Knots, Book 3
by Elias Scott
All of us went to court to listen to the closing arguments. Wheeler was awesome and the defense didn't seem to have much of a case, but who knew what the jury would decide.
We got back to school just before lunch so I didn't bother to go to class. I went directly to the elm tree. The bell rang and I stood there by myself feeling stupid. If Gina didn't show, I was going to look like a fool for the second time. I began to pace while watching the front door of the school. Kids were filing out but no Gina. I wanted to sit in the grass, but it was damp so I just kept pacing. Finally, I saw her. She gave me a timid wave and headed toward me. Other students looked. Then I saw Emily with her. "Shit," I thought. I wanted to walk away, but stood there and waited.
I frowned. "I see you brought your lawyer."
"Emily thought I should have a witness."
"A witness to what? I want to talk to you, not Emily." I turned to Emily. "Would you please leave?"
"Gina, ask her to leave."
"I told you he wouldn't want you here," she said as she gave Emily a dirty look.
"Of course not. What did you expect?"
I began to plead. "Come on, Em. We've been friends for a long time. It's not like I'm a serial killer or anything. We're just going to talk. Gina doesn't need you here. Do us a favor and leave, would you?"
She wagged her head. "And how do we know you're not a serial killer. We didn't know you were gay and having sex orgies either."
"Come on, Em. Let it go. I'm sorry. Shit happens. What can I say?"
Gina nudged Emily. "Em, leave. We'll be fine."
Emily shrugged. "Okay. If that's the way you want it." She shook her head and walked off with a pissed off swagger.
I took my jacket off and laid it on the ground. "Let's sit."
She glanced at me like I was crazy, but she sat down on my jacket and I sat down next to her on the sleeve. "I appreciate you coming. I know this isn't the best place, but it's away from everyone."
I paused as she waited for me. "I talked to my parents about everything yesterday."
She folded her arms around herself. "Everything?"
"Yes. I know I hurt you and I also hurt them. After the first time with Andy, it seemed like I was possessed. You've never had sex. You have no idea how it can have so much power over you. I had no idea either. I just figured Andy and I would have sex that one time, he'd be all right, and I'd be all right. But it wasn't like that at all. After that, all I could think about was sex and when we'd have sex again. Nothing else seemed to matter."
"And that makes it alright?"
"No, but you know how on TV couples have sex and then it seems like it was a one-time thing and they either move on or maybe they just do it every once in awhile. Well, that's a bunch of bull. It's not real at all. I was so naïve. No, once you've had sex, it's all you think about. You know how I always love to talk about knots? I always thought other people tied knots in their lives, but not me. What a fool I am."
She nudged me. "I'd have to agree."
"You have every right to. Anyway, I've been thinking about you and Andy and Thomas and I'm one confused guy. I've never had sex with a girl, only guys. I have no idea what it would be like. So I find myself with these desires for guys that I can't just put in a box and lock away. It's one of those knots that might be good in the right circumstances, but maybe not now at fifteen."
Gina looked like she was going to cry. "So what are you going to do? What did you talk to your parents about? You began to tell me but didn't finish."
I was beginning to get cold so I put my arm over her shoulder to help keep her warm and to find warmth in her body. After all, it was February. She didn't move closer, but she also didn't move away.
I went on. "What I've been telling you I guess is a roundabout way of getting to my point. I like you. I'd like us to be friends. I'd like to go out with you on a date. But at the same time, I'm caught up with Andy and Thomas. They like me and want me and I can't just say no. Do you understand?"
"No. Do you really expect me to understand? You want everything to be perfect. You want to date me and still have sex with Thomas and Andy. How can you even suggest that?"
"Hell, Gina. I don't know. You're right. I want all my desires to be satisfied and don't want to accept any consequences. But can't we still be friends? I miss all of us eating lunch together. I promise to be honest from now on. After all, even gay guys have friends that are girls."
She took my arm off her shoulder. "Why would you want to go out with me if you're gay?"
I wanted to cry. "I don't know what I am. Before all this happened, my life had purpose. I was focused on my future and knew where I was going. I was second-string varsity quarterback for a time and sophomore class president. Now, it's like I'm wandering around in a desert."
Then she asked, "So what are you going to do to find your way out of the desert?"
I felt tears forming in my eyes. "I don't know. I honestly don't know." A tear rolled down my cheek. I was embarrassed because everyone says boys don't cry.
Gina saw the tear, wiped it from my cheek, and kissed the wet spot left behind. "Matt, I'm sorry. I've only been looking at it from my point of view. I had no idea you were in such pain."
Tears suddenly came in like a storm. There was nothing to stop the rain. I put my face in my hands and felt the tears and then an arm around my shoulders. "I'm sorry, Matt. I'll be here for you."
Her words only made me cry harder. My world had come to this moment under the elm tree with a girl I'd never had sex with, would probably never have sex with, and who really seemed to care about me. At that moment, she understood my pain. I'm not sure anyone really understood the pain I was in until that moment. Maybe it was just the tears, but my tears were real and they only happened when I was there with Gina sitting on my jacket under the elm tree in the cold February air.
We went to the closing arguments in Dillon's trial and I remember thinking that if the jury didn't find that scumbag Dillon guilty, I was going to get the other guys and we'd rape him ourselves after we beat the shit out of him.
We got back to school just before lunch. Matt headed off to meet Gina. I saw Gina and Emily heading out the door together. They were too far away for me to grab hold of Emily and pull her away. Matt looked a bit pissed when he saw Emily. You could see them going back and forth until Emily finally left. She saw me on her way back into the school and just gave me a dirty look. I asked, "What did I do?"
"You're responsible for what Matt did."
"But I…" That's all I got out because she marched off.
Matt took his coat off and laid it on the ground. I remember thinking, How gallant. Things looked tense at first but before I knew it he put his arm around Gina's shoulders. She didn't move. She appeared as cold as an icicle. She didn't snuggle up to him, and he seemed afraid to move closer. This went on while they talked. Actually, it looked like he was doing all the talking. Then the talking stopped. He dropped his head into his hands and when he brought it up Gina wiped something off his cheek and then kissed him there. If I didn't know better, I would have thought he was crying.
Gina put her arm around Matt. I couldn't believe it. Suddenly, the icicle seemed to be melting. I would have sure loved to have been a fox in the tree. Matt didn't want to talk about what happened when I saw him later, so I just let it go.
I didn't get a chance to talk to Matt again until just before basketball practice. The only thing I could get out of him was that he and Gina had a date to go to a movie or meet for lunch over the weekend. It appears they're going to be friends again, and hopefully we can start getting together for lunch like we used to. Of course, who knew after the way Emily treated me that morning.
Thomas sat in a chair in the corner of the gym where he could listen and watch basketball practice. It was sad seeing him sit there with his crutches and cast. His operation was going to be on Wednesday. I remember thinking, He must be one horny boy and I could help him jack-off if he'd like. And of course that's just what I told him when a ball rolled near him and I ran to pick it up. He smiled and said, "Asshole."
I still found it hard to believe Thomas talked that way. Like I said, he had an innocent look. I replied. "Too bad you're on the injured reserve. Otherwise I'd dribble your balls and let you shoot baskets into my mouth."
That got another smile. "You know what Andy? You're still an asshole, but a funny asshole."
I replied, "That's music to my ears when it comes from you."
Coach yelled, "Gibson, quit bothering Thomas, and get your butt back here."
The news that night mentioned Dillon's trial had come to an end and the jury was currently deliberating. They figured deliberations would be short and a verdict might be pronounced the next day. The Bible may say, "The truth shall set you free," but I didn't feel that it had yet. But to be honest, in the long run it did. Everything was finally out in the open. Most of the kids at school were cool about it except for guys like Jackass Barnes, who was less of an asshole after Coach cornered him that day at practice. Andy and I talked about the trial and the consequences after basketball practice. At first, we agreed that everyone would soon forget about it once the trial was over until we remembered Dillon was going to be tried for perjury, and we might be called back in to testify again. Evan was out on bail, but expelled, so we didn't have to see his sorry ass around. His trial for the assault on Andy was coming up and we began to think the knots we tied would never unravel, but just get pulled tighter and tighter.
My parents got a call around 10:00 PM saying the jury had reached a verdict. That meant we were going to spend part of our day in court. I really didn't want to go, but curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to be there when the asshole was found guilty. At least I hoped he'd be found guilty.
The next day the jury filed one by one into the jury box. Their faces were expressionless. They sat and the judge asked if they had a verdict. The jury foreman, a short round man with gray hair stood up. "Yes, Your Honor, we do."
The bailiff took the written verdict from the foreman and gave it to the judge, who unfolded it, read it, and had the bailiff return it to the foreman.
Judge Fienberg spoke. "Would the defendant please stand."
The judge continued, "Please read the verdict."
The foreman unfolded the paper. "As to the charge of statutory rape of Andy Gibson, Thomas Galbraith, and Randy Barnson, we find the defendant not guilty."
Dillon smiled and glanced down at his smiling attorneys.
The foreman continued. "As to the statutory rape of Matthew Spence, we find the defendant guilty as charged."
Dillon's smile disappeared. Banta and the others stood, patted him on the back, and assured him they'd appeal the verdict. Dillon sat down and then quickly stood up again. He looked back at his parents. His mother was crying and his dad stared straight ahead, expressionless. His parents had sat silently throughout the trial. Their expression never changed. They avoided the press and when asked if they thought their son was guilty, they just said, "No comment."
The press asked if they were suspicious their son was having sexual relationships with young boys. Their answer again was, "No comment."
Dillon's mother moved toward him just as the bailiff grabbed him by the arm and escorted him out of court. His mother reached toward him, but it was too late.
Thank God they found that scumbag Dillon guilty of raping Matt. At first I thought he was going to get off scot-free when he wasn't found guilty of raping Thomas, Randy, or me. The media managed to track down a couple jurors after court and of course it was all on TV later that night.
The general gist was that Dillon was not eighteen when he had sex with Thomas and Randy. The jury felt that since I was already having sex with Dillon prior to his turning eighteen, they couldn't return a verdict of guilty on that count either. I hated to admit it, but that made sense, despite the fact I'd hoped he'd be found guilty on all counts and they'd put his ass away for ten years.
They found him guilty of statutory rape with Matt because Matt was fifteen and Dillon was eighteen at the time he raped him. The jury members that were willing to talk said they had concerns about Dillon's attraction to young boys and hoped that in the sentencing portion he'd be required to undergo counseling.
The whole thing seemed surreal. I loved the sex I had with Dillon and thought I loved him. Strange I should say that because I still think I did love him even though he didn't love me. That's the reason it hurt so much when I found out he betrayed me. Maybe that's the way Gina and Emily felt because we didn't tell them about any of the things we were doing. Although I'm not sure why they should expect it. It's kind of private. Alan and Ernie might have felt the same, but they weren't nearly as angry.
I called Matt after hearing the news. "You must be relieved that they found that scumbag guilty of raping you."
"Yeah, so what?"
"I don't know. If it wasn't for that, he'd be out of jail right now."
He didn't say anything at first. "I guess you're right. With our luck though, they'll give him probation and he'll be out running the streets bragging about how he got off and that we are a bunch of little teenage whores."
"Matt, you worry too much. If they do that, we should get together and beat the shit out of him."
"Hmph. So we can then be on trial for assault."
"Well, it sounds like a good idea. Vengeance can be sweet."
"I just want it to all be over. Evan still has to go on trial for kicking the shit out of you. The only thing we can hope for is the press won't make a big deal of it. But I'm sure they will because you're involved. And Dillon has to go on trial for perjury. This is never going to end."
"Shit, I hadn't thought of that," I said. "Knots, Matt. It's those damn knots. They keep coming back to haunt us."
Then he got all philosophical. "Remember the weeds from our lawn mowing last summer. I'm beginning to wonder if this whole thing is more about weeds. Weeds grow in among the flowers and sometimes in the grass. They don't require much water and sprout up like well, weeds. Everything about what happened with the trial and what we did has spread like weeds. If you think of our friends as flowers, the weeds have grown in between us and it seems like no matter how many times we pull them out, they come back."
"Shut up, Matt. You can be so morbid sometimes. Forget all the symbolism. Sometimes life is just shit and we have to learn to live with it."
I heard a low laugh. "Andy, you really do have a way of putting everything into perspective. You're right. Sometimes life is just shit and we need learn to live with it. But even that makes me think that it's important that we don't shit in our own yard."
I laughed. "Yeah, you're right."
The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing, not curing... that is a friend who cares. - Henri Nouwen
Times of great calamity and confusion have been productive for the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace. The brightest thunder-bolt is elicited from the darkest storm. - Charles Caleb Colton
I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion. - Albert Einstein
There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts. - Mahatma Gandhi
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