The following is a work of fiction: Any resemblance to persons living or deceased is purely coincidental. It depicts sexual situations between minor males and adults and if reading such is illegal where you reside or you are not at least 18 years of age, please read at your own risk. This work is the property of the author Kewl Dad and should not be reposted or reproduced without his permission.
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The Story of Joe

by: Kewl Dad

I watched him covertly as I walked along, he being a teenage boy who I guessed to be 16 or so. He was wearing dirty jeans and a black teeshirt, worn running shoes, and a ball cap. I liked watching boys, it was a lifelong hobby, and I was always happy to find a new one to watch.

He stayed just ahead of me, scouting the riverbank to which the jogging trail ran adjacent, but he didn't seem to be that interested in what lay there. Once I saw him look back and our eyes met for a brief moment, then he turned and resumed his trek along the shoreline and I continued mine along the asphalt trail.

I came here often, but other than an occasional biker or jogger I seldom saw anyone of interest. I came here for fresh air and exercise, listening to my mp3 player and thinking my thoughts, but today the only thing on my mind was the mystery of the cute teenage boy in front of me.

The shoreline was a bit more rugged than the jogging path and eventually the boy fell behind me, and though I hated the thought of losing sight of him, I continued on my way, not wanting to appear to be perving on him. I had no thoughts of trying to meet him, I just enjoyed watching him, and now that he was behind me I found myself feeling a little sad.

A mile up the path I decided to stop and rest for a bit, check my phone, and see if there was any sign of the young teen. As I settled onto a park bench along the trail I glanced back in the direction I'd come from and saw the boy coming up the jogging trail now, no more than a hundred yards away.

Again I tried to act nonchalant, but my hands were shaking as I pulled my phone out and pretended to be interested in it and not the lovely young boy fastly approaching. I studied him out of the corner of my eye as I fumbled with my phone and as he got closer and closer my heart began beating faster and faster.

When he was within a few yards of me I dared to look directly at him, after all a guy has a right to be aware of his surrounding, and our eyes locked once more. Neither of us looked away. It was as if I was hypnotized by him, his eyes pulling me into his world. 

I wondered what his world was like. Was he homeless, or just an average teen perhaps from a poor family, free to roam around and always on the lookout for something interesting or dangerous to do? 

As these thoughts ran through my mind, he closed the gap between us...and then, before I could quite comprehend what was happening he was sitting beside me on the park bench.

"Hey," he said, the typical teenage greeting.

"Hi," I said pleasantly, trying to hide my surprise and excitement. After all it wasn't everyday a handsome teenage boy sat down beside me and said hello, or hey in his case.

"Nice out here," he said seeming suddenly unsure of himself and searching for something to say.

"I like it here," I said trying to keep the conversation going and hopefully keep him there a bit longer, "and today the weather is just about perfect."

"Yeah, warm for sure. I'm glad it's warm, I hate the cold."

"Me too," I said turning to him and smiling, "I'm Rob by the way," I said offering my fist to bump.

He seemed surprised that I offered such a cool greeting, but bumped my fist with a cute smile, "They call me Emoji."

"Emoji, like the little pictures on my phone?" I asked grinning, "Why Emoji?"

"Cause I can make so many faces. Watch," he said as he went through a series of faces that left me staring in open-mouthed awe.

"Wow, are you an actor or something?"

He laughed, but there wasn't much humor in it, "Naw, I'm not anything," he said looking away and becoming silent.

"Uh, sorry. I just meant that you have so much talent..."

He turned to look at me and sized me up with the bluest eyes I'd ever seen. I could see why they had pulled me in before, they were absolutely mesmerizing.

"S'okay, I know you didn't mean nothin' bad."

I sat there a moment staring at his cute face and wondering what to say next. I didn't want to scare him off by asking too many questions, but I really wanted to know more about him. Suddenly he had become an obsession, though I didn't know it quite yet.

"Do you hang out here a lot?" I finally asked, hoping that was safe.

"Yeah, lately I do. I used to hang out downtown, but the cops started hassling me, so I found the trail down by the big statues and followed it around here and discovered this place. I like it. It's quiet here and no one hassles me."

"Look, I don't want to get in your business or anything, you have a place to go...when you're not here I mean?"

"Like what, a house, a family?" he smirked, "Naw, nothin' like that."

"I'm sorry," I said lamely, "can I ask how old you are?"

"Why, is that important?"

"It could be, but if you don't trust me...that's fine."

He shrugged, "17, almost 18. I'm almost an adult if that's what you want to know. No one cares, no one can help a kid my age. We're on our own."

"So, how do you survive?" I asked simply, I had no idea what he was going through, but I wanted to know.

"How do you think? I beg, I steal, I check out the dumpsters sometimes. I do okay. Sometimes a guy will pay me to have sex and rent a motel room and I can get a shower and have a bed to sleep in that night. Those days are the best..."

I was ready to cry by now, I loved boys, but I would never use one like the Johns he was talking about. I turned away and he mistook my sudden emotion for disgust and stood suddenly.

"Well, too much info I guess. I should go now," he said standing there but making no move to go.

"Please, don't go," I said turning and wiping the few tears from my eyes that formed there.

He looked at me like I was crazy then sat back down. 

"Dude, don't cry for me. I take care of myself. I didn't mean to bring you down or anything. Truth was I was just gonna hit you up for a donation, but I'd feel bad doin' that now."

"Why, why would you feel bad about it?"

"Cause' you seem like you really care. Most people just give me money to make me go away. They don't want to see me or be reminded there are kids like me out there, begging for a buck so they can eat, or selling their ass for a good night's sleep in a real bed."

"Aren't there any places to help kids like you?"

"Naw, not really. Most of the shelters only take you if you're 18 or older and the ones that take younger kids are full and even if you find a bed there you gotta watch out for DHS. Sometimes they come in and take kids away and put them in group homes or juvy."

"How long have you been on the street?"

"Since was 16, I came out to my folks and when I got home from school that day my stuff was on the lawn and the door locks had been changed. I haven't seen my family since, not that I want to," he said, but I could hear the sadness in his voice.

"God, how can people do that to their children? I raised two and I wouldn't have cared one way or the other whether they were gay or straight. I loved them for who they were, and still do."

"They're lucky, but not all parents are like that. They quoted the Bible to me, about how sinful it was to be gay," he laughed sadly, "but they never set a foot in the church as long as I lived there. It was just an excuse for their ignorance and intolerance."

"Yeah, the Church does a lousy job of handing sexuality. If you're not a hetero who practices man on top they think you're a sodomite. I've always thought it was ironic that they don't go after adulterers the way they do gay people. I mean that's a really big sin according to the Bible."

"My dad screwed my baby sitter when I was 10. I caught them, but I never told my mom. The baby sitter was only 17, so technically he was a child molester."

"Holy shit, that's so fucked up," I said earing a grin from the boy for my use of such foul and hip language.

"You're different," he said smiling, "not like most adults."

I shrugged, "Thanks...I guess."

"It's compliment. just come here to that all?"

"Well, walk, and think, and listen to music. It gives me a chance to get away from my boring life for a while."

"Why is it boring? You have a warm place to sleep, food, probably a TV to watch, I'd take boring any day."

"Have you eaten today?" I asked, not bothering to address his observation.

"Not really, I had a granola bar I saved from yesterday and some water."

"Do you trust me enough to go have lunch with me?" I asked making a decision that would change both our lives.

"I don't really trust anyone, but I take chances, and you seem like a good person to take a chance with."

I nodded, "Okay, my car is back that way, we can talk some more as we walk."

By the time we arrived at my car I'd told him pretty much everything about myself, and though he was a bit stingy with his information, I did learn a few key facts. For instance his real name was Joseph and that he'd been called Joe most of his life, that is until he became a street kid. I also learned that he wasn't originally from the city, and had come here because surviving in the small town where he'd lived wasn't as easy as in a bigger city.

His folks apparently had made no effort to find him or check on him and after a while he had given up on them completely. I didn't know his folks, but I was sure I hated them, and I hoped they'd live to regret what they'd done to their only son.

"That's my car, the red one," I said as we topped the hill.

"Wow, nice. What is it?"

"Dodge Dart. It's sort of my baby, I take good care of it."

"It's cool looking," he said as we climbed inside.

Up until then we'd been out in the fresh air and I hadn't noticed his smell, but trapped inside the car I was suddenly aware of his ripe teenage smell. I rolled down my window and he took the hint and rolled his down as well.

"Burgers okay?"

"Anything is fine. I'm not too picky."

"If I was dressed better I'd take you to a real restaurant and get you a decent meal."

He laughed, "And if I didn't smell like a dumpster."

"When was the last time you had a shower?"

"Umm...been a while, I washed up in the bathroom at that big sporting goods store downtown a few days ago."

"How's this?" I said pulling up to a popular burger joint.

"Fine, like I said, anything is good."

We placed our order, got our drinks, and found a booth in the back and slid in opposite each other. When our number was called I jumped up and grabbed our food. I expected Joe (I just couldn't think of him as Emoji) to wolf down his food like a starved teenager, but instead he seemed to savor every bite.

"I've been thinking, if you want to you could come home with me and get a shower and I could wash your clothes."

"Can't wait to get me naked, can you?" he said grinning.

"No, that's not what I meant. I was just offering," I said stiffly.

"I was kidding, I know you're not like that. Thanks, I'll take you up on the offer if it's still good."

"Sure, I don't live far from here. I was wondering, do you have any other clothes or how does that work?"

"Yeah, they're stashed in a safe place, but I don't get a chance to wash them very often."

"Would you like to grab them? I could wash them along with the ones you're wearing."

"We'd have to go back to the river, but there's a parking lot near there."

"Then that's what we'll do. I want to do as much for you as I can while I have the chance. I might not ever see you again after today."

"Why do you say that?"

"Well, just saying...what are the odds? I mean we met by accident and who knows when we'll both be in the same place at the same time. I don't always walk that particular section of the park, I just changed it up today on impulse."

"Or you were meant to be there today," he said looking thoughtful.

"You mean like karma or something?"

"Sure, why not?" he shrugged.

"Divine intervention," I laughed, "maybe God is finally making up for your asshole parents."

"Who knows. I'm gonna get some more pop, you want some?"

"I'm good, grab some more napkins though."

When he came back he had a huge handful of napkins and when I commented on it he said he would take the rest with him, that napkins made good toilet paper. I felt tears again as I thought about him having to make due in a world full of so much stuff that was beyond his grasp.

When we'd finished our meal I asked if he'd like some ice cream, but he declined, saying he was too full.

"I don't usually eat that much, it was good...thanks."

"You're welcome," I said gathering up our trash.

We deposited it at the exit and got back in my car, and with his instructions I made my way to the parking lot nearest his stashed gym bag, which held everything he owned in this world. I watched him dash off toward the trail and disappear behind a cropse of trees and when he emerged  he was empty handed.

"Son of a bitch," he said sliding in beside me, "some asshole stole my bag," he said looking ready to cry.

"Was there anything in there that couldn't be replaced?"

"What...what do you mean? Man, it was everything I owned, my clothes, my toothbrush, all my stuff."

Any sentimental items like photos or jewelry, anything like that?"

"What no, just stuff...why?"

"Cause we can replace all that stuff, but stuff like pictures and sentimental objects aren't so easily replaced."

"I can't... I can't afford to start over,"  he said resting him head against the door as I backed out.

"I can, as soon as you've showered and I've washed your clothes we'll go to the thrift store and get you a new bag and some clothes. Then we'll stop by Walmart and get the rest."

"Why would you do that?" he said looking at me with those blue eyes that turned me to jelly.

"Because I can, and because you deserve it. You're not the problem Joe, your folks are."

He sniffed a little, "I don't like how you make me feel Rob. I might just want to forget all this and take my chances without your help."

"That's your right. I won't try to force you to let me help you, but I'd be sad if you refused my help at this point. You got me caring about you and now I won't be happy till I see this thing through."

"Why, so you'll feel better about yourself? I don't need your pity," he said turning away.

I sighed, "What kind of human being would I be if I didn't feel some pity for you? Why do people always think pitying someone is bad? It's called compassion. It's called caring, it's called wanting to help for no other reason than to do the right thing."

"Bet it makes you feel good...doesn't it?" he said smartly.

"Yes, it does. Just like donating to worthy causes to help people I'll never see or talk to does. Now for once I have a chance to help someone and see their face and know that my help might make a difference. Are you going to deny me of that?"

"This isn't about you?"

"No, it's not. I was making a point, you're trying to make me feel bad for wanting to help you, and it's not working. Helping you makes me feel good. If you can't deal with that...then you don't understand what giving and receiving is all about. You ever heard that old saying, 'It's better to give than receive'? Well, no one can give if there's no one to receive. They're a time to give and a time to receive. I've had my share of both in my life and so have you. Maybe this is your time to receive."

"I usually have to work for anything I get. People don't just hand me money or whatever, I have to earn it or at least make them feel bad enough to want to pay me to get rid of me."

"The decision is yours Joe. Accept my help or I can drop you off anywhere you'd like."

"I guess I'd like the shower if that's still okay."

"Absolutely, it's not far."

My house was a modest older 3 bedroom 2 bath with vinyl siding and a one car garage. It was in an older neighborhood, but fairly quiet, and I'd never experienced any problems there. It was near the interstate, but I had double paned windows and that cut down on the noise.

"You live here alone?" he asked as I led him inside.

"Yup, just me. Come on I'll show you where you can shower."

On the way I grabbed a couple towels and a washcloth and showed him the guest bath. There was soap and shampoo and when I left him I instructed him to throw his clothes outside the door and I'd find something for him to wear while I washed and dried them.

I managed to find a pair or drawstring shorts that were tight on me and even though I knew they'd still be too big for Joe, I figured he could keep them up long enough for his clothes to dry.

I gathered up his clothes and hung the shorts and a tee shirt on the door knob and told him what I'd done and took his clothes to the garage for washing. I turned out his pockets and found a small pocket knife, a tube of Chapstick, some coins and a warn wallet with his ID and a few pictures.

His full name was Joseph Edward Taylor, JET, I mused. A much better nick for him than Emoji, but maybe it had been tried and he hated it. He was indeed 17, having been born June 9, he would turn 18 in less than a week.

His underwear had just about had it, once white, now gray, and stained with piss and who knew what other emissions. There were a few skid marks on the seat, but that was probably typical of street kids who had to use the bathroom wherever they could find a spot.

His jeans were worn but still serviceable, and the tee shirt was more holes than fabric, but I supposed the was the style these days.

When I heard the shower turn off I started the washer and added detergent and bleach additive and stuffed his clothes in the washer. I returned to find him in the living room dressed in my too big shorts but still shirtless. I looked him over and he allowed it.

He was slender, but not skinny, and there was some muscle definition in his chest and stomach. His arms and legs were muscled, no doubt from walking everywhere he went, and his feet looked small for a boy his age.

"So, how do I look?" he said doing a slight turn to expose his backside.

Dressed as he was I could just make out the shape of his ass, and then letting my eyes travel upwards I followed the popple of his spine to his strong shoulder and a slender neck. There was not one single blemish on his smooth skin and if I hadn't known his situation I would have thought he looked more at home in a Disney sitcom.

"Healthy, surprisingly."

"I get tested regularly. I don't got no diseases."

"I didn't mean that, but that's good. What I meant was your body looks pretty typical of a boy your age."

"Oh, you see a lot of naked boys?"

"You're not naked, and no...I don't see a lot of boys, naked or clothed. In fact you're the first in a very long time."

"How come? I'm sure you could afford one."

"I don't know exactly what that means, but I hope you don't think I'm trying to buy you by helping you."

"Hey, nothin' is for free. I'm cool with it."

"You're a kid. Even if I was interested in you that way, I wouldn't go there. I enjoy my freedom too much. Jail is not a good place for old guys like me," I said trying to lighten things up.

"You only go to jail if the kid tells on ya'. I'm not a snitch."

"Nice to know. Would you like to brush your teeth? I have some new toothbrushes in my bathroom."

He shrugged, "Yeah, it's been a day or too."

I got him a new toothbrush, still in the package, and left him to brush his teeth while I checked on his laundry. It was ready to move to the dryer and as I did so I realized I'd forgotten about his socks which were still inside his tennis shoes by the front door.

A quick check said I needn't bother with them since they were full of holes and stiff as a board, so I  decided to replace them with a pair of mine. In fact I had a lot of extra socks and an old backpack I never used, so I threw four pair and a couple of tee shirts I never wore into the backpack and carried it to the living room.

Joe had emerged from the bathroom and he gave me a curious look.

"I had this old backpack and I threw a few things in there. It's a start at least. We'll get the rest at the thrift store then the dollar store or Walmart."

"Whatever dude," he said sinking into the couch and eying the TV hungrily. 

"Remotes on the table. Help yourself. Want something to drink?"

"Ice water would be nice. I don't get enough water to drink."

"I poured a big glass of filtered water over ice cubes and carried it into Joe who was curled up on the couch watching something on Netflix.

"Cool, you got Netflix. When I get a place I'm gonna have Netflix."

"I watch it more than I watch regular TV. Especially the original series like Stranger Things and stuff like the Fosters."

"I've heard about Stranger Things, is it good?"

"Yeah, very good."

"Can I watch some of it?"

I took the remote and located the series and started it for him then went off to check on his clothes. They were dry enough to come out by that time he'd watched the first episode and when I carried them in to him he barely looked up.

" soon. I was really gettin' into that."

"I'm in no  hurry, if you're not. I might go take a shower while you watch TV. Would you like some cookies or something to go with your water?"

When I emerged from the shower I listened for the TV and once I was satisfied all was well, I went into my room and got dressed. I had just slipped on my shoes and socks when Joe showed up dressed in his now clean clothes and carrying his shoes in his hands.

"You see my socks?" he asked looking like a little kid.

"Yeah, I tossed them, here take these. I'm sure we both wear the same size in socks, if nothing else."

I patted the bed beside me and he sat down and pulled on the socks and his ratty tennis shoes then stood up.

"Ready when you are."

"You need some new shoes too," I muttered as I stood to join him..

At the thrift store we found two pair of jeans and two pair of shorts that fit him nicely and we added a couple of shirts to go with the ones I'd already put in the backpack. We found a pair of Nikes in near new condition that fit him well and I had the clerk toss his old ones. For less than 30 dollars I had replaced almost everything he'd lost and a trip to the dollar store and 6 dollars later he was all fixed up. One of the things he asked for was a bottle of headache pills. A bottle of generic Tylenol held 50 pills for a buck and we added that to the toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hair brush, and other items.

Once we were back in the car Joe carefully packed everything in the bag and thanked me.

"One more stop," I said nodding.

"What for?"

"Underwear, unless you like going commando."

"Oh, I never thought of that. Why didn't we get those at the thrift store?"

"Cause no one should have to wear used underwear." I chuckled.

I got him a six pack of colored boxer briefs and you'd have thought the kid had won the lottery. On the way out he was quiet till we reached the car then he grabbed my arm and looked into my eyes.

"I'm sorry I was a dick back there. I know you were only tryin' to help. I'm just not used to people caring, that's all."

"No problem, I understand why you don't trust people, especially those men who take advantage of you."

"I thought...don't get mad, okay? I thought you were bringing me back to your place to shower know, have pay for lunch and all."

"I can understand why you might think that. I probably came on a bit too strong, but I can promise you I never once considered that."

"I know that now. Thanks...thanks for everything. I guess you can take me back now...if you want to."

"I think I'd like some ice cream right now, how about you?"

We had ice cream at Sonic and as we sat in the car eating it Joe opened up a bit more about his life before the streets. He was from a little town about a 40 miles away and he'd had a pretty normal childhood. He'd played little league and had sleepovers and a best friend since first grade named Josh. He spoke fondly of Josh and added that of all the people he left behind Josh was the one he missed most.

"Have you tried to contact him?"

"Naw, no phone and I don't know his full address."

"But you know his phone number?"

"Yeah, I had a cell phone when I got kicked out, but my folks had it turned off. I sold it a while back for 20 bucks."

I pulled out my cell and handed it to him, "No time like the present. If you want some privacy we can park somewhere and I'll take a walk."

"Uh, I don't know, it's been over a year since I last saw him, he might not want to talk to me."

"Well, you won't know till you call him, will you?"

"Right," he said staring at my phone as if  he were considering handing it back to me, then suddenly he swiped it open and after some scrolling through the aps he found the phone ap.

I sat eating my ice cream as he punched in this friend's number and then put the phone to his ear. He looked pale and fidgeted nervously as he waited.

"It's me," I heard him say, "Joe."

"Long story. How you doin'?"

"Yeah, I'm sorry. I didn't have any way to contact you till now."

"I guess you probably heard my folks side of it...they did?...No surprise there."

"You don't want to me. Where am I living?...uh, and the city."

"What, no...that wouldn't be cool...I can't exactly have company. Yeah, I guess we could do that...when?"

" guess. Do you know where that big sporting goods store is downtown? Okay, meet me there I guess...yeah one is good. Okay, yeah..see you then. Bye."

"We're meeting tomorrow at one," he said  handing me the phone.

"Does he know what happened?"

"Not exactly...and I'm not gonna tell him."

"What are you going to tell him then? If he's really your friend don't you think he deserves to know the truth?"

"And reject me like everyone else in my life?" he said sadly.

"If you guys were as close as you say, I bet he knows more than you think. None of my business, but when you were younger, when you had those sleepovers...did you guys ever mess around or anything?"

"Well...yeah, I guess all kids do that kind of stuff."

"Yeah, they do, but it meant a little bit more to you than him, didn't it?"

"Not at first, but when I turned 13 and the changes know, hairs and stuff, I started to notice boys more than girls."

"And what about Josh, did he have a girlfriend or seem interested in girls?"

"Yeah, he was always talking about girls and wanting to get laid and stuff, but he didn't get a girlfriend till he was 15, the year before I got kicked out."

"You know gay is not an absolute. It's more of a scale, at one end is totally gay, at the other totally straight, but most everyone falls somewhere in between."

"Where do you fall?" he asked looking at me with those amazing blue eyes.

"Ah, good question. When I was your age I didn't know for sure what I was, all I knew was that I liked boys and I liked fooling around with them. That didn't change, even up to and including the whole time I was married. Did I enjoy sex with my wife? Yes, so I guess I was somewhere in the middle back then. Now I'm completely at the gay end."

"I've never liked girls that much. I dated a little bit, but I never went all the way."

"Doesn't mean you won't some day. Just keep an open mind."

"What does this have to do with Josh, and telling him about me?"

"Sorry, got off track a little. Well, what I was trying to say was: maybe Josh isn't as straight as you think. Now, I'm not saying that he wants to hook up with you or anything, but...he might not be as closed-minded about your sexuality as you think."

"Dunno, we'll see how things go. No need to tell him everything the first time, right?"

I nodded, "I think you'll know when the time is right. Ready to go?"

"Yeah," he said wiping his mouth on a napkin, "you can drop me where you were the river."

"Well...I had something different in mind. I want you to be fresh for your meeting with Josh. How about I rent a motel room for the night and you'll have a safe place to sleep, a shower, and you can wear some of your new things to meet your friend."

"Oh, changed you mind about the sex?" he said looking sad.

"No! No, sorry. I didn't finish. I'll rent the room, but you'll stay there alone. Then tomorrow I'll come in time for checkout and take you to breakfast and then to meet your friend."

"I can't ask you to do all that," he said looking like a little kid again.

"You're not asking me, I'll offering. I'd just let you stay with me...except for the age thing."

"Who would know?"

"I would and that's enough. Look I can't explain, but this is the best I can do under the circumstances."

"Are you sure?"

"Absolutely. There's a place near my house that's clean and reasonably priced, but we don't have to go right away. Is there anything special you'd like to do while you have the day off from your exciting life on the streets?"

He gave me the evil eye, then smiled, "You make it sound almost fun. There is one thing I'd like to do, something I haven't done in a long, long time, but if it's too much just say so."

"What is it, try me?"

"I'd like to see a a theater...I haven't done that since I was at home."

"That's an easy one. I don't go to movies much because I hate going alone, so this will be good for me too."

I let Joe pick the movie and we made it just in time for the next showing. I bought us drinks and popcorn and candy for Joe and we found seats in the almost empty theater and soon the movie began. Joe turned his attention to the movie but occasionally he would glance over at me, lean in and whisper a comment to me, usually something humorous that made me laugh. He was fun to be with and a nice boy all around. I couldn't imagine how anyone could throw him out like last week's garbage because he liked boys and not girls. 

When the movie was over we emerged into the cool evening air and climbed into my car. It was pushing 7 o'clock by then and I decided we needed to get the motel room as soon as possible. He was animated as we drove along, recounting parts of he movie he liked best, and he seemed happy for the first time since I'd met him. 

I left him in the car parked out of sight while I rented the room, but I doubted the clerk cared who would be sleeping in the room. I paid for one day and grabbed the keycard and thanked the guy and returned to the car. The room was in the back out of sight of the office, which was good news, and I parked in front of the door. 

He grabbed his bag and joined me at the door and I led him inside and checked the place out. I checked the mattress for tale tale signs of bed bugs and found none, then checked out the rest of the room. It was surprisingly clean for the price and all in all not a bad room.

"This is nice,"  Joe said grabbing the TV remote and falling down on the bed.

"Well, you'll be safe and the ac works. We'll go out to eat and I'll send you back with some snacks in case you get the munchies.

"You don't have to do anymore. You fed me already and then the movie and stuff...and now this."

"I'm on a roll, don't stop me now. Besides I'm hungry. How does Oriental sound. There's a great little place near  here."

After we dined on some of the best Oriental food I'd ever tasted I stopped by 7-11 and picked up a couple of 20oz NR's of soda, some chips, and some cookies and headed back to the motel room. Joe held the sack of goodies as we drove and when I parked in front of the motel room I handed him the key card.

"Well, I'll say goodnight now. I should get back home and I'm sure you want some alone time now."

"Oh, okay...if that's what you want to do."

"Well, sometimes we do what needs to be done and not what we want to do," I sighed.

"What does that mean?" he asked curiously.

"Oh nothing. Have a good evening Joe. I'll see you about 10:30. I suggest you get up about 9:30 and get a shower and get packed. Is that a problem?"

"Nope, I have this internal alarm clock. I'll wake up in time...don't worry."

"Okay, well goodnight. Enjoy yourself, but don't stay up too late."

"Yes dad," he laughed.

"Sorry, I take that back. Stay up as long as you want and howl at the moon if you want."

"Well...thanks again. I'll remember this day for a long time."

"Me too," I mumbled.

As I drove the short distance to my house I thought about what a weird day it had been. I felt good about myself, but I felt sad at the same time. I knew what I had done was the right thing to do, but I wondered how much difference it would make in the end.

Even as I tried to sleep that night I kept thinking of Joe and wondering what he was doing. I was still thinking about him when the alarm went off at eight the next morning. I showered and got dressed and checked my emails and puttered around till it was time to go pick Joe up.

He was already dressed and looked fresh and clean and smelled wonderful as he climbed in the car. I checked out and returned the key card and we were off to Denny's for breakfast.

"How was your evening?" I asked.

"Good, I watched this really cool movie on HBO and ate almost all that stuff you bought me."

"That's good," I said nodding, "did you sleep okay?"

"Like the dead," he laughed as he slurped down a cup of coffee like a pro, "it felt so good to sleep on a mattress and not the ground for a change."

I frowned and he winched, "Sorry, I don't mean to keep reminding you of my situation."

"It's okay, I need reminding. I know I've helped your situation for one day, but what can I do to help in the long run? That's the bigger problem here."

"It's not your job to fix my problem."

"It kind of is," I insisted, "mine and every other human being on this planet."

He laughed without humor, "Like anyone else cares. You're the first person that's ever shone me one bit of concern or helped me in any way."

"I'm nothing special Joe, there are plenty of people out there like me. Unfortunately most of them don't know how to help."

"I guess I get that. I mean, I don't know how to help us either."

"When you turn 18, what are your plans?"

"I hadn't thought that far ahead, but I suppose I'll try to get a job, maybe a place of my own. Problem is not having a car and all...and then there's the fact that it's hard to get a place without first and last month's rent and good credit and stuff."

"Money will take care of most of those problems. Once you have a job you can start saving for those things."

"Yeah, that's what I figure. Getting a job may be hard though, since I have no work experience."

"What about school, do you plan to get your GED?"

"I'm working on it."

"Your are, how?"

"Online. I go to the library downtown and take online classes. I'm pretty close to finishing it."

"That's amazing. That's great. I'm impressed that you understand the importance of an education."

"I'm not stupid. I know you can't get anywhere without an education."

"No, you're anything but stupid. You're a remarkable young man."

He laughed, "Yeah, remarkable..."

"How's your breakfast?"

"Good, really good. I like this kind of food."

"So, are you nervous, about meeting Josh?"

"A little," he sighed, "I bet he's changed a lot since I saw  him last."

"I'm sure you have too. You're at that age that there are big changes in your body."

"What, like my dick gets bigger?" he laughed.

I blushed and he thought that was hilarious, "Sorry, that was wrong. I know what you mean. I just hope we haven' know been apart so long that we don't remember what it was being friends and all."

"I find that true friends can pick up right where they left off even when they're separated."

"I hope so, but I guess it really doesn't matter. It's not like we're going to start hanging out together again or anything."

"You never know. Are you ready bud?"

"Yeah," he said downing his glass of ice water, "I need to use the bathroom though."

"Okay, you go do that while I pay the check. I'll meet you out front."

I paid the check and waited outside and shortly Joe joined me. It was still early so I drove around for a while and around 12:30 I headed to the meeting spot. It was 12:45 when I pulled up in the parking lot, and though I wanted to stay, we agreed it was best that we part company before his friend showed up.

He reached into the backseat and grabbed his backpack and sighed deeply, "Well, I guess this is it. Thanks for everything Rob. I really mean it man, thank you."

"You're welcome. I just wish I could do more."

"You've done enough, really, thanks."

"I wish there was some way I could find out how things went today..."

"You gonna be at the river tomorrow?"

"I can be...why?"

"Meet me at the same place at noon, okay" he said elaborating on exactly where that same place was.

"I'll be there. We can go have lunch and you can tell me all about it," I said happily.

"Yeah, well...thanks again, I better go." He said which really meant I should go.

He climbed out and closed the door, and as I drove away I glanced in the rearview mirror and watched him as he watched me drive away. My heart sank with worry and fear that I'd never see him again, and I was almost right.

The next day I got to the river a good thirty minutes early. I sat in the car for a few minutes then moved to a park bench so I could see Joe approach. Pulling out my phone I checked the time, 11:45. Fifteen more minutes to go.

Ten minutes to go, five minutes to go, four, three, two, one...still no Joe. Five after, ten after, fifteen. I stood and paced nervously, glancing both ways for any sign of him, but I knew deep within my heart that he would not be coming. I even considered that maybe he'd meant the other parking lot, but he'd made it clear before I left him the day before which parking lot so I knew that wasn't the issue.

I'd been stupid to expect him to show up. He was a street kid and despite what I'd done for him I represented something he didn't want to or couldn't deal with in his life right now. I considered that maybe his friend Josh had taken him back with him, and I truly hoped that was the case, but I was still miserable.

Despite knowing I was wasting my time I sat there till almost 2 o'clock before finally dragging my ass back to my car and driving away. Even as I drove off I looked for him, but I knew it was futile.


I returned to the river every day that week, but there was no sign of Joe. I guess I really didn't think there would be, but my heart wouldn't let me give up. I did get a lot of exercise that week, and the endorphins helped me feel a little better, but my heart was still broken.

I stayed home that weekend, busying myself with the things that interested me, but Joe was always in the back of my mind. By Monday I was back at the river and as I walked the trail that day I realized that tomorrow was June 9th, Joe's birthday. I wondered how and where he'd spend it, but I hoped that whatever happened he would be happy.

I did six miles that day, walking all the way to the end of the trail which ended near downtown and the sporting goods store where I'd dropped Joe off the week before. As I stood watching the manmade waterfall there I was suddenly aware of someone coming up behind me. At first I thought it was Joe, but when I turned to see who it was, I was disappointed to see it was an older guy dressed in sweats. 

We exchanged greeting and he continued on his way. I pulled out my phone and checked the time and took a selfie of myself with the waterfall in the background then turned to go. The geese were gathered on the trail but as I neared they parted to allow me to pass. They were so used to people that we were more an annoyance than a threat.

The walk back to my car seemed longer than the walk there and by the time my car was in sight I was sweating profusely and tired to the bone. As I got closer however I could see someone standing near my car holding a familiar looking backpack and my adrenaline kicked in and I sped up and made it to my car in record time.

"Hey," Joe said as I approached.

"Hey," I said panting.

"Sorry about the other day, but I can explain."

"It's okay. I figured you had your reasons."

"No, it's not okay. I promised you I'd be there and really wanted to, it's just that well...I couldn't."

"Have you eaten today? Why don't we talk over lunch," I suggested. If there was anyway to do so I was not letting him out of my sight till I could be sure he was okay.

"Even after what I did, you still want to help me?"

"I don't know what you did, so we'll have lunch and you can tell me."

He looked at me with those amazing blue eyes and nodded. I unlocked the car and by the time I climbed in he was buckled up and ready to go. He smelled of sweat and his natural teenage scent, but nowhere near as offensive as he had that first day I met him.

"I'm starved," I said, realizing that for the first time in a week or so I was actually hungry, "How does BBQ sound? I know this great little place that has covered picnic tables. We can eat outside and talk in private."

"That sound fine," he said staring straight ahead now.

"How are you? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, thanks."

"You look good."

"So do you."

"I lost five pounds since you saw me last," I laughed.

"OH, how's that?"

"Been walking a lot lately."

"Oh, cause of me. I get it."

"I was pretty upset at first, but I really didn't have any reason to be. I know you have your life and it's none of my business..."

"No, it's not that. Let me explain, okay?"

"Yeah, sure. When we get our food you can tell me what happened."

The BBQ place was about 15  minutes away and we really didn't say much else on the way there. I parked and ordered for us both while Joe secured a picnic table for us and when I brought the food I divided it up and sat down across from him. 

He took a sip of his Coke and gave me a smile. "This looks good."

"It is, best BBQ I've ever eaten and I love their coleslaw."

He waited till he'd gotten a few bites down before he finally started speaking and when he did he put his fork down and didn't touch his food for awhile.

"So, that day...when you dropped me off to meet Josh, well...he showed up about a fifteen minute later. He said he got caught in traffic was why he was late. We sat in his car and talked for a few minutes then we just drove around for a while."

"Did things go like you'd hoped."

"I really didn't know what I wanted to happen, but you were right in some ways. It was like we'd never been apart. Pretty soon we were laughing and talking just like old times. He's going to college in the fall on a football scholarship and he's got a new girlfriend now."

"So did he ask you why you left home?"

He nodded and took a sip of his soda, talking was thirsty work.

"I didn't know what to tell him. He said my folks told everyone I went to live with my aunt and uncle, but they wouldn't tell him where or give him an address or anything. When he asked them about my phone, they said I'd probably gotten a new one and changed my number."

"So they lied to him?"

"Yeah, totally, but he wasn't buying it. He knew something was up."

"So...what did you tell him?"

"I told him the truth, well most of it. I didn't say why they kicked me out, but guess what? You were right, he already had that part figured out."

"And he was cool with it?"

"Yeah, actually he was. I'm not ashamed to say I cried when he told me it didn't matter to him. We finally went out to eat and then Josh rented a motel room. He's already 18 and his dad gave him his own credit card so he didn't have any trouble renting the room.

We stayed up late and talked most of the night eating candy and drinking pop from the machines out front and by the time we finally went to sleep we were all talked out. We slept in the same bed, but I don't think either of us knew the other person was there once the lights were out.

The next day he drove me back to his house and I stayed there till yesterday. His folks had always been cool with me and they didn't ask a lot of questions. I'd probably still be there except my folks somehow found out where I was and called his folks and told them I was queer and they better be careful that I didn't rape Josh or something."

"Surely they didn't listen to that crap."

"Not really, but I figured it was time to get out of there and come back and finish what I'd started."

"What did Josh say to that?"

"He begged me to stay, but eventually he gave in and brought me back. He tried to give me money but I refused it, but somehow he snuck it into my backpack and I found a hundred bucks in an envelope inside a sock."

"So when did you get back?"

"Yesterday, I spent most of the day at the library working on my lessons then found a place to sleep and when I got up this morning I came down here."

"Wait, how did you get past me? I was up at the downtown end."

"I crossed over at the bridge and came from the other direction. As soon as I saw your car I headed straight for it and I waited."

"So, why didn't you stay...with Josh I mean?"

"Because of you," he said softly as he finally picked up his fork and speared a piece of brisket.

"Wait, you came back to live on the street because of me. Well, shit...looks like I fucked up royally if you think that's what I wanted you to do."

"I don't mean that, I mean cause I knew you'd think I lied to you...and after all you done for deserved to know what happened to me."

"So, can I take you back to your friend's house when we're done?"

"I don't know. I think I need a better plan, tomorrow I'm 18 and I can do stuff I couldn't do before."

Suddenly I had a plan of my own. His being underage had been the biggest deterrent to me helping him as much as I'd have liked, but now that he was legal it was a whole new ballgame.

"What time tomorrow?"

"Huh, uh...actually my mom said I was born right after midnight. She said if I'd been a few minutes earlier my birthday would have been the 8th and not the 9th."

"So, all we have to do it drive around till say 12:30 and then you can come home with me and sleep in my guest room.?"

"What? Are you sure about this? This isn't why I came back. I didn't come back to cause you more trouble..."

"Shut up and eat," I said as my mind began to race as I thought about how things would play out, "are you serious about being willing to work?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Cause I'm pretty sure I can get you a part time job where I work. You can save up all the money you make and eventually either go full time or find a better job and I'll help you get a place of your own and a car."

"Whoa, slow down. That's a lot to digest at once."

"Yikes, sorry. I tend to get carried away. I'm not trying to run your life, just give you an option."

"That's an awful lot for you to do. I won't even ask you what's in it for you, cause I already figured out you don't want nothin' in return."

"That's right, but well...I would be getting something out of it...your companionship. I mean you could certainly have your own life and friends and stuff, but maybe once in a while we could watch Netflix or a movie or go out and eat. I enjoy your company."

He smiled, "I enjoy your company too. This is a lot to think about, but I'm not crazy about spending another night on the street. I guess I got spoiled at Josh's house. A bed sounds good for the night."

"Cool, then that part is settled. You can stay as long as you like while you figure out what you want to do."

"This is good," he said taking a bite of coleslaw. I usually don't like this stuff, but this is good."

"Told ya' so, I know all the good food places," I laughed, "Stick with me kid and I'll introduce you to the finest food the city has to offer...well, fast food anyway."

We finished our lunch and I drove us to my house and we both showered (separately of course) and changed. I was glad Joe had brought his backpack with him, it saved us a trip to retrieve it.  Afterwards I washed the few dirty things he had stuffed inside his backpack and took them to the guest room for him.

"I'm curious, since you had your backpack with you were you planning on coming home with me?" I asked later.

"I just didn't want to lose it like last time so I kept it with me. I really didn't know if you'd show up or not."

"I don't know how long I would have continued going there, looking for you, but I wasn't quite ready to give up yet."

"Can I watch some of the one show...Stranger Things again?"

"Sure," I said grabbing the remote and pulling up Netflix. 

Once I had him settled down and watching the show I went in to do some of my own laundry and when I returned he was stretched out on the couch sound asleep. He looked more like a little kid than an adult in slumber, and I felt good that he felt comfortable enough and safe enough to rest his weary body on my couch.

I fired up the computer and took care of some business while Joe slept on and later I started supper. I was just taking the chicken out of the oven when Joe came wandering in rubbing sleep from his eyes.

"How long did I sleep?"

"Not long, maybe three hours," I chuckled.

"I didn't sleep too good last night."

"No need to apologize, you can sleep as much as you like. Hopefully you're hungry though, cause I have Shake n' Bake chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and string beans almost ready to eat."

"Just need to pee. I'll be right back."

Joe set the table and and iced the glasses and poured the tea and as I dished up the food he slid into his seat across from mine. He had the appetite of a normal healthy teenage boy and when we got up a while later there was nothing left but crumbs. For me there was nothing quite as satisfying as cooking for someone who appreciated it.

"Rob, that was better than any chicken I have ever eaten anywhere. You're really a good cook. If I ate like this all the time I'd gain a hundred pounds."

"I doubt it, you're at the age that everything you eat is converted to energy. Besides I don't eat like this every day, sometimes I have salad or sandwiches."

"I've been thinking about your offer," he said carrying his dishes to the sink, "I might take you up on the offer to stay here...but, I want to pay my way."

"Look Joe, I throw away more food than you could ever eat. It's hard to cook for one person, and it doesn't take any more money to cool the house for two than one, and I doubt you use that much water, will cost me practically nothing to live here. However, if you want to pay your way...there are ways other than money."

" what? I thought you didn't want that..."

"Not that. You have a dirty mind," I laughed, "but there are chores to be done around here. Washing dishes, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, things like that."

"Yeah, that would work, I don't mind helping out, and I can keep my room clean and the bathroom and stuff."

"So...what do you think? Could you stand to live with an old guy?" I laughed.

"Not just any old guy, but yeah...I could definitely live with you," he said grinning.

"So, it's settled?"

"Yeah, yeah...let's do it."

While Joe slept that night I made a trip to Walmart, which never sleeps, and bought a cake, ice cream, party favors, and gifts for Joe. I hid the cake in the bottom of the fridge and wrapped his gifts and kept them in my room. 

The next morning we had a light breakfast and after we cleaned up I told Joe we were going out for a while to take care of some errands. My first stop was the nearest Cricket store.

"You'll need a phone," I said as I led Joe to the wall with the display phones, "I'll add you to my plan for now and eventually you can move it to your name or pick another service."

"Rob, that's too much."

"Shut up," I said grinning, "This is as much for me as you. I need to be able to contact you and since I don't have a home phone, this is the best way."

He picked out a simple phone at first but I bumped him up to a nice smart phone and he looked as happy as a kid on Christmas when we left that day.

"By the way, Happy Birthday Joe," I said as we left the store.

"Hey, I just realized we didn't drive around till my birthday. I was 17 when I went to sleep at your house."

"My bad," I said grinning, "I guess I trusted you enough not to worry about whether it was safe or not."

"You can always trust me Rob, I won't let you down."

"Just don't let yourself down, that's the most important thing. Don't do this for me, do it for you. Make your life what you want it to be."

Back at the house I let Joe use my laptop to do his school work while I did a few chores. Around noon I fixed sandwiches and chips and fed Joe at the table where he was studying. I left him to his studies and went outside for a bit to get some fresh air and eventually he joined me.

"Need me to mow the yard?"

"Not on your birthday. Maybe tomorrow," I chuckled, "Come on I'll show you around the back yard."

At five I excused myself to my bedroom and made a call and when I joined Joe in the living room he seemed quiet and introspective.

"What's up Joe, you seem down."

"Naw, I'm good. Just thinking about Josh."

"Well, you guys can keep in touch now that you have a phone and he can come visit."

"Really, thanks."

"I ordered pizza for dinner, I hope that's all right."

"Yeah, perfect. I love pizza.  I could eat it everyday."

"Well, it should be here soon. It's coming special delivery," I said grinning.

"What does that mean?"

"You'll see," I chuckled.

Around six there was a knock on the door and I asked Joe to get it. He looked at me strangely, then shrugged and opened the door to find Josh standing there holding a pizza.

"What? No way, how...when?" he said excitedly.

"Rob called me earlier today, then a while ago to tell me where to pick up the pizza he called in." Josh said grinning. 

"Man, this is awesome. Come on in I want you to meet person. Hey wait a minute, how did you know Josh's number?"

"You called him on my phone that day and I just looked at the logs."

We bumped fists as Joe introduced us and I led the two into the dining room. I grabbed sodas and plates for us and we sat down and ate pizza while we talked. When we'd had our fill I excused myself and grabbed the cake from the fridge. Joe's back was to me, but Josh kept looking my way and grinning and I was afraid he's give it away. 

Once I had the candles lit I carried the cake in and only then did Joe look up. Seeing the cake his eyes grew wide and his mouth fell open. He looked like a little kid and I think I was as happy as he was at that moment.

As Josh and I sang Happy Birthday he looked from one of us to the other and when we were done he blew out the candles and made his wish.

"Ewww...spit all over the cake," Josh joked.

"When, how?"

"I have my ways," I chuckled, "while you snored away last night I was at Walmart doing a little shopping. Which reminds me..." I ran to the bedroom and grabbed the wrapped gifts and Josh excused himself to his car to grab his gift for Joe."

I'd gotten Joe a pair of Wranglers and a new shirt and a pair of running shoes and Josh got him an mp3 player which he has pre-loaded with the music they both liked.

"You guys, thank you so much. This is such a surprise," he said sounding near tears.

"You're welcome bud. I'm glad you like your gifts. Now for the cake and ice cream..."

We pigged out on ice cream and cake and Josh stayed till around 10. Joe walked him to his car, an older Mustang, and when Joe came back he was all smiles.

"Thanks again,"  he said giving me a quick hug, "this has been the best birthday ever."

"I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's not every day a boy becomes a man," I chuckled.

"That's right, I'm old enough to vote and to go to war," he laughed, "but I don't really feel any different."

"You won't for a while, but eventually you'll realize you've left some things behind you and your life will never be quite the same. It's sort of like losing your virginity all over again."

"That was a long time ago," he said grinning, "I was 12."

"Why so late?" I teased.

"Oh, just slow I guess."

"Well, it was a good day for all of us. Josh is really a nice boy. When I called him he was all over the idea and a lot of help. I can see why you think so much of him."

"I think he's about the best friend anyone could ever have, except you maybe."

"That's quite a compliment, thank you."

We watched Stranger Things on Netflix till bedtime and when we split up Joe gave me another hug and thanked me again.

I had a warm feeling as I lay down that night and I slept better than I had in a long time.


Within a month Joe had a part time job at a local burger place and was saving for a car. He was working mostly evenings and weekends and I was able to work my schedule around his most of the time, but on the rare occasion that I was unavailable he rode my bike the short distance to work. 

He had gone through a growth spurt and was an inch taller and all that good eating had put a few pounds on him, but he still got enough exercise to keep fit. He continued to study online and in July he got his GED and went full time at the burger place.

I was growing fond of Josh too, and could understand why Joe liked him so much. He had broken up with his girlfriend shortly after Joe moved in and I'd begun to wonder if part of the reason was that he wanted to spend more time with Joe. He would be going to college in the city and be a lot closer come fall, and they were already talking about maybe sharing an apartment. 

Of course I would miss Joe, but I knew he would eventually want to have his own space and I tried not to think about how that would feel. I was just taking it one day at a time and enjoying his company while it lasted.

When Joe had two thousand dollars saved I matched it and we bought him a little Honda that was in good shape and got great gas mileage. He was thriving at work and was asked to join the management program, and one evening as we ate our dinner he asked my advice.

"I've been asked to go into the management program at work Rob. What do you think?"

"I think you'd do great at anything you chose, but is that really what you want to do with your life?"

He sighed, "I like the work and the people, but the truth is I wish was going to college with Josh."

"Do you have a major in mind?"

"Something with computers would be cool."

"Well, here's what I think Joe. You only get one shot at life and if you settle for less, you might resent it some day."

"So what do you think I should do?"

"I think you should look into the college thing. There are all kinds of government programs to help with tuition and you're welcome to live here for as long as you'd like. You could still work part time and have spending money for gas and things and I'll help you any way I can."

"I can't ask you to do that. You've done so much already."

I sighed, "Joe, when are you going to give up and let me do what I need to? Don't you see this is just as much for me as for you. I know it's selfish, but by helping you, I'm helping myself. For the first time in a long time I have a reason to get out of bed in the morning and I look forward to each new day."

He sighed deeply, "Okay, okay...I'll check into it. I don't know how it works since all I have is a GED."

"I'm sure they can tell you everything you need to know and I'll help in any way I can."

"I'll talk to Josh about it, maybe he knows something," he said sounding excited.

"All right then, that's settled. Dessert?"


In the fall Josh and Joe both started school at the local college. It took some work, but Joe placed well on the entrance exams with a very strong math score which was essential for computer arts. He was also able to get a grant because of his homeless experience that didn't have to be paid back. It didn't pay for everything, but what Joe couldn't afford I took care of. Josh was majoring in business and accounting, but since he was on a football scholarship most of his energy was directed towards that.

I fully expected Josh and Joe to share a place, but it never happened. Instead Josh lived on campus and shared a room with a black kid who was also on the football team. Soon after school started he found a new girlfriend and spent less time with Joe.

Joe continued to work part time at the burger place and live with me but I saw much less of him now that he was going to school full time. Oh, we still managed to watch a little Netflix occasionally, and sometimes go out to eat, often with Josh. 

I felt like a kid again, hanging out with those two young studs, and I like to think they enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed theirs. I was happy and those two were having the time of their lives.

As was to be expected, eventually Joe discovered that college was a great place to be if you were gay, and he found a boyfriend. His name was Mitchell, but we called him Mitch, and he was a great guy. He was masculine and handsome, fun and funny, and I liked him almost as much as Joe did.

At first Joe was reluctant for me to meet Mitch, not because he feared Mitch wouldn't like me, but because he was sure I wouldn't like anyone who took him away from me. 

Finally one evening Josh said something about Joe's new boyfriend and the cat was out of the bag. I didn't say anything until the two of us were back at the house and alone, but I just had to know what was going on. Not that I objected to Joe finding someone, but I was curious why I'd never heard about this new wonderful guy in Joe's life.

"I was gonna tell ya'," he said defensively.

"Well, tell me now," I said enthusiastically, "tell me all about this new guy in your life."

So he did, and I could tell by the look on his face and the tone of his voice that he was smitten with this boy. 

His name is Mitch and he's so awesome. He has the coolest green eyes and his hair is like almost red, but not quite, and he's so funny and so smart, and so amazing. He's an art major and you should see his's amazing."

"So you kind of like this guy, huh?" I chuckled, "I'm happy for you, really. I'm so glad you finally found someone."

"'re not upset?"

"Joe, think of me as your dad. I just want the best for you."

"That's not what my dad wants," he said frowning, "he'd die if he knew I liked another boy like that."

"Wrong choice of words I guess, think of me as the dad you wish you had, how's that?" I chuckled.


"Okay, so what I want is what's best for you. It's hard enough to be gay in a world full of heteros so finding someone else who feels the same way you do is so important. He is gay, right?"

"Yeah, but not girly acting at all. He's really macho. If you didn't know he was gay, you could never tell by looking at him."

"That's the best kind. That's the kind of guy who doesn't let his sexuality define him. There's more to us than just who we sleep with. We have hopes and dreams and feelings, we aren't just walking penises," I said causing him to smile.

"Thanks Rob, thanks for being so cool about this."

" big deal. When do I get to meet this amazing young man. As your surrogate dad I need to approve of him," I teased.

"You'll love him, and I promise he'll love you. I've told him about you and he's been asking when he could meet you."

"I hope I can live up to his expectations," I chuckled.

I first met Mitch on a Saturday night. Joe was off work, which was a rarity, and Josh was busy with his girlfriend, and Joe and Mitch were going to a movie. They were meeting at my place and going in Mitch's car and Joe decided it was a good time for us to meet.

He was everything Joe had described and more, and one of the nicest young men I had ever met. He treated me with just the right amount of respect, but he wasn't cold or stiff around me like some younger people were. I'd always considered myself cool, and Joe and Josh thought so, and soon Mitch did too.

When they left I told him to have a good evening and got a look at Mitch's car. It was a new looking Dodge Charger which must've set his folks back 30 grand at least. Joe had said Mitch's folks were loaded, but buying the kid a muscle car, that was a bit extreme.

I stayed up late that night, but around 1a.m. I finally went to bed. Joe had no curfew. After all, he was an adult and had proven himself to responsible and I trusted him. I finally heard him come in around 2 a.m. and I was finally able to go to sleep.

We always slept late on Sunday and I always cooked a big breakfast. As I was taking the biscuits out of the oven Joe came in looking sleepy-eyed and grinning like the cat that ate the canary.

"Morning, did you have fun last night?" I said grinning.

"Yeah, it was awesome. Thanks for being so cool with Mitch, he really likes you."

"I like him too, I think he's "awesome"," I said imitating Joe and getting a laugh.

"I was wondering," he said as he helped me dish up the food, "we never talked about me having overnight company...but...well..."

"As long as you're respectful and not too noisy, I can deal with it. Just no drugs or booze, you know the rules."

"Really? So if Mitch like came and spent the night, that would be cool?"

"Yes, but I'll probably have to wear ear plugs," I laughed, "all that banging on the wall and moaning."

He blushed, "Naw, we'd be quiet. He lives in a dorm and has a roomy so we can't go to his place."

"It's fine, in fact I'm going to visit my family next weekend and I'll be gone till late Sunday. Do you think you guys could get together then?"

"Yeah, I know he can. I just need to get off work, but I'm pretty sure I can."

"Cool, whatever works for you."

"I can't believe you're so cool about this?"

"Why? I'm a cool guy and I trust you not to burn the house down or anything. Just Mitch though and no one else, no partying, okay?"

When I returned the following Sunday Mitch was still there and both boys were watching Netflix snuggled up on the couch. They were indeed a cute couple and it was obvious they were very comfortable with one another. I knew sex would do that for a couple, and I was quite sure they'd had plenty of that over the weekend. For all I knew they might have just finished a session before I got home. I'd have to check the furniture for cum stains.

"You two look cozy, have fun?"

"Lots of fun," Joe said blushing, "thanks for letting Mitch come over and stay."

"Yeah, thanks a lot Rob," Mitch said grinning.

"You're welcome. Are you guys hungry or have you dined on love?" I teased.

"Love makes me  hungry," Joe laughed.

"I'm not cooking, how does pizza sound? Or are you guys tired of pizza."

"Pizza is fine. We had burgers last night and went to Denny's for breakfast."

"I'll phone it in. Then I'm gonna shower and change. I'm beat. The traffic was awful."

When the pizza arrived we ate it in front of the TV and talked. The two love birds fed each other and held hands whenever possible, but they didn't ignore me at all. We had a good time and around 9 Mitch started talking about leaving.

"Don't go on my account," I said yawning, "unless you need to get back to study or something. You're welcome to spend the night with Joe. I'm sure he won't mind," I chuckled.

I went on to bed to let them work things out but I got up once during the night and looked out front and Mitch's car was still in the driveway. I considered tiptoeing to their door and listening, but that was too creepy and I went back to bed. I was just happy Joe was still under my roof, even if he was in bed with Mitch.

Life was good, Joe did well in school and he and Mitch were a couple. Sometimes Joe and Mitch, and Josh and his girlfriend Sara would double date, and sometimes all five of us would hang out at my house or go out to dinner. Everyone was kind and treated me like one of the guys and I was very fond of all of them, but of course not as fond as I was of Joe.

Joe was like a son to me and I was glad I could help him get his life together. I was sure that the future was bright for him and to think I had something to do with that was humbling. But I benefited too, I'd made new friends and I'd found a real purpose in life, something many people never find. 

I thank karma or God or whatever force had put me in the right place at the right time and looked forward to seeing how this little drama plays out.


The End

This is just a quick story about a subject that's near and dear to my heart, homeless youth. Many of these young people are the victims of abuse at home and often they are gay kids that have been kicked out for admitting their sexuality. Many are forced to sell their young bodies for sex just to survive, and drugs and alcoholism are a common affliction of these kids. As someone once said to me, you can't save them all, but if you can save one, you have done more than most. This is the story of one of those kids and the man who saved him.

Thanks once again for your support over the years and I value your emails and your input. Please address all emails to I promise to answer all of them in a timely fashion.

                Kewl Dad


I have updated my story list if you see any missing please let me know.

Other stories by Kewl Dad

* Denotes Series, rest are short stories

  1. A Christmas for Joey

  2. A Christmas With Nick

  3. Accidental Dad*

  4. Adolescent

  5. Alex and Aidan*

  6. Andy Tastes Like Candy

  7. At the Dike*

  8. Black Cock

  9. Boy Glory Hole

  10. Bullied

  11. Christmas Boy

  12. CL Cock Sucker

  13. Cory*

  14. Corey's Scent

  15. Cody's Christmas Wish

  16. Dirt Bikes and Blowjobs

  17. DMV Boy

  18. Dougie's Story #Part 3 of a series

  19. The Family*

  20. The Ginger and the Chub

  21. Hair Salon Boys

  22. I Heart You

  23. Little Brother's Feet*

  24. Lost in Fear*

  25. Mars

  26. McChicken

  27. My Best Friend's Dad *Related story to My Son's Best Friends

  28. My Not so Miserable Life

  29. My Little Runaway #Part 1 of a series

  30. My Son's Best Friends *Related series to My Best Friend's Dad

  31. My 11th Summer*

  32. One Night

  33. Poindexter Files*

  34. Pride-Pride

  35. Rabbit: A Christmas Story

  36. Second Chance for Love

  37. Six Black Boys*

  38. Skateboard Boy*

  39. Skateboard Christmas

  40. Sudden Family*

  41. Taking a Chance on Love

  42. The Year I Learned to Love my Brother (TYILTLMB)*

  43. The Reynolds Twins*

  44. Tommy Boy #Part two of a series

  45. To the Max

  46. Tracy*

  47. Trailer Park Christmas

  48. Trick or Treet Dress Up

  49. Tween to Teen*

  50. What a Dollar Will Buy

  51. Wild Wild West Again

  52. It's Amazing What Sex Will Do For a Guy (as smoothoperater52)