Castle Roland

A Special Place

by Sequoyah


Chapter 2

Published: 8 Apr 14

A Special Place--Part Two--Matt

As Dr. Bailey and I entered the elevator which was to take us to ICU, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "Matt, I'm sure you are excited about getting to see Luke, but you need to be warned, you are not going to like what you see. In fact, you are going to be shocked. There is no way I can really prepare you except to tell you Luke is going to look as if he is dead. Additionally, he is connected to all sorts of machines, including a ventilator which is breathing for him. The barbiturates would probably have made that necessary as would hypothermia, but he is suffering from both. His heart is beating so slowly that it could stop at any time and that means he looks like a corpse. The good side to this situation, if there is one, is that hypothermia slows down the body processes so a person can go much longer deprived of oxygen than when the body temperature is normal. Also, Luke will be kept in a drug induced coma--which he was in when you found him and is still in from the barbiturates he took--to keep the brain from swelling and causing any additional brain damage. Right now, no one knows how long he will be in the self-induced coma or how long he might have to be kept in one. Also, what his condition will be when he does wake up, if he ever does, is very much up in the air. Again, I can't really prepare you for what he looks like, but then, I do know that love can sometimes be very blind."

I simply nodded my head. I was sure that just seeing Luke alive, even barely alive, would mean I could overlook everything else. I was wrong. When we walked into ICU, I saw a nurses' station with numerous monitors in the center with rooms arranged in a circle around it. The rooms all had glass walls facing the nurses' station so they could see the patients, of which there were several.

When we reached the nurses' station, Dr. Bailey introduced me to Chelsea, the nurse in charge. "Chelsea, this is Matt. I believe Dr. Walker spoke to you about him."

"Yes, he did, Dr. Bailey. I will see that everyone knows he must go before the Larsens arrive in the morning and Dr. Walker requested that the curtains across the glass wall of Luke Larsen's bay be closed. "Young Man, if you see anything unusual, you are to buzz us. We, of course, will be checking on Luke every few minutes and he is connected to several sensing devices which we monitor here at the nurses' station. Is there anything you need or do you have any questions?"

"Only one. Has there been any change in Luke's condition?"

"Actually there has not been any change, but I consider that a change because, to tell you the truth, I didn't think he would be alive this long, so I guess the fact that there has been no change is an improvement."

"Matt, I will go to Luke's bay with you, then I'll be leaving unless you have further need of me." With those words, Dr. Bailey put her arm around my waist and we walked toward a bay with the curtain drawn.

She was right, I wasn't prepared for what I saw when we entered the bay. Luke had tubes coming and going from all parts of his body. The ventilator made a noise like some angry beast as it pumped air into his body. His bed was elevated so he was almost sitting up. All I could see was his face which looked lifeless and dead. His lips were bluish instead of their usual red. There was no way I could have told that he was alive and I knew that, in fact, his life was hanging by a thread.

I walked over to his bed, placed my hand on his cheek, bent forward and kissed him softly on the forehead. His skin was cold to my lips, again, making me realize that while he was still alive, death was hovering close by. I suddenly realized that my tears were flowing again. When I turned away from Luke, Dr. Bailey took me into her arms and hugged me tightly.

"Be brave, Matt, be brave. Luke needs you."

As I released myself from Dr. Bailey's embrace, I said, "You sure have this mama thing done to a T."

She smiled a sad smile and said, "Yea, I wish I had more practice, but that's a long story too. I guess we're just going to have a story telling time one of these days. Well, I've got to be going and you have a hard night's work cut out for you."

"The work is not hard at all, in fact, it's a fight for both our lives and he's worth fighting for."

"And so are you, Matt. Good night."

"Good night."

As soon as Dr. Bailey was gone, I moved a chair close to Luke's bed, reached under the blanket covering him and found his hand. It, too, was as cold as ice. Holding his hand and looking into his face, I prayed, I really prayed that God would send him back to me. "You have thousands and millions of people who love you and I have so few, and only one who is special beyond my understanding. Please send him back to me. You know the pain of seeing someone you love die, please take that pain from me now. Let me show Luke how loved he is and how wonderful he, your son and creation is."

Having said those words aloud, I then just entered a state in which I knew that I was praying, but did not have to use words. Suddenly I felt as if I heard a voice which said, simply, "It's up to you to give Luke his life back." I knew what I had to do, but I didn't know how. I had to make Luke realize that I loved him as much as he loved me.

I started talking to him. "Luke, I am so sorry that we didn't trust our friendship enough to be honest with each other. I am as much to blame for your being here as you are. How could we have been so blind??? I love you, Luke, I love you with my all my heart, with my whole being. If my loving you damns me to hell, then I will gladly go there if it will give you back your life. But how can love be wrong? How can loving you be wrong? How can you loving me be wrong? I cannot believe the One who is called Love condemns anyone for loving another. Please come back to me, Luke. Let me hold you in my arms, let me show you how special you are, how wonderful you are, how you make my life complete."

I continued talking to Luke, not knowing whether he could hear me or not, whether it would make any difference or not. From time to time, Chelsea or one of the other nurses came to check on Luke.

"You must be really fond of your friend," she said, making it more a question than a statement."

"He is my life and my love," I responded.

Chelsea looked a bit shocked, but then said,"Teenagers feel everything so deeply. I guess when we get older we forget just how intense friendships can be."

"I hope I don't."

"Is there any change?" I asked each time a nurse came to check on Luke. Each time the answer was, "He's holding his own and maybe, just maybe his temperature is starting to rise, but he has a long way to go before it's normal."

Sometime around five in the morning, I was completely exhausted and fell asleep with my head resting on Luke's bed, my hand still holding his. I must have slept for several minutes when Chelsea and another nurse came into the bay. "Sorry to disturb you," she said. (I was beginning to wonder where the battle axe called Chelsea was because this Chelsea seemed very nice.) "We need to check on your friend."

The nurse with Chelsea, Gladys according to her name tag, said, "Chelsea worked over to make sure I knew the situation here and as soon as we check on Luke, she's going home. Right, Chelsea?"

Chelsea nodded. I decided it was a good time to take care of nature's needs and went to the restroom while the two took care of Luke. When I returned, Gladys said, "I saw you holding Luke's hand. Have you noticed anything?"

"I don't think so," I said slowly, still in a bit of fog from falling asleep. "My hand was warm when I waked up, but it had been under that blanket thing."

"In cases of hypothermia, the body's temperature drops below 95. Luke's was well below that. People used to think you needed to dump people suffering hypothermia into a tub of hot water to warm them up quickly, but now we know you need to very carefully and very gradually raise the body's temperature. That blanket affair is to warm Luke slowly. Your hand is a good indication. For the first time I can tell you there is a change and it is for the better. Luke's temperature is definitely on the rise the way we had hoped."

I had always heard people say, "Thank God for small blessing," and I guess the slight change in Luke's condition may have been considered a small blessing by some, but it was all I could do not to burst out in Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus"--and I think I could have sung all parts!

Just then another nurse came into the bay and said, "The Larsens are downstairs." Once again I leaned over Luke's still form and kissed him on the forehead. As I turned to leave, Gladys looked at me and gave me a smile. I went down the stairs as the Larsens came up the elevator.

When I reached the ground floor, David was waiting for me. "Morning, Stud," he said. "Hear there is a tiny bit of good news.

I nodded, then asked,"Why are you here this early? You didn't get home until late last night did you?"

"Anything for a lover, besides, it helps cover the little lie I told your parents about why you would not be home last night."

"Speaking of lovers, was I right in picking up lover vibrations between you and Dr. Bailey?" David blushed bright red, stammered a bit, then said, "Nah, she is a doctor and I am a nurse. Besides, I'm several years older than she is. She'd not be interested in an old man with a kid."

I didn't say anything, but thought to myself, "Man, since they are so helpful in getting you and Luke together, maybe turn about is fair play. I'll have to look into this."

I was asleep before we were out of the parking lot, dreaming of Luke and me diving off the falls into the pool, our naked bodies plunging beneath the water then surfacing as we shouted just for the joy of being alive.

I didn't even know when we got home. David picked me up, took me to my room, undressed me and put me to bed without awakening me.

I woke up very confused. The sun was pouring in my window so I knew I was I still in bed in the afternoon. I knew it wasn't Saturday, in fact, I was pretty sure it was Tuesday, so why wasn't I in school? I looked at my alarm clock, which was not set, and saw that it was 3:00. Then it hit me like a sack of cement. I remembered, all in a rush, what had happened yesterday. I bounded out of bed, pulled on my boxers, and ran downstairs.

On the refrigerator was a note, "David said you needed to sleep today so we left you in bed. We will be home immediately after school. He also said you were to call Dr. Bailey as soon as you were up. Mom."

I grabbed a glass, filled it with OJ, and went into the library to get the cordless phone and the phone book. I found Dr. Bailey's number quickly and dialed it. It rang several times before a voice said, "Dr. Bailey's office."

"This is Matt Greywolf. I have a note to call Dr. Bailey as soon as I waked up."

"Dr. Bailey said you would call. She is with a patient right now, but she will call you back as soon as she finishes. May I have your number, please?"

I gave her my number, finished off the OJ and went upstairs to my room. Since I didn't know how long I would have to wait for Dr. Bailey, I took the cordless phone with me to the bathroom so I could answer when she called, turned on the shower, adjusted the water until it was as hot as I could stand and got in the shower. I stood in the shower, letting the hot water wash away some of my tension and tiredness. Even though I had slept for about eight hours, I was still tired and exhausted, physically and emotionally, from yesterday's ordeal.

After I finished my shower, I dried myself, brushed my teeth and fixed my hair. My father was very proud of his Lakota heritage and, in spite of objections by his principal when he first started teaching, wore his hair long. In fact, the only time it was cut after he left the Army was when he evened up the ends. Following his example, I also wore my hair long. I usually wore it braided or in a ponytail, a pony tail longer than most ponies had I might add! I am not one who usually spends time admiring himself in the mirror; I guess because I never saw myself as a cutie--I hate that word--or looker. After all, I certainly didn't have that All American Boy look. In fact, I seldom did more than glance in the mirror to see that everything was ok, but today was different.

As I rapidly braided my hair, I thought "Luke loves me." For some reason , I stood in front of a full length mirror and asked myself, "What does Luke see when he looks at me?" I was kinda surprised when I took a what I thought was a critical, objective look at myself. My mother was half Korean. Her mother, my Korean grandmother, had fallen in love with an American soldier who deserted her when he found she was pregnant with my mother. My mother never even knew his name. My father was, as I had told Dr. Bailey, half Lakota and had no idea who his father was.

Mom doesn't like it very much since she suffered a great deal in Korea because she was a "mongrel," but Dad sometimes joked about our being a household of half breeds and, he guessed, a quarter breed child. While he wasn't ridiculed as much as Mom for being a "breed," both Indians and whites had often called him names when he was a kid and I knew it must have hurt.

With those ancestors, I was not surprised to see my dark skin. My heritage also took care of any excess body hair. In fact, although I was almost eighteen and had an abundance of hair under my arms and surrounding my cock, that was about it. My upper lip had just a shadow of dark hair, but it was so soft and short that I never bothered to shave. As I said, my hair was never really cut, so the braid hung below my waist. Actually, it was so long that when I left it loose, I could sit on it, and sometimes did it when I rushed into class just in time to hit a desk before the bell caught me. I was not especially tall--again a part of my heritage, but I wasn't short either. For some reason, people lump Koreans with Japanese and think they are all short. Their Olympic basketball team should have made it obvious that Koreans can be tall. I stood at 5' 10" in my bare feet and weighted about 165. I, as Luke, was no jock, but did play tennis and baseball. I was also a runner. After our chores were done--we did live on farms after all--Luke and I ran every morning before school. To keep in shape for my two sports, I also worked out in the school gym the two days I did not go to St. Mary's to work on my music. I was clearly defined, but not muscle bound, with a well developed six pack.

If I do say so myself, I have a great ass--not as great as Luke's--but certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Both Luke and I complained about girls pinching us on the butt in the hall. Eyes so brown they looked black, almond shaped, with long, very long, black eye lashes. I guess I got those from one of the unknowns in my background--my father's father or my mother's father. As these thoughts ran through my head, I concluded that I wasn't such a bad looking almost eighteen year old. One of my ancestors also provided the genes for decent equipment since I had a nice cock, uncut thanks to my dad's intervention, which now hung over a great set of balls. My cock was only four inches soft, but rose to a good six and a half inches hard.

Usually when I was ready to shower it was hard and I generally had to take care of it with visions of Luke flooding my thoughts, but today as soon as I thought of Luke any possibility of getting hard was gone.

I started to wonder why Dr. Bailey hadn't called as I finished in the bathroom. As I stood before the mirror, I started comparing myself to Luke. As I have said, my father started calling us Darkness and Light and the nicknames were used from time to time by our families and David and his son Michael. Luke inherited a whole load of Nordic genes. He was almost 6" tall and well developed. As I said earlier, we were near enough the same size that we wore each other's clothes. Since we swam in the nude ever since we were allowed to go to the falls without adults, I had often seen him naked. He, too, was well-endowed. Unlike me, though, he was cut. His cock was surrounded by a mass of blond curls and his underarms looked as if some magical bird had built a nest of blond hair there. He, as I had little body hair, but he did have to shave.

Since we often stayed over with each other, I had seen his morning woody. Hard his cock was a bit longer than mine, probably seven inches, but thinner. Guess if you were into such things, you could calculate the volume of our two cocks and find they were essentially the same, just with different dimensions. His smooth skin was so fair it seemed to glow at times. His hair I have already described. His eyes were the most amazing blue; they looked so deep it would seem you could dive into them. And nothing was more beautiful than Luke's smile. When he smiled, the whole world around him lit up.

With that thought came another--I hadn't seen Luke really smile recently for several weeks. Again I felt guilty because I should have known something was wrong. I did recall mentioning it to him a week or so ago, but he dismissed it with, "I've just got things on my mind." When I reminded him that we had always talked things out with each other, he replied, "Well, this is something I just have to resolve myself, please."

I should have known something serious was going on and have pushed further, but I must admit I was too engrossed in my own struggle with my love for Luke to say anything. I was emotionally kicking myself when the phone rang. I grabbed it on the first ring.

When I answered Dr. Bailey said, "Good afternoon, Matt. I've got a little bit of good news. Luke is doing a little better than holding his own. His temperature is rising exactly as we dared hope and his pulse is almost in the acceptable range, but still very, very weak. He is still not conscious, of course, but the drugs he took are essentially out of the picture. He is now in a coma induced by the medical staff to keep his brain from swelling. He is not breathing on is own, but he's doing better than anyone here expected. I have no way of proving it at this point, but I am convinced someone who loves him very much is responsible."

I was so happy I couldn't hold back the tears. "Thank God!" I said, "when can I see him?" "Well, the Larsens have been here--either one or both--since they came in as you left this morning and I don't think it would be a good idea for you to be seen in Luke's room since the rules are supposed to be very strict with only immediate family being admitted. Today is Tuesday so if you can pull another all nighter and still handle school tomorrow, you can come when the Larsens leave tonight, but if you don't show up for school, that's going to cause problems if we are not careful. I think your being here last night was, very literally, a matter of life or death for Luke and, to be honest, I don't know how many more nights you may need to spend with him before he is out of the woods. Dr. Walker would like to get him off the ventilator as soon as possible. People can get kinda addicted to one. Then there will have to be a whole battery of tests made to determine what can and needs to be done. I want you to realize that there may well be massive brain damage. It just depends on how much of the drug he had taken and how long he had been in the river before you and EMS reached him. Also, how long he had been in a hypothermia. But we need to talk about tonight."

"Of course I'll be at the hospital. Where else would I be?"

"There's a problem there. How are you going to explain your spending the night here to your parents, especially since Dr. Walker will have to insist, if necessary, that the Larsens go home for the night? And how can you be sure your mom and dad will not mention your being here to the Larsens? From what I understand from David, you folks are pretty much one big happy family," she said.

"Well, I'll just tell Mom and Dad where I am going and why and why they can't tell the Larsens. "

"Are you sure you want to tell them?"

"Yes, I'm sure. I am positive they love me for who I am, and a big part of who I am is I am in love with Luke Hans Larsen. I suppose that means I am gay. I am their gay son who is in love with Luke Hans Larsen who loves me. He needs me very much right now and he needs to know that I love him. I don't see why I shouldn't tell my parents."

"Let me ask you something very personal Matt. I am very much against labels for people because labels begin to define people and their personhood gets lost in a stereotype. Do you always, you know, fantasize about boys when you, you know?"

I almost laughed as I said, "You mean when I jerk off?"

I could see Dr. Bailey turning nine shades of red as she responded, "Well, yes, that's what I mean. Or do you sometimes fantasize about girls when you, you know."

In spite of all that was going on, I couldn't help but laugh at this doctor's, this woman of the world's, embarrassment. "The honest truth is, I have never fantasized about a girl or a boy other than Luke. Always Luke, forever Luke. That doesn't mean that I don't notice a guy with a nice ass or a good looking gal with a nice figure--I noticed you didn't I--but anything having to do with being attracted to, liking, being in love with, fantasizing about--it's Luke, always Luke, forever Luke."

"Then don't label yourself as anything other than Matthew Sarang Hanun Pomul Greywolf who is in love with Luke Hans Larsen. Now back to the issue at hand. Matt, I don't know your parents and David, who knows them very well, isn't sure how they will take your announcement. After all, you are an only child, the only son. They, I am sure, expect grandchildren and grandsons to carry on the Greywolf name. What you are going to tell them will not be easy to take. I have seen a couple of young men come into the hospital where I did my internship so beaten when their fathers found out they loved a man that they were near death. You just can't know, can you?"

"I believe with all my heart that my parents will accept me as who I am. Maybe it will be a shock--I know it will be a shock--but I am not afraid. Well, I'm not much afraid."

"When will your parents be home?"

"They should be home at any time now."

"Would you like for me and/or David to come and be with you? David felt that you should all sit down as a family to sort this out and, you know, when he says family, he includes himself. Ordinarily he would include the Larsens, but right now we all know that would not be a good idea. You know that David is prepared to take both you and Luke in should things not go as well as you hope."

"Yes, he told me that. I guess I haven't been thinking too clearly about the possible consequences of telling my parents. I just expected them to take my announcement the same as they have all others, including those which did not please them. Could you and David come over, please?"

"I know David has made arrangements to get off a bit early to be there and I have one more patient to see and we'll come then. Say half an hour at most."

"Ok, I won't say anything until you get here and we can all sit down and try to sort this out. Please check on Luke before you come."

"Of course I will. You're a great kid, Matt."

"Thanks. See you soon." As I hung up the phone, I heard the car pull into the driveway. Mom and Dad were home from school. Mom teachers literature to juniors and has an AP English class for seniors. That AP class was a difficult one for me not only because Mom was my teacher, but also because it was one of the three classes I had with Luke. Frequently I found myself distracted by my blond god and, now that I think back on it, there was more than a few times when I found myself trying to get a glance of him, he was looking at me. When he saw me looking at him--strange I never really thought about it before--he would give me a smile that turned me to jelly and blush. The same was true of AP physics which was taught by my dad. Come to think of it, I wonder if they have been as oblivious to what was going on--or not going on as the case may be--between Luke and me?

The third class we had together was German. I kidded Luke about having a crip course because Gabrielle had insisted he and Mary Kathryn learn German at home. He actually knew more German than the teacher and when I had a problem, I went to Luke, not the teacher. By the way, I guess from what I have said, you know that Luke and I not only are good at our sports, but are also tops academically. We both have all four parents, plus David, to thank for that. They never accepted anything but our best.

Mom and Dad walked into the house, each with papers to be graded. I met them in the living room, said, "Hello, Rents," which always got a rise out of both of them.

"Hi. Juvenile Delinquent," Dad replied, "how did you day away from school go?"

"Most of it just went. I was so out of it; I slept until three. By the time I had showered and gotten dressed, it was almost time for you two to get home." As I was talking, I took their papers and books and put them in the library/den where they would work on them later.

"Have you heard from Luke today?" Mom asked as she kissed me on the cheek.

"Yes, Dr. Bailey called just awhile ago and said he was holding his own on all counts and his body temperature is rising as they had hoped and his pulse rate even and almost as high as it should be, although very weak. He's still in a coma, but one induced by the doctors to protect his brain, and they are not sure how much damage has been done, especially brain damage."

"That's really sad since he is one of the brightest students in the whole school. Present company included," Dad said as he walked toward me and gave me a hug. I think my parents so lacked affection when they were growing up that they wanted to make sure that I had plenty. I liked it!

"Mom, Dad, David and Dr. Bailey are coming over just as soon as they can so we can discuss the situation. You know he tried to commit suicide?" Both nodded indicating they did. "Well, David felt we needed to talk about it as a family before the Larsens are involved. You know what they believe about suicide."

"Yes, and David told me about what happened with Fr. Muller last night. Are you sure you're ok, Matt? David said it was important for you to spend the night at the hospital, but that we needn't come because you were already asleep."

"Sure, I'm ok. There was some question about what to do about the cut on my face but that got resolved. By the way, my Jeep is a mess and is still at the Larsens," I said to change the subject.

"No, it's being repaired. I called and had it picked up this morning. I guess we'll have to do some fence repair as well. Seems you tried to take it with you. But what was the problem with the face cut?"

"Well, David had stopped the bleeding and pulled the gash together with butterfly strips, but Dr. Bailey said she would have to get a plastic surgeon to redo it or I would have a scar. I didn't see what damage a small scar would do and, in fact, she and David thought it would be sexy! So how could I not leave it as it was? Dr. Bailey said I could take on a new name 'Matthew Sarang Hanun Pomul Barbed Wire in the Face Greywolf."

"She thought a scar on my baby would be sexy? What does she know about beautiful boys?"

"Mom, she knows I am a man, and a sexy one at that, but sexier with a scar. Besides, once you get a look at her, I think you agree that she is pretty sexy herself and that's enough to convince me she knows what she's talking about! By the way, I can't be sure, but I think she has a thing for David and David has one for her, but she is afraid to say anything to David because of Elizabeth and David is afraid to say anything to her because he thinks he's too old for her--maybe five or so years older--and he is just a nurse. Besides, he's convinced that no woman is interested in a man with a fifteen--nearly sixteen--year old son."

"I guess David doesn't see Michael as a plus, but I surely would, especially if a woman Dr. Bailey's age wanted children and never had any," Mom said. "I know what it is to want a child and not be able to have one and the reason doesn't matter."

I walked over to my mother and gave her a big hug and said, "But you have me!" "Of course I have you and you are my Sarang Hanun Pomul, but your father and I wanted more children. Seems that all three families wanted more. Elizabeth and David only had Michael, and the Larsens had Luke, then Mary Kathryn. You know they expected to have more, being good Catholics."

"Well, if Dr. Bailey wants a fine man and a great son, she better grab David, that's all I can say," Dad responded to Mom's statement. This discussion had gone so far afield that I had forgotten what was coming up, but I was quickly brought back to earth when I heard a car arrive in the drive way. David and Dr. Bailey had arrived.

A Special Place--Part Two--Luke

Darkness, nothingness, the void.

I was walking toward what seemed to be a cloud of darkness, but I knew it was nothingness, oblivion. I was surprised. I had expected to be greeted by Satan and be tossed into a lake of fire. I had been told that all my life, but no, what I faced was oblivion. I welcomed it. It would end my pain, my agony.

For the past three years, at least, I had lived torn between agony and ecstasy--ecstasy because I was with the love of my life almost every day. We had three classes together at school and lived on adjoining farms. Matthew Sarang Hanun Pomul Greywolf, quite a mouthful. Of course, he was always called Matt, but I went to sleep every night with his name on my lips: Matthew Sarang Hanun Pomul Greywolf, Matthew Beloved Treasure Greywolf--how well his name described how I felt about him.

Our families had been close friends since before we were born--we were born on he same day, but he has never let me forget he was the older one--by twenty minutes. He was so beautiful. I suppose you should call a man handsome, but Matt was beautiful. Smooth, perfect dark skin which spoke of his strength, not just physical strength, although he was strong, but also inner strength. Since we had never been modest around each other--we grew up being bathed together by our mothers, as soon as we were allowed to go without adult supervision, we swan in the nude below the falls of the river. We stayed with each other so often that we had about as many clothes at one place as the other so we often dressed in front of each other. I had seen the whole of him. In recent years it had become more and more difficult to avoid being aroused in such situations, but somehow or other neither of us mentioned it when I lost my struggle.

Matt's face was perfect. His eyes were unbelievable. Almond shaped, but large, so brown they were black, and eye lashes to die for. They were so long they seems to make his eyes twice as large. Smooth face, just a shadow of soft hair on his upper lip. Lips perfectly shaped and utterly kissable, even though I had never had a chance to taste them, and red with life.

Matt was well-endowed. While he had practically no body hair, when he raised his arms, he revealed a mass of black, coal black hair. His cock was surrounded by a similar bush of black hair, abundant since he was thirteen, five years ago. As beautiful as Matt was physically, he was even more beautiful inside-caring, loving, full of life and bringing joy to all around him. His passion for his music--he was an accomplished organist and composer--brought joy to many, especially to members of his church's--St. Mary's. In short, Matt was, in my eyes, perfect and I loved him with all my heart, my mind and my soul.

But I could never tell him. He was first and foremost my lifelong friend and there was no way I was going to risk having him hate me when he discovered that I not only loved him as a brother, but was so deeply in love with him that I ached from not being able to hold him in my arms, kiss those perfect lips and make love to him.

A week ago it all came crushing down on me and I made a decision which brought me to this place. I couldn't tell Matt of my feelings and risk losing his friendship and I might have been able to deal with that, but a classmate, Gregory, had been outted at school by an ex-boyfriend. He was physically and emotionally abused. Some of the jocks had caught him leaving school and had dragged him into their car, taken him out into the country and sodomized him again and again, then beat him unconscious. When he was found, he was near death, bleeding and beaten. But the torture he endured emotionally which being gang raped was perhaps worse. The body of a young man can heal quickly, the mind takes longer. When he regained consciousness, he reported to the police that the five guys who had raped him heaped verbal abuse on him while they sodomized him.

The five were arrested, but were released to their parents until their hearing before the juvenile court. They were loose and running around. While some of the teachers were very angry over the episode and made no bones about it, others turned the other way when some students started making heros of them.

Gregory's family refused to even visit him in the hospital and sent word he was not to return home. Some relative in another state took him in, but I was terrified that if I should tell Matt of my love, it would somehow become known and the same happen to me, or even worse, to him. The Sunday after Gregory had been raped, Fr. Muller, our priest, has said that while rape and the abuse of another was to be rejected always, gays should expect to suffer from the hands of society because they were rejected by God. "They will all burn in eternal flames!" he concluded.

Until that Sunday, I had never thought of myself as being gay. I was simply Luke who loved Matt. Did that make me gay? I guess--I knew it did. And I was damned. The rest of Sunday and Sunday night--I never went to sleep-- I brooded on what had happened to Gregory, what Fr. Muller had said, and decided what I must do. I am--was--a good Catholic and knew that suicide--self-murder--damned you to hell, but then I was damned already because I loved Matt. What did I have to lose by taking my life? I would free myself the agony of loving someone I could never tell, I would be free of the fear of being discovered and abused as Gregory had been and--it took me a while to realize it, but it clinched my decision--I would free Matt from danger.

No matter what I or anyone else said, if I was outted and it became known that I loved Matt, he would immediately be classified as gay by the assholes at school, and as innocent as he was, would be the object of their abuse, if not physical, at least emotional. I decided to commit suicide, to kill myself. I knew that the doctor has prescribed sleeping pills for my mother six months ago, but being the true Teutonic, she refused to take them after a few days. Monday morning, before the household was awake, I took the pills from the medicine cabinet and put them in my backpack.

Monday I went to school, spending every minute I could with Matt. My heart was breaking, but I knew I was doing the right thing. I had to protect Matt and if that cost me my life, I was willing to pay. Matt went to St. Mary's for his final period of the school day three days a week--Monday, Wednesday and Friday-- to work on his recital. He was taking an independent study in music and that recital, which was to include at least two short compositions of his, would determine his grade for the study. I had kidded him about a piece called "Luke" and he had laughed at the idea.

I had art class last period. While I went to class, I was supposed to mount an exhibition in the spring which would determine 90% of my grade. I was good at art and enjoyed it, but today I couldn't keep my mind on anything other than the fact that my time on earth was rapidly drawing to a close. Finally I simply told my art teacher I was leaving school. He knew that I didn't do that without a reason and told me to just go ahead; I didn't need to checkout in the office.

I rode to school with Matt when he was not going to practice at St. Mary's, but when he did, I rode my bike to school. It was one way I kept in shape. I jumped on my bike and started riding home, a good five miles, and before long I realized I was crying, a seemingly endless supply of tears poured from my eyes. I was crying for myself and my love of Matt, but I was also crying for Gregory and all those who suffer because they love another man. I cried because I would never hold Matt in my arms, never kiss his lips, never make love to him. I cried.

Before I realized it, I reached my house, put my bike up, took the sleeping pills from my bookbag and walked across the pasture to the falls on the river. The river, and especially the pool below the falls, was a special place for our families--Matt's, mine, and another neighbor, Michael's. As babies, we had been brought here to play in the shallow area, to picnic, to enjoy the coolness of the river in the hot summer. As soon as we were old enough, we--Matt, Michael, my sister Mary Kathryn, and I--went to the river to swim almost every day in the late spring until early fall. Until we were ten or eleven, we always swam nude, even Mary Kathryn. Mama pitched a fit when she discovered we were still swimming nude at that age. From then on, when Mary Kathryn was with us, we wore something, even if just our boxers or briefs. When there were just the three boys, we crossed two cane poles across the path to the falls as a warning that we were to be left alone, skinny dipping.

As I sat on the river's edge, recalling those carefree moments, I could see Matt's perfect body in a graceful dive from the lip of the falls into the pool almost thirty feet below. After daydreaming for awhile, I started taking the sleeping pills, washing them down with the clear cold, cold water of the river. When the last pill was down, I sat still, picturing Matt, my Beloved Treasure, in my mind, and weeping softly because of what could never be between us. I began to feel the effects of the pills and soon I became very sleepy, barely able to keep my eyes open. I took off my clothes, even though it was mid-March and still pretty cold, folded them neatly as an indication that I had thought through what I was about to do and checked to make sure that the letter I had written Matt was in the back pocket of my cargo pants. I then walked up the trail to the top of the falls.

By the time I reached the top I was feeling very, very drowsy and dizzy. I walked out onto the lips of the falls and dived in. I do not remember anything after my face touched the water until now, as I face the blackness of nothingness before me. I was walking slowly toward nothingness when I heard a faint sound. It seems to be a voice behind me, but I can't be sure. Then I recognized Matt's voice, calling me back, proclaiming his love for me. That was to be my punishment, my hell. A demon with Matt's voice speaking the words I had only dreamed of hearing when I was alive. Hell's flames would have been better! But the voice continued and I realized that no demon could speak with Matt's voice. He was too good, too wonderful for a demon to have his voice. Suddenly, I turned from the black nothingness and with all my being, I ran away from it. With my total being, I fought against entering the nothingness of death. I had to live because Matt said he loved me as I loved him!

This is the first part which includes Luke's point of view. This part--and most of the following (?) will tell the story from both Matt's and Luke's points of view.

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