Queer Bent Bastard - The Sequel (by Grant Bentley)

Queer Bent Bastard — The Sequel

By Grant Bentley

If any nice person, nasty person, place, event, happening, thing or sport seems familiar it is purely coincidental.

I think we stood there wrapped in each others arms for close to two or three minutes, not saying a word. Finally, Jason pulled back a bit, and with a shy smile on his face, said, “Uh, don’t take this the wrong way, but this is getting a little too gay for me.”

“Hugging your best friend is too gay?” I questioned.

“Sorry,” he replied, before looking down and adding, “I’m sorry about everything, actually.”

“I know,” I responded.

“Yeah, I know you know, but I’ve gotta say it,” he said as a tear rolled down his cheek. “I don’t even know where to start. I mean…I guess…when you told me…all I could think about was Uncle Ralph.”

“Oh my God!” I exclaimed. “I forgot about him. How could I have forgotten about him?”

“Why wouldn't you? It was a long time ago,” he stated as the tears began in earnest. After a few minutes of comforting, he pulled himself together and continued, “I thought I had too, but when you said you were gay, it brought it all back. I remembered him…touching me…and…and…I guess I freaked.”

“I’m the one who should be apologizing,” I said, fighting back the tears.

“Apologizing? For what?” he asked. “Confiding in me? Telling me the truth? Nearly getting killed because of me?”

“I don’t know,” I replied. “I should have remembered. I should have been more sensitive.”

“No, I should have been more sensitive,” he said. “You’re my best friend and I should have been there for you. You told me you’ve been hiding and fighting with coming out for years and I could tell you were scared. You were putting yourself out there, man, and I shot you down. Admittedly, I shot you down because I hadn’t dealt with what he did to me, but I shot you down. I mean, I can’t believe what I did to your locker. I really can’t believe it…but I was so pissed off. My best friend in the world, the one person I trusted most in the world, and you had just told me you were like Uncle Ralph, the one person I hated most in the world. The one person who had violated me in a way no child should ever be violated. I just lost it.”

“I’m so sorry,” I said.

“You have no reason to be,” he stated.

“Well I am sorry,” I stated. “It’s my fault all that shit got thrown back up in your face.”

He looked at me for a second and smiled through his tears. “That’s one of the reasons you’re my best friend. I fucked you over, and you’re sorry.”

“Well I am sorry,” I said, smiling back. “If I had been thinking, I could have approached it more tactfully or something.”

“I don’t think it would have made any difference,” he responded. “I think I would have reacted badly however you told me.”

“Maybe,” I said.

“I guess you know as well as I do that it was all over the school in minutes,” he said.

“Yeah, Kent told me,” I said.

“Well I got called into the office, and while Mr. Robinson was ripping me a new asshole, I broke down and told him everything,” he said as he teared up again. “He sent me down to the counseling office. Mr. Benson and I talked for just about the whole morning. He called my parents and we set up an appointment with Mrs. Ibsen, a psychologist downtown. I’ve been seeing her once a week ever since.”

“Oh God, I’m so sorry,” I said again.

“You say that one more time and I’m gonna pop you one,” he said with a grin, in spite of his tears.

“Sorry,” I said and I got a rather hard punch to my right shoulder.

“Oww!” I exclaimed.

“I warned you,” he said. “But seriously, it was the best thing that could have happened. I had no idea how much hate and anger I had hidden away. It’s weird, ’cause I didn’t even know it was there. We’ve been talking everything through and I’m finally getting a grip on things. I’m finally learning how to deal with all the hate and anger I had built up.”

“I’m so glad,” I said.

“You’re not sorry?” he asked.

“Fuck you,” I said with a laugh.

“By the way, do you have any idea how long it took you two to say good night? Thirty-seven minutes and fourteen seconds,” he said, grinning.

“You timed us?” I asked, sounding surprised.

“What the hell else did I have to do?” he asked. “I really wasn’t into watching. Now if he had been a she…hmmm, maybe.”

“Oh, fuck off,” I said, laughing.

“Speaking of fucking off, the sun’s coming up,” he pointed out. “I should go and let you sleep. You probably need your rest after that hot date.”

“Oh yeah, wow, it’s four-thirty,” I said.

“Yeah, you doing anything later?” he asked with a chuckle. “Or anyone?”

I just grinned at him. “I’m not even going to answer that. I’m going to bed. If I’m up before tomorrow morning, I’ll call you. Good night.”

He just grinned back, “Good night,” he said as he turned and ran towards home.

Of course, I had completely forgotten about the celebration planned for that night with Kent and everyone else. That is, until Mom called me to the phone at about four-thirty in the afternoon.

“Hey babe, you’re still in bed?” Kyle asked with a chuckle.

“Not anymore,” I replied. “So what’s up?”

“Don’t tell me you forgot, we've got a party to go to,” he responded.

“Oh, yeah!” I exclaimed. “I just about slept through the party of the decade.”

“Well, don’t count on it, it’s just us and a few of Kent’s friends,” he said, laughing. “I’ll be there to pick you up in an hour.”

That’s when it hit me…Jason.

“Would you mind if there was one more?” I asked.

“No, of course not,” he replied.

“I didn’t tell you who it is yet,” I said.

“Okay, so this is someone I wouldn’t expect you to bring,” he said. “Right?”

“Well, probably not,” I responded.

“It’s Jason, isn’t it,” he stated.

“How did you know?” I asked.

“He spent half of last night talking to Kent and Sandy,” he replied.

“What?” I asked in amazement. “Didn’t Kent have to study for his Calculus final?”

“You know Kent, he was ready for it two weeks ago,” he replied.

“Yeah, that’s true,” I responded.

“Anyway, I guess Jason phoned him last night and asked if they could talk,” he said. “Kent told him to go to hell at first, but he begged him to hear him out and then, if he wanted to kick his ass, he could. So Kent told him to come over and they talked. He told Kent that he was sorry for what he did and then he completely fell apart. It took Kent and Sandy several minutes to calm him down. Once they did, he told them everything. His Uncle Ralph is one fucked up dude, man. They should have shot the bastard, not thrown him in jail.”

“Oh my God,” I said. “He told them everything?”

“Yeah, he told them that your friendship was worth more to him than anything, but to win you back, he felt he needed to win us over. He wanted us to know why he acted like such an asshole,” he responded.

“Oh my God,” was all I could say.

“I take it you talked to him,” he said.

“Yeah, he was waiting on the veranda when I got to the front door last night,” I said.

“So he saw us?” he asked.

“Oh yeah. Actually, he timed us…thirty-seven minutes and fourteen seconds,” I said, laughing.

Now it was Kyle’s turn to say, “Oh my God.”

“He said he couldn’t quite get into watching, so he timed us instead,” I said, still laughing, “Oh yeah, and he gave me the coolest pendant. It’s the Matthew Shepard ‘Erase Hate’ pendant.”

“I’m so glad for you two,” he said. “You guys were so close. I’m glad you’re friends again.

“Thanks babe,” I said. “Now I’ve got the best boyfriend in the world and the best friend.”

“Yes, you do,” he stated. “Just don’t forget which one’s which.”

“You don’t have to worry about that…I'm in love with you, babe,” I assured him.

“Love you too. See you in a bit,” he answered and we hung up.

I immediately dialed Jason’s number. After about ten rings, he answered.

“Hey Jas,” I said. “You ready to go to a party?”

There was a big bang and then some mumbling and swearing in the background, before an almost unrecognizable voice came on. “Dropped the damn phone on my toe. Fuck that hurts. What time is it?” the voice asked.

“Just about five,” I answered, and I couldn’t help laughing.

“Oh fuck, I slept all day?” he asked.

“Uh, yeah,” I replied.

“Party? Where?” he suddenly asked.

“Ahh, you’re waking up,” I said, still laughing. “Party at Kent’s. Kyle is picking us up in about forty minutes. Bring your swimming trunks, ’cause we’ll probably end up in the pool.”

“At Kent’s?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I replied.

“They don’t mind me being there?” he asked.

“Nope, I asked Kyle and he said they’re cool with it,” I answered.

“Serious? I’ll be there in five then,” he said and hung up. I just grinned. It was the same old Jason.

I suddenly realized that Mom had no idea what was going on. I quickly made my way to the kitchen where Mom was reading a book and sipping on a coffee.

“Mom, we’ve gotta talk,” I said with some urgency.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, looking worried.

“Nothing. Actually, everything’s right,” I replied. Then I gave her the short version of why Jason reacted the way he did, told her that he had talked to Kent, and showed her the pendant he had bought me, which I was wearing…and mentioned that he would be here any minute.

“I remember that horrible incident with his uncle. Oh, that poor boy,” she said. “I’m so happy you two have worked things out.”

“Thanks,” I said. “So am I. I really missed him.”

Ten minutes later, Jason was walking in the door. He said, “Hey, how’s it goin,” as he bee-lined straight for the kitchen and Mom’s cookie jar…yep, same old Jason.

“Hi, Mom,” he said as he saw my mom sitting there.

“Hi Jason,” Mom said as she got up and gave him a hug. It was the fourth or fifth time in two days I saw a tear roll down his cheek. He just looked at me and smiled. As soon as Mom let go of him, though, he had his hand in the cookie jar.

“Breakfast,” he said as he held up a cookie.

“I can make you something,” Mom said.

“No thanks, Mom. This is the best kind of breakfast there is,” he mumbled with a grin as he shoved another cookie in his mouth. Mom just shook her head and grinned.

A few minutes later, Kyle was knocking on the door.

“Come in,” I called out. As he walked into the kitchen, I met him at the door and gave him a quick kiss.

“That’s gonna take some getting used to,” Jason remarked with a chuckle.

“Why do people keep saying that?” I asked.

“I guess we’re gonna have to educate the world,” Kyle said with a grin as he pulled me into a hug and gave me a kiss that almost curled my toes.

“Eewwww,” Jason remarked with a big grin. I just grinned right back and stuck my tongue out at him.

“I’m not even gonna ask where that’s been,” he said, laughing.

“Thanks Jason,” Mom said as she smacked his arm. “Now I have this picture in my head that I’m never going to be able to get rid of.”

“We’re outta here,” I said. I gave Mom a quick hug and kiss on the cheek, as did Kyle, and then Jason.

“I could get used to this,” Mom said with a laugh. “See you boys tomorrow…and behave yourselves.”

A short time later, we were pulling into the garage at Kyle’s and making our way to the back deck. When we realized everyone was in swimming gear, we ran back into the pool house to change. As soon as we were changed, we were back out on the deck, each with a drink in our hand. This time, there was more than coke in my glass. I made a mental note to pour my own drinks from then on.

We were introduced to about seven couples and five or six other people. We already knew most of them from school, although we had seldom spoken or even acknowledged each other’s existence before tonight. Not all of them were jocks, either. Some of them were friends of Kent’s from his advanced placement classes. It was an interesting crowd. We had everyone from the ultimate jocks to the ultimate geeks at the same party. However, everyone was mingling and chatting like they had been friends for years. People were in and out of the pool, sitting on deck chairs and chatting, or stretched out on the lawn. Before we had been there fifteen minutes, Jason was chatting up a very cute girl from Kent’s AP program. The party was pretty quiet and subdued, although there was at least one obligatory game of water tag. After cramming for two weeks for finals, I think everyone was into relaxation mode. After last night, neither Kyle nor I were exactly full of energy, either. We found a nice comfy lounge chair and just cuddled up to watch the activities.

After about an hour, Kent recruited Sandy, Kyle and me to help with the barbecue. I was going to grab Jason and put him to work, but he seemed to be enjoying his new friend’s company, so I left him alone. Kent and Sandy were taking everyone's orders and Kyle and I were manning the barbecue. As we were working, Jason came up and introduced us to Kim. The four of us visited for a good half hour as Kyle and I worked flipping burgers. Jason and Kim even got into it and began preparing the buns and condiments. As Kyle or I dropped a burger onto the buns, Kent and Sandy carried them off to whoever had asked for one. We had a well-organized assembly line going on. Once everyone was fed, the four of us found a quiet spot on the grass and settled back, talking and bantering back and forth. Kim was everything I thought she would be: fun, sweet, lively, and very smart.

We hit the pool a few of times as well, and before we knew it, it was two in the morning. After our all-nighter the night before, it was all Kyle, Jason and I could do to keep our eyes open. Even though Kyle hadn’t hung around until four-thirty with Jason and me, it was still after four before he got home and into bed. It was just a few minutes later when Kim’s friends came over and said they were leaving and asked Kim if she wanted a ride home. She looked at Jason, who was barely awake, and smiled at him as she nodded in the affirmative. Jason was able to stand up and walk her out to their car. When he came back, he had a big grin and a slip of paper with her phone number on it. We congratulated him and talked for a few minutes more.

We decided that Kyle was too tired to drive us home and drive himself back safely, so we headed into the house and upstairs to crash for the night. Kyle showed Jason where one of the spare bedrooms was, then we said goodnight and he and I headed to his room. We were still wearing our swimming trunks, and after a quick trip to the bathroom, we flopped across his bed and were fast asleep in about two minutes.

We didn’t wake up until almost three in the afternoon. Kyle woke up first, used the bathroom and showered before he came in and woke me up. After I was able to use the bathroom, shower and brush my teeth, I came back into the room and we just cuddled up and made out for a while until we heard a knock on the door. We called, “Come in.” It was Jason. He looked at us cuddled up for a few seconds, smiled and then walked over and flopped down on the bed beside us. We were awake, but there wasn’t a lot of energy there yet. Finally, when Sandy poked her head in to inform us that there was food prepared if we were hungry, Jason, of course, was the first to sit up.

“You guys coming?” he asked, before grinning and rephrasing it as, “I mean, you guys ready for some food?”

I managed to find enough energy to smack him across the back of the head as Kyle and I sat up. I had to admit; it was good to have him back. The three of us made our way downstairs to a breakfast fit for royalty. We piled our plates high and then made our way out onto the deck to eat. By the time we were finished, we had regained some of our energy.

“Do you think Kim likes camping?” Jason asked with a little sparkle in his eyes.

“I have no idea. I guess you’ll have to ask her,” I replied with a grin.

It was then that I remembered our three-week campout in the mountains, something we had planned and talked about for over a year. I hadn’t even mentioned it to Kyle. Actually, there hadn’t been any point in mentioning it to Kyle. Two days ago, Jason and I hadn’t been friends anymore. Now, suddenly I had a bit of a dilemma. I wanted nothing more than to spend every minute of the summer with the love of my life, but I didn’t want to let my best friend down, either. I wanted to spend our planned three weeks in the mountains with him as well.

After breakfast, Kyle drove us home. We dropped Jason off at his place and Kyle and I went over to my place. We ended up cuddled up on my bed within five minutes of arriving.

As we were relaxing there, I asked Kyle, “Do you like camping?”

“Yeah, I love it,” he responded. “I used to go camping all the time with my cousins. Why?”

“Well, Jason and I have been planning a camping trip to the mountains all year,” I replied. “Now we’re friends again, I know he thinks the trip is still on, but I don’t want to go unless you want to go.”

“I think it sounds great,” Kyle responded. “How will he feel about me going, though? I don’t want him to feel like the third man out.”

“Who else might be interested?” I asked.

“I don’t know, but I’ll talk to Kent. I bet he'll want to go and he'll have some ideas about some others,” he replied as he snuggled his body in closer to mine. Five minutes later, we were asleep.

“Is that all you guys do?” was the next thing we heard.

I opened my eyes long enough to see Jason and Kim standing in my bedroom doorway with grins on their faces.

“Hi Kim,” I said as I rolled onto my back, causing Kyle to wiggle backwards until he was up against me again.

“You guys are too much,” Jason remarked.

“Huh?” Kyle managed to say as he slowly opened his eyes.

Jason took Kim’s hand and the two of them crossed my room and sat down on the side of my bed. Jason looked at me with a smile and a gentle look I had never seen on his face before.

“I always thought being gay just meant you liked to do it with guys,” he said quietly. “I never realized that two guys could really be in love with each other. You know…that it’s…not just all about sex…but real love.”

I just smiled at him. “You have no idea how much I love this guy,” I said as I wrapped my arms around Kyle.

“Yeah, I think I do,” he responded as he reached over and brushed the hair off my forehead. “I really think I do.”

I just smiled and said, “Thanks.” I realized for the first time that for all his bravado, cheek, and light-heartedness, there was a tender, gentle side to my best friend. After all these years, I think Jason and I had just had a moment.

A week later, Jason, Kyle, Kent, Jeff, Robb, Ross, Steve and I were heading for the mountains. Our two-man camping trip had become an eight-man camping trip. Jeff and Robb were friends of Kent’s from the football team. Ross was Kyle’s cousin, and Steve was Ross’ boyfriend. We had four straight guys and four gay guys for our summer camping trip. Unfortunately for Jason, Kim’s parents did not see a camping trip with eight guys, even if four of them were gay, as an option they could live with.

I could bore you with the details of our trip, but suffice to say, we had a blast. We saw five black bears, one with twin cubs. We saw countless mountain goats, mountain sheep, wapiti or elk, a couple of moose, and even a couple of picas. We walked at least a hundred miles carrying hundred-pound backpacks, got blisters on our feet, burned our fingers trying to light fires, got serious sunburns in spite of wearing sunscreen, got eaten alive by mosquitoes in spite of wearing insect repellent, swam in what has to be the coldest water on the planet, and got rained on. Oh, and Jeff set fire to his jeans, so we had to pour that evening’s dinner, which happened to be a pot of warming soup, on him to put him out. In short, we had the best time of our lives. And the best part is that we made some lifelong friendships with some really awesome guys.

Before we knew it, summer was over. Why is that? The school year goes on forever, but summer break is always gone in a flash. We did have fun, though. Kim and Jason became as inseparable as Kyle and I were. The four of us became as close as four people can get. We did everything together…well, almost everything. We spent countless hours in the pool, saw every new movie that came out, hiked, biked, and ate our own weight in barbecued anything. It was great.

Thank goodness we had all pre-registered at the university, because it was the last thing on our minds as the semester drew closer. Suddenly, we found ourselves on our way to first-year orientation. Classes were to start the following day. A week later, and we were all up to our ears in homework. As the five of us sat around the pool, each immersed in a textbook, pen in hand, and writing notes like there was no tomorrow, I looked at Kent and Kim, two of my best friends, Jason, my very best friend/brother by choice, and Kyle, my boyfriend/partner for life, and I couldn't help but break out into a huge grin. Without a doubt, life was good…very, very good.

A very special thanks to Azy for his time and hard work editing this story for me.