The usual disclaimers apply, so if you are under 18, you shouldn't be
here! This is the first story I ever wrote, about Jesse, my "first
love". Please take special notice of how different life was then for
gay teenagers. Think of how it is now, and think of how you can make
life better for gay teens, today and for tomorrow. This is a novel
length book, and I warn you now that it contains numerous depictions of
gay sex between teenage boys. If you would be offended, don't read
this. If you're not offended by the subject matter, please read on. I'd
like to hear from you and to read your comments.
Write to me at: Zlatazobo@att.net
The Prince of Main Street
by Andrew Simon van Ryan
Alex Hoffrin, editing
all rights reserved
So much had already happened for one day, and
it was only 10:00 AM! We’d been home for about an hour,
but once we began to make love, the rest of the morning
just slipped away. The phone rang at 12:15 PM. It
was the School Office asking why Jess wasn’t in
class today. “Because I’ve got Andy van Ryan here. His
brother ran away from home this morning and his
mom and dad are having me watch him. The stress
of it all has made him sick... No, that’s my mother’s
opinion and she is a doctor or didn’t you know that?”
he sneered at the inquiring school secretary. “Yes,
he’ll bring a note and I’ll bring a parent excuse form,”
he said sarcastically. “See you tomorrow, good bye!”
I started laughing before he hung up.
“You wanna take my temperature, Doctor?” I asked.
“Yeah, let me stick my thermometer in your mouth!”
he jumped up on the bed. He tried teasing me by
waving his semi-hard cock at my face. “Maybe after
lunch,” I giggled. “I’m hungry. Besides. I’ve made
you cum twice already.” “You came, too!” Jesse
protested! I really was feeling back to normal. I stood
in the hall pulling on my Levis, which Jesse
discarded earlier on the carpet. I trotted to the
kitchen where we settled on sandwiches in front of
the TV. I noticed him staring at me. “What?!” I
demanded. It broke him up. “Now don’t start that
again!” he howled with laughter. “Start what?” I
asked faking a dumb reply. He smiled, but it
disappeared while he studied me with a little frown.
“Just what did happen to you this morning at
school?” he asked. “I don’t know,” I sighed. “It was
like, well... Okay. I was trapped against the booth,
and all those people were shouting at me, making
no sense at all. I started to panic when they began
to shove me harder. I was going to scream for help.
Then the Prince saved me. The Prince’s personality
just knew how to handle them. The part of me who
is the Prince took control. See, he’s not like a
separate person living inside me. It’s still only me.
I’m doing it, I'm thinking up what he says. See, “the
Prince” is this feeling of total confidence that comes
over me. I think and act completely different. I do it
on Main Street all the time. Today I told everyone
to do as the Prince ordered, and they did it! They
had to!” I glanced at Jesse. “They had to do what I
told them to do ‘cause they were all afraid of me!
And that power to control them scared me.”
“Well it freaked me out, too! I’ve never seen fifty
seniors do anything one freshman ordered them to
do. Shit, of course they were scared. They don’t
know about the Prince! You just suddenly become
totally different, Andy. Your voice even sounded completely
different to them,” Jesse explained. He stopped,
looked down at the floor and seemed to be thinking...
“Hey! That’s it! That’s it!” he shouted at me. I nearly
flipped over backwards! I recovered from the
surprise, and asked, “What’s it?!” “Speak like the
Prince, Andy! Can you? Just for a second. Please?”
he pleaded excitedly. “Uuhh, Uuhh. Yeah, yeah....…
Just let me think a second...Hummm.”
I composed myself. I slightly faltered, then, snap,
the switch turned on and out he came. “Well, ahhh....
Now just what are you so excited about, Master
Dahlinger? You gave me quite a start just now,
yelling like that! Where are your manners?” the
Prince spoke angrily. “Andy! That’s it!” Jesse shouted
and sprang from the floor. “It is ‘Your Highness’, if
you don’t mind!! Now what are you talking about” I
said still held in character. “Okay, Let me talk to Andy,
your Highness!” Jesse giggled as he danced around
“What are you getting so excited about, Jesse?” I
asked. Just Plain Andy had returned. “You don’t
realize it do you? No, you don’t! But guess what?
The Prince doesn’t have a lisp, Andy! Your lisp goes
completely away when you talk like that. Here! Talk
some more!” Jesse demanded. “Uhh,Uuh,… I can’t.
I mean, I don’t know how. I mean I don’t know what
to say. Are you sure it goes away?” I babbled,
sounding really confused. “Yes, I’m sure! Hey, losing
that lisp may turn out to be easier than we thought!
If you use the Princes’ voice, that is.”
“Well... I think I can, but the Prince comes along with
the voice,” I said. “I don’t know how to separate the
two.” “Maybe you can learn! Even if the Prince has
to do the talking for you, it might not be such a bad
thing!!” Jesse’s green eyes dazzled and danced as
he eyed me. “Yeah, but Jesse," I complained, "the
Prince is so snotty! I won’t get any new friends
Jesse grinned at me. “You don’t need any new friends.
You’ve got me now!” I tried to use the Prince’s voice
several more times that afternoon. Each time Jesse
would coach me. I had various degrees of success
with this. However, it was looking to me as if the
Prince and his voice were a one package deal.
Becoming frustrated, I said, “I don’t think it’s going
to be easy at all, Jesse. When I talk like him, I
“Yeah and you’re right about the Prince being
snotty. He might even lose you some friends, Andy!”
Jesse remarked, sounding very depressed. “Hey,
how did you become the Prince anyway?” he asked.
I chuckled and told him, “I saw some movie when I
was real little. There was this kid in the movie who
played a runaway Prince. I started copying the kid;
I copied how he spoke and how he acted. That’s
really where the “Prince” name came from. After
awhile, I developed this whole new persona.
Everyone on Main Street liked me acting for them,
so I started using it to be cute and to get things for
free! But at first, I was just imitating the kid in the movie.”
“Hey!!... That might do it!” Jesse said thinking out
loud. “Andy! Try imitating the Prince in the movie
instead of becoming the Prince. You know, like the
way you can imitate cartoon voices.” I thought to
myself how different the Prince and cartoon voices
were. Yet I thought it might work. “Okay! That’s an
idea! Yeah. That might work! Okay, how’s this...” I
paused, and then began. “My name is Andrew van
Ryan. I come from Southern California where I was
born. I go to High School during the week, and live
with my boyfriend, Jesse Dahlinger on weekends...
’Cause he’s a homo...” I smiled. “You dick! It works!”
Jesse shouted as he bounded over the sofa at me.
“Now I’m going to get you for that homo remark!” I
jumped away and started running and laughing.
Jesse was right! It had worked! I was dizzy with joy.
This small success had brought me hope! I finally
thought that maybe I could succeed in losing my
lisp without giving myself over to the control of the
Prince! Jesse was happy that the time we’d spent
was already showing results!
He was serious about getting even for the remark
I made, too! He chased me through the house, out
the side door and into the orange grove. He caught
me at the edge of the backyard lawn. I fell to the
ground, laughing my ass off. Jess jumped on me,
and squirmed his way on top. “Get off me!” I
protested. “No!” he said, eyes flashing. “Let me up!”
I cried. “No!” he repeated. “Jesse, get off me!” I
was laughing so hard that the words were barely
understandable. “Please!!!” I pleaded. “No!!” He
stared at me, all smiles. “Let’s do it!” he said. “Right
now?! Here?!” My eyes widened. “Yeah, why not?!”
he said, and began pulling off my sweatshirt. All I
could do was laugh. First went my shirt, then he
pulled off my socks. These he threw towards the
pool. I was glad he missed! He pulled my Levis off
and gave them a fling over his shoulder. Since Jess
was only wearing jeans, he pulled at the button fly,
and they dropped to the lawn.
He stepped out of them and dove on me. We rolled
about on the lawn, the afternoon sun warm on our
skin. We kissed passionately like it was the first time
all over again. Skin to skin, lips to lips, cock to cock!
The sensation of doing it outside in the middle of
the afternoon made it seem so much more exciting.
We were practically drunk with pleasure. So drunk
that we failed to hear the “Birds” rumble until Doug
pulled up directly in front of the house. “Oh, Shit!
We’re gonna get caught!” Jesse shouted, as he dove
for his pants. “Jesse! Follow me!” I turned, took
two long steps, and dove into the pool. I heard
Jesse’s splash as I came up for air. I dove back
under the water and swam for the deep end. When
I surfaced, I heard Doug saying, “Hey, that looks
great! Mind if I come in, Jess?” Jess motioned
with his arm, and said “C’mon in!” Doug began
removing his shirt while speaking to me. “Looks like
you’ve recovered from your breakdown, van Ryan!”
He dropped his pants, and dove in the water. “Huh?”
I said pushing my wet hair out of my eyes. Doug
surfaced laughing, and said “Yep! The word around
school is that you had a nervous breakdown, and
the goons took you over to Brea Neuro-Psychiatric!”
Doug laughed some more. “Oh, fuckin’ great!! Now
I’m going to be called a psycho by every one! Shit!!”
“No, Andy. I told everyone I drove you to a secret
hideout where you and Jesse are going to stay until
the cops stop looking for Les! Ha! Ha!” Doug was
in hysterics. Jesse rolled his eyes before he started
laughing, too. I was still swearing, “Oh, that’s really
going to help! Fuckin’ A, man! I’m still going to have
a hard time living this down. Shit!!” “Oh, I don’t think
you’ll have to live it down, Andy,” Doug intoned.
“You’ve got half the Senior Class spooked outta their
pants! Rumor is you’ve got some kind of strange
power, and have had it ever since you we’re a little
boy. I guess we all know who that rumor is about. Huh,
“Oh, no!!” I whined as my eyes looked towards the
sky. “Yep! Now it looks like everyone in Fullerton is
going to hear about The Prince.” He studied me as
he said this. Doug admitted to liking the Prince and
thought he was “fun to hang out with.” “I don’t think
that would be such bad thing, Andy. I mean, no one's
going to fuck with you. It scared them, seeing you
like that. So just think about it.” “But I’m so snotty to
people when I do that. The Prince is really quite
egotistical!” I protested again. “Yes, but he puts you
in control of the situation, Andy! Besides, those of
us who know the Prince think he’s kinda cool to
hang out with. Ah, I mean, it's cool to hang out with you,
right?” Doug wasn’t convincing me. “Well, I’ll think
“Hey you jerks! This pool is too cold!” he suddenly
interrupted. “You guys are crazy to be swimmin’ in
it. I’m getting out!” “Me too!” Jesse shivered. “Well
then I ain’t staying out here for my health!” I said,
and started for the edge. “You mean your mental
health?!” Doug laughed. Jesse shot a quick glance
towards me as I pulled on my pants. He had a look
on his face like, “Oh crap, that was close!” “So, what
brings you this way before school’s over?” I asked
Doug. “My Firebird!” he replied. Coming from anyone
else, this might have gotten a laugh. Coming from
Doug, it was just him stating a fact.
“Actually, I’m here on a mission!” He turned to look
at us. “Jesse! Put your pants on!” he said, and
frowned. “Oh!” said Jesse; looking down at his bare
body. “I was going to get a towel first!” Doug rolled
his eyes and headed for the backdoor. “I’ve got some
information for you about Les and Eric.”
I chased after him through the doorway, and into
the kitchen. "What kind of info, Doug?” I asked
as I followed him to the fridge. “They’re in Hollywood.
But they’re not staying. They may go to San
Francisco, tonight. Eric wants to hitchhike to New
York and become an actor, but Les wants to join a
band in ‘Frisco.” “How did you find this out?” I asked.
“Gilbert told me. He’s the only one who saw you
guys leaving with me this morning. Anyway, Les
called when Gilbert was home at lunchtime.
Gilbert came back to school, and told me, so I could tell
you. But, Andy. Don’t tell anyone Gilbert snitched
on Les! He insisted I say that. Okay?” “I know
nothing!” I replied. “Good!” Doug responded. “I’m
taking a beer to drink on the way back to school. I
got two more classes to catch, if I hurry. I’ll call you
guys after I get off work at seven. Seeya!” Doug
said, turning toward the front door. As he walked
he shouted, “Jesse! Put your fuckin’ pants on, will
“Oh! Ok, I forgot.” Jess explained "I feel silly. And cold!"
“Well, I must say, you do look pretty silly” I said,
laughing. “Lets get you dried off and warmed up!”
He followed me down the hall where I took two
big fluffy robes out of the closet. “Here, let’s put these
on.” I turned to face Jesse, and to my surprise, he
was crying! “Jesse, what is it?” I asked, gazing at
him. “I almost got us busted by Doug! I’m so stupid!
That would have ruined everything!” “Hey Jesse.” I
put my arms around him. “We didn’t get caught, so
we’re still safe. We just gotta be more careful, okay?
So, why the tears?” “Cause I’m really happy you’re
living with me, and I almost ruined it before a week
was even up!” he began sobbing. I pulled him to
me, and tried to quiet him down. I lead him into the
bedroom, and we sat down on the edge of the bed.
Jesse cried for almost five minutes straight. When
he recovered enough to speak, he told me, “Andy,
I’m so in love, and so happy that I don’t think I could
stand it if you couldn’t be here with me. I’m scared
to be without you...” He started to cry again, so I rocked
him gently until he calmed down. “I’m sorry
for crying. You must think I’m stupid now.” “Well, I’ve
always thought you were stupid!” I teased. “Oh,
Andy! Stop it!" I kind’a smiled, and he gave me a little
nudge. “Jesse, I have to lay down,” I informed him.
“Jumping in that cold pool really gave me a
headache.” “Yeah... And you need to eat something,
Andy. You only ate about half that one sandwich. I’ll
go make something for us.” he said, and started for
the door. He stopped and then asked, “You want anything
special?” “I’ve already got something special,” I
answered him, and crawled beneath the covers.
“God, I love you!” Jess declared as he walked out
the door. I glanced at the clock. It read 2:06. “Good,”
I thought, “just enough time for a nap before Jesse’s
Mom gets home at 4:30.”
Jesse returned only to find I had dozed off. “Hmmm.
The dormouse is asleep again,” he whispered to
himself, then went to the living room to watch TV
and left me to rest.
I was jarred awake by the sound of drawers opening
and closing, accompanied by odd rustling noises
somewhere behind me. “Stop making so much noise and come
get in bed,” I complained without looking, then flipped open
the covers, exposing my naked backside. “Excuse
me?” a woman’s voice asked. “Aahhhhh!!!!!” I
screamed, while wriggling across the bed, and tossing
the covers over me. I heard Jesse laughing, and I
heard a female voice laughing as well.
Oh, God! What time was it? Did I just do what I
think I did? I poked my head out from under the
covers. There stood Mary, Jesse’s Mom. She was
looking at me, and laughing so hard that she was
practically in tears. Jesse lay rolling around on the
floor, holding his sides and howling. “Oh, no!” I cried,
and flipped the covers back over my head. This
caused even more laughter. I tried to retreat to
the very bottom of the bed. Eventually I heard Mary
say, “Andy, you can come out now.” I didn’t move.
“C’mon. It’s okay, Andy. Please come out now! I
promise we won’t laugh any more”.
“Speak for yourself!” Jesse croaked as he started
to howl again. “Jesse! Stop that!” she scolded.
“Andy, come on now dear. Let me see your face,”
Mary begged. “No...” I pouted. “C’mon, Andy. I
brought you boys a present!” She watched the lump
under the blankets wiggle a bit. I poked just my nose
out from my hiding place. “Present?” I asked. “Yes,
but you have to get up to come see it,” Mary replied.
I peeked out further, my eyes just barely exposed. “A
present?” I repeated. “Well, there you are!” Mary
said, holding out the robe I had discarded earlier.
“Yes! Now here’s your robe. C’mon and get up. We’ll
go wait in the living room for you.” She herded the
still laughing Jesse out the door. I lay still for a
moment, and suddenly realized how funny the
situation actually was. Now I began to laugh. “We
hear you!” Mary called from the front room. I slipped
on the robe, and padded down the hall to meet them.
I was stopped in my tracks. “What is it?” I asked,
studying the three large boxes. “Come look in the
garage, Andy,” Mary said. She got up and led the
way. When we got to the door she stepped aside.
Jesse pointed, and said “Look, Andy! It’s for us!”
Leaning against the wall was a king-sized mattress
and box spring set, still in the plastic wrap. “It’s for
our bedroom! We each have a set of drawers,
and a matching set of lamps. But there’s something
even better. She got us a stereo to go with it! With
FM! Isn’t that cool!”
“Whoa!! Are you kidding me?! You got this for
us!” I cried, staring wide eyed. “Yes, I did, Andy. It’s
a present for you and Jesse both,” Mary smiled. She
leaned over and planted a kiss on my forehead.
“Andy, you don’t have to, but I would like it if you
called me Mom from now on, okay?” I turned to
look at her. She smiled, waiting for me answer, but I
couldn’t speak. My throat was choked closed. So, I
reached out, putting my arms around her. I hugged
her tightly, and tears came flooding out. “Andy! Are
you okay?” Mary asked, and returned my hug. “It’s
okay, Mom. Andy cried a lot this weekend.” Jesse
said, “He’s just like me. He’s happy!” “Is that right,
Andy?” she questioned me. All I could do was nod
my head up and down, and squeeze tighter, eyes
still closed. When I felt composed enough, I tried to
open them. Wrong! I started bawling all over again!
Mary gently took hold of one hand, leading me
back to the front room. Jesse quickly took the other
hand. We sat down together, and I curled up against
Jesse’s shoulder. “Well, I guess you’re feeling better
about me knowing the two of you are gay, right?”
she asked. “Yes, but I was wondering why you’re
not mad at us,” I said. “Well, Andy, that’s a good
question. I’m sure you were expecting me to react
like your own parents might react, true?” “True...” I
was almost whispering. “It’s because I have a
brother who’s gay. People treated Leo very badly
when they found out about his sexuality. He was
only a year older than you boys are right now when
he was beaten up the first time. By the time he
should have finished High School, he’d been beaten
up four times. Once so badly he ended up in the
hospital for a month. He didn’t get to finish High
School. The court had him in a Boys Detention
Center until he was 21. He endured a living hell,
Andy,” She explained. “All because he loved
someone who loved him, too! It was by accident
they were discovered. If my parents would have
been understanding and let them be who they were
at home, it wouldn’t have turned out that way. Later,
I studied homosexual behavior in college and wrote
my Doctorate on the subject. Andy, you and Jesse
are gay because you were born that way.
You didn’t choose it. Nobody turned you gay. It’s
just the way it is. I accept you for who you are. I’m
actually glad you boys were introduced so you could
get together. I know you’ve both been very lonely
growing up and...” “Huh? Wait! We weren’t
introduced” I interrupted "We just kinda met..." Mary
stopped me, saying, “Oh, Dear! I forgot. Well actually,
it was arranged for the two of you to meet, Andy.”
“Arranged?” Jesse frowned. “By who?” Mary looked
at us, thinking. “Okay, you boys should know this, but
don’t tell her I told you, all right Andy?” I nodded.
“Andy, your grandmother arranged it. Let me tell you
how.” This was a total shock! I sat up and looked at
Mary. I didn’t make a sound. I was too scared. “When
Jesse and I moved here last summer, your grandma
was the third person we met. I had driven down to
Main Street Market, to buy a few things. I was
walking up one aisle and your grandma was coming
the other way. She looked at me, and asked if I was
new in town. She started a conversation, being very
friendly. We were talking when Jesse walked up
from behind us. Your granny introduced herself,
and talked to him for a few seconds, before Jesse
went off to the bike shop next door. As Jess walked
out the front door, your grandmother said, ‘Your son’s
a “different” boy, isn’t he?" I was taken aback a bit,
but she looked right at me, and said, ‘I can tell. My
grandson’s the same way. About the same age, too.
If you shop here on Main Street, you’ll hear all about
him! They call him the “Prince of Main Street” in this
town, and when you see Andy, you’ll know it.’ I asked
her why you were called that, but she just smiled, and
said, ‘Oh, I’ll let the townsfolk tell you that story! But
maybe your son and Andy should meet. Andy’s been
a rather lonely boy. Might be good for both of them.
With this being such a small town, might help if they
had each other. Andy goes over to the Boy Scout
meetings at the new High School Monday evenings.
If Jesse would like to meet Andy, just take him there.
Very nice to meet you Mrs..?’ she questioned and I told
her my name. Then she excused herself to finish
Jesse met me at the checkout stand, and I was
going to tell him about my talk with your grandma.
But before I could, Jesse blurted out, ‘Hey! Look there!
Who is that?!’ The lady at the market? Bess? She
looked to where Jesse was pointing, and said
“Ohhhhhhh!!!!! That's Andy, the Prince of Main Street!
You’ll hear a lot about him, if you live in this town.”
Jesse watched, and I craned my neck to get a peek.
I saw this skinny boy with long blonde hair crossing
the street. You had this,... this incredible presence.
It seemed to come from the way you walked, and
held your head up, and ...well, you just looked like
a Prince would look! Jesse was in awe. He asked,
“Did you see that, Mom? That boy stopped traffic
just by glancing at the cars!” And the cars coming up
and down the street had stopped. People inside the
cars and all the pedestrians on the street stared at
you. Jesse continued, saying, “And look!
Everyone is staring at him! Who’d you say he is?”
Bess repeated, “The Prince of Main Street! His full
name is Andrew Simon van Ryan. He’s the youngest
boy of one of the oldest pioneer families in this town.
That was his grandmother you were talking to in
the second aisle,” she said, as she turned to me. Jesse
asked if you were a real Prince, and she said,
“He is in this town! Every shopkeeper on Main Street
knows him by name, and they all say he has this
strange power that... Oh, Well they say he’s got
supernatural powers, but it’s just superstition!”
We watched you cross the street, and on up around
the corner. You know, Andy. Every single person you
passed by stopped, turned and watched you walk up
the street, until you were out of sight before they
moved again!” I answered “Yeah, that happens a
lot” and started giggling.
“You do like being the Prince! I knew it!” Jesse
poked at my side, making me squirm. “Anyway,
when we got out to the car, I asked Jesse if he’d
like to meet you.” “What did he say?” I quizzed her,
and grinned. “He said, ‘No.’”
“What?!” I cried.
I turned to look at the giggling boy behind me. “Jesse
thought you wouldn’t like him. He figured you must
be the most popular boy in town. So, I told him how
your granny told me you were a very lonely boy,
with no real friends. Jesse wondered about you in
silence all the way home. Later that day, he asked
about you again, saying, “Do you think he might be
like me, Mom? Could that be why he’s lonely? Do
you think he likes boys, too? There is something
really different about him...”
“I remember saying that!” Jesse chimed in. Mary
continued, “I told Jesse that unless he met you, he’d
never know. Then I said if he decided he’d like to
meet you, I knew where he could do exactly that.”
“Jess hadn’t got a real good look at your face,
and wasn’t sure he could recognize you at the Scout
meeting,” Mary was saying when Jesse interrupted.
“I almost didn’t recognize you! You were over in the
corner sitting on the floor, and holding your knees
together with your arms. Until you looked right at
me, I was thinking you couldn’t be that boy I had
seen. When you turned, and looked directly at me, I
completely flipped! Your face was the exact face of
the boy in my dreams! I almost ran out to the car
to tell my mom, but you were staring at me like
you'd been expected me. I felt you wanted me to sit down
and talk to you.”
“I was expecting you!" I answered "I don’t know why I thought
that, but I remember looking directly into your eyes, and
thinking, ‘There he is. Hey, come over here!’ You
walked right over to me, and sat down.” “Well, Andy,”
Mary continued, “Jesse hasn’t stopped talking about
you since that night. I knew he was falling in love,
then you came home from school with
Jesse that first time. Watching the two of you together,
I knew it wouldn’t be long before you realized you
were in love with Jesse. I told Jess to be patient
and let you make the first move. See, Jesse already
knew he liked boys, but you didn’t quite know what
you liked, Andy. I saw you were scared about your
feelings” “You can say that again! And scared of my
dad finding out! He would really flip out!” I
emphasized. “I knew that, Andy. It’s the way a lot of
gay boys feel. I thought about what my brother Leo
went through as a teenager. Then about the boys
at the hospital. Andy, where I work they have a
psychiatric ward. That’s the ward I run. Some people
are so terrible to their own sons! We get boys
brought in all the time, because they’re gay! I tell
their families the boys are not mentally ill, they are
born that way, and more than half the time, their
families won’t believe it!”
“So, I've come up with a plan, so you two can have
a chance at what heterosexual couples take for
granted. The freedom to love each other openly
without any guilt or being ashamed of your feelings,
right here at home. You can be happy, in love, and
be protected, if that’s what you boys want to do.
You’ll never have to be lonely again.” Then, she
warned us. “However, we must prevent others from
becoming suspicious, and discovering you boys are
homosexuals.” Mary glanced back and forth
between us. “So, there are going to be some rules
you boys will have to keep, otherwise you can’t be
together, okay?” Mary sounded serious now, and it
was written in the downturned corners of her mouth.
“Rules?” we whined in tandem. “Yes, rules!” she
retorted. The disappointment of having rules was
apparent by our reaction. Mary glared at us a for
moment so we agreed, groaning, “okay,” in unison.
“First, no public displays of affection, like hugging
or sitting too close together. Things like that. Okay?”
We nodded our approval. “Second, no inside jokes
or sly remarks in front of others. People aren’t dumb.
They’ll catch on faster than you think they will. So,
no teasing or flirting in public as well. Thirdly, you
have to appear to the other kids as being like them.
So, if you want to go to a school dance for example,
you have to find dates... Girls.” Hearing this, we both
began protesting. “Mom!!!... Jesse whined. “Ew!!...
I said, wrinkling up my nose. “Really?” we again
spoke in stereo. “Yes, I’m sorry, but this part is very
important. If you two don’t date girls, people will
become suspicious very quickly. Especially now, with
the two of you spending so much time together.
Boys, I couldn’t take it if one or both of you ended
up in the hospital or dead. It is just that serious! So you
have to promise me. You will go on some dates with
I looked at Jesse and he glanced back. We
decided without having to speak.” Okay… we will...”
“Under no circumstances let anyone else know! If
someone asks you, even if you trust them, say no!
Andy, this means even your mother can’t know. I
don’t have to warn you about telling the rest of your
family, do I?” “What about my grandmother?” I asked.
Since she had first suggested Jesse and I meet, I
expected Mary to say it was okay. “No, Andy. She
knows, but when you two became friends, I called
her, and we spoke. She knows and understands,
but she’s uncomfortable. She wants you boys
to understand, and not act ‘sweet’ in front of her. I
think you boys should respect her wishes.”
“She said a couple things to me on the phone
today. You’re right, Mom. She was real
uncomfortable talking to me. But she said she loves
us and to be careful.” Jesse told his mom. “Well, then
you heard it from her. She loves the two of you, but
she would prefer not to talk about it, okay?” Mary
said to us. “That’s okay with me, I love her and
wouldn’t want to upset her,” I said. Jesse added,
“She got us together, so whatever she wants us to
do, we’ll do!”
“Andy, dear?” Mary now turned her attention
to me. “Jesse told me Les and Eric ran away. You’re
going to be staying with us all week, then?” “Yes,...
if you don’t mind, that is...” I almost invited myself!
“Of course it’s all right! How’s your family dealing
with this, Hon’?” she asked. “Well, my father is
sounding controlled, But my Mom’s ready to kick Les’
butt!” Jesse giggled at my remark. “Hmm. That’s
probably not the best way to deal with it. Did they
call the Police?” Mary continued. “No, but Larry did,”
came my answer. “Oh, well! Larry would! If you
boys want to know what’s wrong with Eric, just look
at Larry!” Mary’s remark sent us to the floor with
laughter. “That’s for sure!” we replied in stereo. “What
is this?” Mary demanded, “Have you two been
practicing to speak in unison?” “No...” we did it again
and the result was more laughing and holding of
“Okay, let’s get back to the subject. I would guess
that your folks think they’re protecting you from Les.
I know he turns on you when he’s angry. Les is a
case study in repressed feelings, Andy. He’s a very
troubled boy. A part of my inviting you to stay here
was so you could open up and talk about how you
feel. Anytime you want to talk about anything, you
just go ahead and speak up! Oh, which reminds
me!” She looked directly at me, and said
sympathetically, “Andy, don’t take this wrong, Hon’,
but we’re going to need to work on that lisp of
yours...” “Oh, yeah!” Jesse and I chorused, jumping
to our feet. Mary looked at us like we were losing
our minds. Jesse explained to her as I positioned
myself in front of them. “Listen to what we figured
out today!” he looked at me, and said, “Take it away,
Instantly, The Prince spoke... “Mrs. Dahlinger, your
son Jesse pointed out something to me this
afternoon. While Andrew has a very pronounced
speech impediment, I do not! However, those
around me evidently have overlooked this until your
son noticed. So I believe, therefore, that in
the future I shall have to assume the duties of
communicating for Andrew!” With that, I took a bow.
“Oh, my goodness! Andy, you sound wonderful!”
Both Jesse and Mary applauded! I smiled broadly,
and sat back down, wiggling in behind Jesse. Mary
was still clapping. “Oh, Andy, I’m in shock! I never
noticed it before, but you don’t lisp when you talk
that way. Not at all! You sound a little like you might
be English, or Irish, maybe, but that’s much better
than having a lisp! Oh, Honey, I’m so happy for
you! You’re too big now to have a lisp. The older you
get the more trouble it would cause you! That’s great,
boys. See, you really can be a help to each other. This is
really going to work out, I think!” “Yeah, but I told
my dad I'm going to have to stay here on Thursday
nights,” I reported. Mary stared blankly for a
moment. “I... must have missed something,” she said.
“Oh, I told my parents I wanted to take speech
therapy, and that Jesse would help me with the
exercises, but I would need to stay here one extra
night a week!” I told her. “Well, you can stay here
the extra night every week, but you will practice. I
won’t have you lying to your folks. If that’s the deal
you made, that’s the deal you’ll keep, okay?”
“Oh, I really meant it about the therapy classes.
I’m going to go. I’m really getting tired of people
calling me Sylvester.” I spluttered thickly as I said
the famous animated cat’s name. Jesse looked at Mary,
trying very hard not to laugh, but it was too much.
She couldn’t help herself, and burst out laughing.
Jesse followed suit, doubling over and holding his
stomach. “Hey!” I snapped, “I’m not saying this to be
funny!” That drove the two of them onto the floor,
to roll in hysterics. I was turning bright red with
embarrassment. “Stop it!” I whined, and put one of
the big sofa pillows over my head. Their laughing
turned to howls. I thought they were never going to
stop. Saved by the bell! The telephone bell, to be
truthful. The phone rang twice before they stopped
laughing. Mary composed herself, and answered
on the fifth ring.
“Hello?... Oh, hello, Henry! Yes, Andy is sitting right
here. Would you like to speak to him?... Oh! I see,
yes...” I could barely hear my father’s voice mumbling
through the earpiece as he was talking. He must
have talked for five minutes straight before pausing.
“Alright, Henry, I’ll tell him. Don’t you two worry, they’ll
find them. Andy will be safe here with me! I’ll look
after him ‘till you two get back. When does she
leave?” “Who leave?” I whispered. “I see, well, does
she want to say good bye to Andy?” Mary continued,
I was beginning to get frustrated hearing
just this one side of the conversation. “Who?” I said.
Mary continued, “Ok, in the morning then, before you
leave? I’ll tell him, Henry. I’ll have him up and ready.
Yes, I’ll make sure. Okay, then. Goodnight!”
Hanging up, Mary turned to look at me. “Andy,
your sister has been hired as a school teacher. She’s
going to be the tutor for three children on a private
yacht! Your mom and dad have to drive her down to
Ensenada, Mexico, tomorrow to board the ship.
They’re going to stay overnight there, and will be
back home Wednesday. You’re to wait here in the
morning until they come, so she can say good-bye.
You may have to miss half the school day.”
“Leaving?!” I cried. “Mexico? No!...” My sister had
been my protector as I grew up, keeping Les from
performing his sadistic attacks on me. She had been
self-appointed to the job, and performed it very
seriously. Now she was leaving.
“I think I know why they want you to stay the week
here. If they have to be in Mexico, they don’t want
you home alone if Les returns,” Jesse said. “I’m
sure that’s a big part of it, Jess. But Henry said they
want him staying here for another reason. The
quarterly report cards arrived on Saturday. Andy,
you got two A’s and three B’s. You still got a C in
gym, but your dad doesn’t care about gym class!” “I
did?!” It was another surprise! “All right, Andy!”
shouted Jesse. “Well, looks like I should take you
boys out to celebrate! How ‘bout it?” Mary smiled.
There was much shouting and cheering as
we raced each other down the hall to get dressed.
Mary drove way over to Fullerton for dinner. As
we passed the street where my family’s ranch was, I
could see the house lights were all blazing. The
same was true at my grandmother’s, too. “I
wouldn’t get any sleep if I was there tonight,” I said.
“Yes, they must be running around like crazy people,
getting your sister packed up, and having Les
missing,” Mary said. “Did my father say how long
she would be gone?” I asked. “The yacht’s owner is
planning on a trip around the world,” Mary explained.
“They estimate two years.” “Two years!” My mouth
dropped open. Two years seemed like forever to
a fourteen, going on fifteen year old boy. I looked
at our ranch, its lights now fading away in the
distance. “Two years...” I said quietly. “I’m really going
to miss her...” Jesse put his arm around me, and I
rested my head on his shoulder. Mary looked at us
thoughtfully. She drove on for a few minutes before
breaking the silence. “Boys, I think we’ve done the
right thing. Watching you two love and care for each
other makes me think the two of you were intended
to be together."
“We think so, too!” replying in stereo. Mary
laughed, and asked, “How do you boys do that?”
Together, we asked “Do what?” He and I looked at
each other and said, “Stop that!… Quit it!” as if it
was planned. This made us laugh like fools. “Boys!
I really want to know how you’re doing that?!” Mary
asked. Both answered, “We don’t know!” slightly out
of sync, but we each used the exact same words.
“That is very strange! I’ve studied Human
behavior in depth, and I’ve only encountered stories
of that with identical twins.” Jesse’s eyes twinkled
at me, and I instinctively knew what to say. “Twin
brothers of different mothers!” came our reply. “Yes,
it would seem that way!” Mary laughed. “You
just might have something there.” We chatted the
rest of the way to the restaurant. Mary reminded us
of the rules she laid down earlier, before leaving
the car. Jesse and I had no trouble behaving, and I
think we did just fine in our first public excursion
since becoming boyfriends. We appeared simply as
two teenage boys out to dinner with their mom for
It was after 7:30 when we finished dessert. “All
right now. Let’s get going! We still have to assemble
the bedroom set tonight,” Mary said, as she slid out
of the booth. She turned, and noticed I was frowning
while staring at the table. “Andy? Are you
ready, Hon’?” “Huh? Oh, sorry!” I slid out of the
booth, and followed behind both of them. Once
outside, I said, “I was wondering something. Since
I made up the Prince in my mind, does that mean
I’ve got a split personality?” “No, Andy! It means
that you found acting was one of your talents at a
young age. By performing as the Prince, you
discovered that the old shopkeepers found it cute,
and that you could get away with receiving things
you normally were too shy to ask for. I would guess
that’s why the Prince has no lisp. I think what would
do you well is to ‘become’ the Prince. Become
‘Prince Andy’ and let the best of both sides show!”
“Prince Andy? No, it would have to be ‘Prince
Andrew’. Andy’s not proper enough!” I thought out
loud. “Yes, I see what you mean,” Mary continued.
“You’re very proper when the Prince is speaking.
Very deliberate, too! That’s what intimidates people.
You act as though you’re the authority on every
subject. Sounding so sure of what you’re saying,
no one dare question you. That can be a very useful
tool in your life Andy. He can speak in a way that
you don’t. That voice is not an embarrassment to
you. I think you hung onto your lisp because it
seemed cute to your mom and grandmother when
you were little. You are the youngest, and they gave
you special attention because of it. The lisp made
you different, so again, you received more attention
at home. It also embarrassed you in public, so you
learned to have an entirely separate voice for using
in public,” Mary explained, and reassured me that I
wasn’t a schitzo or some kind of crazy person. Many
things suddenly made sense to me, including why
Les was so mean to me. He didn’t get the attention
he wanted, and felt that I got too much.
About halfway home I asked, “Did Jesse tell you
what happened at school this morning?” “About you
not feeling well?” Mary quizzed. “I didn’t tell her yet,
Andy.” Jesse quietly answered my thoughts. “Okay,
I guess not. What did happen?” she asked. “Well,
when we got off the bus, there were about fifty of
Les’ friends waiting for us. All seniors. They told me
about Les and Eric. No one had called my folks yet,
so I ran to the phone and dialed home, but Dad already
knew. This next part is where it gets strange. I hung
up the phone, and suddenly every one started
asking questions and yelling things, and it was just
a big roaring noise they were making. They started
pushing, shoving and surrounding me, so I
panicked. I felt totally trapped. Then, without thinking, the
Prince just came out of me, and I snapped at the
seniors, saying, “Stop it and go to class.” I sounded
really mean when I said it and it really wasn’t me. It
was him. It was the Prince that did it. Funny thing
was, they all obeyed, as if they had to do what I said.
I got kinda scared after it happened, and I was shaking. It
felt so weird, and my stomach started to hurt. I just wanted to
come home.” I said this, just as Mary turned into the
driveway. “Home,” I repeated.
It took about an hour to get the bed set up. The
end cabinets and matching lamps,along with the stereo, took up
almost the entire room. “Wow, Jesse! Look at how big
that bed is!” I said. “You two are probably going to
need a big bed. I noticed you’ve gotten a bit taller
in just the last two months Andy,” Mary remarked.
“We wouldn’t want you to end up with your feet
sticking out the end. You have grown a little, haven’t
“I was only 5’1” last April. Mother has measured
my height every year on my birthday. She marks it
on the wall. When I started school this year the
coach said I measured 5’7”. That’s an inch a month,”
I replied. “Oh, shit!” Jesse swore. “You’ll probably
be 6’ 5” and I’ll still be 5’5”. I’m gonna look like a
shrimp...” he complained. “Okay, boys! It’s time you
were in bed! Remember, Andy’s family are coming
by in the morning. I’m getting you up right at
6:00am!” Mary clapped her hands. “Hurry up and
get to bed now! And DON’T stay up! You need to
sleep, so no fooling around tonight!”
“Mom! It’s a new big bed!” Jesse started. “And it’ll
be here when you get home from school tomorrow!”
Mary interrupted. She exited and closed the door behind
her, so we stripped off our clothes. I was first into
the bed. The new sheets on the new mattress seemed
rough to my naked skin. Jesse slipped under the
covers on his side. Lying next to me, he put his head
on my chest. “This is so cool! I love you, Andy!"
Jesse whispered. “I love you, the Prince loves you,
and we both love you!” I giggled. For a few minutes
we lay there quiet. “It seems like a whole new world,
now, Jesse. Everything’s changing so fast. This last
week turned my life over, under, sideways and
down. If I didn’t have you with me today, I’d have
lost my mind.” I spoke softly. “No, you couldn’t have
gone crazy, because you already are!” he giggled. “Yeah,
you're right! I must be crazy, getting in bed with you, Mr.
Pervert!” I laughed. “Boys! Go to bed! It’s late!” Mary
“Okay, let’s not get her mad at us!” I whispered.
“Goodnight, boyfriend! I love you,” he responded,
and kissed me. We snuggled in together, and very soon
drifted off to sleep...
To Be Continued...
To Be Continued...