Timmy got up early and roused Kurt. They climbed out of bed and dropped their briefs on the floor, exposing a pair of morning erections. Timmy was the first to arrive at the toilet, and began to relieve himself as Kurt watched in amazement. He had only watched himself, William and some boys at school piss before, and had never seen a stream emerge at this angle. Curious, he asked
"Can I see where it's coming out?"
Timmy finished, and held his flaccid organ up to allow Kurt to see the orifice.
"Whoa...How did that happen?" Kurt wondered. Timmy giggled.
"It's something you're born with...um, at least I was, I mean." Timmy replied. Kurt considered that as William stumbled into the bathroom, naked, and half asleep. His little soldier was on full alert as he stood in front of the toilet and swayed slightly as his stream started in drops, then went to trickle and steadily increased in force as his erection subsided.
"I guess somebody had a good time last night!" William chirped, beaming at Kurt with a "I know whatcha been doin" look on his face.
Kurt turned scarlet as William began imitating the noises he heard in Timmy's room the prior evening, and giggling.
"Just wait until it's your turn, smart ass!" Timmy scolded, pinching William's butt cheek lightly. William just giggled more.
"So what were you guys doing anyway?" the ten-year old asked, obviously not ready to let this go quite yet.
Both boys spoke up at once
"When you're older!"
"I'm going home today....I'm not going to be here when I'm older...." William stated like a lawyer making a point.
"Shower time!" Timmy announced, ending the conversation as he turned on the water. William decided to climb in a second later. Kurt went back to the spare room and began to dress, anticipating his day with the Jarvis's.
"We're going to miss you, William" Timmy said "Although I will be over to see Wesley every day until he comes back to school."
"I know...I don't want to go either, but Mom and Wesley are going to need me." William said.
"That's the best way to look at things" Timmy said. He lathered up William's hair and stepped out to get dressed.
The Daniels homestead gathered for breakfast and was in the middle of things when Nicky came by and knocked on the door to collect Kurt. He had already eaten, but sat down to wait for Kurt to finish his breakfast. Isaac ruffled William's wet hair and said
"It's gonna be hard to give you up, you know."
"I'm gonna miss you guys too." William replied.
"Ah, you know where we live, and it's not that far if you and Wes want to come over." Timmy said. "As soon as you finish eating, I'll help you pack, little man."
Nicky and Kurt got up to leave. "I guess I'll see you guys later today or whenever." Kurt said.
"Your clothes are here, dude!" Timmy said with a grin. "I know you'll be back later." Nicky and William giggled at that, and the boys said their goodbyes as Kurt and Nicky left.
Yesterday, across town, the police had been to trailer 12 at the Shang-ri-La, or "chancre" as the kids who lived in the run-down trailer park referred to it. Kurt's mother hadn't been too belligerent when she was handcuffed on assault and neglect charges, but she wasn't any too sober either. At the county intake facility, she was booked, fingerprinted and locked in holding. She could not be arraigned until she was sober and had representation.
She stood at the desk as her mug shots were taken, and the desk sergeant droned "You can call your attorney when we finish here."
"Yeah, Johnny Cochran is on his way, all right" she sneered. "I'll prolly get some dumbass hotshot that couldn't fix a parkin' ticket." she muttered under her breath.
A few hours later, Marie had sobered up and was taken to a room with a table and a bored bailiff, who handcuffed her left wrist to a ring on the corner of the prisoner's side of the table, and stood off to the side of the room.
The public defender she drew was one of the most successful hard nosed criminal defense attorneys in a well established local law firm who was doing her pro bono obligation by handling Marie Lester's case. She was tall and thin in her mid-forties, and looked like a law firm partner rather than an associate.
When the attorney walked in, Marie raised an eyebrow and said in a smoker's rasp
"God Damn, honey! Ain't you kinda old to be a public offender?" Marie thought the joke was cute, but the attorney didn't react in the slightest.
"Miss Lester, let's not waste each other's time. I'm Susan Benson, and the court has appointed me to represent you." She put a business card on the table with a loud snap. "You are facing serious felony charges here. Charges that carry prison time if you're convicted. Do you understand this?"
Marie didn't answer audibly, just nodded her head. Sue Benson stared into Marie's eyes, just to let her know she wouldn't put up with any of Marie's shit.
"You here to bail me out of this place?"
"It doesn't work like that. You have to be arraigned. The judge will then set bail...Will you be able to make bail?"
Marie shook her head.
"That solves that problem, then doesn't it?"
"Don't you lawyers put up bail for your clients?" Marie wheedled.
"Clients that have collateral, yes....Let's get back to business here, shall we?"
Benson had copies of the photographs that Isaac had given Roger, and she laid them out on the table in front of Marie.
"We have a basic problem here, one that you probably won't get around, Marie...All the wounds on this boy are defensive. There is no way to justify how they got there. If this kid gets on the stand and testifies, it's over."
"How much time are we talking about?" Marie asked. She needed a drink and a cigarette something horrible.
"You'll do eight on a twelve year sentence easy in this county."
"What if my son doesn't testify?" Marie asked. The little fucker will keep his damned mouth shut if he knows what's good for him, she thought.
"He's not the complainant. The District Attorney is bringing the charges. I'm sure Kurt will be deposed. He's allowed these photos to be taken. If you go to trial he will be called to testify as the prosecution's star witness, guaranteed."
Fuck! Marie thought. What a hell of a time to be sober...
"What do you think I should do?"
"I would advise you to plead out and avoid trial. I will talk to the DA...But they will want something in exchange if I can get a deal" Benson said. Marie looked confused.
"They will insist that you sign over your parental rights and give him up, for starters. Still interested?"
Marie thought about that for a few seconds, and replied
"Fuck it, yeah I'll do that. Get me a deal." She stood up, snatched Benson's card off the table and waited for the bailiff to uncuff her. She was led out of the room without a further word.
Benson picked up the photos and put them away. She wanted to get as far away from Marie as possible. She would rather be dragged through the sewers with a chain than give up her children, and she was representing someone who could care less about her child. She needed a shower. She called the prosecutor on the case and arranged to meet in the hallway where they were both due in court later.
Isaac and Timmy helped pack up William's things and then drove over to Claire's house.
A new door and newly painted frame that replaced the structure that the police had kicked in was the only sign that would mean something to anyone who knew what had happened here, but the inside of the home had been professionally cleaned and new carpet installed in the dining room. Claire welcomed her son home with a long hug and tears flowed for several minutes, as Isaac and Timmy busied themselves in the garage assembling the replacement furniture, more to give the Hussmann's a moment of privacy than anything else. They had the chairs unboxed and the table ready to move into the house when William came out to the garage to see what they were doing.
"You're just in time, Squirt!" Timmy said, handing William a chair. The boy grabbed the chair and struggled for a minute under the weight before deciding it wasn't too heavy to carry. Timmy, Isaac and William carried chairs in, and William carried the fourth as Timmy and Isaac maneuvered the table into the house.
"We could have put the legs on inside, I suppose." Isaac observed, as he and Timmy held the table on it's side and rotated their way through the doorway.
"This is working too, so we're not as dumb as we look" Timmy teased. Isaac chuckled, and Claire stood back and watched as the boys righted the table and placed it in the dining area. For Claire, the new piece was a bit of closure, helping the memories of that horrible day fade a little...
William looked the furniture over, and said "This is nice, mom. Did it cost a lot?"
"Yeah, but it's okay. I spent your inheritance on it...you like?" she joked, with a grin. Wesley giggled and William put on his "all right, smartass!" look as everyone chuckled.
Wesley and Claire had come home last night, and had basically cleaned up a bit and went to bed, as Wesley was not able to exert himself yet, as his ribs and clavicle continued to heal. His casted right arm limited him to tasks he could do left handed, and he would require assistance to do things at home that the nurses had done for him in the hospital. Timmy said that he would continue to stop by every day after school, and that he would help with some of the issues Claire was concerned about, like how Wesley would be able to shower with one arm and keep his cast dry.
Being able bodied, Timmy Isaac and William set about tasks as Claire listed them, and late in the morning, Isaac drove Claire to the store to restock the house and refrigerator. Timmy and William did laundry and ran dishes as Wesley sat at the new table and read his homework reading assignment. He was to write a 150 word essay, which he was allowed to record on audio tape.
"Um, how much is 150 words?" he asked.
"Talk for about two minutes, Wesley. It should get you close enough." Timmy replied.
"Oh...OK...now I got to figure out what to say..." he mumbled mostly to himself. Timmy and William went to work straightening up William's messy habitat, and put his clothes away.
Timmy pulled open the top drawer of William's dresser and was taken aback at what he saw inside.
"You like my rocks?" William asked, obviously proud of his collection. In the drawer were several dozen small sections of crystal formations and cut geodes, quartz and amethyst mainly, with some malachites in brilliant green. There were several pieces of pyrite, or "fools gold", galena, a lead ore, and pieces of deep black obsidian in the drawer.
"This is awesome! You should put these in a display case, William."
"Yeah, I know. I'd have more room for socks and underwear." William said in a matter of fact way that cracked Timmy up.
"What?" William asked, confused.
Its, uh....Hell, you just crack me up sometimes, little man." Timmy said. "Neat rocks..."
"Thanks, Timmy" William said as he flopped down on the bed. "It feels strange being back again."
"Give it a day or two, you'll adjust back, just like you adjusted to us."
The sound of the front door opening announced that Claire and Isaac had returned from the store, and Timmy said "C'mon William" as he hurried down the hall to help with the groceries. After several trips to the car, Wesley was surrounded by bags as he sat at the table, while Claire supervised the able bodied putting things away. Soon the kitchen was stocked and several trash bags had been taken to the cans in the garage.
Claire asked if everyone liked Sloppy Joes for lunch, which met with approval all around. William put two sandwiches together for his brother, and put the messy meal in Wesley's good hand. It was very awkward for Wesley to do basic things with his left hand, when he was in the hospital in the traction devices, a nurse would assist him. Here, William would take up a lot of that slack. Little things, like picking up a sandwich that was trying its damndest to come apart, was simple for William, using two hands.
Kurt and the Jarvis's had journeyed to the mall to hit some discount clothing stores to build up Kurt's wardrobe, and replace worn out items, as well as outfit him with clothes he didn't have at all, like formal wear. They made several trips back to the vehicle, took in a movie and ate a late lunch at the food court, before heading for some thrift shops to search for a bedroom set.
They found some good serviceable furniture that was old enough to be solid wood, and not the particle board trash that barely withstands the trip home from the big box stores nowadays. They paid a fraction of what the set would have cost new, and Jerry arranged to come back later with his pickup to collect it. They still needed to score a mattress, so it was off to a local mattress outlet that advertised cheap prices. The place was a complete dump and the help was bored and surly, but Kurt laid down and rolled around on a few beds and selected a model he liked. Jerry decided to tie the mattress down on the minivan, rather than trust it to be the same one when he came back for it. It was one of those kind of places...
They went back to the house, and exchanged vehicles for Jerry's F-150. Sharon decided to stay there and let the boys bond a bit on the trip back to the thrift store to pick up the furniture. The boys left, and Sharon ran through the Saturday mail that had come while they were out. It was basically junk and a bill or two. She needed to clean out space in the spare bedroom for Kurt. For the time being, he would have to share the space with junk she pulled out of the closet, until she could donate it. It was mostly clothes none of them wore anymore anyway, as well as a few odds and ends. It was a good excuse to get rid of a lot of priceless crap they couldn't imagine living without, but somehow had managed to forget in the closet over the years...
She was getting sweaty lifting and sorting, and decided to go for a cold soda. On her way to the fridge, she passed the phone in the kitchen. The message light was blinking. Someone from county Child Protective Services had left a message to call them. Since it was Saturday afternoon, Sharon deleted the message and made a note to herself to call in on Monday. Then it dawned on her that this message had not been there when they left this morning...it had been left while they were out...on a Saturday.
Sharon dialed the number, and listened as the phone sprayed all sorts of connecting noises, which told Sharon the number had been call forwarded to a cell phone, most likely.
"CPS, this is Roger Cook."
"Sharon Jarvis, I'm returning your call, I believe?"
"Yes, ma'am. Sorry to bother you on a Saturday...Um, Mrs. Jarvis, we arrested Kurt's mother yesterday on felony assault and battery and neglect of a child charges. If Kurt has access to the trailer, it would probably be a good idea if he collected any personal items before they are evicted....it doesn't look like she will be making bail....And there is something else I need to tell you..."
"Her public defender has informed us that she is willing to terminate her parental rights to make a deal with the prosecutor. Um, if that's something you don't think you can tell him, I w-..."
"Uh, n- no, that's okay, We will talk to him and let him know...Thank you. Uh, well, what happens to him now...I mean what does this do to his status with us?"
"Oh, nothing changes for now....I'm sure this will be a pretty long and drawn out process, so don't anticipate anything happening that you won't have a lot of notice...If she does do that, we will look for any other family members or anyone who claims kinship to Kurt, and determine if they have a custodial interest, and if they are eligible to take him. If not, he would be available to adopt."
"Does that mean he would be adopted?"
"No...he could stay in foster care until he's eighteen. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. Like I said, this is a process that will take a while...I'll be in touch, and thanks for calling back."
"Sure...Thanks for letting us know." Sharon hung up in shock...My God, how do I tell him something like this...that his own mother can just walk away...?
Screw the soda....She poured the Coke in a whiskey glass, added ice, and topped it off with Seagram's. She sat at the table and sipped the drink while she thought about how she would word this to Kurt...
The boys came home about ten minutes later, and Jerry saw Sharon at the table staring into space, and knew the glass had more than Coke in it. The boys were busy with the load of furniture and mattress, and Jerry said
"Sharon? What's going on?"
"Roger from CPS called while we were out...There's something we have to tell Kurt."
"They aren't going to move him, are they?"
"No...he's not....." She stopped talking as the boys came in the house carrying bed rails. In a moment, they came back through and Sharon stopped them.
"Kurt...Come sit down here for a minute, please." Sharon said, then took a long pull on her drink.
Kurt sat at the table and looked at Sharon, waiting for her to speak.
"Do you have a key or some way into your trailer, Kurt?" Sharon asked.
Kurt nodded. "Yeah...there is a window that doesn't lock...and I hide a key. Why?"
"Your mom's in jail, Kurt...Does she rent the trailer?" Kurt nodded
"We need to get anything you want to keep out of there, Kurt. Your mother is going to be evicted if she can't make bail and keep the rent up."
Kurt nodded in understanding, but didn't respond.
"I suppose we could run over there after we get this stuff out of the truck." Jerry suggested. "How much stuff would you say there is?"
"Um, the rest of my clothes and some other junk I guess." Kurt replied.
"Is it more than a pickup load?" Jerry asked.
"Oh, no way....not even close." Kurt said.
"Okay, you guys get busy and I'll be there in a minute, okay?" Jerry said. Kurt nodded and got up from the table and followed Nicky out to the truck.
Jerry resumed his conversation with Sharon. "Little early for that, isn't it?" he asked, indicating the bourbon glass.
"I can't say anything to Kurt until it actually happens, but the public defender says his mom intends to give up her parental rights if it keeps her ass out of jail."
Jerry sat back in the chair and replied "If I wasn't driving, I would be mixing one of those too. Damn, she's a piece of work." Sharon nodded and took another sip, then passed the glass over to Jerry. He sipped the drink, and said
"Mmm, That's just about perfect, honey. I'm gonna go to help the boys with that furniture. I can just imagine the dresser on top of one of them in the driveway."
Sharon looked at Jerry and nodded. Jerry went out the front door, and Sharon put the glass in the sink. Whatever will be will be, she thought, Marie's in control for the moment.
She decided that she would feel better going outside to cheer her men on.
Outside, Jerry had the boys removing the drawers from the dresser and the chest of drawers. Kurt and Nicky then carried them into the living room two at a time, leaving the bare frames to unload next. The boys had already carried the bed frame into the spare room, and stood the pieces to one side. Since Kurt was bigger than Nicky, Jerry and Kurt waited at the tailgate while Nicky pushed the chest of drawers back to them. Kurt and Jerry reached out and grabbed the chest, lifting it so the legs didn't trip up on the edge of the tailgate. They took the piece in the house as Nicky scooted the dresser on to the tailgate as best he could. Seeing that there was nothing else he could do, he followed his father and Kurt into the house. They were in the bedroom setting the chest on the floor, and Jerry said
"Nicky, you can bring the drawers in and start stuffing this one."
"Right" Nicky said and went back to the living room to begin that task. Kurt and Jerry returned to the truck for the dresser, and soon had it on its way into the house. Nicky fitted the dresser with drawers as Jerry began to assemble the bed frame. Luckily all the screws and nuts were in the little plastic bag that came with the frame, and after a trip to the garage for a screwdriver, Nicky and Kurt were ready to drop the new mattress in place. Sharon came in with a set of sheets for the bed, which were printed with a photo of earth from space.
"Oh, those are cool, Sharon!" Kurt exclaimed.
"I thought you would like them. Do you know how to put them on?"
"Uh..." Kurt began.
"Like this....here is your fitted sheet, see? Tuck it in under the mattress...You get that end I'll get this one." Sharon said, and Kurt watched her and repeated what he saw on his end of the mattress. Kurt had outgrown the child's bed he had years ago, and was given an old twin mattress by a neighbor in the trailer park who was moving out. It was on the floor of the room in the trailer since there was no frame and every once in a while Kurt would encircle it with roach spray like a spell of protection.
Sharon stuffed a new pillow into the pillow case, and put it on the bed. "If that pillow doesn't work for you, we can try a different one, okay?"
Kurt didn't say anything. He just nodded and looked into Sharon's eyes. It was if a thousand words had flashed between them. Pain, hurtful memories and gratitude was in the boy's eyes. Sensing that some boundary had been tested, Sharon embraced Kurt in a hug that lasted several moments, as Nicky looked on, mystified. Kurt did not resist the embrace, and put his arms around Sharon to accept her gesture. Sharon broke the embrace and held Kurt where she could look in his eyes.
"One step at a time, one day at a time." she said simply. Kurt nodded, sniffed, and said
"Kurt, is everything okay?" Nicky asked, concerned and confused.
"Um,...Yeah, just some stuff I didn't want to think about...I'm good." Kurt said.
Nicky nodded. "So when are we going to get the rest of Kurt's stuff?" he asked.
"See what your father says." Sharon replied. Nicky left the room to find his dad.
"Kurt, did I say something to upset you?" Sharon asked gently. Kurt shook his head.
"It's not your fault....When you said I could try different pillows.....It's like...Um, It's just that you guys are doing so much for me today with all this stuff....Mom never cared if I had a pillow at all, and...this is just so different and stuff. It all got to me for a minute."
"Remember what we said the first night when you became part of the family...it is different now, Kurt."
"This still doesn't seem real yet" Kurt said.
"Listen...did Jerry tell you that he would treat you the same as Nicky?" Sharon asked.
"Uh-huh..." Kurt admitted.
"It's very real for him, Kurt. To him, you're his other son. And Nicky considers you his big brother. It doesn't get more real than that."
"They said that?" Kurt asked. Sharon nodded.
Just then, Nicky popped back in the doorway. "Dad's ready to go if you are."
Kurt sat for several seconds, as if to get his nerve up, before he stood and followed Nicky out of the room. He didn't say much of anything as they climbed into the pickup and Jerry started off. Kurt would only speak to give Jerry directions, and it was clear that he wasn't excited to make this trip. Jerry pulled off into a parking lot and stopped.
"Kurt, she isn't going to be there...You know she's in jail, right?" Jerry said.
Kurt nodded. "And anyway, she can't do anything to you now because I'm your legal guardian. Even if she was there, she can't take you from us if that's what you're afraid of, Kurt. There's nothing to be scared of." Jerry continued.
Nicky took Kurt's hand and squeezed it.
"We don't have to do this if you don't want to."
Kurt didn't want to put Jerry out, having driven him halfway there already, so he said,
"No, I'm okay...let's get this over with. It's really close now anyway."
Jerry drove on, and soon they were idling down a street lined with mobile homes in various vintages and states of repair. They pulled up to trailer 12, and got out. Kurt looked around and knelt down beside the skirting on the neighbor's trailer and felt around a panel edge and retrieved an old key. He wiped the key on his pants and opened the door.
The scene that greeted them was daunting. It looked as if several insane people lived in the place. Every square inch of space was occupied with stacks of clutter and clothing, as well as mail and stacks of newspaper, and beer bottles absolutely everywhere.
"You guys don't have to come in if you don't want." Kurt said, obviously ashamed and embarrassed to have this scene viewed by people whose impressions he valued.
"Kurt, it's fine...I had expected this." Jerry said. "It's not your fault."
Kurt led them back to his room, and opened the door. Aside from the mattress on the floor and the sheets piled on it, his room was orderly and tidy. Most of his clothes were in the closet, or in a 20 gallon trash can he used as a hamper.
"Let me see if I can find something to put stuff in." Kurt new that there were boxes in his mother's room, and some of them would be empty. He was able to come up with four of them, and once his clothes were packed in two of them and the hamper, he had only his books and things, and toiletries to take with him. Jerry lifted the mattress and saw notebooks or journals. He assumed Kurt kept them there for safekeeping, but didn't get a close look at them. He wondered if Kurt was collecting porn, like a lot of boys his age. He also wondered if Nicky had arrived at that stage of things yet... He knew Nicky was maturing, and needed The Talk. He was pretty sure Kurt had never had The Talk either.
"Don't forget your stash, Kurt." Jerry said, pointing to the mattress. Kurt blushed purple. His heart stopped beating for several seconds until he realized that Jerry had no idea what was in the journals.
"I'll, um, get them in a minute." He stammered. "I think that's it."
"Why don't you check the rest of the house, make sure there isn't anything of yours left behind." Jerry suggested. "We'll take this stuff out to the truck."
"Okay" Kurt said. He stood in the middle of his room and thought about what he would need if he wasn't ever coming back...The only thing that he felt had any importance were some papers including his birth certificate and shot records. He thought about where those things might be, and found what he was looking for after a bit of a search. In a trailer there are only so many places to keep things, but all the clutter and general mess complicated his quest very little. After going through every cabinet and closet, he looked under his mothers bed and found a box containing some papers. He began to go through them, leaving the title to his mother's car on the bed, among other things not relevant at the moment. The car was impounded. Marie had been caught driving with no insurance and a suspended license from a ticket she never paid. They hadn't hauled her in on that ticket since the charge had gone beyond the statute of limitations, but no insurance was an automatic vehicle impound. Kurt knew they would never see that car again. He found an envelope with his name on it. Kurt peeked inside the flap and could see that it was a birth certificate. This was it. He had wanted to know who his father was since he could form the concept in his head, and here was what he hoped would unlock the secret. He wanted to look at the document, but this wasn't the time. He wasn't ready.
Jerry and Nicky came back inside to check on Kurt, and Nicky ducked back into Kurt's room. He pulled one of the journals out from between the mattresses and opened the cover. What he saw was astounding...and very interesting. Very high quality pencil sketches, which looked almost like black and white photographs. The realism was incredible, and so was the subject matter. Nicky flipped through pages of sketches, birds, street scenes, the internal workings of a watch, landscapes. And at the end of the newest looking book, sketches of nude boys, and one naked boy in particular. Nicky. Some of the details were off, but it was definitely Nicky. Kurt had drawn Nicky from memory, and what he hadn't seen, he improvised. The boy in the sketch wasn't circumcised, and appeared pre-pubertal. Kurt had posed Nicky in the main sketch like the Shepherd Boy and his Dog, a statue by an English sculptor that Kurt had seen in a book many years ago. There were other detail sketches of Nicky's face, and two incomplete sketches of Timmy. Nicky put the journal under the mattress and went to the kitchen and looked for something to put them in. He found a plastic grocery bag and slipped back into the bedroom and wrapped the journals up and went out to the truck.
Jerry had found Kurt in his mother's bedroom going through the documents. He mentioned that Kurt should look for his Social Security card as well, and was helping him search.
"She may have hidden that in the kitchen." Kurt said, as he made his way down the hall, just in time to see Nicky go through the door with something in a bag under his arm. He doubled back to his room, and sure enough, his journals were gone. A mixture of panic and anger began to well up, but he couldn't get into that now. He just hoped Nicky hadn't seen...What would Nicky think? What would Jerry think about his sketches of nude boys? Of Nicky?
"Hey, Champ, did you find it?" Kurt was suddenly brought back to the present by Jerry's touch on his shoulder.
"Huh,....Uh, sorry, not yet, no."
"You okay?" Jerry asked.
"Yeah, sure....just a lot of stuff going on in my head." Kurt replied. "I have a few places to look for it." He went to the kitchen and got a chair to stand on, and searched on top of the refrigerator. There, in an old bowl were a pile of old lottery tickets and Kurt's Social Security card.
"Got it" Kurt said. "I think that's it."
Jerry had the envelope with Kurt's papers in his hand, and walked to the door. "I'll wait outside while you lock up, Kurt."
Kurt checked to make sure the lights were off, then pulled the door closed. Jerry was standing below the cheap metal steps in front of the trailer, and Kurt said
"I'm never coming back here, am I?"
Jerry looked up at Kurt and said
"I honestly don't know, son...Come on, lets get out of here. Mom's got dinner going for us."
Kurt got in the truck, and looked at Nicky. Nicky's face didn't betray a thing, and Kurt did not see the journals anywhere. They rode home in silence. When they got to the house, Kurt lugged all the stuff from the truck to his new room, and threw everything on the bed. He had not said anything to Nicky, and sure enough, a few minutes later, Nicky came in and closed the door.
"Kurt, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have messed with your private stuff...Are you mad at me?"
"Did you look?"
Nicky nodded. "Yeah, I looked." Kurt sat on the bed on put his head in his hands.
"Fuck! I knew this couldn't work...Shit!"
"Huh? What are you..." Nicky began.
"Your folks are going to kick me out now." Kurt said as he began to cry.
"For what?" Nicky asked.
"Which one?" Kurt asked.
"Which one did you look in, Nicky?"
"Um, the red one..."
"Aw, God Damn it, no..." Kurt said softly like someone just lost his grip before a fatal fall. "Your folks are going to think I'm a sick-o or something. Now what am I gonna do?" Kurt said.
"Why would they think you're a sick-o, Kurt?" Nicky asked.
"I drew pictures of you naked, Nicky, what the fuck are they going to think?"
"You don't get it, Kurt. Your sketches are incredible...I've never seen anything that good, ever. My parents aren't going to be upset that you drew me. They are going to freak when they see how good you are." Nicky sat on the bed and put his arm around Kurt.
"Nicky, I never...you were never supposed to see those. It was..." Kurt stumbled.
"I'm sorry I looked in your books...I had no right to do that, but I'm glad I did...I know that makes no sense, but I don't care." Nicky got on his knees and put his face in Kurt's, forcing Kurt to look at him.
"You don't think I'm weird because I drew you...like that?" Kurt asked.
"No...why would I? Could you just make my dick bigger next time?" Nicky smiled, and Kurt laughed.
"Okay, now that I know what it looks like." The boys giggled as the tension relieved a bit.
"When did you do the ones of me?" Nicky asked.
"Over the um, over the break at Thanksgiving. I couldn't stop thinking about you and what happened and stuff. I draw when shit gets to be too much for me, you know."
"Yeah, makes sense...what about all the other boys?" Nicky asked. "Are they real too?"
Kurt nodded. "Uh-huh. Sometimes I think about what they look like, you know....I picture it in my mind and draw what I see."
"So you guessed at what I looked like." Nicky said, and Kurt nodded. " I really like the sketches. Honest."
"Please don't tell your Mom and Dad, Nicky. I don't want to get kicked out of here.".
"Mom and Dad are not going to kick you out because you had thoughts about me, or drew my picture, or you're gay....if you're gay....I mean..." Nicky began to trip all over himself.
"If I am, does that fuck things up between you and me?"
"I don't want it to" Nicky said. "You don't have to hide stuff from me...I'm your friend and not just when everything is happy and shiny and cool and shit."
"You got zillions of friends, Nicky." Kurt said, trying to downplay what Nicky said.
"They don't live with me, and they weren't my....um, first." Nicky said.
Sharon knocked on the door. "Boys? Let's eat." Nicky stood up. "Be right there, Mom."
"I won't say nothing if you want...but I think you should show Mom and Dad some of those...It's up to you." Nicky said, before he opened the door and the boys came out to eat.
Kurt poked at his food and seemed distant and distracted. Jerry picked up on this and
"I'm proud of you, Kurt. I'm sure the trip to your house wasn't easy, and there were probably a million other places you would rather have been. I want you to know that we understand that."
"Thanks...It wasn't really that bad because she wasn't there...and it was just some place I had to be because I didn't have anyplace to go."
Kurt managed to eat a plate, then asked if he could unpack and organize his stuff.
Jerry nodded and said "Kurt, think about some colors you might want to paint the room, okay?"
"Really, I can do that?" Kurt asked.
"When you decide what you like, we'll go to the paint store and get it. You have to paint the room, though."
"Yeah, I pretty much counted on that" Kurt said, smiling. "Cool, thanks!" His mood brightened, Kurt went back to his new room and began to put things in the furniture. He found where Nicky had hidden his journals, at the bottom of his trash can/ clothes hamper. He placed them on the dresser, and gathered the dirty clothes he brought from the trailer. Looking at the wash machine, he decided it was close enough to the one he was used to that he could figure it out....except for the detergent.
Kurt found Sharon on the couch watching TV with Jerry, and asked her how much he should use. She got up and showed him, then went back to her show. Nicky was in the shower, and Kurt had finished moving in when Nicky knocked on his door. Kurt opened the door and Nicky came in clad only in a towel.
"All moved in?"
"Yup, I think so." Kurt replied. "Nicky?"
"What?" Nicky asked. Kurt reached over and took the stack of journals off the dresser.
"If you want to look at these, it's cool. I'm still thinking over what you said."
"About showing them to Mom and Dad...."
Nicky nodded. "Wanna watch TV with them?"
"Sure, I guess. Are you going to put something on?"
"I got something on."
"That towel could come off in front of them."
"Yeah, so?" Nicky dropped the towel and stood naked. "It's not like they haven't seen it before, you know. I think this freaks mom out a bit." Nicky said, pulling at his tuft of pubic hair. "I think she wishes I still looked like your sketch of me." Kurt giggled at that.
"I'm just messin' with you. I'm going to put my blue shorts on." Nicky said, giving Kurt a wink.
Nicky ducked into his room, and came back with his pillow. He grabbed the pillow off Kurt's bed and said
"You coming?" as he went to the living room. He threw the pillows down on the floor in front of the couch, where Sharon and Jerry were sitting, then lay down on the floor in front of the TV. Kurt lay down next to him and the boys got comfortable on the floor. Their bare smooth skin shined in different colors from the light of the TV.
It was about time for the ten o'clock news, and Jerry noticed that the boys hadn't been moving. He looked down and saw that their eyes were closed, they had fallen asleep.
"I think I'm done, too." Jerry said, as he got up to go to bed. Sharon woke the boys
"You guys are too big to carry, you know." The boys grumbled and stretched, got up and took their pillows to their rooms.
Isaac and Timmy wound up spending most of the day with the Hussmanns, and left their house after having dinner with them. Isaac cooked for the boys, and Claire drank her liquid nutrition drink and a fruit juice smoothie.
Sunday morning dawned cool and overcast, perfect for a house move, Isaac thought to himself. He got Timmy up and they had their morning ritual shower, and breakfast. While it was cooking, Timmy ran next door to see if Sean was up and wanted to go.
"Feel like working your butt off with me?" Timmy asked. "I'm going to be gone all day."
Sean's eyes creaked open slowly. "It's Sunday morning, Timmy."
"And your point is?" Timmy asked, poking Sean in the crotch. "Oh, here's your point!"
"Ahhhh! Fucker!" Sean whined, and squirmed under the covers to protect his asset. His grin told Timmy that he wasn't all that put out at being poked.
"Get up, you have to piss anyway."
"Is there food at your house?" Sean was always mindful of the important things...
"Yes, there is breakfast. Do I have to dress you?"
"Okay, I'm up, damn it!" Sean said as he rolled the covers back and got out of bed. He peeled his briefs off and his extremely stiff erection popped up to lead the way to the toilet.
"A hard man is good to find, buddy" Timmy snickered.
"Be careful what you wish for...I ain't working for free, you know." Sean quipped as he peed. When he finished, he turned on the shower and stepped in. "Give me three minutes to turn human." he said as he wetted his hair. Five minutes later, he had washed his hair, brushed his teeth and dressed. He came through Timmy's back door, and sat at the table as Isaac was just about to slide a plate under his nose.
"So what are we doing, exactly?" Sean asked.
"My folks are moving to the new house here today, so we are going out to load them up at their old place, then unload them here." Timmy said.
"Where do they live?" Sean asked.
"Excelsior Springs" Timmy replied. It was a small town about 40 minutes away. Sean had never been there, and had never heard of it.
"Is there really a spring?" Sean asked.
"Beats me." Timmy said, shrugging his shoulders.
"Mom and Dad took me to Saratoga Springs in New York when I was little. It was cool to see the water come up like that." It was the first time since Sean met Timmy that he mentioned his father after disclosing the basics.
An hour later Isaac's "Bentley" pulled up to the curb at the Kane's house. Dennis had rented a 28 foot box van, which was backed in the driveway. Isaac and Timmy walked up the driveway, with Sean in tow. Dennis was in the garage, and little Donny and Dwayne were in the truck, jumping up and down and giggling.
"Well, Good morning, guys! Good to see you!" Dennis said, shaking hands with Timmy and Isaac. "And who is this big strong dude?"
"Dad, This is my best friend and our neighbor, Sean...This is Dennis, my dad." Dennis and Sean exchanged greetings, and Timmy waved an arm at the truck.
"Those two squirrels in the truck that look like me are my little brothers. The big one is Donny, and the little one is Dwayne."
"TIMMMEEEEEE!" the boys screeched as they ran to the back of the truck and stomped down the ramp to make it bounce.
"Hey Dudes! Did you miss me?" Timmy asked. Dwayne nodded enthusiastically, and Donny replied "A little, I guess." very seriously, then a smile crossed his face. Timmy messed both boys hair up and Dennis said
"We'll load the boxes of stuff we don't need right away at the front of the truck. The kitchen and bedroom boxes will go last, to be first off at the new house. I think moving in the furniture and beds will be the hard part, and getting the kitchen set up is the other priority. The bathroom boxes will go with the kitchen stuff. Right now the very first stuff to go in is the garage, it will be the last off."
"Sounds like a plan." Isaac said, and the gang went to work putting the yard equipment on the truck and breaking down the work bench items. A ladder, and maintenance items for the vehicles had been boxed up and were ready to go. Soon, the garage was empty, and the boys went inside and began hauling boxes of non-critical things like pictures, Christmas ornaments, photo albums and miscellany out to the truck and stacking them. There wasn't a huge amount of stuff to begin with, since the house was small. Debbie had been working ahead of the boys, packing things like Donny and Dwayne's clothes in bedroom boxes. She stripped the beds, and emptied the drawers. The boys had gone through their toys over the last week and boxed what they wanted to keep, and gave away what they could live without to friends. Once the non-critical stuff was on the truck, the next to load were the washer and dryer and laundry supplies. Debbie and the little boys began going through the kitchen, handing their mother things to wrap like plates, cups and saucers. Dennis, Isaac, Sean and Timmy took the dining set out, and put it in the truck before they began to haul out the living room and bedroom furniture. Robin and Doug, Ricky and Randy came down to see their friends and neighbors off, and offered to carry things. Their assistance sped things up a bit, and by two o'clock in the afternoon, the truck was loaded and the house was locked.
Debbie and Robin cried and hugged, Doug and Dennis shook hands, and the boys said their goodbyes as well.
"When we get settled in, we'll throw a housewarming party" Debbie promised.
Donny and Dwayne wanted to ride in the big truck, and Dennis lifted his sons into the cab and belted them in. Dwayne was too short to see over the huge dash board, so Dennis put him next to the door so he could see out. He told Dwayne not to mess with the door handle, and made sure the door was locked before he went around to the other side. Both boys were moving their heads back and forth to see what they could see in the big mirrors on each door, and Dennis admonished them not to block his view with their heads.
"Okay, you guys ready to be truckers?" Dennis asked
"Yeah!" Both of the boys were excited to ride up so high, and also to be going to a new place.
Debbie walked up to the truck and Dennis looked down as he rolled down the window.
"We're going to follow you, Daddy" Debbie said.
"Okay, let's get going then." Dennis said as he started the truck. Ten minutes later they cleared city limits and were on the state highway doing the speed limit. Dennis had to remind himself that he had to maintain a greater separation from the vehicles in front of him, but the trip to the new house was uneventful, and the hardest part was maneuvering the truck back into the driveway. Dennis had experience with this sort of thing, and put the right rear tires abreast the corner of the driveway, and cut the steering all the way to the right. He backed into the driveway perfectly on the first attempt. Debbie and Isaac parked a few seconds later across the street, and Dennis opened the front door and let a very excited pair of small boys squeeze past to explore the house.
After the garage and the truck were opened, the loading process was reversed, and the bedroom furniture came off first. They concentrated on one room at a time, and did the boys rooms first. Donny and Dwayne had shared a room, but now each boy had his own domain, and the formerly stacked bunk bed set was separated. It was decided to order pizza, since it was close to three thirty in the afternoon.
By nine that evening, the furniture had been moved in and set up, the boxes allocated to the proper places, and unpacking could take place in the next few days. They would get the boys registered in their new school, and they would start on Wednesday, most likely.
In any event, Christmas was about two and a half weeks away.
"I better get these two back home, we got school tomorrow." Isaac said.
"Thanks for all the help, boys. Sean it was great to meet you, and thanks, we worked your butt off today." Dennis said.
"You're welcome. It was cool to finally meet you guys too." Sean replied. "I think it's really neat how you found Timmy."
"Me too, Sean."
Timmy said his goodbyes to his brothers and Debbie, and the boys left. Everyone was dead tired, and had no trouble falling asleep.
The Jarvises had spent Sunday sleeping late, then going out and doing a few things Kurt had expressed interest in, like seeing a movie, and going out to eat. Later when they were back home, Kurt sat on his new bed and held the envelope with the papers he had found in the trailer. He slipped the birth certificate out of the envelope and began to read the entries. His father's name was listed as James Aaron. As far as he knew, his mother had never married, and Kurt's birth certificate listed her as Marie Lester. So, at least he knew where his name came from...but who was James Aaron, where was he now, and why wasn't he interested in having a relationship with his son? Instead of providing answers for Kurt, the birth certificate only created more questions.
There was a light knock on the door frame...Nicky stood there in shorts, watching Kurt as he stared at the document, lost in his thoughts.
"Am I interrupting something?" the younger boy asked.
"I wish you were" Kurt replied, confusing Nicky. "Come in." Nicky came in and sat on the bed next to Kurt and waited for Kurt to explain.
"I thought finding my birth certificate might help me figure out who my dad is." Kurt said.
"But it's just a name, and his place of birth and an age, says he's military. Or was."
"That's cool...it narrows the search and the military keeps records." Nicky said, looking into Kurt's eyes.
Kurt nodded, swallowed hard and replied in a whisper "Yup." After a pause he continued.
"It doesn't mean it's him though...She could have just put a name down too."
"Let me see it, please." Nicky said, and Kurt passed him the certificate. Nicky looked at the entries and asked
"You sure you want to find him?" handing the paper back to Kurt.
"I don't know...I'm not sure. Does that sound weird...to be afraid to find out what you wondered about all your life?" Kurt asked.
"No...you're afraid that what you find is going to change things forever." Nicky said. "I totally get that, dude."
There was a moment of silence between the boys as Kurt put the envelope and certificate away in the dresser drawer, and took the notebooks off the top.
"Kurt, if you want help looking for him, you know I'm in...If you don't...." Nicky offered.
"I know I can count on you, thanks." Kurt replied. "I been thinking over what you said."
Kurt handed Nicky the sketch notebooks. "If you trust your folks not to freak out, I trust you."
"I promise, it will be okay." Nicky said. He began to look through the pages, taking his time now that Kurt was openly sharing his work. He saved the red binder for last, and asked Kurt about the inspiration for the landscapes and buildings and machines that he drew.
"I basically see things, and draw what I remember." Kurt said. Nicky looked again through the red binder, the one with the nudes, including himself.
Nicky pointed to some of the other sketches.
"Imagination....Same....That too. Him I've seen....Imagination....." In all there were seven different boys posed in different positions and different scenes. All of the faces belonged to people Kurt had seen, but five of the bodies were imagined as uncut, and two were "real." One "real" boy was circumcised, the other uncut.
"I didn't know he has a foreskin." Nicky said, referring to a sketch of a classmate he recognized. "Why do all of your imagined ones have foreskins?"
Kurt shrugged. "I draw what I know best, I guess. I don't have a lot of circumcised models."
"Do now" Nicky smiled. Kurt giggled.
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