Buddy held up his hands and begged Aubrey not to shoot him. “I promise,” he cried. “I got jumped from behind. There was nothing I could do.”
Aubrey eyed him angrily and spat, “Why didn’t you come to me and tell me? I had to hunt all over this fucking trailer park for you.”
“I was going to,” insisted Buddy, “but I was too scared.” He pulled up his shirt and showed Aubrey the dark bruise on his left side. “See what they did to me?”
Aubrey lowered his gun and placed it back in his waistband. “Aames is mad as hell that you didn’t show up with his stash. He thinks I’ve screwed him.”
Buddy dropped his head and said, “Sorry, Man.”
Buddy reached into his pocket and pulled out a plastic bag and handed it to Buddy. “Here,” he said as he shoved it into his hand. “Run this over to Aames. Tell him I’ve put a little more in for his trouble.”
“But...” Buddy tried to resist, but Aubrey reached behind his back and pulled out his gun.
“You got a problem with it?” He looked angrily at the scared teen.
“No...” stammered Buddy. He shoved the baggie down inside his underwear. If anyone was going to rob him again, then they would have to search for it.
“Good,” replied Aubrey as he waved the gun at Buddy. “Now scat.” As Buddy turned to leave, he Aubrey called out, “Hey, Kid.”
“Yeah?” replied Buddy.
“You owe me for what you lost.” He reached down and grabbed his crotch.
“Yeah, sure,” replied Buddy.
“And I think you owe Aames for his trouble,” he added. “I already told him. He’ll be waiting for you to make it right.
Buddy nodded and headed down the sidewalk. The thought of having to perform oral sex on Aames sickened him. Aames was a married, overweight guy who looked like he rarely bathed. He feared, however, that if he didn’t do it, then Aubrey might be waiting to shoot him when he returned later.
“Shit,” he moaned to himself as he approached Aames’ dilapidated home. “What have I gotten myself into?”
* * * * * *
“Thank you, Sergeant Murdock,” remarked Mrs. Caldwell as she led the policeman to the door. “I’ll take care of this little situation.”
“I’m sure you will, Ma’am,” he replied as he put on his hat. “I’ve got two teenagers at home myself, and they’re constantly arguing.”
“Well, Sergeant,” replied Mrs. Caldwell, “this is a little more than arguing.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” he said as he stepped out the door.
She then turned and hollered up the stairs, “Melissa! Kyle! Living room, Now!"
Kyle waited until he was sure his sister was downstairs before he left his room. He still wasn’t sure what was going to happen. He knew his mother would be mad at him for slapping his sister and then having the police call her at work and ask her to return home immediately. However, his sister was the one to blame. She, after all, had sent the picture out that started the mess in the first place.
He could hear his mother shouting as soon as he started down the stairs. “But, but...” he heard his sister mutter.
“But, my ass!” His mother shouted. He knew things were serious when his mother used profanity. She was a prosecutor, and she knew how to control her emotions in a situation. When he entered the family room, his sister was slumped on the sofa with her head down. Tears were flowing down her face.
He was surprised when his mother looked over and smiled. “Sit down, Kyle,” she said softly as she pointed to a wing back chair across the room. She then turned back to Melissa, held out her hand and ordered, “Show me the picture.”
“But, Mommy,” cried Melissa as she fumbled with her phone.
Kyle jumped when his mother yelled, “Show me that goddamn picture!” Melissa’s hand shook as she handed the phone to her mother. After looking at it, she threw the phone on the carpet and stomped on it.
“Mommy!” Melissa shouted before she sat back and continued to sob. “Now I can’t talk to my friends.”
Mrs. Caldwell responded angrily, “You won’t be talking to anyone for a long time,” she hissed. “Besides losing your phone, I’m also removing your computer from your room. If you need to do school work, you can use mine in my office.”
“But, Mommy,” wailed Melissa. “I’ll lose all my friends.”
Kyle watched as his mother approached Melissa. He closed his eyes because he thought she was going to hit her. He opened them when his mother began raging, “Do you have any idea what harm you’ve caused your brother and Brad with that horrible picture!”
“But Brad deserved it,” Melissa cried out. “He embarrassed me at school.”
“Embarrassed you at school!” shouted Mrs. Caldwell. She pointed to Kyle. “And what about your brother?” She stepped closer to Melissa and bent down until she was face to face with her. “Did you give one thought to what that disgusting picture would do to your brother?”
Melissa looked over at Kyle and scowled. “But he deserved it, too.” Kyle watched as his mother stood. Her hands were balled into tight fists.
She stepped into the center of the room and ordered calmly as she pointed upstairs, “Go to your room.” Melissa looked tearfully at her. “I’ll speak to you later when I don’t have the urge to slap the daylights out of you.”
“But, Mommy,” cried Melissa as she stood.
“Go, now,” calmly replied her mother. “And when you get to your room, disconnect your computer and put it outside in the hallway. I’ll have your father get it when he comes home later tonight.”
Melissa started to say something, but Kyle could see the cold, hard look in his mother’s eyes. He realized it was probably that look that made her a successful prosecutor. He had never seen her in court, but he was sure that she was now in her ‘attorney’ mode. For Melissa’s sake, it was probably safer. He had never before witnessed his mother’s anger.
After Melissa left the room, his mother walked over to the leather sofa and let out a deep sigh. She sat a minute before patting the seat beside her. “Come here, Kyle,” she ordered gently. He rose from his seat and hesitantly sat down beside her.
She turned and faced him. “Are you alright, Dear?” she asked worriedly. “Did you have any problems at school today?”
“A little,” he confessed. He figured since she didn’t appear angry, then it was perhaps a good time to tell her he had left school early. She would probably be informed of his absence anyway. “Yes, Ma’am,” he said. “Some of the kids were picking on me, so I left school after second period.”
She reached out and gripped his hand. “You want to tell me what happened when you got home?”
He tried to hold back tears as he related to his mother the incident with Melissa. He told her how his sister had called him a faggot, and that she thought he wanted to have sex with Brad. He figured Melissa would tell her anyway, so he wanted to tell his side of the story first.
“I see,” his mother replied as she walked over to the bar, took out a glass, reached under the cabinet and poured some gin into it. She then went over to a small refrigerator and removed a Pepsi. She walked over, sat down and handed him the can.
“I’d offer you a drink,” she laughed. “You probably need one worse than I do.”
“I’m okay,” he assured her as he took a sip from the can. His mother kicked off her high heels, stretched out and let out a sigh.
“Don’t ever have kids,” she muttered before laughing softly.
Kyle giggled and replied, “I won’t.” He couldn’t believe how comfortable he felt sitting beside her. After everything he had been through during the day, he finally felt safe.
They sat quietly for a minute before he mother spoke. “Are you going to be able to handle being out at school?” She looked over worriedly at him.
Suddenly, a wave of fear surged through him. Why had she phrased the question like that? It sounded like she wasn’t even questioning what she had seen on the picture. Was she assuming that he was gay?
She smiled and took his hand. “It’s okay,” she assured him. “Your father and I have known for some time.”
When tears appeared in his eyes, she reached out and pulled him into her bosom. She rubbed his back as he cried softly for several minutes. Finally, he pulled away and asked her, “How did you know?”
She smiled and gently wiped tears from his cheek. Her face, too, was wet with tears. “We watched you when you and Jordan were together.”
“But we didn’t do anything in front of you.” His eyes widened when he realized what he had said.
“You didn’t have to,” she laughed. “It was the way you looked at each other.” She gripped his hand and stated firmly. “We’ll talk later about what you meant by not doing anything in front of your father and me.” She laughed louder when Kyle’s face turned scarlet red. “One can assume by that statement that things did go on behind our back.” Kyle wanted to deny it, but he knew it would be useless. His mother was speaking as an attorney, and the last thing he wanted was for her to interrogate him about what he and Jordan did do together in his bedroom.
He looked over and asked, “Are you and Dad mad at me?”
“No, Baby,” she replied reassuringly as she gave him a hug. “We’ve just always been concerned what would happen if you did come out.” She reached up and ran her hand across his face. “You’re such a gentle person. We’re worried that someone might hurt you. I’ve seen so many cases of brutal assaults occur because of one’s sexual orientation.”
She looked angrily over at the staircase. “And to think it would be your own sister who would put you in jeopardy.”
Kyle asked, “What are you going to do to her?”
His mother laughed and replied, “If I told you what I want to do, then your testimony could be used against me in court someday.” She took another sip of her drink. “I guess your father and I will decide what to do. Whatever it is,” she added, “just be glad it’s not you.”
“I am,” he laughed.
She looked at her watch and announced. “It’s getting late, and I still have to go talk to Melissa. Your father won’t be home until late, so we’ll both talk to her tomorrow. I’ll take you to school tomorrow.”
“Why? he asked. “I can walk.”
She looked over worriedly. “I want to talk to your principal.”
“I want to be sure you’ll be safe at school.” She leaned in and hugged him. “Now, go upstairs and do your homework, then go to bed.”
“Okay,” he replied as he returned her hug. “I love you, Mom.”
“Love you, too, Baby.” He jumped when she reached out to hit him on his butt as he started to walk away. “I’ll be in to see you later.”
He was sound asleep when his mother and father crept into his room around midnight and gently kissed him on his forehead.
* * * * * *
“Hi, Aunt Mavis,” said Buddy as he stood on his aunt’s porch. She was dressed in her usually tattered housecoat and pink slippers. “Can I come in?”
It was dark, and she peered out onto the street before opening the door and letting Buddy enter. “It’s late,” she said sharply. “I’ve told you if you can’t be here by nine, then don’t come around.”
“Sorry,” he replied as he walked over and sat down on the old sofa. It sank from his weight. The springs had given out years before. When he slept on it at night, he always woke up sore in the morning. A hard board pressed against his waist and made for an uncomfortable night.
He was tired, more tired than usual. His sides still hurt where his attackers had kicked him. One thing had worked in his favor, however. When he delivered the drugs to Aames earlier, his wife was home. He made Buddy go around to the back to wait for him outside the back door. After turning over the drugs and receiving the money, Aames started rubbing his cock inside his pants to make it hard.
“Aubrey said you were going to make things up to me,” he remarked as his cock started to harden. Buddy turned his head so he wouldn’t have to watch. He felt that he was going to get sick if Aames pulled his cock out. He was saved when Mrs. Aames came to the door to see what was taking so long.
He remarked angrily as he headed up the steps, “Next time, Kid.”
Buddy was tired, but it wasn’t a physical tiredness. No, he was tired of life. He saw no end to the life he was living. He went home to a filthy trailer, and many nights he had to listen to his mother ‘entertaining’ a man she had picked up in the restaurant. He hated to admit that she was no more than a prostitute. He had often observed men handing her money as they left.
And now, he was no better. To get high, he was performing oral sex on Aubrey to pay for the marijuana he needed to escape the reality of his life. After the incident with Aames, he knew it would only be a matter of time before he too would be sucking other men’s cocks for money. He had seen it happen too many times over the years. Straight men with children would offer their body to another man just to support their drug habit. Everyone soon knew about it, but they still insisted that they were not gay. He knew he would soon be regarded as a hustler.
When he woke up the next morning, he could smell the aroma of coffee coming from the kitchen. Wearily, he rose from the sofa, stretched his lanky body and then headed into the bathroom. He stripped off his clothes and jumped into the shower.
He jumped back when cold water burst out of the shower head. “Damn!” he muttered as he took a washcloth and carefully washed his body clean. He was freezing cold when he stepped out and toweled himself off.
“Do you know there’s no hot water?” he asked as he walked into the kitchen.
“Yes, goddamn it!” His aunt remarked angrily. “The hot water heater burst the other night. Water was all over the fucking utility room.”
He poured a cup of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. His aunt stormed around the kitchen opening and slamming shut cupboards. He knew she didn’t have money for a new hot water heater, so she would have to bathe and do her laundry in cold water for several months, if not longer.
“How’s school going?” She asked as she placed a plate of two fried eggs, a slice of bacon and a piece of toast on the table in front of him. She took another plate off the counter and sat down.
“I dunno,” he replied. “I’m thinking of dropping out.”
“And do what?” she asked as she looked around the small kitchen. “Live in a shit hole like this the rest of your life?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Not too much of a chance to get out,” he replied as he took a bite of toast.
“Got that right,” she muttered. “That worthless mother of yours should never have had you.”
“Thanks,” he responded sadly. “That was encouraging.” He stood, finished drinking his coffee and put on his thin jacket. “I gotta go.” He bent down and kissed his aunt on the cheek. “Thanks for breakfast.” She waved him off as he headed for the door.
* * * * * *
Kyle looked over at his mother and whined, “Do you really have to speak to the principal? I’ll be alright.”
“Yes,” insisted his mother as she opened the door to the black Escalade. “I’m not going to have you hurt like some children I hear about on the news.”
“Mom,” whined Kyle again. “I’m not a child. I can take care of myself.”
His mother stood before him and eyed him skeptically. “When have you ever been in a fight?”
“Well,” he muttered. “Never.” He looked up at her and smiled. “You told me never to get in a fight.”
“Nice try,” she laughed as she took him by his arm and started walking toward the school. Kyle pulled away and walked ahead of her. It was bad enough that she was escorting him to school. All he needed was other students to see her holding onto him like a protective mother hen.
As they approached the office, a student stepped away from his locker, bumped into Mrs. Caldwell and almost knocked her to the floor.
“Watch where you’re going!” yelled the young man angrily. Buddy turned to look into Mrs. Caldwell’s eyes.
“I’m sorry,” apologized Kyle’s mother. “However,” she admonished him, “you should be more careful when you back out of your locker.”
“Listen...” Buddy started to get upset, but he glanced over and saw Kyle staring back at him. His face reddened when he realized he was arguing with his mother.
He took a step back and said, “I’m sorry, Ma’am. I should have been more careful.” Mrs. Caldwell watched closely as Buddy glanced quickly over at Kyle before slamming his locker shut and hurrying away.
“That was strange,” she remarked as she watched Buddy rush down the hall. She turned to Kyle and asked, “Do you know him?”
“Not really,” he answered. “He’s in a few of my classes, but we don’t talk.”
“Maybe you should,” replied his mother as she took his arm and headed toward the principal’s office.