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:

The Prince of Main Street

by Andrew Simon van Ryan

Alex Hoffrin, editing

copyright 1999
all rights reserved

Chapter Four

    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 that way.”

    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

become him!”

    “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

about it...”

“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 out,

    he shouted, “Jesse! Put your fuckin’ pants on, will ya? Geez!"

“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

girls, okay?”

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,

Your Highness!”

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

the evening…

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 dresser,

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, Jesse”

“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...