(c) 2011 Mychyl Kime (KimeNet Corp.)
This is a work of fiction, depicting teenage males in romantic and/or sexual relationships. The people depicted in this story (to the best of the author's knowledge) do NOT exist. In the rare case that they're based on real people, the names HAVE been changed... not so much as to protect the innocent as to spare the poor people listed within the unnecessary fame this story might bring to them... not that I'm saying lots of people will read this, or even people where I've lived, but there's always a slight chance... And these events are, for the most part, all the imagination of the author, although I've seen the events depicted many, many times. The places listed are as perceived by the author, and thus subject to my creative license, though the town used as the main character's hometown is easily as evil as depicted.
If you are under 18 years of age (or whatever the legal age in your area is) you're supposed to leave according to law. Of course, I can't very well make you leave... but if you choose to stay, DON'T GET CAUGHT! It is neither my fault, nor the fault of this wonderful site, if you get caught running around here.
Also, if you are repulsed by the concept of homosexual romance and/or sex, please feel free to leave at any time. In fact, now would be a good time. But hey, it's your call, of course... I can't make you leave, either... but if you choose to stay, feel free... who knows, you might even change your mind! My only question is: why are you here if that's the case?
Fair warning: this story is the follow-up to my previous trilogy, labelled The Ukiah Chronicles, under gay/highschool. Having read that trilogy is by no means a pre-requisite to this story, and may in fact change the way you read the beginning of this one; however, the stories are fairly divergent, and any important back-plot to the main character of this story will be discussed within, without needing to worry about his "mysterious past". Your choice, either way.
Please feel free to email me with your comments/suggestions at email@example.com. If you'd prefer, you can also IM me on the chance you catch me online (which is off and on, depending on the time of day and whether or not I'm working):
And now, without further delay:
Another night alone.
It seemed like an old, familiar song... the kind that, no matter how many times you hear it, still feels uncomfortable. No matter what else, it was the one constant in my life, and had been for as long as I could remember. I had a family once, and I'd had friends -- both close and casual -- but it never seemed to matter. At the end of the day, all I really had was me.
I glance in the mirror, taking in the sight of the wreckage. I'm about average height -- 5'9 -- and weigh in at 160 pounds soaking wet. I'm not all skin and bones; I do have a bit of tight muscle, though I don't know where from, since I never work out. I'm shirtless, and what I see isn't precisely the target of teenage dreams... not that I'd care, since no one I'd dream about would want me anyways. I brush my unruly light-brown hair back from my face, soft and round like a girl's. My eyes are my best feature, I guess... a blue so light it was almost clear, giving them a piercing affect. No facial hair, even at 20, marred my clear tanned complexion.
I glanced lower, looking at my legs, free below the bottom of my cut-off jean shorts. They were lightly toned, not quite a runner's legs but not stick-skinny. A light dusting of hair covered them, the fine brown almost invisible against my tanned skin. My feet were almost comically large, compared to the rest of me, sticking out like they were trying to root me to the carpeted floor.
I glanced back up, noticing the modifications I'd made to my own body... the tattoo, there; the pierced ear, there; the labret... well, that one was still in planning. As were the nipple-rings, not that I'd ever do either of those piercings. The guys who got those piercings were usually made fun of around where I grew up, and I didn't need to be a walking target. At the least, I didn't need to be more of one than I already am. It wasn't as big a deal here, but it still drew attention, potentially negative attention.
Thankfully, most people don't know my real secret. It's not something which can be seen by looking at me, though sometimes I fear it can. In fact, I hope I'm still the only one who knows I'm gay. Being gay isn't exactly a death sentence where I live, like where I grew up, but it isn't a good way to become popular either.
I listened to the night-time sounds just outside my window, frowning. This city/town is either too big or too small, I mused, and half the time it depends on my mood. I moved here, to Tucson, to attend school. I wanted somewhere far away from where I grew up, and the idea of living in a desert -- always hot, always dry -- appealed to me. Of course, I'd already been here a couple years, so I no longer needed someone to tell me that Tucson isn't always hot and dry. My first winter, it actually snowed, and my first summer, the monsoons taught me that no season was sacred.
I sighed and turned to my desk, wanting to get my homework over with. It wasn't that I didn't like my schoolwork -- in fact, that was about the only thing that tied my teen life to my early-20s life, an appreciation for learning -- but the monotonity of it all bothered me. Any of my other classmates might be getting drunk, or getting laid, tonight. Instead, I'm inside my apartment, listening to everyone else going around and having fun -- or trying to -- and wishing I could just be them. Even the few guys on campus I thought were gay seemed to want nothing to do with me, and I didn't have much of an excuse to wander far from campus... well, aside from going home, which was off-campus in an attempt to make my school money stretch a bit further. I was a year (a few months, really) shy of being old enough to get into clubs on my own, and from what I'd seen online, the local nightlife for gay teens was lamentable, at best. I suppose I could've driven up to Phoenix, the actual city of Arizona, but I'd had to leave my car at home, and the idea of taking a Greyhound to Phoenix to party seemed a bit... anti-climatic, to say the least.
Home... I shuddered as I thought about that small town, and not for the first time since I'd escaped. The town I grew up in wasn't exactly what most people would call home, or even home-like, but for my entire youth, it'd served that purpose for me. My life back there hadn't been exactly my happiest times, and there was a lot I'd forgotten. A lot which the psychiatrist my mother'd made me see was probably best left buried, and since he knew what'd happened, while it was extremely out of character for a psychiatrist to suggest such a thing, it likely meant that he was scared shitless of what might happen to me... or to people I know... if I did remember. "Damien," he'd tell me, "sometimes it's healthier to accept what your psyche wants, and bury things that are no good for you to remember. When your mind is ready to handle them, it will."
Yea, that's me... Damien Christian Avile. Damien for short, Chris by a lot of people who get creeped out by my first name, including most of my professors. I've never understood it, and I probably never will. After all, to me, it's just a name -- no, more important, it's just my name.
There's a pretty big gap in my memory... I remember my 17th birthday, I remember basically not liking my life and wanting to move, I remember... a sudden chill... then nothing until just before the end of my senior year. Just... nothing. It was like an entire chunk of my life was deleted, erased from the pages of history, and while some people who knew me knew the story, or at least parts of it, no one ever wanted to talk to me about it. Whenever I'd mention the cold, people... froze up on me. I never understood. There was something about the cold that no one wanted me to know about, that people wanted me to avoid thinking about... but I could never escape it, in the back of my mind, taunting me.
Tonight, however, something felt different. There was a strange hope, calling from the street, begging my lonely soul to come seek comfort. It was about time for me to emerge from my "home" for a cigarette -- yes, I smoke, don't preach to me, I've done it for years and I don't see myself quitting because do-gooders lecture me on how bad it is, that only makes me want one worse -- so I stepped outside, still wearing only my jean-shorts, and lit up, surveying the area. From my stoop (of sorts), I saw a small patch of grass, hemmed in by other apartment buildings. Not the greatest view, mind you, but I hadn't moved to the desert for its breathtaking natural beauty.
A hint of motion caught my eye, and I saw someone sitting in the grass. It was dark, given that it was night and the pathway lights weren't working -- again, as usual -- but I could definitely tell someone was there. In a sudden lull of night-time traffic, I thought I heard the faintest hint of a sob, carried on the wind, to my doorstep. I wasn't sure, and I didn't hear a second such noise, so I shrugged mentally and finished my cigarette, putting it out against the side of my balcony.
Just as I turned to enter my apartment, I caught another flash of movement as the person in the grass turned to look my direction. In the darkness -- faintly illuminated by my doorstep light -- I thought I saw them turn to look at me. It looked like a guy about my age, or maybe a little younger, but beyond that, I couldn't make out much in this light. He might've been cute, but he definitely could've meant trouble, and in this part of town, trouble doesn't always wait for an invitation. Back inside I went, back to my solitary solace.
I returned to my homework, cursing mentally at the mind-numbing quality of it, and especially the quantity. Sure, it was college; sure, it was supposed to be harder. Did that mean that I should be expected to submit this amount of homework, though? It was many times more than high school, and it never seemed to end!
My mind wandered back to the person I saw outside in the grass. I started wondering idly what he looked like, what he was doing there, how he would've responded if I'd tried to talk to him. Was something wrong? Would he have been grateful for my attention, or some compassion? I didn't know, and worse, I partly didn't want to know. His problems are his own, I tried to tell myself, but my conscience wouldn't listen.
Sighing, knowing I'd know no peace until I checked on him, I went back outside, but didn't see him. There, happy? I asked my conscience. Whatever it was, he's gone. Leave him be, you can't get involved in the life of every person you see from afar.
Well, there we are, chapter 1 is ready to print.
So, we have our hero with a foggy past and a mysterious stranger. I know a bit beyond that... but where the story takes us, that's as much a mystery to me as it is to you, Potential Dear Reader.
Ideally, I'll try to have chapter 2 up shortly... I'm submitting chapter 1 as soon as the ink dries (so to speak) and moving onward.
While this story just started, and it seems a bit audacious to expect any Dear Readers yet... if you're out there, feel free to send me your thoughts thus far! firstname.lastname@example.org is the address (do be sure to include the title, From Afar, in the subject line so your letter doesn't get lost in the rush of Facebook updates and unwanted spam -- after all, your letters are very much wanted), I'll look forward to hearing from you!