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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 - 4. Chapter 4

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Campfires and Starlight

Chapter 4

 

Chuck led the way. The gravely trail shifted underfoot in certain spots, causing him to check back on Lee.

They’d parked in an out of the way space at a boat rental establishment, and a few minutes ago gathered some things from the bed of Chuck’s pickup truck. Ducking around, to make sure no busybody was watching them step off the asphalt onto the verge of grass where no one was supposed to venture, the seventeen-year-old best friends were now carefully walking the weedy path to their favorite discovery at Lake of the Bays.

Winding up on pavement again, Chuck realized sounds were distorted here, below the east end of the quarter-mile-long bridge connecting one “Bay” to another. The four lanes of traffic generally sent their noise straight out to the sides, while only a very occasional ambient rumble was allowed to descend to the boys’ position.

One such arrived as a roar sputtered from a sports car engine, inviting the high schooler’s pulse to quicken. It did as Chuck’s glances traced the underside of the narrow girders, which wore a faded green paint. His anticipation heightened.

They hiked up the concrete incline, inching closer and closer to the giant steel buckles supporting the roadway.

Without a word, Chuck indicated a spot, and the friends dumped their stuff at the foot of a maintenance ladder. They climbed, with Chuck again taking the lead. The closer and closer they got to the underside of the traffic, the noise the boys could hear previously was hushed, replaced almost by magic as a series of vibrations transmitted through their hands and feet from tires passing above.

At the top of the ladder, there was just enough headroom for the teens to stand on a little workman’s platform. Chuck smiled, trying to encourage his best friend. “Do it with me this time!”

Lee shook his head, appearing sad. Chuck couldn’t be too disappointed, as he’d hoped but did not expect his buddy to join him.

“Fine.” Chuck removed his sandals, and whipped off his tee, which he flung at Lee’s chest with a grin. “See you on the flip side.”

Stepping off the platform, Chuck began to tightrope atop one of the girders. The further out he got, the farther the surface of the water became. First twenty feet, then thirty. He got distracted in his survey by more traffic, especially a big rig’s eighteen wheels pounding one of the roadway’s expansion joint like gunfire. It caused a kind of pressure pop in his ears; his heartrate accelerated.

He got more or less out to the midpoint of the beam and carefully peered passed his feet. The half-shadowed, half-glimmering lake surface was now at least forty feet down.

He squinted back to Lee. His buddy’s apprehensive look—standing there where he’d left him, clutching his thongs and tee-shirt—raised a complex reaction in Chuck. Touched, he supposed, by his best friend’s concern, an impulse in Chuck made him want to laugh at Lee’s cautious nature. All at once, another emotion crowded out the previous rather more shallow thought. Lee was anxious simply because he cared about Chuck; Chuck could not, would not recognize he worried about Lee too. Maybe more so.

Feeling exhilarated for some reason, he called back to his buddy, “Last one in is a rotten egg!”

Chuck stepped off the beam. Wind rushed by his ears. Currents like the faint exchange of protons and electrons gathering a static charge moved across every exposed surface of his body. His heart felt like fire; his voice sounded like thunder, shouting joyfully, “Geronimo!”

Chuck raised his arms just in time to enter the sweet, cool lake water like a rocket. His feet easily pierced the mirrored shell for the rest of his body.

In an instant, bubbles replaced the static on his skin, and he started swimming up to the light, legs kicking mightily. Sticking his head above the surface again, Chuck shook it like a dog, helping him expel water from both ears and nose, which he’d forgotten to pinch close.

He felt great, and floated a moment to watch Lee come down the ladder.

In a few minutes more, the boys met up at the water’s edge. Lee tossed a waiting towel into his buddy’s arms amid the boys’ raucous laughter.

“How was it?”

“Great! More than great; it’s what it feels like to be alive.”

Then silence fell when Lee took off his shirt too, and sunglasses appeared as the friends spread terrycloth on the sunny slope of the bridge embankment. They lay out still as lizards.

After a long while of the boys simply staring tranquilly over the face of the waters, Chuck’s attention drifted to his buddy. “Some day I’m gonna get you to take the plunge with me.” A few seconds watching the stoic profile was all it took for Chuck to think his friend’s demeanor was too dour. “Lee, cheer up! We’re on vacation, right?”

“Yeah.”

“We’re going to have some fun, right? A great time.”

Lee finally removed his shades and squinted in Chuck’s direction. “It’s the last summer before we become seniors.”

“Yeah…”

“So, we better party before we have to buckle down and accept ‘adulthood.’” Lee allowed part of his mouth to raise into a grin.

That was more like it to Chuck’s mind. He stood and stretched. “Speaking of partying, did I tell you what my brother procured for us?”

“Procured? No, what is he, an Army reconnaissance specialist or something?”

Chuck scoffed. “Well, just for that, now I won’t tell ya. Brat will have to wait for later to find out what deadass shit I got for us to get lit on.”

Lee stood too, popping his shades back on. “So, let’s go check in and see what our cabin’s like.”

Twenty minutes later, Chuck’s maroon pickup turned off the main drag at a large sign bearing a painted water skier. Under it were the words “Claybank Inn and Resort.” It had taken them longer to get here than expected because of stop-and-go traffic in front of the resort.

Chuck backed into a parking slot at the very end of the lot, right next to the road.

“Not again,” cried Lee.

“Come on, I’m not gonna park my baby where dumb-asses can dent her with their stupid Prius doors.”

Lee chuckled as they got out, and soon they were side by side retrieving phones and wallets from the bed of Chuck’s truck. A passing convertible held four douchey young men, one of whom shouted at the top of his lungs, “Honeymooning homos, how fucking sweet!” Obnoxious smoochie-smoochie sounds trailed after the car as it rolled past the inn’s boundaries.

Chuck shook his head. “Teen-age mutant idiots.”

When he spun around to laugh, he was stunned by the appearance of his buddy.

“What’s wrong?” Genuine concern rang from Chuck’s tone; the convertible dingbats were instantly forgotten.

Lee wiped his face clean. “Nothing. Maybe too much sun.”

Chuck knew his buddy meant himself, but he used it to finally release his suppressed chuckle. “On the first day already? OK, we’ll check in now and then come back for the bags. Maybe I’ll park closer once we know how to get to our cabin.”

“Yeah.”

It was the first time either had been to the Claybank, and Chuck chose it based on advice of his brother, who said it was a quiet, and ‘mind their own business’ type of place. The boys could use it as a relaxing substitute for camping.

Through the front door, the initial sensation that hit Chuck was the smell of cedar. He supposed the place had been built fifty or sixty years ago, or smack in the Age of Knotty Pine, for bead board slathered every wall from floor to ceiling.

After they’d checked in, and noted the little shop in the main building where they could get soft drinks and snacks, Chuck and Lee followed the paper map of the Inn they’d been given and set off on a shady footpath to find their temporary home away from home.

A few hundred yards through the privacy-assuring foliage, the trail opened up to a great view of the lake and a self-contained bungalow off to the right.

Their key fit, so the boys went in. More wood paneling and vintage but tidy furniture awaited them.

It was a single room, with a queen-sized bed to save them money, and off to the left stood an open door to the bathroom. Other than a small table and chairs, and a moderate television, the room was plain and homey.

The air conditioning was on, and Chuck turned it up before rubbing his hands together. “OK. Let’s go get our party gear unpacked!”

Hours later, long after the summer sun has set into the western part of the lake, the boys were tipsy. They’d started the evening with cheap Spanish champagne, and had now moved on to Chuck’s heavy hitter—peach schnapps.

To Chuck it tasted great, a warm and sweet means of delivering high spirits and facilitating a sloughing off of inhibitions.

His phone was cranking out tunes he liked on speakers Chuck had brought.

“So, I was reading about this place I’d like to go,” said Chuck. “It’s a tropical wonderland called Bora Bora.”

Lee shrugged, barefoot and sitting up on the counter next to the TV. “That’s the place with headhunters? Like still isolated and shit—unspoiled by Western man.”

Chuck scowled in concentration. “If they ever head-hunted, it was long ago. As for influence, I’ve seen they got McDonalds, so….”

“Oh.” Lee seemed distracted. “You making plans already, huh?”

“What do you mean?”

“For after we get done with school. You’re gonna take off in life, and pass me up while I’m still stuck with four years of college.”

“Buddy, it’s true that part of why I’m enlisting is to go see the world, like the TV commercials say, but it’s more than that. One reason is education. I’ll do my two years in the Army, like my older brother Nat, and then have the financial assistance to finish college. I couldn’t do it otherwise.”

“Yeah, that’s cool. Don’t mind my BS, OK. You’re doing it the right way as far as I’m concerned.”

“Plus, there’s another reason. My brother used to be on the douchey side of things, but since he’s been in the service, I like what I see. I like what the discipline has done to him, and he tells me he appreciates the responsibility. It gives him a bigger picture to worry about, and says it shapes him as a man. And I can see it.”

The song changed. The future enlistee popped up the volume.

“You dig?” the owner asked about his playlist.

Lee shrugged. “Why you into this old stuff anyway? Got something against the music of the current century?”

“Old stuff? I’ll have you know The Doors are rock royalty. Timeless classics!”

“Yeah? And here I am, just thinking they’re pot-fueled-hippies droning on and on.”

“What!” Chuck was truly incensed, or perhaps he felt his indignity heightened by the schnapps.

“You know my opinion of The Doors—”

Chuck hastened to silence his friend so he didn’t have to hear it again. “Um—” But it was too late.

“They’re like long-haired, guitar-twanging funeral directors.”

“Oh, man. There’s no accounting for taste.”

“Tell me about it. They should have called themselves The Morticians.”

“Oh, man—”

“Or maybe the Dead as Doornails…. That might fit.”

The song changed, and Chuck’s heart lightened. “How about The Moody Blues?”

“They’re OK.”

Lee’s acceptance was warmly received by Chuck, who stood up on impulse to dance. And why not? Never Comes the Day was one of his favorite songs. He sang along with the chorus some, intermittently glancing over at his friend.

 

“Take just a little bit,

Give a little more,

Say what you’re feeling is true….”

 

“You like this song, huh?”

“What gave it away?” Chuck laughed, rejoining the lyrics and clapping.

 

“Things aren’t out of sight,

You know it’s all right,

Just admit it’s true.”

 

Lee got off the counter, picked up the 50-proof bottle, which was half-empty, and walked it to his friend. Chuck held out his plastic cup, and without stopping his moves, waited for Lee to top him off, which his buddy did.

Lee added some to his own cup, and the teens toasted, Chuck inviting Lee to dance with him as the recap of the chorus started.

Chuck sang in full voice.

 

“We’ll take some from each other tonight,

Knowing what we feel is all right,

As long as we admit it’s true….”

 

Lee moved away, Chuck barely noticing as the music came to a tambourine-fueled crescendo.

“Whoop, whoop!” he called out. “One of the fucking best songs ever, don’t you think?”

Lee smiled warmly. “If you say so.”

“I do say so! So it is.”

“I’ll drink to that.”

They cheered again and drained their cups. Lee suddenly sat heavy on a chair.

“You OK, buddy? Chuck asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe I had too much sun today, or maybe your all-you-can-eat fish buffet is hanging heavy on my stomach.”

Chuck chortled. “Maybe you didn’t have to eat so much of it.”

“F-you. It’s my vacation, right?”

Chuck poured a fresh round. “That it is, my friend. That it is.”

Sensing the mood had changed, he witnessed Lee become angry.

“Those fucking assholes.”

“Who, Lee?”

“Those drive-by bigots.”

Chuck had to ponder for a second to dig up what his buddy was talking about. When he did, he brushed it off with a laugh. “They’re just teenage morons. Trust me, life will have the last laugh on them.”

Lee set his cup aside and rubbed his forehead. “Yeah, I guess so. It has the last laugh on all of us I suppose.”

Chuck regarded the drink in his hand. Maybe this type of alcohol wasn’t good for his best friend. He’d heard about happy drunks, and sad drunks, and pissed-off drunks. He knew with beer and wine coolers, Lee was always buzzed and light as a feather.

He glanced up to find Lee staring right at him.

“I admire you, Chuck.”

“Why?”

“I think of you as fearless.”

“Buddy, I don’t know what you mean.”

“Courageous, like the way you just go out on that bridge and jump off.”

Chuck tried to restore a nonchalant tone to his voice. “It’s all right if you don’t want to do it.”

“Sometimes taking the first step of a leap of faith is the hardest part.”

“Don’t worry. When you need to, you will.”

“I’m not so sure I have your confidence in my own bravery.”

“I got your back. Don’t worry, Lee.”

His buddy’s response was a scowl, like he was waiting for the rest of it—a punchline.

Chuck didn’t disappoint.

Just cuz you’re too”—Chuck clucked like a chicken—“it don’t mean you’re any less of a red-blood American stud than myself.”

The parched statement was so over the top, it had the desired effect and made both boys crack up.

Suddenly, Lee stood, grabbed two towels from the stack near the luggage rack and walked to the door.

“What ya doin’?” Chuck asked as if to a preschooler.

“Come on, lazy bones. It’s past midnight. Time for—well, chase me and see.” He tossed the towels to Chuck and tore open the door.

Chuck watched his friend disappear into the night air. Clutching the terrycloth, he followed.

First he found a sneaker, then a pair of socks on the trail down to the water.

Chuck grinned, knowing what was going on. He picked up speed just in time to glimpse his buddy whip off his shirt and pull down his shorts.

“Last one in is a rotten egg sucker!” Lee teased from up ahead.

That made Chuck drop everything and start to run while stripping at the same time. He caught up, and the boys managed to nearly jump in the lake simultaneously, although Lee clearly got to the water first. They started swimming together, and after a few minutes, paused near one another to drink in the sights from lake level.

Chuck slicked back his hair. Bobbing above the calm surface, the boys could perceive the lake’s edges were pinpointed in shimmering lights like stars.

In the silence where only the slight motion of the water met their ears, Chuck skimmed over the surface to find Lee watching him again. “Beautiful, huh?”

Lee’s answer was simple but imbued with emotion. “Sure is.”

After their leisurely post-midnight swim, the boys returned to the cabin and started a renewed round of drinking. Preceded by rowdy laughter and snacks to settle each other down, shirts came off, the lights went out, and they climbed into bed around three in the morning.

“Night, buddy,” Chuck said, but Lee was silent. He rolled over a moment to check, and his best friend was curled up, his head already dreaming on his pillow.

He drew up the thin summertime sheet and covered both of them. Then Chuck too turned the other way, so they were back to back, and drifted off. As soon as he closed his eyes, a floating sensation overcame him, making Chuck smile. He attributed this lighter-than-air phenomenon to the peach schnapps. But the buoyancy of their friendship lifted his mind too.

He saw Lee grin in his sphinxlike way, half connected and half detached. The orange of the guy’s life vest competed pleasantly with the blue sparkles of sunlight shimmering on the lake surface.

They were on the speedboat they’d rented this afternoon, and Chuck as the confident pilot, steered the craft into the sheltered cove Lee was pointed at with a fully extended arm.

In another second, his buddy had ripped off his life preserver and took a swan dive into the water.

Chuck laughed as free and easy as he felt; he jumped in too.

The warm water supported every part of his body as he swam easily to the front of the boat. Lee had dived in from this forward section. But when he got there, Chuck’s best friend was nowhere in sight.

Swallowing down a bit of lake water with his panic, he thrust both hands up and latched onto the metal railing on the speedboat’s gunwale. He flexed his muscles, and with one mighty heave, lifted his upper body to peer in the vessel. Lee was not there either.

And then slowly, as Chuck relaxed his arms to settle back in the water again, the utterly desolate feeling of being alone descended on his like a shadow.

He looked up because he heard a sound. The boat was vanished, and the darkness in his mind was cast by the Lake of the Bays Bridge. Lee was standing atop a girder instead of Chuck, and he appeared scared out of his wits.

“I’m here, buddy. Don’t worry!”

“What’ll I do?”

Chuck thought a quick second; he could haul himself out, and climb the ladder— “Jump, buddy. I’ll catch you.”

“You swear it?”

Chuck’s heart sank; what if he couldn’t do it? What if— “Yes. Trust me, Lee. Please.”

After a second of hesitation, and after Chuck wiped water away from his eyes, he saw Lee nod slightly.

His buddy took a tentative step, and tripped himself up. A horrible sound of flesh knocking metal later, Lee fell and managed to lock fingertips on the bottom flange of green steel.

“Chuck! Chuck, what do I do?”

As softly as saying a prayer, Chuck replied, “You let go and let me catch you….”

His buddy did, and just as Lee’s body was about to slam into him like ice, Chuck opened his eyes.

His heartrate was going a million miles an hour, and Chuck vaguely comprehended something like an hour of time had passed. But he hadn’t woken because of the dream; Lee was stirring.

As the sheet moved and Lee got out of bed, Chuck felt chilled and wondered if he should turn down the air conditioner.

Lee went to the bathroom but did not flip on the light. Suddenly, Chuck heard Lee be sick. He jumped out of bed and went to him.

He crouched down to hold Lee by the shoulders as his best friend vomited again. Chuck was surprised to find Lee shivering.

Lee reached up to flush, saying, “You don’t—”

“Shoosh.” Chuck got a bath towel and draped it on his buddy’s naked shoulders. “Are you all right?”

He perceived Lee nod, so Chuck rose with him, and led his best friend back to the bed. He sat him on Chuck’s side, and went to switch the AC to its lowest setting. The compressor motor immediately shut off, and Chuck felt guilty for having left it on full blast.

On the way back to his buddy, he snagged the light-weight blanket folded and held in reserve on a shelf by the luggage rack. He spread it on the foot of their bed.

When he sat next to Lee again, even in the dim light, he could tell his buddy was continuing to shiver.

He made Lee get under the covers, and climbed in right behind him. He pulled the blanket up to their shoulders, and held Lee front to back. He wrapped arms tight around his friend, and draped his legs over Lee’s cold ones, drawing him closer down below.

He squeezed a bit harder when Lee tried to move out of his grip. “Shoosh,” he repeated, feeling his head swim from still being a bit drunk, but glad he had the presence of mind to know what to do.

Lee started mumbling upset and angry things. With his best friend facing the wall as he was, Chuck had to sit up some to hear his buddy’s intoxicated and half-asleep words.

“Fuck them,” he said. “Punk ass bitches…drive by…like…that. Fuck ‘em.”

He was puzzled by Lee’s statements, and then by slow degrees, Chuck became stunned to realize he was listening to a tirade against those boys in the car calling them names; an incident he barely remembered, but which Lee had brought up twice now.

The opening strings to The Moody Blues’ starry album sounded in his head. Things began to fall in place, along with a slow dawning of why that encounter could have upset Lee to the obvious point it did.

Still on an elbow, as he was looking upon Lee’s features, Chuck knew it was time, so he swallowed down his own fear. Chuck shook him a bit, saying only barely above a whisper, “Lee, buddy, it’s OK if you want to tell me something. It won’t change how I feel…about you…about our relationship—”

Lee was fast asleep; Chuck could tell for sure because all tension left his best friend, and he could hold onto him without resistance. He still trembled a bit, so Chuck lay his head on his pillow and hung on.

As Chuck settled back into that drunken falling sensation again, a melody dominated his thoughts. All he wanted to do was protect his friend and stay vigilant through the night.

The song he had danced to earlier played on and on, especially the lyrics he assumed Lee was experiencing silently. A fear that:

 

If you understood how I feel somehow,

Then you might not want to know me right now.

 

 

_

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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3 hours ago, Mikiesboy said:

I do love this story...the closeness of these two.  They love each other deeply and it shows in their actions, and how they treat each other. Lee looks up to Chuck and his 'braveness'. Chuck understands Lee's fear, and encourages his friend to be brave but doesn't tease him or goad him. Not until later when they will both find the joke funny.

 

AC this is a lovely story of friendship. I look forward the the next chapters, yet not the end. xo

Thanks for your comments, Tim. I really appreciate them. You touch upon the open nature of their relationship, and this truly a tale of friendship. Thanks again :)

 

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It appears that despite all his outward bravado Chuck sees a great deal more of who Lee is than he lets on or even formally admits to himself at the time .Each boy lets the other be who he wants to be at any moment , whilst still caring about the friendship , quite the foundation. 

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This chapter makes me sad, yet it is a beautiful and crucial part of their relationship. Chuck's dream shows he fears losing Lee, and his actions to help his friend when he wakes highlight the care and understanding he keeps displaying. A shame Lee fell asleep before the tender suggestion to admit how he feels. If would have been a better 'drunk coming out' than what happened later. Lee's lack of courage to take the leap may be something they will both regret, even as they struggle to reconnect and resume their friendship.

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On 6/25/2018 at 7:07 PM, MichaelS36 said:

Chuck is strong, brave … yet Lee is in his own way.  You don't need to jump off a bridge to prove it. I like their friendship, the closeness and Chuck isn't afraid of touching his friend, of looking after him.  Hehe.. all very Dom qualities. I kid, well they are but I don't think this is where this story is going.  

 

This may be a short story, but it's a very good one. I'll look forward to more AC. 

You're right about bravery coming in many different forms. These two boys are bold in their own way. You also pick up on Chuck's nurturing nature; that's a big part of who Chuck is as a person  :) 

Thanks again, Mike. Two more chapters to go after this one.

 

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On 6/26/2018 at 9:58 AM, deville said:

It appears that despite all his outward bravado Chuck sees a great deal more of who Lee is than he lets on or even formally admits to himself at the time .Each boy lets the other be who he wants to be at any moment , whilst still caring about the friendship , quite the foundation. 

I think Chuck has said it himself a few times now, he took the friendship a bit slow, but each time he opened up to Lee about a new aspect in his life, his buddy was there for him. That of course was a two way street, but for Chuck the more he got to know the real Lee, the more he likes him. Now, he'd do almost anything for Lee.

Thanks for reading and commenting, deville. I really appreciate it! 

 

 

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On 6/27/2018 at 11:34 AM, Timothy M. said:

This chapter makes me sad, yet it is a beautiful and crucial part of their relationship. Chuck's dream shows he fears losing Lee, and his actions to help his friend when he wakes highlight the care and understanding he keeps displaying. A shame Lee fell asleep before the tender suggestion to admit how he feels. If would have been a better 'drunk coming out' than what happened later. Lee's lack of courage to take the leap may be something they will both regret, even as they struggle to reconnect and resume their friendship.

As always, thank you for your feedback and support, Tim. As for sad, I'm not exactly sure which element(s) make you feel that way. Of course, misunderstandings, lost opportunities, and downright chicken-hearted copping out are daily occurrences in most everybody's everyday life, so here the boys experience the same. Perhaps Chuck could have woken up his friend and pressed the issue, but would that have been the right thing to do...? What new course for their friendship would it set if Lee is not ready, or worse yet, if the boy feels pressure to lie about it. That too would set a new course for them.

Sometimes it's best to simply wait and play it by ear. We'll have to see what Chuck does with his newfound knowledge concerning his buddy.

Thanks again. i always appreciate getting feedback from you :yes:

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42 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

As for sad, I'm not exactly sure which element(s) make you feel that way.

 

I guess it was mostly how the start of their time together was marred by the nasty bigoted remarks from those idiots. And their evil words had no foundation in fact since the boys are friends, not lovers. I hated to see Lee so deeply wounded, even thought it brought out the caring side of Chuck - but then I felt sad how Lee missed most of that, and obviously they didn't manage to talk about the matter during this trip. Lee's loneliness at college was perhaps partly a result of his fear of rejection, and that fear is born of stupid heartless people who refuse to accept what is as natural and human as blue eyes or musical talent.

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46 minutes ago, Timothy M. said:

 

I guess it was mostly how the start of their time together was marred by the nasty bigoted remarks from those idiots. And their evil words had no foundation in fact since the boys are friends, not lovers. I hated to see Lee so deeply wounded, even thought it brought out the caring side of Chuck - but then I felt sad how Lee missed most of that, and obviously they didn't manage to talk about the matter during this trip. Lee's loneliness at college was perhaps partly a result of his fear of rejection, and that fear is born of stupid heartless people who refuse to accept what is as natural and human as blue eyes or musical talent.

I've been thinking of creating a Haibun exploring all the various times I can remember being called "that" in public. There have been lots of them, and I guess part of the question I'd ask is "Did they know? How would they react if informed that they'd actually slurred a Gay person?" It's all food for thought, for these experiences shape a person's life whether or not they are actually Gay.

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So Chuck already knew, even if confirmation came later. Shows just how good a friend he is to Lee. Seeing him for who he is and not shying away. 

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16 hours ago, Puppilull said:

So Chuck already knew, even if confirmation came later. Shows just how good a friend he is to Lee. Seeing him for who he is and not shying away. 

Thanks, Puppilull! New chapter is out tomorrow. 

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A steady, supportive friend.  I like how we get to see how deep their friendship runs, and how much it means to them both through their eyes.. The last bit makes me believe that Chuck may not be immune as Lee might think.  I guess since the next chapter is up I’ll find out, or not. 

 

Love it! 

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What a lovely tribute to friendships and bonds. While it was In a dream, Chuck will be there to catch Lee. He even nudged an unaware Lee that it was safe to share his secret.

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On 7/3/2018 at 5:25 AM, Defiance19 said:

A steady, supportive friend.  I like how we get to see how deep their friendship runs, and how much it means to them both through their eyes.. The last bit makes me believe that Chuck may not be immune as Lee might think.  I guess since the next chapter is up I’ll find out, or not. 

 

Love it! 

@Defiance19 Thanks for the great comments, Def. Yes, this is a tale of their friendship and I'm glad people pick up on the supportive nature of it. Thank you for reading and supporting my work. Muah 

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On 7/3/2018 at 9:55 AM, Parker Owens said:

Chuck is tender, perceptive, kind and steady as a rock. Lee could not have a better friend. 

You sum up Chuck's character pretty well :) In point of fact, I think each of us could do with one or two 'Chuck-like' companions in our lives. It would make it a whole lot easier. Thanks for your comments, @Parker Owens. I really appreciate them. 

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On 7/4/2018 at 5:16 PM, BlindAmbition said:

What a lovely tribute to friendships and bonds. While it was In a dream, Chuck will be there to catch Lee. He even nudged an unaware Lee that it was safe to share his secret.

Thanks, JP. These are great comments. Yes, Chuck encouraged a Lee, telling him he's in a safe space. It's nice the boy happened to be in his arms at the same time. Thank  you for reading, @BlindAmbition. I really appreciate it! 

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courage comes in many forms

jumping from a bridge, or being kind to a friend who has had too much to drink, these both take courage

i'm so glad you share what you write, thanks AC

 

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On 7/29/2018 at 6:30 PM, mollyhousemouse said:

courage comes in many forms

jumping from a bridge, or being kind to a friend who has had too much to drink, these both take courage

i'm so glad you share what you write, thanks AC

 

Thanks for reading and commenting, Molly. Another aspect of courage is it appearing at just the right time. Hope it shows up when our boys need it the most. Muah

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38 minutes ago, chris191070 said:

These guys have a great connection and friendship with each other.

Thanks for reading this novella, Chris. I truly appreciate it!

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