This is a story about a gay male and may involve sexual activity
males, so if this is likely to offend you, or is illegal where you live
do not read any further. All the events and characters in this
are fictional and any resemblances to real people are purely
The story is copyright of the author and may not be distributed or
placed on any web sites without written permission from the author.
I would like to thank my editor, Richard Lyon, for his encouragement
moral support while this story was being written and for his hard work
seeking out errors after it was written.
If you enjoy this story or have any comments about it, please feel
free to send me an email .
After that Easter break Frank and I spent a lot of time together both
at school and away from school. We also started going on camping trips
together as often as we could, which turned out to be at least two
weekends per month, even if it was just for one overnight sleep-out.
Not only had my aversion to camping decreased but I quickly grew to
enjoy the advantages of finding isolated campsites where we could be
Just before our third trip after Easter Frank bought me a present of a
new sleeping bag. At first I attempted to protest at such a generous
gift, especially as it wasn't even my birthday. However, he pointed out
that the zip on the new bag 'just happened' to be compatible with the
zip on his, so that the two bags could be joined together 'for extra
warmth and comfort', so I abandoned my protests.
I occasionally went round to Frank's house but we rarely had enough
privacy to risk any sexual interaction there because at least one of
his three sisters, usually the youngest, always seemed to be around .
His parents seemed very nice and they were always kind and welcoming
toward me, though I didn't see much of his dad because of the
unsociable hours he worked at the bakery. However, I did see and hear
enough about him to realise that he took a much greater interest in
Frank's life than my dad took in mine.
In retrospect I think that perhaps there was another reason apart from
privacy that most of our physical intimacy took place in his tent.
Although I didn't consciously consider this at the time and never
discussed it with Frank, I believe now that perhaps being inside the
tent was like being in a different world, separated from outside
reality and not subject to the same rules. Thus the intimacy we shared
might be regarded as 'queer' in the outside world, but in our own
private world inside the tent we could have our own rules and
Sometimes we could only get away for a brief night together so it was
fortunate that Frank had access to an ideal local spot for us to pitch
the tent . To the north of our town the hills rose steeply and on the
far side of the hills was open moor land. In the area between hill side
and moor land was a sheltered hollow in which there was a small coppice
next to a water-filled abandoned quarry. As it was private land and the
old quarry was regarded as dangerous, the area was fenced off and the
only way in was up a small track and through a locked gate.
The landowner was a close friend of Frank's father and Frank had been
there camping many times before we became friends. The first time he
took me there he proudly showed me his favourite place, which was
sheltered on three sides by the coppice and just a couple of dozen
yards from the quarry. At that particular location the edge of the
quarry was a sheer rock face dropping dramatically down to the water,
which was at least twenty feet below. Overall it was a beautiful,
secluded and convenient place for us to spend private time together.
Although Frank's rugby-player build had intimidated me a little when we
first met, I soon realised that he was really very gentle and
affectionate. Maybe this was because he was doted on by his older
sisters and, it seemed to me, almost worshipped by his younger sister,
Rachel. In contrast to my own family, his family quite commonly
displayed affection and he showed no embarrassment at all when his
mother or sisters gave him a hug or kissed him on the cheek. On a
couple of occasions I even saw his dad give him a hug, though at least
that only happened within the family home.
Frank's affectionate nature could be very endearing but it sometimes
made me uncomfortable, especially when he showed his fondness for me in
public. For example, a few times at school he seemed a little more
protective toward me and looked out for my interests more than I would
expect from just a good friend. A couple of times in his home he put
his arm over my shoulder when his mother or sisters could see us, and
that caused me to wriggle away uncomfortably.
One lunch time on the way to the school cafeteria he carelessly put his
arm round me and I recoiled, terrified that someone might see us and
think we were queer. I was horrified by the thought that I might get a
reputation at school and that my brother might find out and tell the
rest of my family. In a panic, I hurried away from Frank and avoided
him for the rest of the day. That night he phoned me and when I heard
how upset he was I immediately regretted the way I treated him.
"What happened?" he asked, his voice a little unsteady, "Why did you
just rush off like that?"
"You can't go round hugging me in public like that!" I hissed, keeping
my voice low to make sure no one in the house could overhear, "People
will talk, and I don't want us to get a reputation.""
"I wasn't hugging you," he protested, "I just put my arm over your
shoulder. And why should people talk? I was just being friendly,
like I am with other friends."
I recalled that on a couple of occasions I had indeed seen him do such
things with other close friends and it occurred to me that my attitude
might be influenced more by paranoia than by logic. However, I still
felt that we couldn't afford to take any risks and that I should assert
myself on this matter.
"Well I'm not just other friends," I responded, "so please promise me
you won't do it again. Not in public."
"Okay, I promise," he said in a tone that made me feel as though I'd
just kicked a kitten.
He kept his promise, though I noticed a few times when he almost forgot
and made some quickly-aborted arm or hand movement in my direction.
One good thing that came out of that episode, though, was that we
became more open about discussing our feelings. Before that we'd talked
a lot about our 'external' lives, interests, family, school, and
suchlike topics but up until then we'd not discussed anything related
to our 'internal' emotional lives. Even after that, however, there was
one thing we never, ever discussed, and that was sexuality. We talked
about sex and about when, where and how we might do it, but we never
mentioned being gay, bisexual or even straight-but-experimenting.
The next major event in our relationship took place during the long
summer holidays when we walked the Cleveland Way from Helmsley in the
Pennines to Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast. It would have been
quite possible to complete it in seven days, but as we were carrying
camping gear and also wanted to make it into a vacation rather than an
endurance test, we decided to spread it out over fifteen days. That
meant we could do most of the hiking in the morning, have a pub lunch,
find a nice quiet campsite, pitch the tent and then explore the local
On the third night of our trip we lay in the tent, cuddling together on
top of our sleeping bags after a most enjoyable sex session that had
culminated in a mutually explosive sixty-nine position. We were both
lying on our sides with Frank in front of me, my arm wrapped round his
chest and the side of my face nestled into his neck. It must have been
well after ten o'clock but the summer sky was still light and although
I was physically tired I didn't feel at all sleepy. Apparently Frank
felt the same because he began what turned out to be a long and
rambling conversation, which after a few minutes reached the topic of
our plans for the future.
"We'll need to start thinking about applying to universities next
term," he said thoughtfully.
"Yeah, I s'pose," I responded without much enthusiasm.
"What's the matter," he asked with a hint of concern, "You do want to
go to uni, don't you?"
"Oh, yeah, I want to go. I'm just not looking forward to all the hassle
of applying... and I haven't even decided what I want to do yet."
"I've known what I want to do for ages... History then maybe
"So you fancy yourself as another Indiana Jones," I joked, "Somehow I
don't think that Lancashire Lewis has quite the same ring to it."
"Stupid sod," he replied good-naturedly, moving his elbow backwards to
prod the side of my ribs.
"Anyway," he added thoughtfully after a long pause, "I was thinking
that maybe... when you've decided exactly what subject you're going to
do... maybe we could pick a uni that we could both go to?"
His question ended rather hesitantly, but I didn't hesitate before
replying because I'd been thinking the very same thing. However, I'd
been wary of bringing the matter up myself because it would have been
very embarrassing if he'd rejected the idea.
"That sounds like a great idea," I said, trying not to sound too eager.
He didn't say anything, but he relaxed more into my embrace and gently
moved his head so it rubbed against mine. Somehow I got the impression
that if he'd been a cat he would have been purring.
As we lay for a few minutes in a comfortable silence I felt my dick
getting hard again as it rested in the crack between his ass cheeks. I
found myself slowly, almost absent-mindedly, humping against him and at
first it was just a gentle erotic self-pleasuring rather than an act of
passionate lust. After a while, however, he began a synchronised
movement of his own in a way which not only increased the pressure
against my dick but also seeming to grip it between his buttocks. When
he then took my hand and put it on his own stiff and leaking dick my
excitement increased enormously.
Suddenly he stopped moving and I wondered if something was wrong.
Perhaps I was squeezing him too tightly in my embrace or maybe he
thought that this action involving his bum was a bit too queer. Fearful
of spoiling things between us, I too ceased moving.
"You okay?" I whispered with a breathlessness that was caused more by
my apprehensiveness than by my physical exertions.
He didn't respond in words but made a sort of 'mmmm' sound and twisted
his head round until he was just about able to kiss my forehead.
Relieved that he did indeed seem okay, I moved so that my lips met his
and we kissed for a few seconds, which was as long as we could manage
with his head turned in that uncomfortable position. When we stopped
kissing I slowly and gently resumed my humping, assuming that he was
content with me doing so. However, he remained motionless, cleared his
throat and then spoke very quietly and hesitantly.
"Ya know... you and Simon... ya know you said you never kissed?"
"Yeah," I said, and reluctantly ceased my movements.
"And you told me about wanking and sucking with him, but you never
mentioned... erm... other stuff."
"Other stuff?" I echoed doubtfully.
Difficult as this may be to believe, at that moment I really didn't
know what he was referring to. That lack of understanding may have been
due to some naivety on my part or possibly because I was subconsciously
suppressing certain ideas. In any case, I could feel his body grow
tense and there was a long silence before he responded to my question.
"Yeah. Other stuff... like, well, like..."
There was pause of a few seconds as if he were trying either to find
the right words or to summon the courage to say those words. Maybe it
was a combination of both. He then took a deep breath before he
"Like.. fucking," he said quietly.
Of course I immediately realised what he'd been referring to so
hesitantly, and it was a double shock. At the time that word was for me
only used as a swear word and Frank very rarely swore. So at first I
was a little shocked by his use of the word and then considerably more
shocked by the fact that he thought that I might have done such a thing
"No, of course not," I said as soon as I regained enough composure, "we
never even considered it."
"It's good to hear that," Frank responded in a serious voice, then
before I could react any further he turned round to face me, gave me a
brief kiss and in a lighter tone he added, "Cos I'd like our first
times to be together."
My response to this was considerably delayed because I was confused by
the mixture of conflicting thoughts that tumbled around in my head. The
lustful excitement at the prospect of that sexual novelty had to
compete with some deep reservations, the first of these being that
fucking another boy's bum would definitely be crossing a line and would
be tantamount to admitting that I was a queer. While I was still
considering the implications of that it also occurred to me that it
might be rather unhygienic.
Then another cause for concern came to mind. Suppose he wanted to stick
his dick in me? As I expected some pain or at least discomfort I
certainly wasn't at all keen on that idea. Soon after discovering gay
porn on the internet I'd tried a couple of times to put things up my
bum but apart from the thrill of doing something new and a bit taboo it
hadn't given me any real pleasure. Anyway, before I could formulate a
response, Frank turned his back to me again.
"Go on, then," he said in a tone that was somehow both pleading and
demanding, "Put it in and do me."
During the next few minutes I tried to comply with his request, but
despite the use of both saliva and copious amounts of our combined
pre-cum, all my attempts failed. Neither of us had the knowledge or
experience to realise that penetrating his virgin sphincter would not
be as easy as it seemed in the internet porn. As thing turned out, by
the time we gave up trying I was sore and despite Frank's uncomplaining
bravery I could tell that our attempts had caused him some pain.
I was the one who suggested that we called a halt to the experiment but
despite his discomfort Frank seemed genuinely reluctant to abandon our
attempts. He was clearly disappointed when we gave up but for me the
disappointment was mixed with relief. We spooned together for a couple
of minutes of silent recovery, then I started humping again, this time
with my dick between his thighs, the head rubbing against his scrotum.
At the same time I wanked him and In a very short time we achieved
almost simultaneous orgasms.
For the next couple of days we continued our vacation with no mention
of our attempt at anal sex. I assumed that Frank had given up on the
idea and I was content to leave it at that. On the second night after
that, just as we finished undressing in the tent, Frank reached over to
one of the pockets of his rucksack, took out a large handful of small
packets and dropped them between us onto the sleeping bag.
"Look what I got," he said with a grin, obviously very pleased with
A quick glance downward revealed to me that these small packets were
individually wrapped portions of butter. As neither of us was
particularly fond of butter, this observation left me rather puzzled.
"I grabbed them from the pub table after lunch," he added in response
to my questioning look, "When you went for a pee, just before we left."
His explanation of the how and when still left me wondering about the
why. Frank quickly read my puzzled expression and spoke again.
"I thought it would make good lube... ya know, so we can try again," he
said, then hesitated before continuing uncertainly, "You do want to try
again, don't you?"
His meaning was immediately clear and the hopeful yet hesitant look in
his eyes overcame my reservations. A refusal to go along with his
idea would be like kicking a puppy that was rolling on its back, hoping
for me to tickle its tummy.
"Yeah, of course," I agreed.
The added lubrication, together with some preliminary finger work did
in fact enable me to get inside him, but he was still so tight that for
both of us, especially for Frank, there was more discomfort than
pleasure. There was no way that we were going to orgasm that way ,and
again I was the one who brought a halt to the proceedings.
"I'm sorry," Frank muttered, seemingly close to tears.
"Why should you be sorry?" I said gently, then in an attempt to lighten
the mood, I added. "It's not your fault that we just don't seem to fit
together as easily as we wanted... And anyway, I'm the one who should
be sorry cos the buttery mess on your sleeping bag is mostly my fault!"
"But I really, really wanted to give myself... to give you as much
pleasure as possible," he replied, the upset and disappointment clear
in his voice.
"We already give one another loads of pleasure," I said, then grinned
and continued, "And anyway, I think I read somewhere that too much
pleasure can kill you."
My attempt to cheer him up must have succeeded at least partially
because he smiled and spoke again in a happier tone.
"But what a way to go!" he said.
"C'mere!" I responded, pulling him toward me and kissing him as I
ground our dicks together.
During the course of the long summer break Frank passed his driving
test and after that he often managed to borrow one of the three family
cars. For the rest of the vacation we went camping for at least a
couple of days almost every week, and even after school started again
we managed to get away most weekends. If my family noticed that I was
rarely home they never bothered to mention it, though on more than one
occasion I had the distinct impression that my brother was very happy
at getting the bedroom to himself so frequently.
Despite our increased mobility the spot by the local flooded quarry
remained one of our favourite places. We regarded it as our own private
place, though on fine nights in summer our solitude was occasionally
broken by the sounds of a courting couple. However, that didn't really
bother us as they never ventured far from the road and we never saw
them in 'our' coppice.
A couple of weeks before the start of the new term Frank and I decided
to spend a long weekend by the quarry. Because of complications
borrowing a car, we arrived quite late on the Thursday evening, so as
soon as we'd pitched the tent then made and eaten a quick snack we
decided to bed down for the night. Even before we took off our clothes
we were snogging and groping one another, so several minutes went by
after we crawled into the tent and before we were completely naked.
Then Frank pulled away from our grinding embrace to get something from
"Here," he said, holding the object out to me, "I thought we might use
In the semi darkness at first I thought the object was a tube of
toothpaste and that the hint of embarrassed hesitancy was because he
was implying that I had bad breath. Then when he placed the tube in my
hand I took a closer look and saw that it was KY lubricant, at which
point I immediately understood that he wanted to try anal sex again.
After the previous two attempts I had thought he'd given up on the idea
and after the earlier experiences I wasn't keen to try again. He must
have detected my lack of enthusiasm because he spoke again, this time
in a cajoling, almost pleading tone.
"This should make it a lot easier," he said, indicating the KY, "And...
and I've been practising."
"Practising?" I echoed.
"Yeah," he said, looking and sounding very embarrassed, "So I won't be
Although I was curious, my own embarrassment prevented me from asking
just then how he'd been practising. However, before we went to sleep
that night I found out that he'd worked up the courage to order a dildo
and several tubes of KY from an on-line mail order company.
"C'mon, Ian," he pleaded, "Let's at least try it... I'm sure we'll both
So we did try it. This time there was no problem at all with the
penetration and we did indeed both enjoy it. Actually, we enjoyed it so
much that during the course of the next couple of hours we tried every
position we could think of and had two orgasms each. To my surprise,
Frank appeared to get at least as much pleasure from receiving as I got
from giving, so I didn't feel so guilty at being relieved when he
didn't suggest reversing our roles.
>From then on anal sex became part of our repertoire, though we
certainly didn't do it every time we got together. It was more like a
special treat we gave ourselves when we had lots of time to relax
together in complete privacy. I never suggested that maybe I should be
on the receiving end and much to my relief neither did Frank.
For the next few months life was good. Well, it was at least as good as
it could be, bearing in mind the stress of mock exams and applying to
universities. Frank and I both put Linchester as our first choice and
even planned to see if we could arrange to share a room in university
accommodation. Christmas came and went, and even the awful winter
weather didn't spoil our private time in the tent. However, we were
both happy when the weather improved as Easter approached.
The weekend before Easter we spent at our favourite local spot by the
quarry, and we were fortunate that it was an ideal spring weekend. The
weather was sunny and mild, fresh leaves were emerging from buds
on the trees, birds were singing joyfully and the water in the quarry
reflected the fluffy clouds in the pale blue sky. Besides all that, we
were both very horny that weekend and the sex was even better than
On the Sunday night after a prolonged sexual session, Frank and I lay
together in what had become our favourite position, with me spooned up
behind him, my right arm hugging him to me. Usually Frank went to sleep
quickly, but that night he seemed quite restless and his frequent small
movements were making it difficult for me to fall asleep.
"Is anything the matter?" I eventually asked, squeezing him gently,
then kissing the back of his neck.
"No," he said, not very convincingly.
"So why can't you sleep?" I persisted.
I felt his body tense up then immediately he began to gradually relax,
as if an involuntary tension was followed by an intentional relaxation.
After a couple of minutes he spoke again.
"Well, nothing's the matter," he said, then in an even quieter much
more uncertain tone he added, "It's just... just, I was wondering..."
His voice faded away and the tension-relaxation cycle in his body was
repeated a couple of times. I became concerned because clearly there
was something wrong but I had no idea what it might be. My first
tentative guess was that it might be that he wasn't satisfied with
always being the recipient during anal sex and that he wanted to
suggest trying a reversal of roles. However, from my knowledge of
Frank, I doubted that he would be so hesitant about making such a
"What were you wondering?" I asked soothingly, giving him an
I felt him tense again but this time it was not followed by the gradual
"I was wondering..." he said in what seemed to be an almost fearful
tone, "I was wondering if you loved me."
The question took me totally by surprise and I was shocked into a
breathless silence, just as if I'd been punched in the gut. I really
didn't know what to say. Knowing Frank so well, I felt confident that
it wasn't a trick question and that he wouldn't violently reject me if
I said yes. In fact I had a strong feeling that Frank wanted me to say
I also felt that my reply had to be totally truthful, but I really
didn't know what the truth was. Not only had I not expected the
question, I hadn't previously even thought about whether or not I loved
him. Instead, I'd just accepted without question the fact that I
enjoyed having him in my life. Did I love Frank? Certainly my feelings
for him were strong and deep.
When I compared those feelings with the feelings I'd had, indeed to
some extent still had for Simon, they were different. Simon had for a
time been the total focus of my life. Just thinking about him had
filled me with excitement and joy. I'd yearned for him like a thirsty
man yearns for water. On the other hand, Frank gave me a quiet
happiness. He provided a feeling of comfort and safety like snuggling
down into a duvet on a cold night, but there was no intense yearning or
The tension in Frank's body increased as my silence became more
prolonged and I felt I had to say something before he imploded.
"You're my best friend," I said, almost apologetically, "I love you as
a friend, but I don't think that's the same as being in love with you."
"You mean that you're not in love with me like you were with Simon," he
said in a dead monotone.
The tone of his voice combined with his apparent mind-reading ability
sent a chill up my spine. The tension left his body but instead of
merely becoming relaxed it became more like a dead weight. Somehow,
without actually moving, he seemed to have put some distance between
us. I felt totally wretched because my words had obviously hurt him
much more than I'd expected.
"I'm in love with you," Frank said, the hurt now showing in his voice,
"Couldn't you tell?"
What could I say? I didn't want to lie, but the truth, that I'd
never given the matter any thought, would only have hurt him even more.
So I remained silent, cursing myself for being so selfishly wrapped up
in myself that it had never occurred to me to wonder what Frank was
We were still physically touching, something we could hardly avoid in
that small space, but it seemed that a great distance separated us, and
as the silence grew longer, that distance became greater. As sleep
continued to evade me I tried to understand what had gone wrong and I
wondered what I could do to preserve our friendship. The same thoughts
kept repeating in my mind, but always I was left with questions but no
Could Frank accept that I wasn't be in love with him in the same way as
I'd been with Simon? Wasn't the friendship love I undoubtedly felt for
Frank at least as good and valid as the passionate yearning love I'd
felt for Simon? Should I have just told Frank that I did love him
without adding the qualifying phrase 'as a friend'? After all, I was
only seventeen years old, so how could I claim to be an expert on the
distinctions and merits of the many different types of love?
Although my love for Simon had burned brighter it had also been more
superficial than my feelings for Frank. Being in love with Simon had
controlled and dominated my life, but my feelings for Frank enriched my
life and gave me support. With Simon I'd always felt insecure and
almost unworthy of him, but with Frank I felt secure in an equal
relationship. A few months after my last conversation with Simon my
love for him had begun to fade away, but I knew that the affection and
friendship-love I felt for Frank would be much more enduring.
>From the small movements and sounds Frank made it was clear that he too
was restless and unsleeping. However, eventually he became still and I
felt him relax next to me, and shortly after that I heard his soft,
gentle snore. Automatically, perhaps from force of habit, I wrapped my
arm around him and snuggled up closer. Without waking up, he seemed to
melt deeper into my embrace and at last I fell asleep.
When I awoke in the early morning light I was alone in the tent, with
the sounds of movement, the clinking of metal and the hissing of a
lit gas burner coming from just outside. That sounded like Frank
was making breakfast but, apprehensive of the consequences of the
previous night's discussion, I hesitated to investigate further.
However, realising that I couldn't stay there forever, I began to get
dressed. Just then the door flap was raised Frank's grinning head
"Hey, sleepy head," he said brightly, "if you don't hurry up you'll
miss breakfast. I'll start brewing tea while you get dressed."
The head disappeared, leaving me with a great sense of relief that all
appeared to be well between us.
During breakfast there was very little conversation, but that was
perfectly usual as I'm not a morning person and could rarely manage
more than a polite greeting before my first meal of the day. Frank's
usual good humour was evident, though I got the impression it might
have been a little strained. On the other hand, maybe that impression
was the product of my own feeling of guilt rather than the result of
any real observation. When we finished eating I felt the need to clear
the air, if only to relieve my own anxieties.
"About last night..." I began, then stopped, not knowing how best to
"What about last night?" Frank asked, though it was clear from his
expression that he know what I was talking about.
"What you asked," I replied then after a brief pause I added, "And what
Oh, that," he said dully, "Let's forget it."
He was obviously trying to suppress or at least mask his emotions but
he couldn't hide the fleeting look of disappointed hurt that passed
across his face. The fact that I didn't believe that I'd done anything
wrong didn't prevent me from feeling guilty. For that reason and
because I knew that neither of us could truly forget what had been said
the night before, I felt the need to pursue the matter.
"Look," I said, "I think it's best to sort things out now so it doesn't
fester and ruin things..."
"What makes you think anything's festering?" he interrupted slightly
"Well, maybe it's not now, but it might. So why not humour me and let
me get things off my chest?"
He frowned and looked unhappy, probably because I was digging up
something he'd been trying to bury, but eventually he nodded his
agreement. So, with many stumblings and hesitations, I tried to explain
to him my thoughts of the night before about the difference between an
all-consuming passionate love and a deeply supportive friendship love.
He listened with a patient frown of concentration, but it wasn't clear
to me if I was making myself understood or even if I was being very
"So you see," I concluded, "I don't really know a lot about love. Apart
from the sort of love there is for family, I've only ever really loved
two people, you and Simon. All three are different types of love and I
guess that what I felt for Simon is probably what people mean when they
talk about being 'in love'. Is one sort of love better or worse than
another? All I can say is that I'm not in love with Simon any more and
I love you more than any other friend I ever had."
There was a long silence while Frank sat deep in thought and I waited
for his response. Eventually he nodded his head affirmatively and gave
a little smile.
"So you really don't love Simon any more?" he asked.
"And you don't love anyone more than me?"
"No," I answered, almost surprising myself with my genuine sincerity.
"And," he said, then hesitated, "and maybe you might get to be 'in
love' with me?"
"Maybe," I agreed, honestly believing that it was a real possibility.
"In that case," he said, breaking into a big beaming grin,
After that our relationship returned to what it had been before the
vexed question of love had been raised. My feelings of love for Frank
did indeed grow deeper, though I don't believe they crossed over to
being 'in love' with him. He didn't ask me again if I loved him and for
that I was both grateful and relieved.
The weeks after the Easter break passed quickly and despite all the
studying for our imminent exams we spent as much time together as we
could. However, between Easter and the start of our exams in May we had
only one more camping trip, mainly because Frank's parents thought that
camping and study were not compatible. On the other hand, his parents
didn't mind him spending time with me because they knew I always got
good grades and, as they said to Frank, they hoped my studying skills
might rub off on him.
By the time our exams finished in June I was mentally exhausted but
also elated, especially when we had our last-ever official day in
school. Frank seemed to be just as exhausted but not quite so elated
and I thought that perhaps, unlike me, he was a little sad that his
school life had ended. Less than a week after our last exam we began
the first of our summer trips together, camping and hiking around the
That summer was the longest unbroken period of happiness in my life so
far. For two months the weather was warm even when it rained and we ere
free to go anywhere because Frank could borrow a family car almost any
time he wanted. There was no studying to be done, we could spend a lot
of time alone together, and the sex was great. One hot humid night in
an isolated field in the Peak District we were bold enough to spend the
night making love under the open sky, with occasional dips in a nearby
stream to refresh ourselves.
During our vacation we occasionally discussed our future at university
but we didn't talk about exams. Then as the day of our exam results
approached I became a little nervous, but not really worried and if
Frank was similarly nervous he didn't allow it to show. On the day the
results were announced we had the choice of going to school to collect
our results in person or wait until the following day for them to
arrive in the mail. As there seemed no reason at all to wait an extra
day Frank borrowed one of the family cars and gave me a lift to the
I was very happy to find that my grades were even better than expected
and were more than adequate to get me onto the course I wanted.
Although no one had expected Frank to get great results, it turned out
that his grades were much worse than anyone would have predicted. He
himself appeared to be surprised and even a little shocked by his poor
performance, his main concern being how to break the news to his
The drive home was spent mostly in a sombre silence. The happiness I'd
felt on getting my own results was considerably dampened and for some
reason I felt almost guilty that I'd done so much batter than he had.
Also, perhaps selfishly, I wondered how our plans to go to university
together might be affected. When we got to my house he promised to
phone me later and immediately set off home. As it turned out, it was
quite late in the evening when he eventually called me.
"Well, it doesn't look like I'll be going to Linchester with you," he
"What about going through Clearing?" I asked, making no attempt to hide
my disappointment, "Isn't there a college or something in Linchester
that will accept you?"
"Didn't you see my grades? I doubt I could get in anywhere in the
country, and even if I could it wouldn't be a course I want to do," he
replied with some bitterness, then in a resigned tone he added,
"Anyway, I've been over all this with my parents and we decided that
it's best for me to go to a local sixth form college and then do the A
level exams again next year."
"Oh," I said, feeling the need to say something but unable to think of
a more meaningful utterance.
There was a brief and somewhat strained silence before he spoke again.
"I know it might make it more difficult but there's no reason we can't
still be... ya know..."
I knew what he was thinking and I guessed that the word he was
reluctant to use was probably 'boyfriends'. Neither of us had ever used
that word in connection with our relationship and I was uncomfortable
with the idea of it being used now, so I was grateful that he didn't
complete his sentence.
"We'll be okay," I replied hurriedly before he could say anything else
too emotionally loaded, "It's not like I'm going to the other side of
world. Linchester is less than two hours drive away so we can probably
get together most weekends."
"Yeah," he agreed, sounding considerably relieved, "I can easily borrow
a car and if you come home by train I can help with the cost of the
fare... and then next year I can join you in Linchester."
The following morning Frank phoned to say he had the house to himself
for a few hours and did I want to go and visit. Of course I was always
happy to visit him even when his family was there, but the prospect of
a sexual opportunity added to my eagerness in accepting his invitation.
When I got there he ushered me up to his bedroom and I sat on his bed,
expecting him to join me. However, before we got down to anything
physical he retrieved a piece of paper from his bedside cabinet and
began speaking in a serious tone.
"I was thinking last night how we can make this work."
I looked at him blankly, unsure what exactly 'this' might be.
"Ya know," he continued, reading my expression, "how to make sure we
don't lose what we've got while you're away in Linchester."
"Oh, right," I replied.
"So," he said as he sat down beside me, "I made a list of things that I
think will help."
He handed the piece of paper to me and I saw that there was indeed a
list, obviously very carefully written out in his best handwriting.
1) Keep in regular frequent contact no matter how busy we are, how
tired we are or how little news we have.
2) When time together is limited, make sure it is quality time so that
when we are apart we have only good memories & feelings.
3) Tell one another about the little things as well is the big events
and discuss new friends so we feel part of one another's lives.
4) Trust one another.
"What do you think?" he asked after giving me time to read through the
He'd obviously given the matter a great deal of thought and it clearly
meant a lot to him, so I didn't express my initial feelings, that it
all seemed a bit over the top.
"Did you lie awake all night thinking about this?" I asked, only half
"Well, I didn't get a lot of sleep," he replied with a wry smile.
He then went on to explain his thinking behind each item on the list,
though, with the possible exception of the last item, they seemed to me
to be self-explanatory.
"What I mean by trusting one another," he said, "is that we should
trust one another not to have sex with anyone else while we are apart.
Otherwise we'd have lots of sleepless nights and if we act like we're
suspicious of one another it would mess up our relationship."
The word relationship, while not nearly so bad as 'boyfriend' or
'love', embarrassed me enough to make me blush. I'd not considered all
this as deeply as Frank had, and although I had sexual fantasies
involving other people the idea of actually having sex with anyone else
hadn't really occurred to me. We were in fact monogamous, but it hadn't
been a conscious decision, at least on my part. It was just the way
things were and in truth I'd never given the matter any thought.
However, now that I did think of it, I realised that the idea of Frank
having sex with anyone else made me very unhappy.
"Okay," I said, "your list seems very sensible to me. I'm sure it will
help us keep things going until you come to Linchester."
If you enjoy this story you might like to take a look at my other
"Not Always Easy"
Road Not Taken"
"Timing" (nifty/gay/college/timing.html) .