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.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
T I M
When we got back to the beginning of the path leading into the woods, Terry told John to stop and rest while he went to get the wheelchair. He brought it back and then pushed John over by the bench, where both Terry and I sat down to rest also.
We sat there quietly for a couple moments. The park was still warm even though the sun was beginning to drop. A few people were now scattered about in the park, wandering around. This was a good time for young couples to walk hand in hand, and the bridge was a favorite meeting place, so we were no longer alone.
We’d been on the bench for a few minutes when I noticed two men, probably in their early 20’s and so not too much older than we were, walking together up to the path leading to the bridge. The way they were walking, something about it struck me, and I watched them. Then I was surprised, because when they reached the bridge and stood at the railing, looking out at the slowly passing water just as we’d all done earlier, one of the men reached over and grasped the hand of the other. It was not really all the noticeable, and only the fact I’d been watching them before it happened made me see it. I immediately wondered if Terry and John had noticed, and looked at them.
They were both looking at the men, too. None of us said anything, and it was the first time all afternoon we were silent since we’d all been standing where the couple was standing now.
They stood watching the water, holding hands and obviously enjoying a moment together, oblivious to anyone else around them. They stood together for several minutes, their focus entirely on the stream and being together, then turned and started back the way they’d come. They couldn’t avoid seeing us staring at them when they turned around. One of them, the taller of the two, got a startled look on his face which then almost immediately became blank. I saw him quickly try to pull his hand away. His partner, however, gripped him more firmly and would not let go. The partner looked up at his friend, smiled reassuringly at him, then looked back at us and smiled at us, too.
Our bench was several yards off the path. They stayed on the path and passed by us. Neither of them said a word. The smiling one nodded very slightly at us. None of us said a word either, but Terry smiled back and nodded as well.
John looked at me, and a very faint blush formed on his cheeks. I was surprised he didn’t speak, but his forceful personality seemed to be missing at the moment; he almost seemed like a small boy who had witnessed something outside his experiences and didn’t quite know what to say. I didn’t know how to express my feelings either.
Terry didn’t have that problem. I’m not sure there was a social problem Terry didn’t know how to handle. What he said surprised me.
for them,” is what he said.
“Huh?” I said, not understanding his meaning.
“I like to see two guys being able to hold hands out in public if that’s what they want to do. I don’t think it’s fair that a guy and girl can hold hands and two guys can’t. I think it shows those two have some courage, they aren’t ashamed of who they are, they aren’t embarrassed and they have some confidence that they’re safe here in this park and don’t have to hide. That says a lot about them and about all of us who use this park. I like to see that. And I like to see them having the courage to express themselves.”
For some reason, I needed to look at John, to assess how he felt about what Terry had said, and he must have felt the same thing because he looked up at me at the same moment. Should I say something? I didn’t want to do that. This was one of the areas that I felt threatened even thinking about. But I was curious about what John was thinking.
John evidently was feeling uncomfortable, too. But he was able to avoid freezing up the way I had. He also knew Terry much better than I did, and he addressed himself to him.
“Terry, you’re thinking about Gary, aren’t you?”
Terry, for one of the first times I’d been around him, seemed slightly taken aback by the question, or maybe just by John’s perception. He actually looked down for a second before answering. He answered then very matter of fact, however.
“Yeah, a little, I guess. I hadn’t realized it, but, yeah, I am. It’s just that, I hate unfairness, whatever form it takes, and the way gay guys are treated so often, especially young gay guys, it just pisses me off. And then there is Gary, too. I’m sure he’s a big part of my attitude.”
“Didn’t you tell me Gary’s your brother at college?” I broke in to ask. I felt sort of out of the loop here.
Terry answered me. “Yeah, that’s right. What I didn’t tell you is, he’s gay. He had a lot of problems growing up, a lot of problems most kids don’t have to deal with, and it really bothered me because he was always so nice to me. I mean, sometimes older brothers can be hard on their younger sibs, you know, real ass holes? Or they simply ignore them. You look up to them, you even worship the ground they walk on, and they ignore you. He wasn’t that way at all. He looked out for me and was a great friend and we spent time together and talked a lot. So when I saw what he had to go through, how unfairly he was treated and all, it ticked me off. People have all these stereotypes of gays, and most of them are ridiculous. Some people hate them, but don’t even know them. They’re taught that, I guess, or just like the idea of being able to get away with being mean to some people and have that behavior excused because it’s only gay kids they’re mean to, and after all, what’s wrong with that? That’s so sick! I think it’s getting better, in general, but it’s still so much harder for gay kids than straight kids, and that isn’t fair.”
Terry had a gay brother? I suddenly realized I didn’t know much of anything about him. I had to ask. “What happened to him? He’s OK, isn’t he? You said he was at college.”
“Yeah, he is. But while he was in high school, it was tough. He was on the football team, and then he got outed in his junior year. He wasn’t a star, just one of the kids that played. He went from being a player and part of the team with a load of friends and an active social life to an outcast, and it happened in a matter of a few days. His whole life was turned upside down. The quarterback was a homophobe and he turned against Gary, and when he did that he let everyone know that anyone remaining friendly to Gary was a faggot too, in his mind. He had a lot of power at that school and life went from fun for Gary to pretty awful. Kids he’d been friends with for years suddenly looked right through him, or even said things to him you couldn’t believe.”
Terry’s voice had grown emotional and it was clear this was an issue he still had some problems talking about. He obviously cared a great deal. He stopped and looked into the distance, thinking, and his expression became sad, which was entirely atypical of Terry.
“He changed, you know? His whole personality changed. He went from bright and happy and outgoing to quiet and withdrawn and actually timid in social situations. It was a complete reversal for him. His entire senior year, he was isolated and when not left alone, often ridiculed or worse. It was awful. No one his age had the courage to help him, to even talk to him. I watched, and it hurt. I tried to be supportive of him, but it was the reactions of his former friends that devastated him, and there wasn’t anything I could do about that. I spent more time with him, but it wasn’t what he needed most. He needed acceptance from his peers and people telling him he was still an OK guy, and he didn’t get that.”
Neither John nor I said anything.
I felt I should speak up, just to break the silence and darkening mood, but I was on very shaky ground here and more than anything else simply wanted to avoid the topic entirely. I wisely kept quiet, thinking John might say something, and I might not only be able to maintain my silence but also learn his views on this, just to satisfy my curiosity.
After a couple minutes, it was actually Terry who spoke first. “I’m sorry to kill the mood, guys. This is just something that upsets me, and probably always will. But I didn’t mean to bring us all down.”
“Don’t worry about it, Terry. Believe me, I know what it’s like to have people look at you as something different. Being stuck in that damn chair, most people seem to think I’m contagious. Some of them feel sorry for me. That’s bad enough. Having them go out of their way to be nasty. . . I don’t know how I’d manage that.”
John was looking at Terry with compassion, which I found a little disconcerting as the tables were definitely turned in this instance. Also, it occurred to me that John, while being sympathetic and understanding, had completely steered clear of revealing anything of his own views toward gay kids.
As for myself, now we were getting into areas I avoided with a passion, and I wasn’t feeling so comfortable any longer.
However, I did have a viable reason for legitimately excusing myself this time. It was about time for me to get home. This had been a special afternoon for me. I’d been with friends, everything had been restful and gentle, and I’d been able to let my guard down. That was quite a change for me and I’d enjoyed myself. I was getting a warm feeling for both Terry and John, getting to feel they were my friends, which was both exciting and scary. I was able to relax around them, and that was significant to me.
I told them it was time for me to head out. We made plans to eat lunch together tomorrow, and I left.
========== ============== ===============
At lunch the next day, Terry had some news. “Guys, I’ve got a situation here. The coach has changed our football practice from this evening to this afternoon. We usually practice at night because it’s so much cooler, but the field is being used tonight so we’re going to practice right after school. This means I can’t take you home, John. Now what I was wondering was, Tim, could you take him home? If you can, great, but otherwise he’ll have to call his mother or find someone else.”
John got a little red in the face, his slightly cocky, slightly sarcastic, always assertive personality coming to the fore. “I wish you wouldn’t talk as if I’m some sort of retarded ten year old. Damn, Terry, I’m right here and can take care of myself, and you’re talking around me like I can’t even hear you. You don’t have to run my life for me.” He glared at Terry.
Terry had the good sense to look a little embarrassed.
I spoke up, and having been listening, I spoke to John, not Terry. “I’d be happy to take you home after school. I’m not doing anything. If you’d like me to do that, just say so. I don’t want to jump in on anything, any plans you might have.”
John looked at me with a slight grin on his face. “Hey, that’d be great.” Then, looking at Terry, he said, “See, he asks! He treats me like a person. Wise up, you dumb jock.”
Terry rolled his eyes, and very pointedly thanked me for helping John and said nothing to him. I thought it funny and couldn’t refrain from laughing.
Which immediately made me think of Eliot. I glanced at his table. It was empty. It’s emptiness was disquieting. It was strange not seeing him there and the sight of the lonely table made me feel defensive, though I didn’t think there was any reason for that. I hadn’t seen him since he’d run out yesterday. Now he wasn’t here today. I looked around the room but didn’t see him anywhere. Did he miss school today? Was he simply eating his lunch somewhere else?
And more importantly, if the answer to either of those questions was ‘yes’, why?
“Terry,” I asked, “did you ever catch up with Eliot?”
“No, I haven’t seen him at all today. I was looking, too. I see he isn’t eating where he usually does.”
“I’m sure we’ll see him sooner or later,” said John, “but it does make you wonder.”
With that, we left the subject of the missing Eliot and talked of other things, and at the end of lunch period, this time I took the trays and Terry took John after telling me where he’d be after school was out today.
I was looking forward to going to John’s house after school. It was funny to think about it, because originally I’d been dreading being alone with John. It hadn’t been very many days ago I’d even had words with Terry about it, and told him in no circumstances was he to leave us alone together. So why was I now looking forward to this?
I guess I’d spent more time now with John and understood him better. I thought about him and surprised myself by realizing, while it would be the easiest thing in the world to feel sorry for him, I didn’t. Not at all. His attitude sort of precluded that. No, I didn’t feel sorry for him, but I did look forward to spending more time with him and getting to know him better, to learning more about him. For some reason, I wanted to do that. And this afternoon would be my opportunity.