Chapter 6: Reactions
Jared walked down the hallway and stood outside of Jensen’s door. He wanted to go in and talk to the man. He wanted to hold him and comfort him, but he wasn’t sure Jensen wouldn’t take it the wrong way. He turned back towards the family room and walked across it towards a door on the other side. Opening the door, he entered his office.
Taking out his cell, Jared hit number one and the phone dialed. The line picked up.
“Jared! How are you?? How was your first day as a coach?”
Jared talked about how he was and the new job, then he was quiet for a moment.
“What’s wrong, son?”
“I need advice.”
Jared told his mother everything he knew about Jensen and his family. He explained about the attack and went on to let her know how the man had been treated at home.
“I want to do more to help him besides giving him a sanctuary and helping him out with things he needs.”
“What kind of help, Jared?”
“I’m not sure, Mom. I wanted to go into his room, take him into my arms and just comfort him. I got to admit, I’ve never felt like this before.”
“You’ve known him how long? Less than one day?”
“You haven’t met him Mom. I just want to take care of him.”
“Is this sexual?”
Jared was quiet again.
He slowly replied, “May….be. I don’t know. Is he hot? Hell, yeah. But, Mom, he’s stunted as far as knowing about life. I don’t think he’s ever had a date with a woman, much less with a man. Well, except I took him to dinner and one of the free symphony concerts last night. His brother and I didn’t want him at home until the entire family was there. I gave him a home when he stood up to his mom for the first time in his life. The problem is his so called relationship with her. He wants normal but isn’t even sure what that is.”
“I suggest you say nothing until he’s ready to talk. Give him time.”
“Okay. I will. I think I’ll put potatoes in the oven and fire up the grill.”
“Oh, and Jared…”
“If you are serious about a relationship, this will take careful handling. He’s not going to jump into bed with you. Become his best, most trusted friend. Let him fall in love with you, not the other way around. When you expect that is happening, slowly begin to woo him. Court him, Jared. Don’t do it unless you want permanent. I have an idea it’s how he was raised. Thanks to the Supreme Court, you can marry a man now.”
Jared’s mind was whirling. He stayed quiet but his mother, knowing him, let him think.
“If that happens, would you and dad be okay with it?”
“Jared, we love you. I have a feeling I may end up loving Jensen too.”
“He needs to know what a mom really is”
“We’re getting a week off for Thanksgiving, so expect us late the Friday before. I want to meet your young man. I have a feeling I’m going to like him. Go fix your dinner. Be there for him.”
“Thanks, Mom. I love you.”
“I love you too, baby. Bye, hon.”
Jared hung up the phone and headed to the kitchen. He took two enormous baking potatoes out of the bin and scrubbed them. He rubbed them with salt and oil and wrapped them in foil and placed them in the preheated oven.
Jared went down the hall again to see if he could hear Jensen. It was still quiet. He walked through the family room and through the patio doors. Going to a large building off to the right, he opened one of the doors and pulled out a massive grill and set it on the rock patio and went back inside the building to grab his barbecue tools, a large bag of charcoal, and starter fluid. He started a large fire burning on the grill and went back inside to the kitchen. Jared decided to grill several types of meat and freeze them. It would make for an easy supper after work for the two of them. He halved a chicken, pulled out two packages of Eckrich kielbasa, made some massive burgers, and pulled out two large rib eyes. He seasoned everything and put the meats on a large platter with a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce.
Going back outside, Jared set the platter on one of several patio tables. He put the chicken on first. The meats were added according to cooking times. He went inside and picked up a book that had arrived in the mail. Going back onto the patio, he sat on a reclining lawn chair and read his book while checking the cooking meat every ten minutes or so.
Jensen had curled up on the bed and fought back tears and anger. He wanted to hit someone. For the first time he had experienced being with someone who treated him normally. He wanted to strike out at those who demeaned him because he couldn’t see. He wanted to scream.
The smell of roasting potatoes wafted into his room. He sat up and sniffed. The smell of more than one meat cooking somewhere made his mouth water. He was hungry and hadn’t realized it. He wondered if the hunger may have made him feel this way. He needed someone to talk to and food wouldn’t be bad either.
Jensen eased off the bed and walked into the bathroom. He washed his face and dried himself.
“Okay. You can do this,” he whispered.
Jared laid his book down and went back to the grill. He removed the hamburgers, the sausage, and the chicken. Closing the lid, he headed towards the patio doors and saw Jensen standing by the door in the family room. The younger man smiled and opened the door.
“Hey, Jen. You’re just in time for supper. I cooked a large number of meats to cool and freeze for meals for us. Follow me and we’ll doctor up the baked potatoes. I hope you’re hungry.”
“I could eat,” Jensen said softly.
“Good. I like everything on my potato. Let’s get them fixed up and bring out the plates and silverware. Would you like a beer?”
“I’ve never had one.”
“Well, you’re getting a lot of firsts around here. Come on.”
The two men walked into the kitchen. Jared set the platter on the counter for the meat to cool. He grabbed some hot pads and opened the oven and took out the two potatoes. Going to the refrigerator, he took out butter, sour cream, shredded Mexican blend four cheeses, a jar of real bacon, and chives. He put salt and pepper on the cabinet and taught Jensen how to fix a potato.
The two men sat under a large umbrella, eating their dinner, and getting Jensen used to the taste of beer. They shared stories. Jensen had some crazy ones from art school. Jared told some of his college ones. It was a joy to hear the older man laugh. Jared had thought that maybe he didn’t know how.
They sat in silence, after the meal, listening to the night animals. There were two owls…a barn owl and a screech owl. The crickets were noisy.
“Some of the birds are already flying south for the winter. It’s really noisy in the spring and summer.”
“It’s nice,” came a soft whisper.
“Would you like to go in and watch a movie after we clean up?”
Silence flooded the area. Jared realized that Jensen did not understand what he was offering.
“Hey, it’s all right. I’ll play it loud enough to be heard over me, and I’ll describe what is going on. You can see it in your mind and with your ears.”
“You would do that for me?”
“Of course. We’re friends and this friend thinks you deserve to experience life. I’m going to give it to you…as much as I can.”
“Thank you. I appreciate it very much.”
“Good. Let’s clean this up and we’ll pick out a movie. Has there ever been one you wish you could have seen?”
“The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings,” Jensen replied.
“Well, not all in one night, but we can watch all of them.”
“Yeah, and I have the extended versions.”
Jared laughed as they entered the house.