Chapter 15: Falling Hard for My Straight Friend Ryan
Comments: It took me a lot to work up the guts to write
this story and even more to submit it. A long story, this tale is different than
the others I've posted here because it recounts was the first time in my young
life that a relationship with another person became something more to me than
just causal fooling around. Unfortunately, this budding relationship was with
another boy who turned out to be straight as an arrow. The sad thing was, even
after I realized there was no way he'd ever feel about me like I felt for him,
I still couldn't let go. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.
Re-reading it before posting here, I was struck by the crazy range of the emotions I felt, and found myself wishing I could go backwards in time to aggressively shake my teenage self to wake up and stop being so stupid, unrealistic and immature. But- that's what being a teenager is about, I guess.
Readers may contact me at Bradhealey@rocketmail.com
summer I was sixteen was the really the first time that I allowed myself to
even consider the horrible freakish possibility that I wasn't ever going to get
around to liking girls the way I was supposed to; the way I wanted to; the way
my other, normal guy friends did. Because it was such a gruesomely painful
thought, I refused to dwell on it for very long.
I had set a ridiculous, arbitrary and wholly self-imposed guideline that I would allow myself to still have erotic thoughts, feelings and desires for other guys UP UNTIL my sixteenth birthday. After that, I vowed I would go straight—stop thinking about other boys, stop fantasizing about them when I masturbated, and certainly stop messing around with them. But like a well-intentioned New Year's resolution it was an unrealistic goal with a random deadline, and I awoke on the morning after I had turned sixteen still feeling inside exactly as I had the day before. Only starting on this day, it was no longer "OK" and I vowed to stop making excuses for myself. Christ, I was almost a man now. This silly kid stuff with other boys had to stop.
But reminders came with every day in dozens of situations that I was not turning out "normal" as I always hoped and prayed I would be. Not a day went by without a chance for additional self-loathing. Some examples? Well, to start, I passionately hated teen-themed TV shows that featured boy-meets-girl romance as a story line, and these shows abounded. (They still do today, and I still hate them almost as much.) The TV programs I watched as a teenager have fallen off the rerun lists owing to how old I have become, but after secretly lusting over handsome, blue-eyed Ricky Schroeder on "Silver Spoons" I would be disgusted as the story line would have him falling in puppy love with a pretty new exchange student from his school. I liked tall slim, blond Tommy from the TV show "
While things may be somewhat different for teens now (though still by no means easy), there were no gay role models of any kind in the mid-1970's. In the sports or entertainment world, admitting homosexuality was equal to committing suicide in one's career. Sexual orientation was not something nice people talked about, or even joked about in polite company. Being called a "fag" or a "queer" wasn't funny to me at all, and hearing people I knew (and liked) using these words to describe others turned a knife in my heart. I knew I had no choice but to change... and fast... if I was going to avoid being a freakish failure; a disappointment to my family, imagining losing all my friends and needing to move away to start over if was ever found out.
As girls walked by us, my friends would follow them with their eyes, swiveling their necks to ogle the extra-pretty ones. "Look at her!" they'd intone under their breaths, delivering low-placed, small, hidden punches to the pals next to them for emphasis. Meanwhile, I had concluded that my brain-circuits to recognize pretty girls simply didn't exist; that they were omitted or cross-wired from birth. Embarrassingly, I didn't even notice these girls as they passed. "What did you think of her, Brad?" a buddy would ask, and I'd stammer at a loss for words since I hadn't even seen her at all. Worse instead, my peripheral vision instead involuntarily honed in other boys attractive to me, causing my own head to swivel uncontrollably towards these forbidden targets of my attraction. So, I had double duty to do. First, I had to be alert to the presence of pretty girls so I could participate in the guy-talk. Secondly, I had to avoid boy watching at all costs lest my friends grow wise to my fatal defect. It was exhausting... humiliating and infuriating. Even simple social situations like a Saturday afternoon at the mall hanging out with the guys became a festival of self-loathing for me.
But the hardest thing to manage was if I began to develop feelings for someone in my peer group. I had lots of friends, and I'd always be meeting new guys. There were chances to meet friends of friends, cousins of friends from out of town, and new younger guys who had graduated to hanging with us older kids. Trying to suppress the growing longing to be near another boy whom I was becoming infatuated with, one who was hanging out with our group engendered simultaneously both immense pleasure and torturous pain inside of me.
The "pleasure" part is easy to explain. Being one of the guys, it was easy to get near the new boy and get to know him. There was none of that shy, standoffish awkwardness that went along with meeting a new girl and trying to find something to talk about. Roughhousing was an excellent way to gain physical contact in both subtle and not so subtle ways. Wresting holds allowed all sorts of opportunity to grope friends without suspicion or reprisal. Changing together after swimming was expected and common. Joking about sex- especially the size of one's equipment or rude comments about jerking off were thoroughly socially acceptable among our community of teenaged boys.
The "pain" part was the bleak other side of it. Stuffing my feelings of desire as deeply down inside as I could, I'd work with all my might to never expose my soft underside to the others. It was hard as hell many times to avoid saying something suggestive to a guy I was attracted to that risked crossing that fine line of being normally sexually-obsessed and being considered a pervert. Wrestling and punching was OK... but touching and holding were definitely not OK. Making a rude, suggestive and insulting comment was OK, but asking a personal question and waiting for a truthful answer usually was not. Having a sleepover in a double bed was perfectly normal, but not being able to fall asleep because he was so close to you that you just wanted to reach over and touch him while he slept was not. I recall often fitfully waking up near dawn during such sleepovers, waiting for the first rays of light to enter the room so that I could innocently, longingly survey a sleeping friend with my eyes, hoping that as the dawn broke he'd be laying in a position to make his morning hard-on somehow visible to me through the blankets or his shorts. The pain came from knowing that nothing could ever happen with these guys, because no matter how turned on I was. I was unwilling to risk my hard-earned status as "one of the guys" by saying or doing anything that would excommunicate me from the club of masculine teenaged boyhood to which I belonged, and one to which I worked to be accepted in with all my might.
That summer I was sixteen is when I first noticed Ryan. I was entering eleventh grade, and he was just starting ninth. We were in summer band camp together, and he was immediately appealing to me when I spied him in my marching line. As a squad leader, I was in charge of the younger kids in my section, making sure that they learned the music, routines and the rules they'd need to know to be part of the marching unit.
Ryan was friendly and agreeable. A slightly late bloomer, he was decidedly smaller than the other boys, with slim smooth bare legs showing under his tan camping shorts. He had a mop of brown hair and a fair complexion that made it apparent that he'd easily get sunburned. With bright blue eyes and an easy smile, he looked very much to me like actor Elijah Wood did at 13 or 14. He was a good horn player, and as we went through our drills he often called out playfully to his many friends in other lines with a high boyish voice that hadn't broken yet. Ryan had peach fuzz on his cheeks and growing in a downy "V" on the back of his neck, and when I saw him with his t-shirt off, wetting his hair from his water bottle after one hot practice ended, I saw the rest of his body was completely white and smooth, including his underarms.
What attracts one person to another? I don't know exactly... but I was instantly attracted to Ryan, feeling a buzz inside whenever I was near him. As I got to know him better I couldn't believe I had never paid any attention to him even though he had lived only two blocks away from me my whole life. Most appealing to me, I think, was Ryan's easy-going personality. "Good enough" was good enough for Ryan. I, on the other hand, was a driven perfectionist, sweating the details in every task and always trying to make things better than they were. I admired this younger kid's ability to smile and relax; to not get excited and worked up over wrong notes and missed steps. "Chill out and take a big, deep breath Brad", he'd laugh at me after I'd scold the marching line about its miscues in practice. "We'll get it right the next time."
Physically, unquestionably he was appealing to me as well. His cute size and trim slightly muscled boyish figure were attractive to me, and the fact that he was two years younger than me yet didn't seem to care about our difference in age was a turn-on too. I imagined I felt sort of like his loving big brother, and asked him to come down to my house after practice one warm day. He gladly came to hang out, happy with just doing nothing together. We lay in the grass and talked about "stuff", and I learned that while he was excited about starting high school he wasn't worried about it at all. He also didn't seem to be concerned about his small size. "I'll grow," he said as he shrugged. I was intoxicated that so many of the things that had caused me gut-wrenching worry at his age didn't bother him at all, and wondered what trait he had born within him that allowed him to be calm and be content whereas I could never sit still and be happy for long.
We'd often walk home from school together and talk the whole way. Though he was neither brilliant nor deep, Ryan had no problem holding up his end of a conversation. He expressed his opinions on a variety of topics and often asked me what I thought about things. I looked forward to being with him on these walks alone, just feeling totally alive and happy inside as we walked and talked. Sometimes he'd really open up to me and tell me things that bothered him in school or at home, and this too caused my affection for him to grow. I'd mess up his hair and he'd pretend to be mad. Though he was not terribly athletic, that never stopped him from trying, joining in all the games that went on in our neighborhood that was just loaded with kids. I began to find myself looking for opportunities to be alone with him, and this fact set a little warning bell off and ringing in my head... because I knew that I was headed for trouble I didn't want-- but couldn't resist-- as my feelings for him grew.
Ryan's mother was an attractive younger mom, and she doted on me. She told my mom once that she was glad her son was spending time with me as she hoped he'd pick up some of my desire to excel. This was ironic to me, as I instead much admired my friend's laid-back way. Whenever I visited at their house Ryan's parents always made me feel very welcome and allowed me to stay there till late at night. Ryan didn't have as many rules to follow as I did at home, and I liked being in his house with him.
Ryan shared his bedroom with his younger brother Kevin. Kevin was blond but looked just like Ryan otherwise. He was only 11, and he had a hot temper that flared up at the slightest provocation. Sharing a room was one of the things that upset Ryan, and that he often spoke of during our conversations. I truly understood, because I too had shared a bedroom with my much younger brother for many years, finally packing my stuff and moving my bed to the basement when I was 14, without even asking my parents' permission!
One warm evening after a strenuous game of "Run the Bases" had ended, Ryan sat near me in the failing light of dusk, and I heard him wheezing softly as he breathed. I had never noticed it before, but he told me he had mild asthma and that sometimes a lot of exertion made it hard for him to breathe. I was worried that he would be OK and told him so. He smiled and told me that I shouldn't worry, that he after resting for a while he'd be just fine.
The scene was almost serenely perfect, just us two boys lying in the grass side by side in the dimming light of a warm evening. With concern and affection I laid my hand on his chest and felt it rising and falling with each breath. Right at that moment I was so happy, but I knew that I was crossing that invisible line I had drawn for myself. I was falling in love with Ryan but I knew I didn't want to stop.
He didn't seem to mind my hand on his chest, so I left it there. I felt his heart beating and after a while silently moved my fingers to count his ribs through his shirt. I allowed my hand to trail down to his waist, and I let it rest on his slim stomach, feeling it rise and fall with each breath. He had one arm behind his head, and I noted that even though he was sweaty from running around so much he still smelled wonderful to me. Then, other boys approached and as we heard the sound of their footsteps and voices, he very casually, very gently pushed my hand away.
That single, innocent, and simple act set off the fireworks inside my brain. By him pushing my hand gently from his belly, to me he was saying, "I acknowledge you were touching me and it was OK to do. However, that was a private moment between you and me and I really didn't want the other guys to see it." The thought that Ryan had allowed me to be privately intimate with him (intimate at least by the strict standards of American teenaged boys) ignited a jet engine of emotions inside my adolescent brain. I was most excited at the glimmer of hope that he might permit me to get to know him better, yet glad he wanted this part of our relationship to remain secret from the others... which was just what I wanted too! I absolutely and certainly didn't want the other guys to know I had feelings for Ryan, and keeping things safely hidden and undiscussed suited my desires perfectly.
That night when he went home he forgot and left his light cotton windbreaker band jacket behind. I brought it in the house, and then at bedtime pulled it off my chair and into bed with me, holding it near my face and all night long breathing deeply his distinctive pleasant scent that lingered behind.
One winter afternoon we lounged in my basement bedroom and just talked. I wanted to know how much he knew about sex, but I was afraid to ask him for fear of crossing the line and being seen as strange. I finally formulated my question in the perfect way:
"Ryan, has your Mom ever caught you jerking off?" I casually asked. This was an ideally worded question, as it assumed that I knew already that he did jerk off, and answering either "yes" or "no" to my question would still be an admission that he pleasured himself. Denying that he did it at all would be harder.
"Nope, she never has" he said, "but because of my brother in my room I have to do it in the bathroom."
I was ecstatic with his admission. "When do you do it?" I asked as casually as I could though my mind was racing and on fire.
"All different times" he admitted. "I sometimes sit on the edge of the tub and other times lay on the floor. Saturday I did it when I got up at 10 o'clock, and I made it last for 15 or 20 minutes before I finished." He looked up, almost like he had said something wrong. "20 minutes—that's weird, isn't it?"
I assured him it was not weird at all, and putting my hand on his shoulder I told him that holding out sometimes gave the most pleasure to me, too. He seemed relieved, and kept talking. He told me that he had learned to jerk off by accident in Cub Scouts, as his own wandering fingers caused his first unexpected orgasm while in his sleeping bag during a camping trip. He admitted his fright at this first experience (not unlike mine) and that soon he began to masturbate regularly, just like I did. I told him that I masturbated a lot too, and my admission seemed to offer him relief from the guilt that many boys share that "they are the only ones who do it and they do it more than anyone else". My affection for him had now grown past the point of infatuation. I truly hoped that somehow he could be mine.
The high school band went on a spring trip down south and Ryan and I shared a motel room together with two other boys during the trip. I was so excited to be able to spend the night in the same room with him, in the same bed with him, and though I didn't do anything that would have raised the suspicions of the other two boys, I snuck a long peek as Ryan changed into his swimsuit to go to the pool. I was awestruck to see his naked body for the first time, as surprisingly to me below his waist he appeared fully sexually developed, with a full patch of brown hair, a mature thick penis and plump balls. I was so surprised because he still looked and sounded like a baby-faced kid in all other ways. I never dared imagined he would look so mature when naked!
In those days, boys wore tight bathing suits, and he filled up his well—so well that I coaxed him to pose for a photo, one I masturbated to many times as a teen and probably still have somewhere to this day.
The next morning I watched him with one eye open as he got out of bed wearing only his skivvies, and marveled as I clearly saw the outline of his thick, erect morning hard-on pushing out his white briefs as he went to take a shower. With powerful lust growing inside of me, I yearned to see him aroused like this, but naked, wondering how I could possibly make that happen.
Oddly (or perhaps very purposely) on this same trip I had taken up publicly with Brita, a pretty blond girl, a year younger than me, and the child of strict Swedish parents. We very openly held hands and sat together at mealtimes. I remember being so proud to have Ryan and the other guys see me with a girl, especially one as pretty as she, as this was a badge of honor that I wanted to share with them all.
When the trip ended and the band returned home, I became so depressed that I moped around the house for several days, crying myself to sleep more than once. My parents noticed my distress, and I told them about meeting Brita during the trip and the fact that she was not allowed to date, all of which was totally true, and I may have actually believed this was the reason for my sadness myself. In reality, I can now look back and realize, with perfect clarity that this was the first time my strong desire to be straight and my overpowering homosexual feelings had collided in the same space and time. I knew that it was Ryan I wanted, not Brita, and I didn't know how to cope with these poisonously toxic emotions.
That summer I got a job in a print shop where I mostly cleaned up and did odd jobs no one else wanted to do, a fine job for a 17 year old to make some money during vacation. But while I was at work, I couldn't stop thinking about him. I'd manufacture lame excuses to leave early and I'd find creative ways to get home so I might have the opportunity to spend days with him, since as a 15 year old he didn't work yet. Finally my boss told me that if I couldn't be more dependable, he didn't need me to come—which alerted me to the shocking realization that I had put Ryan ahead of work when setting my usually highly logical, very well organized priorities. I promised the boss that I'd do better, and worked harder to regain his approval.
Throughout that summer, I tried my hardest to cultivate a mutually acceptable relationship with Ryan that looked normal to others but at the same time privately advanced beyond the usual boundaries of boyhood friendship. Constantly, I walked the thin gray line with him to test his reactions; touching him tenderly but privately whenever I dared, and in conversation regularly straying mildly across the boundaries of how boys are supposed to behave together. One evening we sat close side by side in his dad's station wagon in the driveway listening to a far away radio broadcast of a baseball game, I allowed my hand to rest first onto his knee then inch to his thigh and then into his lap as we sat together and alone in the dark. He didn't stop me as my fingers wandered and I gently felt between his legs for the first time, his cock growing immediately stiff and erect. Drunk with lust at this unexpected contact, two innings later I slipped my hand into the pocket of his shorts and felt his secret boy parts more intimately through just the cloth of his pocket lining. His erect cock felt as big as mine, and examining it carefully with my fingers I could mentally picture every ridge and vein on the shaft and see the crowning bulging softness of his cock head.
We were interrupted by his clowning brother and his friends, but that night I went home flying instead of walking. In the intimacy of the car's darkness Ryan had allowed me to feel his cock, and NO BOY would allow that unless he somehow had feelings for me similar to those I was feeling for him, I believed. I made up my mind right then that I'd convince my folks to let Ryan come on vacation to the beach with us; I wanted to spend a whole week alone with him to see what else might develop.
In the days that followed, I looked for the all-important telltale signs of his lingering regret, but he showed none. Even after I had brazenly felt his stiff cock he still acted the same towards me as before, and eagerly agreed to come to the seashore with me. I was giddy beyond words as he sat beside me in the back seat of the family car, wearing his short-shorts and red Puma sneakers with no socks. Pressed hip to hip I think I had an erection the whole way there, but riding there in the car with my brother and sister and parents there wasn't much I could do about it.
At the beach, I couldn't get enough of him. He wore his tight and skimpy swimsuit, and I teased him about how clearly I could see his bulge. I caught him lying on a towel on his belly, absently grinding his pelvis into the sand to experience the pleasurable sensations it gave, and I playfully rolled him over on his back to see his stiffie bulging prominently in his suit covered by just the thin, tight fabric. He laughed and pushed me back, and I pointed out to him that my cock was as hard and erect as his was, and we laughed together.
He had one bad habit that I hated, but tried my best to endure... or ignore. He was enchanted and fascinated looking at all the girls, pointing out the especially pretty ones to me. I'd pretend that I liked them too, hoping all the while that he was just trying to be cool and that he really was more interested in me, just as I was in him. More than anything I longed for him to be my secret lover, and to ignore and forget the stupid girls who were all but invisible to me.
We had spent all day on the beach, throwing a ball, swimming and resting, and when we went home in the late afternoon, as the shadows grew long, it was clear that he had had too much sun. His shoulders and cheeks and back were burned red. That night as we got into bed, he moved gingerly, wincing at every contact with the sheets. As my skin was of a naturally darker complexion, I didn't tend to burn in the sun, and I examined him with great concern.
"Don't worry," Ryan said to me. "This happens to me all the time. I burn easily." I was unconvinced as I gently touched his fair but reddened skin. He was really uncomfortable. Searching in the bathroom cabinet I found sunburn lotion, designed to ease the pain.
"Let me put some of this on you" I suggested. He didn't object, and I squirted some of the white stuff on his shins and gently spread it around with my fingers. Some of it caught in the fine wispy hairs that grew there, and I smoothed it down to the tops of his bare feet.
"How does that feel?" I asked.
"Better", he said, eyes closed.
I proceeded to gently rub him all over, one limb at a time, asking him to lie on his tummy so I could soothe his burned back. As I squirted a long line of the cool white goo across his shoulders he said, "ooooh- that feels so good." Inside, my brain was buzzing and I felt like my cock would burst from my shorts as it throbbed hard. I rubbed down his back, and then as I got to the edge of his white underpants, I lifted the elastic just a bit to get underneath. His swimsuit had been skimpier than his shorts were now, and I tugged them down just a little to find the edge of the red line that was hidden below. Rubbing the cream on his lower back, I pulled his shorts down a little farther than I needed to, exposing the top of his firm bare butt.
"Hey!" he objected.
"Relax," I said. "Let me take care of you". He didn't resist further and I gently held his slim backside as I smoothed the lotion on him.
"Now turn over," I ordered. He did, and I watched his bony but slightly muscled chest rise and fall as he breathed, and I prepared to put the lotion on his bare and smooth stomach. I was delighted to see that his penis had grown half erect in his underpants, poking upwards slightly. He didn't seem to mind my insistence on doting on him like this, and I had to admit that there was no real reason that it was necessary for me to continue to spread the lotion on his skin there... he could have easily done it himself.
I spread a line of the lotion from the top of his chest to his navel and he jumped a little. "Ahh! That's cold," he said.
But I had rarely seen—let alone been permitted to touch and caress-- such a beautiful sight. His adolescent chest and stomach were soft, smooth and perfect, as I rubbed the lotion starting near his throat around his puffy nipples and then down his ribs. When I reached his stomach he wiggled a little, and I scooped up some lotion on my finger that had spilled inside his belly button. The front elastic of his undershorts was stretched down below the red burn line as his cock bulged up, pulling the cloth slightly away from his flat stomach. I hardly dared breathe for fear of breaking the mood. I so much wanted to continue but was afraid that at any moment he would order me to stop. I allowed the back of my hand to brush unnecessarily against his stiff dick, and I could see clearly the shape of its fluted end as it grew more erect and strained beneath the thin fabric. Moving my attention instead down to the tops of his thighs, I rubbed his skin right up to his balls again allowing my fingers to brush lightly against their softness. Still he said nothing.
"I know what will really make you feel better," I said, my voice breaking huskily with lust. And without saying anything more, only once I stroked the back of my hand the full length of his cock, from its top to bottom, feeling it twitch and push back through the thin material that barely covered it.
Ryan didn't say a word, and I reached out and shut off the light with one hand while I continued to gently stroke and squeeze his erect cock with my other one, pausing with each stroke to caress his soft balls. I think my own dick had never been harder, and I reached inside my own shorts to reposition it and give it freedom to expand.
"Hey, you know, I can do that myself," Ryan objected, and reached down to take his own cock.
"I know you can, but I'll do it if you want" I offered hopefully in a hoarse whisper.
"No, that's OK," he replied. "I'll do it myself."
I was only slightly disappointed and not really surprised. I didn't want to move too fast for him. I helped him tug his shorts down to his knees, seeing his nakedly erect boy-cock for the first time, lit by the moonlight streaming through the window. The white glow of the region that had been covered by his suit, and thus had stayed unburned, glowed eerily in contrast to the red skin around it that had been over-exposed to the sun. I was so excited to realize that I was viewing the pale private area of his body that he kept covered and hidden from everyone else on the beach, and now, in bed and alone with me he had exposed it to my view without a care. His cock was beautiful, long and straight and stiff, and I suddenly realized that it looked just like mine in every way. His right hand bobbed up and down on it. I always used my left hand on myself so we were able to lay closely hip-to-hip as we masturbated ourselves. Reaching out with my free hand, I touched his balls. And in objection he whispered, "cut it out! I'm not gay!" I assured him firmly that I was certainly not gay either and I asked him to relax and just to let me keep my hand there and I wouldn't try to do anything else. He was again quiet, and I enjoyed the feeling of his soft balls bouncing up and down into my hand as he tugged his stiff mast above. I liked feeling their warm, wrinkled soft sac and stroking the fine hairs that grew from there.
"Tell me when you are going to cum?" I asked, but he didn't reply. I had dreamed but never really imagined that this scene would really play out as it was happening right at that moment. I was so sexually excited, I could barely keep from having my orgasm, and I rubbed myself ever so gently so that I could prolong the pleasure till I could wait and see him come too. I watched intently as he rhythmically jerked his cock, using the exact same technique I used on myself.
"Are you ready to cum yet?" I asked.
"I just did," he replied, relaxing and laying back.
I was disappointed, as I had wanted to closely watch him ejaculate, but I understood if he was shy and embarrassed and preferred not to say anything to call attention to this most intimate of moments, this being our first time together sexually. "Let me see," I said, and reached out my hand to touch his tummy, and indeed I found it wet with his sperm. His open hand lay beside his cock, and with a sly motion I brushed my hand across his palm, getting much of his boy-cum onto my fingers.
"Hey—Yucch!" He said. "Why would you want THAT?" but I was suddenly overcome with lust as, still rubbing myself, I raised my wet hand to my face, turning my head away from him so he would not see, and touched his creamy sperm to my lips, then put some onto my tongue, eventually licking and sucking my wet fingers dry. The fresh taste of his forbidden stuff made me more excited than I had ever been in my life, and uncontrollably I began to shoot my own cum all over my stomach as I had one of the most powerful orgasms I had ever felt. After all, just sleeping with his jacket some months earlier and smelling his scent on it had made me dizzy with lust. Now, I lay beside him, actually touching him naked, smelling his body's scent and tasting his sperm. It was more outrageous than I could absorb. We were both spent with our own nearly simultaneous orgasms.
At that moment, I was certainly happier than I had ever been in my life. Ryan was perfect for me, I knew for sure now. He was all boy-- masculine and cool and certainly no sissy or fag. He would never rat on me and I would never embarrass him. This could actually work, I dreamed. We could be straight, tough boys by day and tender secret lovers by night. No one needed to know our secret. I wanted to take care of him and make him happy, and no one else need ever suspect.
For me, the rest of the week was pure heaven. The next day we talked about what had happened, and he didn't seem freaked out by it and acted just as normal as the day before. That night as we lay in bed he brought out a kind of raunchy adult magazine he had brought with him, sharing with me the pictures of the girls he thought were the best. (By the way, looking at girlie magazines was OK by me—because all "normal" boys were supposed to have them. I never would have even imagined looking at pictures of naked guys in magazines... the thought never occurred to me that such a thing even existed, and anyway that would have been far, FAR "too gay" for us tough guys anyway.) Noticing his prominent erection bulging again in his shorts I reached out to touch it and he laughed me off, saying "Like I told you before, I can do it myself!" and he did, lying right next to me as I jerked my own cock, eyes glued with precision to his progress. He covered his cock with his other hand as he climaxed, and as I reached out to touch him again, this time he met me halfway. He willingly offered me his wet hand, which I gratefully took in my own, transferring his goo from his palm onto mine, tasting some and using the rest to rub myself to my own powerful orgasm right next to him. As we shut the light off and prepared to sleep, I snuggled close to him and put my arm over him to hold him. He protested this, again saying, "Hey cut it out! I told you I'm not gay!" So, I moved my arm away from him, but still close, and smiled contentedly.
Yeah, whatever, Ryan. I wasn't gay either. I was just in love with my best friend, and all was right in the world.
For the next months I thought about him a lot. I bought him a gift for his birthday and he brought something back for me when he went with his family on a trip. At school and in front of other people we were just friends. But alone watching TV, listening to music or sitting in the grass together talking I seriously hoped we were more than that. I'd never have humiliated him—or me—by showing the slightest hint of affection for him in front of others. That just wouldn't have been right. But if we were alone he wouldn't object if I got closer to him and sometimes let my fingers wander, gently exploring his body—his hair, neck, hands, legs, arms, chest. I didn't overdo my affection; or at least I really tried not to. Only occasionally would I dare allow myself to feel his private areas, and if I did this I learned to be subtle and was always careful to feel him through at least one layer of cloth, as skin-on-skin contact with his private parts crossed the line to make him uncomfortable. So, I saved these occasions for when he was sleeping over and we could advance to jerking off together, which we would still do sometimes.
As we worked on my old car one afternoon, I let it slip out. "Ryan, I love you," I unthinkingly but honestly blurted out as he handed me a wrench. He said nothing in response and my neck burned hot and I winced with shame that I had allowed these unguarded words to slip. I had broken an important rule: boys didn't talk that way to each other, EVER, not even privately, and of course I certainly knew that. I cursed myself for my unguarded weakness, but he never brought it up and our friendship seemingly continued as before, or at least I thought it did.
I could end the recollection right here, and most writers on this site would. But if I did that the story still wouldn't be complete. Stay with me and I'll continue—bringing you up to the present.
At seventeen and a half I was desperately conflicted and confused, lacking any of the perspective on my sexuality that I have today. Then, I believed that it was absolutely still in my power to "turn straight" and that liking boys was just a phase that I could still outgrow. At least I prayed it would go away so I could live a normal and respectable life. The idea that I might be this way the rest of my life was a horrible and unbearable thought that defied my imagination. (Today, helping me understand why so many gay teens tragically turn to suicide as a viable option when they reach this point.)
A high school senior now, I took up with a pretty girl from my physics class, and we became public steadies, holding hands in the halls, going on dates, riding in my car going to the movies and kissing each other goodnight. But privately I still longed for Ryan and thought about him much of the time.
Now nearly sixteen and in tenth grade, Ryan was starting to show more pronounced signs of his adolescence. He had grown taller and lankier, and talked with a newly croaky deeper voice. But worst of all, he had become overtly, wildly, obsessively girl-crazy. Ryan sat with me at lunch and his head swiveled around and around like the tall sign at the gas station, turning to watch every female pass by. He confided in me that he had a crush on a particularly tarty ninth-grade girl whom I regarded as very slutty, who wore too much makeup and had teased up hair. But she had huge breasts, Ryan pointed out, (FAT breasts, I thought) and he sighed dreamily that they were so beautiful. He'd moon after her, his longing distorting his face and affecting his voice, as he shared his private feelings and fears that maybe she didn't like him, and I felt just disgusted inside. This obviously wasn't a put-on: he was thoroughly blind and mentally debilitated by romantic thoughts about girls and I just didn't want him to be. I wanted him for my secret lover and wanted him to be truly happy with that. After a school dance he proudly told me that he had made out with this lusty girl, and that she had made him come in his pants in his parked car. He was so excited he couldn't wait to see her again. I just felt like slitting my wrists.
We went to several teenaged parties together, as I could drive and he could not. At one particular party, I brought my girl, and as I kissed her I kept one eye on him to make sure he noticed how masculine I was. He stayed glued to the girls, the more air-headed, stupid, tarted-up and big-breasted the better, never even looking my way the entire evening. I watched him closed-eyed soul kissing a girl on the sofa after the lights had been dimmed, and felt a nauseating twist of pain in my gut as I saw that he had a bulging hard-on in his pants, the same one I wanted him to have with me.
When it was time to go I had to practically drag him away to take him home. I painfully bit my lip in the car as he babbled on about how beautiful this one was and that one was. I felt so inferior to him... I was trying my hardest to be straight, but to him being normal and heterosexual came naturally. It became clear to me-- It was hopeless: I was defective, he was straight, and he was lost to me.
I went on to college and Ryan graduated high school two years later and went on to join the Navy. I next saw him ten years later with his Asian wife and his two-year-old daughter as his parents invited my wife and I (yes... surreal) to dinner at their house for old times' sake. Apparently he had never told anyone there about our relationship, which surely didn't surprise me at all. Cool, straight boys like him would never have made such a confession. Though he looked at me with the same distinctive blue eyes, now he was like a stranger to me. He spoke with a deep, resonant voice, sporting a closely cropped full moustache and black beard with ample chest hair bristling out of his shirt's open neck, and was full of tales of globe-traveling experiences.
My emotions were chaffed raw the entire evening. I imagined that I might get him alone and talk to him to ask his perspective on our relationship of fifteen years before. I dreamed that he'd remember it fondly and tell me that though he found me attractive and even considered trying out being gay, but concluded he was straight and -- that was that. But purposely I think, I never made the chance to talk to him about this, for fear that he would have told me how he didn't even remember... or worse, he'd tell me how much he hated my advances, enduring my affection out of helplessness, unsure of how to tell me to stop and leave him alone. When I think back, in these encounters through our relationship he never returned my affection, instead passively "allowing" me to be sexual with him. And completely perversely I guess this was just what I wanted anyway, because if then he had loved me tenderly in return I would probably have been terrified and run! But who knows for sure? Just maybe he would have been the one who could have helped me deal with my homosexuality that I couldn't rationally accept at 16 or 18. This absolutely wasn't to be, because unfortunately for me, he was straight as they come.
When it came right down to it, I suppose I really didn't want to know anyway. It was all water that had long since passed under the bridge.