following story is a fictional account involving pre-teen and teenage boys,
some of whom are gay. Although very little sexual activity takes place in this
story, there are references to and some descriptions of gay sex, and anyone who
is uncomfortable with this should obviously not be reading this story. All
characters are fictional and any resemblance to real people is purely
coincidental. Although the story takes place in real locations and
establishments, the author takes full responsibility for all events described
and these are not in any way meant to reflect the activities of real
individuals, nor actual school policies. The author retains full copyright of
this story, and of stories based on these characters.
Please note that this 2009 Spring Anthology entry is the eighteenth in a series of short stories known collectively as Naptown Tales. The series of stories can be found on my GayAuthors Page and on the Naptown Tales Page at Awesome Dude. Slightly modified versions of some of these stories that are suitable for younger teens can also be found on the Altimexis Page at Codey's World. Please see the Introduction for important background on the series.
Home is Where the Heart Is
I'll never forget the moment our
parents dropped the bombshell on us. My brother, David, and I were sitting
around the dinner table talking about the usual school stuff and the like, when
suddenly Dad said, "Boys, your mother and I have been thinking that maybe it's
a good time to move."
After he said it, there was,
like, complete silence, except for
the sound of the grandfather clock in the entryway. Finally, David said,
"Whadaya mean, move?"
"Well, the economy's in a major
recession and real estate's in the worst slump in decades," Dad said. "Right
now, there are five and six thousand-square-foot houses up on One Hundred Sixth
Street that were just built a few years ago that people can't give away. I bet
we could probably pick one up with a heated pool out back and maybe even tennis
courts for under a quarter mil. They cost two or three times that to build.
It's definitely a buyers market."
"One Hundred Sixth Street?" I
asked. "You mean up in Carmel?"
"Well, sure, Brad," Dad
answered, "But we're only talking about a few miles away from where we live
now, and the neighborhood's a lot nicer, the homes are brand new and much
bigger, and we'd have our own swimming pool. It's a real opportunity to move up
in the world that may never come again."
"Why would we want to do that?"
David began. "We already live in a great house in a nice neighborhood right by
the Monon Trail. I can bike up and down the trail to get to, well, everything,
from the shops up in Carmel to the shops down in Broad Ripple, and to my boyfriend's house. The houses
you're talking about are way over on the west side, by Ditch Road, in what used
to be cornfields. We have trees here. It's beautiful here in our neighborhood.
They have nothing over there. The lots are barren.
"And what do we need with a
bigger house, anyway," my brother continued. "We have more than enough house as
it is. Brad and I each have our own bedrooms, which are plenty big enough for
us. We have a guest room and you have
a home office, Dad. We already have a three car garage, so if I do get a car
some day, all we have to do is clean out the third bay and maybe get a storage
shed out back for the lawn mower and our gardening tools."
Way to go, bro!
"There's a lot more to it than
just that, David," Mom started in. "Sure, we have a nice house, but we can
afford a much nicer one, especially
now that so many houses are in foreclosure. There are million-dollar mansions
up in Carmel, sitting vacant. One of those could be ours. Why not go for it?"
"I'll tell you why," David
answered. "Jeremy lives in a mansion in Lake Shores. I think theirs is
something like seven thousand square feet, but that's beside the point. You've
heard what he's said about life in his mansion. There aren't many kids his age
in his neighborhood. He's lonely down there. He calls it his prison."
"Does he still feel that way now
that he has a foster brother?" Mom asked.
"Cliff is Brad's age," David countered. "I'm sure Jeremy loves Cliff the way
I love Brad, but three years is a big age difference. It's not like Jeremy and
Cliff can even relate to each other on the same level . . . you know?
"Brad and I have lots of friends here in Sherwood Forrest.
Carmel? . . . That's in the next county! It isn't even in our school district! We have lots of friends at school, and
I'm president of the sophomore class! You'd be taking us away from all of that,
and for what . . . so you and Dad can stroke your egos, just so you can prove
"David!" Dad practically
shouted, but I wasn't about to give him an inch.
"No, Dad, David's right," I
chimed in. "David and I have our lives here. We have friends we've had since we
were in kindergarten. And David is the president of his class. Do you think a gay boy has a chance in Hell of that
kind of popularity with all the rich snobs up in Carmel?"
"They do have a very active GSA
in Carmel High," Mom interrupted. "I already spoke to one of the faculty
advisors and they have monthly meetings and dances and everything. I think
you'll find you fit in just as well there."
"But Jeremy won't be there," David said with obvious sadness in his
"I know, sweetheart," Mom
replied, "but we aren't going to move before the end of the school year, and by
the time school starts next year, you'll have your license and be able to drive
to see him any time you want to. If it'll make things any easier, I think we
could probably swing a car for you as part of the deal."
"You think you can bribe me?" David practically shouted at
Mom with a vehemence I'd rarely seen from my brother. "Don't you get it? Jeremy
and I are a couple. We've been boyfriends for, like, nearly two years now. A
lot of marriages don't last that long. We love each other, Mom. We eat lunch together, every day. We have many classes
together. As soon as we graduate high school, we intend to get married, we
intend to go to college together and, one day, we intend to have children
together by whatever means possible. Sure, we can still see each other, even if
we move out of the school district, but it won't be the same."
"But why limit yourself, David,"
Dad said. "Carmel High is much better
than where you are now."
"Says who?" David asked. "Yeah,
if you look at their National Merit rankings, Carmel ranks higher, but only
slightly. They both rank in the top 300 of all high schools nationwide. That's
out of how many tens of thousands of high schools? If you go by percentile
rankings, the schools are equivalent."
"But your school's half black
and Hispanic," Dad countered.
"You make that sound like a bad thing," David countered. "Our
schools are more diverse, and I think that's a great thing. Carmel's full of
rich snobs who moved up there to get away from all the African Americans and
the Jewish people who live down here. Of course there are a lot of rich snobby
African Americans and Jews up in Carmel now, too, so I hear a lot of WASPs are
moving out to Noblesville and to Zionsville. Maybe you'll decide even Carmel's
not good enough for us either, Dad. I didn't realize you're a racist."
"Sorry. Anyway, the point I'm
trying to make is that I like the rainbow of skin colors I see in the hallway every
day at school. Of course, I like rainbows in general," my brother said with a
"On top of everything else, they
went for McCain up in Carmel," I felt obliged to point out.
"We voted for McCain," Dad
"I know," I replied. "The sign
on our front lawn was embarrassing."
"Jeremy's parents voted for
Obama," David added. "Even though they're richer than anyone I know, they never
lost sight of where they came from. You know, they could have had an even
bigger house up in Carmel, too, but they chose Lake Shores because it's in the city and in a good school district. Just
because they have money didn't mean they had to leave the city, or become
Republicans, or forget who they are."
"That's not the reason, David,"
Dad replied. "We supported McCain because we don't want our hard-earned money
going to support higher taxes . . ."
"Yeah, right . . ." David
interrupted, "taxes we're otherwise going to have to collect from future
generations to pay down our country's ten trillion dollar debt. I agree with
the Democrats. Once this crisis is behind us, we need to pay off the debt, but
now isn't the time . . . I'll grant you that. We just can't expect countries
like China to keep lending us the
money forever, Dad."
"McCain had the right idea," Dad
countered, "cut spending and we can
pay off the debt. We don't need to raise taxes to do that."
David audibly sighed before he
went on. "Unless you're willing to cut Social Security and Medicare, the only
thing big enough left to cut in the budget that could make any kind of dent in
reducing the deficit is defense. Between Iraq and Afghanistan, we're already at
a point where we couldn't even defend ourselves in an international crisis as
it is. There isn't any money left to cut
. . . unless you're talking about the loopholes the rich use to get out of
paying their fair share of taxes!
"I think Obama has the right
idea. The middle class is strapped as is, so why is it always those who have
the least that give the most? Let's loosen the purse strings of the rich and if
they don't want to give to the poor voluntarily, maybe we should be legislating
it. Hell, right now we could be supporting some poor kid who doesn't have a
home . . . like what Jeremy's parents are doing. That in itself is a big tax
break for the rich . . . but not you, Dad . . . you want that big house in a
snobby neighborhood. Think . . .
think about the things that you could do for others . . . think about those who
need, who deserve and who would welcome our help."
"Hmmm . . . my son the
politician," Dad said thoughtfully. "You're only the Class President and
already you think you have the cure for this country's financial mess."
"David, be careful," Mom warned.
"Don't let your idealism make you foolish and put you in the poor house.
There's a lot of people out there that would be happy to bilk you out of your
money and before long, you'd end up as poor as they are. Buying a new house is
our chance to step up to a better way of life."
"At what expense Mom . . . at
whose expense?" David countered.
"Yeah I like being Class President and I like to help out kids in need . . . and
it doesn't cost me anything." David took a deep sigh. "It's your money . . .
you've worked hard for it . . . I haven't contributed towards it . . . spend it
the way you think you need to, but remember it's not only your own lives that
will be affected by your choices."
My brother was always the
politician. I swore, he'd end up being the president some day, but talk of the
economy brought up another important point and I thought I'd better raise it.
"If the economy's so bad," I
asked, "how will we ever manage to sell this house? What good will it do to move to some McMansion up in Carmel if we can't
unload this place?"
"That's a very good question,
Brad," Dad answered, "and one that has an easy answer. We're very fortunate to
have done well for ourselves, particularly during these troubled financial
times, and we paid off the mortgage long ago. We've come a long way from where
we were when we bought this place, when I was a new bank manager, and your
mother was a brand new teacher. Now, I'm a division head of a major U.S. bank
for the entire region, and your mother of course has tenure, so we both have
very secure jobs.
"Although we could probably sell
this house for more than we paid for it, it would be foolish to sell it below
market value, just to unload it. What your mother and I discussed is simply
holding onto it and possibly renting it out until the economy turns around, and
then we'll put it on the market and sell it for a more reasonable price, using
the money we get for it to help put you guys through college.
"Since we don't have a mortgage
to support and since the taxes and insurance on the place are low, we really
don't need to rush into renting it out to recoup our investment. It really
would be foolish not to move," Dad
"I still think it sucks," David
said, "and I'm opposed to it."
"Same here," I chimed in.
"David, Brad, your father and I
didn't bring this up for discussion," Mom stated flatly, shocking both of us to
the core. Up until now, I had thought they were tossing this whole thing out
for our thoughts on it. I really thought Mom and Dad listened to us . . . that they valued what we had to say. I guess I
was wrong. They were our parents and they'd already made their minds up. They
were going to do this with or without our approval and this whole thing was
their way of trying to convince us that it was in our best interests, too. What a crock!
David was not so generous in his
way of looking at it as he spouted off, "I don't give a flying FUCK what you
and Dad think about it . . . you are NOT doing what's best for Brad and me!"
"DAVID!" Dad shouted in return.
"NO! You listen to ME," David
continued. "Brad and I don't want or need a bigger house. We aren't asking for
our own pool out back. We love this neighborhood with all its mature trees, and
are more than willing to rake the leaves in the fall. We have WONDERFUL,
lifelong friends that we want to keep. We're popular here. We're both involved
in sports. I'm the Class President. I have a boyfriend that I LOVE more than
life itself whom I see everyday and with whom I'm intimate every weekend and I
think you know that. The only reason
to move is to prove something, but what? That you can?
"What the fuck do you hope to
accomplish by moving?" David continued. "Do you really think you'll be happier?
When you look out at all the barren land and the mansions around you, will it
make you feel more successful? Is that it? Is that the fucking reason for
putting us through fucking hell?"
"David, enough with the
language," Dad said.
I don't know what got into me,
but I was royally pissed at my parents and wasn't about to let David be the
only one to speak up. "What the hell's wrong with his fucking language," I
said. "Why the fuck can't he say what he fucking pleases. You're the fucking
idiots who fucking want us to fucking leave all our friends behind and move the
fuck away from here."
"Brad, to your room, now!" Dad said. My dinner sat in front
of me, largely untouched, but that was OK. I wasn't really hungry, anyway.
Slowly and sullenly I rose to my feet and made my way to my bedroom. Even
through my closed bedroom door, I could hear the shouting continue. David
wasn't about to give up, that was for sure! If anything the argument only
became more heated after I left.
Finally, I heard David's bedroom
door slam shut. I wasn't sure if it was because he had been grounded like me,
or if it was because he just couldn't take it any more and stormed out on our
parents. Either way, it sucked. Life sucked. How could Mom and Dad think that moving was actually a good idea? Why
would they be willing to even consider driving a wedge between themselves and
their sons, just so they could - what's the saying - keep up with the Joneses?
David and I shared a bathroom
that connected to both our bedrooms, so I entered the bathroom and, as I kinda
expected, David was crying. I gently knocked on the door to his room. I'd long
ago learned that he didn't like me barging in on him unannounced, any more than
I'd like him doing it to me.
"Come on in, Squirt. I could use
the company," he answered.
When I entered, I couldn't help
but notice how down David looked. I didn't think I'd ever seen David look so
down. He was sitting on the edge of his bed with his head resting in his hands.
His eyes were red and his cheeks were tear-stained. David was tall - about
six-three, I think, and I was only a little over five feet myself, but as
slouched over as he was, I was easily able to drape my arm over his shoulders
and hug him to my side. We were both hurting, but I knew how much Jeremy meant
to David and how going to a different school would affect him. Being Class
President meant a lot to David, but not nearly as much as being with Jeremy. I
was cool with their relationship. Why wouldn't I be?
The next day at school, I sat by
Cliff, Jeremy's foster brother, in homeroom at the beginning of first period.
We weren't best friends or anything, but we'd become friendly since the start
of school. Jeremy's parents took him in after he tested HIV-positive from
having been sexually abused over the summer. They even hired a `nanny' to help
care for Cliff after school, since their own jobs kept them busy until late at
night. In any case, since our older brothers were boyfriends, we naturally
gravitated to each other to, well, gossip about our brothers behind their
After I told Cliff about what
was happening, he said, "Brad, you know what, it's gonna be OK."
"What do you mean it'll be OK?"
"Sure, it sucks big time that you'll
hafta go to a different school and all, but you and David'll do OK wherever you
are. You guys'll make friends wherever you go, and nothing'll keep David and
Jeremy apart. You said your parents'll get David a car, and you know Jeremy'll
get a car for his birthday. I bet it'll be something sweet, too. Maybe one a
those Mercedes two-seaters, or maybe a Porsche roadster, or a Corvette? You can
be sure it'll be one of the nicest sets of wheels in the student parking lot.
Prolly in the faculty parking lot, for that matter. Those two'll be at each
other's houses every night and every weekend. 'Cept for seeing each other at
school, nothing'll really change.
"It's like that old saying,
after all, you know . . . how's it go? . . . Home is where the heart is?"
Though I didn't like what Mom
and Dad were doing one bit, I had to hand it to Cliff. For a kid who'd just
turned thirteen, he was wise beyond his years. He'd been around the block more
than most kids twice his age. He'd been beaten and abused, and now he'd been
raped, and even still, he had one of
the brightest outlooks on life of anyone I knew. What he said made a whole
Maybe to Mom and Dad bricks and
mortar were important - they symbolized their accomplishments in life. The big
mansion on the two acre plot with a swimming pool and tennis court in back
meant something to them . . . to them it meant they'd made it in life. To David
and me, bricks and mortar didn't really mean shit, to put it bluntly. To us, it
was our friendships that meant everything. We could live in a tiny trailer by
the river or in a housing project and it wouldn't matter as long as we had our
friends. Yeah, we could make new friends up in Carmel, but they'd never be the
same as the friends we grew up with down here. With e-mail, David's car, our
bicycles and our cell phones, if we made the effort, we'd never lose touch with
our friends, new and old. Home wasn't a physical place, but sense of being, and
that was something that was entirely up to David and me.
"Thanks, man," I said to Cliff.
"You've really given me something to think about."
"No prob, Brad. Hey, why don't
you come over this afternoon for a while to take your mind off of things, you
know? I bet your brother'll be there, too. . . . It'd do the both a you some
good. We could go for a swim in our indoor pool, or have a Madden tournament,
or shoot; you've seen our game room. It's Friday, after all. We'll have a
"You know, that might not be a
bad idea. I'll check with the 'rents at lunch and see if they'll let me."
Although Mom wasn't thrilled
with the idea, especially with the way David and I had behaved at dinner last
night, she agreed it might be good for us to get out of the house so she gave
me the OK when I called her. When I met up with Cliff at the end of the day, I
asked if he thought it would be OK to ride the bus home with him and he said,
"Sure, David rides home with Jer and me all the time."
"But doesn't the bus driver
notice?" I asked.
"She probably does, but she
don't care; long as there's enough seats for everyone and everyone gets off
where they're supposed to, she's cool with it."
We rode the bus over to the high
school and, sure enough, both Jeremy and David got on, and they went to sit
right behind us.
"Hey, bro, nice to see you
riding with us for a change," David said as he slid into the window seat.
"Can't say I'm feeling any better, though."
"Actually, I'm feeling a little
better," I admitted. "Cliff said some things that got me to thinking. It
doesn't matter where we live as long as we have each other, and we'll still
have each other, no matter what."
"Bummed out as I am," Jeremy
said, "that's what I've been trying to tell David, too.
"By the way, I hope you guys
don't mind, but I've taken the liberty of inviting some old friends from middle
school that I haven't seen in years. They go to Carmel High, and I thought they
might be able to help you feel a little better about going there next year."
"Who?" David asked.
"You remember Henry and
"Henry and Pauline? Wasn't Henry
the kid that gave you a hard time after the gym incident?" David asked. "Wasn't
he a major homophobe and an asshole?"
"Actually, he was a good friend
right up until the gym incident, and Pauline said he's gotten some counseling
and he's changed. Pauline's older brother's gay and she didn't exactly give him
much choice. Anyway, they're on the way over and they're popular at Carmel
High, and they could help you to feel a little less alone over there. It'll be
nice to see them after all this time."
"Maybe for you, but I never knew
them that well, and I'll reserve judgment until I see just how much Henry has really changed," David pouted, clearly
not wanting to relinquish his sense of gloom. Jer wasn't having any of that,
however. He knew what Dave was doing, and he couldn't help but laugh at him.
Soon, Jeremy was mercilessly tickling David's sides, which was no small feat
through his jacket, and David was giggling like a schoolgirl. The giggling
ended in a long, but closed-mouth kiss. How embarrassing.
Soon, we reached Jeremy's and
Cliff's neighborhood. "Looks like Henry and Pauline are already here," Jeremy
said as he got off the bus, nodding his head at a RAV-4 that was parked in the
driveway. "Henry's birthday was back in December, so he must have just gotten
his license in January. Must be nice . . ."
"What are you complaining
about?" Cliff asked. "You may not be getting your license 'til June, but you
know your parents'll be getting you a car that's way nicer than the rust bucket
"Well they're keeping quiet
about it, but one thing's for sure . . . it won't be an SUV. When I hinted that
I wanted one, Mom pulled out some articles that looked at traffic fatalities,
rather than just at crash ratings. If you get into a crash, you're less likely
to be crushed in an SUV, but much more likely to roll over, be thrown from one
or otherwise mutilated. The bottom line is you're far more likely to crash an
SUV in the first place. A well-built, agile car like the Mini is actually your
best bet, but with my luck, my folks'll prolly get me something sexy like an
Accord, a Camry, or a nice, dependable minivan," Jeremy said with a smirk.
"Let's go inside."
We entered through the garage,
into a mudroom and then into a kitchen that was larger than our kitchen, dining
room and family room, combined. Off the kitchen was what they called a great
room, with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that led to an enclosed pool, and a
game room down below. `Great' really didn't begin to describe the room - it was
more like being in a ski lodge. The ceiling went up to a peak at least fifteen
feet above, and in the center was the biggest circular fireplace I'd ever seen.
It was awesome!
Waiting in the great room were a
couple of kids about David and Jeremy's age. The boy had short-cropped blond
hair. He was stocky and muscular, and was clearly an athlete. The girl was . .
. well, what could I say. I knew she was too old for me and it was clear by the
way she was sitting on the sofa next to the boy that she was his girlfriend,
but she was absolutely beautiful. Having a gay brother, I occasionally had
doubts about my own sexuality, but seeing her there erased all of those doubts.
Embarrassingly, I was hard, instantly - more so than had happened with any girl
my own age at school.
"Hey, Goldilocks, it's been a
while," the boy said as they both stood up.
"Hey Henry. Hey Pauline," Jeremy
said in return, and then there was a period of what could only be described as
After what was probably no more
than ten or fifteen seconds, the girl nudged the boy with her elbow in his ribs
as we continued to approach. He looked down at the floor before he looked back
up at Jeremy and said, "Listen, Jer . . . this isn't easy for me. I'm not
really sure where to begin. . . ."
"You could start by saying you're
sorry," Jeremy suggested quietly."
"Yeah, I could," the boy agreed,
"and I am, but somehow, I don't think that would be enough, would it? You still
wouldn't trust me and I'd prolly still think you tried to feel me up . . . not
that I can blame you . . . in fact, in a way I'm flattered. Jeremy, I . . .
I've gone through some counseling and I've had a talk with Pauline's brother,
and I'm not freaked out by gay guys any more. You know, you and David have been
on the cover of The Star, what, twice
"Three times," David corrected
Turning to face David, the boy
corrected himself as he said, "Three times
now, and I have to admit," turning back to Jeremy, he continued, "the two of
you make a really cute couple. My folks raised me to think being gay isn't
natural, but Pauline, her brother, and the therapist sure set me straight on
that one, no pun intended.
"Now, I really feel horrible
about the way I treated you in eighth grade. You didn't deserve it, Jeremy. I'm
sorry you got outed, but I'm sorrier about the way kids treated you, especially
me. If we're going to ever be friends again, I think we have to come to grips
with what actually happened in gym that day, two years ago."
"Henry," Jeremy said, "You and I
both know it was an accident. It was nothing more than an innocent game of
shirts versus skins. We collided, you landed on top of me and my hand ended up
slipping inside your shorts. Never in a million years did I intend for it to
happen that way. It was a complete and total freak accident."
"Was it really an accident,
Jer?" Henry asked.
"How could you even think otherwise?"
Jeremy asked incredulously.
"Sorry, but before you go
getting your nose bent all out of shape, Goldilocks, hear me out. I'm not
saying this in a derogatory sense at all. I know the way we slammed into each
other on the basketball court was an accident. Neither of us intended for that
to happen. I know the way your hand slipped down my chest and into my shorts
was prolly an accident. There's no way you had time to plan to do that, even if
you wanted to. But when I lifted
myself off your body, you were groping me. I know you didn't mean to do that, but you did. I don't think any straight
boy would've done that. That's how I
knew you were gay."
The look on Jeremy's face told
me he realized for the first time that part of what happened wasn't really an
accident. He was in shock. "Henry, I . . . I don't know what to say. It's no
excuse, but I did hit my head kinda hard on the floor, and . . . now I feel
like a jerk . . . like I molested you or something. I didn't even realize I'd
done it. All these years I thought my hand just landed on your dick by
accident, but you're right, I . . . I groped you. When we ended up with you on top of me with my hand in your shorts, my
hand did what my subconscious must've always wanted it to do. I had no idea.
I'm so . . . so sorry." Jeremy had tears in his eyes.
Henry actually grabbed Jeremy in
a bear-like hug and comforted him. "It's OK, Jer. Back then, it really weirded
me out, but with the therapy and stuff, I understand now what you must've been
going through . . . how depressed you must've been. I had Pauline and could
kiss her and hold hands with her in the halls without fear of what she would
think or how she would react. I felt what boys were supposed to feel.
"My guess is that maybe you had
all these strange feelings for boys that you didn't understand . . . that you
prolly didn't even want to have and
that you had no control over, and then, suddenly, WHAM . . . there we were. If I found myself on the ground with my
hand inside Pauline's panties, could I have resisted copping a feel? Hell, that
was the stuff of my J.O. fantasies at the time."
Mine, too, I thought as Henry released Jeremy and put his arm around
Looking at Pauline, who's face was
now red as a beet, Henry said, "Sorry, Paulie." He then turned back to face
Jeremy and continued, "What I'm really trying to say is that you reacted
instinctively before your brain had a chance to think of the consequences. I
understand that, now. It really wasn't something you could help . . . and I
hope you'll forgive me for being such an asshole about it."
"Of course I forgive you, Henry.
"You bet, Goldilocks," Henry
said, as he once again pulled Jeremy into a warm hug.
We had a great afternoon. Cliff
got me one of his spare swimsuits and David of course already had a pair there,
and Henry and Pauline had brought theirs with them. We all swam around for a
while, and then we went downstairs and played in Jeremy and Cliff's awesome
game room. We played air hockey, foosball, Ping-Pong and pool. We all had a
Henry and Pauline told us a
little bit about Carmel and what going to school was like there. Yes, there
were a lot of rich snobs up there, but David and I were surprised to learn
there were a lot of rednecks that went there as well. I could only imagine what
it must be like for those kids, growing up in the older sections of town that
were there before the affluent
suburbs were built.
At one point, I asked, "Henry,
you and Pauline used to go to my middle school, and I know you didn't move or
anything. How did you end up going to Carmel High?"
Pauline answered, "That's a
strange one. Our street was cut off from the rest of the neighborhood when they
put in the Interstate back in the seventies, and now that they put in a sound
barrier, we're much more a part of Carmel than of the city. When we were in
elementary and middle school, the school bus used to make a detour to pick us
up, but I guess the district ultimately decided it was cheaper to send us to
Carmel schools than to send a school bus out of the way to get a few kids.
"They phased the change in over
a few years, so we didn't have to change schools until we started high school.
Our parents were happy with the change. Carmel High is a much smaller school
and has a higher national ranking, and because of that, our property values
went up. Me . . . I missed my old friends, but I've made new friends and I'm
happy there. Henry and I are both happy there."
We continued to have fun until
it was time for dinner, and then to our delight, a nice, Hispanic lady came
down to the game room to tell us dinner was ready for us all. Up to that point,
I didn't even know we were staying for dinner. I told her I had to get
permission and she looked at me kinda funny as she rolled her eyes and informed
me she'd already called all our parents and gotten their permission. She also
informed me I had permission to stay the night if I so chose. Cliff's reaction
Cliff introduced the lady to me.
Her name was Carlota, and she was originally from Ecuador. He explained that
she was initially hired as a housekeeper and part-time nanny for Jeremy when he
was younger, and was now a full-time live-in nanny since Cliff became their
Dinner was great! We had
vegetarian fajitas with refried beans, Spanish rice, guacamole and fried ice
cream. Of course there was no meat since David was still on that vegetarian
kick of his that he'd been on for the past few years. Thank God he wasn't a
After dinner, Henry and Pauline
left and Cliff and I went to his room to do our homework, while, I presumed,
Jeremy and David did the same. After we finished our homework, we stripped down
to our boxers and all piled onto Jeremy's bed and watched a little television.
I asked Jeremy if he minded the intrusion, since before Cliff arrived, he'd
been able to be alone with David. You know what he said?
"Brad, I have plenty of time
alone with David, but I've never had a brother before. I love having Cliff around. I love Cliff. I always used to envy the
relationship you and David have. Having you and Cliff here with me and David
tonight is the best way I can think of to spend the evening." And with that,
Jeremy actually kissed me on the top of my head. Eww.
After we were done watching TV,
we returned to Cliff's room and Cliff got out some clothes he thought would fit
me that I could wear home tomorrow. Cliff had to take a shitload of pills for
his HIV. Man, that sucked.
After we got under the covers,
Cliff asked me, "Brad, don't take this the wrong way, but you ever jerk off
with another guy before?"
What a loaded question! "I'm not
gay, Cliff, if that's what you're asking."
"I didn't think you were, and
for the record, I'm definitely not either. I saw the way you looked at Pauline
today. She's one hot babe, isn't she? Henry's one lucky dude! But at twelve in
your case, and thirteen for me, it's gonna prolly be a while before either of
our dicks see the inside of a cunt . . . am I right? Especially in my case.
What girl is gonna want to have sex with a kid who's HIV-positive, even if I
wear two condoms. The old palm gets
really old after a while.
"I was just wondering if you'd
be up to a little mutual J.O. You know, I'd pump you while you pump me? There's
nothing gay about that . . . it's just two guys helping each other out until we
get ourselves some girlfriends."
Thinking about what Cliff said,
I worried for a second and asked what was on my mind. "Isn't there a risk to me
of getting HIV if I jerk you off and get your spunk on my hands?"
"Only if you have an open sore
or cut on your hands and my junk lands on that open wound, and even then, the
risk is less than a percent. Mutual J.O. is one of the safest forms of sex
around, but if it would make you feel any safer, I'll wear a condom, or I'll
look at your hands to make sure you don't have even a hangnail. Trust me, Brad,
I'd never do anything that might hurt
Looking at the serious
expression on Cliff's face, I couldn't help notice how cute he was with his
very curly, platinum blond hair and his bright blue eyes. It wasn't a sexual
attraction or anything . . . at least I didn't think it was, but Cliff had a sort of irresistible charm and I
wanted to please him, and I knew that doing things with him would be fun.
"OK," I agreed, "but I'll take
you up on the condom, just to play it safe."
"That's fair," Cliff said. "It's
overkill, but it's fair and I can't say I blame you, and this is gonna be awesome!"
Cliff got a condom out of his
nightstand and whispered to me, "I snuck this out of Jer's supply."
He lowered his boxers to his
ankles and kicked them off, and then unrolled the condom onto his throbbing
member. We sat cross-legged opposite each other and grabbed hold of each other
as best we could, considering our appendages were angled backwards from what we
were used to from our solitary activities.
Touching another boy was not at
all what I was expecting it to be, and being touched by another boy was unreal.
I had no idea it would feel so different than it did when I touched myself. The
sensations were just so much more intense. I wanted to think about my fantasy
of doing it with Pauline from earlier in the afternoon, but it was impossible
to do that when I had a real live boy's pulsating cock in my hand.
The whole thing didn't take long
and we both climaxed far too soon . . . me first, as an arc of my semen hit
Cliff in the chin, across his chest and then on his comforter - oh shit . . .
and then him, as his condom suddenly filled, giving it a warm, squishy, slimy
Cliff ran to his bathroom to get
a washcloth to clean up himself, and then his comforter. "Man, Brad, that was
"It was," I admitted. "I'm not
gay, but that was a lot more fun than doing it alone . . . and like you said,
until we get girlfriends, doing it with each other's the next best thing."
"Definitely!" Cliff agreed.
Just then, I had a more serious
thought. "Cliff," I asked, "when you were molested at that camp last summer,
that creep forced you to do a lot of stuff. How come what we just did doesn't
creep you out?"
"Some of the kids had it a lot
worse than I did, Brad. That's for sure, but it was still a horrible
experience. For one thing, my life was a lot better than a lot of the kids who
went to that camp. I had it really good as a kid up until I was ten, when my
parents were killed in a car crash. They were both orphans, and so I was put
into foster care at a much older age than most of the other kids who were at
that camp. I was able to protect myself better than the other campers. Gary wasn't
able to seduce me, although he tried . . . more than once.
"When I realized just what it
was he wanted, I decided I had to go to the camp director, but Gary had me
figured out by then, and he'd have killed me to shut me up if necessary . . .
that's how evil the bastard was. He went one better, though . . . one night he
grabbed me and he had a knife pointed at my face and he took me out and he
raped me. He said if I told anyone, he'd kill as many campers as he could, and
make it look like someone else did it. He raped me a lot of times before he was
finally caught, but that wasn't sex . . . that was him ramming it up my ass.
"Sex, what you and I did, was fun!
What Gary did to me was . . . vulgar. It wasn't even sex. I've been seeing a
counselor about it, but as far as I'm concerned, except for being HIV-positive,
I've already put it all behind me."
"I can't imagine going through
something like that . . ."
"Brad, no one can imagine what it's like to be raped until it happens to
them," Cliff continued. "You know that Sammy Franklin, Kurt DeWitt's foster
brother, was also raped, don't you?"
"Yeah, everyone knows," I
"Well, he spoke about it at an
assembly at the high school just before the Thanksgiving break. David may have
told you about it."
"Yeah, he did."
"Well, they recorded it along
with all the other presentations on rape and abuse, and made it into a DVD.
There's a copy in the library at our school, too. You really owe it to yourself
to check it out." Cliff had a very serious look on his face when he made that
suggestion - one that left no room for doubt.
"I think I'll do that," I
"Cool," Cliff said as he smiled
at me. "Now let's get some sleep and maybe we can do some stuff tomorrow."
As I drifted off to sleep, I
wondered just what that `stuff' might be - did he mean more sex stuff, or did
he mean playing video games or maybe heading over to the shops in Broad Ripple
or something like that?
Unfortunately, none of those
things were to be, as my parents stopped by early to retrieve David and me.
They wanted to get an early start on house hunting in Carmel. So much for
having a fun weekend.
Let me tell you, when you're a
kid, house hunting is not fun. Adults
really seem to get into it and they think their kids will too, but nothing
could be further from the truth. Maybe if we lived in a singlewide trailer,
David and I might have been interested, but we already had a nice house with
everything we wanted or needed. After we'd seen about the third house, they all
started to blend together. I mean, how many variations on the same theme of
kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms or great rooms and garages can
there really be?
Virtually every house had the
same basic layout. Every damn one sat on a huge lot with a big three, four or
even five car garage in front, as close to the street as possible. I guess that
was so the driveway could be short, leaving less snow to drive your Mercedes
SUV over if you had to get out quickly. A circular drive led to a large front
door, which led to a huge atrium inside. The atrium, of course, was at least
two stories high, the better to run up your heating and AC bills, and of course
there was a large stairway off the atrium with a balcony overlooking the
atrium. Every fucking house had this same layout. No wonder they called them
Off to one side there was always
a formal living room or library that was usually not very large, which made
sense because no one ever used it. Off to the other side was a study or an
office. Behind the living room was a small, formal dining room. Next to the
dining room was a large kitchen with an island in the middle and solid granite
countertops, built-in double convection ovens and a built-in microwave. Mom
sure seemed to love the fancy appliances and the smooth electric countertop
stove, even when I pointed out to her how much she used to brag about how much
she loves her gas stove at home. Ha!
Behind the kitchen, every single
house had a large family room or great room with a fireplace. In some houses,
the fireplace was a real wood-burning fireplace and in some, it was gas. The
family room also opened directly to the atrium, so that guests could access it
directly, bypassing the living room that no one seemed to use. In a lot of the
homes, the family room opened to a back yard with a deck or a terrace, and in
many cases, a heated pool. Some even had a hot tub or a Jacuzzi. One house even
had a tennis court, just as Dad had said some of the houses would.
Upstairs, all of the houses had
five or six bedrooms. I was actually rather disappointed in the bedrooms. The
master bedrooms were pretty nice, with huge walk-in closets, and all the
bathrooms were very nice and new looking, but the other bedrooms were really
pretty ordinary if you asked me. Some of them weren't as nice as what David and
I already had. Of course Mom and Dad, weren't seeing any of that. All they saw
were the huge master bedroom suites with their enormous closets and exercise
rooms and his and hers master bathrooms. They didn't care where their sons had
to sleep, and I suppose with all those extra bedrooms, we could always take
more than one if we needed to.
Most of the houses had basements
that were fully finished with game rooms and workshops. Even I had to admit
that it was pretty cool. Leave it to my brother to point out, in one of the
houses however, that there was a sump pump running pretty much full-time. "The
power cuts out in a thunderstorm, and we all know how often that happens around
here, and this whole basement'll flood in no time."
Noticing a dank smell, I added,
"I wouldn't be surprised if there's mold behind these walls."
"Don't worry, boys," Dad said.
"We won't buy anything without getting a full engineer's inspection."
My eyes were totally glazed over
by the end of Saturday, and yet we went out again on Sunday to look at even
more houses. And then we came to THE house. It wasn't that it was all that different from all the other houses we'd
already looked at, it was just bigger than all the others, and it had more
features, and . . . oh yeah, it cost a whole lot more money. The list price was
$1.5 million, but our realtor thought
we could prolly get it for around $450k. Yeah, right, I wondered what she'd been smoking. Even if we got it
for `half-a-mil', that was still double what Mom and Dad had been talking about
at the dinner table a couple nights earlier.
"Dad, are you sure we can afford
this house?" I had to ask.
"If we can get the price down
that much, we definitely can, and look at all that we'll have! Six bedrooms,
eight bathrooms, an office, and a
study, a kitchen to die for with a gas range, four gas fireplaces, a game room,
an in-ground heated pool, a Jacuzzi, a tennis court, a basketball court, a
soccer field, a built-in outdoor gas grill, and that's just the beginning. The
place is only three years old, and it's in mint condition. There's almost
nothing that needs to be done to the place. It's move-in ready. We could be in
here as soon as school lets out. It's perfect."
Even I had to admit, it seemed like a great house, but . . . where were
the other kids in the neighborhood. I sure didn't see any. Unless I hitched a
ride with David and spent all my time with Cliff, I'd wind up alone, a prisoner
of the house, just like Jeremy used to be, only worse. This house wasn't even
near anything. That thought alone made me hate the house, but even the mere
hint of a negative thought to my parents made them brush me off as if I wasn't
That night, they wrote an offer
on the house for $400k, which was soundly rejected by the sellers.
"How could they outright reject
it like that?" my father asked as he paced back and forth. "That house has been
on the market for six months already. They've lowered their price three times,
and haven't even had a single offer until ours. You'd think they'd at least
make a counteroffer."
"It did cost them $2.5 million
to build it," the realtor pointed out, "which was their initial listing price.
Maybe they've come down on their price as far as they're willing to come down?"
"In this market, they're not
going to get anything close to that," Dad countered. "Every day it stays on the
market, they're losing money on it."
"Yeah, but $400k is a pretty
low-ball offer, Dad," I said. "If you come in too low, they may feel insulted,
"He's right, Jack," the realtor
said, actually agreeing with me. "I did try to tell you that . . . that our
opening offer should be $450k, but now we can't come back with an offer that
low. If you really want that house, you're going to have to come back with an
offer of at least a half-million now, and even that may be pushing it. Or you may have to sit on them a while and
give them time. Perhaps after three to six more months of no activity, they'll
reconsider your offer. Of course by then, the economy might rebound, so doing that
could be risky. Then again, you might just want to admit defeat and set your
"No! We really want that house." Dad said as he practically pounded his
fist on the table. "Let's come back with a $500k offer and see how they react
to it. At least it should be more in the ballpark, I would think. If they don't
respond, then we'll have to consider sitting on it for a while. Hopefully,
they'll at least counter and we'll have the basis for negotiation, as that's
something I'm good at."
Not to get into the boring
details, but after a lot of back and forth offers and counteroffers, the
sellers finally agreed to an offer of $650k, which is a lot more than the
quarter-mil my parents had originally planned to spend, but they insisted it
was still well within what we could afford, especially once we eventually
rented out our old house.
The house sailed through the
engineer's inspection, although the engineer did seem to take pleasure in
pointing out how crappy all the modern construction materials were compared to
the older materials used in our old home, which was built in the sixties.
With a signed contract in hand,
the final step was getting a mortgage, but with Dad being the division head of
the central Midwest Region of a major U.S. bank, that certainly wasn't going to
be a problem.
David and I resigned ourselves
to the fact that we were going to be moving. We were kinda miserable.
One day, while Dad was waiting
for the mortgage to be approved, I'd borrowed the DVD from the school library,
the one on rape and abuse that Cliff had suggested I watch. David knew I had it
and he said he wanted to watch it with me after we'd done our homework. It was
an amazing video -- Kurt and Sammy had me in tears, especially when I knew
what had happened to Cliff. The girl that talked about her father -- she
really made me feel her shame. David knew what I was feeling and he kept his
arm around my shoulder.
When it ended, David asked me,
"What did you think, bro?"
"It's so sad," I answered, "what
Kurt, Trevor, Sammy, and Cliff went through. Cliff told me what it was like for
him, but this . . . this made it so real."
"Brad, just remember what Kurt
said, that when your partner says no, it means stop and it also means that if
you do, you care and respect the feelings of your partner. If you don't stop,
you'll have lost the respect and trust of that person for life."
I just nodded my head and said,
"Yeah. Have you and Jeremy ever said no?"
"Just once. He was exhausted
after a swim meet he'd been in that day. I . . . I hadn't realized and was
horny as hell . . . finally he pushed me away and that broke my mood and then
he told me what was wrong. He was just too tired. It's the old story, always
talk to one another so you know what both of you are feeling . . . and always listen to what your partner
I knew that to be true --
God knows we were rather strong when we expressed our feelings to the folks
about this move.
It was strange that nothing was
said around the dinner table a few days after that, and David and I both
noticed that our parents had decidedly worried expressions on their faces. It
sure didn't fit with the happy, excited expressions they'd had just days
For a few days, David and I both
wondered what could be going on, but it didn't take long for us to find out.
It was on a Sunday afternoon
that Mom and Dad gathered us together in the living room to break the bad news
"Brad, David," Dad started,
"This is a good news -- bad news thing. Never in a million years did I
ever suspect that my job was in jeopardy. I suppose I should have seen it
coming with all the bad news coming out of the banking industry and the
subprime crisis and the outright bank failures, but I always assumed that as
the division head for the Central Midwest region, my job was secure. Man was I wrong.
"With what's going on right now,
there's a major push to shore up the entire banking industry throughout the
world, and to find scapegoats to blame for the current crisis. The U.S.
government, and the British and several others for that matter, have pumped
hundreds of billions of dollars into the banks to shore them up and make them
stable, but in return, they expect the banks to `punish' those who were
`responsible' for the crises as best they can, even if they have to invent
"The banking industry is also
consolidating, and eliminating a lot of middle management positions, helping to
cut costs to make up for the trillions of dollars they wasted in the subprime
mortgage fiasco. The bottom line is . . . I'm one of the casualties. . . ."
"Oh Dad . . ." David said as he
ran over to our father and threw his arms around him and hugged him tightly.
"They offered me a much lower
position in lieu of being laid off, at a much lower salary, if we moved to Atlanta. Obviously, I
turned their `generous' offer down. For one thing, what they were offering
wasn't enough to make up for the loss of your mother's income after factoring
in the cost of living in a more expensive city, and secondly, if you didn't
want to move to Carmel, I figured you'd go absolutely ballistic if we pulled up
stakes and moved to Atlanta."
"You got that right," I chimed
"Anyway," Dad continued, "the
good news is the contract we wrote on the house in Carmel is automatically void
if we can't get a mortgage, which we certainly can't under the circumstances.
In addition, the sellers have very generously agreed to refund our deposit,
which they didn't have to do under the circumstances. Twenty percent of $650k
is $130k, which is no small sum. Our realtor has agreed to wave her commission
under the circumstances, which is $19,500, and she's going to try to get the
seller's realtor to do the same, but if we have to pay it, it's a small sum
compared to what we could have lost.
"If we'd already bought and
moved into that house, we'd be up shit creek without a paddle." Man, I'd never heard Dad swear before.
"The bottom line is that we
should be grateful for what we do have. We have a roof over our heads that's paid for. Mom's a tenured teacher
with seniority, and for a teacher, she makes pretty good money. We can live off
her salary for quite a while if we have to . . . it'll put food on the table
and pay the bills, indefinitely. We're better off than a lot of people.
"I'll be able to find another
job, but it won't pay nearly as much as what I was making, and it'll probably
take a while to find something decent. We may need to tighten our belts a
little, but we won't be eating mac and cheese. The only reason I need to work
at all is to be sure we put away enough money to send you boys to the best
schools for college, and to make sure you guys don't have to support us in our
old age. Otherwise, we're in great shape. The last thing we need is to live in
some McMansion and send our kids to a snobby high school, especially since you
boys seem to be happy right where we are."
Way to go, Dad!
Things did settle down to normal
after that. It took Dad a while, but he found a job he actually enjoyed a lot
more than he ever enjoyed his old job. It wasn't in banking, but was in
fundraising for the nonprofit sector. He was good at it, and he was able to put
a lot of the contacts he'd built up over the years to good use in raising money
for worthy causes.
When we had thought we might be
moving, David held back on his decision as to whether or not to run for
reelection as Class President. Once the decision on moving was reversed,
however, he ran with gusto. David was very popular and, even in my middle
school, I'd heard about all the things he was doing to make life better for
students at the high school. When it had appeared he might not run, a bunch of
others signed up to run, but when it became clear he would run after all, everyone else withdrew. When he told me about
it, I laughed. I was really happy for him. For the first time in the school's history,
the Junior Class President was elected by acclamation.
It was on a day around the time
of the class election that I happened to be home alone, when the phone rang. I
answered the phone.
The person on the other end
said, "Hello, David?"
I was just about to answer that
David was over at Jeremy's, when the other person went barreling ahead without
even giving me the chance to correct him.
"David, it's Henry. Listen, I'm
sorry we haven't had much time to talk since we all met at Jeremy's house," he
said all excitedly, talking a mile a minute, "but I've been real busy and all,
and I just wanted to give you some big news. I've been in e-mail contact with
Jeremy, at least until a few weeks ago when things got crazy busy for me,
anyway, but I know about you guys buying that huge house off 106th and all. So I guess you'll be going to Carmel High next year, huh?"
I tried to break in again to say
I wasn't David and that we wouldn't be
moving, but Henry was just too fast for me.
"So what I wanted to tell you is
that when I heard about you guys buying that house, I started up a write-in
campaign for Junior Class President. For you, man. I figured if you were
popular enough to be Class President in your high school and with all the
publicity you've had and since our Class President has shit for brains, you might actually be able to beat her in
the election. So I've been going around and talking to all the sophomores at
Carmel and telling them that you're going to be going here next year and, dude,
"A lot of the kids already know
of you and they really think you're cool. They've heard about all the great
things you've done down there and a lot of them saw you on TV last year and a
lot of them think you'd make a great Class President here. So a lot of the kids
I talked to went out and talked to their friends and they talked to their friends
and so on.
"So guess what? You won! You're
gonna be the Junior Class President at Carmel High next year. Isn't that
Holy crap. How was my brother
going to be the Junior Class President at two high schools?
And then I did the only thing I
could do. I laughed hysterically into the phone.
The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope in editing and Trab in proofreading my stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Codey's World for hosting them.