Wanting Perfection

By Mark The Good Pen

The following story is a work of fiction.  If you find material like this offensive, you are under the legal age in your area to read this, or this type of material is illegal in your area please leave now.

Like with my other story on Nifty, this is not going to be a jack off special.  If you're looking for a "quick climax" this isn't your stop.  The sex will come but first there is other stuff that needs to be taken care of.

This is my story and my own words.  Nobody has permission to post it anywhere on the internet except for me.

Feedback is always welcome at thegoodpen@inbox.com.  Please put Wanting Perfection in the subject of your e-mail.  I will try my best to respond to all e-mails.

My other story on Nifty:
Sierra Inn (Gay Male Adult/Youth)


Wanting Perfection
Chapter 1

In the neighborhood I grew up in, there was a small house on the corner with white aluminum siding.  I passed the house everyday from the time I was in kindergarten on my way to school.  The house never really stood out to me, it was small it was a plain color and had no feature that would make it stand out in the average suburban neighborhood.  But when I started going to that house for trumpet lessons the summer I turned thirteen, my opinion of that house changed greatly.

I had started playing the trumpet when I was nine and though I always hated it my Mom insisted I be involved in the school band always saying:

"Justin, you have to be involved in school, the more involved you are the more friends you will make."

Personally, I thought playing music was boring and I had enough friends, none of whom were even in the school band.  But what my Mom wanted she got so I was stuck.  So I approached the trumpet like I approached every other thing I felt forced to do.  I gave it as little attention as possible.  Which was why I was forced to go for private lessons, it was either that or get kicked out of the school band.  And that would not have flown well at home.

As you already know, my name is Justin.  And for the record my last name is not Case, it's Hughes.  Growing up on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado I was your typical kid, maybe even too typical.  I always seemed to blend in with my surroundings no matter what they were.  I never had the type of looks that really make somebody stand out, though I wanted them desperately.  I wanted to be the one that people drooled over, and while I am not bad looking, I never seemed to extract any drool from anyone's mouth.  On the outside I pretended to be fine with that, but on the inside I was dying for some more attention than what I was getting.

The first time I went for a private trumpet lesson was the summer when I had just turned thirteen and was headed into the eighth grade.  At the end of the school year the band director at my school had made the not so subtle hint that I needed to make a drastic improvement if I wanted to stay in band another year.  My Mom quickly found out about Rick Ward, the musician at the end of our block.  Rick had moved into the house on the corner over a year ago.  I still remember watching him and his friends unload his U-haul.  Guitar case after guitar case, a drum set, enough various musical instruments to seemingly outfit a college marching band all went into the house.  I had never met Rick, myself, until my first lesson.  I wasn't the type of kid that would wander the block.  I stayed near my house, heeding my Mom's warnings of stranger danger as though they were scripture.  I would only venture out as far as my driveway to shoot baskets, with the hoop secured over our garage door. Whenever I would ride by Rick's house, either on the school bus or when going somewhere with my parents the front yard was empty.  Apparently Rick wasn't the type to wander outside much either.

When it was time for my first lesson I grabbed my trumpet and went walking down the street, praying the next hour would go by quick.  I walked up to the door, and knocked.  There was a long silence, and I was beginning to hope that maybe the lesson had been forgotten about so I could go back home and continue my summer of vegetation in front of the television.  Just as I was about to about face and head back home I heard the lock of the door turn from the other side.  The door creaked its way open and on the other side stood Rick.  He was in his mid forties, about six feet tall and 190 pounds, his black hair went past his shoulders, but his face was clean shaven.

"Well you must be Justin," he said to me as he opened the door with a smile.  "I'm Rick, come on in."
"Thanks," I squeaked.

That second was the first time I felt that feeling in my stomach, I would become very familiar with over the next couple of years.  Rick seemed friendly, but there was something going on that put butterflies in my stomach at that first meeting I didn't understand what it was from.  So I smiled politely back at Rick, and stepped into the house.  The house wasn't very big and I entered right into the small living room.  There were two chairs set up close together along a wall, where you normally think a couch would be.  In front of the chairs was a music stand positioned so that both people could see the music at the same time.  Along the other wall was an assortment of instruments, some on stands others resting on their sides on the seemingly fresh white carpet.  Rick directed me to one of the seats and he took a seat to my left.  For the next half hour Rick drilled me with questions about my life, school almost everything other than the trumpet.  I didn't get why he was asking all of those questions, and he must have seen that in my eyes because suddenly he said.

"If we are going to be successful, I need to get to know the person playing the instrument."

Today I would classify Rick as the soulful hippie type, but at that time I just thought he was strange.  For the second half of that first lesson I actually played showing Rick what little skill I had on the trumpet.

"How long have you been playing?" Rick asked me, as I was putting my trumpet back in its case.  He had already asked me the same question during his original interrogation of me so I quickly knew he was not impressed by my playing skills.
"Four years," I told him, a little embarrassed.
"Hum," he said, as he ran his fingers through his black hair that ran down to his shoulder blades.  "Four years?  How often do you practice?"
"I don't know," I said with a shrug, not wanting to admit I hardly ever practiced.
"Once a day?" he asked.
"No," I said shaking my head.  "Maybe every couple of weeks."
"That's what I thought," he said, as a small grin appeared on his face.  "Justin, you aren't going to get any better if you don't practice.  Do you want to get better?"
"I don't know," I said, in a moment of complete honesty.  "I mean I don't want to get kicked out of the band, my Mom would kill me."
"How about this, I'll give you extra lessons, free of charge," he said.  "At least for a little while and then maybe we can go to once a week when you improve.  But for now I'd like it if you came three times a week.  How about every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at four?"
"Three times a week?" I asked, with dread.  "That's three hours a week of just practicing!"
"No," Rick said.  "If you want to get better you're going to need to practice at home as well.  So that's three hours each week with me, and an hour each day you don't come here."
"Justin, if you don't want to get kicked out of the band this is what you need to do," Rick said in a tone that I knew better than to question.
"Fine," I said, looking down at the ground in defeat.
"Good," Rick said.  "Trust me, once you get better at the horn you'll like it more.  Who knows you could be the next Louis Armstrong."
"Who?" I asked.
"Never mind," Rick said, with a little chuckle.  "For now how about we aim for second chair?"
"But I was last chair last year," I said, remembering the look the band director had given me.  It was like his face asked could you really be that bad.
"Well that was last year," Rick said.  "This year's a new year and now you have me pushing you."

I didn't really know what to say in response to that so I just nodded my head.  It was then something weird happened, I made eye contact with Rick.  It wasn't the first time during the lesson that this had happened but this time it lingered and I got the same strange feeling in my stomach I had when Rick first opened the door to let me in.  Quickly I broke the eye contact by looking down at the trumpet case still sitting in my lap.

"I better get home," I said, still looking down at the case sitting on my lap.
"Okay," Rick said.  "Justin, I hope I didn't insult you.  I would only push you if I saw some talent hiding in there."
"I know," I said, as I looked up at him again.  "Thank you," I said, as our eyes met again, and again I felt a twinge in my stomach.
"You're welcome," he said.  "So I guess I'll see you on Wednesday."
"Yeah," I said, as I stood up to leave.  "See you Wednesday."

Rick opened the door for me and gave me a pat on my back I was walked out.  I felt the warmth of his hand through my t-shirt and again that weird feeling hit my stomach.  I walked home even slower than I had going to Rick's house.  I couldn't understand why, even though I hated practicing the trumpet, I was looking forward to going back to his house in two days.  I spent the entire walk home thinking about Rick, and how he had taken such an interest in me.  He seemed so willing to help me it almost made my head spin.  I wasn't used to that at all.  Then there was that feeling I got in my stomach that I just couldn't understand.  I didn't know what that feeling was but I kind of liked it.

The house I grew up in was a one story, three bedroom house that was by no means fancy.  My Dad worked at a car dealership as a financer, and my Mom was a secretary at a law firm.  Life at home for me was usually non-eventful.  I spent most of my time sitting in front of the television in our small living room.

When I got home from my first lesson from Rick, I could smell my Mom cooking dinner as I came in through the side door of the house through the laundry room.  I walked across the living room, still thinking about Rick, while I walked into the kitchen, where I found my Mom standing over the stove.

"Oh, Justin you're home," she said after hearing my footsteps.  "How was you're lesson?"
"Okay, I guess," I said, with a shrug.  "He wants me to go three days a week."
"What?" Mom asked.  "We can't afford that."
"He said the extra lessons are free," I said, quickly.
"Free?" Mom asked.  "That's awfully nice of him."
"I guess," I responded with a shrug.
"Well when are you going back?"
"Wednesday," I answered.  "Same time as today."
"Okay," Mom said, a little wearily.

I understood the apparent weariness in Mom's voice as much as I understood the feeling in my stomach.  I shrugged both things off and went into my bedroom to dump my trumpet in its spot in the corner of my room.  My twin sized bed took up a good amount of the space in my room.  In front of the bed along the opposite wall was a small dresser, to the left of the bed was a crate with a small T.V that was older than I was.  My trumpet sat in the corner between the dresser and the wall near the T.V.  To get to anywhere in the room I had to walk over various clothes, and assorted papers that probably dated back to third grade.  

I plopped down on my bed with a thud.  I rested my head back on my pillow as I stared up at the ceiling, replaying the trumpet lesson in my head.  Although everything seemed a lot more centered around Rick than the trumpet.  Rick had the calmness, and the confidence I so desperately wanted, but was very aware I lacked.  I was constantly anxious, worrying about one thing or another.  Confidence was just another word to me, I never really knew what it was like to posses it.  But Rick seemed so calm like nothing would ever get to him, and he appeared to have confidence to handle any situation that would ever come up.  I wondered to myself if I would ever be like that, I seriously doubted it.

"Hey buddy," my Dad, who had just gotten home, said, as he came into my room shaking me from my thoughts.  
"Hey," I said, sitting up.
"How was your lesson?" Dad asked.
"Okay, I guess," I said.
"Mom told me that you're getting extra free lessons," Dad said.
"Yeah, two extra a week," I said.
"Too bad, your teacher's not a chick," Dad said, before he left the room.

My Dad tried to be like one of my friends, when he wasn't yelling at me for something I had, in his eyes, done wrong.  That summer was the first time I had heard him talk about me getting a girlfriend.  Every time he did, I felt bad because I knew that wasn't what I wanted.  I didn't, at the time, think I was gay I just knew I didn't want a girlfriend.

That night after I was done brushing my teeth, I looked at myself in the full length mirror that was on the door.  Looking in the mirror I saw my five foot five 110 pound self staring back at me.  I started playing with my dirty blonde hair trying to see if I could make it look cool.  It was too long to spike, as it came down on the sides of my head covering the tops of my ears.  But it was not long enough to pull back into a pony tail either.  Basically all it could do was sit on top of my head.

"Boring," I said, to myself as I opened the door, and shut the light.

The next morning while my parents were at work I was shooting hoops in my driveway.  While shooting I was debating whether or not I was really going to practice, and after about five minutes of thinking about it, I decided Rick would never notice if I hadn't.  Almost as though he had heard what I was thinking about, I saw Rick walking towards my house.

"Hey there, Justin," he said, as he stood at the end of my driveway, even from a distance I could see there was this kind of glint in his brown eyes.
"Hey," I said, shyly, as I picked up my basketball from the spot it had landed on underneath the basket and walked to the end of the driveway by Rick.  The feeling in my stomach from the day before, quickly came back as I stood silently in front of Rick, waiting for him to start the conversation.
"How are you doing today?" he asked.
"Fine, I guess," I said with a shrug.
"So you play basketball?" he asked.
"Not really," I said.  "I just like to shoot hoops, sometimes."
"That's cool," Rick said.  "You're not going to forget to practice the trumpet though.  Right?"
"I remember," I said, thinking even though I had no intention of practicing I wasn't lying by saying I remembered about practicing.  I did remember, I just wasn't going to do it.
"Good," Rick said.  "So you ever play one on one?"
"You want to play with me?" I asked, shocked.
"Only if you promise not to beat me too badly," he said, with a smile.
"Okay," I said slowly.

I didn't exactly keep that promise, as I totally kicked Rick's ass but I think he kind of let me win that first game.  We played for about half an hour before both of were tired and ready to call it a game.

"You're pretty good," Rick said as he took a seat next to me on the top step leading to my front door.  "You must shoot hoops a lot."
"During the summer, yeah," I said.
"See what practicing does?" Rick asked.
"What?" I asked, not understanding what he was getting at.
"You practice, you get better," he said.  "It works with the trumpet too."
"Oh," I said, looking down at the ground, between my knees.  "Yeah I guess."
"So, do you have a lot of friends at school?" Rick asked, changing the subject.
"A few," I said.
"You have a girlfriend?" he asked.
"No," I said, shaking my head quickly while still looking down at the ground.  "Girls don't look at me much."
"Eh, I wouldn't be so sure," Rick said.

I looked up at him, and we made eye contact. The excited feeling in my stomach grew even stronger when I saw Rick smile at me.

"Thanks," I squeaked.
"Well I better get going," Rick said, standing up.  "I'll see you tomorrow, and remember practice!"
"Okay," I said, as I got up myself and started heading into my house.

My trumpet stayed in the corner of my room that afternoon as after getting into the house I parked myself in front of the television.  Although the television was on, I couldn't concentrate on it.  For some reason my mind kept going back to Rick.  He had paid more attention to me in a twenty four hour span than most adults did in a week.  More than that though, there was that feeling in my stomach that just didn't seem to want to go away.  The more I replayed the events of the morning and our brief eye contact, the stronger that feeling got.  Then something really strange happened, as I continued to think about Rick I felt my cock getting hard in my shorts.

Even though I had never really liked girls, I certainly didn't consider myself gay.  I was to that point in my life, blissfully oblivious.  I had been jacking off for a couple of years, and would think about guys while doing it, but I figured that didn't make me gay, I mean it was jacking off.  It wasn't like I was having actual sex with a guy or anything.  At that particular time in my life I was anything but ready to deal with any inkling that I might be gay.  Besides I would always make up a picture of a fake guy that didn't really exist.  But all of a sudden I was getting a hard on from thinking about a real, living man, and I was anything but ready to deal with that.

That evening when my Mom got home, I had a discussion with her.

"Mom," I said, as she took a seat next to me on the couch after changing out of her work clothes.  "Do I have to take trumpet lessons?"
"Justin, we've been through this," Mom said.  "You're band director wanted to see some real progress out of you over the summer.  And you're not going to improve on your own, you've proven that already.  What brought this up anyway?  You seemed fine with it yesterday."
"I just don't want to go is all," I said.  "There's no point."
"Must you quit everything?" Mom asked, anger coming through in her voice.  "I swear, you don't want to do anything.  Should I just let you fry your brain on the television?  Is that what you want?"
"I'm not saying that," I said quickly.
"A little effort won't kill you," Mom said, as she got up from the couch.  "I'm not letting you quit, not this time," she added before heading into her bedroom.

That night I ignored the trumpet, Mom gave me the silent treatment and Dad had a bad day at work so he wasn't talking to either of us.  I spent the entire evening in my room, with the door shut trying to figure out a way to get out of the trumpet lessons.

Not having been able to think of anything that night, when four o'clock rolled around the next afternoon I was sitting next to Rick in his living room stumbling my way through the song he had assigned me to learn.  That feeling in my stomach had returned the second Rick had opened the door.  Though this time, instead of confusing me it angered me.

"You didn't practice did you?" he asked, me after my first miserable attempt at playing the song.

This time he had his long black hair tied back into a pony tail, making his thin face look even longer than it had the other two days I had seen him.

"I did a little," I lied.
"No you didn't," he said.  "Justin, do you want to play the trumpet?" he asked, a sound of exasperation coming through in his voice.
"No," I said, angrily.  "I suck at it.  The only reason I'm playing is cause I have to."
"Well, maybe the reason you suck at it is because you don't even try," Rick said.  "I mean, if you practice..."
"It won't matter," I said, interrupting him.  "I suck at everything I do, no matter what."
"Now, I don't believe that for a minute," Rick said, quickly.   "You remember yesterday?  With basketball, I bet if you played the trumpet as much as shoot hoops you would be first chair in band."
"Whatever," I mumbled to myself.
"Okay," Rick said, grabbing the music stand and putting it to the side.  "What else is going on?"
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Something else is bothering you," Rick said.  "You don't get from messing up one song on an instrument you don't even like, to saying you suck at everything without there being something else going on."
"No, I'm serious," I said.  "I just suck."
"Justin don't say that," Rick said.  "What brought this up?  I know it couldn't have been the music."

I wasn't exactly used to people talking to me the way Rick was.  He wasn't being accusatory and he wasn't angry.  At least to me, it seemed like he was trying to help me, though I couldn't understand why.  For some reason, him trying to help made that feeling in my stomach grow stronger, which only made me feel even worse.

"I always think that," I said.  "But it's true, I don't do anything that good."
"You know something?" Rick asked, rhetorically.  "You remind me a lot of myself when I was your age."
"I do?" I asked, extremely surprised.
"Yeah, you do," Rick said.  "I thought I sucked at everything too.  But I was different in one way.  I didn't kick myself about it, instead I got angry about it and started trying to get really good at, at least one thing."
"Music?" I asked, already knowing the answer.
"Yeah," Rick said.  "But even when I started trying it didn't happen over night.  I didn't get really good until I was almost in college.  Justin, there are very few people that are really good at anything when they first start trying, it takes practice."
"But I've been playing for four years," I said.
"No, you've been faking it for four years," Rick said.  "But now you are going to start really playing, and you'll see how good you can be."

If my thinking I sucked at everything had really been the problem Rick would have helped me a lot.  I mean it helped to know I had someone that wanted to help me, but thinking I sucked at everything was not the thing bothering me so much.  I was used to that feeling.  I wasn't used to the feelings Rick gave me, the ones I didn't even fully understand.  At the moment the thought of telling Rick anything close the truth of what was bothering me was the farthest thing from my mind.

"So do you want to give this a chance?" Rick asked, after seeing that I wasn't going to respond to his last statement.  "You want to give me a chance to be right on this?"
"I guess," I said, slowly.
"Good," Rick said, grabbing the music stand and putting it back in front of us.  "Now, start again from the top but take it slow and don't rush."

By the end of the lesson, I was good enough at the song that you could actually tell what it was.  So with "The Saints Come Marching In" stuck in my head, I walked home after that lesson feeling very confused.  I was actually feeling like maybe Rick was right and if I practiced I could get to be good at something.  At the same time I was royally confused by the way I was feeling about Rick.  I still wasn't ready to admit to myself even the possibility that I was gay.  So, on that walk home I convinced myself that I just wanted to be friends with Rick, simultaneously deciding to ignore whatever that feeling in my stomach was.

"How was your lesson?" Mom asked, me about an hour later as we sat across from each other at the dinner table.
"Okay, I guess," I said with my usual shrug as I swallowed my food.
"You know I've been thinking," Dad, who was sitting at the head of the table said suddenly.  "This guy charges, $35 bucks an hour for music lessons.  If he's giving you two free lessons that's seventy bucks a week he's giving up."
"I guess," I said, never having crunched the numbers myself.
"He must be a horrible business man," Dad said.  "Either that or he's hoping to get something more out of these lessons."
"Don!" Mom almost shouted.  "How can you talk like that?  You hardly know this man."
"I'm not saying that he's up to anything," Dad said, defensively.  "I'm just thinking out loud really."
"Well keep those thoughts to yourself," Mom said.  "Rick is a very nice man."
"You know him?" Dad asked.
"I met him once," Mom said.  "When I first signed Justin up for lessons, and he was very nice."
"So from that one meeting you know there's no way he's up to anything?" Dad asked.  "Not that I'm saying he is," he adds quickly.
"What would he be up to?" I asked, totally naive.

Even with my repressed feelings at the time, I did not think grown men would want to have anything to do, sexually, with a teenage boy.  I don't know exactly how I had come to that conclusion but somewhere along the way I had.  So when my Dad started talking about Rick possibly having ulterior motives I didn't understand what they could possibly be.

"It's better you don't know," Dad answered me while looking at Mom.
"Is it so hard for you to admit somebody might just want to do something nice?" Mom asked Dad.
"I was just thinking out loud," Dad said.  "Haven't you ever heard of freedom of speech?  I'm pretty sure that extends into this house."

At that point I stopped listening, knowing they were going to start arguing about something that had nothing to do with me or Rick.  I silently got up from the table, brought my plate to the sink, and went to my room, shutting and locking the door behind me.  As I turned on my television I flopped down on my back on my bed.  While I was staring at the television, my mind started to drift.  I still wasn't sure what my Dad had been talking about.  Then I remembered, even though Mom had stuck up for Rick to Dad, the day before when I had told her about the extra lessons she seemed suspicious too.  I couldn't figure out what they were suspicious about, I mean Rick was nice.  He was just trying to help me, and if you ever had heard me playing the trumpet it was quite evident that I needed all the help I could get.  I quickly decided that my parents were just being weird and shrugged it off.

The next morning I was watching television on the couch in the living room.  I was actually feeling better about Rick now, that I had convinced myself to ignore any type of feeling I was getting in my stomach when I saw him.  Suddenly there was a knock on the door.  It was my next door neighbor and best friend Shawn, who had been out of town for the last couple of weeks with his Dad on some sort of hunting trip.  Shawn and I had known each other since we were in diapers and were virtually like brothers.

"So what have you been doing?" Shawn asked after he had told me all about his trip as we sat on the couch.
"Nothing," I said.  "I started my trumpet lessons, they're not as bad as I thought."
"Oh yeah," he asked.  "Where you taking them?"
"Down the street," I said.  "Where old Ms. Porter used to live."
"You mean with that hippie looking dude?" Shawn asked.
"Yeah," I said.  "His name is Rick."
"Dude, you know that guy's a total perv don't you?"

To Be Continued...

Feedback/Comments Welcomed: thegoodpen@inbox.com

Chapter 2 Coming Soon