Knots, Book 4
by Elias Scott
Our lunch table was filled with tension and worry on Friday. The football game was on my mind as well as Saturday's party at the pool. Shit, who knew what was going to happen. I decided there'd be no pot or drinking for me because I was sure I'd make a fool of myself, and that was the last thing I needed. I'd never drank or smoked, and I figured I'd probably choke to death if I smoked pot.
Gina and Emily were worried it was going to turn into a brawl (hindsight being 20/20). Ollie saw nothing but an opportunity for a good time. Alan, Ernie, and Carmen were as excited as Ollie. We missed Andy's presence at lunch because he always had an opinion, and there wasn't any way he'd have had any negative thoughts about the party at the pond except for the memories it would drag up of Dillon. Colton was now a part of our lunch crowd and he and Thomas were excited about the party because they were only sophomores. The juniors (that being us), made it clear no sophomores were allowed except for Colton, Thomas, and Ollie. They were all the more excited because of this.
Coach didn't start me against Taft for the same reasons as the week before. Besides, my few minutes in the previous game made me look like shit. Frank Kutcher was quick to remind me all week that he was still the starting QB. "You just as well face it Spence, you're going to be riding the pine when we're on offense."
My first inclination was to fight back with some kind of smartass remark, but I was beginning to think he might be right. The thought scared me because it not only meant that I was losing my edge in football, but with everything in my life. Looking back now, I realize much of it was in my head, but when you're young or maybe anytime in life, when you let your life sink down from the high you were on to a low you never experienced before, it happens.
Frank played well, but we lost the game. I got in for a few plays. The only good thing was I started on defense as an outside linebacker and that gave me playing time. But I didn't do very well there either. My mind always seemed to be somewhere else. At first it was only the images of whoring around that summer, but then everything began swirling in my mind: Dillon raping me, our threesome and foursome, Dillon Burke's trial and the embarrassing testimony I had to give, the looks on my parents' faces when they heard it, the sneers and suspicions at school, my reluctance to join the GSA, and the sex with Andy and Thomas. The sex with Andy and Thomas was special because we cared for each other. The foursome with Randy, Thomas, Andy, and me was maybe the best sex because we were all still a little innocent, if you want to call having a foursome innocent. No matter how hard I tried, the film kept playing in my head.
Coach pulled me out on defense and put Darrell Givens, a sophomore, in. He was brought up to the varsity just like me the year before. Suddenly I knew how Frank felt when he lost the QB job to me the year before. I sat on the bench, threw my helmet on the ground, and hung my head.
The Pond Party
Everything Gina and Emily worried about came true. Things got started around 11:30 in the morning and by 12:30 p.m. over a hundred kids showed up. Most were juniors and seniors with a few sophomores, who were daring enough to show. The seniors ran them off. They tried to do the same with Ollie, Thomas, and Colt, but Alan came to their defense and said they'd been invited.
Everything started off slowly. Kids milled around in their usual clicks. Each group brought their own supply of pot, beer, and hard liquor, consuming it as if it was their own private reserve. Billy, Jacob, and Ted were the first on the rope. Soon others joined them, some with one can of beer or a drink in their hand. Matt sat with their usual lunch group. They'd brought soda and the girls had actually packed a lunch. Jackass Barnes came over sucking on a joint. He stuck it out to Matt. Matt shook his head.
"Come on, Matt. We know you're a goody goody and all, but after some of the things you've done, I don't think smoking a little pot is going to hurt you."
"Barnes, you can do whatever you want, but stay away from us," Emily said.
"Ah, Emily Cooper, defender of the weak and helpless, and the guy who led everyone to believe he is someone he isn't."
Matt stood. "Take that back."
"Truth hurts, huh?"
Barnes stuck his hand out with the weed. "I'll take it back if you take a hit."
"I don't smoke."
"Give it a try anyway."
Matt grabbed it. Gina grabbed his arm. "Don't listen to this fool. You don't need to smoke pot. You're better than that."
He knew he wasn't any better than that, so he grabbed the joint and tried to act like he was an experienced pot smoker. To his surprise, he only let out a small cough as he took a short inhale. "That was easier than I thought." He took another drag, longer this time, inhaled, held it, and then let it out. "Okay, take what you said back."
"You're a sucker, Spence. I'm not taking anything back."
Matt had barely begun to feel the effects of the pot, but it calmed him enough that he just laughed at Barnes. "Well, Barnsy old boy, you're always going to be Jackass Barnes, so I guess there's no need for you to take it back."
Barnes' reaction was surprisingly mellow, because instead of hitting Matt he said, "Now you can add one more experience to your long list of things you thought you were too good to do. Enjoy your high." Barnes grabbed the joint. "This stuff's too expensive to waste on you."
Matt didn't feel much at first, but then slowly the world around him changed. He started pointing at everyone and laughing. He grabbed Gina and tried to kiss her, but she pushed him away. "I'm disappointed, Matt. I expected better from you."
"Everyone expects better. But I'm not better." He tried to kiss Gina again.
She slapped him. "Go find someone else to grope."
Matt laughed. "Yeah, I have. Made some money too." He paused. "Oh, I meant made me feel high too. Sex is awesome. You should try it sometime."
Emily grabbed Matt by the hand. "Matt, keep your mouth shut. Go lay down somewhere and sleep it off."
"You've got to be kidding Em, this stuff is great. I haven't felt so clearheaded in a long time. My mind is free of all the wild thoughts. You have no idea what it's like to be Matt Spence. I think I need either more pot or a beer."
He wandered away from them feeling a little dizzy, but not too dizzy to notice Frank Kutcher. "Hey, Frank. How 'bout a beer?"
"Well, if it isn't the would-be starting quarterback. Why should I give you a beer…Oh, I know. It's because you've been so kind as to let me keep my starting QB job." He handed Matt a beer. "Thanks."
Matt lifted the can of beer as if to make a toast to Frank. "You're welcome. Glad to help anytime." He opened the can and drank it half down. "You know I haven't felt this good in a long time. I see why people turn to drugs. I even like you a little more, Frank. Maybe I'll just let you keep the starting QB job."
Matt felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Thomas. "Matt, I think you should stop now."
"What's wrong, little buddy? Worried about your hero. I'm no hero. You have no idea the things I've done."
"I don't care what you've done or not done. It's what I'm afraid you might do. So come with me."
"Sorry, I don't hang with sophomores. What are you doing here anyway? No sophomores are allowed." Matt finished the beer and wandered off in search of more pot. The effects of the pot kept increasing. He didn't realize two hits could make him feel so good and so happy. He kept laughing and pointing around at everyone. "This is Andy's and my pond. We discovered it. You need to pay me to use it. You can pay me in beer or pot."
Five cans were tossed his way. He tried to catch them, but they all fell to the ground. He laughed. "Boy, it's lucky I'm not a pass receiver." He picked up the cans, nestled them in his arms, and sat down where he and Andy had had sex. He opened a can and took a long drink and then broke out laughing again. "You know what? Andy and I had sex here. It was hot. Sex with Andy is hot. You guys are unlucky if you've never had sex with Andy." He looked over at Emily. "Did you hear that, Em? You missed out. And Gina, you've missed out too. I'm experienced in the art of sex."
Alan and Ernie came over this time. Ernie, being the biggest, knelt down next to Matt. "You need to knock this shit off. You're making a fool of yourself and insulting your friends."
"Fuck you, Ernie. You're the goody goody. Have you even gotten to first base with Carmen yet?"
"None of your business and I'm going to kick the shit out of you if you don't knock this crap off."
"Crap. It's only the truth. You know a little pot and beer really makes you see the truth. I finally realize I'm just a loser. I thought I was a winner all this time, but you know, given the things I've done, I'm just a loser. I realize it now."
Tears started rolling down Matt's cheeks. "It makes me cry." Then he laughed hard at himself. "And laugh at myself too."
Ernie didn't know what to do. "Pull yourself together. Come over with us."
"Thanks Ernie, but I don't deserve to be with you guys. I deserve to be right here wallowing in my misery. It's all clear to me now. Yeah, the knots are all there. Some are huge, bigger than me. Some are small, not very important, but they're all there and I've been dragging them around until just now. My head is clear and I see what I need to do."
Ernie motioned to the others. "What do you mean you know what you need to do?"
Matt tried to stand, fell back down, and then got up as he finished the second can of beer. "I think it's the pot, not the beer," he said as he reached down and opened another.
Ernie grabbed it out of his hand. "Stop. Stop it now."
Matt pushed Ernie out of the way. "I know what I have to do. I know now." He took all his clothes off, ran the thirty feet or so to the edge of the pond, and jumped in. He came up and wiped the water from his eyes. "Andy and I used to love swimming naked."
Matt was greeted with cheers from half the crowd and silence from the other half.
"I wanted him so badly, but he didn't know it."
Someone yelled, "Well, we all know it now. And it wasn't just Andy." Eyes turned toward Thomas. "Your little buddy over there was one of them too. Right?"
"Thomas is wonderful. You have no idea," Matt shouted back.
Colt took a short step away from Thomas.
Matt started laughing again. "Do you all know how funny you look up there? Get naked and get in the water."
Suddenly, about twenty kids did.
"That's more like it. Anyone interested in a little TF&S. You know touch, feel and see or should that be see, touch, and feel?"
A couple of girls came over to Matt and pulled him in for a big kiss. His dick got hard. "Oh my," one said. "He can't be gay."
Gina began packing up to leave. Emily grabbed her arm. "No, we need to stay. Can't you see how Matt's hurting? Yeah, he's a little high, but he's one unhappy puppy."
Gina shrugged. "What's that to me? I'm not his mother or his girlfriend."
"He's our friend."
Matt was laughing and hugging the girls, rubbing his cock against them and then he was struck with paranoia. "Get away from me. Can't you see I'm naked? How in the hell did I get naked?" He swam away from them to a spot where no one was swimming. He covered himself with his hands. "Everyone turn around. I want to get out."
No one moved.
"I said turn around."
Instead, everyone laughed. Jackass Barnes yelled, "What's the matter, Spence? Don't you want us to see that thing of yours hard and ready for action?"
Matt kept on. "I said turn around. I gotta get out of here. Coach is going to be here and catch us all. Aren't you guys afraid? He'll bench all of us."
Jackass Barnes laughed along with a few others. "Don't be stupid. It's the pot. Coach isn't coming. Just get out. We promise not to look."
Matt stayed in the water and then began thrashing and yelling. "Get away. Everyone get away." He continued flailing and then went under, coming up for a quick breath, and then going down again.
Alan, Thomas, and Ollie jumped in. They tried to grab him, but he hit Alan in the mouth. Thomas attempted to stop him but Matt pulled him down with him.
Alan yelled, "We need help!"
Matt came up, but not Thomas. Ollie shouted, "Where's Thomas?" just as Thomas came to the surface to take a breath. Matt swung at him and hit him on the side of the head. The punch dazed Thomas so Alan grabbed him and pulled him to the edge of the pond. Ernie and Ollie tried to get hold of Matt, but his arms were flailing and they couldn't grab him.
Matt kept slapping the water and screaming, "Coach is coming. I gotta get out of here." He swam to the edge, climbed out naked, his cock erect. The others either looked or turned away. Emily and Gina took a quick glance and then turned away. Matt started looking for his clothes but Jackass had hid them.
"Where are my clothes?"
"What's wrong, Spence?" Barnes asked. "Can't find your clothes? Maybe they got up and walked away."
Matt charged Barnes. "I told you Coach is coming. I gotta have my clothes. You know where they are. Get them. I need to get out of here."
Jackass just laughed. Matt took a swing and hit him solidly on the cheek. Barnes came back at him with a punch and then the two wrestled each other to the ground with Matt still naked and Jackass in his swim trunks. Frank Kutcher yelled, "Ah, a little gay sex."
Barnes tried to pull away from Matt, but Matt held on and said in a low voice, "Gina, you feel so good. I knew it would be like this."
Gina poked Emily. "We need to get out of here. I can't take seeing Matt like this. There's nothing we can do. He's not going to listen. Let's go."
"You can go, but I'm going to stay. We're his ride."
"I'm not going by myself. But this really hurts. Listen to him. He's wrestling around with Jackass Barnes and he thinks it's me. That's disgusting. I'm not sure if I'll ever talk to him again."
"Come on Gina, he's high."
"And you think that makes it all right? It doesn't. Look at him. He's naked."
Emily nudged Gina in the side. I think he looks pretty hot. Don't you?"
"I'm taking the fifth."
Barnes finally broke away from Matt. Ollie jumped on Jackass and then one after another, guys went after each other and the fight was on with half of the guys ending up in the water. There was a light layer of blood spreading across the surface from a lot of bloody noses and cuts. Matt ignored the fight and was running around trying to find his clothes. A lot of the girls and quite a few guys were giving him the eye. He finally found them, struggled to get into them, and then started to leave. "I gotta get out of here before Coach comes and finds out about everything I've done."
Emily went after him. "Matt, wait. Coach isn't coming."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. He went out to dinner with his wife. You don't have to worry."
"But I'm scared. I did some terrible things this summer. What if he finds out?"
Emily remained calm. "He won't find out."
Matt began pacing back and forth. "Are you sure? Randy's been spreading stories. Andy got beat up. Coach is going to find out."
"Find out what?"
"I can't talk about it."
"Stop pacing," Emily demanded. "I can't talk to you with you acting crazy. Stop!"
He kept pacing and then noticed the fight. "What are they fighting about? This is madness. Coach is going to really be pissed."
"Forget Coach. Let's get you out of here. Gina's here to help."
Gina gave Emily a dirty look.
Matt stopped pacing. "Yeah, let's get out of here before Coach comes."
Emily grabbed Matt's hand. "Gina, grab his other hand."
Gina frowned, hesitated, and then clutched his hand. It calmed him. "I feel better. But we'd better hurry before Coach comes."
Gina asked, "What did you do that you don't want Coach Gilbert to know about?"
"I can't talk about it. I'm ashamed. Things got scary. Look what happened to Andy. Got some money though. Hidden. No one knows where it is."
Gina squeezed his hand. "You can tell us. We'll keep your secret. We'll make sure Coach doesn't find out."
Matt squeezed her hand back. "I love you, Gina. I've loved you ever since the day you rubbed your hand down my sweaty chest. You remember that don't you?"
Matt began to cry. "A lot has happened since then. I'm not the same guy anymore. That's why you don't like me."
Gina kissed him on the cheek. "I like you. But you make it hard sometimes."
Matt calmed some. "I know. I don't like myself sometimes."
"I've done things."
"You might tell Coach."
"No. I promise."
Matt stopped and held Gina by the shoulders. "I trust you. Like I said, I love you. But I can't tell you. You'd hate me."
Emily was doing her best to keep her mouth shut.
Gina gave Matt her best smile. "I could never hate you."
"You would if you knew."
Gina removed Matt's hands from her shoulders, moved toward him, and hugged him.
Matt purred. "That feels good."
"So what is it?" Gina urged.
"Gina, leave Matt alone," Emily said. "He doesn't need to tell you. Some things are private and better left unsaid. Don't you agree, Matt?"
"Yeah, but I can trust Gina. You too, Em. Can't trust Frank or Jackass."
Gina and Emily both laughed.
They were halfway down the trail and almost to the car. Gina kissed Matt. "Where'd you get the money?"
"I had a job."
"What kind of job?"
"Andy and I both had a job." He started to laugh. "Andy's so funny. Don't you think he's funny? Too bad he's hurt. We worked together."
Emily cleared her throat. "Gina, leave it alone."
"Ignore her. You can trust me."
"The job was fun at first. Then it got to be work."
"Andy and I met this guy when we were having dinner. He hired us for the summer. I quit. Andy stayed on until he got hurt."
Gina pushed. "Tell me. What did he hire you to do?"
I smoked pot for the first time and drank a few beers on top of it. I got a little crazy and was afraid Coach Gilbert was going to find out about everything, including the pot and my whoring around. I guess I scared Ollie, Thomas, and Alan. I hit Thomas on the side of the head which dazed him a little bit. I only know this because Gina and Emily told me. I heard about the fight and jumping in the pond naked and getting hard and then getting out naked and rolling around with Jackass. That scared the shit out of Jackass. I remember thinking, everyone might start calling me Jackass too.
I started sobering up as Emily and Gina walked me to the car. I was partially aware of what I said to them. Gina kept asking me a lot of questions and I wasn't sure exactly what I told her. Whatever it was, she and Emily helped me get sober. They took me out to eat and had me go to the restroom to splash cold water on my face while we waited for our food. Emily told me not to look in the mirror; she said she heard some pot smokers at the party saying something about seeing yourself in the mirror when you're stoned. I didn't look in the mirror at first, but it was hard. I finally caved and took a look in the mirror and I didn't like what I saw at first, but then everything seemed fine. Maybe it was because I was coming down from my marijuana high. I felt a lot better after we ate.
My biggest fear at the time was that I told them about the $9200 I earned prostituting myself. Gina kept quizzing me about the summer job, but by then I'd pretty much sobered up and my lips remained sealed. She kept at me, but I told her it was private.
I'd driven to the party with them so Emily took me to her house. Her parents were out so the girls had me take my clothes off in the bathroom. Emily handed me a towel through the door. "Put a towel on so you won't be indecent."
Emily stuck my clothes in the washing machine to get the pot smell out. I joined them at Emily's kitchen table, half-naked, with only the towel around my waist. They both seemed to like what they saw. Gina continued with her interrogation over the next hour while Emily kept giving her dirty looks. Finally, the clothes were done and they drove me home.
If I wasn't sober before I got home, I was sure sober when I walked into the house and faced my parents.
"Did you have a good time?" my mom asked.
"Yeah, it was great."
My dad gave me a serious look. "Were there drugs and alcohol?"
I knew they wouldn't believe me if I denied it. "Some. We're teenagers, Dad. There's always stuff like that."
"You didn't drink or smoke, did you?" my mom asked.
"No. I don't do that stuff."
Mom smiled. "We trust you."
Her words were as sweet as ice cream and as poisonous as cyanide.
I gave them a half-smile. "I'm tired. I think I'll lie down."
Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity. - Sammy Davis, Jr.
I wish all teenagers can filter through songs instead of turning to drugs and alcohol. - Taylor Swift
Alcohol and drugs do not console, they don't fill up anyone's psychological gaps…They don't comfort man. On the contrary, they encourage him in his folly, they transport him to the supreme regions where he is master of his own destiny. - Marguerite Duras (adapted and paraphrased)
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