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    AC Benus
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Campfires and Starlight - a novella - 1. Chapter 1

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Campfires and Starlight

Chapter 1

 

Stuck on an escalator going down, one anxious traveler cranes his neck to see what the holdup is. Passengers from his slightly delayed flight are gathering at the base like confused herd animals. They eventually meander off to the right, searching for the correct baggage carousel. The young man chuckles, thinking they resemble wildebeests rooting out a watering hole. His backpack may be heavy, but Lee prefers to travel light.

He looks around, reminding himself how wrong first impressions can be. He knows it’d been that way for his buddy five years ago when they first met, and now a little older, a little wiser at nineteen, he’s confident the rest of Hawaii won’t be as tamed in concrete and brick as HNL. At least he hopes not.

A text comes in. “Where R U? I’m at the curb and can’t wait much longer.”

Lee quickly taps out: “On my way!”

Finally at the bottom of the moving staircase, he sidesteps the tourist clot, and hoofs it straight through the central lobby. Heading for the main doors out of the airport, he barely lets himself acknowledge the huge coconut chandeliers. Kitsch will have to wait and be laughed at later.

He hikes the shoulder strap of his overstuffed pack and dives out into the brilliant sunshine. His skin is instantly warmed by the summertime heat and he’s a bit blinded, scanning the line of vehicles. Some are a blur of movement, pulling up to, pulling away from, or dropping off passengers at the curb.

Lee’s not certain what type of car to search for. All he knows for sure is it won’t be his best friend’s maroon pickup truck from back home, or “his baby.”

A shrill whistle sounds from his left, and the teenager finds Chuck waving a camo cap at him. His high school pal’s standing in the open doorway of the driver’s side of a car four parking spaces down the line.

Lee runs, feeling the last cool prickles he retained from the air-conditioning leave his cheeks. Instead, a flush of happiness overcomes him; just seeing the guy can do that.

At Chuck’s car, Lee dumps his bag in the backseat, and both boys hop in front. They buckle up, and Chuck gives his buddy a quick, smiling assessment before pulling out to join the slow carnival of traffic around the airport’s drop-off zones.

In the brief time Chuck is distracted with blinkers and rearview mirrors, Lee checks out his best friend in some detail, especially what he’s wearing. His chest and torso are covered in a sand-colored tee, which is carefully tucked all around into his camouflage trousers fitted with a mesh belt. In the footwell, lightweight Army boots operate the gas and brake pedals.

The heat of the outside slowly builds in him, and Lee props one elbow through the open window to try and control his sweaty nerves. The radio’s on, streaming Chuck’s favorite old-time hits from his phone.

Out onto the free-flowing traffic of a wide city street, he leans over and loops a finger through Chuck’s dog tags. Getting cheeky, he quips, “At least you got this nice piece of Uncle Sam bling. I deadass got nothin’!”

“So?” Chuck asks, squinting in mirth.

“So, I thought all visitors to Oahu get a complimentary lei once they land.”

Chuck smirks, smacking away his buddy’s fingers from his chest. “Well, don’t get at me about it. I’m not gonna lay ya, complimentary or otherwise.”

The car fills with laughter like old times, but Lee immediately becomes conscious it’s not like old times with his fam. It can’t ever be again, not since he came out to Chuck.

The young man driving allows himself a brief inspection, perhaps sensing Lee’s lowkey withdrawal for a moment. He goes on matter-of-fact, “Nowadays, leis are for the fogies signing up for the pineapple tours, or the after-dark, fire-breathing luaus. Believe me, military personnel don’t get ‘em.”

“How come?”

“There’s a lot of bases all around Hawaii—Army, Air Force, Navy—and we occupy a lot of land. The native Hawaiians would like to see that change.”

“Oh, politics. I better stay out of it then.”

Chuck grins. “Yeah, I wish I could too.”

“By the way, how come you’re in uniform? Trying to impress me!”

“Hardly. More like no time to change.” He gestures to the rear seat. “I just grabbed my shit and headed out to pick you up.”

Lee checks and sees his backpack has come to rest against Chuck’s olive-drab duffel bag. “How much leave you get?”

“A week. The whole time you’re in Hawaii.”

“Savage!” Relaxing a touch, Lee settles back in his seat. His elbow extends out the cooling window once more. “You’re lookin’ good, you know that? Nice and trim, and not just in your Army casual.”

Chuck’s always been quick to laugh and shine those jovial blue eyes on anyone who engages him.

That he does now, straightening his torso and asking, “Ya think I look good?”

“Yeah, I do. But you need to find a better stylist.”

“I’m shook.” Chuck runs a hand atop his blond velcro. “All the fellas at camp are wearing this season’s latest buzzcut.”

Lee loves his buddy’s dry as a bone sense of humor. He loves to egg it on too. “Well, tell your governmental hairdresser I think you do better with long, flowing tresses.”

“OK, for you, I’ll do just that.” The car slows as it slides onto an entrance ramp, and then merges with sparse traffic flowing on a four-lane highway. The breeze rolls in sweet, and undeveloped greenery steps up to the road’s margin.

“But to get back to what you were originally saying, there’s nothing like Basic Training to take off the puppy pounds.”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“You look pretty good yourself, considering….”

“Considering what?”

Chuck’s tone jokes. “That you’ve just been slack-assing it around a dorm room, and taking classes when you feel like it.”

“Turd breath. You know it’s not like that. School is fucking hard.”

“Maybe. But never mind. More importantly, I wanna know if you realize what day it is today.”

Lee racks his brain. “The first day of our summer vacay—”

“Annnt. Try again.”

“The first day you finally got your period?”

Chuck play-punches him. “Annnt—very funny, not. Since your brain has turned to mush in New England, I’ll have to dummy down the question for you, college boy. What anniversary is it today?”

Lee quickly considers it and has the date flash up before his third eye. “Ah. We last saw each other a year ago, today.”

“Ding, ding, ding. The dingbat is a winner!”

Even through their chuckles, Lee’s a bit sad to grasp how 365 days ago they had stood on a stage to receive their high school diplomas, and later that same night, Lee had to say goodbye to his buddy at the airport. Chuck needed to report to a Texas base the very next day to start his Basic Training. They’d had no time to celebrate, and the summer without him at home felt wasted to Lee. Then at the end of August, he’d gone off to a small college in New Hampshire. The best friends had stayed in touch via regular texts, Skype and phone calls, but still, Lee had missed his bud beyond words.

Chuck asks, “So, how do you like living on campus?”

Lee replies much too quickly. “Good. You know, tight.”

For the bald-faced fib, Chuck gives his best friend a ‘get real’ scowl.

Lee relents. “I pretty much hate it there.”

“Why?”

“It’s too small. I have a few friends, but no one I’m close to.” The college boy catches himself just in time, before he adds “…like you.”

The moment he holds back again from Chuck, Lee chides his own censorship. He supposes it’s lame to be nervous around his buddy. Coming out or no coming out, they’re both the same people, right? Lee knows it’s stupid to allow his doubts eat him up.

Letting the air cool him down again, the shady, semi-tropical scenery rolling past their car windows perks Lee up. “Where we going anyway?”

“Like I said, I got leave for a week, but being the lowly PFC that I am, I can’t put you up in the barracks with me, so I got us a motel room. It ain’t fancy, but it’ll serve nicely as our home base while I show you around Oahu.”

“Motel room, huh?”

He smiles. “Cute, ain’t it?”

“Yeah, it’s super swell.”

Chuck’s foot slightly comes off the gas as he stirs on his seat and holds Lee’s eyes for a moment. In that glance is something like memory itself, for Lee has often seen his friend regard him with a certain mixture of amusement and admiration.

“What, Chuck?”

“I’ve missed you, buddy.”

Like letting out a stale breath and taking a fresh one, Lee can suddenly relax. Sure, a year has gone by, they’ve pursued different courses in life, and Lee’s forced a change on their relationship by coming out, but they’re the same old Lee and Chuck underneath.

“I’m glad I’m here too. I’ve been lonely as shit without you.”

“Well, we’ll take care of that. A buddy loaned me stuff, so the trunk’s full of camping gear. We need to stop for some food, load up the cooler, and later tonight, we’ll sleep out at one of the most beautiful places in the world.”

“Cool.”

A Moody Blues song starts to play, and Chuck cranks the volume.

The song jogs Lee’s memory about something. “You’re not too far at least.”

“What do you mean?”

“Remember, junior year you suddenly started talking about a tropical paradise you had to visit—”

“Bora Bora.”

“Bora Bora, yeah, that’s right. Back then, mainly because we were drunk when we got to talking about places we wanted to go in life, I confused Bora Bora with Borneo. I thought, why does my best buddy want to go there, of all places.” He chuckles.

“Not to diss you or anything, but that’s really dumb.”

“I know. I remember one hungover Sunday afternoon pulling out my laptop and doing research on Bora Bora. That’s when I was set straight.”

“So to speak,” Chuck jokes.

“Yeah, so to speak. But I never asked you—why Bora Bora? What drew your attention to it in the first place?”

“I don’t know. Some nature documentary my dad was watching probably. Still haven’t gotten there though.”

“How far is it from here?”

“Something like a thousand miles to the south east.”

“Well, I’d get you there if I could, buddy.”

“Yeah, I know you would. But I like Hawaii. There’s lots of cool stuff I can show you.”

The car slows, and Lee sees they are pulling into a strip mall with a convenience store anchoring one end.

“Come on,” says Chuck, parking and switching off the engine. “We’ll get stuff we like and it’ll be like old times.”

“Can’t forget the sacrifice.”

Chuck smiles broadly, slipping on his camo cap. “No. Never.”

In the store, the PFC takes command, first shoving a shopping basket into Lee’s hands. Wandering up and down the aisles, things like corn chips, marshmallows, and a small bottle of teriyaki sauce go into the plastic carrier. As they walk, Lee can’t help but admire how exactly the Army had taken away those puppy pounds from his best friend’s physique. When they’d been in the car, in a sitting position, Lee couldn’t see his lower half properly, but now, as the enlisted man strides the aisle ahead of him, his buddy’s five-foot-ten, 165lbs. frame comes into sharp focus. That and Chuck’s muscular legs and perfectly formed backside. Men in uniform… flashes through Lee’s mind for a second and erupts as a brief laugh.

Chuck turns. “What?”

“Um, chips and teriyaki sauce—yum, but not much of a cookout you’re planning.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” His buddy’s eyes sparkle with the earnestness of a mission, and a part of Lee feels guilty for ogling Chuck’s ass, but then again, it’s there, so might as well indulge. It’s harmless.

The soldier dashes off to the refrigerated cases.

Hotdogs, cheese and a small pack of sauerkraut later, Lee reaches across the way and hooks onto a package of buns. “What about the sacrifice?”

“Yeah.”

They move down the chilly line of coolers to the drinks. Chuck stops and points to a display of inexpensive beer. “Look! They got the stuff our lame-ass fifteen-year-old selves liked to get wasted on.”

“Liked? It was all we could lay our hands on.”

“True.” Chuck picks up a pair of chilled six-packs. “What’d ya say? For old times’ sake?”

“Sure. As long as you don’t intend to get me shit-faced on peach schnapps again, I’ll be cool with anything.”

The boys share the warmth of an insider’s joke. It’s of a recollection from two summers ago, when a night of fun had gone wrong.

As Chuck and Lee each nab a bag of ice, the soldier beams. “Yeah, you got sick as a dog, but that’s not the ‘camping trip’ I think about the most.”

“No? What is?”

“The first one.”

Lee chuckles. “Really? You mean me coming over that first time to your house so we could pitch a tent behind your back yard?”

“Yeah, I know it was lame, but when you’re fifteen, you’re supposed to be lame, right?”

“It may not compare to our later adventures, but we had fun by the railroad tracks.”

“That we did. It was our first campout, so maybe that’s the reason I go back to it in my mind so much….”

Lee watches his buddy’s eyes slowly cloud over with memory.

 

· ~-~ · ~-~· ~-~ · ~-~ · ~-~ · ~-~ · ~-~ · ~-~ ·

 

 

The taste of beer was still growing on him. He especially found this cheap brand his brother had bought for them to be sour, and even a little bit bitter, but Chuck downed the last of it in his can.

“Whoa, dude!” exclaimed Lee. “You’re deadass drinking me under the table.”

“What table? I’m drinking you under the tent, son—even though it’s only my third Busch. You better catch up.” The grin he flashed his new buddy was free of innocence. Chuck’s buzz was settling into good-natured inebriation. He had warm spirits for the world, and especially for the gawky kid sitting next to him roasting a marshmallow.

Lee and Chuck had met on the first day they started high school together, but now—eight months later—and the launch of warm weather again, they’d rather recently become closer. From different towns, commuting to a central point to attend classes, both guys had naturally hung out with friends they knew from junior high, but now were expanding their circles of confidence. Even in the short time he’d known him, Chuck had witnessed Lee transition little by little from the kind of fourteen-year-old with shoes too big for the rest of him, to a fifteen-year-old with more poise and self-possession.

Five-nine or so, hundred forty-five pounds, they were in the same size and weight class, but to Chuck, Lee was more olive-toned and had soft brown eyes and hair. He wasn’t bad to look at, although a bit forgettable; few girls gave Lee a second glance, and that stood out as another contrast between them, because random, pretty girls were always coming up to Chuck to say Hey.

Another way in which they differed was that Lee could be on the uptight side. Chuck always tried to play it cool, no matter the circumstances.

Speaking of which, he had to stand and blow on Lee’s marshmallow. It’d caught fire while his buddy had been staring at Chuck.

“Oops,” Lee said.

“They’re better burnt.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Try.” Chuck carefully ripped half of the singed, molten mass from the end of the stick with a pair of graham crackers. He smiled while he chewed, watching Lee eat the other end the same way and nodding confirmation; they were indeed better scorched.

“You’re an expert at this stuff.”

“Yeah, as if.”

“But you’ve camped out here with your buddies before.”

“True. Last summer we did a few times, always getting shit-faced, but even before that, my dad would bring me and my brothers out here to camp when we were growing up. It was great.”

Chuck’s inspection scanned past the fire to take stock of their little campground. His house was a typical one for the area: one level, three bedrooms, two baths, large fenced-in back yard. Not so usual was how the home backed onto a wide grassy margin of railroad right-of-way. Beyond this, on the other side of the tracks, were brooding tracts of woodland. From here now, cicadas called out their summer wail.

Chuck caught his buddy smelling his shirtsleeve. He laughed. “You really haven’t been camping before, huh?”

“No. Will this smell go away?”

“Nope. It will be your attendance badge until you change and shower tomorrow.”

“Oh, OK.” Chuck saw Lee gaze at the rail tracks again. “How often did you say?”

“Relax, dude. There are like two trains a day, one at two and one at four—both in the afternoon.”

Their tent, fire and lawn chairs were on a patch of grass behind the back fence, but still on their property. The tracks were a good sixty feet or more away.

It had finally gotten fully dark, and stars began to play overhead. “There! There’s one!” Lee said, pointing straight up. “Make a wish. My mom always says to make a wish on it when you see the first star of the night.”

“OK.” Chuck was not sold on the old-fogey superstition, but he did make one wish before rising and grabbing another pair of beer cans from the cooler. The first he opened and handed to Lee. “Drink up.”

“Thanks.” Now his nervous buddy’s gaze was directed at the house. “You’re sure your rents don’t mind?”

“No.”

“Even though your dad’s law-enforcement?”

Chuck sat and moved his creaky, aluminum-tube chair closer to his new friend. “Look, my two brothers probably got it tougher than me, but our dad’s always said repression breeds obsession, so he gives us room to experiment.”

“But not with pot?”

“No!” Chuck grew wide-eyed in the firelight. “If he catches me and you smoking wacky weed, he’ll tan my hide for sure.” He indulged in an inspection of the house too, perhaps sensing the parental figure lingering at a back window. “But, he’s cool with moderate drinking.”

Lee sputtered his lips.

“What?”

“Moderate. You’re already shit-faced, son!”

Chuck hushed him, tipping his chair over so his arm needed to rest against Lee’s for support. Boisterous laughter erupted from both. Eventually his guest gave him a gentle shove to upright.

“Thanks for the invite man. This is great.”

“Sure, Lee. Been anticipating it, and now summer’s starting at last.”

“Yeah, I know. Cabin fever can be a bitch.”

“Yup.”

They clinked cans and drank half, pausing for burps. In the meantime, the boys settled low on their seats, using the cool metal bar at the top for headrests. As if conspiring to make an appearance while the pair hadn’t been looking, many more points of light twinkled in the boys’ eyes.

“You know what this reminds me of?” asked Chuck.

“Nope.”

“That day we had the long conversation after lunch. Remember, in the assembly room?”

“Oh, yeah. I remember. We talked about some wild shit.”

“True that.” Chuck considered the moment pivotal. It was when they’d really become good friends. Close, he guessed some would call it.

“I’m surprised,” said Lee, “we can see as many stars as we can, considering how close we are to St. Peter.”

“St. Peter’s a small town anyway, but out here there’s not too much light pollution to speak of.”

“It’s cool, Chuck.”

“Yeah, for star gazing, it’s not bad, but I want to find a place miles and miles removed from people to really see the sky at night.”

Lee sat up straight, took a healthy swig of beer and said, “Thanks for the camping invite.”

Chucked grinned. “You must be catching up to me—you just said that, dude, like a hot second ago. But whatever; you’re welcome.” It seemed his buddy was still a bit on edge around him, but why Chuck didn’t know.

Lee gestured to the tent, suddenly acting drunker than he was. “Dude, every time I think of that story, I crack up!”

The music still played in the background.

“Which?”

“The one with Boyce and them guys—you know—last summer.”

“Ah, yeah. It made me laugh so hard, I was doubled over.”

“Tell it again.”

Chuck paused for just a moment, because this would be the second retelling Lee had asked for in the last month, but he shrugged and launched into it. “Well, me, Boyce, Lanum and Gene were out here, totally wasted cuz Gene’s brother bought us a bunch of wine coolers. Lanum brought his tent too, and him and Boyce were gonna bunk up. After midnight, we decided to hit the hay, so we kicked the fire down and hushed each other to shut the fuck up, but Lanum tripped and landed on the grass. Boyce immediately screeched and dropped to his knees next to him. You know how Lanum is kinda on the smaller side, so Boyce scooped him into his arms, asking ‘Where does it hurt? Where does it hurt! I’ll make it better.’ Lanum, still laughing held up his elbow, and Boyce kissed it. Gene shouted ‘He landed on his ass!’ Boyce rolled the kid over, climbed on Lanum’s lower legs and started kissing all over the guy’s jeans. Lanum struggled to turn around, but Boyce held on, so soon they were face to face. ‘Anyplace else ache?’ Boyce asked, and Lanum nodded, pointing to his forehead. Boyce kissed that. Lanum pointed to the tip of his nose, and Boyce kissed that too. Then, slowly—like in the movies or something—Lanum’s fingers traced down to his lips. Well, wasted like that, neither one was shy. They started making out to beat the band, tongues and all. Me and Gene lost it totally, cracking up so bad we could barely stand any more. It only got worse, because eventually Boyce got Lanum’s legs over his shoulders and acted like he was fucking him, with both kids making outrageous rutting sounds. It was so funny; you would have died watching it.”

“I bet.” Lee adjusted slightly on his seat. “To see those jocks in school, you’d never picture them tonsil diving with each other.”

“Yeah. Enough booze, and I guess people lose all inhibitions. Neither of them is into guys, as far as I know, but they’re not afraid either, if you know what I mean.”

“Yeah.” Lee took an awkward swig of beer, and Chuck thought he noticed his buddy sporting wood.

A wicked smile cracked Chuck’s expression. “They may have been hella shit-faced, and only play fucked, but the kisses were real, and so were the boners in their jeans.”

“Wow,” was all Lee could say.

“’Course, they denied it all in the morning, blushing like balloons when I asked how their night alone in the tent went after we crashed. They said “Fine” and some lame-ass shit, so me and Gene yanked their chain and had a good time, asking if Lanum’s tent was splooge-proof on the inside; stuff like that. But by Monday at school, they were both telling us ‘Dude, I was so out of, I can’t remember a thing.’ Who knows how much they really recall.”

Lee suddenly jumped to his feet. Wobbly, he said, “A toast to this fucking great night that I promise I won’t forget no matter how much I drink.”

Chuck stood too. They cheered and took a pair of hearty sips.

“Now,” Lee said, pouring a bit of his beer on the flames, “let’s thank the Good Weather Gods for a clear and beautiful sky.”

Chuck placed one hand over his heart, and poured a flame-sputtering sacrifice with the other. “Amen.”

Lee drained his beer and crushed the can. “Let’s go explore the woods!”

“That’s not a good idea, buddy.”

“Oh, come on, spoilsport.” Lee gestured to the rails. “Plenty of starlight out tonight. We won’t get lost.”

Before Chuck could protest anymore, Lee took off running towards the track bed. He followed just as quick.

Lee scrambled up the gravel slope. Once Chuck had joined him, the friends stood still and could see the stars were much more impressive away from the fire.

His guest said slowly, reverentially, “Did you realize, these tracks connect us.”

“What do you mean?”

Lee mounted a shiny rail and walked it like a tightrope, arms fully extended to steady himself. “You can travel from here all the way to Kasota. The tracks are just a few blocks behind my house.”

Chuck trailed behind his friend, walking on the ties and gravel, and getting a bit pedantic. “There’s more than a few old wooden trestles between here and there, and if you don’t twist an ankle or break a neck, I guess you could walk from my house to your house, all twenty-something miles. Never thought about it that way.”

Concerned for his friend, Chuck hurried to catch up, placing his shoulder within reach of Lee’s hand.

Walking side by side now, his buddy’s fingers finally latched on for support, Chuck felt better. Again, he was enraptured by the stars before he realized Lee was looking at him.

“Don’t ya get it?” his buddy said with all seriousness. “It’s a link between us. It’s always been there, but takes a slight shift in perspective to sort out the connections.”

“Perspective,” Chuck found himself repeating. With a slow dawning, one to match the gradual drift of the stars above their heads, he came to appreciate how deeply the sentiment affected him. Maybe it tied into the wish he’d made earlier.

 

_

Copyright © 2018 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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On 6/4/2018 at 10:50 PM, Timothy M. said:

Seeing the flashback via Chuck's eyes makes the signs subtle, but we know exactly why Lee felt a bit awkward at their first camping and why he wanted Chuck to tell the funny story again. And now Lee feels a little awkward once more, seeing his best friend after a whole year, with the double strain of Chuck being in the army and Lee having come out to Chuck in a less than optimal manner (drunk and on Skype). But at least Chuck soon makes Lee relax and (probably) hope their friendship has survived separation and a long held secret. Considering the many boys who have suffered the loss of those they considered friends when they found the courage to be honest about that part of them, it's not surprising Lee was worried. Kudos to Chuck for not letting it come between them and for holding on to the important connection of friendship and shared memories.

Yes, it's interesting for any of us to be able to see into the past and pick up on stuff. And a few of the readers' comments highlight the closeness Lee and Chuck share, including yours here. They have been fast friends for a long time (in teenage years :) ), and I'm pretty sure their connection can weather the stain it's under now. But then again, maybe there are more shared experiences to be revealed that will further 'complicate' matters. We'll see, but In re-telling of their story, I hope to show the subtleties -- plus the joking give and take -- of real-life interactions among friends. 

Thanks for your support, Tim. I appreciate it a great deal.     

Edited by AC Benus
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On 6/5/2018 at 9:43 AM, Starrynight22 said:

Oh I love it.   It seems like they have a lot of intimacy built up in their short lives. 

 

I can't wait to see how comping in Hawaii as men compare to,backyard camping as boys 

Can't get any better than love! Thank you, Starrynight22, for your comments, and chapter 2 will be posted very shortly.  

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On 6/5/2018 at 11:30 AM, Puppilull said:

A beautiful start! I will be happy to follow they guys on their trip and their journey. 

You know being a poet how much I appreciate my work getting praised as beautiful, so thank you, Puppilull :)

Chapter 2 will be up shortly.

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On 6/6/2018 at 2:40 PM, Defiance19 said:

Superb start. This gave me such a good feeling. Look forward to more. :) 

Def, muah! Thank you for giving my boys a try. Next installment is coming right up :yes: 

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On 6/7/2018 at 5:30 AM, Sam Wyer said:

Awesome intro to these two guys, clearly they love each other - albeit in different ways.  It’s going to be fun seeing if and how that works out for them.

Thank you, Sam. These are great comments, and I appreciate them a great deal. Second part of the journey will be posted very shortly. Thanks again!

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Hooked me. I'll be following this one. Interesting characters who sound like real people make a story much more enjoyable. The banter is epic and the entire chapter has a lyrical flow to it I found captivating. May have to read it again without music on so half my brain isn't singing along to Jimmy Buffett. Thanks, AC.

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On 6/11/2018 at 1:58 PM, Carlos Hazday said:

Hooked me. I'll be following this one. Interesting characters who sound like real people make a story much more enjoyable. The banter is epic and the entire chapter has a lyrical flow to it I found captivating. May have to read it again without music on so half my brain isn't singing along to Jimmy Buffett. Thanks, AC.

Thank you, Carlos. You offer me some great comments. I personally enjoy reading pieces where the dialogue tells most of the story, and is emotionally honest to the way people actually communicate. I hope you enjoy chapter 2 as well, as it's up now :) 

Thanks again! 

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An excellent introduction to the boys , their history and the various connections and experiences which make for a lasting friendship. The subtle tension and need to reconnect through shared memories is palpable . 

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On 6/25/2018 at 6:59 PM, deville said:

An excellent introduction to the boys , their history and the various connections and experiences which make for a lasting friendship. The subtle tension and need to reconnect through shared memories is palpable . 

Thank you, deville, for your wonderful comments! I'm glad you are feeling the need in these two boys to repair their friendship. As we progress through the other chapters, more of exactly what happened will come into focus. Thanks again. 

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well, late to the party, again

but as with all of your offerings, late is better than never

you do have such a way with words, and with love stories

looking forward to seeing how it plays out

 

Spoiler

i've just binged on the whole story this weekend :blushing:

 

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On 7/29/2018 at 6:11 PM, mollyhousemouse said:

well, late to the party, again

but as with all of your offerings, late is better than never

you do have such a way with words, and with love stories

looking forward to seeing how it plays out

 

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i've just binged on the whole story this weekend :blushing:

 

Thanks for reading, Molly. I just set out on writing adventures like these with the goal of being realistic about the way people feel but seldom put into words and share with others. I don't know why it is that the closer we feel to someone, the less we can feel 'safe' in expressing our emotions. I guess that's just part of what makes us human. 

Thank you again for reading and sharing your thoughts. They are much appreciated! :) 

 

Edited by AC Benus
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What a wonderful opening to the story. Looking to finding out more about the boys.

Edited by chris191070
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