Two Boys


Rocco Paperiello


This story is about relationships between and among teenagers. This includes intimate relationships between young males. If you don't approve or are offended, then how come you're reading this? Go to some other Internet Site. (Of course some people actually cultivate being offended; if that's the case, read right on). As far as detailed descriptive sex acts, I think you may find some good ones in other stories right here on Nifty, but as of now I do not envision a lot of explicit detail in this one.

If, for some legal reason, you are not allowed to read this in your area of the world because of illogical laws, again I will not condone (publicly) anyone breaking the law, so either move or read sentence four. I definitely don't want the thought police after either of our derrieres.

Please, this story is sort of my property, so if you ever want to quote some of it (whatever for I wouldn't know), please e-mail me and also give proper attribution. As of now no one has permission to put this story on another Internet Site.


This story is fiction and essentially a "what if only" type story. It is almost entirely fictional, and autobiographical ONLY in the sense that many of the incidents in the story really happened, but in some cases to different people and under different circumstances. In other words I've simply adapted things that happened in my life to a fictional story. In fact, some aspects of both main characters are in some part modeled from my own experiences. Some of my family members are also in this story, and perhaps (definitely) distorted a bit (a lot) at times and sometimes approaching caricature, but since I really don't expect them to sue, I'm taking the chance. All other characters are fictional, except as noted).

Now some biographical stuff. If this part gets too boring, then just scroll down.

When I was about 14 years old I found myself, with increasing desire and almost urgency, wanting to find someone who could be my "best friend." And I did find a "best friend" just after I had turned 15. His name was Thomas. Eventually, our friendship probably came to be as close as any two (platonic) friends could be. (The mind has at times an amazing ability to deny reality). I never realized how my feelings had so intensified and subtly changed over those few years, until my sister asked me one innocent question about getting married. I suddenly became aware that I was in love with my best friend. But this was 1962. People simply DID NOT LET ANYONE KNOW! And also there was the problem with my religion. I was raised a VERY STRICT CATHOLIC, and what was worse, I really believed all their sanctions and what I've since come to call their "SIN-OLOGY." Just about everything was a mortal sin, and if you didn't go to confession -- you go straight to hell if you die.

At about this time Thomas' mother forbade him to associate with me. I only much later suspect that his mother finally figured it out, and thus I assumed that Tom also knew. We remained friends, however, through high school. But we NEVER brought up the subject of why his mother took this stance. In retrospect, I really wish I had the courage to have done so.

And here was something else I've always wondered about. When I was abut 14 I did meet a black kid in the park much as described in the story below (except he definitely did not have any physical disability), and amazingly we talked for a couple hours. At the time I was too immature to understand the significance of all we talked about, but his words kept coming back to me even years later. As so this conversation was to have a profound effect on my thinking for quite some time. Unfortunately, we never saw each other again.

I've always wondered "what if." What if things had been just a bit different, and what if the friend I had found was like me? Or if I had found anybody at all who I knew was like me? And so this story. I hope you enjoy it. It will contain some really bad happenings and bad reactions by some people as I envisioned things might have happened considering the times and the people involved. But I can't stand unhappy endings myself, so I will try to keep it as upbeat as possible.

The story will take place through the high school years and the first year of college. Then there is an epilogue that takes place five years after that. As I wrote different chapters it seemed that the story went directions I hadn't envisioned when I had started. Part I has 29 Chapters, and about 100 pages. There are also parts II through V with over a hundred pages each. Most of these chapters have at least their rough drafts completed, although a few chapters haven't written themselves yet.

Rocco Paperiello



May, 1959
The small boy sat quietly in the back seat of his family's 1950 Ford, a old black Custom sedan. He seemed not especially remarkable at first impression, just a fairly typical kid. Although for his height, a couple inches shy of five foot, he was a very slender 65 pounds. Well he would have been typical, except that he wasn't the 9 or 10 year old he appeared to be -- he was, in fact, 13, and easily the smallest boy in his eighth grade class of 120 students.

His blond hair was just starting to darken, and his brown plastic rimmed glasses kept slipping down his nose and pinching his ears, which by the way, the boy worried stuck out just a bit too far. He was wearing a horizontally striped polo shirt and brown corduroys -- he refused to wear those very uncomfortably stiff dungarees. On his feet were a pair of black canvas, PF Flyers, that he had to use all his persuasive ability to get his Mom to eventually buy for him.

And his small size was just one of his perceived problems. Others included his sometimes spiteful brother, an occasionally nagging, and all the time spoiled, little sister, a seemingly ignoring and uncaring father, and a mother who obviously loved him, but apparently failed to really understand him and what he thought of as his unique problems. And it really bothered him that his parents argued and fought so much. His twin sister, sitting next to him, was the one person in his family, on the other hand, that he got along with on most occasions. But the problem that caused him the most difficulty was his perception that he never could quite "fit in." He couldn't even put this problem into words, but always felt that somehow he wasn't like everybody else. Somehow they thought differently, or in many instances acted differently. And even while playing with his friends, he still felt somewhat alone. Even lonely. And one last minor matter. His name was Rocco -- a name he frequently detested. These dislikes and perceptions caused him at times varying degrees of pain.

Fortunately, these moments of pain, could usually be flung aside, by his ever present extreme curiosity, and seeming inexhaustible supply of enthusiasm and even optimism. Things would work out. He would make them work out. So in truth, he was normally a carefree and exuberant boy, vitally interested in the world around him, especially when exploring what he defined as "the country." His clothes or appearance were usually of little concern. (Although he had never willingly worn a pair of shorts in his life -- except for bathing trunks). And right now he was riding though an area, that for him, was a piece of wonder and near enchantment.

His family was taking one of their sporadic day trips -- what the boy had come to think of as their "around-and-abouts." They would take a small trip out into the country with no real destination in mind. They were on their way back from a trip through Amish country, just southwest of the city, in Lancaster County. The beauty of the Amish countryside was the subject of many travel books. The day was fine, the sun not too hot, and his feelings could only match the exuberance of the soul-rewarding vitality of the countryside. The fields of crops were interspersed among occasional patches of woods.

On this particular day Rocco was engaged in one of his more common musings while on this kind of outing. He fancied the chimera of the light just catching the tips of the emerging stalks of early wheat as the side effects of the spell some benign wizard was making in his behalf. As often happens in this country, their car was forced to snail-pace behind an Amish wagon, which was open to the warm and bright day. His father was muttering, but Rocco was glad to have as much time in his little fantasy just watching the wagon in front, or more correctly the young Amish boy on its seat. As the Amish boy turned around with his own curiosity-directed gaze Rocco could occasionally catch glimpses of the boy's face. His eyes held all the mystery of his such different life.

In Rocco's fantasy, the wizard whisked him into a land of quaint but pleasant looking houses, not too dissimilar from those they had recently passed. One in particular had a white fence, a yard full of great kid-things, and most of all there were lots of children. The boy from the wagon was now directing the younger children in some sort of game. Rocco then envisioned himself joining the kids. He was content and sure in his knowledge that he was their caring father and loved all his kids dearly. And then the car lurched and the image was gone. The man next to boy turned toward him as they passed, his great beard dominating his face. Rocco felt a bit strange, and could not entirely understand his complete fascination with the Amish kid. But he then returned his thoughts to the kids in the perfect yard, behind the perfect house -- his kids. And he reaffirmed to himself, that he was going to get married, have lots of kids, and unlike his own father, he was determined to be the best dad there ever was.

It really bothered him lately that his father seemed so disinterested in him; his father seemed to ignore him most of the time. He really wanted to do things with his father -- it didn't especially matter what. And just once he would like to here his Dad say to him: "Hay Rocco, that's great."

June, 1959
When Rocco got his final report card the next month, he learned that he had straight A's and the second highest yearly average in the entire 8th grade of nearly 120 students -- even including the girls. He felt justly proud of it, in spite of having to admit to himself that he didn't work especially hard to get these grades. His Mom had been very pleased and gave him a long hug, and said a number of nice-to-hear things. When he showed his report card later to his father, his father barely grunted. Rocco could still here his father's hollow words that finally accompanied his hollow expression: "Well, make sure you keep it up. It's what we expect of you." His father then went back to eating without another glance or word. Rocco, very emotional at the best of times, ran to his room crying. No one ever came up to find out why. Now usually he just buried the bad things. And in general he was really a pretty cheerful person. But he carried that specific hurt, in a tucked away part of his memory, for quite some time.

June, 1959
At about this same time, another boy, very different in his much greater physical development, and his much less emotional volatility, sat quietly. He was in his favorite place in the world, one of the city's extensive parks, part of which lay right behind his house. At the moment, he was intent on the sudden scurrying of the insects, worms, millipedes, centipedes, spiders, and even the occasional small DeKay snake, as he overturned first one rock, and then, after his interest was exhausted, the next. For a barely mediocre student, he had a remarkable knowledge of all of these creatures, and the flora in which they inhabited. The study of these things constituted in large measure his determination to succeed in what he perceived as his never ending "fight."

His name was Noel (or more accurately, Jade Noel Brown). He had just graduated (with perhaps just a touch of generosity) from the eighth grade at Crispen Public School, several blocks from his home. His daily school day trek had traversed a section of what could easily be described as a romantic country lane, shaded by large sycamore and willow, and lined with a rusting barbed wire fence. Although somewhat old and deteriorating, his small house lay near the end of this gravel covered lane just beyond the tracks of a barely used train spur. Several similar buildings lay nearby in a seemingly random pattern, the last standing buildings of an abandoned Truck Farm, now the property of an enterprising real estate company. Milk cows, sheep, goats, and chickens were a not too distant memory of its few residents. No side streets branched off the lane once it left the paved street that marked one boundary of his neighborhood. Though unmarked, these boundaries were as definite as any line drawn on a map, this information apparently available at some level of instinctual survival. Although his house was small and poor, it had one overriding compensation -- just beyond lay the nature wonderland of Pennypack Park.

Noel was physically typical for his age -- slender, yet just showing a hint of future muscle. He was perhaps a bit taller than many of his peers, but nobody really noticed. His deep mahogany skin was substantially darker than any of his former friends, even verging on down right black. His features were almost a caricature of his race, with high cheekbones, sloping far head, rounded chin, deep black eyes, and very fleshy lips. His nose, barely evident just below his brows, suddenly flared into a set of prominently wide but very flattened nostrils. When looking in the mirror, Noel considered himself barely a step above ugly. His choice of clothes, limited by his evident poverty, consisted of faded jeans (this was the pair without holes), long sleeved polo (a few holes where the cables of his prosthetics rubbed), and white Converse, currently with protruding big toes.

When younger, Noel was occasionally derided for his studious and diligent nature, and for what he thought totally unfair, his extremely dark skin. But in spite of this and other perceived disadvantages, he had shown a quick intelligence, an outgoing and friendly personality, and for a young boy, a kind nature. His teachers frequently remarked to his hard working mother, that she should be proud of her son. And she was.

But Noel's normal life ended abruptly more than three years ago, when his best friend saved his life -- but not his hands. His retreat from his former playmates was virtually complete, his life now, nearly invisible. His lack of hands and his prosthetics were a seeming insulation from his former companions and his greatest source of pain -- his vision of what he no longer had, of what he could no longer do.

There was no brother, sister, or Dad. A lone uncle was rarely seen. It was his Mama who, with monumental effort, brought her son back from the brink of despair. But unfortunately, to her own heartache, not quite far enough. But she still worked with all her effort to this end. And her son did realize this. She was his best friend. But also his only friend. Along with his books and continued interest in nature.

The boy thought of his journey back as his "big fight," a fight that had no end. Though, lately, his determination to continue this terrible fight was slightly waning at times, and his continual need to avoid a much newer perceived pain, ever present. This new problem loomed in front of him with unabated menace.

And these two young boys had one thing in common. They were both very lonely. But fate was about to take a hand.

Copyright 2006 by Rocco Paperiello