BEFORE THEY ROOMED TOGETHER- PART 15

Another story from Andy with a little help from Big ‘D’.  Sorry it is late getting posted from its usual Sunday posting.

Kris’s POV

My face lit up like a Christmas tree. Seeing Derek in the flesh after so many years made me feel a lot better. Then it registered that we both apologized at the same time.

I asked him, as Matt came running towards me, “What are you apologizing for?”

Derek looked down and stared into my eyes, “For leaving and not coming back. I was stupid. What are you apologizing for?”

“I should never have told you to leave. We could have helped each other through that ordeal.” 

Matt added, “You guys are here for each other now. That’s all that matters.”

“True,” we both said at the same time.

Matt started to leave, “I think I’ll give you some privacy, you both probably have a lot of catching up to do.”

After Matt left we stared at each other, not really knowing what to say or do. In all my life I never thought I’d see him again. I had so many questions.

“I don’t know what to say. I never thought I’d see you again.”

Derek moved to a nearby bench and I sat with him. “I needed to fix this wrong. I needed to come back to you. Leaving was such a mistake on so many levels. My friend James me told what happened with you after I left and sad you were in pretty bad shape.”

“Derek, with time I did heal. I made some friends and finally started to get outside and experience life to its fullest. Tanner, Matt and the rest have been great people. So I had the support I needed. After that I was able to forgive you. I told you to leave in the heat of emotional distress.”

“And I was stupid enough to leave. I still remember trekking those first few days and thinking about all the guilt I had, not just because of what I did to you, but of what I did to him. I let him go home in that state.”

Kris put a hand on my shoulder, “We’re both to blame for what happened to him. It’s all in past now. Come here.”  With that we hugged again, a tear rolled down my cheek. I lost three great people in my life and now, in span of three days, I got two of them back.

I stared at Derek with so many burning questions on my mind. The first one had to be.

“Where did you go?”

Derek looked at me, his expression was one of happiness, and it looked like he was trying to come up with the right words to explain it to me. “I guess you can call it a journey of redemption. I ran away being the coward I was, overcome with guilt. It took me to brink of death. Then, eventually I drank my guilt away and started drifting through towns. Eventually I was discovered by a great man and we became a couple.

“So many emotions were floating through me. I was betraying HIM by falling in love again. I felt fear because I didn’t want the same thing to happen again. I needed to leave. So I kept on drinking and drifting, eventually falling unconscious on some beach somewhere. Luckily, three kind souls found me and made me realise that drinking wasn’t the answer. After sobering up, I journeyed on to find a purpose and met many people, some I helped with their struggles, others helped me with mine.

“The route took me to my final destination, an art gallery of all places, where two young high school kids, deeply in love, pointed out my wrongs and told me to fix them. Heeding their advice, I went back Samuel, the lover I ran away from, and, after some convincing, we reconnected. I was happy, but I still wasn’t whole. I was missing something… you.

“So I set out last September to find you. All this year I‘ve been fighting with myself, trying to build up the courage to speak to you. Matt found me and hatched this plan for after your fight was over.”

I let him tell his story without interrupting. The last few years were a mess for him. I could see that. I did appreciate that he didn’t mention Nathan’s name. “I am glad you eventually found happiness with your boyfriend.” I really didn’t know what to say. I was still trying to digest his story.

“Yeah, he was nice enough take me back.”

“I’ll need time to process this. However, I can say honestly I’m glad you’re back. I really missed you. You were so close to him, it makes me feel like I have a brother again.” The hate and anger I had for Derek had left me years ago. “I’m so happy we found each other again.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t come around sooner. I didn’t know what to expect. However, when I met Matt, about a week ago, we had been trying to put our heads together to figure out to get you guys talking again and then figure out a way to get us talking again too. Had I known it would have been that easy I would have tried talking to you earlier, but I could never hold my nerve. I tried calling around Christmas time, but I couldn’t get the words out, so I said it was the wrong number.”

I thought about that statement. When I first heard that phone call I thought the voice was familiar. “Derek, in all honesty, it was the fact that Matt and I became friends again that made me realize I regretted that you disappeared from my life. Sure I was okay in the end, but you would have been a good role model for me. I lost my real brother and then I lost the closest thing to my brother. Eventually things got better when I met Matt and almost lost him. When I got him back I understood how sacred friends are and how I need to make sure I treasure them like family.”

That made Derek cry, “Oh Kris, walking out of that hospital 5 years, 2 months and 6 days ago was one of the worst mistakes I made in my life, and not returning soon after was another huge mistake. It impacted you and it impacted me because I lost my family too. To hear you speak of me as a brother makes me so much happier.”

We hugged for a minute, a day, an hour. Who knows? “I meant every word, bro.” I said as we walked back to the car. Matt was patiently waiting for us, smiling at me. It made me smile that much more, I even laughed a little.

“So, you guys okay?” Matt asked.

“Perfect” He said

“Better than ever.”  I agreed.

We started to drive to Matt’s house when Derek spoke again.

“Oh, Matt, I heard from my friend. You guys can be roommates at college if you’re set on going together. He’ll have to pull a few strings, but it’ll be no problem.”

“Awesome,” Matt acknowledged.

“Wait! What friend? I assumed Derek was the connection you were talking about.” I asked Matt.

He nodded and smiled.

“Matt, actually, I’ll be late for my shift. I work at the restaurant you guys frequent. Why don’t come have a meal on me and then afterwards Kris and I can catch up.”

“That will be sweet as.” I said and we drove the restaurant. Derek said a quick goodbye as we settled in a booth.

“Kris, how are you feeling?

“Honestly, it was unexpected, but I’m happy nonetheless, and you know I don’t keep grudges,” he said. We talked about Tanner’s upcoming soccer game while Derek served our table and we did our best to fill him in on stuff from our lives. We told him about the prank I pulled on Kris the year we became friends.

“This is so sweet.” I said.

I looked at him, questioningly. “What?”

“Us rooming together in college. What made you change your mind?”

“Many things; Firstly, we’ve been mentioning it since out first year in high school. The most important thing is that our friendship is special to me and I want to keep you close by. The other thing is, I was talking to Mom about it a few weeks ago and I told her I wanted to stay close to home.”

“I thought you wanted to go abroad? Your scores made you an excellent candidate.”

“Yeah, but that’s when we weren’t talking and I realized I would be alone in a foreign country. It was bad enough being alone in my hometown. This way, being close to home, I can be near mom and things would be okay.”

“And…” I knew Matt and Linda were close.

“She said no. She wants me to experience being ‘self-sufficient’, live at residence and see what college life has to offer.”

I knew there was more to this than Matt was willing to discuss so I stared at him and he eventually told me the real reason, which is what I had assumed.

“After we became friends I really thought you’d leave me high and dry to be with any new group of people out there. Then I’d be alone anyway with you out and about. So far in our two major fights I did the leaving.”

“That’s why I need you to come. I really don’t want to go to the college but the Stantons have gone for generations. I would have preferred going with the other guys to Greektown college but you coming with me will keep sane, safe and I trust you more than I trust anyone.”

“Yep, that’s what I thought deep down, and with Derek’s connection everything will work out, though we’ll have to see the school some time in March or April.”

The smile on my face got wider. “This is fucking cool. I love you for doing this. Plus, since it’s you I can be naked a lot more, you’ve already seen me in all my glory.” He raised an eyebrow to that statement and smiled like I was kidding. I never liked being all confined so usually half way through the night I would slip off my underwear; it helped with my morning wood.

Soon our food order came and, as we ate and talked about college, Derek joined us, saying he could leave early since it was a slow night. I dropped Matt off, then Derek and I caught up. We spoke all night and most of the morning. I had missed him. I pretty much gave him a play-by-play of how I met Tanner and formed our crew, how I met Matt and how he saved my ass with the principal, and eventually how we became so much more than friends. I could not live without Matt in my life.


XXXXXX

Matt’s POV

Before I knew it February had ended and March break was upon us. Tanner was performing better with his Soccer games, it looked like with Kris coaching and Tanner, Johnny and Kevin playing, they might make a good standing for their final game. Or so I am told, I don’t really follow sports that much.

Kris and Derek hadn’t been able to talk that much because of school and Kris’s social life. It really sucked because Derek would be a great role model for him, the older brother who could keep his temper in check. I doubt I’d be able control him. Help him when in need, sure, but not on the level I think he desired.

During the spring break we had to go up to see our potential college. Derek arranged a tour for us. He said he would have taken us himself but his work at the restaurant demanded his attention. Kris was so excited and kept talking about how sweet it was going to be. I still wasn’t so sure about it.

I thought about what would happen if we had another fight or if he abandoned me for cooler friends, or if our room turned into party central so I wouldn’t be able to study. My scholarship wasn’t a free ride if I didn’t keep performing well.

When time we arrived the school looked massive. I knew I was more than likely to get lost. We followed the instructions we had been given and outside, in the main parking lot, was a man of maybe 19 years old.

“Hi. You must be Kris?” he said to me. I pointed to the smiling doufus who came out the driver’s side. “That’s Kris. I’m Matt Raymond.”

“Raymond, that name is familiar… I’ve seen it somewhere before. Have any of your family been this school before?”

I knew my mom went to another school close to home and I had never spoken to my dad about his educational background. “I’m not sure.” I stated.

“Anyway, I’m Rick Richards, I’m most likely going to be Resident Assistant for your first year here. I pulled some strings and got you both a room together. Because it’s short notice we had move a guy out and put him in his own room at the end of the hall.”

Kris walked over and put an arm around my shoulder. “Cool, Rick. Derek said you’d be showing us around?”

The task looked daunting. “This place is huge. It’s going to take all day to look around.” I stated.

Rick smiled, “Nah, I’ve learned many shortcuts over my years here. My uncle was RA years ago and I practically grew up at this school.”

We followed Rick to the main office on campus. He said we needed to fill out some enrolment paperwork. I had to file some more paperwork since my application was more of a last minute thing and my scholarship details needed to be added, which doubled the paperwork. Kris was getting bored so he waited outside. Every so often I saw Kris talking to a student. He really could meet anybody anywhere.

Then we started our own personal tour. I tried my best to recall the best routes to get places but the sheer size of the place made me second guess my decision. Rick kept pointing out places of interests.

“This is the main social hub, where you can grab some quick food.”

We walked around campus for the next few hours. The library was massive. The classrooms were huge. Kris kept pointing out girls and other students that looked sweet. As we were walking to another room that Rick thought might be interesting, two older boys, probably seniors, were holding hands.

A thought occurred to me. What if my homosexuality became an issue? What if I got picked on like High School. I decided I’d just stick to myself and let things happen naturally. Then a very old teacher came walking by, stopping suddenly, turning back to look at Kris.

Kris smiled and Rick made an introduction. “This is Coach Reynolds. He’s been coaching the college football team for the last 30 years. Coach, this Matt Raymond, a new freshman come the fall.”

Reynolds eyed Kris more. “You’re Nathan Stanton, aren’t you? Walter’s boy.”

My heart stopped and Kris went white. Personally, seeing pictures of Nathan and Kris together, there was some resemblance.

“No, sir. I’m Kris. Nathan was my brother.” Kris’s face recovered some of its color. I doubt Coach Reynolds even noticed.

“Ah, I see. Walter played football here, he was really good. He always mentioned that if he ever had a son or daughter they would come to this school and I heard Walter had a son, Nathan.”

I had so much sympathy for Kris in that moment. I needed to intervene. “Coach, he had two sons, but obviously Kris was born later.”

“Now, that my elderly brain is working, the math doesn’t check. I apologize Kris.” Kris smiled politely and nodded. Rick sensing tension tried to get us to move on but Coach Reynolds spoke again.

“Tell me, what happened to Nathan?” Coach asked.

Kris walked away, he couldn’t handle it. I could barely comprehend what Kris must have been thinking. To my surprise Rick informed the Coach of Nathan’s passing. The coach said goodbye to me and went on his way.

We went to find Kris. He came out of a bathroom and I could see he was troubled, but Rick got us going, reassuring Kris that the next room he wanted to show would make Kris feel proud to be Stanton. We entered a trophy room.

Rick brought out three awards. One given to Walter Stanton for his football, another to John Stanton in track and field, and another to Robert Stanton for his academic achievements.

I looked at them in wonderment. I could understand why Walter pushed his sons to attend the college. Turning to address Rick, “Are you telling me I will be the fourth generation to come to this school?”

“Yes. It was actually my uncle who discovered these here many years ago.”

Kris sat down to take it all in. I knew he was happy to see his family history. Then I looked at the John Stanton Track and Field plaque. It listed John Stanton as first place, second was Jason Raymond. The times were recorded. They were only seconds apart.

“Rick, who is Jason Raymond?” 

“I have no idea. That’s why your last name was familiar, when I getting these to show you guys earlier today, I must have seen the name.”

At that moment some breathing was heard and Coach Reynolds located us again. Kris was still holding Walter’s plaque and didn’t register his arrival.

“Jason Raymond… Jason Raymond,” he said as he gathered himself. I looked at him and he just stared at me. “Are you the son of Larry Raymond?”

“Yes, unfortunately I am.” I stated.

“Jason Raymond was his father. You see my second year here I was privileged to know Jason Raymond and John Stanton. They were probably the biggest rivals this school has ever seen. I’ve heard a legend that they physically fought over who was the strongest, over the same girl and they competed against each other in competition. They hated each other.”

I had to sit down to think my grandfather and Kris’s grandfather being enemies. It shocked me more than realizing I had a relative who came to this school. Kris was engaged in the story, asking “What happened with them?”

“They eventually graduated but the competing never stopped. They competed for jobs and everything else in life. Eventually, as the legend goes, they stopped speaking and went their separate ways. Larry was born in northern Texas and Walter was born about 5 hours away from here. I don’t think Walter ever knew about the rivalry.”

Rick suggested some lunch and we moved to grab a bite to eat. Rick kept the conversation going by saying there was rec center close by. As soon as Kris heard that his face lit up again, whereas I couldn’t have cared less. But Kris bombarded Rick with questions. He told us that, unfortunately, it was closed for renovations and would be open at the start of the fall term.

We moved on to the residence area. He showed us the residence buildings and then stopped at a dorm residence. “We haven’t worked out the specific arrangements. On what floor you would be on, the quietest floor is second one?”

“I doubt it will stay quiet if that’s where we go.” Kris mentioned.

Rick smiled. “There are things you might have to get used too. There are no showers in the rooms so you will have to walk across to hall where the whole floor shares one.”

I looked at Kris, his smile was infectious. “Kris is very modest about his body so I doubt that will be a problem.” 

After the tour we thanked Rick for his time and headed to the car.

“Kris, how are you doing?” I asked.

“Great, I’m ready to move in right now.”

“I really think I might enjoy this place too. It will take some getting used to. The library is cool. And the dorm rooms look so clean and spotless. We just need to make sure we graduate now.”

“Rick seems like a great guy but I still can’t believe our grandfathers were rivals.”

“Yeah, your dad never mentioned this?”

“Nope. To think years ago our families were enemies.”

“Now we are family, the best of friends. And one of us is hot.”

“Thank you.” Kris laughed.

“The other is smart.”

“Thank you again.” Kris laughed, I punched him lightly. We laughed the entire way home, talking about all the fun we would have. That night Kris came over and shared my bed. We laughed some more. Then he tickled me like crazy. It was one of the best days of my life.



XXXXX
Derek’s POV

March 20, 2009: I need a break.

Kris and I were friends again, although his school work and my paid work didn’t allow us much time to spend together. I tried to get some time off to go with them to the college but I couldn’t get it. I did manage to get the Friday off though, which allowed me to drive up and spend the weekend with Samuel and Rick.

It was March break still. I called Kris and he told me he had a wonderful day at the school. I asked if he wanted to go with me to meet Samuel.

“I can’t. I really want to but Matt is making me study for the next round of tests I have on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; when I get back from break. Also, Tanner’s championship game is coming up in a few weeks and I need to get them in shape.”

“I understand Kris. I used to be at school too, many years ago.” I told him. We said goodbye and I hit the road.

The five hours fly by. Rick knew I was on my way but I didn’t tell Samuel. I wanted him to be surprised like he surprised me before. I arrived in the afternoon and was able to pick Rick up from his dorm and take him to Samuel’s house.

“He has no idea?” I confirmed with Rick.

“No. Just sneak in backdoor, rip his clothes off and let him give you the time of your life.”

“I was thinking the same thing. So, did you like meeting Kris and Matt?”

“Kris was such a character. He seems sociable, animated, entertaining and funny. The person you described when you left.”

“Yeah, I think Matt and his friends helped him a lot.”

“Matt, on the other hand, was nervous and seemed extremely shy. He didn’t engage in conversation.” Rick said.

I dropped Rick of at his girlfriend’s house and snuck in, finding Samuel enjoying a book at kitchen table. I threw my arms around him, startling him but as soon as he realised it was me and felt my lips and tongue on his neck he just melted into my arms.

No words were said, they didn’t need to be, our love was expressed through our movements as we stood together, our lips locked, hands roaming up and down each other’s bodies. Samuel took me by the hand and led me into the bedroom. I had shared so many happy memories with him inside those walls.

Our clothes were off in a flash and we fell back onto the bed, rolling around naked, grinding our hard cocks against each other, wanting each other so bad. Samuel grabbed his bottle of lube, and it didn’t matter that we weren’t really prepared, we were so caught up in the moment and in each other that we just had to make love.

For the next 90 minutes we kissed, caressed and slowly made love to each other. When we both finally reached orgasm we kissed each other and there were tears running down our cheeks. We were so happy to see each other and so in love. Being together meant everything.

We spent the rest of evening in bed, just lovingly exploring the other’s body, chatting about everything that had happened since I had last seen Samuel, just enjoying each other’s company.. Then Samuel asked me the question.

“Now that you and Kris are friends again, how long are you going to stay there?”

I thought about it. I would not consider it a friendship. We barely had time to communicate as much as either of us wanted. “I’m not sure, babe. I want to stand by him and offer him support if he needs it, but I don’t want to smother him either. I’m not really his brother after all.”

“Babe, you are the closest thing Kris could have to getting his brother back. You can’t replace Nathan as a brother, just like I cannot replace Nathan as lover.”

I never thought of that. Samuel was my family, but he never replaced Nathan’s absence. “You make me want to be a better man, though. Our love wasn’t the same as me and Nathan’s but I love you equally as loved him.”

That brought a smile to his face and passionate a kiss to my lips. “So Kris and I are going to take things slowly and I’m going to stay around there until graduation at least. Maybe you can come down for that?”

“I don’t think so, love, the last of the renovations will be finished by then,” he said sadly. “I miss you so much. Having you gone for months at a time….”

“You have Rick to keep you company though?”  I suggested.

“That kid is in his own land. He and Kathy are always together. We haven’t had many nightly chats recently. The only good news is when you come back our passions unite on fire and our sex life increase ten hold.”

The door opened and Rick entered. “You guys still in bed? I came to spend some quality time with you. In order to do that, you have to get up.

“I was just about to get a second round from Samuel here.”

“I need some time to recover.” He said kissing me again.

“Aw that is sweet.” I heard him say before he launched a pillow at us. That’s when I got up naked, ran towards Rick and tackled him to the ground.”

“You old people sure can run fast.” He said. Before I realized Samuel was pushing me aside. “DEREK, THAT’S ENOUGH.” He screamed.

Shocked by the screaming, I stopped and turned to the smiling naked Samuel. “He’s my nephew, I get first dibs.”

“Oh no you don’t” Rick got up and ran but I tripped him and he fell right in front of Samuel. After our fun, we got dressed, headed for dinner and learned more about Rick’s love life.

The weekend was so much fun. Rick and I spent Saturday shopping for some new clothes. He said mine looked like gutter trash. For a straight man he had excellent taste. Then Sunday, Samuel and I spent the day walking in the park. We sat down and watched the kids playing, teenagers making out in the bushes, and older people playing with pigeons.

“Samuel, since I’ve been away so long, I think I have a way of making it up to you.”

“You’re going to let me hire that boy toy to help clean up the house?” He said with a wink and smile.

“Even better… I get to make love to you every night for a month on vacation. My friend, James, won a trip in a radio contest. He gave to me knowing how much we were apart.”

“Get out! Where are we going?”

“Rome!”

He got up and planted the most satisfying kiss on my lips. He was so fucking happy. As we continued to kiss, not caring who was around to see us the emotions grew too much for us, as did the strain on our boxers. Not only could we not wait until the vacation, we couldn’t wait until we got home.

Samuel led me to a quiet area of the park with almost no one in sight. He stripped me of my clothes, lay me down on the grassy ground and with nothing but his spit as lube, he entered me and fucked me with so much love and passion, his eyes never leaving mine as his raw dick worked wonders on my ass. I heard a few noises and wondered if we had been spotted but neither of us cared, they could watch all they wanted because we were both racing toward our climax and we were giving them a show.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Matt’s POV

It was after school on the first day of April that I was told to be excited about the final league game of Tanner’s soccer season. So I was. I took Lisa along to help explain the finer points of the game to me. She had been a great friend, not only was she smart, and as Kris told me, quite sexy, but she had the ability to explain things to anybody, especially sports. She grew up in an all sports family, so they loved baseball, football, hockey, soccer and basketball. She even followed Canadian Lacrosse and British Cricket. Kris and his crew, which now included Brady and Don as well, came running onto the field. It began to explain their absence during the week and why Kris wanted me there. I eyed the team and saw Kris and the others doing their stretches. Soon I saw Kris scanning the sparse crowd and spotting me, along with his parents. I threw up a quick hand to acknowledge his look.

Lisa leaned over, “we’re running a few short if they had to get Kris and them to play.”

“I know,” I commented and waved at Kris’s parents.

As the game started I tried to focus on it but had no idea what was going on. All I could see was a little ball being kicked back and forth. Not five minutes into it I got a hardy laugh seeing Kris being tripped up. The look on his face and his hands on his hips told me he wasn’t happy. 

“Matt, I’m really in shock at how good friends you and Kris are,” Lisa commented while we watched.

“Why’s that?”

“Come on. Kris is such the jock, and for that matter, Tanner is too. It’s odd.”

“Kris has never had but one problem. That is when he lets his vile temper get him. He said a lot of things he regrets. We’re past that now,” I said and watched as the other team kicked one high of the goal, failing to score. 

“Kris let his guy free on that.” I heard Johnny’s voice and didn’t realize he was behind us. He leaned in and kissed Lisa so softly and tenderly, not forcing anything on her. I felt a strange feeling in my stomach and had to turn my attention back to the field.

“You know Kris is doing well out there,” Lisa said. “He’s running really strange.”

Johnny laughed, “He’s wearing a cup to protect the family jewels.”

“A cup?” I asked.

“Yeah, a cup you just grab from the cabinet and shove it down your shorts,” Johnny replied.

“Matt, you know that. My Mom would get so mad when my brothers would do that. My oldest took a glass one once. It broke in the middle of the game so they had to call time to clean up all the glass,” Lisa said.

“Knowing Kris he has a glass one and tumbler size at that,” I laughed and heard them laughing as well.

“Dude, you think we’re serious?” Johnny asked, laughing hard.

“Yeah,” I said.

“Matt, think for just a second. What day is it?” Lisa asked.

My mind clicked until I realized it was April Fool’s Day. I laughed with them. Together they had to explain what a cup was. I knew all about jock straps and didn’t realize they made them with pouches for such necessary equipment. We groaned together as the other team scored easily. I looked to see Kris gathering the guys.

“Kris is out there one day and thinks he knows everything,” Johnny commented.

“Hey at least he’s out there,” I said and felt Johnny’s hand tap my shoulder. 

He leaned over and whispered, “When you hitting that shit?”

“No secrets here,” Lisa said while we watched as the game neared halftime.

“Get this, Lisa. Johnny wanted to know when I was getting with you? Saying he would share you. ” I said, censoring it.

“Well…” she said and smiled.

“Lisa, you’re so nice and very cute…” I said.

“Hot as hell,” Johnny added, kissing her again

“I like guys and have no interest in getting with a girl,” I said.

“Not even out of curiosity?” she asked.

“No!” I said as the game hit halftime. “I’m not even curious at all. I respect girls and their bodies but don’t think I’ll ever want to be intimate with one.”

“At least he doesn’t act really gay or else we’d have no part of him,” Johnny stated. “Wow, look who finally showed up.”

I looked around and saw Alison sitting with two of her friends. She was wearing the skimpiest shorts and a tight top. We made a few comments and moved to stretch our legs. 

When the game resumed we moved the ball down the field. Kris took a shot but was stopped by the goalie. We could see Kris pointing and gesturing to the others. Tanner made a great tackle and took the ball away. He passed it quickly to Don who passed it to Kris. Kris kicked it high in the air. Tanner was in great position and headed the ball in the net to tie the game at one goal apiece.

“Wow, you’d think they played together for years,” Lisa commented.

“I know that had to hurt off his forehead,” I said, grimacing.

“He’s used to it,” Johnny said while the other team moved the ball down the field after the goal. I watched and saw Kris get faked out by a great move that resulted in an easy goal for the opposing team. After a few more minutes, one of our guys, Cesar Felix Rodriguez, kicked one beautifully into the net. As the teams moved the ball back and forth, Tanner took possession. The defender tried to steal the ball and left Tanner on the ground rolling in pain. 

“What an acting job that was,” Lisa commented about Tanner.

“No, he was really hurt,” I said.

“Dude, they do that to try to get a foul on the other team. It’s part of the game,” Johnny said.

As the game moved forward it was still close. I held my breath but it wasn’t enough as the other team scored. Kris appeared quite upset with himself and his team mates. We moved the ball down with Tanner missing a shot from a short distance. The game ended in a loss but it was a great effort.

We moved to the field to see our friends. I could see Kris wasn’t very happy with his shirt off and over his shoulders. Sweat was running down his nice athletic body. His body wasn’t the only hot one in front of my eyes with hot shirtless soccer players at every turn.

“Thanks for costing us the team the game. You let that guy score on you and then messed up the final play. Your final chance at high school glory and you ruined,” I said to Kris and walked away acting mad. “You shouldn’t have even played today! You were worthless out there!”

As I ran away from Kris, leaving him in a state of the surprise at my outburst, he ran after me and caught me. “What was that for? What did I do now?”

I let him stew for a moment, acting all mad. After a few minutes I smiled and said. “Nothing, the Master Prankster is back!” At that Kris punched me lightly and laughed. Derek and James approached.

After explaining the little joke, Derek introduced James to Kris, Alison and Lisa, who had caught up to Kris.

“Kris, you did a great job.” James said kindly.

“Thanks, Bro. Derek, call me some time tomorrow. I haven’t heard from you since you got back from your vacation.” He added a wink.

“I will.” He said, with Kris and Alison leaving, Alison would no doubt help him any way she could to get over the loss. Tanner approached, all changed and looking at me.

“He’s still upset?”

“Yeah, but I’m sure he’ll be better soon, if you get my meaning.” He nodded and then looked at the two older guys. The shock on Tanner’s face was electric.

“What?” I was amused by his expression, but wondered what about Derek’s appearance could cause such a reaction. I ventured a guess. “Have you two met?”

Tanner shook his head, and Derek spoke. “Yeah, while you and Kris were in your period of hating each other, Tanner and I encountered each other and we discussed his moving to Canada.”

Tanner finally spoke. “He gave me great advice. I’m just surprised to see him again.”

“The feeling’s mutual.”

Lisa broke the awkward silence with a question. “How come you haven’t been taking to Kris, Derek? You’ve been back a few days now.”

Derek was a little taken aback by such a blunt question, “Well, Lisa, to be honest, ever since we found each other and with all the fun he has with his crew.” Pointing to me and Tanner, “He doesn’t need me anymore, but I don’t want to fuck up like I did before.”

“You wont,” This time James spoke. He had a soothing but scratchy voice. “You’ve been my friend for 20 years. When I was down, you came to me. You helped Nathan when he needed tutoring, and when Kris needed a confidence boost. You can easily be the brother to him, especially taking into account your age and experience.”

“What experience?” Derek asked the assembled group.

“You gave me great help when I needed it.” Tanner said, I nodded my agreement, and added. “We spent six nights trying to help each other bring Kris back in to our lives.”

“Not to mention, all the wisdom you have imparted on your travels.” James included.

“Most of my journey was redemption, helping me. I may have had made comments to a few people, but in return I was finding a purpose in my life.”

Lisa spoke with a force that ended the debate. “YOU ARE NOT A FUCK UP! I may not know you personally but Matt speaks highly of you and so does Kris. Your presence would be a welcome addition to our rowdy bunch.”

The rest of the crew joined us. Kevin looked at me and walked away to his waiting girlfriend. Melissa waved to me though. Brady and Don, with Johnny in tow, spoke of ways of improving their performance as they appeared.  James and Derek suggested pizza and we all made our way to the James and Derek’s place, where the laughs continued.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Hope you enjoyed this weekly installment of 'Before They Roomed Together'.  Thanks again to Andy for taking his time to write this mini-series based on how we see things before Matt & Kris roomed together in college.   You can email him at: andywasputz@hotmail.ca or comment below as always.  I'm know he'd love to hear from you.