by Rafael Henry

Chapter 31

Listen with mother.

I mentioned earlier our visit to the local Medical Surgery. Mum had got an appointment for him the same day which was unusual. When she described Otta's symptoms to the receptionist, they took it seriously. Mum can be good at describing symptoms and getting an immediate response. That's what mothers are for, she says. She's really taken to our new boy. The poor lad gets hugged and kissed within an inch of his life, and he soaks it all up like a sponge. He's certainly not been without a loving home all his life, but I suspect it was not the kind of love that expresses itself with hands and hugs. That's what she does. She shows us she loves us. She does it with her hands, her arms, and with words.

Otta woke up this morning with sharp stabbing pains in his groin. I heard him go into the bathroom moaning and groaning, so I got up and followed him. He was sitting on the loo obviously trying to go, bent over with his arms tight around his middle, and crying. I knelt in front of him with my hands on his shoulders asking him the obvious question.

'What on earth's the matter Otta?'

There was a loud 'plop' as the first part went in, accompanied by a fairly strong pong. A few seconds later, a second, and then a third. It's ok if it's yours, not great if it's someone else's, but tolerable if it's come out of the boy I am in love with.

He needs his hair cutting. It's practically over his eyes now, and well over his ears. I think how odd it is that I should be thinking about that at this moment. A diversion from a crisis I suppose. Pretending there isn't a crisis and everything is in fact normal. But it isn't.

When he rises from the lavatory he doesn't even attempt to clean up, but stands with his fingers pressing against the flesh either side of his abdomen. Ooh, and a little uprising going on. Hardly the time for willy to come out to play surely? His wants to play most of the time, and seems oblivious to what's going on in the rest of the world.

'Here. It's in here.' He says, as more tears fall. He takes his hands away from the smooth pale skin, and now I can see the two cuts. They are about an inch and a half long, at a slightly downwards angle and very close the boy's penis, like a very shallow 'V' either side, maybe two inches away from his lovely object of my desiring. I reach up and press down the handle to flush the loo.

'Which side is it?'

'This side. In here.' He says, touching the place gently.

I put my fingers against the area in question. It feels warmer than it should be, and hard along the line of the old wound. I pressed a little firmer. Yes, it feels oddly hard around the scar. I need more light. The bathroom light activates the extractor fan. That's good.

I put Otta against the basin and ran some warm water, and cleaned him with several toilet tissues, and flushed the loo again. When he turns around, his penis is full, hard and upright, almost against his tummy. I can see the scars clearly now and wonder why we've never talked about this before. I had noticed them before but never wanted to ask. They are just slightly raised whitish lines. He's stopped crying.

'Is it still painful Otta?'

'No. Not now.'

'Look. Don't worry. I'll get mum.'

I think it might be something to do with his bowel, after all that's what's in there. The left side. He's bent over the basin, feet apart conveniently so I can check that he's clean in there now. He is. The doctor might want to look. I know they open at eight. We can 'phone then.

He didn't want breakfast.

'Do I have to go?' He asks, looking a tad worried, looking at mum.

'Yes you do . Nine twenty. Are you warm enough darling? You look cold. Jon, get him a jumper please.'

We sat together on the sofa in the lounge. He's cuddled into me, warm, tight, and lovely to hold. I feel like crying for him. In fact I really want to cry. I think about letting the floodgates open but control it. I can't bear the idea that he's ill. Mum said that hernia operations could play up for quite a long time afterwards. She said his was a double. He should be checked out by the doctor. I told her that he did a ginormous and very smelly BM. We're leaving at nine.

I hope he's the same one I see. He's quite young and keen, and nice. Smiley. The receptionist smiles and tells us to wait. We know the routine well. There's a message system that lights up on the wall when it's your turn. There's a ping and his name lights up. Master Otta Harris. Our turn. He wants us to go in with him. Room 5. Mum knocks and gets a 'come in'. Great. Room 5. The same doc as mine.

'What can I do for you? Otta isn't it?'

He has to take everything off, even his socks.

'Just stand here young man. Yes, that's perfect.'

He looks him up and down and then sits back in his black swivel chair, and then leans forward again.

'Excellent, well done. When's your birthday Otta…….Harris? Lovely name. Which year? Right. Show me exactly where the pain was, or is, please. Just this side? When did it start? And you don't have it now? Good. How long did it last? Can you describe how it felt? A sharp pain? Stabbing. Ok. Nothing this side? Have you felt sick at all? Have you been to the loo this morning? What happened. Good. Has this same pain happened before? And how long ago was that? Can you remember when you had this done Otta? Two years ago. Perhaps a little longer. Lie on the examination table please, on your right side with your left knee raised. Yes, like that. A bit higher. I need to have a little look at you. It won't take long I promise, and I won't hurt you.'

Otta's on his side facing us, trying not to look our way. Understandably he's feeling a bit awkward. We all know what the guy is going to do but I don't think Otta has any idea. He'll soon know. I have had that too. It won't hurt him. I can't help smiling.

The doctor's got his latex gloves on and he's about to delve inside Otta's rear end. I recognized the writing on the tube of stuff he putting into him. He carefully anoints his bottom and then goes for it. Two finger disappear up his bottom. I reckon it took him about two minutes while he delves in there, this way and that, whilst staring at the wall, and obviously feeling for anything unusual. That's all. All over in flash. I remember when I had that done and what happened. He had his fingers right up inside, fiddling this way and that. It was a very strange feeling, but not unpleasant. Sort of tickly. It made my willy wobble a bit. Twitchy. The doctor said that everything down there is connected in some way and what you do to something tends to affect something else. It did. I'm not at all worried about Otta right now.

'Are you ok down there?' The boy nods, but he's been making a few odd noises. 'I'll be done very soon. Just hold on for a little longer.'

He's having a very long fiddle. By the clock on the wall to the left of us, it has been three minutes. Otta's getting fidgety.

Ok, he's done. The gloves are coming off, and Otta's dragging his legs off the table. Oh dear. We've grown a little. I can't help smiling, but he won't see me. It's an internal smile. It's not the first time mum has seen him like that.

'You can put your pants back on now, but not your shorts. I'm going to ask you a few questions that may be related to the pain you've had, and help me understand what's going on. Some of them are not the easiest questions but I want you to try to answer them. Is that ok? They are about your sexual health young man.'

Otta steps gingerly into the brand-new white garment. Mum saw to that. We can't go to the doctors in anything less than pristine, just in case he wants to look. My impression is that boys are always being looked at in some way or other. I've been 'medically inspected' at least three times at school now.

The questions are very direct, but how else can you enquire as to a boy's sexual health? He uses the correct terms from the outset because there's no other way of doing his job. I've had the same stuff from Roger.

'Are you getting erections Otta? Good. How often? Are you masturbating at all? Successfully? Excellent. And when you do, what happens? And what does that look like? Good. That sounds about right. Have you had any vivid sexual dreams young man?'

Goodness. Poor Otta.

And then he pulls the waist band of his pants forward.

'This kind of thing will offer good support which you need. Mum will make sure you get what's best for you I'm sure. What did they give you to wear after your operation? Right. What happened to them? You got rid of them? Why?'

'Because the others made fun of me sir.'

'Oh dear.'

'I hid them. I got the ones like the others had.'

The doctor looks puzzled. Alarmed almost.

'Well these are fine. Stick to this sort ok? No need to hide them this time.' He says smiling.

He's dealt with all this so well. He's a kind man. You can tell.

'You can get dressed now. The pain you've had might come back once in a while but eventually it will disappear completely, so don't worry. You might not ever have it again, but you were right to let me look at you. I'll just check your ears and throat.

Good. That's fine. It was nice to meet you Otta. There are some chairs outside the door. Go and park yourself out there please. Jonathan, I need to talk to your mother for a few moments.'

So that was it. I had no idea about that part of Otta's history. If my Grand Plan ever happens, we will need to know a lot more about our friend. A medical history for starters.

Otta went to his room for a lie down for half an hour. I think he needed it. Mum took me into the kitchen and sat me down for what I knew was coming. One of those chats. The summons starts with your full Christian name. Always a sign that something serious is afoot.

'Jonathan. I need to talk to you.'

I knew that our trip to the doctors meant a debrief afterwards. I'm going to get a grilling.

'Obviously I'm responsible for Otta while he's here Jon. The operation Otta has had can affect all sorts of other things. Hence the questions about……..those other things. Otta answered them very well, and honestly. Did you know the answers to the doctor's questions Jon?'

'Yes mum. Apart from his operation. I didn't know about that, honestly.'

'And I'm concerned about you too Jon. We've never talked about those things have we.'

'No mum.'

'So are you alright? I found some underwear drying on the towel rail the day before yesterday. Was that yours? Was there a problem? You must tell me these things darling. I'm your mother.'

'I'm not sure mum. It might have been.'

'So why did you have to rinse them out Jon?'

'I sleep in my pants, usually. Just in case mum.'

'In case of what Jon?'

'In case I make a mess in the bed. You'll be cross. Otta doesn't need to. Well, until the other day. He's just started mum. They were his pants. He had an accident in the car if you must know.'

'In the car?'

'Yes, in the car. It must have the bumpy road or something.'

'A little bit of pee?'

'No mum. The other thing. What boy's get. Little boys don't get it. Bigger boys like us get it. It just comes mum. It's fantastic don't you think? For both of us. We feel like real people now. You want me to grow up don't you? You're always telling me.'

We looked at each other blankly.

'Don't you understand mum?' I said. How could she not understand that?

'I'm so sorry darling. I've been incredibly stupid haven't I?'

I just looked down. She has a bit. At least we've got that issue out into the daylight. I can just imagine a future conversation with some confidence now.

'Mum, there's a massive wet patch on my bottom sheet. I had a wet dream this morning. Sorry.'

'Oh lovely darling, well done. I'll go and change it now.'

It's one of the most positive chats I've had with mum, and rather revealing when she talked about my father.

'I'm afraid I never learnt much about boys Jon. Or from your father. I was expected to just lie there and keep quiet. It was a wonder we ever had you. It was all very private with him. I never really saw anything. Neither of us seemed much interested in making love, and when we did he it was never face to face. What you've mentioned Jon. I never saw it, or felt it. It has always been a mystery. One other thing. The doctor mentioned vivid dreams. I had no idea what he meant. Did you?'

'Yes mum. One or two of my friends have had them.'

'Have you?'

'Once or twice, yes.'

'And what are they like, these dreams?'

'Oh mum, do I have to?'

'Yes darling. You're my son. I had no brothers to tell me things I should have known. Please tell me.'

'It's sex mum. You dream you're with someone, having it. Then you get this massive feeling and then you wake up and you've wet the bed. It's as simple as that.'

'So it's just you is it? No one else involved?'

'I'm with someone mum. That's the whole point. It's some sort of fantasy I suppose. Loads of boy's have them.'

'You're with someone you've invented?'

'No. Someone you know; or have known. Someone you liked. Someone you……..'

'So who were you with when it first happened?'

'Lael mum. I was with Lael. We did it in my bed. I thought you knew. Surely you must have guessed?'

Oh shite. Too much information.

'Perhaps I did Jon. Perhaps I did. But promise me one thing. You won't hide anything from me will you?'

'No mum I won't. Not now. By the way; thanks for what you do. And have done. Oh, I forgot to tell you. Otta wants to show you his scars. I think he wants you to get to know everything about him, like he's a baby or something? Personal stuff? I don't think he'll ever feel really at home here until then. Like starting from scratch? He wants a bath tonight. Will you look at his scars then? You could talk to him properly about…….all sorts. He wants to tell you things. That's what he wants you to do. Just listen and talk to him. He needs love mum; lots of it.'

I've rather enjoyed this growing up business on the whole, despite the occasional home truth times coming out. Mum had more questions about my friendship with Otta. How it started and where it's got to now. She may as well know the truth. Roger said never be afraid of the truth when it comes to love.

When I told her I wanted Otta to stay with us permanently, she gave me the hardest hug I've ever had from her. Then she sat down in the chair and cried. Goodness knows what for.

We got the bus to Botany Bay that afternoon. The tide was low enough to walk most of the way to Margate. I love that beach. Otta's a lot happier after his alarming event this morning, and mum had done her stuff too. She's so brilliant with him. He's like another son now. I'm sure we can wait until next Sunday. Four days to go without feeling his warm body against mine. I know he needs me badly, and I need him just as much.

At seven, mum ran a bath for Otta. We usually shower but tonight he said he wanted a bath. It'll sooth his tummy too. That pain he had this morning was frightening, not just for him, but for us too. The doc was great.

Otta trots into the bathroom with nothing on. He looks lovely with that light tan now, just his cute little bottom still pale. Mum follows him in holding a large pink bath towel. I'm going to keep out of this one. Mum's been great with him, but there's another step to take now. He'll never be part of the family until she really knows him. I want him to be part of us.

The other thing is that mum has relented on the Sunday morning thing. So far Otta and I can only get together properly when she's out at church. She made her big announcement at breakfast this morning because, I think, Otta had told her that he wants to go with her to Communion. She was thrilled. It all transpired during his bath. Anyway mum got to see his war wounds alright, battle scars, and the rest of him that she'd never seen. He asked her to wash him as he was too tired to do it himself. I don't think he realizes it, but that was his way of asking for her complete acceptance of him, and everything he is. Like, this is me , this is what I am , and I want to be yours if you'll have me. That idea really moves me.

They both came out of the bathroom together. Mum was smiling, and Otta was too, with the towel around his shoulders. I knew things had gone well, and I'm truly thankful for that. My brother, in a different way, and my lover.

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