Not Always Easy

By Kit

This story is about how a gay teen male and some of his friends experience different types of friendship and different sorts of love. Some of those experiences involve sexual activity between males - if this is likely to offend you, or is illegal where you live then do not read this story. This story is completely fictional and any resemblances to real people are purely coincidental.
This is the first story  I've ever written so comments, especially nice ones, and constructive criticisms are always welcome. Thanks to Galacticflute (authors of Will & Tyler) and to D.Z. (author of the David & Tristan stories) for their encouragement and advice. I highly recommend their stories.

The story is copyright of the author and may not be distributed or placed on any web sites without written permission from the author.

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I will respond to all comments, except flames.


For the first 17 years of my life everything was simple and easy. My Parents were caring, sensible and supportive and though they were not rich, we always everything we needed and lots of things we didn't really need at all. At school I got good grades without working too hard and I got on well with most of my classmates. Even my adolescent acne hadn't been at all traumatic - it had come and gone in a flurry of spots for a few months when I was 14.

By the time I was 16 I was pretty sure, but not certain, I was gay and though that gave me a few worries about the future, and I was firmly in the closet, it wasn't really a big deal. For me it was just something I'd eventually have to deal with, like A-level exams and getting into university. The best part of my life was that I had several good friends and two people in particular were very special for me: a best friend who was like a brother to me and my brother who was one of my best friends. Soon after my 17th birthday I came to realise how important friendships can be, how easy it can be to neglect a friendship, and that friendship is not always easy.

Chapter 1 - A Different Kind Of Friend

If I had to choose one word to describe my family, that word would have to be 'reasonable'. We were a reasonable family, and reasonable in more than one sense of the word. From a very early age my parents brought my brother and me up to avoid family dramas and arguments by discussing things reasonably. Of course we still had arguments and sometimes they got heated, especially when I argued with my brother John, who is two years younger than me. However, my parents insisted that in any family argument we should 'be reasonable', by which they meant we should sit down and listen to the other person's viewpoint and try to understand them before putting forward our own point of view. For the most part this worked - even when we still ended up disagreeing on priorities and logic, we usually understood one another better and managed to reach a compromise while defusing any angry emotions.

Unfortunately, this calm-and-reasonable approach seemed to extend to more positive emotions and our family did not seem to me to be as close or as warm as the families of some of my friends. We rarely hugged, seldom got too emotional, and our interactions were, for the most part, businesslike. This is not to say that we did not love one another; in fact we often showed our mutual love and care in lots of little ways, but we just did not say it out loud and rarely showed physical affection.

Picking one word to describe myself, Paul, I would have to choose 'medium'. Medium brown hair, medium hazel eyes, medium height, medium build, medium looks. Yes, that's me - Mr Average - medium, but hopefully not mediocre, in everything. I was born in a medium-sized hospital and lived in a medium-sized house, brought up in a medium sized town, and attended a medium sized Catholic school in England. At school my academic performance was good, but not spectacular and my sporting abilities were mediocre at best. I wasn't very interested in any sports, and the only physical activities I enjoyed at school were swimming and cross-country running. At the time when these events began to unfold I was 17 years old and in the Lower 6th form at school.

My best friend was Mike, a real hell-raiser and totally different from me, but despite that we had been best friends ever since we were 8 years old. He lived in the same street as I did, but never went to the same schools as he wasn't Catholic. Mike was not only different from me in many ways, but in some ways he was totally opposite to me; he was tall, dark-haired, handsome, full of mischief and adventure... and he had the most incredibly deep blue eyes. Why we became best friends and how we remained best friends was a mystery to me as there seemed little that I, 'Mr Average' could offer such a popular and fun-loving guy. Maybe it was because I was a point of stability for him; an area of calm in which he could find anchorage in his turbulent life. Maybe it was because I never judged him or told him he shouldn't have fun, and he knew that I and my whole family would be there for him when he needed us.

Between the ages of 10 and 12 Mike needed us a lot as his own family was going through a messy and vitriolic break-up. After arguing and fighting for years, his parents divorced when he was 12 and he, an only child, stayed with his mother in the family home when his father moved out. During the most unhappy periods in his family life he would spend much of his time at our house and often stayed overnight, sleeping in the spare bed in my bedroom.

Our house was a typical 1930s red-brick semi-detached, situated in a quiet tree-lined street about 15 minutes drive from the town centre. The house had a tiny front garden (mostly paved over) and medium sized rear garden, which was enclosed and private, and right in the middle was its best feature - a beautiful flowering cherry tree. Inside, the house was bright and decorated with light colours, while the furniture was smart but sparse - my parents hated 'clutter'. There was a large living room with a smaller separate dining room, which had a serving hatch connecting it to the kitchen.

We had three bedrooms - mine was slightly larger than my parents' room and much bigger than my brother's. Apart from space for the door, a wardrobe and a dresser, all around the lower half of the room were bookshelves containing mostly sci-fi and fantasy books. On one wall a sturdy shelf held my stereo system and TV and much of the remaining wall space was covered with posters showing the surface of Mars, as seen by the Viking probe. Toward the centre of the room were two twin beds, separated by a large bedside cabinet which was placed between the two headboards.

When my parents had friends or family visiting the visitors would get John's room and he'd share mine, using the spare bed. Apart from being the 'moveable' brother, John was expected to keep his bedroom tidier and in better condition than mine, just in case we had visitors. Most of the time he never did, and it was fortunate for him that my parents had a very strict privacy rule - they would never enter our bedrooms (and we never entered theirs) without knocking and they never entered without permission.

Part of our 'reasonable' family life was based on trust - our parents trusted us to do the right thing, and unless we betrayed that trust they assumed we could be relied upon. We were expected to keep our own rooms clean and change our own bed-linen, so even when we were not in our rooms, our parents would not go in unless they had told us in advance that they were going to do so. My brother and I trusted them to keep to that privacy rule and as far as we knew they never broke it. Maybe that system of trust wouldn't work in other families. Maybe John and I were trusted because we were unusually reliable, or maybe we were reliable because we were trusted. Whatever the case, the system worked for us and we never deliberately betrayed their trust.

Of course neither John nor I were angels; we told lies, played pranks, got into trouble, and committed all the usual minor infractions of childhood, but when our parents put something to us as a matter of trust we did our very best not to disappoint them. We shared a common view that promises should never be forced, but once a promise was made voluntarily then it should never be deliberately broken. Mike, despite all his wild ways outside our house, seemed to embrace this family view enthusiastically when he was with us and he and I knew that we would never betray one another's trust no matter where we were.

Even from an early age, when I was beginning to wonder about my own sexuality, it was clear to me that Mike, my dearest, closest best-friend was completely and irrevocably heterosexual. There was no macho posing, no bragging about conquests, just the obvious fact that he was totally comfortable with his heterosexuality. Whatever he might say or do when he was away from me and with his rougher friends, in my presence he never made any derogatory remarks about any minority, whether it be sexual, ethnic or religious. Mike certainly wasn't a goody-goody: He sometimes bunked off school; he got drunk and smoked cigarettes when he was just 14; he often swore, but never in front of my parents. Once he was arrested by the police for painting graffiti on a factory wall. Actually, I thought it was very artistic, but maybe I was biased.

No matter what he did outside, he was always well-behaved in our house and all the family liked, respected and trusted him. Indeed, ever since I could remember I loved him, though never in a sexual way. Perhaps it sounds silly, but he was too close to me to evoke any sexual desire, though a couple of times as kids we played 'doctors' and during puberty we occasionally wanked together. Maybe it seems disloyal to my family, but I considered him to be closer to me than anyone in my family.

There was one secret I kept from Mike as well as from my family - my sexuality. One excuse I gave to myself for not saying anything was that I still wasn't sure. However, that excuse seemed a bit lame when I considered that for over 4 years I'd been masturbating at leasr twice per day and every single masturbation fantasy involved other males - never, ever females. Another excuse was that it should make no difference to them whether I was gay or not. Also, as I did not particularly like the idea of being gay, I still hoped my attraction exclusively to other males was a passing phase. So if it was a phase, I thought, there was no point in making a fuss over something that may not last.

Apart from concerns about my sexuality, the first 17 years of my life were relatively simple and pleasant, and there were no great emotional dramas. For my 17th birthday, on Oct 4th, my parents bought me a course of driving lessons, and that was just about the most exciting thing that had happened to me up until that time Then, shortly after my 17th birthday, things began to get more complicated.


For a couple of years I had seen small announcements about a local Gay and Lesbian Youth Group in the local newspaper, but never really thought seriously about going. After all, I wasn't sure I was gay. Then, with my birthday and the driving lessons, I must have become more adventurous, because I decided to go along to the next GLYG meeting, just to see what went on and maybe decide for sure if I was gay or not. Well, strange as it may seem, that was the way my mind was working at that time.

The weekly meetings were on Wednesday evenings in the local Technical College, and I hung around outside the building for almost an hour, walking round and round the block, before working up the courage to go inside. Once inside the building I quickly found the correct room, which was just as well because if there had been any problems at all I would have scampered quickly back home. I sidled into the large wood-panelled room and made myself as small as possible in the nearest corner.

Glancing round the room I saw that in the central area there were 20-30 people, mostly male and ranging in age from about 15 to 20. Over at the far side of the room, sitting together, near a small table with drinks, were two men and two women, all four of whom appeared to be in their middle thirties. I had never met anyone I knew for sure was gay, so being in the same room as all these presumably gay people was an exciting and in some ways liberating experience and I no longer felt quite so isolated.

As I settled discreetly into my corner, the first part of the meeting - announcements, discussion of plans for future events, etc. - was just drawing to a close and the 'socialising' part of the meeting was just starting. I just stayed where I was and tried not to look too much like an 'outsider'. Looking around most of the people in the room looked like typical sort of youngsters who could have been seen at random on any street in town, and only a couple of the young men seemed to be behaving in a way that was obviously gay or 'camp'.

The first person to come over and talk to me was a slim Chinese guy who was wearing black loose trousers and a grey shirt over a mustard T-shirt. He introduced himself as Ben, and I found out from him that, at 20, he was one of the oldest people in the GLYG, apart from the two men and two women who organised and 'chaperoned' the meetings. Ben informed that when referring to the GLYG, everyone just used the initials and pronounced it as 'Glig'. He was friendly, charming, comfortable with his sexuality, and the first openly gay person that I'd ever conversed with. Besides all that he was both attractive and (at least in my eyes) exotic, being a Chinese Malaysian studying computing at the Technical College. Having asked what I wanted to drink, he brought me an orange juice from the little beverages table.

Something about Ben immediately switched on the lust centres of my brain. I was immensely flattered that he should be talking to me at all, and even more flattered when he suggested meeting for a coffee sometime. I couldn't bring myself to tell him that I didn't much like coffee, so I agreed and we exchanged phone numbers. That night I couldn't sleep with all the excited thoughts buzzing through my brain. My first meeting with a group of openly gay people and one of the most attractive guys in the room came over and talked to me! And asked me to meet him again! Was this going to be my first-ever date?


One evening a few days later Ben phoned me and we arranged to meet for coffee - and I had such a great time chatting to Ben that I even enjoyed the coffee. He fascinated me by talking about Malaysia, his Chinese heritage, his family, and he even made the mysteries of computers seem interesting. During my mid-term holiday which was a couple of days after our coffee meeting, he took me to a Chinese restaurant and introduced me to 'real' Chinese food for the first time. When he taught me how to use chopsticks properly, I marvelled at his long slim fingers, which perfectly matched his cute slim face and body. After the meal he invited me back to his apartment for coffee, and I agreed, telling him I had to be home by 11 pm.

His one-bedroom apartment was on the second floor of a small, newish block. Inside it was very neat and tidy, and was decorated with lots of oriental wall-hangings. We sat together on his large, comfortable sofa, listening to some South American music, with pan-pipes etc. and I found I really liked it so much that I decided to look for it when I was next buying CDs. Anyway, I really tried hard to relax, but my body just would obey me. This was the first time I had ever been alone with another gay person and I wondered if anything would happen. Did I want anything to happen? My brain froze and I lost all thoughts about the conversation we were having. Ben must have noticed my silence and my tension because he moved closer to me, and being a couple of inches taller than my 5'8" he easily put his arm over my shoulders.

"Tell me to stop if you want." He said and kissed the side of my neck. I did not say anything and for the next few minutes no other words were spoken.

Up until the time when Ben put his arm over my shoulders I had been perched on the edge of the sofa, but as Ben stroked my hair and kissed the side of my face, I felt my tense muscles suddenly go loose, and I collapsed backwards. Ben leaned over and kissed me on the lips, gently pushing his tongue into my mouth. This was my first ever 'French kiss' from anyone and it totally blew me away - my heart thumped so hard it hurt and I even forgot to breath. When I regained some of my mental function I decided that as I was enjoying myself so far I would continue by doing to Ben what he was doing for me.

As Ben continued kissing he stroked my chest, then he hugged me tight and placed little kisses all over my face. When his hand drifted down to the crotch of my jeans I froze. He asked if I wanted to stop, and relaxing I shook my head 'No'. This was first time anyone had touched me there since my childhood games of 'doctor' with Mike, and as Ben touched my cock I felt that it was harder than it had ever been before. I reached over and traced the outline of his cock through his black trousers. However, as I did that, my feelings of delight rapidly turned to embarrassment as I shot a load of cum into my underpants.

To say I was mortified would be a gross understatement; I just wanted to curl up and die. Whatever would Ben think of me? I couldn't say a word and just stared at the floor. Ben knew immediately what had happened and he was extremely kind and understanding.

"Did you just cum?" he asked, smiling. I just nodded.

"Is this your first time with another guy?" he continued. I nodded again.

"Well, I'm very flattered that I had that effect on you! Do you want to go to the bathroom and clean up?" Ben asked.

Having been concentrating so much on the emotional embarrassment, I'd totally forgotten about the physical results of my orgasm and I was suddenly worried that going home with cum-soaked jeans would not be a good idea. So I nodded at Ben's welcome suggestion and speedily headed for the bathroom.

As I opened my jeans and peeled down my boxers I was very relieved to find that my semen had not quite soaked through to my jeans, though my boxers were rather a mess. Eventually I got myself cleaned up, taking longer than was really necessary as I was nervous about returning to Ben in the living room. When I did raise enough courage to face him, he was all smiles and understanding, but I wanted to leave quickly anyway, so I declined his offer of something to drink. He said that as it wasn't even 10pm yet, it was a pity to end the evening so soon, but when I insisted on leaving, he agreed to drive me home.

When Ben dropped me off outside my house he said he'd phone me soon, but I thought he was just being polite and didn't believe that such a cute guy would want to see me again after such a disastrous encounter. After all, it suddenly occurred to me, he hadn't had the chance to reach his own orgasm. I rushed into the house, shouted a quick 'Hi' to my parents, and fled to my bedroom, desperately hoping no-one would see me and somehow guess what I'd been up to.

I sat on my bed, and as my emotions calmed down a little, I remembered that my mobile phone had been switched off while was with Ben. So I fished my mobile phone out of my pocket and switched it on. There was a text message from Mike, saying he'd tried calling earlier. This was not a surprise as we phoned one another most nights when we did not actually meet. We usually didn't need any specific reason to call, and just enjoyed the contact.

As I considered when would be the best time to return Mike's call, the phone rang - even before I answered, I knew it was Mike. No, I'm not psychic, but my phone recognises incoming calls that are from numbers in it's directory, and had displayed his name and number before I answered.

"Hey, you," I said.

"Hey, you too," Mike responded. This was one of our 'trademark' greetings. Not very original, but I found it very comforting, especially after such a stressful night. "So, where have you been tonight?" he continued.

"Oh, went for a meal with some guys from school." I hated lying to him, and tried to stick as close to the truth as possible, but I could hardly tell him that I'd been on a date with a gay guy and that I'd had my first ever 'sexual' kiss. On the other hand, I certainly wasn't going to lie and say I'd had a date with a girl.

If I had been with a girl I would have told him about the kiss and may even have admitted to cumming in my pants, though I definitely wouldn't have mentioned that last bit over the phone. Anyway, we discussed the restaurant, the food, and other general stuff. After we said goodnight and hung up, as usual I felt much more relaxed and happy with life, and it occurred to me that if this calming and soothing effect Mike produced could be bottled and sold, then he'd make a fortune.


When Ben did phone me two days later, I was pleasantly surprised. He suggested we meet in the town centre the following Sunday afternoon and maybe go back to his apartment, which was on the opposite side of town. Now I might have been inexperienced, but I wasn't a complete idiot - as he mentioned no other activity apart from going back to his place, it seemed quite likely to me that he wanted us to carry on from where we left off. The idea of expanding my sexual experience appealed to me, and in any case I did feel a little guilty not only for cumming so quickly but also for leaving him before he had cum at all. Anyway, to try to avoid a repeat of my last performance, I made sure to have a wank during the shower I took before setting off to meet him.

We met in the car park behind the cafe where we had our first 'date'. The dark blue jeans and pale blue top which Ben was wearing really accentuated his beautiful dark-gold skin and shiny black hair. When he asked if we should go straight back to his place I quickly agreed, hoping that I didn't sound too eager or too nervous. Once we arrived at his apartment he put on the same music and things started off as before, only this time I didn't cum when he touched my cock through my jeans.

While we were kissing and stroking one another's bodies, he kept boosting my ego by saying that I was really cute and that I was so good at kissing he couldn't believe this was only my second time. By the time he suggested that we take off our clothes I was more than ready to agree and I don't think I've ever got undressed so quickly. Compared to his golden skin I looked pasty white, but after all, it was almost winter and we were in England. Ben was the only other person apart from Mike I had seen nude and with an erection. Like me, Ben was totally smooth apart from head, armpits and pubes, but whereas his pubic hair was a large, thick black bush, my own small bush was relatively sparse and medium brown. His cock, like mine, was uncut and was about the same length as mine (6.5 inches) but his was noticeably thinner.

Ben gently pushed me back on the sofa, and lay on top of me, kissing me and rubbing our cocks together. I wasn't sure which would explode first, my cock or my rapidly thumping heart. Then placing his knees on either side of my thighs, he sat up, looked into my eyes, and started wanking me, pulling the foreskin backwards and forwards. I reached up and started rubbing his cock in the same way. Apart from the pre-pubertal games of 'doctor' with Mike, that was the first time I had ever touched another person's erect dick. Within just a few seconds I squirted my cum everywhere - on his chest and his knees, as well as on my face, on my chest, and on my belly.

Yet another first for me - my first orgasm produced by another person. The intense and prolonged pleasure was such that I stopped wanking Ben and could merely give his cock an occasional gentle squeeze. When I returned to my senses I noticed that Ben was smiling gently and was using his left hand to rub my cum into my chest and stomach while his right hand retained his grip on my wilting cock. Seeing my return to full consciousness he said "Let's get more comfortable" and got up off the sofa. He went over to a cabinet, got some paper tissues and cleaned us both off. Only then did I realise that my thighs were aching where he had been sitting on them.

We sat side by side on the sofa, Ben on my right, touching bodies from shoulder to ankle. Then I reached over and began to wank him, first slowly, then following his instructions, I speeded up. After less than five minutes he too shot his load all over his chest and stomach, and I gently cleaned him and my hand with the tissues he'd left on the arm of the sofa. We lay down next to one another and continued kissing and cuddling until my cock, which had never totally softened, began to grow hard again.

When Ben felt my stiff cock prodding round his pubes, he moved down, pulled back my foreskin and started licking my cock. When he then put my cock in his mouth and started sucking, I went rigid with pleasure - my first ever blow-job! Had I not already cum less than 15 minutes earlier, I'm sure I would have cum within seconds of him putting my cock in his mouth. As it was, the delicious feelings made my toes curl. I told Ben that I wanted to do the same to him, so he moved round to a 69 position with me lying on my back and him kneeling over me. At that point time became meaningless for me, so I've no idea how long it was before I came again and Ben swallowed it all. This time the pleasure was such that it was almost painful, possibly because it was only a few minutes since my last orgasm and this was my third orgasm in 3 hours .

While I was basking in the post-orgasmic glow, Ben got up and gave me a deep kiss. I tasted my cum in his mouth and at first I felt a little queasy - I'd never tasted cum before, not even my own. Perhaps sensing my reaction, Ben moved and sat at the end of the sofa.

"Wow!! Thanks, Ben. That was the greatest feeling I've ever had!" I said when I had recovered.

"You're welcome. How would you feel about sucking me off now?"

"I'd love to. How do you want me to do it?"

"Why not come over here, kneel between my legs and see what you can do."

Needing no further invitation, I eagerly did as he suggested, but before putting his cock in my mouth I spent some time revelling in the close-up sight, smell and touch of his cock, exploring it in every detail with my hand and tongue. This was my first ever chance to see another guy's cock so close, and at that moment in time, his cock was the most fascinating and exciting thing in my universe. After a time, I could sense he was getting a bit impatient, so I used my lips to push back his foreskin and began bobbing my mouth up and down on his marvellous organ.

He began instructing me on using my tongue to rub on the most sensitive bits, then told me to do it faster and harder. It wasn't long before he came, and as he had swallowed all mine, I thought it only fair to swallow all his, despite my initial reservations. As it happened it tasted alright, and somehow swallowing his cum didn't seem as bad as tasting my own.

"That was really great - it's hard to believe you've not done it before," Ben said when I'd finished licking all the cum from his cock.

Then he leaned over, raised me up off my knees, and started kissing me. We kissed and cuddled till I noticed the time, and told him I had to be getting home for my family evening meal. As we dressed we kept touching one another and exchanging kisses, which made me feel a wonderful deep emotional 'warmth'. Then Ben gave me a ride back into town, promising to call me again soon.

When I got home I dashed straight to the bathroom to brush my teeth as I didn't want anyone to smell cum on my breath. Popping back down to the kitchen, I found that it was going to be at least another half hour till food was ready, so I decided to take a quick shower, just in case there was any smell of sex on my body. I felt happy and elated, but also a bit sad that I couldn't talk about it with Mike, my best friend and the person I shared everything else with.

Ben called me the following week, and we arranged to meet again the next Sunday afternoon. When I suggested maybe going for a movie or a meal he said he was busy with a programming project and wasn't sure if he'd have time. I was a little disappointed that we wouldn't have much time to socialise, because I was hoping that Ben would become much closer than just a friend with whom I had sex. However, just listening to Ben's voice over the phone gave me a hard-on, so the prospect of meeting up for some physical interaction was very attractive.

We met in the same car park as the previous Sunday and he immediately drove us back to his place. As soon as we got through the door of his apartment he put on the music - yes, the same South American music! Then he took me by the hand, led me to the sofa and started kissing me. I was so horny that I responded enthusiastically. Still standing, we began to undress one another, and this time, as soon as we were naked he led me to his bedroom. Lying on the bed we kissed, hugged, and ground our cocks together, and I was so turned on by all this that I felt I was floating as high as a kite. He began to lick all over my face and neck as we fondled one another's cocks. Then he began to lick my nipples, before licking his way all the way down to my cock.

Ben ran his tongue up and down my cock, then drove me wild by putting it inside my foreskin and licking round and round between my cock-head and foreskin. Just before I thought I would cum, he stopped doing that and began licking my balls, which tickled so much that I couldn't keep still. When he licked lower and started licking round my anal opening I was at first very shocked, but then it felt so nice that I decided not to complain. Then Ben turned his attentions back to my cock and my mind was lost in pleasure when he began pumping my cock with his mouth. In fact I was so lost in pleasure that at first I didn't realise he was slipping his finger into my bum hole.

He must have lubed his finger with saliva because it went in easily. However, nothing had ever gone up there before, not even my own finger, so the feeling was strange and not exactly pleasant. Just as I was about to complain, his finger started to feel good inside, so I just lay there and began to enjoy it. When he moved his finger inside me he occasionally hit some magic spot, which I later guessed to be my prostate, and the feeling was so overpowering that I wasn't sure if it was pleasure or pain. Suddenly, before even I expected it, I had an intense orgasm and pumped cum into Ben's mouth.

As soon as I finished spurting, Ben moved up and started kissing me. This time I was not so put off by the taste of my own semen and happily returned his kiss. He lay on top of me, kissing and rubbing his cock just under my balls. His dick must have been leaking lots of pre-cum as it slid very easily below my balls and between my thighs. After my orgasm I was so relaxed and enjoying Ben's attentions that at first I wasn't giving much thought to how he might want to reach his own orgasm. When I felt Ben's hand push my thighs apart and then felt his finger on my hole, I began to suspect what he might have in mind.

"What are you doing?" I asked, beginning to get worried.

"Just though you might need some loosening up."

"Loosening up?" I squeaked. As soon as I said it, I realised how stupid I sounded.

"You enjoyed my finger up there didn't you?"

"Yeah..." I said hesitantly.

"Well, I thought you 'd like to try something else up there."

From relaxed lethargy my mind switched into panic mode - really, I didn't want 'something else up there', but how to say it without hurting Ben's feelings or alienating him? Apart from anything else, I was sure 'something else up there' would hurt, and even if it didn't, I was still getting used to the idea of a finger and I certainly wasn't ready for 'something else'. This was my first sexual relationship and Ben was clearly experienced, maybe 'something else up there' was the usual and expected thing to do, so if I refused then would he think I was weird?

While these thoughts spun in my head, I was quiet, and Ben must have taken my silence as an agreement to go ahead, so he began pushing a finger inside me.

"Stop! Please, stop!" I shouted, in a panic and probably far too loudly.

"What's the matter?"

"Nothings ever been up there before your finger today."

"It won't hurt - I promise to be very slow and gentle."

"No, I'm really not ready for that." I said, more forcefully than I intended.

Ben just froze and tensed up, as if he were considering what to do or say. I felt terrible, as if I'd just spoiled this wonderful afternoon we were having together. He relaxed, rolled off me and lay beside me. He was silent and there was nothing I could think of to say. Then, hoping that I hadn't disappointed him too much I said:
"Would you like me to suck you off?"

"OK, if you want." he replied, and my heart sank as I heard the lack of enthusiasm in his voice.

I moved between his legs and gave him the very best blow-job I could. Thinking about all the instructions he'd given me during our last meeting, I tried my hardest to give him as much pleasure as possible and it wasn't long before he came in my mouth and I swallowed every drop.

As I moved up to kiss him he looked over at his bedside clock and said: "Damn, I just remembered that I promised to meet the guy who's doing the project with me!" While he was still saying that he jumped out of bed. Of course I knew he was lying, but what could I say? I was very upset by the way he was reacting and my emotions were swinging violently between anger and sorrow.

Ben moved toward the bedroom door and said:
"We'd better hurry up and get dressed. I'll drive you into town."

"Can't we talk?" I asked as I got up off the bed.

"No time. Must dash. I'll call you later."

Those words were thrown over his shoulder as he walked into the living room to collect his clothes. Again, I knew he was lying and that he wouldn't call later, but I couldn't do anything but get dressed. No more words were spoken we dressed or as we drove back into town. As I got out of his car I said "Bye, then." and he mumbled some reply, but I couldn't tell what he said.

As I travelled home on the bus, I tried to analyse what had gone wrong. Was it my fault? Should I have been more tactful? Should I even have let him do what he wanted? No! As I thought more, it seemed that Ben had just been using me for sex and that once I refused I was no longer of interest to him. Even if I hadn't refused he would probably have lost interest once he'd got what he wanted. Still, at least my sexual experience with Ben had made me pretty certain that I really was gay. However, as the idea of being gay wasn't too attractive to me just then, that certainty didn't make me feel any better.

When I returned home I went straight to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and gargled with mouthwash. As I knew there was plenty of time before our family meal, I had a long slow shower. This time not just to remove any smell of sex but because for some reason I felt really, really, dirty.


That evening Mike phoned, and I can't express in words how glad I was to hear his voice. As we talked it seemed I was clinging on to his every word and he must have guessed something was not right with me.

"What's the matter, pal?" he asked.

"Oh, I'm just feeling a bit down. It's nothing much."

"C'mon Paul, I know you - it must be something to make you sound like that."

"Really, it's nothing important."

"Whatever it is, you can tell me. You know that."

"Well it's not something I can talk about on the phone." This was true, but the main reason I said it was to buy myself some time to think.

"OK, well I'll come on over and we can talk in person."

"Nah, better not - it's getting late and it's school tomorrow."

"Look, I can tell something's wrong and I'm not going to leave you like that. I'll fetch over my stuff, stay the night, and go straight to school from your place in the morning. See you in about ten minutes." He hung up before I had chance to reply.

Finding mum in the living room, I told her that Mike was coming over for the night. There was no need to actually ask permission because ever since Mike was 10 he had a standing invitation to stay whenever he wanted. Mum nodded and raised an eyebrow, but didn't ask why he was coming over that particular night. With the family privacy-and-trust agreement she knew that we would tell her if it was important to do so.

Less than 15 minutes after our phone conversation, Mike arrived with his overnight bag and as soon as he'd greeted my parents, I took him upstairs. Before going into my bedroom, he knocked on John's door just to say 'Hi'. Mike's like that - friendly and always making sure that none of his friends feel 'excluded'. Despite the fact that I had no idea what I was going to say to Mike, I was very happy to see him. We entered my room, I sat on my bed and Mike sat down on the other bed, facing me.

"Well, young Paul, tell me everything." He often called me 'young Paul' when he wanted to wind me up, because when we were little kids I once made a big thing about me being 6 months older than him.

"Everything? Thought you were staying a night, not a century." My pathetic attempt at a joke was just stalling for time, and Mike knew it.

"OK, not everything. Just why you seem unhappy."

"Unhappy? Monday tomorrow and back to school - that's enough to make anyone unhappy!" Mike could tell I was squirming.

"Doesn't seem like just 'Sunday evening blues' to me, but if you don't feel like talking now, then maybe later. I'm here for you, OK?" With that, he let me off the hook, at least temporarily.

The conversation went on to other topics, school, plans for Christmas, which was just over 5 weeks away, and eventually got to mentioning Sue. Mike had been interested in Sue, a girl in his school, for several months and had gradually worked his way into her circle of friends. He'd found out she didn't have a boyfriend at the moment but he had not yet got around to asking her out on a date. Mike said he wanted to take things slowly and I told him that any girl who turned him down should be certified as totally insane. He responded by giving me one of his big beaming grins, which always make my life brighter.

Shortly after that we ended up watching TV and sitting next to one another on my bed, our backs propped oh the headboard. Without taking his eyes off the screen, Mike said:
"I'm glad I came over - you seem much happier now than you sounded on the phone."

"I'm glad too, and I feel much better. I really appreciate it."

"And you know you can talk to me about anything, right? I'm not pressuring you and you don't need to say anything, but I just want to make sure you know I'm here to talk whenever you want. You and your family have always been here for me and I'll always be here for you."

There was quite a long pause while my mind began to churn, then I said:
"Suppose you don't like what I talk about?"

"We're best friends, aren't we? Nothing will change that"

"Yeah, but just suppose..." My voice trembled a little.

"Look, Paul, whatever it is, we'll always be best friends. And one reason for that is we don't judge and disapprove." His gaze moved from the TV screen to my face and he continued. "Remember when we were 15 - I got hold of the whisky and we both got pissed and had terrible hangovers?"

"How could I forget!" I grinned.

"You never told me I was wrong. you never blamed me for your hangover and never tried to make me feel bad about you being so sick. You never told anyone why you were so ill. You never accused me of being a bad influence."

"Why should I? You didn't steal it and nobody made me drink it. I wanted to try it - it was just an experiment that was quite nice at the time, but went too far."

"And left us feeling bloody awful." Paul laughed, then turned more serious and continued: "Lots of people would have blamed me. Not many people would have covered up for me when they were feeling as sick as you were."

I blushed but didn't say anything, and after a brief pause, Mike went on:
"Remember when we were 14 and I started smoking?"

"God yes, the stink!" I smiled, thankful he had given up.

"Yes, you kept having to 'deodorise' your room to hide the smell from your parents and the room ended up smelling like a perfume factory! All the time you covered up for me without criticising and without judging..."

"But I did point out the health risks..." I interrupted.

"Yeah, but having pointed them out, you didn't go on and on about it. You didn't tell me I was a stupid idiot.... When my mum found out I was smoking she went ballistic. She threatened to ground me for life. She told me I was totally stupid. She went on and on for days. She made me look at pictures of lung cancers - YUCK! - But nothing she said or did had any effect - I still carried on smoking in secret."

"OK, but you don't smoke now do you?"

"No... and ya know why I stopped? I never told anyone this, but it was something you said." Now it was Mike who blushed.

"What did I say?" I asked, trying to remember what it could be.

"Well, one day you said 'I wish you would give up'. But it wasn't so much what you said but the way you said it and the way you looked. You weren't annoyed or critical, or disapproving or anything like that. You just made a quiet statement, and I could see from your puppy-dog eyes that it was something you'd really like me to do. So I gave up smoking. Not because of threats from mum. Not because of health risks. Not because anyone disapproved. But just because giving up was something I could do to make you happier."

Mike looked embarrassed but didn't look away from my face. I couldn't think what to say and there was such a lump in my throat that I probably couldn't have said anything even if I knew what to say. We rarely showed any signs of physical affection, but the only appropriate thing I could think of doing was to put my arm round his shoulders and to squeeze a sort-of one-armed hug. When the lump in my throat subsided and I gained the ability to speak again, I said:
"Aaawww Mike, that was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. I can't believe how lucky I am to have you as my best friend."

"I thought I'd just been explaining that I was the lucky one!" Mike said, pretending to be exasperated. "Anyway, the important thing to remember is that any time you want to talk, I'm ready to listen."

"Thanks..." was all I could think of to say, while my mind churned with the question - should I tell him I'm gay?