Aashish (Ash to friends) sat slouched, tenebrous in the darkest corner of the room... eyes hooded, watching... intently watching...
The room was mostly in darkness with just that single lamp burning in the far corner... the frosted lightbulb casting its soft glow into the surrounding gloom before petering out in the sombre emptiness of the large hall. But it wasn't totally dark inside... the room aglow, magically lucent in the colourful radiance of the numerous flickering bulbs strung up along the balustrade and awnings of the upper level terrace garden beyond the glass wall of the room... the shrubs, the bushes and the trees aglitter with the twinkling chains of Christmas lighting.
It was Celine's annual Christmas bash... and all the kids from school were there, the whole gang... and a few others too - Celine's neighbourhood friends - about forty kids in all. Out in the garden - semi-dark silhouettes in the dancing shadow and light of the luminescent Christmas decorations, swaying and saltating to the loud beat of the pulsating music... or hurdled in the darker corners of the luxuriant garden - besotted pairs of amorous teens, horrendously horny, experimental in desperate desire as they groped and slobbered... with even the normally shy ones, the quiet ones, suddenly confident... boldly adventurous in their weed and alcohol induced euphoriant haze... confident in the liberating knowledge that they were alone, with no parental or adult supervision to worry about!
There was Abhi, and there was Sagar... Nikhil... Akaash... Jassi... and the rest of the boys. There was Nikki and Priyanka (his very best friends)... Dipti... Tina... Madhu... and the rest of the girls. And of course, there was Celine, the hostess, and Leo, her twin brother.
But it wasn't just another teen party... another Christmas gathering at Celine's place. This year was different. It was special - it was their last, and also a first!
It was their last as highschool kids, as chums and buddies... as minors (though quite a few had already celebrated their eighteenth birthday over the past few months). And it was also the very last party their parent's would allow them to attend before their graduating exam in March the following year.
It was a first in the sense that not only was it at Celine's parents' sprawling farmhouse... out of town... but it was also the first without any supervision - just them kids, with no adults!
And, they were allowed to stay for the whole night - another first!
They had all worked hard, had just completed their final school year... and had just written that final exam before school let off... leaving them to prepare for their graduating exam in March - a test that would (in their young minds) determine all their future prospects, and their social standing... their sense of self-worth. And now was time to celebrate... time to rejoice... enjoy the freedom from regular school routine before returning to their books (and the unrelenting parental pressure to perform).
So, they celebrated - dancing away as they revelled in the last free moments of their young life... the brief respite that the festive season had offered them between those final days of school and the upcoming 'mother of all exams' - highschool graduation!
Only Ash wasn't out there with the others - dancing and celebrating - he was inside, apart from the rest... alone... watching... intently watching...
Ash was the quintessential 'good-boy', a dream son... every neighbour's envy, every parent's pride - a goody two-shoes!
He didn't smoke, didn't drink... and never did drugs... and as for dancing, well, he claimed to own a pair of left feet (that's how he liked to put it), and couldn't dance to save his life!
He had always been that way - quiet, polite and courteous... sensible, with a good head on his shoulders, firmly screwed on, the right way... responsible and dependable.
An equally good student, he was academically exceptional - the first in class with all the answers... the first with his submissions and assignments; ever ready with suggestions and ideas... encouraging and helpful, assisting the lesser intellectually inclined boys and girls in class - every teacher's pet. The cynosure of all eyes, constantly pointed out as an example... always being complimented...
He didn't know when it started, or, how it started... but he loved it, loved the way things were... loved the attention... awfully pleased with the glowing halo that constantly hovered over his teen head. Striving ever harder in his desire to please... to impress even further!
Since childhood Ash had never really enjoyed those boisterous horseplay that boys so love to (and are expected to) indulge in - those disorderly, sweaty and filthy gambols - distinctly remembering his grandmother once saying: 'Horses sweat, men perspire, but real ladies always smell of jasmine!' - and he simply couldn't make sense of the rough and tumble of all those games!
Those primitive, caveman contact sports - the noisome belligerence... the taunts and the altercations... the scuffles and the fisticuffs... the full-throated cheers, or the angry bellows. Bemused as he watched them slog and sudate - excitedly chasing a ball across the cricket ground... shove and jostle around the soccer field or volleyball court... huff and puff all over the tennis court - sweaty and stinky!
And neither could he fathom the brouhaha over the football and cricket world cups, the test-series, or the Wimbledon... the vociferous arguments and disputations... the score and point tallying - God, it was all so utterly stupid, and to watch the guys go... oh, he never really understood the craziness, the sheer lunacy of it all!
Most annoyingly, the boys - his childhood friends, schoolmates and neighbours - once barely endurable, only grew up to be insufferable sports addicts... brain dead dweebs who also doubled up as potheads and alcoholics - aggressively loud and abrasively obnoxious. Uncouth and crass in their adolescent exuberance and exaggerated male arrogance. Their senseless banter, and their coarse boasts and bravados, all invariably punctuated with the most hideous expletives. Utterly vulgar with their constant crude reference to girls and women... and parts of the feminine anatomy!
Oh, it was all so nauseating... and Ash simply couldn't imagine associating with such louts beyond the compulsions of the classroom - he had absolutely nothing in common with them!
He preferred to be on his own, sit in the shade and read a book instead. Favouring an intellectually stimulating conversation over those senseless physical slugfests... suddenly discovering the company of girls so much more favourable to that of boys.
The girls were so much quieter, and better to talk to... they were gentle and sensitive... caring and tender... instinctively understanding. And more importantly, they always smelt good... unlike the average boy - walking around in a miasma of some cheap deo that barely concealed the nauseating whiff of stale sweat, and unwashed undergarments!
Yes, girls could be sulkily petulant and gratingly complaining... eternally mulling over their adolescent anxieties -- their constant worry about appearance, the state of their hair, or eyebrows, the cut of their dress... the endless strops (particularly during those few days each month), and regular upsets... and their incessant need for approval and reassurance -- but they were still so much better than those horrible boys!
Yes, they could also be terribly vindictive, and hurtful too, with their ceaseless bitching... but that was the part Ash liked best - those juicy gossips - oh, they always seemed to know every detail about every person - the other girls, the boys, and even the teachers and neighbours -- Oh, how Ash loved those sessions with the girls!
And the girls too loved him, simply adored him! He was their go-to guy - a fount of wisdom and expertise - and they invariably sought him out with all their problems and worries... pouring out their woes, baring their heart. Confessing and confiding... telling him about the unfairness of the other girls, and the sad stories of their heart-breaks. The totally inexplicable behaviour, and insensitivities of the boys, so caught up in themselves... and their buddies. So very callous with the finer nuances of emotion, and its expression. Generally annoying and boorish... seeming to have just one thing on their perpetually horny mind!
Ash was nice to them... lending them a patient ear, and offering a dependable shoulder when the need for it arose... ready with sage advise and solutions.
And so, Ash sat... alone in the darkened corner - watching... intently watching...
All these teen parties tended to go the same way - be it a birthday bash, an end of term soirée, or, like today, Celine's Christmas party - an hour into it, and once the cigarettes, the joints, the beer and vodka had made a couple odd rounds... the tea-heads ended up paggered, completely fucked up... and sloshed too. Senses getting blurred as the muscles loosened, along with the tongue... eyes glazing over... and speech becoming slurred and unintelligible... just sweaty, heaving bodies, mindlessly grinding away in the blue haze of the cigarette and joint smoke, each movement jerky and spasmodic in the narcotised trance.
Ensconced in the most convenient corner that afforded him a grand view of the unfolding evening, Ash simply sat and watched... surrounded by his gaggle of girl friends - Nikki and Priyanka, his very best friends and devoted companions, and a few other of the more bashful girls - together watching their baked buddies, especially the n00bs, make complete fools of themselves... each, in their zoned state, seeming to outperform the other in stupidity, to the utter glee of the few, rare, sober ones. Laughing away as he entertained the girls with his risqué observations and cavalier quips... the small group shamelessly swapping the latest, most outrageous gossips about every boy and girl out there!
Oh, Ash loved it... he was in his elements!
But alas, 21st December, 2012, was different... Ash was alone in his corner... for, in the joy of their newly attained adulthood, Nikki and Priyanka too had abandoned him... had joined the rest of the gang in celebrating their approaching graduation... the completion of highschool!
They had asked him to join too... insisting that he should, for once in his utterly perfect life, relax and let his hair down... have some fun for a change!
It did annoy him, and he declined... waving a dismissive hand as he gave them his benign smile, making the usual reference to his pair of left feet, asking them to go ahead, enjoy themselves.
Fiercely private, and ferociously protective of his private space, Ash was painfully sensitive to all manners of criticism... the mere thought of making a slip up, of being ridiculed for a goof up, simply mortifying him... and he avoided anything, and everything, with even the slightest hint of failure... that he wasn't 'perfect' in... which, unfortunately, left him with practically nothing to do... other than his school work (and his gossiping, with the girls). Every offer, proposal or suggestion, for any activity, seeming suspiciously questionable to him - like a dare, a challenge - and he instantly sought shelter behind his artfully erected façade of intellectual superiority... his ostensible disdain for the frivolous and the mundane. Assiduously refusing to take the bait that some, especially those stupid boys, dared to dangle before him, expertly declining to be engaged by any of them!
He may not have been much inclined towards games and sports - that exclusive male domain of activity that boys take such pride in - but he was no pushover either, to take their disparaging sneers lying down... and he was quick with his tongue-in-cheek retorts, delivered in his trademark tone of pitying condescension (which the girls so loved). His quick wit and acerbic tongue, so liberally employed, always winning the day for him as he invariably put those dumb jocks in their proper place!
Well, he was a kid, an adolescent stripling... merely seventeen, and still a couple months away from that magical date when life was supposed to change... a date that would miraculously endow him with amazing rights and privileges... would, overnight, bestow upon him that enviable status of an adult... would make him legally lethal!
Oh, he could barely wait for his eighteenth birthday!
Till then, however, he'd remain a minor - a scared young boy - distressingly shy... and easily intimidated... paranoid and confused. Ridden with the usual fears and apprehensions that generally plague the average adolescent... vexed by all those unsubstantiated myths and incertitudes... befuddled by all those bruits and contradictory whispers that made the rounds of the washroom when the boys got together... suddenly full of questions, doubts and concerns!
And to top it all, there were those constant, derisive sniggers about faggots - those horribly weird breed of men who lusted for other males - men who preferred cocks... older men who gave candy and then corrupted little boys... and the worst of the lot - boys who loved to suck cock, and get fucked in their ass!
The whispers were fierce and contentious... the debate hovering around how to recognise those sickos - which physical attribute, body language, or behavioural pattern marked them out. Everyone suddenly suspect as they cast around - especially those boys who were even remotely 'girlie' in any aspect of their demeanour... guys who didn't like games and sports... or any physical activity... didn't have girlfriends... didn't excitedly confabulate, or drool over boobs and cunts!
Oh, those talks were distressingly unnerving... and Ash appended further floors to his façade of academic excellence... adding layers upon layers of intricate frontage to the already complex structure. After all, he had an image to safeguard - that goody two-shoes image - at any cost... and of course, preserve that halo adorning his head, unblemished and intact!
No, it wasn't just some fanciful window-dressing merely to hide behind... Ash had his reasons, very valid reasons... and it was his only means of protection... of self preservation... for he nursed a frightfully dark secret in his heart... a horrifying secret that he kept safely locked... that he didn't dare to speak the name of...
It wasn't like Ash was a faggot or something, like the way the boys in the washroom defined those people. Ash simply loved watching, and admiring everything beautiful... his natural, youthful curiosity wanting to know more, see more... and it just happened, that all the 'beautiful things' that caught his attention, attracted and fascinated him... had been guys so far... only guys - but that didn't make him gay!
He had just celebrated his twelfth birthday... when that first flush of testosterone flooding his young, maturing body, freshly unleashed by his newly enlarged testicles, had made him realise that he not only loved being with the girls - talk to them, share life notes - but he actually loved watching guys!
Not boys... not teens... but guys - guys in their twenties and thirties...
Those self-assured young dudes... those ruggedly handsome studs - nattily attired in casuals, or formals... strutting, or lounging, or gambolling around the malls and plazas... the parks and the streets... simply everywhere that he looked...
And he eyed them... mesmerised... awfully curious to catch a glimpse of their most intimate, their most private piece of anatomy!
The mere thought of those men - guys he had seen, or guys he had pictured in his mind - filled him with that warm, fuzzy feeling... causing a weird tingle between his legs... making his once boy cock, which had suddenly started growing larger, harden with a spine-tingling ferocity... throbbing and flexing as it cried out for attention!
Nature took its own course, and Ash soon learned the secret workings of his young body in the privacy of his bedroom... rubbing his cock against the pillow as he tried to relieve the pressure... almost swooning at the incredible sensation that that simple act produced... the awesome tingle that filled his entire body... making him moan and rock his hips even harder, and faster, till it got unbearable... almost blacking out as it pulsed and twitched... gushing out that slimy, viscous concoction cooked up by his teen balls!
Soon, however, that wasn't sufficient... and his teen cock demanded even more... goading him on to explore further... till he finally relented and took himself in his hands... and voilà! Ash made the serendipitous discovery of self gratification... flogging away till that mind-blowing finale, when his raging cock simply exploded with a gut wrenching vengeance... spewing out his bubbling teen spunk with a volcanic ferocity that left him totally drained!
At thirteen he finally realised, with horrifying certainty, what that fascination with men meant... what his attraction for them meant... What he wanted!
He was dismayed... and yet, the urge was irresistible... and so, he continued to watch them... and fantasise... and masturbate... dreaming of the day when his knight-in-shining-armour would finally come riding, and sweep him off his feet!
Despite that dark little secret... and his shameful indulgence in self-flagellation, Ash went through life with a clinical precision, ever conscious of the image - his image - and the need to protect it... maintaining a well calibrated goody-boy front... his deep, dark secret desires buried deep in his subconsciousness... acting normal... his ever glittering halo intact... hovering in all its pristine glory upon his upright head!
Life went on, still simple and largely uncomplicated... and then...
Well, he was partly to be blamed -- for it was his fourteenth birthday, and he had demanded his own, personal laptop... and his proud parents' had happily given it...
Unfortunately, it turned out to be that proverbial Pandora's box... his simple world suddenly exploding, right in his face!
After the initial, wide-eyed flurry into the wondrous world of Internet, Ash quickly discovered all those exciting portals that parents and state authorities frown upon - those horribly titillating, and grossly obscene picture sites, those dreadfully explicit video sites... those salaciously graphic story portals... and above all, those guy sites - free, gay dating and chatrooms!
Goody gumdrops! his sedate world was suddenly stormed!
Ash rushed into his bedroom as soon as he returned home after school, locking himself - browsing away... chatting away... camming away - all his modesty, his paranoia, his timorousness... suddenly swept away by the turbulent squall of his pubescent arousal!
Wary and cautious in real life, he was wildly untamed in the anonymous environ of cyberspace - brazenly soliciting total strangers as he boldly enticed them with his deepest and grossest desires... seductive as he lewdly pranced before the camera displaying his young, puberulent genitals, his erect teen wonder, to the lascivious gaze of absolute strangers!
Suddenly the knight didn't matter anymore - any willing man would do, one or more - Ash only wanted sex, savage sex... pure, raw, animal sex - hot and steamy... down and dirty. Get taken like a bitch, ravished by a pack of wild dogs... fucked in each hole and filled with their man-seed till it oozed out of his every pore... till he smelled of sex and cum for the rest of his life!
The knight (and his shiny armour) could wait...
Ah, those were the moments - desperate moments of intense vacillation, and acute temptation... when his brilliantly glowing halo flickered with the threat of obliteration... when he felt the stinging throb above his forehead where the horns threatened to finally pierce the skin and emerge for all the world to see!
And there never was a dearth of willing men - horny and desperate men ready to fulfil all his desires, exactly the way he wanted it... pounce on him and tear him to shreds... fuck him till he had nothing more to ask for!
Oh yes, online, Ash was bold... and feral... but his feet were still firmly planted on Mother Earth... and no matter what he said (or displayed for the carnal pleasure of the ogling men)... and no matter what he promised those anonymous strangers, he would NEVER go out and meet any of them!
Once those strangers had been sufficiently aroused... almost panting with lust at the joyful thought of deflowering the spring-chicken they had lucked upon... inviting him over for a meet, and a wild session between the sheets... Ash went inexplicably bashful... suddenly acting scared and coy as he artfully squirmed out of all immediate commitments... making craftily vague promises of 'another day' - promises he knew he'd never keep.
Was he a cock-tease? - Sure!
But he was also a very scared little boy... horrified by thoughts of the consequences if he got caught... of what might happen if someone, anyone, found out...
And his parents - oh, it would crush them... break their heart... and he was sure he'd be thrown out immediately... Disowned!
That would be disastrous - his whole life would end!
And his halo? Oh, it would be shattered!
So, he continued with his sly game of Jekyll and Hyde - a goody two-shoes for his real, everyday world... and a seductive siren for the cyber world - titillating and enticing, but never allowing any of them to get anywhere near him. Managing his two personas with marvellous élan, while keeping his secret safe, his halo intact... and the horns safely tucked away from all prying eyes under the unruly mop of his dark hair!
There was just one problem though - his girl friends...
Over the past year, they had begun to give him weird looks... asking awfully uncomfortable questions as they dropped suggestive hints about his lack of a girlfriend... his seeming disinterest in girls... his stubborn refusal to date any of them - making him squirm in his boots!
And so, Ash sat watching... alone in his dark corner... seething with fury!
He wasn't watching the crowd - his friends and schoolmates - his eyes focussed instead on just one individual... his entire attention, the whole while, fixed on that single entity... that one and only object of his desire - his passion, his obsession!
Seeking him out in the crowd of teens, and watching... keenly watching - his every move, and his every act.
His hooded eyes narrowing with intrigue, and flashing with ire... fierce with indignation, and cold with wrath!
Nothing else mattered... no one else mattered... just Jeet...
Oh, how he hated that dumb asshole... and loved him too - the only teen his young heart so intensely coveted!
And that ungrateful moron, that selfish, inconsiderate idiot wasn't even bothered with him, hadn't even acknowledged him the whole evening... busy courting that bitch - Tina!
Fawning all over her like a lapdog... yapping excitedly as he got her a beer, or another glass of punch... handing her the bowls of chips or crisps, or a tissue... lighting her joint!
Following her around like a devoted puppy... wagging his tail with joy each time she deigned to grace him with a coup d'oeil - almost rolling over each time she fluttered her eyelids and gave that glossy lipped smile...
Loathsome and nauseating... disgustingly sickening!!!
And as the party progressed - the music getting louder, and the buzz building up to a bake - Ash watched them move and sway with the beat in their stoned trance... Jeet's arms wrapped tightly around her... bodies almost fused, as if glued together like some Siamese twin... inseparable... their hands roving as they nuzzled, whispering and giggling away!
He didn't know how long... but then, he had lost all count of time... simply raging as his eyes followed the pair around the garden... watching them break away from the crowd and waltz across the lawn to a solitary corner... giggly as they stumbled against the glass pane of the wall... directly in front of him!
And then came that final humiliation... that final ignominious snub, like a tight slap across his already smarting face -- Jeet lurching forward and kissing Tina... on her mouth!
Ash's world burst into flames... engulfed by a raging conflagration... burning him to an insignificant cinder!
How could Jeet do it... kiss her?! Especially with Ash present in the same house!
HOW DARE HE?!
And as he watched, stunned and disbelieving... he saw the slut kiss back... both slobbery and odious in their baked exultation... both pair of hands shamefully indiscreet as they roved... going where they shouldn't... touching, what they should never dare to... her blatant hand reaching down... patting him!
Oh, the shame... the betrayal - Ash's world clouded over, his eyes blinded by the opprobrium... his jaws clenched with the violently tempestuous rage...
Well, Ash would have his revenge... would wrought his vengeance... reclaim his honour - he had to - halo or no halo!
He mulled, and he mused... tossing one disgraceful scheme after another... each distressingly scrofulous and malefic... frighteningly vicious.
And as Ash plotted and planned, he saw Jeet whisper, turn around and enter the room... swaying his way across the hall as he tottered towards the landing...headed for the loo no doubt - not even noticing Ash sitting in his dark corner!
Ash was done... he had his plan... he was decided, and nothing could stop him now - not only would he claim what was rightfully his (and have his revenge in the process)... but he would also fulfill his long cherished dream of stepping into adulthood a complete man - not as a virgin boy!
With a faint tinkle he heard the halo disintegrate, and fall away... the horns finally piercing the skin of his crown and emerging from hiding, the pair slowly rising high in all their evil glory!
Ash too rose... slowly... and walked towards the landing with a deliberate determination...
to be continued...