This is the continued story of Simon's Journal.
I would highly recommend you read the first volume of this story,
Simon's Journal Thirteen Days -- The First Crusade
before you begin this novel.
The following narrative is nearly a complete
work of fiction.
Any similarity to actual individuals living or dead is completely unintentional.
If reading a coming of age story about boys wearing diapers and exploring their awakening sexuality is offensive or illegal in your area, then might I suggest you go read War and Peace or something equally stimulating.
Thirteen Nights -- After the Crusade
Author of Thirteen Days
PART 1 -- Sunday, March 07, 2004 -- Peace, the Greatest Victim of War
At exactly 4:57 AM I was awaken by a strange sound. Almost immediately I figured out that it was Jamie sitting at his computer and typing.
"Jamie?" I spoke in a parched morning voice.
He didn't jump or act surprised; instead he turned and said, "Go back to sleep!"
"What time is it?" I asked.
"It's 4:57 now go back to sleep!" he turned back to his computer and went back to typing.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
His form appeared to glow from the light of the monitor before him. I saw his head fall forward as he again spoke, "I'm just chatting with someone online."
"Who?" I asked as I rubbed my eyes.
"The President!" he said.
"Of what?" I asked not getting that he was being sarcastic.
Still whispering but sounding irritated he growled, "Would you just leave me alone and go back to sleep please?"
"I can't sleep with you over there tapping on the keyboard so loud!" I growled back.
I saw the silhouette of his head fall forward again. Without saying anything else I heard him typing again, but not for very long. I assumed he must have told who ever it was that he had to go because he turned off the computer, which put us back into the dark again. I expected him to get back into bed with me, but he didn't; instead he clicked on his bedroom light. It was so bright that it hurt and I had to pull the covers over my head to shield my eyes.
"JAMIE!" I yelled from under the covers.
"Will you shut up!" he said in a strong whisper.
"Then turn off the light!" I moaned throw the blanket.
I waited a few seconds and then tried to peek out from under the covers. The light was still on however not for much longer. Maybe half a minute later the light went out.
Still feeling irritated I snottily said, "Thank you very much!"
There was no more noise from him. I listened, but couldn't hear anything at all.
"Jamie?" I whispered into the darkness but got no reply.
"Did you leave?" I asked which I now realize was a pretty stupid thing to ask.
Despite trying, I could not get back to sleep and after a while I finally gave up, got out of Jamie's bed and went in search of him. It didn't take me long to find him. He was curled up on the sofa watching the television. He was wearing his robe which made me aware of the fact that I was only wearing a diaper and from the weight of it I must have wet more then once while I had been asleep.
I sat down at the other end of the sofa; his sock covered feet were only half a cushion away. "Are you okay?" I asked softly.
"Just leave me alone!" he said and I thought it sounded like he had been crying though he didn't look like it.
"W-what d-did I d-do?" I asked trying my best not to be offended or to get upset.
"Nothing! Just drop it!" he said rolling himself around so that I could not see his face anymore.
I sat with him, without speaking, all the way through some stupid movie about a guy training monkeys in a libratory to fly airplanes that would drop nuclear bombs. I wondered to myself why he didn't try to find something better to watch and maybe he would have if I had told him I didn't like it, but I chose not to say anything. I suffered through the movie along with him; I mean, I guess he was suffering; I don't know really.
When the movie was finally over, I got up and that is when I realized he'd fallen back to sleep. I couldn't believe that I sat and endured that badly made movie for nothing. Not knowing what to do next, I decided to go back to the bedroom to put on some clothes before Marsha woke up.
However, when I stood up my diaper nearly fell off my hips. I don't think I was surprised really, I just didn't realize that I'd wet so much while I'd slept and while sitting watching the movie. I had obviously wet enough that my diaper was filled to its maximum capacity and was on the verge of leaking.
To keep it from falling off me, I had to hold the diaper in place. After checking the spot where I had been sitting for any wetness and happily finding none, I did a funny kind of duck walk back to Jamie's room. As soon as I had made it back, I let go; the diaper fell off me and landed around my feet with a bit of a splat sound.
Now I was in a bit of a pickle. It would be foolish of me to try and go around without a diaper given that I've been wetting myself without knowing anything about it and yet I wasn't sure I could put a regular diaper on all by myself.
Not knowing what to do, I decided to do what I knew I could do. I picked up the wet diaper, rolled it up, used the tapes to secure it closed and then placed it in Jamie's wicker trashcan. I had gone back to my bag and was getting out a new diaper when Jamie came walking into the room looking groggy.
"Boy I am glad you are awake! Can you help me put this on?" I held out the clean diaper to him, but he walked right past me without saying a single word.
Something in me finally snapped, "W-why are you mad at m-me?"
He didn't answer but instead pulled off his robe, tossed it into the bottom of his closet and proceeded to dress himself. When he sat down on his bed to pull on his shoes, I tried to sit next to him but he just stood up and walked out with one shoe on his left foot and the other in his hand.
Even though I tried calling after him, he didn't even slow down. I sat at the foot of his bed trying to think of what I could have done to make him so mad at me, but try as I might, I could not reason it out at all.
While sitting and trying to imagine what it might have been, Marsha walked into the room wrapped up in a black and gold oriental style silk house robe. Had her hair not looked as if it had been combed with an eggbeater, she would have looked good enough to go out on the town.
She walked in to see me sitting stark naked, holding a fresh diaper and looking despondent. Completely out of instinct I, like an idiot, tried to cover my nudity with the folded up diaper.
Still trying her best not to make me feel embarrassed she simply said, "Come on, I'll help you with that!"
As she said it, she brushed several strands of hair out of her face and hooked them behind her right ear.
Embarrassment did not dare rear its ugly head at me this time. I was too upset and confused to bother with a stupid emotion like embarrassment.
"M-Marsha? D-did I d-do s-s-someth-thing wr-r-r-rong?" I asked her.
Looking confused she asked, "What do you mean?"
"W-w-why is h-he s-so m-m-m-mad at m-m-me?" I hated that I started to cry, "W-what d-did I d-do?"
She bent down and held my head to her warm, silk covered chest.
In a soft motherly voice, she said, "Simon, you didn't do anything! Jamie is mad because he got in trouble. That is all. It has nothing to do with you."
"W-why? W-what d-d-did he d-do?" I sobbed into her silky house robe.
She pulled me away while still keeping her arms around me. As if she was trying to peer into my soul, her eyes appeared to be probing my own before she finally let out a held breath.
"Do you know that Jamie idolizes you?" she asked.
I scrunched up my nose as I grunted my confusion, "Huh?"
"He does!" she nodded. "Each time he comes back after spending the weekend with you, he seems so happy and talks about you non-stop for hours!"
I had a hard time buying into what she was saying. Until just recently, Jamie and I had been mortal enemies; never missing a chance to get each other into trouble or to cut the other person down with our words. Heck, we'd fought so much that I think mom and dad were starting to have second thoughts about having us sleeping in the same room.
"Jamie wants to be just like you in every way!" she said.
I sniffled and asked, "B-but I-I-I a-alw-ways th-th-thought h-he h-h-hated m-m-me?"
"Have you ever noticed that he dresses like you, combs his hair like you and even scrunches up his nose just like you do when you are confused about something?" she brushed the tears from my cheeks.
"Th-then w-why is h-he b-being m-mean t-to m-m-me n-now?" I sniffled again.
Marsha took a deep breath and let it out again before telling me the reason.
"Jamie wants to be just like you and I've caught him several times wearing your GoodNites here at our home."
I started to grunt and scrunch up my nose again, but having her comment on it made me aware that I did it, so I stopped myself.
"H-He h-has a-alw-ways p-p-lick-ked on m-me f-for w-w-w-wetting m-m-my b-b-bed!"
Marsha scooted herself farther up onto the bed as she'd been sitting right on the edge of the mattress.
"I think Jamie wants to be so much like you, that he gets frustrated at times and that makes him upset."
I looked away from her for the first time and down to my dangling feet as I thought about it all before asking.
"W-why is he m-mad t-today? W-w-what d-did he d-do?" and as soon as I asked it, I knew the answer.
She cleared her throat, "I came in to check on you during the night and found him wearing one of your diapers. I made him get up and take it off. I told him that some people have real problems just like you and it isn't right to imitate that sort of thing. He's still brooding because I told him that he was grounded to the apartment for today as punishment."
I suddenly felt like someone had stomped on my heart and smashed it into the mud. Yeah sure, Jamie asked me to put the diaper on him, but I did it and now he is in trouble because I put it on him last night!
Without thinking I started to speak, "B-but h-he was onl-ly d-doing th-that s-so I-I-I w-w-would n-not f-f-f-f-feel b-b-bad or Emb-barrassed."
Marsha a's gaze changed. I felt as if she were searching to see if I was telling the truth now, which of course I wasn't, but I'd committed myself to attempting to bale Jamie out and I wasn't going to quit half way into the effort.
"H-honest! H-he w-w-was!" I said.
She continued to look at me quizzically before finally pointing to the diaper I was holding and saying, "Come on! Let's get you into that and dressed."
The two of us stood up together. I went to the side of the bed and lay down and she taped the diaper into place after wiping me down with one of my baby wipes. She didn't use the diaper cream or the powder this time and although I noticed I didn't bother to reminder her.
She was helping me into my pants when she called out, "Jamie? Can you come in here a minute please?"
My heart began to race! My plan to free him from his single-day of house arrest was in danger. Jamie appeared in the doorway to his room looking seriously miffed.
"Simon just told me that the reason you were wearing a diaper last night was because you were trying to make him not feel so bad about having to wear them around you. Is that true?" she asked him.
She was looking at him as she asked her question and I tried to catch his eye in hopes of passing some mental message, but he never looked up from the floor. When he finally nodded his head I wanted to shout halleluiah, but that would blow our lie right out of the water.
Marsha stood up and looked at me and then back at Jamie.
"Why didn't you tell me that in the first place?"
Jamie looked up finally and said, "I don't know." which is, of course, the customary response all us kids are to give an adult whenever they ask us anything at all. I think it is like a law or something.
Without saying anything Marsha reached into Jamie's closet and pulled out a large gray sweatshirt.
Holding it out before me she said, "Arms up!"
I raised my arms as high as I was able to with my armor on, she slipped the shirt over my head and pulled it down into place. It was really big and actually hung down past my backside.
She turned to Jamie who was still standing quietly in the doorway.
"Well, it was a nice gesture and you're not on restriction anymore. However, I do not want you doing that sort of thing anymore!" She paused long enough to glance at me and then back to Jamie before telling him, "Why don't you help Simon get his socks and shoes on and I will go get breakfast started."
Jamie was smiling as she left the room. He walked over to me and looking me right in the eyes he asked, "Why'd you tell her that?" To which I shrugged my shoulders as much as my armor would allow.
He looked toward the open door then tuned back to me, smiled again and gave me a quick peck on my lips.
"Thanks!" he said
"So you aren't mad at me anymore?" I asked.
Pulling his eyebrows down to a point in an attempt to look mean he said, "I wasn't mad at you!"
I gave him a fake jab to the gut, "You sure had me fooled!"
After helping me to get my socks and shoes on, we went and had our breakfast. On the way out of his room he playfully swatted my diapered bottom which made a loud, deep popping sound.
We had scrambled eggs with
There were a limitless number of things we could do today and for starters we tromped back to Jamie's room for a while.
"You think Ian might want to paint us today?" I asked as Jamie started to make his bed.
"Dunno, but we can stop by and see!" Jamie said as he arranged his pillows.
I started helping him make the bed while we continued to talk.
"I'd really like to see how he does those paintings." I said.
"I've seen him do it lots of times." Jamie said.
"Want to go over there now?" I asked.
"He doesn't get up this early; especially if he was out the night before." Jamie said as he and I pulled the bedspread up over the pillows.
"Plus he might not be alone." he added.
Not catching his implication I asked, "What do you mean?"
Instead of using words Jamie looked at me and wiggled his eyebrows up and down. I giggled as the image of Ian in bed with another guy formed on the movie screen within my mind.
"Can I ask you something?" I asked.
"I think you just did." Jamie said with a mocked up innocent expression.
"Now don't start that again!" I shook my fist at him and he acted like he didn't even see me do it.
"What then?" he asked while smoothing out the wrinkles in the bed.
"Your friends and you?" I started to say.
He started to walk around the bed to my side, "Yeah, what about us?"
"You guys really have a," I dropped my voice so that I was barely audible, "sex club?"
Jamie let loose a rolling kind of chuckle, "Yeah, we really do!"
Jamie started smoothing out my side of his bed while I asked; "You really do all that stuff you told me about before?"
"Yeah, sure do!" he said and totally by accident he was moving his arm backwards in a sweeping motion and his elbow caught me right in the crotch. Thanks to my diaper it took most of the blow, but it was still hard enough that my poor little marbles began to ache and drew back up into my body for protection. I doubled over and fell forward onto the bed.
Jamie began to laugh and with no sympathy at all said, "Hey! I just got all the wrinkles out of that!"
As if it would help at all, I was holding the front of my pants and moaning. "You jerk! You got me right in the privates!" which only made Jamie laugh that much more.
Now Jamie had done it on accident and really didn't hit me as hard as he might have had I not been wearing the diaper, but when I rolled over and sank my fist into his groin, it wasn't by accident or as slight a hit as his had been. I nailed him dead in his tenders. He fell right to the floor, his body curled instantly into the fetal position and his eyes were squeezed completely closed. I don't think he was breathing either. I started to laugh while still holding my own jewels as they still hurt.
"You are so dead!" he groaned without moving his mouth at all.
"Serves you right!" I laughed.
Groaning as if the words were being gargled out from the back of his throat, "Oh you butthole! I didn't mean to hit you!"
"I didn't mean to either!" I laughed.
He opened his eyes and moved for the first time, "You absolute jerk! You did too mean it and you know you did!"
"You want me to kiss it and make it all better?" I teased and he tried to kick me, but when he moved his leg it only caused his injured boyhood to hurt even more.
"I'm so going to kill you when I get up!" he said and this time he sounded more like his normal self again, which allerted me that he would be getting up any second.
I jumped to my feet and ran from his room,
through the living room and into the kitchen where I assumed I would find
Marsha but she wasn't there. I turned and looked back out of the kitchen to see
Jamie hobbling slowly my way. He was dragging one foot as if it was partially
paralyzed and he was all hunched over, clutching his groin. He resembled some
junior version of an old horror movie monster. I was reminded of
I ran out of the kitchen and positioned myself so that the table was between Jamie and me. If he would move left I would move left too making it impossible for him to get a hold of me.
I was giggling like mad as I tried to apologize, "Okay! I am sorry! I am sooooo sorry!"
"Not as sorry as you will be when I catch you!" he growled and almost smiled.
"Jamie I am very, very, very, very, very, times a thousand, sorry!" I was still giggling, "Please don't kill me okay?"
"Let me `Frog' you twice and I'll call it even!" Jamie offered.
"No way!" I protested, "You hit me first anyway!"
Jamie moved two steps to the right so I to moved two steps to my right.
"I didn't mean to do it! You did!" Jamie said as he suddenly moved halfway around the table, making me move just as fast to keep him at bay.
I tried to out think him, "I thought we were supposed to be at peace and not at war!"
"You are the one that broke the truce!" Jamie jogged left two steps and then back right all the way around the table once before stopping again.
"Stop!" I said laughing.
Marsha came out of her room with her hair wrapped in a towel.
"What's going on?" she asked.
This time Jamie lied to her, "We're just playing mom."
"Well you're being too loud! Take it down a few notches." She said and went back to her room.
I looked back at Jamie who, while I had not been looking, had taken the chance and moved to where he was almost on my side of the table. Since I was closer to the living room I turned around and made a desperate attempt to reach his bedroom. I made it and got the door closed and locked before he got to it. I heard him slam into the door followed by a thud that I guessed was him falling to the floor.
Concerned that he might have really hurt himself I unlocked and opened the door again only to have him barge in and nearly knock me over in the process.
"Now Jamie! Remember, I have broken ribs!" I said holding my hands up to keep him at arms distance.
He balled up his fists and raised his middle finger so that the knuckle was sticking up from his fist.
"Where do you want your first `Frog'? In the arm or the leg?"
"Jamie please I am really sorry!" I said backing up until I was against the other wall.
In the distance I heard the phone ring but Jamie still stood there waiting for me to choose.
"If you don't pick one then I will!" he faked a jab at my arm.
"Please don't!" I dropped to my knees and pleaded for mercy.
"Jamie, phone for you!" Marsha called out.
"I'll just have to get you later then!" he said and ran out of his room to go get the phone.
I stood up and raced after him. He was in the kitchen talking into the phone.
"Yeah, but not very long." I heard him saying.
There was a pause as Jamie listened to the caller before he spoke again, "Okay, let me ask."
He pulled the phone from his mouth and asked Marsha, "Can we go over to Paul and Noah's?"
Marsha was making herself a cup of tea and was dipping the teabag into the hot water when he asked.
"I wish you would!" she responded.
Jamie put the receiver back to his mouth, "She said yes! We'll be right there!"
He paused for a moment before saying, "Okay, bye!" and then hung up the phone.
"Come on!" Jamie said taking half a step away from the phone.
"You two check in every hour!" Marsha said.
Jamie grabbed me by my arms as he said, "Okay see ya mom!"
We were out the door in less then a second; Jamie turned and before I could react, gave me a `Frog' in my right arm that hurt so bad it felt like I was going to die.
"Oh you are such a punk!" I said rubbing my arm.
"You got one more coming!" he laughed as he moved several steps backward out of my reach.
"No way! I only hit you once!" I objected.
"Okay, then we are even!" he agreed while still moving away, but not turning his back on me.
I wanted to run up to him, grab him by his ears and shake the crap out of him, but I was too busy rubbing my lifeless arm.
"Dang Jamie that really hurts!" I whimpered.
"Oh stop belly-aching and come on!" he said from half way down the hall.
I was cradling my arm and trying to wiggle my fingers as I walked.
"You know something?" I asked as the two of us stepped into the elevator.
"What?" he asked.
I shook my still throbbing arm and said, "We sure suck at keeping the peace going between us."
As the elevator doors opened Noah and Paul were there to greet us.
"Hi Jamie! How's it going Simon?" Paul said.
"Hey guys!" Noah said as Jamie and I walked out of the elevator.
I waved at the same time Jamie asked them, "What are you guys doing out here?"
"Had to take the trash to the chute." Noah answered.
Not missing a beat Jamie said, "But Paul is still here?"
Paul started slap-boxing with Jamie.
"Oh you are so not funny!" Paul said.
I must admit that I got some satisfaction when Paul accidentally cold-cocked Jamie upside his head. Jamie started to stagger and nearly fell over had he not staggered into Noah.
"Oh sorry! Are you alright? I didn't mean to hit you so hard." Paul said helping to steady Jamie. I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from busting out laughing. When Jamie recovered, he was rubbing his jaw and trying to act as if it didn't hurt, but I knew it had especially since it had only been a few days since I'd given him a shiner and busted his nose.
Jamie tried to look macho and not dazed as we walked down the hall to their apartment. Despite being in the same building and having the same overall floor plan, I was surprised how different their apartment looked inside from Jamie's. Where Jamie's mom had decorated their place to look very modern and clean, Paul and Noah's had a much more lived in look. The floors were covered in a multi-shaded brown carpet; the walls were all painted in a generic off white with tons of pictures all over the place of Noah and Paul at various ages. There were also a lot of plants hanging from the ceiling, some on shelves, several here and there on tables and an absolutely huge palm kind of tree that was so tall that to keep the tops of it up, someone had tied the very top of the tree to three hooks that were in the ceiling. Now that I think about it, maybe that was to keep it from being knocked over. I think the thing that made their apartment look so different is that there were no walls separating the Living room, Kitchen and Dining room areas. It was like one big grand living space.
A frumpy sort of woman, with hair that looked to have been over bleached, came walking out of the kitchen dining room area carrying a laundry basket full of freshly washed and folded clothes.
As if she didn't even see Jamie or me she said to Paul and Noah, "There you are. I was calling for you."
"We were taking out the trash!" they answered in unison.
"Well now you can go get your clothes off the washer and take them to your rooms. Put them away where they are supposed to go, folded them neatly and do not just stuff them into any old drawer or dropped them on the floor!"
Paul and Noah looked a little uncomfortable and didn't put up any argument as they started toward the kitchen. With no walls to obstruct the view I saw that on the far side of the kitchen were two bi-fold louvered doors that were open revealing a tired and un-matching washer and drier set.
"Leave your dress shirts in there! I will iron them later today!" she shouted which caught me off guard and maybe startled me a little.
She was almost to the other side of the great room before she bothered to acknowlege that Jamie and I were even in the apartment. The way she addressed Jamie made it sound like he was one of her own children and not just a friend.
"Jamie? What have you been told about wearing shoes in the house?"
"Sorry!" Jamie said kicking off his shoes. Not wanting to get verbally chastised too, I quickly kicked my own shoes off as well.
When I looked back up she was gone and Paul and Noah were walking back toward us, both carrying armloads of folded clothes. I looked down and for the first time noticed they were both in their socks, which I realized was why they didn't get yelled at for wearing shoes in the apartment.
"Come on!" Noah said, leading the way for Jamie and me.
Paul had raced ahead of us and was already in their room. The three of us were just crossing the living room when a man came out of Paul's and Noah's room carrying a cordless screwdriver.
Seeming surprised to see Jamie and I he said, "Oh hi there Jamie, and this must be your brother Sampson?"
He stuck out his free hand to shake mine.
"The boys have told me all about you, Sampson! That is a great and noble name! It's from the bible you know?"
I shook his hand and politely corrected him, "Actually my name's Simon."
"Oh yeah? Well, Simon you say? Oh now then there's nothing noble about that."
He turned to look at Noah for a second, who looked positively horrified. Then turning back to me he raised his cordless screwdriver as if he were attempting to rob Jamie and me.
"Oh wait, wasn't there a Simon in the bible too?" and raising his cordless screw driver high into the air he announced, "Ah yes, one of the twelve! Yes, Yes! Simon is truly a noble name! I shall never forget again!" and walked off, rustling Noah's hair in the process.
Noah had turned so bright red that I expected his head to pop like an inflamed zit.
Not making eye contact he said, "That was my dad. Everyone calls him Buzz."
Jamie laughed, "Yeah, their dad's nuts, but he's cool!"
"Glad you think so!" Noah said turning and walking into his room with Jamie and me following behind.
Their room looked like someone had set off a bomb. There was stuff everywhere; toys, games, clothes and books, all scattered everywhere.
"Wow!" I said at seeing the mess, "My mom would kill me if she ever saw my room like this!"
I noticed that Paul, who was sitting on the bed, had not put his clothes away like he'd been told but had instead dropped them on the floor in front of the dresser. Noah on the other hand did put his clothes away but not before kicking Paul's stuff out of the way so that he could open the bottom drawer of the dresser.
"Dad screwed the shelves to the wall so they won't fall over again." Paul said which drew my attention to the fact that the shelves on the far wall were bare, except for what looked to be a pair of dirty underwear dangling from the edge of a middle shelf.
After using his foot to push the bottom drawer back in, Noah said, "Yeah, mom used to yell at us all the time to clean up but she hardly ever does now."
Paul jumped in, "Yeah, she said as long as we bring home B's or better on our report cards she won't say anything about our room."
"How did the shelves fall over?" Jamie asked bending down and picking up a Gameboy from the floor.
"Butthead over there." Paul started to say.
Noah picked up one of Paul's' clean shirts that Paul had just carried in and threw it at his brother, "You're the Butthead that threw my bear all the way on top!"
"Bear?" I said and wished I hadn't as soon as the word was past my lips.
Noah again blushed and Paul, not willing to let the subject pass without taking another stab at Noah said, "Yeah little baby Noah can't go beddy-bye without his Teddy Bear!"
As if he had rocket implants in the soles of his feet Noah launched himself into the air and came down on top of Paul with his fists flying in from every direction.
"Get off, you dweeb!" Paul groaned as he tried to fend off Noah's attack.
"You promised you'd never tell!" Noah said landing a swinging left into Paul's stomach and ending the battle... for now.
I felt really out of place, like I should leave but I also felt like it would be rude to just walk out. Jamie, who had not even paid any attention to Paul and Noah was standing beside me playing with the Gameboy, he finally looked up at me and said, "Don't worry, they always fight like that!"
I was concerned for Paul who was curled into a ball on the bed clutching at his stomach and gasping for air, "You okay?" I asked.
Noah answered instead, "He's fine except he's a butthead!"
A couple seconds later Paul raised himself up in time to kick Noah in the back, but it must not have hurt because Noah didn't even flinch.
"You jerk! You nearly knocked the air out of me!" Paul then rolled himself off the bed and stormed out of the room.
"I think you really hurt him." I said to Noah.
"No way!" Jamie said, "I've seen them fight worse then that!"
Noah was still looking a little embarrassed over the Teddy Bear comment but soon got over it, or at least acted like he did.
Noah tried to change the subject by sayting, "Which one you got there?"
"Pokemon Gold." Jamie answered without looking up form the game.
As if it really mattered Noah said, "That one's mine, you can play it."
I noticed that on the wall separating their room from the rest of the apartment were two movie-sized posters for Star Wars Episodes 1 and 2 taped to the wall.
"You like Star Wars?" I asked.
"They are only the best movies ever!" Noah said.
From off in the distance came his mothers' shrill cry. "Noah! Stop hitting your brother!" to which Noah only rolled his eyes.
Paul came back into the room later looking as if he might have been crying.
"Tattle Tail!" Noah said to him.
Paul then countered with, "Least I'm not a diaper baby that sleeps with a Teddy Bear and sucks his thumb!"
I felt myself flush with embarrassment at the words, "Diaper baby," and Jamie surprised me by suddenly whipping the Gameboy at Paul and hitting him right in the chest.
"Ouch! Dang Jamie that hurt!" Paul cried out.
Jamie looked like as if he was seeing red. He positioned himself in front of me basically protecting me from an impending attack.
With both hands raised defensively he snapped at him, "You better watch what you say or I'll bust you right in the mouth!"
Noah took a step away form Jamie, Paul was rubbing and holding his chest where the game had hit him hard and not realizing what he'd just said he asked, "What did I say?"
Noah suddenly understood why Jamie was so mad and gave Paul a shove! "You jerk! You know Simon has to wear Diapers!"
I couldn't believe what was being said and all I wanted to do was run away, which is exactly what I did. I was at their front door, shoes in hand before the three of them caught up to me. With tears streaming down my face I grabbed the knob and started to turn it but Jamie barged in front of me, effectively stopping me from opening the door.
"Get out of my way!" The words flew off my tongue as if strapped to a nuclear missile.
"Jamie wait!" I heard Noah say from behind me.
Seething I said to Jamie, "You told them!"
Jamie tried to touch my arm but I batted his hand away.
"I only told them so they wouldn't say something to embarrass you last night." He said.
I don't think I've ever been as mad in my life as I was at that moment. Much like had happened the morning I had taken on Peter and his friends all by myself I suddenly lost control and with a single punch to his stomach, Jamie tumbled over. I turned the doorknob and was out the door with Paul following quickly behind me.
"Simon stop! Please! I didn't mean anything by that! I..." he stopped midway through whatever he was going to say when I turned and had a shoe raised into the air ready to strike him down.
Paul had his hands raised to try and block me if I chose to swing.
"I'm sorry I wasn't thinking I was just mad at Noah!" he said.
I threw my shoe at him and he ducked out of the way. I threw the other and missed him only by a fraction of an inch. I then turned and ran down the hall to the stairs. I expected him to come running after me, but I didn't hear him. I took the stairs back to Jamie's floor and was going to go through the door when I noticed the grate on the wall was not fastened correctly.
Not really thinking about what I was doing, I took hold of it and it lifted open. I slipped into the duct behind the grate and lowered it back into place. After making my way all the way to the big metal door that led to the garden, which I found was not closed all the way, I stepped in to find Becky inside watering the plants.
I startled her so much that she screamed when she saw me, "AAAAHHHH!" and dropped the watering can. It hit the concrete floor with a clunk and spilling water everywhere.
Having hoped that I would find the place empty so that I could sit myself down for a good cry and finding that was not going to happen I turned and started to leave. Becky must have seen that I was crying because she ran over and caught me by the back of my shirt.
Sounding genuinely concerned she asked, "Wait Simon, what's wrong?"
All I could say was, "Please let me go!"
She pulled me back a half step, enough so that she could get around in front of me, "What's the matter?"
"I just want to be alone, please!" I said before totally breaking down which didn't help the way I was feeling given that I didn't really even know Becky and didn't want her to see me crying.
She stopped trying to get me to tell her what was wrong. Instead she put her arms around me and patted the back of my head affectionately while I sobbed into her fuzzy sweater. I suppose it was because Becky is several inches taller than me and the way she was holding and shushing me made her seem kind of motherly. I imagine that is what it must be like to have an older sister to run to.
I was able to get all my tears out before the two of us were interrupted by the clank of the metal door being opened again. As it swung open Becky and I had to move out of the way. She released her embrace and I turned so that my back was to the door while wiping my eyes and nose on the sleeve of Jamie's sweatshirt that Marsha had put on me this morning. In an odd sort of way I felt kind of good to be wiping my own snot on Jamie's shirt.
"There you are!" Noah said as he came in.
"What's going on?" Becky asked sounding angry, "Why's Simon crying?"
Noah ignored Becky and said, "Simon? We're sorry! We didn't mean too, I mean... uh, we shouldn't have said those things! We weren't thinking!"
"Why? What did you say to him?" Becky asked still sounding mad.
"Becky would you just shut up for a minute! This has nothing to do with you!" Noah said in a very nasty way.
I heard a thump behind me and then Noah cry out! "Ouch Becky! Why'd you stomp on my foot?"
"Because you are a jerk! Now get out and leave us alone!" Becky said.
"Stop pushing!" Noah said.
"Get out, and don't come back!" Becky shouted and then I heard the metal door clank closed again.
I felt a hand on my shoulder, then saw Becky's arm reach around me from behind and taking hold of my elbow she turned me around and embraced me again.
"You okay?" she asked in a soothing voice and I found it remarkable how she could go from sounding so violent one second and gentle the next.
I had nearly stopped crying and Becky loosened her grip on me.
"You want to talk about it now?" she asked.
I shook my head no.
"Want to help me water the plants?" she asked as if talking to a small child.
"Okay, I'll have to go get some more water. Will you be alright while I'm gone?" she asked as if she were going to be gone more then a few seconds. I remember Jamie telling me that there was a water faucet in the room with all the pipes and ducts, which was just on the other side of the storage room.
After I nodded again she picked up the watering can and went to fill it up. She was back after a minute or two but she wasn't alone. Noah was with her and was looking very humbled. I also couldn't help but notice that he was limping slightly due to Becky having tromped on his foot. He was still only wearing socks afterall.
"Noah just told me what happened." Becky said softly.
I spun back around so that I did not have to look at either of them.
"I don't want to talk about it." I said.
I could not understand what Becky said next because she said it so softly but afterward Noah spoke.
"Simon?" his voice cracked.
When I did not respond I heard Becky say, "Noah, tell him or I will do it for you!"
Noah cleared his throat and said, "Simon, I used to wet the bed too!"
Then I heard Becky say, "Tell him the whole truth!" while putting an emphasis on the word whole.
Noah sighed heavily, "I... I still do sometimes!"
When they had come back into the garden they had not closed the metal door so we heard when Jamie and Paul were coming through the grate that led into the storage room.
I turned to see that Jamie was the first in.
"He's in here!" he whispered to Paul who came in to and closed the metal door behind him.
Instead of addressing me Paul turned to Becky, "We could hear you all the way out by the stairs! Why didn't you have this door closed?"
Jamie spoke up next, "I bet everyone could hear what was being said."
I was looking right at Noah when Jamie said that and I saw as every bit of color washed out of him and he started to look like he was going to pass out or something. I don't think any of us expected him to do what he did next. With no warning whatsoever Noah leaned forward and puked right there on the concrete floor. The smell quickly overtook the rest of us and I could see everyone turning various shades of green. Becky went over behind a tall concrete pillar and opened a window to allow fresh air to blow in swiftly.
Jamie and Paul had taken Noah over to the grass to lie down and Becky was trying to use the watering can to wash the bile down the floor drain a couple feet away. When she went back out to get more water I slipped out behind her but she didn't know it. I managed to hide behind a stack of boxes until she re-entered the garden room and closed the metal door. I went through the grate, through the plumbing room, back into the ducts and out the grate by the stairs. I then made my way back to Jamie's apartment.
However when I reached the door I found it locked and so I had to ring the bell. When Marsha answered the door she looked a little confused.
"Where's Jamie?" she asked.
"Oh he's still at Paul's and Noah's." I lied.
Then a look of understanding came about her.
"Oh, you need a change?" she asked.
Now I honestly had no idea but I figured there was a really good chance that I did, so I nodded to her. She escorted me to Jamie's room and when I unbuttoned and unzipped my pants I saw that I was wet, maybe not wet enough to warrant a changing just yet, but I went ahead and assumed the position on Jamie's bed without saying anything.
Marsha unfastened the tapes to my diaper and without removing it from under me was cleaning off my front diaper area when the intercom buzzer sounded. The buzzing meant that the security guard down in the front lobby was buzzing up.
"Don't go anywhere!" Marsha said with a funny grin and I must admit that it was funny.
PART 2 -- Sunday, March 07, 2004 -- A League is Formed and a Toe is Broken
I was laying there on Jamie's bed with my boy nudity exposed to the elements and I didn't, in truth, care. I was lost to my thoughts as I wondered if Jamie, Paul, Noah and Becky had realized I had taken off again and if they had, were they again searching the building for me. In an abnormal sort of way, I was deriving a trivial yet satisfying amount of pleasure from this demented game of Hide-and-Seek that I was playing. At the same time, I was feeling fiercely perplexed and besieged by everything that I was trying to keep contained within my skull.
I am not sure of the exact time that transpired while I waited for Marsha to return. However, when I saw the things on Jamie's wall moving slightly, I realized she was on her way back in. I made a mental note to try and remember that when I see him again, to tell Jamie how inventive a warning system that actually is.
Now, I had no other expectations than to see Marsha walk back into Jamie's room and I had none of the fears or worries that I'd been feeling about having her change my diaper. Somehow, something in the way I viewed her had changed within me and having her change my diaper or see me naked seemed as normal as if one of my own parents were going to do it. In fact, I could not understand why I had been feeling so squeamish around her this weekend. I was ready for Marsha to come finish the job she had started but when mom walked in holding a new package of diapers under her arm, I was taken wholly by surprise. I blinked twice just to be sure my eyes were not playing tricks on me. For maybe half a second I had the notion that I had fallen asleep and was dreaming but as quickly as the notion formed it vanished in a cloud of mental vapors.
"MOM!" I roared ecstatically when I saw her.
"Hi sweetie!" she said pulling off her coat so that she could finish the job Marsha had started. Her smile was like sunshine on a summer day. I felt all-warm inside just seeing her again.
"W-why are you here?" I asked.
"Marsha called this morning and said you were almost out of diapers and I also wanted to see you!" she said.
"Is my room done? Can I come home now?" I asked.
"Shhhh, lay still and let mommy get you cleaned up and diapered okay?" She said giving my nose a tweak before raising my bottom, pulling the wet diaper out from under me and wiping my backside clean too.
Out in the other room I could faintly hear dad's voice as he was talking with Marsha. I also heard another man's voice but I did not recognize it.
"Is dad here too?" I asked.
"Yes, we took a break to bring you more diapers." She said sliding the fresh diaper under me.
"When can I come home?" I asked.
"Soon!" Was all she offered as a time frame.
"How soon?" I asked trying to nail her down to a specific time.
"Pretty soon!" she teased.
"Mommmm!" I droned and chuckled!
Just having her with me made me so happy that all the bad feelings that had been flowing through me today seemed to run away and hide from her shinning smile.
"We should be finished and back this afternoon!" I heard dad say.
I looked past mom to see dad standing just inside the doorway of Jamie's room.
"Hi dad!" I said equally glad to see him.
Dad smiled proudly and said, "Hi there slugger! You been having fun?"
Not wanting to make them worry at all I lied, "Yeah the best!"
"Where is Jamie anyway?" Mom asked while looking around the room as if he might be standing silently in some corner.
"He is at Noah's and Paul's still." I said.
"Are those friends of his?" dad asked.
He picked up the wet diaper from off the bed where mom had left it and began to fold it into a neat white football shape.
"Yeah!" I said and giggled when mom accidentally tickled me as she applyed the baby powder.
She pulled the diaper up and taped it into place before helping me to my feet and pulling my pants back up over the fresh diaper. She was zipping up my pants when I noticed that dad had a large Band-Aid under the left side of his chin.
I started to giggle and mom, while giving my knees a squeeze, asked me, "What are you giggling about?"
I pointed at dad and asked through my giggles, "Dad was using a hammer again huh?"
It's a running joke in my house that every time dad so much as touches a hammer. Usually he hits his thumb or finger, but there have been times where he has whacked himself in the head, dropped it on his foot or missed what he was trying to hit and instead whacked himself in the leg. Now dad couldn't see mom's face, she was still kneeling down in front of me with her back to him, which was a good thing because she was having to screw her face up something awful to keep from laughing out loud.
Mom's effects at concealing her laughter only fueled my own. I could not hold back and was snickering and giggling while dad humorously caressed his injury.
"I'll have you know that I was wounded while trying to..." he stopped himself before he gave away anything.
Mom turned to give him a look as if to say, "Shut up before you blow the surprise!"
"What?" I bounced with excitement.
"Just never you mind!" Mom said grabbing my head and kissing my forehead as she stood up.
Inside I was thinking, "I WANT TO GO HOME! I WANT TO GO HOME! I WANT TO GO HOME!" but on the outside I said, "Oh okay!"
Mom wrapped her arms around me and gave me a big hug; it felt so good that I did not want her to stop.
When she finally did release me, dad bent down and said, "My turn!"
He swooped me up into his arms and lifted me from the bed. He had his arms braced under my diapered bottom, which allowed me, in essence, to sit, perched against his chest with my head resting on his shoulder.
"Yeah!" dad said with a loving sigh, "Don't you ever get too big for me to hug okay?"
"Okay!" I agreed hugging his neck with all my strength.
From out in the living room there was a voluble commotion. It only took me a second or two to realize that Jamie and his friends had charged in looking for me.
Dad put me back down and mom quickly helped me get my pants pulled back on before the three of us walked out to the living room where Jamie, Becky, Noah, Paul and now Vanessa were all standing. Jamie had my shoes in his hands. The five of them looked so guilty, like a teen of crooks caught with their hands in the bank safe as the lights come on.
I was looking around trying to figure out where the other man was I had heard while Marsha and dad had been out here talking a few minutes ago but aside from Marsha, mom and dad, there were no other adults around.
Jamie tried smiling.
"Hi dad!" he said.
Thinking fast Jamie then said to me, "Uh, you forgot your shoes!"
The moment might have gotten awkward had Marsha not said, "Why don't all of you run and play for a while?"
I turned to mom and dad to ask, "When do I get to go home?"
Dad flicked me in the forehead as a joke and answered, "You have plenty of time to play more! We will call later when it is time."
However, I did not really want to go with Jamie and his friends but I did anyway.
Jamie told his mom, "We're going back to Noah's and Paul's!" And the five of them absconded with me right in front of my parents.
Several feet outside Jamie's apartment I tried to get them to let go of me but the five of them were gently pushing and pulling me in the direction of the stairs.
"Come on guys stop!" I tried to protest!
Vanessa said, "We need to talk!"
"We aren't going to hurt you!" Paul added.
When we reached the first grate behind the door to the stairs Jamie opened it using his handy-dandy quarter. Noah and Vanessa went in first then Jamie and Becky pushed me in with Paul bringing up the rear so that he could close the grate properly.
No one talked this time until the six of us were back in the garden with the metal door securely closed and latched.
It was cold in the garden room because they had left the window open to allow the stench of vomit to dissipate, which it had. Vanessa went behind the concrete pillar to close and latch the window again while the three boys forced me to sit down on an overturned bucket.
"We have decided something!" Becky said sounding as if she was the spokesperson for them all.
"Well I've decided something too!" I said trying to struggle against Jamie, Paul and Noah's hands that continued to hold me from attempting another escape.
"What?" Vanessa asked emerging from behind the pillar.
"That I don't want anything to do with any of you or your club?" I said as if spitting my words onto the ground and stomping on them.
"Club? What club?" Becky asked looking right at Jamie who I fully expected to look surprised and or guilty but he did not express either of the two.
"Your sex club!" I said trying to tug away again.
"Careful! Don't hurt him!" Jamie said as he and the other two boys attempted to keep me seated on the bucket.
Acting very melodramatic, Becky threw her hands in the air and said, "Secrets are only secrets when no one tells them."
She paused long enough to give Jamie a hard, cold gaze, "Isn't that right Jamie?"
"Yeah!" Noah said firing his own icy gaze at Becky.
"Let me go!" I said trying one more time to get away.
"Not until you hear us out!" Becky said as she walked over and placed a single finger over my lips.
Since she had done nothing but show me kindness today I opted to yield, for the moment, to her will.
"What then?" I said relaxing under the three boys restraining hands.
Becky turned and looked out one of the dirty window panes with her arms folded over her chest. She began to speak rather cryptically, making me feel as though I were playing a part in some bad mystery movie.
"Secrets that get out can be made secret again if those that know the secrets swear to never tell another living soul as long as they live!"
Noah started to spout off at Becky, "If some people would have..." but stopped when Paul barked at him, "Shut up, will ya Noah!"
Becky turned back toward us and calmly said, "Simon? You know about our secret here," she motioned to all the plants around us, "because someone broke our code and told you." She said while looking right at Jamie, "And we all know about your diapers because," I felt myself flush as she again looked right at Jamie, "someone broke your trust and told us."
She took a step toward Jamie who I could not see but could hear breathing hard right behind me. She continued, "And you know about our secret club because that same someone broke our most sacred code and told you!"
Just beyond Becky, Vanessa was averting her eyes from my own. Becky unfolded her arms, reached down and picked up one of those small gardening hand shovels and I started to worry more for Jamie then myself at that point. The small shovel had a green handle while the actual shovel part looked to have at one time been painted white but now only a trace of the original finish could be seen close to the plastic handle.
I felt Jamie shrinking behind me and I realized that the hand resting on the left side of my neck belonged to him because it was trembling something fierce. Becky took a half step toward the four of us while holding the small shovel up before her.
It was Noah who broke the mounting tensions with, "You and Paul broke the code too!" he yelled to Becky effectively stopping her in her tracks.
Becky appeared indignant that anyone, let alone Noah, should interrupt her grandiose performance.
Noah sounded both confident and frightened as he shouted, "Paul told Simon that I still sleep with a Teddy Bear and you made me tell Simon that I still wet the bed sometimes!"
Becky sneered at Noah as if she was just
forced to eat an entire lemon...
Noah added, "You can't make Jamie take the walk unless you and Paul do it too!"
I wanted to ask what `The walk' was but Vanessa, who had been standing quietly, leaning against the pillar this whole time finally spoke up.
"Why don't we just admit that everyone broke the code and get past it!"
Now any Vulcan worth his pointy ears would tell you that the natural enemy of emotion is and always has been pure logic.
"Everyone broke the code! Everyone!" she said.
Paul offered a small bit of incite, "You didn't!" he said to Vanessa.
"Code? What code?" I asked.
Maybe feeling a little betrayed, Becky turned on Vanessa and for an instant I thought Becky was going to lash out at her but she didn't.
"She's right!" Becky announced, "We are all guilty of breaking the code!"
With growing frustration, I asserted myself by re-stating my previous question and this time it came out spiced with a drop of my own venom.
"What 'effing code?" except I actually screamed the `F' word at them.
It worked, I got their attention. I felt a hand cover my mouth and not knowing or caring whose it was I opened my mouth and chomped down as hard as I could. It turned out that the finger I had clamped onto was attached to the hand of Noah. He let out a cry that could wake the dead. Jamie was pulling on my face from behind while Paul had straddled my legs and was trying to yank Noah's finger from my teeth. I didn't hang on for long, only long enough to scare the crap out of Noah, which was about ten seconds.
He pulled away cradling his hand, jumping around and howling, "He bit me! He bit me!"
Paul and Vanessa were trying to get him to shut up while Jamie and Becky were laughing themselves silly.
Vanessa smugly said, "You shouldn't have put your finger in his mouth!"
"I didn't!" he bellowed, giving me a dirty look and walking all the way over to the other side of the greenhouse room. He flipped over another bucket and sat himself directly across from me while he nursed his aching finger and wiped a tear or two from his eyes with his shirtsleeve. That was the exact second in which I noticed that Noah had a wet spot on the front of his jeans. Evidentially, while I had his finger clamped between my teeth, I inflicted enough pain, or maybe I scared him enough that he peed a little.
That gave me something to focus my attention on for a while, which I think was freaking Noah out because he could not stand that I kept staring at him. Actually, I was staring at his crotch but from across the room, I'm sure he thought I was giving him the evil eye or something.
Just for good measure, Jamie gave me a slap on the top of my head with the palm of his hand and trying not to laugh too hard he commanded me as if I were some common mutt, "Bad Simon! No biting!"
I looked up at Becky who had gone from laughing to not looking amused at all. Behind her stood Vanessa, who had moved closer to the rest of us and was now right behind Becky grinning and appearing quite pleased.
"Okay, if we let you up, will you stay and hear us out?" Becky asked still holding the little shovel and wielding it about as she spoke.
I twisted my head around to look at Jamie, then Paul and finally Noah who was keeping his distance from me now. I nodded my agreement.
"Okay, let him go!" Becky commanded which was really a wasted command given that Jamie was the only one still touching me and even he only had one hand resting on top of my head. I think Paul was afraid of loosing a finger to because after successfully freeing his brother from my dental vise he had moved back to one side and had both of his hands shoved down inside his pants pockets.
I looked over at Noah again and he was completely oblivious to the state of his denims; he was sitting with his knees apart and the finger I bit shoved into his mouth. I won't bother commenting on how gross that is given the fact that it had been in my mouth a moment before. It was kind of funny really. I was sitting there watching Noah while Becky was going on and on about how important it is to keep secrets and a bunch of other stuff too. Mostly she was just blowing hot air. Every few minutes Vanessa would toss in her two cents but really, I wasn't listening to either one of them. I was pretty well transfixed on Noah now. I'm not sure why really, I guess it's because for some reason, I started thinking about sex. It was a stupid time to think about sex, but when I think of the company I was in the presents of, I suppose it should not have been so surprising.
Suddenly, anything anyone said or any move anyone made reminded me of sex and then a thought occurred to me. I have never seen or experienced real sex, at least not in the normal girl and guy way. I looked at Becky, then Vanessa and once again, Jamie's words were replaying in my ears.
"Becky only kisses, but Vanessa will do anything as long as Becky is there."
And just like that I made a decision! I wanted to watch Jamie, Paul or Noah having sex with Vanessa. However, oddly enough, I did not want to do anything with her myself, I just wanted to be a witness to the act.
I felt another thump on the top of my head, this time with knuckles.
"Ouch! What was that one for?" I groaned at Jamie.
"Have you even heard anything I said?" Becky asked and when I looked over at her, she had her hands on her hips exactly the way my mother does whenever she is really upset.
I looked back up at Jamie who was looking at me as if I had a booger hanging out of my nose. Something possessed me at that very second because the thoughts that were forming in my head were not my thoughts and were not anything I have or ever would think about.
I honestly believed that I was thinking to myself when I posed the question, "But how do I even ask?"
"Ask what?" Becky's question snapped me back to reality; making me realize that she was addressing me and that I'd not just thought it but actually spoke the words.
I was trying to come up with something to say, something that wouldn't make me sound like a shmuck. I felt Jamie move his hand. He laid it on my bare neck and gave me a slight squeeze. He bent down and whispered into my ear. His breath was hot and caused a shiver to run threw me.
"Look at Noah's pants." He whispered.
"What did you just say to him?" Becky asked sounding a lot like some old nagging woman.
Jamie fired his words at her like bullets, "I said look at Noah's Pants."
Everyone, including Noah looked and saw what I'd noticed the second he'd sat down.
"Oh shit!" Noah cursed.
"Hey!" Paul said tossing a clump of dirt at Noah, "Watch your mouth!"
"Bite me!" Noah said which of course made Paul laugh.
"Simon already did it for me!" Paul said.
Vanessa let out the biggest sigh before saying, "I'm sick of all this! If everyone's just going to keep arguing and fighting then I'm going back home!"
"No wait!" Becky said, "Hang on a second. Let me finish what I was saying."
"Would you just get to the point and stop talking nineteen to the dozen?" Jamie said squeezing my neck again. I felt as if he was trying to tell me something with the squeeze but I was not sure what just yet.
Becky sneered at Jamie, "Alright!" and then made an offer to everyone, "Why don't we make a new club pack?"
"Who's the `we'? `We' five or `We' six?" Jamie asked, giving me another squeeze and now I got the message. He wanted me to keep my mouth shut for a change.
"All six of us!" Becky and Vanessa both said at exactly the same time.
"But he said that he did not want to be in our club!" Noah spouted off pointing at me with his injured finger.
Jamie squeezed me even harder and it kind of hurt and though I really wanted to say something, I kept my mouth shut.
"Noah! You know how you feel about people being aware that you wet the bed." Becky said.
"Shut up!" Noah tried asserting himself but lost the battle.
"No you shut up!" His brother moved to about halfway between Noah and me, "You're just mad because Simon here knows you wet the bed AND because you were stupid enough to put your finger in his mouth AND because you peed all over yourself AGAIN!"
Noah started to say something else but Paul didn't let him.
"No!" Paul angrily snapped at his brother, "You don't get to talk anymore! You are just trying to be mean and if you keep it up I'm going to be the one that shuts you up."
It was funny to hear these two brothers going at it especially since they looked so much alike. It was like watching someone yelling at his or her own mirrored-reflection.
Paul didn't stop there but leveled one more bit of verbal chastising on Noah. "And as far as you freaking out about everyone in the building knowing you wet the bed? I've got news for you! Everyone has known since we moved in here!"
Noah's eyes grew to the size of mini-planets while his brother continued spewing words at him, "Remember when mom used to have to go to the laundry mat? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that one of us was wetting the bed since she had to drag stinky sheets out of the apartment everyday!"
Noah seemed to be regressing several years' right before my eyes.
With watery eyes he whimpered, "But they don't know it was me!"
"They do, because I told them!" Paul's final words were the preverbal straw that broke Noah's back.
Noah stopped moving, stopped blinking and I think maybe stopped breathing too, but I couldn't be sure from across the green house. He was staring right at Paul as if the two of them had suddenly become locked together in a stare down contest. However, with a single sniffle from Noah the whole ordeal ended without another thing said and no tears being shed, which amazed me to no end.
There was a uncomfortable hush as everyone waited for Paul or Noah to say something else but when they didn't, Jamie finally asked Noah, "Do you not like Simon because he wears diapers or do you just not like him period?"
Noah seemed dazed but rapidly transcended, "I don't, not like him."
Either Jamie squeezing my neck so hard that he was cutting the blood off to my brain or Noah's statement was really screwed up. Either way, I wasn't sure if he did or did not like me.
"Do you not want me in your club?" I asked despite Jamie's attempts to keep me from doing so.
Noah seemed to be having problems with his brain too, "Yeah, I mean, well, what the fuck!" the word was barely out of his lips before Paul was lunging for him.
"Oh shit sorry!" Noah said and quickly covered his mouth with both of his hands.
"Noah if you use bad language one more time I am going to tell your mother!" Vanessa said stepping into Paul's path, effectively stopping him before he could kill his brother.
"Why?" he said standing up and shrugging his shoulders.
Having to speak past three people Noah raised his voice a little, "Hey Simon? You're almost thirteen, right?"
"No numb-nuts! He just turned twelve!" Jamie said and I felt his second hand come to rest on the other side of my neck. For a second I was scared he was going to try to choke me if I said anything else.
"Whatever! But I am willing to bet he's said worse!" Noah argued.
Since Vanessa and Becky wouldn't let him get at his brother, Paul started to turn away from Noah and flung his hand dismissively at Noah.
"You know, you are so lame!" Paul said to his brother.
When he turned toward me, our eyes met briefly. It was long enough that I saw him roll his eyes and give me a smirk. I felt as if he were giving me his vote to let me into the club.
"Can I ask one question?" I spoke up again which earned me a loose choking. I had to reach up and pull at Jamie's fingers to be able to speak again. "So what do you do, I mean, in this club?"
I felt Jamie's hot breath in my ear again as he leaned forward to say something but all he was able to say before Becky interrupted him was, "How stupid are..."
"Whatever feels good!" and the way Becky said it made her skin seem luminous and her eyes twinkled behind her glasses.
I had to quietly clear my throat and pull at Jamie's fingers again before I could respond, "Okay! I could do that!"
I felt Jamie finally loosen his grip so I released my hold on his fingers that I had been keeping from constricting around my voice box and choking the life right out of me.
Still trying to keep the conversation about the sex club going I asked, "So who's the president?"
I should have expected the response I got.
"Bush!" Vanessa said.
"What?" I asked in disbelief that anyone could be so brainless.
"Bush! President George W. Bush! What do you think I'm stupid!" she clarified.
I rubbed my left temple and wanted to say, "Yes you are a complete brainless twit!" but I did not say it; but boy, I sure wanted too!
So as not to sound offensive I clarified my question, "Sorry! I mean who's the President of the Sex Club!"
"We don't have one!" Noah replied sitting with his knees together and his hands covering his crotch to hide the wet spot that we all knew was there now.
In an attempt to be funny I asked, "Do you have Jackets?"
Had Paul been drinking milk it would have shot out his nose just then. He doubled over laughing, "Jackets? Oh that's a good one!" He looked over at Noah who was grinning but not laughing. "We need to get Jackets with sex club embroidered on the backs!"
"Geeze Paul! I wasn't that funny!" Vanessa said.
"You know what!" Jamie said, "It's too cold in here since we had the window open!"
"Yeah!" Noah agreed.
"We can go back to my place! My father won't be up for a couple hours yet." Vanessa said.
We all agreed and after making our way back
to the stairs in silence, Jamie began to explain to me that Vanessa's father
works the graveyard shift at Rumple Paper Mill as a Shift Manager. He gets home
around 3 o'clock in the morning and sleeps so soundly that a nuclear bomb could
go off in their living room and he would sleep right through it. He also told
me that Vanessa's mom owns and runs the Starbucks over on
When we walked into Vanessa's apartment, I was blown away. "Wow! It's like a magazine!" I gasped.
Noah went over and plopped down on a big reddish semi-circler sofa and Vanessa nearly came unhinged.
"Hey! Don't sit there with your wet pee pants on!"
"They are not that wet!" Noah groaned and covered his crotch with his hands again.
"Noah, I am serious!" Vanessa stomped her foot.
Becky chimed in too, "Noah, get up now!"
When Noah stood up and began taking off his pants I nearly swallowed my tongue; and when he didn't stop at just his pants I nearly fell over dead. Seeming triumphant Noah, now nude from the waist down, sat back down again, picked up the remote for the television and started surfing through the channels.
I was completely mesmerized. Heck, I was more then mesmerized--I was in love! I watched as Vanessa walked over, picked up Noah's pants and underwear from the floor and then disappeared into the back of apartment.
Jamie gave me a not so hard punch in the arm.
"Huh what?" I said to him.
"Becky asked if you want some Pee." Jamie said with a mischievous grin.
"Some what?" I asked nearly choking on my words.
"Tea, do you want some Sweet Tea?" Jamie asked.
Thinking that I must have heard him wrong the first time, heck I didn't even hear Becky for that matter, I shook my head to clear the cobwebs before looking over at Becky who was smiling so big that I could have counted every tooth in her head.
"Oh um, yeah sure!" I said feeling a twinge of embarrassment at having been caught staring at Noah's semi-nude form.
This was one of those times when I was exceedingly glad I had on a diaper because without it I am sure the front of my pants would have been bulging out as if I had a broom handle hidden in them.
Jamie, who only a few minutes ago had been defending and protecting me once again turned against me; he began acting as if he was really me. He skipped like a girl over to Noah who had stopped switching channels and was laughing as Jamie made fun of me.
"Oh Noah! I am Simon and I want to have sex with you so much!" Jamie smoozed.
Noah got right into the act, "Uh, I will have to think about it!"
Jamie tried to throw himself onto Noah; "I want to suck your penis until steam erupts from your ears!"
"Not tonight! I got aheadache!" Noah acted as though he fainted.
Becky and Paul, who I had not seen leaving the room, had just returned with several glasses filled with Sweet Tea. The look Becky had, when she saw that Jamie was acting as if he was humping Noah's leg, was simply priceless.
"I want you to make me have an orgasm!" Jamie grunted.
Despite being mocked and made to feel like even more of an idiot for gawking at Noah's nudity then I already felt, I was still finding their angst humorous. However, what Becky did next was even funnier. It became obvious that neither Jamie nor Noah knew Becky and Paul had returned from the kitchen. Becky reached into one of the glasses, pulled out an ice cube and quick as a rabbit she was able to stuff it down the back of Jamie's pants.
Jamie suddenly jumped up yelping and trying to reach for the ice. He was hopping and twirling around, "Man that is cold! Oh that is so not funny!" he said even though he was laughing the whole time.
"Well you looked like you needed cooled off." Becky said picking one of the glasses back up and handing it to me.
Before letting go of the glass, she told me,
"Vanessa's mom is from
"Uh, okay. Thank you!" I said taking the glass. I took a small sip and boy was she right. It was like drinking the pure nectar of the gods
"Wow!" I exclaimed.
"Told ya." Becky said taking a big swig of her own tea.
Jamie finally got the ice out of his pants; actually it fell out of his pants leg. To be gross he picked it up and popped it into his mouth. The four of us all groaned as one.
"You are sick!" Paul said to Jamie.
Jamie tried to smile without loosing the piece of ice, "Mmmmm! Butt Ice! So yummy!"
Noah was still laughing himself sick. He was holding his stomach as he rolled around on the sofa. "Oh man that was too funny!" he said.
Vanessa returned and was quickly brought up to speed as to what had happened while she was gone. I also figured out that she had taken Noah's pants and underwear and put them in the drier for him. The way she did it, I mean without saying a word or making a big deal about it made me think that it has happened before. Enough so, that it was something she now did without really thinking about it. Well, that's how I saw it anyway.
While the five of them carried on, I sat myself in a yellow-gold, wing-backed chair and sipped at my glass of super sweet ice tea. I watched and listened to them for several minutes. The subject kept going from normal stuff to borderline sexual talk and then back again.
Paul asked a question of Becky that lodged itself inside my head ever since hearing it. He asked her, "If you could be any age at all with the condition that you had to stay that age forever, what age would you pick and why?"
Becky sat forward in her seat and looked genuinely pleased with the question. "Oh that's easy! I would be 29!" she said proudly.
"Why 29?" Jamie asked.
"Because my mom says that 29 is the perfect age for a lady!" came Becky's elegant reply.
Noah decided to butt in and offer his own ideas for that question, "I would want to be 18 because then I would never have to go to school again and I could stay in our apartment all day and play video games!"
"That's stupid!" Paul said. "Mom and dad won't let you sponge off them for the rest of your life!"
"Then I will get my own place!" Noah added.
"How will you pay for it if you don't have a job?" Vanessa asked.
"I'll live with Paul!" Noah said.
"Oh no you won't!" Paul said back.
Noah gave up when he realized he couldn't win. It was Vanessa that spoke up next. She gulped down the last of her tea before saying, "I think I would want to be about 25 and I would have to be married to a man who stays the same age as me for ever!"
Paul leaned forward and said, "Yep that's a good one! You and I will live happy forever and ever and ever and..."
Everyone laughed at Paul's joke but for maybe a second I thought I saw what looked to be disappointment in Paul's eyes when Vanessa started laughing.
"What about you?" Becky said to Jamie.
"I don't know!" Jamie replied.
"You have to pick something!" Noah nagged.
Jamie shrugged and reasserted, "I just don't know!"
I figured Jamie needed let off the hook so I spoke up, "I would want to be the age I am right now. I wouldn't want to get another day older then I am at this very second."
Appearing curious and very sincere Becky asked, "How come?"
It took a little thinking before I could offer any reason why, "Well, if I were a small boy, I couldn't do much because I would always have to be watched." I paused momentarily before continuing, "And if I were older, an adult, I would have to get a boring job, I would have bills and have to worry about stupid adult stuff. I am 12 now and I think 12 is the perfect age. I can just about do anything I want when I want and at the same time I don't have to work or pay bills or any of that stuff! Even if I had to go to school for the rest of my life I wouldn't mind really; I mean after a couple years learning the same stuff I would probably never have to study and would always get straight A's." I paused again before adding, "It might take five or six years for me to get A's in Social Studies though!"
Jamie laughed because he knows how much I disliked my Social Studies teacher this year.
Looking over to Jamie, I asked, "You figure out what age you would be yet?"
"I don't think I would want to be just one age forever. I want to grow up normally." He said.
Paul supported his thinking by saying, "I guess that is okay but I don't ever want to get old like my grandpa!"
Finally, Vanessa stood up and announced to the group while addressed me directly. "I think that since Simon is now a member of our club he should have to do something to prove he's really in with us."
"Yeah that's right!" Noah said standing up and giving me another full view of his penis.
Jamie tried to convince them that I did not need to `Do' anything but they all quickly agreed that I had to `Do' something; kind of an initiation into the club I suppose.
An odd sort of fear grabbed hold of my heart in an instant, "W-w-what d-do I-I-I h-have t-t-t-t-to do?" I stuttered so bad that Jamie had to explain my problem to them.
"He has a little trouble talking with he gets worked up." Jamie said coming over and sitting right beside me and tried to calm me down, "You don't need to worry. We have a rule that you never have to do anything you don't want to do."
"Oh yeah! I had forgotten you said something about that the other day." Becky said taking another sip from her glass before sitting it back down on the table.
I looked at Jamie, "W-w-what else d-did y-you t-t-t-tell th-them ab-b-bout me?"
"He told us everything!" Paul said with an evil grin.
I felt myself beginning to blush.
"Yeah!" Becky added, "You're brother blabbed all about you!"
"W-w-w-w-what?" I was really having a hard time talking.
"Well, let's see! You and Jamie are only half brothers. That's not such a big secret though but the fact that your father had sex with Jamie's mom while still married to your mom I think is a big secret!"
I didn't have time to get mad or upset that they knew that part because she kept right on hanging my dirty laundry right out there for all to see.
"You have been a bed wetter all your life but since getting beat up you have to wear diapers all the time now." Becky was going on in a plain yet seething tone. "Oh and he told us that you masturbate three times a day and sometimes even while you are sleeping!"
I nearly spilled my glass of tea when she said the `M' word.
"I-I-I d-do n-not!" I nearly shouted.
I gave Jamie a punch in the leg but it wasn't nearly as hard as I wanted it to be.
I looked back to Becky to see the corners of her mouth curled up as she said, "Well I do!" and I realized she had been kidding about that last part.
While everyone was laughing again, Jamie leaned over to me and spoke only loud enough for me to hear, "See what I mean?"
Now, I had never known of any girl that even said the word `masturbate' and yet this one even said she did it! Needless to say, I was excited... and I do mean excited!
I was squirming a little to try and get my little boyhood member into a more comfortable position so that it wasn't straining so earnestly against my diaper. Paul must have figured out my reasons for moving around because he asked, "You got a problem over there Simon?"
"N-no!" I lied and to try and divert attention from myself I asked, "Is th-there a-a-any b-b-body e-else i-in th-th-this c-club?"
"You need to calm down or you might cream your jeans!" Becky teased.
"Huh?" I grunted not grasping the phrase she used.
"She means you might cum in your diaper!" Jamie had leaned over and explained it too me.
That was the last bit I could take and I couldn't hide my embarrassment any longer. I felt my face burning and it felt as if all ten of their eyes were focused on me in an attempt to burn my clothes from my body.
Becky leaned forward and placed her drinking glass on a small kidney shaped table.
"Just the five of us," she answered, "but Calvin Kramer used to be until we had to kick him out because he told his parents."
"Alright! What's it going to be then?" Vanessa said impudently to me.
"Huh?" I grunted again.
"Well if you don't choose what you are going to do then we will think of something." She clarified.
When I didn't respond quick enough I saw Paul lean over and whisper something to Becky and Vanessa. With a nod from them both he jumped to his feet and with a single stride was standing in front of me. He reached down, took my glass and set it on the table next to Becky's drink. Holding out his hand to me he instructed, "Stand up please."
I glanced over to Jamie for assistance but his only response was to smile and shrug his shoulders.
"Thanks a lot!" I thought but did not actually say it to him.
Paul reached down, took my hand and as he began to pull me to my feet Jamie reminded him, "Just remember he's got broken ribs."
Against my better judgment, I took his hand, rose to my feet and stood before him nervously quaking. I wasn't sure what was going to happen next.
I was so worked up that when Paul reached behind me and pulled me close to him, I nearly jumped out of my skin.
"Will you relax?" He said.
I tried, I really did, but I was feeling very out of control and maybe a little scared too. When he placed his lips against mine and began to kiss me I still stood ridged and unsure what was next. But as it turned out, that was it!
"That's all?" I said as Paul returned to his seat, leaving me standing there.
"Nope!" Becky said and then she too stood up, walked over to me and planted a really passionate kiss on me. It lasted much longer then Paul's and I have to admit that I liked it; a lot!
After Becky came Noah, then Vanessa and finally Jamie. Each kissed me in their own way and each was good but none as good as Becky's had been. When Noah came over to kiss me there was no hiding the fact that he had a stiff one too. Heck he seemed proud of it and as we kissed he reached behind me and pulled me into him so that his penis was thrust against me.
When Noah backed away he smiled and said, "Yep! You're a good kisser!"
The last one to kiss me was Jamie. While I had kissed him before, I had never done so in front of other people. I cocked my head to one side while he cocked his in the other direction and we kissed longer then I kissed any of the others. As we were kissing he reached down, grabbed the front of my diaper and squeezed which nearly made me cum right then and there. I actually think that was his intention. With our lips locked together I felt him trying to slip his tongue into my mouth and after a moments hesitation I relented and let it in. He was the only one to do that, thankfully.
When Jamie and I were finished kissing he pulled away and said in a soft tone so that the others didn't over hear him, "I think someone needs to be changed again!"
Before sitting back down, Jamie said one more thing, loud enough for all to hear, "Welcome to the club!"
"Th-thanks!" I said and quickly sat back down. I still had a party going on inside my diaper and yearned to reach in to give it a few good tugs but I didn't. After a few minutes the pressure inside my diaper decreased though I was still feeling all warm and excited inside.
The conversation started back up almost immediately but it took on a whole different tone then before. Paul, seeming to take a commanding role, sat forward on the sofa and asked me, "When do you want to go look for them?"
"Look for who?" I asked.
"Your friends!" Paul answered.
I was just not getting where he was going with this so I had to ask again, "Huh? What friends?"
Paul ran his hands through his hair, "Oh brother!" he groaned, "Jamie said that you think you know where your two missing friends are."
I looked at Jamie who at least had the courtesy to look sorry for sharing that bit of info.
"Simon!" Paul called my name to get my attention. "We may talk about sex and do stuff together something; but we are also friends and we take care of each other. We want to help you to go find your friends."
"Yeah! You're alright in my book!" Noah added, "I'm with you! Let's go!"
I found it hard to listen to Noah while he was sitting there with no pants on and sporting a woody. Vanessa, Jamie and Becky all agreed with Noah.
I opened my mouth and tried to say something but realized I didn't know what to say. Noah started to say something again and when he did I looked over at him and something on the television caught my eye. The sound was muted but even without the sound my attention was seized.
"Holy crap!" I shouted, "Quick! Turn that up!"
"Why?" Noah asked.
"Just turn it up!" I ordered as I jumped to my feet.
Noah picked up the remote and pressed the
mute button in the middle of a special news bulletin, "... believe that this
attack is gang related. The family members of the victims have been notified.
Again, we are reporting that, in what appears to be a gang related attack here
"Who's Trevor Magilvery?" Becky asked as the Special News Bulletin ended.
I sat back down, held my head from behind, and began to rock back and forth.
"Simon?" Jamie put his arm around me, "You okay?"
"I-I d-don't th-think so!" I managed to say.
"Did you know him?" Vanessa asked.
"Who was it?" Noah asked.
"Th-that w-was T-two-Toes' p-picture!" I said referring to the Yearbook photo of Two-Toes that had been used during the news bulletin. "H-he w-was T-Tator a-a-and B-Bulls f-friend."
"I think we better go home. Mom might be looking for us." Jamie said.
"Yeah okay!" Vanessa said standing up.
"I will call you guys when..." Jamie started to say.
"Yeah okay!" Becky said.
PART 3 - Sunday, March 07, 2004 - Room For Improvement
Jamie and I were back at his apartment in a
matter of minutes. We walked in to find Marsha and Ian sitting on the couch
talking and drinking something that has a strong aromatic aroma of cinnamon. I
was reminded instantly of
"There you are! You boy's getting hungry yet?" Marsha asked. The words were no sooner out of her mouth than the phone rang and interrupted her.
"I got it!" Jamie said sprinting toward the kitchen.
"Simon! It's for you! It's dad!" Jamie called out.
I didn't run to the phone the way Jamie had; something inside me was telling me that dad was calling to tell me about Two-Toes. Jamie handed me the phone and stood close to listen in on what dad had to say but when I gave him a small shove he got the message and left me alone to talk.
"Hello?" I said into the phone.
"Hey buddy! You about ready to come home?" dad asked sounding extremely excited.
"Yeah I guess so." I answered.
"What do you mean you guess so? Is everything all right there? You and your brother haven't been fighting again have you?" dad asked.
"No we haven't been fighting!" I said.
"Well, are you feeling sick? You don't sound like yourself." Dad stated.
"No, I'm okay. Are you coming to get me now?" I asked.
"I reckon we should be there in about half an hour." Dad answered.
My response to this news was just one word, "Good!"
"Are you sure you are okay? Nothing's bothering you?" he asked again.
"Yeah I'm sure." I answered.
"Well, if you say so. Why don't you get your things together? Mom and I should be leaving here soon." Dad said.
"Okay! See you in thirty minutes!" I said.
"Hey Simon?" dad said.
"Yeah?" I answered back.
"I love you son!" Dad said.
"I love you too dad! Tell mom I love her! Bye." I said and hung up the phone.
As I turned back around Jamie had slipped back into the kitchen.
"Well?" he asked.
"Well nothing!" I said back.
"So they don't know?" he asked.
"Don't know!" I shrugged, "He didn't say."
"Then what did he say?" Jamie looked like he was about to burst with anticipation.
"That they will be here in about thirty minutes to pick me up." I answered.
"Thirty min... but you can't go yet!" Jamie whined.
"I got to get my stuff ready." I said.
Jamie looked over his shoulder to be sure his mom or Ian could not see or hear us. He pushed me a couple steps farther into the kitchen and asked, "What about the rescue mission?"
"You shouldn't have told them about that!" I said.
Jamie shrugged and said, "We tell each other everything."
"Well you shouldn't have told them that!" I said again.
I pushed past him and walked into the living room.
"They are on their way to get me." I told Marsha.
Ian moaned, "Ha! I was hoping to get to do a painting of you before you left today."
"Yeah, me too!" Jamie said from right behind me.
"Maybe next time." Marsha offered.
I nodded to Ian and he smiled, "Well you better come back soon then!"
I smiled and promised, "I will."
"Do you...?" Marsha started to ask me but she did not have to finish as I was already nodding to her affirmatively.
She patted Ian's leg and said, "I'll be right back. Why don't you and Jamie get something out of the fridge for lunch?"
"Alright, but I'm warning you now, I am going to have ice cream to sooth my hurt feelings that I don't get to paint the boys today!" Ian said in a manner that only he could pull off before standing up and walking with Jamie to the kitchen.
Marsha shot one more crack at him, "You keep dipping into the ice cream and you will end up with a big booty."
Ian clapped his hands over his heart and squealed, "Oh honey, I can only hope!"
As Marsha was marching me into Jamie's room, I watched from over my shoulder at the way Ian walked. He wiggled his butt, the way a woman does, and I could not help but find it funny.
"What are you giggling at?" Marsha asked as she tickled the back of my head with her fingernails, which only caused me to giggle more.
"Nothing!" I giggled despite the fact that inside I was freaking out.
While I was busy unfastening my pants and pulling them down to my ankles Marsha was getting a clean diaper out of the package that mom and dad had brought this morning.
Before I could lie down on the bed, she had turned back around and said, "Why don't we take that one off before you lie down? I think it would make things easier."
It was not the way I was used to having my diaper changed but I didn't really care either way. I shrugged as much as my armor would allow, letting her know that I did not mind. She started to reach for the first tape when I stopped her, "Um, w-wait."
"Why? Are you okay?" she asked sounding alarmed.
When she saw me blushing, she figured out why I stopped her and waited until I nodded to let her know that I was finished wetting. The extra load of urine made my diaper sag between my legs even more.
Marsha smiled and tried to reassure me by talking in an upbeat and jovial manner. "Well, it's a good thing we weren't in a hurry or we might have had to change you twice!"
I smiled to appease her but I didn't really feel like smiling inside. After she had the diaper off, she folded it up and sat it on the floor before helping me to lie down on the clean diaper that she had spread out on the bed for me. Maybe because mom was coming to pick me up and would be doing the next changing, Marsha seemed to take a little more time and was being a little more methodical in cleaning my diaper area, as well as thoroughly applying the diaper cream to both sides. I did not have to try not to get hard down there; my mind was swimming with the words of Two-Toes death, so I seriously doubt I could have gotten it up if I wanted to just then.
I think she might have overdone the baby powder, but I'll give her marks for being able to do it without creating a dust cloud. She even took her time taping the diaper into place and when I stood back up, I noticed that the fit was tighter then I had ever had anyone do before.
After helping me get my pants back on, she assisted with getting my things together and carrying them out to the living room.
"Would you like to eat lunch before you go?" she asked.
"Yes please!" I answered.
At that, Ian and Jamie walked out of the dining room. They both had kitchen towels draped over their left arms.
Standing proper and speaking together they announced, "Lunch is served!"
The two of them stepped to either side and allowed us to pass between them. Marsha was the first to gasp at the spread that lay before us and when I realized why she made that sound, I too gasped at the wonder of it.
"How?" was all Marsha was able to ask.
"We weren't in there more then five minutes!" I said, as my eye roamed across the table.
"Eight minutes, forty-five seconds!" Ian said proudly.
"Ian how did you do this?" Marsha asked.
The table was decked out like something you would see in a magazine or in a movie. From bottom to top, the table was covered with a lacy table cloth; four places were set with a plate sitting under a bowl, two forks and a spoon on either side of the plate and a white napkin folded into the shape of a swan sat atop each bowl. Each place setting had a fancy glass, the kind with stems. In the middle of the table were three lit candles surrounded by two large bowls and two plates. One of the bowls had a tossed salad; the other had a fruit salad for desert. On the plate closest to the kitchen was a pile of finger sandwiches, all with the crust cut off and a toothpick stuck in the middle to keep them together. The plate on the other side of the table had hot wings with a smaller bowl filled with ranch dressing in the center of the wings.
Ian and Jamie were both grinning as Ian explained; "Jamie made the salad and helped me with the sandwiches. I noticed you had some fruit in the refrigerator and it only took two minutes to cut everything up and toss it into a bowl."
I spoke up, "How did you make the wings so fast?"
Ian put a hand beside his mouth as if he were sharing a guarded chef secret, "I had them in the refrigerator back at my place. I just had to warm them up a bit. They are from Smokey's and you are going to love them! They have no bones in them!"
Jamie walked over, took my arm and led me to one of the chairs. He pulled it out and allowed me to sit down before pushing me up to the table. Ian did the same for Marsha before the two of them asked us what we would like to drink with our lunch.
"I'll just have water!" Marsha said.
I looked across the table to Marsha and asked, "Is it okay if I have coke?"
"Sure! Whatever you want!" Marsha said with a smile.
I looked at Jamie and using my best snob impersonation I said, "A can of your finest Coca-Cola please?"
"Yes Sir, right away sir!" Jamie snickered at my funny voice before speeding off to the kitchen with Ian following to.
They returned, filled our fancy glasses for us before filling their own and then took their seats at either end of the table. Jamie was sitting to my right with Ian to my left and Marsha directly across from me. I had to look through the three candles to see her.
"Ian, this is so wonderful!" Marsha said.
"Yeah, really incredible!" I said too.
Jamie and Ian seemed to be relishing in our complements.
"I cannot believe you did all this so fast!" Marsha said still in awe of it all.
Ian picked up the salad and handed it to her, "Would you care to start with a little salad? I think you will love the dressing. It's a secret family recipe that's been handed down for countless ages."
While the salad was passed around, Ian explained, that when he was younger, he worked for a catering company called `Parties-In-A-Minute'. He said he would sometimes have to put together parties for hundreds of people and only have an hour, sometimes less to get everything ready.
Ian laughed, "Jamie and I did this in eight minutes and forty-five seconds. Imagine what we could have done if we had five more minutes!"
Jamie added, "Ian says he knows how to make cookies you don't have to cook and that only take about five minutes to make."
Once the salad had gone all the way around the table, the four of us dug into our bowls.
"Mmmm! Yeah I like this!" I said to Ian.
Jamie asked, "Do you like it mom?"
"Oh I do! I do!" Marsha said as she was taking another bite.
Jamie leaned forward a little and whispered across the table to Ian as if Marsha and I could not hear him, "Can I tell them the secret recipe now?"
Ian whispered back, "I think it's safe!" and gave Jamie a wink.
Sitting upright Jamie announced, "It is only Miracle Whip with a little bit of sugar and some Pap-pap..."
When he could not say the name of the spice they used Ian helped him out, "Paprika!"
"Yeah, Pap-rika!" Jamie repeated.
"Well it's absolutely magnificent!" Marsha said.
Ian leaned over to Marsha, "Actually, I got the recipe off the back of the Miracle Whip jar."
Marsha laughed and had to cover her mouth to keep from spitting out her mouthful of salad.
I don`t think Ian could help tooting his own horn because he said next, "I don't mean to brag but you have got to try my Fettuccine Alfredo sometime! It takes only three minutes to put together and you will swear I slaved over a hot stove for hours!"
I could have honestly stopped at the salad. I had eaten every single bit of my salad and I am not even a salad lover, it was just that good and filling too! When Jamie began passing the little finger sandwiches, I almost passed on them but I did not want to be rude. Ian had also started the hot wings going around. Everything was fantastic and the four of us talked and carried on as if we were a normal everyday family. Ian kept making us laugh by sharing different stories from his life. For someone as young looking as Ian, he sure has done a lot of living!
When Ian tried to pass me the bowl of fruit salad I thought I was going to explode from my middle, but I took it and spooned a generous helping onto my plate. I ate every bite and did not leave anything behind.
We were just finishing when the intercom buzzer sounded. Marsha excused herself from the table to go let the security guard know that it was okay to send my parents up. When mom and dad came in, Ian tried to get them to sit down with us but they both said that they had only just had lunch themselves and could not eat another bite.
Having food in my belly and seeing my parents again made me feel better then I had only a few minutes ago but I was still feeling really horrible inside for poor Two-Toes. I have never made any secret of the fact that I never much cared for him. In fact, I downright didn't like the guy but I never would have wanted him dead. There was something else; something deep inside me that wasn't buying into the news report of how he died. However, having dad bend down and give me the best hug chased those negative thoughts from my mind for the time being.
"Ready to go?" dad asked giving my diapered bottom a playful swat as he released me from his hug.
"Yeah, I guess so!" I said and then turned to Jamie who had removed himself from the table and came over to give mom and dad a hug too.
I was going to say something to him but instead, I looked up at Marsha and thanked her, "Thanks for letting me stay and for... well, for everything." And by `everything', I meant all the diaper changes. I could tell by the way she looked at me, that she got my meaning loud and clear.
"It was a pleasure to have you stay with us and you are welcome to come back anytime you like." Marsha said bending down to give me a hug and a peck on my cheek.
Ian stuck out a hand for me to shake.
"Thanks for lunch. It was grand!" I said.
"Oh stop it!" Ian said lightly swatting me on top of my head. "You are going to make me blush! Just don't forget you owe me a posing."
"Yeah!" I said back.
Jamie had stepped through the crowd and picked up my things, "Mom, I'm going to help carry stuff down okay?"
"Alright, but come right back up." Marsha said.
Jamie picked up the new package of diapers and put them under his arm in full view. I could have killed him for letting Ian see them. I had purposefully hid the package under my other things when Marsha and I had brought everything out.
I must have been blushing because Ian patted the back of my head and gave me a knowing wink.
So Dad, Mom, Jamie and I left. We road down in the elevator and Jamie was busy telling mom and dad about how he and Ian had put together the lunch and how fast they did it.
Mom had said, "He's an amazing painter."
"You know him?" I asked with no small amount of astonishment that she knew this about him.
Dad answered for her, "Met him a few months ago when we brought Jamie back home."
"Oh Yeah!" Jamie said. "I remember that!"
Down on the first floor we started for the door when dad stopped and told Jamie, "If you're mother doesn't mind, how about I stop by after work tomorrow to pick you up so you can come see yours and Simon's new room?"
I was quick to notice and was quite glad of the fact that Jamie and I would still be roommates. It had been nagging me all weekend that mom and dad might take this opportunity to split us into separate rooms. Even though we have not had the best history, I don't think I would like not having him sleeping in the same room when he came over.
Jamie lit up like an exploding star, "Yeah that would be great!"
"You should have time to come home and do your homework before I get off work. Be sure to tell your mother that I'll have you back after dinner." Dad said taking my things from Jamie.
Jamie looked over at me and handed my e-journal to me, "See ya tomorrow then."
"Yeah see ya tomorrow! Thanks for everything and for letting me meet your friends." I glanced up at mom and dad before adding, "I will email you tonight."
Mom and dad started for the door and I had time to quickly mouth one more message to Jamie before leaving, "Tell them to be ready tonight!"
Jamie's eyes grew enormous when he realized what I had just mouthed to him and what I meant by it. He nodded, punched his fist triumphantly into the air and ran back to the elevators.
As my parents and I passed the security guard, I saw that it was the same guard who had been on duty that night I had come to Jamie's building with Bull, Tater, Runt and Two-Two's so that I could apologize to Jamie for the fight we had. The guard was standing behind his desk looking grumpy. Checking to be sure that mom and dad were not looking, I stuck my tongue out at him and raced outside.
I was surprised to see mom's van was sitting right in front of the door. It was running and someone I did not recognize was sitting in the driver's seat. Dad opened the side sliding door so that I could climb in while he went around and put my things in the back of the van. Mom climbed in next to me, which should have clued me in that we were not alone but I guess I was not being very observant.
"When did you get the van back?" I asked as I was buckling myself in.
"Yesterday evening." Mom said. "They did a fabulous job fixing it and do you remember how the radio would cut out if we hit a big bump?"
"Uhuh," I answered.
"They fixed that too!" She said as she buckled her seatbelt around herself.
It was when dad opened the front passenger door and climbed in that I noticed someone else was sitting in the driver's seat.
"Simon, this is Mr. Segal." Dad said motioning to the man behind the wheel.
Despite my sudden surprise at seeing this stranger in our van, I remembered my manners, which I had not had to use all that much recently, and said to him, "Hello sir."
I still feel really stupid for what I said next and I wish I could take it back now.
"Is he our new chauffeur or
Dad howled so loud I thought he might pass a kidney. Mom too was giggling but at least she was trying not to laugh as outrageously as dad was.
Mr. Segal, who I might add, looked nothing like the movie star by the same last name, looked into the rearview mirror at me. I could only see his eyes, which to me seemed dark and tired.
Chuckling in a sort of low gravely voice he said: "I'm only along for the ride. Thought, your folks here might need a break!"
As we drove toward home, I kept noticing that every few minutes, Mr. Segal would be looking at me intently via the rearview mirror but when he would see that I noticed him, he would stop looking. It made me feel kind of funny and not in a good way.
Not a lot was said until we were almost home. Dad turned about halfway around in his seat so that he was able to look at me while he said, "There might still be a few people at the house. They were putting the final touches on everything as we left."
"Were there a lot of people there?" I asked curiously.
Mom answered, "I counted and at one point we had fourteen people at our house working all at the same time."
"Wow!" I said, genuinely stunned by that number. "Were they all in my room?"
"No." dad said, "Some were in the garage putting furniture together, others were painting the doors. Everyone did a little bit of everything I think."
When dad said `painting', an alarm bell sounded in my head. Once, a couple years ago, dad had been painting in the garage and I walked in to see what he was doing. One whiff of the paint fumes and I had a sudden asthma attack.
"But I can't be around paint!" I said with concern.
"Oh it's okay. We used a special latex paint that didn't smell at all." Dad said.
"Actually, it was Mr. Ruddy Nader that had told us about the paint!" mom added.
"Just to be safe though, we have had every window and door in the house open all day long." Dad reassured me.
As an added security I reached into my coat pocket and fingered my asthma inhaler to be sure it was there incase I needed it.
Mom put her arm around me and said, "You know all those shows we watch on the Home and Garden Channel where they come in and redecorate someone's room in just a couple days?"
"Yeah." I answered while looking at dad who was positively blissful. I glanced up into the mirror and caught Mr. Segal watching me again before quickly diverting his eyes back to the road ahead.
"It was a lot like that this weekend, except I don't think our house was as calm and well ordered as those shows make it seem." Mom said.
"Don't let your mom fool you! She worked harder then anyone there to keep everyone fed and she kept cleaning all of the messes we made." Dad said.
Knowing mom, as well as I do, I could imagine her with her vacuum cleaner in hand trying to clean up right under the feet of those that were trying to work.
We were now entering my neighborhood and my own excitement started to outgrow any trepidation I might have had. I looked out the front window and thought I saw something very odd that until later I did not remember seeing. I saw what appeared to be a cat dragging something large. I had glanced away for only a millisecond but when I looked back, the cat was gone. I know seeing that cat was not such a remarkable thing to witness and I probably would not have even remembered seeing it had I not encountered the cat again before the afternoon ended.
Just before we reached our street dad took a breath and said, "It was a really bad thing that happened but I believe when you see your room, you are going to really like the changes."
Mr. Segal turned the van onto our street and started up the hill toward our house.
"Just about there." He announced.
As we turned into the driveway, I noticed a police cruiser was parking down the street several houses away. I couldn't help wondering if it had been following us the whole time without me knowing about it.
I started to climb from the van with my e-journal tucked under one arm and realized I had wet my diaper a lot on the way home. I am not sure why I noticed it, maybe because it felt so bulky between my legs or maybe because Marsha had fitted it so snuggly to my body that the urine did not have enough room to move through the diaper while I had been sitting down.
Mom reached down for my e-journal and said, "Why don't you let me carry that for you."
Dad was around behind the van already and Mr. Segal had headed toward the front of the house so I took the opportunity to tell mom, "I think I need a change."
Mom smiled, "I should have thought of that before we left your brothers."
I shook my head, "Marsha did it right before you came."
"Do you think you will be alright for a little while longer?" she asked.
"Yeah I think so." I said though I really did not have any idea if I could or not.
Now, since I had been indoors all weekend, I had not realized how much the weather had warmed up. The sun was shining so nice and bright though there was still a slight chill in the air, but it was warm enough so that nearly all the snow had melted away. Just the deep snow drifts and piles of snow left by the snowplows were still around. Everything had gone from white to wet in the past couple of days. In addition, the grass, which was brown and lying completely flat, looked almost soupy. I bet if I were to step off the driveway and into the grass I would sink up to my knees.
Although Mr. Segal had pulled the van all the way back to the garage behind our house, we did not go in through the backdoor like we usually do. Dad made us walk around the house and go in through the front door. I couldn't help but notice that, while Mom, dad and I stepped onto the front porch, Mr. Segal had continued walking down the driveway toward the police cruiser down the hill.
Once on the porch, I could see that there were still people in our living room. I started to feel a twinge of apprehension about going inside again but once I stepped through the door, my mood changed for the better.
The very first person I saw was Lowell and his parents who were standing there smiling and clapping along with BJ and both of his parents, Mr. Nader and Officer Mecums, who was out of uniform and looked quite grungy with a big blob of what I was guessing, was paint in her hair.
I had one silly thought that went through my mind upon seeing all those people standing in our living room.
"I bet mom's going nuts having all these people standing on the carpet."
However, that thought was canceled out when I looked down to see that the carpet was completely covered with brown paper, taped together with blue masking tape. In an odd sort of way, it looked pretty; I mean if brown paper and blue tape can look pretty.
Once the crowd calmed down
The first thing I saw were the words, "Welcome to your new room Simon!" wrote across the top.
Looking down in the lower left corner,
Before taking me back to see my room, dad made me stand there as each person came up to shake my hand and give me hugs. Actually, it was good because I was able to personally thank everyone, which, after seeing my room, was much harder to do, as I was so overwhelmed.
With every hand I shook, my anticipation seemed to build until I couldn't stand it any longer and asked in a rather demanding voice.
"Can I see my room now before I go nuts?!"
And everyone laughed, including my parents.
Dad led the way down to my room with mom behind me covering my eyes so I could not see anything until she was ready for me to. Under my feet, I could hear the crinkling of the brown paper being crushed under our shoes. Not being able to see a thing made the trip down our hallway seem to take forever and I wondered if they somehow made our house bigger.
When I heard the sound of a door latch I knew it was dad opening the door and that we were almost in my room. I was glad to hear the sound of my shoes on a hard surface as mom led me in. I always liked my hardwood floors in my room because Matchbox cars rolled really well on it.
"Are you ready?" dad asked.
I was trembling with excitement.
"YES!" I squealed.
Mom removed her hand and I nearly fell
backwards into her with shock. It was nothing like I had imagined and at the
same time it was so much more then I ever could have hoped for. Even the
I will try to describe it but I am not sure I can put into words how perfect everything is in my new room.
On the wall were my bed used to be now sits a grey metal desk with a wooden top and a white rolling chair in front of it. There are three drawers in the desk that look like doors off a gym locker but turned sideways and each painted a different primary color. To the right of that desk was a matching dresser with four drawers like the ones in the desk except the forth drawer was in a fourth color.
There was so much to see that I had not noticed at first that there was a brand new computer monitor sitting on top of the desk. I looked under the desk and screamed when I saw a brand new computer tower sitting on the floor.
"Oh yes!" I shouted and began punching my fists into the air triumphantly!
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" I screamed.
From out in the living room I could hear the sound of laughter and people talking loudly.
"He found the computer!" someone said.
It took me a minute to stop crying my tears of joy over the computer. I even leaned over the desk and hugged the monitor.
Mom took hold of my head and turned me around.
"Look over there." She said.
Exactly opposite that desk, on the other wall, where Jamie's bed used to be, was a desk identical to the other with its own computer too.
"Oh my gosh! oh my gosh! oh my gosh! oh my gosh!" I kept chanting.
Out on the living room I head the
unmistakable high pitch of
"One for you and one for Jamie." Dad said and I noticed that, hanging on the walls above each desk were paintings of Jamie and me. I stopped, looked at Jamie's painting, and then to mine, back and forth before it hit me.
"Hey! HEY! HEEEYYY!" I shouted at the top of my lungs as I realized that they both had been painted by Ian.
"Th-th-these a-are..." I tried to say and thankfully dad jumped in and explained.
"It was Marsha's idea to have Ian paint portraits of you and your brother for your room." Dad had said.
"B-but w-we n-never p-p-p-posed." I stuttered out of overwhelming excitement.
"He was just covering so that you wouldn't figure out he had already painted your portraits." Mom said.
"So th-that is w-why he c-cov-vered up th-the p-painting when w-we w-were v-v-v-visiting?"
Despite my stuttering I was squealing so loud that mom tried to put her hand over my mouth in a vain effert to rein me in some but I moved too fast for her.
I had to go over and touch Jamie's desk and computer to, walking right past the new bed without even seeing it yet. To the left of Jamie's desk was a matching dresser exactly like the one on my side of the room.
"My side of the room!" I thought aloud, "And this is Jamie's side of the room."
I spun myself around to face mom and dad before saying, "We should have brought Jamie with us today!"
"He will be here tomorrow evening!" Dad said, "Today is your day!"
Dad walked over and standing, so that we were facing each other, he placed his hands on my shoulders.
"What do you think of the bed?" he asked and the twirled me around so that I was now facing it.
I leaned back against dad and went from the occasional happy tear to full out crying. It was enormous and beautiful! Between the two desks and dressers, on the wall where my old desk and wall shelves used to be, now stood a metal bed that matched the rest of the furniture in the room.
It was a loft bed, one on top and one coming out from under it. Under both ends of the upper bed there were metal, wood and canvas shelves filled with books and toys. Both beds were dressed out in super nice blue and white comforters with a blue pillowcase on the upper bed and a dark red one on the lower.
"Which one are you going to choose to be yours?" Mom asked.
I had to go over and sit on the lower bed; I heard the unmistakable sound of a plastic sheet crinkling as I sat down. I then climbed up the ladder partway to see the loft bed, pressed on it and heard the same sound.
Still standing on the ladder I decided, "I think I am going to let Jamie choose first!"
That simple declaration from me made mom and dad begin to weep and sniffle.
I climbed back down the ladder and went to the shelves on my side of the room. The shelves were made of a metal frame with the sides and back covered in canvas that snapped on tight as a drum skin. The front of the shelves had a canvas cover too which was held at the top and left side with snaps and Velcro on the right side. I had to look behind the canvas and saw that the actual shelves were wooden, which matched the tops of the desks and dressers. In addition, most everything on the shelves were things that I did not recognize as anything I had once owned, apart from one thing, my golden Yo-Yo Championship Award.
I could tell instantly that it had been broken during the invasion and then mended back together by someone. I picked it up and looked at it, turning it in my fingers. I felt a real pain within my heart, as if something inside me had died right at that very moment. I lowered myself to the floor and began to sob uncontrollably. Mom and dad tried in vain to console me for the longest time. Everything that was inside of me came flooding out with my tears. I never said a word, never groaned or made a sound. I just cried and cried until I was out of tears.
Then, just like that, my tears stopped, my heaving chest calmed itself and I declared, "I'm okay now."
I went back out to the living room to hug and thank everyone again though this time I was doing so crying tearlessly. We kids ended up back in my room, each sharing with me how they helped, what they did and what some of the other adults did. As exciting as it all was, as happy as it all made me, I was relieved when everyone started to leave. It had been an emotional morning and afternoon and I was beginning to feel as if I needed some down time to recharge my batteries.
BJ and Lowell were the last two to go.
BJ faked a Karate chop to my neck and said, "See you at school tomorrow?"
"Definitely!" was my response.
I looked up at mom and dad for the answer.
Dad smiled and said, "Soon!"
My parents and I stood on the front porch waving as everyone left. I noticed that the cruiser I had seen earlier was still sitting down the hill and Mr. Segal did not appear to be anywhere in sight.
I thought to myself, "If he's supposed to be some kind of bodyguard, he should be here now!"
I have no idea where I got the notion that he was a bodyguard, but I was soon to learn a whole lot more about him than I cared to know.
For less then an instant I thought I saw something move out of the corner of my right eye but when I turned to look there was nothing there.
BJ's dad honked his horn as they pulled away and I waved again.
Back inside I went right to my room to look at everything again, but I had no sooner stepped one foot onto the wooden floor then I got the shock of my life. Sitting on the lower bed was a cat, and not just any cat. I instantly knew the little furry beast as the one I had seen in Crazy Old-Man Johnson's spooky, book filled house a few days ago. The cat was sitting right in the middle of the bed and a filthy cloth bag lying beside him.
I took a single step backward and the cat stood up on all fours, looking mean as can be.
"How did you get in here?" I spoke to the cat.
"Reoow!" was its reply.
I looked at the window thinking it had come in that way but the window was closed. When the cat took a step toward me I quickly jumped out of my room and pulled the door shut, trapping the cat inside, which wasn't such a smart move because now I had a man eating cat trapped in my room with no way of getting it out.
I was just about to scream for dad or mom... or anyone for that matter but stopped and thought for a quick second.
"Wait a sec? Why is Crazy Old-Man Johnson's cat in my room?" I was thinking aloud but whispering so that no one could hear me.
I heard the cat just on the other side of the door cry out in a low angry growl, "Reoooooow!" and I feared that someone might hear the cat if I didn't do something, and fast.
I glanced down the hallway to be sure no one was coming or looking for the origins of the cat noise before stepping over to close the door to mom and dad's room. I slipped down to close the bathroom door as well and figured that if the cat was going to get out, at least it might run into the rest of the house for someone else to find. I thought that maybe they would assume the cat had got in during all the work this weekend and would not associate the cat to me in any way.
Putting my back to the small section of wall between our two bedroom doors, I slowly turned the knob and pushed the door all the way open. I was braced for the cat to run out and maybe even attack me, but it did not even try to escape my room while it had the chance. Leaning forward only enough to allow myself to peek into my room, I could see no sight of the cat except for the filthy cloth bag it had left on my bed. Without moving from were I was standing I continued to scan the room, hoping to spot it under the bed or maybe one of the desks.
With another glance down the hallway to be sure the coast was still clear I called out softly, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty!" and listened.
When I did not hear anything, I tried calling for it again only a little louder this time on the odd chance that maybe the cat was hard of hearing.
"Here kitty, kitty, kitty!"
I closed my eyes and in a sort of prayer, I mumbled; "Get out of my room and go back to your crazy owner!"
Then the thought occurred to me that maybe the cat was never there; maybe I was really just sleeping and dreaming! I mean - I sure have been having some weird dreams in the past few weeks that at the time seemed pretty-dang-real while I was dreaming them.
"But why would I dream about that stupid cat?" I asked myself aloud.
From out in the living room I heard Mr. Segal's voice talking with one or both of my parents. I figured he must have come back in and could tell by the way he was talking that he was attempting to keep his voice low enough so that I would not or could not hear him. I suppose he was succeeding since I could not make out a single word that was said.
With my eyes scanning frantically for the cat again, I muttered softly, "You are not welcome here cat! You have to go elsewhere! Far, far, far away! Just go away!"
I took a very cautious step into my room while keeping my senses at their optimum levels of operation for any sign of the monster feline.
I was four or was it five steps into my room, crouching as low as I was able while still trying to be cautious of my ribs. I had searched every inch of my room and found no sign of the cat anywhere. I had started to think that maybe it had run out and I just did not see it.
Suddenly, there was a funny noise over by the window and I jumped a little, mostly out of nervousness. I was all the way over on Jamie's side of the room so I had to walk around the bed to see what had made the noise.
It turned out to be the cat but here is the most amazing thing that I still cannot explain. The cat was sitting on the window ledge, on the OUTSIDE of my CLOSED window!
"How the heck did you get out there?" I groaned and scratched at my head.
With one last, "Reeoooow!" it jumped down and vanished from sight leaving me in a state of shock and bewilderment.
I raced to the window to try to catch another glimpse of the cat before it got away to prove to myself that it had really been here but I saw nothing but the police cruiser sitting down the street.
I felt as if my feet had been frozen to the floor and when I looked down at them, I was horrified to find a small puddle around my feet. "What the heck?" I thought, and for a second or two I thought I had peed my pants but then remembered I was wearing a diaper. I then noticed the small muddy paw prints that lead from the window to the side of the bed. And in the middle of the bed, where I had seen the cat sitting was a dirty spot right beside the muddy bag the cat had left behind.
Thinking fast I slipped out to the bathroom, got two wet rags and a towel before racing back to my room, closing my door and cleaning the new bedspread. Luckily, it appeared to be some kind of moisture resistant material because with a little elbow grease I was able to get it completely clean. I remember thinking how cool it was that someone had thought ahead and got bedding that was bladder friendly.
As for the muddy bag the cat had left, I rapped the towel around it and stashed it under my dresser, then I finished cleaning the floor and the inside windowsill.
After slipping back out of my room and into the bathroom, I rinsed both rags until no sign of dirt or mud could be seen on them before hanging both of them in my shower to use in the morning before school.
While in the hallway I took the opportunity to stop and listen to the conversation going on in the living room between my parents and Mr. Segal. I also heard someone else's voice but I did not dare attempt to see who it was and risk being seen.
Within a short thirty seconds, I heard all I needed to hear from the fourth unknown voice: "...after that we will run some tests to see if there are any connections between the slaying and the missing children but as it stands now, it looks as if the Magilvery boy and his two friends were just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Back in my room I clinched my fists and groaned to myself, "I knew it!"
I made sure to stay clear of my window now, as it made me have a serious case of the heebie-jeebies whenever I would think about that darn cat and how it managed to get through a closed window. I did however notice something that I had not noticed despite being so near the window already. I no longer have mini-blinds, or heavy curtains the way I did with my old window. I now have new white shear curtains that complement the blue comforters on the beds. I was more then a little concerned about the idea that I would not have the privacy that the mini-blinds and heavy curtains afforded me, but mom later assured me that the fabric was specially made so that when I closed the curtains, the sunlight could still shine in but no one outside could see into my room.
Mom came back into my room just as I was about to retrieve the item the cat had left, from under my dresser. Had she been two seconds later I am sure she would have caught me kneeling down to get it.
"Okay, are you ready to get changed?" she asked.
Without answering, I reclined sideways on the lower bed with my feet hanging over the side so that mom could change my now tremendously wet diaper. I looked up at the new ceiling light fixture. It looked to be a little larger then two-foot square and almost looked like a real sky light right in the middle of my bedroom ceiling.
"Is that a real sky light?" I asked while mom was wiping my diaper area clean for me.
"No sweetie, it is electric but isn't it pretty?" She asked.
"It is perfect!" I replied.
Mom finished getting me cleaned up and started applying the diaper rash cream when I asked, "Have they found Tater and Mike yet?"
And it surprised me how little emotion I had when I said it. I think after crying for so long and so very hard only a few minutes ago it left me void of tears and sadness. I just hope it doesn't last forever, I don't think I would like going through life feeling this cold inside.
Mom got quiet for a second before answering me straight, "No, not yet."
"Mom?" I said after a couple more seconds of thinking.
"Yes?" she answered hesitantly as she reached for a baby wipe to clean the diaper rash cream from her hands.
"Do you think the police will find them?" I asked.
I could tell by the sound of her voice, this was not a conversation she was looking forward to having with me, and now that it was happening, she sounded slightly panicked.
"I don't know, but I really hope so." She had said.
Yearning to not shock her too badly, but not knowing how else to ask her, I spoke softly and inquired, "Were you and dad going to tell me about Trevor being killed?"
I wasn't looking at her but up at the light as I posed my question and even though I couldn't see her, I could feel her fingers trembling as she attempted to get my clean diaper taped into place.
Before she could answer I said, "Seen it on a special new report thingy today."
"I wish we could have been the ones to tell you." Mom's voice gave out.
"I didn't really like him you know!" I stated honestly, "But still, I never wished him to be dead."
She finished with my diaper and had straightened herself back up to return the diapering supplies to my new dresser. I watched as she crossed to it, placed both hands on top to brace herself as her body began to tremble and she finally broke down crying.
I sat up and was going to go to her and hug her, but I did not have to. Dad came back into my room right then.
When mom saw him she said, "He already knows about the other boy being killed."
She fell into dad's arms and wept as I had done only minutes before. While dad comforted her, I got up and went to my new dresser in search of plastic pants to put on over my diaper. Now that I was home, that is what I wanted to wear. However, I had to run my fingers across the smooth wooden top, admiring its finish before opening the top drawer to see what had been placed in there for me. When I saw no plastic pants, I slid it closed and checked the second drawer. Much to my elation, I found all new plastic pants, but not just the solid colored or clear ones, like I had before. I think I might have smiled at seeing them because I knew that Lowell or maybe his whole family had been responsible for this wonderful gift. The drawer was filled with all different colors and most had some kind of little images on them, some more juvenile then others. I pulled out the pair that had a big superman emblem on the back of them. They were red with blue piping around the leg openings and the waste elastic.
Dad must have seen me looking at the plastic pants and assumed I did not like them because most of them looked so baby-like.
"We'll get you some more plain ones tomorrow." He said.
"No!" I said a little too quickly, "These are good! I-I like these fine, just surprised there are so many is all." I tried convincing them.
I still had on my socks; they were the same pair I had been wearing while running around the hallways of Jamie's apartment building today and they were more then a little dirty. I pulled them off by grabbing a hold of the toes and giving them each a good yank. I turned to toss them into my laundry hamper. I think that was the first time that it really and truly hit me that I was in a different room now.
Looking up at dad, who was still holding mom, I asked, "Where?" and held up my filthy socks to let him know I was looking for my dirty clothesbasket.
Before my room had been trashed, I used to keep it right beside my closet. A few times I had actually put it into my closet but stopped doing that because it took up space for me get in there and lay down so that I could write, think or just hide-out for a while.
He tilted his head toward the closet; "Right side is yours. Left is for your brother."
I started to cross over when he asked, "Will you be alright in here for a few minutes?"
I looked at him as if it were a stupid question to ask.
"Yeah!" I said and he took mom out to try to calm her down.
My old closet doors used to slide from side to side and were flat, stained-wood doors but the new doors are louvered, painted white with blue and brass hardware. However, the most different characteristic is that they are bi-folding instead of sliding back and forth. I think I like my old doors better; at least when I sat in the bottom of my closet I had more privacy with the old style of doors.
However, when I opened both sides of the bi-folding closet doors at the same time, I realized that my days of sitting in the bottom of my closet were over. The inside had been completely organized with rods, white laminated shelves, shoe racks and cubbyholes for sweaters and things. There was no room on the floor for me to even sit Indian style now.
My disappointment at loosing my favorite place to sit and write was quickly replaced by amazement once again, as I realized that every article of clothing hanging in the closet was brand new and still had the tags on them. Even Jamie's side of the closet was packed with new clothes. On my side of the closet alone were new pants, jeans, three complete school uniforms, more shirts then I could count, belts, ties, a new suite and many sweaters of various colors and styles. Down by the floor was a new pair of Nike trainers, my new track shoes which I was so glad were not trashed too and a new pair of school shoes with the Velcro closers, which are my favorite. I later found out that mom had spent over an hour scrubbing my new track shoes clean for me.
I noticed three other things hanging in my closet that had my tears not run dry, probably would have pushed me over the edge for sure. The Panther jersey that had been signed by all the Panthers was hanging there, undamaged. At least it looked undamaged. Mom Later told me that she had to do a little mending to it too.
Also hanging in my closet was my new Varsity track shirt along with the oversized yellow Junior varsity shirt Mr. Shaffer had given me the day I had helped Mikey to the nurses' office after falling and busting open his lip.
Something in me made me take out my Varsity Track shirt to look at it.
"How many sixth graders have ever made the Varsity team?" I asked myself and then followed up with, "I wonder if I will get to compete at all this year?" before hanging it back in the closet.
Setting between Jamie's and my shoes was a white, wire basket with a cloth bag inside it. On the outside of the bag it said, "Laundry" in blue letters that matched the rest of my room. I dropped my socks in before going back over to my dresser and slipping on the new plastic pants. After tossing my pants, which were laying on my bed, into the laundry basket, I pulled off my shirt and dropped it in too.
Now, any other time I think I might have stayed like that, wearing nothing but a diaper, plastic pants and my body armor but I figured there might still be some people in or around the house so I pulled out a pair of desert style camouflage pants from the closet and slipped them on. They fit a bit loose and for a few minutes I was a little disappointed until I realized that if I were wearing cloth diapers right then they would have fit perfectly. I reached in, took out one of the plain white shirts, put it on and decided to go back to the dresser to see what other goodies might await discovery in the bottom two drawers.
I had already discovered that the first drawer contained socks for both dress and play whereas the second drawer contained plastic pants and diapering supplies. Pulling open the third drawer I found disposable diapers and GoodNite bed wetter pants. The diapers I had recognized as the ones mom had been getting for me, attends youth which I think I like more then the Pampers 6 that Lowell would let me wear. The Pampers looked more babyish but the Attends held more pee and were bigger, meaning they fit me better. When I looked in the last drawer, the blue one on the bottom, I saw that it was filled with cloth diapers and a clear plastic container with a light blue lid that contained large diaper pins.
After closing the blue drawer I was standing beside my dresser buttoning the last two buttons on my shirt when a single word flashed in my mind, "slippers?"
Now I did not remember seeing any slippers in the closet but I went back for another look. This time, when I was finished, I closed both doors to preserve the beauty and neatness of my new room.
I was thinking to myself, "I can't change a single thing until after Jamie gets to see everything tomorrow."
Not finding any slippers in the closet, I walked over to the shelves on my side, the left side, of the bed to see if maybe someone might have put them there and when I didn't find any, I went to Jamie's side thinking maybe someone made a mistake and put two pairs on his shelves.
"Huh!" I exclaimed in amazement. "They thought of everything but..." and then I spotted a pair of slippers sitting neatly on the floor beside Jamie's dresser. I'd not been able to see them from anywhere else in the room and sure enough, when I checked beside my dresser I found not only a pair of nice gray and green slippers but also got a chance to check out the new white diaper pail which I had noticed earlier. When I slid on the slippers, they fit great and felt so incredibly soft against my bare feet.
I had been looking for slippers because I had intended to go out into the rest of the house to check on mom but instead I decided to sit down and check out my new computer. Despite all the excitement and joy my new room brought to me, I still had a mission to accomplish tonight and if everything went right, I would be bringing home Tater and Mike before the sun came up in the morning and before anyone knew I was gone.
Since the computer was a Windows based PC instead of a Mac like my old computer, which is what I am used to using and also what we have at school, it took a while for me to figure everything out. I am not completely ignorant when it comes to PC's with Windows installed but I am also not anywhere close to being fluent. I was able to get online but was not able to get into my email yet. Then I remembered my e-journal had the information I needed and went in search of it as well as the rest of my stuff I had brought home with me.
All of my things were sitting by the front door, which was closed and I noticed something new had been added to our door. There was new, shiny brass, deadbolt lock above the knob and in the middle of the door were two new peepholes. One at mom and dad's height and one lower just for me. I was peering through it when dad asked, "Someone at the door?"
"Nope! Just looking!" I said unfazed by his presents in the room.
I turned and asked, "Mom okay?"
"She's just tired." Dad said, "But I'm more concerned about you right now."
"I'm okay." I said.
"No, I don't think so." he said.
I shrugged as much as I was able and started to reach down for my things.
"Simon," dad said and I think he was going to say something else but he didn't, at least not right away.
With my things in hand I said, "Yeah?"
Shaking his head slightly he said, "Nothing. It can wait `til later."
"Okay, I'm going to go play with my new computer and see if I can get the email to work." I said feeling relieved that he was letting the matter drop, at least for the moment.
I heard dad mumbling something as I was heading down the hallway but could not make it out and did not know if he was directing it to me or was just mumbling for the heck of it. The paper covering the carpet crinkled louder then my diaper with every step I took. It was somewhat funny now and I wondered how long it would be before mom had that stuff pulled up and the carpet beneath vacuumed.
While looking for the cable to connect my e-journal to my computer, I found a brand new accessory kit in the top drawer of my desk. There was a very small explosion in my head when I saw it.
"Dang they must have trashed the other too!" I said to myself and then realized that, "Dad must have thought about this!"
After managing to get it opened so that I could have the connecting wire, I looked for a way to get it plugged into the computer; however I couldn't find the right kind of input jack. I turned back to the accessory kit for instructions and saw another cable with a small yellow plug on one end and the right kind of plug for my e-journal on the other. Now that I was actually reading what the package said I could see that the cable I pulled out was for connecting to e-journals together, which I've no idea why anyone would need to do that and the other was for a pc installation. A minute later, I had the two connected together and was able to get into my email.
Boy was my inbox full! I had emails from everyone plus several hundred pieces of spam. I was not in the mood to spend the rest of my day going through all the email so all I did was delete the ones I knew to be spam. Then I sent only two emails out; one to Jamie, telling him to have everyone ready at exactly midnight and be waiting for me. A second email went out to the only person I thought I might be able to get help from, Bull.
Simon here! No time to go into anything now but
I will later if I see you. Right now I need your help
again! Please don't tell anyone! If you are able to,
I need you to come in your car and meet me at the same
place you picked me up that one night. I will be
waiting there at 11:30 p.m. tonight. Please come; it
is a matter of life and death!
I signed off and disconnected my e-journal from the computer and since I did not have my closet hide-away anymore, I decided that the loft bed would have to do. I climbed up, sat myself down while leaning against the fresh white walls and began journaling to pass the time.
PART 4 -- Sunday, March 07, 2004 -- Bump in the Night
When mom came in to tell me supper was ready she found me slumped over in the loft bed with my e-journal lying in my lap. If it hadn't been for my body armor holding me semi-upright I am sure I would have fallen right over onto my side while sleeping. I am also grateful to the creators of this electronic journal for building in a feature that I wasn't aware of until today. Apparently, they thought of everything, because when left on but unused for more then fifteen minutes my e-journal automatically saves whatever I had open and turns itself off so that the batteries do not get used up and my work isn't lost.
"Simon sweetheart!" Mom said giving my foot a shake.
I opened one eyes and saw mom's head peeking at me through the metal guardrail.
I groaned and stretched, "Did I fall asleep?"
"It's okay, you had a big day!" was moms answered.
"How long?" I asked still stretching my arms and legs straight out from me.
"For a while, I imagine." She offered before asking, "Do you want some supper?"
"Huh? What time is it?" I asked while allowing a yawn to escape and contort my face.
"A little after seven." Mom answered while pulling on my foot to get me to come down.
I sat my e-journal on my bed and started to move toward the ladder.
"What we having?" I asked still trying to get my brain to wake up.
"Pizza!" Mom said, which was the magic word needed to jump start my brain.
"PIZZA?" I shouted from halfway down the ladder.
"Uh-oh! I think someone sprang a leak." Mom cooed when she noticed a wet spot on the back of my pants.
"I did?" I asked trying to reach around to feel for it but was unable to find it because my armor kept me from bending and twisting enough.
"It isn't very bad." Mom assured.
I looked up at the upper bed and felt bad for getting pee on it already but remembered that the bedspreads had that water resistant material.
Mom must have been using her Super Mom powers to read my mind at that very instant because without me saying a single word she asked, "Did you know they make special bedding just for bedwetters?"
I stepped down onto the wooden floor and shook my head while rubbing the sleep from my eyes. I think I was also a little dazed by her use of the BW-word.
didn't either, but the mother of your little friend, Lowell, told me all about
them and also that Wal-Mart sold them." Mom said squatting down in front of me
and began unzipping my pants. Her words made me wonder just how much time mom
got to spend talking with
"Really?" I asked as she pulled my pants down to my ankles and allowed me to step out of them.
"Even the sheets?" I asked as she pulled down my plastic pants.
"My goodness Simon!" Mom commented when she saw how wet my diaper was.
I looked down to see that the diaper looked like I had shoved a garden hose down the front and turned on the spigot.
"Wow!" I commented as well.
Mom directed me to lie down on the lower bed so she could change my diaper.
Returning to our conversation about the bedding she said, "Well, Wal-Mart had special sheets too but they didn't look as soft and comfortable to me so I bought you regular sheets."
She had pulled off the tapes but left the diaper in place while she went after the diapering supplies in my new dresser.
"I did get the special pillow and mattress covers for both beds." She said.
Walking back over to me with the diaper cream, powder and a cloth diaper she continued to relate to me some of the, `Behind the Scenes' tales about my rooms transformation.
"You're father and Ruddy put this bed together." She leaned forward and in a softer voice said, "Funniest thing I have ever seen!" and she snorted with laughter.
When I was diapered mom had me stand back up and helped me put the plastic pants I had been wearing back on. She then let me take the used diaper and drop it into my new diaper pail beside my dresser. It is really cool; when I step on a little lever by the floor, the lid pops open. Inside there are two compartments. The left side has a plastic trash bag like mom uses in the kitchen trashcan and the other side has what looks like a white, waterproof, nylon liner for cloth diapers. I also noticed that the lid seals tight enough so that any smells are kept inside the can. I wish I felt free enough to let mom and dad know how happy I am to have my very own diaper pail, but I think I will keep that to myself... for now.
I was ready to walk out of my room exactly as I was dressed at that moment wearing only a shirt, cloth diaper, plastic pants and no britches. However, mom stopped me.
"You might want to put on some pants!" she suggested.
"How come?" I asked.
"Because we have company for dinner." She said while taking the desert camo pants I had been wearing, to my closet and dropping them into the laundry bag. She looked down into the laundry bag and off handedly commented, "Looks like I am going to need to do a load of your clothes soon."
She pulled out a pair of new blue jeans and after pulling off the tags, she helped me get them on too. Even wearing cloth diapers they were a little big on me so mom got one of the new belts out of the closet and laced it through the loops in my jeans.
"Now put on your slippers and you will be all set!" she said giving me a kiss and a playful swat on my diapered bottom.
"Okay!" I said and went to Jamie's side of the bed where I had left my slippers earlier and stepped into them.
I turned around, tugged on the bottom of my shirt and joking just a little I asked, "How do I look?"
"Very Hansom!" Mom answered with a big smile.
In the dining room, much to my surprise I found BJ and Lowell sitting with dad at the table. The three of them had already starting eating before mom and I had arrived but stopped when we walked in.
"About time!" BJ joked and while mom and dad were not looking he showed me a mouthful of chewed food.
Sitting in the middle of the table were two large pizza boxes, one of which was almost half empty already and there was also a big thing of breadsticks with dipping sauces. The aroma of pizza in the air was delightfully intoxicating and I had to swallow as my mouth was salivating in anticipation.
"W-what are you guys doing back?" I asked surprised to see them both again so soon but I had not meant for it to come out sounded as rude as it had. Thankfully no one took it badly.
Dad must have guessed I had been sleeping because he asked, "You just wake up?"
I nodded and smiled while mom and I joined them at the table.
held his hand up to block his view of
"I didn't think you were coming back today!" I said feeling immensely glad to have them here
I reached across and took a piece of pizza from the box closest to me.
Dad jumped in, "Actually, I had to take some tools back over to his father," dad motioned to BJ, "And I asked the boys if they wanted to join us for dinner!"
No one talked about anything negative at all while we ate, which I was both grateful and relieved over. Maybe at the very first, I had felt uncomfortable eating with BJ there, given that I was wearing thick cloth diapers under my jeans but when I remembered he already knew I needed to wear them, I settled down and enjoyed the evening.
I took a drink from the glass of water in front of me while thinking that Coke would have been better with the pizza. I listened as they recounted tales of thier weekend; a few of which I had already heard about but it was still fun to hear about them again. As I listened to them, I could tell that over the weekend my two friends had apparently sealed their recently formed friendship which had begun a few days ago when they had come to visit me in the hospital.
After dinner, the three of us retreated to my room. With each of us in pain from our tummies having been stretched to their limits, we fell backward onto the lower bed while rubbing our bulging bellies and groaning. Actually, I didn't fall; I lowered myself careful so as not to jar my ribs but my two friends had just sort of fell over like two trees.
am never going to eat again!"
"Never is a very long time!" BJ jokingly pointed out, "But I bet I won't be hungry for a week!"
Adding to the joke I said, "I don't know! I think I could go for some pie right about now!"
laughed and said, "Pie? There's pie? Why wasn't I told about the pie? I want
pie!" which earned him a pillow in the face from
After resting for a while, the three of us decided to check out my new computer. We were quietly tinkering until dad came in to tell us that it was time for him to take BJ and Lowell to their homes. However, our time on my new computer taught me a lot about Microsoft Windows based computers and we even had time to hook up my e-journal and download a few cool programs into it that I didn't know were things I could use it for.
have several cool games on it now like Checkers, Chess, Tic-Tac-Toe,
Solitaire, and Junior Jeopardy.
One kind of funny thing did happen while we'd been messing around with my computer and e-journal. Lowell and BJ were over sitting on my bed trying out the Junior Jeopardy so I took the chance to check to see if Bull had responded to my email. Sure enough he had and only within minutes of me checking. For the next few minutes we bantered back and forth via email, me telling him my plan and he going on about how suicidal I was for even thinking of it. In the end he agreed that if he could sneak out of the house, he would. The end of our conversation was the funny part. It went something like this...
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2004
Subject: Good idea
Of course my idea sounds like a good idea to you; you
live over there in that upside down development.
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2004
Subject: Re: Good idea
Bull to Simon
Ha-Ha! People who live on the moon, uh -- I mean up on
the hill, shouldn't joke about Wallaby Glenn Housing
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2004
Subject: Re: Re: Good idea
Who was joking? I've seen the houses in Wallaby Glenn,
both upside down and right side up and I'll take ours
here on the hill any day!
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2004
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Good idea
Wallaby Glenn Housing Development doesn't need all
Those fancy overgrown trees and ritzy houses! And
besides, you only like it up there because they
named your complex `Eros' and that's as close to sex
and you will ever get!
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2004
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good idea
At least I have a sex... Male by the way!
Open your fly and check to see what you are! You
grip the handle of the zipper and pull downward, oh
wait... you're in that upside down Wallaby Glenn...
pull upward then!
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2004
Let's see... Zipper--Fly--Pull--Ouch! Ow! Oweey!!
Ps. See you tonight, if I can!
As soon as dad had left with my two friends I ran back to my room to retrieve the dirty cloth bag that I had wrapped in a towel from under my dresser.
I heard mom calling from somewhere else in the house, "Simon you need to start thinking about getting ready bed." Which I knew was her way of telling me that I had to go to bed now.
Fearing she was coming to check the condition of my diaper, I quickly stuffed the bundle back under my dresser and sure enough, while I was taking off my shirt she appeared in the doorway to my room.
Before she could say or do anything I asked, "Can I get my school stuff ready first?"
Coming on into my room she was smiling as she said, "Nope!" and before I could protest she said, "All of your new text books are already in your new backpack and are sitting by the backdoor." she said.
"New books?" I asked.
"I called and told your principle, Mr. Freeman that you needed new books and he dropped them off early this morning for you." She said bending down and helping me with the last two buttons on my shirt.
"Oh," I said comprehending that my school things must have been thrashed too; and the second part of what she had said finally registered with me.
"I got a new backpack too?" I asked as she was taking down my pants and exposing my wet diaper.
"Yes and a new spiral notebook. Let's see, what else? Oh and a really neat mechanical pencil." mom said while having me step out of my pants.
Then in a sudden burst of panic I had the worst thought, "My old Journal?" I cried out.
My outburst startled mom and she let out a squeal of alarm, "Simon!"
"Is it okay?" I was shaking with worry that more then a years worth of memories might be lost.
Mom took hold of my diapered hips to try and keep me from blasting off.
"It is in your father's office. It was torn in half and the spiral binding was pulled out, but I think you should be able to save the pages."
It's hard to explain how I felt at that very second. I think I was feeling relieved and filled with dread both at the same time. And as if she had anticipated my next question she said, "No one read it! Your father put all the loose pages into a box for you to go through later."
I think I released a small sigh of relief at hearing this.
"A few of the pages might need cleaned off a little." mom added while petting my diapered hip.
I didn't ask anymore questions and let her change me into a dry cloth diaper and fresh plastic pants. When she was finished I asked for the box and followed her out of my room and all the way to dad's small home office.
I didn't open the box until I was back in my room alone. I felt tears welling up in my eyes as I looked down into the open box and saw that it was not as bad as I was expecting but still bad enough to make me want to lash out at someone. I reached in for a few of the pages and began spreading them out on the floor when mom came back in.
"Sweet heart, why don't you save that to do that later!" she said. "Right now you need to get your rest. Tomorrow's going to be here before you know it."
I reluctantly gave up, put the torn pages back into the box and placed the box into my closet on one of the empty shelves.
While mom tucked me into to bottom bed we heard dad coming in through he front door. He must not have been alone because we could hear him talking to someone. Mom kissed me softly on my forehead and left, turning off the overhead light on her way. Less than a minute later dad popped in to say good-night too.
"So did you have a good day?" he asked while sitting on the bed beside me and leaning in to kiss my forehead too.
I nodded that I had.
Petting my face he asked, "Do you think you are ready to go back to school tomorrow?"
I didn't answer right away but took some time to think about his question before answering with another nod of my head and saying, "I think I am a little bit scared," and then quickly added, "but only a little!"
"Why are you scared?" he asked while rubbing my armor covered chess through the comforter.
"What if someone finds out I have to wear diapers." I said softly.
"You know you are allowed to get up and go to the nurse's office anytime you need? Even in the middle of a class!" he said.
"Yeah, but then everyone will wonder why I left the room and didn't get into trouble." I groaned.
Dad rubbed me harder through the bedding as he thought about what to say next, "How about I give you your mothers cell phone to keep in your backpack and if you want to leave school at anytime tomorrow you call me and no matter what I am doing--no matter where I am, I will come to get you?"
That sounded good to me, so I nodded and maybe smiled a little to let him know I liked his idea. Dad kissed me once more before standing up, "I will go make sure it is fully charged right now and before I go to bed I will put it into your pack for you."
"Okay!" I agreed.
"Hey son?" dad started to ask.
"I love you too dad!" I said back with a giggle.
He was nearly out of my room when something occurred to me, "Dad?" I asked while looking around my darkened room.
"Yes?" he said stopping and turning back toward me.
"There's no alarm clock!" I commented.
Apparently, I was the first person to notice this fact because dad stepped back in, flipped on the light and was looking around while his chin in disbelief.
Dad had a peculiar expression on his face when he said, "But I know we bought one!"
Letting go of his face and snapping his fingers he blurted out, "Bet your mother knows were it is." and was gone in a flash.
It didn't take long for him to return with a really awesome clock that he was pulling out of the black, yellow and red box it had come in. He flipped my new desk light on and maneuvered it around so that he could see to plug the clock in before sitting down in my new white desk chair to set the time and alarm on it. The chair gave out a funny kind of squeak when dad sat down almost as if it was complaining about the weight it was being forward to support.
"This has an alarm that starts out soft and gets louder and louder until you get up and turn it off. It's supposed to wake you up gently and not scare you awake." he explained while fumbling with the alarm settings.
"Where was it?" I asked.
"Huh, what? Oh, in the garage!" he answered without looking up at me, "Just didn't get brought in I guess."
Thinking I was being cute I asked, "Is there more stuff in the garage for me?"
"Sure!" Dad teased, "If you want empty boxes!"
"Ah darn!" I acted as if I were disappointed.
"There you go!" he said setting it on my desk by my new computer monitor.
He came back over for one last kiss, this time on my lips.
"See you in the morning!" he said
"Hey dad?" I called out after he had flipped off the light and was almost out of my room again. Even though it was dark in my room, I could still see him from the light out in the hallway; he turn and made a funny face.
"Thanks!" I said.
"Good night son!" and he left, leaving my door open.
Seconds later the hallway light went off and I was left in near darkness with only the glow of my new clock to keep me company. It was a struggle to stay awake but I was worried that if I fell asleep I would not wake up again until morning. I had too many plans for the night to risk it so as soon as I heard mom and dad go to bed; I got up and closed my door so that when I turned on my light they wouldn't know it.
Despite my diaper looking a little wet I decided to leave it on and got dressed. With my coat on I went to my window to open it and climb out, but suddenly I had seconds thoughts about it.
"What if the cops are still watching our house?" I thought out loud and then started to get concerned that maybe they could see that my light was on through my sheer curtains. I raced over and flipped off the switch; leaving myself in the dark again and having to wait for my eyes to readjust.
"Wonder where my flashlight is?" I whispered to myself. Thinking it was probably destroyed; I didn't even bother to look for it and instead decided to get one from elsewhere in the house to take with me.
I was glad to see the paper was gone off the carpet as it surely would have given me away with my first step. Funny how I don't remember mom and dad taking it up while I was lying in bed pretending to be asleep; maybe I did doze off for a while without knowing it.
Out in the kitchen I grabbed the flashlight that was always left plugged into the wall over the dishwasher. I had forgotten that when it is unplugged it automatically turns on and of course I had been looking right at it when I did. My eyelids slammed shut while I fumbled blindly to turn it off.
Standing at the backdoor something in me told me not to open the door and I almost didn't listen to the little voice. It's a good thing I did though because when I looked up I saw yet another new feature to our home that no one had bothered to point out to me. Apparently, we now have a home invasion system installed in our house. Now I have watched enough even crime dramas to know that if I were to open the door it would only be a matter of seconds before mom and dad would find me dressed and out of bed; not to mention the cops that would surely come with guns at the ready.
"How am I going to get out of here?" I groaned quietly at the door as if expecting it to tell me how to get past the new alarm system.
I couldn't risk turning on the flashlight again for fear someone, namely the cops might see the light roving around inside. I tiptoed to our front door and saw that it too was secured by a magnetic sensor in the upper left corner.
"This is insane!" I moaned softly.
From the back of the house I heard a small sound. I froze and waited. There it was again and I knew mom or dad was up. Panic set in.
"What am I going to do? If they see me dressed they will know I was up to something and will probably put me on restriction for the rest of my natural life. Or they might beat me to within an inch of death when they realize I was trying to sneak out of the house after everything that had happened.
"Come on Simon think of something!" I said to myself.
Sudden inspiration hit me like a brilliant nuclear explosion inside my head. As fast and as quietly as I could, I stripped all of my clothes off so that I was only wearing my diaper and plastic armor again. I stuffed my clothes behind the couch and laid myself down just as dad appeared from out of the hallway looking for me. I was still clutching the flashlight, which was off and I was pretending to be sleeping.
"Simon?" dad whispered when he spotted me.
When I didn't respond he reached out and touched my head.
I didn't really have a plan, I was basically just allowing my instincts to take control and hope they didn't fail me. As soon as I felt his fingers brush my hair I acted as if he had startled me awake.
I switched on the flashlight and the beam of light hit him right in the face. As if he had taken a punch from a champion boxer, dad staggered backward several steps.
While, shielding his eyes with his hands he asked in a normal tone, "What are you doing sleeping out here?"
Still putting on my little performance I faked stuttering, "I-I-I c-could n-not s-s-sleep-p-p in m-m-my r-r-r-room!" and how I managed to get tears to begin flowing from my eyes was beyond me, but it was the effect I needed to make my drama believable.
The flashlight was still on but I had pointed it away from dad. He came over, sat on the edge of one of the cushions and hugged me to him.
"Did you get scared?" he asked while petting the back of my head.
"N-n-no!" I continued with my phony stuttering. "I-I-I j-j-j-just..."
Dad finished my sentence for me, "Just couldn't sleep?" and then offered me an excuse.
"Too new and strange?" he asked.
"Y-y-yeah!" I sniffled into his shoulder.
I saw a light from outside flash across the curtains of the front window.
"D-dad I-I-I..." and I didn't get to finish my thought. He must have saw it to because he had released me, stood back up and was looking out of the new peephole to see who was on our porch.
I turned to watch him as he flipped open the cover of a small box on the wall to reveal an illuminated keypad. I had never noticed this new feature and made a mental note to myself that I needed to work on my perceptive skills. I saw dad punch in 1 3 1 3 before hitting a blue glowing button. There had been a red light on the left side of the keypad that turned green when dad pressed the blue button and that must have meant the alarm system had been deactivated because dad flipped the little panel door closed again and unlocked the front door.
I was still laying on the couch but I could see from the moment dad opened the door that it was Mr. Segal standing on the other side of our storm door.
"Everything alright?" I heard Mr. Segal ask through the glass, "We saw some lights inside and..."
"Sorry Tom, everything's fine." dad answered trying to keep his voice down so as not to wake up mom, "Simon is having a difficult night is all."
"Is there anything we can do?" Mr. Segal asked.
"Are you any good at singing kids to sleep?" dad joked.
That appeased Mr. Segal who laughingly turned and walked off our porch and disappeared into the night again.
I watched dad close and lock the door before flipping the panel open and punching in the same alarm code 1 3 1 3 before hitting a blue glowing button again. I saw the green light turn back to red before dad closed the panel.
"Why don't you come sleep with your mother and I tonight?" dad asked reaching out for the flashlight I still was holding.
I had not been prepared for that question and without thinking I nodded and said, "Ok-kay."
"Want me to carry you?" he asked.
This time I shook my head, "I-I c-can w-w-walk."
On the way down the hallway I had a thought that might buy me a few minutes to think of something else to get out of sleeping in their bed with them. I stopped, turned and asked, "C-can y-you ch-ch-change me?"
Dad smiled, tousled my hair and ushered me to my room where I laid myself on the lower bed as if I were climbing in to sleep. After retrieving another cloth diaper and the wipes dad came over and started removing my plastic pants.
That is when I figured out a way to keep from having to sleep with him and mom. I purposefully didn't say anything to him but instead let him work at getting me changed and while he was pinning the clean diaper into place I acted as if I had already fallen asleep. It worked because after dad was finished pinning the other side he pulled my plastic pants the rest of the way off seeing how they were already around my ankles, and got a pair that he could snap over my cloth diaper so that he wouldn't have to move me as much and would be less likely to wake me back up. When done, he pulled the covers up to my chin and left me to sleep.
I waited at least twenty minutes to be sure he was back to sleep before I got up. This time I decided to stuff some clothes under the bedspread so that if dad or mom looked into my room they would think I was still in bed. Also, I figured that since dad just changed my diaper, there was less chance that either of them would try to come into my room to check to see if I needed changed.
I was about to sneak out of my room to go get my clothes from behind the couch when I saw the flashlight sitting on the corner of my desk. I also noticed that I only had about 15 minutes before I was supposed to meet Bull at the Corner Dairy.
As quiet as a church mouse I snuck back down the hall, redressed myself and then punched in the code to deactivate the alarm. I pressed 1 3 1 3 before hitting a blue glowing button. I watched for the little red LED light to change to green. I wanted to shout out triumphantly when it worked.
Now I was smart enough not to go out the front door but instead escaped out the backdoor and went around behind the garage. There is a chain link fence that separates our yard from our neighbors and I knew from experience that there was a spot where I could squeeze under it. However, given the muddy conditions I opted for climbing over the top. It surprised me when I was on the other side and my ribs were not hurting.
"Guess I am healing up!" I whispered to myself.
Had someone been up late or driving down the street I am sure they would have spotted me running, but apparently lady luck was with me. Running in the late night air made my throat feel extra cold and dry but I didn't let it bother me. I was sure I had arrived at the Corner Dairy 7-eleved Store with a minute or two to spare but when I got there I didn't see Bull's yellow car anywhere in sight.
I was standing right beside the big green trash dumpster feeling hopeless when from across the street I saw a set of headlights come on.
"Please let that be Bull!" I said a loud.
I waited and watched the car begin to move but realized it was too quiet to be Bull's car.
I don't know how long I was standing there in the cold night air waiting for Bull but it felt like a lifetime! To keep from being seen by anyone driving by, I had hunkered down behind the trash dumpster and only had my head sticking out so that I could watch for his car.
The cold must mess with people's heads because it sure was messing with mine. I kept thinking about the oddest stuff while I waited.
I was first thinking about how I would get downtown without Bull's car but after a while I found myself thinking about my new room and everything that was in it. My mind eventually began to take inventory of the things I had seen that had already been mine and that took my thoughts to my golden yo-yo trophy which I'd noticed had been broken and glued back together. That started me thinking about how I had got it in the first place...
was right after school had started back after a great summer vacation. It was
the same year that, when my birthday had come and I found out I had a half
brother named Jamie. I had been out at recess with three of my best friends,
Lisa, Sean and Victor who everyone just called Vic for short. The four of us were
standing around waiting for our turn in Kickball when another friend of ours
came running up to us. His name was
guys are never going to believe what just happened!"
Lisa, who had little patience and was known to be a bit of a Tomboy looked at him and said very matter of fact like, "Let me guess! The sky is falling and you are the designated town crier?"
I might need to add that, if Lisa were not such a softy, I mean deep down inside, she'd probably have ended up being the playground bully. But seeing how Sean, Vic and I had known her since first grade, we knew she was all talk, well most of the time anyway. She would threaten to fight any boy or girl in our school but as far as I know, she's never hit a single person in her life. Unless you count me!
This one day she had been telling us about this Kick-Boxing match her uncle had taken her to see the night before when all of a sudden she spun around while demonstrating a left hook and clocked me a good one right on the nose. I'm not sure who cried more, me or her! She didn't get into any trouble because I said it had been an accident and all the teachers knew we were inseparable friends.
after her smart-alik comment to
Mrs. Bickly was the playground monitor and everyone knew she hated kids! She also hated anything that would fall under the category of `FUN'. Everyone did their best to stay clear of her or risk getting sent inside to sit out recess for the rest of the day. Heck, she even sent me in once just because I coughed without covering my mouth first!
Finally, it was my turn up to kick for my team in our little game of Kickball. I've never been good at sports. Heck, if it were not for Vic being the best at any and every sport there is and being my best friend, I bet I would never have been picked for anything. Without fail, I was always the first person Vic picked when the other team captains were picking their team players. He never held it against me that I never ever had made it past first base before and more times then not I usually ended up getting out before I was even half way to first base.
On this day nothing was different. Bowzer, as we all called him because he was always barking like a dog, was both the other team's captain and also the pitcher. He was almost as good at sports as Vic and the two of them were always competing at everything they did whether it was sports or seeing who could burp the longest at lunchtime.
Bowzer sent the ball rolling toward me, I cocked my leg backward and with all my might let go a kick. However, I kicked too soon and ended up kicking my shoe off and sending it sailing through the air toward third base. After that, I forfeited my turn, hopped over to the sidelines and laid on the ground, on my stomach until my bottom stopped hurting; all the while listening to the taunts and laughter from the other teams players as well as a couple from my own team. Sean had been nice enough to retrieve my lost shoe for me.
Sean was kind of like the glue that kept all of us together. I guess he was kind of like our leader. Everyone in our school knew Sean back then. He always wore the same silly black and yellow baseball cap all day long, even inside the school; despite the fact that it was against the rules. Back then, I was not sure why he managed to get away with it but I was sure if he had been any other kid he'd have been busted. But all the teachers and even the principle let him wear it and never said word one to him. It wasn't until about a week before my birthday that year that I found out the reason was because when he was only three he fell backward into a glass top side table and had a sizable chunk of hair, skin and flesh sliced right off the back of his head.
The only way I had found out about it was because someone, as a joke tried to take his hat from him at recess. Boy, I don't think I had ever seen Mrs. Bickly move so fast before that afternoon. Despite the fact that she looked to be at least a thousand years old she came running over, snatched Sean's hat away from the kid, and jammed it down onto Sean's head before dragging the boy off of the playground. To the best of my knowledge, the boy whom had accosted Sean was never seen nor heard from again.
Now, during a single period of recess there was never enough time to play a full nine innings of kickball so all of our games were limited to only three innings. Should recess end before the game was over, whichever team had the higher score, won the game that day. While laying there in the grass watching Vic and the rest of our team annihilate Bowzers' team I started to take stock of myself... sports-wise I mean. With every score achieve by Vic and our team I began to realize just how useless I was at the game. Of course that wasn't always to be the case but at that moment in my life it was very much true.
Sean had come over after running the bases and sat down on the grass next to me without saying a word.
Realizing that he wasn't going to say anything I decided I'd start the conversation, "You know something Sean?"
"What's that?" he said back while still keeping his eyes on the game.
"I am no good at anything!" I moaned.
"Ah come on Simon! All you need to do is practice a little!" he said poking me in the side.
"Hey stop, that tickles!" I giggled and rolled out of his reach.
When I was sure I was out of his reach I continued, "No really! I have tried everything and I am just no good at anything!" I said trying to enlist him into my little pity party.
"Now how could you have tried everything Simon? You are only a kid for cripes sake!" Sean said bounding into the air and pouncing onto my back, effectively pinning me to the ground. Luckily, Mrs. Bickly didn't see him or he would have been sent inside for the rest of recess.
Later, that same week my dad had taken me to work with him on, `Bring your Son or Daughter to Work Day'. Little did I know that a small kindness bestowal upon me by one of dad's female co-workers would change everything for me.
I had been at dad's office for a few hours acting as a gopher for dad and everyone that sat around him. If someone needed another ream of paper, I was sent to the supply closet to get one; if someone was on the phone and wanted another cup of coffee, I would take their mug to the convenience center, fill it and carefully carry it back for them. Dad paid me $2 an hour, and back then, $2 was a heck of a lot of money to me. By the end of the day I had earned $16 but dad gave me an even $20; he said the other $4 was a bonus for working so hard all day. But as I was saying, I had been at dad's office for a few hours when he had asked me to do something, "VERY IMPORTANT" as he put it. He had me go all he way to the basement, find a man named Eugene Beakman and ask him for box number 23097A1 which dad wrote on a small Post-it note because he knew I wouldn't remember that long of a number by the time I reached the elevators let alone all the way down to the basement.
Amazingly enough, I found Eugene Beakman without getting lost on the way. He was a tall guy that looked to be in his early twenties and he could have been the poster child for Nerd's Anonymous. I think he was lonely down there all by himself because even after I handed him the post-it he continued to blabber on about stuff I still don't understand. When he finally gave me the box I said thank you and ran for the elevators as fast as I could before he could start talking again. I later found out that he was the president of the company's son and had done something very bad and as punishment he was made "Archive Manager" which was kind of a joke since no one else worked in the archives but him.
The box was not very heavy at first but by the time I had got back to dad's floor I was hardly able to keep from dropping it. Thankfully a very nice lady, whom I had helped earlier that morning by making several copies of a memo, came to my rescue and helped me get the box back to my dad.
As it turned out, dad had jotted down the wrong number and so the box I brought him was not what he wanted or needed. However, instead of making me carry it all the way back down to the basement, which I seriously doubt I could have done, dad took it himself.
He gave the excuse of, "I need to stretch my legs anyway."
The lady who had come to my rescue asked me to put some stamps on some envelops for her. I ended up putting stamps on over a hundred envelops and by the time I was done I don't think I had a single bit of spit left in my whole body and my tongue felt like it was coated with paint. I will say this much though, the stamps at least tasted good, kind of like mint only different.
While I was licking and placing each stamp she was going on and on about how wonderful I was and how she couldn't get her son to, "so much as to say the word `work'!" This is something she said to me at least a dozen times.
I had spotted a yo-yo sitting on her desk; she said someone gave it to her as a gag gift at one of the office parties. When I finished licking all those stamps she asked me if I wanted the yo-yo and though I did, I told her that dad was already paying me for working that day but she insisted that I take it. She also took me and bought me a Dr. Pepper from the vending machine to wash the stamp paste out of my mouth. Boy that Dr. Pepper sure was good after all them stamps!
After we got back home, I spent the rest of the day in our backyard practicing with that yo-yo. Only once was I able to make the darn thing go down and then come back up again. However, it had not come all the way back up to my hand, but instead only came about half way back up before dropping back down and just spinning.
The next day was Saturday and instead of getting up to watch cartoons I got my shower, because even back then I was wetting my bed every stinking night. Afterward I got dressed and without breakfast I ran out to our backyard to continue practicing.
The gang showed up after lunch to see if I wanted to come out to play Freeze Tag. When they knocked on the front door mom had told them I was out in the backyard already, so they came around the house to get me.
"Hey Simon you crud! Come on; let's get a game of Freeze Tag going!" Lisa said. Lisa was always calling one of us `crud' and no one ever took offence to it; it was just her way!
"I don't want to play freeze tag!" I said.
"Oh come on Simon, we need someone easy to catch!" Vic teased.
"No, you guys go on without me! I am going to keep practicing." I answered back.
"Ah come on! You can play with your yo-yo later can't you?" Sean asked.
"I don't want to do it later; I want to do it now!" I said back while winding the string back into the yo-yo for the millionth time.
"You know, I don't think what you are doing can actually be called yo-yoing. I think you have to actually get it to come back up to be able to call it that. What you are doing is more like... just `Yo'!" Lisa said.
"It's not broken!" Sean said.
"Here let me try!" Vic said.
"NO!" I snapped at him, "I will do it myself!"
gang eventually grew board with watching me toss the yo-yo down, wind the
string and toss it over and over again. Everyone but
you sure you are doing it right?"
"I will figure it out eventually." I answered back giving it yet another toss.
you do any tricks yet?"
"I can make it fall and spin for a long time." I joked.
"Was that the one where the lady knocked a cigarette out of a mans mouth with a yo-yo?" I asked.
did that trick too but the trick I really liked was where she had six yo-yo's
all going up and down and flying all around the head of some kid on stage."
"Oh yeah! I saw that one!" I shouted accidentally giving the yo-yo too hard of a tug causing it to fly up and smack me right in my boyhood jewels.
fell to the ground groaning in agony whilst
ended up making me come into the house, sit at the kitchen table while holding
a bag of ice over my boyhood jewels which ended up not being a good thing at
all. The cold eventually caused me to wet my pants right there but thankfully
both mom and
too long I was back outside, in dry pants I might add, trying with all my might
I could remember how that lady did it!" I said to
"The yo-yo lady on TV!" I growl more out of frustration with my yo-yo then with him.
"Really, because I thought it was something kind of new." I said back.
continued practicing and trying several more times before
"Molly Holly, Molly Holly!" he kept shouting.
"Wait a second!" I said, "Isn't that the name of that crazy old lady over by the sports park? You know the one that will never give back anything that lands in her backyard?"
could tell that my question had flipped a light on inside
"Oh yeah, you're right!" he said and the reason we knew her name was Molly Holly was because it was painted on both sides of her mailbox in fancy white letters.
That, of course, was all that needed to be said to get me to want to meet her, face to face. An hour or so before dinner I asked if I could go ride my bike until time to eat. I honestly was surprised when my mom said yes.
Without delay I raced to Molly Holly's house, jumped off my bike before it had come to a complete stop and ran up to the door. I pressed the door bell but did not hear anything so I knocked on the old wooden screen door.
"Whatever you're selling, I'm not buying!" came a rough scratchy voice from deep within the house and by the way it sounded, I didn't know if it had come from a man or a woman.
"I-I am n-not selling an-nyth-thing!" I shouted back, "I'm l-looking f-for the F-fabulous Molly Holly!"
"I'm retired! Go away!" the voice inside the house yelled back.
"Mrs. Holly I was hoping to learn a few tips on how to do some of the yo-yoing tricks from you!" I pleaded.
When no reply was returned I hung my head and started to leave. Just then the front door opened and the same voice, though a smidgeon softer, said, "It is not a bunch of tricks! It is an art form! It is dancing at its most perfect manifestation!"
I spun around when I had heard her begin talking and nearly fell off the porch in the process.
"You serious about learning boy?" she snapped.
"Yes mam! I sure am!" I said back with more enthusiasm then I knew my small body could hold.
"Alright then! You come over everyday after school and I will turn you into one of the greatest yo-yoers in resent years!" she said.
"Really? I mean honest; you can... I mean wow! Really-really?" I shouted and thrust out my hand to say thank you but instead she snapped again.
"No, no! That's your instrument! Keep it safe!" and promptly slammed the door shut.
I started to run toward home again and was almost to the sidewalk when I heard the lady shouting after me, "What is your name boy?"
"Simon David Leonard Junior!" I shouted back with gusto. I guess I expected her to say something else but instead she only closed her door again.
I don't think I touched the ground even once all the way home. Heck, I had been so excited that I was halfway home before I remembered my bike and had to run back to get it.
I spent the rest of the evening in my room practicing. I even slept with my yo-yo that night and when I woke up Sunday morning I carried it to the breakfast table with me while still wearing my very wet GoodNite and only one sock. Somehow I'd lost the other in my bed during the night.
"No toy's at the table! You know better then that!" mom had said and I stuffed my yo-yo between my legs for safe keeping.
After breakfast I started to get up to go change and get cleaned up but when I reached for my yo-yo I found that my GoodNite had sprung a leak and got both the chair and the string to my yo-yo wet.
"Oh Simon!" Mom groaned when she saw the mess.
She had me strip out of my GoodNite right there in the middle of the kitchen, which wasn't a big deal to me. I mean, mom and dad had seen me naked loads of times and it didn't bother me in the least; not back then anyway.
Being naked at that age was fun, almost like an adventure and though I wanted to go get cleaned up so I could go out into the backyard to practice more, I also felt impelled to run around the house naked, laughing and whooping it up. Dad chased me out of the kitchen, into our living room and back out again. I laughed and squealed as he chased me into the dining room where I made two laps around the table before he caught me.
He proceeded to tickle the life out of me all the way to the bathroom before tossing me into the shower along with my yo-yo.
While he washed my body free of any traces of pee, I was concentrating on washing the string to my new yo-yo.
"Daddy will it rust?" I asked.
"I am pretty sure plastic doesn't rust!" he said giving me another tickle.
I must have got a little cold while he was washing my hair because I didn't even know I had started to pee until dad jokingly griped, "Hey, no peeing in the shower!" and just like that I stopped.
When I was done showering and dad had dried me off, he made me sit on the toilet until I pooped. Now back then I went through this phase where I would only wipe my bottom one time and call it done which usually meant I was running around with a dirty rear-end. This would drive my mom crazy because all my underpants were permanently stained with little brown racing stripes down the middle. So my dad, declared that until I learned to wipe my butt right, I had to have him or mom come check every single time I pooped to be sure I was clean. If I didn't do it right they would wipe my butt and then give me a spanking right there with no pants. It's surprising how many bare bottom spankings I got in our hallway bathroom.
This sort of treatment stopped the day we were at a viewing for a friend of mom's. I had needed to go potty and since I knew where it was I just went all by myself. However, when I was done pooping there in the funeral homes' bathroom, I opened the door and shouted at the top of my lungs, "Daaaaad I'm done pooping! I need you to come check my butt?"
However, that didn't occur until about a year later; so I was still bound by the rule and with a deep breath I bellowed out, "DAD, I'M DONE!" which brought his prompt return to checked that I had wiped properly. When he had declared me clean, I ran to my room and dressed myself.
I spent the entire day practicing without success and I will admit that I was starting to loose heart. But then without warning I finally got it; I can't say how or why, only that right after dinner I was leaning against the side of the garage feeling like a complete and utter failure.
I remember saying out loud, "One more time!" and so I carefully rewound the string around my yo-yo and slipped the loop around my finger. For good luck I gave my yo-yo a kiss and sent a prayer up to the clouds that seemed to be hanging in the sky as if waiting and watching for me to do it right. With the flick of my wrist I sent it spinning downward toward the awaiting ground. When it reached the end of the string I gave it a tug with a small jerk of my wrist and it came back up into my hand. I did it again, and again, and again. On the sixth time in a row I caught it, held it tightly to my chest and cried out victoriously, "I DID IT!" which got every dog in the neighborhood barking and my mom yelling out the backdoor for me to stop yelling.
"Mom! I did it, I did it, I did it!" I cried to her as I showed her how I could now do it every single time I tried.
Monday proved to be a very challenging day. I first woke up in a soaking wet bed due to having wet so much that my GoodNite couldn't hold it all. That sometimes happens so I refused to let it get me down. But then at school I nearly got my yo-yo taken away from me on three different occasions. All my friends thought it was cool that I had finally managed to learn how to yo-yo but there enthusiasm for me would wane in the days and weeks to come.
The first afternoon at Molly's, she wouldn't let me call her Mrs. Holly; said she never got into all that fancy talking, we had a great time! I mean I had a great time; Molly seemed to get mad all the time. After practice she took me to her family room and showed me all the trophies she had won. I had no idea she had been world famous. I thought she was just a TV star but she had awards, medals and trophies from more countries then I knew existed.
Everyday at school was the same thing for the next few weeks. When I wasn't in class, and even sometimes while I was in class, I was practicing everything Molly had taught me. After about two weeks or so my friends caught me over by the jungle gym during recess. I wasn't on the jungle gym; I was actually standing inside the metal work that formed the dome and was practicing yet again with my yo-yo.
It was Lisa that spoke up first, "Enough with the yo-yo for crying out loud! All you ever do anymore is play with that thing!"
"Thing?" I snapped back at her, "It's not a thing; it is the Duncan Speed Beetle!"
"The 'what' beetle?" Vic asked.
"The Duncan Speed Beetle! It is the newest addition, hard-core series yo-yo. It is designed to be the best at looping!" I said as I climbed out of the jungle gym so I could show them without endangering anyone that might be climbing over me.
I began a series of maneuvers while still going on about the wonders of this particular yo-yo, "It features a large ball bearing axle, friction stickers for quick response and two sets of spacers for maximum versatility."
"This yo-yo will spin at unbelievable speeds, do any type of string trick and still loop as good as any yo-yo on the market." I said demonstrating a particularly difficult `Moon-Shot'.
"So how many of those things do you have?" Vic asked.
"Only nine so far." I answered popping the Speed Beetle into my pants pocket and pulling out one of my favorites, "This here is the Yomega Saber Raider!"
Lisa actually liked the Yomega Saber because it looked like purple glass and had a skull on both sides of it.
"This one is for doing long sleeping maneuvers while still performing smoothly." I explained.
"I didn't know yo-yo's slept." Vic said and I wasn't sure if he was attempting to be funny or was really being that stupid.
He then asked, "Do they dream?"
That put Lisa over the top, "DO THEY DREAM?" she yelled at Vic and then lunged at me.
However her timing couldn't have been worse because just as she lunged forward I had swung the Yomega Saber out to demonstrate how to make it sleep but instead I nailed her right in the left eye. She went down like a sack of wet sand but she didn't cry, Lisa never cries. She says only sissies and babies cry.
Mrs. Bickly ended up confiscating my Yomega Saber Raider and I had to spend the rest of recess sitting inside while everyone else was still out there having fun. I never did get that particular yo-yo back from her either!
The day finally came when Molly decided I was ready for competition. But instead of starting with something small she enrolled me in the Tri-state Yo-Yo Championship Competition, with my parents' permission that is.
I don't think I was ever as nervous as I was on the day of the competition. Molly explained after checking in that I was to compete in five different events and while she was telling me this, she was pulling off my coat.
"What?" I asked nervously and then over the PA system we heard, "Simon Leonard report backstage."
"M-molly I-I-I c-can't." I stammered.
"You can and you will win!" is all the pep talk she gave me before shoving me behind a curtain to the awaiting crowd of competitors.
Amazingly enough I had the highest score in my first three competitions with the closest score a full three points below mine. So going into the fourth event I was feeling pretty confident, actually I was over confident which was nearly my downfall. When all was said and done I had come out on top but only by one-quarter of a point higher then this tiny oriental girl who ran off crying when she saw that she had not made it to the final event.
Thankfully I had over an hour before the last event so that gave us time to watch some of the other children compete. There was this one boy, who was thirteen and I knew this because besides having a number pinned to our backs, our names and ages were also listed below the number. His name was Ivan Kervosloski and wow was he good. He probably would have gone all the way had he not attempted the Galaxies Revenge at the end of his third competition. I will never forget how the crowd went wild when they realized what it was he was attempting. He was up to four yo-yo's at once and I thought he might pull off what only Molly had ever managed to master. It was the one thing that had made her so famous and I watched both the boy and her as Ivan introduced the fifth yo-yo into the air; but that is when tragedy struck. The little girl whom had been standing there while Ivan attempted the Galaxies Revenge was struck not once but twice in the side of her head. She fell unconscious on the stage and had to be rushed to the hospital. I had never seen so much blood before; it was both gross and mesmerizing at the same time.
For a few breath taking moments everyone feared that the competition would end right then and there but after Ivan and his sister, yes the little girl that was taken to the hospital was his little sister, after they left the stage Ivan's trainer, who was also his mother, pleaded with the organizers of the Tri-state Yo-Yo Championship Competition to allow it to continue for all the other boys and girls that had worked and trained so hard. In the end they agreed and after the stage was cleaned up everything continued as if nothing had happened.
Of course the accident was horrible but it seemed that everyone was buzzing about it now. Everyone we walked past seemed to be talking about how the same thing had happened three years ago except someone had actually died that time.
For the last competition there were twenty four of us that had made it and I was so thankful that we were allowed to bring one adult backstage with us because I was so nervous that I couldn't even talk and I felt like I was going to have a breathing attack at any second. Actually, I wasn't the only one backstage that was so very nervous because when I went to the bathroom to go pee there were at least a dozen nervous boys in there waiting in line to pee too.
Mom and dad had stayed out front while Molly had escorted me to the back. As luck would have it, they had us perform by high scorer first and since I had the lowest score out of all twenty-four of us by two and three-quarters points, I had to go last. This meant Molly and I had to stand backstage for over an hour while we watched each kid perform. We each were given exactly three minutes to show our stuff while the panel of eight judges scored us on a multitude of categories.
After the first five had finished I was feeling like I didn't belong with such fantastic champions. After the fifteenth I was ready to throw in the towel and go home. While the boy that was ahead of me was out there something happened that breathed new life into me.
PART 5 -- Sunday, March 07, 2004 -- Bump in the Night, Continued
The International Junior Yo-Yo Champion, Sherry Yimmerman walked up behind me, tapped me on my shoulder. Someone had told me that after winning the competition last year she had apparently decided not to compete again this year but instead had come to support everyone else. So when she tapped my shoulder I was both surprised and not surprised. I had seen here a couple times throughout the day but never imagined I would ever get to talk with her. I only turned partially around because Molly had a hold of my right hand and was massaging my fingers. Her voice didn't seem to match her appearance; she sounded younger, much younger and I think it at first distracted me from what she said next because it wasn't until she left that her words reached my brain.
She had said, "I have been watching you and I think you are good enough to win today."
That's it; that is all she said to me, and she had said it soft enough that none around me heard her but it was plenty strong enough for me. As a matter of fact, it pumped me up so much that when they called my name and number I ran out onto the stage determined to win and nearly fell over my own two feet in the process.
While I was performing on stage, something unexpected happened to me during those three minutes. I honestly do not remember anything that happened after the spotlight hit me, I mean as far as my performance that is. Had Molly not told me about my performance afterward I'd probably never have known; really all I can recall is thinking about the fact that I only had three minutes which lead me to thinking about the number three. This then sent my mind off on the wildest thought process and I found myself thinking about stuff that I didn't even know I knew about. Here's how it went...
"Three minutes--three minutes--three--three--three. In school I remember learning that it is possible to go three weeks without food and still live. And there was this one guy, I think his name was Gandhi, he went longer, but he cheated by drinking orange juice. I also remember learning that in a pleasant climate I could go three days without water, but less in hot weather? But what I really found amazing from that lesson was that it is possible to go a full three-minutes submerged under water without any air but any longer and I would drown. When I asked what would happen if I were to stay under longer but didn't die-drowning and my teacher had said that if I happen to survive I would probably wish I had drowned because I might have brain damage. So I guess the order of importance to my existence is oxygen first, then water and last food."
It wasn't until I was backstage again that I came back to my senses. Actually it took Molly shaking and hugging the stuffing out of me to bring me around.
"Molly I can't breathe!" I managed to eek out despite her bear hugs.
"Oh Simon you did better then I could have ever hoped!" Molly said squatting down in front of me and wiping a tear away that had managed to leak from her left eye and was racing down her wrinkled face.
Earlier in the day I had given her my jacket and she had stuffed it into a big canvas hand bag that she always carried with her. However she was pulling it back out at this moment which I thought was very odd given that I had sweat poring off me.
"You can hold it, I'm too hot!" I said pushing it back to her.
But she gave me that look that she always gives me when she is training me and I want to be goofy, so I stopped resisting. Instead of putting it onto me properly she wrapped it around my waist and using the sleeves she tied it to me.
I was about to ask why and did manage to get out the words, "Why you doing it like..." but she answered in a soft whisper, "Because you have a wet spot on the front of your pants. I didn't want to say anything before because I was afraid you wouldn't have gone on stage if you knew."
"Y-y-you l-let m-m-me g-g-go o-out th-th-th..." I wasn't able to finish what I was saying because I was stuttering so bad.
"No one was looking at your pants!" she said gruffly.
Apparently, when I had gone to the bathroom before my performance I must have cut off my stream of pee before I was finished. After tucking my tiny boy penis back into my underwear, I guess I didn't realize that more pee had come out; enough to soak through my underwear and onto my pants leaving a wet spot for the entire yo-yoing world to see.
Though for maybe two seconds I thought I might start crying from embarrassment, I didn't have time to get all worked up before all twenty four of us kids were marched out on stage and given our final scores. They started the ceremony with the lowest score first and proceeded until down to the three finalists.
I was sure I'd get one of the lowest scores given that I had not been able to pay attention while I performed but that turned out to not be the case. As each score was given, a ribbon was pinned to each kid's shirt before being escorted off stage. A couple of the kids left crying and one girl got plane rude and had to be carried off kicking and screaming by her father; at least I think it was her father.
I don't think I realized I was still standing on the stage until someone announce, "And here are our three finalists!"
It was Svetlana Vonovich who had won the competition two years ago and was fourteen years old now. She was standing to my left and had a hold of my hand so tightly that had I not been so nervous it probably would have hurt. To my right was Matthew Bender who aside from the year Svetlana beat him had been champion since he was only eight years old, he is now twelve and has a huge following.
I don't really care for Matthew's style; I mean he's really good but he seems to be all about the lights and glamour more then anything else. Maybe that's why he hasn't been able to win the last two years. And then of course there was me, dwarfed by two older and taller past champions and a jacket tied around my waist to hide the wet spot on my pants. I think I have a small idea what it was like for David when he went up against Goliath and his brothers.
The lady that had been announcing all of the others then handed the microphone to Sherry Yimmerman, who I had not even seen walk onto the stage. The crowd was deafening as they cheered for her. When the roars and clapping finally calmed down again, she was handed a three by five card that the three of us found out contained our names and whether we took third, second or first place.
"The third place champion is..." Sherry said slowly allowing the anticipation to continue a few more seconds; she really was good at drawing out the suspense. "Svetlana Vonovich!"
The crowd exploded even louder then they had when Sherry had come out on stage. Svetlana looked both happy and sad that she'd not won but she took her trophy and waved as she exited the stage.
That just left Matthew Bender and me. My ears were buzzing so loud that I couldn't hear anything else and it wasn't until I saw Sherry hand Matthew the second place trophy that I realized I had won the competition.
Mom, dad and Molly rushed the stage, swept me into the air and were parading me high for everyone to see. It was an experience that changed me forever.
When I thought things couldn't get anymore amazing the crowd again went quiet and the lady who had been doing the announcing before Sherry Yimmerman had come out again spoke.
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls today has been magical and I would like to thank someone special for donating this year's First Place Tri-State Championship trophy." She held up a golden yo-yo for all to see. The crowd again cheered.
The lady announcer then turned to where mom, dad, Molly and I were standing and said in a booming voice, "The world famous, Fabulous Molly Holly!"
The crowd was quiet for a moment and then the murmurings began which grew louder and louder until I thought my ears might implode from the roaring applause of the spectators. They screams, whistled and clapped for at least ten minutes before anyone could calm them down enough to be heard. It finally took Molly stepping up to the microphone to hush the elated crowd.
"Thank you so very much for your applause! I am deeply moved and honored to be remembered by so many," she paused momentarily, "but today isn't about me and my accomplishments. I had my time in the limelight. Today is Simon Leonard's day!" Molly said stepped to one side and motioning toward me.
The crowd of on lookers again broke into cheers and applause. It was the most wonderful and scary feeling to have kids who I had competed against coming up to me and asking me to sign my name on their yo-yo's. Molly said it was one of the prices of fame. They kept coming too, and for over an hour Molly and I stood side-by-side signing our autographs for everyone.
After winning the Tri-State competition Molly continued to train me and I continued to complete. Most of my friends had grown bored with watching me practice at recess every single day. Most afternoons I would be off all by myself on the playground happily practicing.
Eventually I convinced Molly to train me to do the Galaxies Revenge, using things like trees, telephone poles and a punching bag as a stand-in while I learned. It was a good thing too because on more occasions then I care to remember, I'd lost control of one or more of my yo-yo's and left a notable gash in the bark of the trees and the wood of the poles.
It took a long time for me to master the Galaxies Revenge and to be able to graduate to using a real person. Molly was my first assistant and after some convincing, Sean agreed to let me practice with him. Only once did I ever hit anyone and it was Sean; thankfully I only nipped his nose and didn't do any permanent damage.
The day finally came when I decided that I was going to use the Galaxies Revenge. My parents had let me travel with Molly to the Minnesota Junior Finals which was a three day competition in which I had to complete a total of nine times. Molly and I had not come alone, Sean who had sort of become my good luck charm when I completed was there too. I think he liked it because it meant he got out of going to school.
At the Minnesota Junior Finals I had made it all the way to the final four and I was the last one to compete just as I had been in my very first competition. I needed at least eight points to win and though I could have earned those in my sleep, I had decided that on this particular day I was going to retire from competition and wanted to go out with a bang. I had already told Sean my intentions before entering the competitors ring for the final time; I had kept my intentions from Molly because I was afraid she would try to stop me or something. Only a few days before leaving for the competition she was saying that I still wasn't ready to attempt the Galaxies Revenge in competition but she didn't know that I had been practicing it with Sean in my backyard for over a week.
I started out with the normal routine Molly had trained me for and that would have been enough for me to win but I wasn't aiming to win, I was aiming to go out with style. All I had to do was glance Sean's way and he knew it was time. He stepped into the center of the competitors ring; I could see Molly off to one side holding both hands up to her mouth. The crowd of watchers and judges all around us watched in astonishment as I added each yo-yo one by one until I was up to all six at once. Not a sound was made, not even a gasp, until I was finished and then as if someone had fired off a canon everyone began screaming and cheering.
The three judges walked into the center of the Competitors ring carrying the First Place trophy, "Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pride to announce Simon Leonard as our first place winner!" one of the judges said while handing me the trophy which was nearly half as tall as me.
Molly was still standing just outside the ring looking as proud as I'd ever seen her. The judge who'd given me the trophy asked if I wanted to say anything to the crowd of spectators and I sure did.
I handed the trophy to Sean as the judge held the microphone up to my chin.
"I would like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from competition!" I said.
Molly looked shocked at my statement and the crowd gasped with surprise.
"I have accomplished everything I had set out to do, and now I want to go back to playing Kick Ball with my friends!" I said calmly.
After the crowds of kids began to disburse from around me and with Sean off with some other boys for a few minutes enjoying his own measure of fame from having survived the Galaxies Revenge, Molly sat herself down next to me and was stroking the first place trophy with a single finger.
"I suppose you are pretty mad at me huh?" I said looking down at my shoes.
"Mad? I could never be mad at you! Oh sure I might yell at you a lot when we are training but..." she said and I jumped in before she could finish. "I knew you never meant it."
"You know something?" She asked and I looked up at her waiting for her to continue, "I think what you did today was probably the smartest thing you could do. Maybe if I had been as smart as you, I wouldn't be so old and alone today."
"You are not alone!" I said looking right into her eyes, "You got me and I will still come visit, I mean if you will let me."
And I did go see her after that; we would talk, play with our yo-yo's just for the fun of it and have a good visit each and every time. However, I saw less and less of Molly over the next few weeks though I was always sure to stop by every so often just to visit with her until the day came when I had come to visit and found her house completely empty. There was an envelope taped to the front door with my name on it.
I opened and read it,
My dearest Simon,
Words cannot express the joy you
brought back into my life. You gave me
something that I never knew I had lost;
something I didn't know I was missng
until you came beating on my door that day.
These past few months have reminded me how
much I used to enjoy life and so I have
decided that instead of spending what time
I have left sitting in this stuffy old
house, I am going to travel the world once
Don't be sad, rejoice with me and
remember the dreams that together we made
come true. Remember that the best is yet to
be Simon; so do it well and do it right.
I forever remain your biggest fan!
The Fabulous Molly Holly
was never to see Molly again but occasionally I still get postcards from
different places around the world. The last post card I received came two days
before school started this year; she said she was in
I was eventually brought out of my mental blast to the past when the headlights of a car flashed on me momentarily as the car pulled into the parking lot. It only took me a second to recognize it as Bull's car and I don't think I could have been happier to see anyone then I was just then.
Emerging from my hiding spot, I raced to his driver's side window and he was the first to speak.
"Sorry Spaz, I had a hard time sneaking out of the house tonight! So what's up little man? You ready to do this or what?"
Apparently, I must have been trembling like a leaf from being so cold because when I tried to talk all that came out of my mouth was the sound of my teeth chattering. Bull, seeing my nearly frozen condition slammed the gear shifter into park, jumped out from behind the wheel and pushed me into the front seat. I suppose had I not been so cold I might have been concern with the idea that as I crawled across the seat to the passenger side I was showing my amply diapered butt to Bull. As soon as I was out of his way he got back in and closed the driver's side door.
"I'll crank up the heat!" Bull said pushing the controls all the way to right for maximum warmth.
"Th-thanks!" I managed to say still with chattering teeth.
"Man it is good to see you Spaz!" Bull said giving my leg a squeeze.
"I-I d-didn't th-think you w-w-were c-coming!" I said placing my hands directly over the air vent on the dashboard of his car.
"Sorry, but I had to push my car over a block from our house before starting it or my parents would have heard it for sure." he said petting the steering wheel as if he were petting a dog.
"Oh!" I was all I said back.
"So you said you have a gang of friends?" Bull asked.
I looked over at him, "Did I say gang?" I asked him.
"Uh, I thought you did!" he said giving me a light backhand to my still frozen arm.
"So downtown then?" he asked.
I nodded and he pressed the gas peddle to the floor which threw me back against the seat with the force of our sudden acceleration.
Bull stayed mainly to the back roads just incase his parents had found out he was gone and had called the cops. While he drove he told me that some judge said that he is not allowed to go anywhere without one of his parents being with him and he isn't even supposed to be driving at all. Besides the fact that his parents took his car keys; the judge also suspended Bulls license before releasing him on a $10,000 cash bond and into his parents' custody.
When he was finished I explained, in better detail, that I thought I knew where Mikey and Tater might be, in the barn BJ and I had found and how Runt had told me to stay away from it.
"So that's what your email the other day was about?" Bull asked.
"Which?" I asked in return.
"The one where you said you thought Runt was in some barn or something like that." He said as we drove past the Kemmel Tire Plant. I only knew what it was because I saw the sign all lit up on the side of the factory building.
I then told him everything I knew that related to Runt since that day I saw Runt after having been chanced by the man in the rusty minivan. I told him all about the man in the van to, but I left out the part about the old man whose house I had hid out in that same day. That was when I remembered about the package yet again and tried to make a mental note to remember to check what it was the second I got home... "If I survive the night!"
I'd not realized I had said that last part out loud until Bull asked, "What was that?"
"Uh, nothing. Just thinking out loud." I recovered quickly.
Now I have not known Bull for very long but even still, he seemed to be reacting, for the most part, the way I would expect him to act upon hearing these things and yet there was something that I just couldn't put my finger on about him right at that moment.
When he pulled up to Jamie's building downtown I was shocked and disappointed to only see Jamie standing there alone. He spotted me and ran for the car. I opened the passenger door and scooted myself closer to Bull to allow room for Jamie to sit up front with us. As Jamie sat himself down next to me I heard the unmistakable sound of a diaper rustling and knew instantly that he was defying his mom and was still enjoying wearing diapers. Bull must have heard it too because his eyes were about to bug out of his skull. I couldn't help wondering where he got his hands on diapers but almost as quickly as I had that thought another replaced it, `Probably snuck them out of the bag when I was staying with him.'
"Where is everyone?" I asked returning my attention to my brother while he pulled the passenger door closed.
"They gave up and went back up about twenty minutes ago." Jamie said after blowing onto his blue fingers.
"They were too scared anyway!" he complained before adding, "Ah it is so nice and warm in here!"
As if he'd only just saw Bull Jamie's eyes widened and squealed, "Oh my gosh! Do you know who you are? Oh my gosh! You are John `The Brahma Bull' Hawkins of the Panthers!"
I was so embarrassed for Bull to have Jamie gushing over him like that.
"You are so amazing!" Jamie shouted and then squealed even louder, "How cool is this?"
I watched as Bull's expression went from confusion to shear delight but I was just plain annoyed.
"Would you please shut up?" I growled at Jamie and then directed my words to Bull, "Bull, this is my brother Jamie!"
"Sup J-man?" Bull said to Jamie, who was smiling like some scatterbrained little school girl.
"So what took you guys so long anyway?" Jamie asked while elbowing me in the arm.
"Sorry J-man! It's not a pretty scene `round my place these days." Bull said and I felt a twinge of gilt stir within my gut.
Bull drove while I again explained what I had in mind so that they were both clear on the idea.
"We go in, find Tater and his little brother Mikey and then get the heck out of there!" I said.
"What do we do if someone hears or sees us?" Jamie asked.
"We just have to make sure we are not seen or heard!" Bull answered for me.
Seeing how the front entrance to the sports park is always blocked off by a gate after dark, the three of us decided it would be smarter for us to go back to the corner store and leave Bull's car parked behind the store where it was not likely to be seen.
The three of us started for the park on foot with Bull leading the way, me taking up the rear position, which left Jamie in the middle and right in front of me so that I could check out the diaper bulge in the back of his pants while there was still light enough to do so from the street lamps. Now from the Corner Dairy store's Parking lot, about a block away, there is another back entrance to the park that goes past the basketball courts, which is the path we chose to take. It served us in two ways, it got us off the streets so that we wouldn't be seen or picked up for being out after dark and also it was much faster then going in the way I usually did!
I'm not sure why I didn't get scared walking through the park after midnight. I guess having Bull and Jamie along gave me courage I otherwise wouldn't have had.
From the basketball courts inside the sports park there is actually a shortcut that leads down to the running track but it isn't exactly part of the normal paved paths that wind through the park; it's actually just a dirt path that's been made by so many people wanting to shave a couple minutes off there walking time. However, Bull didn't want to go that way due to all the mud we'd have to trek through. He said we needed to stay on the paved path that took us past one of the two concession stands in the park. Of course the stand was closed and locked up during the winter but the water fountain that is mounted on the outside usually is still working most of the year. However, it wasn't tonight and I figured it was either froze up or someone shut if off inside to keep the pipes from freezing. I probably didn't need more to drink anyway. I could tell by the way I had to walk that my diaper was filling up fast which made me wonder about the condition of Jamie's diaper as well.
We had made it to the main part of the park fairly quickly but stopped when we saw the silhouette of a car sitting in the middle of the parking lot. I knew that the park rangers closed the drive gates at dark and would normally chase any cars out so I figured this car must have been left here by someone.
"Maybe it's broke down." Jamie whispered just before letting go a very loud and very wet sounding fart.
Bull and I both just looked at him in complete disbelief that he had actually done it.
I was about to accuse him of trying to give us away but he spoke first, "Sorry but that happens when I get nervous!" He had directed his words to Bull rather then me since I already knew this fact about him.
In the dark I could barely see Bull smiling as he said, "We better not take any chances with that car down there."
So, the three of us decided to take the long way around instead of cutting straight across the parking lot. The long way, oddly enough, was the running course and took us past the park entrance I normally use when coming from my own house.
One of the good things about staying on the running course is that it kept us from sinking into the muddy ground which was the main reason we'd not taken the short cut earlier. We discovered just how muddy the ground was when Bull accidentally stepped off the paved path onto the brown grass and sank up to his ankle in mud.
"Oh that's disgusting! Like stepping on one of Jasper's used diaper!" Bull commented and I'm not sure he even realized what he had said but Jamie and I sure knew. We were looking at each other and giggling while Bull was attempting to clean his shoe off with a stick he had pulled off one of the many trees around us.
While we waited for Bull to finish cleaning his shoe, I had time to notice and thought it kind of peculiar that on all the areas of the park normally covered in grass, the snow had melted but on the sand of the ball diamonds and volleyball courts, the snow was still unaffected by the recent warmer weather. I made a mental note to ask my science teacher about that when I get back to school tomorrow.
When we finally reached the point that we had to leave the running course and head for the trees to get to the barn we stopped long enough for me to have second thoughts about what we were about to attempt. Not because I was scared and not because I was getting cold again but because I knew from this point on we would be getting very, very muddy! Kind of stupid to think like that but it is what was going though my head just then.
As I took the first step into the mud and saw my shoe vanish in the mud I again heard Jamie rip another fart though this time it wasn't as loud but it sure sounded like he was crapping his diaper. I stopped, turned my head to look at him.
Bull had the flashlight shining on Jamie. "You just shit yourself?" Bull asked in a funny sort of voice that I'd never thought him capable of.
"NO! I just farted!" Jamie said.
Forgetting I had one foot already in the mud I started to walk without watching ahead of me and went down in the mud face first. This little spectacle of mine caused Jamie and Bull to bust up laughing with fits of hysteria. I rolled myself onto my back and began laughing too. We were all three hushing at each other and trying not to laugh but it was just too funny.
Bull took two steps into the mud and helped me to my feet but Jamie wasn't budging yet so I slogged over to him, took hold of his arm which caused him to exclaim, "Oh Simon you are getting mud all over me!"
"Ssshhhhh!" Bull hushed at him.
I gave him a tug and he took only one step and fell forward onto his hands and knees. This got Bull and I laughing all over again.
The drudgery to the barn was as bad as we had all expected it to be and all three of us were covered in cold caked on mud. Now I am sure that if anyone had been looking out of the barn as we emerged from the trees, they would probably have thought we were some kind of mud monsters out roaming the woods for fresh brains to dine on. Jamie, despite his own appearance, seemed to get a kick out of seeing Bull and I covered head to toe in mud and kept breaking into fits of quiet giggles until I punched him right in the stomach to shut him up.
Since I was the only one that knew about the little arched doorway inside the barn, I lead the way in. We found the door closed and with Bulls awesome strength he was able to open it despite the fact that it had been nailed closed again but only with two nails this time.
I was never so glad to have brought the flashlight then when we started in through the door. Outside we had some light from the moon and stars to see by but inside the barn it was completely and utterly dark except where the flashlight was aimed.
The spot where the ceiling sloped down and the floor ended turned out to be a very steep set of wooden stairs that seemed to go down forever with the occasional jog to the left and right. We also quickly figures out that these stairs were not built to normal standards as even Bull had to watch his footing or risk falling down into the darkness.
Bull said something that at the time I'd not got the full jest of but now that I am writing about it, I can't believe I missed it. "Seems like we must have gone nearly halfway by now."
I think it was all the cobwebs and dead rat skeletons on the steps that was weirding me out which caused me to miss that obvious clue.
Since I had the flashlight and was leading the way with Bull right behind me that left Jamie at the back of our procession pretty much in the dark. For safety sake Bull was holding my free hand and Jamie was holding tightly to Bulls other hand. Jamie was silent as we descended the stairs and a few times I stopped just to check that he was still with us.
We reached a level section in the ever declining corridor where to our left the stairs continued downward while straight ahead of us was a level corridor that was low enough that Jamie and I could barely stand upright but Bull would have had to almost crawl through.
I shined the light on Jamie who looked like he was in considerable pain.
"What's the matter?" I whispered to him.
"I think I need to..." his words trailed off at the end so that I couldn't hear what he said.
"You got on a diaper, so use it!" Bull whispered in a rather matter-of-fact sort of tone.
Jamie looked up at Bull with loathing written all over his strained face. I think he was also taken back that Bull had put words to what we all already knew.
I took a shallow breath before adding, "If you can't hold it, then just go so we can continue!"
"No, I can hold it!" Jamie said with a grimace.
Without another word uttered by any of us we stopped and listened. Down the stairs we could hear faint unrecognizable sounds where as down the corridor we heard absolutely nothing. With a simple shrug from me, Bull took the flashlight and continued down the stairs with Jamie next and me now taking up the butt-end position in our ill performing conga line.
The further we descended the louder the sounds got until finally we reached the bottom of the staircase. We were standing inside a small darkened area that opened up to a humungous cavern. It was the first time I realized that the air I was breathing was so moist and warm.
As if he were invisible and with no signal to Jamie or I, Bull stepped out of hiding and into the open while Jamie and I stayed cowering in the shadows. We could see what must have been twenty or more children all about Jamie and my age with the exception of one or two slightly taller boys. Each of them were dressed in the same drab gray coats as I'd seen Runt wearing but none of them appeared to not be wearing any pants because there legs were bear and exposed from about mid-thigh down to their sandal covered feet. Each and every one of them looked to be rather frantic as they scurried about carrying boxes out of the cavern room and down another large corridor.
"Bull!" I tried to whisper for him to duck down before he was seen but instead he took off at a fast walk and just that quickly he was gone leaving Jamie and I scared and alone. What was worse is that he took the flashlight I had brought from home so going back up the stairs would be ever so much harder should we chose to retreat at this point.
"What do we do now?" Jamie whispered into my ear and sounding almost hysterical with fear.
I was about to say, "Let's go back!" when Runt stepped around the corner and grabbed us both.
He had a hold of the back of Jamie's neck and had me in a headlock that made me feel as though my head might just pop like a zit if Runt squeezed anymore.
"Hey! Looky here what I found!" Runt shouted across the room.
The biggest and ugliest man I had ever seen in my life made his way over to where Runt was holding us. Jamie was still thrashing about in a vain attempt to escape but I knew he was just wasting his efforts.
The giant of a man grabbed Jamie by the leg and hoisted him upside down into the air. Though he was crying Jamie was still able to articulate his thoughts with very colorful words.
"Let me down you over grown jackass!" Jamie shouted.
Unfortunately for Jamie, hanging upside down allowed several inches of the disposable diaper he was wearing to show and I guess he must have lost control of his bowels because crap was spilling out the back waistband of his diaper and plopping to the cavern floor beneath us.
The giant of a man spoke in a low menacing voice that seemed to reverberate off the cavern walls, "`Ey, loogy `ere!" he held Jamie even higher for the other's on the other side of the room to see, "E's sheet `emself 'n e's gots un a nappy!"
"Oloph, put him down!" came a familiar voice but with Runt squeezing my head so hard I was having a hard time making my brain work.
"Nah, O' dun't `ink `o!" Oloph grunted.
"Let him go now!" another voice said and I recognized it as Bull's.
Oloph obeyed Bull's command and thankfully Runt released his vise like grip on my head. However, when he did, I fell backward right into an awaiting wooden chair.
"Oh, dat's a gude `ace fer ya!" Oloph said dropping Jamie on his head and into the mess that had fallen out of his diaper.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Runt said to Bull.
"Where's Madam M?" Bull asked ignoring Runt's question.
"She's not here! We have to get out of here tonight, someone tip off the cops about this place!" Runt said swinging his hand through the air drawing our attention to the multitude of boys still working as hard as ever like nothing had transpired.
"Son of a...!" Bull started to curse.
"I supposed you brought these little shits here too?" Runt said and Jamie, who was getting to his feet had to duck to keep from being hit by Runt.
Jamie was holding the spot on his head where he had hit the stone floor when Oloph had dropped him.
"I didn't have much choice!" Bull said through clenched teeth.
"Bull?" I said in disbelief.
Oloph backhanded me so hard that both me and the wooden chair toppled over backward. Despite my plastic armor beneath my coat, the blow hurt enough to knock the wind out of me and I think I might have blacked out for a moment or two. When I finally was able to catch my breath and regain my faculties I saw Oloph laying face down on the floor of the cavern with a sizable pool of blood under him. I was still lying on the floor clutching at my aching chest. Jamie, Bull and Runt were no where to be seen and Mr. Segal was leaning over me.
"You alright?" Mr. Segal asked.
"You?" I said pushing him away and attempting to get to my feet.
My chest was screaming with pain but adrenaline began to course through my young vanes giving me the strength I needed to get out of his reach. I was still on one knee when I saw the gun in Mr. Segal's hand.
"It's alright; I followed you here!" he said trying to reach out for me but I managed to move away from his grasp.
"Simon there isn't time for this, we've got to get you out of here now!" Mr. Segal said holding out a police badge to reassure me that he was here to help.
"He's not going anywhere with you!" a voice I recognized instantly as that of my Black Amazonian Guardian!
Mr. Segal flushed white as a diaper as he slowly turned and stood back up to see Officer Mecums standing behind him holding a shotgun to his head.
Everything that happened next seemed to happen so fast that I still have a hard time getting it all straight in my mind.
"Well Agent Thomas Segal!" Officer Mecums said derisively, "I had a feeling you might show up here tonight."
"You're making a big mistake!" Segal tried to tell her.
Officer Mecums started to say, "Oh don't even try anything with me or I..." but Segal lunged at her. A second later I felt someone grabbing my coat. I looked around to see that is was Tater who'd taken hold of me.
"Come on we got to get you out of here!" Tater said with a tug.
"W-wait I'm h-here to save y-you!" I said trying to get my feet to keep up with the rest of my body.
We crossed the great cavernous room which was now devoid of any of the children I had seen when we first arrived at the bottom of the stairs. We rounded a corner only to come face to face with Bull. For half a second I started to panic but then I saw Mikey and two other boys I didn't know standing looking horrified.
Bull reached out his hand, "Take them out of here!" he said while handing his car keys to Mike. "Simon knows where my car is."
I looked up at Tater who looked like he was about to cry, he also looked thin in the face and was covered in bruises and partially dried blood.
"I told you this would go bad!" Tater said to Bull.
"Yeah you did!" Bull said looking down at his leg.
I was taken off guard by the fact that Bull was no longer wearing his pants and was standing there wearing a blood drenched diaper. He pulled open his coat to reveal a humongous gash in his side.
He pulled a gun from his coat pocket and said, "Get them the fuck out of here, I'll try to find Jamie!"
I started to reach for Bull but Tater grabbed me and pulled me away. I didn't have time to react or even think about what had happened until we stopped at the edge of what appeared to be a foul smelling underground stream.
"Go!" Tater grunted as he pushed all of us into the water. We continued in waist deep water that smelled like rotting eggs for about ten minutes before emerging on the far side of the park over by where they have the Independence Day carnival every summer.
I was so cold that I couldn't feel anything below my neck and when I climbed up the concrete encased bank to the small wooden walk bridge I could hardly move. Tater made us all strip naked saying, "If we don't get out of these wet things we'll die for sure!"
The two boy's that had escaped along with us, who I would later learned had been two of the boy's that had been kidnapped locally, were named Billy and Brian and they were brothers. Without any hesitations or complaint they both stripped off their wet grey clothes until they were standing there in the night air cold, shivering and completely nude.
I on the other hand was feeling apprehensive as I was wearing a diaper but when I saw Mikey and Tater were nearly naked I swallowed my pride and stripped.
Had anyone been in the park then they would probably have gotten an eye full and more then likely would have fallen over laughing to see four completely naked and frozen kids running through the park while followed closely behind by what would have appeared to be a naked adult man.
Thankfully we make it to Bulls car without being spotted. The five of us pilled in, Tater, Mike in the front seat with Billy, Brian and me in the backseat, and we sat shivering until the car warmed up enough to begin blowing out some warm air. No one spoke, no one moved. The only sounds were that of our teeth chattering from being so cold.
Oddly enough it wasn't until Tater started driving that Brian started to cry which got Billy and Mikey going. Tater wasn't crying but he also looked like he had gone over the deep end and might never return. He sat looking out the front windshield of the car while rocking back and forth and driving.
"Where am I going?" Tater asking but the way he said it made me wonder if he was asking one of us or just thinking out loud.
I decided to answer anyway, "We have to go back for my brother!"
"We can't go back!" Tater said dismissively.
"We have to!" I screamed at him from the back seat.
We were already on the far side of the park and I'm not sure where Tater though we were going. All of a sudden out of no where Tater, Mikey and I all saw Jamie come running out from behind a house and right in front of us. I never saw the tree we hit when Tater swerved to miss Jamie but I do remember hearing the squealing of our tires and the crunch of metal as all five of us were thrown around inside the car.