My parents went through a wretched divorce recently. Even though the court proceedings are done with and my mother moved into a new apartment in a neighboring town, it still seems like they bicker every time the opportunity presents itself. They decided to call it quits after my sister and I 'grew up,' for what reason I don't know. I suppose they had this idea that miserable couples should stick together 'for the kids.' In reality, I think this was a rather foolish idea-we often heard them arguing in every room of our two-story house for five years straight. To not hear them arguing was a strange sound.
So I'm eighteen now, living in a small town with my mother. Not having enough motivation to figure out what to do with my life, I decided to attend the local community college. I figured that my mother chose the apartment complex she did out of concern for me-Cedar Springs Community College was just a fifteen minute walk away from my new front door. That was the problem with my mother: her concern and love for other people sometimes clouded her better judgement. By giving my life more convenience, she extended her morning commute from twenty minutes to thirty-two.
Harriet, my sister, decided to stick it out with our father. She's three years younger than me and one of the most desirable girls at her high school. With dirty blonde hair and slim, firm thighs, it's a bit nauseating to watch all the boys at school turn to stare at her. She seems to enjoy the attention. Perhaps it's better that she does-who knows how long any of us will keep our looks. I'm definitely not what most people would consider stare worthy.
I blame my mother for always giving me whatever I wanted. I'm not fat, but I also never bothered to participate in sports. The only thing keeping me from looking like a concentration camp survivor is all the energy drinks I go through in a day. I'm pasty-white, lanky, and spend way too much time in my room listening and obsessing over music. It might seem like a strange interest for a fag, but there you go. You might think that I'd be interested in things like fashion or art, but I'm not. Not really interior design, either, or photography.
Anyway, enough about that. The story begins as I was moving in with my mother, helping her put away our things. She had way too many boxes for the space we had in the new apartment, but she still liked to pretend otherwise. The walls were stacked with boxes large and small, and the air smelled like fresh paint and cardboard. The two bedroom apartment was average sized for the suburban location, and it appeared to have been around since the seventies. The laminate countertops had been ripped out before we moved in, and I could still spot traces of the old pastel paint in little slivers on the walls.
"Laurence, you keep wandering around here with that mopey look on your face," said my mother. Her hair was the same color as Harriet's, and she wore a blue flannel shirt that she twisted together at her belly.
I rolled my eyes. "Mom, I'm putting away my stuff. How am I supposed to look?"
She shrugged, unwrapping some glasses from brown paper and tucking them away in our new cupboard. "It's a nice day out. Why don't you take a break from moving and go enjoy the sun? There's a park not far from here."
A park? I thought. What am I supposed to do there, go on the jungle gym? It was unusual for my mother to be giving suggestions on what I should do with myself. I was beginning to think that the divorce was giving a new shade to her personality.
"If you want me out, I can go," I conceded.
Her lips puckered in mild disapproval at my passivity. "The divorce is hurting you, I can tell. It's hard for your parents to break things off."
"I'm really not that bothered."
Again, she shrugged. "I'm just telling you like I see it, though I might be wrong. I just think a little sun would do you good. The summer is almost over and you'll be in school, stuck in classrooms all day. You should take advantage of the good weather while it's here."
"Mom, I never went out during summer before, anyway. I'd always stay inside."
"Oh, you can be so difficult sometimes. Go on, get some air. Your mother commands it."
Not having much to add, I did as she said.
It felt strange, walking down a street I wasn't familiar with. There was this looming feeling of dread, like I might end up walking towards a motorcycle gang when I just meant to head for the local convenience store. But the day was pleasant enough. The temperature had to be around eighty degrees, and I often saw minivans shooting past me on the main road with a gang of kids in the back. I thought of all the summers I had wasted being stuffed up in my room, and doing what? I could have been lounging on the river instead, or hiking in the woods. I guess it didn't help that all my friends stayed cooped up in their rooms as much as I did.
But they weren't gay. How could I enjoy myself at a beach, fantasizing about men while pretending to stare at bikinis?
I had never told anyone about my true sexuality. Looking at me, it would seem fairly obvious that I was just some loser kid that hung around in his basement and watched horrible zombie movies. I often wore black jeans and T-shirts bearing the logos of bands like Led Zeppelin or Iron Maiden. My hair was long, grown to around my shoulder blades, and slightly curly. If I ever told my friends that I was into playing classical music on the little piano that my grandparents had passed down to me, or that I enjoyed eating quiche and secretly watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, there's a high chance I wouldn't have any friends to speak of.
I've never dated. Common excuses were always that my standards were too high, or that I had just not met the right girl yet. My friends didn't date that often, anyway, and what girls they managed to cajole into going out with them would always end up breaking it off. One of my friends, Ben, has been with his girlfriend Jocelyn for a pretty long time. He was the type to write poetry, and she was a goth girl into A Perfect Circle and making elaborate shadow boxes. My other friends were your regular creeps-only dating a girl to get in her pants.
I often fantasized about the guys that most of your regular high school girls would have crushes on. I even fixated on guys who were known gays-the types that would attend the school's tolerance club and openly wear rainbow crap. I still didn't want people to know my secret, though. I figured that in another time, at another place, that I would let everything go and become the person that I really was inside. But here I was, still in my small town and living with my mother. I should have moved to some place like San Francisco or New York City, but I didn't. Even if I came out, who was to say that I'd even get a date?
Mulling on this, I passed the local park and watched as small children played on slides, monkey bars, and swings. A group of mothers were standing to the side, floppy straw hats protecting their faces as they chatted. Life seemed simpler when I was young. Sometimes I wished that I could go back to being a six or seven-year-old playing at the park with a few neighborhood kids. Instead I was a sexually frustrated teenager wondering what I was doing in a town of families and retirees.
I eventually reached the community pool. You had to pay to get inside, but as I circled around the concrete barricade, I quickly realized that I could sit on the bleachers for free and just watch people swim around. A few people were seated up there-mostly old ladies with too much red lipstick on-but they were towards the bottom where it was safer to ascend and descend. I climbed to the top towards a shadowed corner and leaned against the railing. A bunch of kids were lifting themselves out of the water and stampeding towards a few mothers holding out popsicles and juice boxes. A few of the grannies carefully waddled off towards the entrance to the pool to meet up with their families. On the other side of the pool, tearing off their clothes, were a whole different set of people. Mature, nubile people.
I slunk back into my seat as I observed a male swimming team disrobe and then leap into the partitions of the pool. Even when their bodies were partially obscured by the white peaks of splashes, I found it hard to not notice the beauty of their bodies. Their physiques were slim and shoulders broad from the repeated laps they did. I couldn't figure out why others hadn't figured out that this was the perfect place to sit and ogle. The stands were lacking in old greasy men, and only a spare few bored-looking elementary school kids scribbled in coloring books and played on their parent's smartphone. My cock tingled from the sight of all the young men, and I couldn't decide if I should have left at that moment or continued staring from my hidden place.
Of course, I didn't move a muscle. Was it fear at being caught walking away or just a mild hypnotism?
A portly man in blue shorts with a whistle around his neck prowled at the edge of the pool and shouted encouragement every few minutes. I envied the man, momentarily considering a scheme towards becoming a swimming coach myself. He seemed to honestly be interested in the swimmers, however, and the kind words he'd spout made me strangely feel a bit more encouraged about the day.
"GOOD GOING, LEON, KEEP GOING!"
"KEEP THAT STANCE STRAIGHT, NIKOLAI!"
"PAUL, GOOD ENDURANCE!"
The coach eventually blew the whistle and the boys climbed out of the pool. Twelve of them stood there in black speedos, their hair luxuriously wet and toned bodies gleaming in the sunlight. The sight of them was, for me, like the full spread of Thanksgiving dinner to a starving child. The last of them to get out was the most beautiful of them all: he was tall, had long black hair, possessed a pleasant combination of fat and muscle on his bones, and was blessed with the most beautiful turquoise eyes I'd seen in my life. Even from the bleachers, a good thirty yards away, it was evident that his eyes were more sparkling than any gem.
He lined up with the rest of them and listened to the coach talk. About what, I wasn't certain, but I felt eerily out in the open now that the entire team was above ground and able to rove their eyes beyond more than someone else's paddling feet. Thinking that I was pushing my luck, I decided to quickly and quietly make my way down the metal seats and walk towards the exit out. There was a convenience store further down the road, and I planned on trekking down there to get a frozen drink before heading home. As I was leaving, though, I noticed that the boy with the beautiful eyes was watching me. When we made eye contact and he shot me a playful grin.
I responded by simply ignoring him and disappearing behind the concrete wall as quickly as I could. As soon as I was behind the barrier, I leaned against it and tried to get myself together. I looked down at my pants to make sure that I wasn't pitching a tent, and rearranged my cock so that my erection was well hidden. I wished that I could dip myself in ice cold water to make the overwhelming hormones pumping through my body cool down. Images of that boy flashed through my mind-his tanned abs, white smile, strong thighs, the way his goggles laid lazily against his chest...
I forced myself to walk, hoping that the activity would flow some of the blood from my dick to other areas of my body. I tried spotting the more ugly patrons of the park, hoping that it would help, but also feeling guilty about what I was doing.
I wondered over and over in my head on why the boy had smiled when he'd seen me. Was he just being friendly? Had he thought that I was someone who he knew? The idea that he was gay was out of the question to me. Even if he did like men, there was no way that he was into a pasty-white, skinny guy like me. When I thought of gays, and the guys that gays were into, I never saw myself as part of that equation. I didn't wear rainbow bracelets, didn't dress in fashionable clothing, didn't watch musicals, didn't work out, and most certainly did not give off what most would refer to as a 'gay vibe.' The gayest thing about me was that I looked at pictures of naked men.
Okay, maybe watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians was kind of gay.
I walked to the convenience store, paid for the slushy, and then continued to fantasize about the mystery swimmer as I went home. Mom was still putting things away as I walked through the front door, though her eyes were plastered to some daytime talk show.
"Enjoy the walk?" She asked.
"Yeah," I said, clearing my throat. "It was nice."
"Good." She smiled. "See, I knew that you would get a lot of good out of enjoying the sunshine."
I ambled to my room, musing to myself about how she had no idea how right she was. I would probably never see the boy again, considering that I was too cowardly to be identified again at the pool. Still, I stored the image of him in my mind, slipping my hand down my pants as I laid down on my bed. I tugged on the zipper, and pulled my stiff cock from my grey boxer briefs.
"Fuck," I mumbled, taking in the engorged sight of my dick. I'd only seen it so stiff a few times in my life, and playing with it in my hands, it felt like it was made of stone instead of flesh. I imagined using one of those stalls for changing with him, placing my lips on the cock of the boy at the pool. I stroked with more speed as I imagined him digging his hands into my hair and moaning my name as I sucked his cock down into my throat. His tight black speedo would be shoved down to his knees, and the only thing on both of our minds would be the explosion of release.
"Oh God Laurence, yes... Laurence..." He'd moan.
My first class the next day was Calculus. Why I had chosen to study math at 8 a.m., I couldn't say. Attempting to remember what I'd learned in Trigonometry and Algebra II while also attempting to stay awake was a challenge that I barely managed through. I'd at least been alert enough to respond during roll call when the professor got to 'P,' my last name being Perlith. Driving through the labyrinth of people at the crack of dawn in order to find a parking spot also required more brain power than I was probably qualified to handle.
Despite my lack of direction, I was a bit of an honor student in high school. Because I had passed the AP English test before graduating, I didn't have to take a basic English class at the community college. So instead of taking some kind of technical writing class for credit, I decided to study Russian Literature. I couldn't say why I took a particular interest in the Russians. The name of the course sort of jumped out at me, and I enjoyed a challenge. Before showing up for that class, however, I met up with some friends in the quad.
Hey man where u at?
A text message from Rusty. I was a mere twenty feet away from where we were supposed to meet before he asked the question. Impatient little neckbeard.
Behind you asshole, I responded with my flip phone.
Rusty turned, a happy smile on his fat face. He had a thin beard growing out and was dressed in black, like me. A Giants cap was on his head and his T-shirt traced over his beer belly.
His hoarse voice croaked out to me, "Sneaky bastard."
My two other friends were there, as well. Henry was about as skinny as me, but his face was covered in acne and he kept his head shaved. My other friend Ben had a more normal body type and wore jeans, a white T-shirt, and a hoodie. The weather was still relatively pleasant at around eighty degrees, but he still insisted on wearing that beaten grey thing.
I greeted each of them by slapping hands, and then we started talking about our classes.
"I don't know what you were thinking taking a math class at eight in the morning, bro," said Henry. "I could barely take an art class at that hour, let alone deal with numbers."
I shrugged. "You have a class soon?"
"Yeah, at 10:15. Accounting. Gag me. I'm only taking it because my dad forced me to."
Rusty lit a cigarette and sucked on the end. Some passing students glared at him, and each of us eyed him with a mixture of reverence and fear. We wouldn't be caught dead smoking at our high school.
"Are you allowed to do that here?" Asked Ben.
"I guess I'll find out," responded Rusty with a smirk before tapping some of his ashes away into the wind.
The four of us sort of took in our surroundings, wondering if an administrator or teacher would give us crap. Some attractive girls wearing mini skirts passed us instead. They were decked in full makeup for their first day of school and their hair was carefully flat-ironed or curled. I caught the eyes of Henry, Rusty, and Ben glaze over.
The inevitable, "I'd hit that," emerged from Henry's lips.
"Yeah, who wouldn't," said Rusty.
"College girls or high school girls?" Implored Ben.
We all took a minute to mull on it. I forced myself to spit out, "I try not to discriminate."
"Yeah, right!" Said Henry. "You've got less game than even Rusty. At least Ben let him sniff his finger."
I let out a small laugh. Ben checked his watch at the mention of the comment and said, "Hey guys, now that you mention it, I've gotta meet up with Jocelyn. She's probably just gotten out of her pottery class."
"You're her little bitch now, huh?" Asked Rusty with a smile.
He returned the smile. "I'd use another word for it, but we can go with that."
"Well, don't pussy out and start listening to N*Sync or some shit!" Said Henry. "Then we really will have to tar and feather your ass."
"Hey, you know she's not lame like that," Ben responded.
"Yeah, she likes that Perfect Circle shit."
Ben shrugged. "Nothin' wrong with that, as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, I gotta go. See ya, losers."
"Bye, Ben," we all said.
"I probably gotta go, too," I added. "I've got English next."
"Sure. See ya, Laurence." Rusty stubbed out his cigarette on the ground and began walking away with Henry in the opposite direction of me.
As I went, I wondered how long I would be friends with them all. I was glad that my main group of friends were about as motivated to do something with their lives as I was, but would we grow apart after time passed? I would probably transfer to some other university soon, but where would that be? I lived in suburban Southern California, but really had no urge to stay there, besides to reside near my mom. I always wanted to go somewhere more romantic to study, outside of the bubble that I grew up in. Southern California could have its charms, but could I say that I wanted to stay there? Not really. Perhaps if I were to pursue plastic surgery, it wouldn't be such a bad idea.
I walked into my next class about five minutes before it was scheduled to start and noticed that it wasn't quite full yet. There was a mix of guys and girls seated, though it leaned more towards a female majority. The professor handed me a neon-green handout when I passed her, and she sent me a fresh smile. She looked to be in her thirties, and she wore a light summer blouse with slacks. Her short red hair was curled and she wore a shade of red lipstick that demanded attention. Based on her looks, I decided to judge her as agreeable enough. From my experience in high school, you could usually judge the character of an instructor by the feeling they gave you on the first meeting. This woman seemed respectful but also a bit on the foxy side.
I took a seat towards the back, the places next to me being empty. I noticed that the professor had written her name on the board-Dr. Tanya Ninvosky. I felt bad for her, realizing that she had a PhD in her field but was only working at a measly community college. At least she had a job. I knew that a lot of the humanities majors were having a hard time finding employment. Then the thought of my own future struck me... What would I do with my life? If I was being honest with myself, the class that I really looked forward to that day was the intermediate piano class. But playing piano didn't really pay the bills.
I looked over the papers she had handed out next, recognizing that it was a syllabus. I was new to college life and interested in the class, so I devoured the information printed therein. She seemed like a challenging teacher based on the way she described her grading standards. I shouldn't have expected any less of a class centered on Russians.
"Welcome to Russian Literature!" Dr. Ninvosky announced brightly as she ventured to close the door. Before she could shut it, however, one last student slipped through the crack. At first sight of him, I simply denied who it was. But at a second glance, the breath was taken out of my lungs.
It was the boy from the pool.
He was just as beautiful as I had remembered him. He wore a dark blue v-neck shirt and pants that were just tight enough to show off the alluring curves underneath. His dazzling blue eyes were just as radiant as the day before, and his black hair was glossed back. The backpack slung over his shoulder hung casually and I noticed that I wasn't the only one who appreciated his beauty. Dr. Ninvosky handed him her syllabus and half the girls in the class straightened themselves up, hoping that he would venture near them. When he split into an aisle to find a seat, I noticed that he had chosen one that was near me.
Oh God, please don't sit next to me, I thought. I'm already uncomfortable enough as it is, don't do this...
There was a blonde girl sitting in front of me that I thought he might have been going for instead. As he passed one seating space after another, my anxiety lurked up on me even further. He wasn't looking at me as he traveled, which suggested that he wasn't putting much thought into where he was going. Still...
He passed the girl in front of me. There was a red-hot moment when my nerves rumbled with panic.
Pass me, pass me, there's a spot behind me.
With relative speed, he threw his light backpack under his desk and sat down. Right next to me.
Damnit! Why did he do that? What's he doing here? Maybe it's just a coincidence. Maybe he just wants to sit next to a guy, and avoid any drama that might happen by sitting next to a girl. Maybe he wants to just check out everyone from the back of the class. Kinda like I had wanted to do with him when I saw him walk in.
I didn't look at him when he took his seat. In fact, I was rigid as a brick wall, staring ahead and trying to act as passably cool as possible. I found myself controlling my own breaths in a nice, even pace. I couldn't tell if this made me look more or less conspicuous.
"As I was saying, welcome to the class!" She continued. "I'm glad that you chose Russian Literature this semester. You're all some of the few students not intimidated by long, decades-old foreign novels. How many people here have read a novel by a Russian author?"
A few in the class hesitantly raised their hands in assent. I couldn't really recollect if I had, but assumed that I hadn't. It seemed like something that one would remember rather easily.
"Well, if you have, that really puts you ahead of the class! Because these novels are often so long, I'll only be able to go over one piece for the entirety of the semester. How many of you have heard of an author named 'Leo Tostoy?'"
One in the class raised their hand.
"Okay," she mentioned cautiously. "There's no problem with that! How many here have heard of the book War and Peace?"
Many hands shot up after that. I had heard of the novel only because I knew a movie was made based on the written work. I didn't raise my hand, though. I'm not the kind of person that gets full marks on class participation.
"Great! Yes, Tolstoy wrote that epic novel. It's actually one of the longest books ever written, and considered by many to be one of the most important books of world literature."
I noticed that the class took on a more severe air. I momentarily wondered if War and Peace was what we'd be reading for the next five months, but didn't remember seeing the title in the syllabus.
"Although War and Peace is a wonderful book, it isn't what we're going to be studying. Instead, we're going to be reading a shorter novel by Tolstoy, though the page count is still easily around the eight hundred range. How many of you have heard of Anna Karenina?"
Most of the girls in the class raised their hands. I assumed that they had heard of it because of the Keira Knightley film. A boy near me raised his hand, also.
"For those that haven't, it's Tolstoy's other famous novel, centering around the Russian aristocracy once again. It's a book about duty, and what happens when carnal desires and passion interrupt with what is expected by society. It's a very good book, if I say so myself, and I think that it should be a fun read for the rest of you as well. I'll give you all a week to get it, since I know most of you will probably order it off of the Internet or something. Take these handouts in the meantime, it should be the first thirty or so pages of the book."
She turned to lug the big pink stack off of her desk and began distributing them.
"And don't mark them up!" She hollered. "There might be writing on them already, but those aren't supposed to be there. I'm saving them for the next class, so show a little respect!"
I took my copy and briefly flipped through the pages. The first line of the book really caught me, though:
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
I mused on the statement, thinking that the comment reflected more on Tolstoy than on families. Still, I'd never before read an opening to a book that was so intriguing. Maybe Dr. Ninvosky wasn't pulling our legs about how great this book was.
"Before I call roll and let everyone go, I want to give you all one task," she announced over the chatter. "Everyone, listen! I need you all to find one person, or even multiple people, to exchange information with. This is so that if one of you is missing from class, the other can fill you in on what was missed. So get to it, find a person to exchange numbers, or emails, or Facebooks, or whatever it is that you kids do."
That stiffness slipped back into my muscles again. The girl that was sitting in front of me had already found someone else diagonal to her to exchange her information with. I didn't want to turn to the boy with the beautiful eyes, but felt that it would be too socially awkward if I didn't. When I looked to him, he was still reading a bit of the handout that the professor had given us. I felt my heart warm to him when I saw him reading the text. Most people grudgingly go along with English classes, some barely passing them. That he seemed about as interested in the book as I was put him in a good light for me, outside of... you know. Desiring him.
When he sensed that my eyes were on him, he stopped reading and sent a cool smile.
"Hi, so you want to exchange numbers? You want my email address, too?" He asked.
"Yeah, sure, that'd be cool," I responded, trying to brush off any suggestion that my feelings were more than lukewarm for him.
He started scribbling on a corner of his syllabus and then tore off the paper. As I was finishing up my own information, he handed me the scrap of paper. His handwriting was sleek, small, and carefully proportioned. He could have been a comic book letterer, with how nicely he wrote out things. On the paper was his name, number, and email address. More information than I ever thought I'd know about the attractive boy from the community pool.
His name was Silas Rodriguez.
"Cool," he mentioned, tucking the paper I had given him into his pocket. "So you won't mind if I give you a ring if I don't understand this Tolstoy stuff?"
I felt the impulse to swallow nervously. "Yeah, sure. I dunno if I'm the person to ask, though."
He shrugged, and Dr. Ninvosky began calling names for roll. Students began to shuffle down the aisles and out the door after affirming their presence, and I internally figured that Silas and I wouldn't be called until a queue of others had gone out first.
"I don't know why I took this class," he mentioned. "Maybe I got into more than I could handle."
"Why do you say that?"
"Don't know, even the name of the course sort of scared me. Maybe I wanted to see if it was really as bad as I thought it'd be."
"You should give it a shot." I couldn't believe that I was forming sentences without stumbling or spitting out nonsense. "I don't think it should be too hard. From what I read in the handout, it doesn't seem that hard. And we have a long time to get through it."
He nodded, seemingly convinced. "Maybe you're right."
"PERLITH!" Shouted Dr. Ninvosky. "PERLITH!"
"Here!" I responded. I turned to Silas again, not sure why, but he was turned away and focused on the pink handout again. I gathered my things and made my way for the front door, wondering what the hell had just happened.
When I got home at around three in the afternoon, a piece of lettuce from my drive-thru taco was still annoyingly stuck to my mouth. The more important issue, however, was my younger sister. I was surprised to see Harriet pacing in front of the apartment with a dismal look on her face. When I took the parking spot right in front of her, she sped towards the passenger seat and got in. Though she was dressed just as beautifully as she normally was, I couldn't shake the feeling that a black cloud had followed her.
"What's going on?" I asked her.
"Where have you been?!" She demanded. "Mom and I have been trying to call you for hours. She told me I had to stay here and tell you to drive me to the hospital."
"What? What is going on?"
"Why wasn't your phone on?!"
I paused, relaxing my tongue to respond as calmly as possible. "I had turned it off during classes. I didn't want any interruptions." It occurred to me that for Harriet, turning off her cellphone was like turning off her oxygen supply.
"Well, maybe you should have put it on vibrate or something, because there's a crisis going on right now. Dad got hit by a car."
"What?" I fired up the engine once more, then sped out of the apartment complex parking lot. "How did it happen? Is he at our normal hospital?"
"Yeah, you know where it is, right? Anyway, you know how he likes to care about the environment by riding his bike to work. Well, some asshole hit him, sped off, and left him on the side of the road."
"What the fuck."
I noticed that Harriet was hanging on tightly to the assist handle above the window, obviously concerned that she might be joining our father in the emergency room. I pulled my foot off of the gas a bit.
"Do you know what kind of condition he's in?"
"Not good, that's all I know. They might be in surgery with him right now."
I bit my lip.
When we got to the hospital and finally made it into the waiting room, my mother was sitting in a quiet corner and concealing her sobs with an issue of Better Homes and Gardens. The sight struck a cord in me, not just because I was heartbroken at seeing my mother upset. My father, a man she had been arguing with continuously for the past five years, was finally out of her life and yet still meant so much to her. Harriet immediately sat down next to her, and my mother just buried her head in my sister's neck. I hesitantly sat on the other side of my mother and put my arm around her.
"He'll be all right, Mom," said Harriet.
"The bastard!" She wailed. "Why the hell did he go and get himself hit by some heartless cretin? They left him there like roadkill!"
My sister and I traded concerned looks. The rest of the people in the waiting room-about five people scattered about-were trying to hide their interest in my mother's outbursts.
"When he wakes up, maybe he can tell us who did it," I suggested.
"For all we know, your father was acting just as lackadaisical as he usually does."
We waited for another three hours before being allowed to go in and see Dad. Harriet and my mother bolted next to his side while I remained more or less in the shadows. I could see from my selected spot that his face was ivory and that he had giant casts on his leg and arm. He gazed up to the faces of the two most important women in his life slowly, the look on his face dreamy. I assumed that he was on a lot of drugs at that point in time.
"Freddy, you bastard!" My mother announced to him, her face becoming soggy with fresh tears. He formed a weak smile.
"Dad, are you okay? How are you feeling?" Asked Harriet.
"I'm okay," he announced, "Not dead yet."
Mom and Harriet doted over him for the next hour, asking how he was and what had happened at the time of the accident. He was a bit shaky on the details, only identifying the vehicle that had hit him-a white luxury SUV. A kind samaritan had stopped to call for help, but they also had not seen who had committed the crime. I listened with interest, but didn't really involve myself in interrogating him. I wasn't really the type to participate in gossip.
It was around eight forty-five when one of the nurses announced that it was time to leave our father so that he could rest. I was about to depart along with Harriet and Mom when my father called my name.
I stopped and turned. "Yes?"
"Come here, son. I want you."
I approached his side and looked down at him. His face was more beat up than I had originally realized-there were three butterfly bandages on his forehead and a portion of his deep brown hair was shaved off to put in stitches. I put my hand on his cold one and wrapped my fingers around him.
"How was school? Did you enjoy college?"
The question threw me off for a moment. "Oh, yeah. It was fine."
"Good, good... Have subjects that you liked?"
"Yeah, they were all good." The thought of my piano and Russian literature classes came to mind.
"Hopefully you'll figure out what you want to do soon enough."
"I lied to your mother and sister a bit. I didn't want them to worry too much over me."
"What are you talking about?"
"I'm an old man, Laurence. It's harder for me to recover from things. None of you saw the bandages because they're under my gown, but I was gutted pretty hard from a pole. I barely lived. That woman who helped me had some basic medical training, otherwise I wouldn't be here."
I stared at him, the breath taken away from me. Why was he laying this on me? I certainly didn't want to know!
"The point is, Laurence," he started up again, "it made me realize that I lived the wrong way. I had the wrong job, the wrong woman, the wrong life. I should have just done what I wanted, what was right for me."
The wrong kids? I wondered with darkly.
"I shouldn't have become an accountant. When in my youth, I loved taking pictures. I thought that it was too expensive to become a photographer, so I did something more responsible. I shouldn't have married your mother, either, though it's completely my fault. Have you heard of the term 'settling?'"
"Yes, Dad." I was starting to get a little creeped out on where this conversation was going, though I could understand what my father was trying to get across to me.
"She would have been a lovely woman for someone else. I held it together with her because I thought that I couldn't have any better. I ignored the signs, and went ahead with my plan to wed her, anyway. The biggest mistake of my life."
He had stopped talking, and I noticed that there was a silence that he expected me to fill with words.
"I see," I said.
"Your mother and I have always known you to be a different kind of boy."
The statement made me feel very tense and anxious, as if he were accusing me of something. Did he know I was gay? If so, how? I didn't even live with the man any more.
He continued, "With the way you dress, your way of avoiding 'the popular people.' You never took up sports and always sat in your room. I think there's something inside you that's special. Whatever it is, I think you should pursue it. Don't do it like I did, Laurence."
I swallowed, wondering if his statements were a shadowed allusion to my sexuality. Knowing my father, the well-meaning narcissist, he probably only imagined me as a young and fresh version of himself.
"I'll try, Dad," I responded.
When he stared into my eyes, moist from his own sentiments, an emotion passed through me that my father had never inspired before. It was a rare bonding feeling.
"Hey!" Called Harriet. "What are you guys doing in there? They want us to leave."
I pulled my hand away from him and turned to my sister. "Sorry, I'm coming!" As I went to shut the curtain around my father, I said, "Love you, Dad. I hope you get better soon."
"Me, too," he responded.
By the time my mother and I had gotten home, we both felt like a tsunami of shock had passed over us. We were relieved to not have been swept away, but also in awe over what we had just survived. Losing my father would have been a hard blow to each of us, even though my mother had recently divorced him, and I wasn't exactly close to him. He had still been married to my mother for twenty years, and I was his only son.
Mom retreated to her room without having dinner. I asked her if she needed anything, or if she just wanted my support, but she declined. I worried about her, as I always did. I wanted to know that she was okay, that life could be stable even if there were bad things going on around us. It felt hard to do that as her son. I was the passive party, while she was the provider. I couldn't give her the feeling that she had wanted to give me since I'd left the womb.
I made a sandwich for myself and watched some television on the flat screen to get my mind off of things. A beer would have been great, too, though I still had a certain nagging feeling about my mother later noticing beers missing from the fridge. She probably wouldn't have cared, however, given the circumstances.
The gears in my mind began turning at the last sentence. She would forgive me, and I was feeling terrible. So what was the harm?
I grabbed one and drank it down quickly. Then I drank another.
The things on television started to feel stupid and noisy as I advanced from buzzed to mildly drunk. I felt lonely, too, and I needed fresh air. I debated for a good five or ten minutes on whether I would leave the house or not. I did have school the next day, though not quite as early, and I probably should have just passed out on my bed while I had the drowsiness in me.
But then, being drunk, those silly words from my father snuck in my mind: "You never took up sports and always sat in your room."
No, wait. Not those ones.
"...I should have just done what I wanted, what was right for me."
Getting up from the dark leather sofa, I double checked that I had my keys in my jeans, and threw the empty can of beer in the recycle bin. Then, thinking myself a combination of sleazy and handsomely reckless, I grabbed one more beer from the fridge and wrapped it in the brown paper that my mother had been using to pack her belongings for the move. I made my way out the door without tripping and then locked it shut. The air was never so refreshingly crisp as then, perhaps because the house was stuffy from trapping the heat of the day. Drinking also had a way of making me appreciate fresh air. I didn't know what it was that made me feel happy about being out in the mild chill of the night.
I walked down some side streets, not wanting to make myself an easy target for a roving cop. I popped my beer and drank from it, happy, but wanting some direction on where I was going to finish it. I didn't want to go to the local elementary school because I wasn't familiar with it, though I knew of a skate park nearby. The skate park I crossed off for fear of druggie losers coming to bother me, or worse, cops.
Then the thought came to me: the good old community pool! People hardly ever hung around in the bleachers when people were swimming, let alone in the middle of the night. I could just go to my comfortable spot, gaze on the blue tranquility of the pool, and then get my ass home to sleep. It was perfect.
So I did just that, speeding up my pace and tucking my booze in my jacket as I crossed over to the main road, and eventually, to the pool structure. The place was quiet, even eery, and I carefully tip-toed up the steps to sit down. The metal seat was initially freezing cold on my ass, and I told myself to bring a cushion the next time I decided to go on a 'trip.'
It was serenely quiet at first, refreshingly so. The surrounding area was still and dark, though there were lights inside of the pool.
I thought about my life and school, oddly enough. When I had been in my piano class, it felt like magic to have my fingers on the keys. Nothing else could give me such a charge, and my father's advice to just pursue a career in what I liked to do seemed enticing. But what kind of a career was there in playing the piano? Working part time at a fancy department store a few times a week? I wasn't a master at what I did, only an amateur. Ritzy private schools didn't seem like a great option, either. My parents hadn't really saved for my college, and I wasn't gifted or athletic enough to have gotten a scholarship.
Maybe I could be a plumber instead. Or a doctor. Or anything practical that wasn't backbreaking. I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself. Music was the only thing that I could honestly say I enjoyed doing, but it seemed like such a huge risk to pursue it. I had heard that the music industry was pretty cut-throat, and I wasn't exactly someone with an image that appealed to the masses.
It was so difficult. I took another swig of my drink and decided to think about something else.
My dad. Who knew how serious the injury he had really was. He tried to play it off to my mother and sister like it wasn't a big deal, though I'm sure by now the doctor had told my mother everything she needed to know. Was he okay? He seemed okay. He wasn't hooked up to too many crazy machines in the hospital.
I decided not to worry about the matter, that my father was probably going to leave the hospital just fine. What worried me more was the idea that he could get into some other kind of injury, and kiss his ninth life goodbye. The idea of my father no longer living on this planet any more sent a hollow feeling to my body. Though I wasn't close to him, he was still one of the few lifelines that I had in this life. Three of my four grandparents were dead, and I had only a distant relationship with my extended family. And if my mother died as well, the anchor in my family would be gone. I'd be alone, basically, some gay guy without any links.
The thought scared me even more than the idea of never finding a mate. I couldn't keep the image out of my mind of my father being lowered into a hole in the ground while my sister and I stood over him, dressed in black. I held back some wetness in my eyes, knowing that my father was going to be just fine, but the creeping fear still haunting me.
A splash interrupted my thoughts.
I looked down, the sleek body of a man parting through the water. His body was long, back broad, and his hair was clamped tightly under a silicone cap. Tremors tickled my stomach when I thought that it might be him. My body immediately crept up towards the corner of the railing, trying to hide in the shadows. Could he see me from where I hid? There were some lamps scattered around the pool area, but none that I thought were too close to my position.
Some of the panic scraped off my mind when I accepted the fact that the person down there was far more interested in swimming than looking to see if someone was watching him. He started to do breaststrokes on one lap, then went to the other side with the butterfly. I watched him, sipped my beer, and peered at every visible clue to see if it really was the boy with the beautiful eyes. I had the strong suspicion that it was, but it might have just been an optimistic drunk delusion.
I noticed that there was a towel and blue water bottle by the diving boards. He swam for about twenty minutes, changing up his swimming style every once in awhile. When he started doing the backstroke, I felt my nerves tighten ever so slightly. I had taken a beginner swimming class as a young child, however, so I recollected that you didn't really see much when swimming that way besides the sky. I wondered if he was staring at the stars, trying to relax and get some aggression out. Why else would he have snuck into a public pool at midnight?
When he stopped at one end of the pool to pause and take a breather, anxiety crept up my spine. As he stretched the black goggles off of his eyes and laid them on his forehead, I knew. Though the lighting was dim, his face wasn't one that I would forget so quickly. It was Silas.
He reached for his water bottle and drank eagerly. I was paralyzed with the fear that he might see me, but also felt a rush of excitement that he and I were here on the same night. It felt oddly coincidental that we would show up at the same time. A romantic might call it fate.
What was my drunk mind thinking...
Anyway, when he placed his water bottle back down, he just floated there and looked around. This caused me to become paranoid that he'd spot me, so I wedged myself up against the darkness of my corner as much as possible. But because of a mixture of my anxiety and drunkenness, the half empty beer can slipped from my fingers. It went bouncing down the steps, one after another.
For every impact of the metal, I winced as if a dagger were being shoved against my belly. Silas noticed every time the can hit the bleachers, of course, and turned towards the structure in wide-eyed wonder. I hoped that maybe he wouldn't figure out that I was there. It was dark, after all, and I was wedged into a place that could have been a blind spot. Maybe he'd get scared of the noise, thinking that it was some crazy homeless person out here leering at him.
"Laurence," he stated simply, his voice clear and smooth. His expression was one of quiet disbelief.
I didn't respond at first, but eventually faced that the gig was up. "Hi," was all I could manage. I felt like a toddler that had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Silas made a brief grin. "What are you doing here?"
Play it cool. "Watching you swim."
He sent an incredulous look, then lifted himself onto the slab. His abs were strong and defined. Even when he leaned over, his stomach remained flat and firm. I was stimulated by the reveal of so much skin, but hoped that I didn't show it too much. Looking away was out of the question, but by directing my attention to him, I was arousing myself. His arms were as sculpted as his stomach without being too bulky, and his thighs were lithe and muscular. My erection began to poke upwards uncomfortably, and I told myself not to make any movements to alleviate it. Like I wanted to attract any attention to that area.
"Why don't you come down?" He asked. "Unless you're a sociopath. In that case, you should probably escort yourself out."
I smiled for him. "I can't-I don't know how to get in."
"Just climb the fence. It's not difficult."
"Well, I'm kind of drunk at the moment."
"Oh," he acknowledged. "That's what you dropped."
I didn't say anything, and could see that he was turning the gears in his mind on why I was sitting alone at a public pool drinking from a beer can.
"We could go somewhere else if you want," he suggested. "I was about to leave, anyway."
I couldn't tell what he was getting at. My mind was swirling with alcohol, but even then I couldn't believe that he was inviting me somewhere because he liked me.
I giant toad caught in my throat as I responded, "If you want, sure."
I stood on the other side of the fencing when he climbed over, my body still slightly numb over the whole idea of spending time with this boy. He had put his clothes back on, which were some acrylic black shorts and a grey pullover. It didn't seem to really matter what he was wearing-even catching the angles of his body in shabby clothes was like breathing in the fragrant scent of flowers.
"Did you drive here?" He asked, directing us up the ramp towards the parking lot.
"No, I walked."
"Oh," he responded. "So it'd be all right if I drove you somewhere and dropped you off at your house? You must live close to here."
"Yeah, just a few blocks," I mentioned. "I just walked over here because it was close and I wanted to be alone. I wasn't spying on you, or stalking you, or whatever."
He thought about it as we progressed up the walkway. "I didn't think you were, but I guess I didn't single it out. You were here the other day, too, weren't you?"
I swallowed. "Yeah. I was just..." Think of something, think of something. "...waiting for my nephew to finish his swimming practice. My aunt had texted me by the time I left that she was waiting for me in the car."
I licked my lips. "So you swim a lot?"
It felt like a stupid question the moment I'd uttered it.
"Uh huh," he said with slightly sarcastic grin. We approached the only car in the parking lot, an old beat-up BMW parked under a lonely street lamp. The grey paint was peeling on the boxy exterior and the seats had worn-out covers on them. He opened the driver side, hopped into his seat, then reached over to pull up the lock on my side.
"Old car," I stated as I snapped in my seat belt. "Must be from the 90s."
"More like the late 80s, I think," he responded. "I'm frankly surprised it's still running."
He turned the key on the ignition, and a tingling feeling passed through my body as we began to pull out of the parking lot. "So where were you planning on stopping at?" I asked.
His eyebrow flicked. "Well, I was hoping that you'd hang out with me a little bit. But if that's not something you want to do..."
A mild panic struck me. I couldn't tell if it was because I wanted to avoid offending him by rejecting his offer out, or because my insecurities were getting in the way. "No, I didn't mean it that way. I just wanted to know where we were going."
He paused as he stared ahead at the empty roads. "My aunt and uncle are out of their house, on a vacation to Hawaii. I thought we'd raid their fridge a bit. Is that okay with you?"
"Yeah, sure! That's fine. But is it okay if we go through their stuff?"
He shrugged. "That's what they told me. Not sure if they just said that hoping I wouldn't take them up on it."
"How far away is their house?"
"Not far. Ten minutes, maybe."
The air between us became quiet for a few moments. I felt that I should have sparked some kind of conversation between us, but was having trouble thinking of something.
"So have you always lived around Cedar Springs?" I asked.
"Not really. I moved here four years ago."
"Oh, where are you from?"
"A place called Opposition. You probably haven't heard of it."
Well, that's somewhere, I thought, more in reference to the flow of conversation than where he came from.
"Have you decided what you want to major in yet?" I continued.
"Dunno. Maybe engineering or something. Haven't really decided."
"Yeah, me too. I can't make up my mind."
He turned to me and snuck a grin. "You seemed pretty good at the Tolstoy stuff."
I gave a brief laugh. "On my first day of the class?"
"Sure. It seemed like you were interested in it, anyway."
"Nah... It wouldn't be good if I were into all that. You know English majors, never being able to get a job."
"I guess you have a point. I suppose it's why I'm taking engineering and math classes instead of art."
I was tempted to mention my interest in music, but held back as we rolled into the driveway of what I assumed was his aunt and uncle's house. Even in the dark, I could tell that the structure towered over us. A deck hung over a lawn that was carefully manicured and tailored with flowers. Silas got out of the car and sorted through his keys as he headed for the front door.
"I hope you don't mind-I need to do a chore or two while I'm here," he said as he turned the key. "I'm supposed to be house sitting and all."
"That's no problem," I responded.
As he turned on the lights in the foyer and then left me for the back door, it occurred to me once more that it was strange of him to have invited me to the house. Why would he want to hang out with me over some of his friends? Where were his friends, and why was he swimming in the middle of the night? So many questions, the answers of them driving my anxiety levels up. The logical and hormonal elements of my body were clashing with each other like a bloody medieval battle.
The house felt large on the inside. To my right was a twisting wood staircase that led the eye up to a cast-iron chandelier. The floor was a white color that looked to be marble, though I hadn't been around enough marble in my life to really know. As I traveled down into the living room, I saw large paintings of foreign places on the walls, and a giant flat screen television. A quiet fireplace was to the side, and through another passageway was the kitchen. I flicked a switch on the wall, bringing to light the stainless steel appliances and sleek granite countertops. I ventured towards the refrigerator, wanting to pop another beer open, but fearing that I might be judged for doing so. I opened the door hesitantly, only wanting to look at what kind of selection I had to work with, when Silas snuck up behind me.
"Looking for the booze?" He asked.
I turned, the sight of his body close to me. The proximity was enough to make me want to melt into a puddle.
I laughed off his suggestion. "I hope you're not judging me."
"No, it's fine. You weren't drinking too much when I found you, were you?"
"No, just the can I had..." Such a liar I was.
"Good, because they're loaded with alcohol. You want a beer or one of those fruity drinks they have?"
The choice almost felt like a question on how I identified myself. "Just a beer is fine."
"Cool, go ahead and grab it. And get me one of those strawberry lemonade ones."
I smirked to myself. He sounded so confident when he said it that, even in a house alone with him, I doubted the murkiness of his sexuality. I grabbed the bottles and then followed him down to the living room. He grabbed the remote and turned the television on, though the volume was kept rather low. The channel he chose was ESPN, the show SportsCenter.
"How long have your aunt and uncle been gone?" I asked as I handed him his fruity drink.
"A few days. Why they chose to go during August instead of December or something, I don't know."
I nodded. "Must be nice, with a house all to yourself."
He took a healthy swig of his drink before responding, "You'd be surprised."
I turned to him. "Oh?"
"I'd rather not get into it right now."
I took a sip of my own drink, feeling foolish for inadvertently touching a nerve.
"So why were you really at the pool?" He asked casually.
"I just needed to get away for awhile. There are some issues going on at my house right now. I wanted the fresh air, and knew that the pool would probably have been empty."
"Oh," he responded, drinking more. "Didn't want to go somewhere else, like the woods?"
"I didn't really think of it. I knew that the pool had a place I could sit, at least. Why do you ask?"
"Just curious," he answered. "Why did you agree to hang out with me?"
"I don't know," I smiled. "Because you asked me, I guess?" The comment was a stupid one, I knew. Not only because it came off as rude, but also because it might have hurt his feelings.
"Oh, I see," he said sarcastically. "You let just any guy drive you to an empty house at one in the morning?"
I swallowed. What was he suggesting?
"Cat got your tongue?" He asked before swallowing down the rest of his drink. "Laurence, I saw you watching me the other day. You were staring."
I looked him in the eyes like an animal caught in the gaze of a predator about to pounce.
"Why do you look so shocked?" He asked. "You act like I ganged up on you with a group of my friends."
"I'm just..." I started, "I'm just not used to this. To being with men." I hoped that I had just let known something that wouldn't get me scorn. The gig was up, right? In a good way?
He grinned at me, placed his bottle down, and then sunk back into the cushions of the sofa. "You're so cute."
My dick became hard at the comment. "If you say so." The bottle in my hand was still half full. I drank more, not wanting my hand to warm the fluid inside. The anxiety I felt began to melt away, however slowly. "Do I really seem that gay?"
"You? As far as style, perhaps not. But by the way you looked at me? I'd say so."
"And how did I look at you?"
He made a slow smile. "Like a man who has not eaten in a very long time staring at a juicy piece of steak."
I froze, not knowing if I should make some kind of move at that comment. I knew he was the one in control, but I still wanted to feel like I wasn't some child to be played with. "So you called me over here to fuck you?"
He laughed lightly. "Only if you want to. What do you look like under there, anyway?"
I felt myself tense again. Was this guy a creep? I may have been gay and horny, but I didn't like the way he was making me feel. A bunch of feelings began tumbling into my brain-that I should have just come out to begin with and avoided predators like this guy (however beautiful he was), that I didn't need to lower myself to this kind of cheap sex, that I wasn't even ready for the kind of varsity level sexual activity that he was probably talking about...
"Nothing special," I answered, downing the rest of my beer.
"I don't believe that," he responded.
"Nothing but skin and bones. You probably wouldn't get anything out of it. It'd be embarrassing."
His eyebrow flicked again and he sat up. "Something the matter?"
Fuck it, I thought. I could wait for someone better, even if the temptation to give in to this guy was killing me. "Silas, I don't think I'm ready for what you brought me here for. I think you know what you were doing when you... Chose to bring me here."
"Of course I knew what I was doing," he responded. "I saw you sitting in those bleachers, and knew that there was something special about you. Why else would we see each other in the middle of the night at some deserted rec area?"
I held my tongue for a moment, not knowing whether he was playing with my emotions to get my guard down. "I don't want to do anything with someone that I'm not comfortable with."
"You don't trust me?"
"I barely know you."
"I wouldn't do anything to you that you wouldn't want to do. If you want to leave, I could drive you to your home right now. We could forget that all of this ever happened. I could just see you in that Russian literature class, and ask you about assignments that I missed."
Now that he disclosed the other side of it, losing him felt like a stab at me. I didn't like the way he had presented himself, but I also wanted to give him a chance. I scooted closer to him.
"How many men have you been with?" I asked.
The question seemed to amuse him. "A few."
"Come on," I egged him. "That could be anything."
He hesitated before answering, "Three."
"Three boyfriends or three... 'friends with benefits?'"
Silas laughed. "Why does this matter?"
"I just wanted to know you better."
"Laurence, I think you need to relax a bit. You don't need to be so suspicious. I came here to have a good time with you, not to take advantage of you."
I looked into his face, his relaxed features giving me some reassurance.
"How many have you been with?" He countered.
"Shouldn't it be obvious?"
I paused before answering, "I've never been with anyone."
"Not even a woman?"
"No one," I responded. "I've been out on a group date before, but that's all."
"Is that why you're getting tense? Because you don't want this to happen too quickly? You don't want to feel used?"
I licked my lips, a tangy layer of beer still on my lips. "I guess."
An electric feeling passed through my body when he placed his hand on my shoulder. "Just trust me."
The hand that was on my shoulder slid along my neck and up to my face. We stared into each other's eyes as he brushed his fingers through my long hair. I sighed, leaning into his hand and letting the tension escape me.
"This isn't so bad, is it?" He asked.
I shot him a wry grin. "Trying to butter me up before you stick me?"
He laughed. "I don't usually use butter when I stick people, but if that's your preference..."
I knelt in slowly, my heart pounding as I realized that I was about to lean into my first kiss. This boy was a bit of a scoundrel, and perhaps too confident for his own good, but he was also gorgeous and irresistibly charming. The moment our lips touched, it felt like my mouth was the epicenter for a wave of pleasure. I'd never before experienced such calm and splendor in one action, and felt regret for thinking that I should hide myself away from Silas. I began to understand him and why he might have been so forward-why wouldn't you want to have this feeling with someone else if you could have it? Why did anyone care about anything but the feeling that we were sharing?
I felt dizzy when he pulled away, almost like tiny bells of light were floating above my head. I knew I hadn't had that many beers, and unless Silas had somehow spiked my drink, I must have been having some kind of lust-spawned ethereal moment.
"Did you like it?" He asked, his eyes lazy with confidence.
There didn't seem like any kind of proper answer besides, "Yes."
I had wondered if television and books were exaggerating when they described what it felt like to find your first love. Even though I had only known Silas briefly, I was crazy about him. He was irresistible in his confidence, his beauty, his youth... I had this feeling, though, that the moment would not last. Someone as special as him was not meant for the likes of me. To think otherwise would be to fool myself. I decided to try my best to remember that night because I assumed that something as wonderful would not happen again. People like Silas didn't make marriage vows to people like me.
"I can tell that you're a beautiful guy under those clothes, Laurence," he said as his cool blue eyes stared into mine.
I wanted to laugh it off, and did, though I knew his comment was nakedly honest. I wasn't really accustomed to people who were bluntly sexual (outside of crude, degrading jokes), especially when their comments were directed at my appearance. I was caught off guard by his statement, and didn't know whether to affirm him, thank him, or just brush it off. I kind of hated myself for my stumbling tongue, wishing that I had gained some kind of game in my younger and more forgivable high school years.
"It's the truth," he smiled, giving me a play-punch. "You don't give yourself enough credit.
Phew, I thought. He took my laughter as humility rather than as being pathetic. "You might be surprised. I might have a thick black carpet on my chest and cellulite on my ass."
Silas fell back and had a laugh. "Oh, that's good, Laurence."
"Just letting you down easy," I smiled. "Wouldn't want to surprise you."
He stared at me like a lounging panther, his perfectly youthful face intoxicating to look at. "I'd like it if you surprised me."
He laid back on the couch, his eyes taking on a dangerous element. I knelt down slowly to kiss him once more, and before I could gain much stability in what I was doing, he was pulling me down onto him. The smell of him, even with the layer of chlorine present on his skin, was like breathing in the very beauty of him. I held myself up with one arm on the soft cushion of the couch while trying not to let my groin dip low enough to make contact with him. I kissed deeply, letting myself have him. I touched through his soft hair and let my chest lay on his. Being so close to him was what I thought it felt like to be a wax candle that is slowly melting. I felt like I was the flame of the candle, beaming with a sweet glow.
He wrapped his long hands around me, teasing my back with his touches. At first his palm simply swirled around the flat plane of my back, not venturing into dangerous or questionable territory. The touches were sweet, comforting. But then, as he grew more adventurous, his fingers slipped under my thick hoodie and T-shirt, feeling at the hot, soft skin underneath. I moaned lightly into his mouth, wanting to lose myself and rub my cock against him. He groaned in return to my needy babble, as if we were communicating our desires and needs. He bucked up to me, swinging one leg up onto the furniture, and I began to lose the strength to hold myself up. Our cocks would touch briefly, but for every moment of ecstasy, I wanted to pull back and hold on to the slow burn that we were building.
When his palm eventually slipped down and over the space separating my spine from my ass, I cried out.
"Are you okay?" He breathed, his face flush with red.
"Yeah, yeah... I'm just..." I took a moment to breathe, "It just shocked me."
He made a quick grin, then used his strength to move me aside and position himself over me. "Do you like that I shock you?" He asked.
I couldn't help but just let myself spill whatever was on the tip of my tongue. My arms flailed back, and feeling like jelly, I didn't make eye contact when I stated, "Yes, so much yes. I love how you shock me."
He seemed taken aback by my comment at first, but continued nonetheless. "What if I shock you like this?" His groin lowered exactly in the correct position for our cocks to make sweet contact through our clothes. My eyes tightened shut in pleasure, my back arching.
"I want you to fuck me." I whispered.
Although I didn't see it, his face slacked in sexual gratification. He began rubbing up against me slowly, the roll of his rhythm like a small boat at sea. The pre-cum on the end of my cock began to wet my boxers, and I reached for a strong arm to rock back on him. The singular thought process on my mind was to grind into Silas, and grind as quickly and aggressively as I could. He seemed to take the same state of mind, holding my arms back and kissing me while he rammed his cock against me.
"Wait, wait, wait," Silas breathed, his voice taking on a more silky tone. "I set something up for us. Something nice."
I smiled, amused that he had thought ahead on something for little old me.
"Something fun," he continued. "I don't want to go too far without using it."
Silas sat up, picking up the empty bottles as he headed for the kitchen. "I got the jacuzzi started up in the back. That's okay with you, I hope?"
In a rare moment of bravery, I decided to say something daring. "Only on one condition."
Silas seemed intrigued. "Which is?"
Say it, say it, say it, I thought. "I want you to strip your clothes down to nothing. Right now."
He gave a brief laugh. "Is that all? That shouldn't be a problem."
Setting the bottles down, he faced me, quickly ripping off the grey sweater and shorts, letting them fall where he stood. His erection stood out thickly from his trimmed genital hair. When he turned back to get something from the fridge, I saw his firm, round ass in a way that only a day before I thought would never be a possibility in my life. I was glued to my seat, too shocked to move and flabbergasted at his beauty.
"Another beer?" He asked.
I didn't really want one, but would have affirmed anything he'd asked of me at that moment. "Sure."
Forcing myself to get up, I followed him across the room towards the sliding glass door that led to the backyard. It was dark out, and I didn't notice any of the neighbors' rooms having a light on in them. There were some small glowing lights embedded along a cobblestone path that led to our final destination. The jacuzzi was actually well-hidden inside of a wooden gazebo, and there were plenty of bushy trees around to conceal us.
I watched as Silas stepped into the bubbling water, the light glow highlighting his subtle curves. Seeing his naked body from such an angle momentarily left me in awe. As soon as I snapped out of it, however, I felt like a bit of a coward for not removing any of my own clothes yet.
I stepped out of my jeans, looking to him as I did so. He stared at me like a satisfied bird of prey, his arms splayed out along the edges of the jacuzzi. The bubbles bounced around him, and his firm chest was displayed in such a way to be even more inviting and alluring. I felt a chill go through me as I pulled my shirt and jacket off. There I was, all hundred and thirty pounds of me. I was naked, thin, and long. My cock hung out like it was ready to hang some coats, and Silas stared at it with an amused look on his face. I nearly stumbled as I stepped my way into the hot water, and I believe it was more than the spa that made my body feel like it was on fire.
"You like jacuzzis?" He asked, not moving a muscle as his eyes roved over me.
I nodded. My cheeks must have been deep scarlet by then.
"Why don't you come over here?" He asked. "No need to keep your distance from me."
I floated over, sitting right next to him. My heart pounded at being in such close proximity to him, and in my heart I knew that things were about to begin again. My lips felt tart, begging to be kissed by someone so beautiful and soft. He stared at me as I lingered closer, the only sound between us being the bubbling of the jets. It felt so peaceful, so heavy.
I felt his breath on my face before I touched lips with him. My cock was too hard to bear-I couldn't take it any more. I was done with the foreplay, had enough with the teasing. I wanted to feel him against my dick. I swung myself on top of his lap, not able to help myself as the moans escaped my lips. Our members touched briefly as I floated on top of him, the feeling like tasting the most wonderful dessert made on the planet. He wrapped his arms around me, and we kissed each other like we were ravenously consuming the main meal.
His mouth was still sweet from the fruity drink that he had earlier, and I sucked on his lips as my tongue dipped in and out of his mouth. He moaned with such need as his hands wrapped around my hips. They soon slipped down to the sides of my ass, cupping my cheeks. I groaned as I bucked up against him, desiring so much to rub my cock against him.
When his fingers slid down towards my crack, I pulled back and gasped. He panted as he stared at me, a single gentle finger probing around the delicate flesh of my hole. I stared at those icy-blues of his as his fingertip circled around. I assumed he was trying to get my ass accustomed to the feel of a man's hand there.
"Feel good?" He asked.
I nodded, though I really couldn't say with confidence if I was answering truthfully.
"Ready for more?"
He did as I commanded, his long middle finger dipping in slowly between my pink flesh. I closed my eyes and let myself feel him touch me, leaning over to kiss him again as he stimulated me. I decided I liked this feeling he was creating for me. I loved the sensation of having some of the more sensitive portions of my body given to passion, my lips sucking tightly to his and my ass softly fucked. I began to ride him after a time, enjoying the sensation of him pleasuring my ass.
I'd never given that area of my body attention before, my ass. I wished that I had. It seemed to enhance every other sexual gratification I was receiving. I wondered why I had been so hesitant before about Silas, or about casual sex in general. I had this idea that casual sex was empty, or somehow didn't have the ability to be as pleasurable as sex within a committed relationship. How wrong I was about that.
Another finger slid next to my entrance, attempting to wedge itself inside with his middle finger. I moaned, but it wasn't exactly a pleasured one. I wasn't ready for anything much bigger than a single finger, and he picked up on that in my voice immediately. Instead, his other hand wrapped around my cock and began gently stroking. The touch couldn't have been more abrasive than the soft pet of a child's hand, and it drove me crazy. I wanted more.
I wrapped my hand around his, tightening his grip and moving with more speed. His finger dug into my ass in response, moving with the pace that I had set up. I noticed that I was sucking on his bottom lip harder, though I tried to keep conscious of the fact that I might be hurting him. I felt like my mind was melting as his hand gripped up and down my hard cock, using his thumb to stimulate that sweet spot underneath my head. My moans became more high pitched, and my head fell to his shoulder as I felt the buildup of my orgasm about to hit its cusp.
"Silas..." I let slip from my lips.
The boy with the beautiful eyes. Only a few days before, he was nothing more than the boy with the beautiful eyes.
A few more passes over my cock, and it was more than I could bear. My hot load shot out, and I groaned heavily into the pocket between his neck and shoulder. I couldn't help but let my nails trail across his back as my orgasm flowed through me, the feeling a cross between intense pleasure sprinkled in with a little pain. The pain wasn't from my ass at all, but the force of my semen exploding out of my cock. I'd never experienced anything like it. Silas let me do all of it, gently touching me as I went through the motions of spilling the last of my ejaculate.
I immediately felt guilty about spilling my load into his aunt and uncle's jacuzzi. There didn't seem any way about solving that little problem, the white goo already getting caught up in the swirl of the jets.
Silas pulled himself out of the water, the steam rising off his body in a thick layer. He let his head hang back for a moment, pieces of his hair clinging around his neck. His thick cock hung next to his thigh lazily, red and pulsing. I knelt on the step of the jacuzzi cautiously, not knowing if I was doing this whole thing right or if I was making a fool of myself. Between his legs, I lowered my face down to his member. I felt the wide palm of his hand press against the back of my head.
I had never been this close to another person's cock in my life, and I felt tremors race up my stomach as I neared to only a centimeter away from his dick. I decided to go about it slowly at first, letting the tip of my tongue lick along the top of his head.
"Ah, yeah, Laurence," he said, his head still flung back. "Nice and slow, just like that."
The words of encouragement were a comfort to me, so I put more enthusiasm into licking up and down the length of his cock and around the hole of his dick. I honestly felt silly doing this at first, imagining myself performing fellatio. But as time went on and things got more passionate, I began to shed those self-conscious feelings. When I held his cock in my hand, I felt the instinct to look up. We met eyes, and in the next moment, my mouth slowly lowered over his girth. I tried to use as much pressure as I could against his cock, wrapping my lips over my teeth. He seemed to enjoy it well enough, letting out high-pitched moans as I scaled up and down his member.
"Faster!" He commanded. "I'm about to come. Faster!"
I bobbed my head up and down on him until my lips began to feel numb. The effort was worth it, though-the shocking taste of hot, salty cum shooting into my mouth greeted me. Silas groaned from above, grabbing my hair and pulling me closer to him as he orgasmed. As soon as I felt that he had shot the last of his juice, I pulled off and swallowed.
He didn't look at me as he caught his breath. I didn't exactly know what to do with myself, so I backed off towards the other corner of the hot tub. Watching his body move as he breathed was a pleasure in itself, so I let my eyes lay on him as he collected himself. I tried to make myself remember every crook and curve of him, knowing that I'd recall those images again and again in the future.
He slipped down into the jacuzzi, then glided through the water towards me. Grabbing his drink, he took a brief swig before wrapping his arm around my waist.
"What did you think?" He asked. "It wasn't too bad, I hope."
"No, I liked it." I had a nervous tinge to my voice that annoyed me.
I wished that I could have just been more confident, but the honest fact was that I still didn't feel completely comfortable about everything that had just happened. Yes, it was great. I would never argue that sex wasn't amazing, especially with Silas. But was having it thrown at me like a curveball good? Was it the way I had envisioned it, was I at the appropriate comfort level appropriate for such a situation? I couldn't say. I didn't want to feel like I was complaining to myself. What happened was truly something most gay men would give their left arm to experience.
I mean, I had to admit it... The night was bordering on magical. I was nearly drunk when I had arrived at that pool on a whim, my ass on a cold bleacher as I sat with my thoughts. I'd never been with any man before, and who should show up in the pool but the boy who I had fantasized about since the moment I saw him. It occurred to me that I had to jump into adulthood at some point. Being pushed by a handsome boy wasn't the worst way to go.
I didn't know if the sentimentality was appropriate, but I laid my head to rest on his shoulder. He didn't seem to mind, continuing to sip down his drink and look up at the stars.
"I came in the jacuzzi," I mentioned. "Sorry about that."
He thought on it. "It's okay. I should have known better, jerking you off like that. I'll take care of it... Or maybe I won't."
I looked up to him, and he winked at me.
"Sicko," I chided.
"What you don't know can't hurt you, right?"
I laughed. "Super sicko."
He eventually finished his drink and I continued to ignore mine. We stepped out of the jacuzzi, shut it off, and then went to towel inside. It was already far too late to be a reasonable hour to be doing anything, so we got in the car and he drove me home. I felt anxious as we sat in the car together, perhaps even moreso than when we were sitting together on that couch. I wanted to make small talk with him, but I also didn't want to say anything that would turn him off from me. The pressure to impress him was mounting as the silence extended between us. The thought that he would also eventually know where I lived made me both jittery and excited.
"So you do this kind of thing all the time?" I asked as we drove done the empty main road.
"Not usually, though I wouldn't mind making a habit out of it."
I swallowed, not exactly knowing what he meant by the statement. I didn't want to infer too aggressively that I would like to spend time with him again. I also wondered if he meant that he wanted to be a sort of predator. "Yeah, I had a good time."
He turned, his blue eyes making contact with mine. "Yeah, I did too. Maybe we'll try to meet each other at the pool again?"
My lips perked up a little more happily than I would have liked. "Yeah, that'd be cool."
We pulled up to the road that turned into my neighborhood. I felt slightly ashamed to let on to him that I lived in an apartment complex, and I wondered if he judged me for it. As he stopped in front of my place, I checked my watch. 3:58 p.m. Damn, the time had flown.
"Thanks for the ride," I said.
"No problem. See you in Russian Literature?"
The air between us felt more pressured as we looked at one another. It felt right to kiss him, but all the impulses in my brain told me that it would be wrong to be so forward, giving the suggestion that I was clingy or annoying...
Instead, Silas knelt and kissed me delicately on the mouth. I responded to the kiss with more passion, even letting my tongue touch his. When we pulled back, he sent me a sweet smile.
I couldn't help it at that point. I had to ask. "So you'd like to see me again?"
He nodded. "Sure."
"Would you like to see me again... In a more public way?"
"What do you mean?"
"I think you know what I mean."
He sighed, and sat back in his seat. "I don't want to make any promises to you about anything. I don't want to tell you right now that I do, and then turn around and act differently."
I felt like the wind had been taken out of me when he said that. But I had to remind myself-it wasn't a no. In fact, his response was a pretty mature thing to say to me. He could have just lied to me.
"But," he continued, "would you like to exchange cell numbers? I know I gave you a phone number in the class, but it was my home phone. I could call you on the weekend, and we could see where this goes."
Okay, that statement made me want to run around in circles like an excited schoolgirl. I had to keep my cool, though. "Sure, that sounds good to me."
So he pulled out his smartphone and put my number in there. I didn't have my own phone around, and told him as much, so he sent a text to my number. Satisfied, I gave him one last kiss on the cheek and then got out of the car. He gave a brief wave and drove off. I didn't move from that spot for a few minutes, just stood there and took in all that had happened.
Silas Rodriguez... He seemed to like me, right? This wasn't just a giant farce? This must have spoken for the strength of my self esteem, but I could hardly believe that he had taken such an interest in me. I thought that it must be some kind of trick he was pulling, to use me and then discard me when he didn't need me any more. I sighed, hoping so much that that wasn't the case. I decided to keep my guard up for the time being, and not let myself trust too heavily in him.
It seemed unfair to me-he had been the one to pursue me, and even state that he would see me again. Yet I was still the one acting suspicious. I didn't know what was going on in my brain. Maybe I knew my place as someone 'under' him... But was that true, really, or was it something I had imagined? I began to wonder... Am I attractive? Am I desirable? Am I of equal worth to him?
I considered that only time would tell. Going back inside my house, everything was as I'd left it. I hadn't woken my mother by entering, thankfully, though I nearly tripped over some furniture and boxes on the way to my room. Throwing my coat off, I flopped over onto the bed, and then snuck under the covers. I would only be getting four hours of sleep that night. It seemed worth it, though. I hoped that I would have many nights of lost sleep in the future.
TO BE CONTINUED
If you want part 2, simply search online.