But What Am I?

(b/b, ns)

DISCLAIMER: This work of fiction contains explicit material intended for adults over 18. If you are under 18 or are offended by non-traditional sex, or sex between minors, do not continue. If reading this type of material is illegal in your location, proceed at your own risk. This work is the sole property of the author and may not be reposted or reproduce without the author's written permission. This is a work of fiction. If any characters resemble the living or dead, or events are similar to actual events, it is purely coincidental.

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I appreciate you interest in my story and your ideas on how the story could end. But this story can only end one way -- the way it actually ended -- because this is my story. I am Logan.

Although the names and places were changed to protect everyone's identity and I condensed the timeline in order to write a shorter story, the events are real. From the outset, I never intended to tell you that, though I did mention it on my website. I was going to simply write it as a work of fiction. However, from the reaction of you, the readers, I felt I owed you this much. I don't think I would have ever written this story -- at least with this ending -- if I wasn't putting my own life into words. (I hope this story doesn't prevent you from reading my other stories.) I thank you for hanging in there and reading it, including this Epilogue.

They say you shouldn't live your life with regrets, but sometimes that's easier said than done. I have a lot of regrets that I carry to this day. Regrets that manifest themselves in some way every day of my life.

Did I ever go back to Noah's? No. To this day, I still believe he was the love of my life, even if he ended up being straight. I've never had a better friend, anyone I've been more attracted to, or more in love with, than those years growing up with Noah.

At the time, I really did believe he was better off without me around. Bob and his friends worked hard to learn the identity of my "special friend" and I was bound and determined to protect Noah, even if that meant giving up, or giving in, in so many other ways.

It's sad to say that, at that time, I really believed that I was no better than Bob and his friends. My knowledge about homosexuality was very limited and what little I did "know" was faulty at best. My mother had a friend that I now know was gay. He was effeminate, bitchy and I never liked him much. The experiences I had at Bob's led me to that was the gay lifestyle. After my last night at Noah's, I believed learning to live that kind of lifestyle was inevitable. Bob's school bus home would be where I would get my education. All of this misinformation was reinforced by the "facts" I heard from other kids and homophobic adults. To me, since all the pieces that I had seemed to fit together, then my conclusions be correct.

As a smart kid, I learned my lessons well. I took my mom's (and my dad's) comments to heart. I was smart enough to keep myself out of trouble and they weren't going to bail me out if I screwed up. I understood this to be one of those screw ups and I was responsibile to find my own way out.

I also worked hard to be the best. Whether it was my work ethic, pride and or my competitive nature, I attempted to master I was taught to do -- whether it was entertaining a man or performing in front of a camera -- I was determined to be the best. But perhaps most damaging was how intoxicating it was to be desired. During the next year, no one took notice of my spiral downward -- at least no one said anything to me. Uncharacteristic academic performance, isolating myself from classmates, getting into trouble -- you name it -- I did it and I did it with the intention to test those around me to see if they cared enough to say something. I was fully aware that these were my cries for help, but I couldn't find my voice to ask in a way trusted adult could hear. That left me at the mercy of the adults that did pay me attention. I began to crave their attention. Being wanted and desired became the substitute for the love and affection most kids get from their parents. Even if I didn't like what we did, or what was done to me, being coveted was addictive.

Everything didn't always come up roses. Bob had "friends" I didn't like. Things came to a head one evening right before my Freshman year. I had decided I wanted out, but I didn't know how go about that. On this particular night, I was with someone I didn't want to be with. Naively, I stood up for myself and told the man, "No." I won't go into details, but he took what he wanted, and I regain consciousness some time later to a heated discussion about what to do with the body. (They thought the man had killed me. I never said they were the smartest bunch of bananas.)

Bob tried to make amends by apologizing and enticing me to return. When that failed, he returned to his threats. That's when I had to come up with a plan.

The plan was simple. I knew that if he exposed the photos of me, I wouldn't be able to deny what happened. I needed people to believe my side of the story and there was only one way to do that. I needed to be the model student and with the start of school right around the corner, that's what I decided to do. If I had a stellar reputation (and a girlfriend), then it would be my word against his.

He spent the next four years trying to get me back, or make sure I didn't talk. I spent that time trying to participate in every sport or activity I could so I would be around people. It gave me an excuse to be somewhere and to have someone expecting me to be some place. Someone that might ask questions if I went missing. Bob and his friends stalked at practices, cornered me in the school bathroom if I stepped away from my activity, attended events and continued to threaten me at school with photos and bodily harm. They visited my home regularly, trying to catch me there alone, or find an opportunity for my mother to encourage me to go back to Bob's house for a "visit". It was torture. It was stressful. But it was also motivating.

My preoccupation with my stalkers and their threats prevented me from developing the ability to make strong, lasting friendships. I was friends with everyone, but not good friends with anyone. At the same time, I realized that academics were my only way out. I worked hard and earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school.

One evening during my senior year, my mother was driving me and Stevie home from somewhere. It was dark and we were listening to the radio when the DJ reported the arrest of Bob and some of his friends. Two younger, braver boys had told of their abuse. Bob went to prison for life without parole.

I first felt relief from the news. No more stalking, intimidation, or threats. I was free from Bob and could move on with my life. But the fear was soon replaced by guilt. The boys that put an end to Bob would never have been abused if I had spoken up years earlier. How many other boys were out there that had been abused because I didn't reveal what Bob was up to, or my seventh-grade football coach for that matter.

Keeping busy had another advantage. It distracted me from the heartache of missing Noah. I watched from afar as he earned a Division 1 athletic scholarship, married a girl he met in college, and rose through the ranks to become a Vice President of a major corporation.

I, on the other hand, turned down the partial scholarship. I worked two or more jobs and did well in college, but not my best since I had little time to do homework or study. I also struggled with my sexuality. As I grew older, my struggle became more intense. The closer I became to the age of my abusers I had more and more trouble separating the men around me from my abusers.

Tens of thousands of dollars of therapy, some incredible life experiences, and a focus on work over love, I too have found success -- reaching the top of my profession and earning national and international awards. But I never stopped loving Noah.

In our late-forties, Noah was still married and his kids were off to college. Me? I was still missing the best friend I ever had. I finally got up the nerve and sent him an email. Within a few messages, we'd set up a time to meet up for a beer after work.

Sitting in the booth waiting for Noah to arrive, I thought of everything I wanted to say to him. To tell him about what happened with Bob, that I stopped hanging out with him to protect him from Bob, that I was in love with him as a kid and I still loved him.

He was still sexy and still the same Noah I knew and loved. We caught up and had a good visit. In some ways, it was like we were never apart. But he didn't have much time and needed to head home.

"Sorry Logan, I've got to get home."

"I know, but I'm really glad we reconnected."

"Me too. I'm sorry we grew apart and didn't hang out in high school."

"Noah, it was good seeing you." We shook hands and warm smiles before Noah turned to leave.

"Noah?" I said, still wanting to tell him everything. I think a part of me hoped he loved me back, or I could at least get him into bed.


"I just wanted to..." I paused for a moment to consider what to say. Noah stepped closer to hear what I was about to say.

"I want to thank you for being my friend as a kid. Your friendship meant the world to me -- more than you'll ever know." He clearly saw how emotional this was for me.

Noah smiled. "We were really close, weren't we."

"Yes we were," I replied, knowing we'd never contact each other again. "I'll see you around." Noah turned and walked out the door.

I realized there was no need to say more. In the end, I had nothing to gain by telling him and he wouldn't benefit from knowing. But in a small way, I did get a chance to thank him and that was enough.


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