[This is the final edition of the My Gay Life series. It probably won't be fun or exciting to read if you haven't read the first four episodes. Visit the April 2001 Oasis archives to start the series and catch up. I want to thank you all for the absolute flood of positive e-mail about the story. I appreciate it so much. That was a big inspiration for me to continue writing the series. And now, on to the finale.]
Evan Kincaid smiled at me with a twisted grin. "You know, I always thought you were cute." He pointed the gun toward me as he started the elevator up again. "Now, Josh, listen to me very, very carefully. We're going down to the ward where they keep the newborn babies. We're going to walk through the ward and into the parking lot. If you cry out for help I'll shoot you and any of the little babies I can see. You don't want that to happen, Josh, do you? Wouldn't it be terrible to be responsible for something like that?"
My head swarmed. The attack caught me so off guard that I was having a hard time gathering my senses. I stood slowly and cautiously.
"Come here, sweetie," Evan said to me, wrapping his arm around my shoulder. His leather jacket was new and the scent of leather filled my nostrils. I cringed just from being near him.
The doors opened and Evan walked me through the halls, looking through the windows at all the new babies. "Aren't they gorgeous, Josh? They've got their whole lives ahead of them," he whispered in my ear. I wanted to throw up. I tried to think of a way I could escape from Evan and keep everybody from being hurt.
The newborn ward let directly to the parking ramp. Evan rushed me through the doors and into the ramp. I thought I'd have time to escape in the ramp but Evan had the first available parking spot. There, parked in spot 1A was the same big blue van that Kyle had been kidnapped in. As I was waiting to get into the van Evan slammed me headfirst into the side of the van. I screamed and Evan quickly opened the van door and threw me into the van. Evan got into the driver's seat as I frantically tried to open the door. Damn childproof locks, I cursed to myself.
Evan drove me to the top level of the parking ramp where nobody else was parked. It was completely dark and Evan parked in the farthest corner of the lot. I scooted to the back of the van, trying to delay Evan and think of a way out. Evan unbuckled, grabbed his gun and came into the back seat.
"You know," Evan said gruffly, "this can be easy or it can be hard. You can pick, pumpkin." Evan peeled off his shirt. "Come here." I stayed put. Evan set down his gun for just a moment to unzip his pants and take off his underwear. The second he set down the gun I made my move.
With the fiercest scream I could muster I planted the flat of my foot into Evan's face. Evan, stunned, flew into the front of the van. I had never been so angry in my life and Evan was getting the brunt of it. Evan's head slammed against the glove compartment in the front seat as I wailed on him again in my surprise attack. As his head hit the compartment it flipped open. Little packets of GHB flew out of the compartment and fell all over the floor.
"You unimaginable bastard," I said, looking at the tablets. I snatched up the gun where he left it. "Get out of the van." Evan looked at me, surprised.
"Good job, Josh," he said, smiling brightly at me. "You know, I'm really impressed with you."
"Get out, Evan, or I'll shoot you right now. Don't even tempt me," I said, barking like a drill sergeant.
Evan slowly moved to the door and opened it. He stepped out gingerly and I started to follow him. But suddenly Evan turned around, slammed the door in my face, and made a run for safety in the parking lot. I opened the door and followed him in hot pursuit. All of my running around the lakes paid off as I sprinted up to him.
"Evan, you can either stop right now or I'll shoot you dead."
Evan slowed down and turned to face me. I cocked the gun and pointed it at the space between his eyes.
"Oh really, sweetheart? And you really think you're going to shoot me?"
"Evan, today really isn't the day to test me."
Evan smiled condescendingly. "It's touching to see how much you care about your little friend Kyle. We went on a date before we made love, you know. He told me all about you."
"Rape isn't making love, Evan. Don't confuse the two."
"Whatever," Evan said dismissively. "Anyway, if he lives I think you should give him a second chance. He's really a good guy and he still loves you. Sure, he cheated, but I don't think he'll do it again. He knows how lucky he was to have you." Evan licked his lips. "Besides, he's great in bed. He's got that tight little ass..."
I started to feel nauseous again. Evan saw a moment of weakness and leapt at me. I fired a shot that narrowly missed Evan and he tackled me. We rolled around on the ground, punching and kicking, fighting for control of the gun. Evan pushed the gun away from him and I fought relentlessly to keep control of the gun. There was no doubt that I would end up dead if he got the gun.
In a last fit of rage I pulled a Hannibal Lecter move and, with a hellish grunt, I bit into the side of Evan's face. Evan screamed and let go of his grip on me. I stood up and, without a second thought, shot Evan Kincaid in the shoulder. Evan groaned and made a move to come after me again. I shot him in the kneecap and then in the stomach.
On the last shot I suddenly felt faint. I realized I was going to pass out and tried to help myself to the ground, but instead my head made a thudding noise as it hit the ground.
I woke up several hours later in a hospital room. Luckily the altercation with Evan had taken place a matter of feet from the emergency room, and I woke up with an IV in my arm and incredibly parched lips. As my eyes slowly opened I saw Jared and Tyler, Kevin and Ryan, Kyle's mother, my Aunt Joan, and a few police officers.
"He's awake!" Tyler said, the first to notice I'd come to.
Everyone huddled around the bed and I suddenly felt like a circus act. I closed me eyes again for a second and then reopened them. "Could I have some water?" I asked feebly.
Kyle's mom bustled off to find some water.
"You passed out, Josh," Jared said to me quietly. "Apparently you had a little head trauma and all the stress combined with the injuries and you conked out." Jared pulled up a chair and rested his hand on my forehead. "Your fever is gone." He smiled at me with such kindness that I wanted to cry. "You've had a few stitches and you have a smattering of bruises and lacerations, but there's no permanent damage."
Tyler moved to the other side of the bed and held my hand. "We've been so worried about you, sweetheart. You gave us all quite a scare. Every one of the Delta boys has been here to see you. Well, everybody but Jeff. Jeff's in France." Tyler laughed. "But anyway, we just came to show you our love."
I looked around the room and realized that the entire perimeter of the room was filled with balloons, flowers, little plants, stuffed animals, and cards.
"Jesus, how long have I been out?"
"They booked you just before one in the morning," Kyle's mother piped up. "I called Kate and she called all your friends here. You've been out for almost fifteen hours. It's a lot longer than the doctors expected, but you were through quite an ordeal."
One of the police officers -- a woman who looked a lot like Agent Scully from the X-Files -- moved toward the bed. "I'd like to have everybody leave so we can talk to Josh alone for a few minutes."
Jared kissed me on the forehead. "We'll be in the hall waiting, okay?" The rest of the group wished me well and filed out the door.
"My name is Diana Krall," the police officer who looked like Scully said. "We want to talk to you about Evan Kincaid."
I groaned. "Oh God, do we have to?"
Diana smiled at me sympathetically. "I'm afraid we do."
"Is he alive?"
Diana looked at one of her fellow officers, trying to figure out quite how to respond. "He's alive. He's in critical condition right now. You managed to shoot him in every single body part that would cause him the most pain and not kill him."
I mustered a laugh. "I guess hunting with my cousins in Wisconsin finally paid off."
The next morning Jared, Kate, and Tyler helped me through the doors of my apartment. I had a prescription of codeine in one hand and clutched a blanket in the other.
"Easy there, kiddo," Kate said, walking me to the couch and setting me down. "Can I get you something to drink?"
"Some water would be great," I said, smiling at her gratefully.
"You're quite a guy, Joshua Stafford," Tyler said to me, picking up the blanket and wrapping it around me. He opened the windows, letting a fresh breeze into the room. Kate brought me the water and I downed it in seconds.
"What did the police say to you?" Kate asked, sitting backwards on a chair nearby.
"Well, Evan has been charged with a count of rape, attempted sexual assault, two counts of aggravated assault and battery, attempted murder, and poisoning."
Kate whistled. "Damn, that boy is never going to see the light of day."
"Well, the district attorney is pushing to use the McDavis Law that Minnesota just passed. The McDavis law says that any person using the date rape drug and proceeds to rape or murder their victim is automatically required to serve fifteen years in a state prison. And, if you add the other charges, Evan Kincaid could be looking at almost seventy years."
Tyler patted my leg. "Sounds like you never have to worry about him again." Tyler stood, kissed me on the cheek and headed toward the door.
Kate walked to me, kissed me on the forehead, and added, "You get well, sweetheart. You have to help me pack for my move out east." I groaned. Kate turned to Jared. "You take care of him," she said, patting Jared on the back and leaving with Tyler. When they closed the door Jared sat looking at me like a wounded puppy for a few minutes.
"Josh, I just wanted to tell you again how sorry I am."
I laughed quietly. "Jared, I'm not angry with you anymore. I know I overreacted, too. So much pressure built up and then you were asking me to see your parents and I was just... It was just too much."
Jared hopped onto the couch near me. I nestled my head into the crook of his neck, sighing.
"I have a surprise for you," Jared whispered. "Do you want it now?"
"Sure," I said, smiling for the first time in days.
Jared disappeared into my bathroom and came back into the living room with a tiny little bundle that looked like a stuffed animal. But, when he brought it closer, I realized the stuffed animal was alive. He set it in my lap and I squealed with delight. It was a tiny little golden labrador retriever, only weeks old.
"Her name is Ashley," Jared said as Ashley began lapping at my fingers.
I was delighted, yet a little concerned. "Jared, this apartment doesn't allow me to have pets. I can't keep her here."
"I know," Jared said, smiling. "But I know of a vacant townhouse on the shores of Calhoun that would love to have you and Ashley move into it."
I slowly smiled at Jared, realizing what he was saying. "And does that townhouse want you to move into it, too?"
"Well of course," Jared said, leaning in to kiss me. I laughed, absolutely delighted. In my head I was already planning the packing I would need to do.
"Any more surprises you have for me?" I asked jokingly. "I mean, I just got out of the hospital, so this is the perfect time for surprises," I teased, kissing him on the lips. Ashley wriggled around in my lap and I held her close to me.
"Just one," Jared said, collecting a little envelope on the coffee table. "These are plane tickets to New York City. My parents would like to meet you and take us to the Hamptons for a week."
"Oh, Jared, don't tell me the plane leaves today," I said, almost whining.
"No," Jared said, laughing, "it doesn't leave until the end of the month, right after final exams."
I leaned in to kiss him. "I'd be delighted."
Kyle called me the next morning. We talked about Jared briefly and about my move to the townhouse and I could tell he was trying really hard to be happy for me. I certainly wasn't trying to rub anything in his face.
Kyle had changed after being attacked by Evan Kincaid. Kyle was in therapy and was working on putting the pieces of his life back together. He'd stopped partying and had legitimately started to mature. We found that we had a lot to talk about through our experiences with Evan. We were the only two people who quite understood the terror that Evan inspired.
"Josh," Kyle said to me one night on the phone during a studying break, "I, uh, I want to apologize to you for hurting you when we were together. I mean, I know I did some stupid shit. I'm sorry I didn't pay enough attention to you and I'm unendingly sorry for cheating on you." For the first time my stomach didn't clench up as he said those words. "I... really, I'm so sorry."
I forgave him. It looked like maybe we could even be friends. Anything is possible, right?
A week and a half later Jared and I put Ashley on a leash and took her for a walk around Lake Calhoun. I slipped my hand into Jared's as we walked, enjoying the afternoon sunshine.
"My professors all offered me extensions on my finals, but I turned them all down. They knew what happened in the last few weeks and practically insisted that I take the exams later, but I told them I was prepared."
"That's my boy," Jared said, squeezing my hand. "When's your last final?" "I had my first this morning and my last is on Thursday. It's the calculus exam, so I want to make sure and take time to get some good review time in today. When's your last final?"
"I have my last one on Friday afternoon. The biology exam on Wednesday is the one I'm really worrying about, though."
We walked in silence for a few moments, looking at the sailboats on the water, watching Ashley's tail wag, scanning the runners, joggers, walkers and bikers around the lake.
"I'm helping Kate pack after dinnertime. You're welcome to help if you've got time."
"I think I should study and check on a few things with the new townhouse." I nodded. We walked again for a few moments in silence and then Jared turned to look at me. "You know what?"
"What?" I asked innocently.
"I love you."
Those were the finest words I'd ever heard.
I've spent the entire day today unpacking the new townhouse. Jared is at the grocery store getting food to stock up our brand new refrigerator. Our townhouse has a perfect view of the lake and has plenty of space for all our belongings and for Ashley.
Our trip to New York was wonderful. Jared's parents are some of the nicest people I've ever met. Jared's mother has a friend from her bridge club whose gay son got married to his boyfriend in a highly publicized ceremony in Manhattan. Jared's mom started hinting to Jared and I about being willing to plan an extravaganza for us if we ever wanted one, but Jared and I just laughed. Sure, we're in love and have no plans of parting any time soon, but I think we've had more than enough action for this year.
The funniest part of the trip was when Melanie, Jared's mother, offered me a small book deal to write about the Evan Kincaid ordeal. Melanie is an editor with Simon and Schuster New York now. When she first arrived in New York she was a charity wife, but eventually she found her way into publishing. At first I thought she was joking, but then I realized she was serious. She offered me a five digit deal to publish a sort of nonfiction, true crime novel. At last, after Jared and I talked about it, I decided to do it. I decided that writing about everything might be a perfect way for me to work through all that has happened.
I've already started writing the novel, but I keep wondering if it's captivating enough. After all, the story is just about my gay life.
But perhaps that's interesting enough after all.
[Josh, 18, lives in Minneapolis. He will be a freshman at the University of Minnesota in September working on a double major in computer science and English. Josh extends a huge thanks to all that wrote him with support and feedback and invites further comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
[Look for Josh's new series starting next month exclusively in Oasis Magazine!... Boys in Love. William and Ethan are in love. It's 1567 and the boys--now nearly men--live in Alnwick Castle in Alnwick, England, a village on the England/Scotland border. Ethan is the son of the Seventh Earl of Northumberland and William is a talented young knight at Alnwick, and is the son of a wealthy horse breeder from Corbridge. This is a story of lovers, thieves, royalty, knights, border wars, kidnappings, chivalry, castles and mansions, executions, power, assassinations, lies, gossip, deceit, honor, wealth, and true love. Oasis Magazine proudly presents Josh's second feature story, Boys in Love, following the success of Josh's previous five-installment story My Gay Life.]
[This series is (c) 2001 by Josh under the auspices of Merchant & Gould LTD of Minneapolis, Minnesota.]
[Special thanks to Kate, Jeff, Tyrone, Brian, Marina, Evelyn, Brent, and Erik. They are some of my dearest friends and some of the people I used to create the characters for the My Gay Life series. Love to all. ~Josh. ]