More Than Friends: Chapter 1
This is a story revolving around the life of a gay man. If this offends you... well, you offend me, so go away. Also, if you're looking for a story to jack-off to, you might want to look elsewhere. I don't have plans to do any graphic sex scenes anytime in the near future.
I stared down at my new college schedule in shock and disgust. On Wednesday, I would be on campus for nine hours. NINE HOURS!? It just wasnt right; it was cruel, inhumane, and just.. wrong! I closed and rubbed my eyes, hoping that when I opened them again, it would all be a dream. But that never works, and those nine hours of classes were still printed clearly on my schedule. I groaned with disgust, and crumpled the paper up, not wanting to look at it again.
Being an art major, I figured I would enjoy at least my first two classes of the day, ART 103 and Art History. But it was my last on that I dreaded. Early American History. The name itself was enough to put me to sleep. But I knew it couldnt be too bad.. Heck, in tenth grade I slept through Global Studies almost everyday and managed a 90 average, I was sure I wouldnt have much trouble with this history class either.
Wednesday finally came, a bit too quickly I might add, and I suddenly found myself standing in the elevator; the third floor, and my history class waiting for me. The lift came to a stop with a slight jolt and the doors opened with a squeak. I sighed as I adjusted the strap of my bag before stepping off the elevator.
The class was in one of those large lecture halls, with rows of long, thin tables making their way down to the front of the room. I glanced at my watch, noting silently that I was 20 minutes early, which certainly explained why the room was empty. Suddenly I remembered that I knew this room already. It was the one where the note-taking lecture Id been forced to attend had taken place; the lecture Id completely slept through.
I climbed the steps to my same seat and watched as other students filtered in. It took all my will power to stay awake at this point, but when the professor finally made an appearance, I couldnt help but laugh.
The guy was seriously hyper, practically running across the floor, talking at a hundred words per second. But, I had to admit, he was far from boring. The first thing he did was ask the last few rows to move toward the front, forcing us to move into the first 4 rows. I stuffed my notebook back into my bag and hung it over my shoulder as I made my way down the rows, looking for a seat that had some space that would be between myself and my potential deskmate.
I finally found one two seats away from some guy, but as I slid into the chair and maneuvered myself so my legs werent jammed into the back of the desk, I realized he wasnt just some guy; he was gorgeous! I dont know how to describe him, he was just too perfect. His hair was light brown and cut short, almost to a buzz, but not quite. It made just want to scruff it up. His face was slim, and his jaw was so sexy that I could barely stop myself from running my tongue alone it. I have this thing for jaws, ysee. And his eyes were incredible, deep brown and so intense. But as I stared at him though the corner of his eye, I knew it would be too much to ask for him to be gay. He was just too perfect.
I spent the rest of the 3 hour class trying not to look at him, but each time the professor said something funny, our eyes met as we laughed. I knew he wouldnt see what I felt about him in my eyes, because we were laughing, and laughs are meant to be shared.
The three hours were over much too quickly, but when I finally got home, my best friend, Allison, was waiting for me.
"Hey, Ben! Bout time you got home. . . hey, why are you grinning like that?" Not for the first time, I was glad Id confided in Al with my secret. I knew I would burst if I didnt tell someone about Ethan.
I flashed her my trademark smile, but refrained from saying anything. I wanted her to brew in her juices for a bit. She followed me threw the kitchen, and tugged on my arm as I opened the fridge door and scanned the contents.
"Cmon! Tell me! What happened?"
"Cant a guy just be in a really good mood without something happening?" I asked, a bit to smugly, twisting the cap off of a Sprite, and taking a swig.
"NO!" she screamed. "Now tell me!"
I smiled again. "Ok, ok, just give me a second. I have to gather my thoughts."
"Dont hurt yourself," she laughed, then followed me into the living room.
"Just for that, I dont think Im going to tell you." I dropped onto the couch and rested my feet on the coffee table.
"Yes you are!" She grabbed my Sprite and held it over my head, threatening to pour it.
"Ok! I give! Ill tell you." I grabbed the drink back, and sat, grinning, for just a few more seconds. "Today, in History, I just happened to sit next to the most beautiful human being in the world!"
Als jaw dropped. "Awwwww! Thats so cute! My little man has a cruuuuush!"
I laughed at her choice of words. "Als, Im hardly little, I am six-seven you know."
"True, but youre still my little man!" She smushed my hair.
Geez, dont you have a boyfriend of your own? Chris is going to be jealous. He doesnt know about me, remember?"
The room became suddenly very quiet.
"What? What is you told him, didnt you?"
She didnt say anything for a moment, but nodded slowly. "Im so sorry. I didnt mean to, it just sorta happened. Im sorry."
I clenched my jaw, trying not to say something I might regret. We sat for at least ten minutes, trying to avoid each others eyes.
"So.. how did he take it?"
"Well, um.. hes glad that he doesnt have to worry about you having a crush on me or anything.. but I think now he thinks you have a crush on him."
I grunted, knowing that was very much the kind of reaction Chris would have. He seemed to think that any straight woman- or gay man- must be in love with him.
The silence resumed, both of us fidgeting uncomfortably.
"Ben, please dont hate me, please. I never, never, would have told him if I didnt think hed be ok with it. Just.. just dont make any passes at him, ok? His ego is big enough as it is." She chuckled softly at her own joke, and as hard as I tried not to, I found myself laughing too. Our eyes locked for a moment, and suddenly neither of us could hold back. The floodgates burst, and we both clutched our stomachs, cackling like madmen.
I gasped for breath as the laughs began to subside, my head still spinning. "Al.. I want you to know that I could never hate you. Youve been there for me all the times I needed you; when the confusion and self loathing had almost taken their toll."
She stared at me for a moment. "Oh, Ben! You dont know how much that means to me!" she leaned over and wrapped her arms around my chest. "I love you so much, you know. I would die if I knew I hurt you."
I rested my hand on her back. "I love you too, Als." She let go of my body and rubbed her eye.
"Ok, no more mushy stuff." She nudged me in the ribs. "Now, tell me all about this guy you like so much."
I took the same seat Id used last Wednesday, hoping that Ethan would sit somewhere near me again. Ten minutes later, he walked through the doors and started up the stairs. My heart sank as he passed my row, but as he turned and walked down the one behind me, things started looking up again.
The professor was his same, overly hyper self today, and talked non-stop for the first hour and a half of class. I took notes diligently, glancing back around the room occasionally, hoping to get a glimpse of his eyes. I wasnt sure, but I thought I caught his staring at me a few times. I grinned a crooked grin and turned back to my notes.
Finally, the professor told us to take a 15-minute break, and the class began filtering to the elevators.
Somehow, I managed to be alone with Ethan in the lift as we made our decent to the first floor, and the snack venders that awaited.
"Wow, he certainly is a piece of work, isnt he?" I asked, trying to break the silence.
"Yeah, whats up with him, anyway? I think he needs to cut down on all that coffee hes always chugging."
We entered the elevator perfect strangers, but left it best of friends. Laughing and talking about anything that popped into our heads. I followed as he walked over to the little food stand and grabbed a burger. He paid for it, and we sat at a table, talking about our old school, and old friends. In the process we almost lost track of the time.
"Holy shit! Weve been gone for 20 minutes! Wed better get back!"
"Yeah," He tossed his wrapped and we walked back to the elevator. "You just know hes going to give us that look when we walk in."
"Yeah, but who cares?"
We waited as the incredibly slow lift made its way back to the first floor.
"Um, look, Ethan.. Theres something I want to tell you."
The elevator interrupted me, and we stepped in.
"You were saying?"
"Well, I just wanted to tell you, before.. Ethan, Im gay."
He stared at me, his jaw clenched, until the elevator came to a stop on the third floor, then walked out, not saying a word.
I didnt know what to do. Id just told the guy Id been obsessing over for a week my biggest secret, and he walked out on me. I stood in the elevator doors closed again and rode it back to the first floor.
I spent the next week barely saying a word to anyone. Even people Id never met were asking if I was ok. Allison was more worried about me than I had ever seen her, but I couldnt bring myself to say anything. Somehow, to me, talking about it would make it even more real.
Much sooner the I would have preferred, the inevitable was upon me again. Wednesday reared its ugly head.
"Benjamin! This is college! You cant go missing classes whenever you dont feel like going, now get ready!"
I rolled out of bed, wishing I hadnt decided to stay home for the first year of college to save money. It so didnt help to have my mother treat me like a child still, and keeping my secret from her was becoming harder to do, especially since I knew she would have no problems with it. For some reason I just couldnt tell her. I didnt want to be any different.
My first two classes were a blur of talking head, and not much else. I didnt know how I was going to face that class again. If I hadnt needed the credits, I probably would have dropped it without a second thought.
But suddenly I found myself sitting in the back of the lecture hall, as far away from Ethans seat as I could get. I knew that the professor would make me move, but I wouldnt sit any closer voluntarily.
He walked through the door the same time as always. If I didnt know better, he almost looked disappointed to see that I wasnt in my seat. But then he saw me in the back, and our eyes locked for a moment.
I wish I could have read what he was thinking through his eyes. Was it disgust at what I was, relief that I was sitting so far away from him, or concern, concern that he had hurt my feelings.
He took his seat and we waited as other students filtered into the room. I laid my head on the desk and closed my eyes, hoping to sleep through the class without being noticed by anyone.
After a few minutes, I felt someone sitting in the chair next to mine, and someone coughed lightly. I opened my eyes, greeted by the sight of Ethan, staring at the front of the room.
"Look, Ben. Im really sorry about the way I reacted last week. I I didnt know what to say. You caught me by surprise."
I sat up but avoided his eyes. "Youre not gay, are you?" As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I regretted them. I had no real reason to even think he was gay.
"Yes, I am."
My jaw practically dropped to the floor and I swung my head to watch him.
"I.. I didnt want to admit it. I thought maybe I was just being paranoid or something and that it would all go away eventually. But when you told me about yourself, I knew I couldnt deny it anymore." I stared to take his hand, but he pulled it away. "Ok, look. I can admit this to myself and we can still be friends, but I just need to deal with this by myself, ok? I just need to pretend.." He stopped talking, and looked like he was about to cry.
"Believe me, I understand. We dont have to talk about it at all if you dont want to."
He smiled and looked up from the desk. "Thanks..." For a few more moments he looked like he had something else to say. I didn't do anything to break the silence, just let him think things through. "Um... are you doing anything after class?"
I smiled with relief. "Nothing that I know ofoh, I have to check in with my best friend. She's been pretty worried about me the past week."
Ethan looked away and his face turned bright red. "Sorry about that," he whispered.
"No, don't worry about it. No harm, no foul. Allison seems to think she's my mother or something; she's much to overprotective of me. But I love her anyway." I glanced at the clock near the front of the room. "You know, I really dont feel like sitting through class today. You want to go grab some dinner or something "
A look of fear crossed Ethans face.
" as friends," I finished, knowing that Ethan wasnt ready for anything else.
We snuck out of the room before the instructor made his appearance and headed for the stairs. As we walked through the first floor commons area, I heard someone calling my name.
"Ben! Hey Ben! Wait up!"
"Josh! Hey, whats up?" Josh was one of my art friends, and one of the few people from school that I hung out with during my free time. He was openly gay, but Id never told him about myself. He was a bit too flamboyant and femme for me, and I didnt feel like I knew him well enough yet.
"Nothing much, but I thought you had a class." He walked up beside me and put his hand on my shoulder. Josh was the touchy/feely type, and was always putting his hand on my shoulder, or hugging someone. Some people I knew were uncomfortable around him, but I didnt mind at all.
"Yeah, we do, but we decided we wouldnt be able to stand sitting through a lecture today."
Josh laughed, "I can understand that."
"Hey Josh, this is my friend Ethan. Ethan, Josh," I said, finally getting to the introductions. Josh took Ethans hand and shook vigorously, smiling broadly. Ethan, on the other hand, looked slightly uncomfortable. I made a mental note to ask him about that later. "So Josh, do you have a class here?"
"Yeah, Art History." He grinned. "At least Ill get an hour and a half nap." Josh and I laughed, but Ethan didnt seem to get the joke.
"Art History is probably one of the most boring classes Ive taken," I explained. "The teacher is really nice, but she has a very monotonous voice. And she kinda drags on off topic all the time. Its pretty easy to get distracted."
"Hey, I have to go, man." Josh gave me a hug, and shook Ethans hand again. "Ill call you later tonight, maybe we can get together for lunch."
"Sounds good. Ill talk to you then!"
We pulled into Allisons driveway nearly a half an hour later. She had no idea we were coming, so I hoped she would be home. I shouldnt have worried though, as we were getting out of the car, she came running out of the house.
"Ben! Im so glad to see you!" She wrapped her arms around my neck in a tight hug. "Ive been worriedoh, hello. Who are you?" She asked as she noticed Ethan standing next to me.
"Al, this is my friend Ethan."
"Ethan! Oh my God! Its so good to meet you! Bens told me so much about" She stopped short, not knowing if shed given too much information.
"Dont worry, weve made up. Though we have yet to kiss," I laughed.
"Oh? So are you gay?" She asked.
Ethan looked very uncomfortable for a moment, but I put my hand on his shoulder to reassure him. "Its ok, Eth, Al is great. You can tell her. The only person shed ever tell is her boyfriend, and hell just assume you have the hots for him too."
Ally smacked my arm and Ethan laughed. "Ok, yeah," he admitted. "Im gay. But Im not out of the closet yet, so please dont tell anyone."
"It really helps when someone else knows. I was a wreck when I finally told Ally. She helped me through some tough times. And Im not out of the closet either, so were in the same boat. When we come out, we can do it together."
I pulled Ethan into a hug. At first he resisted slightly, but quickly submitted and gripped my body as tightly as I was his. "That means a lot, Ben. And I think youre right. It does feel comforting to know I have people who will support me."
We released each other finally and I turned to look at Ally. " Which reminds me, we did have a reason for being here. Ethan and I were wondering if you would care to grace us with your presence for dinner."
Ally beamed. "Id love too! Just let me change and we can go!" She ran back into the house, Ethan and I trailing behind her. "Cmon guys! You can help me pick out something to wear!"
"Al, were just going to Juanitas or something. You dont have to get all dressed up."
"I know," she replied. "I just want to look nice while chaperoning my little mans first date!"
Ethan and I glanced at each other. I dont think either of us thought of this as a date until that moment. Suddenly a simple dinner had gained a whole new meaning. "Ally, I really dont think this was going to be a date "
"Oh " She stared at us for a moment, then shrugged. "Oh well! Im still getting dressed up!"
I sighed and dragged Ethan back into the living room to wait for her. Knowing Ally, shed be awhile. We sat in silence for a moment, until I noticed Ethan was staring at me with a serious look on his face.
"What?" I asked, grinning. His expression didnt change.
"What made you decide to tell me that youre gay?" He asked finally.
"I Im not sure, really. From the first day, when I sat near you, Ive had feelings for you. Whenever wed look at each other when laughing, it was like magic. I guess I just couldnt go on pretending I didnt want you."
As I spoke, Ethans serious mouth rose into a smile. "I noticed that look in your eyes, but at the time, I didnt understand what it meant. Im glad you told me. If you hadnt, who knows how long Id go on trying to deny myself. I feel so comfortable around you, even comfortable with myself. I never thought that would ever happen."
We looked into each others eyes for a moment. "Ben, would you mind if I kissed you?"
I was a bit taken aback by his question, but I smiled. "Ethan, you never have to ask."
He slowly moved closer to me, his eyes closed slightly. I leaned closer to him and our lips touched for the first time. At that moment, all of our insecurities vanished. We pressed our bodies together, joining at the mouth. I wrapped my arms around his back, pulling him as close to me as possible. He gripped the back of my head and ran his fingers through my hair. Our lips pressed and sucked on each other. Our tongues finding their way into each others mouth; soft, wet flesh grinding together. The world around us disappeared and we slowly dropped into a horizontal position on the couch.
"Hey! Stop that!" Allys voice shattered the magic of our embrace. "I thought we were going to dinner, not have a sex-fest on my couch!" Even though she sounded angry, I knew she was joking.
"Mmm hmm," I said, smiling. "Youre just jealous that we didnt ask you to join us."
Ally laughed. "Not hardly."
I glanced at Ethan, who was now staring at the ground, his face bright red. I took his chin in my hand and raised his head to look at me. "Hey, dont worry about it, shes just kidding." I leaned to him and whispered in his ear, "That kiss was amazing. But I suppose it was good we werent able to go too far. I wouldnt want to do anything you werent ready for."
He smiled and my heart jumped. I knew at that moment that I was falling in love.
This first chapter is based loosely on actual events.
Then names have, of course, been changed to protect the guilty :o).
"Ethan" was a real person, but I never came out to him. This is a story about
what could have been in a perfect world.