It's Not Easy Being a Tree

Chapter 17

“What is this shit?” Jon shouted again. I handed the phone back to him, afraid to look into his angry face. “What is your dick doing on my phone?”

“It’s not me,” I answered, knowing he wouldn’t believe me.

“Yes, it is,” replied Jon. “I’ve seen your dick enough to know what it looks like. Jesus, Woody, what have you been doing?”

“I ain’t been doing nothing.” I got off the bed and sat down at my computer. Jon followed behind me.

“You still haven’t told me why I’ve got a picture of your dick on my phone. You been sexting someone?”

“No,” I replied as opened my computer and went to Youtube to watch a music video.

I jumped when Jon snapped his finger. “I got it. You’ve been taking pictures of your dick and sending them to some girl.” I looked up at him and rolled my eyes. He started laughing. “She must not have liked what she saw, so she sent it to me.” He grabbed his cock and squeezed it through his shorts. “She probably wants mine instead.”

I let out a sigh of relief. If Jon wanted to think I was sexting with a girl, I certainly wasn’t going to stop him. It was far better than him finding out the truth.

He sat down beside me and opened his phone to my picture. “Who’s the girl? I bet it’s that one Dad saw you talking to the other day.” He moved closer. “Is she pretty? I’ll give it to her if she wants it.” He elbowed me in my side. “I know you won’t fuck her.”

Since his mood was becoming more cheerful, I decided to play along with him. “Who said?” I elbowed him back. “My dick’s bigger than yours.”

He elbowed me again. “Yeah, but I use mine. Just ask Debbie.” He jumped up and stood before me. “I got it!” he yelled excitedly as he handed me his phone. “Take a picture of my dick and I’ll send it to Debbie.”

“I’m not taking a picture of your dick!” I shouted as I attempted to hand him back his phone.

“Sure you can.” He pushed the phone back at me. “You’ve seen it hundreds of times. You can do it.” He went over to his bed and lay down, pulled his shorts to his ankles and started stroking himself. “Let me get it hard first.”

I covered my face with my hands. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Actually, it was a comical relief. When Jon came bursting into the room, showing me my cock on his phone, I thought he was going to beat the shit out of me. Now, as I looked across the room, he was lying with his eyes closed, trying to get his cock hard.

I looked over when he announced, “I’m ready.” He was grinning as he looked down at his hard cock in his hand. “Come on, hurry Woody, take a picture of it while I’m boned up.”

I sighed, stood and walked over to the side of his bed. “I feel like I’m shooting porn.”

He pointed his cock at me. “How’s this?” I laughed, held up his phone and took a picture. He sat up and grabbed the phone, looking at the image.

“Hey, that looks pretty good.” He handed me the phone back. “Walk around to the front of the bed and take a picture.” He positioned himself and grasped his hard dick. He posed as I took two more pictures. When I finished, he looked at them and grinned. “I should do porn.”

“Or not,” I laughed as I walked away. I jumped when he hit me in the back of the head with his pillow.

I returned to my desk as he stood and pulled his pants back up. “This is going to be so cool. I wish I could see the look on her face when she gets these.” He started laughing. “Maybe she’ll take a picture of her tits and send them to me.” He sat on the bed and laughed as he sent Debbie the pictures of his cock. “This is so cool.”

After several minutes, he got up and headed for the door. Before leaving, he stopped and said, “Thanks, Woody.” I nodded my head as he closed the door.

I didn’t want to go downstairs for dinner when Mom called. I lay on my bed reading an assignment for literature, but she sent Glenn up to get me.

“Mom said you better get downstairs.”

I sat up. “Tell her I’m not feeling well.”

He started to grin. “She said you’d say that. I’m supposed to tell you that if you’re not downstairs in two minutes, Dad is going to come up and drag you down.” He then ran from the room, slamming the door behind him.

I knew I’d better do as he said. The last thing I wanted was Dad coming up to get me. He still hadn’t said anything to me about my little outburst in the truck. However, I knew Dad. He was waiting to cool off before punishing me. It was the first time I had ever cursed at him, so I didn’t know what to expect.

Everyone was at the table when I entered. I took my seat without looking at anyone, especially Dad. I heard Mom speak, “Woody, would you say Grace.”

Everyone bowed their heads as I said, “Bless this food, Amen.”

“That’s not saying Grace,” Dad said angrily. “Now say it again and do it right.” I didn’t even have to look at him to know that he was angry at me. I could hear it in his voice.

My voice trembled as I meekly said, “Heavenly Father, we ask that you bless this food that we are about to eat. Amen” I held my breath, afraid he would yell at me again. I let out a sigh when I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he picked up his fork and started eating.

It was obvious that Dad was extremely upset because he kept stabbing at his food with his fork. When Jon tried to talk to him about Friday’s game, he completely ignored him. Mom then began to ask Glenn and Glenda about school. I couldn’t concentrate on their conversation because I was too scared about what might happen later.

It didn’t take long to find out. As soon as Jon, Glenn and Glenda finished eating, Dad told them to leave the kitchen, go to their rooms and close the door.

When I started to rise, he said angrily, “Not you, Woody.”

To make the inevitable even more torturous, he sat glaring at me for about three minutes. Mom had removed my plate, so I couldn’t even pretend to be eating. I had to sit there and look down at a red stain on the tablecloth.

I jumped when he finally did speak in a gruff voice. “What gives you the right to think you can talk to me the way you did in the truck?”

I wanted to say that he swore at me first, but I was afraid he might hit me. He had never raised a hand to any of us before, and I certainly didn’t want to be the first.

“Sorry, Dad,” I muttered softly without looking up.

“Sorry isn’t going to do it.” He replied, raising his voice as he talked. “You’re the first of my children to disrespect me like that.” I jumped when he hit the table with his fist. “And goddamn it, it will be the last time.”

My mother entered the room. “Now, Harold, you promised me you wouldn’t get upset.” I was relieved when she sat down beside me. “Let me handle this.”

“Woody, we have decided…”

“Look at your mother when she speaks to you!” barked my father. I quickly looked up into my mother’s face. She glared at my father before continuing.

“We have decided that you are to be on punishment for three months.”

I looked quickly at my father. “But you said two months.”

His eyes narrowed. “That’s before you told me to get the fuck out of your life. If you keep it up, I’ll put you on punishment for a year.” He leaned toward me and looked angrily at me. “Got it, Mister?”

I hung my head and replied meekly, “Yes, Sir.”

My mother touched my arm lightly. “You’re to come straight home every day and do your homework before dinner.” Okay, that was easy. I already do that.

“And you’re not to go to your little girlfriend’s house until you are off punishment.” I wanted to start laughing. If only Kate was here to hear this conversation. She would get a kick out of my parents thinking that we were dating.

“You’ll also not be allowed to spend any more weekends with your friend, Jeff.” Okay, that one stung a little bit, but I already knew they would not allow me to spend the upcoming weekend at his house.

I lifted my head and looked at her. “Is that it?”

“There’s one other thing.”

“What?” I held my breath afraid they were going to take away my computer and video games. It was going to be bad enough not being able to do anything for three months. My computer was the only enjoyment I had.

“We got a call from Mr. Dewberry, your biology teacher.” My heart started pounding when she mentioned his name. He was the reason I was in this mess in the first place.

“What did he want?” I asked nervously.

“He was very upset that you were going to cut his class today,” she replied. “He says you’re not doing well in biology and you can’t afford to miss any days.”

“I’m not doing that bad,” I insisted. “I’ve got about a ‘C’ right now.”

“Yes,” she responded, “but you could do better.”

“I will,” I replied. I thought the subject was closed until she spoke again.

“He’s been generous enough to volunteer to tutor you after school.”

I jumped to my feet and shouted, “NO!”

“Sit down!” My father hit the table with his fist. “Don’t you act like some brat. If this Mr. Dewberry says you need tutoring, then that’s what you’re going to do.”

I looked pleadingly at my father. “But you don’t understand, Dad.”

He leaned toward me. “I understand that he said you need help. You will go to his class each day after school until you improve your grade.” He gave me a menacing look. “Understand?”

I sat back in my chair. My parents had no idea that they were falling into my Mr. Dewberry’s perverted plan to get me to spend time alone with him. He had intentionally called my parents and offered to help tutor me, knowing that I couldn’t refuse; especially since I had attempted to cut his class.

“Well?” My father shouted again.

“Yes, Sir.” I was fighting hard to hold back tears. They were sending me to my doom and they didn’t even know it.

I looked over at my mother. “May I please be excused?’

She looked sympathetically at me. “Of course.” She reached out and touched my arm. “We’re only doing this for your own good, Woody.” I didn’t even reply as I got up from the table and went to my bedroom.

When I entered, Jon was sitting on his bed looking at the pictures of the swimsuit models in Sports Illustrated. He held it up and buried his face in it. “I’d love to put my dick between those puppies.” I glanced over and then sat down at my computer.

“What’s going on?” He dropped the magazine and looked at me. “Dad seemed really pissed tonight. What did you do?”

“Nothing,” I muttered angrily as I put in a video game. He got up and sat down beside me.

“Wanna play?” He started laughing. “It’s been a while since I’ve beaten your ass.”

“You’ve never beaten my ass,” I reminded him. “You may be good on the football field, but you suck playing video games.”

He nudged me in my side. “It’s on!” He picked up the control and we started playing Mortal Kombat. I knew from experience, that Jon had poor skills when it came to video games. You would think a guy who could run down a field and catch a pass forty yards away could use a video control. But Jon was horrible. I didn’t mind, though. It had been ages since he had shown any interest in doing anything with me.

After thirty minutes, I was creaming him. The more determined he played, the worse he got. At one point, I looked over and said, “Relax, you’re trying too hard.”

“Too hard this,” he laughed as he grabbed his crotch. Fifteen minutes later his cell phone rang. He jumped up excitedly. “That may be Debbie. I hope she sent me pictures of her tits.” He threw himself across his bed, grabbed his phone and opened it.”

Seconds later, I heard him exclaim angrily, “What the fuck!” He sat up on the side of the bed and glared at me. He then got up, walked over and grabbed me around my neck, lifting me off the seat and to my feet.

He stared angrily into my face as his hand gripped tighter around my neck. “Are you a homo?” My heart started pounding with fear. I knew that Brandon had sent him another picture of me.

He had me pressed against the wall with his hand still around my neck. I tried to pry his hand free, but he tightened his grip. He then held the phone to my face.

There was a text message: Your bro is a FAG

Jon then hit a button on his phone and shoved it in my face. “Who the fuck is this?” I looked at the image on his screen. It was the picture of me and Jeff as we jerked each other off.

He slammed my body against the wall before removing his hand from my neck. I dropped and fell to the floor. I heard him ask again as I lay curled on the floor. “Are you a homo? Why are you jerking this guy off?”

I knew it was useless to tell him it wasn’t me. I figured in a few more minutes he would figure out it was Jeff, since he had kidded me all week about having sex with him. I picked myself up from the floor, headed to my bed and muttered, “Go to hell.” It only infuriated him even more.

“You fucking faggot!” He picked me up and threw me on my bed. I jumped up and threw my body at him. We tumbled to the floor.

“Fuck you!” I screamed as I started to pound my fist into this body. He managed to roll me over and sit on my stomach. When he raised his fist to hit me, I closed my eyes. Suddenly, I heard the door open. Seconds later, Jon was being tossed off me.

“What the fuck is going on?” Connor was standing over us. His fists were balled tightly, and he looked like he was getting ready to hit Jon if he tried to get up.

Jon pointed his finger at me and glared. “He’s a fucking homo.” He handed his phone to Connor. Connor looked at the image then looked down at me. Jon sat up. His chest was heaving as he spoke. “Little faggot probably got fucked when he spent the weekend with his boyfriend.”

I kicked out at Jon, but he stopped me with his hand. “Fuck you!”

Connor walked over and closed the door. When he did, Jon pounced on me again, hitting me in my side. Connor jumped on his back and pulled him off me.

“Stop it!” he screamed at Jon. “Leave him alone!” Connor got down on his knees between us, protecting me from my brother. He turned and looked at me. “Are you all right?” I felt my side and nodded.

Jon sat up and looked at Connor, then back at me. “You don’t seem surprised at all.” He gave Connor a questioning look. “Did you already know he was a fag?”

Connor rose to his feet and looked down angrily at Jon. “What if Woody is gay? What difference does it make?”

Jon stood up and faced him. He then reached out and pushed Connor back. He lost his balance and almost fell. “You knew he was a fag, didn’t you?” He pushed Connor again, but he was prepared and didn’t lose his balance.

“What are doing,” Jon spat angrily. “Fucking him, too?”

I gasped and closed my eyes when Connor balled his fist and threw a violent punch into the side of Jon’s face. Jon reeled backwards and fell onto his bed. Connor rushed over and grabbed his tee shirt and pulled him up.

“You say one more word, and I’m going to knock the shit out of you again.” Jon winced when Connor pulled his fist back. Jon’s right eye was red and appeared to be swelling shut. Jon tried to get up, but Connor kept him pinned to the bed.

He leaned down into Jon’s face and shouted, “He’s your goddamned brother, for Christ’s sake, Jon!” Jon turned his head away from me as Connor sat on his chest. “He’s your goddamned brother!” Connor repeated softly.

I was still sitting on the floor. My arms were wrapped around my legs as I held them tightly to my chest. Connor looked over at me and asked sympathetically, “Are you hurt?” I shook my head.

Since Jon was no longer struggling, Connor got off his chest, but he sat on the side of the bed ready to grab Jon if he attempted to come at me. When Jon stood, I looked up at the swollen mass on the right side of his face. His right eye was beginning to disappear into his reddened skin.

Connor turned to me. “Go downstairs and put some ice in a freezer bag.” I nodded and rushed downstairs. When I returned, Jon and Connor were sitting on the side of the bed talking softly. I cautiously walked over and handed Connor the bag. Jon winced when Connor put it up to his eye.

Connor looked at me and nodded toward the door, “Go downstairs and watch television.” I got up and went downstairs to join Mom and Glenda in the family room. Dad must have been in their bedroom, and Glenn was probably upstairs doing his homework.

“Is everything okay, Dear?” My mother asked as I sat down on the sofa beside Glenda. “I heard some shouting coming from your room.”

I wasn’t sure what to say. I was certain Jon would probably tell them later about the picture and me being gay. I was beginning to accept the fact that they would soon find out anyway. Too much was happening for them not to discover my secret. I guess if I was to be outed, it might be best if it came from Jon.

I had also reached the point where I didn’t care anymore. For several years I had carefully guarded my secret. The list of people who now knew I was gay was increasing daily. Once Mom and Dad found out, then the list would be complete. I was pretty sure Mom wouldn’t be too upset. Sure, she would cry and try to blame herself for doing something wrong, but I knew she would eventually accept it.

Dad, however, was a mystery. I wasn’t sure how he’d react. I suppose it would be similar to Jon’s response; although, I don’t think he would hit me. He’d probably be disappointed. However, he had seemed disappointed in me for years. While Jon had always been a tall oak tree, I’d been a scrawny sapling. He would now just have something else to blame for his disappointment.

I shrugged my shoulders and responded, “Dunno.” I then lay my head back and closed my eyes.

I was curious what was happening upstairs. I didn’t hear anymore shouting, so I figured they weren’t fighting any longer. I wanted to return to my room, but I decided to wait until Connor left. After about a half hour, Connor came downstairs and stood in the doorway of the family room. When I looked over, he motioned for me to follow him outside.

“What happened?” I asked as soon as we had stepped out onto the porch. Connor walked over and sat on a small bench. I looked at the anguish on his face as I sat down beside him.

“He’s going to need more time,” he said as he looked sadly at me.

“Is he going to tell Mom and Dad?” I asked worriedly. Connor shook his head.

“I don’t think so. He never mentioned it.”

I looked into Connor’s face. He appeared exhausted. I guess the talk he had with my brother had been tense. “Did you tell him you’re gay?”

“No,” he replied as he shook his head. “But if you want to tell him, you can.”

“No!” I assured him. “I’d never do that.”

“Good,” he sighed. “But if you think it would help your brother understand, then you can tell him. I came close to telling him, but I thought he already had enough to deal with.”

“I won’t,” I assured him again. I stared into this handsome face. “I won’t tell anyone.”

He sat back, closed his eyes and sighed. “Why does this shit have to be so complicated? He can bone Debbie and I have to listen to him talk about it. But if I do something with someone I like, then it’s something perverse.” He briefly ran his hand across the top of mine. He looked at the door before wrapping his hand around mine and giving it a gentle squeeze.

He stood and extending his hand, lifting me to my feet. It surprised me when he pulled me into a tight embrace. When he released me, he stepped back and gave me a quick wink.

“It’s going to be okay, Woody.” He attempted a smile.

“I don’t know,” I replied sadly. “Too much is happening. Mr. Dewberry and Brandon Metzger know about me. Now Jon. I just have a feeling it’s all going to blow up soon.”

“Let me and Ross deal with Brandon,” he hissed angrily.

“See,” I replied. “That’s what I’m talking about. If you threaten Brandon, then it’s only going to make things worse. Look at what he’s already done.”

“That mother fucker needs to be stopped,” responded Connor angrily. “He’ll be sorry he sent Jon those pictures.”

I reached out and touched Connor’s arm. “Please,” I pleaded.

“I gotta go,” he said as he turned and started descending the steps. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” I watched as he strolled down the sidewalk.

When I entered the house, I went into the kitchen and took two sodas out of the refrigerator. I then put more ice into a freezer bag. When I went into my room, Jon was lying on his bed watching television. I winced when I saw his right eye. It was dark and bruised. The swelling had gone down slightly, but Jon’s eye was still not visible behind the swollen skin.

He didn’t even bother to look at me when I handed him the soda and ice pack. As I walked away, I heard him mutter, “Thanks.”