“What are you doing here?” Stephen looked at me with a surprised expressed.
Doug looked back and forth at us. “Do you two know each other?”
“He dates my sister,” Stephen replied.
Without looking over, I could tell that Wade was curious about our exchange. I had never mentioned Becky to him. “I don’t date her,” I insisted. “We just go out.”
“Not to hear her tell it,” he started to laugh. “She practically has the two of you married.” He looked down at Wade and grinned “I guess that’s never going to happen.” My face began to redden. The last thing I expected for the evening was to be outed to someone I knew.
“Well yes, Darling.” Doug started to pull Stephen away. “Let me introduce you to a few other people. If we’re lucky, you won’t know them.” He grabbed Stephen’s hand and led him away.
“Shit,” I hissed under my breath. Wade looked over. “I’m screwed.”
“You didn’t tell me you had a girlfriend.” I looked at him and rolled my eyes.
“I don’t have a girlfriend,” I insisted. “I only date her to make people think...” I stopped when I realized how awful my reply would sound.
Wade started giggling. “I know a lot of guys who have girlfriends as a cover.”
“I don’t have a girlfriend,” I insisted angrily. He grabbed my hand and squeezed it.
“Whatever you say,” he replied. He then leaned in and kissed me forcefully. When he reached down and squeezed my hardening cock in his hand, I didn’t push it away. The girl sitting beside us got up and walked away. I guess she didn’t want to watch our amorous display.
After making out for several more minutes, Wade pulled a couple of joints from his pocket. “Let’s get a beer and go outside.” He got up and I followed him into the kitchen. I felt uncomfortable when Stephen looked over and grinned.
We went out the back door and sat in two chairs. The backyard was dimly lit, but I could make out others sitting around. Most seemed to be talking quietly. Occasionally, the end of a joint would light up and then I would watch as it was passed to the next person.
“Here.” Wade leaned towards me. “Let’s do a shotgun.”
“What’s that?” He took a deep draw from the joint and then pressed his lips to mine. I could feel him begin to exhale the smoke from his mouth into mine. I inhaled it deeply before releasing it.
“Your turn,” he said as he passed me the joint. I mimicked what he had done. Not only was I getting very high, I was also getting extremely aroused. I looked down at his pants and it was obvious Wade was also.
When we finished, he drank what remained of his beer and announced he was going to get us another. “Wait here,” he said as he started to teeter off. I giggled as I watched him bump his shoulder into the door.
I rested my head and closed my eyes. For some reason the marijuana we were smoking had a different effect than the previous night. I must have fallen asleep for a few minutes before a burst of laughter woke me up. I looked over and watched as a group of guys encouraged a girl to pull down her halter top and show them her breasts.
I got up and stumbled back toward the house. As I was getting ready to enter, Stephen met me. “Hey, Richie.” He grabbed my arm and led me back outside. “Are you having a good time?”
“Where’s Wade?” I asked as I tried to move around him, but he took a step to the side and prevented me from passing.
“Don’t worry about Wade,” he replied as he pushed me against the side of the house. He put out his arms as he attempted to pin me. He then leaned in to kiss me.
“I didn’t know you were into guys,” he said lustily. “If I had known, I’d have made a move on you a long time ago.” I could smell alcohol on his breath as he leaned for a kiss.
“Stop it!” I shouted as I attempted to duck down under his outstretched arms. He pulled me back and pinned me to the wall.
“Come on, Richie,” He said as he leaned in to kiss me once again. “It’s only a little kiss.” When his lips touched mine, I lifted my knee and hit him in his crotch. He jumped back and let out a moan.
“You fucker!” he screamed. He lifted his hand to hit me, but I grabbed it and held tightly onto it. “I’ll fucking kill you, you little faggot!”
I kneed him again. When he bent over in pain, I tore off inside the house. I ran through the rooms looking for Wade. When I didn’t find him downstairs, I ran up the stairs and began looking in the upstairs rooms. When I came to the last room, the door was closed. I quickly opened it. My heart dropped when I saw what was happening before me on the bed.
Wade was lying naked on his back with his knees pulled back to his shoulders. Doug was on top of him, holding Wade’s legs and thrusting his cock into his ass. They looked over when the light from the hallway rushed in.
Doug grinned as he continued to ram his hard cock into Wade. Wade opened his eyes and I could tell he was completely wasted. He started smiling and slurred, “Hey, Baby.” He patted the side of the bed. “Why don’t you get naked and join us? Doug’s a great fuck.”
I stood in shock, unable to move. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Wade was the first boy I had ever had sex with. I was beginning to like him. And now this. I turned when I heard footsteps stomping up the steps. It was Stephen.
He ran towards me, but I was able to run around him. He stumbled and fell into the open doorway. “I’ll get even with you, Bitch!” he screamed as he lay on the floor. When he started to rise, I bounded down the steps and out the front door. Once on the street, I looked back. No one had followed me out. I then began the long, solitary walk home.
I reached into my pocket for my phone, but then I remembered I had given it to Wade to buy weed for the party.
Party? Yeah, right. I thought you were supposed to have fun at parties. I didn’t know they were supposed to fuck your life up more than it already was. I pulled my shirt collar over my neck. The wind was picking up and it was getting colder.
When I reached Elm Street which led to our house, I turned right and headed away from my home. I wasn’t ready to go back and face him yet. I knew it was late and he would be waiting up for me. Instead, I walked down Elm until I came to Broad Street. I then turned left and headed out of town. It took me about forty minutes to arrive at my destination.
The moon was shining brightly over the hillside. The top of the tombstones glistened from the lighted sky. I trudged my way around the narrow path until I saw a mound of flowers. As I made my way toward the grave, the pink arrangement was wilting. When I saw the word, Mommy, formed by the white carnations, I fell to the ground and started wailing.
“Why?” I screamed as I tore the white flowers off and tossed them to the side. “Why did you leave us?” I reached for the arrangement and scooped it up into my arms. “I don’t know what to do anymore!” I buried my head into the wilted flowers and sobbed uncontrollably.
“It wasn’t supposed to be like this!” I cried. “You were supposed to be here to help us!” My shoulders trembled as I lay crying.
I pushed some ground aside. “I don’t want to live anymore if you’re not here.”
I lost all control. I screamed. I wailed. I tore the flowers atop the mound of dirt and threw them into the air, cursing a cruel God. I must have cried for an hour before my body tired and I lay still upon my mother’s grave.
“I’m sorry, Mommy,” I cried. I thought back to the events of the past few days and felt ashamed. “I’m sorry I’m not the nice boy you wanted me to be.” My head rested upon a soft mound of dirt and I fell asleep, still clutching the arrangement that said Mommy.
I awoke when a light rain started falling on me. Soon it became a torrent. I sat up and rearranged the flowers atop the grave before leaning down and kissing the wet dirt.
“I love you, Mommy,” I whispered. I brushed the dirt from my mouth and then stood. The sun was coming up over the horizon so I knew that it was early morning.
He would be angry.
I trudged home in the pouring rain. I walked up to the front door but then remembered he had changed the locks. I went around to the back hoping I would find the door unlocked. She was sitting at the counter drinking coffee. She jumped to her feet when she saw me shaking from the cold on the deck outside.
“Oh, Dear!” she exclaimed as she opened the sliding glass door, grabbed me by my shoulders and led me into the kitchen.
“Richard!” She screamed out his name before I could stop her. I turned and saw Freddy run into the room. Then he appeared in the doorway.
“Where the hell have you been?” he shouted. He ran over and grabbed me by my shoulders and started shaking me. “Are you just now getting in?” He looked at the clock on the wall. “It’s after nine!”
“Stop it, Richard!” she shouted as she pulled me from him and wrapped her arms around me. “Can’t you see the boy is sick?”
“Sick my ass,” he huffed. “He’s fucking drunk!”
He grabbed me from her and yanked at my collar. I looked past him and saw Freddy still standing off to the side. “I’m going to ask you one last time, where have you been all night?”
I looked over at her and started laughing. I then turned to him and grinned. “I’ve been fucking your whore all night. Didn’t she tell you?” His face went from red to redder. He picked me up by my collar and tossed me across the room. I landed against a stool and fell to the floor.
Even though I was in immense pain, I couldn’t stop laughing. I looked up at his enraged face. “Did she tell you I was a better fuck than you?”
He reached down, grabbed me by my arm and tossed me against the refrigerator. A crock pot sitting on top of it fell off and hit me on my shoulder. He grabbed me again and tossed me through the screen door. I fell to the deck floor outside.
“Stop it!” She screamed as she raced to him and tried to stop him from approaching me. Freddy ran over and stood in front of him, but he tossed him aside.
“It’s time you stopped acting like a spoiled brat!” He picked me up from the deck and tossed me into the pool. When I swam to the side of the pool, he lifted his foot to kick me in my face.
“Richard!” she screamed. I looked over as Freddy handed her a cell phone. “I’m going to call the police!”
“I am the goddamned police!”
She walked over and stepped between him and me. “I’m serious, Richard!” She opened the phone. “If you touch him again, I’ll have you arrested!”
He looked down at me. Hatred filled his face. I stared back defiantly at him before he turned and stormed into the house.
She ran over to her son. “Help Richie out of the pool and get him downstairs. Hurry!” Freddy reached down, offered me his hand and pulled me from the water. “When you get downstairs,” she said urgently, “lock the door.” He nodded and then led me away.
Once downstairs, he locked the door and led me to the bathroom. “Get undressed,” he ordered. When I pulled my shirt over my head, he left. I could hear him shouting upstairs. Even though their words were muted, I could tell she was trying to prevent him from coming downstairs.
I removed my clothing and stood naked in front of the full-length mirror. Several bruises were beginning to appear on my sides. I also had a deep scratch on my neck where the crock pot had hit me.
Suddenly, Freddy opened the door and peered in. His eyes widened when he saw me standing naked in the middle of the bathroom. His gaze fell to my cock. After a few seconds, he looked back up to my face. “Are you all right?” he stammered nervously.
“Yeah,” I replied sarcastically as I turned and examined the bruises. “Why shouldn’t I be?” I didn’t even bother to cover my nakedness. He tried to look me in my face, but his eyes would drop to my cock.
He cleared his throat. “If you need anything, I’ll be just outside the door.” I nodded, and he slowly closed the door without taking his eyes off my body.
I turned on the water and stood under the hot shower. No matter how hard I tried to wash away the sorrow I was feeling, it just kept getting stronger. My body started trembling and I fell against the shower wall. My body went limp and I felt my back sliding down the side of the shower. I curled myself into a ball and started crying.
A few minutes later, I felt an arm wrap around my body and lift me to my feet. Freddy had come into the shower in his clothes. He held me tightly as he led me into the family room. He went back, grabbed a towel and handed it to me. When I refused to take it, he started to wipe the water from my body.
I was numb. It seemed like my mind had stopped working. I just stood unemotionally as he gently ran the towel over my body until I was dry. He then helped me into a pair of pajamas and placed me on the sofa. I curled into a ball as he pulled the covers over me, turned out the light and sat down in a chair across the room. Within seconds, I was asleep.
I wasn’t sure how long I had been asleep when I felt someone sit down beside me on the sofa. I slowly opened my eyes and saw my aunt looking worriedly down at me. Freddy was still sitting in the chair across the room with the same worried look on his face.
“Richie?” My aunt leaned in and kissed me gently on my forehead. “I want you to come home with me.”
I sat up and looked hopefully at her. “Am I going there to stay?” She frowned and patted my hand.
“No, Dear,” she replied sadly. “Your father wants you home by ten.” I looked at the clock. It was almost five. I had slept most of the day. I looked past Aunt Barbara as Freddy got up from the chair and stretched his body. He looked over at me and smiled slightly as he left the room.
Aunt Barbara waited until he left. “His mother said he’s been down here all day keeping vigil. She couldn’t get him to come upstairs, not even for lunch.” I looked over and watched as his legs disappeared up the steps.
I then looked into my aunt’s face. “Why can’t I come live with you? I can’t stand being here anymore.”
She looked down and smiled. “Why don’t you get dressed and we’ll go home and discuss it.”
I sat up and replied angrily. “You mean you’ll try and talk me into staying here and being a good, little boy. I suppose he called you and told you to talk to me.”
She sighed. “It’s out of my hands, Richie. He is your father. He’s threatened to never let me and Ray see you ever again.”
“Then you’ve done what he sent you here to do,” I said angrily as I lay back down and wrapped the blanket around me. “There’s no sense in me leaving if I only have to come back.” She sat and rubbed my back for a few minutes before she leaned forward and kissed me on the cheek.
“I’m sorry, Richie.” I could tell by the quiver in her voice she was crying. I knew she was only doing what she had to do to be able to visit us. She got up and left. A minute later Freddy returned to his vigilant seat across the room. After that I fell asleep and didn’t wake until the following morning.
I had a feeling the day was only going to get worse when Gabe didn’t show up to walk with me to school. He had managed to deal with my moods for several years, but now I think I had finally crossed the line.
I felt bad for telling him to stay out of my life. He was the glue that had held my life together. At the time I felt he was making me chose between him and Wade. Now I realized I may have made the wrong decision.
He was gone when I went upstairs. I always looked to see if he was in the kitchen before I went in to get something to eat. Andrew and Harley were sitting at the island giggling and throwing cereal at each other. Even though I was miserable with our new situation, he was happily enjoying his new, little brother.
When he saw me standing in the doorway, he jumped off his stool, came running over and leaped into my arms. “Richie!” I squeezed him tightly and kissed his forehead.
“How’s my little man?”
“Linda is taking me and Harley to SwimWorld!” he said excitedly. “Do you want to go?”
I frowned. “Shouldn’t you be going to school?”
He looked at me and grinned. “Daddy says I don’t have to go back until next week.”
My skin curled when I heard Andrew say ‘Daddy.’ My first instinct was to grab his hand and take him over to Aunt Barbara’s. Rage consumed me. But then I looked into his innocent face and I knew it wasn’t right for me to transfer my hatred for him to my little brother. If he was adjusting to mother’s death with the help of Harley and her, then how could I hurt him?
The hatred I had was mine. His actions had been etched forever in bitterness and anger. Andrew was too young to understand. Maybe someday I could sit him down and make him understand why I couldn’t share his happiness.
“So?” He looked hopefully at me. “Do you want to go?”
I kissed him on his forehead and put him down on the floor. “No,” I smiled. “I go to big boys’ school. I can’t play hooky like you.”
“I’m not playing hooky,” he giggled. “Daddy said I could stay home. That’s not playing hooky.”
Again, my skin bristled at the word Daddy. I walked over to the counter and grabbed some toast and headed out the door. I looked to see if Gabe was waiting, but I knew he wasn’t. I began the long walk to school by myself.
I entered the building and headed to my locker. As I was taking out the books I would need for my morning classes, a boy bumped into me and mumbled, “Fag.” I turned to see who it was, but the hall was crowded, and I didn’t see anyone I recognized.
I closed my locker and headed to my first period class. On the way I passed Tiffany Jordan, Becky’s best friend. She looked at me and rolled her eyes. I stopped and watched her quickly walk away.
I couldn’t understand what was going on. Several other students gave me strange looks as I made my way to class. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was happening when I entered Mrs. Livingstone’s class and Earl Buckman, one of the school’s openly gay students, sat down beside me.
“Here.” He smiled as he handed me a folded piece of paper. “Call me.” He got up and took his seat. I unfolded the paper. It contained his cell phone number and the message, ‘Let’s hook up sometime. I think ur cute.’ I turned and looked back at him. My face reddened when he winked at me.
I didn’t hear anything Mrs. Livingstone said. My mind was trying to figure out what was going on. First someone called me a fag, and then Tiffany rolled her eyes and ignored me. Now a gay student was hitting on me. The only thing I could think of was that Stephen had kept his promise to get even with me. He must have somehow started a rumor around school that I was gay.
My assumption was confirmed when I saw Becky in the hall on the way to third period. She was walking with Tiffany and didn’t notice me approach. I walked up beside her and put my arm around her waist.
She looked over angrily and pushed away from me. “Drop dead, Richie!” she exclaimed. Tiffany grabbed her arm and started to pull her down the hall. Becky stopped and said loudly, “Or would it be better to tell you to bend over?” My face reddened as students stopped and started giggling. I turned and hurried to my third period class.
Several students snickered when I entered Mr. Bower’s history class. He politely asked me how I was doing as I headed to my assigned seat. I shrugged my shoulders and walked past him without answering. I sat down, pulled the hood to my jacket over my head and rested my head on the desk. I fell asleep when he started rambling on about the Founding Fathers attempt to form a government in America.
I awoke when the bell rang. I looked down and saw a small puddle of drool on the desk. I looked around the room before wiping it off with my sleeve. I got up and headed to the cafeteria for lunch.
After going through the line and getting my usual salad and carton of milk, I headed over to the table where Gabe and my friends were sitting. Gabe didn’t look up when I sat down. When I sat next to Buddy Taylor, he edged away from me. As I scanned the table, it was obvious they were all trying to ignore me.
I stared at Gabe until he lifted his head and our eyes met. He attempted to smile but looked down at his food and continued to eat without looking up again.
“Fuck it!” I mumbled as I pushed myself away from the table. I hurried from the cafeteria and walked out the building through a side door. I was two blocks from my house when a car slowed down behind me and the driver honked the horn.
I looked over. It was Wade. He stopped and hollered out my name. “Richie! Wait up!” I quickened my pace as he drove slowly beside me. Finally, he sped up. I thought he was driving away until the brake lights came on and he stopped. He got out of the car, walked over to the sidewalk and waited for me to approach.
“What do you want?” I asked angrily as I pushed past him.
“Richie, please talk to me.” He ran around me and stood in front of me. “Please?” he pleaded.
“There’s not much to talk about,” I insisted as I stepped past him and continued walking.
“Look, Richie.” His voice quivered as he started to cry. “I’m really sorry. I fucked up,” he said as he walked about four feet behind me.
“It’s just I get drunk and then I get horny,” he explained. “Me and Doug have messed around before. When he pulled me into the bedroom, I was too drunk to say no.” He grabbed my arm and turned me around. “I’m really sorry.” Tears were flowing down his cheeks. “I never meant for it to happen. Since I met you, things have been different.”
I turned and started walking away, only this time not as quickly. He ran around in front of me, blocking my path. “I love you, Richie.” He wiped tears away from his eyes. “I’ve never said that to anyone.”
He reached out, placed his head on my shoulder and sobbed. I kept my arms at my side, unsure what to do. When he whispered once again, “I love you,” I raised my arms and returned his embrace.