Subject: My World of Scattered Memories – Chapter 04 [Incest] My World of Scattered Memories Chapter 04 **************************************************************************** DISCLAIMER: This story contains sex between males, some of whom are related and underage. If such subject offends you, then you should move on to greener pastures While no underage boy has been harmed penning this story, in real world kids may and do get hurt: respect them and do not engage in any inconsiderate activity with them. You must discern the boundaries between fantasy and reality. If you are under the age of 18 or anyway too young to be reading such material, or if you are in a country where it is not legal to read such material, then please leave and come back when it is legal for you to do so. The author retains all copyrights to this story and no publication may be made, with the exception of the web sites to which this story has been posted, without consent of the author. Feel free to reach me by email at ail or at Wickr: blueroyale1 for any constructive criticism or just to say you liked the story. If you enjoy reading stories on Nifty, then don’t forget to donate! Help them help *you* It’s easy, just follow the link fty/donate.html ======A heartfelt thank you to the author of “Lonely Little Boy” for letting me use a few precious figments of his imagination. And if you didn’t already, rush to read his stories. You’ll thank me later. ====== A thank you also to Matthew, for proofreading this chapter! **************************************************************************** In the last chapter: Eventually, gathering all the courage I could ever muster, I held my breath and with a voice I could barely hear and hardly recognize as my own, I started to speak again. “Will we ever do that again?” “No,” was his only answer. That single word pierced through me, stabbing my lungs out of their breath; and yet it was my heart that felt the pain. However, I did not voice it. We both laid there, in silence, the crackle of leaves chased by the summer breeze our only companion. ================================================================ Can wind ignore the natural boundaries of a body and sweep through a soul, weeding out the cumbersome feelings within? As I lay there in silence, I finally had realized what they were; I just did not know what to do with them. In the last few minutes, the old Dad I knew seemed reemerging. I was not sure if he was just pretending, or if he simply thought he had fixed whatever adolescent curiosity, for morbid it might be, his son was having. Or perhaps his need for everything to go back to how things were before, had the best of him, so he convinced himself the situation had been resolved with the unorthodox talk about bees and flowers we just had. Or… That was essentially the point: I simply was not able to guess what was going on in his head. However, there was one thing I was positive about: I could not afford to lose him again. Whatever was tormenting my sanity, it had to be buried. And buried deeply. “Tomorrow your brother will have his wrestling competitions at the Y.” He started to say with a roll on his left side to face me, his arm still effectively pillowing my head. “Yeah.” I nodded, turning my face toward him, “But the tournament will start in the afternoon.” Great, just what I needed, a reminder of how accomplished Stephan was at being his sporty son. “Tell you what. Why don’t we all go in the morning to the Y and spend some time relaxing by the pool. We could swim a little or just freshen up. Unless you already made plans to boil under the heat here at home,” he proposed, enthused. “So, what do you say?” He asked, ruffling my hair. Actually, that didn’t sound half bad. Why spend the morning staying in my room, depressed *and* clammy, when I could just spend it at the pool, depressed and watching Dad in a swimsuit. *Ok, Lucas, `buried deeply’ we just said*. I suppose I didn’t dig deep enough. “Myeah!” I answered, trying to hold back the excitement of spending the day with him. “We should take a shower and go to sleep, buddy. You reek.” He mocked me with a cackle as he slipped his arm from under my head, making me immediately long for the lost touch. “Yeah, because you smell like cinnamon rolls. I’ve seen a skunk earlier, bolting from you because there just was no competition.” I retorted with a grin. I missed these banters so much. “I will get you for that!” He laughed. “But now, shower!” He stood up and extended his hand to help me get up. I took it and we moved toward the patio, his arm resting around my shoulder. These simple gestures of intimacy, which slipped under the threshold of my perception just a few weeks ago, were now like neon signs in the desert; they soothed my cravings, yet hungered me for more. This hand of his, lazily set on my shoulder, was enticing me like a siren: I wanted to grab it, kiss it, lick it, hold it. Just like it was holding my own only half an hour earlier, laying on the basement mat. I felt like I had matured a right of preemption over it. *Stop it, Lucas. Stop it*. We walked past the glass door, then from the kitchen we cut through the darkness of the sitting room, still holding our flip flops in our hands to muffle the sound of our footsteps. On autopilot, I moved toward the stairs, directed to my bedroom, when I felt Dad’s grip on my shoulder. I turned and saw him raise a finger to his lips, hushing me. “We can’t shower upstairs this late.” He spoke very softly, and then nodded toward the basement door. Trying my best not to make a noise, I followed him as he flicked the light switch at the top of the stairs and started climbing down. He was tiptoeing in an exaggerated fashion that reminded me of an oversized boy who was up to no good, and that frivolous image brought a silly smile to my face. Once in the basement, a coat of warm, damp air enveloped us; a thick smell of sweet and acrid sweat hit my nose, as the musky aroma of testosterone and my father’s sex still lingering in the air swirled up my nostrils and sent flames into my brain. I halted for a second, instinctively throwing my eyes to the spot where I spent those blissful moments in Dad’s arms. That memory was rightfully mine and no one could ever take it away from me. When the gym was set up, my father had a shower installed. He thought it would have been more practical to freshen up there, before going back among the snobbish noses of his family, carrying on himself any offending odor. It was actually an open plan wet room, so it was tiled from floor to ceiling, with basin, toilet and a larger shower area with no door. Dad walked barefoot to the wet room; his feet leaving clammy, perfectly defined prints on the floor, which I followed like a trail of crumbs. He got in, but I hesitated: was I even allowed to? I had never showered with my father before. Not in forever, anyway. *The hell with it,* I finally thought. I just shared with him the most intimate moment of my yet objectively short life, why was I even being modest all of a sudden. I walked into the wet room, making it look as casual as I could muster. He was already undressing and held his tank top in his hands, as he turned his eyes toward me with only a hint of surprise; then he just carried on and shed his shorts and underwear. I kept stealing glances at him, and noticed the dried semen smoothing the hairs on his chest and abdomen, right to the black nest around his resting manhood. Flashes of how I was responsible for that, kept coming to my mind and, for a moment, I even felt a jolt of pride. As I began undressing myself, he headed over for a quick pee, allowing me to watch freely his gluteus muscles flex and ripple at each step, swaying gently while my eyes glued onto them. His body possessed a harmonious beauty that probably escaped his awareness; even then, as the stream of pee was splashing in the toilet bowl, his posture looked effortless and masculine: his weight rested on his left leg, while the right one bended slightly at the knee. I would have to rehearse that pose in front of a mirror for hours, just to look a fraction that good. When the sound stopped, I quickly averted my eyes; the few articles of clothing I wore came off fast and, when I looked down, I could see clumps of dried semen covering my own chest, belly, and some flakes scattered on my arms as well. “You wanna go first?” His voice finally breaking the silence. “Nah, you go first and get the cold water, I prefer it warm.” I was feeling very self-conscious, but still tried to play it cool. He shrugged with a smile, reached in to turn on the shower and adjusted the water. “In I go!” He said, and then stepped under the stream. At the first contact, he let out a hiss accompanied by a grimace, but soon regained composure and began lathering himself. “You can jump in, if you want. The water is warm enough now.” He offered, as his hand run over the damp thatch of his thick armpit hair, to wash away any residual suds. My only goal was to avoid making things awkward, because to him this was clearly just one more in a lifetime of showers, but to me it was starting to feel like torment. Being an open plan shower, there wasn’t really any enclosed space, so he simply moved away from the stream to let me dive under the pouring water. While droplets began cascading over my body – and believe me, I am the first one to realize how crazy this might sound, though at that time I hadn’t rationalized it yet – I almost experienced a feeling of loss: I watched Dad’s dried sperm that still marked my skin dissolve as my body emerged immaculate and unclaimed once again. Pushing away those thoughts, I began lathering shower gel into my chest, I then moved south roughly cleaning my penis and balls, washing away the remnant of our former activity. I did not want to be thorough, because I was still embarrassed by the situation: mostly, however, I was afraid the excitement would become obvious at the touch. Dad, however, was all business; he too had what seemed to be dried semen matting his pubes and, when following the line of my sight he looked down to his privates, I noticed his expression reveal a quick grimace. He turned slightly from me and began scrubbing the clumps away with more emphasis than was probably needed. I was a little disappointed: if şişli travesti I was wondering what Dad was *really* feeling about the whole situation, this probably was a good measure of it. Eventually, we both rinsed ourselves clean and I walked to the linen closet, grabbed two towels, then slowly made my way to hand him one. Droplets of water were washing down his body, mostly dripping on the tiles but some collected on his hefty shaft, dribbling from the muzzle of his foreskin, just the way I had seen his precum beads doing. He patted himself dry with the terrycloth and wrapping the towel around his waist he walked en route for the stairs. “Let’s go to sleep, or we’re never gonna wake up on time.” He finally said, nodding toward our exit. I made it to my room, put on a shirt and underwear and dove into my bed. In spite of the events of the evening, the fatigue from the excitement took its toll and I soon fell into a deep slumber. I felt the sun on my skin before I even opened my eyes. In spite of my mother’s advice to close the shutters at night in order to keep out heat and warming early sunrays, I loved to wake up with the light of dawn flooding my room. The day announced its bright and sunny morning and it matched my mood: I was going to spend the day with Dad, and it just seemed appropriate for the sun to be complicit. Just the time necessary for my morning routine in the bathroom, fixing my hair, checking in the mirror if I looked any different from the day before – which I didn’t, with my great disappointment — and finally I rushed down the stair headed for the kitchen. My father was sitting outside in the backyard patio; blue eyes engrossed in the morning paper and careless hair brushing his forehead. “Morning, early bird,” he said with a smile as he raised his gaze above the pages. “Morning,” I returned as he brought a cup of coffee to his lips. He loved his espresso with no sugar; and while I wholeheartedly despised coffee, watching him sip that bitter concoction had always been a cherished Polaroid I have of him even to this day. “Did you sleep well?” he asked as I stepped outside to join him. “Yes, I did,” I replied smiling, but then, from the searching gaze he focused on my face, I realized his question was more loaded than I initially thought. He nodded, then straightened up and rubbed his face. “I wish I didn’t have to shave,” he said scratching the bristles of his morning stubble. “Then don’t,” said a voice from the glass door. Mom joined us at the table, bringing a bowl of muesli with yogurt for me and a coffee cup for herself. Before taking a seat, she bent over me to lay a kiss on my cheek. “You’re up early,” she added and then moved behind my father. Wrapping an arm around his chest, she brought her mouth over his cheek, brushing lightly her lips on the dark bristles. “I might even get accustomed to this,” she finally sentenced. “I’m not sure a scruffy look would pair well with jacket and tie,” he chuckled. “Doesn’t have to look shabby. Just keep it trimmed,” she mused. “I’ll think about it,” he enthused, reaching over and running his hand down his own cheek. “You never liked me wearing a beard before, though. What gives now?” He enquired, quite amused. “Maybe you’re getting to that age where a beard suits you,” she shrugged with a smirk. “Are you calling me old?” He feigned feeling offended, clutching a hand over his chest. With a swift torsion, he then turned to grab my mother around her waist and spun her onto his lap. “Someone here deserves to be spanked,” he threatened with a smirk. In that very moment, Stephan appeared at the terrace door with a bowl full of cereals. “And that’s my cue. I’m outta here,” he said with a roll of eyes, turning on himself and waking back into the kitchen. “Stop it, Lorenzo! Stop it,” Mom protested with a laugh, swatting my father’s hands away. “Also, hold that thought. I might just hold you to your word, later,” she added playfully, as she extricated herself from Dad’s clutch. “Aren’t you coming with us, today?” He inquired with a shade of disappointment in his voice. “I would love to, but today it’s going to be a busy day. I’ve had a tough new case during the week and I had to put everything on hold. So I’ve got to report in and then get all the paperwork done,” she explained, frustrated. “Ok, after you deal with this, you can make it up to me,” he replied, closing the distance to her face for a kiss. “Ugh. And this was *my* cue, I s’pose,” I said, rolling my eyes for effect. “I’m going to get changed.” With that, I stood and left, heading to my room, the sound of their laughter accompanying my exit. The Y was about 30 minutes away from us; the road was straight and flat, congested in some parts, clear in others, but overall an uneventful drive. Eventually, the YMCA building came into view and I couldn’t help but snicker. Every single time, when I was confronted by its view, in my head the song began to play. I crooned away, and my father chucked. “So, here’s the plan. We can lounge at the pool until lunchtime, we will eat at the restaurant here and then we’ll watch Stephan kick some ass,” he said, offering his fist to bump. “You know it,” Stephan responded, returning the bump with a smug smile. “Just like every time,” Dad concluded. They exchanged a huge grin and knocked firsts again. They were already in their world and I watched from my window; I had always felt I was outside looking in on them. Don’t get me wrong, I was aware that my dad tried his best to juggle worlds so different such as my brother’s and mine, but I was convinced that he felt much more at ease in Stephan’s. We entered the building, we had been there many times and I knew my way around it. My father slowed down to talk with the receptionist, while Stephan stopped to meet with some friend from his team, so I just walked on my own en route for the lockers. The room was well lit by some neon fixtures, with lockers and benches arranged in lines. Along the wall, a row of mirrors and sinks and at the farther end of the room some bathrooms. Off to the side, there was the entrance to the pool area. The locker area seemed deserted, after all we were still a couple of hours away from rush hour. I walked over to a locker, looking at the rest of the room to make sure I was actually alone, I still felt self-conscious about undressing in front of strangers, then I started to take off my shirt, fold it and put it in the locker. “…and then he asked me: `But don’t you have any analgesics?’ I was taken aback, you know, I was like `Did you say Jesus?'” A voice approaching the locker room said, apparently telling a story to some company. I went into a sort of panic and, hiding behind my locker, I flung my shoes, chucked my shorts off, and fought against my swimsuit that just did not seem to collaborate. “I had to ask him two more times! I was really convinced he was asking me about `anal Jesus’! I mean… analgesics… pretty close right?” The voice continued his tale, breaking into a hearty laughter. “Actually I’ve heard of people who had Jesus in their hearts, but never…” a second voice commented, joining in the laughter. I had eventually won my fight with this obstinate piece of clothing; I yanked the towel out of my pool bag, put it around my shoulders and tossed everything else into the locker. Finally, ready to exit from my hiding place, I walked nonchalantly across the room. “We are so going to hell, Tyler,” said the first voice, breaking out in another laugh. I could now see it belonged to a man with dark hair, lively eyes and chiseled features, a few years older than my father, tall and with a trim appearance. “Hey, hello,” said the man whose name was `Tyler’. He nodded to me with a smile and turned toward the door. “Alexander Scott and Maurice Greyson! I’m tired of having to say it. Come here this moment!” He was a tall man and the first thing that engaged the eye was his hair: blond, almost white, actually. He had one of those expression that could come across as a scowl, because of the curve drawn by his plump lower lip, but a set of deep blue eyes pardoned the frown in favor of a kind appearance. Rushing into the locker room, suddenly two boys broke forth. They might have been only a couple of year younger than me and their demeanor betrayed an impish nature. “Sorry Dad,” they said with one voice and a shit-eating grin on their faces. Then, they turned their attention to me, literally bouncing to where I was standing. “Hi! Are you here to swim too?” Enthused one of the boys, the dark haired one. “Of course he is, you dork. He’s wearing a swimsuit!” Said the blond haired one, rolling his eye for emphasis. “Don’t mind my brother, he’s cranky. You’d say someone stole his favorite candy,” said the brunette boy with a smirk. “You did steal my chocolate snack!” snarled the blond one. “I was merely teaching you a lesson about protecting property,” retorted the candy thief, raising his eyebrows. “You’re just greedy,” shrugged off the blond boy, “Anyway, I’m Alexander, but everybody call me Xander,” offered with a smile. “And I’m Maurice, his brother. You can call me Mac,” followed the other boy, with an identical smile. “Hi.. I’m Lucas. You can call me… Lucas?” I hesitated, mildly overwhelmed by these two boys that looked one energy drink short of rehab. “Lucas it is, then!” Said Mac, satisfied. “Are you taking swimming class too?” Inquired Mac, with an eager tone. “Yeah, gramp Scott teaches it,” stepped in Xander. “Oh, well, no. I’m just here for the pool and then my brother’s competition,” I offered. “Kids, are you still in your clothes? Leave the poor boy alone and get into your swim gear,” said the non-Tyler man, hurrying them. “Sorry about the twins, they can be a handful,” he went on with a smile, turning to me. “Yes, Dad,” they answered, again with one voice. “We’ll see you at the pool!” Added Mac. Then, the two of them scurried to their dad’s locker. Yes, their dad’s locker. But which dad? This was getting confused. Wasn’t `Tyler’ their beylikdüzü travesti dad? “It wasn’t a problem, Sir. They’re nice boys,” I smiled back. “Well, I’d better go to the pool now. Enjoy your day,” I concluded, raising the volume of my voice to include the other three. As I walked off to the side of the room in the direction of pool, I wondered about that strange family. They were nice people, I resolved. The boys, twins he called them, looked so different, but at the same time very much alike: one blond with blue eyes, the other brunette with green eyes, but both shared very similar features; as if one were the through-Alice’s-looking-glass version of the other. The faint smell of chlorine welcomed me as I entered the pools area. The family lounge portion of it was farther ahead and had no connection to the training or competitive section. The ceiling was studded with light fixtures, but the whole area was flooded with the sun’s rays streaming through the floor to ceiling glass walls running along the perimeter. The water shimmed blue in the sunlight, rippling around a few kids as they worked off their built up energies in a cheerful horseplay; their young voices echoed around the pool deck as their parents sauntered about the lounge area. After the heat through which I had to suffer the last few weeks, that blue water could not be any more enticing; I grabbed the towel, placed it on a vacant lounge and dove into the pool. I swam from one end to the other, accurately avoiding the boys occupied pushing and shoving one another. By the time I returned to the pool deck, resting my arms on the edge, I saw both my father and Stephan coming my way. I waved, raising my hand high in the air, to catch their attention. Dad returned the gesture with a smile and sped up his pace; once arrived to the designed area, both of them left their belonging on the lounges surrounding the pool and then jumped into the deep end, swimming over me. “You didn’t lose any time, I see,” said Stephan, with a grin. “And you lost too much,” I retorted, hiding a slight annoyance behind a smirk. “The water is just perfect,” Dad said, letting out a sigh of pleasure. “It sure is. I could use some relaxation before this afternoon’s competitions,” my brother exhaled deeply, as he floated on his back waving lazily his hands underwater. “Well, I don’t have to save energy, so I’m gonna do some laps,” my father declared and launched into a freestyle stroke, swimming away to the deeper end of the pool. His powerful arms dove into the water, swiftly pulling his body and his back flexed revealing muscles I never knew existed, freestyle stroke down the farther end of the pool, and backstroke on the return. He was wearing speedos: being Italian, those were his swimwear of choice, and he wasn’t ashamed to don them; as a matter of fact, no one more than him could afford wearing them. Although, if I had to be perfectly honest, Stephan wouldn’t looked half bad in them either; probably that’s what Dad had looked like at his age. In fairness, they would’ve had to quite literally hold me at gunpoint for me to acknowledge it, but it is not beneath me admitting to myself that I envied his physical prowess; and this aggravated my resentment for not being part of their little club. It’s not that I thought I looked bad, it just wasn’t the way I wanted to look like. I was slender and looked unassumingly reassuring, with pleasant features, I guess, and people tended to look at me with tenderness. When they looked at Stephan, however, they did it with respect, recognizing his confidence and assertiveness. We had similar features: it was obvious to anybody we were brothers, even though he leaned more toward my father, while I leaned toward my mother. Yet he was the handsome one, while I was the ever cute one. Yes, I envied him. As my mind was engaged in these thoughts, I heard a scream that startled me, suddenly bringing me back to the pool. “Hooyaaaaah!” the cry went. Before I could turn to watch what the ruckus was about, buckets worth of water inundated me. I barely had time to recover, then soon enough I watched as Xander, with his knees tucked close to his chest and his arms wrapped around his legs, yelped flying through the air and landed with a large splash just a couple of feet away from me. The splash drew the attention of all the onlookers around the pool, but the two rascals emerged unconcerned from underwater, struggling for breath amidst pearls of silvery laugh. “Here you are!” They enthused with one voice. Still drenched by the unexpected cannonballs, I suppose I had a sour look on my face because they immediately changed their demeanor and meekly added “Also, sorry?” I chuckled at their enthusiasm, shaking my head, and that was enough for them to switch their contrite expressions to more fitting smug grins. “Let’s do it again!” started to say Mac. “Let’s not,” came my dad’s voice from behind us. “I see you’ve been making friends,” he continued with a wide smile, joining us. “Dad. This is Xander and this one is Mac,” I gestured to both, introducing the twins. “Nice to meet you, Sir,” they said in unison, donning their best attitude. “We are here with our dads,” Mac added, as an afterthought. I raised my gaze to browse through the people around the pool deck and finally noticed the two men waving cheerfully at us. I waved back enthusiastically and my father politely nodded with a smile; then they carried on, laying down their respective towels and relaxed on a couple chaise lounges, watching over us. The twins were so full of energy and good-natured, that everybody else seemed drab in contrast; and they were determined to drag me into their ways. We very quickly began to horseplay in the water, splashing and taking turns dunking one another and, at one point, they were even successful in dragging my father in, while Stephan kept swimming lazily on his back, looking toward the ceiling in a relaxed backstroke. All too soon, the morning flew by and we exited the pool heading to the lounges. Xander and Mac ran to their parents who were walking our way, each welcoming a very happy, energy-drained boy into his arms. They proceeded to meet us, as the twins firmly wrapped their legs around their fathers’ waists. “Thanks for watching over the kids. I’m Matthew, by the way,” said the dark-haired man, extending his hand with a friendly smile. “Lorenzo. Nice to meet you,” responded my father, returning the smile, as he accepted the hand with a firm shake. “Don’t mention it. They’re great boys and Lucas had just as much fun with them. Hell, I had fun,” he concluded with a genuine laugh. “And I’m Tyler. Nice to meet you too,” smiled the other man, extending his hand to shake Dad’s. “And thank you again, they are good kids, but they can be a handful,” he went on. Then, turning to me with a wide smile, “And thanks to you too, they had a lot of fun today.” “Oh, I had a lot of fun too,” I answered eagerly. “We are going to have lunch. Care to join us?” Dad asked, politely. “We’d like to, but we are having lunch with the grampas,” Answered Tyler, carrying an apologetic tone in his voice. “Yeah! We are going to have lunch with grampa Alex and grampa Scott!” Intruded Xander, bouncing happily. “But we can have lunch some other time, or dinner. Right Skip?” Continued Tyler, turning to Matthew. “Of course. I’m sure the boys will be happy to meet again with Lucas.” After the greetings, with plans to meet again, we went our way. Most people were already leaving and we walked to the lounges in order to collect our belongings; I started to stroll in the direction of the locker room, when Dad called from behind me. “Go ahead, I’ll go get Stephan. Any longer in the water and he’ll shrink like dried up raisins,” he said, shaking his head. I walked in the locker room. No one was there, it appeared. Time for a fast shower and get dressed. With soap and shampoo in hand, I was ready to shuck my swimming trunk, when I heard the noise of a water stream coming from the shower area. Change of plans, I was keeping my trunks on. I marched into the shower with hesitant steps. The room was an open stalls area with no hint of privacy. It was made of concrete and lined with tiles; along each of the walls, five showerheads overhung, while in the center, there was a pole with four more. A man, he might have been around my dad’s age, was using the showerhead in the farther side of room, his hands soaping up his face and chest. He was completely naked. That should not have mattered; yet it did. I started one of the showerheads near the exit; the water was already warm and I moved fast under the stream. Meanwhile, the man, hearing my presence, turned to look at who had arrived; he crossed my glance, but what made me uneasy is that his stare didn’t leave me; in fact, it was like he was purposely trying to make eye contact. I averted my gaze, busying myself lathering my body, but still tried to side-look at him, out of the corner of my eye. Today I cannot deny that, at that very moment, there was also curiosity in my eyes, because I was indeed curious to see how another man compared to my father; but mostly I wanted to make sure to be out of the shower before that guy did. From his corner of the room, the man’s movements became more controlled, deliberate. He rinsed his chest and began lathering up his legs and groin instead, his stare never leaving me. The lathering quickly turned into stroking and I immediately, though admittedly late, understood what was happening. I turned the jet of water to the max, trying to wash away the last stubborn suds, and rushed into the dressing area wrapping the tower around my body. I patted fast my skin, in the attempt to dry it before the creep finished his shower, raising my legs over the bench to get my feet and calves. The man came in as I wrapped the towel around my waist preparing to swap my swim trunks for my underwear. Initially, he walked to a bench in the center of the room, but then he collected his things and moved to a different one, closer to the bench I was using. I started to panic. Just about when istanbul travesti I was thinking to up and run away from that place, my father and Stephan entered the room. I felt my lungs open and relax, letting go of the breath that was still caught in my chest. The man stayed at the bench a few more minutes, patting himself dry and then walked to his locker, carrying on with his business. I proceeded to get dressed, while Dad and Stephan showered and walked back to the dressing area, still talking about the competition that would be starting later. By then, to my great relief, the man had left. As soon as we were all dressed and ready to leave, we stored anything we wouldn’t need in the lockers and headed for lunch. The conversation on the way to the restaurant was mainly aimed at Stephan and how he was certainly going to end each one of his opponents; just like my father did when he was his age. I trailed behind, but I doubt they even realized it; thus, I tested it slowing my pace more, but they still kept walking on, immersed in their world and exchanging war tales. Eventually, frustrated I had to speed up my pace to catch up. As we entered the restaurant that Dad had selected for us, a plump middle-aged woman came to the table to leave us the menus. I had wanted to go to a nearby Mexican restaurant with the best burritos around and that was only open for lunch, but both my keepers thought that burritos wouldn’t agree with Stephan’s postprandial activity. So here we were, with a plum lady and a disappointing menu. Meager consolation was that, looking around at the restaurant, it was spotlessly clean and everything was tidy. We all decided for the lunch special: it was a sort of veal cutlets with lemon and some mustard sauce, with a side salad. It was a simple dish but it was unexpectedly good. We weren’t in a hurry, so we lounged at the table and I used the extra time to pick a lemon tart. As we all got comfortable, Dad paid the bill and we headed back to the Y for the afternoon event. As we arrived, Stephan disappeared to join the other athletes, while my father and I went to get seated in the bleachers with the rest of the audience. I looked around to see who was wrestling and maybe find some familiar faces. I could recognize Wayne Owens and Billy Thorpe, who were two of my brother’s best friends and part of the team; a few others I remembered from school and were all in the same team. Another boy, Kevin something, had been paired up with Stephan for the first match; I remembered him from last tournament: he was fast and this time he looked more muscular than before, but I didn’t think he was going to be a problem for my brother. The tournament began among cheers and a roar of applause. Stephan wrestled better than ever; he had won easily the first match and Dad was elated, beaming widely as he watched his firstborn reduce into submission his second opponent. The boy, locked into a hold, pushed his hips upwards while Stephan pressed down against him, being successfully able to subdue him, until the boy groaned and began slapping his arm on the mat. This brought the number of matched he won to two and after raising up, he finished off with a victory pose. Everybody started clapping; my father was whistling and cheering more than anyone else in the audience, pumping his fist in the air. After a few more competitions, it was Stephan’s turn to fight his last match. Fatigue had been building up and last round required a lot of energy, but he stood proudly while his opponent approached. He was faced with a stockier and squatter adversary, with powerful arms, broad shoulders and tree trunks in place of legs. Dad stood up and clapped and whistled urging his son on. The two wrestlers shook hands and studied each other, but as soon as the referee blew his whistled, the other athlete went in attempting to catch Stephan off guard. Immediately, my brother saw the move and with incredible swiftness sidestepped his opponent; the other wrestler, though, quickly spun and grasped Stephan, fluidly cinched him, dumping him onto the mat. Then went in for the kill. My big brother was about to lose, as his opponent had him in a tight headlock. The crowd went wild as did my brother’s teammates. Stephan sucked in air and then held his breath as he tried to work his hips upwards, but the other athlete gradually pressed down his lithe bridge. Dad sprang on his feet, his eyes were huge and his breath haggard, not a sound escaping his mouth, but he was clearly beside himself. Stephan’s shoulders were only an inch above the mat and everything seemed lost, but he wasn’t just ready to give up; he pushed both hands under his loins and supported firmly his elbows against the matting. Then he yelled in despair and bursted, thrusting up his hips; every muscle contracted violently under his glistening skin as he overturned his opponent, then pinned it before he could bridge up. My brother rose again victorious, roaring to the audience and showing off the pumped muscles flexing under the skin of his arms. “That’s my boy! That’s my boy!” Dad yelled at the top of his lungs, and ran toward my brother to hug him. I stayed behind, seated on the bleachers. It’s not that I wasn’t happy for Stephan, because I was; I just felt left out of the celebrations: they didn’t really care whether or not I was there; I could just walk away and my father wouldn’t have even realized. And that’s what I did. I stood up and walked slowly away. I barely put any though in it, I simply marched toward the locker room to collect my pool bag. Once I had it, I slung it in my shoulder and went outside the building. Adjacent to the Y, close to the parking lot, there was a more secluded area with a few benches. I walked over one of the seats and sank into it, with my gaze lost into the indistinct nothingness ahead. I’m still not sure what I was doing there; I suppose I was waiting for my father, or maybe I only wanted to see how long it would take for them to realize I was gone. I just don’t know. “Hey!” A voice called from behind me, waking me up from my reverie. Dad had come looking for me. He didn’t lose time: he had realized right away I was gone, and came for me. Maybe Stephan’s celebrations weren’t more important than me, after all. I turned, smiling again. “Hey, I thought it was you,” said the man approaching me. I didn’t really recognize him, but he sure wasn’t my dad. I stared at him squinting my eyes, trying to place him. “You know, I saw you looking at me, earlier,” he went on, trying to don what he probably thought was a smoldering grin, but came out as a grimace that made my skin crawl. *Oh my God, the creep from the shower!* The voice in my head screamed. “No Sir, I’m sorry; you must have mistaken me for…” I started to say, standing and ready to move. “Don’t you go just yet,” he interrupted me. “You don’t need to play coy with me, I’ve seen you looking,” he continued with a wink. “Is this what you want?” he asked, wetting his lips with the tip of his tongue. Then, he grasped my wrist and, clutching my shoulder, forced my hand over growing lump in his pants. “Please, please, please lemme go!” I begged with a whimper in my voice. “I didn’t do anything, please!” I kept saying. I heard my voice getting smaller, almost a wail. I wanted to scream; I indeed felt like I was screaming inside my head, but all I could hear was a squealing whine. “Don’t worry, I’m not telling. You can touch it,” he insisted, rubbing my hand over the erection through his pants. “Pleas..” I trailed off, stumbling into sobs. Suddenly the flew backward, like a rag doll, taking me with himself, yanked by some sudden, feral force. “You fucking bastard!” Dad shouted as he pushed the man backward and threw a solid hook at him. . “This is my son!” he yelled again and threw a jab at him. “”This is my son!” He bellowed over and over. The man’s head fell back and he hit the pavement, blood gushing down his nose. He raised his arms, as to protect himself, but my father was over him, charging and punching him again. And again. Hitting the same spot on his face, just vacated by the previous punch. I could see the blood on Dad’s fist as he threw one punch after another at him. “This” BAM! “Is” BAM! “My” BAM! “Son” BAM! “Dad! Daaaaad!” was the only thing I was able to say. My mind just didn’t compute; I was watching the vicious light in my dad’s eye and it terrified me. “Go to the car!” He screamed. “Go to the car, NOW!” He roared, droplets of spit splattering in my direction. And I ran. I ran without looking back. Ran from the man, ran from my father, ran from blood I saw pooling on the pavement. I finally reached the car and rested my back over the door, crying as I slowly glided over the hot metal, only the ground halting my run. After a few minutes, my father appeared. He looked disheveled and with blood on his shirt; his eyes bore no expression whatsoever. With a click of the key, the doors opened and he sat behind the wheel. I rose, climbed inside and turned to him, looking in fear at his bloody knuckles. He brought both hands to his face, resting his elbows on the wheel. I could hear him deeply breathing in and breathing out. Over and over again. Then he turned to me. “Did he do anything to you?” he asked, with a voice that was as scary as his eyes were a few minutes ago. I stared at him in silence, my eyes probably as big as saucers. “Did he do anything to you?” he insisted, his voice steadied by urgency. I shook my head no; I did it several times, unable to say a word. He turned the keys and the car rumbled. Eventually, he started to drive home for the longest 30 minutes of my life. As soon as the car stopped, I run inside the house, then climbed the stairs and hid in my room. I don’t remember much of what happened after that. I have no recollection of me falling asleep. I only remember waking up a few hours later – it must have been, because I have a very clear image of the faint streetlight breaking through the darkness of the night through my windows – feeling the body of my father climbing in my bed and embracing me tightly from behind. I still cannot be sure, but I think I’ve heard a few sobs, before falling asleep again. *Stay tuned for the next chapter.*

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