Tommy, Jamie and I pretty much stuck together the day that followed my coming out. We were all a little nervous; a little unsure. We didn't know what this newfound discovery (at least it was newfound for them) would mean. I think the fact that they knew made my life a little easier. I hated to admit it, but being out to someone was a wonderful and unexplored freedom. We could look at each other and share secrets with our eyes alone. Forget a picture: the faintest smile could express thousands of words. After sharing our secret, the grass seemed greener and the sky seemed just a shade bluer. The night just wasn't as dark as it had seemed previously.
It sure felt great. At lunch, Tommy walked up to his regular table, full of jocks. Dan Vichosone looked as sinister as ever. Tommy nervously walked up to them and said, "Uh, guys... Ben and Jamie.. and me.. we're... we're going to eat outside." No one at the table did as much as bat an eye. One of them said, "Whatever." Dan looked at Jamie and I with hate in his eyes. He seemed to be digging deep holes in our chests. A moment later, I looked at Tommy. He gave Jamie and I a nod, and we walked away.
"Tommy," Jamie said softly as we walked, "that Dan... he worries me." Tommy laughed in response.
"Don't worry. That's just his way." Jamie looked at me with concern. I forced a smile on my worried face. Tommy then opened the door to the courtyard as we stepped outside.
As we walked into the courtyard, we all sighed a breath of relief. Even though we were only yards outside of the school, we felt a new air of freedom. Away from eyes constantly watching us, we could speak our minds. We could speak words that we would not have dared utter the day before. We walked over to a cherry-red table. A few yards away, we could see the green fence marking the edge of GSA; its renaissance flair giving me an uplifting feeling.
Tommy looked at Jamie and I, and then looked at the table. He nodded at us, indicating that he wanted us to sit down. We complied. Once there, Tommy smiled the second biggest smile that I have ever seen. (Only Devon could top it, but later) "Well," he nervously said, "Here we are." Jamie smiled, folded his hands, and looked at his feet.
"Yeah, here we are," I reiterated, not knowing what to say. "So, Ben..." Tommy started, but stopped. My eyes met his, urging him to continue, to break the ice. "When did you... know?" He seemed very embarrassed by his perfectly normal question.
"Honestly?" I asked.
"Honestly," he replied. "When did you first know?"
I unconsciously brushed my hair with my fingers and thought about it. When did I know? Was there ever a year? A moment when the sparks flew out? Was there really a moment when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with a tablet with the etching: YOU ARE GAY? Was there really? Not that I recall. "Well, I don't know if there was ever a moment that I didn't know. I mean, I've always been different. So I guess I could say my entire life. But that isn't entirely fair. I guess I never really thought about it. It was just always there. Not like some dark cloud hovering over me or anything... Just something that always was. Another part of me, I guess. Nothing shocking." I shrugged my shoulders. "It just... always was." I smiled to myself and looked at Tommy and Jamie. "So Tommy, fair is fair. When did you know?"
Tommy laughed quietly and sighed happily. "Well, I guess... I think it's why I joined the team.." He started laughing to himself, sharing what I suppose was a private joke. "The locker room," he said with a wink. I could see a pout forming in Jamie's lips. "Oh, it's not like that anymore," he reassured. "I, too.. I felt.. different. Different, yeah. I guess you'd call it that. But I didn't want to be like that. I fought it. I really did. My dad is Mr. Macho jock-man. So he always encouraged me to play. So I did it. If just to please him. I soon discovered that if I gave my all, in one perfect moment, I was... a god. When I scored that touchdown, everyone would scream and hollar for me. It's just such a wonderful feeling. In that moment, everything that I do wrong.. everything.. doesn't matter anymore. It no longer matters whether or not I'm stupid or smart. I am perfect in that moment. So I stayed with sports.. And I captured as many moments as I could. I found something that I'm good at. And they love me for it. But I wanted more than their admiration. I wanted them to hold me and to say they care for me. They care for me in a way that they care for no one else. So I guess... I guess it was a couple of years ago that I wanted that. And that got me to thinking. It made me realize that when I was in the shower, those glances that I gave were more than mere curiosity. I wanted to feel the others. I wanted to touch them and I wanted them to touch me back.. in places I only dreamed of. So I did.. with a few. Most of them did the ‘I'm drunk and I didn't know what I was doing.' So I moved on... But it was always, just sex, you know?" Tommy then looked at Jamie. "Jamie, you are the first one that I have cared for. Not just for sex... even though..." I interrupted Tommy. "You two have only had sex? You haven't had anything more meaningful than that?"
"It never occurred to me that... that there was more, you know?" he said.
"I bet Jamie hasn't heard you say this before to him, has he?" I looked at the two of them. Jamie was a very quiet fellow. Very smart, but very quiet. Maybe the two go together. I could see that Jamie was listening deeply to our conversation. He looked deep into Tommy's eyes. No, he was swimming in them. "You two need so much more."
"But what else is there?" Tommy asked, not moving from Jamie's face.
"Quiet evening... walks by the beach... nights just holding each other..." I rattled these and more off, wishing that I had personal experience.
"How do you know all this?" Jamie finally asked, followed by a lover's sigh.
"My heart tells me," I said. "It cries out for these things. But I can't have them," I said, fighting tears. "You two have each other, and that is great. But I am alone."
"But you don't have to be. What about..." Tommy just stopped and looked at me.
"Devon..." I think I just whispered it, but Tommy heard it. He smiled at me. Suddenly, an evil spark went off in his brain. I was too lost in the moment to notice it though, until he told me later.
"And I guess it's my turn.." Jamie began, "I never really wanted to be this way... That's why I buried my nose in books. I excelled in academia... But Tommy saved me from being too lost. He showed me how to love. But now that we've been shown, we can do so much more.." He smiled, and he seemed to be begging for a kiss.
Tommy started to lean forward, but leaned back again. He then decided to begin his plan. "I guess you're right, Ben. You're going to be single until you die. That red-haired guy is nasty anyway. He isn't anything but a freak!" A fire erupted in me. How dare he say that about my man! I'll kill him! My face must have been bright red. With a force I didn't know I had, my hand whooshed acroos the table and clenched his throat with a power I didn't know that I posessed.
"NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I screamed. "Don't you EVER say that about Devon again! He is NOT a freak! He is the most..." I swore and screamed, and Jamie reacted too, screaming for help, trying to bite my hand and forcibly remove it from his lover's throat. A dark shadow covered my and ripped me away from Tommy. I saw Tommy tenderly rubbing his neck, gasping for breath. Jamie was holding him tight, crying loudly.
I turned around to see no one but my favorite, Mr. Dennis Mordrin. He seemed furious. "How DARE you start a fight in MY cafeteria?! Come down to my office IMMEDIATELY!" he screamed. I looked at him with fear in my eyes. He was mad. "No tears, no excuses. Go there NOW!" With that, he turned and walked off, his cane clicking with every other footstep.
"Ben.." Tommy gasped, "I'm s-" I didn't want to hear the rest of it. I jumped up from the table and ran to Mordrin's office, crying.
(Tommy experienced this, but told me what happened later)
Tommy was in Jamie's room. Jamie was on his computer surfing the internet. Tommy was still shocked that I had attempting to choke him to death, but otherwise fine. His years of athletic training had made him endure much more that a 25 pound weakling's attempt at murder. (Those are his words, not mine. We all know that I weight more than that!) "Don't worry about it, Jamie. I'm fine."
Jamie made no response, so Tommy just shrugged and cleaned up after his man. God, he was a pig. Bed sheets were everywhere. Books and papers lay scattered on the floor. And they hadn't even screwed in his room, either! It was kind of Mordrin to give them the day off, thought Tommy. Suddenly, Jamie gasped in surprise.
"What's wrong, babe?" Tommy asked nonchalantly. Jamie just pointed to his computer monitor. "Ok.." Tommy looked at the monitor, but was confused. "It's just a state police listing... looks like photos of parole violators. Not all have photos, though."
Tommy then watched Jamie click on a hyperlink for "Child Molestors." The computer made a happy click in response. An hourglass appeared, and moments later, a new screen appeared. Photos of known child molestors that had broken parole started to appear. They waited a few moments. Jamie scrolled to the bottom of the page, and a somewhat familiar face showed up. "Oh my god!" yelled Jamie. "That's... that's...."
Dennis Mordrin locked the door after his initial "talk" with me. "Now Ben," his old pudgy lips began, "You know the rules as well as I. Fights are strictly prohibited. I'm afraid that I will have to expell you. I guess I should give your father a call," he said softly, slowly picking up the telephone receiver.
"No," I pleaded, tears coming to my eyes. "Please... don't call him. I beg of you. Show me some mercy. Please." Dennis put down the telephone.
"Well, I guess we can make some allowances." Dennis put his hands on either side of the black leather chair that he had been sitting in and pushed himself up. "First, we should seal the deal.." he said, almost to himself, as he walked over to another side of his office. I noticed that in the far corner, his cane was propped against the wall. A smile curled up on his pudgy lips. I didn't have a very good feeling about this.
"If you want to stay at this school, you will have to take on certain duties. If all goes well, you may well be elected as a future teacher. Anyway, let's begin the ceremony." He walked over to his cane, and started to open it, but decided against it. "No," he said, "that will have to wait until later." He closed his cane and it shut with a click. He walked back over to me.
"Well.. Ben it is, yes? Ben, you must go back to class now. Mr. Jackles tells me that you have an upcoming mid-term.. And if you hurry, you'll only be twenty minutes late. Here, let me write you a pass."
As I exited Mr. Mordrin's office, I could immediately smell the clean air. I hadn't noticed it before with all of my nervousness, but Mr. Mordrin's office had a very peculiar odor to it... an almost leather smell. I shook my head, and exited the school's main office door. Waiting in finely finished redwood chairs were Tommy and Jamie. They both looked up at me. Tommy jumped up and gave me a huge hug.
I didn't understand. Why would he do this when I had nearly killed him? Just twenty-five minutes ago or so, I had choked the life out of him, and now he was acting like we were blood brothers. What gives? I looked into his eyes, unsure of his motives. Then I looked at Jamie, who was silently sitting there, observing. "I'm sorry, man," Tommy said, on the verge of tears. "I didn't know that Mordrin was going to be there." I broke the hug and looked at Tommy straight (well, I can never do anything straight.. so I looked forward) in the eye.
"What are you talking about? My friend, I almost killed you. And this is somehow okay with you?!" I just didn't understand. Tommy just smiled, embarrassed.
"I guess I've known for a while that you had a thing for that blind.. I mean, Devon. I just wanted to push your buttons. I wanted to see if you'd react. And hell, did you react!" He laughed and smiled. "Anyway, while you were gone, we..."
"Well, first we found that.." Jamie interrupted.
"That's just a coincidence. But we found Devon's e-mail address... so we.." Tommy looked at Jamie for support.
The two of them moved next to each other, hands around each other and said, "We told him." My face must have turned bright white. And I thought that this was going to be a good day! Shit. Now I'm going to die.
Just then, Mr. Mordrin popped his head into the hallway. "I thought I told you to go to class," he barked at me. Then he noticed my two compadres. "You two... all three of you to class at once!" He wrote all of us passes to class, so off we went.
(As told by Devon)
As I had the computer reread the message to me, I was dumbstruck. It couldn't be. It just couldn't. I held my hand to Lara's, unsure. "What should I do?" I whispered it, the breath barely escaping my body. I felt her warm hands massaging my back.
"I don't know," she replied. I could tell that she was in as much shock as I. "I mean, I've heard of playing hard to get, but damn. This is ridiculous. I just don't know. I'd say keep away from him. He probably ain't Irish, anyway." I could sense a faint smile escape her lips, even though I'd never even seen them.
"I don't think that I can keep up the charade much longer, Lara." I said.
"I want this to be real. I want him... to want me."
"I know, baby," Lara said, gently massaging my back. After comforting me, Lara went off to other things. While she was away, I replied to the e-mail.
Thank you for writing to me. However, I'm a little unsure as to the validity of your claims. Please meet me tomorrow in the lunch room to let me know that what you want it genuine and as passionate as I hope it is. I hope to see you there.
I quickly sent the e-mail as I heard Lara approaching me. I don't think she saw it. Tomorrow would be the day. Tomorrow would truly prove if love conquers all. Tomorrow I would see whether love can jump the pains and arrows of outrageous fortune or leave me in utter dispair.
Thank you for reading my story. I hope you enjoyed it. As always, feel free to e-mail me with any questions, comments or concerns you may have. Thanks! =)