One Summer Morning

by Biff Spork

Chapter 6

I made good time up the trail to the parking lot and didn't hide behind any trees. Half an hour later I was browsing through racks of t-shirts in the mall thrift store. Originally I had planned to buy Mani new clothes but I thought it might look strange if he turned up in a completely new outfit. It would be better to present him to my parents as a normally well-cared-for child, not some dolled up waif.

I selected some used t-shirts and several pairs of shorts in near-new condition. I took them all to the changing room to try them on, Mani conveniently being the same size as myself. Shoes were more difficult but eventually I found a pair of trainers that fit and were only lightly worn. I picked out a small back-p ack and added that to my purchases, used my debit card, stuffed it all into my back-pack and pedalled home, arriving as supper was being put on the table.

"How was your day?" asked my father as I walked past him in the living room.

"I'll show you," I said. "I'm just gonna put my pack in my room."

In my room I got the camera bag out from under my thrift store shopping and ran downstairs.

"Look at this!" I said and showed my father the sequence of photos of the osprey. "Mani saw it first, Dad, and showed it to me. It was really great! It just hangs way up in the air, kinda fluttering, and then it folds its wings and drops like a rock and comes up with a big fish."

My father was clearly impressed, asked a lot of questions and looked through the photo sequence three times.

My mother called us into the dining area for supper. I ran upstairs and retrieved the thermoses we had used for breakfast on the beach and the other food containers and brought them down to be washed. During our meal I told my parents about the tidal pools and swimming and frisbee and how we gorged on the food my mother had made.

"And Mani said he can come for supper tomorrow and I asked him to stay overnight so he doesn't have to go down the beach trail at night. Is that okay?"

"Well, I'll be happy to meet this Mani," said my mother. "But I would like to speak to his parents if he's going to stay overnight."

"Yeah," I said, crossing my fingers under the table. "I thought you would. I'll make sure you can talk to them tomorrow. Okay?"

"Okay. Don't forget," said my mother.

"And Dad, Mani doesn't have a bike and it's too far for me to double him on mine, so can you pick us up after work, maybe around five-thirty?"

My father agreed and said, "So I'll drive you to the park tomorrow morning same as today, only we won't bother take your bike?"

"That would be great, Dad. Thanks a lot. Then we'll meet you in the parking lot at five thirty."

"It's a date," said my father.

"And I'll fix you a breakfast and lunch for the beach," said my mother.

"You know," I said, eyeing them both. "Mani's sometimes a little sensitive about his family. Don't go cross-examining him please. He'll tell you what he wants you to know. Okay?"

"Don't worry," laughed my father. "We'll try to behave properly." He grinned at my mother and they both laughed.

I looked at them and felt so good I said, "You guys are the best," and then I gave each of them a hug and went up to my room.

In my shower I had a normal taking-care-of-business kind of jerk-off that put me in a relaxed mood for bed. I fell asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow.

In the morning while I was eating breakfast my father reached over and put an old black and white snapshot in front of me. The photo was of two boys about my age. They were standing leaning against each other with their arms around each other's shoulders and goofy grins on their faces. They were barefoot and shirtless. One I recognized as my father. I pointed to the other and said, "Kevin?"

"Yeah," he said. "That's him and me in the summer when we were thirteen. We were camping out on his uncle's farm. You can just see the corner of our tent behind us. We were there for about three weeks, camped down by the river, just Kev and I."

"Wow. And you did all your own cooking and everything?" I asked.

"Yeah, for the whole time I don't think we saw another person except Kev's uncle who came down every few days to bring us supplies and make sure we were all right."

"What did you do all the time?"

"Mostly fishing and swimming but we hiked around a lot too and we always had campsite chores like getting firewood. But we spent a lot of time, you know, just lazing around, just fooling around. It was a great summer, hot and sunny every day."

"That's great, Dad. Thanks for showing me that photo. I really like it. I wish I had known you and him back then," I said. Then, seeing it seemed to be a good time to mention it I added, "Mani's got a nice campsite down on the beach. Maybe after you guys have met him I can go down and camp there with him for a few days or even a week or two...."

"That sounds like fun," he said. "But let's not make any plans right now. You know your mother and I need to discuss it. Okay?"

After breakfast I loaded my pack with the provisions my mother had prepared and my father drove me to the park. As I had done the previous day I ran and sang all the way down to the lagoon. Once again a raven's call answered my whoops as they echoed in the cathedral stillness of the forest. When I came out of the trees onto the sand, Mani was there waiting for me, wearing his grubby shorts and t-shirt. He was laughing. "I could hear you coming for about the last ten minutes," he said. "You gotta teach me that song. I love it."

We hugged but seeing as some dog-walkers were out along the lagoon we didn't kiss. Mani took the pack off my back and put it on. Then we set off down the beach. Mani was happy that he would be coming home with me that night. He said the only bad thing about meeting me was that he felt terribly lonely when I was not beside him. We ran all the way from Johnson Point to Mani's camp and as soon as we arrived we threw off our clothes.

Mani said, "Now we can have a real hug," and pulled me close. It may be the most wonderful thing on earth to hug someone you love skin-to-skin and mouth to mouth. I ran my hands down his back to his bum then back up to the small of his back. I held him there, one hand on each side of his waist and then moved my hands up so my inner arms were pressed against his back, just to feel his warmth with my arms. When we pulled apart Mani looked down between us at our two very stiff erections and said, "Those guys are always looking for fun, aren't they?" He swung his hips to one side and then back so that his penis bumped against mine and we did a little sword fighting. It was such a nice little sensation, like popping a chocolate covered cherry into your mouth.

I broke out the breakfast thermoses, one with hash browned potatoes and veggie sausages and another of hot chocolate. We sat on the beach and enjoyed the early morning coolness while we ate. The osprey flew over but did not do any fishing in Haystack Bay. I told Mani about my father and his boyhood friend, Kevin. We guessed they had spent a lot of time naked and skinny-dipping in the river by their campsite. By the time we finished breakfast the sun was getting hot. I had asked Mani a few questions and was ready to go down the beach to further my plan.

"Let's go see Jack," I said.

Mani surveyed me critically and said, "Yeah, you're starting to tan now but I think you need one more day with sun screen. After we finish with that, let's play catch and swim this morning. I've got something good for us to do this afternoon, Hiram's Falls."

We strolled down to where Jack was sitting on his blanket and exchanged greetings. "We need some more of that sun screen," said Mani.

"I thought you might so I bought a fresh tube yesterday afternoon. It's not quite as strong so he'll tan better now that he's starting to get brown," said Jack producing the new tube from his bag.

"That's great," said Mani holding out his hand. Jack uncapped the tube and squirted a big dollop in Mani's palm.

I turned so I was facing Jack and said, "You do the front today, Jack, and let Mani have the back. Okay?" I stuck my arms out sideways like a scarecrow and smiled at Jack.

"Okay!" said Jack, grinning as he stood up.

"Yay!" said Mani. "I get the bum!"

Jack took a quick look around and assured himself that the beach was empty except for us. Then he squirted some sun screen on his hands and began rubbing it into my upper arms and chest. As he worked his way down my belly I grew a little excited and so did Jack. His penis was no longer hanging and dangling down but sticking straight out. So was mine. His movements while applying the sun-screen led to our penises touching briefly a few times. Soon they were both pointing straight up like rockets ready to launch. He continued working down to my groin and added more sun screen to his hands. Then, gently but firmly, he stroked my stiff penis and it immediately responded by getting harder and fatter. After he worked the cream into my ball bag, delicately rolling my balls in his hand, he gripped my penis again and slid his sun-screened fist up and off, pulling my foreskin up to its maximum extension and then letting it flop back. He did that several times to coat it thoroughly. Then, with a resigned sigh he moved down and carefully applied the cream to my upper thighs, just as Mani was completing his work on my backside.

Jack looked longingly at my upstanding penis and asked, "You think I got enough sun-screen on that? Maybe I should put a little more on and rub it in...."

"I think you did a very good job on it already Jack. Thank you," I said. Then, seeing the look of disappointment on his face I said, "Well, maybe it does need just one more stroke...." Jack smiled happily and was quick to take me up on the offer. "And thank you, too, Mani," I said. Then I squatted down on my heels on Jack's blanket, my penis still jutting stiffly out between my legs. I used a hand gesture to indicate Jack should sit and said, "Jack, can you help us with something else?"

Jack lowered himself opposite me and Mani sat down beside us.

"Probably," said Jack. "What do you need?"

I explained how we needed someone with a phone to pretend to be Mani's uncle who was taking care of him while they were camped on the beach. We needed an uncle who would phone my mother and talk to her about letting Mani stay overnight with me.

Jack knew Mani's situation with Social Welfare and his foster family and understood immediately why we had to have a responsible 'uncle' for my parents. Mani had told me that Jack had a mobile phone so he was exactly what we needed.

When I finished telling to Jack what we wanted him to do he sat silently for a minute. "Let me get this clear, Kevin. You want me to phone your mother and lie to her and pretend to be Mani's uncle who is camping with him here on Haystack Beach for a month or so. I'm calling her to assure her that it is okay with me if Mani has supper with you and stays overnight. Is that what you want?"

"Yeah," I said. "That's exactly what we want. I hate to lie to her and I'm going to tell her the truth as soon as I can. But first, I want her to get to know Mani a little bit. Then it won't matter to her and she'll try to help us herself. But for now, if she asks any questions you might need to make up some back story. Maybe Mani is staying with you because his parents are having problems with their marriage, or something. You can maybe be a little tough questioning her too. After all, you're going to let your precious nephew stay in her house overnight. She might also ask you how you feel about me coming down here to stay with Mani for awhile. Of course you are okay with that."

Jack looked at me and then at Mani and was silent for a minute. Then he said, "Okay, I'll do it. When should I call her?"

"We might as well get this over with. Let's do it now," I said and gave him our phone number.

"What's your last name, Kevin?" asked Jack.


"Kevin Klein?" snickered Mani.

I glared at him as Jack dialed our number.

Mani rolled away on the sand emitting strangled giggles. "And you're not even wearing any underwear!" he gasped.

I went over to him and began jabbing him ruthlessly. "The underwear is CALVIN Klein, not Kevin Klein, you idiot."

"Hello, Mrs. Klein?" said Jack.

"My name is Jack Davis. I'm Mani's uncle and he's camping with me for the summer. He tells me he has been asked to your place for supper and to stay overnight with your son Kevin."

"Oh, yes. It's fine with me. Just give me your address in case I need it."

"I hope you can handle both these boys. They've been running wild down here on the beach. But they're good boys so I don't anticipate any problems. If you should need to talk to me you have my mobile number now and you can call any time."

"Oh, yes. Kevin said you might want to know about that. He's a nice boy and if you want to let him come down and stay with us for a while, that's fine with me. It actually makes it a bit easier to have two boys because they can be company for each other and you only see them at meal times."

"I'm retired. I was with the city police for twenty years but a mild heart attack a few years ago convinced me that early retirement was a good step to take and a policeman's pension is plenty for me to live on. How about you? And Kevin's father?"

"He's an architect? I've always thought that would be interesting work."

"It's been very nice talking to you Mrs. Klein. Thank you for giving Mani a break from me and the beach and a chance to spend some time with Kevin. They really seem to be good friends."

"Yes, Yes. Goodbye." Jack closed the conversation and looked at us. I was sitting on Mani's stomach and holding both his arms down at the wrists while he drummed on my back with his knees.

"Okay, nephew," said Jack. "You can go and have a sleepover with Kevin."

I jumped up and ran over and hugged Jack. So did Mani and we danced around him hugging and kissing his blushing face.

As we walked back to Mani's campsite Mani said, "I see you understood what I said yesterday about exchanges."

"Yeah, I hope you don't mind. I think Jack might actually have done a better job on the front than you did." I said. "But I did give you the bum, my perfect bum!"

"Okay Calvin, you have earned yourself a thorough dunking," he growled as he threw himself on me, dragged me into the water and submerged me. We fought our way down the beach and emerged dripping to walk up to the campsite and get the frisbee.

And so the morning passed away. We leaped and cavorted brilliantly then swam and splashed like otters and leaped and cavorted some more until we were so tired and hungry we had to retire to the shade. When we had recovered our breath and our hearts had slowed I brought the pack forward to discover what my mother had given us for lunch.

"Kevin," said Mani. "Yesterday when I was talking about exchanges I left out half of the idea. I told you how I look at relationships like with Jack and other people. But the most important relationships, the special ones that really count, don't fit into that way of thinking at all. There's no give and take in those special relationships. You may not get anything and you may give everything you've got and it doesn't matter because in that kind of relationship the happiness of the other person is the only thing you think about."

I could tell from Mani's voice that he was telling me something that was really important to him so I stopped fiddling with the food and sat down and listened to him.

Mani looked up at me. I nodded.

"The best example I can think of is how a mother loves her child. It doesn't matter what that child does or says or thinks, that mother is going to love him and help him in any way that she can. She doesn't even think about it. She has no choice. Her love for that child is greater than her love for herself. But that special kind of love isn't only between mother and child. It can be between any two people who really love each other."

We sat quietly for a minute. I thought about my parents. I had never seen them angry, not with me nor with each other. I had never seen them even disagreeing. The kindness between them flowed steadily and always included me.

Mani continued, "That's the kind of love we all want to receive and that's the kind of love we all want to give but most of the time we settle for the other, trading this for that. It works but it's second best. I want the best." Then he looked right into me and said, "And I want the best for you too, Kevin, nothing but the best."

I couldn't add anything to this but when I looked at Mani I saw him in a new light. I had been pitying him for his hard life and that was still in my mind. But now I saw that all those difficulties and sorrows had made him think more deeply than me and that he had used those experiences to build a kind of wisdom I was only beginning to grasp.

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