Jason buried his head deeper into my shoulder, and I could feel the pins and needles in my left arm as it awoke slightly. His new position allowed me to move my arm a little bit, and that only made me more uncomfortable. I wondered if other people found cuddling painful.
Jason and I were both eighteen, both seniors in high school, and both very much in love with each other. We had been boyfriends for two years already at that point, and our relationship had deepened with every passing month.
Just then he farted in his sleep, and I could hear the soft, wet splatter of my semen as he shot it out of himself. I knew he would have it all over him and me by the time we got out of bed, and I could feel his own load begin to run down my side as he lay on me. Jason was a little less than fastidious when it came to post-coital hygiene. I had complained about that, and he had made fun of me.
"Do you want us to wear condoms," he asked after my lament about the messiness of sex.
"Have you done something to make that necessary, because I haven't," I replied.
"You know I haven't," he replied.
"So why did you bring up condoms," I inquired. "As long as you and I are totally faithful to one another, we don't need them."
"Well, I was thinking we could carefully take them off after we shoot, and tie tight little knots in the ends to keep the cum from getting out. Then we could tie them together in a chain and make Christmas garlands out of them, or something. Or, I know, we could each wear one of the other's around our neck on a string. Sort of the ultimate friendship necklace."
"God, you're gross," I said.
"I know. And you love it, don't you," he teased.
"I love you, but I don't love your gross shit," I replied, also teasing.
"Yes, you do, Mr. Clean." He flexed his considerable biceps like the cartoon character in the commercial, and I laughed.
He moved again at that moment, and his head dug deeper into my shoulder, causing some pain.
"Keep still," I said in a low voice. I assumed he was asleep, so I didn't expect a response.
"Is Jason hoiting widdle Kenty," he asked in baby talk.
"You asshole. You're not even asleep, and yes, you are hurting me."
He sat up.
"I'm sorry, Babe. I was just playing with you. You know I'd never hurt you on purpose."
"Yeah, I do know. Let's get up before we have this stuff all over everything," I said.
"What stuff? Our cum? Our semen? Our bull gravy? Our love juice?" He was mocking me playfully, and I didn't mind.
"Exactly, He-man. Stud-boy. Mr. Gross-man."
He laughed on that one, but he got up. He went into his bathroom and got a warm, damp hand towel to clean us up. He gently cleaned my stomach, chest, and side, and then he wiped off my penis. He spent more time than was necessary on that part, and I knew he was trying to arouse me. His trick was working.
"Don't start that. You know we don't have time," I said.
"I know, but I just can't resist it." He grinned at me and, for the thousandth time since we'd been together, made my heart skip.
We got dressed and pulled the comforter back over his bed. I was sure the sheets would be stuck together when he went to bed that night, but I was also sure he wouldn't care. I wondered what the cleaning lady thought when she changed his sheets.
Jason pulled the box of Marlboros out of his shirt pocket and flipped it open with the thumb of his left hand. He lit a cigarette and looked at me.
"You got any," he asked.
"No. Give me one," I said, and he tossed the box to me.
Jason had a very large bedroom, and there was a loveseat in front of the entertainment center at the end opposite his bed. We sat on the loveseat to have our smokes, and he turned on the TV. The tail end of a late-afternoon talk show was fading from the screen, and we both stared blankly at the string of commercials that followed it.
"Have you thought any more about what we talked about," he asked.
"We've talked about a million things. Which one in particular do you mean," I asked.
"About National Coming Out Day. It's next week, you know."
"Yeah, I know. And, yeah, I've thought about it."
"I haven't decided yet," I said quietly.
"I don't get it, Kent. Honest to God, man! Your parents are going to be cool with it. You know that. Mine will be, too."
"I'm not so sure about that," I said.
"Oh, God, Babe. What will they do? Kick you out?"
"No. Probably not. It's just that I wouldn't sit them down and tell them I was fucking my girlfriend, either. Would you?"
The look on his face let me know he was thinking, probably trying to come up with some clever retort to what I had just said.
Instead of a joke, he said, "I never thought of it that way. I guess what we do is pretty private. Intimate, even."
"Hey, little buddy, don't make fun." He had called me "little buddy" since we had first met when we were twelve. Neither of us knew anything about being gay back then, but we knew we liked one another--maybe even loved one another--from the start. When we met, he was a little taller than I was, and he had about ten pounds on me. In the intervening years, I had grown to five feet, eleven inches while he had stopped at five, eight. I had put on muscle, too, so now I outweighed him by the ten pounds he had had on me back then. I was still "little buddy," though, and, frankly, I loved it when he called me that.
"Sorry," I said.
He ignored my apology, preferring to follow through with his own line of thinking.
"It's the whole idea that you're sexual, isn't it," he asked.
"What is that supposed to mean," I asked.
"Well, you've always been their little boy. Now you're their little boy with a hard-on, and it's hard for you to announce that to them, isn't it?"
"Don't you think they know that," I asked.
"Of course they do. That's my point, Kent. They know you're a sexual being. They just don't know who gives you hard-ons. Have they ever said anything to you about not dating girls?"
"No. They've never brought it up. Not even Darren."
Darren was my brother. He was two years older than me, and we had always been very close. Even now that he was away at college, we kept in tough by e-mail three or four times a week. He had a serious girlfriend that he had been with for over a year, but I knew he wouldn't have a problem with my being gay.
We heard Jason's mother come home from work. His dad would be there shortly, and it was time for me to go home.
Jason pulled me to him and kissed me. "You were great today," he said.
"You weren't so bad yourself. Call me if you need some help with calculus. If you don't need help, call me because you love me."
He grinned and kissed me again.
He followed me downstairs into the kitchen. His mother was making a pot of coffee, a ritual she reenacted religiously every afternoon when she got home from work.
"Hi, Miss Pam," I said.
"Hi, Kent. Hi, Jason. Did you guys have a good day at school?"
"Yes, ma'am," we said in unison.
"How was your day," I asked.
"Pretty much the usual. Are you eating with us tonight, Kent?"
"No, ma'am, but thanks."
"At least stay for coffee, Kent. It's still early. Kathy won't have dinner on the table for another hour, at least." Miss Pam and Mr. Bill, Jason's parents, were very good friends of my parents because of our friendship, and Kathy was my mom. Frank was my dad, and Jason followed the same custom I did and called them Miss Kathy and Mr. Frank.
The coffee smelled really good, so I decided to accept her offer. Once we were seated with our coffee, Jason lit another cigarette and gave his box to me. I lit up as well. Miss Pam didn't smoke, but Mr. Bill did, and they didn't have a problem with two eighteen-year-old boys smoking.
"I heard something very interesting on the radio on the way home. I listen to a show called `All Things Considered' on National Public Radio, and today they had a story about National Coming Out Day. It's next week. It's sponsored by the Human Rights Alliance, or something like that."
I choked on the mouthful of coffee I had at that moment, and some of the hot stuff came out my nose. I was embarrassed by that, and I quickly jumped up for a paper towel to contain the offending liquid.
"Did they say what that's all about," Jason asked. His voice was just as calm as if he had asked if they were predicting rain for the next day.
"Yes, they did. It's a day when homosexual people tell the people who love them about their sexual orientation," she said.
"Why did you find that interesting," he asked.
"Well, I had just never thought of that as a human rights issue before. But it really is, you know."
Jesus Christ! I've got to get out of here right now, I thought. Jason must have read my thoughts, and we both swallowed the rest of our coffee and stabbed out our cigarettes.
"Thanks for the coffee, Miss Pam," I said. I bent over to give her a peck on the cheek. Jason and I walked out to my car.
"Jesus Christ, Jason! What the fuck was that all about," I asked.
He chuckled a little, but he could tell I was serious, so he dropped the laughter.
"Don't be so uptight, man. At least she knows what coming out is. She thinks it's a human rights issue. I'd say she'll be pretty cool with it."
"Man, when she said that, I almost shit right there in that kitchen." I was trembling.
"Calm down, little buddy. You know I'm not going to say anything until you're ready. I can't out you, even to my own mother. When we do come out, she'll probably want to run for president of PFLAG or something."
Despite my nervousness and agitation, I smiled when he said that. Miss Pam was definitely a joiner and a leader, and Jason probably wasn't far off in that assessment.
"Well, let me get out of here before she runs the Rainbow Flag up the flagpole. I'll talk to you later. I love you."
"Later. I love you more."
Jason and I only lived a few blocks apart, so I could have been home in a matter of a couple of minutes. I was out of cigarettes, though, so I decided to stop at the convenience store-cum-gas station at the entrance to our neighborhood to buy some.
"Let me have two packs of Marlboro red box," I told the clerk. He got them for me and scanned them. The machine made its little beep to remind him that there was an age restriction on buying that product. He looked me in the face.
"You got any ID," he asked.
"Sure," I said. I pulled my driver's license out of my wallet, and he studied it like he was the curator of the Vatican Museum checking out a painting to see if it was a forgery.
He handed it back to me and told me the amount. I gave him the money, and he gave me my change. He told me to have a nice night. I said thanks and left. I opened a pack in the car and lit up. I didn't ordinarily smoke as much as I had that afternoon, but I was still rattled about the National Coming Out Day talk. I finished my cigarette by the time I reached my house, and I flipped the butt out the window, as I usually did. No sooner had I switched off the engine in the driveway than my dad pulled into his place. I told him "hi" as we were going into the back door, and, frankly, he seemed a little cool. I wrote it off to his having a hard day, something that happened often in his law practice, but I didn't think much of it.
I went up to my room. I heard Dad making coffee, something he or Mom did as soon as they got home. I heard him go into the den and turn on the TV to watch the news. I took off my shirt when I got to my room, and I noticed a faint tell-tale sign of love-making on my chest. I decided to take a shower.
In the shower, my mind kept going back to the issue of coming out. Jason and I had talked about it at length on many occasions, and I knew he really wanted us to be able to "be a couple" in front of our families. We were well-respected seniors at a very large high school, and we figured nobody would care, even if they found out about us. We had been extremely careful at school, and we each had friends that weren't friends of the other. We had a pretty large set of friends in common, but we weren't always together at school. We never touched each other in public, except for the odd shot to the shoulder, like other guys did, so I felt pretty safe at school.
"I really don't like this business of denying you, Kent," he had said recently.
"Denying me? What are you talking about? Everybody knows we're best friends."
"No. We're more than best friends. We're lovers."
"So why do we have to tell people that," I asked.
"Because my not telling my parents you and I are a couple, and will be a couple forever, is like denying you."
"I think you're being a little melodramatic, Jase. Who knows, or doesn't know, doesn't change a thing between us."
"I know. What does `melodramatic' mean?"
"Overly dramatic. You're giving it more than it deserves," I said.
"Well, melodramatic or not, I am totally in love with you, and I want the world to know it. Or at least our parents, for now."
"You're making it really hard," I said after a long pause.
"What do you mean," he asked.
"You melted my heart just now, Jason. When you said that about being totally in love with me."
"Oh, I thought I was making this bad boy hard." He put his hand in my crotch and rubbed it a little.
"Jesus Christ! I thought we were having a serious talk," I said.
"This thing right here is serious," he said. And then he grinned.
Well, that was the end of the serious talk and the beginning of a love-making session.
My dad's mood didn't change during dinner, and even my mom asked him what was wrong.
"We'll talk later," he said.
I didn't hang around the dinner table very long after that. I had homework to do, and I wanted to get the calculus done in case Jason called me for help on it. It wasn't very difficult, though, so I figured he'd get it on his own.
Around 9:30 my phone rang. It was Jason.
"Hey. What are you doing," he asked.
"Listening to music and thinking."
"Are you thinking about me? Are you hard?"
"Yeah, right! I'm thinking about my dad," I said.
"Thinking about your dad makes you hard? When did this start?"
"Give it a rest, okay?"
"Sowwy," he said. "Me wasn't thinkin'."
"You jerk!" I chuckled. "What are you doing?"
"I've been picking pubic hair out of my teeth. That's what," he said.
"So, what about your dad," he asked.
"He was just in a kind of foul mood tonight. I've seen it a million times before, but it's always about his business. Tonight it seemed to be about me. I wonder if he heard the same radio program your mom did."
"Did he say anything about it," he asked.
"Naw. But it was like he knew, or something. This whole coming out thing is fucking my mind, man. There have just been too many coincidences today."
"Well, relax, okay? Hey, I need to go. I'll see you tomorrow. I love you."
"Night. I love you more."