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After The Game

© 2010 Felix_P

Chapter Sixty-one

I was setting up in the resource room, waiting for the period change and my 'class' to appear. I was having a good chat with the resource teachers, Anton and Rose, about some of the new curriculum initiatives from the Ministry of Education, when Joan Renat appeared and came up to us. She was the Branch President, which was the title given to the union representative for the school. She was a reasonable person and we had got along over the years, despite some conflicts over staffing, which mainly involved Trudy.

She was very direct and said, "I hope you're happy about the grievance being denied."

I had no idea what she was talking about until she explained that the union had launched a grievance on Trudy's behalf because of the arrangement that had been set up with the kids and the type of course they would be using. Their contention was that having the students do an independent study course was against the collective agreement as well as having me teach them. Apparently the grievance was denied by the Superintendent, as the course was approved by the Principal and I was only volunteering, which didn't please the union or Trudy. She then went on to tell me how devastated Trudy was and the fact that she was very stressed at the whole issue. She also told me she blamed me as she thought that I was purposely out to get her.

"You and I have had our disagreements before, but we've always respected each other's position. However, this time I'm angry that you're somehow suggesting I'm deliberately going after her. I'm also disappointed that you decided to vigorously defend her and her position, as quite frankly, she's someone who shouldn't be teaching. As a parent, it's my duty to advocate for my Son to make sure he gets the best education possible and to be free from abuse. As far as I'm concerned, what Trudy did was abuse."

She wasn't very happy at my comments and we had some more heated words. I gave her information that Trudy had not disclosed to her about what really happened and finally she softened a bit and we ended the discussion on reasonably good terms. She wasn't going to admit it, but deep down she knew I was right. Just then the first of the kids started to come into the room and she left.

My 'class' was a good group of students and were turning out to be quite interested in Business and easy to work with. I guess they were so grateful to be free of Trudy that they didn't care that they were being taught by someone as old as some of their grandfathers.

I was enjoying working with kids again and I was getting to know them fairly well. Charles and Ronald had initially spent more time discreetly mooning at each other than they did on the task at hand, but that had diminished a great deal over the last week. One of the things that led to that was Charles' interest in the course material. It seemed as though he had inherited his Grandfather's love of the business world. Ronald had come around as well. Originally he had taken the course as a filler for his timetable, but was getting very interested in the marketing portion of the course. Carly was a smart girl and was a no-nonsense, very independent young woman. It wasn't hard for me to see why she hadn't got along with Trudy. Jake wasn't quite as interested in Business as his brother, but he was just a great hard working student and would easily end up in the low 80's.

And then there was Brandon. He was a daydreamer, but quite an intelligent and pleasant kid. At first I was very nervous about how he would do with the independent learning format of the course. Students needed to have a fair measure of self-discipline to handle this type of course, which was something Brandon didn't seem to have a lot of. It took much prompting and reminding to get him to stay focused. Of the five kids though, he was probably the most intelligent. Even though sometimes he would not have the work from the day before even started when I came in for one of the sessions, after I got him going he was able to catch up to the rest of the group. I decided that he needed me to work more on his work habits than the course material, as at some point in his high school career, despite his intelligence, this inability to focus would cause him real problems.

"Brandon, show me your calendar on your iPhone," I said, when I got around to him.

He had been sitting there for ten minutes not doing very much, so I had him show me what we had put down for his homework that he was to have finished for today. I was having him put down everything he had to do in the calendar in his iPhone to try and keep him on task. He told me he had lost the student agenda book that the school gave every student, during the first week, but he loved his iPhone and I thought this was a safer bet than getting him another agenda book.

"So, can you show me the answer for the lesson 12 key question?" I asked.

He rifled through his notebook and he couldn't find it.

"Did you do it?"

He looked at me with his patented blank stare, hesitated and finally said, "I don't think so."

This must have driven Trudy crazy and I could see why he was complaining about her every night. I got him going and we put down his tasks to be completed for the next class in the iPhone calendar. I also made a note to myself to call his mother and tell her what I was doing with the iPhone, so she could keep on him from her end. It wasn't just the Business course work he was entering, as I was having him put all his homework and reminders in there from his other classes as well.

"Let's turn on the reminder function on each of the entries in the calendar, this time," I said as I gave him a smile. He gave me a big smile in return and after we changed the settings on his iPhone, he dug into his work.

I was also wondering if he was ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and I had asked Rose for some new strategies they were using with those kids in the Resource room. I also asked her if she could look at his OSR (Ontario School Record) and see if anything had appeared over the years to confirm my suspicions.

I decided to stick around after I had my session with the kids, as I wanted to see what John Gregory was doing with the DECA kids at lunch hour. I encouraged all of my 'class' to join DECA with John, as I wanted to expose them to a great teacher and role model. He was holding the last prep session before the next DECA competition which was to be that next week.

When I came into his room, he had about 25 kids of different grades and ages busily working through the manuals learning as much as they could. I had a chance to touch base with him as they were working in groups independently.

"You're sons are great kids, Al."

"Well they think you're a great teacher, John. Sean thinks you're the best thing since slice bread. He really likes the course material, but you're bringing it alive for him."

I was going to be one of the judges for the DECA competition and John and I chatted about that year's requirements. We also had a nice chat and got caught up on our personal lives. There was a bit of a pause at one point and I could tell that John had something he wanted to talk to me about.

"Al, we've never talked about this, but I'm sure you know I'm gay," he said.

"I've known for quite some time, John, but it was none of my business to bring it up with you. It makes no difference to how I view you as a person or a professional," I said.

I thought it was a bit odd after all these years that he was 'outing' himself to me and I wondered what else was coming.

"Apparently you know Charles and his father very well. My sources have told me that your boys and Charles are pretty tight too," he said.

I told John a shortened version of the history involving Charles and Mark and also told him about the falling out with Sean.

"I don't want to go into any details, but they're much better with each other now," I said as I looked over at Sean and Charles working together with some of the other kids.

"Was it because Sean found out Charles was gay?" he asked with a sly smile.

He went on to tell me how he knew and that it was Pieter's brother that told him about what had happened. John had been counselling Karel for a couple of years, helping him get over the problems of being a gay teen and coming to grips with it.

"Do you think I could be of any help to Charles?" he asked.

I told him that as far as I was concerned that would be great for Charles and that I would run it by Mark. I was pretty sure what his answer would be, but Charles wasn't my son and I didn't want to be presumptuous.

"I can call Mark tonight and broach the subject with him," I said.

After school that day Sean had another session with Phil. He seemed pretty good when he came out as he and Phil were having a good discussion. As usual, Phil had his arm around him and was smiling.

"I pity your poor brother. I hear he's got an old guy teaching him now," he said as the two of them laughed.

I usually didn't press too much after his sessions as I wanted him to be comfortable talking to me on his own terms. Today, however, I decided that I needed to initiate a conversation around John Gregory's revelation and offer that day. I was pretty sure that Mark would agree to John taking Charles under his wing and that sooner or later Sean would figure out that John was gay. He was a very intuitive and sensitive kid and I didn't want a surprise of that sort to taint Sean's relationship with John for a second. It wasn't so much that I didn't think Sean would not be eventually accepting of John's orientation, but the surprise might cause their relationship to be strained for a while. John was Sean's favourite teacher and the revelation might be hard for him to take and I wanted to do as much damage control as needed.

"Are you feeling a little better about dealing with the gay issue?" I asked after we took off out of the parking lot.

"I'm not fixed yet, if that's what you're asking," he said with a smile on his face.

I was happy that he was able to joke about it and I knew that Phil was making progress with him. I was also feeling better about the subject I was about to broach with him.

"You know, Sean, there are gay people in every walk of life. There are government cabinet ministers, doctors, lawyers, business professionals, construction workers and also teachers."

He was looking at me with a puzzled expression on his face as he wasn't sure where I was going with my comment.

"Sean, I don't want you to be surprised or find out the wrong way, but Mr. Gregory is gay."

I wanted to see what his reaction would be so I didn't add to my comment. There were a few moments of silence and when I looked at him he had a reflective look on his face.

Finally he said, "I know, Dad. I overheard Charles and Pieter talking about it one day."

"And are you Ok with it?"

He told me that it was only recently that he heard the conversation and that he kept thinking about what Phil, Josh and others had been telling him about gays not being predators.

"I know Mr. Gregory would never do anything. I don't feel creepy around him or anything," he said very calmly.

"In other words, you trust him and accept him for what he is."

He looked at me with a smile and said, "Yah."

I felt so good, as I considered this another important milestone.

That evening after dinner, I called Mark to see if he was Ok. with John providing support to Charles.

"I've been encouraging Charles all week to make contact with him, ever since Pieter told him. He was too shy to say anything."

I told him he should call John the next day and that Charles should make the contact. I told him I would help Charles do that if he wanted me to.

"I don't know how I can ever thank you and Dana for all you've done for us these last few weeks. I can't imagine how we would have coped without your support."

Sean and Jake were enjoying playing hockey and had really improved their skills since the beginning of the season. The word was getting around the house league that they were two of the better players. The coach of the rep team called on a Tuesday night and wanted to call Jake up to be the backup goalie for them in their next game on Wednesday. It was the first week in December and because of the impending Christmas season, one of their goalies couldn't make it. This was common practice that the rep team would call up players from the house league when they were short. Stéphane had been raving about Jake's play and the coach decided to give Jake first crack at the call-up. He probably wouldn't be playing but they needed the security of having another goalie on the bench in case he was needed because of injury.

"Yah! That'd be cool," he said very excitedly.

I told him the game would be in Milton and that he likely wouldn't play but be the insurance in case their goalie got hurt.

"Is Sean called up too?" he asked.

Sean had joined us and I said not this time. I was hoping Sean wouldn't feel too disappointed.

"You deserve it, bro. You're the reason we've won most of our games," Sean said as he locked his thumb with Jake's in a handshake.

When I told Sean that it would be late and that he didn't need to go, he said, "No way, I want to go watch. What if he got in the game? He'll need lots of cheering."

Just then Dana came into the Den. When we told her what was going on she was very happy for Jake.

"What time do we leave?" she asked with a big smile on her face.

Jake was very happy that his whole family would be there to see him.

About 4 o'clock on Wednesday, the rep coach phoned again and asked if Sean could come and dress also. They were going to be short a forward and Stéphane had gone to bat for Sean as well. He was on cloud nine and was starting to get into a flap.

"Dad, I need my skates sharpened," he said with an anxious look.

I took him out to the sports store where we got the boys skates sharpened and made it back in time to wolf down our dinner, before we got loaded up in the LX and on our way.

Milton was about an hour away from town. Jake was his usual calm self on the drive up but Sean was a little anxious. This wasn't anything new and the three of us kept talking to him to calm him down. When we got to the game, the coach told Jake he would be starting.

"Wade, our regular goalie, has the flu and is not feeling well," he said. "He'll put his equipment on, but he's staying in the dressing room."

It didn't seem to faze Jake too much as the two of them took off to get changed. The coach told Sean he would be playing Centre on the third line and wouldn't get that many shifts. He was one of the better coaches in the rep league and I appreciated him being up front with Sean.

Jake and Sean didn't look out of place in the warmup and seemed to be ready to play. Stéphane talked to both of them and that seemed to calm Sean down, as he wasn't showing too many signs of nervousness. The game started and I could see the difference in the play between house league and rep hockey. The boys were a little bigger, faster and shot a lot harder than most of our boys. The only exception was Charles, who had as good a shot as any of their players.

Jake had a little trouble with the second shot he faced and missed as it went over his blocker into the net, for the other team's first goal. The next shift I could see his team was a little tentative as they weren't sure how he was going to play. He quickly answered as he made two very big point blank saves. The boys immediately got their confidence back and Stéphane scored to make it 1-1.

During the first period, Sean got three shifts and I could see he was a little tentative and nervous. He had coughed up the puck in our zone, which led to an excellent shot from the point that Jake just saw at the last moment and caught. The coach went down to two centres at the beginning of the second period and sat Sean down and didn't play him.

"I hope he gets another chance. He can play much better than that," Dana said.

About half way through the last period we were down 3-1 as the other team started to get momentum. Jake played great, but couldn't stop the two that got by him. The second centre then got hurt on a dump-in to the corner as he went to get the puck and the next shift Sean came out to play centre on Stéphane's line.

"Alright, Bulldog," Dana yelled.

He heard her and turned to where we were in the stands. We didn't need to see his face to know that he had that look. He was a much different player this time and laid a couple of good checks on some of the bigger players on the other team and started to use his speed to get the puck. On his third shift, he managed to set Stéphane up with a beautiful pass which he buried in the top corner, making it 3-2. There was now one minute left in the game and the coach pulled Jake and had him sit on the bench while he put out Sean as the sixth skater.

"Why did the coach take Jake out?" Dana asked.

I explained that whether we lost by one goal or two didn't make any difference. Putting the extra skater on the ice gave the team a chance to put more offensive pressure on the other team to hopefully get the tying goal.

We had the faceoff in the opposition zone and Sean won it and got the puck back to the defenceman, who let go a very hard shot on goal. The rebound came out to Stéphane and I could see Sean tapping his stick on the ice as he was open off to the side of the net. Stéphane passed it to him and Sean rifled the puck into the net to tie the game. All of the players on the ice mobbed him and as they went to the bench, the boys on the ice bumped knuckles with the boys on the bench in true hockey tradition. The game ended in a 3-3 tie and was the first point Stéphane's team had been able to get from the Milton team all season.

Stéphane, Sean and Jake came out of the dressing room after they showered and met us in the hall. Dénis, Dana and I were talking together as we waited. Dénis was very impressed with both of the boys the way they played.

"I can't believe those two just took up hockey this year. They're great athletes," Dénis said. Then he looked a Jake, smiled and said, "Jake plays a lot like a goalie I play with in my beer league." We all laughed.

Just then the coach joined us and patted both Sean and Jake on the back.

"You two boys can play for us any time. You can bet I'll be calling again when we're short. I hope you two boys are going to try out for rep hockey next year," he said.

The boys were beaming as they looked at him.

"By the way, what does Bulldog mean?" he asked.

"That's Sean's alter ego. Bulldog didn't come out of the dressing room until the last period," Dana said as she put her arm around Sean and gave him a hug.

On the way home, the boys didn't last long in the back seat and were asleep after about 15 minutes of driving. It wasn't entirely peaceful, as I now knew what Ray had been talking at the tournament, as Jake was snoring up a storm.

"What would rep hockey involve?" Dana asked.

I told her a big commitment which would likely force the two of them to give up some of their activities. It usually meant 2 games a week as well as 2 practices, plus tournaments.

"I'm not going to stand in their way, but I would hate to see their marks suffer."

We talked a little more about it and decided that we would let them try out in the spring, but we would also let them know what it would mean for their lifestyle.

"We'd get to see more of the towns in rural Ontario, though," I said to Dana with a big smile.

That Sunday we went to the regular church service at 10:30. This was the first one I had been to in quite a while. I found them a little too traditional for my tastes and much preferred the contemporary service with the less religious flavour. However, this Sunday the Junior Choir was singing and my girls and their partners came in from Toronto to hear them, as well as Dana's girls.

Sean made us get him a garment bag to carry his choir gown with the red collar, because he didn't want anyone to see him taking it into church. I couldn't figure out why, as the whole church would see him in it when they sang, but for some reason walking in with it was 'geeky' as he said.

The kids came in the front of the church and sat in the first three pews. Sean didn't have on the happiest face when he walked in, as he was clearly self-conscious about the way he looked. There were 20 kids and Sean, Jake, Charles and Stéphane were the only boys. The ages ranged from 8 years old to the boys age.

"They look cute," Katie said.

"Like angels?" Dana asked, as she had a big smile on her face.

The girls smiled and rolled their eyes as they knew the two of them were not.

"Sean doesn't look too happy about his gown," Carol said as we chuckled.

When it was time for the Junior choir to sing, they went up to the front of the church and the Junior Choir director, Erin Brady, took her position in front of them. The organist stepped over to the baby grand piano that the church had purchased in the fall and started to play 'O Happy Day'. The oldest girl in the choir took the solo part and the rest of the kids sang the back-up in harmony. They sounded really good and looked like they were having fun. Sean had ditched his mad face and was finally smiling and moving to the beat of the music as were all the kids.

For the next song, the organist went back to the organ and the four boys came to the front. The song was 'Prayer' which had been recorded by a group of boys called Libera. Jake started the first solo part as the other three boys sang harmony in the background. Then the rest of the choir joined in and each boy took a solo part of the song before it was finished. They were absolutely great and really did sound like angels, however not with voices as high as that of the boys in Libera. Erin had done a great job teaching the boys how to use their voices and the whole choir sounded fantastic as well. When I looked over at Dana, she was reaching into her purse for a Kleenex.

"I'm fine. Those two boys did a beautiful job," she said, as she sniffed and wiped away a tear.

After the service the boys had changed and met the parents in the foyer. Mark put his arm around Charles and gave him a hug and big smile. Ronald and his parents were there and they came over and congratulated Charles and the other boys as well. I could see that Charles and Ronald wanted to hug but they restrained themselves and locked thumbs together. The girls, Dana and I gave Jake and Sean big hugs and lots of praise.

"I thought you guys would keep your gowns on," Carol said, as we all laughed. Sean gave us one of his famous looks.

All our girls and Marty and Kyle came to the house afterwards and we had a great brunch and family get together.

"Our two brothers are talented young guys," Katie said at one point in the afternoon.

"I couldn't imagine either one of us getting up in front of the whole church and singing solos like they did today, when we were their age," Carol said.

Everyone was getting into the Christmas spirit as the holidays approached and the boys wanted to have a bunch of their friends over on the Saturday evening as a pre-Christmas party. The plan was to go to the early show, then come back to our place to eat, listen to music and 'have fun' as the boys put it. They had invited their friends from town as well as Melissa, Josh and Mark from Toronto.

It was sort of a mixed party as their friends were free to bring dates. Stéphane was bringing Carly, as they were friends but not an item. Of course, Ronald and Charles were coming together, and except for Carly and Brandon, everyone knew their situation. Josh, Melissa and Mark were coming in from Toronto, as Mark was in town from Alberta for the Christmas season. Rachel of course was coming as Jake's date, and Melissa was going home with her for a sleepover at her place afterwards. Josh and Mark were staying with the boys at our house. Pieter and Ray couldn't make it but Brandon could, however he wasn't really close to any girls. However, Sean and Jake took care of that problem and were telling me in the Kitchen after school how they solved it for him.

"She's pretty good looking but she doesn't have any ..... ," Sean stopped in mid sentence when he realized Dana entered the room.

"Sean Burger! What were you going to say?" she asked. He was turning a slight tinge of red and tried to weasel his way out.

"That was going to be a very sexist comment, wasn't it," she said with a stern look.

After she finished dressing him down, they went on to tell us that they had to set Brandon up, because he didn't realize this girl at school liked him.

"He's not too swift sometimes. She's been hanging around him at lunch for weeks," Sean said.

"When we asked if he wanted to join us on Saturday with a date, he couldn't think of anyone," Jake said.

Both boys asked him about the girl, whose name was Diane and he had to think for a few moments. Then he asked them if they thought she would say yes if he asked her.

"I said 'Duh, she's been giving you the eye for weeks'," Sean said, as the two of them laughed.

They said that they coached him on what to say to her and then told him how to approach her.

"We had to tell him to go over and talk to her, cuz he was just standing there waiting for her to come over," Jake said as he rolled his eyes.

The Thursday before the party I had Sean over to see Phil for a session. When I came back to pick him up, Mark and Charles were in the waiting room as they were Phil's next appointment. As usual, Phil had his arm around Sean and was chatting with a big smile on his face as they came out of his office after their session.

"Is this one of the members of your barber shop quartet?" Phil asked as he gestured over to Charles as we chuckled. The boys didn't think it was too funny and both of them gave us a look.

On the way home Sean was a little quiet, but not stressed. He was in one of his reflective moods, as I could see that he was no doubt mulling over something that Phil and he had discussed.

"You haven't said anything, so I guess there's nothing you want to share with me," I said as I glanced over at him.

"No, I just have to work some things out in my own mind," he said as he sighed.

When we got home Sean washed up and went to the Kitchen to help Jake and Dana get dinner ready. I decided that too many cooks would spoil the broth, so I went and caught up on my email. I came back in when things were almost ready and started to set the table. Dana was standing beside Jake staring at him, as he was tossing the salad and putting it into bowls. She then reached over and rubbed her hand down the side of his face, over his upper lip and then his chin.

"I think it's time that someone started to shave, Al."

He was a little embarrassed and had a sheepish look on his face.

"What do you think, Son? Should we go over to Walmart after dinner and get a razor?" I asked.

Because of his dark hair, his beard was noticeable, but was still very soft hair. We talked it over and he agreed. It wasn't really bothering him, but he thought that maybe it was time, since he wanted to look good for the party that Saturday night. As we had dinner it was obvious that Sean's nose was a little out of joint. He had some facial hair, but his was very light in colour and was certainly not growing as quickly as Jake's.

As Jake and I were getting ready to go to Walmart after dinner I said to Sean as I smiled, "Maybe we should get one for you as well. You're starting to get some peach fuzz too."

I got a big smile and he went to get his coat. We came back with two Gillette safety razors with disposable blades as well as one can of shaving gel that they were going to share.

"Well let's go off to your bathroom for your first shaving lessons," I said, as we took our coats off.

When we were finished we didn't have any need of the Styptic pencil that we also got, as I made sure they softened their skin with warm water first and used lots of shaving gel. Of course, they had to top things off with a liberal dose of Axe cologne.

"My, what a couple of good looking, clean shaven boys," Dana said, as she ran her hand over their freshly shaven faces. They both giggled as her hand tickled them. "And what a fresh, clean.... overpowering fragrance. Did you boys use the whole bottle of aftershave?"

I laughed when she started to sneeze as it irritated her nose. After the boys went off to their rooms, the phone rang. It was Mark calling and he wanted to go over the final arrangements for Saturday night. He had offered to pick up Josh, Mark and Melissa from the Go Station, as they had decided they wanted to take the Go train from Toronto. He also wanted to talk about Charles.

They had been having some conflict over Charles' request to have Ronald come home with him after the party and have a sleepover. Mark wasn't comfortable with it and they had been having quite a tussle all week.

"Phil had us both in together today as we talked about this. He helped us resolve the impasse. I know they're not just going to be talking and then go to sleep," he said.

Phil told them they needed to sit down and talk about what the consequences could be if Charles and Ronald moved too fast with their relationship. He told Mark that was the best way to help Charles minimize the physical and emotional risks.

"He told Charles that sex is a healthy interaction between people whether they're gay or heterosexual and that after all it was a very pleasurable activity. But he also said sex is an adjunct to love. He explained to Charles that his priority should be to explore the emotional bond between him and Ronald before they start escalating the sexual part of their relationship."

Mark said that he agreed to the sleepover and Charles agreed to go slow with the sexual exploration.

"It's really a symbolic agreement, as I'm certainly not going to be in the bedroom with them," he said as he sighed.

Between Mark, myself and my Niece Janet, we were able to ferry the kids to the movie and then pick them up to take them back to our place for the party. The boys and I were sous chefs under Dana's direction most of the day getting the food ready. We had a large serving table set up in the Media room downstairs and the food was set out buffet style. All the kids looked good as they were in dressy casual clothing. They had a lot of fun at the movie and it seemed that everyone was at ease with each other. I assumed that Carly and Brandon were told about Charles and Ronald's relationship, as the boys came in holding hands. I also assumed that Carly and Brandon were told not to divulge their secret to anyone.

Brandon and his date, Diane, seemed to be getting along well and made a nice couple. She was a good looking girl and had a very bubbly personality, which was the opposite of Brandon's quiet demeanour. She was bringing him out of his shell a little as he seemed to be at ease talking to her.

We left them alone downstairs with the proviso that Dana and I could be popping down unannounced at any time. The other thing we made clear was that the lights remained on.

After they ate they were listening to music and playing games and just generally milling about. We came down a couple of times under the guise of asking them if they wanted some more food or drinks. I was a little surprised the second time we came down to see Jake with his arm around Rachel's shoulder as they sat on the couch. They usually weren't that affectionate and he quickly removed his arm when he saw us at the bottom of the stairs.

"It looks like we have two amorous young men now," Dana said, as she smiled as we sat down in the Living room after we went back upstairs.

The third time I went down, I looked around and I couldn't see Melissa or Sean. The door to the studio was slightly ajar and I was becoming very suspicious that something I wouldn't be very happy about was taking place.

"Where's your brother and Melissa?" I asked Jake.

He hesitated, looked at Josh and I instantly turned and started to make my way to the Studio. Jake, Mark and Josh then rushed out of their seats and stood in front of me, impeding my path.

"It's not what you think, Mr. Burger," Josh said as he looked me in the eye.

"Charles and Ronald are in there too. Sean had something he had to tell them," Jake said.

"It's Ok. We're here if he needs any help," Mark said, with a reassuring tone to his voice.

I was beginning to put two and two together and some of Sean's behaviour after his session with Phil on the Thursday was starting to make sense. I smiled at them and turned to go upstairs without saying anymore.

"I think Sean may be revealing some details of his past to Melissa, as well as Ronald and Charles," I said as I sat back down upstairs.

Dana had a worried look on her face and asked, "Shouldn't we go down and see if he's Ok?"

"I think he's going to be just fine. He's got lots of moral support down there," I said as I took her hand in mine to calm her down.

The kids were picked up by their parents just before midnight. There wasn't any opportunity for any of them to be amorous, as there were too many parents around. Brandon was cute when he took Diane's coat and helped her on with it just like a gentleman. It appeared that his sisters and mother had prepped him well. Melissa and Sean were staying pretty close to one another and they were holding hands until she put her coat on. Before she went out the door, she took his hand, gave him a kiss on the cheek and whispered something in his ear. They exchanged big smiles and she squeezed his hand before she turned around and went out the door.

Charles and Ronald were the last ones to be picked up and when they were ready to go, Josh, Mark and Jake locked thumbs together with them. When it came to Sean they did the same, but both Ronald and Charles pulled him into a quick hug and then exchanged big smiles.

"We're going to go downstairs and talk for a while before we go to bed, Dad," Jake said, as Mark and Josh had their arms around Sean after Ronald and Charles had left. He seemed composed, but I could tell that it took a lot out of him and he looked tired.

"I think he started to do a lot of healing tonight," Dana said, as we made ourselves some hot chocolate in the Kitchen.

Josh and Mark were staying in the spare room together and Jake and Sean were going to be in their own bedrooms. They came upstairs about 1 a.m. and we were still up, so we said goodnight to all the boys and stopped into Sean's room last.

"I kind of thought Teddy would be a bed partner tonight," I said, as Dana and I sat down on the bed beside him.

"I think we know what you did tonight and you don't have to say anything to us if you don't want to. We'll understand," Dana said, as she smiled and pushed his hair back from his forehead.

He smiled back and sighed, then said, "You guys were right. Melissa didn't get freaked out when I told her about what happened to me in the past. Charles and Ronald were cool with it too. They didn't think bad of me or anything and understood why I went nuts on them."

"It took a lot of guts, Son, to do that tonight. We're very proud of you and we hope you can start moving forward from that part of your life now," I said as I put my hand on his shoulder.

"Dr. Phil helped me with the words to say to them. He told me I should try and tell Ronald and Charles too, because it would help with my friendship with them."

"Are you going to be able to sleep tonight, honey," Dana said.

He shook his head yes, gave us a sleepy smile and rolled over on his side.

"Goodnight, Son. We love you," I said, as I patted him on the back.

Libera 'Prayer'

'O Happy Day'

Teen Shaving Tips

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