"How do you feel, Jamie?"
Dr. Sikorsky was standing beside my bed.
"Like I want to vomit on your pants."
He smiled. I turned my head.
"Jamie, I need to ask you a few questions. Do you mind?"
"Do I have a choice?"
Dr. Sikorsky paused and considered my response. Then, softly, he replied, "Yes, you do have a choice."
Great. Once again, the responsibility was mine. Then, I realized, I didn't really give a damn.
I snorted and replied, "Go ahead."
Dr. Sikorsky sat down in the chair beside my bed.
"Who did this to you, Jamie?"
I closed my eyes and said nothing.
"Jamie, you're safe now. He can't hurt you anymore. Tell me, who did this to you."
He can't hurt me anymore? Shit. Of course he can hurt me. Who does this idiot think he is, telling me I'm safe. He'll follow me everywhere I go. He'll never be out of my life. Out of my head. Even in my dreams, he'll be there, sneering, spitting on me, beating me....
"Jamie . . . did . . . did your father do this to you?"
How could this idiot not know it was my father? How could I ever tell someone my father beat me, that my father had sex with me, that my father . . .
There was a knock on the door and a nurse came in. She picked up the chart at the foot of my bed, read it, and then made a notation. As she turned to leave, a man in a white doctor's gown entered.
"Well, how's our patient doing now?"
"Peachy," I answered.
"He's a little sassier than he used to be," Dr. Sikorsky replied. "I think I like it."
The man smiled and then sat down on the other side of the bed.
"Jamie, we've taken care of your cuts and bruises and, for the most part, I think you'll be OK. We want to keep you in the hospital for at least a day to watch you. It's not because of what you did tonight, but because of something else."
The two men looked at each other and then Dr. Sikorsky nodded. The other man looked at me and said softly, "Jamie, who raped you?"
Painfully, I lifted my hands to my face, covered my eyes, and prayed for this moment to end.
"Jamie, we can figure it out. We know it happened this afternoon, we know it was an adult, we have a sample of his semen. We will find out, but we need to know now who it was, for your sake. Please tell me."
I shook my head as tears formed in my eyes. I couldn't take it anymore.
"Jamie," Dr. Sikorsky said gently. "Was it your father?"
It was true. Sooner or later, they would know. They would know Dad beat me, that he . . . that he did it with me . . . that I let him. With a sob, I nodded.
"Has he done this before?"
"He never . . . he never . . . f-f-f-fucked me before."
There was silence, then...
"Has he beaten you before?"
"Has he ever done anything sexual with you before?"
I couldn't answer.
"Jamie," Dr. Sikorsky repeated, "it’s not your fault. There's nothing to be ashamed of with me or with Dr. Logan. We understand. We're not here to judge you. We're here to help you."
"Has your dad ever done anything sexual to you before?"
Ever so slightly, I nodded.
There was silence for a moment, and then, in a whisper, Dr. Sikorsky said, "I'm so sorry, Jamie. I'm sorry. I failed you. I should have seen what was happening. It’s so perfectly obvious and I didn't put the pieces together. I'm so sorry."
I didn't know what to say.
Suddenly, I heard the sounds of arguing outside.
"I'm not waiting. I have to see him!"
The door burst open and Nicky entered the room. He had a look of near panic on his face. Dr. Logan started toward him, but Dr. Sikorsky raised a cautionary hand to stop him.
The look on Nicky's face told everything.
The shame was too much. I turned my face, and shut my eyes as tightly as possible.
Suddenly, I felt arms around me and warm tears falling on my face.
"Li’l Buddy," he whispered as he held me and rocked back and forth. I gave in and all at once, everything burst out.
"Oh, Nicky," and I began to cry. I cried as if all the pain and sorrow of my life were bursting forth at once. I cried as if I couldn't live if I didn't weep it away.
It was quite some time before we let go of each other. The doctors had left and we were alone. Nicky was lying on the bed beside me.
"Who did this to you, Li’l Buddy?"
I heard Nicky's breath grow heavier.
"I'll kill him," Nicky said with a certainty that frightened me. "I'll fucking kill him."
He then looked me in the eyes and declared, "Jamie, no one will ever, ever hurt you again. I swear to God."
Dr. Sikorsky opened the door as Nicky put his arms around me again.
"Jamie, Officer McCoy needs to ask you a few questions."
Nicky sat up suddenly as an enormously fat police officer entered the room. Dr. Sikorsky and Dr. Logan stood at the door as the policeman looked at me and then at Nicky. I saw a smirk on his face,
I suddenly couldn't speak. I wanted to, but my mouth just wouldn't work.
"Dijur daddy do all this to ya?" he asked waving his right hand in my general direction. I barely nodded.
"So wudjew do ta make heem so mad?"
I turned my head away from all of them and shut my eyes as tightly as I could. Nicky squeezed my shoulder as Dr. Sikorsky angrily replied, "Oh, for God's sake, Orvis! It’s 1975! Get your ignorant mind out of the nineteenth century and look at this kid! What could he possibly have done to deserve this?"
All I heard in reply from the policeman was a snort.
"Officer," Dr. Logan started, but the policeman interrupted him.
"So, who cornholed ya?"
"McCoy!" Dr. Sikorsky yelled.
"DAD!" I screamed. I don't why I did; it just simply burst forth.
Officer McCoy snorted again.
"Your dad says your boyfriend did."
I felt Nicky stiffen. I opened my eyes. With bitterness and certainty in my voice, I responded, "Dad did it."
"Well, if that's chrue, why'd ya let heem?"
I thought I was going to be sick. Exactly. Why did I let him? I turned my head into Nicky's shoulder, too ashamed to look anyone in the face.
"You ignorant bastard." Dr. Sikorsky was furious. "How can you be so unfeeling, so blind, so incredibly stupid? He didn't have a choice! The man beat him. The man raped him!"
"Hey! You cain't talk to me that way!"
"I sure as hell can. And, I can get you fired, too."
I heard Dr. Sikorsky pick up the telephone and punch a number in.
"Alright, alright. Calm down. I'll come back later."
The policeman left and Nicky held me, squeezing my shoulder.
"Maybe someday, in another ten or twenty years," Dr. Sikorsky said wearily, "the police will wake up to the reality of child abuse and realize these victims aren't to blame for what happened to them."
"Don't hold your breath," Dr. Logan replied.
Dr. Sikorsky sat back down and patted Nicky on the back. Nicky pulled away from me and stood beside the bed, blushing. Dr. Sikorsky took my hand and said softly, "Jamie, it’s not your fault. You didn't do anything to deserve this. Your father is a sick man and you are not to blame for this. You have to believe me. This is not your fault."
Nicky sat down again and took my hand as the tears began to flow again.
"He . . . he used to come into my room at night and . . . and he . . . would . . . " I turned my head in shame and cried. "And, I let him. I let him do it to me. I let him. Oh my God, I am so sick."
"No! You're not! Jamie, listen to me. He didn't have a right to force himself on you like that. He used you. He hurt you. You are not to blame."
I continued to cry for sometime. It was after midnight, when I finally calmed down. Dr. Logan had left and Dr. Sikorsky had remained at my side. Nicky released my hand and said, "I need to go outside for a minute."
I lay looking at the ceiling for a moment until Dr. Sikorsky stood.
"Are you going to be alright for the rest of the night, Jamie?"
Lifelessly, I nodded.
"Good. I'll be back in the morning."
Just as Dr. Sikorsky turned to walk to the door, Nicky re-entered.
"Doc, there're a lot of people outside who want to see Jamie. Is it OK?"
Dr. Sikorsky shook his head and then, looking at me, reconsidered.
"Yeah. Yeah, its OK. It’s more than OK. I think that's just what Jamie needs right now."
Nicky smiled and turned back to the door.
"It's OK," he said. And, just then, Stevie and Davy came in. Stevie had a worried look on his face and Davy looked as if he had been crying all evening. He stood uncertainly at the door and then ran to me and put his arms around me. Suddenly, Stevie was next to me as well, crying, too. Then, Mr. Mancinelli came in, followed by Mrs. Mancinelli. She was crying and put her arms around Stevie, Davy, and me all at the same time. Mr. Mancinelli stood on the other side of the bed and squeezed my shoulder.
"Jamie, Jamie. Son, why didn't you come to me? You're family! You're family! We do anything for you we can. You're like a son to me. You don't never do something like this again! You hear me?"
I smiled through my tears and saw Mr. Mancinelli's eyes get watery.
"Where's Mom," I asked.
There was an embarrassed silence. Finally, Nicky spoke up.
“She was here and signed all the papers and was in here with you when you were unconscious. But, she left after the cops picked up your dad. She said she was going to Velda's. Who's Velda?"
I sighed. "My aunt. That's where she always goes when she wants to get away."
Mrs. Mancinelli muttered something in Italian and Davy squeezed me tighter. I noticed Davy's parents, Donald and Patience, in the doorway.
"Jamie, you're welcome in our home any time," Donald said, his arm around his wife, a rare smile on his face. "Anyone old Pizza Hut here trusts is alright by us."
There were chuckles around the room and suddenly I began to cry again. But, this time, it wasn't for shame or pain or anger. These were tears of joy I was shedding. I had friends and family and they loved me. I wasn't alone.
"My Nicky's gonna take care of you, son," Mr. Mancinelli said softly. "You don't worry. Nicky's a good boy. He'll take good care of you."
I looked up and saw Mr. Mancinelli looking significantly at his son. Nicky had a shocked look on his face, then a grateful smile.
"You're a good boy, Nicky. You are too, Jamie."
I heard the wind whistling outside the window. It was cold in our apartment, but Nicky's body and the heavy blanket above gave me all the warmth I needed. Snow was accumulating on the window sill and I smiled. This would be a great Thanksgiving. I loved holidays and I loved snow. For once, I would have a happy Thanksgiving.
I could feel Nicky stirring. His hand was gently rubbing my stomach. I couldn't tell if he was awake or not, but its rubbing was really getting me hot. I could feel my own cock straining. Slowly, his hand moved down and his fingers entwined in my pubic hair. I could feel Nicky's erection, hard as steel, between the cheeks of my butt. Slowly, he pressed, the head of his cock pushing against my hole. His breath was warm on my neck and sent chills down my back, causing my cock to jump. He wrapped his hand around it and began slowly to stroke me. I pressed my butt against his cock. I was still sore from last night, but his cock head soon popped inside and I sighed. This was the way it should be, me in Nicky's arms, Nicky inside me, protecting me, loving me; me giving Nicky what he needed.
Nicky pushed and began to breath hard on my neck.
"Oh, Jamie," he whispered as his cock pushed farther and farther into me. "Jamie, Jamie."
I began to moan as the pain was joined with another wonderful sensation. Nicky was in me. Nicky was in me. He was loving me. He was making me his. This was a moment that should last forever.
Nicky was thrusting into me, I was thrusting back at him, seeking that fulfillment. I needed Nicky in me, as deeply as possible. His hand on my cock was heaven as he gripped me and brought me closer, his own thrusts becoming stronger, more powerful.
Nicky was groan, grunting.
"Ah, fuck, Jamie. Jamie, I love you. I love you so much!"
"Ah, Nicky... fuck me, please fuck me."
And, then I went over the edge. My cock spasmed in Nicky's hand and I felt my ass clenching Nicky. In my delirium, I heard Nicky cry and lunge into me. The pain and joy was incredible as we both cried and thrust and twisted into each other.
When we both collapsed in a sweaty and panting mass, Nicky slowly pulled out of me and turned me around until I was facing him. He pulled us together and lay halfway on top of me. His weight, his smell, his eyes, his smile were too much. He leaned down and pressed his lips to mine, thrusting his tongue into my mouth and taking possession of it as if it were his. Indeed, it was his. I was his. Nicky was my lover, my protector, my love.
We lay together for much of the morning, loving, cuddling, caressing, kissing. Nicky fucked me again and just as we were lying down to rest afterward, the telephone rang.
"You have shitty timing, Stevie," Nicky said as I lay my head on his chest. "Yeah, we'll be there soon. We need to shower first and get dressed. Yeah, like you should talk. How many times you and the Brat do it this morning? Yeah, I bet. OK. Tell Pops not to have a cow. We're on the way."
I smiled up at Nicky. "I guess we need to get up," I said with a grin.
"Maybe, after a little more of this," and Nicky started to kiss me again. I pushed him away and jumped from the bed.
"Come on, now, Nicky! We're gonna be late." I started to walk toward the bathroom. Nicky jumped up and picked me up. I giggled as he carried me into the bathroom.
"Yeah, well, maybe we can kill two birds with one stone," he said as he turned the water on. And, we did. We bathed each other and brought each other to yet another mind-blowing orgasm.
When we arrived at the old house, Davy was sitting in front of the television with a bunch of smaller kids who all had the same Mancinelli curls and dark eyes. He seemed to be trying to look bored and cynical but, I could see the excitement in his eyes as the Underdog balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade came into view on the television.
The aroma of turkey and all sorts of other wonderful things dominated the house as Mr. Mancinelli stood next to the dining room table with Nicky's two older brothers and sister-in-law. Stevie was setting the table and smiled as we came in.
Everyone was happy and laughing. I helped set the table and sang along as everyone joined in a spirited rendition of "Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go." Nicky's brothers got into a spirited argument about whether the Lions or the Bears were better. Davy joined the kids in a spirited game of Twister. Outside, the snow had stopped and everything looked so pristine, so pure, so beautiful.
We had all sat down at the table when I noticed an empty place to my right. The first time I had dinner at the Mancinelli's, I had been told that it was traditional to always set an extra place in case a visitor should come. Even though there were card tables set up in the living room to accommodate all the kids and relatives that were there, I was surprised there was still an empty place.
Nicky's brother led us in grace, and just as we all said Amen, there was a knock on the door. I glanced around the table and saw several knowing looks being passed among some of the people.
"Vincent," Nicky called to a cute little nine year-old. "Get the door, why don't ya."
Vincent, sitting at a card table close to the front door that he was sharing with another little boy and an even younger girl, jumped. He opened the door and stood looking. My heart stopped.
"Hello," said the voice at the door. "May come in?"
Vincent stood aside and my mother entered the house.
I didn't know what to do or say. I simply looked at her, my mouth open. I had seen her only twice since leaving the hospital, once in court when Dad had pleaded guilty and once when Stevie and Nicky helped me get my things when I moved out.
"Mrs. Wintergreen! Welcome to our home!" Mr. Mancinelli shouted graciously as he stood. "Nick," he added softly, gesturing toward Mom with his hand. Nicky had a curious look and then comprehension. He jumped up and went to Mom and took her coat.
"Jamie," she said fearfully as she looked at me.
She looked confused for a moment and then said something I had never heard he say to me before.
"I'm sorry, Jamie. I’m so sorry!"
I sat at the table for a moment, not certain I had heard; and, then, before I realized it, I was in her arms. She was hugging me and crying and I was hugging her and crying.
Mrs. Mancinelli was standing beside us and as we pulled apart, said to my mother, “Please, will you join us?"
"Yes," Mom replied with the first true emotion beside anger I had heard in her voice in years. She took the empty place next to mine and when we were all seated again, Mr. Mancinelli said to her, "Maureen? May I call you Maureen? Maureen, we welcome you to our home and to our table. May you grace us with your beauty and your smile and find joy and happiness with us for years to come." Everyone at the table raised their glassed and said at once, "Salud!"
At that moment, I truly knew my nightmare had come to an end. I had a family. I had my mother back. I had a man who loved me. Nicky reached under the table and took my hand and squeezed. I would never write another morbid bit of schlocky, crappy, bitter poetry again.
I loved life.