***CONTENT WARNING: CONTAINS VAGUE DESCRIPTION OF SEXUAL ACTS***
OH SHIT! I stuffed my privates back into my pants and closed up my fly.
Colin sat back up on the bed while I got up to blow out the candle
and turn the TV off. Just as I reached the TV set my bedroom door
opened, and it was Mom.
“Ok, boys, the power is back on. It’s about time you went to bed.”
She held the door open and gestured for Colin to go through it.
“Ok, mom. Good night. Good night, Colin.”
As Colin was ducking under Mom’s arm he looked back at me and shot me a wily grin. He then turned and went down the hall to Kevin’s old room. I turned the TV off, clicked the light off, got undressed in the semi darkness, and crawled into bed. This friendship had certainly gotten spicier, I thought with a smile. I was concerned about his aversion to the kiss, but I didn’t mind it too much. I’d bring him around. I went to sleep on Cloud Nine. Outside, the storm raged on.
When I awoke the next morning it was still dark. I looked at my clock: 8:21AM. What the hell? It shouldn’t be dark this time of day! I got out of bed and went to the window. I pulled my curtains aside and gasped: I was looking at a wall of snow. “Holy shit”, I said, and rushed to pull my clothes on. When I left my room Colin was just emerging from his.
“Did you see...” I started to say.
“YES!” he squealed. We ran up the stairs and stopped at the front door. I opened it and found that the snow came half way up the door frame. I looked out into the driveway and I could only see the roof of Dad’s truck. Mom’s car was completely buried. “Holy shit!” we both exclaimed.
We continued on our way up the stairs and entered the living room. We both headed straight to the window for a bird’s eye view of the snow. And what a snow! There had to be 100 centimeters down! Every car in the neighbourhood was buried, and on the house across the road the snow was halfway up the front windows. On the side of that house the snow had drifted off the roof and nearly filled the gap between it and the house next door. It looked like you could walk from one roof to the other on the snow. We were going crazy with joy, squealing like school girls. Dad came out of his room and said “What’s going on?”
I pointed at the window. “Look! LOOK!!!”
Dad walked over to the window and looked outside. “Holy shit.”
Mom joined him at the window. “Oh my God.”
Colin and I settled down in front of the TV set. It was Monday morning, so the news was on. We were on Christmas break so school wouldn’t be cancelled, but the news was all about the snow. The whole province was basically shut down, and they were saying it was the worst storm in decades. We didn’t care. We only saw dollar signs and just wanted to get out shovelling. Mom made us some poached eggs on toast and we started getting ready.
“Where are you two off to?” Dad said.
“We’re going out shovelling snow.”
We both started singing “We’re in the money... We’re in the money...”
“Well you can start with this one. Shovel your way to the shed and you can use the snowblower.”
“To do OUR driveway, yes.”
My heart sank, but I finished getting ready and we went outside and found the shovels. We quickly cleared the way to the shed and the area in front of the doors. It was locked, of course, so I went in and got the keys from Dad. “Be careful with that thing!” he said as I was going back out the door. I opened the shed up, glanced briefly at our bicycles, and went to the snowblower. I dragged it into the center of the shed as Colin swung the doors wide open. I plugged the electric starter in, set the choke & throttle, pushed the button, and the machine awakened with a roar. I let it warm up for a minute, then engaged the gear and pushed the clutch lever. The machine lurched forward. As soon as I got to the snow I engaged the auger and the machine dug in. The snow was taller than the snowblower, but it made short work of it anyway, throwing it far out over the lawn. I cleaned the driveway all around the cars, and just as I was finishing a huge snow plow came by and deposited a mountain at the end of the driveway. I moved the snowblower up to it and stopped. This was too much, even for the snowblower. The mountain was taller than I was. Colin and I stared at the mound for a few minutes when he had an idea.
“I’ll break the snow down in front of it with the shovel, you feed the snowblower into it as I’m doing it.”
“That might work”, I said.
What “might work” turned out to be genius. He worked away ahead of me pulling the mountain down, and I used the snowblower to send the mountain out onto the lawn. After about 30 minutes of this I shut the snowblower off. We were finished. I wheeled the snowblower back toward the shed and put it inside, then we went inside the house. Dad was looking out the front window, admiring our work.
“That was quick”, he said.
“Yeah, well Colin had this idea to break the snow bank down in front of me. It worked really well.”
Colin’s cheeks turned even redder than the cold had made them.
“I saw that. I’m proud of you guys for working together like that”.
“Ok, well, we’re gonna go shovel driveways. There’s money to be made.”
“Don’t forget, you’re grounded. Don’t leave the neighbourhood.”
“But nothing. You screwed up, you pay the price. You can still do driveways, but stay around here.”
I sulked. We thought we were going to be rich, but Dad was screwing it all up.
“Yes, as long as you promise to be careful with it and take care of it. Any gas you use, you’ll replace. Any damage you cause, you’ll pay for.”
Colin and I looked at each other. “Yes, sir!” we yelled, then ran back out to the shed. I grabbed the snowblower, Colin grabbed the shovel and the gas jug. As it turned out, Dad was right about finding plenty of driveways. We hadn’t even gotten out of our own driveway when the neighbour across the road hollered over to us.
I said “Um, $25?”
“Deal!” he said, and went inside. We got to work.
About 40 minutes later his driveway was spotless. He came out and handed me three $10 bills. “I don’t have any change” I said.
“Keep it”, he said. “It was worth it.”
We didn’t argue. We left his driveway and started walking up the road. His next door neighbour flagged us down. 40 minutes later we had another $30.
We ended up doing almost every driveway on the street, and only stopped because it was getting dark and we were running out of gas. We had made over $600 between us. That was a lot of money for a teenager in 1985!
We went home and returned the snowblower to the shed. I gave Dad $20 to cover the gas and we went to our rooms to change into clean, dry clothes. I loaned Colin some of mine to wear, since he didn’t have any clean ones yet. When he emerged from his room I looked at him and laughed.
“What?”, he said, looking down at himself.
“Nothing. I was just thinking about here you are, getting into my pants again.”
He laughed. We headed back up the stairs and sat down to supper.
After we ate we were about to go back downstairs but Dad said "Come in here, boys, I want to talk to you.”
We went out into the living room and sat down on the love seat, across from Dad. “What’s up?” I said.
“I was talking to Colin’s case worker today. She told me that she had been talking to his parents. They are not taking him back.”
I looked over at Colin. He did not show any emotion.
Dad continued. “I asked the case worker why they would kick you out, Colin. She told me that she couldn’t tell me that, that I’d have to hear it from you.”
Colin took a deep breath and started talking. He told a condensed version of what he had told me. He left out some details, but all in all he was honest. As he talked I could see a glimmer of a tear forming in his eye, but he did not cry. As he talked, I watched Dad, trying to read his mind. What was he thinking? His expression was not telling any secrets. The more Colin talked, the more I was convinced that Colin would be off to the group home before bed time. Finally, he wrapped up and remained silent.
“I see”, Dad said. “Well, I’m glad you were honest with me. I had already guessed as much by some of the things Constable LeBlanc had told me, but I wasn’t sure.
He then looked at me. “And how much of this did you know?”
I gulped. “Pretty much all of it.”
“And you still wanted to be his friend?”
“Well, I didn’t know at first. By the time I found out, I was already his friend. I didn’t want to just walk away from him, but I made him promise to stop. I told him if he didn’t, I wouldn’t be his friend anymore.”
Dad considered this for a moment.
“And did he stop?”
“Yes!” both of us said.
“I was talking to Carmen”, Dad said.
“Sorry”, Colin said.
“And you believe him?”
Dad said “I see”, and then just sat there, looking at us.
I fidgeted. Colin was looking down. Finally, Dad started speaking again.
“Ok, if you believe him I have to, too. You know him better than I do.”
Colin looked up again.
“Now, we have a problem. Like I said, Colin’s adoptive parents don’t want him back. I asked his case worker what this means, and she said that it likely meant that he’d be sent back to the group home.”
Colin and I looked at each other, horrified.
“The problem is, it’s two days until Christmas. I don’t think that’s any place for a young boy to be spending the holidays. I said this to his case worker, but she told me that was their only choice. If he had no guardian he had to go back there.”
My heart was starting to pound. Was Colin about to be taken away?
Dad continued, "So I talked to her. She is coming out here tomorrow---”
“But Dad! That’s not fair! He didn’t do anything wrong!”
“Let me finish! Tomorrow she is coming out here with some paperwork for me to sign. Your mother and I are entering the foster parent program. Colin will be staying with us from now on.”
I was sure I had heard him wrong. I was just about to say “What?” when he started again.
“She is going to stop at his adoptive parent’s house to have them sign away custody and to pick up his clothes and things, and then she is coming here. Colin will be staying in Kevin’s old room.”
Colin and I looked at each other. He was beaming.
“But I am going to set some ground rules. You already know about my rule on smoking. There are other rules as well. You will abide by the rules of this household just like any of the other kids. You will treat everyone here with respect. If I ask you to do something I expect you to do it. If I tell you not to do something you will not do it. You will go to school as normal, just like the rest. Understood?”
Colin exclaimed, “YES!!!”
“Ok. And let's be clear: If I hear of you stealing again you’re gone. I don’t care whether it’s from any of us, or a store, or a student at school, or a person walking down the road. I do not tolerate thieves. Carmen gave you two chances. I’m giving you one. I will not hear excuses. I don’t care about court dates or ‘innocent until proven guilty’. If you steal, you’re gone. You’re old enough to make decisions, so make them carefully. It’s time you learned there are consequences. Behave yourself and you will be welcomed as part of the family. Screw up and you’re out on your ass. Agreed?”
“Good. Now enough seriousness. Go play your video games.”
We got up and ran downstairs. We flew into my room and started laughing. Neither one of us could believe what had just happened. I grabbed Colin and pulled him into a hug. “That was awesome! I can’t believe Dad is doing this!”
I released him from the hug and turned the TV on. I grabbed the joysticks and sat on the bed. He sat down next to me, and we played video games for the rest of the evening. We were both very tired, so it was probably about 8:00 before I tossed my joystick aside and laid down on my back. Colin tossed his aside and did the same thing. I turned onto my side and looked at him. There would be no subtlety this time. I reached for his crotch and started rubbing. He rolled to face me and did the same thing. “We’ll be able to do this all the time now”, I said.
“Yeah”, he said, smiling.
“I wish you’d let me kiss you”, I said.
“Nope”, he said.
I sighed, and turned to lie on my back.
“But I do still owe you that blow job”, he said, and without another word he went to work. This was it; my first blow job. He really knew what he was doing. I was finally finding out what all of my friends were getting from the girls. It was heavenly. When he finished he got up without saying a word, gave me a smile, and went off to bed.
The following day was Christmas Eve. The case worker showed up, as promised. She brought a bunch of boxes of Colin’s things, and she had also brought a bunch of wrapped presents. “They had bought them for you," she said, "and thought that you should still have them.”
Dad put Colin’s presents under the tree along with the rest of ours. I helped Colin carry his things down to his bedroom. We went inside, and it dawned on me that I hadn’t entered this room since Kevin had moved away. It still looked like Kevin's room, with a few posters on the wall and his old bed. He had taken his stereo when he left, but his TV was still there. Colin began unpacking the boxes and putting things away. He took out his clothes and stuffed them into the dresser drawers, a clock radio which he put on top of the dresser. He plugged it in and set the time. He then bent over to take something out of the box, and I seized my opportunity. I reached over and goosed him.
He jumped up. “Hey!”
I laughed, and he started laughing. I said “I just remembered, you’re still in my pants. Maybe I’ll have to get into yours tonight.”
We both laughed at this and
he continued unpacking. A skateboard, a chess set (I hadn’t known
he had played chess – I loved chess!), and a few odds and ends.
Finally Dad hollered down the stairs for Colin to come up. I went
into my own room while he went upstairs to talk to the case worker. I
flipped that same Judas Priest record over and turned it on, then
laid down on the bed. I must have fallen asleep, because I was
awakened to Colin jumping on top of me. “It’s official! We’re
brothers!” he said, as he settled down onto me.