W.A.R. Part One - Black Summer
Chapter Nine - The Other Grandson
by Jeff Wilson
When the alarm clock goes off, there is a choice to be made. You can turn it off and begin your day. Or you can turn it off, roll over, and go back to sleep. The consequence of the second option is what keeps people from smashing alarm clocks every day. I was no different when my alarm went off at seven in the morning on that warm late-July morning.
A month had passed since the black eye incident. And not much had really changed with our situation. Dad was working harder than ever, but now there were times when he'd ask me to go along with him on some independent projects he was doing. I learned more about electricity in one month with dad than most people learn in a lifetime. Dad worked for a man named Ed Nicholson. Mr. Nicholson would find all kinds of extra jobs for dad to do to earn extra money. Dad would have his friend Donnie Barnhart help him out on a lot of these jobs. Donnie was my friend Emily's dad, and Emily was one of my best friends. I'd known their family all my life. They had a swimming pool at their house which was always open to her friends. She was friends with Dustin too, so I saw him a lot over there when we'd go swimming. If I was going to end up with a girl, it would have been Emily. The fact that I saw her more as a buddy than a girl never really bothered us.
Sometimes dad would go with Donnie and Ed to a cabin that Ed owned up in Bedford County, in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Mom had gone along on these trips from time to time, but I'd never been there. I really didn't see the appeal of going to a crumby old cabin in the woods. Dad was not just an employee for Mr. Nicholson but he was also his friend. Dad was the one guy who had earned the privilege of being able to go to the cabin alone without Mr. Nicholson. He was planning to take me with him before school started for a father-son road trip. That was an idea that made me so excited... Sigh...
Summer wasn't completely ruined by my busted eye socket. After a week or so, the swelling had gone completely away. The pain had gone away and it didn't hurt anymore. After a month, I didn't look like someone punched me in the face. Dustin had come up with the idea of making me scorekeeper on the team. That way, I could still be a part of the team and his dad didn't have to do any statistics. Dustin tore up the league that summer. He batted over six hundred and had twelve home runs in ten games. He single-handedly won any games the team was in. His dad still found something to yell at him about after every game though.
Mom was just as overwhelmed as she had been in June. She was getting very short with me when I did anything even remotely bad. She would say she didn't have time to deal with me and I needed to act more responsibly. She and dad seemed to fight every time they were in contact with each other. The stress of the situation was getting to her. She was beginning to make plans to put grandma in a rest home again. Unfortunately, the insurance had long ago run out, which had caused the problem we were facing having to take care of her at home in the first place. Mom had decided that the best thing to do would be to sell grandma's house and use that money to provide for her care. Unfortunately, mom's sister, my Aunt Patty, didn't want to sell the house, and now the two of them were fighting as well. They would get into huge fights over the phone. Mom was feeling very angry that her sister had just expected her to do all the work and wasn't helping with anything. Of course, she'd then take out her anger with her sister by snapping at me.
So I arrived at grandma's promptly at 7:30, just as mom had asked. But she was still angry with me when I got there. What had taken me so long? Grandma was in her wheelchair at the kitchen table, ready for her breakfast. Mom snapped at me to help grandma while she finished getting ready to go to meet with a real estate agent. She had just been in another argument with my aunt about the situation, and now she was just going to take matters into her own hands. She reasoned that if her sister couldn't help take care of grandma, then she shouldn't have any say in what was going to happen.
I was going to miss having grandma living right across the road. Even without being able to talk or do much of anything, she was still there. She could still listen. She seemed to always understand what I was saying. She'd smile when I walked into the room and try to laugh at my jokes. We still played war together. I loved having my grandma with me. I didn't want them to take her away to some home where she wouldn't know anybody and be lonely. I'd miss her.
But there was nothing I could do about it. I was just a kid. All I could do was sit there with her and love her. That's all she ever asked of me.
Mom gave me a few instructions that I half-listened to and then she left. She planned to go shopping and do a few other things before she came back, so she had prepared some lunch for us. She said that she had left enough for three before she left.
The third person was Brett, of course. He had been over every single day since the black eye incident. He was more my parents' son than his own mother's kid. We hadn't done anything else like what we'd done with the porno since that day. We never talked about it. It was like it had never happened. I wanted so much to see him naked again! The images in my mind were beginning to fade a bit as time separated me from the real thing.
I rolled grandma into the living room and we sat there absent-mindedly watching television together. I ran my tongue over my braces and grandma was nodding off. It was another boring talk show with another stupid ho who didn't know which guy she'd done was her baby-daddy.
"That baby don't look nothin' like me!" one man protested.
"I'm going to the bathroom," I sighed. "Let me know if anything good happens."
I left the bathroom door open in case grandma needed anything. I stripped off all my clothes and sat naked on the toilet. I'd discovered a neat new trick during the last week where I'd just rub circles over and over again on the head of my wiener until it got so hot I'd shoot. Just as things were really getting interesting there was a knock on the door. Why was I always getting interrupted when I was trying to jack off? I hurriedly grabbed my shorts and shirt, but the knocking continued incessantly. I tripped over my shorts and stumbled into the hallway, still half naked as I tried to pull them up. The knocking wasn't stopping and was getting louder. I slid my shorts on and sprinted to the door as I pulled my shirt on at the same time. I wasn't surprised to see Brett waiting at the door when I opened it, as only he would knock so obnoxiously.
"Take all day, why don'cha?" he asked. His voice was sounding more and more different every time I heard him lately. He sounded less like a girl and more like a boy now. His clothes were beginning to get a little too tight for him too. It seemed like every day he was taller than he'd been the day before. He'd finally passed five feet in height and was gaining weight all the time.
"I was in the bathroom," I explained.
"That's where I have to go. I gotta take a crap!" he announced. He pushed past me and hurried off to the bathroom. Only Brett would announce to the whole world that he needed to take a dump. When he eventually returned to the living room, he was grinning more deviously than usual.
"Are you missing something?" he asked.
"What are you up to now?" I asked.
"Nothing, I just figured you might want these." He held his hand out and offered me my underwear. "What were you doing in there, spanking it?"
"Brett!" I exclaimed. "Don't say stuff like that in front of grandma!"
"Hey, you're the one who left your underpants laying in the hallway," Brett replied. "Your poor grandma would've had to see them laying there all day if I hadn't picked them up."
It was then that I realized that she had probably seen me stumble down the hallway naked, too. "Oh great! I didn't even realize grandma could see me getting dressed in the hallway. First mom, then you, then dad, now grandma. Is there anyone who hasn't seen me naked this summer?"
"When did I ever see you naked?" Brett asked coyly. "Oh that's right, when we jacked off together!"
"Oh shut up!" I scolded.
"What? Did you forget that we masturbated together? You didn't think I forgot about that, did you? My dick was so tiny, but I've really grown a lot since then. You should the size of my dick now," he said. "It's got to be twice as big as it was last time you saw me. I must have hit that growth spurt you were talking about."
"I told you it was coming," I replied.
"No `coming' yet, unfortunately. I still haven't shot but I think I'm really close," Brett admitted.
I laughed, "That's not what I was talking about! And don't talk about that stuff in front of my grandmother you perv!"
"Talk about what, the size of my penis? What's wrong with talking about jerking my dick and making my balls shoot white stuff? She knows I have a penis. She knows you have a penis too. Especially since you just showed it to her."
"Please stop..." I said, mortified beyond description. Grandma didn't seem to mind, though.
"I'm just trying to get you to loosen up. I swear if you were Catholic you'd be a monk. Anyway, I told you about my dick. How about yours? Is it any bigger than before?" he asked.
"A little," I whispered. "We haven't really talked much about what we did since it happened. I thought you might be embarrassed about it."
"Me? Embarrassed? Nah! I thought it was fun. I was only embarrassed because of my tiny little dick! But like I said, it's much bigger now. Pretty soon I'll catch up to you."
"I'll bet," I said.
"You wanna see it?" Brett asked.
"See what?" I asked.
Brett sighed, "My dick, you doofus! You want to see it?"
"What, right here in front of grandma?" I asked.
"No dummy, come with me," Brett grabbed my arm and led me down the hall and into my grandma's bedroom. Once we were in there and out of sight, he unzipped his pants and yanked his boxers down in front, exposing himself. His dick really had doubled in size since the last time I'd seen it! It looked to be about five inches or so now. It bounced up and down with his heartbeat.
"There it is," Brett said. "Like I said, it's a lot bigger now. It did this like overnight. I couldn't believe it. What do you think?"
"I think it's cool," I said, mesmerized by it.
"Come on, I want to compare it with yours!" he insisted. Without hesitation, I unzipped my shorts and since I didn't have underwear on my dick instantly sprung free. I don't know why I suddenly felt so bold, but I really wanted Brett to see my wiener. He stood in front of me and held his wiener next to mine, side-by-side. We weren't touching, but we were so close I could almost feel the heat radiating off his thing.
"See, I'm catching up," Brett announced proudly. "I think my balls are as big as yours now too."
I was so lost in the moment I couldn't find any words to speak. I just kept staring at our two wieners, so tantalizingly close to each other. They were now about the same length, but Brett's was actually a little thicker than mine. I could have reached right out and felt it if I wanted, and I really wanted to do it. I wondered what it would be like to hold Brett's dick in my hand. It was so smooth and the head was bright cherry red from his blood. I wanted so much to feel it, even if just for a second. I subtly shifted my hips just a little and my dick very slightly touched his. We were both looking down at our dicks, but the very second they touched Brett snapped out of the seeming trance we had both been under and jerked away. And then just like that the moment was over. Brett quickly pulled away from me and slipped his boxers up. He didn't say anything, which was really unusual for him. He just walked quietly back out to the living room. I shouldn't have done what I did. I'd ruined it. I quietly stripped my shorts off and put my underwear back on and then my shorts before I wordlessly went back out into the living room. Grandma watched us and I could just tell that she knew we'd done something bad. Just because she couldn't speak didn't mean she didn't understand.
Brett was quiet for a while afterward. It was so weird for him to be so silent. I was trying to process in my mind what had just happened. If anything had happened at all... Had we really just exposed ourselves to each other again? Had I just touched his dick with mine? It had just happened but it seemed like a dream. And then I'd gone and ruined it by trying to do too much. Why'd I have to try to touch his thing like that? I was going to be lucky if he ever let me see it again.
We just sat there for a while watching television, the awkwardness increasing with each passing moment. Each minute we didn't speak seemed longer than the last until it seemed like we hadn't spoken in days. About the time I was finally just going to say something to break the silence, Brett spoke up.
"I'm hungry. You wanna eat?" he asked.
"Yeah," I replied. We went to the kitchen and began preparing the lunch that mom had left us.
"Hey, you're not mad at me are you?" Brett asked.
"No, why?" I replied.
"Well you've been really quiet."
"So have you," I replied. "I'm just thinking. That's all."
"Yeah, me too," said Brett. He worked quietly for a while then he asked, "Did you do that on purpose?"
"Do what?" I asked. I knew exactly what he was asking about.
"Nothing..." Brett replied. "I just thought..."
"It was an accident," I lied. "I'm sorry. It just slipped. It freaked me out a little too. Sorry..."
"Oh... Uh, it's no problem... It's okay. Guys do stuff together all the time, you know. It's not like we jerked each other off or anything. We just compared, that's all. Guys compare all the time. So we got a little too close. It's cool. It's perfectly normal. I think it'd be weird not to be curious."
"I know," I said. "I just wasn't expecting it. I thought..."
"You think too much, Billy," Brett sighed. "You want your whole life planned out and perfect. Well life isn't perfect and things don't end up the way you thought they would."
"I know that," I snapped. "There's nothing wrong with wanting things to go the right way."
"Yeah, but you're so busy worrying about making everything perfect that you don't take the time to just enjoy yourself. I feel sorry for you sometimes. You're too smart. You over-think stuff. Sometimes you just have to live your life and fuck the consequences."
"Don't say the f-word in front of my grandma!" I scolded.
"Oh shit! Did I say fuck?" Brett gasped in mock horror.
"Yeah... And I enjoy life. Mostly..."
"When?" Brett asked.
"When you're with me," I said too quickly before I could stop it from coming out. My face turned an embarrassing shade of red.
Brett smiled. "Well I like having you around too. You're like my brother. Now let's eat, I'm starving to death!"
Watching Brett eat, you wouldn't think his mom ever fed him. Every time he ate it was like it was the first time he'd seen food in a month. He could eat his whole lunch and dessert before I could even begin mine! And yet he didn't gain weight. His metabolism must have been off the charts. He certainly was hyperactive. It made sense why he got kicked out of catholic school. He never finished assignments. He got easily frustrated because it was hard for him to read. He got bored very easily and was always distracted by the littlest things. He was always in trouble with teachers and the more the teachers yelled the worse he got. He could be an unbearable brat if you pushed him. But his mom refused to put him on Ritalin or any other drugs. She was a psychiatrist, after all, and knew how to best take care of her son.
During lunch, Brett informed me and grandma that he and his mom were going to New York City the first week of August to visit his aunt and her kids. I felt very sad that he was going away. We'd spent nearly every day together through the summer and the thought of him going away for a whole week was terrible.
"You'll survive without me. Summer school will be over and mom wants to reward me. It's been a while since I've been home."
"I'll never understand how your mom thinks you should be rewarded for getting through summer school. My parents would kill me if I even had to go to summer school."
"Don't get all jealous. My mom's such a bitch any other time. I wish I lived with you guys," Brett sighed. I could never understand why he felt that way about his mom. Had he seen how horrible my family's life had been for the last few months? Why would someone want to live with my crappy family?
"Hey," Brett perked up. "Maybe you could come with us."
"My mom's not going to let me go to New York City. She needs me here."
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Maybe someday when things settle down. I'd love to show you around a real city. Pittsburgh is so boring!"
When we returned to the living room, Brett got a hold of the remote control for the television. That meant that every few seconds the channel was going to change. Brett was the worst channel surfer in the world. He had the attention span of a gnat and there was never anything on that was interesting enough for him to watch for more than a few seconds before he was off to the next thing. And if you did see something that you thought was good, he'd stick with it just long enough for you to get into it before he'd change the channel. It was annoying. The worst part was that he didn't see how irritating it was to anybody watching with him.
"Can you please just pick a channel?" I asked.
"When I find something good," he replied.
"You've gone through every station twice already."
"Maybe if you had a good video we could watch..." he suggested.
"You're not seriously suggesting that!" I scolded him. "We can't watch that again! We have to stay here with grandma, and my dad moved the key because of you!"
"I wasn't being serious, Billy," Brett said. "You're such a pussy."
We decided to play cards to pass the time. We played war again, and Brett and grandma once again ganged up to beat me. Grandma seemed more alert and happy when Brett was around. He had so much energy bundled up in him that it was impossible not to be caught up in it. Grandma had always understood him and stood up for him. She always called him her other grandson and loved him so much. I wondered if, in her mind that she was watching us, just like she always had before. Even though she couldn't speak or get out of her chair she was still the one in charge, making sure we didn't get into trouble.
Later in the afternoon, mom came back and wasn't surprised that Brett was there. She invited him to stay for supper, and he eagerly agreed. Brett's mom was not known for her culinary skill. Brett said she could burn water. He was always happy to have my family cook for him. Before the stroke, grandma was famous for her cooking, and mom had inherited her knack for making everything taste good.
And so we had a nice dinner together; mom, grandma, Brett, and me. Grandma was doing very well at feeding herself. I had a feeling that soon she would be able to talk again. I knew she wouldn't be the same as before, but she was getting better every day! It made me mad that mom was going to put her in a home. I would miss her! Brett finished his food first, setting a record for speedy eating. After he was done, of course, he had to talk our ears off. He really couldn't stay quiet for more than five minutes or he'd explode. He was the most out-going kid I've ever known. I think part of why he was always over at our house is because he hated being alone more than anything. He always had to be around people.
After dinner, mom needed to put grandma to bed. Brett and I each kissed her and told her we loved her and she beamed. I could tell she wanted to tell us how much she loved us right back. We left grandma's house and walked across the road to my place. On the way, I snatched Brett's hat off his head and ran away with it. He chased after me and tackled me in my back yard. We wrestled for a bit and as usual he ended up sitting on top of my chest and held my arms down over my head. I never beat him at wrestling. He sat there waiting for me to give up. I kicked around for a bit, but I really didn't want to be anywhere but right there stuck under him. Finally, when I felt things stirring a bit too much in my pants I gave up and handed him his hat back. He promptly put it back on his head and got off me. We both readjusted ourselves, without saying a word about it.
"So, see you tomorrow?" I asked.
"Of course," he replied.
I watched as he walked through the yard and into the woods. It would be getting close to dark by the time he made it home. He hadn't even been gone for a minute and I missed him already. How was I going to survive a whole week without him?
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