Just then, my cell phone rang.  I let it go to voicemail.  Face it; with Dad having me in a bear hug, I really didn’t have much of a choice.  Finally, he slackened up on the hug and I could breathe a bit more easily.

“Alex, we have to talk.”

“Sure, Dad.”

Now a text notification sounded.  As I reach for my phone, Dad said, “Now, Alex.”

I put my phone in my pocket.  “Sure, Dad.  But can we let Luke sleep?”

“OK,” he said, and then he put his arm around my shoulder and led me out of my room.  He walked me downstairs and into the living room, where Mom was waiting.

“Mark?”

“It’s OK, Lily.  Everything is OK.”  Mom didn’t look like she believed him.  I think that was because I was scared shitless and I have trouble hiding my emotions.

Then Dad looked at me and said, “Alex, I don’t understand what I saw earlier this evening, but my mentor for the last fifteen years has told me that being gay is as natural as being straight.  I don’t understand that, either, but I won’t fly off the handle; that was the ‘old me’.  The ‘new me’ is confused, but I trust and respect Sensei Lee.  I went to him and said you had a problem.  He explained that it was my problem, not yours.”

“Dad, why is it anyone’s problem?  As Sensei Lee said, it’s natural, just like being straight is natural.”

“But it says in the Bible…”

I cut him off.  “Dad, the last time we were in a church was when Luke was baptized.  I’ll bet the time before that was when I was baptized.  Why is the Bible so important now?  This is what ‘haters’ typically do; they point fingers and accuse others of sinning, rather than look inside their hearts for what’s right and just.  Sensei Lee is right and just; that’s why you call him your mentor.  I bet you could even admit to loving him like a family member.”

“You’re right, Alex.  I love Sensei Lee more than my own father, he means that much to me.  But I’m still confused.  I’m still learning.  I’m trying to figure out what I did that made you gay.”

“Mark, the only thing you did that made Alex gay was to make love to me.”  I started to blush.  “Isn’t that what happened?  How can something created from an act of love be wrong?”

“But Lily…”

“Seriously, Mark, we were in love; we married; we showed our love for each other and produced two wonderful sons.  What more could we ask for?”

“Grandchildren.”

“Mark, there are thousands of children looking for a loving home.  One day Alex and his chosen one can adopt.  What greater love can be shown than to adopt a child and give him or her that loving home?”

Then Mom reminded Dad about her Uncle Alex and the hate that her family displayed when they named me for him.

“Mark, you weren’t going to be swayed then; don’t be swayed now.  Alex is our son, produced by our act of love.  You can either love and accept him, or you can hate him and chase him from us.  My grandfather drove Uncle Alex to suicide.  You’ve always said that was sad.  Now is your chance to prove it and love your son, gay, straight or in between.”

Then it happened again… Dad put me in his bear hug.  As he was squeezing the life out of me, he kissed my cheek and said, “Alex, you’re my son and I love you more now than I ever have.  But next time, give a warning before you let me catch you kissing another boy, OK?  Hehe.”

“Haha!  Dad!  You’re the one who snuck up on Jason and me!  OK – no kissing in the driveway, even in the black of night.  Hehe.”

As Dad was loosening his grip and I was able to breathe again, the doorbell rang.  Dad answered it and invited Officer Janczuk in.

“Good evening folks.  Thanks to Alex and Jason, we picked up a suspect tonight.  The suspect’s name is Jacob Winslow; he has a clean record so it was hard to find him.  Without Alex and Jason, we wouldn’t have even been able to look for him.  We had no leads until they brought us a DVD showing Jacob at the scene of all the crimes.  At the first accident scene, the one that Alex was involved in, we even have a recording of Winslow causing the accident.  And thanks to the boys, we even had a picture of Winslow’s car and license plate.  The boys were right; Winslow was living in his car.  We found him parked near an abandoned warehouse on 30th Street.

“I just stopped by to thank Alex personally.  I’ve already been to Jason’s house and talked with Jason and his father.  As I told them, I’m putting the boys in for the reward for the capture and conviction of Jacob Winslow.  The reward won’t be given until after Winslow is convicted, but I wanted to make sure that the boys knew that their work was not going unrecognized.  By the way, Alex, you and Jason will most likely be invited as guests of the mayor for a special presentation dinner honoring your work as good citizens.  You’ll probably have to wear a suit and tie, but the food should be good.  Hehe.”

Looking at Mom and Dad, Officer Janczuk said, “Folks, these boys did something that the police were having trouble doing.  They were able to convince three storeowners to let them watch their surveillance video.  The storeowners, under legal advisement, told the police that we would have to get a warrant to see the videos.  I don’t know how they convinced the storeowners to let them look at the videos, let alone copy them, but by providing us with that information, we were able to find the culprit and get him off the street much sooner than if we had to wait for our warrant to come through.”

Then Officer Janczuk shook my hand, said good night to us, and left to go back on patrol.  I don’t know who was more impressed, Mom or Dad.  I backed away before either of them could hug me again.

Now Mom spoke.  “Alex, your father and I are very proud of you.”

“OK, but don’t let Dad hug me again!  I don’t want to break a rib.  Hehe.”

“So, is Jason your boyfriend?”

“Not yet.  Hehe.”

“And you’re kissing already?”

“Mom, didn’t you and Dad kiss before you were going together?”

“Well…”

“Alex, your mom and I kissed every chance we got.  Don’t let her fool you.”

“Mark!  Stop that!  You make it sound like I’m a tramp!  Alex, yes we did kiss before we were going together.  How else would we know if we were compatible?”

I didn’t answer.  I was having trouble holding in my giggles.  I had no idea of what to say anyway.  I really had to get out of this conversation!  “Mom and Dad, I still have a lot of homework to finish.  Can I go now?”

“Unless your dad has more to say to you, I guess you can go.  Mark?”

“Go finish your homework, son.”

I think I was up the stairs as soon as Dad said, “Go”.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!  When I got back to my room, I checked my phone.  As I figured, it was Jason who sent the text:

Janczuk was here hes goin to ur place next

Then I checked the call I missed – again it was Jason.  I started my computer and met him on Skype.  I really did have a lot of homework left, so I ran down the stuff that just happened with Mom and Dad, then we celebrated a bit that Jacob Winslow was in jail.  Reluctantly, I had to get back to studying.

I finished my homework about 11:30 and brushed my teeth, turned out the lights and slipped into bed.  Fifteen minutes later, I hung my washcloth on the hook and went to sleep.

 

= = =

 

Wednesday morning the alarm went off at 07:00.  I got it before it woke Luke… thank goodness.  But as I was putting my bathrobe on, I could hear him moving in his crib.  I asked, “Luke, do you have to pee?”

“Yes, please.”

So I picked him up and let him out of his crib.  We walked to the bathroom and I let Luke go first, as usual, to give my piss-hard a chance to go down a bit.  And, as usual, by the time Luke was finished, I could easily bend my member enough to pee.  When I finished, I washed my hands and made sure that Luke’s were clean and dry as well.  Luke is amazing.  As soon as I told him to go back to sleep, he did.  I wish I could get twelve hours of sleep a night.

Once he was sleeping again, I grabbed clean underwear, my towel and my washcloth, and headed back to the bathroom to shit, shower and shave.  As I looked at my face in the mirror, I actually could see a few hairs growing on my lip and my chin!  I might actually be able to shave today!  YES!!!  I opened the medicine cabinet and took out the shaving cream that has been in there since I was thirteen and first decided to shave.  I washed my face and rinsed it.  After grabbing my shaving cream, I shook it for all I was worth.  The next part I always had trouble with – releasing the foam.  I held my hand out and gently pressed the button on the top of the can.

“CRAP!” I yelled, as I filled my hand with a mountain of foam yet again.  “Why does it keep doing that?!?”

“Let go of the button sooner, Alex.”  That was Dad, walking down the hall to check on Luke.  I think he was giggling, but I wasn’t going to let that get me down.  Then I realized what I did wrong.  I’m right handed and I was using my left hand to operate the button on the can.  I scraped the shaving cream onto my left hand and rinsed my right hand under the tap.  After wiping my hand on my towel, I grabbed the shaving cream and tried once more to release just a dot of foam onto the ginormous pile that was already there.

“YES!!!  It WORKED!!!  I did it!”  Now I covered my face with the foam ’til I was sure I had enough in place to cover all six hairs that I saw.  Hehe.

“Be careful with your sideburns, Alex,” Dad called through the door.

I looked around.  ‘How does he know what I’m doing?’ I thought.  Per Dad’s instructions, I stayed away from my sideburns.  What the heck, I only had hair in my chin and upper lip anyway.  I used my right hand to wipe the extra shaving cream from my face and I rinsed it off my hands and down the drain.

When my hands were clean, I took the razor by the handle and carefully started to glide it over my face.  In a couple of minutes I had everything but my upper lip and my chin shaved.  Now for the main event… I put the razor under my nose and carefully pulled down.  With the razor came the hairs on my upper lip.  I smiled… Only the chin to go.  I leaned forward, pointing my chin at the mirror, and, looking down my nose to my chin, I gently pulled the razor across my skin and was rewarded by a chin free of hair… ‘YES!!!  I got all three of them!’

I realized that it was taking longer than usual this morning, so I cleaned up around the sink and started the water for my shower.  While it was warming up, I put some toothpaste on my toothbrush and stepped under the water and closed the shower curtain.  I still had shaving cream remnants on my face, so it put my head under the spray of water and let it wash off.

The minty toothpaste woke my mouth up and I hurriedly brushed my teeth and I rinsed and set my toothbrush down as I filled my mouth with water, rinsed and then let it out, dripping it down my chest.  I rinsed again and then picked up my washcloth.  After rinsing out last night’s ‘deposit’, I soaped it up and started scrubbing, going from my head, face and neck, down my arms and torso, and finally, to my legs and feet.  I quickly rinsed and turned off the water.  I reached out for my towel.  I covered my head with it and began to rub my hair dry.  Satisfied, I stepped out of the shower and dried the rest of my body.  Setting the towel down, I grabbed my boxer briefs and put them on.  I picked up my towel, washcloth and bathrobe, and retreated to my room to dress.

In a few moments I was dressed and on my way down for breakfast.  When I got there I saw Luke eating his cereal.  “Hey, Luke!  You’re up early this morning.  Did you sleep well?”

“Yep.  I told Daddy I wasn’t tired anymore and he got me Cap’n Crunch!”

“Dig in, Sport.  I’m about to join you.”  And I retrieved a bowl and spoon and coffee cup.  I set the bowl and spoon on the table and went to the coffee pot and filled my cup so it could cool as I ate.

“Luke, where are Mom and Dad?”

“They’re in the back yard.”  I looked out the window and there they were, sitting next to each other and just enjoying each other’s company.

“I guess we have to fend for ourselves today, Sport.  Hehe.  Are you doing OK?”

“Yep!”

“Good enough.”  I finished my breakfast while talking with Luke.  As I was drinking my coffee, I checked the fridge for my lunch and retrieved it.  After putting it in my backpack with my homework, I put my dishes and Luke’s in the dishwasher, wiped his hands and face and we went to the back door.  “Mom and Dad, I’m off to school.  Here’s Luke.”  I sent him outside.

“OK, honey,” Mom said.  “Have fun!” she added.  I groaned again and left, giggling.

 

= = =

 

I got to the bus stop just before the bus arrived; that was lucky.  Paul Wilson called out and I went to sit with him.  As I sat down, I handed him my Chemistry homework.

“Thanks, dude, but I already did it.”

“What?!?  Is it time to call Guinness and get this in the record book?”

“Hehe.  That’d be cool, but that’s nothing like what you and Jason did.”

“Wha-”

“You guys are heroes, dude!  You caught the guy who was causing the bus crashes!”

“But…”

“Here, look.”  And he showed me the news on his iPad.  There it was!  ‘Local Boys Assist in Capture of Bus Terrorist!’

“Terrorist?  The guy’s a nutcase and pissed about getting fired.  I never really thought of him as a terrorist, but I guess that fits, too.”

“So you did help the cops?”

“Sure!  That asshole killed a busload of people and put several more in the hospital!  That really sucked!  I woke up in the hospital and found that all the other people on the bus I was on DIED!!!  What the fuck!  Of course I helped the cops!”

“Whoa, tiger!  I’m not criticizing you; ya done good!  That took guts!  I only hope that I’d have the guts to do that.”

“I’m sorry, Paul.  It’s just that the jerk really needed to be behind bars and Jason and I did all we could to help.  Now he’s there and, with any luck, he’ll never breathe a breath of free air for the rest of his life.

“Paul, the article doesn’t mention our names or show our pictures.  How did you know it was us?”

“I heard you and Jason talking on the bus and put it together.”

“Please don’t tell anyone else.  If it gets out, we might be targets, and that would suck big time!”

“I won’t… but it’s still cool to be the friend of a hero.  Hehe.”

“I’m not a hero, Paul.  I just told the cops what I saw.  Cops, firemen, the guys in the military… those are the heroes.  I’m just a high school kid, and a geek at that.”

Just then the bus rode over the speed bump and Paul tensed up.  “I’m fine, dude.  It’s only a speed bump.”

“Welcome back, Alex.”

 

= = =

 

When we got to school, I stopped at my locker and then went to check on Glenn.  Of all things, when I found him, he and Mike were shooting the breeze with Ron Conrad.  It looks like Jason’s fix is working better than expected.  I stopped by and chatted for a few minutes and at the first bell, Conrad excused himself and headed off.

“Alex, Ron is really a great guy now.  I don’t know what you guys did, but I wish you could bottle it up.”

“Guys, this is a new treatment type, and Ron is the first recipient, so just keep watching and let us know if he starts to backslide.  I don’t know what Jason will do in that case… and I hope we don’t have to find out.  I’ll see you guys at lunch.”

We said our hurried goodbyes and rushed off to our first classes.

 

= = =

 

When I got to the cafeteria for lunch, Jason and Glenn were waiting.  I saw Mike just ahead of me in the line and soon we were eating and joking with each other.  Glenn and Mike rushed through their lunch and excused themselves, probably to get in some ‘quality time’ before lunch was over.  That was just as well; Jason and I wanted to talk shop.

“Jason, Paul Wilson figured out that it was us who helped the police in capturing Winslow.  He heard us talking.  When he told me he knew, I asked him not to say anything to anyone; that it might put us in danger.  He said he’d keep quiet about it, but I’m not sure that he will.”

“I’ll have to fix that right away,” Jason said.  He got up and walked over to Paul’s table, shook his hand, said a few words and came back.  “We were in time.  He hadn’t told anyone and now he ‘forgot’ all about it.  Threat contained.”

“Hahaha!  Jason, that is sooo cool!  I wish I could do that.”

“Right, and I wish I had your power, too.  It ain’t gonna happen in this life, so let’s just be friends and use our powers to help those who need it and to augment each other.”

“Yeah, but that won’t stop me from dreaming.”

“So how are you and your dad getting along since he saw us kissing last night?”

“Well, I told you that he gave me a couple of bear hugs and almost broke a rib or two.  Sensei Lee must have really impressed him.  I think everything is good between us.”

“That’s great!  I think we’re going to have a side job while we wait for Michelle to give us out next assignment.”

“Oh yeah?  What’s that?”

“Well, just now I read something from Paul.  I think we need to take care of it… soon.”

 

To be continued…

Published September 1, 2012

Comments:

  1. Hey Pete:

    I read all 3 stories “Umbrella Incident,Backtracking, & PAIN. This has been an excellent series. I would like to read more.

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