This is gay love story between two boys. Some chapters may contain references to sexual activities involving them and others.. If you object to this, you are urged not to read it. If reading this causes you to violate any laws in your community, please do not do so. The author does not condone the violation of any laws. This story is copyrighted 2002 under the pseudonym Omnius. You may not copy or distribute this story in part or in whole without the consent of the author.

This is primarily a romance. There will be some sexual scenes later in the story, (and some of these may be rather intense), but if that is your primary purpose in reading the story, you might be disappointed.

I wish to thank all who have written to compliment my story and to encourage me. I appreciate it very much. I also wish to thank Richard Lyon for listing my story on his site "Gay Writing on the Internet" at . There are many fine writers represented there and I urge you to check it out.

If you would like to comment on my story, please email your comments to .Thank you for reading my story!

A Warning: This chapter may be a bit more emotionally difficult than previous chapters.

Cottonwood Park

by Omnius

Chapter Eight

"Bill, I can't do it all myself!"

"Sweetheart, no one's asking you to. I'm here. What can I do?"

Timothy could just imagine his mother's bitter shrug and the sad look of resignation on his father's face. It was always like this on a holiday. His mother would whine and moan about having too much to do; but, if anyone offered to help, she would complain that everyone was in her way. He sat on the ottoman in the family room watching Walter Cronkite report about Apollo 8 orbiting the moon. In just a few hours, on Christmas Eve, people would get to see the first live television pictures from around the moon! His grandparents were coming over and they would eat his grandfather's famous Christmas Chili. They would sit around the Christmas tree and sing carols and have a wonderful time, just as they always did. If only his mother would not get upset again.

Trevor was sitting cross-legged on the floor next to Timothy, engrossed in the news from the moon. Timothy watched him to see if he heard his parents in the kitchen.

"Bill... just... let me do it. OK? I'll just get it all. You... go watch the news or something."

He heard his father sigh and then the heavy, sad steps down the stairs to the family room. This time Trevor looked up. Timothy felt his face flush with embarrassment. His father smiled sadly at the boys and then collapsed in his chair as a commercial for Geritol came on. Suddenly, he winced and moved his hands up to the sides of his face.

"What's wrong, Daddy?"

But, just as quickly as it came, his father's grimace disappeared. He smiled reassuringly at his son.

"Nothing, Timmer. Its just a little headache."

The telephone rang and they heard his mother curse as she must have thrown something down on the counter. A moment later, she yelled, "Trevor, you're mother says its time to come home."

"Yes, ma'am."

Timothy looked up in surprise.

"You said, `yes ma'am.'"

Trevor smiled sheepishly.

"Yeah, well. Its this podunk little town, I guess. I didn't mean to."

"Get out of here," his father declared as he bopped the boy on the shoulder. Trevor grinned and stopped at the foot of the stairs leading up to the kitchen and the living room.

"Merry Christmas," he said warmly.

"You coming over tomorrow afternoon?" Timothy asked.

"Of course!"

"Honey, could you get another quart of eggnog from the fridge, please? I'm just so tired."

The family were all gathered around the Christmas tree and the television. The younger children were singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" for the third time with their grandmother as Timothy and his grandfather tried to watch the television pictures from the moon.


Timothy looked up. His mother, sitting across the room from his father, was getting that aggravated tone in her voice again. His father, however, seemed not to notice. Indeed, his father seemed not to notice anything. He was staring at the Christmas tree, a strange look on his face.


His father suddenly looked up at his mother.


"What's the matter? I asked you to go get some more eggnog."

Timothy jumped up.

"I'll get it, Mommy."

His mother gave an irritated look to his father.

"Caroline, I'm sorry. I just don't feel well, tonight."

As Timothy reached the stairs, he looked back. His grandparents, (his father's parents), were looking at his mother with barely concealed contempt.

"OK, boys. Its time for bed."

"Daddy! Its New Year's Eve. Can't we stay up just this once?"

Timothy and Trevor were sitting on the floor of the family room finishing their game of "Risk" as Andy and Sally argued over a couple of Hot Wheels cars.

"Yeah, Mr. Holbrook. I never go to bed this early."

"Come on, guys. I would like to spend a nice, romantic New Year's Eve with my beautiful wife. Come on, Timmer. Did you get the cot ready for... um... for..."

He paused and looked directly at Trevor, but seemed lost.

"Trevor," Timothy finished for him.

His father looked at the boys for a moment with the same lost expression and then, with embarrassment, muttered, "I'm sorry, Trevor. My mind just went blank there for a moment."

Trevor saw the look of worry on his friend's face.

"It's OK, Mr. H. Don't worry about it. Come on Tim."

The boys started putting their game away as Andy and Sally whined about going to bed. Their mother came down the stairs holding a tray of cheese and crackers.

"Quit fighting, damn it, and get to bed," she barked as Tim closed the lid his game.

"Night, Daddy," he said as he gave his father a warm hug. His father's hug seemed just a bit tighter than usual. Timothy felt distinctly uncomfortable as he headed for the stairs, aware that something was not right.

"I don't get a hug?" his mother asked sarcastically as she set the tray down on the coffee table.

"I'm sorry, Mommy," he apologized turning back from the stairs. "I wasn't thinking."

They gave each other cursory hugs and the boys then climbed the stairs.

When they reached the bedroom, Timothy sat on the foot of his bed while Trevor pulled the chair out from the desk and sat down backward on it, facing Timothy.

"What's wrong, Tim?"

Timothy clutched his hands together and stared at his feet. Softly, he whispered, "Where's Andy?"

"I think I heard him stop in the bathroom. He threw the Hot Wheels set down outside the door."

Timothy nodded and then whispered, "I think Daddy's sick."

"What do you mean?"

"Something's wrong. He's had a lot of headaches lately and he's forgetting things. Like tonight. He forgot your name."

Trevor shrugged, not wanting his friend to worry.

"He's just tired. You know how hard he works."

Timothy looked Trevor in the eye just as Andy entered the room.

"What's the matter with you dorks? You look like someone died."

Timothy flinched, but said nothing.

"You comin' over?" Trevor asked as the two boys huddled under the awning in front of school. They watched the freezing rain as it pelted the school buses and cars along Twelfth Street.

"Naw, I'd better get home. It might be worse later."


"Hey! I grew up here. I know what this is like. You're from California. What do you know about winter?"

Trevor gave him a grin and took off running, pulling the hood of his yellow raincoat over his head. But, the boy had made it only a few steps before his feet slipped out from under him and he landed on his butt.

Timothy screamed, "Trevor!" and ran over to his friend, only to find his rubbing his seat and laughing. Timothy gave him a playful slap on the shoulder.

"You twit! You scared the heck out of me! Man, I should bust your chops."

"Sock it to me!"

Timothy helped his friend up, pick his book bag up and sighed.

"See ya, tomorrow."


A brisk gust blew icy needles against Timothy's cheeks and made him shiver as he headed toward Union Avenue and his house. The three block walk was bone-chilling, but Timothy did not mind it too much. Unlike many of the kids he knew, he actually liked winter and cold weather.

But, when he turned the corner on Fifteenth and saw his grandparents' Lincoln in the driveway, he knew something was wrong. They never came to visit during the day time. They pretended to like his mother, but they came over only when his father was home. This was definitely out of the ordinary.

Rather than track up the living room and, thus, anger his mother, he walked around the house to the back door. He paused to listen as he took his raincoat off in the laundry room; he heard nothing, which seemed very strange. Andy and Sally always came home a half hour before he and were usually sprawled on the floor watching cartoons on the Major Astro show on channel three from Wichita. The house was silent.

He hung his raincoat on the rack and walked carefully into the deserted family room. He could hear a faint conversation upstairs in the living room. With a tight feeling in his chest, he crept up the stairs.

His grandfather was sitting on the sofa in the living room. He looked very tired and, frighteningly, so much older than usual. His eyes were red and he was dabbing his nose with his handkerchief. Andy and Sally were seated on either side of him, looking bewildered.


His grandfather looked up at him and sighed.

"Grandad, where's Mommy?"

His father sighed again and held his arms out.

"Come here, Timothy. We have to talk."

Fear gripped the boy's heart. He could not walk.


His grandfather reached up and loosened his tie and then removed his suit coat. He threw it on the couch behind Andy. Timothy knew he was upset as he would normally never throw his coat.

"Timothy, your mother and your grandmother are at the hospital with your father. Timothy, your father is ill. He is quite ill."

Timothy began to tremble. His grandfather closed his eyes for a moment and then resumed.

"Your father has something wrong with his brain. He has something growing in it called a tumor. It is growing quite fast and... and if the doctors don't do something to it very soon... we may lose your father."

Timothy's lower lip was quivering. Suddenly, he rushed to his grandfather and clutched him desperately. His grandfather wrapped his arms around the trembling boy, silent tears falling on the child's shoulders. After several minutes, his grandfather pulled away and looked the boy in the eyes.

"Some doctors from Kansas City are coming down tomorrow to operate and remove the tumor. We wanted to take him to Kansas City, but Doctor Weinberg says its too dangerous to move him. So, they're coming here and will do the operation in the morning."

Timothy swallowed.

"I want to see him. I want to see my Daddy."

His grandfather closed his eyes and fought to keep control.

"Yes, son. We're going to the hospital right now."

As he and his grandfather turned the corner by the nurse's station, Timothy saw his mother nearly prone on a couch near the end of the hall, his grandmother holding her. She was trying to comfort her, but his mother seemed to have emotionally collapsed.

"Wait, here," his grandfather said gently. Timothy stood by the door of one of the rooms and watched as his grandfather walked to the end of the hall. His grandmother shook her head in disgust and the two spoke to his mother quietly. Timothy couldn't hear their conversation, but another conversation caught his attention.

"Allen, please watch him. His mother has some problems and things might get rough for him. Trevor is his closest friend and you and Sarah have been so good to him. He's going to need you."

"Bill, he's going to need you and you'll be taking care of him. You just wait and see."

There was a silence.

"Allen, I'm probably not going to make it."

Timothy pushed the door open. He was not prepared for the sight which met him. His father was laying on the bed with tubes and wires connected to him. He seemed half asleep. Allen was standing beside him.


His father turned a groggy face toward the door and the stricken look on his face nearly crushed the boy.



The boy ran to the bed and clutched desperately at his father. His tears prevented him from saying anything. His father was speechless.

It was sometime before he sighed and whispered, "Timothy, my sweet Timothy."

"I love you, Daddy."

"I love you, too, son."

"You're not going to die, Daddy."

His father was silent and then whispered, "It's a dangerous operation, but I have to have it or I won't make it."

Timothy could say nothing. He just held his father.

"Timmer, I want you know how proud I am of you. You're a good boy. You've always been a good boy. You have a good heart and a good mind and a good soul and I know that you will always do the right thing."

Timothy was crying.


"Timmer, you have to promise me that if this doesn't work, you will be strong and help your mother and help your brother and sister. But, most important, son, you have to take care of yourself. Will you promise me that, son? Will you promise me to take care of yourself?"

His head still laying on his father's chest, he nodded.

"Timmer, Trevor is a good friend. Lean on him. Allen and Sarah are good people. They will help you, too. Lean on them. And be there for your grandparents, Timmer. They will need you more than you can imagine."

"Daddy," he sobbed.

"Timmer, remember. Always trust yourself. Stand up for yourself. Don't follow the crowd just to be popular. Stand up on your own two feet. Be your own man. OK? Will you promise me that, Timmer? Please?"

Timothy nodded against his chest.

"Yes, sir."

Timothy heard his father give a deep, heavy sigh.

"I will always love you Timmer."

"I love you, Daddy."