There would be another hearing in sixty days. But for now, the judge had approved my placement with the Andersons. I was ordered to undergo psychological evaluation and to see a therapist to try to recover my memory. I was also ordered to go to school. I couldn't remember the last time I'd done that. I think I was in sixth grade or was it seventh?
"Boys... are you decent?"
I took a deep breath and groaned. Scooter raised his head and answered. "Of course not mom."
The bedroom door opened and Judy stepped inside. "Good, 'cause we need to talk."
"Mo-om!" Scooter grabbed the sheet and pulled it up. It had been about halfway down and our upper bodies were exposed as we lay in each others arms.
"Let's go, get up boys."
I had my own bed, but never used it. I always slept with Scooter and we made love every night. I never had a boyfriend before, neither had he. But it felt good to have someone to cuddle with and hold onto. Judy knew we were sleeping together. She even knew we slept naked. She saw us running naked to the bathroom every morning. But we didn't know if she knew about the sex. We giggled about it, wondering why she hadn't said anything.
When we hesitated, she yanked the sheet down and off of us. "Up and at'em boys."
Scooter yelped and immediately rolled onto his stomach to hide his morning wood. I'd felt it against my leg so I knew he had a boner. I did too, but made no effort to hide it.
"Well, I guess that confirms it. Get up, get your shower and get dressed. We need to talk." She stood there waiting for us to move.
"Mom, do you mind?"
What? You think I haven't noticed you two running around naked every morning for the last few weeks?"
"C'mon, Scoot. We're busted. Besides, she's already seen us a bunch of times."
"Mom, you can't... I mean... I'm... oh gawd." Scooter had turned red as a beet.
"Erect," Judy was having trouble talking she was laughing so hard. "Is that the word you're searching for?"
Scooter just groaned.
"Let's go. Get up." She swatted him across the butt. "Your little friend here, doesn't seem to mind.
"Hey, it's not THAT little." Now I minded. I also turned as red as Scooter. But everyone started laughing and Scooter finally got out of bed, quickly leaving the room and heading down the hall to the bathroom. I followed.
After our showers we sat at the kitchen table. We had each fixed ourselves a bowl of cereal and started eating.
"I'm afraid I've been a little remiss in my motherly duties," Judy began.
"Mom, I can explain." Scooter was obviously distressed.
I was too, but decided to keep my mouth shut, or at least too full of cereal to talk.
Judy put her finger to her lips to indicate he should be quiet and Scooter nervously awaited his mother's next words.
"I was hoping you boys would come to me with your relationship. But that doesn't look like it's going to happen. So I decided to come to you."
Judy shook her head no, indicating her son shouldn't interrupt. "It's ok. I'm not angry. I suspected it even before Rat moved in."
I looked at Scooter. He looked at me. We were both worried.
"Is it just sex, or are you in love?"
Scooter couldn't answer. He looked down at his cereal bowl and closed his eyes.
I knew he was too embarrassed to answer, so I did. "I'm in love with Scooter. I think he's in love with me, but he's never said it."
"You've never said it either," Scooter mumbled.
"I whisper it to you every night, but only when I'm sure you're asleep."
I nodded. "I love you Scooter." I couldn't believe I'd finally said it aloud. I had been so terrified of saying it. I'm not sure what I thought would happen if I did, but it scared me to death.
He leaned over and took me into his arms. He kissed me gently on the cheek. "I love you too, Rat." He continued to hug me and I could feel a tear rolling down my cheek.
Judy cleared her throat. It startled us and we broke apart quickly. I'd completely forgotten she was sitting across the table. She had a big smile on her face and a tear in her eye as well.
"Now that that's settled, we do need to have a talk."
I looked at Scooter, then we both looked back at Judy, waiting for her to continue.
"As I said before, I've been a bit remiss in my motherly duties. It's clear that my little Scotty isn't my baby anymore. You're growing into a very fine young man." I could see the pride on her face as she looked at him. "And you've chosen a fine young man to be your first boyfriend." I blushed. "I know this is going to be uncomfortable for both of you. It is for me as well, but we need to talk about sex."
"Mom, I think we know about that." Scooter's face was red again.
"It may be a little late for some of the discussion. But what about safe sex? I haven't seen any used condoms lying about."
Scooter and I just looked at each other. Some of my johns used condoms. Others liked it bareback. I'd never cared as long as I got paid.
"Rat, I love you like a son, but I also know what you did to survive on the streets. You've had sex with a lot of men. You could have, or be carrying almost anything."
Suddenly there was a huge lump in my throat and an even bigger one in my gut. I knew about AIDS and herpes and other stuff, but it never occurred to me that I could have it, or worse, that I might have given it to Scotty. I wanted to throw up.
"I'm not sure about you, Scotty. I don't know whether Rat is your first or one of many. I don't need to know. I want you two to start using condoms. I'll keep you supplied. I should have addressed this when Rat first showed up here. Hopefully, there's nothing to worry about, but I'm taking both of you to be tested today."
I felt numb and sick to my stomach. I didn't finish eating.
"Well, good morning Mr. Rat."
I smiled as I took the Dr.'s extended hand and shook it. I liked Dr. Johansen. "Naaaa, what's up Doc." I did my best Bugs Bunny imitation as I strutted past him and into the room.
This was our fourth visit. The first three hadn't been so bad. We just talked a bit the first time. The next two visits were a series of intelligence and personality tests.
"Why don't you have a..." He chuckled as I had already flopped onto the sofa and was kicking off my shoes. "... seat."
"Ok, I guess we can get started, then." He took out a notebook and sat in a chair facing me. "I've finished your evaluation and will be sending a report to the court. I wanted to begin by explaining it to you."
I was interested now and sat upright with my right leg dangling over the edge of the sofa and my left folded up so that my foot was under my right thigh. I'd been wondering what the tests were for. The math and word problems and reading were easy to figure out. He wanted to know how much I knew. But I didn't know what he wanted when he asked me to look at pictures and tell stories or to say what I saw in some inkblots. That stuff didn't make any sense.
"First, I'll say that you're an interesting young man. You're intelligent, thoughtful, and have a good sense of humor. The intelligence tests show that you have above average intelligence. But you perform well below your abilities. That's not surprising given that you've been living on the streets for a couple of years and are likely the victim of severe abuse and neglect, probably at the hands of your mother."
I smiled at the first part, but was puzzled at how he got the second part. I hadn't told him anything about my life before coming to Hollywood. I had claimed not to remember it at all. It was almost true. I couldn't remember much.
"You harbor a good deal of anger, especially towards women, though you don't express it. Instead, you become submissive and obedient, which is typical of a boy who's been abused by his mother, and you are engaged in a desperate search for a mother figure. Your sexualized behavior indicates that you've suffered sexual abuse and the stories you told when looking at the pictures and inkblots would confirm this. They also indicate that you may be homosexual."
I started laughing at the last part. It was no secret that I'm gay.
"That might seem fairly obvious," he smile, "but I'm guessing it's a result of negative interactions with the women in your life because some of your comments indicate a sexual attraction to females that conflicts with your homosexual behaviors."
I found his comments confusing. I wasn't sure what he was talking about, but what I did understand seemed to describe me pretty well. "That's ok, doc. But why can't I remember anything before I came to LA?" Of course I could remember some things, but not enough to know who I really am. I had memories of events that I couldn't picture. They were just shadows.
"You are suffering from a type of dissociative amnesia known as a dissociative fugue." Doc Johnson chuckled a bit at my expression. "I know it's confusing, let me explain," he continued, "It's the inability to remember all or part of your past, and even assuming a new identity with a completely different personality from who you were before. This is consistent with your running away from home and relocating to Los Angeles. It's brought on by psychological trauma, not physical injury. It's quite rare. In fact, in nearly twenty years of practice, you're the first case I've seen."
"Am I ever gonna remember?"
"I'm going to try and help you with that. But most fugue states don't last long, a few days, weeks or months. Yours has been ongoing for two years. That's a long time. I suspect that you remember more than you let on, but the amnesia is real enough."
My long vacation from school was over. I'd been enrolled for the summer term into what they call a continuation school. It was next door to the high school, but not part of it. It is for students who fall behind or just can't cope with regular class schedules. You take the classes you want and work at them at your own pace. If you work hard, you can make up credits in a hurry. Class sizes are smaller and there are few lectures and more individual instruction. I'd been there two weeks and while the work was easy, the real challenge was getting up and going everyday. There was also one other problem.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the little rat." I slammed my locker shut and turned to face Mike Adams, a rather large and overweight bully who'd been hounding me since I'd started school.
"Squeal on anyone today?"
"I've told you before, that's not how I got the name. How dense are you?" I'd survived on the streets for two years, stared death in the face the night I met Emma, split the skull of a street bum who was attacking her, lived through a knifing from the Diablos, and being raped in the group home. Not to mention whatever had happened that I couldn't remember. I was pretty sure I could survive this asshole.
Mike planted his hand in the center of my chest and I banged my head hard against the locker as he shoved my backwards. I winced. It hurt like hell. I tried to swat his hand away, but he'd grabbed my shirt. He shook his head at me, "And you think I'm the dense one, huh?" He cocked his fist back. I dropped to the ground, my weight pulling my shirt from his grasp. I rolled away, jumped to my feet and darted inside the classroom. "Faggot!" I heard him yell as I made my escape.
It had started with some verbal harassment, but quickly escalated into bumping, shoving, and knocking the books out of my hand. It looked like Mike was ready to take it up another notch.
"Dude, you need to chill with Mike, man." Scooter greeted me with a smile and a high five. "He's ready to kick your ass."
"I've survived worse."
"Yeah, but I don't feel like sewing you back together again." We both smiled and sat at the table. I opened my notebook and took out a pen. I had a book report to write about a kid named Huckleberry Finn.
I was lying on the bathroom floor, naked and covered with blood when they found me. Couldn't tell how long I'd been there. I tried to remember what happened. Scooter was there. He saw. The voices were all around me. In my head. In the room. Everywhere. Nowhere.
Churchbells. Lights. Bright. Can't see. Someone's face disappeared. Voices. I shut my eyes. Didn't wanna look. "Where's Scooter?" "Scooter!" This time I yelled it.
"Calm down son." A man, but who? White coat. Doctor? Hospital?
"Where am I?"
"Hollywood Press." It was a woman's voice.
"Hospital?" I tried to swallow. My mouth was too dry. "Where's Scooter?"
"Most likely wherever you left it. You're in no shape to ride now anyways."
I finally saw her. It was the old battleaxe nurse from my last hospital visit. She was laughing. I remembered.
I was sucking Mike's dick. And his friend Roger. And his friend Luis. I couldn't do all three boys at once so Mike got behind me. He ripped off my pants. Scooter walked in and saw. He screamed like someone who'd just been doused with gasoline and lit on fire. The boys were startled. They zipped up quickly, but each one hit and kicked me several times before they left.
I'd been giving Mike a blow job a day for about a week to get him to leave me alone. A couple days ago, he had his buddies join in. Now Scooter knew.
This was my second day in the hospital after being beaten by Mike and his friends. They were supposed to leave me alone, but when Scooter walked in, they kicked the shit out of me anyways.
I can't remember the last time I had a plate of food in front of me and I didn't feel like eating. Then again, I couldn't remember a lot of things. But I couldn't eat. I just wasn't hungry. I had seen Mr. Johnson. Judy, who works in the hospital, had visited several times each day. My shrink, Doc Johansen had checked in and I had been interviewed by countless police officers. But no Scooter.
I'd totally blown it. My first boyfriend. My new brother. My only friend. I betrayed him and he was gone. There wasn't much point in eating. I set the tray aside and sat up. I needed to take a walk. As I eased myself out of bed, a man stepped into the room.
"Mr. Bergeron." I said it matter of factly.
"Well, how's my little Rat doing today?" He was my lawyer from the juvenile court.
I just shook my head. I didn't want to answer.
"You realize you missed your hearing yesterday?"
I didn't care. Nothing really mattered anymore.
"Would you like the good news or the bad news first?"
I just shrugged.
He smiled one of those knowing kind of smiles, like he understood. He didn't. But it didn't stop him either.
"The bad news is that the hearing was continued until next Wednesday. The judge wouldn't proceed without you."
I just stared blankly.
"The good news is that we identified Emma and found her family."
"Really?" THAT got my attention.
"Her name is Emma Charles. She has a son and a daughter, both in their early thirties. I contacted them and neither wanted anything to do with her. It's funny, they both used the exact same words 'She can burn in hell' was all they said."
I started laughing. I knew exactly where they got that phrase.
"But the best part is that they both signed a release allowing you to dispose of her body in any way you see fit. The judge made one ruling yesterday. She ordered the county pay the cost of burial or cremation, whichever you choose."
I was speechless.
"By the way, they arrested those three boys at school this morning. The charge is rape and the DA intends to charge them as adults."
Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]
* Some browsers may require a right click instead