Always and Forever

by David Lee

Chapter 1

© 2004 - 2018 David Lee, all rights reserved, revised 2018

Spring at Cosgrove High

Principal, Dr. Roy Carlson gazed from his 2nd floor office toward the track. He wanted to wait until the students had gone into the gym before making the last announcements of the day. Since this was an early dismissal day, he would have to ring the final bell by hand. The antiquated system could be set on automatic, but any change in routine seemed to upset its nature for the next week. Better to leave it on manual and put up with the extra trouble for only one day.

At last, he realized that there were only two boys on the track. From this distance they were hard to recognize, but he was pretty sure it was two juniors, Brad Jacobs and that new boy - Alan, something or other. He smiled as he saw the somewhat stockier Brad demonstrating the starting position for the 100-meter dash. It was good to see next year's student council president interacting positively with the shy, slightly shabby, Alan. The new kid could use a friend to draw him out of his shell.

Flipping the PA system switch, Mr. Carlson proceeded to drone on with announcements. He followed by reminding students not to misuse their free afternoon and then rang the bell. It was a lovely spring day and he envied the kids who could get out and enjoy it while he would be stuck in a staff meeting.

Principal Carlson could imagine the heads of teacher nodding as they tried not to fall asleep in the darkened auditorium. A lengthy video on spotting and reporting child abuse would take up the first hour of the session. In his mind, he wondered if abuse even existed in this conservative, Midwestern town.

Out on the field, Brad and Alan suddenly realized that they were alone and were going to be getting a late start on their free afternoon. As they headed for the gym, Brad put a hand on Alan's shoulder.

"You showed a lot of promise out there. Why aren't you out for track this spring?"

"I've never gone out for a sport. I'm not really athletic."

"Bull! You're a natural. You have the body of a runner and you've got a lot of determination. Let's talk to Coach Daniels about it. We can work on it this summer and next year you can show 'em how it's done."

Alan smiled broadly for the first time since coming to Cosgrove High last fall. It was not only that Brad believed he had potential, but that Brad's arm was around his shoulder. Wow! Brad was one of the best-liked guys in the junior class. He had been the JV quarterback and, though not a starter, had played pretty well on the basketball team too. Despite being an honor roll student and a leader, Brad didn't act like he was better than anyone else. Alan felt a warm glow that filled his young body to bursting.

He remembered that first day in the fall when he had felt out of place in the new school. Though he didn't have a lot of friends in his former town, it was difficult for him to leave the familiar surroundings and break into a new environment. But Brad had introduced himself in that first homeroom and had helped him find his way around the school. Brad had made him feel less like a lost soul and more like he had a chance to belong. Now Brad was talking about summer like he wanted to be a real buddy.

"Hey, come to think of it, why aren't you out for track this spring?" Alan said. "You're the best all-round athlete in the school, according to Coach Miller."

"Yeah, well, that's his opinion. I do alright, but I'm not good enough to be college material and I have to keep my grades up. Don't want to end up being a dumb jock. Dad sort of encouraged me to spend the extra time on studying for my SAT exams. He promised me a car if I do well enough! If I don't get the score I want, I can take them again in the fall. I'll bet your dad pushes you a little too."

Alan flinched as he pulled away from Brad's touch. This was a sore point. He'd grown up without a father in his life. He hadn't thought about him for a long time because it hurt. He had always envied the boys who had dads. He wondered what his dad was like. His mother never said anything about his father, and he had never dared to ask.

"Uh, it's just me and Mom."

"Oh, sorry. I didn't know. Sometimes I just open up my big mouth . . ."

"S'okay." You really don't know me."

Brad saw the anguish in Alan's eyes and wished he knew what to say. Instinctively, he put his arm around the other boy's shoulder again and squeezed.

"Well, if we work on your running this summer, I'll know you like a brother by fall!"

Alan felt a small tear in the corner of his eye as he let himself be drawn into this jock-type embrace. Maybe, just maybe, life was looking up.

The boys found the locker room emptying as they came in. Coach Daniels was on his way out.

"Be sure to turn out the lights when you leave, boys. You know how broke this district is!"

"Hey, Coach, you gotta see what Alan can do in the dash. He's faster than I am."

"Yeah, I've been watching you guys. I feel really bad that both of you aren't on my team. Better be there next year for sure. You'll have your college entrance exams out of the way by then and you can kick back a bit. Don't get me wrong, I don't think learning should take a back seat to sports; not a popular position among some of my colleagues."

"I know, coach, thanks for understanding about this spring."

Stripped of their gym clothes, the boys entered the large shower room and chose two spots near the corner. Normally they weren't this close to each other in the shower. Brad was usually surrounded by a bunch of other jock-types who bantered back and forth with him. Today there was no one else around and they were side by side. They couldn't help checking each other out with quick furtive glances as the water cascaded over them.

Brad dropped his soap and both boys went for it at the same time causing their bodies to make contact and sending them both sprawling. Brad was up first and offered his hand to Alan. As they stood together, naked and dripping, they both felt something like a tingling in the pit of the stomach. Their eyes met, and for a moment, time stood still and neither boy seemed to be able to breathe.

Realizing that he was beginning to sprout wood, Alan felt panic. His adolescent dick wouldn't behave. He had just made a friend this year, but if he got pegged as a queer, he would be alone like before. Fortunately, his fear had the effect of causing his favorite part to begin to wilt again. Then he became aware that Brad was in the same state he was. Brad grinned. And slapping his ample manhood, he spoke to it.

"Down boy, I'll pet you later."

With the tension broken by Brad's flippant remark, both boys went into fits of laughter, nearly falling on the floor for the second time.

"What the fuck are you two faggots doing in here?"

Tom Katz had entered the shower without either boy hearing him. How long had he been there they wondered?

"We're showering, Tommy Cat. Did you think this was math class?"

Brad was not about to be intimidated by the bigger kid. Tom had been his friend when they were little but had developed a chip on his shoulder the year they were in fourth grade. Time hadn't improved anything. The fact that kids had gone from calling him "Tommy Cat" to "Pussy Cat" didn't do much for his outlook on life. At least Brad hadn't done that.

"From the look of your cocks, I'd say you've been soaping each other up. And don't call me that! I'll kick your ass - bad!"

"Hey, who started with the names? And how come you're staring at our cocks in the first place? Maybe you're the fag."

Tom's temper flashed. He balled up his fist and lunged at Brad who pivoted away in an almost dance-like movement.

"Stand still and fight like a man, you pussy."

"No way am I fighting you, Tommy C. If you hit me, you'll go to juvenile and they'll send you away this time. I have a witness."

"Yeah, your little boyfriend would probably lie for you," Tom spat out between clenched teeth.

"C'mon, Alan, let's blow this pop stand," Brad called.

Alan followed Brad to the lockers and quickly threw on his high-water jeans and T-shirt. He wanted to get out of there before anything else happened.

"See you later" he yelled as he ran out the door.

"Hey, wait!" Brad replied, but only to the closing door.

Brad hurried over to the bike rack to where his gleaming mountain bike was chained. Its sleek shape made it look impatient to hit the road. As he worked through the gears, feeling the spring breeze in his short blond hair, Tom was forgotten.

Back in the shower, Tom had not forgotten the incident. It burned deep into his mind. This was just one more jerk he would take care of. One day soon, they would all be sorry. He'd make them pay for what they had done to him. He'd show 'em all; that's what he'd do.

Alan trudged back to his humble home with very mixed emotions. He had felt friendship in Brad's arm on his shoulder and even sexual tension in their accidental touch. He was sure that Brad had felt it too. He would have been walking on air, but the nagging thought of what Tom might have seen or heard took the joy out of his step.

"Nah, if Tom had known anything for sure, he would have said it right out," Alan assured himself.

And so, his steps got lighter and his smile returned as he rounded the corner onto his street.

Susan Jenkins changed her clothes and applied fresh lipstick. She hoped to make a good impression on the new manager at Penney's. Tony Rossi was single and about her age. She could only dream of being swept off her feet by a stud like that. But her main interest was in getting the accounting position. If she did, she could work there full-time instead of doing two jobs. She was almost startled by the tired face that looked back from the mirror. At 34 years of age, she should look younger. Those women in the magazines did. But, they had the glow of ladies looking forward to being pregnant for the first time and she had faced that nearly 18 years ago.

Why had she been so stupid, she wondered? Yet when she saw her handsome 17-year-old son bounce through the doorway, she knew that she had been blessed, despite everything.

Bounce? Did he do that? Was he actually grinning? He had smiled so rarely since puberty had struck. Was he in love?

"Well, what got into you? Whatever it is, I hope it stays!"

"Hi, Mom. Brad helped me with some track stuff and he says that I should be on the team next year and the coach says so too and Brad is going to help me this summer and I think he's gonna be my best friend!"

All this came tumbling out of his mouth in one long stream. The usually reserved Alan was a bit embarrassed by his own enthusiasm.

"Whoa! Take it one word at a time. Do I know this Brad?"

"He's the guy who was the substitute quarterback in that game you saw last fall."

"Oh, yeah." Susan said as she attempted to put a face with a name.

She didn't care that much about football, but since she had had the night off and Alan was in marching band, she had felt obligated to make the effort. Despite having to use the old brass trumpet that someone had donated to the school, Alan had done pretty well. How she wished she could afford a silver one and private lessons. Now looking at her beaming offspring, she realized he needed some new clothes too. Tonight, at the store, she would spend the tip money she'd been saving. There was a sale on the CK boxer briefs he liked. Those pants with the zip-off legs were also on special. He could get a lot of use out of those as shorts as well as using them in the fall - if he didn't grow like a weed this year.

Breaking out of her musing, she said: "I have a pizza in the oven that will be out in a minute. There's some ground beef if you want to fix a hamburger tonight. I'm sorry I won't be here to make dinner."

Despite Alan's assurance that he could fend for himself, Susan always felt a little guilty leaving him so much. He was a great kid. He never complained. He was never a problem - just like his father.

Why had she thought about him? Susan wondered if he might BE just like his father.

Frances Jacobs was humming to herself as she put the finishing touches on dinner. Despite her part-time job as a decorator, Fran was able to be around for the kids most of the time when they weren't in school. She felt that her life was nearly perfect. Her three children were all spaced two years apart. Her job was stimulating, but not draining. She was able to juggle family responsibilities with volunteer work at church and in the community. At 42, she was more beautiful and livelier than many women 10 years her junior.

While she tried to love her children equally, in her heart she would have to admit that Brad had the edge. Probably that had to do with being the firstborn, or maybe that he was never lazy like Garret or contrary like Lindsay. Garret was bright, maybe brighter than Brad in sheer IQ, but he needed a prod to get him moving. Lindsay was smart, pretty, and sociable, but could be such a snippet sometimes. Oh well, adolescent girls did have that streak in them.

By the time she's 21, I'll probably be a lot smarter in her book than I am now, Fran thought.

When Jonathan arrived home from the office, the Jacobs family sat down to a great dinner. After Jonathan asked the blessing, they dived in with gusto - especially the teenage boys. Fran smiled to see her family enjoying her cooking. She knew they appreciated it even though they didn't always say so.

Tonight, she was rewarded by Brad saying: "Great meal, mom! That roast was awesome!"

"Agreed!" exclaimed Jonathan as he leaned over and planted a kiss on Fran's cheek.

"Well, son, all studied up for the college boards? Don't you take them in a couple or three weeks?"

"Yeah, Dad, in three, and I'm getting there. I still have some trouble with the language arts questions. Wish I was as smart in that as I am in math."

"Were," said Fran.


"In a case where something is contrary to fact, you use 'were' instead of "was.' Remember, grandma was an English teacher. I had that drilled into my head from the time I was little."

"See, Mom, that's what I mean. I just ain't that good," Brad quipped.

"You'll be fine. Why don't you have Courtney help you? She's a senior and her mother always brags that she is the top of the class," said Fran.

"That's bull! Alan is better in LA than she'll ever be"

"Watch it, son. I don't want to hear the word that usually follows 'bull' coming out of your mouth."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"But, why not get this Alan to study with you?"

"Kewl idea, Mom! Do you think I could have him stay over this weekend and we could really hit the books?"

"Sure, but remember there's church on Sunday. Do you think he would be willing to go with us?"

"I'm not sure. I don't know if he's into religion or not."

"Well, either way, you make sure he clears it with his mom and I'll want her phone number, so I can speak with her as well."

Brad ran off to his room to look up Alan's number in the school directory. He understood that moms had to know their friends' moms, but sometimes he felt his mother was just a little too interested in his personal life. However, he didn't complain about it as much as his bratty sister. She whined about mom's rules all the time.

Since they hadn't spent the extra money on caller ID, Alan let the phone ring three times before he answered it. Usually that was enough time to discourage telemarketers and they were the only people who ever called. If his mom didn't need the phone because of her jobs, Alan couldn't see why they spent the money on it at all.


"Hey, Alan, this is Brad."

"Oh, hey, what's up?"

"Do you think you could stay with me this weekend, so we could cram for the SATs? I need serious tutoring in language arts, and I could help you with studying for the math part. You could come Friday night and stay till Sunday night and we could get a lot done. We have to go to church on Sunday, but that's not too bad 'cause pastor Liz is pretty cool."

Thinking about his shabby wardrobe, Alan was hesitant.

"I don't know what I'd wear to church."

"Hey, don't worry, kids go casual, often in jeans. Khakis and a decent shirt are plenty dressy. If you're not sure, just wear something of mine. We're close enough in size."

"Kewl, I'll have to clear it with Mom and she won't be home till 9:30."

"No prob. The 'rents usually watch the 10 o'clock news. Oh, my mom will want to talk to her anyway. Do you want my number, or do you have it?"

After jotting down Brad's number and making some small talk, Alan hung up with another big grin on his face. This is beginning to be a habit. Then his mood dropped again as he thought about his clothes. Oh, well. Brad didn't seem to be a snob. He didn't wear all Tommy Hilfiger or Abercrombie and Fitch stuff, though Alan would bet he could afford to.

A tired, but radiant Susan unlocked the back door at 314 Washington street. She had gotten the new full-time position doing accounting for Penney's. She could afford to give up the waitress job. Her employee discount took effect immediately. She had felt so happy that she had splurged on a couple of dressier outfits for Alan.

"Hey, son, your old mom's home and she got the new job! Want to celebrate with a Dairy Queen?"

"Way to go, Mom! But I need to ask you something first. May I spend the weekend with Brad cramming for SATs? And will you talk to his mom, 'cause she wants to know it's okay with you, if it is?"

"Yes, on both accounts. Make the call, if it's not too late, and then I have a surprise for you."

An excited Alan talked to Brad and then the mothers exchanged a few pleasantries, and all was set for Friday. After the call Susan gave the car keys to Alan and had him bring in the bags from the trunk. Alan couldn't believe his eyes as he opened the sacks. It felt like Christmas. Everything fit perfectly - except the new Nike's. He didn't have to be ashamed at Brad's now.

Hugging his mother like there was no tomorrow, he felt a few tears forming in his eyes. When Susan felt a couple of them hit her neck, she knew what it was, and that she had spent her hard-earned money well. In the excitement, the Dairy Queen was forgotten.

After the lights were out, two boys in their beds in different sections of town thought of the weekend and each other. Both liked to sleep nude, and both were horny. At almost the same instant they began to massage their stiffening boy parts. The barometric pressure change accompanying the approaching storm seemed to influence their moods.

As the weather outside became more dramatic, the scenes in the beds took on urgency. Masked by thunder, their moans of ecstasy soon announced eruptions of hot lava. Scrambling for discarded socks or briefs to mop up the resulting mess quickly followed. Then a blissful sleep overtook Alan and Brad as they dreamed - each of the other.

The scene was topsy-turvy. Colors were faded, and things were out of focus. Tom Katz felt the power in his hands as he shoved a new clip into the gun. He had wiped out the principal and a couple of teachers. Coach Daniels was lying unconscious, his life seeping out on the cold terrazzo floor. Now Tom was going to get Brad Jacobs and his boyfriend. They would pay for crossing him! Ka-Boom! Brad was down. The smell of blood was everywhere. Now for the kill! But how had Alan gotten between? Never mind, they both must die. Ka-Boom!

The sound of the storm jolted Tom from his dream. He sat up in bed, startled and disoriented. It had seemed so real that he had a hard time believing that he was home in his bed. The smell of blood was from where his father had struck him in a fit of drunken rage a few hours before.

Tom sobbed. It was all so hopeless. In his dream he was The Man. He had the fate of others in his hands. At the moment, alone in the dark and the storm, he felt helpless, emasculated.

Why didn't he hit his father back? He was big enough. Why did he take it? Why didn't his mother step in? What could he do? Who the Hell cared about Tom? The answer to the last one was easy: nobody.

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