The following contains mild descriptions of sexual acts between consenting young people. It is an original work of fiction and has no basis in reality.
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After one of the truly bizarre days of my life, beginning with a violent confrontation with Fred Goreski’s cousin, Deanna Kennedy, and ending with an emotional encounter with Gary Van Driesen, I was totally wiped out. Still, I felt like I really needed to talk to Jesse before I turned in for the night, so I launched my IM. He was already waiting for me with a question.
Jerrinheimer: How’s your ass?
Bbplayer125: It’s okay. I think Deanna was just messing with me. I don’t think she was really out for blood.
Jerrinheimer: I think you’re right about that. Still — what balls for a chick! And she better just leave your ass alone — that’s mine, bubby!
Bbplayer125: Well, it’s all yours if you want it!
Jerrinheimer: Oh I DO! Man, she pissed me off. If she even looks at you the wrong way again...
Bbplayer125: Don’t get too upset with her. She didn’t really hurt me. I think she was just trying to freak me out.
Bbplayer125: Besides, Morgan says she’s a lesbo. A kindred spirit!
Jerrinheimer: Could be. The less I know about that the better. More important is that she must’ve gotten some kind of story from Goreski.
Bbplayer125: I find it hard to believe that he would tell her how he makes little boys suck on his dick!
Jerrinheimer: Well, one thing’s for sure — we can’t underestimate him. From what Gary’s told me, Goreski really did hurt his back that day. I shouldn’t have knocked him to the floor like that.
Bbplayer125: He was gonna rip your head off!
Jerrinheimer: Maybe I’d be better off without it.
Bbplayer125: That’s not very funny.
Jerrinheimer: So apparently, he couldn’t wrestle for a couple of weeks at least, and the coach chose another team captain. That was probably the worst thing that could happen for a guy like that.
Bbplayer125: George Rauch called him the “Ballcrusher!”
Jerrinheimer: Yeah, that’s pretty understandable. Obviously, he thinks he’s big stuff over at the high school. He had an image as a self-made tough guy. Built up his own entourage of groupies.
Bbplayer125: Like Hernandez and Hollister.
Jerrinheimer: And Van Driesen. Anyway, the story he told around school was that the floor was wet and he just slipped and fell in the john and was gonna sue St. Agnus.
Bbplayer125: Could he really do that?
Jerrinheimer: I doubt it. As far as I can remember, the floor was dry. Remember though, somebody was already spreading rumors about him getting in a fight with us.
Bbplayer125: And getting his ass kicked!
Jerrinheimer: Yeah, I bet Artim’s older brother was one of the rumormongers. Anyway, if the church started investigating, they’d start questioning everyone.
Bbplayer125: Including us?
Jerrinheimer: Probably. So the way I see it, there’s not gonna be any lawsuit. People are much more likely to believe the fight story. The main thing is that he lost face in a big, big way. He blames us — even though I’m the one who actually hurt him. You didn’t do anything wrong.
Bbplayer125: Neither did you. He deserved everything he got and then some.
Jerrinheimer: So I’m guessing that Goreski did tell some of his closer cronies something closer to the truth. That he wanted you to take care of his needs and you refused to cooperate.
Bbplayer125: And that you and Gary interfered.
Jerrinheimer: I’m sure he told his pals that me and Gary double teamed him. At least that would sound better than getting beat up by a little eighth grader.
Bbplayer125: Gary’s no wuss. I was surprised he didn’t put up more of a fight that day.
Jerrinheimer: He was intimidated, confused.
Bbplayer125: That was mostly my fault.
Bbplayer125: I think I reminded him of his friend, Shane.
Jerrinheimer: Okay. If you say so. Gary sure was lucky though, considering what could’ve happened to him.
Bbplayer125: What do you mean?
Jerrinheimer: Didn’t he tell you that Hernandez and a few of his buddies knocked him around a little that Monday after the rummage sale?
Bbplayer125: Shit no! He never said. I thought they’d leave him alone because Theresa is Mario’s sister.
Jerrinheimer: Well, that’s what I think kept them from really beating the shit out of him. They mainly wanted to show him that he was out of the club.
Jerrinheimer: It seems like they were just giving him more of a ceremonial ass kicking, but they did give him a pretty good bruising.
Bbplayer125: Shit. Poor Gary — I didn’t know. But guess what?
Bbplayer125: He came over today after school!
Jerrinheimer: Really? What did he want?
Bbplayer125: Well, I think he wanted a lot of things. He showed me a pic of his friend Shane.
Jerrinheimer: I wish he’d lay off about that. He should see by now that you’re a very sensitive guy.
Bbplayer125: Well, I guess I’m a little too sensitive, but it wasn’t so bad. I didn’t know him. It’s just that, when I looked at Shane I kept thinking about you. I’m so glad you’re still here. God, Jesse. I love you so much.
Jerrinheimer: I’m glad to be here too, and I love you very, very much. But what else happened with Gary?
Bbplayer125: Well, I figured one of the main reasons he showed up was to get payback for all the stuff he did for me: You know, rescuing me 2x!
Jerrinheimer: That doesn’t sound like something he’d do. He’s a pretty good guy and he really likes you, Perry.
Bbplayer125: Yeah, you’re right about that. But there’s also that other part.
Jerrinheimer: About him wanting to get in your pants?
Bbplayer125: Something like that.
Jerrinheimer: What did you do?
Bbplayer125: Well, he really was confused. And I really wanted to help him out. He’d done so much for me.
Jerrinheimer: That’s sweet, Perry. But very, very dangerous. Sex isn’t something to mess around with. I know you feel obligated to him, but if he hurt you or took advantage of you in any way, you really need to tell me.
Bbplayer125: I’ll tell you anything you want to know, but he really didn’t hurt me. He wouldn’t even let me suck his dick.
Jerrinheimer: That’s good. Did you want to?
Bbplayer125: Of course not. I only want you. I love you. I want your dick in my mouth so bad!
Jerrinheimer: Hehe. Get a grip, dude. Tell me what happened.
And so I described the whole scene to Jesse, from recreating the strip search at Hode Ranch, to stepping on Gary’s fat cock, to feeling through the soles of my feet, Gary’s jizz shoot through his shaft.
Jerrinheimer: Wow, that was cool!!! Hope we can try that sometime. I’ve got a massive boner now.
Bbplayer125: It was the weirdest feeling. But it seemed to make him happy — at least for a little bit.
Bbplayer125: Well, he kept saying he wasn’t thinking about Shane, but I think he really was. Later he told me he was really angry at Shane for committing suicide. He said it was such a waste.
Jerrinheimer: He’s right. It is a waste. But when your mind is in that dark place, it seems like there’s no other choice. It seems like you’re thinking straight even though you’re not.
Bbplayer125: That’s so sad. But guess what?
Bbplayer125: Gary thought about doing it too after Shane was gone, but he didn’t. He said he was too chicken shit, but I told him he was really brave.
Jerrinheimer: Gary’s a good guy. I’m glad he didn’t go through with it.
Bbplayer125: So you think it was okay to do the stuff I did for him?
Jerrinheimer: I’m really impressed that he was able to show so much restraint. If you stripped down to your boxers for me like that, I would never have the self-control he did. You’re so beautiful and sexy that I would either jump you or go mad.
Bbplayer125: Like what happened to Tom when he wanted to give me a handjob.
Jerrinheimer: Yeah. Guess he got a little over excited.
Bbplayer125: Or when he was sucking on my foot!
Jerrinheimer: He definitely bit off more than he could chew!
Bbplayer125: Do you think Tom is okay? Will Derek be his friend any more?
Jerrinheimer: I did talk to Derek a little. I have a feeling his interest in boys is a passing thing, but you never know.
Bbplayer125: Like Morgan?
Jerrinheimer: Um, not sure about Morgan. But I know that Derek really likes Tom as a friend. They have fun together at the arcade and all that stuff. I told him I understood why he was feeling skittish, but I also told him I only wanted him and Tom to be more careful in public.
Bbplayer125: And he was okay with that?
Jerrinheimer: Mostly. He’s really a sweet kid. He just doesn’t waste a lot of time thinking about things too deeply. I suggested that he and Tom hang out with Derek’s other friends until he feels comfortable being alone with Tom again. I think Derek still likes messing around with Tom.
Bbplayer125: What about you?
Bbplayer125: Is Derek still interested in you?
Jerrinheimer: Um, yeah, he says he is.
Bbplayer125: What did you say?
Jerrinheimer: To tell you the truth, I thought he might try blackmailing me — you know, like in your dream? Making me have some kind of sex with him in exchange for him going back to Tom. But to his credit, he didn’t put it like that. He said he did want to be Tom’s friend and still wanted to do things with him, which I took to mean sexual things.
Bbplayer125: And then?
Jerrinheimer: Then he said he still wanted to jack off with me. I told him I’d think about it. What do you think I should do?
Bbplayer125: You don’t stop me from messing around with other people.
Jerrinheimer: Of course not. You do it to help your friends — our friends. Besides, what we have is deeper than that.
Bbplayer125: Derek is our friend too. And besides, how could I say anything about what you do with your...you know
Jerrinheimer: Hmmm, we’ll see. I guess it depends if it would really be helpful or not. I told him we’d talk about it more after Xmas break. Thanks for being understanding though.
Bbplayer125: Thank you for being understanding about Gary. I really like him Jesse — just not in a sexual way, you know?
Jerrinheimer: I get it. But you still have to be careful.
Bbplayer125: Yes, I think I’m too trusting sometimes.
Jerrinheimer: Yes you are. And as much as I admire that trait in you, it has the potential for getting you into some big bad trouble. I think it’s good that we talk about all this stuff.
Bbplayer125: I had to talk to you. It’s so important that we don’t have any secrets from each other.
Jerrinheimer: I agree.
Bbplayer125: I miss you.
Jerrinheimer: I miss you too. I’m just waiting for Xmas break to be over so I can see you again.
Bbplayer125: And be with you again.
Jerrinheimer: Yes. Just you and me. That would be the awesomest!
Bbplayer125: But friends are important too, aren’t they?
Jerrinheimer: Of course. We should do what we can. You can never have too many friends.
Bbplayer125: I wanted so badly to tell Gary about us.
Jerrinheimer: I can’t stop you, but I wish you wouldn’t. At least not yet. Can you trust me on that?
Bbplayer125: Of course. You have God looking over your shoulder after all.
Jerrinheimer: Yeah, I sure do.
Bbplayer125: And he told you to stay with me no matter how stupid I am, no matter what dumb things I do, no matter how skinny and ugly I am.
Jerrinheimer: Yes, it’s my burden to bear in life, Perry. You’re so skinny and ugly, it makes me wanna puke.
Bbplayer125: It’s like a horror movie: I Married An Ugly Teenage Zombie!
Jerrinheimer: Yes, it’s just like that. I need to go to bed now, so I can get the horrible image of your hideous visage out of my mind.
Bbplayer125: I hope you can.
Jerrinheimer: It’ll take 2 or 3 massive orgasms, but I’ll manage somehow.
Bbplayer125: LMAO! Sigh...Good night, beautiful blond angel.
Jerrinheimer: Goodnight, my precious, beautiful boy. Oops! Did I say beautiful? I meant UGLY — honest!
I felt like I could sleep now, but I realized there was also a nagging thought way in the back of my mind, behind my love for Jesse, behind my good feelings about Gary, behind my worries about Tom and Derek and Morgan. The plain fact was that I didn’t want Jesse to jack off with Derek, or anyone else for that matter. I pushed the shameful and selfish thought into the shadows and closed my eyes.
The next morning, mom dropped me off at St. Joe’s. Even though it was also a K through eighth, it was a larger school than St. Boniface, an old, traditional, two story dark brick building with a long, circular driveway in front which was really nice for getting kids in and out of cars quickly. But the football field was around back and she was able to drive me through a large, half-empty parking lot, right up to the edge of the large, grassy area.
“Call me when you’re ready. I’ll probably end up at the Bainbridge’s after I run a few errands and we’ll come get you and head straight for San Diego, all right, hon?”
“Are you all right?” she asked with some concern.
“Uh...sure. Why?” I hated asking open-ended questions like that because I never knew what I was setting myself up for, but I didn’t really feel sad or weird or anything, except for the part of my brain that remembered that I was forbidden to see Jesse outside of school. That sucked to no end, but I was resigned to it, and wasn’t going to let it drag me down. He seemed in such good spirits since he told me what had happened to him at his last school. I’d see him again on Monday, and we could always IM or even talk on the phone in the meantime.
“Well...I guess I’m more than a little curious why Mr. Van Driesen stopped by yesterday afternoon.”
Til now, we hadn’t really discussed Gary’s unexpected visit. He had left before my mom got home and she had been in a mood to cook us some pasta and make a huge salad. It had been relaxing to just help her out in the kitchen after everything that Gary and I had gone through and we spent most of the evening in easygoing silence. “I told you, he just wanted to talk about...about that night and all the things that happened to us at the ranch. You know, it was just as scary for him as it was for me, and we weren’t going to find his friend,” I pointed out.
“It’s just that you looked so tired last night when I came home.”
“Well...TGIF, ya know?” I offered with a helpless shrug.
I got the feeling my mom wanted more information, but I also think she sensed that it wasn’t something I would willingly share.
“Those high school boys — the ones that were bothering Mr. Van Driesen at the rummage sale — they haven’t been bothering you boys, have they?”
I felt a sudden wave of anger surge through my head. Why did she have to ask that question? What could I say that wouldn’t frighten her?
“Of course not.” The lie felt bitter in my mouth even as I let it pass casually between my lips. I wondered if my mom could taste it as well.
“And Mr. Van Driesen?”
“Gary, Mom, please call him Gary.”
She didn’t respond to my request, but simply continued to look at me with open concern.
“No, Mom. He’s fine. We just talked about that night...and about girls and stuff,” I decided to add.
A smile slowly spread across my mom’s strained countenance. “Getting advice about Jessica from someone with a little experience?” she asked. “Theresa seems like a very nice young lady.”
“Alright. I suppose I should stop pumping you for information. I had plenty of conversations with my girlfriends that I wouldn’t have shared with my mom even if she had hung me up by my fingernails, so.... We’ll leave it at that, okay?”
“Have fun, dear. I’ll see you soon,” she said in a lighter tone as I got out of the car.
“Bye, mom! Don’t worry about me. I got my cell right here!” I noted with a cheery smile, patting the pocket of my hoodie.
I walked across the neatly trimmed, thick green lawn. St. Joe’s didn’t exactly have a stadium, but it was more than what we had at St. Boniface. It was a full-length field with all the demarcartions accurately marked out in white chalk. They even had full-sized goal posts. There were two long rows of bleachers on either side of the field, a snack stand which already had a line in front of it, and a small fieldhouse. The bleachers on either side were less than half filled, and I casually strolled over to the west side, where I recognized kids from our school. There was even a large printed banner tacked to the top of our section. Go St. Boniface Crusaders! it urged proudly in big blue letters outlined in gold. The home team had their own banner of course: St. Joe’s Wildcats Rule! in big green letters with brown trim.
Both teams were out on the field tossing balls, doing stretches, and generally warming up. It was tackle football, so they had their full gear on, complete with shoulder pads, tight pants, and cleats. The only thing missing were their helmets, but that made it easier to spot Gene and Kyle. It was the first time I’d seen Manny Aguilar in his uniform and with all the padding, he actually managed to look more like an athlete than a skater! I also recognized Eric Adam’s brother, Jeffy. He was only a sixth grader but built like a tank. He had his tight, kinky hair cut short and dyed a weird whitish blond color that really stood out against his dark brown skin. Gene came bounding over when he saw me heading for the bleachers.
“Totally awesome of you to show up, Per!” he said, clapping me warmly on the back.
“I’m sorry I haven’t come to more games this season. It just seems like so much has been going on.”
“I know — Mr. Popular!” Gene declared with a knowing smile.
“Cut it out!” I said, trying to make it sound like a joke. But he saw through my fake smile and realized that it did bother me when he said things like that.
“Sorry, dude. It’s just that.... Well, I think it’s really cool that you came. I hope we can make it worth your while!”
“I know you’re gonna blow St. Joe’s out of the water!”
“Hope you’re right. Hope Kyle’s on his game today. St. Joe’s got a tough defense — check out those big dudes over there,” he said, nodding down to the other end of the field.
The St. Joe’s guys did mostly look bigger and bulkier than their St. Boniface counterparts. That was probably because it was a bigger school and there was a larger pool of players — although still small by public school standards. There were only four eighth graders on our team, with the rest mostly from the seventh, and a few from the sixth grade. With only fourteen guys total, that only left us three bench warmers, while St. Joe’s had about twenty guys all together. Still, the Crusaders had done an amazing job this year and Sister Mary Luellen had proven more than up to the task of taking over coaching duties for the team after Brother Ken had left at the end of last year for a new assignment down in San Diego.
“Gees, they are big,” I noted a little uneasily.
“Big...but slow. We’re faster...and smarter!” he said, tapping his temple as he gave me one of those smooth, patented Gene Rauch smiles. “The problem is, we’re short two guys today. Russ Baxter’s out with a knee injury and Hector Alvarez has the flu. But watch out for number fifteen — Billy Scott. He and Jeffy Adams could mow down their whole offense all by themselves. If we don’t make the playoffs this year, next year for sure.”
“But we won’t be here,” I noted with a twinge of nostaliga.
“We gotta go kick ass at Holy Trinity!” Gene noted. “They are in some desperate need over there.”
“I thought Gary Van Driesen was supposed to be really good.”
“Well, that’s basketball, and besides, one man don’t make a team,” Gene pointed out. “With you, Morgan, and Eric on the JV, they’d be unstoppable!”
Jason Tarentino, a sophomore, was on the JV team this year and I wondered with some trepidation if he’d remain there next season or get bumped up to Varsity. I knew I was jealous of Jason, and I knew that wasn’t right. I also knew it wasn’t right to think of Jesse as a piece of property. He wasn’t “mine” any more than he was Jason’s. If he enjoyed playing in the church band, then it was beneath contempt for me to be anything but supportive.
“You okay, dude?” Gene asked, trying to look me in the eye.
“Looks like you drifted off for a second.”
I blushed. “Just uh...trying to imagine what it’ll be like next year. You know, in high school and stuff.”
“I hear ya,” Gene said with a comforting smile. “But my sister’ll be there, and she’ll be a senior next year, and there’ll still be guys there who knew Georgie. And you got Van Driesen and the guitar playing dude so...I think we’re gonna do just fine.”
And there’d for sure be guys there that hung out with Goreski and his crew as well.
“Anyway, maybe we can grab a bite after the game,” Gene suggested.
“Oh...uh...I hafta go shopping with Jessica,” I admitted somewhat dismally.
“You lucky bastard!” Gene said with good humored envy.
“I think I’d rather hang with you,” I told him truthfully.
“Man, if I had a gal like that, I’d follow her to the ends of the Earth!”
I wanted to tell him that he was welcome to her if only Jesse and I could be free to pursue our own relationship without causing the world to come crashing down around our ears.
“She’s pretty nice when you get to know her,” I admitted. “See, she gave me this for my birthday.” I pulled the turquoise crucifix out of my shirt to show him. Gene was just starting to examine it when the Sister blew her whistle, calling the guys in for final instructions and prayers, no doubt. “Okay, Gene. I’ll be rootin’ for you guys — knock ’em dead!”
“Thanks, dude! You’re the best!” Gene said, before jogging over to join the team huddle.
I recognized a lot of people over in the St. Boniface bleachers. Mrs. Scott was among a dozen or so parents there. I saw Principal Cardoza and his wife, Brother Conner, a few nuns, and our energetic and buxom student teacher, Miss Zimmerman. Eric Adams’ tall figure caught my eye and I figured I’d go sit with him, when I heard someone call out my name. It was Reggie Colbert! After what Morgan had said, I didn’t feel comfortable hanging with the lean and lanky seventh grader. It also didn’t help that I found him physically attractive for some irksome reason. I just waved to him and started to walk past, but he leapt to his feet, clambered noisily down the metal steps and caught up to me.
“Hey, Perry! I didn’t expect to see you here!” He casually brushed his perfect mop of blond highlighted hair off his forehead and gave me a smile full of bright white teeth. He had on a white Quicksilver hoodie that contrasted sharply with his rich, golden tan, jeans that probably wouldn’t have been considered baggy on most people, but hung loosely on his thin legs, and his Nike basketball sneaks.
“Hi, Reg. Gene asked me to come because it’s the last game of the season.”
“The last regular game,” he reminded me. “If they win — and they have a pretty good chance — they’ll go to the playoffs...just like us! Wouldn’t that be awesome if both teams won their championships? That’s never happened before in the entire history of St. Boniface! Last time the football team won the championship was when Gene’s brother was team captain.”
“George Rauch? I met him once. He’s...he’s really tall.”
“He’s second string at U of M now, but Perry, you’d be like the most famous basketball player ever at our school! They’d probably put a big picture of you next to the championship trophy!”
I cringed because he was talking so loud, everyone else on this side of the field could easily hear him. It was really embarrassing, like I had paid him to be my personal PR man or something.
“We’d all be in that picture,” I assured him.
“But you’re the best, Perry, the absolute best.” And just to show that he wasn’t lauding me with arbitrary praise, he started rattling off my stats: point average per game, number of rebounds, assists, freethrows, steals, turnovers. How and why had he memorized all those useless numbers? I had a computer printout Coach Riegert had given us stuffed in my gym bag, but I hadn’t given it more than a cursory glance.
“What you yammering about now, Reg?” Eric asked in a playful tone as we climbed up to where he was sitting. He had a really nice looking, slender African-American girl with him, who looked about our age. She had her hair tightly braided into dozens of intricately woven cornrows. She looked vaguely familiar and I supposed that I had probably seen her at one of our basketball games.
“I was just telling Perry that the basketball and football teams have never won their championships in the same year and statistically — ”
“Yeah, yeah. Just cool your heels. You’re gonna talk Perry’s ears right off, and then he won’t be able to hear ol’ Coach Reigert’s instructions and we’ll end up crashing into each other and shit!” He and the girl laughed. “Hey Per, I’d like you to meet Jamaica — she’s my next door neighbor! Jamaica, this is my basketball bud, Perry Thompson. Yeah, I know he looks too pretty to be a jock, but you seen him in action — he’s totally killer on the court!”
It was funny to hear Eric’s slang. I guessed he was implying that I was too skinny and geeky looking to be a jock, and I realized if it hadn’t been for Morgan, I probably wouldn’t even be on the team. Thinking about the crazy stuff we had talked about at Disneyland, I really hoped the two of us would be able to get past all the weirdness of the last couple months and just be great friends again. That would be such a relief!
“She’s not like his girlfriend or anything,” Reggie announced with a childish snicker.
“What the fuck, dude?” Eric exclaimed under his breath since there were parents and young kids within earshot. “You don’t know nuthin’ about nuthin’! You just keep your nose in those crazy numbers and leave the babes to us hot teen studs, right Per?”
A whistle blew, signalling the two teams to line up on the field. The Crusaders would be receiving. Even though they were some of the bigger guys in their respective schools, they were still junior highers on a full-sized football field, and the opening kick barely made it across the fifty yard line. Just as Gene had predicted, Billy and Jeff charged forward and began bowling over the St. Joe’s defense. Kyle hardly slowed as he scooped up the ball and began to run for it. Gene stayed right by him like a personal bodyguard, catching anyone that slipped past the front line of blockers. It seemed like St. Joe’s was still asleep because our team just plowed right through, all the way to the endzone for a touchdown — on the first play! We all leapt to our feet and cheered. The funniest thing was the little dance Sister Mary Luellen did, lifting the heavy black skirts of her habit as she spun in a little circle, her head bobbing up and down in triumph.
It was a great way to start off the game, but as the first half drew to a close, it was clear that St. Joe’s would be able to use its larger pool of players to wear down our guys. Also for some reason, our team didn’t play defense as well as they did offense. It seemed like Kyle especially didn’t want anything to do with it and was only on the field because the limited number of players forced him to be there. So the half ended with St. Boniface ahead, seventeen to fourteen, and our guys looking pretty wasted.
“Awesome first half! Want me to get you a Coke?” Reggie asked as the two teams went into their huddles.
“Um...well...actually, I kinda feel like stretching my legs,” I said. The fact was that Reggie had been talking my ears off. Not only did he know all my basketball stats, he even remembered my stats from last year! And then he went into St. Joe’s and Holy Trinity’s sports situation, updating me on the standings of their teams as well. He did mention Gary once by name and I modestly mentioned that he was a friend of mine. That had been a real mistake because that got Reggie going on all of Gary’s statistics. And that somehow led to the Lakers and the weird season they were having with Shaq saying stupid things all the time and Kobe Bryant having his legal problems (yeah, he had all the grizzly details of the case down as well), and it just got to be a blur after forty-five minutes.
“I’ll come with you!” he offered.
“You just keep your skinny white ass glued to that bench, fella,” Eric insisted. “You keep following Perry around like a little puppy dog and someone’s gonna throw a collar around yo’ neck!” Jamaica giggled at that but Reggie looked embarrassed and I felt a little bad for him. Maybe I should let him come along with me.
“What’s up with them Mighty Ducks, man?” I didn’t know if Eric was actually interested in ice hockey, or if he was just trying to give me a chance to escape. “They win, they lose, they win.” Either way, I gave him a smile of gratitude as I started down the bleachers. I could already hear Reggie rattling off stats for the Ducks’ most recent game.
There was a long line at the snack shack of course, but I really didn’t care. I just had to have a few minutes of peace and quiet. I thought about my afternoon with Gary and what an emotional roller coaster that had been. I had thought that maybe as we got older, that turbulent ocean of feelings and rampant hormones would begin to settle down, but Gary seemed to have it just as bad as the rest of us. Of course, it didn’t help that his childhood friend had chosen to take his own life rather than face the fact that another boy had feelings for him, maybe even loved him the way I loved Jesse. Nor did it help that he found me attractive and he wanted to do sex stuff with me while at the same time, wanted, like me, to keep our relationship on a more brotherly level.
I half smiled as I thought about the crazy stuff that had gone on up in my bedroom. That had been the weirdest thing I had ever done, standing on Gary’s rock hard dick, feeling, with the soles of my feet, the cum pulsing through his shaft and blasting out onto his magnificent abs. I remembered the day Jesse had jacked me off with just his feet and what an incredible experience that had been. That whole day, with the exception of our strange encounter at the basketball court, had left me in a state of giddiness I had never before experienced. It was so different being naked and messing around with Jesse than it was with any of my other friends. It seemed to have “cum” to us so naturally, like we had known each other intimately for years. Jessica seemed like the only other friend who was truly able to get me aroused sexually and I didn’t even feel good about that. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was counting on me to be her date at the big Christmas bash she was throwing next Friday, I think I would have tried to break it off with her, despite Jesse’s insistence that we stay together. But what would be my excuse? I had already told her that La Jolla Toya and I were through and I couldn’t tell her the truth about Jesse and me. Even if she was willing to bear the burden of keeping that sort of secret, it wouldn’t be fair to her. Katy would undoubtably figure out that she was holding something back, and it would tear Jessica apart not to be able to tell her best friend something as exciting as that: Two boys in our class are madly in love with each other and they have sex and stuff all the time!
“Hi, Perry,” came a giggly, but distinctly feminine voice from behind me.
I spun quickly, shaken abruptly out of my reverie, and in my dazed and confused state, panicked, thinking that it was Jessica. But then I realized that I was staring right at the well-endowed bosom of Melissa Doering!
“I’m surprised to see you here!” she said cheerfully.
I quickly looked around to see if she was with anyone else, but while I saw a few younger kids from St. Boniface around, I didn’t see anyone from our class.
“M-Melissa...!” I stammered, feeling for some reason like she had snuck up and surprised me. Of course, it hadn’t been anything like that. It was just that I had been so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I hadn’t been aware of her approach.
“Did I scare you?” she asked with a friendly smile. “Or did these scare you!” she laughed, her eyes dropping for a second to her breasts. They for sure weren’t hard to miss as she was wearing a tight white tube top underneath an unzipped red hoodie sweater. She had on black, hip hugging Dickies with the cuffs stylishly rolled up to show off her long white crew socks and high-top black and white Vans. While her dirty blonde hair was about the same length as Jesse’s, today she had it neatly tucked up under a backwards, St. Boniface baseball cap.
“No..I..um...was just thinking about something else,” I said, willing my eyes to look anywhere except at...them.
“Do you like football?” she asked.
“Well...It’s okay...I guess I’m not into all the rough stuff so much, but I just wanted to be here for Gene and...uh...Kyle,” I remembered to add, knowing that he and Melissa were a couple.
“He can be such a show off sometimes,” she said with obvious exasperation. “But he is cute, and captain of the football team, so I guess I can’t complain, right?”
“You deserve to be with whoever you want,” I said, trying to be polite.
Melissa giggled and then looked around conspiratorily. She leaned in to whisper. “What if I wanted to be with the sexiest boy in school?”
I figured she meant Jesse but I didn’t want to say anything in case I was wrong. After all, she might think Jeremiah Oatner or Harvey Kalbert were the hottest boys in our class. Everyone had different tastes, that’s for sure.
“Well, I think any guy would want to be your boyfriend.”
“But what if that guy already had a girlfriend?” she asked.
What was she getting at? Was this some kind of test? I hoped she wasn’t looking to me for some sort of relationship-type advice. All I knew was that Jesse Taylor was the most beautiful, remarkable boy in the whole world and I thanked my lucky stars a million times over that he seemed to like me too. What did I know about girls?
“I’d better get in line if I want to get my stuff before halftime is over,” I said.
“I have a better idea!” she said excitedly.
“But I just want a Coke — ”
“I know where you can get one without having to stand in that long line!”
“Oh...okay,” I said, since it didn’t seem like she was going to go away any time soon. “Where?”
“Just follow me!” she said cheerfully, and skipped off towards the school, not even glancing back to see if I was following.
She was moving really fast and I almost had to jog to catch up to her. It was quite a walk to the back of the school and we ended up in sort of an open courtyard with a lot of metal tables and benches — probably where the kids ate lunch. She kept walking until I saw the row of vending machines lined up against one wall.
“Take your pick!” she said, waving her hand as if these were part of her own personal collection. There was a candy machine, a chips and cookies machine, and even a coffee machine, but I really did just want a Coke. I went up to the tall red machine and fumbled in the front pocket of my jeans for my new wallet.
“Let me help!” she offered, brashly stuffing her hand into the pocket of my jeans at the same time I did.
“Hey!” I gasped. It wasn’t exactly the Taj Mahal in there and our two hands were presssed tightly together between my wallet and the denim fabric of my pants. Somehow she got her fingers interlocked with mine and pulled my hand back out — without the wallet. She gave my hand a tight squeeze and then used it to pull me closer to her.
Suddenly her thickly glossed lips were on mine and I sputtered and tried to pull away — but she was still clutching my hand. She used my moment of confusion to push me against the soda machine, her mouth still sucking on mine. She was chewing away and her tongue was going like a jackhammer, but after my initial gasp, I was able to keep her out.
“Ooooh, Perry!” she exclaimed as she finally released my lips and my hand.
“What was that about?” I gasped, unable to hide my shock.
“I told you I wanted to be with the sexiest boy in our class!”
“But that’s not...I mean, I thought — ”
“You’re too cute to be real! God, Jessica’s so lucky!” She started moving in for another liplock but I managed to slip out from between her and the vending machine.
I held my arms straight out to ward her off, but wondered if my turquoise crucifix might be a more effective deterrent. “Melissa, what’re you doing?” I asked. “What if Kyle catches us?”
“He’s in the middle of his stupid game. He won’t be coming over here.”
“But this isn’t right. I’m with Jessica and you’re with Kyle and...and....”
“And what?” she asked expectantly
There didn’t need to be an “and what.” The fact that we were both in relationships should be enough of a reason not to do crazy things like this. But I just stared at her dumbly.
“As far as I can see, Jessica’s not here, so what’re you worried about?” she asked, sounding genuinely perplexed.
“It isn’t right to do stuff with other people when the person you’re supposed to be doing stuff with isn’t around to...uh...do it with....” That had actually started out as a coherent thought.
Apparently she had already lost interest in that topic since she was now onto something completely different. “I know where we can go and make out!” she declared in a loud whisper. She grabbed me by the front of my hoodie and pulled me forcefully towards her. I could actually feel her breasts push up against me through all our clothes. She tilted her head and launched into another full facial attack. I finally managed to get enough leverage to push her away.
“Gees, Melissa. What’s gotten into you? Are you trying to get me in trouble?”
“I’m not trying to get you in trouble — I’m trying to get in your pants!”
“But half time’s almost over and we need to get back — ”
“What for? To watch Kyle strut up and down the field and throw that stupid, pointy ball around with a bunch of sweaty sixth and seventh graders?”
“But Gene’s there....”
She paused for a moment. “Gene’s not bad looking,” she conceded thoughtfully, “but it’s like...hellooooo? Anybody home?”
“That’s not a very nice thing to say,” I noted irritably.
“Sorry...Just being truthful.... And maybe you should be too,” she added.
“What d’ya mean?” I asked warily.
“I’ve seen how you look at me, Perry Thompson. You’re not such a pure and innocent soul that you aren’t susceptible to the same weaknesses as any other guy. You just hide it better.”
“I...I don’t know what you mean,” I protested, starting to slowly walk backwards towards the football field.
“Of course you do!” she noted with an evil grin as she gave her torso a vigorous shake. Man, no bra — again! “Let’s face it. I have something you want, and you have something I want. What’s all this dancin’ around about?”
It seemed to me that she was the one doing the dancing! “What do you want?” I asked fearfully.
“Well actually, it’s a pretty good deal for you,” she noted, poking my shoulder with a long, lemon-colored nail.
“D-deal...?” I stammered. “Oof!” I hit one of the benches with the backs of my legs and lost my balance. My back hit the rounded edge of the metal table and I was suddenly sitting down hard.
Melissa didn’t seem concerned about my running into the bench and she just went on with her explanation. “I so wanna get a hold of that precious joystick of yours, get it all slick and wet and then suck on it until....”
Suddenly, I heard some giggling and it wasn’t coming from Melissa. We both turned and I was shocked to see Merissa Scott and two of her seventh grade friends looking right at me from about ten yards away. Hopefully, they hadn’t heard our conversation — especially the last part!
When Merissa saw me looking at her she froze, her cheeks suddenly turning a rosy red color. Her two friends started poking her as they continued to giggle.
“H-Hi, Merissa,” I waved awkwardly, actually feeling a little relieved that they were here.
“Merissa loves you, Perry!” one of the giggling friends blurted out, making exaggerated kissy faces, and Merissa’s mouth just dropped wide open. Then her expression turned dark and she glared indignantly at her two friends. Suddenly, she was chasing them back towards the bleachers. “I’m so gonna kill you two!” I heard Merissa shout as her two friends continued their incessant tittering.
Melissa immediately came and sat beside me. “They’re so infantile,” she noted disdainfully. “I can’t believe Jesse asked her to Jessica’s party when he could have any girl he wanted in the whole school.”
“Merissa’s kinda pretty,” I heard myself saying before I even realized it.
“Queen Jessica’s flat-chested little toady,” Melissa sneered.
Jessica? Shit! “She’ll tell Jessica that she saw us together!”
“God, Perry! Jessica’s really got you under her thumb, huh?”
If only she could see what I had strapped around my ankle.
“So, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?” she asked in a rhetorical fashion.
“Didn’t you hear me?” I asked, getting to my feet. “Jessica’s gonna find out, and then — ”
“Then what?” Merissa snapped back a bit harshly. “She gonna beat you up or something? Not play kissy face with you for a while? Big deal! Perry Thompson, I’ll have you know I can put out a hundred times more than that stuck up ice queen anyday!”
This was getting totally out of hand. I didn’t need Melissa putting Jessica down like that. “I’m heading back!” I declared dismissively.
But Melissa wasn’t ready to give up without a fight. She grabbed my arm and pushed me down on the bench with surprising strength, my back against the table once more. She came and sat herself right on my lap, wrapping her jean-clad legs around my waist. She grabbed me by the back of the neck and shoved my face directly into her breasts.
“This is what you want, Perry! Mmmmmm...this is what you need — what I need!” she gasped, thrusting her hips against mine.
I could feel her breasts rubbing against my face through the tight fabric of her tube top. I felt something hard brush my cheek and I realized it was one of her nipples!
“Ooooh, now I can feel it!” she noted with glee. “See, I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist my charms for long!”
Shit, I was getting hard, and with Melissa’s full weight resting on my lap, it wasn’t difficult for her to figure that out.
“Get off!” I demanded angrily. I started to push her away, but she grabbed my arms and put my hands right on her breasts. Then she started turning my arms in small circles, causing my hands to start kneading her soft, fleshy mounds.
“Stop...Please! This is insane!”
“I’ll stop if you admit that you like this,” she offered.
What could I say with her legs wrapped around my torso and her butt bouncing up and down on my slowly hardening member?
“Okay, okay...Of course I like it,” I admitted.
With that, she did stop and scooted her butt down to my knees and climbed off. “C’mon, let’s go!” she beckoned breathlessly, nodding back towards the school.
“What for?” I asked, getting to my feet and trying to straighten my hair and clothes out a little.
“To make out, of course!”
“I don’t want to make out,” I assured her. “This is so wrong!”
“Oh My God! What’s the big freakin’ deal?” Melissa asked with annoyance, and her question and frustration sounded totally sincere. “I mean, we’re just eighth graders. It’s not like we have to make any lifelong commitments or anything.”
“Still, I’m pretty sure Jessica doesn’t want me messing around with other girls, and I bet Kyle feels the same way about you doing stuff with other boys. We owe them some respect and...stuff.”
Melissa looked like she was about to argue with me some more, and then her face relaxed a little and turned more thoughtful. “I remember last summer, when I was hangin’ with Morgan a lot. We used to kiss and feel each other up — real juvenile stuff. Once, he invited a little group of us over to swim — me, Gene, and Tom, and maybe his little brother was around. We had a blast in the pool, and then later, we all sorta scattered to different places to change — some in the pool house, some in the downstairs bathroom or whatever. I was the only one who followed Morgan upstairs and I went right up to his bedroom. He stood inside the doorway and looked at me. We were both still a little wet and Morgan’s hot bod was all glistening and hard.”
I was uncomfortable listening to her relate a potentially embarrassing story about my close friend behind his back, but also knew it would be rude to just walk away.
Melissa went on. “ ’I gotta change,’ he said. ’Me too!’ I answered, and I had my backpack with me. I smiled and he smiled and we both went into his room and changed!”
“You mean, you saw Morgan...?” I asked in shock.
She nodded and giggled. “And he saw me. Of course, I know how the chlorine affects boys...you know...down there,” she said, moving her eyes momentarily down to my crotch. “But even all shrivelled up, he still looked pretty amazing. He even had some hair!”
I wondered if she had seen Morgan recently.
“I just took off my top — my bottom was dry enough. Anyway, he definitely liked what he saw! But poor Morgan, I think it was too much for him. He got really embarrassed and like couldn’t wait to find his underwear! I watched him stumbling around pulling on his boxer briefs and board shorts while I just stood there topless!”
That must’ve been an interesting scene, and I actually felt kinda good that Morgan hadn’t taken advantage of Melissa in a situation like that. “I don’t see what this has to do with us...or-or anything,” I noted impatiently.
Just then, we heard the shrill blast of the referee’s whistle indicating that the second half was about to start. “We should get back,” I noted.
“I’m not done with my story yet!” she declared.
I sighed and gave her an impatient little nod.
“He asked me if I was gonna get dressed, and I asked him if he really wanted me to, and it was like...he didn’t know what to say! Then I went up to him and sorta snuggled against him and of course, it felt really good being against his rock hard pecs. Then we kissed and started rubbing each other and getting really worked up...until someone knocked at the door. Morgan’s eyes almost popped out of his head — he probably thought it was his mom! But it was just Tom, so we both finished getting dressed and just casually walked out. Espinoza had such a look on his face! Worse than that night at Katy’s party!” Melissa laughed loudly at the memory. “He is a cutie though,” she added thoughtfully.
I thought that it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall when Tom’s turn to get attacked came around. With my Hispanic friend’s Tae Kwon Do skills, Melissa would probably end up sprawled on her back — and not in a good way! “I still don’t see what the point of the story is,” I noted a little petulantly. I didn’t like the way Melissa had talked about Jessica and I really didn’t care for the way she had just jumped on me like that.
“Well, I think that was the day that I realized that I really wanted to be with boys! I just kept thinking about what Morgan looked like, bare assed naked! Of course I’d seen him with a boner before through his pants — all boys get those — even you!”
“And I’d felt it before, but still, actually seeing everything....” Melissa sighed heavily, obviously getting herself worked up. If she were a guy, I imagined she’d be tentin’ pretty good by now!
“But after we cuddled for a bit, Morgan suddenly got kinda shy and nervous around me. After that, it wasn’t much fun making out with him anymore. He didn’t want to get naked or anything — just wanted me to give him a bj for cripes sake! So I ended up hooking up with Kyle and we had a blast the rest of the summer! I learned how to give awesome bj’s and he figured out right where my happy button was!”
I couldn’t believe this girl was standing here out in the open, telling me these incredibly intimate details about her sex life. Still, I had to wonder if Jessica had one of those “happy buttons.”
“Is that the only thing you think about?” I asked. My question had been intended to be facetious and even a bit mocking, but she seemed to take it seriously.
“I think I’m addicted!” she admitted without remorse.
I don’t even know why the words came out of my mouth. “Have you guys like...gone all the way?” I dared to ask.
Melissa gave me a devilish smile. “Oh yeah!” she revealed with a big grin on her face.
Wow...Kyle and Melissa were making love? I couldn’t believe two eighth graders would do that! The night of Katy’s party, it seemed like they were so laid back, just chillin’ on the sofa necking and watching MTV.
“You’d love it, Perry. It’s just...just what guys and gals are made to do! It feels so right, so good!”
I tried not to look at Melissa judgmentally. It was her choice — and Kyle’s — after all. But I just knew I wasn’t gonna make out with her, not today and probably not ever. Still, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. She was systematically jumping every guy in the class apparently, and today, I just happened to be the most convenient victim.
“Look, Melissa. You know you’re attractive — really pretty — and that you have a...well...a great body and stuff. I think if you and Kyle are getting it on, that’s just great for both of you. But that’s not me. I’m not looking for that sort of thing.”
“Oh, so you’re telling me you’re too good to have sex with me?” she asked, starting to bristle.
Man, girls were hard to talk to! “Nothing like that,” I assured her. “It’s about me, not you. I’m feeling good about Jessica and I think she’s feeling good about me, and we’re...we’re just taking things kinda slow.”
“You mean, she hasn’t even sucked you off yet?”
Gees, did I have a teleprompter on my forehead or something?
“I...I need to get back,” I said with a heavy sigh, stuffing my hands in my jacket pockets and heading back towards the field.
“Wait!” Melissa called, not moving from the table where we had been sitting. I wanted to just keep going, but she sounded kind of desperate, kind of emotional. I turned, and waited for her to catch up to me.
“I meant what I said about you being the sexiest boy in class,” she told me quietly, fluttering her long brown lashes. She had big, pretty, light brown eyes, and right now they seemed to be looking at me more like a person than a piece of meat, so I stopped and listened to what she had to say.
“I don’t feel sexy,” I pointed out.
“Maybe that’s part of what makes you so attractive. You’re so drop dead gorgeous but you’re not strutting your stuff around like Kyle and Morgan or acting all weird and spooky like Jesse, or too cool for your own pants like Eric. You’re intelligent and sensitive and...loyal,” she admitted. “And that’s just wonderful. Jessica is lucky and I’ll admit I’m more than a little envious.”
“You don’t need to feel that way,” I assured her. “I’m really not like what you think. I’m probably stupider than most guys and — ”
She delicately put a finger to my lips. “You should stop. If you keep saying things like that, they might come true,” she cautioned me, and the look on her face was serious.
We gazed at each other for a few moments, and it seemed like we had finally come to some sort of understanding. Melissa was all excited about having sex with boys and she was determined to take advantage of every opportunity that came her way. I didn’t think that was right, and that it might even be dangerous, but that was her choice. I was in love with an amazing person, and the only thing that kept me from announcing it to the world was the fact that we were both boys.
But my relationship with Jessica was different. It was sort of...normal. People were comfortable with seeing us together as a couple — even my mom, although I’m sure if she’d heard Jessica talking about her virginity and what she wanted me to do about it last weekend, she might have thought twice about letting us spend so much time together. I was getting the impression that Jesse didn’t like Jessica very much, and I could understand that, knowing how I felt when I saw him getting close to Jason Tarentino. And yet, he wanted me to be with her. Maybe he thought she made a great smokescreen to mask our own relationship. Maybe he even thought that I deserved to have a normal boy/girl relationship and that it would make my mom happy and distract her from what was really going on. I couldn’t deny any of those things for certain, although it was always hard to figure out what Jesse was really thinking. He was always so many steps ahead of where I was intellectually. But I also realized that, whatever else was going on, Jessica was serving as an unknowing pawn in a game Jesse and I were playing and I didn’t feel good about that. I realized that, if I really was going to continue my relationship with her — a relationship she took very seriously, then I had to be open to her needs even if they went against what I was really feeling inside. To just keep her at arm’s length and let her pretend to be my girlfriend, just for the sake of protecting my relationship with Jesse Taylor was undeniably wrong.
I felt a little better (but dizzy) after that bit of insight, and I gave Melissa a cautious smile. “I’m really flattered that you think I’m a nice person and stuff,” I offered shyly, “and maybe if things were different, we could get together. But it just wouldn’t be fair to Kyle and Jessica to do things behind their backs, don’t you think?”
“Kyle and I are great together,” she agreed readily. “I mean, I’ve only messed around with maybe four or five other guys since we started getting serious.... And me and Kyle like...know each other so well. It’s not awkward or anything like it is with some people.” Melissa actually had something close to a thoughtful expression on her doe-eyed face. “You’re, like, so mature, Perry,” she noted with a sweet smile. “One in a million.”
“I hope so! We wouldn’t want a bunch of dazed and confused fourteen year olds running around loose, would we?”
“Well, if they all looked like you...” Melissa began. Then she giggled self-consciously. “I’m glad there’s only one of you because that makes you so special.”
“I think we’re all special, and we just need to find that one person in the world that sees that specialness, and that makes us happy and stuff,” I declared, momentarily stunned by my own deep thoughts.
“I guess I’ll just have to keep dreaming about you,” Melissa said wistfully as we headed back towards the bleachers. “With your shirt off, of course!” I let her have her laugh and thanked God for clothes! What would I do without them?
Reggie was all over me as soon as I got back, and wouldn’t you know it, he noticed right away that I didn’t even have my Coke.
“Where’d ya go?” he asked with genuine curiosity.
“I just ran into...some other kids from our school,” I explained as vaguely as possible.
“Seems like I saw you hangin’ with Melissa Doering over by the snack shack,” Eric noted playfully.
Damn! “Well...uh...yeah, she did kinda surprise me,” I admitted.
“Man, I’d give anything to jump her bones!” Eric declared boldly. This elicited a rather harsh smack on the thigh from Jamaica.
“Hey, chill, baby! I didn’t mean nothin’ by that!”
“Oh, is there another meaning to ‘jump her bones’ that I’m not aware of?”
“Oh Man!” Reggie exclaimed, and we all turned our attention back to the playing field as the crowd around us groaned in dismay.
“What happened?” I asked, glad for the sudden distraction. The referee was blowing his whistle and waving his arms as he ran across the field.
“Man! St. Joe’s went for a pass and the ball bonked right off Kyle’s helmet...and he didn’t even catch it!” Reggie groaned disappointedly.
“I guess he wasn’t expecting it to come to him,” I said, offering the obvious explanation.
“He just don’t like to play defense,” Eric said sullenly. “He told me hisself.”
There were a few turnovers, and nobody scored. I was really impressed with how good our team was — especially Gene, Billy, and Jeffy Adams. The problem though, was that there weren’t enough bench warmers to give anyone a break, and they were all getting pretty tired by now. St. Joe’s, on the other hand, had seven extra guys compared to our one, so just about everyone got a break at some point.
There were only about five minutes left with the Crusaders on the Wildcats’ twenty yard line. It was fourth down and I figured we’d just make a stand and let St. Joe’s try to work their way back across the field. Our boys did an incredible job holding St. Joe’s back while Kyle started his end run. But a couple of really big guys slipped through our tired line and headed right for him. Suddenly, Kyle shoved the ball into Gene’s hands, and obviously that hadn’t been even remotely in the plans because my mellow bud seemed just as startled as the rest of us. Unfortunately, the giant Wildcats saw it immediately and came crashing down on him. We all got to our feet after seeing the violent tackle.
“God, I hope Gene’s okay!” I exclaimed worriedly.
But he didn’t get up right away, and the referee came over, and then even Sister Mary Luellen came onto the field.
“Oh...no,” Jamaica groaned.
But then Gene struggled to his knees, and a couple guys helped him to his feet. He shook his head a few times and then waved everyone away. Phew!
“What’s wrong with Kyle?” Eric asked frustratedly. “Obviously, Gene wasn’t expecting that. Poor guy coulda been killed! What a jerk,” he mumbled under his breath.
Eric was probably right, because I saw Sister Mary Luellen take Kyle aside and she definitely had that stern nun thing going on big time. It was hard to believe she was the same person who taught our art class, calmly explaining to us how to make a mosaic out of old Legos, her behavior was so much more flamboyant out on the field. She waved her arms and shook her head and paced back and forth. All she needed to complete the picture was a big, smouldering stogie in one hand and a headset over her wimple and she’d be ready for the NFL!
“I don’t get it,” Reggie said, sounding genuinely perplexed. “Kyle’s an awesome player — the real thing, whatever his problem is about playing defense.... But lately, he seems distracted or something. His game’s really been suffering, and when the team is already so small....”
Now I understood why Gene had said that Kyle seemed to occasionally lose focus. It made me realize once again what an amazing team captain Morgan was, able to remain focused throughout the game, never losing sight of strategy, and making the kind of quick and intelligent decisions that always made the rest of us look good while giving our team the court advantage.
It looked like the Crusaders were going to prevail regardless, with the score still seventeen to fourteen and just a couple of minutes to go. But after only gaining about fifteen yards over three downs, St. Joe’s quarterback suddenly broke loose, bounding down the field towards the St. Boniface goal line. Somehow, it wasn’t surprising that their blockers went right after Kyle. They seemed to take him completely by surprise as they easily knocked him to the ground along with a couple of the smaller sixth graders, and the quarterback suddenly had a wide opening stretching all the way to the St. Boniface goal posts. I held my breath as I watched Gene, the only guy on our team big and fast enough, race after him, slowly closing the distance and finally nipping at his heels as the kid passed the five yard line. Gene leapt at his legs and managed to knock him down, only the kid managed to hold onto the ball — and it was on the other side of the goal line! Ugggh! With the touchdown and the extra point, the final score ended up St. Joseph, 21, St. Boniface, 17. The Wildcats would go on to the playoffs and the Crusaders were done for the season.
You could feel the disappointment as a palatable thing on our side of the field. Still, as the referee blew the final whistle, many of the folks in the St. Boniface bleachers went down to the field to congratulate our guys on a hard-fought game and a great season. Eric, Jamaica, Reggie and I did the same.
“Are you okay?” I asked Gene, who was drenched in sweat when he pulled off his helmet despite the cool December morning.
“I feel like breaking Kyle’s fuckin’ neck!” he hissed sharply under his breath.
Wow. I had never heard Gene that angry before — or angry at all for that matter.
“The main thing is that you’re okay,” I emphasised.
“Yeah...thanks, Per. Sorry you had to see that though. The guys all gave like a hundred and ten percent and I thought for sure we were gonna keep them from scoring.” He shook his head frustratedly even as Reggie and Eric offered their own words of support.
Suddenly, Melissa was standing right next to me, and she was tugging a very tired and sweaty looking Kyle by the crook of his arm.
“Hey, Per!” Kyle exclaimed, a bit out of breath. “What a mess, huh? Thought we were gonna make it...I’m really bummed out!” Then he leaned in close so that I got a potent dose of his pungent aroma. “Must be Melissa and those massive jugs, huh? When she stands on the sidelines bouncing up and down — ”
“Hi, Perry!” Melissa chimed in cheerfully. “I’m so glad this was the last game of the season! What a relief! We’re gonna grab some lunch at Mickey D’s — wanna come along?”
I could sympathize with Kyle’s problem to a certain extent, especially after having had my face rubbed in them, but still, he had let down his team and his school. I guessed he really was smitten with this buxom lass who was putting out for him like no one’s business and I was glad that I had been able to keep her off me. I sensed that Kyle really would be hurt if he found out Melissa was going after other guys, especially since they were having the most intimate kind of sex.
“Uh...sorry, but I gotta go shopping with Jessica,” I informed them with some relief.
“You goin’ to the mall?” Kyle asked, apparently not minding Melissa inviting me to join them for lunch.
“Well actually, we’re going down to Fashion Valley with our moms.”
“Oh, serious shopping!” Melissa exclaimed approvingly.
“Okay then. I gotta get cleaned up and changed,” Kyle noted, disregarding the disdainful glares he was getting from some of his team mates and even some of the parents. He gave me a wink and snapped his trigger finger at me. I felt like snapping mine right back — but only after loading it with a couple of real bullets first!
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