Open Plains

Chapter 6

After my Dad left for work on Thursday my Mom and I talked about school. I was going to be a freshman again and I already missed most of the first semester. She had already talked with the school and I will be given a chance to catch up on the work as much as possible, I may have to go to summer school.

We had lunch around 12:30 or so and the rest of the day I just played in my room on the computer.

Joy came home at 4 and we talked and I helped her with her homework as much as possible. Since it was all easy stuff it wasn't that hard.

Darren called me at 5.

"Hello" my Mom said. "Yes hold on Darren, Billy Darren is on the phone for you." I took the phone call in my room.

"OK Mom got it." I waited till she hung up. "Hey Darre how was school?" I asked. He just laughed.

"Well hello to you and I love you and school was fine." He said still laughing. I laughed as well.

"Sorry hey, and I love you too. So did you have a lot to make up?"

"Naw not too much, but it will take a while for me to catch up to it all. They said if I can do all the assignments and pass it all by Christmas vacation then I will be caught up. What did the school say about you?" he asked, I sighed.

"I may have to go to summer school. I am going to try and catch up as much as I can, but I don't know if I can make up that much work or not." I replied.

"Don't worry Billy I will help."

"Thanks Darre. I miss you."

"I miss you too." We talked for about an hour till my Dad came home and we ate dinner. After dinner I went and sat on the porch. It was getting colder now and in a week it would be Thanksgiving.

I looked and wished I could go to my hill and watch the sun set but I knew I couldn't make it on my own, and I didn't want anyone else going with me, well maybe Darren but then again he was there already once, even if it was a dream.

A few minutes later my Dad came and sat next to me.

"Hey son what'cha thinking so hard about?" he asked me.

"Nothing just thinking of things I can't do any more. Like going to the hill," I said looking at him and smiling. He smiled back.

"I can take you there." He said. I shook my head.

"No Dad you can't. That is my own special place. The only other person to have ever been there was Darren and that was in a dream." I said looking at him then back out over the hills. My Dad just nodded his head and put his hand on my shoulder.

"I understand son maybe you and him can go there this weekend." He said squeezing my shoulder then getting up and going in side.

I sat there for a few minutes more then turned and wheeled myself inside. I went to bed about 9:30 that night and slept a dreamless sleep.

That Friday I was excited all day. I mean come on Darre was coming over and I was VERY excited. I couldn't wait till he got here; we were going to have so much fun.

Joy was picking on me from the time she came in from school till he got here.

"OH BILLY I LOVE YOU, OH DARREN I LOVE YOU TOO." She would tease I'd laugh and tell her to go jump off a bridge then she would leave me alone for a while then start again.

Finally Darre showed up at 5 with his Mom. She stayed for dinner then left about 7:30. Darre and I went to my room and hung out in there. We laid on the bed with my head on his chest and his arms around me.

"Hmm this feels nice." I said.

"Yeah it does." He replied.

"So how was school today?" I asked just hugging him to me he returned the hug.

"It was fine, kinda boring and I was so excited about coming over I barely paid attention in class." He said giggling. I giggled with him.

"Well I don't want you to get into trouble. Darre I am so glad you're here; I have missed you so much. I know we talked last night and all but still, that was then. By the way what high school are you going to?" I asked looking up at him he smiled down at me.

"Jenkins. Which one are you going to?" he asked me. I looked at him and smiled really big.

"Jenkins too. Cool, we are going to have a great time." I said. He hugged me to him.

We lay there and slowly fell asleep on top of the covers in each other's arms. I don't know what time it was but when I opened my eyes it was still dark outside and we were covered. I had to use the bathroom but Darre was sorta blocking my way.

I started to gently crawl over him and try not to wake him but it didn't work, he woke up.

"Hey what's going on?" he asked me eyes still closed.

"I have to use the bathroom. Sorry I didn't mean to wake you, but my wheelchair is on your side of the bed." I said pointing to the chair.

"Oh I'm sorry baby." He said. He got up and helped me in my chair.

"You can lie back down I can do it, and yes I'll remember to lock my chair before I try and get up." I said smiling at him remembering the last time he helped me. He smiled back and lay back down.

I did my business then wheeled back out. Darre was sitting up waiting on me, as I got closer to the bed he bent down kissed me and walked towards the bathroom.

"My turn," was all he said as he walked passed me. While he was in the bathroom I got back into bed and scooted over giving him plenty of room. He came back out, saw me, smiled and got back into bed. We cuddled up and went to back to sleep.

We woke Saturday morning snuggled up with each other. We looked at each other and smiled and gave each other a gentle kiss.

"Morning baby," Darren said.

"Morning, how did you sleep?" I asked smiling at him. He smiled back.

"Great, with you by my side I sleep perfectly." He replied. Darren got up and headed to the bathroom and I got in my chair and followed him. After he finished I took a turn at the toilet. Darren started the shower and asked if I wanted it first. I told him to go ahead and he just smiled and wheeled me over to the edge of the tub.

Darren helped me get into the tub and set me on the bath chair that was in there. Darren took a washcloth and put soap on it and handed it to me while he washed my hair. After I was washed and cleaned off he turned off the water set me on the side of the tub and dried me. He sat me in my wheelchair then took his shower. I loved him he did this for me and I didn't even ask him, I cried tears of happiness. When Darren got out and dried he noticed I was crying.

"What's wrong?" he asked kneeling in front of me.

"Oh Darren you did this and didn't mind helping me. I love you so much." I said smiling at him with the tears still running down my cheeks. He smiled back kissed me then finished drying. He wheeled me back to my room and helped me get dressed then he got dressed himself.

We went out into the kitchen and my Mom was there making breakfast.

"Morning boys how did you sleep?" she asked putting bowls, cereal and milk on the table.

"Fine, how did you and Mr. Matthews sleep?" Darren asked.

"Just fine. Did you two already have your shower?"

"Yes ma'am, where's Joy and Dad?" I asked noticing them not here. Mom just smiled at me.

"Your Dad ran to the store and Joy went with him." Mom said as we fixed our breakfast.

"Oh what did he go and get?" I asked shoveling cereal in my mouth. Darren laughed at the milk running down my chin. I looked at him and stuck my tongue out. He just laughed harder, my Mom even joined in the laughter and handed me a napkin.

"You will just have to wait and see." Was all she said smiling at me. I looked at Darren and he shrugged his shoulder and I shrugged mine in turn.

Darren and I went into the living room to watch some TV. He sat in the armchair and I sat next to him so we could sort of cuddle up together. A few minutes later my Dad came in the front door. With him was my sister Joy and she was helping him carry in a big box. Darren went over and helped pull it into the living room.

"Hey Dad whatcha got there?" I asked. He turned and smiled at me.

"Well son you will just have to wait and see. I got you two things though I will tell you that much." He said smiling at me. "Hold on for one more minute and no picking. And you don't even think about letting him talk you into picking either." Dad said ruffling Darren's hair.

Darren laughed and came back and sat next to me and held my hand. Dad came in with another box, and sat it down next to the bigger one.

Dad called Mom into the living room and had her and Joy sit on the couch. Joy was just smiling at me with glee.

"Now son as you can tell that wheelchair is a little too big for you, even though you will be growing into it I thought you might like this better." He said. Pulling out a smaller wheelchair that looks like it would fit me better, he said smiling at me.

"Wow Dad that's so cool, thanks but you didn't have to." I said. Dad came over to me and knelt in from of me.

"Well son I know I didn't have to but I felt that this would have been easier for you to get around in." he said smiling at me. "This wheelchair is for around the house and at guest houses. Now what is in this next box is for when you go out to dinner or the mall or for a walk with Darren or one of us or for going to your hill with Darren." Dad said, Dad got up from in front of me and went and open the other box.

Dad called Darren over to help him, when Darren looked in his eyes got really big and he looked so happy. He and Dad pulled the box apart and I noticed a lot of parts there.

"What is it Dad?" I asked him wheeling myself over. Dad turned and smiled at me.

"Well son it's a motorized wheelchair. That way you won't wear your arms out." He said smiling at me. I started crying and looking at my Dad then turned and wheeled to my room. I shut the door and wheeled myself over to the window. I heard the door open and then a hand on my shoulder.

"What's wrong son?" Dad asked me. At first I couldn't say anything then I turned myself to my Dad.

"Dad I thank you for everything that you have done. But I feel like your trying to buy my forgiveness. Dad you don't need to try and buy my love or forgiveness you already have it." I said staring up at my Dad. Dad just smiled at me.

"Son I'm not trying to buy your forgiveness or your love. I know that you have already forgiven me. And I know that you love me, son I'm doing this as a way to make me feel better and to try and help me forgive myself. If not for my stupidity you would not be like this. All I want to do is to make all of this easier on you as much as I can. I love you son and I just want you to be as happy as you can." Dad said with tears running down his cheeks and a smile on his face.

"Oh Daddy." I cried hugging him. I cried for about 5 minutes then just held onto my Dad.

"Come on son let's go and put your chair together." Dad said. Dad wheeled me out of my room into the living room. Darren came up to me and knelt in front of me and gave me a hug and a kiss.

"I love you Billy now and forever." He said hugging me. I smiled at him.

"And I love you as well." With that I gave him a kiss then wheeled myself over to the floor where the motorized wheelchair was. I had Darren help me on the floor and my Dad, Darren and I sat and put it together.

About 3 we were finished and Darren and I took it out to try it out. We went up to the hill and sat watching the day go by.

"Wow it's just like it was in the dream." Darren said holding my hand and looking out over the open plains.

"Yes it is, but I think it is prettier." I said squeezing his hand.

About 5 we left the hill and went back home. We ate dinner at 6:30 then watched TV till it was time for bed. Darren and I cuddled on the bed and soon feel asleep.

The next day was Sunday and we all got dressed and headed to church.

This would be the first time I would be out in public. After Darren and I got dressed we waited in the living room for my Mom, Dad and Joy.

When they were ready we all headed out to the car. Dad helped me in and put the wheelchair in back. We decided not to take the motorized chair because it was too heavy to lift right now. We had to wait till we could get a lift for the car and truck. Darren sat next to me in the middle and Joy sat on the other side.

As we drove I noticed we weren't headed to the church that we regularly attend.

"Dad I thought our church was back the other way, did they move?"

"Nope we no longer go there. After the accident I went and talked with the pastor and told him what happened. How I caused it and all after you came out to us," Dad stopped and took a long breath, "He looked at me for a minute then said that what happened to you was God's way of punishing you. Well needless to say I said something's that weren't right. I told him that no God would do that.

Well after I left I went and sat in the park and thought for a while when a man came up to me. We talked for a few minutes about the park then he said he was Pastor Robbins. He asked why I looked so down so I told him what happened and what the other pastor had said. He was appalled and said that no decent pastor would have said that.

He invited me to his church called New Christian Fellowship, I went there and I liked it. He talked about how God loves everyone even gay people. >From that moment on I knew that that was the church for us." Dad explained.

Wow that is cool, it's sad that our old preacher would say that, but it was still nice of Dad to change churches because of me.

"Oh also I told a few of the others in the congregation about what the pastor said and they told some more and turns out that half of the congregation left."

"Wow." Was all I could say. Darren took my hand and kissed me on the cheek.

"See told you you were special." He said, I kissed him back and Mom Dad and Joy just smiled.

We pulled up and Dad got my chair out and helped me in it. Darren stayed by my side all the way in. As we approached the church a man was there and said hello. We replied and kept on going.

When we entered the main sanctuary we saw some people sitting and some standing all talking. They all seemed nice to us even with me being in a wheelchair. Dad wheeled us up to the front pew so I would have plenty of room.

A man that was up at the pulpit spotted us and came over and started talking to my Dad. A few minutes later they came up to Darren and me.

"Hello Billy I'm Pastor Robbins, I have heard a lot about you young man. How are you feeling?" he asked me shaking my hand and smiling at me.

"Fine thank you, um this is..." I kinda stopped because I wasn't sure how Darren wanted me to introduce him. Darren noticed this and stood up and shook the pastor's hand.

"Hi I'm Darren, Billy's boyfriend. We have heard a lot about you." Darren said smiling at Pastor Robbins and me. Pastor Robbins smiled at him and returned his handshake.

"Hello Darren It's nice to meet you. I'm glad that you two are doing well and you both seem so happy with each other. Don't worry I don't preach about gays going to hell. I don't believe that, I believe that God is a loving God and loves us all." He said.

"That's good Pastor Robbins I'm glad to hear that. I think we are going to like it here." I said.

"Good well let's take our seats." Pastor Robbins said smiling back.

The service was great and I loved the way he talked. After the service we left and got something to eat. We dropped Darren off and I gave him a good bye kissed, I wanted to walk him up to the step but that would have taken to long and to much time, Dad was going to help but I stopped him.

"No Dad not this time, BUT next time I WILL walk or wheel you up to the door. I love you and I'll talk to you later." I told Darren giving him another kiss.

"Ok deal." He said returning my kiss. I watched him walk up to his house turn and wave. After I waved back Darren went inside, we left and headed home.

That night I talked with Darren for a while, Darren told me he would wait for me out front since we don't take the same bus. I told him ok and we hung up after we said our love you's. I took my bath and got into bed by 9:30. Tomorrow was the first day back to school for me. I was both excited and nervous. I was nervous and scared of how the other kids would react to me but excited about finally going back to school. Tomorrow was going to be an interesting day. I fell asleep with dreams about tomorrow and the adventure that was about to start.