The following is fiction. It contains some scenes involving gay sex. If reading such material is against the law, please do not read this story.
I have been enormously gratified by my readers’ response to my first two stories, 8th Grade and Prom. Your comments to me have been exceedingly generous and deeply apprciated.
I have had several requests asking for the location of my two previous stories. They can be found as follows:
8th Grade: Nifty Archives, Gay Male, Young Friends, April 1, 2005
Prom: Nifty Archives, Gay Male, High School, May 15, 2005
What explicit sex is included in this story is intended to further the story as I do not write gratuitous sex scenes. The story is not principally about sex, and if your objective is to read about sexual activity, you will find this story disappointing and uninteresting in the extreme.
This story is copyrighted by the author. All rights are reserved.
I love hearing from readers. It’s the reward I get for writing these stories. Any comments will reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
T I M
Terry lived in a part of town I hadn’t visited yet. As I entered his neighborhood, I saw mostly older homes standing on well-kept, expansive yards. Matures trees grew in many of them, providing ample, well-needed shade and providing a feeling of permanence to the properties. It was another warm, sunny day––that was certainly one huge difference between here and Ohio, where if it didn’t rain at least twice a week in the summer and fall something was out of whack with the weather––and the sounds of children outside at play and their clutter of tricycles, bikes, toys and accessories could be heard and seen in many of the yards. This was a cheerful, welcoming neighborhood, one giving you the sense that everything would always be all right here.
I turned off Marion Street and rode up Lawson Meadows Road as Terry had instructed and eventually came to a large white church set well back from the street. The lawn had a prominent message board announcing tomorrow’s sermon and a few other upcoming activities. At the bottom it stated, Senior Minister: M. Brandon Kauffman, D.D. The sermon was going to be “Serving God Through Serving Humanity.” I couldn’t help but compare that in my mind to the last sermon I could remember listed for delivery by Reverend Ellison: Let Not Our Sins Condemn Us Forever. The message board was set near the street and the lawn behind it had a scattering of flower beds and small, neatly tended bushes. A wide walk let from the sidewalk to the large front doors of the church. The setting looked inviting, even though I didn’t see anyone there, or any cars in the lot.
Terry had said his house was the one just past the church. There was a small parking lot along one edge of the church property and a large, tall hedge of oleanders divided the parking lot and the rest of the church property from the property adjoining it.
Terry’s house also sat back from the street, though not as far as the church. It had a couple large trees growing in the front lawn that shaded the front of the house. Bushes fronted the house itself, which wasn’t terribly large but was a two-story dwelling that looked well cared for and homey.
I rode up to the house, then wasn’t sure what to do with my bike. Everything was so neat and tidy, it somehow seemed wrong to just leave my bicycle lying on the lawn or by the porch steps. I decided to take it to the back. I rode down the driveway to the rear of the house and saw Terry’s bike leaning against the garage. I put mine up against his, then looked around.
Almost immediately, the back door of the house opened and Terry stepped out, his usual smile on him face. I walked over to him.
“Looks like you found us all right. Come on in and meet my parents.”
We walked into the house, entering the kitchen which overlooked the back yard. Two adults were sitting at a table in a breakfast nook. Terry took me to them and introduced us all.
Terry’s mother was well dressed and made up very properly. She seemed friendly, but very dignified and a little reserved. She didn’t seem to display the warm and open motherliness or the natural ease that had so struck me with John’s mother.
Terry’s father was a tall man with a slender build, salt and pepper hair and a deep, friendly voice. He shook my hand when we were introduced and seemed genuinely happy to meet me. He put me at ease very quickly. I recognized some of Terry in him, and realized where Terry’s good looks and sociable manner came from.
Terry told them we were going upstairs until John got there, then took me to his room. He had large bedroom in the upstairs rear of the house. He had a double bed, sports pictures on the walls, a TV and computer. I didn’t see any video games, and wondered if his religion had anything to do with that. Knowing Terry, I doubted it. More likely, he simply didn’t have time for them.
After showing me around, we sat down, both of us on his bed.
“You look a lot better today. You really looked wiped out when I left you last night. I felt a little guilty, making you tell me all that. I’m glad you did, but I’m sorry it was so rough for you. I’ve also thought about it all, and have a bunch of questions, but they’re just nosy questions, and I don’t think I’ll ask them. At least not right away.” He smiled at me, and I thought he was teasing.
“What did John say, what did you tell him about me running away? Was he upset?”
“John’s John. You’ve got to get to know him better. He’s a little sarcastic about things, and his first response to almost anything is sort of a humorous one. He’s really funny, but if you don’t know him well, you probably wouldn’t notice the humor. That’s why some people don’t like him much: they haven’t taken the trouble to understand him.”
“Yeah, but that didn’t answer my question”
“Let me finish. Damn but you’re eager this morning! As I was saying,” he said, emphasizing the last word and looking at me challengingly, daring my to interrupt again, “his first reaction is almost always sarcastic, and this time, he didn’t do that. He just listened, and when I was done, just said he’d talk to you on Monday, he guessed.”
“What did you tell him?”
“Just that something personal upset you, you got a little panicky all of a sudden and felt you needed to get home. That when I got there you were already feeling better, and that you were a little embarrassed.”
“Didn’t he ask what had bothered me?”
Terry just looked at me for a second. Then he said, “John knows me as well as I know him.”
That didn’t seem much of an answer, but then I realized it was. He was telling me he didn’t reveal people’s personal business to other people, and John knew it.
“He doesn’t know I’m going to be here, does he?”
“Nope. How do you want to handle it? I mean, just you being here is no big deal, and we’ll eat when he arrives. But, after that, what? You want to be alone with him? You want me there? What do you want to do?”
I hadn’t worked out the logistics yet. All I knew, what I had realized when I got up this morning, was that I needed to talk to John. Now, I needed to figure out the best way to do that. Well, I didn’t want Terry there. As much help as he’d been, this had to be just John and me.
“I think I need to talk to him alone. What’s the best way to do that?”
Terry thought about that. “I guess it depends on what you want. You can make it sort of accidental that you ended up alone together, or you could be up front and just tell him you need to talk privately. You seem to like to make things more difficult than they have to be.”
He smiled when he said that, but I realized it was true. I guess I wasn’t as carefree about this business of telling someone about me as I’d thought. I might have figured it out intellectually and was OK with it on that level. Emotionally, that was something else again.
“I think you’re right, Terry. I’ve just got to do it. Stop beating around the bush. I’m nervous about how he’ll react, but I’ve already thought through that, and I just have to do it.”
“OK, after lunch, just tell John you want to talk privately with him, then ask if you can push him down to Boyton. That’s an elementary school a couple blocks from here and they have a playground with grass around it. It’s a good place to go to talk.”
I decided to do that. While I was deciding, the doorbell rang. John.
Terry and I went downstairs and Terry opened the door. John was standing, and again it startled me. My mental picture of him always included his chair.
Terry met him with his big smile and invited him in. He started in, then saw me and suddenly stopped. He paused for a very brief moment, then quickly looked around, then said is a stage whisper to Terry, “Hey, I’ve got the door blocked, you guard the stairs and we have him trapped.”
I broke out laughing. If I’d been feeling some tension, meeting him, and I guess I had, he’d certainly broken it.
“I invited Tim for lunch too, you don’t mind I take it?” Terry asked him.
“Of course not. Besides, it’ll give me a chance to see an old apology put to use. It’ll be great.”
Terry looked at me with a question in his eyes, and I looked back at him just as dumbly. Finally Terry asked him, “What are you talking about?”
“Oh, come on, Terry, think about it.”
“John, what are you talking about?” This time Terry put some heat in his voice.
“Well,” said John, giving in, “if Tim’s going to eat with us, We’ll get to see someone eat and run.”
He said it, then stared at me. deadpan. I groaned. Terry made to hit him in the shoulder, but pulled his punch and just tapped him. “That was weak,” he said.
“How many of these do we have to put up with?” I asked. “Maybe I can go wait in the garage or something till you’re done?”
“What would be the fun of that? I wouldn’t get to see you squirm?”
“I guess I didn’t realize you were a sadist. You didn’t strike me as the kinky type.”
“Hey guys, let’s go eat. It’s probably ready, and I think we need a change of subject anyway.” Terry looked just a little bit uncomfortable. I thought maybe he was thinking of the shape I’d been in last night. Maybe he didn’t think I was up for too much teasing. It was also hard to read John. I didn’t really know how much was good natured teasing and how much was letting off steam. He made sarcastic statements, then didn’t break a smile. He was hard to read.
We walked into the dining room, where the table had been set for three. There were three kinds of salads, a plate of sandwiches, and a bowl of fruit cocktail that looked like it was hand made rather than from a can. Glasses of iced tea stood at each place.
“Sit wherever you like, Tim,” Terry told me. I chose a place to the side of the head of the table, Terry sat at the head and John was left with sitting across from me. We began passing bowls and plates and pretty quickly each had a plate full of food.
No one said anything right away. I felt a little uncomfortable, mostly because the recent banter with John, in retrospect, seemed to have had an edge to it. John’s manner of talking usually didn’t bother me, but now I was uncertain. Was he mad at me? He didn’t go out of his way to let anyone know exactly what he meant. I guess he felt it as your job to interpret him. I hadn’t had a problem knowing where he was coming from when I was with him before, but I did now.
Terry took a couple bites, then looked at both of us. John would look down at his plate, then look up at me, stare for a few seconds, then look down again. He kept repeating this. When I’d meet his eyes, he’d meet mine, then eventually look down. Terry saw this, then finally sighed. “OK guys, tis isn’t working. John, what’s the matter?”
“Is something the matter?”
“Cut the crap, John. You’re making Tim very uncomfortable, and I’m not sure he’s ready for that right now. If you’ve got a problem, let’s talk about it. If you don’t, then whatever you’re doing right now is silly and childish and isn’t working, so cut it out.”
“Hey, screw you! I don’t need you running my life. If Tim has a problem with me, he can talk. You can talk, can’t you?” he said, turning his attention to me.
I have to admit it. I suddenly felt really tense, really upset, and even worse, I really felt like getting up, getting on my bike and going home. As much as I wanted to get things smoothed out with John, this antagonism, this passive aggression, if that’s what it was, was having an effect on me. It was making me want to pull into a shell. To hide. I didn’t know why, I’m not usually like that, but that’s the effect it was having. It was all I could do not to get up and leave. I was about 10 seconds away from doing that. Was that what John wanted? To make me run again? Why would he want that? Had I pissed him off yesterday and he was getting back at me?
Then it was like a light went on. I suddenly realized I hadn’t had a chance to apologize for yesterday. That was my first thought this morning, that I had to apologize to John, and with the way the conversation had gone when he’d come in and unexpectedly found me there, I’d never done it. Maybe that was John’s problem: he still had no idea why I’d run, I hadn’t said anything about it and maybe he thought I was just brushing it all under the rug, and the more he thought that, the more pissed he was getting. His feelings had been hurt, and while he did a good job of hiding them, he did have them. And his natural instinct when he was hurt was to strike back.
I also remembered my promise to myself this morning. It seemed so simple at the time, promising myself I wouldn’t run away from him the next time we met, and here I was, about to do it again. I was pretty sure the third time wouldn’t be a charm for our relationship.
I looked into his eyes. He was staring intently at me, his face expressionless, his question hanging in the air between us. “John, I just realized, I never apologized for running out on you yesterday. I am sorry I did that. I need to explain it to you. I hope you’ll let me do that. I want to do it after lunch, and we need to do it privately. I’ve told Terry that I wanted to do this and he said we should go for a walk, to a school nearby. I hope you’re not so pissed at me that you won’t let me tell you why I ran. Can we do that, is that OK with you?”
John kept staring at me, then said, “Most people can’t figure me out very well. I guess I hide what I’m thinking and feeling pretty well. But you guessed I was really pissed. I’m impressed. But I was more pissed you were blowing it off than you running. You’ve now apologized for that, and want to explain, so sure, I’m up for that. And I apologize if I upset you just now. Sometimes when I get pissed I go a little too far. I’m sorry.”
I didn’t reply, just smiled at him. It took a couple seconds, but then he smiled back. Damn, that boy can smile!
The rest of the lunch was much easier. The tension was all gone and the chatter among the three of us became light and funny. Terry made sure it didn’t get either too sharp or too ribald. I was starting to see why John complained he was like a mother hen.
After lunch, after we’d taken all the dishes into the kitchen and put the food away and the dishes in the dishwasher, we thanked Mrs. Kauffman for the wonderful lunch, then Terry told us to take off, and he’d be here when we got back.
We stepped out onto the porch, and I saw John’s chair down on the cement walk that led to the sidewalk. We walked down the steps and John sat down. I began pushing him out to the sidewalk. As I pushed, my stomach began to fill with butterflies. I might be intellectually ready for this, but emotionally, it mattered too much how John responded to what I had to tell him. The truth was, I was scared shitless.