LEAST OF THESE...
CHAPTER 9 - Enemy Mine
I decided one thing. Not telling Davey right away about Brandon had been a mistake. I would not make that same mistake again; I wouldn't keep what was happening with Amy, a secret from Davey.
The next day, I waited until we were at the kitchen table studying. “Davey,” I said, “I gotta tell you something.”
He looked up from his book.
“Ummm,” I started.
He looked at me expectantly, trustingly. I almost backed out.
“Look, Davey,” I scooted my chair closer. “Yesterday, Amy and I… well, we `did it,' you know, we had sex.”
Davey looked at me steadily, but I noticed him swallow hard.
“I just thought I oughta tell you,” I said. “You being my best friend and all.”
He just nodded and then bent back over his book.
I scooted my chair closer. “Look, Davey, I just…”
But Davey scooted his chair away.
“Damn it, Davey,” I said angrily, “you can't be mad at me. You can't be jealous. It's not like you and me are still boyfriends.”
Davey looked pale. He closed his book and took it with him to study in the living room.
“I told her I wasn't straight,” I called after him. Then I dropped my head onto my arms.
* * * * *
I passed those late November days, of mild weather and clear skies, in something of a daze. The evenings grew quickly cold, but I preferred to be out in them, sitting on the porch swing as I played the guitar. When I was alone I found I could think.
Losing control of your life may be a normal occurrence for a fifteen year old, but it was a new sensation for me. Things seemed to be happening to me ever since I lost Davey. And now this thing with Amy… I never intended it.
Oh, I liked her. And we spent time together, but it wasn't the same as it had been with Davey or Brandon. And I felt surprisingly lonely.
The Saturday after I'd told Davey about Amy, was a warm day for November. A breeze had come up from the Gulf of Mexico, and in the evening, it brought rain. After family dinner, I took my guitar out onto the porch, and sat in the swing, idly playing sad melodies while watching the rain.
Davey surprised me by bringing out his recorder and joining me on the swing. Putting the recorder to his lips, he began to weave notes around mine. I felt even sadder, and a few tears rolled down my cheeks, but I didn't wipe them away. I didn't think Davey would see them in the dark.
But he did. He stopped playing and wiped a tear off my cheek with his fingertip, looking at me curiously.
I tried to smile. “Just getting into the music,” I said. “Thanks for coming out to play with me… Are we still friends, then?”
“Yeah,” Davey said and put his hand on my shoulder.
I patted his hand there. “Thanks, Davey,” I said softly, “cause I really need my best friend right now.” My throat tightened and I swallowed hard. “My life's a little screwed up.” Fresh tears formed in my eyes.
Davey slid over beside me, took the guitar from my lap, and set it on the ground. Then he took my face in his hands and put his forehead to mine. “Best friends,” he said, and then kissed my cheek.
I laid my head on his shoulder, nuzzling his neck, and put my arms around him. “Thanks,” I said, and hoped that our moms didn't come out too soon; I needed to sit with Davey like this for a while.
* * * * *
Amy liked making love. And yeah, I did too. But we didn't get many opportunities. I certainly wasn't going to take her to my house after school and ask Davey to study in the other room. Not having a car was also a problem. We skipped out of classes a couple of times to just to be able to use my house without anyone around.
We tried different positions and different things… like oral sex. Like most gays who are used to oral sex with guys, the first time I put my face in Amy's crotch, I almost gagged. It may have been a mental block, but whoa, I didn't like the smell.
And I didn't like using condoms, not after we didn't use one that very first time. It just felt so damn good. Oh, I did wear them but kept after Amy to get on the pill.
Amy, though, was reluctant to go to the clinic, even when I offered to go with her. She didn't like the condoms either, and so, at the beginning of December, when she said it was a safe time of month again, we both wanted it- skin on skin. I hated skipping school again and was glad when a different opportunity came up; her family went to a Saturday basketball tournament for two of Amy's brothers.
It felt good to be really naked, as in no condom. We made love for two hours and I came twice. Then I stayed in her while we kissed and held each other. Amy liked to cuddle.
Amy was different from other girls in a lot of ways. But not in every way. She still demanded time. And I really couldn't blame her. We were supposed to be lovers, and lovers spend a lot of time together.
She always wanted me to be over at her house, or with her in school all of the time. She even wanted to be with me after school, during my study time with Davey. So she began coming over.
And I resented it. I didn't like her insinuating herself into what was my only remaining private time with Davey. Maybe she also sensed that it was when I was alone with Davey that I felt most certain that I was gay.
One time, I made the mistake of wearing the bracelet Brandon had given me and Amy didn't like it. And I resented that too, but I put the bracelet in the drawer with Davey's necklace. However, I returned the pictures of Davey and me and a picture that I had of Brandon, back on to my dresser top.
With a girl, you have to work at things. Amy would say something, and not really mean it. Like when a girl says, “Tell me what you think,” don't do it. But with guys, it's all out front, in every way. Loving a girl was a minefield. Loving a guy was a grass field.
Funny thing though - at first, the more I made love to Amy, the more I thought about her, and the less about making love with Davey; even when I jacked off. But I still looked at guys more than girls. And in my dreams at night, it was never Amy who came to me, but Davey… or sometimes, Brandon.
When I studied with Davey, I forgot all about Amy. There are different kinds of love, I guess. Davey and I weren't lovers - might never be lovers again, But I knew that what I felt for Amy was nothing to how I still felt about Davey.
In trying to sort through my own feelings, I decided there must be more to being gay than just who you enjoy sex with. It's also who you love. I liked Amy. I didn't love her. I could never love any girl like I loved Davey.
And in that sense, maybe I was as gay as any guy could ever be. There were just things that made it easy to love another guy, at least damned easy to love Davey, and Brandon, of course. And there were things that made it not so easy to love a girl; even Amy.
But I worried. Though staying good friends, Davey was getting farther and farther from me. Oh, we studied together; but in addition to seeing Geoff, Davey was still dating Larice. The way she was after him, I wondered if she and Davey would `get it on' sometime. I wondered if he'd tell me if they did, and I wondered how I'd feel.
It'd been months since I made love to Brandon and even longer since I'd made love to Davey. I was, after all, fifteen. I started wanting a guy; some hard body that I could wrestle with and have hot sex with and whose arms I could share. I really wanted to make love with a guy.
* * * * *
There were a few guys in our school who I thought could possibly be gay, but I only knew of one sure place to look for gays. First Thursday in December, I had a lesson with Knox. So Davey walked home by himself, and I walked on down to my lesson.
Knox was preoccupied with all the activities of the end of a semester, and cut our lesson short. When we were done, I went on the prowl for Joel. When I was about to give up, I found him in a practice room. He saw me waiting and stepped out. “Hey, Michael,” he hugged me, warmly, “How's school?”
I'd never noticed his breath before, but then we'd never hugged much. There were some mornings when Davey's breath wasn't so hot; same with Brandon. I'm sure mine wasn't always so good either. But I wondered what the hell Joel ate to get his that way.
And now that I undressed him in my mind, thinking about getting it on with him, he looked… well… awfully skinny, sorta flat in the butt, boney hipped.
“School's cool, Joel. Gotta run. Sorry.
I still had no idea where I'd find another gay guy my age when on the following Monday, I took the last stall in the bathroom back by the auditorium. It was a quiet place to dump a load. I guess because it was one of the quieter bathrooms, the janitors didn't seem to clean it as often. The last stall usually had some graffiti, and I'd pop in from time to time to read various philosophies on life and examine different works of art while taking a relaxing dump.
As I sat to do my business, I noticed that someone had written in small print on the back of the toilet paper holder, “I like cock.” Wow. Maybe there was someone else gay in our school after all. I began to hit the john at least once a day to watch for further developments.
Thursday, I saw Mitch come out of the last stall when I walked into the bathroom. I was intrigued. Mitch reminded me of Davey. Same height. His hair was more golden and he was built a little more thickly. But he was cute. I caught his eye and nodded on the way in. He smiled back. Interesting.
I began to look for Mitch and when I could get close enough, I tried to see if he watched guys or girls. It was hard to tell.
* * * * *
That week, I had a new worry. Davey was not doing well at his studies. I wondered if it was a Geoff thing. Geoff had stood him up the week before.
When we were walking home Friday after school, I asked, “Are you going to see Geoff this weekend?”
Davey nodded. “He said he would… take me out… Sunday… afternoon.”
I patted Davey's back. “You'll feel better after you see him again.” Davey nodded and smiled sadly. I wanted so much to tell him to dump that creep, but he knew how I felt.
Monday Davey was as sullen as ever. When we walked home, I asked, “Did you and Geoff have a good time yesterday?”
“Geoff was busy. He had to do stuff. He said maybe next weekend.” Davey glanced at me. “He won't… talk to me.”
“Someone… saw us… again.”
I studied him from the side as we walked. “And you're OK with him not talking to you?”
Davey nodded. I began to think about going over to Geoff's house some night and putting up “gay” banners everywhere.
When we got home, Davey and I spread our books on the table. I pulled my chair up beside Davey's to look at his English with him. But Davey wouldn't pay attention. It was like talking to a statue. He sniffed and rubbed his eye on his shoulder. “Davey? You OK?”
He turned to look at me and his eyes began to water. “Oh, Davey.” I put my arm around him and pulled his head over on my shoulder. I stroked his hair and rocked him in my arms. And he cried, soaking my shirt.
We sat like that a long time until he cried it out and his sobs turned to hiccups. We laughed at the hiccups. I got up and poured us Cokes and brought them back to the table. We each sipped and I rubbed his back. He laid his head on my chest and wrapped his arms around me. And we sat like that until I finally opened one of my text books to study. Davey dropped his head to my lap. I rubbed his back while I read and I felt him relax. He dozed.
* * * * *
I hit the john next to the auditorium three times that next week. New graffiti had begun to show up on the walls of the last stall, but the “I like cock” remained unchanged. Finally, I couldn't resist. On Friday, I wrote “So do I” right below the “I like cock.” It was a little exciting. I pictured Mitch, or whoever it was, getting blown away to find another gay in school.
The next Monday, the last before Christmas, and on the way home from school, I asked Davey if he had seen Geoff over the weekend. He shook his head. But he didn't seem sad at all. “I told Geoff,” he said, “he's not… my boyfriend… anymore.”
“What?” I asked, not certain I'd heard him right.
Davey looked at me. “I told him… he's not my… boyfriend anymore.”
I grabbed the back of his neck above his backpack and gave him a good natured shake. I said, “I'm proud of you, Davey. It's about time! Good for you!”
Davey smiled back, and he looked good. It was a good smile.
Of course, I was glad that Davey broke up with Geoff. The guy was a creep. And yes, I wondered if maybe Davey and I could get back together. I'd waited a long time for this. But Davey would have to do the asking. Maybe a lot of asking.
* * * * *
Two Christmases in a row, Davey had given me outstanding gifts. I was determined to give him something cool. But after wracking my brain, the best I could come up with was a Walkman. Sony had come out with this really cool, yellow, sports Walkman, and that's what I got him.
I was disappointed because I didn't think he'd be impressed with it, even though I threw in a couple of cool cassettes. I was wrong. The Walkman and tapes got me an incredible hug. Feeling his body pressed to mine was far and away my best Christmas present.
Now that he'd broken up with Geoff, it was really hard to not tell Davey how much I loved him, and how I just wanted things to be like they used to be. But that didn't seem smart. After what Davey had done, he needed to be the one to make amends. And I don't think it was pride alone that made me feel that way. Davey had to know that I wouldn't always just forgive and forget. So I waited.
Besides, there was Amy. I couldn't - no, I wouldn't drop her just in the hope that Davey might want to get back together again. He hadn't said anything yet that made me think he was prepared to make the necessary effort. And I wouldn't beg him.
So I waited. And after Christmas break, I remembered the bathroom, the last stall, and the notes. So I stopped in on the first Friday back and was disappointed to see that the janitors had cleaned the walls. Only a couple of new scribbles had made it back up. Nevertheless, I sat back on the toilet and was glad to see that Mitch, or whoever, had written, “Pick a day,” in our spot on the back of the toilet paper holder.
Shit. The bottom sort of fell out of my stomach. Something could actually happen here. Risky, but exciting. I thought a second, then rubbed out “Pick a day.” Pulling a pen from my notebook, I wrote “Tuesday.” Davey had an appointment with his specialist after school Tuesday.
That weekend, my imagination kept taking me to that bathroom, and thoughts of what Mitch might want to do in that back stall. I kept remembering his tight frame and bubble butt. And I thought about having sex of some kind, any kind, with another guy for the first time in months.
Mitch was damn cute, and I was becoming pretty sure he was gay. If he wasn't the guy writing the notes, I still wanted to get to know him better. But I been watching that bathroom some, and Mitch had often been there.
Monday, I checked out the toilet. On back of the toilet paper holder was written, “5:00.” That would be great. Hardly anyone left in school. I rubbed out the time, and wrote “OK.” I pictured Mitch's face when he read that. I was almost sure it was Mitch. Every time I saw him, I smiled at him, and he smiled at me. I seemed to be running into him more than ever.
After school that afternoon, I had trouble concentrating when Davey and I sat down to study. I kept thinking about meeting Mitch the next day. Then I realized that Davey was staring at me and that I'd been staring at Davey's open science book and saying nothing.
So I tried to find where we were supposed to be in the book. I scanned it and asked Davey my first review question. He just stared at me. I repeated the question. Davey continued to just stare at me. I finally stopped. “OK, what is it?” I asked. “Do I have a big pimple on my nose or something?”
Davey still stared, so I closed the book and stared back. He said, “I'm sorry Mickey.”
“Huh? What are you sorry about?”
“Oh, don't sweat it, man. You lived and learned. That guy didn't deserve you.”
“No. I'm sorry.”
“OK, what do you mean? What are you sorry about?”
“I'm sorry we aren't… boyfriends… me and you.”
I forgot to breathe. Was he asking about getting back together? “Me too, Davey. I'm sorry too,” I said, and waited to see what he'd say next.
He didn't say anything. He just continued to stare. “So?” I asked. “Are you saying you want to be? Boyfriends again?”
“You know,” I said, smiling ruefully. “I was going to make you ask me a lot before I'd even talk to you about getting back together.” I sighed. “But I just can't. Look, if you want to get back together, I guess you only have to ask once… if you want to, that is.”
“I want to,” he said quietly. “I want to be… together… again.”
I put my hand on the table palm up. He put his hand in mine and our fingers interlaced.
“I never quit loving you, you know,” I told him.
He nodded. “I never quit … loving you… but you never… believed me.”
I frowned. “Oh, I believed you, Davey. That's not it.” I sighed and patted the back of his hand. How could I say it? “We just need to do a better job of loving each other,” I said.
Davey smiled. “Yeah.”
“Like,” I said, “if we're going to be together, I wanna be your only boyfriend, Davey. And the same applies to me. If we're going to be boyfriends, you'll by my only boyfriend. I'll even end things with Amy.” Then I thought about that. “I might need a little time to do that. I can't just dump her. Not after… well I can't.”
Davey's brow furrowed, but he didn't say anything.
“Whatever you're thinking, Davey, I will break up with Amy. Trust me. Besides, it's only fair to her. But what's more important,” I said, “is that if we're going to be boyfriends again, I'm going to belong just to you. And I want you to belong to me. Just me. No more other boyfriends.”
Daveys frown deepened. “Ever?” he asked.
I let go of his hand and leaned back, fixing him with my gaze. “What are you asking?”
Davey shrugged. “No other guys? Ever?”
“No other boyfriends, no,” I said evenly. “If you mean will we ever have sex with other guys… hell, I don't know.”
I pushed out of my chair and stood over him. “Look, don't do this to me Davey. Don't tell me you want to be boyfriends if you only want me to be your boyfriend until you meet your next stud. I'm not going to do that. You do that to me again and we won't even be friends. I might love you till I die, but I won't be friends with you. Not like that.”
I stormed from the kitchen into the living room. Looking out the window at the bright afternoon sun, I thought about just leaving the house to walk and think.
I heard Davey coming up behind me. “Mickey?” he said softly. “Please.” He put his hand on my shoulder. “Tell me what… to do. I promise… I'll do it.”
I turned to him. He looked sincere enough. “Look, Davey. Tell me if you want to be just friends. It's OK.”
As I watched, his face screwed up in concentration; he was deciding how to say something. He turned from me, walked a few paces, then walked back. “Mickey,” he said. “I'm gay… I like… boys. Me and Geoff… we look at guys… you know, together. We even… one time… we met bicycle riders… gay ones… camping. And we… you know… with them. It was fun… Mickey. We met them… again… last time we camped. I like… guys.”
“Damn,” that blindsided me. “Well I hope you used condoms,” was all I could think to say.
“Lots of them,” Davey said, grinning.
I didn't grin.
Davey stepped closer and put his hand on my shoulder. “If you… say to… I promise. I won't do… anything… with anybody.”
Then he wrapped his arms around me and leaned his head on my shoulder, nuzzling into my neck. I stiffened.
“Tell me what… to do,” he said. “I'll do it… I promise. I promise, Mickey… I'll do it.”
Reflexively, I put my arms around him. Damn, he felt so good in my arms, I was ready to promise anything, too. And at fifteen, I understood that he wasn't ready to be completely tied down in a relationship. If it wasn't Davey I'd be tied down with, I'm not sure how I'd feel… But what the hell was that with the gay bicyclists and all? Perhaps he had more in common with Geoff than I thought.
“Maybe we better think about it, Davey. Both of us.” I took a deep breath and the smell of his hair came up through my nostrils. I kissed the top of his head and then rubbed my cheek there. “I'm a guy too, Davey. I know what you mean about wanting to do things with other guys. But that first day you left with Geoff from the pool… I'm not up to that again.”
He started to pull away from my arms, but I held him tightly. “No listen.”
“I'm sorry… Mickey.”
I rocked him in my arms. “Let me finish,” I said. “I'm OK, now. You're done with Geoff. We'll work through all that.” And then I had another thought. “Davey, have you and Larice ever made love?”
“No,” he said into my neck. “I told her… I'm gay.”
“But you're still dating?”
“We're… friends… and… we kiss, cause… she likes kissing.”
Yeah, right. I wondered if Larice simply wasn't going to give up on Davey very easily. I wondered if she was trying to seduce him. Damn, I jerked my mind off that thought.
Holding him close to me like that, I wanted to be honest. “You know what I really want?” I asked him, as I continued to rock Davey in my arms. “What I really want is for us to be a lot more than boyfriends. I'm not sure what, but I don't want to be just your boyfriend. I never wanted to be just your boyfriend.”
His head nodded on my shoulder. He moved a hand to my chest and nuzzled into my neck. I rocked him in my arms as I tried to decide what we needed to do.
“I guess,” I said, “that either you decide that I'm going to be your only lover, or I have to decide we can be lovers and still have sex with other guys… or… we decide to just be friends.”
I held him more tightly. “I don't want to just be friends,” I whispered. “I want to be lovers.”
Davey nodded. “Me too.” He kissed the inside of my neck and tightened his arms around me.”
“But you've changed Davey. I feel like we almost have to start over, you and me… I mean before we can try making love and stuff.” I shrugged. “Don't know why. I just feel like I need to start slow, you know?”
Then there was Amy to consider. “And I need time to end things with Amy before you and me do anything. It just wouldn't be right not to break off with her first. Of course,” I added thoughtfully, it's not like I didn't tell her I was gay. She knows about us… a little; you and me.”
“Not too… long,” Davey whispered in my ear. “Don't make it… too long.” Then he kissed my neck again and pressed his slender body against mine; I could feel that he was hard. My cock begin to stir, and I pulled back out of the embrace. “No, not yet.”
Davey looked disappointed.
“I really do need time, Davey. OK?” I held him by the shoulders. “And you and me, we have to decide the rules… you know, for our relationship.” I smiled to encourage him. “Besides, I want the first time we make love again… I want it to be special. OK?”
I squeezed his shoulders. “It won't be long. I promise.”
He nodded and gave me a small smile. “OK,” he said. He stepped closer and ran his hands up my sides. “Can we kiss?” he asked, smiling impishly.
I grinned, took his hand, and lead him away from the window. “No sense,” I told him, “showing the whole world.”
In the hall I turned to face him and he grabbed me by the shoulders, leaning toward me. I put my hands on his hips and our lips met. I expected the kiss to be hungry, but it wasn't. I loved him, and he loved me. We said it simply, in a kiss.
* * * * *
In the morning, I remembered Mitch and the bathroom rendezvous for that afternoon. I didn't want to mess up anything with Davey, but it didn't seem right to stand Mitch up. That'd almost be cruel after all the buildup. I decided I would just meet him and let him know there are other gays around at school. Maybe he'd like to hang out with Davey and me.
I liked dressing cool. For another gay, I wanted to look good. I dressed in some button up jeans I thought looked sexy and wore a favorite long-sleeve t-shirt, a white one of thick cotton that fitted me snuggly. I even wore some black bikini briefs; just to feel cool.
I snuck into the john at mid-morning. He had erased “OK” and wrote, “Stage Basement.”
Damn, I knew about the small basement under the auditorium stage. I didn't know Mitch did. Not many kids did know about it, unless they were in drama. I had stumbled onto the basement when our English class was staging a one-act play the year before. The basement certainly would be private. But I wasn't sure about a lot of sneaking around just to tell Mitch I wasn't going to get it on with him.
If this had all happened just a week earlier, meeting Mitch in a secret place when he would be all horny to do something would have been damned exciting. Even now, the thought of Davey and his gay bicyclists kept creeping up, and along with it, the thought that he wanted us to be able to have sex with other guys… but I rejected that, easily. Nothing could match the excitement I felt building over getting back with Davey.
I almost approached Mitch between classes, to tell him not to bother. But just in case I was wrong and he wasn't the note writer I didn't say anything. It would just be safest to show up at the basement. Then I'd let him down gently.
I went into the auditorium at 4:45. I didn't want Mitch, or anyone else to see me going in. I mean, anyone could have read those notes. For the same reason, I didn't want to hang around at the basement door. I went in.
At the top of the stairs, I turned on the one incandescent, overhead light and descended the steps. No one was down there. Besides the one stairway down, the room was almost completely empty, with a dusty concrete floor and four blank, concrete walls. Above was a low ceiling with several trap doors to the stage. There were two rows of wooden shelving for prop storage. Mitch sure picked a good time and place.
The shelves were full of props. While I waited for Mitch, I walked along the shelves, examining them. Looking at a Darth Vader helmet, I decided I'd have to bring Davey down here. He'd get a kick out of it.
It was still five minutes early when I heard the stairway door open. Then I heard the door being locked and footsteps descend the stairs. The shelving blocked my view, so I walked back toward the stairs. “Hello?” I quietly called out.
The footsteps grew closer. They sounded a little heavy. Maybe it wasn't Mitch after all. I'd been so sure it'd be Mitch. Hell, who could it be if it wasn't him? My heart beat faster as I tried to guess. I rounded the end of the shelving and my mouth dropped as there, in front of me, was a smiling Geoff.
“Oh, shit no,” I backed up.
“Wait,” Geoff said. He grabbed me by the arm. “Michael, I was hoping it was you.”
I jerked my arm away and backed from him. “There's no way, Geoff. Not after the way you treated Brandon and Davey.”
He smiled and followed me, keeping himself between me and the door. “Brandon's cool with me, Michael,” he said. “And Davey enjoyed himself- a lot.” Geoff rubbed the front of his boxers. “Davey says mine is bigger than yours. Want to measure?”
I tried to step past him, but he caught me with a bear hug, and pressed his face close to mine. He smiled and rubbed his crotch on mine. He was hard. I pushed hard, breaking out of his hold. He was still between me and the door. I back farther down the wall.
Grinning Geoff unzipped his pants and pushed down the front of his boxers. He pulled out a dick thicker and longer than mine. “Davey liked my cock,” he said. “Wanna try it?”
“Shut up.” I stepped back farther.
He smiled, “Davey said you didn't know shit about sex, I can teach you.”
I froze. “What?”
He stepped closer. “You and Davey just dicked around. I taught Davey how to make love, Michael. I taught him good. Let me show you how a man makes love. I can make you feel soooo good.”
I was running out of wall to back along.
Geoff began stroking. “Davey said I made him feel real good. He likes `em big and strong. I can show you why.” He moved closer. “Davey said I was the best he ever had… That's what he said… best lover he ever had… I'll show you.” He took another step closer.
I backed into the corner
“He likes getting fucked, Michael. He loved my big cock up his butt. I can do things with this that you're gonna love.” Geoff leered, and wagged his cock at me. “You've got a great butt, Bentolli. And Davey says you have a nice cock. Maybe I'll let you fuck me too.”
Geoff stroked his cock, keeping his eyes on me. “Once you have this, you won't ever be happy with a smaller one.” Then he grinned. “Davey won't be.”
“Fuck you!” I said, pressing back into the corner.
“Shit, Michael. It's not like you're any different than me,” he said, moving closer. “You got it on just fine with Brandon on the side. And I know the only reason you let Davey hang around was to get into his little butt. He's a great fuck, isn't he.” Geoff stood close in front of me, stroking.
“I love Davey you shit,” I spat out.
“Oh, I do, too. I loved him real good.” Geoff pushed his hips out so that the end of his cock almost touched my groin, and he said, “I made him real happy. Just like I can make you real happy.”
Damn I wanted to get out of there, but he still had me blocked. “Shut up!” I told him.
His face grew hard and he leaned closer, “You'll love Davey even more now. I'm giving him back to you. I just had some fun with him. Taught him things.” He cocked an eybrow. “Maybe you're already back together with him. Like the changes?”
I glared at him.
He lowered his voice and leaned forward slowly, moving his mouth closer and closer to my ear. “Now he knows how to fuck his butt back on your cock when you stick it into him. He knows how to squeeze down on it, and milk it with his ass. He knows how to squeal like a girl when you fuck him. He knows how to beg for it. And he knows how to take a fat cock all the way down his throat.” Geoff leaned so close; I felt his breath on my cheek. “Did he ever deep throat you, Michael? He knows how to now. He's ready for you. I got him ready for you.”
He put his hand out to my crotch. “Now it's your turn. I'll make it good for you. Let me show you.”
He squeezed my now almost soft cock and stepped so close his cock rested on my hip.
I started to dodge away, but he tightened his grip on my crotch. I rose up on my toes, and held my breath. “Geez!”
Softly he said, “Don't you want to know why Davey chose me? I'll show you.”
I pushed him back, slipping away from his hand and out from the corner. Brandon stepped to block my escape and I backed a few feet down the next wall, looking for an opening. I was really afraid now. And angry. The things he was saying. I hated him. I had to get the hell out of there.
“Come on Bentolli,” Geoff said more loudly, exasperated, and stroking faster. “It's always been you I wanted. And you wanted me too, I know it. Davey's out of the way now. For both of us. C'mon, let's do it. It's perfect down here. It's private. We can take our time.” His eyes dropped to my crotch and he pointed his cock at it. “It's always been you I wanted. Ever since that first day at your house. It was you I wanted to go back to the bedroom with; not Brandon. It was you I wanted to be my lover, not Davey. Davey's just a dumb blond fuck. But you and me, we can really be something.”
It was stupid, but I was angry and frustrated. I think the “dumb blond fuck” did it. I charged him, meaning to slam him back into the corner. He turned away and gave me a violent shove as I went past him. I flew backwards against the wall and slammed the back of my head hard on the concrete. My legs dropped out from under me. I didn't so much see stars, but my vision filled up with pinwheels. I struggled to stay conscious. But things went dark.
* * * * *
Something wasn't right. There was a heavy smell of dust; I lay on the floor. Opening my eyes, I tried to see, to focus. Then, dully, I realized that my pants were down around my knees and a hand was fondling my privates. Geoff!
“No… no,” I tried to say, but nothing coherent came out. My mouth wouldn't work.
I tried to sit up but Geoff pushed me back, grabbed my shirt, and inverted it, stretching it up over my arms and covering my head. Desperately I tried to clear my mind and struggled to get my shirt back down. He put a strong hand on my shirt and jammed my head against the hard floor. The pain was paralyzing. He roughly grabbed my cock with one hand and kept his other hand on my shirt-shrouded head, pinning it to the floor. I struggled, but he held my head down even more forcefully. The dust, and my shirt over my face made it hard to breathe.
I felt his hard bare cock against my butt, I tried to sit up and again he slammed my head hard to the floor. My teeth cut the inside of my cheek and I could taste my blood. There was a wrenching pain in my neck. He forced me onto my stomach and the weight of his body pinned me down. His cock pressed my right butt cheek; his hands held my shirt entangled arms to the ground. He grunted in my ear and the smell of his breath came through my shirt.
“You're going to like this Bentolli. Your stuck up little ass is going to find out what Davey and Brandon liked so much.”
He lifted himself and I felt his cockhead search for my asshole. I yelled and tried to get out from under him but he found my asshole and tried to shove it in. I clenched my butt and he slid off.
Geoff grumbled under his breath. Then I heard him hawk and spit, and his hand worked his spit into my crack. He shoved in a finger and I cried out in pain as he roughly worked it around. He hawked again and in a moment, I felt his wet cockhead pushing at my butt hole again. This time, he managed to shove it in. I shrieked at the burning pain and once more he slammed my head on the floor. “Shut up,” he hissed. And then he plunged all the way in.
I cried out again, in outrage and terrible pain. I'd never felt pain like that.
“No one's going to hear you, so shut up.” He held my head down with both hands, pressing one hand to the side of my mouth. He dropped his legs to either side of my legs to pin me better and began ripping my insides out with his cock.
My head hurt and my ass was on fire. I tried to yell out. I tried. But the shirt and his hand muffled my cries. As he pumped I fought the pain, and strangely my world began to focus down to the breathing in my ear, and the smell of his breath mixed with dust through my shirt. He didn't say a word. He just panted and hurt me.
My mind, my wonderful strong, intelligent mind simply turned off. Time slowed and I found hell could fit well inside a minute, or two, or five, or twenty. I laid there for an eternity of rasping breath in my ear and the smell of him mixed with that of the blood in my mouth.
He pounded faster. Then he stiffened and I felt him squirt inside me, and I cried out in frustration. His body relaxed on mine. And while he was still in me, he whispered in my ear, “Damn you're hot, Michael.” He ground into me. “We're going to have to do this again soon.”
I bit a mouthful of my shirt; not wanting the asshole to hear me sob.
His hand slid down my side, feeling every inch and rib. Suddenly, I was afraid; terrified he wasn't done. The guy was so strong, so much bigger than me; I couldn't stop him. He kissed the back of my neck below the shoved up shirt and then he pulled his cock out of me. He rubbed my butt with his hand and gave it a little slap. Then another.
He grabbed my pants and pulled them the rest of the way off. I lay paralyzed, afraid of what he would do next. Finally, I heard him buckle up and walk away. I lay there until I heard him climb the stairs and leave.
Then I stirred myself. My shirt was wet with blood and snot and tears and saliva. I pulled it back down, stood up, and found my pants. I couldn't find my underwear. What did he do with my underwear? Fuck it! I pulled on my pants.
My head throbbed. I couldn't see well. I couldn't focus. My butt burned and I hobbled, spread-legged, toward the stairs. I tucked in my shirt and fastened my pants. The fuckin' buttons wouldn't work right. I settled at fastening a couple just to hold the pants up.
In a daze, I found the nearest bathroom. My forehead was bruised; my nose was bloody. Tears streaked my face. My clothes were filthy.
I washed and spat out blood. My mind refused to work. Everything was by reflex. I don't remember having any kind of conscious thought until I turned for the door. Then the thought that Geoff might be outside somewhere filled me with dread. I listened for sounds of him for I don't know how long. I went to the door, opened it, and checked the hall.
The hall was clear. I didn't bother going to my locker for my pack. I just headed out the doors and went home. It was the longest walk of my life. I hurt. I was sore. And I was numb, all at the same time.
At the house, I hobbled to the kitchen sink and got a glass of water. I washed the blood out of my mouth, and washed my face. Then I headed to the bathroom. In the mirror, I saw a savage purple knot on my forehead over my right eye. It matched the large knot I felt at the back of my head. My upper lip was swollen. My eyes wouldn't focus. I wondered if I had a concussion and decided I would need to stay awake.
I locked the door and undressed. When I dropped my pants, I saw some blood and gasped. That's when I began to cry again. I dropped to the floor and sat back against the tub, clutching my button up jeans to my chest as I cried.
I was down to some dying sobs when I rose to my feet and started the shower. As I stepped in, my butt hole felt damp and sticky. I pressed my hand to it and pulled it away; blood and cum. I shuddered. I wiped my eyes on my forearm and stepped under the water. I wanted to wash it all away.
When the hot water finally ran out, I reluctantly decided I would never be clean again. I stepped from the shower and dried. There was a spot of blood on the towel. I whimpered; the blood scared me.
I went to my room, stuffed a couple of Kleenex up my butt crack and put on fresh clothes. I tossed my shirt in the clothes hamper, but the button up jeans with blood, I took out to the trash. No way I wanted to explain that to Mom.
After mixing a casserole for Mom's supper, I put it into the oven and went back to the bathroom. I undressed and pulled the Kleenex from my butt. There was only a small dot of blood. I showered a second time and dried carefully. No blood. I went back to my room, tossed the clothes into the laundry hamper and put on another set, with a Kleenex up my butt.
My mom dropped everything when she came in the door and backed me up to look at my forehead and face under the light. “I don't like the way your eyes are dilating,” she said. “Tell me what happened. Was it a fight?”
What to say? “Yeah. No big deal, Mom. Just a fight.”
“In school? Did they take you to the nurse?”
“I'm OK, Mom. Please.”
She made me keep an ice pack on my forehead through supper. I poked at the food. She kept asking me about what happened. I gave up and went to my room. I stripped for bed and checked; no blood on the Kleenex. But I put on underwear. No sleeping naked tonight; no way I wanted to explain blood on the sheets. I crawled into bed and pulled the covers up high, trying to find a position for my head where nothing sore would press on the pillow.
Mom came in with an ice pack and turned on the light. “Michael, I'm worried about you.” She sat on edge of the bed, put the ice pack on my forehead and lifted first one eyelid and then the other, looking closely at the pupils. Her warm hand gently caressed my forehead. And then my cheek. “Honey, who beat you up? How many boys was it?”
“Geez, Mom. It was one boy. Just a big one. I'm OK, really.” I looked at her, “Please leave me alone. I just need to sleep.” I wanted her out of the room, desperately. It was all I could do to hold back another outburst of tears.
She bent and kissed my forehead and left, turning out the light before she closed the door. I turned my face into my pillow to stifle the sobs. It hurt so bad, so incredibly bad; not my body… my heart.
Thoughts began to come. Random thoughts. No order to them. And anger; anger at me. I was so pitiful. Raped by another boy. I should have fought him off. I should have resisted more. There's no way Geoff should have been able to do that to me. I hated him. A rage filled me. And then dread as I thought of having to face him again at school… every day.
A pain shot up my butt and I reached back to feel for blood. I hoped I was ok inside. I wondered about hemorrhaging. Could I have “internal bleeding?” People could die from that. I didn't want to die.
Or did I? I didn't even want to think about tomorrow. I didn't want to think about me. I found out today, I wasn't who I thought I was.
And then the rage turned to grief.
I felt so ashamed and so unclean because, at the bottom of it all, I knew the whole thing was my fault. My fault for reading messages in the bathroom and setting up a meeting. My fault for being there… so stupid after Davey opened the door to maybe being together with him again. My fault for trying to tackle Geoff. My fault for being such a wimp.
I thought of Davey, and suddenly the ugliest thought crossed my mind. I hated Davey. No, hate is too strong a word. You only hate someone who has really hurt you. Davey hadn't hurt me. No, I wouldn't let myself think that. But I was so angry. Angry that he chose Geoff so easily over me. Angry that he abandoned me so easily last summer. Angry about the things he told Geoff. Angry that he put up with Geoff for so long. Angry that I helped him day after day with his homework, and sat beside him wanting so much just to be with him, instead he wanted big, strong, beautiful Geoff to be his lover. I thought of all that time we spent together last year and this year; other friends I gave up time with; I even went out for the summer swim team because of Davey. And he left me. He left me for the… there wasn't a word vile enough for him… and damn, I wouldn't ever have been in that basement if Davey hadn't betrayed me.
I screamed out and hit the bed as hard as I could with my hand. Mom's door opened. Oh shit. My light turned on and she rushed in to sit beside me on the bed. “Honey,” she shushed and bent to hug me. “You alright? Did you have a bad dream?”
I just wanted to be alone except for the hug. The hug was good, but didn't last long enough. Not near long enough. She sat up and studied me, “Michael, what happened today?”
Turning my face away, I said, “I told you, Mom. I had a fight.”
She stroked my hair back from the side of my face and tucked it behind my ear. I was afraid she'd feel the knot there. But she moved her hand to my shoulder and rubbed. “You're beginning to look so much like your dad.”
I looked up at her.
She had that sad smile she always wore when she talked about Dad. “He was strong, Michael, and a good man.” She squeezed my shoulder. “Unless you keep getting yourself beat up, I think you will be more handsome than he was; I just hope you have as much character. Your dad was solid, Michael. Somehow when your father was around, the world seemed a safer and better place. It wasn't just me; other people liked to be around him. They often came to him for advice. Everyone loved Michael and admired him.”
Why couldn't he be here? I wished. Why did he have to go get himself killed in a stupid, fucking war everyone hated? I needed him more than a bunch of Vietnamese on the other side of the world who didn't even want him there. It would be different if my dad were here. I just knew it would be different. And then I was angry with my dad for dying before I ever even knew him. Oh great, someone else to hate now.
My mom watched my face. “I'm sorry, Michael that I can't be a dad for you. I'm sorry I can't teach you how to fight.” Her eyes drifted away. “I know I should have remarried, so you could have a father around; some man to help you learn how to be a man, but no one ever seemed good enough; there weren't any more like your father.”
“I'm fine, Mom. We're fine. We don't need anyone else.” I patted her hand on my shoulder.
She sat quietly thinking thoughts I would not understand until I was much, much older. I closed my eyes. Another moment, and she got up. My light went out and I heard the door close.
I dozed but could not sleep. Thoughts came, but I could not think.
The rain started before sunrise and when light finally grew in my window, I could tell it was gray outside. My alarm went off and I stopped it.
Mom came in when she didn't hear me getting ready. “I'm not going to school.” I told her.
She sat on the edge of the bed and looked my face over carefully. She touched my forehead and I winced. She felt my head and looked into my eyes. “I guess you can stay home today, honey. You go ahead and rest. I'll call and tell Davey to go on to school without you. Maggie will want to take him in this rain, anyway.”
She smoothed my hair. “Would you like me to stay home with you?” she asked.
“No, Mom. Thanks, but I'll be OK.”
“Well keep ice on that knot.” She bent and kissed my forehead.
Before leaving for work, she leaned into the room once more, but I kept my eyes closed, pretending to be asleep. When she was gone, I went to the bathroom. The knot on my forehead was bigger and uglier, but my lip looked better. I tried to see my butt in the mirror. It took a hand mirror from my mom's bathroom before I could really get a look at it. I'd never looked at my butt hole before. I'm not sure what I expected, but it looked normal to me. From the feel, I thought something would be scarlet and swollen.
In the living room, I turned on the TV, and I fell asleep on the couch. But then in my sleep the breathing came; the raspy breath. And the smell; of his breath and dust and my blood. I jerked awake. It was only noon. I thought about eating, but found another TV channel and went back to sleep instead. I woke next when I heard a key in the lock. I looked at the time and realized it must be Davey.
He found me on the couch and knelt on the floor beside me. “Hi, Mickey.” His brow knit in concern as he examined the knot on my forehead and gently touched it with his finger. “You OK?”
“You want anything?”
I sat up. “Maybe a Coke. I'd like a Coke.”
Davey grinned and ran to the kitchen. He was quickly back with two glasses of ice and two Coke bottles. He poured mine, handed it to me, then sat beside me on the couch. I stood up and moved to the window to drink mine.
“How was school?” I asked.
“Kids asked where you were. I told them your mom said you got beat up.”
“Oh, great,” I pressed the good side of my forehead to the window.
“What happened… Mickey?” He asked.
I shuddered. “Don't want to talk about it,”
“Please… tell me,” Davey asked again.
Tell him what? His boyfriend raped me? Tell him I know what a lousy lover he thought I was? Tell him I know why he left me for Geoff?
My voice was soft. I tried not to sound angry. “No, Davey. I don't want to talk about it.”
He took a sip of his coke, watching me. “The nerds say they'll help you get even,” he said.
I chuckled, and then laughed as I pictured a line up of nerds gang-banging Geoff's hard butt. That would be an ultimate humiliation for him. If only…
The thought cheered me. “You have homework, Davey?”
I turned and looked at him. He looked like the same old Davey. But I didn't know him. Not the Davey who loved Geoff, and mocked me to him. All the places in my heart for Davey had gone numb. For a moment, I even felt… revulsion. But I pushed it aside. I had promised to help him through high school. That commitment was about the only thing I could hang on to right now. Like a life line from a passing ship, it was something to keep me from sinking.
“Well let's go to the kitchen and get started. We don't want to lose any ground.”
At the kitchen table, I couldn't bring myself to sit beside him. After I started him working, I stood behind him and watched muscles work in his forearm as he wrote. His long, blond hair kept falling in his face. Like I had on other occasions, I gathered it up behind his head and banded it together for him. And then the sadness came on me again. I went to the bathroom and locked the door so I could cry.
That night Amy called, and I told Mom to tell her I'd see her tomorrow.
Mom wouldn't let me stay home the next day. If Davey hadn't been walking to school with me, I would have skipped. It was terrible. Everyone wanted to know what happened. It was worse when they all wanted to help me get revenge on whoever it was. But the worst, the absolute worst thing was seeing Geoff across the school yard or the classroom, smiling and happy. I hated him.
Amy was solicitous and caring. I couldn't stand to be around her. I didn't want her questions. I didn't want her tender sympathy. I didn't want her. Somehow, being raped by a guy turned me off completely to Amy or any other girl. And the only thing I wanted to do with any guy was to beat the shit out of Geoff.
And I still couldn't think. I'd try to concentrate in class, but was as vulnerable to the attack of my own thoughts as I had been to Geoff's assault.
The next few days seemed to get no better. At school, I noticed Geoff hanging around, smiling at me. The turd even winked. After school, I couldn't even make myself sit next to Davey to study, and I could barely bring myself to talk to him. At first he seemed puzzled and hurt. Then, he seemed to become angry. His anger hurt. In the evenings, it was hard to talk with Amy on the phone. And at night, I slept poorly.
It had been a week and a day, the following Wednesday when I walked into the school bathroom close to the science labs. A couple of guys left as I walked in and I was alone when I stepped up to the urinal. The door opened and someone came in. I was almost done pissing when I felt a hand reach around and lay itself on my stomach. A body pressed into my back and then I heard his breathing in my ear and I smelled Geoff.
“Hey, Bentolli,” he nuzzled my neck. “Want to come over to my house after school?” His other hand rubbed my ass, “You really do have a fine butt.” I just stood there stupidly, frozen as he kissed the back of my neck.
There were voices in the hall and Geoff stepped away just before the door opened and two freshmen walked in. “See ya later, Bentolli,” Geoff said leaving.
He hadn't come in to use the john. He came in for me! I tucked my cock back into my pants and zipped up, and then ducked into a stall just in time to wretch all over the toilet.
* * * * *
He was the one terrible reality in an otherwise numb world, and there was no way to get away from him. It was bad enough that he was at school every day, but in my dreams he also stalked me at night, taking me back to that basement whenever I let sleep finally take me.
It was natural that I began to imagine how I could kill him - kill Geoff, and get away with it. It helped to just think about it and I thought about it a lot; but the only times I thought I might do it for real - really kill him - was when Geoff smiled at me.
I hated high school now. Besides Geoff being there, I had friends and teachers who had no idea I wasn't me anymore. Home wasn't much better. But the University, that was different. Monday afternoons became my refuge; it was a whole different world with Dr. Meyers.
The fact that Davey also went to Dr. Meyers was OK. It was a different Davey there. It was the math Davey. And it was a different Michael there. It was the programmer Michael.
I found working through the logic of algorithms cleared my mind. I did well at programming. Mondays, the time would fly past and I would leave feeling almost human again.
Dr. Meyers loaned me computer books and reference manuals. I took refuge in them. And I learned.
I think Davey had the same effect on Dr. Meyers that programming had on me. The two of them would huddle for an hour or two each Monday and when they were done, Dr. Meyers would be smiling. Dr. Meyers even claimed Davey helped him work through some things.
* * * * *
After a couple of weeks, Amy was becoming insistent. We had barely kissed, and done little talking. She was waiting for me, first period. She stepped close for a hug.
“Let's skip this morning,” she whispered in my ear. “We can go to your house.”
“I don't know, Amy. We've got a test coming up in calculus. I can't skip.”
She put her mouth close to my ear. “It's the good time of month. We can do it without a… condom.”
How was I supposed to tell her we needed to break up?
She leaned her body more against me and I felt her bend her head beside mine. “What's happening between us, Michael? I feel like I'm losing you.”
And then I remembered what it was like to lose Davey so suddenly. I wasn't sure how I was going to break up with Amy, but I wasn't going to hurt her like I had been hurt.
My heart wasn't in it. I wasn't even sure I could get it up for her. But I put my arms around her. “Let's do it,” I said softly.
It's funny how you bring your partner to two orgasms and have a strong one yourself, and yet both simply go through the motions. I held her in silence when we were done.
She snuggled into me, her head just under mine. “Is it somebody else?” Amy asked. “Is it Davey? Have you two gotten back together?”
She surprised me and it took a second to answer. “Not exactly,” I said. “Davey does want to get back together. But I wouldn't do that while I'm going with you, Amy.”
“But you want to?”
I sighed and her head rose and fell on my chest. “I thought I did.”
“Something's happened. I just don't know anymore.”
“I don't want to talk about it, OK? Just something that maybe changed my mind.”
Amy rubbed my nipple softly with a finger tip. “So, do I get to keep you?”
I tried to think.
It was Amy's turn to sigh. “If it was a girl, I'd know how to compete. I could fight to keep you.”
“If it was a girl, you wouldn't need to fight, Amy. You're the only girl I've ever been interested in. You're the only one I would be interested in.”
She chuckled. “No, you're not as gay as you think you are, Michael.”
I took a breath to say something, but she spoke before I could. “I know you think you're gay Michael, or bi, or whatever. And it's not like I'd know for sure. After all, you're the only boy I've ever done this with, but the way you make love, Michael, you like girls too. At least your body does.”
“Well one girl, for sure,” I said.
She sighed. Her breasts nestled pleasantly on my chest and her legs wrapped over mine. And I decided that she was right about what my body might like.
“It's hard to explain, Amy. I think I need some time to think things through.”
“Well,” she sighed. “If you're going to be gay, there's nothing I can do I guess.”
“I don't know that I have much choice about it.”
“I think you do, Michael. Your body sure seems like it could go either way.”
“But not my heart, Amy,” I said and stroked her back. “My heart's only aimed one way.”
Amy was quiet a moment, then pushed up off the bed. “We need to head back.
* * * * *
Mom sat me at the kitchen table. “Michael, what's wrong with you?”
“I'm fine, Mom.”
“No, you are not fine,” Mom said. “You haven't been since you were beaten up.”
“I'm really OK, Mom. I guess I just didn't like getting beat up.”
“But you aren't eating right. You don't smile any more. You don't laugh when Davey's around. You aren't yourself.”
“I'm OK, Mom. I really am,” I smiled and patted her hand, and I really wished I was OK.
* * * * *
Davey tried to move closer as we studied at the table. I scooted away.
He threw his pencil hard to the ground and pushed away from the table. “Michael, what's… the matter… with you? Why won't you… let me… touch you?” He stared hard at me. “You don't want to… do you? You don't want to… be boyfriends.”
My throat tightened and I waved him off with my hand, turning away. I didn't want this Davey. I wanted my old Davey back. I missed him so bad. I wanted things back like they were.
* * * * *
“So is it over then?” Amy asked.
I looked away from her and the porch, out to her front yard. The sun was bright, and the sky was high and clear like it often is in the winter. The air was cool and I suddenly shuddered. I felt her arm go over my shoulder and I let it warm me.
“Yeah, I guess so,” I said.
“Back with Davey?”
“No. That might take a while.”
There was a moment's pause, she took her arm from my shoulder, then I heard her front door open and close, and she was gone.
* * * * *
“You asshole! You fucked up, stuck up, self-centered asshole,” she said.
“I love you too, Larice,” I said into the phone.
“Amy told me you broke up with her. Are you going gay now, after all this time, after everything you said? Or are you chasing some other girl, now that you've had Amy?”
I smiled. For some stupid reason, Larice's wrath was easier to take than everyone else's concern. It almost felt good.
“No, I'm not after another girl,” I said, trying to keep my voice low enough so that Mom wouldn't hear me over the TV. “And if it is the other thing, it's not like I didn't warn both of you. And I sure as hell hope you didn't yell that loud enough for your whole family to hear.”
“Well if I did,” she said, “you deserve it. I don't know what you think you're doing, but you need to patch things up with Amy.”
“No, I don't.”
“So, are you going after Davey now?”
“Maybe you better talk to Davey about that, Larice.”
* * * * *
We had just finished one of our regular Saturday night family dinners. “Help Gloria with the dishes, honey,” Maggie told Davey. “Michael, could you come help me with something?” I followed Maggie out on to the front porch.
She turned. “Michael, what's wrong with you?”
“What do you mean?”
She put a hand to my cheek. “Michael, I'm worried. And I think your mom must be too. You haven't been the same. Not since that fight you had. What happened?”
“Nothing. I'm fine. Just a lot of pressure in school lately.”
“You? Pressure? School's always been easy for you.” She put her hands on her hips. “Something's wrong, Michael.”
“No. Really Maggie. I guess I've just been a little depressed lately.”
“You aren't eating right. That can't help. Have you been staying up too late?”
“Yeah, maybe a little. Maybe I just need a little more sleep.”
She looked at me skeptically. “Get some sleep, Michael. OK?” She patted my cheek and went inside.
* * * * *
Mr. Weishamer asked me to come to his class after school. When Davey and I came to the classroom, Mr. Weishamer said, “Davey, would you mind waiting outside? I need to talk to Michael alone for a moment.”
Davey went out and Mr. Weishamer closed the door. Then he turned to me. “Michael, I've been worried about you.” He leaned back against his desk. “You've been different; like night and day, Michael. Something's wrong.”
My stomach churned and I thought that if just one more person told me they were worried about me…
“Sit down,” he said.
I sat down in a front row desk. “I'm OK. Really. Just a lot of school work,” I told him.
He studied me. “I've been thinking about it, Michael. It seems to me that it all started back when you missed school one day and came back all bruised up… Michael, what happened?”
Looking down at the ground, I said, “Just a fight, Mr. Weishamer.”
“What over? Who with?” he asked. “Was it over a girl?”
“No. It wasn't over a girl.” I stood up. “Look, sir, I'm grateful. I appreciate your concern. But I'm OK.” I headed for the door.
“Michael, sit back down a second.”
I considered leaving.
“Please, Michael. Sit down.”
I sat. “Aren't my grades still good?”
“Your grades are fine, Michael. Don't sidetrack me… Look, I want to understand why your personality has changed overnight… and for how long now? A month?”
I stared at the floor.
“Come on, Michael. Talk to me. What happened?”
I couldn't tell him. I just couldn't.
Finally, he said, “OK, Michael. You don't have to talk to me. But you need to talk to somebody. I don't know what happened, but something obviously did. Why don't you talk to one of the school counselors?”
I kept looking at the floor.
He asked, “Do you have anyone else you can talk to? Your Mom? A pastor? An older friend?”
Someone to talk to? Who?
Davey? I wished I could still talk to Davey!
Mom, no, not Mom.
Knox? What about Knox? He'd understand. No wait. Would he want me to report it to the police? I couldn't do that. No police. I sighed; there was no one. I didn't have anybody.
There was Brandon. I could talk to Brandon… maybe. No, he had been Geoff's lover.
I looked up at him. He asked, “Are you sure you don't want to talk to me?”
I shook my head.
“Michael,” he said. “I've been trying to think how getting beat up like you were could change a young man so much. Only a couple of things come to mind.”
My eyes were frozen to the floor. I held my breath.
“Son,” he said, “were you assaulted… sexually?”
I looked at him in horror. I couldn't stay there. I bolted from the chair and from the classroom. Davey came running after me, but I had to hurry. I had to get out of there.
The next day, I felt so ashamed, I couldn't look Mr. Weishamer in the eye. But then as I was leaving class, he stopped me, and put an arm around my shoulder and pulled me to the side. “Michael, I thought about you all night. Hell, I didn't sleep much.”
He leaned close. “I should report it. The only reason I haven't is because I don't know for sure. But either you get help son, or I'm going to pursue this thing. You understand?”
I hung my head and nodded.
“You need to talk to somebody. Promise me you will talk to someone, OK?”
I nodded again.
But he didn't let me go. “I'll know if you don't, Michael… Have you reported it to the police?”
If he didn't let me go, I was going to cry. My eyes were already filling and my throat was getting tight. I shook my head.
“You need to, Michael. Promise me you'll think about that.”
I nodded and broke from his arms. I hit the closest john I could and found an empty stall where I cried as quietly as I could.
* * * * *
I called Saturday morning when Mom went into the office. I waited until ten since that would be eight in California. The phone rang and his dad answered. I hated talking to his dad. But he woke up Brandon for me.
“Look, Brandon. Can we talk? Are you alone?”
“Yeah. Just a second.” It was quiet at his end for a few seconds. I noticed my hand holding the receiver was shaking. “OK,” he was back.
I almost hung up.
It was so good to hear his voice. “Brandon… I need to talk to somebody…”
“Michael, what's wrong?”
I closed my eyes. “Geoff beat me up.”
He was quiet.
I kept my eyes pressed tightly closed and took a deep, shuddering breath. “He… he raped me, Brandon.”
Brandon gasped. Then asked, “What do you mean?”
And so I told him everything, from the notes on the toilet paper holder to the dreams I now had at night, leaving out only the things Geoff said. It took a while, and Brandon asked a lot of questions. I was grateful that not one of them was, “why did you let him?”
“I wish I was there, Michael.”
“What? And beat Geoff up for wimpy me?”
“No, actually I was thinking, I wanted my arms around you.”
I lay back on the couch. “Thanks.”
“You haven't told Davey about this?”
“You should. At least he's there to hug you, even if I can't.”
“Please don't tell me he's still going with Geoff.”
“You've got to tell him, Michael.”
“No. No I don't. He chose Geoff over me, Brandon. He made his choice, and Geoff rubbed my nose in it.”
“What do you mean by that?”
So then I did tell Brandon the things Geoff said in the basement.
When I finished, he took a deep breath. “Damn, what can I say? Geoff's an asshole. He thinks everybody worships him. Davey probably didn't like him half as much as Geoff wanted to think.”
“No, Davey was in love with the guy.”
“Hell, you know Davey better than I do, but I still wouldn't believe what Geoff says.”
I sat, thinking.
“Why don't you talk to Davey?” Brandon suggested again.
“Why not? Look, you're the brain. What happens if you don't talk to Davey? Will anything get any better? What happens if you do talk to him? Can it get any worse?”
“At least you'd know where you stand.”
“Where I stand? I know where I stand. Did I tell you - I'm going to be a monk… take up celibacy.” I took a deep breath. “I sure as hell don't want Davey on the rebound from Geoff. Not after what that asshole said. It'd be like getting… screwed… all over again. I don't want to be Davey's distant second choice.”
Brandon was quiet for only a moment. “I don't believe you there, dude. I can't believe you don't still love him. Somehow, that'd be… somehow, dude, that would be really sad, for all of us… What if Davey does want to get back together? How would you really feel?”
“It's way too late for that.”
Brandon cleared his throat, “If it is, what do you have to lose by talking to him? You've got to talk to Davey, Michael. You've got to hear his side.”
“His side?” I rolled on the couch and looked out the front window. The sun was shining. The damn sun was always shining. “Is Davey really going to say any different than what Geoff told me?”
“Talk to him Michael. You really don't have any choice.”
“I don't? Why not?”
“Because you do love him. I know it… and I don't mean just boyfriend stuff. Where's Davey going to be without you? And where the hell are you going to be without him? You've always been a two headed creature, Michael; joined at the heart. And you can't pull apart without tearing that heart in two.”
I smirked. “That's sorta profound, Brandon. I didn't know you had it in you. But don't you think it's too late? I think that heart got torn in two last summer.”
“Put it back together then,” Brandon said.
“I wish I could,” I said as I watched a mocking bird perch on our porch railing. My whole life seemed to be through a window these days.
“You need to try, Michael.”
“Maybe. I'll think about it.”
“There ya go,” Brandon said, and I could almost hear him smiling. “And Michael?”
“You need to tell Davey everything that happened. You can't let him get back with Geoff. The guy's dangerous… Have you considered reporting him to the cops.”
“Yeah. I considered it, for about two seconds. You remember why I was in the basement to begin with? No way I can talk to the cops, Brandon.”
I wondered if there was anything else to say. Brandon was quiet, too.
Then I heard him take a breath. “Michael. I'm sorry.”
“I wish I was there, man. I wish I could just hug you.”
“I wish you were here too. I wish you could hug me.”
* * * * *
I just couldn't bring myself to talk with Davey. It was too late for us ever to be like we were again. There were dead places inside me because of him; places that would stay dead. I couldn't talk to him. That is, until the next Friday when Davey was really quiet walking home from school.
“You OK, Davey?”
He looked at me almost like I wasn't there.
He looked back at the road.
“C'mon, Davey. What's the matter?”
He looked back at me, and frowned. “Geoff told me today.”
He couldn't have. “Told you what?” I asked.
He stared at me for several steps, then said, “He told me about it.”
“About what?” I asked, thinking there's no way Geoff could have told him what he did.
“He told me about… you two… making love in the… basement… under the stage.” Davey's eyes began to water. “Geoff wants to… come make love to me… tonight.”
I stopped in my tracks. I'd never fainted in my life… but the world spun and went black.
* * * * *
The sky was blue. There was one white cloud. Then Davey's face moved in the way.
“Mickey?” He was all concerned. “It doesn't matter… It's OK. You can have… Geoff. I don't mind… Really… I'm sorry.”
“What?” I sat up slowly, rubbing my head.
Davey smoothed my hair back off my face.
Then I remembered what he said and my head began to spin again. I lay back down. I took a few slow breaths and looked at Davey. “We need to talk,” I said quietly.
At home, we sat together on the couch, but I couldn't face him. I kept my eyes on the window and felt his eyes on me.
I told Davey about the notes in the bathroom, and how that started while he and I were still apart. Then I told him about going to the basement. I was even honest about almost being tempted to get it on with Mitch, but how I decided not to because I didn't want to mess things up. I told him about being surprised to find it was Geoff. I told him the things Geoff said. Well not everything. I couldn't tell him the worst things about Davey squealing and stuff.
But I did tell him what Geoff said Davey had told him about how wonderful Geoff was, and how I sucked as a lover. And when I told Davey how Geoff rubbed it in that Davey had chosen him over me, my face grew hard. And my face stayed hard, even as I heard Davey gasp and I glanced at him to see his mouth twisted and his eyes full of tears.
I turned back to the window. “Did you mean those things, Davey? I know I can't compare with Geoff for looks, but was I really such a bad lover?” I asked, sadly.
“It wasn't like… that,” Davey protested, and sobbed. “Not like that. I… oh, Mickey… I'm so… sorry.”
He slid to the floor and huddled against the couch, away from me. And he cried hard.
I slid to the floor beside him and rubbed his shoulder. “C'mon, sit next to me.” I sat back with my back to the couch and tugged Davey over beside me. I put an arm over his shoulder, as he continued to cry.
“As long as you're crying anyway, let me tell you the rest of it,” I said. And as I told him what Geoff did to me, he quit crying and watched my face with increasing concern. My hands began shaking. I couldn't help it. It was all so stark in my memory. I remembered every detail, and I told it all to him. The whole thing just all rolled out, dispassionately, like it happened to someone else, except for the trembling in my hands.
Then I was finished and Davey touched my cheek. His eyes were full of concern. He laced his arm over my shoulders.
I gave him a bittersweet smile. “…so you see, Davey, Geoff and I didn't `make love' in the basement. There was no love to it.” I took a deep shuddering breath and tried to stop the tremor in my hands.
Holding them up in front of me, I shook my head. “I can't look after you any more, Davey,” I said sadly. “I can't even look after myself.”
He crawled astride my lap and grasped each of my hands firmly in his, then held them tightly to his chest. His reddened eyes looked hard into mine and he leaned close. “But I… can... Mickey. I can look after… you.”
He put his forehead to mine. “I'll take care… of you.”
My heart caught in my throat.
“Mickey, I'm so sorry…” he began to say.
I pulled my right hand from his grip, and put trembling fingers gently to his lips as my eyes filled with tears. “Davey, wait,” I said, our noses almost touching. “I just want…”
I had to catch my breath, struggling to compose myself, and then continued. “I know Geoff is bigger and stronger and better looking, and he's got a big cock and he makes love better than me… but…” I took a shuddering breath “But, Davey… I'm the one who loves you. I'm the one who's always loved you. And I'm the one who always will.”
My fingers on his lips began to tremble even more and I pulled my hand away.
With our foreheads still pressed together, his tears began to fall alongside mine onto my chest.
“Davey,” I whispered. “I can't compare with Geoff, but if you'll take me, I want us to be together again. Please.”
He nodded his forehead on mine. “From now on… together,” he whispered, then kissed my cheek. ”I'm sorry… Mickey… I'm… so… sorry,” he whispered.
He moved off my lap to sit beside me and pulled my head to his shoulder. Then he put his arms around me and we sat while I cried quietly.
“Geoff isn't as good… as you.”
“It's OK,” I said.
“Mickey… I never told him… he was better.”
“It doesn't matter, even if you did,” I lied.
“But I didn't… he asked me… different times… who is best… I always told him… you were the best.”
I looked up and kissed his chin “Really?”
His deep blue eyes looked down into mine. “Really.”
I couldn't help grinning through my tears. “What did he say to that?”
Davey shook his head and bit his lip, looking away.
“OK,” I quickly said. “You don't need to tell me.”
He began to rock me in his arms.
“Thank you for telling Geoff that,” I said.
“It's the… truth,” Davey said, and kissed the top of my head.
I put my arms around his waist. “You said Geoff wanted to come to your house tonight?” I asked.
“What did you tell him?” I asked, holding Davey's waist more tightly to stop my hands from shaking.
“He said he'd knock… on my window. I told him… I sleep too hard to… wake up.”
“That wasn't exactly a `no,' Davey.”
Davey rubbed his cheek on the top of my head. “I told him no… Mickey… before I told him I… sleep too hard.”
I considered it. “You can't sleep at your house tonight, Davey. You need to sleep over here.”
“He won't come… I told him no,” Davey said. “But I want to… sleep with you.”
“He might come, Davey. He might do anything… Maybe we better sleep over at your house… you know, keep Maggie safe too.”
I shuddered. “We'll sleep at your house,” I said. “We just won't answer if he taps on the window. He won't try to fight the two of us. You still have your old baseball bat?
“Ssssh,” he said, rocking me. “Ssssh. I'm going to… take care of… you... I promise.”