After eating, the boys shook out the tablecloth, folded it, and put it back in Marty’s backpack before moving into the shade of an elm. They sat down and leaned against the trunk of the tree. Within moments, they were holding hands. Jon put his head on Marty’s shoulder and closed his eyes.
‘Don’t fall asleep on me, Jon. Save your nap for church.’
‘Haha! Not a chance, not with Dad sitting next to me.’ All the while, not a word was said out loud.
‘Jon, how far do you think our thoughts can be transmitted?’
‘Let’s test it and see.’
Jon got up and looked around. They were in a large clearing… almost three football fields in length.
‘Let’s go to opposite sides of the clearing and see if we can still communicate.’
‘Sounds like a plan.’
The two boys got up and mentally chatted as they walked in opposite directions.
‘I wonder if our thoughts will fade away, or abruptly stop.’
‘Maybe we’ll have a range of miles.’
By the time they were 100 yards distant from each other, they got their answer – their thoughts faded. The boys stopped and faced each other.
‘Marty, before we can’t hear each other, how can we make our thoughts stronger… or louder?’
‘You mean, how can we mentally yell? Let’s try it and see.’
The boys tried several times to extend their range, all without results. The it happened…
‘DARN IT! THIS IS A WASTE OF TIME!’
It was Marty.
‘HEY MARTY! THAT WORKS!’
‘EXCITEMENT! YOU GOT ANGRY AND I WAS HAPPY THAT I COULD HEAR YOU BETTER!’
‘OH! LIKE THIS?’
‘YEAH! THAT’S IT! KEEP IT UP!’
‘LET’S SEE HOW FAR WE CAN GO AND STILL HEAR EACH OTHER!’
The boys continued until they were at the far ends of the clearing.
‘CAN YOU STILL HEAR ME, JON?’
‘I HAVE YOU LOUD AND CLEAR, MARTY! LET’S GET BACK TO THE ELM TREE. THIS IS A BIT OF A STRAIN!’
And the boys walked back to the starting point and sat in the shade again.
‘Jon, that was difficult. It was the mental equivalent of shouting every sentence.’
‘Tell me about it! I hope we don’t get migraines. I guess we’ll have to using our inside mental voices. Hehe.’
After another 45 minutes or so of just relaxing, the boys started back so Jon wouldn’t be late. As they walked, they continued to mentally talk with each other for almost a mile. Then they noticed an intrusion into their thoughts. It was a slight buzz, but their thought communications weren’t affected… yet. They both tried to decipher the buzz to see if they could read other thoughts, but with no luck.
‘I wonder why we can still hear each other,’ Marty mused.
‘Maybe we just had to get used to it. Before is was strange, but now, a few hours later, it seems natural.’
‘You’re probably right. Hey, I’m noticing a change in the buzz… it’s getting higher pitched. We must be close to town.’
“Yeah. We should probably start talking again.”
“We should probably stop holding hands too, Jon.”
“Hahaha! I didn’t even realize we were holding hands! When did we start?”
“Hehe… when we got back to the elm. We had to let go a few times while we were walking, but we always hooked up again. Sometimes it was you and the rest of the time it was me.”
“I sure hope we don’t do that at school… or worse – at home!”
= = =
Jon made it home in plenty of time to get ready for mass. At least his dad always took the family out for dinner on Saturdays. In the restaurant after church, Jon asked his dad a question.
“Dad, why don’t we go to mass on Sunday like Marty’s family?”
His mom giggled and his dad admitted, “I like football, Jon. It used to be that we had to go to mass on Sunday. I was glad when the Pope changed the rule for us. Now your mother gets to sleep later on Sunday and I get to watch the Sunday morning news shows, the pregame shows and the football games.”
Jon thought for a minutes and said, “I guess pro sports never interested me, Dad, but I like high school sports. Marty and I love going to our games.”
“I can understand that, Jon. My dad didn’t follow pro sports, either. He also used to say my music was crap. Hehe.”
“Oh… so that’s where you get it.”
“Well, when I play my music louder than you like it, you always say, ‘Turn that crap down!’”
Jon’s parents laughed and his mother said, “We’ve become our parents!” garnering more laughs. When the laughing died down, Jon’s mother spoke up again. “Jon, did you and Marty meet any girls at the dance last night?”
Jon and Marty have heard this question before, so they’re always prepared for it. “Mom, it seems that all the girls we’re attracted to already have boyfriends. We’ll just keep trying, I guess.”
Jon’s dad speaks up, “That’s the spirit, son!”
Mercifully, the conversation shifts and Jon is out of the spotlight. When dinner is finished, the family drives home. Jon’s in the back seat and he texts to Marty.
J: I got the ‘did you meet any nice girls’ question again hehe
M: Sucks to be you
J: I told Mom you met someone. She’s gonna call your mom for the details
M: HAHA!!! You dick!
J: jk almost home. I’ll see you in the morning
= = =
Saturday is movie night. Tonight Jon’s Dad got his choice. He picked “*Batteries Not Included”. It’s a formula story of the evil developer trying to force the tenants from the last apartment building in his new project. Fortunately for the tenants, mechanical extra terrestrials befriend them and save the day. Jon had to admit, it was a good movie. He and his parents laughed all the way through it.
At the end of the movie, Jon said goodnight and headed off to bed. As he’s was getting into bed, Jon remembered that Marty is only two streets over – that’s about 100 yards or so. Rather than texting, he sends a telepathic message.
After a short pause he heard, ‘Goodnight, Jon.’
He smiled, closed his eyes, and drifted off to sleep.
= = =
Sunday morning, with nothing better to do, Jon went over his homework assignments. Marty was at church and probably wouldn’t be home until eleven or twelve. The assignments weren’t too difficult and as he was finishing up, Marty broke into his thoughts.
‘Jon, I’m home. Do you want to go back to the woods?’
‘I’m just finishing my homework, but I have to check with Mom to see if she has anything planned.’
‘I did my homework when you were at church last night, so I have the rest of the day to myself.’
‘Cool. Lemme check with Mom and I’ll get back to you in a few minutes.’
Marty was noticing how easy and natural their telepathy was becoming and he wondered if anyone else was able to do that. Surly he and Jon couldn’t be the only ones with that ability. While he was putting some snacks together, Jon contacted him. ‘Mom said nothing special was going on. Gimme a few minutes to pack a lunch and I’ll meet you at the corner.’
‘Sounds good. I’m ready, so I’ll go to the corner now.’
‘I’ll be there in five.’
On the hike to their spot, the boys paid attention to the sounds around them to see if they noticed anything different today. They tried to communicate with others when they saw someone, but without luck. Like yesterday, the tone slowly changed to just a buzz, and soon even that was gone.
Yesterday Marty stopped when the tone went away, but today they kept walking. They saw the elm in the clearing where they sat before and they walked past it. They passed the clearing and soon heard running water. It was a stream running into a pond and the pond overflowed into another stream. The water was fairly clear. The boys took off their shoes and socks and walked in the water along the edge of the stream. The water in the stream was warn. When they got to the pond, they walked out a bit until they were knee-deep in water. As Marty was about to step further into the pond, Jon pulled him back. Marty looked down and saw why. They were on a ledge and another step would cause them to take a sharp drop.
Marty looked at Jon and smiled. ‘Do you want to swim?’
‘I didn’t bring a suit.’
Marty grinned. ‘Neither did I.’
Then Jon grinned. ‘Oh.’
They waded back to the shore to undress. Soon they were on their way back to where the water dropped off. They took another step and the water wasn’t too deep – about to their shoulders. The temperature of the water was comfortable to them. Jon chuckled.
‘What?’ asked Marty.
‘We’re still holding hands.’
Now Marty was laughing. He put his hands on Jon’s shoulders and turned towards him. Jon didn’t have to read Marty’s mind to know what was going to happen next. Their lips met and they embraced. A moment later, Marty fell backwards, pulling Jon with him. This started a round of chasing each other. The winner was rewarded with a kiss. Hmmm… It seemed that both boys were the winner each time.
The pond was relatively round and and about 30 yards in diameter. Towards the center, the boys could no longer feel the ground beneath their feet, so they swam about and relaxed in the water. After about half an hour, the boys began to tire.
‘Let’s have something to eat,’ Jon said.
‘That’s an excellent idea,’ Marty responded.
They kissed once more and walked back to the shore… still holding hands. Once they were out of the water, they dried each other as best they could with the table cloth, and soon they were eating. When they finished their meal, they stretched out in the grass to dry out in the warm sun. Nothing was said, nor did it have to be.
Marty wasn’t sure how long he had been napping when Jon woke him. ‘It’s almost 5:00 PM. We should get going.’
Reluctantly, the boys dressed and packed their backpacks for the walk home.
When the buzzing of their tinnitus began to appear, again they tried to see if they could read anything in the sound. They still couldn’t. By the time the buzz changed back to a tone, they stopped trying. Soon they were at Marty’s street and he gave Jon a bro-hug.
“I’ll see you in the morning,” he said out loud.
“I’ll see you then,” Jon responded.
= = =
Monday morning was like any other. Jon had History first period and Marty had Biology. Marty’s teacher, Mr. Feldman, didn’t allow cell phones in his class. He had a box on his desk, where the students were required to deposit their phones. So, like any other day, the phones were deposited and the class began as soon as Mr. Feldman locked the box.
Mr. Feldman was explaining to the class about the heart and that Monday mornings were the most likely day and time to suffer a heart attack. It was almost as though Mr. Feldman was trying to make a point when he collapsed. Most of the students laughed, thinking this was a joke. Marty didn’t. He heard Mr. Feldman in his head.
‘Marty, did you hear that?’ It was Jon.’
‘DUDE! MR. FELDMAN IS HAVING A HEART ATTACK! MY PHONE IS LOCKED UP! CALL 9-1-1 AND GET AN AMBULANCE! WE’RE IN ROOM 218. HURRY!’
Jon, in room 211, told his teacher that he was feeling ill and left the room. Once he was in the hall, Jon called for an ambulance. Then he ran down the hall to room 218 to see if he could help. Marty had Mr. Feldman on his back and was giving him CPR. The other students were in full chaos mode. Before Jon could say anything, Marty telepathically told him, ‘Go to the office and tell them what’s going on. The school doors are locked during classes, so someone has to let the EMS people in!’
Without a word, Jon turned and ran to the office. By the time he got there, he heard the sirens. He detoured long enough to hit the crash bar, releasing the door for the paramedics. By now the vice-principal, Ms. Harris, was entering the foyer. Before she could speak, Jon shouted to the paramedics, “Mr. Feldman is having a heart attack in room 218! Up the steps and to the left! Hurry!”
Ms. Harris told Jon to man the door until a staff member relieved him. Then she turned and lead the EMS team to Mr. Feldman’s classroom. When they got there, Marty was still administering CPR. The paramedics took over and Ms. Harris told the students to go to the cafeteria until their next class. Happily, they all left. All except Marty, who was telling the paramedics what happened.
Ms. Harris remembered Jon at the door and called the principal and told him what she knew so far. He told her to ride along to the hospital with Mr. Feldman and he would call Mrs. Feldman and meet her there. When he hung up, the principal asked an office staff member to relieve the boy at the door and to have the boy report to him first thing Tuesday morning.
Things had calmed down by lunchtime, but this was certainly not starting out like a typical Monday.
To be continued…