this is a story about two boys who fall in love. If this is offensive to you, use your back button or go away. All rights reserved, c2003




Hey there readers! Well this is definitely a record time for me to get out a chapter. I could have made it longer -- but then it would have taken much longer to send out, as my `regular internet access' is going to disappear after tonight -- my visit to my mother's house is now over and it's time for me to return to the real world. But have no doubt that I will work hard at getting Chapter 6 out -- but it will take longer -- it's assignment term coming up in college -- and my college year is not exactly going well so far.

Also, I use a chat client called mIRC to chat to and meet a lot of the gay people I know. I recently decided to try and find some international chat rooms and see what's happening there. I found a server called nevernet, and it's got two great channels > #4gayboyz and #niftyorg. The #niftyorg channel is about the nifty website -- so I thought it was worth putting down here.

It has still been a rough time, but I think things are getting better, I've regained energy, found a lot of myself, and feel ready to face a lot more. I also met a guy online, and hope to meet him in person within the next few weeks, like 2 or so I hope. So far he's an amazing guy -- so we'll see hey?

I wanted to approach a serious issue in my last preface. I read a story called "now I know I am not alone" -- also from the highschool archives. It's a story that did two very big things to me. It gave me a real good look at 9/11 from an American's perspective, and I must admit I was crying through it -- in fact -- I was telling my mom about it today and felt the tears welling up -- and I don't even know why.

However, the story also involves a really horrible truth about our society. The way young gay boys -- teenagers are abused, especially by perverts who drug them and make them do inhumane things for money, and then leave them out to die like old food. They destroy lives of so many boys. The story really taught me a lesson -- about a lot of things -- including certain pornography. I'm not big on porn -- but after reading that I've been totally sickened.

The author says it is a true story -- if it is, I'm very sorry Joey. I don't agree with some things mentioned -- sexual acts that they author/s felt are justifiable -- but other than that -- I think everyone should take the time to read it at some point -- it'll open your eyes.

As for a certain issue that has been worrying me -- when I started out the story I wasn't sure whether it would be highschool or college -- but now it seems it ended up in the wrong section the way my writing is going. I'm sorry if this is not cool with some of you -- but I'd feel weird moving the story now.

Anyway, this chapter goes out to all those in need of a prayer of love...


Jason -- (please feel free to send any comments -- it keeps my fingers flowing!)

My mother was curiously surprised with my encounter, with my aunt, her former sister in law I mean. Like, she didn't really expect it either, it was like waaaaaaay ironic man!



Anyway, that was day two at college, and I gotta say, I'm glad I survived the hot day in the sun, but d00ds! This IS South Africa I'm living in here! When you spend a day in the sun... well, you can expect to be punished for it.

I felt my neck being a little burnt during the day, but it was only later that night in the shower that I realized just how bad that was -- it wasn't really like "oh my gosh I got skin cancer" ouch, but, it was still sore. I turned the water temp up as high as I could bare, and tried to burn away the burn.

I love the way that sounded! Just think of it like maths (which I sucked at) -- or arithmetic -- I dunno what you people call it now anymore -- everyone's different. ANYWAY, what I was referring to is the amazing art of cancelling things out, and here it actually applies! Well most of the time.


I've lost all my readers now -- I've got half of you confused. Let's move on with the story -- unless this cat rips my mouse off the desk again -- cables are such fun toys.

The sun burn on my neck was gently soothed by Justin applying some sort of cream my mom gave us for the sun burn. That boy is not only gorgeous, but his hands -- they're amazing!!! We were sitting in the living room, but I couldn't help but groan loudly -- it felt so damn good!

It was when I laid my head down to sleep that I realized a burn I couldn't soothe -- my head, like, under my hair and stuff -- oh yeah, the word is scalp! I was burnt there too -- I wasn't wearing a hat of any sort during the day, so I got buggered and didn't know. Until now.

Needless to say, my sleep wasn't so relaxing -- I was quite uncomfortable.

*nudge nudge* "Justin!"

*groan* "Wha...?"

"My scalp -- it's burning!"

"Ok, love you too..."


"hmmmmm..." (turns over and breathes deeply)

Eventually I drifted off to sleep. I dunno, stupidly I thought Justin could do something about my head, but after he said he loved me, I realized that wouldn't work and that's all he could do.

Most of my waking moments were spent pondering tomato. Or is it tomatoe? No, the latter.

How the hell do you relate a jar, filled with cosmetics, to a tomato?! We're gonna look like idiots. Tomato?!


*** this is a commercial break from Jay to Jay ***

Dear readers -- this tomato project really did exist. It's true. Today, I opened a magazine dropped in our mail box, about fashion or something. I opened it, and in there is a watch advertised, with two letters before the time device "to" then on the time device itself "ma" and then other side "to". Okay, it wasn't exactly like that -- but it spelt tomato! I was horrified!!! Had to tell you guys...

*** we now return to Jay to Jay ***


My final thought as I was drifting off to sleep was thinking how ironically tomato would probably be used for something fashionable one day... AS IF!


Morning number three -- and I suddenly realized, I'm falling into a routine. Justin, who'd at least had a good sleep, was still mildly un-routined, and therefore not unhappy about waking up.

I groaned. I mumbled a swear word the second time I heard "Jason, wake up!".

Then Justin touched me. Well, nudged. My response... "Hmm. I'll be up in a few."

Justin just grinned, as in really grinned. I of course didn't see the grin, my eyes were closed, but I could hear it in his voice: "Oh yeah? It's a few! Imma tickle you awake!!!"

I opened one eye at him as his hands were coming towards my body. He caught my eye and froze. Justin just thought to himself "uh oh", retracted his hands -- and decided he'd better pull of morning happiness on someone else...

5 minutes later I was woken up by a shriek from Jamie's room, and loud laughing -- and finally I dragged myself out of bed. Jason was back in full swing -- I am NOT a morning person. My happy morning days DO NOT exist when I have to wake up for the day. I grumbled as I got dressed, still half asleep -- and saw Justin and Jamie walk past my room to get some cereal.

I waddled out of my room like a drunken person, and into the kitchen, looking at either the floor, or the object I needed to pick up.

I got my cereal together, and began eating -- in the living room -- away from Justin and Jamie chattering in the kitchen. By the time I had finished breakfast, I was feeling awake and no longer so evil and stupid. When Justin walked in the living room with his bright blue eyes and that killer joking smile, I melted, and smiled back.

"Had a rough night Jase? You don't look so fresh sweets?"

"Eh, yeah Jus. The sun burnt my scalp too, and it hurts like a lot! Much help you were when I woke you up!"

"You woke me up? (notices revealing look in my eyes) Oh..."

"Yeah, and all the help you could offer was -- I love you"

"I love you too babe!"

"No dude, I mean, like, you said that to me last night."

"Damn, I'm such a genius when I'm asleep -- if only it carried on during daylight hours!"


Or for you butch ones...


ANYWAY -- with that, my mom snatched us into her car and drove us off to school, I mean, college. It felt like school though.

We both kissed my mom bye in the car, and hopped out of the car. As Justin and I walked in the basement, to go up the stairs to our colleges, we looked around and sneaked in a really fast kiss -- and as we finished I glanced around, and saw Daryl, walking towards the stairs, blushing, trying to pretend he didn't see us.

My heart froze.

I said bye to Justin and scurried into the building and off to our classroom -- where Daryl met me and sat next to me with a shy grin.

"Hey Jase, sawp?"

"Hey Dar, nothing I guess."

"Yeah, I'm sure nothing, you ready for the day?" We were just waiting in class for our respective group members to return so we could all continue tomato...

With that we shared our thoughts on the dreaded project, and our experiences of getting to know people. We didn't quite get personal yet, although I could see in Daryl's eyes, there was something he needed to say. Even so, there was also the issue of what happened this morning. I needed to talk to him. But how?


Foot note thingie -- this cat of my brother's just loves making typing this story hard -- so I'm going to try my second attempt at sleeping J


As I sat with the three girls in my group, the awkward silences and difficult suggestions continued. I tried to contribute a comment here and there, but I was obviously not making much impact nor difference, and therefore just waited for work to be handed out to me. After an hour we were finished with what we could do together for the day.

Tomorrow we'd all be bringing everything we have collected to college, and then begin working on how we're going to present our tomato concepts. So yet again, I was left to wait a few hours for my Jus Luv to finish in class, and so I slouched down in one of the lecture rooms, and waited. After about 15 minutes I felt a light tap on my shoulder, as I looked around there was nothing -- till I felt another tap, but this time on the other shoulder.

I was freaking out!

I quickly did a 360 degree turn the other way till I saw Daryl smirking at me, guiltily. Jeez child, you gave me a fright! Obviously I burst out laughing after I saw Daryl burst out laughing -- apparently the look on my face was just priceless. Damnit, my face always so priceless!

Daryl then slumped down in the chair next to mine, and our hopeless attempts at small talk began. Actually, they were hopeful, till suddenly I went pale, remembering this morning. Dayamn. Daryl noticed the sudden change, and felt the awkward atmosphere.

"Jase, you ok? You suddenly look, uh, like really white. I mean, pale. And stuff. Eh?"

I just looked into Daryl's eyes -- and I think in that split second Daryl realized what was going through my mind, as I saw him shudder, and look down slightly -- like a naughty puppy would.

"Dar, I need to ask you something... I guess you saw me this morning?"

"Your brother?"

"My boyfriend... Justin."

His eyes narrowed a bit, lips ever so slightly pursed, but his shoulders pulling up tightly from nervousness. He looked up into my eyes again, and muttered: "Oh... Yeah. I... I... You're still my friend and all."


"Yeah, totally bud! I mean, we're like getting along so well, why change it over something so stupid?"

I knew he was holding something back, but in my unstable shocked frame of mind I couldn't even begin to imagine what. That's when I did realize something at least -- I had one thing I could say to Daryl...


"Yeah Jase?"

"You're my bud, you're a real friend man. I dunno, I got this friendship bond with you, that I don't think I've felt towards a friend in years. There's something, I dunno what it is, but I know we got a friendship here that's just totally in for a great destiny..."

The look in Daryl's eyes said all I needed to hear. Somehow what I said went deep inside, and he was fighting off the lump in his throat. But I meant what I said -- Daryl's friendship meant a lot to me.

The last time I think I have ever felt something this powerful is when I met my best friend Johan, but he's far away in the small town I grew up. I should call him.

Johan has been my best friend since I can remember, nothing will ever replace that, but Daryl is going to be a best friend to me in a different way. We're all different in this world. Yet we always need different people to help us along.

I told Daryl how I felt, that the last time I felt this, was with Johan, and so the conversation steered towards my past.

I told Daryl I had grown up in a small semi-desert town in the west of South Africa, and spent most of my life there, only recently moving to Johannesburg after my mother decided to be closer to her eldest son.

When we moved to Johannesburg, I was fortunate to have had my closest class friends move to Joburg too, but the friends I had a grade lower than I was, were still in the town. Still in high school.

I missed them all...

Eventually I felt a vibrate in my pocket, and tugged out my mobile phone -- mom. She was waiting downstairs for Justin and I -- I said I'd be right down.

Yeah, as if I was gonna say "Don't worry mom, I wanna die here at college, I won't be right down!"

I'm not terminally insane, only insane.

Daryl walked with me to the stairs, and Justin was just about to go down when he saw us coming. I introduced them, with a smirk on my face: "Justin, this is Daryl, Daryl, this is my boyfriend Justin."

Justin went white, as in WHITE, and tried to mutter something as to we're good mates, but I spoiled his moment when I said I love him in front of Daryl. Of course Daryl was like me, and therefore not dull, well not today -- and caught what I was doing. He just giggled senselessly at our stupidity.

"How you getting home Daryl?"

"Uh, I walk home -- it's not terribly far away."

"Oh yeah, you live in Blairgowrie. I would have asked my mom to take you, but we live in the other direction -- although maybe we can work something out?"

"Nah, you guys go ahead, and don't do anything I wouldn't!"

And off he went.

"Looks like you're makin a good friend there?"

"Yeah (get in car) Hi mom! *mwah* (wait for Justin to do the same) Yeah he saw us steal a kiss this morning, so I decided to tell him -- he was acting weird around me so I had to get it out of him."

"And he's cool with it?"

"Yeah pretty much hey, well yeah. I think something is bothering him, but I don't think it's that he's afraid of us or anything. It's something else. Mom, can I invite Daryl for a sleepover on Friday night? You okay for that Justin?"

"Yeah sure! Hey, how about I invite someone over aswell?"

"You haven't mentioned anyone specific in the last three days, but if you want to that's cool -- but Jus --"


"They gotta know about us. I don't wanna hide us in front of our friends, ok?"

Justin's face got a slightly more serious tone. I could see he was thinking of who he would come out to -- we've only known these people a few days, it's a bit fast to trust them. But there's a reason I wanted Daryl at my house -- I was going to get to the bottom of Daryl -- I was going to find his secrets.

It would be tough, because he's a scorpio like me, and we're very secretive about the things we want to hide.

Not only that, but we're vengeful, but that's for another time... I don't have anyone to get back at right now. Just someone to discover.

I was hoping Justin's friend wouldn't be shallow -- but that was stupid of me for thinking so. Since I've known Justin he's been deep, loving and caring. But quiet. Too quiet.

I mean, okay, not since I've known him. But since college started. This routine thing is a good thing, but he misses home, he needs home, I can see that.

All I wanted to do is reassure Justin things would work out okay, but what was okay? What would make everything right?

My mom decided we should have lunch in the mall, and I was all up for it, hoping I could sneak in a few shopping spree's in between. Yeah.


While having lunch, I sat and watched Justin closely. I loved him so much. I guess I spaced out -- Justin and my mom were discussing some things about college, text books or something, and I just drifted. As my mom would talk, Jus would take a bite of his food.

His eyes glistened when he came up with ideas. His eyes became absorbent when he was thinking about a solution to a problem. His skin always pure. When he ate, his facial muscles moved perfectly. When he talked, you just wanted to bring your lips to his, and kiss him gently, lovingly yet passionately. Or wildly, depending on how horny you are!

Those lips were my lips. Those eyes were mine to stare at. I began to stare at the blue sky (we were sitting outside in Sandton Square), and thought how beautifully Justin's eyes matched the colours of the sky as the day passed. I was so spaced out and deep in thought, that I didn't hear Justin nor my mom calling my name.

In fact, I missed it enough times, that I went on to miss them laughing hysterically at me, I was like a blind deaf boy totally oblivious to what is happening around me!

Until I felt a shoe move up my leg and towards my crotch. I was startled, and look surprisingly at my mom and Justin. I was totally dumbfounded, they were cracking themselves up, and here I am, sitting with a look on my face that could make even the trunchbull get a fit of laughter!

Eventually I sorta caught on, and then I blushed, and I don't think I have ever blushed quite so violently!

Sheesh -- you'd think your lover would make life plain sailing for you?! Nah, I'm glad he's like this, makes life interesting -- but at that moment I wasn't thinking how sweet Justin was, more, I was thinking how I'd get them back.

Naturally I got no ideas.

I spaced out again on the way to the car, thinking back on our lunch, the images I saw -- I felt so glad inside. I could still get this internal jump inside my veins, as if I met Justin for the first time and discovered love. Life was beautiful...


That evening I was working hard at tomato. It sucked. Justin was sitting on my bed, and reading some book or something he'd discovered in my room, and occasionally he'd jump off the bed, and kiss me on my head, then my forehead, and then upside down on my mouth (as he was knelt over me from the back).

I just smiled when he was all over me, but still agitated with this tomato business.

Later Justin got tired of my boring tomato and also whatever he was reading, and squandered off into the rest of the house. I heard channels change. About 10 minutes later, I heard Jamie mock-threatening Justin. Then Justin said something, Jamie retorted, and next I heard laughing and screaming -- and then my mother in a happy voice telling them to calm down.

Life was beautiful...

Yeah. It was.


By Friday it was tomato day. We all had about 10 minutes to set up our tables in the Strat Room, before the lecturers would come and we would have to present, each time to the whole class.

There were a few before us, and it looked nice. Then we got to a table, and to my absolute horror, and believe me, I was HORRIFIED to discover this group had exactly, and I mean exactly the same idea as us. Ours just looked a bit more corny than theirs did, but none-the-less, theirs was the same concept!!!

The worst is that I knew our idea would never be worth anything, but for TWO groups to have a pathetic idea like this?!

I was panicking. I would be presenting half the presentation for my group, since I'm pretty good at it -- even though I hate it and get shit scared. You know the scene in Bring It On, where they are about to perform their `unique dance', when the group before them ends up having the same moves?

That anxious feeling, that is what I had. Knowing we'd have the same idea, wondering what the rest of the class would think as I stood up there trying to pretend we were the first ones. I know we didn't copy their idea, I don't know if they copied ours, but the fact was our ideas were the same.

Needless to say, when results came out the following week, we didn't do well at all.

What I did like was a group making creative use of All Gold, a very famous tomato sauce brand (known as ketchup to many people). They had a DJ All Gold, and got the whole class to sing the pay off line as it is sung on t.v advertisements, and it really gave us a good class spirit, something we needed since we were all so scared of each other still.

It sucked that they had the same idea as we had had, but all together it felt pretty cool. Daryl wanted to make a comment, but I immediately changed the subject and that was that. Time flew that day.


I saw Justin in the canteen when he was quickly running an errand -- as usual, Daryl and I were waiting on Justin -- we always seemed to finish earlier than he did. I yanked Justin off to one side and asked him about the friend he had invited over.

Justin got a sly grin on his face, and said for me not to worry, I'll meet him when my mom finally came to pick us all up.

And that was that. No way in telling him otherwise, because he was gone before I could. Daryl and I pretty much had to keep ourselves entertained for the next hour. With that we headed up stairs, and saw that the computer room was for the first time, almost empty.

Being new students and all, we were afraid to go in there when other students were in there, but now we could fiddle... It was then that we realized there was internet in the PC room! I was instantly on the web, showing Daryl some stuff that I liked, or had influence on.

I was truly excited to be sitting in front of the net, without being in a hurry, during the day!

Ok, so you guys are staring at this story I'm writing, and probably thinking `what is up with that?!' Most of you are from the states I gather, and don't quite have our internet situation.

In South Africa, we are only just getting into some decent broadband internet now -- and NOW, this is being written in 2004. The time in the story is February 2003. So we're left with dial-up 56k and ISDN internet connections. Most normal home internet users only go online after 7pm, because then the call rates are cheaper, and with a special package taken with the phone company, the call cannot cost more than R7 (one dollar) to land line numbers in South Africa.

So for us, internet during the day, is kinda a novelty -- well back then more so.

Now that we've got my `unexplained' excitement explained, I will continue with the moment Daryl and I are sharing... until the screen interference from my cellphone gets us out of our little bubble -- it's Justin, saying he's done, down stairs and waiting with Michael.

Hmmmm. So the guy's name is Michael.

I sent my mom a text message asking her to come fetch us, and with that, I walked down stairs to Justin and his new friend.


Justin sure did know how to pick them!

Michael was about as tall as Justin was, everything looked RIGHT on Michael, very boyish looks, slightly tanned skin, absorbent green eyes. Baggy clothes -- very casual look, and a cap turned round on his head.

Yeah, I've seen Michael once or twice on campus, always with his cap. He was definitely a hot guy, definitely a cool guy, definitely not someone I thought I'd ever be in the presence of beyond acquaintance -- but Justin was going to be a friend of Daryl's, so I was going to be a friend of Michael's.

When I approached them I greeted Jus, and said hi to Michael -- introducing myself.

"Sawp Dude, Mikey here!"

"Uh, hey, oh yeah, and this is Daryl" I was slightly taken aback, I mean, I could see he had his whole `kewl dude' attitude, but still, was nervous -- nervous I couldn't quite live up to it.

"Howzit hangin Justin and Mikey?" Daryl seemed to handle that bit a little bit better than I did.

After the intro's, the four of us went out the basement to the parking lot to wait for my mom. Michael already seemed to have a bag with his clothes, but I told Daryl to leave his clothes packed at home since he didn't live too far, and had to walk to college every morning -- this is South Africa you know -- taking clothes down the street is not always a good idea -- not as dangerous as I may make it sound, but the risk is always there.

Michael was totally accommodating of us -- we mostly talked about music and some small chat about movies and things like that. Mikey was totally into trance, but was cool with most music. What surprised me is when I decided to diss Celine Dion (ok ok, she's not that bad, but I had too many of her tracks on my PC, and the shuffle function seemed to like her a lot, and I got sick of her like that) -- and Mikey was like "No ways d00d, she's a kewl chick that, she's got a great voice -- you gotta love what people do when they're really good at it.

Now, my mom telling me something like that, fine, that's kewl! But Mikey!!? I was totally taken aback, in a good way mind you, he gained a lot of respect from me in a really short time. He was beginning to shape up as quite different from all the other guys I knew that dressed, walked and talked `like him'. He had his own style, yet it was all part of a style.

I saw my mom pulling in the parking lot, and we all got up, loaded our bags in the boot/trunk, and off we went to find Daryl's house.

Ok, that's one thing. I don't know whether to say boot or trunk. Just like I don't know whether to say glove box or cubby hole? Our English is different you know! We say colour instead of color. But it's all good J

Mid day traffic was fortunately not TOO heavy, and before we really knew it, the gate was sliding open and we were home...

We unloaded the car, and headed off to my -- uh -- our room. As we were piling into the room Justin and I inadvertently went off at exactly the same moment "This is my room!"

We paused, looked at each other, and realized "Oh shit, it was both our room, but one double bed!"

With that racing through our minds, Michael got a thinking look on his face, looked at us, and asked just what we were dreading: "You guys sleeping in the same bed and shit?"

-         `and shit' ?! What did he mean by that?

We looked at each other, and at Michael, trying to figure out how to excuse it, but all we could muster was a simple "Yes" while both our heads were racing for an explanation as to WHY.

Both Justin and I had decided before that we were going to come out to our friends, so this new friend had to know, but I knew Justin hadn't told him, and we were gonna try and prepare for it a bit better.

Michael just got another odd expression on his face, looked at us and inquired: "Yo, you telling me you two dudes are gay?"

Justin may have a face that can lie `no' and mean it, but me -- never. The minute Michael said that he caught the look on my face, and instantaneously blurted "Holy sheeeeiiit!"

I thought fuuuuuuuuck, that's it, that boy is going to turn around RIGHT there and run away. He got an awkward smile, half hugged both me and Jus, and said "No shit Sherlock -- so am I -- I thought I was never gonna meet a fuckin gay guy in this place!!!"

Ok so his language didn't decorate the moment all emotionally and stuff, but he still shocked me with what he said. THAT GUY GAY? MIKEY?! I couldn't believe it. I mean, I don't think even the guy or girl for that matter with the best gaydar in the world could have thought Mikey was gay, not that I have much of a gaydar but let's not go there shall we?

Well, maybe subconsciously Justin did have a great gaydar and didn't know it, because he sure did know how to pick them!

I had my baby, so all I could do was wink at Daryl as we started getting in the room. Daryl got a shy grin on his face -- he knew why I was winking at him.

Tonight was going to be interesting I thought. I couldn't wait to get into the swing of things, I felt a great thing here.

Most of the rest of our day was spent `chilling' out in the garden -- my mom, being the nice mom she is, arrived with a couple of drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic for us -- nothing strong, just some `mellow-you-up' stuff for later tonight. My mom gave me money for pizza, and decided to go visit friends of hers in the evening.

So were left to our own devices, and man was that kewl! Ever since we've been living in Joburg, I haven't had much chance alone -- so every moment I was parentless at home, I cherished.

We ordered pizza, watched 13 Ghosts, talked a load of shit, and shared our views on some serious issues even. We'd all decided the gay scene was one we would have to be careful and wary of.

Later that evening we were all sitting, with a cider, a bowl of crisps in the middle of us, on my bed in a circle. My room was dimly lit with only a bed lamp on, and we were beginning to touch down on the more interesting topics.

Michael, the `say it like it is' guy that he is, turned to us and said "So, who's had sex? Where, when, why and what was it like? I'm talking first times man, first times!"

Justin got a smirk on his face, I guess I got a slightly freaked face, and Daryl got the most freaked out face -- although we didn't really take up on it. Michael agreed he'd go first -- saying his would be the easiest to go into.

"Yeah well, my first time was with a chick... Actually, my only time was with a chick -- I've never done it with a dude before."

This shocked me enough because Michael was yummy!!! I couldn't believe that he'd never been with a guy.

"She'd been badgering me for ages man, and one night, we kinda had a couple to drink, and I decided to just go for it and see what it was like. Man, it just wasn't kewl with me, I didn't like it. I was actually glad it was over, and finally got rid of the bitch afterwards. Never been with a guy, just never actually found one I guess?"

Good enough. Yuk. A chick.

Justin decided to go next... "My first time... *giggle* was with Jay here. I've been hit on by lots of girls, and was trying to go steady with a friend of my sister's, Jase knows all about her, but always avoided the sex issue. Then, when we were on holiday, she really gave me a go, really tried to get down on me, and I was so terrified of her, and of being gay, that I couldn't get it up. She kept going at me, and eventually started getting angry and hitting me because I wasn't being turned on by her.

Stupidly I told her I was gay. After that, she exploded I guess -- she ran off. And then I met Jay -- coming out to save me after I'd cut my foot running after that bitch.

I don't really know -- Jay and I were sleeping in the same bed you know. So, eventually, uhm, our kisses lingered and our hands wondered I guess."

Justin was blushing, but he stopped there.

It was my turn to go next, and I hated that.

"My first time... Well, I'd been visiting gay older friends of mine in Pretoria -- sort of like a few day getaway from visiting my dad here in Joburg. A guy I've been chatting to on the phone and internet drove up from Durban for the weekend. He spent it with me at this friend of mine's house.

Yeah well, we also slept in the same bed. Not much happened though. Our hands... mostly. But. I guess I didn't feel too good about it after the time -- I wasn't ready to deal with the thought of having been with a guy, and especially one I didn't feel I loved. Which sucks Kind of. But everything happens for a reason."

We all looked at Daryl, who seemed half spaced out -- like there was some violent storm going on inside.

"So ain't ya gonna shary Dee Boy?" Michael chided.

"Uh... yeah. Well -- I used to think I was bi-sexual. Because. Well you see, I have a half brother -- Ben. We kind of -- well he kind of..."

Daryl wasn't sure what he wanted to say. He looked at us, with tears welling up in his eyes...

"When I was four... Ben must have been like ten or so. He stayed with my grandmom, and often mom would take me, and my twin sister to go visit her. I remember that Ben went to get a drink, we were sleeping in the living room, and I was cold, so he invited me to sleep with him in his room. It was when we were in bed, and, uh, he started feeling me all over. He kinda asked me to do the same to him."

We were shocked, but I guess I wasn't quite as compassionate as I thought, because I didn't think it was that bad... But the awkward silence persisted -- Daryl had more to say...

"It carried on, we kept doing things. I even told my parents when I was 9, and again when I was about 11 or 12, but they didn't really do anything. We kept doing things like foreplay, and jerking off, sucking, things like that.

My aunt bought a news agency when I was about 13, and I was beginning to look at porn magazines, and that's when I started worrying whether I could be bi or gay. Ben and I still did things together, he didn't want to stop.

I was getting really depressed.

Then when I was 15 things kinda got worse. We started having sex. Ben wouldn't leave me alone..."

Daryl was crying, and Michael had moved in next to him and put an arm around him to try to comfort him. I saw Daryl give a ragged shake as he tried to continue...

"I... I tried to make him stop. I tried to tell him I didn't want it. But he said it didn't matter, I was going to do what he wanted. I started getting depressed, really badly, nobody wanted to help me. My parents and I weren't very close. We all just couldn't get along. Then I tried to get away, I've tried to kill myself several times, I've tried to run away several times.

Eventually I dropped out of school...

I had a friend that really really helped me try and get out of my depression, and helped me get some school work caught up -- and that's how I'm here. Now..."

I was crying. I was really craying, and clinging to Justin -- I couldn't believe he'd been through that. He didn't look like someone who deserved that. I was breaking down in Justin's arms.

I looked up at Daryl... I had to know -- through clenched teeth I asked: "Where's Ben?"