by Stephanie Silver
Chapter 2 - Mayville High
Lucas could still remember that warm summer day in June eleven years earlier. What should have been a happy, glorious day ended up being one of the worst days he could remember. That was the day he quit caring.
No, it was the day he started to quit caring. Actually quitting took... Oh, at least a few years. It was like his will to care disappeared in chunks. A piece here, another piece there, until one day you look around and notice there's nothing left. Lucas lost a big piece of it when Jedidiah King graduated from Mayville High School in 1997.
It wasn't Jedidiah's fault for graduating. Jed couldn't help doing well in school, and finishing high school and getting a diploma could only be looked at as a good thing. And it wasn't the fact that he graduated that made it such a rotten day for Lucas. It was what happened afterward. Jed's graduation signaled the end of his four-year stay in Mayville and his return to Utah. Land of the Mormons. That's what made it such a bad day for Lucas.
Lucas loved Jedidiah. Really. Those boyish good looks. Those twinkling blue eyes. That mischievous smile. He liked the way there was a good Jed and a bad Jed, and you never knew for sure which one was going to show up. And he was pretty sure Jed loved him, too. He never actually said it, but you wouldn't exactly expect high school boys to talk that way to each other. But there were other things. Jed just seemed to naturally gravitate toward him at parties and stuff. If no one was looking, they would secretly hold hands. Or steal a kiss. Or... well, much, much more, as long as they knew no one was looking.
But that could all be passed off as hormones. Or just plain old, ordinary sexual curiosity. And Jed himself insisted that he was just exploring and would eventually stop exploring, and stop sinning - the Mormon church considers any sexual activity outside of marriage to be a sin, one requiring a confession to the bishop, and they especially frown on sexual activity between people of the same sex. So Jed insisted that he was just exploring, and would eventually stop sinning, confess his sins, and go on to live a happy, normal Mormon life.
Not that Lucas necessarily believed or disbelieved any of that. He understood his friend's need to feel that he wasn't doing anything really wrong or immoral. What he didn't understand was why churches in general, and Jed's church in specific, felt the need to control the lives of their members so much. He honestly felt that Jed would be happier outside of an organized religion, and he honestly believed, or at least hoped, that one day that's the path Jed would choose.
So graduation brought the harsh glare of reality to Lucas's life when Jed actually did choose all those things he said he was going to choose.
Jed had stated, more than once, "Lucas, some things are just between you and me. Okay?" And Lucas had agreed. "Some things" was understood by both of them to mean anal sex. And Lucas didn't have anal sex with anyone but Jed for the next four years. Not until after that terrible day in June. And he was pretty sure Jed hadn't done it that way with anyone else, either. And that was what convinced Lucas that Jed loved him just as much as he loved Jed.
When Jed really did leave, and chose all those things he said he would, Lucas couldn't help feeling slightly betrayed. That's why that day stood out to him as one of the particularly bad ones in his life.
Lucas rolled onto his side, trying not to think. He had work in the morning, and needed to get some sleep. Thinking was keeping him from doing that. And now Jed was back, and dressing like a girl. And looking like one, too. What was that all about? Lucas, who never claimed to have much interest in girls since before high school, couldn't help but see it as yet another form of Jed's betrayal. Another reason not to trust anyone who made you fall in love with them.
There were signs of it. There was the thong panties incident when Jed was a sophomore and Lucas was a senior. They'd been driving home from school and found the discarded panties placed lewdly across a stop sign - some high school boys' idea of a practical joke. It was possible they were left there as the trophy from some successful sexual conquest. "Let's take them," said Jed, getting out to retrieve them without waiting for any discussion.
"What are you doing to do with someone's panties?" asked Lucas as Jed got back in the car. "They're probably filthy." he added. "With disease."
Jed held them up. This was one of those situations where you weren't sure if it was good Jed or bad Jed that was talking. "It wouldn't be right to leave them there," he said. "They might give somebody some impure thoughts. Besides, they could cause a traffic accident. What if somebody didn't see the stop sign because these were there? They don't look like they've been there that long."
"Probably filled with cum," said Lucas.
Jed turned them inside out, inspecting the crotch. "No, they look pretty clean," he assured.
"So what are you going to do with them?" asked Lucas.
"I don't know. What do you think I should do with them?"
"Put 'em back on the stop sign where you found 'em."
If that had actually been Lucas's plan, the opportunity to do so was quickly disappearing as they sped away from the deserted intersection.
"I just thought they'd be fun to have," said Jed. "Have you ever seen a girl's panties before? I mean up close like this?"
"Aren't you ever curious? I mean... About what goes in them?"
"What are you talking about?"
"You know. Their vaginas and things."
"Things? What things?"
"I don't know." Jed was blushing. "Their boobs, I guess."
Lucas cast a sideways look at his friend. As far as he knew, Jed was as gay as he was. He didn't seem to have any problem going down on a hard dick, or taking Lucas up his ass, either. And he knew Jed had never so much as been on a date with a girl, let alone to be thinking about their vaginas and boobs. Jed noticed the look and blushed again. "Okay, take me back and I'll put them back on the sign."
"It's too late, now," said Lucas. "I'm not going back. You can just toss them out the window."
But Jed didn't toss them out the window. In fact he took them home, and washed them in the sink. He was pretty sure he'd seen a Woolite commercial on TV about washing your delicates and figured thong panties qualified as delicates. In the commercial, they washed their delicates in the sink, and although he didn't have any Woolite, he figured bar soap was every bit as good. In fact, by the time he rinsed them out and let them dry, they looked and smelled fresh and clean enough to...
Jed didn't like to finish that thought. He knew from the moment he had jumped out of Lucas's car why he wanted the panties. It was an urge he couldn't really explain, even to himself. He hadn't done it often, but once in a while, when his parents had left him alone, he'd snuck into his parents' room and tried on some of his mom's underwear. Just for the kinkiness of doing it.
If you asked him to explain, he'd probably tell you that he was just exploring different facets of his sexuality. The same way making out with Lucas and having sex with him was a way of exploring. Or when he'd done it with Joey, his next door neighbor before that back in Utah before coming to Mayville. It didn't mean anything. It certainly didn't mean he was gay. And being curious what it would feel like to wear panties and other girl things didn't mean he was a transvestite.
But he was secretly wearing them a few days later when he and Lucas were messing around with Katon Jedry. Katon loved sex games more than about anything he could imagine. There had been a time when sex games with Jed and Lucas had included Katon's two older brothers, Kyle and Kelly. But Kyle had turned eighteen and moved away and Kelly had decided he was no longer interested in having sex with boys. That left Katon, who didn't much care who he was playing sex games with, as long as it was sex.
Jed wanted to play strip poker. Lucas argued that they didn't have any playing cards with them, but Jed instantly produced some. Lucas knew that Jed wasn't particularly good at poker - he had a tendency to draw to hands he couldn't really develop - and that he was usually reluctant to play the game whenever it was suggested. So the fact that he was suggesting it and had come prepared with cards made him realize his friend was up to something.
Not surprisingly, Jed was losing. Although he didn't seem to be losing on purpose. When he removed his shirt, leaving him with just his pants and underwear, Jed looked a lot more nervous than Lucas would have expected. Something is definitely going on, he thought.
That something was revealed a few hands later when Jed tried to turn two pair into a full-house and ended up losing to Lucas's three of a kind. "Take 'em off," taunted Katon, who was still at least three hands away from revealing anything interesting. "Let's see what color your unders are."
It turned out they were red. Bright red. Fuck-me red, I believe, is the technical term for that particular shade. With black trim around the front panel, around the sides, and on the back, such as it was. Being a thong, the panty did little to conceal what was underneath, and given Jed's state of arousal they were having an even more difficult time of it.
"What the...! He's wearing panties!" yelled Katon, who had a tendency to talk louder than he needed to when he got excited.
"Shhh, keep it down," reminded Lucas, who was enjoying an unobstructed view of Jed's bare butt.
"I can't believe it," Katon said in a slightly quieter voice. "He's wearing some girl's fucking panties."
"I found them on a stop sign," said Jed, as if that explained how he ended up wearing them.
The game continued, with Jed soon losing again. Rather than make him take off the panties, Lucas suggested that since they really weren't doing much to conceal anything anyway, that he keep wearing them and, as a penalty for losing, suck both of their dicks. Of course that meant the poker game was pretty much over as Katon and Lucas both stripped off the rest of their clothes and moved so that Jed could play with one of their dicks while he sucked the other and then suck the one while he played with the other. Jed didn't want to admit it, even to himself, but giving Lucas and Katon blow jobs while wearing panties had been one of the biggest turn-ons of his high school life.
Another incident happened later that year in the summer. Lucas really wasn't fond of seeing Jed grow up so fast. If he had his way, he would have chosen to have Jed stay forever the young, youthful looking boy that had rode with him into town to get help that hot summer day two years earlier when Jed and his uncle had been stranded on the side of the road, miles from the nearest phone, with a broken down truck. That was the day he and Jed had first met. Jed had been just a few weeks away from his fourteenth birthday then.
A slow developer, Lucas looked young for his age. By the time he was 18 he at least had some hair on his legs and under his arms, but he could pass for much younger. He hadn't even started shaving yet. So when Jed started needing to shave, and had just about as much body hair as Lucas, there was, of course, some minor discomfort between them. One day, in an effort to make Lucas happy, Jed decided to rid himself of all his secondary hair, shaving his legs, and underarms, and everything else that seemed needlessly covered with hair. The result was a smooth look that even Lucas had to admit was interesting and fun to touch.
"But next time leave a little patch right here," said Lucas, touching the smooth, hairless skin just above Jed's swollen penis."I think it looks sexier if you have a little pubic hair."
Even though Jed and Lucas traded places back and forth during anal sex, with both of them sometimes giving and sometimes receiving, there was little doubt that Jed looked to Lucas as being the more dominant partner. If only because he was older. And even though the first time they had had sex that way - it had been Lucas who had been on the bottom while Jed assumed the top position - that was only because Jed's sphincter had refused to open up wide enough to allow Lucas' dick to get inside. Eventually they had solved that problem, but by then they were just as inclined to have Jed take the role of top as they were to have Lucas take it.
With all of his body hair gone, however, Jed felt different. More vulnerable, or something. More in need of Luca's protection. Later he would understand that removing all of his body hair had caused him to feel more feminine, but for the moment, he just knew that he wanted to be on the bottom while Lucas fucked him. And that's how they did it.
Later, much, much later, when Lucas was in college and only saw Jed on weekends, and Jed continued to shave most of his body hair other than the patch of pubic hair Lucas had requested he keep, Jed once asked him, "If I was a girl, do you think you would you still like me?"
And Lucas allowed as how he might could.
I mean, girls weren't totally out of the question, as far as he was concerned. They just weren't as interesting, or attractive, as boys.
What else can I tell you about high school?
For that 1993-94 school year there was a tremendous battle over second place in the Battle of the Bands competition. First place, of course, belonged to JKLM, the band with Lucas on violin and guitar, Kyle Jedry on guitar and as lead singer, Katon and Kelly Jedry on accordion and keyboard and as backup vocals, and Jed on drums. The five of them talked of quitting school and going on tour professionally.
No, seriously, they did. Katon, the youngest of them, talked about it the most. He was like that, always imagining how great life could be if only one little thing could happen. And Lucas, the oldest, thought it was a pretty good idea, too. He was convinced they just needed to make a few good connections and they'd be all set. Jed, who was third oldest, or third youngest, depending how you looked at it, was happy to believe them. He liked the idea of being a rock star.
Kelly, always the pessimist, was the lone voice of opposition. "We're good enough to win the Battle of the Bands," he groused, "But that doesn't mean we're going to be able to fill up arenas every night all across America. You should all worry more about doing your homework than dreaming about getting paid to play music."
"You're just afraid we'll all be successful and have hundreds of girl friends while you have to stay home and play with your pud," said Katon.
At that point Kyle would generally step in and separate his two younger brothers before they started throwing punches at one another. Since he was the oldest of the three, he felt a responsibility to be the voice of reason in their discussions, fairly representing each side and helping each side to understand what the other side was saying. "Yeah, we could," he said, "And chances are we'd be pretty good. But we're going to need a good manager first, and right now we don't got one. And a manager's going to want to know what we've did and where we've played, and winning Battle of the Bands is just a start. We gotta start doing a few small shows and stuff and work our way up."
The others all nodded in agreement. Kyle's argument, expressed in his slow, deliberate style, made sense. "Plus we gotta plan for if things don't work out. So each of us has to get an education first. That means a high school diploma at the very least." He paused to glare at Katon who had a tendency to favor any form of recreation over school work.
"What? I do okay in school," said Katon, who typically managed to get B's, C's and a stray D or two on his report cards.
"Yeah, just barely," said Kyle. "And if you don't watch it, you're the one going to be left home playing with your pud."
When Kyle graduated from Mayville High in 1996, his father made a copy of his diploma and proudly hung it in the front hallway, leaving room for two more. "I expect you two boys'll do the same," he said to Kelly and Katon as he explained the left over space on the wall. "Nothin'd make me prouder than to have three diplomas up here for everyone to look at."
Despite being successful as a studio musician, Ken Jedry had never finished high school and considered a high school diploma a necessity for the success of his children. He got his wish four years later when Katon became the third Jedry brother to walk across the stage and accept a diploma from Mister Cannon, the principal. "Congratulations," said Mister Canon, knowing that with Katon Jedry, graduation had been anything but a certainty.
"Until then we gotta practice," continued Kyle. "Katon, you're a little flat on the vocals. Kelly, you need to check your timing. Keep up with Jed on the beat. Jed, you need to slow it down just a bit so Kelly can keep up. I think that's why he keeps getting behind. Lucas... " He paused, because, frankly, Lucas seldom needed scolding when it came to music. "... Just keep doing what you're doing, okay?"
There's no way to know what might have happened if they'd stayed together. They were good; there was no doubt about that. And with Mister Jedry's help in the studio, there's a chance they would have gotten the breaks they needed. But possibly the biggest obstacle to success as a band is just staying together long enough to amount to anything more than a high school novelty act. And that's what happened to JKLM. The band slowly, but surely, disintegrated until there was nothing left but a memory.
Lucas graduated from high school in 1995. With nothing better to do, and a desire to stay close to Jed, he chose to get a two-year degree at a junior college near Johnson City. It was a long drive each day, but his Uncle graciously kept the rent on his trailer extremely low, making it better and more attractive than moving to some place a little closer to college. He still had weekends free, and he spent most of that time with Jed. Or at least as much as he could.
There was little time left in Lucas's life for things like band rehearsals, and so the first crack began to appear in their dream of going on tour. With little time to rehearse, they could never quite get the sound they needed to draw bigger audiences, and without the bigger audiences, they were left doing small weekend shows for little pay.
Jed graduated two years later, on what for Lucas was one of the worst days he could remember. What should have been a reason to sleep together, accompanied by plenty of sex, ended up being a quiet little get-together at his Aunt and Uncle's home in Mayville. Jed's parents were there also. They had arrived from Provo, Utah earlier in the week, having returned from their mission to Sweden a year before. Since Jed seemed to be doing so well in Mayville, they decided to let him finish high school there rather than go back to Utah for his last year of high school. "I know you'd rather graduate from Mayville High than Provo High," his father said. And he was right. Although Jedidiah King had lived most of his life in Utah, he thought of Mayville, Tennessee as his adopted home.