Messages In the Wind

Chapter Six

My Jeep was loaded and there wasn't room for another single item. I was ready to be on my way to my new job and home in Tulsa. I knew that I'd miss my parents, but we'd promised that we'd visit each other often. Mom cried of course - Dad was too manly, but it was obvious that he was sad to see me go. I planned on stopping in Wichita to spend the night with Uncle Pete and Norm ... they'd let me have it if I passed through Wichita without a visit. I enjoyed my visit with my uncles, but I was happy to get back on the road to Tulsa.

When I arrived at my apartment building, I had to go by the manager's office to pick up the key. With a smile on my face and wondering what the future held for me, I inserted the key in the lock and attempted to unlock the door, but it refused to turn. After several tries, I went back to the apartment manager's office to see if Mrs. Harris had given me the correct key. "Yes, that's the right one," Mrs. Harris assured me.

"I've tried several times, and either the lock is broken or that's the wrong key," I said.

With a huff, Mrs. Harris took my key and said, "Give me the key, I'll unlock it for you."

"I'm in 201," I said as Mrs. Harris started to unlock apartment 221.

"No, 201 is the one bedroom, you took the two bedroom," she insisted.

"No, Ma'am, I took the one bedroom."

"Number 201's occupied," she maintained. "You said you wanted the two bedroom."

"Yes, I said that I wanted it," I argued. "But I declined it because it was $250 more per month."

"Look at your contract," Mrs. Harris smirked.

"See, right here," I pointed to the contract. "Apartment 201, a one bedroom apartment."

"Oh my, you're correct," she admitted. "And I only have this two bedroom apartment left."

"My furniture's being delivered today," I said as I was thinking that I may be able to swing a good deal here. "We have to do something soon."

"Well, I suppose you could live in the two bedroom until I get a vacant one bedroom," Mrs. Harris offered.

"Once I move in, I'm not moving out," I asserted.

"What if I took $50 per month off the rent?" She offered.

"$150 and we have a deal," I countered.

"Oh, I couldn't do that," Mrs. Harris argued.

"Then move the other people out of my apartment and into this one," I declared. I could see that she was beginning to see things my way and we settled on $100 off.

I called the furniture store to confirm that my furniture was being delivered today and to give them my new apartment number. They confirmed that it was being delivered around one p.m., so I set about unloading my Jeep and then went out on the balcony to enjoy the river view.

I had three weeks to get settled and get to know Tulsa. I enjoyed the shopping choices, but the city felt lonely. I realized that the only person I knew was Tom and that was only from the day of the interview. I decided that I may as well acquaint myself with the gay community of Tulsa. An internet search gave me a listing of gay bars.

I was nervous as I entered the darken bar. It was a little early, but a few people were at the bar and a few couples were seated at tables. I could feel their eyes checking me out. 'New meat,' they were likely thinking. I selected one of the tables and the waiter took my order for a drink. A lesbian couple was making out at one of the tables and guys were still checking me out. However, there were none that interested me. There was a cowboy type that wore jeans that were way to tight, and he had too many buttons unbuttoned on his shirt. There was also a leather dude who obviously had either lost teeth to decay or a few bar fights. My guess was that he didn't understand what a toothbrush was for.

By the time I finished nursing my second beer the place was almost packed. I saw a nice looking couple at the bar that kept looking in my direction and this made me somewhat nervous, because I wasn't interested in getting involved in a three-way. I looked up as they walked toward my table, both were extremely good looking. "Are you expecting anyone," the taller of the two asked?

"No, I'm alone," I admitted.

"Would you mind if we joined you?" He asked. "I've had a busy day and my feet are killing me."

"Not at all," I said with relief as I welcomed the company. "Have a seat."

"I'm Jeff and this is my boyfriend Tim," he said as they both extended their hands.

"Hi, I'm Tyler," I said as we shook hands.

"We come here to dance pretty often, but I don't think we've ever seen you in here before," Tim said.

"No, you haven't," I agreed. "I just moved here from Nebraska."

"I take it that you're single," Jeff said.

"Yeah, I'm single," I admitted.

"Well, we'll just have to fix you up," Jeff smiled as he began to look around the bar for potential boyfriends for me.

I laughed and said, "So far I haven't seen a lot to choose from in here except for you two guys and you're already taken."

They both laughed, and Tim said, "You're a good looking guy, the guys will be all over you."

Tim and Jeff began to point out different guys and then asked what I thought of each. "How about that one there?" Jeff asked as he pointed out a handsome guy that was chatting with a couple of other guys.

"He looks pretty hot," I admitted.

Jeff left the table and a few minutes later escorted the hot guy to our table. "Brad, this is Tyler," he said. "And this is Tim, my boyfriend ... he's off limits by the way."

Brad was a little shy at first, but I soon learned that he was a hospital orderly who planned on going to nursing school. His relationship with a boyfriend had ended a few weeks earlier. He grew up in Minnesota, but assured me that I would soon learn to love Tulsa the same as he had.

I told Brad about Cody and how we'd gone our separate ways when we graduated from the University of Wyoming. He seemed surprised when I told him that I'd be teaching chemistry at Tulsa Community College. He laughed and said that he'd never had a handsome professor for any of his classes.

Brad and I danced some and even made out a little. He seemed like a very nice guy and I definitely wanted to see him again. He must have wanted to see me again, too, because he asked for my phone number.

Brad kissed me lightly on the lips before he got in his truck, then said, "I'd really like to call you."

"I'd like that," I admitted. I had warm fuzzes about Brad.

I began my first week at the college and I still hadn't heard from Brad. I even went back to the bar a few times, thinking I might see him there. Jeff and Tim hadn't seen him either. I was becoming friends with Jeff and Tim and they invited me to their house for dinner. I gladly accepted as I really enjoyed their company. They both had a great sense of humor and they appeared to be very much in love.

I had just returned from an evening jog in the park when I heard the phone ringing as I unlocked my apartment door. "Tyler, this is Brad," he said. Of course it was Brad. I'd recognize that sexy voice anywhere.

"Hi, Brad," I said. "It's good to hear from you. I hadn't heard from you, so I assumed that maybe you weren't going to call."

"I lost your phone number," he said, "and I didn't know your last name, so I couldn't get your number from information."

"How did you get it, then?" I asked.

"I saw Tim and Jeff at the bar and got it from them," he explained. "I called to see if maybe you'd like to go out to dinner."

"I'd love to," I said with some excitement in my voice. I gave Brad my address and we decided that he would pick me up around 7:00 p.m. I changed at least five times before I was somewhat satisfied with how I looked.

"Damn, you look hot," Brad said when I opened the door.

I kissed him on the lips, but not with the passion that I wanted to. Brad looked as hot as he did the night we met ... I could really fall for this guy. We had a nice dinner and decided on a movie afterwards. I don't recall much about the movie, because I was too busy looking at Brad in the dimly lit theater.

Brad dropped me off at my apartment and I really wanted to invite him up for more than a goodnight kiss, but I didn't want to appear too aggressive on our first date. "Would you like to come over for dinner Friday?" I asked.

"I'd love to," he smiled.

I prepared a pot roast that I do believe was as good as Mom's. Brad said that it was the best he'd ever eaten, but I think he was just being nice. I had even learned to bake a pretty decent apple pie. Brad and I decided to have our pie with coffee out on the balcony. The park was alive with families, bicyclist, and joggers - some pretty hot joggers and bikers at that. We chatted until late into the night. Brad was intelligent and had a great sense of humor.

"Oh crap, just look at the time," Brad said as he stretched and yawned. "I had better get home, so you can get to bed."

"You don't have to go home for me to get to bed," I said as I took him into my arms and kissed him.

Brad looked at me and said, "I was hoping you'd say that."

I awoke with this god next to me. I cuddled as up next to his hot body just as he began to stretch and yawn, and I realized that he was awake. "Did you have a good sleep?" I asked as I kissed the back of his neck.

Brad and I soon became a couple and he began to introduce me to his friends. The only friends I had to introduce him to were Jeff and Tim, and he already knew them. "Hey, we're supposed to meet Jack and Mick for dinner," Brad said when he called me one Saturday afternoon.

Of all of Brad's friends, Jack was my least favorite. Mick was okay, but Jack was very much in love with himself. He was a physician and tried to give the impression that he had wealth. I had my doubts that he had any real money. Brad had made reservations at a rather nice restaurant, but not one of those over priced ones.

"I hated parking my Jaguar with all those old clunkers out there," Jack said before even saying hello.

"If you parked it by that old Jeep out there, it's safe," I said. "That one's mine."

Jack must have mentioned his Jaguar twenty times from the time we were seated until our drinks arrived. Jake, our server, happened to be one of my students, a very cute one at that. When he addressed me as Dr. Lucas, I think he caught Jack a little off guard, because he choked a little. Brad had told him that I taught chemistry, but I don't think he was aware that I had my Ph.D.

Jack made a royal ass of himself. He was rude to the wait staff and continued to mention his Jaguar. "I ordered blue cheese dressing, not this crap," Jack said to Jake when the salads were delivered.

"I'm sorry, but I thought you said house dressing when I took your order," Jake apologized. "I'll take it back and get you blue cheese."

"Are you sure you can even get that right? How do you people expect a tip when you can't even get an order right," Jack said with arrogance.

Before Jake could answer, I said, "Never mind him, Jake, he has a Jaguar stuck up his pompous ass. And I doubt you'll miss much with his dollar tip." Everyone laughed, including Brad, Jake, and Mick, Jack's date. I could tell that Jack was pissed, but he said nothing. But I saw those daggers that his eyes threw at me. At least Jack never mentioned his Jaguar again the rest of the night.

"I doubt that they'll be dining out with us again," I said to Brad as we undressed for bed.

"I doubt that too, but man that was funny when you mentioned the Jaguar up his ass," Brad giggled.

Jeff and Tim became our regular double dates. I really liked both of those guys, and Brad seemed to feel the same way. Brad and I also enjoyed our quiet dinners alone. I'd never been in love, but this sure felt like love to me. I was very fond of both Matt and Cody, but this was different. I thought of Brad often when we were apart. I was afraid to tell him that I loved him, but I sure hoped he loved me.

As Thanksgiving neared, I asked Brad what plans he had. He said that he hadn't made any yet since his family mostly lived in Florida. I told him that my Uncle Pete and his partner Norm wanted us to come up to Wichita for a visit. Brad seemed to agree until I told him that my parents would be meeting us there. For some reason that I didn't understand, no amount of talking could convince him to go.

I ended up going to Wichita alone. The visit with my parents and Uncle Pete and Norm was nice, but I thought of Brad often. When I arrived back in Tulsa I tried to call Brad, but he didn't answer. I tried his cell phone with the same results. I then called Jeff and Tim, but they hadn't seen him either. I thought perhaps he'd decided to fly to Florida to see his family after all. I tried to call him again all the following week with the same results. My emotions teetered between anger and worry.

After two weeks, I finally got an e-mail from Brad saying that he thought it best that we not see each other again ... I was devastated. Here was this hot man that I was falling in love with and it was ending almost as soon as it started. I called Jeff and Tim just a bawling, both were at my apartment in a flash. They both hugged me and assured me that I'd done nothing wrong. Jeff offered to track Brad down and kick his ass, but I declined his offer.

A few months after the breakup, Jeff asked me if I loved Brad. This caught me off guard and I wanted to know what brought that on. "I saw Brad with someone else,' Jeff said. "And you'll never guess who he was with."

"I have no clue," I said. "But I don't know that many people here."

"He was with Jack," Jeff said.

"They're friends," I said.

"Well, those friends were all over each other at the bar," Jeff said. "I pulled his ass outside and we had a little chat."

"What did that chat involve?" I asked.

"I asked him why he just stopped seeing you without a word," Jeff said. "He said that he thought you were getting too serious. He also thought his future with Jack would be better."

"That dumb ass, he should know that Jack owes up the kazoo on that Jaguar," I said. "He's all show with no pony."

Jeff laughed and said, "I told him that he'd better contact you and apologize for what he did or I was going to kick his ass. I know that you wouldn't take him back, but you need closure on this."

"I just don't understand," I said. "He's the first guy I've ever cared for this much and then he takes up with an asshole like Jack."

"They're both assholes," Jeff said. "But from what I gathered, it started out as a three-way. Did Brad ever ask you to do a three-way?"

"He didn't actually ask," I said. "Although he hinted around that he'd like to do that sometime, but, Jeff, I just can't do that. What other guys do is their business. But if I care about someone, I don't need another person complicating things. I don't think I could take seeing a guy I love with another guy. It wouldn't matter if I were there or not."

"I know what you mean," Jeff said. "Tim and I agreed that all we needed was each other. But Brad also thinks that Jack has money. And he's the type that's also a user, so you're definitely better off without him."

"Jeff, I guess I knew what he was," I said. "Brad hid his gayness from his family, because he was afraid he'd be disinherited if they knew. I did, and I still do care for him, but I have no future with him. I'm not even sure I could be friends with him now."

Please send your comments or suggestions to Owen Hudson