Knots, Book 4
by Elias Scott
Andy came out of Dr. Walker's office pissed off at me for some reason. Said that Walker favored me. That was the first I heard of it or even thought it. Dr. Walker heard him and pulled him back into his office. Andy came out and didn't even look at me. Just walked off.
As usual, I couldn't wait to talk to Dr. Walker, and with Andy's attitude I was even more eager to talk to him. I knew how things worked now. He always asked the same question when I got into his office. He'd start off with "How was your week?" Ironically, the answer to this question didn't come easy and maybe it's because it was a so-so week except for my talk with Andy, which he didn't take very well. But we've always agreed to be honest with each other. I could have led him on but I didn't; it would have betrayed our friendship. But that really didn't seem important to Andy at the time, but I did it because in the long run I'd have ended up hurting Andy even worse if I made a commitment I wasn't ready to make.
Dr. Walker motioned me into his office after Andy left. I glanced out his office window and there were gray clouds in the sky. It looked like rain.
Dr. Walker was true to form. "Matt, how was your week?" he asked as we both sat down.
"I was thinking about it because I knew you were going to ask, and to be honest, it was a mixed week."
Walker checked his notes. "How did your talk with Andy go?"
I shrugged. "Not very well. He wants more than I'm ready to give him."
Then of course he asked, "How does that make you feel?"
"Shitty," I said without hesitation.
He smiled. "You don't get off that easy. Why did you feel shitty?"
"I love Andy. He's my best friend. If I was to commit to someone, it would be Andy, at least right now. But I have no idea what the future holds and neither does he. He seems to think that being sixteen makes us old and wise, especially when you consider the things we've done. But that showed more immaturity than maturity."
Walker smiled again. "You're not going to get any argument from me on that." He glanced at his notes again. "Why do you think Andy believes I favor you over him?"
"I don't know. I've never felt you favored me." I took a long sip of water.
"Think about it. Why would he feel that way?"
I paused and thought about it and the only thing I could come up with was: "He thinks you agree with me."
Of course, Walker couldn't leave it at that. "Do you think I agree with you?"
"Yeah, I do."
"What makes you think that?"
"I don't know. I just do."
He glanced at his notes again. "The next question is a tough one, but I need to ask it because it's important to what you're doing here. I asked Andy if he thought you'd have done any of the things you've done if you hadn't had sex with him that first time. What do you think?"
That caught me by surprise. I started to think about it a few times in the past. "Dr. Walker, I've avoided thinking about that. Everything changed once Andy and I had sex. I thought it would be a one-time thing. I had no idea it could be so addictive. Like most teenagers, all I ever thought about was eating, sex, and sleep. The sex was always a fantasy, and of course my hand was about the closest I came to having any real sex. I was going to save myself for marriage. It seems strange to hear those words, but I was. But when I saw how much Andy was hurting over Dillon, I did the only thing that I thought would show him how much I loved him. I never thought about the consequences."
Walker jotted something down. "What kind of consequences?"
"Sex became the biggest focus of my life. I know you can't have sex every moment of the day, but I always found myself thinking where and when Andy and I would have sex next. Then Thomas and Randy came along, and the idea of all four of us having sex was tempting. I told Andy no at first, but eventually I gave in. Then it all came out at the trial and my life sunk to a new low. Andy chose to come out and didn't mind saying he was gay. I preferred to keep what we were doing private. But the next thing I knew, the whole world found out what we did and our closest friends even called us perverts. Gina was angry at me for not telling her I was having sex with guys."
Walker cleared his throat. "I notice you never mention being gay. You say you had sex with guys, but don't say you're gay. For instance, you didn't say Gina was angry because I never told her I was gay, but was angry because I didn't tell her I was having sex with guys."
Walker caught that. I was fully aware that I avoided it, but I didn't think he'd notice.
"I don't think of myself as gay like Andy thinks of himself as gay. He wants to have exclusive relationships with guys and I'm not so sure that I want to limit my sex life to only guys."
"Does Andy know that?"
"Kinda. We've talked about it. It's part of the reason I don't want to commit to an exclusive relationship with him. It limits the possibilities."
A grin crossed Walker's face. "Does that mean you are going to go out and actively find female sex partners?"
"No. I didn't mean it that way. But I'd like to date girls. I enjoyed going out with Gina. After all, girls aren't like guys."
"Are you referring to sex when you say that?"
"No. Their personalities are different and they often have different interests, and I like that."
Walker took a sip of water. "I think we've gotten off track here. Do you blame Andy in any way for the things you did after you and he had sex? I'm referring to the Dillon trial, the foursome, and the prostitution."
"We argued about it a few times early on, but the prostitution was kind of my idea, but if I'd never had sex with Andy in the first place, I guess there wouldn't have been any prostitution, a foursome, or my being exposed at Dillon's trial."
"But do you blame him?"
He had me there. "I think deep down I blamed Andy for being so vulnerable after all my warnings I gave him about Dillon. If he had listened to me, we wouldn't have found each other in his room that night with him close to suicide and me wanting to keep him from killing himself. I loved him too much to lose him, and while sex was always on my mind, I wasn't ready to have sex right then, but I gave myself to him anyway because I loved him."
Walker leaned forward in his seat. "So in a way, you do blame Andy?"
I took a sip of water and paused to think. "No. It was my decision. But I resent having been put in that position."
"Do you think these feelings have anything to do with you not wanting to commit to Andy? Is it possible you are angry with him?"
I shook my head. "Dr. Walker, I'm not sure of much of anything. But I don't think my not wanting to commit to a relationship with Andy has anything to do with any of the consequences. It was my own freewill choice to give myself to Andy, and I need to accept the consequences. That's about it."
He wrote on his notepad. "Okay. We'll leave it at that for now."
Dr. Walker took a long drink of water. "Like I told Andy, it's not my job to favor one client's opinion over another. My job is to make you think about your actions, how they affect others, and how they affect you. Do you understand that?"
"No buts. That's the way it is." He paused while I fidgeted in my seat. "Let's examine where you're coming from. Andy wants you to be in a committed relationship with him and you're not ready for it? Is that right?"
"Did you talk about being friends with benefits?"
"Yes, but he went cold when we talked about that, and I did too. The idea of us being free to have sex with anyone at any time didn't sit well with either of us. I guess I want Andy to be exclusive with me when it comes to sex."
Walker wrote something down. "Aren't you kind of being a hypocrite? Sounds like you want the best of both worlds. Exclusive sex is basically a commitment to one person, and in this case, Andy. What do you think?"
I rocked forward in my chair and put my forearms on my thighs. "I hadn't thought of it that way."
"Would you be jealous if you knew Andy was having sex with other guys?"
I sat up, but avoided Walker's eyes. "I didn't think I would be, but I probably would." I paused. "But in the end, even though I'd be jealous, I think in the long run it will be better for us if we aren't in an exclusive relationship. I love Andy, and my biggest fear is that my attitude will ruin or damage our friendship. That would hurt me the most."
"What do you plan to do about it?"
I shook my head. "I hoped you were going to answer that question."
"You already know that I don't answer questions, I just ask them. Did you tell Andy what you just told me?"
"Maybe you should."
I paused to think. "How 'bout this: You bring us in here together and let us talk it out. You can be the referee. Or does that violate some kind of counselor/client rule?"
"No, and I think that's a great idea. I'll set it up for next week at ten in the morning. I'll take care of contacting Andy. In the meantime, if you get a chance to talk, talk to him and tell him how you feel."
I nodded. "I will."
I thought we were done when he asked, "So how's school going?"
"Okay, I guess. I'm still not the starting quarterback, and the guy who is kind of sucks as far as I'm concerned."
"Your opinion or the coach's?"
"I guess mine. Coach is fair, and if he thought I should be starting I would be."
. "You've mentioned Gina Lockhart a number of times in the past. How do you feel about her? I know you have been having sex with guys, but you seem to have some interest in her."
Damn, he just couldn't make my life easy. "Well, she's dating the guy that kicked my butt in the junior class election."
And of course he followed with: "How does that make you feel?"
"That's a good question. You know how I said I'd be jealous if Andy was dating someone else, I kind of feel a little that way when I see Gina with Billy Martin."
Walker had a look on his face that made me think the next word out of his mouth was going to be Interesting. Instead, he asked, "Why do you think that is?"
"Good question. I don't have any idea except that I don't want to make a commitment, but when others do, I get jealous. That's kind of crazy, isn't it?"
I should have known better than ask him a question because he came back with: "What do you think? Do you think it's crazy?"
"Hell if I know, Doc. I've never had sex with a girl so it can't be because of sex. With Andy, I'd be jealous if he was having sex with other guys, but I know that if I don't commit to him, then he has that right. I'm all screwed up."
Walker smiled. "You're sixteen. What did you expect? Do you think Andy or Gina or Billy are any less confused than you?"
"Damn good question, Dr. Walker. I have no idea, but I suppose they are. I know Gina really liked me at one time until she found out about me screwing around with guys. She was more hurt by the fact I didn't tell her, than the fact I was having sex with guys. Everyone already accepted that Andy was gay, so it wasn't that."
What he said next really helped. "Keep in mind, Matt, being a teenager is not an easy job. There are so many feelings, physical, emotional, and mental, that are all fighting for your attention, and you don't have any prior experience to fall back on." He wrote something on his yellow notepad as I glanced at the sun starting to peek through the clouds. "You and Andy have done things that most teenagers your age have never done. It only adds to the confusion. Sex is a powerful thing and yet, it is only one thing out of many things. Which do you think is more important, your sexual health or your mental health?"
That caused a smile to cross my face and I let out a "Hmm," followed by a pause. "Mental health."
He didn't let it go. "How about between sexual health and emotional health?"
No pause this time. "Emotional health."
He wrote something down and smiled. "Okay, I think we agree, and I think Andy will agree. I didn't ask him those questions today, but I will when we meet next week. Maybe I'll meet with him for a few minutes before we all meet together. Is that okay with you?"
"Think about what we talked about today and if you get a chance to talk to Andy, do so. I think he's angry right now so tread carefully, but you don't want to lose the great friendship you have and it's important he knows that. He hasn't had much going for him because of his injuries. You're playing football and getting playing time and he's sitting out. He's wants commitment and you don't. He's looking for something and it's possible he thinks you are the answer to what he finds missing. So keep that in mind...Okay, time is up. See you next week."
People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives. - J. Michael Straczynski
If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. - Khalil Gibran
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny. - Albert Ellis
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