Richie and Jimmy
The next two weeks seem to move slow. Have you ever notice when you want time to move fast it slows up and when you want it to move slow it speeds up. Of course that doesn't actually happened but that is the feeling you get. I got an email from Richie stating that Brand had called him and told him when he would be pick up.
I cleaned up the apartment, did the laundry and went shopping. I knew we'd need snacks and of course I had to provide breakfast and lunch for Richie since he would be here alone while I went to work. I wasn't worried about dinner since I could always go and get a pizza but I also knew Miss Marie would take care of us because Gram would make sure. I had great grandparents and I tried to show my appreciation the best way I knew.
The night before Brand was to arrive, Gram wanted to know about Richie. I told her I met him in school and he was a very friendly boy. "Gram wait till you see his eyes. I have never seen blue green eyes like he has. They seem to draw you in and it's difficult to look away. I wouldn't say he is handsome but there is something about him that makes you feel comfortable around him. I like him very much, he is smart, we like the same authors and the same music. He wants to be an architect and my guess is he'll be a good one."
"You seem quite taken with this boy."
"Yes, by the way I talk about him you would think so. I don't know and I don't know what will happen. For me this is like an adventure into the unknown. I know I'll not discuss this with my parents."
Saying good night to my grandparents, I went back to my apartment and to bed. I fell asleep quickly, no dreams and no wet sheets either. I showered, ate a light breakfast and drank some left over coffee. Brand told me they should arrive about 1 pm. I was glad I didn't work today or tomorrow being Saturday and Sunday. There was a knock on my door and I knew it wasn't Brand way too early.
"Good morning Gramps, want a cup of coffee?"
"Good morning James, no thanks. Your grandmother wanted me to remind you to come for lunch as soon as your brother arrives."
"I'll come with you now and thank her. I want to be there when Frick and Frack attack their car. I think Brandon may have forgotten about them and I know Charles has never seen them. I'll sit on the porch when it get's close to the time they will arrive."
"You can wait inside, we'll know because of the gate alarm."
I spent the next few hours in the kitchen with Miss Marie. We reminisced about the times I stayed their as a child. It was fun as I remembered the good times and the summer trouble I always got into until I found books. Then it was a quiet time as I would take a book out side under the shade of a tree and read for hours at a time. Miss Marie would bring me glasses of cool lemonade while I read.
When you are reminiscing and not paying attention to time, it slips by. Soon I heard the gate alarm, actually it was Frick and Frack that alerted me. I walked out on the porch as the gate swung open, the car moved through and the gate swung closed. As the car got to the front of the house, I could see the ears on Frick and Frack go up. These were strangers, I heard a soft growl. "Frick, Frack it's ok boy. That's Brandon, you remember him."
That seemed to work. As soon as the car stopped, Brandon got out and two dogs took off. Maybe families all smell the same, soon the dogs are licking Brandon's face. He tried to hug the dogs, but they were jumping around too much. While Brandon was entertaining the dogs, I opened the other doors. I greeted Charles, and then helped Richie out and then Nick. "While Brand is entertaining the dogs, head for the porch. Once you are there you are safe."
Nick and Richie made it but not Charles. He made the mistake of trying to help Brand. Soon he was the center of the dogs activity. Gramps came out and one yell , the dogs returned to the porch. They sat on either side of me like they were guarding an important person. I'm sure if an unknown person approached me, they would be on him in no time.
I introduced Charles, Nick and Richie to Gramps. Then when Gram came out I introduced them again. Gram gave them all a hug, she figured out who Charles was and Richie but we had to introduce Nick to her. Miss Marie came out to tell us lunch was ready. Brand gave her a hug as soon as he saw her, then he introduced her to the others as his nanny.
Gram told Brand where their bedroom was and Nick, Richie and I would go to the apartment. Brand picked up their luggage and Charles followed him. Nick picked his luggage up, I took Richie's two bags and they followed me to the apartment. We agree to be back for lunch in 15 minutes.
I showed the boys the apartment, of course they made a comment about only being one bed. Richie felt nervous while Nick wiggled his eyes brows. "If any of you are nervous about sharing a bed, I'm sure Gram will have an extra room or two."
After a few hems and haws, they agreed to stay in the apartment. Then they argued who was going to sleep in the middle. Richie had to sleep on his good side since he had his arm in a cast. Being the host, I told them I would sleep in the middle.
Lunch was as expected. Miss Marie was an excellent cook. Brand wanted to show Charles around as well as check out my apartment. I showed Richie and Nick my graduation present and they were impressed. Nick was a junior and had one more year to go before graduation. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do but said his dad and Charles were pushing him to be a lawyer, family business.
Since Richie would be staying, I showed him where he could put his clothes. Of course being one handed I realize that I'd have to do this for him. Nick pretty much lived out of his suitcase since he would be leaving after a week. Knowing Richie was coming I had made room in the dresser and closet for him.
"Richie did you call your dad and let him know you have arrived. You should give him Grams phone number in case he needs to get in contact with you."
"I haven't done that yet, can I use your phone or should I use your grandmothers."
"Probably best to use my Grams. If he wanted to get a hold of you I may not be here. There's always someone at Grams."
We walked back to Grams and we had an escort. Frick and Frack were waiting at the bottom of the steps and as soon as we reached the bottom they wanted to play. Richie watched as Nick and I hugged the dogs and scratched behind their ears. As we walked toward the main house, the dogs followed. We saw Brand and Charles walking up to the back door holding hands. "They are always doing that. As soon as they are together, they hold hands ."
"Quiet little one, you are just jealous."
"Little one, where did that name come from."
"When I was younger I was very short and he always called me little one. Then puberty hit and I think I grew an inch every night. Now I'm still not as tall as Charles but I'm not little either. It seems some names stick."
We chuckled, "Where did you go Brand?"
"I just showed Charles our secret place."
Nick and Richie looked at me. "When we were kids and stayed here for vacation, we would walk the grounds. Over that hill there are a few trees and a small pond that is fed by an underground stream. The water is very cold and on a hot day it was the spot where Gramps would find us. We called it our secret spot."
"I'd like to see it." So with the dogs I took them to the pond. Nick had to test the temperature of the water. He took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his pant legs and walked into the pond. We laughed as he quickly ran out of the pond.
"The water is really cold. I thought maybe it would be cool but its cold. I don't think you could swim in it, the water is too cold."
"We never swam in the pond but the water is very refreshing. We'd take our shirts and dip them in the pond and them place them around our shoulders or over our heads. On a very hot summer day, that was really nice."
Now that Nick's feet were wet, he couldn't put his shoes on. "Nick take your shirt and dry your feet. Then you can put your shoes back on. Walking back bare foot won't be nice."
We waited while Nick dried his feet. I kept glancing at Richie and every once in a while I'd catch him looking at me. I still haven't figured out what it is about him that I find so attractive except for his eyes.
Supper that evening was something I missed. With Brand not being home, our suppers were very quiet. But tonight they were anything but quiet. Richie explained how he broke his arm, Brand told us how he met Charles, seems like Nick was a mischievous student and Charles was the one that bailed him out. Of course Nick said he was an innocent bystander and never did those things he was accused of doing. Gramps told a few stories of his childhood and some of the mischief he got into. Grams just sat there taking it all in. For the first time in a long while I felt like supper was enjoyed again. It reminded me of when we were kids.
"Jimmy, show me your car. Gramps bought me my first car when I graduated and I'd like to see what he bought you."
Nick and Richie stayed with my grandparents while Brand and I left to show him my car. Richie wanted to call his dad, Charles and Nick wanted to get to know Gram and Gramps better. It all worked out.
I opened the garage doors and showed Brand my BMW. "Nice car but I already knew about the car. Gramps told me he had bought you the same model car he bought me. I wanted to just talk to you about the folks. I was really hurt when dad asked me to leave."
"I know you were hurt, so were mom and I. I've never seen dad so angry. Mom said since he was Spanish it was an affront to his manhood. I thought that was just bullshit. From what I have read I think he was more embarrassed because he may have had feelings for a man at one time. He's so macho he'd never admit to it. I'm not sure how he'll react if I'm gay also."
"Are you gay?"
"I don't know. I have been reading about gays since I came here. I have never dated when I was in school, never felt the need and never felt any attraction to girls or boys. I had a lot of friends and Mike was my closest friend but I never felt doing anything sexual with him. In fact I never had even given it a thought of being sexual with anyone. I figured I'd go to school and get my degree and then find a job. Eventually someone will come along that would jump start my sexual desires. Now since I've met Richie there is something about him that I find attractive. I'm totally captivated by his eyes. He's funny and smart. I knew he's not the most handsome guy I knew but there is something there that I don't understand."
"When I met Charles I knew he was the one for me. I knew I was gay when I was in high school but had to keep a low profile. Maybe because deep down I knew what dad's reaction would be. I used Nick so I could see Charles. Nick is not a trouble maker, I would trump up charges just so Charles would come and see me. Then at one meeting Charles got wise and accused me of trumping charges against Nick so I could see him. I confessed that I was gay and would like to date him, and after dating for about 9 months, we moved in together. That trip home was to let every one know that I was gay and I had a partner. I didn't expect it to be well received but I never expected the greeting I got. If I had known I'd never have come home."
I just hugged Brand. I knew he was hurt when dad yelled at him. But I think he did what he had to do. Now it's out in the open and he can live his life knowing he's not going around anyone's back. But that doesn't solve my problem. "Brand what if I'm non-sexual? Maybe I'm the type of guy who never has any interest in a sexual relationship with a man or woman. Wouldn't that be strange?"
"I don't know anyone who has no sex drive. Maybe yours hasn't kicked in yet. Your nose was always stuck in a book. Have you never read any books where one of the characters was very sexually active or was going through the emotions of finding love? Certainly you have read Romeo and Juliet in class. That was always Mrs. Kelly's favorite Shakespearean play. I think she could recite the total play from memory."
"We had to read that play as well. I never really got into it that much. I actually found it boring but I did like some of his other plays."
"Maybe I should send you some gay literature."
"Don't laugh at me, you're the only one I can turn to."
"I'm not laughing at you. I love you Jimmy and I'd never hurt you. Don't worry about if you do or don't have any sexual desires. Once we leave and it's just you and Richie you'll figure it out. Keep an open mind and see what develops. I'm just a phone call or Skype away."
I gave Brand a hug and then as we were walking back to Grams, I met the guys heading to the apartment. "Nick brought some games with him. We thought we could play them in the apartment."
"Sure let's go." I went to the apartment with the guys while Brand went back to Grams. "I think we can hook the laptop to the TV let's do that. I'm going to make some tea, do you guys want any?"
"Are you making hot tea or ice tea?"
"Which do you prefer?"
So I made a pitcher of iced tea while they hooked up the games. I took three glasses into the living room. I sat on the sofa while the boys sat on the floor in front of the TV. I watched them play and kept looking at Richie. There was something there and I wanted to know what it was. What was the attraction, his voice, his mannerism what was it? This was driving me nuts trying to figure out why I was finding him attractive.
"Jimmy do you want to play? You can take my spot."
"No, I'll just watch. I never was any good at playing games. You go ahead and play."
Maybe after spending some time with Richie I'll be able to figure out what it is that baffles me. Guys I'm going to bed. I'm not use to staying up late. I went and brushed my teeth, and got ready for bed. I sleep in a pair of loose gym shorts. Since I was allocated to the middle of the bed, I knew I wouldn't be disturbed when they came to bed. It didn't take me long to fall asleep. I never felt them getting in bed.
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. If the email address pastes with %40 in the middle, replace that with an @ sign.]