Knots, Book 4
by Elias Scott
My parents' third degree didn't settle my mind any. I called Andy around 7:30 PM on my old cell phone, which my parents were happy to remind me I still had, and told him about my talk with them. "Damn, Andy. I told them Derrick was the manager at the Outback. What if they call the Outback and want to talk to the manager?"
I raised my voice. "It's not funny."
"I know, but what can we do. Like you said, you can't unring a bell. We did what we did and there's not a damn thing we can do about it."
"Maybe we should have Derrick call them."
"Bad idea," Andy said. "That will make them even more suspicious. Call Derrick and tell him what's up. Maybe he can convince his boss or whoever answers the phone to put him on as the manager. That's our best bet."
"How 'bout our parents? Do you think they'll call?"
"They might. They have their suspicions. What the hell are we going to do if they find out?"
Suddenly, a bright idea hit me. It seemed stupid as it came off my tongue, but I thought it might be the only thing that would work. "Maybe we should just tell our parents everything and plead with them to let it go so that none of us will be put through another court trial. I don't think they'd like that anymore than we would."
"Damn, Matt. That's a shitty idea and a good one at the same time. We could cut the whole thing off at the pass as they say."
"Yeah, Andy. Then no one will know but our parents. They'll be pissed, we'll be grounded forever, but the heat will be off, or at least we can hope so."
"Come over and we'll talk about it. Your idea may be the only good one. Our parents are going to find out eventually. They're not pleased with either of the stories we've told them. It's going to be hard to see the look of disappointment in their eyes and on their faces."
"Hell, it's going to be worse here. My parents and your parents both said they trust me."
"And of course no one trusts me, Saint Matthew," Andy said with some bitterness.
"That's not my fault, Andy. You tie your knots and I tie mine. I think you just happen to have a few more than me."
"You mean used to have more knots than you. Not anymore."
"I don't want to argue. I'll be right over."
My parents were always good about giving me some privacy when friends visited. It was hard with me having a bed in the middle of the dining room though. Fortunately, we had a family room for watching TV, and they went in there to let Matt and me to talk.
Matt leaned in and kissed me, then sat on the edge of the bed.
"I've had time to think about your idea, Matt, and I think it's our best option. What do you think?"
"This shit has scared me so much that I'm thinking about it all the time. I don't think we have any choice. What do you think?"
"I hate to say it, but I agree."
Matt ran his hand down the cast on my leg. "You're stuck here so I'll tell my parents we need to meet with them and your parents to talk about this summer."
We sat there and tossed the idea back and forth, hoping the entire time that we could avoid making a decision, but finally I yelled for my parents to come into the dining room.
They came in as if they already knew what we were going to tell them.
"Maybe you should sit," I said.
"Is it that bad?" my mom asked.
"Afraid so. But we can only tell you a little right now. We need Matt's parents here too."
My dad looked at his watch. "It's almost ten. Kind of late, isn't it?"
"The question is, Dad, do you want to hear what we have to say today or tomorrow?"
"You haven't given us any idea what you want to talk about, although we have our suspicions."
I glanced at Matt. "Matt and I have talked things over and decided that we need to talk to you and his parents about what we did this summer. I know you don't believe my story. Matt's parents put him through the third degree, and after a lot of thought and discussion, we decided we need to come clean."
My dad gave us a concerned look. "We know you two were up to something. How bad can it be?"
"Bad enough," Matt said.
My mom looked like she might cry. "Does it have anything to do with why you're in bed half broken?"
Tears streamed down her face. "You mean it didn't happen like you said?"
"No. But Matt and I don't want to talk about it until you and the Spences are here together. Then we'll tell you what happened."
My dad turned to Matt. "Matt, call your parents."
My dad was concerned when I called him so late. "Anything wrong, Matt?"
"In a way. We need to talk. I'm over the Gibson's. We need you and Mom to come over right away."
"Did something happen to Andy?"
"Can't you tell me over the phone?"
"No, you need to come here. I know it's late, but what Andy and I have to tell you is important."
"Is it about this summer?"
They obviously knew something was up, and when he asked the question, I began to feel more confident in what we'd decided. The problem was, we had no idea if they would go after Derrick or not. That was the one unknown. If they did, our whole confession wouldn't be worth a shit.
"Okay, give your mother and me a chance to get dressed and we'll be right over."
It was sure convenient that Andy only lived a few houses down from us.
Andy and I agreed that as the saint and the most trusted, that I should be the one to speak first. I knew the trust my parents and the Gibsons had in me was going to be gone along with my title as Saint Matthew in just a few minutes. Andy seemed to find a little bit of pleasure in this, and it pissed me off. But hell, I brought all this crap down on my own head, or should I say our heads because I was the one who told Andy about Derrick in the first place and then of course, one thing led to another, and there we were.
I grabbed a couple of chairs from around the kitchen table and set them to Andy's right because his parents were already sitting to his left. I answered the door and escorted my parents to their seats as if this was a movie theater. They both gave me serious looks as they nodded to Andy's parents, said some quick hellos, and sat down.
The room was silent for what seemed like ten minutes. I sat on Andy's bed to his right. He slid over. I wanted to cry as I glanced down at his beat up face and realized what we were going to tell our parents was going to devastate them.
"Andy and I talked a lot about what we thought we should do about the things we did this summer," I said. "We hoped to avoid the truth, but decided we couldn't. We decided that if we don't tell you the truth, terrible things could happen to all of us. That's why we wanted all of you here. Before we tell you anything though, you have to promise that you'll first listen to everything we have to say, and most importantly, that once we tell you, you won't go after anyone else who was involved. Can you agree to that?"
Mr. Gibson dropped his head before raising it, glancing at Andy, me, and then my parents. "I'm not sure we have any choice." He looked over at my parents. "What do you think?"
My dad looked at my mother, who looked scared.
She nodded. "But what if it's serious and we need to talk to someone about it?"
Andy spoke up and said something that surprised me. "Matt always tells me that God loves us unconditionally. At first I didn't believe him. I even call him Saint Matthew. But he's right. God loves us no matter what. He loves us like we hope you love us. We did some stupid things this summer and there are other people involved and we cannot jeopardize them, because if we do, we jeopardize all of us, mostly Matt and me. So we need your word. You have always trusted us since Dillon's trial, but I'm afraid we betrayed your trust. We need you to show us by your example that you can be trusted. Don't promise if you're not going to keep your promise. You have to promise that you won't take any action against anyone no matter how angry you are or how much you think you need to do something about what happened this summer. Can you do that?"
He looked at his parents first. They appeared unsure but still nodded yes. My parents did the same.
I looked at my parents. "We need to hear you say it. Can we trust you not do anything to anyone other than Andy and me because of what we did this summer?"
My parents nodded.
"We need to hear you both say yes. Dad?"
She hesitated. "But we don't know what you're going to tell us."
"I know. But do you promise?"
"Yes," she said through her tears.
Andy did the same with his parents. I'd have liked to have had them sign a contract, but all we had was trust, and if our parents couldn't be trusted, then who could we trust?
We couldn't put it off anymore. "This is hard for us, but after talking it over, Andy and I decided this is the best thing to do. We feel guilty and stupid. I was lucky, but you see what happened to Andy. So here it goes." I paused.
I told them the story of meeting Derrick and how friendly he was as a way of avoiding telling them the truth. Finally, I just blurted it out. "Andy and I were prostitutes for the summer."
First there were looks of shock and then more tears from our moms. Our dads looked pissed. "You were what?" my dad asked.
"Dad, don't make it harder than it is. We were teenage prostitutes for the summer. We had sex with older guys who paid us a lot of money."
"Derrick was kind of our pimp and protector," Andy added.
"Doesn't look like he did a very good job," Mr. Gibson said.
"What the hell were you thinking? You're sixteen and you're selling yourself?" my dad spat. "That's what kids do whose parents kicked them out of the house because they're gay. We've done everything in our power to show tolerance after we found at Dillon's trial what you, Andy, Thomas, and Randy were doing, and now this? Who the hell are you, Matt?"
I hung my head and mumbled, "I don't know anymore. It was the money. It was the excitement of it. It was stupid. But we did it, and now we have nothing but regrets. I can't believe I've sunk so low."
"Me neither," my dad said.
My mother looked up through her tears. "What ever happened to our innocent little boy?"
"Sex, Mom. It was sex. Sometimes we don't know where it will lead us. Two years ago, if you told us we'd be selling ourselves for money, we'd have laughed. To be honest, we did it not only for the money at first, but because it was fun. The sex was good, especially with older guys." As soon as it was out of my mouth, I knew it was a mistake. It's one thing to say you prostituted yourself, but to talk about enjoyment and fun added a whole new dimension to our story.
Andy tried to cover. "What Matt's saying is, we're gay and once we had sex, it was all we thought about, and when we had a chance to have sex with older guys for money, we couldn't resist."
That wasn't much better than what I said.
Our dads had scowls on their faces and our moms were shedding heavy tears.
"You're disgusting," my dad yelled. "Just let me get my hands on that Derrick. He won't know what hit him."
Mr. Gibson turned to my dad. "I agree, Bill. These are our sons. What have we done? What kind of parents are we? I tried to be more of a dad to Andy. We'd gotten closer and now this. It's beyond my imagination."
I needed to put a stop to what looked like was going to be a runaway train. "Remember, you promised you wouldn't do anything. You can't do anything. The only reason we told you was to prevent something worse from happening. We don't want any more trials. If you go after Derrick or any of the others, there will be a trial and all of this will become public."
"We'd probably have to serve time in juvie," Andy said. "We're not street kids trying to live, but kids who know better."
It was strange hearing him call us kids. Yes, we were kids. Looking at it now, what we did seems all the more stupid.
"So you're saying we just need to accept this?" Mr. Gibson asked.
Andy and I both nodded.
"That was our deal. We'd have never told you any of this if we could have found a better way. Some kids have their suspicions and Randy isn't any help, but it will all end if we just let it die."
My mother did her best to get control of herself. "You're asking a lot of us."
"We know. Do you want to see another trial?"
She shook her head. "No. I couldn't take it."
"And I suppose you just expect us to go on with life as if none of this happened?" my dad bellowed.
"No. You can punish us. We deserve that," Andy said. "But I've been pretty much punished already. No football this year, a broken leg, bruised and cracked ribs, a broken arm, a missing tooth. But we understand that what we did was stupid, so we're willing to accept our punishment as long as you don't talk to Derrick or mention any of this to the police."
Our parents glanced at each other. Mr. Gibson shook his head. "I don't like it, but we promised. You will be punished." He glanced over at my dad. "We need to buy a couple chastity belts for these guys."
Matt and I laughed, but our dads didn't.
"We've tried to be understanding about you being gay and having sex. You know we never approved of you having sex so early, but there wasn't much we could do," my dad said. "The best punishment I can think of is to make sure you two are never left alone together. We did it for a while after Dillon's trial, but hell, I don't know. You're both sixteen, but what you did is almost unforgiveable. Did Thomas join you?"
"No. He doesn't know anything about it," I quickly replied. "He admires me and would lose all respect for me. We don't want anyone to find out."
Mrs. Gibson didn't say a word. She just cried and looked at us with sad wet eyes.
My dad gave us both an incredulous look. "I hope not. We don't want anyone to find out either. But just knowing what you've done is going to keep your mother and me from sleeping at night and make us wonder what kind of parents we are bringing up a son who would sell his body to older guys for money. I keep hoping this is a nightmare."
Mr. Gibson looked at Andy. "Tell us the truth. What really happened to you?"
"Derrick wanted Matt and me to quit working under his watchful eye. He was always with us at the beginning to protect us. But as business grew, he wanted us to go out with older men as male escorts. Matt wouldn't do it. Obviously, he was smarter than me. But I did, and one of the guys was a religious fanatic who paid to take me out just so he could beat the crap out of me, and you see the result. So part of my story was true."
"I knew something wasn't right," Mr. Gibson said through her tears. "I knew it all along."
I kept hoping it would be over, but now they all became lawyers.
"Was Derrick there while you were having sex?"
"Yes." I was back to one word answers.
"Did he just watch?"
"How many of you had sex at one time?"
"Do we have to answer that?"
Andy took over. "Five I think."
"None of this is important, Dad. We did what we did. It was wrong and now we have to pay the price." That was the wrong thing to say.
"Speaking of price," my dad said. "I want all the money you made this summer. I'm assuming you have some money saved?"
"You're to give it to me as soon as we get home."
I wanted to argue, but knew it was no use.
Mr. Gibson turned to Andy. "You too, Andy. We want all of it. We'll put it in a savings account for college. And just so you know, you can only use it for college. Got it?"
"Otherwise, your mom and I are going to take a trip to Paris." He managed a very small smile.
My dad managed a small smile too. "Same goes for you, Matt, except we're going to Rome."
Suddenly the room was quiet except for the weeping of our mothers. It had slowed some, but it seemed to be the only way they knew how to react.
My dad stood and patted the cast on Andy's leg. "Looks like you and Andy aren't going to have any sex for some time, so that problem is solved for the time being."
Little did he know.
My mom rose and stood next to my dad, who put his arm around her. The atmosphere in the room was like a funeral parlor without the smell of flowers. I'd have loved it if my parents would have walked over to me, pulled me to them, and hugged me. But there weren't going to be any hugs for teenage prostitute Matt Spence, pardon me, former teenage prostitute Matt Spence, for some time. My dad hugged Andy's mom and shook hands with Mr. Gibson as they headed to the door before turning back. "Matt, time to go. You're coming with us."
"Can't I spend a few minutes with Andy? This was a big thing. We need to talk."
"No, you've already spent too much time together working and playing, and it's over. You're only going to have time for two things: football and school. I'm tempted to pull you from the football team, but it wouldn't be fair to the other kids on the team and it might call attention to your antics, so you still have that. But we expect you home right after football practice. You'll be staying home on the weekends and won't be going out in the evening. Got that?"
I nodded. Hell, as long as they didn't go to Derrick or the police, Andy and I were happy.
Mr. Gibson glanced at Andy. "Well Andy, you're obviously not going anywhere either and you're right about being punished by that man who attacked you. But this isn't the end of it. We're not going to beat the crap out of this guy Derrick or report him and all the guys you had sex with to the police, but it's going to be hard to look at you as a kid anymore. It's sad, because in a way you've lost a great deal of your innocence and the joys of teenage years filled with happy memories. All we can hope is that we can do something to make things right for you and Matt. You've both lost something. I think you know it, otherwise you wouldn't have talked to us tonight."
He turned away and walked my parents to the door. "We should get together and talk."
My dad agreed. They shook hands.
I looked back as we were leaving and saw Mrs. Gibson still sitting in her chair crying. It was a sad night for all of us.
There isn't much to say. Matt kind of said it all. I was going to be stuck in bed for a few more weeks and had to look at my parent's faces every day and see their disappointment. At least Matt had football. Our parents were going to let us talk on the phone, but there weren't going to be anymore blowjobs for awhile. Life can really be shit sometimes.
Football went better for me on Monday now that all that crap was behind us, well as least most of that crap. Jackass Barnes and Frank Kutcher were always after me with the smart remarks about being a whore. They didn't know shit, and I just played it off like it didn't matter, when in fact it did.
I remember thinking when I got home that day after practice that if one of those assholes got someone pregnant, they'd be a hero in some guys' eyes and an asshole in others. The girl would be forced to either have an abortion or keep the baby, who had a greater chance of growing up poor and fatherless than he or she had growing up with great parents like Andy and I had. What we did was stupid and it hurt us. And as I look at it more closely, it may have hurt the families of our customers, especially if they were married and had kids. But at least we weren't bringing a child into the world who might easily be unwanted and/or unloved. Life is just too complicated. Why can't it be simple?
The answer to that is: Life is simple except when we make it complicated and tie those damn knots in our lives.
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. - Thomas Jefferson
In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same. - Albert Einstein
On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow. - Friedrich Nietzsche
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