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, Dec 31, 2003
The Smile - Chapter 3 - Suddenly out and scared
Kyle woke up the next morning, the second day of school, feeling a little better. He had cried himself to sleep on top of his math homework. So much for getting that done now.
He no longer felt that Andy was in danger. That was weird. Maybe he should write again just to be sure. Later perhaps. It's time to get ready for school.
He also had a feeling that things were gonna go better today than yesterday. This was something he couldn't explain but he wasn't gonna complain about it. Couldn't be any worse than yesterday anyway.
Dan stood with the rest of the team watching Andy and the other new kids go through all the things he and Andy had practiced. There were a lot of good swimmers in this group. Many of them were strong and steady.
Dan may be biased but he thought Andy was the best so far. Of course he'd had a head start what with Dan helping him to prepare for the last several days leading up to the tryouts.
Dan was lost in thought about the events of last night when the coach broke into his reverie. "Dan, what do you think? Good group this year?"
With Dan being the second only to Darren Colsen last year and with Darren having graduated, that left Dan being the leading swimmer for the team this year. Therefore the coach was counting on his assistance with the team this year.
Kyle found that things were not as bad as he had first thought. He was starting to get used to Andy not being here. He still missed him when he thought about him but all in all he realized that he could handle being without him.
Even math this year was not as bad as he had first thought. At least the help he had had last year from Andy had prepared him to do better this year. He only hoped that when he thought of Andy the emptiness he felt would eventually go away and he could remember the good times they'd had together.
Thursday morning and his third day of school had come and gone. Lunch time was approaching. He had taken to the old plan of bringing lunch and eating in the band room. Several others from the school band did the same, eating and then practicing a solo part or sometimes working together on a section of some piece they were working on for their concert.
Since band hadn't started yet there wasn't really anything to work on so he got his clarinet together and worked on some scales. Although he loved to play, he hated doing scales. Therefore, this was probably the only time of the year he did them.
Andy looked up while doing laps and saw Dan and the coach talking. He was worried. What with the dream and how upset he was when he woke up this morning, he wasn't performing as well as he had hoped. He was distracted.
He couldn't believe that life could be so good. He was in love and this time actually had a boyfriend as well. It felt so good to have someone to love and to be loved in return.
He just hoped it would last. Seems everything bad seemed to happen to him. Just when he thought something could happen with Kyle, his parents had moved and they had been separated. He was now waiting for the axe to fall once again.
Now as he watched the coach talking to Dan, he had this sinking feeling that he hadn't made the team. He looked away as he got to the end of the pool and started going the other direction. His emotions were starting to get the better of him again.
"Andy!" the coach called. He stopped just as he was starting his first stroke and looked back at the coach who was signaling him to go with Dan.
"Well," he thought, "this is it."
Every Thursday evening after dinner, the band met to practice. It was made up of members from all grades with the older members taking the more advanced parts and helping to train the younger members.
Kyle was in his second year of band and would be moving up to second position. He had found third clarinet fairly easy and had even been given the chance to practice with the seconds last year for the last concert in June.
Each of the sections, first, second and third had leads. Last year he had been the lead third and this year would most likely be the lead second. He didn't really care. He just enjoyed playing. Something that Andy had never understood but then again, neither had Kyle understood Andy's love of swimming.
Tonight was going to be a busy night at band with everyone being assigned their chair and music and with the new members being assigned to train with an older member. Being the lead second would mean he would work with the lead third.
As he entered the band room he noticed a cute blond with a clarinet in his hand. What was he thinking? He shouldn't be thinking like that at a time like this. He might have to train this boy and his feelings could get in the way.
But he couldn't help himself and it took several seconds for him to stop staring. The interesting thing was that the boy was staring back but Kyle hadn't noticed this.
Kyle got to his seat and got ready to play. As he was getting his clarinet together, someone behind him said, "Excuse me."
He turned around to see the new boy holding out his hand to him. "I'm Ian," he said smiling.
Kyle returned the smile and shook Ian's hand. There was nothing particularly special in the touch but Kyle felt like his heart leapt as they held hands for that brief instant.
"I'm Kyle. Glad to have you on board. Have you played long?"
"Been taking lessons since 6th grade," Ian replied. "Mom wanted me to have a head start."
At this point Mr. Jeffrey's got their attention to start. Band went by slowly with all the shuffling of paper and placement of everyone within their sections. Kyle was the lead second and Ian was the lead third and was to be trained by Kyle. Kyle was happy about this and so too was Ian it seemed.
Andy approached Dan, uncertain of what to expect. "Andy," Dan said flatly trying to draw out the suspense, but he couldn't keep from grinning broadly, "You're on the team! And, I get to help train you!"
Andy couldn't help it; his smile was more telling than anything. In fact, he had to really work at not throwing himself at Dan just then. "So, when do we start?" he asked excitedly.
"Well, right now if you like. Let's get in the pool."
For the next 45 minutes Dan worked Andy hard. The advantage of having worked together for the last couple of nights allowed Dan to know just how to help Andy the most. It also gave him the opportunity to let some of Andy's strengths shine through as well since the coach was watching from the side of the pool.
However, both were getting anxious to get back to Dan's. A lot had happened in the last 24 hours and it was difficult to concentrate any longer. Years of dreaming about being with another boy had finally come true and now they couldn't wait to be alone with each other.
Kyle woke up Saturday morning finally determined that he could write to Andy again. He survived a week of school without Andy and it turned out to be not as bad as he had first thought it would be. And, his feelings for Andy were now fighting against his feelings for someone else. Ian.
And this was going to be the difficult part. He had to help train Ian in band and just being with him was going to be distracting. But, what else could he do? And he really wanted to spend time with Ian - something he wouldn't have done if it hadn't been for band. Ian was a freshman and he was a sophomore. They had nothing else in common otherwise.
Pushing thoughts of Ian aside, Kyle took out a piece of paper and began. It took him 5 minutes just to write the first paragraph. He couldn't think of how to say what he was feeling without saying what he was feeling. He wanted Andy to know he was missed without having to say that he really missed him.
The letter was short but he at least felt better trying to keep something between himself and Andy. He'd avoided saying anything that might give away what he was really feeling - either how depressed he had been or the love he felt for Andy. He also avoided saying anything about Ian at this point. He wasn't sure how he could talk about Ian with it sounding like he was - what was he anyway?
Dan and Andy found being in the change room after the tryouts more difficult than either may have thought at first. They had to avoid looking at each other for fear of showing their feelings for each other in more ways that one.
Dan had always been able to hide that part of him in the change room before. He'd learned how to think of something else or avoided looking at the other boys. Today, however, was a different situation. His new found relationship with Andy was too fresh in his mind for him to push aside.
He showered quickly and did his best to change in a corner to keep his eyes off Andy and to hide his own "problems" so as not to attract attention.
Andy noticed this and felt hurt at first but then when his own thoughts started drift to what happened last night, he figured out fairly quickly what Dan was doing and followed suit. He dressed as quickly as possible to avoid any further problems.
Both realized that this was going to be a problem for them at every practice and they couldn't avoid each other every time. The other boys would notice how odd this would be considering that they would be very friendly at other times.
The next week went by fairly quickly for Kyle. He found out on Wednesday that Ian had the same lunch period that he did. From then on they spent lunch time together. They were fast becoming close friends.
On Saturday, Kyle had invited Ian to come over to his house so they could practice their music for band together. This was not an unusual situation since Kyle was supposed to be helping Ian anyway.
They spent about an hour practicing their first piece. First Kyle had Ian play his part. At times Kyle would join in with Ian to help him hear the part. Ian was pretty good at this. The extra lessons had paid off. He wasn't gonna need much help.
They played the piece through together twice, each making notes on the music (in pencil) when they found a part that needed extra attention. It was good to have someone to practice with.
After the tryouts, Andy had to go home to get some of his things and to tell his parents he'd made the team. He was supposed to just get a quick change of clothes and then head back over to Dan's but his parents wouldn't let him leave. "You've been gone a lot recently preparing for the tryouts so we want you home for the rest of the night."
"But mom, Dan is waiting for me! We were gonna celebrate."
"Well, why don't you call him and have him come over here tonight for dinner and we can all celebrate together?"
"Thanks mom." Well, at least it wasn't a total loss. He was really disappointed that he couldn't be with Dan this afternoon but they'd get to spend time together tonight, albeit with his folks.
"By the way, Andy, you are going to come to church with us tomorrow morning and I don't want to hear any excuses. We let you stay home last weekend because you had to practice to make the team. Now that you are on the team, we want you back at church with us."
"Mom, why do I have to go to church? It's so boring." He didn't want to tell her the real reason he didn't want to go.
"Because God expects us to be there every week and you will be there. End of story." With that she left the room.
Well, this was it. He had to face the executioner once again. If he could just get through it without hearing the bad stuff. Yeah, right. Who was he trying to fool? Why did God hate him so much and then want him there anyway?
Kyle's mom suggested that Ian stay for dinner. Kyle took it a little further asking if Ian could stay the night. His mom said it was OK as long as Ian's mom was fine with it.
Ian's mom said it was OK so they did a quick jog over to Ian's house to get some things for the night. Ian's room was so different from Kyle's. Where Kyle had clothes and various items strewn around the room in a sort of comfortable decorating style known as messy, everything in Ian's room was neat and orderly. Nothing was out of place.
"You actually live in this room?" Kyle asked. "Don't you ever feel like just breathing will mess the whole thing up?"
"Yeah I live in here and I just find that if I ever want to find anything again, I have to remember to put it away. It doesn't always look like this. But it is rarely much different unless I am changing things around."
"I don't think I could live in a room like this. I'd be afraid of losing something without my organizational style. You ever hear of an organized mess?"
Ian looked at his friend and said, "You should see my dad's office. You'd probably feel right at home. I think he believes in the chaos theory. I'm more like my mom."
"Andy tells us you are the lead swimmer on the team this year, Daniel. That is something to be proud of." The moment Dan had entered the house the first degree had started. This was typical of Andy's father. HE wondered if he had brought a girl home if his dad would have done the same to her. Well, at least he would never find out.
"Yes sir." Dan replied. In fact this was typical of his answers because Andy's parents had barely let up in the questioning and advice giving all evening.
"I bet the girls are all over a handsome boy like you," Andy's mom stated with great enthusiasm.
"Well," started Dan, catching Andy's eye, "I've never really noticed. Been too busy."
Andy stiffened just a little at this. But fortunately his parents either hadn't noticed the comment or weren't concerned by it. But his brother Robert had and cast him a quizzical look which made Andy even more nervous.
"Well, it won't be too much longer and you will both be fighting the girls off and they'll be fighting over you. You'll have your pick of who to take to the prom." Andy's dad wasn't looking at them as they exchanged knowing looks. They both knew who they wanted to take to the dance. Although it was unlikely they'd get that chance.
"The band here is so much more fun than in junior high." Ian was saying. "We played all this easy stuff - you know, little kids songs. I'm glad I was taking lessons 'cause I'd never have learned to play otherwise."
"Yeah, I remember junior high band. I always did special project pieces to challenge myself. That was the only way I could keep from being bored with it." Kyle replied.
"I bet you didn't have to sit between two fat girls when you were in junior high band."
"Well, it was worse than that. I had two popular girls, one on either side."
"What was the problem with that?" asked Ian.
"Well, they both had popular boyfriends who made it very clear to me that I wasn't even to look at they're girlfriends. I was scared so shitless half the time that I couldn't even play properly. I was glad to get to high school. And even happier to find out that they had both quit."
They both laughed at that one. "So," said Ian, "do you have a girlfriend now that you are in high school?"
Kyle looked down with a slight frown on his face that Ian noticed. "No, haven't had much luck there. How about you? Did you ever find someone in junior high besides those two girls in band?"
Ian was more confident about his answer. "Nope. Had more important things on my mind. I spent a lot of time practicing and just as much time on the computer. Girls aren't worth my time."
Kyle wasn't sure what to make of this. Could it be that Ian had similar interest in girls? Or should that be dis-interest?
"Don't your parents bug you about getting a girlfriend, though? I know mine do."
Ian looked at Kyle and at that moment their eyes locked. It seemed an eternity during which they just stared into the depths of each other's eyes. Then it happened. Without even thinking, Kyle reached over and kissed Ian.
Kyle looked away, horrified at what he had just done. "I'm sorry. I don't know what I was thinking."
The look on Ian's face ...
After dinner, Andy had asked his parents if Dan could stay the night. They thought it was a great idea and suggested that they sleep downstairs in the den. "However," his mom added, "you'll have to come to church with us in the morning."
Andy just about died at this thought. He could put up with church knowing what was about to happen but to put Dan through it was too much for him. But, before he could say anything about it, Dan replied, "No problem. I often go to church with my folks."
"Great. We will be leaving at 9:30 sharp, boys, so be sure to get some sleep. Don't stay up talking all night."
"We won't," Andy replied back. "Thanks mom."
After his mom had left Andy said to Dan, "You don't really want to come to church with us."
"Why not?" Dan replied?
"Well," started Andy, "two weeks ago the preacher was ... um ... well, you know..."
"I know what?" Dan asked, confused.
"He said being gay is an abomination." Andy replied. Tears were streaking down his face. "I was so scared that I ran out of the service as soon as it ended. I couldn't even tell my parents what was happening. They'd probably kick me out if they knew I was gay. That's why I wanted to kill myself. And if it weren't for you I would have."
Dan was crying now too. "Well, I'll be there with you tomorrow. And, if need be, I'll go with you every Sunday. Words can hurt but they can't stop us from loving each other."
Andy looked up tentatively, "You'd do that for me? You'd put up with people saying that just for me?"
Dan looked deeply into Andy's eyes and replied, "Yes. I love you Andy. I will always be here for you."
At that moment they heard foot steps quietly ascending on the stairs. Both boys looked at each other, frightened of who had been listening and what they had heard.
**** Please read this ****
In The Smile, both Andy and Kyle think about ending their own lives to solve the loneliness and despair that they feel. Fortunately for these two boys they are both 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.