Curt's life takes a turn that he never expected, and he realizes that it's because he forgot something that didn't seem important at the time. He also discovers that others have forgotten things that are important and that turns out to both help him and hurt him.
Mature or distressing themes. This story deals with abuse.
Chapter 46 — Plans, Plans, Plans
When I walked into the waiting room Mrs. W wasn’t there. The receptionist called out to me, and I walked over to where she sat behind one of window like in most doctor and dentist offices.
“Curt, Mrs. Williams said to tell you she decided to wait outside because it’s such a nice day. She said she’d be across the street on the bench at the entrance to the park.”
“Thank you,” I replied.
That’s where I found her. The bench was shaded by some oak trees, and she waved when she saw me. I checked the traffic and crossed the street, then sat down on the bench next to her.
“How was your session?”
“Excellent, Mrs. W. My seeing Doctor Hillyer was a great idea. I have to be sure to thank Mr. Williams who set it up. Anyway, Doctor Hillyer helped me figure out how I’m going to talk to my mom about me and Tom and about moving back home.”
“So you’ve decided you’ll have to move home?”
“Yes. Unless I’m totally wrong, I know Mom will insist that I move home. My dreams of living with Tom are just not going to happen.”
“You both want to go to U.C. Berkeley. You can get a dorm room together. You’ll be older and have a better understanding of what it’s like partnering with someone. And living with them, too.”
“But that’s such a long time from now!” I whined. “Over three years!”
“I read somewhere that a teen’s ability to see into and understand the future is about six months tops. Three years seems like a very long time to you now, but in the future it will seem like a very short time.”
“That’s probably true,” I countered, “but Tom and I are living today, and we’re teens who have that short viewpoint. So we want what we want and we want it now.”
She started laughing, and so did I.
“See what I mean by teens and my gray hairs?”
“And I keep telling you that you don’t have any gray hairs.”
“I wish I could believe you, Curt, but my mirror doesn’t lie.”
“Maybe your mirror needs to be cleaned.”
“‘Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the grayest of them all?
Why you, my dear, with your gray streaked hair…’
“Sorry, I don’t remember the rest of that little poem. But it acknowledges that I do, in fact, have gray hairs. Maybe my entire head isn’t covered with gray yet, but it has a good start.”
“Me thinks you exaggerate.”
“Well, Curt, me thinks we better get going to miss the height of the rush hour.”
“That’s probably a good idea.”
When we got home Mr. Williams was in the living room reading a magazine, and when I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water I could see Tom lounging on the back patio. I walked outside and joined him.
“Hi, Tom,” I said.
“Hey, Curt. How’d your session go?”
“Good. Bad. Both.” I grinned.
“You’ve got me totally confused.”
I went over what Doctor Hillyer and I discussed, and how moving in with my Mom seemed to be a sure thing.
“So when are you going to sit down with your mom and talk to her about this?”
“It depends on when and what happens with the verdict in Don’s trial. Also, I’d rather not have to do anything until after I’ve taken my Algebra 2 final and the class is over. That’s like a week from today. Assuming that the verdict is no later than a week from today, I’d rather wait until that weekend is over and talk to her on Monday.”
“But she works, Curt. She wouldn’t be available until Monday night. Do you really want to talk to her on Monday night? Wouldn’t it be better to meet with her on Sunday?”
“Yeah, I suppose. But what if there’s still no verdict? I need to talk to your dad and find out if the Judicial Panel can have like a hung jury where they can’t make up their minds. I think their verdict has to be unanimous, three to zero.”
“Then go talk to my dad. It doesn’t make any sense to sit here and suppose what might or might not happen.”
“You’re right. You coming along?”
“Sure, if you want me to.”
“Yeah, I want to know how the Judicial Panel works. And the result affects both of us.”
“True that, Curt. True that.”
We walked into the living room. There was room for me to sit on Mr. Williams’ right and for Tom to sit on his left.
“Well, well. Is this a scheduled meeting or an emergency?” he said.
“In between,” I replied. “We’re wondering how the Judicial Panel works when they come up with a verdict. Does it have to be unanimous or can it be two votes to one?”
“The verdict has to be unanimous.”
“So there can be a hung jury?”
“Yes, there can be a hung jury.”
“So when are we going to find out what’s going on? It seems like it’s been forever.”
“The Judicial Panel will make their judgment or tell us they are deadlocked when they are finished discussing the testimony and not before. The other thing is each of the members of the Judicial Panel have trials where they are the presiding judge. That limits their ability to meet until a verdict is reached. I know it’s frustrating for you, Curt, but these things take time.”
“Yeah, I guess. It’s holding up my talking to my mom about moving back with her.”
“I wish I had something more definitive to tell you, but this process takes all the time it needs.”
“I have another question, Mr. Williams. Let’s say Don is found guilty. What’s the chance he appeals his conviction?”
“I don’t know. I’d say it depends on the sentencing hearing that will be held after the guilty verdict is rendered. So a jail sentence means he might appeal, but a probation sentence they probably wouldn’t appeal assuming it allows Don to go to Los Angeles like he said he’d do. If it is a jail sentence, it might be something like thirty days and that would be reduced by the number of days he’d been incarcerated prior to the trial.”
“Okay. I have another question.” I smiled because my ‘another question’ seemed to be running on and on. “In my session with Doctor Hillyer today I was talking about me and Tom being boyfriends. Then he asked an interesting question about my mom. Will she have a problem because I said in my testimony that I wasn’t gay, and now all of a sudden I admit that I’m gay. That I’m gay now. Would Don get to appeal, like my testimony get thrown out or the verdict gets thrown out?”
“Curt, in my opinion the answer is no, there wouldn’t be any repercussion if now you say you were gay. The way an appeals court would look at the testimony is this. What if you had admitted you were gay in the trial? Would the result be any different? The answer, in my opinion, is that it wouldn’t be different. Beth Wolman made it clear that the trial was for Don attacking, beating, and injuring you. The idea of a ‘gay panic’ was a red herring offered up by his defense because they didn’t have anything else. The issue is, what Don did to you is a criminal offense under California law. If you were gay or if you were not gay had no bearing on this issue.”
“Okay. Doctor Hillyer told me that when I talk to my mom to tell her the truth, that I really didn’t know that I’m gay until after the trial. He also said something else interesting. He said that if Don hadn’t attacked me that Tom and I wouldn’t be boyfriends and that I wouldn’t have figured out that I’m gay.”
“Hmm… that’s interesting. I’m not sure that telling your mother that part about what would have happened if Don hadn’t attacked you is useful.”
“I agree. I think that saying the trial made me think about things, and after the trial I realized that I am, in fact, gay.”
“So, what’s your next step?”
“I want to plan what I’m going to say to my mother, then if she’s willing I’d like to practice it with Mrs. W. That was Doctor Hillyer’s idea.”
“I suggest you go talk to her now to give Barbara time to think about it while you write down what you would be saying to your mother. Then the two of you can get together and practice your scripts.”
“Okay, that sounds good.”
I looked across at Tom and he nodded his head. He agreed. I’d talk to him about it later. I went into the kitchen where Mrs. W was reading a cookbook. That made me grin.
She looked up and smiled. “Well, hello Curt. What are you grinning about? You look like the cat that ate the canary.”
That made me laugh. “I was grinning because you’re reading a cook book. I always thought that you knew how to cook anything.”
“Of course, that’s not quite true. There’s something to be learned every day, and that includes about cooking as well as about algebra and trigonometry.”
I sat down. “Could I ask a favor of you?”
“Of course. Depending on what the favor involves.”
“I’m going to tell my mom I’m gay and that Tom and I are boyfriends. So I’ve been writing down the things that I might say to her depending on how she takes each thing that I’ve said to her. Doctor Hillyer suggested that I practice and that you act the part of my mom. Would you do that?”
“You mean roleplaying. That sounds interesting. Yes, I’d do it but there’s one thing you’d have to agree to.”
“It’s just you and me, and Tom wouldn’t be there.”
“That’s exactly how I want to do it. Could we start it tomorrow afternoon?”
“That would work for me. Say at three o’clock?”
“Excellent! Thanks, Mrs. W.”
“You’re welcome, Curt.”
I returned to the living room and sat down. We watched some TV, then Tom and I headed upstairs and ended up in my room. He sat on my bed leaning against the headrest. I sat in my desk chair.
“Sounds like you’ve gotta write a script, Curt.” He grinned. “You ever write a script before?”
“No, but we read a script in English last year. What I need is something simple, just my side of the conversation, with options depending on how my mom responds. Then I have to memorize it. But I don’t want it to sound like a script when I’m talking to her. This script isn’t really a script like for a TV show or a movie. It’s so I can get my thoughts together about how to tell her about you and me.”
“That’s easy. We love each other. That’s enough, I think.”
“That’s easy for you to say. I’m coming out to my mom and she’s sort of going to be blindsided.”
“Maybe, maybe not. She could have figured it out on her own. She’s a nurse, after all. They go through training about how to relate to gay people, especially kids, don’t they?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. Dr. Hillyer said the same thing. But this is going to be different. I’m her son. Maybe she’s looking at me to give her grandkids.”
“So we adopt. I’d like that.”
“Really? You’d like to have kids?”
“Sure. Wouldn’t you?”
“I’ve never thought about it. I kinda like the idea. That’s something to put in my script so I don’t forget it. We can adopt, and she’ll have grandkids. And so will your folks.”
“Remember to tell your mom the part about how she’s going to be a built-in babysitter.” Tom laughed. “That oughta scare her!”
“Not as much as it’s going to scare your folks.”
“True that, Curt, true that! When are you going to start on your script?”
“After dinner. Hey, I have something to ask you. I met Pat Rosas this morning on my way to school. You remember him, he’s Laura’s little brother. Well, not so little anymore, he’s thirteen. Anyway, we talked as we walked along the Iron Horse Trail and he asked how my arm got broken. I said Don did it when he thought I was gay. So Pat asks me if I’m gay, and I told him yes. Then he told me that he’s gay too. Anyway, to make a long story short, after my class I went to the pool and watched him in the pre-freshman swimming trials. He won the butterfly and his time beat the school record. Anyway, he introduced me to his boyfriend. I’d told Pat I have a boyfriend, and they asked if they could meet you. They’re looking for a couple guys who they know at school and who are gay so they don’t feel isolated, and someone who’ll have their back if they need that. In order to get all that started, would you be willing to meet them?”
“That is the longest continuous thing you’ve ever said to me in one breath, Curt,” Tom said. Then he grinned. “Is Pat cute? And how about his boyfriend?”
“First of all, what I said was long but sure not in one breath. Second, yes, they’re both cute.”
“Are they out to their folks?”
“No, Pat said they’re not out to anyone other than me. And now I’ve outed him to you but he said that would be okay. Not being out to their folks and other kids is one of the reasons they need us, we’d be like big brothers for them.”
“You think they can keep it quiet and not blab that we’re gay to anyone else?”
“I think so. They have more reasons to not be outed than we do. Face it, your folks know about us and in a few day my mom will know about us. That’s a huge hurdle for us. Pat and his boyfriend aren’t out to their folks. We could mentor them about how to do that after I get through coming out to my mom.”
“Yeah, you’ll be experienced, that’s for sure. Then you know we’ll have to tell Laura.”
“Shit, I completely forgot about that. We’ll have to take her to lunch on us to make up for her buying lunch for the two of us last week.”
“We’ll have to take her out twice since she bought lunch for both of us.”
“Or we take her to a fancy place, like Va De Vi.”
“I guess so. So how about Dragon Pond for Chinese?”
“That’s good but cheap, so you’ll have to take her twice and then twice for me.”
“Stop! Stop! I’ll figure it out when we get to it. Right now, do you want to meet Pat and his boyfriend?”
“Sure, I don’t care. As long as they keep their thirteen-year-old pie-holes shut about us.”
“As I said, I don’t think that’s a problem. Lemme call Pat and see when we can get together. I was thinking about going for lunch at that chicken and waffles place. They have a few tables out front on the sidewalk, and one of them is separate from the others so we’ll be able to talk. We’ll just have to get there early enough that it’s not being used.”
“Sounds like a plan, Curt.”
I pulled out my cell and called Pat. I wasn’t sure when he or Callen had swimming and diving trials, but I could leave him a voicemail if he didn’t answer. But he did answer.
“Hi, Pat. It’s Curt.”
“Hey Curt! How you doing?”
“We’re doing great. You wanted to meet my boyfriend, so I figured we could go to lunch tomorrow or some other time. I thought about that chicken and waffles place downtown. If we can go early, like maybe eleven, they have a table outside that’s not near any other tables so we can have a private conversation.”
“Uh… how expensive is that place?”
“No worries, lunch will be on me.”
“Fantastic! Hold a mo…”
I could hear him talking to Callen in the background, then he got back on the call.
“Tomorrow at eleven it is, then. We’ll meet you there, right?”
“Then see you then. You just caught us. Coach Canton wants me to practice with the guys on the JV team. I qualified in all three of my events, so he’s moving me to JV. And he’s moving Callen to the JV diving team too.”
“That’s fantastic. Congrats to both you guys. So our tomorrow will be a celebratory lunch for the two of you.”
I heard Pat in the background telling Callen about our lunch.
“Okay, gotta go. We’ll see you and your boyfriend tomorrow at eleven. We’re so curious to find out who he is.”
“You’ll know in a few hours. Hey, get going so your coach doesn’t dock you for being late to practice, Pat.”
“You’re right. We gotta motivate. See ya tomorrow, Curt.”
I put my cell back in my pocket. “Okay, in case you weren’t following my side of the conversation, we’re on for tomorrow at that chicken and waffle place at eleven o’clock on the dot.”
“I kind of gathered that’s where and when it would be,” Tom replied with a grin. “It’s been a long time since the last time I saw Pat. I’ll bet he’s grown a lot.”
“That he has, and I think you’ll be surprised when you see him tomorrow,” I replied.
After dinner I went to my room and outlined what I would tell Mom. Then I divided it into sections based on her responses and options about what I’d say to each response. I rearranged it so it made more sense to me. I changed and added some things, and expanded it quite a bit. I tried to avoid writing it as a real script or as a story. I didn’t want anything that I’d have to memorize. The outline format seemed to work okay, but not with the default numbering so I shut that off. Then I added headings for each section in a larger font I made bold so they’d stand out. I decided that this script would only be used with Mrs. W playing the role of my mom so I could practice responses, and not look at my outline but try ad-libbing what I’d say.
I liked the idea of roleplaying. I’d Googled ‘coming out to your folks’ and found there were ‘about 188,000,000 sites’ — wow! The first one was from Psychology Today, which I guessed was a magazine. The article ‘Should You Come Out to Your Parents?’ had a lot of good information in plain English. They broke it down into sections like ‘Consider NOT telling them if’ and ‘Before you tell them’. I found things to add to my script which by now didn’t look anything at all like a real script. That was a good thing.
When that was finished, I did my Algebra 2 homework assignment. First I reread the chapter, then I worked on the problem set we’d been assigned. It was mostly easy, but there were a couple problems that were more complicated. After I finished then checked and rechecked my answers I stretched and yawned. I got up and turned around and was startled to see Tom lying on top of my bed.
“Whoa, where’d you come from, tall, dark, and handsome?” I walked over and plopped down on the bed next to him. Of course, I was fully clothed except for my Nike’s. Tom, on the other hand, wore only a pair of very light green Speedo briefs. They left nothing to my imagination. He reached over and unbuttoned my shirt then loosened my belt and unzipped my jeans.
“What are you doing? The door’s open. Your folks could come by any time.”
“Not going to happen.”
“And why is that?”
“They went for a walk. Mom said they’d be back in about a half hour. Now, lift up your butt.”
“You’re crazy.” But I lifted up my butt, and Tom slipped my jeans off.
“Now sit up so I can take off your shirt and your T.”
I did, but I didn’t make it easy for him. I leaned against the bed so I could sit up. That meant my right palm was holding me up. My left arm was in my sling. I held myself in that position, and when Tom pushed my right arm so it wasn’t holding me up, I flopped flat onto the bed.
“Damn! This isn’t going to work.”
He got out of bed and came around to my side.
“Now turn around and sit on the edge of the bed, so you’re facing me.”
I followed his instructions and he was, with some difficulty because of my sling and my cast, to get my shirt and T off.
“Now, lay back down.”
I did that and he took off my sox. Then he walked around to his side of the bed and laid down next to me. He reached over and softly stroked my arm.
“Damn, I love you so much, Curt.”
“I love you so much too, Tom.”
“You finished with your homework?”
“Then come with me and let’s go to bed. Without these encumbrances.” He pointed to my boxer briefs and his Speedo briefs.
“How can I say no?” I asked him.
He grinned, and we walked hand-in-hand to his bedroom. He closed the door on the way in. And we went to bed, without the encumbrances.
I woke up at my usual time, seven thirty. It was Thursday and there were several major things Tom and I had to do. First, we needed to plan Kyle’s going home party for this Saturday. Then we had our eleven o’clock lunch with Pat and Callen. Then this afternoon I’d start doing the roll playing with Mrs. W.
Tom was on his left side facing me, sound asleep. I scooted over so we were pressed together and I closed my eyes. Apparently I fell asleep because I woke up to the smell of coffee and bacon. Mrs. W was fixing breakfast.
Tom snored softly, obviously still asleep. Our faces were close together and it gave me the opportunity to look at him, really look at him. I loved to do that. I thought to myself, “Oh my god, he is so totally handsome. He is so beautiful.” I realized that he might not actually be asleep when he reached his hand around my butt and pulled us closer. He sighed, then started snoring again. So he probably was asleep after all.
My mind began to drift. I thought about Kyle’s going home party, thinking about what we could do. Then I thought about who we could invite. After a while I had the party all planned and the invitation list finalized. Now, if I could only remember all that once I got up.
Tom began rubbing my back. While he did that it sounded like he was purring. That was so cute — and sexy, too. I couldn’t rub his back because my right arm was under my body and my left arm was in my cast. So I did the next best thing. I began to softly blow on his nose and lips. At first he didn’t react, but after a bit he wiggled his nose then finally shook his head. I laid there looking at him, and he opened his eyes.
Tom smiled. “You really think I’m beautiful?”
“Absolutely.” I kissed him. “You are beautiful and handsome and sexy and so freakin’ hot. You, Thomas Williams, turn me on.”
He laughed. “I can tell. And you turn me on, too.”
Now it was my turn to laugh. “I can tell, and it’s much easier for me to tell about you.”
“And what do you mean by that?”
I started wiggling around. “That.”
He closed his eyes. “You know how to make me happy, Curt.”
“Thank you. And you make me very, very happy.”
Tom lifted his head so he could see the clock. “It’s almost nine o’clock. Shouldn’t we get up?”
“We are up.”
“No, I mean should we get out of bed and shower and brush our teeth and get dressed and go down and have some breakfast. I’m hungry. And remember, we have to go downtown for lunch with Pat Rosas and his boyfriend and be there at eleven.”
“Besides, I gotta pee. So up, up, up!”
So we got up, peed, showered, brushed our teeth, combed our hair, and went downstairs. As usual it took me a little longer because of my cast.
“Well,” Mrs. W said as we walked into the kitchen, “if it isn’t the Sleeping Beauty twins.”
“And a good morning to you too, mother dear,” Tom responded.
“I’ll accept the Sleeping Beauty name,” I said. “I accept compliments whenever I get them. Mainly because I don’t get them very often.”
“Nonsense,” she said to me. “You’re very handsome. And when you’re asleep you’re beautiful.”
“And how do you know that?” Tom asked her.
“I have my ways. I do have to check on the two of you from time to time, you know.”
Good grief! Now I was blushing.
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