Knots, Book 3
by Elias Scott
Time to Face the Music
The ride home was quiet. None of us knew what to say until my mom turned to me in the backseat. "Matt, we had no idea. Why didn't you tell us?"
I didn't respond at first. "I couldn't. I hoped you'd never find out. I should have known better."
My dad looked in the rearview mirror. "We've always trusted you to tell us the truth, to talk to us about things. What happened? One day we think we know everything about you and the next it's as if we don't know you at all."
"Do you hate me?" I asked.
My mom turned and reached out to grab my hand. "We could never hate you."
I began to cry, weep really. "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Things just happened. I didn't mean for them to. You might not hate me, but I hate myself."
My father looked back. "We love you, Matt. We could never hate you and you should never hate yourself. We all make mistakes, but have to admit, this all comes as a shock. And the worst part is you didn't talk to us about any of this. Why didn't you talk to us before you had sex with Andy? Why didn't you talk to us about it afterward?"
Tears kept running down my cheeks. "Things just happened. I didn't plan on having sex with Andy the night I stayed at his house. It just suddenly seemed like the right thing to do." My voice cracked. "What was I going to do, stop and call you and ask if it was okay for me to have sex with Andy?"
My father turned into McDonald's. "I think we need something to eat."
This was really a case of comfort food if there ever was one. He pulled into the drive-thru, ordered, and then pulled up to the window to pay. We didn't talk to each other the whole time. He didn't bother to ask us what we wanted. He ordered three Big Mac meals. I remember thinking he should have order a Kid's Meal for me. Makes me smile now, but I wasn't smiling then.
Nibbling on french fries filled the silence as we drove to our house. I knew as soon as we got home there would be a low-key inquisition. There wasn't really anything to talk about. It had all been done. We were all stuck with the knots we'd tied in our lives. There wasn't anything they could do or I could do but move on best we could.
My dad pulled into the garage, "Matt, we have a lot to talk about. Run to your room, change, and meet us at the dining room table."
When I entered my room, I remember thinking the only thing in my future was house arrest. My parents were waiting at the dining room table. My mother still had tears in her eyes. Mine had disappeared and were pushed inside but couldn't be trusted to stay there for long. They stared at me as if I was a stranger while they waited for me to sit down. All I could muster was another, "I'm sorry."
My dad got up to get a glass of water. He turned back from the sink. "Matt, tell us what you're sorry for."
Damn, that wasn't what I was expecting. "I'm just sorry," I said as he came back to the table.
"You're not getting off that easy. What are you sorry for? Tell us."
I folded my arms across my chest and looked up at the ceiling. "I don't know. I'm just sorry."
My father raised his voice. "Think, Matt. You said you're sorry. What are you sorry for?"
It's strange because I was saying I'm sorry, but the problem was the list of why I was sorry was so long. I didn't want to say it.
My dad looked across the table at me. "Well, Matt. What are you sorry for?"
The tears came out of hiding and began rolling down my cheeks again. "I'm sorry for not telling you about Andy and me. I'm sorry for lying. I'm sorry for blindsiding you. I'm sorry for betraying your trust. I'm sorry for all of it."
My mother reached for my hands which were folded on the edge of the table. I extended my arms to her, and she took my hands and held them in hers. "Is there anything else?"
The tears continued. "I'm sorry for hurting you, for changing the way you see me, for not being the Matt you love."
She patted my hands. "You'll always be the Matt we love. It's your actions that are hard to love. Can you imagine how we felt when we found out that not only were you having sex with Andy, but had sex with Andy and two other boys? The lawyer was right when he called it an orgy. I'm not sure what else you could call it. Have you fallen so low?"
What could I say? At the time, we just thought we were having fun. We did have fun. But it was an orgy nonetheless. What else could you call four guys having sex? "I didn't think…"
My dad cut me off. "You're right, Matt. You didn't think. None of you seemed to have given any of it any thought."
He was right, but what could I say?
He glanced at my mother and then stared into my eyes as I wiped at the tears. "The question we face now is what do we do about it? Do you think you're gay?"
"I don't know."
I expected them to say, e ither you are you aren't. Instead he said, "Please explain that to me. You've been having sex with other boys and you're not sure if you're gay or not?"
"It's not that simple. Before Andy, I never thought about guys in that way. I like Gina. I find girls attractive, but I like…I like…"
"You like what?" my mom asked.
What were they expecting me to say? Were they expecting me to say I love sucking cock, getting rimmed, and having a cock in my ass? All of which were true. I gave them the simple answer. "I like sex. I like having sex."
"You like having sex with boys, but not girls, is that right?" my dad asked.
"I don't know. I've only had sex with guys. That's why I'm not sure if I'm gay. Maybe I'd like having sex with girls. Maybe I'm bisexual."
My dad frowned. "I can't believe we're having this discussion in the first place. Do you realize how much simpler all our lives would be if you had kept your penis in your pants and not shared it with a bunch of other guys? Have you thought about what the news media will make of this? Did you ever give thought to any of this? We love you, Matt. We know teenagers make bad decisions at times, but not only did you have sex with Andy, but you had sex with two other guys as well as Andy. The defense wanted to call it an orgy, and I've got to say, that's exactly what it was."
I nodded and tears dropped from my cheeks down to my lap. "I know. But it's too late now. What's done is done. We're all going to have to suffer the consequences. I'm sorry. I don't know what else to say."
My dad shook his head. "My God, Matt. You participated in an orgy. How did you let this get so out of hand? The only silver lining in this is whole thing is that none of you can get pregnant."
Normally, I suppose that would have gotten a laugh, but it didn't get anything out of any of us.
My dad gave me helpless look. "You understand that we'll need to ground you. If I was an insane parent I'd ground you until you graduated from high school. But that seems a bit unreasonable. What do you think we should do?"
That pissed me off. I wanted them to decide. My dad was right. I should be grounded until I turned eighteen. "Uh. Uh. I don't know. You decide."
He tightened his lips. "You're not getting off that easy. You decide or at least give us some ideas and we'll help you decide."
I went the easy route and suggested we do what we did before when I lied and made them think that all the four of us did was a circle jerk. "Here's what I think:
- I will have to come straight home after basketball practice.
- My bedroom door will have to always be open when anyone is here.
- No one can come here to visit unless you are home. Gina, Emily, Alan, and Ernie would be the exception. That's if they ever talk to me again.
- I can't use the phone after 8:30 PM.
- I promise never to lie to you again. I will tell you the truth even if I believe you will be angry or hurt.
- I promise not to have sex unless I talk to you about it first.
- I will be grounded until basketball season is over."
My parents smiled at me. "You're being pretty tough on yourself," my dad said. "Do you think you can live with it?"
"I don't know. I can at least try."
My mom stared out the dining room window and then back at me. "What happens once you're no longer grounded? Are you going to go back to your old ways?"
I paused to think. "Everything will stay in place except a couple things."
"What will stay in place?"
"I will leave my bedroom door open when friends visit. If I plan on having sex, I will tell you. I won't lie to you. I won't betray your trust."
My dad nodded. "That sounds fair."
Damn, how in the hell was I going to talk to my parents when I was thinking about having sex? Everything else seemed easy. But of course if I had sex and didn't tell them, I was betraying their trust. Shit, I was horny all the time. I wasn't sure I could stop. Hell, Andy and Thomas would be beating down my door. My parents were going to have to get me a chastity belt.
It was strange because for the first time I really felt my parents completely loved me, not just a little, but completely and unconditionally. Matt always talked about unconditional love. He always felt he was loved unconditionally, but for many years I didn't even feel loved, never mind unconditionally. I did now.
My parents and I had grown closer over that year, but you really don't know what you have until the shit hits the fan. And as you know from reading Knots 3, it did hit the fan.
They were concerned about me having sex so they set some conditions. One thing about them knowing I was gay, was that part was out of the way; I didn't have to come out to them or anything. They suspected I might be having sex with other guys. We'd already talked about it and they felt I should wait. Some of what came out at the trial was a surprise for them, but not near as much of a surprise as it was for Matt's parents. I hated the thought of what must be going on at his house.
My parents didn't yell at me once about what happened in court. But things got tense when they told me I was to keep my dick in my pants and my hands off other guys. I reacted by asking, "What's the sense of being gay if you can't have sex?"
We were standing in the kitchen making sandwiches and eating leftovers when my dad said, "Andy, we know you're gay. We accept that, but we don't want you having sex. Maybe you think it's just fun and I'm sure it is, but you're only fifteen."
I grabbed two slices of bread and started to spread mayonnaise on them. "I'm almost sixteen. I'll be driving soon. You can't tell me I can't have sex."
My mom put her hand on mine and I stopped spreading the mayo. "Andy, we love you, and because we love you, we think it's best that you find fulfillment. We want to see you to develop your own strength and ability to live your life without turning to sex."
I pulled a slice of bologna out of the package. "It's not like that. Sex is fun. I'm gay. Why shouldn't I enjoy gay sex?"
"We just told you," my dad said. "We agree. Sex should be fun. It should be enjoyed. But it should be at the right time and place and with the right person." He took milk out of the fridge and poured himself a glass. "You're still a kid, even though you think you're not. We want you to develop your coping skills and not turn to sex to feel comforted or fulfilled. You need to turn within yourself for strength and not to others to make you feel satisfied and complete as a person."
I set the knife on the sink and spun toward him. "So you're telling me I can't have sex?"
"Do you think telling you not to have sex will work?"
Dad took a sip of milk. "What do you suggest?"
"Mom. Dad. I love you both. You think I can stop, but I don't. Once you've had sex, there's no going back. That's why I don't think I can stop. But I'll do my best."
My mom pulled leftover fried chicken out of the refrigerator and turned toward me as she set it on the sink. "In court, you talked about tying knots in your life. Do you plan on tying more knots? You came close to committing suicide, and you still think you can just do anything and not pay a price?"
I finished putting my sandwich together, put it on a plate, grabbed a soda out of the fridge, and sat at the kitchen table. "I'm older and wiser now. It'll never happen again."
Dad grabbed a couple pieces of chicken, put them on a plate, and sat down across from me. "Do you want to take that chance?"
"Dad, I'll be fine. I'll do my best. Who would I have sex with anyway? Matt's going to be grounded. Thomas and Randy's parents will probably ground them too."
My dad shook his head. "Andy, we had no idea you were having sex with Matt. His parents must be hurt. They trusted both of you. They consider you part of the family. How do you think they'll feel now?"
I hadn't thought of that. Matt's mom and dad were like my second family. The look on their faces in court showed disappointment and anger. Suddenly, I wasn't sure I could go to their house anymore and face them.
Mom sat down with her chicken and a glass of water. When I didn't answer, she asked again. "How do you think they feel?"
"Angry and disappointed. I'm not sure I can face them."
"Your dad and I thought about that. We talked to them as well as Randy and Thomas' parents. We're getting together on Saturday to talk with you boys. Hopefully Randy and Thomas will have finished their testimony by then."
They meant well, but I wasn't too excited about all of us meeting. They'd see all of us together in the same room and have a picture of us fucking each other. But I guess if they could handle it, then I ccould too. Maybe we'll be able to get some things worked out and I'll be able to look Matt's parents in the eye again.
Andy and I pulled Thomas to the side when we got to the locker room for basketball practice that afternoon. He said he thought court went well, but that he probably had at least another half-day of testimony before he was done. "The defense hasn't cross-examined me yet. I'm scared."
Andy acted like he had it all under control. "Elaborate on questions whenever it will help nail Dillon. The defense will tell you to only answer the question, but every little extra you can add will piss them off and help Wheeler."
"But it's embarrassing. Weren't you embarrassed?"
Andy, cocky as usual, put on a big show of bravado. "Hell no. I loved it."
I patted Andy on the back. "Yeah, he was so confident; he was shivering and crying on the stand." Of course I didn't know what he did, but I knew that no matter how cocky he acted with us, he wasn't that way on the stand.
He spun around and pushed my hand off his back. "Matt doesn't know what he's talking about. It was a breeze."
I put my hand around Thomas' shoulder. "Thomas, the defense is tough so be ready for a good grilling. Andy's right about expanding on answers when it will help us. They don't like you to expand if it's going to hurt them."
Andy pushed my arm off Thomas and put his arm around Thomas' shoulder like they were old buds. "Okay, I'm going to admit it can be tough. Expanding on an answer can also hurt. Banta used it against me one time. So be careful. Don't get angry. I got angry and started babbling on and couldn't figure out why the defense didn't object. It was because they hoped I'd say something they could use against us, and they did."
A voice came from behind us. "Are you guys having a threesome over here?" It was Jackass Barnes.
Andy was quick. "Why, you want to join us?"
"Fuck off, Andy." Barnes walked off and yelled into the varsity locker room. "We have three JV's over here having a threesome." About ten guys rushed over to see what was going on. By then, we'd separated and headed out to the gym.
Practice went well that day because the news on the trial hadn't hit the media yet. But the next day things would no longer be the same.
The evening news covered that day's trial. Drawings of the judge, Dillon, Wheeler, and the defense attorneys were flashed on the screen as they went through the details of that day's trial. Our faces were drawn in such a way that we could not be recognized.
"One fifteen-year-old witness finished his testimony, a second fifteen-year-old was called back, and a fourteen-year-old alleged victim was questioned by the prosecution. He will be cross-examined tomorrow. One fifteen-year-old admitted to having had sex with at least five other boys including having sex with three boys at the same time. The other fifteen-year-old boy admitted he had sex with three of the same boys at the same time. The defendant wasn't present when these sexual activities took place.
"The prosecution pointed out that none of these sexual activities occurred until after Dillon Burke allegedly seduced and/or raped them. One boy testified that he had sex with one of the victims because he thought his best friend might commit suicide when he found out Dillon Burke was having sex with other boys. The defendant allegedly led him to believe he was the only boy in his life.
"We will continue covering this trial. As reported earlier, a fourteen-year-old boy that was thirteen at the time Dillon Burke allegedly seduced him will be cross-examined tomorrow."
Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. - Anne Frank
At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents. - Jane D. Hull
Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self-worth. It is sad that so many parents don't realize what messages they are sending. - Virginia Satir
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