The Smile is a story about gay teenagers who are discovering their sexuality. If sex between male teenagers is offensive to you, illegal for you to read or if you are underage then you should move on to something else.
The Smile is a work of pure fiction -- the characters and the events do not represent any person or situation. Copyright © 2003-2004 by Reader of Tales, all rights reserved. You may contact me by firstname.lastname@example.org. Note this is a new email address once again.
~Reader of Tales, Nov 3, 2003
The Smile - Chapter 1
It was the first day of school. My first day as a junior. Wow, I couldn't believe it. It seemed like yesterday that I was just starting kindergarten - well, maybe not just yesterday. Perhaps a week ago, though. I just started highschool yesterday. That was it. How could the time have flown by so fast?
I was 16. I had just turned 16 a couple of months ago, in fact. I still didn't have my license but I got my beginner's permit two days after my birthday. Dad had taken me out driving a few times. It wasn't too hard as long as we stayed on the less used roads. He wouldn't take me onto the highway or downtown. I didn't mind either because I was already nervous enough. The first time out, I had come to a stop sign and nearly sent us both out through the windshield. My face was red with embarrassment and I couldn't move. We just sat there for a minute. Good thing we were the only ones at that intersection at the time.
Now I had to wait until driver's ed started - that was at the end of September. A 10 week course and then I could take my driver's test. Dad thought that I should wait until next spring after the snow was gone but I used all my skills to negotiate a test at the beginning of December. I told him that if I can pass a test in the snow, he will never have to worry about me being able to drive in the winter. Reluctantly, he agreed with my reasoning and we booked my test. December 10th at 8:30 am. I think dad made it that early secretly hoping I would sleep in since it was a Saturday. But that was still 3 months away.
After eating and dressing, not necessarily in that order, I left for the school bus. It was a 10 minute walk but I enjoyed it this time of year. During the winter would be a completely different thing all together.
I still had about 5 minutes to wait once I arrived so I leaned against a tree just across the ditch from the stop. That's when I saw him. I couldn't believe that I hadn't seen him before today. He had blond hair and was slim but fit. Not your jock, athletic type but not a wimp either. He looked to be about 15 years old. What really stood out was his stance, his whole demeanor. He looked as if he had been crying but it was hard to tell as he was slouched over looking down at the ground as he sat next to the ditch.
At that moment the bus arrived. We made our way to the bus, obediently forming a straight line out of all those years of conditioning us to do so. The slouched boy got up and made his way onto the bus ahead of me by a couple of people. He headed to the back seat, slumped down and stared out the window. He did look up briefly at which point I smiled at him. He looked terrified and suddenly looked out the window once again - never daring to look back.
He was 9 years old. He was small for his age perhaps but he had friends. In fact, they were all sleeping over at Tommy's tonight. It was Tommy's birthday - he turned 10 today - the first of their gang to do so.
The party had been tiring for the boys but they were determined to hold out as long as possible before going to sleep. Tomorrow was Saturday and they could sleep in "...if they even went to sleep," they joked with Tommy's mom. She didn't seem worried. Either she knew they'd fall asleep eventually or that they'd sleep in and that would give her and Tommy's dad a chance to sleep in for a change too.
As the night wore on, the boys started talking about boy things: marbles, baseball, soccer and of course, how "Yucky!" girls were. They, of course, had to compare notes on who the yuckiest of the girls was. Tina Gand won that honor tonight by a unanimous vote.
Anyway, he was 9 years old and he silently agreed not really knowing why.
Well, now that the first day of school had past, it was back to the old grind. I was already looking forward to our first day off. I couldn't believe it would happen so fast. We even had homework on the first day. Didn't they realise that teenagers have more important things to do? Like think about all the things the hormones where doing to them. Or sleeping in. Or, well, the usual teen things. I mean, how are you supposed to get all that homework done and watch all your favorite TV shows at the same time?
I suppose I did OK. I watched all my shows, then finished the homework that I didn't get done during the shows, which was most of it, and all this was done before 11 pm. Then I checked my email, answered some of them, deleted the spam messages and finally called it a night. It was 1 am before I went to bed. Where did the time go.
Now I was regretting staying up so late. As a teen I really needed more sleep but I couldn't convince anyone that school should start at noon. So, I rolled out of bed and dragged myself around getting ready. I made it for the bus with a minute to spare.
He was there again. Why I thought he wouldn't be, I may never know. He didn't look as distressed as yesterday but he was still slouched. He sat again at the back of the bus, looking out the window. He glanced at me once again, and I smiled, again. He didn't look away immediately and he wasn't frightened this time. But the look lasted only a few more seconds and he was gone, looking out the window once again.
He was 10 years old. He was in 5th grade now and it seemed that this was the year to bloom. All of his friends liked girls - some even had girlfriends. That meant that they spent all of their time together with their girlfriend, playing, eating lunch and playing some more. Sometimes they just walked and talked.
Those that didn't have girlfriends just talked about who they wanted as their girlfriend - that is, all but him. He was quiet mostly. It'd been that way for the last 6 months really. The more the others talked about girls, the more he wondered why? Why talk about girls? What was so fascinating about them anyway? Why didn't HE think about girls all the time?
Well, perhaps he did think about girls. Every time he thought about his friends he thought about how they always thought about girls. It was disgusting really. Remember, they were "Yucky!". But what was it about girls that everyone just had to talk about them?
He was surrounded by friends, surrounded by talk about girls and at the same time, he was all alone. Why?
Well, the routine was finally starting to click. I had gotten to bed by 11:30 last night. I finally figured out how to do my homework and watch TV at the same time. Who cares if it wasn't exactly perfect or didn't make all that much sense. It wasn't like anyone could get the "right" answers anyway since all the questions were trick questions. And the books we had to read this year didn't make any sense so why should the answers to the questions?
I had a better time of it this morning. I felt rested finally. I got to the bus stop and as I was starting to expect, he was there. He was just standing up as I got there since the bus had just arrived. Back to the back seat and we start our little ritual over again for today. He looks more at ease. Probably getting used to the new schedule once again just like me.
He looks up at me, as was starting to become the custom and I smiled back. I melted as his face brightened. He was cute before and now I was weak kneed as his whole attitude changed. His look said "Thank you" to me, loud and clear. But now he was looking out the window once again. Was there something I was missing?
He was 11 years old. He was watching his favorite TV program, "Zoom". There were a dozen or so boys and girls dancing around, singing songs, doing skits and just having a blast. They looked to be around his age.
Now, who were the girls again? His friends would no doubt know all of their names. There were 5 or 6 of them. However, there were 5 boys: David, John, Bill, Brian and Kevin. But he couldn't even remember one of the girls' names.
Now who was his favorite? The blond with the red dress? Or perhaps the red head with the jumper and white shoes?
There's David again. He's lying on a mat singing about the sky, the clouds and daydreaming. A calm comes over him now. He likes David the best. But, why? This really confuses him.
I don't even remember getting ready this morning. I just know that I was suddenly at the bus stop and - he was standing up, looking up the road at me. It was as if he was waiting for me to appear. However, when he saw me he looked down again. Too bad. He looked so hopeful for a moment. And yes, even cuter than before.
As I approached, he looked up again and I smiled at him as usual. Just then the bus arrived and he headed to the back. Surprise! This time when he looks up, however, he turns his head to indicate that I should take the empty seat next to him. I smiled again and sat down saying, "Hi." He just nods and then looks out the window once again, for the rest of the trip. Well, at least we are making progress.
He was 12 years old. It was James' 12 birthday party and he had been invited to sleep over with the rest of their friends. There were 8 of them all together.
The party was great - lots of food, lots of fun games, swimming, cake and the presents. James' parents had put them all in the basement family room. They could talk all night and never disturb anyone down here. It was great.
The talk invariably came around to girls. Sex was now included in connection with the topic of girls. What was it with these guys? They were only 12. All they wanted to talk about these days was what they had done with a girl. As if any of them even understood what they were really talking about. But then again, how would he know since he had never even been alone with a girl. The closest he had come was in the hall at school - him at one end and the girl at the other end - 10 classrooms apart. He didn't even know who it was.
The others were talking about their first kiss and which girls they preferred to kiss. Several said that the girls they'd kissed said they were the best kisser they'd been with. They talked about all the touching they'd done and then the rest of the guys started talking about the hardons they now had from talking about it.
He didn't understand - why did they all have hardons and he didn't?
"Hey, I bet mine is bigger than yours." That was Dale, the oldest of the boys. The others started to protest. "Well, let's see them all then." And that's when panic set in. However, as the others started to reveal their prize, his rose to the occasion. What a relief. Why not before, though?
One of the boys started to show the rest how to jack off. Of course, not wanting to be left out, they all tried it. Even he did it. Wow, what a feeling, he thought, as he experienced his first orgasm. THIS, was the best party ever.
Today as I arrive at the bus stop, he is waiting and indicates for me to come over to him. When I get there the bus arrives. I give him a smile as does he in return.
We walk to the back and sit together. I say "Hi." He finally says, "Hi." in return and then gets quiet again. "I'm Dan," I said trying to get the conversation going. He just replies, "Oh."
That's it. It's back to window gazing once again. I really wish I knew what he was thinking. Was it something I said? The way I said it? I wanted to break through that shell of his. But it wasn't to happen today.
He was 13 years old. It was his least favorite time of day. Gym class. They were playing basketball today and he just couldn't contribute. He couldn't block, could shoot a basket and could catch a pass if his life depended on it. He sighed. As usual, he was the last one picked which didn't help his attitude.
After class, it was time to change. The only thing worse than Gym class was changing for Gym class. He always sat in the corner trying not to look at the other guys. He hated changing in front of other boys because he just couldn't control it. It was like it had a mind of its own and was determined to get him clobbered.
As he was changing, he was thinking his usual thought - Why me?
As I arrived at the bus stop today, he was the first to smile. "Hi," I said stopped just feet from him. "Hi," he responded. Then as an after thought, "By the way, I'm Andy." Now he was blushing and I smiled at him.
At the back of the bus, we talked about classes. He was a year younger than me and had many of the same teachers I had in my sophomore year. We joked about a few of them and I warned him about some others. He seemed a bit more relaxed now. I can't believe we just talked to each other using more than one word.
He had a great voice. And as he continued to talk I was lost in his whole personality. It's amazing how much of a person stays hidden until they talk. I was really starting to like this guy and he was really cute.
He was 14 years old. He was in 9th grade and found highschool to be more than a little intimidating. He hated walking past the shop classes. The boys in those classes always made fun of him. And he had to be careful. He couldn't look too long at any of them or they'd give him even more grief.
He got to math class finally and took his seat behind Aaron. Oh, how he loved to look at Aaron's neck. He wanted so much to touch him and kiss him but he wouldn't dare. He had to be careful not to daydream or who knew what might happen.
After school he met up with his best friend, Kyle. Kyle was blond, with an average build. They both had strong arms and legs which was the usual trait of swimmers. Both of them had been swimming together for years.
Secretly, he loved Kyle, more than just friends and more than brothers. He had finally figured out what he was and had accepted it. He was gay. But he could never allow anything to happen. He couldn't say anything either. His life would be ruined.
Today, I was early and he joined me part way to the stop. He is so different from last week. He seems alive and ready to take on the world. We were talking about the Olympics today as they were coming up again next summer. Andy told me that swimming was his favorite sport. I couldn't believe it. Swimming was my favorite sport too and I said so.
I was on the swim team at school. I found out that Andy wanted to join the team this year. He was on the team at his old school. Both of us were grinning ear to ear now. This was going to be a great year. Not only had I found a new friend but we were going to spend alot more time together than I had first thought.
We sat at the back as usual and talked about the tryouts and what he needed to prepare for. We talked about music and books and were surprised we like the same things.
He turned 15 today. His family threw him a party and only Kyle was there with him and his brother, Robert, and his mom and dad. The rest of his friends had moved on. He was opening the presents now. From his parents he got a new CD player with some great CDs. Robert got him another CD that he'd been wanting for a while.
Finally, Kyle had gotten him a chain with a pendant in the shape of a swimmer. On the back it said, "Best Friends Forever." He couldn't help it, he had tears in his eyes because he was so happy.
His dad was not so happy about his. "Only homos cry. You're 15 years old now. Time to get tough."
He couldn't believe his ears. He was angry. He was hurt. He stormed out of the room leaving an embarrassed Kyle behind.
How could this happen? How could he be this way? It wasn't his fault.
I was a little early again today and Andy was waiting at the corner. We walked the last 100 yards together chatting. It was announced yesterday that the tryouts for the swim team were to be held in two days. Andy asked me to help him get ready and I eagerly accepted. I couldn't wait to see him in a bathing suit.
We sat on the bus talking about Mr. Harner the science teacher. I had him again this year and Andy had him for grade 10 science as well. He was a nice teacher and his classes were always interesting.
The joke about Mr. Harner was that he was always leaning into the corners of the desks with his crouch. We always wondered if he knew that we knew what he was doing.
Andy and I discovered that we had the same lunch period. When we met for lunch we also discovered that we both chose the exact same lunch - even down to the color of the packaging. Coincidence? Perhaps.
He was 15-1/2 years old. School was to start in two days. It was Sunday and the family was in church. The service seemed fine at this new church. They had just moved here so they were still checking things out.
The title of the sermon was Abomination. The topic? Homosexuality. The preacher read the account of Sodom and Gomorrah and then began to tell how the men in that city were destroyed by God for being gay. "God hates gays!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. "They are an abomination!"
The boy was horrified, stunned and depressed. He fought back the tears and made a run for it at the end of the service.
As we sit on the bus today, my knee accidentally touches Andy's. He didn't notice at first but then moved it away slowly so as not to draw attention to it. He looks nervous now.
I waited a while, talking about the practice we had last night. I was telling him how well he was doing. He just needed to remain confident.
Now, I actually touched his knee on purposed. He jumped slightly and moved his knee away again. He was now blushing.
I continued, telling him that his backstroke was his strongest stroke. At this point he looked at me and somehow we both knew. He moved his knee back to mine and we both smiled.
The day before school started - labor day. He didn't get out of bed that day. He told his mother he was sick. Truth is he wanted to die. How could God make him this way and then hate him? It didn't make sense. It didn't seem fair. It was so cruel.
It wasn't like he wanted to be gay. He didn't just wake up one day and decided, "Today, I have decided that I am going to be gay for the rest of my life." How absurd could you get. If anything, he'd give anything just to be straight. It sure as hell would be a lot easier. But try as he had for these last few years, he just couldn't get excited about girls.
So, why was this his fault? Why would God condemn him when he didn't even get a say in the "choice"?
To add to it all, tomorrow was school - at a new school. He had no friends here and Kyle had already stopped writing to him. He had no-one to talk to. His parent certainly wouldn't like the real him. He was alone. He just wanted to die. But how?
Day 9 - evening - at my house
Andy and I were in the pool practicing for the tryouts but we couldn't concentrate. We talked about what Andy could expect tomorrow but he was distracted. Truth be told, so was I.
Mom and Dad were gone to a conference and had left me to fend for myself for a few days. Mom had prepared some food for me that I just had to heat up.
We ate some dinner and I asked Andy if he wanted to sleep over tonight? He said he'd have to check with his parents but that it shouldn't be a problem. It was fine with them.
We tried again to go over some of the strokes that Andy would have to perform tomorrow. But it was no use so we decided to call it a day.
The first day of school. Life was over as he had known it. He couldn't go on. He had a plan - after school he would go to the drug store and get some pills. He wasn't sure what kind yet. He was so scared. He didn't want to die but he didn't want to live. Why was life so hard?
Now he was at the bus stop. He had cried all the way there. He was quite early but this was good as his eyes needed time to dry.
Now he was on the bus and as he looked up from the back seat he saw this really cute guy smiling at - who? Not him, surely not him. But he was. Now he was embarrassed and he just looked out the window not daring to look up again.
Day 9 - in my room - time for bed
Where should he sleep? Well, I knew where I'd like him to sleep but it was to much to hope for. We'd decided to change into shorts and T's before having a snack. As I was taking off my bathing suit I noticed Andy doing the same - oops, I was instantly hard. Why did this have to happen now? And, he was looking at me. That's when I noticed that he was hard too.
"Thank you," he said.
"What? Why?" I asked.
"I'm not the only one," he said.
I blushed and so did he. Did he just say what I thought he did?
"Dan, I like you, a lot."
"You do? I mean, I like you too, Andy."
"No Dan." He looked down, less confident now. "I mean, I really like you. I'm... I'm gay." The last two words were barely a whisper.
"What did you say?" I asked softly. I'm not sure I had heard correctly.
He started to cry, looking up, horrified that he'd just said what he did.
I smiled softly and took him in my arms. He wasn't sure what to do.
I just said, "I really like you too."
Now he smile and I hugged him like there was no tomorrow. He clung to me so tight I thought he might crush me. And then he started to sob.
I pulled up his chin, looked into his eyes and asked why he was crying.
He said, "Because, I almost wasn't able to be here" He told me he was going to end his life that first day of school thinking that it was all pointless. But then a boy smiled at him. Him! "I couldn't go through with that plan now that there was hope."
Now I understood the Thank You even more. I hugged him even tighter and we both cried uncontrollably.
**** Please read this ****
In The Smile, Andy thinks about ending his own life to solve the loneliness and despair that he feels. Fortunately for Andy he is still very much alive.
Although at times life may seem tough or even unbearable, please talk to somebody first before taking the irreversible step of taking your own life. There are many others around the world who are going through or have gone through the same things you are and they would be happy listen.
The two links below may offer you some help online. I know that for many of us this is our only contact with anyone in the gay community. The thought of actually talking to someone in person or even on the phone is intimidating. Please do the next best thing. Contact someone online.
The second link has many resources for those who are hurting inside. Don't keep it to yourself. Talk to someone.
Thank you for the opportunity to write this story for you, the reader. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed it.
If you like The Smile and would like to see it continue, please send comments to:email@example.com. Note this is a new email address once again.
I am always interested in hearing what others have to say about my story. I also find it interesting to hear who your favorite character is and why, and perhaps even who you relate with the most. Are there things in my story that touch you in a specific or special way or that you can relate to most?
My goal for this story is to provide experiences from mine and other's pasts to help you, the readers, with situations in your own lives. Please let me know if I have done that for you.
All flames will be ignored.