© 2013


Jonathan Longhorn

Disclaimer: Copyright 2013 by Jonathan Longhorn.  All rights reserved.  This story provides the struggle that takes place for a guy during his coming out process.  It certainly does not encompass everything for everyone and it is only a reflection for this one particular character; at least, for now.  If you are under the age of 18 (or the legal age to read such stories in your community), please leave now.

This story is a departure from my usual stories in that there is no sex included; at least for now.  If that's not for you, I understand; however, I hope that you will take the time to read the story as it progresses and give it a chance.

Please remember this story is fiction.  In the real world having sex without using a condom can be very dangerous to your health.  Don't ruin your life or your future.  Slip it on before you slip it in.

All of the characters in this story are totally fictitious and are assumed to be at least 18 years of age.

Chapter One

He stepped from the shower and grabbed an oversized towel from the rack; steam streamers swirled around him as he walked into the bedroom.  He stopped halfway into the bedroom and briskly ran the towel through his dripping hair.  As he flipped the towel around behind him and began working over broad, muscled shoulders and down that deep `V' of his back toward his perfectly bubbled butt, his eyes locked onto the guy standing a few feet away.  He, too—working the towel over his chiseled features in perfect unison to his own movements.

He stared into a pair of eyes that smoldered in a blend of gun metal gray and crisp, mountain sky blue; and, he shuddered when he realized that they too were staring right back into his own.

The towel came forward and lovingly hugged his broad chest and licked its way downward over rippling washboard abs.  His head tilted as he felt the other guy staring beyond his naked form.

Staring—beyond his eyes.

Staring—into his soul.

Probing—to unlock his darkest secrets.

Who the hell are you?

There was no answer of course.  There never was, no matter how many nights he stood right here, staring at him staring back.

He couldn't resist the temptation to let his eyes drift downward as the towel dropped to the floor.  His gaze licked and kissed its way over each of those 8 packs; danced lightly through the thin layer of auburn silk that dripped downward into the area he had begun being more and more focused on in the wrong places, and at the wrong times.  Places like the locker room, the showers, the pool. . . .


Why was this happening?

Why . . . now, and why—this?

Why was he feeling this?

Why was he going through this?

What the hell did he ever do to deserve this?

Why . . . me?

He strode forward slowly, purposefully, as if cautiously advancing on an enemy, and delved into the other guy's eyes with a burning intensity.  Scanning.  Searching.  Scrutinizing.

He wondered again if it showed.  Could anyone tell that he wasn't . . . like . . . them?

His eyes rolled as he turned away in disgust.  Disgust, or—anxiety?  His stomach lurched and rolled in response.  Okay—maybe a jigger of the first and a heavy ladle of the other.

As he slipped crisp, white socks over his feet, he thought back to his AP Literature class; what was it that Mr. P had said the other day as they were analyzing the possibilities of an underlying romance in Hamlet?  Perhaps Ophelia had more to play in the outcome than anyone had ever really considered previously?  Were there other issues not brought to the forefront?  Mr. P had gone in so many directions that day everyone's head was spinning by the time the final bell rang.

He had to admit, it was an interesting `take' that Mr. P had conjured . . . yes, of course, Hamlet was and always would be a `tragedy' but perhaps it was more of a `romantic tragedy' than most had ever considered?

He glanced down and silently cursed.  So much for thinking while he got dressed . . . one crisp white sock and one navy blue. . . .

As the darker sock sailed across the room and landed in the hamper, he rolled his eyes and reached for another white one.  "Sorry, blue.  It's Mr. P's fault."

Was that a snicker from the guy in the mirror?  No—of course not.  That would be . . . crazy.  Right?

Every closet has a skeleton.  Every character has a secret.  Every moment has a beginning.  Every story has a hidden layer.  Every soul has a passion.

He paused at each desk and gazed down into eyes that gazed back; and he asked each of them a question.

Do you have a skeleton?  What is your secret?  What is in the back of your closet, there in the darkest corner—unseen from a safe perch standing just at the door?  What passion lies deep within your soul?  Waiting.  Waiting for its moment.  Waiting for its beginning.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.

Open the door.  Sweep your secret from the shadows of your closet.  Come out into the light.  See yourself—possibly for the first time.  Open the eyes of your soul and discover the `you' that maybe you never allowed yourself to acknowledge.

Why had Marcello Panzarella—Mr. P as all the kids called him—stopped in front of him when he made that last comment?  Why had Mr. P leaned forward to rest his fists on his shoulders and stared like a bird of prey into his eyes?  Why . . . had he stared back like road kill—knowing that he was the next feast in the buzzard buffet?

He remembered that moment so clearly . . . as if . . . it were living and breathing right here, right now. . . .  As if . . . it was a beast inside him taking shape.  Growing.  Stretching.  Coming to life.  Taking its first breaths.  Clambering and clawing against its internal tomb.  Trying to find the right path to come out into the open.

Yes, he remembered that very moment and he had wondered—was everyone staring at Mr. P?  Were they staring at him?  More importantly—was he staring at him?

He swallowed sand.  Or was it marbles?  He found that he had to force his lungs to do their job.

Breathe.  Breathe.  Damn you—breathe!

He was unable to break the gaze.  He was unable to look to his left, or his right.  He was unable to speak, to move, to . . . do . . . anything except gaze back into his teacher's eyes.

Too, he was unable to look across the room, to—him.

Was he staring at him?

Again, he wondered—what the hell is going on, here?


Why now?

Why . . . him?

Why him?  Hell—why me?

The vision of that classroom, the rapt attention of everyone in it—all, totally possessed and completely enraptured by the teacher who had come along to each of them and held them firmly in his impassioned hands.  The ever-present presence of him; there—just to his left—two rows over and one seat up.  The one who he couldn't look at . . . and yet—he couldn't stop looking at him.  The one who silently commanded his every waking moment . . . and invaded his dreams almost every night.

It all broke apart then.

It fell to pieces.

Slivers and shards . . . sliding from his mind's eye and crashing to his bedroom floor like ice defrosting from a windshield.

And there he was, again.  There—in the mirror.  Staring back at him as he stared and quaked . . . falling victim once more into those eyes.

Who are you?

"Who are you?" he choked through the question; he didn't even comprehend the words, and he had just spoken them.

He cleared his throat and then steeled himself for another try.

"Who . . . am . . . I?"

Those eyes twinkled and sparkled; they almost taunted him.

Another shatter.  Another spark.  More shards splintered downward and danced in a shimmering spectacle across the floor as a horn blared from out in the drive—shaking him from his stupor.  He felt a shudder pass through his body.  He swallowed.  He swallowed again.  And, once more.

He sighed and then slipped his protective invisible cloak around himself as he slid into jeans and last year's jersey.  He glanced up and saw that his nemesis was dressed, too.  He nodded a `later' to the guy in the mirror; the nod was returned and yet, more—an expression of pained understanding reached out to tenderly stroke his cheek.  An acknowledgment of compassion.  Of shared aching and longing.  Of, companionship.  Of . . . brotherhood.

He knew.

Oh . . . yes—he knew.

He understood.

He felt it, too.

And there it was. . . .

There in the dimness of the room as the sunset barely forced its last lights of life through billowing curtains.  There, in his inner sanctum.  His . . . castle.

There it was—realization.

He  . . . was . . . him.

As he tugged the bedroom door behind him, he could feel the skeleton reach out and grab the knob to the closet door; time to go back inside.  In the dark confines.  In hiding.

The door inched more and more toward the latch until it clicked even as his right foot stepped out onto the porch.  He took a deep breath and willed that guy back into the deepest recesses of his closet . . . deep into the darkest part of his soul.  He swallowed that passion with a heavy gulp.

From inside the cab of the truck came a wave—returned.

A nod—back atcha.

A grin—reflected.

Another day had passed.  Another night was looming.

Even his best friend had said something about it earlier, over lunch that day.  Maybe Mr. P was right?  . . . maybe we `all' have secrets.  Maybe we all have skeletons.  Maybe some closets are just deeper than others.  Maybe . . . just maybe. . . .

Dodge Goodhue slid into the leather seat and slammed the truck door behind him as his left hand grasped that of his best friend's.  He gazed back briefly to the house.  His house.  His home.  Upward, to the windows in the corner.  His bedroom, his—sanctuary.

He turned to stare into those eyes.  Eyes that had been there for his entire life.

His eyes.

Those eyes.

Derek Pollock's eyes.

A fist pump rolled into a two-pump shake and then curled into fingers sliding between fingers before they snapped apart.

"Ready to roll?" Derek asked with a grin.

Dodge smirked.  He broke the stare and swiveled his head to focus out the windshield and follow the escape route of the drive ahead of them.

"Yeah man—let's roll."

Dust trails exploded from beneath the thick rear tires and swirled upward as they absorbed into one another until becoming one solitary mass of cloud behind them as they pulled out onto the county road and headed toward town.

Dodge turned and looked over his shoulder.  He watched the cloud of dust hide his house.  Mask his room.  Lock the closet door with particulate fingers.  He turned back and leaned against the head rest; his eyes drifted shut and he sucked in a massive breath.  His body tingled.

Every inch.

Every pore.

Every muscle.

Every fiber.




A hand shot across the truck cab and slapped his chest.  He opened his eyes and let the air snake through his lips as he turned to look into those eyes once more.

His eyes.

"Got your game face on, buddy?"

Dodge forced a grin in return.  He nodded wryly.

"Game on, Der.  Game on," he said solidly.

"Good man," Derek said with a glint exploding from those gray-blue eyes.  "That's my man . . . long live the prince of the game."

Yeah.  A game.  It's all a game.  And I'm the only one out on the field.

"That's me, Der—the prince of the game."

He let out a long sigh as he gazed forward and stared out along the open road.

Yeah—I'm the only one in the game.

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This is just the start of a story which may or may not be continued.  If there is enough interest, there MAY be additional chapters.  The interest shown in it will be a determining factor in continuing the story.

Please send your comments, thoughts, and ideas to Jonathan Longhorn using jonathan (underscore) longhorn at yahoo dot com.  Please start the "Subject" line with the name of the story so I don't toss your email as spam.

Thank you to those of you who have taken the time out of your day to write me about my stories.  The thoughts, comments, and feedback are VERY much appreciated.

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