Legal Notice:

The following contains descriptions of mild sexual acts between consenting underage boys. It is an original work of fiction and has no basis in reality.

Do not read this story if:

1) You're not 18 or over.
2) If it is illegal to read this type of material where you live.
3) If you don't want to read about gay/bisexual people in love or having sex.

The author retains copyright (2003) to this story.  Reproducing this story for distribution without the author's permission is a violation of that copyright.

Perry and Jesse:  The Incredibly Romantic (and slightly kinky) Adventures of Two Boys In Love   

Part I--First Encounters

Chapter 2 Hysterics

That night, as I lay in bed, Jesse was definitely on my mind.  As I thought about him, seeing him from every angle, giving me that awkward little smile, flashing those big baby blues in my direction, I actually felt myself starting to get hard.  I wasn’t totally surprised, since I had been getting a definite buzz from being around Jesse since the minute he walked into class.  But now, I started to imagine what it would be like to have him come over, maybe even spend the night.

The pool was being repaired so it was empty and full of bags of cement and stuff, but we could shoot hoops.  I hoped he loved that as much as I did...but what if he didn’t?  I wouldn’t force him to.  There was plenty to do inside as well.  We could play video games--I had the Gamecube, Xbox, and PS 2.  My dad always sent me tons of money for my birthday and Christmas and whatever,  so I had lots of games.  I could show him my book collection, mostly from the Sci-fi Bookclub, taking up almost a full wall of shelves in my room.  Or, we could do something else...

That’s when it really  struck me that I was starting to have weird thoughts about Jesse.  Suddenly, the whole sexual identity issue, something I had been able to brush off effortlessly in the past, was now rearing it’s ugly head, as if demanding that I make a choice.    Was I gay because of my feelings for Jesse?  I didn’t want to be, knowing all the problems it would cause.  I didn’t imagine my mom would take to kindly to it either, being a devout Catholic.   Still, it felt wrong to deny those feelings, even if I could.  I liked Jesse, what little I knew about him, and I found him stunningly attractive--so what?  It wasn’t like I was going to grab him and kiss him or anything--that would be gross!  Wouldn’t it?  It seemed like too much for a thirteen year old kid to be grappling with,  and I started feeling a little queasy in my stomach.  I shifted my focus to something more pleasant, a little fantasy kind of thing that sometimes helped me get where I wanted to go when I was alone in bed and feeling horny...

I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you about something most people would find a little strange...I had this weird thing about feet, a fetish--I guess some would call it.  I got sexually aroused by people’s feet!  Seeing a really cute boy (or girl) wearing some cool sneakers and white socks was enough to get me started.  But I’d become intrigued with wanting to see them take off their shoes, and after I’d seen them in their socks, I’d want to see them take those off too--at least, that’s how it went in my fantasies.  I told you it was weird...

Anyway, that night, I imagined Jesse coming over to my house to stay over.  I was trying to think of the best way to get him to take off his shoes!  My mom wasn’t one of those that insisted everyone shuck their shoes at the front door.  I hated that, having to shuffle all around someone else’s house in my sock feet, picking up dirt or lint, or getting my feet wet in the kitchen or having to carry my shoes to the back before we could go outside again or whatever.  So I wouldn’t want to do that to him either.  Maybe we’d go up to my room to play video games and I’d invite him to sit up on the bed with me, instead of on the floor.  Then I’d kick off my shoes and lie crossways on the bed  hoping Jesse would follow suit.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to have Jesse lying on my bed next to me!

After supper maybe we’d watch a DVD on our big HDTV in the den  and then it would be time to get ready for bed.  I usually slept in a pair of boxers and a T-shirt, but I had a pair of pajamas I could wear if there were guests in the house.  I wondered what Jesse would wear to bed...He was so shy, I bet he’d wear pajamas.   I’d get out the futon mattress from my closet and set it up next to the bed.  Then I would give him a choice of taking the bed or the futon.  He’d probably insist on the futon, but that would be cool because I’d get to look down at him sleeping,  so that I could clearly see his long, delicate lashes when he closed his eyes, his silky blonde hair  spread out on his pillow.  And later, when the house was completely quiet, I’d whisper for him to come into bed with me...just to talk, I’d tell him..but really to feel his warm body pressed against mine, our bare toes touching...

I felt the wetness in my boxers before I even realized what had happened.  Oh well, it wasn’t like this never happened before, although it was weird that I didn’t even realize it until it was over, almost like a wet dream except I wasn’t asleep.  I  got up and stuffed my soiled boxers down to the bottom of my hamper, below a pile of other clothes.  The maid would be coming tomorrow and she’d be doing the laundry.  I always wondered if she ever noticed those crusted spots on the fronts of some of my boxers...I put on a clean pair, and those troubling thoughts started to creep back into my drowsy head.  I had jacked off thinking about Jesse sleeping in bed with me.  That was definitely gay, right?  Again, I convinced myself that these were just harmless little fantasies, and I never intended to follow through with them--except maybe for the part about him taking off his shoes...hehehe.  Still, the last thought I could recall before drifting off into a peaceful sleep, was how warm and wonderful it would feel, snuggling up against Jesse in my bed.

The next day, every time I saw him, my heart started to pound and I felt my hands get clammy.  It was hard to look at him or have a normal conversation with out my voice getting jittery.   While he sat with our little group at lunch, he must have noticed that I mostly ignored him, not rudely, but just not going out of my way to initiate a conversation with him.  I also noticed that he didn’t chime in very much unless someone spoke to him.  Despite his perfect blonde looks, he seemed to almost melt into the background; in fact, sometimes it seemed to me like he was doing it on purpose.  

I still wanted to see where Jesse lived really badly, but I was disappointed to see him waiting by the busstop.  In fact, he got on the bus before my mom showed up.  He caught me looking at him as he boarded, and gave me a shy little wave.  Damn!  He was gone.  I felt like I was missing something by not being able to see him anymore today.

On Wednesday, we had basketball practice after school, and Morgan, our new captain, pushed us harder than the coach did.  The next evening, St. Boniface had it’s first basketball game of the season back at our school, with the challengers being from the next little town over.  It was outside under the lights, since we didn’t have a gymnasium.  But the weather was rarely a problem in Southern California, and it felt good to be out in the balmy night air with an occasional cool breeze wafting in from the not too distant ocean.  As hard as we played, Morgan always pushed us to play harder, and afterwards, we were truly spent.

Still, we won, mostly  thanks to Morgan  and to a kid named Eric Adams, the only black guy in our class and the only one taller than Morgan (by half an inch!).  I thought Morgan was the better player, but Eric was also very good, and used his height to full advantage, leaping straight up on strong legs and stuffing the basket whenever the opportunity arose (no mean feat for an eighth grader!).   And there was one other guy who stood out on the team, if I don’t mind saying so--me.   What I lacked in height, I made up for with speed and strategy.  I was especially strong  on defense, and was especially good at turnarounds.  

Morgan seemed destined to be a great athlete.  In addition to being the best basketball player at St. Boniface, he was also a great swimmer too, and I occasionally woke up early enough on Saturday mornings to ride my bike down to the ‘Y’ and see one of his meets.  I’d just sit there in the bleachers with a few other kids from our school, and enjoy seeing all those teenage boys and their bare feet.  And with all those teen boys dressed in their tight little Speedos, if I occasionally noticed a particularly attractive butt, or a larger than usual package, so what?  

Even though I was high from our win, my nighttime thoughts still turned to Jesse.  Once again, I started to think seriously about what I was, and how it fit in with the powerful feelings he stirred up in me.   He was consuming my thoughts, day and night, almost to the point that I couldn’t concentrate on my schoolwork.  I thought how much I would have loved to have him at the game, sitting in the bleachers, cheering for me.  I knew he’d root for me even if I fell on my ass.  I sensed there was some connection there, and even sensed that Jesse was trying to...avoid it, or something.  I made up my mind that night to at least give Jesse a call, and see if he might be a bit more talkative on the phone.   We had all recently received an updated phone tree list, so it wasn’t hard to get his number.

The next night, I did call him on my cellphone.  A woman answered, probably his mom.  It was around seven thirty.  She had a rough sounding voice, like someone who smoked way too many cigarettes.  She sounded rushed and I heard her call, “Jesse, dear!”  without even asking who I was.

I waited on the phone for what seemed like a long time.  I heard cartoons on the TV.  I could hear Jesse’s mom saying goodbye.  I heard the door close.  

“Hello?” came that slightly raspy, shy voice that I had come to adore so much.  There went my heart again, pounding away like a jackhammer.

I was lying on my bed, on top of the covers, feeling relaxed in an old pair of jeans and a T-shirt, my shoes, with the laces still tied, lying on the floor below.

“Hey...hi,” I stuttered a little.  “It’s Perry...from school...”

There was a giggle on the other end.  “I know who you are, you dork!” he said, and he sounded glad to hear my voice.  That alone started to make me feel light headed.

“I...just wanted to say hi,” I said awkwardly.

“You already said that,” Jesse replied, not giving me much help.

“Was that your mom who answered the phone?” I asked curiously.

“Yeah, she was just on her way out.”

”So it’s just you and your dad?” I asked slyly, fishing for info.

“Uh, no...just me.  It’s just me... and...uh... my mom.”

Somehow when he said that, I could sense that he was holding something back, even though it sounded to me like Jesse was trying to keep his voice very calm, even unemotional.

“Oh, yeah…” I said, caught by surprise.  “Me to,” I added quickly.  “I mostly just live with my dad’s all the way in fucking Manhattan!”

“Oh...that must be rough,” Jesse said sympathetically, but still with that lack of real emotion.

“It’s not that bad,” I said.  “He left a few years ago and I go out and spend a few weeks a year over there with him and his gal...”  I felt a little of that old resentment welling up inside as I thought about them, and regretted bringing the whole thing up.

“Oh…” Jesse said awkwardly, not sure how to reply.

I realized that I was giving him way too much personal information that he probably had no real interest in.  “Did you finish your math?” I asked, quickly changing the subject.

“Yeah, it was easy,” Jesse replied.

Easy for him, I thought.  Jesse was really bright academically, maybe even on par with nerdy Jeremiah Oatner, or Regina Harpetian, the top kids in our class.  Me, I was usually a ‘B’ and occasional ‘A minus’ kind of kid, although I always aced English.

“Great, you can give me all the answers,” I said.  There was a long pause on the other end as Jesse tried to determine if I was serious or not.  Then I laughed.  “Just kidding.  I’m done.  I’m just lying on my bed thinking...”  I almost said, ‘thinking about you,’ but quickly stopped myself.  That would have sounded way too weird.  We’d only known each other for a week now and I didn’t want to freak him out.  “Just thinking about the game last night,” I finished awkwardly.

“It sounded pretty exciting from the way Morgan described it at lunch,” Jesse said.  “There was something about a lot of turnarounds and great defense...”

I blushed, remembering that Morgan had talked about my modest contribution more than he had his own.  Morgan was great that way, always going out of his way to be kind to other people, never using his star jock status to take advantage of a situation.  I was flattered that Jesse had been paying attention.

“Wish I could’ve been there,” Jesse said, and it sounded like he meant it.

“There’s another game next week.  You should come.  We can even pick you up if you want,” I blathered, belatedly realizing that I was sounding way too overanxious--chill out, dude!

There was hesitation on the other end.  “I don’t know…  My mom doesn’t like me going out at night...”

My heart sank at that news.  “You mean you can never come out at night?” I asked with shocked surprise, undisguised in my suddenly squeaky teenage voice.

“Well, maybe sometimes, if I ask her ahead of time...We’ll see,” Jesse ended on a more optimistic note.

“Phew, that’s cool,” I said with obvious relief.  “I was hoping we could catch a flick or hang out at the  mall arcade sometime,” I explained.  “You know, that’s where you find the girls...”  I thought I’d throw that out and see what I got back.

“Yeah, girls,” Jesse repeated, giggling like a little kid.

“Anyway, I hope we can hang out sometime, away from school,” I said, barely able to disguise the desperation in my voice.

“That would be cool,” Jesse said, again sounding sincere but also like he was holding something back.  “Maybe if we plan something ahead of time, I can ask my mom about it.”

“I’m cool with that!”

There was another long pause, followed by a barely audible sigh.  “Okay then,” he said quietly,  “I guess I’ll see you in school tomorrow, huh?”

I realized that Jesse was choosing to end the conversation now, even though I felt like I could keep going for hours yet.

“Oh, yeah...sure,” I answered, trying not to sound too disappointed.  I was about to hang up when...

“And Perry...” came the soft, raspy voice on the other end, “it was really cool of you to call.  I’ll see ya on Monday, ‘kay?”

“Sure, tomorrow dude!” I said, feeling a little better now.

Within five minutes of hanging up, my boxers were wet again!  Maybe I needed to start stocking up.  At this rate, I’d go through two dozen pairs in a week!

Somehow, I was able to endure each day, sitting next to Jesse in every class, sitting with him at lunch, talking to him on the phone, but never being able to get...close to him.  Even on the phone, he always seemed a little guarded.  Sometimes his mom was there and sometimes my mom was around, so I could understand the frustration at the lack of privacy as much as any teenager.  But there were times when we seemed to be alone in each of our homes, and still he seemed to be holding something back.  And me?  I was guilty to, in the extreme!  I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him what I was beginning to feel with great certainty now--I had a crush on Jesse Taylor!

On Wednesday, Gene mentioned that the new Jackie Chan film was opening this Friday, and he was thinking of going.  Morgan said he’d have to pass because he had a really early meet on Saturday, but Tom readily agreed to meet him at the mall for the eight o’clock show.  I wanted to go, of course, but I hesitated in saying anything because I thought it might hurt Jesse’s feelings.

“Hey, can I come?”  I was shocked.  It was Jesse, asking the question!

“That would be great,” Gene acknowledged cheerfully.  Then all eyes were on me.

“Of course, I’ll be there,” I said, trying to sound cool and casual.  But my heart was pounding its ferocious drum beat again.  Going to the movies with Jesse--holy shit!  “Can I give you a ride?” I asked the boy of my dreams.

Jesse quickly withdrew emotionally one notch and shook his head.  “No, that’s okay, I’ll just meet you guys there--for the eight o’clock show.”

“You know where the Santa Corina Mall is?” Gene asked.

Jesse nodded, and the conversation turned into a critical retrospective of all of Jackie Chan’s recent movies.  My disappointment at Jesse brushing me off was lessened by my excitment about spending our first night away from school together--even if Gene and Tom were going to be there.  They were cool and we all enjoyed each other’s company.  It would be a great evening!

Thursday seemed to crawl by, and Jesse seemed to retreat back into his shell, quieter than ever.  I began to wonder if it was just me.  Maybe this whole thing I had going on in my head about Jesse, was nothing but a fantasy.  Sure, we had talked on the phone a few times, but he always seemed hesistant, always seemed like he was holding something back.  Now it occured to me that maybe it was simply the fact that he didn’t really like me, and he was just too polite to say so.  This line of thinking immediately gave me a stomachache, and when lunch time rolled around, I decided to just hang out in the school library, having pretty much lost my appetite.

It was a small school and had a small library, but being the only eighth grader in there at the moment, I pretty much had my pick of where I wanted to sit, so I just chose a quiet corner away from the sixth and seventh graders who shared our lunch period, and got a headstart on my homework.

It was about fifteen minutes into the period, and I had gotten very little work done.  By now, I had completely convinced myself that Jesse didn’t like me.  Every few minutes, I actually had to fight back the tears that threatened to well up in my eyes.  I knew it was crazy to be having such outrageous thoughts with no proof to back them up, but the desperate feelings of disappointment, frustration, and humiliation, seemed very real at the time.   I was just getting ready to head for the bathroom, afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to fight back the tears the next time the urge came over me, when someone sat down at the small round table where I had sequestered myself.

“So here you are,” said a quiet, raspy voice that sent shivers down my spine.

At first, I didn’t dare look up, thinking that it might be my mind playing tricks on me, or it might not be who I thought it was.

“Hey, are you all right, dude?” the voice asked with genuine concern.

Finally, I couldn’t resist.  I had to look up, and felt myself tremble when I saw Jesse sitting across from me with a questioning look, his crystal blue eyes filled with concern.

Suddenly, the tears started pouring out!   I panicked, not wanting Jesse of all people to see me crying like a baby!  I quickly got up and headed out towards the bathroom, not even daring to look back for one second.   Being a typical Southern California school, all the rooms opened to the outside, with an overhanging eave creating the effect of a corridor with one wall missing.   I ducked my head, hoping no one would see my tear streaked face as I nearly ran towards the boy’s bathroom.  I shoved the swinging door open and went inside.  There were a couple guys standing at the urinals with their backs to me, and I quickly dashed into one of the stalls.

Much to my embarrassment, the unstoppable stream of tears was accompanied by the unmistakable sounds of sobbing.  I quickly flushed the toilet in an attempt to mask the sound.  I took the opportunity to really let go, blubbering uncontrollably, covering my mouth to muffle the noise as best I could.  By the time the toilet had finished flushing,  the tears had slowed down a bit but the sobs kept coming from way deep down in my gut.  I couldn’t remember ever crying like this before, even when I first found out what my dad was doing behind my mom’s back, and even when we left my home, school, and friends back in La Jolla.  I did my best to hold my breath, listening anxiously as I heard the two kids slowly make their way back outside.  When I was sure I was alone again, I let the sobs come unhindered.  Jesse hated me!  I had been pestering and annoying him all this time, believing that we could be best friends, even fantasizing about having a deeper relationship with him, and all this time, I had been making a fool of myself!  What an idiot I was!  What a completely dumb fucking idiot!

I  forced myself to hold my breath again when I suddenly saw a pair of feet standing right next to the outside of the stall.  I recognized those brown Vans sneakers with the big, floppy bows...The waterworks began again, accompanied by the requisite gasps and sobs.  I jammed my face into my arm, trying to stifle the noises, but it wasn’t very effective.

“Perry, what’s the matter?  Are you sick?” Jesse asked with great concern.  “Do you want me to get a teacher?”

How could I explain to him why I was blubbering like a baby?  I mean, he didn’t even care about me, so how foolish would I sound, trying to explain how badly I wanted to be his friend, how much I cared for him, how desperately I wanted to be with him?

“Perry, talk to me, or I’m getting a teacher!” Jesse threatened, the tone of his voice becoming more intense.

I had to admit, he sounded genuinely concerned.  But that was just because I must have sounded like I was having a complete breakdown.  It would have freaked anyone out to hear the way I was carrying on.

“Perry, say something or I’m...”

I opened the stall and gestured curtly for him to join me.  He seemed shocked at first, probably because of all the tears and snot covering my face, but he quickly came in.  I forcefully slammed  the door shut behind him, and plopped down on the toilet seat cover, burying my face in my hands.  He just stood there in front of me, probably not knowing what to make of all this.

“Are you sick?” he asked again, only this time I could tell that he didn’t really believe that.

I shook my bowed head dismally.

“Please tell me what’s wrong...I thought we were friends...”

That sent a shudder down my spine.  I didn’t know how to take his statement because I had myself so confused and distraught.

“I’m such a stupid, dumb, fuckin’ moron!” I spat out each word, not bothering to take my head out of my hands.  I had finally managed to quell the sobs, but I was embarrassed to look Jesse in the eye.  If I saw his beautiful, angelic face staring at me, I would go to pieces again.  Instead, I waited for the expected platitudes:  ‘Whatever it is, things will be okay,’ or, ‘Let’s go to the office and call your mom,’ or, ‘Do you want me to get one of you’re real friends?’

Instead, he said one simple word:  “No.”

That was unexpected enough to compel me to look up, if only for a moment.  He was staring at me, and he was beautiful, his shiny blonde hair neatly combed, his blue eyes seeming to sparkle with a light that had no external source in this grungy bathroom, and I trembled.  I lowered my head again, staring at my feet on the tiled floor.

“What...?” I asked, comfused by his response.

“No, you’re not a stupid, dumb, fuckin’ moron,” he said in a quiet voice that quivered ever so slightly.

I looked up at him, wiping the residual tears from my eyes so I could see the expression on his face.  It was intense.  It was honest.  It was full of authentic concern.

I started to shake my head in disagreement with his statement, but suddenly, he reached out a hand and touched my moist cheek.  I felt a tingle that had nothing to do with static electricity.  Even though he was touching me with only two fingers in the lightest way possible, it made me shudder.  I would have sworn that there was some transference that was taking place.  This was not just physical contact.  It was a tender and powerfully emotional expression.

“Perry, tell me what’s wrong.  Maybe I can help...”

It was slowly seeping into my incredibly thick head:  he did care about me!  Jesse Taylor, the most beautiful boy in the world, cared about Perry Thompson!  He was touching me and it was the most thrilling touch I had ever felt in my young life!  I was tempted to grab hold of those fingers and press his whole hand into my cheek and keep it there, but I resisted.  I was determined now, more than ever, not to blow this opportunity.  I would be Jesse’s friend, and whether or not it went any further than that, I would be miles ahead.  I needed him in my life, and I didn’t even know why.

 “It’s...nothing,” I replied lamely.  Right, I had run out of the library blubbering like a baby, and now I was telling this person who was so important to me, that it was nothing.  I started to apologize, but Jesse withdrew his hand in a gentle way.

“It’s okay.  I understand.  It’s none of my business--I just hate to see you so upset.”  He said all this with such caring, confident maturity, that it almost didn’t seem like the same kid who had walked into our class with his head bowed, afraid to look anyone in the eye, afraid to sit with us at lunch, or join in our conversation.

I didn’t know how to reply to that, since I just couldn’t tell him to his face that this whole thing had been about him, and my desperate need to be close to him.  I would have sounded like a crazy person.  Instead, I took advantage of our setting, and tore off a long piece of toilet tissue, using it to wipe the tears and snot from my face.

“Thanks, Jesse.  I feel better...” I said in a shaky voice.

“If you ever want to talk...” Jesse began, but stopped suddenly when the bathroom door flew open and someone stepped inside.  Thinking quickly, he gestured at my feet.  I soon got the idea and pulled my legs up onto the toilet seat.  We just froze like that, me squatting on the top of the toilet seat, clasping my knees, and Jesse standing there, facing me, not moving a muscle.  As we listened to the kid start to do his business in one of the urinals, a slight smile started to form on Jesse’s face.

 His eyes bugged out a bit in mock panic, and I started to smile too.  Somehow, it just escalated from there.  Pretty soon, Jesse was clamping his hand over his mouth, trying desperately not to laugh out loud.  I felt the giggles coming on myself, and covered my own mouth, feeling them start to force their way out.  They seemed to be emanating from the same place that had been producing the sobs just a few short minutes ago.  We held on as long as we could, Jesse’s face turning red from the effort to maintain control.  I assumed I must look the same way.  Finally, the kid left the bathroom, and we both released our pent up laughter in burst after burst of uncontrollable guffaws.  Jesse’s laugh was so cute, kind of high pitched and quick, and that caused me to laugh even harder.

Before I knew it, I had my hand on Jesse’s shoulder, trying to keep myself from toppling off of the toilet seat cover.  For some reason, the idea of the two of us hiding in a stall in the boys’ bathroom, frozen in panicked fear, just seemed beyond hilarious.  Jesse had tears streaming down his face, and mine had also started up again.  Fortunately, they were tears of joy this time, and weren’t accompanied by the spasmodic sobs of my earlier crying jag.   I loved feeling the bony hardness of Jesse’s shoulder.  I sensed that he was actually built much sturdier than his outward appearance suggested.  In my giddiness, I started thinking about what it would be like to see Jesse with his shirt off...

Eventually, we calmed down enough to realize that it was time to get out of there.  But first, Jesse tore off another piece of toilet paper, and dabbed my new tears away.  I returned the favor, savoring every moment as I lightly pressed the thin tissue to his creamy smooth cheeks.

It felt good to be out in the crisp autumn afternoon again.  We gazed at each other in a way that superceded any words we could have spoken.  I knew that he deserved an honest explanation for the hysterics he had witnessed today, but this was not the time or place.  We still had about ten minutes left before we had to go to our next class, so we walked to our lockers together and just stood there, wolfing our sandwiches down.  What had seemed like such a bleak situation only fifteen minutes ago, now seemed to open up a new world of amazing possibilities.  My mind reeled with them.  I tried to force myself not to lapse back into the intense fantasizing that had led me to my embarrassing breakdown, but it was no use.  My mind was once again consumed with thoughts of Jesse and where our friendship might lead to.

That evening, we had a basketball game at our cross town rivals, St. Joe’s.  They had beaten us twice last year, and we went it to it with some trepidation.  But there was something about our team this year that just clicked like it hadn’t before.  Morgan had clearly taken on the leadership role, and handled it well, getting along with the coach as well as the rest of the team.  Everyone respected him and his intense desire to win.  And that, of course, is exactly what we did.  So what if it was only by two points?  

By the time we got back home and I had taken a badly needed shower, it was after ten, and I knew it was too late to call Jesse.  I was so pumped up by our win this evening, that I was ready to tell Jesse everything; not only about the reason for my hysterical crying jag earlier in the day, but  about how I felt about him,  how important he was to me, how much I needed him in my life.  I went to bed thinking about Jesse.   I touched my cheek where he had touched me with his fingers, and I quivered at the memory.

I saw Jesse’s look of concern as I entered homeroom the next day.  But I smiled back with a confidence that seemed to reassure him.  I was okay--sure, I had acted like a complete, raving lunatic yesterday--but that was then, this was now.  Everything was once again okie-dokie!

Lunch conversation centered on the trouncing of our cross team rivals.  All the other members of the team, seventh and eighth graders, and even the two six graders who spent most of their time on the bench, eventually came by to congratulate Morgan on his stunning performance and his much appreciated leadership.  I blushed as Morgan continually pointed out my small contributions to the game, again, mostly on the defensive, although I did make the one freethrow opportunity I was given.

For his part, Jesse seemed happy for both Morgan and me, but I was the only one to get an actual pat on the back, and it meant more to me than he could know.  But I sensed that the time was growing closer to when he would know.  I wanted to tell him, too see where it would lead us.  

Tom, Gene, Jesse, and I , all confirmed that we would meet later this evening at the mall to check out the Jackie Chan flick.  That afternoon, during our art class, Jesse drew a very impressive likeness of Jackie Chan in an agressive martial arts stance, frozen in mid-leap.  Even Sister  Mary Luellen, our less than charming art teacher, complimented him.  Just before the final bell rang, releasing us to our weekend plans, Jesse handed me the drawing.  He had added a word balloon that simply said:  ‘Go Perry!‘ I was nearly dumbstruck that he would think of giving me the picture he had worked on for almost an hour and a half.

“Th...thanks,” I stammered, tucking it carefully into my backpack.

He just shrugged with a playful smile on his face.  “See ya tonight,” he offered, before heading out to the busstop.

Spending the evening with Jesse was going to be great, and I could hardly wait!

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