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Note: All sexually involved characters in this story are Eighteen years of age or older. There is a young, gay boy, 15 year old Fernando, whose father has kicked him out (which happens way too often in real life) and CPS (Child Protective Services) have placed him with foster parents, a married straight couple. There is no direct, or implied, sexual activity between Fernando and any other character in this story.
Ahead in Part 33
Fernie ‘breaks in’ his new activewear
Fernando gets his bike
Fernie and Liz go biking in the park
Jamal’s father initiates the new grill
Granny’s life is hanging on a thread
* * * * * *
DJ Part 33
Wednesday evening when Fernando got home with Antonio and Maria, he had explained to Maria about how the flannel activewear would shrink when washed, and got Maria to wash them, just in warm soapy water, and then dry them for morning. While she was washing them, she also took his gym shorts and tank top, and washed them as well.
Thursday morning Fernie packed his gym bag with the set of black activewear and his ball glove. He picked up the jockey strap and shoved it into the bag as well.
At about 8:05 he grabbed his backpack, and gym bag and walked to the bus stop.
Liz, noting the gym bag, “Fernie, this is girls gym day, you had gym yesterday.”
“But I have softball practice after school today,” Fernie replied, “I don’t have my gym clothes in here, I have my sweats and my new ball glove.”
The bus arrived and they went to their shared seat.
“Fernie” Liz said, “can I see your new glove?”
“Sure,” Fernie answered, opening his gym bag and pulling it out.
Liz, examining it, “Wal-Mart?” Fernie nodded. “That’s where mine came from too, it’s just like mine.”
* * * * * *
When the 3:15 bell rang, Fernie went to his locker and got his gym bag, and headed to the boy’s locker room. He stashed his backpack into his locker and was ready to put on his sweats. He considered putting on the jockey strap, but considered the consequences.
When you put on a jockey strap, you need to remove your underwear, and that exposes your penis for any other boys to see. Because Fernie’s penis is uncut, he is reluctant to expose it, so he just left the jockey strap in the gym bag, pulled out the sweats and pulled them on over his briefs, then pulled the top over his head and replaced his sneakers. He then hung his street clothes in the locker, shoved the gym bag in, and closed the locker.
Fernie recalled having skipped showers after gym both Monday and Wednesday, because he didn’t want other boys to see his uncut penis. Today there were about 12 boys in the locker room preparing for softball practice and about half of them just pulled on practice wear over their underwear as he had done. The other half, six guys, put on jockey straps, and he observed that four of them were cut and two were uncut. Maybe having an uncut penis isn’t as rare as he had thought.
He made a decision, come Monday, after gym class, he will shower with the rest of the boys, and try to observe if any of the other boys in gym class are uncut. Maybe, just maybe, he isn’t alone. He grabbed his glove and headed out to the diamond.
Coach Fritton was checking the roster and two of the regular pitchers were absent.
Coach, walking towards Fernando, “Fernando, have you ever tried pitching?” Fernando shook his head. “Would you like to try?”
“I’ve not really thought about it,” Fernando answered.
“I’d like you to try,” Coach said, “It doesn’t take a lot of power to pitch, but accuracy is critical. Picture it like a box, the width of the home plate, the top at the batters shoulder height and the bottom at his knees. I’ve got a practice box over here, this is designed for a practicing pitcher. It has an elastic net in the strike zone, let me show you.”
Coach pitched a ball toward the box, it was in the strike zone, and the net bounced the ball back toward him, and he picked it up.
“I want you to work with this box for about a half an hour, your goal is to have at least 4 out of 5 pitches coming back to you, and if you miss, you’ll have to go fetch your ball. Go ahead and try it, just aim for the net.”
Fernando, grinning, threw the ball into the net, and the ball bounced back to him and he picked it up off the ground. This was actually kinda fun.
“Half an hour, Gomez.” The coach walked away and Fernando kept pitching the ball into the net. Most of them hit the net, and came back to him, like boomerangs. This was fun, Fernie wished he had one of these contraptions at home.
Coach, returning to Fernando,” How are we doing?”
“OK I think, but I have lost track of how many I’ve done.”
“Do a few more, Gomez, and I’ll keep score,” Coach stated.
Coach, after 10 more tries, “OK, that’s 8 out of 10, that matches your goal.” Putting his hand on Fernie’s shoulder as they walked back toward the rest of the players, “I’m gonna make a pitcher out of you!” Fernando was gaziantep escort smiling.
“We’re missing a couple of players today,” Coach said, “so we’ll have two teams of 8 instead of 9, only two outfielders on each team. Since it’s pitchers that we’re missing, Gomez is pitching on Team B, and Price on Team A, and Team A is up to bat.”
Coach walked to the pitchers mound, “Gomez, the strike zone is between the batters shoulders and knees, and over the home plate. Just picture the box standing there, and aim for the catchers mitt, and you’ll do fine.”
Fernando pitched all seven innings for the B Team, and Price all seven for the A Team. B won today, 7 to 4.
“Gomez,” Coach called him over, “Price is our leading pitcher, but he’s a senior, and this is his third season. I’m really impressed with your performance today, you’re going to be a good pitcher, I’m proud of you, Gomez. See you next Monday.”
As the boys went back to the locker room to change and go home, Fernando received several complements like “great job, rookie” and “I think you’re gonna be a great Cards pitcher” and “Good going, Gomez”, Fernando was feeling very ‘accepted’, at least by his teammates.
* * * * * *
We got back from the city about 2:00 PM Thursday afternoon. I didn’t have a lot of time to kill as I was due to work at 3:00 PM. Joe is off on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s. DJ had promised Jamie that he would help put Fernando’s bike together, and they left for Jamie’s house shortly after we arrived, and DJ is scheduled to work at 5:00 PM today.
Joe, while I was getting ready for work, “Doug, I suppose I need to call my sister, and let her know what’s going on with Mom. She’s probably going to blame me, because Mom came out here for our wedding, but I didn’t make her stay here, that was Mom’s decision. Maybe if my sister wasn’t such a bitch, Mom would have been more prone to return to California.”
“I’m concerned about DJ,” I said, “Mom and DJ had a really special relationship, and if Mom passes, I’m afraid DJ’s not going to be able to handle it, he’s going to be a mess.”
“I think you’re right, Doug, DJ’s going to need all the support we can muster. You may want to give Randy a heads-up.”
“I’ll do that, Joe,” I said, “are you going to be ok? I need to leave.”
“I’ll be fine, love,” Joe said, as he kissed me goodbye.
* * * * * *
DJ and Jamie arrived back at the Seldon home about 2:30 PM and walked in the back door. Phil had just left for work about 5 minutes earlier as he was due at 3:00. Karen, Carl and Bryan were all still sitting at the table, Carl needed to leave by 3:00 and Bryan about 3:30.
“Welcome back,” Karen greeted, “There is still some food left if you guys are hungry.”
“No thanks, Mom,” Jamie responded, “Doug stopped at Cracker Barrel and bought us all lunch on the way back.”
“How is Aggie doing, and did you talk with the doctor?” Karen asked.
“Doctor Ayles explained the situation,” Jamie replied, “she had a heart attack, and they performed emergency surgery last night after she arrived. He told us not to get our hopes too high, and that it was possible that she could make a full recovery, but that he really felt that her days are numbered,”
DJ started to sob, with tears streaming down his face. Carl stood up and wrapped his arms around DJ, letting DJ cry on his shoulder, and holding him tightly.
DJ, sobbing, “I’ve never lost—anybody close—that I really loved—like I love my Granny.”
“Son,” Carl said, “we haven’t lost her yet, Doc did say that she could make a full recovery.”
“He also said—that he felt—that her days—are numbered. That—means she—is dying! I’m—going to lose—my Granny!”
“DJ,” Carl stated, “life is a cycle, we’re born, we live, and we die, and we all go through it. One of Aggie’s biggest wishes was to see her son get married, and she saw that happen, when Doug and Joe got married. I think Aggie lived a good life, and if she should pass, she’ll die happy.”
“Sweetheart,” Karen spoke, “you have a very loving family that cares deeply for you, and we are all feeling the pain you’re going through.”
“DJ,” Bryan said, “Phil and I consider you and Jamie to be our best and closest friends, if there is anything we can do to help ease the pain, please call on us, we really do care. When you hurt, we hurt.”
“Baby,” Jamie said, “do you feel up to helping me with that bike?”
“Sure, Jamie, maybe it will help me get Granny off of my mind for a while,” DJ answered, “let’s do it!” Jamie and DJ both donned light jackets and headed out to the garage.
* * * * * *
“Randy,” I said, as I clocked in, “we need to talk.”
“Oh Oh!” Randy exclaimed, “what’s up Doug?”
“We’ve had a major upset in our family,” I explained, “my mother-in-law, Joe’s Mom, had a heart attack last night and was taken to the hospital, up in the city, they did emergency surgery and of course admitted her, she is in CICU. Joe and I, along with DJ and Jamie, went up there this morning. The doctor told us he doesn’t have a lot of hope for her recovery. It’s probable that she will not make it home again.”
“Oh, Doug, I’m so sorry,” Randy replied, “Do you need time off?”
“Not yet,” I replied, “she is almost 84, and Joe and I are prepared for the worst, but we’re worried about DJ. She is DJ’s only grandparent, and she and DJ have a very special relationship. If she passes on, it’s going to destroy DJ. Joe and I have concerns about DJ, he’s not too strong, emotionally, and we think DJ is going to be a mess, and not able to handle the loss.”
“DJ is scheduled at 5:00 today,” Randy stated, “do you think he’ll be in to work?”
“Yes, I think so, but this is weighing pretty heavy on him, and he may not be himself. The major thing will be what happens if she passes on.”
“Thanks for the heads-up, Doug,” Randy said, “I know that DJ is rather fragile, and I’ll try to be extra considerate around him until this thing blows over, and I sincerely hope she recovers. I would assume that if she doesn’t make it, you and DJ will both need some bereavement leave. Please keep me posted.”
Meanwhile, back at the house, Joe is debating when and even if he should call his sister. She and her husband have never been very close to him, as they are both homophobes, but Aggie is still her mother as well. It’s a little past 3:00 PM here, so it’s only a little past noon in California. His sister doesn’t work so she should be home and up. Joe placed the call and his sister answered, noting his number.
“Hi Joe, what do you want?” she asked.
“I don’t WANT anything, but I thought you’d want to be aware of Mom’s situation, as she is your mother too.”
“So what is that, Joe?”
Joe spent the next 3 or 4 minutes explaining Mom’s condition.
“Well Joe, you dragged her all the way across the country so she could attend your Mock Wedding, and then convinced her to stay there, so I would say that she is your responsibility.”
“Sis! Hold on a minute.” Joe exclaimed, “I bought her a round trip ticket, planning on sending her back to California. Doug and I had no idea she had decided to stay here, until we returned from our honeymoon, and she had already found a place to live, at the Golden Age Senior Community. It was completely her decision to not go back home.”
“Well, Joe, if and when she kicks the bucket, don’t expect us to travel across the country to attend her funeral. Dad had bought her a life insurance policy that is paid in full, and it’s likely with her belongings, and I think she also had made out a will. When she dies, I’m trusting you to cash that policy and send me my portion of the proceeds.”
“Since she lives near you now, when she dies, it’s all your responsibility to make the final arrangements, just send me a copy of the obituary, and the Death Certificate. Is there anything else we need to discuss?”
“I don’t think so, sis, have a good life!” Joe hung up. He knew that his sister and her husband despised his lifestyle, but had never realized how cold she could really be, until now.
* * * * * *
It took Jamie and DJ about 45 minutes to assemble Fernando’s new bike, and when done, Jamie took it out for a test drive, about half a mile up the road. When he returned, he dropped it to a lower gear, rode up the driveway and into the garage, then DJ followed suit. They agreed that it rode pretty nicely, and Fernie will be pleased. Jamie made a call to Antonio and put his phone on speaker.
“Antonio,” Jamie spoke, “DJ and I just got the bike together, and we both test drove it, it rides like a champ. DJ has to be to work at 5:00, but he can drop it off, on his way to work today, where would you like him to drop it off?”
“Would it be too much trouble to put it on our back porch?” Antonio asked.
“No,” DJ spoke, “but what is the address?”
“112 Cherry St., it’s a kind of gray-blue house, and the back porch is covered so it won’t get rained on.” Then, chuckling, “I’ll let him discover it tonight, after we get home.”
DJ opened the hatch door of the Tracker and placed the bike inside, then returned to the house and put on his work shirt. He kissed Karen and Jamie and left. He drove to 112 Cherry, pulled the bike out and pushed it to the back of the house, and placed it on the back porch, then headed to Southside Drug to work his 5-9 shift. Jamie was scheduled off today.
Randy had done DJ a favor by giving the staff a heads-up as to what DJ was dealing with, and asked them not to question him about it. DJ functioned quite normally that evening, but everyone missed that patented smile that DJ always wore. He really was not himself today. The staff knew what DJ was feeling, and quietly shared his pain.
* * * * * *
When Fernie got dropped off at the pizzeria, about 6:00 PM that Thursday evening, he literally ran in, bubbling with excitement. He couldn’t wait to tell Maria and Antonio about the coach training him to be a pitcher. His parents had never seen him this excited before and they loved it. Maria fed him dinner, and Antonio suggested he do his homework. They locked up the restaurant and headed home just shortly after 9:00 PM. Maria made some hot cocoa, and the three sat at the table sipping it.
“What was that?” Antonio asked, “I heard a noise out back, Fernie, will you check out back and see if there is someone out there?”
“Sure, Dad,” Fernando went out the back door, and didn’t see anybody, but his eyes fell on the bike, and he recognized it as the same bike that Jamie had bought yesterday. He came back in, somewhat bewildered.
“Dad?” Fernie asked, “Why is Jamie’s new bike on our back porch?”
Maria was grinning, and Antonio couldn’t hold back the laughter. The confused look on Fernie’s face was priceless.
“Maybe it wasn’t for Jamie?” Antonio laughed, “I think we just pulled a fast one on you, I think that bike has ‘Fernando’ written all over it.”
Fernando, jumping on Antonio’s lap and throwing his arms around his neck, kissing him on the cheek, “I can’t believe you got that for me, I love it! It’s beautiful, Mom,” and he gave Maria a loving kiss and hug.
“Dad, I need to give it a spin, can I?” Fernie asked.
“It’s dark, son, I think you should wait until daylight.”
“It’s got lights, Dad, and I’m only going out a couple of blocks, I’ll be careful, and I won’t be gone long.” Fernando begged.
“OK Son,” Antonio softened, “but turn on the lights and be careful!”
“Try to be back in about 15 minutes,” Maria said, “or we’ll start to worry about you.”
Fernie returned in about 20 minutes, parked the bike on the back porch and came in through the back door, locking it behind him.
“How does it ride, Son?” Antonio asked.
“Awesome!” Fernie replied, “I love it, thank you so much!”
“It’s getting late,” Maria stated, “and you have school tomorrow.”
“OK Mom,” Fernie replied, “I’m going to bed now.” Fernie kissed his parent’s goodnight and headed to his room for the night. Antonio and Maria went to bed shortly afterwards.
“Baby,” Maria lamented, “I wasn’t sure what we were getting ourselves into when we agreed to be foster parents to Fernando, but if this is what parenthood is like, it’s really a joy beyond compare. The love I have acquired for that young man is endless. I thought it was going to be like having a star boarder, but it’s more like being a complete family.”
“I know,” Antonio replied, “it’s hard for me to even think of him as a foster child, I think of him as our Son. His father’s loss is our gain, and we got the better end of the deal. Goodnight sweetheart.”
Maria and Antonio cuddled together and soon fell asleep.
* * * * * *
Friday morning, March 2nd was pretty typical, in one house, Maria was cooking breakfast for her husband and son. Fernando needed to be at the bus stop by 8:10.
In another house, Karen was fixing breakfast for DJ, Jamie and Bryan as they were all leaving for college by 8:30 AM.
Fernie met with Liz at the stop about 8:05, and while waiting for the bus Fernie told Liz about how the coach wanted to make a pitcher of him, and that he had pitched all 7 innings of their practice game yesterday.
Once they got their seat on the bus, Liz told Fernie she was proud of him, and then Fernie told her about having received the new bike.
“That’s great, Fernie!” Liz exclaimed, “Now we can go biking together, do you have plans for tomorrow?”
“Not really,” Fernie answered, “do you have something in mind?”
“Well, now that you have a bike, we could go biking in the morning, if your parents will let you stay home, like last week,” Liz said, “and I know I can get my Mom to invite you for lunch. Maybe in the afternoon, we could watch a couple of movies together at my house.”
“Will your Mom be home all day?” Fernie asked.
“Of course,” Liz replied, “she would never let me bring a friend into the house unless she was there, especially if that friend is a boy!”
Fernando is thinking to himself, ‘how would her Mom feel, if she knew he liked boys?’ and he kinda wishes that Liz was a boy. Oh, well.
Fernie, grinning, “That’s understandable, is there a basketball game tonight?”
“Yes,” Liz said, “it’s an away game, and I’ll be on the bus with the team and the other cheerleaders, but if you want to go, there is also a spectator bus. You would need to sign up to ride it, and I think it will be leaving around 6:30 from the school. If we win this game, we will qualify for the playoffs.”
“I’d like to go,” Fernie replied, “but Friday nights are really busy, and I think Mom and Dad need my help at the pizzeria. Going biking together tomorrow sounds like fun though. Liz, even if I don’t go to the game tonight, my spirit will be there, rooting for the Cardinals.” Liz smiled.
Friday afternoon the bus dropped Fernie off at the pizzeria and he walked in and dropped his backpack behind the counter. Antonio came out from the kitchen, gave Fernie a hug, and pulled a small package out from under the cash register.
“This came for you today,” Antonio said, handing the package to Fernie.”
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