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Drew Payne

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About Drew Payne

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  1. The sixth and final part of His Story is up and can be read here:


    This story needs an ending, with coffee and muffins.

    Happy reading.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Drew Payne

      Drew Payne

      Thank you so much.

      You make me blush, that is such a high compliment, you'd recommend it to others.

    3. Timothy M.

      Timothy M.

      I need to get to those chapters I've missed.

    4. Drew Payne

      Drew Payne

      They're all up now, plus an afterword from me about writing it.

      Happy reading.

  2. Drew Payne

    Table Talk

    Ryan was already waiting for me, and he’d picked one of the outside tables. We always met up at the same coffee shop, and if I got there first, I’d choose a table inside, but if Ryan got there first, he’d always pick one of the tables outside on the square of pavement in front of the coffee shop. I went right up to the table and sat down opposite him. “Hello, Chris, I’ve ordered you a coffee and muffin,” Ryan said. “Thanks,” I said. “How did it go today?” “Not bad. It’s still not easy, but I think I’m getting somewhere now,” I said. “Good. Let me get the waiter’s eye, and we can have our drinks and muffins.” This had sort of become a regular date for us. Every other Wednesday morning at about eleven, I’d meet Ryan at this coffee shop, and we’d have a drink and a cake together. Ryan had suggested this; he said it would give me some company after each session. Every other Wednesday at ten o’clock, I’d see my therapist, Gill William, at her office just around the corner. Nina had found Gill William for me. She was a short and quiet-spoken lesbian who seemed to be able to understand anything. She never judged, no matter what I told her; she only nodded and would ask me a question that really made me think, that would help me open up more. I can’t say that my hour sessions with her were easy; she can get deep under my skin. But in the same way, I was beginning to feel good about these sessions. She had a way of putting things into perspective and helping me to see why things had happened and why I behaved the way I did. She didn’t make me cry; she didn’t go for the big show of emotions; she just helped me to think and to see things as they really were. Today hadn’t been an easy session, I’d finally told her about what had happened to me as a teenager with The Release Trust. I’d tried not to be over the top and all emotional. I tried to be calm, but telling my story was still hard. When I’d finished, we fell silent; she just sat thinking for a long and quiet moment before she said, “Oh, God, that must have been awful.” Her words were wonderful, as if someone had lifted a heavy weight off my back. It felt such a relief, and it felt so good. She had taken me seriously; she’d realised how bad it had been, but she hadn’t given me some crass answer about pulling myself together and getting over it or that I should be happy because I’m out of it now. It was Ryan’s idea to meet for coffee after my sessions with Gill William, but he never asked about them, except a general question about how they went. Instead, we’d talk about many different things. The strange thing was that these meetings really helped, too. They stopped me from going over and over what had happened in the session before, digging away at my own emotions and leaving me feeling depressed again. Ryan was always full of news about one thing or another. After the waiter had brought us our drinks and muffins, Ryan started to tell me about how far he’d got with his book. “Last week I emailed off the first draft to my editor, and already I’ve got notes back from her. I’m having to start a shitload of rewrites. She wants me to lift the tone of it. God, I thought that writing the first draft would be the biggest part. I was wrong on that.” I just sat there and looked at him as he talked. He was so attractive. Too often, I’d find myself thinking about him. I wanted to touch him and caress him, if not just to be with him. I loved this hour or so we spent together, only the two of us, every other week. It was so important to me. If I’d had my way, I’d have spent every hour of the day with Ryan. The problem is, there’s no hope of that for me; the most I’ll get from Ryan is friendship. Only the second date after we started meeting like this, after I’d started my sessions with Gill William, Ryan told me all about Zachary, his new boyfriend. Ryan was so excited and pleased to have started a relationship with Zachary. Every word he told me about Zachary was like a knife going into my body, but I hid my pain. I learnt long ago to perfectly hide my emotions away. If I was jealous or stupid over Zachary, I’d lose Ryan’s friendship completely. If I wasn’t boyfriend material, at least, I could be his friend; at least, I could keep some contact with him; I could still keep hoping. Today Ryan’s hair seemed lighter in colour, more blond than strawberry, and was falling into his eyes every other movement. He was so attractive today. I smiled back at him and hoped he didn’t realise how I felt.
  3. @Cia actually made the break, when Owen realises how difficult it is to find a job in London. Cia made the right choice and it reads well broken there.
  4. That is the highest praise to me, you want to know more. I love writing stories and tapping into what stories mean to people, and when that resonates with a reader it is amazing.
  5. The first part of another one of my stories is up and can be read here:

    The Passenger on Platform Six is a story of mine that has been chosen as the first story for the Pride & Premium collection. This is a collection of stories about coming out, and my story is set during a train journey that will change one young man’s life.

    Having my story selected for this collection is wonderful, having it chosen as the first story is amazing, and gives me so much confidence in my writing.

    This is a Premium Membership collection but if you don’t have one there may be a way to read this story in the future.

    Happy reading.

    1. Marty


      Well done, Drew!

    2. Drew Payne

      Drew Payne

      @Marty, a big, big thank you to you too. You caught all my, many, mistakes, and that's something.

  6. The fifth and penultimate part of His Story is up and be read here:


    Sometimes dinner is more than just food and sometimes conversation is more than just words.

    Happy reading.

  7. Drew Payne

    Dinner Date

    “Welcome to Hell!” Kay said as she opened her front door to me. “What’s the matter?” I said as I followed her inside the flat. “Nina’s in the kitchen, and she’s turned into Gordon-Fucking-Ramsey all over some stupid pudding. I told her we won’t want pudding with the amount of stuff she’s already cooked, but she has to be Ms-Fucking-Perfectionist-Lesbian,” Kay said. “Is it going to be all right?” “There’s only the four of us—you, me, Nina and Ryan—so it should be okay.” I followed her into their sitting room. She and Nina were having a dinner party in their new flat, the one I’d helped them move into less than a month ago, and Kay had insisted that I come. She’d promised me that there would only be a few people there: just her and Nina and her brother Ryan. I’d never met Ryan, though I’d heard a lot about him from Kay, so the chance of meeting him was attractive. Kay was always talking about him, her gay brother who was also a journalist and at this time was between boyfriends, she’d said. If it had been a party, I’d have said no. I hate parties because they are always full of people I don’t know, and I always seem to end up hiding away in the kitchen. The moment we got into the sitting room, Nina’s voice called from the kitchen, which was really just an alcove off the big room: “It’s burnt; it’s fucking burnt!” “Then we’ll all go on a diet. God knows, you’ve cooked enough!” Kay shouted back as she rushed into the kitchen. I looked around the sitting room, Kay and Nina had unpacked a lot since I was last here, and I saw a guy sitting on the sofa. He was certainly Kay’s brother; he had the same strawberry-blond hair, though his was all shaggy and a bit too long, not the very short and neat style Kay kept her hair in, but he had the same round face dominated by the same dark-blue eyes. He was wearing a dark-green shirt over a pair of very pale jeans. He looked so good, and he smiled at me as he stood up from the sofa, I could feel that adolescent hope jump up into my throat again. “Hi, I’m Ryan,” he said. “I know. I’m Chris.” “I sort of know that, too, Kay talks a lot about you.” “Okay, we won’t have a dessert; we’ll all get pissed instead,” Nina said as she stormed into the sitting room, a large strand of her hair escaping out of her ponytail. “Hi, Chris, welcome to our first dinner party.” She came up to me and kissed me on the check. The dinner part of the evening went enjoyably well. We sat together around Kay and Nina’s new flat-packed dining table, and the food was mouth-wateringly good. Besides her personality, Nina has many different sides to her, one of them being a good cook, a skill she says she was given by her mother. Ryan didn’t simply take after Kay in his looks, their personalities were so very alike. They laughed at the same things, chatted in the same way; they even talked about the same things. I felt Kay and Ryan could have just talked away together all evening, but it also felt nice and comfortable. I felt as if I was wrapped up in their conversation without having to work at it; I could just sit and enjoy it. Nina chatted away in the same way; it seemed she was just as comfortable with Ryan and got on just as well with him as Kay did. It was nice sitting there, just listening and enjoying their conversation. We didn’t have any dessert, by then even Nina agreed it was burnt and ruined. Instead, we drank some of the orange liqueur Ryan had brought. “Your mother didn’t say anything to you about the card?” Nina asked. “I didn’t even see the card,” Ryan said. “I told you, you shouldn’t have sent it,” Nina said. “It was only a bit of fun. Mum’s got a sense of humour, and she always said she hated Mother’s Day. I thought it would cheer her up,” Kay said. “What did the card say?” Ryan asked. “Happy Mother’s Day, Thanks for the Genes,” Kay said, with a smile. “God, you didn’t. Grandmother has been giving her grief over us lately,” Ryan said. “What’s the problem?” I asked. “Our parents have four children, and three of us are gay. Our grandmother, our mother’s mother, is a right Mackerel Snapper of a Catholic and doesn’t approve of all this homosexuality in the family,” Ryan said. “Scott isn’t gay, he says he’s bisexual,” Nina said. “Scott isn’t bisexual, he only says that to be different. I’ve had more men than he’s had women,” Kay said. “How many men have you had?” I asked. “One. Once when I was at university. His name was Steven Jacks,” Kay said. “Steven Jacks is queer,” Ryan said. “I had a rather hot affair with him when you went to Germany your first summer at Uni.” “I know. We both wanted to know if we were really queer, and we were both drunk,” Kay said. “So, were you both full queers?” Nina asked. “God, yes. We both weren’t that keen on it. We weren’t grossed out, but it wasn’t anything wonderful,” Kay said. “Well, I’m a hundred percent lesbian. The idea of straight sex really grosses me out,” Nina said. We laughed at that. “Tell Chris about your book,” Kay said. “Are you sure?” Nina asked. “Chris could help,” Kay said. “You’re writing a novel?” I asked. “No, I’m writing a non-fiction book. I’m shit at writing fiction. When I tried to before, it always came out as flat and patronising,” Ryan said. “I liked some of the short stories you wrote at university,” Kay said. “I didn’t write them, I plagiarised their plots, though my lecturers were too lazy to notice.” “What’s your book about?” I asked. “I’m writing about The Release Trust; it’s a sort of exposure of what they get up to.” “The Release Trust?” I asked. It wasn’t the subject I’d have thought he’d say. “Yes, they’re this ex-gay organisation, the main one in Britain. They’re this Evangelical Christian organisation that believes they can turn gay men straight with prayers and emotional blackmail,” he said. “What made you choose them?” I asked. I could feel Kay watching me. “There’s been two big scandals about them recently. I covered them both for Gay News magazine. The first was when one of their leaders and head counsellors, Henry Webb, was caught cottaging. He got a suspended sentence; it wasn’t the first time he’d got caught, but this time they couldn’t keep it secret. He was forced to resign. “But the second one was the worst. It happened just over six months ago. There was a young man called Richard Gamblin who got involved with The Release Trust after the vicar of his church sent him to them. He was only seventeen when The Release Trust got their claws into him. They poured all their crap and emotional blackmail upon him, and he could only take it for six months. They actually blamed him for being gay. Then he killed himself. He left a long suicide letter that outlined all that The Release Trust did to him. He was already depressed. He told The Release Trust ‘counsellor’ how he was feeling suicidal, and that bastard told him he didn’t have the right to be depressed and to stop complaining. When Richard Gamblin killed himself and The Release Trust washed their hands of him, at first tried to deny he’d even been involved with them. Maureen Ashman, the Christian ‘Commentator’ and bigot, is one of their trustees, and she said that Richard Gamblin is better off dead than gay,” Ryan said. “I always want to slap that bitch whenever I hear her,” Nina said. “That’s why I’m writing it. Too often The Trust Release have gone under the radar as harmless. I want to show how dangerous they are and how much harm they have done over the years. I’ve been talking to a lot of people who’ve been involved with them, and they all talked about the damage done to them. They all seem to have the same problems. They all had such low self-esteem or emotional problems before they got involved. The Release Trust seems to prey on that type of gay man. “They all were involved with The Release Trust for about two years; that’s how long it usually takes for the disillusionment to set in. At first, they believe what they’re told; for many of them it comes as a relief. The problems come when they can’t live up to The Release Trust’s impossible goals; their sexuality doesn’t change. That’s when the depression and the feelings of failure start, and The Release Trust actually blames them for feeling that way, which only makes things worse. Things don’t get better when these men leave. They’re still depressed and feeling a failure, they all had problems making relationships, friendships and lovers, and many had nightmares about it. Their self-esteem and self-worth were completely destroyed by The Release Trust. It abused these men, and it has the fucking nerve to claim that it only does good. I want to show them up for the liars they are… “Sorry, I get a bit carried away when I talk about it. Before I started to investigate, I didn’t realise what damage The Release Trust has done, its emotional abuse of the worst type; I just thought they were some stupid crap Christian group that would fade away.” I didn’t say anything; I didn’t know what to say. I thought he’d be writing a book about some gay celebrity. I couldn’t have imagined that it would be about The Release Trust and that Ryan would be so fired up about it, that he’d hate The Release Trust the way he does. He’d not given any sign of this as we’d eaten dinner. “For God’s sake tell him, Chris,” Kay said. “There’s nothing to tell,” I said. I turned to her and saw that she was staring at me; there was almost anger in her face. “Yes, there fucking is!” Kay said. “It was just a short time, and I was only a kid.” “You were really upset at Pride by that kid and his shitty leaflets,” Nina said. “He caught me off guard, it was years ago, and I’m over it now.” “No, you’re not. Your relationships are really fucked up, Chris. As long as I’ve known you, you haven’t had a boyfriend that lasts more than a few weeks. I’m fucking worried about you,” Kay said. “What happened?” Ryan said. “I was a teenager; I got involved with them, I saw how shit they are, and I left. That’s all.” “No, it isn’t,” Kay said. “What really happened?” Ryan said. I looked down at my feet on the carpet, the dark-green carpet under them. I couldn’t face them, the concern and worry in their faces that I was causing, but I had to tell them. “I was sixteen, Christian and gay when I got involved with them. I thought I was going to Hell for being gay. They told me there was a way out; all I had to do was stay a virgin, because if I had sex with another guy, I was damned. I believed them; I was afraid of Hell. They said if I was faithful, God would turn me straight and I would be normal and saved. I believed everything they said, but I didn’t turn straight; I stayed gay. I was a teenager and horny. All I could think about was sex with other guys. Then I fell in love with another guy at church, a straight guy. He didn’t know how I felt, and I felt so lonely that there wasn’t anyone to talk to. I tried to talk to Henry Webb; I saw him for counselling, but he said feelings like that was the devil tempting me. I got too depressed. I tried to kill myself,” I said. I stopped there; I didn’t know how to carry on. “You never told me about this,” Kay said. “I couldn’t. I feel stupid and guilty about it all. It’s such a stereotype: the sad queer boy trying to kill himself.” “No, it’s not. It’s a fucking tragedy you were driven to that,” Kay said. “Did you tell anyone at The Release Trust how depressed you were?” Ryan asked. “I tried to tell Henry Webb one time, but he said the devil tempts us with depression to make us weak and that it’s a sin to give in to depression. No Christian should be depressed because God’s given us full life, he said.” “Fuck, that’s obscene,” Nina said. “What happened when you tried to kill yourself?” Kay asked. “I took an overdose, but I didn’t know anything and got the dosage wrong. I woke up in hospital. The thing was, I left a note saying that I was doing it because I’m gay. My parents read it; they threw me out of their home while I was in hospital, I had been admitted to a psychiatric ward. I haven’t seen my parents since I was admitted to that ward.” “Did anyone from The Release Trust come to see you in hospital or when you were discharged?” Ryan asked. “No, I haven’t had any contact with them, either.” “That’s horrible, they abused you, The Release Trust abused you,” Ryan said. I looked up and saw Ryan staring at me, his eyes were glossing over with tears. “I wasn’t abused. It was my fault. I got involved with The Release Trust, I went to them, and I agreed with what they said. They didn’t do anything really bad,” I said. “They set you up to fail. They gave you impossible goals, and when you couldn’t reach them, they made it your fault. They emotionally abused you; they didn’t help you to accept your sexuality; they told you to deny being gay. They poured all this emotional, negative shit onto you for being gay and claimed it was from God. They taught you to hate yourself for being gay. If they’d cared about you, they’d have visited you in hospital, but they just washed their hands of you because you were yet another one of their failures,” Ryan said. “Chris, you’re my friend, and I really care about you, but you’re really fucked up” Kay said, taking over from Ryan. “Look how upset you got over that Lenny you met at Pride. Okay, that little shit shouldn’t have been there, but he really got to you. Look at your relationships. I know you want a boyfriend, but your relationships are a mess. Sorry, but I care about you.” “I never meet the right guys. It’s either they don’t want me, or if they want me, I don’t want them. I try.” “Do you have nightmares?” Nina asked. “Yes,” I said. There was no way I wanted to tell what my dreams were about. “Do you have problems sleeping?” Nina said. “Yes. Often. Yes.” “And you have problems forming relationships. Also, you don’t have the greatest self-esteem. Chris, you’ve almost a walking example of someone who’s been abused and can’t come to terms with it. For God’s sake, I’m a Psychiatric Nurse and I see it enough times at work,” Nina said. “But abuse is where you’re beaten or raped or such. None of that happened to me.” “You were given a mind-fuck of religious guilt and crap just because you’re gay. They fucked your mind over just because you’re gay. That’s emotional abuse,” Ryan said. “But I went to them,” I said. “And they fucked you up,” Kay said. “And I hate them, and I don’t want to go to Hell, but I will because I’m gay!” I almost shouted at her. Then I started to cry. I was crying like some little baby. Thick, hot tears were running down my face, and my body was shaking with each loud sob. I was sobbing, and I couldn’t stop myself. I closed my eyes, trying to close them against the grief, but the tears pushed through. I felt someone’s arms taking hold of me and pulling me into a tight hug. It was Ryan, and my chest was pressed up against his. I clung onto him as I sobbed. It was all I could do. Finally, my eyes ran dry, and I stopped crying. Then I felt shame flush up through me, that deep embarrassment of allowing my deepest emotions out on display and in public. I wanted the sofa to swallow me up, the whole evening to be forgotten about and gone. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.” I said it to the room in general rather than to just one particular person. I was looking down at my lap as I said it. “Don’t be sorry, don’t ever be sorry,” Kay said. “What?” I looked up at her and saw the deep expression of hurt and concern drawn across her face. “I’ve never seen you let go like that before. I’ve never seen you let out any of the hurt or pain you feel before,” Kay said. “Oh… I… Oh…” I said. Ryan took hold of my hand and squeezed it. “Chris, you’ve got to get yourself some help. Don’t let The Release Trust bastards keep fucking you up,” Ryan said. “Yes,” I said. I more mumbled it out in that half-hearted way, but I now knew he was right. “I’ll help you find it, too. I know where you can get good, professional gay therapy” Nina said. “Thanks,” I said. I meant it. We sat up talking well into the early hours that night. We talked a lot about The Release Trust, about what they did, how they operated, how they damaged others and why they did it. In the end, it was too late for me to get the Tube home, the same for Ryan, and Kay just said we should stay the night. So Ryan and I slept that night on Kay and Nina’s sofa bed. When Kay and Nina went to bed, Ryan and I stripped down to our underwear and got under the duvet together. We didn’t have sex that night, though I wish we had, I’d have agreed to anything he wanted to do. Instead, there in the dark, Ryan held me. He pressed his chest into my back and slipped his arms around me. I felt so suddenly safe in Ryan’s arms, and that night I slept soundly. I didn’t dream or have nightmares; I didn’t have any problems getting off to sleep, and I didn’t wake up during the night. I slept restfully for once. The next morning, over Nina’s large cooked breakfast, I couldn’t stop looking at Ryan, at how attractive he was, but he didn’t seem to notice.
  8. Drew Payne

    Round Two

    Please don't apologise, I am amazed you feel so much for a character I've created, and the reaction I was hoping for in readers. I wanted to put this section in to show how damaged people can pass on that damage when they don't take ownership of who they are. Just because you have been damaged doesn't mean you will always be the victim in your screwed up relationships. Chris is a victim of what has happened to him but he is also passing on the harm. (P.S. Chris does find the backbone to finally end this relationship.)
  9. Drew Payne


    I love the sound of your church, that sounds like real Christianity to me. I have met some wonderful Christians, people who have dedicated their lives to caring for others and it doesn't matter who for, and then I've meant far too many people for whom their Christianity is a power trip, and "I'm better than you because I'm going to heaven!" power trip. The shameful thing is that I've met far more from the second type than the first type.
  10. Drew Payne


    I agree with you 100% percent but all I want to say is, "Spoilers Sweety, spoilers." There are two more chapters to post. Wait and see.
  11. Drew Payne

    Park Life.

    I'm so glad that you're getting the themes I wanted to write about here.
  12. Drew Payne

    Round One.

    Thank you, I always worry about my writing. Your feedback is very welcome.
  13. Drew Payne

    Round Two

    But Chris is staying with Will because he's afraid of being alone, he's afraid of being that stereotype of the sad and lonely homosexual that he had drummed into him as an Evangelical Christian. This is just another example of how screwed up he is. He's pathetically damaged and it's harming so much of his life. Re-writing this story made painful reading for me.
  14. Drew Payne

    Round Two

    I don't know about being abusive but this is certainly an unhealthy relationship. I wanted to show, in this one, that Chris is a screw-up in a relationship where the other guy wants him, yet the other guy is completely unsuitable for him and Chris can't find the skills to face that.
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