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Bardeara

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  1. Happy Birthday Guy,

    I hope you have a FANTASTIC day and a GREAT year :)

  2. Iain and Bryan have a relationship built from secrecy, pain, isolation and need. Despite this, there is still a secret that Iain hasn't shared. 2007 Anthology
  3. Bardeara

    The Secret

    Today was the day, I decided. It was finally time to tell Bryan, my best friend, the truth. It has been a secret I’ve held tightly guarded for so long that I’m driving myself crazy as I allowed it to eat away at me up until this point. Until this moment it was a road I was unwilling to travel down. A road that until recently seemed completely absurd for me to even consider. Yet here I am sitting and waiting for Bryan’s arrival so I can admit the truth and allow this burden to finally be lifted from my shoulders. Waiting until we were at our special hangout spot was the best way I figured to inform Bryan about my revelation. It was the place where we’ve always revealed our secrets to one another and we would only talk about those secrets while we were here. No matter what was said, once we’d left that place, neither mentioned it again until we’d returned. To keep my mind occupied I considered trying once again to see if I could get the clock in the clock tower working, but I knew if I started, it would distract me completely when I had something so important to tell. It dawned on me that this was the first time that I’ve never actually looked at the clock, which for me, someone who loves to tinker with things and figure out how they work, is an achievement on its own. I got into so much trouble with my parents just for trying to figure out how the stereo worked, though I must admit, I can see why my parents were upset. After all, by the time I dismantled the stereo, I actually believe there was a better chance at putting Humpty Dumpty together again after he fallen. When I was eight, I learned the clock in the clock tower wasn’t working so I snuck out of the house at the first chance I could. I was determined to fix the clock and make everyone in town proud, but that wasn’t what happened. Looking back at it now, I realize how important it was for me to be so interested in how things work. It was because the night I rushed to the clock tower also happened to be the night Bryan ran away from home. I remember climbing on top of the old building, excited and full of determination. There was a slight problem though, for I had arrived without a single tool in my hand. There was no way I was going to be able to fix the clock now, and I would have to wait for another time to be able grab the tools needed to fix it. I ended up sitting down on the ledge feeling totally defeated and then I was suddenly taken by a sight I had never seen. Once I had reached the top of the tower, I discovered it offered a wonderful view of the town. In fact you could see the whole town from up here. I managed to lose myself in the scenery and even though night had settled, the sky was clear enough that the nearly full moon offered a picture perfect image. At some point it dawned on me that, even if it was daytime, no one could actually see me from where I was and I decided to return first chance I could. As I observed the town I spotted an owl swooping down and grasping it’s prey. I’m not certain what kind of prey the owl dove for, but whatever it was, I knew the owl was about to eat well this night. Because of how focused I was on the owl, I didn’t notice someone approaching from behind, but when I heard the person slip I gasped out loud, nearly losing my footing as I whipped around, grabbing a glimpse of the person now in sight. He was around my age, looking rather battered and bruised. It took only a moment for me to recognize him to be Bryan, a schoolmate of mine, but until that night we never gave each other the time of day. It took only a moment to recognize that Bryan didn’t wish to be bothered and so I nodded my head in acknowledgement and understanding that I would pretend to have never seen him. Bryan seemed to pick up on that and let out a breath before relaxing. I decided it was best to give him space and went to leave, but I was shocked to see Bryan’s response to that because, although he didn’t speak a word, his firm grasp on my arm quickly told me it was best to remain. We took a seat on the ledge and without a word being shared we watched the night sky and took in the sights. At some point Bryan leaned into me while I put my arm around him to offer him the support he needed. It’s amazing how little someone can actually say, yet ending up saying so much. That night, I learned more about Bryan than most people learn during a few years of schooling and the best part was that neither of us actually uttered a single word. In fact, neither of us spoke a word until my fourth attempted at trying to fix the clock. Of course, by this point I not only brought tools but also snuck out snacks for Bryan. “I don’t think you’re ever going to figure it out,” Bryan stated before taking a bite of his sandwich. Stopping to quickly glare at him, I dropped a screw which I had just removed from the clock. The screw slid down the rooftop before finally falling to the ground. “Damn it, now I’m never going to find it,” I complained. “You could always use a metal detector,” Bryan suggested with a smirk plastered upon his face. “Do you know where I can find one?” I asked. “Sure, my dad has one, but I’m not touching it, for I don’t need an extra licking this week,” Bryan answered with a sudden frown. I glanced over to where Bryan was looking, and realized he was looking at his home, before commenting. “Yeah, that would be the third time this week, wouldn’t it?” “Some days I wish I was dead. Maybe if I took his metal detector he would finish me off and I wouldn’t have to think about it anymore,” Bryan stated bitterly. “Don’t,” I said sharply as my head whipped around. “Don’t think like that.” “Have you figured out yet how to get your ma and pa to let me stay with you all?” Bryan asked hopefully while sort of changing this distasteful topic. “Other than marriage, I’m afraid not,” I spoke in sorrow. “Worse still, I’m afraid my sister isn’t interested in you, let alone marriage.” “You don’t have a sister,” Bryan stated while suddenly laughing out loud. It caught me off guard as I didn’t think my joke was that funny, but seeing Bryan laugh was a wonderful change. Bryan’s mood had been awfully down, mostly due to his father using his body as a punching bag. His mood at times was tiresome and even began to wear me down. That seemed to be the turning point for us, after that, we starting opening up to each other, but only while we were at the clock tower. The next time we meet there, he did bring his father’s metal detector and we spent a fair bit of time finding that screw that I had. Bryan also paid dearly for taking the detector and I couldn’t help but feel completely guilty. Away from our secret place, or our place outside of reality as Bryan calls it, we really hardly had anything to do with each other. Bryan’s father kept him fairly busy, mostly abusing him so he could do as little work as possible while I, on the other hand, kept to myself, hiding from most of the outside world. In my spare time, one could find me in my father’s tool shed trying to dismantle or put together anything I could grasp. It was clear to my parents that I was destined to be a tradesman of some sort, but whether it was meant to be with wood or metal remained unclear. Then again there were many things that remained unclear regarding me. Like how far I was willing to go, just to protect Bryan from harm. “Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked Bryan one night as we sat on the ledge even though I already knew the answer. “Iain, it’s him or me, and frankly I am not interested in letting it be me,” Bryan stated as I handed him the vial. “You’re certain this will do the trick?” “Yes, it’s what my father uses to put the animals out of their misery,” I answered. “Good,” Bryan spoke with a twinkle in his eyes. Up until this point, I don’t think I had ever seen a look of hope in Bryan’s face. That thought alone excited me and scared me all at once. “Just make certain that vial is destroyed, else we’re both going to be in a lot more hot water than anything your father could throw your way,” I stated clearly as Bryan nodded his head. Part of me was grateful to be able to admit that Bryan was never given the chance to actually use the vial I gave him. The other part of me wanted so much for Bryan to pay back his father for all the wrongs he received. As it turned out, Bryan’s father never woke that night, for his heart had already given out while he slept. The whole town showed up to honor Bryan’s father and throughout the whole wake, I sat next to Bryan without saying a single word, not because I didn’t know what to say, but because of the unspoken pact we continued to maintain outside of our secret place. It wasn’t really that hard to not say much anyway, for his cousin Malcolm did most of the talking for all three of us. I learned through Malcolm, that Bryan and his mother would be moving in with them. I also learned that Malcolm’s family lives only down the road from where I lived rather than across town. Not that it mattered much to me anyway, but it was nice to know I could keep an eye on Bryan if need be. I knew I didn’t need to worry about Bryan, because I knew that now that his father was out of the picture, he would spring to life, and spring is a word that doesn’t describe it as best it could. Perhaps leap would be more the word, but our relationship completely changed after he moved. In fact, I was shocked when one day he appeared completely unannounced at my home, Malcolm of course in tow. “So this is where you’ve been hiding,” Bryan smugly stated. “I wasn’t hiding,” I corrected Bryan while giving him a look of uncertainly. “Some of the guys at school are getting together to play ball, want to come with us?” Malcolm blurted out and earned him a sharp glare as if it was Bryan’s secret to share. “There are a few things I actually have to take care of, perhaps another time,” I answered, which received a frown of disappointment from Malcolm. “They can wait,” Bryan stated I felt Bryan’s sudden grasp upon my arm, which was something he only ever did when he needed me to stand by his side. Without having to say another word it became clear to me that Malcolm was the instigator of this adventure and Bryan decided he needed moral support. “Yes, they can wait,” I agreed, as I placed what was in my hands down onto the counter before clearing the room and closing the door behind me. I learned why Malcolm was so eager to play ball with his schoolmates fairly quickly. Apparently Malcolm was very hands on when it came to trying to get the ball in his hands and was willing to do practically anything to grasp the object of his desire. We lost the game of course, but I think that had a lot to do with the fact that all the boys who regularly played ball were on the other team and, as a result, we got our butts handed to us on a golden platter. After the game, Bryan’s visits became more regular to my house, always with his shadow of course. Our secret place became threatened many times once Bryan moved in with Malcolm’s family, because Malcolm always followed Bryan around. For Bryan, our secret place became a way to escape Malcolm and his stalking behavior. I suggested to Bryan that he try a double date quickly, else the two of them might as well get married, because it was clear that Malcolm was joined at Bryan’s hip. Bryan made it clear that if that was the case I had to come, though when I joked about having to be his date since the purpose was to try to find someone else for Malcolm to stalk, he frowned at me before stating how funny I was and then changed the topic. Malcolm did slowly begin to show signs of wear though; he just needed time to lose interest in Bryan. Bryan was his new toy and he had to play with his toy until he started to tire of it, only then would a new toy emerge and capture his focus. I’m uncertain who it was that Malcolm’s new interest was, I had heard this person captured his heart, but apparently Malcolm was afraid to share regarding how he felt. It probably was a good thing too, because Bryan was asking for that vial back because he honestly didn’t know how much more he was going to be able to take. This time though, I wasn’t certain if he was planning on who it was for, Malcolm or himself and it was something I really didn’t wish to know the answer too. Bryan mentioned something about an upcoming winter dance he was interested in attending, why I wasn’t certain, but he felt if he was going to attend then he wanted me to come along. I learned very quickly that it was a setup and he really wanted me to come on some sort of double date, something of which I was nowhere near interested in going on. Dating by myself scared me, let alone a double date. What was even worse was that this dance was in the next town which, of course, was a fair hike away. What if he expected me to get all close with the person he had chosen for me to be with? I bet she’s not very appealing either. I told him I’d consider it, but that I really wasn’t interested in a dance. I even informed him that I couldn’t dance, and Bryan retaliated by offering me dancing lessons, even though he also wasn’t very good at it, but he was willing to show me everything he knew. It was with that notion looming in my mind that I found myself waiting for his arrival, waiting, to admit the truth I’ve so long kept a secret even from him. I could see it now; he would freak out and push me off the clock tower to my pending doom or maybe he would do nothing and allow me to live my life in peace without anymore contact with him. Could I live with that? I’ve gotten used to this place, that one simple revelation can so quickly alter it. I figured I had to though, because I owed it to him. I apparently knew everything about him, and yet, here I was still holding back a simple truth that he should have been allowed to choose to consider. So I sat here trying to prepare myself to tell him the truth. “Hello... earth to Iain,” I shook myself out of my thoughts, feeling totally shocked and disoriented. “Did you even hear a word I just said?” Bryan asked while trying to get my attention as it dawned on me he had already arrived. I know the blank look on my face answered what he was just asking. I looked around realizing that what had taken place was my mind running around with me. Perhaps Bryan is right, and this place is beyond reality, due to the simple fact that I always found myself so easily lost and forgetting the world around me. Bryan had no clue regarding the truth about me, and in a few moments I had been able to reminisce about the good times, just as in a few moments Bryan would learn the darkest secret I hold so dear. Things were about to change, I knew that to be true. I opened my mouth, totally frightened of what might come out, only to find myself cut off by Bryan before a word was even spoken. “So have you given any thought to what we talked about?” Bryan spoke with a look that made me clue in to what he was waiting for. I opened my mouth to speak, knowing full well what needed to be said. “I’ve given it a lot of thought… and I need to tell… no, I have to tell you,” I choked on my words as I saw the ray of light in his eyes. “Let’s go on that double date you mentioned.” The look on his face said it all. His face beamed with joy at the prospect of what my answer entailed, so much so, that I swear he was about to kiss me out of pure joy. We didn’t say much after that; we just watched the sky settle into the night. This time I leaned into him as he put his arm around my shoulder while silently giving me the support I now needed. I almost wish I hadn’t agreed to this double date despite knowing how happy Bryan is as a result. The truth was clear for me to see, and telling Bryan about my sexuality was a road I clearly still wasn’t ready to travel down. Discuss This Story
  4. “Darin?” Hayden called out as he was searching the upper level of his home. “Where are you …? I need you.” Hayden continued room by room, searching for what appeared to be of great importance to him. He actually began to panic as if he had lost what he was seeking. “I’m down here, Hayden,” Darin called out from the lower level and alerting Hayden to his whereabouts. Hayden breathed a sigh of relief, giving up his search, and made his way down to the lower level. He couldn’t help but make note of the somber tone in Darin’s voice as he walked down the stairs, but it wasn’t until he turned the corner and caught a glimpse of Darin that a shudder went down his back. “I’ve been looking for you,” Hayden stated with pain in his eyes as he moved into the room where Darin was located. “I’ve noticed,” Darin commented, pointing out the obvious. Hayden was dressed up in fairly good clothing, mostly because he felt the need to always appear presentable. Darin normally would wear casual outfits, unless on important days. Today, Hayden noticed how extra-dressed up Darin was, sizing him up from top to bottom, and knew exactly why he’d felt panicked beforehand. “Going somewhere?” Hayden questioned. “I think it’s time, don’t you?” Darin replied in a somber tone. “You’re leaving me?” Hayden asked, though the tone he used suggested it was more of a statement rather than a question. “This isn’t healthy anymore … it’s for the best,” Darin announced. The thought of Darin leaving made Hayden go rigid. “I disagree. We’re happy, aren’t we?” Hayden asked, in a way that implied he wasn’t totally surprised at Darin’s announcement. Darin let out a breath while trying to find the proper words. “Being happy has nothing to do with it, Hayden. Don’t you want more out of life then living like this?” “I don’t want more,” Hayden pleaded as his eyes turned sad, “I’m happy here with you … I only need you.” “Well, you can’t have me anymore,” Darin stated, trying to sound cold with his jaw clenched shut. “I don’t believe you. Look in my eyes and tell me you don’t love me. ” Hayden spoke with a tremor in his voice. “No, Hayden,” Darin sighed as he continued, “I can’t do this with you. It’s decided and I’ve got to stick by it.” Darin turned towards the hallway, unwilling to allow himself to see the pain he was causing the other man in the room. “Look at me … please.” Hayden continued to plead as he approached Darin from behind. An inner battle raged within Darin. He struggled with himself as he slowly turned his head. The rest of his body followed suit and he found himself looking directly into Hayden’s eyes. Darin felt uncertain, but the question of whether he was winning or losing that very battle, which clearly was showing in his eyes, went unanswered. “You know I don’t really want to leave,” Darin finally admitted after allowing himself to look deeply into Hayden’s eyes. “Then why leave?” Hayden whispered in a low tone that suggested any moment he would break. “You already know why,” Darin answered, realizing that Hayden was only denying the truth. “It’s time for both of us to move on. Do you have to make this any harder than it has to be?” “You’re the one making this hard,” Hayden suddenly snapped back with a desperate note of anger in his voice. “It’s just time, Hayden. Search your heart, you know I’m right,” Darin pointed out, feeling guilty that he had to be so harsh. Hayden collapsed into a nearby chair, for he knew that Darin spoke the truth. Hayden looked towards the bookcase that sat in the corner of the room, and his eyes landed upon the shelf near the bottom where the photo album resided. In a small voice Hayden spoke. “Do you remember the first day we met?” “How could I forget?” Darin smiled as they both began to share the memory. “You were incredible clumsy back then.” “I was not, you know I tripped.” Hayden defended himself, turning his head and looking towards Darin. Darin let out a slight chuckle. “Believe what you will, but I guess if you hadn’t… tripped, we never would have met.” A smile began to appear upon Hayden’s face. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Do you still remember the walk we took that day?” Darin nodded in response. “We walked the whole length of the boardwalk. I think it even rained that day.” “Yes, it did, but only a small shower, and it only lasted about twenty minutes,” Hayden reminded him. “Wasn’t that when we decided to go to the beach and you found that seashell?” Darin asked, pointing to an opal-looking shell resting on the bookcase. “Yes, it was,” Hayden answered as he stood up and picked up the seashell and lifted it to his ear. “I’ve always loved how this one sounded. It sounds different than the others, and it always makes me think of you and that day we shared.” “How did you actually find that shell, again?” Darin asked, while watching Hayden listen to the sound coming from the shell. “Simple, I stepped on it and fell into you since I was in my bare feet,” Hayden replied as he lowered the shell and gently placed it back on the shelf. “Oh yes, that’s right,” Darin spoke excitedly. “You tried to keep the rollerblades on, but had to take them off because you couldn’t stand up in them. If I remember correctly, you refused to go back to your place and get proper footwear and ended up instead spending the day barefoot.” Hayden smile faded suddenly as his eyes lowered towards the floor. Darin was quick to pick up on this and was about to reach out to pull him in an embrace, but caught himself before he did so. “You promised you would one day teach me how to rollerblade,” Hayden reminded Darin in a low admonitory voice. “That’s true, but you decided to put them in the attic and took up the art of stalking shortly after that,” Darin said in an unreadable tone. “I never stalked you,” Hayden shot out, knowing just what Darin was referring to. “Oh, really?” Darin questioned. “Don’t ‘oh, really’ me,” Hayden stated in an irritated tone as he crossed his arms in front of his chest. “So you don’t think opening my bedroom window totally naked, which was on the second floor by the way, only to find you looking in from the other side was stalking?” Darin asked. “Nope,” Hayden answered, very certain of himself. “Then what would you call it?” Darin insisted, as both of his hands found their way to his own hips. “Bird watching,” Hayden grinned. Darin let out a sudden laugh which seemed catching because Hayden followed suit and both of them smiled warmly. As they looked closely at each other, the silence that filled the room between them was peaceful and calming, but as with the calm before a storm, the two of them suddenly felt awkward and uncertain as to what to say or do next. Hayden finally broke the silence as he leaned up against the wall behind him. “At least I didn’t dress up as a woman to get into a strip club just to check out my mate.” “Yes, well ….” Darin paused as he tried to find the words before he admitted, “Well, we both know how jealous I can get.” “That was a very entertaining night; in fact, I still have the photos I took of you,” Hayden announced while glancing from the photo album to Darin. “Wait a minute, you promised me you destroyed those photos,” Darin shot out in annoyance. “I lied.” Hayden’s lips curled, which only frustrated Darin further. “Where are they then? I’ll dispose of them myself.” Darin spoke as he began to head towards the photo album. “I’d like to see that, but then, you won’t find them there anyway. Do you honestly think I would leave such things as that in an obvious location?” Hayden stated. “I always hated the way you did things like that,” Darin said, frustrated and feeling defeated with their situation. In the closeness that was now between the two of them, Hayden noticed Darin’s bangs falling into his face. On instinct, Hayden reached out to push them back, but Darin perhaps picked up on Hayden’s intent and brushed his bangs away before Hayden could do so. “Well, you didn’t always make it easy for me and it was something I wanted to remember when I was older. ” Hayden spoke softly as he lowered his hand back down to his side. Darin crossed his arms, looking towards Hayden as if he had two heads instead of one. “Why you would want to remember that night, especially considering on how it turned out?” “I think it turned out alright,” Hayden smiled. “Turned out alright?” Darin spoke, confused, as his tone shot up, “for crying out loud, Hayden, they beat us until we couldn’t move. I still remember how you looked when I woke up and you barely remembered the attack. Why would you want to remember that night?” A painful expression appeared upon Darin’s face. Hayden stood up, then walked over to Darin while looking him right in the eyes. “Because, Darin, it reminds me of just how much you love me.” “Loved,” Darin corrected, as he turned and walked over to the window and looked out. “You still love me, Darin. I know you do, otherwise you would have left by now,” Hayden said, but his words fell upon deaf ears. Darin muttered, barely more than a whisper, but clearly in a cold tone, “I’d bet you actually asked the cops for the photos they took of us that night.” “Actually, I did,” Hayden confessed. Darin turned around and looked back at Hayden. “You’re morbid, you do know that?” “I thought that’s what you love most about me,” Hayden smiled. Another awkward moment fell before quickly turning into an eerie silence. Darin eventually approached a picture hanging on the wall of the two of them in each other’s arms. They were well-dressed and both smiling, and much younger. Darin raised his hand and touched the side of the frame as if trying to dust the edges. “We were happy back then, weren’t we?” Darin finally broke the silence as their thoughts returned to the time the photo was taken. “High school prom,” Hayden said, as he allowed himself to sit on the armrest of a chair nearby. “How could we not find those days less complicated?” “Things sure got more complex after that day,” Darin remembered. “Yes, I know, but that might have been because it was our coming out party,” Hayden laughed. Darin followed suit by chuckling. “I don’t think the school was prepared for the Prom King to kiss another guy,” Darin laughed. “Well, you always knew how to cause a scene.” Hayden spoke with fondness at the memory. “Do you really think I caused a scene?” Darin asked. “Yes, but I can’t decided who caused the bigger scene. Was it when you avoided dancing with the Queen and grabbed me to shove your tongue down my throat or was…” Hayden suddenly cut himself off before finishing his comment. “Or what?” Darin asked. “It doesn’t matter,” Hayden said, as he reached over and picked up a small object that resembled more of a paperweight then anything else, and held it tightly in his hands. “You’re damn right it does,” Darin spat out, frustrated that Hayden wouldn’t finish his thought. “It’s just the reason why you did it. I made you come out that night. I broke up with you because you didn’t want to go with me publicly,” Hayden finally struggled to admit. “Well, I guess that’s one way to force me to do something,” Darin smirked. Hayden lowered his head as he whispered in a weak voice, “I wish I hadn’t always pushed you into doing things you weren’t ready for. Maybe if I hadn’t, then things would have turned out different. You know?” Darin kneeled down in front of Hayden to look up into his eyes. He reached out to touch his face but changed his mind and pulled back at the last second. “I’m proud of the way things turned out,” Darin spoke softly while looking into Hayden’s eyes. “I’m not, and by the sound of things you’re not willing to give me that chance,” Hayden blurted out. “That’s not fair,” Darin shot out sharply, but then changed to a gentler tone. “You know this is what’s for the best. Search your heart; I know you know I speak the truth.” “I’m going to miss you,” Hayden whispered while a tear rolled down his left cheek. “Will you promise me something?” “Anything,” Hayden said through his tears. “Try to remember the good times we shared together, rather than the bad ones, for those are the ones worth fighting for and remembering,” Darin said in a gentle, soothing tone. Hayden let out a slight laugh, “What you really mean is to forget the embarrassing moments you had.” “Yeah, those too,” Darin smiled as he rose up and took a few steps backwards towards the fireplace. “Please don’t go,” Hayden pleaded. “I do love you, Hayden, and I wish I could stay here forever, but you know I can’t.” Darin spoke with a tone that suggested his heart was about to break. “I know,” Hayden said with his head lowered yet still able to look sadly into Darin’s eyes. Suddenly, from outside of the house, a female voice called as she knocked on the front door, “Hayden, it’s time to go.” “I’ll be there in a minute,” Hayden yelled back as he looked towards the door. Hayden turned his head back towards Darin; only to Hayden’s disappointment Darin was no longer in the room. Hayden sighed to himself and headed towards the mantle above the fireplace. As he placed the object in his hand on the mantle, he reached next to it and delicately picked up a small reddish wooden box. The wooden box, which was rectangular in size and made of rosewood, contained a lock with the key in it. Hayden removed the key and gently placed it into his pocket before rubbing his finger over the brass plate located on top of the box. The nameplate had a single word engraved on it. "Darin". Hayden carried the wooden box to the front door, but first stopped to glance around the room. “I’ll always love you, Darin,” Hayden spoke with a tremble in his voice. He softly kissed the top of the box and whispered, “But you’re right… It’s time to go.” Discuss This Story
  5. It was raining outside, falling harder then it had in a very long time. The weather seemed to mirror the mood within, although it was not the rain that caused the damper mood in the room, but rather a troubled soul lost in his thoughts. Felix, my brother, was slumped on the couch, like he constantly had been for some time. In fact, it had been over a week since he had developed this sinking feeling that constantly nagged at him so much, that it created a void in his heart. When watching him, it appeared that he was watching television, though after studying him for a short time, one could see that if someone were to go and turn it off, he wouldn’t have wavered. It was his thoughts that caused the zombie like state, making him practically catatonic towards the world around him. That’s because he was caught in time, uncertain which way to turn. For as long as he could remember, his best friend had been Randy. They had been friends since the first day they met, which was when they started school. It was like fate brought them together, and as a result, since then, nobody could drive them apart. Felix broke his absent stare suddenly and reached for the phone to begin dialing the most familiar number in his life, but stopped halfway through it. He began to tremble, desperately seeking the comfort of the bond he had grown accustomed to all throughout his years, only to now find a void so large, he couldn’t begin to fathom how to cope with such a sudden change. A tear started rolling down his left cheek as the realization of what had recently transpired. He slowly placed the phone back upon the receiver while closing his eyes and taking a large, deep breath. He knew he could not change what had taken place, and part of him didn’t want to, but still, the pain he held was too great to stay in the state he now found himself in. Through the heavy rain falling outside, a knock at the front door was made. Felix rose from his seat and slowly, made his way to the door. He didn’t want to open the door, and after glancing at the mirror, he nearly bolted from how ragged and worn down he looked. It was apparent that he had let himself go in the past week, and now, he was about to greet someone in such a shameful state. He opened the door slowly and was stunned, or rather shocked, at the site of the person who was standing before him. The male, with his head down looking more at Felix’s feet, rather than his face, was drenched from head to toe, clearly washed out from the heavy rain, as there was not one part of his body that wasn’t dripping wet. Felix opened his mouth to try to speak, but rather, his mouth just dangled wide open as he stared at the sight that was before him. His guest looked completely miserable, most likely from the way the elements had abused him as he dared to venture outside. There was an unspoken silence that cut though the air as the visitor slowly raised his head to meet Felix’s gaze. The two tried to mind read on what the other was thinking, while both struggled to speak. “Randy,” Felix finally muttered out in barely more than a whisper, making it come across more like a question, than a statement. Randy showed a determined expression when his voice, barely a whisper as well, finally managed to come out as he spoke through his teeth in a direct, yet clear gesture, “I’m not gay…” ****** Two weeks earlier Felix and Randy were sitting on the couch watching television. School was out for the Summer, and the two of them were kicking back and enjoying the fact that they didn’t have to study for the next few months. Randy was laying on the right side of the sofa with his head resting on the armrest and his feet planted flatly on the middle cushion so that his knees were pointed towards the ceiling. Felix, on the other hand, was on the left side of the sofa with his feet tucked under his bottom while he leaned on the left armrest. They were both bored already as it was raining outside and they were not only forced indoors because of the lighting, but also with the current storm, the cable was knocked out. They were currently trying to make the most of it by playing a movie that was made long before either of them were born. “Felix, that actress is hot, but I’d swear that she’s your girlfriend,” Randy commented. “Ex-girlfriend,” Felix stated, then finished, “we broke up last night.” “Really? Why? What happened?” Randy asked honestly while parting his knees to get a better view of Felix. “Oh, it’s not really important, she’s just an impossible bitch, that’s all,” Felix clearly declared even though there was a hint of sadness in his tone. “Is that a fact?” Randy asked knowing his friend better then anybody else. “Absolutely,” Felix offered and then continued. “I mean we were always fighting over how regularly we hang out. I’d swear she was jealous. She said that since I would rather hang out with you more than her, then I can do it single.” “So as a result of me, you two broke up?” Randy asked, wanting to make certain he understood. “Perhaps, but Randy, she was too needy and just doesn’t understand,” Felix spoke as he released a breath of air he was holding in. “Felix, you really need to stop doing this to yourself. Maybe you should do yourself a favor and start dating girls like Stephanie. She totally understands our situation, and thinks it’s great,” Randy informed his friend. “Your woman is one of a kind. I wish we could clone her,” Felix desperately admitted. “We already know what you want to do to her,” Randy smirked towards Felix which made him blush and made Randy laugh in response. “The problem though, is you’re already doing those things to her,” Felix responded back once he regained himself. “And don’t you forget it,” Randy grinned widely at his friend, while nudging Felix in the shoulder with his foot. “Do you know when it’s going to stop raining today?” Felix asked in an attempt to clearly change topic. “I think the weather man said it was going to rain most of the day, so we might as well do something else, because this movie kind of sucks.” Felix agreed with Randy and grabbed the remote to shut it off. He rose from his seat to pack up the movie and place it back in its proper case. “Why not put on that movie your brother didn’t want us to see?” Randy asked. “I’d have to go ransack his room, I don’t know where he hid it,” Felix replied. “Well he’s not home right, and we’re kind of stuck here anyway, so go on and find it,” Randy encouraged. Felix nodded as he went off in search of the tape. Randy quickly became restless while listening to the rain, and after a short time he became so bothered by it, that he got up off the sofa in search of his friend. “Have you found it yet?” Randy called out as he turned around the corner nearly collided into Felix. Felix didn’t respond in words, but rather raise his hand to show that he had it, and they both returned to the living room. As Felix placed the video in the machine, Randy returned to his seat on the sofa, only this time, he sat properly, rather than hogging the majority of the sofa. “So what’s so special about this movie anyway?” Randy asked out of curiosity. “Darned if I know, but my brother mentioned it was some sort of foreign movie, so most likely it probable has sub-titles,” Felix replied. “What’s it called again?” “’Circle of Friends’, which sounds like a strange title for a foreign movie if you ask me,” Felix finished saying as he sat down with the remote in his hand. Randy chuckled before responding, “Not a foreign movie, it’s a movie set in Ireland.” “Are you sure?” Felix asked, which go him a quick nod from Randy. “Grandma loves that movie and wants me to watch it for the sole purpose of giving her the reason to talk my ear off about it,” Randy finished saying while leaning back as Felix began cracking up laughing. “Your grandma doesn’t need you to watch it to talk your ear off, Randy. She’d do it regardless if you have or not,” Felix reached for his glass on the end table, but noticed it empty. “Say, want me to get you another too?” Randy smiled, which answered Felix’s question, as he rose to get both of them a drink from the fridge. Felix took longer than he thought he had, because when he returned, Randy was clearly playing around with the remote pressing the fast forward and rewind button while replaying a spot he was very interested in. What was on the screen clearly wasn’t the movie Felix thought he had put on, but rather an adult movie which was showing a couple into each other in a very intimate way. Randy placed the controller back on the coffee table as Felix came back to view and repositioned himself to make himself feel comfortable on the sofa as he waited for Felix to take his spot. Felix didn’t say a word as he retook his spot and placed the drinks on the coffee table. The two of them, now with their heads tilted, were both watching the movie as if they were trying to get the perfect angle, as if the camera had filmed it crooked. They watched with great interest, like they had never seen a porn movie in their entire life. It was Randy who broke the silence between them as he spoke softly, “I think she’s faking it.” “Probably, but right now, does it really matter?” Felix replied while trying desperately not to rip his pants off and massage his member right there in front of Randy. Felix decided against that and instead reached for his drink, and as he took a sip, it was then that he noticed the position that Randy had place himself in. Randy was slouching in the couch with a cushion covering his side to block Felix’s view. It was flawed though, as there was a mirror in the room that actually gave Felix total view. Randy had unbuttoned his pants and his zipper was almost down. Felix could also see that Randy had placed his hand not only inside the pants but under his boxers too. He was rubbing himself while watching the movie and the sound of his breathing was telling Felix that he was very much enjoying it. Felix felt comfortable enough with his best friend that it didn’t bother him, so much so, that he decided to actually move the cushion beside him to block Randy’s view as he unbuttoned his own pants. As Felix leaned back into the sofa he slid his hand under his boxer and started stroking his own body part. As both of them gave into their own urges while putting their focus on the television, they angled themselves to better stimulate their own bodies, which made both cushions fall to the floor and exposing what the other was feeling and hiding. Rather than freaking out at the sight of the other enjoying their own body, they both relaxed further and found themselves enjoying the moment even more. The excitement grew as they began watching each other rather then the movie, almost as if they were trying to educate the other on how to improve their ability to manually stimulate themselves. It became clear that they wanted the other to view how they liked to be fondled and as their excitement grew to the max, it was Randy who was first to finish, while Felix quickly followed shortly after. When they were both done, they pulled up their boxers and pants, before switching off the video and cleaning up after themselves. Nothing was said between them, they just remained silent for sometime which was odd since they always had something to say to each other. In the end, they put the other movie back on and finished watching it, after, of course, Felix returned the adult movie back to the original location where he found it. Things eventually return back to normal as the afternoon progressed, and Randy and Felix also resumed their regular banter, that is, of course, until it stopped raining and allowed Randy to make a quick escape and head home. By nightfall though, they were on the phone chatting about what their plans were for the next day and since it was supposed to be sunny and hot, they both planed on a bike trip. ****** A few days had passed since Felix and Randy shared their moment of intimacy on the sofa. Since then, neither had spoke about it, nor did either try to think about it. It was as though it had never taken place at all. They did go biking the next day just like they talked about, and then spent the better part of the following day playing road hockey with some of their friends. Today they were walking though the parks when they were caught in another rainstorm. Randy panicked and quickly became disoriented while they were in the woods. Had it not been for Felix remaining true to his form, Randy would suffered a total breakdown. “It’s going to be alright, Randy,” he spoke softly as he whipped off his jacket, threw his arm over Randy’s shoulder and shielding both of them from the rain. Felix knew how Randy felt about storms and being caught in one was never a good sign. At one point, as they were racing though the woods, they found themselves covered in mud after tripping over a tree stump. Neither knew who was the one that actually fell first, all they actually cared about was getting to Felix’s house as quickly as possible. When they did get to the house and entered, both of them sighed in relief as they were both soaked from head to toe, not to mention the layer of mud covering them. They stripped off their outer layers and left the wet clothing in the mudroom where they entered the house. Felix grabbed two towels and tossed one to Randy as he wrapped the other around his waist. After Randy quickly wiped down his legs he followed Felix’s lead and wrapped his towel around his waist as he followed Felix to his bedroom. They headed to the bathroom and without thought stripped down the remaining items until they were a naked as the day they were born. Felix turned the shower on while Randy collected the wet clothing and dropped it in the hamper. By the time Randy had returned, Felix had already climbed into the shower unit and was washing himself. It wasn’t a surprise to Felix when Randy climbed in along with him as they often showered together. It had been this way since they where kids, mostly to cut down time when preparing for school. Felix just grabbed the bar of soap from its resting point, and reached over his shoulder for Randy to take it. Randy took the soap without so much as a thought, and actually had his hand out to grab it before Felix had held it into position. As Randy lathered up his hands with the bar of soap, Felix leaned forward and rested his hands on the wall to allow the water to soak his head and run down his back. As Randy began to scrub Felix’s shoulders and back, Felix turned the water tap over to increases the temperature of the water. Although, Felix was content with the temperature of the water, he also knew that Randy preferred the water to be hotter. Once Randy had finished, Felix turned to face Randy and placed his hands on Randy’s waist. Then they reversed positions so that Randy was under the tap and now was getting the blunt of the water, almost like it was a well-practiced move. Their eyes never wavered when Felix turned to face Randy and Felix could see a defiant struggle within Randy. He often had that look when the weather was stormy outside, and Felix was determined to wash away that struggle along with the dirt that was on both of their bodies. Felix moved his hand and placed it delicately on the side of Randy’s face, only for a moment to brush his check as he shifted his hand to the base of Randy’s neck. Felix moved one step forward to close the gap between the two and gently pulled Randy forward as he guided Randy’s head to rest on his chest so that Randy could hear his heart beat. He then took the soap and began to tenderly wash Randy’s back. Randy wrapped his arms around Felix and listened to his heart pounding away which did actually settle Randy’s mind as it normally did. Felix raised his hand to hold Randy’s head as he rocked their bodies together. Their bodies connecting the way they were, only continued to solidify how strong their bond was for each other and as they continued to comfort in each other’s arms, Felix whispered into Randy’s ear, “Everything alright, Randy.” Randy responded by pulling his arms in tight, as if he was reliving a bad dream, but like all nightmares, the realization that it’s only a bad dream slowly takes form and the fear subsides into nothing more than a reoccurring memory. Once Randy calmed down, they finished their shower and found themselves in the kitchen making something to eat. Randy took hold of making BLT sandwiches which were Felix’s favourite, while Felix made fruit punch, but also added in a bit of vodka to calm both of them down, though it was more for Randy’s sake. Felix also pulled out a bag of chips and dug out the dip before heading towards the television. Before long the two were laughing again, while leaning into each other for support the whole time. The two wasted the afternoon away watching random shows and stuffing their faces with whatever else they could find after finishing what they had first made. It wasn’t until sometime later that Randy noticed the weather had changed, although it was Felix who spoke what Randy was already pondering. “I guess now that the rain has stopped you will be heading off?” “Yeah, I promised Stephanie, that I’d see her tonight,” Randy answered, although Felix smirked when he heard a hint of sadness from Randy by that thought. “Tired of your wife already, huh?” Felix taunted. “Were not married dork,” Randy responded by shoving Felix with his body. “Well from what I’m hearing, you’re both acting like newlyweds,” Felix cracked up laughing which made Randy actually blush. “Hey we’re now where near as bad as you and Daisy used to be,” Randy tried to retaliate. “Oh really, say is there any place you two actually haven’t christened?” Felix asked jokingly as they stood up and began cleaning up. “Yeah, your bed and we’re planning on christening that very shortly” Randy grinned widely as he blurted out. “Can I watch?” Felix eagerly asked. “Nope, but we’ll let you clean up afterwards,” Randy laughed. “Well it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve cleaned up after you,” Felix commented. “Oh, and when have you ever cleaned up my mess?” Randy demanded as he glared at Felix uncertain how to take it. “Like now for starters,” Felix smirked while waving a bag of chips that Randy devoured and made a mess in the process. “Foul, that doesn’t count. I thought you were talking about something else,” Randy spoke as he realized it was Felix’s way of getting him to help clean up. “Well we know where you mind is, gutter boy,” Felix busted up laughing as he spoke. The two of them cleaned up the place, and Felix said farewell to Randy so that Randy could head onto his date with girlfriend. Felix managed to tease Randy a bit more regarding it and mentioned something about a threesome if Stephanie wasn’t able to find someone for Felix instead. Randy’s reply was mostly of annoyed and possessive responses, which continued to fuel his jokes and satisfy Felix’s enjoyment. ****** It was one of the worst storms in a long time, not from the rain, but rather the howling from the winds. The power had already been knocked out for several hours, and the winds alone made it clear that anyone who dared to venture out, that they would quickly regret their choice. By now, night had set, although with the dark clouds it had seemed to set much before it actually had. Felix and Randy brought out a bunch of candles to give themselves some sort of light and played cards on Felix’s bed while trying to distract each other. Randy began looking at Felix like he had some foreign object plastered on his nose. “What?” Felix finally asked after they tried to stare each other down silently. “Are you hiding cards up your sleeves?” Randy asked Felix, which was clearly pointless due to the fact they both had no tops on. “Yeah, along with a 747 jet,” Felix joked in response, noticing how frustrated Randy was getting for losing so many hands in a row. “Then how come you’ve won almost every single hand?” Randy asked feeling a bit defeated by losing so much. “Simple, I have the cards in my shorts,” Felix taunted while grinning and jokingly pretending to shove a card down his shorts. Randy went wide-eyed, and actually fell for Felix joke. Randy leaning forward shoving Felix onto his back while grabbing Felix’s shorts, curling his fingers under the strap line and pulled them down and off of him, before Felix had a chance to realize what had transpired. “There, now you can’t hide them in your shorts anymore,” Randy laughed while leaving Felix as completely bare as the day he was born. Felix felt annoyed with himself, for allowing Randy to get the upper hand like he had, although he did feel like he should have known better than to make a comment which would make Randy respond and call his bluff they way Randy had. They did go back to playing cards, and Felix allowed Randy to relish in his victory by remaining naked, despite feeling a little self-conscious. After playing a few more hands, and Felix losing every one, it was his turn for becoming frustrated and eventually retaliated by throwing the cards down and attacking Randy, until he had made Randy as naked as he was. By the end of the assault, both of them were lying on their backs facing the ceiling with one hands behind their hand, their other arm on their own stomach and their legs crossed at the ankles. “Thanks for allowing me to tag along and making it a double date the other day,” Felix broke the silence after they drifted off into whatever they were thinking about at that moment. “You know, I’ve been meaning to ask you about that night,” Randy commented as he turned his head slightly to look at Felix with a smirk quickly developing upon his face. “You have… Why?” Felix asked shifting partly onto his side in order to get a better view of Randy. “Yeah. I wanted to ask how the heck you managed to twist your body the way you did,” Randy replayed. “I think you lost me, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Felix stated genuinely confused. “Well remember after Stephanie and I left Ashleigh and you alone?” Randy asked making certain Felix was following. “Yes, I think so,” Felix answered still somewhat uncertain where this was leading. “Well we might have been out doors, but damn there was enough light to see how twisted you two were while you were going at it. I really couldn’t tell where you ended and Ashleigh began.” “You were watching us?” Felix asked a bit shocked. “No, Stephanie wanted to make certain you two were alright, so she sent me to check up on the two of you. When I found you two, clothing was everywhere and man, you were pounding her like there was no tomorrow,” Randy commented feeling rather proud of his friend. Felix started grinning like he had won the highest award possible and as he opened his mouth only one word dared to escape, “Jealous?” “Maybe a bit,” Randy answered genuinely after pondering it for a few moments. “Why?” “Because, I really want to make Stephanie vocalize how Ashleigh was.” “Told you I was good,” Felix bragged. “Don’t let it get to your head,” Randy glared. “Oh, I let it get to my head alright,” Felix spoke as he grabbed and slightly rubbed his private for a moment before bringing his hand back to his chest. “Seriously Felix, how did you do it?” Randy asked genially. “It’s really just a matter finding those spots which will drive someone wild,” Felix grinned as a thought crossed his mind. “What?” Randy demanded to know what Felix found so interesting. “Are you telling me that you’ve never found any of Stephanie’s spots?” Felix raised himself to look directly at Randy with a bewildered look upon his face. “Yes… it’s just that… well you know she’s the only one I’ve ever been with,” Randy answered feeling a little unsure of himself. “Well you two do it enough though,” Felix stated more as a comment rather then a question. “Not as much as I’d like to,” Randy answered disappointedly. “Well, you need to turn the tables and make her want you rather than you wanting her,” Felix offered as advice. “Show me,” Randy requested which almost sounded borderline begging. “Well it’s sort of hard though because you really don’t have the correct parts,” Felix smirked with a devious look upon his face, but before either could respond Felix gently guided his hand on Randy’s chest. “You have to delicately touch them and caress them so that they beg for you to have your way with them,” Felix spoke softly as his finger tips traced the outline of what would be Randy’s breast if he had one. Felix leaned towards Randy so his face was on the side of his friend’s neck to allow his breath to come into contact with Randy’s skin in an attempt to show the effect. A sensation developing in Randy which sent shivers throughout his body. Their bodies weren’t actually touching at this point, but the close contact was enough for both of them to feel the moment and their erections began to grow. Randy, without thought, gravitated his hand towards his waistline in an attempt to begin to stroke himself, but once Felix’s penis grew enough, it came into contact with Randy’s side jolting Randy out of his thoughts and bringing the realization of a very awkward moment between the two. “You know what, just forget I asked,” Randy stated as he removed himself from Felix’s bed. It was then that a bolt of lighting ripped through the sky, the loudest crackling thunder that they both had ever heard, which managed to make Felix’s hairs stand on end. Randy’s response to the sudden sound sent him back onto the bed, but now, he found himself pressed firmly on top of his friend. Felix, out of instinct, grabbed hold of his friend to comfort him, but also thrusted his pelvis forward due to the mindset of their recent situation. Their lips were nearly touching, and both were breathing heavily due to fright from the lighting bolt that added to the already intense moment as they looked into each other’s eyes. Regardless of the reasoning for them being in such a compromising position, the moment suddenly took over and Randy allowed his head to lower as his lips came into contact with Felix’s. Felix started to slide his hands tenderly up and down Randy’s back, caressing it as if it was extremely delicate and would break. Eventually though, Felix lowered his hand onto Randy’s bottom and slightly squeezed it which made Randy thrust himself forward, grinding both of their groins together. Before long, Felix guided Randy onto his side and pulled one of his legs over him. Felix was first to slide his hand down and delicately dance around Randy’s member. Randy was soon to follow Felix’s lead, and before long they both were pleasuring the other, sending shock waves though each other’s bodies. The kissing was gentle, rather than aggressive, and their breathing was deep enough to express to the other not to stop. When Felix broke the kiss, Randy first moaned from the separation, until Felix relocated his head to the side of Randy’s neck, guiding his lips across his skin before tenderly sucking on a spot which made Randy gasp from joy. Randy responded by grasping harder as he was stroking Felix, causing Felix to suddenly groan out load. This began to quickly start a continuous cycle of constant pleasuring between the two, and before long, neither cared what was transpiring between them other than the fact that they were enjoying their moment together and only wanted more. By the time it was all over, both of them were equally spent, and they had both fallen fast asleep in the other’s arms, completely tired from the ordeal. When morning came though, Felix woke to find the bed empty with Randy clear from sight. Felix was more then dumbfounded by his actions from the night before and after cleaning up after himself, and the mess the two of them made, he made a point of seeking out his friend. Only this time, his calls went unanswered, and soon, after a few days, Felix slipped into depression as a direct result from the separation form his friend. This was a result of the simple fact that from the first time Randy and Felix met, not a day had gone by where both of them didn’t share the better part of the day in each other’s company. ****** Felix was slumping on the couch with his feet kicked up on the coffee table crossed legged with his head buried into his chest. He was totally buried into his depressed state as he pretended the world around him didn’t exist while he allowed himself to drift into whatever he happened to be watching on television. In fact, he had been there for so long, that he no longer knew what he was watching, nor did he notice as I approached him from behind. Like the normal older, and of course, more mature brother, I took the only route I could think of to help my younger brother who was desperately in need of some brotherly advice, and clobbered him in the back of the head. “Ahh… you fucken’ dick head,” he shouted at me as he rubbed the spot where I nailed him. “What the hell did you do that for?” “You tell me,” I said which got me a look that resembled shooting daggers from him and I quickly added, “Why do you have your ass glued to the couch?” “It’s not glued jerk, I can get up at any time,” he corrected. “Really? Then prove it. I bet there is a groove that will show a perfect outline of that gay ass of yours,” I teased. “I’m not a fucken queer asshole,” Felix muttered as he lowered his head and tensed into a ball on the couch. “Aww, did little Randy and you have a fight,” I taunted in a tone as if he was two years of age. “Don’t you fucken’ start,” he shot at me as he jumped from the couch, only to reveal I was right about the body outline he left behind. “Testy aren’t we?” I spoke realizing that typical brotherly bonding wasn’t going to work here and decided to alter my tactics. “Just leave me the fuck alone,” Felix blasted at me as he headed towards the door in an attempt to make a quick exit from the room. “I’m sorry bro, look if you’re really this bothered, then maybe you should call him,” I offered as way to make truce with him. Felix stopped cold as he looked back towards me as he stated hurtfully, “I’ve tried, but he won’t answer.” “So what did you do to piss him off?” I asked honestly in an attempt to try to help. “Nothing… apparently too much,” Felix spoke while feeling completely dejected. “Well aren’t we full of uncertainty,” I said as Felix took a seat back down clearly wanting to talk and yet also showing a clear notion of not wanting to speak about it either. “It wouldn’t have happen had it not been for that stupid thunderstorm,” Felix muttered. “Wait, I’m confused,” I spoke honestly. “Are you talking about the one that happened the other week, or the one that you saved Randy’s life in?” “The one at the end of last week, but now that you mention it, my life wouldn’t be so fucked up right now if I hadn’t been there to save Randy,” Felix spoke and he quickly winced at his own words. “Now that was just wrong, Felix. You saved his life, he’d be dead had it not been for you quick thinking. You love him too much, how could you even think like that?” I asked out of concern for my brother from knowing the history the two shared. “I don’t,” he stated very clearly. “It’s… just… complicated, that’s all.” “Nothing the two of you share is simple. You two have been tied together so much since you foolishly jumped into the lake to pull Randy out of the water after the lake was struck by lighting knocking him unconscious,” I pointed out as Felix mentally relived that day. “As a result of that day, he’s been afraid of thunderstorms ever since,” Felix spoke distastefully. “Why are you so upset about his fears with thunderstorms?” I had to ask for clarification. “Because things wouldn’t have gotten so out of hand,” he cryptically answered. “How have things gotten so out of hand?” I asked to try to clear the cryptic answers I kept receiving. “Well for starters, everything was fine until I went down on him,” he explained to me. Felix always looked up to me, even if there were several years between us, and I never really gave him the time of day during my younger years. Still, he always seemed to come to me for advice whenever he was unsure of himself. Under normal circumstances, I doubt Felix would ever have approached me on this topic, but I guess because of what he witnessed once when he walked in on two of my friends, he felt comfortable enough to open up and share this moment of intimacy between Randy and him. “Whoa, didn’t need the details, but thanks for the mental picture,” I blurted still shocked to hear Felix’s revelation. “You know what, I don’t need your stupid jokes right now,” he shot at me, and with good reason. “Seriously bro, when you care for someone like you two care for each other, you open doors that aren’t necessarily normally there. That’s because there has always been a fine line between friendship and love,” I offered to him in an attempt to try to help. “I’m not gay,” he informed me very clearly. “What does being gay have to do with it? I’m talking about love,” I responded trying to settle his mind and doing quite poorly at it. “But what if that means I’m gay?” “Then there is no point in fighting it, bro, but consider this; if you don’t let yourself figure it out now, you could very well one-day regret it and get yourself stuck into something you’ll not be happy with later,” I spoke as I noticed a light seemed to dawn within him. “Do you think I’m gay?” Felix asked me which rather caught me further of guard. “What I think doesn’t matter,” I smiled as I looked at a distraught Felix. “It matters… to me,” Felix whispered in sadness. Against my better judgement I caved and answered him, “I’m surprised that it’s taken you two this long for something to happen. I was certain you two were a couple ages ago, but what I think is that you are my brother, Felix, and the rest doesn’t matter.” With that, I rose out of my seat and allowed him to really consider what we had just spoken about. I was certain things for him were going to become even more unsettling than they already had been, but I was also certain he would be fine in the end. ****** When Felix opened the front door and found a sopping wet Randy facing him, it was clear Felix was shocked considering how Randy felt towards stormy weather. “Randy,” Felix finally was able to mutter out in barely more than a whisper, and it came across as more of a question, than a statement. Randy showed a determined expression when his voice, barely a whisper, finally managed to come out as he spoke though his teeth in a direct, yet clear gesture, “I’m not gay…” Felix, rather than responding with words, opened the door wider as he leaned forward and guided Randy inside with a hand pressing his shoulder. Felix closed the door and carefully locked it. Randy just stood there, completely unsure of himself, and although he was going to speak, suddenly he found he had no idea what to say. Felix grabbed a towel that was left hanging to dry from the previous day and placed it around Randy bringing part of it over his head to dry his hair. Randy reached up and started to dry his own hair as Felix instantly started to unbutton Randy’s shirt in an attempt to get him out of his soaking clothes. Suddenly, what was natural for the two of them because of constant habit though the years, suddenly felt foreign and confusing to them. The awkwardness continued to grow as Felix froze from only half-unbuttoning Randy’s shirt and exposing his upper chest, yet feeling completely powerless to let go. As they looked into each other’s eyes with a yearning for what they once had, Randy brought his arms slowly up and placed both hands on Felix’s arms, just above the elbows. The two slowly leaned in and rested their foreheads together as they closed their eyes, uncertain as to what the next move ought to be. “I know,” Felix finally answered as he then tenderly pulled Randy into an embrace much like he normally would when Randy was rattled by the storms. They found themselves looking into each other eyes, searching for something, with their lips hardly apart from the other while realizing that at any moment, either one of them could just lean forward and connect with the other. Neither one of them had seen me enter, nor neither one of them saw me duck out as I allowed them to share in their private moment. I was certain that whatever path they would travel down, they would be alright, but of course, I also knew that it was their affair and it was a private one at that. Discuss This Story
  6. I could just make myself out in the reflection of the broken mirror that the faint light seeping though the barred window provided me. It was dusk time, and they expected us to be resting in our beds shortly. I don’t know if you could call that a bed, and truthfully, I couldn’t decided which was more uncomfortable to rest on, the wooden box that they called a bed frame, or the thin mattress that makes hospital beds seem like a royalty’s dream. I guess I shouldn’t complain, at least now I’m no longer sleeping on the streets like I was before. I couldn’t help but feel like I was just taken out of one hell, and thrown into another one altogether. At least out there, I wasn’t in jail like I felt now, unable to breathe with the musk smell from those who have shared this same domain as I currently found myself in. The room was big enough to rest your head and for a small nightstand, and a lamp. A mirror was attached to the right of the door, I guess so one could check to make certain they looked presentable come dawn. That was when it was time to be allowed out of the confined space. I couldn’t help but feel slightly more than a little claustrophobic as a result. I gently touched the side of my face and winced from the pain of doing so. The bruises were noticeable, and no doubt by morning, I would have at least one good black eye. I noticed how different I looked compared to when I first entered as I got a quick glance at my face. I couldn’t recognize myself as my face was covered from having it pressed into the muddy ground. I could also make out dried blood as well, knowing full well it was my own. I guess because I was gay, I was being punished and allowed to practice what my afterlife would be like. I was lying down in a park, though frankly, for all I remember, I could have been in an alleyway from the lashing I had just received. I just remember a complete stranger found me there, broken and destroyed. I could tell it was a female by the tone of her voice, but what she said didn’t make sense. I just wanted to be left alone and allowed to have my remaining life end where I currently was. She had other plans for me though, and as she helped, or rather dragged, me up off the ground, she proceeded to introduce herself as Sister Mary Bernadette. “What is your name?” she asked me after a few moments of me staring at her. “Ethan,” I muttered out as I lowered my eyes to the ground. “Hmm… I have to wonder what it is that you find so interesting about the pavement down there, perhaps it’s that piece of chewing gum,” the nun commented, breaking the silence that had once again befallen upon us. I have to admit; I didn’t notice the piece of chewing gum until she pointed it out, but it was enough for me to raise my head so I was looking properly at her again, which was what, I’m certain, she was aiming for in the first place. “You seem beaten, Ethan,” I raised my eyebrow and wondered why she was stating the obvious. I went to open my mouth to speak, but was silenced as she spoke, “Do you have someone to call?” I didn’t say a word, I just shook my head while my eyes lowered and looked to the side as if I was trying to hide something from her. “May I show you something, Ethan?” she asked me, which after a few moments of wondering exactly what it was she wanted to show me, I nodded my head. She started to walk away, but stopped a short distance away when she looked back to see if I had followed. I hadn’t, and she waved me forward, to which I responded reluctantly. Perhaps it was my legs that were slowing me down, or perhaps the pain I felt from the recent pounding I received, but regardless, the nun slowed herself down to allow me to remain close. We continued walking in total silence and although I knew these streets fairly well, currently they seemed foreign to me, as if nothing around me seemed real anymore. Soon we had reached an intersection that I was all too familiar with. It was also enough for me to break the silence between us. “Why did you bring me here,” I asked as the nun stopped at the edge of the curb. “So we could cross to the other side,” she answered which I have to admit, provoked about a dozen jokes that pertained to the same meaning. I held back making any one of those commentary jokes as I figured this nun wasn’t one for joking with, and frankly, I wasn’t in a mood for one anyway. As we crossed the intersection, I couldn’t help but look back at were we came from and stared for a few moments, taking in the moment. Shortly though, I had to look away for it felt almost as if I was looking at a former home. I couldn’t help but notice when I turned back towards the nun that she had been paying attention, but had turned herself back towards where she was leading us. What she didn’t know, as least as far as I knew, was that, in fact, that corner had been my home for sometime now. It felt as if it was calling to me now, asking me not to leave, as it did not want to be left behind. A part of me, in that moment, felt like turning around because it was what I knew, and going with this nun held a certain sort of unknown approach behind it. “Coming?” the nun pulled me from my thoughts, as I hadn’t noticed my legs had stopped. I nodded once again as I took one last glance back, almost in an attempt to apologize to the corner for having to leave it behind. We didn’t speak another word until we reached the place she was leading me to. I should have guessed it was some sort of monastery, but I never expected to be taken in, cleaned up, and then fed. The nun showed me a room that looked more like a tiny storage closet and proceeded to inform me that this room was for me to rest. I didn’t know whether to be insulted, or grateful, but nodded my head as I entered. “We will continue this in the morning, Ethan. For now its time for you to get some rest,” and with that the Sister Mary Bernadette closed the door. Morning came for me all too quickly, mostly because for years now, I’ve never had to wake up at the crack of dawn, and that includes even when I was sleeping on the streets. I could get away with sleeping in much later than this ridiculous time and it was so clear to me that the sun itself had yet to break the horizon. I doubt even God himself would want us up at this time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was written somewhere in the bible too, but none the less, there was a knock at me door demanding my presence. “Ethan,” I could hear that familiar voice calling from the other side of the door. I didn’t respond, I just rose from where I was laying down and since I went to sleep with my clothes on, mainly from habit, I only required to combed my hair with my hands after glancing into the mirror before heading for the door. I think I might have startled Sister Mary Bernadette when I opened the door as quickly as I did, because she took a step back as I opened the door. “I’m sorry,” was what blurted out of my mouth. “There is nothing for you to be sorry for, now please follow me,” the nun declared as she turned and walked away. Sister Mary Bernadette began showing me around the convent and even though it appeared large from the outside, the inside was even more deceiving. The convent turned out to be a four-story building, not including the basement. The first level was your typical church aspect, where the people would come and pray on a weekly basis. Part of the second floor was used for classroom purposes, and there was also a larger room for studying. I guess it’s best to say it’s the library of the convent, despite the fact that the selections of books were limited. The third level was the section for sleeping, and the fourth level wasn’t really used, so the nun didn’t show me that level. The basement was used for mostly storage. The last place Sister Mary Bernadette showed me was the kitchen, located at the back of the building on the first level. By that point, my belly was clearly letting anyone who was in earshot know that it was very interested in being filled. “While you stay here, Ethan, you will be expected to earn your keep,” she stated which I turned and looked baffled. Stay? I thought she was just being nice, and by giving me a place to rest since I didn’t have a place to stay. I nodded my head in acknowledgement, while I slowly digested what was being offered to me. “There are a few rules which you much live by, the most important is to honor those around you, Ethan,” the nun declared before continuing. “We will not tolerate violence, regardless of where it takes place. You will also be expected to help clean, cook, and maintain the convent. You will respect the privacy of others, as they shall do the same for you. Also, because we know you will likely not be here forever, getting a job to prepare you back into the world is also advisable. However, before you can do that your studies need to be properly brought up to speed.” I couldn’t help but feel a bit insulted. I’ve been on my own for years, and now I’m being given rules to follow. On the other side, I sort of felt grateful that someone actually cared enough to want to install rules upon me. The last time I had to worry about that was when I was thrown though the front screen of my house, and then having the front door slam in my face. It truly was a bittersweet feeling, and my thoughts were pulled away once again when the nun raised her tone to grab my attention. “Does that sound acceptable to you, Ethan?” “Yes,” I responded. “That’s ‘yes Ma’am’, Ethan,” the nun corrected me. “Yes Ma’am,” I answered while nodding my head. “Good. Then let’s get started.” Six months had passed since I joined the convent. By now, I had settled into a routine of getting up as dawn was staring to break. My studies were progressing very nicely, and I actually was almost back to where I would have been had I not left school. It wasn’t easy adjusting to this new way of life and leaving my old ways behind me. Sister Mary Bernadette seemed to take special interest in me as she always corrected me when I erred. Never in a negative way, but rather, in a positive, let’s talk about it and understand why you did falter, kind of way. Sister Mary Bernadette approached me in the, I need your help but I’m not asking you if you want to help, kind of way. I just followed her, and soon enough I found myself in a room where there was a teenage boy sitting in a chair. He looked, and I swear one would have thought, that I had really hurt him badly by the way he responded to my presence. “Ethan, this is TJ,” Sister Mary Bernadette introduced us with a beat as she added, “He’s a runaway.” “Oh,” I said as I extended my hand in a friendly manner trying to defuse his unsettling manner just as I finished asking, “So TJ, what has you on the run?” TJ didn’t answer as Sister Mary Bernadette jumped in to answer for him, “That doesn’t matter, Ethan. What matters is that TJ is under God’s protection now and you will respect TJ’s privacy, just as we respect yours.” I nodded in acknowledgement and dropped the matter, however not before making a mental note that TJ breathed a sigh of relief as a result. With that made clear, Sister Mary Bernadette made her way out of the room leaving us to get to know each other better. “So TJ,” I said as a mischievous smirk began to appear upon my face, “shall I show you around? I promise not to bite,” I fired out to break the ice before adding, “much.” It was enough to make him smile. Today was TJ’s birthday, and after him joining the convent for several months now, I figured he deserved something special. It didn’t take long for us to become the closest of friends as we hit it off right from the start. By this point, there wasn’t too much that we kept from each other anymore, but still there were some things we dared not speak of. There was certainly one thing I dared not breathe a word about, considering how negative everyone reacted when they learned about it in the past. That, of course, was me being gay. I was thinking about that and remembered some of the assaults I’ve experienced from being found out of when TJ ripped me from my thoughts. I had hit the roof and he clearly saw it too. “Hey, Ethan, what’s wrong?” he asked sounding a bit sad from starting me. “Sorry TJ, I was just lost in my thoughts, that’s all,” I honestly explained as I placed a few books back on the shelf. I had started working at a bookstore part-time and although I tried to give most of the money I made to the convent, Sister Mary Bernadette insisted I open up an account and put at least half of it in there for when I would need it. “Hey no worries, I just hope they were enjoyable thoughts,” he stated in a tone that suggested he was hoping they were erotic. “I guess that depends on what you mean by enjoyable,” I stated in a tone that told him I want to make a joke back, but frankly, what I was really thinking about was clearly not enjoyable. TJ frowned slightly and dropped the topic right there on the spot. “So, I know you have something planned for us tonight, so spill, I can’t take it anymore,” he declared in a desperate tone, while pleading with me with those eyes of his. I have to admit that he’s learned very quickly how to read me and push my buttons, and it was taking everything I had, not to spill right then and there. I actually had to turn away from him just to avoid eye contact, or I knew I would break. “TJ, you’re going to just have to wait until I finish my shift,” I declared as I shifted my body away from him so that I wouldn’t see the disappointment coming from him. I put a few books back on the shelf, and decided that I needed to give him something to think about while he waited me to finish my shift. “I promise you one thing, TJ, it’s going to be a night you’ll never forget.” I could feel the smile grow upon his face, and remained there plastered, waiting as impatiently as possible for me to end my shift, even if he was half acting it just to drive me nuts in return. Sister Mary Bernadette with all her wisdom, made it clear to me that, in order for me to break free from the broken path I continued to follow, that I would have to be honest with myself and those around me. Now, I’ve never openly spoken with her, or anyone else for that matter, regarding the fact of me being gay, but I was certain she already knew the truth, even if I was too afraid to ask her about it. I was kicking stones outside in back where TJ and I would often go out to get fresh air. We stayed close though because by the time we finished all our chores, lessons, and both of our part-time jobs, dusk wasn’t far behind, which means we were bound to have to head to our chambers soon enough. Still, that would be nearly an hour away and we had lots of time for us to enjoy each others company. At least, I did anyway, I couldn’t help it that my emotions for TJ became more and more empowering, and the emotions I felt were clearly stronger then I’ve ever allowed before. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was mixing friendship emotions with other emotions, or if there really was something there. More than likely, it was wishful thinking, either way, I couldn’t go on avoiding how I felt, for it was eating at me more so than the fear of how he would react to learning the truth about me. “So, Ethan, what’s eating at you?” TJ asked “Oh, I was just thinking about stuff,” I responded in a dumb way, which I knew by now, would only provoke TJ to inquire further. “Like what sort of stuff?” “Err… hum… well… I… huh,” I stuttered out which kind of brought an amusing smirk out of TJ. “Sounds deep, Ethan, how about we try creating a understandable sentence like we learned in first grade,” he laughed, poking fun at my expense, which was enough to make me laugh and kill the tension I was feeling just then. “It’s just that when I talk about it, I often end up having a rotten experience come out of it,” I spoke with a sense of courage to admit the truth to him. “You’re talking about how you learned how to fly through screens aren’t you,” TJ concluded and I responded by nodding my head. TJ was quick to pick up on my thoughts, as our bond was undeniable. There was something that just clicked between us, but, what kept us from being as tight as possible was a dark secret which I dared not share from fear of the backlash I was certain to receive. “You know, you never did tell me why they threw you out,” TJ interjected in a subtle way of asking me for the truth but yet giving me the ability to back out if I wished it. “Oh, well it’s simple actually,” I braced myself as I tried to force it out of my mouth. “I mean it’s because they learned how sinful I was… err… I mean how bad I am.” “Ethan, you’re hardly a bad guy, in fact, I’d be willing to say you’re rather a sweet guy who cares about those around him.” “I’m gay,” I blurted out to him from out of nowhere. I don’t know why I said it at that moment, maybe I saw an opening and took it full on, or maybe I just needed him to see me for me for a change, either way, I had now spoken the dreaded words that held me at bay. I now winced at the half frown appear upon his face in the moment. I quickly went rigid, expecting a fist across my face at any given moment. “I know,” TJ spoke softly almost with a hurt tone. “What do you mean you know?” I couldn’t help but ask. How could he know, I tried everything I could to hide it. “I’ve known for a long time, Ethan. Ever since you… I mean… I just… I,” he seemed to fill up in pain inside as it became very clear that his emotions were hitting him hard. “TJ,” I asked in concern while completely forgetting what I just admitted to, finding myself worried about TJ instead. “Come on man, tell me what’s wrong?” I begged him as I subconsciously touched the side of his arm in support. “I’m sorry, Ethan, I just don’t want to hurt you again,” TJ blurted out as he bolted from me and headed inside the convent, practically in tears. I don’t know what bothered me more? The fact that me being gay made TJ cry, or the fact that apparently he’s afraid of hurting me. I decided to chase after TJ, because frankly I didn’t think there was a way he could possibly hurt me. As I got close to reaching out for his arm to hold him at bay, Sister Mary Bernadette blocked my path giving TJ the opportunity to escape for the moment. “Ethan,” she said in her stern tone. It was enough for me to forget TJ altogether, as I knew we were about to have another one of our chats. I decided to give TJ a bit of space, mostly out of fear of how he would react towards me, since I’m certain it will be different now that he knows the truth about me. It was my turn to do the dishes and I offered to do it alone since I wanted to be alone at the moment, and besides I knew the others had studying to do. Because I was doing it alone, things were going slower then normal, I had gotten all the dishes done and I was now cleaning the last of the counters. I heard someone come in, but I didn’t pay any attention towards whom it was, and after a few minutes of silence, I figured they had left. “Ethan?” I heard TJ’s voice coming from behind. “Yes, TJ?” I turned my head a little unsure of myself, but I couldn’t help but smile at him as I stopped what I was doing to give him my full attention. “I need to tell you something,” he stated with what sounded like a hint of a nervous tone in his voice. “Oh, and what is that?” I asked in a concern tone still half expecting him to be upset with my admission. “It’s about the reason why I came here, the reason I was on the run,” he declared with an expression that showed just how determined he was to inform me of what he’s kept hidden all this time. “Okay, then, take a deep breath and start at the beginning,” I smiled to try to ease his state of mind so I took us into the hallway where there was a bench and sat us both down. I figured this would give him the time to gather his thoughts so he could explain to me what was on his mind. “I just know, Ethan, that you’re not going to be happy about what I have to tell you,” TJ spoke with a desperate tone in his voice. I don’t know how I got where I was, or how much time had passed since TJ’s admission to me, I only know I was fueled by a new emotion that I wasn’t able to contain. Rage. It consumed me to the fullest extent. Somehow, I had gotten to the library, and was busy redecorating the place. I was so consumed by my thoughts that I was unaware that someone had entered the room. “What troubles you my child, that you have allowed this darkness that seems to cover you like a shroud?” Sister Mary Bernadette calmly spoke while ripping me from my thoughts. “Why do you think I’m troubled?” I asked out of confusion. “It could be the sour look that is currently displayed on your face, or it might even be the tightly clenched fists you currently seem to have. Either way, that freshly made hole that you’ve kindly created for us on the wall over there suggests that something has you so deeply troubled,” she gestured towards the hole on the side of the wall. I had been so consumed by TJ’s admission to me, that I hadn’t realized that it consumed me to the point that it took complete control over my emotions. Only now, did it dawn on me that I had become so angry, that I managed to punch a hole into the wall. “I’m sorry,” I spoke in a weakened tone that clearly showing my shame. “I take it TJ has something to do with your current mood,” she firmly spoke more as a statement then a question. “Why do you think that?” I muttered, more in a whisper that suggested that I just been caught with my hand in a cookie jar. “It was one of the less colourful words you were using just before I entered to witness you assault the wall,” she offered. “Oh,” was all that came out of my mouth as my body relaxed and all the anger within me dissipated. Sister Mary Bernadette seemed to pick up on that, because I’d swear she seemed to relax suddenly too. “Do you realize that this is the first time you’ve ever repressed any anger towards anyone other than yourself, Ethan?” Sister Mary Bernadette pointed out. I went to object, and as I opened my mouth to correct her, I found myself closing it with the sudden truth of that realization. I always suppressed all anger towards anyone, for I quickly turned to believe it was my fault that they were angry in the first place. “He was one of them,” I weakly pointed out towards Sister Mary Bernadette that she then nodded in response. The two of us began discussing resent events and what lead up to my current mood. I don’t know how long we stayed there, discussion my current situation, but Sister Mary Bernadette was the one who noticed that night was now upon us. “We will certainly be talking more regarding this, Ethan, but for now it’s time for you to head to your sleeping quarters and to get some rest,” she stated. “Yes, Sister Mary Bernadette,” I bowed in respect as I finished, “and thank you.” “You’re welcome, Ethan,” she offered as I headed towards the door. “Oh, and Ethan.” “Yes Ma'am?” I asked with my hand on the door. “Tomorrow you will patch this unsightly hole,” she once again gestured to the hole I had made. “Yes Ma’am,” I nodded in acknowledgment as I made my way out of the room and towards my chambers. It had been over a week since TJ admitted to me that he belonged to the gang that decided to gang up on me the night Sister Mary Bernadette found me. I had not spoken with him since that day. I could see in his eyes that he missed me, though my anger prevented him from ever daring to approach me. I felt betrayed, largely at TJ, but partly myself, for allowing my memory to fail me like it had. I was also angry towards Sister Mary Bernadette too, for I was certain she knew of the part TJ played towards me and I no longer knew where people loyalties laid. I was asked to work late and I gratefully accepted the extra hours tonight. First and foremost, it was my birthday, and I’m turning the age of an adult. Secondly, I no longer had anyone I wanted to hang out with. For the first time in a long time, being alone hurt, so I found the added distraction of working welcoming. Still, I knew I wouldn’t be able to work to closing the store, as I still belonged with the convent and I was used to certain rules now. I had an hour before nightfall, and I knew it was time for me to head back. I swiped out and headed back to the convent, however, since I was running behind, I cut down an alleyway that I knew about, but rarely took. I had to duck quickly when I turned around the corner, as there were a group of people talking in the alleyway when I entered and at first I thought they had seen me, but quickly learned they were focused on each other. There were five of them, and that’s when I saw him. TJ was one of the five there, and it dawned on me then who the other four were. I bet they were getting a good laugh at my expense and I wasn’t in the mood to take it. Seeing the sight actually fueled my fire inside and I was ready for them, even if I was still terrified from the last encounter. I was about to make a move, and move back out of the alleyway, but as I was about to budge I saw the four gang up on TJ. It quickly went from shoving to punching, and before I was able to process what was going on, TJ was on the ground as the four of them were kicking the crap out of him. A flashback rolled through my mind just then, as I knew how it felt to be where TJ was now, and part of me was slightly content that TJ was living where I had been, but that’s about where things began to blur for me. The anger of all my life came to the brim, as I couldn’t stand the site of TJ being pummeled needlessly. Without thought, I grabbed the nearest object and threw it as hard as I could at the four bullies. “Hey assholes,” I spat out in a venomous tone, “don’t any of you know how to fight fair, or are you all a bunch of wimps who can only win a fight in groups?” It was enough for the four to alter their focus to me, and forget about TJ, which I was grateful for, despite my current mood towards him. I grabbed a stick and over the next few minutes I took some interesting assaults while fighting back for the first time in my life. At one point, I was on the ground but I could have sworn I saw TJ fending them off for me. Before I knew it, the tables had turned and the four bullies were crawling away after receiving the most vicious beating of their lives. Now that the fight was over I turned my attention to TJ and I was still fueled from adrenaline. I think I slightly frighten him as he backed up quickly and fell down on his backside. It was enough for me to wash away the remaining rage I held onto and tossed the stick I clenched onto tightly to the side. “Sister Mary Bernadette isn’t going to happy about this,” TJ blurted out as he touched the already growing shiner on his left eye. “Yeah well, sometimes, one needs to face the devil full on,” I shot back knowing full well he was talking about me fighting the bullies who just picked on him and not the bruises he was about to get. “That’s not what we were taught, Ethan, and now that you’re eighteen, they will kick you out of the convent for this,” TJ spoke while clearly showing how much he still cared. “I don’t care. Besides, it’s not the first time I’ve been kicked out of a place or found myself on the streets,” I declared while giving TJ a stern look. TJ made no attempt to get off the ground almost as if he was hopping I would just leave him there to rot right were he laid. I actually found myself pondering doing just that, but I knew I couldn’t and instead offered a hand to help him up. Rather then taking my hand though, TJ sat there staring at it as if it was some sort of foreign object. “I don’t deserve your friendship,” TJ blurted out in a weakened tone after a few moments of awkward silence. “No, you don’t,” I spoke coldly as I gave up waiting for him to take my hand and bent down and pulled him up. As we walked back towards the convent, I saw TJ constantly looking at me from the corner of his eyes and a few times he even opened his mouth to speak but dared not say a word out of fear of what I might reply. I have to admit, it actually bothered me to see him so broken up over what I still thought of him, and I couldn’t help but feel guilty over that. I found myself nearly breaking the silence, if only to break the awkwardness between us that was so clearly present. Perhaps I was just unwilling to give into him yet, or perhaps, I really didn’t care about us anymore, either way, I ended up never wavering, and as a result nothing more was said between us on our way back to the convent. My eyes wandered around the tight space which was my own private space for the last few years and wondered if this would be my final night that I would spend protected in what I now considered home. When I first was brought here, the strange aromas revolted me because they were so apparent, but as time went by, I grew accustomed to them, and now found the thought of not sleeping with them around me disturbing. My fate was sealed though and I figured there was no point in worrying about what would come next. I turned towards the mirror and saw the bed in the reflection of the mirror. I couldn’t help but chuckle slightly to myself as I remembered that when I first arrived here. I couldn’t decide what was more uncomfortable, the wooden bed frame or the mattress that actually made hospital beds comfortable. It was then that it dawned on me that I still had no clue of an answer to that question, and suddenly realized that I no longer cared. It was springtime and the end of my eighteenth birthday I looked hard into the mirror seeing my reflection staring back at me. My childhood was behind me as I was now officially an adult. I peered into the eyes of the face that is so familiar to me, yet I could not help but see a stranger looking back. My childhood was indeed ending as my life as an adult was just beginning; yet strangely for the first time in my entire existence I found that I was not afraid. Discuss this story here
  7. Bardeara

    A Proper Push

    Being awoken by the phone is by far the most annoying way to wake up, especially if you haven’t been sleeping well for the last few weeks. It was one of those weeks where nothing seemed to be going right for me, and as a result I decided to throw my hands up and just sulk in bed. Maybe it was my mind’s way of sabotaging everything just so that I would allow myself to rest for a change. It seemed to work too, because before I knew it I had entered into a dreamscape with some very intense imaginings. I would like to say that they were peaceful thoughts, but because of how inconstant I was with myself and the life I currently lead, that it would nearly be impossible to have any kind of a pleasant dream. I couldn’t actually say exactly what my dreams were, but I do know I went from an upset emotional state where I felt twisted inside with knots in my stomach to grabbing the phone next to my bed feeling rather frustrated and angry. It took all I could do to not actually greet the person who dared to interrupt me by screaming at them, but I’m certain the person on the other end of the line knew I wasn’t amused because when I said ‘Yes’ rather than hello as I normally would there wasn’t a response. "Anyone there,” I said sharply though by now I could hear someone breathing on the other end. "I’m sorry to bother you Justin, but have you heard from Sheldon?” an upset voice finally spoke just as I was about to swear at them and slam the phone down. Rather than answering I glanced over at the clock to see what time it was and made note that it wasn’t even noon. I knew something was up by the tone of her voice, but since I still was sort of crusty from being awoken I just shrugged my shoulders knowing she wouldn’t see so she didn’t hear in my voice the lack of care I currently held. "I’m sorry I haven’t, is there something wrong?” I decided to ask. Sheldon and his father had a huge argument. There were a lot of things said and Sheldon screamed at us saying he would never be a burden to us again before slamming the front door. I’ve called everyone I know and you’re the only one left that I know he might turn to.” It was enough for me to snap out of my grumpy mood and sit straight up. I knew Sheldon’s family fairly well and also knew they had a very loving home. I often found it odd and was even jealous that they rarely had any disagreements. In fact, when they did they always turned out to be minor and very simple arguments that barely raised their voices. To hear that Sheldon and his father were actually yelling at each other was enough for me to know things were more serious than they first appeared. "When did this happen?” I inquired. "When Sheldon came home from school yesterday. That’s when Gary confronted Sheldon regarding some things we’ve noticed recently. We haven’t heard from him since,” she spoke, though it was clear she was on the verge of crying again. I had known Sheldon a long time; he spent a lot of time at my house as he grew up, and despite the age difference we had become quite close. I might have been an adult, but Sheldon seemed a lot wiser than most would give him credit for. I was often bothered by the fact that Sheldon would rather hang out with me than peers his own age, but over time, I came to accept that he was his own person and would do what suited him best. What Sheldon lacked in age he certainly made up in spirit and once he picked up on the pain I was in he made it his personal mission to be there when I needed someone the most. I must admit that I found it difficult to actually let my guard down when Sheldon was merely a child, but when someone is as persistent as Sheldon is, it doesn’t matter how thick those walls are, he will eventually break them down into dust. "I’m sorry, but he hasn’t contacted me. I may know of a few places where I can look for him, give me some time and I’ll let you know when I’ve found him,” I informed her. After hanging up the phone, I pulled myself out of bed. I currently felt like I had been hit in the head by a hammer, but that was expected considering my lack of sleep. I quickly put on my clothes and grabbed my keys. By the time I reached my car, it dawned on me I really had no clue where to find Sheldon; I had only said it to make his mother feel better. Truth be told, most children will return home despite the arguments they have with their parents. With the age that Sheldon was at now, I was rather surprised he wasn’t having more arguments from wanting to be more independent. Wasn’t that the way of a teenager’s life, to figure out who you were, and to try to separate yourself from your parents? I turned on my car, backed out of the driveway, and just started driving. I really wasn’t looking for anything in particular though, for I just couldn’t remember any of the places Sheldon hangs out, but I did make note if I spotted someone who might have look like him. By the time I figured out where I was going, I was stopped, in a parking lot staring at a park which I hadn’t been in for some time. I used to come to this park all the time and shared many happy memories here, but those days were gone for me, as the memories had been tarnished in recent years by the cold hard reality of life. I turned off the car and opened the door, not really feeling much, just feeling dazed. I was half way down the path, and by now my car was far from sight. That’s when it hit me that I didn’t remember locking the car, not that it mattered much because who would steal it anyway. The only things worth any value were the last few remaining memories it had to offer me. I shook off those thoughts and continued on my way up the hill and veered off the path like I had done so many times in the past. I kept telling myself to go back, to not go down this road as it would only torture me more. Still I couldn’t stop myself, as if I was being guided. By the time I neared the peak, I found myself staring at a figure sitting at the edge of the cliff, overlooking the lake below. As I approached, it became clear to me that it was Sheldon, and I knew I would be able to approach him without him noticing since his back was to me. I found it odd that he remembered this exact place so well, especially since I only showed it to him once and even then it was such a long time ago. "Taking in the sites?” I softly spoke as I came up behind him. "Sheldon shrugged his shoulder, though he didn’t turn his head to address me. “I wasn’t certain if you would come.” "I’ll admit, I’m surprised to find you here,” I stated. "Mom called didn’t she?” Sheldon asked though it came across more as a statement rather then a question. "She did,” I offered though held back saying too much. "They hate me,” Sheldon softly stated as I became aware that he was crying. "No they don’t,” I offered as I neared him. Yes they do, they just don’t know it yet,” Sheldon declared. I sat down behind him and put my arm around him to comfort him. He leaned into me as he started to cry a lot harder than he had moments before. I knew Sheldon enough to know it was pointless to ask him anything when his emotional state was the way it currently was, so I just allowed his tears to flow until there was nothing left for him to let out. I already knew what he was talking about, I had figured it out some time ago, but I also knew it was up to him to tell me. It had to be him to offer it up, for forcing it out of him would only make it harder for him to admit. It appeared though that now was the time I needed to offer him a bit of a shove in the direction he needed to go and I was determined to help him along. "Are you ready to tell me what’s got you so twisted up inside?” I asked. Sheldon didn’t offer anything other than to shake his head, but I decided staying in a place that had such a history for me, wasn’t going to help Sheldon much and felt it best to remove myself, and him from here. It didn’t take much effort to get him to stand, and I held one arm around him as we walked down towards the car. We didn’t say much on the way down the path, as neither one of us really wanted to. I knew Sheldon was torn now with what he was feeling inside, and I was twisted up with having to come into contact with a past I can never have again. The car ride back to my place was equally uneventful, and Sheldon took it upon himself to change the radio station every thirty seconds mostly to distract himself. I guess he expected me to take him straight home, but I knew him well enough to know that it wouldn’t be best for him. He needed to unwind and so I took him to my place where he felt most comfortable at times like this. He was surprised when I pulled into my driveway, and he was all too willing to get out and make his way into the house. I decided to put on a pot of coffee and try to figure a way that I could get Sheldon to talk. For the next ten minutes, while he was channel surfing on the television, I took the opportunity to contact his home just as I agreed to do. His mom was of course the one to answer. "Justin, did you find him?” Megan spoke with a panicked tone. I spoke in a low tone, “Yes I did, he’s rather upset right now, I promise to bring him home in a bit once he’s calmer.” I knew she would trust me to take care of him, but I also knew she wanted to know what was going on. She didn’t ask though, and I was grateful for that, though I had a feeling it was because she knew I wouldn’t give her the answers she was seeking. Those answers had to come from Sheldon and I felt like she knew it as well. She asked me to call if there was any trouble, though I assured her Sheldon would be fine. Once I hung up the phone, I poured two cups of coffee and brought them both out before handing one to Sheldon. "So, what did she say,” Sheldon asked while staring into his mug. I knew it would be best not to pretend like I hadn’t called, for Sheldon knew I would call to put his parents’ mind at ease. “Your mother wanted to know if you were ok, she’s rather worried about you.” I answered. "Well they shouldn’t be, for I’m nothing but a disgrace to them anyway,” Sheldon muttered. Now I think that’s a bit harsh, you are who you are, and all your parents’ wish is for you to be happy,” I offered hoping he would take it to heart. "That’s because you don’t know, if you did you would change your mind.” "What don’t I know?” I asked trying to challenge him. Sheldon put the mug on the coffee table in front of him as he glanced toward the bookshelf next to the television. He got up and walked over to the photo and delicately picked it up in both hands. Had anyone else picked up that photo I would certainly have asked them to put it back down, but with Sheldon I felt content on allow him the privilege. "You didn’t bring me this year to see her,” Sheldon spoke without turning to look at me. "I didn’t want to burden you,” I admitted. It was enough for Sheldon to whip his head around and glare at me. “Don’t you dare start that again, if anything I’m the burden who won’t stop nagging you to get out of this rut.” It’s funny how quickly the adult can become the child when it comes to Sheldon and me, but perhaps that was the joy of our unique relationship. We’ve always been there for each other and somehow knew where to find the other when push came to shove. Right now Sheldon decided to use my weakness to try to avoid the matter at hand. "I’m sorry,” I genuinely said. "You know, you never actually told me how she died,” Sheldon decided to ask while I felt a bit vulnerable. "I’ll tell you, but you need to answer one question first,” I requested while trying to turn the tables back on him. "Ok,” Sheldon agreed though I wasn’t certain who was truly leading who into their web. "I want to hear it from you, the truth that is; why do you feel you’re an apparent disgrace to your parents?” I asked being as direct and bold as I could. Sheldon went suddenly ridged; he wouldn’t beat around a topic when asked so clearly but this time he clamed up. I don’t know how many seconds went by as the pain in his face grew, but it was evident that he felt he was totally carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. "I think I’m gay,” Sheldon whispered as he lowered his head. Sheldon was obviously expecting a negative response from me and, most likely, had convinced himself that everyone he loved was bound to hate him for uttering such a thing. I had already determined the truth about his sexuality, and knew he needed to say it freely rather then being asked if he was. "A brain aneurysm,” I responded almost catching him of guard by answering his question. Sheldon looked like he was about to burst into tears, I was quick to approach him as I grabbed him in my arms. I guess it was silly of me to hold back the truth of how my wife died, but actually admitting it only made it feel real. "You could have told me you know,” Sheldon softly said. “I always thought she jumped off the edge where you found me today.” I always knew Sheldon had an active mind, and it was apparent in that moment that I should have let him know the truth some time ago. Sheldon already knew how I meet my wife on that hill one day while we were both walking and bumped into each other. He just didn’t know how she died, only that it happened on that very hill where we meet. The next few hours were rather quiet, we really didn’t say much. Sheldon ended up lying on the couch with his head in my lap while I gently stroked his hair giving him the support he needed. By the time I finished my coffee it was rather cold. Sheldon barely touched his. The movie we watched was some sort of low budgeted movie, and frankly it didn’t hold my attention at all. I spent most of my time watching Sheldon while making him feel content enough to know I was alright with him no matter who he was. "So, do you have a boyfriend?” I finally dared to ask, breaking the silence between us. "No,” he answered. “There is someone I’m interested in though,” he offered. "I guess if you two hook up, I’ll have to get jealous that he’s stealing all our time together,” I teased rather than prying into who it might be. “Do I have to tell them?” he asked. "You know you’re going to have to,” I said simplistically. “Considering the argument you had with your father, you know the truth will need to come out.” "They won’t understand,” Sheldon pleaded. "You don’t truly know that, besides they might surprise you,” I explained. “They don’t understand me like you do, maybe we should hook up,” Sheldon smirked clearly trying to lighten the mood. "Two issues I see right off the top. One you’re a minor, and two I’m not gay,” I kindly pointed out. "Yeah I guess you wouldn’t care to share a room with someone named Butch huh,” Sheldon chuckled in amusement. "True, however, if I were gay, then lets just say it’s a good thing that there are those laws,” I played along trying to lighten the mood. "Yeah, good thing for those,” he said though I noticed his tone dropped and seemed to carry off. I felt my head adjust slightly to one side as I wondered what Sheldon was currently thinking, though I decided it best to drop the topic and not press the matter further. We talked a lot throughout the day; he really poured his heart out regarding what he was feeling way more than he ever did before. I admitted to him that I had suspected for some time that he was gay, but I didn’t want to push him into telling me before he was ready to do so. By the look on his face I think he was offended that he wasn’t able to shock me with the news, however, what bothered me was he didn’t think he could turn to me and felt the only way he could solve everyone’s problem was to just disappear forever. I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed to learn that, but I defiantly understood how he felt. There were so many times I felt so alone and uncertain about where I could turn that I felt like it would be best for me to disappear. For me, through all the years without my wife, Sheldon became my reason for continuing on. I couldn’t bear the thought of destroying him by just having him wake up one day and learn that I didn’t want to be here anymore. I made certain he understood that too, and to consider what I would have gone though along with his other friends and family if he did just that. By the end of the day he understood it enough to agree it was finally time to go home and face his demons head on. Okay, those were his choice of words, although he wasn’t actually referring to his parents as demons, but rather his fears and the bitterness that he carried from having to hide so much inside. When we reached his house it was already dark, though I could clearly see that he was trembling as to what would come next. I gave him the warmest smile to assure him all would be well though I knew a smile wouldn’t be enough as facing something like this was defiantly no easy task. Sheldon’s parents were quick to get to the door when they heard it open, though what surprised them was to find I was facing them with Sheldon cowering behind me like he were about to be brutally punished. I raised my hand up to silence both of them from actually saying something that they might actually regret. "Sheldon has something very important that he needs to talk to you about and right now what he needs you to do is to just listen to him,” I explained They looked from me to Sheldon and then toward each other, before making their way to the living room and taking a seat on the edge of their sofa. I walked Sheldon over to one of the chairs and watched as he sunk into the seat like he was about to be given a life sentence in prison. "Sheldon right now needs the loving parents that I know you both are,” I stated while choosing my words very carefully. “Just… listen to what Sheldon has to say. I’ll be outside if you need anything,” My eyes looking toward Sheldon as I said that last part and gave him a small smile to remind him that I was here for him. I made my way outside, closing the front door quietly behind me so that I could give them the privacy they now needed. I took a seat on the porch chair and just waited. I wasn’t really certain what to expect and as I sat there I thought about how torn Sheldon has been. Losing track of time, I was caught off guard suddenly when I found myself in the dark after someone turned off the porch light from the inside. They apparently had forgotten about me, or maybe thought I left and went home, but I couldn’t help taking it slightly personally that I was left in the dark. This time alone on the porch did give me a chance to really think about Sheldon’s current situation and what sort of life he was going to have. Up until now he had been hiding in the shadows of a life that wasn’t really his and I knew without a doubt that with the support of his parents, he would be able to break free from that and live a life that would make him happier than if he hid the truth about his sexuality. It was with that thought that I found myself playing with my wedding band. I was turning it around my finger, like it was just recently put on there, as if it was something I wasn’t used to wearing yet. It dawned on me that, like Sheldon, I myself had been hiding in the shadows but for me it was because of a life that was no longer mine. We had both become prisons of our own minds and in doing so grew totally unhappy with ourselves and our lives. With that thought dancing in my head, for the first time since my wife’s passing, I began thinking and actually began to consider that perhaps it was time to let go and allow myself to live life once again. Sometimes, all it takes is a proper push to get there. © 2008 Bardeara
  8. “Once upon a time, there was a young woman who lived with her two step-sisters and her step-mother. Her stepfamily was of the wicked sorts, and took full advantage of their fortune of inheriting a housekeeper, at least that’s what they treated her as. Her name was Cinderella, and although she always wore ragged clothing made from patched up hand me down clothing from her sisters, she had a heart like no other. She dreamt that things would change one day for her and she would meet someone, who would take her away from all this, and they would live happily ever after,” I paused, looking over to see if my love was still listening before continuing. “See one day, a messenger came to invite all the single women to a ball to meet a charming prince who was seeking a bride. Cinderella became excited by the news as she had secretly made herself a dress which she was hopping to be able to use one day. When the day came to go to the ball, her wicked stepfamily decided that she could only go to the ball after she finished a long list of chores, one that they certainly added more to than normal. They also pointed out that she did not have a dress of her own, but when Cinderella explained that she did, her stepfamily deliberately ruined it by ripping it apart.” “That horrible, why would someone do such a thing?” I heard my love speak from the other room. “Well apparently, the stepfamily decided that one of Cinderella’s stepsisters would be the perfect match for this prince and I’m guessing the dress Cinderella made proved that there was going to be some competition,” I kindly pointed out. “So what happened?” my love was trying to say while drinking at the same time. It made me chuckle as I continued, “Cinderella was heartbroken by the scene so much, that it became clear she wasn’t going to get her chance to go to the ball. The stepfamily left Cinderella alone and she then broke into tears. This is when something magical happened and her fairy godmother came and used her magic to create a dress like no other. The fairy godmother created glass slippers for Cinderella to wear, and then a carriage to take Cinderella to the ball, but with a warning that the spell would end at the stroke of midnight.” I smiled as I noticed my love appeared around the corner for a moment, clearly taking an interest in my story that I was telling him, before he ducked back into the room to continue on his tasks. “Cinderella got to the ball late, but she didn’t care, for she got to go and that made all the differences. She ending up making an entrance that was fit for a queen and everyone was taken aback, including her stepfamily. The prince took extra interest in Cinderella and the night quickly became their own. That was, until the stroke of midnightwas upon them, and Cinderella bolted from the palace before the beautiful dress turned back into rags. The prince tried to stop her, but to no avail; in fact he didn’t even learn her name. The only thing the prince had to go on was the simple fact that she left behind one of the glass slippers. The prince became determined to learn who she was as she had captivated his heart, and so he sent out a search and had every woman try on the glass shoe until he had found her. Alas, he came up short, and with one last home, his hope had faded of finding her. Cinderella’s stepmother tried to keep her hidden from sight while the prince visited, but it wasn’t long before she was discovered and forced into showing her face. By doing so, she was finally free to prove that she was the one who wore glass slipper to the ball. Cinderella’s stepfamily was furious, but the damage was done, and the prince swept Cinderella away to live as his bride and to live happily ever after.” “I love happy endings,” my love spoke as he entered the room. Hearing me speak delighted him, I could tell that he was restless by today’s events and before he could speak to comment on the end of the story I cut him off. “Well most people would stop there, but that’s where the story actually begins. See, Cinderella and the prince had a wonderful life together; they married, and before long had a son and named him Darryl. As he grew up it he became very troublesome, in fact, no matter how much one disciplined him, he still continued to disobey everyone that he came across. As time went by, and Darryl grew, things changed. Although his parents love him dearly despite his faults, it became clear that they no longer felt the same towards each other. It wasn’t long until the wonderful prince, found some lady who needed rescuing from several dwarfs, at least, I think she needed help. He abandoned Cinderella and Darryl high and dry for his new love,” my love stopped and looked at me with his head tilted to the side and he seemed like he was about to speak, but before he said a word I raised my hand to silence him and continued. “It wasn’t all bad, they got to remain in the castle, and Prince Charming took his new love to live in another one to once again, live happily ever after. From what I’ve heard, they were happy for a while, until one day he found a rundown castle and entered it only to find a lady fast asleep. Apparently, he messed up that marriage when he woke the sleeping lady with a simple kiss. I’m not really certain what happened beyond that, but it doesn’t really matter. The point is, that Prince Charming seemed to only mess up every relationship he got himself into, and that if there is a thing called happily ever after, then it’s only short lived. Anyway, Cinderella now was raising Darryl, without his father, and as a result, Darryl became even more of a hellion. One day while the two of them were out celebrating Darryl’s seventh birthday, Cinderella broke her heal on her shoe just as they passed a shop where they fixed and restored shoes. They made a quick stop in and Cinderella asked the shopkeeper to help her out. He was more then willing of course, but they would need to wait until it was ready. The shopkeeper suggested they have something to eat and drink as his home was actually connected to the shop. Cinderella agreed and prayed Darryl wouldn’t be much of a bother.” I looked over and noticed my love was no longer in sight. Apparently I got caught up in my own story and didn’t notice him leave the room. I wasn’t worried though, I knew he was still listening to every word I was saying. “Cinderella was shocked to see that Darryl behaved himself not for the shopkeeper, but because of the shopkeeper’s son. Though Cinderella was certain it was a fluke, she decided to see if, in fact, Vincent, the shopkeeper’s son, could tame her son. Vincent passed and actually succeeded, where so many others, including herself, had failed. She learned very quickly that it was no fluke and so she did the only thing she could think of, she asked the shopkeeper to allow Vincent to become Darryl’s personal aid. The shopkeeper reluctantly agreed, mostly because he knew his son would most likely have to move into the castle, so he agreed to a trial, but the terms were that Vincent was allowed to come home whenever he pleased.” “How often did he return home to his father?” my love asked while peering around the corner, without a top on. “Oh, in the beginning, Vincent was constantly homesick and was always heading home but, as time grew on, Vincent seemed to prefer to remain with Darryl. Cinderella felt badly for that, and made a special room just for the shopkeeper so he could stay whenever he wished. As the seasons flew by, and Vincent and Darryl grew up, so too did their bond.” I noticed my loves interest peek as he reentered the room in his nightwear. He didn’t say much, but I could actually see a longing in his eyes, a look that I’d become all too familiar with. “Their affair seemed a simple one, more of a way to express their affection towards each other then anything else. They kept it secret, mostly out of fear of what might be bestowed upon them if others learned the truth. This was simply for the fact that it was forbidden for two people of the same sex to love each other in that way. To expresses it would cause such a disastrous response with repercussions that neither sat well with.” By this point, I had moved closer to my love as he was now sprawled on the bed in such a way that not only did he silently ask for closeness, but also a need for support. “Did they ever get caught?” my love asked, and although I didn’t say a word my look towards him spoke a thousand folds. “When you live a life like Darryl lived, in a castle, and as a prince, secrets spread among the servants very quickly, especially if the gossip was a juicy tale such as this. Once word had gotten back to them that everyone except Vincent’s father and Darryl’s mother knew, it was clear that their love for each other was in jeopardy. They tried to bury the truth by pretending it never happened, but their undeviating love for each other proved to be a stronger foe than fear of retribution. During that period, Darryl remembered a time when he was very young where he asked his father why there were no stories about two boys finding love? After a few moments, probably from trying to digest what was asked, he responded with a slight tone of aggravation. He informed Darryl that it was because that sort of thing never happened, and that a man only found true happiness when he married the woman he’s meant to be with.” My love frowned by that statement, and justifiably so. Once again, I silenced him from saying a word by placing my finger gently upon his lips, sending a sensation clearly through both our bodies. It was enough to hush him as I continued the tale. “It was clear to Darryl that, what his father told him so many years ago was false, as he had indeed found pure happiness with Vincent, even if it was forbidden through-out the land. It wasn’t long after Darryl’s revelation that fear was overpowered by their love for each other, and soon afterwards when they could no longer deny what was true; they gave in completely to their emotions. It was shortly after this day, that both Vincent’s father, and Darryl’s mother, discovered the truth about their boys. Neither took the news very well, and Vincent took it the hardest when his own father declared he never had a son, before walking out on him for good.” I had decided to disband the story at that point, as the story just seemed too cruel to tell, but surprisingly, my love placed his head over my chest, which calmed me instead. It was as if he was willing me to continue on, and despite my silent objection, that was just what I did. “Cinderella was better over discovering the truth than Vincent’s father, but denial sometimes itself can do more harm then abandonment. At least without Vincent’s father around, Vincent was able to deny his father even knew and even convinced himself that his father lived too far away to visit. Darryl, on the other hand, had to face his mother on a daily basis. She didn’t openly speak of her disapproval towards her son, but sometimes words need not be spoken when her actions spoke louder. Their relationship changed quite suddenly at that point, to a level where they seemed more like distant strangers passing in the night, than a mother and son’s relationship should be.” “So what did they do?” my love asked as if like a young child asking their parent who was telling them their bedtime story. “Well, with time, the silence became deafening for Darryl, and with that, he made a declaration. He actually was taken back when his own mother appeared to take the news that he was leaving for good much harder then he thought she would have. Darryl never did leave the castle walls though, because the day before Vincent and he were to depart, fate altered everything. Until this day, many felt that Vincent and Darryl were under some sort of wicked spell, but after this, it was clearer than ever that the only spell they were under was love. On this day, however, things would become very different as it was deemed that a wicked spell was placed upon them, the kind that would cause Darryl to lose Vincent, perhaps forever.” I smiled at the way my love clutched onto me at that point; clearly picturing in his mind what life would be like without me. At least that's what I imagined when it came to him. I continued the tale without objection, “On that day, Vincent and Darryl decided to take a ride though the country side. It was one of those beautiful days where everything just seemed perfect. The day was warm, the sun was shining, and the sky was clear. It was just after middaywhen they finished up the romantic picnic that they had eaten on the hillside and they decided to make their way back. This is when fate struck them their blow. Vincent was thrown off his horse after a snake spooked the animal and ran off. Darryl jumped off his mount and rush to his love’s side. Vincent was unconscious, most likely from the blow he took to his head when he landed.” My love silently lanced his hand within my own as I continued, “Darryl used his mount to carry Vincent back to the castle, and the time it took to get home seemed to drag on forever. He carried him inside and placed him in bed. He sent word for a healer to come at once, and dared not leave his lovers side. Days passed and still Vincent had not awoken. Cinderella watched his son take care of Vincent and saw for the first time, the true meaning of love. She wasn’t the only one who noticed either as word spread though out the castle. Darryl’s love for Vincent was undeniable, and truth that happiness between two men was in fact possible. The only problem that remained now was that Vincent would not wake and Darryl’s despair of losing the one he truly loved was becoming more clear. He leaned over and whispered to his love, ‘I love you, I know I never told you that enough, but I do. Please, I beg you, come back to me,’ and with that Darryl gently placed a kiss upon his love’s lips.” I kissed my love’s head, mostly out of the sheer emotion that I felt from just telling the bedtime tale, and I could feel him smiling from it as I spoke. “Vincent did waken up from the kiss, but Darryl’s joy was short lived as he learned quickly of a new curse that had befallen upon them. Vincent had lost his memory and that devastated Darryl, but this perhaps could have become the best blessing they could have hoped for. It has been thought, that someone cursed Vincent, in an attempt keep the balance and prevented Vincent and Darryl from truly being together. Although Darryl searched many times to reverse this blocking curse, he always came up short. Still, Vincent’s emotions for Darryl remained, despite the loss of memory they shared, and it was because of that, those around the two came to the understanding that love is truly best understood when you just accept it as emotion, regardless of where it leads you.” “That’s a lovely tale,” my love stated, commenting with a frown before finishing, “I just wish I could remember it.” I gently rolled on top of my love while tenderly kissing his sweet lips. “You will Vincent. As soon as we find a way to break this curse you will,” and like magic at that exact moment the candle lighting the room went out, allowing the darkness to envelop us leaving us to enjoy our love of each other. © 2007 Bardeara Please visit the Story Discussion Thread
  9. I opened the door to the cabin and it was dark since no lights were on. Then again, why should there be? This cabin was no longer being used. It used to be a small chalet where skiers would stop to warm up, however, it had gone unused after the renovation of the ski lifts a few years back. I had been here a few times when I was younger with my family, and for that I was grateful. Had I not remembered about this cabin’s location, James would certainly have frozen to death. We were already feeling cold from the unforgiving blizzard. It came in strong, and it was clear it would not relent. The blizzard made it impossible to clearly see, let alone know where we were truly going. We were confused as a result, and almost certainly were in the wrong direction from where we were trying to go. We didn’t know where we were headed. All we knew was that the best thing we could do was head down the hill. We were already tired from a full day of skiing, and sunset was now upon us. At least I think the sun was setting; we couldn’t be certain considering the current weather. It was then that James had the fortune of also taking an unrequested swim in a stream that had yet to properly freeze over. He was soaked from head to toe, and with the temperature well below the freezing level, it wouldn’t be much longer before James went into hypothermia. I had done something similar when I was about five, although back then the sky was clear and I had my parents with me. I remember how cold I felt from being soaked. My father led us to the nearest building to warm up and get me out of my wet clothing. When James fell into that stream, it was practically in the same spot where I did all those years ago. It was because of that, that it dawned on me how far away from shelter we really were. I helped James towards the far side of the room and placed him down near the fireplace. I knew I would have to go back out into the elements and collect some of the fire logs that I had seen buried by the building in order to get a fire going, but first, I knew I had to remove James’ wet clothing. “Hold on James,” I pleaded as I whispered softly. “Adam… s-s-o… cold,” James managed to utter with a clearly faint voice. By now he was already entering hypothermia. He was cold to touch and his words were getting harder to understand. I began removing James’ wet clothing, one item at a time. His coat was the first to go, and then his ski pants. I removed his sweater, and then his top, before moving to the lower articles of his body. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that less honorable thoughts entered my mind. I can also honestly say that I shoved them aside as quickly as they entered. I unbuttoned his pants and slipped them off while taking away his socks in the process, until only his underwear remained. I pondered leaving them on out of respect towards James, but knew because they were also wet, that they too would have to be removed. “Sorry to do this, but I must,” I whispered as I curled my finders under the elastic at the side of his hips. As I glided his wet underwear down, I could have sworn James arched himself up to help me remove them, and although my hands were working on removing his underpants, my eyes completely vandalized the site of his organ that was clearly out on display now, thanks to me. I couldn’t help but study his body, it had developed more since the last time I saw it. We were kids then, and we were learning about our bodies. It was a time when things were a lot less complex in life, the emotional aspect of seeing someone else naked wasn’t a factor yet. As much as I wanted to run down memory lane, I shook those thoughts away as my main focus was clearly fading. That sent a panic throughout my body as James, my best friend, was freezing to death, and I was his only chance at survival. I removed my coat and placed it around his upper body. It wouldn’t offer much, but until got the fireplace started it would be better then him being openly naked. I couldn’t really see in here as night was clearly setting in. What little light I did have actually came from the reflection of the snow from the windows. I went to the cupboards that were located on the right when you first entered the building. I searched the cupboards and to my disappointment, I did not find any candles. I did manage to find a flashlight that had batteries still in it. I tried turning on the flashlight and found that it did still work, if only with a light that made it clear that the batteries wouldn’t last long. I didn’t waste any time searching the rest of the building. I found a closet with two heavy blankets and only three matches. I didn’t even know if they would, work but for James’ sake, I prayed they would. I rushed back to James’ side, immediately placing a blanket on the ground before rolling him onto it. His teeth were chattering to no end, and I could now tell by what little light I had from the flashlight, that his lips were already tuning blue. I placed the second blanket on him hoping it would stop his temperature from declining any further. “Just hang on,” I begged as tears started to well up in my eyes. Fear had begun to envelope me. Fear of losing the one person I love more than life itself. Sure he had no clue as to how deep my feeling ran for him, but I already knew his heart belonged to the ladies, so there was no point in ruining our friendship by telling him otherwise. I shook my fears aside just long enough to remember that I hadn’t started the fireplace yet. “I'll be right back James, I have to get wood to start a fire,” I whispered to him, which I received a reply that pained me to even dare leave him. I put my coat on and went to the door. I looked back towards James and he actually looked peaceful. An illusion I knew, but it only made my heart race again when I knew timing was not on his side. I exited the building and turned to my left. I had seen the logs against the building on our way in, and that was helpful since I wouldn’t have to waste time searching for them. I picked up an arm full, and made my way back inside. I placed the logs by the fireplace before making two more quick rounds. Once I was content with the quantity I had, I filled the fireplace up. I grabbed the matches which I found in the cupboard and used the brickwork to scrape the end of the match to light it. The first one broke on me which upset me to no end. I couldn’t afford to make mistakes, for if I made another one James would be the one to pay the price. The second one lit without fail, and I placed it in the fireplace to start the fire. There was only one major flaw. The bark was damp from the snow and I did not have any kindling to start the fire. The match ran out and once again I was out done. My heart started racing and my mind began to panic. I didn’t know what to do at this point. I began searching for options, I even considered burning one of the blankets to start the fire. What I settled on, was using my own clothing that wasn’t wet. I began to strip down taking off each article, practically ripping them in the process. I shoved my t-shirt and underwear into the fireplace to use them to start the fire. I now only had to hope I didn’t break the third and final match. I crossed my fingers on my left hand and struck the match with my right. It didn’t work, nor did it break. So I rolled it over and tried the other side. This time, the match lit and I wasted no time lighting my clothing on fire. I couldn’t help but find humor in burning my own clothing, especially the articles that were closest to my body. It was only then that it dawned on me that I was now naked. It was that moment that modesty took over me and I was about to dress myself when it dawned on me that this wasn’t the first time I was without clothes on around James, nor was he even aware that I was naked right now. I remembered the first time James and I changed together, it was when I was starting to discover that my interest in James went beyond the level of friendship. It was rather embarrassing, we were swimming and decided that we had had enough. We went to get changed, and dropped our bathing suits to the ground. Normally neither one of us would pay much heed to the other as we were used to changing in front of each other often enough. This time though, James decided to point out that he had reached the age where he was developing pubic hair. Of course he was so proud of it, that he decided to make certain to show me his new body hairs that were growing. I think he was more proud that he had reached this that stage of life before me, even if I wasn’t very far behind him. “So what does pubic hair feel like,” I had the nerve to ask him. “It feels great Adam, like I’m a man now. I’m sure you will be joining me soon enough, so don’t worry too much about it. Say, want to feel them?” I didn’t say a word; I just reached out and rubbed my finger across the top of where his pubic hairs were. It wasn’t like we hadn’t compared our penis sizes before. I knew others who had done it before, and James and I were no different. This time however, it caused my penis to begin to swell up. That was because, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t comparing James to myself. I was enjoying James, and what he had to offer me. That was the moment it became clear to me that I wasn’t as interested in girls as much as I perhaps should have been. The wood in the fireplace brought me back to my senses at that point when one of the logs snapped and alerted me that the fire was raging now. I knew from what I read that the fire would not be warm enough to save James. I knew I had to do more. He would require body heat, and so I did what I was told to do if ever I found myself in this situation. I climbed under the blankets with him. I think it was instinct that took over at that moment, for without thought, I wrapped my body around James, holding him with his back pressed into my stomach. He was shivering and cold. When I felt how cold his body was I nearly jumped. Not because of the initial shock of a cold touch, but rather because when we had a sleepover, I was always the one with the cold feet. That made me latch onto him even more. I wrapped one leg over his legs and started rubbing his chest with my left hand to try to add to his body warmth. His reaction surprised me. He shoved his hips into me in an attempt to absorb the heat I was providing him. It caused me to jump as it placed my organ right between his cheeks, causing a totally unprovoked swelling to occur. Panic actually overwhelmed me then, but fear kept me from moving. For a moment I allowed myself to pretend that we belonged together. That caused me to frown as I realized what I was doing. I became disgusted with myself and for just cause. My best friend needed me now, and here I was getting all aroused and practically taking advantage of the situation. It certainly wasn’t the first time I had impure thoughts about my best friend when he was hurt. I guess it was because James was barely conscious and was completely vulnerable to me right now, and that is what made me feel disgusted. I remember the last time James got hurt. It was nothing like this time though. We were out goofing around when he slipped and sprained his ankle. I held him in an embrace to help keep him steady, but I got a little frustrated with how long it was taking us to get to his place. It wasn’t far, but he wasn’t in any position to allow any pressure to be placed on his ankle, so I did the only thing I could do. I picked him up and carried him in my arms. “Do you have any idea how embarrassing this is,” he stated. I just laughed at him, it didn’t take much to figure out what he meant. As we approached his front door, I decided to make a smart-assed remark as I suckered him into opening the door without me putting him down. “Well honey, it’s official. I’m carrying you over the threshhold. Can we maybe consummate our marriage now?” “Not until I see a ring on my finger, you dork,” James rolled his eyes at me by this point. “I think that can be arranged,” I joked as I entered his room and placed him gently on his bed. “Hey I’m not being the bitch in this relationship. Besides, I think you would make a much better woman Adam.” He was taunting me and it worked. I grabbed his pillow and smacked his face with it. We both started laughing. That made me smile for a moment remembering that point in our lives. “Who’s being the woman now?” I jokingly whispered as if James was alert and sharing the memory with me. It was in that moment that it hit me like a like a ton of bricks. James was no longer moving, no longer trembling, and his body was still quite cold. “James… James?” I cried out trying to stir his movements. “Don’t leave me James. I can’t bear losing you,” I begged him as tears started streaming down my face. My pleading went of course unanswered and despite how cold he was I pulled him in the tightest of embraces that I could. I didn’t care if our bodies were pressed together and naked. All that mattered was I needed James to be alright. I began to rub his belly and chest to try to create a light friction to develop warmth. The fireplace was clearly warming up the room and other then the crackling sounds coming from the fireplace, my whimpers were the only sounds that could be heard. I knew that very shortly I needed to add more logs to the fireplace to keep it going through out the night, but it pained me very much to move from the spot I was currently in. I did manage to break myself away from James for a whole minute while I shoved as many logs as I could to keep a good fire going for sometime. When I returned to James, he was laying on his back. I once again lay on his left side, away from the fireplace so that the heat would hit him before me, adding extra warmth. I once again wrapped myself around him making certain the blankets were tightly around us. I wrapped my left leg over his thigh and my arm tucked under the right side of his shoulder. That was of course, before I made certain his right arm was placed on my back insulating him holding onto me. “I’m in love you James,” I whispered as I leaned over him at that moment and gently kissed his lips. I don’t know why I said it, or what compelled me to kiss him at that moment, but rather then dwelling on it, I placed my head on his chest so that I could hear his heart beat. Hearing his heart beating calmed me down in a way I never thought would. It suddenly dawned on me that I had always fantasized about what it would be like to lay naked in an embrace with James. I didn’t know what would happen in the morning or if James was truly going to be alright, but for the moment, nature seemed to be working it’s magic to calm me down. I calmed down enough that I dozsed off and started dreaming about James and me, older and living in a house together. We were both happy and of course, we were in love. Perhaps it was being so close to James that provided a few intense and very erotic dreams. Dreams can really draw out very intense emotions from you. As the dreams played out, one moment had James and me talking. He was a bit distant though, and I wasn’t certain at that moment why. “I have to go now Adam,” he stated, almost as if his heart had broken. “No, you can’t,” I blurted out understanding that he was leaving me here alone. ”I need you here with me.” “It’s my time Adam, I have to.” “Please don’t go,” I cried out as I desperately, trying to grab onto him. Of course by now, he was gone, and I collapsed to my knees. “Don’t worry Adam, I’ll be watching over you, right up until the very end,” a voice said distantly, as James was speaking to me in the dark. It was enough to jolt me awake and as I opened my eyes, I saw James staring back at me. It was as if he was trying to figure out a puzzle that he was determined to solve. I was so upset thinking that I almost had to say goodbye and would never see him again, that I wrapped my arms around him and squeezed him as tight as I could. I only released my grasp when I realized he was gasping for air. “Don’t you ever leave me,” is what blurted out of my mouth in a desperate desire to express my emotions. “I love you too, silly,” James replied, still trying to regaining his breath. “You do?” I found myself blurting out in disbelief. “Of course I do, you’re my best friend. After all, do you really think I would let any other guy get as close to me as you have?” he stated more as a comment, then a question. A puzzled expression appeared upon my face at that moment as I was uncertain what he meant by that. James however, cleared up my confusion once he saw that I didn’t understand what he meant. “Just don’t let it get to your head, like you did last night buddy,” he softly spoke as he leaned in and placed a soft kiss upon my lips before forcing himself up. I don’t know how long I remained there, frozen in time like I did; I was totally taken aback, replaying the recent events that had just taken place before me. In the end though, one thing became crystal clear to me. That was, of course, the realization that whatever happened in our lives, I was certain that James and I would always be there for each other, right up until the very end. © 2006 Bardeara
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