The Warrior 7
Author's note: This chapter goes back a little while in time. It provides a bit more of a backdrop for what led up to Antoine and Matt's getting together.
Previously (Chapter 53F (The Warrior Part 6))
Although I was a newbie, as the saying goes, they pulled me in like I was one of their very own doing such things as helping with bathing the patients, filling water carafes for those patients who could have water, providing newspapers to those who could or had their faculties about them, they even let me watch doctors do their various medical procedures on patients, respiratory therapists do their things, and too many other things too numerous to write about here.
Just before school started the most amazing thing happened …
The nursing supervisor of the PSICU assigned to me an unnamed boy who had been in their critical care unit for quite some time as a result of having sustained several life threatening injuries. He had not been expected to survive, and if he had survived then he had been predicted to have had no quality of life, and in fact he had been anticipated to be in a 'vegetable', that is no hope.
The first few days of my assignment, I gave him bed baths, changed his sheets, spoke to him about many things in such a manner as if he were 'there', and moved his arms and legs purposefully to increase circulation and to prevent contractures, bed sores and blood clots in his legs. Not only that, but it would help him to reconnect to people and the world around him since he was not always totally unaware of his surroundings.
Despite the best medical care Matt could receive, I knew he was getting 'it' because Peggy said all along that his primary care physicians were the best that money could buy, but he continued to get lung infections, and during one of his most critical times, he sustained a brain bleed that required emergency surgery. After that last surgery the doctors gave him absolutely no hope.
I prayed fervently to the Highest One for his recovery. Somehow, I don't know how, I just knew that he was a special person, that in time he would be a very important person to the world… in a way that I didn't understand I felt drawn to him.
As it were, not only did he survive his surgery and lung infections but he also began purposefully moving his hands and arms in response to my touches and spoken words.
Soon after his surgery, maybe a couple of weeks later, he did flutter his eyes, twitched his arms and legs as I bathed and spoke to him. One day a few days later he opened his eyes as I soothingly spoke to him about some of my travels though not where, not for what reason and not when.
About a month later, Peggy excitedly came home from work one day and said that Matt had received visitors for the very first time, which he had responded and communicated with them by writing notes.
I felt my throat tightening up, my chest got heavy, my hands had a tingly sensation pass through them … and well, I needed to get away before my emotions totally took over.
I went to my room, closed the door, and to distract myself went about watering the plants, arranging their positions so that they received maximal indirect lighting, changed my sheets, then laid down, vividly remembered my care for that boy and fell asleep in a quiet slumber as my emotions very nearly got the best of me.
Two days later, when I went back to work he was sitting up in bed. He fully opened his eyes with purpose when I began clinking and clanking the pans used to carry water for his bed bath.
I washed his hair just as I had done for several weeks then methodically washed the rest of his body until I got to his personals at which time I evaded them because he was awake and appeared alert. I talked to him continuously and constantly as I washed and exercised his legs.
A nurse entered the room. Together he and I turned Matt on his side, arranged the pillows so that any pressure on his spine was mitigated, and then I washed, rinsed and dried his back and butt. I then vigorously applied lotion to the areas to help prevent bed sores. Matt's not having bed sores was a miracle in itself because a patient bedridden for as long as Matt had been was inevitable.
Over the next several days, I did the same thing, all the while talking to him softly, encouragingly, all the while exercising his arms, legs and hands and feet. Something that he had not previously responded to was washing his feet. That particular time though he pulled his legs back and away from me. I inadvertently, what, tickled his feet? He had never before reacted like that. This was something his doctors had been looking for – he did it. Yeah!
For several days after that I had been assigned to the ER, however, I began going into work early just to see him, and to talk with him about various things.
Over time, Matt improved dramatically in that he was able to get out of bed to sit in a chair while I changed his sheets and did other such things for his care and comfort.
Once his tracheotomy was closed by the surgeons, we began talking about various things although we kept it simple because his brain was still healing – but – he was definitely improving!
Over time, our friendship flowered and became very close, much to my chagrin because I was not like him in that I had never, nor did I permit myself to get close to any guy, including my dad, uncles, and those 'clients' I had been forced to be around, and work with.
Much to my chagrin, my dreams began filling with Matt's smile, warm voice, dancing eyes and assistance with his care. And yet … although I had been taught that pleasuring myself was wrong, sinful, depraved, wicked and surely a straight shot at hell, I found myself unable to stop thinking of him during my moments of self-pleasure … despite all of my best attempts to do so.
I had never really had any thoughts of assigning a 'who' or even a 'what', male or female, to my excursions into depravity. Instead I had just done the wicked deed to quell the urgent carnal desires seemingly taking over my body, yet, as time went on, my thoughts constantly and continuously held firm while doing that which I'd been taught all along to be wrong in every way.
One day after arriving home from school on the bus, I found yet another note from Peggy lying on the kitchen table. It read, "Sorry honey, I was called to fill for someone who called in sick to work. Eat up the lasagna. Don't wait up for me. LY. PS: The yard needs mowed, please."
Her getting called in was the 3rd time that week and it was only Thursday.
I went to the refrigerator, poured myself a glass of milk then sat down at the kitchen table, pulled out calculus homework from my backpack then thought "I don't understand this shit. Fuck it." However, my discipline kicked in. I spent the next hour and half working the two problems the math teacher had given us at the very last minute of class. Her class is the last one of the day. Once I got into it, the rules and laws and methods came back to me – but not before I had grumbled …
Once that was finished, I went to my room where I changed into my work clothes which had seen better days in that the knees were worn and tattered, the hips and butt threadbare, and the area where my penis resided had the faded appearance that clearly indicated where it rested.
I watered the plants and then while I was readying the lawn mower to cut the yard dark clouds suddenly appeared. They dumped their contents heavily and provided a light show complete with sound effects.
In a way I was elated the rain because we'd been in a near drought condition for several weeks. In yet another way a pal of having nothing in particular to do and nobody to talk to settled in. Once again I flopped on my bed, pulled out a Marvel comic book and began reading however boredom replaced anticipation of action packed action I'd found in those books.
The need to take a dump beckoned my call so after that was finished I looked out the window to see the rain tapering off to occasional sprinkles. The yard was too wet to mow. I'd slipped a time or two on the dry grass, and knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that walking the terrain would be extremely dangerous.
The next thought, the next need that entered my head was that I could go running so I stripped naked, put on the jock strap and a pair of running shorts. After arranging my bits I took off, closing and locking the door behind me.
The rain cooled air felt wonderful on my naked skin. By the time I'd ran 3 miles the sun had cleared the clouds and felt wonderfully delicious. The beach was totally devoid of people. Two miles further down the beach I saw 3 boys way out in the surf. As I got closer to them I noticed they were naked. The two youngest waived. The oldest flipped me the bird, for some reason. Nevertheless I waived back to them and continued on my way.
After arriving at the mission church rectory, Father Ben answered the door on the second knock then without either of us saying one single word we hugged deeply. He shooed me off to the bathroom to take a bath and to get into dry clothes.
Bathed and clad in dry Goodwill clothes I went into the kitchen where I found Father Ben stirring a pot of vegetable soup. I pulled two soup bowls from the cabinet and sat them on the table then got two soup spoons from the drawer. Father Ben filled the bowls to capacity then put saltine crackers on the table for dipping.
We shared Grace and thanksgivings and dove into the delectable concoction that only Father Ben could prepare – he'd been taught well.
Father Ben smiled, "To what wonderful fortunes brought you out here today young man?"
"I just needed to hang out with you. Peggy's working a double shift …" I trailed off realizing what I was saying only after the words slipped out of my mouth then added "Well, I didn't mean it the way it came out… sorry. I'm very grateful, Father."
"Home alone again?"
I nodded then reached for another piece of corn bread, offered it to Father Ben first but he declined so I took it, dunked it in my soup then ate it savoring every bite.
"Does Peggy know you're here?"
"Hmm… well, call her and let her know you are here then. She'll worry if she gets home before you do, you know."
"Can I finish my soup first?" I asked mischievously. He would have no part of my attempts at humor so I pulled my cell phone out, called her, and when her phone went to voice mail I told her where I was and when I expected to be home.
Father Ben nodded approvingly when I broke the connection and laid the phone on the table. Typically, Peggy would call me right back if she wasn't working with a patient. She didn't return my call during the 15 minutes or so that it took for us to finish our meal.
After cleaning up we sat back down at the table. Father Ben looked at me serenely and asked warmly, "So what have you been up to? I miss your sun shiny face … you are a good kid don't so let anyone tell you anything otherwise."
"School. I've gotten back into my running and exercising and meditation again. I missed it for awhile. Oh hey, I'm teaching Peggy some defense, and well, she's getting really good at it. So good in fact that she threw me to the floor Sunday night before I knew what hit me, and I didn't even let her do it either." I snickered.
"Well, she is, for all practical purposes, your mother. You did right, Antoine."
As we sat there and talked we both noted the sun had once again disappeared. We heard yet another storm approaching, making its presence known audibly before the light show appeared and the rain began in earnest.
Just then a huge, white flash lit up the room immediately accompanied by a crash bang of thunder. We both jumped in surprise. Another followed the first, then another and then another. Then the lightening slowed down and the thunder less pronounced meaning the brunt of the storm was passing by on its way to the city. But then we were doubly surprised by a tremendous explosion. At the same time the electricity was knocked out plunging us into near darkness. Father Ben retrieved candles, lit them and sat them on the kitchen table, and we continued our discussion.
The dancing of the candles nearly took me into a deep meditative state since candles were my usual way of going into contemplation; however just before I succumbed Father Ben asked, "Is everything okay at home? Are you happy? You know that Mildred wanted you to be happy. So do I. So does Peggy. Mildred was so worried about you when we first met."
"Father, I don't want to sound selfish … my concern is with Peggy. She's working too many hours, and well, we do not get to spend very much time together. I worry about her too you know."
"Yes she is child. That leaves you home alone quite a bit of the time then …"
I nodded in agreement, "I've basically lived alone since I was a young boy…" Then let my voice trail off remembering how utterly alone and afraid, yes, I was very afraid, I was while traveling extensively. I couldn't help it. My eyes began leaking a few tears yet I didn't feel a tight throat or chest. They were simply draining of their own accord without any aforethought.
Quickly, I blotted away the tears with a Kleenex Father Ben handed to me. After blowing my nose, he continued, "I'll talk to her. She shouldn't be working so much. You should talk to her too. Tell her how you're feeling. She wants only the best for you."
"I know. I'm trying to not be selfish. She's a good woman and I am growing to love her, very deeply, yet I am afraid. Does that make any sense?"
"Of course it does. Make no mistake and know that she loves you and is trying to give you everything that you need. Sometimes we get so busy 'doing' that we lose track of simply 'being' whom and what we are."
Just then another fierce lightning struck close by. We heard the zing, felt the hairs on the backs of our necks stand straight out – and then heard the inevitable crash bang that rumbled through the entire house. Not only did the thunder rock the house but we also heard breaking wood and a thud on the ground nearby.
We both looked at each other. At the same time we both got up and went to the doorway but didn't see anything except that the rain had slacked somewhat. Father Ben grabbed a raincoat hanging on a hook next to the door, donned it and then headed outside. I joined him and together we walked around to the front side of the house and found an old palm tree lying on the ground, split in half. It was still smoldering and the acrid smell of burning wood filled the air.
"That was way too close." Father Ben said factually.
The House itself looked fine but I quickly ran around its perimeter just to make sure it was indeed without damage. It was.
The sun came back out shortly thereafter so I readied myself to leave but Father Ben insisted on taking me home because of the lightening in the distance, toward home.
Father Ben dropped me off then headed back to the Rectory.
Because the rain had cooled the air, I turned off the air conditioning, opened the house up, stripped and took a shower and dressed only in a pair of very loose fitting brief underwear. I hadn't heard Peggy arrive home so when I entered the kitchen I felt sore of self-conscious about being so skimpily dressed. She paid no mind to my state of dress. She was tired and haggard appearing. Immediately, I said to her, "Go take a nice hot bubble bath. I'll fix you something light to eat."
"Thanks honey, I don't want anything to eat but I'll take a protein shake. I'm afraid I'd fall asleep in the tub… I really appreciate you, do you know that?"
After sharing another hug, she headed off for her room.
I looked in the pantry for the commercial protein shake packets she uses. I giggled at finding an empty box because she gives me so much grief when I do that. I know I didn't leave the box empty because I don't use them.
About 20 minutes later, she came into the kitchen with her hair up in a towel, wearing a housecoat and a very tired smile. She looked into the blender where I'd put in a variety of fruits and a splash of soy milk to mix up for a healthy late night snack. There was enough for the both of us. When the cycle was finished she looked at it, made a funny face then said "What's that?"
"It's good. It's all natural." I said while pouring her a glass full and handed it to her. I then poured my own glass. As she sniffed it, I couldn't help but to chuckle when her nose turned up and her face took on a bewildered took. She then put a finger in it and licked it clean.
She shrugged her shoulders then took the plunge into the unknown. Her face scrunched. I laughed again. I'd used a whole lemon 'for flavor'.
I took a large slug. Much to my surprise I found the lemon had completely overwhelmed the overall flavor, and I too scrunched my face up.
She laughed hard and then said, "I think I like this… what did you put in it?"
"Everything. Don't ask. Don't tell." I laughed.
That said, she grabbed a muscle under my armpit then pinched it causing me to squeal because I was ticklish there. She was learning my weak spots.
We sat down at the kitchen then got current with what was going in our lives for that day. When we had a lull in the conversation, she reached for the TV remote but instead I took her hand in mine then said very softly … but damn it before I could speak tears were leaking from my eyes … she reached over to brush them away with grave concern in her very tired eyes. When I reached composure I went ahead and said, "Peggy, you're working too much. You come home dragging … I worry about you."
She leaned over and kissed my cheek but didn't say anything other than to give a rueful smile. She was thinking then her eyes began to waiver as a wave of tired overspread her already tired person.
Just then the phone rang. I answered it on the second ring, "Hello."
A voice said, "This is Jennifer at University Hospital, may I speak to Peggy?"
"Uhm, she's really beat tired. Can I give her a message?"
Peggy reached for the phone. Reluctantly I handed to her. She looked at the phone then very carefully lifted it to her ear, "This is Peggy."
She grinned then turned on the Speaker option …
"Hi Peggy, this is Jennifer, we really need you to come in as two of the nurses did not report for duty. Can you be here ASAP?"
I put my hand on Peggy's arm, squeezed lightly and shook my head no. She nodded then said into the phone, "I'm sorry Jennifer. I just got finished with a 16 hour shift. I'd be dangerous. I have the next 4 days off… please mark me as unavailable. My son and I have some things to do. I promised him…" Peggy looked at me, smiled then whispered "I really do have plans for us!"
I snickered then reached over and kissed her cheek.
The conversation was brief. Finally she said, "I'm not coming in Jennifer. Good night." Then she disconnected the call and looked at me, "It's true. Other than a parent teacher conference at 3 tomorrow we're free for the weekend. I'm going to bed. Meanwhile you find something for us to do or somewhere to go. I'll get the credit card… just remember I only have a $12,000.00 credit limit…"
She walked to her bedroom and returned no more than a moment later. She handed me the credit card, drew me into a hug then headed off to her room where she closed the door.
I stayed up a while longer. I went outside and sat in one of the lounge chairs on the deck… immediately filling my underwear with a seat full of water from the rains. At first I chided myself for being so stupid but then broke out in laughter.
When I regained my composure, I stole myself away into a meditative state. A couple of hours later, I emerged completely relaxed except for one not-so-small detail. I locked the doors, went to my room, stripped naked and got into bed. After taking myself to a new level of sexual awareness, free of guilt for a change I fell asleep.
I awoke to giggles. Immediately I took stock of where I was and what I was doing. I was in bed in my home… and I was lying totally naked on my bed with all exposed to all. That which designates me as male was fully elongated and resting pointing upward on my belly.
I looked toward the door while reaching down for the sheet which had fallen off during the night and put it over my nakedness.
Peggy snickered and gave a low-level wolf whistle then turned on her heels and left my room.
I grabbed a pair of underwear from the dresser drawer then after checking to make sure the coast was clear went padding to the bathroom where I closed the door, took a good piss and then got into the shower and washed up.
Returning to my room I put on a pair of jeans then went to the kitchen where mom was preparing breakfast. I grabbed an orange from the refrigerator, peeled it and began eating.
I kept looking at her, waiting for words of displeasure at seeing me naked for the first time, and the condition my penis had greeted her with… but there was no displeasure… it was business as usual… though she was much more relaxed and she appeared much more rested.
As we sat down to eat, we said grace then dug in. While we were eating she said, "There's no reason to be ashamed. You're all boy and that is nothing to be ashamed about. I ask that you close your door… not so much because your nakedness embarrasses me but because you need your privacy. You're at the age when your privacy is important. Running naked back and forth to the bathroom is just fine, okay?"
I flushed hotly. I thought I was going to burn from the heat. Somehow I muttered, "I was covered up when I went to bed."
She grinned. I got even hotter and would not have been surprised had I melted into a puddle on the kitchen floor. She took it to a whole new level by saying, "I checked on you earlier… you have a nice set of cheeks…"
"Ahhhh Peggy stop it. Don't… please…" I said, wanting to slink under the table and disappear.
Peggy snickered, patted my wrist and got up and began cleanup. I joined her and we rapidly concluded the chores.
As she took off for her room she said, "Did you find anything for us to do for the weekend?"
Immediately, my heart filled with shame for not doing what she had asked me to do the previous evening. I replied, "No, I'm sorry…"
"Don't worry about it… I've got something in mind but you'll just have to wait until we get there."
With that said she went on to her room and closed the door. I went to my room, got fully dressed then stripped my bed, pulled out the whites from the clothes hamper, took them to the laundry room and started the washer.
After returning to my room, I opened up email to see if there was anything waiting. There wasn't anything except a bunch of pictures of naked women and guys fucking their brains out. I was mesmerized by the sizes of the guys' cocks thinking all the while that theirs far surpassed my own ample size organ.
I wasn't at all excited at seeing their cunts… the bathroom door opened. Immediately, I tried closing out the email program however pop ups after pop ups kept springing. Mom entered my room. I looked around over my shoulder. There wasn't anything I could do so I got up and stood between her and the computer, embarrassed that she'd seen what I knew she'd seen.
I prepared for the worst but the worst didn't happen…
"Turn the computer off, Antoine. We need to talk."
Immediately, I turned around and flicked the switch turning off the monitor then pulled the cord from the computer, immediately shutting it down.
"I'm sorry." I said while turning around. Peggy was smiling and shaking her head.
I wasn't expecting that. She walked over, sat down on the computer chair then motioned for me to sit on her lap. I wasn't expecting that either… but did as she said to do.
"Stop worrying so much." She said while putting her arm around my waist, squeezing lightly.
She continued, "So long as you aren't using those sites to fulfill your normal sexual desires I see no problem. You boys are filled with raging hormones, and well you have to have an outlet somewhere. We've not yet had a discussion about this. I didn't plan on having this discussion… so now is as good as any… by the way, the equipment on those guys is largely shown under a high powered lens or something because there's no guy ever who has an appendage THAT big… there's no way."
"You mean you're not mad or anything?"
"Oh for heaven's sake no, boy, I'm not angry. So long as you're safe, happy and fulfilled then what do I have to be angry about?"
"You don't think I'm, well, you know, too, uhm… this is embarrassing…"
"Don't worry… you're just right. You're exactly the way you're supposed to be. You'll make your partner very happy, no doubt."
I began a 'heat-up' session. Peggy hugged me tightly then continued, "I'm concerned about the computer network. Those sites can contain some really nasty hard to get rid of viruses."
"Oh… I didn't go looking at those sites… I mean I didn't search them out. They just popped up in an email." I said truthfully though I did ask some questions about my size. I added, "I guess I had some questions…"
"I've thought of that too. We have a nice resident physician who… I asked him if he'd speak to you. I'm obviously not a guy… there are some things that I just don't know. He said he'd gladly talk to you. If you want, I'll give you his phone number and you can call him at your discretion. I don't need to know what… I'll give you your privacy."
The heat raised another notch or two. She added, "I simply told him I have a teenage son who was most likely questioning his male character and attributes… nothing specific. He's a young guy
I knew nothing about computers, really, so we decided to take it into the shop and have it fixed properly.
"There's one more thing about the computer. I bought it used a couple of years ago. There was pornography on it, some of it very illegal.
Peggy regarded me carefully then quietly said "There were some still pictures and video of boys having sex with each other; boys of your age and younger. There were pictures and video of them having sex with adults too. I called the police. They sent their sex crime forensics people over. After determining that I did not know of their existence, they confiscated the hard drive and to my knowledge are using it in a criminal prosecution case."
"That's just gross. I knew guys who were into that stuff. They promised me all kinds of money … but then they didn't want me around after I told them that I had a 'stomach problem'."
"Honey, boy-boy, girl-girl, boy-girl, girl-boy sex – I don't see anything wrong so long as everybody concerned are consenting, is not causing them harm, and is not illegal, AND is not put onto the internet. Sometime when you get a chance do a Search on the 'Kinsey Studies'. You will be amazed and probably surprised about the sexual activity statistics they have for boys and girls of your age. The Church, of course, denounces the fact that boys and girls get horny, that they are in fact sexual beings."
"Father Ben and Mildred told me otherwise." I said looking deep into her eyes for acknowledgments that I desperately needed at that point in time.
"Antoine, you're at an age where you have tremendous male sexual tensions because of adolescent hormones running amok in your body. I don't mean to embarrass you when I say that you were sound asleep this morning when your body was saying otherwise. I didn't stay and watch anything. I left quickly. What your body was doing was totally normal and natural."
"So you weren't disgusted?"
"No, not at all though I feel that I invaded your privacy which is the reason why I said that you should close your door. If your door is shut then I will not open it unless the house is on fire or we are in mortal danger of some kind."
"Uhm hum. Thanks."
"Just so you know … we are going off the island and will be staying at a hotel and I have booked two rooms, one for you and one for me."
"Where are we going? What are we going to do?"
"Ha haa, you will have to wait young man. I bet you never even thought about two rooms, did you?" Peggy chided all in jest, of course.
Up until that point, I had not particularly felt any embarrassment, but I just about spontaneously combusted right then and there. She snickered. She reached down, kissed me on warmly my cheek then said "Come on. Get our bags. Let's go."
To be continued
(Revised & Reposted December 4, 2011)