3 December 2006
The Duckworths were returning from Lewis’ appointment with the orthopedic surgeon in Tahlequah just as Brent arrived. After assisting Lewis in getting out of the car he went to help Molly with the groceries. He noticed a weight bench and weights in the corner of the garage. “Well Lewis, have you been working out,” he teased?
“No but Molly has can’t you tell,” Lewis Joked. With that Molly flexed her bony arm. This cracked Brent up and he laughed until he had tears in his eyes.
When Brent regained his ability to talk he asked, “Who’s bench and weights are those anyway?”
“Sit down Brent,” Molly instructed as she put away the groceries. “Our son Jake bought those”
“Your son,” Brent questioned. “I wasn’t aware that you have a son.”
“Had,” Molly corrected. “He and a friend died in an auto accident when he was 23.” “They found them in a ravine, she continued with tears in her eyes. “I only hope that he didn’t suffer.” “Brent, you remind us so much of him when he was your age,” she said with a smile and tears in her eyes. “Lewis and I have decided that we want you to have Jake’s weights and bench,” she continued. “Jake too would want you to have them.”
“Are you sure,” Brent questioned?
“We wouldn’t have it any other way,” Molly insisted. “You can have Josh bring his truck over and take them home for you.” “One other thing,” Molly continued “Don’t ever let others dictate how you live your life.” “Live your life and enjoy it to its fullest.” “We love you like a grandson that we never had,” Molly said as she put her arms around Brent.
“I love you too Granny,” Brent said teasing, but with honesty.
Molly broke into a laugh and huge smile and then finished putting the groceries away.
Josh and Brent picked up the weights and bench from the Duckworths. Jake assisted his son and Josh in unloading the equipment and suggested that it be setup Troy’s room since it was only used when Jack and Sarah came to visit.
A new pattern in Brent’s day was soon established with the addition of his strength training. Josh was more than happy to help him get started with his workouts. He was surprised that Brent was stronger than he looked and soon increased the amount of weight he was using.
Brent really liked mountain biking, but he loved road biking more than anything, except Josh. He had decided that he wasn’t going to allow the bubbas of the world to dictate what he did in life. He found a two inch iron pipe in the barn and mounted it to his bike next to his water bottle.
Riding while daydreaming about Josh, Brent had also learned to be aware of his surrounds. He was thinking about the kiss that Josh gave him that early May day when he saw the bubba truck suddenly stop and block his way. Both bubbas were out of the truck and headed in his direction. He was off of his bike and had the pipe in his hand with catlike quickness.
The bubbas hadn’t expected this and stopped momentarily. Bubba two said, “Oh look here the little fag thinks he has some balls.” With that both rushed toward Brent.
Without even thinking Brent smashed bubba two on his knee cap and heard him scream with pain. Then without pausing he slapped bubba two on the side of his head with the pipe. He must have ruptured an artery because blood went everywhere. Just for good measure he kicked bubba two directly in the balls, showing him who really had balls.
Standing ready to defend himself, Brent watched as the bubbas assisted each other back into the bubba truck. Before the bubbas could drive away Brent hit the already cracked windshield with the pipe. He laughed as he saw it shatter.
On his way home Brent met Josh who immediately stopped and asked with great concern, “Brent, are you okay?”
“I sure am, why do you ask,” he inquired of Josh?
“I met the bubba truck with its windshield shattered and one of the bubbas was bloody as hell,” Josh answered.
“I doubt they will bother me anymore,” Brent stated as he showed Josh the “bubba” pipe as he had now named it.
“I’m so proud of you Brent,” Josh declared as gave Bent a big hug. Then looking him right in the eyes and repeated, “Brent, I’m so proud of you.” Then he kissed Brent as he had before, only this time with more passion.
Josh pulled away suddenly as they heard a car approaching. They saw that it was the Duckworths, both waving while smiling.
“I have to go,” Josh declared with apparent embarrassment.
Brent’s head was spinning as he saw Josh drive away. He emptied his water bottle on his head to clear his head. What had just happened? Was Josh gay too? Did Josh love him as much as he loved Josh? Questions, questions there were still more questions that Brent wanted answered. Should he talk to Josh? “God help me figure this out,” he prayed.
The kiss had rekindled the flame in him and his love for Josh.