Silent 31-35

Chapter 31.

10.17.2003

Finally they released him home from the hospital. Michael was still surprised of how tired he felt; tired and weak. Sam lead him to sit on the couch, he knelt down in front of him, and looked at him carefully.

“You need anything? Some, tea? Something to eat? Can I get you a blanket? I…” Sam started asking. Michael smiled to him weakly and brought his finger to his lips, to interrupt him.

“Relax my love, I’ll be fine…I would love a cup of tea though.” He said. Sam rose up immediately, to fur-fill his need. Michael looked after him, with a smile. He felt his mother’s hand stroking his hair; he turned to look at her. She circled the couch, and sat next to him.

“How are you feeling dear?”

“I feel fine.” He answered. Evelyn looked at her son with worry; she feared that the smile on his face was only a mask to cover his true pain inside. She knew her son well, she knew that he didn’t want others to worry because of him, but he would need their help. He needed to talk about it, to get the pain out and start the proper healing. She lift her hand up to his face, and looked at him sadly, but smiling.

“You still won’t talk to us.” She said quietly. Michael looked at her with surprise; he lifted his own hand up to touch hers. “What do you mean? I do talk.” Evelyn stroked his cheek gently.

“You always say that you’re fine, but are you fine? You’re eyes have always given you away, I look at you and I…You’re trying to protect us, when you really wouldn’t need to.” She said to him. Michael backed up from her slightly.

“I’m fine mom, really, I am.” He sighted and looked at his mother, hoping to convince her.

Sam returned into the living room with a tea-tray. Michael took the cup into his hands.

“Sam has a birthday coming up, should start arranging something, a party perhaps.” Michael said, wanting to change the subject. Evelyn sighted and looked at Sam, who also seemed worried. Sam sat next to Michael.

”I thought that we could just celebrate it here, just the two of us.” Sam said looking at him. Michael burrowed his eyebrows. “Sam I know you want a party, so just stop pretending! Stop treating me like I could brake at any moment! I’m not sick, I am not broken! I do not need your pity, or your worry! So stop it!” He shouted, rising up. The anxiety inside him seemed to grow, he was breathing fast, and the room seemed to shift in his eyes. Hands were wrapped around him, to pull him into a gentle hug. He hadn’t even realized, that he was crying. Sam was whispering soothingly into his ear, as his hands were stroking his back. Michael was still shaking; he remembered them, his rapist, the hold seemed to tighten around him, but it was only in his mind. He couldn’t get free, he thought. They were coming. He struggled free from this hold, and took few unsure steps backwards. He felt so lost, and so scared. It had been Sam, who had been holding him, so why had he pulled away from him? He wasn’t sure anymore. Evelyn came to her son, hugged him gently.

“You must be just tired dear, you should get some sleep.” She whispered, and led him into the bedroom.

Sam sat on down the couch; his heart was aching from the thought that Michael might have been scared of his touch. Henry was sitting on an armchair, opposite from Sam, and he looked at the depressed looking young man closely.

“Give him some time Samuel. He’s just confused, we must understand that. I know that I would be too, if I were him…” He started, and then after thinking his words, he continued. “He doesn’t let me touch him either, have you not noticed? Only his mother and, that friend of yours. Kitty? Was that her name?” Henry asked. Sam nodded his head, and looked at the man with surprise. “Anyway, he lets them touch himself with ease. And I have seen him letting you close at times, so do not worry, and do not give up on him. He needs you now, more than ever. Give him what he needs, and I’m sure that in time, he will let you close again, like before. You just need to have patience. Michael however is a very strong person mentally…I remember when he was a little boy, and one time, he fell down on a horse. We were all terrified that he had hurt himself really badly, but as I ran to him, he just looked up to me and said; “Daddy, I want to try again. Lift me up” Well this is so much worse than that, but still, he has a strong will to fight, he will pull through this, I know it.” Sam was really surprised now, Henry hadn’t talked to him much, and now he was comforting him? Telling him to stay by Michael’s side? Sam was opening his mouth, not sure what to say. “Do not look so surprised. I may seem like an old man, stuck to my own stubborn ways, but peoples do change, or at least I have. I see things now more clearly then I did before. Michael is my son, he is gay, and he loves you. I accept that now…And I do love my son, I will not see him hurt again, if you do that, then you have me as an enemy, and trust me you do not want that. Is this clear?”

“Yes, Mr. Wills, of course. I love Michael, I will always love him, and I’ll always stay by him.” Sam told him.


Evelyn covered her son up, with a blanket, she stroked his hair gently. His mothers touch calmed Michael, it made him feel save.

“Try to sleep now sweetheart.” She whispered.

“Will you be here when I wake up?” Michael asked.

“We’ll be staying in a hotel for tonight, but we’ll see you again tomorrow.” She answered and kissed his forehead.

“I missed you.” He muttered.

“And I missed you dear, so much…Your father has to go back to work soon, but if you want, I could stay here with you.”

“It’s okay mom, don’t worry, I’ll be fine, and I’ll have Sam with me.”

“You’ll come home for Christmas with him, won’t you?” She asked.

“Of course, I miss home.” Michael whispered. Evelyn smiled.

“Sleep well…I love you.”

“I love you too mom.”

His mother left the room, and closed the door after her. Michael laid back in bed, not really wanting to fall a sleep, he was afraid of his dreams. He wondered when the trial would be, he guessed that it would bee soon. Jean was the only one who was still free, and no one had heard a word from Patrick either. Patrick would be arrested too, if they found him, they suspected him of assisting in this crime. Michael was scared, what if it would never end? He cried silently, shivering under the blanket. The memories were cruel, and they did not leave him alone. “Whore…mine…so tight…always mine.” The words echoed in his mind and he squeezed his eyes close. The pain, he would never forget the pain.

Sam heard his lover screaming, and ran quickly into the bedroom. Evelyn and Henry had already left.

“No, no, no…No more! Stop!” Michael screamed in hysteria, he was twirling on the bed.

“Michael!” Sam called, but did not get an answer. He sat beside him, and pulled him close to his chest.

“No, no, no, let go! Let go of me! No more! Let go!” Michael screamed. He was hitting Sam’s chest with his fists. He didn’t seem to understand where he was, or who was he with.

“Relax honey, it’s me. You’re safe, calm down, I won’t hurt you.” Sam said, trying to keep his own voice calm. Michael was still struggling, and Sam had to hold on to his wrist to stop him from hitting him. Sam had tears in his eyes, he was scared. Michael still acted like he didn’t know him.

“Michael stop. It’s me here, Sam, you’re home, and you’re safe.” He whispered Michael was still trembling; he let out a small, desperate sigh, but finally calmed down and let Sam hold him in his arms.

“It’s okay…. it’s okay.” Sam kept saying. He heard how Michael was crying now.

Michael’s grip on him tightened, his legs were wrapped around Sam, and he rested his head on his shoulder.

“I’m sorry Sam, I’m so scared. I need you, I’m sorry. Don’t leave me, stay with me…scared, need you…” He whispered, holding on to him, like fearing that he might disappear.

“Is this what you fear; that I would leave you?” Sam asked carefully.

“Y-yes, why should you want me anymore? Why should you want a whore? I’m no good…” He whispered. Sam held him close; tears fell down on his face.

“I do want you, I’ll always want you. And don’t you ever say that again, you are not a whore, and you are good. You are my everything. My angel, my life, I’ll never leave you. Come what may, remember? We will not let them break us up; no one can do that, okay?” Sam looked at him firmly; he held his hands on both side of his face. Michael nodded.

“I love you Sam” He whispered through his tears, his lips almost touching Sam’s. Sam kissed him carefully on the lips and on his cheeks.

“I love you too, always.” He whispered.

Sam brought him some sleeping pills and a glass of water. Michael took them, and then lay back down on the bed.

“Sing something to me.” Michael asked and took his hand into his.

“I don’t know if I can, what should I sing?” Sam asked, smiling.

“I know you can, sing something, anything.”

“Alright well here it goes, and don’t you dare laugh…” Sam warned.

“I won’t laugh.” Michael whispered.

“Well, this is the first that came to my mind.” Sam said and started singing, with a voice, no louder than a whisper.

“Twinkle, twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are, Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are…” Michael smiled.

“I loved it, sing me more, until I’ll fall a sleep.” He asked and closed his eyes. Sam started singing again.

Sam didn’t know how long he laid there. Michael was sleeping already, he looked so peaceful now. Sam touched his face gently.

“I love you.” He whispered, and kissed his forehead. He wished that he could take all those demons from his mind away, and make him happy again. Sam touched his lips carefully. He missed making love with Michael, but he was quite sure, that it would take a long time before Michael would be ready for that. He could wait, and he would wait, as long as it would take. Sam staid close to him, closed his eyes, and finally he fell a sleep too.

11.6.2003

Michael laid on the couch, wrapped under the blanket. He stared into the emptiness.

“I brought some supper from the Chinese, come to eat?” Sam called from the kitchen. “Michael?” He called again, still not getting an answer. He came into the living room. “Come to eat darling.” He saw. Michael looked up at him, with tired eyes. He rose up, but did not say a word.

They sat in front of the table.

“You should eat love.” Sam said with worry, when Michael hadn’t even touched his plate. Michael took his fork and started moving the food around with it. Finally he took some on his fork, and brought it into his mouth. He chewed it slowly, and swallowed it down like it was something hard to do. Sam’s heart was aching as he watched this. There were days when he seemed fine, and then there were more days like this one. Michael didn’t talk so often anymore, and he barely ate. Sam wondered was this change for the worse because of the fact that the day of the trial was nearing. It was hard to watch from the side, as his lover seemed to fade away, little, by little. He wanted to help, but didn’t know what to do.

“I don’t feel so good, I’ll eat later.” Michael said finally, rose up and went back into the living room, to lie on the couch. Sam looked after him with sadness. He felt so powerless. Ho rose up, cleaned the table and walked into the living room with him. He sat down on the armchair, and looked at Michael quietly.

The pain inside him didn’t leave him alone. He was unhappy, the anguish inside him was spreading, his moods were flinging. His appetite seemed to have vanished. He was tired. He pondered about his own life, and he started to feel even more that it had all been his own fault. So many things spoke for it; so many men had used him, so many thought of him as a whore. Maybe they were right? How many times had he been raped? He didn’t even remember anymore. It usually didn’t happen to one person so many times, why he had been so unlucky? Maybe Jean had been right? Maybe he did send out some signals? Why else had it happen so many times? ‘Not normal’ He kept thinking. ‘My fault.’ He thought right after. Even Tony had once remarked him, about how he flirted with peoples. ’Maybe I asked for it?’ He wondered and closed his eyes, as he felt tears gathering into them.

-Flash back-
6.2.1997

Tony sat next to Michael in the park. It was a warm, beautiful day. Michael leaned his back against the tree, eating a Popsicle. Tony was doing his Spanish homework, in which Michael had agreed to help him with.

“Alright, listen if this sounds right….Hola, mi nombre es Tony, Soy 17-años, Soy de Plymouth.” Tony said, and was looking at his book.

“Michael?” He asked, when his friend didn’t answer. Tony lift his gaze up, and looked at the way his friend was eating his popsicle, his mouth opening, it was somehow really disturbing and…Hot.. Michael was looking straight at Sean, who sat a little further away, looking back at Michael. Sean was looking at him really oddly, Tony noticed.
“Michael? What in earth are you doing?” Tony asked, he felt as though he blushed. Michael pulled the Popsicle out of his mouth and looked at him.

“What do you mean? I’m eating my sherbet of course.” He answered, blinking his big eyes, and sounding really innocent. “Well, um…Could you eat it in a more, um…In a way that it wouldn’t be so distracting?” Michael blinked his eyes at this. “How is this distracting?”

“Well, you are eating it like…You looked at Sean, and you were sucking on that like…” Tony stammered, his cheeks were burning. Michael started to laugh.

“Like what Tony?” He asked, still laughing.

“Well alright, I noticed that Sean was staring at me, he always stares at me, God only knows why, but I thought that if he wanted to look at me so, I give him something worthy to stare at…I just sat here, minding my own business, enjoying this fine day, and he started to stare at me.” Michael explained.

“You are so weird, did you know that?” Tony told him smiling, and shook his head. Michael stuck his tongue out at him.

“Well it’s a good thing, you have gotten used to it by now Tony.” He said then. Tony looked at him again.

“You flirt really often, you do it all the time, with everybody.” Tony grinned.

”What? I wasn’t flirting.” Michael tried.

“Sure you weren’t.” Tony laughed. Michael looked at him, a bit stunned expression on his face.

“You do flirt, and you do it a lot! You may not realize it yourself, it comes so naturally from you, but I have been watching. At this very moment, there are at least five different girls, who are having serious fantasies about you, thinking that they have a big chance with you, because you have flirted with them; Sarah, Jeanna, Rebecka, Annie, and of course Jenny, who by the way, is quite mad at you because of these others. And I’m dying with jealousy, along with the other guys. Five most gorgeous girls, drooling after you! And you don’t even seem to notice it!” Tony continued.

“Don’t be absurd Tony, I do not flirt with everyone.” Michael snorted and continued. “But about those five, how am I supposed to help it, if they keep throwing themselves at me in every direction? It’s quite amusing really.” Michael grinned.

“But you do encourage them, with the way you are acting…Well alright, I’ll be you for one moment, and you can be some new person.” Michael looked at Tony and raised his eyebrow with suspicion. “Hi! I’m Michael Wills. *blink, blink*” Tony said, with a tempting smile. “What’s your name? *smile*…Wow, where have you bought these jeans? They look so great on you!” Michael poked at Tony’s side playfully.

“Stop it Tony, I’m not like that! If I would flirt, I wouldn’t do it like that! That was just stupid.” Michael laughed.

“Well in any case, you do it a lot!”

“What ever Tony…”
 

Chapter 32.

November 10th

Michael sat next to Sam in a small room talking with his lawyer about the trial, that would be held on November 12th “Now, don’t you worry about a thing, we will win this, there’s no question about it. This trial is more about how long sentences they will be getting. And with that, we have a good chance to send them behind bars for many years.” The lawyer, named Peter Jones, age 45, explained to them. He was a very well known prosecutor; Sam had wanted the very best man for this job.

“We have two new witnesses, who are repaired to witness against Richard Matthews. The other one is a woman, who has known him for many years, her name is Lily Doyle. Does this name say anything to you?” Mr. Jones asked. “No.” Michael answered, after trying to remember had he ever heard the name before. “Well, she thought so, but she did wish to meet with you, before the trial, if that’s alright with you?” “I-I guess.” Michael said and looked at Sam, who squeezed his hand and smiled gently. “And then we had a call from a man named Jack Linse. A very important witness, I believe you know him?” “What, Jack? He’s here?” Michael asked in surprise. “Yes, he read of the case in the paper, and called us, he’s coming to Paris tomorrow.” Peter smiled. “Oh, my god, oh my god…Did you hear that Sam?! Jack is coming here! He’s alive!” Michael smiled to him, seeming genuinely happy for the first time in a long time. “Yes I heard.” Sam smiled looking at him warmly. “He did say that he wished to meet with you too, right after the trial.” Mr. Jones added.

They discussed about other small details, for example, there would be no press allowed inside, the case was being dealt behind closed doors, no outsiders would be allowed in. Then Mr. Jones got a call. “Alright, Mrs. Doyle is here now, are you ready to see her?” He asked then. Michael nodded his head carefully, and watched as the lawyer rose up. “I’ll go and get her.” He said and left the room. Michael wasn’t sure what to expect, who this woman was, and why did she want to meet with him. Sam stroked his thigh soothingly and smiled to him when meeting with his eyes.

The door opened, and a woman in her mid forties entered. She had brown hair, up to her shoulders, and striking blue eyes, she was lean and not very tall. She looked friendly, and somehow sad, even through her smile.

Lily looked at the young man, and she froze. Those eyes; it was like looking at Evan all over again. Sure there were differences, but at the same time, there was so much common. She felt the tears in her eyes. She walked forward, still looking at him, and only him.

“Hello, I’m Lily Doyle” She said and offered her hand, which the young man took. “Michael Harris.” He said. Lily sat down. ”Oh my God, you look so much like him, your eyes…” She started and almost reached out to touch him, but quickly pulled her hand back, remembering that she had no such right. “I’m sorry, you must not have any idea who I am…I have known Ricky for…oh God…can’t even remember how long, and only now I found out what he truly is; a cold hearted monster, who does not have the right to live…You see, when I was young, I loved a boy named Evan Bristley, Ricky was our friend and…” Lily started. “And Ricky raped him when they were 16, killing him by doing this, yes, I know who Evan was.” Michael stopped her, a little shocked expression on his face, he had always wondered about Evan and his family.

Michael touched her hand. “I’m so sorry I…” He started, not really knowing what to say. “You know this? How? I mean, I just…” Lily started. ”Ricky had his old stuff in his place, and a video. One time I found them, and Ricky found me watching the tape. He told me everything he had done to him, and he…” Michael had to stop for awhile, when the memories of that day started to return. Ricky had indeed told him everything, every single horrifying detail, Ricky had raped him that day, more than just once, whispering to him, telling him…No he did not want to remember this, not now.

Lily had tears in her eyes; she held his hand between hers. “Ricky is a monster…None of us saw it, I still have a hard time to believe that…” She cried, struggling to say what she wanted to say. “…That summer before he died, Evan once told me, that he thought that Ricky had been acting weird lately. We talked about it, we thought that he was just jealous of our relationship, from the fact that Evan had me and he was alone…We were going to set him up with someone, we had no idea that…Ricky was acting weird because he wanted him. And now looking back the time, it all makes sense; the way he was looking at Evan, the way he talked to him just before…Why didn’t I see it then? If I had, then…” Michael looked at the woman feeling sad for her, he wasn’t sure what he should say, but it seemed that he should try to say something.

“I lived with Ricky, for almost four years, and in all that time, no one even suspected that I wouldn’t have been his nephew. I was too afraid to tell, too afraid to speak out loud, and he…” Michael had to take a deep breath, before he could continue. He had tried so hard to forget about those years, and now, talking about them, felt so incredibly hard. “…I believe I know him, almost better than anyone, better than I would want to. I have seen his true side, and it’s anything but pretty, I have also seen the side he shows to the others, and yes, he can play that role so well, that… I swear there were plenty of times that I wondered was he even human…What I’m trying to tell you, is that you shouldn’t wonder what if. Ricky has a way to take anything that he wants in one way or another. There’s nothing you could have done, Ricky is the only one to blame.”

Lily smiled sadly. “I’m so sorry about what he did to you. You seem so…I see a lot of Evan in you, in your eyes and, well…He was a good person like you, I hate Ricky for what he did to both of you, even when I don’t really know you. I will testify against him, and I can only hope that what I have to say, will give him more time in prison. He would deserve to die, I pray for it to happen soon, and that he will suffer a great deal of pain in the process.”

They talked for a little while longer. Lily asked could she perhaps write to him, every once and awhile, to see how he would be doing. Michael agreed, he didn’t know this woman, but she seemed nice enough, and he felt sorry for her. Michael thought that the reason that she wanted to keep in touch with him, was because he reminded her of the love of her life. If it would give her some happiness or comfort, then he would be more than happy to write to her, and receive letters back.

Michael felt exhausted once they came back home with Sam. He couldn’t stop thinking about Jack, Lily, Evan and the trial. He sat on the couch, and wrapped a blanket around himself. Sam sat next to him. “What are you thinking? You seem to be somewhere far away with your thoughts.” Sam asked, and placed his arm around his shoulders. Michael laid his head against his chest. “I’m thinking about Jack mostly, can’t believe that I’m going to see him soon, he’s the reason that I survived those years. That I made it without killing myself, or loosing my mind.” Michael whispered. “I need to thank him when I see him.” Sam said smiling, and stoked his lover’s hair.

“That’s not all that you’re thinking though, is it?” Sam asked then. “No it isn’t, you always see through me so well…” Michael looked up to him and smiled weakly. He then laid his head back, against his chest. ”…I was thinking about that woman; Lily, and Evan. I was also thinking about the trial, I’m scared, I won’t try to deny that I wouldn’t be.” “Do you remember what you said to Lily?” Sam asked softly. “What do you mean?” Michael asked in confusion. “You said that she shouldn’t wonder what if, and that Ricky is the only one to blame for what happened.” Sam said and looked at him carefully. “Yes… but why do you ask?” Michael lifted his head up again, so that he could see Sam’s face. Sam smiled gently, and touched his cheek.

“Well, what I was wondering: why do you give absolution to everyone else, but yourself? Why do you still blame yourself? And don’t tell me that you don’t because I know you do.” Michael was opening his mouth, not sure what to answer. “I…It’s easier to forgive for everyone else, but yourself. I do blame myself; I think that I could have done things differently… I know now, that I have always played with fire. I did sense danger, but I never really thought that it would get me for real. I thought that nothing could really hurt me, that bad things happened to others, not to me. I was vain and I…” Sam stopped him by pressing a finger onto his lips. “Not any vainer than anyone else in this world. You were a just a teen-ager, who saw his whole life ahead of himself, with the possibility’s, and who thought too well of people.” “You didn’t know me back then Sam, but I know what I was, and I was vain.” Michael said, turning his eyes away from him. “Alright, I can’t argue with you, but I can only tell you this; what ever you were, or weren’t, you are not the one to be blamed. You’re innocent, and you are a good, loving person. Please stop blaming yourself for nothing.” Sam turned his face to meet with his. “I’ll try Sam, but that’s all that I can promise right now.”

11.12.2003 The trial.

It was horrible to sit there, in front of all those people, and to know and feel how they watched him, especially Ricky; his piercing black eyes fixed on him tightly, Michael could feel it, and he felt so dirty. The defender approached, and his heart started to beat wildly in his chest.

“Isn’t it true, that men have paid for having sex with you, during one point of your life? Simply answer yes or no.” The man asked. “Y-yes.” Michael answered feeling a shamed. He quickly glanced over at Ricky, realizing that he shouldn’t have. Ricky just made him feel more uncomfortable by smiling to him, and licking his lips, so that he was the only one to notice this. “Your lifestyle has been quite…hmm…shall we say; precarious? Did any of the defendants ever buy sexual services from you?” Michael looked at him, confused, in truth he wasn’t sure what to answer to this. Joe had been with him in bed, more than once during those years, but had he paid for him? Michael didn’t know, or remember. All he did know was that he had never wanted to be a whore; he had never wanted any of it. But the question was; had they bought it from him? That would be no, because he had never sold himself, Ricky had.

“No.” He finally answered. “No? Are you sure? Maybe you left with these men voluntary, and now your conscience is weighing on you and you decide to accuse them of rape.” The man smiled as he said this. “Objection! The counsel is making his own absurd conclusions. ” The prosecutor cried out. “The objection approved.” Michael felt that it was hard to breath, he shivered. ‘Dirty, so dirty.’ He thought to himself.

“How old were you, when you first met with Mr. Matthews?” The prosecutor asked. “17” “Only 17?..How long did you live with him?” “From November 1997 to September 2001” Michael answered. “During this time, you didn’t keep in touch with your family, can I ask why?” “Because I was afraid. Ricky forbid me, he um, he had video tapes and some photographs of me, he said that he would spread them out if I left him. I didn’t know how to get out, he told me that he would find me, if I would try to run…and well, then he did…”

“Did you ever get the money for yourself, when you had sex with different men?” “No” “Did you agree with having sex?” “No, I never wanted it.” “Who got the money?” “Richard Matthews.” “So let me get this right; he sold your ‘services’ to other men, and took the money for himself?” “Yes.” “Without your approval in having sex with them?” “Yes.”
“Objection, this is irrelevant to the case.” The defender cried out. “Your Honour, I think that this is very important, to know what kind of man Richard Matthews is, and what lead to this situation.” “Objection denied.” The judge said.

“Two years ago you left him?” “Yes. I got help from Jean Parouxe.” Michael answered. “Who was also involved in this crime that we are dealing here today, but who we haven’t been able to locate yet.” The prosecutor cleared out. He asked some more questions, and then finally: “How many times were you raped during the abduction?” Michael had been afraid of this question. “I…I can’t remember.” “Can you guess? I know that this must be hard for you.” “Um..25?…I can’t remember…”

The prosecutor showed the jury the photographs that showed all his injuries right when he had come to the hospital, he also showed them the doctor’s report. Michael was free to leave right after his own testimony. It was too rough for him to stay there the whole trial. He would be back to hear their sentences.

Sam stayed to listen to the whole thing, while Kitty was keeping company to Michael at their home. It was very hard for Sam to hear all that had happened. To see the men, that had done that to his love, to hear them testify. Ricky gave him the creeps, especially, when the man kept staring at him from the stand, looking like the trial meant nothing to him, that it was just some kind of a big joke or game to him. He even had the nerve to smile to him, Sam felt ill.

The fifth day, and they read the sentences, Sam held Michael’s hand tightly in his. “Richard Matthews; 15-years in prison, for attempted murder, deprivation of freedom, and exceptional coarse rape.” For the others, it had been five to ten years in prison. Michael sighted with relieve after hearing this, but it seemed like too short a sentence, for a man like Ricky. No amount of time spent in prison, would ever make a better person out of him. Michael was quite sure that Ricky would still hurt someone, and they were fools if they couldn’t see that. Michael wondered how long his sentence would have been, had they found all the photographs and videos from his apartment, but someone had cleared all of those away, before the police had gotten there. The tapes during his abduction, had also disappeared.

**************************

Michael could hardly believe his eyes when he saw Jack outside the court room. The other man smiled to him warmly and waved his hand. Michael ran too him, and they hugged each others tightly. “Oh God Jack, I can’t believe…I missed you so…” Michael whispered. “Good to see you Mikey.” Jack smiled. Michael cried against his friend. “Hey, don’t cry sweetie, we should be happy, we’re finally free. They are behind bars, we don’t have to be scared anymore.” Jack said cheerfully. Michael looked at him. “Free?” He asked. “Yes.” Jack answered, and hugged him tightly once more. ‘But are we truly ever free?’ Michael questioned silently.

“This is my boyfriend; Brian. Got myself an English man.” Jack grinned, looking at the man beside him. Brian was over thirty, dark haired, tall man, who had friendly grey eyes. ”Hello, nice to meet you.” Michael shook his hand. “Nice to meet you too, I have heard a lot of you” Brian smiled. “Oh, and this is my boyfriend Sam…Sam this is Jack and Brian.” Jack took Sam’s hand, and smiled. “Wow, gorgeous one you have here Mikey. Damn, you make a great looking couple”

Sam invited Jack and his boyfriend to their place. “Ever since I met Michael, I have developed some sort of fetish to British men, and now I’m in a room with three! I must be in heaven!” Jack laughed. “You haven’t changed at all Jack.” Michael smiled, and looked at him happily. “Nope, many men have tried to change Jack Linse, but they never could!” He laughed. “Brian, could you come help me with the tea? I think these two would like to chat by themselves for awhile.” Sam asked smiling. “Yes, of course.” The older man replied and stood up. He gave a kiss on Jack’s cheek.

“He seems like a decent short of fellow.” Michael commented. “Yeah, can you believe that I have someone like that? It was a big shock at first, I mean, he has never even hit me, or never said; Jack go give my friends some ass, suck their cocks, or anything like that, it’s weird. One time his friend’s friend tried to grope me, and you know what Brian did?! He hit him, he actually hit him, and threw him out.” Jack said, sounding like that really was something really odd thing for Brian to do. “That’s what a relationship is supposed to be like Jack. He loves you, he doesn’t want to share you, or see you get hurt. You deserve a man like him.” Michael told him. “Well, I don’t know. I think he sees a bit more in me than what I really am. He helped me to get rid of drugs. Found me once, beaten up pretty badly. I continued on the streets after I left Joe, and then one night I went with two guys, who liked it really rough. So… Well, it’s not like it would have been anything new really…But anyway, as I said he found me, took care of me. When I was better, he took me out to some nice restaurants and stuff. I told him, that ‘babe, you do know that you don’t need to do all this to get into my pants, I’m quite easy to impress, a sure thing really, but he said he wanted to spoil me. I think he has a screw loose somewhere, but I do love him.” Jack was smiling. “I’m so happy to hear this Jack, I really am. But you shouldn’t ask why he loves you, I mean who couldn’t love you? I love you, I owe you my life.” Michael took his friend into a tight hug. “You know Jack, I always thought of you as my first boyfriend, I still do.” “I thought that of you too Michael, I love you, always will. Now we can keep in touch!” Jack said happily. Then he looked at Michael and his expression darkened.

“It did come at a high price though.” Jack started looking at him. Then he continued. “I feel so terrible for what happened to you. When I read from the paper, that they had arrested them, and for what reason, I knew straight away that it was you, even though they didn’t tell your identity…I’m so sorry Michael. And there I thought, that Jean was an okay fellow. Damn him.” Jack pulled him into a hug again. ”I thought so too…” Michael whispered. He cried quietly against Jack, he remembered it all again. “It’s alright. They’re in jail now, and Ricky’s reputation is ruined forever. Everyone knows what he is now.” Jack comforted and then continued. ”That Sam of yours, he seems very nice…and extremely hot, almost as beautiful as you.” Jack grinned. Michael looked at him and smiled weakly. “He is wonderful. I love him so much.” Michael whispered.

“I’m moving to England with Brian. To London. Finally I get to go there, to see for myself how hot the British are.” Jack chuckled softly. “Really?” “Yes, Brian even took me to China few months ago, and as it turned out, the Chinese aren’t yellow, and they don’t walk upside down. The things you learn, when growing up, oh boy.” Jack sighted, and looked at Michael, they both started to laugh.

Sam and Brian returned into the living room. “What’s so funny?” Sam asked smiling as he sat next to Michael. It was so nice to see him laugh like this. “Oh, nothing really, it’s just Jack, being Jack.” He said then. “Oh, yes, Jack being Jack. I know how that goes.” Brian smiled wrapping his arm around his younger lover. They talked long into the night, then Jack and Brian had to return to their hotel. They promised to keep in touch in the future.

Chapter 33.

Seeing Jack had cheered Michael up for awhile, but the depression soon followed. It was hard to go on like before, he wanted so much for things to be like they had once been, but he found that the healing wasn’t as simple as that. The nightmares hadn’t left him, and he was still too scared to let Sam touch him in the way that he had before his abduction.

He sat in the bedroom, on the wide window sill, and stared outside. The weather was very depressing; grey sky, rain pouring down heavily, it went with his mood perfectly though. He saw Sam’s reflection on the window. He was standing at the doorway looking at him silently. Michael turned to look at him, he tried to smile. “Can I bring you anything?” Sam asked. “No thank you. I’m fine, just a bit tired, that’s all.” Michael answered. Sam looked at him, with doubt in his mind; he wondered how long it would take for Michael to be truly okay. He prayed that it would happen eventually.

“Kitty is coming here soon.” Sam said then. “Oh? I was thinking of trying to get some sleep, but…um, do you think that she would mind terribly if I did?” Michael asked. “No, of course not, I think sleep would do you some good, I have noticed that you haven’t slept so well lately. What if I would bring you some hot chocolate?” Sam suggested. “I would like that, thank you Sam.”

******

“How is he doing?” Kitty asked quietly, they sat in the kitchen drinking tea. “Well, not so well I’m afraid…I think that the trial was really tough on him…He eats too little, doesn’t talk about what’s bothering him and…” Sam lifted his hand up to his temple. “I don’t know what to do Kitty; I don’t know how to help him through this.” He sighted. Kitty squeezed his hand and smiled comfortingly. “It takes time Sam, just give him that. After all, it hasn’t been long since it happened, we can’t expect him to be well straight away.” “Of course not, I know that Kitty…. I just, I hate seeing him so unhappy…” “I know Sam, I hate that too… Look, I searched through the internet last night, and I found some information about this, about what Michael must be going through. Maybe he should talk with someone, you know, a psychiatrist perhaps? I think it would also help him, if he could talk with someone who has been through the same.” Kitty said, she rose up and went to get some papers from her bag. “I think you should read these, you may get some idea of what’s going on inside his mind.” Sam looked through the papers. “Thanks Kitty, I’ll read these later… Anyway, he said that he didn’t want to see some shrink. He snapped at me; he said, that he’s not crazy and he can get through this just fine on his own…He has talked with that friend of his; Jack, I think he helps him a lot.” Sam said, his voice sounding a bit tired, he hadn’t slept so well lately. “Well, it’s a good thing that he has Jack for help.” Kitty said, and took a sip of her tea.

“My birthday party is held on the 29th, by the way.” Sam said next. “So you’re going to have a party? Um, isn’t it too …” “Too early for Michael? Maybe, but I can’t turn his head. You know how stubborn he can be.” Sam sighted. “Oh, yes, I know.” “So I really would need you to come here then, for Michael, and …” “Of course I’ll come Sam, do you honestly think, that I would miss my best friend’s birthday party?” Kitty asked. ”No, I’m Sorry, I’m just so tired Kitty, I …” Sam started. Kitty rose and came to give him a hug. ”I understand Sam, of course I do. I’m always going to be here for you and Michael. I promise.”

****

It was getting late. Sam came into the bedroom, where Michael was already sleeping, after taking his sleeping drugs. He sat next to him on the bed, and touched his face gently. It was hard to believe that only two moths ago, they had been so happy. Such a short time and everything had changed. He remembered the last time that they had made love; it was at the morning of the day, that they had kidnapped Michael. Sam really missed the time when everything had been alright. He had always been a very sexual person, and now his body longed for sex. It was very frustrating to think that there would be none given, for a very long time.

Sam moved the cover down on Michael’s body, just a little, he trice his shirt up, as high as he could without taking it off completely. He felt terrible when doing this, when moving his hand on his lover’s naked chest and stomach. He just missed the touch so bad, he had missed the beauty. If Michael had been awake, he would not let him touch himself this way, to let him see his naked skin. Sam looked if there would be any visible scars, but found none from his front upper body. He didn’t know when he had moved the whole cover a side. He stroked Michael’s thigh and searched his face for any sing that he would wake, but his sleep was deep. His hand found its way onto his lover’s crotch, and he found that his own member started to wake from this. ’My God Sam, what are you doing? Taking an advantage of your boyfriend while he sleeps? You’re no better than them if you continue this.’ Sam thought horrified. He pulled Michael’s shirt back down, and tucked him up carefully. He felt really a shamed of himself, but his arousal, refused to leave him. Sam rose up and left the room, closing the door after him. He went into the living room, and took care of the thing himself.


November 25th

“Happy birthday Samuel, I made you some breakfast.” Michael said, waking him up. Sam yawned deeply, and then opened his eyes slowly. He looked at his lover, with a smile on his lips. Then he looked at the tray that was now placed on his stomach; fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh fruits on a plate, toast, tea and an omelette. “Thank you love.” Sam leaned forward and gave Michael a small kiss on the cheek. Michael lay down on his side. “Oh, God…I’m 27 already, only three more years and I’ll be thirty! Aging is dreadful.” Sam sighted. Michael smiled and touched his face carefully. “You’re still young honey; don’t get your age crisis just yet.” He whispered softly. “I didn’t have time; to buy you anything…I’m sorry…” He added then, looking at him and nipping his bottom lip carefully. “Silly…I don’t need anything; the best gift is waking up next to you, to have you here with me.” Sam smiled lovingly to him. “But I think you should get something, after all it’s your birthday and all…What if I would prepare your favourite supper for you when you come home from work?” “That sounds really good.” Michael rose to sit and kissed Sam’s lips, it was the first time that he made the first move to kiss, since that afoul thing had happened. It was a careful, small kiss, but at least it was a start, Sam thought.

Michael was feeling restless after Sam left; he didn’t feel safe when he was all by himself. And now; he had decided to go out, which made him feel even more nervous. He wanted to give Sam a nice birthday. If only he could act for that day, that everything was like before, that for

This day he could forget about what had happened.

He hated himself, every time he started from Sam’s touch. At times he needed desperately to be held by him, and then there were times that a simple touch could freak him out, it didn’t happen so often anymore, but at times it did. He knew that Sam would never hurt him, but his body and his mind refused to forget what had happened through the hands of other men. The memories of the pain drowned everything else under it. It was panic; under which, his mind couldn’t tell the difference between a friend and an enemy. Sex was now a big, horrible, scaring thing for him; it was equal with pain, it was violence. He tried to force himself to remember all the good times with Sam, the time when it hadn’t hurt, and when it had given him so much pleasure. It was hard to hold on to that memory, but he tried, and he had made his mind up, that he would give Sam more than just hugs and kisses that night. He wanted to be able to enjoy sex, but at the same time, the want and desire made him feel ill. He wasn’t supposed to want sex; he was too dirty and disgusting. Everything was so confusing now. Michael sighed with frustration. He knew that he would need to do something to be able to let Sam closer. He called Paul’s friend Kristijan; the man, that he had first met such a long time ago, when he had still been with Jean.

“Kris.” The man answered. “Hi, this is Michael Harris calling, I don’t know if you still remember me?” “Ah, Michael…Michael from Plymouth, am I right?” “Yes.” “Well, it’s been a long time, how are you?” Obviously the man hadn’t talked with Paul for awhile. “I’m fine thank you, and you?” “Fine, nothing out of the ordinary.” “Look, um, the reason that I called you is because I, um …Well, you told me once, that I could get pot from you, if needed …” “That’s right, and now you would need it?” “Yes.” “Well, I’m home now, if you want to come by here?” “Yes that would be perfect, thanks Kris …”

Michael searched for the address the man had given him, from the map. He dressed in his most slack clothes on that he could find. His heart was beading fast as he walked forward on the streets, he kept his eyes down, walking as fast as he could, trying to be as unnoticeable as he could be. He needed to take a taxi or the subway; he didn’t know which would be better.

He tried the taxi first. He looked at the driver of the taxicab, who waited for him to get in. The driver was a fat, ugly male, in his late forty’s. Michael hesitated. “Are you coming in or not?” The man asked rudely. “Um, no… I’m sorry I …” Michael answered finally, taking few steps back. The man shook his head. “Damn tourists.” He muttered while driving away. Michael felt really stupid, but he was pretty much afraid of all strange men now. So he would take the subway, and pray that it wouldn’t be too crowded, and that no one would try to speak to him, or touch him.

Finally he reached the building where Kristjan lived. He took the elevator to the right floor and rang the doorbell. “Hi, come on in.” Kristjan asked. Michael tried to smile, and lowered the hood of his jacket down. The door closed after him, and Michael stayed close to it. “Can I offer you anything? Coffee or tea?” The man asked looking at him with interest, noticing how nervous the young man looked. He couldn’t help but to admire his beauty, he had remembered that this young man had been gorgeous, but damn, he was even more handsome than he had remembered. “No thank you, I’m in a slight hurry.” Michael answered, he wanted to go back home and quickly.

“Okay, so how much do you need? “ “Um, I don’t know, not too much.” Kristjan disappeared in one of the rooms. Michael’s heart was still beading madly. The man returned, and handed him a small bag of weed. “Here, would you want anything stronger? Ecstasy perhaps?” He asked then. ”No! I mean, this is just fine.” Michael said quickly. Kristjian smiled; there was something very intriguing in this young man. Michael handed him the money. “Well, just call me if you need more….or even if it would be just for some company you need. I’m always at your service.” The man said and winked at him. It only made Michael feel more nervous. “Um, okay…Thanks, good bye!” Michael replied quickly and left.

It felt relieving to be home again. Michael thought that it would be best to start the cooking first. He prepared the roast and put it in the oven. Then he laid the table nicely. ‘I’m just like some freaking house wife.’ He thought to himself, slightly amused by this. He wondered what Tony would say if he saw him now. He shook his head and tried to concentrate on the following night.

He took a long, hot bath, trying to get as clean as he could. He could feel that horrible scar on his lower back; RM. He shivered, he wanted for it to just disappear. He started scrubbing himself compulsively, wanting all the dirt away. The whispers filled his mind once more; “Whore…mine…whore…This is what you want, you slut.”

Michael dried himself with a towel; he placed a large plaster over his scar. He didn’t want Sam to see it, and he was afraid, that if he was too stoned, he could start undressing and forget all about the scar; Sam could see it, and think that he was disgusting. He sighted deeply, and dressed in clean clothes. He came into the living room, and fixed himself the pot cigarette. He wondered if Sam would notice, that he had smoked it, or would he just think that he was slightly drunk? He knew that his boyfriend didn’t approve of drugs of any kind, and there had been a time when he had been the same, but now…Well, he thought that Sam wouldn’t complain if he would get some… Michael went outside to smoke.


Sam came back home from work, it smelled really good inside, the lights were dimmed, and there was some peaceful Irish music playing. He walked into the living room, and saw few candles on the living room table. The apartment looked more beautiful than ever before.

“Hello honey, had a good day?” Michael asked smiling, leaning on the wall of the kitchen doorway. Sam looked at him admiring the way he looked. He was feeling slightly confused; it was like he had walked into the past. “Wow, you have done wonders in here.” He sighted. “Come to eat, the supper is ready.” Michael said and walked into the kitchen. Michael handed him a glass of wine and they both sat down. “This looks really good.” Sam said and tasted his wine. He looked at his boyfriend, who smiled to him seductively, drinking his wine. There was something strange in Michael’s eyes, Sam noticed, but couldn’t figure out what it was.

Michael looked at Sam closely. ‘Sam is like an angel, blue eyed, golden haired angel. ` He thought, and couldn’t help, but to smile. His own voice sounded so strange, Sam’s voice sounded strange. The colours of the room, the lights and the shadows mixed together bizarrely. His skin was burning. Michael drank some more wine, and touched the skin of his own cheek; it felt so smooth and soft. Sam asked something. He hadn’t heard what it was, he tried to concentrate, and smiled to his boyfriend, as alluringly as he could, at the stage that he was in. “Yes angel?” He asked, and he almost laughed at the sound of his own voice. ”I thanked you for the supper, it was really good.” Sam said smiling, one eyebrow raised. He wondered what was up with Michael, it was like he was lost in his own world somewhere, but at the same time he liked this Michael, who smiled to him so, and who looked at him so. There was no fear in his eyes. “You’re welcome babe.” Michael grinned, rose up and took Sam’s hand in his, guiding him to sit on the living room couch.

Sam sat down, his wine glass still in his hand. He had drunk a few glasses already, and it was really starting to rise to his head. In the back of his mind, he knew that Michael might have taken something more than just alcohol, but he was starting to be too drunk himself, and too aroused, to care if he had. Michael sat next to him, and touched his neck, sending a pleasurable quivering all over his body. Michael kissed the same place that he had just touched. He started to open Sam’s shirt slowly, kissing the revealed skin, as he proceeded down. Sam’s skin was like warm silk, so perfect and smooth. He kissed and licked his skin, he bit his nipples gently.

Michael moved onto his knees in front of Sam, and started to open his pants. He pulled them down to his ankles with his boxers and looked at the hardened organ. He listened Sam’s quiet moaning as he touched it. Suddenly he was feeling insecure, he sighed quietly. He tried to keep himself from shaking, or showing his fear. ‘Come now Michael, you have done this before. It’s Sam here, just take it in your mouth, and suck, like a good little whore you are…Think that it’s a lollipop, very, very big lollipop.` He urged himself. He closed his eyes, and took Sam’s cock between his lips, into his mouth. He tasted the saltiness of it, and felt the slight panic gathering inside him. He tried to force the fear and the memories away, and tried to think of something else. ‘Lolly, a big salty lolly.’ He thought and tried to keep his tears away, he tried so hard. He listened to his lover’s moans again, trying to concentrate only on him, and how much he loved the man. “Mmmh…I’m coming soon.” Sam was able to say. Michael suddenly lifted his head up and the hot seed spill on his face. ‘A mean lolly.’ He thought, as he wiped his face. He rose up, and quickly walked into the bathroom, before Sam had time to say a word.

He undressed himself and turned the water on. He leaned against the wall, feeling the warm water on his skin, he close his eyes, tears started to fall down. He felt so bad, and so dirty. He let himself slide down to sit, his back still against the wall. He hit his head against the tiles and squeezed his hands into fists. ‘You’re a whore Michael…that’s all you’ll ever be. You know Sam deserves so much better than you…’ The voice inside his mind kept telling him, and he felt enormous pain inside. He heard the distant knock on the door, and turned his tired face towards it. “Michael! Are you alright?” He heard Sam asking, he tried to swallow the tears. “Michael, darling please answer. Open the door.” Sam pleaded. Michael tried to collect his voice back. “I’m fine..I`ll come soon…just need to…I need to shower…” He shouted, managing to keep his voice quite normal. “Alright, are you sure you’re okay?” Sam asked with clear doubt. “Yes.” He answered. After that he started to cry quietly. He was so confused, so broken, so…he wanted to get free of the pain.

Sam wasn’t convinced in the least. He felt terrible. He should have known that it was too early. Deep inside, he knew that Michael was crying inside the bathroom, he knew that he was in pain; his voice had revealed it. Sam came into the bedroom, and sat on the bed, trying to think hard what he could do to help his love, there had to be something more he could do, right? He wouldn’t give up, no matter what.

Chapter 34.

29th of November

“Are you sure you’re alright? I mean; I could still call everyone and cancel this.” Sam asked with worry, he was still feeling guilty about what had happened four days earlier. “Cancel? When everyone is already coming? No Sam, don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” Michael assured him. “Just try to enjoy yourself tonight, and don’t worry about me, okay? Promise?” Michael asked and came closer to him. Sam took him into a gentle embrace and smiled. “I’ll try, but only if you promise to come and tell me if you start feeling unwell.” “I promise.”

“Congratulations Sam!” Kitty wished when coming in.”Thanks… ‘Forget healthy food; you need every preservative that you can get! Aging is compulsory; developing is alternative. Happy birthday Samuel!’ ” Sam read out loud from the card, that she had given him. He looked at his friend, who was grinning like a mad woman. “Well, aren’t you being friendly.” Sam smiled, raising one eyebrow. “Remember what you wrote into my birthday card in august? Now we’re on the same boat again! Revenge is so sweet.” Kitty laughed and placed her coat on the coat rack.

“Hey Mikey, how’s my sweetie doing?” Kitty asked, once she came into the living room. Michael was sitting on the couch watching TV. She sat next to him, and gave him a hug. Michael smiled to her. “I’m feeling fine, and you?” He asked. “I’m fine too.” She smiled. “Kitty, would you come and help me a little in the kitchen?” Sam asked, from the doorway. “Of course.” Kitty answered and stood up.

“Um, Kitty…I did something that I’m not very proud of…” Sam started, after hesitating his time. He needed to talk about this; his guilt was driving him mad. Kitty looked at him, a little surprised _expression on her face. She came closer to him. “What did you do Sam?” She asked, and looked at her best friend closely. She saw the guilty _expression on his face, the way he was nipping on his bottom lip. That face, never meant anything good. “Sam please tells me that you didn’t do the same thing that you did when you were with Daniel? Because if you did then I’ll…” Kitty started with warning, Sam cut her off. “No, of course I didn’t. I would never cheat on Michael. Daniel and I, was a completely different thing. I was only 21 at the time, I was stupid, careless, and I didn’t really love him.” Sam told her. “So what did you do then?” Kitty asked staring at him, waiting for an answer.

“Well, um…you see, the night of my birthday…” Sam started hesitating. “…We had supper, and we drank some wine. I was a bit tipsy, so was Michael…and we, well, we started kissing and then he um…he, you know, gave me a blow-job. I let him do it Kitty, even when the back of my mind I knew that I should stop him…Then he locked himself in the bathroom, he must have been in the shower for like one hour…I feel like shit Kitty. I…” Sam stared at the floor a shamed look on his face. “Well you’re right, you should have stopped him…God, if for once men could think with their brains and not with their dicks.” Kitty said looking at him, but she soon noticed how bad he truly felt for this and her heart melt. She pulled her friend into a hug. “But you’re only a human Sam, and what’s done is done. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I’ll talk with Michael today, okay? And see how he’s doing.” Kitty said and tried to smile, Sam nodded his head. “Thanks Kitty.” Sam whispered. ”I know how much you love Michael; he has done wonders to you. I mean you were such a slut when we were younger, and now look at you. You haven’t even looked at other men since.” Kitty grinned to him, and he grinned back. “A slut? Kitty honestly…”
Sam sighted. Then he smiled and continued. ”Well, perhaps you’re right though. And yes, I don’t want any others anymore.”

**********

Most of the guest had arrived. Michael didn’t know all of them so well; a lot of the people in there were Sam’s co-workers. Michael could feel how they looked at him, trying to be secretive about it, but failed miserably. He knew that some of them were whispering about him. They may not have known the whole truth of what had happened to him, but they knew enough that it was easy to guess the rest. Michael leaned his back against the wall, and held his wine glass tightly in his hand. He stared at the floor and tried to calm down. He wished that he could just be invisible.

“How are you feeling?” Erick asked, as he was standing next to him. Michael was beginning to get bored of the question, always having to answer with the same lie. “I’m feeling fine.” He sighted. “Look, I don’t know if I should even bring this up, but…Have you heard anything from Jean?” Erick asked quietly. Michael looked at him with surprise. “No I haven’t, how come?…Have you heard anything?” He asked with slight fear in his voice. Erick hesitated. “I got a call the other day…” He started. ”From Jean?” Michael asked as his heart started to beat faster. “Yes… The call didn’t last long… He asked about you, of how you’re doing. I tried to ask him where they were with Patrick, but he hung up on me. I did tell the police about this.” Michael stared at the contents of his glass, trying to collect his thoughts. He heard the doorbell ring, and looked at Sam who went to open.

“Surprise! Happy birthday Sam!” Michael heard a brisk male voice say. Sam looked really surprised. “We finally decided to come to visit you in Paris, when it’s your birthday and all! Well, are you not surprised?” The man with sand coloured hair and green grey eyes explained enthusiastically when coming in with some other man. “Yes I am, really surprised.” Sam smiled, with slightly confused _expression. “Well, don’t I get a hug?” The overly perky man asked, opening his arms. Sam moved closer and gave him a hug.

“It’s really great to see you Sam, after such a long time…and Kitty!” The man shrieked out, when he saw her approaching. “Daniel, Mark…Isn’t this big surprise.” Kitty smiled and hugged him and the other dark haired man. Daniel looked at Sam, smiling like a mad man. Michael decided that he didn’t like this Daniel person much. “Err…Come; I want to introduce you to my boyfriend.” Sam said quickly making the smile on the other’s face disappear. Michael forced himself to smile as they approached.

“Daniel, Mark, this is my boyfriend Michael. Michael these are Mark, and Daniel, my old friends from London.” Mark was the first to shake his hand. “Hi! It’s really nice to meet you. I have heard so much of you, when I have talked with Sam on the phone.” He smiled. “Hi, nice to meet you too.” Michael answered, and then shook hands with Daniel, whose clasp was a little tighter than necessary. He now remembered that Sam had mentioned Daniel’s name one time, and told him that they had dated once, when they had been younger. Sam had told him, that they had fought a lot, and finally Sam had broken it off, after cheating on Daniel. “So, you’re English too, right?” Daniel asked with slightly sour voice. “Yes.” Michael answered, hoping that the man would just leave. “From where exactly?” Daniel asked, running his eyes up and down on his figure. “I’m from Plymouth.” “Ah, the port city.” Daniel said and nodded his head. Sam looked at Michael with worry; he could clearly see how uneasy he felt. He leaned forward. “Is everything alright honey?” He whispered. Michael nodded his head, smiled weakly and gave a small kiss on Sam’s lips, just to remind Daniel, that Sam was his. Daniel and Mark walked further into the living room and looked at Sam, waiting for him to follow. “Just go with your friends Sam, you haven’t seen them in a long time.” Michael urged him.

Erick finished the call that he had just received. He sighted deeply. “I have to go now, will you be alright? Call me if anything comes up.” Erick said, resting his hands on his shoulders. “I’ll be alright, don’t worry.” Michael sighted, remembering to smile. Deep inside he just wanted to scream out from the top of his lungs, from the agony that he felt inside. “Send regards to Paul from me.” He added, as Erick was about to leave. “I will.”

The room was filled with people; laughing, chatting, whispering, and staring. Sam was laughing to something that Mark had just said, and Sam hadn’t laugh like that in ages. Daniel and Mark looked over at him, every once and awhile. Wondering why he stood so far away, withdrawing himself from the others company. Michael had heard Daniel asking from someone, was he too damn proud to talk with others, or what was his problem. Daniel had probably meant for him to hear that. Michael sighed. All of a sudden it became difficult to breath, his heart started to race inside his chest, every one seemed to stare, and everyone seemed to talk about him. He had to get away from there.

He fled inside the bedroom, and closed the door after him. He felt dizzy, his body was shaking all over, cold sweat running on his skin. He gasped for air; the room seemed to shift in his eyes. It almost felt like he was dying or something. He started to open up the drawers of the desk, they were somewhere in there, and he had to find them. Finally he found the small can. He opened it; the pills fell on the floor. He took one and washed it down with wine. He collected the remaining pills back into the can, and looked at the label on the side; a red triangle. Then he looked at the wine glass in his other hand. Well, at least he started to feel a lot calmer, he almost started to laugh. He sat on the floor, just a little while longer. It started to feel like he would have been inside of cotton. Just one pill with slight alcohol, wouldn’t be fatal, he thought to himself, when standing up. Part of him wondered would he have cared if it had been.

Michael sat on the window sill, and pressed his head against the cold glass, he stared outside. The snowflakes floated softly on the ground. A shadow of a stray cat flashed under the street lamps. He tasted his wine, wanting to forget everything. He wanted to run, but didn’t know to exactly what or where. One couldn’t run from oneself. A part of him wanted to die. He wanted to stop feeling the pain inside; he wanted to stop feeling sorry for himself. If he had ever felt lonely, it was nothing to the feeling that he had now. He wrapped his arms around himself, it was so cold. Few tears fell down on his cheeks, they became cold so fast. ‘Sam could be happy with Daniel.’ He thought to himself.

Kitty opened the door, came in and closed the door after her. “Michael? Are you alright?” Kitty asked and approached him carefully. Michael wiped the tears quickly away, before he turned to look at her. Once again he forced a smile on his lips. “I’m fine; I just needed some time alone.” He answered trying to sound as perky as he could. Kitty however, saw through him. She sat on the bed, and looked at her friend with worry. “You look so sad.” She said quietly. Michael looked at her, and then back outside. He couldn’t say a word. “Sam loves you, I love you, and we are worried.” Kitty continued.

Michael still stayed quiet, and Kitty rose up and walked closer to him. She thought about what to say for a moment. “I’m not going to pretend, that I know exactly how you’re feeling, because I don’t. I just want to help you, please Michael, let me do that …You’re so dear to me, to us.” Kitty touched his face and turned him to look at herself. Michael’s eyes were watering from tears, and soon they filled her eyes too. She noticed how he tried to fight against his tears, his body was trembling. “Kit… I don’t know what to do.” He whispered then. Kitty wrapped her arms around him. “I know you must be sick and tired hearing this, but everything will turn out alright eventually.” She whispered. “I would want to believe in it, but it’s hard.” “I know.”

Michael stood up and walked over to the desk. “Do you mind terribly if I smoke?” He asked, taking the cigarette from one of the drawers. Kitty came closer to him. “Is that weed?” She asked. “Yes.” ”I won’t mind if you share it with me.” Kitty smiled. They sat down on the bed. “Have you smoked this before?” Michael asked, giving the cigarette to her. “Yes, Sam doesn’t know it though, and I assume that he doesn’t know about you smoking this either?” Kitty asked. “No, I mean he might have some clue, but he hasn’t said anything. This helps a little.” Michael smiled weakly, and continued. “At least, for awhile.”

“Sam seems to enjoy Daniel’s company.” Michael said then. Kitty looked at him, trying to interpret the look on his face. “They are friends. Daniel might still have some feelings for Sam, but Sam loves you.” Michael smiled and stared at his hands. “Maybe it’s just not always enough…” He said then. “What do you mean?” “Love, it’s not always enough. Sam isn’t happy, I can see it. Daniel could make him happy, in a way that I myself can’t anymore.” Michael’s voice was filled sadness. Kitty took his hand in hers. “Michael, Sam loves you more than anyone. You’re the only man he has ever truly loved. He’s happy with you, and he understands, that you need time.” “And I love Sam. I want him to be happy; I want that more than anything… I don’t know how long it will take me to be okay, if I’ll ever truly be that. I can’t ask, and I won’t ask for Sam to wait for that …” Michael said and looked at Kitty, who was about to open her mouth to say something.

“Wait. Before you say anything. I mean, why should Sam’s life be ruined because of what happened to me? He shouldn’t even know about these bad things, he should just be happy. My dreams have broken a long time ago, and I don’t want the same to happen to Sam’s dreams … I want to return back home, and how could I ask Sam to come there with me, when his life is here? Sam wants to see the world; I want to stay safe from it.” Kitty squeezed his hand tighter. She felt so helpless, she wanted to shake Michael, make all his pain and sadness disappear. She wanted to scream at Sam, to make him see just how much pain his boyfriend was feeling. Suddenly she felt mad that Sam wasn’t there by his side, right at that moment. “Michael, please talk to Sam. Tell him what you’re feeling. Sam’s life is where you are. Talk to him tomorrow, promise me.” Kitty begged. Michael looked at her, and then nodded his head carefully.

“Where’s your boyfriend by the way?” Michael asked lying down on the bed on his back, Kitty followed his example. “We had a fight. He’s jealous of the time, that I spend with you two. I sometimes really don’t get men. I tried to tell him, that you are my friends. That you are a gay couple, and there is no reason for jealousy…I think I just got him madder, when I said that he was an Irish moron.” Kitty sighted, and covered her face with a pillow. “It was so stupid thing for me to say, I know.” Michael laughed and moved the pillow away. “Do you know how you appease an Irish man?” He asked grinning. Kitty shook her head. “Offer him a glass of whiskey, with no clothes on, and tell him that the Irish are definitely the world’s sexiest people.” Michael said and winked at her. Kitty grinned. “And you know this how?” ”Oh, that’s not important. I have had my ways.” Michael grinned back. He smoked the cigarette and gave it back to Kitty.


“Oh God, I had already forgotten how great this makes you feel.” Kitty giggled. “Mmmh… All your troubles go far, far away, I just wish they would never return.” Michael sighted, and waved his hand in the air. “Hands are really funny, aren’t they?” Michael said then. Kitty raised her own hand up and looked at it. “You’re right. Odd…” She said, and moved her hand up in the air. They started to laugh. “You know what I would want to do? Go dancing outside in the snow!” Kitty screamed exited.

Sam came into the room, and looked at his boyfriend and his friend on the bed. They were pillow fighting, and laughing. “What on earth are you doing?” He asked. Kitty looked at the cigarette in her hand. She lifted her hand up to her mouth, and started to laugh even more. “Oh no, we’re caught.” She said then. Sam walked over to her, and too the smoke from her hand, he walked over to the window, and drew it out. “Drugs? You’re smoking marijuana in here?!” Sam looked both of them a little shocked _expression on his face. Kitty was still giggling. Michael rose to sit. “Oh just drop it Sam. I think you know that I have smoked it before.” He grinned and brushed the hair that had fallen on his forehead away.

“What else have you taken?” Sam asked coming closer to him, he stared deep into Michael’s eyes, like trying to find the answer from them. “Today?” Michael asked and brought the wine glass up to his lips. “Yes, or before.” “Well Sam, today I have drunk some wine, one beer. Then I think I had my first panic attack, so I took one tranquillizer, and then I smoked.” Michael told him, suddenly feeling really tired. “You know you shouldn’t take pills and drink alcohol at the same time!” Sam yelled. “Well excuse me! I couldn’t breath; I didn’t know what to do!” Michael screamed. Sam took the wine glass from his hand, when he had been about to drink some more. “I wouldn’t have believed this from you! I thought you had more sense than that! Drugs, alcohol, and then marijuana?! Are you trying to kill yourself?!” Sam screamed; he was so messed up with worry that he didn’t think carefully about what he was saying. “You have changed, you have changed a lot.” Sam continued. Michael rose up, and squeezed his hands into fists. ”Oh, I have changed?! Well damn right I have changed, what the hell did you expect?! You really don’t have a clue, do you Sam? Six men raped me, they held me there against my will, and I really thought that I would die! And you come in here telling me that I have changed. Well I’m fucking sorry, for messing up your perfect life!” Michael was shaking all over. He hadn’t wanted to hurt Sam; he was just so angry, frustrated and scared.

Michael saw Mark and Daniel standing at the doorway, they looked at him in complete shock after hearing everything. “Well what the fuck are you staring at? Enjoy the show?!” Michael screamed; he lifted his hand up to his forehead, cursing himself. He wonders how many had heard his screaming. Sam stood there, glued to his spot, he was in shock. Kitty still sat on the bed, not able to say a word. Sam finally found himself able to move, he came closer to his boyfriend, and wrapped his arms around him, Michael wrapped his own arms around him too, he cried against his shoulder. “Oh honey, I’m so sorry, I just got scared. I screamed to you, because I got scared of loosing you, and I wasn’t thinking straight.” Sam whispered. He then turned his to look at his friends. “Please go, I’ll come soon to talk with you.” Sam told them. Mark nodded his head and closed the door after them.

Kitty rose up from the bed, suddenly her head felt really clear. Sam convinced Michael to lie down; he covered him up with the coverlet, and kissed his forehead. “I love you.” He whispered. “Would you stay with him for a moment kitty, I come back soon. I ask everybody to leave; this really was a bad idea.” Sam told her. She nodded her head and sat back down on the bed, next to Michael. She stroked his hair soothingly. Michael didn’t look at her; he stared far into the emptiness, his eyes filled with pain. Kitty lied down close to his body; she wrapped her arms around him, and pressed her forehead against his neck. “Don’t ever leave us.” She whispered quietly, squeezing his arm.

Chapter 35.

12.8

Michael had wrapped a blanket around himself, to keep warm. He held a coup of hot chocolate between his hands, and watched the movie called; ‘Amelie.’ He wasn’t sure how many times he had already seen it, but somehow he just loved the movie so much. He didn’t turn to look, when he heard Sam coming home. “Hey.” Sam said when reaching the couch. Michael moved his legs so that Sam could sit down next to him.

“So did you go to see the doctor today?” Sam asked carefully. Michael looked at him and took a sip of his cacao. “Yes.” He answered. “And? What did they say?” Sam asked, and Michael could see how nervous he was of his answer. “She said, that I’m perfectly healthy; no HIV, no nothing.” Michael said finally. “She said that I should feel lucky.” He added then, with a slightly dry voice. “But that is a good news darling, really it is.” Sam said. He took the cup from Michael’s hands, placed it on the table, and leaned to kiss him.

Sam was opening the buttons of his shirt, and Michael grasped his wrist, to stop him. “I might be healthy Sam, but I still can’t do this, not yet. I thought you would understand that.” He said, with a quiet voice. Sam pulled away. “Of course, I’m so sorry love, I wasn’t thinking.” Sam sighted. “Don’t feel sorry Sam, this isn’t fair to you… I really wouldn’t want to be this way; holding back from sex I mean. …” Michael lifted his hands up to hide his face, and a muffled sight could be heard. Sam took his hands away, and hugged him gently.

“I understand, and I can wait, don’t worry.” Michael laid his chin against his shoulder. “What if …” He started. ”It has been difficult between us lately, and this will take its time. I know, that we‘re probably going to fight a lot, but I love you, and we will pull through this, I know this.” Sam said and stroked his back. Michael smiled, and pressed his head tighter against his lovers chest.

“If you would want Sam, we could agree to have an open relationship …If you wanted someone else … I mean …I would understand …I wouldn’t want to hear about the others, but I would understand.” Sam looked at him, surprised. “An open relationship? I would sleep around, when you‘re trying to get better? No, I don’t want that, it would be stupid and unfair. I’ll wait for you, besides; I have two hands that work just fine for now.” He laughed slightly. Michael lifted his head, and grinned. “I love you.” He whispered, and kissed Sam’s lips carefully. “Anyway … I would understand.” He added then. Sam lifted his fingers up to his lips. “We will make this work, without me having to have any stupid affairs.”

12.9

Michael smiled, as he was reading the morning paper, and drinking his tea. The day before had been really good, and for the first time in two months he could see some light ahead. Sam loved him, and he loved Sam, and maybe there would still be a day in the future, when he could live like normally. He would at least try his very best to heal.

At noon, he went to get the mail. He scanned through the letters, as he walks back into the living room; there were mostly just bills. One letter dropped from his hands, and he knelled to pick it up. He looked at the white envelope, and his hands started to shake; it had only his first name written on it. He sat on the couch, leaving the rest of the letters down on the table. For a moment he just stared at the envelope, before he opened it.

Dear Michael.

I was so glad, when I heard that you survived, and that you were released from the hospital. What surprises me though, is the fact that you’re back with him.

You said, that you love me, that you wanted to be with me. You made me believe in it, just like you did before. I’m starting to feel, that everything that you have ever told me, has been nothing more than a lie. I should have listened to Patrick, who saw the truth about you, right from the start.

You have mocked me, and still I can’t get you out of my head. I remember all the moments that we shared together. I remember your beautiful body, the way you taste, and the way you smell. How beautiful you look under me; moaning, wanting. I dream about it, I dream of you. I love you, and you are mine. You promised me, and I’m going to claim that promise.

Don’t forget that I saved you from Ricky, and there for, your life belongs to me. I have a total right to have you, the fact which you don’t seem to understand, but Cheri; I will make you understand.

If Sam is the only one standing in my way to have you, then I can assure you; getting rid of him, would only be a pleasure to me.

We will be together Cheri, whether you want it, or not.

With kisses: Jean.

Michael’s hands were shaking, as he read the letter over, and over again, especially the last few lines of it; ‘If Sam is the only one standing in my way to have you, then I can assure you; getting rid of him, would only be a pleasure to me … We will be together Cheri, whether you want it, or not.’ He squeezed the letter in his hand, wrinkling it. If Jean would hurt Sam, then nothing would be left. Sam was his life, Sam was his everything.

It soon dawned on him, what he needed to do, to save his lover from Jean. His heart ached, and he felt a huge lump in his throat, but he needed to be strong now. He sat on the couch, for a long time, before he could bring himself to act.

*****
“Hello!” Sam called happily, when coming in. He was surprised to find his lover, standing in the dark living room, facing the window. Sam turned the light on, walked to him, and wrapped his arms around him from the behind. Michael pushed him away. “Stop it Sam.” He said coldly. “What’s wrong?” Sam asked confused. “Nothing, I’m just tired having you always touching me, it’s damn annoying.” Michael sighted; the look in his eyes, as cold as his voice. Sam couldn’t understand what was going on. “Has something happened?” He asked.

“I’ve been thinking things over … This isn’t working.” Michael said, looking at him. “What isn’t?” “Well this, You and I … we ..this relationship isn’t working anymore.” Michael bit his teeth together. “But yesterday we…” Sam started. “Yesterday, was … I wasn’t thinking clearly then, I haven’t been able to think clearly in a long time. This isn’t going to work, you want sex, and I can’t give it to you. We are just wasting each others time.” Sam looked at him, mouth opening from surprise. “Michael, I love you, you just can’t …” “Love me? I think we have just been fooling ourselves, there is not such thing as true love. Sooner or later you would get bored of me, we would get bored of each others… I’m going back home, back to Plymouth, alone. I got a flight for this evening …I’ve already packed.” Michael walked into the bedroom, Sam following him.

Sam grasped Michael’s arm. “What is this? Something has happened, why aren’t you telling me the truth?” “I want to be alone Sam, without anyone, who would just want to use me. I want to go back home to my family.” Michael pulled his arm free and took a hold of his suitcases, dragging them into the hallway. “Well you should have waited, I’ll come with you. If you want to return back to England, then alright, I come with you.” Sam told him. Michael turned to look at him. “I don’t want you to come with me Sam, understand?” “No, dammit, I don’t understand. Yesterday you told me, that you love me. Yesterday we agreed that we would stay together. So no, I can`t understand what has changed so suddenly. I was at work for ten hours, and during that time, you have packed your backs and your leaving back home. Your hiding something from me.” Michael was dressing his coat on.

“Maybe I lied yesterday, that’s the way I am. I`m sorry Sam, but I realized that I can`t continue to live in a lie… I can`t do this anymore.” Sam grasped him tightly. “Whats wrong?! Why are you lying to me?! I’m not letting you leave, not like this.” Michael tried desperately to free himself, but Sam hold on him, was too tight. “Let go of me!” “No, not before you tell me the truth.” Sam told him. Finally, Michael slapped Sam’s cheek, which made him to back off. Sam lift his hand up to his aching cheek. Michael was breathing fast, nervous. He hadn’t meant to hit Sam, but it had been the only way to make him back off. “Don’t try to contact me Sam, we’re through… Trust me Sam, this is for the best, just forget about me. ” He said, opened the front door, and left without looking back. He felt the tears gathering in his eyes, as soon as he had closed the door after him.

Sam stared at the door, too shocked to move. His breathing seemed to stick to his throat, his mouth felt dry, and his heart… his heart was …it was braking. Had Michael really left him just now? “Mic-Michael…” He whispered with dry voice, finally having back his ability to move. He took his coat, and ran outside; but the taxi was already driving away, disappearing into the heavy fall of snow. He stood still a long time; in the cold, dark night, snow flakes falling on him, and down on the already white ground. ‘What just happened?’ He asked silently, over and over again.


****************

It was an early morning, when Michael finally arrived to the airport of Plymouth. He had exchanged flights in Heathrow, and it had been quite a long wait there. He felt so numb, he was truly tired. He walked through the airport, towards the place that he could get a taxi from. He had a hard time to realize that he truly was there; back in England, back in Plymouth, his home. His thoughts were with Sam, and his heart was heavy from the pain. He didn’t look at the driver, who came to help his suitcases into the trunk. He gazed at the scenery ahead of himself, the scenery that he had last seen such a long time ago.

“Oh my God, is it really you? Michael? Michael Wills?” The taxi driver asked suddenly. Michael lift his gaze up to him. The man was his age, over weighted, redhead, his eyes were of a pale green color, and he had a round spectacles on, that made his face look even more round. Michael tried hard to remember where he knew this man. “Yes, I am.” He answered, and wondered why it was so hard to remember the other mans name. “It’s me, Fred!” The taxi driver said cheerfully, then he got embarrassed. “You might not remember me, I was no one important, but we did go to the same school together.” Fred blushed, and Michael forced himself to smile. “Of course I remember you, sorry I`m just so tired now.” He said, and received a huge smile from the other man. “Come sit up front with me?” Fred suggested, and opened the door for him. Michael thanked him, and stepped in.

“Oh boy, the fellows will never believe me, when I tell them who I had in the car with me!” Fred breathed, and Michael couldn’t help but to smile a little, the man talked of him; like he would have been some sort of famous person. “You`re going to your parents house, right?” “Yes.” “Then you don`t need to tell me the address, I remember where you live!” Fred told him, sounding very important. Michael looked at the window, and rolled his eyes. “So, how are you doing? Where have you been? Everyone sure talked about you when you just left like that.” Fred glanced at him, while driving. “I went to New York, and now I`m coming from Paris.” He answered, with tired voice. “Wow, that must have been exciting, out in the big world, and all that.” Fred said, shaking his head slightly and smiling brightly. “Well, I guess you could say that.”

Fred was quiet, only for a brief moment. “We all tried so hard, to guess where you disappeared to. Tom tried to claim, that you went to Spain, because there’s a lot of gay people there.” Fred slipped out, and Michael couldn’t help but to laugh at this. The mans face became bright red. “Oh, I mean, um…” Fred stammered. “It’s okay, you can say gay, that`s what I am … Tom seems to have his own weird thoughts of the world, I wouldn’t pay too much attention of the things he says.” Michael said, and smiled to his old school mate. “Yes, Tom is an idiot really! I think that gay people are okay. I once read from some place, that most people are bisexuals, or that basically all people have tendency for that … And I admit that I did enjoy watching you …oh, I mean… um….” Fred blushed even brighter red, if that was even possible anymore. Michael had to look to the window quickly, he tried hard not to laugh. “It doesn’t make you gay Fred, or even bisexual.” He said then.

“Do you have someone, some man?” Fred asked, it seemed to be impossible to get the man to shut up for a long periods of time. Michael swallowed, and tried not to think of Sam, it would only make him cry. “No, not anymore.” He answered, and realized that he was alone, for the first time in six years. The thought was both comforting, and painful at the same time. “Well, looking the way you do, you shouldn’t have any troubles finding someone new… I on the other hand, am a helpless case, no girl will even look at me twice.” Fred said with sadness. “Well, don’t give up hope Fred, your still young, the right girl will come along, sooner or later. You’re a nice guy, just wait and see.” Michael tried to comfort him, he wasn’t really sure what one should say to the other in a situation like this. “You seem to have lost weight since the last time I’ve seen you.” Michael added then, looking at him carefully and smiling. “Oh, you noticed? Yes I have actually, I have started a new diet, who knows, maybe I can manage to get into a beach condition, before summer.” Fred said, tapping on his belly, his _expression brightening.

“So what else is new Fred? What do you do now days?” Fred looked at him with surprise, then he smiled. The once most popular guy in high school, was talking to him, asking about his life. “Oh me? Well, nothing special really, I drive this cab, between my studies. On my free time, me and the boys play role plays. Have you ever tried?” He asked with excitement. Michael was quiet for a moment. ‘Role plays? Yeah Fred, one time this one man wanted me to act the role of a naughty school boy, who needed to be punished by the principal and…. yeah perhaps not.’ Michael thought to himself darkly. “No, I never have…” “You should try, it’s so much fun.” Fred said, nodding his head, and then starting to tell him more about the fascinating world of fantasy role plays, and the characters of fantasy novels. Michael muttered something, when ever there was a pause of some sort. He wasn’t really paying attention to the mans rambling. “And The lord of the rings is coming to the movie theaters soon! We‘re going to see it in the opening night with the boys. Have you seen the earlier movies?” “The lord of the rings?” Michael repeated sleepily. He remembered that Sam had been going on and on about it, he had been exited about it already in july, he smiled to the returned memories. Sam had acted like a little boy, before christmas’s. ”We have to go see it Michael! You’ll come with me, and before that we can watch the two previous movies before hand!” He felt his heart aching again, he missed Sam already.

“Yes.” Fred answered. “I saw the first two a few months back.” He answered, trying once more to get Sam out of his head. “What did you do, out in the big world?” “I was working as a waiter, and that sort of stuff.” Michael was hoping that Fred would be quiet already. On the other hand, he was slightly surprised, that Fred was so eager to talk with him. He had thought that Fred hated him, he hadn’t always been so nice to the other boy, when they had been teen-aged. “By the way Fred, about when we were younger… I’m sorry if I was a bit of a jerk sometimes, if I ever hurt your feelings. I was an idiot back then.” He said then. Fred looked at him, a little surprised. “It’s alright, it`s old stuff, and you weren’t that bad, not really. Okay, I admit that I did think that you were an annoying shit head sometimes, excuse the choice of word… But then, I changed my opinion about you, I think you were really a quite nice, decent guy.” Michael looked at the other man, confused, and Fred saw it. “Well, I don’t know if you remember that one time, but … Well, there was this group of guys in school that used to bother me, beating me up, calling me names, and that sort of stuff. Then one time you happened to walk by with Tony, and you started to yell at them, telling them to leave me alone, you called them a bunch of pussy’s for attaching against one in a big group. They left the scene in a rush. They respected you and Tony, you were the most popular guys back then. You helped me up, and helped me to find my glasses. I’ll never forget that. Those guys never bothered me again, and you never laughed at me, or joked about me after that.”

Michael didn’t know what to say, there was a lots of things that he had already forgotten. He looked at the scenery quietly, the scenery that was so familiar, and yet somehow dreamlike, like from another lifetime. Finally he saw his childhood home. They stopped to the driveway. Michael rose out of the car, and looked at the two story building in front of him. He looked up to the window of his old room. He had come home, and a huge wave of emotions ran through him. Somehow he managed to keep himself together.

He walked slowly to the door of the house,that he had though never to see again. He touched the brick wall, the wooden surface of the door, and closed his eyes. He remembered the feel of them. He looked at the yard; the tree, where he and his dad had once build a birdhouse, the spot on the ground, where he and Tony had once made snowmen. The spot on the road, that he had once fallen over with his bike. So many memory’s… He rang the doorbell, the ring of it sounded just the same, as it had years before. Once more he glanced over at the road, the place, where six years earlier he had rose into the taxi with Ricky. Michael felt cold shivers run down on his spine.

The door opened. His mother looked at him with surprise, but soon smiled, and pulled him into a tight hug. “Michael!” She cried out with lots of emotions in her voice, she kissed his face all over. “Come in, this is such a big surprise. I thought that you wouldn’t come until next week!” Evelyn pulled her son into a second hug, as soon as they had closed the front door, after them. “I`m so glad that you came! I missed you so much!” She whispered, with tears in her eyes. “I missed you too.” Michael answered.

“Where’s Sam?” Evelyn asked then, looking at the door. “Um… Sam didn’t come, nor is he coming… We broke up.“ Michael told her with quiet voice. “Broke up? Why?” “I really would rather not talk about it just now, maybe later.” He said. “Of course darling, you must be tired. I fix you something to eat, and make your bed ready for you.” Evelyn said then.

Michael sat in the kitchen, and ate his bread with small bites. Everything was just like he had remembered. The way the house looked like, the way it smelled. It was really odd feeling being home again, he wondered how long it would take for him to get used of being there. He took his tea mug and drank. The mug was his own, no one had probably used it, since he left. It felt like the mug wasn’t even really his, but someone else’s. He wondered how many times he had drank from it, forever ago.

Evelyn returned into the kitchen, and looked at her son, without saying a word. It felt amazingly good to see him sitting there on his old seat. The boy had grown up, and changed, but at that moment, she saw her own 17-year old boy, the boy who she had lost, and who had now returned. For a moment it felt like she would have watched a ghost. “Your room is ready now, if you want to get some sleep.” Evelyn spoke then.

Michael lifted his gaze up to her, he was slightly afraid of the feeling that he would get, when walking into the room, that contained so much of his old life, more memory`s than any other room of the house. “It feels really weird being here.” He said then, and smiled to his mother. Evelyn sat down, opposite from him. “I know honey… It’s a bit weird seeing you here, weird, but so good.” Evelyn smiled. “Dad is still sleeping?” Michael asked, finishing his tea. “Yes, well you know your father, that man loves sleeping.” Evelyn smiled.

Michael yawned. “I think I’m ready for bed, I haven’t slept all night. We talk more when I wake up.” Michael said, rose up, and kissed his mothers cheek. “Your suitcases are up in your room. There’s some of your old clothes, still in your wardrobe. I think they still fit you.” Evelyn said, looking at her son, who had lost some weight since the last time she saw him.

Michael walked up the stairs, into his room, and opened the door slowly. For a moment it felt like he had just walked into the past. Everything was just like the day that he had left. His mother really hadn’t thrown anything away. There was even the wall calendar of 1997, left open from the page of november. He closed the door after him, and looked around himself more closely. On the wall, near the bookshelf, were diplomas, gold and silver metals, from some athletics contest. On his bookshelf, was some of his old school books, photographs and few cups from dancing contests. He walked closer, and took one photo in his hand; him and Tony, at the age of eleven. He looked at the picture a long time, before placing it back down. He looked at the old poster beside his desk; Indiana Jones, the movies had been his favorites when he had been a child.

On his bed, sat an old, grey bunny, named; Thumber. Isabella had bought it to him, when he had been only two years old. Thumber had been his favorite, along with the brown bear, which he had later buried with his dead baby sister. Thumber had always been with him, until at the age of eight, he had decided, that he was too old to have soft toys, and that his reputation would be totally ruined, if anyone would found out about Thumber. However, it had been so dear to him, that he had slept with it next to him, when no one could see it. He had kept it hidden inside his wardrobe, and when he had finally admitted to himself, that he was gay, he had taken the poor, old Thumber out from it’s hiding place, and laughed at it, that he knew how hard it was living in a closet. Thumber had earned a place on top of his bookshelf. His mother had apparently moved it down from there onto his bed. He smiled to his old friend, and took it into his hands. Thumber was missing one of his eye, and one the seam had broken slightly, but to him it looked perfect.

He sat on the bed, that felt oddly small, after getting used to sleep on wide double beds, but on the other hand, it felt just perfect just then. he looked at his old life around him, the room that belonged to the young, teen-age boy, who he hardly knew anymore. It almost felt like he was in a room that belonged to a stranger, and at the same time, to someone he had once known, many years ago. Everything was so so confusing. He wrapped himself under the blanked, only to fall into a restless sleep.

TBC.

©Kolgrim

Ch36-40