I’m guessing we were the only couple heading north on Hwy. 99 that day with the passenger gently stroking the crotch of the driver Well, maybe not, but we were almost certainly the only El Camino with two males doing that!
This had started as a trip to town for groceries and the hardware store with Jackson as my guide. Now I was almost having an out of body experience! And twenty-four hours ago, I couldn’t have conceived that there would be a boy doing this to me. Twenty-four hours ago, when I pulled into the parsonage driveway you couldn’t have made me conceive this, let alone confess it, with a torture chamber. And now I was having to come to grips with the reality of being gay, of having spent years in active denial, and what to do about it. The only sex I’d had in my life so far had been hand jobs.
How did I manage to go twenty-five years, and maybe more importantly the twelve or thirteen years since puberty and not connected the dots here? It was pretty hard to process the 180-degree change that I was now undergoing, especially as we drove along to go grocery shopping. Well, I guess life is full of strange and unforeseen circumstances.
Jackson kept giving my hard-on experimental squeezes and rubs to see what reactions my body would produce, and it was producing—I could feel wetness in my shorts. And Jackson was grinning at me the whole time. I noticed he wasn’t casually leaning back against the door any longer but was leaning close over the console! His smile was just a little tentative, and he seemed to be tracking my expression as if he wasn’t sure this was a dream that would end abruptly or not. The combination of his smile, his inherent cuteness, his hair and those hazel eyes now flashing green in the bright sunlight all convinced me I wasn’t dreaming. Rather I was having to doubly concentrate on the driving as his fingers danced in my crotch, and I could see the bulge under his gym shorts.
"So, are we going for groceries first, Rev? The Food Town is first, before the hardware store?"
I knew for a fact in one part of my brain that I didn’t want to interrupt this interlude and, in fact, wanted it to go somewhere besides grocery shopping. Jackson was asking about grocery shopping, and only minutes ago he was scared I’d out him to his parents. Now I was beginning to worry about what could go wrong and if I hadn’t stumbled into some unexpected and lethal trap. I decided he’d done nothing so far but be honest and transparent with me, and I had to give him a lot of credit for that. I was the one that had been in denial and was now playing catch up and had to figure out how to do that. While we figured out what the next steps were to be, we had to make sure we didn’t do something dumb that would ruin this thing, whatever it was, before it even got started.
“Okay, Jackson, grocery shopping first. I think we both need a break from this and walking around in a grocery store will go a long way to cooling us down and getting our heads straight.” I patted my shirt pocket. Empty. “Did I give you the grocery list,” I asked him.
“Nope. Not in your shirt pocket? Well then it must be in one of these pants pockets. Want me to help you find it?” He didn’t wait for an answer but whipped his hand off my crotch and dove into my right pants pocket.
“Hey slow down,” I hissed. “I’m driving. We don’t need an accident.” I raised my butt a little and spread my legs to give him better access to the pocket.
“Let’s see, got to get past the change. I think I can feel some paper, oh yeah, down here at the bottom, some folded paper. That must be the list.”
He’d found the list alright, but he didn’t stop there. With a single move he’d gone sideways under my shorts and found my scrotum and was stroking my balls through the pocket and my briefs. It took my breath away. “What are you doing,” I hissed. “Cool it, can’t’ you?”
“Pretty hard to cool it when something this hot is in your hand, Rev. Has anyone ever told you your balls feel wonderful? No probably not, because you just told me you’d never had sex with anyone. Course, neither have I, so this is a first for me too, and they feel so wonderful. Pretty good sized too, at least bigger than mine, but I guess I’ll catch up with you someday.”
He was ever so softly rolling my balls through the fabric and grinning wildly. Meanwhile I was trying to keep the car on the road and my blood pressure from shooting through the roof.
“Hey, cool it. This is serious, we’re driving. Come on, pull that hand out of there and don’t forget the list.”
His grin continued and he flashed his eyes at me. “Having trouble concentrating, are you? Okay, I don’t want to be part of that problem, but this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, and one of the reasons is because it’s you. Because it’s you.”
He withdrew his hand with the list. My breathing started to return to normal—whatever normal was now.
He held the list up in the air like it was a long lost found treasure. “Here it is,” he announced, “and just in time because there’s the Food Town about a block ahead up there on the right.” He slid into the center of the driver bucket seat, twisted just a little in his seat and smiled at me.
After a few deep breaths I now had enough oxygen in my brain that it felt like it was functioning again. “We’ve got to figure out what we’re doing and how we’re doing this. I’ve never had something like this happen, and the feelings are wonderful, but you know we’ve got to be careful. We are in public after all, and I can barely think straight.”
The grin again. “Straight, right!” The grin widened and the dimples flared. The wise crack took the edge off the moment, and I grinned too.
I pulled into the parking lot of the Food Town, found a spot off to the side and slipped the transmission into Park. The cassette player was about halfway through the last track, The Last Resort. It wasn’t lost on me that the song was about how humans inevitably destroy the places they find beautiful. I found myself wondering if it also applied to the people we found beautiful!
“Look,” he went on, “I know you’re right, and we’ve got to get serious and be careful. But this has also been the best hour of my life and I don’t want to do anything to change that. You understand? You said we were equals and could be honest with each other and you told me I could put my hand on your crotch, and I know you loved it as much as I did, and I know you like me as much as I like you, and I so don’t want to lose that. I’ve never felt this way inside. I guess this is what it means to get a crush on someone, right? Go figure, I’ve got a crush on the Rev!”
I turned and looked him in the eyes, smiling. “It’s new to me too, and I’ve never felt like this before. I felt like there’s butterflies flying around in my chest. But look, you told me about Newberg being a conservative town. I’m a minister, you’re a kid. You say your parents will kill you if they find out, and well the whole world would come down on me. Maybe we need to dial this back and just be friends. Do you understand what happened in the last twenty minutes? What we did isn’t legal. It could be really bad for both of us if it gets out. I don’t want to hurt you, that’s for sure.”
He looked at me like I’d said something mildly offensive. “I just told you the last hour was the best hour I’ve ever had in my life. Did you hear me? The best hour in my life! Because you see me, you listen to me, you’re my friend. I’m not just the invisible kid. And on top of that I know I said I was crushing on you, but it’s more than that. I’ve never felt like this with anyone else, ever. I feel like we’re on the same wavelength, you know, like the transporter beam or something on the Starship Enterprise. We’re in synch. Don’t you feel the same way?”
One side of my brain was now waving caution signs and shouting ‘Warning, Warning!’ while the other was resonating with what Jackson had just said. Was I right to be concerned about the legal ramifications and the potential career consequences? Yes. But, that said, I also agreed with everything he just said. So, where did that leave me? Confused and confounded.
I was afraid my smile had gotten bleak, so I tried to brighten it up. “Jackson, I’m mainly saying we’ve got to go slow and be careful. Be very careful.”
He nodded. “Okay, we’ll be careful, but being careful doesn’t change any of what we feel does it?”
I kept holding his eyes with mine.” I don’t want to change any of how I’m feeling. Are you hearing me? None of it. But we’ve got to be careful. We’ve got to figure out what this is and how we deal with it and how we live. This is a big deal, and it’s important that we don’t get carried away and blow it.”
I found myself thinking that maybe my fear was mainly based in having to give up control over who I told myself I was and the image I projected of myself. My emotions and feeling were always under control and barely visible on the surface, and now that had changed, and I was worried the genie would never go back in the bottle.
Jackson cut to the chase again. “You know already that what I’m really paranoid about is my parents finding out about me being gay and all. But I never knew that talking about it with someone would make me feel so free. I mean we’re on the same wavelength. Don’t you feel the same, that we can be honest and open with each other like we can’t with anybody else on earth? Just touching your hand is so cool, not even talking about touching your cock or your balls, you said last night you were thinking about holding and kissing me. I was thinking exactly the same thing. Just touching your hand or your face like this is so wonderful.” At that he reached up and gently ran his fingertips over my cheek, held them there for a second and then ran them on to my lips. He was watching me with desperate intensity. I kissed his fingertips.
“You see, you’re in the same place as me. It’s so great and I don’t want to stop it. We don’t want to stop it, right?” He was not only watching me intently, he was nodding his head and willing me to join him.
More than anything I could think of in my entire life, I wanted this to continue. If this is what love feels like, what true love feels like, then I’m in. An image of Regis and Dani at the end of The Heritage of Hastur flashed in my mind. It was the time at the end of the story when they finally admitted and consummated their love for each other, and experienced a merging, a joining together of their souls. Sure, they were telepaths, but the idea was the same. Deeply connecting and joining with the person you love, the one who is meant for you like no other.
I took his hand in mine and pulled it away, then placed it back on my lips. “We’re both feeling the same thing and saying pretty much the same thing too.” We sat and just looked at each other quietly for a few moments.
Finally, almost as if to break the tension, he said, "Jeez, Rev, remember when our biggest secret was that you were going to pay me for the papers? Shit, God Almighty...!" And he giggled at me.
I released his hand shook my head, laughing a little myself as I opened the driver side door. "Yeah, that seems like such a long time ago, doesn't it? Now we’ve got to get this show on the road” As we pulled apart his first instinct as to slide out with me on my side, but the bucket seats and the console prevented that. He got out the passenger side and came around the front end of the El Camino. We gave each other a quick hug, then released and headed across the parking lot, staying close while we walked.
He laughed like a loon. "Four hours in the life of the Rev and the paperboy! Maybe somebody like Asimov can write a book about us! Anonymously, of course..."
We sauntered into the Food Town, trying to act casual but knowing it was anything but. I signaled him to grab a shopping cart, and we started shopping, first in the produce section, then aisle by aisle working our way through the store and down the list. We were doing something serious, but it was also fun. We kidded around, making jokes and cracking up, some with sexual innuendo, some just silly. A couple of people looked at us like we must have been related, or even father and son the way we were goofing around, but it was fine with us. Why would we care. We were having fun and we were quite a way away from Newberg.
It was actually kind of intimate. “Shall we get spaghetti? Do you like Bolognese sauce?”
His forehead wrinkled. “It’s tomato sauce with meat,” I grinned. “Don’t you have any culture?”
“Don’t get much where I come from, but let’s try it.” I picked up a bag of spaghetti pasta and a bottle of sauce and placed them in the cart. “Good thing we got onions and garlic. You can’t make good Bolognese without them.” He grinned.
When we got to the beer section, I said I wanted to get a couple of six packs and asked him if there were any local beers. He shook his head, “Jeez, I don’t drink. How would I know?”
We peered at the selection and wanted to try something different than the national brands. Finally, he said, “I know Henry Weinhard is local because we learned in history class that at one time, he owned most of the breweries in Portland. Then there’s this one, Rainier Ale, they’ve got the hilarious ads with dressed up deer in them. I think it’s from Seattle.”
We put one of each in the shopping cart, and as we wheeled around the end of the aisle and into the next one, we ran right into a cart almost overflowing with groceries. The owner was a good-sized woman who was bent over peering into a shelf behind her cart.
“Whoa,” I said, and Jackson grabbed her cart before it was bumped backwards into her. She slowly straightened up, looked up over and then said, “Well, my word. You meet the strangest people in the grocery store. Jackson Harris, I never would have expected to see you here.”
Then she looked up and me and said, “And you are?”
Jackson and I were momentarily silent, almost spooked by what had happened and been said. We hadn’t been touching, but I watched us pull away from each other. Jackson looked confused, caught off guard.
Automatic responses took over, thank God. I stepped toward the woman, extended my hand and said, "David Ayers, ma’am, I’m the new pastor at Grace Church in Newberg. Jackson’s mother is on the parsonage committee, and he is showing me around the area this morning, so I don’t get lost. He's a great tour guide!" I tried to sound much more enthusiastic about meeting her than I felt at that moment and hoped for the best.
"Oh! Pastor Ayers?! The new minister?!" She sounded genuinely excited. My own voice sank lower in reaction.
"Yes, that's right, ma'am. But please, call me Pastor David. And you are...?"
"Why, Pastor David, I'm Susan! Susan Albridge! Your organist and choir director! Isn’t it wonderful meeting like this! Just goes to prove it’s a small world, doesn’t it?" She was loud and I wondered if she had a hearing deficiency. People were looking as they went past, and they were certainly able to hear every word she exclaimed.
"Yes, it surely is wonderful... What a nice surprise..." I replied wondering about how to disentangle us from her as quickly as we politely could.
"Well, Pastor David! Do you have time for a cup of coffee and a chat? I'd love to get better acquainted! There's a good diner right here next to Food Town, and it wouldn't take but a minute to walk over there!" I could just barely hear a tiny squeak of alarm from Jackson above Susan Albridge's voice.
"Well, Mrs. Albridge..."
"Miss! Never had the inclination to get married, that's what I always say!"
"Right, Miss Albridge..."
"Call me Susan, Pastor!" She said a little too loudly
"Right, Susan, well, actually, Jackson and I have quite a few things left on our `To Do' list for today. I just arrived yesterday, and...."
"Oh!! Right!! Never mind, then!! Why don't I just drop on by the parsonage later and we can have our chat then, shall I? We’ve got some advance planning to do for the Sunday service” I wondered again about her hearing. Loss of hearing might explain it and would certainly be quite a drawback in her profession, not to mention in my church services!
"Yes, Susan, that would be perfect. Let's do that. I'll meet you sometime later on, before Sunday, for sure. Pleasure meeting you... Looking forward to working with you... Come on, Jackson, let's get a move on..." and we scurried off like frightened rabbits down the aisle, without giving Susan Albridge another chance to talk about anything else.
Jackson said, "Oh my God..."
"That was close! Now, tell me about her?" I said under my breath, imagining Miss Albridge's eyes beating into our backs as we went. Although they probably weren't.
"She's the music teacher at the High School, too. She always talks loudly like that. Everybody makes fun of her. But she's Okay, I guess. I think maybe she's lonely because she's an old maid lady. But I was so shocked to see her here! I hope to hell she didn't see me holding your hand or something"
I was in adult mode now. “No worry about that, we weren’t touching when we wheeled into the aisle. Remember? You grabbed her cart so it wouldn’t hit her, and she was bent over looking at the shelf for something.”
I was already mulling over the realities of small-town life in an entirely new way now. And, I suddenly remembered I had invited her to visit my house sometime! When would she show up? I realized that she could `drop by' literally any time. The church office was in my house after all, and I hadn't yet had the chance to announce any office hours or anything like that. I had never even noticed that I wouldn't be able to `go to work' and `come home' like ordinary folk. I worked where I lived, and there weren't any natural boundaries between them at all.
Within another ten minutes we’d finished shopping, gone through the cash register lane and found ourselves quietly walking across the parking lot to the El Camino. Putting the sacks of groceries in the bed of the El Camino Jackson asked, "What’s next on the list?" He rubbed up alongside me as he did. I gave him only a quick hug as I shut the tailgate. Well, I was hoping it looked casual, since I couldn't seem to keep myself from touching him either, despite what had just happened in the store!
"Hardware store, I guess. I’ve got to buy a hammer and a few tools, as well as some other stuff, so I can have a toolbox for fixing things."
"Umm, Rev, you got a toolbox already..."
"Yeah. I saw it in the barn, near the lawnmower when I put it away last Saturday. Looks like a pretty big one, too."
”I guess that takes care of going to the hardware store. That toolbox probably has nails and picture hangers and stuff too, I’ll bet. Where can I get some binoculars?" I had added them to the list when I realized I could see the windows in Jackson's house from mine last night.
"Hmmm. Not sure. Maybe a sporting goods store They’re pretty expensive, I think. What do you want those for?"
"Err, well, uhm... Birds. Bird watching. I like watching birds..." And with that, I flushed red again. Jackson looked at me strangely, noting the discomfort in my voice.
"Birds? Really? Sounds pretty boring to me. But it's up to you...Oh! I got some old binoculars at my fort. You can borrow those if you want." And he cocked his head at me the way he does.
"You do? Oh, okay, sure. That would be good." I was thankful I hadn’t had to disclose my motive. Then I asked, "What do you mean you have a fort?"
"Well, I guess it’s more like a glorified shack. I built it a couple of years ago and called it my fort. It’s kind of like a hideout. It's in the woods out back, sort of between your house and ours. It's pretty cool. I even made it watertight. And nobody knows where it is, because I camouflaged it pretty good and nobody else has ever been inside it. I’ve got a Coleman gas lamp and made myself a bed in it and everything. You want to see it sometime? I sleep out there whenever I can, even in the winter because I got a neat little gas heater and everything. Gets me out of my house. I hate it in my house..."
I thought about it for a few heartbeats as I started the engine and we headed across the parking lot.
"Yes, I'd like that. I'd like to see your hideout very much. I might need a fort myself when people like Miss Albridge come calling! Plus, I want to learn everything I can about you." We smiled at each other, and I caught the glint in his hazel eyes.
"Ok, nothing else on my list right now, then. Home and lunch?"
My right hand was on the shifter. Jackson scooted over and placed his left hand on mine as we started out.
“Jackson, you may not know it, but we just had our first experience, I mean the run in with Susan back there in the Food Town.”
He was silent, and I went on, “So that’s an example of what we were talking about being careful. So, let’s agree that on the drive home you keep your hand there, on top of mine on the shifter.”
He had a sheepish grin on his face. "Yeah, good idea. It'll be close to noon when we get back. I'm hungry! What'll we do this afternoon?"
Clearly, he assumed we’d spend the day together. I knew I had things to do, as Susan had reminded us about preparing for the Sunday service, to say nothing of continuing the unpacking.
“We’ll get some lunch and then figure out what happens next. When do your parents expect you home? You said you left a note for your mom.”
“Oh, she won’t expect me home till dinner, and it’ll be cool because I’m helping the new Pastor.”
”That’s good. It’ll be great having you help me this afternoon Really, I don’t want you to leave. Can I tell you that?”,
Jackson's eyes began smoldering again, and he took my hand and pulled it over and put it on his left thigh and started playing with my fingers softly. I didn't mind. The El Camino had an automatic transmission and I could drive with one hand on the wheel. We were heading south on Hwy. 99, and I didn’t notice the hand move for a minute or so. Then I looked over and gave him a quizzical look.
"What?" he asked.
"I thought we agreed ‘hand on the shifter?’ Not that I don’t like where my hand is now, but we agreed to be careful.”
"Yeah, Rev... I know, but we’re in your car now on the highway. Who’s going to see anything? Anyway, holding your hand, or having your hand touching me, is the most wonderful feeling ever. He started stroking the back of my hand which was still on his thigh.
“I like it too, believe me. I like you too. You’re beautiful you know. When you smile and those dimples crease you just radiate. Do you know that?”
“Me, beautiful? Right! I’m just a skinny kid. I may have dimples, but that’s about all. You’re the good looking one.”
“Nope,” I said, “you’re wrong. That may be the image in your head, but that must be a different Jackson, maybe one that lived here a couple of years ago. You’ve got beautiful hair, and cute face, an attractive body that you’re filling out. You do know you’ve got a nice bum, don’t you?”
His smile flashed at that! I went on, “What makes you think I’m good looking? I never thought of myself as handsome at all. I always thought of myself as pretty plain when I was younger, just the average Joe.”
Jackson's brow knit together in thought as he continued stroking my hand in his lap. "You think I'm umm, like...beautiful and gorgeous. You don't know that you're handsome. This is getting weird..."
”Maybe a little, if we’re both people that haven’t gotten many compliments along the way.”
“Any way,” he said, “No one’s ever called me beautiful. I’ve got a brother that bullies me, parents that ignore me unless they need something, and no friends really, so that’s that. Now you, you're tall and in good shape. You’ve got a sexy smile. I like your hair, it's so curly and all. And the little hairs on your arms give me goose bumps when I touch `em. You got a great body, too! Well, as much as I've seen or felt so far, at least. And the way you look at me makes me so hot! That's why!"
"But I'm so much older than you! Don't you think I'm some sort of dirty old man or something?"
"No way. I’ve never found kids my age attractive. The guys I like are almost always older than I am. Well, maybe a few of the bigger guys my age are sexy. But usually, I think that kids are just kids, I want someone more mature, not just a kid joking around all the time." Then he blushed and looked out the window before saying anything else. "Jeez, I never told anybody that before. Is it Okay?" And then he looked over at me hopefully.
"Then we’re made for each other. The guys I’ve always been attracted to are boys with a certain look a certain flair, and you’re got it.”
"Really? But I'm just a kid in high school. Maybe you'll get bored with me. I don't know a lot of adult stuff like you do..."
"Jackson, look!" And he did, because my voice was raised a little. "I can't imagine ever getting bored by you! You're the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me in my entire life! You helped me start to see what I really am. Plus, you're really brave to tell me everything about yourself like you are. I could never have done that first, like you did! You're wonderful. Really. I want you to believe me!"
Jackson took another long evaluating look up at me, and then his hand that had been stroking the back of mine moved. He lifted my hand off his thigh and placed it right in his crotch. He kept his hand on mine in his lap, and then continued running his fingertips over the back of my hand.
I could feel goosebumps on my arms, and he went on, “David, I'll try to believe you. But you gotta try and believe me, too. About you being handsome and sexy, I mean. Deal?" He squeezed my hand with both of his I squeezed back, really feeling the hardness under his shorts.
"You remember, we weren’t going to do this on the way home, but I seem to have lost control of my body now that we’ve been telling each other how we really feel. I guess we have a lot to teach each other." My thumb found the head of this erection and rubbed on it softly as I spoke. Even though I was so nervous about it that I couldn't look directly at him right then.
Jackson groaned quietly and pushed his crotch up into my hand.
We just touched and stroked each other's bodies as we pulled into Newberg and turned into the street our houses were on. It was like being two magnets: we couldn’t stop touching each other. I pulled the El Camino to the end of the driveway, right in front of the garage, as far off the street as I could get. We sat there quietly, just looking at each other and enjoying the physical sensation of touch. The music had stopped, and we could hear each other breathe.
Finally, knowing it had to end, I said, “We better get going and get the groceries into the house.”
"Yeah, I guess we should..." And he didn't move either. It was going to have to be me to break the intimate connection we'd made in that car. It was the last thing on earth I wanted to do. But I eventually did it. I simply said, "Ok, then, in we go..." and opened the car door. As I got out, he opened and slid out the passenger door and we met at the rear.
We were quiet as we opened the tail gate of the El Camino and I knew we couldn’t hug, probably not even touch—we were back home. We gathered the grocery bags and made the first trip up the steps to the back porch. I opened the screen door and nudged the solid wooden inside door open with my hip. It wasn't locked, of course. It hadn't even been shut completely. Had I really left it ajar like that? It felt strange, very unlike me. But so was everything else today. Jackson came in behind me with another load of bags. We put them on the kitchen counter and table, and then went back to the El Camino for the second and final load. We placed them on the counter, and Jackson grabbed onto me as I took the first step past him and hauled me into a huge hug. I quit worrying about groceries and pulled him the rest of the way into me and squeezed tight. One hand was around his waist, the other holding the back of his neck and pressing his face into my chest, just below my shoulder.
We just held onto each other. Neither of us spoke for the longest time. Then Jackson whispered, "Don't let me go. Don't ever let me go. I think I really do love you..."
When I looked down, his eyes were moist and mine quickly followed. A soft sob came next and I raised his head and kissed him on the forehead and hugged him tight. He hugged me back like he would never give it up, and I found myself stroking his back and running my fingers through his hair as I stared into his eyes.
We eventually returned to normal, whatever “normal” was now, and stood in place holding each other as if we didn’t know what to do next. I kissed his forehead again, and said,” It’s going to be Okay. I know it won’t be easy, but it will be Okay. Don’t ask me how, because I don’t know, but it’s going to be Okay.” We stood still a moment longer and I said, “let’s get going and get these groceries put away. He helped me unload the bags and find places for everything in the kitchen cupboards and shelves. Neither of us spoke until I asked him, "What’s your preference for lunch? You were on the shopping expedition, so you know all the choices!”
Jackson smiled at me and said he could do sandwiches and set to work finding the ingredients. I nodded and said, “Sounds good to me. Your choice on the menu!” I cleared the table and brought everything over. He was very efficient and neat about it
He asked, “Does it matter where we sit,” with a half-smile on his face. There seemed to be a touch of timidity.
“You choose where you’d prefer to sit. Which do you want to be your place?”
He looked a little surprised. “I’ll take the chair facing the door. Is this really my place? You mean I can have a place here at your table that’s mine? I can have more meals with you.”
I touched the back of his hand that was on the chairback. “That’s your place, and this is mine.” I sat next to him. “These are our regular places. You are part of this kitchen and this household as far as I’m concerned.”
“Whoa!” He looked shocked, for a minute “That is so cool. I was worried suddenly that maybe this was too much for you, that I was dumping all my feelings on you and you wouldn’t want me around much.” He glanced away.
I stroked the back of his hand again. “I want you around as much as we can. I want you to feel comfortable and even at home here. It’s a big house for one guy. I mean it has three bedrooms for crying out loud. You can use one if you get tired of your fort or come winter or whatever. I mean it, I want to spend time with you, and we’ve started it today.”
I smiled warmly, trying not to be overbearing at the same time. I deliberately reached for my sandwich and took a bite. “Uhm, good! Ham and cheese with mustard. Good choice, and you’re pretty handy in the sandwich making department.”
He nodded with a mouthful too, then said, “Ah shit, I forgot the chips.” He jumped up and ran to the counter and came back with a bag of chips. “Sorry for the cussing, Rev. It just happens sometimes.” I just smiled.
We ate pretty much in silence, with frequent eye contact and exchanged smiles. Finally, he said, “That was good, if I do say so myself. And thanks for saying what you did. I guess it’s just me being nervous, but I was starting to worry that I got too emotional and it would turn you off. You got so quiet I kind of panicked.”
I watched his eyes carefully, then said, “It’s Okay. I can say to you that this is the single most emotional twenty-four hours in my life. Does that tell you anything?”
He just grinned widely, the dimples flared, and he wiggled his eyebrows. "Okay, if we’re on a roll here, can I ask you something else, something really personal?"
I had the momentary flash of panic, then almost immediately reminded myself we were being totally honest with each other, and if anything had characterized today so far besides honesty, it was Jackson’s sincerity.
“As far as I’m concerned and as long as it’s when we’re alone, you can pretty much ask me anything that’s on your mind.”
"Uhm, when I said that, uhm, that I thought I loved you, why didn't you tell me you loved me back? I was afraid you don't. Love me, I mean." And then he blushed and looked at his plate.
His question was very direct and reflected both how he was feeling and a new level of honesty and intimacy that we had established. I was nervous for a moment, then reminded myself of trust and sincerity.
"I’m going to be honest because that’s all I know how to do, and because we agreed that’s how we’re going to be with each other, Okay? I think if I could look deep down and give you the most honest answer to that question I possibly could, it would be because I’ve never told anyone I’ve loved them before. I mean besides my Mom and Dad when I was a kid, you know. I..I..., I don’t know that I’ve ever loved anyone before, but I do know this: you must be able to know you can love someone before you can talk about it. You have to be sure before you can say it. So, I’m trying to figure that part of me out. I want to be able to say back to you that I love you too, but I’ve got to figure out where I’m at. Does that make sense at all?”
"You mean you don't know if you love me or not? But you said...You said you liked me, and that you couldn't take your eyes off me...And you got all hard, and you touched me down there, too. Doesn't that mean you love me?"
Well, I said to myself, lust was in the equation, but I was pretty sure the overwhelming emotion was love. But that was a new emotion to me. One more new thing in this wild day.
“Maybe I totally fell in love with you when I first saw you, but that would be kind of like the movies, wouldn’t it? I know what you’re trying to say, and this is about me, not about you. I said before that you already know a lot more about who you are and what you feel than I do, and I have to play catch up here. Now hear me, I’m not saying I don’t love you. Did you hear that?”
I stared him down gently till he nodded his head. “Okay, I’m not saying that I don’t love you. I’m just saying I’m confused, and my emotions are so mixed up right now I’ve got to get them sorted out. The biggest lie is to tell someone you love them if you don’t, or even if you’re not sure. So much rides on those three words, I can’t risk hurting you like that. That’s how much I care about you.”
He was quiet for a minute. “I don’t get it. How can you be confused? You’re the grown up in this picture, I’m the kid. I’m not confused. I’ve never felt like this before and you said you hadn’t either. I know that’s love, at least I’m pretty sure it is. If I can say it, why can’t you?” His voice was rising in pitch, and I could see his eyes flash and his cheeks coloring just a little.
“Hold on, you’re getting emotional and that’s Okay. Don’t get angry though, alright. That won’t help things and could hurt, and we’ve come so far in the last twenty-four hours that we have to do this right. I’m trying to be honest with you and not dodge anything. You’re further ahead than me on this, so can you just give me some space. Like you told me this morning ‘you don’t even know you’re gay!’ remember? Well, I got over that hurdle and now it’s only the afternoon of the second day I’ve known you and I want to be totally honest and not hurt you or disappoint you. And if I’m being completely honest, there’s some fear in there too.”
“Fear,” he asked quizzically. “How can you be afraid? You’re the adult, I’m the kid.”
“It’s not an age thing, Jackson. Like I said you’re further along than me on this. This is all new so I’m afraid. I’m also afraid of hurting you or saying the wrong thing. I don’t want to hurt you, you’re the most precious thing I’ve ever known.” I reached out and stroked his cheek with my fingertips.
"But what if you end up not loving me? Then what'll I do? I want to know! I don't want you to be confused!" The anger and frustration he'd told me he felt so often was loud and clear.
“Don’t get angry. That’ll only make me more afraid. I’m serious about being afraid of hurting you and a lot of that is because this is all new to me, I’m afraid I don’t know what I’m doing, really. I’m also afraid of being hurt by you. I know you don’t want to or wouldn’t mean to, but that can happen if we push each other too far too fast. We’re friends now, and friends treat each other as equals. That’s all the more so if this relationship grows into more than that.”
"Equal. Wow. But we can't be really equal, can we? You're an adult, I'm not. Right? I don't care about that. I just want you to love me like I love you. Then I'll be fine. Equal doesn't matter to me..."
"No, Jackson. Love has to be equal. You have to feel as strong as me and I have to feel as strong as you, if we're going to be in love. I've never been in love before now, but I'm sure about that, at least. We both have to be equal about the decisions we make, equal about, well, about everything, really."
“No one’s ever really treated me like I was an equal anything, you know. I guess I have to think about what that means and try to understand it.”
I smiled at him. “Okay, then you work on understanding equality and I’ll work on understanding love. How’s that? You’re ahead of me on the emotional side and stronger too because you can talk about it. I’m just figuring this stuff out and getting comfortable enough to talk about it. You saw me this morning, how much I didn’t know about myself and how hard it was to talk about it. I think I’ve been afraid to love anyone, and maybe especially myself, and I have to work on that.”
He was silent and I said, “Let’s clean up the dishes and put the food away and then go sit in the living room.” He nodded and we did and then when we walked into the living room I sat on the couch and he watched me, then appeared to make a decision, walked over almost in front of me, kicked off his Keds and lay down on the sofa with his head in my lap. I put my hand on his chest and he reached up and grasped my wrist, and then started stroking my arm, brushing the hair I had.
“Is it private in here, or can anyone see in from the sidewalk,” I asked him.
“It’s private unless someone’s standing in the flower bed!” he grinned. “I guess I should pull the curtains,” and he hopped up and pulled the lightweight drapes leaving the curtain open on the side. “Better, more private,” he said with a grin.
“More private, for sure, like we talked about this morning. And if someone comes, we need to separate and look like we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing. You’re helping me unpack, and I’m doing office work in there.” I nodded toward the office.
"What do we do about my parents?"
“Well, the first part of answering that question is easy. You said earlier today that if they found out they’d kill you. I don’t know if you were being rhetorical or not, but it doesn’t matter. It sounds like they’re homophobic, so we’ve got to work around that, right?”
He grinned and the dimples flared. “That’s for sure. If they found out they would kill me, but probably right after Bud killed you. I’m serious, all I’ve ever heard him say is shit like ‘fucking fags,’ and ‘cock suckers’ and stuff like that. He’s vicious.”
“Okay, so we keep it quiet and have to work out a system. I know I’m already starting to sound a little manipulative, but we can’t let this get out of hand. I guess it’s one more secret between the Rev and the paper boy!” He laughed out loud at that comment.
“Are you Okay with another question?”
“What are we doing, playing twenty questions?” I leaned over and kissed his forehead. “Sure, you’re on a roll with the questions, so why not.”
“You said before that I could sleep in one of the bedrooms here if I get tired of my fort. What if I want to sleep in your room, like with you?”
“Look, I may be confused about my own emotions and stuff, but I know where this is going.” I was wiggling my eyebrows, trying to make light of it. “We agreed to be equals, didn’t we? And equals means equals. Whether its algebra or love, equals is equals, don’t you agree.”
He paused, still smiling, but looking up into my eyes with just a hint of temerity.
“I told you before I haven’t been able to sort out my feelings to get to the point to really be able to tell you I love you, but I remember making clear I haven’t said that I don’t love you, and now you want to talk about sleeping with me? I’m trying to sort my stuff out, and I don’t know if I’m ready for you to sleep with me. Can you understand that. I need to go slow.”
He wasn’t letting up, and the grin was in back and the dimples flared. “How about if I promised that I wouldn’t try and fool around unless you said so. You know, we just slept together, as in sleep?”
“You’ve got to give me some space here. If I can get to the point where I can sincerely tell you I love you, then guess what? Then I’d probably want to fool around too. I’m almost certain that I would want to fool around. But I need to get there first.”
I saw his eyes flash and the frustration rise up, but this time he controlled it, and it settled down and in a second or two those hazel eyes were back to their beautiful color, just limpid pools on his face. It didn’t last long.
“Then how about down here on the couch, or maybe we go out to the fort, or in the El Camino like this morning?” As he asked these questions, he pushed the back of his head into my crotch, and it only took a few seconds for him to feel the rise he was looking for.
He rolled over so he was face down and blew his warm breath into my groin. I got harder and he knew exactly what he was doing and what was happening. I reached down and rolled him partially up, so he was facing my abdomen, and he just leaned in and kept blowing his breath through my shirt onto my stomach. There was no doubt what he was up to. “You smell sexy,” he whispered as his hands reached around my waist and stroked my back softly.
I knew what the risks were, but found myself stroking his head, running my fingers through his hair, then over his shoulders and down his back, pulling him to me. One part of my brain said, ‘this is what it’s like to be loved and seduced,’ and the other part was irritated and said, ‘get this under control.’
I looked down at him, and his face was flushed. He was making a soft humming noise as he blew on my stomach. I could see his erection tenting in his shorts. Then I turned him again, so he was looking up, facing me, and said, “No, Jackson, not like this. I’m not ready and I told you that just a little while ago.”
Frustration was evident in his voice as he sarcastically remarked, "Well, you seemed ready right then!"
"Just because I have a hard-on doesn't mean I'm ready in my mind."
"But why?" he cried. The frustration and anxiety were back in his voice, just like that.
"Because we both have to be ready in our hearts and our minds, and not just with our bodies. That's why."
"But I AM ready..." He was pleading for acceptance through his sobs.
“I’ve told you I want us to be equals and friends, and that includes respect. You may not like that I have to think about things and sort this stuff out before I act on it, but I do. I need you to understand me here, just like I’m working to understand you.”
He was trying, he took a deep breath, crossed his arms on his chest, and then said: "Okay. We’ve both got to be equal. I get that part. But why do you have to think about everything so much? That doesn't feel very equal to me!"
He was winning the battle in his mind! "Being equal isn't the same as getting everything you want, right when you want it. If we both want to have the same thing, then we have to decide about things together, not one of us first. How would you have felt if I had reached over and groped you, without even getting to know you? Without even asking your permission?"
"I probably would have loved it and jumped your bones!" He was still defiant.
"I'm being serious. You would have had every right to punch me right in the nuts and yell for the police or something. Am I correct about that or not?"
Jackson blinked, and he wasn't crying anymore. He was back on track, thinking along with me. Even though I could tell that he didn't like it very much.
"Yeah, yeah, you're probably right. You're always right!"
"Stop it. I'm not always right. But neither are you. You just tried to jump my bones right here! It's the same as if I'd groped you, like in my example! You were trying to seduce me, and I'd just told you I wasn't ready."
He was quiet and his pupils dilated like he’d had a realization. But he was also creative and motivated. He challenged me about being readier than I was willing to acknowledge. I managed to counter that by saying I might be physically, but my brain wasn’t there yet. Then he moved to love, that he knew he loved me, and he knew I loved him even if I wasn’t or couldn’t say it yet. I responded that it was probably so, but if we respected each other and treated each other as equals, then he needed to be patient and wait for me to catch up to him, that he couldn’t try and manipulate me.
That gave him pause, and I worried what I’d said was too hard. He was quiet, for a few seconds, thinking, then said, "so I can't try to weasel you into something, either? Until you say you're really ready first?"
“Yep, that’s exactly it. You’ve got to let me get to the point of understanding and agreement by myself. Believe me, there’s already tons of pressure going on to get me there. I know I like you; I probably love you, a lot. I don’t need to be manipulated; I just need to let my head catch up with my heart. Can you do that for me?”
He nodded, with a smile, but wasn’t ready to completely give up. I could see a plan hatching in his eyes and he took a different tack. “Okay, I love you and you like me, and were both guys, so are you telling me that gay guys shouldn’t do it? I’ve read a little or seen on the news about protest and marches for gay rights and stuff. Or is it because I’m a kid.”
I said as tenderly as I could, “this isn’t a gay thing or a kid thing. This is a me thing. I mean it’s illegal because you’re underage, yes. It’s not accepted by society because it’s gay. But I’d be saying the same thing to you if you were a twenty-one-year-old girl. Can you understand that? We just met yesterday, and I didn’t know what I wanted sexually. Twenty-four hours later I’ve admitted I’m gay and am trying to recalibrate my brain and at the same time not rush into something that could hurt us, or especially hurt you.”
He looked a little awe struck. “You’d really be saying the same thing if I was a girl? Wow! I guess that’s hard to argue with.” The he slowly started to smile, and the smile turned into a grin and the dimples flared. “Okay, so you’re telling me I can’t be trying to get it on with you, that I’ve got to wait. How long? When will I know you’re ready? The waiting could kill me, you know!”
I could feel we’d turned a corner. “Look, we’ve talked a lot about respect and being equal and waiting for me to catch up with you, right? There’s something else. This is serious business, way more serious than it feels when we feel butterflies fluttering in our chest or have hard ons. This is for real. If we make a mistake, there’s no going back—that’s how serious and real it is. There’s no re-do in this game, no way to go back and fix the screw ups. So, there’s another reason to go slow and be careful. If I didn’t like you a lot, I never would have let you touch me this morning, and I wouldn’t have touched you back. But we’ve got to go slow and be careful.”
He lay there smiling, and this time didn’t have a comeback. After a minute I said, “And just so you know I’m serious about this…….” and I leaned down and kissed him, on the lips. It started just lips to lips, then I felt his mouth open and his tongue flick across my lips, and my lips opened, and our tongues danced with each other momentarily. I didn’t want this to go further, so I pulled back, smiling at him and trying to transmit all the love I could his way. We were staring at each other, almost eyeball to eyeball, but it was soft. And he was quiet and smiling.
“You’ll never leave me, right?” That was all he said. I leaned down and kissed his forehead and just held him.
That quiet interlude of peace and love didn’t last long. In a minute or two the smile turned to a grin, his eyes flashed, and he said, "Jeez, Rev, this isn’t easy, you know! This is hard!"
He was still impatient, but his frustration had abated, and he’d clearly resigned himself to giving me some space. But then we looked at each other and realized the ironic double meaning in what he'd just said. So, our voices rang out in unison,
"Hard!!!" And we started laughing together. The pressure eased for the moment.
The rest of the afternoon passed pretty quickly as I went to work on the Sunday service and set Jackson to work on unpacking records. I’d set up the stereo, but the records needed to be unpacked and organized, and I suggested he pick some albums and listen to them as he worked.
As I worked in the office, I could hear different albums play, a sign he was working away on the organizing and also acquainting himself with my collection. As the afternoon drew to a close, he suddenly appeared in the doorway to the office.
"David, can you come here for a minute?"
"Sure. What's up?" I was ready for a break from sermon prep, and noted he’d called me David, not Rev.
"I was just listening to the words of this song. Do you know them?" And he lifted the needle and swung it to the beginning of the song. Simon and Garfunkel started singing.
"Yeah, of course I know this song! I love this one! And I started singing along with the lyrics...
A winter's day, in a deep and dark December...I am alone.
Gazing out my window to the streets below,
on a freshly fallen shroud of snow.
I am a rock...I am an island.
I've built walls, a fortress steep and mighty, That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship: friendship causes pain.
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.
I am a rock...I am an island.
Don't talk of love, when I have heard the words before.
They're sleeping in my memory.
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved, I never would have cried!
I am a rock...I am an island.
I have my books and my poetry to protect me.
I am shielded in my armor.
Hiding in my room, Safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me...
And a rock feels no pain... And an island never cries.
As the music faded away, Jackson lifted the phonograph needle. I expected to hear him say something about the Simon and Garfunkel performance and me knowing all the lyrics. But he didn't. He took me completely by surprise yet again.
"Uhm, are you kind of like the island in this song? Is that why you like it so much? Because, I’ve got to tell you, sometimes you're sort of rocky and hard." This time, neither of us laughed, rather I kind of fell into the over-stuffed armchair beside the stereo. He'd hit me right between the eyes. We both knew it. I didn't have to answer him verbally. He pursued the point.
"Have you, like, cried and been in pain because of love before, or something? Like in the song?"
Watch the video of Simon and Garfunkel sing I Am A Rock from the 1960’s
"I don't think so. I haven't ever loved somebody enough to let them hurt me. Truth be told, I’ve never even dreamt about long term relationships and family and kids and a house, and all that stuff that seems to go with being in love. But the part about shielding and armor and being a rock, I relate to that for sure..."
"Then why are you like this? Needing to be an island, I mean? I feel like I've been all alone on a desert island all my life, and I hate it! I’ve cried and I’ve been in pain, and I want to leave the damn island, and live somewhere together with you! Do you get this?" He sounded emphatic, yet at the same time he was begging me for understanding.
"Believe me, I get it. I’m kind of in shock, like my world just got turned upside down. I’m feeling these intense emotions for you and I wonder why I’ve never felt or even wanted to feel them before. I don’t know why I’m like this, and I need you to help me sort it out, if you’ll do that.” I didn't break off eye contact or anything. But I was still afraid.
"Well, yeah, that’s what I'm trying to do here?! Jesus Christ!" And all of a sudden, the anxiety left me. Just like that.
"Okay, then. Thanks. You’re figuring this out, because you’re ahead of me, but I need you to help get me through it. I guess you think I’m slow and dumb."
"No, you aren’t dumb! We're equal, remember? I'm supposed to be learning how damned smart I am from you. You’ve just got to get in touch with yourself, Okay?"
"Okay. I'll try. Just the same as you said you'd try."
We went quiet for a minute. We’d connected deeply over something new and very fundamental. We were seriously beginning to understand each other. We’d reached a point in the last hour where I wanted him to stay, I was beginning to feel that I needed him to be with me.
But at the same moment I was feeling the most open and willing, Jackson looked at his watch. "Oh, my God! It's after six already! I'm supposed to be home for supper way before this. I gotta go, right now!" And he started to rush out the door. Leaving me. I felt stunned.
"Jackson!" I cried out.
He stopped in his tracks, turning toward me at the same time. He saw the look on my face and came bounding back to me. He plopped into my lap, put his arms around my neck, and kissed me hard, right on the lips.
"David, are you afraid?"
I was afraid and kind of in shock. I just nodded, since I didn't seem able to speak.
"I'm just going home for supper. That's all. But I’ve got to—no choice. I'm coming back. How could I ever not come back? Okay?"
I was terrified of needing him so much. But I nodded again.
"Getting speechless again, Rev? Please don't worry so much. I already figured out how I’m going to handle this. I’ll get yelled at for being late. Then we’ll have dinner. Later I’ll tell them I’m tired from working all day for the new pastor and that I’m sleeping in my fort. Simple! They'll never even think about it, because I do it all the time anyhow. That's what I tell them whenever they want to know where I'm going or where I've been. They gave up on that a long time ago. I can do this! I’ll come from the fort to the back porch, and I'll come as soon as I can get away from them. But don’t leave the outside lights on. They're too bright, and somebody could see me. Okay?"
I felt like I was on a drug, just watching the action take place in front of me. Jackson had the mechanics figured out. I was still struggling with the emotion of needing him and the feeling of his pending departure. I felt a nagging fear but told myself I was being childish.
"Talk to me, David." His voice was soft, but insistent.
"I'll try to focus on you coming back soon. And I won't turn on the outside lights ever again. I promise."
"Good!" And he kissed me again, hugging me very tight. "I'll be back as soon as I can. It won't be long. But I really gotta go right now! They're gonna kill me!" And he kissed me again. I put my arms around him as he tried to get off of my lap.
"Jeez, Rev, now that I gotta go? Now you want to hold onto me. You have horrible timing, you know?" But he was grinning and was trying to cheer me out of my fearful mood. I tried to make him think it was working and smiled and let him up.
He leaned over me and kissed me, rubbing the back of my neck at the same time. "You worry too much! Stop thinking! Bye!"
Then he dashed out of the room and out the back door. I could hear the back door close and his footsteps running down the gravel driveway. I suddenly felt vastly alone, and I could see just how alone I had always been. I literally couldn't move from where I sat. It was silent. Jackson had lifted the tone arm off the Simon and Garfunkel record, and there was hardly a sound to be heard. I had to confront how uncomfortable I was, though I’d always thought of myself as perfectly content by myself. I must have sat there agonizing for at least an hour, trying to sort out and reconcile all the conflicting thoughts in my mind. I didn’t come to a resolution, but I did feel like I was starting to achieve some acceptance. Eventually I felt the pangs of hunger and decided to do something about it.
I don’t even remember what I grabbed from the refrigerator, but we had plenty from our grocery shopping trip, and as I ate my thoughts alternated between “why wasn’t he back, what’s taking him so long,” and the practical reality that he had to deal with his family.
I was also aware of a new thought emerging in my mind, or was it my heart, that felt like a gaping wound. It was a pain from being separated, and for the first time I began to wonder if this was what he was feeling too. Was this what drove his persistence? He was being more like a kid in how he’d approached it, trying to come up with different way to get it on, but under that was it the same? The deep desire to be with that person you cared so much about…. that feeling I was now reconciling myself to in his absence?
I went to bed about 10:30, and had a difficult time falling asleep. I’d gotten into bed naked, as I usually did, and at midnight looked at the clock with a mix of frustration and despair. I guess it included some resignation that I might spend the night alone and he might not return, because I did fall asleep then.
Eventually, and I had no idea at what time, something woke me. When I opened my eyes, there was Jackson sitting in the armchair near the bay windows across from the bed. He was just sitting there, watching me.
"You didn't come!" croaked out of me. "What time is it?"
"After two. I got here a few minutes ago. I didn't know if I should wake you up or not." His voice was subdued. He was worried, too.
"I waited forever! And you didn't come. Why didn't you come?" It seemed that I had been reduced to whining like a child. I hardly recognized my own voice; it was so desperate and needy.
"I couldn't. They grounded me for being late. I had to wait until they were in bed before I could leave. It seemed like forever to me, too. I couldn't even call. I don't know the number here. I never thought of that. I'm really sorry..."
An enormous sigh heaved out of me. "I know...I'm sorry, too. I never knew I could miss anybody so much..."
"I'm really, really sorry...I knew you must be worrying something fierce. I don't want you to be afraid about me. Can you forgive me?"
"There's nothing to forgive you for. You said you couldn't help it. I believe you. I just can't believe how scared I am about it..."
"Can I stay, then? You really aren't mad at me?"
"Of course, you can stay! I need you to stay! I want you to stay..."
Even in the dark, I could see him relax. Had he really been that worried about whether I'd let him stay? I was astonished.
Jackson had walked over to the bed now, and his voice got softer as he asked, "Can I stay here in your room with you? I remember you said I had to ask. I know I'm not supposed to try and weasel anything out of you before you're ready..."
Even with everything that had happened today, I still had to think about it. Finally, I said, "Yes. Please sleep here. I need to know you're really back."
"Right!" With that, he stretched his arms over his head. As he took his T-shirt off, he seemed to glow in the moonlight. I swear, with the moonlight behind him his hair seemed like a halo. I could clearly see the shape of his rib cage above his flat abdomen.
He had only those blue gym shorts on, which didn't seem to cover very much. I was startled by the realization that I was naked beneath the sheets.
"Wait, I haven't got any clothes on! Get me some shorts from the dresser drawer over there, please..."
"God, you’ve got nothing on. Cool!" And saying that, he stripped his shorts and underwear off all at one time in a single fluid motion. And he just stood there for a moment, silhouetted in the moonlight.
"Now we're completely equal. Okay?" He was still asking my permission carefully.
I paused, looking at him and wondering if I should do what I desperately wanted to do.
“Come on Rev,” he said, “don’t embarrass me and make me stand out here naked. I know I’m a kid and small downstairs, but I’m also getting cold out here.”
"Okay. Now come here!" I lifted the sheets and blanket up, inviting him to enter. "You must be even colder than I am." Jackson carefully joined me in the bed. We snuggled up close and wrapped our arms and legs together. “You feel so soft and warm,” I whispered to him, “it’s wonderful just to hold you like this. You sure don’t feel cold anymore, and you don’t need to worry about being small. You’re not small, you’re just a late bloomer. Anyway, remember I told you I’ve always been attracted to younger boys?”
I could see him look me straight in the eyes. “I’ve always been small and embarrassed about it. Like I told you, I started school late, and puberty was later than most, I don’t have a lot of hair on my body and I’ve always felt weird about it.”
I hugged him closer. “You don’t have anything to worry about. You’re beautiful the way you are. If puberty came late it just means you’ve got it ahead of you. Same with getting taller. For some kids it happens early, for some later. I can tell you that right now I think you’re just fine.”
He smiled and hugged me back. The last thing I remember that night was the feeling of Jackson naked in my arms, lightly stroking my back under the covers, as he whispered that he loved me.
This is for the record – I’m starting a journal because suddenly my life seems worth living and I don’t have anyone else to tell about it. I remember my English teacher saying that keeping journal doesn’t just document events in your life, it also helps you understand them. This isn’t a diary – that’s what girls do with lots of gossip and wishes and stuff. This is just me trying to sort out what happened and how the guy I’ve dreamed about for years just came into my life.
I woke up this morning early, in time for my paper route, but I wasn’t in my bed or in my fort, I was in David’s bed! David, as in our new pastor. I was in his bed in his house, the parsonage, next door. I couldn’t believe it. Not just the part that I was in the pastor’s bed, but that I was in love with the pastor and was in his bed. I mean is that wild, or what?
It’s been a crazy couple of days since I met him when he moved in and I was part of the church moving crew to help. We immediately had eyes for each other. We talked yesterday morning when I delivered his paper, then he asked me to help him shop and unpack during the day and it turned out to be the craziest day ever. On the way to the store we were talking about if people had seen us eyeing each other and worried that they might think it was weird. And David had figured out I was gay, and I freaked, and then when I challenged him about it, it turns out his worry that I thought he was gay. And it ends up he is, but he was hiding it. Insane, right?
We ended up admitting it to each other and talking about what it means and what we do, and we got closer and closer, and somehow….and I still don’t know how it happened, but we ended up stroking each other’s cocks. I guess actually, that I started it, reaching over for his, but he didn’t stop me, and then he touched me too! That was a mind blower, but after we got home there was no more sex. He said he had to sort all this new stuff out. I was frustrated and pissed, and I was afraid I’d made him angry and blew it right after it started, but finally I got it and started to realize that what he was saying was right. This was a big deal for him, and he needed to go slow. But we still wanted to be together, so I snuck out after midnight through my fort and went back to his house and he was lonely and kind of afraid and said he wanted me with him and lifted the sheets and he was naked. So, I dropped my clothes and climbed in bed with him and we slept together. That’s all. We just slept together, hugging, and it was the best night of my life!
Now I’ve got to try and figure all this out. I mean, I woke up in bed naked with the guy I love more than anyone in the world, my clothes were in a pile of the floor and all we did was hug and kiss and sleep. I’d been talking all afternoon yesterday about getting it on and jumping his bones, and we ended up just sleeping together. I don’t know what that means. Maybe we were tired? Probably he was just as lonely as I’ve been and we both just needed each other. Just laying with him, scrunched together holding each other was the most wonderful feeling.
I know it was amazing just to be in bed with him and be hugged and loved, but I’m worried about if he really loves me. He was talking about going slow and having to work through his stuff, and really liking me but not being willing to say he loved me till he really knew for sure because it’s like real serious. That’s kind of scary. But why would he love me? I’m just a kid. Kind of small for my age even if I am growing this summer. I hope he didn’t see me completely naked because I don’t have a lot of hair or a big cock, I’ve always been small and worried about it.
But he’s gorgeous. He’s tall and sexy and has curly brown hair and hair on his arms and legs and chest, and it’s so cool to stroke his chest with that hair and feel his stubble on my cheek. To feel a real man next to me, holding me and loving me and making me feel safe and secure. And he’s got a lot of pubic hair and a big cock. We didn’t have sex or anything, but when I woke up during the night, he had a hard on and I carefully felt him up and it’s was so outrageous. I was careful because I didn’t want him to cum since he’d told me I was trying to seduce his before and that wasn’t cool, but I had to feel that amazing cock in my hand, and his great balls. They’re way bigger than mine too, but he’s a bigger guy. I hope my being smaller than him in every department isn’t a problem.
I guess I’d turned over in my sleep because when I woke up, I was lying with my back to his chest, and his arm was over my waist with his hand pressing against my chest. I was snuggled up against him and I could feel his hard on against my crack and against the back of my thighs and it was so sexy! I wanted to move and wiggle and stuff, but I didn’t dare cause I didn’t want to get him off and get him upset, but it made me think about what I’ve only dreamed about for years, and to feel it now is so cool. I can’t lose this. I’m gay and I love him. I know that. I’ve got to be careful and not spook him, because this is too important. He’s older and mature and has his act together, and he’s fun to be with and he has a cool car and he cares about me and he smiles when he looks in my eyes like he sees something there that he really likes! Is that bitchin’ or what? No one else ever acted like they liked what they saw there!
I love him cause of the feelings but also because he’s the first person that ever saw me, that just understood me, that listened to me, that seemed to care about me. With David I’m the visible boy, not the invisible kid. And I know he loves me too. I just have to listen to him and give him time to get there so he can say it too. The bummer is I’m grounded again for getting home late, and when I got there Mom was drunk like usual, and Pop was yelling, and Gary was harassing me. That’s always the way it is. But now I’ve got David, maybe I can tolerate all of that. He said I could stay with him in his house. I don’t know how that’d work cause my parents would go nuts and kill us both, but who knows. So, we can’t let them know, and that’ll be hard, but we can work it out. I know we can. We have to!
But suddenly there’s hope in my life. And love. And I’m jazzed like never before, but also kind of worried that he won’t love me like I love him, and about how we do this because he convinced me it could go bad, like really bad, if we screw it up. But if we don’t, it will be so great. It will be everything I’ve ever dreamed about.
I’ve done my paper route for today, and now I’m going back over to David’s to help him finish the unpacking and get the lay of the land because he wants to visit church members without getting lost. That sounds kind of boring, except I’ll be with him and I haven’t been more excited about anything than I can remember.