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 25, 2004
The Smile - Chapter 7 - Turmoil grows
Dan ran, out of control in the cold night air. Fall was definitely here now. He wasn't paying attention to where he was going. Probably back to his tree but he couldn't stay there all night. It was already too cold.
However, at the moment his primary concern was getting as far away from his dad as possible. So, he ran and ran, falling over downed branches and running into the lower limbs of trees that whipped his body and face. Also, he was in pain where his dad had hit him.
He was still in shock over the incident. His dad had hit him. This was something that happened to other kids. His family wasn't like this. Violence was for other people's lives, not his. At this thought, he began to cry. Why was this happening to him?
He'd been a good kid all his life. No, he wasn't perfect, no one was. But, he went out of his way to obey and respect his parents. They always knew where he was and what he was doing. He'd never stolen anything nor did he do anything destructive. He was a good kid.
So, why is this happening? he thought.
He made it to his tree. He crawled inside and just sobbed. He was getting cold now that he'd stopped running. He'd have to go someplace else. He couldn't stay here. But where?
He wondered if Andy's parents would take him in, at least for tonight. Would they want to get involved? He didn't want to cause any trouble for them but he didn't know where else to go.
There were his grandparents, his mom's mother and father, but given his parent's reaction tonight he was sure they wouldn't want him there either. And besides, they were on the other side of town. It wouldn't be easy to get there tonight anyway.
No, Andy's house would have to do for tonight. And it wasn't like he didn't want to go there. Also, they knew about him and would understand.
With this decided, Dan left the shelter of his hiding place. In the distance he heard his father calling his name. He'd have to be careful. Fortunately Andy lived in the opposite direction to his own home.
Kyle had sent his letter to Andy asking for his phone number. He didn't say anything else because he didn't want to alarm Andy and he couldn't think of a way to say he wanted to talk about something important without making it sound upsetting or alarming.
So he just said that he'd like to be able to talk sometimes instead of just writing.
Now that the letter was sent, he was both nervous and excited. He knew he hadn't committed to telling him just by asking for his number but at the same time he also knew that he wouldn't be able to keep his excitement hidden for long while on the phone. They had been friends for almost 5 years now and they were closer than brothers.
Now all he could think about was how to tell Andy about Ian and himself. Should he just say, "Andy, I have something to tell you, I'm gay." or perhaps some preamble like, "Andy, you know how I never talked about girls, or even went out with a girl? Well, the reason for that is I'm gay."
He sighed; he didn't like either approach. Perhaps some inspiration would come when he actually had Andy on the phone with him.
Aside from his anxiety about telling Andy he was gay, Kyle was the happiest he could remember being. His relationship with Ian was going well and felt so right. The only problem was he wanted to spend all his time with him. As it was, they ate lunch together everyday in the band room. And, so far no one had stopped them from taking turns staying over Saturday nights at each other's houses.
Kyle was sure this had something to do with how much happier he'd been compared to how he was before. His mom had mentioned to him that he'd needed to find another friend to replace Andy. And she was right. If only she knew the extent to which their friendship had grown.
And, it was with these thoughts that Kyle finally fell asleep.
"Andy, can we have a little chat with you?" He'd been having a little snack before bed Sunday evening. The weekend had been lonely but uneventful, otherwise. Without Dan around, Andy had been restless but he'd tried to keep busy looking at the information that Robert had found on the web.
"Sure mom," he replied.
"Your dad and I just want to make sure you are careful about what you and Dan do and who you tell about yourselves. At the same time we also want you to be happy and to feel free to make your own decisions about all this.
"We also want to help you understand what the pitfalls will be. I understand that Robert's research has helped a bit."
"It sure has. There are tons of websites with information about AIDS and other diseases that we need to be careful about. Dan and I had already decided to take it slow anyway but it's nice to know how to be careful when we do decide to take our relationship further."
Andy's dad spoke next, "I see we've raise a son who is responsible. We are proud of you for thinking before you act. Not many kids your age would. If you have any questions about anything, even if you think we may not know the answer, please feel free to ask. If we don't know, we'll figure it out together.
"And don't be shy about sex. Talk to us if you have any questions. Many parents make it sound like something bad and forbidden but we want you to know it is a wonderful thing between two people who love each other. We do want you to consider waiting until you know who you want to spend the rest of your life with. Believe me, you will thank me someday for that advice. And, even though God does not condemn homosexuality, he does expect you to be responsible and not promiscuous."
"Thanks dad. I feel kinda weird talking about sex and all. But it's good to know I can talk to you about it if I need to."
At this point there was a knock at the back door. Andy's mom answered it. It was Dan and he looked terrible. Andy ran to him, taking him in his arms and moved him to a chair.
"What happened to you?" Andy asked, on the edge of being hysterical.
"My dad hit me." Dan explained what had happened when he'd returned home and events that followed. He explained that he had no where else to go.
Andy's mom had gotten the first aid kit and his dad had done a quick check of his cuts and bruises. Fortunately everything was superficial. The only pain that Dan had was where is dad had hit him.
"Well Dan, you can stay here with us, that is if Andy doesn't mind," Andy's dad said, smiling at him.
"Thanks sir. I really appreciate this."
"I think, in light of your relationship with our son I'd rather you not call me sir. It's Greg and Clara, OK?"
"Thanks Greg." He tried to smile but it just plain hurt too much since it was Dan's face that his dad had hit.
Next morning, Dan and Andy headed back to Dan's house to get his things. They had waited until his parents had left to make sure it was safe. By the time they got to school it was almost lunch time. They stopped by the office to explain why they were late but when they arrived, the principal asked to see them.
When they were in his office, the Mr. Donovan said, "Please sit down boys. Andy's mom called me this morning to explain why you are late. She explained that you were kicked out of your home Dan and that you'd be staying with Andy for a while.
"I want you both to know that I am here if you need to talk to anybody about what happened," he continued.
"Did she tell you why I was kicked out?" Dan asked.
"No, and I didn't ask. I figured you would tell me if you thought I should know."
It then occurred to Andy that Mr. Donovan had said they BOTH could talk to him. That was an odd way to put in considering it was technically Dan's problem.
"Sir, why did you say BOTH of us could talk to you?" Andy asked.
Dan looked at Andy suddenly, wondering if what Andy was thinking was what he was thinking.
"Well Andy, no one has said anything to me but I've noticed that you and Dan have a special relationship and I suspect that is why you were kicked out last night. Am I right?"
Dan answered first, "Yes sir. And as long as you know some of the story, I left last night because my dad hit me when I told him I am gay."
"Well Dan, that fits with what I suspected. You two are going to have to be careful. Although most people won't notice, there are some telltale signs that you are a couple. And it isn't that you spend so much time together. Really good friends do that. It's the way you look at each other mostly. Unless you are prepared to go public with your relationship you will have to be more careful about that.
"I suspect the change rooms cause a problem for you before and after swimming. Am I right?"
"Yes sir, a little. We've worked it out by not changing next to each other and looking at the wall when getting dressed."
"You'll have to be careful with that too. The other guys are going to notice that you are chummy at other times and it may occur to them why you act this way. I don't think I have to warn you about how mean the other kids can be."
"No sir," they both said together.
"Perhaps one day things will be different. Anyway, you better get to class... no wait, looks like you are just in time for lunch. Don't forget to go see your teachers from this morning to get any work you missed."
"Thank you sir," Dan said. Then as an aside, "Sir, I'd rather my parents not get into trouble over this. I am safe and I understand why my dad did this."
"Dan, I will abide by your wishes but I must say that your dad had no right to hit you no matter what he believes to be right or wrong. Discipline is one thing but this is just not acceptable. I will leave it to you. Perhaps it will work itself out."
"Thank you, sir," Dan said once more.
Rick pulled in the driveway a little after lunch time. He'd been driving all night long going no where specific.
After he had gotten back home from looking for Dan last night, he'd found the house empty and a note on the refrigerator from Sarah saying she was staying at her parents.
He was in shock. First there was all this about Dan being... he couldn't, wouldn't think of it in words. Then he'd hit his son for the first time in his life.
Next his son was leaving the house at a run. By the time he'd gone after him, he couldn't even tell which way the boy had run.
Now Sarah was gone and he couldn't even begin to understand what was happening to himself.
So, he'd gotten in the car and drove half way to the next town and back before the sun appeared over the horizon. By this point he was sitting on a rock in front of his car, at the beach.
He still hadn't really figured out what he was feeling or why he was so angry at his son. But he was starting to remember things; things that scared him. Things that should have been left forgotten. Now they were attacking him from the past, bombarding him with fresh waves of emotion - mostly negative.
Monday after school, Ian was telling Kyle what his mother had said to him the night before. Kyle couldn't believe it. "I hope things go that well with my mom. I have absolutely no idea how she will react."
"I couldn't believe it myself and then she told me my uncle is gay and that the other uncle I have is his lover. I was stunned. It's so cool to actually know someone who is gay and together with someone. I also found out my two uncles met in high school and have been together ever since."
Kyle was a little nervous about this last statement but he wasn't sure why. He never wanted to be without Ian but he wasn't ready to think of it as long term as that. He was only 15. And Ian was so excited about all this that Kyle was afraid he might just stand up on a table at school tomorrow and tell the whole school.
"Ian, we're still gonna be careful, and not tell people, aren't we?"
"Sure we are. Why?"
"Well," Kyle started, "you seem to be bubbling over with excitement and I was starting to worry that you might want to tell people about us."
Ian stopped and looked at Kyle, a look of great concern on his face. "You're right, I could get carried away if I'm not careful. I AM going to have to be careful, more than I thought. I can't believe I've gotten that comfortable with it so quickly."
Kyle took Ian into his arms, looked him in the eyes and said, "Well, I'm glad you are comfortable with us. Let's just be careful." And with that he kissed his boyfriend.
Dan's mom, Sarah, had spent all day thinking about what had happened the night before. She had left, not too long after her son, to go stay with her parents who lived across town. She couldn't believe Rick, her husband, would actually hit Dan like that.
She'd also thought about what Dan had revealed to them last night. She'd wondered for a while why Dan hadn't had a girlfriend yet. The she started noticing little things about her son, things only a mother would notice. She hadn't actually pieced it all together until after Dan had shouted out about being gay.
Her first reaction was an intense sadness as if she had lost her son to death by some accident. This couldn't be her son. Then when Rick hit him, she realized how absolutely selfish her first thought had been. Here he was right in front of them, in pain and there I was feeling sorry for myself.
All day she thought about Dan. What had changed? He hadn't. Probably, he'd known for quite some time. So, what was different? Only our knowledge of him.
By the end of the day she was resolved to make sure Dan knew he could count on her love. As far as Rick was concerned, she'd have a talk with him about this but she wasn't hopeful. The look on his face when Dan left actually scared her.
Sarah arrived home to find Rick sitting in the living room. He looked to be a wreck. And he was still wearing the clothes he'd worn last night. Realization dawned on Sarah; he didn't go to work today. He'd never missed work, ever, unless he was deathly sick!
"Rick, what's wrong honey?"
"You know what's wrong. Our son is a fucking fag."
Sarah steadied herself. She knew this was going to be difficult but wasn't quite prepared for he vehemence.
"Rick, did it occur to you how difficult this is for Dan? I mean, it's not like this is the type of thing kids feel comfortable telling their parents."
"Oh, difficult for Dan? You think I don't find this difficult? My son, screwing around with that... that... " His voice trailed off, unable to continue. "How could he do this to us? How could he do this to me."
Sarah couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Don't you care that he's had to deal with this on his own? Don't you care that he's probably in turmoil about this too?"
"CARE! WHAT IS THERE TO CARE ABOUT? IT'S WRONG! THIS IS NOT THE WAY IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE."
"Richard, I'm going to be staying with my parents for a while. And, I am accepting our son for who he is." She stopped at this point. The look in Rick's face was scary.
Rick hesitated for just a second and then picked up the coffee table and threw it across the room at his wife. She was out the door before it hit the wall behind where she had been standing.
Dan and Andy were just sitting down to do their homework when Sarah knocked on the kitchen door.
"Mom," Dan said, half scared, half glad to see her.
Sarah looked at Andy and asked meekly, "May I come in?"
Andy looked at Dan, who nodded and then let her in. "I'll just go upstairs."
"No, Andy, please stay," Sarah told him quickly. "I want you to hear this from me as well."
Andy hesitated and then sat down again.
"Dan," Sarah began, "I just wanted you to know I have accepted your decision. And I want you to also know that I love you, no matter what." She was crying silently now.
Dan looked at his mom. He wanted to hug her right then but was still hurting emotionally over what had happened the night before.
Sarah continued, "I've done a lot of thinking today and I realize this hasn't been easy for you, either. Last night, I was shocked and my reaction was selfish but what your father did made me think. You took a great risk by saying anything and you paid the price.
"I am appalled at what your father did to you. I left right after you did and stayed the night at gramma and grampa's house. I went home after work to talk to your father but he is out of his mind. He didn't go to work. I left just as he started throwing the furniture." She was sobbing now.
Dan realized the great risk his mom had taken going home. He stood up, went over to her and held her tight. Both cried into each other's shoulders. Andy also sat, crying as he watched mother and son reunited.
"Andy, I know we weren't very kind about you to Dan this past weekend. I want to apologize to you as well. And I want to accept you as my son's boyfriend."
She held out her arm and Andy joined them in the embrace.
Clara had been standing just outside the kitchen, waiting. She hadn't intended to eavesdrop. She was on her way to the kitchen when she heard the knock and Andy let Sarah in. She had decided to wait, not wanting to intrude unless necessary.
Now with the boys both hugging Dan's mom, she decided it would be safe to enter.
"I couldn't help over hearing," she said with a smile on her face. "I'm Clara," she continued addressing Dan's mom.
"Hi, I'm Sarah."
"I just wanted to tell you Dan is welcome here as long as he needs someplace to stay."
"Thank you," Sarah replied. "Things aren't going well with his dad. I'm staying at my parents for now and I don't think they'd accept him at this point either." She sighed. "I'm so glad he had someplace to go last night."
"Are you going to be OK? Do you need anything?" Clara asked?
"As long as Dan is OK I'll be fine. Thank you again." Sarah turned to leave.
"Oh, please stay for dinner. And you are welcomed to join us anytime. Dan is part of our family as long as he is Andy's boyfriend and that includes you as well."
"Thank you again."
"Ian," his mom called as he entered the door that night.
"Can I have a word son?"
"Sure. What's up?"
"Ian, I have a concern. I think you are seeing too much of this boy, Kyle. I'd like you to take a break from him."
Ian was silent for a few seconds. What was happening, he thought. Just the other night things were OK. His uncles are gay. Apparently dad wouldn't have a problem with this. Now all of a sudden an about face.
"What?" he finally said, a bit too loudly.
"Ian, watch your tone with me, son." she said sternly.
"What about what you said the other night? What about my uncles and all that about Dad being alright with it?"
"I've been doing some more thinking about it and I'm not comfortable with you being in a relationship so young."
"Oh, I suppose if Kyle were a girl instead you'd still have a problem with it? Mom, I love Kyle! I can't stand to be without him! And now you tell me I have to stop seeing him? That's not fair! How can you make that decision for me?"
Ian knew he'd crossed the line. "Go to your room. You're grounded for two weeks."
Everywhere there were signs of a small tornado having struck the house. The living room was a complete shambles. Everything was over turned; TV, stereo, couch, tables. The kitchen was no different. Appliances were thrown everywhere, many in pieces. Dishes were broken. Not an inch of floor was uncovered.
The medicine cabinet was ripped off the wall and the shower curtains were torn from the rod. The waterbed in the master bedroom was drenched in water, obviously torn from top to bottom when the mirror was throw across the room and the jagged edges pierced the mattress. Clothes were everywhere.
Rick was sitting on Dan's bed with his head in is hands. He'd trashed every room except this one in his rage. For some reason, entering his son's room stopped him.
Now he just sat there, sobbing, his body shaking from time to time as the full impact of his rage hit him. He'd driven his family away. Why?
Because of something that happened years ago. Something that he'd never dealt with. Something that he had put out of his mind completely until this happened with Dan.
He'd thought it was over and gone. He never realized how much he'd been affected by it. And he knew that no one would ever understand because, after all, it was his fault in the first place.
But how was he going to explain any of this if he didn't tell someone? He started sobbing again. It was happening again. The vicious circle. This is what had started it the first time all those years ago. This is what he'd been thinking about non-stop since Dan had brought Andy to dinner just over a week ago.
How could Dan do something like this? How could he do that disgusting thing with another boy? How could he have raised a boy that would do such a thing? With that last thought, he lay down and cried himself to sleep.
**** 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.