"THE QUEST" is a gay story, with some parts containing graphic scenes of sex between males. So, if in your land, religion, family, opinion and so on this is not good for you, it will be better not to read this story. But if you really want, or because YOU don't care, or because you think you really want to read it, please be my welcomed guest.

THE QUEST by Andrej Koymasky © 2018
written on November 23, 1993
Translated by the Author
English text kindly revised by John

Osvaldo went back home for the Easter holydays. One of the first things he did was to ask his parents news of Letizia. They were worried - for ten days now they had no news from her; neither letters nor telephone calls, nothing. The last time they had talked with her by phone had been the previous month, and then his sister told them that she would come to see them for Easter holidays.

"She'll be on her way here, or maybe she's gone on a journey somewhere, Mum... You know how Letizia is, don't you? If she said she will come for Easter, she could well be here today or tomorrow. Why do you mothers have to be always anxious? She's twenty-one, she's able to care for herself!"

"Yes, but without telling us..."

"Tell you about what? She said she will come, and she will come," the son said, quietly.

His father agreed with him.

Unworried, Osvaldo went out to the village square to meet his old friends.

"Hey, look who's here, the Milanese! How are you Osvaldo?" Roberto asked him moving to greet him and offer him his hand. He then called towards the bar, "Marco, Gianni, come to see who's here - the prodigal son!"

Two boys tumbled out of the bar, beaming bright smiles and almost running to greet their friend.

Osvaldo was fond of the three of them. They attended the primary and junior schools together and had parted only when Osvaldo moved to the city to attend the professional institute for graphic designers. Marco had for years been his steady desk mate. Gianni and Roberto, who were cousins, had also always been his class mates. When they were adolescents, Osvaldo had a short love story with Marco. It had been started by Marco, and also ended by him when he fell in love with a girl.

Now Marco was married and already had a two year old son. Marco was the only one in the village who knew that Osvaldo was gay, but their friendship had not been in the least tarnished by that.

Later, when Osvaldo and Marco were alone, his friend asked him, "And your loves?"

"Nothing, as usual. Just short encounters..."

"Ha, old libertine! Find yourself a good boy and sort yourself out, it's time you did!"

"If I was just able to find a good boy!" Osvaldo answered shrugging his shoulders.

"But when you'll find one, will you let me meet him?"

"Of course, Marco. You're my best friend, you know that, don't you?"

"Eh... I feel somewhat responsible for your life, you know. It was I who..."

"I already told you so many times, if it hadn't been you, would have been someone else. It's not you who made me become gay; I already was. You just made me understand it. And I'm grateful to you, because you made me understand it in a very beautiful and sweet way. And I possibly don't find a good boy, because after all I'm searching somebody like you..."

"Now you're making me feel a traitor..."

"No, Marco. You like women; that's your nature. With me it has just been..."

"But I liked you a lot, really, very much. Good heavens, I still like you very much, even though in a different way. But I don't repudiate our story, you know? It was really beautiful... as long as it lasted."

"Yes, Marco, you're right, it was really beautiful. My god, how my heart was drumming each time I saw you, each time you touched me..."

"Yes, it was really beautiful." his friend repeated.

Even though any physical relation had ceased seven years ago, they really loved each other, and they still were really close friends, and had no secrets from each other.

Osvaldo also liked the "physicalness" that was still colouring their friendship, as in that moment, that Marco was walking at his side keeping an arm on his shoulder.

As usual, Marco invited him for lunch at his home. Osvaldo was also friends with Rosella, Marco's wife, and he had been the godfather for the christening of the little Aldo, their son. Osvaldo had always thought that the child had been called Aldo in his honour, but he never asked Marco for a confirmation. After all, he had been Marco's first love, then there had been that girl, whose name he did not even remember, then Rosella...

They were fourteen. They were wrestling, playfully, up there on the meadow behind the little Saint Sebastian church. Marco, who was on top of him, became still, looked him in the eyes, then kissed him.

"I love you, Osvaldo." he had murmured.

Just so. Like the most right and most natural thing he could say to his closest friend.

Osvaldo, even though he became aware of it at that very moment said "I too love you, Marco." with complete sincerity. Then his friend, remaining on top of him, transformed the wrestling hold in an embrace, kissed him again and, moved, whispering, "Then, if we love each other, we have to make love, you and I."

Osvaldo felt his friend's hard-on through the cloth of their shorts and his body responded at once.

"Yes, of course. Let's make love, Marco." he then said.

And their first time had been there, in that meadow, as two foolhardy boys, risking being caught by a passer-by. But they were lucky, and the following times they had been more cautious. Marco already knew "what two males do", even though he had no personal experience of it. It had been his elder brother who had, in an approximate way, explained it to him. So Marco gradually guided his friend to discover and experiment with him all the joys of love between two males.

Already that first time they sucked then penetrated each other. And they went on for three years, on each weekend, when Osvaldo came back home from the city school. Until Marco fell for that girl. He confessed it to Osvaldo, almost with tears in his eyes, and asked his forgiveness...

Osvaldo suffered very much over that. But he really loved Marco, and understood that his friend's happiness was there, with a girl, therefore he gave Marco up. For love. Their friendship lasted, and, if possible, became even stronger.

Then Osvaldo set himself up with a class mate, but it lasted just a few months. Because, without being aware of it, he had always looked in a prospective partner for another Marco. Only just recently he had understood it, and he knew it was absurd. It had been beautiful to love and be loved by Marco. But if he wanted a new love, he had to see the other as he was and not deceive himself he could find another Marco, not to compare him with Marco. From now on he would do that for sure... or at least he would try.

Besides Marco, the only other person who knew he was gay was his sister Letizia. Once, by mistake, she had opened a letter addressed to him. What she read in it was clear. So Letizia had talked about it with her brother. She had understood him and not only she didn't say a word to their parents, but after that time Osvaldo knew that he could freely open his heart with his sister, and this gave him great joy.

When this "accident" happened she was eighteen and he twenty-two. In that period Osvaldo was with a dancer but that duet had broken up too and it had been Letizia, his little sister, who had consoled him.

"If he left you, he didn't deserve you!" she said him, self-assuredly.

Then, when she was nineteen, Letizia had won a competition to work as nurse at the "Ospedale" of Florence. Then Osvaldo found a job in Milan, with a publisher of comic strips. He had become a really good designer, and he was earning good pay. He found a small apartment in Milan, as did his sister in Florence. And in Milan Osvaldo started to frequent gay places - discos, saunas, pubs. He didn't have sex very often, and then only when it was safe sex, what in Italy was called SSS (Solo Sesso Sicuro - Only Safe Sex), as he was afraid of Aids. He didn't take a partner home very often, because in reality he was still looking, stubbornly, for a real love story. In spite of the fact that his friends were always pulling his leg about that. His gay friends of Milan, that is, certainly not Marco back in the village.

Easter passed, then also Easter Monday, but Letizia didn't come. They tried to call her, but nobody answered the telephone. Osvaldo enquired at the Sip, the telephone company whether the number had changed - but no, the number was right and the line was working; also recent bills had been paid regularly. At this point Osvaldo started to be worried as well. But when he had to go back to Milan, he told his parents not to worry. For sure Letizia was still on a trip. If something bad had happened, they would surely have been informed...

As soon as he arrived in Milan, Osvaldo called at the Florence Hospital, where his sister was working. And so he came to learn that he had resigned two weeks before. He was astonished at that news. Why did she resign? Why didn't she say anything either to him or to their parents? He again tried to call at her house at the different times of the day and night, hoping to find her at home, but never got an answer.

At this point Osvaldo was really quite worried. Something bad could have happened. He hurriedly completed the comic story he was drawing, brought it to his publisher and warned them he had to leave Milan for a few days for serious family problems. Back home he packed his suitcase, called his parents telling them he was going south to look for Letizia, went to the station and took the first train for Florence.

All during the journey he said to himself and kept repeating that he had to stay calm, he had not to worry, not to become upset, as he would surely find that all was normal and that there would be a very simple explanation... but he was not able to relax. He didn't believe in "forebodings" and yet... and yet he could feel that something bad had happened.

As soon as he arrived in Florence, he took a taxi so as not to waste time and went straight to Letizia's place. He rang the bell several times, but of course he didn't get any response. He remembered that the other times he had come to see his sister, in order to give him a door key, she had always gone upstairs to her neighbour who had a copy of the keys for an emergency. So he rang the neighbour's bell.

"Yes?" a woman's voice answered at the intercom.

"I'm Osvaldo Solaro, Letizia's brother... May I come upstairs for a moment, please?"

"Yes, sure, come in..."

As he entered the hall he checked Letizia's mailbox - it was packed with mail, ads, printed matter. It was evident that nobody collected the mail for a while. He went upstairs to the fourth floor where the neighbour was at the door. They recognized each other.

"Oh, mister Osvaldo! Come in."

"Sorry to bother you, but... my sister is not at home. Do you possibly still have the spare key?"

"Yes, mister Osvaldo, I'll get it immediately. But Letizia went away about two weeks ago, and I haven't see her come back, since then."

"Do you know where she went?"

"No, she didn't tell me..."

"Did she leave alone?"

"Yes, as far as I know. Oh, here is the key, mister Osvaldo. Did anything happen... something?"

"I don't know. I hope not. Thank you, and sorry if I disturbed you."

"Oh, don't mention it. Keep me informed, mister Osvaldo, please."

"I shall."

Osvaldo went at the third floor. He opened the door and entered. The apartment was in order, the shutters were closed and there was a musty smell. Osvaldo opened all the windows wide in all the rooms. He then switched on the main switch for the lights and turned on the gas at the meter. He looked for the water meter lever and when he found it, turned it on too. He looked in the fridge - it was switched off and empty. Therefore Letizia had intended to leave her apartment for a long time.

He looked around - but there was nothing that could help him to guess where she had gone. He went downstairs with the mailbox key and emptied it. Back in the apartment, he discarded all the ads, then divided the remaining mail, letters, bills and printed matter. First of all he checked the bills. Two were near payment time, telephone and electricity, and he left them open to remember to go and pay them.

He asked himself if his sister had left because she lacked money... No, in that case she would not leave all her belongings there... moreover, and above all, she had left her work. He looked at the letters. There were three envelopes, delivered by hand, all three written with the same calligraphy. On the front there was only "for Letizia" and on the back a "G. C." written on the glued flap. Then there was a letter from France, one from their village and two from their parents, his illustrated card from Venice, and nothing else.

He asked himself if he could open the letters. Then he told himself that he had to, after all she was his sister and he had to try to understand what had happened. First of all he opened the one coming from France. It was from a friend to whom she had written that she regretted she would not go to see her for Easter, but she could understand that Letizia wanted to visit her parents and brother. She sent her best wishes, and hoped they could meet on another occasion, and so on, and so forth.

So, Letizia had really planned to go to see their parents for Easter. What made she change her mind?

Then Osvaldo looked at the three hand delivered letters. He weighed them, then opened all three and put out the three notes. They were written on a computer. He put them in order of date. All three were signed by hand with a "Giulio", The "G." outside the envelopes. He read them in order.

"9/4 Dear Love,

yesterday evening I waited for you at National Square, in front of the movie theatre but you didn't come. I called you until late but you weren't home. What happened? Did you forget our date? Why don't you answer the telephone? Contact me soon, please.

Small kisses and big kisses from your Giulio"

"13/4 My dear love,

why have you disappeared and not called me? I can't understand. Are you possibly upset with me about something? I don't think I did anything that might have made you upset, but if this is the case, please forgive me, my little dove, and please explain to me what I did, surely unwillingly, so that I can avoid it in future.

You know how much I love you, and also know that mine is a sincere love. You possibly had just to leave suddenly... but you could have called me in these days. I'm not reproaching you, but I'm feeling ill at ease.

I miss you very much, or rather, very, very much. Also my home seems so lonely now that you are not around. I hope to hear from you, to see you soon, very soon, my sweet love. I feel so lonely, do you know?

A little kiss plus a big one from yours always Giulio"

"19/4 Easter.

I presume you're possibly at your parents' home as you told me, therefore you will find this letter only when you come back. Therefore, also if you read this late, I hope you had a good Easter, my beloved one. But you could have made even just a short call!

I hope that your sudden and early departure was not caused by some problems in your family. If this was the case, I would really be at your side, with my heart, with my love. But I really hope your family is alright.

I wonder if this time you will tell them about me? You know that I've sent our picture to my Mum, who is really longing to meet you. Because, as I told you, I have serious intentions towards you. You are my beloved little dove, you know it.

And now that my job is going well, we can also start making our plans. What do you think? You tell me that I'm in hurry, but the fact is that I really love you so much, and it is now one year and one month we are together. Or to be precise, one year and thirty-seven days - I'm counting all of them.

Well, I hope you will call soon, my little great love. Your Giulio"

So, then, Letizia had a boyfriend for one year and she never told him! And also that Giulio didn't know where and why she left. Who knows who that Giulio is? Judging from his letter he seemed really in love, and the last one, practically, was talking about marriage... If he just could find that Giulio...

Osvaldo thought he could search through his sister's drawers, hoping to find some clues, whether about Letizia's sudden departure or about that Giulio C. But after a long and careful search, he found nothing.

He decided to switch on the fridge and to go out to do some shopping - his stay in Florence could become longer than he had foreseen. When he was back, he put the food in the fridge. Then he looked for the pans, the dishes and started to fix his meal. He meanwhile was asking himself, "But where is Letizia? Where did she go? Why she didn't get in touch with us or with that Giulio?"

He opened the trash bin to throw out some cooking scraps and stopped. On the bottom there was a picture torn in pieces. He took it out and put the pieces on the kitchen table. It was the face of a boy, possibly just a little older than him, black or dark brown hair, with some forelocks; he had straight eyebrows, thick and well parted, green, intense eyes, a straight and proportioned nose, a sensual mouth with its corner slightly pointing upwards in a hint of a smile, and a nice oval face. He was wearing a turtle-neck sweater. He was a really handsome boy. Could he be that Giulio? But then, why did she tear his picture in pieces? And there wasn't a dedication or anything.

He searched around for adhesive tape and found it in a drawer of the desk, where he also saw a reversed picture frame, placed face down.. He took it - it was empty. But it was the exact size for that picture. He went back to the kitchen, carefully put together all the pieces of the picture using the tape, and put the picture back in its frame. He looked at it - yes, he was a really beautiful boy...

He put the frame on the kitchen table and resumed cooking his meal. Once in a while he looked at the picture. Whoever he could be, that boy was really beautiful. His sister had a good taste. But why did she tear up the picture? If he was Giulio, it didn't seem, from his letters, they had had a quarrel.

He sat down to eat, continuing to look at the picture.

"My little sister, if this one has a body as beautiful as his face, I would for sure not have let him get away... But what suffering would be for me having such a sexy brother-in-law, just to look at but not to touch! What's your name, handsome? Are you Giulio? God, what sensual lips do you have, boy..."

Osvaldo became aware he was aroused and smiled of himself. He finished eating, washed the dishes and pans and put everything in order. Then he decided to start to search again amongst his sister's things, hoping to find other clues that could help him in his quest. He combed one drawer after another, emptying them and then putting all their content back one piece at a time, but he still found nothing. Not a note, not an address, a picture, a letter... nothing. It was as if his sister took away with her everything personal. Almost as if she didn't want to leave any trace behind her.

He saw some books on the shelf. There were some gaps and traces of dust, so he understood that some volumes were missing. He took those that were still there, one by one. All books concerning her studies to become a nurse. He leafed through them - there were sheets with notes, underlining in various colours that she had done while studying them. In the other books, he looked for a dedication, but didn't find any. They were love novels, science fiction, a tourist guide to Florence.

While he was pulling one of the books out from the shelf he noticed something behind it. He took it out - it was a pornographic cartoon magazine of low quality. He rapidly leafed through it. He didn't expect to find such kind of magazine amongst his sister's belongings... but why not, after all. He too, once in a while, bought a few gay porno magazines.

A book by Herman Hesse. As he leafed through it a picture fell out. He picked it up and at once recognized the boy in the torn picture. It had been taken at the seaside and the boy was wearing just swimming briefs. He was beautiful, sexy, his body didn't at all belie the beauty of his face. Osvaldo contemplated it for a long while.

He was portrayed standing on the beach, one foot lifted up and resting the edge of a boat, an arm leaning on the raised knee, his Speedos tight and tense, and well rounded in the right place... and here, under the sun, it was clear that his hair was not black but dark brown. A lean and agile body, not excessively muscled... exactly as he liked...

He had a very light down only on the forearms and on the shapely legs. A real Adonis. In this picture, his face had a more serious, intense expression. It was a vivid image, a virile and yet sweet body.

Osvaldo thought that if such a hunk told him 'come!' he would follow him to the end of the earth. He was way too beautiful and arousing... in fact Osvaldo by now had a taut erection.

He looked at the back of the picture, there was just the date "October 12, 1991". The previous year. Exactly the period when Letizia had said at home she would spend her holidays at the seaside with her friends, all girls... but it seemed that she went with just 'one' friend, a boy. And what a hunk of a boy! To lick one's lips... Or better... to lick him all over!

Osavldo stirred himself. He put the picture on the desk and went on to leaf through the books one by one looking for anything more. When he put the last one back nothing else had come out, besides that picture. He took it and went back to the kitchen. Why he had never found somebody as handsome as that boy? He asked himself.

He looked his watch - it was after 11 pm. He decided to go to bed. He went in his sister's bedroom and started to undress. He then went back to the kitchen, took the two pictures of the beautiful unknown boy and put them on the night table near the bed. He slipped under the covers wearing only his briefs. He again contemplated the two pictures and felt strongly the impulse to masturbate. He then put them down and switched off the light - no, it wouldn't be good to masturbate in his sister's bed, moreover possibly dreaming of her boyfriend.

He had to pull away such thoughts from his head. He was there to understand where his sister was, not to amuse himself.

He had difficulty falling asleep. The bed had a light feminine scent. Every noise coming from the stairs and the landing made him jump, sitting up. Thinking it could be his sister coming home. Then he remembered his parents. He got out of bed and went to the hall where the wall telephone was. He called them and told them he was in Letizia's home, she wasn't there, all was in order and it was clear she had left for a journey. Also the neighbour lady who had given him the spare key had seen her leave in a taxi, alone.

He told them not to worry, he would carry on his quest, to be calm, and that he would call them as soon as he got some news. He hung up and went back to bed and again tried to sleep. It took him a long time, but finally he sank in a deep sleep.


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