Book 1: Billie Joe's Journey

by Rick Beck

Chapter 5

Is This the End My Friend?

"What are we going to do, kid?"

"Let's go back to the room."

"Will you stop. We got to talk! You know we got to talk about it sooner or later."

"Let's talk about it later."

"Later I'll be gone, and then I won't know what we're doing. I won't be sure what all this means."

"You going to stay with me?"

Carl looked at me and grabbed my other hand so he was swinging both of them right in between 1st and 2nd Streets where you could see the front of Pike's. Hustler's stood in the doors of the magazine shops and hookers stood just in the gutter all along the block. People in raincoats passed in a flurry, and Carl held both my hands and looked so deep in my eyes I wanted to jump on him to make him stop.

"You know what I have to do."

"Then we've got nothing to talk about, Carl Young. When you leave, you're gone. If I see you again, then we'll deal with that when it happens."

"You won't write me while I'm over there?"

"I didn't say that. I'll write you constantly. I'll start my next letter when I'm mailing one. I'll think of you every night, and my heart will ache because I can't reach out and hold you, but I can't go back now. You've opened the door, and I can't go back to Minnesota, to that stupid lie I lived the past three years. I won't do it!" I looked down at our hands, and my voice dropped almost to a whisper. "I can't do it."

"You're nuts. You've got to go home. You're a fucking kid. You've got to go home."

"I can't Carl. This kid knows what he feels, and if I can't be with the man I love, then I'll go somewhere that people will at least let me be myself. I won't live that lie any longer. I can't, and since I don't know what it all means, I can't tell you I will stay true blue to you. It's not fair you going a way for a year just when I'm realizing what I want and need to finally be happy. It isn't fair, and I won't make that promise to you because I won't lie for you."

"You're too young to be out on your own." "Maybe. I guess I'll find out if I am. I'm going, Carl. When you get on that plane, I'm hitching to California."

"You are nuts! You'll get killed out there. You're a kid."

"Maybe I'm shorter than you, but we're the same age and you're in the Army. Besides, I've grown up the last few days. I can't go back home and live like I did before I fell in love with you. No way I can do that."

"It's only little more than a year. You'll be safe there and I won't worry about you. Please, Billie, go home for my sake."

"My best friend was named Ralph. He killed himself last month. He was gay and I never knew it. He never knew about me. I'm not keeping it a secret any more, Carl. I need to know there is somewhere that I'll be accepted and not scorned. I don't want to face what Ralphie faced."

"He was your age?"

"He was a couple months older than me."

"He was my age. I'm sorry, Billie Joe."

"I can't just wait to see how it's all going to turn out. I can't go back there. I need to find where I belong."

"You belong with me," Carl insisted.

"You are going where?"

"If I had a choice I wouldn't leave you. You'd never need to go looking for a place where you belong."

"You don't have a choice but I do."

"You'd be safer at home."

"After being with you, it would be like taking a rose in bloom and putting it in a jar and screwing the lid on tight. I'd do just what that rose would do, Carl."

"You're scaring me, Billie. I can't be thinking about you out there."

"Stay with me then. If you stay I won't need to go, Carl. I'll stay with you forever and I won't ever care about what anyone else does or thinks. But if you leave me alone I'm going somewhere that I'm not alone. That's the thing, you see. I can't go back to being alone. I didn't ask for this, but I'm not going to pretend I'm not me. You can do that for your Army buddies. I can't do it. I'm going where people will like me because I am me. I won't pretend any longer."

"Why do you sound so smart all of a sudden? You were a little kid when I met you."

"Just shorter than you, Carl."

"Whatever. Now you have all the answers." "No, Carl, I don't. That's why I've got to go."

"I'm not gay. I've never ever thought about doing stuff with a guy before I met you. I don't know what you expect to find. I understand though."

"You're my boyfriend, Carl. I'm your boyfriend and I know what I am, and I won't live a lie. Not ever again.I've got to go where people want me like I am. That isn't Minnesota."

"Stay with John, then. He seems cool enough."

"I thought of that, and I could stay with John if I wanted, but my parents would be at him every minute to make me -- force me -- to come home. It only works if I leave."

Carl turned away from me and pulled me along by one arm. He walked one step ahead, and I couldn't catch up without running and I wouldn't run. I just walked as fast as I could to keep from having him drag me onto my face. His legs were long and his strides were quick and decisive. I knew he was angry with me, but that didn't matter to me.

He was leaving me for the Army and I was angry about that. I suppose I liked he would worry about me, and I wanted him to be thinking about me. I wasn't going to make it easy for him. I wanted him to feel like I felt.

"So what's it mean?" he snapped, as he turned and faced me after two blocks.

"You tell me? I'm just a kid."

"Are you going to wait for me or not? I need to know."

"Of course I'll wait for you."

"Do you love me or not?"

"I love you. It's the one thing I'm certain about. I'll be waiting at the gate for you when you come off the plane. But I'm not sitting in Minnesota waiting to see if you come back. Not going to happen. I'm just figuring out who I am. I can't put it on hold until you get back to me on it. I've got to go on with my life, Carl. Whether or not I love you, you won't be here to help me make it through. If you were we wouldn't be talking about it. I left home for a reason."

We started walking again and this time Carl's strides were less angry and more thoughtful. He looked into the more upscale shop windows as we trekked up the hill. I kept up by walking quick-like. He stopped another block up.

"Okay, I got to go. You got to go. You do what you got to do, Billie. When I get on the plane I'll be loving you just as much, but you go and do what you've got to do to keep you going until I come home to take care of you. You get yourself killed and I'll kill you myself. You let anyone hurt you and I'll kick your ass all the way from here to Alabama, where I live. I won't say anything about not loving you if you don't wait for me, because it isn't true. I'm going to love you forever because you are my first love. No one else can ever be my first and that's saying something. I'm waiting to get back to you, Billie. That's all I'm doing."

"It's up to you. I'll make no promise. You're leaving me and I'm going to find a place where I belong. I'll know more about myself when you come back. I won't promise to be true blue to you, because I don't know what's out there. I'll promise to be waiting for you when you come off the plane. I promise I'll be unhurt, undead, and very much wanting to be your second love."

"Go back to the room," he ordered.


"I said go back to the room. There's something I've got to do."

"Find a woman to stick it in?" I blurted unreasonably.

"If that's what you think, sure. Find some woman to stick it in. Asshole."

"I don't care. Go ahead. Maybe that's what you need."

"I know what I need. I got what I need. I need to walk and think. Alone. You give me a lot to think over, and I plan to think without you around on account of I can't think with you around. I can only think of one thing with you around."

"Okay. Give me the key so I can get in."

"You aren't going out?"

"Only if you tell me where you're going, and then I'll go out to you."

"Go to the room."

"Yes, sir. I'm going, sir. You have fun," I said obnoxiously child-like.

"Fuck you," he snapped back at me.

"Now you're talking. Come on back to the room and you can do just that."

"You are nuts."

"Never said I wasn't nuts, Ponyboy. Nuts over you I am."

Carl laughed, turning away and going down hill, back towards the seedy blocks we just passed. I pushed it out of my mind and walked up the hill with one foot in the gutter and one on the curb as cars and buses splashed water all over me. I didn't care. I was mad and didn't know why.

It took me an hour to walk the few blocks to the hotel. The manager looked at me funny. I must have been a sight splattered in mud and soaked as I slipped through the entrance way and ran up the stairs. I sat in the dark a long time and cried. I knew Carl was leaving me. I would have said anything to get him to stay. If he did stay, we'd live together, and I'd work to support him, but I knew he wasn't staying with me. I cried harder and took off all my clothes and went and sat in the tub with the water pouring on me from the showerhead and steam rising up into the stale air of the bathroom.

It was hours before I heard the door shut real soft, but the latch made a distinctive click I could hear even in the bathtub. I closed my eyes and leaned back pretending he wasn't there. I was mad at him for leaving me for the first time when we could have been together. I heard the door pushed open and I could see his shadow through my lids filling the doorway.

"You want to come out here a minute?"

"You want me to meet your bimbo or something."

"Fuck you."

"Get undressed. We can do that in here."

"Fuck you."

"Get undressed."

"Get your fucking ass out of the tub. I ain't playing here."

As I stood up a shiver ran through me. I opened the curtain and felt naked as he looked at me. He looked from my feet to my face and smiled at what he saw. He had one hand behind his back. He stretched it out and in it was a royal blue jewelry box. I looked at him and started crying.

"Open it. Why are you crying?"

"Because I treat you so mean and you're so fucking nice all the time. That's why."

"Open it. I guess you can tell it isn't a ring, but you don't get a ring until I come back."

I wiped my eyes and opened the top. Inside was a gold bracelet with huge links. It was engraved Billie in the upper left hand corner and Joe in the bottom right hand corner.

"It's not right. I want your name on it, not mine."

"Turn it over, asshole."

On the bottom was engraved the word 'loves' in the upper left hand corner and on the bottom was Carl. He took the box from me and put it on the back of the toilet and hugged me as the water ran over him and me, as well as the sink, toilet, and the floor.

"It's to make sure you don't forget. I paid the jeweler fifty bucks to come back to work to engrave it. That's what took me so long. He only engraves during the day, and I wanted it tonight."

"You're crazy. You couldn't have waited until tomorrow?"

"I'm crazy about you, and I wanted you to have it tonight. I want you to know how I feel."

"Why Billie Joe Loves Carl? Why not Carl Loves Billie Joe?" I asked, wiping my eyes free of tears.

"Because I know I love you. I want you to remember you love me while you're on the road. I want you to look under it where it touches your skin and be reminded you love me, kid. I don't want you forgetting that. It might not keep you from doing whatever you're doing to do but it will remind you who loves you."

"How could I forget, Ponyboy?"

"Want to prove it?"

"How?" I asked, admiring what he'd gotten me and beaming because of what he told me about it.

"You know how. I've been dying all the way back thinking about you doing that to me. I almost stopped to yank it, but that meant I'd be away from you that much longer. I need you to do that tonight. All-night tonight. You and me, kid."

"With your clothes on? Get real, Ponyboy."

We kissed there for a long time with water running everywhere. It would have been easy to turn it off but my mind wasn't on water and time stood still as we became lost in one another.

Finally we dried off and left our clothes and the towels to soak up the water. He carried me into the bedroom, lying me flat on the bed, he straddled me, easing himself down on my thing as I watched, amazed. He seemed intent on this in particular, and once he'd gotten comfortable, he rode me for what seemed like hours. We kissed and rolled, always ending up with him back on top with my back flat on the bed.

It was the first time we stuck with it until the deed was done for both of us. We kissed and touched until we were at it again. He became lost with me inside him and at times he leaned back on his hands and eased himself up and down on my inflamed erection. His own hardon stuck out as his nuts swung back and forth with his gyration. He seemed lost in a world we were both solidly connected together.

My hips were a perpetual motion machine I couldn't stop. The longer we went the longer I could go. As good as everything was before, this was the best of all because it lasted for hours. Each time either of us started to lose control, we stopped and kissed and he leaned forward to hold me against his chest.

Rubbing my hands up and down his thighs electrified me. With his legs bent back under him the muscles stood out even more. His chest stretched and the muscles shifted, but there was no jiggle or movement that wasn't a tightly controlled action by his body. It took me a long time to start on the nipples, and the first time wasn't a fluke because of him going for three long months without sex. When I started twisting them, they stood out, hardening under my fingers. His body was like a live wire under my touch.

I remembered how much he liked me to pinch hard, and I did, being careful not to overdo a good thing. The more he moaned and reacted the more I reacted and moaned. Even though we'd both just completed a round of wonderful love making, we became lost in another magnificent mutual motion that had me floating on air and lost in the clouds of love making. As long as I was lost with Carl, it didn't matter where my mind took me. The feel of him in my hands kept me occupied as I filled and refilled him with an arousal I'd never before known. The harder I thrust against his tight butt the hotter I got and after what must have been a long time but seemed but a few seconds and no more than a minute, I lost control once more humping his ass and filling him with my happy love. As I yanked him unmercifully he moved up and down on me and as I came he came with me as a long solid jet of juice hit me in the face. At first shocked I s tarted laughing and he laughed and we came and laughed as I felt myself return to the Seattle bed and we lie together in perfect bliss.

I dozed and woke up with him in my arms. It was cool. He was warm. The feel of his body was incredible. I wasn't sure how long I slept but I was wide awake. I felt his ever-hard dick and got the idea I should use one hand to pump him up completely and at the same time twist the easiest nipple to reach. I added my hot dick to the action, moving it across the ridges of his butt hole, which made me gasp each time I crossed the target.

Rousing him was easy with so much of his body in my hands. First his dick got as hard as it could get. His push back against me was a sure sign we were linked together. I positioned my hot head on his hot hole, which opened magically as he moved back on me. My head found entry easy compared with previous tries. His hole eased up my shaft until he had me fully within his grasp.

I had to stoop to avoid the unthinkable early end to this next act in our love play. I squeezed his dick hard and juices joined my fingers on his oversized dickhead. I squeezed again and let my fingers catch the escaping liquid. He moaned, pushing back hard.

"Not yet" he whispered back over his shoulder. "Let me feel you inside me for awhile."

It was a plea I almost couldn't honor. I wanted to squeeze and twist his cockhead and demand it give me all there was it had to give, but I fought my desire, feeling his hole twitching lightly on my dick as he fought off a too early end to the renewal we were both seeking.

Being too hot to start makes it difficult to gage what is starting and in what direction you are going. Before long, still hanging onto his muscle of love, but not tormenting it, I took over for Carl. At first he moved back and forth in a non-descript motion that kept me engaged but kept him from finishing without me.

There's no way to know when his motion lost out to my motion, but I had a grip on him and his hole like never before. I could go as slow or as quick as I liked, and nothing interrupted my chosen speed. I held him and gave him all there was of me to give without complaint. It took me some time to find my way through the fog of love and back to that swollen organ that waited to be rediscovery. Then, I could twist, pull, yank, and torment it for all I was worth. Carl had become so intent on my rear end activity that his super sensitive dick had cooled enough for me to tempt it back into action.

Reaching around him with his knees bent and my dick filling his butt caused his dick to swell thicker and even harder than previous assaults on it. This was a good position for me, allowing me to be fully engaged with his body. His was a less active role, except for his butt meeting me half way and his dick twitching with delight as I worked it over. There was nothing else but Carl and me, together, floating, rocking, merging in glorious harmony, unaware there was anything else.

I knew when he was starting to finish because of his hole biting into my dick. It was the same twitching before, when he came to the end of the road for this session of love.

The same twitching on my dick that announced where Carl was, told me I was but a few thrusts from joining him if I gave up my slow and easy grind for a more desperate motion that, along with the twitching of his hole, would have me shooting my load as quick as I gave up my control.

Leaning back against me, I wrapped my arms around him and felt and his stomach and chest were set in an impressive mold of Army hardened muscle as he heaved in powerful gulps of fresh air, trying to calm down and I clung to him. Using my final ounce of energy, I thrust forward. He moaned. I smiled, wondering if it was all a dream.

I drifted off and woke up with Carl sitting on the side of the bed.

"No," I said.

He stood and walked into the bathroom.

Traffic passed under our window. It had rained again. There was that sound tires make after a rain. Artificial light shinned tiny bands of light through the closed slats. Otherwise the room was dark and I heard Carl turn off the light and he came back to the bed. I rolled over and put my arms around me. He fastened my bracelet to my wrist and it slid half way up my arm. I unfastened it and refastened it near my elbow, feeling the engraving, which warmed me all over.

"We'll get a link or two taken out," he said.

"No, I'll grow into it," I assured him, holding my hand protectively on the jewelry.

Leaning forward, he hesitated as his lips moved toward mine. It was like that first kiss. He only let them barely touch my lips. His lips were like a wispy bit of wind traveling past. Gone was the hungry need to taste my kisses and we were able to enjoy the companionship that meant so much to both of us. It was a hard and sometimes brutal world, but being together, having one another, made all the difference. I sampled the sweetness of his lips and tongue.

I was perfectly content with this new calmer side of our relationship, having about worn myself out, but not quite I guess. Before long we rocked and rolled and the bed squeaked and squawked, but we showed it no mercy as we rode off to destinations unknown. We traveled as one and rode off into the light and flew around the ceiling and up through the slats of our blinds and out into the cool Seattle night. Our bodies left us and explored the universe floating up through the stars and constellations. Just dust mingling together and sharing one universal existence. We rode and moved through the night and only when first light shone in through the window did we know we were exhausted back in our bed.

Only then did we separate and Carl lay beside me with his lips barely touching mine. My eyes studied his gorgeous face and his freckles and eyelids as they danced and drooped for me as I noticed lines of fatigue etched into his face. Our arms and legs were tangled together as the final bit of energy ran out of me.

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