by Nick Brady
Jack was like an older brother to both of us and after Joseph and I talked with him we felt better. After we went back to the apartment and ate lunch, Dad and Kevin returned from their errands and we were all home. Later on Saturday afternoon the phone rang and Mom answered it.
"Hello? Yes, Joseph is here. Yes, just a moment," Mom handed the phone to Joseph. "It's your father."
Joseph took the telephone, looking concerned. "Hello? Yes sir. No, everything is fine, they have been very welcoming. Yes sir. Yes, Alice told me all about it. I am hopeful that this will turn out for the best. Yes sir. Yes, I plan to come home tomorrow after church services. Yes sir. Very good, I will look forward to that. Yes he is here. Just a moment."
Joseph placed his hand over the mouthpiece to mute the sound. "My father wants to have a long talk with me tomorrow afternoon when I come home. He wants to talk about Mother. Right now he wants to speak with you sir," he handed the phone to Dad.
Looking a little surprised, my Dad took the phone. "Hello? Yes Dr. Anderson, this is Mr. Brady. No, it is no trouble at all. We think highly of Joseph and we are very pleased to have him with us."
There was a long pause as Dad listened. "Yes, I understand. No, it is no trouble at all. Of course, you are quite welcome. Would you like to speak to Joseph again? Yes, we will treat him as one of our own. Very good. Yes, thank you. Goodbye."
Dad hung up the phone and looked at us with a slight smile. "Joseph, I am not familiar with your situation but I gather that it is going to be changing for the better."
We were all more than curious. "What did he say, Dad?" I asked.
Dad pulled out a kitchen chair and sat down. "He said that they were facing a challenging situation and that he felt a long conversation with Joseph was long overdue. He appreciated our concern and support for his son and felt indebted to us. He said the situation was rather sensitive and he knew he could count on our discretion. He realized this was an imposition on our family but it clearly meant a great deal to Joseph. He would try to minimize the inconvenience on us, but under the circumstances could only say that he was extremely grateful for our assistance. That's about it."
Joseph looked rather stunned. "My father said all that? I must say, that was quite a speech for him. To say that I am pleasantly surprised would be something of an understatement."
"So where is Joseph's mother right now?" I wondered.
"He didn't say anything specifically about Mrs. Anderson but he surely will when he talks with Joseph," Dad advised.
Joseph looked thoughtful. "That may prove to be an interesting conversation. Father tends to avoid confrontation but when he decides he needs to take control, he is very effective. Things are about to change and I hope in a positive direction."
"He didn't seem to have a problem with Joseph being here for the weekend," I observed.
"That's good," Kevin said, speaking for the first time.
Joseph looked at Kevin and smiled. "Thank you for that Kevin. If I could have a younger brother I would hope he was as good a person as you."
"Sign me on," Kevin said. "I could use another brother."
"We may have to adopt you," Mom laughed.
"I could do worse," Joseph said gratefully.
"At least we have until after church tomorrow," I said.
We turned on the TV and found a college game. It was a preliminary for some of the bowl games to play soon. We watched the game and I looked at the newspaper until Mom called us for supper.
As we were eating I suggested, "I would like to see the new Paul Newman, Robert Redford movie 'The Sting'. Do you suppose Joseph and I could go? It is on at the Orpheum."
"I hear that's good," Dad said. "I suppose I could drop you off and pick you up when it's over. When does it start?"
"The next show starts at 7:00 and you could pick us up at 9:30," I said hopefully.
Dad smiled. "I think you boys could use a break from all this drama. I could do that."
"Wonderful," Joseph said. "I would love that. I have a little money, I can treat."
We were excited and talked about the movie until supper was over and the dishes were put away. About 6:30 we started getting ready to go. I put on my coat and Dad lent Joseph a poplin rain coat. He looked funny with a coat that was too big over sweatpants that were a little short. He put his hands in the pockets and pulled it around himself and laughed. He was in better spirits than I had seen him for the last several days.
Dad dropped us off in front of the Orpheum, Joseph bought us a pair of tickets and we went in the ornate old theater. He bought us a large bag of popcorn and a pair of Cokes and we went in to find a seat.
"The balcony is nice," I suggested.
"I've never been up there," Joseph observed, and we went up the stairs. We found two seats in the center of the top row.
Joseph looked around. "I think we are the only ones up here."
I just smiled and took his hand. "This is where couples go to smooch."
Joseph squeezed my hand. "I can always count on you to be evil."
We watched the ads, the previews of coming attractions, and a funny short feature. After about 30 minutes 'The Sting" began. It was a good movie, very clever. We munched the popcorn and washed it down with the Cokes. Although we had supper not long before there always seemed to be room for popcorn and Coke.
I leaned into Joseph's shoulder as the movie progressed, and he put his hand on the inside of my thigh. I did the same and began to lightly run my hand around on the inside of his leg. There still seemed to be no one else in the balcony but us.
Our coats were still on but open at the front, hiding us from view even if someone else had been around. I slid my hand down the front of his sweats, finding a nice erection there. He put his hand over the front of my jeans and toyed with my growing bulge.
"Oh Nicky, this is so perverted," he whispered.
"Yes I know," I unfastened my belt and unbuttoned my Levis, giving him access to me.
We began to manually examine each other, fondling the penis, running fingers around and tracing the tubular urethra running under the hard shaft, fingering firm testicles within the soft loose scrotum, pulling at the tufts of pubic hair above the cock, gently passing our fingers over the ball sack testing for some sprouts of hair that might grow there. He had some, I had only a few. There was no real stroking, just a slow thorough examination which caused us both to get very hard and begin to drip precum.
The movie was interesting but we were beginning to get distracted. I looked around one more time and leaned over to take him into my mouth, pressing behind the rim of his head with my lips and tickling the end with my tongue, making him lean back in his seat and raise his hips up to meet my face. He was tasty.
He put his hands on the back of my head and pushed down a little, encouraging me to take more of him in my mouth. Although the length of his penis was a little more than the distance from my lips to the back of my throat, I swallowed and sucked him all the way in, pressing my lips against his pubic bush. I moved my tongue back and forth under his dick as I made swallowing movements with my throat, causing him to moan. After several minutes of this and an up and down motion, I stopped and sat up.
"How's the movie?" I asked.
Joseph looked rather stricken. "The movie?"
I laughed and wiggled my hard penis at him. He took the bait and went down on it. Joseph was a fast learner and by now could give a fantastic blow job. My length was not such a challenge and he easily took all of me into his mouth, squeezing and stretching my balls in their loose bag with his agile fingers. He sucked me as if he truly enjoyed it and made me see little flashing blue and yellow lights.
He began to move up and down, coming almost completely off then going all the way down to my stomach. When he came up it pulled my foreskin up over the head of my dick, which he nibbled at with his lips. I reached down and took hold of the skin at the base of my dick and kept it retracted so that his mouth passed over my cockhead as it moved up and down. It felt really intense and I wondered is being circumcised might have some advantages. The important thing was to have a penis. I would hated to have been born a girl.
I didn't want to orgasm too quickly and stopped him so as to enjoy this play longer. I fondled him some more to get him good and hard, then leaned over and began to suck him again. This time I stuck my hand down between his legs and began to run my finger over his hole. His reaction was to buck rather strongly, telling me that he was enjoying this. I tickled his hole and sucked more vigorously causing him to take two hands full of my hair and pull on my head.
"Oh Nicky, I am going to cum!" he moaned.
I didn't care, I liked the taste of his cum, so I bobbed up and down as fast as I could and caught a mouthful of his semen. It was sweet, salty and thick, and I swallowed it eagerly. I loved everything about Joseph. I especially loved giving him pleasure.
I sucked him until he was spent and he held my head still. There is a point when the feelings become too intense and movement has to stop. I leaned back and pressed my hands down on his package, rubbing on it gently while his feelings ebbed away. He sighed with pleasure and pushed on my hands.
It took him a few minutes to recover. I wondered if he had started to watch the movie. Then he bent over and took me in his mouth again. I was still hard as a rock. Once aroused I stayed hard for a long time, preferably until I climaxed. Under Joseph's expert work it didn't take long, and I was ready this time. I let him know when I was cumming, it seemed only right to warn him. But neither of us was reluctant to accept the other's offerings. I held my skin back and felt his mouth against my naked cock head, even feeling the heat from my own cum. It was exquisite.
I leaned back and sort of vibrated for a little while. Joseph pulled a clean handkerchief from his pocket and wiped me up, then did the same to himself. He sniffed the hankie and shoved it back into his pocket. We sat back, adjusted our clothing, held hands and started to follow the movie again. We had lost track of part of it but the surprise ending was very clever. All in all, we had enjoyed it thoroughly. The movie was good too.
We had a little time left so returned to the lobby and sat watching the people come and go until it was 9:30 and Dad pulled up in front right on time. We jumped in his car.
"Did you have a good time?" he asked.
"Yes!" we replied in unison.
Back at the apartment we sat and tried to talk about the movie. Kevin in particular wanted to know what it was about. We copped out by saying that it had a surprise ending and we didn't want to spoil it for him. But we assured him that he would enjoy it. Dad told him that they might go see it together before it moved on.
Kevin was good for sleeping on the sofa again so Joseph and I went back to the bedroom and started getting ready to turn in. Joseph laughed and said. "You know, I never sat in the balcony before."
"Really?" I grinned. "It's nice up there."
"Hmm. Yes, very private. I'm not sure just what kind of an influence you are on me, but it often involves new experiences."
"That was a new experience for me too, but you have to admit it was fun," I suggested.
"Without question it was very exciting. The prospect of being discovered adds a lot to the excitement I suppose. I had not realized that before. Well, before our adventure on the river at least."
I laughed. "New experiences Joseph. It is all about new experiences."
"Yes, I have that to thank you for Nicky," Joseph rolled his eyes.
We laughed a little then got quiet. "I wonder what your father will say to you tomorrow?" I asked.
"I am very curious about that. For Father to actually have a conversation with me is rather unusual. Don't get me wrong, he is a good man, and an excellent doctor, but generally very busy and somewhat distracted. We don't often talk except to exchange pleasantries, and that not often."
"I bet it goes OK," I encouraged him. "I hope so."
Joseph nodded. "So do I. I will let you know on Monday."
We were both tired, did our bathroom duties then said good night. I was concerned for Joseph, he had been on an emotional roller coaster lately. I decided a little perversion was probably good for him.
In the morning Mom repeated her famous pancakes and sausage, this time with a handful of fresh blueberries in the cakes. Joseph and I went to the bedroom where he put on the school clothes he wore on Friday and I dressed for church. When we returned to the living room we found Mom, Dad, and Kevin dressed and ready to join us.
"Are you going with us?" I asked in surprise.
"Yes, it won't hurt us. We will enjoy the choir, and it might be nice to go as a family," Dad replied, glancing at Joseph.
The comment was not lost on Joseph who looked very pleased. We piled into Dad's Buick, he and Mom in the front, we boys in the back with Kevin in the middle. We made the short drive up to Trinity in a few minutes and went inside. Joseph and I went to choir rehearsal and the rest were greeted and directed to an adult study class for Mom and Dad, and to the youth room for Kevin.
Joseph and I joined the choir to quickly go over the music for the day then donned our robes and went to the sanctuary to try the anthem with the organist. After a few instructions from Mrs. Tailor we went to the narthex to prepare for the processional.
I was growing to enjoy the Episcopal service. Trinity was considered a 'high-church' liturgy in the Anglo-catholic tradition, with lots of bells and whistles. It was an interesting mix of Protestant theology and Catholic tradition. Most of this was lost on me but I thought it was pretty, and there seemed to be more tradition beneath the surface than met the eye.
The season was now Advent with a wreath of candles and greenery that was progressively lit each Sunday leading up to Christmas. Our anthem went well and as usual, I didn't listen closely to the sermon but laughed at the few touches of humor that were included.
I glanced out at the congregation and found my family sitting with Jack. He came even when I didn't bug him for a ride I guessed. This all felt right somehow. While neither Joseph nor I was outwardly religious, participation in this service had meaning to us. Maybe that was enough.
After the service we went into the Parish Hall in search of donuts and were not disappointed. As we stood around people said hello to Joseph and to me. To Mom, Dad and to Kevin they extended their hands introduced themselves and welcomed them to the service. It was nice.
On the way out to the parking lot Dad said, "You know, I really enjoyed that. They have a beautiful service. I can see why you like it there Nick."
And Mom added, "And the music was very nice. I think I could hear your voice Nicky."
"Oh I hope not," I said, to which Joseph laughed heartily.
We dropped Joseph at his house and saw that his father's Mercedes was parked outside the garage.
"Good luck," I said. "I will see you at school tomorrow."
Dad spoke up. "We will be thinking of you Joseph. Call us if there is anything we can do for you."
Joseph's face was one of gratitude. "Thank you, all of you," he said very sincerely.
As we drove back to the apartment I thought about these people, my family. "Hey, thanks guys. I really appreciate your being so kind to my friend."
Mom glanced back at me in the back seat. "He is our friend too, Nicky."
I was looking forward to seeing Joseph after school on Monday. He was to have a serious discussion with his father after we took him home Sunday from church. It sounded like a game changer and I was anxious to hear about it. Sure enough, he was waiting at the flag pole when I came out of the building.
"Hey! What's up Joseph?" I called to him. "How did it go?"
"Hello Nicky. It went well. Can you come over so we have time to chat?" he answered.
"Sure. Is your father home?"
"Probably not now, but he might return before you leave. Why don't you ride your bike over in case he comes home before you leave?" he suggested.
I saw Alice at the curb. "I will see you there," I said and rode away.
I pulled up into his driveway as the garage door was closing and leaned my bike against the back steps. Joseph stepped out and ushered me in and up to his room.
"You OK?" I asked.
"Yes, sit down and I will tell you what I know," he said.
"I am all ears," And I flopped down on his sofa next to him.
"It was an interesting talk that we had. I don't know that Father has ever spoken so candidly with me before. I have to tell you that it felt good to be spoken to as if I were an adult."
"So what did he say?"
Joseph took a deep breath as if pulling his thoughts together. "Father admitted that he has known about Mother's drinking problem for years, but had hoped she would be able to control it. Now however, it was apparent that she will need professional help. This morning he drove her over to Cushing to a new facility, the 'Valley Of Hope' treatment center where she is to spend the next 2 months in intensive treatment. It appears that she was abusing prescription drugs as well as alcohol. It is even more serious then I realized."
"Will you be able to visit her at all?" I wondered.
"Yes, after the first 3 weeks we can go over on a Sunday afternoon for a supervised visit providing that she is meeting the rules of the program. It seems that they are quite strict. Father said that he understands it is an excellent program. They have other facilities around the country and have a good record."
"At least it is not so far away. Cushing is less than an hour away," I reminded him.
"Yes, that is an advantage. I am hopeful that we will be able to visit her more often as time goes by," He rubbed his hands together.
"So how is your mother doing with all this? I guess your father talked to her when he took her over," I asked.
"I asked him that," Joseph answered. "He said she was remorseful, that she felt sorry for what she had put us through. Strangely, he said she seemed almost relieved, as if she was glad that perhaps she might be able to put all this behind her. I suppose it has been a great struggle for her as well."
"So this is going to be a good thing?" I asked hopefully.
"I certainly hope so," Joseph tried to smile. "He did mention you and your family. I think he understands that even though Mother was not herself for some time, her absence will leave me on my own even more than before. He understands that I have a special relationship with you and your family, and approves of my staying with you on weekends. In which case he insists that he compensate you in some way."
"You mean like pay us or something? I don't think Dad would let him do that," I predicted.
"No, that doesn't seem right," Joseph agreed. "But I do feel that I am something of an imposition, especially for Kevin."
"Kevin doesn't mind, he really likes you. And besides, he said the sofa was more comfortable than his bed," I insisted. "It was his idea."
Joseph smiled. "Kevin is very gracious and I will take him at his word. Although even if it were something of an imposition on him, I crave your hospitality too much to refuse it."
I laughed and shrugged. "So that is settled. We will look for you to stay with us every weekend until your mother comes home. I'll tell Mom. You know we all love you."
"Yes, I think you do," Joseph's eyes looked shiny. "I think I feel like a puppy that has been brought in from the cold and fed."
"Awww. Well I think you are a cute puppy," I grinned.
"Maybe a lucky dog," he smiled.
I thought of something. "If you are going to be with us every weekend, maybe you should keep your bicycle over at our place."
"Maybe I should. I never ride it except when we are together," he agreed.
"When Alice takes you home on Friday, you can ride your bike to my place and leave it there," I suggested. "I think that sounds like a plan," Joseph agreed with a smile.
"OK, good, we have everything figured out," I looked out over his balcony. "It is starting to get dark really early. I better get home."
Joseph looked out and nodded. "It is almost time for the Winter Solstice. It will be Christmas in a few weeks."
"That's right. I guess it has kind of snuck up on us this year," I looked back at him. "So what do you want for Christmas?"
"You," Joseph deadpanned.
"You already got that," I reminded him.
He smiled. "That's all I need."
We hugged and I kissed him on the cheek. I stood and said. "I got to go. See you tomorrow, OK?"
"OK," Joseph stood and walked me out to the back door to retrieve my bike. He touched my arm and mouthed, "I love you Nicky."
I smiled and waved then sped down his drive turning back through his neighborhood to Riverside and the bike trail. It was dusk and the air was chilly. I stopped to pull my hoody over my ears and button my jacket collar then sped on.
I thought to myself that it would be different having Joseph with us every weekend. I supposed it would be for the next 2 months, then when his mother came back it would stop. That meant he would be with us over Christmas. I wondered what he would do for Christmas itself. Not go to his mother's sister like they did at Thanksgiving I thought. We usually put up a little tree when it was this close to Christmas but not this year, at least not yet. That was always fun. Maybe we could do that next weekend when Joseph was with us. It would be crowded, but nice.
When I got home I found Kevin on the sofa and Mom in the kitchen. All was right in this world. I decided to wait until Dad came home to talk about Joseph's conversation with his father so I wouldn't have to repeat the story. I asked for a snack and got carrot sticks. Not what I was hoping for but it would do.
I joined Kevin on the sofa. "What's new?"
"Not much really," he said. "But I am thinking about playing some soccer."
"That's cool. But in December?"
"It will start in January some time. It's indoor soccer and we will do it in the gym at school," he explained.
"You played with a kid soccer league for a couple of years," I remembered. "What happened to that?"
"It was hard to get to practice," he explained. "We practiced at Veterans Park and Mom thought it was too far for me to ride my bike, and Dad usually had the car. Sometimes I could catch a ride but I missed too many practices and didn't get to play much. It just didn't work out. I liked to play, though."
"Meeting at school will make it easy to get to. When do you practice?"
"Right after school. I think there is a later bus or something to get home."
"Really? Well, Cleveland is closer to home than Edison. Maybe you could ride your bike," I suggested.
"Maybe," he said doubtfully.
"Something will work out," I encouraged him.
Dad came home and went in the kitchen to inspect what was cooking and give Mom a hug. They talked for a minute then he came back and sat down between Kevin and me.
"What's new with you guys?" he asked.
"Kevin's going to play soccer," I broke the news.
"Is that right?" Dad looked at Kevin.
Kevin grinned. "After school in the gym. I think it costs 15 dollars."
Dad nodded. "I think we can manage that. How will you get home?"
Kevin squirmed a little. "I think there is a later bus, or maybe I could ride my bike. It will only be 2 days a week."
Dad looked thoughtful. "We'll see. We can probably work something out."
Mom called in from the kitchen. "I think Nicky has something to tell us."
Now Dad turned to me. "What do you know?"
I wondered how Mom knew I had news. Mothers always know everything.
I began. "Well, Joseph had a long talk with his father yesterday after we took him home. His father told him that his mother was in the 'Valley Of Hope' place and would be there for 2 months. I think they can visit her some but she has to stay there until she finishes the program. Anyway, he figures it will be hard for Joseph to be by himself, especially on the weekends, so he gave permission for Joseph to stay with us on the weekends. If it is OK with you of course."
Dad nodded. "I already told him it would be alright. I even talked to Dr. Anderson. He is welcome here."
I continued. "Yes sir, and Joseph really appreciates that. But his father said that if he does that, he will insist on compensating us."
"Compensating us?" Dad frowned a little. "Like pay us? We aren't renting him a bed. It is nice of him to offer but we don't want that. If he brings it up I will politely refuse."
"That's what I told Joseph," I agreed.
"I think Dr. Anderson has a different way of looking at things," Mom said from the kitchen. "Maybe he was never in the position of needing someone to help him."
Dad observed. "Well, he comes from money, and so does Joseph's mother. Maybe they've never been in that situation. I guess whatever they needed they just bought and paid for."
"What Joseph needs can't be bought with money," Mom added.
I thought about Alice who had basically been hired to provide Joseph with what his mother did not. As nice as Alice was, a hired mother was a poor substitute. On the other hand, it seemed that Alice was the only one to love him.
We talked about it while Mom finished fixing supper, then sat down together and ate. I thought about Joseph, probably eating his supper in the kitchen with Alice, or alone. For all his privilege, what he needed was love.
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