The days before Timmy's surgery had passed quickly, and Timmy had grown increasing quiet and pensive. Isaac had noted the change in the boy, and now on the night before they would go in for the outpatient procedure, Isaac wanted to know what was on his mind.
"Come swimming with me, Timmy" Isaac said, as he took his clothes off and grabbed a towel. Timmy looked up from what he was doing on his laptop, and "shucked his duds" as well, and padded out to the pool behind Isaac. Isaac left his towel on the patio pavers and the boys climbed the ladder and got in the pool. With no neighbor on the side of the house facing the housing development, and empty field on the other side and behind the row of houses, no one could see them, and Timmy often laid out nude on the patio when he had nothing else to do.
Soon they were slowly moving about the pool, relaxing in the early evening, and Isaac said "Here's a penny" giving Timmy an imaginary coin… It was Isaac's way of telling Timmy I know something's bothering you, and since I love you, it bothers me… barf it up!
Timmy took the imaginary penny, and now he was "obligated" to tell Isaac what was on his mind… after all, Isaac had "paid." Every time Timmy saw a penny, it reminded him of the bond that he and Isaac had.
"Are you nervous about tomorrow, Timmy?" Isaac started the conversation.
"About the surgery? Well, maybe a little, but I been thinking' about something' else, too."
"What's that, little bro?" Isaac asked.
"I been looking at a website for guys with testicle cancer, and reading some of the message forums about what they think about the fake balls." Timmy said.
"You mean those implants that Doctor French showed us.." Isaac said.
"Yeah… I'm so confused… some guys say that they like them, other guys say they don't hang right, and get in the way, and … well, what if I get one and I don't like it, or I can't get used to it?" Timmy started to pace in a circle in the pool, as Isaac watched and listened.
"I think you need to slow down a little and let's talk about why you think you might want one, to start with." Isaac suggested. "What was the main reason the guys in the forum you read said they got an implant?" he asked, gently guiding Timmy to think logically.
"Ummm, because some felt that it would make them look normal if anyone saw them… and some said that they couldn't feel like they were a real man unless they had two balls." Timmy said.
"Okay, that's two great reasons for wanting to do it… but are they your reasons, Timmy?"
Isaac asked, as Timmy stopped orbiting the pool and let Isaac move in behind him. Isaac began to scratch Timmy's back and shoulders as he continued to speak to Timmy.
"You have already shown people your body, and found that they weren't concerned about what you look like… and we have talked about what being a man is, right?" Isaac asked
Timmy nodded "Nobody who knows has been mean or ugly about it except Jack… " he said.
"And Jack told you he was sorry for all those things and you forgave him." Isaac said.
"And you will always be a man, Timmy. Having something missing doesn't change that. There's a lot more to being a man than having two balls. You are 100% male to me, but this is something you have to feel inside. It doesn't matter what I think."
"It does matter to me what you think, Isaac… I want your advice." Timmy said.
Isaac stopped his back scratch on Timmy and hugged him from behind. Timmy could feel Isaac's bush and soft penis touch his butt, but neither boy was sexually aroused by their shared nudity.
"Timmy, I would never get surgery to change something for someone else… If you choose to get an implant, do it because it is something you need to do for yourself… not for people in the locker room, or to please a boyfriend or girlfriend. You will never be happy if you chase other people's approval. It's one thing to want to be respected, trusted and loved, 'cause we all do, but quite another to worry about how you look to other people. We already talked about the people bothered by your one nut not being the people you need in your life."
"Yeah, you're right… I been thinking' about something else, too… if they put an implant in, they would have to match the size of my real one, right?" Timmy asked.
"It would look kinda odd if they didn't, wouldn't it? The whole point is to make it look real, after all." Isaac said.
"Yeah, that's just it… let's get out a second, I want to see something… " Timmy suggested. Isaac, wondering what his young friend was thinking, decided to follow his lead, and headed for the ladder of the pool. Once the boys were standing dripping on the patio, Timmy said
"Let me see your balls, please?" Isaac went along with Timmy's request, supporting his penis with one finger, and holding his scrotum up for Timmy's inspection. Timmy did the same, and the comparison of the two boys testicular endowment was telling. Timmy's testicle was almost the size of Isaac's pair…
"If I get an implant, this shit's gonna be huge!" Timmy said, as he dropped his genitalia and got back into the pool, followed by Isaac. "I'm not sure I want a set that big."
"Well, then again, I'm not that big, either, so comparing to me probably isn't that accurate." Isaac said.
"Maybe Peter would let me measure his balls… " Timmy said, and began to giggle as he imagined the look on Peter's face if he would ask that of him. "Nah, he'd probably think I was weird." Timmy said.
"Shit, Timmy! Peter already knows you're weird, so what's to stop you?" Isaac said, splashing Timmy and starting a naval war in the pool. They got into a real hard splash fight, and several minutes later they were both winded and ceased hostilities, as the two nations ran out of sailors able to fight.
"So, do you feel better?" Isaac asked, and Timmy nodded. "Come to a decision yet?" he continued.
"I'm about 99% sure now, yeah. I'll tell you when I'm 100%." Timmy promised.
"Cool!" Isaac replied. He was glad his young friend was unburdened now.
Timmy could not have any food or drink past 8pm, so the boys made a light dinner of fish and vegetables after they got out of the pool and dried off. They did not bother to dress, as they would watch TV a bit and go to bed early. They had to report at County General at 5:30 in the morning. The urology team of Doctor French, his surgical nurse, and the anesthesiologist liked to schedule their procedures early in the morning.
The boys would get up at 4, and get to the hospital before 5:30. They had read all the preadmission paperwork, and Timmy had been on a ten day course of antibiotics he had been prescribed on his previous visit to the urologist, and had not developed any infections or a cold in the meantime, so things were a go.
Timmy slept with Isaac; he wouldn't admit to having nerves, but Isaac knew better, and had anticipated that he wouldn't be alone tonight.
The alarm went off in the morning darkness, and the boys rose and got in the shower together, and performed their ritual defoliation of each other with the loofahs.
"Do you think they will shave my pubes?" Timmy asked, looking down at a fairly thick patch of ginger pubic hair, that had come in full and thick over the last seven months.
"I don't think so. They are going to be working around your belly, not down there" Isaac thought.
They continued their shower, got out, dried and got dressed. Timmy wore sweat pants, a tee shirt and no underwear. He would be gowned up before long anyway. He slipped into a pair of flip flops, and they got in the car and headed into town. There was a surprising amount of expressway traffic at 4:30 on a weekday morning, as commuters made their way to work, like bees into the hive. Soon, the VW was in the hospital parking garage, rising through the ramps like a surfacing submarine, and Timmy was reminded of the last two times he was here, to visit Jack, and then again a week ago for Eric's grandmother, Gloria. He asked Isaac if they could see her after his procedure. Isaac said he would check on that while he waited for Timmy, and it would depend on how Timmy felt.
They checked in, and Timmy was seen by an intake nurse who checked his blood pressure and temperature, and gave him an ID band on his left arm. He read the band and saw that he had B positive blood. He was brought into a small room and the nurse gave him a plastic bag, that had handles that you could snap shut, to keep anything inside from escaping. It had a strange graphic stenciled on the outside, that Timmy thought looked like a zoo seal. Isaac sat in the chair, and Timmy took his clothes off and opened the bag and got out a gown, and a pair of slippers with little rubber dots and lines printed on the fabric, so people wouldn't slip on the waxed floors. Isaac helped Timmy with the gown, tying it up for him. Timmy lay on the bed in the room, and Isaac opened the door and looked out in the hall. In a minute or so, a nurse came in and began taking information from Timmy
"Hello, Timmy! How are you this morning?" the cheery nurse asked.
"Good… It's pretty early for me though" Timmy said.
"I know… Have you had anything to eat or drink since last night?"
"Good, that's great… I know it sucks, but it's really important. Are you allergic to any drugs, honey?" the nurse asked
"I don't know" Timmy said.
"You've been on the antibiotics for the last ten days, right?"
"No problems with those?"
"Are you on any medications right now, or any supplements, herbals, vitamins… ?"
"Nothing" Timmy replied.
"Okay. Well, I'm going to start a line in your hand now. This might sting a bit… " she said, as she wiped an alcohol swab over the skin on the back of Timmy's right hand.
"OoooH, AHHHH, that stings!" Timmy emoted in an Oscar winning performance
"Really… " the nurse said, looking at him like a distraught four year old.
"Nah… I'm totally messin' with you." Timmy said and flashed her a smile that would melt chocolate.
"Timmy, she's probably married already." Isaac teased and the nurse laughed.
"Your friend is right, I have a son your age, Timmy." she said.
"Oh well, its good practice, then' Timmy giggled. She stuck the butterfly needle into Timmy's vein, and it did sting, but not enough that he visibly reacted to it. She applied tape to the line and said
"Okay, Mister Romeo, the anesthesiologist will be in to talk to your in a bit, then we will give you something in the line to relax you. They will take you up to the OR, and you can come with us until we get there " she said to Isaac, "and wait in the day room there or go eat or whatever you want to do while Timmy is in. The doctor said to expect an hour, but sometimes these go faster, it depends on what they find, okay?"
"Okay" Isaac said.
"Any questions before the doctor gets here?"
"I don't… Timmy?" Isaac asked.
"Yeah, how big are the holes they have to cut?" Timmy asked. The nurse took her pencil out and said,
"There will be three holes in your belly about this big around, Timmy" she said.
"Wow, they can do everything with just three little holes?"
"Yup… amazin' ain't it?" she said, as the anesthesiologist arrived. He was a young man, in his late twenties, and he conferred with the nurse a bit, and studied Timmy's chart. He then looked at Timmy and said
"Hi young man! I'm Doctor Taylor, and I'm going to be putting you to sleep in a little bit. Are you allergic to any drugs, Timmy?" Timmy shook his head "Do you take any prescriptions?" Another head shake. "Okay, Timmy, now I'm not the cops but I have to know… any other kinds of drugs in the last twenty four hours?"
"No Sir, nothing like that ever."
"Okay, Timmy, thanks" he said, patting Timmy's shoulder "Got any questions, anything at all?"
"Nope, I'm ready."
"Good man… Jan, lets start him on the Versed drip, okay?" The nurse nodded and left, and returned with the powerful sedative, and hung the drug with the normal saline they were giving Timmy to hydrate him, since he could not drink anything. In minutes, Timmy noticed a strong urge to nod off, and began to move his head to clear the cobwebs. Isaac took his hand and told him not to fight it, he was being sedated. Timmy was aware of what was going on, but had little interest, or ability to pay close attention to anything. Soon there were more voices, and the nurse and the anesthesiologist pulled the bed out, and somebody set a machine on Timmy's bed between his legs. It was a vital signs monitor, and somebody's heart waves were crawling across the little screen like a tiny electronic snake… then he realized they were moving… .wow that thing must have a long cord, Timmy thought. Oh, it's probably got batteries, or nuclear fusion and shit… His mind began to detach from what was going on. The lights in the ceiling were racing past, and he wondered why the lights were in such a hurry… funny the people standing around the bed didn't seem to be moving, we must be standing still and the hospital is moving around us… yeah that's it…
The lights stopped moving and Timmy could hear elevator sounds, and soon they were in the elevator. I've never been in an elevator in bed before… .
The Midazolam drip was having its effect, and this was the first time Timmy had really been fucked up… he wasn't anxious or nervous at all. This was one of the benefits of the drug, and Timmy would be administered a paralytic agent, Fentanyl, before the procedure began.
The elevator stopped and the doors opened, and there was a flurry of activity as another patient in a bed was loaded into the elevator as Timmy and his entourage moved out.
Suddenly, Isaac's face was upside down and looking at Timmy, and the face said
"This is where I have to leave you and wait, Timmy. I love you little brother" then the face leaned down and kissed him on the forehead. Timmy smiled and tried to tell the face that he loved it too, but he couldn't concentrate enough to get the words out. He heard what sounded like someone smacking a buzzer button on a game show, and some doors swung open Errrrshh! and Timmy's bed went through the doors into a green room with tile on the walls, and a huge light in the ceiling. It was full of machines, and people were in the room already. They had no faces, only eyes…
Then, the people with only eyes came closer, and one of them removed the monitor between Timmy's knees, and gently rolled Timmy on one side and pulled the strings Isaac had tied on the gown, and pulled the gown loose on the sides. They grabbed the sheet on Timmy's bed, and one of them said "Three, two, one" and Timmy was lifted bodily off the bed, and moved over and down onto a table. His bed was rolled out of the room, and one of the people took Timmy's gown off and piled it on top of his groin, as another person covered Timmy with a green cloth with a hole in it, positioned on Timmys belly. The gown was pulled off Timmy's privates under the surgical drape. He could feel a liquid being squirted onto his belly, followed by a sponge swabbing the liquid around. The anesthesiologist connected Timmy's leads to his own monitors, and once he was ready, and Doctor French said he was ready to begin, a nurse cued up tools and instruments that would be needed, in a specific order. Doctor Taylor pushed the Fentanyl intravenously with an infusion pump after he lowered a mask over Timmy's face, and said "Breathe deeply for me, Timmy." Timmy's eyes fluttered, and a nurse closed his eyes and put tape on them to keep them closed, as sounds faded in his ears.
Doctor Taylor adjusted the gases to keep Timmy's O2 saturation normal, and the air ventilating Timmy's lungs passed through a humidifier to keep his respiratory tract from drying out while he was under. Meanwhile, Doctor French was preparing to make his incisions, and insert the trocars. Once they were in place, one would give access to Timmy's abdominal cavity for the camera, and the other two would pass the cautery and a gripper. Working together, the cautery would pinch off tissues and blood vessels, then heat up to sear the edges of the tissue, as the tool cut the tissue. There was no bleeding, and the body quickly absorbed the burned flesh. The manipulator served to help hold things in place so the cautery could work.
First, a low pressure stream of carbon dioxide was flowed into Timmy to expand his belly, and create a space inside him so that the instrumentation could work. The camera light came on and suddenly Timmy's intestines were displayed on a high definition monitor, showing those in the Operating Room what the camera was seeing. Doctor French's assistant, a surgical resident, picked through intestine, looking for the nubbin or remnant of a testicle above the inguinal ring, on the pelvic floor. The resident looked for landmark vessels, and the spermatic cord. He moved up toward the spleen, and found what appeared to be a white swelling on the end of a thin gray-white cord. The swelling was about the size of a pencil eraser, but looked much larger in the monitor. Doctor French and the resident were satisfied that they had found Timmy's atrophied
testicle, and the resident deftly cut the remnant loose from the integument and separated the cord and vessels back to the inguinal ring, and severed the tissue with the cautery.
He removed the gripper from the cannula and the surgical nurse cut off the finger of a surgical glove and placed it in the gripper. The cautery was replaced by another tool that dispensed suture. It was loaded with a resorbable suture material that would not require removal. Once back inside, the tissue was herded into the glove finger, and the tools whipped a suture around the glove, trapping the load inside. This insured that had the tissue been cancerous or necrotic and rotten, none of the cells would be let loose inside Timmy. The tissue was withdrawn through a hole, and the suture tool threw a few stitches in that hole, since it was the largest of the three. The insufflation gas was released and the cannulae were removed. Doctor French let the resident put a suture in Timmy's skin, and a patch of Tegaderm tape over each incision, as he unmasked and walked out of the OR to find Isaac. At that moment a surgical nurse was running the tissue sample to pathology, to test it for malignancy. In open surgery, it was sometimes necessary to know if cancer was present before the next step in the procedure. They weren't too concerned with Timmy, since his pre-op blood markers came back with normal values.
Doctor French found Isaac in the day room, and told him the procedure went exactly as planned, and the item inside Timmy looked like a testicle that failed to develop, but pathology would give them a final reading on that. Timmy should be in recovery for an hour, and Isaac would be able to join him shortly.
Back in the operating room, Doctor Taylor had ended the anesthesia, and monitored Timmy's vital signs as he began to wake up and breathe on his own. Since he was under the effect of a paralyzing agent, a ventilator had been breathing for Timmy during the procedure. Now his brain stem was trying to take over, and soon the mask was removed, and Timmy continued to wake. The nurses removed the drapes and redressed Timmy in another gown and put blankets on him, to conserve his warmth. The OR was a comfortable working temperature for active people wearing clothing. For a nearly naked person on the operating table, it was easy to get cold.
In pathology, a technician received Timmy's sample and dropped it in dry ice for a few moments to freeze it so he could prepare a slide specimen. He sliced the sample in half, and placed the flat edge on the table of a microtome, a machine that cuts extremely thin slices of tissue. He set the machine to cut a slice about two cells thick, and placed the specimen on a slide and put into a small machine. On the desktop, a high definition monitor came to life, and the cells on the slide shifted into sharp focus. The pathologist leaned in over the technician's shoulder and saw that the cells of Timmy's former nub were not actually testicular; these cells were undifferentiated. They were cells that could have turned into testicular or ovarian tissue. It was very odd that they would still have been there so long after fetal life, but that fact was not likely to cause any issues for Timmy. It was just odd.
He called the OR, and talked to the surgical nurse. She hung the phone up and found Doctor French scrubbing in for his next surgery.
"Pathology says the Billings boy is clear" meaning that cancer or other disease process was not found in the removed tissue.
"Okay, Thanks, Denise."
"You got it, Doc" she said as she removed her gloves, mask and cap and threw them in the linen bin. She began to scrub in at the next sink, as the two of them had three surgeries for today. One down, two to go.
Timmy was now somewhat awake, and becoming more lucid by the minute, but it would take a while before his head cleared totally. He wanted to see his wounds, and Isaac helped him arrange the gown and sheet so he could look at his belly without flashing the entire ward. It actually wasn't that bad, since Isaac had drawn the curtain. They were both impressed that the holes were so small.
"Isaac, I gotta pee… " Timmy whispered
"Okay..no problem. Gimme a sec" Isaac said as he spied a chest of drawers next to the bed. As expected, it was filled with medical supplies, and there was a urinal inside. Isaac took the urinal and went back to the bed.
"You ready?" he asked and Timmy nodded. "Hold it til I'm in position, Timmy." Isaac said as he lowered the sheet and found Timmy's semi erect penis. He propped the urinal between Timmy's legs and held the boy's penis into the mouth of the receptacle, and covered Timmy with the sheet in his other hand. "Let her fly, big guy" Isaac said and Timmy giggled and groaned as the stream started.
"This feels so wrong, Isaac, like I'm peeing the bed". Timmy said
"You're not, its just that you never did this before" Isaac said. Soon Timmy had finished, and Isaac removed the urinal and wiped Timmy's last drop or two with a Kleenex, causing Timmy to flinch. Isaac touched Timmy again to tease him, and said "I will be right back."
Isaac removed the urinal and found a toilet. After rinsing it, he returned to the cubicle and they waited until the doctor came by, after the other procedure was finished. He looked in on Timmy and checked the holes, told them to leave the Tegaderm on until it fell off, and when it did, keep the holes treated with Neosporin. He told Timmy no strenuous exercise for a week, and take it easy for the first two. If the holes turned red or got infected, call him or go to Doctor Selden. He also said that Timmy's tissue showed no signs of cancer or infection or disease. He also asked Timmy if he was aware of testicular self examination
"Yes, Doctor Selden told me about that" Timmy said
"Good, you realize how important that is, especially for folks who had an undescended testicle" Doctor French emphasized
"Yes, Sir" Timmy replied.
"Okay… do you or Isaac have any questions for me?" the doctor asked.
Both boys shook their heads, and Isaac got up to shake Doctor French's hand "Thanks Doctor… we both have peace of mind now… you may be meeting a friend of ours in the same situation as Timmy. We gave the family your name."
"Well, that's very nice of you.. Hopefully his procedure will go as well and smoothly as Timmy's did! Take care, boys, I have to run. I'll sign Timmy's discharge and you can go home shortly."
Isaac went to the nurses station to inquire about Gloria Calloway, and was told that she had been discharged from the hospital several days ago. Isaac thanked her, and went back to Timmy's bedside.
A nurse came in to remove Timmy's line, and left him with a Band-Aid on the back of his hand, but he was completely free of machines and hookups. Soon she came back and handed them some paperwork, the discharge instructions with Doctor French's instructions written down. She told Timmy he could get dressed, and when he was ready they would take Timmy down. She left Timmy and Isaac inside the curtain, and Isaac removed the sheet and gown, and helped Timmy sit up. Isaac held Timmy's sweat pants for him as he put his legs out over the side of the bed and let Isaac pull the elastic cuffs over his feet and ankles, as he wiggled his ass into the pants. Isaac held his shirt up and Timmy put his arms over his head as Isaac guided the tee shirt over his torso. Isaac put the flip flops on the floor and waited for Timmy to wiggle the rubber gizmos between his toes.
"You feel okay, champ?" Isaac asked
"Yeah, hungry and thirsty now." Timmy croaked. The dryness of his throat exacerbated by his changing voice made him sound like a teenager, although that wouldn't be until the end of the year.
"I'll get you some water, and we'll go to IHOP when we get out of here, how's that?" Isaac asked, as he collected a water cup from the top of the chest of drawers and left the bedside. Timmy didn't say anything, he just smiled and thought about IHOP. Isaac brought the water and Timmy drank it slowly, like a fine wine. When he finished, Isaac asked him if we wanted a refill, and Timmy shook his head, saying it didn't taste as nice as the water at home.
Just then, a young male orderly showed up with a wheelchair, and patiently helped Timmy get in the chair without straining himself, and they began the trip out to the front sidewalk. As soon as they reached the ground floor, Isaac said he would bring the car out and meet them at the door, and headed for the parking garage. The orderly brought Timmy to the front doors, then parked him inside the lobby. "We'll wait for your friend inside, Sir. It's getting hot already outside." Timmy nodded and said "Thanks" and then scanned over the discharge papers looking for anything about swimming. Sure enough, Doctor French said the wounds should stay dry for 24 hours… .shit!
"Huh?" the orderly asked
"Oh, sorry… I guess I said that out loud" Timmy said. "I can't get wet for 24 hours… no swimming."
"Yeah, that does suck!" the orderly said "It's going to be in the upper nineties today."
A few more minutes went by and Isaac's Golf came to a stop at the curb. "That's him now" Timmy said to the orderly, and the young man pushed the boy out to the car. Isaac stepped out to assist, and opened the hatch and reached into his toolbox. He removed a pair of wire cutter pliers and walked over to Timmy, who looked at Isaac and said "Surgeries over, bro, you're too late!" which made Isaac and the orderly laugh.
"You want to go into IHOP wearing that band?" Isaac asked as he slipped a jaw of the cutter under the band and clipped it. Timmy took it in his other hand as the orderly helped him stand up, then had him pivot and bend down, as he and Isaac helped Timmy sit backwards without hitting his head on the roof of the car. They thanked the orderly, who wished Timmy a speedy recovery, then went back inside for his next passenger. Isaac put the wire cutters back into the toolbox and closed the hatch and they drove off.
They got to IHOP, and went inside. By this time, they had established a first name relationship with the waitress that worked weekdays, and she would flirt with the boys each time she served them. She immediately noticed Timmy was a bit out of sorts, as Isaac helped him out of the car. She went to the doors and held them open while Isaac helped Timmy negotiate the curb step.
"Timmy, are you okay?" the waitress asked.
"Yeah, I'm okay, Brianna… just a few extra holes in me." Timmy said, watching for her reaction.
"Oh My God, what happened?" she asked as her eyes got wide and the boys began to giggle.
"He just had a minor outpatient surgery this morning… he's okay, just can't strain himself" Isaac said.
"Okay, well you two hotties sit wherever you need to." she said, giving them a big wink and grin. Timmy blushed deep red when she did that, and it never got old…
"Are you going to do your regular orders?" she asked and both boys said yes. It was just easier that way. Brianna filled out their ticket and took it to the kitchen and returned with Isaac's coffee and Timmy's orange juice.
Once they were seated in a booth, Isaac asked Timmy if he was in pain or discomfort, and Timmy said not at the moment. Isaac then asked if there was a prescription slip in the discharge papers and Timmy told him that there was, but couldn't understand the writing.
Isaac assumed that Doctor French had written a prescription for a pain killer for Timmy, so they would stop on the way home and get that filled. Timmy got very quiet, and Isaac caught him staring out the window. After a few moments Timmy said,
"Isaac, I'm not going to go for the implant… I'm just not sure I could get used to it, and I'm okay being the way I have been all my life… "
Isaac reached across the table and took Timmy's hand. "You know everybody who loves you, loves you just the way you are. I'm glad you decided and know what you want, Timmy."
Of course, Isaac would have said the same thing and supported Timmy's decision if he had chosen to receive the prosthetic testicle… there was no right or wrong decision, just a very subjective and personal one.
"Thanks, Isaac. When you said I should never change my body to please any one else, I realized that all the implant would do is make me look like some people think I should look… what's wrong with looking like I really look?"
Isaac just looked at Timmy and smiled. Timmy became confused, and asked "What?"
Isaac said "Are you sure you're not a 27 year old lawyer? You sure are mature for 12."
"I guess" Timmy said
"I know… I know you put a lot of thought into your decision, and I am very proud of you. I'm always amazed at what you can do, and I trust your judgement, Timmy." Isaac said.
"I want to make you proud, Isaac. You're the only one who ever said they were." Timmy said.
"I'm sure your teachers are, and I know Mom and Dad are proud of you… speaking of which, they should be at the house by now, they came in to take care of you for a few days, and close on the new house."
"I'm not sure I need taking care of… " Timmy began
""But you better let her, need or not!" Isaac finished, and they both giggled. Their plates came and the boys ate, paid the check and left.
Isaac left Timmy in the car with the windows down and the radio on and went into the pharmacy to fill Timmy's script for Codeine. Doctor French had prescribed enough pills for five days at the recommended dosage. He really didn't think Timmy would need anything, but each patient was different and you had to make sure they could sleep at night, and get through the recover as quickly as possible. French believed it was less dangerous to over medicate for pain, than to have patients in pain because a doctor was afraid to prescribe effective pain relief. The pain management paradigm was changing in his favor, as the current thinking is that a patient on effective pain relief recovers faster and is on meds a shorter period of time.
Isaac came back to the car empty-handed and told Timmy it would take about an hour to fill the prescription, so he would take Timmy home and come back for the pills. He knew his mother would be chomping at the bit to see Timmy, and know he was okay and in one piece.
The house was a ten minute drive from the pharmacy, and Isaac helped Timmy get out of the car and into the house, where he was met with a forehead kiss from Lizabeth. "Hi, honey. I'm not sure where they poked you so I'll skip the bear hug."
"Hi, mom, I'm fine, but I got to get out of these pants." the waistband was right at the area of Timmy's pokes, and Isaac said "Put on one of my long night shirts, Timmy." The boys went to Isaac's room and Timmy took off the tee shirt he had on and slipped the sweat pants down to his ankles, as Isaac got a long knee length nightshirt out and helped Timmy slip it on. He bent down and Timmy put his hand on Isaac's back as Isaac helped Timmy free his feet of the sweat pants. Timmy went out to sit on the couch as Lizabeth asked "So how did it go, guys?"
"Just like the doctor said it should. He was in and out in 45 minutes. They said the tissue was normal, not cancerous or anything evil… " Isaac said.
"Oh that's great." Lizabeth said.
Isaac went back out to the car to get the discharge instructions, and gave them to Lizabeth, along with Timmy's wristband and let her absorb herself in the do's and don'ts Timmy was to observe.
"Did he get a pain script?" Lizabeth asked.
"Yeah, I got to pick it up at Thrifty-King in an hour, Mom." Isaac replied.
"You boys ate anything?" she asked
"Stopped at IHOP on the way home." Isaac said.
Lizabeth went over to the couch to talk to Timmy, and found him curled up in the nightshirt, asleep. Only his head and feet were visible. He had drawn his arms in through the sleeves. She went to Timmy's room and pulled the sheet off the unmade bed and brought his pillow into the living room. Once she had his pillow situated under his head and covered him with the sheet, she kissed him on the forehead again and went back to talk to Isaac.
"I've been working on the forms for his adoption since we got back, and I think we are just about ready to file. I brought them with, so maybe we can run down to the courthouse later and get these in." Lizabeth said.
Isaac asked if they should go over the forms and check them one last time, and Lizabeth said no, she and Pat had been over them a few times, and she only needed some health information about Tiffany to complete the forms. Isaac gave her the file that he was keeping Timmy's medical records in, and told his mother that all he had on Tiffany was the paperwork from Timmy's birth.
Pat came in from the back yard, where he had been drinking a beer and looking over the pool installation. Isaac and Pat embraced and said their hellos, and turned back to Lizabeth, who stood up from the table and motioned them to follow her. Pat and Isaac looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders, and followed Lizabeth into Isaac's room where she shut the door.
"I don't want him to hear me… " she whispered. "Jack wasn't Timmy's father." She let that sink in for a moment and went on to explain. "Timmy's blood is type B. Jack's was O, and Tiffany had type A… Jack could only have had children with Tiffany that have blood types A, or O, but not B."
Pat said "I guess we shouldn't be surprised at this… I'm not sure it would serve any interest to tell him."
"I agree, dad… but if he asks about it, I'm not going to lie to him. I'm sure he would accept it the way he seems to accept everything… he might have already figured this out, too, on his own." Isaac observed.
"You're right about that one, son. He's the one that told me Jack's blood type, or I wouldn't have figured it out myself." Lizabeth said.
"So if asks, we tell him the truth, agreed?" Isaac said, and his parents nodded. "Shall we go to the court house then?"
"Oh, that might not be a good idea, now that I think of it" Lizabeth said. "Pat and I both have to sign, and that means you should probably stay with Timmy while we're gone."
"Good idea, I didn't think of that… maybe I should run for the prescription before you go, then." Isaac said.
"We'll go when you get back then, son" Pat said and Isaac grabbed his keys and took off.
He returned about 20 minutes later, and showed Lizabeth the pills. She put them on the kitchen counter and got the papers ready and left with Pat for the courthouse. Timmy continued to nap, and the Daniels came home about two hours later. Lizabeth said the line was fairly long, but they submitted the papers and paid the fee in about twenty minutes. They were able to get fingerprints taken at the Sherriff's Office across the street, so Isaac and Timmy now needed to do that to complete the application process. Isaac said he would take Timmy in for prints after he recuperated a few more days.
Pat and Isaac and Lizabeth went next door and looked the house over. They were scheduled to go to closing the next morning, when they would receive keys and take possession of their latest real estate asset. Pat had brought Isaac up to think like a wealthy person, not to live like a person who thinks they are wealthy. He taught Isaac that real wealth is financial independence, not lots of money, or cars or jewels. Isaac learned the difference between ostentation, and real value. His father didn't mind Isaac's infatuation with his old Porsche; the boy needed something to do, and the old car ran and would continue to appreciate, but he always cautioned Isaac that automobiles are an expense, not an investment. Real wealth was when the rental houses would someday replace Isaac and Timmy's need to depend on jobs to make a living. Of course that was predicated on their
effort and what they put into the family business. Pat and Lizabeth already had secure retirement plans, and the rental income now funded Isaac's college and living expenses for him and Timmy. The boys lived rent-free, the only cost to the family was the money that Isaac's house would rent for, had there been a tenant in it.
This newest addition was in keeping with his father's formula. Find a modest house in a middling neighborhood, one with good schools, but not so fancy that he would have trouble renting it to someone making the median salary for this town. Find houses that were sound and not needing expensive repair to be rentable. The final part of the formula was to find screened tenants who passed a criminal background and credit check, and have eviction forms drawn up as soon as a tenant moved in. Some states were an absolute bitch to evict bad renters, but this wasn't one of them. Pat had strategically decided to do business in a state with a favorable tax climate, and no personal income tax. Such jurisdictions did better for renters, since an expanding job market meant people could afford the rent, and to keep paying it. Pat and Lizabeth left the northeast, with its high taxes and hostile climate for business twenty years ago, and moved here when Isaac was about to be born.
Pat had learned that the best way to handle a renter that gives you hassles collecting rent on time in the first two years is to ask them 'How much time do you need to move out?"
The Daniels' only had one hassle like this in twenty years, a self employed tenant who never had the rent ready on the due date. This situation caused a lot of friction between Pat and Lizabeth, and finally she had enough and threw the tenant out. Pat lived by another rule; buy the leading national brand appliances and washers and dryers, and replace them every five to eight years, or whenever a tenant had an issue with a machine.
Pat would donate the machines he replaced to the Salvation Army, and he never had problems with them, or spent money on repairs, although it might seem cheaper at the moment. The goodwill that generated with his tenants was priceless.
Timmy had snoozed for about three hours, and was now awake again. He said he felt pretty good, and was interested in something to eat, so Lizabeth decided to put lunch on.
Peter came over a bit after that, and Isaac introduced the redhead to his parents, who immediately wanted to know everything about the pale, green eyed boy. Isaac told his parents that he had been seeing someone, and the way the two teens looked at each other had them figuring out the "who" pretty immediately. Pat asked if Peter had seen the pool yet, and Peter said that he had, a few days ago. He had been a frequent guest of Timmy and Isaac's over the last month since he and Isaac had their first private moments, and was always good for a bucket of fried chicken, or pizza, or whatever he happened to pass by on his way to Isaac's house. Amid the chat between the adults, Timmy padded into the kitchen in bare feet and the nightshirt, and stood next to Peter
"Hi, Peter" Timmy said, leaning against the taller teenager. Peter responded by putting an arm around Timmy and said "Hey, Little buddy! How did it go this morning?" It was obvious to Pat and Lizabeth that Timmy and Peter had bonded, and Timmy must approve of Isaac and Peter's relationship.
"Pretty good, I don't hurt, and only have a few little holes in me, but it sucks 'cause I can't swim for like a week." Timmy told him.
"Well, I feel better that you got this out of the way." Peter replied.
"Yeah, me too… wanna see my stitches?" Timmy teased.
"Maybe a bit later… you got anything on under that?" Peter wondered.
"Nope..everything else rubs on the stitches." Timmy replied.
"Makes sense, and I thought that was why you had that on." Peter said.
"Who wants a cooler?" Lizabeth asked. Pat and Isaac both piped up, and Peter asked "What's a cooler?"
"It's a splash of white wine and 7 Up." she replied. Peter said he would try one, and Lizabeth poured each one a drink.
"You want to try one, Timmy?" Lizabeth asked.
"Okay" I've never had wine before." This drew the attention of Pat, Isaac and Peter, who suggested that Timmy try a tiny bit of white wine first, because they really wanted to see his face when he tasted it… Lizabeth gave the three of them the evil look, because she knew what they were up to, but gave Timmy about a sips worth.
"Take it in your mouth and taste it before you swallow… One does not swig the fruit of the grape." she said in a very dramatic and over the top imitation of a wine snob… All the boys laughed at her, and held up their plastic cups with their pinkies sticking up, except Timmy, who was studying the strange liquid in his cup, and then he tentatively took a sip and rolled it around in his mouth like Lizabeth had said.
"Hmm… interesting. I think I like this kind. Do they all taste like this?" Timmy asked.
"Oh, no, son. Some wines are sweet, others are dry, or what you would say more bitter, and some have different flavors depending on what they are made from, or how they are made. You have Ports, Sherries, Cognac, Champagnes, table wines" Pat said, trailing off.
"So there's a lot more to it than just red and white." Timmy observed. Everybody nodded agreement.
"Well, that's enough for now, Mister. It's not wise to mix alcohol and medicine, so in case you need your codeine later, it's straight 7 Up." Lizabeth said.
"Okay, they taught us that in drug class, too." Timmy said.
"Drug class?" Lizabeth wondered.
"Yeah, Mom, you remember when they gave me that class in the sixth grade, about illegal drugs and dangerous stuff like sharing needles and mixing booze and pills. Timmy had it this last year too." Isaac said
"Yeaaaah, we like all totally had it, doooooood!" Peter said in his best imitation of a stoner, which cracked Peter and Isaac up. They high fived as Timmy giggled and Pat gave Peter a raised eyebrow and asked "speaking from experience?" with a smile.
"Nah, never tried that stuff in my life… I was too busy chained in my basement studying, Mr. Daniels." Peter said.
"Aw, you can call me Pat, Peter. Let's go look at the pool." he said as he led Peter outside on the patio and slid the door closed. Isaac figured his father wanted to spend some time talking to Peter one on one, and signaled to Timmy to give them privacy. Timmy said "Oh, right… " and went in the kitchen to freshen up his soda, and make a salami "sammich".
On the patio, Pat wanted to know more about Peter, and began to ask him questions
"So how did you meet Isaac, Peter?"
"I work at Atherton's Import Parts" Peter replied.
"You work for that old pirate, Keith?" Pat chuckled
"Yup, one and the same." Peter said.
"I've known Keith since Isaac was born, practically." Pat said.
"He's treated me really good so far. I started working for him last year. Really learned a lot about business… I think I would like to have a store of my own someday… anyway, that's how I got to know Isaac." Peter explained.
"So are you two seeing each other?" Pat asked, and saw the expression of panic in the kid's eyes. "Oh, we've known Isaac is gay since he came out to us when he was about Timmy's age, Peter. He's told us that he's found someone, and its obvious to Lizabeth and me that it's you… Timmy is really happy that you and Isaac are together, and I can see how he looks at you too."
"So you know… ?" Peter asked. "And you guys are okay with … uh..?"
"Yes, Peter… It's okay, and all Lizabeth and me ask of you is that you be good to each other. If you make Isaac happy, and he makes you happy, then welcome to the family. Just don't hurt my boy, Peter"
"Yes, sir… Isaac and I are taking things really slow, because we want to be sure, and I've never dated or been with anyone before him, Pat." Peter said.
"You never went out in high school, dated and so forth?" Pat asked.
"No, that part about being chained in the basement was mostly true… I mean, I wasn't actually chained up and shit like that, but I graduated third in my class, high honors… and I'm gay, so no distractions with girls and stuff like that… I'm not out to my folks yet, either."
Peter felt like telling Pat all this stuff, and from inside the house, they could tell that there was a lot of conversation going on between Isaac's father and his boyfriend.
"Peter, I'm sure your folks know… We knew about Isaac before he told us. We read the signs and knew what they meant for our little boy. I'm sure your folks have seen your signs too. Maybe they don't want to see it, and they are pretending it isn't what it is. Sometimes your children do things that you don't expect, and you have to adapt… I know that is probably hard for you, but if they are willing to put it in God's hands, it will all work out. My world changed the day Isaac told me. I had to put aside what I thought life would be like going forward, and accept the world he lives in if I wanted to keep my son. Try to think of what your folks have to adjust to… "
"Yeah, I'm afraid this is going to kill them… " Peter had tears in his eyes, and Pat pulled him into a hug, as Isaac and Timmy stared through the glass, dumfounded. They had known Peter to be a bit of a clown and Timmy's favorite prank victim, and had never seen him emotional like this.
"I don't think so." Pat said. "You fear that, but I think they deserve more credit than you give them, Peter."
"Maybe so… Isaac told me he had the best dad in the world… Thanks, Pat." Peter said as he let Pat go and dried his eyes. He went and stood, staring into the pool as Pat went into the house to refresh his cooler.
"Dad, is Peter all right?" Isaac asked. "Yeah, he just needed some cheering up" Pat joked, referring to the waterworks display Peter had put on.
"But he's upset now… what happened?" Isaac said, concerned.
"He's fine actually. I think he is scared to death to come out to his parents, Isaac. I told him we know you and Peter are seeing each other, and that we are okay with that. It was a good talk. He's okay… really."
Timmy slipped out the door and went to stand by Peter on the patio, and gave Peter a hug, careful not to strain himself. Peter returned Timmy's embrace carefully, not sure where Timmy's injuries actually were. "Don't cry, Peter, it's all right." Timmy said, and the two of them rocked slowly back and forth for a while until Peter said, "Thanks, little buddy, I needed that right then."
Pat and Isaac watched this from in the house, and Pat observed how close Peter and Timmy were, as well.
"Oh, yes. You should have seen him lobby me to call Peter in the first place… he wanted me to have someone to make me happy, and those two are thick as thieves. Peter became attached to Timmy right off the bat, and the other way around, too. Peter has been so good with Timmy on his trust issues… its almost like he's a completely different kid, dad."
"So what's Peter doing in the fall now that he's out of high school?" Pat asked
"He starts the first year of the aviation program with me in the fall." Isaac said.
"Oh, wow, that's going to be interesting" Pat observed.
"That's why we're taking things slow and easy" Isaac said, echoing what Peter had said. Isaac went out to join his lover and almost adopted little brother on the patio.
Elsewhere, a chain of events was unfolding that could threaten everything that Timmy and the Daniels had been planning. In a town twenty miles away, a brown haired, brown eyed father of two had read a news account about Tiffany Billing's murder and that Larry Wayne Maynard had received a life sentence for the crime. The article mentioned that Tiffany had a child, who was being raised by relatives. The article kept bothering him, to the extent that he re-read it several times, wondering why the name Maynard seemed so familiar. Finally, after a few weeks, the man woke up in the middle of one night, and remembered why the name had meaning to him.
In the morning, he contacted the Police Department in Isaac's city, and asked to speak to the homicide detectives who had worked the case. Detective Walsh's phone rang, and the office administrator told him a man was here to see him regarding Tiffany Billings. She showed the man into his office space, that he shared with two other detectives, and offered the man a coffee or soda, or water. The man asked for black coffee and sat down.
"Ron Walsh" the detective said, offering his hand. "Dennis Kane" the slim, slender man offered in return.
"What can I do for you, Mr. Kane?" Walsh asked.
"Well, I heard about Tiffany Billings being found, and the name Larry Wayne Maynard kept bothering me this last month, until I figured it out… I was a paper boy and Maynard was one of my customers. He lived in this trailer in Montague's Mobile Home Estates"
So far, Kane had accurately described the location of Tiffany's last known address, and where Larry had been picked up for drug trafficking.
"I was sixteen, and it was still cool, and early in the year… .I used to get high a bit, and the lady Larry lived with talked me into coming inside and smoking some weed with her… just being honest here, Mr. Walsh."
"Sure, no problem… go on, Dennis." Walsh said, listening to the man's story.
"Well, one thing led to another and we wound up having sex a couple of times that day… " Kane said.
"And this was early in the year?" Walsh said, making a few notes.
"Yeah, it wasn't hot yet, must have been April, late March, sometime like that." Kane said.
"So she starts showing like she's pregnant that summer, and around Christmas time she had a baby."
"I keep delivering papers, and collecting money from Larry, but several months go by and Tiffany and the baby are gone. I didn't say nothing about that, but like a year later, Tiffany is back and looking like shit, and there's no baby"
"Looking like shit?" Walsh asked
"Strung out bad, like a junkie" Kane replied
"How long ago was the baby born?" Walsh asked.
"Umm, I was 16, and I'm 28 now, so like 12 years ago, I guess?" Kane said.
"So Tiffany has the baby, leaves with the baby several months after it's born, then comes back with no baby a year later?" Walsh summarizes.
"Yeah, that's right." Kane said. He had accurately placed Tiffany's timeline living with Maynard at the location he had lived, although he had no way of knowing Jack Tate, since Kane and Maynard lived in a different town. He also had no way of knowing Jack had raised Timmy until 8 months ago. "That baby is dead, isn't it?" Kane asked.
"No, Dennis, the baby made it just fine." Walsh said, giving as little information as he could. Kane exhaled sharply, deeply relieved to hear that. "Oh, Thank God…
"Detective, I don't know what to do… I got into a little trouble with pot as a teenager, but got my stuff together and got married" he said, flipping his wallet open and showing Walsh pictures of his wife and two boys, who looked like they could be Timmy's younger brothers. "I got a family, job and a wife now, so you can see how much shit I'm in… "
"You think you're the father of Tiffany's baby?" Walsh asked.
"I know I am… the timing only fit's the time I had sex with her.' Kane said.
"You don't who she was with, it could have been Maynard's kid, too." Walsh said.
"You took the kid's DNA to ID her, didn't you?" Kane asked. Walsh nodded.
"Then take mine, too… I gotta know… please?… This has been eatin' me up inside" Kane begged.
Walsh knew he had to pursue this to its logical conclusion, because this was a major development that had all sorts of legal implications. He retrieved a sampling kit and scraped cells from the inside of Kane's mouth and took some contact information from him, and said he would be in touch when the test came back. Kane thanked him and left.
He needed to hug his sons and tell them he loved them.
Walsh sat back and recalled the images of Kane's children in his mind. The resemblance of the boys to Timmy was unmistakable. Kane must have married a woman who bore a resemblance to Tiffany as well. He got up and walked the sample to the lab and spoke to the technician, telling him what the sample was and that he needed a comparison to Timmy Billings, the child of the Jane Doe the technician had ID'd at the beginning of the investigation of her homicide.
"I'll call you as soon as it runs, Ron" the technician said, taking the sample kit and placing it in a positive pressure bench, in which germ free air under positive pressure blew out of the cabinet, preventing microbes in the room air from contaminating the sample.
[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.]