A Honeysuckle Home
“It isn’t much,” Aaron apologized when he opened the door to show Paul where he would be living.
“It beats living on the streets and in fear that my dad might see me and kill me,” Paul said.
“There’s only the one air mattress, so we’ll have to share the same bed. There really isn’t room for another bed. I’ve rigged a rope to hang clothes from. When we go into town we’ll get some more hangers for your clothes. I keep my underwear in that plastic storage container. We’ll get one for you.”
“What do you do about doing laundry?
“I wash clothes in one of those plastic buckets, rinse them in the creek, and I hang them to dry on a rope that I string from the trees.”
“Where do we use the bathroom?”
“Come and I’ll show you. Here is where I get my water,” Aaron pointed out when they walked past the spring. “That concrete box in the water is my refrigerator. I think the people that lived here before didn’t have electricity and also used it for keeping food. The water is cold and it helps keep my milk from spoiling. There is where the house was. I think it must have burned down. And, over there is the outhouse. The door was about to fall off, but I bought some screws and a screwdriver and fixed it.”
“Where do you bathe?”
“I tried bathing in the creek, but it was really cold, so I bought a sun heated portable shower.”
“What do you do about meals?”
“Are you getting hungry?”
“No, that hamburger that we got on the way here filled me up. I was just curious about meals in general.”
“Come back inside and I’ll show you.”
“How did you learn to use this?” Paul asked when Aaron was showing him the camp stove and lantern.
“My dad used to take me camping, and I also learned a lot in the Boy Scouts. Actually he wasn’t my real dad. Eric moved in and took care of me after my grandma died. My mom is a prostitute and on drugs. After Dad was killed in a car crash, Mom and her street thug boyfriend sold me to a pervert. When he tried to rape me I ran, and when he was chasing after me he fell off the steps. I think he broke his neck and it killed him. I didn’t stay around to find out. I got my things and rode away on his bicycle.”
“Was his name Gavin Bannister?”
“I don’t know his last name, but his first name was Gavin. How did you know?”
“Dude, he lived a few blocks from me. I’m surprised you didn’t say something when we went to my house.”
“I was only there one day when I ran away. I didn’t recognize anything.”
“We always called him Weird Gavin. He tried to pick up different boys in the neighborhood. But, he isn’t dead. His neighbor found him and called 911. He’s now paralyzed from the waist down.”
“Good for that bastard. You mentioned that your dad would kill you if he saw you. Why do you think he would do that?” As bad as Kathy was, Aaron thought she would never actually want to kill him.
“I’m confident that he killed my mom.”
“No shit? What makes you think that?”
“Let me start from the beginning. My parents met in Korea when my dad was an army doctor. My mom was a nurse and worked for the U.S. Army. My dad was always demanding, and he let us know that he was the boss.”
“My dad would go to visit his family, but he never took mom or me. Five years ago when I was ten, his mom just showed up at the house for a visit. She was mean and hateful to Mom and me. After she left Dad was really mean to us, but more so to Mom. He called us ‘slant eyed gooks’ and ‘kinks.’ He wouldn’t let Mom have any contact with her family back in Korea.”
“He got worse as time went by. He would slap me around some, but he was really hard on Mom. After a while, I think Mom got to the point she couldn’t take it anymore. She began to argue back with him. One night it got really bad. They were yelling into the night. When it stopped I was so exhausted that I fell right to sleep. The next morning when I got up to go to school Mom wasn’t around. I asked Dad where she was and he said she went back to Korea.”
“I didn’t believe for a minute that she went back to Korea. She would never have left me without at least saying goodbye. I later found her passport, and she would have needed that since she is now an American citizen.”
“What do you think happened to her?”
“I think my Dad killed her and did something with her body. He is that mean. He is an orthopedic surgeon and has a large practice. He was embarrassed about having a Korean wife and son. He never took us out in public unless he had to.”
“I guess I had a pretty good life then. My grandma and dad took good care of me while they were alive.”
Paul became silent with a worried look, and then said, “We can’t live here forever. How are we going to live?”
“Before I ran away from Gavin’s house I took some money from his wallet. Also, my dad had the foresight to open an account for me, and I have a lawn mowing job in town that I earn a little money. When we turn 18, we’ll legally be on our own.”
“You saw how little money I have, and it will cost more for two of us to eat than just you. I can’t ask you to support me too.”
“What would you do? We’re in this together. Someway we’ll manage to make it. I have to go mow Mrs. Hughes’ lawn tomorrow. We’ll ask her if she knows of anyone else we could mow for. Hey, I’m getting hungry. How about having beef stroganoff for dinner?”
“I love it, but with no refrigeration, how do you have the things to make it?”
“I use canned meat and I’ve even learned how to make a substitute sour cream.”
Paul was impressed at Aaron’s skills cooking camp style. He was equally impressed with the delicious stroganoff. After dinner Paul volunteered to wash the dishes since Aaron had cooked. However, Aaron had to show him how to heat water on the stove.
“If you want to shower, I’ll show you how to use the solar shower,” Aaron said. “You’ll have to remember to wet down, and then soap up. After you wash up, you can turn the water back on and rinse off. If you do it that way there will be plenty of water for both of us to shower.”
“Okay, how does this work?” Paul asked when Aaron showed him the shower.
“This is how you turn the water on and off,” Aaron said. “That’s pretty much it. I found these concrete blocks in that old barn and put them here to stand on while showering. It got muddy here before I did that.”
“I’ll save hot water for you.”
“If you don’t I can always use the creek. It’s cold, but I’ve bathed in it in the past.”
“How did you sleep?” Aaron asked when they woke the next morning.
“Great, I guess I was really tired.”
“You’re face is really bruised today. Do you think you should go with me to mow Mrs. Hughes’ lawn?”
“We can just tell her that some guys jumped me and took what little money I had.”
“That might work. I’ll fix breakfast and then we’ll go into town.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“You could fill those jugs with water from the spring. We’ll have bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast. Oh, if you don’t mind, you could bring the milk and butter from the spring too. I’ll get the coffee started. Do you drink coffee?”
“I don’t drink coffee, but I’d like to try some. Is the bacon at the spring too?”
“No, I’d be afraid to try keeping bacon there. I found some canned bacon that taste as good as any I’ve had. I buy fresh eggs from a farmer between here and town. He said that eggs that have never been refrigerated will keep for a month. He also gives me fresh vegetables from his garden at times. ”
“Wow, you have this wilderness living down to a science.”
Having satisfied themselves with a good breakfast, and after washing the dishes, the two set out to town. “Mrs. Hughes, this is my friend, Paul,” Aaron said. “He was attacked by some thugs and they took what little money he had. He will be helping me today so that he can earn a little money.”
“Oh you poor boy,” Mrs. Hughes said. “Are you sure you are up to working?”
“It isn’t as bad as it looks,” Paul said.
“Mrs. Hughes, do you think some of your neighbors might have some work for us?” Aaron asked.
“I’ll call some of my friends while you’re mowing,” Mrs. Hughes said.
“Good news,” Mrs. Hughes said after the boys had finished mowing. “I have two new clients for you. I told them that you would probably do it for $20 and they provide the gas and lawnmower. I talked to my daughter who lives in Atlanta, and she said that the $15 I pay was too little. She said that I should be paying you $20 also. I’ve written down the names and addresses of the people that want you to mow for them.”
“Wow that would be $60 a week,” Paul said as they went to mow the next lawn.
“We need to stop at the bicycle shop and get you a grocery basket for your bike,” Aaron said after they finished mowing and collected their money.
“How much would that cost?”
“I paid 20 something for mine. You’ll need it because that’s how we haul things from town back home. We need to stock up on food, because when winter comes it will be difficult to bring that stuff home.”
“What will we do to keep warm this winter?”
“We’ll use that wood stove. We probably should get a couple of bow saws and start stockpiling wood for the winter.”
The boys picked up two more lawns to mow and a few odd jobs before the summer’s end. They were making just over $100 a week. “School starts next week,” Aaron said one day. “We’ll have to do our lawn work after the end of the school day or on Saturdays. If we’re seen in public during school hours people might ask questions.”
“I hate not getting to go to school.”
“I know what you mean, Paul. We’ll just have to take the GED test if we want to go to college.”
“It’s going to be boring around here this winter when we can’t get out as much.”
“This weekend we’ll check out the yard sales and stock up on used books.”
One autumn evening Paul said, “It is starting to get cold out. I dread showering outside when it gets this cold.”
“We could use that big wash tub to take a bath in.”
“Why don’t we just heat water and fill the solar shower. We could hang the shower from a beam and stand in the tub to catch the water.”
“Hey, you’re getting very wise in this wilderness living. I’m proud of you.”
One chilly autumn morning Aaron woke with Paul spooning him. He could tell that Paul had an erection. When he moved Paul woke and said, “Oh man, I’m sorry. I guess I got cold last night.”
“Don’ worry about it.”
“I’ll admit that I find you extremely good looking. But, I wouldn’t do anything to cause you to throw me out. I’m gay, but I’m not going to attack you.”
“It looks like you have the weapon for it,” Aaron tried to make light of the matter. “I think you’d better go piss before that thing pops.”
Both boys dressed and went outside to relieve themselves. “We need to get some sort of camping toilet so that we don’t have to use that outhouse when it gets really cold,” Aaron said. “We’ll look for something the next time we go into town.”
“It is cold in here,” Paul said when they went back inside.
“Yeah, it is. If you’ll start the coffee and breakfast, I’ll get a fire started in the stove.”
By the time breakfast was ready the wood fire in the stove was beginning to warm up the place. While they were eating Paul said, “You know I think we might be able to cook on that stove and save gas.”
“I think you’re right. We could cook stew, beans and things like that.”
Aaron poured Paul and himself a second cup of coffee, and then said, “Paul, we need to talk about this morning.”
“I really am sorry. I guess I got cold.”
“Look Paul, you can’t panic when things like that happen. Besides, I find you attractive.”
“You what? You mean?”
“I guess I’m gay too, because I really want to kiss you.”
They kissed gently on the lips, and then with more passion. “What next?” Paul asked after several passionate kisses.
“I think we should take it one step at a time,” Aaron said. “I don’t know much about gay sex, but what we were doing felt great.”
“Yeah, you’re a great kisser. All I know about gay sex is what I’ve read on the internet. I’ve never had any kind of sex, so I know that I’m negative.”
“It’s the same with me.”
“Maybe we should limit it to oral for now. If we decide on anal sex we’ll have to buy some lube.”
“Yeah, we’re young and should go slow.”
After dinner Aaron filled the solar shower with warm water that had been heated on the wood stove. “Do you want to shower first or second?” He asked Paul.
“Why don’t we shower together and save water?”
Aaron soaped Paul down and then shampooed his hair for him, and then Paul did the same for Aaron. After rinsing off they then toweled each other off in between kisses. Both had growing erections from the beginning. Paul then took Aaron’s hand and led him to the bed. After several minutes of fervent kissing, Paul worked his way down to Aaron’s raging erection. When Paul took the erect penis in his mouth Aaron couldn’t believe the sensation. Although Aaron had masturbated earlier when he went to the outhouse, he unloaded a large amount of semen into Paul’s mouth.
After they cuddled and kissed for a while, Aaron said, “I want to do you now.” He took Paul’s erection into his mouth. He was surprised at the feeling of a penis in his mouth. It was smooth, yet very hard. This was more pleasant than he expected. He had never expected to get pleasure by giving oral sex. He was doing it to please Paul.
“What are we doing about Thanksgiving dinner?” Paul asked the Monday before Thanksgiving. “I can’t see us cooking a turkey in that tiny camp stove oven.”
“We’ll figure something out. We’ll go into town Wednesday and shop for Thanksgiving dinner.”
“Wouldn’t the stores all be crowded on Wednesday?”
“Without refrigeration we need to wait until then.”
“Since it is cold outside couldn’t we just store it outside?”
“Before I put a cover on the box in the spring an animal got into my food. I suspect that it was a raccoon. I was really pissed because that cost me good money.”
Wednesday morning Aaron and Paul made their way into town to shop for Thanksgiving dinner. Their first stop was an ATM. Aaron was pleased that this was his first withdraw from his account. They purchased a precooked turkey breast, stove top stuffing, canned yams, brown and serve rolls, and a pumpkin pie.
The boys managed to have most of the Thanksgiving dinner menu items ready at the same time by using the camp stove as well as the wood stove. They placed their folding TV trays so they were facing each other. They enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving meal that was completed with pumpkin pie.
With Christmas approaching the boys decided to limit gift purchases to $10 each. They found a small tree and decorated it with wild holly berries and popcorn strung on strings. They decided to buy a canned ham the next time they went to town and be prepared in case the weather turned bad.
While shopping in town, the boys decided to separate to purchase the Christmas gifts. They had decided to purchase gifts that both could enjoy, thus doubling the effects of the gift. Aaron found “We Took to the Woods” a book about living in the Maine backwoods. Paul found a book, “Wilderness Cuisine,” for Aaron. Rather than buy gift wrap, they decided to use aluminum foil, and reuse the foil.
Paul woke first on Christmas morning. After turning the transistor radio on and tuning it to a station that was playing Christmas music, he woke Aaron with a kiss and, “Merry Christmas, Babe.”
“Merry Christmas to you too,” Aaron said after returning a kiss to Paul.
“Open your gift,” Paul excitedly said.
“I have to piss first.”
“Do as I did. I used the porta potty, and while you do that I’ll start the coffee.”
Aaron hardly had time to wash his hand before Paul was handing him his gift. “Go ahead and open it.”
“Let’s open our gifts at the same time.” Both boys were pleased with their gifts, and they couldn’t have been happier.
“What are we having for Christmas dinner?” Paul asked as he helped Aaron cleanup after breakfast.
“Are you hungry already?”
“No, I was just curious.”
“We’ll have that ham, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, some of those brown and serve rolls, and for dessert we’ll have rice pudding.”
“It all sound delicious.”
Surprisingly, boredom wasn’t a problem for the rest of the winter. Paul and Aaron kept busy gathering firewood and in their spare time they did a lot of reading. Winter finally gave way to spring and the blooming of dogwoods. As the grass began to grow, Aaron and Paul resumed their lawn mowing business.
“What do you want for your birthday?” Paul asked Aaron shortly before his sixteenth birthday.
“What I’d really like to have is a pizza.”
“Then pizza it is.”
“It has been a year since I’ve had a pizza. I have almost forgotten they taste,” Aaron said.
“I’ll get to enjoy your birthday too.”
“Your birthday is in two weeks. What would you like?”
“A movie with popcorn sounds good.”
“We’re blowing money like we have plenty,” Paul said after they had order a pizza supreme and drinks on Aaron’s birthday. “But, I think you’re worth it.”
“With our lawn mowing income we’ll be in decent shape. We’ve hardly touched our savings. That reminds me, we need to go into Clinton next week and pick up the back statement at the post office.”
“What do you mean by ‘our’ savings?”
“I mean that it’s our savings because what’s mine is yours. We’re in this together.”
The following week, and after a big breakfast, Aaron and Paul prepared for their bike ride to Clinton. They filled their water bottles and began the two hour ride. “I’ll wait out here and keep a watch on our bikes,” Paul said when they arrived at the post office.
Aaron opened the envelope and was reading the statement when he heard, “Aaron Decker, we’ve been looking for you.”