Dancing on a Star

Jeff’s parents had to return to work, but they agreed to let Jeff stay with me. I guess it wasn’t agreeing as much as it was getting tired of listening to his whining. They wanted him to go to school, but he insisted that he wouldn’t be able to concentrate because of what happened to me. “It will be just a big waste of time,” he complained. “Please let me stay with Jack today.” My father assured them he would bring him home later.

My mother and father sat with me, but I was becoming uncomfortable with the stares she kept giving me and Jeff. A couple of times she shook her head as if she was disgusted. My father noticed, and he suggested that they should leave for a while and go to lunch. They asked if Jeff wanted to join them, but he declined. I think he didn’t want to be around my mother, either.

After they left, he asked me if my parents were upset after seeing us kiss. “You saw the look my mother gave you,” I replied.

“I know,” he said. “I thought she wanted to claw my eyes out.”

I laughed and responded, “She probably wanted to, but she didn’t want to break a nail.”

Jeff approached the bed and held my hand. “What are we going to do, Jack?”

I gave him a puzzled look and asked, “About what?”

“Us,” he replied. He squeezed my hand tightly. “I can’t pretend I don’t like you.” He leaned down and quickly kissed me. “My mom and dad understand how I feel. Why can’t yours?”

“I don’t know,” I sighed. “I guess it is just too much to handle. Dad seems okay, but I’m not sure Mom will ever come around.”

“Did he say anything about us when you were alone?”

I looked at him and frowned. “Yeah,” I replied. “He doesn’t seem to mind that I’m gay,” I responded. “He just doesn’t want me acting gay.”

“What’s that mean?”

I shrugged my shoulder and said, “I don’t know. It has something to do with my test-a- something.”

Jeff giggled and asked, “Your testicles?”

“Probably,” I laughed.

After kissing me again, Jeff pulled the chair next to my bed, sat down and held my hand. He kept staring at me like he had something on his mind. Finally, I asked what was bothering him.

Tears started to appear in his eyes as he squeezed my hand tighter. “Ever since last night, well… maybe even before, I’ve been thinking.”

I asked, “About what?”

“Us,” he replied. “I want us to be boyfriends.”

“We talked about this,” I reminded him. “We agreed we didn’t want to be with just one person.”

“I’ve changed my mind,” he replied. He rose, leaned down and kissed me. “I don’t want no one else but you, Jack.” He started to cry. “I love you, Jack.” He leaned down and kissed me again. I could feel his tears falling onto my face. He pulled away and asked hopefully, “Will you be my boyfriend, Jack?”

I wasn’t sure how to respond. I liked Jeff- a lot. I could see us being boyfriends. But then I thought about Tracy. The three of us were close. We had agreed that we would continue being friends- with benefits. I didn’t want to hurt Tracy. I liked him as much as I liked Jeff. I really hadn’t thought of settling down with just one of them.

And if I did agree to be Jeff’s boyfriend, would it mean that I might lose Tracy’s friendship. After all, he was the one who was responsible for my coming out and facing the reality that I was gay. Kissing him was also the thing that set everything else in motion. Had it not been for him, I wouldn’t be lying in this hospital bed.

I don’t blame him for what happened. He had nothing to do with it. However, if he hadn’t moved in across the street, and if Jimmy hadn’t seen him dancing in his room, then I could have kept my life a secret. Jimmy wouldn’t have discovered I am gay, and he wouldn’t have chased me. I wouldn’t have run across the street and gotten hit by a car.

Jeff looked worriedly at me. “Are you okay, Jack?” Tears once again started to fall down his cheek. “I’m sorry I asked you to be my boyfriend. Just forget it, okay?” He then turned and rushed from the room before I could stop him.

I spent the rest of the morning alone. Dad and Mom went home to check on Karen and to get some sleep. Dad said they had spent the night at the hospital, and the doctor didn’t come out until after four to update him about my condition.

I had hoped that Jeff would stay with me, but now I’m not sure he even wants to be my friend anymore, much less my boyfriend. It is still hard to imagine that he feels so strongly about me. I just recently admitted I am gay. I haven’t even considered having a boyfriend. I was having fun doing what Tracy, Jeff and I were doing. We were just a group of guys exploring and experimenting with each other. At least, that is what I thought we are doing.

Now, however, Jeff wants to change things. I can understand how he feels. I guess he thought I was going to die last night. Actually, I thought the same thing when Tyler was holding me, and Jimmy was screaming hysterically. When the paramedics put me in the ambulance, I remember the look on Dad’s face as he sat beside me holding my hand. Everyone seemed so frantic as they rushed me to the hospital. For a while, I thought I might die. Funny thing, though, is it didn’t scare me. Briefly, I thought, if I die so what? Will anyone really miss me? Mom and Dad might even be glad because then they won’t have to deal with me anymore. I thought of my sister, Stephanie. She might get upset. She supports me, and I didn’t want to hurt her. Karen would probably forget about me after a few years. She might even be happy because she could now have my larger bedroom. She’s told me several times she can’t wait until I go to college so she can have my room

As far as friends, I guess Tracy and Jeff would miss me if I had died last night. But then again, we have only known each other for a few weeks. I guess I’ve known Jeff much longer, but we never spoke to each other since the seventh grade. They would hook up and sometimes reminisce about the times we had sex together. Jimmy, Tyler and Bryan definitely wouldn’t miss me. Now, they wouldn’t have to explain to other students why they had been my friends for so long. I can hear other students asking them, “Didn’t you know Jack was gay? Why were you his friend?” Then, they might begin to wonder if they are gay too. They would probably have to spend the rest of the year trying to justify why they had been my friend.

Suddenly, I felt all alone. I looked around the sterile room, and I felt that this is what my life is really all about. Loneliness. I tried to stop them, but tears started to fall from my eyes. I just couldn’t see my life getting any better. I wish I wasn’t gay. My life would be much better if I had inherited the straight gene. Mom and Dad would still be proud of me. I might even have had a girlfriend. Instead of worrying if I was having sex with Tracy, Mom might have worried that I might make her a grandmother before she is ready to be one. But then again, she would have gotten over it and gladly accepted her grandchild. She’ll never accept me having a boyfriend.

And damn Jeff. I like him- a lot. But I can’t say I’m in love with him. However, he’s in love with me. He told me so. I can tell by the way he holds my hand and looks into my eyes that he means it. When we had sex, I knew it meant more to him that what I felt. With me and Tracy, sex is fun. Tracy makes it exciting. However, I don’t think he feels about me the way Jeff does. At least, I don’t think he does. If he did, wouldn’t he have come to see me by now?

I was wiping tears away with my sheet when the door opened and Dr. Vorhees entered. He rushed over to the side of my bed when he noticed me crying. “Are you okay, Jack?” he asked worriedly as he looked down at me. “Are you in pain?”

“No,” I tried to assure him. “I’m okay.”

“Do you need more pain medication?” He lifted the sheet and examined my left leg. He then held my right arm and looked at it. I winced when he pulled on it too firmly.

“No,” I replied as I wiped more tears away.

He looked worriedly and asked, “Then why are you crying?”

I shrugged my shoulders and answered, “I don’t know.”

“Listen, Jack,” he said soothingly as he reached down and rubbed my shoulder. “It’s not unusual for someone to be depressed after going through a harrowing experience you’ve been through.” He smiled and asked, “With your permission, I’m going to ask the hospital psychologist to see you. Do you agree?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer. I know I need someone to talk to. I can’t deal with things by myself anymore. I thought I could, but after the accident, my problems seem unbearable. I looked up and shrugged my shoulders.

He laughed slightly and asked, “Is that a yes or a no?”

I shrugged and responded, “Okay, I guess.”

“Good,” he replied as he patted my arm. “I’ll have Dr. Butler speak to you this morning. I think you’ll be comfortable with her.” He patted my arm once again and left the room.

At noon, an aide brought me lunch. I had filled out a menu order earlier, but I wasn’t very hungry. I looked at the hamburger, fries, ice cream and soda on the tray. It was difficult to eat because I’m right-handed. If I couldn’t handle a hamburger and fries, I was afraid what I might do if I ordered spaghetti, or even worse, soup. I was able to eat about half before I decided I couldn’t eat anymore. I lay back and closed my eyes. I was able to doze off for about a half hour. I was awakened when the door opened, and a woman dressed in a green dress entered. She walked over and smiled down at me. “You must be Jack?” she asked. “I’m Dr. Butler.”

I looked up and asked, “Are you the shrink?” I learned that from watching movies.

“No,” she laughed slightly. “I’m just someone here to help you out with your problems.”

“I’m not sure you can help,” I replied sadly. She may be a psychologist, but she is no miracle worker.

“Let me be the judge of that,” she responded. “I don’t have a magic wand, but I do like to listen.” I nodded my head. Even though I knew nothing about her, I instantly liked her. She appeared younger than my mother, but maybe by only a few years. I also noticed that she didn’t wear a lot of makeup like my mother and Mrs. Craft do. She didn’t seem like she was trying to impress anyone. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail which I thought made her look younger. Overall, her appearance was rather plain and ordinary. She reminded me of many of my teachers over the years.

She reached out and touched my arm. “Tell me how you’re feeling.”

I shrugged my shoulders. “Okay, I guess,” I replied, “for someone who has a busted arm and leg.”

“Are you in any pain?”

“No, Ma’am,” I replied.

“Have you had any visitors?”

“Like who?”

“Your parents, your sister,” she replied. My heart stopped when she added, “Your boyfriend.”

“What?” I asked surprisingly. “Why did you ask me that?”

“I’m going to be honest with you, Jack,” she said as she reached down and squeezed my hand. “Before coming in here, I needed to talk to your parents and get their permission to counsel you.”

I responded bitterly, “And I suppose my mother told you I’m gay?”

She smiled down sympathetically and replied, “Yes, Jack. She did.”

I turned my head away and closed my eyes. I didn’t feel like talking to Dr. Butler anymore. I was sure my mother had already tainted her mind with the fact that I was a sex crazed degenerate.

Dr. Butler squeezed my hand. “Jack, listen to me.” I turned my head and looked up at her. “Your mother is wrong. There is nothing wrong with you.”

“She hates me,” I replied as I tried to hold back tears.

“Hate is a strong word,” remarked Dr. Butler. “She’s just confused.”

“That’s what my father said,” I replied.

Dr. Butler spent the next ten minutes talking about my mother and the trouble she was having accepting a gay son. She said there are many reasons for her behavior, but she wouldn’t be able to identify them better until she had more time to talk to her. I found it ironic that I assumed the reason that she was here was to try and analyze me, not my mother. She gave me a puzzled look when I started laughing.

“What’s so funny?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I responded. “I thought Dr. Vorhees wanted you to help me with my problems.”

“I am,” she said. “Your problem is your mother.” She patted me on my arm and added with a reassuring smile, “There is nothing wrong with you.”

“You don’t think it’s wrong to be gay?”

“Of course not,” she replied. “You can’t help being gay no more than I can help being a lesbian.”

“What!” I shouted.

“Jack,” she assured me. “There is nothing wrong with you- or me. We are what we are. We just have to make people understand that. From what I have been able to observe so far, you appear to have a pretty strong support group around you. Your father loves you, and so does your sister.”

“You’ve met Stephanie?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied. “She out in the waiting room to see you.” She grinned and added, “Her friend, Darren, is a hottie.”

I started laughing uproariously. “You’re worse that Jeff.”

I stopped laughing when she asked, “Your boyfriend?”

She immediately noticed the change in my behavior. I turned my head away from her and remained quiet. “Jack?” She took my hand, squeezed it and asked, “Is Jeff your boyfriend?”

I shrugged my shoulders and responded sadly, “I don’t know.”

She asked, “You don’t know if he is your boyfriend, or you don’t know if you want him to be your boyfriend?”

Tears welled up in my eyes as I replied, “I don’t know.”

She looked at her watch. “I think we’ve talked enough this session. Would it be alright if I came back tomorrow to see you?”

“I supposed,” I answered. I still couldn’t believe how much we had discussed without me feeling embarrassed. She knew more about how I was feeling than I felt I knew. Maybe it was because she was also gay.

“One other thing before I go,” she said as I nodded. “Try to understand where Jeff is coming from. Maybe he loves you more than you want him to, but don’t close your heart to him.” She patted my hand and left the room. I turned my head on the pillow and cried.

I hurriedly wiped tears away when the door opened. Stephanie entered with Darren beside her. My father and mother followed them into the room. Stephanie rushed over to the bed, leaned down and cried into my shoulder. “Jack,” she cried. “Are you alright?”

I squeezed her tightly and assured her that I was okay. “Guess I won’t be playing basketball for a while,” I laughed.

She kissed me on my forehead and asked playfully, “When did you ever play basketball?” I looked behind her and saw Darren looking down worriedly. He attempted a smile when I waved at him.

“Hi, Darren.”

He approached the bed and held my hand. “How’s my favorite guy?” he asked.

I giggled and replied, “I thought Clayton was your guy?” I looked over at my mother who was sitting in a chair when she loudly cleared her throat. I spent the next few minutes telling them about the accident. Darren became very upset when I told him that I was hit by the van when I ran across the street to avoid Jimmy.

He looked over at my father and asked if the police were aware of what I had said. My father explained that Jimmy and Tyler had spent the night at the police station being questioned.

“He deserves to be in jail,” angrily responded my sister. Darren nodded his head in agreement.

“He didn’t know I was going to get hit,” I said as I tried to defend him. I don’t know why, but I still felt that I was to blame for the accident. If I had looked before running into the street, I could have avoided getting hit.

Just then, Dr. Vorhees entered the room. There appeared to be two more doctors with him, a man and a woman wearing white jackets like he had on. Stephanie and Darren stepped aside as he approached.

“How are you feeling?” he asked as he lifted the sheet to examine my leg. He grabbed my foot and bent it back slightly. When I let out a grunt, he smiled and assured me that I was supposed to feel a little pain. The female doctor examined my leg and then covered me with the sheet. She then looked at my arm, twisting it slightly. Again, I moaned slightly. The other doctor examined the area where I my head had hit the van. He asked if I felt any pain when he pressed on it, and I told him I didn’t.

Dr. Vorhees stepped back and informed me that he would like me to get up and move around. “So soon?” I asked.

“Normally, I would have had you walking this morning, but I see by your chart that Dr. Butler was in to speak to you.” He eyed me briefly before asking, “How did that go?”

I quickly looked over at my parents. I wasn’t sure if she had spoken to them after we had talked. My father nodded his head slightly, and I informed Dr. Vorhees that everything had gone well. “She’s a great doctor,” he responded as he patted me on my arm.

He looked at Darren and asked if he was my brother. “No, Sir,” he replied. “Just a family friend.”

He asked, “Do you think that you could help Jack take a few steps around the room?”

“Of course,” he replied. “I’d be happy to.”

Dr. Vorhees looked at my sister and parents. “I’m going to ask you to leave the room for a little while. I’m going to have a nurse come in and assist Jack to walk with the help of his friend.”

Stephanie asked, “Why can’t we stay?”

He looked around the room and explained that it was too small, and that I would need space to walk. Besides, I might be uncomfortable with too many people in the room. She leaned down and kissed me before she and my parents left the room. I watched as my mother rose and left without saying anything to me.

The three doctors left, and Darren stood by the side of the bed looking down at me. “I know you say you’re okay, but I think you’re just saying that so you won’t upset everyone.”

“No,” I tried to persuade him, “I’m okay. Watch.” I lifted my leg a little to show him I could move it.

“I’m not talking about your body,” he replied. “What about you?”

“What about me?” I asked. I had just finished talking to Dr. Butler for an hour. The last thing I wanted was for someone else to try and analyze me.

He asked, “Are things any better with your mother?”

I shrugged my shoulders and replied, “I don’t think so. I don’t know if things will ever get any better.” I sighed and added, “She saw me kissing Jeff.”

Darren started laughing. “Damn, Dude.” He looked down at my crotch. “Can’t you keep that thing in your pants?”

“We weren’t doing anything. Honest,” I replied. “He was showing me how much he cares for me.”

Darren asked, “Is he your boyfriend?”

For the second time, I was being asked if Jeff was my boyfriend. “I don’t think so,” I answered.

Darren laughed slightly. “Don’t think so. What does that mean? Either he is or he isn’t.”

“He wants to be,” I said sadly.

“But you don’t?” I shook my head.

Darren carefully sat on the side of the bed. “I went through the same thing when I was your age.” He looked out the window at the clouds slowly moving past. “His name was Derrick.”

“So, what happened?”

“Derrick had a huge crush on me. I liked him and all, and we had sex a few times.”

“Really?” I giggled. I could also feel my cock start to harden as I imagined Darren having sex with another boy.

“Okay,” he laughed. “We had a lot of sex.” I was now hard. I looked down and saw my dick poking into the blanket. Darren glanced down, but he didn’t tease me. I guess he knew what it was like to be sixteen and horny all the time.

“What happened to Derrick?” I was hoping he would go into more detail about their sex life.

He explained, “Things were going along well. We were spending a lot time together. Then one night we were lying in bed, and he rolled over and kissed me.”

“You had never kissed before?” I asked.

“No,” he replied. “It was always just sex.” Okay, down boy. “Then he told me he loved me.”

All I could say was “Wow. Then what?” I could imagine them making passionate love after that.

“I don’t know,” he said sadly. “Things kind of changed after that. I had never thought about love before, and it kind of scared me.”

I sat up in bed. “That’s what’s happening with me,” I confessed. My face reddened when I admitted, “Me and Jeff were having fun, then this morning he told me he wanted us to be boyfriends.”

He asked, “What did you say?”

Tears welled up in my eyes. “I didn’t say anything. He ran from the room when I didn’t say yes.”

Darren gripped my hand and said, “You know you’re going to have to talk to him about this.”

“What do I say?” I asked tearfully. “I don’t know what I want.”

He smiled at me. “You’ll know,” he replied. “We have this little voice inside us that tells us how we feel. When the moment is right, it will talk to you.”

“I hope so,” I said tearfully. He squeezed my hand tighter.

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