The Root Beer Boys
Chapter Five - Brian's Diary
I tried to keep thoughts of the lovely stranger out of my mind but didn't have much success. Every time I shut my eyes his face appeared in the darkness. Every time I lay in the quietness of my room at night, his voice was everywhere. If I buried my nose in my pillow, I could still smell that wonderful aroma that was him. Crap! What was his name?
At the same time, I was so nervous about meeting him again. What would I say? Did we have anything in common? Would he even come to the next meeting? I thought he liked me, but was I wrong? He hadn't asked me my name either. Maybe he was just laughing at me, at the way I was looking at Travis. Maybe he wasn't even gay even though he said he was. Maybe he was just picking on me, leading me on, making fun of me.
The next meeting was the one just before Christmas, and I was a nervous wreck. I had actually worked hard at convincing myself that I wasn't really interested in whoever he was and didn't care if he showed up. But as we drove to the meeting that night, he was still all I could think about.
"You OK, Brian? You seem awfully quiet tonight."
"Yeah, sure Andy. I'm OK."
"Uh huh. Yeah. I can tell."
Wayne giggled. Dad Dan didn't say anything. After a couple of minutes, I finally started to share some of my apprehensions with him.
"Shit, Andy. I'm nervous as a whore in church. Thanks, Dad Dan. I heard you say that once."
"You're welcome, Brian."
"What's to be nervous about Brian? Whoever he is, he's just a kid, just one of the group."
"But what if he doesn't come tonight? And why am I so nervous? How come he's the only thing I've been able to think about the last two weeks?"
"He'll be there, trust me. I saw the way he was looking at you at the last meeting."
"Maybe you're in lo-o-o-o-ve, Brian," Wayne said with a poke in my ribs and a smirk in his voice.
"Crap, Wayne. That ain't funny. How could I be in love with a kid I've only talked to once? Heck, it wasn't that long ago that I thought I was in love with your brother! I couldn't have fallen for another guy so fast, could I?"
At that point, Dad Dan spoke up.
"Well Brian, it is possible that once you realized Andy was no longer available, your heart let go and was even more vulnerable than before. You struggled for quite a while with a hidden love. You need something to fill the void that was left when you learned for certain that Andy wasn't going to be able to return your love. Guys your age fall in love pretty easily. At least I did. Several times. But just take things slowly. Try not to get your expectations up so you won't be so disappointed if you find out he's not available or not interested."
"Thanks, Dad Dan. That's a big help."
"NOT!" all three of us chimed in as though we were reading each other's mind. We were all laughing when we pulled into the parking lot. It helped. I was actually breathing again.
But by the time we got inside, I felt like I had to pee like a racehorse. I think it was nerves, 'cause I did that just before we left the house. I was standing at the urinal in the men's room (where else? Duh!) trying to pee and not having much luck, when one of the stall doors opened behind me. I sensed someone walk up and stand fairly close, and I was about to turn and look over my shoulder when he spoke.
"Need any help with that?"
That voice! That aroma! It was him! Whatsisname!
"What? Oh, uh, sure... I mean no! Of course not. I mean, I can handle it."
Oh God, how embarrassing! Did I really say that?
"Shake it more than twice and you're playing with it," he whispered - right in my ear, so close I could feel his breath on my cheek. Is he trying to look at my dick? I wondered as he moved away, laughing.
Shit! Now he's laughing at me! I was so anxious and nervous that I was almost in tears as I moved to the sink beside him. But as I began washing my hands, I looked in the mirror and saw him looking back at me. Oh God, those eyes! That hair! Those flawless, smooth cheeks! And he was grinning at me. Damn! If he had moved to kiss me right then, I think I'd have raped his mouth with my tongue without giving it a second thought.
I couldn't help but grin back at him, though. That smile and the look in his eyes just melted all my fears and anxieties away. He was here! Standing right next to me, looking at me. And before I knew it, our shoulders were touching, our hips were touching, and he was washing my hands with his. I couldn't believe it. He had taken control, and I couldn't move. I felt myself harden involuntarily as I just stood there and let him fondle my hands in the soapy water. We were still looking at each other in the mirror, and I saw that we were both red-faced and breathing funny.
"What's your name anyway?"
"Brian. What's yours?"
SHIT! What did I say wrong? Tears were starting to leak from his eyes as he grasped my hands tight. He answered me with a choking voice.
Omigod! His name was as beautiful as he was. He was the first person I ever knew with that name.
"What's the matter, Tanner. What'd I say? Why are you crying?"
"Brian was my little brother's name. He died with my Dad in a car wreck a long time ago. I never thought I'd love another boy named Brian."
What did he say? Did he say what I thought he did?
I was so shocked I couldn't even say I was sorry. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open as he began splashing cold water on his face. When he straightened up and dried his face, he was back in control. He had that smile that thrilled me to death plastered on his face. Before I could say anything, he grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the door.
"Come on. Let's get a soda."
We had just poured our drinks when Dad Dan walked up.
"Hey Brian. You going to introduce me to your friend?"
"Hi Dad Dan. This is Tanner. Tanner... uh... Tanner..."
"Williams. Tanner Williams, Mr. B," he said, sticking out his hand. Dad Dan shook his hand and answered him.
"All the rest of the kids call me Dad Dan, Tanner. You're welcome to do the same, but Mr. B is OK if you're more comfortable with it. That's Dad Bruce over there, and Mom Janet down there talking to Mom Judy."
"That's OK with me. Dad Dan, I mean. I just didn't want to be too familiar."
"No problem. This is the third meeting for you guys isn't it?"
"You know it is, Dad Dan. You bring me to every meeting," I said with a grin.
"Well, you know the rules. First two weeks we leave you alone. This week we start harassing you to get out and meet people. I guess you already met each other, and that counts for something, but mix and mingle. Get to know some of the other kids. Why don't you guys find A&W and let them introduce you to the others. And don't forget to sign the register."
"Ok, Dad Dan. Come on, Bri, let's go. Where are A&W, anyway?"
Bri! God it sounds so neat when he says my name that way. Bri! Kewl! No one ever called me that before.
"There they are, over there next to Mom Janet and Mom Judy."
Somehow I had forgotten we were still holding hands. Tanner wasn't nearly as bashful about coming out as I was. But I didn't even think about it until I saw the grin on Andy's face as we walked up.
"He-l-l-o-o-o," he said with a big shit eatin' grin on his face. Wayne was smilin' right along with him. I jerked my hand out of Tanner's grasp. He just giggled and introduced himself.
"Hi, you must be Andy. I'm Tanner. Tanner Williams," he said as he shook hands with Andy.
"And you must be Wayne," he said as he shook Wayne's hand.
"The bashful one here is Bri. That's short for Brian," he said with a straight face as though we didn't already know each other.
I was blushing and giggling at the same time. The Root Beer Boys both had big grins on their faces.
"Yeah, I think I met Brian before somewhere," Andy answered, looking at me.
"So, Tanner. Where do you live?" Wayne asked.
It was almost like a cold chill had swept through the room. I could sense Tanner tense up as he answered real quickly.
"Oh, just a few blocks from here, off in that direction."
But the way he waved his hand, you couldn't tell what direction that was. I was wondering what was up when he changed the subject. Grabbing my hand, he spoke to A&W.
"How about introducing us to some of the other kids?"
We went over and signed the register, which asked for our name, address, phone number and school. I signed in first and didn't notice that Tanner only entered his name and school. We spent the rest of the evening following each other from group to group, being introduced by A&W. We heard a lot of names and schools but I'm not sure I could repeat any of them on the way home. Tanner turned out to be pretty outgoing and seemed to find it easy to talk to people. We were almost opposites that way. He was the extrovert, I was the introvert. He had the gift of gab, I had the burden of being tongue-tied and shy. He laughed. I blushed.
He followed A&W and I followed him as we moved around the room. I couldn't take my eyes off of his hair, the way it flowed so smoothly off the back of his head, across the nape of his neck (that I found myself wanting to kiss over and over) and onto his shoulders. And when we stopped to talk to people, he'd talk and I'd stare at his eyes, those beautiful God-never-made-any-other-eyes-that-color eyes.
He had the most perfect complexion, too. His skin looked so soft it reminded me of soft velour, totally void of pimple or mole or wart or whiskers. I just wanted to reach out and stroke my hand from his temple to his chin. And his lips! Oh God, I didn't know how I was going to live until I could taste them, feel them, get lost in the experience of kissing them. I never kissed anyone on the lips before.
I guess I must have been a little too obvious and not aware I was staring at him so much, because just before it was time to leave, Andy pulled the four of us off to the side of the room.
"You know Brian, if you're going to make love to him, you outta find a more secluded spot to do it," he said with a grin on his face and in his voice.
Tanner was grinning like a Cheshire cat as I turned 13 shades of red.
"ANDY! GOD! I can't believe you said that! What... uh... what do you mean, anyway?" I stammered, desperate to extricate myself from that embarrassing situation. How could he say that? - and in front of Tanner, too.
Wayne was giggling and Andy was grinning, and Tanner was holding my hand again. He was touching me, too, from wrist to shoulder. I could feel the warmth of his body. Did he have a heating pad wrapped around his arm? Or a temperature? God he felt hot!
"Oh come on, Brian. Tanner's been doing all the talking for the two of you, and all you've done all night is stare at him and hold his hand," Andy said, slapping my other arm in a friendly manner.
"Hold his hand?"
I felt Tanner squeeze my hand and instantly wished he was squeezing something else.
"I guess you haven't noticed the looks you've been getting from just about every group we've introduced you to, huh?" Wayne said.
"Oh goodness," Wayne went on, looking at his brother, "I think we've got a problem here."
He was actually smirking. And I was still holding Tanner's hand. I finally realized that I was holding his hand. He wasn't just holding mine. My mind told me to let go, but my heart wouldn't let me.
About that time, Dad Dan walked up and told us it was time to lock up and leave. I noticed him look at me a little funny, and saw him glance down at my hand and Tanner's. He was grinning when he turned around and walked away.
Before I could react or say anything, Tanner leaned over and blew softly into my ear. I shivered at the apparent innocent intimacy of that action as he whispered, "See you next time."
He was gone before I could stop him. Across the room, out the door, and down the street into the darkness. By the time I got to the door, he was out of sight. SHIT! I didn't get a phone number or anything. Then I remembered the register. I ran over to get his phone number and saw that he hadn't given one. DAMN! How am I going to call him? I almost cried with frustration.
We turned out the lights, locked up and piled into Dad Dan's car.
"Tanner didn't put his address or phone number in the register, Dad Dan. How am I going to get in touch with him?"
Before Dad Dan could respond, Wayne started the kidding.
"Ooooh. Watch what you're saying there Brian. Get in touch with him? You better watch your language. You're going to embarrass our Dad. HAHAHAHA!"
"Brian's getting a little bold, isn't he Dad?" Andy added, laughing.
I was blushing so hard Dad Dan could see it in the rearview mirror, in spite of the darkness.
"Come on, you guys. I think that's enough ribbing for one night," he said. Then he spoke to me.
"I don't know, Brian. It's seems odd that he wouldn't at least give us his address, even if he doesn't have a phone. But I guess you'll just have to wait until the next meeting."
"But I wanted to invite him to the Christmas Eve service. Damn! Oops. Sorry Dad Dan."
"You're forgiven, Brian. I can see how disappointed you are. There isn't much we can do about it until next time though."
As we drove to my house, all I could think of was what Tanner had said in the bathroom. Not the part about his little brother and his Dad. The other part. Did he? Could he? Did I dare hope? Did I?
Mom was sitting in the living room when I got home, so I went in to say good night.
"How was your evening?" she asked as I stepped back from giving her cheek a kiss. She was giving me this funny, searching look, and I guess my face really was an open book.
"It was kewl, Mom. Special."
I know I was feeling funny, but I didn't realize how obvious I was being until I saw a tear begin to form in the corner of Mom's eye as she smiled at me.
"Yeah, I can see how special it was. What's his name?"
I could barely say it. It just came out as a whisper.
"Oh what a nice name. Tanner. I like it. He's sort of special, huh."
I already told you my Mom was the most wonderful person in the world, but I still felt a little awkward that my feelings were so easy to read. So I tried to hide it a little.
"Oh not too special, but a nice guy."
"Not too special, huh? How tall is he?
"About my height."
"And how much would you say he weighs?"
"About as much as me. We're built a lot alike."
"And what color hair?"
"A golden blond, I guess."
"And how does he wear it?"
"Short on top and on the sides, but long down the back and onto his shoulders."
"And his eyes?"
"Uh huh. Not too special."
I blushed and stammered.
"What do you mean, mom? What makes you say that?"
"What color are Wayne's eyes, Brian? Or Andy's for that matter."
I thought for a minute and realized I didn't know, or couldn't remember.
"I don't know."
"But this boy named Tanner, whom you've only seen two or three times? You could tell me everything about him except his underwear size, and I'm afraid to ask that," she said, almost laughing. Then she went on, just to rub it in.
"Golden blonde hair? Heavenly blue eyes? Perfect complexion?"
I was blushing and grinning as she gave me a hug.
"I'm happy for you Brian. Now get to bed. Tomorrow's a school day."
I went to sleep dreaming of Tanner's eyes, his cheeks, his lips, that kiss he blew in my ear and what he said in the bathroom. Could it be true? Did he mean what I think he meant? Could it be possibly true? I didn't even beat off that night.
... to be continued
© 2001 by Dan. All rights reserved.
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