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cherokee morning song

Cherokee Morning Song

Chapter Sixteen

Casey's visit was a lifeline for Jeremy. His good humor kept Jeremy smiling, but most of his ordeal of being molested gave him some understanding of what Jeremy was going through. After Jeremy's last class of the day Jeremy introduced Casey to the Oklahoma City area. The Oklahoma City Memorial moved the two profoundly. "How could someone bomb a building and kill innocent people, especially children?" Casey had asked.

After touring the Memorial, they enjoyed dinner at a nice restaurant in the Bricktown area. The food was great, but they couldn't get the memorial off their minds. Their conversation was somewhat reserved as if to do otherwise would be disrespectful to the victims of the bombing. Finally Jeremy said, "I don't have any afternoon classes tomorrow. Why don't we go to the Omniplex?"

"What is the Omniplex?" Casey asked.

"It's a very large science museum," Jeremy explained. "I've never been there but I understand that it is really great. The zoo is next to it and we could go there too."

By the time Jeremy and Casey had toured the Omniplex there wasn't time to visit the zoo. "If you want we can come back to the zoo tomorrow," Jeremy had said.

"I want to tour The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum tomorrow, if that's okay," Casey said.

"Sure, your choice," Jeremy agreed. "I haven't seen it either."

"We didn't get to see everything I wanted you to see," Jeremy apologized when it was time for Casey to return home.

"That gives me a good excuse to come back for another visit."

"Yeah, that would be great, but you don't need an excuse."

"I could come for a visit over Christmas break."

"I'm going to Florida to visit Dorothy but, you could go with me."

"Who is Dorothy?"

"Blake's grandmother, well she is actually his foster mother. But, he called her grandmother. She moved to Florida to take care of her older sister after Blake was murdered."

Casey saw the sadness that Jeremy endured at the mention of Blake's name. "It still hurts, doesn't it?" Casey asked.

"Yeah, it does."

Tears were streaming down Jeremy's face. Not knowing what to say, Casey hugged Jeremy and let him cry until there were no more tears. "I guess we had better get you to the airport," Jeremy finally said. "I need to go wash my face and then I'll be ready to go."

"Jeremy, Dr. Carlton is on the phone for you," Casey said as he knocked on the bathroom door.

"I'll be right there," Jeremy had forgotten that Dr. Carlton was arranging an appointment with a psychiatrist for him.

"Jeremy, this is Dr. Carlton," Dr. Carlton said when Jeremy answered the phone. "You have an appointment next Tuesday at 4:30 with Dr. Sutton. I'll E-mail the address and phone number. I have faxed your records and we have also discussed your case. There shouldn't be a problem this time, but if there is we'll find someone else."

"Thank you Dr. Carlton, but my friend from California came for a visit and I'm much better now."

"That's good Jeremy, but I insist that you keep this appointment."

"Really, I'm much better."

"Jeremy I know you're better, but you're on medication for your depression. I don't want you on medication long term. If I must, I'll call your parents and they will see that you go."

"I'm 18 now, and they don't have to know."

"You're on their insurance and I can call them about that. You wouldn't want me to contact them, would you?"

"Alright, I'll go."

"I will be checking to see that you keep this appointment. Goodbye Jeremy."

Jeremy hung up the phone without a goodbye. He knew that Dr. Carlton was right, but he hated the thought of going to another psychiatrist.

"You really need to keep that appointment," Casey said. "I'm sorry, but I didn't mean to eavesdrop. I didn't think I needed to see a psychiatrist either, but I couldn't have gotten through my ordeal otherwise. As a friend, promise me that you'll go."

"Alright, I'll go. We had better get a move on, or you'll miss your flight."

There was little conversation on the drive to the airport and when they were near the airport Casey said, "You know that you can call me anytime you need to talk."

"I know that Casey, and thank you for being a good friend. You don't know what it means to me that you came to visit. I don't know if I could have gotten through this week without you."

"That's what friends are for. I remember that you were there for me when I needed help."

"Friends," Jeremy said as hugged Casey at the security entrance of the airport. "I guess this is as far as I can go."

"I guess I'll see you during Christmas break when we go to Florida," Casey yelled as he approached the security checkpoint.

When Jeremy entered his empty apartment the haunting feeling of loneliness returned. He knew he needed to get out of the apartment for a while. He then remembered that he hadn't used the Huffman Center on campus since his arrival. Except for riding his bike, he hadn't worked out since he left home. He changed his clothes and headed for the center, mainly to get out of the apartment.

The Huffman Center was more than Jeremy expected. There was a vast array of strength training equipment, a climbing wall, cardio room, and several courts for basketball, racquetball, and such. "Hi," said a pretty girl that looked familiar to Jeremy. "I don't have a spotter and if you don't have one maybe we could spot for each other."

"Sure, that would be great," Jeremy said. "I know you from somewhere?"

"We are in the same Intro to Lit class," she said. "I'm Julie."

"It's nice to meet you, Julie," Jeremy said. "I'm Jeremy."

"It looks like you've been working out," Julie said as she spotted for Jeremy.

"I haven't since I left home."

"Where is home?"

"I'm from Tahlequah and where are you from?"

"I'm from Lawton."

"I guess Norman is home for now."

The two chatted as they continued their workouts. Jeremy saw in Julie a person he believed could be a future friend. He was also surprised at how strong she was.


"Let's exchange phone numbers and we can maybe workout together in the future," Julie suggested. "Do you live near campus?"

"Yeah, do you know where the Park View Apartments are?"

"I sure do, I live there."

"Cool then we're neighbors."

"Then we could ride together to work out."

"I usually ride my bike. That lets me get in some extra cardio, do you have a bike?"

"I have one at home, but I'll bring it the next weekend I go home. Will I see you tomorrow for another work out?"

"Sure, that sounds good to me. Well, I guess I had better get home and cook dinner and then hit the books."

"I have a pot roast in the crock pot, would you like to come by for dinner?"

"I haven't turned down many home cooked meals. I'd love to. Could I bring something?"

"No, just bring your appetite. I have everything. We'll eat around six."

"That sounds great to me. That will give me time to shower. What apartment are you in?"

"I'm in 245."

"We're close neighbors, I'm in 240."

Dinner was delicious and Jeremy decided the more he talked to Julie the more he liked her. They talked about favorite books, movies, music and classes.

"You seem to know a lot about music," Julie said. "Did you have any music in high school?"

"Yes, I was in the chorus, but I also learned a lot from Annie. She taught me a lot of Cherokee songs."

"Sing something for me in Cherokee."

"Well it has been a while, but here goes:"

We n' de ya ho, We n' de ya ho

We n' de ya ho, We n' de ya ho, ho ho ho

He ya ho he ya, Ya ya ya

"That was beautiful, and you have a beautiful voice. What is the name of the song?"

"It is Cherokee Morning Song, and sung to great the new day." Jeremy then sang the English Translation:

I am of the Great Spirit, Ho! I am of the Great Spirit, Ho!

I am of the Great Spirit, Ho! I am of the Great Spirit, Ho! It is so, it is so.

Great Spirit, Great Spirit, Great Spirit

Who is Annie, the one that taught you that?"

"Our neighbor back in Tahlequah, but she is more like a grandmother to me."

"Do you have a girlfriend back in Tahlequah?"

'How do I answer this?' Jeremy thought. He had decided that he wouldn't deny his sexuality, but he wasn't sure he really wanted to be out. Finally he said, "No, I don't have a girlfriend. Look, I don't know how to really say this. I guess the best way is just to say it, I'm gay."

"You're a "

"I'm a gay man," Jeremy said before she could complete the question. "If it is a problem I'll leave and we can forget we ever met."

"No, I wouldn't want that. You just surprised me. I never would have suspected that you're gay. You're very good looking and have a great body."

"Julie, not all gay men are limp wrist nerds. I'm sure there are more straight guys in that category since there are more straight guys than gay ones."

"Yeah, I guess we do stereotype people, don't we? Do you have a boyfriend?"

"He was murdered," Jeremy quietly said as tears began to flow.

He told Julie the story about how he met Blake and how he was murdered. By the time he finished they were both crying. Jeremy wasn't sure why he told Julie his story, but it felt somewhat therapeutic to have someone to talk to.

When Jeremy arrived home from class the next Monday he grabbed a coke from the refrigerator and sat down to check his E-mail when the phone rang. "This is the office of Dr. Peyton Sutton. Jeremy Morgan has an appointment Tuesday, September ninth at four pm," the recorded message said.

Jeremy hung up the phone wondering how he could get out of going to see another shrink, but he knew the threat from his parents to bring him home if he didn't was real. A knock on the door interrupted his thoughts. When he opened the door there stood Julie with a bike and helmet in hand. "Ok stud, get your lazy ass ready and let's go for our work out."

"Let me change and I'll be ready. Grab a coke out of the refrigerator if you want and I'll be ready soon."

"You shouldn't be drinking that shit, especially before exercising. Do you have any bottled water?"

"Yeah, there is some of that in there too."

After an intense work out, Jeremy said, "How about I buy your dinner tonight?"

"I haven't been known to turn down a dinner out with a handsome guy, especially if he is buying."

"Would Applebee's be okay with you?"

"It sure, beats McDonald's."

Jeremy discovered that he genuinely enjoyed Julie's company. She was smart, beautiful, and fun to be with. The only problem was that she was female. Jeremy smiled thinking of how many guys on campus would love to be having dinner with a gorgeous girl like Julie.

"What?" Julie asked when she saw him smile.

"I was just thinking of how many guys on campus would love to be where I am right now. I'm having dinner with the most beautiful girl on campus and it is all wasted on a gay man."

"Oh, I don't know about that. I get to be seen out with the most handsome guy on campus."

"And that gets us what?"

"We get to be best friends without the sexual tension."

"I hadn't thought of it that way. But, I do have a couple of best friends who are straight and there hasn't been any sexual tension with us."

"Why, are they ugly?"

"No, they're both very handsome."

"And you've never just once wondered what it would be like to have sex with them?"

"Okay, I get your point. But, what's to say I haven't wondered what it would be like to have sex with you?"

"Have you now?"

"I'll admit that I think about how easy it would be to fall for you if I were straight. If I were, you would be the type of person that I would be attracted to."

"So, you're not attracted to me in the least?"

"Julie, it is hard to explain. I realize that you have both inner and outer beauty. I can appreciate your beauty, but it doesn't turn me on sexually. Haven't you ever looked another beautiful woman and appreciated her beauty?"

"I get your point. I hadn't thought of it in that way."

Their food arrived and interrupted the conversation, which then changed to classes and then work outs. "I can't meet you to work out tomorrow because I have an appointment with a shrink," Jeremy said. "I don't think I really need to go, but my parents insisted because I've had some trouble dealing with Blake's death."

"Most people don't think they need psychiatric help when they do. I saw how your telling me about Blake upset you. If it would help, I'll go with you tomorrow."

"Thanks, but I'll be fine."

Jeremy rushed home after his last class the next day for a quick shower before his appointment. He found Dr. Sutton's office with no trouble and arrived with about ten minutes to spare. After signing all of the necessary paperwork, he sat to wait to see the doctor. The ten minute wait seemed like an hour to Jeremy. Finally, a nice looking woman came and called his name. She took him into a room, closed the door and said, "Jeremy, I'm Dr. Peyton Sutton. Have a seat and we will get to know each other."

Jeremy was surprised that Dr. Sutton was female, not that it bother him. His surprised look must have clued Dr. Sutton in and she said, "Yeah, I know a lot of people don't expect a woman. Most would place the name Peyton to a NFL quarterback."

Jeremy laughed as he took a seat and thought that he just might like this shrink.

"Dr. Carlton has faxed your records to me and I have read his notes," Dr. Sutton began. "I'm sorry for the way things went with Dr. Jennings. Incidentally, have you seen today's Oklahoman?"

"No, I haven't."

"Dr. Jennings, the minister from his church, and another man were arrested for attacking a gay man. The man was brutally beaten and is in intensive care. He'll survive, but it will be a long recovery. Apparently Dr. Jennings and his cronies following the man when he left a gay bar and when he got out of his car at home they attacked him. Would you mind if I contacted the district attorney's office about how he treated you?"

"No, not at all, these types of people have to be stopped."

"What if they call you to testify?"

"I would do it."

"I admire that, Jeremy. Now, let's talk about you. How are you doing?"

"I'm better. I think the medication that Dr. Carlton prescribed has kicked in. I've also met a friend that I can talk to."

"Tell me about him."

Him is a her," Jeremy laughed. "She would be perfect if I were straight or if she were a guy."

This time Dr. Sutton laughed, and then continued, "We all need friends, and I'm happy that you have made a new friend here in Norman. Now, as I said I have reviewed Dr. Carlton's treatment plan and I think it is a good one. We agree that you should have continued your medication until after you were settled in here. I would like to have you continue with your medication for a while longer and see me at least every other week. I don't expect you to be on medication for long. How are you tolerating the medication?"

"It's kind of embarrassing."

"Don't be embarrassed," Dr. Sutton smiled. "Maintaining an erection can be a side effect of this medication. We can try a different medication if you like."

"It isn't like I have a love life or have someone to develop one with. Since I'm not going to be on it long term I would just as soon not switch right now."

"I think that is wise. However, if you meet someone and want to change we can do that. Just remember it takes a few days for the effects to go away."

Jeremy liked Dr. Sutton and he knew he wouldn't dread his next appointment as he had this one. He agreed to see her every other week.

On his way home Jeremy thought, 'The fact that I'm gay was hardly mentioned.' He would ask Dr. Sutton about that the next appointment.

After preparing a quick dinner, Jeremy decided he should call his parents. He knew they would be calling if he didn't. "Hi Dad," he said when his father answered.

"Hi Son," Allen Morgan said. "Hold on a second. Honey, pick up the other phone. Jeremy is on the line."

"Hi Honey," Nancy Morgan said.

"Hi Mom," Jeremy said.

"How did your appointment go today?" Nancy asked, getting right to the point.

"It was good," Jeremy said. "I think I'm going to like Dr. Sutton."

"What did he say?" Allen asked.

"She, Dr. Sutton is a she," Jeremy said. "She agrees with Dr. Carlton that I probably should have been on medication for a while longer. I'll see her again in two weeks and then she'll decide how much longer."

"She sounds much better than that last doctor you saw," Nancy said.

"Oh yeah, you probably didn't hear there but Dr. Jennings was arrested after he, his preacher, and another man beat up a gay man. Dr. Sutton asked if she could contact the district attorney's office about what he said to me."

"What did you say?" Nancy asked.

"I said it would be okay," Jeremy said.

"But, you might be called to testify if this goes to court," Nancy said.

"I know, we can't just ignore that Dr. Jennings shouldn't be practicing psychiatry," Jeremy said. "There is no telling how many he has fucked up more than they already were."

"Jeremy, your mother is on the line," Allen reprimanded.

"It isn't like I haven't heard that word before," Nancy said. "That's exactly what that asshole of a doctor has done."

"When are you coming home?" Allen asked.

"I'll be there Friday," Jeremy said. "I don't have any Friday afternoon classes and I'll be there around three. I'll be coming back Saturday afternoon. I told Julie that I'd go to the football game with her Saturday evening."

"Julie?" Nancy questioned. "Who is Julie?"

"She is in my lit class and lives in this same apartment building," Jeremy said. "We also work out together at the center."

"Okay, we'll see you Friday," Allen said.

"Okay, bye," Jeremy said. "I love you."

"We love you too," they both said.

"Hey who was that hot chick I saw you with at Applebee's the other evening?" asked Jeremy's botany lab partner, Wes Whittington.

"That was Julie," Jeremy smiled thinking that Wes and Julie would make a nice couple. "I didn't see you at Applebee's."

"I didn't see you either until I was leaving."

"Let's go for a coke and I'll tell you about it," Jeremy said as he made a few last minute notes from their lab assignment.

"Okay spill it," Wes said as he handed Jeremy his coke.

"Julie is in my lit class and also lives in my apartment building," Jeremy said as Wes gave him an impatient look. "We also work out together at the center."

"Forget that, get to the good stuff. How long have you two been dating?"

"I'm not dating Julie. She is a friend, and that's all."

"Why the fuck not, are you crazy? Or are you gay?"

"I'm gay."

"You are not."

"Yeah, I sure am."

The smile disappeared from Wes' face when he realized that Jeremy was serious. There was period of nervousness before Wes finally said, "You're serious, aren't you?"

"I am, and if you want to change lab partners, I understand."

"Hell no, I have an A in Botany because of your help. Besides, the hottest girl on campus is your friend."

"It doesn't bother you that I'm gay?"

"Why should it?"

"Look my uncle is gay and the only time my mother ever stuck me was when I called him a fag. She slapped me so hard that I knew she was really pissed. She sat me down and had long talk with me. She made me see that Uncle Will was the same Uncle Will that he always was, and that he didn't choose to be gay."

"Look, now that you know that I'm gay, I don't go around advertising my sexuality. I prefer to keep it quiet. If someone asks, I won't deny it though."

"Okay, I won't say anything on the condition that you introduce me to Julie."

"Why would she want to meet a skank like you?"

"Come on, I'm serious."

"Alright, we'll be at 4:00 at the Huffman Center to work out. Meet us there and I'll introduce you."

When Jeremy and Julie arrived at the center, Wes was waiting at the door. He was dressed in gym shorts and a tank top. He had a much better body than Jeremy expected. "Wes, this is my friend Julie. Julie, this is Wes."

After their work out, it was Julie that suggested that they all go out for dinner. "Do you live on campus?" She asked Wes.

"No, I live in Moore," Wes said. "I still live at home rather than pay rent. I brought a change of clothes and I thought I would just shower here. What about you two?"

"We rode our bikes here, so we will shower back at our apartments," Jeremy said. "You're welcome to shower at my place."

"That would be good," Wes said.

"We're just a short distance from here at the Park View Apartments; do you know where those are?" Julie asked.

"I've driven past them," Wes said.

"He's hot," Julie said she and Jeremy rode their bikes back to the apartments.

"That's what he said about you," Jeremy said as they rode into the apartment parking lot.

"Did he really?" Julie asked as she looked toward Wes who was standing by his car.

"No, he said you were an ugly pig," Jeremy teased.

"Shut up," she said as she dismounted her bike at the foot of the stairs.

"Grab your bag and come on up," Jeremy called to Wes as he too dismounted his bike. "Julie, just come on over when you're ready. If you hurry, you might even get to see a little skin."

Julie shot him the finger and quickly disappeared inside her apartment.

"You can shower first if you like," Jeremy said. "You'll find a towel in the linen closet next to the bathroom."

Wes came out of the bathroom dressed in jeans that contoured to his great looking butt. He was wearing a dark green shirt that accented his beautiful blue/green eyes.

"Damn, Julie will be all over you," Jeremy said when he saw Wes.

"I hope," Wes laughed.

"Grab something to drink out of the refrigerator while I shower," Jeremy said. "Turn the TV on if you like."

After Jeremy finished his shower and dressed he found Wes drinking a coke and watching the sports. The story was about the Sooners upcoming football game on Saturday. "Are you going to the game?" Jeremy asked Wes.

"I sure am what about you?"

"Yes, I told Julie that I'd go with her. Do you want to go with us?"

"Sure, but do you think it would be okay with Julie?"

"It isn't like we're dating. Besides, she likes you."

"Do you think so?"

"I know so."

The conversation was interrupted by a knock on the door. Jeremy opened the door for Julie and her eyes went directly to Wes. Wes was certainly pleased with what he saw too.

"Where are we going to eat?" Wes asked as they left the apartment.

"Lady's choice," Jeremy said.

"Let's go to O'Connell's," Julie suggested.

O'Connell's is pub and grill on campus corner across from the football stadium and a favorite hangout on game days.

The conversation was lively during dinner and Jeremy saw that there was an attraction between Julie and Wes. Finally Jeremy said, "I have test tomorrow, and I need to get home to study. You two stay and finish your drinks. It's not far and I'll just walk home."

"We can go now," Julie insisted.

"No, stay and enjoy the evening," Jeremy said as he picked up the check to pay.

"Hey, I was going to get that," Wes said.

"I got it," Jeremy said. "I'll let you take care of the tip."

Jeremy walked back to his apartment happy that his two new friends seemed to be becoming an item, yet he was somewhat sad that he was alone. He needed a boyfriend. 'No, that would be cheating on Blake,' his mind told him. He knew that Blake was gone, but he somehow had trouble letting go. 'Could he ever love another, and forget the love he had for Blake?' His mind questioned.

Although Jeremy did have a test the next day, that wasn't the real reason he came home. He wanted to give Wes and Julie some time alone to get to know each other. He read his notes again, mainly because he had nothing better to do.

After studying to the point of boredom Jeremy yawned and decided to go to bed. He stripped down to his brief when there was a knock at his door. He put his pants back on, forgoing the shirt. He opened the door to Julie's smiling face. "Thank you, thank you," she said.

"For what?" Jeremy asked, knowing what she was thanking him for.

"For showing me that hot body of yours," she teased as she ran her hand over his muscular bicep. "You know what asshole. Since I'm not your type, he'll have to do."

"We're going to a movie and dinner Friday; do you want to come along?"

"You know what they say about three being a crowd, besides I'm going home to see a friend play in his high school football game."

"I thought we were going to see the Sooners play Saturday."

"We are I'll be back in time for the game."

It felt strange to Jeremy as he pulled into the driveway of his home in Tahlequah. He had first been unhappy about the move from Davis, California where he had lived from the time of his birth. He soon discovered his Cherokee roots and came to love his new home. Now this was his parents' home, yet a part of him would always feel at home here.

Jeremy wasn't surprised to see Annie in the kitchen helping his mother preparing dinner. Both rushed to hug him when he entered the kitchen.

"Well if it isn't the college man," Allen said when he came to investigate the noise coming from the kitchen. He wrapped his arms around his son and said, "We've missed you around here."

"Go to the game with us?" Jeremy asked Annie during dinner.

"I think I'll do that," Annie said. "I want to see Scott play. I've heard that he is pretty good."

"I've heard that too," Allen said.

"I tried to talk him into going to OU, but he said he wasn't good enough," Jeremy said. "He felt he would have a better chance of a scholarship at NSU."

"We established a college fund for him, as well as his brother and sister," Annie said. "He can go to college anywhere he likes."

"He knows that, but he doesn't want to leave Molly alone when he graduates," Jeremy said.

"We can see that Molly isn't mistreated," Annie said. "Mitch is an ass, but he knows better than to mistreat her. I think that young man is the most mature one in that whole family."

"I see that the Downing family is already here," Annie said when they arrived at the stadium.

Molly spotted Jeremy and rushed over to give him a hug. "Is it okay if I sit with you?" She asked.

"Sure, if it is okay with your mom and dad," Jeremy said.

"Just tell them that I asked you to sit with us," Annie said.

Although it was a loss for the Tahlequah Tigers, it was obvious that Scott was the best player on the team. Jeremy was as proud of him as was Molly. He decided that he would invite Scott to come to Norman and see the Sooners play Saturday. He took out his cell phone and called Julie.

"This had better be an emergency," she answered.

"And you probably shouldn't be doing what you're doing," Jeremy laugh. "I won't keep you long, but I need you to see if you can get an extra ticket to the game tomorrow for a friend."

"Oh, is it for a new boyfriend?"

"No, he is a very straight friend. He is a senior in high school and on the football team. The one I came home to see play."

"Let me ask Wes."

"Yeah, Wes can get one," she said after a few minutes. "It will be a student ticket. I assume he can pass for a student."

"He's mature for a high school senior."

Now all Jeremy had to do was convince Scott to go and to get permission from Mitch. "Tell Scott to call me as soon as he gets home from the game," he said to Molly when the game was over. Will you still be awake?"

"I'll leave him a note if he isn't home when I go to bed. But, you could just call his cell phone and leave him a message."

"Not only are you pretty, but you're smart too," Jeremy said as he kissed her on the cheek. "I didn't think of that."

Jeremy had just about given up on Scott calling when his phone rang. The ID showed it was Scott calling. "Hey," he said. "You played a great game."

"We still lost," Scott said.

"Not because you didn't do your part. The reason I wanted you to call is that I wanted to invite you to go see the Sooners play tomorrow."

"Isn't it difficult to get a ticket?"

"I have a ticket if you'll go. You could spend the night after the game and then drive back home Sunday afternoon."

"Sure I'll go."

"Great, do you need to ask your parents?"

"I don't even ask anymore. Dad would say no and we'd get in a big fight and then I'd do what I wanted anyway. I'd move out if it weren't for Molly. Our family has become one of the most dysfunctional ones you'll ever see."

"At least you have Molly."

"True and we both have your family and Annie."

"You will always be part of our family."

"Thanks Jeremy. That means a lot to me. What time are you leaving tomorrow?"

"I'll be leaving right after lunch. Why don't you come over and have lunch with us tomorrow, and bring Molly with you."

"Sure, what time?"

"I think we should be on the road by one. Game day traffic can be a bitch. Come over around noon. You can follow me down there."

"Okay, good night."

"Good night."

"Do you have the ticket?" Jeremy asked Julie when he called after arriving back at the apartment.

"Wes has it," she said. "He's on his way over now. We'll be over as soon as he gets here."

Jeremy and Scott settled in to watch a game on TV while waiting for Wes and Julie. "Thanks for inviting me," Scott said. "I've never been to an OU game before."

"I hadn't until this year," Jeremy admitted. "But, if you're going you need to be wearing an OU shirt."

"I didn't bring one."

"I'll get you one of mine."

Jeremy couldn't help but notice how muscular and developed Scott had become when he stripped off his shirt to put on the OU shirt. "Damn, you're getting even more muscular," Jeremy said.

"Thanks, I've been working out with your dad."

"I thought he looked more toned."

Wes and Julie arrived with Scott's ticket and they decided to leave early for the game so that Scott could experience Campus Corner on game day. Scott was in awe of the carnival like atmosphere of game day. He bought Molly a souvenir T-shirt.

The student section was already rowdy when the group found their seats. Nick, a student that was in one of Wes' classes was sitting next to them, along with a couple of girls he introduced as Emma and Kendra. It was obvious that Nick and Emma were together. Kendra began flirting with Scott. Jeremy smiled wondering what she might think if she found out he was a high school senior.

The game was a blowout by OU over an outmatched team. Nonetheless it was fun. The group joined the masses at an exit like cattle herded into chute. They made their way to Heisman Park outside the stadium when Julie said, "Everybody is invited to my apartment for snacks."

Kendra took Scott's hand and said, "That sounds good to me."

Julie wasn't kidding about snacks as she brought out a large patter of sandwiches, chips, a vegetable tray, and a variety soft drink.

Kendra maintained her attachment to Scott, hardly taking time to eat. She only left his side long enough to go to the bathroom. "I'm still with Kara," Scott said to Jeremy while she was away. "This girl has attached herself to me."

"Do you want me to talk to her?" Jeremy asked.

"Would you?" Scott asked with a look of relief. "I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I'm not interested in her.

When Kendra came out of the bathroom Jeremy took her by the arm and led her to the kitchen saying, "Could I talk to you for a minute?"

"Just for a minute," she said. "As you can see I'm kind of busy. I intend to take that hunk home with me tonight."

"He has a girlfriend," Jeremy said.

"He won't want his girlfriend when I'm done with him."

"I'd be careful about that if I were you. Do you realize that he is only 17 and still a minor?"

"You're lying to me. There is no way he is 17."

"He sure is. He's a senior at Tahlequah High School."

"Oh well, I'll just tell everybody that he told me he was 18."

"The courts don't care about that, especially when I've informed you that he isn't."

"Go to hell." She then stormed off to find Scott.

Jeremy soon saw Scott sitting on the couch with Kendra in his face pointing her finger. Jeremy decided he should intervene before the argument escalated. "I'm leaving, give me the key to your apartment," Scott said.

"What's going on here?" Julie asked when she saw the argument.

"This fag just called me a whore," Kendra lied.

"Alright, get out of my apartment," Julie said to Kendra. "I allow that word to be used here."

"So, you're a fag hag yourself?" Kendra screamed.

"Nick, get this bitch out of here," Julie said. "You and Emma are welcome to come back if you wish."

"I'm not taking her anywhere," Nick said. "We didn't take her to the game and she can walk. She just saw Emma and me there and came in with us."

"I'm not going out there alone at this time of the night," Kendra protested.

"Then I suggest you call a cab," Nick said.

"I'm not going," Kendra protested.

"I suggest you do otherwise, I'll call the police to remove you," Julie said as her voice was getting louder.

"I'll just tell them that you were throwing me out because I found this," Kendra said as she took a bag of marijuana out of her purse.

"Do you think the police will take your word over six of us?" Julie countered. "No go before I call the police and they find that dope on you."

Kendra left the apartment slamming the door hard as she left. There was a moment of uncomfortable silence when Emma said, "I'm sorry, I didn't know she was such a slut and bitch."

The group chatted for another 30 minutes or so when Jeremy said, "It's been a long day. I'm going to bed. Good night."

"I'm sorry," Scott quietly said as they entered Jeremy's apartment.

"You have no reason to be," Jeremy said.

"I should have handled that differently."

"No you did nothing wrong. Let's get some sleep and forget about it."

"That sounds good to me. I'm tired and if you don't mind I'll just sleep on your couch rather than bothering with the air mattress."

"Look, my bed is a queen size and there is plenty of room. I don't mind sharing, if you don't."

"I don't mind, that is providing you don't snore."

When Jeremy woke he was surprised that it was almost 10:00 in the morning. Scott was still sleeping peacefully next to him. He quietly got out of bed and slipped on some cargo shorts and a T-shirt. After relieving his bladder and washing his face he made a pot of coffee and started breakfast.

Jeremy heard the shower start. Apparently the smell of bacon had woken Scott. He came into the kitchen with his hair slightly wet from his shower. The wetness made it shine and appear even blacker than normal. No wonder Kendra was all over him, she just happened to be a bitch doing so.

"That smells good," Scott said as he poured himself a glass of orange juice.

"I guess pancakes and bacon is okay for breakfast." He placed a plate of steaming pancakes in front of Scott.

"You know me, I love pancakes. I didn't know you could cook."

"Mom and Dad made sure I could cook. I didn't cook much at home because both are great cooks."

Shortly after breakfast it was time for Scott to make the drive back home. "I had a great time. Thanks for inviting me," he said as he gave Jeremy a brotherly hug.

"You're welcome anytime. I hope you'll change your mind and come here for college."

"Jeremy, you know I can't do that. I would love to be here, but I know that if I want to play football it will be NSU for me."

"I think you're wrong, but you'll have to see that for yourself."






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