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cherokee morning song

Cherokee Morning Song

Chapter Six

As the plane touched down at the airport in Sacramento Casey’s stomach began to churn; not because of the flight, but because he knew he would soon have to face his molester. He was silent on the drive from the airport to Davis when Carla said, “Honey, you don’t have to do this if you really don’t want to.”

“Mom, I either face him with a microphone or face him in court,” Casey said. “I think the microphone would be easier.”

“We could just sell the house and move away,” Carla said.

“Then what?” Casey asked. “That’s the easy way out. He would just continue doing what he’s doing with some other kid.”

“Son, I admire your maturity about this, but you’re mom’s right,” Mike said. “The choice is yours.”

“I’ll work with the police,” Casey said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Casey was exhausted when they arrived home. The stress of revealing his secret and the flight home was tiring for the entire family. After a quick shower, Casey went directly to bed. He didn’t wake until he heard a tap on his door. His clock radio was showing that it was 10:07. “I’m awake,” he called out.

“Casey, you need to get up,” Mike said. “The detectives will be here in about 30 minutes.”

Casey ate a muffin and washed it down with a glass of milk, not because he was hungry but to settle his stomach. Detectives Angela Lopez and Tim Gardner were about the same age as his parents. They could easily pass for a couple that was visiting the family.

“Could you tell us exactly what happened?” Angela asked. “We need to know everything. We’re not here to judge you, but we do want to put that creep away.”

Casey immediately liked and trusted her. He retold the entire story, leaving nothing out.

“I know this may be difficult for you, but once we arrest him you’ll probably have to testify in court,” Tim said.

“My friend said that you might be able to wire me with a microphone and get him to incriminate himself,” Casey said.

“That would be much stronger evidence,” Tim said. “Let us run this by the District Attorney’s office and make sure we do everything legal so that he doesn’t get off on a technicality.”

“Will he be safe?” Carla asked with concern.

“We’ll be very close when this happens,” Tim said. “We have a van that has recording equipment that can be parked across the street. Angela and I will be hiding inside. It will need to appear that Casey is home alone, so you will both need to be seen leaving.”

“I’m not leaving when he could be in danger,” Carla said.

“I can understand your concern, but if he suspects you’re home he may not approach Casey,” Angela said. “We’ll be nearby in the van.”

“Mom, we have to do this,” Casey said.

“We’ll protect him,” Tim assured her. “We’ll be back tomorrow to make final plans. This has to look like we’re just friends visiting.”

“I understand,” Carla said. “Come around dinner time and have dinner with us. It will look better than if you just come and then leave.”

“Good point,” Tim said. “Besides, it would be good to have a home cooked meal.”

“You’re single?” Carla questioned. “I would think a nice looking guy like you would be married.”

“No, you may as well know that I’m gay,” Tim said. “That’s one reason I want to get this creep put away. Many people think all gay men do what he has done. They forget that straight men rape too.”

“That’s kind of what a very wise Cherokee woman in Oklahoma told me,” Casey said.

“We’ll be back tomorrow around 5:00,” Angela said. “Casey, you shouldn’t be by yourself until we lock him up.”

“I’ll pick him up at school tomorrow,” Allen said.

“No Dad,” Casey said. “This has to look like our normal routine. I’ll walk home with my friends like I always do.”

“He’s right,” Tim said. “We don’t want the creep to suspect anything. I doubt he will try anything with Casey’s friends around.”

“Tomorrow when we come we’ll finalize plans to set this up,” Angela said.

Casey thought he would never get through the day at school, but eventually the last bell rang ending the school day. Kevin and Brent were waiting for him at his locker as usually. “Hey Shithead, do you want to come over to my house for dinner?” Brent asked.

“I would Fucker, but my parents have friends coming and they want me to be home,” Casey said.

“Maybe later then?” Brent asked.

“Sure, I’ll take a rain check,” Casey said.

Casey said goodbye to his friends upon arriving at his house. He saw the drapes in the window next door move when he glanced at the house. ‘You’ll get what you deserve you son-of-bitch,’ Casey thought. He knew what he had to do.

Angela and Tim arrived with the recording device and began making plans for the next day. The plan was for Mike and Carla to be seen leaving the house. They would meet Angela and

Tim at the van. Another detective would be driving, and he would go in the house across the street where his sister actually lived. Later Casey would go out and shoot some baskets. Hopefully the rapist would take the bait.

“I wish we had another camera closer than the van,” Angela said as she looked out the window at the basketball goal where Casey would be.

“Hide one in Mom’s plant in the window,” Casey said.

“Good idea,” Tim said. “I’ll go out to the car and get one.”

“Angela you and Carla need to be seen at the window like she’s showing you her plants,” Tim said. “Everything needs to look normal.”

“He’s been watching out his window,” Casey said.

“How do you know?” Mike asked.

“You can see the drapes move,” Casey said. “He’s always watching.”

“He’s right,” Angela said. “There is someone at the window.”

“I’ll show you how to wire the mike on Casey,” Tim said. “It may draw too much attention if I come and do it tomorrow.”

“Couldn’t I just put it in a pocket on my cargo shorts,” Casey said. “I need to have my shirt off. In the past when I went out to shoot baskets with my shirt off he came out on his porch in just a few minutes.”

“We can do that,” Tim said. “Casey, are you sure you’re okay with this?”

“I have to do this, not only for me, but for the other kids that he has done this to, and for the ones in the future,” Casey said.

“You must be proud of him,” Angela said.

“We are,” Mike said as he hugged his son.

Casey was surprisingly calm the next day. After walking home from school with his friends he went inside to get ready for what he must do. He changed into his cargo shorts and put the microphone in the pocket. He then called the number that Tim gave him to test that the microphone was working.

After his parents left and Casey saw that the van park across the street, he waited for the signal that they were ready.

The signal came and Casey went outside thinking, ‘Okay you bastard you’re going down.’

“Casey began shooting baskets when he saw the drape move. ‘Take the bait asshole,’ he thought.

“Hey, a game of one-on-one?” Brent called as he walked up the driveway.

‘Oh no, not now,’ Casey thought. “Sorry, but I’m grounded and can’t have company,” Casey quickly said.

“No shit, what did you do?” Brent asked.

“I got caught drinking some beer,” Casey said. “You’d better go before I get into more trouble.”

“I’ll see you at school tomorrow,” Brent said as he walked away.

“He’s good,” Angela said to Mike and Carla as they listened in.

Casey was beginning to wonder if the bait would work when Tom Littlejohn came out of his house with an evil grin. “We’ll I was beginning to think you were avoiding me,” He said.

“Get away from me, asshole,” Casey said in a shaky voice.

“You know you liked what I did to you.”

“You drugged me.”

“You didn’t turn down the marijuana when I offered.”

“You put something in my drink.”

“Just a little something to put you in the right frame of mind. You liked it when I put my cock in your ass.”

“You raped me.”

“I prefer calling it, giving you what you needed. You’re coming inside with me and I’m going to fuck you again.”

“We’ve heard enough,” Tim said as he and Angela rush out of the van with Mike and Carla close behind.

“You’re under arrest,” Angela said as she and Tim flashed their badges.

“I didn’t do anything,” Tom shrieked. “This little bastard was trying to get me to buy some dope for him.”

“We have it all on tape,” Tim said as Casey pulled the microphone out of his pocket with a grin that said, “Got you.”

After cuffing and reading Tom his rights, a squad car came and took him away to jail.

“You did great,” Angela said as she gave Casey a quick hug and Tim gave him thumbs up

“We’re proud of you,” Carla said as she wiped tears from her eyes.”

“We sure are,” Mike agreed.

“Am I in trouble for the marijuana?” Casey asked. “I promise you that I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll never touch that stuff again.”

“Yes, you’re in big trouble,” Carla said. “We may have to send you back to Oklahoma and make you sit through Jeremy’s Christmas concert.”

“Really?” Casey said in surprise. “Thanks Mom. Thanks Dad.”

“It was amazing, Jeremy,” Casey said when he called Jeremy to give him the news. “The guy basically confessed on tape to everything.”

“I knew you could do it, Case,” Jeremy said, using the nickname he had giving Casey when they were in the fifth grade.

“The best part is that I get to go there for your Christmas Concert. This time I promise not to be a jerk.”

“Case, you’ll always be a jerk. But, I’ll still love you.”

“Ha, ha, and you’ll always be an asshole. Well good night and I’ll see you soon.”

“Good night, Buddy.”

“He might be your friend, but he’s a jerk,” Cody said upon learning that Casey was coming back for their concert.

“Babe, he’s been through a lot. I’ll let him tell you what he wants, but he will always be my friend.

“Are your parents going to the concert?”

“Of course they are. Aren’t yours going?”

“Mom is, but Dad said that if it was a football game he would go. He said that he wasn’t going to some sissy Christmas concert. He goes to see Scott play in his football games though.”

“At least your mom will be at the concert. Your brother may be a football jock, but he looks up to you.”

Jeremy and Casey chatted almost every day. Both were looking forward seeing each other again, and were counting the days. Casey would have to miss a couple of days of school, but Mike and Carla agreed the trip would be good for him.

Jeremy invited Cody to go with him and his parents to pick Casey up at the airport, but he declined. Jeremy sensed that Cody was jealous of Casey, but Jeremy knew he couldn’t drop his friendship with Casey. Casey needed his friendship and Jeremy knew that he also needed Casey’s.

The two friends chatted as if it had been years rather than days since they last saw each other. “Everything is good now,” Casey said after giving complete details of how he helped get Tom Littlejohn to confess. Casey then became silent as if the realization of what happen suddenly hit him.

“How have been coping?” Nancy asked.

“I’m doing okay,” Casey said. “I’m in counseling and I now understand that none of this was my fault. I have a ways to go, but I’m getting there.”

Jeremy was a nervous wreck when they arrived at the high school’s performing arts center after picking Annie up. Jeremy’s parents and Casey found seats next to Cody’s mom, Scott, and Molly while Jeremy, Cody and Annie went to join the rest of the choir.

“Do we need to save a seat for Mitch?” Allen asked as he sat down.

“No, he won’t be here,” Kay said.

“Oh, is he working?” Allen asked.

“No, he wasn’t feeling well,” Nancy lied.

The wait for the beginning of the concert seemed like hours to Jeremy but it was actually less than 30 minutes. When the concert band and choir were in place on stage and the curtain opened, Jeremy was shocked to see that the PAC was packed. The choir and concert band gave a near flawless performance. Following a performance of “Hallelujah Choirs” that brought the audience to their feet for a long applause, it was time for Jeremy and Cody to sing their duet. Jeremy was so nervous that he wanted to take Cody’s hand for comfort. However, he knew he couldn’t.

After Cody and Jeremy sang “Angles We Have Heard on High” in Cherokee, the audience was again on their feet with a loud thunderous applause. Annie then came on stage and sang “Oh! Look at the Sky” in Cherokee. Again the audience came to their feet for another standing ovation. Jeremy and Cody then joined Annie to sing “What Child Is This” with the entire choir. The male members of the choir had the audience in stitches when they sang “The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen.” The audience laughed even louder when Annie came back on stage dressed as a little girl and sang “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” The concert finished with Annie and the choir singing “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

After the concert the group waited in the lobby for Casey to finish his business in the restroom. Allison and her parents stopped to congratulate Cody, Jeremy and Annie on our performance. Allison began to flirt with Cody. When Casey joined the group Jeremy joined the group Jeremy introduced him to Allison and her parents. Allison immediately moved from Cody’s side and began to flirt with Casey.

Jeremy thought Allison’s flirting was amusing since he knew Cody was gay and Casey would soon be going back to California Sunday. Allison beamed when Allen said, “We’re going by Chili’s for a snack if anyone would care to join us.”

Kay said that they needed to get home, but thanked Allen for the invitation. Allison begged her parents to go and they give in.

After being showed their table at the restaurant Allison quickly occupied the seat next to Casey. Allison giggled at everything Casey said, regardless if it was funny or not. ‘At least she is now interested in somebody besides my boyfriend,’ Jeremy though.

“She’s hot,” Casey said when they left the restaurant.

“Hot for your cock,” Jeremy teased.

“She could have it,” Casey said. “Too bad I don’t live here.”

“Yeah it is,” Jeremy said in a serious tone. “I wish you did. It would be great to have my best bud here.

“My parents aren’t going to leave UC Davis,” Casey said. “But, there are some cute girls here though. But, I though Cody was your best bud now.”

“He’s my boyfriend, but you’ll always be my best bud,” Jeremy said.

The boys talked late into the night until the both fell asleep in Jeremy’s queen size bed, just like they had back in California. Jeremy smiled when he woke up and saw Casey sleeping peacefully beside him. ‘God, he’s handsome,’ he thought.

Jeremy was sad to see his friend leave to go back home to California, but I knew that their friendship was back on solid ground again. He wished that Casey and Cody could be friends too.

When Casey arrived back home in Davis he learned that after the news of Tom Littlejohn’s arrest several other young kids came forward and gave statements of being molested. Three of those were girls as Annie had predicted. Faced with all of the incriminating evidence against him, Tom Littlejohn gave a full confession and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

During the Christmas break Cody announced that he would not be taking choirs their sophomore year. He was going to go out for football instead. “Are you doing this because you want to, or are you doing it because your dad wants you to?” Jeremy asked.

“I’m doing it because I want to,” Cody said. “You’re getting buff from the workouts we’ve been doing. You should go out for football too.”

“I love watching football, but I don’t want to give up choirs to play,” Jeremy said. “I don’t need to play to prove how macho I am.”

“I’m not trying to prove anything,” Cody said. “

In his heart Jeremy knew that Cody was going out for football to please Mitchell Downing. He knew that Cody loved singing. He had a sinking feeling in his heart that his relationship Cody had changed forever.

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