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the reunion show

Chapter Ten

“Want some sausage, Scotty?” I asked, taking it out of the refrigerator. He turned and smiled at me.

“Maybe later,” he said.

“Um…kielbasa?” He burst out laughing at this.

“You’re a piece of work, Logan,” he said.

“You wanna piece of what?” This time we were being loud and goofy for the others’ entertainment.

But I could hardly breathe. It looked like he and I wanted the same thing: each other.

Seven weeks of waiting? Oh God, can I do it? I asked myself. Can I wait that long? It’d be a long, hard wait. I-yi-yi!

* * * * * * * * *

No time to worry about that now. We all headed out to see a movie and then grabbed some dinner at Chili’s. It was really fun just hanging out with everyone and I was glad that I had decided to participate in the show. Telling my parents that I was gay was really a huge burden lifted. I should have known that they’d be ok with it. Even though I was raised going to church my parents never really were stringent Christians, meaning they didn’t take everything in the Bible literally. Usually people who do will live their life strictly by one part and not another perhaps more difficult part.

I guess, too, that the crowd I was with had me pretty relaxed. We were all in our late 20’s and since none of us were raging maniacs everyone seemed to have a cool attitude towards me. While we were eating, a few people asked me questions about me being gay. At first I thought it was bizarre that they’d ask but then figured, if you meet a mechanic and you don’t know what mechanics do then you’d ask him questions, right? Sure you would.

Deanna had the most questions—surprise!

“So Mike how many guys have you dated?” she asked during dinner.

“Well, not a whole helluva lot.”

“What, are you picky?” Charlie, who was sitting next to Scott, asked with a grin.

“Yeah,” I said looking at Scott quickly “I’m fairly picky. Some guys just don’t do it for me.”

“What kind?” asked Freddie. Poor onion farmer.

“Guys who—“

“aren’t like Scott!” Deanna interrupted and everyone laughed. I gave her one of my mean Italian looks and kicked her under the table.

“Oof! I was just kidding. Bastard.”

I laughed at her.

“I’ve dated a few guys but none of them lasted more than two or three dates. I’m a bit of a loner, I guess,” I said with a smile.

“But you’re working on that, aren’t you Logan.” Scott said.

He was sitting a bit diagonal from me so I slipped one of my knees between both of his, not trying to be overtly sexual. I just wanted to touch him. “Yessir, I am.”

“Where do you normally meet guys?” Jessica asked.

“On reality television shows.” Everyone laughed at this. I chuckled too. “I don’t know. I meet plenty of guys at church, but usually they’re married. Plus we’re at church, so what am I gonna do, right? Usually it’s a friend of a friend sort of thing.”

“You go to church?” from Deanna, who looked somewhat surprised.

“Yeah.” Duh! “Don’t you know any guys who go to church?”

“Well yeah,” she said, “it’s just I don’t know many gay guys who do.”

“Oh well. I can sort of understand why, but there’s a lot more than just the ‘abomination’ thing mentioned in the Bible. We can’t all agree with everything all the time. If we did we’d all be myrmidons,” I said.

“What’s that?” Samantha asked.

“It means ‘mindless followers’. I just can’t take one or two sentences out of the whole Bible, which in my opinion and understanding, was written by many men over a long period of time, and turn my back against church.”

“Really.” Scott said.

“Well yeah. I always find peace whenever I read something from Psalms. Sometimes ya gotta take the bad with the good. I mean,” I sort of laughed “that’s life. Plus my church has an awesome band. I used to only like traditional church music, but they’re a great band and being there while they play live really gets me on my feet.”

“But you like to drink—isn’t that sorta hypocritical?” Tracy asked.

“How could it be? I’m not telling anyone else not to drink. And I don’t normally drink like I did last weekend. There’re lots of nice people at my church and I like to sit and talk. I’m a regular yente,” I said and they all laughed..

“What if they found out that you were gay?” Scott asked.

“I don’t know. But I bet I could cause a stir if I dressed in drag and danced with the preacher on his front lawn.” They again laughed at this. “I’m sure that there’d be some who wouldn’t care for me, but I’m not ‘in your face’ with my sexuality. Never have been. ‘Cause it ain’t nobody’s bidness!” I smiled. Scott pressed his knees together, holding mine in place. I looked at him and winked. He just smiled back.

After dinner we went back to the studio and just hung out some more. Not a whole lot to do. Scott wasn’t saying much. I knew he was nervous about his baby-raper step dad coming. Well, maybe not nervous, but anxious. I stuck by him pretty closely all night.

The next day was pretty routine. It was really pretty out while Scott and I jogged over to the park. We decided to give me a break from the workout machines for a day, which I was glad for. However we didn’t really talk that much. Me, because I didn’t feel the need to hear my own voice; Scott, well understandably he had other things on his mind so I respected his space.

The afternoon flew by. Everyone was supposed to be there between 6:00 and 6:30. The families scheduled that night were Deanna’s, Tracy’s, Freddie’s and Scott's. Mine were to come with the others next week. They were going to bring Grandma too, so that should be fun. Seriously, my grandma is the biggest hoot you’ll meet. She’s Dad’s mother and shares our sense of humor. Runs in the family.

Before we knew it 6:00 had rolled up and we heard the doorbell ring. There was a huge commotion as Deanna answered the door and introduced us all to her parents. Her mom was just as big as a spaz as Deanna—surprise! Her dad seemed like a really nice guy, though. Freddie’s parents arrived next. “Y’all don’t look like onion farmers,” someone said to them. They looked really “uptown” as Grandma would say, he in a really nice suit and she in a nice cocktail dress. “We live here in town near Buckhead. Freddie’s the farm boy,” his dad said smiling. “And he’s doing a fantastic job running the place!”

Tracy’s folks arrived next, and boy were they quiet. They had come down from Helen, where they moved after Tracy graduated high school to run a bed and breakfast. Again, they both seemed like really nice people—when they talked!

All of the parents got a tour and everyone was having a nice time. I could tell that Scott was still a little antsy. I don’t care what he said, the guy was nervous. To tell you the truth, I still didn’t understand why his mom and step-dad were coming at all.

We were all standing around (in some cases sitting) eating some of the wonderful food that had been catered to us by the show when the doorbell rang. I looked at Scott and saw the blood drain from his face. I brushed passed him and said, “Let me get this.”

I opened the door and said “Hi y’all doin’? Y’all come own in!” Yes, I said “own.” In some situations I lay on the country accent a bit much. “I’m Frank Black” he said extending his hand, but I just interrupted him and gestured over to the food saying “Please, help yourself to some food.” Scott’s mom came in looking a bit primed. I’m surprised she didn’t hiccup. If she had her head may have fallen off.

Scott leaned over to give his mom a kiss on the cheek, and stood back up with his hands in his pockets. “Frank,” he said.

“Scott,” he said back.

“Y’all, this is my mother Sandy and her husband Frank,” he introduced them to us all. I made sure to keep my eyes on Frank. Sandy never strayed far from the punch bowl. Frank was trying to make the rounds and you could tell he was a charmer. I guess you’d have to be if you're a child molester.

I swear I only took my eyes off of him for one second, but about an hour after they arrived I saw no sign of Scott or Frank. Uh oh. Sandy needed a wheelbarrow to get her over to the couch. I checked out the bedrooms: no Scott or Frank. Then I asked Deanna where they had gone.

“Who?” she asked.

“Scott and Frank.”

“Oh. I think they went upstairs.” Oh shit!

“Thanks hon.”

“Hey, is everything alright?” she asked.

“No. No I don’t think so.” I grabbed a couple of drinks and ran up the stairs. When I got there I could see the two of them on the balcony, and you could hear them arguing with each other even with the doors closed. Frank was standing nearest the door with an empty glass in his hand.

I opened the door with one hand while I balanced two drinks in the other. “You didn’t have to do that” Frank said, reaching for a glass.

“I didn’t,” I said as I walked on past him, handing the drink to Scott. “Y’all doin’ alright?” I asked, looking at Scott.

“We’re just fine,” Frank said. “Actually Mark we were in the middle of something, if you don’t mind.”

“Actually I don’t mind, and the name’s Mike,” I corrected him. “I think I’ll stay.” He just glared at me.

“What, you need a body guard now, Scott?” Frank asked. If looks could kill then Scott’s dagger-like eyes would have done the trick.

“The only time I needed protection was when I was living in your house.” Oh shit. So that’s what I had walked in on.

“Seems like Scott doesn’t like me to talk badly about his brother Johnny,” Frank said to me with a sneer.

“You made him what he is today,” Scott hissed at him.

Frank laughed. “Please. Look how great you turned out.” I looked over at Scott who’s eyes were wild with anger. Time to step in, I thought.

“Really Scott, Frank didn’t rape me and I turned out gay.” As I said this I turned to look at Frank, raised my eyebrows and nodded toward him.

“You’re a faggot,” he stated more than asked.

“Actually Frankie, we like the term ‘gay’.” I smiled really big. I’ll be the first to admit that I know how to antagonize someone, at least someone like Frank.

“You suck cock?” he asked.

I shifted my weight a little and said, “Why, you interested? Oh wait a minute” I said, throwing my hands in the air and turning towards Scott, “you can’t be interested! I’m over the age of 13!” At this Scott looked down at me. I couldn’t really read his eyes.

“Fuck you, pillow biter,” Frank growled.

“Pillow biter!” I laughed out loud. “Is that all you got? Shouldn’t you be attending a NAMBLA picnic or something?” I asked, “or maybe Neverland Ranch?”

I had forgotten that Scott said Frank’s temper was very short, but remembered really quickly when he hurled his glass through the air at me, yelling “FUCK YOU.” It all happened so fast and Deanna had to tell me later what happened. Apparently the glass hit Scott as I ducked and then he rushed at Frank, who grabbed him by the shirt, spun him around and slammed him really hard into the glass door. The window spider-webbed around where his head hit it and he put his hands to his head, squinted his eyes shut and slid down to the floor.

I took my glass and threw it right into Frank’s face where it shattered. Then I tripped him onto the floor, stood over him and just started beating the shit out of his face. I kept hitting him, thinking about how he’d hurt Scott—not only just then on the patio but when Scott and John were boys. Over and over I punched him in the face until I felt arms behind me pulling me back into the studio. Frank stood up and went to charge me but I kicked him really hard in the gut and then in the face. That was all she wrote. I tried to get away so I could get back to Scott but the others were holding me back.

Someone had called the police and an ambulance, and they arrived in no time. Frank ended up being arrested for assault. Deanna, Freddie and Charlie had come upstairs not long after I did and saw the whole thing happen. I sat there with Scott, who was still groggy from hitting his head, while the paramedics strapped him onto the gurney and made their way downstairs.

“Sir,” one of the medics said, “you really need to get to the hospital and have the glass taken out of your hand.” I looked down. My hands were a mess, all cut and bloodied from the drink glass. Oh, and let’s not forget the pummeling I gave Frank. Deanna agreed to take me over to the hospital.

We got to Piedmont Hospital and it took about an hour or so for the doctor to see me. Luckily the glass didn’t cut too deeply and I didn’t need stitches, but there were still some shards that she picked out. I didn’t care about me. I needed to see Scott. Deanna asked around and found out that he was going to be kept overnight for observation. Apparently he had a slight concussion.

“Where is he?” I asked. The nurse pointed us to the room.

Deanna and I headed in and my heart sunk. They had his bed up so he was almost sitting and his head was bandaged from the tops of his ears up. “How ya doin’ hon?” Deanna asked.

Scott smiled an exhausted smile and said, “Now this is an Excedrin headache.”

I grinned as the tears welled up in my eyes. Deanna looked at me and said, “I’ll wait outside.” I watched her go. After the door shut I grabbed a chair and sat it beside his bed. I put my hand on his forearm and said, “How ya doin’ pal?”

“Oh man,” he groaned. “I’ve been better. But at least they gave me some demoral a minute ago.”

I grinned at him. “You’ll be out soon then.”

He looked down at my hands which were bandaged. “What happened to you?”

“Oh this?” holding them up. “They had a date with Frank’s face.”

“Wow. How’d the date end?”

“I sent him home early,” I smiled. “How’s your head?”

“Ok. I told you he’d fuck things up,” Scott said.

“What happened?”

“He started talking shit about John.” You could see the demoral starting to take effect. “He always does because he knows it always gets to me.” I shook my head slightly. “I told him I’d had enough…to get out…he’d ruined us enough as kids...why’d he have to keep the shit up. He laughed and said I was crazy.” He was getting sleepy pretty fast. “Mike,” he said with his eyes closed, “you’re so brave.” It came out a whisper.

“Nahhh,” I whispered, “just a bitter young man.”

He smiled a bit at this, but then the corner of his lips curled down. “I didn’t tell him to stop.”

“What?” I asked. Tears started rolling slowly down his cheeks.

“I didn’t tell him to stop,” he whispered. “When I was young…”

I leaned a little closer and said softly, “You were just a little kid.”

The tears rolled down even more and he said in a whisper, “I just wanted him to love me. I just wanted him to love me.”

“Shhhh, that’s what we all want,” I said.

Scott opened his eyes a bit and looked at me. “Maybe I am crazy.”

“No,” I smiled, “you’re sane.”

He let out a deep breath and said, “You need to get back to the studio.” At this point the tears were rolling down my cheeks.

“No. I’m right where I’m needed.” I held his hand up to my lips and kissed it. I put it down and watched him drift of to sleep, my heart aching for him.

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in Mark's own words - I'm a great big goofball who loves music and loves to sing. I'm in the home building industry and have my own company. I'm not really into sports and am mostly a homebody; I like reading, watching movies and hanging out with friends. Please feel free to e-mail me if you would like to discuss my stories - or anything else for that matter. Markp>

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