It's Not Easy Being a Tree

Chapter 19

My hand trembled as I took the phone. By the look on Ross’s face, I was pretty sure what was on it. I was right. It was the picture Brandon had shown me in class.

Lucas grabbed the phone from my hand. “Is this you?” He looked over at me with an astonished look on his face. Ross reached down and took the phone from him.

“I wish that son of a bitch had been in school today,” he sneered.

“How did you know it was me?” I asked nervously. Ross hit a button on his phone and handed it back to me. I read the message sent with the photo.

Woody Fields sends u a pic

I looked to see who sent it. It was the same as appeared on Jon’s phone: unknown.

“Damn!” I shouted as I got up off the bed and paced around the room. I stopped in front of Ross. “Do you know who else got this?”

“I don’t know if Connor did. He’s still at football practice.”

My phone started ringing. I reached into my pocket. I had a text message. I handed it to Ross. “You read it.”

“Fucker!” He spat angrily and then handed me the phone.

The text message read: Tell ur bro not to fuk with me. Lucas took the phone from me and read it. He was getting ready to hand it back when it started ringing.

I took it and looked to see who was calling. It was Kate.

“What is going on Woody?” I held the phone from my ear because she was shouting so loudly. “Is this really your dick?” I sat down on the side of my bed before I fell to the ground. If Kate had received the message, then it had probably been sent to everyone’s number to which Brandon had access.

“Can we talk later?” I asked.

“What is happening, Woody?” Her voice was filled with panic. “Who sent me this?”

“I’m not sure,” I replied. “Listen, Ross and Lucas are here. I’ll talk to you later.” I then hung up on her. I had no sooner set the phone in my lap and it rang again. This time it was Jeff.

“I know,” I said as I answered it.

“Did Brandon do this?”

“Probably,” I replied.

“I’m going to fuck that bastard up,” he said angrily. “He’s got no right to be doing this.”

“Can I call you back later?” I pleaded. “I just found out about this. Ross and Lucas are here.”

“You’ve got to go to the police,” he insisted.

“Let me think. Okay?”

“Okay,” he responded. “But call me if you need my help.”

“K.” I ended the call and looked up at Ross. “It looks like Brandon has sent this picture out to everyone.” Just then Lucas’s phone rang. He looked at the text and then closed the phone. He looked over and nodded.

Ross sat down beside me. “You got to get an adult involved, Woody. This is getting out of hand.” He looked at me and frowned. “Can you go to your dad?”

I jumped to my feet and yelled, “No!” I paced around the room. “He’ll kill me.”

“What about your mom?” I looked at him and rolled my eyes. “Yeah, right,” I huffed. “She’ll just tell Dad.”

“You can tell my dad,” Lucas suggested timidly. I walked over and looked down at him.


“Tell my Dad.”

“I can’t do that,” I replied. “I’d be outing you if I did.”

“He already knows I’m gay?”

“What?” I looked over at Ross’s astonished face.

Lucas looked at him and then back at me. “I told him last year I am gay.”

“What about Mr. Dewberry?”

He dropped his head. “I couldn’t tell him about that.”

“About what?” Ross asked excitedly. “Is that fucker messing with you too?”

I looked at Ross pleadingly. “I’ll tell you later. Okay?” He nodded his head.

I sat down beside Lucas and stared into his face. “We can’t just go up to your father and tell him what’s been going on?”

“We have to,” he insisted as he looked worriedly at me. “Do you have a better plan?”

Ross spoke next. “You’ve got to do this, Woody. That fucking Brandon is crazy. It’s hard to tell what he’s going to do next. And besides, you’ve got to stop Dewberry.”

Lucas took out his phone. A few seconds later, I heard him say, “Dad?” I held my breath while he talked to him. He didn’t go into any details, but he asked his father if he had time to help him with a problem. When he finished, he stood, reached down, grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s go.”

We said goodbye to Ross. I had to promise him that I would call him later before he’d leave the room. When he was gone, I turned to Lucas. “Now we have to come up with an excuse for me to go home with you.”

He reached down and held my hand, pulling me from the room. “I’ve got an idea.” He continued to hold my hand as we descended the stairs. He released it when we reached the bottom.

My mother was in the kitchen preparing dinner. “Would you like to stay for supper?” she asked Lucas.

“No, Ma’am,” he replied politely. “But would it be all right if Woody went home with me?”

She looked at me and then responded, “He’s on punishment, Dear. He’s not allowed to go anywhere.”

“But this is church,” Lucas replied innocently. “Dad called and said he needed help cleaning the sanctuary for Sunday’s service.” He glanced quickly at me. “I kind of volunteered Woody to help. I didn’t think you would mind him helping my father at church.”

“I don’t know,” my mother said hesitantly.

Lucas reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. “I’ll call Dad and tell him he can’t help us tonight.”

“No,” my mother replied quickly, “I think we can let him out of the house to go to the church and help.” I let out a sigh as Lucas looked at me and smiled. If only I could lie as well as he could.

My mother said, “Go ask your father if he’ll drive you to the church.”

“It’s okay, Mrs. Fields,” Lucas responded quickly. “Dad will come get us.” He then turned and walked out the back door with me trailing behind him. When we got to the driveway, he called his father.

“He’ll be here in ten minutes.” He had a worried look on his face. My heart started pounding when I thought about what might happen in the next few hours. One thing was certain- my life would never be the same.

“Now, what’s so urgent?” Pastor Sparks asked as Lucas and I sat across from his desk in his office at church. The room was large with an immense oak desk in the middle. On three walls were enormous bookshelves filled with various size books and Bibles. His desk was cluttered with papers and writing pads. An ornate Bible was open. It appeared he may have been working on Sunday’s sermon when Lucas called him.

Lucas looked at me. My hands were trembling, and I had to fold them tightly to keep them still. His eyes were filled with uncertainty. He was about to expose our deepest secrets to his father. Since I had seen his father numerous times on the pulpit and spoken to him many times, I knew we could trust him. I just wasn’t sure how he would deal with the problem we were about to hand over to him. Hesitantly, I nodded my head.

“Dad, something has happened, and we don’t know what to do about it.” Lucas’s voice was quivering. I wasn’t sure he would be able to finish.

His father sat back and smiled. “All young men have problems,” he laughed gently. “It’s just a part of growing up.”

I watched as tears welled up in Lucas’s eyes. “Not like this.” A concerned look appeared on his father’s face as he leaned forward in his chair.

“What’s happened?”

I held my head down as Lucas related to his father what had happened to him in summer camp four years ago. It was worse than I had imagined. Mr. Dewberry had been forcing Lucas to have sex on Sunday mornings in the basement restroom stall before service.

I watched his father’s face as Lucas spoke. He didn’t interrupt him, but it was obvious he was becoming angrier as Lucas related his story. When Lucas finally broke down and started crying, his father came around from behind the desk and wrapped him in his arms.

“God, Son,” he began to cry. “I had no idea. Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

“I was scared,” Lucas sobbed. “I didn’t want you to see those awful pictures.” Pastor Sparks looked over and saw me sitting alone with my head down.

“Come here, Son.” He held out his arm and I walked over and let him embrace me. “I’m sure you have just as bad as story to tell.” I nodded my head as he held us tightly.

After a few minutes, he stood and walked over to a built-in cabinet along the wall. “I need a drink,” he remarked as he pulled out a small glass, opened a bottle of whiskey and filled the glass. “I’d offer you two one. I’m sure you need it; but unfortunately, you’re too young.” He attempted a slight smile as he took a sip of his drink. He returned and sat beside Lucas. I scooted my chair nearer to Lucas so that our bodies were lightly touching.

“I’m a Christian man,” Pastor Sparks stated angrily, “but at the moment I’m tempted to go to Nathan’s house and commit some ungodly acts.” He took another drink. He then turned to me and asked, “You want to tell me your story?” I nodded.

“But first,” he replied as he got up and walked over to the cabinet and poured himself another drink. “Let me get myself prepared.” He then looked down at Lucas. “Would you go downstairs to the church kitchen and get you and Woody something to drink? I believe there may be some Cokes in the refrigerator.” Lucas got up and left the room.

Pastor Sparks sat down and sighed. “I wish he had told me sooner. A father can’t help his son if he won’t tell him when something is wrong.” Tears welled up in my eyes from the love and understanding he had for Lucas. I knew that my own father would probably disown me when he found out what had happened.

Lucas returned, sat down and pushed his chair next to mine. His father asked, “Want to tell me now what has happened.” Lucas looked at me and I nodded my head. When I began to relate my story to his father, Lucas reached down and held my hand. His father noticed, but he didn’t say anything.

As I spoke, I realized how perverse my story was. It sounded like something that I may have read on an x-rated story site- A teenage boy looking for sexual excitement going into a gay sex chat room. He buys a webcam so he can let others watch him masturbate. It becomes a fun game until he is one day recognized. That person is a teacher, who is now trying to forcefully get him to engage in sex with the aid of another student.

It seemed like an outrageous story. However, it wasn’t. It had happened. It had happened to me.

I couldn’t at first read Pastor Spark’s reaction when I finished. He sat and stared at me. Finally, he looked at Lucas and asked, “Do you have the picture on your phone?” Lucas nodded and took his cell phone from his pocket and handed it to his father. I hung my head as he looked at my naked picture. He handed the phone back to Lucas and then leaned back in his chair.

He folded his hands and began to speak, not as a father, but as a concerned adult. “I’m glad you came to me with this. It is quite serious. Mr. Dewberry and this young boy, Brandon, must be stopped.”

I became nervous when he turned toward me. “I don’t need to tell you what you have done is wrong.” I hung my head in shame. “However, you’re a young man, and as a young man, you make mistakes. Mr. Dewberry, though, is an adult. He will someday have to stand before God and answer for his actions.”

He then spoke to Lucas. “You have no blame in what you did. You were a child when this began. Your actions were out of fear- fear of a monster. I only wish you had come to me sooner with this.” I looked over as Lucas tearfully nodded his head.

“I want you boys to go downstairs for a few minutes and wait in the kitchen. I have a friend who is on the vice squad of the police department. I’m going to give her a call and see what we should do.” Lucas stood, and I followed him downstairs.

We sat down at one of the tables. I asked, “What’s going to happen now?” Lucas looked at me worriedly.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Dad’s pretty good about handling problems.” Tears welled up in his eyes. “I should have told him what Mr. Dewberry was doing to me when I came back from camp the first time.”

I reached out and squeezed his hand. “You were young,” I assured him as his father had earlier. “You were scared.”

“Yeah,” he hung his head.

“I’m the stupid one,” I remarked angrily. “I shouldn’t have gone into that website.”

He giggled. “You were just having fun.” He took out his phone, looked at my cock, then looked at me and grinned. “You were having a lot of fun.”

“Shut up,” I laughed as I grabbed the phone. I looked at it and moaned, “Oh, God. I can’t believe the whole school is seeing this.”

Lucas giggled again as he looked down at my crotch. “At least you don’t have anything to be ashamed about.” He started laughing. “Now, if it was mine.” I quickly looked down at his crotch.

Just then his father appeared at the top of the stairs and hollered down. “Boys, come join me in my office.”

I quickly grabbed Lucas’s hand. “I’m scared.” I said nervously. “What’s going to happen?”

Lucas gave me a worried look. “I don’t know,” he replied, “but it probably won’t be good.” He squeezed my hand and held it tightly as we headed back upstairs.

When we got to the top of the steps, he stopped. “I’m glad you’re here. I couldn’t imagine having to do this by myself.” He surprised me when he gave me a hug.

His father was sitting behind his desk. He was talking to someone on the phone and motioned for us to have a seat. My heart started pounding when I heard him say before hanging up. “Fine, Mr. Fields. I’ll see you and your wife in about a half hour.”

“You called Dad?” I asked nervously.

“I had to, Woody,” he replied sympathetically. “You’re only sixteen and they are going to have to be involved in what happens next.”

Lucas asked before I could get the words from my mouth. “What happens next?”

Pastor Sparks got up, walked around his desk and sat on the edge before us. “I called a Detective Davis. You boys are going downtown in the morning and tell your story to her. Based on what I told her, she is going to prepare an arrest warrant for Mr. Dewberry, and he will be taken into custody.”

“They’re going to arrest him?” Lucas asked excitedly.

“Of course,” responded his father. “He’s engaging in sex with minors. And according to Ms. Davis, since he is your teacher, it makes it a more serious crime. She thinks he’ll be going to prison for a very long time.”

I looked quickly over at Lucas. He stared back at me. I think we were both thinking the same thing. If Mr. Dewberry was arrested, then everyone would know why. It would quickly become a media event. Soon it would be learned who had told on him. Since Brandon had released my picture to other students, it wouldn’t take them long to figure out who was involved.

Lucas looked back at his father and said what I think both of us had assumed. “I thought you’d handle this by talking to Mr. Dewberry and telling him to stop what he was doing. Do we really have to talk to the police and tell them?”

His father looked sympathetically at us. “What Mr. Dewberry has done is a crime-a felony. It’s hard to tell how many other boys may be involved in this. It sounds like he could have been preying on young boys for years. He has to be stopped.”

“But why do we have to do it?” Lucas asked pleadingly. “Can’t they just arrest him?”

“Do I have to tell my parents?” I asked worriedly. I’d rather die than have to sit before Dad and Mom and tell them what I’ve been doing.

He arose from his desk, approached us and put his hands on our shoulders. “You’re almost men now. Sometimes life hands us certain responsibilities. You’ve been given a responsibility. You have to save other young boys from a sexual predator.” He looked down and smiled warmly. “Can you do that?” We quickly looked at each other before nodding.

“Good,” he replied as he sat back on his desk. “Woody?” I looked up and nodded. “I’m not going to ask you to repeat in front of your father and mother what you told me. I think it may be too much for you to handle tonight. I’ve counseled enough people over the years to know how they might react to something like this.” I looked up and nodded appreciatively. “I’ve called Mrs. Sparks and she’ll be here in a few minutes to take you to our home.” I quickly glanced at Lucas.

“Lucas?” He looked up at his father. “Don’t tell your mother what has happened tonight. I’ll tell her when I get home?” Lucas nodded his head. “What I want you boys to do, is go home and relax. Tomorrow is going to be a big day. And don’t call anyone. No one can know what is happening until Mr. Dewberry is arrested. Understand?”

“Yes, Sir,” responded Lucas.

“What about me?” I asked. “Will I be going home later?”

“Not unless you insist,” he replied. “I think it would be in everyone’s best interest if you stayed tonight at our home. That way it will give your parents time to digest everything.”

Tears welled up in my eyes. “So, they may not want me to return home?”

“I’m not saying that,” he replied quickly. “I just think it will be better to let the dust settle. Besides, it will be best if you go downtown and talk to Detective Davis without being emotionally drained by having to deal with your parent’s reactions. It will already be difficult enough.”

“Are we in a lot of trouble?” Lucas asked.

“No,” his father smiled warmly. “You’re not in trouble. However, the next few days may be very difficult.”

Just then Lucas’s mother appeared at the door. Pastor Sparks walked over and kissed her gently. “Now remember, Dear. No questions. I’ll explain everything to you later.”

She looked questioningly at her husband. “I know,” she sighed. “Professional confidentiality.” She looked down at Lucas and smiled. “You better not be in any serious trouble, Mister.” He glanced quickly at me before getting up and giving her a hug.

It was a quiet drive to Lucas’s home. His mother was playing gospel music on the car’s cd player. Occasionally, Lucas would glance back at me and attempt a faint smile. When we arrived at this house, I was rather surprised. I assumed a pastor’s house would be large, but it was a small ranch-style brick house. There was some shrubbery in the front, but it was rather plain.

When we entered the living room, Lucas pointed toward a narrow hall off to the right. “My room is the last one on the left.” I followed behind him until we came to a small bedroom. The room was a pale blue with a single bed and dresser. The plaid blue cover on the bed matched the drapes. It was neat, but not like Jeff’s room.

“You can put your things over there.” He pointed to an empty space next to the dresser. When he sat on the side of the bed, I walked over and sat down beside him.

“What do you think is going to happen now?” I asked worriedly. I looked at a clock on the wall. It had been a half hour since we’d left his father’s office. I figured Dad and Mom may have already arrived to talk to Pastor Sparks.

Lucas reached down, took my hand and squeezed it. “It’s going to be all right.” He then released my hand.

I hesitantly reached down and wrapped his hand around mine again. “I’m scared,” I replied nervously. He squeezed my hand tighter. “What if Dad won’t let me come back home?”

Lucas looked worriedly at me. “He wouldn’t do that, would he? My dad was okay with it when I told him I was gay.”

“My Dad’s not as understanding as yours,” I answered worriedly. “I don’t think he’s ever liked me very much. Jon’s always been his favorite.”

“Maybe your brother can make him understand.”

I fell back on the bed and started laughing. “Jon?” I replied as I sat back up. “He’s worse than Dad. He was going to hit me if Connor hadn’t stopped him.”

“Who’s Connor?”

“His best friend,” I replied. Lucas had a thoughtful look on his face.

“Is he that football player?” His eyes lit up. “Really hot?”

I smiled and rolled my eyes. “You’re worse than Jeff.”

“Jeff?” Lucas gave me a puzzled look. “Is Jeff gay?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “I really can’t say.”

Lucas smiled. “I guess that means he is, then.”

“I didn’t say that,” I remarked quickly.

“You didn’t have to,” giggled Lucas. “If he wasn’t, you’d have told me no.”

“You’re a wise ass, aren’t you?” I smiled as his playfully elbowed me in my side.

We stopped laughing and stared into each other’s eyes. We didn’t say anything, we just looked at each other. Finally, he reached down and took my hand. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I’m glad I told Dad what was going on with Mr. Dewberry.” He squeezed my hand tighter. “I’m glad you were with me.”

“Me, too.” I smiled. We stared at each other for another few seconds. I think both of us were thinking about kissing each other. I know I was. After all we had been through, I felt a certain bond had been forged between us. And for the first time I’d been with another boy, it wasn’t a sexual feeling. It was more than that.

We were startled when his mother hollered from the kitchen. “Boys! Are you hungry?”

Lucas started to smile. “Are you hungry?” I nodded my head. He rose and put his hand out to help me up. When I stood, we were facing each other.

He closed his eyes, brought his face to mine…

And kissed me.