Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any people, real or fictional, is entirely a coincidence. In addition this story involves homosexual thoughts, feelings and actions. If this is not what you want to read, please visit another website. In addition if reading this story is illegal in your area you need to go to another webpage now. If you want to contact me my e-mail address is below.

That night, Max lay on his bed as he wondered what on Earth he’d do the next day when he saw Andrew at school. What was he supposed to do? Act like nothing had happened? Avoid him completely? And what if they’d been caught? Max tried not to think of how badly that could have gone.

Traitorously, that comment Andy’d made about doing things like that before came to the forefront of Max’s mind. Did that mean Andrew just wanted someone to release his “tension”, or did he really think of Max as an honest-to-God friend? What if he’d been caught in his old town and his Dad had had to move because of it?

These thoughts portended a sleepless night for Max.

At breakfast the next morning, Max attempted to ignore the slightly queasy feeling in his stomach as he half-heartedly ate his cereal. His father stepped into the kitchen, poured himself a coffee, then sat at the table to drink it. He seemed to do a double take as he looked at Max, his concerned expression making him appear almost a clone of Dabney Coleman from the War Games movie after hearing about the NORAD hacking incident.

“Son? You feeling okay? You look like you had a rough night.”

Max mumbled, “Yeah, Dad. Just one of those nights, you know?”

His father didn’t seem convinced, but said, “Let your mother know if you think you need to stay home from school. You don’t want to be coming down with something. Tell her thanks for setting the coffeepot last night.”

Max waved as his father gulped down the rest of the coffee, set his cup in the kitchen sink and briskly left to get in his car to go to work. Coming down with something - yeah, coming down with nerves all right, thought Max sardonically.

He killed a few more minutes dipping his spoon into the cereal in the bowl and swirling it around before deciding the soggy mess was too unappetizing to keep playing around with, never mind eating. He sighed, placed the bowl in the sink and walked to the front door. As he did so, he saw his mother walking down the stairs. He said, “Hi, Mom. Gotta go, but Dad said thanks for setting the coffee machine.”

She smiled and said, “Thank you, Max. You don’t look like you slept well, though. Are you okay?”

Max wanted to yell in frustration at the well-meaning questions he was getting. However, he just quietly said, “Yeah. I’m fine. Really.” Flashing an insincere smile at his mother, he escaped out the front door to begin walking to school.

Somehow he’d been able to avoid Andrew until lunch; only in Computer Science did they actually sit right next to one another, and they didn’t have exactly the same schedules anyway. Unfortunately, he realized too late, as he was walking with his tray on autopilot, that he was going to end up at their usual table. Groaning mentally, he tried to calm the butterflies in his stomach as he looked up and saw Andy grinning as he made his way over.

As Andy seated himself next to Max at the table, he leaned in confidentially and said, “Hey. Missed you this morning. Everything goin’ okay?”

Max tried to keep his voice level as he said disinterestedly, “Yeah. Everything’s fine.”

To kill off further conversation, he began industriously attacking the salad and pretended he didn’t hear Andy’s muttered comments about his math class that morning. Then, hating himself for doing so, he looked at his watch, feigned a surprised expression, and blurted, “Andy, I gotta take off for a bit. Seeya.”

Max practically leapt out of his seat, trying not to see the hurt look on Andy’s face before he turned his back and left the cafeteria.

It became pretty obvious that their incident of ‘closeness’ had accidentally sundered their friendship, Max realized, as Andy tried less and less to stay around him. When they sat together in Computer Science, instead of chatting continually in between announcements by the teacher about how they should approach the programming, they sat woodenly, only acknowledging each other briefly.

It would have gone on forever, Max thought, except for a couple of things.

First, he sometimes found himself wishing he and Andy could do that thing again. He refused to put a clearer name to it, if only to protect himself from other things he wasn’t sure he wanted to know about himself.

The second was what happened after school the first time it snowed in early December.

After school. Usually known as the time when all right-thinking students leave as quickly as they can and go home, or do other things.

For Max, that particular time of day was when it all went wonky. As he walked past a small playground a few minutes away from school, the hand roughly grabbing his shoulder startled him.

Andy’s face was livid. “You are such an asshole, you know that?”

Automatically, Max dropped his backpack and shoved Andy, hard. “Me? An asshole? What the hell are you talking about?”

Andy pretended to think and sarcastically said, “Well gee, let’s see now. Maybe poor little Max doesn’t want a friend who likes guys, huh? I’m only surprised you didn’t tell it all around the school, too. I’ve had enough of you ignoring me and I wanna know what’s going on.”

Max spread his hands and said, “What do you want me to say? Oh gee, I liked getting my cock jacked off by my friend and it’s not confusing the hell out of me? Andy, how many other guys have you done this with? Did we become friends just so you could get your rocks off with me? Or did you like being my friend for real?”

Andy’s face seemed to freeze. He swallowed, and said harshly, “I should hit you for that. You make me sound like... like some slut. For your information, I told you the truth last time we had a real conversation. I only ever jacked off with another guy a few times. Okay, yeah. Maybe I was attracted to you, besides thinking you were this funny guy who liked the same things I did and that thank God I met someone I had something in common with in a new school in a new town. Like that’s such a crime.”

Disgustedly, Andy spat, “You know what? Come talk to me when you’ve straightened your shit out.”

Max wordlessly watched Andy trudge swiftly through the snow down the street.

Frustrated, he kicked the snow and wondered why life had to get complicated all of a sudden.

Later, just before getting into bed for an early night’s sleep, Max overheard his parents talking concernedly in his dad’s den. Apparently they’d forgotten their voices carried up the stairs if they talked too loudly.

He heard his mother’s strained voice. “What’s wrong with him, Shawn? He didn’t seem well this morning and picked at his dinner tonight.”

His father’s voice carried concern and bafflement. “Wish I knew, honey. Look, it’s probably a phase he’s going through. Weren’t you ever miserable like Max and hated it when your parents would bug you about it?”

His mother laughed hollowly. “I guess. But I just don’t know what could have happened. Maybe his friend Andrew...? I remember Max was a little distracted for a while there, about three weeks ago, and said they’d had a rough patch. Maybe they had another one?”

“Anna, I’d be careful. If he thought we were snooping on him through his friends, it might make things worse. Let’s just make sure he doesn’t think we’re neglecting him, okay?”

Their voices got quieter after that, and Max wondered how he could explain himself to them. It wasn’t their fault he didn’t know how to handle dealing with Andy. On that thought, he figured he’d better damn well get up the courage to talk to Andy some time soon.

I can be contacted at this e-mail address.