Love is Blind

by Nick Brady

Chapter 8

My mother smiled and excused herself to start our Christmas dinner. I reached over and took Ian's hand. "I love you," I said quietly.

"I love you too. This is the nicest Christmas I ever had."

"The first of many, Ian. The first of many."

The smell of roasting turkey filled the air and our mouths were watering. It had been a long time since breakfast and we were very hungry. We wandered into the kitchen hoping for a sample. "Is there anything we could do to help?" I asked my mother.

"Now, Andrew. You'll just have to be patient. It will be ready in about an hour," she replied as she basted the turkey.

We reluctantly went back out and sat on the sofa. Ian ran his finger over his ring. "Tell me about the ring. I know it's a metal band with flat stones in it, but what does it look like?"

"It's Sterling silver and the little stones are blue-green turquoise. They weren't terribly

expensive but they're very pretty."

"It fits right. You made a good guess on the size. I really love it."

I took Ian's hand and looked at the ring then held my hand next to his. "They match, you know. They are another thing about us that's just the same."

Ian squeezed my hand. "You make me so happy. I don't deserve to be this happy."

"Don't say that. If anyone ever deserved to be happy it's you. We make each other happy. That's the way it's supposed to work."

"I appreciate your mother making me feel so welcome. I was afraid I'd be a bother."

"Not at all. She likes you," I assured him. "I bet your mom misses you this Christmas. What did you tell her about spending it with me?"

"I sent her a nice Christmas card and wrote a little note inside. I said I was visiting a friend and wished her a nice Christmas. I asked her to wish my father and brothers a merry Christmas from me too, but I don't know if she'll do that. It doesn't matter."

"It matters to you. Don't you have some feelings towards them?"

"Mixed feelings, I guess. When I was a little kid I really wanted my brothers to like me. When I came home from school I probably bugged them a lot. Before they got into their teens they were pretty nice to me but when they got to be teenagers they decided I wasn't cool, especially if they had their friends over at the house."

"Were they mean to you? Did they pick on you?"

"No, basically they just ignored me or told me to get lost. It's hard to be shunned, especially by your own brothers. They mostly made fun of me if they paid any attention at all."

"How did you turn out to be such a nice person? That could have made you bitter and hateful."

Ian shrugged. "I wasn't home that much. From the time I was six years old, I was in the Blind School most of the time. They even had summer programs."

"I know you learned a lot there, but was it a good experience? How do you look back on those times?"

"I guess you could say it seemed normal. I was only home during the school holidays and my friends were all at school. The school was pretty strict, but they took care of me and encouraged me. I was always ready to go back to school."

"Being a kid is tough for most of us."

"What was it like for you growing up? Your mom is so great. I guess you had a happy childhood."

"It really wasn't that great."

"What do you mean?"

"To tell the truth, I was pretty squirrely. Without a father, I had no male role model. I sort of borrowed my friend's dads. I looked at my mother for how to do most things. She tried to go out in the yard and throw a ball with me, but it wasn't the same. I wanted to follow her around and do what she did. I guess that's how I learned to cook. I was kind of a sissy, Ian. And it didn't help that I found myself more attracted to my buddies than to the girls at school."

"Did you get picked on?"

"I got teased a lot. The neighborhood had a lot of kids. The boys would get together in somebody's back yard or at the school playground and play pickup football or baseball. Two guys would be the captains and take turns choosing us to be on their side, I always got chosen last. I wasn't very popular. We moved to a different neighborhood just before I went into high school so it was like starting over."

"I know what it's like not to fit in."

"About the time we moved, I started to grow. I was as tall as I am now when I was in the eighth grade. If you're big but won't fight, you're a magnet for bullies. It makes them look tough to push around a bigger kid. A couple of times I really lost my temper and got mad enough to fight. After knocking a couple of guys on their butts, I wasn't as much fun to pick on and the bullies started leaving me alone. When I got into high school some of my friends were athletes and played sports. I wanted to fit in so I went out for football. I wasn't great at it but it helped make me more like one of the guys. I had to work at being more masculine. It didn't come naturally."

"You said you were a swimmer."

"I always like to swim. Mom was a good swimmer and she taught me how when I was little. I joined the swim team and did pretty well. It was a chance to start over. It was something I was good at and it helped."

"What about being attracted to guys? How did that work out?"

"I learned to keep that to myself. I never hit on anybody, but there are always a few guys who let you know that they might like to play, you know? We would never admit we liked to do stuff with other boys, but it was OK to play around a little when you were horny. Turned out that some guys liked to do a lot more than others. We all thought of ourselves as straight or claimed to be. You're the first person I've ever come out to, Ian."

"Really? Me too. I guess that's our little secret."

"I guess so," I laughed quietly. "I think Mom knew. Mothers always know these things I guess. She watched me struggle with all this stuff. I think that's why she's so accepting of you. She understands us both, Ian."

Ian looked like he wanted to say more, but just then Mom called us to the dinner table. The turkey ended our discussion.

It was a wonderful dinner. Mom was a great cook and we ate until we were about to burst. Just when we knew we couldn't eat another bite, she brought out a pecan pie and we ate some more. We sat at the table for quite a while and talked. Not that we had that much to say but because we were basically paralyzed. After some coffee and deep breathing, Ian and I got up and cleared the dishes away and shooed Mom into the living room while we washed up. When we finally joined her she was leaned back in the easy chair sound asleep.

Ian and I put on our coats and slipped quietly out of the house to walk off our dinner. Ian carried his folded cane but took my elbow as I gave him a tour of the neighborhood. We walked past my old high school and I shared some stories. That reminded him of a few stories of his own and we had a nice talk The more we got to know about each other, the closer we became.

An hour later we came back to the house and found my mother reading a magazine.

"I was about to send out a search party," she said. "Have you been showing Ian around?"

"We were walking off your turkey," Ian laughed.

"Thank you for doing the dishes. It was a pleasure having you with us."

We talked a bit more then Mom got up to excuse herself. "I have to go back to work tomorrow. You boys will have to entertain yourselves."

We took the hint and got ready for bed ourselves. I sat on the edge of the double bed in the guest room. "Mom's going back to work and this might be a good time for us to get back to our apartment," I suggested.

"That's a good idea. We don't want to wear out our welcome," Ian agreed.

"You know what they say about fish and company."

"What do they say?"

"Both begin to stink after three days."

"Oh. You're probably right," Ian laughed.

"Let's get up and fix Mom a nice breakfast then we can leave after she does. We'd have the house to ourselves for a little while." I ran the back of my hand down the front of Ian's T-shirt.

"This is a pretty nice bed," Ian agreed.

"We haven't had any quality time since we drove down here."

"Would that be safe?"

"I imagine so. She won't get back from work until late in the afternoon and we'll be long gone by then."

Ian took my hand and pulled it down to his crotch. It was obvious that he thought I had a good idea. We kissed goodnight and I went to the bottom bunk in my old bedroom.

When my mother woke up in the morning the house smelled like bacon. By the time she had dressed for work, there was a platter of bacon, scrambled eggs and another of pancakes waiting on the kitchen table.

"I'm going to miss you guys. This is a treat."

"It's the least we can do," I said.

"I won't be able to use up all these leftovers. Let me send some of this stuff home with you." We went away with a load of turkey, dressing and green bean casserole. We would put it to good use.

We walked my mother out to her car and both gave her a big hug. "Thanks again, Mom. It's always great to come home and spend a little time with you," I said. "I'm sorry I don't get back more often."

"You're busy. I'm busy. We both have our own lives now, Andrew. I'm proud of you and always love to have you, but I understand. Come when you can, and bring Ian with you. You're both welcome anytime." She hugged us again then got in her car and drove away, leaving us to our own devices.

"Probably we should straighten up the house a little, like clean up the kitchen and make the beds," I suggested.

"Let's make up the beds first," Ian smiled.

We went into the guest room and sat on the double bed. We didn't need to discuss what was to happen next. I turned to Ian and unbuttoned his shirt, then lowered his zipper and he did the rest. I lay back on the bed and let him remove my clothing until we were wearing nothing but smiles.

Ian sat down next to me as I lay stretched out. "Let me look at you," he whispered.

His sensitive hands examined every inch of me from the hair on my head down to my toes. It was always a tremendous turn-on for both of us when he did that. When I was painfully erect, he bent over and took me in his mouth, his fingers lightly touching the surrounding area. I lay perfectly still, took his head in my hands and rubbed my fingers through his hair. My eyes were closed as I experienced him at the same time that he experienced me.

After a few minutes Ian stretched out beside me and it was my turn, breathing in his scent and enjoying the feel of him in my mouth. We were in no hurry. I raised his knees and licked down between his legs causing his breath to quicken. This had become a regular part of our play and we both enjoyed it. We were not sure which role we enjoyed the most, the giver or the receiver but had learned to love both roles.

"Wait," Ian whispered. "First, would you mind hugging me? I always like it when you hug me."

He stretched out his arms and legs like a cat and I placed myself against the length of him, wrapping my arms under his shoulders and kissing him on the neck, under his chin, then gently nibbling his lips. He embraced me and sighed as we rocked against each other from side to side like we had done that first time in my little tent. But before we made a mess, we had other games to play and took turns pleasing each other in all the ways we had discovered.

It was some time before we eventually found the relief we longed for. We didn't keep track of the time. We lay in each other's arms for a while then rose from the bed to shower and put on fresh clothing. We scrubbed the bath, changed the sheets on the beds then went into the kitchen to clean up from breakfast.

I stood behind Ian and kissed him on the back of his neck. "I love you," I told him.

He turned and took me in his arms. "I love you too. Do you ever get tired of hearing me say that?"

"Not yet. I don't think I ever will."

We tidied up the house as best we could then locked up and took our things out to my car. On the drive back to our apartment we made a few plans. Now that we had determined that our lives would be spent together we had a lot of things to talk about.

When classes started again the rest of the semester went by quickly. We decided was that we needed to push the two twin beds together to make more room for our playtime. No one ever came to visit unless it was the landlord making an inspection, We decided that if he hadn't balked at our homebrew, the location of the beds probably wouldn't concern him either.

"My mother hardly writes to me anymore and she stopped sending any money," Ian told me one day. "I think when I didn't come back for Christmas they decided to write me off."

"Why would they care?"

"Giving me a hard time was their decision. Not coming home for Christmas was my idea. I guess I didn't play by the rules, I don't know."

"I feel bad for your Mom."

"I do too. I still write to her, but I know she's in a tough position. Maybe my father found out she was sending me some money and put his foot down. For all I know, she's not even getting my letters. Maybe it would make things simpler I didn't write to her."

"It's hard for me to understand the situation with your family."

Ian sighed. "I've thought about it a lot. I think when I was little, I was sort of a curiosity. I couldn't do what my brothers did when they were my age and that was disappointing. People felt sorry for me and assumed I was retarded. They felt sorry for my family being burdened with such a freaky kid. Then when I was six they sent me off to the blind school and I was out of the way."

"So you never really lived with your family?"

"I lived at the school. When I came home I was just a visitor. They never really knew me. When I was home they didn't know what to do with me."

"It's like you weren't really part of the family."

"Not really. I think they saw me as an accident, as something that never should have happened."

"I just can't understand why your father is so harsh."

"My father isn't really a bad person, he's just ignorant, Andrew. He doesn't have any education, he doesn't read. He doesn't understand things and if something happens that he doesn't understand, it makes him angry. He can't understand why he had such a freaky kid."

"You weren't a freak. You just couldn't see."

"But I didn't look like my father, didn't act like him. My brothers grew up a lot like their father. They tried to be like he was. They were good at sports and talked the talk, you know? I think my father suspected that I wasn't really his."

"He thought your mother had been with another man?"

"I overheard things. I don't know what he thought. Maybe he thinks I'm not really his kid and is suspicious of my mother. Maybe that's why he's so angry. He hates anything he doesn't understand."

Do your brothers feel the same way?"

"I never fit in, but my brothers were decent to me when I was little. It's when I got older that it got worse. I think they picked up on the idea that I wasn't legitimate. I was gone most of the time and I guess they talked about it when I wasn't there."

"Didn't your mother defend herself? Couldn't they talk about it?"

"That's not the way it works. If something is tough, you just don't talk about it. One way or another, I was an anomaly. I wasn't supposed to be there."

"I'm sorry, Ian."

"Don't be sorry. My life is so much better now. I can wish things were different, but I'm happy with my life. I'm happy with you."

"I think life is better for both of us. We need to start thinking about our future."

"I'm not sure I've really thought about my future," Ian admitted. "I guess I just figure if I can stay in school things will work out somehow. I expected to be alone."

"You're not alone now. We're not alone, we're a team, a couple. We need to make plans. How are we going to stay together after college?" I asked.

"That might be a challenge. We aren't going to be doing the same kind of work. I'm not sure what I'll be able to do, to be honest. I hate to admit it, but being blind does close some doors."

"We don't have to do the same job to work for the same company," I pointed out. "We need to think about how we're going to do this. I can't bear the thought of being separated."

"There will be a way," Ian smiled. "There has to be. We'll find a nice place and settle down, maybe buy a house and get a dog. We'll find a way."

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[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. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead