Written by: (Phoenix2020)
“Are we there yet?” Griffin hollered exactly six and a half minutes after Nicholas pulled out of the RV park.
“Don’t make me pull over, young man!”
“Ooooo … whatcha gonna do? Spank me?”
“Well, maybe later … but not in front of the children,” Nicholas winked. “Seriously, though … we should be in Rehoboth Beach by 7. I’m thinking we grab a couple of pizzas and stay in after we register and get the RV hooked up. The weather forecast says storms are supposed to roll through this evening and we don’t want to be caught somewhere and have to walk back in the rain.”
“Sounds like a game night. I hope it clears out by tomorrow … I have to get you on a surfboard in the actual Atlantic Ocean!” Griffin said, emphatically. “How long are we staying there?”
“I reserved the spot for two nights so we can head for Philadelphia on the 3rd to meet up with Casey and Jamie’s aunt,” Nicholas replied. “We can stay there a couple of nights so we can celebrate the 4th of July in the birthplace of the United States.”
Nicholas was beginning to believe that Spotify was telepathic as Bruce Springsteen began to growl …
“Born down in a dead man’s town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
End up like a dog that’s been beat too much
’Til you spend half your life just covering up
Born in the U.S.A
I was born in the U.S.A
I was born in the U.S.A
Born in the U.S.A … ”
The timing was perfect, as the pizza delivery arrived just as they finished hooking up the RV. Everyone washed up and settled in the living room to eat, with Jamie and Griffin occupying the sofa while Casey settled in the recliner and Nicholas sprawled out on the floor in the beanbag. Occasional flashes of lightning and thunder rumbling in the distance punctuated the conversation.
“So, any great ideas for how we should entertain ourselves tonight?” Casey asked.
“TV or games, maybe?” Nicholas suggested. “OH … I know! Pin the tail on Griffin!”
“Or …” Griffin had that glint in his eye that everyone was quite familiar with. “What about … ‘Strip Truth or Dare’?”
“I am NOT stripping in front of you boys!” Jamie exclaimed.
“Oh, fiddle dee dee,” Casey replied in her best Scarlett O’Hara voice. She was a bit too infatuated with the ‘Gone With the Wind’ novel she’d borrowed from Nicholas. “They are not the least interested in anything you may have to put on display.”
“Besides, you can choose ‘truth’ or ‘dare’, instead,” Griffin added.
“Well, okay. If Casey’s on board, I’ll go along,” Jamie conceded.
They played ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ and Nicholas won. He called Casey, who responded, “Dare.”
″ I dare you to …” Nicholas thought a few seconds. “I dare you to …”
With the lightning strike, the RV was plunged into utter darkness with Griffin squealing like a seven-year-old girl. “Everyone stay where you are,” Nicholas said. “I’ll get the flashlights.” He stumbled his way toward the front where the flashlights were kept in the emergency kit. Returning to the living room, he handed one to Casey. “I’ll hook up the generator if the power doesn’t come back soon.”
As everyone settled back down to continue the game, they heard a shout. Several more shouts followed, and soon the sound of many frantic voices motivated all four to run for the door and outside. A steady rain had begun, but they were oblivious to it as they saw people running south towards the road. A glance in that direction immediately let them know why all the commotion had commenced. They saw smoke streaming from the roof of a building, victimized by the earlier lightning strike. They joined everyone else pouring out of parked RVs up and down the campground and ran to see if they could be of assistance.
By the time they reached the road, sirens could be heard approaching. In such a small town, the fire department must be close by. The building, now engulfed in flames, appeared to be a large and, apparently, rather old beach house based on how quickly the fire seemed to be spreading through it. No one in the growing crowd acted terribly distraught, so it was probably currently unoccupied or, at least, whoever was staying there was not at home. Everyone retreated to the RV park side of the road to allow the trucks to approach as the rain began to pour more heavily, aiding the firefighters in their efforts.
As the blaze was brought under control, Nicholas, Griffin, Casey, and Jamie headed back home to change out of their uncomfortably wet clothing. As they reached the RV, the power returned, and the entire campground lit up instantly. If any one of them had been looking behind them at that moment, they would surely have noticed the man that dove behind a row of trash barrels along the dirt road and in front of the RV parked across from theirs.
After stripping off their soaked clothes, drying off, and redressing, everyone plopped back down in the living room to finish off their now cold pizza. Nicholas reheated his in the microwave, but everyone else was content with the room temperature food. No one, except Griffin, was in the mood for Strip Truth or Dare, anymore, so they began to browse Netflix for a good thunderstorm movie and settled on the classic, ‘Poltergeist’. Casey was more interested in ‘Gone With the Wind’, however. Jamie chose to stretch out on the floor with the bean bag, which allowed Nicholas and Griffin to cozy up on the sofa to get their cuddle on.
Griffin, with his head in Nicholas’ lap, gazed up into his boyfriend’s blue eyes and smiled. Nicholas looked down and grinned back. “What?”
“How did we get here?” Griffin asked. “I don’t mean Rehoboth. I mean you and me, here … with my head in your lap and head over heels in love with you.”
“I know what you mean,” Nicholas responded. “I’ve been thinking the same thing the past couple of weeks. We’ve been best friends forever and even enjoyed learning about sex with each other, but it kind of feels like we’ve just met.”
“Yeah, it’s like we became different people, in a way, when we left home. Like we went from kids to adults, and our feelings changed from a kid friendship to an adult relationship, and now we’re getting to know each other all over again.”
“So … how long have you known each other?” Jamie asked, then sheepishly apologized. “Sorry, I couldn’t help overhearing. I mean you’re right there.”
“It’s okay, Jamie. We’ve been friends since Kindergarten,” Nicholas answered. “By middle school, we both realized we were gay, so we’ve been pretty tight since then.”
“Yeah, we kind of figured it out together and .. well … tried different stuff,” Griffin attempted to explain. “We didn’t know any other gay guys our age and were too afraid to ask anyone. We trusted each other, so it was a great way to learn!”
“Oh, yeah! More fun than algebra, for sure!” laughed Nicholas. “My mom couldn’t figure out why we suddenly started spending so much time in the treehouse my dad built for me when I was eight. We usually told her we were studying, just not WHAT we were studying!”
“The fact that the house wi-fi signal reached to the treehouse definitely aided the educational process, too,” Griffin winked and chuckled.
“Okay, okay! I get the picture!” Jamie waved her hands around her head in a feeble attempt to stop the images attacking her mind. “So, you were just friends, though … not boyfriends?”
“Yeah, uh … I guess I kinda started having those ‘feelings’ for Nicholas when we were about 13 or 14, but I didn’t really know,” Griffin admitted a bit awkwardly. “I mean didn’t know what ‘falling in love’ was all about, anyway. I just knew that I wanted to be with him all the time, but I was afraid he’d get sick of me, and I’d lose my best friend. So, I just kept it to myself.”
“I would never get sick of you! I can’t imagine my life without you in it every single day. I really wish you’d said something then, but it all worked out. Obviously, we were meant to be together, and now we are. I love you so much, Peaches … don’t you ever doubt that for a second!”
“I love you more, Boo,” Griffin whispered as he went in for a kiss to emphasize the sentiment.
“OH! Get a room, you two!” Jamie teased.
“Well, you started it, if I recall correctly,” Griffin fired back, “but that’s a great idea! Let’s go, Boo!”
“By the way, Casey and Jamie, be sure to let your aunt know that we will be in Philadelphia the day after tomorrow,” Nicholas said as Griffin was practically dragging him to their bedroom in the rear of the RV. “It would be easiest if she could meet us at the RV park. I’ll give you the address in the morning.”
“Say goodnight, Nicholas,” Griffin urged.
“Goodnight, Nicholas!” he shouted back as Griffin threw him on the bed and kicked the door closed behind him.