The following is fiction. It contains some scenes involving gay sex. If reading such material is against the law, please do not read this. The author expressly requests all laws be obeyed and does not encourage illegal behavior.
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 appreciated. Many of you were kind enough to send along story ideas, and some of these ideas have been incorporated in Tim. I cannot thank you enough for your interest and suggestions, even if I cannot acknowledge your participation by name. There are too many of you and I used bits and pieces of what was suggested to the extent even I am confused!
What explicit sex is included in this story complements the whole; I do not write gratuitous sex scenes. The story is not principally about sex, and if your interest lies in reading about sexual activity, you will find this story disappointing and uninteresting in the extreme.
Those of you that have read my first two stories know that I like writing romantic tales of young boys learning who they are. This story has a somewhat darker and more troubling theme, and may have a message that is objectionable to some. I think the majority of you will enjoy it.
This story is copyrighted by the author. His permission must be secured before any copying or use of this story is permitted.
I love hearing from readers. It’s the reward I get for writing these stories. Any comments will reach me at email@example.com
T I M
Lunch was different the next day. Terry wasn’t waiting for me at the end of the serving line. In fact, I didn’t see him anywhere. I paid for my food and walked to the table we’d sat at the past couple days. Then I realized it’d be too small for the three of us and moved to a table for four close by.
I was laying my food out when I saw Terry walk into the cafeteria pushing John. John had a small cast covering his left wrist.
Terry looked over to “our” table, smiled when he saw me and pushed John over. I pulled a chair out and moved it to another table and Terry pushed John up to the table.
“Hi, guys,” I said.
They both said hi back, the Terry took off for the serving line. That left John and me alone again, and I even felt a slight twinge in my stomach when I realized this, but today, John seemed a little different. For one thing, looking at me, he had a small smile on his face.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “he’ll be right back.”
I blushed. Was I that transparent? Or was this John’s sense of humor? Rather than feel insulted, I thought, if he was teasing me, I ought to tease him back, just to see how he’d take it.
“Damn, that’s too bad. Just when I thought I’d be able to have my way with you.”
John’s eyes snapped open in surprise, no doubt understanding the double entendre had a sexual innuendo with it, and when he saw my grin. He obviously had a quick mind, because he immediately replied, “Oh, you thought I’d be that easy, huh? No way, buster. My virtue doesn’t come without a fight.”
“It wasn’t your virtue I was after, fool, I was going for your hot body.”
“Oh, in that case, I might not fight so hard.”
Now my eyes opened a bit wider, and he started laughing. It was a wonderful laugh, sort of high pitched but very gleeful and happy. I couldn’t help it, not that I wanted to, and I joined in.
When we stopped, he asked me, “Where did you move here from?” I told him Ohio, and he said he’d never been there, he’d lived here all his life and they didn’t travel much. I started to compare the climate and geography and such but hadn’t got too far when Terry got back, holding two trays. He plunked one down in front of John and the other in front of one of the empty chairs.
John looked at his tray, then back to Terry. “You could have got me the pork chop and corn on the cob like Tim got, you know. What’s this salad and jello stuff?”
“I thought it would be easier to eat one handed. You know, it wouldn’t kill you to be nice once in a while and maybe just say ‘thank you’ when someone does something for you, Mr. Bauer.” Terry said it with a sort of half humorous, half sarcastic tone to his voice, but with just a trace of acid underneath. I didn’t know if he were serious or not.
Evidently John did. He looked at Terry and grinned. “Gotcha,” he chuckled. Terry just looked exasperated, then turned to me.
“This little shit’s been asking for it all day. If he weren’t such a cripple, I’d do him right here.” Before I could respond, John jumped in with, “Damn guys, what is this? First Tim’s ready to jump my bones, then Terry wants some too. I must have worn the wrong cologne today. I must have used the powerful stuff.”
Terry looked confused, and John and I both laughed. Although, while laughing at Terry’s expense, I wondered about him calling John a cripple, and John completely ignoring it. What was that all about?
“I don’t think John’s definition of you ‘doing’ him and what you meant are exactly the same,” I told Terry, and the light seemed to go on in his eyes. Then he asked, “But what did he mean about you jumping his bones?”
“We were just playing around,” I answered, thinking that if I tried to explain it further it would lose all its humor.
“Yeah,” broke in John, “we were just playing with ourselves.” Both Terry and I looked at him, and then all three of us burst out laughing. Damn that felt good!
While we were laughing, I glanced around the room, wondering if other people were noticing all the laughter coming from our table. I happened to catch sight of Eliot, and strangely enough, he was staring at me with the same blank expression he’d had the first day we’d looked at each other across the cafeteria. Only this time I thought I could see some resentment, too.
I’d developed a personal habit long ago of jotting down things that happened during the day that might be interesting to think about later. I wrote in my journal most every night and I’d learned if I had made notes of thoughts and incidents that grabbed me during the day, the nighttime writing was much easier to do, I could spend more time writing and less trying to think of things to write about, and that the variety of things I could cover was enhanced that way. Eliot scowling at me, maybe resenting my laughing, or resenting my associating with other kids, seemed something to think about and maybe write about. I liked to write about human things, human reactions like that one. So I reached into my backpack, pulled out the steno pad-sized spiral notebook I always carried, and made a couple brief entries. Then I stuck the notebook back in my bag.
When I looked up, John was watching me, an interested and inquisitive expression on his face.
“What was that?” he asked.
I was a little surprised. I was so used to being alone and being a nonentity, I guess I took it for granted people wouldn’t notice what I was doing. I’d just acted without thinking about it.
“Oh, I just remembered I didn’t write down the history homework pages to read tonight. I just wrote them down now so I wouldn’t forget.”
John looked at me with measuring eyes and looked like he was going to comment, but then didn’t. Terry started asking about a project John was doing in art class, wondering if the wrist was going to interfere, and the subject seemed to be behind us.
While those two spoke together, I glanced at Eliot again. His eyes were still out of his book, and he was again looking my way. Weird. Terry had got the answer he wanted and now both he and Terry were looking at what I was looking at, and so the three of us were looking at Eliot.
“That’s odd,” remarked John. “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him looking at anything but his book. Do you think he wants help with one of the words?”
The way he said it, his tone of voice and faked concern, was funny, and both Terry and I grinned. The reaction to that from Eliot was immediate. He glared acidly at us, then stood up, grabbed his tray, and left, leaving the tray at the window.
“Wow, that was unexpected,” said John.
“I think he thought we were grinning at him, maybe making fun of him,” I said.
That got Terry’s attention. “I hope he doesn’t think that. I hope we didn’t hurt his feelings. Maybe I can talk to him.”
“Yes, Saint Terrance, you go find him.” Said sacrastically that would have been an awfully rude and harsh statement, but in fact, John said it with both support and something like admiration in his voice, and Terry blushed.
“I’m going to try to catch him,” Terry said. “Will you get the trays if I’m not back?” he asked me, and then turned and walked after Eliot without waiting for an answer.
“That’s Terry,” said John, watching him walk away. “I think he’s the only 16 year-old in the world that cares so much about everyone else’s feelings. He’s incredible.”
“Maybe that’s why he started talking to me,” I said before even thinking how that would sound. I realized it immediately afterwards, and looked down at the table.
John didn’t seem to find anything strange, however. “I don’t know what you mean. All I know is, he was quite enthusiastic when he told me he’d just met you. I never got the impression it was anything other than he’d met someone he liked.”
I looked up, and John was staring at me. When he’d held my eyes for a moment, he asked, “Tim, that notebook. Is what you said really true, you were just writing down a homework assignment? The reason I ask is, I keep a notebook with me all the time, too. If I want to make an odd note to myself, I just grab any old scrap of paper. But I carry a notebook around for another reason. And the one I carry looks just like that one.”
“What do you use yours for?” I asked him, curious.
“I can’t do all the athletic things other kids our age to. What I do instead is, I write a lot. I use the notebook whenever I think of something to write about, so I can write it down and remember it. I carry it all the time. One of the things I hate about breaking a wrist or arm or finger is it makes taking notes and writing so much more awkward. But, the way you were looking at Eliot, then grabbed the notebook and jotted something down, I’d swear you looked just like I imagine I do when I’m taking notes. Same expression on your face and in your eyes that I get. At least, you looked the way I feel.” He finished and looked at me, his eyes asking questions I guess he didn’t want to ask vocally, maybe because he’d already asked once.
I didn’t see any harm in telling him the truth, and in fact was a little excited to find someone else who wrote. “You got me. You’re right, that was exactly what I was doing. I thought about Eliot getting mad at me for laughing, and how I could explore that, and made a couple notes.”
“So you write, too?”
“Yeah, have been for a long time.” I didn’t feel uncomfortable telling him that.
“That’s neat. Can I read something? I’ll let you read something of mine, although I don’t usually do that. Somehow, you seem different from a lot of kids. I have a feeling you might see things that they wouldn’t. I’d actually like to have you read something, and talk to me about what you think. And I’d like to read anything you might have, too.”
I thought about it briefly, then though, what the hell? Why not? So I reached into my backpack and pulled out the story Terry had already read.
“I have this with me because Terry wanted to read something, too. He just gave it back yesterday. You want to read it?”
“Yeah, thanks! I don’t have anything with me, but I’ll bring you something tomorrow. This is neat.” He had enthusiasm in both his eyes and face, and it invigorated him.
We were finishing eating, lunch period was winding down and kids were lining up with their trays, waiting their turn at the garbage cans. I was working out how I was going to handle three trays and John too when Terry returned.
“Did you catch him?” John asked.
“Nope. I don’t know where he got to. I looked around a little, but he’d vanished. I’ll see him before long, though. And I’ll talk to him. I hate thinking how he must be feeling if he thinks we were laughing at him.”
Terry grabbed all three trays and asked me if I could take John to his next class. I said sure, and asked him what time he wanted to meet at the park. He looked at John, then told me four o’clock.
I pushed John out into the hall, and he told me what room he needed to go to. I pushed him there, and the bell was ringing as we arrived. That meant I now had 7 minutes to get to my next class.
“Tim, thanks for the help,” he said. I didn’t know whether to leave him there at the door or not, but he told me that was fine, someone from the class would take him to where he sat. Then he surprised me by saying, “You know, lunch was really fun. I see why Terry wanted us to get together, and it wasn’t just the writing thing. I’ll see you this afternoon.”
I wondered what he meant by that?
I rode my bike home after school, changed into shorts and rode back to the park. I was really getting annoyed over not being able to ride my other bike, but to do that I had to have my driver’s license. Getting it was one of those frustrating things teenagers run up against so often and this state made it as trying an experience as any. First, I had to get a temporary permit and I had to have it for 30 days before even applying for a license. Also, here, and at my age, I had to have passed Driver’s Ed, which I wouldn’t be able to take till next semester due to the demand for it. When I’d tried to include it in my schedule, all the available spaces in the classes were already taken because it was so popular, popular because it was required by the state.
I got to the park before either Terry or John. I left my bike at the bench and went to the bridge. The fall weather was still very warm and the shade over the bridge was comfortable and relaxing. I stood against one side of the bridge and watched the water flowing underneath. I thought of how I felt, versus how I’d felt a week earlier. It surprised me how much happier I was. Having Terry in my life had made a big difference, and now I was getting to know John too, and even though he was in a wheelchair and our first meeting hadn’t gone well at all, I felt a strange affinity with him. I felt one with Terry to, and realized the two feelings were a little different. Weird.
Except for me, as far as I could see, the park was empty. Too warm weekday mid-afternoons weren’t popular times at the park, I guessed. I watched the water flow under me and thought about Terry and John and felt myself mentally drifting. When I heard peripheral noises, I had to willfully pull myself back to the present.
Terry and John had arrived and Terry was pushing John up the sloping walk of the bridge to join me. When they got to me, John stood up so all three of us could stand together and look over the side of the bridge. I realized it was the first time I’d seen John standing. Looking at him, a slim, short blond haired attractive kid, he looked like any other kid. You couldn’t tell he had serious medical problems.
We all watched the water flow without speaking for a few minutes. We were soaking up the warmth of the afternoon air and the atmosphere of the peaceful setting and simply enjoying it. I think we were all reluctant to break the mood.
After awhile, it was John who finally spoke, and it was with a soft voice, unusual for him; he was usually forward in both voice and attitude. Now, perhaps because he was talking quietly, he seemed reserved and more within himself, for him a much different manner.
“This is really nice.” he said.
“It’s putting me to sleep,” replied Terry. He was, as usual, effervescent.
“Let’s go sit on the bench,” I suggested.
“I get tired of sitting,” John responded. “I’m going to walk on some of the trails in the woods.”
“John! You know you can’t do that!”
“Terry, stop being my mother. I can walk between you two, if you insist, and I know you’ll be watching for anything I could trip over closer than I’ll be. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. Let’s go.”
John started walking toward the woods. Terry had a look of disgust on his face. I couldn’t help it. I grinned. John happened to glance back just then, saw my face, and got a grin on his, too. He was normally an amazing looking kid, but with a grin, I looked at him in something like awe. He brought handsome and cute to a different level of meaning and made the words themselves seem insipid and totally inadequate.
Terry told me to go with him and keep him safe while he took the chair back to where my bike was over by the bench. He yelled, “And if he does trip, you have to catch or steady him gently. Don’t grab him hard!”
He trotted with the wheelchair to the bench while I turned to follow John.
The woods were cooler than the park. The shade was much thicker here as the trees were mature and the canopy mostly unbroken. They were a mixture of deciduous trees, some very tall with wide-spreading branches. Even though it was fall, this wasn’t New England and the leaves were still green and healthy.
There were four major trails, all of which crossed at various places. It was a place for joggers and strollers, just a comfortable spot for being away from the city for an hour or so. It was quiet; we were probably the only people there as it was the wrong time of day and too warm for most of the creatures who lived there to be bustling about. We walked slowly, Terry and I watching the trail and John, John mostly just looking around, drinking in the woods and enjoying being on his feet somewhere other than in the carefully controlled environments that for the most part were too familiar to him. We chatted about not much of anything, just whatever came to mind. I realized Terry wasn’t asking me personal questions, and I wondered about that a little. Was it because John was with us? Or was he just enjoying the day as I was and didn’t want to spoil it at all? Whatever the reason, I was much more comfortable this way. I didn’t have to have my guard up at all.
We’d walked for about a half hour when it looked to me like John had begun laboring just a little. I asked him if he was getting tired.
“I’m not used to being on my feet this long, but guys, I’m enjoying this more than anything I can think of. This is the best time I’ve had in months. We probably should head back, but I’d really love to do this again. This was great.”
Terry and I smiled at each other, and then John reached up and we all high-fived each other. Both of us were gentle with John. I’d been with him long enough now I didn’t even give that a thought; being careful with John had simply become natural.
As we were walking back, John looked at me and said, “I see why Terry wanted us to meet, Tim. You’re awfully easy for me to be with, and I’m really enjoying this, and being with you. Can you guess why?”
No, I couldn’t guess why. I was enjoying myself too, and all of us being together, but I didn’t think I was doing or saying anything unusual. I couldn’t think of any special reason he’d be enjoying being with me.
“No, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I told him.
“It’s because not once since we’ve been together, here or at school, have you mentioned the wheelchair or wanted to talk about what’s wrong with me. You can’t imagine how unusual that is. I can’t remember anyone else ever not wanting all the details, wanting to talk all about it, as though I was this strange, fascinating thing. I get so sick of it, being this creature that everyone wants to know the details about, like a bug you’d poke at with a stick. And you haven’t done that. Nor do you treat me differently than any other kid. You just have no idea how refreshing this is, how liberating. I have to live with my problem 24 hours a day. I never get away from it. But you never have brought it up, so I’ve been able to forget it with you. That might not seem like much to you, but to me it’s very special.”
He said this with so much feeling, I had to blush. It was embarrassing, too. The reason I never asked him about himself wasn’t because I was sensitive to what he was complimenting me for avoiding. It was because I was so private about things that were personal to me, I was reserved about asking about personal things with other people. I didn’t do much of that. I might wonder, but I seldom asked. A sudden thought occurred to me––was this the reason Terry thought we should meet? Had he somehow figured this out?
Or were there other reasons I hadn’t stumbled on yet? Now there was something to think about!