Still Waters Run Deep by Mystique


Part 1

John was in college on a football scholarship! He was the star football player. This would be his last year of college. Even though he was from an affluent family and well know in his hometown. Things were a lot different here. It was smaller than where he came and had to adjust! He was offered an assistant coach position!

Though he was good at football, he also knew the competitiveness of the beast. So he elected not go go pro. He wanted to get married, settle down and have kids. He liked this town and wanted to take up roots here. He was draw out of his daydreaming, when his friend Ken and his fiancee, Barbara came walking up!

“Hey John!” Ken called to him. John looked at Ken, then over at Barbara. She was a very pretty girl and smart too. Ken and her are getting married after graduation. He was going to be an attorney! An Law Firm had already contacted him to do an internship with them.

“Hey Ken! Hello Barbara! What are you two up to?” He asked. Ken looked at Barbara, who got the hint and left, walking over to a girl sitting under a tree. John watched her walk away, then turned his attention back to Ken. He knew something was brewing in his head.

“Look John, I need a very huge favor!” He started, nervously walking in a circle.

“What?” Is all John asked. Ken took a deep breath, then let it out! He looked at John and glanced over at Barbara, who was staring at them. The other girl remained seated.

“Barbara’s cousin is in town and will be living with them. She’s going to be going here! I was wondering.........if.........!” John didn’t allow him to finish!

“You were wondering what, Ken? That I would take her off your hands, show her around the block or something?” John started, Ken tried to quiet him!

“No! No man! You know I don’t do blind dates! I don’t do charity cases! And distinctively remember the last dog you saddled me up with!” John shook his head vigorously, hands waving in the air! Ken looked over where Barbara stood. She and her cousin were watching this show, intensely! They heard every word he was said.

“John stop! Just shut up! You‘ve already said more than you should have. That‘s your problem man! You don‘t know when to quit!” Ken told him, looking sadly over at Barbara and her cousin, who was now standing!

John looked at him, wondering what was wrong. Until he looked in the direction Ken’s eyes were paste. He hadn’t noticed the girl Barbara had been with, until now! His eye narrowed and focused in on the beautiful red-headed girl, standing next to her. John’s eyes switched back to Ken! Ken gave him this look! Lights came on!

“Tell me she isn’t the one!” John asked, hoping for the word “No“ as the answer! Ken nodded his head. John covered his face with his hands. He felt like a jackass! She was staring a hole through him.

“Please tell me she didn’t know you were going to ask me!” John felt like a fool. Ken smirked and nodded his head once again. John smacked his head. First impressions. Ken beckoned for Barbara and her cousin. They joined the two guys. Barbara’s cousin didn’t look at John! Her expression said it all!

“Margaret, this is John I told you about! John, Margaret!” Ken introduced them anyway! Margaret reluctantly looked his wave and nodded, then looked away again! He had really pissed her off! She wasn’t impressed with the dumb jock.

“Hello Margaret! Nice to meet you!” John pulled out his charm. Margaret turned and titled her head to the side, in disbelief!

Did he just say he was glad to meet her, when not no more than five minutes ago he was ranting and raving about taking her off their hands.

She crossed her hands over her chest and stared him down! Her green eyes darken! Ken and Barbara, looked from her to John and took a couple of steps back! This wasn’t going to be pretty! They knew her too well! When she starts, it’s just best to let her vent.

“Did I hear you right? You said ‘Nice meeting‘? After that childish display of not wanting to take me off their hands and seeing I was not a “dog”, as you put it! You sir, are a very shallow person! You’re judgmental and stereotype people to make up your comfort zone! What makes you think you’re all that anyway? And to talk about what a person looks like are how they are. I wouldn‘t be paired with you if you were the last ‘dog‘ on this earth!” She tore into him.

John stood there stunned, unable to say a word. The only thing that saved him any further lashing, was her turning on her heels and storming away. Barbara ran after her! Ken made a bad attempt, to hold in the laugh that wanted to burst through!

“I think I’m in love!” John said. Ken looked at his friend as if he had lost what little sense he had!

It took over a month, for John to get Margaret to even look at him. And as long for her to agree to a double date. Even then she didn’t sit with him. Finally, his persistence paid off. She accepted a date with him. From then, everything was like out of a fairy tale! They fell deeply in love. John knew from that first day, she would be the one he married.

Graduation had come and gone! Now John and Margaret planned their wedding. Several months later, they were married.

She continued with school until she became pregnant! She thought maybe, she could finish school after the baby came. But John assisted, he could manage things. He wanted her to stay home and take care of their child! She did!

They had a son. She soon became the doting wife and mother. And he the proud father. Three years later, the had another son. As the boys grew, they became defined! Mark the first son became athletic!

While the youngest son Glenn, tend to stay closer to his mother and more interested in other things. This concerned his father. He would take him away from her, while she was busy cooking and have him play ball, with his brother and friends. He would only sit down and watch, not interact. His father also noticed he didn’t have any friends. He was a loner!

Whenever his father wasn’t around or away for a game, his mother would teach him how to cook. He watched her carefully as she sewed or knitted something. He picked it up quick. She also saw he had a artistic gift. He would draw anything and come show her. She bought him a easel and paint and pencil to explore his creativity.

His father wasn’t to keen, but Margaret convinced him otherwise. One day his father came in on him helping his mother in the kitchen and took offense. He snatched up young Glenn and stared hard at his wife. Then he dragged the boy out of the kitchen, with protest from his mother.

Young Glenn called for his mother, crying. He took him outside to play with his brother Mark. Margaret never forgave him for that incident. It took her back to the first day they met. Him being judgmental and placing people in these boxes he has created.

“Stay out here and play with your brother. I better not ever catch you in the kitchen again.” He yelled and stormed back in the house.

Glenn went to sit under the tree, as he heard his father yelling at his mother. Mark slowly walked over to his brother, sitting down beside him and placing an arm around his shoulder.

“How could you hurt your son like that?“ She started.

“Don’t! Don‘t you throw this back at me! You‘re not the one who gets the flack from the other fathers wondering why little Glenn don‘t do boy things. If anyone is hurting the boy, it‘s you! Turning him into a damn sissy!” He yelled at her! She stared at this person who was a stranger!

“When did you start caring what people thought or said, when it’s obvious you don’t care what your son cares about or even wants? He is defining himself, in the things he likes and enjoys doing! It doesn’t make him a sissy or will it make him any less of man when he is grown!” She said to him, holding her ground.

“Boy’s are suppose to be playing ball, not house!” Then turned and walked upstairs, leaving her standing there for a few moments. She turned and walked to the window, looking at her two sons!

They were going to have a long road ahead, trying to fine themselves. Because it’s clear, their father never did! That night the boys heard their father leave the house and his mother crying in her bedroom. Glenn left his bed and went to her.

“Mom?” He called to her from the other side of the door.

“Go back to bed my darling Glenn! Everything is alright.“ She wanted to assure him. He stood there for a few moments, then turned and went back into his room.

He stepped out his window and on the small ledge on the outside, staring up into the night. He felt it was his fault that they were fighting, but was confused to why his father was so angry. What did he do wrong? He looked and saw Mark in his doorway! He crawled back inside and walked up t his brother.

“I don’t understand what I did you! Do you?” Glenn asked his brother. Mark nodded his head and came into Glenn’s room. He tried to find the words that Glenn would understand, yet not hurt him anymore than his father had.

“Dad has this thing! Boys should be out playing in the yard, at parks or wrestling! You know outside stuff!” Glenn sat down on the side of his bed and watched his brother pace back and forth, trying to explain to him the rules according to John!

“And girls are suppose to help cook, wash and iron clothes, clean house and all that other girlie stuff! You understand what I’m saying?” Mark stopped in front of his brother! Glenn sat for a while, pondering over what his brother had just said. Then he looked up at him.

“I think I understand. Dad wants me to play outside like a boy and not in the house helping Mom! Because boys play and girls work!” Glenn answered! Mark thought then shook his head.

“No Glenn! Boys are suppose to work too as girls can play! We clean the yard, take out the trash and things like that! Girls play dolls, house and tea parties. Stuff like that!” Mark told his brother. Glenn thought for a moment!

“I don’t know Mark! When boys play they get a break for their chores. When girls play, it’s still work. Dolls for babies, playing house is still like taking care of an house! It just doesn’t seem fair! Boys get to have all the fun, while girls play is work and work is work. They’re always working! Why can’t boys and men, help the ladies out around the house sometimes and give them a break? Why does it have to be like that! It’s like Dad doesn’t think boys can do what girls can do? And still be boys!” Glenn said! Mark thought over what his brother had just said.

Neither knew their Mother had come out of her room to check on them, but heard them talking in Glenn’s room. She decided not to interrupt, when she heard Glenn asked his brother the question nor when Mark try to explain it!

But she nearly gave herself away, laughing when Glenn said what he said. The worst part is that John heard it too! He had come home and was coming up the stairs, when he overheard their conversation.

Margaret turned to face him. He had the same look on his face, as he did when she chewed him out on the first day they had met. She knew there wasn’t anymore to say! She went into their room to go to bed. John headed back down the stairs, to pour himself a drink! Glenn had made a profound statement!

Over the next year, Margaret was careful to mix up Glenn spending time outside with his brother and helping her out in the house. She wanted him to get a balance!

Mark was too busy playing, to care about what the big deal was about his brother helping his mother out in the kitchen. Then tragedy struck their household.

Chapter Two

Mark was 13 yrs now and Glenn 10. One day Glenn came home crying. It had been a typical day at school. Some older boys were picking on him. Calling him girlie.

Glenn ran upstairs to his room and crawled out the window onto the ledge. He heard the door click and slowly open. His head turned to see his mother standing there in the doorway.

“What’s wrong my darling Glenn?” She asked, then walked over to him and sat on the window base.

“Nothing Mom! Nothing at all.” He said, not wanting to worry her. She hadn’t been feeling well lately and spent a lot of time in bed these days. He looked over at her and could see she wasn’t feeling well!

“How are you feeling today Mom?” He asked, concerned. She smiled at him and beckoned for him to come in, then wrapped her arms around her attentive son.

“I’m doing just fine, My love. Thank you for asking.” She said, then got up and left him sitting on the window. She was leaving the room, only to pause for a moment at the door. They looked into each others eyes, passing a message no one else has ever been able to decipher. Glenn picked up his pad and pencil, and began to draw! This was his comfort zone!

He finished drawing and decided to go to the kitchen. He wanted to watch his mother cook dinner. He knew his father wouldn’t be in until later. He bounded down the stairs, calling to his mother.

Strangely she didn’t answer. He pushed the kitchen door open, freezing on the spot! His mother was lying on the floor, still as if dead! He rushed over to her, shaking and calling to her. She didn’t respond. He ran outside to see if he could see his brother Mark. He forgot Mark was at football practice. He ran back in the house and called for help.

She was admitted into the hospital. Her husband was notified. He came back as soon as he could. She was diagnose with bone cancer. It was terminal. She knew it wouldn’t be long. The declined radiation or chemotherapy, since it would do no good! She asked for her sons. John brought them to see their mother. She wanted to see Mark first.

“Mark, my love! Take care of your brother. He’s going to need your strength to draw from. Love him unconditionally and love him for who is, not what you want. He has a clear outlook on life! And always stand on your own merits, not others!” She told her eldest, kissing him on his forehead.

“I will Mom! I will!” He said, fighting back the tears. Men don’t cry, he was always taught. Next, she asked for Glenn. He ran in and fell into her arms, crying.

“Glenn, my darling! Listen to me! Always be true to who you are and not what others want you to be. You understand things more than you know! Don’t let anyone cloud that! And never let them make you feel less than a man!” She held him close to her heart. John walked into the room with Mark.

“John, my husband and father of my children! Never let your pride get in the way of loving your sons. No matter what path they choose to go down. Let them be free to be who they are. Not what you want. Just love them regardless.” She reached out her hand to him. He walked Mark over to his mother and took his wife’s hand in his own. They stayed that way for a while!

Then John stared into the eyes of the woman, he had loved from the first day he had saw her and watched the light fade from them. John stood there, as the nursing crew came in and tried to revive her.

He sent Mark and Glenn out of the room. They held each other in the waiting room, hoping but knowing this was it. Only to be confirmed, when their father enter the waiting room and sat down beside them without a word. That night Mark weep with his brother, as his father listen silently.

After the funeral, Glenn withdrew into his drawings! The only person he connected with, was his brother Mark. He didn’t interact with his father much. Maybe partly because he blamed him for his mother’s death. And partly because his father couldn’t accept he wasn’t into boys things, so he said.

John hired a housekeeper/Nanny to attend to the boys when he was away! Glenn would help her in the kitchen, just as he had with his mother. Until one day his father came home and found him with the Nanny helping in the kitchen. Glenn had an apron.

John’s anger swelled up in him and he exploded on the scene. The Nanny jumped back, confused! She didn’t know what was going on. He told Glenn to get out and turned on the Nanny! She was told to never allow Glenn in the kitchen or to help her with anything around the house! Glenn ran up to his room! Retreating further into his drawing!

Chapter Three

The boys grew older and apart! Mark was more into sports and Glenn into his drawing! Mark was closer to his father, seeing as they had something in common! While Glenn avoided him as much as possible, becoming a loner.

Even at school he mainly stayed to himself, which cause a lot of talk about him. Mark would hear them saying they thought Glenn was strange and had to defend his brother on many occasions. But for a young boy, there is only so much that could be expected of him. One day while his Father was working in his study, Mark knocked at the door.

“Dad, can I talk to you for a moment?” He stood in the doorway of the study.

“Sure Mark! Come in!” He said, looking up to his son, then continued working. Mark slowly came in and closed the door behind him, contemplating how he could tell his father about what was going on. Without betraying his brother.

He fondled with something on his father’s desk, not saying a word. His father realized this and looked up at his son, seeing the complex expression over his face.

“Mark! What is it? This must be serious!” He turned to him. Mark looked down at his hands thinking, then up to his father.

“It is Dad!” Mark searched for words.

“Okay you got me worried.” John urged his son.

“Dad, I love my brother! But!” He stopped. His father leaned in over the desk, he sat behind. He wasn’t quite sure he wanted to hear this.

“But what, Mark?” He said sternly.

“Can you send me away to another school, where no one knows Glenn are me? I can get into sports and maybe get an scholarship there as here!“ He blurted out. His father's face grew confused and he sat back in his chair.

“This has something to do with Glenn, doesn’t it? He asked.

“Dad, I can’t take it anymore. The kids at school tease and talk about him. I’m always defending him and getting into fights. He doesn’t try to help himself, why should I?” Mark yelled out. His father’s eyes grew large and stared at his son, seeing the great responsibility he was carrying.

He rose from his chair and walked over to the window, staring out. He had promise something to his wife, but now this was hurting his eldest. He felt it wasn’t fair of her, to make him hold to taking care of Glenn. That wasn’t his job to do. It was his, as the father.

John turned back to his son, his eyes were stayed on him. Then he walked over to Mark and was amazed, how tall he had grown in the last three years. Nearly as tall as himself! They were nearly eye to eye.

“What things are they teasing him about?” He asked, knowing. Mark looked his dad in the eyes, with a manly expression.

“You know what things Dad?” He replied, then turned away from his father. Ashamed of what he was feeling. Maybe they were true. Glenn definitely didn’t try to participate in sports or anything, like the other boys would do. He would just sit around, reading or drawing on that stupid notepad. He was a loner.

“Is this what you really want to do? You‘ll leave your friends behind and have to start over!” His father asked. Mark turned back to him, with desperate eyes.

“Yes Dad! If it means I have to go on like this. I can’t do this anymore!” He pleaded. John nodded his head and placed his hand on his son’s shoulders, squeezing them gently.

“Okay! Let me think about this and see what I can come up with.” He assured his son. Mark nodded, turned and walked out of the study. He went upstairs to his room, passing Glenn’s. He stopped at the door to say something.

“Hey Glenn!” He said softly. But Glenn never acknowledged him. He jusr sat on the ledge outside his window, staring into the night.

Mark decided it was best to leave him. He had the feeling Glenn knew he had talked to their Dad about something pertaining to him. Mark walked away, as a single tear rolled down his face. Life as they knew it will change forever.

Chapter Four

The next day, John made arrangements for Glenn to be sent away to Military school and hoped this would make a man out of him. Glenn was told that he would be leaving the following day. He never said anything. This upset John, as he watched his youngest son walk away from him in silence.

The next day they loaded Glenn’s things in the car and drove him to his new school. Glenn rode in the car, never once saying a word to his father or brother. John wasn’t so sure of his decision, but what was he to do? Mark shouldn’t have to pay for what his mother made his brother.

If anything, it was her own fault for making him out to be a sissy. Instead of a he-man like his brother Mark. Or maybe it was his fault.

When he saw Glenn was too close to his mother and not out there playing with the other boys. He should have intervene then and made him. Well, it was up to him to undo what was done. If military school doesn’t do it, then nothing will.

Glenn spent the next four years of military school, trying to get through the daily harassments he received from the other boys there. Because he wasn’t like them. It grew apparent as he grew older. He wasn’t into the craziness young men do at his age.

He wasn’t into sleeping with the girls like the others did. Sure he would talk to them cordially or concerning school work. But he didn’t go out on dates like the others. He didn’t have a steady girlfriend or saw any he wanted to date.

He did have a crush on the school nurse, but she was old enough to be his mother. And she would have been a pretty mother too. He didn’t have the conversations of the weekend conquests to boast about on Monday morning. He was an oddball, as they called him. Four years went by slowly. They were the worst years of Glenn’s young life.

Finally, came time for him to graduate. John and Mark came and yo take him home. They were taken aback, how tall Glenn had grown since they last saw him. He stood toe to toe with his brother Mark, who was a few inches taller than their father. Both were built like wrestlers.

John was a proud father that day. It had worked! Military school had made a man out him. So he thought. Neither knew at the time, Glenn had kept his promise to his dying Mother. Even when neither his father or brother didn’t. He stayed true to himself.

“Wow, you have grown! Let me get a good look at you!” John grabbed both of his son’s arms, looking him up and down. Glenn half smiled at him.

“Hey little brother, if I can call you that now.” Mark teased. Glenn chuckled. He wasn’t comfortable with either of them. He hadn’t see them since the day he left and now they were talking to him like it was just yesterday.

“Ready to go home?” John asked, as they walked back to his room to get his things.

“Do I have a choice?” Glenn said, then walked ahead them. John and Mark stopped and looked at each other, then to Glenn. John could see Glenn had a chip on his shoulders and wasn’t sure where this would lead.

Glenn was quiet on the way home in the car! He remain silent, when they drove into his home town and as they drove to their house. He got out of the car, when it came to an halt in the driveway.

He waited for his father to open the trunk of the car and began pulling out his luggage. John and Mark got a couple without his offering. Glenn turned away from them and started in the house, when something caught his eye.

The beautiful petite ravened-head woman, standing on the porch of the house next door. John looked at his son, then in the direction he was staring. He shook his head and headed into the house.

“That’s the new neighbor, Mrs. Rogers. Her husband and her moved in a few months ago.” Mark informed his brother. Glenn snapped his head in the direction of his brother and looked at him strangely.

“Oh okay!” He said, then rushed into the house. Mark looked over to see Mrs. Rogers oblivious to everything, he smiled and went into the house.

“So son! How does it feel to be back home and in your own room again?” John asked, placing some food on his plate. Glenn shrugged.

“It’s alright! I guess.” Glenn said, playing with a potato in his plate. Mark looked over at his brother, then to his father. He got this feeling this wasn’t going to go well.

Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut four years ago and then Glenn could have stayed home. Or maybe he should have kept in contact with him while he was away.

But his Dad told him not to contact him, it would be good for him to fend for himself for a change. Now it seems the gap between them, had become a canyon.

“Hey Glenn! We’re having this big game, followed by a big festival this weekend. Want to go with me?” Mark was excited.

Glenn looked up at his brother, wondering what this was all about. Mark had never asked him before. Well, maybe now that they're older. It wouldn’t hurt to hang out with his brother. At least he’s trying to smooth things over, as usual.

“I guess! Let me think about it.” Glenn said, then continued to look down at his plate. John and Mark looked at each other, not sure when this adjustment would end or if it will ever.

“May I be excused. I’m really tired and not very hungry.” Glenn looked up at his father. John smiled and nodded his head.

“Sure son! You get you some rest.” He said kindly. Did he make a mistake by sending his son away? And if so, what ramifications will come from it?

Glenn rose from the table, gathering his eating tools and headed for the kitchen. John could hear him in there scraping his plate and washing them. He looked at Mark, who looked down at his plate. He didn’t want a uproar on his brother’s first day back. John got the hint and said nothing.

Chapter Five

Glenn keft his father and brother down stairs at the table talking. He entered his room and pulled out his drawing pad, walked over to the window and sat down, staring into the night.

He started out the window to sit on the ledge and draw, but something caught his eye. Mrs. Rogers was in her back yard, sitting in a lounge chair reading. He stood concealed, gazing at her, studying her form. He decided to draw her. He sat in the window, etching her.

Lacey Rogers was a beautiful raven hair pettite woman, with the most gorgeous brown eyes. She was twenty-five years old. She had met Bob Rogers in Hawaii, where he was vacationing for summer break.

He had ten years on her and had never been married. It seems it was love at first sight. They were married nearly a year ago. She thought he was a dream come true. But instead he had become a nightmare.
She knew she should try and get out, but she didn’t quite know how to do this. She thought moving to the new town would bring new beginnings. They didn’t and just strengthen the old ways.

She would find solitude in the nightand in her yard reading. Bob would either drink himself into oblivion or go out to the pub. Either way, it gave her some down time.

She was doing what she usually does this time of evening, when she heard a noise come from next door. She looked up at the window, that had been vacant since they moved in. She heard John had another son, who was away at school.

That’s when she first saw him, just beyond the window. Then he came in full view. She turned her head down to her book. She didn’t want him to think she was being nosy. You know how the young people always think, the neighborhood women are nosy. She pretended to be reading.

Mark came up the stairs, heading for his room. He was passing Glenn’s room, when he saw the door was slightly ajar. He quietly opened it a little more and peered in. He watched his brother, looking out the window intense and drawing something.

Mark eased inside the room. Glenn was too engrossed with what he was doing to notice Mark had entered. He peered over Glenn's shoulder to see what had him captivated. He could see Mrs. Roger lounging in her chair, as she does every evening while she read. A smiled formed across his face.

“She’s nice isn’t she?” He asked, startling his brother and causing him to drop his pad on the ledge as he jumped, nearly following it and hitting his head on the window frame. He spun around and moved from the window.

“What is wrong with you?” He asked, rubbing the top of his head. Mark ignored his brother and sat in the window, looking down at Mrs. Roger.

“Hey Mrs. Rogers! How are you?” He called down to her. She looked up to the window and waved at Mark, wondeirng where was the other brother, she had spotted.

“Hello Mark! How are you doing?” She replied, with a sweet smile on her face.

“I’m doing just fine, thank you. Oh, I want you to meet my younger brother. He just came home today. He was away at school.” Mark said, then beckoned for Glenn to come to the window.

Glenn gave him a angry look, as he slowly came over to the window to be polite. Mark laughed it off. He peeked out the window and waved. She smiled at him.

“Hello! What is younger brother’s name?” She stood up and walked over to the fence, standing on the bottom wood.

“My name is Glenn, Ma’am.” Glenn answered. She smiled, what a nice young man. She thought.

“Welcome home and nice to meet you Glenn!" She said, staring up to the window.

“Are you going to be at the festival this weekend, Mrs. Rogers.” Mark asked, knowing she had to be there due to fact her husband was the assistant football coach. Maybe this would be the deciding factor whether or not his brother would go, seeing as he had taken an fancy to her.

“Yes Mark! I’ll be there with Mr. Rogers.” She told him and looked towards the house, seeing her husband had returned from his skirmish.

“Well it’s been nice, I must go now. And once again, welcome home Glenn.” She said, then left them staring after her.

Glenn thought she was even nicer than he had thought. Mark looked at his brother. He was truly strange. Why would he get hooked on a woman older than him and not take to any of the younger girls around? Maybe this was a good sign. Or was it?

Then they heard loud voices coming from next door. Glenn moved out on the ledge, to hear a man’s voice coming from the house. He turned to look at his brother, seeing if this was a usual occurrence.

“Stay out of it Glenn. It’s been like this since they moved in.” Mark warned his brother.

“Why would a man yell at a wonderful woman like her? Does he hit her?” Glenn stared at his brother.

“I doubt it. No one has ever said they seen any bruises on her and you know if there were, the town would know. I think he’s smart enough to know how far to go with his crap. He’d be kicked off the faculty like that.” Mark eased his brother’s mind.

Glenn stared hard over towards the house, trying to see if he could catch any further violence. Everything grew silent. Then he saw a light shine into the back, he backed off the ledge and crawled inside. It was her!

She went to the chair she had been sitting and reading. She took a seat and leaned over, burying her face in her hands. Glenn grew a deep affection for this beautiful woman. She didn’t deserve this man for her mate. Mark silently studied his brother.

Chapter Six

Glenn went to the game, then festival with his father and brother. Once at the festival, they all split up. Glenn walked around taking in the festivities. He got him a cotton candy and walked around eating it. A few girls came up to him, trying to get to know this knew tall handsome guy in town.

One girl threw herself at him. He tried to be polite and half listen to her babbling. Then he saw the woman who had caught his eye. There she was, walking with her husband he gathered. That’s when her eye caught sight of him. She walked over to get a closer look at the young man.

“Glenn! I see you made it. Bob this is John’s son. You know, the one who was away at school.” She turned to her husband. He looked Glenn up and down. He had heard things about him. He extended his hand to him.

“Glenn is it?” He said, as Glenn took his hand and shook it.

“Yes Sir!” Glenn answered. Bob seemed restless. He was looking around, as if searching for something. Mrs. Rogers looked at him, then seemed to become saddened. She cast her eyes to the ground. Bob looked over to her.

“I’m going to leave, I’m beat. You coming?” He asked. He was hoping she would say no. She picked up on it. She knew very well what he wanted to do.

“No, you go on honey! I’m going to walk around a little more.” She told him. He was relieved, then he looked at Glenn.

“Young man! Would you mind escorting my wife. I would feel better, if someone was watching over her.” He asked Glenn, who was at a lost for words.

“No Bob! Can’t you see he’s with his date. The last thing he needs is an old third wheel.” She interjected. Glenn looked surprised. Then he remembered the girl beside him. He didn’t want Mrs. Rogers to get the wrong impression.

“Oh No! No! This isn’t my date. We just met. I wouldn’t mind watching over Mrs. Rogers, Sir! And I’ll make sure she gets home safely. Glenn explained! The young girl next to him took offense. She had a scowl on her face.

“It’s just fine. I had to leave anyway. Take care.” She said, then walked away from the group. Bob looked at the girl, then back to Glenn.

“Thanks Glenn! I’ll see you at home, honey.” He said, giving her a peck on the cheek. Mrs. Rogers and Glenn watched, as he walked away and disappeared in the crowd.

“Well, what would you like to do?” Glenn asked, looking into her deep dark brown eyes for the first time. She was even more beautiful up close. She smiled at him, realizing he was as huge as his father and brother. But he had this gentle spirit about him. She had heard the rumors, but ignored them.

“Are you hungry?” She asked. He smiled and nodded.

“A little! What would you like?” He asked.

“What else, but a hot dog and coke.” She replied. Glenn offered her his arm. She looked at it, then him.

“My, aren’t you the gentlemen.” She told him, hooking her arm in his. He smiled and lead her through the crowd. They got something to eat, then found a nice secluded place from the crowd. They sat down and ate their hot dogs, watching the different things going on before them.

“You are so different from your brother. Well, most of the boys in this town, if I must say.” She took a sip of coke, staring up at him. Glenn looked over the ground, holding his can.

“Yeah, I know. It’s the reason I was sent away. My father didn’t think I was man enough.” Glenn revealed to her. He found her very easy to talk to. She frowned.

“What does that mean?” She asked. Glenn looked at her.

“Oh come on Mrs. Rogers. I know you heard about the coach’s son. Who was so girlie, that his father sent him away to become a man.” Glenn said, not looking at her.

“I don’t take to rumors or gossip. Not much to them.” She told him. He looked down at the ground.

“And besides, with your age at the time. I’m not sure you would have been much of man. Now could you?” She said, taking another sip. Glenn looked over to her. He thought for a moment, then smiled and nodded his head. How much of man can a 13 year old child be? She thought.

“I guess I was too young to realize that at the time. But now that you mention it. I guess so.” Glenn raised up and leaned back in his seat.

“So how long have you been married? If I may ask.” Glenn changed the conversation from him to her. She stood to her feet and walked a little distance away from him.

“About a year. Our anniversary is next month. But from the way things are going, I doubt if it’ll make much difference.” She said sadly. Glenn stood to his full height, towering over her. He reached to touch her, but she turned to him. He snatched his hand back, before she could see.

“If you don’t mind. I would like to go now. Have fun.” She said and started towards her house. Glenn took off after her.

“Mrs. Rogers! I’ll walk you home. I had enough of this too.” He said, catching up with her. She smiled and nodded.

“Okay! If you’re sure.” She said. He offered her his arm once again. She took it and they left the festival. Glenn walked her to her porch.

“Thank you Glenn! You are very nice. Good night.” She said, opening the door.

“If you were my wife. I wouldn’t have left you alone with another man!” Glenn said. She stared at him speechless, then smiled.

“Thank you!“ Is all she could say. Glenn waited until she was inside before he left. He had made it to his porch, when he heard a group of guys coming up his walkway.

“Glenn! Come on little brother. We’re going to hang out at the diner for a while.” Mark walked up to his brother and lead him away, before he could say anything.

Mrs. Rogers watched, as they scurried Glenn off. She turned away from the window and headed off to bed. Bob would come in drunk as a skunk and want to argue. She went into the guest room, locking the door behind her.

Chapter Seven

Mark, Glenn and Mark’s friends, poured into the snack bar. Glenn headed straight for the counter and took a seat. Mark stood watching his friends tease the waitress there. They danced around her and made little remarks. She brushed them off and laughed. Glenn watched the horse play for a while, then turned to the man behind the counter and ordered a milkshake.

“Glenn! Come over here and join us.” Mark called to his brother. Glenn took his shake and went to sit with his brother and friends.

“That Josie is something else.” One boy said, staring at her as she went about her way.

“Yeah! I heard Tad had a date with her, if you know what I mean.” The other said. The boys looked at each other and laughed. Glenn looked at the woman and wondered why these guys were being so cruel.

“So Glenn, found any sweeties you would like to get to know?” One of them asked. Glenn looked back at him.

“No. Not yet.” He learned to answer questions, so as not to lead to more. At least who hoped.

“Well, you might want to spend some time with Josie until you find a nice girl with who you want to settle down. You know what I mean?” He said, nudging the guy next to him. Then they started to laugh. Glenn looked him straight in the face.

“Sorry, I don’t know what you mean.” Glenn replied. Mark sort of shifted in his seat. The boy looked at Glenn, then the one next to him. The others who knew Glenn from years back, looked away. Then an expression covered the one’s face.

“Oh yeah. I’m sorry for suggesting anything.” He said and grew quiet. Mark did something he would later regret.

“Hey Josie! Come meet my brother.” He beckoned to her. She sauntered over to were the group sat. Glenn grew flustered and stared at his brother, then to the woman who made her way over to them. She stood next to Glenn, breast right at his eyes.

“This is my younger brother Glenn. He’s been away at school and needs to get reacquainted with everyone. Maybe you can help him out?” Mark trying to save face. He didn’t want it to start all over again and had hoped Glenn had changed. His connection with Mrs. Rogers gave him some hope.

“Wow! You’re a cutie and as big as your brother Mark here. I hope that goes for everything else.” She began to run her hands through Glenn’s curly brown hair. He became very uncomfortable with her touching him.

“Nice to meet you Josie. Mark I’m going to go home now.” Glenn turned to his brother, looking like a lamb being lead to the slaughter. Mark digressed.

“Sure Glenn. See you at home.” He looked down at the table. Glenn rose out of his seat and brushed pass Josie quickly, heading out the door.

“What was that all about?” Josie looked down at Mark.

“It’s been a long week. He’s just tired.” Mark blew it off. Josie shrugged, then went back to what she was doing. Mark didn’t look up. He knew what they were thinking and didn’t want to get into it. But one wouldn’t let it go.

“Don’t tell me military school didn’t help change him, Mark” Joey asked. A close friend to Mark, who knew everything.

“Change him? What do you mean?” Another boy asked. Mark looked up at his friend and glared.

“Nothing. Nothing at all.” Joey said, backing down from the question. Nothing had changed, Mark thought. Not a damn thing!

Glenn slowly made his way home, taking in the night air. He thought of his time with Mrs. Rogers. She was unlike anyone he had ever met. Well, except for a Lady he met while away at school. She worked in one of the stores there.

He would find reasons to go in, just to see her. She was always kind to him. He said good bye to her before he left. She gave him a nice hug. Yeah, Mrs. Rogers reminded him of her.

Before he realized it, he had came upon his house. He went in and up to his room. He took a seat on the ledge, looking up at the starry night. Then he heard some noise, coming from the Rogers’ house. It was faint at first, then grew much louder. The Rogers’ were at it again.

He wanted so bad, to go over there and knock some sense into that crazy man’s head. He had the most beautiful wife any man could hope for and yet, he treats her this way. Then everything went silent. Glenn peered over to the back door, trying to hear anything else.

He had the urge to go over there, just make sure nothing had happened to Mrs. Rogers. Then he heard the back door creak open. Out came the small body, crying and holding herself.

He quickly scuffled back through the window and hid in the dark room, watching her. He wanted so bad to run down and take her in his arms, telling her it will all be alright. But instead, he just watched her silently in the dark. That’s when he saw her face lift up towards his window. Her eyes gleamed in the moonlight.

A strange feeling began to course through his body. Something strong and unknown to him. It was over powering. He left the window, before he betrayed himself and went to sit on the side of his bed. He held himself tight, trying to calm the feeling overtaking him. What was this new sensation, he was experiencing?

Chapter Eight

Mark and some of the guys were going to play some football at the park. He passed by Glenn’s room, seeing him sitting in the window as usual, drawing. He started down the stairs, but thought again. He walked back and stood in Glenn’s doorway.

“Hey, look! Some of the guy are going to play some football at the park. I was wondering if you wanted to come. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. I just thought since you’ve been back a week, you might want to get out.” Mark offered. Glenn looked over to Mark and thought for a few. He really wasn’t into playing football, are even liked it.

“No. I think I’ll pass on this one.” He said, staring at his brother. Mark looked down at the ground, letting out a long sigh. He had hoped being away had changed Glenn. But it seems nothing has.

“Okay, but if you change your mind. We’ll be there for a while.” Mark told him, then ran down the stairs and out the door. Glenn turned away from his door and back to where he saw Mrs. Rogers with a huge purse on her shoulder, gathering a blanket.

Two other ladies joined her. They were Mrs. Grimes and Mrs. Hanks. Their husbands were on the faculty at the local college. He sat out of sight for a few minutes, watching them. They too had huge bags and blankets.

“It’ll be nice at the park today!” Mrs. Grimes said to the others, as they agreed and started out the yard. Glenn sat there for a moment and decided it would be a nice day at the park, after all.

He grabbed his sketch pad and supplies, nearly jumping down the stair and out the door, heading for the park. He could just see the three ladies in the car, going down the street. They’ll just be settling in, by the time he got there. He walked with a purpose and smile on his face.

Glenn walked into the park, searching for Mrs. Rogers and her company. Finally he saw them unloading things out of the car. The guys were playing football, as Mark had said. He didn’t want his brother to see him, since he had told him he didn’t want to come. So he found a nice tree, close to where the ladies had picked their spot. He sat down and began to set up to draw.

Mark was running to catch a ball, when he saw his brother. He threw the ball to one of the other guys and ran over to his brother. At this time, Mrs. Rogers saw Mark. She watched him running somewhere, then saw Glenn. He was busy with his pad and didn’t notice either had spotted him.

She said something to the ladies and headed over to Glenn. Glenn didn’t see Mark, until it was too late. Then he looked over to see if Mrs. Rogers also had seen him. She did and was coming towards the two brothers.

“Mark!” Glenn stood up and nervously try to figure out how to get out of this. He had told his brother he wasn’t coming and now here he was. If Mrs. Rogers comes over, he is busted.

“I thought you weren’t coming!” Mark said, then looked to see how his team was doing. That’s when he spotted Mrs. Rogers, heading towards them. He gave his brother a knowing look.

“Mark please!” He said to his brother. Mark’s eyes narrowed. What was his brother thinking?

“Don’t do this Glenn! You’re only going to get hurt worst than you ever have!” He turned and started away, as Mrs. Rogers came up to him.

“Hello Mrs. Rogers! Nice day, huh?” Mark greeted her and gave his brother one last look of warning. Glenn looked at him, then at the ground.

“Hello Mark! Yes it is.” She replied and walked up to Glenn.

“Hi Glenn! I’ve been very curious of you and your sketch pad. Mine if I see some of what you have been sketching?” She asked. Glenn grew even nervous than before. The only sketches he had with him, were of her.

“You don’t want to see them. They’re just drawings of some old things and all.” He began to gather his things up. She smiled and shook her head.

“Well, I‘m interested in what old things you found to sketch.” She said, then bent down and took a pad in her hands, flipping through it. Her eyebrows arched, then she gave Glenn a look.

“Old things?” She smiled, knowing perfectly well he was trying to hide the fact he had been drawing her.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean you were old. You’re not at all. In fact, you’re a very beautiful lady and I wanted to capture that. You’re my inspiration.” Glenn started, finding himself rambling. Mrs. Rogers smiled. Finding it cute.

“You know what. I think the other ladies may be interested in your work. Follow me.” She told him and started away with his sketch pad, before he could stop her. He didn’t like being around people. Things just always seem to happened.

“Ladies, this is my next door neighbor Glenn. And he draws.” Mrs. Rogers said, coming up to the ladies. They stopped there knitting and looked up at him. They got this look on their face, they knew exactly who he was.

“Hello Mrs. Grimes and Mrs. Hanks.” He greeted them. Mrs. Hanks smiled, acknowledging him, then continued with her knitting.

“Hello Glenn. Why aren’t you with the other boys, playing football?” Mrs. Grimes asked him.

“I’m not into football or any sports. I decided to come and draw some things” He told to her.

“Oh okay.” She said, then looked over to Mrs. Hanks. They gave each other a certain look, that Mrs. Rogers didn’t catch. But Glenn did.

“I wanted you to see his drawings, there quite good! Maybe you can get him to draw you, at a price.” Mrs. Rogers said to the others. They smiled politely and passed the sketch pad between them. They looked at his work, then up at him. They were curious to why he had so many pictures of Mrs. Rogers.

“You are very talented.” Mrs. Hanks said to him. He smiled shyly.

“And I see you have a nice subject, well the only subject. That’s curious.” Mrs. Grimes said, being catty. Lacey caught her tone.

“I haven’t gotten out much and Mrs. Rogers is always reading in the back. So it gives me time to practice.“ Glenn explained. They nodded and gave each other a look.

“You ladies mind if I watch you knit?” Glenn asked, taking a seat next to them on the ground, before they could respond. The two looked back and forth, from Glenn to each other. Lacey stared at him, not knowing just what to say.

“Ummm.....Sure. Join us.” Lacey said, with silent discouragement from the other two. Glenn placed his sketch pad in front of him and began to draw, looking at the three ladies.

Mrs. Hanks was uncomfortable with having him around. But Mrs. Grimes was catty and nosy. She felt if he was there with them, maybe she could get to the truth about him.

“You like watching ladies knit? Do you knit?” Mrs. Grimes asked, then looked over to Mrs. hanks. Glenn was busy drawing to get what she was saying. So he answered the question without reservations.

“Yes, I do. My Mom taught me how to knit. I made my grandmother a shawl.” Glenn revealed. Lacey listen to what he was saying. His mother didn’t have a problem with teaching her son how to knit.

“She sounds like some kind of a woman.” Lacey looked over at him. He smiled and nodded.

“The best.” He said, trying not to tear up.

“I bet you can cook up a storm too.” Mrs. Hanks decided to get in on the interaction.

“Yes, ma’am. My mother taught me everything. My dad ain’t to keen on it, so I don’t. At least not while he’s around. He went off on our Nanny, for letting me help her out around the house.” Glenn rambled on. The two ladies were taking this in. Lacey stood to her feet, to do some control damage.

“You know Glenn, we have some things we need to discuss. It’s ladies stuff!” She whispered the last part. He thought for a moment, then got what she was saying.

“Oh! Umm.... yes! I mean, no I don’t want to hear that. It’s nice seeing you ladies. I’ll be going now.” Glenn stuttered his words, put in this awkward position.

He can only imagine what they were going to talk about. He fumbled with getting his sketch pad and supplies. He took them up and said good bye, then walked away. Lacey watched as he walked back over to the tree she had pulled him from. Now she wished she had left him there. These ladies are so rude and clueless. She turned to the other ladies.

“He’s a strange that one.” Mrs. Hanks whispered to Mrs. Grimes. Lacey continue staring at these two.

“I heard the reason he was sent away four years ago, was because his father was too embarrass to admit what he was.” Mrs. Grimes said. Lacey shook her head, this was making her very uncomfortable.

She sat down on her blanket and stared over at Glenn under the tree. He was drawing. She knew the way he kept looking over to her. It was she on the paper, that he was bringing to life.

“Yeah, me too. They were hoping that the military school would change that. Seems it didn’t do much good.” Mrs. Hanks added.

“It must be very eerie, living next to him. I bet you barely could come out in peace, without seeing him the window drawing you.” Mrs. Hanks said to Lacey.

“I would be scared out of my mind, not knowing what a big young man like that could do to you.” Mrs. Grimes said, shuddering. Mrs. hanks grew quiet, as if thinking about it. A slight smile etched across her face. Lacey looked up and cleared her throat. This was getting out of hand.

“It doesn’t bother me one bit, for him to be up there drawing and minding his own business, while I sit in my backyard reading. It’s rather soothing.” She said firmly.

“You know, I’ve grown quite tired. Do you mind if we do this another time?” She was trying to remain polite. They looked at her, then each other.

“Are you alright, honey?” Mrs. Grimes got up and looked at her, to see if she could find anything wrong.

“No I’m fine, just tired.” She explained. Then stood up and started to gather her things. Glenn watched from a distance.

“Okay, sure. We can do this anytime. I need to be getting home to prepare dinner anyways.” Mrs. Grimes said, shaking the grass from her blanket.

“Thanks for joining us. And Lacey, be careful for that boy. You just never know.” Mrs. Hanks injected, as they headed for the car. Glenn kept his eye stayed on Lacey, watching her every move. He never heard his brother come up on him.

“This is going to blow up in your face! Those two ladies are the worst around. They take everything you say and turn it around. I hope you didn’t say anything that they can use against you.” Mark informed his brother. Glenn shook his head.

“No. Just watched them knit, while I drew them.” Glenn knew this wasn’t completely true.

Chapter Nine

A few days later, Glenn was sitting in his room reading. When he heard the front door slam, shaking the house. He could hear heavy footsteps coming up the stairs. He wasn’t sure if they were his father’s or Mark’s, nor if they were happy or angry steps. He soon found out!

“What the hell are you doing to me?” John shoved the door open, causing it to bang into the wall. Glenn dropped his book, coming to his feet.

“Wha-what Dad?” He wasn’t sure what he had done this time. John walked pass him and pointed out the window, towards next door. Then looked at his son with angry filled eyes.

“Were you are weren’t you at the park sitting and sharing some facts with the faculty wives? Something about your mother taught you to sew and cook! Bragging about your domestic abilities? Oh and the I knitted my Grandmother a shawl, was the killer!” John could barely talk, as his jaws grind together. Glenn bowed his head down, he couldn’t say anything.

“Just what I thought! Do you have any idea what you are doing...? No! Have been doing for years to your brother and I! We’re constantly put in positions of having to defend you, but you don’t seem to get it! Or just don’t give a damn.!” John could feel his pressure rising.

By this time Mark was at the bedroom door, listening. Glenn just noticed him while his father was pacing the room, trying to calm down. Mark gave his brother a sympathetic look. He had been on the other end of his father’s rants many times. They aren’t pleasant.

“I’m sorry Dad!” Glenn looked at his father, this only added fuel to the fire. John swirled on him with an vengeance, causing Glenn to fall back on his bed. Mark ran to his room and listen from a safe place.

“SORRY! SORRY! No my son, you haven’t begun to know what sorry is! Since you seem to have so much time on your hands, to visit with the wives. Let’s say now you’re going to find yourself hanging with the boys!” John yelled at him. Glenn looked towards the window and hoped Mrs. Rogers wasn’t outside, hearing his father yelling at him.

Next door, Bob had come home before John to confront Lacey! She was in the kitchen finishing up with dinner. She heard the door close and came to greet him. He was already heading for the bar, when she came into the living room.

“Hello Honey! How was your day?” She said, drying her hands on her apron. He looked at her, while pouring himself a drink.

“Why don’t you tell me!” He said, throwing the drink down. The happiness she was feeling left. Whenever he drinks before eating, meant he wasn’t going to. There was going to be this vicious cycle they went through about every other night.

“I see you’re in one of those moods. I’m going upstairs to my room. I’m not going to go through this tonight.” She said and began to walk away, untying her apron. Before she knew anything, he had caught up with her and grabbed her arm, spinning her around to face him.

“Why didn’t you tell me about your little party the other day?” He started. She stared in his eyes, seeing the rage. She searched for words that could defused the situation.

“What party?” She couldn’t figure out what he was talking about!

“Let’s see if I can refresh your memory! John’s son Glenn! The park!” He said, looking at her strangely!

“What about him?” Lacey asked. Bob grew angrier and shoved her away from. He walked back over to the bar and stood behind it.

He tried to regain his composure. He didn’t know if she was playing dumb or was actually that naive! He poured himself another drink then looked up at her.

“John and I had a faculty meeting, to discuss next years plans. Afterwards, we met with Ken Hanks and Tim Grimes. We were told, he was sitting with you and the other ladies, revealing some interesting things! And the most interesting thing is, the sketches he has drawn of you!” His eyes grew large! She reached back in her mind on how to explain. She couldn’t At that moment, something took her over. She thought she knew where this was going.

“Oh!” She said, as lights came on.

“Oh, is right! I figured those last names would ring a bell!” Bob said and gulped the contents of the glass down.

Lacey walked over to the front window, to see John’s car speed up the driveway and him jump out of the car, angrily rushing into the house. She looked down at her hands and closed her eyes. That poor boy, she thought.

“I can only imagined, what those two told their husbands! And how it sounded, by the time it got back to John and you!” She said softly, turning her head to look at her husband. He was just standing there, staring.

“The boy needs to be doing men things, Lacey! Not in the midst of women folks. Telling them how he knits, cooks and do other female things. Gawd! I felt more sorry for John then myself. He has to live with that disaster, not me. And him sketching you! ” Bob commanded her, then pour another drink. Lacey looked at him, ashamed of what he had just said. She turned on him.

“Disaster! Did you just called that beautiful young man a disaster? So what he knits and cooks or whatever females, as you call us do! Any woman would be glad to have someone like that as a husband!” She came back on him. Bob stared at her for a long time, reading her. Then something changed on his face. He picked up his drink and walked slowly towards her with a purpose. She grew fearful. She hadn’t ever seen this look.

“You have feelings for him, don‘t you?” Is all he said. She looked at him confused.

“What are you talking about?” She thought maybe the drink was kicking in.

“I’m talking about how you just defended him and what you just said. Any woman Lacey? Does that include you?” He was inches away from her. She took a couple of steps back.

“I was just saying Bob! Trying to get you to understand he doesn’t have to be a jock to be loved by a woman or prove that he is a man! You take things too far!” She moved away from him. He tilted his head, searching her face. Something was there!

“Maybe I do! But one thing I will say! I don‘t want you near him! Who knows what kind of pervert he can be! Let John deal with helping his son out! It’s no concern of ours. Am I understood?” Bob snarled. Lacey looked back at him and nodded her head.

Bob took his drink and went upstairs, giving her one last look of warning. She waited until she heard him slam the door. She quickly ran outside to see how bad John was giving it to Glenn! She leaned up against the wall, hearing his rage and wanted to cry!

Why are they so hard on the boy?
Chapter Ten

John kept Glenn very close to him. Wherever he went, Glenn was with him. If he didn’t want to find something to occupy his mind and keep himself out of trouble, thenhe would do it for him. Glenn was too tired to draw, he would come home and fall in bed. Sometimes he would eat and other times he was too tired.

Every since the day at the park, he was ordered not to interact with any of the wives. Glenn thought maybe Mrs. Rogers had told her husband and he told his father. But the fact was, the other women had told their husband what happened. Their husbands in turn, cornered John and Bob. Mark received some flack, from the women’s sons. he felt this was de ja vu! It was happening all over again. He had to get through to Glenn once and for all! He went to talk to him.

Glenn was lying on his bed, as he had for the last few days. He hadn’t drew anything either. Mark quietly walked up the stairs and stood in Glenn’s doorway. He looked up at Mark, not saying a word.

Mark entered and went over to the window, looking down in his yard. His eyes roamed over to the yard next door, seeing Mrs. Rogers sitting in her chair, reading. She glanced up, thinking it was Glenn!

She hadn’t seen him, since the day his father went off on him. She automatically waved, before realizing it was Mark and not Glenn. They looked so much alike at first glance. But were so different.

“Hi Mrs. Rogers!” He said, waving back. Glenn’s eyes shot over to his brother and the window. Mark smiled and turned back, giving his attention to his brother.

“So are you going to stay incognito in your room for the rest of the summer?” Mark was very serious. Glenn looked away and stared at the wall in front of him.

“Why not? It’s not like I have anything or where to go!” Glenn was being very nonchalant about the whole situation. This angered Mark. Why does it have to be this difficult, he thought.

“Look Glenn! People are talking about you again. Dad and I are the ones who are getting the brunt of this.” Mark looked back out the window.

“It’s just like when I left. No I take that back, sent away to school! Why can’t people except other’s for who they are? Why does everything has to be defined by a tight knit package?” He sat up and looked at his brother. Mark looked into his brother’s tormented eyes. He felt for him.

“That’s just the way things are Glenn! You can’t change things. Either you are the solution! Or you’re the problem. That’s just it!” Mark tried to explain.

Glenn stood up and walked over to his desk, running his fingers through his head. Then without warning, he swiped everything off his desk and caused them to crash to the floor. Mark stood to his feet, he had never saw such display of anger from Glenn before. Lacey’s eyes shot up to the widow, hearing the noise. She listened for something more. Everything was quiet.

“Then tell me what to do?” Glenn looked over at his brother, exhausted of this whole mess. He would do anything to end all of this. Mark stared at his brother for a few moments, then walked over to stand next to him.

“I have an idea! I don’t know if you’ll agree with it, but it’ll shut some people up for a while.“ Mark said. Glenn wanted to hear what his brother had planned.

“What is it?” Glenn asked, walking over to take a seat on the side of his bed. Mark sat on the edge of the desk.

“One word! Josie!” He said. Glenn tilted his head to the side, confused.

“What do you mean, Josie?” Glenn asked.

“Ask her out!” Mark said plain and simple. Glenn’s head snapped up to him.

“No! I don’t even know her!” Glenn protested. Mark stared at his brother long and hard. He had to get through to him.

“If you want people to lay off, you need to do something that will shut them up! This is the only way I can think of. It’ll give you a man’s man reputation. Go out with her on Saturday night and Sun morning everyone will be talking about. By mid week, they’ll be looking at you with new eyes and not on the park thing.“ Mark explained. Glenn stood to his feet and walked over to the window, staying out of sight. Lacey was in her chair reading, glancing up to the window from time to time.

“Okay! I’ll do it!” Glenn leaned on the window and remained out of sight, his eyes scanned over Lacey. She closed her book and looked up at the window. She stared as if she could see him, then turned and went into the house. Glenn sat in the window.

Later that afternoon. Lacey was watering her plants, when she overheard Mark talking to his friend Joey! At first she wasn’t really paying them any attention, until she heard Glenn’s name mention. She sat her pot down and moved closer to the fence and listened. She was curious to how he was doing, since she hadn’t seen or spoken to him in a few weeks.

“You’re kidding! What made him decided to ask her?” Joey asked.

“I talked him into it! I told him it would be a good idea if he asked Josie out and that people would hear about it the next day. Then he would be part of the guys.” Mark said, then laughed.

Lacey backed into the wall! Josie? She had heard of this girl and not in nice ways. She had to go see her and see if it’s as bad as everyone had said. She turned and ran into the house, grabbing her coat and purse!

She walked down the street pass Glenn’s house and hoped she wasn’t spotted. She came to the diner and stood at the door, contemplating if she should get involved with this or not. A man came up to the door and opened it for her. She thanked him and slowly made her way in.

She spotted Josie waiting on a table. She found a nice corner out of the way, where she could view things. Some young men came in and one began to tease her. She laughed it off and went about her business. Lacey looked at her! Studying her! It was true what they were saying about her. She wasn’t the one that Glenn should be with on his first!

She felt she had seen enough to confirm her fears. She got up to leave when, a shadow pass by the corner of her eye. She turned to see someone huge coming into the diner. It was Glenn! She turned instinctively, and reclaimed her seat. Then slid slightly into the seat, hiding herself and face.

Glenn walked over to the counter and took a seat, looking at Josie! He wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or not. He started to leave, but Josie blocked his way.

“I know you! You’re Mark’s cute younger brother!” She slide into the seat next to him. Glenn was nervous and speechless for a moment. He never thought his first time would be with someone like Josie! He always dreamed it would be with someone Special! Like Lacey!

“Yes I am!” He answered her finally gathering himself. She looked him up an down. She lit a cigarette and took a swig form it, blowing it out. Eye never leaving Glenn! her body.

“What can I do for you?” She said, leaving the chair and taking another pull form the cigarette! Glenn watched her walk around to the other side of the counter and stand in front of him. Glen took a long inhale, then allowed it to escape.

“Go out with me Saturday night!” Glenn blurted out. The diner got silent as everyone listen but acted as if they weren’t. Josie leaned back against the wall, smoking her cigarette. She gave Glenn one last once over.

“Sure!“ She said finally! Glenn was surprised haw easy that was. Lacey heard this and felt flow through her.

“Okay! How about seven?” Glenn asked. She looked at him and nodded her head, then smashed the cigarette out.

“Sure!” She said, went around the corner of the counter, picking up an order. The diner began to mutter.

Glenn moved off the stool he was sitting and made his way to the door. He had this sudden feeling he was being watched. He searched the diner, he saw no one of interest. He continued out the door. He knew people in the diner were watching his every move as always. But this was a different!

Lacey peered around the wall she had hid and saw that Glenn had left. She came out and watched as he disappeared. She hurried to the door and made sure the coast was clear, not before she gave a backwards look at the woman Glenn was going to give himself!

Not if she could help it! She had to figure out a way to prevent this tragedy. She left the diner and rush home to make plans for Saturday night. She would have to stop this, no matter what the cost!

Chapter Eleven
Lacey sat on the sofa, thinking about the biggest mistake Glenn was about to make in his young life. He wouldn’t be doing this if her husband and his father hadn’t gone berserk over something so stupid! And those wives are such hens.

She didn’t blame Mark as much. She could only imagine what it was like, to be a brother and have to endure the constant defending of his brother. When his father never did!
Well, their mother may not be around. But she is and there was something she could do. And she was, no matter what her husband had forbid her to do.

She had just about had it with him and his treatment. He didn’t want a wife. He wanted a cook and housekeeper, nothing more. John and him could take some lessons from Glenn, on how to treat a lady. She knew her marriage was coming to an end. It really never begun.

Maybe after tonight, she would make some decisions of her own. One thing she knew. All of this, has helped her see things with a better perspective. She was brought out of her deep thought by her husband, Bob.

“I here John’s girlie son, made a big date with the local whore.“ Bob step off the bottom stair and walked pass her. Her head snapped up to him, not aware he had come into the room.

“That’s not nice to call this young woman something like that. If she is a whore, what does that make the men who attend to her?“ She looked down at her fingers. Bob grunted and poured himself a drink. He walked from behind the counter, thinking over what his wife had asked. Then slumped down in a chair across from her.

“It makes them happy afterwards.“ He said and laughed. She looked at him in disgust and rolled her eyes at him.

“That is so double standard. Men can sleep with these women, but are hailed heroes. But the women are dubbed a whore? That’s silly!“ She said.
Bob looked at her for a long time. He understood why he first fell in love with her. She was very sweet and kind. She still is to a fault. A fault which will lose her a lot of friends in this town. Not to mention his prestige.

“Well after tonight, your little friend Glenn will be hailed as a hero. Anyway, I‘m going over to see if John‘s ready to go. We got to hit that road.” He said, downing his drink and letting out a large satisfied noise.

He rose from his seat and started out the door, laughing. Lacey felt like throwing something. She stood up and walked out the back door, looking up to Glenn’s room. It has been two whole weeks, since he’s sat in that window and drew.

Every since that day in the park and those old biddies, going back telling their husbands. She walked back into the house. She couldn’t wait for the others to leave. Glenn wasn’t going to be hailed any kind of hero tonight. He was already hers.

Glenn sat by the window, behind the shade. He seen the numerous times Mrs. Rogers had come out in the yard and stared up at his window. He didn‘t let her know he was there. He was told to stay away from the wives.

It had been torturous weeks, since he had talked too her. It was killing him to only be able to see her from a distance and not speak to her. He wanted to say something, despite his father’s orders. But felt it was better not.

He heard the door bell ring. He walked over to his bedroom door and listened. He heard his father’s footsteps going down the stairs and telling the person on the other side of the door he was coming. It was Bob Rogers.

Glenn allowed a snort to leave his body. For some reason he knew this man didn’t like him. And the truth of the matter is, he didn’t care that much for him. Not since the night he heard him yelling at Mrs. Rogers and the way he treats her. He really doesn’t deserve such a fine lady. She could do a lot better. But she will have to be the one to realize that. Maybe one day she will. If only he could help her come to that.

John, Mark and Bob, left for the game. They would be gone for the night and wouldn’t be back until the morning. Lacey watched as they sped down the street. She went to get ready. Glenn mustn’t ruin his life, because people are narrowed minded.

The time went by faster then she had wanted. She paced back and forth, glancing at the clock periodically. It was nearing time for Glenn to go meet Josie! She stopped to check herself in the mirro. She had gone through great measures, to make herself look desirable.

My Goodness, Lacey! What are you doing? To what lengths are you willing to go, to hinder this wonderful young man from going out tonight? She covered her face with her hands, letting out a small shriek.

Glenn certainly has made things complex since his returned. She went out the back door and stared up at his window. The light was still on and she could see his shadow moving about the room.

Glenn paced his room, wringing his hands. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to go through with this or not. But he had no choice! Everyone was talking about it before it even happened. He poured himself some gin, he had snuck from his father’s bar. He already had a couple and was feeling the buzz. But his nerves were still shot.

“Well, it’s now or never!” He whispered to himself and looked down at the watch. He gingerly walked over to the window and peered out.

He looked down at the chair Mrs. Rogers would usually be sitting about this time of the night. But for some reason, she wasn’t there. Maybe she knew what he was planning to do and was ashamed to see him.

Maybe if he had seen her, it would‘ve made a difference with the need to seek out Josie. He backed away from the window and gather himself. He looked around his room. Things won’t be the same for him after tonight. His hand passed over the light switch, turning it out. He took his time, as he walked down the stairs.

Lacey watched Glenn looking out the window, but she remained in the shadows. He was looking for her. Now she knew more than ever, this is not something he wanted to do. She saw the room go dark and knew Glenn was leaving.

She ran in the house and out the front door. She slowly walked out on the porch and waited for Glenn to appear. She heard the door open and watched silently as he came through it, closing it behind him.

She remained hidden in the dark, watching him paused at his front door and give out an audible sigh. This was her cue to make her move. She stepped into the light, so he could see her.

He caught some movement from the corner of his eye. He slowly turned his head towards next door and the Roger’s porch. His eyes lit up. Mrs. Rogers stood there, the moonlight on her like a spotlight. She took his breath away, as he gazed on her.

He turned to face her and walked into the moonlight, revealing himself. She came to the edge of her porch and had to catch her breath. Glenn looked so dashing, all dressed up in his suit. A true Gentlemen.
Chapter Twelve
It seemed like an eternity went by, as they stood in silence admiring each other. Glenn was the first to come back to earth, realizing the way he was looking at Mrs. Rogers. A married woman at that. He moved his eyes away from her, breaking the spell they were under.

Lacey was brought back to the now, taking a couple of steps forward. Seeing him and the way he looked at her, she definitely couldn’t allow him to go through with this farce. This wasn’t right. He deserved to be with someone who would appreciate him and all that he did to make this date enjoyable.

“Glenn! Could you come over her for a minute? I need to speak with you.” She said to him, gently. Glenn looked back at her.

“I was on my way out. But I guess it could wait.” He said and jumped off the porch. He came upon her porch, as she backed up against her front door and held it opened with her body. This caused Glenn to brushed against her body, as he walked through the door.

A electrical current passed between them, when they touched. Neither one could deny it. He heard the door close behind him. Lacey came up from behind him and looking at him. He continued to look downward. This wasn‘t a good place to be at this time. Alone in this house, with Mrs. Rogers. Seeing her in the light, he could see she really looked very stunning. He tilted his head.

“You look nice Mrs. Rogers. A special occasion?” He was curious and asked before he realized it. She smiled and crossed her arms.

“I could ask the same.” She said, looking him up and down. He looked away, too embarrassed to tell her what he was planning. She smiled.
Seeing the way he looked tonight, seemed to take on a whole different light. She wondered why she never noticed before, how truly handsome Glenn was. A strange sensation flowed through her. He was a man and more than those who taunt him, ever will!

Glenn’s eyes were on Mrs. Roger’s face and saw the expression on it. It did something to him. Something he had never felt before. He closed his eyes, turning away. Not wanting to reveal what was within him.

Lacey walked up to him and placed a gentle hand on his arm. He flinched from her touch, then turned back to her and gazed into her eyes. It was no use denying what he was feeling or what he has felt for this woman since the first day he saw her standing on the porch.

And now finally alone with her in the room, no one to stand in his way. And her looking so beautiful, he couldn’t contain what he was feeling any further. He pulled her into his arms and covered her mouth. Kissing her deeply!

Lacey was stunned, but found herself returning and enjoying his kiss. He never thought he could feel like this. He began to roam her mouth with his tongue, sending sensations through her.

Before anything could get out of control and something they would both regret later. Lacey came to her senses, pulling back from him. He looked in her eyes, confused. He saw what was in her eyes and went to kiss her again.

“No Glenn! This can‘t happen!“ She pushed away and out of his arms, turning away from him and touched her lips with the tips of her fingers. They were tingling from his kiss. She didn’t want him to see. How much she was fighting herself at the moment.

Glenn was perplexed. This was so right. He knew it! She wanted this as much as he did. He walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders, gently turning her to face him. She was silently crying. Glenn felt bad. He didn’t meant to hurt her.

“Mrs. Rogers! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to take advantage of you! I’ll go now!” He told her, turning away to leave. She realized this was going all wrong. She grabbed his arm.

“No Glenn! You did nothing wrong, honey. Trust me. It’s just me!” She said with tears in her eyes, trying to assure him! She couldn’t let him go. Glenn looked back at her.

“Are you sure?” He asked. She nodded her head, wiping the tears away.

“I’m positive. And I wanted to apologized for everything that happened to you since the park. I just wished Mrs. Hanks and Mrs. Grimes would have just kept their mouths shut! Then all of this wouldn’t have been necessary.” She told him. Glenn tilted his head and thought. So she didn’t tell her husband. He shook his head. He should have known.

“Thank you for telling me this. You just don’t know how much this means to me. I thought you were angry with me for crashing your party. The way you dismissed me.” He told her. She looked surprised. Glenn smiled at her. He felt like a load had been lifted off him.

“Is that why you’ve been avoiding me? Because you thought I ratted you out? I was angry with how rude the ladies were being. I can’t stand people mistreating others!” She said and took a seat on her sofa.

“Yes! That and my Dad ordering me to stay out of the wives gatherings. He practically takes me everywhere he goes, to keep an eye on me. But not tonight“ Glenn walked over and sat in a chair. Then grew silent. Lacey caught this, but couldn‘t reveal she knew anything.

Chapter Thirteen

Lacey watched as Glenn silently stood in her living room, trying not to reveal what he was planning to d tonight. That alone let her know he wasn‘t prove of this! She wanted him to talk it out with her and maybe she could convince him not to go through with his date with Josie!

“Why not tonight? What is going on Glenn?” She inquired more. Glenn turned back to face her, staring in her eyes. He couldn’t let her know, he was going to do something tonight that was very disgraceful. He had to convince her.

“It’s nothing! Nothing at all! I guess he wanted to trust me and see if I would do as he told me! Which proved I can’t be trusted, because here I am! With you!” Glenn smiled and stared into her eyes.

Lacey was speechless. In all of her trying to prevent him from doing something wrong, she was causing him to be disobedient. That wasn’t her intent. She had to except the blame for the lesser of the two evils. She couldn’t allow him to go to Josie! More than ever, after what went on between them.

“Don’t worry! I’ll cover for you! You’re all dressed up nicely! You must have a hot date to get to! Did I stop you, Glenn?” She asked, looking at him. Glenn paused for a moment, then thought maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to go see Josie after all! He walked over and sat down in the chair next to her.

“I was! But I think it’s better if I don’t!” Glenn said, then let out a sigh of relief!

“Why? If you don’t mine if I ask!” Lacey wanted to hear how he was feeling, about what was going on with him.

“Oh, I don’t want to bore you Mrs. Rogers!” He turned away, not wanting her to know about his plans with Josie! He knew this would disappoint her. She stared at him for a few moments, then rose from her seat.

“No Glenn! I wouldn‘t be bored with anything you have to say. Would like something to drink?” She asked, heading for the kitchen. He looked after her, remembering the couple of shots of liquor he had before he left the house.

“Oh no, Mrs. Rogers! I think I had too much of that already!” He said. She frozen at the kitchen door and turned to look back!

“Glenn! Have you been drinking?” She walked back towards him. Glenn stood and looked at her, like a school boy getting caught doing something he shouldn’t.

“Yes, Mrs. Rogers! Some of my father’s stuff! I thought I covered it up well.” He stared at her innocently. She put her hands up to her mouth and shook her head.

“Yes, you did! I didn’t detect it in that kiss you gave me. And yet, I should have guessed. No way would you have done that, if you hadn’t been.” She stood there only imagining the pain he must be feeling to drink. Not to mention make a date with someone only to prove to his Father and others, he was a man. She was angry!

“First they bully you into making a date with that girl and now drinking? What’s next?” Lacey hadn’t realized, in her anger she had said too much. Glenn’s eyes narrowed, as his mind replayed back what his ears had heard. He came to his feet, turned and stared at her.

Lacey was turning to continue in the kitchen, when she felt his eyes on her back. She turned to him and read his eyes, seeing the expression on his face. The silence, allowed her to replay what she had said.

“Oh Glenn!” Is all that would come out. Glenn started towards her. Taking slow steps, until he came to tower over her.

“You know?” He growled. Not believing the one person he trusted the most was playing games with him.

“Yes! But it’s not what you think!” She said, reaching out to him. He backed away from her touch, something he never thought he would ever do.

“No, Mrs. Rogers! Then since you know so much, what do I possibly think all of this is? He snapped at her. She flinched with surprise. Never did she ever think, he would be like this. So angry!

“I don’t know! Maybe that I am.........I don’t know! You tell me what you think!” She didn’t want to make things any worst by saying the wrong thing. She didn’t want to see him leave out that door and into disaster.

“I tell you exactly what I’m thinking, Mrs. Rogers! You feel sorry for John’s little girlie boy! Yeah, that’s true and don’t insult my intelligence to deny it!” He stared her down. She turned away, fighting back the tears. This was worst than any fights she has had with Bob.

“Is there not anyone, who doesn’t know about my date with Josie?” He looked towards the ceiling. Then his eyes fell back on Lacey! She looked at him with tears in her eyes. He was moved, but refrained himself. She had no faith in him and his abilities.

“So you had all this planned when you found out. Everyone else but, you and I are around. Dress up so enticingly beautiful. Catch me before I leave and get me over with the pretense of an apology! The this is wiles of a woman. And here I was thinking you cared, when all you were doing if running interference? What you don’t think I can, handle a date with a woman like Josie?“ Glenn was angry. Something she had never seen of him.” He looked at her long and hard.

“No Glenn! That’s not....” She started. Glenn interrupted her.

“It’s not what, Lacey?” Glenn asked! The tears began to fall form Lacey’s eyes. This had just took a turn for the worst.

“Let me explain Glenn!” She pleaded. Glenn turned away from her hurt and not being able to see her crying. What was done, was done.

“When I over heard what Mark had suggested, I went to see Josie! I knew she wasn’t the one for your first time, Glenn!” She tried to make him understand. Glenn looked back at her.

“What makes you think she’s my first?!” He said, then turned and started for the door! Lacey eyes grew wide with desperation.

Chapter Fourteen

Lacey tried to search her mind, to think of someway to stop this giant of a man. And a very angry giant at that! But something unexpected happened to interrupt their little meeting.

Glenn had ran to the door. When he opened it, John, Mark and Bob drove up. The game had been forfeited by the other team. Glenn saw them and panicked, slamming the door. He couldn’t be caught there!

He gave turned around and leaned against the door, giving Lacey a look. Then he ran through the house, to the back, hopping the fence. He hid on the side of his house, listening for them to leave the car and enter the house.

He heard his father asking Bob to come in for a drink! They went in. All the while this was going on, Lacey had ran behind Glenn, but he was too fast for her. She stood on her side of the fence, daring not to say anything, listening to Glenn’s breathing. to the house. an to go meet Josie! lacey followed

She heard John ask Bob to join him in a drink, to celebrate his son’s triumphant night and when they went into the house. She also heard Glenn’s feet, pounding the pavement until they were distinct.

She felt as if her heart would break, as she slowly walked over to her chair and took a seat, looking up at the window of the young man she adored and had hurt! She buried her face in her hands, shaking her head. This had been a disaster!

Glenn ran as far as he could, until he was out of breath. He found himself just beyond Josie’s apartment! He sat down at the bus stop and tried to regain his composure! Everyone didn’t think he was able to find someone worth while to be with. So Josie was the obvious choice to began with.

It’ll make a man out of you, Mark said. Give people something to talk about in a good way, he said.

How can doing this be a good way? Why can’t just being him be good? People have such expectation. Even Mrs. Rogers, who he thought understood him more than anyone, didn’t trust him.

She pretended to want to talk and make him think she had these feelings but, was playing hard to get. What a fool he had been. She played him right to the end. He stood up and paced back and forth.

Why does it seem he always fall for women old enough to be his mother or older than him? Why didn’t he find the girls his age attractive? Could what everything said be true?

Was liking older women a cover for what he was hiding inside. Was there really something to it?

He knew the older ones would only look upon him as a friend, so he could be around them without it going anywhere. Where as the younger ones would want something more. And Josie! Definitely nothing would come of this one night stand.

He decided to keep his date. He started towards her apartment. It was a run down place. He made his way up the stairs to her room and knocked on the door. She hollered form the other side that she was coming, then opened the door. She looked him up and down. She smiled, liking what she saw.

“Come in.” She told him and walked away from the door. He stepped in and closed the door behind him. He felt awkward.

She sat down in a chair at the table and put a cigarette in her mouth, dragging on it. He watched as she blew the smoke in the air. She looked back at him, standing there.

“Come in! What’s your name again?” She asked! Glenn slowly made his way in, looking around. She wasn’t the best housekeeper.

“Glenn!” He said and stood across from her! She kicked a chair and gesture for him to sit. He did.

“Want a drink to loosen up some?” She asked. pouring herself one and pointed to another glass next to it. Glenn declined. She shrugged her shoulders and took a gulp.

“You like music?” She asked and left the table, going over to her radio and turning on some music. Glenn looked around her place. His eyes fell on a room off the main room and looked at the bed. He began to blush. She surprisingly played some very soft music! Glenn felt himself relaxing.

“That’s pretty!” he said, she looked over to him with a strange look.

“I’ve never heard anyone say this music was pretty! They never pay much attention anyway! You’re a strange one. Is it true what they say about you?” She asked, walking over to him. Glenn looked up at her from his seat. Not her too. She bent down and wrapped her arms around his neck.

“If it is, I can help you change your mind!” She said and kissed him. It was repulsing. He felt dirty after it. He wanted to vomit. He jumped up, pushing her away and wiping his mouth off. She stood back and grew angry.

“So it is true! You don’t like women do you?” She said laughing at him. He walked up on her and stared her down. She stepped backwards. He lost it! This was his one chance to decide if it was true what everyone was thinking.

Maybe they knew more about him then he did. It didn’t matter anyway what was true or not. After tonight, everyone will know! Because she will confirm what everyone was saying.

Chapter Fifteen

He looked at her and then at her kitchen drawer. He ran and grabbed a knife. At first she thought it was for her and screamed for help. Glenn heard people coming into the hallway!

He took the knife and aimed for his wrist. She seeing what he was doing, ran to grab the knife from him. But he was too powerful!.

He ran away from her and out the door. She screamed for them to stop him. The police had come and overpowered him, hitting him over the head and knocking him cold. Glenn felt the pain, then darkness claimed him.

Glenn was taking to the hospital under guard. His father was called and filled in as much as possible to what had happened. He was distraught. He had drove his son to suicide. He walked down the hallway in search of his son, spotting the policemen sitting outside the room.

After identifying himself, he went into the room and looked at Glenn handcuffed to the rails. He was sedated. His arraignment wouldn’t be until Monday. They wanted to evaluate him psychologically, to determined if he needed some counseling or not.

Glenn wouldn’t look at his father. He was tired of all of this! He felt alone for the first time in a long time. He had no idea what was what! Mark followed his father in and wished he hadn’t encouraged this meeting with Josie!

“Look Son! I’m going to do whatever that’s within my power to get you out of this mess.” John pulled the chair up to his son’s bed. Mark’s eyes narrowed, as he listen to his father. Glenn never looked at him.

“Son! I’m sorry it came to this. We were hoping being with a woman like Josie would make a man out of you.” John said. Mark looked at his brother, who’s eyes were on him and a slight smile on his face. Mark knew then, his brother had forgiven him.

“Dad! Do you mind if I speak with my brother alone?” Glenn continued to stare at Mark. John grew fluster, as he looked from one son to the other.

“No! Speak as much as you want! But remember who will be the one getting you out of here!” John snapped and left them. Mark took the chair at the bed, while Glenn watched him.

“Glenn! I’m so sorry! You could be dead and I would forever blame myself for pressuring you. I shouldn’t have advise you to go see Josie! That was so wrong.” Mark started. Glenn smiled at his brother.

“Mark stop! This wasn’t your fault. I could have said no! You thought you were helping me!“ Glenn wasn’t mad at Mark! He has been the only true blue. Whatever he has done ahs been to protect or defend him. He couldn’t be angry at him. Did what he thought would help him.

“When I think how you almost ended your life. Nothing anyone says from now on matters. You matter!” Mark told him. Glenn smiled. He knew he could always depend on Mark.

Lacey was walking in her back yard when she over heard some young men talking about the night before. She sat down in her chair and drank some tea to calm her nerves. She was blaming herself for not being able to keep him from going there. She knew it wouldn’t go over well. He didn’t understand what was going on inside of him like she had.

Bob had come in unnoticed. He made his way through the house in search of Lacey, when he saw her out back. He came out where she was sitting and took a seat. She looked up at his face and knew it was gong to be trouble.

“If you’re going to start Bob! Please don’t.!” She said before he could open his mouth. He looked at her then away. He wasn’t going to allow this moment to pass. He looked at her.

“I just wanted to give you some news on Glenn! That’s all! Well, if you don’t want to know then fine!” He said, left the chair and started into the house. She looked at him. Her curiosity got the best of her. She followed him.

“How is Glenn?” She asked, coming up from behind him. He walked over to the bar to pour himself a drink. She watched and waited. He took the glass in his hand and then looked at her.

“It appears Josie was a little too much for him. He tried to kill himself when he realized it. The boy didn’t understand what everyone had been trying to tell him.” Bob started, took a drink, then looked at the glass gloating. lacey felt like a fool for getting sucker into this.

“She wasn’t too much for him. She wasn’t enough! That’s why he couldn’t do anything with her. And what about you?” She told him.

“What about me?“ He scuffed. She looked him dead in the eyes.

“Would you have touched her? When you don’t, me?” She reminded him of the lost of intimacy that has plagued them for a very long time now. He glared at her for bringing up such a private thing, then turned away from her.

“Say what you want, he tried to kill himself.” He walked from behind the bar.

“If he did, it’s because of the pressure that has been put in him the last few weeks. Not because of him having some woman. You men think it’s all about how many women you can bed. Then when a real man comes along who gets it, you want to label him. Glenn is right! He knows what it’s about. You’re wrong and don’t. I just wish last......!“ She started, then stopped. Bob stared at her.

“You wish what?” He asked, waiting for her response. She turned and walked away, holding herself. Again she has said too much.

“You wish what Lacey?” He repeated himself. She turned defiantly and stared at him.

“I wish he had stayed with me last night. Maybe if John, Mark and you hadn’t come back early, he wouldn’t have gone to see Josie! He wouldn’t have tried to kill himself and be in the hospital.” She came at him. Bob’s eyes grew large as lights.

“What are you talking about?” He walked up to her. She stood her ground.

“I knew he was going to see Josie! I didn’t want him to, so I tried to stop him. He found out and we argue. All of you came home and stop everything.” She said without feelings. He stared at her for a long time, trying to figure out who was this woman in front of him and what did she do with his wife.

“What is going on with you?” He asked stunned.

“You are what’s going on with me! You don’t touch me! There is no interaction, unless you want to get drunk! I’m tired of this! Glenn has been such a gentlemen! He’s reminded me what it is to be treated like you’re something special.” She told him, then walked away.

Chapter Sixteen

Lacey didn’t want to talk anymore. There wasn’t anything else to say or do. It was over! Glenn was her only concern. She would have to see what will happen to him and be there to pick him up if he should fall. Since no one else feels the need. She sat down in her chair and stared up at his window.

Glenn had his court date on Monday and was release with stipulation he got some therapy. He was silent on the way home. When the car same to a stop, he jumped out, taking a quick glance over to Lacey’s and running into his house.

Lacey watched all of this shielded behind her curtains. She left the window and made her way to the back, staying out of view and waiting to see, if he would venture out on the ledge or look out.

He never did and the window shade stayed pulled down, shutting the outside out. She sighed, realizing nothing would ever be as it once had been. Head hung, she walked over to the chair she would sit and read, while he would be on the ledge drawing. She sat down, burying her face in her hands, she began to cry!

What Lacey didn‘t know is, Glenn indeed was peeking out the little space between the window and shade, watching her crying and wanting so bad to go to her. But he was forbidden to leave the house. So he watched, helplessly.

Glenn only left the house, to go to initiate his counseling and with his Father. He never went out on the ledge or open his window except for night, when he knew the world was sleep. He would peek out to see Lacey, sitting and reading as she always did. And as she would look up at his window from time to time. He wanted so badly to talk to her and tell her how much he missed their interacting.

One night, he was lying down on the ledge, staring up at the sky. He heard Lacey and Bob arguing. He laid still as everything grew quiet and he heard the door open. He knew it was her coming out. She looked so vulnerable, out there alone.

How easy it would be to jump down and go to her, he thought. But then what? He was only eighteen and had no job take care of her. Maybe one day, she will get up enough courage to walk away from that disaster.

John walked into his son’s room, to inform him they would be leaving soon for the game out of town. He warned him of the consequences if he should leave the house without him. And that he is not to talk to Mrs. Rogers, as Mr. Rogers had demanded.

She was sitting in her lounging chair reading, when she overheard John admonishing Glenn and his father. She couldn’t make out exactly what was said, but John’s voice carried out the window. Then everything went quiet!

She heard Glenn’s father and brother in the front, loading some things in the car. Her husband was accompanying them. When they left, Bob didn’t say good bye. She didn’t care much! Whatever they had had gone a long time ago. She just came to the realization, there was nothing to salvage!

She looked up at Glenn‘s window, but knew he wouldn’t come to the window. He hadn’t for what she knew during the day. But she knew he had at night! She had went for a walk, late one night and on her return, walked to the back. She was looking up at the stars!

As she came around the corner of her house, she got a glimpse of Glenn out on the ledge. She quickly backed up and stayed hidden, quietly watching him. From that night, she hid in the shadows, watching him bathe in the moonlight.

She some times wondered, what was this fascination for this boy she had. Was it pity? Or was there something else, she knew nothing of? Had he touched her in a way she hadn’t been? One thing she knew, he was always there in her thoughts. Was he also there, some place in her heart?

She felt maybe he saw her out there and was too ashamed to show his face. She stood up and went into the house. She fumbled with things in the kitchen, contemplating if Glenn needed a friend at this moment. But then she remembered their last encounter and felt it would be best if they stayed away from each other.

Lacey walked out of the kitchen and started upstairs. But her feet over ruled and went out her front door, landing on Glenn’s front porch. Her hand raised up to knock, then fell to her side.

Chapter Seventeen

This is stupid she said to herself and turned to leave, but stopped at the edge of the porch. Glenn had become more important to her, than she had realized. He had experienced one of the worst, if not embarrassing nights in his life.

And now he was in there alone. She turned around, went back to the door and knocked. Waiting and hoping he would come and answer. It took a few minutes, but the door slowly opened. Glenn’s head appeared, but he didn’t look at her. He just stepped aside, to allow her entrance.

“Hello Glenn. How are you doing?” She walked pass, looking into the living room and then upstairs. She had never been in the house before. Until now, she had no reason. She heard the door close behind her.

“I’m alright, Mrs. Rogers.” He said, looking down at the ground. She turned to get a good look at him, she could see he was broken.

“Glenn?” She spoke his name, in a way to urge him to be truthful. His eyes hesitantly moved from the ground and up to face, avoiding her eyes.

“You know, don’t you?” He turned away in shame. She walked up behind him, placing a gentle hand on his arm. His head moved in her direction, taking in her touch his arm. Then his gazed into her eyes. That’s where he found some comfort.

“Yes, I do. But you don’t have anything to be ashamed. Nothing at all, Glenn.” She tried to reassured him. He turned away, as his mind replayed the events of that night.

“Yes there is. If I didn’t know before, I know now.“ Glenn's voice reserved. Lacey was confused. She walked in front of him, gently grasping his arms and staring into his face. What she saw scared her.

“You know what?“ She inquired. Then a sudden calm replaced the complex expression on his face, as his eyes seem to leave the room and go to a place no one else could venture. His own private domain.

“What everyone has been saying about me.“ Then his eyes looked down at her. She took a step back, placing her hand over her heart.

“No Glenn! No!” She begged of him. He seemed very calmed and that scared her.

“At first, I thought they didn’t know what they were saying. A man can like to do other things, besides sports and running behind women, for their carnal pleasures and still feel like a man. Right?” He searched her face for an answer. She sought out an appropriate response and right things to say, that would make things better. But what could she say, that make him understand?

“Just what I thought.” He digress, walking away and smiling. She came after him, grabbing his arm.

“Glenn wait!” She spun him around to face her.

“Wait? For what? After last Saturday night, I’m convinced Mrs. Rogers!” He told her, shaking his head.
She felt the tears swelling up in her eyes. This poor soul, different from the rest and not being able to understand what made him different. She had to do what ever it took to make him understand.

“Glenn you‘re wrong.” Lacey looked into this hazel eyes, trying to make him understand the man that he was and not the man others felt he should be..

“Am I now? What make‘s you so sure I‘m not. Or that everyone else isn‘t. Because you like me. No, let me take that back. Because you pity me? I was in a room with a viable woman that night. I kissed her and was repelled by the taste and feel of her lips on mine. Why was that Mrs. Rogers? Why was that? Can you answer that?” He walked upon her, ranting.

She took two steps back, shocked. She had never saw him like this, defeated. She stood looking and searching for the right way to explain things. Without being cruel to a young woman gone bad.

“Did you think you could make love to someone without love? Huh Glenn?” She started, eyes fixed on his. Glenn just stared.
“No you couldn’t.” She answered for him.

“You don’t understand. I felt dirty.” He shook her head walking away once again. She allowed a small breath to ease from her body.

“Glenn darling!” She started, walking up to him and gazed deep into his eyes. Her voice gentle and soothing. She placed her hand on the side of his face. That old feeling he always got whenever she was near, bloomed within his body. Then his confusion resurface.

“Gentlemen choose, with who they share their most precious gift. They have to give. While others throw it in the wind, caring nothing about where or with whom they give it. You’re not like that Glenn. And that is the thing you must know. What happened to you that night, was just as much as my fault as yours. It was unfortunate.” She told him. Glenn shifted from one leg to the other.

“What do you mean? Just as much as your fault, as much as mine.“ Glenn was confused. Yeah, he had tried to kiss her and she rejected him. But that was her being the dutiful wife. He understood that.

“You got angry with me, because I backed away from your advances. I wanted to shield you from going to see her. So I made up something to get you over my house.” She informed him. Glenn stared long, eyes gentle. She could see the softness that always held her there.

“You knew I was going over there. You knew this and allowed me to make a fool of myself twice. You had me over to shield me? You only made it worst. I repelled you and others repell me. So where does that leave me? I was just a project you felt you needed, because your own dismal life was going nowhere. Good bye, Mrs. Rogers. I know my path and know now what I have to do. That’s life! That’s what my Dad always says.” Glenn looked at her for the last time and ran up the stairs. She reached out to stop him, but he had moved to swiftly.

She stood at the bottom of the stairs, stunned. Not knowing what the right thing to do. Only knowing what she had to do. She had made a mess of everything. In her quest to help, she just hurt him the more.

She turned towards the door, giving a last backward glance and opened it. She paused for a moment. Glenn needed something and she could give him that. A Validation of what she knew and of what he was unsure.

What did she have to lose or was she willing to lose it? She made up her mind and closed the door behind her. Doing what she knew was the right choice, the only choice she could make.

Chapter Eighteen

Glenn heard the door close and sat in the window, looking down at the chair the beautiful raven haired woman would sit every evening while he drew. He wondered if she would come out, after how harsh he had spoken to her. She didn’t deserve that. It seems any man in her life yells at her.

Then he thought he should go catch her and make amends. That’s when he heard the door knob jiggle and turn. He remember another time when that happened. It was his mother coming to console him. But he knew in this case, that wasn’t so. The door opened, revealing Mrs. Rogers. His heart nearly stopped mid way in a beat. He stood to his feet, confused. What she was doing?

The raven hair framed her face, accenting her dark passionate eyes. This day, they revealed something he hadn’t seen before. His feelings for her were not to be denied. He wanted to run to her and take her in his arms. But he refrained himself. Instead he looked away, less his eyes betray him.

“Go home Mrs. Rogers! I’m not up for the pity party you want to throw for me.” Glenn said to her, concealing his true feelings. He sat back down and stared out the window. She paused for a moment and felt he was still angry with her. But she gathered strength, for what she must do.

“Glenn! Is that what you think of our friendship? A pity party?” She said, the hurt evident as she remain standing in the door way. He continued to stare out the window. Never seeing how much he was hurting her.

“I don’t know what to think anymore. I don’t even know if I’ve been fighting something I was in denial or not. Maybe everyone knew but me. Maybe you knew too, but refused to except it as much as I have. This is so exhausting.” He leaned over, holding his head in his hands.

She took the cue, slowly and silently walked over to him. She came to stand between his legs and cuffing his face in her hands, lifted his head up. As he sat there, she was equal to his height. Their eyes met.

His body was consumed with desire, greater than he had ever felt for her. He wanted her badly. His hands, gently grasped her arms and bent in to kiss her. This time she didn’t pull away and allowed his tongue entrance to her mouth. Now it was she, who felt something flowing through her.

Instinctively, the man in him took over. Before he knew anything, he had gathered her up in his arms and carried her over to his bed, laying her down. Her eyes never leaving his, were filled with deep desire.

It didn’t take him to think twice what he wanted to do. He laid down beside her and took her in his arms once again. He began kissing her and savoring the sweet taste of her lips. This was different from the repulsion, he had experience with Josie. This was so right!

His hands began to peel off clothing from her body and her hands began to touch his body. His body responded with so many various sensations, he never knew was possible. He let out a low long groan, he wanted to explode. She took his hands and guided them over her body, showing him the right spots.

He caught on very quickly, exploring her figure without reservations and experimenting on his own. His inhibitions fled, as he loved the beautiful creature beneath him. This day will always be remembered. She moaned at his gentleness.

The doubts of who and what he was nearly confirmed by the disastrous night with Josie. He didn’t need Josie to sound the alarm. What others thought about him, wasn’t true. Free from all the doubts and confusion, he soared to the heavens.

He was proving her right. What he needed, was right there next to him. Making him feel so loved and wanted. She was delicate and gentle. Showing him how to unleash, all the passion he had contained within himself so long. The afternoon became theirs, giving of themselves to each other fully. The room was filled with love and affection.

Glenn looked into the face of this lovely woman, who had opened herself to him and made a great sacrifice. He will forever be grateful for her selfless sacrifice. There was nothing he wanted to do is make this a day she will always look back on, knowing she will always have a place in his heart no one else will ever touch. This day will especially be imprinted in his mind.

Lacey’s eyes swelled with tears, as this day made up for all the pain she had been through for the last several months. This beautiful young man gave all of himself unconditionally, withholding nothing. And for that, she will always hold a special place in her heart for him.

As they became spent in expressing their love and adoration, they fell asleep in each others arms. Glenn looked over to the extraordinary woman, lying next to him and thought this a dream. He could only had hoped. He planted a soft kiss on her lips, before drifting off to sleep.

Chapter Nineteen

Glenn stirred in his sleep at one time, but remain in his slumber. But some time later, came out of it. He turned his head to his side, to look upon a sleeping Lacey. She was no longer there. He sat up, looking around the room and discovered her clothes were gone from the side of the bed they had been discarded.

He jumped out of bed, snatching up his pants and pulling them on. He ran to the bathroom, but found she wasn’t there. Now he remembered the time in his sleep, when he felt himself being awaken. A gentle flutter that had touched his lips, but not enough to completely bring him out.

Maybe she had gotten up and went to the kitchen to prepare something for them to eat. He called out her name and raced down the stairs, taking two at a time. There was no answer nor was she there, when he rushed into the kitchen. He stared into the emptiness, feeling alone once again.

This could not be so, he thought to himself. He turned away from the kitchen and ran upstairs, to put on his shirt and shoes. He left his house and walked causally next door, knocking on her door. There was no answer. He stepped back looking up to her bedroom window, trying to see if he could see her. There seemed to be no movement.

“You looking for Mr. Rogers?” The neighbor on the other side asked. Glenn looked from the window and to the man. The man was leaning on a rake. Glenn walked to the edge of the porch.

“No! I’m looking for Mrs. Rogers.” He replied. The neighbor looked at him curiously, shrugged his shoulders. He took off his hat and pointed down the street.

“Oh! She must have went out of town. I saw her about an hour ago, leaving with some luggage.” He told Glenn. At that moment, it felt as if a knife had stabbed him through his heart.

He looked in the direction the man pointed, turning away from him. He didn’t want him to see what was on his face. Glenn left the porch, saying nothing more.

It was a long walk from her house to his own. He slowly opened the door and enter the house. He fell back on the door, closing it with his body weight. It was his only support at this time. He felt his eyes aching from the tears that wanted to be release. But he held them back.

What did he expect?

What did he think the outcome of this afternoon would lead?

Surly he didn’t think a woman of her caliber could make love to him and being married too, would go on as if nothing had happened.

That’s when he decided, it would be their secret. He made his way up to his room and made his way to his bed. He stood there for a long time, replaying the afternoon in his mind with much gratitude. She had sacrifice her marriage, to save him. He sat down on the bed, rubbing where she had laid.

He looked around the silent room. At that moment, he made up his mind. She had given him a new lease on life. What she had done, would not go in vain. He laid down and allowed her scent to flow into his nostril. Once again, falling to sleep, with fond memories of Mrs. Rogers.

The next day the trio returned. Mr. Rogers had left sooner than the others. He came over, pounding on the front door. Glenn bounded down the stairs and opened the door. There stood Mr. Rogers with a letter in his hand. Glenn could only guessed what it said. He braced himself for the worst.

“You seen my wife in the last couple of days?” He asked, very angry.

“No!" Glenn lied, looking Mr. Rogers in the eyes. Mr. Rogers walked in, passing Glenn. He seemed to be searching the house.

“She isn’t here Mr. Rogers, if that’s what you’re thinking. And why would she be?” Glenn was getting a little irritable. This man didn’t like him and he knew it. But that really didn’t matter to Glenn, because he had never cared for him.

“I know. I was just hoping. She always seemed to have this thing about you. Never knew why. She left this note, saying she was leaving me. Do you know anything that could help me understand why?” Glenn swallowed a lump in his throat. He was hoping she had gone for a while and would return, but knowing her as he had come to. He wasn’t surprised.

“No, Mr. Rogers! I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.” Glenn said, walking towards the window and staring out. There was really nothing else he could say to this man. If he didn’t have the good sense to know a jewel when he had it, he wasn’t going to tell him.

“Sure you are. Every since you came back, she started to change on me. It’s like you had this spell over her. What could she possibility get from someone like you that I couldn’t give her?” He scowled. Glenn tried to hold his composure, turning to face Mr. Rogers. But oh, what the hell he thought to himself. He needs a reality check!

“Look Mr. Rogers! If she’s gone for good, then good for her. Anybody not blind could see she was to good for you. She needed someone tender and loving, who would treat her like she was someone special. Someone who would give her the world. And that’s not you.“ Glenn told him, turning and walking towards the door.

Mr. Rogers stood there stunned and speechless. He had never seen this side of this young man. He thought he was afraid of his shadow. But there he stood face to face with him, telling him about his wife.

He watched Glenn open the door and gestured for him to leave. Bob stared at Glenn as he came to the door and walked out. At that time, John and Mark drove up. John got out the car and spoke to Bob, who mumbled something as he continued on to his house.

Chapter Twenty

John looked over to his son, who glanced at his father. Glenn moved away from the door, disappearing. John and Mark walked into the house. They found Glenn sitting on the sofa, as if waiting for them. John sat his bags down and walked towards Glenn. John was curious to what went on between his son and Bob. Mark sat in a chair, observing.

“What was that all about?” John asked his son. Glenn sat rubbing his hands together.

“Mrs. Rogers left him.“ Glenn said bluntly. John looked at him as if trying to register what he had just said. Mark let out a ‘What?' But not sure why Bob felt the need to involve his brother.

“Why was he telling you?” Mark asked. Glenn shrugged and looked away. He didn’t want his eyes to betray, what he knew. Then thought of a explanation that might work and stop the inquiry.

“I guess since she talks to me, from time to time and we were the only ones around here. He felt I had saw something or maybe she had said something to me.” Glenn told them.

“Well did she?” Mark looked at his brother, knowing how much he liked Mrs. Rogers. Glenn looked up at his brother.

“She didn’t let me in on that she was leaving, if that‘s what you‘re asking. But I’m not surprised! The way he treated her, she deserved better than him. And I told him as much. He won’t get any pity from me.” Glenn’s voice went into a crescendo, with a tint of anger. John noticed there was something strange about his son. He just couldn’t put his fingers on it.

“What is this?” Mark asked, looking at some luggage standing next to the wall. John looked to see what Mark was talking about. That’s when he saw the luggage. His head snapped back to Glenn.

“I’ve been thinking while you were gone. While I was away at school, Grandma would come and see me. She asked me if I wanted to come and stay with her. I told her to let me think about it. I came back home, hoping things had changed. But they hadn’t.” He said sadly, he looked away from his father.

“What are you talking about, Glenn?” Mark asked. Glenn looked at his brother.

“It’s about people excepting me for who I am. No matter whatever that may be.” Glenn tried to explain.

“What about college?” His father asked. Glenn looked down at the floor and smiled.

“I’m not dropping out of college. I’ll transfer to the one by Grandma.” He told him.

“I still don’t understand why you have to leave. This is so sudden.“ John said mostly to himself.

“I almost made a great mistake about who I am, trying to be what others felt I should be. I don’t have that problem anymore. Someone very special helped me understand some things. I know who and what I am. I’m a Man!” Glenn said with great confidence. Something he had lost over the last few months. But regain in one afternoon. He continued to explain himself to the two.

“But I’m not that kind of man, who feels he has to bed or disrespect every woman to prove he’s a man. I’m that man who respects a woman for what she is. A precious gift given to men to cherish, not abuse. So your definition of what a man is, is very different from what’s mine.” Glenn finished, staring his father straight in the eyes. John looked at his son, amazed at the over night transformation.

Mark looked at his brother and saw something in him. Something different. He wasn’t a eighteen old boy, but a man. Then something dawned on him.

Could Mrs. Rogers leaving and this new found courage, have anything to do with each other? Glenn did say, someone special. And Mrs. Rogers was the only special person that he knew of, in his brother’s life. If this is so, it will always stay with him.