Knots, Book 4

by Elias Scott

Chapter 23

Andy

Matt sat on the bench on Friday night. As pissed as I was at him, it hurt to see him sitting there when he had a chance to start. I started the fight, but he shouldn't have interfered, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how he'd saved me. Hell, Cole and Ashton had to spend a couple of nights in juvie and were then sent home to their parents. Noland needed to stand trial. He argued that Cole and Ashton were there for the money and were not forced to participate. Maybe so, but they were still only fifteen. Of course, while I may be saying that now, I was getting close to doing the same thing. Plus I'd already prostituted myself. It's strange as I write this now, because just saying these things makes me realize how right Matt was. But at the time, I didn't feel that way at all.

I was tempted to talk to Matt before and after the football game but didn't have the courage. I just figured we'd talk when we met with Dr. Walker. I was sure Dr. Walker would side with Matt.

Matt had a black eye when we met outside of Dr. Walker's office. He nodded at me, but didn't say anything. I wanted to tell him I was sorry, but I didn't. Dr. Walker came out and got us. "You two look like you lost your best friend."

We nodded. Matt said, "I think maybe I have."

Dr. Walker had arranged the seats in a circle that forced us to face each other. I couldn't look at either of them.

"Okay, what happened since the last time we met? Something's obviously changed since we last met. For one, Matt has a black eye."

Neither Matt nor I said anything.

Matt

I didn't know what to say to Andy. He was angry, but I thought what I did was right. What was there to say? I couldn't play football on Friday because of the fight. I was really upset because I would have started. This got me even more pissed off at Andy. Life can sure get screwed up at times.

I didn't want to go to Dr. Walker's on Saturday because I wasn't sure I could face Andy. It didn't make any difference. My dad wouldn't let me out of it anyway.

We didn't say anything to each other when we met outside of Dr. Walker's office. I didn't know what to say. I sure didn't think I should apologize. Silence was all that existed between us when we got into Dr. Walker's office. Dr. Walker said it looked like we'd each lost our best friend. He had no idea how right he was.

He went on: "Okay. Which one of you is going to tell me what happened?"

Andy and I just stared at each other. Walker finally looked at Andy. Why he looked at Andy and not me, I don't know. Maybe because he knew Andy wore his feelings close to the surface and he'd be most likely to spit it out. He said, "Matt told on me."

"What do you mean, told on you?"

It was obvious he didn't want to say more. But Dr. Walker wasn't going to let him get away with that.

"Well, he told on me. He got me in trouble and a whole lot of other people too. I asked him not to tell, and I told him I had the right to lead my own life, but he just wouldn't stay out of my business."

Dr. Walker turned to me. "Matt, maybe you should tell me."

Andy gave me a stare, but I had no choice. "Randy and two other 15-year-olds were shooting a porn movie with a bunch of older guys. Andy was going to go watch and I was afraid he'd join them. So I told my dad."

Andy was quick to reply. "Matt didn't know what I was going to do. He just assumed, and that wasn't fair. It was none of his business."

Dr. Walker wrote something down. "Hmm. That's about the last thing I expected to hear." He turned to Andy. "Are you angry with Matt for telling?"

"Yeah. He had no right."

"Why do you feel that way?"

Andy paused to think. "Well, it's my life and not his."

Walker didn't miss a beat. "If that's the case, why would you want to be in a committed relationship with Matt if you want to live your life your way?"

Another long pause. "Well, just because we're committed to each other doesn't mean I have to give up who I am."

"What does it mean?"

"He can't make me into someone I'm not."

"Is that what you think he was doing when he prevented you from doing child porn? Do you think he was wrong?"

"Well, uh…uh…I'm not sure."

Walker looked at his notes. "Were you going to go watch? Be honest."

"Well, uh. Yes."

"So was Matt wrong?"

"Yeah, because there's nothing wrong with watching."

Andy squirmed in his seat as Walker asked the next question. "Do you really think that's all that would have happened?"

"Yeah."

"You know child porn is illegal don't you?"

"Yeah, but so is prostitution. I don't see what the big deal is."

I couldn't hold my tongue. "Maybe that's just the problem, Andy. You don't see why it's a big deal. I did some checking, and you can even go to jail for distributing selfies of yourself, never mind voluntarily making porn. The charges would be worse. And the people who are in that industry aren't good people. They're exploiting children."

"I'm not a child!" he yelled.

"Then don't act like one!" I yelled back.

"Okay. Okay," Walker said. He had a concerned look on his face. "I know you always think I take Matt's side over yours, but this is not the case. This is a case of breaking the law and committing a crime. Child porn, whether you consider yourself a child or not, is illegal. You are under eighteen as are the other boys, and it's considered child porn. Matt did the right thing. He may have saved you from, as you kids like to say, 'a world of hurt.' Where are the other boys who were involved?"

"They're in juvie."

"Do you want to be there with them?"

"No."

Dr. Walker let a silence come over the room while the thought sunk in. "So did Matt do what was right or not?"

Andy didn't respond at first. "Uh. Maybe."

That pissed me off. "Maybe, Andy. What the fuck's the matter with you? Maybe? Your ass might be in jail right now if I hadn't done something."

"No one would have known if you hadn't said anything, and no one would be in jail. So you're full of it."

He had me there. Suddenly, I had doubts. "Maybe not, but eventually someone was going to find out. Randy, or one of the others would have said something."

"None of that's important," Dr. Walker said. "It's illegal, and you'd have been engaging in illegal activities. Didn't you learn anything, Andy, from your stint with gay prostitution? You almost got yourself killed."

"Yeah, but I love sex, and here was a chance to make some money and have some hot sex with some hot guys. Matt and I sure aren't having any."

Dr. Walker shook his head. "Andy, what was the main purpose of our meeting today?"

"Uh. Uh. To talk about commitment and about our relationship."

"And what are we talking about instead?"

"Underage porn?"

"Andy, let me ask you," Walker started. "What are your priorities in life?"

"Hell if I know. Sex is one priority."

Walker smiled. "I'll give you that one. But where is it in your list of priorities, say on a scale of one to ten?"

"Good question, Doc. I'm not sure."

"Let me take it one step further. Where is it in your friendship with Matt?"

Andy leaned his elbows on his knees. He seemed stumped. "I…I guess I'd put Matt first."

"Why?"

I loved it when Walker asked why.

Andy paused to think about it and then sat up straight. "Friendship is for life, and sex is for the moment."

Walked smiled again. "So what's your top priority?"

"My friendship with Matt."

I stood and Andy did the same. I gave him a big hug and we slapped each other on the back. "I love you, Andy."

"I love you, Matt."

We both started to cry and just stood there in each other's arms, tears running down our cheeks.

Andy said, "I'm sorry, Matt. You did the right thing."

"I'm sorry too. I care about you, Andy. Telling on you was probably the hardest thing I ever did."

He pulled back and gave me a light slap on the face. "Friends do that, don't they?"

I kissed him. "Yeah, friends do that."

Dr. Walker cleared his throat. "Okay. Enough of this lovey-dovey stuff. Sit down. We have more work to do."


Chapter Quotes

Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil. - Baltasar Gracian

It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them. - Confucius

A quarrel between friends, when made up, adds a new tie to friendship. - Saint Francis de Sales

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