Well That Was Unexpected
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
Josh was snoozing as Cal turned by the grocery store, winding down the tree-lined street to Josh's family home. He stopped, woke Josh, and got out of his vehicle to talk to Todd and Dale, who were just pulling up behind him.
"So, Jitneys at seven then," said Todd, looking over towards his own home, and then back at us, said, "You telling your folks about your plans, Josh?" "Yeah, I will tonight. I think they might be a bit shocked, but I think they will be happy for me," I replied, with my goofy Cal-induced grin.
Dale was still beaming. He was happy that my recent experiences seem to have ended with happiness with the choices I am making, and for that he was grateful. He came over and grabbed me in a hug, being careful not to hurt his best friend. He kissed my cheek, saying, "Josh, dude, I know this is going to sound fucking gay as shit, but, Josh, you are my brother from another mother. You are my rock. And, dude, I don't give a shit what these guys think about our friendship; our relationship will never be rocky, or uncertain. I will always have your back, and if ever you need me, any time–night or day, wherever you are in the country–I will drop everything and I will be there for you. You are my brother! And that means more to me than anything. I love you, dude."
"Dale, are you okay, dude? You seem...I don't know...emotional," I said.
"Dude, you have proven to us again that you are mentally strong. Shit, the things you have gone through, and you are looking to the future...fuck...I would have had a mental breakdown. But not you," he said with admiration, as Todd and Cal looked on.
"Guys, I will be seeing a psychotherapist when I get back to college," I confided, looking at the ground. "I am having nightmares and serious flashbacks, and sleeping at night is hell," I continued. "I hope she can help me." I started to weep, and Cal wrapped me into his embrace.
"I will do whatever you need me to do, okay?" Cal said softly, embracing me, his partner. "Anything you need," he continued. "I love you so much. You know that," said Cal, as we began walking up the driveway to my parent's house, holding each other close. But I stopped, turned around, and said to my two best friends, "Guys, you are both fucking awesome," and I turned and walked into my house.
"Hey, bro," said Lucas, embracing me softly as not to hurt me. "Luc," I hugged him back. "Cal, you good?" and Cal reached out his hand. Lucas pushed it away and embraced him also. "Yeah, Lucas I'm fine. You?" he asked Lucas. "Better now that you are both home," he smiled.
"Hey, kiddo," my dad said, coming from the living room, pulling me into a hug. "Good trip, boys?" he asked. "Smooth, Dad, plain sailing all the way," replied Cal. "Dad?" I asked. "He told me to either call him `Dad' or his first name. So, out of respect, and since I no longer have one, I prefer to call him Dad," Cal replied. "Do you mind?" he asked me. "Not in the slightest. It's kind of apt, don't you think?" I responded.
"Hello, my boys," Mom said. "Dinner won't be long," she continued, kissing Cal, then myself on the cheek. "You look exhausted, sweetheart," she continued, holding on to my cheek. "I am fine, Mom, really," I lied, but not wanting to cause further worry to my parents, despite the fact that I was struggling to cope.
"If you don't mind, I am going upstairs to clean up before we eat," I said, disappearing upstairs before anyone had a chance to respond.
"Okay, Cal, how is he really?" Mrs Miller asked. "Mrs Miller, I won't lie to you. He isn't doing well, to be honest," Cal said. "He hides most of his torment from others, and his smile is definitely forced," he said, looking at Josh's mom. "I sleep in the same room and hear his screams. And it's not good when you don't know what to do to help. And I want to help," he said quietly. "He won't let me touch him," he continued, but with sorrow in his words. "He locks the door when he cleans himself. I think he is afraid of my rejection if I see his wounds. I can assure you that won't happen. I love him too much."
"He's having a tough time?" asked Lucas. All Cal did was nod. Lucas bowed his head and then looked at Cal. "I'm pleased he has you." Smiling, getting up and walking over to Cal, he hugged him tight. "Hang in there, bro," Lucas encouraged Cal. "He need's you, believe me. He need's you so much," he concluded, and Josh's dad joined in on the Hallmark moment.
Cal went upstairs to see how Josh was doing and walked into Josh's bedroom. He noticed the bathroom door was open and he lightly knocked. "I am in here!" yelled Josh. "It's me, love," Cal calmly stated. "Please, Cal, don't come in," shouted Josh, with a hint of desperation in his words. Cal just stood there, not wanting to freak out Josh more than he was, but he loved him and wanted him to know that. So he ignored his lover's request, and walked in.
"Please, Cal, don't look at me...please, don't look at me!!" Josh cried out, with tears falling uncontrollably. Cal looked on, totally broken hearted at his lover's plight. "Please leave me, please Cal, leave me!" he cried louder. Cal was now also crying, as he wanted to hold him and tell him everything will be all right, tell him his feelings have not changed, that his love for him grows stronger every day.
"Josh...Josh, please. Look at me, Josh, look at me. Shhhhh. Shhhhh." spoke Cal, gently placing his finger on his tender lips to softly quiet him. "I love you so much, and I want to help you. I need to help you. Can't you see that?" pleaded Cal. "I am not walking out of this bathroom, so look at me Josh...please."
"I...I can't," whispered Josh. "My body is ugly, and I am ashamed of it," he muttered.
"Ashamed? What for? You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of Josh," said Cal, looking directly into his lover's eyes. "You said you wanted to marry me sooner rather than later. Well Josh, I want that to happen, but it has to be an equal partnership. And that means we share everything. Good times as well as bad, okay?" he continued, whilst stroking his lover's face with his thumb, wiping away the still falling tears.
"I am hideous, Cal; my body has been destroyed," Josh said in a solemn tone. "Josh, you have survived an horrendous ordeal, something nobody should have to endure. Yes, your body is banged up, but it will heal, and the cuts will also. And, yes, there will be some small scars. But, Josh, believe me when I say this from my heart. Wear those scars as a badge of survival, and I will treasure your body as much as I did before," he said with tears falling. "Those bastards hurt you bad, Josh, but please don't let them win," he said, kissing his forehead. "Let me help you, please," he concluded.
"I want to get past this Cal, believe me, I want to. I just don't know if I am strong enough not to fall apart," he said, crying out at his lover. "Josh, give yourself some credit. You are by far the strongest willed person I have ever met. So trust me, okay?" Cal said, holding his lover close.
Josh took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly. "Okay," was all he said, and he stood up. Cal removed his T-shirt over his head, and dropped to his knees and undid Josh's belt and removed his jeans. He looked over his lover's body, noticing all the welts that were still visible, and the dressings that were still on his lover's body: five on his torso, four on his leg's, and one on his scalp. He forced a smile to try and reassure Josh he was okay, and removed the dressings to clean his lover's body.
"See, I am not running away, am I?" spoke Cal in a calm but loving manner. Josh looked with total love at his boyfriend's eyes.
Cal reached into the sink and squeezed a sponge, and softly and with care slowly cleaned his lover's body. Starting at his head, down his face, that induced a smile from Josh, he continued with care down his lover's torso. Josh lifted his arms to allow Cal to clean his armpits as well as his arms. He turned him around and was gentler to clean his back, as there were more than forty welts on his lover's back where a wooden cane had been used on his body. That brought a light gasp from Cal, as he was beginning to feel what his lover had endured, and it was literally breaking his heart, but he hid it well. He continued down his legs and his feet and the back of his legs. He gently cleaned his anus, as that looked puffy and swollen and looked very sore, as a couple of stitches were visable, and that brought a wince from Josh. "Sorry, babe," said Cal, apologetically. "No, it's fine," said Josh.
"Cal then redressed Josh's wounds, and helped him to get dressed. "Thank you," said Josh, touching Cal on the side of his face, and gently kissing his lips. "No love. Thank you for letting me do my job," and returning the kiss with genuine affection.
"I can't wait for you to be my husband. You know that?" said Cal, kissing his lover gently before going downstairs for dinner.
They sat and enjoyed dinner with his parents Lucas and nothing was forced. Josh was feeling a lot better about himself. They talked about what they had planned for their stay and what they wanted to see and do. They also thanked them for putting the double bed into Josh's room and then they decided to fill everyone in on their plans for their future.
"Dad," Cal started to speak. "Dad, Mrs Miller, I..." he was cut off. "Cal, please call me Mom, if you like," she said. "Thank you. I would like that. I would like that very much," he said, smiling across to Josh.
"Mom, Dad...A few weeks ago I asked Josh if he would do me the honour of becoming my husband, and he said yes. But the original plan was to get through college first. You know, a long engagement, and it would have been at least three and a half years," he said, with all of Josh's family looking on, and occasionally looking in Josh's direction and seeing him glow, looking at his boyfriend whilst Cal was speaking.
"But things and plans changed," Josh started to speak, and the focus was now on him, whilst Cal held his hand. "On the way here, Mom, Dad, I asked Cal if he would marry me sooner, and he asked when. I told him before sophomore year starts, as we will be moving off campus, and I wanted him to be my husband when we did that. And he agreed," he said, looking at his parents faces, trying to gauge their reactions. "Mom, Dad, I love him and I don't want to wait," he said, holding his lover's hand and his gaze.
"Josh, Cal, we love you both. But, why the urgency?" his dad asked. "Dad, my experiences over the past few weeks have shown me that life is short and that I should grab life when it happens. So, Dad, I am grabbing it with both hands," he said, smiling that goofy smile that only his lover could give him. "Cal, if I had to choose someone for my son, it would be someone like you. And, okay, I will support both of you in this decision, because there is one thing I know of: my eldest, once his mind is made up, there is no changing it," his dad continued.
"Sweetheart, I love you, and if this is what you want, I will always respect your choices and respect the person you have chosen. I love both of you, and I will be proud to welcome Cal as my son. I will be proud if you will allow us to celebrate your union here at home," his mother said with genuine tears of joy.
"Fucking fantastic bro. Oops! Sorry, mom," Lucas said, embracing both Josh and Cal. "You will stand with us, won't you Luc?" Josh asked. "Bro, nothing would give me greater pleasure," and then whispered, "Except a blow job from Kelly Clarkson." They burst out laughing. "Never in your wildest, bro," Josh screamed out. "Okay, what was that about?" demanded his Mother. "Inside brother joke, Mom," Josh said, smiling at his brother.
"Okay guys, we are meeting some friends, as well as Todd and Dale, at Jitneys at seven, so we will split for a few hours, okay?" Josh informed his parents, and they nodded. "Come with, bro?" Josh asked Lucas.
"You sure, Josh?" Lucas asked. "Lucas, you are my brother, and better still, my friend. So, yeah, I am sure," he said, giving his brother a soft punch to his side, playfully. "Is it okay, Mom?" Lucas asked, and his Mom just said to be back when his brothers returned, and Josh and Cal looked on when his mother used the term "brothers."
They pulled up outside Jitneys, and Todd was outside with Dale and Mark. They walked over and spotted the smile on Josh's face. "Okay, spill, dickhead," Todd insisted. "What?" asked Josh. "Okay, I have the most amazing boyfriend!" he proclaimed. "You told them, didn't you?" said Dale, and the smile confirmed it. "Fucking good for you!" proclaimed Dale.
"Told them what?" asked Mark. "Josh and Cal are getting hitched," announced Lucas. "For real?" asked Mark, and Josh nodded his head. Mark, as usual, spoke without engaging his brain, "So the faggot is getting married!" and before anyone had a chance to protest, Mark once again grabbed Josh into a bear hug, which induced a scream of pain which Mark panicked about, and released his grip.
"Fuck Mark! Christ, Josh, you okay?" a worried Dale asked. "Mark, you fucking idiot." Mark wondered what the fuck was going on. "I always hug him that way. What fucking gives?" demanded Mark, as Cal checked on Josh's wounds. "It's okay, I'm fine. You didn't know, Mark. It's okay," Josh informed. "You sure?" asked Todd.
"Didn't know what?" asked Mark, just as Tom and Chris arrived. "Yo, Fuckwads!" shouted Chris, with back slapping galore. "Hey, Josh, what fucking truck hit you, dude?" asked Chris, and Tom walked over to him. "Hey, Josh, how are you dude? How was the trip up?" Tom asked. "Been better, bud," answered Josh.
Tom already knew what transpired with Josh, as they spoke often, and Tom was shocked at what happened to his best friend just because he was gay. But he had never told Chris or Mark, as he thought Dale would tell Mark, and if Josh wanted to, he would let Chris in on what happened.
They went into Jitneys and sat in the booths at the back of the coffee shop. It was quite busy and they got their desired beverages and sat down just as Aaron and Kyle walked in and received some unwelcome comments.
"Fuck, the fag patrol is in town." A Few jocks laughed out, and Aaron turned around and just said, "Fuck, is that the best you can come up with, you pathetic shit." And the jocks stood up. "Say that again, faggot!" yelled one of them. "Hey, Wilkins, sit the fuck down," yelled Todd.
"Fuck you, Layton, what are you going to do anyway, fag lover?" Wilkins yelled, laughing, and Todd, Dale, Mark, Tom, and Chris all stood up, ready to handle any situation that could arise. "Why don't you little boys take your drinks and fuck off!" yelled Mark. "Guys, cool it. Okay?!!" Liam, one of the jocks, shouted, trying to calm things down, to no avail.
"Fuck, the Jackson brothers want to get involved!" yelled one of the other jocks. And soon after that was said, someone threw a glass at Aaron, but he ducked, and suddenly pandemonium broke out, and an all-out brawl ensued. Then, all of a sudden...
"FUCK, JOSH! WAKE UP!!....................................JOSH!" screamed Lucas, and every one stopped, looking over, as Josh was slumped unconscious in Cal's arms. Cal looked stunned, as he didn't have a clue what had happened to his lover. "Someone call 911, please. Someone help him!" cried Cal.
To be continued...
Once again guys, I love to hear what you think of this story as it unfolds. Your opinions are always welcome, and can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. -- I would also like to acknowledge Russell Jones for his editing skills on this, my first multi-chapter story. Cheers, my friend.