by Nick Brady
The week dragged by since my only contact with Joseph was a few minutes at the flagpole. It was always Alice who picked him up now rather than his mother. It seemed like Alice was usually a few minutes late which gave us a little more time to talk. I think Joseph was right, Alice was our friend.
We didn't have much time together at choir practice on Thursday because Mrs. Tailor was really working us hard on the Christmas music. At least it was hard for me because this was my first time to try to sing outside of the shower.
I surprised myself by beginning to understand a little more about the music. Joseph was a big help of course. I didn't know how to read music but he showed me on which line the little black notes were for the tenor part, and explained that when the notes went up and down that I was to sing higher or lower. In fact, I could kind of tell how much to go up or down by how many lines or spaces changed between notes even if I didn't know what note it was.
It was confusing at first but I listened to the more experienced singers to see what they were doing. When I began to understand the logic of it I began to have fun with it. Not to say that I was becoming a great singer but I was hitting the right note most of the time. Joseph was right again when he told me it was like learning to play baseball. When I practiced a lot it began to be easier and I began to get better. At least I was getting fewer dirty looks from the other tenors.
Practice ran late because we had so much to do and by the time we could leave, Alice was already waiting. There wasn't much to say anyway.
"So how is your mom?" I asked Joseph.
"Alright I suppose. I hardly see her any more. Either she is in her bedroom or off somewhere. When Alice brings me home from school, Mother needs the car for something and is gone."
"Is she still, you know, drinking?"
"Oh I imagine so, but with her it is hard to tell, and I don't see her all that much."
Just then Alice pulled up and we said goodbye. "See you Sunday!" we both yelled at the same time.
I got on the 10-speed and started to pedal home. It was almost 9:00 and very dark. By mid November the days were getting shorter. I zipped up my jacket and resolved to start bringing a scarf to keep the wind from blowing down the back of my neck. The bike Joseph gave me had reflectors on front and back but I could use some lights. At night the street lights let you see where you were going and were good enough to ride by, but front and rear lights helped you see better, and more importantly let you be seen.
When I got home and locked my bike in the shed it was 9:30 and time to be thinking about bed on a school night. Kevin was not in his usual place on the sofa holding court in front of the TV. I heard him in the shower when I went into our bedroom. By the time I was undressed he returned with wet hair and a towel around his waist. I could see a distinct bulge under the towel which I was determined to ignore. I reminded myself that he was 12 now, and things happen at 12. They certainly did for me.
"Hey!" we greeted each other. Kevin pulled up a pair of briefs under the towel then let it drop, put on a loose t-shirt and sat down on his bed.
"What's new at middle school Brother of Mine?" I asked with artificial enthusiasm.
"Well, we have a new student, or rather an old student come back."
For a moment I wasn't sure what he meant, then I got it. "Anybody I know?"
Kevin gave me a shy smile. "Just your friend Tony."
"Really? Did you see him?"
"No I didn't but some friends did. They were kind of glad to see him. It was a scandal the way he was arrested and taken away, but nobody hated Tony. People were shocked but felt sorry for him too. The story going around was that his father was making him do stuff. Do you know his brother Carlos? He is back too."
"What grades are they in?" I wondered.
"I think Tony is in 6th grade and Carlos is in 8th. I guess I have one on each side of me," He chuckled. "But I don't think I have ever talked to either of them."
"Do they know who you are? I mean do they know you are my brother?"
"No, I don't think so. There are lots of white kids at my school but not that many Mexicans, so they stand out. I know them when I see them but they don't know me. But you know me, I kind of blend in anyway. I don't make a lot of noise."
"That's OK, you always know what's going on," I reminded him. "If I had known what Tony was doing I might never have hung out with him, but when I got to know him I liked him. It's not like I don't care what happens to him."
"I understand. A friend is a friend. If I hear anything I'll tell you." Kevin said, then observed, "I think it's a good thing that he is back in school instead of in jail."
"Yes, that's for sure. Where do they live now? Not with their father any more, he is doing time, or will be."
Kevin asked, "How do you know that?"
"Jack told me. There is an older brother that Jack knows," I replied.
"So there are 3 brothers?"
"There are 4 brothers 2 years apart; Tony is 12, Carlos is 14, Juan is 16, and Pablo, the one that Jack knows, is 18," I said, "and Jack found out that at one time or another their father pimped out every one of them."
Kevin looked shocked. "No shit? I can't relate to that, it's off the scale!"
I reflected that Kevin very rarely used strong language. "Hey, it's really messed up. I'll tell you the truth, it makes me appreciate our boring little family."
Kevin just nodded his head and looked thoughtful, then after a minute suggested, "It's kind of late, you ready to turn out the light?"
I flipped off the light and went across the hall to the bathroom to whiz and brush my teeth. I considered a shower but it was late and I was tired. Maybe in the morning, I thought.
Slipping into the bedroom it was quiet except for a little traffic noise from the street outside. Our only illumination was from a streetlight just across from our bedroom window. I slid under the covers in my briefs. There was a chill in the air and the covers felt nice. I thought about Tony and wondered where he was. I thought about Joseph and wondered if we would ever be able to be together like we were before. Then the traffic noise and lights disappeared and I was sound asleep.
Friday after school I found Joseph at the flagpole. This brief conversation had become the bulk of our relationship. He did tell me that the piano quintet he played with was to have another recital just before Thanksgiving, and that the Andersons were to go to Oklahoma City to have dinner with his mother's sister for Turkey Day. Then Alice drove up and he was gone.
I rode my bike up to 36th then over to Peoria and to Weber's to console myself with a root beer. I took the frosted mug and sat on the little bench that ran along the west side of the building facing Peoria. It was a cool day but the western sun had warmed the wall and made it pleasant. Because I had brought Joseph here for his first visit this was now a special place for me. After I finished I slid my empty mug in through the window and thanked the lady inside, then took my time riding home.
When I walked into the apartment Kevin was stretched out on the sofa reading and half watching something on TV. "Hey! he extended the standard greeting and pulled his feet back to make room for me.
"Hey yourself," I responded and flopped down beside him.
"I have more unsubstantiated rumor to pass along," He offered.
"Let's have it."
"Tony and Carlos are at the Tulsa Boys Home."
"Jack said they might go there. He said it was a good place."
Kevin nodded. "That's cool. I've heard of it but don't know anything about it. I guess other boys from there go to school with me but I don't know who they are."
"I bet Tony and Carlos are scared," I said. "Everything in their world is changed, new home, new school, lots of supervision."
Kevin nodded. "Yes, but for them all those things are an improvement. Imagine living with a father who made you sell sex for money then beat you if you didn't bring home enough money."
"I can't imagine that, or don't want to," I said. "Thanks for passing that along. I wish I could talk to Tony, just to let him know that I am worried about him and hope things work out."
Again, Kevin just nodded.
There was some familiar noise from the kitchen and some good smells. Home for dinner was not a bad thing. Dad would be home from work soon and then it would be time to eat. I got up, went into the bathroom, peed then washed my hands. When it was time for dinner I would be ready. After dinner there was plenty of time for homework.
Saturdays were long now and kind of boring. After I met Joseph I would find some excuse to be with him but now I found time on my hands.
Today however, Kevin and I got permission to ride our bikes down to the Brooke Theater at 33rd and South Peoria to see 'Jaws' which scared the pee-wadding out of both of us. We had a nice time riding together and sharing a box of popcorn. After the movie we went on down to Weber's and had a root beer and a hamburger. Little brother Kevin was kind of quiet but he was good company and could talk with you about almost anything when it was just the two of you.
I rode my bike to church Sunday morning and parked in back as usual. I looked for Joseph when I got to the choir room but didn't see him. We started on time and he was about 10 minutes late. He took his place but I didn't get to speak to him until we were putting on the choir robes.
"I need to talk to you after church Nicky," He said in an undertone.
"Sure, what's up?" I asked.
"I can't talk about it here, I will tell you later. It's not good."
With no more conversation we suited up and filed into the chancel for a last run through with Mr Meldrum the organist, then to the back of the church for the procession. I looked at the place where Jack usually sat and it was empty. No Mrs. Anderson either, but that was no surprise. I did a passable job with the anthem and found I had the service music down pretty good. I was beginning to enjoy the choir. After the service the parade reversed itself and we had the recessional to take us back out. I love a parade.
We hung up the robes and headed for the punch and cookies in the Parish Hall. Joseph still was not very talkative.
"Did you ride your bike? Can you come see me this afternoon?" He asked in an anxious way.
"I'm sure I can. I just have to let Mom know where I am. What's the matter?"
"I will talk to you later," He said and rushed off in a way that was out of character for him.
I jumped on my bike and followed Alice in the Lincoln, keeping up as well as I could until they lost me at 15th Street. I rolled up to the garage to find the garage door closed and Joseph waiting for me. He hurried me inside and up to his room. By this time I was pretty concerned.
I sat on the sofa while he paced around the room. "What is it Joseph?"
He stopped pacing to stand in front of me, his eyes red and his arms folded over his chest.
"It's Mother. She didn't come home last night and Father came in very late, after I was in bed. I'm not sure what has happened but I am very upset and really need for you to be with me if you don't mind."
I jumped to my feet and took him in my arms, pulling his folded arms apart and around my waist. "Of course I am here for you Joseph. You must be afraid of the worst."
Joseph began to cry and spoke with a broken voice. "The worst thing is that I don't know what happened and am afraid to wake my father. I'm afraid she is dead or something."
"Hey, it's not that bad. If she was dead the police would have come or someone would have told you. If she had wrecked the car Alice couldn't have driven you to church this morning. Didn't Alice know anything? She usually knows everything."
"If she did she didn't tell me anything," Joseph sniffed. "Mother is a mess but she is, you know, she is my mother and I love her. I am terribly worried."
I held him close for several minutes. It was unlike the cool intellectual Joseph to be emotional so I gave him some time to compose himself. Then I walked us over to the big windows that opened out onto his balcony and stepped out into the fresh air. It was mid November and the air was crisp and filled with gold and yellow leaves.
"It is really pretty out here," I said as I stood with my arm around his waist.
He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Yes it is. This is a lovely time of year, my favorite actually," he took another breath and then said, "Thank you Nicky. I need a friend today and you are the best I ever had."
"And you are the best friend I have ever had, and I hope we are best friends forever," I assured him, then turned and looked straight at him. "I love you very much Joseph and whatever is happening I will be with you every step of the way."
We turned to each other and embraced. Joseph whispering in my ear, "Thank you Nicky, I love you too. More than I can tell you."
We heard the sound of a car being started and looked out to see a small Navy Blue Mercedes coupe pulling out of the driveway and turning out towards Peoria.
"That's my father's car," Joseph said.
"I've never seen it before."
"That's because he is almost never here," Joseph said sadly.
I didn't know what to say so just continued to stand with my arm around his waist. After a few minutes we heard a knock at his bedroom door. He gave me a startled look then turned and went to the door, opening it to find Alice standing there, looking very sad.
Joseph inhaled sharply. "Oh my God Alice, what is it?"
"I'm sorry to disturb you Joseph, but I need to speak to you. Perhaps it would be best if I spoke to you alone."
Joseph ushered her in and said, "Nick is my dearest friend. I know this is not good news and I want him to be with me."
He gestured for her to sit in the chair and he took me by the hand and we sat together on his sofa. Alice sat and faced us, her eyes red with tears.
"Oh Joseph, this is hard for me to tell you, but your mother has been arrested," she told us.
"Thank God Alice. I thought you were going to tell me she was dead," he said with relief.
"No Joseph. I'm sorry to frighten you. Thank God it is nothing that bad. But well, your mother you know she drinks, you know?"
"Yes, I know. f course I know," he said.
Alice struggled to find the best words. "Last night she had too many drinks and she was driving not very good, you know, and a policeman stopped her and she was very, I don't know a nice way to say it, she was very drunk. I think she could not stand up."
"Yes, please go on."
"The policeman he tested her and she was over the limit, very much over the limit, so he took her to jail and they charged her with driving drunken, or drunken driving, I don't know the right name. But it seems that this was not the first time. She has been caught like this 5 times I think, so they took her to jail."
"And she is still in jail? Is that why she didn't come home last night?" Joseph asked.
"Yes, she is still there. They called Dr. Anderson and he had to go see about her. She has to put up some money to be able to come home. I think he tried to do that last night but they made her stay in the jail until today because she had to see a judge. Do you understand? Maybe I am not telling this so good."
Joseph told her, "Alice, dear Alice, you are telling me very clearly what happened. I understand exactly what you have said. I know this was difficult for you and I appreciate it very much. Dear Alice, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you for so many things."
Joseph had tears in his eyes but they were from gratitude for Alice, and she understood that.
"Oh Joseph, I am so sorry. I want you to be happy and now I have to tell you this" she said tearfully.
"Alice, the one thing I don't understand is why you are telling me this instead of my father."
She twisted her fingers together and looked very distraught. "I don't know. I said to him that he should tell you but he was very angry. Maybe he was just angry with your mother, but he said I should tell you. I'm so sorry Joseph. I don't ever want to hurt you. You are like my own baby," and she began to weep.
Joseph stood then knelt in front of her and took her in his arms. "Please don't cry Alice. I'm glad you told me about this. It would have been harder if it had been my father, I'm glad it was you."
Then he took her face in his hands. "Dear Alice, you are like my real mother. Have I never told how how much I love you? How much I appreciate everything you do for me every day? Then I am telling you now. I love you. Thank you Alice, thank you for everything."
They held each other for several minutes as if they were together after a long separation. I sat quietly and witnessed something very tender and was happy for Joseph.
Alice leaned back in the chair and wiped her eyes with her apron. Joseph sat back down next to me and took my hand in his. She stood and said to us both, "I need to go and finish something for dinner. I don't think your mother will be home until tomorrow and your father? I don't know about your father. Nick, I hope you can eat with Joseph tonight. I am so glad he has you for a special friend. He has been lonely for such a long time. You are a nice boy Nick. I like you very much."
Joseph squeezed my hand a bit and told Alice, Nick is my friend, my special friend. I'm glad you know that."
Alice looked at us in a loving way and smiled. "Oh yes Joseph. I understand and I am very happy for you both. Now if you will excuse me," and she turned and walked out and down the stairs.
I sat speechless for a minute, then said, "Damn Joseph, that was a hell of a conversation. I mean I'm sorry about your mother but Alice is really something else."
"Alice is a blessing," He said simply. "I wonder what will happen with mother now that her little secret has been made so clear. The court will have some requirements for her I expect."
"I bet Jack will know something. Can I tell him what's happened?"
"Of course, Jack is our big brother after all," Joseph said with a smile. "Nicky, I'm so glad you were here. You make me feel safe. Now, let's see if we can get permission for you to eat dinner here," The unflappable Joseph was back.
Once downstairs Joseph called my parents and explained that he was alone for the evening and wondered if I could join him for dinner, and that if dinner ran a bit late that he would see to it that I had a ride home. His dignified presence made it difficult to say no and I was in like Flynn.
Alice told us that dinner would be ready at about 6:30 and that we should go upstairs and relax until it was ready, and her eyes twinkled a bit as we started back upstairs.
"Well Mr. Brady, we have approximately 2 hours of relaxation ahead of us before dinner is served. Do you have any relaxing activities that come to mind?"
"Well Mr. Anderson, we might play a relaxing game of chess, start a game of Monopoly, or perhaps strip naked and fuck like bunnies."
"Well Mr. Brady, I would have to say that the latter option sounds most appealing. Shall we proceed?"
"You betcha, Mr. Anderson. Let's get it on."
We giggled like school girls, stripped off and dived on the bed in what was essentially a geek wrestling match. Lots of motion, lots of laughter, not much real skill. The primary technique being that of goofy grab ass. It would seem that the best remedy for severe emotional tension was extreme silliness. First one then the other was on top then on bottom, being tickled, doing the tickling. After a few minutes of this the tickling became slower and more deliberate and the part being tickled became more erect. The game gradually shifted into something more familiar and considerably more affectionate.
"Mmm, it feels so good when you do that."
"Ahh, lets rub them both together."
"Ohh, could you suck it a little deeper please."
"Wait please, I just have to go pee."
"Yes, me too."
We surrounded the toilet in the big bathroom and played sword fight with the yellow streams. We washed our faces with cold water then retired to the bed whose sheets were now rather untidy. For the first time that afternoon we lay side by side and felt relaxed.
"Alice would be proud," I laughed.
"You know, this may be a good thing. This thing with Mother may be the answer to our prayer."
"She has struggled with her addiction for a long time and has not come to terms with it. Now she may be forced to confront it. That would be a very good thing," Joseph predicted hopefully.
"Maybe she will let me start coming over after school again. That would be nice," I supposed.
"I don't see how she can make much of a case against your coming here after her difficulties. If she could stop drinking she might show a different attitude about a lot of things."
` "I hope so. That would make life easier for both of us," I reflected.
Joseph turned his face towards mine. "That's true, but we are wasting time. Dinner is coming nearer," then he kissed me gently. "I want you to make love to me again."
"Are you sure you don't want to do me?"
"If you would prefer it that way I am agreeable, but I think I like it better when you are doing the work," he smiled.
"Hey, you are the boss," I rolled over on top of him and nuzzled my face into the crook of his neck. It felt nice to have my cheek against his chest. Joseph was very slender but much more muscular than he looked when dressed in loose clothing.
My arms went under his shoulders, his arms went over my back with his hands on the cheeks of my ass. He squeezed and I nuzzled and we both enjoyed the warmth of our arms. Our dicks were pressed together rubbing back and forth and very erect. Our faces turned together and we began to kiss and tongue the others mouth. We were ready.
Without my asking, Joseph handed me the little jar of Vaseline and raised his knees. I sat back and put a nice dollop on his asshole, slipping my finger inside and turning it around to prepare him for my entry. Then I lubed myself, pulling my foreskin back and getting the head nice and slippery.
With my knees behind his thighs I leaned over him, raised myself up with my arms and looked down at him. "Are you ready? Do you want to be on your back?"
He smiled in a happy way. "Yes Nicky, I am ready. I think you are beautiful and I want to look at your lovely orange hair while you make love to me."
His loving tone touched me, and I wanted nothing more than to pleasure him. I slid my hips forward until the head of my penis was at his hole and began to move it up and down, assuring that he was well lubricated. His strong hands on my hips told me he was ready so I began to push forward as he arched into me.
With little effort I entered him smoothly and slowly slid all the way inside. I looked down to see his soft loose scrotum resting against my modest bush of red-orange pubic hair and I wiggled from side to side making his sigh. He pulled on my hips while I began a slow movement first pulling out almost all the way, then pushing back in as far as I could go.
I watched his face, his eyes were closed, his mouth was slack, his head tipped back a little, wearing an expression of great pleasure. His breathing matching my movement, inhaling as I entered and exhaling as I withdrew. I tried to focus on the sensation of my penis moving and sliding inside him, going slowly enough to feel all the little movements between us. As the expression on his face grew more intense, I began to slowly increase my pace, with his breathing increasing with me.
When my pumping became rapid his breath started to come in gasps and I could tell that we were both nearing orgasm. When my moment approached I took him in my hand and started to stroke him rapidly in time with my thrusts. Very soon we both climaxed at roughly the same time.
"Oh God Nicky, I'm cumming!" he gasped as he shot his semen over our chests, even hitting me in the face.
"Ahh, me too, oh man!" I moaned and filled him with all that I had.
I finally stopped moving as far inside him as I could go, and we lay together in post coital bliss. We embraced and slowly caught our breath, dispensing little kisses to lips and faces while the tingle of orgasm slowly ebbed. We floated like this for several minutes until I shrank inside him and fell out with a plop. Rolling off we found ourselves glued together with Joseph's spunk.
"Should we shower?" Joseph asked with a laugh, then added with sincerity, "Nicky, you were wonderful."
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