13 LOVE DOVE LOVE SHOVE
28 CARING BUT STARING
"Mama, I miss Jeff so much."
Compassionately, "Maria, you never answer his phone calls."
"I get scared when I see his phone number pop up."
"Why don't you call him, sweetheart?"
"He needs to apologized first."
"I think he has been trying real hard."
"Oh, must you make me more miserable!"
Handing Maria the phone, "This can get you out of your misery." Maria stares at the phone endlessly. Finally Sonya enters Jeff's number as Maria keeps staring at the phone in her hand. She jumps as she hears a ring in the earpiece. "Put the phone by your ear, dear." Slowly Maria does, only to hear a recorded message.
Crying, "Oh, he's not home."
"Leave a message, Maria," but she quickly hangs up, crying harder.
29 PAIN RAIN
Logan's parents nearly faint hearing Logan painfully tell his story. After he apologizes to Jeff profusely, his mother asserts, "You must never see Alex again."
His father adds, "You never can be trusted with Jeff again. We will take you to a psychiatrist to change your desires. Now go to your room."
Jeff thinks this will make matters worse. He empathizes with Logan–how alone he now feels. Somberly he requests, "Please don't forget that your son usually is wonderful." They hear Jeff's pain despite his soft, soothing words, becoming amazed that he could be so loving.
Sean softly asks Jeff, "Will you be OK if you go to the car now?" Jeff nods and goes.
Sean takes a moment to look Logan's parents in the eyes compassionately, "Your son's in a lot of pain too. What about you?"
They look at each other, hold hands, as they fight off tears. Sean sits quietly. When they look at Sean again, he says, "I'll find my way out. Please spend some time now with your son. Let him say whatever he needs to. And please, love him more than ever."
They look at each other somberly, nodding in agreement. They turn to Sean, "Thank you so much."
30 PAIN DRAIN
No words find a way to their lips. When they get back home, with all energy zapped out of Jeff, "Sean, I feel so dirty. I hate Logan."
Slowly putting his arm around Jeff, making sure Jeff could handle touch, "I hear you, Son."
Jeff doesn't respond, sitting there lifelessly. After a long while, "I hate him so much."
"No wonder, my son."
Slowly Jeff looks up, "You called me 'son'."
"I feel like you're my blood. I hurt when you hurt."
More softly, "Thank you, Sean."
"You're welcome, Son."
Sean picks up Jeff's lifeless body, carries him to the large recliner, sits down, lays Jeff on his lap, and reclines. Jeff lays his head on Sean's shoulder, "Thanks, Dad."
An hour later, Rachel finds them in the some position. "Who died?"
Still somber, "Our son."
"I see," as Rachel sees Jeff barely breathing.
After dinner, that Jeff did not come for, he walks slowly to Rachel, "I love you, Mom."
"I love you, Jeff. I'm worried about you."
"Sit with me in the big recliner."
"That's Sean's seat, but sure."
After another hour of lifelessness, "Mom, I need to tell you something."
"OK, young man."
"I don't feel like a man anymore."
Bursting into tears, "Logan tried to rape me."
Rachel feels like she hits the ceiling but finds Jeff safely in her arms in the recliner. Softly, "What!"
Uninterrupted, Jeff tells the whole story without emotion.
Rachel's tears quietly flow through it all. "It's terrific you could say such a kind thing to Logan's parents."
"Yeah, but I despise him now."
"Can I sleep in your bed tonight?"
"Sure, I'll sleep with Sean."
"No, Mom. I need you."
"Can we go now?"
31 GAY TODAY
"Sweetie, you're to young to think you're gay. Oh, Logan, my love."
"Mom, I see gorgeous girls and that's all they are–gorgeous. I see gorgeous boys and my jet engine rages."
"Please don't say that dear."
"Mom, Alex has been so good for me. Please don't take him away. You could see yourself how much happier I became when we became friends."
"I see my dreams for you exploding in my face. But I don't want to hurt you. If I ever fail to love you, Logan, please know I won't give up."
"Thanks Mom. I'll try to be patient. I feel like a backpack full of books came off already. But please don't let dad bring me to a shrink."
"I'm sure we can find one that can make you like girls."
"I wish. But I hear it doesn't work like that. I'm just terrified that my penis won't ever work right."
Thinking, "Oh my! The 'p' word," she tries to smile, "Oh you're so young. It's not suppose to work yet."
32 PLAY BALL OR CRAWL
Barely getting the words off his lips, "Morning, Mom. Come back."
"Oh Jeff, I need to get ready for work. Let me walk you over to Sean's room."
… "Good morning, Jeff. You're dressed already!"
"I guess I never took my clothes off last night."
"Come to Daddy."
Still lifeless, Jeff cuddles close to Sean.
"Why don't you go to the bathroom, Jeff. Then we'll cuddle again."
"I can wait. You know, ever since God spoke through me, terrible things keep happening to me."
"Yes, my father says that happens often. Spiritual warfare."
"I don't understand."
"Well, let's say you're playing dodge ball. If you get into the thick of battle you're likely to get hit. If you stay back, playing it safe, you probably wouldn't get hit."
"So I should play it safe."
"Well, if you play it safe, you really aren't even playing the game."
"That's true. Well, what's that got to do with me now?"
"You've been getting closer to God. So that makes you a target in spiritual dodge ball."
"I don't like this game. I'm mad at God."
"I can relate."
With signs of life returning for the first time, "You can! What happened to you?"
Actually raising his voice, "Hey! What are you talking about?"
"Well, before starting to coach your baseball team, I got into a real cozy lifestyle. How nice not to get hurt. Roxanne saw how my lifestyle slowly would kill me like a cancer. She managed to get me to crawl out of my shell onto your ballfield. Think of the grief Fred caused me, and Alex, … and you!"
"But I wouldn't have traded it for the world! I'm so thankful."
Sighing in relief, "Thanks, Sean."
"Just think, I get to marry your mom, by putting up with you." Jeff starts pounding Sean. Sean can't hold back the laughter any longer. Soon Jeff laughs so hard that it hurts.
"I think you just soiled yourself."
"No I didn't."
"Jeff, I know what I smell."
"Please let me bring you to the bathroom."
Jeff curls up into a ball. Sean gently picks him up, carries him to the john, and sits him down. Suddenly everything gushes out. Jeff desperately clings onto Sean. Sean flushes the toilet, but lets Jeff keep holding him.
After cleaning up, "Say Jeff, how about we go to the Birch Aquarium today?"
"You gotta work."
Getting sad, "No, I still feel so dirty."
"Oh, you wanna shower?"
Jeff smiles, "I'd love too! … I'm scared!"
"I understand. You can crawl back into your cocoon. You'll turn into a butterfly some other day."
33 DARE CARE
Trying to hide his nervousness, "Hello. I'm Fred. Is Cindy home?"
"Oh yes, you're the boy Cindy talked with at the beach. She will be happy to see you. Won't you come in."
Real sweet, "Hi Fred. I think about you every day."
"You do?! I mean, hi Cindy!"
"You're so much like my Daddy."
"Yes. My mom says he used to be rough and gruff. When he fell in love with her he changed completely. Then she fell in love with him."
"Wow, but I changed before meeting you."
"But I saw how you bullied everyone in school. I saw how you changed. I fell in love with you but never dared to tell you. I couldn't believe my eyes when you showed up at Black's Beach."
"I didn't think anyone could love me. I couldn't get you off my mind this week. But I didn't think to get your phone number. But I managed to find out where you live. Then I got too scared to come. Each day I would start walking over and then chicken out. Yesterday I tried four times. I prayed when I got scared this morning. Then it wasn't so bad anymore."
Totally sweet, "Do you plan to go to the beach tomorrow?"
"Cindy, I don't know if I dare again."
"Why don't you go with us?"
"Really?! I'd love to! Don't let me change my mind. But don't you need to ask your mom?"
"I already did. You want to see my computer games?"