After leaving the lake, I drove Charlie to a friend’s house and then went home. I had decided not to go to football practice. In fact, I was going to talk to the coach in the morning and tell him I wasn’t going to play anymore. Brett was the team’s quarterback and I was his star receiver. There was no way I could avoid him on the field, so I wasn’t going to play anymore. I knew Coach Davis would be really pissed, but I didn’t care.
It was early when I got home. Mom and Dad wouldn’t be home for hours, so I crawled into bed and fell asleep. My cell phone rang once and woke me up. It was Brett. I turned the phone off and went back to sleep. New rule book. Rule number 1- when a friend breaks your heart- fuck ‘em.
I must have been asleep for about two hours when someone knocked on my door. It took me a minute to awaken enough to respond.
“Come in,” I hollered and then curled deeper into the bed.
“Time for dinner, Corey,” my mother said sternly. “We have company.”
“I’m not hungry,” I told her.
“I don’t care,” she responded angrily. “Be in the dining room in ten minutes.” She slammed the door shut.
“Bitch!” I said into the cover. I wondered who was invited to dinner. She’d said nothing earlier about having company. Although, thinking back, I really hadn’t given them a chance to say anything to me this morning.
Getting dressed when company was over for dinner meant no tee shirts, shorts or sweat suits. I got up and put on a polo shirt and dress slacks. I went into the bathroom to put some gel on my hair. I didn’t look as bad as I had this morning. A few hours sleep had taken the puffiness from around my eyes. Besides, it had been several hours since I had done any crying.
I stopped suddenly when I walked into the dining room. Reverend Baker, his wife and son were sitting at the table. Everyone looked up when I entered.
“Sit down, Corey.” My mother pointed to the chair across from our minister. His son was sitting beside me. I knew him from school, but I had never talked to him. Of course, I saw him every Sunday when we attended church. He was rather aloof and didn’t appear to have many friends.
I sat down and looked around the table. I looked over at my father for some understanding of what was going on, but he just looked down at his plate. I looked over at Adrian, the minister’s son, but he refused to look at me. He had a fork in his hand and he was twirling it on his empty plate.
My mother spoke, “Reverend, would you say a prayer before I serve the food?”
“Heavenly Father,” he began. “Bless this food and those about to partake of it. We ask you for guidance, especially those who are young and foolhardy and do things against your will that are sinful. We pray that you bring them back into the fold. Amen.”
So this was it. I wouldn’t go see him, so mother brought him here to see me. I looked over and gave her an angry glare. She stared back and let a small smile form in the corner of her mouth.
“May I be excused please?” I turned and asked my father. “I’m not feeling well.”
“No you may not!” my mother shouted at me. “You will sit here and listen to what Reverend Baker has to say to you.” Her face was becoming red with anger. My father and Adrian began to shift uncomfortably in their seats. I looked over at my father and gave him a pleading look. He cast his eyes down at his plate.
“Your mother tells me you have been following the devil and doing things that are sinful in the eyes of God.” He was speaking in the holier-than-thou attitude he usually reserves for his Sunday sermons. I could see the venom in his eyes. He thought I was worthless because I had decided to love another boy.
“I really don’t want to sit here and listen to this,” I spoke to my father. It was useless to say anything to my mother. She was nodding her head in agreement to Reverend Baker’s words.
“God says that in the Bible that it is sinful, men with men working that which is unseemly!” He rose and shouted at me across the table. My face was reddening with anger. I wanted to get up and hit his pompous face.
“He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of men’s perversions!” he screamed. “And he will send you to Hell unless you confess your wicked sins and accept His love once again.” He got up and walked around the table, grabbing me by my arm.
“Get on your knees, Corey.” He put his hand on my forehead. “Confess your sins and tell Jesus you are sorry for the evil you have committed.” I pushed him away and stepped back. I looked around the room and everyone’s eyes were on me.
“I’m gay, not a sinner!” I cried. “There’s nothing wrong with me!”
“You are filled with the sins of the devil!” Reverend Baked reached out and tried to pull me to the ground.
“Get on your knees and tell the Lord you are sorry!” I continued to struggle with him. Finally, I pushed him back. He lost his balance and fell against the buffet.
“You have the Devil in you, boy!” he screamed.
“Fuck you!” I yelled out. “Fuck all of you.” I looked around the room and stared into the startled faces of everyone. I ran from the room and headed outside. I jumped into my car and sped away. I had no idea where I was going, but I couldn’t stay at home anymore.
* * * * * *
“Pssst.” Brett was trying to get my attention. It was Sunday and we were attending the usual church service with our families. Reverend Baker was yelling something about sinners from his podium above the altar.
“You are all going to Hell if you don’t get baptized and live according to God’s laws!” There was a chorus of Amens echoing throughout the church.
“What Brett?” I whispered to him. We were sitting between our mothers. They put us like this so they could easily smack us on our legs if we started misbehaving. We were only thirteen, so it wasn’t unusual for us to get restless and start moving around. A quick slap to the knee usually did the trick.
“Do you think we’re going to Hell because we’re sucking each other’s dick?” he whispered in my ear. “Reverend Baker says it’s a sin to have sex with another man. Only men and women should do it.”
“I don’t care.” I giggled. “It feels good. If I’m going to Hell, then I want to go with a smile on my face.” My mother hit me on my knee when I started laughing. After a few minutes, Brett whispered in my ear again.
“Jesus is coming again!” Reverend Baker shouted loudly. “Are you ready for the day our Sweet Lord returns and takes us to Heaven in a golden chariot?”
“I don’t want to go to Hell,” Brett said worriedly.
“We’re too young to go there,” I assured him. “Jesus wouldn’t let kids our age go to Hell.”
“You sure?” He looked at me nervously.
“Yeah,” I said. “It says so in the Bible.”
“Okay, then,” he smiled. “I just don’t want to go to Hell. Reverend Baker says it’s a bad place.”
“He should know,” I giggled again. “He was probably born there.” We both started laughing, which resulted in another slap on the knee.
“Repent of your wicked ways, you sinners!” There was a chorus of Amens.
* * * * * *
I drove around a while and then went back to Kiser Lake. It was the only place today where I had felt some relief from the pain. I wished that Charlie were with me. I would have called her, but I didn’t know her number. I’m sure she would have come.
The moon was shining brightly, so I was able to make my way to the lake. It was so quiet and peaceful. I took off my shoes and waded into the water, feeling the soft bottom squish between my toes.
I kept trying to put everything together. How could my life have changed so much in one day? I didn’t know what I was going to do. I wanted to graduate, but that was months away. It was only the middle of September, and school had only started a few weeks earlier.
My first priority was finding a place to stay. I was sure that after my behavior tonight, I was no longer welcomed there. I had no other relatives in the area. The nearest one was my father’s sister, and she lived about 300 miles away. Besides, she was as sanctimonious as my mother. I was pretty sure she wouldn’t take me in after she found out about me.
My cell phone started ringing. I looked at the caller ID- Brett. I turned off the ringer so I wouldn’t hear it again.
A few minutes later a text message appeared: “Corey, call me. Please.” Again Brett. I turned the phone off so I wouldn’t see his name again. I was beginning to hate him. He was the one who had caused all this. I’m alone at the lake and he’s probably enjoying the night with Cindy. I was angry. It should have been me he was with. Damn him!
I came to a cliff overlooking the lake. There was a drop of about fifty feet. I walked to the edge and spread my arms. Maybe I could finally find the peace I was looking for.
* * * * * *
“Mmmmm,” I purred. “This is nice.” I was curled up in Brett’s arms. We had just had sex and he said he loved me.
All right, he didn’t exactly say he loved me. He said he loved fucking me. There’s not that much of a difference, right? I was at peace. We’d just started our freshman year, and we had spent all afternoon practicing for football. He had complained of his back hurting, so I had given him a massage.
It was the first time he had really let me explore his body. I was able to touch him wherever I wanted. He even let me lick him all over. Before that, he had always thought that that was a little ‘too gay.’ But tonight he lay and let me do anything I wanted. After rubbing his back, I had him turn over.
He was already hard as a rock. I had been licking his balls from behind. I thought he would finally let me lick his ass, but he stopped me before I got there. He did moan when I took his balls and rolled them around in my mouth.
I wet his cock with my spit, straddled him and slowly sat on his cock. When he was fully in me, I began to move up and down. I leaned in and rested my head on his shoulder. It was the most intense sex we had ever shared.
He moaned into my ear when he came. I could feel him shooting his load deep within me. I grabbed my cock, and with a few strokes, I came all over his chest.
Now we were lying side by side. He had his arm around me and was hugging me. I felt so safe in his arms.
“You know what?” I said softly.
“Mmmm?” He purred.
“This is how I want to die,” I confessed. “In your arms.”
“Mmmm,” he purred again.
* * * * * *
“Corey! Don’t!” I heard my father’s soft voice. I turned and looked at him. I could see tears in his eyes from the light of the moon above. “Don’t Son.” He held out his arms and I rushed into them. We both began to sob uncontrollably.
He kept saying he was sorry. I heard the words but I couldn’t comprehend the meaning. I didn’t know why he felt he had to apologize to me.
I don’t know how long he held me. It seemed like forever. I kept thinking that if I had jumped, I would never have known the love my father had for me. He put his arm around my waist and we walked around the lake. We didn’t say anything, we just walked. Every now and then, I could hear him start to cry again and he’d take me in his arms and hold me tightly. I would start crying, too.
“I’m sorry, Son,” he said as he held me tightly.
“You keep saying that, Dad.” I was confused. “Why do you keep apologizing to me?”
“Because I knew what you were going through, and I was afraid to talk to you about it,” he said as he gripped me tighter.
I pulled back and gave him a questioning look. “I don’t understand.”
“I knew you were in love with Brett,” he explained. “I saw it in your eyes years ago. I could also tell he didn’t feel the same way about you. I didn’t see the same love in his eyes. I should have talked to you; prepared you, but I didn’t know how.”
“It’s not your fault, Dad.” He was again crying, and now I was trying to console him.
“Yes it is,” he cried. “You’re hurting and I sat by and watched it happen. I’m so sorry.”
“What about Mom?” I asked. If he knew, then surely she did too.
“We talked about it,” he said. “But you know how she is. She’s so wrapped up in her work and church to really care. As long as you behaved properly, she just ignored it.”
“And now?” I looked into his eyes for an answer.
“And now,” he sighed, “you’ve embarrassed her in front of the Reverend. She’s very angry.”
“So she doesn’t want me coming home?” I was afraid to hear the answer.
“Corey, I don’t care what she wants.” He put his arm around me and we continued walking. “You’re coming home with me. If she doesn’t like it, then you and I will find a place to stay together. I don’t ever want to lose you.”
“I love you, Dad.” I fell into is arms again. He held me tightly as I cried. Only now they were happy tears. I still had my father’s love. Things were beginning to look better.
My father followed me as we drove home. I guess he was afraid I would chicken out about going back to face my mother. Fortunately, she was in her bedroom reading when we arrived.
We went into the kitchen and I sat at the kitchen table.
“You hungry?” my father asked. For the first time I actually felt that I could eat something.
“Yeah,” I replied. He reached into the refrigerator, pulled out some cold cuts, and made us both a sandwich. He handed me a plate. He then walked back to the refrigerator and took out two beers. He placed one in front of me.
“I don’t know about you, but I could use a drink. This may not be strong enough.” We both started laughing.
We talked casually for a few minutes while we ate our sandwiches and drank the beer. At first it seemed a little strange drinking with my dad, but it didn’t seem to bother him at all. Then the subject turned to football.
“You ready for Friday’s game?” I put my head down and looked at the plate.
“I’m going to quit the team,” I replied softly.
“Well, you know.” I hesitated for a moment. “Brett’s the quarterback, remember?”
“Yeah, right,” he said. We sat quietly for a few minutes. I thought I had again disappointed him.
“You want me to talk to your coach?” he asked, breaking the silence.
“You know,” he smiled. “I need you to help me with the firm. I can’t have my apprentice missing work because he has football practice all the time.”
“Thanks, Dad.” I got up, walked over and gave him another hug. We talked a few more minutes until I was too tired to keep my eyes open. I took a shower and crawled into bed. A few minutes later, I could hear my mother and father arguing. I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but I kept hearing my mother shouting my name.
After about thirty minutes of arguing, I heard their bedroom door slam. Everything got very quiet. A few minutes later, my bedroom door opened and my father came walking in.
“Move over,” he said as he crawled into my bed.
“I love you, Dad,” I said softly after he was comfortably in bed.
“I love you too, Son.” A few minutes later, I could hear him gently snoring. I listened for a few minutes until it lulled me safely to sleep.
* * * * * *
“Run and catch my pass!” Brett yelled. I took off. When I was halfway down the yard, I turned just as Brett threw the ball into my chest. I trotted over to him and handed him back the ball.
“That was good, Corey,” he beamed. “Now do it again, only this time run further down the yard.” I took off. When I got to the end of the lawn, I turned just as Brett threw the ball at me. It went slightly over my head, but I jumped and caught it. He started jumping up and down.
“That was a good catch!” He hollered across the yard. I started jumping into the air, and then I slammed the ball into the ground like I’d seen football players on television do.
We were only ten, but Brett and I were getting pretty good. I could almost figure out where he was going to throw the ball. His dad said he was going to enroll us in pee wee football the next year. We were both looking forward to it.
“Just think, Corey,” Brett said as I trotted back to him. “In a few years we’ll be playing together in high school. I’ll be the quarterback and you can be my receiver. We’ll win the championship.” He ran around and then slammed the ball into the ground like I had done earlier.
“I’m going to be in the NFL someday,” I boasted.
“In your dreams, ass wipe.” He grabbed me by my waist and threw me to the ground. He pounced on me and we wrestled until we were both too tired to move. We lay breathlessly on the ground.
“Well, wherever we go, we go together,” I said.
“Yeah.” He looked over at me and smiled. “Together.”
* * * * * *
When I awoke the next morning, my father had already gotten out of bed. I had slept like a baby. I guess knowing he was beside me helped me sleep better.
I got dressed and went into the kitchen. He was sitting alone sipping a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper.
“Morning, Son.” He looked up when I entered the room.
“Morning, Dad.” I walked over and got the cereal out of the cabinet.
“Where’s Mom?” It wasn’t unusual for her to already be at the office this time of morning.
“She’s gone,” he said sadly.
“Gone?” I turned and looked at him. He didn’t need to say anything more. His sad expression said it all. I walked over, knelt down and gave him a hug.