When Jack said he was going to go back to the States to meet with his lawyer and wind things up I asked him if he would delay it till I had a break from school so I could go back with him.
"I would like to visit Justin," I said.
"All right. There's no rush, just some papers to sign and a bit more packing to do. I'm not bringing much, most everything is going into storage," he said.
A few weeks later we were sitting in his lawyer's office. I didn't want to go, didn't think I should. Jack had, after all, planned to come back by himself. But when I resisted he insisted.
"No, it's good you came back with me. You need to know about some stuff."
His lawyer began going through papers in a folder and laying them out on his desk, paper clipped together in little stacks. He and Jack went over them one by one and Jack signed his name a lot of times. Then the lawyer picked up the last sheaf of papers and handed them across to Jack.
Jack read them word for word, spending much more time than he had on the other papers. "I think I want to change this part right here, item eight," he said, handing the papers back. "Instead of a dollar, I want to leave Michael ten thousand dollars. God knows, he'll blow it in a week, but it's the right thing to do."
"What about all the rest, do you still want them excluded?"
"And everything else still going to Kenny."
I reared back, stunned. "Wait! No, you can't do that," I told Jack. "I don't want your money, Jack, and I certainly don't want to get into a mess with your family."
"You don't know any of my family except Michael, why would you worry about any of them?" he said.
"I just don't want.....they'll think I'm a gold digger."
"I really don't care what they think. He's got it written so anyone who tries to break the will, gets nothing. Besides, there's not that much left in the will. It just cleans up any loose ends."
"Yes, everything that can be has already been removed and put in your name," the lawyer put in.
I gaped at him, then at Jack. "Jack, I don't want you to do this," I said. "I never intended any of this....I just wanted your friendship."
"You've got that, and more," he said. "I don't have Justin, so let me have this. Let me do this."
I leaned forward, my head down. A couple of tears dropped onto my hands. "Damn you, Jack, why do you make me feel like this?"
I felt his muscular arm across my shoulder. "Because I can," he said with sick humor.
We went to the station house so Jack could see his old friends, and I could see Brady. I recognized some of the other guys but there were a couple of new ones that I did not. It was a good reunion, cut short by a call that came in,
"You wanta ride along, Sheriff, for old times' sake?" the deputy asked.
"Sure. Might be a good idea for me to ride shotgun and see if you guys are doing it right," he said.
I stayed behind and got reacquainted with the guys I knew and acquainted with two of the new guys. One of them was pretty average, the other one looked like one of the drop dead good looking hunks of the cop shows. The subject of the back cell came up and the guys started talking about the great times they had back there, without mentioning me.
Brady said, "You wanta go back and have a look?"
"Sure," I said.
"Sort of a walk down memory lane," he drawled as he walked to the back.
I heard one of the new guys say, "No fuckin;' way! Is he the one?"
Brady and I stood looking into the cell while he squeezed my butt. "Wanta go in?" he asked. He didn't want for my answer, he unlocked the cell. As I followed him in I saw the other guys coming back.
"Do you wanta relive old times?" Brady asked.
I cocked my foot up on the bunk to untie my boots. I untied the other one and took them off and when I looked up there were four more deputies looking through the bars at us--Brady had closed the door.
"Is this gonna be a viewing or can anybody get in on it," the good looking deputy asked.
"The door ain't locked," Brady said.
I knew I was going to get fucked, and I did. Five guys, eight times. It was just like old times.
After, Brady drove me to my parents house. I asked him about my sister.
"I, uh.....I'm still fucking her, if that's what you want to know," he said. "Except it's not just fucking her....not like that now. It's more making love to her."
I looked at him with a smiling frown.
"I think I'm in love with her, Kenny. I think I would like to marry her."
"Well hell," I said. "I guess I wouldn't mind having you as a brother in law. Does she know how you feel? Have you talked to her about this?"
"Yes, around the edges sort of. Hypothetical. In our hypothetical scenario you don't get pushed aside," he said with a sly grin.
"We both agreed that if we ever got that serious.....well, we would want you to be a regular overnight visitor when you're back up here."
"Thanks," I said. "Can I mention this to Lisa?"
"Sure. But I would like for you and me to get together before you go back if you can come to my apartment."
"I will," I assured him.
I had a good visit with my folks and Lisa. They went on and on about their visit to St. Thomas and how wonderful Jack was. We skirted mine and Jack's relationship. I borrowed the car to drive out to the cemetery.
I felt the pressure building up inside as I drove along the little used country road. I turned into the cemetery and drove to the lone tree that I used as a guide to find his grave. I got out and stood by the car for a moment, gathering my courage. It wasn't as easy as I thought. I had gone through all the mental gymnastics of drawing a line and putting some things behind that line forever so I could move forward. I had even talked to the priest. I walked the straight line to his grave, wondering if he had taken the journey. I hadn't felt any intimate contact with him for a while. Not that I had or could ever forget him, but I hadn't felt him come to me.
I stood at his grave with a thousand thoughts whirling in my head but I couldn't turn any of them into words. I didn't feel the need to, yet something had to be said. He needed to hear the sound of my voice. I needed to hear the sound of my voice.
"I miss you, Justin." I half expected a strong sweep of wind but none came. I looked around and the leaves on the trees were still. I suddenly felt my thoughts taking shape. "I guess you made the journey. I'm glad, but sad at the same time. I liked having you close. But I know you had to go; I guess that's the way it is. You've got an eternity now to live. I don't know what it's like where you're at but I pray you're happy. At least as happy as you made me while you were here. I'll always love you, Justin, you know that, but I know you don't expect me to wear a sackcloth and be in mourning for the rest of my life. So I'm living my life, Justin, like I would be doing if you were here." I started to choke up but I managed to quell it. "I just wish you were here with me, but I don't want to take you away from the new happiness I hope you've found. Just know I will always love you."
I stood for a moment in silence. I was empty and fulfilled at the same time. Then I turned away. I was startled by a figure standing several yards away. I couldn't make him out with the sun at my face, only that it was a young male. I started to walk away and he came toward me.
"I didn't want to intrude," he said.
Suddenly I recognized Ted Clark, the guy I'd met here after Justin's funeral. We shook hands and greeted each other warmly. What were the odds, I wondered, that we would be here again.
"Do you come here often?" I asked.
"Yes, quite often. I sometimes take this road instead of the highway."
"I haven't been here for a while. I moved," I said. "To St. Thomas, with Justin's dad."
"Oh. I see."
I smiled. "It's what you're thinking," I said.
"Listen, could you wait? I'll only be a minute," he said.
I stood back while he went up to Justin's grave. He spent only a few moments before he turned and walked back. "If you have some time, maybe we could......" he said as he waved a hand toward his vehicle, a shiny, new Buick SUV with tinted windows.
I walked with him, knowing I was going to get fucked.
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