Well That Was Unexpected
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
Josh woke up to a room bathed in light. Lucas had lay his head on his bed whilst sitting in a nearby chair and Josh looked down upon his brother, the brother he adored and would gladly do anything for without question...well almost.
"Hey, little brother," he said when his sibling woke from his nap. "Hey, bro, how you feeling?" he asked. "Like the shit just got kicked out of me," he responded, and smirked. "Yeah, stupid question," responded Lucas.
"How are Mom and Dad?" Josh asked. "Worried about you, actually," he replied, and smiled, but a forced smile at best. "Sorry you had to go through this, Josh," Lucas said, with a sniffle in his voice. "Todd called a couple of hours ago and said Terry Reynolds had been arrested and that Cal helped," he emphasized. "Apparently he was running and Cal spotted him and brought him down with a karate kick to his chest," he continued. "I would have loved to have seen that." he finished. Josh just smiled and gave himself a mental note, 'must ask Todd if it happened in slow motion,' and sniggered.
"What's so funny?" asked Lucas, staring as though his brother was having a seizure. "Nothing bro," he replied.
"Well, yeah. And when he was knocked off his ass by Cal, the cops caught up with him, and Todd smacked him hard, but the detective sort of let him off the hook, so to speak," he giggled at the last part.
"Hey, how's my boy!" bellowed Todd as he walked into the room. "Better," replied Josh. He lied; he felt like shit, but his spirits brightened when Cal walked in, with Dale following him. Lucas stood up, hugging all three guys before allowing Cal to sit near Josh, and Cal leaned forward and kissed Josh, trying hard not to touch his sutures on his lips.
"Hey, you," he said after kissing him. "I love you," he continued. "I love you, Joshua Miller," he repeated in a raised voice, tears falling from his eyes, and Todd holding him up. "Cal...Cal!" Josh said in a raised tone. "Todd, what's the matter with him? Tell me. Please!" demanded Josh.
"He's blaming himself for your plight," said Dale. "What, why?" "He believes that if you knew he was at his friends' studying you wouldn't have gone over, and you wouldn't have been caught by Reynolds," Dale responded. "Fuck, Cal...no...don't do that...shit!" Josh yelled, just as Detective Valdez came to the door with another officer, but no FBI agent. "Todd, take him out for some air, will you please?" and Todd did as Josh had asked.
"Up for more questions, Josh?" asked Valdez, and he nodded. "Guys give us a few, please," Josh asked, and they all filed out into the waiting room.
"Okay, Josh, back to the previous attack. Our information is that you were a trial run for a gay hit on campus. It is a coincidence that you are actually gay," she continued. "But they decided to go back for you when they were certain of your sexuality." "But again, detective, Ben Kips?" he asked again. "Ben Kips, better known to us as Derrick Reynolds, has previous convictions for violence against gays, and has served some time for it. But this time he used his job to help in his campaign against minorities. We searched his apartment. I cannot go into specifics, but there was some damning evidence there, I can tell you that much," she continued. "What do you mean, 'he used his job'?" asked Josh. "He knew where the weak points were, and what route his cohorts could use to escape, and where on campus was best to spring an attack. That's how he used his job," finished Valdez. Over the next thirty minutes questions were asked and answers were given, and before she left she imparted some information to Josh:
"Terry Reynolds has been charged with kidnapping, assault, rape, battery, and murder," she said solemnly. "He faces the death penalty, if convicted," she continued, "as do his accomplices. The District Attorney's office will be in touch though, Josh. Okay?" and she left the room.
Josh lay there, remembering all that had transpired the previous day, and how much despair he was in, and the fact that he begged for death. And now, being told that a nineteen-year-old kid was facing the death penalty troubled him. But then he remembered the fact that he helped in the beat down of Connor Brian, and resulted in his death. He could not feel sorry for someone who assaulted him and murdered another human being. "Fuckem!" he yelled.
"Language." His mom and dad walked in, smiling. "I see your spirits are up, Joshua," his dad said with a forced smile. "How you doing, kiddo?" he asked. "Better, Dad," again, he lied, and his mom leaned over and kissed his cheek. "I love you, Joshua," his mom whispered loud enough for his dad to hear, and Josh smiled. He was glad that his parents were supportive of him and Cal, and not freaked out like some parents were. My parents are awesome, he thought.
His parents visited for a short while before heading out to get something to eat, and said they would see him the following day, and kissed their son goodnight.
"Hey, you," came Cal, and by himself, feeling somewhat stupid. "Sorry I freaked out, babe," he said, whilst sitting down, taking hold of his lover's hand. "You okay now?" Josh asked softly. "I don't know. I honestly don't know," he went on. "I cannot forgive myself for this Josh, I don't know how," he said, kissing his hand. "Please forgive me Josh. I beg you," he wept.
"Nothing to forgive you for," Josh said, holding Cal's hand, squeezing it softly. "I should have let you know where I was," he sobbed. "Why?" Josh asked. "So you would have been safe," he said. "Cal, your birthday gift saved my life, you studying did not send me to them. They were stalking me and grabbed me, it was opportunistic, not your fault! Please believe me on this," he said, and Cal smiled, forced, like so many have been today.
Over the next hour or so Dale and Todd also made an appearance at Josh's bedside, trying their best to cheer him up and failing in their task. But, he appreciated the effort and was grateful that he had such amazing and true friends. He let out a yawn that wasn't forced, as it had been a tiring and trying day and he was exhausted. So the boys said their goodnights and left Cal for a couple of extra minutes and they left the room.
"Love you," Cal said, as he kissed his lover goodnight. "Love you more," Josh said with a smile, for once not forced.
Todd and Dale headed into campus, walking towards the quad and the coffee shop to get some java. Their first exam was at 10am sharp and caffeine was most definitely needed. As they approached the door, they came upon Nick and David.
"Nick, if you say one thing about 'the faggot got what he deserved,' so help me god I will drop you where you stand," he shouted with meaning as Dale took to his side. "Whoa, whoa, sorry dude," Nick said in a non-aggressive manner. "Suppose I had that coming," he went on. "Todd, I was a dick, okay," he continued, "Do you think I don't feel like a total douche about this shit?" He was on a roll, "Look, that Connor kid knocked me, believe me," he went on. "Look I was ...a dipshit," he went on.
"No argument from me," spat out Todd.
"Fuck...Look, when you get brought up with 'fag' this and 'fag' that, some of that shit sticks. And, well...fuck...I'm fucking this up...dude, what I am saying is...shit...I have had time to reflect and...I don't give a rat's ass if anyone is gay...What fucking difference does any of it make anyway? Look, Todd, I like Josh, and what those sick fucks did to him...fuck...Terry Reynolds...shit!"
"Yeah, okay, dude, I get you," said Todd. "Yeah, I was a bit like that in high school, and, well, it makes me sick to my stomach now. I treated some kids like shit, and, well, I am not proud of myself, so I won't judge, okay?"
And he reached out and shook Nick's hand.
"How is he?" asked David
They fucked him over well and truly," stated Dale, "Over two hundred strikes to his body. They fucking tortured him for over ten hours...fucking sick fucks," he continued. "Do we know who helped Terry anyway?" asked Nick. "His cousin, and some fuck he was in prison with," Dale spat out. "Cousin?" asked Dave. "Yeah, Derrick Reynolds," Todd said. "Don't know him," Nick replied. "Yeah, you do. Ben Kips!" Dale spat out. "The security guy?" Dave said in total disbelief. "Yeah, his real name is Derrick, Terry's cousin.
"He did time for assault on a kid he thought was gay. The kid was sixteen and he took a baseball bat to the kid's cousin so he couldn't identify him. A piece of work, no doubt." Dale finished.
"How the fuck does a low-life like him get a job on a campus, anyway?" Nick said, annoyed. "The cops are asking those questions as we speak, I believe," Todd informed him.
"Look guys, I am going to say this once. We have got to watch out for this shit, okay? There are gay guys and girls out there being shunned and ignored, and as we have witnessed, attacked, for being different! And it's wrong. And, yes, I have been guilty of it as well, I admit, but fuck!...I woke up, and Josh came out and he is still Dale's best friend and my buddy for life. I don't give a flying fuck what anyone's orientation is. And Nick, my best friend who I recently found out is gay is coming here next semester, and his partner also. And I for one will protect him if needed. People's mind-sets need to be re-educated," Todd informed the group. "I am not asking people to fly the rainbow flag or anything...just let them be...let them be educated without fear of reprisals. Shit, is that asking too much?" Todd concluded.
"You got my vote," Nick replied. "And mine," answered Dave, and they let out a small laugh and entered the coffee shop.
"Am I wrong?" Todd asked the group. "Look, Todd, I get you, believe me, but some rednecks are stuck in their ways, and well, the fucking church doesn't help in that regard, do they? You know...'gays are a sin against God,' and all that shit," Nick said. "Yeah, that shit coming from a bunch of paedophiles, fucking hypocrites," Dale spat out, as Cal came into the coffee shop. "Hey, Cal, I got you one, dude," and he sat down across from Nick and David. "Thanks," he said.
"Nick, Dave, this is Cal,...Josh's partner," he said waiting for a response.
"Hey, Cal, nice to meet you," Nick said holding out his hand to be shaken, which Cal took, as well as David's, with no sign of deceit from either party, which pleased Todd somewhat. "So, how do you know these two reprobates?" asked Cal. "Hey, I resent that!" Todd pretended to be offended.
"I was a total douche," said Nick. "I was a fucking idiot," he continued to berate himself. "Look, Cal, before Connor was attacked I wouldn't have honestly given you the time of day or the sweat off my balls," he said. "K," said Cal. " As I said, douche."
"So, Nick, Connor being attacked gave you perspective," Cal said sceptically. "Not exactly. Todd tearing me a new ass hole did that," he laughed out. "And, dude, I needed a wakeup call, like so many assholes around here is all."
"Shit! Exam. Gotta run!" they all said in unison, and flew out of the door, heading for the exam rooms, and only just being allowed in as the doors were being locked.
Over the next ten or so days, and after many visits from friends and, of course, family, Josh began to get his strength back, but suffered terribly from nightmares. He knew he would have to seek help and had talked to his dad about such matters, and he was recommended to a local psychotherapist to whom he could talk to and maybe receive help, as she had experience in such trauma cases.
Two weeks after the attack, Josh was ready to be discharged and was happy that this was happening. His midterms had been set back for the start of the next month, and he was going home. Cal was joining him for the two-week break. He was a bit apprehensive about that, as he thought once Cal saw his battered body and the welts that were still there, he wouldn't want him in the way he needed to be wanted. The sex he enjoyed with Cal would have to wait a while, as his anus was still healing and still a bit tender, but not as bad as it was.
"Hey sexy, you ready to skip this joint," Joked Cal, kissing Josh on the lips and cheek. "You bet your sweet ass, and what a sweet ass it is, by the way," he joked back, kissing him back and leaning against him, forehead to forehead. "Missed you, you know that," Josh said, sighing. "Me too," Cal replied. "My aim in life is to keep you safe and happy. That is my mission, and I have chosen to accept it!" he joked out. "Is this where you self-destruct in five seconds?" Josh joked back, kissing him softly. "Love you, Calumn Kenner." He smiled and said, "Ditto, Love!"
As soon as Josh was able, a couple of days later they had planned and packed for their trip to Boston. They started driving, heading towards Boston, with Josh's family having gone back the week before. Dale and Todd were right behind them on the road.
"You told them I asked you to marry me," Cal, said softly. "Yeah, no secrets. I promised," Josh said, and Cal smiled at him. "I Like that you told them, it means that you are serious about us," he said. "What made you think that I wasn't serious anyway?" Josh asked. "My insecurities popping up again," Cal said, reaching over to hold Josh's hand.
"Look Cal, there is three and a half months left in this school year, and next school year we can live off campus. And I want us, and I mean US: you, me, Todd, and Dale, to share an apartment. And, if we can find one big enough–four bedrooms–we can invite Aaron and Kyle to move in with us. Six people splitting the check shouldn't be a financial burden on any of us," Josh stated. "Good idea," replied Cal.
"I am not finished yet," Josh continued. "Sorry, babe," replied Cal. "When we move into our new home for the next three years, I want it to be...well...as my husband!" Josh was now finished.
The look on Cal's face went from utter disbelief to sheer joy. He slowed the car down, pulled to the side of the road, leaned over and planted a kiss on his lover and smiled into him, saying, "You sure about this, babe?" Josh just looked directly into Cal's boner-inducing eyes and said, "Cal, when I survived this, all I could think of was you. When I was enduring it, all I thought of was you. And now...all I can think of is you. I have no doubts, no reservations. I want you as my life partner and Boston does same-sex marriages. So when this freshman year is concluded, we start sophomore year as a married couple, okay?" Josh simply beamed at his lover's face.
"Yes...yes...yes!" Cal screamed out.
And, just as he stopped screaming in joy, Dale knocked on the window of Cal's car.
"Why have we stopped?" asked Dale, "Todd was wondering." "Dale...Dale, will you stand up with me in four months time when I marry Calumn Kenner?" he laughed, never taking his eyes off Cal's.
"Fuck, dude! You serious?" Dale asked. "Never more so," Josh proclaimed, and Todd came to the window. "Well, what's the hold-up?" Dale, smiling like the cat that got the cream, responded, "Our boy is getting married!" Todd looked into the car and, as yet, Josh's eyes had not left Cal's, until Todd opened the driver's side and Dale opened the passenger side of the car, dragging the occupants out.
"Josh, it would be my fucking honour dude, my fucking honour," and he grabbed Josh. Then, realising that "Shit, sorry!" he was still hurt, "Fuck, dude, you okay? I mean, I forgot!" He looked worried, but Josh just burst out laughing. "I am not made of porcelain dude. I will live. Yes, it fucking hurt, but, yeah, I am fine."
"Todd...Todd," Cal said, trying to get his attention. Todd was still looking over at Josh and Dale, smiling like an inbred idiot. "Todd!" He tried again, "Look, dude, I have friends to ask, but I would be honoured if you will also stand up with me," Cal asked, looking for a reaction. And he got one.
Todd stood crying for no apparent reason, and said, "Guys, I fucking love you. The pair of you. And, fuck if I am going to miss that party! Count me in!" he responded. "Is that a 'yes' then?" Cal joked. "Fucking damn right it's a 'yes'."
And for some reason Todd just dropped to the ground and laughed his head off. "Fucking lunatic!" proclaimed Josh. "Fucking Lunatic!" And they watched until he eventually stopped and stood up.
"Guys I have just realised something. Half my friends are gay!" He burst out laughing again, walking to his car. Soon all four were heading back to Boston and two weeks of recuperation and, of course, Josh's twice-postponed birthday bash, and perhaps an engagement party attached!
To be continued...
Okay guys; hope you enjoyed the lighter side after the dark moments of Josh's journey. Please, I would appreciate any encouragement writing this story. As always, comments are welcome, critical as well as constructive. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org