Journey to Love

Chapter Thirty-seven

Separate Holidays

by Sequoyah

Edited by Cole, Peter and Scott




We slept two hours and were awakened by DeAngelo and Joe. “Derek, get your ass out of bed and bring your pet with you!” DeAngelo shouted. As Wolf and I stepped out of my room Sam and Brad came out of theirs, Brad buttoning his jeans.


DeAngelo said, “Little Brother, see you picked a small one.”


“Depends where you look, oh not-so-large-one,” I responded. I knew that got to DeAngelo because he had never liked having the fact that I was a quarter-inch longer than he was pointed out.


DeAngelo reached for me and as he did, Wolf said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”


“You and whose army are stopping me?” DeAngelo laughed.


“You’ve been warned, DeAngelo,” I said.


He just laughed, made a grab for me and landed on the floor. Now everyone except DeAngelo was laughing. Gradually a grin spread across his face. “Fuck, Man, I’d like to be able to do that.”


“Sign up with Sergeant Major and maybe in ten years you will be,” I laughed. Wolf extended his hand to DeAngelo and helped him to his feet. DeAngelo embraced him and said, “DeAngelo Wilson, that one’s older brother and one just cut down to size.”


“Wolf Lancaster, and I’m always happy to ground someone in reality. So how was Lake of the Ozarks?”


“Beautiful and great fun. Learned to water ski and all sorts of things.”


“Sorry we’re neglecting you, Joe. This is Wolf. I had to make a second trip to Florida to find a man equal to your woman and I outdid you. Wolf, my brother DeAngelo and his friend Joe.”


The four of us sat in my room and talked for the next hour. DeAngelo and Joe were very interested in Levi’s place and the fact that such good housing was available to students. “Any off-campus housing we can afford is really pretty bad,” DeAngelo said. I had seen their place and agreed.


Both were interested in all that had gone on in Florida, how we had met and how Wolf had been able to move to OCU. “I may be in that part of the world in a couple years,” DeAngelo said. “There’s a good physical therapist program at the Eastern Medical School and that’s where Angelica hopes to be accepted. Unless things change, I’ll go where she gets accepted as it’s not as hard to get into a physical therapist program as to get into medical school.”


“Sounds serious,” Wolf said.


“Yeah, it does, doesn’t it. Oh, and more good news. Joe and I got a six months negative HIV/AIDS test. One more and we can really breathe a sigh of relief. You two been tested?”


“Antwon and Sharky insisted we get tested while we were in Florida. Both negative,” I reported.


“Still condoms until you pass six months,” Joe said. “No exceptions.”


“Look who’s lecturing whom on safe sex.” I laughed.


“Hey, we are co-chairs of Students for Safe Sex at Monroe,” Joe said. “You have the scare DeAngelo and I did, you want to do all you can to prevent it happening to someone else.”


I realized Wolf was looking puzzled; he didn’t know what we were talking about. DeAngelo noticed too and told the whole sordid story, leaving out nothing.


Since Angelica and Katrina were not in town, the next two weeks were pretty much male playtime for the four of us and Jeremy. We swam, played some basketball and went biking. Wolf, Jeremy and Sergeant Major started us in the basics of martial arts and I knew that was something I wanted to continue. A couple days before we had to leave for Norfolk, Wolf and Jeremy put on an exhibition at the Center which Brad and Sergeant Major had promoted well and a large crowd showed up and was not disappointed.


The fall semester of my junior year and Wolf’s freshman one had been underway a couple weeks when we got an email from Marc telling Wolf he was lucky that I’d taken him out of Bigot State University. Seems the good Senator Porcher and the Anointed Word Church, which was across from ESU, had mounted a campaign to rid ESU of perverts and deviants. They were maintaining a twenty-four/seven demonstration across the street from the entrance to ESU. The university had made the usual statements about nondiscrimination and diversity and let it go at that. Nothing could be proven, but it was generally known that there were a number of faculty members and a larger percentage of the staff who supported the demonstration. Without naming names, the good senator held up Justin as an example of how a pervert and deviate could turn a good Christian into a queer. He would weep crocodile tears as he talked about how is own son, his only child, had been led down the path to perdition. Fortunately, none of that touched us directly although Wolf’s dad did email Wolf that while he couldn’t have known it at the time, he was glad Wolf had chosen to go to OCU and that I had effectively argued for it.


Wolf’s weekly radio show became a hit on campus and he was asked to add another hour, the new one to be a talk show. Wolf said he would think about it, but he was carrying a pretty heavy load and didn’t know that he wanted to add more. He brought it up at a round-table gathering -- we had added a beer and pizza round table on Wednesday at 10:00. That gave everyone time to study beforehand and still gave us an hour or two to shoot the bull. If there was a concern or problem, we handled those in a serious manner; otherwise it was the usual college bull session. Anyway, I suggested Wolf bring up the talk show request and he did.


“Wolf, there’re a variety of talk shows. There are those in which a know-it-all spouts his ignorance, there are call-in shows which still depend on a know-it-all, then there are interview shows,” said Colin, a political science major.


“Well, you’re a good guy, Wolf, but I don’t place a great deal of confidence in your ability to tell me what to do. An interview show? With guests that students would like to hear with maybe you and a couple other students asking decent, probing questions? That I think might be a hit,” Ashley offered.


“Another idea,” Levi offered. “Our Wednesday nights are not organized at all...”


“And that’s the way I like it,” Telvin said, quickly and emphatically.


“So do I,” Levi said. “However, if we had another night and a definite theme and had four experts and two of us and Wolf doing the questioning, that could be interesting.”


Beverly, who was also a mass communications major, said, “Look, we have been talking radio, but this sounds like TV or a podcast to me.”


“I’m not sure I want my place invaded even for an hour,” I said. “There would be time before to set up and a time afterward to break down the setup. We’re talking not an hour but more like three hours.”


“I still like the idea,” Beverly said.


“So do I,” Wolf said. “Very much.”


“In someone else’s backyard,” I said. “I most definitely do not want my space invaded.”


“We need to talk about it,” Wolf said. “It’s really a good idea.” I couldn’t believe he gave the idea a moment’s thought, especially after I made it clear I was much opposed to the idea. “Say we did it here for a month or so, just to see how it would go, then ‘go on location’ around the campus before coming back here. We could arrange scheduling around our schedule, Derek.”


Wolf talked as if it was a done deal and had not heard my objection. “We’ll talk about this later,” I said.


“Yeah, we’ll need to work out a filming schedule.”


Beverly had certainly heard my objection and, I noticed, kept an eye on me as Wolf laid out his plan. Finally she broke in and said, “There is absolutely no reason why some opening material used each week couldn’t have this actual room as a background. That would involve only one filming session. Why are there people studying set design if they can’t re-create the round table and an interview set based on this room?” Beverly asked.


“Wolf, tell them you’ll accept the project if it will be used for TV with a later podcast rather than radio if you can design the set. They’ll do it,” Philip said, “because the campus TV sucks and you have proven you can attract an audience.”


Before they had finished, they had dawn up a proposal and started making a list of topics and persons students would be interested in seeing interviewed.


Later, when I brought up the fact that Wolf had not listened when I said I didn’t want my space invaded by TV, he said he was sorry, but it was great that I had changed my mind. Somehow or other, I didn’t think I had changed my mind, but I guess I had, but only for a single filming session.


The filming session didn’t take a couple or three hours as had been suggested during the planning session; it took all day. I saw where it was headed and went to the undergrad library to get my work done as nothing could be accomplished at my place. Everything was ready before Christmas break, but the campus radio and TV made a big thing of ‘Coming in the New Year’ and announced the first broadcast would be January third and would be a regular Wednesday night feature.


The Christmas break brought up a problem I guess all couples face, namely, where would we spend Christmas? Wolf’s parents, of course, wanted him home as did Mom and my dads. We discussed it and came up with several schemes, but found none we liked. Then, we both had the same brainstorm. “Wolf, don’t think I’m trying to get rid of you, but we spend most of our time together. In fact, about the only time we are not together is when we are in class, or when I’m diving or you are doing radio and TV. A break from each other might not be a bad idea.”


“Derek, I was thinking along similar lines.”


“How about you spending the holidays at home and getting back here for New Year’s?” I asked.


“Sounds good on this side of the separation, don’t know about it from the other side. I’ll get to drive my car so getting back is no problem. I’m sure one of the Clan would be happy to pick me up, but what about you?”


“I’ll have to be here with Auntie.”


The holidays were settled until Auntie called us down for tea. “Fellows, you’re on your own for the holidays. Eloise and her fiancé are spending the holidays with his parents in Gulfport, Mississippi. I have an invitation from an old friend who has a condo on Marco Island in Florida. Think you can handle that?” We assured her we could. So the day the holiday began, Sandy and Michael arrived to pick up Wolf and headed south and I picked up Jeremy and headed west.


Jeremy and I talked about Wolf and me being separated for the first time on our way home. “Think you might be surprised,” he said, but didn’t elaborate. Interestingly enough, while I missed Wolf, especially when I crawled into an empty bed, I very much enjoyed the week and a half at home. In case I had any question, it proved to me I really loved the guy and that he was a major part of my life, but not all of it.


One thing special did come about during my time at home. Wolf and I had talked to Brad and Sam about anal intercourse when we visited after Florida, but we had decided we weren’t ready for that. Now with time to think and talk to Brad and Sam again, I called Wolf and found out he’d had time to think and talk to Marc and Justin and we agreed we wanted to take that step. We’d start work toward preparing ourselves for that next, and large, step in our love-making.


Well, there was actually a second thing which came out of that holiday except it was a while before I realized it. Jeremy and I called Mr. Manning and found he was just back from a cruise to the Bahamas he and Stu had planned last summer. He suggested we wait until the following day for a visit and come up and stay over lunch, which we did.


After the usual chit chat, Mr. Manning asked us about school, getting into the particulars and not just the generalities. “I’m sure your majors aren’t cast in concrete at this point,” he said, “but I’d be surprised if you haven’t found yourselves leaning in one direction or another.”


Jeremy laughed and said, “You’re to blame, Mr. Manning” -- he had long given up on having us drop the Mr. – “I was leaning toward the humanities in general even before West Point. In looking back, I think the fact that the Point is geared more to engineering and science had a lot to do with why I wasn’t happy there. Because of what you accomplish with high school kids, including the two of us, I have pretty much decided. I want to do a double major in English and psychology with the latter more on the counseling side of psychology.”


“So what would you do with those?” Mr. Manning asked. “Counseling?”


“No, that’s why I’m probably going to do a double major. I hate to say it, but most counselors I have known seem to spend their time doing things other than counseling. No, I plan to take enough education courses -- some of the psychology courses will count -- to get a teaching certificate and teach high school English. Lots of counseling gets done through the literature, journal writing and class discussions if you are willing to allow that to happen. I know. I’ve seen it in your classes time and again.”


“While that is my aim, I am honored and flattered by your comments,” Mr. Manning said and actually blushed.


“No flattery,” I said. “What Jeremy said is simply a statement of fact.”


“And you, Derek?”


“My inclination is definitely toward the sciences, more specifically biology and chemistry. I will probably major in biology and minor in chemistry.”


“Do you have any application of the two in mind?”


“Actually I did, but I am less sure now. I thought about marine biology and am still interested in it, but after talking with Antwon and Sharky, it has a great deal less appeal. Besides, I’d like something that involves more chemistry.”


“Have you given any thought to medicine?” Mr. Manning asked.


“Well, of course, given my dads I naturally thought about medicine, but only in terms of sports medicine or physical therapy. Not sure those are at all what I am interested in, so I think medicine is out.”


“There are plenty of areas in medicine where your biology and chemistry would be very important. In fact, you might even do a double major rather than a major and a minor.”


“I’ll have to give that some thought,” I responded, and I did.


Back in Norfolk, Louis and I worked out a program that while it was not official, would result in a double major. It meant an extra year in college, but Auntie and my dads insisted I do it if I had any passion for it and I did.


When the heads of the two departments happened to notice what I was doing they asked for a conference. I explained why I was doing the double major and both were impressed. “There are plenty of ways to use those majors,” Dr. Levey, head of the chemistry department said. Dr. Bailey of biology agreed.


“Dick,” Dr. Bailey said, “we need to pull some strings and get the man an opportunity to see medicine being practiced.” Nothing more was said about it and I became so busy with my classes and diving that I more or less forgot about it.


Wolf also became very busy. As soon as the second semester started, his new TV program was launched with much ballyhoo and was an immediate success. After a one-time attempt at sports announcing for a high school basketball team playing at OCU, Wolf was invited to be in the booth for an OCU game. He certainly added spice to the event since he was not a diehard fan and often asked questions or made comments that questioned the school’s priorities. That was the end of his sports announcing career, but his following increased tremendously.


We were both looking forward to getting away for spring break. Eloise was getting married in April and had taken a leave of absence from her job with her boss’ blessing, so she would be home and urged us to ‘go somewhere.’ Antwon and Sharky invited us back to Key West and we started planning on making the trip, but it was not to be.


Wednesday night the week before we would be leaving, Wolf got a call from his mom telling him his dad had been rushed to the hospital with what was apparently a fairly severe stroke. We quickly got things together and headed for Elizabethton. We were about half-way there when Dr. Mom Lancaster called Wolf and told him his dad was being rushed to the hospital of the medical college in Norfolk, so we turned around. We had no relaxing spring break and the next six weeks were very trying.


Mom, as she insisted she be called, stayed at our place although she was reluctant to do so. She did put her foot down when we insisted she take our bed. “It’s your bed and that’s where you belong,” she said, refusing to budge on that point. Wolf and I were very careful about showing too much affection in her presence, so she got a real shock one afternoon. Eloise had dropped by the hospital and brought her home unexpectedly. Wolf and I had been hitting the books pretty hard and were taking a break in the living room. What started as a few kisses had advanced to heavy making out. We rolled off the couch and were on the floor, shirts and jeans off, arms and legs tangled together, hard cocks pressing between us and tongues seeking the other’s tonsils when Mom walked in. We had not heard her coming upstairs. When she stepped into the living room, she quickly cut off the shriek which had started escaping her throat. I guess she was so shocked she was paralyzed because she just stood in the doorway, a hand over her mouth.


Wolf started laughing and said, “Mom, I guess you don’t need any explanation, but in case you do, Derek and I are lovers and we were moving from simply a kiss and had reached heavy making out. A few minutes later, and you would have seen a beautiful dark chocolate naked body and a golden caramel one entwined together.”


Mom blushed and said, “I should have knocked. This is your house, but you’ll have to give me time to get used to two men doing more than a kiss on the cheek, much less making out.”


“We’ll keep the making out to the bedroom from now on,” I said. “We were not expecting you until later.”


“Eloise came by and brought me home. Unless something is amiss on his exam, Walter will be going back home tomorrow with a therapy plan. I’ll have a home nurse three days a week, but I’m probably going to find someone to help out every day. Getting Walter bathed and dressed is nearly more than I can do.”


“Mom, I can...”


“You will do what you are here to do. If things are not going well this summer, I may consider your coming home and helping out, but it is foolish for you to come to do a job that someone will do for minimum wage and be glad to have it. You are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing and need to be doing, getting an education. By the way, I do think you have good taste in men. Too bad you two can’t make babies.”


Wolf and I had been so occupied with his father in addition to carrying a heavy class load and in my case, diving and in Wolf’s, radio and TV, that we were pretty exhausted. Also, we were not doing as well in school as we would have liked. Our friends helped all they could and we were very grateful for that, but we still had so much that we had to do. The study groups all decided to spend twenty minutes before starting on the current work finding areas in which Wolf and I needed work and helping us get up to speed. Because of their help, we finished the semester with more Bs than we would have liked, but there was no grade below a B.


We were discussing summer plans the day after the last exam when the phone rang. Since his dad had gone home and things were going well there, we were not expecting any bad news and the news wasn’t all bad, but it certainly changed our summer plans in a major way.



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