This is the final Part IV of a four part story. (See Part I for Index). It is a story 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? Find a different story. Or perhaps read on; you may be persuaded to think differently.
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 six. I definitely don't want the thought police after either of our butts.
Please, this story is sort of my property, so if you ever want to quote some of it, please e-mail me and also give proper attribution.
Note that an author welcomes any feedback. Constructive criticism is appreciated, and all e-mails will be answered.
Chapter 97b -- A Love Story (part b)
I couldn't believe I'd done it again. And I like to claim that I make decisions logically. I'm starting to think that instead, I merely decide what I want to do and then proceed to convince myself that I am right in doing so. And if I was the only one at risk, than OK, but I have put Jade at risk with me. And that's intolerable. Why can't I think things through? I do it in Math. And a lot of other areas. How come I can't in my private life? Please God, I don't care about me so much, but Jade don't deserve what could happen.
Jade said that he forgave me for my rash action in writing this story and turning it in. But I could never forgive myself if I've hurt Jade. Now it seems that the Dean knows about us, or at least that's what my paranoia had convinced me.
I waited outside his office for at least an hour already. (I don't care if the clock says it was just 5 minutes. It had be wrong; I was in some kind of time warp). Finally, I was asked into his office. The first thing the Dean did was smile. Smile? At someone's execution? I had been envisioning Jade and me packing up and being forced to leave college. Jade said that it could be a lot of things. Maybe not even anything to do with the story I had written.
"Hello. Sorry you had to wait." He introduced himself and asked me to sit. Etc.
"I was just looking through your file. Impressive. We usually do not allow Freshmen to take over 20 credit hours. And all your mid-term advisory grades are A's. I also see that you're one of our two Freshman Merit Scholarship students."
I was starting to feel a bit better but was still scared. "Yes sir."
"And Dr. Barns says you're one of his best . . ." The Dean went on like this and I suspected he was trying to embarrass me to death. Finally he got to the point.
"I suppose you are wondering why I asked you here. I like to avoid problems before they even start if I can."
I was barely able to mumble some reply.
"Well, it's come to my attention, from one of your professors, that you are expressing views openly on campus that he finds offensive. About sexual orientation and that you condoned homosexual relationships. Do you have anything to say about this?"
I explained about the paper I wrote, and tried to defend myself, stating that I was merely giving the opinions of other scholars about one specific historical narrative. And that I wasn't espousing these views, nor even talking to anyone on campus about it.
"Well, in my opinion, I think that on a college campus, differing views should be allowed to be expressed. I don't like any type of censorship. However it's also my job to prevent anything leading up to war. Personally, I don't really care what your opinion is on this matter. But your teacher also suggested that since you so affirmatively expressed these views that you were probably a homosexual yourself and should not be allowed to stay on campus."
I went white. My greatest fears were being realized. "On a probability? And I just wrote a paper. Why should my private life be his concern?"
"I agree. It shouldn't. But I have to maintain the peace so to speak. So I'd like to ask you to please, in the future, be more discrete. I don't care what you do privately, just don't make waves about this issue publicly. I even think you should really be entitled to do just that. But I have to live in the real world, and so do you. Can you tell me you will please do this?"
I was confused suddenly. Does this mean I'm NOT being told to leave. "I'm not being asked to leave?"
"Of course not. Just try to be discrete in your relationships. And in what you publicly express. In other words, just use some common sense."
I was suddenly so relieved I could have hugged him. I didn't think that wise. "So that's it? I'm not in trouble?"
"No. Just remember that technically, homosexual acts are still illegal and so be discrete. Along with many other people, I think those laws should be done away with, but until they are, just don't make yourself a target. And please, write no more papers which would make some bigoted professor storm into my office."
I was just about to leave when the Dean asked me: "Oh by the way. Would you mind if I read this paper that got Professor Morran so fired up? Do you still have it?"
I was now not just a bit perplexed. "You actually want to read my paper? Professor Morran gave it an F."
When Jade and I met for lunch he commented about the meeting he went to earlier. I then made some remark about something that made no sense to me. "I don't understand why there is a Black Student Union at all. Why can't there be just one Student Union which has black members?"
Jade reminded me that the number of black students on campus was less than 2% of the student body. (About 11% were oriental). So he suspected that if they never voiced their opinions or concerns as a group, they'd never be heard at all.
That afternoon I handed the Dean of Students the red-inked copy of my now infamous paper. And I promised Jade that I'd never be so rash again. I sincerely hoped I could keep that promise.
Later that evening I could see that Jade had something he wanted to bring up but seemed reluctant. That was definitely not like him. For once it was me who asked him right out.
"OK Jade, what's the matter?"
"You noticed hah?"
"You're pretty obvious. Anything serious?"
"I guess not really. I have to take these pills for a couple of weeks." And he showed me the antibiotic and explained why. I also couldn't help laughing when he started mimicking the doctor. "There ARE other methods of birth control you know. And I'm sure you girlfriend would rather not be entered that way in spite of what she might have said."
He was trying to make it into a joke but he couldn't stop me from feeling a little guilty again even though it was a mutual decision. "You probably got that from me didn't you?"
He knew what I meant. "I guess we should have kept following Dr. Krazenski's precautions."
It was me who wanted to feel Jade -- and not a sleeve of latex -- inside me. But damn. I thought I was cleaning myself out well enough. We finally decided to go back to being `safe' although nothing was 100%.
Jade of course had to brag; "Of course it's so difficult finding condoms big enough."
That really wasn't too far from the truth. When we'd gone a number of days without anal sex, which was common enough,. . . well just say I could really tell.
And I had wondered why Jade had opted for less variety in our love-making the last several days, but we were frequently both so tired and busy with school work I hadn't thought on it too much. When we finished with our love-making that night, as was our usual habit when one of us wasn't staying up further to finish some paper or study for some test, we were rehashing what was `happening in our lives.' This was a time we'd set aside to talk about all those little things and even important stuff which we had been saving for when we were dedicated to 'paying attention.' That was when Jade mentioned some more about this Black Student Union.
"They still want me to join. I said I would under one condition."
"I thought you said you didn't have either the time or the inclination. What's changed?"
Jade laughed: "I said I'd join so long as they'd let you join too."
And after I stopped laughing myself, for the first time in my life I realized at least to a very small extent, just what race prejudice felt like. I was just a bit hurt realizing that I wouldn't be accepted into a group just because I wasn't colored. And that was when I realized that maybe Jade WANTED to join but didn't because I couldn't join with him. I decided that we'd have to talk about this sometime. And then decided that `now' was a good time. I was reassured by Jade that that was NOT the case.
It was several days later when a further repercussion of my paper materialized. I was just leaving math class and was supposed to meet Jade for lunch at the cafeteria where he was to let me know just what he had been roped into doing this time for the Black Student Union, when the `repercussion,' in the guise of a male student I barely knew, asked me about my English paper.
"How do you know about my paper?" I was worried, and very defensive. I was determined however, that I was no longer going to trumpet my views. At least on this subject.
"Well my girlfriend is the part time office clerk for the English Department. How she gets money to help pay for her tuition. She records grades and files things and all that stuff. And she said you wrote about a love story from the Bible."
"Well, did she also tell you that the teacher hated it so much I got an F? So it wasn't that great a paper."
"I don't care about the grade. Sorry I don't mean that the way it may have sounded. But did you actually find a gay love story in the Bible?"
I was worried about this getting out. "Look, I really think that what she saw should have been confidential, and I really don't want to talk about it."
The boy was a bit daunted by my remark. "Sorry. I really didn't want you to think I'm trying to cause trouble. Far from it." And after a short pause added: "I'm gay myself, that's why I was interested."
He barely got that last out. He even looked around when he said it. But I was for some perverse reason not going to let him off the hook. "And you assume I am too, just because I wrote about it?"
"No. Yes." He seemed to blush but regrouped and said: "NO. I mean, there have been rumors that you have a partner right here on campus. I'd been trying to get up the courage to talk with you for a while. My girlfriend finally pushed me into this."
Now what? I then decided to talk with Jade before I made any admissions or talked further with this guy. But at the same time I realized he was hurting to talk to somebody like a lot of gay kids. But a girlfriend? "You just said you have a girlfriend?"
"She's a friend and a girl. And knows I'm gay. We grew up together. She's the only one who knows. Not even my family."
I was really conflicted. I finally said: "Look, how about we talk about this tomorrow or something? Can we meet somewhere?'
So we decided on a time and place.
That evening, after Jade and I came back from dinner I mentioned meeting this kid. "So what do you think Jade? What should I say to him? I really think he doesn't intend to cause any problems. He's just anxious to talk with another gay boy."
Jade asked who this guy was but he finally admitted he never met him, or at least remembered meeting him in any of his classes. "He a Math major?" Jade asked.
"I don't know. But he's in my Multivariable Class, so he's probably a Science major at least. What does that have to do with anything."
"Well, I'm finding that most Math majors are impulsive and don't think rationally."
He smiled and I whacked him. Well, tried. I got his hook instead. I can't believe I did it again. He's too quick. And I'm fast myself. "Ouch! By the way, are those things registered yet in this state? As lethal weapons I mean?"
We started a small wrestling match, which I always lost. But I liked the consequences of losing. More than an hour later, I was resting contentedly in his arms. "Well, what do you think?" I asked.
Jade looked perplexed but only for an instant. He was used to my suddenly bringing up something we had been discussing as much as a day before. He knew how my mind worked. "How about we both meet him? Let me do the talking at first. OK?"
"Definitely." I liked that idea.
We met the kid at the pizza and sandwich place `downtown.' (Of what little downtown there was). We discovered his `girlfriend' was even with him. Moral support? It turned out he and the girl were from off campus. They grew up and lived in Spokane. I wondered just how he had heard about my "having a partner." That was one thing I wanted to find out about.
Introductions were made. They both looked at Jade and his prostheses like they'd never seen either a black person nor artificial `hooks' before. Although Spokane was only about 1% black, they were there.
I introduced Jade as my `friend.' We ordered a pizza and finally I asked the kid his full name. Michael O'Brian, and with a name like that I thought probably Catholic. I started feeling more concerned for him. He could be in a bad circumstance. Jade started out asking about non-gay related stuff like school, and so on but I could see Michael getting antsy. I finally barged in at an opening: "Michael, I'd like to ask you where did you hear that I had a partner?"
He hemmed and hawed a bit and finally answered: "Well that's just a surmise I made. What I actually heard was that you lived in a dorm room with another guy and yet had a double bed, where you both slept. It was a guy in our class that told me. He's in your dorm. He didn't say it like he was concerned about it, just curious more like."
I figured that was something that probably happened. It was Jade who asked the next question: "How come you didn't ask Rocco about this a long time ago?"
The guy blushed slightly and looked at his `girlfriend.' It was she who answered: "I was the one that pushed him to ask you. For weeks he'd been talking about this maybe gay couple on campus and wanted to talk with them but always chickened out. He said he couldn't be absolutely sure. When I saw that paper I was sure. And I told Mike to talk to you."
She was not apologetic at all. Almost like she challenged either of us to object.
They had to believe that Jade was my partner. Why else would he be with me? "OK, so what do you want to talk about?" Jade asked.
The conversation was one we had a number of times. A few different particulars, but mostly the same questions. How did you guys get together? How can you accept the way you are? Don't you think it's immoral? Do your parents know? How did they react? And all other details. It was clear that the poor kid was hurting. He didn't know how he'd ever tell his parents. His girlfriend gave him some `cover' for now, but she wanted to start really dating. He was most interested in how we could conclude that our relationship was moral. And we told him. He said he'd think about what we'd told him. He wanted to talk some more later. That was arranged. And I paid for the pizza which I thought barely worthy of the name. Not nearly enough sauce and the cheese had little flavor.
We were relieved to discover that the kid didn't want to cause any trouble. And his living off campus, caused us less worry. But I was now more concerned in helping the kid but wasn't entirely sure how.
"You keep calling him a kid, and you look younger than him." Jade said smiling. "Of course, I think you've finally gotten to the 15 year old level."
"You said that months ago. I think I'm up to 16 by now."
Even that was an exaggeration, but not too far off. I didn't even shave yet. Not even a hair anywhere on my face. But Jade didn't have much facial hair himself. Genetic I guessed. I liked him smooth. And he was smooth a lot of other places as well. I've investigated every square inch. And I was thinking how I wanted to do more re-investigating that very night.
About a week later, I had just finished up a series of test in almost all my courses and I had just been relaxing in the TV room, watching The Tonight Show. I thought that the new host (since late last year), Johnny Carson, was pretty good. As he was introducing the first guest Jade found me on one of the big chairs. I moved over.
"Paper done"? I asked. Jade had been working on a paper about Robert Heinlein's novels especially including his latest Stranger in a Strange Land. "What was your verdict?"
"One of our better authors, especially of Science Fiction, but not even close to some of the more well known authors."
I replied: "Well there's still two things I'm not sure of. What 'grog' means, and whether I liked his last story."
"For myself, I'm still waiting for that one Science Fiction that really stands apart. I don't think it's been written yet. And I wrote that it won't be written by Heinlein either. Of course I'm only talking about 20th century authors. Judging the works of H. G. Wells, or Jules Verne require a vastly different point of view. But if I had to pick what I thought might just merit special kudos from the last century it would probably be Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.He smiled at that last title. We both enjoyed it immensely.
And of course I knew Jade was quite a Mark Twain fan. I replied: "Wow. But how about Edgar Allen Poe or even Jack London for that matter?"
"Poe's work I wouldn't list under Science Fiction, and London's lacked any real deep characterizations."
"Well, just who MIGHT be a good enough author?"
"Probably someone just now starting college. But if I had to pick someone I'd reluctantly go with Arthur C. Clark. I think he might have the talent."
I never liked his stuff. But didn't want to get into any disagreement on trivial stuff. I was in such a good mood with everything going so well lately. So I changed the subject. "Too bad we can't get anyone even remotely talented writing for TV. I just watched part of the worst comedy show ever produced. Being forced to watch this show for any length of time would be considered inhumane punishment."
"OK, I'll bite. What show?"
"I think it was new last year but I'd just not seen it 'til now. And to show you the sorry state of American society, the TV Guide said it was a top rated show."
Jade looked around and whispered: "If you draw this out any further, I won't show you the new lube I found."
My brain almost stripped a gear. "Ok, it's called The Beverly Hillbillies and its humor would make even the Lucy Show look good in comparison." Jade knew how much I loathed that show. I immediately stood and started dragging Jade toward the elevator. We had been discussing off and on how we were going to celebrate our deliverance from my stupid "Love Story debacle" when Jade's infection finally cleared up.
And our celebration that night was almost worth my hours of dread, and our subsequent wait. The new lubricant was a big improvement on the last stuff we had been using. I didn't have to worry any more about sore butt. I still much preferred to be entered. And Jade fortunately preferred to be the enteree. On infrequent occasion our roles were reversed, but I had to be in just the right mood, however, to really enjoy it. I figure many people would make some bad psychological thing about all this but I didn't care. We enjoyed expressing our love this way and we continually renewed our commitment to each other both physically, emotionally, and verbally. (OK so my grammar is bad. You get my meaning). One thing that did happen because of this whole mess, was that I realized just how much I needed to grow up some more. I tend to be entirely too impulsive and wrapped up in my own ideas and problems. I have to make sure I consider Jade at all times. And I was now determined to do so. I can't just assume that since I love him, this will necessarily stop me from doing something that could hurt him.