Just Hit 'Send' - The Interim Years

by Grasshopper

Ch. 8

Danny didn't want to go to see Dr. Meadows the following Tuesday after Jordan left. Easy hadn't been able to get him to go to physical therapy on Monday. He'd tried yelling, teasing, threatening, even carrying him but when he saw the look in Danny's eyes, he gave over.

"Dan?"

Danny let out a soft "Hmm?", his head down.

"Dan, will you at least tell me what's goin' on so I can help?"

"I can't."

"Why can't you? There's nothin' about you two that I don't already know."

Danny sat very still, tears falling softly down his cheeks.

"Jordy left me. He doesn't trust me. He says I... .I lied to him."

"Did you?"

Danny nodded his bowed head.

Easy was totally confused. One minute his friends were fine; the next minute, the world as they all knew it, had ended. They all lived in a continuous chapter of some way dumb soap opera and Easy rolled his eyes in frustration. He sighed and tried again.

"Dan? Is it something Terry said? I'll kill the jerk."

"No, not Terry."

Ahhh, but somebody. Somebody said something. Easy's mind slid over the only people that could hurt Danny and Jordan. There was only one person but that hadn't happened, had it?

"Dan, have you talked to Jordan's father lately?"

Danny's body stiffened and he shuddered, "No."

'Okay, that answers that question,' Easy groaned to himself, 'But when the hell did that man get close to Dan?' Easy thought back to the last time they had all been together. Tallahassee. He knelt down by the wheelchair and lifted Danny's chin.

"Dan, I'm gonna ask that again. When we were in Tallahassee for Jordan's graduation, did Jordan's father talk to you?"

Danny's frightened eyes widened. "No, Ez, No!"

Easy stared at Danny. "I'll take that as a loud Yes." He shook his head and started again. "Dan. Can you tell me what he said?"

"No!"

'Damn, I'm good,' Easy almost smiled.

"Does Jord know his father said something?"

"No... and don't you dare tell him. Easy! Promise me! Swear you won't say anything to Jordan. Swear! Swear!"

"Shhh, Lil Dude. Calm down. I won't tell Jord that his father is a damn screwed up religious psychopathic loon. I promise. Now calm down."

Easy's mind was whirling. He saw how upset Danny was but he'd seen the same look on Jordan's face as he left him at the airport. He knew he'd find a way to say something. What, he wasn't sure yet. He just knew he wasn't leaving that pompous son of a pitbull to get away with this again.


Daniel Trainor Pre Session 6

Check on Dan's progress yesterday in therapy and his general attitude after the weekend with Jordan.

Big question? Why is he in Portland when his life support lives in North Carolina?

A very quiet, shuttered Danny wheeled into Dr. Meadows office on Tuesday morning. A very different Danny from last Friday when he had been so wrapped up in Jordan Lawrence. The doctor looked at Easy, trying to read something desperate in his eyes. 'What happened?' Dr. Meadows wondered, as he watched Danny wheel over to sit staring at the painting.

"Dan? What's up?"

"Nothing. Tired, I guess."

"Missing Jordan?"

"Oh yes."

"Is that all there is to this silence?"

Danny closed his eyes tight. He HAD to talk to someone. He had to know that his decision was the right one, the only one. Maybe Dr. Meadows would let him tell it and he could be free of the pain. Surely the doctor would see that what he was doing was the only right way.

"I need to tell you something. I have to tell someone."

"Of course."

"It can't go away from here. It's my total secret."

"I would never reveal your thoughts to anyone, Dan. You already know that. Does this have to do with Jordan?"

"Yes."

"Did you two argue?"

"Yes. He said I don't trust him because I won't tell him and that he isn't going to talk to me until I do." Danny's shoulders shook as he sobbed softly.

"Why can't you tell him whatever it is that is causing you so much pain?"

"It would hurt him."

"More than what you're doing now?"

"Oh, yes."

"Can you explain?"

Danny sighed and thought back. "I'd have to go way back. Back to the beginning."

"I'm comfortable if you are," the doctor said gently and settled into his chair.

Danny closed his eyes and the words came out quietly. "I don't guess anyone's parents are happy when their son tells them he's gay; that he likes boys. My parents were sad, then supportive. They love me that much."

"And Jordan's?"

"Jordan's mom is great. She's stuck in the middle."

"The middle?"

"Well, see, Jordan's dad... this gets real complicated." Danny tried to get the words in the right order.

"Take your time, Dan."

"Jordan is from a little town in Florida where everyone goes to the same church."

"Let me guess..... Baptist?"

"Yeah. His daddy is very ummm... strong in his beliefs."

"Do those beliefs affect you and Jordan?"

"Yes. He hates me. He thinks I made Jordan the way he is. I didn't."

"Of course you didn't, Dan. That's religious ignorance talking."

"Jordan loves his dad."

"So, Jordan is choosing you over his father?"

"Yes, but that can't happen."

"Why, Dan. Many people have had to choose something other than their family."

"Well, see, there's more. Jordan's little bother died when Jordan was nine and Jordan says his dad blames him for it. Jordan tries very hard to be good and this is killing him."

"How did his brother die?"

"Leukemia."

"Jordan couldn't have caused that. Surely he realizes."

"They were in the treehouse and Adam slipped. Jordan tried to catch him but he fell. That's when they found the leukemia. Jordan has never forgiven himself for letting Adam fall. His father never spoke to him about it and they distanced themselves. When I first went to his house, it was like there were four people still living there. His dad has never let go of Adam. Jordan knows his dad blames him and hates him for what he did."

"Do you know that Jordan didn't do anything?"

"Of course. I try to tell him but he's lived with it for too long."

"Did Jordan come out to his parents on his own?"

"Oh no. His mom told his dad when she found out and he overheard them talking. His dad said awful things and Jordan ran away. We finally found him. or he found Easy and Easy helped him come home. That's another long story."

"And when he came home?"

"We were forbidden to see each other. It was like I didn't exist. We couldn't be together til college and still we had to hide it. My parents knew. Jordy's mom knew but we all had to lie because of his dad."

"Can you tell me why you're here in Portland and Jordan is in North Carolina? Is this because of his father?"

"My second accident, the one that hurt me so bad that I couldn't do anything for myself made me really look at myself and my life. What I was doing to Jordan, making a nurse, a slave out of him. I couldn't do it. Easy and I moved out to San Diego trying to give Jordan room. But, it just made us closer. We loved each other even more. When Ez took me to Tallahassee for Jordan's graduation, I was really hoping I would just stay there with him forever."

"What happened, Dan?" Dr. Meadows was way ahead of him but knew Danny needed to say it all aloud before he could help him.

Danny moaned softly. "We were so happy. Then..... then I was by myself in the park waiting for them to ride in MOSI. He came up to my wheelchair. If I could have run, I would have." He slapped at his legs. "I wouldn't have had to listen."

"Listen to what?"

"He told me I was hurting Jordan. That I was a burden. I would always weigh him down and keep him from being happy. He said that Josh, Jordan's son, would be ashamed of having a queer for a dad and that even if I walked, I'd still embarrass him because no good people would ever want to be friends with him as long as he was with a fag. He said I was an abomination but that there was still time for Jordan to repent and fix himself." Danny stared at the painting of the woman and the flowers. "I wouldn't ever hurt Jordan. I want him to be happy. I left and when Terry offered to let us come here, I came. I want to walk, Dr. Meadows, truly I do. I want to walk to Jordan and hold him and love him but I'll always be gay. I can't change that. No therapy will change that. I don't even want to. I love Jordan." Danny curled up in a ball in his chair and sobbed.

"Is that what you won't tell Jordan? Why he's angry?"

"Yes."

"Don't you think he should know what his father said to you?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"He needs to make peace with his father. He needs his father to love him."

"Instead of you?"

Danny cringed. "I hope not but maybe."

"Dan, there are different kinds of love. Love for family, friends, and love for the one person who completes you. His father loving him has nothing to do with his loving you. I've seen how Jordan feels about you."

"I know he loves me but... but I only hurt him."

"Dan, I want you to think about something for me til next time."

"Okay."

"If Jordan had never met you, never heard the name Dan Trainor, would he have been gay? If you were not in his life, would he find someone else to fill the space you fill? Would that person be a gay man? Could his father change that path, no matter what ignorant words he spewed? Is he gay because of you or because of what's inside himself? Think about that, Dan. Do you cause these "problems" or are you what keeps Jordan's world from collapsing in on itself? Who is at the root of this pain: you, Jordan or his father? Who needs to be faced with truths? We'll talk on Thursday."

As Easy gripped the handles of the chair, he glanced at Dr. Meadows and the man nodded his head slightly. Easy smiled.

Daniel Trainor Post Session 6

Not sure who needs therapy more; Dan, Jordan or Jordan's father. What a royal screwed up mess.
Both boys suffer from untreated PTSD stemming from trauma mental/physical.
Dan has removed himself geographically from the problems he has with Jordan's father but mentally they are destroying him.
Next session, we will discuss the answer to the question I posed for him. Dan needs to tell Jordan.


Jordan played with JD in the bathtub, little rubber duckies dive bombing under the water, attacking toes and knees and a cute little butt. Squealing, JD splashed water up at his father.

"You're gonna drown me, Fishboy," Jordan laughed as he his got soaked.

"We go to the beach tomorra, Daddy?"

"Sure, we'll see if your mom wants to go."

"And my new friend?"

Jordan smiled, "And your new friend." Toweling the squirmy little boy off, he let him loose to run naked from bathroom to bedroom.

Fighting to stuff still damp feet into wooly socks, JD was struggling to get back to the living room. Finally, Scooby pajamas on, he skidded down the hall and then shyly walked over to the big recliner where his new friend sat. "Hey," he whispered.

Griff reached down and scooped him up into his lap. "Howdy there, JD. You got time to sit with me awhile?" He ruffled the platinum hair and smiled at the mini-Jordan curled up in his lap.

"Umhm," JD giggled and snuggled comfortably.

Jordan sat on the floor by Griff's chair and asked a million questions. Why was he here? What was he doing? Had he been home? Had he talked to Easy? How was his mom? How long could he stay? Was he hungry?

Griff watched Jordan's eyes as he talked. He looked past the smiles and the happiness and saw what he was hoping he'd never see again.

"Jeezz, slow down, Jord. I was coaching in Ocala but you know me, I gotta have family or friends around me 24/7. I thought I'd come up this way and see how you were doin'."

"You're looking for a job?" Jordan was overwhelmed. Griff !!

"Yep, and there's one open at the high school over in Leland about 30 minutes north of here. Think you can stand me hanging around?"

Jordan laughed, "I guess we can stand it, huh Marks?" he turned his head and glanced at Markie only to find a frown creasing her forehead.

"Sure," she answered, with less than her usual enthusiasm. What was this all about? "I need to get JD to bed. Nice to meet you, Griffin. Come on, Josh." She scooped the little boy up out of Griff's arms and marched off to the bedroom.

"What was that?" Jordan asked, looking at his close friend.

"No idea. Guess she doesn't like me," Griff admitted. "I better go."

"No! Oh no you don't. I just got you back. You stay right here with us."

"I don't wanna cause a problem."

"I'll take care of that. She's just being a priss."

"I can just go to a motel."

"Tomorrow maybe, but tonight you stay here with me."

"Like old times?"

"Yeah," Jordan sighed, "Like old times."

Griff walked out to get his duffel from the truck. He lit a cigarette and flipped his cell open. "I'm here."

"Yeah, you were right. He's a mess."
"Markie? I think she hates me."
"How would I know?"
"How's Dan?"
"Can this get any shittier?"
"K...... I'll call you tomorrow night. Same Bat channel."

Time has a way of sliding, folding in on itself. Midnight found Griffin Langley resting up against the headboard of Jordan Lawrence's bed, older, different bed, different home but same feelings; Jordan laying in between Griff's legs, his head resting back on Griff's strong chest.

"God, I've missed you."

"Still coming on to me, huh Jordy," Griff laughed. "Sorry, you're still not gettin' in my pants."

Jordan shoved at him, laughing. "As if you'd be that lucky."

Scratching Jordan's head, pulling on the twisted strands just as he'd done for years, Griff said softly, "Tell me."

Jordan didn't even try to act dumb. "He lied to me. Something hurt him and he lied to me. He won't come home. I don't know what to do."

"What hurt him? That guy out there?"

"No, I don't think so. You know Danny... someone could flirt big time with him and he'd just think they wanted to study or something. No, he loves me. It's not that. If it was Terry that would just make him want to stay out there. This is something that won't let him come home."

"Is he gonna be able to walk?"

"I don't know. He won't come home if he can't. He already told me that."

"What will you do if that happens?"

"Move out there." Griff could see Jordan's chin jut out stubbornly. "He's not losing me. He can try but it's not gonna happen."

"What does Easy say?"

"He told me that Dan is going to the shrink and maybe he'll get it out of him. I can only hope. I want him home any way I can get him but I hope it's because everything is clear and there's not anything between us. I love him so much, Griff."

"I know you do. God, it's been almost nine years. You'd think ya'll would be an old boring married couple by now."

"Yeah, right. Like gay guys can ever be really happy," Jordan sighed.

"It's not the gay part, Jord. It's the wheelchair and the feelings that Danny has always had of feeling less than you. It comes from inside himself; from the accident, from things that have been said to him.................." his voice trailed off.

"My father."

"He hasn't helped at all," Griff said quietly. "I know you love your father and I know there's the whole thing with Adam and all that but that's gotta hurt Danny, Jord."

Long after Jordan fell asleep, Griff sat holding him close. This is way it had always been. He had missed this feeling. He wouldn't let Jordan down. They would fix this.


Danny's physical therapy began again on that Wednesday. He had sat up most of the night thinking about what Dr. Meadows had asked him. He saw that he wasn't the cause of Jordan's father's hatred, just the innocent recipient. It would have been any boy that Jordan loved. It helped to know that but it didn't chance the fact that it WAS him and he WOULD cause Jordy to be ashamed and to live a life of secretness; a life without his father. He couldn't ask that.

"We're going to fit you with the leg brace today, Dan," Steph smiled. "We're going to have you up and moving in no time."

"Will I really walk?"

"I think so. Not without help but the choice is yours. The wheelchair or a leg brace and canes. You keep the therapy going and even some of that might be done away with. It's all up to you."

"I want to walk." **to Jordy** He was so conflicted. Even if he walked, he couldn't go back, could he? Did he need Mr. Lawrence's permission? His blessing? Would he ever have that? No! Then what? Jordan would be so much better off without him but he knew Jordy..... he'd never let him go. There was only one way Jordy could truly be free of him.


Griff woke up to the sound of dishes in the sink. He stumbled out of bed, pulled on jeans and walked toward the sound.

"Mornin' Sunshine," he said softly, startling Markie, her hands in the soapy water. He watched her brow furrow as it had last night.

"Where are the guys?"

"Out." The grudgingly, "Would you like some coffee?"

"Please."

She walked over to the table and put the cup down. As she turned to leave, Griff caught her wrist. "Sit."

Markie gave him an unbelieving look. "Excuse me?"

"Please?"

She picked up her mug and sat across from him, waiting.

"What the hell's wrong?"

"What do you mean?"

"I met you last night and you hate me? What?"

Markie growled, "You just stay away and stay away and then pop back into his life. He needs people to be here for him. He's dying here, slowly but surely, and he needs people he can count on. When will you leave? Tomorrow? The next day?" She pushed back her chair. Griff stood and caught her arm.

"I know EXACTLY what's happening here. I talk to Easy almost every day. I gave Jordan room...... .he's always depended on me so much. I needed to let him make his own life. There's not a day goes by that I don't want to call but I had to let him loose."

"Well, he's loose all right," Markie sneered. "He's so loose he may never get it all back together. He waits and he waits for Danny. Josh helps but he isn't what Jordan needs. He needed your support and you weren't here. He needs me, he needs Easy, he needs Josh but most of all, he needs Dan. You either be here or go away. He can't take much more."

Her voice turned into sobs and she leaned against the counter. Griff moved to touch her shoulder. "You love him?" wonder in his voice and not a tiny touch of jealousy. He realized as he looked down at this woman who could be Jordan's twin, that she was beautiful.

"We all love him," she sobbed. "Jordan is like...... like......... I can't explain it. You just want to hug him and protect him. He holds us all together but he's falling apart. He needs you, Griff."

He turned her around to face him and lifted her chin with his finger. "I won't leave." She sighed and moved effortlessly into his arms to rest her cheek, so like Jordy, on his hard chest. He guessed he was destined to have platinum haired, green-eyed bodies waller on him. Not a bad feeling!!

"Ummmmmm...... are we interrupting something?" Jordan grinned.

"Mommy! Griff! Daddy, Mommy and Griff are hugging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Josh giggled and danced around the kitchen, grabbing Griff's leg the third trip around.


They spent the next day, Sunday, at the beach, bundled up in parkas, walking along the sand, their breath drifting in steamy clouds. Noses frozen, hands and feet blocks of ice, the little café that faced the ocean was a welcome sight. Shrimp sandwiches and cups of hot coffee, a burger and hot chocolate for JD and the talk settled into Griff's new job and what the next few months would bring.

"You'll love Wrightsville in the summer," Jordan smiled. "The surfing is great and so's the weather. It's hot but not like home."

"I'll start looking for a place this week after I sign my contract. The coach there now doesn't leave till the end of March, so I've got time to relax a little."

"It's 20 minutes to Leland. Why not find a place here on the beach?"

"That's a possibility."

Jordan watched Markie watching Griff, who was desperately not watching her. This should prove interesting! Josh was not so shy.

"Griff !!!! Get me down from here," he demanded, as he wiggled from his perch on some piled up phone books. "I'm still cold. Hug me !!"

"He sure is your son," Griff rolled his eyes at Jordy. "Bossy little son of a bi............ gun." He caught Markie's raised eyebrow.

A nice day, a fun day. Only one thing marred it. The clouds in Jordan's eyes.

That night, Griff stepped out on the tiny balcony and flipped open his cell.

"Hiya."
"Yeah."
"That's great..a leg brace."
"Nah, I don't think she hates me anymore."
"Shut up."
"I know."
"I KNOW."
"I'm gonna bring it up tomorrow."
"Yeah, I'm gonna make him."
"Yeah, I'll go with... ..it's time."

Griff closed it down and leaned against the wall, the frigid air biting his skin.

It was way past time that Jordan and his father ended all this...... .one way or the other.


Griff had kept Josh with him for the day while Jordan and Markie went to work. The apartment was a wreck and so was Griff. They had built a cave out of cushions and sheets and eaten junk food all day. Griff had totally fallen in love with a tiny 4 ¾ size whirling dervish of a boy. Jordan got home first to find them both fast asleep, JD piled across Griff's chest in their make believe cave. Shaking Griff's foot, Jordan laughed.

"Getting' old, huh? Nappin' in the middle of the day."

"God, that kid would wear out anyone," Griff grinned.

"He's somethin' all right."

"He's great. You've done a great job, Jord."

Jordan smiled. "It was easy. All you do is love him."

Griff took a deep breath. "Jord. We need to talk."

Jordan's eyes widened then he started to blink back sudden unreasonable tears. "What?"

"It's like you just said, all you had to do was love him. We need to go home."

"What? Home? Why?"

"Jord...... .come here." He held out his arms and Jordan walked into them as he had so many times when they were growing up. "Listen to me."

"K."

"I know why Danny won't come home."

Jordan pulled back. "What? How do you know?"

"It doesn't matter right now. I just know."

"Is that why you're here?"

"Yes. That and I missed you."

"Tell me." Griff felt Jordan clench up and hold his breath. "I know what you're gonna say, but say it out loud, Griff."

God, Griff hated this. "You need to go home and talk to your dad."

"He did this, didn't he? I knew it. I didn't want to think it but I knew it."

"I'm going with you and you're gonna get this out, Jord. Neither you nor Dan deserve to live like this."

Markie walked in the door, "What's wrong?"

"Marks, I need to go home for a couple of days. Griff's gonna go with me. Call the school. Will you be okay?"

"Is someone sick?"

"I'll explain, Jord. Go pack. We'll drive and be there tomorrow night."

Jordan went in the bedroom and sat down on the edge of the bed, his mind tumbling. He knew it, he'd always known it. Damn! Picking up his cell phone, he punched #1.

"Jordy? Oh Jordy, you called." Jordan could hear Danny's tears.

"Hi baby. I wanted to hear your voice."

"What's wrong? Are you crying?"

"Nah, I just wanted to tell you something."

"What Jordy?"

"I love you."

"Oh...... I'll always love you, Jordy, always."

"Night, Danny."

"Night, Jordy."

One boy sighed, smiled and climbed back onto the parallel bars to make that long walk one more time, the pain lessened by the sound in his lover's voice.

One boy packed his clothes, knowing his life was never gonna be the same but maybe the most important part of it would come home.

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