Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Man frrom Swift Current Chapter Forty Five - Our New Apartment

Chapter Forty Five -  Our New Apartment

I felt so warm and comfortable with Rick’s arms around me I didn’t’ want to wake up.    I was having such wonderful dreams, too!   However, as the events for the previous day flooded my mind, I shivered.   Coming from a small farming community on the Saskatchewan prairie, I was completely unprepared for the magnitude of the virulent hatred directed at me personally.  The violence of the destruction of our apartment was beyond anything I had ever imagined even in my worst nightmares!    My mind just couldn’t process the fact that anyone could really be that evil.   I had read about such things happening in the United States and in other places but I never dreamed I would ever be the focus of such malignant, demonic behavior.   I shivered, again.  

Rick pulled me closer, “Are you okay, Babe?”

“I am okay as long as I am in your arms,” I said, looking into my lover boy’s eyes.

“I know better,” Rick said, chastising me with the look in his eyes.   “I know you're still traumatized from yesterday,” Rick said, concern coloring his voice.

“You're right.   The memories of how badly our apartment was damaged and reading those horrible things written on the wall are enough to scare anyone; but the worst thing was seeing those Ken dolls hanging in the shower.   Are all Americans that hateful towards people who are different than they are?” I asked, still shivering from the shock and horror of the experience.

“No, only a few religious fanatics,” Rick replied.

“Isn’t that just about everyone who lives here?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” Rick asked.

“If I remember your history correctly, it started with the Puritans running people out of the colony because they didn’t hold the same religious views and it continues today?” I asked.   “Weren’t the Puritans the ones who burned people at the stake for being witches?”

“That’s true but how does that have anything to do with what happened yesterday?” Rick asked.

“It’s just that your country has a history of persecuting people who don’t hold to the same views as their own or who are different.   Just like the Puritans tried to force their religious views on everyone, your family is trying to force their views on us.   And just like the Puritans who burned people at the stake for being witches, they are trying to kill us for being gay,” I said.

“Yes, my family seems to be behind what is going on.   However, I don’t agree with you about Americans being so intolerant of other people though,” Rick said.

“Then why has the Ku Klux Klan been able to get away with lynching blacks?   My Mom told me about the many lynchings that happened near Stone Mountain and the prejudice there is towards African Americans.   How about the same type of prejudice towards Hispanics or the many other immigrant groups that have come to your country?   Italians, Irish, Germans, Japanese, and Chinese to name a few,” I said.

Rick was silent for a minute, before he responded,  “Glenn, you’re right about the prejudice being there but it’s not everyone who feels that way.”

“I know it is not everyone but it sure seems like it when we're the ones being targeted,” I said.   “I don’t mean to offend you, Rick, but I’m scared and I don’t know who we can trust.   Even your police friend wasn’t exactly friendly when she found out you were in love with me.”

“I’m feeling the same way, Babe.   It’s got me really worried about starting school tomorrow.   I don’t want you to go to your classes alone tomorrow.”

“And I’m worried about you as well, Rick.   As long as we're with a group, I think we’ll be okay,” I said.   “You have classes with Keith, right?”

“Yes, we're in the same classes together so don’t worry about me,” Rick said.  “The only class I don’t have with Keith is the Spanish class I’m taking with you.”

“You guys can walk me to my first class, then you can pick me up and walk with me to Spanish.   Will that work?” I asked.

“Yes, that will work for tomorrow.   We will need to talk to Keith and Kerry to work out our schedules so neither of us is alone,” Rick replied.

Rick kissed me and held me close.   “Now that we’re together, I don’t want to lose you.”

I snuggled closer to the warmth of his body breathing in his masculine scent.   “You make me feel so safe and warm, Rick.   I don’t want to ever get up,” I mumbled into the hair on his chest.

Rick laughed and said, “I wish we could stay like this, too, but we have a lot to do today.”

I looked into Rick’s eyes.  “I know we need to get up and get dressed.   We have a busy day ahead of us.   I want to get settled into our new place if at all possible.”

I kissed Rick one more time before helping him up out of bed and we showered together.   This time, we didn’t run out of hot water!

We spent the rest of the day shopping for furniture and other items to furnish our condo. We felt like newlyweds establishing our first household together.   I think we learned more about each other than we had the last few weeks as we discussed what kinds of things to buy for the condo.  

Rick left the kitchen to me.   His only requirement was we buy non-stick pans so he could cook without burning anything!   After we picked up the kitchen stuff, we started looking at furniture.  I like cherry wood furniture.   I love its rich tones and the beauty of the patterns in the wood.   We found a nice dining room table as well as furniture for the front room.   We found beautiful crystal table lamps with a brass finish.

“Glenn, I didn’t know you were an interior decorator?” Rick joked with me.

“I am not an interior decorator but I do know what looks good together.   I’m going to call Grandpa.   I want to get a new piano so I can practice at home and not at the school,” I said.

I pulled out my cell and placed the call to my Grandparents home.   Grandpa answered on the first ring, “Hello.”

“Hi, Grandpa we are out getting things for the condo and I wanted to ask if it is okay for us to get a piano for the condo?”

“Yes, I would really like to be able to visit you and hear you play the piano.”

“What kind should I buy?”

“I think a baby grand would be in order.   If you can’t find one you like, an upright grand piano will do.”

“Thanks, Grandpa.   I will let you know what we find.   Bye.”

“Good-bye, Glenn.”

Rick stood there amazed.   “Did your Grandpa just say to buy a baby grand piano?”

“Yes, he did.   I was a little surprised myself.   I expected him to tell me to buy a moderately priced piano,” I said, nearly as amazed as Rick.

“Let’s ask the furniture salesman if he knows where we can find a good piano,” Rick said.

Rick asked and received directions to a nearby music store that sold pianos.   As soon as we walked in, I saw an electronic keyboard.   I sat down and tried it out.   It sounded wonderful.   Right away I knew I was in love!

“Do you think we could get this one instead of a regular piano,” I asked Rick.

“I don’t know.   Grandpa was pretty specific about what he wanted you to buy.   Maybe we should look at the regular pianos first then call Grandpa back and ask his opinion,” Rick suggested.

We found nice upright grand piano for a good price so we called Grandpa and he agreed to let us get both the upright piano and the keyboard.   I was very excited!   The piano had a cherry veneer that matched our other furniture and the keyboard would fit nicely in the extra bedroom.   It came with headphones so I could play as long as I wanted and not disturb anyone.   I could hardly wait for them to be delivered to our condo!

When we arrived back at the condos, we went directly up to our condo and started planning where we would put the furniture.  As we discussed the pros and cons of putting certain pieces of furniture in the front room, I looked around at the walls and said, “We need artwork to go on the walls.”

Rick looked at me in surprise, “Do you really think we do?”

“Yeah, we do,” I insisted.   “Plain white walls just don’t seem very welcoming or inviting.   We need some color.   In fact, we need an accent wall,” I said.

“What’s an accent wall?” Rick asked looking at me like I’d lost my mind.

“An accent wall is one wall of a room that is painted a different color than the other three.   It’s usually a color that will tie the room together.   Our tables and piano are cherry and the furniture is charcoal grey with hints of light blue.   So a light blue accent wall would look nice or a burgundy one with stencils of grapevines on it.”

Rick just shook his head, laughing at my excitement and enthusiasm.   “I think we should wait until the furniture shows up before we decide to start painting walls or buying artwork.”

I started to protest when Rick took me in his arms and kissed me passionately, effectively cutting off any more discussion as I responded to his kisses.  

Rick pulled back for a moment and looked into my eyes.  “I love you, Glenn.   I think we should celebrate being in our new home by having sex right here in the middle of the front room floor.”

I looked up and him and grinned.  “I’m not sure we should.  It’s not really ours, yet.”

“But it soon will be,” Rick responded.   Before I could say anything else, Rick pulled my t-shirt over my head and had pushed my jeans and Speedos down around my ankles.  I stepped out of them as I helped Rick out of his jeans and muscle shirt.   I couldn’t keep my eyes off of Rick and my dick was pointing skyward.   His gorgeous body always has that affect on me!

Rick laughed as he looked me over.  “It looks like you’re ready for action.”   He pulled me to him as he captured my mouth with his.

When he pulled back from kissing me, I said, “It seems to me  you’re just as ready as I am,” as I ran my hands up and down his well muscled back.  

Rick looked into my eyes and smiled and helped me lay down on my back.  He quickly pulled off his boxer shorts and made love to me right there on the floor in the empty condo.   I let go of all my worries and cares and surrendered myself to his tender caresses.

“I love you Glenn,” Rick whispered in my ear as he made me his.

It seems that the intensity of our release was that much greater given the stress of the last few days.   We both needed it.   We fell asleep in the aftermath of our rigorous coupling.  

A while later we woke up in each other’s arms.   I looked into Rick’s eyes and said, “I love you, Babe.”

Rick kissed me and nibbled on my ear.   He whispered in my ear, “I love you, too.”   He kissed the nape of my neck, sending a shiver of pleasure down my spine.   “We should go downstairs,” Rick said, grinning at me.  

We cleaned up and went downstairs to Keith and Kerry’s place.   Keith took one look at us and said, “We had a little fun did we?”

Rick laughed and responded, “Yeah.   Don’t you wish you could’ve joined in the fun?!!”

“No! I’ve got what I want.   Kerry keeps me very happy, thank you very much!   I’m glad you guys were able to spend some time alone today,” Keith replied with a big grin on his face.   “Can’t have you two slacking off in the sex department!   If you don’t keep Rick happy, Glenn, the next thing you’ll know, Rick will be out womanizing, again, and we can’t have that!”

Rick punched Keith in the shoulder.  “Don’t tease Glenn that way!   You know he doesn’t like you teasing him!”

 “I’m only kidding, Glenn,” Keith said, pretending to be repentant but barely hiding a smile.   “I’m sorry if I offended you.”

“It’s okay.   I know Rick loves me and wouldn’t cheat on me.   Besides, he loves being rimmed and tongue fucked!” I said, laughing at Keith’s surprised expression.   “What? Haven’t you ever had your ass tongued fucked?”

Rick started laughing at Keith’s discomfort.  “Keith, look what you started!   You know Glenn loves to embarrass you by talking dirty!”

“He’s certainly succeeded, again!” Keith said with some energy.  “Okay, Glenn, I’m sorry I started teasing you.”

This time he really sounded sorry so I decided to lay off a bit.  “Okay, I’ll stop giving you a hard time.   Where is Kerry?”

“She’s next door visiting with our new neighbors.   They seem like really nice people.   Have you met any of your neighbors, yet?” Keith asked.

“No, we haven’t been up there long enough for anyone to figure out we’ve moved in.   All of our furniture will be delivered later this week so I’m sure we’ll start seeing our neighbors once it arrives,” Rick replied.

Keith followed us into the kitchen.  “Kerry left you guys some supper in the fridge.   I hope you like teriyaki beef and rice.”

“Thanks for thinking of us,” I said as Keith popped the leftovers into the microwave to warm.

“Have the police found who trashed your apartment, Rick?” Keith asked.

“I haven’t heard anything, yet,” Rick replied.   He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and called his friend, Melodie, and put it on speaker so we could all hear what she had to say.   We all sat down at the table surrounding the phone.

“Hello, Melodie, this is Rick.”

“Hello, Rick, I was just going to give you call.   They have arrested a few suspects in connection with the destruction of your apartment.”

“Who are they?”

“There are four of them:  George and Peyton Campbell, James Lernier, and Angie Jackson.   They have identified themselves as relatives of yours.”

Rick and I stared at each other in shock!   When the silence continued, Melodie asked, “Are you still there, Rick?”

Rick responded, “Yeah.   I’m still here.  They are my dad, uncle, cousin and ex-girlfriend.   How did you find them?”

“The apartment manager called in a complaint about someone vandalizing the gazebo near the rental office.   When officers arrived they found Mr. Peyton Campbell and Ms. Jackson in the middle of tearing apart the wood benches with a crowbar.   They were arrested and charged with destruction of private property.   When we checked their fingerprints, we found they matched the fingerprints we found in the apartment.   They have confessed to destroying the apartment when they didn’t find you there.   Mr. Lernier and the older Mr. Campbell have pleaded innocent and are currently being held until bail can be set.”

“How long have they been in jail?”

“We picked them up this morning when they came to see Ms. Jackson and Mr. Jones.   They weren’t aware that the younger two had already confessed and that they had been named as participants in the demolition of the apartment.   We have interviewed just about everyone who lives in your apartment building.   Your neighbors gave us a description of four people who went in and out of your apartment with what looked like crowbars and long sections of pipe.   We brought your neighbors down to the station where they picked each of these four out of a line-up of people as being the individuals they saw.   It doesn’t look good for them, Rick.”

“I’m not surprised to find out that my uncle, cousin and ex-girlfriend were involved in destroying the apartment but I’m shocked that my Dad was with them.”

“I’m sorry, Rick.   I will let you know if anything changes,” Melodie said.

“Thank you for letting us know what has happened,” Rick said and hung up on the call.

I knew from looking into Rick’s eyes that he was really hurting inside.   The pain went even deeper this time than when his parents first found out he was gay.   Up until now, we had always tried to make excuses for his parents’ behavior.   Rick held out some hope that they would come to accept him, but not now.  

I stood up from the table and put my arms around Rick and held him close to me.   “I’m really sorry, Rick, that your Dad was part of this.   Maybe he was sent by your Mom to help bail Peyton and Angie out of jail and didn’t really have anything to do with tearing apart our place.”

“I wish I could believe that, Glenn,” Rick said as his voiced cracked with emotion.   “After what he said to me on the phone last time we spoke to each other, I’m convinced that both he and Uncle George are equally responsible for what happened, even if they weren’t the instigators.”

I squeezed him tighter in my embrace.  “Maybe some time in jail will bring them to their senses.”

“I don’t know, Glenn.   My Mom and her family are pretty hard-headed.   I don’t think being in jail will do anything but make them even more determined to take us out.   Until today, I thought my Dad was more reasonable and willing to accept us as a couple than Mom and her family; but it looks like he’s just as determined to prevent “sin” from corrupting the world by killing anyone who disagrees with their religious views or violates their “moral” code.  They espouse “Christian” ideals but are about as far from being “Christians” themselves as they can be.”   Rick’s disgust at their hypocrisy showed in the expression on his face and the tone of his voice. 

He continued, “When Dad called me, he quoted a verse from the Old Testament where God told Eli, the chief priest, to correct his sons’ behavior and when he didn’t, he was struck dead on the steps of the temple.   Dad said he and my Mom weren’t going to be the subject of God’s wrath for not taking action to correct their son’s behavior.   He expressed his fear of being condemned before his God for not doing as God declared.   The Old Testament penalty for a man being with another man was being stoned to death.   Dad said it didn’t matter what the laws of the land said he was going to obey God’s laws.”

I knew, despite the anger and disgust about his family that Rick was expressing, he was really deeply hurt his family had not only rejected him but was actively seeking to kill him.   To them, he was better off dead than living in sin with another man.   How could they be so detached and cold-blooded as to seek the death of their own son?   Was this really what being a member of a Christian church meant to Rick’s family?   Did their church really teach them to kill off family members that refused to live by their church’s religious teachings?    Did they really believe that God required them to kill their own son?   I had never been taught anything of the sort in my parents’ church.   

“Do your parents really believe in the Old Testament teachings of stoning or killing anyone who does not live according to their moral code?”

“Yes, Glenn, they take the Bible quite literally.   They have always been extremely fanatical about imposing their religious views on the entire community where we live,” Rick said.

Keith confirmed Rick’s statement, “It’s true, Glenn.   All of the people who belong to their church act the same way.   My parents left that church years ago because of their extreme views.”

Rick asked, “Can we talk about something else for a while?   The food is cold, again.   I’ll put it in the microwave.”

I could see Rick was having a hard time holding it together.   The phone rang and Keith got up to answer it.   Rick and I ate in silence for a few moments.   The food was good but I didn’t feel like eating much and neither did Rick.  

“I can’t eat anything.   My stomach is tied up in knots right now,” Rick said.  

“I don’t feel like eating either.   Let’s wrap up our plates in foil and put them in the fridge for later.   Come with me, Rick, let’s go to bed,” I said, taking him by the hand and leading him down the hallway to our room.   I helped undress him and he collapsed on the bed.   I pulled off my clothes and snuggled up next to him.   He wrapped his arms around me as powerful sobs wracked his body as pain poured out of his soul.   Not only was he hurting from their rejection of him but he was grieving for the loss of his family as if they had died.  The parents he knew and loved didn’t exist for him anymore.   He buried his head in my chest and drenched both of us with his tears as I smoothed his hair and tried to offer him comfort.

“Why do they hate me?    I didn’t do anything to them,” Rick said between sobs.   His tears continued to stream down his face.   “They are my family and I love them!   How can they turn on me like this?   I don’t understand, Glenn.   I just don’t understand their hatred!   I’ve always tried to make them proud of me by getting good grades and staying away from drugs.   I played football to make my Dad happy.   He was always bragging to anyone who would listen about my accomplishments on the football field.   Even when I messed up by getting Angie pregnant they stood by me and helped me.   Why is this time any different?  Aren’t parents supposed to love their children unconditionally?   Why do they feel so threatened by us?   What do they gain by trying to hurt us?”

 I didn’t know how to respond to his questions.   I don’t understand their behavior anymore than Rick does.   Rick’s pain is so severe it hurts me to see him this way.   Rick has always been the strong one in our relationship.   To see Rick in such agony is like an arrow piercing my heart.   The wounds to his heart are very deep, deeper than I had realized until tonight.   I have grown to love him so much  I can’t let him suffer so much without trying to remove the source of that hurt from him if I could.  

As I held Rick, I realized the pain and anguish he was suffering was my fault.   If I hadn’t fallen for him or been so obvious in my desire for him, he would still have his family.   He would still be out womanizing and things would still be the same for him.   It made me feel totally miserable.   Maybe I could set things right by leaving him and then his family wouldn’t be trying to kill him for loving me.   I resolved to try and do what I could to help Rick even if it meant leaving him. 

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