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 .
For the next few weeks I had no social life apart from briefly greeting
fellow students or occasional phone conversations with my mother. When
I wasn't in classes I was in my room listening to music, trying to
study, or just generally moping around and feeling sorry for myself.
During one of my phone chats with Mum she brought up the subject of
"His mum says he's not been himself recently," she said, "She thinks
he's a bit depressed."
"Oh," I said non-commitally.
One of the side effects of my close friendship with Frank had been that
our mothers, previously just acquaintances from the bakery shop, were
now on more friendly terms and unfortunately the gossip that now
fuelled their interactions often involved their respective sons.
"She says he's not been to see you for awhile and doesn't mention you
anymore," my mum continued, "Have the two of you had a falling out?"
Of course our parents knew we were close friends but I was sure they
didn't know how close, so I decided to play it cool.
"Oh, it's nothing important," I lied, "With the distance between us we
just decided to go our separate ways."
"You should call him and say your sorry," she said, clearly not
"I told you there's nothing wrong!" I said, showing my irritation, "And
even if there was something wrong, why should you think it was my
"Because I know you, dear," she said condescendingly, "And in any case,
it doesn't matter who's at fault, saying you're sorry is a good way to
start fixing things."
"There's nothing to fix," I lied again.
"Whatever you say dear. In any case you'll be home in a couple of weeks
and can sort things out then."
"Anyway, I've got to go now," I lied yet again, anxious to avoid this
topic of conversation, "I have to go and meet someone."
Not long after that conversation with my mum I started my exams and
during the exams I had my nineteenth birthday, which happened to be the
unhappiest birthday of my life so far. Against all realistic
expectation I had been tentatively hoping that Frank would have sent me
a birthday card as a sign of forgiveness. However, there was no
communication of any kind from him.
As soon as the exams finished I went home and found myself a summer job
in a warehouse, moving and stacking boxes from seven o'clock in the
morning until three o'clock in the afternoon. At the beginning of my
stay at home Mum occasionally mentioned Frank but I kept quickly
changing the subject, so she soon took the hint. She was pleased to
hear that I'd passed all my exams, but I didn't tell her that I'd just
managed to scrape through in most of them.
Within a month of the start of the summer break I was already looking
forward to going back to university, where I had my own bedroom, more
privacy and more control over my own life. Also, having to get out of
bed at six o'clock on five mornings per week was proving to be quite a
strain. About three weeks before I returned to Linchester I heard that
Frank had not done well enough in his A levels to get into any
university and so had joined his family's bakery business.
When the new term began I was glad to be back at university. The only
good aspect of the long and tedious summer vacation was that I'd earned
enough money not only to pay off my overdraft from the previous term
but also to put my bank account comfortably in the black. As soon as
I'd settled into my new schedule of classes my mind began to drift
toward other things, the most important of which was sex.
After all my time with Frank and later Derek I'd grown used to having
sexual companionship. However, for over three months my only sexual
outlet had been my right hand, and now I wanted more. One thing my
experience with Derek had taught me was that the establishments on Quay
Street were a good place to look for sexual partners. My experience
with Derek had also made me decide that at least for the time being I
wasn't interested in any sort of emotional or 'boyfriend' relationship.
The first couple of times I went down to Quay Street I came back alone
because I didn't fancy the handful of guys who chatted me up and I
didn't have the courage to approach the ones I found attractive. The
third time I went out I saw Derek and his cronies in Angels and beat a
hasty retreat to Barons, where I had a couple of drinks and told myself
it was foolish to try to avoid them completely. Obviously I didn't want
to associate with them but I had every right to be in the same bar as
Later that same night I went to Storm, where again I saw Derek and his
crowd but this time I just pretended they weren't there. I was pleased
to find that they also completely ignored me. Also, that night I did
find the courage to chat to three attractive guys who appeared to be
alone, but although they were not unfriendly they didn't seem
interested in me. When again I went home alone I almost decided to give
up, but the following week I gave it one more try and for me it turned
out to be fourth time lucky.
>From then on I went down to Quay street three or four times per week
and managed to 'score' around fifty percent of the time. My success
rate tended to be better if I initiated the chatting up process rather
than waiting for the other guy to take the initiative. Sometimes the
sex was great, sometimes it was awful but usually it was okay. Every
time I succeeded in taking a guy home my self esteem, which had been
crushed by Derek, was boosted a little. Mostly the interactions were
just one night stands but occasionally I saw the same person two or
three times. I saw one guy six times over a period two weeks but
started to avoid him when I thought he was getting too clingy.
During that time I learned a lot, for example that there didn't seem to
be much correlation between the degree of attractiveness of my partner
and the quality of the sexual experience. I also learned that just
because the sex was great on the first night together it doesn't
necessarily mean it's going to be good if there was a second night with
the same person. I discovered that chatting up anyone near the slot
machines was probably a waste of time because most of the guys there
were either rent or seeking rent.
Looking back on that time I'm not proud of the fact that in the space
of a couple of months I had sex with at least fifteen different guys,
but neither am I ashamed of it. I can't now remember the names of most
of those I had sex with but there are a few who stand out in my memory.
For example, there was Glen, who was slim, blond, a little elf-like and
at seventeen the youngest guy I picked up.
I found him curled up on a sofa in the lounge bar of Storm just before
it closed. When I went over to him and pointed out that he was about to
be thrown out he told me he'd come from out of town with friends but
had become separated from them and now had no way to get home until the
morning. Of course I offered him a place to stay overnight and of
course my motives were not completely altruistic, but I had no
intention of pressuring him into doing anything unless he wanted to.
As it turned out when we shared my bed he made the first move and we
ended up exchanging blow jobs. The next morning before he left he
pointed out that chain around his wrist was his own work. It was made
up of small brass nails bent into circles and threaded through silver
loops, and to my surprise he took off one of the brass nails and gave
it to me, saying he always gave one to a guy he slept with. I think I
still have it somewhere and often wondered how many he'd given away
before he met me.
Martin, a male nurse in his mid-twenties, was memorable not only
because he was so blond as to be almost albino but also because he
wanted to have sex in the back of his beloved new Volkswagen Golf. Just
for the hell of it I indulged him once while we were parked up in some
deserted countryside lay-by. However, the second and final time we met
I insisted that we do it in the comfort of my own bed.
Alan was about my age and was quite stocky with black hair and a cute
Welsh accent. Sex with him was very good and he was the one I saw the
greatest number of times until it seemed he got too emotionally
attached. The final straw was when he came round to Hall unannounced
one night and tapped on my window until I let him in. After that I told
him in no uncertain terms that I didn't want to see him again.
Not all the experiences were pleasant. There was the guy who was fun in
bed but after he'd gone I found money missing from my wallet, though
there was no way I could prove he'd taken it. Another guy looked good
until he got undressed and I saw a horrible red rash all over his groin
and buttocks. He got very upset when I asked him to leave immediately,
even though I offered to phone for a taxi to come for him.
I was very fortunate that because of the location and privacy of my
room no one noticed all my male overnight visitors. My appreciation of
my good fortune in that regard was increased greatly by an incident
around the middle of that term. On one of the nights when I didn't go
down to Quay Street I went to the vending machine in the Hall common
room to get a can of Sprite. However, before I could use the vending
machine I had to get some change from the bar.
While I was waiting to get my change I noticed a group of about half a
dozen young men sitting at a table just a few feet from me. They were
apparently quite inebriated and making a lot of noise, competing with
one another with tales of their sexual prowess. I recognised most of
them as Engineering students, who at Linchester had a reputation not
only for drunken pranks but also for a lack of interest in conforming
to some of the niceties of social behaviour.
One of the group, a tall guy with dark unruly hair whom the others
addressed as Nick, was even louder and more obnoxious than the others.
Whenever I'd seen him around I'd always felt intimidated by his large
muscular build and the often aggressive expression on his face, and now
that he was red-faced and drunk he was even more scary. At first I
ignored what they were saying but when I heard them start telling 'fag'
jokes I began hoping fervently that the barman would deal with his
other customers quickly so I could get my Sprite and go back to my
"Did you know," Nick said loudly and drunkenly, "they say that five
percent of guys are fags?"
"Yeah, so which five percent of you is queer?" replied one of his
companions, the smallest of them, though he was still a little bigger
"Maybe it's his foot!" said another of the group.
The rest of them must have been really drunk because they laughed at
that pathetic attempt at humour.
"Maybe it's his hand," suggested the smallest one, "After all, it's
always playing with his dick."
"That's okay," said yet another member of the group, "as long as the
faggy bit isn't his dick or his arse!"
There was another round of laughter and then Nick spoke again.
"Tell yer what, though," he said in a much more serious tone, "if there
are any of those sick queers in this Hall they'd better stay out of my
way or I'll cut their dicks off and shove them up their arses!"
By this time I was getting my drink from the machine and as soon as I
had the can in my hand I beat a hasty retreat back to my room. When I
got there I sat on my bed as a wave of nausea passed over me and I
remembered the time Simon had called me 'sick' and then had never
spoken to me again. I also remembered his scary brother, Robert, who'd
been arrested for gay-bashing. After that incident I was even more
grateful for the seclusion and privacy of my room and even more
determined to make sure no one found out that I was gay.
Although I was even more cautious after that incident with Nick and his
friends, it didn't stop me going down to Quay Street and looking for
sexual partners. However, I was also sexually careful, always making
sure I had plenty of condoms, and so I felt safe in what I was doing.
This complacency, however, was shattered just before the start of the
Christmas vacation when, shortly after the departure of my latest
visitor, I found myself scratching my pubic area and noticed I'd been
left with some very unwelcome guests.
My revulsion at this discovery was compounded by the fact that I've
always had an aversion for creepy-crawly things, so to have them
infesting my own body was truly horrifying. I quickly stripped off my
bedding and immediately took it to the Hall student laundry where I put
it on the hottest wash cycle with double detergent. I returned to my
room, stripped off my clothes and shaved off all the hair between my
chest and my knees and, just to be safe I also shaved my armpits.
Fortunately the clothes I'd been wearing were not my best so I threw
them away .
After that, I went and bathed in the hottest water I could tolerate,
using lots of soap and shampoo. Then I returned to the laundry and
repeated the hot wash of my bedding. Even after all that my skin
crawled and for days afterward I felt unclean when I realised that I'd
been infested with lice. For the next three days I inspected my body,
my clothes and my bedding and each day I rewashed the bedding.
Fortunately, there was no sign of re infestation so I was greatly
relieved, especially because at the end of the week I was going home
for Christmas and I couldn't have borne the shame of importing lice
into my parents' house.
During the Christmas break I had time to take stock of my situation,
which in some respects wasn't too great. All my visits to the club and
bars had almost totally depleted my bank account and had a considerable
negative effect on my studies. I realised that if I didn't improve my
course work dramatically I might even fail. Although I'd enjoyed my
sexual feast and didn't feel ashamed of it, I had learned that it was
unwise to be complacent about the possible risks. My encounter with the
lice, though fortunately very brief, had not only made me feel
personally unclean but had made me wonder if there wasn't something a
little tawdry and trashy in the way I'd been behaving.
On a positive note, my self esteem, dented and bruised by Derek, had
been considerably improved because I'd proved that there were lots of
attractive people who could fancy me enough to have sex with me.
Perhaps perversely, I felt a sense of accomplishment and because of
that my drive to go out and 'score' had been considerably sated and
diminished. That was just as well because I realised that at least for
the rest of the semester I needed to improve my grades and conserve my
Just a couple of days after my return to Linchester after the Christmas
vacation we had one of our afternoon Organic Chemistry lab classes.
Although we all shared the same task, to synthesise and purify a
compound, we each had to do it and be assessed individually. A teaching
assistant assessed our lab write-up with additional marks being awarded
for yield and purity. If the task wasn't completed by the end of the
class then only very low marks could be obtained.
Toward the end of the class I was running out of time and waiting for
the solution containing my final product to cool. Always having a
tendency to cut corners, this time the temptation was too great and I
decided to cool the flask by putting it under the tap and running cold
water over it. That turned out to be a big mistake. As soon as the tap
was turned on the water came out with unexpected force and knocked the
flask out of my hand. The glass shattered in the sink and my precious
compound disappeared down the drain.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!!" I exclaimed loudly enough for several
nearby students to hear.
I was still staring in horror into the sink when Debbie, the student
nearest to me, came over and saw the broken glass.
"Oh my god!," she said, "Are you okay? Did you cut yourself?"
"Yeah, I'm okay, but I just lost everything I've made today," I replied
plaintively, "Shit, shit, shit!"
I didn't know most of the students on my courses at all but a few,
especially those who were also in my Hall, I knew well enough to greet
and maybe even occasionally chat with. However, we'd only talk about
banal topics such as classes, lecturers or, that favourite subject in
England, the weather. Debbie was one of those I knew only well enough
to say 'Hi' and we'd never chatted about anything at all. In fact, the
only reason I knew her name was that she was very popular and I had
heard people calling out to her.
There is no doubt that part of her popularity was due to her good
looks. Although I'm not physically attracted to women I'm quite capable
of appreciating female beauty and Debbie, though not really beautiful,
was certainly very pretty. Her auburn hair, which contained strands
like copper, was currently tied back for the lab class, but usually it
fell loosely to her shoulders. She was slim and her face, with its high
cheek bones, had an aristocratic appearance. However, what I found most
striking was the gold-flecked green of her eyes.
"You've lost it all?" she asked sympathetically.
"Yep. All down the drain," I said morosely.
We both stood for a few seconds looking into the sink while I
contemplated the problem of cleaning up the broken glass and, worse,
the fact that I would get very few course work marks for all my efforts
of the afternoon.
"Mine's drying on a filter now," she said, looking directly at me, "You
can have some if you like."
I was surprised and touched by her generosity, especially as whatever
she gave me would decrease her measured yield and so would lose her
"Thanks," I said sincerely, "but if you give me enough to make a
difference then you'll end up with a terrible yield."
She frowned thoughtfully for a couple of seconds then her face
brightened into a smile.
"You clear up the glass," she said, "and I'll be back in a minute".
With that she picked up a test tube and went off. By the time I'd
carefully disposed of all the glass she reappeared and the test tube
she held now contained some of the yellow compound we'd had to
"Here you are," she said, handing it to me, "That should be enough to
give you about fifty percent of the ideal yield."
"But what about your yield?" I asked.
"There's only a small amount of mine there," she said, smiling at my
concern, "But I managed to get a little bit from each of my friends as
well, so it won't be enough to affect our marks."
I thanked her profusely and she went off to finish writing her lab
report. At the end of the class I took the tube to the teaching
assistant, who looked rather doubtfully at the contents. It was only
then that I noticed that not all the crystals were the same shade of
yellow. However, the assistant didn't make a comment and after weighing
the contents and testing the melting point he gave me a reasonably good
Although I had thanked Debbie at the time, that evening I thought about
it more and realised that she'd gone to considerable effort to help out
a person she hardly knew. It occurred to me that perhaps I should do
something more concrete to show my gratitude. My first idea was that I
could give her a small gift, but I didn't know what she liked and I
didn't want to give her anything that might be interpreted as me
showing any romantic intentions.
Eventually I decided that I should just reiterate my thanks and make it
clear to her that I realised that I was indebted to her. Therefore, a
couple of days later when I saw her on her own sorting her notes on a
bench outside the lecture theatre, I went over to greet her.
"Oh," she said, looking up from the jumble of hand-written papers, "Hi,
"I just wanted to say thanks again for helping me out in the lab
class," I said, mildly surprised she knew my name, "I really appreciate
"No problem," she said as if it were the sort of thing that happened
every day, "My friends and I were glad to help out... After all an
accident like that could have happened to any of us."
"I'm sure your friends did it for you, not for me," I said with a wry
smile, "So it's really you that I owe."
"You don't owe me anything," she said, smiling gently, "I'm sure anyone
would have done the same."
I didn't share her apparent confidence that anyone else would have done
it, and I wondered what I might have done if our positions had been
reversed. Anyway, I thought, that point was moot because I wouldn't
have had any friends to beg a few crystals from.
"Well," I responded, "whatever anyone else might have done, you're the
one I'm grateful to and you're the one I owe a favour to. So if there's
anything I can ever do in return, you just have to ask."
"Okay, I will," she said and smiled brightly at me.
With that I considered that I'd accomplished what I'd set out to do and
was just turning away when she spoke again.
"Erm, Ian," she said, her smile fading a little but her eyes glinting,
"There might actually be something you can do to help me out."
"Yes, of course, anything," I said rather foolishly.
"Well," she said tentatively, "it's a bit out of proportion to the
favour I did for you, so I won't be surprised if you say no, but at
least say you'll think about it?"
"Okay," I agreed, beginning to wonder if I was going to regret my
"Right, well," she began hesitantly, as if trying to choose her words
carefully, "This term I decided to learn how to dance... ballroom
dancing, in fact. I had my second lesson with the Ballroom Dancing Club
She paused, apparently to assess my reaction but I deliberately
maintained a neutral expression and remained silent. I wasn't sure
where she was going with this but I had a feeling that I wasn't going
to like it.
"Anyway," she continued, "almost all the people there are members of
the club and they all have dancing partners already, except for me...
so the only person I could dance with is the woman who's teaching us."
Now I could guess what she had in mind and I was sure that I wasn't
going to like it.
"What about your boyfriend?" I asked hopefully, trying to remember if
I'd seen her around with someone to whom she might have been
"I split up with him before Christmas," she replied dismissively.
"Oh, I'm sorry," I said sympathetically.
"No need to be," she said, "I was glad to be rid of him. All he was
interested in was sex."
Now that was far more information than I wanted to know and I was
unable to think of anything appropriate to say next.
"So," she continued, looking directly into my eyes, "I'm looking for a
guy who might be interested in learning to dance and being my dance
partner. If I don't find someone I'll have to drop out of the class
because I don't want to spend the rest of the term dancing with an old
woman. None of my friends are interested and I wondered you'd consider
doing me a really big favour?"
"Erm, well," I said, avoiding her gaze by looking down at my shoes.
While I was still trying to find a polite way to wriggle out of my
promise to do 'anything' she spoke again.
"Look," she said, "I know it's a really big thing to ask but at least
think about it, okay? I'll pay for the lessons and if you decide you
don't like it you can drop out anytime with no hard feelings. What do
Of course what I wanted to say was 'No, no, and thrice no!' but I
didn't have the heart to disappoint her without at least pretending to
think about it.
"Okay," I said reluctantly, "I'll think about it."
"Great!" she said with a grin, "The next lesson isn't until tomorrow
evening so you don't need to let me know until I see you in the
Chemistry lecture tomorrow."
With that we went our separate ways to our different classes.
That evening in my room I made a mental list of all the excuses I might
make for declining to do that favour for her, then arranged that list
in order of how compelling or believable the excuses were. Finally I
decided that three strong reasons would be good enough. First, I had
absolutely no interest in dancing of any sort, ballroom or otherwise.
Second, my co-ordination was so bad that my feet would spend more time
on her toes than on the dance floor. Third, after barely passing my
first year exams I couldn't afford to spend time on something so
trivial as dancing.
As I lay in bad putting the final touches to the little speech I'd
prepared for Debbie, it occurred to me that in fact only reason two was
probably true. In fact, though I'd never admit it publicly, when
watching old movies I'd often been impressed by the elegance of people
waltzing across the dance floor and especially by the men in bow ties
and tuxedos. Also, to be honest a couple of hours per week dancing
would be nothing compared to the sixteen or more hours per week I'd
spent in Quay Street the previous term.
Another thing that I had to consider was that I really did owe Debbie a
favour and I had promised to repay it. Although I have many faults I
always try my best to keep my promises. So, when I saw Debbie the next
day looking so eager and expectant my well-prepared speech was
"Well?" she asked as soon as she saw me, "Did you think about what I
"If I don't like you promise no hard feelings if I stop going?" I
countered with my own question.
"Yes, of course," she said earnestly then, raising her hand and
crossing her fingers, she added, "Scout's Honour."
"You were a scout?" I asked, a little confused by the serious
expression on her face.
"No," she said and laughed brightly, "it was just a way of saying that
I really, really promise."
"Okay, then," I said, "I'll do it."
"Great!" she responded, beaming her pleasure, "I'll see you at seven
outside the small meeting hall in the Student's Union."
"Erm... what shall I wear?" I asked, already beginning to have doubts
about my decision.
"Just ordinary clothes as long as they're not too tight," she replied
then after a quick visual inspection of my attire she added, "You can
come as your are."
When I turned up at the appointed time and place to meet Debbie I was
only a little nervous about the dancing lesson. After all I didn't have
much to lose. If it turned out to be a disaster I need not go again and
if I made a fool of myself it would only be in front of a few strangers
whom I'd probably never see again. In fact it turned out I wasn't quite
as clumsy as I'd feared and among the dozen or so other pairs there
were at least two people who were even clumsier.
The instructor, Mrs Murphy, was a middle-aged Irish woman with greying
black hair and gentle brown eyes. She was about average height but a
little more plump than I might have expected an expert dancer to be.
However, she certainly knew what she was doing and was extremely nimble
when she gave demonstrations.
That particular class was dedicated to the waltz, and once I got over
the initial embarrassment it was quite a pleasant experience.
Concentrating totally on the timing of body movements seemed to clear
my mind of all other thoughts and worries, so in a way it was a nice
break from the rest of my everyday routine. Fortunately Debbie appeared
to have a natural talent and affinity for dancing and for the most part
she managed to compensate for my mistakes. Even more importantly, she
was very calm and patient, never showing any irritation even when I
stepped on her toes.
The one thing that I found hardest to get used to was the prolonged
close proximity of a member of the opposite sex. Having attended an all
male school, not having any sisters and, as I now conceded, being gay
meant that I'd rarely even touched a woman before, much less held her
in my arms for the best part of an hour. The softer and more rounded
contours were certainly very different from any of the males I'd been
so physically close to.
Toward the end of the lesson I noticed a few couples enter the room.
For the most part they stood silently but occasionally they spoke to
one another, though not loudly enough to be heard over the music or Mrs
Murphy's instructions. When the class finished Debbie led me over to
one of the couples who'd just entered.
"This is Gail and her boyfriend, Adam," Debbie said to me, then
addressing them she added, "This is Ian. I managed to persuade him to
be my partner for the class."
Gail, who was a little shorter than Debbie, had light brown hair which
framed a narrow face out of which her hazel eyes looked at me. The way
she seemed to be assessing me made me uncomfortable, though I gathered
from the smile which she eventually bestowed upon me that I had passed
"That's nice," Gail said.
The way she was looking at me and her vague words made me feel even
more uncomfortable. I wondered if she thought it was nice that Debbie
had managed to persuade me or nice of me for agreeing. I quickly
dismissed from my mind a possible third interpretation, that she
thought I looked nice.
Adam, tall and slim, pulled the corners of his thin lips into a brief
smile and nodded a silent greeting. His curly blond hair was cut quite
short, reminding me of the style I'd seen on busts of ancient Romans
and this combined with his elegant features to give him an aristocratic
appearance. Overall I found him attractive, in a slightly intimidating
sort of way.
"Gail's a friend from Hall..." Debbie said.
"Her best friend," Gail interrupted possessively.
"Yes," Debbie agreed, smiling indulgently, "and she persuaded me to
take up dancing this year."
"Adam and I are here for the advanced class," Gail announced, "In fact
we met when we both took the beginners class last year."
Feeling the need to respond in some way I said the first thing that
came into my head.
"Does Mrs Murphy take the advanced class as well?" I asked.
"Yes," Debbie replied, "Why to you ask?"
"I just thought she'd be knackered by the end of the night!" I said.
My words were a result of my nervousness rather than being due to any
desire to be humorous.
"Don't worry," Debbie said and grinned, "She used to be a professional
dancer so she's got lots of stamina, and in any case she puts her feet
up and has a cup of tea between classes."
"We're going to the Cellar after the lesson," Gail announced, "Do you
want to meet us there later?"
The Cellar was the smallest of the Union's three bars and, as might be
guessed from its name, was a vaulted room in the basement of the
""Yes, why not," Debbie said, "I could do with some refreshment after
all the exercise"
"You can bring Ian if you want," Gail said, giving me another look that
made me uneasy.
Debbie looked at me questioningly but I shook my head.
"Thanks for the invite," I said, "but I need to get some work done
before I go to bed tonight."
That wasn't strictly true and in fact I would have enjoyed a nice pint
of cold Guinness, but at the best of times I was uncomfortable in a
group of strangers in this case the fact that the strangers were Gail
and Adam made me even more nervous.
"You could come to the library with me and do some studying before
going to the Cellar," Debbie suggested.
"The notes I need to work on are back in my room," I said.
My excuse having been accepted without comment, we said our farewells
to Gail and Adam and left the room.
"Well?" Debbie asked as we made our way through the lobby of the
Students Union , "Did you enjoy the dancing lesson?"
"It was okay," I replied noncommittally.
"More important," she said, "Will you come to the next lesson on
"Tuesday?" I asked, a little taken aback, "Today's Thursday. Aren't all
the classes on Thursday?"
"There are two a week," she said, "Tuesdays and Thursday. I thought you
"Twice a week?" I said, frowning a little, "That's a big commitment...
How many weeks do they go on for?"
"Almost until the end of term," she said, "That's another eight weeks
as there are no lessons on the last week of term.""
Trying to hide my dismay I considered how I should respond. Twice a
week for eight weeks was a lot more than I'd expected, and even though
the experience had been relatively pleasant I wasn't sure I wanted to
repeat it so many times. Then another thought occurred to me.
"Tuesday afternoon is our Organic Chemistry lab class and it often goes
on till five o'clock," I said, "That doesn't leave me much time to get
back to Hall, get cleaned and changed, eat dinner and get back here for
seven. It takes me at least half an hour just to get back to
Often after that lab class chemical smells accompanied me home and
permeated my clothes, so I had to change and bathe before eating with
others in the Hall dining room.
"Why don't you skip dinner in Hall, maybe just grab a snack, and then
eat dinner after the dancing class?" she suggested.
The expression of doubt and reluctance on my face must have been
obvious because she quickly spoke again.
"I'll even buy you dinner in the Union cafeteria," she offered.
"You can't do that," I said smiling wryly, "You're already paying for
the lessons for both of us. If you start buying me meals as well I'll
feel like a kept man!"
"It's only Union cafeteria food!" she said and laughed, "It's not like
it's going to be expensive and maybe it will only be the once. After
all, you may decide you've had enough of dancing after next Tuesday."
"You mean you won't be upset if I just go to one or two more lessons
then give up?" I asked.
"Of course I'll be disappointed, but I won't be upset," she assured me.
"Okay then," I said, "But if I do keep on going we should take turns
paying in the cafeteria."
With that agreed, we said our farewells and went our separate ways.
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) .