THEN I SAW HIM!
All the usual disclaimers apply.
This story contains descriptions 'of consensual sex between underage boys and an adult male.
Should you find such material offensive or if it is illegal for you to view such in your country of residence, please leave now.
Neither the author nor the publisher accept liability for your continuation here.
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Checkout time at the hotel was eleven o'clock so we packed, settled the bill and walked to my car.
The breeze had picked up from the east making it decidedly cooler than the day before so we decided to skip the beach and do a little sight-seeing instead.
Given the time of year, many of the places we wanted to visit had closed for the season so we were back in town by early afternoon and having had nothing to eat except for our respective `breakfasts', we sought out a decent looking restaurant for lunch.
Once seated, Adam touched my hand.
"I'm bloody famished! A growing boy can't live off the high protein diet you serve up for ever!"
"So much fun trying though but you're right, I could eat a horse!"
"I hope I heard you correctly there?"
"Eat a horse not `eat out a horse'!"
Almost choking on my wine, I punched him playfully on the arm.
"I'm weird but not that weird! I specialise in eating out little boys, - not horses!"
"That's a relief! – Hey look out! My head and his wife are coming in! We better behave ourselves!"
We were spotted however.
"Good afternoon Chambers."
"Good afternoon sir, - Mrs Morton?"
Mr Morton looked at me,
"You must be Mr Cooper! It's nice to put a face to the name. Professor Chambers speaks very highly of you. – Something of a hero I understand!"
I stood up and shook their hands.
"No hero I promise you! Just doing what anyone else would have done.
We, - er, haven't ordered yet, - would you care to join us?"
"Well we hadn't booked a table, - merely dropped in on the off-chance. It is a touch busy so, yes! We'd love to so long as we're not interrupting anything?"
"No you're welcome. We were just discussing half term arrangements as it happens.
With the situation in Tewkesbury, - Adam will live at my house for the duration and we were chatting about another issue actually but that can wait. – Lots to sort out first!"
"I've read some of the work you've published.
Not exactly what could be termed as `mainstream' is it?
Some very heavy intellectual pieces and some rather `alternative' shall we say."
"I go with what is sent to me. I `brush it up' for publication, - making it an easier read.
Sometimes I don't even understand the subject matter but I can `in-fill' to make it or giving it some presence.
Yep! Some of it is but we all have to earn a crust and if that's what given to me, - that's what I work with."
"Do you find yourself in agreement with some of the copy you receive?"
"The `alternative' copy?"
"Sometimes. Not always.
Some of it is sick but so long as it isn't illegal to publish it, - then I have to either refuse it or otherwise but that said, - most is very good work and there are areas where this can get a voice and in my opinion, - let it be."
"Have you read any of young Adams' poetry?"
"He never mentioned that he wrote!"
"Try him out! I can't give him the accolade he deserves but it is very good!"
Fortunately Adam and Mrs Morton were deep in conversation so ours were not overheard.
"Really? Oh that'd be interesting.
What sort of issues does he deal with?"
"Until recently, the work was dark and brooding. Excellent in it's way but slightly disturbing.
Lately it's become different. – Almost as if the clouds are parting and he's found something he's been searching for.
May I ask you a very personal question?"
"Please ask away."
"What is you're true relationship with Adam?"
"How did I know this was coming!
If you want the truth, then I'll tell you. No come-back on him please."
"My word on it."
"Ok. I love him."
" I though as much. You do realise the illegality of your position?"
"Yes I do. Have you talked to his parents?"
"No. Should I given the circumstances?"
"Talk with them please. They know everything and I think you'll find they're happy enough.
Don't pre-judge me please. I'm very aware of the possible consequences of my actions and I'm terrified of them but I love him and he loves me.
What am I to do?
Have you got an answer?!"
"If I had answers to every such question, I wouldn't be a teacher in a private school or perhaps I'd be a better one as a result.
I suppose like you, - I have to work with what I'm given. I can only say that given what I've seen, Adam Chambers is happier and more contented with his life than I've ever seen him.
Were you serious about me talking to his parents?"
"Yes I'm serious. If you feel you need to then I believe you should.
You see, I've nothing to hide. I realise that in most circumstances I'd be in serious trouble but I've never sought to hide my feelings, - working on the premise that, - and this is rich coming from an agnostic, - if it's Gods' will then I have little choice than to go with it. Conversely, if I'm acting against his will, - I'll be punished with the full force of the law and then beyond the grave."
"So you're really prepared to sacrifice yourself for him should that circumstance ever arise."
"I believe you.
We'll talk no more about it but I might just give his folk a call just to satisfy myself if that's ok with you."
I handed him my mobile.
"Let me get some drinks. Call them now because I'm positive of their response and I wouldn't like to spoil the afternoon with your doubts about me and my motives.
What would you and Mrs Morton like?"
"Ok. You've thrown down the gauntlet and I accept.
We are red wine drinkers as I see are you.
Are you here over night?"
"I think I might be now if we're going to talk more!"
"I'll make that call and we can relax I hope."
I went to the bar and ordered a couple of bottles of decent wine and had them sent to the table but waited until I could see that Morton had finished the call before rejoining them.
Adam and Mrs Morton were still chatting, - presumably oblivious of the conversation that we'd had earlier.
"Well! Quite a revelation!
I'm told to call you John!
They hold you in very high regard and approve of your relationship with their son."
"I told you I wasn't a fraud and my intentions were, if not totally within the bounds of what's considered as natural, I..."
"You have told me the truth and that's all I needed to hear.
I understand that William Wright spent yesterday with you two.
How was he?"
"Billy? Mischievous but fun.
Quite a handful actually. I get the impression that he's not settling in too well. Am I right?"
"Unfortunately. - He's few friends and the person he seems most attached to is Adam who is four years his senior and that gives me some cause for concern."
"Mr Morton. Can I suggest we continue this conversation another time. Later, - perhaps back at school?
I can give you some pointers but I'm not suggesting for one moment that I'm trying to be a step ahead of you. It's just I know things that you would never get to know and I might be able to help."
"He has requested a pass-out to come and stay with you over the half term break. Is that so?"
"Yes and I've sanctioned it providing the school and his parents are in agreement."
"But I'm not so sure given your `relationship' with Adam. It might be detrimental to him should he find out."
"He already knows Mr Morton.
Your kids are not stupid. I know more about what goes on after `lights-out' than you'll ever know.
Now that's not to mean that you're not a highly professional teacher but just sometimes it takes an outsider to see what you cannot.
Some times you can just be too `hands-on' and too close to see things in perspective."
"Ok. Let's have a good meal and we can discuss this later.
Sometimes we cannot see what is right under our noses or perhaps we choose not to see. The perspective from outside could be useful.
I apologise if I was somewhat abrupt."
"You have the kids, - all of them, - to think about and protect.
I would be the first to criticise if you hadn't talked to me about this.
Shall we eat?"
"And drink Mr Cooper.
A very interesting conversation.
Are you sure you can stay and continue it later?"
"I can't see the hotel being full on a Sunday night so, sure. Why not?"
"Excellent and if you're interested I have a little of what Adam has written. It took a while to understand what he was trying to say because at first glance it didn't seem to make any sense but I will explain later."
Back at school, both Adam and I were close to tears as we said goodbye.
"It's only two weeks and it'll be half term and we will be together for a whole ten days!"
"I know but it's going to be the longest ten days of my life John."
"You've got Billy. He'll help you through it and talking of which, I've got to see Mr Morton to make sure Billy can come as well."
"Ok. I'll show you where his study is. Do you think it'll be ok?"
"We can only try."
We trudged up the stairs and Adam pointed out the door.
"That's the one. Look I'll leave you to it if I may. I've seen enough of him for one day!"
I kissed him gently and he was gone.
Once inside Mortons' office, he poured me a large brandy and offered me a chair.
"I've been thinking about your request regarding William.
I see no good reason why he shouldn't be allowed to travel back to Worcestershire with you for the holiday.
You see I know a lot more than you think regarding both he and Adam and for that matter lots of other boys.
For instance I know about the nocturnal goings on and it has been a policy decision to turn a blind eye, - that is unless a boy is under duress.
That decision came about as a direct result of circumstances involving Adam.
He came to this school just after his eleventh birthday. Most kids are a bit homesick to begin with but Adam slotted straight in to school life from the outset. He is a highly intelligent boy, - he worked hard , - he was very popular, - all in all, a model pupil but just after his thirteenth birthday when he returned after the summer recess, he changed.
He became very introvert, abusive to the teaching staff, his work went down hill sharply and was given to the most profound emotional outbursts. I mean inconsolable floods of tears which would go on for hours.
It had come to the point that, - because of all the disruption he was causing, I was seriously contemplating having him removed from school, so serious had the situation become."
He swallowed a very large mouthful of brandy before continuing.
"Enter young William.
He had joined the school that same Autumn term and was having a terrible time settling in.
It was his first time away from his family, he had up until that point, been living in Africa and his parents were still out there and the only time he could get to see them was over the summer recess so basically he was `school bound' for ten months of the year.
It's my firm belief that he saw in Adam, a kindred spirit, - you know lost and alone and being the beautiful natured kid that he is, sort of took Adam under his wing and by Jove, it worked, - well at least partially. His abusive behaviour became less of an issue and his work improved but at night time he would still have those quite heartbreaking fits of tears to the point where we had to move him into a room of his own to save upsetting the other boys.
William would sneak out of his dorm on these occasions and go to Adams room, climb into bed with him and console him.
You must understand that this was strictly against the rules and that left me with a predicament.
By rights I should have expelled the pair of them or at the very least, suspended them but for some strange reason, I didn't and I don't know to this day know what made me take that position. More over, I chose to completely ignore it!
Adam was still messed up and so I called his father who, as you know is a psychiatrist. I gave Adam a weekend pass so he and his parents could spend some time together and hopefully sort things out."
"Damn I need more brandy because this next bit reflects badly on me!"
With our glasses recharged, Morton continued.
"Puberty does strange things to some boys. In Adams case, he came to the stark realisation that he was gay and it frightened the shit out of him. Please forgive my language but that about sums it up perfectly.
Who could he possibly tell? Who could he talk to? He was convinced that he was turning into some kind of monster. The thought of telling his parents or as they say, `coming out' just wasn't an option to him and with nowhere to turn, he was just sliding deeper and deeper into depression, and me, to my never ending shame was considering removing him from school thus piling misery on to misery.
Professor Chambers must be very good at his job because on his return to school on the Sunday afternoon, Adam was a changed boy. His father had coaxed the reasons for his mental state out of him and had basically given his blessing to Adam no matter how he turned out saying that it was for Adam to reconcile himself as to his sexuality and to remember that no matter what, both he and his mother would still love him regardless.
It was something of a double-whammy for the school actually because Adam pretty much instantly returned to the nice young man we knew before and the transformation in William was almost as quick.
No matter if something inappropriate had been going on between them, I resolved to change the rules about leaving the dorms at night and well, - you know!"
I took a swig of my drink.
"Just for the record Mr Morton. The only thing that went on between those two was to comfort and console each other. There was no inappropriate behaviour. Adam told me as much and I believe him."
"Well it really doesn't matter whether it did or it didn't as it turns out.
I vowed that I never make such an unbelievably dangerous error of judgement ever again. Hence our rather `liberal' policy and that brings me nicely to Adams poetry.
I want to read you something we found in his desk when we were doing a spot of reorganisation during the half term following that incident. Oh we weren't spying on him or anything like that! The desks should have been cleared before the holidays but this slipped through the net somehow."
`In a dream
It would seem,
I went to those who closed the open door
and turning the key
I sat and talked to those
inside of me.
They answered my questions
and they pointed me into
where the moon and stars
and the world was just a
spectrum of light.
They reached to my centre of reason
and pulled on the touchstone
The flash of the light
sent me reeling
and I fell into the
depths of despair'
"Then if I turn over, there's more on the other side. It's written with a different pen so presumably later"
`Turning the key,
I sat and talked to those
inside of me.
They answered my questions
and they sent me to stand
on the brink
where the sun and the moon
were brothers and all that was left
was to think.
They answered my questions
and they pointed me into the light,
the powers that bore me had left me alone
to figure out which way
To say you could have heard a pin drop in the room was an understatement!
Tears were streaming down Mr Morton's face as he reached for the brandy and filled both our glasses almost to the point of overflowing.
A large mouthful and he regained his composure.
"I'm sorry John but you're the only person I've shown it to and now I know what it means, every time I read it, it gets to me and teaches me a hard lesson that I will take to my grave!
It took me a while to understand what he was saying even though there were so many clues staring me in the face. Do you understand what that poor kid was getting at?"
"I think I do.
The first part is to do with his anguish.
`Spoke to those inside of me' I take to be his conscience.
`They reached to my centre of reason and pulled on the touchstone that's there'. It's like that awful gut-wrenching feeling you get when you know you're in deep shit and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.
`Pointing him into the night'. Perhaps his way of saying he can't see a way forward.
`The flash of the light sent him reeling', the realisation that he was indeed gay and the `fell into the depths of despair' is an obvious reference to his deep depression.
The second part I have to assume was written after he'd talked with his Dad
`Sent me to stand on the brink'. A reference to fall over the edge or stay sane and work it out which ties in with the reference to `all that was left was to think'.
`Pointing me into the light' this time, indicating that there is perhaps a way forward
`The powers that bore me', - his Mum and Dad who told him to reconcile himself as to his sexuality which again ties up with the ` figure out which way is right'.
What do you think?
"You're very astute John. Shit! It took me months to work it out!
You haven't seen the paper it's written on yet.
The first part, his handwriting whilst definitely Adams, is shaky and the paper has water marks on it and I believe he was crying when he wrote it.
The second part, his handwriting is neat and controlled and there's no sign of tear marks. – Look."
Now it was my turn to get emotional and steady down with brandy.
"Do you think it would be possible to see him?"
"You can take him out of school for the night if you like. It's not normal practice but these are far from normal circumstances. Please just be sure he's back for nine tomorrow morning could you? One other thing? Could you tell him how desperately sorry I am?"
"That's really kind of you. Thanks.
I don't think you have anything to be sorry about but I'll tell him anyway."
"Perhaps not but I can't get shot of that mental picture of a poor insecure little lad going through that torment!"
Back in the hotel, Adam was ecstatic!
"How did you swing that! It's almost never happened before!"
"Let's go and eat and I'll try and explain."
We ordered our drinks and waited for someone to take our food order.
"Mr Morton and I had a very long chat.
Did you know he's very well aware of what goes on after `lights-out'?"
"You kidding me! Really?
How does he know?"
"It's because of you actually but for heavens' sake don't get spooked. Everything is very fine, - believe me it couldn't be better!"
"But how. – I mean why?"
I pulled Adams poem from my pocket and gave it to him.
"He knows about this does he."
"It was him who gave it to me. He's had it a couple of years and according to him, - I'm the only person he's shown it to."
"Shit. – Shit!"
I relayed the conversation Mr Morton and I had during the afternoon.
"He's absolutely mortified that he didn't see what you were going through.
Dear God he was in tears at one point!"
"Oh shit again!"
"No please don't look at it that way. He's a good man who only wants what's best for you and all the other kids.
He had never come across a situation like that before and genuinely didn't know how to deal with it.
When he found out, it was his turn to bottle something up inside and you know only too well how that feels, don't you!
He's told me now and I hope it's lifted a weight off his mind."
"I'm sorry John. I didn't think about it like that."
"Just remember. You're never too old to be shit scared of something. He knows he could have scarred you mentally for life and being the man he is, he could never have lived with his conscience.
Oh. Something else.
He asked me to tell you that he is very sorry and if you'd seen him earlier, you would know that came straight from the bottom of his soul."
"Do you think I should go and see him?"
"I'm not sure. It would be nice for him to know how you're feeling now and that you know the anguish he went through and also if there was a way the other boys could know about the caring side of a man they see only as the head teacher but I don't know how you'd go about it."
"What if I was to put a piece in the school magazine? If I wrote it anonymously and didn't go into specifics?"
"Good idea! He would get the message and the other boys would as well!"
"Will you help me with it?"
"Let's draft something before we go to bed. Ok?"
Later that evening we penned a letter for inclusion in the schools weekly magazine.
An Open Letter to our Head Master, Mr Morton.
Dear Mr Morton.
As you know, I recently went through a personal crisis of conscience during which I was sure I was loosing my sanity.
My behaviour I understand gave you great cause for concern but I want you to believe me that my mental state at that dark time meant that I had little or no control over myself. I didn't think that there was anyone to turn to for help but I know now that there was and that person was you.
Firstly I want to apologise for all the trouble I caused and secondly I would like to offer you my heartfelt gratitude for all the `behind the scenes' help and assistance you gave me. It was only through your efforts that I came out the other side a better and more fulfilled person, - happy with my life here at school and also with my personal situation.
I'm writing this as an open letter so everyone will understand that in times of trouble there is always someone to turn to.
You are a very caring man who holds the welfare of all of us as his number one priority.
I salute a very special man.
Two weeks later, - just on the eve of the half term holiday, the school magazine published Mr Morton's response.
`I'm writing this in reply to the open letter published in last weeks magazine but first I would like to respond directly to the boy concerned.
I wish I had done more and earlier in order to spare you the dreadful anguish you suffered. It has served as an object lesson to me and teaches us all that no matter how old we are and how good we think we are at our job, we should always strive to understand more and learn from each other. That said, I'm touched by your letter and I thankyou for sharing your thoughts with all of us.
At boarding school, you spend something approaching seven and a half months away from home and your loved ones and so as teachers, we act `in loco parentis'. Those of you brave enough to study classics will understand this means `in place of the parent'.
So all the staff, their number one priority is to the health and wellbeing, - both mental and physical, of all of you. We can teach you academically but all of that is for nothing unless we can support you, guide you and teach you about yourself.
You are the future of the world and one day will be taking decisions of monumental importance for all humanity.
Some of you will have greater or lesser positions in your adult life but the Chaos Theory teaches us `A butterfly flaps it's wings in Guatemala and causes a monsoon in India.'
We are all pivotal in this world we live in and so to understand each other and work together for the common good, is essential.
It is incumbent on all members of staff to exercise this duty of care to the fullest to achieve this end.
In future, my weekly news item will be called `The Ever Open Door' in order that you all know that no matter what time of the day or night, my door is precisely that. Always open if any of you feel the need to chat to me without recrimination and in the strictest confidence.
Half term is upon us and I would like to wish you all a happy holiday and look forward to seeing you all on your return to what I hope will be an exciting time on the lead up to Christmas.
Your friend and Head Master,
Thank you all for reading. Special thanks to all who've taken the trouble to email me, - even the ones who complain about the singular lack of sex.
To those, a special comment.
"Didn't like this chapter much either, did you!"