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neverland.
Terry didn't want to do what he did. At least that's what he was sure he'd tell the cops one day when the dust settled and he and his dad stopped running. But for now they were on the road, headed to Los Angeles where Terry's dad said he knew some people, people who would accept them and their difficulties.

The thing is, Terry found himself mad at me and at Alex and at everyone laughing at him, and when he got mad things always got fuzzy in his head. Fuzzy and hot. It was hard to think when his head got so hot, sometimes hard to see.

On the way to Gill's, not that he was ever actually headed for Gill's in the first place, with each step--each smashed flower pot and kicked car fender--Terry got madder and madder until his face was beet red and his ears rang. Before he knew what he was doing he was standing behind a gas grill pushing hard against its rusted wheels, driving it into Gill and Ms. Harriet's bedroom door. He'd picked up the hammer in our garage and had it looped in his pants, the handle banged his shins as he stepped over the threshold. He took the hammer in his hands and popped a hole in the sheetrock wall making a perfectly round hole, just to hit something.

Inside the house, he found three of Ms. Harriet's stocking sets hanging to dry on the shower curtain rod. He took all three, stuffing them in his pants. Out in the living room Terry heard the TV and stepped cautiously around the recliner where Gill was fast asleep. It surprised Terry that Gill was still asleep after he broke through the sliding glass window. He saw an empty bottle of wine on the floor toppled over and another half empty open on the side table. A lone glass nested in Gill's crotch, a red disk of wine finding level near his navel. A red stain the shape of a pear trailed down the strap tee-shirt on Gill's belly all the way down to his shorts, near the lip of the glass.

Terry moved around Gill, pissed off at how the accidental truth slapped him in the face at school early that day. Alex had no way of knowing just how on-the-mark his comment about Terry's father had been. He couldn't have known the kisses his long lost father planted on him at night in his room or the other places he kissed Terry, made Terry kiss him. No one knew, not even his momma. Terry knew it was wrong, the touching and the kissing. He could never tell any of his friends about it. Especially how, even knowing it was wrong--so wrong--it felt good to him. His father said he was 'loving him' and that he was 'beautiful'. It was so, so good and it was horribly bad at the same time.

Gill kissed Terry that way once as a joke, to put the boy in his place, kissed him the way a man kisses a woman. Gill kissed him first. It was just a joke, Terry thought. A joke that made people laugh at him.

After the hammer in his hand had already sunk into Gill's head a half dozen times, long after Gill stopped twitching, Terry thought, "now that's funny."



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