W.A.R. Part One - Black Summer
Chapter Eight - The Storm
by Jeff Wilson
I opened the door and walked into the house. Dad was there alright, asleep in his chair. I sighed. I'd gotten myself all worked up and ready to talk and he didn't even have the decency to be awake. I felt a little bit angry with him. Once again, I didn't exist. Dad was happy in his life and I was like an unwelcome inconvenience in his day. I sat on the couch and watched him. He hadn't even taken his glasses off and they were slightly askew. He was still wearing the clothes he'd worn for work that day. He must have just walked in the house after work, turned on the television and fallen right to sleep. I got even more angry with him. How could he sleep when I so wanted to talk with him? Didn't he even care that I was upset?
I left the television on when I left the room. I knew it would wake him up if I turned it off. But now, I didn't want to talk anymore. Dad could come to me if he wanted to settle anything. I didn't need him. I went to my room and sat on my bed. I didn't bother closing the door since I was hoping to get a bit of a breeze going through my room.
Sitting alone in my room again, I had time to think. I could end up lost in thought sometimes, and this was one of those times. I thought about a lot of things. I thought about grandma, and hoped that she'd get better. I knew she probably wouldn't, but it was nice to imagine a time when things would be back to normal.
I thought about mom. She was so exhausted right now. She was so determined to make everything work out alright. She was trying so hard, but the situation was just getting worse. She couldn't take care of grandma, dad, and me and still have anytime for herself. But she was trying. It was like she was grasping on to any thread of the nice normal life that she'd had before everything had fallen apart, and it was all slipping through her fingers. It was breaking her down, her marriage down, and her kid down. I missed the old times before everything went wrong.
I thought about dad. He was working impossible hours. He wasn't taking care of himself the way mom took care of him. I was worried about his sugar. It had to be out of control. He seemed to be eating more and more junk food like donuts and cookies and drinking Mt. Dew like water. I was really worried that he was going to get sick. Dad's health hadn't been the best before all this crap had happened to us, now it was worse.
I thought about Dustin, too. I felt really bad that I hadn't spent much time with him that summer. I knew he needed his best friend, and I was off playing with another kid. I knew that his family was really poor, much worse than my family. He lived in a dump. His dad was a drunk who beat him and his mom was a bitch who neglected him. His sister was even worse than the two of them! I had a bad feeling about him. It seemed like he was way too happy considering his circumstances. It was kind of like he was pretending to be happy, like he was wearing a mask all the time. That's what it had seemed like. Who was the real kid under the mask? I didn't even know if Dustin knew the answer to that one.
Mostly though, I thought about Brett. He'd said some really nice things about me that day. I'd never thought of myself as anything special, but Brett seemed to think I was. Had he really called me good-looking? Had he really said he thought I was awesome? He had! I knew he had, because ever since he'd said those words I'd been replaying them in my head over and over. I couldn't describe the way he'd made me feel those last few days. We'd been friends for five years, but now I felt somehow closer, like something was changing between us. It was kind of scary, because it was so out of my control! I couldn't find the right words to describe my feelings for him because I'd never felt this way about anyone before. It was a weird feeling. It was like being on some kind of drug when I was around him. Even though I couldn't really understand it, and even though it scared me, I still kinda liked it. I wanted more of that feeling.
I closed my eyes and pictured again for the thousandth time Brett's naked body as he sat next to mine. In my mind I saw again his fist furiously pounding away at his little wiener. I saw again his butt as he walked. I'd never really thought about Brett's butt before, but now I couldn't stop thinking about it. I couldn't quite figure out what it was about his butt that was so intoxicating, I just knew that I really wanted to see it again, maybe even touch it. And I knew that those thoughts were wrong, but I didn't care! Had it only been yesterday when the two of us were sitting next to each other, both of us naked, both of us doing what we had only ever done privately before? It seemed like decades ago when Brett had scooped up that little taste of my load from my chest, and said it tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios.
It was then that I realized that while I'd been doing all that thinking my hand had been massaging the front of my pants to such an extent that now I was feeling quite cramped and uncomfortable. Thinking about Brett and everything we'd done was too much for me. I had to jack off. I needed to jack off. I stripped off my pants. My underwear bulged and stretched before they followed my pants to the floor and my thing sprung free. I gingerly pulled off my shirt and lay naked on my bed. My whole body felt tingly and good. I spit in my hand and furiously pounded on my thing the way Brett had done to his yesterday. It felt really good. It felt awesome. Though I was alone I felt like Brett was with me. I wanted him with me. I wanted to feel his smooth naked skin against me again. I wanted him to see me naked like this again, open and exposed to him like I'd never been with anyone else. There was a part of me that was telling me that I shouldn't be thinking about another boy the way I was thinking about Brett. Years of being told by society and friends and family that I should be thinking about girls the way I was thinking about Brett was laying its guilt trip on my mind. But there was a larger, more urgent part of me that was telling me, "less thinking, more jacking!" I quickly tucked away the idea that thinking about Brett was bad and pounded away at my thing. I didn't want to think about the consequences of where these thoughts might lead. I only knew that I felt freer and happier thinking about Brett than I'd ever felt before.
I lay on the bed and arched my back, so that my butt was raised up off the bed. I was going to blow another big load of white stuff and it was going to feel great. My entire focus was centered on my throbbing thing. It felt like it had grown even bigger in my hand. I felt the gears shift in my balls. It felt amazing! I slowed down my strokes and pumped it firmly and deliberately. I hit that point where I could have stopped stroking and I would have splooged anyway. There was no turning back! I grunted and snorted and felt my insides turn inside out. A blast of white stuff exploded out of me so hard it hit me in my face, just as my dad walked in. Holy shit! I'd forgotten to close the damn door!
"Hey boy, we need to... OH JESUS CHRIST!!!! SHIT!! I'M SORRY!!"
"AHHHH!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!! GET OUT!!!!!" I screamed in anger and humiliation.
"Oh shit! I'm sorry, boy!" dad cried as he fled.
"GET THE FUCK OUT!!!!" I roared. I was still spurting jizz but I didn't even feel it. I grabbed my shoe and through it at the doorway. It hit the wall in the hallway outside my room with a loud thud. I was mortified, embarrassed beyond any humiliation I'd ever experienced in my entire life! How could my dad humiliate me like that? I wanted to crawl in a hole and die, I was so ashamed! I grabbed my underwear, the nearest thing to me, to wipe up the mess. Then I hastily pulled on my jean shorts and forced my bare foot into my shoe. I stormed into the hallway and jammed my other foot into the shoe I'd thrown. Then I ran toward the back door of the house.
"Wait boy! Where are you going?" dad asked.
"Away from you!" I screeched. "What the fuck were you doing walking into my room like that? I hate you! Just stay the hell away from me!"
"Calm down boy! You don't even have a shirt on. You can't go out there like that."
"Leave me alone! I hate you! You're the worst dad ever!" I cried. Angry tears stained my cheeks. I was absolutely mortified. I wanted to die. I had to get away from him. I opened the back door to flee into the night.
"Billy, stop!" dad shouted.
I paused and looked back at him.
"I don't care about what you were doing in there, Billy. I'm not mad at you. Please come sit down."
"No! You humiliated me! Leave me alone!" I replied.
"Come sit down, please boy," dad calmly replied. "It's okay. We're just going to talk."
I slowly closed the door and walked toward him. I couldn't look at him, knowing what he'd seen me doing. I still smelled like spooge. I was beyond humiliated. I just wanted to be somebody else rather than have the conversation I knew I was about to have. Dad put his arm around my shoulder and led me to sit down at the dining room table, and he sat down in his usual spot at the table next to me. We hadn't used the table for eating in months. Not since grandma's stroke, anyway. Long ago my parents had adapted to me being left-handed by having dad sit on my right, and mom on his right. That way nobody bumped elbows with the lefty. I sat down and looked at the pile of junk and papers that had since covered the table that nobody had the time to sit at anymore. I couldn't look at him.
"About last night..."
"I don't want to talk about it," I snarled.
Dad grimaced, "Okay... About what just happened."
"I really don't want to talk about that!" I snapped.
"Well is there anything you would like to talk about?" he asked.
"No," I replied. "I just want you to leave me alone."
"Well let's talk about your grandmother then," dad suggested.
"What about her?"
"Let's talk about why you've been blaming yourself for eleven months for what happened," dad said.
I fidgeted in my chair. "That's stupid. I don't blame myself..."
"Your mother and I have been talking a lot about this situation. We've made a huge mistake in not talking to you about this. You were so close with your grandma. Whenever we try to talk to you about what happened we see how hurt you are by it and it breaks our hearts to see you so sad. We just didn't want to hurt your feelings by talking about that day. But we were wrong to avoid it. By trying not to hurt you we've hurt you even worse."
I squirmed and felt my face getting very hot. "I don't want to talk about it," I said.
"I know you don't want to. But you need to. This is tearing you up inside. You blame yourself for something that you had no control over."
"Don't tell me what I blame myself for!" I snapped. "You don't know what it's like to live with what I have to live with! Nobody knows what it's like! You weren't there!"
"But you were there. And that's been the problem ever since," dad replied. "There was nothing you could have done to prevent what happened. You did everything right! You called the ambulance. You saved her life, Billy."
"You think I saved her?" I snapped. "I didn't save her! It was my fault she's the way she is! I wasn't there, dad! I wasn't where I was supposed to be! You know where I was? I was over here, playing a stupid video game with Brett! I was supposed to be with her! I was supposed to be going to the mall with her! I was supposed to be there! But I wasn't, because I'm a stupid irresponsible jerk! I called her and told her I'd be there later, and then I played a stupid game while she sat over there and almost died! So don't tell me I saved her! All I did was care about myself! And look at what I've done to everybody! I destroyed all of our lives, dad! You and mom hate each other! Mom hates me! You hate me! And I deserve it! I ruined everything! I hate myself!" I burst into tears. I put my head down on the table and covered my head with my hands. Horrible sobs wracked my whole body. I wailed in anguish at what I'd done to my family.
"Billy..." dad soothed as I felt his hand on my shoulder. "You can't blame yourself for any of what's happened. It wasn't your fault!"
"I should have been there, dad!" I cried. "I should have!" I continued to wail bitterly. Dad was quiet for what seemed like an eternity. I don't know if he was thinking or just letting me cry myself out. But he remained there, with his hand on my back, letting me cry.
Finally, when I started to get a hold of myself and lifted my head off the table, he spoke softly, "You feel better now?"
"No," I moped.
"You will," dad soothed. "I think you just needed to let some of that out. You know, God has ways of putting people in the right place at the right time."
"How do you mean?" I asked. It wasn't often that dad talked about God. That was normally mom's department.
"Well, let's say that Brett hadn't been here. Then you would have gone to your grandmother's house on time. Now let's say you both get in the car and she started driving to the mall. What happens when she has the stroke?"
"I'm there to help her," I replied.
"Or she crashes the car and you both get hurt, or worse. And you're not able to call for help because you're hurt. So in a way, by being here with Brett and not going over there when you should have, you might have saved both your lives."
"So you're saying that it wasn't my fault?" I asked. I guess I just needed to hear him say it and be ready to believe it.
"It was nobody's fault. People you love get sick and there's nothing you can do about it. Just be there to help them through it, like you and your mother have been for your grandmother."
"I'm sorry, dad."
"What are you sorry for?"
"I shouldn't have skipped the baseball game."
"Oh... Well, I shouldn't have been so angry with you. We were both wrong yesterday."
"It's just that I really wanted you to be there before and you never came. I didn't believe you'd really be there."
"Billy, believe me when I tell you that I'd much rather be doing things with you than working. I love you, boy. Nothing you could ever do would make me stop loving you. You feel bad about your grandma, but just imagine how I feel looking at you with that shiner. I'm more responsible for that than you are for your grandma being sick. I'd like to spend more time with you. Sometimes I feel like I don't know you anymore. You know, if you'd like, you could come along with me to work on some projects with me sometimes. I was even younger than you when I started helping my dad. I'd really like that."
"Maybe," I said. It didn't sound fun, but it sounded interesting.
"You know, the reason I work so much is because your mother is kind of stuck right now. Life isn't easy, boy. Sometimes it's less hard. But it's never easy."
"I know," I replied. "You always tell me that. It doesn't mean I have to like it. I want you to be around."
"I want to be around too, son. I don't want us to end up like me and my dad did."
"I'm sorry I swore at you too," I said.
"Don't you worry about that! I understand. Believe me. I wasn't expecting to see what I just saw, either. Talk about bad timing! That was quite a shock to your old man. Guess my little boy really is growing up pretty fast."
I blushed, "You're not going to tell mom are you?"
Dad laughed, "Why on earth would I tell your mother about that?"
"I just thought..."
"There are some things a young man just has to do, boy. You're not doing anything every other boy your age hasn't done. Just make sure you clean up after yourself. Don't use a sock because it'll stain and your mother will ask you embarrassing questions. I suggest you buy your own hand lotion too. You don't want your mom wondering what happened to hers. And try not to overdo it. It can get pretty sore down there."
I must have been a shade of red so deep you could have used me for a stoplight. "Thanks, dad," I said awkwardly. It was the first time I'd ever heard my dad talk about anything even remotely sexual.
"Sure. Oh, and one more thing... If you're going to borrow my porn at least have the decency to rewind," dad snickered.
"What?" I asked, confused.
"You boys didn't rewind my tape," dad explained.
"Oh..." If it was possible for a face to turn any more red, I would have done it.
Dad laughed, "It's okay, boy. I found the tape in your bag last night. I figured that's what made you miss your game. I figured you and ol' Brett found it and thought you could get away with watching it without anybody finding out, huh?"
"That was the plan," I admitted.
"That boy is something else," dad laughed.
That evening, things went on as normally as they'd been in some time. I felt like something that had been crushing me for eleven months had been lifted off my back. I didn't feel like it was my fault what happened to grandma. Like dad said, if I had been there, I could have been killed. As it was, I had only walked into that house to find her lying on the floor unconscious. Maybe I had saved her life after all? Who could know?
One thing I did know. Things were going to get better between me and dad. They had to. That moment that had started so horribly had turned into such a great conversation between us. I felt like he actually understood me for once. I felt like he was actually going to try to get to know me.
That night, as I got ready for bed, I stood before the bathroom mirror. I couldn't help but stare at my black eye. It seemed even darker and more swollen than it had in the morning. It didn't hurt as much. It still hurt a lot, but it wasn't the stabbing pain I'd endured yesterday. I slipped on my shirt and walked out to the living room. Dad had again fallen asleep in his chair.
I turned off the John Wayne movie on the television and watched him stir. He didn't wake up. I took his glasses off his face and set them on the table. I remembered what mom had said about him carrying me to bed last night. I guess there must have been a thousand times when he'd done that in my life, times when I'd fallen asleep who knows where. I kissed him gently on the cheek.
"Goodnight, dad," I whispered.
He didn't respond. He just sat there unaware of my presence.
"I love you, old man," I whispered again. I turned off the light and walked to my room. It was the best sleep I'd had in eleven months.
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