I was awakened the next morning by the sunlight as it crept up through the window Doug had crawled out only a few hours earlier.
As it shown to my closed eyes, I winced.
As I tried to move out of the way my body screamed back. I felt as if I'd been hit by a truck. As the sleepiness in my head began to clear; I realized my head was pounding.
I tried to clear my throat but my stomach muscles ached beyond belief. And if that wasn't enough, the truck I'd hit with felt like it had parked a tire right on my nuts.
"What the fuck" I whispered quietly.
I reached down and felt my scrotum. My nuts hurt and were tender to the touch.
"Oh god" I said, as I cupped them and rolled on to my side, "Ouch".
Had all my exploits finally caught up with me?
I lay there quietly and focused on taking slow deep breaths.
My head surged with pressure and was pushing against the back of my eyes.
I coughed and felt my throat burn.
Was I getting sick?
I glanced at the clock and it read '6:38'. I had to get up. Donny was going to pick me up for work in twenty minutes. I moved to the edge of the bed and, spreading my legs wide, I sat up.
"Ah ah ah..." my nuts caught under my thigh.
I leaned up on my right side and the pain seemed to subside a little.
Outside my bedroom door I heard someone shuffling about.
"Jason, it's almost seven - are you up?" my mother asked from the hallway. She wouldn't dare come in knowing that her grown son now slept naked.
"Yeah mom - I'm up"
"Can I come in?"
"No. I will be down in a few minutes."
I stood up and gently slipped on my red swim trunks. The white mesh lining seemed tighter than usual. Had they shrunk in the wash?
My room was ablaze in the morning sunlight now and my eyes strained to find relief. On the floor near my dresser I saw my sunglasses and put them on.
"Oh, much better"
I sat on the front steps to my house for ten minutes waiting for Donny before my dad opened the door. The car slid back and behind me I heard him ask if I needed a ride. I was hesitant to spend any time alone with him after last night. I was certainly not in the mood for a 'father son' talk on the finer points of decency and manners.
"Well, is that a yes or no?"
My chin dropped to my chest and I gave in.
The four minute drive to the pool felt like four hours. The silence in the car was unbearable; my head was pounding and I had to lean into the passenger door to ease the pressure on my nuts. As we pulled into the parking lot he finally decided to speak.
"I hope you're not too late."
"No it is fine."
"Dad please don't", I begged him. My day had already started off shitty and I couldn't handle anymore right now.
He pulled the car to a stop and sat quietly with his hands on the wheel and I got out of the car.
As I shuffled away I heard the car window slide down.
"Have a good day son"
I just waved back at him and walked inside.
Carissa was on the phone behind the desk. Through the doorway I saw Kyle and Todd on the far side of the pool testing the water. I took a seat at the desk and she hung up the phone.
"Man, you look like shit!"
"Thanks. How's Jess?"
"She has two black eyes and a busted tooth."
"No, I'm kidding. She's fine. She has the day off."
"Have you heard from Donny? He was supposed to give me a ride this morning and his truck isn't out there."
"No, I haven't heard anything. But Theresa isn't here yet, maybe he called her at home."
Was it a coincidence that Donny had decided to brush me off today and not show up for work? I guess I shouldn't be surprised; last night was intense. Should I call him or would that be weird now? I looked out the door and saw Kyle walking towards the office.
"Hey, I thought Theresa was going to get rid of him"
"Who - Kyle"
"Why, because you two had a fight? I think it would take more than that. Besides, you pushed him first." Yes, I had pushed him first - but what she didn't see was him pissing on me in the locker room. And she didn't know what I now knew about him and Doug. There was no way I could make it through this day if I had to deal with him too. Kyle came in the office branding his clipboard and testing equipment and placed them inside the desk.
"Carissa, Todd and I are going to have to add some chlorine to the water, the PH is too high"
"Okay" He told her they would be in the mechanical room and left without acknowledging me.
"That was a cold shoulder if I've ever seen one."
"Yeah, well he's lucky he kept his mouth shut."
"Oh you big tough guy" she said as she leaned over and punch me in the shoulder.
"Ow, you bitch."
"Pussy", she replied and then got up and went out onto the pool deck. I sat there quietly and closed my eyes. I felt drained. I must have dozed off because the next thing I hear is a blaring whistle in my face that almost sent me to the ceiling.
"WAKE UP ASSHOLE!" I heard Kyle say.
"What the fuck man, leave me alone."
"What's the matter Jason, did you stay UP to late last night? I heard it was quite a night. I guess I missed out."
What? Missed out on what?
"Fuck off Kyle."
And then he came in really close, almost nose to nose and said, "Listen Jason, don't fuck with me and I won't fuck with you - alright? I know what is going on with you and Doug and up till now I've been cool with it. But your little tryst with your boyfriend Donny out there last night is crossing the line."
"Do you think I'm stupid? I know what the two of you were doing out there last night, and it was all Doug and I could do not bust in on the two of you fucking around. But we didn't."
"So you sat back in some fucking dark little corner and watched us you twisted fuck?" His hand came up, grasped my throat, and pushed me back against the wall.
"Be careful little man, people in glass houses..." and then he left.
He little quote surprised me. I figured all wrestlers were as stupid as Doug, but Kyle seemed pretty clever. But I didn't understand it. Why was Doug watching me; and with Kyle for that matter? The more I thought about it, I realized that Doug showing up on my lawn was more than just jealousy over me going out with other people, he was mad that Donny and I had been together.
And to make it worse, he had Kyle egging him on to assert himself over me? As if I belonged to Doug or something? The sound of Theresa's voice brought me back to the moment, "Good morning honey - you feeling okay?"
"Um, yeah - just a little tired."
"You're not getting sick are you? Donny called me earlier and said he wasn't feeling good so he won't be in today. I'm going to need your help picking up the slack."
Great - just what I didn't need today; more work. After the third break, dark thunder clouds began to roll in from the west and you could smell the rain in the air. With the first strike of lightening we had to close the pool. I couldn't have been more relieved.
As the rain started to fall, we all worked together to bring in the ropes, chairs, and lifeguard gear. Todd, Kyle, and I were tasked with stacking everything in the storage shed and securing it. We were wrapping things up when Todd said, "I think that's it. I'm going to check with Theresa and Carissa if there is anything they need help with."
I told them okay while Kyle finished stacking the lounge chairs inside. Once the life preservers were hung I went to walk out of the shed and I felt his hand grasp my arm."Hey, wait a minute."
I turned to face him; he came at me and kissed me firmly on the mouth. It caught me completely off guard and when he pulled away I stood there with this astonished look on my face.
What just happened?
Kyle took a moment to judge my reaction and then came in again very slowly. With my eyes open, he seemed to move in slow motion - his own eyes closed.
With such tender gentility his lips touch mine again. They were plump, soft, and smooth. He smelled of cocoa butter and sunscreen. The stubble on his upper lip tickled against my own and when he exhaled across my cheek, I shuddered.
His breath was warm and moist. I opened my mouth just a little and he slid his tongue in. It felt like velvet; soft, wet, and hot.
As our tongues touched, my flesh sprang to life. My lips gripped his tongue and pulled him in. That's when Kyle opened his grey blue eyes. Having seen that I was watching him I felt him smile against my mouth and slowly close his eyes again.
He was enjoying this; and so was I. Kyle was a really good kisser. It was no wonder Carissa liked to be with him.
God, he was phenomenally sexy and smooth. Wait! CARISSA!
I pulled back at the realization that I was making out with the same guy that Carissa claims to have been with. A look of disgust washed across my face and Kyle moved back, licking his lips in the process.
"Mmm, that was good Jay", he said. T hen I felt his hand press against the front of my trunks and cup me.
"What the..." I pushed his hand away.
"Doug was right, you are a good kisser."
"KYLE! Why did you do that?"
"Why did you kiss me?"
"Because I knew I could."
"But, I thought you and Carissa were..."
"What? Fucking? We are. But I was curious - and now I know."
"Now you know what?"
"Why Doug likes you so much."
"Because of how I kiss?"
I stepped back out of the shed into the rain and sprinted into the men's locker room. I felt like I had been used. As I rounded the corner of the door way I ran smack into Todd and fell back against the door jam and slamming the back of my head.
"Fuck dude - slow down!"
Running into Todd was like running into a brick wall. Todd was a big husky guy - bigger than me and he didn't budge. Kyle came up behind me and knelt down to see if I was alright.
"Jason, what's the rush", Todd asked.
Rubbing the back of my head I felt a small gush of liquid. When I looked at my hand, it was painted red with blood.
"Oh shit Jay, you've gashed your head open." I heard Todd call for Theresa, while Kyle helped me up and over to one of the benches in the locker room. When she arrived she asked what happened and Todd filled her in. After looking at the cut in the back of my head they decided to take me to the emergency room.
"It's a deep gouge and he'll probably need stitches." Kyle was the first to speak up, "I can take him; it's on my way home anyway." Theresa said she would call my parents and have them meet me.It happened so fast I had no time to object. Before I realized it, I was seated in the front of Kyle's car with a white towel around my head.
"Do you want me to go with you?" Carissa offered.
I heard Kyle tell her no, that we'd be fine and then the car started and he pulled away. The rain was coming down and the thunder shook the car. As I sat there holding my head, I couldn't take my eyes off Kyle.
Why had he done that?
What did that make me?
I had to know why.
"Kyle, why did you kiss me?"
He glanced over and asked if I'd already forgotten what he had said.
"No, I didn't forget, but I need a better excuse than 'I was curious'. So what the fuck?"
"Shit Jason, just relax. We are almost there."
Kyle flipped his phone open and dialed.
I could barely hear it ring over the sound of the rain pounding against the car."Hey, I'm gonna be a little late. I've got to drop Jason off at the Emergency Room. He cracked his head open on the door jamb of the locker room. Yeah. No, he's fine. He's just bleeding everywhere. Ok."
Who was he talking to?
"Doug wants to know if you want him to meet you there."
"What? No." He had called Doug, why would he do that.
"Kyle, why did you call him?"
"Just a sec. What Jason?"
In a whispered voice I asked why he called him. I was trying to be considerate of Doug - although I'm not sure why.
"Well Jason, Doug cares about you and I know he would want to know if something happened to you", he replied very strongly. He obviously wanted Doug to hear his response. Was he fucking kidding me with this shit? I shook my head and looked out the front window.
"Yeah man, he'll be fine. I'm sure he will call you later. Oh! And you were right - he is a good kisser. Later man."
And he closed the phone. I could feel the anger building inside me.
"Do you think this is some kind of fucking game Kyle? Why would you call him?"
"A game? No Jason, I don't think it is a game for Doug. But I'm beginning to think this is all a big game to you."
"Who the fuck are you to judge me or what I do?"
Kyle slammed on the brakes and I lunged forward into the seatbelt and flopped back into the seat. That's when I felt Kyle's hand grabbed me around the back of the neck and pulled me towards his face.
"Listen you little fucker. I don't like you fucking around on Doug with your little basketball buddy. Do you hear me? Doug deserves better than that."
I felt frozen in time. The wipers on the car swished back and forth at full speed in the downpour, Kyle's hand was warm and moist against the back of my neck and the vein in his forehead was bounding.
He was pissed.
And I was at a loss for words.
"Got it", I replied quietly.
"So we're clear then"
"Yes, we're clear."
Kyle pressed on the gas and we continued on to the hospital. It was a ride that seemed to last forever.