Knots is the story of two fourteen-year-old boys searching for the sexual and emotional identify. Both boys struggle with doubts about their new feelings for each other and the girls in their lives. Each chapter is either a first person account of the two boys, Matt and Andy, or a third person account with a camera's eye on the action in the story.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales, is purely coincidental and no slanderous intent is implied.
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Andy called and wanted to head over to the football field to run sprints and pass the football around. Football started in less than a month. See, he asked me out just like that. "I'm ready. Meet you at the school in ten."
"I'll be there."
Andy was dressed in blue shorts, a white and blue horizontal stripped shirt, and white football cleats. I came in old gray shorts, a gray t-shirt, and cleats.
I looked him up and down. "You dress like they'll be fans out here to watch."
"There might me, and I want to be cool and ready." He took off his shirt and threw it on the ground. I stared and he said, "I can tell you like what you see."
"I do. You should be a gymnast. They have bodies like your and they can do all those weird things."
He grinned. "Not a bad idea old buddy, but I need to put some weight on these bones, muscle weight. Don't want to look like you."
I punched him lightly in the chest. The muscles were softer than I expected.
"I'm 20 pounds heavier than you and just as fast.
I didn't move. "First, I want a fair race, not one where you just say go. I'll say ready, set, go. I don't trust you."
He put me in a headlock. "Don't trust your best friend?"
"Not when it comes to races."
He let go. "How far."
"Okay," he said and followed with, "Ready, set go." He took off and I stood there. He stopped and turned around. "Aren't you coming?"
I laughed. "Get your ass back here." He walked back and I marveled at his beauty. He had beautiful six-pack abs for a 14 year old. "I'll say on your marks, get set, go."
"You're no fun."
"And you're a cheater.
We stood at the goal line. I looked over at him. "Are you ready?"
"Yep." He gave me a shit-eating grin. "Are you ready to see my back?"
"Yeah. Right!" I said. "Okay, on your marks, get set, go."
We took off. He was ahead of me for a few yards until I passed him and screamed as I crossed the fifty-yard line, beating him by a little over a foot.
He leaned down with his hands on his knees...not a bit of fat showing in the small ripples in his stomach. "I think you cheated. I want to do it again."
I took off my shirt. "Okay, if you want to see my back again."
He put his hand on my chest and gently pushed me back and whined. "Oh, your chest is so cold. Can I touch it again?"
"Keep your hands to yourself pervert."
"C'mon Matt. It feels sooo good."
He ran out five yards and back. "I'm ready. Are you?"
I shook my head. "The question is, Are you? Get on the line loser." We stood on the fifty this time, both still breathing a little hard. "Okay Andy. On your marks, get set, go." This time I started out ahead of him and beat him by half a foot. "I guess having a cool looking toned body and a big penis doesn't make you faster than me. You know, me, the guy with the small penis and slim body." I said.
"You're just a little bit faster."
"True, but I've got twenty pounds on you I'm going to beat you out for the half back job."
"That'll be the day," he said. "We'll see when football starts. By the way, my parents bought me a weight set and put it up in the garage. I'm going to be lifting between now and the start of football. We'll see who's stronger then."
I picked up the football and threw it to him. "Think you can put on 20 pounds in a month?"
He threw it back. "With steroids maybe."
"You'd never do that would you? They can do terrible things to you. Anyway, I wouldn't mind having your body. I'm a little jealous, but then I guess you're a little jealous of me too. Must be the way life is. We're never satisfied with what we got. Like I said, I think gymnastics is your sport."
"Maybe so, but it costs money."
"I think there's a gymnastics club not too far from here. Look it up in the yellow pages. They'd probably train you for free to start. If you're good, then who knows. You could start after football. It's best to start when you're still young. Think about it."
I could see him on the parallel bars, the rings, the Palma Horse, and the high bar. He'd be awesome to watch. But he gave me a questioning look, like he had no interest.
"Think about it anyway. There's more to life than football and track."
"I'll think about it. Appreciate you suggesting it. I do have the build of a gymnast, don't I.
I put my hand around his upper arm and squeezed it. Again, I was surprised by the suppleness of his muscles. They looked hard, but were soft to the touch. "You do have the build of a gymnast except for these soft flabby muscles."
He flexed. "Now feel it."
I did and it was hard as a rock. It came to me then what a wonderful thing our bodies are and how we're all so different. We always seem to want what someone else has. My parents always told me to be myself and I suppose that means accepting myself as I am and not wanting or trying to be like someone else, but I haven't been able to do that yet. Maybe when I'm older.
Andy is a good athlete. There are two halfback spots and I expect we might each get one, but I didn't tell him that. Wanted him to squirm a little.
Andy picked up the football and his shirt. He tucked his shirt in the back of his shorts. I put mine on. He tossed the ball to me and I tossed it in the air. "By the way, I have a date with Gina this Saturday. We're going to see that Tom Cruise movie.
"Cool. How'd you get the nerve to ask her?"
"It was nothing really. Just asked."
Matt has a date with Gina. Couldn't believe it. I thought he'd never ask her out. Has more courage than me. I still haven't asked Emily to go anywhere. But I'm not sure I want to. But what'll Matt think if I don't? I'm confused because I kind of like Emily. But it's Matt I really want.
Matt and I went over to the football field and he beat me in two races. Kept telling me he was going to beat me out for the halfback job. He might. He weighs more than me, is bigger, and faster. I wish I had his weight and speed. Sometimes I wish I was Matt. I wonder if he wishes he was me. I doubt it. But now that I think about it, he said he was a little jealous.
When I stand in front of a mirror by myself and flex, I'm impressed. I like what I see, but as soon as Matt took off his shirt and I saw that extra 20 lean pounds, I wanted to be him and give up all my toned muscles.
He even had the nerve to say that having a big dick and big muscles didn't make me faster than him. That kind of hurt, but I made fun of his small cock the other day and guess I deserved that.
He was sweating just a little after our first race and I couldn't stop the urge to touch his chest. He called me a pervert. Don't think he meant it, but I got to tell you, his chest is fine and I loved the feel of it.
Matt put his hand around my upper arm. It felt good. I flexed, and my bicep became hard as a rock. Almost as hard as my cock gets sometimes.
Of course, there's fat Ernie Bowline. Fortunately, we don't look like him. Heard he's going out for football. That should be a laugh. He'll probably quit the first day.
Gina laid in bed that night thinking. I stop by Matt's house all the time to let him know how much I like him, hoping he'd ask me out on a date. He never did, so I finally asked him to go to the show this Saturday. He gave a hesitant yes.
He's always hanging with Andy. Seems he likes Andy more than me. They go out together all the time. Hope he's not gay. I could accept it if he was. But I like him and hope he isn't. Now days, you hear guys say they knew they were gay when they were eight or ten or thirteen. I'm not sure how they know that. They have to be as confused as the rest of us. I think Emily is cute and often wished I was her. She often says she wishes she was me. But I don't think that's gay. But guys are different than us. I think they're so caught up in being masculine, they're confused. Why else would they act so stupid sometimes? Why can't being a teenager be easier? There seems to be so much to learn that no one bothers to teach us.
Gina asked me out on Thursday and I spent the rest of the day worrying about it. I was nervous. Don't even know if I like girls. I feel comfortable around guys, but with girls, it's awkward. There always that ever present fear of rejection or doing something stupid, at least that's the way it is for me. That's the big reason I didn't ask Gina out. I didn't want to make a fool of myself. Was afraid she'd say no.
Gina was right on time on Saturday. I spent the better part of two hours trying to decide what to wear, kept putting on and taking off clothes; combing and recombing my hair. None of it seemed good enough. I was ready to call Gina and cancel. The only reason I didn't was because I didn't want to hurt her feelings. Never had to worry about these kinds of things with Andy.
Gina wore her usual pony tail, but also wore a dress. What a difference. She and Emily always wore jeans. It was the first time I noticed how pretty she was. Of course, girls always have more cloths on than guys, so you can only imagine. After all, Gina wasn't going to take her blouse off, throw it on the ground, and race me in a 50-yard dash. The thought of it made me smile.
She grabbed my hand. "What are you smiling at."
"Oh nothing. I beat Andy twice in a 50-yard race. I was thinking how good it made me feel."
She looked up at me. "We're on a date and you're thinking about Andy?"
I blushed. "Uh, well not exactly, but I can't tell you all of it. It's embarrassing."
She grabbed my hand. "You're cute when you blush."
So there we were walking hand it hand to the show. I kept looking around to see if anyone was staring at us. Not a soul took notice. Her hand was soft and mine clammy.
"Your hand's cold."
"I think my blood has stopped circulating."
"I do that to you, uh?"
I blushed again. "Never held hands with a girl before."
"There's a first time for everything."
"You're right. My first real date and holding hands all in a few blocks. I'm not sure I can handle all this stress."
She smiled and winked at me. I smiled back but didn't wink. And for some unknown reason leaned over and kissed her. Lighting didn't flash, the sun didn't go out, and I didn't melt. To be honest, I don't know why I did it or how it made me feel. Well not entirely, kissing her made me feel like I was in control instead of her. The kiss didn't make me feel horny as Andy would say. But I did notice the softness of her lips against mine, and it felt good.
After the kiss, she touched the tip of my nose with her finger. "What was that for?"
"I'm not sure. Just wanted to kiss you." I'm not sure??? What a dumb thing to say. I would have kicked myself if I could. This was a new world for me. Every part of me was groping its way through like I guess any fourteen-year-old guy would. I wondered what Andy would do on a date. He was always talking big, but talk is cheap.
We entered the mall and meandered through it window-shopping.
"Bet you'd never thought you'd be window shopping in the mall," she said.
"You're right about that. But it's not bad. The windows are filled with dreams and wants and desires for things I'll never have. That's why I don't like doing it."
"You probably do it all the time and just don't know it. I bet anytime you and Andy are in the mall you window shop. You can't tell me you don't look into the windows at the hobby shop, radio shack, the cell phone stores, and computer places?"
"We do. But we don't walk through the mall looking for clothes and jewelry. We look at guy things." I didn't tell her I also looked at guys. Although, every now and then a hot girl would catch my eye.
"And we look for girl things. We're girls after all. Haven't you noticed?"
"Well, uh, yeah."
I paid our way into the show even though she offered to pay. That was embarrassing. Fortunately, like me, she doesn't like sitting close to the screen so we sat toward the back. I let her go in first. Andy and I always leave an open seat between us, but I didn't think that was a good idea with Gina.
The lights went down and she grabbed my hand and placed our hands on my right thigh. My heart thumped. We sat like that through the first half of the movie until my hand got too sweaty, I told her I had to go to the restroom.
All I could think of as I walked down the stairs was that I was going to trip and fall and she'd really think I was a dork. I made it down and back, and she grabbed my hand again.
Now, I have to tell you, I wasn't sure what to do at this point. I heard guys talk about how they made out in the show and put their arms over the girl's shoulder and copped a feel, but I didn't have the courage for that and wasn't sure it was right. Some of that moral upbringing entered my soul, or so I thought. It was actually cowardice, which I mistook for my sudden religious zeal, and maybe a little respect for Gina. So there I sat like a clothing store mannequin, staring straight ahead. But unlike the mannequin, I liked having our two hands resting on my right thigh until our hands began to sweat. I let go of her hand, leaned over, and kissed her on the cheek. She turned her face toward mine and kissed me, letting her tongue slip into my mouth for a second. Suddenly, I felt something tingle inside.
The feeling passed as quickly as it came and we turned toward the screen and watched the rest of the movie.
After the show, we window-shopped and talked about the movie. It suddenly seemed fun.
"Tom Cruise is just as fine today as he was when he was 16." Gina said.
I'd noticed it too. "Yeah, I guess," I said, hoping I'd look like that when I was in my 50's.
We held hands until we got close to my house. We let go and held them again after we passed and just before we go close to her house.
Suddenly, I was paralyzed again. I didn't want to kiss her and have her parents come out and tell me to stop kissing their daughter, but I didn't want her to think I didn't like her and didn't enjoy our date.
So I stood at her door and squirmed with my hands in my pockets. "I had a great time. Glad you asked me out." I've got to tell you. Sometimes I can't believe the things that come out of my mouth.
"Well, it's between you and me and Emily."
"She's my best friend."
I looked down. "I won't be able to look her in the eye next time I see here."
Gina laughed. "Don't worry, she knows better than to let on and will act like you asked me out. No one'll ever know, not even Andy."
"Good, because I told Andy I asked you out."
"What did he say?"
"Cool. How'd you get the nerve to ask her?"
I told him, `It was nothing really. Just asked.'"
"Aren't you the clever boy."
She called me a boy. For a time I felt like a man. But I am only a boy just like Andy. I realized it would be a few years before we could call ourselves men.
I pulled my hands out of my pockets, hung my hands over her shoulders like I'd seen in movies, and said, "Yes I am." and then kissed her gently, slipping my tongue lightly into her mouth just for a second. She let out a funny sound and then we stood staring at each other.
"You're a dangerous man. I'm going to have to watch out for you."
So now I'm a man because I slipped her a little tongue. I kissed her again, but it was a quick kiss. "This was a great date. Thanks for asking me out. Wanna go out next Saturday. There're having a summer dance at the community center for teenagers? Andy could ask Emily and we can double date."
"Don't you ever do anything without Andy?"
Made me wonder if she knew something I didn't. "Andy's my best friend just like Emily's yours."
"Okay, I get it. Best Friends Forever and all that."
"We'll go out by ourselves next time."
I didn't know much about girls one on one and was beginning to wonder if it was ever possible to please a girl. I finally asked her out and she's complains because we might go with Andy and Emily. But I like having him and Emily along to run interference. Looks like she wants me all to herself. I wonder what she has in mind. Maybe some more of that tongue stuff. I kinda liked it. I wonder what it would be like to kiss Andy.