, but methodical, activity indeed. The both of them were dressed in black pants, and almost skin tight black shirts that showed off a firm young athletic body. Black boots as well, up to the shin with silver buckles on them. And two thin leather bracelets on each wrist. Something told me right away...they were definitely NOT here for Bible camp.
The more I walked, the more they walked, the closer we got to one another. I knew our paths were about to cross. At a closer look, the two of them were boyishly handsome, well kept...they almost had a sweet quality about them. However, that sweetness faded away as you got closer to seeing their eyes. They were a dark shade of green, piercing, unavoidable. Behind those emerald specs was a wicked sensation of mischief that I couldn't describe, not with all the words at mankind's disposal. The way they carried themselves was unlike anything that I had ever seen. Not even from Darryl and his friends, a 'bad element' crowd of hoodlums-in-training, had I seen such a devilish vibe in someone. It was as if they could walk on water and shoot the stars out of the sky if they wanted to. The kind of implied rebellion that you could feel in the air around you whenever they were near. It was a strange feeling that I didn't quite know what to do with.
The bag that the twin boy on the left was holding looked dark at the bottom, wet with some kind of strange liquid that was dripping ever so slowly from the bottom of the sack. A thick, dark liquid. It looked almost like...like...blood. Roadkill, maybe? It couldn't have been anything bigger than a large raccoon if it was. Whatever it was, the weight of it pulled the bag down towards the road, almost skimming the surface of the asphalt, trickles and dripplets of blood being left behind it. Normally, someone meeting a stranger on a road in the late afternoon holding something like that would make at least a subtle attempt to hide such a thing. But not him. Instead, he almost seemed to swing it with an even more indulgent sense of pride. The bottom of the sack was soaked through, and a few flies were trailing behind it as they moved forward. We were almost eye to eye now.
Finally, the moment came when we passed each other on the road. A moment that may have taken all of ten seconds, but to me...it felt like an eternity squared. I took a glance at them, their smooth young 'teen hearthrob' features gracing my vision swiftly before I forced my eyes back to the ground. Everything about them was identical, their movements were synchronized in a way that almost seemed inhuman somehow. And the one on the right lit up an especially bright match as we passed one another. Their eyes stared deep into my own, and neither one of them flinched at all. It was a shameless degree of eye contact that made me nervous. As they both flashed me a devilish grin, again, spreading out on both of their faces in unison, I sped up my pace to keep them from making any further contact with me. Something about them, cute as they were, frightened me. Their very presence on that deserted road was almost invasive in the eeriest way. Then...at last, the moment had passed, and we began walking our separate ways again.
But despite my need to fight the urge to turn around, my curiousity of such an odd event caused me to look over my shoulder at them again while they were still close. What surprised me, was that they had both turned around and were walking backwards, staring me right in the face. Smiling wickedly. I turned my head forward as fast as I could, and walked even faster, almost causing the wheelbarrel to go out of control. I could see the dripplet trail of blood on the road, and did my best to ignore it. I just wanted to get away from there. And it was then that I heard the both of them giggling at me from behind. Were they laughing at me? Making fun of me? I wasn't sure, but they showed no hesitation in letting me know.
"Hehehe! Keep walkin', shy guy!" The boy holding the sack said. Playfully, but letting me know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was indeed the butt of their joke.
I turned around again, and the boy with the matches blew me a kiss with a smile. And the two of them kept walking. Their laughter and taunting fading away as they traveled further down the road. There are some real fucking weirdos in this place. To hell with them. They don't even know me. God...I can't WAIT until they let me go home and ge the hell OUT of this place!
I turned off the road not long after my run in with 'double trouble' back there, and decided that I'm just gonna grab whatever kindling I can to fill up the barrel and get back home before I lose what's left of my mind. And believe me, if you think toting a wheelbarrel on a road is tough, trying going on an inclined hill with one. I didn't stray too far from the road as instructed, and just set the wheelbarrel out next to a tree. Then I moped around looking for some decent sticks and firewood that wasn't too green so it would burn better. The whole time, my thoughts were twisting themselves around the twins in the road, and I could feel my self esteem lower itself little by little, until I was practically wearing it around my ankles. It only proved to keep me frustrated while working to complete my task for the evening.
Stupid kids. What are they laughing at, anyway? It's not MY fault that I'm stuck out here. Picking up firewood. What kind of stupid punishment is that? I bet if Nick had gotten into trouble, HE wouldn't have to do all this. All I do for them, all the times I suppressed the urge to do something stupid...even when I really wanted to...and THIS is the thanks I get. Picking up dirty, bug ridden, sticks in the woods while everyone else is out having fun this summer. I don't think my parents have any idea how much this BLOWS!
It started with a crackle. Way off in the distance. It was so quiet that I actually thought it was ME at first. But when it happened again, I stopped walking and looked around to see where the sound was coming from. The woods were thick, even this close to the road, and by the time you had peeked completely around one tree...there was just another tree in the way. I waited for a moment or two, and then decided to quit being silly and just finish up before it got even darker outside. The sun was definitely setting now, and the sky war already turning shades of orange and red as the light faded away into night. I added another armful of sticks to the wheelbarrel and turned to keep walking when I heard another snap of a twig in the distance. Again, I looked around me, and saw nothing. But I was on my alert when I started picking up sticks again. One more armload, and that's it. It should be enough. I'm getting out of here before this gets any weirder than it already is.
I heard another sound, but this? This was definitely a footstep. I spun around quickly, and heard another footsep from behind me. It was coming from two places at once, and something inside of me began to panic. Shit! What the hell was going on here??? I looked around, hoping that I'd be able to see something. Anything. But all I could hear were the sounds of crushed leaves and snapping twigs....and it was getting closer.
"Who's out there???" I said, my voice shakey at best. No answer. "Who's out there?!?!?" I said louder. Again, no answer.
The woods were completely silent. Dead quiet. And I was afraid to move, or even breathe for that matter. I just roamed the area around me, with my eyes alone, worried of what I might see if I turned my head in the right direction. Ok, Wes....get a grip. You've seen one too many 'Friday The 13th' movies, bucko. Screw the rest of the kindling, I'm high tailing it out of here right NOW! I walked back to the wheelbarrel and moved it away from the tree. That's when I heard a loud noise, like a bunch of tree branches snapping all at once. And then I heard breathing coming from behind me. Not human breathing...more like an animal. Heavy, deep. As though it was taking an awful lot of oxygen to fill up the chest of such a creature. I don't remember ever hearing about any kind of wild animal problem in these woods before. But it's not like one can't suddenly develop if a certain animal wanted to take up residence in the area. I froze for a second, wondering if I should pay attention to the heavy breathing behind me or the snapping branches in front of me. And as my trembling hands fell down to my sides, ready to make a mad dash for the road if I had to...I 'saw' something. A large black shape in the distance. It was HUGE! And it moved quickly forward through the trees not more than twenty feet in front of me! Then I heard a growl behind me, and it sounded pretty damn close! So I turned around quickly, only to see a blurry shape rushing at me top speed!!!
I screamed outloud, falling backwards onto the ground and rolling partially down the hill with something on top of me! I fought with it, using my fists to pound away at it with everything that I had, and then I tossed it off of me to the side! I was still screaming, my chest heaving, my heart about to explode! And then I looked over at what was 'attacking' me...and it was...it was...
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!" The laughter came from around one of the other trees, and I looked to see the two twins standing there, laughing their ASSES off at me! They were nearly doubled over, making fun of me and my reaction to their stupid little prank.
"It's not funny!" I said, but they kept laughing. "It's NOT fucking FUNNY!!!" I shouted. That comment only made them laugh harder, and I kicked the stupid almost life size Spiderman doll further down the hill. The twins mocked my shouts and cries as they laughed and ran off deeper into the woods. I'm glad SOMEBODY was getting a kick out of all of this! Fucking WEIRDOS in this place! I swear...something tells me that by the time I leave this hell hole...
...I'm going to be completely insane.
I'd like to say that my run in with the twins and their little practical joke wasn't enough to really get to me. That I'd be the better man by not letting them rattle me or make me feel down on myself for falling for it. If I let them anger me, then they win. In theory, that idea works beautifully. Unfortunately, I have to admit, it upset me. In fact, it stayed on my mind all night, adding fuel to my already grumpy disposition. Why did they do it? Why mess with me? It's not like I did anything to provoke it. They just did it for the hell of it. Ugh! If only I could explain the confused rage that I felt over someone I didn't even know going out of their way to pick on me. No matter what I did, they wouldn't leave my thoughts.
Then again, it wasn't just the fact that they played a mean trick on me. It was more than that. Something almost sinister in their look. As I let off some emotional steam in silence that night, in the same room and yet withdrawn from my family completely at the same time, my mind focused more on that strange feeling I got as I passed them on the road for the first time. That gaze of theirs, piercing through me as though they could simply 'will' me to vanish from the face of the Earth in a blink if they saw fit to do so. I've seen twins in my life before, even triplets once...but never two boys that seemed to be such an exact reflection of one another. Exact to the point where it threw you into a stupor over whether what you were seeing was real or not. All that, combined with a smile that looked like it was crafted by Satan himself, and they have easily made it into my book of the creepiest people I've ever come across. Fuckin' punks! They both deserve to have a nice black ring put around their eyes for what they did to me.
I went to bed fairly early that night, not wanting to occuppy the same space as my family for much longer, and Nick came in the room shortly after. I probably would have been better off sleeping in the living room. Nick was usually one of those boys that couldn't be in the presence of somebody else and just be quiet for a few minutes. He just HAD to keep talking, asking questions, swinging his feet...anything to keep your atention on him the entire time. After about ten minutes of that, I put on my walkman headphones and closed my eyes in an attempt to tune him out completely until he went to sleep. I know I probably treat my little brother a lot worse than I probably should, and it was never my intent to really hurt his feelings. But I just wasn't in the mood at that moment. If anything, it was probably better that I shut him out. Because we would have been arguing and fighting if a few more minutes of our sibling interaction had gone by. So be it, he'll get the hint. Funny thing is, I kept my eyes closed so long waiting for him to go to sleep, I think I beat him to it. Music playing and all.
That next morning, if you can CALL it that, it was more like the crack of dawn, I felt an arm shaking me awake. It was like being suddenly yanked out of a coma, my body was still limp, my mind still too deep in sleep to really think straight. I instinctively rubbed my eyes, and saw my father standing over me, fully dressed. "Wake up, Wes. We're going down to set up for the campers this morning. Put your clothes on, wash up, and we'll grab some breakfast before we go." He whispered. And then had the nerve to say, "Don't wake your brother."
By the time he had turned and left the room, I was already boiling. Why the FUCK am I even HERE??? Arrrrgh!!! Still groggy, I swung my feet around to land on the floor, and stared blankly off into space for a few minutes while my brain tried to reattach itself to reality. I got dressed slowly, grumbling to myself the whole time, and walked out of the bedroom towards the kitchen. The smell of sausage and fresh eggs being scrambled filled my nostrils, and the scent of it was almost enough to lift my mood. Almost, but not quite.
I sat down to a set table across from my dad, and my mother emptied a healthy heap of eggs right out of the hot pan and onto my plate. The entire table was silent as we ate that morning. My father and I mentally spitting daggers at each other occassionally as my stubborness and his determination clashed for supremacy over the breakfast table. But who was I kidding? He was going to win. The most I could do was shut up and get it overwith as soon as possible. I just hope he doesn't think this punishment of his makes me anymore guilty than I was before, because it doesn't. That reminds me....I'm gonna kick Darryl's ASS when I get back!
It was a bit chilly that morning, and Dad had a bunch of equipment and all to carry with him, so we didn't take the long walk to the campsite. Just as well, because I wouldn't have had anything to talk to him about anyway, and vice versa. Instead, he packed up the car and we drove down the quiet old paved road in the center of the woods. I was basically just focusing my gaze out of the window to keep him from looking me in the eye. I thought I would be disgusted with the sense of satisfaction that it was giving him to drag me out here and do whatever he told me to do. But re-focusing my stare out the window turned out to be a GOOD thing...because as I looked a bit further down the road, I saw a boy coming towards us on a bike. I looked closer and recognized him as the cutie pie from the convenience store the day before. God...even from THIS distance he was hot. I looked over to make sure my father didn't see me staring, trying to mask my infatuation with him by yawning as if I didn't care. But deep down inside, my heart was fluttering. I knew absolutely NOTHING about this boy other than the fact that he mops floors and picks up Kool-Aid packets when they fall down...and yet, something about him made me want to know everything above and beyond, outside and in between, that. Something about him just glowed with this amorous radiance that I couldn't pull myself away from. It was pure magic to lay your eyes on him. Pure magic.
The car was approaching him fast, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to stare for much longer, so I just absorbed all of the details that I could as we passed by him. The wind blowing his gentle blond hair back, his long legs pumping the peddles of his bike, his cute little teenage butt stuck out, pouting, as he propelled himself forward. I was even able to catch a glimpse of those smooth ruby lips as he whisked by us. Wow...I had to fight to keep from sighing outloud to myself after he passed. I had the uncontrollable urge to turn around and look back at him, but by the time my eyes had focused on him, I gathered my senses and put my best heterosexual 'I Don't Care How Cute He Is, He's A Boy' face on. As awful as it was for me to be trapped in this place, knowing that I'm trapped in a close proximity to one of the most gorgeous boys on Earth makes it seem worthwhile.
The campsite? Geez...it was just a bunch of space waiting for something to happen. Nothing more. And we were supposed to turn this emptiness into a fun experience for kids? "Wes, unload the back, take it over to the lodge across the field there, and we'll get started once Mr. Rigby gets here with the tarps."
"Yes, Dad." I said. Afterall, there was no fightng it at this point. I might as well just grin and bear it as much as I possbly could. Defeated, I trotted off to the truck and started unloading.
For the next two and a half hours, I was unloading boxes, setting up tarps, and moving folding tables and chairs. More people began to join us little by little, mostly adults, but a few kids my age too. A few of them looked just as 'trapped' into this as I was, and something about that made me feel a little better. What do ya know...misery really does love company. One of the boys I recognized from church was there also. His name was Freddy, he was a year older than I was, and pretty heavily involved in most of the church projects and all. The thing about Freddy was...even though no one ever dared to let the word slip from their mouths...he was so obviously gay. Effeminate to the point where he was litterally ONE degree away from 'overdoing' it. Heavy on the fashion sense, light in the tone of his voice, and capable of hand gestures that could only be accomplished with the help of a slightly limp wrist. Not to mention an 'un-manly' walk that he didn't do much to hide. But somehow he kept that weird balance in between being himself, and trying to cast a bit of an illusion that would make people think he was straight. It was an unspoken sexual identity. He never said, and nobody ever asked. That's what kept the peace. Still, he made my dad extremely uncomfortable, especially when he would catch him looking at me.
"Hi, Wesley." He said. He always called me 'Wesley', never Wes. I think he just liked the extra syllable. He always smiled so oddly when he said it too. Sometimes, when I allowed my mind to wander to it long enough, I was pretty sure that he had a bit of a crush on me. He would touch my arm or my hair when no one else was looking, he was always smiling in my direction, and he'd blush if I ever waved to him or smiled back. He had this sandy brownish blond hair and brown eyes, looked just like his mom, and was always dressed preppy like. So clean and prim and proper, never a hair out of place, always smelling like he just stepped out of the shower. He was a straight A student, always helped out at school and church, very polite, very well dressed...like I said, gay! Still, that remained an 'implied fact' throughout the whole community and not one person said a word about it out loud. "I thought you weren't going to spend any more summers here." He said.
"Well...I hadn't planned to." I answered. "My...dad kinda made me come."
"Oh, I see." He had a very slight smile on his face. It looked like he was trying to hold it back if anything. He looked me right in my eyes, stared at them in fact. "Well, maybe you'll have fun this summer anyway. I like it when you join us."
"Why? I never do anything special."
"Yeah, I know....you just..." He paused, and let his smile spread a bit more before touching me lightly on the shoulder. "...you're 'fun', you know?"
"Oh....ok." I didn't know what else to say. It was one of those moments where I wondered if he really did have a thing for me. He's cute. Not my first choice, mostly because everybody including me has known him forever. But cute nonetheless. I wonder if...
"Wes..." My dad's voice came from over my shoulder, and Freddy pulled his hand back from my shoulder as I turned to look. "Hello, Freddy." He said, looking at the both of us as though he were checking for illegal contact of some sort.
"Hello, Father Patrick. I see you brought your family with you. It'll be a great camp with Wes and Nick around." Freddy was being polite and enthusiastic as always. I doubt it made much of an impression on my father though.
"I'm sure it will, Freddy. I'm glad you're helping us out again this year." My dad turned to me and threw an arm over my shoulder, his hand resting lightly on my neck. "Wes...I think Freddy can take care of these boxes and all. Why don't you go over there and help Mrs. Moore set up the morning snack table over there." A not-so-subtle strategy on my dad's part. The snack table was waaaaay on the other side of the field, where I guess Freddy would hardly be able to even SEE me, much less touch me. It's not like I didn't know why he was doing it. And it sucked. Because it was instrumental in constantly reminding me that he can't ever EVER find out about me. It's just a part of my life that I'll have to keep under wraps until the day one of us dies.
"See you later, Freddy." I said with a small wave as my dad gently 'guided' me away from him.
"Sure thing, Wesley. You too Father Patrick." He responded, but we were already walking away.
"I told you not to let Freddy touch you so much, Wes. Please be careful, ok?" He said. Huh?
"Be careful of what?" I said, mildly offended, but trying to hold it back in my voice. "It's JUST Freddy, Dad."
"I know that, son, and he's a good boy. He really is. He's just a little 'broken'. He's funny that way. You don't need to be around that."
It was one of those frustrating moments where I knew that giving any verbal resistance whatsoever to what he was saying was like admitting that I was gay myself. And I couldn't necessarily do THAT now, can I? So I did what I always did. I bit my tongue and let the anger build up inside of me only to fizzle out and fade away as I silently put my heterosexual mask back on. Accepting the prejudice as it tried to further imprint itself on my way of thinking. I wonder if he ever suspected that he was basically teaching me to hate myself. To think that who I am is some perverted defect of some kind that would cause 'normal' people to throw me away like some kind of broken transistor radio. Still, it was a discussion I'd have to have later, and only with myself. So why bother saying anything more?
I walked the rest of the way to the snack tables and grabbed a handful of table cloths off of the first table. It was a hefty handful, and as I tried to juggle it around in my arms a bit to make it easier to carry, I accidently bumped into somebody behind me. It was a girl about my age with medium length brown hair and dark brown eyes. She was carrying a few folded up chairs at the time, and the impact knocked them to the ground around her feet. "Aw shit, I'm sorry!" I said, and then lifted the table cloths in my arms up to cover my mouth. I forgot not to swear. Some of these Bible fanatic kids take that kinda shit seriously. "Sorry..." I mumbled again.
She just dropped the rest of what she had in her hand, and said, "Ah fuck it. They were getting heavy anyway." My eyes widened a bit, and I silently thanked the angels for bringing me someone a little less 'brainwashed' than what I was expecting. She stepped out of the circle of chairs at her feet, and brushed some of he hair back out of her face as she extended her hand to me. "The name's Kyla." She smiled.
"Wes." I answered, and gave her a friendly shake. So far, this trip isn't turning out to be so bad.
Kyla gave me a warm grin, and she looked me up and down for a moment. "Let me guess..." she said, "...you're here for some kind of 'punishment', aren't you?"
"Hehehe, how'd you guess?"
"First of all, you swore when you bumped into me. Second, you're wearing clothes that don't look like they've been drained of all their attitude by some kind of 'water down' machine. And lastly, most church boys would be running around here grinning and singing to themselves with their enthusiasm on constant overload. You, on the other hand, look about as happy to be here as I am."
"Ah, a kindred spirit then." I said. "So....what are you in for?"
"Joyriding in my dad's car late at night without permission."
"That doesn't sound so bad. Not bad enough to warrant sending you here, anyway."
"It was when he found a used condom in the back seat." She said. "He flipped out so bad, I thought he was gonna have me fitted for an iron chastity belt."
"I'm thinking I 'like' this girl." I said, and she giggled sweetly as she bent over to pick up the chairs again.
"So what about you? What dirty little deed got you cast out into the wilderness here?"
"Nothing actually. Believe it or not, I'm innocent."
"Riiiight...aren't we all?"
"Kyla..." One of the assistant priests came over to help her with the chairs. "Do you need a hand?"
"Thanks Brother Chris. I could use the help." They picked up what was left, and walked away. But not before Kyla flashed me a little wink and a smile. She was cool, and possessed with the kind of invisible aura of charm that hooked you within the first few seconds of meeting her. I knew right away that she was one of the ones that I should be keeping in touch with while I was here. She might be a bit of salvation in this place.
That was the beginning of the day, and finally, as the last few tables and settings and all was reaching completion, the campers arrived. Some with their parents, others arriving on two long white busses. The campers were ranging in ages from about 9 or 10 years old, to about my age at 14 or 15. Then there were a couple of older kids, maybe just out of high school or in their last year, who came along as counselors. They spread out around the open field and had already begun to mingle about with one another. Kyla stuck pretty close to me when she could, and we'd trade a few jokes here and there as we singled ourselves out to be the obvious outcasted prisoners of the camp. Still, having a cool cellmate was a plus, and I saw her as the 'fun' I could have been having at home.
The afternoon kicked off when everyone was gathered together for a sermon and a speech and another sermon and a joint prayer...sighhh...it seemed like it took forever. By the time we started singing songs about Jesus, both Kyla and I were ready to shoot ourselves in the head. Thankfully, everyone was dispersed into different workshops and all to meet and greet all of the campers and give them a short tour of the place. I thought that might mean that I'd get an opportunity to escape for a little while and get a rest. But I wasn't so lucky. My father made sure that I was up and ready and putting on a big 'polite' smile for all the other people there. More walking, more singing, more false grins, more greeting happy-go-lucky parents who all remember what a 'nice boy' I was. It's enough to drive anyone crazy, especially someone operating without any sleep.
Kyla and I had been split up for almost two hours straight, and that left me all alone with the Holy Rollers and their spawn in training. I knew to jus give up hope when I saw a real cutie standing by one of the tables and went over to talk to him. I believe I just said hi and told him my name. The next thing I knew, he was telling me what a 'glorious day God had brought down upon us', and quoting scripture to describe how proud he was to be doing the Lord's work, and how he was looking forward to a blessed vacation and blah...and blah...and BLAH! You wanna know the best way to get a gay boy who thinks you're hot to leave you alone? Just start mentioning the Savior twice in every sentence, and he'll high tail it out of there in no time. Being spiritual is fine, nothing wrong with that. But anything taken to fanatic levels of obssession...it's just plain creepy. And in THIS boy's case, pretty annoying on top of it.
"Scared yet?" Came a voice from over my shoulder. It was Kyla, coming over to lean against me gently while flashing that pattented smile of hers.
"Don't EVER leave me alone with these kids again! You hear me?" I replied. I was sooo damn glad to see her again.
"Hey, there's only two of us so far. So if you're alone, I'm alone. Besides, I might have gotten a bit of a tip off from a friend of mine who lives not far from this area." Kyla gave me the most wicked look, litterally overflowing with mischief. "You feel like getting into some trouble tonight?"
"You are the pure definition of a preacher's daughter, you know that?" I said, but she only raised an eyebrow in response. "Ok...what do you have in mind?"
"Party. Big party." She smirked.
Kyla looked around to insure our privacy, and then grabbed my hand to pull me over to the side so we wouldn't be heard. She lowered her voice, almost to a whisper. "It's down by the lake, right over the big cliff by the beach. It's far enough where we don't have to worry about anyone stumbling upon us and breaking things up. It's pretty secluded."
"Are...are you sure about this, Kyla? I mean, I can't get caught. I'm in enough trouble as it is."
"Don't sweat it. We did this last summer too, and nobody was ever the wiser. Look, it's cool. You meet me over behind the lodge tonight after dark, and I'll take you in personally. They'll love you, trust me."
"Well....." I wasn't sure about all this. Afterall, despite my dad's view of me, I was basically a 'good boy' as far as outright defiance was concerned. I hated to admit it most times, but even if I had to pout and complain until I turned blue in the face...I did what I was told.
"C'mon, Wes. Don't pussy out on me this summer. I need some company." Hmmm, and yet, she DOES make quite an effective argument.
"Sighhh....alright. What time?" I said reluctantly.
"Eight O'clock, eight thirty! Sound good?"
"I suppose." It was more of a sudden surrender than an agreement, but once the words left my mouth, I was glad to have something to look forward to.
"You're awesome! I'll see ya then!" Kyla said, walking away.
"What do I tell my parents?" I asked.
"Be creative. What did you tell them when you said you were innocent?"
"I WAS innocent!"
She grinned. "Yeah...use that poker face right there. That'll work." And with that, she took off in a slight jog to get back to the lodge. Dammit...what was I getting myself into now?
Eating dinner in the mess hall that evening brought back horrid memories of bland unseasoned food and that almost sugarless green drink-aid that usually had a mosquito or something floating in it most times. But it meant that I was just a meal and an evening prayer away from going out and having some fun. I was practically tapping my feet in anticipation. Not knowing what to expect, but knowing that anything would be an improvement to hearing my little brother play his Gameboy while my parents watched television back at the cabin. This was gonna be great....
"Is anybody sitting here?" It was Freddy, and he came over to sit across the table from me. "Hi..." There it was again. That 'I'm nervous, but pretending not to be nervous' vibe that I was getting more and more frequently from him these days.
"Heya Freddy. What's up?" I was already feeling the pressure bearing down on the back of my neck, wondering if my father was going to jump out of a corner somewhere and separate me from the 'fag' before he got his germs on me. If Freddy was more masculine, a bit more well hidden, we'd be able to talk without the people around us going beserk. But as long as that hint of femininity was a part of his persona...we'd be doomed to short termed conversations at best. "Long day, huh?"
"It wasn't so bad. I don't mind. I knew there would be a few more campers this year than last year. I think it's one of the biggest ones yet, actually." I looked at Freddy's plate, and he had his fork down, but was mostly just playing with his food instead of eating it. He was twirling it in small circles in his mashed potatoes, and frequently looking up at me while he spoke. "Attendance has been growing every year. You haven't come out for a long time."
"Nah. To be honest, this Bible stuff isn't really for me."
"Oh..." He said. His eyes went to the table, but he still a bit of a genuine smile on his face.
"Not that...I mean I don't think..."
"It's ok, Wesley. Really. It's not for everybody." He said. I was glad that he was being so cool about it. I didn't mean to call him a dork or anything. "I guess you're more into...sports and...concerts and stuff, huh?"
"Well, not really. Just not...'this'." Freddy smiled at me and I chuckled a bit under my breath. "Hehehe, I'm sorry. I'm not saying anything right today, am I?"
"No..." He said, softening his voice a bit. "...you're still ok with me." And he blushed a little with the subtle compliment. Yeah, I think it's pretty safe to say that he's sweet on me. "You know, Wesley...I see you all the time, but...I didn't realize how tall you've gotten since we were both here as kids. It's weird, isn't it? I feel like I've known you forever."
"Um...yeah. I guess we're both 'young men' now..." I said, feeling a twinge of awkwardness creep into the conversation.
Then, with an almost flirtatious smile, Freddy said, "Yeah.........." in a low voice, holding our eye contact for a bit longer than usual.
"Wes..." It was my dad, standing in the mess hall by the side door. "...are you finished? I thought you might want to rest up a bit at home. You've had a long day, today." The moment was broken yet again. And yet, I was kind of thankful for it this time around. Something told me that Freddy was getting closer and closer to breaking that unspoken vow of his, and the idea that the shrapnel from it would be flying in MY direction scared me. Especially since I knew I'd have to turn him down. For 'appearances' sake.
"Ok. I'm coming." I said, getting up from the table. "I gotta go, Freddy. I guess I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Sure thing. Sweet dreams...k?" He had a noticeable tremble in his already light voice, and I was sure that everyone in the entire mess hall could somehow feel his infatuation with me. I guess it was best for me to distance myself before he started making any unwanted confessions here. I waved goodbye, and walked out of the door with my dad like he asked me to. I thought for sure I'd have to hear another 'don't let me catch you hanging around that kid' lecture, but he spared me the agony this time around. I suppose he just assumed that I had learned my lesson and had been removed from the problem. Either that, or he was too tired to put up much of a fuss. Probably the latter.
It was hard to keep from looking at the clock as I sat in the cabin with the rest of my family. I was continuously going over the 'story' that I was going to tell them in my head, drilling it in like a mantra so it would come out naturally when it was time to deliver. I'd just tell him that I was going to gather around with some other campers and spend some time in the lodge. I suppose that was innocent enough. And they usually had some campfire activities and the like for the kids who were a bit older and stayed up late. Most of them didn't really know me, and even if they did, there would be a decent amount of people there in a crowd anyway. It was enough of an alibi where I couldn't really prove I was there, but no one could prove that I wasn't there. Easily done.
By the time eight o'clock had rolled around, I was all ready to calmly make my way to the nearest exit. Trying to contain my smile as I tried my best to be 'nonchalant' about leaving. My parents would NEVER buy me being excited about going anywhere during this vacation. Besides, showing too much interest would get Nick bouncing around and they'd force me to take him with me. I couldn't have that. So...when the time came, I gave a very dead-pan performance about me 'getting out of there for some air'...and was able to keep my pouty face going until I got outside. I was FREE! And with a gigantic grin, I began to trot my way out to 'fun central' for the evening! I couldn't WAIT!
The closer I got to the lodge where I was supposed to meet Kyla, the more I quickened my pace. Sure enough, there she was, waiting in the shadow of the building. I could see her smile spread from all the way across the field, and was practically skipping by the time I had reached her. I guess I was expecting her to greet me with some conversation or to even tell me how to get there, but all she said was, "Great! C'mon!" And she took me by the arm to rush me off into the woods. We snaked our way around trees, up ad down slopes, jumping over small creeks, and ducking branches, for what seemed like a half hour. I couldn't even see the lights of the lodge from where we were, and she just kept going. This place must have been really secluded. Then again, to keep from being caught and having the party shut down, I guess it would have to be. Kyla hardly said a word at all, neither of us did. If nothing else, we needed the extra breath for all the running and jumping we were doing just to move through the maze like pattern of trees in front of us. And finally came to a steep incline that looked as though it was gonna take all the rest of our energy to reach the top. It was like walking up a huge flight of steps....without the steps. We had to hold on to nearby branches just to keep from sliding back down to the bottom of the hill, and my calves were pushing as hard as they could just to reach the next step forward. Then...after a long and trecherous journey, Kyla and I reached the top. And smiled at each other warmly as we looked down to see a pretty big bonfire down below. We were sitting at the top of a cliff, about 30 to 40 feet above a small sandy beach, surrounded on three sides by the hills and the fourth side led to a decent sized lake. Around the bonfire were kids my age and older, some as old 19 and 20, and there was a keg. Music was blasting from a boombox sitting on top of a tree stump, and it echoed throughout the whole area, bouncing off the walls surrounding our new Eden. It was as if this place had been cut away from the rest of the world for the soul purpose of letting kids break free from the rules of society. It was like a dark and dingy paradise, and my heart was tugging at me desperately for my first taste of low key anarchy. We had made it.
There was a path to the side of us that led down to the bottom of the cliff. It was more like a slide than a path to walk on, but we were able to quickly get down to the bottom of it, and the kids down at the bottom gave us a little cheer when they saw us hit the bottom, raising their red plastic cups to us as if to say 'welcome to the party'. Someone handed us a towel and some bottled water to help us recover from our journey. Looking around me, I never would have thought such a place could exist. It didn't even seem real at that very moment. There was cursing, and drinking, and kids making out like crazy, and loud music playing...I never thought of myself as being 'sheltered' before, but being a part of all of this was such a foreign experience to me that I began to wonder just how sheltered I was. I mean, sure Darryl and his goon squad was full of tricks...but they always overdid it. Like they had to prove that they were the bad boys around town. These kids couldn't care less. They were just this way normally, just wanting to let go and breathe easy without someone looking over their shoulder and telling them what to think. It was refreshing.
"You got a light?" Kyla asked me, and when I turned around, she had a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. Hehehe, she looked like she had been waiting for that moment all day long.
"Nope. Sorry." I grinned, but the guy who gave us the towels had one and lit it for her. She took a long drag, and I could see her shoulders relax as she blissfully blew the smoke into the air above her.
She let the pleasure linger for a few moments longer, her eyes closed as she gave into temptation all over again. Then, she opened them and caught me looking at her with a smirk. "What are you looking at?" She smiled.
"Hey, I've been waiting for this since I woke up this morning."
"I can tell."
"Aw, shut up!" She said, and took me by the arm again to bring me further into the party. I have to admit, this was worth the effort it took to get here.
I saw a couple of older boys, athletic jock types, standing in a group and Kyla led me over there to meet them. "Kyla, what took you so long? You're usually loaded by now." One of them said.
"I bring you a new recruit." She answered. "Jack, this is Wesley. He's another hostage over there at the Bible Auschwitz this summer. I figured I'd let him join us tonight and have some laughs."
"Hey, mi casa es su casa. If you won't tell, I won't tell." Jack then gave me a pat on the shoulder. "Welcome to the party, junior."
And that was the beginning of it all. That night, I actually became a part of something. I felt that connection, that acceptance, that same fulfilment that most of the people around me must feel at church. Everything just enveloped me, and I was so overloaded with the stimulation that it took me an hour to really prepare myself to try having some fun. I found myself just walking around with my bottled water, looking at everyone else have fun. I smiled a few times, and they smiled back, but that was about it. I don't know...I think it was just so overwhelming to see all at once like that. I just wanted to observe for a while.
But Kyla wasn't going to have any of that. "Dude, it's been like an hour already. What are you doing over here?"
I couldn't stop grinning to myself. "I can't explain it, Kyla. This just....it feels so good. You know?"
"You're damn RIGHT, I know! But if you were just gonna sit here and watch, you could have done that at home with a television. Come on...have some fun with me."
"I AM having fun." I said.
"No you're not. You're in the presence of people having fun, and that's not the same thing. Come on, dance with me."
"DANCE with me!" I was going to protest, but she was already tugging me by the arm again, pulling me out of my safe little place on the outskirts of the party. Instead, she pulled me into the center of it, over by the fire, and I could instantly feel the pressure in my chest increase heavily. It was like everyone could see me here, and it was like being under the harsh blaze of a spotlight. Kyla started dancing, her wiry hips swerving all around me. She was so close that our legs were practically intertwined together. I was barely moving at all, blushing furiously and trying to keep from giggling outloud. There were a few people dancing around us, and I heard the music get turned up a few notches. I could feel the bass of it in my stomach, and Kyla kept gyrating away, hands in her hair, rubbing herself almost lustfully up against me. Her face close to mine, I could catch a scent of marijuana on her clothes, some on her breath. And when she opened her eyes to stare at mine, our noses bumped. I wasn't really into girls before, never saw the fascination actually. But to a 14 year old virgin boy, a little physical contact and a dirty thought is all it takes to get excited. I was hoping that the small lump forming in my jeans wasn't going to grow any bigger. Not here in front of everybody. I just wanted to go back to my private little corner for a few minutes. Because life is so very different when you're living it on 'display' for other people to see.
The music pumped even louder, the tempo pounding away in my chest, and Kyla got even closer with the sway of her hips. The lyrics chanting into all of our ears...
"Do you really wanna touch it? Do you really wanna fuck with me tonight? (Don't you wanna FUCK with me tonight???) Cause if you know how I like it won't you come on baby, give it to me right?"
"You're not dancing, Wes." She said calmly.
"Is it the boner?" She asked out of the blue. Her hand went down and rubbed the front of my pants, forcng me to stiffen up in an instant. I gasped outloud, and she giggled. "It's OK, Wes! Besides, I felt it a few minutes ago. Not bad." I looked around at the people dancing close to us, my face turning deep red. "Don't worry. Nobody here cares." She said. "This is our place. You can let go entirely. It'll be fine."
As self conscious as I was about it all, she was right. I saw one boy dancing with what looked like an aerisol can sticking out in front of his pants. There were people pouring beer over themselves, or kissing and dry humping on the beach near the lake. It was unrestricted, everyone releasing whatever deep passions they wanted to, out here in the open for everyone to see. An when Kyla grabbed a hold of my fully hard memer again through my pants....I let her. And I didn't move away. I felt my body limbering up a little, and we started to dance in sync with one another. Now both of our hips were dipping and grinding in circles. And I felt a little bit of myself float away, evaporating into the atmosphere around me. It's hard to explain, but it was as if this inner door to my personality had suddenly been unlocked for the first time, and once I stepped through it, there was a whole new room full of possibilities that I just couldn't see before. An enormous amount of options and opportunities that weren't there before. It felt like I was giving birth to another part of myself. It felt....free.
The song ended, and a much slower one came on afterwards. It slowed down Kyla's grind on me and she smiled lazily as the weed in her system mellowed her out and loosened her limbs even more. Her arms snaked around my neck, and we danced slowly to the sound of the music. But...just as I was beginning to get comfortable with the whole idea...she whispered in my ear, "You know...this weed is making me extremely horny."
I could feel my eyes widen as confusion set in. Carried on wings of tension and shock. I wasn't quite sure what to do with that statement. At ALL! "Um...uhh..." I stuttered.
"Mmmm...my whole body feels alive right now." She said, and pushed herself against me again, tightly. I became extremely awkward, off balance, nervous as all hell...and when the sng came to an end, my only relief washer taking a step back from me and saying, "You'll have to excuse me, Wes. I've got an itch to scratch." And she grinned seductively as she walked away from where we were dancing. My breathing was ragged, my pants tented again, my heart beating a hundred miles a minute. And all I could think of was thank GOD she didn't ask me to 'take care' of that itch for her! Geez, sometimes, I'm so gay!
I looked around, suddenly self conscious again once the link between me and Kyla had been broken, and I walked over towards the lake to get out of the bonfire's spotlight. A little darkness would let me get back to being 'safe' again, at least for the time being. It was easy for me to slip back into the role of being an observer, fading into the background while I made an attempt to recapture my thoughts. Don't get me wrong, it was still a good feeling. I was grinding with a girl in public for goodness sakes! I almost wish I could tell somebody who wasn't already here to see it. A smile broke out on my face, and I spent the next 20 minutes watching the rest of the teenagers jump around and laugh and smoke and have a good time. I would have simply killed myself if I hadn't traveled out here tonight. This might turn out to be a summer that I'll remember for the rest of my life.
"Well, 'you' seem awfully happy." Said a voice on the other side of me. I turned my head and saw a boy standing there beside me. He had short brown hair and looked to be about 13 years old, give or take a year. He was only slightly shorter than me by a few inches, and had this emotionless expression on his face. His eyes were hidden by a pair of thin rimmed black sunglasses in the shape of little circles. He was wearing a white t-shirt covered with a black jean jacket and black pants. I didn't even hear him walk up on me. "This must be your first time here."
"Um...yeah. A friend of mine brought me here with her. She....stepped away for a minute." I told him.
"If by 'stepped away' you mean 'went to find some sex'...then yes, I suppose she did." The boy said. He had a calmness about him that didn't really match the rest of the people there. A fearless sense of confidence that he brought about with a subtle grace that almost felt out of place in the personality of a boy that young.
"Well...I'm not so sure about that..."
"I am." He said, and his head cocked slightly to the side as though he could see something that I couldn't. I looked over my shoulder to find out what he was gazing at, and off in the distance some movement caught my eye. I couldn't really focus on it right away, but once my eyes had adjusted to what I was seeing, I felt a look of surprise capture my face. It was Kyla. She was standing in the mouth of a small cave off to the side of the clearing, the light of the bonfire barely lighting it from the distance between them. And on either side of her was a boy...a twin boy. The SAME fucking twins that had pranked me earlier in the woods! "It appears that your girlfriend has found the 'action' that she was looking for." The boy said in his unwavering tone.
Kyla was standing between them, hugging the one boy in front of her around the neck, and reaching behind her to grab on to the other one by one of his round globes, pulling his hips into her. They were both kissing her neck, occassionally letting a tongue lick out at her cheek or lips or maybe an earlobe. Their knees were slightly bent, and even in the midst of passion the twins seemed to move in unison. Their hands were in constant motion, rubbing her all over her body without shame, without restraint. It was one of the most lustful things that I had ever seen with my own two eyes, and it turned me on like you wouldn't beieve. "She's...she's not my girlfriend. We...we're just friends." I mumbled, trying to pull my eyes away from what was going on.
"Well I suppose that's a good thing. Because Shank and Razor seem to be enjoying her from head to toe."
"Who?" I asked.
"Shank and Razor. The twins." He replied.
"You KNOW those two?"
"Yes, quite well in fact. They happen to be some close friends of mine." He said. "We're practically 'blood brothers'."
I wanted to look away, but was pulled in more and more by the activities going on in the front of that cave. Both twins, extremely cute, seductively confident, moving in such an erotic harmony, their hands pleasing every inch of her clothed body in a perfect union. I had to turn slightly to hide my excitement from my newfound acquaintance here. I could see them licking the surface of her skin, growing hard and pulsing, their sex drives pulsng almost out of control. I could feel my blood racing, my libido rising to incredibly high levels, as I watched them touch her all over. Kiss her all over. And finally, unbutton her shirt to reach in and cup one of the young breasts inside. I could almost hear their heavy breathing from here. I was captivated, aroused, their movements were so full of sexual abandon that I could almost taste it. It was my first time ever seeing someone having anything even remotely close to sex. The most I had ever witnessed was a few boys and girls making out. But this was different. This was the crossover between temptation and indulgence...and it made me sweat just thinking about what was going through Kyla's mind as the two boys caressed her ever so gently.
"You seem a bit flustered. Would you like a drink?" The boy next to me said, snapping me back into reality.
"No. I'm fine." I shook the feeling off, and was able to pull my eyes away from the trio for the moment. I don't think I was gonna be able to look at Kyla the same way after tonight. I mean, it's not like I was gonna 'go for it' with her or anything...but...damn. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe she made me feel 'sexy' or something for a change by dancing with me, talking to me, inviting me out here. That was a new experience for me. At least it was before she involved herself with THOSE two. Why them? It could have been anybody but them.
"Are you sure? You seem very preoccupied with your thoughts at the moment. I can leave you alone if you'd like." Something about the boy's voice let me know that it was more of a taunt than an offer to make me feel better. But it wasn't something that I was going to stress over.
"No, really. I'm fine. I'm glad she found herself some fun." I said with a bit more confidence, "Besides, having fun is all about letting go, right?" Hearing that, he smiled mischeviously wide in my direction.
"Exactly." He smirked. "A very intriguing response." Then, he turned his head to look the other way, and pleasantly gave me a verbal invitation. "Come...walk with me for a bit. You've got a unique vibe about you. I'd like very much to hear some more about who you are."
And with that said, we walked forward along the lake to talk some more. I think he might have been one of the first boys who ever went out of his way to 'embrace' me. And I liked that. He might have been a bit weird, but acceptably so. So I guess it was ok. What harm can it do?
"What's your name?" He asked me as we walked forward.
"Wes. Um...Wesley, actually." I answered, and put a hand out for him to shake. But he didn't. He didn't even look at it. Instead, he put his hand on my shoulder.
"Wesley. I like that. I'm John Boy." He said, and he walked along side me down the edge of the beach, the waves almost reaching our feet, but not quite, as they rolled in from the lake.
"So....do you guys party here often?" I asked.
"US? Nah..." He replied. "They do. We just drop in from time to time. To see what new faces we can pick up here and there." John Boy's smile seemed so subdued, so focused, that it kinda put you off balance to see it. It was the kind of lopsided smirk and stare that your parents give you when you've been caught dead center in the middle of telling a lie. It was like he could see inside my spirit without effort.
"You said 'us'...does that mean that you're here with somebody?"
"A few close friends, yes."
"Close friends..like Shank and Razor..."
He chuckled briefly, "Yes...and a few others. We usually travel together, sniffing out whatever activity we can get into for an evening away from home." He said. We kept walking, and he never looked back at me. Instead he kept his eyes forward the entire time, the flame of the bonfire reflecting off of the lenses of those opaque glasses of his. How he could see anything at all wearing those at night, I'll never know. "This place is sort of our home away from home. Our sanctuary from the rest of the world's bullshit."
"It's that secluded, huh?"
"Indeed it is. Trust me, if you were worried about being found out here, you can rest easy. Most of the locals don't mess around with this place." I looked a little further to the right of me, and something caught my eye, causing me to do a double take. It was a girl of about 16 or 17 years of age, with short blond hair, almost cut like a boy's haircut, and she was making out with a youngster that looked no more than 10 years old. I kid you not. The very image of it looked odd to say the least, but there it was, right out in the open. While the girl was obviously enjoying her intense liplock with the boy, he seemed very 'experimental' about the connection. As though it was his first kiss ever, and let's be honest, it probably was. It looked like he was just trying to keep up with her, attempting to put his knowledge of movie kisses and pre pubescent fantasies to use as he tried to accept her tongue into his mouth. The carnal nature of the people in this place was getting weirder and weirder as it got later at night. It caused me to lose my attention's hold on everything else. "We call it Rainbow's End." He said.
I had to remember to keep myself focused on the conversation again. "I'm sorry, what?"
"Rainbow's End. That's the name of our little hideaway here." John Boy told me. "It was named that because that's how it was supposedly found. A couple of kids on a hike saw a rainbow over the lake sometime years ago. Natural curiousity kicked in, and they followed it through the woods. The tail end of it...landed right here on the beach. They discovered a paradise away from home, and it's been a secret to the minors of this area ever since."
"Well, I'm glad somebody told me about it. I was beginning to think that I'd be completely alone for the next few weeks." I said.
"Hello, Sebastian." John Boy said out of the blue without even turning around. I looked over my shoulder, and my breath got caught in my throat. The boy standing behind us was a youthful 15, with a physical attractiveness that defied all reason at first glance. It was the kind of androgynous beauty that caused you to stare blankly in disbelief, and your emotions to lift to levels that you weren't sure you could control. He had a healthy mass of shiny almond colored hair that hung down to his chin evenly on both sides, and intense dark brown eyes that sucked you into them with just a peek. His skin was like white silk, his lips the definition of perfection, his cheekbones soft but pronounced, his sleek teenage frame erotically built from every angle. He possessed such an aura of beauty, in fact, that it brought along with it an air of arrogance. His looks were more exotic than anything that I had ever seen. I was left speechless. "This is Wesley. Wesley...Sebastian."
"Hi..." I said under my breath. No words could describe him. I couldn't even stop staring long enough to fantasize about him.
He just sort of looked at me, not cracking a smile. Not even for a friendly greeting. Then responded with a short nod of his head, "Sup?" His eyes then went directly to John Boy. "I thought we were going to stay low key tonight, John Boy."
"Cyrus changed his mind last minute. He decided he wanted to roam tonight, let us get some fresh air. Who am I to argue?"
"I see." Sebastian's voice was more like an audible whisper if anything else. He spoke with the same calmness that John Boy did, except there was more of a slide to his voice, a teenage sensual haze that was screaming with young sexuality. It was so controlled, so crisp, so direct to the point, using as few words as possible to make his point. Yet, at the very same time, he maintained this ability to seem like he didn't care about anything at all. As though nobody else registered on his personal radar, or even existed for that matter. I almost felt like a figment of his imagination when he spoke. "You might want to tell Kristin to keep her 'particular behavior' a little more PG out here in the open." Sebastian said, brushing some of his silken brown hair out of his eyes.
He was referring to the blond girl, who was still shamelessly kissing the young boy on the beach. She looked more like his babysitter than anything else, but he obviously appreciated the attention. His few small inches sticking straight up, straining to get even larger than his hardness was capable of. "I take it she's a friend of yours too." I said, but received no answer from either one of them. Instead there was a silent pause between us all.
Sebastian then looked me directly in the eye, his baby brown eyes making me weak in the knees. His face was supernaturally gorgeous, you have no idea. "I don't believe I've ever seen you here before." He said softly.
"Uh....no. No, you haven't. I just got here y-y-yesterday, actually." His eyes fixed their stare on me and it was literally making me breathless. I felt myself hardening again without even thinking about it, and I turned my gaze down to the sand. It made it a little easier to speak. "I came with my friend Kyla tonight. She was the one that told me this place even..."
"Watch yourself." John Boy said suddenly, and stepped forward to reach out an arm quickly. I turned my head to see a frisbee heading right for my head, and instinctively shut my eyes, flinching to prepare for the impact. But John Boy caught it in mid air without even looking, and held it out between his fingertips.
"Thanks." I said, a bit amazed.
"No problem." He brought his hand down, and turned his body slightly towards the group of kids on the beach who were playing with it. "So...who threw the frisbee?" He asked.
I saw the boy who Kyla introduced me to step forward to retrieve it. "I think it was Jack." I said.
"Which one is Jack?"
"He's the one right there, in the red shirt and the blue cargo shorts." It was then that I saw John Boy smirk a bit.
"I'm afraid you're going to have to be a bit more specific than that." He said, and I gave him a strange look. Jack was standing right there, not more than 20 feet in front of us. But after a brief pause, Sebastian spoke up.
"He's blind." He said. I don't think what he was telling me really made any sense at first. I wondered if he was playing some kind of joke or something. John Boy can't be blind. We were just walking along the lake, walking and talking...he just caught a fucking frisbee in mid air without even looking...how the hell can he be blind?
"No...you guys are just fucking with me, right?" They didn't say anything at all. "C'mon. Get outta here. You're not blind." At that moment, John Boy lifted up his dark sunglasses, and underneath, his eyes were pure silver. Not just the iris, but the entire eye! It was like two little mirrors that I could see myself in, and it was a freaky experience seeing that for the first time. "Omigod...what...how...?"
"Don't worry, the mirrors are contacts. But I assure you, I'm quite blind." He replied, bringing his glasses back down.
"I'm...I'm sorry." I said.
"Why are you sorry?"
"Well...because you're..." I stopped to think about it, and finally just said, "Shit, I don't know. I guess that's just what I'm supposed to say when I hear something like that. Because it's...you know..a handicap." That response got a chuckle out of John Boy, but Sebastian, as always, was unaffected. He was just gazing out across the lake, a light breeze blowing his wisps of hair back to reveal more of his face. It was as if nature itself was doing what it could show off how beautiful he was. I seriously could not get over it.
"Possibly." John Boy answered. "But there are a lot of people out there using their sight as a crutch, missing out on everything else. If you ask me, that's the handicap."
"So...you don't need, like...a 'cane' or some 'help' or anything?"
"Nope. A person can manage just fine...if his other senses are strong enough." He said, hearing someone ask for the frisbee back in the distance. Hearing that, I guess he got a lock on where they were, and tossed it back to them. Pretty accurately, I might add, placing it right in Jack's hands. "And my senses are...very strong indeed. Aren't they, Sebastian?"
Sebastian pulled his eyes away from the lake nonchalantly and muttered, "Astounding." As though he was only answering to be polite. "I'm going to get a drink." And with that, he walked away without another word.
I watched him walk, even that was cool, the way his slim hips tilted slightly with every step, his jeans hanging low on his waist. It was just addicting to watch him. But as he walked over to the keg, my eyes crossed the mouth of that cave again, and I saw Kyla and the twins. She was now naked except for a small pair of panties, and their activities had escalated quite a lot. The one boy grinding into her from behind, the other running his hands through her hair as she licked playfully at his chest. Both twins were naked from the waist down, dressed only in tshirts, their hardness poking and pulsing outwards at the exact same angle. I was staring so hard that I thought my eyes would pop out of my head, and I could actually feel myself salivate at the sight of it. They were perfectly shaped, sculpted, molded, well hung...the twins were already beautiful as it was, now even MORE so. The twin in front eventually added pressure to the back of Kyla's head, and guided her warm lips to the tip of his shaft. Her tongue lashed out to lick the head a few times, before taking it into her warm mouth and sucking as much of him into her as she could manage. It looked like it tasted soooo good from the look of bliss on her face. He tossed his head back slightly as she sucked more of the flavor out of him, the wetness of her mouth leaving it glistening slightly in the night air as she bobbed back and forth on him. There was no hiding my excitement now. I was hard as steel, and could feel my heart pounding away in my chest mercilessly. I licked my lips, imagining the taste of him, the feel of him. My deepest and most secret passions felt like they were suddely set ablaze. I didn't want to get caught looking at them, but I could NOT pull myself away from it. She took the boys in from both ends, her body squirming with the delight of her raw passion. And it was at that moment...that I saw the two boys lean forward over her back...and kiss each other. Two boys...two CUTE boys...BROTHERS...were kissing right in front of me! This was so wild! The twins tongue kissed hungrily while having themselves pleased down below. I nearly exploded. I was so erect that my whole lower half felt stiff from watching it. And you wanna know the worst part? Even though they had played that dirty trick on me the day before, all I could think of was....
I wish that was me...
"Maybe you need one too." John Boy said.
Had I been caught? "Need WHAT?" I asked, ready to say that I wasn't looking.
"A drink. Maybe you need a drink." It eased my defenses a little, but I don't think that's what he meant originally. Call it a hunch.
"Yeah. Maybe I do."
"Good. Go. It is a party afterall."
I was actually pretty relieved to get away from things again, if only for another few minutes. And at least get myself some kind of broad object to cover up this embarrassing boner in my pants while I'm walking around other people. So I took the suggestion as an escape. "You're right." I said. "Are...are you sure you don't need any 'help' or anything finding your way back to the cliff or something."
With a wide grin, he answered, "Nah. Believe me, friend...I'll be just fine."
"Ok, cool. Maybe I'll run into you again sometime?"
"Yes, Wesley. I'm pretty confident that you will."
This time, walking around the bonfire to the table, I kept my eyes down. No girls making out with little boys, no incestual threesomes in a cave. There were certain boundaries of my everyday reality that I wasn't yet ready to cross, I suppose. Besides, it was making me so damn horny that I was ready to dig a hole in the sand and start humping THAT just to relieve myself! I didn't need to make it worse. I DID catch a few more glances at Sebastian though, who was capturing the attention of everyone who laid eyes on him. The girls did their best to strike up a conversation, but he was as disinterested in them as he was everything else. He was untouchable in his every mannerism, and that gave him this attractive mystique that aroused me even more. It must simply hurt to be that cute.
I grabbed another bottle of water from the drink table and just kept to myself for little while. Looking down at my watch, it was only 10 o'clock and the festivities didn't look like they were going to calm down anytime soon. Still, I was reaching the point where not really knowing anybody else in that place was making me uncomfortable. So I figured I'd get myself ready to go in the next ten or twenty minutes. I guess I have to get used to all of this wild abandon stuff.
"Say, Junior. Grab me one of those plastic cups will ya?" It was Jack's voice, and he came jogging over from his little group of jock boys. I looked over and gave him a cup once he reached the table. "You don't have to drink bottled water all night, ya know? I mean, you're more than welcome to tap the keg if you want. We've got plenty to go around."
"Oh....you know...I don't drink." I told him. And he gave me the weirdest look.
"Okaaay. Well, if you change your mind, just grab a cup and fill it up." He said, and I nodded. But before he got more than a few steps away from me, he turned to say, "You know, why don't you come on over and join us? You're standing over here by yourself like a narc or something. Come on." I really didn't mean to seem anti-social or anything. Besides, I came here for fun, so why not. Anything to take my mind off of the sex going on around here.
"Ok. Sure." I said, and went over to talk to them for a while. They weren't really my 'type' as far as friendly encounters go. They were mostly those super heterosexual guys, talking about sports and then sex with women, which somehow led back to sports and sex with more women. Occassionally the cycle was peppered with comments about kicking somebody's ass, but those were the two main focuses of their intellect. I might have been a little out of my element, but I was a part of the party just talking with them, and that made me feel good. What surprised me was their reaction to a sudden disturbance that came raining down on us from above. Dirt clods, three or four of them, came soaring through the air, over the bonfire, and right into the middle of our conversation. A few of them hit Jack right on the back of his head, and before heeven turned around, I could see a rage sprouting up inside of him. An instantaneous temper tantrum that boiled over without much effort at holding it back. I stepped back and waited for the fury to begin.
"WHO DID THAT?!?!?!" Jack yelled, interrupting almost every other activity on the beach. "WHO DID IT?!?!" He looked like he was ready to head-on tackle the first person who spoke up. I expected some hulking trouble maker to step out and challenge him. Imagine my surprise when a small boy, about my little brother Nick's agem stepped from around the bonfire. With ratty short blond hair, ice blue eyes, and dirt on his face and clothes. He looked like little orphan Oliver or something, but had the most wicked grin on his face when he faced Jack. The little boy giggled a bit to himself, pointing at the dirt stains on Jack's shoulders. Was this kid insane? Even I'D be ready to beat the shit out of this kid! Jack will probably be two steps away from murdering him!
Then...something strange happened. Jack, and all of his jock friends standing in the circle...they backed down. There was like...SIX of them, and only one little boy. But, they backed down anyway. "Come on you guys. Let's just go over here instead." One of them said, and they began to walk away. Even when the little bastard picked up another clod of dirt and nailed one of them in the back with it...they didn't do so much as give him the finger. It was just downright...ODD! I followed them though, not knowing what to make of the little brat.
I just had to ask. "Dude...what's with that kid?"
"Shhhh!" One of the other guys told me, and Jack took me to the side.
"Listen, there's, like, a hundred rules you've gotta learn if you're gonna party with us here. And 99 of them are...DON'T involve yourself with the likes of 'them'. Got it?" He said.
"You know the guys you were talking to on the beach? Them. Those creepy ass twins, that kid, and a few others too." He whispered. "I don't care what they tell you, they're nothing but trouble."
The rest of the other guys came over and we started walking forward slowly in a group. "We can't stop them from coming down here, but they're bad news. Just ignore them when you see them. Trust me, you'll be better off." Another kid said.
"They didn't seem so bad." I added.
"Dude, they're weird." One boy said.
"And they live for starting trouble." Someone else said.
"And they hear everything..." Jack said, and walked directly into another boy who was standing in front of us. The other boy didn't flinch at all, even though he was a bit shorter than Jack, he stared him directly in the eye. A gaze that seemed threatening, but not angry. Intimidating, but not confrontational. Everyone in the group stopped in their tracks entirely, as though they had bumped into the devil himself, and I knew right away that this must be one of those kids I shouldn't be talking to.
"Does that mean you want us to leave?" The other boy asked. He stood his ground, firmly but calmly. He had matted down sandy blond hair, and hazel eyes that almost looked like they were glowing in the dark. The boy got no answer, so he asked again. "No, really...would you like us to leave?" The tone of his voice, the stability of his stance, it came out more like a dare than a question.
"We don't want any problems here, Cyrus. Just having some fun. That's all." Jack said. Again...it took me by surprise. Jack wasn't a weakling by any means. He could easily rip most people apart through the sheer size of him alone. Even if he had gotten sucker punched, he practically had a whole football team's worth of friends to jump in and protect him. He wasn't the type to back down so easily.
"Are you sure?" The boy insisted.
"Like I said, Cyrus. We don't want any trouble."
"No....no trouble at all." This boy, Cyrus, stared Jack down until he and all of his friends took a step back away from him. "I don't want to have any problems anymore than you do. So...if you want me and my friends to leave your little beach here.....all you have to do is ask." He said, taking another step closer to see him eye to eye with a smirk on his face.
There was tension in the air all around us. I could feel it. And when I looked up, I noticed something...different. While most of the other kids on the beach had no idea what was going on, a few of them stood out from the crowd. I could see them clearly, as though each one of them was focused on this one conflict and nothing else. The kid who threw the dirt clods, John Boy by the lake, Sebastian by the drink table, Kristin kissing the 10 year old, even the twins, still locked in their sexual heat, looked as though they were prepared to pull out and face whatever army would do this 'Cyrus' boy harm. It was like they all felt the conflict in unison, and were being drawn to it like a magnet. A concentrated connection between them all, silently broadcasting this 'signal' to each one of them in case something happened. It was weird. Something tells me that the first person to throw a punch was going to have at least seven other people to deal with. I don't think Jack or any one of his buddies was quite ready to make that move.
"No. No problems. You can stay...as long as you want." He said, a tremble in his voice.
"Good!" Cyrus smiled, bursting out with the statement at full volume, causing the whole group to jump. "I just didn't want to rain on your parade, my friend. That's all." He put his arm over Jack's shoulder and grinned cheerfully. As though nothing had happened. "Say, listen...can you get me a beer? I'm kinda thirsty right now. And this one that I've got now..." He said, pouring the beer out of his cup onto the ground. "...It's gone a little flat." He never lost his eye contact with Jack, and even though the conflict was over, he was still pushing it further. Almost like he was making it a humiliation, to prove once and for all that 'he' was running things.
Jack didn't respond. But he DID hesitantly walk away to get that beer for him. Filling up the plastic cup and bringing it back without another word. Cyrus put his finger up in the air, as though he were telling him to wait a minute. Then he took a hefty gulp of his beer, and chugged it down until the cup was empty. His finger still up, making Jack watch the entire thing. Then, when it was all gone, he let out a blech and handed him back the cup. "Thank you. It was delicious." Then he let his finger come down, and Jack, I suppose, was dismissed. The whole group walked away, leaving me even more confused. This kid HAD to have some kind of edge. Blackmail, or money, or something that wuld make him so terrifying to a group of guys who could easily put him in intensive care if they wanted to.
"Still enjoying yourself, Wesley?" I spun around quickly to see John Boy and Sebastian standing right behind me! It scared the shit out of me!
"Relax." Sebastian mumbled, finishing a drink of his own. I then saw that 'Kristin' girl approaching from the other side of the beach, the two twins following not far behind her. I guess they had finished pleasing Kyla for the night, as they had their clothes back on. All black. It was then that Cyrus turned around to look me dead in the eye, and I noticed all of the others converging on that one spot around me. I almost wished that I had walked off with Jack and the rest. I didn't know what to expect from these people at all.
"Cyrus...I want you to meet Wesley." John Boy said. I was beginning to feel like he was 'advertising' me or something. What's with all the introductions anyway?
"Wesley, huh? Hmmm..." Cyrus thought to himself. His eyes pierced straight through me, like he was examining my every flaw all at once and making a judgement on whether my 'good points' outweighed them or not.
"We were talking earlier. It seems our friend Wes here wants to have a little fun this summer." John Boy patted me on the back, and I found myself surrounded by them. "He says, and I quote, 'having fun is all about letting go.'"
Cyrus let a smile spread across his lips. "What an intriguing response." He said.
"Doesn't mean anything." Said the little boy, only coming up to my chest. "I've never seen him before."
"We have." The twins said in unison. Then, just the one on the right spoke up. "Earlier in the woods. Seems he had a spill down a hill." He grinned.
I looked over to the other kids on the beach, and they were all watching. Seeing me talk to what was now being presented to me as the 'black sheep' of Rainbow's End. It made me uncomfortable to say the least. I needed to get away from them before they blacklist me from the place for the rest of the summer. "Listen, I should go..." I said.
The second of the twins lit up one of his matches in front of his face, concentrating more on the flame than on me, and said, "If you're looking for your girlfriend, she's resting right now. She won't be ready to travel back to your 'camp' just yet."
"Camp? Ahhh, the Bible camp. Is it time for that again already this summer?" Cyrus said stepping closer. "You know, if you'd like to stay with us for a while...just to talk..."
"No thanks. I really should be going now. My alibi should be wearing pretty thin by now, so..." I drifted off and started to walk away from them. Jack was right, together in a group like that...they were beginning to freak me out a little bit.
"Cyrus is talking to you." The young boy said, almost sounding angry. Like.how 'dare' I back out of a conversation with his friend.
"It's ok, Scout. Our friend Wesley has to get home before it's too late. That's all." He petted the boys head a few times and pulled him up against his side in a brotherly 'half hug'. "You make sure you get home safely, Wes. And know that you're more than welcome to join us at Rainbow's End anytime you like. Ok?"
"Uhhh, yeah...yeah, sure." I said, and started to walk away again. This time, heading for the steep cliff and the path leading towards home. The bonfire was still burning brightly behind me, and as I got ack up to the top of the cliff, I turned to look back down at the beach behind me. And there they stood...all seven of them, watching me. They were but black silhouettes in the darkness around me, the fire being the only visible light. But if I looked closely, I could tell that their eyes were locked on me. And as creepy as they all were, something about them fascinated me. Drew me closer to them. I couldn't explain it, maybe it was the fact that out of all the people that I knew, they were quite possibly the most unpredictable quirky bunch of teens that I had ever encountered. And this was just one night. God forbid if I were to know them any better.
I walked away from the lake, and did my best to retrace my steps back through the woods. I wasn't running this time, so it took me a bit longer to get home than it did to get to Rainbow's End. At least this time I had the chance to truly map it out and know my surroundings a little bit better. I made it back to the lodge just minutes before 11:30, and got home shortly after that. My father had gone to bed and Nick was sound asleep already. But mothers? They never go to bed before all of her 'baby chicks' are well and accounted for. No matter what.
"Did you have a good time, honey?" She asked sleepily, already standing up to go to bed now that I was home.
"It was..ok." I replied. I still didn't want her to know that I wasn't where I said I'd be, and if I came back TOO happy, she'd know something was up.
"Ok. Well get some sleep. You know your father has plans to get you up early in the morning." I nodded and started off to my room, but she stopped me. "You know...I understand that you don't want to be here. But your father and I love you very much. One day, you'll be glad that we cared so much. Try to keep that in mind, ok honey?" I nodded again, and she gave me a sweet motherly kiss on the forehead before letting me go.
I undressed and got into bed, but spent the next thirty minutes just staring at the reflection of the moonlight on my ceiling. I felt so different than I did before going out to that place. Like...there was something new about me that was there, just undeveloped. It was almost like digging for buried treasure inside yourself. Scraping that hard surface of something underground, increasing your excitement as you work to uncover the rest of it. Anxious to open it and see what's inside. Whatever it was, it was a part of me that I had never dealt with before, and I was kind of looking forward to doing just that. I thought about Kyla, the twins, Cyrus, John Boy, Sebastian, Freddy....even that sweet gorgeous boy that worked at the gas station up the road...I just let my mind run wild. Looking at everything from a slightly elevated angle than I had earlier that day. And the curiousity of what was to come kept me awake. Anxious for the next day. Or, to be more honest...the next night.
I knew that I was going back. That was a given. What I didn't know was that this was just the beginning. A placid preamble to the turbulent storms ahead. If only I had known then what I know now....