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, Feb 1, 2004
The Smile - Chapter 6 - Surprises and frustrations
Andy's dad looked at his wife and then back at Robert. "Do you have something else you want to tell us Robert?"
Andy spoke next, "Mom, Dad, it's not Robert. It's me. I'm gay."
With that he broke down crying and leaned into Dan. Dan held him tenderly, gently rubbing his back not worrying now what Andy's family thought about it.
When Dan looked up, he saw concern on the face of Andy's parents and tears in the eyes of both Andy's mom and Robert . He wasn't sure what to make of the reaction of Andy's mom but he thought he new what Robert's tears were for.
Andy's dad spoke first. "Andy, it doesn't matter to us who you decide to love, even if it is boy. What matters is that you are our son. And, we love you no matter what."
Andy's mom agreed with him, "That's right Andy. Nothing you do could ever change how we feel about you."
Andy looked up, confusion and surprise both on his face. Could he be hearing them right? "But, all those comments about crying being for 'homos', I thought you'd hate me for it."
Andy's dad, realizing for the first time what he'd done, look stricken. "Andy, I am so sorry for what I said to you. I never realized how close to home I was hitting. It was insensitive of me."
Andy stood up and went over to his parent's, wrapping them in the biggest hug they'd shared for a long time. Robert sat there watching his brother and parents, and stealing a look at Dan as well.
Dan, watched as Andy was loved by his parents, glad that things were working out here. He wondered if HIS parents would accept him that way. He thought they would but couldn't be sure. And, he wasn't ready to find out either, not just yet.
"Robert," Andy's dad addressed his youngest son, "I don't know if Andy realizes what an amazing brother he has but I want you to know what you did for your brother did not go unnoticed. I'm proud of you son for what you did and I'm sure Andy appreciates it.
Andy looked at Robert who was still crying and said, "Thanks bro. I owe you one. You're the best brother anyone could ask for." With that they hugged as well.
Andy's parents addressed Dan now. "Well, Dan, now we understand a little more about what has been going on. You are welcomed in this family and this house anytime. Andy chooses his friends well and I assume that you two are more than just friends?" He paused for a small nod of confirmation from Dan.
"Well then, let me just say that I approve of Andy's choice in boyfriends." He didn't sound comfortable with the word boyfriend but seemed resigned that that's what they were. "I can see that you make Andy happy and that he makes you happy. That's all we want for either of you."
Kyle was staying over at Ian's this weekend. And, it wasn't going to be a repeat of last weekend, either. On the contrary, both boys were eager to be with each other - to be able to, for the first time, really talk about what they were feeling.
Both had had rough weeks trying to sort out who they were and what they really wanted. And now, at least for the time being, both had the person they wanted to be with most in their arms.
They sat on Ian's bed against the wall. Ian was lying against Kyle who was holding him in his arms.
Ian's door had a lock so they wouldn't be interrupted. As they were entering the room earlier Kyle said, "We are going to have to be careful." A few seconds later he heard the click of the lock as Ian turned the latch. "I like how you think," he replied to Ian's grin.
Now as they sat cuddled together Ian repeated back, "You are right, though, we are going to have to be careful. Even though we are comfortable with each other, there are those who won't be comfortable with us being like this."
"Yeah, this is gonna be difficult. We won't be able to touch like this in school. I can just imagine what would happen if we were caught and I don't like what I am imagining."
"You thought about what your mom might say?" Ian asked.
"Not really. I've been too busy wondering what I was thinking and what you thought to think about that," Kyle replied. "How about you?"
"I've thought about it a lot. And, I can't figure out how my mom would react. My dad probably wouldn't care. He's never around. I don't really know him. We are so different from each other."
"Well, as difficult as it may be, I don't want this to change at all. You are the one I want to be with every waking moment. But I realize I will have to settle for slightly less than every waking moment."
"You're parents are so cool," Dan was saying later than evening. "I hope mine take my being gay that well."
"Yeah, well, I'm as surprised as you are about how well things are going. I mean, this isn't what I expected at all."
"Yeah, I suppose not. And what about your brother? What he did was so cool. I'm not sure I would have been able to find all that information."
"I know. I was so worried when he started talking at dinner. It took me a while to figure out what he was up to. Also, given my dad's comments in the past, he took a awfully big risk bringing it up like that. I owe him big time."
"You and me both. You have a cool family."
"Oh, I almost forgot. Before I came down here Dad told me that we didn't have to go to church tomorrow."
Dan beamed at Andy. "Cool. We can sleep in and wake up in each others arms and, no one else will be here when we do."
"That's right," Andy smiled back at his boyfriend.
"You know what else is so cool?" Dan said. "Your dad calling us boyfriends. That sounds weird even to me."
"Me too. I was so glad he said it and not me."
It was Sunday afternoon when Andy found Kyle's letter sitting on his dresser. He wish he had noticed it early but with all that had been going on it wasn't really a surprise that he'd missed it.
What he was surprised about was seeing a letter from Kyle at all. He'd thought Kyle had forgotten about them being Best Friends Forever. Well, I guess it does mean something after all, he thought fingering his pendant.
He ripped open the letter and read it quickly. What he read was short and polite - everything was going well at school, things were fine but something was not right. Kyle hadn't actually said anything was wrong but Andy knew Kyle was depressed. They'd been best friends for such a long time.
He decided to answer Kyle's letter quickly to try and cheer him up. However, he found that his letter, although probably happier in tone, left a lot unsaid. Of course, as much as he'd like to tell Kyle about him and Dan, he wasn't sure he was ready to. He was afraid that Best Friends Forever really did have limitations and he wasn't quite ready to lose Kyle's friendship.
So, he wrote about school, the swim team and his family. He didn't even trust himself to talk about "friends" for fear the truth would escape in his words. Someday, Kyle, I'll tell you - just not today.
Dan came home to the 3rd degree from his parents. No sooner was he in the door than his dad was on him. "We've hardly seen you all weekend. You spend ALL of your time with that kid, Andy. There's just something about him that makes me nervous."
"Yes, Daniel, you can do better with finding friends. I mean, he's a year younger than you..."
"He's only 6 months younger, mom."
"But he's a grade behind you. Can't you find someone in your own year?"
"Why does it matter what year he's in? We have a lot in common. We are both on the swim team. We both live in the same neighborhood. We both love math. We love the same music. I thought this is what friends are about. Not being discriminatory."
"Well, what else to you know about him, Danny?" his Dad continued. "He's just moved here. For all you know he could be a queer or something. I've watched the way he looks at you and I don't like."
That was the last straw. Angry and hurt, Dan stormed past his parents up to his room. "I can't believe you guys. Can't I pick my own friends? You've always trusted me in the past. Just leave me alone."
With that, Dan entered his room, slamming the door behind him and locking it. He was so angry with his parents but even more, he was hurt, really hurt by their attitude. Well, he thought, that answers that question, doesn't it. I certainly will never be able to tell them about me and Andy.
Kyle sat in his bed Sunday evening thinking about what a wonderful weekend he had had. It was so much better than last weekend. He was so happy to finally have someone to love, to be with. Someone who understood what he is feeling.
He knew that Ian was still unsure but he also knew that Ian had strong feelings for him. Where they strong enough to keep them together when things start to heat up, when others find out about them? Only time will tell.
He also thought about Andy. He'd thought a lot about Andy in the last couple of weeks and realized that he needed to tell Andy about himself - that he was gay. Andy was his best friend up until a couple of weeks ago. Would he understand? Would he still consider him a friend?
Well, if he didn't want to be friends anymore he'd have to live with it. He just couldn't continue to write to Andy without being able to talk about Ian. If only he had Andy's new phone number. Well, he'd just have to write and ask for it. He knew his mom would let him call if he asked. He'd pay her back for the call.
Ian's week was going fairly well. Much better than last week. His only problem was being uncomfortable about who he was. He'd never had a problem with self-confidence in the past and had always been outgoing. On the surface that hadn't changed much.
On the inside he was constantly thinking about the events of the last week and a half. He was constantly asking himself the question, "Are you sure?" and the answer kept coming back, "No, but I really, really like Kyle." Every time he was with Kyle he was content. And, when they were apart, it felt like a part of him was missing.
He was different now. Perhaps Kyle could see the difference. He hoped his mom couldn't.
He also had problems concentrating on what his teachers were talking about in class. He'd never had a problem with this in the past. No girl had ever done this to him. Or course, neither had any boy - until now.
He was confident in his relationship with Kyle when they were together. But when they were apart, he doubted, even though he felt empty.
Despite his doubts when he and Kyle were apart, he couldn't wait to see him again and couldn't imagine trying to deny what he felt. He wanted this relationship to continue, to work. Even if it meant trouble.
He'd started to read on the internet about being gay. He wanted to know what it was like to live as a gay male in society. He wanted to know why he felt this way. He was never religious but wondered if there was a God, why he would let this happen.
What he didn't know was that his mom had seen what he was reading on the computer several times. She didn't say anything though. And, Ian didn't think of deleting the history on the browser when he was done.
As the weekend approached, Dan's parents told him that he had to stay at home all weekend. They were going to spend the time as a family doing family things. And, no, Andy was not allowed to join them.
Dan had spent time with Andy at lunch and at their swim practices. They'd walk home together but were not allowed to be at each others' house otherwise. Dan's parents had never done this to him before. He'd never been told to get rid of a friend in the past.
He knew eventually he'd have to tell them about Andy. He'd thought about just hiding that fact but without being able to be with Andy outside of public activities, what was the point? The only thing he hadn't figured out was how to tell them.
Dan was starting to understand what Andy had felt when he'd decided to end his life. And the only thing keeping him going was Andy's smile every morning. They had at least worked out how to meet each other on the way to school to steal a little kiss and a hug. He wasn't sure what he'd have done otherwise.
"This sucks, big time," Dan complained. "I'm so sorry I can't be there at church with you this weekend, Andy. You know I really want to be there with you."
"Actually, it's OK, Dan. Mom and Dad have told me that I don't have to go. They haven't decided what to do about church for themselves but they've said that since we are not welcomed there, there's no use us going. They don't want us being 'attacked' like that again. And they said they were sorry we had had to go through that."
Dan smiled at his boyfriend. "Your parents are so cool. I wish mine were like yours. I'm gonna have to tell them soon and I don't know if I am ready for their reaction. It's been made pretty clear what they think about you and about "queers".
"Well, I had that same thought about my dad and look how it turned out. Who'd have thought."
"This weekend is gonna be the worst weekend ever. I heard my parents talking about some of the things we're going to do this weekend, things we used to do when I was 7 like going to the park and riding the train or feeding the ducks at the pond."
Andy didn't know what to say. But he knew what to do. He wrapped his arms around his boyfriend who leaned into him, depressed but content for the moment. It was a moment that needed no words.
Ian was at Kyle's on Saturday night. So far they'd been able to get the "every other weekend" thing to work for them. They had done their practicing as usual, this time for almost 3 hours. They both enjoyed playing so much.
It was dinner time and Kyle's mom had to interrupt them to get them to stop. They hadn't even realized what time it was. "You too must really enjoy playing. And, you make good music together."
Ian and Kyle exchanged significant looks. Make music together? Ian thought. Not yet maybe, and he smiled at Kyle who smiled back.
Dinner was wonderful. Ian's mom was a great cook but he'd had most of her meals over and over again. Kyle's mom cooked things that were quite different than he was used to. Perhaps that was because they weren't from around here. Kyle had only moved here a few years ago from the south. Anyway, he loved the food.
After dinner, they watched a little TV with Kyle's mom out of respect. Perhaps if they could have sat touching each other in some way it might not have been so bad. However, that was not the case and they wanted to be alone - to talk - to kiss.
After half an hour they went up to Kyle's room and locked the door. Kyle walked up to Ian and engulfed him in his arms. "I've been waiting all night to hold you."
"This feels so good," Ian replied, returning the hug. "I can't believe I sometimes doubt what I feel for you. I don't ever want to lose you Kyle."
Kyle pulled back his head and finding Ian's lips, gently kissed him. Ian returned the kiss which grew in intensity and continued for some time.
They stopped every so often, but only to catch their breath. Ian thought to himself, I never thought it could be this way.
Eventually, they moved to Kyle's bed where they sat cuddling with one another. This time, Ian against the wall with Kyle leaning back into him.
"I really like when we just lay here together." Ian says just before they exchanged a quick kiss. "It feels so right just to hold you."
"Ian, I hope you aren't gonna take this wrong, but I don't think we should rush into anything else just yet."
"What do you mean," Ian replied, a little hesitant. "You don't like what we are doing right now?" he continued nervously.
"No, I love what we are doing now. I just don't want to ruin it by, well, you know..."
Ian was starting to understand and he was relieved to hear Kyle mention this. "You mean, sex?"
Kyle looked back at Ian, "Yeah. Is that OK with you? I hope you don't think I'm a wimp."
Ian gave Kyle a caring, understanding look. "I don't think you're a wimp at all. In fact, I am relieved you mentioned it. I didn't want to be the one to put a damper on things if you wanted to do something more. I'm nervous about it too and I think it is a great idea to wait."
Kyle beamed at Ian. "I knew there was something about you I liked." And with that they kissed once more.
Sunday afternoon, Ian walked home by himself. Life was wonderful. In fact, more wonderful than he'd imagined it could be.
He'd always fantasized about what a relationship with a girl he'd been interested in would be like. He'd never come close to the real thing in these daydreams. Now that he had a relationship with someone, albeit not with a girl, he knew what it was really like and it surpassed all of his expectations.
From the moment that Kyle had kissed him over two weeks ago, his life had not been the same. He could never go back to the way things used to be. His old life was black and white, in sharp contrast to the brilliant color that was the life he now lived. And Kyle was the paint that had spilled across this old life, drawing him out of the drabness that had threatened to consume him without him even knowing it at the time.
These were the thoughts that went through his mind as he entered the house. He hadn't even seen his mother sitting at the kitchen table as he walked past her. For her part, she just stared at her son, concerned that he'd been so oblivious to her presence.
Later than evening, a knock at his bedroom door startled Ian. "Come in," he called out.
"Ian, have you got a minute?"
"Sure, mom. What's up?"
"Well son, I couldn't help noticing that you've been using the computer a lot recently, more then usual. You've never seemed to like them much. I didn't mean to pry but I noticed something of what you were looking at."
Ian's mouth suddenly went dry. He wasn't ready for this conversation with his mom. He wasn't sure he'd ever be ready but there was nothing he could do about it now.
"Well," she continued, "when I sat down next at the computer, I noticed that you left some links in the bookmarks and you didn't clear the history." (Ian's mom was into computers.) "So, I found out what you were looking at."
Ian just sat there stunned. He was sure this was it, the end of his life as he knew it.
"Is there something you'd like to tell me? Or should I tell you this confirms what I've suspected all along?"
"Mom, I... What did you say?", Ian stammered, unsure he'd heard correctly.
"I've known for some time now. I'm not even sure you understood about yourself when I figured it out. A mom sees things that others do not. The way you looked at the other boys when you were growing up. The way you looked at girls, or perhaps 'didn't' look at girls."
Now Ian was stunned into silence. He'd never suspected this. What he did suspect he wasn't sure but it wasn't this.
"I've only just figured it out within the last two weeks. It took Kyle to help me see it." There were tears in his eyes now as he tried to fight the wave of emotion that threatened to engulf him.
"I wondered about that," she reached out for her son. "You changed a little bit two weeks ago. At first I thought it was just going to high school, you know, you're starting to grow up. But then I started noticing your moods and then the way you dressed changed and you started combing your hair neatly. All small things but I noticed them."
Between sniffles he replied, "And I thought I'd been doing such a great job of keeping it to myself." He tried to smile at his mom now. "So, you don't hate me for this?"
"Ian, I could never hate you. You are my son. Am I happy about this? Well, let's just say that I don't disapprove. I am happy that you are happy with who you are. And you seem happier than I've ever seen you. I am also concerned for you. Life is not always easy to begin with. Life as a gay teen could be even worse."
"I know. Kyle and I have talked about this a lot. We know it'll be hard. But we really like what we've got. In fact, I think I love Kyle 'though I'm afraid to tell him that. Also, we've decided to take things slow. We've also decided that we have to be really careful."
"I should have known that you would be responsible about this. I'm happy for you, son. Anytime you need to talk about this or anything else I will be here."
"Thanks mom," Ian smiled back at her. "Does dad know?"
"No, not yet. I didn't think it was my place to tell him. I don't think you'll have a problem though. You see, one of your dad's favorite uncles is gay. Ever wonder why Uncle Tom always comes to family gatherings with Uncle Rich? Well, they are lovers. Uncle Rich isn't really your uncle by blood. Although I guess you could say he'd be your uncle by marriage if gay marriages were allowed here."
"Wow," Ian exclaimed, "I never knew that. I can't believe I didn't realize it before."
"Well, like I said, your dad will probably be indifferent to it so I wouldn't worry about it."
Frustrated about what his parents were doing to him, Dan decided Sunday morning to go for a long walk in the woods. He knew these woods better than anyone in the area and he knew where to hide so no one would find him. And that's where he was now. Hiding in the hollowed out shell of a tree.
Twice he heard his dad walking through the forest calling out his name but he would not reply. He was angry that his parents would do this to him. He'd always done what they'd said, always been home on time - in fact always early. But no one seemed to care about that.
Right now, they didn't trust him to make decisions for his life. Perhaps they had a right to be upset but it wasn't their decision. It wasn't even his. But how could he explain this to them. They didn't want to hear this. They wanted their son to like girls, get married someday and have a family.
Maybe that was the problem. Since he was the only child, they were probably counting on him to carry on the family name. He took a deep breath and sighed, audibly.
Well, I can't change who I am, no matter what my parents want to believe.
With that resolve, he decided it was time he got back. He'd left around 10am and now it was just after 7pm. And, he'd had no lunch.
We walked in the back door of the house and there they were. They'd been waiting for him. I guess, he thought, they knew I'd be back at some point.
"Danny, sit down, we want to talk to you about your behavior today and some other things as well."
Dan took a chair opposite his dad, watching him tentatively.
"Danny, I mean , Dan, we know you are growing up and will soon leave our home to make a life of your own. However, until that time comes and you live under my roof, you will do as you are told. We told you that you'd be spending the weekend with the family. Today we had plans but you chose to thwart those plans.
"Now, we are willing to overlook it this time. We know that you've had some influence from that new boy..."
Dan couldn't take it anymore. He was about to burst with anger. He interrupted his dad at this point, "DON'T YOU BLAME ANDY FOR THIS! BLAME YOURSELF!"
His dad was livid. "Don't you speak to me that way young man! We know that queer friend of yours..."
That did it. Dan was out of his seat so fast he knocked it over. "Don't insult my boyfriend! Yeah, you heard right, MY BOYFRIEND!"
Dan's dad was around the table before Dan could even react. He hit Dan so hard he went flying across the kitchen hitting the wall with a thud and slid to the floor. Dan picked himself up and promptly left he house.
**** 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.