Dancing on a Star Chapter 24
Can my life get more complicated? I’m not sure what is going on anymore, as if I understood it before today. I’m arguing with my mother. Jeff likes me and wants us to be a couple. Tracy wants both of us to be friends with benefits. And now Jimmy. I’m not sure what is going on inside his head.
We’ve always been best friends, and except for that time we messed around when we were about twelve, we’ve never shown any interest in each other. Even when I was beginning to realize I am gay, I never thought of Jimmy as boyfriend material. If I did, I would have told him that I thought I am gay just to see how he would react.
However, I knew how he would react. He would react like he did with Jeff and Tracy. I never thought that Jimmy is homophobic. However, for some reason, when Tracy moved in across the street, he changed. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if he is jealous. What if he did realize that I am gay. What if he was like me and is too afraid to tell me. Afterall, I hid it from him and everyone else.
But Jimmy can’t be gay. He’s talked about finding a girlfriend for several years. Yet, if he wanted a girlfriend, wouldn’t he have found one by now? Thinking back, it now seems like he didn’t really try to ask girls out. He would talk about this girl or that girl, and he would think about asking them out, but he never did. Tyler and Brian would try to convince him to do it, but he never did. Tyler would laugh and call him chickenshit. But was Jimmy like me and didn’t want to date a girl?
No! Jimmy isn’t gay. Is he?
I got my crutches and went over to the window and sat down. My mind was in overdrive. Two weeks ago, I was worried because everyone knew I was gay. Last week I was in the hospital after running in front of a car. And now I’ve got three boys interested in me. Jeff wants me to be his boyfriend, and I even told Jimmy he was. But I’m not looking for a boyfriend. I’m sixteen. I just want to enjoy life.
Some life, though. I’m feeling like an old blanket. A part of it unravels, and then you sew it up, only to have another piece come apart. Before long, it will be all be stitched up with no more room to repair it. Then what do I do?
I looked out the window and saw Tracy walking across the street. “Just great,” I said to myself. I had ruined the friendship with Jeff and Jimmy. I guess it was now going to be Tracy’s turn.
When he knocked on the door, I hollered out for him to come in. I assumed it was unlocked when Jeff slammed it shut. Tracy entered with a wide grin on his face. As soon as he noticed the expression on my face, he became worried.
He approached and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Is it that obvious,” I asked with a slight laugh.
He asked, “Are you still fighting with your mother?”
“Her and everyone else,” I responded sadly. He grabbed me by my arm and helped me stand.
“Let’s go sit on the sofa,” he said as he put his hand around my waist and led me across the room. Once we sat, he turned and asked worriedly, “What’s happened, Jack?”
“Why is my life so fucked up?” I asked tearfully. I then spent the next few minutes telling him what had happened early.
“Jimmy sucked your dick!” he asked excitedly. “I thought you said he was straight.”
“I thought he was,” I replied. “I’m still not sure if he is. I think he just feels bad for what happened to me, and he’s trying to make it up.”
Tracy giggled and said, “You don’t suck someone’s dick because you feel guilty. It has to be more than that.”
I shook my head and replied, “I don’t know. Maybe he is.”
“So, you told Jeff he sucked your dick?” I nodded my head. “That’s not a good thing.”
“Jeff is in love with you,” he replied. “When we’re in school, all he talks about is you.”
“But I don’t want him to be in love with me,” I insisted. “I don’t want a boyfriend.” I grinned and added, “I kind of like it the way things are.” I placed my hand on his dick and squeezed it. I gave him a puzzled look when he gently removed it.
“Jack, we can’t do this right now,” he said. “It ain’t right.”
He rose and started pacing around the room. He stopped and looked down at me. “Remember when the three of us started messing around?” I nodded my head. “We agreed that if two of us become serious, then the other would back off?”
“But I’m not serious about Jeff,” I insisted.
“Maybe not,” he replied. “But Jeff is. He thinks you’re his boyfriend. Can’t you understand that?”
I asked, “Is that why he got mad at me?”
Tracy sat back down beside me. “Maybe you’re not looking for a boyfriend, but Jeff is. He’s always like you. He’s told me that several times.”
“So, what do I do?”
He smiled and asked, “What’s wrong with having a boyfriend? I would love to have a steady guy.”
“Sure,” he replied. “It just seems right to be in love with someone. I know I talk a lot about friends with benefits, but it doesn’t beat having a boyfriend.”
“I don’t know,” I said as I rested my head against the back of the sofa. “I’m only sixteen.”
He sat up and stared at me. “Okay, think about this.” I nodded my head. “You said your father said your mother is worried about you getting hurt because you’re gay.”
I replied, “That’s what he said, but it doesn’t make sense to me.”
“Maybe she has this idea that all gay guys want to do is have sex.”
I grinned and replied, “Don’t we?”
“Come on, Jack,” he frowned. “I’m being serious.”
“Okay,” I replied.
“I know my parents thought the same thing,” he continued. “Mom even broke down and cried one day because she thought I would die from AIDS.”
I gave his surprised look and asked, “She did?”
“Sure,” he replied. “You’ve heard guys talk. They think all we want to do is suck dick and get fucked and then die of AIDS.”
I knew what he was saying was true. Jimmy, Tyler and Brian used to make comments about gays always wanting sex. We used joke about who Jeff was doing at school. Every time we saw him talking to another boy, we’d wonder if they were ‘doing it.’
Tracy faced me and said, “Maybe if you have a steady boyfriend your mom will stop worrying about you. Maybe she’ll see that you are serious about having a relationship, and she won’t see it as just having sex with someone.”
I shook my head. “I don’t know, Tracy. That doesn’t make any sense. If she is against me being gay, then she surely won’t want me to have a boyfriend.”
He frowned and asked, “Well, right now things aren’t getting any better, are they?”
I shook my head and said, “No. I’m even afraid that my mother and dad are thinking about getting a divorce.”
“They are?” he asked incredulously.
“Dad says he’s getting tired of the way she’s treating me.”
He asked, “Then why don’t you try something different? If she sees you’re in love with someone, then maybe she’ll change. Maybe she’ll accept Jeff as your boyfriend and not just some random guy you fuck with.”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I mean, some of it is making sense, but I still don’t think it will change her mind.”
Tracy gripped my hand. “Jeff loves you, Jack. I know you don’t feel the same way right now, but maybe you’ll change too.”
“I’ll think about it,” I responded. Tracy leaned in and gave me a big hug.
After Tracy left, I went over to the window and sat down. I had a lot on my mind, and I needed to think. Was Tracy right? Would Mom’s attitude change if she saw that I wasn’t just interested in sex. Afterall, that seemed to be her biggest problem. Dad said she doesn’t have a problem with gay people. She just thinks that gay sex is bad. Of course, that doesn’t even make sense to me. She surely can’t accept me being gay as long as I’m…what’s the word I want? Celebrate, I think. I’ll have to google it later to make sure.
However, how can I have a boyfriend and not want to share myself with him? And that would include having sex with him. She loves Dad. So, what if someone told her that she can’t have sex with Dad?
Oh, God! I can’t believe I’m going there. But it is something to think about. I guess we could sneak around like we are now and do things behind their back. However, that isn’t something I want to do. If I love someone, then I don’t want to hide. I’ve been doing that for too long.
I’m not sure if Tracy’s plan will work. Maybe Mom can accept that I have a boyfriend, but will she be able to accept the rest. I think I need to talk to Stephanie again and find out if she is having sex with someone. I know it’s not Darren, but maybe she does have a boyfriend that she didn’t mention. Afterall, too much was going on to discuss what is happening in her life.
I need to know how Mom feels about Stephanie dating a guy, and if she thinks it is okay for her to have sex with him. If she does, then I think I’ll really get mad about it. But then I’ll know the truth. She isn’t worried about me getting hurt. She does hate me because I’m gay.
Mom came home from work around four. She peeked into the room but left without saying anything. I think she just does it to see if Jeff or Tracy is with me. After changing her clothes, I could hear her preparing dinner in the kitchen.
I knew I was taking a chance, but I grabbed my crutches and went into the kitchen to get a soda. She had her back turned to me as she washed dishes in the sink. When I reached for the refrigerator door, I lost my balance and fell against the table before falling to the floor.
She rushed over and knelt beside me. “Are you okay?” she asked worriedly.
I sat up and answered, “I’m not sure.” When I tried to move my arm, a terrible pain shot up my arm and I cried out.
“What’s wrong?” My mother grabbed my arm and held it gently as I cried.
I cried, “I think I broke it again.”
“Oh, Dear,” she muttered as she rose and grabbed the phone.
I asked, “What are you doing?”
“I’m calling 9-1-1,” she informed me as she started to dial the number.
“No!” I screamed out. She jumped and put down her phone. She knelt beside me and insisted that she should call an ambulance to take me to the hospital.
“You can take me,” I moaned as I tried to rise from the floor. She placed her hands around me and attempted to pull me to my feet.
“You’re too heavy,” she complained. “You’re going to need help getting up.”
I held out my hand and insisted, “Give me the phone.”
“I’m going to call Jeff and ask him to come help.”
“No,” she replied. “I’ll call your father at work.”
I refused to give her the phone as I called Jeff’s number. “Jeff,” I cried into the phone. “I need your help.” I didn’t even have to explain what happened. He hung up immediately. I knew by now he was probably racing down the sidewalk toward our house.
I could have called Tracy. He lived across the street and would have arrived sooner. However, I intentionally called Jeff. Mom seemed concerned about me, and perhaps she would accept Jeff’s help in getting me into the car.
Seconds later, the doorbell rang, and my mother rushed from the room. Suddenly, Jeff was kneeling beside me. “What happened, Jack?”
I moaned and responded, “I fell trying to get something out of the refrigerator.”
It surprised me when my mother said, “I should have helped you.”
I looked up at her and asked, “Can you help Jeff get me up?” She leaned down and grabbed my left arm as Jeff put his hands around my waist. I struggled to stand but managed to eventually get up.
“Oh, God, my arm!” I moaned as I lifted the cast to help alleviate the pain. Jeff looked like he was ready to cry when I told him I think I broke it again.
My mother began to pull me away. “Jeff, help me get him to the car.” Jeff continued to hold me around the waist to steady me. I was in too much pain to try and use my crutches. After several minutes, Mom opened the backseat car door, and Jeff gently helped me inside. I looked over at my mother as she watched him help me. I thought she would object when he went to the other side and got in beside me.
“I’ll be right back,” she informed us. “I have to get my purse and lock the door.”
When she was gone, Jeff leaned over and gently hugged me. “Are you going to be okay, Jack?” he asked worriedly. “I’m so scared right now.”
I looked into his blue eyes, smiled and assured him, “I’ll be okay.” He was going to kiss me, but he looked at the porch as my mother exited the house. He scooted over so she wouldn’t think we had been doing something.
She didn’t say anything all the way to the hospital. However, she kept looking into the back rearview mirror at me and Jeff. I wish that I could know what she was thinking. It was the first time she hadn’t gotten upset that Jeff was with me. In fact, it surprised me that she let him ride to the hospital with us.
When we arrived at the emergency entrance, Jeff jumped from the car and ran inside. Soon he came out with two people pulling a gurney. They approached my door and helped me out. Even though I told them I was alright, they insisted that I lay down. They then rolled me inside. Jeff reached down and held my hand as my mother followed behind. He was told to wait in the waiting area as I was taken to a room with my mother.
A doctor immediately appeared and examined me. My mother explained what had happened. He held my arm and examined it. “Does it hurt?” he asked as he gently twisted it. I let out a shout and he stopped. “I’ll order X-rays,” he informed my mother, “but it does appear that he has rebroken it.”
“Great,” I moaned. “Just what I need.”
My mother came over and brushed back my hair. “It’s going to be alright, Dear.” I looked into her face, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. She actually appeared to be worried about me. The doctor told her to go to the waiting area while I was going to have X-rays taken.
“If it is broken,” he informed her, “he’ll be taken into surgery and be recast immediately. Hopefully, the damage is minor.”
Tears started to well in my eyes, “What if it isn’t?” I asked.
He smiled and replied, “We’ll deal with that later.” He patted my hand and left the room.
When an aide came into the room to take me to get X-rays, my mother held my hand and tried to assure me everything would be alright. “Yeah, sure,” I attempted to smile. When I looked into her eyes, they were misty with tears. I was rolled from the room and taken away.
Unfortunately, the X-rays showed that I had damaged the break that occurred in the accident. It wasn’t serious, but the doctor told me that I would experience pain for a few days. I was taken back to the emergency room where my father was waiting for me. He jumped up when they wheeled me into the room.
“How are you, Son?” he asked worriedly. I assured him I was alright, and the doctor explained the injury.
“He’ll be sore for a few days,” he informed my Dad. “I’m going to prescribe some medication.” He smiled at me and added, “No basketball for a while.” He laughed as he left the room. Is it common for doctors to joke to boys about basketball? I wondered what they warn girls to avoid.
“Where’s Mom?” I asked after the doctor left the room. I wasn’t expecting his reply.
He informed me, “She’s in the waiting room with Jeff. He is terribly upset, so your mother decided to stay with him.”
“What?” I asked excitedly. “You mean she isn’t upset he’s here at the hospital? Yesterday she kicked him out of the house.”
“I don’t understand it,” he replied. “I guess her maternal instincts kicked in.”
“What maternal instincts?” I asked sarcastically. “She hasn’t had any lately.”
“Maybe she’s changing,” he suggested.
He giggled when I responded, “And maybe I’ll become Batman.”
Dad helped me remove the hospital gown and put on my shirt. A sharp pain shot through my arm, but I managed not to scream. I still couldn’t believe that I was beginning to recover from the accident, and I had to hurt myself again. I was going to have to be more careful.
Dad helped me from the room, and we slowly made our way to the waiting room. Jeff hollered out, “Jack!” when he saw me enter. He rushed over and threw his arms around me.
“Ouch!” I screamed. He jumped back and started crying.
“I’m sorry, Jack,” he sobbed. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
My mother approached and gently gripped his arm. “You’ll have to be more careful, Jeff,” she warned.
He smiled slightly and responded with a polite, “Yes, Ma’am.” My father gave me a puzzled look.
“I think it’s time we head home,” my father said. He looked at my mother and asked, “Did you call Mrs. Craft and ask her to watch Karen until we came home?”
“Yes, Dear,” she replied. Again, my father gave me a puzzled look. I was beginning to wonder if my mother was beginning to return.
Jeff put his arm around my waist and steadied me as we walked to the car. My father walked beside me in case I lost my balance. My mother walked ahead and opened the backseat car door. Jeff and my father helped me in, and then Jeff climbed in beside me.
On the way home, my father said that he was starving, and he suggested that we should stop somewhere to eat. He asked Jeff to call his parents and see if he could join us. Jeff talked to his mother, and she gave him permission after briefly talking to my father.
We pulled into a Mexican restaurant, and again Jeff helped me out and held me tightly around the waist as we entered. The manager came over and asked if I was alright. My father assured him I was fine, and he led us to a booth. Jeff sat down, and my father helped me into the booth beside him.
After ordering, there was an awkward silence. My mother kept staring at me and Jeff. However, she didn’t seem angry. I felt that she was trying to size up the situation. It seems like she may have bonded with Jeff in the waiting room, and now that I was out, she wasn’t sure how she should act. She couldn’t resent him after comforting him a half hour earlier.
She looked at Jeff and said, “You have wonderful parents, Jeff.”
He gave me a puzzled look and replied, “Yes, Ma’am, I do.”
She smiled and said, “They seem to love you very much.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” he replied, “they do. They’re my parents. They’re supposed to love me.”
“Yes,” she smiled as she looked over at me. “Parents are supposed to love their children.” I quickly looked at my father as he gave me a puzzled look and shrugged his shoulders.
The server brought our meals to the table, but I wasn’t hungry. I was too exhausted to eat. After falling in the kitchen and the ordeal of getting me to the emergency room had tired me out. Then I had to walk to the car and into the restaurant. All I really wanted to do was go home, climb into my bed and go to sleep.
“You’re not hungry, Jack?” Jeff asked as he noticed that I wasn’t eating.
“I’m tired,” I replied. I leaned over and rested my head on his shoulder. “I just want to go home and sleep.”
I looked at my mother to see her reaction, but she continued to eat without saying anything. My father suggested that perhaps we should eat quickly and return home. Again, getting to the car was an ordeal. Since I didn’t have my crutches to help me walk, I had to rely on Jeff and my Dad to help me. Once in the car, I again rested my head on Jeff’s shoulder and fell asleep.
I was awakened when we arrived home. Dad and Jeff carried me inside and helped me get into bed. “Jeff,” asked my father. “Would you help Jack change into his pajamas?”
Jeff quickly looked at my mother, but she quietly left the room and went into the kitchen. She hollered out and asked my father if he wanted her to make a pot of coffee. “That would be great, Sweetheart,” he said as he smiled down at me and left.
Jeff got my pajamas that were folded up at the end of the bed. “What is going on?” he asked as he helped me remove my pants.
“What do you mean?” I asked, even though I was sure what he was asking.
“Your mother,” he replied. “She’s not acting like she has been.” He removed my shirt and helped me pull a tee shirt over my head. “She’s acting normal,” he added.
“I don’t know,” I responded. “I guess she got scared when I hurt myself again.”
He sat on the side of the bed and held my hand. “I was scared too. When you called me, I knew something bad had happened.” He leaned down, hugged me gently and kissed me softly.
He jumped when he heard my mother enter the room. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said as she stood looking across the room at us. I afraid she would react like she had before. I was ready for the fight.
“Jeff, Dear,” she spoke warmly. “Are you ready for me to take you home? I called your mother and told her you would be home in a few minutes.”
Jeff gave me a puzzled look and replied, “Yes, Ma’am.” He rose, kissed me gently on the cheek, turned and headed out the door with my mother.
‘What in the hell in going on?’ I wondered to myself.