Rating: R for language
Disclaimer: B&S is not mine, written with love, not for money
Summary: Tommy leans a lesson.
Tommy doubts what to do next. It all happened so fast. One minute he was just out with two of his best friends, Chris and Geoff, the next there’s a fight going on.
They had past two younger men in the street. One had brushed against Chris while passing and Chris had turned around.
“Look where you’re going, stupid faggot!” He yells.
“Disgusting pigs. Fucking each other in the ass. Sick!!!” Geoff adds. One of the young men turns around.
“Why don’t you simple leave us alone, Geoff?” The young man asks. Obviously he and Geoff know each other. Tommy bites his lip. It’s none of his business and he steps back. He doesn’t mind defending himself, but starting a fight, for no reason at all, is not this thing.
“Come on, Colin. It’s not worth it.” The other young man tries to pull the man Colin away from Geoff.
“Yes, Colin, listen to your little girl-friend.”
“Why don’t you just shut up?” Colin suggests. Geoff bridges the gap between them in two steps.
“Why don’t I just break your face?” Chris aggressively enters Colin’s personal space.
Colin tries to back away, but his friend is behind him. Geoff, seeing Colin has nowhere to go, throws the first punch. His fist hits Colin in the stomach and Colin doubles over. Then everything happened so fast. The other young man runs off. Colin falls to the ground from the next punch, which hits him in the face.
Almost immediately Geoff kicks him in the ribs and Chris sinks down, placing his knee against Colin’s head to hold him down while Geoff’s foot hits Colin wherever he can. Tommy is frozen to the ground. He has no idea what to do. It isn’t until he sees blood on the stones that he snaps out of his state of shock.
He hears police-sirens and he realizes that someone may have called the police.
“Stop it!” He yells, more concerned about for an arrest by the police and what his dad will think of it, than out of fear for Colin’s life. He pulls Geoff away and Chris also runs off. Tommy goes yet into another direction than his friends, so that they are split up in all directions.
Still shaking Tommy goes to his car, and with the images of what had happened, on his mind, he drives home. He tells himself that he had not participated in the beating. He hadn’t done anything to anyone. He hadn’t hurt the young man. Never touched him. His hands are clean. And he repeats the last words, in his mind, until he can believe them.
William passes the coffee to Nora when Kevin enters the kitchen. Tommy looks up.
“Honey, are you alright?” Nora asks, when she sees how pale Kevin is.
“I just had a call from a friend of mine, JJ. His boyfriend Colin was beaten up last night.. He’s in the hospital with broken ribs and a concussion. It all happened pretty fast. A guy hurled some insult at them and things went from bad to worse and one of them hit Collin and the other one joined in.
The third coward just stood there and watched while Colin got beaten up. I hope the police catches these morons, slam attempted murder on them , put them in prison and throw away the key!”
Kevin vents his anger, unaware that one of the ‘morons’ is actually his own brother. Tommy stares at his dish as Kevin’s anger hits him. He’s again feeling that same numbness that he had felt the night before. He can’t feel as if he’s to blame and yet he feels guilty.
“Well, only two of them are morons. The third one hasn’t done anything wrong.” Tommy tries.
“He’s just as bad.” William answers. “He stood by and did nothing to stop his friends from putting a man in the hospital. That man is just as responsible for the victim’s injuries as the idiots who did the beating and hitting.
Two against one is unfair, regardless of who’s getting beaten up. The fact that the third one did nothing to stop them, makes him just as despicable. What if this had happened to Kevin?” William’s words silences Kevin, who had not expected his father to agree with him.
Tommy is equally shocked. He had somehow expected his father to see it the same way he had. To hear William inadvertently call him a coward hurts his feelings somehow.
“It could have been me.” Kevin sighs. “I was supposed to go with them last night, but I was too tired… What if had been me??” Tommy grows cold at the thought. What if had been Kevin instead of Colin? What if had been Kevin lying on that pavement, bleeding, with broken ribs and a concussion? Kevin in the hospital? The thought that it could have been his own brother, makes Tommy sick to his stomach.
Tommy enters the police-station. His testimony is written down and the officer checks the addresses of Chris and Geoff.
“So why did you come clean? The victim hadn’t given us any information.” The officer asks.
“Last night, I thought that if I because I hadn’t done anything, I’d be alright. But today,… I realized that,… my brother is gay and if it had been my brother…, then I would have hunted down the one who had done nothing, just as much as those who had done the beating up, because I’d see him as being just as responsible as the others…” Tommy explains.