You Ain’t Santa Claus
by: E Walk

(© 2009 by the Author)

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

Chapter 5

The Star



When I finally arrived at the Target store, it was nearly impossible to find a parking space.  I walked in the door and Brandon was watching for me.  “The boys and Will are in the checkout line.  Where do we need to go to pick up the bikes?”


I directed him to the large pick up area.  I rang the bell and the overhead door went up.  A young man looked at me, “You must be Dr. Richter.  Hi, Brandon.”


Brandon looked at the young man, “Hey Casey, I didn’t know you were working here.  How did you know that this gentleman’s name was Dr. Richter?”


The Casey person was chuckling, “Easy, my friend, his two bikes are the only things that were left to be picked up.  I’ve been working here over the holidays so I can have spending money when I go back to classes next semester.  My Daddy ain’t rich like some people I know.”


Brandon started to laugh, “Yeah right.  Dr. Richter, Casey’s Dad just happens to be your boss at the University.  Does the name a Armstrong ring a bell?”


The guys loaded the bikes into the bed of the truck.  I handed the ticket to Casey,  “Thanks for your help.  It was nice meeting you.  Perhaps, I’ll see you around campus.”


Casey smirked, “If you are the Dr. Richter who teaches child psychology, you can count on it.  I’m enrolled in one of your classes in the spring.”


I started to laugh, “You’re the fourth person I’ve met in the last two days who’s going to be in one of my classes.  See you later.”


Brandon nodded to me, “Dr. Richter, I told Will and the boys to meet me at the South entrance.  Will and I’ll deliver the bicycles after church tonight, and we’ll help you put them together when the boys are in bed.”


The guys were waiting for us.  Will crawled into the truck and the boys and I started to walk to the car.  “Guys, we have one more stop  and then we need to go home and start dinner for Dad Dan.”


We went to the a shoe store and the young man measured the boys' feet and looked at the size of the shoes they were wearing, “Guys, these shoes had to be hurting your feet.  They’re too small for you.”


Both boys looked at me, and I couldn’t interpret the look on their faces.  I looked at the man,  “Sir, the boys would each like a pair of the best athletic shoe that you have and a nice pair of loafers.  You might show them what’s available.”


The young man came back, “You’re oldest son is checking to see which shoes are the cheapest.  He’s concerned about how much money you’re spending.”


I went to where the boys were looking, “Guys, all of the shoes cost the same.  Now find the ones you like or I’ll get those pink ones over there.”


The salesman was standing there laughing, but the boys made up their minds rather quickly after that.


I decided to make one more stop at Kohl’s which was in the same shopping center.  We went to the young boys’ department I had the boys try on a pair of Khaki slacks and a sweater.  Nate looked at me, “Dad, please stop spending money on us.  We don’t need anything else.”


I picked up two nice cotton shirts for them and as we were walking to the car, Ryan looked at me, “Dad, why do we need these fancy clothes?”


“When we go to church tonight, you need to be dressed in nice clothes.  Everyone gets dressed up on Christmas eve.  I might even decide to wear some clothes for a change.”


Ryan stopped in the middle of the street in a disgusted stance, “Daddy, people would really laugh if you didn’t wear any clothes.”


“Guys, that’s what I was telling you.  Let's get home.”


I pulled into the garage and Dan’s car was already there.  ‘What’s Dan doing home and then I realized it was nearly five o’clock.  Still he doesn’t usually get home until close to six.’


When we walked in the door, Dan was in rare form, “Where have you been?  I’ve been worried sick about you.  Brandon and Will were here to get Will’s car and they said they left you almost an hour ago.  They left this shopping bag for you two brats.”


Ryan walked to Dan and poked him in the stomach with his finger, “Daddy, please don’t act like that.  I think you’re teasing, but it sounds the same as the people at that home treated us.”


Dan’s color drained from his face.  He picked Ryan up, “Sons, I’m sorry, but I was starting to worry after Will and Brandon were here.”


Nate went and put an arm around Dan, “Dad, it’s Daddy Santa’s fault.  He made us get two pair of new shoes and then he made us get some fancy clothes so we could go to church.  He promised us that he would wear clothes to church.  Come on Ryan, let’s put these things under the tree.  Dad Dan, have you seen the tree?”


Dan nodded, “Yep, and you guys did an absolutely beautiful job.  The decorations are so fitting for a living tree.  The star on top looks as if it is twinkling.”


Nate smiled, “Ryan and Jordan spent a long time getting it to look just right.


Ryan added, “We had a lot of help from Uncle Will.  He bent the hanger into the shape of a star for us.  We’ll be right back to set the table.”


The two started toward the living room and I went and put my arms around Dan, “So, I’m a wuss am I?  We’ll see who’s the wuss in bed tonight.”


The boys came running back into the living room. Ryan looked at us, “Where did the presents under the tree come from?  They weren’t there when we left.  Daddy Santa, come see.”


I looked a Dan and he had a twinkle in his eye, so I knew he was the culprit.  He had his arm around me as we walked into the living room.  It was dark enough outside that the lights on the tree were really glowing and the tree did look great.”


Dan commented, “Guys, we’ll have to do this every year.  It is really special.  Dinner is almost ready and we need to eat so we can go to church at 8:00.”


Nate frowned, “Dads, we’ve never been to church.  Our other parents never went to church.  Dad didn’t believe in God.  He didn’t like anything.  He was always telling Mom that they should never have adopted us, because they at least got some money when they were just our foster parents.”


Dan and I looked at each other and I think we both were thinking that we had been kicked in the gonads, but good.  Dan looked at the boys, “Guys, set the table, please, dinner is just about ready.”


Dan had fixed spaghetti and meatballs and it’s a good thing that I had bought the boys additional clothes.  In fact all four of us looked rather bad by the time dinner was over.  I started to laugh, “Dad Dan, why don’t you take the boys and trim their hair before they take a bath to get all of the spaghetti sauce off the faces.  I’ll take care of the dishes and bring their clothes.”


When I got upstairs I could hear Dan talking to the two boys.  I went the bathroom in the guest room and they weren’t there.  I realized that they were in our bathroom and Dan was in the shower with them making sure they got all of the hair that he had trimmed off their bodies. 


I looked at the two boys, “You guys are sure handsome.   Everyone will be able to see pale blue eyes now that your hair isn’t hanging in your face.  Ryan, get out and I’ll help you get dry.  Your clothes are on your bed.”


When Ryan was headed toward their bedroom, I was helping Nate.  As I was making sure he was dry, he questioned me. “Dad, is it okay for you to touch our penises even though we can’t touch yours?”


I looked at Dan, “Nate, if we touch you in anyway that makes you feel uncomfortable, please tell us.  When you are a little older, you will not want us to even touch you except to hug you.  We will try very hard to never embarrass you in front of your friends.”


Nate wasn’t finished, “Are you going to help Dad Dan get dry like you did us?”


“I would if he wasn’t wearing his briefs.  They would probably get the floor wet and then you would need to clean the mess he made.  Now go get dressed for church while I make sure that Dad Dan is clean.  Come back when you’re dressed and I’ll fix your hair.”


Dan and I didn’t play any games in the shower because we figured the two boys would be back shortly.  I was standing there in my briefs brushing my teeth when the two boys came back.  I got out the hair dryer and brush and started to blow their hair.  I was surprised at how easily their hair did what I wanted, since they both had wavy blond hair.  The guys were watching in the mirror as I tried to get each piece of hair to stay in place.  When I was satisfied, I pulled out the hair spray so it would stay in place.


When the guys walked into the bedroom, I heard Dan say. “Guys, you are absolutely beautiful.”


I almost started to laugh when I heard Ryan say, “Daddy, don’t even breath or you’ll mess up our hair.”


When I walked into the bedroom, Dan started to laugh, “You’ve done it now.  You’ve just created the hair monsters.”


When we got downstairs, the two boys were sitting on the edge of the  sofa so their heads weren’t touching anything.  I looked at the guys, “Get your coats.  We need to get going so we’re not late for the service.”


The guys came in with their coats on and Dan asked, “Guys, where are you hats and gloves?”


“Nate looked disgusted, “Dad, we don’t have any.  Besides if we put a hat on, it would mess our hair.  We aren’t going to be outside that long are we?”


After we had hung our coats in the narthex at the church, we were ushered to a pew in the middle of the sanctuary.  I recognized some faces but didn’t know many names.  We had been attending the church ever since we had moved into the condo, but hadn't made an attempt to get to know anyone.


The two boys were looking around at all the Christmas decorations and at the stained glass windows.  They were asking us questions when we were joined on either side by two people, “Move over runts, what happened to you two guys?  Are you trying to make us look bad or what?”


The boys looked perplexed until they saw that Will and Brandon were sitting beside them.  Nate started to laugh, “Yeh, we’re trying to steal all of your girl friends.”


The fun was interrupted by a family sitting down behind us.  An arm reached over the pew, “Ryan, what happened to you.  You look different.  Did your other Dad like the star?”


Ryan turned around, “Dad Dan said he thought the tree was beautiful.  Maybe we can get together and play, some day.”


The conversation was stopped because the processional had begun.  I watched as both boys were watching what was happening.  The Father stood, “Ladies and gentlemen, tonight the young people of our church have a story to tell us.”


The middle school students put on a reenactment of the first Christmas Eve.  When Joseph appeared with Mary as they were looking for a place to stay, Ryan leaned to me, “Daddy, that’s Josh”


I nodded my head.  When the program was over, Josh came forward, “The three magi and shepherds will be passing out candles and as Mary and I walk by, we will be lighting the first candle on the aisle.  Please make sure that you don’t tilt them once they are lit.  We will be singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  When you leave tonight, go forth and remember the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas.”


As we were leaving the church, Will and Brandon approached us, “We’ll be there as soon as we can get away from the family gathering.”


I nodded, “Not to worry, it is going to take us a while to get two young boys unwound.”


On the way to the car, Ryan was holding my hand.  He suddenly stopped, “Dads look at that really bright star.  It looks as if it is falling.”


Nate looked at it, “It’s probably just a star that is dying.”


As we were driving by the house toward the driveway, Ryan yelled, “Dad, stop.   Look, it looks as if the star on our tree is bouncing.  It so bright that it looks as if the tree is on fire.   Hurry, we need to go check.”


I had hardly pulled into the garage and the boys were out of their seatbelts headed for the living room.  When Dan and I got there the boys were standing as if they were transfixed.  Dan looked at me and whispered, “Kirk, what’s happening?”


“Danny, I have no idea.  It’s going to take a while to get the guys to unwind after tonight.”


Dan hugged me, “It’s a good thing I don’t need to go to work until noon.”


Ryan turned to us, “Dads, who did that to the star that Jordan and I made?  It’s beautiful?”


I knelt down and hugged him, “Ryan, we have no idea.  We weren’t here and the house was locked so I guess God did.  Come on let me fix you some hot chocolate.  You’ve had a long day.”


Nate had to add his two cents, “Yeh, you just want to get rid of us.”


We were sitting at the kitchen table and the boys were drinking their hot chocolate and eating a some of the happy pill cookies that Josh had brought last night when the door bell rang.  Will and Brandon just walked in.  Ryan responded immediately, “Come look at our star.  Did you guys change it?”


Brandon looked concerned, “Guys, we haven’t been here since we came to pick up Will’s car this afternoon when Doctor Thornton was here.  We don’t have keys to the house.”


We followed the four guys to the living room and they were all transfixed as they were sitting on the sofa. 


I decided to take charge, “Brandon and Will, take Ryan and Nate and make sure they are ready for bed.  Make sure that they brush their teeth really good to get all of the gunk out of their teeth.”


No one argued with me and Dan and I went and got the things out of the trunk of my car and we started to wrap the things I had gotten for the boys.  It was about thirty minutes later when Brandon and Will came down the steps.  Will was laughing, “Ryan was talking a mile a minute and all of a sudden he stopped in the middle of a sentence and started snoring.  He’s so excited by everything that has been happening.”


Brandon looked at us, “Where do you want us to put the bikes together.  Is there any place in the garage?”


Dan looked at me, “What bikes?  You didn’t tell me you were buying them bikes.”


Will piped up. “Uh oh, World War III is about to start.”


Dan snickered, “No, but Kirk will be paying for a long time.  Why don’t you put the bicycles together in the kitchen so the boys won’t hear what you’re doing and we can finish all these gifts that my extravagant husband bought the boys.  They’ll probably be so overwhelmed that they won’t know what to do.”


We finally had everything wrapped and the guys had the two bicycles together including the training wheels.  We had finished putting the things around the tree when the phone rang.


I answered, “This is Kirk Richter, how may I help you?”


“Kirk, this is Ginger, are Will and Brandon still there?”


“Yes, they just finished putting the boys’ bicycles together.”


“Do you have someplace they could stay for tonight?  The ice storm is causing major damage all over the city.”


I had no idea what was happening outside, “Sure, we have a third bedroom they can sleep in if they don’t mind sleeping in the same bed.”


“They won’t have a problem with that, they have been doing that all their lives.  May I please speak with Will?”


I handed the phone to Will.  “Will, your mother would like to speak with you.”


Will took the phone, “What’s wrong Mom? … You’re kidding. … These two doctors have had us so busy that we hadn’t noticed. … Yes Mom, we’ll stay here even if we have to sleep on the floor. … Okay, I’ll tell Brandon that you’re going to call Uncle Tom and Aunt Edna and tell them he won’t be home tonight. … Okay, Mom. Here’s Dr. Richter.”


“Hello again, Mrs. Belton.”


“Kirk, this would be the perfect time for you and Dan to talk to Will and Brandon.”


I was confused, “Why are we going to talk to Brandon too.  When you were here last night you just mentioned Will.”


“They’ll tell you if you’re willing to listen.  I need to call and tell Brandon’s parents that he won’t be home tonight but that he is safe.”


The two guys were looking at me as I hung up the phone.  I decided to lay it on the line, “Look guys, parents are smarter than you give them credit for being.  Brandon told me yesterday that he was gay and last night Will’s mother told us that she and her husband knew that Will was gay.  After watching the two of you today, it is apparent to me that you are more than cousins.”


Will was almost crying, “Dr. Richter and Doctor Thornton, We apologize for being a burden.  While Brandon and I are cousins, we really aren’t.  My five brothers and I were adopted by Dad and Mom Belton.  Neither Brandon or I wanted to be gay but we fell in love with each other.  We’re tired of pretending that we’re just cousins.  We’re both 21 so we should be able to do what we want.”


Dan looked at the guys, “From what Mrs. Belton said last night, they would not have a problem with you having a relationship.  Believe me, it is better to lay it on the line to your parents now, than trying to hide it.  I know from personal experience that can cause problems later. My experience with my family was strained for years because I was in the closet.  Kirk’s experience was very different.  Kirk, tell them about your life.”


“Brandon and Will, I knew from an early age that I was gay.  I guess I was about 15 when I sat down one night crying and told my parents.  I couldn’t believe my Dad’s response, considering that he was a pastor.”


“He hugged me and said, ‘Son, we don’t care if you’re gay, but keep your dick in your pants until you find the right person.’  You know what, they love Dan more than they do me.  They’re coming to visit on New Year’s and are they going to be surprised to find that they have two new grandsons. Guys, we need to go to bed.  Young boys wait for no one on Christmas morning.”


To be continued...


Editor's Notes: Once again we have ourselves a wonderful chapter. It still isn't Christmas, but It is getting there pretty quickly. 


I bet the boys are going to be really excited when they find out what all they are getting,  Of course, the best present of all is the fact that they now have two loving dads.  Christmas is a very special time of the year.


Now I am going to get on my soapbox. 


There are many wonderful charitable organizations that do things for people every Christmas, and that of course is a wonderful thing, but there is something that we need to remember. 


While it is a very good thing to give to various places during the holiday season, and the people that receive the help appreciate it very much, but there are a lot of people who are in need during the rest of the year as well.  It would be very nice if we took the time and effort to help people during the off season, so to speak.  With the high cost of fuel for heating and for automobiles, a lot of people's budgets are very strained.


Helping doesn't necessarily mean you have to give money. There are always odd jobs to be done. Shoveling snow for someone who can't get out there and shovel it themselves, is one way to help.  In the summer, you might consider the idea of mowing their lawn. Maybe you could volunteer to wash their windows, or maybe weed the garden. 


Consider bringing a casserole, or some other food to someone that needs it. 


Oh, I would like to ask you to do me a favour. Please, if you decide that you are going to help someone across a street, please make sure that they actually want to cross the street; don't just grab them and drag them across.  They might have just been waiting for the bus.


I am ready, and I hope that we will have the next chapter soon. This is a wonderful story.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher 


Posted: 08/28/09