I wandered into the kitchen to see if Rafe needed any help, but he was at the table reading his magazine. He jumped when I spoke.
"Need any help?"
"Gee, you spooked me. It's just gotta finish cooking. It's only meatloaf. I'm just sitting out here so I can hear the timer, then I have to mash the potatoes. What was your little meeting all about?"
"Rafe, there's some things I did that I just don't want people to know about. I'm not tryin' to shut you out or anything, there's just no point in you knowing. Don't be mad, okay?"
"Oh, that's fine. I just didn't know what was up. I sure hope nobody's trying to call here. Is that Kenny's girlfriend that's here?"
"He hopes so. Her name's Mary and she's my psychologist, too. She really helped me a lot this summer."
"I didn't know you were gettin' your head shrunk. What's it like?"
"Mostly just a lot of talk, trying to figure out why I did the things I did and thought the way I did. It's pretty cool. What time is it, anyhow?"
"Seven fifteen. Gettin' anxious for Timmy?"
"I'll say. I got a lot to tell him about today."
Rafe gave me a look that I didn't know he owned. It was a pretty evil looking smirk. "You're just gonna talk to him? The poor boy's been locked up in a bookstore all day. How boring is that?"
"What am I supposed to do? He's gotta hear this stuff."
"I think you should hold hands first."
"I can hold hands when I'm talking."
"Can you talk while you're smooching?"
"You'd be surprised what I can do when I'm smooching."
"Ooooh! Tell me! I want to know everything you can do while you're smooching."
"Hey, buy a book or somethin'. I ain't givin' out all my secrets. I just learned them."
Rafe was going to respond, but I saw Tim drive up and ran outside to see him. I was beside his car before he got the door open. He looked a little tired, but his expression turned to a smile as soon as he turned and saw me. He was wearing a short-sleeve dress shirt with a necktie. I thought it looked ridiculous at first, but I changed my mind fast as soon as he stood up. I'd never seen him in white. I'd never seen him dressed up, for that matter. He looked fantastic with his tanned skin against the bright white shirt.
"You wear a tie to work?"
"Hey, I gotta look the part. You don't like it?"
"It just surprised me. I never saw you dressed up before. I think it looks great! Take it off."
He started undoing the tie.
"And the shirt."
"Uh, oh. I know what you want, but I am not gettin' naked in Kenny's driveway. I do have somethin' for ya, though." He pulled me to him and kissed me gently on the lips. I quickly got lost in it. Something between my legs went boing-g-g-g. I let my hand fall to Tim's crotch to see if he had the same problem. He did, and in spades.
"Ahhhh. Now, that's a nice thing to come home to after a hard day at the office. Woods or back seat?"
"Let's take a walk. I brought a blanket."
He grabbed the blanket from the trunk and we ran up the hill into the woods. We had only gone about ten feet on the downhill side when Tim stopped and spread the blanket on some leaves just off the side of the path. He pulled me down and I ended up on top of him and we immediately rejoined our kiss. I was feeling another rather urgent need and I rolled to Tim's side without breaking the kiss. We both began fumbling with each other's belts and in about a minute were engaged in a frantic, almost desperate sixty-nine. I was trying to hold back, but I couldn't. That little episode came to a frantic end in about three minutes.
I fell back with my heart pounding so hard I could hear it in my ears. "Jesus!"
"How do you do that, Tim?"
"Turn me on like you do. Did I tell you I love you?"
"Not today. Do you?"
"I love you, Timmy. I love you more every time I think about it."
"How often do you think about it?"
"On alternate Palm Sundays. All the rest of the time, too."
We got back into kissing position. "I love you too, Dave. More than I know how to say." *kiss*. "I" *kiss* "love" *kiss* "you."
"A lot happened today."
*kiss* "Like what?"
"I saw Artie." *kiss* "I jumped off the cliff." *kiss* "I went to New York with Kenny." *kiss* "Oh, you're not gonna believe this one. Barry's gonna let us use his house when we want to be alone."
Timmy sat up and stared at me. "What? What did you just say?"
"Which one? I said I saw Artie, jumped into the quarry, went to New York and Barry's lettin' us use his house."
"What time did you get up? That's a busy day!"
"What can I say? I was with Kenny all day. Almost all day. I talked to Brian for a while. Oh, and I talked to Rafe, too. Oh, and Mary and Don, too. And Barry. Can I tell ya later? Right now I just want another kiss. We don't have much time. Supper's probably ready."
Tim gave me a perplexed little smile, and then brought his lips to mine so I shut up for a while.
We eventually got up and straightened ourselves out, then brought the blanket back to the car and went inside to eat. Brian was back, and he had Adam with him. They were with the guys playing with the phone. There was a lot of loud laughter. Tim and I went into the kitchen and found Rafe and Mary talking. They looked up and smiled when they saw us.
Mary got up and kissed Tim on the cheek. "Hi, Tim. I'm so happy that things worked out the way you wanted. I think you're a remarkable young man, and I know how long you've waited for this. You have great taste, too. David's a very special person."
Tim and I both blushed a little. He gave Mary a hug and said, "Thanks, Mary. Thanks for taking the time to help us sort things out." He pulled back and grinned at her. "Send your bill to Dave, though. I'm a little tapped out right now."
They both giggled a little at that. "Don't worry about it. Just seeing David without the dark cloud around him is worth it." She looked around at me. "Yup. It's gone, alright. He's an official human person."
Timmy was still grinning. "Yeah! And he's my human person."
"Joined at the hip?"
"Um. The hip?" Tim blushed a nice rosy red.
"Oh. Oh!" Now Mary was blushing. "It's just a figure of speech."
I looked at Rafe. He seemed to be enjoying this little exchange. "When's the food gonna be ready?"
"It's been ready. I just can't get those guys away from the phone. You want to eat now?"
"Yeah, if it's ready. I'm pretty hungry."
"You're hungry? I could eat the south end of a northbound skunk! You guys get the plates and stuff."
Tim and I piled up our plates with meatloaf, potatoes with gravy, and canned peas. We headed outside to eat. Ken saw us and asked, "Where'd ya get the food?"
Mary was right behind us. "That's the most singularly dumb question I ever heard, Buster. Hasn't Raphael been telling you it's ready for a half an hour? Why don't you put your toys down for a while and join us. I don't know if I can control myself if I eat alone with all these handsome men. There's something about mashed potatoes that ....." She was out the door before Ken heard the rest.
He must have inferred something. We had barely sat down when he appeared with the largest pile of mashed potatoes I'd ever seen on a single plate. He had meat and peas, too, but there must have been at least two pounds of potatoes. I was sitting opposite Mary, and he made me move over. It got to be too much for me. They were both trying to be seductive with their damned potatoes. I pretty much inhaled my meal, then brought my dishes inside. Barry and Don were still playing with the phone and laughing evilly. When I went into the kitchen, Brian and Adam were having an animated conversation at the table. They seemed to be ignoring their food, but I heard my name.
"Who's talkin' about me?" They both jumped and looked around.
Brian looked at me. "It's nothing bad, Dave. We were just talking about how people should be, and your name came up."
"As a bad example?"
"No. A good example. Rafe told me you're always down on yourself about things, but I think you're a great guy. That's what we were just talkin' about. Adam thinks so, too, and you guys just met last night. You've got ... I don't even know how to say it ... you have this thing that makes everybody want to know you ... to know what you think about everything. You just see through people and push them the right way."
They were both looking at me. Adam said, "Brian's right. I've been hiding away for months, feelin' sorry for myself. The stuff I told you last night? Well, that's the past. I spent the day lookin' for my old friends. They all thought I was pissed off or somethin, but I think we'll still be friends. I told them what it was about ... that I'm gay. Get this! Most of them already thought so. It didn't matter to begin with, and I been bangin' my head against the wall all this time. Last night when you just came out and said you're in love with Tim, and that's just the way it is ... well, I don't know ... it just sounded so brave. I might be queer, but I'm not a wimp. I still haven't talked to Ken and them because they won't leave the phone alone, but I think I got the message from you."
Huge grin. "Yeah! I'm gonna be happy. I'm already happy." He went into a Popeye voice. "I yam what I yam."
Tim came up behind me and put his hands on my shoulders. "What am you?" I looked over my shoulder and he had his dopey grin on his face. That grin always seemed to hold promise of good things to come, and his hands felt great on me.
Adam stayed with the Popeye voice. "I yam the happiest kid in town. I yam givin' up on Olive Oyl. She's a skank, anyhow. I yam gonna look for somebody and hope I can end up just like Brian and Rafe. I am happy, but I'm a little jealous, too. You guys just face it and go for it. I been hidin' behind it for a long time. No more! Adam Danielson is queer, and he's officially on the make! He's in a hurry, too! You guys got any friends?"
That brought up a serious laugh from Timmy, and it didn't take long before we were all laughing and pounding Adam on the back.
I sensed that Tim was trying to get us out of there. I'm almost certain he was. He had a grip on my wrist and was dragging me out of the room.
"What's the hurry?"
"It's, um, urgent!"
"You should'a said somethin'. See you guys later, ok?"
Tim pulled me from the room and outdoors to the car, where he grabbed the blanket from the trunk. He took me by the hand and practically ran into the woods at the far side of the yard.
"What's up, Timmy? Why're you actin' like this?"
"I just want to be with you. You ate like a horse and just left me there. I had to watch Kenny pitching woo at Mary."
"Yeah, woo! What, you don't know what woo is?"
"I don't have a clue what it is. You pitch it? It's like a baseball?"
"Of all the people in the world, I gotta fall for a dumb ass. Woo is love, Dave. Kinda like love when you can't do anythin' about it. It's like when all you can do is give looks and, if you're lucky, rub knees or something. Woo is sendin' the signals."
"Is that what I'm feelin? Signals?"
"You're hopeless. These are hands you're feelin', Dave. My hands. They're workin' hard to make you feel great. These are the hands of love. If you had any class at all you'd check out the ends of your own arms to see if you have hands, too. If you find some, I can think of a real good use for them right now."
I found what I thought was a pretty good use for my right hand, anyhow. I used the left one to pull Tim's face closer to mine. I loved that face! We drew into a kiss, but I pulled back after a few seconds.
"Why's it like this? I mean, how can we be this much in love after just a couple of days?"
"It's been a long time coming, pal. It's over four years now. It's been my dream all that time. Now you're sharin' it with me. Can we stop talking about it? I don't want to analyze this, I just want to live it. I love you, Dave. I know it's just been a few days, but when I was at work today I just about went nuts being away from you."
"I still hafta tell you about all the things that went on today."
"Tell me after."
Tim let out an exasperated sigh and gave me a look that said he thought I was hopeless. It quickly turned to a grin. "After practice, Dave. When you've finished your lesson, you can tell me about your exciting day. I'll tell you about mine right now. Boring."
"Do I bore you?"
"Dave, I think I can honestly say that the one thing you've never been is boring. We lost a lot of time today and you're gonna have a pop quiz first. Say my favorite words ... ah ... twenty times."
I had to do it. "MyfavoritewordsMyfavorite ummmmph."
If Tim wanted me to say anything else he was going to have to unlock his lips from mine first. He seemed disinclined to do that, and it was a long time before we decided to go back to the house. It seemed that we'd been a bit hasty discarding our clothes. It had gotten pitch black and we were not having a lot of luck finding things. When we did find something, it was hard to tell what or whose it was. The only obvious things were Tim's shirt and underwear, since they were both white. We could only come up with one shoe between us and all I could find was my shirt.
"I found something!"
"What is it?"
"I think it's your bathing suit. Howcum you wore that anyhow?"
"I told ya I had to jump in the quarry. I didn't have time to get changed to go to New York. I'm glad I wore it. At least I got something to cover my ass with. Gimme it and I'll go get a flashlight."
"You are not leaving me here like this. My pants have to be somewhere. Why'd you have to throw them?"
"Why'd you throw my stuff? It seemed like a good idea at the time, didn't it? Just get everythin' out of the way?"
"I guess. Don't you even remember which way you tossed them?"
"Let me have my trunks. I'll get a flashlight and we can find everything."
"Everybody's gonna know what we did."
"They ain't gonna know shit. Let 'em guess if they want to. How do you know if anybody's even still here?"
"Alright, then go. Just don't bring anybody back with you."
Tim handed me my trunks and I put them on. I took about five steps towards the house when my feet got tangled up in something and I took a nose dive to the ground, clipping my shoulder painfully on a tree on the way down.
"Ow! Shit, that hurt. I think I found somebody's pants."
"What happened? Are they yours or mine?"
"How do I know? I'm layin' here on my face with a broken shoulder. I'm supposed to know whose pants they are by feelin' 'em with my feet?"
Tim knelt beside me. "Did you really get hurt? Which shoulder?" He started gently massaging both of them. "What ... oh, man. You're bleeding. I'll go get the light."
"You don't have any pants on. Is it really bleeding? I can go. Just help me up."
"I can't see it, but it's gotta be blood and it feels like a lot. I'll be right back."
"See if these pants are yours, at least. You can't go like that."
"They're yours. I don't give a shit. You're hurt. I'll be right back."
He headed off towards the house, and I stood up to go with him, but stumbled again. My shoulder already hurt, and this time I hit a tree trunk head-first and went down again. My head was spinning, so I just stayed right where I was. I couldn't believe that Tim was willing to face this kind of humiliation for me. In a few minutes I could hear voices. I opened my eyes and saw a light bouncing off the trees. In a moment the light was shining directly on me.
"Oh shit! That doesn't look too good." It was Barry's voice. "What the hell happened?"
"I tripped and hit my shoulder on a tree. Then I fell again and banged my head. Am I really bleeding?"
"You're bleeding. Can you get up? Here, let me help."
Barry grabbed me around the mid section and pulled me to my feet. "Find your stuff, Tim. We'll be in the kitchen."
Barry put his arm around my back and started guiding me back into the yard. I don't remember going to the house, but the next thing I knew I was sitting on a kitchen chair. Tim was holding me in place and Barry was cleaning the cut on my arm. "He's awake! Dave, can you hear me? Are you ok?"
"What happened? AAAH!" I screamed as Barry put something on the cut.
"Sorry. This is gonna hurt. The cut's full of bark and dirt. Do you want to tell him, or do you want me to, Tim?"
Tell me what? Oh No! Was I going to die? Just bleed to death after all the other shit? Please just make this be over.
"I think you better tell him. I can't do it. I just can't."
"What? What's wrong with me? Am I dying?"
"I don't think so. I mean, I've heard of people dying from it, but you're pretty strong. Look at your lap."
I looked down. The white thingy that should have been on the inside of my bathing suit was on the outside. In the dark I'd put it on inside-out and, from the look of it, backwards.
"Oh, shit. Is anybody else here?"
"Just Ken, and he's in bed. Let me get a band-aid on this cut. How's it feel?"
"Not too bad now that your finger's out of it.” I looked at my shoulder to see what all the fuss had been about. It wasn't pretty, but the cut itself was fairly small. It was mostly a big scrape from the bark. It did hurt a lot, though. I looked up and asked, “What’s my head look like?”
"Don’t worry, you’re still ugly. You guys should be more careful. You're so lucky that everyone left before Tim had to come running in here in his underpants and a dress shirt. How the hell did you manage to lose your clothes? Never mind, don't answer. I'm about laughed out for today. Just be more careful, okay? You're good kids and I don't want to see you gettin' hurt. Try planning ahead next time. Promise?"
"Thanks, Barry. I guess we went a little nuts. We'll be good, I promise." I looked over at Tim. He was nodding his head.
"Hey, it happens. I guess me and Don went a little nuts with the phone, too. That thing's just so much fun. It's not hard to go overboard. You should take it easy on each other, too. You still need to do the things that made you friends to start with. It's real important that you don't forget. You've found a new dimension, and I know it seems powerful, but believe me it won't support a feather. If you forget to be friends first you're not gonna make it."
I looked sheepishly at Tim. He looked a little guilty, too. A lot of things that he should have known about had happened that day, and I hadn't told him about them. He hadn't asked, either, even though he knew I wanted to tell him. I understood exactly what Barry was talking about. Making love was new to both of us and the temptation to do nothing else was powerful.
It might be a fun way to live if we existed in some kind of life support bubble, but that's not the way the world works. Tim and I had a pretty strong understanding of each other, but how long would that last if we didn't share conversation anymore, didn't know what was going on with the other when we were apart? All I knew about Tim's day was that it was boring. I should have asked what made it that way, asked exactly what he did in that store that bored him. I should have told him about my meeting with Artie, about Barry's offer.
Barry was right. Even a few days of this non-communication would leave everything as old news. We'd start to think that the other one knew something he didn't. I looked at Timmy and I could tell that he was thinking essentially the same thing.
"Thanks, Barry. Tim ... Barry's right. I love you too much to get lost in ... uh ... love. Was that a dumb way to put it or what? You're my best friend and I don't even know why you don't like your job. A lot of stuff happened to me today and you never heard any of it. I know you gotta get up for work tomorrow, but maybe we can just say everythin' fast just so we each know. You up for it?"
Tim smiled. "Sure. It's my fault, really. I know you wanted to talk but I was just so ..."
Barry said, "I gotta hit the road. I'll see you guys tomorrow. Keep talking."
"Thanks, Barry." Tim and I were in unison again.
Barry started to leave, then he turned around. "Ken told me you reminded him of Butch."
"Yeah. I get the same feeling. You have the words, Dave. Use them for good purpose."Next Chapter Previous Chapter