We stayed home that night, playing Monopoly. I was beat and went to bed early. In the middle of the night, I woke up, unable to get back to sleep. I slipped out of the room and went to sit on the dock. The stars stretched from horizon to horizon, but I couldn’t pick out the usual constellations; there were just so many stars in the dark, moonless sky. I thought about my folks. I would be returning to my dad and his new girlfriend, now in my house. I knew he would be pissed I went to North Carolina. I couldn’t believe how many people I had deceived on this trip. All my ‘good ol’ boy’ act, the accent, and not saying we were from Miami was such crap. Sneaking around with a married woman was exciting but way out of my depth. The whole story with the cops was a nightmare, especially since they believed me. And the worst deception was not being able to tell Scott what had happened with Wayne and Floyd. Had they forced me to have sex against my will? I could explain it that way, but I went along with it and enjoyed it, even the fighting. Now I felt I had cheated on Scott. How did I know he would even be jealous? What kind of relationship did we have? We certainly weren’t monogamous when we both screwed the Ann sisters. I really didn’t think Scott was very gay. We had sex with each other only twice. I had romantically thought coming up here would mean we’d be alone a lot. Instead, we had all these adventures, involving various people. Maybe he felt uncomfortable having sex around his family. There just didn’t seem to be the same intensity we felt before we’d even had sex. Maybe he had done it to please me, since I was the gay one. Now we could just continue to be best friends. I was past doubting my gayness, but was still confused about girls. All the girls I had fucked had been casual one-time affairs. Sex was as good with girls as it was with guys. Last summer Joey had to wean me off my emotionally wrought self-involvement; with Scott, we were emotionally charged before we had sex. Doing it had solidified our feelings; it was a more mature relationship and seemed natural. Maybe we were best friends who were experimenting, and we’d grow out of it. The incident with Wayne and Floyd was just weird. They obviously felt it was okay to victimize me, but I’m sure they weren’t dealing emotionally with what actually happened. It must be threatening to their sexual identities, especially Wayne’s. Better to consider it as just rewards for trying to rape me. I liked those guys, especially Wayne, remembering his drag race victory. But I wasn’t going to miss them after we left. That thought hit me; we were leaving the following day, on Saturday morning. I could just drive away from all the complications my deceptions had caused, just leaving them behind. It was too pat, running away from my problems. Did I want to tell the sheriff about the moonshine, what happened in the woods, and, oh yeah, I’ve been screwing your wife, plus her sister. The truth shall set you free. Might as well tell the Watts about Scott and me. And Helen should know the truth about Joey’s career in porno, hustling and dope dealing. A clean sweep of deceptions wouldn’t help anyone and still wouldn’t make me the innocent boy I pretended to be. Last year, when I was overwhelmed by the emotions of my experiences, I threw myself into swimming and the kids on the team, with great results. Again, I had let things get out of control – sex, drinking, and crime. Was I so hot-blooded I always lost control? Would being the ‘good’ kid in Miami work again. The issue was taking responsibility for my actions before events spun out of control. I couldn’t play the kid card forever. If I took responsibity, I hoped I could handle the consequences. The reason Willie was using kids to do his smuggling was that the law goes easier on kids when they get caught. I was so tempted by the action. Scott knew enough to get out of there, which seemed like wimping out at the time. He did what he had to do. I did the opposite. I only got away with it by a massive lie. If he’d gone with me, maybe those guys wouldn’t try to rape me. The whole situation, including the cops, would have been avoided. My mind spun with all the ‘what if’s’, until I finally relaxed. All I needed to do was be cool and learn from these mistakes. Real intelligence is not making the same mistake twice. I leaned against the piling and saw that the moon had come up over Lake Norman. I started whistling Otis Redding’s “‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’….wastin’ time.”
I didn’t notice Scott until he put his hand on my shoulder.
“Couldn’t you sleep. I missed you.”
“Yeah, man. What a day. You ready for some heavy thoughts?”
“That’s why I’m here.”
“I’ve been going over all the lying and deceptions we’ve been through here. Y’know, the girls, drinking, and the whole thing with the sheriff. I feel like a criminal.”
“It’s not that bad.”
“My only excuse is my age. I’m still a juvenile. You know Willie uses those guys ‘cause they walk as juveniles if they get caught?”
“Really? I thought it’s ‘cause Wayne’s such a hot driver.”
“True, But Willie’s just using them. I’m seeing everything from a different perspective. It’s like last year. I go crazy on vacation. You were so smart to split today.”
“I just felt like a coward.”
“No way. You did what you felt was right. You were the only one to get out of harm’s way. Just like when you almost got run over by the boat; it was my entire fault for challenging you to race in the dark. I’m just hot-blooded and crazy.”
Scott put his arm around me.
“You still saved my life. Since then I’ve never had so much fun. I don’t want it to stop because you suddenly get a conscience.”
“Do you really think you’re a fag?”
“What? I don’t know or care. I love you and want you always. You showed me I like fucking girls. Maybe you’re thinking too much about it.”
“Would you be jealous if I had sex with other guys?”
“You planning to be a gay slut? I care so much about you. I just figure we’ll grow up, end up marrying girls, but we’ll always be best friends. Until then we will do what we feel and want to do with each other. Sex just happens, especially around you.”
“More than you know,” I sighed. “I’m going to tell you what really happened today, so there’s no deceptions between us. Just don’t get mad ‘cause it doesn’t mean anything. I just want to tell you everything.”
“Okay, and what’d y’all do?” and he laughed.
I hugged him so tightly that he had to squirm.
“The reason the cop found the car is ‘cause Floyd and Wayne took me into the woods to rape me.”
“Those guys are fags?”
‘The way they see it, it’s okay to fuck someone who’s gay. They call ‘em sissy boys.”
“Like in Deliverance, huh?”
“Pretty much. They got all drunk on moonshine, jumped me and pulled my pants down.”
“It was two against one. What could you do?”
“I fought enough for it to be a standoff, with my back to a tree, except by then it was three guys with three hard-ons. I was turned on, thinking I was going to be raped.”
”So you guys all got it on?”
“They couldn’t handle thinking they really wanted it. They jumped me again, but this time I pinned Wayne down. I pulled his jeans down and started fucking him. Floyd was beating on my back. Then Floyd mounted me. I felt like the meat in a sandwich. I got Wayne off with my hand. As he came his butt got me off and my butt got Floyd off, all pretty quick. Then we heard the police radio. Then, what I told you before took place.”
“Shit. I always miss out.”
“You think it was cool?”
“Sure. You guys had a three-way. I wonder how it would have been if I was there.
“Man, you’re getting weird, too. I doubt they’d have jumped both of us. They don’t even consider themselves gay. I thought you’d be jealous even though it didn’t start out consensual.”
“Why? Are you in love with them now?”
“Well, maybe Wayne’s butt a little bit.”
That set us wrestling around on the dock. I soon felt Scott’s hard-on.
“Shit. I’m going to get raped again.”
“I guess it’s your day.”
“I thought you’d lost interest in me.”
“I just don’t get so horny when I’m around my family.”
“I thought you were going straight.”
He tried rolling on top. I pushed him off, and then, grabbing him, we rolled into the water. As we came up, I pulled his shorts and Speedo down. Taking a breath, I went down on his hard-on under water. When I sucked his dick in, he stiffened, spasmed, and I felt his dick throb and tasted sperm. It took about fifteen seconds. When I came up, he held me while I caught my breath.
“That was exciting,” he finally said.
“You went off like a rocket.”
“Yeah,” he gasped. “Four, three, two, one, and get off. You need to get off, too?”
“Naw, you just owe me one.”
“Tim, I want you to go for it anytime you’re horny. How could you think I’d be jealous? Thanks for telling me the whole story. I want you to love me, and that means trusting me with everything.”
“It feels so much better telling you. I got caught up with all these lies and withdrew into myself.”
“I promise to never let you go off without me. Next time you may end up with someone gross, although I doubt it. We’re such sluts we do it with anyone.”
“What if they were fat?”
“It’s like doing it in jello.”
“You fall in and drown.”
“Crushed by quivering mounds of fat.”
We smiled together.
“Butt lust buddies,” he pinched my butt as we walked up to the cabin.
After breakfast we were sitting around when a vehicle drove up. It was the Sheriff and Cheryl Ann.
Scott whistled, “She sure pushes it.”
“I’m getting that feeling again, Scott. I don’t like all the deception.”
“You’ll be okay. Just act innocent.”
Mrs. Watt answered the Sheriff’s knock.
“Mornin’ Missus Watt, Sheriff Tom again. My wife and I want to inquire as to how the boy is today.”
“Com’n in, Sheriff. Let me get some coffee for the two of you.”
Turning around, she yelled for us. “Scott. Tim, get down here. You’ve got company.”
We both instantly appeared and stood in the kitchen door, while Mom entertained the guests.
“Howdy, boys. How y’all doin’ Tim. Still shook up about yesterday?”
“No, sir. I feel fine today. No more hitch hiking, though.”
“Good boy. My wife wanted to invite y’all to the Friday Night Social at the Grange Hall tonight. It’s a country good time, if’n y’all want to come.”
Cheryl Ann piped in, “It’s mostly square dancin’, but if y’all want to help me and Lee Ann, we can dance to records between the fiddler sets.”
“Like a sock hop?”
“Sure. Tom here has a fine collection of 50s and 60s singles, If y’all help out, I’m sure we can git all the young’uns to dance.”
“How’d ja know we like oldies?” Scott asked.
“Just a wild guess. Y’all be sure ta tell yer friends at the general store. We’ll really rock tonight.”
Sheriff Tom’s grin meant he was pleased that Cheryl Ann was excited about the plans.
“We’ll be glad to help,” Scott volunteered.
“It’s good family entertainment, so we hope y’all attend, including you and the mister, Missus Watt.”
“Thank you. I’m sure we’ll all be there.”
“By the way, Tim, we found that car from yesterday. It had been stolen from the garage in town.”
“Did you arrest those men?”
“No. It had been abandoned. Don’t you worry about those men. You gave good descriptions. We’ll git ‘em. Just don’t go wandering around by yourself. You and your brother stick together.”
“Yes, sir,” we both answered.
After they left, Scott and I sat at the end of the dock. I started to laugh, mostly from nervousness. Scott said I acted totally normal.
“What a laugh, ‘cause I don’t feel normal no more.”
“Just ‘cause you’re a two timing, moonshine running, police lying, child molester, don’t feel bad.”
“Yeah, remember me. I’m under age. So is Lee Ann. And don’t forget Wayne. If we really investigate, it’ll probably turn out you molested every child in all four counties. A serial molester.”
“And since you’re my best friend, you’re probably my biggest victim.”
“No doubt. You must do it every night after I’m asleep.”
“Actually, what you’re remembering is Stu. He’s my new protégée. I’ve been having him practice on you.”
“You seemed to enjoy it.”
“You really are twisted.”
We ran up to the house, grabbed Stu, and dragged him screaming to the dock where we threw him in the water. We stood there laughing at him below us.
“What I do? What I do?”
“It’s disgusting. Tell him, Tim.”
Winking so only Stu saw, I said, “I told Scott what we’ve been doing to him in his sleep.”
“Oh yeah, and you loved it, Scott.”
Scott dove in, catching him in a few strokes. It wasn’t much of a match, so I jumped in on Stu’s side, turning the tables. Stu mocked Scott as I held him back.
“You kept saying, ‘Do it again, do it again.’”
“You’re both gross.”
But we loved it, especially Stu.
After lunch, we rode to the general store. I rode on Scott’s handlebars, as my bike was still stashed in town. The boys were hanging out at the soda machine. Once they saw us, the hooting and hollering started. They all knew the story about our escape from the cops. They filled us in on the conclusion. Floyd and Wayne had ditched the car, once they had made their delivery. They claimed the cop’s bullets had creased their long hair.
“Y’all sure y’all ain’t confusing that with the skid marks on yer shorts?”
‘Yeah, like y’all wasn’t shittin’ when ya fainted in front of the pig?”
“Academy award performance, man.”
“Saved yer butts,” Scott piped in.
“Sheriff said they found the car in Charlotte.”
“Not much sense drivin’ round a shot-up Charger. Draws the long stare of John Law.”
”Y’all got plans tonight? Cheryl Ann told us to git yer asses to the Grange Hall social.”
“No way. That ain’t nothin’ but a buncha ol’ folks.”
“She says we’re gonna play some rock n roll. Y’all gots to come.”
“She’s got y’all pussy-whipped.”
“Ya got that right.”
“Well, we’ll all show, if’ jist ta harass yer asses.”
My bike was just where I’d left it. Not much market in North Carolina for stolen bicycles, even among thieves. Truthfully, even though my bike was still new, it was so thrashed. It wasn’t worth anything. I was glad to have it back. Riding double with Scott was hard on my much-abused ass.
While going through our typical hair styling and fashion choices, Scott and I were singing, “A white sport coat and a pink carnation…I’m all dressed up for the Prom.”
Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
Instead of the normal white tees, we were wearing white dress shirts with our least worn jeans. With wet, combed hair, we thought we looked slick. Stu looked like a miniature version of us and was excited to be going. First we went out to the fried chicken dinner at the usual restaurant. It tasted so good. Arriving at the Grange Hall just after dark, the girls were waiting for us outside.
“Y’all’s late but this is perfect. All that’s happening is the square dancin’. Com’n, we’ll teach y’all.”
They dragged us into the hall. Scott and I were breaking up, as the girls tried to lead us through the steps; we were always a half step behind. The oldsters ignored us stumbling youngsters. Sheriff Tom waved at us, from his place of authority by the front door. After a couple of bumbling dances, the girls led us to a side office where they had a small stereo and a huge collection of 45 oldies. We quickly thumbed through the collection and picked out our favorites, with the girls acting as censors. No black singers were allowed, but still we found plenty of dance songs. Once we were set up, we went out to the parking lot where Floyd’s gang was drinking moonshine.
“Havin’ a good time, boys?” I asked.
“Pretty much as expected.”
“Y’all gots to come inside once the records start.”
“Sure ‘nuff, boss,” Wayne piped in. “Y’all wants some moonshine,” Wayne offered the bottle.
“I pass. It tends to git me in too much trouble.”
We returned to the girls. The fiddlers were finishing and ready for a break. Sheriff Tom got up and announced there was a special dance break for the young people. We rolled out the stereo, and Cheryl Ann got the microphone. About ten kids, Stu’s age, gathered in front of us.
“Y’all listen up,” she started. “We’re gonna rock, so git out here and dance.”
The older people, looking dismayed, moved to the back of the hall. Floyd and his boys were watching from the doorway, waiting for something to happen. About twenty kids were standing in a semi-circle in front of us now. I took the mic, switched on the stereo, and announced, “This one’s for you, Cheryl Ann,” and played the Beach Boys, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’…
‘”(You walk like an ace now, you walk like an ace)
She makes the Indy 500 look like a Roman chariot race now
(You look like an ace now, you look like an ace)
A lotta guys try to catch her
But she leads them on a wild goose chase now
…And she’ll have fun, fun, fun Till her daddy takes the t-bird away.”
Songwriters: Love, Michael Edward / Wilson, Brian Douglas
Published by Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
The girls started clapping to the beat, so Scott and I did our best Coasters imitation, dancing in step. We all sang the chorus, just not into the mic. The next record was Freddie Cannon’s ‘Palisades Park.’ I grabbed Stu and threw him around to the words: ‘Up, like a roller-coaster, down like a loop-de-loop, run like a merry-go-round…’
CLARIDGE MUSIC CO.
The other kids started spinning each other around. I dedicated the next song to Floyd and Wayne, ‘Double Shot of your Baby’s Love.’
Their mouths dropped open when Scott and I did double pelvic thrusts to each other during the chorus. Some girls were even doing the jitterbug. Floyd picked out Johnny Cash’s ‘A Boy Named Sue.’,
but was too shy to make a dedication, to my relief. It was too country for dancing, so everyone stood around and swayed. Lee Ann put on Leslie Gore’s ‘My Boyfriend’s back’…
“You’re gonna be sorry you were ever born
(Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend’s back)
‘Cause he’s kinda big and he’s awful strong
(Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend’s back)”
Feldman, Bob / Goldstein, Gerald / Gottehrer, Richard
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, O/B/O APRA AMCO
Cheryl Ann ran up to Sheriff Tom and stroked his biceps, while sneaking a look at me. Everyone sang along to ‘the Name Game,’
Elliston, Shirley / Chase, Lincoln
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Before it was over, Wayne yelled out “Chuck,” which we all rhymed ‘Chuck, Chuck, bo Buck, Banana fana fo fuck, Chuck.’ Someone yelled out for the Beatles, which we didn’t have, it being America, so we all sang ‘Sgt Pepper’ into the microphone.
’It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt Pepper taught the band to play,
everything’s done in style,
just so you can smile,
let me introduce to you,
the one and only Billy Shears.’
Songwriters: LENNON, JOHN WINSTON / MCCARTNEY, PAUL JAMES
Published by Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Then Scott took the microphone and sang solo, …’What would you think if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song, and I’ll try not to sing out of key. I get by with a little help from my friends.’
At the word ‘high,’ Scott pointed at Floyd and crew and motioned them up to the microphone. Gathering all around, we all sang several more verses. And eventually every young person was in a big circle, arms around each other. Finally we broke out into applause and cheers for ourselves. Sheriff Tom looked the happiest with one arm around Cheryl Ann and the other around Lee Ann. I was next to Cheryl Ann and Scott next to Lee Ann. Stu had his arms around Scott’s waist. We all moved in one rhythm. I looked over at the Watts. Mrs. Watts had been smiling through tears since Scott did his solo. Mr. Watts was beaming. The other older people just stared in amazement. Finally we broke apart into little groups. Sheriff Tom asked Mom how she liked country life.
Scott and I walked outside with Floyd and Wayne.
“I wanted to kill y’all ‘bout ‘double shots of love’,” he threatened.
“What about ‘A Boy Named Sue?’” I shot back
“Just payback, sweetheart.”
“Y’all be glad we’s leavin’ tomorrow?”
“Sure. Y’all is fun fer City Boys.”
“How’d ya know we was from the city?”
They cracked up, “’Cause all y’all said was y’all this and y’all that. Takes more’n a few words ta be country.”
“Don’t take that much ta be friends.”
“Just some moonshine and a romp in the woods.”
“Next time, we’ll let y’all be the bottom. Right, Wayne?”
He just grinned at me.
“Y’all come back now.”
The girls were waitin’ inside the hall door.
“Sayin’ goodbye to the boys?”
“Yeah, we had some good times up here.”
“Y’all gonna miss us?”
“Does a bear shit in the woods?”
“Y’all knows what I mean.”
“Y’all can stop with the y’alls. We know yer from Miami. We all know that’s not the South.”
“Good thing yer married. I’d be mighty tempted to fall fer y’all.”
“There ya go again, bein’ what ya ain’t.”
Scott had already pulled Lee Ann outside for a more physical goodbye.
“Well, thanks for a great time.”
We looked into each other’s eyes. I couldn’t detect a bit of deception.
“We’ll miss you boys. I hope y’all don’t think I’m a wanton woman.”
“Wantin’ more, maybe, once I’m gone.”
She gave me a big hug, then with one eye on Sheriff Tom, a quick kiss. Scott came back, with his shirt rumpled and a tell-tale bulge in his jeans. I felt cheated in the goodbye category.
“Y’all look like yer ready to stay a while,” I observed.
“Might even become a good ol’ boy.”
“Well, we was good to ‘em, both girls and boys.”
“Lee Ann said to give ya a big kiss goodbye.”
“I’ll take it later.”
“Don’t want Wayne ta git jealous, do ya.”
“Everything’s tied up. All these deceptions won’t mean nothin’ once we head back to Florida.”
We started singing the Righteous Brothers’ ‘You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling.’
After which the locals all slapped us on the back and said we were ‘some righteous entertainers.’
We went back inside the hall, said goodbye to Sheriff Tom and left with our folks. At the cabin, Stu joined us down on the dock, where we reminisced about our stay here. Stu was leaning on Scott’s shoulder, with Scott’s fingers running through his hair until he fell asleep. We carried him upstairs and put him to bed. Then we walked along the lake shore, not talking. The quiet was deafening. Once we were far enough from the cabin, we sat and beat each other off. Lying on our backs afterward, we gazed at all the bowl of stars in the dark sky.
“It never rained once while we were here.”
“Just about everything else happened.”
“Will you be glad to get home?”
“I have to face my dad. He never gave me permission to come here.”
“You gonna miss your mom?”
“Not really. I never told you, but she’s been taking lots of pills to avoid dealing with my dad. She just wasn’t all there.”
“You want to stay at my house.”
“No! Well, sometimes, but I want you, in my bed, in my house, in my heart. You know I can’t stand being away from you.”
We hugged and he said, “I thought I was the one so dependent on you.”
“I need you needing me. That’s constant. I have a place with you. This whole life we created up here will just vanish tomorrow. It’ll seem like a dream, not real.”
“I won’t leave you, Tim.”
Then we jumped each other, having real sex, not just masturbatory release. We walked back and slept wrapped so tightly around each other there was plenty of room for Stu to slip into our single bed when he woke up. We told him to not be so gay. We packed and were on the road before noon. The three of us made a special area in the back of the station wagon. We did doo wop rhymes and whistled until we got to Georgia. After eating dinner, I called home. My dad answered.
“Hi Dad. It’s Tim.”
“You ready to come home yet?”
“We should get in tomorrow night. Not too late. Can you hold dinner until Scott and I are there?”
“Yeah, my best friend. From the swim team. You saw his picture in the paper, remember? He’s been living with us since May. I’m with his family on vacation. Right, Dad?”
“Why’s he living here? His folks don’t want him?”
“No, Dad. It’s how we want it. I’ve stayed with them for the last two weeks.”
“Well, I’ll have to talk with Susan about it.”
“This isn’t a discussion. You both are moving in. I’m not changing how I’ve been living. You act like I’m doing something wrong.”
“No. I just don’t like surprises,” he argued.
“Well, don’t surprise me with new rules and restrictions. It’s not fair to Susan to put her in the middle of discussions. Don’t you want to start out on the right foot.”
“You’re acting like I have no say.”
“Dad! This is not the time for an argument. Do you want us home for dinner tomorrow, or should I just stay with Scott’s family?”
“Susan and I are going out. We’ll leave you guys food, if you need it.”
“Thanks Dad. I miss you.”
“Yeah, me, too.”
Stranger and stranger.
I went back to the motel room, but Scott wasn’t in his room. I found him in the coffee shop, talking with an older man. He was getting picked up. I walked up to them.
“This is Fred. He’s from Charlotte.”
He carefully looked me over, then figuring I was safe, too, propositioned both of us.
“Y’all wanna come back to my room and make twenty bucks apiece?”
“Com’n outside,” I told him.
Once in the parking lot, I grabbed him by the collar.
“Listen, asshole, We’re both fifteen. It’s a crime to proposition us. Scott, go call the police.”
Scott just stood there, staring. The salesman turned white as a ghost.
“Here, stop. Take the money and forget it.”
He pulled out his wallet. I grabbed it, took out one hundred dollars and his ID.
“Get out of here, you scumbag. I’ve got your address and will turn you in if I hear about you propositioning kids again.”
I threw the wallet on the ground. He picked it up and hustled awkwardly away.
“Wow,” Scott exclaimed. “How’d you know you could do that?”
“Joey taught me in New York. But why’d you let him pick you up?”
“I just thought he was friendly. I sat down and was talking with him. You were on the phone for so long, I got lonely.”
I laughed. “What a slut you are. Here,” and I handed him forty dollars.
“The slut scores. But how come you get more? He really wanted me.”
“You’re just the bait. Next time I’ll wait until he’s raped you. As your pimp I keep all the money.”
“I wouldn’t have gone with him.”
“I know, Scott. I did the same thing last year in Virginia, except the guy chickened out when he found out I was fourteen. Don’t tell Mom.”
“That you’re a slut?”
He looked chagrined. We went back to the motel and watched TV, arguing with Stu about the channels.
In the morning we left Georgia. After crossing into Florida, we got on the Florida Turnpike and started making good time. We pulled into Dade County at 5pm.
“How about spending one last night with us, Tim?” Mrs. Watt asked.
“Thanks, Mom. But I told my dad we’d be home for dinner.”
“We?” Mr. Watt asked. “Does that mean Scott’s still staying with you? I thought we’d gotten our son back.”
“Com’n, Dad. You know I’m staying with Tim.”
“Well, are you sure it’s okay with his dad?”
“My dad knows, Mr. Watt.”
They were quiet for a while. Then Mr. Watt added, “I’m not sure it’s best for you Scott, to spend so much time away from home.”
“Dad, look what’s happened since I’ve been with Tim. I’m State Champ, my grades are the best ever, I get along with Stu better – I even like him now. We start swim team tomorrow, so you know exactly what I’ll be doing. You act like I’m out of control.”
“Calm down, Scott. You can stay with Tim as much as you want. We just want to see more of you.”
Mrs. Watt added, “Why don’t you stay with us more, Tim.”
“Thanks, Mom,” I answered. “And thanks for the greatest vacation of my life. I’m part of this family, so of course you’ll see us more. It’s just that with my dad and his girlfriend moving in, things are changing. Scott helps me feel normal. And it’s great to know you’re there for me.”
“Of course, Tim.”
Pressure, from two sides now.