W.A.R. Part Three - The Broken Boy
Chapter Ten - Parole Violation
by Jeff Wilson
The sun was shining through my window when I woke up the next morning. I had kicked off my jeans and pulled my shirt off during the night, so I was laying there in my underwear. I sat on the side of my bed and stretched my arms. Through the wall, I could hear the vacuum cleaner running in the living room. I looked at my alarm clock. It was already nine-thirty. Either my dad hadn't left to work for Mr. Nicholson yet or he'd left me behind. Or maybe he hadn't come home. But then, I didn't think mom would be vacuuming the carpet if her husband hadn't come home. Knowing mom she'd have sent out a search party. I tugged on a pair of shorts and opened the door to my room. No alarms went off or anything. I walked down the short hallway to the living room and found mom busily cleaning. The room smelled of lemon scented furniture cleaner. I sneezed from the dust she'd stirred up.
"Well, hey there sleepy-head!" mom said.
"Hey," I replied, pulling my t-shirt on. "What's going on? Where's dad? I thought he wanted me to go with him this morning?"
"We decided it would be for the best if he went without you," mom said.
"Oh..." I said.
Mom turned off the vacuum and sat on the couch. She patted the seat next to her as an invitation to sit down. I sat down beside her. She put her hand on my back and smiled at me.
"We have a lot to talk about, don't we?"
"I guess," I replied.
"Billy, when you were born your father and I wanted to raise you the best we could. We were both in our thirties when we had you. Your father had a horrible childhood. I know he's told you some of the things that happened to him when he was younger, but I'm sure he didn't tell you everything. There are even things that he's never told me. His father was a terrible man. He was abusive and cruel. He would beat your father with whatever he had in his hands; belts, extension cords, wire, anything. Your father still has scars on his body from the beatings he took. He was so afraid of having children because he didn't want to be like his father. Then you came along. Your dad wanted to have a better relationship with you than he had with his own father. We promised that we would never hit you and we would never hurt you like he had been when he was a boy. It was a promise I made to him and he made to me. He didn't want to lose his temper with you because he didn't know what he might do. But last night he snapped. I've haven't seen him like that since he stopped drinking. I was worried when he left last night that he was going to the bar. But he didn't. He just drove around for hours. When we talked, he almost was in tears, Billy. And you know your father. That never ever happens. He was just devastated that he hit you. He never wanted you to experience that. He feels awful about what happened last night. He never wanted to hurt you."
"Well he did hurt me, didn't he? I never thought he would hit me in a million years. But you know, getting slapped didn't hurt as much as what he said. He said I wasn't his son. That hurt more than anything that's ever happened to me. I'll never forgive him for that."
"Billy, let's be honest here. You let your temper get out of control last night too. You said some things that hurt your father too. The word you called him... I've never seen him so upset before. He snapped. He was wrong to hit you. But that doesn't excuse what you did. You were wrong too."
"I know. I feel like a real jerk about it, mom. I just get so mad sometimes. I know I shouldn't let my temper get so out of control, but I couldn't stop myself. I feel like I'm lost sometimes. I get so angry and I just lose it. I just want to hurt whoever hurt me. It was like it wasn't even me who said those things. I'm sorry I got so mad and took it out on you."
"I know you are, Billy. You and your father are so much alike. You may look like me, but you are your father's son. And he does love you, Billy. He loves you more than anything in this world. He was just sick this morning about what happened last night. Just like you, he didn't mean the things he said. I hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive him."
"I don't know if I can forgive him mom. You don't know how humiliating it was. He didn't have to hit me. I think he should feel bad for what he did. I know I deserved to get yelled at for losing my temper. I didn't deserve to get slapped. I didn't deserve to be told I'm not part of the family. That really hurt."
Mom put her arm around my shoulders and drew me closer to her. I rested my head against her shoulder. "I wish I had the answers that would make you feel better like I did when you were a little boy," she said. "I wish I could just kiss your boo-boos and make your pain go away. But I can't this time. This is something you are just going to have to work out with your father." She kissed me on the forehead. "You may be fifteen, but you'll always be my little boy. Under that teenage tough guy is still the little boy who'd bring me four-leaf clovers he'd pick on the way home from school. There's still the little boy who wasn't embarrassed to kiss his old mom. There's still the little boy who was so sweet and loving and kind. You'll always be my little boy, no matter what you do. I will always love you, but I miss how close we used to be. I miss my little boy."
For a while, we just sat there on the couch. I laid my head in her lap and we just sat there as she quietly stroked my back, just like we used to do when I was little. We hadn't done it in so long that I could barely remember how good it felt. After a while, I sat up and smiled at her.
"Why do things have to change?" I asked her.
"I don't know why, they just do. I may miss that little boy who used to live here, but I love the young man that little boy has become. I am so proud of you, and so is your father. We know life has been hard for you these last few years, but you've really come a long way. I know you're going through a lot right now. Just remember that no matter how old you get, you're never going to be too old for me to love you." She ran her hand through my hair. "My goodness, your hair's gotten so dark. You need to get out in the sun more and bring some of that blond back. Looks like it's about time for a haircut again."
"It's barely long at all mom." It was true. While it was longer than mom liked it to be, it was nothing compared to Dustin and his hair which hadn't been cut in almost eighteen months.
She smiled. "So, I guess you have a pool party to get ready for."
"I thought I was still grounded."
"Well, I was the one who grounded you for the two days, and I think that two slaps in the face was worth more than two days of being grounded. So you've been paroled. I told you to go get some sun. You can thank me with a kiss!"
"Awwww! Mom you're the best!" I beamed. Then I gave her a big kiss on the cheek.
"Do you want a ride or do you want to walk?" she asked.
"Actually, I really have to go see Dustin," I replied. "I really messed things up with him yesterday, and I want to talk with him."
I showered and changed clothes. Then I packed my book bag with my too-tight swimming trunks and towel. Mom reminded me to put on sunscreen before playing around in the pool. Then, for the first time in two weeks I walked into the woods behind my house and towards the top of the hill as a free man.
It was a picture perfect day for a pool party. The sky was clear and blue as far as you could see. When I reached the intersection of the trails at the top of the hill, I dropped off my book bag on Dustin's stump. I made the left turn onto the path to Dustin's house and began descending the hill. Since the leaves had grown on the trees, I could no longer see down to Dustin's house from the hill. The woods abruptly ended and I popped into Dustin's yard. There was no sign of Dustin in his yard, unusual for such a nice day. He liked to get out of his house and enjoy days like this by maybe working on his bike or playing some basketball.
I walked through the cluttered yellow yard filled with various car parts, bricks, and other junk and walked around to the front door of the house. Both of Dustin's parents' cars were gone, and I wondered if anyone was even home. I knocked on the door anyway and waited. I was about to get ready to go when the door opened. Unfortunately, Dustin was not the one who answered it.
"Haven't you caused enough trouble around here?" Amanda asked.
"Where's Dustin?" I said shortly.
"Shithead's never around anymore. He spends all his time over there," she said, jerking her thumb in the direction of Mike's house.
"Oh. Okay," I said. "Sorry I bothered you."
"Whatever, Billy," Amanda replied. She started to close the door.
"Hey wait!" I said.
She reopened the door. "What now?"
"It's just... Is he really mad at me?" I asked.
Amanda laughed. "You're a real piece of work, Billy. How do you think he feels about you right now? You treat him like shit, even though he'd do anything for you. Seriously, I don't know what he sees in a little dickhead like you. And then you humiliated him in front of his friends. So yeah, I think he's thrilled with you. I'd hate to see what you'd do to him if you were his enemy."
"I didn't mean to say all that stuff to him yesterday. And I don't mean to treat him second best. It's just that he's always been there for me and I guess I take it for granted sometimes that he always will be."
"Wow... That's some deep shit, Billy," Amanda ridiculed me. "Seriously, my brother is such a little bitch. How a boy that smart can be that dumb is beyond me. If he ever wants to get anywhere in life, he's going to have to toughen up. I'll give you this, you were right about him. He's always been a little pussy who's scared to live in his own skin."
"Well whose fault is that?" I asked angrily. "You told me that Dustin deserves a better friend than me. That's true. I admit that. But what kind of sister does he deserve? I've never seen you be anything but a bitch to him! He doesn't deserve to be treated like crap!"
"Wow, did you actually grow a set, Billy? I might actually start to respect you a little bit if you keep it up. Okay, you want to know why I treat my brother like shit? It's the same reason you treat him like shit. It's not just because he deserves it, it's because we can. It's because he lets people treat him that way. Mom and dad didn't raise either of us to be soft. My brother has always been a little pussy. This is a cruel world, and you have to be hard to survive. Someone like my brother comes along and you see how weak he is and it just makes you want to do something to wake him up before he really gets himself hurt. There are the people in the world who take advantage of people like him. He's a good kid. I don't want my brother to get hurt."
"You think you're doing him a favor by treating him like shit?" I asked.
"I could ask you the same thing," she replied. "At least I can admit it. You think you're better than me, but you're not. We're more alike than you know."
"I'm nothing like you."
"Okay, tough guy," she laughed. "We'll see."
"Yeah, whatever! Say hi to Max for me," I sniped.
I was around the corner and gone before she could get me back for that. I knew I'd have to pay a price for poking fun at her at some point. But with Max safely behind bars, I didn't find Amanda as intimidating anymore. Max had been one of twenty low-level street dealers who had been rounded up around the county in an effort to get to the bigger guys. Most of the guys were bailed out, but Max was still in jail. I hoped he stayed there. But hey, at least David Johnson and Peggy Finnegan said his name on the Channel 11 news.
But it was still scary talking to Amanda. I didn't feel physically threatened by her like I had when I was younger because now I was taller than she was. Being a shade under six feet tall does have some advantages. I wasn't as scared of her physically as I was mentally. She was about the only person who was as quick with an insult or a sarcastic comment as me. Like me, she knew how to hit you with the truth in ways that could really hurt you. I knew I wasn't the friend I should be with Dustin. The problem was that Amanda knew that as well, and she wasn't afraid to hit me with it. My feeble swipes at her about Max being arrested were harmless compared to the heavy blows she could land when she felt annoyed enough by me. In a way, I respected her because of that. Like her brother, she was smarter that she looked.
I left the Smiths' yard behind and walked toward Mike's trailer. There was a noticeable line where one yard ended and the next one began even without any kind of fence. The grass changed from a mix of yellowed crabgrass and weeds into a freshly cut lawn of dark green. There were no car parts lying about or piles of bricks strewn about like there were in Dustin's yard. It was like walking into a different world. The Mustang was parked in the gravel driveway, so I knew Mike was home. I just hoped I could explain to Dustin how sorry I was without it turning into an argument. I knew I was wrong to betray his secret, but I was still upset that he'd said those terrible lies about Brett being a stoner too!
I noticed all of the blinds were closed on the trailer. I guessed that Mike didn't want people peeking into his house and seeing all of the computer supplies that were there. It wasn't exactly the nicest of neighborhoods he'd moved into. I walked behind the trailer. I wanted to use the back door so that Dustin wouldn't have a chance to sneak out if he saw me.
I stopped in my tracks when I heard a man's voice. It sort of was a moaning or groaning sound. I wondered if I'd even really heard it. Then I heard it again. I perked up my ears, frozen to the spot I'd stopped.
"Yeah that's good... Just like that."
I smiled. I knew what those sounds meant. Mike was getting laid. I wondered who the lucky lady was. Mike was a good looking guy. It didn't surprise me that he was getting some. I wondered if part of the reason he had moved out of his mom's house was so he could have the freedom to fuck without worrying about his mom. Curiosity got the best of me and I sneaked over to his window to listen. The sounds of sex were unmistakable. There was the heavy breathing, the slapping of skin against skin, and the moans and groans of two young men.
Wait... Was that right? I listened closer.
"Fuck me! Fuck me with that big cock!" I heard Mike's voice.
Holy shit! Mike was getting fucked! Was it possible? Was Mike gay?
"God that dick's fucking huge! I love it!" Mike cried.
Yep, definitely gay. Somebody was really giving it to him too, judging by the sound of it! The slapping of skin against skin was firm and rapid.
"You like having my big cock inside you, huh?"
I cocked my head. That voice... It was... No way...
"Oh my god! Oh yeah, fuck me, Dustin!" I heard Mike reply.
I backed away from the window and sat on the ground. No way! Dustin was... Dustin was having sex! With... Mike?!?! Dustin was having sex with Mike? Dustin's gay?!?! Dustin was having sex with Mike!
The groaning got more intense and loud and then it stopped. I sat there stunned on the ground under the window. Maybe they were just fucking with me. Maybe they saw me coming and were messing around with me. I stood back up and peeked through a small gap in the curtains. On the bed, I could see Dustin's bare backside. They were both naked. They were facing away from me and laying on the bed. Well, if they were fucking around with me they were sure going all out.
Dustin rolled over and lay on his back. His softening dick flopped around and Mike turned around and rested on his chest. I ducked out of sight. I'd seen enough to know what had happened.
"You sure you don't want to bottom?" Mike asked.
"Nah..." Dustin said. "You know I'm not gay."
Mike laughed, "Okay then."
"I'm not!" Dustin insisted. "Just because I do what I do doesn't mean I'm gay. I'm not gay, Mike!"
"Oh I know. You've told me it's just sex. I keep telling myself that too. Even though you're adorable and I love you to death."
"No no no! Don't fall in love with me, Mike. It's just business, nothing more. That's all I want from you. I just want to get laid without all the bull crap. I don't love anybody anymore. Everybody I love just wants to hurt me."
His words stung me. I knew he was talking about people like me. People who were supposed to love him and had betrayed his trust. I wondered if my betrayal was what had driven him to this man who had taken advantage of him. Had I been the catalyst that led to Dustin's being seduced by the neighbor guy?
I slipped quietly away and then I ran away from that trailer as fast as I could. I ran all the through the woods and up to Dustin's stump, and there I finally stopped. My mind was racing. Dustin was having sex with Mike! Mike was eight years older than us. Mike really was a pedophile like Joey had said! Okay, so Dustin was fifteen and not exactly a child. But still, Mike was taking advantage of Dustin! Mike could go to jail over this shit. And what was Dustin thinking? He was still claiming he wasn't gay when he'd just screwed another guy? Was that even possible? He'd had more gay sex than I had and I had a boyfriend! How was it possible to separate the sex from the relationship? To me, they were synonymous! How could you fuck somebody and not even care about the other person?
I sat there on that stump for a long time. I had a lot of things to sort out. Once I finally wrapped my head around the fact that Dustin was indeed doing Mike, I had to decide what to do with that information. I decided I could not tell anybody, not even Brett! Brett was the world's worst secret keeper. He was too honest. I was amazed by the fact that the whole school did not know that we'd blown each other. He was itching to blow a secret to the world. I didn't want to give him a free one.
I couldn't let Dustin know that I knew either. I didn't want to ruin my friendship with him anymore than I already had. He was already mad at me. If he knew that I had spied on him and saw him having sex that might have been the last straw. No. Telling him what I knew would have to be a last resort.
But then there was this Mike guy. I barely knew him. More importantly, Dustin barely knew him! He'd only moved in a couple months ago. Now Dustin was having sex with him? How long had this been going on? It was insane! What had Mike done to Dustin to make him do this? How had he lured him into his bedroom? What kind of sick pervert was this so-called nice guy?
Most of all though, I felt sad. Had I been the one who sent Dustin into the waiting snare of a pervert? He'd run off so upset and hurt yesterday. Had I driven him right into the arms of someone who had taken advantage of his gentle nature? Amanda was right about me, and that's what hurt most of all. I was no better than her. Behind the front I put up for people to see, there was a two-faced lousy human being. I'd played around with Dustin's emotions. I'd ignored him and used him. And in the end, I'd betrayed him and driven him to Mike. It was my fault. If I'd been a better friend, Dustin wouldn't be in this mess. That was how I treated my friends?
I brushed my eyes with the back of my hand. How could I have done this to my best friend? What kind of monster had I become? I really hated myself for letting this happen. Dustin had been my best friend for years. I betrayed him and hurt him and now he was doing unspeakable things! And it was all because of me.
The words I'd heard my parents say came back to me. "How could someone so smart do something so stupid?" I really felt stupid now. It was all my fault.
So, things took quite a turn, didn't they?
Two more chapters to go in The Broken Boy. What are your thoughts? Let me know!
You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next time: Cannonball