The following story is completely fictional, as are most places and every character.

I assume you know what kind of page you are in so I won't warn you about sexual contents.

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Tus Ropas caen, lentamente

Soy un esp'a, un espectador

Y el ventilador, desgarr‡ndote

Se que te excita pensar

Hasta donde llegarˇ

Es dif'cil de creer

Creo que nunca lo podrˇ saber


-Soda Stereo



               The sound of my cell phone's alarm at around six am startled me. I got out of my bed and immediately missed my warm comforter. The morning was a cold one and I had to close the window before I could convince myself to get ready for my senior speech today. The whole senior class of 2006 would be presenting their speeches in front of our parents, teachers and some other faculty from school.


               Luckily for me, neither of my parents would be there. Even though they where divorced they somehow found a way to be out of the country at the same time for business trips and things like that. Actually my mom, whom I live with, would be coming back today, in the afternoon, not that I missed her all that much, she had only been away for three days, neither one of which had been Saturday nor Sunday, so I didn't get a chance to throw a small party, more reunion-like, at my house like I did every time she was out.

               When I realized what I was doing I was in my shower, steam all over, enjoying the gentle caressing of the water on my lean swimmer body. I couldn't help but admire the rather nice tan I had acquired from all the surfing I had done recently when I got out. This was of course thanks to the end of all curricular activities two weeks ago. When I was ready, I went for my car and started the engine, already dreading what was to come: an hour-long drive from my house to school thanks to the traffic in Caracas, plus the fact that I lived pretty far away anyway.

               After a quick stop at the bakery near school, I found myself in front of the gates of the place where the biggest fraud of my life took place; International School of America in Caracas, capital of Venezuela. I parked my car in the first level, where the students where supposed to park, and was off to the MPR Room where the speeches would take place. It was only eight am so I still had half an hour before the thing started.

               As I stood there watching the little kids play, someone patted my shoulder. When I turned around I was short of shocked to see my best friend Juan there. . . so early. He was Venezuelan, so I guess he had inherited some of the bad habits of their culture, like being late all the time. Something had to be completely wrong for him to even be out of bed at this time.

               "What's wrong with you?" I asked with mock concern as I stared at his eyes.

               "I haven't written anything for my speech yet." he retorted like it was no big deal.

               I rolled my eyes before bursting into uncontrolled laughter and punched his right

arm before saying, "I expected you not to."

               "Whatever man, I will just say what comes out of my head at the moment." he said.

               "You got it," I said before turning and intently watching the kids playing again. "Arghh!! These people are starting to get into my language, next I'll be saying dude or something like that." We both laughed at that, then I got immersed in my thoughts again.

               After a short silence he said, "What are you thinking? You look worried..."

               "I just wish I could be their age again," I said pointing towards the kids. "No worries you know, zero responsibility." He simply smiled and nodded.

               That was mainly the reason why he was my best friend, and one of the only ones at that. He accepted what people thought without questioning them, regardless of what he thought himself. That was also the reason why I acted the way I did in school.

               Most of the students in the school were the heirs of prominent businessmen from all around the world; P&G's chief executive officer and high-managers, individuals like those. And somehow they though that they were better than the others because they had fancy cars and big flats in Valle Arriba, the YUPI neighborhood in Caracas. Not that I couldn't keep their pace because of money issues, or anyone able to pay the school's tuition for that matter. I just didn't hang around with most of them because they liked to show off their wallets and put down people because of it.

               That's how I found myself making snide remarks at any of them when they approached me, I guess they were afraid of me because they never really retorted back. Hmmm, maybe the fact that I stood 6'1" and weighted one hundred and eighty pounds had something to do with it, I don't know. The only reason why I studied there was because my father had inherited a reasonable amount of money from my grandfather and wanted the best academic education I could get while we lived here in Venezuela.

               He was working with the National Geographic Magazine as a photographer and my mother, who still remained friends with him after the parting, worked as the director of art for the same magazine. That was why we ended up living in Venezuela in the first place. I had to admit, that even though we had been here for only two years, I liked it far more than London. Although, that may have had to do with the fact that the school was more like a country club than a proper one.

               After a few minutes of silence Nicolas came by and sat down next to Juan and me. He was our other friend, his dad was from Switzerland but his mother was born in Colombia. However, that didn't stop him from getting a rather nice European look, with nice olive green eyes and slightly curly black hair. We chatted for a while before the bell rang, telling us that the speeches were about to start. With that we headed for the MPR Room and took our seats in the far back of the room.

               The speeches were wonderful. Apparently we all loved each other now. I couldn't believe how much hypocrisy I felt in the air as the students rose, spoke, and then sat, one by one. Of course, I played along, it wouldn't fit the image I had created over these last two years to be less than polite in public. Yes, that was me in school, a real aristocrat in my own right. I would just ignore most of the speeches, clapping my hands with the rest of the people as each one finished, except when the turn came to my friends and to a couple of girls, Alexandra and Rachel, both Latin and very kind. I guess you could call them our friends as well. Even though they weren't nearly as close to me as Juan or Nicolas. Finally my turn came, I went up, said a bunch of crap that would make my parents happy since I knew that they would be hearing what I had said in my speech, one way or another. Then I went to my seat as most of the class applauded me in an all too usual display of hypocrisy.

               Eventually I realized it was twelve o'clock. At that exact time, Alexander, the vice-president of the student council, walked up to the podium looking rather nervous. That definitely caught my attention. This guy was Mr. Perfect himself. He had been the boyfriend of the most sought-after girls in school, he had starred the last two high school plays, played the guitar very well, he even produced a CD with the school tech department, played on almost all the sports teams and was friends with everybody. He also was the one to speak for the class every time the opportunity presented itself.

               This wasn't normal; he actually was a good speaker so the nervous look on his face didn't fit him at all. When he started to speak his voice was more like a whisper than his normal, well projected, tone. He started with the usual crap that everyone else used, thanking his friends, teachers and finally his parents for being there for him.

               Then, a resignated look resumed in his face, and he turned paler, if that was even possible. His gaze was fixed on the paper he held in his hands. He blurted everything out as if he wanted to get this over. As he spoke about how he admired this mysterious individual, for his steadiness, resolution, bla bla bla, I couldn't help but note that he looked lovely there, with his freckle-covered face, his red hair and blue eyes. Then, images of him in the swimming pool flooded my mind. We both were on the swim team as well as the football team, and when I say football, I am referring to the original sport. . . the one that is played with a completely round object. I must admit, as much as I despise his group of friends, he was also very hot with his muscular build and his 5'7". He had even made it to my jack off fantasies every now and then.

               I had to concentrate on his speech once again to prevent anybody, mostly Juan and Nico, to find that I was checking this guy out. Nobody could know that I liked lads, especially after I had been shagging girls every once in a while to prevent people from even wondering. I really saw no problem at all with being gay, but other people did, and I really didn't want to go through all the trouble until finding the adequate person, I wasn't also ready for the knowing, compassionate looks everybody would give me when I came out.

               My mind snapped back to reality as I heard Alex pronounce my name, and I noticed that some people were staring openly at me now. I shot them my own death glare and when they had all turned around I turned my attention back to Alex, just in time.

               "Peter Gallagher, I love you." He said, tears rolling down his face. Then he simply stood there, looking at me with pleading eyes.

               "WHAT?" Yelled Juan in utter disbelief.

               Meanwhile my mind was racing, trying to figure out what it had just heard. I couldn't help the shocked expression that overtook my face as I sat there, staring at Alex in the eyes.

               Thankfully I had enough presence of mind to rearrange myself. My expression changed, from one of complete shock, to an amused one in matter of seconds. I even managed to raise my right eyebrow before looking at Juan, then at Nico, then at the rest of the class, which by now was staring at me for the second time in the day, bloody kid, he had to go and shout it to the entire world.

               I stood up, as nonchalantly as I could, and with my dignity intact managed to say, "May I have a word with you Alexander?" and without even looking back started for the door, after checking that Alex was actually following.

               Alright, now, where to go? As soon as I left the room I stopped, trying to decide what to do. After a few seconds Jeff, Alex's best friend, and the president of the student council, came out, quickly followed by Juan, Nico, Alexandra and Rachel. They were all looking like they wanted to say something, so I managed to cut them all off before they could say anything.

               "I'd like to talk to Alexander in private, if you all please," and with that I flashed a glare at them all that meant not to interfere.

               I must have been really upset because none of them said anything; they just stood there and stared at both Alex and me.

               "Follow me?" I asked Alex. He nodded. I motioned towards the corridor and we were off to the parking lot before I could think clearly again.

               The walk to my car seemed to take forever as my mind eagerly explored all the possibilities that had been offered to me. On one side, Alex was the school's golden boy, the one everybody followed and `cared about'. He was also friends with most of the people who I despised with passion, and they also hated me as well. On the other hand, he was nothing like any of his friends; he was a very nice lad indeed. He was warm, compassionate and friendly, even with me. He also didn't care too much about money or his social status like his friends did.

               Actually I never quite understood why he hung around with such cocky gits. All these thoughts left my mind when I spotted my car and motioned towards it. As we both reached it I unlocked it and in unspoken agreement we both got in, me in the driver seat, him in the cockpit. We just sat there for some long minutes before I heard him sobbing again. I turned around so that I could make eye contact with him. He didn't turn around while I scanned his eyes looking for any signs of truth. Suddenly a suspicion struck my consciousness.

               "Are you pulling my leg?" I blurted out before I could stop and think about it.

               "W. . . What?" came his whispered response.

               "Are you fucking with me?" I said, my anger too evident to go unnoticed.

               He actually twitched at my evident wrath. I couldn't help but feel guilty; he didn't deserve it... right? There was no way he could be pulling my leg, he was actually crying and he looked much too affected to be pulling a joke upon me.

               ". . .sorry." This time he actually looked surprised. "But I need to know if you meant what you said in there."

               He looked directly into my eyes when he answered. "Yes. I have loved you since the first time you talked to me Peter." I could see it in his eyes, without knowing how; he was saying the truth and nothing more. "So you actually are like me? I mean. . . are you gay?" I caught a glimpse of hope in his eyes before they showed his immense sadness once again.

               My mind wandered for a bit before I was able to respond. Since I didn't trust my voice at the moment I was only able to nod. When I looked into his eyes again I saw something different, he was happy. The mere fact seemed to be enough for me to feel better than I had for a long time.

               As I let myself drift into his powerful gaze I wondered about the fact that I had just revealed my biggest secret to someone who wasn't even a friend to me. Somehow it didn't feel wrong to the least bit. There was also the fact that he looked so vulnerable that I had to resist a sudden urge to hold him tight. Damn I must be getting soft. Then I just couldn't fight it any more and grabbed him and squeezed him in my arms, I had to protect him from his demons.  He was so lost in thought that I doubt he even registered the fact that I was holding him now. He almost jumped when I spoke.

               "I. . . guess. . . that I. . . had something for you too. It was just my pride that stopped me from seeing it." I stated, sounding bitter towards the end. He held me for dear life while burying his head into my chest.

               At that moment, holding him, I felt completely at ease with the rest of the world, something I had not felt since I acknowledged the fact that I was gay. He started crying again after a while, and soon enough I joined him. At that moment I felt like I would never be so close to understanding someone like right then. We both had gone through our lives keeping a false fa¨ade, a mask. At that moment we had both seen beyond each other's mask, more so, we had taken them off and allowed ourselves to be our real selves for a moment. When we were both done crying I released my grip and made eye contact with him.

               "You do realize that I gave your friends every reason to hate me? And them to me and my friends for that matter," I said sarcastically while a smile crept into my lips, making them to arc slightly upwards in the corners.

               "You're right, I don't care about that though, as long as I can be with you," I blushed a little at that, and then I was rewarded with a genuine smile from him. He then hugged me gently. I let myself be comforted this time. The feeling of our arms wrapped around our bodies was intoxicating. I just couldn't get enough of it. It also was far more intimate and special than anything I had done with any girl so far.

               After a while, and with great effort, I was able to get back to my rationale self and pulled back. He groaned his dissatisfaction, while I immediately missed the feeling of safety that had invaded me when holding him.