Overdue Apology

fiction by Daniel Bradford


Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved


Prior to entering the ninth grade I had always enjoyed school: I had plenty of friends, my teachers liked me and most of the time I got better grades than my older sister, Trish. I'd resigned myself to the fact that I would be one of the last chosen for a sports team during recess and eventually phys ed classes, mostly because I was short and a bit pudgy; it's fair to say that I'm not the most athletic either, though I did just fine for two years of Little League until I decided it was easier to stay home and practice the piano. I was hardly obese. My grandmother said I was cherubic and called me her little angel. I had assembled a small collection of angels, Nana's gifts for birthdays, Christmas and various holidays before I reached my teens, though somewhere along the line I grew tired of the cutesy connotation.

But on the very first day of senior high, school was a whole new ball game. During the preceding summer vacation, I decided that I liked boys and high school was filled with 16, 17 and 18-year old guys that just looked awesome, though I knew I wasn't supposed to stare. Add to that the fact that puberty had apparently skipped me over as my voice was as high-pitched and my body as smooth and hairless as when I was in fifth grade.

Seemingly, even, my two best friends betrayed me! Ellen, who had always been something of a tomboy, arrived the first day of the school year with curves! In grade school, Ellen became Len and then her closest friends, myself included settled on Lenny as her nickname. She had started to let her hair grow last year and though it was still barely shoulder length, it was luscious. Whether or not she noticed, I noticed that lots of upper-classmen gave her more than just a glance. Meanwhile, Mark, who had always been cute, had also let his hair grow into a messy mop; he was now taller, totally tan and his braces were gone! In tight black jeans and a tee he looked killer; all sorts of girls were giving him the once over. By comparison to the two of them, I looked like last week's leftovers, but they remained good and true friends.

About the time midterms were hanging over everyone's head, I was struck by hormonal lightening. My voice started to change, meaning it was forever cracking. My penis developed a life of its own, seemingly for the sole purpose of embarrassing me. Everything, I mean everything started to grow and on top of all that, I was beset with acne. School became punishment and I dreaded waking up Monday through Friday.

Fortunately my older sister came to the rescue as it were, at least regarding my face. Apparently she had had a similar experience in seventh grade and being a very popular girl, pursued every possible solution. She convinced me to forego sodas, though I couldn't completely abandon chocolate. She talked mom into buying the same products that had worked for her and instructed me as to their use and application. I walked or biked to school when the weather permitted, but mostly kept a low profile and stole occasional glances at cute guys.

When summer finally arrived I went to great lengths to ride my bike, mow the lawn or engage in any sort of physical activity. I figured out that during the two hours immediately after the end of swimming lessons, the pool was mostly devoid of anyone from school and used that time to swim. I also used our mutt, Charlie as an excuse to walk the neighborhood. Of course we both got some exercise, but honestly I was mostly cruising for boys washing cars, mowing lawns, shooting hoops or just hanging out, often without shirts. Maybe Charlie was gay too, as he pulled the leash taut and "pretended" to sniff around every time I paused to stare at hot bodies.

My dad was very enthusiastic when I asked to go jogging with him. He had been a track star in high school and college until he injured his knee, but he loved to run and even now donned a knee brace several times a week to get his fix. At first, I'd run part way and wait for him to meet me on his return, but by summer's end I could almost keep up with him; he always finished first but I at least finished the course.

Mid-August Trish took me shopping for school clothes before she left for college. Mom usually bought clothes for me, typically khakis and polo shirts, but my sister somehow convinced our mom to fork over some cash. I learned first hand how much Trish loved to shop, as we must have entered almost every store in town, except those she deemed beneath us. I was exhausted!

"Save the receipt," she admonished after every purchase. "In case you change your mind, though I'm telling you girls will love you in this stuff." I didn't have the courage to tell her that I wasn't interested in impressing girls, but liked her sense of style. I didn't intend to return anything! Before we were finished, she ushered me into a hair salon and gave the stylist some suggestions. It was hardly radical, but it wasn't the usual barber cut I'd been getting since grade school. Before we headed home, Trish treated me to frozen yogurt; of course I selected chocolate.

I never thought about missing my sister as I'd never thought of us as being particularly close, but the 10 days between her departure and the start of school were fairly miserable.

Sophomore year got off to a good start: my weight hadn't changed much but it was now spread over several inches of new height, my face was clear except for two or three zits and I had new clothes and a new hair style. It was easier to laugh and smile, which was more in keeping with my typical demeanor. With dad's prompting, I tried out for cross-country and became a back-up runner; the coach was encouraging but made it clear that I needed to improve my endurance for distance running. Practice was harsh, but there was something pleasant about pushing myself and the other runners were always encouraging.

Likewise Mark and Ellen offered positive comments about my summer "makeover" as did several of my other close friends. Of course I still had to be careful with my cruising, but at least I didn't feel exactly like a toad staring at a prince. Well, at least that was what I thought until Tim Morgan became my tablemate and lab partner in third-period Chemistry. I had identified him as a total hottie during the first weeks of freshman year and he only looked better a year later. Not only was he a looker; he was totally smart and super-cool. Chemistry was either heaven or hell depending on whether my cock was hard or soft; I don't know how but Tim seemed to be in control of my dick. Our third week together (I'm not sure about the timing) Tim made some encouraging comment about me and the Cross-country team; it took me totally by surprise as no one paid attention to the sport and other than my dad and my teammates I doubted that anyone else even knew I was on the team. Regardless, we made a good lab partners and excelled in that class.

I couldn't believe it when Tim and I were again paired in Physics at the exact same table, the following year.

"Not you again!" he teased that first day.

"'Fraid so." I replied, thinking that he was at least twice as handsome as when school ended just three months earlier. Ellen was also in our class, and apparently sat with the proverbial "dullest tool in the shed". When she suggested we get together to study, I enthusiastically embraced the idea. I was only involved with a fall sport, while Tim was one of the school's star athletes and changed sport with every season. Regardless he agreed and the three of us studied and socialized through the year. As fall turned to winter, Ellen and I attended several basketball and later, baseball games where Mark played along side Tim.

I couldn't decide if I should be pleased or pissed that Mark and Ellen started dating that year. They looked good together and seemed to make each other smile a lot. Maybe I was jealous of the fact that they were dating and I was completely single, without a chance in hell of hooking up with a cute guy. But there was also the nasty truth that I sort of had a thing for Mark.

Though we regularly crossed paths, Tim and I shared no classes senior year and I attributed that happenstance to the simple luck of the draw; apparently I'd already used up my good luck in that arena. Still I felt there was still a bit of cosmic luck shining on me, as Mark and Ellen were no longer together and I became a starting runner for the team. (You win some and you lose some.) I considered coming out to Mark, while wishing, hoping and praying that he was gay too. (I mean, why else would he break up with Ellen?) But I wanted his friendship more than a fuck, especially this late in the game, so didn't say anything.

Even after cross-country season ended, I continued to run; it was a welcome diversion to the various and almost continuous conversations in my head, about boys, sex and sometimes college. The end result being that as my body got taller, it also got a bit toned (at least my ass and legs.) I was hardly a hunk, but considering the way I looked at the start of freshman year, I thought I was looking pretty good. Except for test scores, college applications and an occasional zit, I enjoyed that final year of high school most of the time.

High school graduation was about what you would expect: slightly bittersweet, with moments of joy but mostly boring! The top students got all the accolades while everyone else was ignored. My grades were very good, though not stellar. In all honesty I just wanted to get into a decent college far from home so I could start my life over by finally coming out...who knows, maybe even hook up with a guy. So I hardly paid attention when Tim and I crossed paths at a graduation party and he suggested we "keep in touch."

"Sure," I replied to what I assumed was nothing more than a social nicety.

A week later, I began my summer job; actually it was the first of two jobs: this one was part-time, Thursday through Monday helping out at the vet clinic where we took Charlie. The clinic also provided boarding, so my main duty was to feed and exercise the animals and clean the kennels. Occasionally I also assisted the groomer. The following week I procured a second job at a juice bar in the food court of the local mall. Neither job was my idea of a good time, but it's difficult to find summer employment. And a wagging tail made me realize things could be much worse; I felt lucky to have the equivalent of a full-time job.

Just days later, Tim actually called me! He inquired if I wanted a summer running mate; what could I say, except yes! Though I was in the best physical condition of my life, I was ready to slack off on my running schedule until he called. Tim had a nine-to-five job so we had to run early or late; we agreed on mornings. I hated getting up early except for the fact that Tim would be waiting for me, wearing a lot less clothing than I was accustomed to seeing him wear. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that he was still very competitive: he always won the sprints, while I could outlast him every time we went for distance. By mutual agreement we usually ran a bit slower or Tim would bow out early promising to "meet me at the finish line." Those times were actually the best as I got my full workout while a sweaty, often shirtless Tim was waiting for me with bottled water. Seriously, all I wanted to do was drink in the sight of him. His other shameless tactic was to lift the hem of his shirt to wipe his face, which of course, exposed his near-perfect abs.

On one such morning he invited me to join a group for an outing. It's a bit embarrassing to admit that I consented before he had given me any particulars. As it turned out, I was just one of a group hanging out at a pizza place, but Tim didn't ignore me; he made me feel welcome and included. This continued as the weeks of summer slipped by. Sometimes it would be a group event, often including Mark who was one of Tim's jock buddies, but with increasing frequency, it was just Tim and I watching a movie, playing video games, sitting side by side at a softball game or just hangin' out to commiserate over the state of being a teen caught in the limbo between high school and college. Whatever! I was excited when Tim invited me to go camping the last weekend before he left for school.

We had agreed that Tim would pick me up at my house on Thursday after my shift ended; Tim's final day of work had been the previous Friday. I left him in my room as I went to the bathroom to shower. When I returned, wrapped in a towel, Tim was nowhere to be seen.

"Tim?" I called out as I closed the door.

His head peeked out from around the edge of the closet door, which was slightly ajar before he stepped into the room, wearing only his boxers and socks. "I want to see you naked," he said with a slightly nervous smile.

I stood frozen for several seconds before I moved toward him losing my towel, while my cock twitched to full hardness. Standing before his awesome body I dragged my hands down his muscled chest and abs before pulling his boxers to the floor. His dick jerked as it continued to stiffen.

"Get on the bed," I commanded, though I wasn't sure where my words were coming from. He stepped out of the boxers around his ankles and settled on my bed. I immediately crawled between his legs to attempt my very first blowjob. His cock was now fully hard and more than a bit intimidating. Neither of us said a word as I let nature take its course, informed by a bit of porn I'd read on the Internet; I don't think I'd ever been so nervous in my entire life! Also, it would seem that previously I hadn't paid much attention to my own erections as I was surprised by the fact that his cock was harder than steel, hotter that fire and leaking like a sieve, just like in the porn.

Despite my concerns about teeth and technique, Tim shot off not long after I began. It was a massive load and I couldn't take it all in, as his last volleys slipped from between my lips, down his shaft and onto his balls. I lapped up some of the errant load before I crawled up next to his magnificent, heaving, and sweaty body to watch his awesomeness.

When he had recovered a bit he wrapped his meaty fist around my hard dick; it only took a few strokes to bring me to the edge and I spewed a huge load between our bodies. Despite my huge climax, I remained focused on Tim, wanting desperately to kiss him, but something told me not to go there. Seemingly by mutual agreement, we wrapped the other in our arms.

Eventually we pulled apart and I offered Tim the use of the shower.

"No thanks. We really should get on the road."

There was nervous laughter and giggles as we used the towel, damp from my shower, to clean up before getting dressed. Tim helped carry my stuff to the car and we headed out for our weekend of camping. (There was some perverse humor in the fact that Tim's car was the same Honda station wagon his mom had used to take him to and from grade school; it had to be at least ten years old!) We were mostly quiet, though there were plenty of sly smiles as the radio played and Tim drove us to our destination. I don't know about Tim, but I was way more excited about the weekend after the brief, sexy intro in my bedroom.

When we eventually arrived it was like a drill for Tim, obviously he had done this before. We checked in at the office before driving to our campsite where Tim set up the tent with only occasional assistance from me. I wanted to help but was also content to watch this sexy dude do his thing.

After we had moved things from the car to the tent, Tim actually asked for my help. "C'mon, we need wood for the fire." At that point I would have done whatever he told me to do. The activity felt good after hours on the road and we quickly gathered more than enough for our needs. Eventually he cooked dinner over a campfire, which included a couple of impressive steaks. It wasn't until were we eating that I realized how hungry I was; except for some of Tim's jock protein, I had missed lunch that day. The food was great and the mood was romantic sitting around the fire as we were. However, once my belly was full, I was in serious need of sleep. I offered to clean up, though Tim assured me that we only had to tend to the fire and the bears. Of course I started to freak out until he explained what needed to be done. It didn't take long and soon we were sleeping side by side inside the tent.

Tim was up and making breakfast when I finally roused the next morning. I probably would have slept for another hour or two but my bladder demanded attention. Regardless, Tim looked amazing, crouched over a budding fire dressed in just his boxers, with the sun rising behind him. I just smiled and sought out a discrete spot to take my morning piss.

It was hardly a champagne brunch, but definitely a more elaborate breakfast than I would have expected given the rustic surroundings. Of course the fact that Tim was still dressed in just his boxers possibly tweaked my objectivity.

Regardless, I had to ask. "Dude, what's up with all this? I mean it's totally great but you don't have to do all this for me, so why?"

"Well maybe just because... I like you," he replied with a sincere yet dazzling smile.

"Whatever," I said at bit embarrassed. "It's great. You're..." I was so overwhelmed I couldn't complete my thought. Tim just smiled.

After we cleaned up and gathered our things, Tim led us on a hike. Though I'd never been a Boy Scout, I sort of imagined that this was what it might be like, except that I had my personal, very hunky scout leader.  Tim talked about plants, pointed out rock formations and identified animal scat with the same conviction he used when discussing a chemistry formula. He obviously knew what he was talking about and I was content to listen and learn. Unlike my teachers, he peppered his speech with an occasional joke or jab to the ribs. When we stopped for a break, I managed to get his cock out of his shorts long enough to blow him. I repeated this tactic again before we made our way back to camp. Tim didn't complain; he actually gave me a fierce hug after my second effort.

Back at camp we dumped our packs before we ran to the lake for a swim. We hadn't seen any other campers so I followed Tim's lead and swam naked in the cool water. Eventually we toweled off and dressed before we again sat in front of a campfire and shared diner. As before, Tim did most of the work while I watched the flames highlight his handsome form. I was at least able to clean up and stow everything before I helped myself to dessert behind the fly of Tim's shorts. He groaned and I smiled before we again slept next to each other in the close confines of our tent.

The next morning we drove several miles down shore where we rented a canoe for the day. I was happy to paddle, though my lack of skill often had us going in circles. Tim teased but never scolded me. The water was fairly calm so we occasionally drifted wherever the current might take us while eating or laughing or talking. We were on the water until just before our rental agreement expired, when Tim basically power-rowed the canoe back to shore; it was all I could do not to laugh at our predicament, while watching his arms and chest flex with the effort. It was an awesome day.

Of course we were sticky with sweat and sunscreen, so I suggested that we shower rather than just taking a swim. Tim snickered but agreed. When we arrived at the camp facilities, which were fairly crude; I suggested we shower together to "save water." Now Tim rolled his eyes, but his smile told me he wasn't going to argue. The water was tepid and the flow timid, but I hardly noticed as we soaped the other's body. Eventually I stood behind him with my rigid cock slipping and sliding between his muscled ass cheeks while I rubbed his chest, tweaked his nibs and teased his cock and balls. His hands were pressed against the cinder block walls as his climax built and then exploded, plastering the wall and floor with his load. While he recovered, I made a tube with my hands, thrusting my dick in and out while staring at Tim's ass. It wasn't long before I shot my load, taking care to miss Tim.

The water was almost cold when we finally rinsed off; I know my nuts had pulled tight from the chill. Regardless were satiated and felt clean as we toweled off. Just as I reached for my boxers, Tim grabbed them from the hook.

"Dude! You're not going to wear this funky shit after a nice, warm shower, are you?" he queried with a smile before snatching them from my reach.

"Guess not," I replied with a smile of my own and slipped on my shorts. I had a million dollar view of Tim's ass as he pulled his shorts on sans boxers. At least we were even.

Knowing the drill, I was able to be a bit more helpful as Tim started a fire and cooked our evening meal. After two days together, lust and love had pretty much consumed my consciousness. I continued to scoot closer to Tim as we ate and talked, until we sat side by side, touching.  Obviously Tim noticed but he didn't comment or move away, even when I slid an arm around his naked waist and began to nibble on his ear and neck.

"Maybe we should take this inside," Tim finally said with the tiniest of smiles.

For a nanosecond or two I was embarrassed but together we righted the campsite at warp speed before we ended up in the tent naked, making out like bandits. I never had time to be disappointed by the fact that there was no sex, as after an extended period of kissing, hugging and enjoying each other's body we slept naked, still entwined. I had the sweetest dreams that night!

The next morning I groaned partly because I needed to piss before I was ready to start the day, but mostly because Tim wasn't lying next to me. Still, I smiled at the fact that I was naked as a result of last night's activities.  I tossed back the warm cover of the sleeping bag and exited the tent to see Tim's perfect ass facing me as he emptied his bladder. As quietly as possible I walked up behind him and grabbed an ass cheek in each hand.

"Morning!" Tim responded as if my ass-grab was nothing out of the ordinary.

"Yeah...sure...you too," I stuttered, caught off guard by his apparent nonchalance even as my cock rose to full hardness.

Tim turned slightly as he shook the last drips from his dick. "Good luck taking a piss with that thing!" He teased before leaving me alone. It took a long time and a lot of determination before I was able to drain my bladder. But when I returned to the tent, Tim was sprawled out like some image from a wet dream: his hands cradled his head, which flexed his arms and exposed his pits; his legs were slightly spread and his dick was hard and moist with precum. Man, he was so beyond hot!

I don't know what he was expecting but I decided to follow my own desires as I dropped between his legs and began to kiss and lick his flesh starting at the bulge of his calf muscle. Except for a giggle, a sigh or a moan, Tim was quiet though his breathing became more pronounced. He moaned audibly when I lapped at his balls and took several swipes at his cock before continuing up to his navel and chest, being certain to tease his nipples. Only because I had read about it in a story, I ventured over to an exposed armpit and swabbed it with my tongue. Tim snickered at first, but sucked in air after my wet tongue and warm breath meshed with his pit. It was clean after our shower the night before, but there was a hint of Tim's special smell. By the time I reached his neck, Tim was muttering about his cock needing attention. It was simply not possible to forget his delectable cock, but I'd never had the chance to touch, kiss and feel his awesome body. Regardless, the trip down the opposite side of his torso was rather quick. When I approached his navel the second time, I noticed the sticky fluid caught in his treasure trail just below the tip of his cock head. We both groaned as I cleaned his lower belly before teasing his dick with a few languid licks and played with his balls. His hips began to thrust before I finally spit out his balls and swallowed as much of his prick as I could.

"F-U-C-K!" he exhaled breathily.

Tim was hotter than I'd ever seen him; his hips thrust and his hands came down from behind his head to push my face down onto his throbbing dick. I had several uncomfortable moments, but I was also hornier than I'd ever been, so didn't protest. Needless to say, Tim soon reached his climax and flooded my mouth with his load. I did a pretty good job of dealing with his generous offering.

After focusing my attention on Tim, my dick was slightly softened though it was still closer to my belly than my balls. I moved into a position lying next to Tim as he recovered. He had a lame smile on his face as his head turned and he opened his eyes to see my face near his. I thought and actually hoped he would kiss me but he just grunted something about his turn. I didn't know what he meant until he moved his face to my crotch and felt his hand grasp my dick, followed by a tentative lick. I groaned and my cock flexed as he licked the head and then the shaft several times before he eventually attempted to put it in his mouth.  I almost lost my load when he rather clumsily slipped my dick into his hot, wet mouth. I couldn't complain, as I'm sure my previous attempts had been equally graceless; instead I moaned loudly.

My eyes had been scrunched tightly shut as I attempted to concentrate on and memorize the feelings but when I opened them, Tim's half hard cock was staring me in the face. I didn't think twice about the opportunity quite literally staring at me, though I never expected that my mouth would seemingly inspire Tim's, as he got more aggressive with his cock sucking. Of course, that got me really going and in no time I was shooting my load, which seemed to take Tim completely by surprise; the first shot or two entered his mouth before he pulled back and got splattered with the rest (and that time, I shot a lot!) I had to pause a moment to catch my breath, but didn't neglect Tim's rod for very long. Despite the fact that he had already cum that morning, it wasn't long before he fed me again.

When he recovered he grabbed a towel and suggested we take a swim. I jumped up and grabbed the other towel before we ran naked to the lake and jumped in.  DAMN! The water was cold after being skin on skin, but it also felt good. We splashed and played in the water until Tim climbed onto the shore and started to towel off. I immediately followed and found myself in an impromptu towel fight. In my experience, the runners seldom indulged in this activity but it was easy to imagine that Tim's jock buddies perfected their skill in the locker room after practice. Tim stung me with a particularly sharp strike to my ass, while wearing a rather sinister, if not angry sneer of a smile. I yelped but didn't say anything. Tim turned away and wrapped his towel around his waist and headed back to camp. It wasn't the chill of the water I was feeling as I covered myself with my towel and followed Tim; the entire mood of our weekend had changed.

Though I was only moments behind him, Tim was already dressed and fixing breakfast without benefit of a fire. I quickly dressed and ate, though I wasn't particularly hungry. I asked Tim if something was wrong but he merely mumbled something about needing to get home to pack the car, now that his parents would be riding with him to college rather than following in their own car as originally planned. I couldn't imagine that this change of plans had occurred while we were together camping, but couldn't convince myself to challenge him.

Though mostly silent, we made an efficient team as were struck the tent, packed our gear into Tim's car and cleaned up our campsite. Once we were on the road nothing changed, though unlike our drive to the campsite there were no shared smiles or nervous excitement; it was pretty miserable actually. I was glad that Tim accepted my offer to pay for the gas when we eventually stopped to fill the tank and empty our bladders.

The radio was our conversation and my companion as we rode in relative silence. I was staring out the passenger side window when an Incubus song began to play and I remembered hearing it at about the same place when we were traveling in the opposite direction. The coincidence was possibly worth noting but this time the lyrics grabbed my attention.

You and I are like oil and water

And we've been trying, trying, trying

Oh, to mix it up.

We've been dancing on a volcano

And we've been crying, crying, crying

Over blackened souls....


We've been lying to each other...


Let's just call it what it is...

I pretended to rub my eye as I actually wiped away my tears. I forced myself to look at Tim but he seemed to be focused on the road. I'm not sure whether or not my sigh was audible, but there was no reaction from him.

When we arrived at my house, Tim helped me to the door with my stuff and promised to call before he left town. Before he drove away, I began to obsess over what I had done to make our near-perfect weekend end so ominously.  His call arrived about 36 hours later and consisted of a dozen or so words; he'd kept his promise but it did nothing to improve my mood. In response to my parents' inquiry, I just said I was nervous and excited about school.

I doubt it was Tim's intention, but when I arrived at my college campus I felt like a grossly obese, pimply-faced eyesore; it was a bazillion times worse than ninth grade! Fortunately my roommate more or less ignored me, while I played the homesick card to get me over the hump. Needless to say, I kept to myself, studied well into the night and ran more than when I was in training. I felt like shit, but my legs and my grades both evidenced my endeavors. Eventually I put my weekend with Tim in some remote file, though I didn't pursue my high school dream of reinventing myself as a gay guy. Eventually I discovered that my roommate, Wes was actually a pretty cool guy even if he was straight, and that there were plenty of cute guys on campus. A few actually approached me but I was still too skittish to get beyond the initial `hello'. Ultimately I made the Dean's list and remained single that year.

When the school year ended I returned home for the summer. I seldom thought about that disastrous weekend with Tim, though my self-image was still in the shitter. Whatever! My first priority was to get a job. My parents were so happy to have their "baby" back home that they downplayed the importance of a job, but I would have gone postal without some distraction. I felt fortunate to find employment in the packing department of a local electrical component manufacturing facility: the work was mindless, the pay decent and no one cared what I looked like.

Several weeks into the job Tim called. (He actually called after almost a year!) He told me he was going to be home for the 4th of July weekend and wanted to see me.  I was pleased and pissed and a million other things but agreed to meet with him.

I was nervous as hell and still a bit angry when I heard the doorbell ring to announce Tim's arrival. I wanted to kiss him and kill him, though I couldn't prioritize either of those options. When I opened the door, he looked serious and nervous and was totally lacking the jock-stud confidence that I remembered, but still he looked incredible!  He stared at the floor through most of our initial exchange before he followed me into the living room where I provided glasses of iced tea.

It was awkward and the tension was as thick as fog before Tim finally spoke. "Evan.... I...I owe you an apology even though I never meant to...to hurt you. I...I got scared and I...God I'm such a loser!"

I was thinking something similar but encouraged him to continue.

"You...you were great; perfect, actually. But I got scared and ran without even thinking about you. I'm so sorry. I'm just glad that you," he again dropped his face towards the floor. "Let me talk to you like this."

"You hurt me badly, Tim. For the first few weeks, I spent all my energy hating you, but eventually I had to do something else or die." Suddenly, the pain felt fresh and new.

"God, I'm sorry," Tim said looking like he might cry. "I'm not trying to make excuses but it was hard for me too. I don't know what I was expecting but I kept telling myself that if I didn't do anything, I wasn't gay... but I really wanted to...and then I...I sucked you...and liked it. This is so fucked up!"   Tim paused and I think he sobbed before he wiped his eyes. "See, I didn't even start to think about guys until late my junior year and I didn't really know what it meant or what I wanted, though I had some ideas. But by then I'd already had years of homophobic jock talk in locker rooms; guys talk all kinds of shit but it always gets back to cock and pussy. I mean two naked guys can have a conversation with hard-ons but eventually they get dressed and maybe share a slap on the back! They'd never handle another guy's cock even though I'm sure I wasn't the only one that at least thought about it.   And my folks are pretty religious and aren't too happy with the whole `gay agenda', whatever that is. Then one night my uncle was at our house for dinner and there was something about `Don't Ask, Don't Tell' on T.V. Uncle Steve, who served in Vietnam, went off the deep end. He started yelling at the television until my dad asked him to shut up or leave.  Still, I can't forget him yelling that the military should `lock up all the fags let them fuck themselves to death!'"

We nervously looked at each other silently, after that revelation.

"Ouch! That's pretty harsh." I finally replied, feeling for perhaps the first time, some compassion for Tim. "That sounds bad, so why did you pick me?" I naively asked.

Tim practically smiled before he replied. "Seriously?"

"Yes," I returned, once again wanting to know how or why I became involved in that weekend that ended so badly.

"Well...you were...well, I thought you were kinda cute and after we started to study with Ellen, I started to like you... I mean as a guy or a person and not just a classmate. And... I noticed you always seemed to have a boner in physics. At first I thought it was because we sat behind Jenny and Christine but I guess my ego and my secret suggested that you got hard for me." He flashed a nervous smile before he continued. His tiny smile was possibly only the second one since I had answered the door.  "This probably sounds shitty but you were also sort of a safe target as you weren't part of my regular crowd. I mean... like, if you ran away it wouldn't have been a big loss... I...I mean, I didn't think you would embarrass me at school... Fuck!" he sighed. "Honestly Evan, I don't know what I was thinking except that I wanted to try stuff with you. Still I was too scared to do anything about it while we were in school; you have no idea how many times I started to call before I finally hit the call button and let the phone ring."


"Yeah, I was nervous as hell; it's a good thing you were cool. You probably noticed that I didn't make a move until the last possible moment."  He stared at me for several moments. "Evan, I loved every moment of that weekend until...until I freaked out; I think I might have been falling in love with you."

"But you ran away without telling me anything."

"Yeah, I know... I know I sound like a broke record but I really am sorry."

Tim went on to explain how he had gone on to date three different girls after he arrived on campus, with each pairing lasting less time than the previous one. "Then a couple months ago I met Darren, well he actually introduced himself to me; I was in no position to be pursuing anyone." I nodded my acknowledgement; I had spent an entire year in that same position. "We've sort of become friends; he's the one that suggested that I talk to you face-to-face."

"Is he your boyfriend?" I asked with a bit of jealousy.

"Not exactly...he's more than just a friend but we're not... He's the one that made me realize what I felt...feel for you. He's the one that suggested, well he practically insisted that I contact you." Tim said with a nervous smile.

"Oh." I said slightly embarrassed. "He sounds like a pretty decent guy."

"Yeah, he is," Tim, said as he moved from the chair to sit beside me on the couch. "But I don't want to talk about him right now," he said as he placed a hand on my knee while an arm wrapped around my shoulder. "I don't deserve it, but can I kiss you?"

I turned to face him and saw the most handsome and sincere face looking into my eyes. I nodded and leaned in to meet his lips. He kissed me, before I returned the kiss. We shared a final kiss before I pulled away. "Tim, I forgive you but it's going to take a long time for me to forget what you did to me."

"I get it," he replied, as his eyes got wet. "Evan, even now I'm still learning how special you are. You're being more generous than I deserve, but if it's not too much to ask, can we stay in touch?"

"I'll try," I honestly answered.

"Thanks," he said and nodded. "I owe you a lot; you let me be me after I had struggled with it for years. I guess I owe Darren too, since he convinced me that our weekend was a good thing. Because of him, you and I are sitting here together."

I nodded with a smile and suddenly we were kissing like it was the end of time. Eventually we made our way to the door and said goodbye. I was a bit conflicted, but felt that an immense weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Tim called that evening and we talked for a while; he returned to campus the next morning.

Though they tended to be brief, we exchanged phone calls and emails throughout the summer until it was time for me to return to school. We didn't necessarily stop at that point, though we both got involved with school. I had a new roommate and Tim moved back into the dorms as planned. It was nice to be able to share the experiences of a new school year with him, but as the year got underway and we got busy with studies and various activities our correspondence dwindled. At some point, Tim informed me that he and Darren were no longer hanging together. Maybe I should have been more concerned but considered the fact that perhaps Darren was a (fortuitous) stepping-stone to help Tim (and me) grow. Also, I had started to run with Carl several times a week, so I was less inclined to fret over Tim and Darren.

Carl was one of the guys that had approached me last year, but back then he got nothing more than the brush-off from me. Being pissed off at the world, and more specifically at Tim, I decided Carl's name was excuse enough: only old guys had that name! But half a year later, his persistence and genuine smile persuaded me to agree when he asked to be my running partner. Carl isn't the hottest or smartest guy on campus, but there's something beyond his kissable lips, curly auburn hair, farm boy sincerity and incredible legs (he was the clean-up guy in the 800 meter relay in high school) that makes him awfully irresistible. After last year's abbreviated introduction, I'm pretty sure the running thing is just an icebreaker, but if he doesn't say something or make a move soon, I'm going to ask him for a date!

I think I'm finally ready to be the [gay] guy I expected to be a year ago, though I'm not going to put the burden of proof on Carl if he agrees to meet for coffee. I wouldn't complain if Carl turned out to be the love of my life, but for the moment I'd like to experience a single fervent moment that would sustain me when I finally come out to Trish and my parents.

Carl, are you with me on this?

The End