ROOMING WITH MY BEST FRIEND: AFTER GRADUATION 47
Posted: Aug 24, 2015
The Fourth of July we had a big crowd but things were rather subdued without anyone getting crazy drunk. It was just a big group of friends enjoying being together.
It had been hell containing Corey with his arm in a sling but we were now adjusting to it. On Tuesday after the Fourth, we were able to squeeze in and saw a doctor. He thought Corey was doing well and stressed keeping his arm in the sling to continue the heeling process. We also dealt with the insurance company and were finalizing everything involved with that. Corey had returned to work as well and reported how it was different but things worked out in his training.
Friday, I heard Corey come in the house just after four and had been driving a rental car that the boy’s insurance company provided until we got a replacement. His arm was in the sling while wearing a tank top and shorts. His black eye was nearly gone with his cut on his arm nearly healed as well. He still had pain in his left upper arm and collar area. He said the injury let him know when he went too far.
I graced him with a kiss and asked how his day went. He said everyday was getting better.
“What time is Eli coming?” I asked since we were expecting him for the night.
“Dad called and said they’d be here about six,” Corey replied. “I see the house is in order but I knew that it would be.”
“There are fresh sheets on both beds. He can pick which room he wants,” I said. “Ted did call and said he’d be here tomorrow.”
“I want to surprise him with that.”
“We know and you told everyone last weekend,” I laughed.
At about 6:15, we heard car doors and waited until hearing the doorbell. I let Corey do the honors and waited but could still see. Corey opened the door and let his Dad, Beth and Eli in the door. Corey gave them one armed hugs before they walked into the living room. I stood and greeted them before we sat down with Eli having a bag over his shoulder. I took his bag and set it aside with Eli canvassing out the place. Eli wasn’t seated but a minute and was anxious to see the pool. Corey walked outside with him.
“How has it been?” Phil asked.
“We’re making it but it’s close to taming a bear,” I replied.
“I can imagine,” Beth said. “Corey looks good.”
“Much better than two weeks ago…” I said.
“When are you getting a new car?” Phil asked.
“When we find some time,” I replied. “Right now, our weekends are packed. Next weekend we have another wedding.”
“I can’t tell you how excited Eli has been. On the other hand, we had one disappointed little girl,” Beth said.
“Maybe we can have both of them in the future when we can work it out. I thought she had plans,” I said.
“Ruth does but still she wanted to change those and come too,” Phil said with Corey and Eli coming back inside. I marveled at how much that they did favor especially seeing them side by side. In Eli, I got to see what Corey would look like at 14.
“Wow! Corey and Matt have a really nice pool. I can’t wait to get in it,” Eli said.
“We will,” Corey said.
“Mom… Dad have a good night and I’ll see you tomorrow night. Come and get me as late as you can,” Eli said.
“Eli, they just got here so cool your heels. Give me just a minute with them,” Corey said.
“Eli, if you want, I’ll go swimming with you. Corey can visit for a minute too,” I suggested.
“Ummm… okay,” Eli said.
He grabbed his bag and went to the bathroom while I changed in the bedroom. I put on some shorts and grabbed two towels. I came back with Eli in his long shorts. He was pretty tan and was thin. We headed out to the pool.
“Matt, what’s with the tattoo?” Eli asked.
I smiled, “I got in college. It is our best friends, Kris and Colt. You’ll get to meet Kris tonight and Colt tomorrow.” I said and pointed out the initials.
“That’s tight,” Eli said and raced off to the diving board. He got on it and ran off doing a flip before splashing in the water. I waited for him to come up. “Matt, you do a flip.”
I laughed. “It won’t be as good as yours.” I did a flip off the diving board and did okay. Eli was climbing out and ready to do another one. He did a backwards flip this time. “You’re too good.”
“Thanks. Thanks for coming out here with me. Will Corey be able to get in the pool?”
“I’m strong but not that strong. He’ll get in but don’t expect him to dive or do flips,” I replied.
Phil and Beth came out with Corey to say goodbye. I said goodbye and thanked them for letting him stay with us. Eli showed them his flip before they left. Corey stood watching with Eli wanting him to see all of his many flips and dives. I could see how it was hurting Corey not to be in the pool and doing things with him.
“You’re awesome, Eli. Kris called and is waiting on us to go eat,” Corey said.
“I thought we’d stay here all night,” Eli said from the pool.
“We’re going to eat, ride go-karts and play some games,” Corey said. It was our plan to allow Kris to go with us and do those things. Eli was the same age that Kris would be teaching at his new school. “We can swim when we get back and we’ll be out here all day tomorrow.”
“Okay,” Eli said.
We got out and dressed with me showering off the chlorine as did Eli in the other bathroom. We dressed with Eli looking like a nice young man with his blond hair spiked up. Now Corey didn’t spike his up but saw the big similarity. I took a picture of them with my phone and with Eli’s with me seeing that he’d grown a few inches. We went to Kris’s house to pick him up since Melissa was working as much as she could until school resumed. Kris had spent his time at workshops for school and going to Corey’s gym with Colt each evening.
We knocked on the door and waited for just a minute.
“Wow! I finally get to meet you, bro,” Kris said and grabbed Eli for a big hug. Eli’s eyes were big and probably didn’t know what to think.
“Eli, you’ll have to excuse Kris. He treats everyone like that,” Corey said.
“Bro, you’ve got a great brother,” Kris said.
“Two now, I guess,” Eli said.
“You do,” Corey said with me almost in tearing up hearing that. It really meant the world to me to hear him say that and how he accepted us as a married couple.
“Bro, you do. I consider them my brothers so I can be your brother as well especially since Corey won’t be able to do everything with you,” Kris said.
“You and Corey could be brothers. You’re both big,” Eli said.
“We could be, bro. Are we ready to go out and have a great time?” Kris asked.
“We are,” I replied. “When’s Melissa getting home tonight?”
“She said she’d be home about midnight. She’s been such a jewel and working lots of overtime so we can get out of this hole we’re in right now,” Kris said.
“Hold on. You’re not like Matt and Corey?” Eli asked.
“No, he’s married but to a woman,” Corey laughed.
“I am happily married at that,” Kris said.
“I just assumed that you were like them,” Eli said.
“Just like Teague, I have lots of straight friends,” Corey said.
“Maybe more than we do gay,” I said.
We headed out to the car with Corey getting in the back with Eli. We decided on Mexican since Eli liked it. Kris kept us entertained during the ride and was excited about having met Corey’s brother. We got out and headed inside. Ordering drinks, Kris naturally ordered a beer with Corey and I having water.
“Sorry, bro but I forgot and ordered a beer,” Kris said. “I fucked up.”
I rolled my eyes with Eli snickering.
“Eli, just don’t repeat what you hear or see this weekend. It’s a brother code,” Corey said.
“I remember that and wouldn’t. It’s not the first time I’ve heard the f-word. You should be around some of my friends,” Eli said.
“He’s not kidding either,” Kris said.
We ordered our meal with Corey and me splitting fajitas while Kris got the big plate and Eli had fajitas as well. Kris wanted to know all about Eli and badgered him with question after question. Kris did tell us that he was trying to get a handle on freshmen since he’d be around them full-time this year at his new school. Once the meals arrived, we started eating and had clean plates by the end.
We headed to an amusement park with go-karts, miniature golf and lots of games. We allowed Eli to pick what he wanted to do first and chose the go-karts.
“Get ready to be schooled, Eli,” Kris said.
“I’m ready and don’t lap me,” Eli said and was all smiles with his phone in his hand. “Corey, you are at least trying, right?”
“For sure if I have to take off this sling,” Corey replied.
It wasn’t cheap but we didn’t mind paying for anything. All four of us got in a kart with two others in the race with us. Corey saw that he could make it and needed just a free arm to steer. We took a few quick pictures in our helmets and made sure Eli got them with his phone.
The flag went up for us to start the race. I pushed on the pedal and saw this thing had a little speed to them. I watched Corey carefully to see that he was making it with ease with Eli and Kris at the head of the pack. We made the first of the three laps with me and Corey lagging behind with Kris showing his competitive nature. We made a turn with me taking it too wide and too fast so now I was at the rear. Kris and Eli were leading us and going at it. Slowly Eli pulled away and beat everyone. He raised his hands and jumped out of the cart while I got a quick picture.
“Kris, I beat ya! Ha!” Eli said.
“You just wait. You won because you were lighter. I challenge you to a game of miniature golf now,” Kris said. I was glad Kris was with us since he was a kid at heart and was enjoying this as much as we were.
“You’re on and will go down again just like you did here,” Eli said with us pulling off our helmets. Now his hair was a mess just like the rest of us with sweat running down his face.
After getting some water, we walked over to the miniature golf area and watched for a moment while Corey tested out putting with one arm. He said that he was good to go and probably would beat me. We got our balls and putters to with a scorecard to keep our scores. We started out on the first hole and as luck would have it, I made a hole-in-one. I raised my hands only to see them walk away to the next hole. They laughed and patted me on the back. We continued around the course with Eli getting the next ace on the fourth hole while Corey was making it just fine. Kris was getting frustrated a little. We were having a great time with Kris helping add to the excitement with his yelling. It came down to the last hole with Corey and Eli tied. Corey knocked it close to the hole and had an easy tap-in while Eli was far away after trying to make it in one shot. He missed his next one which made Corey the big winner while my true putting skills shined and finished last but close to Kris.
We went inside to escape the heat and began playing games. This was my area where I could be competitive and was on several games that we played. The main object was showing Eli a good time which we did. We stopped for ice cream before dropping Kris off at his house. He thanked us and said he’d see us tomorrow.
“I really like him and would love to him as a teacher. He’s crazy,” Eli said.
“So did you have a good time?” I asked driving.
“Of course, the best and got lots of crazy pictures…” he replied.
“Hey, don’t rub it in Ruth’s face, okay? We’ll have you both up one day. Since she had something to do, I thought this would be the perfect weekend for you to hang out with us,” Corey requested.
“I won’t too much,” Eli said. “I’m glad she didn’t come though so it’d just be me.”
We made it to our house. We got on our suits and headed to the pool. Corey waded in without his sling but warned Eli about his shoulder. I took over and swam around with him so he’d have a good time.
We headed inside after he got his fill of the pool and began watching a movie. Corey’s shoulder was bothering him after our adventuresome night so he took some pain pills to relieve the pain. He didn’t take them every night but only when it hurt. At the end of the movie, I said that I was tired with Corey feeling the effects of the pills. I asked Eli what bedroom that he wanted. He wanted to sleep on the couch and near Corey in the lounger. Corey smiled and liked the idea while I went to bed. Now I was sleeping in our bed and really missed snuggling up close to Corey each night. We were having sex with me bottoming more than usual since it was easier on Corey. I didn’t mind at all.
Saturday morning, I was up and saw Eli sleeping on the couch with Corey sleeping in the lounger that he was growing accustomed to. Corey was awake shortly after I was. We talked quietly with Corey saying he fell asleep shortly after I went to bed. Eli got up about 9:30 so I began breakfast of pancakes with strawberries and sausage with juice. We sat and ate the meal.
“Is Ted coming over?” Eli asked.
“He called me this week and said he couldn’t. He’s getting ready for training camp,” Corey replied.
“That’s okay. We’ll still have a good time today,” Eli said.
“Tonight we’ll grill some burgers and dogs,” I said.
“I hope Dad waits to pick me up then. I’ll call him and make sure that he comes after we finish eating,” Eli said.
“No, ask him and Beth to join us. Our friends would enjoy meeting him,” Corey stated.
Eli gave Corey a look and shook his messy blond hair. “It’ll ruin a great weekend,” he said.
“It won’t and I love the idea,” I said.
It was about noon when Kris, Melissa, Colt and Faith came to our house. Eli was in the pool so we made him get out and meet the other three.
“Matt wasn’t lying. He looks just how I’d picture Corey at that age,” Colt said.
“Me too bro and he wears his hair spiked,” Kris said with Eli walking up to greet them. The first thing that Eli noticed was the same tattoo on Colt and Kris’s chests. He also asked about Kris’s ‘N’ which Kris told him was in honor of his brother who had passed away. Eli was eager to show off his flips and wanted them to try it as well.
“He’s a cutie and I see the resemblance,” Melissa stated.
“I do too,” Faith stated. “I see someone who looks up to their brother too.”
“This will be different than most times we’re over here. They’ll be wearing something,” Melissa said.
“Won’t it be?” Faith laughed.
Corey was sitting on the edge of the pool without his sling and watching them. Eli went first followed by Kris and then Colt. Colt uttered a few choice words after busting his back. Both took to Eli very well and were eager to do whatever he wanted. Melissa and I took a few pictures of everyone in and around it before she and Faith left to finish up some last minute things for the Faith and Colt’s wedding the next weekend. They said they’d be back and ready to eat with them saying they’d bring some food back with them. With my phone in hand, I got a text and smiled seeing it. I sent a text back saying come around back to the pool.
Just after I sent the text, Scott, Brennan and Shawn came walking through the gate with Shawn having a cooler in his hand. They were expected and were anxious to meet Eli. With them there, they put up the net to play some volleyball.
As they were playing, I heard the gate open again. It was Ted in his tee, shorts and flip flops with a bag over his shoulder. I greeted him with a firm handshake.
“Eli, there’s another friend we want you to meet in person,” Corey said and got out with Eli. Corey walked over with Eli who was soaking wet. “Eli, I want you to meet…”
“Oh my goodness, it is Ted Wilcox,” Eli said and extended his hand. His eyes were big as saucers.
“I am. It’s nice to meet you in person,” Ted said.
“This is so cool,” Eli said. “I can’t believe this. Corey, you said that he couldn’t make it today.”
“I wanted to surprise you. Now act normal since Ted is just a regular guy,” Corey said with me taking a picture.
“No he’s not. He’s a NFL linebacker who I see on TV every weekend,” Eli said.
“Corey, you’re looking better than the last time that I saw you. How are you feeling?” Ted asked.
“Much better but there’s still some pain,” Corey replied.
The others got out to shake Ted’s hand and tell him how that he was missed last weekend. Ted said he heard all about it from Reese and what a great time that Reese had with us. Ted headed inside to change and join us for a fun day in the pool. While he was changing, Cale and Daniel joined our group and too were anxious to meet Eli.
Ted returned showing off his great solid body. I got everyone around to take a picture and then a few of Ted and Eli with Eli’s phone so he could brag to his friends. Ted had nothing going and was planning to stay the day with us.
We were all in and around the pool for quite some time. Eli now was adjusting to being around Ted and saw how he was just one of us. I think that Ted just enjoyed being here with all of us and playing volleyball in the pool.
After a few hours, everyone took a break. Eli wanted to play catch with Ted so we headed around front to watch them throw around the football. Kris and Colt were part of the action with me getting a short video of it. Not long after, the two kids across the street remembered Ted and joined them. Then two other kids, who were teenagers, spotted us out front and came walking up with all of us watching.
“How’s it going?” Ted asked.
“Good,” one said with dark short hair and in his shorts. “Mind if we join ya just a minute.”
“Sure, bros,” Kris said. “Do you know who he is?”
“No,” the other one said with long blond hair.
“Ted Wilcox,” Eli shouted.
“Get out of here!” the dark haired one shouted. “Are you freaking serious?”
Ted was smiling and patted the two on the back.
“Dude is huge but so are the other guys,” the blond one said.
Ted began tossing around the ball with five kids with Kris joining in. They had a game with Ted and Kris at quarterback. It was short with just throwing the ball but got everyone dripping wet with sweat. At the end, they had to get pictures with Ted and left with big smiles on their faces plus a new hat on their heads with Ted’s signature across the bill. Ted waited until they were gone and pulled out a jersey with his name and number on it. He handed one to Eli and said that he had a small one for his sister. Eli quickly pulled on his jersey despite being sweaty and posed with Ted.
“Where are ours, bro?” Kris asked.
“If you want one, I’ll get you one. These are hot off the press so it was great timing that I was coming over,” Ted replied.
“We’ll for sure be at a few of the games this year since Colt and I are back,” Kris said with us heading inside.
“Maybe you can drag Matt and Corey with you,” Ted said.
“Me too,” Eli perked up.
“You let Corey know when you can make it and I’ll do whatever I can to get you tickets. It’ll be a challenge if you want to go see the Pats or Seahawks,” Ted said.
“Darn, those are right close to my birthday in October,” Eli said.
“I can’t promise you those games since they’ll be hot tickets,” Ted said.
“Y’all do have a tough schedule this year,” Daniel said. “What some home games.”
“We do. We’ve got our work cut out for us this year,” Ted said.
“Don’t worry. You’ll win them all,” Eli said.
We headed back to the pool with the football. Eli wanted to catch some throws off the diving board. After a few throws, Colt, Kris, Shawn and Daniel were lined up to take their shots at catching the throws.
“Ted’s amazing, Matt,” Cale said standing next to me. “He took his time with those kids and now with these kids.”
“He is just a great guy in every way possible,” I said.
“I know Daniel would love to go to a game. So keep us in mind if you get tickets,” Cale said with Daniel taking his turn.
“You know I will. Maybe the four of us can catch a game,” I said.
Scott walked up to us in his bikini and was so dark now. “Damn Eli does look so much like Corey,” he said.
“Everyone has said that and I agree. Eli is a really good kid,” I said.
“I can tell,” Scott said. “So who’s cooking?”
“I’m sure we all will,” Cale replied.
“I was hoping that you would and were making those meatballs again. Then again, I haven’t had one bad thing that you’ve cooked,” Scott said.
“We’ll start about five or once Melissa and Faith get back,” I said.
Corey came walking up with his phone in his hand. “Dad will be here right after five. I talked him into eating with us and told him what to expect.”
“He doesn’t mind them drinking?” Scott asked.
“He said that we were adults and could do as we pleased,” Corey replied.
Once Melissa and Faith were back from their shopping, we began preparing the burgers inside and getting some relief from the hot day. Cale and I enjoyed talking.
“Corey’s dad is coming over, right?” Cale asked.
“He is along with his wife Beth,” I replied.
“Matt, we really would like for him to marry us but we understand if he doesn’t want to. We’ve seen the stink out there over gay marriage now,” Cale stated.
“All he can do is say no. If you want, I’ll get Corey to ask him for you.”
I called Corey inside for just a moment since the others were entertaining his brother. Corey said that he’d be happy to approach him in private and see if he would. We knew they were planning a mid-October wedding now with a trip to the Keys for their honeymoon.
We took the burgers and hot dogs out to begin grilling with plenty of both. Shawn, Kris and Colt were sitting around the edge of the pool with beer in their hands while Eli was on Ted’s shoulders in the pool. I watched as Ted lifted Eli up. Eli’s thin legs were shaking while Ted was holding his feet. Ted pushed him high in the air with Eli doing a flip towards the deeper end.
“Dear Lord if Ted gets hurt,” Shawn said.
“I’m good but if I do, there will be some explaining to do,” Ted said.
Daniel and Kris manned the grill and started the burgers. Corey got a call on his phone with his Dad near. He walked inside and waited for him. Eli wanted to do it again and wanted me to record it on his phone. I did so and got a short video of it.
Corey came out the back with Phil and Beth. Everyone turned and got out to greet them. Corey went around and introduced everyone to them with Kris giving them a big hug.
“Dad and Mom, Ted did come!” Eli shouted and got out with Ted.
Ted wiped off his hand and greeted both of them very politely.
“It is very nice to meet you. Eli is now your biggest fan,” Ted said.
“Bigger now. Dad, we played catch, he threw me ball to catch off the diving board and he threw me up to do flips,” Eli said.
“It’s no big deal. I’ve had a great time. I told him if he can to come to a game…”
“Yeah Dad, we have to,” Eli said.
“We will,” Beth said.
Corey was all smiles and very happy to have his Dad and have him meet all of our friends. We sat down and enjoyed the burgers and dogs with some beans and dip that Melissa and Faith had brought over.
Kris and Melissa were sitting with me Scott and Brennan. “I see what Corey would look like in about 25 years,” Kris said. “Corey is very happy with them around. How does his mom take it?”
“Ummm… not great but she understands now,” I replied.
“My mom is so jealous of me and my Dad that it ain’t even funny but she won’t go out of her way to see or call,” Brennan said. His parents were divorced and I can’t say that I’d ever met her either. In college, I do remember Brennan lived with his Dad.
After we ate, I saw Corey talking by the pool with his Dad and calling over Daniel and Cale. I smiled and stood back while talking with Ted and Shawn. The four walked away and were all smiles so I assumed it was good news. Corey did announce to everyone that his Dad had agreed to marry Daniel and Cale. We cheered loudly.
When it came time, it wasn’t easy getting Eli out of the pool. He dressed while Corey and I talked to Phil and Beth. They thanked us for having him but we said we enjoyed it more than he did. Eli came out in his tee and shorts with his bag. He walked out to the pool and told everyone goodbye and a special thanks to Ted. Kris gave him a big hug and told him that he’d see him soon. Corey and I got our hugs last with Corey having a hard time letting him go. We watched them leave around 7.
“Great weekend, huh?” I said to Corey.
“It was one of my best. We come a long ways in a short time.”
“We have. Just like we’ve been hearing and reading, love wins,” I said.
“It sure does in so many ways,” Corey said.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Thanks for your patience!! I'm picky about the story and want to make it right so it might take a few weeks before the next chapter appears. I hope you enjoyed this chapter about Corey and Eli.
READ CHAPTER 48