© 2007 Captain Rick. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: This story contains descriptions of teenage boys engaging in sexual activity. If it is illegal to read or download this material where you are, or if you're under 18, THEN DON'T.
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended
Sky's the Limit
Thanks to Charles for editing!
We didn't say much on the walk back to my house. I think Dex was trying to digest the news that his best friend was gay. I could appreciate that. As we got close to the house, I saw Lori sitting on the curb next to the street, her head in her lap. At some point she looked up and Dex put his arm around my shoulder. She jumped up and ran over to us. She threw her arms around my neck and pulled me into a hug and started absolutely sobbing her heart out.
"Jonah, I'm soooo sorry. I didn't know he was there. I would never . . . "
"Sshhhhhh. It's ok. I should've known Dex would understand. I'm still learnin' what real friends are." I said as I reached out and hugged her.
Lori stepped back and wiped her eyes and said "What the hell happened to your eye?" then she looked angrily over at Dex.
"I ran into a tree" I lied, smiling over at Dex.
"Boys" she said shaking her head.
"Sorry, mother," Dex said as we started walking back into my house and up to my room.
"So" Lori said smiling as I sat back down on my bed, "Can I still get details of what happened with Sky?"
"Sky?" Dex asked.
"No, Lori. I don't kiss and tell, and yes, Dex, Sky, Sky Blue"
"Serious as a heart attack. It's short for Skyler, Skyler Blue."
"Cool name" Dex replied.
"Yeah, cool guy to go with. Wanna see a pic?"
I walked over to the computer and pulled up the best picture of Sky and me.
"Have to admit, he ain't ugly. Name sorta fits `im," Dex said.
"Dex, outside of you, he's the nicest, coolest guy I've ever met."
"He better be. And he better be damn good to ya, or I'm gonna kick his ass."
"Awwwww that's so sweeeeet" Lori chimed in.
At that point I reached over and threw a pillow at her.
"Seriously guys," I said "This has got to stay in this room. I mean, I just can't be out at school. And God, if dad should ever know. I'd never see Sky again."
"If loudmouth can keep her mouth shut, you don't have anything to worry about from me" Dex said, looking sternly at Lori.
"I already apologized for that!" Lori glared at Dex for bringing it up again.
"Cool it guys. I just wanted an understanding on this." I said quickly.
They both just nodded a little sheepishly.
* * * * * * *
Dex, Lori, and I never really brought up the subject of sexuality the next few days before school started. In fact, all was back to normal with us.
Tenth grade was really going to be different. Not only was I going to be in a different school building, we were thrown in the mix with the juniors or seniors, many of whom we didn't know.
The bulk of the money spent on high schools in the south is on athletics, everything else is a secondary consideration or an afterthought. Sky said it was the same way in Mississippi. We might not have an arts department, but heaven forbid we should have a high school without football. Quoting Richard Dreyfus' character in Mr. Holland's Opus, one of my favorite all time movies, "That would be the end of western civilization as we know and love it". The jocks are the school heroes and everyone else is supposed to bow down and kiss their asses.
On Friday nights in the fall, everything either shuts down for the game or caters to it - the social event for the week for the whole town. Fortunately for me, one of those up and coming heroes was my best friend. I didn't mind being Dex's groupie at school, and since I was in the band I had that set of friends including Lori to hang with at the games anyway.
Well, the first day of school came around a little too quickly for me. That damn alarm clock going off was a nasty little shock. I got up and showered, looked in the mirror for any sign of facial hair, . . . nah, not today.
At Sky's request, I had decided to let my hair grow out a bit. It was already too long to spike, but it wasn't long enough yet for much of a style, so I kinda just brushed it out and let it fall wherever. I laid out some of the new clothes Sky had picked out at Abercrombie and started dressing. I took another quick look in the mirror and smiled to myself. I was feeling a lot more confident in my appearance. I felt good about me for a change.
"Jonah, you're gonna be late!" I heard from downstairs.
"On my way, Dad."
I grabbed a pop tart, my backpack, and ran out the door. I walked down to the corner where Dex and Lori were already waiting on the bus.
"Wow! Is that you?" Lori asked. "Since when did you start wearing labels?"
"Sky picked `em out" I said sort of sheepishly. Dex was rolling his eyes.
"He's got taste. You look really hot. How're you planning on keeping the other girls off ya?"
"Thanks. I never had that problem before. I guess you could pretend to be my girlfriend so I could tell `em I'm taken" I said laughing. I really meant it as a joke.
Lori didn't laugh though. "Not a bad idea Jonah. Dad's not lettin' me date yet, but it would be a great way to make a couple of other girls jealous. And there are some girls that have thought you were cute for a long time."
"Who?" Dex and I asked together.
"I'm not tellin'. Just trust me" she teased. "What diff does it make anyhow?"
"True dat" I replied.
She grabbed my arm with both of hers and I said "Careful, though. If I ever do get outed, you could get a rep as a fag hag."
"Huh?" Dex and Lori said together.
"It's girls that like to hang around gay guys - saw it on the internet."
Dex rolled his eyes again. "So now we're learning gayspeak. Is it anything like Elvin in Lord of the Rings?"
"Hardly, more like fairy speak" I said chuckling at him. He just smiled, rolled his eyes, and shook his head.
We got on the bus with her still hanging on my arm, and sat down together. Dex sat behind us. When we arrived at school there was a mad rush to locate our homerooms, then get our schedules and lockers. Lori would be in my study hall, but otherwise we were not in any classes together. Luckily, my locker just happened to be right across the hall from Dex and Lori's was just a little ways down the hall. This was cool, at least we could speak occasionally between classes.
Every chance she had, Lori would come up to me and put her arm through mine, hold my hand, kiss my cheek or some other obvious public display of affection. I have to admit I was enjoying it. A lot more people were noticing me and talking to me. I even got a few comments on the clothes too, mostly from girls though.
Sharing the same lunch period, Dex, Lori and I quickly staked ourselves out a "regular" table.
We were sitting there the next day when I heard the unmistakable sound of a tray of food hitting the floor. I looked over and just behind us some kid was sprawled out on the floor. I had seen him in my homeroom and one of my AP classes, but hadn't met him yet. His tray and food were scattered over the floor as well. My old nemesis, Doug Morris and a few of his football buddies, were standing just behind where he fell, laughing at him. "What's the matter, faggot? Can't walk and carry a tray at the same time? Must be `cause of that limp wrist." They laughed and walked off. I got up and ran over and helped him up and started helping him clean up his mess.
"Come sit with us" I said.
"You really don't want me to do that. People might talk" he said as he started to turn and walk off. I put my hand on his arm and he jumped. "I wouldn't have asked if I didn't mean it. C'mon. I'm Jonah."
He looked at me and then Dex, who had walked up behind me, nodded and gestured him to sit at our table. We all sat down. "These are my friends Dex and Lori."
"My name is Zach. Zach Thomas," he said.
"What was all that about?" Dex asked.
"At my old school, some kids started a rumor that I'm gay. I mean, I'm not very athletic and I spend most of my time in the library or computer labs, and, well I just don't act as `manly' as people think I should I guess."
The more this kid spoke, the more I could see his problem. He did have a sort of feminine quality about his voice, not the pitch necessarily, but the lilt and inflections were just sort of, well, feminine.
I looked over at Dex and he seemed uncomfortable. I kicked him under the table. He gave me an angry sort of look back, but he knew what the kick was for.
"Look, Zach, don't pay any attention to them. I, for one, couldn't care less what somebody like Doug Morris thinks."
"Really?" he said smiling for the first time since I had seen him.
"Yeah, really," I said smiling back at him.
"Me either." Lori chimed in. Dex just sat there silent.
"I'm really not, ya know. Gay I mean. At least I don't think so. I mean I like girls and all, they just don't seem to like me." Zach said quietly.
I could see his problem. He wasn't going to win the "stud of the year" contest. He wasn't any taller than me, so that makes him short. His tangled dark hair closely resembled a mop. He wore rather thick glasses with frames that were really too large for his face, and he was so thin you would think that they only let him eat once a week or something. He took the glasses off for a few seconds and I could really see his face then. He wasn't ugly at all. He was cute in a puppy dog sort of way. He had large dark eyes with the longest eyelashes I had ever seen on a human being. I also noticed that he had unusually long fingers and immaculately manicured nails. The hands definitely looked soft and feminine.
"Well, it doesn't matter anyway. People are gonna think what they want" he continued, putting his glasses back on after wiping them off with his napkin. "I just hope I don't get beat up again."
"Beat up?" I asked.
"Yeah, on the last day of school last year, some kids jumped me on the bus. I had two black eyes, a broken tooth, and a couple of cracked ribs"
"Damn" Dex and I said together. I glanced at Lori. I thought she was about to tear up listening to him.
"Well, you can hang around Dex and me. We can handle ourselves pretty well and I don't hang with that shit."
Dex sorta glared at me and I kicked him again. He softened up a little and said "Sure, Zach, any friend of Jonah's is a friend of mine."
"Thanks guys. I really don't have many friends."
About that time the bell went off and we scattered to our afternoon classes.
Zach was in both my AP history and band. He played clarinet. Mental note, never schedule history right after lunch. Snoozer.
That afternoon on the bus, I had to say something to Dex. "What was with you at lunch?"
"I mean with Zach. It was like you didn't want me to have anything to do with him."
"Well, what if people talk - wanna know why we're hangin' with `im? I mean, like, he acts so queer and all." He turned pale, realizing what he had said. I'm sure he saw the fire spitting from my eyes. Lori heard him too and I thought she was about to slap him.
"Jonah, I'm sorry. I didn't mean . . ."
"The hell you didn't" I interrupted. I was afraid to continue this conversation on the bus where anyone could overhear it. I put my hand on Lori's shoulder and said to Dex, "We'll finish this when we get off this damn bus."
After the bus pulled off I said. "Okay. Now, so it's ok to have a gay friend as long as he acts straight, but a straight kid that might act or speak like some queer as you put it, ain't worth your time. Is that it? I mean as long as no one knows I'm gay it's ok to hang with me? What the hell happens if people do find out? You might have to choose between me and the Doug Morris's and the rest of your football buddies. Who will it be!? Me, or them?"
For the first time since I've known her, Lori was speechless at my little tirade. Unfortunately, so was Dex. He didn't have an answer. He merely turned and walked away. I grabbed his shoulder and spun him around to face me. Tears were starting to form in his eyes. "Answer me, goddammit."
"I can't. Do you realize what you're askin'?" He turned again and walked off. It hit me at that moment. It hit me really hard. I had put our friendship on the line, and I may have lost it.