The more ambitious Karen became the more Steve began to see his control slipping. He became even more dominating and destructive. His drinking increased and the verbal abuse escalated to physical abuse. Karen couldn’t see that the problem was with Steve and not with her. She was determined that Steve would be pleased with her advancements in her nursing career. She enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing degree program at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. She foolishly thought that if she could be the top student in her class he would surely be pleased with her achievement. The harder she tried the more abusive he became.
Karen’s life revolved around her work and her education. This left little time for her family. More duties were left to Todd. He came home from school and did all of the housework that his mother previously had done. He didn’t mind, but he had less time to spend with his grandmother.
Of course Steve resented Karen’s ambition, but since she was rarely home he wrath turned to Todd. He saw his son as being weak and feminine since housework was a woman’s job. He often called him fag and a “pussy.”
Todd saw no way out of the volatile situation at home. He always rushed home to get his chores done and then spent the remainder of the evening with his grandparents. Alice saw the change in Todd. She noticed the bruises that began to appear on him. When questioned about these he explained them away as accidents. Alice suspected it was more than an accident and she began to watch Steve like a hawk.
“You’re more man than he will ever be,” Alice told Todd when learning that Steve had called him a fag. “Having a ooh-tah-nah wa-ta-lee (big cock) didn’t make him a man,” she explained.
Steve seemed to know that Alice was watching him because he was more careful about the way he treated Todd. He knew that Alice would have no qualms about putting a gun to his head and pulling he trigger. But what he feared most about her was that she would put some of her Indian medicine in his food or drink and kill him without anyone knowing it.
Todd began to acquire more and more strength from his grandmother. She wanted to teach him all that she knew about the Cherokee way. When he felt alone she always seemed to be there. When he needed guidance she provided him the map and let him chose his own path. She was practically his only friend.
When school started back Todd chose not to participate in any team sports. It wasn’t because he believed he couldn’t do it, but rather because it was expected of him by his father. Steve had been a star football player and he wasn’t going to allow his son to be a sissy and cop out. Perhaps Todd only chose to not participate because it was expected of him, and it was his way of being rebellious.
In a small school district such as Colcord it was expected of every able bodied boy to participate in team sports for the good of the team. Todd’s decision further alienated him from his peers at school. His only friend became Nick Sixkiller another boy his age.
Nick was an extremely extroverted, driven, aggressively competitive person, and Imaginative, charming and, at times, reckless. He was assertive and tirelessly energetic - a result of the combination of avoiding introspection, and seemed t to be running from something inside. Nick had a drive to maintain an intensely active lifestyle without really caring whether anyone is along for the ride. He is also materialistic, ready to surround himself with distractions, getting physically involved with the environment. He could have been a star athlete but, his parents’ religion forbade competitive activities. His attitude toward this was, “Fuck it, I don’t need this.”
Having been practically ostracized by the entire student body, Todd and Nick quickly became friends and drew upon each other for support. Todd soon realized that Nick wasn’t the typical jock type. He was intelligent and had a wide range of interest. Todd genuinely enjoyed Nick’s company. They talked about everything.
It brought Alice a great amount of pleasure to see Todd have a friend like Nick. Nick spent a large amount of time with Todd and Alice. She taught them how to recognize u-wa-se (the wild mushroom) as well as how to recognize the plants that had medicinal properties. She was happy when the boys became interested in a-ne-jo-di (stick-ball). It is a very rough game played by the Cherokee. The game resembles the modern European game of Lacrosse, using ball sticks which are handmade from hickory. The two boys were a unit, Todd was speed and Nick was power. Of course Nick wasn’t allowed team sports but his parents viewed stick-ball as a Cherokee tradition and thus it was allowed.
Except for bordering on being religious zealots Nick’s parents were loving parents, especially compared to Todd’s. While Steve’s physical abuse had stopped the verbal abuse continued, and at times was even harsher. He resented the flourishing friendship that had developed between Todd and Nick. Todd’s refusal to play football only gave Steve more reason to call Todd a fag.
One particular day after a stick ball game the boys rushed to there homes to shower and go into Siloam Springs to see a movie with Nick’s aunt. Todd had just finished dressing following his shower when his father came out of his room in a drunken stupor. The verbal onslaught began just as Nick came to see if Todd was ready. When Steve saw Nick he immediately left the house, likely to the nearest bar. Steve was never brave enough to verbally or physically attack Todd or Karen in the presents of others. Besides, he wanted to give the impression of a loving family to outsiders.
“How long has that been going on,” Nick asked, “does he hit you?”
“A long time, but he doesn’t hit like he used to.” Todd admitted while thinking he wouldn’t have admitted this to anyone else but Nick.
Nick seeing that Todd was upset put his arms around him for comfort. Like a flood gate opening, this released all the built up emotions and Todd began to sob uncontrollably. Nick pulled Todd closer to him and said with sincerity, “If that son of a bitch ever hurts you I’ll kill him.”
Todd looked Nick in the eyes thinking he cares for me. He didn’t know why but he had the urge to kiss Nick. He then kissed Nick tenderly on the lips.
Nick responded to the kiss and began kissing Todd passionately. His tongue found Todd’s and he heard Todd gasp and pull closer. Todd pulled Nick into his bedroom as he was kissing his neck and his hard nipples through Nick’s shirt. The he heard Nick gasp as he had done. Nick had his hands under Todd’s shirt and was pinching his nipples. Todd wanted to feel Nick’s body and soon had his shirt off.
Each boy undressed the other with enthusiasm, and as each piece of clothing came off Todd could feel all sorts of emotions come out. He’d never thought of sex with another guy. However, he did have a special feeling for Nick that he couldn’t explain. He’d heard of fags before, after all, his father had called him one numerous times. The way his father had said it, it seemed so filthy. This seemed so right.
Once they were undressed Todd felt the cool breeze blowing through his open window. He shivered and Nick took him in his arms, then a warm feeling came across his body. Todd began to explore Nick’s body as he had done with his eyes. He could feel Nick’s firm body respond to his touch. The warmth of his body warmed him. He began kissing Nick in fervor. Nick responded with equal fervor. Fuck what a great kisser, Todd thought. Soon Nick’s lips were on Todd’s hard nipples, first one and then the other. This sent a shock all the way to Todd’s groin. His already hard cock felt as though it was ready to explode.
After giving Todd’s nipples a good working over, Nick’s attention turned to Todd’s cock that was already leaking pre-cum. Nick took it in his mouth, just the head first, as he licked off the leaking nectar. Nick’s tongue sent shivers down Todd’s spine, only this time it wasn’t a cold shiver. Afraid he was somehow hurting Todd, Nick stopped to withdraw his mouth from Todd’s cock. However, Todd was having no part of that as he pushed Nick’s head back down. Nick gagged as Todd’s cock hit the back of his throat.
“Relax, breath,” Todd gasped!
Nick followed Todd’s instructions and soon had his lips all the way down to Todd’s thick black pubic hair. As Nick worked his mouth up and down Todd’s hard cock he could hear Todd breathing heavy and moan. Suddenly Todd exploded into Nick’s mouth. The load was so large that Nick had to pull off of Todd’s cock. It still filled his mouth to overflow. Neither boy expected this, but as though Nick was a pro cock sucker he swallowed the load. Then he began to kiss Todd again. Todd could taste his own semen on Nick’s mouth.
Todd kissed Nicks body and had just worked his way down to his erect cock when they heard a car horn, and then again. “Fuck,” Nick exclaimed, “Marsha is here to take us to the movie.” “She’ll wonder what we’ve been doing.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Todd said as he calmly threw on his robe. He stuck his head out the door yelling at Marsha, “I just got out of the shower, we’ll be right there.”
They both dressed quickly and ran to hop into Marsha’s car. Both boys were in the back seat ready to go when Marsha joked, “Hey what am I here, the chauffeur?”
“It sure looks that way, now turn around and drive,” Todd teased back.
Nick remained quiet with a slight grin on his face. Todd wondered what he was thinking. He wanted to talk to someone about this, but whom? He couldn’t talk to Nick since he likely was as confused as he. Marsha, he thought? No, not Marsha, he thoroughly liked her but she was Nick’s aunt. He wasn’t sure how Nick would feel about that. Certainly not his parents, his father would likely beat the hell out of him and his mother was in her own world. Then he heard Marsha ask, “How is Alice, I haven’t seen here in a long time?”
That was it he could talk to Ah-lee-see his Grandmother. “Todd, did you hear me? I asked how your grandmother was,” Marsha’s question broke into his planning.
“She’s fine, you should go by and see her sometime,” Todd invited.
“I think I should,” Marsha replied. Smiling as she thought about how much she liked the old lady.
Todd hardly watched the movie at all and couldn’t have described a scene if asked. He was anxious to talk to Ah-lee-see.
Todd decided to sleep at his grandparent’s since his mother would likely be working and his father would still be drunk. Todd slept little that night and woke early to find his grandmother He didn’t think about breakfast, but he had to piss. When he pulled his cock out of his briefs he thought of Nick’s mouth on it and how it felt. The thoughts caused his cock to begin to get hard. He quickly turned his thought to finding his grandmother. He hurriedly dressed went to find her. He saw her heading toward the creek to gather wild onions. Todd loved her wild onions cooked with eggs.
“Wait for me Ah-lee-see; he called out to his grandmother. I’ll go with you.”
“Did you eat breakfast,” Alice asked?
“I’m not hungry, besides I can save room for your onions and eggs,” Todd grinned.
“You have breakfast first, and then we can go,” Alice insisted. To her breakfast was the start of the day. Todd knew he had no choice but to eat breakfast, but he was anxious to get to the wild onion patch and talk to his grandmother.
As they walked to the creek bank they chatted about the coming spring and about planting her garden. She promised she would teach him more about the conjure (the Cherokee medicine,)
Todd had thought talking to his Ah-lee-see would be easy, but when they became quiet while gathering the wild onions, he couldn’t think of way to start. Finally, he started, “Ah-lee-see, I a-da-ga-u-e (love) Nick.” He could think of no other way to tell her since there was no Cherokee word for homosexual
“Nick is a good a-chu-ja (boy) for sure,” Alice replied.
No, Ah-lee-see, I a-da-ga-u-e him, I love him,” Todd said adding the English word. He was searching for the right words to get his feelings across to Alice. ”I a-da-ta-we-do-di (kissed) him like a a-ge-yu-tsa (girl), Todd explained. I want him to someday be my u-ya-hi (husband).” Todd then saw that she knew what he was talking about.
“Wah-yaw,” Alice answered, “you have a lot of a-da-ga-u-e (love) to give. Your a-da-do-da (father) is in his drunken world, and your u-ni-tsi (mother) is in her own world. It is good that you have someone to love.”
“Even another a-chu-ja (boy),” Todd questioned?
“Listen my ta-li-ni u-we-tsi (second son or grandson), there will be men who will try to hurt you for what you are, and even men like your a-da-do-da (father.) If they do I’ll put u-yo-i nv-wa-ti (bad medicine) on them. You must live your life without fear and you must never be a-na-de-ho-s-di (ashamed) of what you are. You’re what the u-ne-qua (Great Spirit) made you. Have you not noticed that there is no way to say he or she in Cherokee,” she asked?
Todd was aware that in the Cherokee language there was no equivalent to the English pronoun. He wanted to know how it was in the past being a gay Cherokee and he asked his grandmother, “What do other’s think about men like Nick and me in the past?”
“Before the yo-ne-ga (whites) the Tsa-la-gi (Cherokee) didn’t care what a person was,” Alice explained to him. “A person was what they were. The yo-ne-ga taught that for a man to lay with another man was wrong. Our people saw nothing wrong with this. The Christians taught that a man who lay with another man couldn’t go to ga-lv'-la-ti (heaven).”
“Ah-lee-see, do you believe in the white man’s heaven,” Todd wanted to know
“They have their ga-lv'-la-ti (heaven), but if they can not love a person for what they are here, how can they love in ga-lv'-la-ti,” Alice justified. “I’ll just let my spirit stay here when I die.”
Todd had never been happier and couldn’t wait until he could talk to Nick. Would Nick feel the same as he? Did Nick love him the way he loved Nick? What a wise woman my Ah-lee-see is