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a quick retreat

Chapter Eight

By Owen Hudson September 2007

Mason had a surprise for me on my birthday, a party. His parents were out of town and he had their approval for a little party on my birthday. He had asked me to come by for a birthday dinner, and he had prepared a nice steak dinner for me. However, I was surprised when a few acquaintances began to arrive. I was both pleased and pissed at Mason. I still hadn't learned to trust many people. But, I was now eighteen and I decided that it was time to let my guard down.

Drinks were served, but I was hesitant about drinking. I knew what alcohol did to my parents. At Mason's insistence, I finally agreed to a drink. After only two drinks I began to get a buzz and decided to just stick to Cokes. I even refused Cokes out of a glass because I was afraid that someone might spike my drink.

Mason began to get smashed and silly. While I didn't really object to a few social drinks, I hated being around drunks. I guess it had something to do with my parents being drunks. As the gang became more intoxicated they became louder. I decided to just leave. I'll admit that I was pissed at Mason.

Soon after I arrived home George came knocking on my door. "You're home early. Are you okay?" He asked.

"Yeah I'm fine," I said. "Everybody was getting drunk and I didn't feel comfortable around so many drunks."

"Was Mason drunk too?"

"Yes, he was silly drunk."

"Well now that you're home, I have something for you. Happy birthday, son."

George handed me a birthday card and inside was the title to his truck that I had been driving. "Oh Grandpa, this is too much and I can't accept this."

"Jeff, haven't we had this discussion before? I think of you as my grandson and I want to do this. Besides, I never drove that old thing."

"Thank you, Grandpa. I love you."

You're welcome, and I love you too."

George and I chatted for an hour or so and then he decided that it was his bed time. Since it was Friday, I had the next day off work. I decided to do some reading. After I had gone to bed there was a loud banging on my door. My first thought was, "Something is wrong with George."

I opened the door to a still inebriated Mason. "What in the hell is wrong with you, you fucking drunk asshole? I thought you had better sense than to get out on the road drunk."

"You left in the middle of your party."

"No Mason, I left in the middle of your party," I angrily replied. "I would have been happy to have just had a quiet dinner with you."

"I planned this for you, and you left without even saying goodbye."

"Yeah, and it only took you two hours to discover that I was gone."

"I could have just taken you to McDonalds for your birthday."

"Maybe you should have."

"Fuck you, Jeff. I'm going home."

"Not in your condition you're not."

"Then drive me home."

"No, you'll stay here, and not in my bed either. I'm tired and don't care to have a drunk in my bed. I'll fix you a bed here on the couch, but if you puke on it I'll kick your ass."

When I woke up the next morning, Mason was still sleeping. I fixed a pot of coffee and by the time it was ready Mason was awake. I could tell that he had a terrible hangover. I smiled to myself thinking, "Serves him right."

"Oh fuck, my head hurts," he said as he made his way to the bathroom.

After Mason did his business in the bathroom I handed him a cup of coffee and a couple of Tylenol.

"I'm sorry," he said after he washed the Tylenol down with a swig of coffee. "You were right and I was wrong."

"Yes you were," I said. "But, what I'm really furious about is that you drove over here drunk. Not only could you have killed yourself, but you could have killed others."

"I know that was stupid of me, but if you had stayed I wouldn’t have come looking for you."

"Don't go blaming your stupidity on me, you asshole. Why did you think it was necessary to get so damn drunk anyway?"

"Don't be such a stiff, it was fun."

"Is that fucking hangover fun?"

"Hell no," he said with a grin. "But, why are you so upset about me having a few drinks?"

"Look Mason, I don't care that you had a few drinks. You went too far. You were drunk and then like a fool you drove over here drunk."

"Oh fuck, I did screw up. You're not going to tell Mom and Dad are you?"

"Hell yes I'm going to tell them."

"Please no, Babe. Don't tell them, please. They'll revoke my driving privileges until I'm on Medicare."

"If we had a kid that did something stupid like you did, what would you do?"

"Yeah, I see your point. If I promise to never drink again, will you not tell?"

"Look Hon, I don't care if you have a drink. But, I do care that you get drunk and out of control like you did. Remember, I lived with drunken parents until I came here."

Mason tried to kiss me and I turned away from him and said, "Yuck, your breath, go brush your teeth."

Mason and I put our second fight behind us. Work was going well and I became very interested in the Phillips' custody case of David. Each time they came to the office David came looking for me. I guess he reminded me of me when I was his age. I always felt sad and brooded around after they left the office. I guess Mason noticed this and asked, "Okay, what's bothering you?"

"Nothing is bothering me."

"Bullshit, I know better."

"I guess I just get pissed off about what David's parents did to him."

"He reminds you of you, right?"

"I guess you could say that."

"Go back and confront them."

"Confront who?"

"Your parents."

"No, I couldn't do that."

"Why not, you're an adult now? With the muscles that you've developed your dad would be a fool to attack you now."

"I'm not afraid of him anymore, but I just can't go back."

"You should, you need closure on your past."

"Jeff, he's right," Steve said. I hadn't noticed him entering the room. "Next month is spring break and you should go. Mason can go with you. I'll even go if you want me to. You two could go over spring break."

"Come on, Jeff," Mason said. "I've never been to Chicago before."

"Let me think about it, okay?" I asked. "I think I need to talk to Grandpa about it."

George agreed with Mason and Steve that I should go back to Illinois over spring break. "I think you need to put that past behind you," he said. "Until you do, you'll always be looking over your shoulder, even if you are an adult now."

The court date for David's custody finally came. I was thrilled when I learned that the Phillips had won. I guess that's what helped me decide to go to Illinois. I wondered what my life would have been like had I been adopted by a couple like the Phillips.

Jeff and I left right after school on Friday. We wanted to drive to St. Louis and then visit the Arch. I had seen it on my bus ride when I first ran away. Jeff had been there before, but he wanted to visit it with me. We drove to Rolla, Missouri and found a hotel room for the night. We planned on driving the next morning on to St. Louis.

I wanted to just find a clean but inexpensive motel, but Mason insisted that this was a mini vacation and we ended up staying at a Holiday Inn. I know, to some that's not an expensive motel, but to me it was. Mason insisted that his dad had given him a credit card to use as a reward for our hard work for the law firm. I didn't believe a word of it, but I was too tired to argue.

The desk clerk gave us "the look" when Mason requested room with one king bed. After checking into our room, we found a Red Lobster and had a nice dinner. When we returned to our room we started undressing as soon as the door was closed. "Make love to me," he said after a long passionate kiss.

"That's what I plan on doing," I said as my lips searched for his again.

"No, I want you to fuck me."

"Are you sure?"

"I've never been surer about anything in my life."

"What about lube?"

"I brought some. I've been thing about this since we decided to go to Chicago. You've made me so happy since we met. This is my gift to you."

Neither of us was experienced at anal sex, but it seemed natural to us. I put some lube on his hole and then my finger. When I inserted my finger in he moaned, but I wasn't sure if it were from pain or pleasure. "Relax, Babe," I said.

After a few minutes he said, "Oh man, that feels good."

When he was relaxed and loose, I lubed my eager cock and began to insert it in his hole. I could feel him tighten up as the head of my cock began to penetrate. "Relax," I said again. "I'm not going to hurt you."

I slowly worked my cock into him and he began to beg me to fuck him. I began to increase the depth and rate of my strokes. We were both moaning with pleasure. "I'm going to cum," he moaned. He then spewed cum over both of us. Before he finished I was pumping cum in his ass.

"That was awesome," he said as he pull me all the way down on him and began kissing me.

We lay in each other's arms in bliss for several minutes and then we decided to shower together to wash his come off. I loved touching his muscular body as I washed him. When I finished with him he then washed me. After we showered and went to bed, we wrapped ourselves in each other's arms again. Soon we were both in a peaceful sleep.

The St. Louis Arch was awesome, but not the same as the Grand Canyon had been. I think Mason said it best when he said, "No matter what men create they can never compare to God's creations."

After seeing the Arch, we continued on our way to Chicago with a stop in Springfield for lunch. We arrived in my old neighborhood by mid afternoon. It was a surreal feeling to me when we parked in front of my former home. It was quiet with no activity in the area at all. I was sure that my parents were home since both cars were there. As we approached the door I could feel my stomach churn. I don't think what I felt wasn't fear; anger maybe, but not fear.

Mason took my hand and said, "It's alright, Babe. Nobody can hurt you now."

We rang the doorbell and waited several minutes before my mom finally came to the door. I really don't know what I expected, but she was obviously drunk. I was shocked at what the alcohol had done to her over the time I was gone. Mom had once been a beautiful woman. "Well, it looks like the little faggot has come home." She then yelled, "Honey, your faggot son is here."

My dad came to the door and said, "What do you want you goddamn fag?"

"I came to get the rest of my things," I calmly said.

"You don't have anything here," he said as he started to close the door.

Before Dad could close the door, Mason stuck his foot in the door and said, "We're coming in to get his things with or without your permission."

We walked into the entranceway when I caught a glimpse of Dad's fist swing toward me. It was obvious that he was drunk and also not as fast as I was. I hit him before he could hit me and knocked him to the floor. Mom came toward me with a large flashlight that Dad normally carried in his truck. Before she could hit me, Mason blocked her swing with his arm and said, "Don't think I won't hit you just because you're a woman. Especially after the things you've done to your own son. Now Jeff, go get your thing.

Dad attempted to protest and said, "You're not taking a think and I'm calling the cops."

"You move and I'll kick your goddamn teeth in," Mason threatened. "I don't think you'll want to call the cops anyway. Jeff was a minor when you beat the shit out of him."

Dad immediately sat back down and I went to my room while Mason kept guard over my drunken parents. There really weren't many things left that I wanted. The few items of clothing no longer fit me. I found some school pictures of myself, my award for first place on my fifth grade science project, and several other items from my boyhood. As I was leaving my former room, I remember that I had hid my journal under my mattress. I then realized that my room was exactly as I had left it, even the same comforter was on the bed. I pulled the mattress up and there was my journal just as I had left it.

As we exited the door I heard my dad yelled, "I'm calling the cops as soon as you leave."

Mason and I both turned and walked back toward him and I said, "You do that, you worthless piece of shit. I'll have your ass in jail for abuse of a minor."

I sat in Mason's car and felt both anger and relief. I realized that Mason was right about coming here for closure. I knew that there was nothing left here for me and that my home was in Arkansas. I had a new family now. I had put together a new family. My visit had proved that I no longer had to fear the people that had abused me.

"Where to now, Babe?" Mason's question interrupted my thoughts.

"I'd like to find Tom,"

"Do you know where he lives?"

"Yes, he said that they had bought the Reiner place. I used to mow Mrs. Reiner's lawn before she had to go live in a nursing home."

We rang the doorbell and a very pretty woman answer. "Is Tom here?" I asked.

"Yes, he's in his room," she said. "Come on in. Tom, you have company."

I thought Tom's jock looking older brother had come down the stairs when he came to greet us. He looked hot. He stopped at the bottom of the stairs with his mouth gaping open and then he asked, "Jeff is that really you?"

"It's really me," I said as Tom gave me a big bear hug.

"Oh my God, I've wondered what ever happened to you. You look great."

"I could say the same about you. You look like a jock now."

"Thanks, my brother Tony put me on a weight training plan. It's so good to see you again. I've done internet searches for you and couldn't find a trace of you. I wasn't sure if you were dead or alive."

"When I ran away, I ended up living in Arkansas."

"I'm so sorry for the trouble that I caused when I kissed you."

"You, mean I wasn't the first guy you kissed?" Mason teased.

"Oh my God, you mean…" Tom said.

"Oh I'm sorry Tom; I forgot to introduce you to my boyfriend. Tom, this is Mason."

After greeting Mason, Tom said, "Come on up to my room. I want you to meet somebody."

"Craig, this is Jeff and his boyfriend Mason," Tom said. "Jeff and Mason, this is my boyfriend, Craig."

"Do you mean the Jeff that you've been searching for all this time?" Craig asked.

"The same one," Tom said. "What brings you guys here after all this time?"

"Mason thought I needed closure," I said. "After I turned eighteen I knew that my parents couldn't control where I live."

"Mason is right," Tom said. "Have you gone there yet?"

"We sure did," Mason answered for me. "Jeff had to knock his dad on his ass though."

"You guys are staying for dinner, aren't you?" Tom asked as he laughed. "I want you to tell me all about your encounter with your parents."

"We still have to find a room," I said.

"Why don't you stay here?" Tom asked. "We have a spare bedroom in the basement."

"We wouldn't want to impose," Mason said.

"You wouldn't be imposing," Tom said. "You would have some privacy down there too and you could get as loud as you wanted."

Both Mason and I blushed and I asked, "Are you sure it would be okay with your parents?"

"Sure it would," Tom assured us. "But, if it will make you feel any better lets go down and ask mom now.

Mrs. Rossi insisted that we stay in their spare bedroom. She cooked the most delicious Italian dinner I'd ever had. During dinner the conversation was friendly and the Rossi family made us feel welcome. "How long will you guys be here?" Mr. Rossi asked.

"A couple more days," I said. "I want to show Mason a few places while we're here. Do you want to go with us, Tom?"

"Damn, I have to work tomorrow," Tom said. "Maybe we could do something after I get off work."

"That sounds great," Mason said.

"Why don't you bring your things in and I'll show you your room," Tom offered. "There's a bathroom there that you can use."

"Thanks, and if you don't mind, I think we'll go to bed early," I said. "It's been an exhausting day."

Mason and I brought in our things, and as I was preparing to take a shower, Mason said, "I forgot my cell phone on the charger in the car. Go ahead and start your shower, and I'll go out and get it. I want to call Mom and Dad."

"What are you doing reading my journal?" I asked Mason when I saw him reading my journal when I came out of the shower.

"Oh fuck Babe, I'm sorry," Mason said. "I wasn't thinking. I had no right to read your private writings."

"Don't worry about it, Hon. You know all about my abuse anyway."

"But, I never realized how sever it was. I won't read anymore if you don't want me to. Why don't you just tell me about it? Maybe talking about will be good for you."

"You were right about facing my parents. Where should I start?"

"Why don't you start with the tree?"

"When my dad was home, I just knew that I was going to get the shit beat out of me. I used to hide in the storage shed until one night he came into the back yard yelling for me. I managed to escape before he could beat me. That first night I slept in the park. I suppose I should say that I sat in the park. I didn't get much sleep. The next day I sneaked into the house before my parents sobered up and got some food. I ran into the woods behind the house."

"I wandered around until I saw this huge tree. I noticed that it was hollow and there was enough room for me to crawl inside. I decided that this would be a good hiding place for me. I put some brush in front of the hollow portion so that it would be difficult for anyone to see. I then found a piece of tarp in our storage shed and tacked it over the hollow portion."

"I later found a sleeping bag for $10.00 at a garage sale. I also bought an air mattress. When it wasn't wet or really cold I slept on the air mattress outside the tree. However, when it was cold or wet I slept inside the hollow tree. Of course when I was inside the tree I had to sleep sitting up. But, that was better than being wet or cold."

"Oh Babe, nobody shouldn't have to live like that." Mason said. He was crying now.

"It's okay, I now have you." I continued my story. "There's a spring near the tree and I had a source of drinking water. When it turned cold I stayed reasonably warm by crawling inside the sleeping bag and wearing my heavy coat. I even had a battery powered radio to listen to. I was usually able to sneak inside the house if I got there early enough because my parents would still be passed out. On occasion I'd get caught and my dad would beat the crap out of me. I don't think I would have survived if I hadn't found that tree."

"Weren't you afraid?" Mason asked.

"Compared to the alternative, no I wasn't. One night I did hear rustling in the woods not far from my tree. At first I thought maybe it might be my dad. Then I thought maybe it might be a bear. I didn't want to be trapped inside the tree by a bear or my dad. I quietly crawled out of the tree and came face-to-face with a huge whitetail buck. I don't know who was more surprised, the buck or me."

Mason and I talked for another couple of hours. He wanted to see my tree and I also wanted to see it again. We were both too emotionally drained to think about sex. I fell asleep with Mason spooned against me and his arm draped over my shoulder.

We decided to grab breakfast sandwiches at McDonalds and then go to the park near my former house to eat our breakfast. It was a cold late March morning, but neither of us seemed mind. As soon as we finished our breakfast and coffee we went into the woods to find my tree. I wasn't sure if I could find it after being away for two years. However, I had no trouble finding my tree; I guess because I spent so much time there.

"Wow, that is a huge tree," Mason remarked when he saw the tree.

Much to my surprise, my sleeping bag and air mattress were still inside the tree. The sleeping bag was still sealed inside the protective bag. "Do you want to take them with us?" Mason asked.

"No, let's leave them here. You never know when someone in my situation may find them useful."

We took Tom and Craig out to dinner that evening. Mason and I decided to go back home the next morning. We were both anxious to get home. The word home really meant something to me now. I was really going home. I had faced my demons from my past and they no longer frightened me.

On or drive home Mason said, "Babe, will you let me give your journal to my dad to read?"

"It's okay if he reads it, but why do you want him to read it?"

"I have a reason, but let me have him read it then I'll tell you."

I didn't know what was in there that Mason wanted his dad to see, but to me it was just some writings about my nightmarish past.

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