Despite threat of blackmail, young love blossoms between John and William. All is not well though, as a few more people become privy to their little secret., and become part of a complicated situation
This is a series originally posted on Nifty by a friend of mine. On his behalf (because for some reason, he couldn't get an account here), I'm posting it here. He reckons people who read here might like it too. The tags for this story aren't specific to any one chapter, but are general for the entire series. It's a work in progress, with currently 8 chapters and counting. Chapter 1 serves as a prologue. Chapter 2 is the actual start of the story, with Chapter 3-8 containing the real meat of the story.
I will be posting each chapter exactly as it is found on nifty sans my friend's author's notes. He highly appreciates feedback, criticism and encourages people to spot any typos or errors and if you wish to email him he's at:
I hope you enjoy his story.
___________________________________________________________________________________ Chapter 5: Looming Shadows
“Are you sure it’s the right time? I mean, he’s still eleven. I don’t think he’s at that age yet.”
“Connor, trust me. He’s at that age already. He needs the talk sooner than later. And it’s better if he finds out about…those things… directly from you than from any of his friends.” Sharon Watson said imperiously. She was washing the dishes as her husband, Connor Watson, read the day’s newspaper. It was usual for the couple to discuss important family issues in the morning, just after their son left for school and just before Connor would leave for work.
“What makes you think I need to give him the talk now? Don’t they have that at school these days?” Connor replied without taking his eyes off the newspaper.
“I just do. And I think the usual talk won’t cut it, either, you need to, well, maybe explain the things he should and shouldn’t do, and maybe clear up things he’s confused with. He needs a father’s guidance.” Sharon said airily as she piled the dried plates together.
“I’m likely to be confused myself if you don’t cut to the chase.”
“Well, when he had that sleepover with William the other day – remember, it’s the James’ son- I accidentally overheard them talking to each other. And well, because of that I have reason to believe they may be, well, to use the term, ‘playing with each other’”.
“Playing…with each other? What’s wrong with that?”
“For Christ’s sake, Connor, you’re not making this easy for me to say!” Sharon sighed in exasperation. While she loved her husband dearly and couldn’t think ill of him, there were times when she seriously thought he was daft. That, or he was doing it on purpose to annoy her. “I think they’ve been exploring each other’s bodies-doing sex play if you want it any clearer!”
“”What…?” Connor was dumbfounded. For the first time he put down the newspaper to look Sharon in the eye. “Are you saying he’s doing gay sex with William?!”
“Oh, goodness no, not sex, not like that, I think. But well, if we let it go I don’t imagine it’s impossible. That’s why I want you to talk to him as early as now, Connor, before he gets the wrong ideas!” Sharon said, her previously commanding voice slightly faltering. The topic was awkward in itself, but somehow, she didn’t like how her husband reacted.
“I’ll be damned if he does. You should’ve just said so in the first place!” Conner said firmly. The man was clearly agitated. “Don’t worry, I’ll straighten John out. I thought that William was a good kid, but no way in hell is he turning my son gay!”
“Connor, calm yourself!” Sharon said, starting to panic. She didn’t know her husband would react so violently. She was starting to regret bringing up the topic at all. “Boys will be boys, they’re just curious and all that. It’s just a phase! Just guide John into it and explain that while it’s normal, boys aren’t supposed to, you know…tell him something from your experiences.”
“I can’t stay calm while you tell me my son’s gay, Sharon!” Connor said angrily. “What do you want me to say? That when I was a kid I messed around with my friends too?”
“Well, yes! Something like that. I wouldn’t be surprised if you did! It’s normal for boys to get curious, right? Sex play isn’t that uncommon between them.” Sharon was steadily losing her bravado. She sounded like she was trying to convince herself as much as her husband.
“Sorry to say, but I’ve no such experience. I was raised in a normal Catholic home with normal parents and with normal straight friends. You know all this, Sharon, we’ve been married for twelve years and there’s nothing you don’t know about the way I was brought up!“ Connor said in a slightly offended tone.
“Dear, you shouldn’t be too worried about this. I never said John was gay. I’m just saying he needs guidance.” Sharon tried to negotiate. “Well, I never knew you were a homophobe…”
“Sharon…” Connor sighed. His anger had softened into something more similar to calm stubbornness. “I’m not a homophobe. Personally, I have nothing on gays. I couldn’t care less that gay marriage is now legal or that there are single gay fathers. But then I see how gay men are treated, Sharon. They’re ostracized, ridiculed by normal folk. They’re labelled and judged and it makes it hard for them to live a normal, good life. And it’s a fact that more AIDS victims are homosexual. I don’t want any of that for my John.
“In any case,” he continued, sensing that his wife was going to retort. “Leave it to me. I’ll talk to John about it, maybe in a few days’ time. Don’t worry about it anymore, hun, “ he said with finality.
Sharon bit her lip. Connor was unmovable once he had decided on a course of action. She only hoped that he wouldn’t do anything they’d both regret, or worse, anything John might hate them for. Her mother’s intuition seemed to agree that Conner was going to give their son a hard time.
John and William were walking along the third floor corridor after enduring a rather difficult pop quiz in math. They were both comparing answers-or lack thereof. William seemed to have fared better than John.
“I can’t believe you answered that! That was a trick question, I mean come on, it was a fraction that had letters on it!” recounted John, slightly annoyed, as he mimicked the position of the offending fraction with his hands.
“Well, it’s not the first time I’ve seen it, to be honest. Peter and I were practising after school yesterday and he showed me something like that.” William said bashfully.
“Peter? That guy you randomly met a few days ago?” John adopted an air of suspicion. “He hung out with you yesterday?”
“Well, yeah. You said you had to go early yesterday cuz your gramps cooked dinner, right?”
“For the record, my grandpa makes a mean Bouillabaisse.”
“Yeah, well anyway – no I’m not even going to try and pronounce that- I just hung around a little longer and I met Peter on the halls. Well, long story short, we just talked and ended up in the library and he kinda taught me some more math stuff.” William said nonchalantly. “I didn’t think it would actually be useful though! I can’t wait to tell him it did!”
“The library?! I thought nothing short of a zombie apocalypse would get you to go there. Will, is it just me or do you like Peter as much as he does you?” John said, barely concealing a smirk.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, remember, I reckon he’s got a crush on you, and the way I see it, I think you have one on him too!”
“You bastard! It’s only the second time we met! He’s just a cool guy, that’s all.” William replied as he playfully shoved a giggling John.
“Well, whatever, dude. Anyway, I need to take a piss.”
Both boys drifted to the nearest boys’ bathroom. By some lucky coincidence, this particular one was completely devoid of any other patrons at the moment, and the hall outside seemed to be rather empty as well. All in all, it was a secluded, quiet place, with only John and William present to break the eerie silence.
Sensing that it was as good a time as ever, John brought up something that he’d been meaning to discuss with William. “Hey Will, I wanted to talk to you about well…you know. PBear and our video.”
“Uhm, what about it?” William replied nervously as he took the urinal beside John and unzipped his pants.
“Did you see him online again, did he mention anything about the video?” John asked with equal uncertainty as he pulled out his dick and aimed it at the urinal.
“Only one other time, it was the day after, you know…and no he didn’t mention anything, we just went on a quest together.”
“Oh, I see. It’s just that I’m getting real nervous, Will. What if anybody else finds out? What if our parents find out? Whenever I think about it I get scared.”
“Dude, chill. You’re getting too paranoid. We kept our word and PBear kept his. He doesn’t have a reason to show it to anyone.”
“What if he does? How can we trust him?”
William thought for a bit and seemed to have made up his mind. “No, he won’t.”
“How sure are you?” John asked fearfully. By now, both boys had finished urinating though they seemed to have forgotten the fact that their dicks were still exposed, absorbed as they were with their conversation.
“ I just am.”
“Don’t worry, nothing bad will happen to us, I promise.” As he said this, William hugged John as if to reassure the younger boy. John leaned on William’s shoulder and just stood there feeling the warmth of his friend’s embrace; he wished he could find the security he was longing for in William’s arms.
John was just enjoying the moment until he realized something. “Dude, you’re hugging me but you didn’t even wash your hands yet, ugh!” he said as if he was disgusted, but he was laughing all the same.
William didn’t seem predisposed to reply though, as he held John tighter toward him. John was now fully aware of the fact that their dicks lay forgotten in the open air, and that they were now being squashed together because of William’s hug. Furthermore, William was quickly sporting a boner.
“What…Will!” John whispered shrilly. “Do you have to be horny right now?”
“Yes.” William replied with a grin.
“But…but someone might come in!” John said worriedly, though despite himself he was now getting his own erection, mostly because William’s already hard three and a half inches was rubbing across his own.
William nodded and led John to one of the larger cubicles. By this time John was already grinning as well. Walking around with his boner poking out of his fly was too naughty for someone like him, though it did have its charm, or rather, thrill. William hooked the latch and turned to face John again. John’s eyes were wide and he was already smiling. With privacy somewhat assured, he was now as willing as William.
John made to grab the older boy’s hard dick, but William swatted John’s eager hand away and put his hands on John’s shoulders. “No, I want to try something I just thought of. Just do what I do.” And with that, William started to rub his dick across John’s crotch.
John was momentarily stunned. He didn’t know what William wanted him to do. After a few seconds though, a new, yet familiar, feeling radiated from his dick to his loins. William’s dick was rubbing across his, pushing it this way and that as if re-enacting a perverse swordfight. It felt positively good. He put his hands on William’s shoulders and started rubbing his crotch on William in the same manner.
For a few good minutes, the boys enjoyed humping each other. It didn’t have any rhythm to it; they just submitted themselves to their passions and thrust their hips at each other, rubbing their dicks on each other’s groin, and feeling each other’s warm breath. They were both silent, with only their laboured breathing, their occasional grunts and the rustling of their clothes disturbing the otherwise still atmosphere. Sometimes their random thrusts would be replaced by gyrating their hips; all for the purpose of making their dicks bat and swat each other, and rubbing their over-sensitive tips on each other’s smooth skin.
“Will, I’m…!” John whispered thickly.
“Yeah…me too…just keep…doing it!” William replied between breaths.
Through some convenient coincidence, both boys reached their climax at the same time, after one last, forceful, simultaneous thrust. Both of their dicks were throbbing angrily, sandwiched between their now, slightly moist pubic areas.
“Will…what’s…it feels a bit gooey. Wait, this isn’t piss…” John said. He inspected the sticky, clear substance on his pelvis, feeling it between his thumb and forefinger, and held it up to the light. To the young boy, it looked very much like clear snot.
“I…dunno. But I have some on mine too…and it doesn't look like it's...well, you know...semen...” William remarked with a blush. He was feeling around on his pubic area as well.
Both of them looked at each other and smiled, then promptly sagged to the floor. Their little activity had taken its toll on them; apparently it was not best to perform it standing up while fully clothed. Their knees ached and worst of all, their dicks, while fully satisfied, were now red and sore. William winced; he made a mental note to never do this again unless it was on a bed.
All of a sudden, the sound of footsteps made them both stand up in fear. Someone just went in the bathroom.
“Hellooo?” the voice said. William accidentally bit his tongue as he realized to whom the voice belonged. It was Johnson Masters.
John and William were silent, not to mention scared out of their wits. It would be quite difficult to explain why the two of them were sharing a cubicle without raising eyebrows. John made to unlock the cubicle, but William stopped him, giving him a look that said “no-we’re-gonna-get-screwed-if-he-sees-us”. John replied with an expression that clearly said “we-are-so-dead”.
The footsteps drew nearer and seemed to stop at the urinals. They heard the sound of Johnson unzipping his fly and relieving his bladder. All the while, William was racking his brains for a way out of their precarious situation. It did not help that John was cutting off the blood flow in his left arm with a vice grip.
Moments later, they heard the footsteps again and the sound of a faucet being turned on. In that same instant, a metaphorical light bulb lit up in William’s brain. He motioned for John to climb up on the toilet, which the younger boy did as quietly as he could. He made John sit on the toilet canister with his feet on the toilet’s rim. Then William shucked off his pants and underwear, than sat on the bowl himself. This time, he was the one gripping John’s legs. To the common observer, it would look like William was taking a dump while he was giving John a piggyback ride.
The footsteps drew nearer still and just as William had predicted, Johnson was now inspecting the cubicles. The cubicle they were in was the most conspicuous, because it was the only one that was closed. Johnson would definitely stop in front of their cubicle. And no sooner than William thought this, a shadow and a pair of sneakers appeared under the cubicle’s door; Johnson was right in front of them.
There was a pregnant pause as the bathroom regained its eerie silence. John was starting to shake, and William was afraid the younger boy would crack up and start screaming. Just then he noticed the shadow change and thicken. It seemed that Johnson was trying to look under the cubicle door, just as William thought he would. And just as he planned, all Johnson would see were his shoes and his pants around his ankles, making it seem like he was doing his business, and more importantly, alone.
Summoning his best impersonation of Batman’s voice in the Dark Knight Rises, if only a bit more comprehensible, William said, “Bugger off, dude! I’m taking a dump!” He prayed as hard has he could that Johnson would not recognize his voice and that this whole charade would actually work.
A few seconds later, the shadow disappeared as they heard the footsteps heading back towards the hallway. Johnson had left.
After making sure the coast was clear, William put his pants back on and together with John, left the bathroom in haste.
“That…was too close!” William exclaimed. Despite his great anxiety, he felt elated, he felt as though he were an elite secret agent that just outwitted his arch enemy.
“Darn right it was, Will! You…you bitch! I told you someone might come in!” John said in an annoyed tone. He promptly elbowed William with as much force as he could muster, but ended up hitting William’s hard elbow joint, which caused both boys considerable pain. After exchanging a grimace, they both giggled.
William looked behind just to make sure that Johnson wasn’t still there. He saw the boy in question walking the opposite direction, his back turned to them some distance away. William breathed a long sigh of relief, but at the last moment, he snapped his head back to look behind him again. He could have sworn that, in the instant he turned his gaze away from Johnson’s back the other boy looked back his way and gave him an overly suspicious look.
After school, John had to leave early again because he had to see his grandfather off at the airport with his family. William was still in a cheery mood, reliving their bathroom adventure (and subsequent near discovery) that he felt like staying at school a bit longer. He had the urge to go out and have some fun, maybe go to the arcade or eat out somewhere, none of which he’d be able to do if he went home.
“I suppose I could always play some games…” William thought out loud. He had his PS3 and his PC at home, and he could always go and play Dragon Sorcerer Kingdom Wars…but for some reason he didn’t feel like doing any of those. While they were fun to play, William wanted something more, something different. To be precise, merely playing those games seemed rather lonely. Ever since he and John discovered the wonders of mutual pleasure, he had longed for more interpersonal encounters; he wanted to hang out with people in person. To head home was to enter a state of solitude, since he couldn’t talk to anyone there, least of all his ever-busy parents. It was too much of a nice Friday afternoon to be wasted alone.
William walked around the school grounds, settling on the parking lot, where there was a shed where the students could sit and wait for their rides home. He watched as the multitude of students rushed to get to their respective school buses and cars, no doubt excited for the weekend. William instinctively tried to hide himself from view when he saw Johnson Masters among that crowd. The other boy seemed to be looking for his ride home, which had evidently not yet arrived. This was the only chance William had to look at Johnson from afar. It didn’t take one to be friends to recognize the sulky expression on Johnson’s face. William was sure that while Johnson was perpetually sulky, his face wasn’t that sour when they chanced upon each other in the halls earlier. He briefly entertained the thought of finally talking to Johnson just as he had promised Carl, if only to have something to do. Just then, a car pulled up near the boy and a plump-looking woman waved at Johnson from the passenger side window. William took it as a divine sign that their talk would have to wait.
“You seem quite lonely here.” said a voice beside William. He was momentarily startled when he realized that Peter McMahon was already sitting beside him.
“Oh, hey! When did you…?”
“Just now. You were kind of sitting alone and looking lonely. You were staring at Johnson a lot too.”
“You know him?” John asked in surprise.
“Oh, erm, not… personally. I know him because...uhm, I heard he’s one of the smartest in your grade, that’s all.” Peter replied, suddenly looking at the floor.
“Okaaay…?” William didn’t sound convinced.
“Well, I…I need to know stuff like that cuz I’m in the school paper.” Peter replied with a bit more confidence, this time looking at William again.
“I didn’t know you were in the paper…”
“I must have forgotten to mention it. But then, we’ve only met like two times before, right?” Peter said with a grin. “I’m nothing important there, mind. I’m just one of the assistant photographers.”
“Wow, you’re already a swimmer, and you’re also photographer? I wish I had that many talents.” William said in admiration.
“Oh, it’s not as easy and glamorous you know. Swimming’s hard work and I’m serious about not being much in the school paper. It’s only good for one little perk, actually.”
“Oh, what’s that?”
“I have a legitimate reason to stalk people!” Peter proudly exclaimed with a roguish wink.
“You bastard!” William retorted jokingly. He had to admit that in its own way, stalking people as a job sounded cool, if a bit naughty. He couldn’t help but giggle at the idea.
“So, why are you sitting all alone here on a Friday when you can do just about anything else?” asked Peter.
“Well, I dunno. I mean, I want to do something but I don’t have anything to do and well, no one to do anything with. John’s left early and well it’s almost like I feel lost if he’s not around. Funny, eh?” William mused.
“John’s your best friend, right?”
“How’d you know?” William was steadily noticing how Peter seemed to know a lot of things that he wasn’t normally supposed to.
“Oh, nothing…Well, uh… Well, it’s just the way you talked about him. I know that feeling. I had a friend like that too.” Peter said a bit awkwardly. William noticed he said ‘had’ instead of ‘have’. He chose not to make the older boy elaborate.
“Why don’t you go home then? You told me before you’re a gamer, right? Since it’s Friday you can go knock yourself out and play as much as you want!” Peter continued.
“Well, yeah I could…but nobody’s home right now. Both my mom and dad are still out and they won’t be back till like, eleven. I’d just be bummed out at home.” As William said this, he looked at Peter and could have sworn that for a second, his face froze with a weird expression around the time he said “nobody’s home”. After he blinked though, Peter’s face was as normal as ever. Apparently William had just imagined it.
“Well, you know…” Peter said carefully. “I’m free right now too. There’s no swim practice and I was thinking of going to the mall and just hanging out. I’d invite you along but, I bet your folks would mind…” he trailed of suggestively.
“Nah they won’t! It’s a Friday anyway. I could just say I hung out with my buds a bit before going home. Then again, I’d only have to tell them if I went past eleven, which is, like, next to impossible anyway.” William said excitedly. Going to the mall with Peter was definitely more fun than staying at home. Plus, he was excited with the prospect of hanging out with an older teen, and he wondered what fun stuff Peter could show him.
William couldn’t be in higher spirits. He and Peter rode the bus to the mall, talking all the way. Before they knew it, they were walking along the mall plaza. He happily told the teen about his math exam and the benefit their study session had given him. They talked of everything and nothing, of the most mundane, trivial topics to the most profound and deep issues of life that they could think of. The only time William talked this much and this freely was whenever he was with John, and in the boy’s absence, he lacked an outlet. Peter would listen to even the stupidest things he said, laugh and or sarcastically critique every one of his jokes. The older teen even obliged him an honest answer for every question he could think of, and most of all, even gave him some bits of sagely advice every now and then. William thought that if he ever had an older brother, this would certainly be what it felt like.
“The way bullies are, they just have something they’re trying to hide, an inadequacy, fear, or longing that they can’t express in any other way. They compensate through violence.”
“How do you reckon that?” asked William, genuinely interested.
“Because I’ve dealt with them before. Just find the right things that can set them off, and they won’t have anything to say in return. They’ll just try to hit you and try to make you fear them, just like how an animal will do its best to scratch you with its claws if you hit it where it hurts.”
“I still don’t get it, but I think what you’re trying to say is that bullies are asses because they’re messed up inside?”
“Yeah. If you could get inside a bully’s head, you’d see he has loads of problems too, like maybe his parents are divorced or his dad’s an alcoholic…that kind of stuff. He doesn’t know how to deal with it other than to be a bully in school. “ Peter said knowingly.
“I never thought of it that way before…I wonder if Jim…” William caught himself at the last moment from continuing, but Peter noticed it anyway.
“What about Johnson?”
“Well, uhm…it’s just that he’s also an ass and he’s like a bully…”
“Does this have anything to do with your fight last week?” Peter asked with a smile.
“What, why’d you say that?” William replied in a panicky voice.
“School paper, remember? I easily pick up stories like that. Word gets around, and I hear all of them, even when they don’t get written down as news.”
“Right well…something like that…anyway…” William trailed off, hoping to change the subject. He was briefly reminded of Carl Rogers and his uncanny ability to know more than he should.
Their talk eventually shifted to other things, and Peter obliged him by not pursuing William’s issues with Johnson Masters. Peter continued to give out advice and for all the world seemed like the smartest and wisest guy William had ever known. Peter was so mature and understanding in his answers that he seemed much older than his 16 years. He seemed to understand William’s concerns so perfectly. The young boy definitely enjoyed his company.
They played some computer games together in a nearby net café, working together in Left4Dead 2 killing zombies (but since the game was more designed to be played as a four man team, they were soundly murdered by the undead hordes), playing competitively in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (where Peter mercilessly showed William what calling in an airstrike would do) and finally playing a few matches in Need for Speed Most Wanted (with both of them alternately winning against each other because neither of them had much experience in racing games). William was enjoying himself as he passed the time with Peter. Peter seemed to feel the same way.
“Hey, are you sure you don’t want me to pay for mine, I mean I’ve got some of my allowance left…” William asked meekly while sipping his milkshake. Up till then, Peter had treated him to everything they did, and now that they were in a snack bar with the older teen treating him yet again, he was feeling thoroughly abashed.
“It’s no problem, bro. I got ya covered.” Peter said with a smile as he sipped his own milkshake.
William replied with a grateful smile and went back to sipping his milkshake.
“So, you enjoying yourself?” Peter asked, looking at William’s cheerful face.
“You bet! You’re so cool! But well, I wanted to ask, why are you being so nice to me? I mean, we’ve barely known each other and you’re already treating me and stuff…”
“Well, do you like my milkshake?” Peter asked with a mischievous grin.
“Yeah…wait, what?!” William replied as he started to laugh. He almost didn’t notice the innuendo.
Peter laughed with him before he answered the boy’s question. “I guess it’s because I always wanted a little brother. And, I just happened to meet you and you seemed like that to me.”
“But don’t you mind hanging out with a younger kid like me?”
“Not at all! I’m loving hanging out with you. I’m enjoying myself just as much as you are.”
“But well,” William started, slightly unsure how to phrase his question. “Wouldn’t you rather hang out with your same-age friends and stuff?”
“No. I don’t ha-..well…” Peter stuttered. He suddenly seemed flustered. “The guys…well, all I can say is I like hanging out with you more.”
“Well, uhm…the guys can get stupid sometimes. You make loads more sense than they do. Trust me.”
William took Peter’s reply as a sign that the older boy was dismissing the topic. He just went back to sipping his milkshake in awkwardness.
Peter sensed the sudden tension and said, “Besides, you’re a cool younger bro.” He raised his fist expectantly.
“And you’re a cool older bro!” William said enthusiastically, obliging Peter with a fist bump. Both boys were smiling, with Peter smiling more so.
After a while, Peter asked, “Hey, what time do you have to get back again?”
“Well, I need to-crap! It’s already nine! I have to go home like, now!” William said in a panic.
“Chill, you said your parents won’t be home ‘til like eleven, right? Maybe we could go hang at my place for a bit…” Peter said rather suggestively.
“I can’t, bro. I just can’t be out this late. And there’s always the off chance my parents would be back early….”
“Alright, alright, let’s get a move on.” Peter said with a sigh. “First though, let’s go take a piss.”
Both of them went to the nearest bathroom and took urinals next to each other. They did their business in silence, with only the streams of their urine making any sound. For some reason, William remembered the bathroom adventure he had with John earlier and it gave him an instant boner. Afraid that Peter might see, he put his dick back in his underwear and looked at the older teen just to make sure he hadn’t noticed. To his surprise, Peter was already looking at him with a smile. Apparently he was looking at William the whole time; of course he’d seen the younger boy’s boner. Peter signalled with his eyes for William (who was now blushing) to look down. And when he looked, he saw Peter also had a boner. William couldn’t help but stare at the teen’s longer and fatter dick, with his matte of dark pubes and bulbous red glans.
The sound of flushing and doors opening snapped the two boys out of their daze, with Peter tucking away his hard dick as he smiled, and William, blushing like a traffic light, following the older teen to the sink to wash their hands. A while later they were heading out the mall. William was still embarrassed and silent.
“Dude, it’s cool, we all get boners. It’s normal.” Peter reassured William. “Oh yeah, you got a nice dick.” He added with a wink.
“Uh…thanks…” William tried to smile though all he managed was to blush even harder.
Peter laughed and put his arm around the younger boy’s shoulders as they walked back to the bus stop.
In next to no time, William was already home. The locked gate and the absence of the car signified that his parents had yet to arrive. As he fished his spare keys from his pocket, he thought back to the wonderful day he had with John and the bathroom incident and Peter at the mall…and the bathroom incident with him…what was it with bathrooms today anyway? William went to his room and dropped on the bed thinking what it would have been like if he accepted Peter’s offer to hang out at his place.
John was doing some last minute Facebooking before heading off to bed. It was a tiring day, what with his grandpa’s farewell dinner and their trip to the airport, not to mention his earlier escapade with William in the school bathroom. It was already 11 PM and the young boy was getting sleepy, and perhaps a bit irritable.
While randomly scrolling through his homepage, he chanced upon an update that he seemed to have missed before. It was a post on William’s wall, made by a certain Peter McMahon thanking William for a great hang out. John clicked on the update to see all the replies, and to his irritation, he saw around twenty more replies coming from both William and Peter referencing what fun they apparently had together. As John read further, he found out that Peter and William hung out after school in the mall and spent somewhere near five hours together. The two had been trading comments for a couple of hours judging from the timestamp of their latest replies.
John unconsciously gritted his teeth in dismay. For some inexplicable reason, he was really very pissed off at the pair. He was pissed off at Peter for being a total stranger who seemed to sweep William off his feet, and he was also pissed at William for…well. WAS he pissed at William? John’s irritation immediately softened as he thought of his best friend. He couldn’t really be angry with William even if he tried. John realized with a wistful smile, that what he was feeling wasn’t anger at all, it was loneliness, even longing. In a word he was…was he…? Was John actually…jealous of William and Peter?
It wasn’t only that, but William seemed to be enjoying himself too much, to the point that he’d been taking their whole ‘being blackmailed into having sex’ issue too lightly. It’s almost like William didn’t care at all. Personally, John was scared out of his wits thinking what that video might do to both of their lives should it get leaked anywhere. It’s not that he didn’t want to do sex things with William, it was just that he was afraid what would happen if anyone knew…and William’s certainty that nothing would happen felt so hollow and unconvincing despite his firm belief. John was worrying about it so much, though if he was honest with himself, he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t have any leads to who PBear might be, and he had no idea what to if, by some miracle, he found him.
A knock on the door brought John back to his senses. After he opened it, his father walked in with a solemn expression on his face.
“Dad?” John said in surprise. “What’s up?”
“I hope you’re not too sleepy, John. Have a seat. I just want to talk to you.”
“No, it’s alright…” John replied as he sat on his bed. He had this intuition that his dad wasn’t there for a reason he’d like.
Connor Watson sat on John’s computer chair and looked straight into his son’s eyes. “I’ll do my best not to beat around the bush, son. I’m here to talk to you about sex.”
“W…what?” John said, dumbfounded.
“Your mother and I think that it’s about time that we had this talk. I’ll just tell you how it all works, son. No malice or shame or anything like that. These are just things you need to know.”
“But…but dad! This is embarrassing!” John stammered, his cheeks already bright crimson.
“You shouldn’t be. I’m open with you, and you should be open with me. If you want to ask anything at all, don’t hesitate. “ Connor was still calm and stoic. John merely looked to the floor and stayed Silent. Connor continued, “Pretty soon you’ll be starting puberty and when you do, you’ll be on the way to becoming sexually mature. When a boy becomes sexually mature, he is able to have babies with a girl. Do you understand?”
“Well, yeah, but dad…” John was still blushing and avoiding eye contact. “ I sort of know how it all works. I know about sperm and egg cells and how babies are born and the whole sex thing….”
“It’s called intercourse. Intercourse is what most people commonly refer to as ‘having sex’, which is when a man inserts his penis into the woman’s-“
“Yeah, dad I know! Geez….we have sex ed at school! You don’t have to tell me…” John interrupted, still flustered.
“Very well. Did they also teach you about the changes to your body and behaviour during puberty?” Connor was as serious and devoid of emotion as when he started.
“Well, yeah, sort of…”
“Did you know about getting muscle definition, your voice cracking, your shoulders broadening and the appearance of bodily hair?”
“Yes! You don’t have to nitpick, dad!”
“How about the growing of your penis, wet dreams and the production of sperm?”
“Dad! Please! This is really awkward! Yes, I know all that!”
“John, I want you to be honest with me. Do you have wet dreams?”
“Dad! Why are we talking about this?! It’s embarrassing! I –“
“Please just answer the question, son.” Connor cut across the boy rather harshly.
John was getting increasingly scared of where this conversation might lead. He had the impression that his dad was telling him off. There was something about him that seemed odd…something that felt…cold. “Well, no, I don’t…I mean, I can’t well, you know…not yet.”
“I see. But I believe you masturbate?” Connor sounded impatient now, with each word becoming quicker.
“Well, I…uhm…but it’s normal anyway…right?”
“Yes…I see. Yes, in private and on your own it is.”
“Huh? What do you mean?” John was confused with what his father said. It’s like Connor was implying something…
“Son, I need to emphasize that sex is done by MEN and WOMEN because they love each other. Get it? BOYS and GIRLS fall in love with each other, then when they grow up to be MEN and WOMEN they get into a relationship and they marry and become HUSBAND and WIFE. Then they become FATHER and MOTHER when they have children. That’s how life works alright?”
“Dad…where are you going with this…?” John just had a sudden realization what his father’s repetitive emphasis meant to imply. Did his father know about him and William…? The young boy was now honestly scared, his pulse even quickened and he was starting to sweat.
“Let me tell you a story, John. Back when I was the head of the Marketing Department, we had a new guy named Michel. I knew there was something odd about him, it was how he talked like a woman sometimes and how he was generally flamboyant; gaudy and over the top you might say. I tried to pass it off as his native flavour, since he was from France, but I knew that wasn’t the case. Michel was a homosexual, and a lot of people in the department were bothered by his behaviour. It came to a head when he tried to have a relationship with one of our male employees.
“One day we all just came into the office dumbfounded because that male employee was quitting and filing for assault charges on Michel. It was as bad as you can imagine. It was quite a fracas at the time; the department was getting so much ridicule. I think the charges were dropped over time, but none of us were really sure anymore. In the years after that all of us were promoted or given new projects, and I became VP for corporate affairs. Thing is, Michel just stayed there in Marketing and was never picked for anything. Out of the blue I heard he was fired for no reason. It’s illegal to fire anyone without a reason, but I heard Michel just accepted it and vanished. No one ever came to his defence and the way the story goes, the new guys at Marketing were glad to have him gone.”
“Wh…why…are you..telling me this, dad?” John was trying his hardest to remain composed but he was miserably failing. He was certain now. His dad knew.
“John, homosexuals are treated badly by others. Being gay will make your life impossible. As your father, I want you to have a future. And for you to have a future, you need to be straight and proper like the rest of us.”
“What…are you tr..trying to say?”
“I’ll be frank with you, son. I know you and William have been experimenting with your bodies together. Anything sexual you do with someone of the same sex is homosexual. It’s gay. And it’s one big step closer to being gay yourself; to being like Michel.” Connor said gravely.
“But, dad! We-“
“I don’t want to hear it. Your reaction already makes you guilty. From now on, William is banned from ever stepping foot in our house. You are not allowed to go over to their house anymore either. You are not to associate with him and you will sever ties with him. I cannot monitor what you do outside the house, but I will be having a talk with his parents when I can, just to make sure you two stay apart. He’s a bad influence on you and if I let you boys be, he’ll turn you into a homosexual, I’ve no doubt about that.”
“Dad, NO! You don’t know what you’re saying! William’s my best friend! You can’t do this!” John half pleaded and half angrily shouted.
“Don’t talk back to me, John! That is my decision! If I get wind of you cavorting with William I’ll have you live with your aunt in Denver and I’ll have you transfer schools, is that clear?!” Connor said, raising his voice but maintaining the steely glint in his eyes.
John was getting teary eyed as he looked at his father with terror. Conner took it as a sign of confirmation. Sensing that John had nothing left to say, he left his son’s room in the same stoic manner. Before he closed the door he said, “This is for your own good.” From his tone, he sounded like he was trying to convince himself.
It was Monday, and William walked along the school corridors trying to find John before class started. He hadn’t heard anything from John over the weekend, and he thought that as strange; they’d at least talk to each other online. He also wanted to regale his trip with Peter to his best friend.
He found John already on the way to their classroom, and he hesitated when they both looked at each other. John looked extremely miserable.
“Hey…buddy? What’s up?” William said apprehensively.
“Nothing much.” John muttered.
“Ookay?” William sensed the dismissal in John’s tone.
For the rest of the day, John was silent. William kept looking at him hoping to start up a conversation, but the younger boy just seemed despondent. It was increasingly awkward for William, especially since John was his seatmate. He thought back to when he was having his spell of depression two weeks ago and wondered if it was John’s turn to have one now. And if it was, he wondered what could have caused it.
When lunch came, William walked beside a still silent John as they went to their lockers and shelved their books before heading off to the canteen. William was getting annoyed with John and his silent treatment and resolved to return his friend to his former non-depressed self. “John, what happened to you dude? C’mon you can tell me.”
“I don’t think I can. “
“I just don’t feel like it.”
“John.” William stopped the boy from leaving by grabbing his arm. “Bro, whatever it is, I want to help you out. Do you want to hang out after school so we can talk and stuff?”
“No thanks. I’m busy. Maybe you can hang out with Peter or whatever.”
“What? What’s this got to do with Peter?” William said apprehensively.
“Nothing. I mean you can find other people to hang out with if you want.” John said in a monotone.
“Dude, c’mon, what’s worrying you?”
“Well, for starters, I’m worried about our video, if it gets leaked and stuff. Do you have an idea who PBear might be?”
“Huh? Well, no. I mean He’s a dude online how am I supposed to know him? Besides I haven’t seen him online recently and, dude, I told you nothing bad’s gonna happen!”
“Will, there you go again!” John said accusingly. “You’re so sure of yourself but you don’t even know if you’re right! You don’t have proof that thing won’t be seen by anyone, but you’re not even worried at all! I have this suspicion that PBear is someone who knows you. But you don’t care! You’re even acting like it’s not a problem!” John hissed at William discreetly so that no one else could hear.
“John, wait…” William tried to hold on to John’s arm, but his grip slackened as John’s words hit its mark. Of course John was right, he didn’t have the slightest idea who PBear was, and now that John said that it might have been someone he knew…a sense of urgency filled him, the kind that he knew should have felt before. It was true that he didn’t really care back then; he wanted to trust PBear…perhaps he only wanted to because he didn’t know what else to do.
John shook off William’s hand and hurried to get away from him. William walked beside the young boy but then stopped when John faced him again.
“Will…please…leave me alone.” John whispered with sadness. William saw that John’s eyes were starting to get red, as if he was on the verge of tears. He let John go feeling hurt, confused and ashamed.
John went outside to the school grounds to get some air and to wipe his wet eyes. For now, he was at a loss. He was trapped between two problems, his father on one end and PBear on the other. As he walked on, looking for a solitary place to sit, he saw Johnson Masters being dragged to the far-off gym bathrooms by an older student. With his short, curly hair and with his toned looking arms…if John hadn’t known any better, he could’ve sworn the older teen was Peter McMahon.