Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Liberty #1: Nakedboy

It was the last day Dennis Holcomb and Jerad Wiseman ran around like idiots pretending to be superheroes. Or anything, as a matter of fact. Jerad was Maximum, a Hulk-like human who just smashed his way through everything. Dennis thought that Maximum was a poorly thought-out character. Dennis made sure his superhero had an origin of substance despite the stupid name. Not that it would matter after today.

Dennis and Jerad ran around the yard of the apartment complex, occasionally stopping to punch the air or launch themselves to the ground, feigning being attacked. Jerad was in his normal clothes as was Dennis but Dennis also had a red cape that his grandmother had made him six years ago when he was nine.

“Let’s go see Beth,” Jerad suddenly said.

“Why?” Dennis asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe we can save her,” Jerad said as he bounded off toward the door Beth Goodwin’s apartment was in.

Dennis reluctantly followed Jerad up the stairs. Jerad knocked on the door and Beth answered. Beth was a stocky girl with curly, dirty blonde hair currently done up in a disheveled bun. She was a junior in high school and two years older than both Dennis and Jerad. She eyed Dennis’ cape and smiled discreetly. “What are you two doing?”

“We’re superheroes,” Jerad announced.

She kept looking at Dennis’ cape. “And what are your names?”

“I’m Maximum,” Jerad said.

They both looked at Dennis. He looked down, “I don’t want to tell her my name.”

“Come on, Dennis, what is it?” Beth asked.

He said something but neither Beth or Jerad heard him.

“Say it louder, Dennis,” Jerad said.

“Nakedboy,” he said quietly.

Beth laughed. “And what are your powers, Nakedboy?”

“I can fly, super strong, you know, just normal powers,” he was still embarrassed but the look on Beth’s face eased the awkwardness. “We should probably get back to saving the world.”

Dennis and Jerad started walking down the stairs. Jerad went out the door but Dennis moved slower. “Hey, Nakedboy,” Beth called to him. “You should come over after dinner, I’ll be a damsel in distress or something.”

Dennis was confused. “Okay. I’ll see if I can.” He started to open the door.

“And bring the cape.”

It was now thirteen years, six months, ten days and 20 hours since Beth took his virginity while he was wearing that cape and in that time he had added eight other women to his resume and was currently ending things with the ninth. He wasn’t concerned and happily walked from his now-ex’s apartment to a nearby store to grab a soda and a coffee drink.

“Dennis?” he heard someone call him from an aisle he was passing. He stopped and looked.

He saw Beth in the aisle, holding a basket with groceries in it. He smiled and said her name, quickly walking over to her. Instinctively, they kissed and hugged each other. Dennis and Beth had kept their relationship going off and on since high school. She left for college and they’d still get together when she came back home. Halfway through her junior year of college, Beth got pregnant by a boyfriend and dropped out. She continued living in the other town and rarely came home so she and Dennis saw each other a lot less but Dennis, whenever they would get together, would be a good surrogate father for her son, Jacob, and a loving partner for Beth.

“What are you doing?” Dennis asked. It had been almost two years since they had last seen each other.

“I started a new job here which gave me the opportunity to move back,” Beth explained.

“Well, that’s great. I’ve missed you. And Jacob. How’s he doing?”

“He’s good. He was excited to move. Especially when I said that you lived here.”

“I’m sorry I haven’t seen much of him,” Dennis said. “Or you.”

“Do you want to have dinner with us?” Beth asked.

“Absolutely,” he replied.

When Dennis arrived, Jacob got up from the dinner table and ran up to hug him. “Hey, Jacob,” Dennis bent down and stopped Jacob with a hug. “It’s been awhile. How are you doing?”

“I’m good, Uncle Dennis,” Jacob answered. “Mom said you were coming.”

“What’s for dinner?”

“Spaghetti bake,” Beth said, coming out of the kitchen. “He just finished up and he said he’ll give us some time to have dinner together. I’ll get you a bowl.”

“You didn’t have to wait for me,” Dennis said.

“I wanted to. Jacob, rinse out your bowl and play in your room until we’re done.”

Since their first time, Beth had filled out more. Her body clearly broadcasting the evidence of both age and her one child. Her hair was always disheveled when Dennis saw her but was always attracted to her. After Jacob left the kitchen, Dennis wrapped his arms around her and kissed her neck and shoulders.

“Another one bite the dust?” she asked after first gasping at the kiss on her neck. She scooped some spaghetti bake into a bowl.


“You know what I mean. You dump a girlfriend after you ran into me?”

“No. We actually broke up before I ran into you,” Dennis held his head high. “Her name was Melissa only it was Meli┼┐sa with an ‘f’,” Dennis said, taking the bowl.

“An ‘f’?”

“It’s some sort of Old English or Roman thing. I never really paid attention. Her parents thought they were being clever,” Dennis sat down at the table and Beth followed.

“Why’d you break up?” she asked.

“I wanted to be more adventurous in bed. I thought she’d be into it because she liked sex, taking control in bed and all that but, oh well,” he shrugged and started eating. “How have you been doing?”

“I’ve missed you. It’s been so long. Part of why I took my new job was in hopes that we would be reunited. Well, that and it pays quite a bit more.”

“Cool. What are you doing?”

“Denying medical claims. It’s a very upbeat job.”

“I’m going to assume that it’s one of those jobs that someone has to do.”

“Very much so,” Beth laughed. “With an ‘f’?”

“I’ll get on my phone and explain it later.”

“Uncle Dennis, will you watch this with me?” Jacob ran out of his bedroom and held up an animated movie DVD. “Can you stay the night?”

“It’s up to your mom,” Dennis looked at Beth.

“Of course you can stay, Dennis,” Beth smiled.

Jacob cheered and ran back into his bedroom.

Jacob woke up thirsty. It was dark in the house except for the nightlights in his room and the hallway. There was also a light coming from under the door to his mom’s room. He got a drink in the kitchen then walked back to his room. He heard Dennis and his mom moaning in her bedroom. He’d heard it numerous times before but this time it was different. He decided to take a chance and opened the door. He slowly turned the knob and pushed it open. A small lamp on the dresser was on so he could see what was going on.

Dennis was laying on the bed, on his back, with his legs up on his mom’s shoulders. She was wearing something around her waist and she was moving her hips between his legs. It was both familiar and new to Jacob. He closed the door quietly and went back to bed.

The next morning, Jacob was at the table eating a bowl of cereal while Beth and Dennis made toast for themselves.

“How are babies made?” Jacob asked.

“We’ve talked about this before, Jacob. The man puts himself in the woman and, if they are lucky, they make a baby,” Beth explained.

“Can a man have a baby? Can the woman put herself inside the man?”

Beth chuckled. “No, sweetie, it doesn’t work that way,” she handed a plate of toast to Dennis.

“Then what were you and Uncle Dennis doing last night?”

Dennis and Beth looked at each other, both started to turn red and smiled. “We were expressing our love in a different way. There are many ways that people express how they love each other. But you know you aren’t supposed to come into Mommy’s bedroom without knocking,” Beth said. “Now finish up and get your things for school.”

“Okay,” he finished his cereal, rinsed out the bowl and ran to get his backpack from his bedroom.

“That was funny,” Dennis chuckled.

Beth covered her eyes with her hand. “Of all the nights for my kid to walk in on me having sex.”

“Well, I’m sure he’s scarred for life and you’re a terrible mother,” Dennis said and wrapped his arms around Beth.

“Thanks, Dennis,” Beth laughed. “Will you be staying tonight as well?”

“If you want me to.”

“Of course I do. I think we need to talk.”

“Okay. I’ll probably be home—here—about five.”

“I’ll make something special for dinner,” she leaned up and kissed Dennis. “I have to head out. Where is that kid?”

When Dennis arrived at Beth’s that evening, the enchiladas were just getting put into the oven. In the meantime, Dennis ran around with Jacob outside while Beth watched from the patio. After dinner, they played a board game and, later, Jacob took a bath.

At bedtime, Dennis read Jacob a story and he and Beth stayed up a bit longer to watch TV before going to bed themselves to make love. They laid in bed together, Beth hugging Dennis and resting her head on his chest. She sighed contentedly. “Did you want to talk?” he asked.

“Hmm? No, it can wait. Although I was wondering if you’d be okay with, if it’s not too weird, staying for the rest of the month.”

“Staying? Here? So it would be like I’m living here?” Dennis asked.

“Yeah,” said Beth, nervously.

“Sure. It’ll be fun,” he kissed Beth’s forehead. “Tomorrow after work I’ll grab some clothes from my apartment and pick up dinner as well.”

“Great,” Beth smiled and hugged Dennis tighter.

The three weeks left in the month went by quickly as Dennis immersed himself with having a family. Evenings were filled with fun, laughter and screams with the occasional accident, tears or tantrum. Nights were filled with stories and silence and, on most nights, love-making between Dennis and Beth.

A couple days before the first of the month, Dennis returned home and saw that his landlord had been attempting to contact him to sign a new lease for the next year. He began thinking about the last month and the time he’s spent with Beth and Jacob. He went into his closet and pulled down a box. He dug through it, looking at the stuff he kept that reminded him of Beth.

When he went to Beth’s that evening, he took the box with him. “I come bearing gifts,” he said. “Well, not gifts exactly but Jacob can have this,” he handed his red cape to Jacob.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“It’s a cape that my Grandma made me when I was about your age. I had some good adventures in that cape and I hope you will too.”

“I’m not wearing this in public,” he said but took it into his bedroom.

“Ah, kids,” Dennis said. He sat the box on the kitchen table.

“Why did you give Jacob your cape?” Beth asked. “I thought you wanted to give it to your son.”

“Eh, he’s kind of like my son. Look at this,” he pulled out a picture of him and Beth dressed in a tuxedo and a blue dress. “Our prom picture.”

“Oh my God. I haven’t seen this in years,” she took it and smiled.

“So I have a decision to make,” Dennis sat down next to Beth.


“My lease is up in a couple days and I need to decide if I am going to stay or find a new place to live. I’m leaning toward finding a new place but I wanted to get your opinion.”

“Okay,” Beth welcomed.

“Should I move in with my girlfriend?”

Beth sighed. “I’m just going to say it. I love you, Dennis. I’ve loved you ever since you were a stupid teenager running around in that silly red cape. I’ve lost boyfriends, good boyfriends, because I love you. This has been one of the best months of my life and I would love it if you would move in with Jacob and me,” Beth was crying now.

Dennis leaned over and hugged Beth. “I love you too. I’ve realized over the last month that I want to spend the rest of my life with you and Jacob.”

Beth, still crying, laughed. “And Jacob’s brother or sister.”


“I’m pregnant,” she laughed again. “I took a test before you got here.”

Dennis smiled at Beth then began kissing her. “Come on, let’s go to the bedroom and celebrate this new chapter and then tell Jacob,” Dennis stood up and pulled Beth with him.

“Do you think Jacob will let us borrow the cape for few minutes?” Beth asked.

“I’ll borrow it from him after he goes to bed.” They went into the bedroom, keeping their love-making as quiet as possible as Jacob played in his bedroom.