Copyright © 2012 - 2014 by Joe Writerman and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.
All Rights Reserved
Wednesday, October 18, 2012
Not too far from the hotel were shops of various types. Trinkets of various kinds, wristbands of all shapes and sizes, and necklaces all of which failed to keep my interest, though Melissa and Mom were intrigued by all of it. They looked and looked and looked some more to find exactly the 'right' thing to buy and take home with us. I did, while wandering around, find a wide beaded leather belt that I kind of liked. I about shit at seeing the $70.00 price tag price. I hung it back up on the rack and turned my attention to wallets and open toed men's shoes. Even though I'm seventeen, I still wear size eight shoes. I keep waiting to grow, having been five foot six and a half inches, and one hundred sixteen pounds since I was fourteen years old.
Jeremy's over six feet tall and he's gotta weigh two fifty to two seventy five, easy. Carl, his son, my nephew, tends to take after me. But, his mother is small and petite, and a redhead, a very bright redhead, but hey she's nice. Which reminds me. I walked over to Mom, "What time is Carl supposed to be getting here?"
"Oh not until this afternoon, why?" Mom replied, still looking through sun dresses and hats to match.
"Just wondering. I'm going to go looking around. Maybe I'll get a drink… do you want one?"
"No thanks. But thanks for asking. Do you like this?" Mom asked, pulling a bright yellow dress with big orange flowers painted all over it from the rack. It looked pretty nice. "Yup… that'll look nice. Maybe Melissa might like one… okay, I'm going to head back… there's a glass blower setting up."
I walked to Melissa. She was looking at gaudy awful jewelry. If I know her well enough, and I think I do, then she won't buy any of that junk. She looked up, smiled, and then after looking toward Mom to see if she was watching, Melissa blew me a kiss – it landed on my lips.
She and I have an easy relationship, meaning we can come and go without 'permission', also meaning we're not jealous, and that we feel comfortable with one another. She put down a piece of junk jewelry, reached into a shopping bag she was holding, opened it just enough to see in… she had one of those dresses that Mom was looking at. I smiled great big, knowing it would look perfect on her.
I headed to the back of the open air shopping center, found a restroom, used it, and then walked to the very back where a sign read "Glass Emporium". A man was just lighting up the burners used to melt down glass into various intricate shapes and sizes. I found the craft work fascinating. I looked in the display cases and saw all sorts of things: elephants, giraffes, even little chair and table ensembles, rings and necklaces. Now the necklaces were very interesting, but none of them really held my attention. The man behind the counter spoke up, "I can make you anything you see here. Hey, I've written a book based on things that I've done over the years. A gal or maybe even a guy? People of all nationalities and walks of life visit our islands, even this shop. I like to meet new people like you. Where, if I may ask, are you from?"
"Oh yeah? That's where I was born and raised… a little town named Woodward. It's in the west central part of the state."
I looked up, "Really, that's where we're from."
"Kewl… this is truly a small world. So… we could probably work out a deal. Everything is twenty percent off, just cuz we're from the same town."
"Thanks. Uhm… are you serious? You sell stuff to gay people… you mean they buy this fancy stuff for each other?"
"Or course we do. So long as everybody can get along and treat each other with respect, I don't see a problem with anybody."
"That gay stuff is just so wrong on so many levels…"
The man looked deeply into my eyes, filled with questions, then his eyelids narrowed into just a little more than slits. The skin on his forehead creased into a deep frown. Immediately I felt that I'd said something wrong, but I don't understand the whole gay thing, and don't want to because the preachers say it's wrong and sinful. The counselor had told me that those guys assaulted me because of a sick power thing they had going on inside of themselves. He seriously doubted that they were gay, but could have been. If that was gay then I wanted no part of it, nor did I want to hang around or get to know them. Reverend Phillips helped me so much through that ordeal, yet that relief was short lived when he started saying things about the event being more or less my fault, that I should have been wearing clothes instead of a Speedo, and that I was not vigilant enough toward the devil, and should know sooner or later someone would 'pounce my young ass' dressed like that, as Reverend Phillips said. I suppose he was right… I never went swimming again. Melissa purchased for me a pair of boardies that I barely approved of, firstly because the hem came down below my knees – and secondly she wanted me to have a pair. But then because she wanted me to have them – I graciously accepted her gift and promised to go swimming. Besides I wanted to try surfing, too. And snorkeling. She reminded me that Hawaii is a group of islands way out in the Pacific Ocean, so there's water all around. Well, duh!
Okay, well, I spaced out. The man turned to help another customer. I looked through the first few pages of the catalog. On page five, there was a beautiful necklace; petite yet it had enough body about it that it would be noticeable. The lady paid for her purchase. When she was out of sight I handed the catalog to the man and pointed out which one I wanted to purchase. "How much is that one, Sir?"
The man looked directly into my eyes. He thought carefully before saying, "Well, I have three prices for it."
"Three prices?" I asked, wonderingly.
"Yes, three prices. Are you interested?"
"Well yeah. My girlfriend would look really nice in it, I think."
"Okay, the first price is for regular people… you know, people who do not appear to be bigoted, or open their mouths to prove their narrow minded ways. The second price is for kids getting their parents something. The third price is for homophobes. Depending on the level of homophobia, the price starts at $1,000.00 and goes up from there; how much it goes up is directly related to their ignorance or hatred. Ignorance can be dealt with. Hatred… well, that's a different story."
"Sir, I don't hate gay people. What they do and who they are, though, is sinful, depraved and wicked. A man is to have a woman so that they can procreate."
"Are you sure of that?"
"Well, yes I am."
"Are your beliefs your own or were they cast upon you? You know, did you make up your own mind or did someone else make your mind up for you? Most kids these days are brainwashed and forced to believe things they've never even thought about for themselves. Young people are coming around. They're embracing the fact that there are people different from them. Hey, gay people think you straight people are weird, too. Anyway, let's not get into a theological war… I'll lose. About the price… at least you don't sound wild and wooly about your beliefs, and you're not smashing them down my throat. These necklaces don't pull a grand, so how about $100.00. We'll call it fair and square."
"Okay. When will it be ready for pickup? Can I pay you then?"
"Oh, I should have it ready by this evening. It has a lot of detail work that needs to be done right. And yes, you can pay when you pick it up. What's your name?"
"Bradley Wilson. Thanks. I'll be back later."
Mom and Melissa were ready to go, in fact they gave me a hard time about taking so long. I smiled, knowing, at least for this time, they were indeed correct.
Mom had a package in her hand. When I reached for it to see what she'd bought, she pulled it away, telling me that it was none of my business. Melissa snickered. So did Mom. Okay, I know when to quit 'trying' to pry information from them. It was one of those situations that I knew from observing Mom and Dad's interactions over the years.
Melissa mentioned that she wanted to go to the beach and hang out for a few hours. Mom pulled her bottle of sunscreen out, handed it to Melissa, giving instructions for us to use plenty.
With those arrangements made and agreed upon, Mom took off for the hotel.
Arm in arm, Melissa and I took off for the beach, carefully crossing at the crosswalks, and then on the other side, she took off running at full speed toward the wall that separates the beach from the ocean. She won fair and square.
We sat on the wall enjoying ourselves, watching the surfers surf, and people walking by minding their own business. The waves coming in and the crashing sounds they were making were cool listen to and watch. I decided I could do that a lot, and hopefully would be able to do just that. Meanwhile, Melissa wormed her arm into my side and took my hand in hers. I squeezed lightly, and then put my arm around her shoulders and just chilled out, enjoying everything.
Sometime later, Melissa nuzzled her face into my neck and bit down lightly. She knows, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that that drives me absolutely crazy, in a good way for both of us. So… we took off for our hotel room with all intents and purposes of taking care of some rather urgent and private needs. While I like wearing boxers, there are times, like right now, when I wished I wore briefs. Melissa giggled all the way to our room, knowing and seeing the evidence of my attraction toward her. She finally gave me a break by handing over a bag so that I could cover said evidence.
In the room, we tore off our clothes, scattering them here, there and everywhere, and not caring where they landed, or even if they landed. The sheets were nearly ripped off the bed, she collapsed down on it, splayed wide her opening at which time I took a flying leap, wiggling around a little bit to get into position, before taking the mighty plunge into her willing and moist private area. Urgently our lips joined. She took hold of my hips and pulled and I pushed until I was fully embedded in her warmth. I am not well endowed in any sense of the word, but with Melissa I don't worry about it, as she has told me time and time again that I'm just the man for her. Just like I did every time we couple, I began crying in earnest when the tide begins to crest, and then pay very special attention to my small organ, making sure it is pleasuring her fully and completely. She's going to be my beautiful wife once we graduate from high school. I have to add that Melissa is the only female I have ever been with in this way. I always felt shame about my body, but Melissa lifts me up and makes me feel like I matter. I hope I do the same for her. She says I do. We were both apprehensive the first time we made love. I had my size and religious issues to deal with. Her issues arose from my fears of adequacy and my nearly constant checking myself in before the devil, knowing beyond any shadow of a doubt that I was going to hell for EVEN thinking about her in a less than pure manner, and because she was not my lawfully and spiritually wedded wife.
Six weeks ago – everything changed. It was a Saturday afternoon. The day was exceptionally hot for the first week of September. I had mowed and trimmed the yard and was profusely sweating. After cleaning and putting away the lawn equipment, because Mom was gone shopping until late, my clothes were scattered about here and there as I made my way to the bathroom where I would take a long luxurious shower and squeeze one off, just because I could. I did both, the second item – twice.
Knowing I was alone, I walked out into the kitchen while drying my hair. I've lived in the house for my entire lifetime so I know where everything is, so falling over or bumping into something was of no concern.
Until… I pulled the towel off of my head and out of my eyes at the refrigerator. Melissa, darn it, was standing right in front of me, then she pulled me into a deep hug and kissed my lips deeply – to the point that I was no longer concerned about my nakedness, though I was concerned that I would spatter her jeans if we didn't quit really, really fast… I was just about there, despite having twice jacked off to completion in the shower, just a few minutes previously.
Furiously, frantically I reached for the snap on her pants and shoved them down as fast as we could, and then we pulled each other tight and I came onto her bare tummy, just above her mound of female flesh. Not many sperms ejected, but when we came down (I hadn't touched her… not that I wouldn't have, it's just that everything happened so damn fast), she took a taste of my offering, and then took the rest of her clothes off to show me her beautiful body. That was the day, when she told me that I was equally beautiful, that we twice made love in my bed. And then there was the shower… too, afterward, additionally, again.
Back to the present… we are usually good to go for two. The first time is 'hurry the hell up', the second time is slow and meticulous while simply enjoying the sensations given by our bodies. I cannot tell you what caught our attention and interrupted our interlude, but Something did. We both looked all around and behind us, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. We continued on, reached our moment, then laid together to get our breath, and to just enjoy the few aftershocks that we sometimes experience.
We were just dozing off when loud knocking on the interconnecting door shattered the silence, very nearly giving us heart attacks.
At about a quarter to twelve, I awakened Dale so that we could get some food to eat. Knowing my son all too well, I knew that he'd be ravenously hungry. And Melisa, too, can put down some food when she puts her mind to it. I was hungry… and well, I know Dale can eat any time of the day or night so he easily awakened once the word 'food' was broadcast. He was up and at 'em in nothing flat, walking to the bathroom in his most natural state.
Being a tidy freak, and yes I admit it, I tidied up our room, got Dale a clean change of clothes to put on after his shower, laid them out on the vanity cabinet in the outer room to the restroom proper, and then went into the main area of the suite. The bag with Bradley's belt in it was lying on the table by the door. I smiled, grabbed it and walked to the adjoining door that separates our rooms so that he would have it to wear when we went to lunch. My boy is grateful for everything that he's given, and he's generous as he can be, even with his meager resources caused by his inability to hold a job for very long at a time.
Without a second thought, I reached down, turned the knob, opened the door, and then my lungs seized at seeing my boy's bare butt flying up and down in a frenzied release, and he was crying too… and I wondered why… other than our son lied to us. He TOLD US… but I knew better… I just knew it! They lied about their relationship! I tried to teach him! He didn't listen! 'Damn it!' I wanted, so bad, to go in there and pull him off 'that' hussy. Instead, somehow, I pried my eyes off and away, and pulled the door shut very quietly.
I took in a deep breath and let it out slowly, three or four times, but it wasn't working. I put my hand again on the doorknob and was just about to open it when the bathroom door opened and Dale walked to me. The smile on his face erased with a heartbeat. I know I was glaring at him, and he was going to get an earful since he was the one that wore me down to permit Bradley and Melissa to share a room together. Hissing, barely above a whisper, the words fell out of my mouth, "Dale Wilson, your son and that girl are RIGHT NOW breaking our trust. It's shattered. It's over. It's done. I TOLD YOU SO! Damn them."
Dale, with wide eyes and grave concern written across his face which was also displayed in his changed demeanor, walked to me. "Honey, what are you talking about? Talk to me."
"Your son is breaking our trust… that's all. It's wrong, Dale. There's no way you can say they aren't."
"Honey, I don't understand what you're talking about… but how? He's never given us any reason to doubt his…"
"They're fornicating. It's too late, Dale."
"No, it's not too late for anything. Calm down, Regina." My husband said while reaching for the doorknob. Fine, let him see what those fornicators are doing, with his own eyes…
Slowly, quietly he opened the door just a crack to look in. His facial expression didn't change one bit. Seeing enough, he closed the door, walked over, put his arm around my shoulders and led me into the main living area of the suite. "I'm not really surprised, Regina. So long as they are using precautions, I see no problem. We haven't discussed their relationship, in any detail, since we talked to Bradley a few months ago, so how do we really know they were lying?"
Incensed, I shot back, "You're not surprised? Dale, they told us they were not having sex. I believed him. I permitted them to share a room, in fact I made the damned reservations. Well, that's changing right now. That little whore-tramp hussy will be sleeping by herself and Bradley will be sleeping in OUR room."
"Now, Regina, you know that she's none of those things. And you know that Bradley is not one to sleep around. And you also know that he would never hurt you or give reason for us to not trust him. We'll deal with this. I'm going to give them a few minutes, maybe even an hour. If they aren't out of there by then, then we'll go to Plan B; whatever Plan B is. Let's just play this cool. Let's give them a chance to come clean. I'm not so concerned that they are intimate. Like you, I think they should have come to us, but on the other hand, they are going to do what they are going to do no matter what you or I, or her parents think and say. This one is a touchy, Sweetheart."
"I'm too young to be a Grandmother, Dale."
"You already are. Don't you remember?"
"Jeremy did the same thing to us, Dale. Where did we go wrong?"
Dale sighed, then took off into the kitchenette, leaving me standing there with my mouth hanging wide open. I grabbed my clean clothes and went into the bathroom, slammed the door shut… and burst out crying.
And that little bastard wouldn't be here if Jeremy hadn't fornicated and got caught up in HER sins!
With my composure returning, I vowed Reverend Phillips would receive a call from me. He'd straighten this mess out. If ever there was someone who'd reached Bradley it was him!
Regina's ranting again. I'd hoped this wouldn't happen, for we were headed for trouble; this situation was far from being resolved. Ever since she'd found that damned Kansas church and those crazy loon preachers there our lives have become much more complicated. She attributes her cancer remissions to their preaching and pontificating on a god that doesn't exist, not in the way they say.
Feeling that I needed to do something, yet not wanting to interrupt their bonding experience, I almost wore a path between the kitchenette and the door that separates the kids' from ours. Damn it, we're on vacation. And we're supposed to be having a good time, and by God we will have a good relaxing time, and come hell or high water we would be spending time to get to know one another once again.
I was unable to put the inevitable off any longer. I walked to the door, paused for two seconds then knocked on the door, loud enough to be heard, at the same time saying, "You kids have two minutes to get dressed. We need to talk."
I walked into the kitchen area, poured Regina and me a cup of hot mocha coffee, sat down at the table and followed the hands of the clock. At the one minute and a half mark, a happy and serene Bradley and a warily smiling Melissa came through the interconnecting door and entered the kitchen. Both of the kids were wearing only long t-shirts; I thought 'I hope they have something on beneath that covers their essentials.' The room immediately strongly smelled of 'sex'. 'I guess I didn't give them time enough to take showers, now did I?'
Bradley reads me well. Melissa hasn't been around long enough to gauge my moods, attitudes, and what-have-you. The only thing I could promise them is that I wouldn't be angry, so long as they told me the truth and don't hedge around about it. Bradley is a lot like me, too much I'll add; too much for his own good. "What's up, Dad?" The boy asked, wonderingly.
"Why don't you two get something to drink? We'll talk."
"I'll get it." Bradley said to Melissa.
Melissa warily sat down at the table. Thank goodness she had her essentials covered, because Bradley had not. When he reached into the refrigerator, his bare butt was there for anyone to see. Melissa quickly got up, walked to him, and jerked the long t-shirt down over his bare ass. At the same time, she whispered something into his ear. He straightened up, turned around and faced me. The expression on his face registered not a little more than slight embarrassment.
Before I could stop, frustrated with what's happened since I awakened not more than one hour before, "Bradley, GO. Go get your shorts on, right this instant! This is going downhill. Go." The words angrily blasted out of my mouth. But I was just starting, with my anger taking hold, I continued, "If you want to be treated like an adult, and if you want to DO adult things, then act like one!"
Bradley, clearly shocked over my radically different demeanor, looked into my eyes… and then recognition took over. He stood there, not knowing what to say or do. He looked so scared. I've never yelled at him; I've never needed to. Seeing him looking at me like that took the wind out of my sails. Much calmer, getting a grip on myself, "Bradley, we need to talk. This is serious. I'm sorry I yelled. Go ahead, get dressed. Uhm, both of you, please."
"Let's go." Melissa said, meekly. She took hold of his in her hand. In Bradley's eyes, I saw the very same terrified look that he had had just before he told me that he'd been attacked. My heart ached, recalling that fateful day when I more or less forced him to share his pain with me. But that had been the start of his healing… clearly, right now, I saw that he's not entirely healed, and, deep, down, I wondered if he ever would ever be entirely free of that part of his past.
I stood up, reached out my arms to hold him, but he walked on by. When they were about halfway across the main area of the suite, heading toward the room where they slept, he turned back, and said, "We need to talk, Dad."
I nodded. They disappeared.
'Calm down, Dale.' I thought. Unknowingly, I'd drank the last of the coffee in my cup. I refilled it, and just got sat down when the kids returned. Bradley poured their orange juice, then he sat down. Melissa had sat down in a chair opposite me. Her expression was 'question' marks.
'I've got to handle this right. We can't mess up the progress we've made in rebuilding our relationship, but I also have to be strict and stern in this matter; I have to.' These thoughts kept swirling around in my head. Carefully, I started off the conversation, "Bradley, Melissa, this is going to work out. Let's handle this like adults and work this out. Your mother is taking her shower. She'll then join us."
The children looked at each other, then to me. Bradley, apparently the spokesperson, replied, wonderingly, "Uhm, what's up Dad?"
"Your mother's upset. When your mother's upset, so am I. Now, what do you suppose your mother is upset about? And just why do you think I'm upset because your mother is upset? Is this clear enough?"
The lights went on. His eyes got as big as saucers, and then his face turned every shade of red there is, or could be manufactured. Inwardly, I was amused at his recognition about the state of dress under which they'd first appeared, but somehow maintained my composure, barely. His mind was going a mile a minute, but only briefly. He got up from his chair, went around to the other side of the table, pulled a chair out, sat down, put his arm around Melissa's shoulders, and then looked directly into my eyes. "Dad, we're going to get married. Melissa is the most beautiful person in the world. I can't even imagine my life without her."
"Oh for Pete's sake, I already knew that. Your mother and I are not surprised… we've been married for a very long time. We know our children, and with this in mind, I'm surprised you had to lie about your relationship… and the direction it is taking…"
Melissa interrupted, "Sir, we are not lying about our relationship! I love Bradley. He's going to be my husband as soon as we can get things arranged. What exactly do you mean about the direction 'it' is taking?"
Bradley, clearly realizing where this was going, interjected, "Dad, I didn't lie. I'm not sure where this is going exactly, but, Melissa… Dad, at the time we talked about this, Melissa and I weren't intimate. I'm not sorry that we are now sharing our love by making love. What business of this is yours?"
I studied Bradley, my flesh and blood, my son, very carefully looking for, searching for any sign that he was being less than truthful. There was no indication that he was not telling me the whole truth, so I calmed down, yet kept a fatherly attitude and tone of voice, "Grandchildren. This is my immediate concern. I do not want to see you two hurt."
"Mr. Wilson, if I may… (I nodded). Sir, I've been on the pill for about a year. Look, I love Bradley. I'd never do anything to hurt him. I'm not in the habit of hurting myself. Your son is the first man I've ever been with, in that way. The two guys I've dated never even got out of the batter's box."
"They were dweebs." Bradley said, and then he got up, walked over and gave me a big hug. In my ear he whispered, "I'd never lie to you and Mom, Dad. I didn't think I needed to tell you."
"You don't. You've never lied to me, and I have no reason to believe that you are today. You two, go take your showers and get presentable. I'll talk to Mom, and then we'll all get together later on."
The interconnecting door had just closed when Regina exited the bathroom wearing her white robe. She looks so fine, even with her hair up in a towel… if we had the time… right now…
She was calmer, and, in fact opened the conversation, "I had no right to break the unspoken privacy rules that we have lived by all these years, especially with our boys. Two wrongs don't make a right.
"Honey, I've talked with Bradley and Melissa. You do remember our heated argument a few months ago, when Bradley told us their relationship wasn't intimate… well that was several months ago. He wasn't telling us untruths; they weren't intimate then, but, obviously, they are now. And, they are using protective methods to prevent a pregnancy."
"Bradley's never lied to us, Dale. I've love Melissa like she's the daughter I never had. She's never lied to me either. She's a good girl. I'll be proud to have her as my daughter in law." Regina giggled, and said, "For a while, when Bradley wasn't dating, I wondered about which way he was going." Then she said soberly, "No son of mine will be gay, I won't stand for it. President Ashwood has it going on. He's a little nutty about some things, but when it comes to this Country's morals… he's got it right."
"He's crazy as a loon, and you know it. How in Sam Hell… why would he ever even think about breaking up families just because gays don't walk mainstream. I know for a fact that they are good people. Sure, you've got the renegades, but there are renegade straight people, too… a lot of them."
"It's just unnatural and immoral for two men or two women to raise children. It just is. God gave children two parents of the opposite sex. There is a reason: The reason is simply the way nature intends."
"Honey, what does this have to do with Bradley and Melissa? Obviously, they're not gay. Whatever gave you the idea to wonder about our son's sexuality? Just for the record, I love our son, and understand me perfectly well… I will love my son regardless of who he sleeps with. Period."
"Shame on you, Dale Wilson."
"Shame on me for what? For me saying that I love my children and grand-child – no matter what?"
"They're living in sin, Dale. You know as well as I do that Jeremy and his slut wife had Carl out of wedlock… that makes that… that boy… a sinner. A child carries the sin of his parents for all the days of his life. The Bible says so… you might go back and re-read Exodus… you know… Adam and Eve… and how their children, you and I and everybody else on this planet…"
But I wouldn't let her keep going. We had this very same conversation years ago, and it all came about when she hooked up with that crazy damned church. Surprisingly, I told her, "Regina, be quiet. They did the right thing."
"After the fact." She countered, got up, poured herself a cup of coffee and sat back down at the table.
Musing, Regina continued this argument, "Dale, homosexuality is wrong. It is depraved and wicked. Premarital fornication is wrong. It is wicked and depraved, too. A child is to leave his parents, cling to his wife… that's w-i-f-e, as in female, as in married. Those poor children have to life in that filth… President Ashwood is about to put the clamps on the immorality, our country is doomed, and he is going to straighten this world out, just you wait and see!"
"What do you mean 'poor children? So, you're telling me that it is better for displaced kids to live on the street, to whore themselves out, to get involved in illicit drugs and affairs, to scrap for whatever they can to get by, or worse… die… just because no so called good Christian family will adopt them because of the kid's history of doing what he or she needs to do in order to survive, or because they aren't a pink little newborn? Is that right? Is it really right? On the other side, the gay couples undergo thorough rigorous screenings… probably more-so, even to the point of being discriminatory. No straight couple has to endure that crap. For the record, I am very much in favor of getting those kids off the street and into a loving home, no matter the cost, no matter if their loving parents are two men or two women."
Regina got into my face. Her eyes felt as if they were glaring holes into me. She said, "Darling, those people prey on kids. They are a bad influence. And no doubt, those kids in those gay foster and adoptive homes will turn out just the way they are raised."
"Oh bull. Regina, look, this country has more problems than it can solve in one day. At least give the kids a chance to become who they are. Most of them sure did not ask to be put on the streets. Those two boys, Luke and Jordan, the ones I picked up in Florida sure didn't ask Jordan's mother to abuse them. They're all alone in the world. And, they are very, very naive. Truth be told, I'm concerned about their welfare. My solace, my comfort is knowing that they are now in capable hands, Katy's. I hope their dreams of being okay come true. They've been forced into learning about the world at their young ages. They've got a really long road to hoe."
Regina regarded me carefully. "Dale, that way of living is just wrong. It's unnatural. Children do not belong in those kinds of living arrangements." She picked up her purse. The conversation was finished, at least for now until I spoke up, irritated, "So, the kids are just supposed to continue to live on the streets with no chance of being cared for as a child should be?"
"That's not the point, Dale, and you know it. I… are those two boys gay? They have to be… why else would a child, much less two boys leave home?"
"That's not relevant to this conversation… I don't know if they are or if they aren't… it's not my job to meddle in their lives… I was able to help them out so I did." I wasn't finished, "Honey, children having a home where they are loved and cared for IS the point. There is no scientific evidence that says a child will turn out homosexual just because his parents are. I meet a lot of people out on the road, and I know one truck driver that is homosexual. He and his partner adopted three, lost in the system, children. His two boys and a daughter are now of dating age, and they are dating people their age of the opposite sex. In fact, he worries about becoming a grandpa before his time. The kids were adopted during Jack's administration, what is it now? Eleven years ago… that makes his children in their middle to mid-late teens. If the kids get pulled out of the home, there goes their stability and college education… they WILL BE dumped on the street because no one wants to adopt children that age…"
Our 'conversation' was interrupted by Bradley and Melissa entering the kitchen area… I hadn't even heard the door open… They, at least temporarily, interrupted the beginnings of a full scale argument… the tell tale signs were there. Regina's eyes said it was so. In the next thought, I wondered why she was acting like this, being like this… Christ, my wife had been a school teacher for all of those years, until her cancer took her off her feet. I had kept on her to get back to work.
My thoughts were interrupted by Regina saying to Bradley, "You, young man… will be sleeping in this room. Melissa, you will be sleeping in that sin-filled Satan's den. You two are not to be left alone under any circumstance. Do you hear me? Dale, do you hear me?"
Melissa looked at Bradley with the most sorrowful eyes I've ever seen her have. Brazenly, she kissed his cheek, and then went to their room (and yes it is 'their' room, if I had any say so) and softly closed the door and latched it.
Looking to Bradley, my son was wiping freely flowing tears from his eyes. He's no longer afraid to show his emotions, though I cannot tell if his weeping is from sadness at the scene that just took place, or if he is just so pissed and hurt that… he's breaking down. The last time he broke down like this was when I arrived home from LAX to take care of him right after he was gang raped. He had pushed me away, went to his room, slammed his door… and screamed for me to stay away from him. So I did. After a couple of weeks of being shunned and locked out of his life – I went on a long road trip, racked up several thousand miles in a relatively short period of time, ran four sets of books, got rid of my partner, and did it all on my own.
I wasn't going to let it happen again, not now, not ever. My son needs me now more than he has ever needed me. That fateful night, just off the road, was when we finally got our heads together, he told me the graphic details of what it is like to be anally raped – more than once – by five boys older than him, and held down by his then closest friend. I sat with him the night he told me about everything that happened, held him in my arms like baby, and let him cry, scream and beat out his pain and hurt on my chest, and while he collapsed and slept in my arms, spent and emotionally bankrupt, with his head cradled in my neck, resting like a satisfied and comforted baby all night long.
The time had come.
It was now or never.
I love my wife with all of my heart. I always have. I always will. But… there comes a time and a place; sometimes you have to and do stand up against your spouse, now twice in a lifetime… from the depths of my being, as Bradley turned to walk out of the hotel room, this was one of those times. And I had to do it – now. "Bradley, wait up. Regina, we'll be back later."
"The boy could have and should have done differently to keep his sin from happening. He lieth…"
"You just can't leave things alone, can you?" I asked, clearly flabbergasted that she would infer such a thing. She'd done that before… right after Bradley's assault. Preacher Phillips said the very exact same thing. Only he said Bradley was damaged, that the boy, my son, would have to work extra hard to get back in God's good graces.
Bradley stopped at the door, looked down to the floor, and with tears flowing freely from his eyes, said, "Dad, I need to be alone right now. I'm going to walk along the beach for an hour or two. Don't fight with Mom. Preacher Phillips is right. I've sinned. Now I need to atone for them. Everything's against me."
With that pronouncement made, Bradley opened the door and walked out, leaving me standing there unable to say anything. But, everything was building up inside of my heart, and was just about ready to spill out… in a tirade. The only other tirade I'd had was up against that fucking preacher when he threatened to legally take Bradley out of our home for retraining of some kind. I told him that if he so much as touched my son, I would have him up on charges, and I meant it, and I mean it now.
Determined nobody would get between me and my son, I looked into Regina's eyes. With passion dripping from each and every syllable, "This is not done yet. My son needs me. I love you. I always will because I always have." I walked to the table where our valuables were kept, grabbed my wallet, took the card-key for our, or more specifically – Bradley and Melissa's room, put it in my shirt pocket, walked to my wife, kissed her cheek, "Bradley is our son. If he goes to hell, then I'm right there with him every step of the way. Jeremy is our son, too. While I'm gone, you need to think things through. We'll talk later."
"When are you going to be back from blessing that boy's wrongs? You know, don't you, that if you lead him down a depraved road, then it will be you who falls for you hath led him astray away from his Lord Jesus Christ." Regina said very softly, her eyes boring holes through my own.
"So be it. When you come to your senses… call me." I said, then went into the bedroom, grabbed my cell phone, and then headed to the door, however before I got to the door, Regina got between me and the exit, and said, "I don't know you anymore, Dale. When we get home, things are changing… I want you out. You will have no contact with Bradley. And since when do you wear a boy's size fourteen underwear?" She held up the pair of frayed brief underwear, as if they were a trophy.
Upon entering the hallway from my parents' room, our door was right next to theirs. I walked up to it and rapped three times in rapid succession, our trademark knock. I stood there waiting, waiting and waiting, until I just had to be by myself. Dad often said that it was better to have been loved than not loved at all.
Mom had said the opposite. Her words, 'It is better not to be loved, than bowing yourself down to sinful ways and lust filled love."
And then Preacher Phillips made it perfectly clear that I would always be a marked boy, that I would never be free of the shame… because once the sin is done then it is done, and it is permanent.
Melissa is a different story. I told her what had happened to me on that fateful afternoon while walking home from the pool. My friend Gary had to leave an hour early, saying he had a doctor's appointment. I stayed behind because I was talking to some girls from school. We were having a good time and everything. The time got away from me. I had curfew for dinner at 6pm. No matter what – I had to be home for dinner. So I cut through the brush to make better time… not only were there four guys standing there waiting for somebody, Gary was there, too… I did not give of myself, and I did not go down easily, without a fight. But they were too much…
Right now, the door is my fortress. I leaned my head against it, wishing things were different, and knowing they weren't, and that this would never go away, that it can't go away until I atone for my sins, and that I will have no choice once I arrive on judgment day.
Melissa and I did not have sex right away. We did not lie to my parents. We didn't. Somebody please believe me. Don't you realize that every time I wipe my butt, I am reminded of my sins? Don't you realize that I cry every time Melissa and I make love? I cry like a little baby, knowing that I don't deserve her, that I'm tainted, that I'm leading her down that wicked trail to hell and damnation.
I used the tail of my shirt to wipe out my eyes, knowing what I have to do, knowing that I will be going to hell for all of eternity – anyway, and that my life would be filled with hurt, hate and distrust.
I kissed the door, patted it twice, "I love you, Melissa. You're pure, and I've taken you down the wrong road. I'm sorry, please forgive me."
With my heart now nearly free, I went to the elevator bank, waited for a car to arrive, and just as I entered I heard a door down the hall open. I hit the button for the lobby. Dad called my name. Thankfully the ride down was nonstop. I'm hoping that the ride would have been longer, because I have more prayers left to say, but they are all for naught for I am a marked man.
I'm crying. People are looking at me as I walk through the open-air lobby area to the sidewalk, down the courtyard toward the crosswalk, but I make a sharp oblique right hand turn… and step off of the curb.
Blackness is settling in. I didn't know it would hurt so badly.
I'm closing my eyes. I hear screams far, far away, but then I see a man wearing white robes. His fingers are telling me to pick myself up and come to Him. He's smiling. And then he rapidly walks to me and takes me into his arms and holds me tight. The pain is gone. The wondering is gone. He looks directly into my eyes. It is then that I see classic marks on His head. Those Bible stories telling us that he had been crucified – are true. He then leans down and kisses my forehead. He then utters His most divine words, "Welcome, Son. I've got good news, and I've got some bad news."
I can't speak, but my heart is open, I'm home. He loves me. He's holding me protectively… I finally feel safe, and I finally feel whole, I realize that my life wasn't a total waste, that they were lying to me, that I'm a really good boy with a good heart and soul, deserving of my Savior's love and care and blessings.
I feel like we're in a mind meld or something. All I'm feeling is total and complete love, more than I've ever felt in my mortal life, like I belong, like I'm okay, like I'm not going to go to hell for all eternity. I mean, if I were cast out of the Kingdom, then why am I being held protectively by my Creator? It makes no sense.
The man, with tears freely flowing from his eyes, says very deeply, "Child, you are loved here. And you were loved in your former life.
I countered, "No, it's not true. They told me… I'm a fornicator, a masturbator, I think bad thoughts, I do bad things, I…"
This man holding me firmly in His strong arms sent into me a shot of love that I've never felt before. My heart felt light and buoyant; the likes of I've never felt before.
"My Son, and yes you are my Son. Now listen to me… way back before the Biblical days in human terms, I made sure that young people were blessed with their powers of procreation… mainly because, back in those days, life was hard, and people were normally back Home much, much earlier than they are these days in your world. So I gave them powerful energies and urges to procreate sooner rather than later… and I haven't taken those powers away… mainly because they bring a child so much pleasure in a world that I'm not really too happy about. Remember that here in the Heavenly Body Shop… we designed human bodies with the ability to reach certain places… so don't worry about it. Just don't hurt anyone with your powers. This is my rule. Okay, let me show you something. You need to see this."
My vision briefly clouded to the point where I couldn't see anything, not even light. I didn't feel scared though. We were standing on the city street in front of the hotel. A bus was parked haphazardly in the middle of the street, angling toward the curb. Fire trucks, EMS, police – lots and lots of police cars were parked in a semi-lunar way. Somehow we were then up in the air looking down.
The very first thing I saw was a body lying supine on the pavement. The body was bloody and battered, twisted like a pretzel – and there's a man, a man who was crying and wailing, screaming constantly and continuously, "Get the fuck away from My Son. He's dead for Christ sake." The police officer gives Dad his space after checking for my pulse. Melissa, wearing her beautiful yellow dress gets down, takes my body into her arms and cradles my broken former self. We're so close that I smell faint traces of her perfume. She's wailing her broken heart into my ear, telling me that she loves me with all her heart and soul. I reach out to touch her but find I have no arms, nor do I have legs to walk to them. I look all around and I do not see me. And I do not see this Man that's holding me safely in his arms.
For the first time, not realizing I didn't need to breathe, I took in a deep breath, sighed it out, and if I had eyelids and tear glands and ducts, I would have cried at seeing their pain and anguish. Then I saw Mom standing at the door to the hotel. She was looking on, at all of the people standing around, the first responders doing their procedures, yet unable to do anything more because that body on the ground was not moving, in fact there was a medical examiner investigator waiting on the sidelines holding a yellow package in his hand. A stretcher stood close by him. The blanket had Honolulu Medical Examiner written in large bold letters.
I 'looked' back to Mom. She was reaching inside of her purse, retrieved an object that I recognized as her cell phone. She punched some buttons, put it to her ear, and then I heard her words, "Reverend Phillips, my son has committed suicide. Forgive me."
"My daughter, there is nothing to forgive. We have seen the power of Our Savior do unto those who do not walk in My Ways. Bring his body here. We will attempt to salvage what we can. There won't be much left, for Satan got to him before we could." A voice, clearly Reverend Phillips said, urgently.
"They were fornicating, Reverend. I saw them with my own eyes."
"Bring the girl. How old is she?"
"Seventeen, the same age as Bradley."
"Good. There's a chance."
Then we were 'gone'… into nothingness, though those arms continued holding me protectively, those loving arms carrying me never ceased to make me feel safe.
"Son, we're all the same. Some of us wag our tails, some of us don't, some of us bark, some of us don't, some of us say bad things, but if they are truly speaking my language, they are sending my message of love. I love you so much child. So does your family. Your mother, right now, is misguided in her thinking and ways. I know the future. Of course I cannot tell you what the future will tell. I can tell you that your family, and that beautiful young lady loves you so much that it isn't even funny. Your mother, in her misguided ways, loves you, too."
"But I'm marked, Jesus. I will never be free of the shame of letting them do that to me. Would you please purify and bless Melissa for all the days of her life. God, Jesus, she and I shared our love in a depraved and wicked and premarital way. Would you please remove these sins from me so that I can stay here with You? Please? I'm sorry. I'm really sorry."
"Hold on, Child. Our Father created a male's body in such a way so that it can bring pleasure to his partner. And, Our Father created woman to pleasure her male partner. I know that I get a bad rap for defining love as being only permissible between a man and a woman. This is not true in all regards. Whenever man lies with another man, so long as they love and cherish and are committed to one another, then love prevails all of the time, and I'm pleased."
"So, you're saying that homosexuals are not bad?"
"Oh Heaven's no. What I'm saying is that so long as love prevails, then there is nothing wrong with how we share that love, or with whom. Any more questions, for right now?"
"Uhm yeah… I mean, sorry… yes, Sir."
"Well, I already know what it is, Child, but you need to ask… otherwise we're just mind screwing."
I laughed uncontrollably, "You said 'mind screwing'?"
"Well, yeah. Out with it, Child. They're about to take your body away."
I received a vision. The vision was of a man and a woman in the kitchen of a nice big house with all of the amenities, preparing dinner for the family. Four children, all under the age of ten years old were sitting around a dining room table laughing and playing as young children will do. They were calling the couple Mommy and Daddy. Both adults were turned away. I could not see who they might be, until a little toddler child came running into the room. He had no clothes on and was just as happy as could be, screaming for his daddy. The daddy turned around to fetch up the little boy. The man looked up after he had the child safely in his arms, holding him protectively. The man smiled and nodded, then turned his attentions to his family. The little boy, however, waved and then he too turned his attentions to his mommy. When she turned around, if I had eyes to cry with I would have. You see, clear as day, the woman is none other than Melissa. The vision then clouded and disappeared.
The Man with the flowing white robes appeared again… I thought he was holding me all along… He smiled, and said, "Remember, Bradley, that love conquers all. You have forgiven and you have been forgiven of all sin that has been told to you. Now, normally I don't do this…"
With my one foot on the concrete of the road and the other foot still on the sidewalk, a strong man, my Dad, jerks my arm nearly out of its socket, and pulls me back just as a city bus flies by going south at a high rate of speed, too fast. We both land on the sidewalk on our asses. Dad pulls me into his chest, nearly crushing me to death. And he's crying; I feel the wetness of his tears running down the back of my neck, and his body is shaking very nearly uncontrollably. He cries, "Things are going to be very different from here on out. I promise you. I swear. So help me, I swear."
Melissa sat down on the pavement in her pretty dress, and without thinking, our lips touched meaningfully. She whispered, "I love you, Bradley Wilson." She leaned back, then her expression changed from happy to angry. Without warning, she slapped me across the face, saying angrily, "Don't you ever do that again. I swear to God I will haunt you if you hurt yourself. I love you, damn it." To Dad, continuing, "I do love your son. I love him with every fiber of my being, and well, I will haunt him if he ever does anything stupid like that ever again… you just watch me. And Sir, if your wife ever talks to my Bradley like that ever again, she ain't seen nothing. I swear I'll bitch slap her."
"Do I get to say anything?"
Dad and Melissa both said, simultaneously, as if they were a well orchestrated choir, "No. Be quiet."
Texas, in the barn
Oblivious to the boys and girls, they were being very carefully observed, cheered, congratulated, and encouraged every step of the way. Nor that they were being discussed in great detail. Nor were they aware that they were being closely observed by a group of men sitting in a production room half a world away, drawing lots, making bets, measured, photographed, and making plans for yet another arrival of young and impressionable boys… and girls.
When I became aware of my surroundings, I quickly sat up only to observe the many people, men, women and children of varying ages circled around the bed that Jordan, Jennifer, Stephanie and I were sharing. I reached for a sheet tangled between our bodies to cover ourselves, but my hand was grasped and I was quickly stood up and taken away. I'd never met the asshole who was half-dragging, half-carrying me to where I had no idea… only that we exited the barn, walked across the courtyard toward the house, up the stairs, into the kitchen, through the living area and on into the bedroom that Jordan and I had shared during better times.
The man's eyes were cold and distant. He had no problem with pushing me against the sink and holding me still by placing his two gnarly fingers against my neck and squeezing down into those sensitive muscles. This was all done without a word being said. I knew that I was to remain quiet, at all cost… he didn't even have to tell me to shut up. Just as my vision started turning blurry, as I started getting dizzy, he released his hold, and uttered his first words, "You are to take a shower. Don't say a word. Don't move other than to wash your upper body; I will wash everything from your waist down. Patriarch wants to see you after your shower… he is not a man that takes well to having to wait you or for anybody."
After the shower he said, "Now, sit down.. just do it."
I sat on the closed toilet seat and waited for the next instruction, but he had none. He reached into vanity drawer, retrieved a shiny object, laid it on the vanity top, then reached up into the medicine cabinet, pulled down a can that I recognized as shaving cream. He turned on the water in the sink, dipped the shiny object under the faucet to get it wet, and then he scared the shit out of me by flicking a little button on the object's side sending out a knife blade.
I spoke, afraid to speak, but terrified not to, "What is that? What are you doing? I've done everything anybody's told me to do."
"Don't cut me, please. I'll do whatever you want, just don't cut me." I pleaded with my soul.
"I won't cut you. Just shut up and don't you dare move," the man said, then knelt down in front of me. He looked into my eyes… the expression on his face told me more than words ever could. Shards of fear nearly overtook me, but before I could shake or do anything else, he took my knees and roughly shoved them apart, exposing everything I have to him. Without his eyes ever leaving mine, he set the blade on the vanity, grabbed the cream, sprayed out a bunch into his hand, grabbed the knife, and came toward me with both. A chill rapidly went up and down my spine as he applied the white foamy stuff to my lower belly, dick, balls, and pubes… I thought, "Oh no, I just got my pubes…" But, I didn't say anything. Deftly, expertly, gently he shaved my lower belly, upper thighs, and then started working inwardly toward my dick. I cringed almost hysterically when he pushed my gland to the side and took the knife to that area between my thighs and testicle. I held very steady, not wanting him to slip in any way at any time. The blood started pounding in my head when he pushed me back to the toilet tank, splayed my legs wide to either side, and then I thought about passing out when the knife, starting at my belly button began its trip down through the few pubes that I'd grown over the past few months. He stopped not one quarter inch from that fleshy tubular structure. I was so afraid of him slipping that I sat perfectly still and kept my mouth shut, just as he'd ordered.
Then he did my other side… as the blade was coming toward my male piece, he quickly pulled his hand away just as he sneezed, twice in rapid succession, then he dropped it to the floor as another spasm of sneezes took hold. That was my chance – my only chance. Easily, I stepped around his heaving chest, and then tore out for the door to the bedroom, raced through it, and was just turning the corner when I literally ran into – Charles. Charles is not huge by any stretch of the imagination, but he prepared himself well… he was like a brick wall being ran into… I bounced off and fell to the floor on my back… it was then that I saw the man who still had the blade in his hand walk to me. He yanked me up by the hair on my head, slammed me into the wall, got into my face, and said, "If it was up to me you little prick, I'd slice you in half."
With that said, he half dragged me back into the bathroom, slammed me onto the closed toilet lid so hard that I thought the ceramic casing was going to break. Charles entered the room, looked at me like I was crazy. The man angrily grabbed Charles' hand and put it against my forehead then angrily pushed my head back until it touched the wall… I thought my neck was going to break in half. Charles held me there as the man continued shaving that which I did not want shaved, but had no choice whether it was or was not. I could not have spoken had I wanted to – I didn't want to utter a word.
"You're lucky you're circumcised." The man groaned, or at least his voice sounded like it was groaning. Maybe not… The man got up on his knees, peered into my eyes… his were wild with excitement… and then his expression turned to a smirk. He took my head and pointed it down toward the white covering on my private area, let go and then in one fell swoop, in his fingers, he took hold of the little bit of loose skin near the head of my penis, gripped it and then put his knife within a millimeter of that very tender flesh. I took in a deep breath and held it.
"Jawad, don't. That's enough." Charles said seriously. The man, his name is Jawad? He let go of my flesh, stood up and looked into Charles' eyes, "Whatever you say. I'd still like to circumcise him for running away from me."
"No harm was done. His disobedience will be dealt with later. Hurry, the other boy will be arriving momentarily. Patriarch doesn't take well to having to wait – for any reason." To me, Charles continued, "Open the toilet lid and lean over it. Jawad will prepare you."
I stood up at Jawad's insistence… I didn't want to get my hair pulled again. I didn't like the idea of leaning over anything with Jawad around. I didn't know why… even though he was tugging on my hair, I managed to turn around just enough to face most of the toilet. I opened the lid. With little hesitation, my stream started in earnest.
Feeling other urgent needs, I asked, "Sir, may I sit down, please?"
"No. Kneel down, face forward."
I smiled for the first time in a long time… I looked into his eyes, spread my legs and grinned. I really didn't want to do it, but would have had he not released the hair on my head and gave in.
Jawad had the last laugh, though. Charles left after making it clear that I was to follow directions. He told me to squeeze it in for just a moment. He opened the blade, knelt down in front of me, spread my legs apart, and then moved into where his nose was no further than maybe an inch from mine. He held the blade up next to our noses, with the pointy end of it poised next to my left eye. I released that which needed releasing, taking absolute care to not even move a fraction of an inch to either side or forward. I don't know how I did it – but did anyhow. I maintained the position even while tearing off tissue paper and applying it to where it needed applying. The only thing I dared not do was turn around in any way to – flush.
He took care of that for me… although he held the knife right next to my nose as he did so.
My moments of cautious optimism, brought on by seeing, feeling, sharing and experiencing my Luke were short lived once he was led away.
Patriarch walked to me, drew me up from the bed by my arm, turned me toward the audience, put his arm around my shoulders… the lights came up, and the crowd broke out in loud applause, cat whistles, and crying, "PATRIARCH! PATRIARCH! PATRIARCH!"
I wormed my way out from beneath his arm, took a step aside. I knew I screwed up the second I did it, but I didn't want him touching me. The expression on his face never even changed… he reached for my neck, drew me in close to his chest, then cracked my neck to one side. Immediately, I fell to the dirt floor and ate it… and no he didn't push me down there… I fell down… my entire body, from my head to my feet felt numb. I willed myself to move my arms to get my face out of the dirt… but nothing happened… all I was doing was breathing.
He leaned down, picked me up like a rag doll, held me to his chest and then popped my neck again, holding me until feeling and strength returned to my legs. "Jordan, what a beautiful name you have, I could have snapped your head off like a twig, but I have plans for you, My Child, My Beautiful Boy." Then to my shock and horror, he lifted me off of my feet by the neck and jerked me hard. Every single bone in my body popped like a set of dominoes. The only good thing was that the numbness in my legs and arms was completely gone, as if it had never happened.
Knowing what he was capable of, and, no doubt would do in a heartbeat, I complied by allowing him to pull me into his arms and hold me firmly yet gently, as if I would break, as if I was a piece of fine China dinnerware.
I heard footsteps coming closer, but dared not look at who they belonged to. Katy, wearing a white satin robe had with her two people. One of them was a very large tall man. He looked at me with a menacing look in his eyes, but our gaze didn't hold for more than a few seconds. His attention turned to Patriarch, knelt down and did something to Patriarch, but I dared not look down to see exactly what he did.
The man stood and quickly stepped into the shadows.
The other person, I could not tell if it was a boy, girl, woman or a small man because of the hood covering its face. The person was looking to the dirt floor.
Patriarch said, fatherly like, "Sunni. It's good to see you. I'm glad you were able to come."
"Yes, Patriarch. I'm glad to be here." The person said, humbly, quietly, obediently.
Then, as if orchestrated, the boy pushed back the hood, untied the sash, pulled the sides apart to show Patriarch and me his fit and trim, muscular body – all of it. Patriarch said, "Jordan, dear Jordan, take Sunni's robe and hold it. Take care not to wrinkle the fine fabric."
I walked to this guy. His eyes were staring straight ahead toward Patriarch, and didn't even look or flinch when he took off the robe, handing it to me, then he walked to Patriarch and permitted himself to be fondled and hugged. Patriarch kissed his lips, said something very gently to the boy, kissed him again, and then the boy, Sunni, turned to me, walked over, put his hands on my shoulders and kissed each of my cheeks. "Come with me." He took the robe and put it on, but did not raise the hood to cover his face.
A second look from him told me I was to follow him. I looked toward Patriarch. He nodded, approvingly.
With Sunni taking the lead we exited the barn through the back door. Dog was sitting right outside the door, seemingly waiting for me because she nudged my hand to let me know she was there in the darkness. Sunni reached down to pet Dog, but overcome with emotion I knelt down and buried my head in her fur, crying uncontrollably. I was crying so hard that I fell down on the ground, at which time Dog began lapping my face, and in some strange way told me that we were okay for right now.
I felt a hand take hold of mine, lift me to my feet and then, with Dog by my side, led us to the house. I leaned down, kissed Dog's neck fur, and received a comforting lick from her. Sunni opened the door and urged me to enter first. When we were inside, I looked at Sunni and asked, terribly afraid that my question would set off another round of… "Is it okay if I get a glass of water, please?"
Instead of directly answering my question, Sunni put his arm around my shoulder, despite my flinching, led us to the refrigerator where he pulled out a large carafe holding orange juice, sat it on the counter, reached up for a glass and motioned for me to get one. He poured them both full, smiled, and then partook of his drink, leaving me standing there wondering if I would get into trouble if I drank. He put his hand on mine and drew it to the glass, which I took as permission to drink from it. I was so thirsty that in two attempts the glass was drained, which set off an instinctive burp, a loud one.
Sunni rolled up his eyes and offered me the carafe. I took it, poured him another glass, and then looked at him for permission for me to have another glass. He nodded.
I was so thirsty, and my stomach was so hungry that it hurt. After the third glass, I felt full and the hunger pains, which I had not known or acknowledged before, seemed to abate. As we left the kitchen, after putting the jar away and rinsing our glasses and putting them into the dish washer, I looked at the clock, it read 11:40pm.
I was fighting exhaustion after my emotional upheaval, the fact that it was late, and we hadn't gotten much sleep the previous night, but I had to keep up… surely we'd get to sleep sometime, if it was even possible that I could sleep. As we walked into the hallway toward the bedroom Luke and I had had shared, I fought off a sad wave of emotions, wondering where my Luke was and if he was okay, or if he was even in the house. I thought very, very hard, 'Luke? Luke, are you here?"'
Tears began to flow down my cheeks when he didn't reply. I tried to hold myself in check, and did pretty well, considering. If Luke was listening in, then he'd know the truth, that I wasn't at all okay, that I needed him in my arms, and that I needed to feel his arms around me… I just needed my Luke.
Sunni walked to the end of the hallway. My heartbeat quickened, realizing he was standing right in front of the door to the room that Luke and I shared. I looked into his eyes, hungry, thirsty, and dying to see my Luke. With absolute determination running through my veins, no matter what the cost, I had to see my Luke. I sized Sunni up. With the robe covering his body, it was hard to tell what he was made of, but be damned if he stands in my way to going in 'that' room.
Sunni, correctly sensing the level of determination and welling up anger, motioned for me to enter the room across the hall from the one that Luke and I had shared. The neutral expression on his face and his outreached arm, I know this is hard to say, but I found it comforting, and followed him into the room, and heard the door shut behind us. The room was totally pitch black dark, but before I could get a real sense of fear going, the light turned on. While the light wasn't very bright, it was light enough to see what was around me.
The bedroom appeared to be a normal one. It was just as nice as the one Luke and I were staying in, only this one was blue, a deep dark blue, so this explained why it appeared so dark in the room.
"I know you're worried, Jordan."
"You don't know the half of it. I want to see Luke. Now. I have to know if he's okay. I have to see him." I said, angrier than I intended to sound… for fear that… everything would happen all over again. But I would do it all over a thousand times if it meant that I could see and feel and emotionally experience – my Luke. I was so scared and worried… tears freely flowed from my eyes once again. I willed them to stop; tears would not make this situation any different, I felt. I reached for a Kleenex from the box sitting on the headboard, blew hard, then went into the bathroom, tossed it in the trash can, sat down on the closed toilet lid and waited for whatever was going to come next.
"There you are. I was looking for you." Sunni said, walking into the bathroom, casting his eyes upon me. He smiled.
"I'm not going anywhere without Luke. He's my brother. We don't quit on each other, no matter what."
"That's a good brother. Okay, you are wondering what is going on. Let me try to explain. First, though, you and Luke will be together tonight. He is okay. Trust me, Jordan. Trade places with ya."
I shrugged my shoulders, not at all willing to believe anything anybody, including Sunni, was telling me. His eyes, though, never wavered. His expression was serious. While I was afraid, he wasn't scaring me, if this makes any sense… I'm still trying to convince myself. I got up. He walked over, lifted the lid, and took care of his business as if it was no big deal. Even though he was totally open with that idea, I wasn't. I walked out into the main bedroom, eyed that door knob, took in and let out several deep breaths, and started walking toward that door… until I heard the tissue paper roll knocking around in its holder, at which time I stopped, turned back around and met Sunni at the sink. He offered, "There are tooth brushes in the bottom drawer, grab two, one for me, one for you."
While brushing our teeth, Sunni entered the shower room, turned on the water, then returned and said, "You get a good shower tonight. You'll feel better. It will help you to relax."
I nodded. Other than to see, feel and experience Luke's love, I wanted to take a shower, too. A hot one. As hot as my body could stand. It felt dirty, filthy, defiled, violated, broken, shattered, and used.
Anger started welling up from the depths of my being, the only thing that stopped me from lashing out at Sunni is simple: I would not get to see my Luke. I didn't even care if I got the hell beat out of me, but first and absolutely foremost, I do care about what happens, or doesn't happen to Luke. Despite self-talk to calm down, I spat angrily into the bowl, glared into the mirror at Sunni, then without rinsing my mouth, walked into the shower, but saw no soap anywhere, nor was there any shampoo. I looked up to the ceiling, closed my eyes, and asked myself, "Why? Why is this happening? Can't I even take a shower properly?" I got under the shower head and just let the hot water run over my body, hoping against all hope that I could relax just enough to think rationally for a change.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when I felt fingers touch my shoulder. Quickly, almost lightening fast, I turned and pushed my butt against the wall, and at the same time a rage took hold that was just about to come springing out through my fists and fly into some idiot's guts and anywhere else I could manage to slam, but then reality struck when Sunni began slowly rubbing my shoulders. He was quick to softly say, "I'm not going to hurt you, Jordan. I know you're scared. At one time, I was afraid, too. Now I'm not. It took me time to earn my Patriarch's trust. Here, just relax, let me bathe you. It is my job. I have special soaps to cleanse your skin to its most natural state, and then I'll give you an oil massage. Before we get started, though… please go use the restroom to the best of your ability. I will wait here for you."
The first stop, other than the toilet, was out into the bedroom area. I looked and stared at that door knob for a good minute before… before… before remembering that Sunni had said that Luke and I could see each other… I didn't want to mess the possibility up, no way was I going to jack that up.
When I returned to the bathroom area, Sunni was standing at the sink looking at me. He smiled warmly. I relaxed just a little bit. Knowing he had no qualms about privacy, I decided to just take care of business, but he stopped me, opened a jar of some green looking stuff, jabbed his finger inside, "Jordan, turn around… this will prevent you from hurting yourself." Slowly, I nodded. Even slower yet, I turned around, leaned against the vanity, and permitted him to put the stuff around, and even inside my sore, swollen area back there. I hardly felt anything other than the soothing touch from his finger with that stuff. I asked, "What is that?"
"It's a natural herb mixture. You probably smell camphor… this is one of the ingredients. Go now. Hurry."
Although I am certainly capable of washing myself, Sunni's strong but soft hands, using scant amounts of a jell like substance that produces loads and loads of suds, soon had my body washed from stem to stern. He didn't graze in any one place for very long, just long enough to get the job done. By the time he was finished, I was very nearly asleep because my sore muscles were so relaxed. But, come hell or high water, I would not go to sleep until I saw my Luke. I figured I'd do exactly as they told me what and how. Why no longer mattered. It is what it is, and will be what it will be. So long as my Luke is okay, then I'm okay.
Sunni did me in when he had me sit on the closed toilet seat, and began rubbing the muscles that felt like blobs of jello with various oils and liniments, saying all along that the substances would purify my skin. I didn't argue, I couldn't argue when he spent a little extra time on my penis, for by this time I was totally tired and my resistance was shot. Just before I shot, he put my hand on my organ, reached into a lower drawer, extracted a plastic bottle, opened the lid and put it in front of my penis, urged me to continue masturbating, and then caught my ejaculation. Quickly, he screwed on the cap, urged me to stand, at which time he put some more salve in that very sore spot down south of the border, then, smiling, pronounced me clean.
Somehow, drawing all reserve strength I stood up and moved aside. Sunni grabbed another plastic cup, sat down, and ejected his offerings into the cup. Seeing what he'd done, I closed the lid and sat it next to my cup, all the while wondering what that was all about.
While he was oiling himself, I just looked into the mirror watching how expertly he was performing self-massage. He would look up every now and again and just smile, then after getting everything except his upper and mid back, he looked into my eyes and handed me the small tin can of substance… it was then that the shock of my life set in: I had seen this boy on TV. I dropped the can on the floor. I put my arms on his shoulders. He stood straight up and stared into the mirror into my eyes, "You've seen a ghost, Jordan, yes?" Nervously, filled with fear, he added, "It's just me, Sunni."
TO BE CONTINUED