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
While I was pushing John toward the playground, he started chatting. It was easy, friendly talk and I was glad he started in because the way I was feeling, it would have been very easy for me to tense up, and I’m not the most verbal person to start with. I had a lot to say to him, and being too tense to even start wouldn’t help me any. But he kept it light, I responded in kind, and the trip to the playground was less stressful than it could have been.
It took us only about 10 minutes to get there. The elementary school was a sprawling, one story building which looked like most of the elementary schools they had here. On one side they had an elaborate playground with all the usual equipment plus a couple very fancy jungle gyms and play centers. Past the playground there was a wide lawn with many large trees and some random picnic tables, most of them well shaded.
At this time of the day, early afternoon on a Saturday, the playground was mostly deserted. A couple kids who appeared to be about 10 were swinging, and two younger kids were in the large sandbox. Other than that, we were the only ones here.
I pushed John over to one of the picnic tables that was farthest from the playground. He got up out of the chair, then sat at the table. I walked to the other side and sat down, facing him.
“John,” I started, “I know I owe you an explanation. Two times now I’ve run away from you. It’s hard for me to talk. I’ve been keeping a lot of me secret for months now, and the longer it’s been, the harder I find it to open up. I want to with you, you deserve an explanation, but it’s difficult. I don’t mind you being pissed at me. You have every right to be.”
He was watching me intently. I paused. I was probably hoping he’d tell me everything was fine, and I didn’t need to explain. He didn’t. He just sat there looking at me.
“The thing is, I had some troubles where I used to live. It’s the reason we moved here. We were leaving the problems I’d caused back home. I decided if no one found out, I could just leave it all behind me and start over. But it didn’t work that way. I met Terry and I met you, and the closer I got to both of you, the more questions were asked, and the more trouble I had answering them. When the questions got too hard for me, I just panicked and ran. It wasn’t you I was running from, it was my past. I just couldn’t talk about it.”
John remained silent, apparently thinking about what I’d said. The silence continued a bit, but strangely enough, didn’t feel uncomfortable to me. We had a lot of time for this, and now that I’d started, I wasn’t so nervous.
Finally he spoke. “You’re saying you caused a lot of problems in the past, so many you had to move? Problems so bad you’re afraid to talk about them? Tim, I don’t know you real well, I’ve only been around you for a week now. But I know you at least a little. You expect me to believe than only a few months ago, you were this really bad dude who caused such terrible problems you had to move across the country to get away from them? Tim, that’s bullshit!”
I looked down at the table. One thing was sure. He wasn’t going to make this easy. I guess he really was tired of me running away from him. He was going to get to the bottom of this so he could understand it.
I took a deep breath and let it out. “You want to know the details, don’t you?”
“I don’t want you to say anything you don’t want to say. You’re doing the talking. But if you say stuff that just doesn’t make sense, how do you expect me to believe it?”
He had a point. And the whole reason we were here was so he’d understand why I’d run, and maybe, just maybe, so he could find out who I was and accept me. I knew I needed to say more.
“OK, John. I have to tell you more, and it is stuff I don’t want to say. I have to, though. Otherwise, nothing will make sense. So here goes.”
And I told him. I didn’t tell him everything. I didn’t go into the detail I did with Terry. But I told him enough. I told him I’d been caught doing sex things with Jed. I told him about Missy, and having to tell out parents about it. I told him about Shawn and my mother, and Reverend Ellison. I told him about my parents divorce, Shawn’s commitment, Reverend Ellison’s trial, and how everything was my fault. My fault because I was gay.
I was looking down at the table when I told him that. I wanted to see his reaction, but I didn’t have the nerve to look at him. So I looked at the table.
John was quiet. He didn’t say a thing, and with me studying the grain on the table so closely, I had no idea what he was thinking. Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer and looked up.
John was turned on the bench and looking at the boys on the playground. I watched him for a couple minutes. I couldn’t see his entire face, just the profile, and couldn’t see into his eyes at all.
He stayed like that until the pressure got too much for me. I’d just spilled my guts out to him, and I needed to know his reaction. Maybe he was trying to think what to say to me. Probably he was trying to think how to diplomatically tell me he didn’t hang with loser faggots and he was ready to go back to Terry’s now. Or maybe not. But I needed to know.
“John, talk to me. Please. I’m dying here.”
He slowly turned toward me. His face was expressionless. He looked at me for a long time. Well, it seemed long. Then he said, “Tim, that’s more bullshit, but I don’t think you even realize it is.”
I got mad. I don’t get mad easily, but that got to me. I could feel my face get hot, and I know my voice was louder than usual when I responded to him.
“What the hell are you talking about? I just tell you things that tear my guts out to say, I pour my soul out to you, and you say it’s bullshit? What the fuck is your problem?”
He didn’t back down at all. Terry had told me he was feisty. He was. He just ignored my anger. “Tim, calm down. We’re going to talk about this. You’re going to listen to me for a while. Everything you said, the things you did, none of them caused the problems you told me about. You were what, 13, 14 years old? You experimented with sex with a neighborhood friend. Probably three quarters or more of all boys in the world do that. You liked it, so you decided you’re gay. Well, maybe you are, but then, maybe you’re not. You’re too young to know yet. Your mother found out you were supposedly gay, but that problem wasn’t yours, it was hers, caused mostly, I’d think, by her new fundamentalist religion. Those people are the least tolerant people on earth. But you didn’t cause her problems, her religion did, her response to her religion. Shawn got caught up in it too. It screwed up your whole family. The intolerant religion did that, not you. You were just a kid, doing what kids do. Shawn is in a hospital not because of you, but because of that church and that pedophile Reverend. Your parents got divorced because your mother stopped being a mother and a wife. Her values got screwed up. You didn’t cause that. Hell, I’ll bet you didn’t even screw up Jed. You said his parents liked you even after they knew what was going on. What happened to Jed?”
“I’ve emailed him a few times. He doesn’t do a good job of writing back. But he’s got a girlfriend. He’s playing linebacker on the football team. He’s having problems keeping his grades up. He says Missy has changed, they’re gotten closer.”
“So he’s a normal kid. You didn’t screw him up. You didn’t screw anyone up. But I don’t think you can accept that, can you?”
“I’ve thought about it a lot John. Terry and I talked about it yesterday and he says what you said, but I can’t buy it. I don’t think any of this would have happened if I were straight. You say I might be, but I’m not. I’m gay. I’m not interested in girls at all. I’m not a sex fiend, I don’t perv on every boy I see either, but the kids I find most attractive, the most interesting, the ones that turn me on, are all boys. I don’t even check out girls. I do, boys. And I think my mother knew that. I think the reason that church was so attractive to her was she hated my homosexuality. I think the church was the cause of a lot of our problems, but I think me being the way I am was why she went there.”
John looked at me and shook his head, but didn’t talk. He turned back to watch the boys play some more. After a couple minutes, he turned back to me. He looked like he’d figured something out.
“You know, Tim, you’re a writer. You’re really smart and can look inside people and situations and figure them out. You can come up with explanations in your writing that make sense. You write stories that are based on your characters acting logically and rationally. If you have your characters act uncharacteristically or make false moves, the story doesn’t work. No one would believe it. It wouldn’t convince. The thing is, you’re not thinking the same way with this situation as you do when you’re writing. Here, you’re letting your emotions do your thinking for you, and it’s messing you up. If you think of the people you’ve been talking about, and make them characters in a story, you’ll see what you’re making them do, the reasons you’re giving them for their actions, aren’t logical. They don’t make sense.”
I couldn’t think about that. I’d been feeling responsible for everything that had happened for so long, I couldn’t just imagine it any other way than I had already decided was true.
“You need to write it down, make a story out of it, think about it like characters interacting in your imagination. You’ll see the way you’ve worked it out, it isn’t real. It doesn’t work right. But I see another, bigger problem. This is going to be heavy, Tim. Can I keep going?”
He was still looking at me, and now I saw compassion in his eyes. They weren’t blank and unreadable any longer.
I had no idea where he was going, but I was willing to listen. It was preferable to him telling me to get lost.
“Sure. Go ahead.”
“I think you’re accepting blame for all this because it’s easier that way. It lets you off the hook. I think a lot of this has to do with your mother. You said you mother hates you because you’re gay, right?”
That got my complete attention, and suddenly I was feeling very nervous again. I didn’t want him talking about this. This was too emotional for me. This was a topic I tried not to even think about myself.
“John, maybe we shouldn’t go into that.”
“Tim, we need to look at this. I’m going to talk about it. You can walk away and not listen if you want.” He paused. I sat still. I wanted to walk away. Badly. I had promised myself this morning I wouldn’t do that, however. I’d promised myself I was going to face what was bothering me, not run away from it. I was tempted to run, but I didn’t. I stayed.
“Tim, listen to this. If your mother hates you because you’re gay, you can understand that. That makes sense to you, and you can accept that. But what if that’s not it? What if she just hates you? It isn’t you being gay, it’s just you. She just hates you for being you. What about that?”
And that, of course, was what I hadn’t been allowing myself to look at. When he said it, the fact of it just sat there, staring at me, and I knew that’s what I’d been afraid of. That’s what had been terrifying me for months. I felt my eyes start to water.
John was relentless. “That’s too much to bear, isn’t it? And that’s what’s been eating at you. Because you’re too smart to really think all this was your fault. But it was easier to do that than accept she simply hated you.”
Tears were streaming down my face now. I was looking at it, feeling it. How could my mother simply hate me? But she’d started acting that way before she could have had any idea I was gay. I’d been deluding myself all along. She hadn’t known I was gay. She just hated me because she hated me. I was so worthless my own mother hated me.
John wasn’t through. I didn’t think I could listen to any more, but he made sure I did. He reached over the table and grabbed my shoulder with his good hand, then jerked it till I met his eyes. He made sure he had my attention, then continued.
“But Tim, listen to this, it’s important! What’s probably true is, she didn’t hate you. You’ve been explaining this to yourself all along that this happened because she hated you, then made up a reason for the hatred, but that doesn’t make any sense. I know you. You’re this wonderful, caring, smart, neat kid, and no mother would hate you. The problem is, your mother had issues that didn’t even involve you. You, being a kid, felt anything that happened was somehow due to you. Kids are all egocentric. But you weren’t any factor at all in this. She had problems, very real problems. I have no idea what they were, but they were so severe she turned to a crackpot religion to get relief from them. Or, maybe, she had her problems and that’s why the crackpot religion appealed to her. In either case, it was her personal problems, and her involvement in that religion, that caused your family’s troubles. It wasn’t you, and it wasn’t your sexuality. You have to stop blaming yourself. It wasn’t you.”
It took awhile, but it did hit me eventually. What he said made sense. My mother had acted strangely the day she’d said she was going to church, the day she first took Shawn and me there. I clearly remembered how she’d been so taken by the place and Reverend Ellison, and I remembered it hadn’t made any sense to me at the time. It hadn’t ever made any sense to Dad. The more I looked at it, the more I thought about it, what John said made sense.
And as that worked its way into my brain, I started feeling a sense of relief. For the first time in ages, I started feeling whole again. I started to believe. It wasn’t my fault. It really wasn’t my fault!
My tears had stopped. I’d been sitting, not really seeing anything, just thinking. When I finally focused, John was still looking at me. Still with compassion in his eyes.
“How long have I been sitting here thinking?,” I asked him.
“I don’t know. A while.”
“How did you get so smart?”
He laughed. It sounded so good, I joined in. I couldn’t help it. I realized suddenly I felt good. Really, really good. Better than I could remember in about forever.
Then I stopped. “John?” I asked.
“Uh, about that other thing I said? I need to know how you feel about that.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Well, everything, I guess. I told you I’m gay. Does that bother you? You didn’t run away screaming, so I don’t think you hate me or anything––which by the way is great and makes me awfully happy––but I don’t know how you feel about it.”
John paused, thinking. Then he said, “Well, I’ll tell you how I feel, but first, if you’re gay, what do you think about me? I mean, do you just want me for a friend or do you like me or anything? I need to know?”
“Gosh, John, you’re really putting me on the spot here. That’s embarrassing!”
“Well, I guess you answered the question then. If you just considered us friends, you wouldn’t be embarrassed. In fact, you’d be strongly denying you like me. So I think that’s all straightened out, you’re gay and you like me. Is that right? Just so we’re clear?”
I blushed. Terry had told me, right at the start, that John was blunt and forward. He hadn’t been lying. And I couldn’t lie now either. John wasn’t acting like it was going to be a problem, no matter what I said, and I felt so good with life in general right now, like an elephant wasn't standing on my shoulders any longer, and I wasn’t about to screw it up with some awkward half-truth or outright lie.
“OK, John, I’ll lay it on the line. No bullshit. Yeah, I’m gay, I like you, I like you more than a lot, you’re attractive as hell, probably the cutest kid I’ve ever met, you’re smart and have this incredible strength and honesty, and I’ve had feelings for you since we met, and you’re just going to have to deal with it. That straightforward enough for you?”
“Wow!” He stopped to think, looking at me, then looking away for a minute. When he spoke again, his voice was different. It had a softness to it that wasn’t like John. “OK, you were finally really up front and honest with me. So I’ll do that with you, too. Tim, I’m sure I’m gay too. I haven’t ever told anyone that. There was never anyone to tell it to other than Terry, and somehow the time never seemed right to tell him. I keep thinking what I said to you, I’m not really old enough to know for sure. But I’m pretty sure, and you’re the first one I’ve ever told. And I’ve never done anything with anyone, either. I’m this runty, diseased, closeted gay kid in a wheelchair. Why you’d want to have anything to do with me is beyond my imagination, but I’m so happy to hear you say that I could do cartwheels, if I could do cartwheels. I’ve been so wanting someone, and for the last week, I’ve really been wanting you. I can’t believe you feel the same way!”
This was incredible. Could this day really get any better? And then it did. John leaned over and kissed me. Right there, right in public, if you count four small boys probably 60 yards away from us behind a partial screen of a lot of big trees being in public.
His lips felt like nothing I’d ever felt. They were soft and moist and tender and firm and just wonderful. For a boy who’d never done anything, which I assumed included kissing, he sure seemed to know how to go about it. He kept moving his lips, slightly opening and closing his mouth, sliding his lips on mine, and in about three seconds I was a hard as a rock. I reached out and put my hands on his shoulders and held him. The table between us was suddenly the thing liked least in the whole world.
Half leaning over the table rather quickly became too uncomfortable, and we both pulled back at the same time. I looked at him, and the look in his eyes almost caused me to tear up again. What I saw in his eyes as he looked at me was love.
I looked back at him with probably the same expression in my eyes. Then I said what I needed to say.
“John, you just told me all these things about yourself. Let’s see, you said you were, what was it, you were a runty, diseased, gay kid in a wheelchair? Except you forgot the most important word.”
That’s what you are, John. Perfect.”