Discovering Love

Written by Rick Beck

Chapter 1

Hit By A Brick

It was a lazy spring day that followed a too long winter. It was the kind of day when you enjoy walking and noticing that everything around you is coming alive with brilliant green colors. I was walking up the gravel section of Schultz Road that led into my subdivision and to my house when I first saw him coming toward me from the opposite direction. He was a new boy and he was walking with a guy I knew, Alfred.

Alfred was old townie and I was newer townie and we didn't run in the same circles even though we'd lived within a hundred yards of each other all of our lives. I lived in one of the older housing developments that had sprung up as a convenient suburb and he lived on a hill on the edge of that development, and it was once his family's farm. One of the streets even carried his family name but names were all that was left of the once numerous family farms in that section of the county.

My people came from the city and chose this quiet suburb as the place where they wanted to raise their family. My parent's interests usually took them back to the city quite often and I learned I had nothing in common with the sons of farmers that did not know the land themselves, or if they once did they no longer had the farm to work.

I'd been taught in elementary school that I was an outsider. By the time I went to junior high school, the outsiders outnumbered old townies by two-to-one, and so I found my own groups to run with and never considered the farm boys my friends. I imagine the view from their perspective resembled my own in reverse. What would we have in common? The answer until this day was nothing at all. Today there was the fresh scrubbed new boy in perfectly faded jeans and tapered white T-shirt. I'd never seen a boy like him or jeans filled quite like he filled those. It was as though he had walked out of a dream.

It was his eyes that I noticed first - not Alfred's, the new kid's. I've never seen eyes quite like those, and so there seemed to be a pattern developing. I couldn't keep my eyes off of him and I'd never before had an experience like this. Once we were too close to find a way of avoiding some interaction, there came this silent understanding that we were going to stop and talk, but we would do a slow posturing first.

His eyes were so rich a blue that no combination of colors in your crayon box could ever hope to duplicate it. It wasn't just the color, it was what he made me feel when he held them on me. And he held them on me. It's as though he was looking through me, into the depths of my soul, and I prayed he could not tell what I was thinking. As he drew closer he stared, causing my eyes to become hopelessly lost in his. I stopped while they were still ten feet away. I found myself standing there waiting for him to walk into my life, and protocol would dictate they now must stop as well.

There was this knowing little smile that came to him before we'd ever spoken a single word. I don't know what he thought he knew but the smile was more a smirk. It curled his sensual lips upward with an expressiveness that spoke volumes, and it said he knew something about me that I didn't know about myself until I saw him. I thought, somehow this new boy knows what's on my mind.

There was a scar half way between his lower lip and chin. It was an inch long and a quarter of an inch wide, running at a sharp angle to just below his lower lip. On most people the scar would have been a deformity, but on him it only served to mildly filter his intense good looks. It added character to his flawlessness.

It shocked me to be having the thoughts I was having about someone I'd never seen before. I knew there was something seriously wrong with me at that moment, but it didn't end the stares and the thoughts. If he knew what I was thinking why wasn't he kicking my ass?

My heart jumped in some sudden betrayal of my feelings as we all shifted from one foot to another after we got within a few feet of one another. The new kid and I continued to be locked together with our eyes. If they hadn't stopped, I don't know what I'd have done. After they came to a halt, I became certain that they could hear my racing heart.

Alfred started to talk and the new kid stood too close behind him, still wearing that knowing smirk while he took advantage of his height, or Alfred's lack of it, so he could look over top of Alfred's head at me.

"Where you headed, Martin?" Alfred said, being the most he'd said to me at one time since we were about nine.

"Home," I said in a brilliant if brief retort.

"Haven't seen you around none. Where you been?" Alfred had become a real conversationalist since entering high school.

"School mostly. Not much to do over the winter."

"Yeah!"

"I'm Martin."

I reached my hand out as an invitation. I was ready to risk the instant rejection I always avoided so that I could learn more about the new boy. My eyes stayed in his through the entire unsettling event.

Alfred looked at the hand that was extended out beyond his elbow, and Greg looked at it far longer than it should have taken to take it and shake it. I'm sure I was turning red from the embarrassment of having my one arm hanging out uselessly in front of me for what seemed like an eternity. He finally shook it, taking his eyes out of mine long enough to inspect it first, and then he curled his fingers into mine.

If his absolute beauty hadn't been enough to set me on fire, the feel of his hand sure was. I loved his touch. I halfway expected his macho grip to squeeze me into submission, but the shake was an unexpectedly gentle affair. His hand was strong and soft at the same time. The brainstorm he created inside of me sent electricity through my body. Our handshake ended several long seconds before our hands went there separate ways.

Alfred seemed to become aware of us all at once. He was the middleman in an event that none of us could have foreseen. By chance I had met my love and Alfred had become a catalyst but at the time he was only recognizing the fact that neither of us was paying any attention at all to him.

"Greg, my name is Greg."

The voice was perfect. It sang his words into my ears.

"You're new!" I said in an understatement of the obvious.

"We live on Old highway. I'm Air Force. We lived on the airbase until we moved up there."

"You go to our school?"

"Yeah! He's in some of my classes. That's how I met him," Alfred interjected.

"Pop's a Colonel - stationed over at the base. I went to school over there until I got transferred over here last month. Not enough girls over there. Plenty of discipline, but I like it the other way around."

"We're going up to his house to shoot some pool. He has a pool table in his basement. Ain't that neat, Martin?"

"Yeah!" I said. "Neat!"

He was gone after that.

He walked away as quickly as he walked into my life. He seemed oblivious to what was just started, but I knew my life would never be the same. My stomach followed my heart into turmoil while I watched him march up the road, and he seemed to be walking out of my life as casually as he'd walked into it. The emptiness he left me with there was confusing. I guess I'd met a million people before that day and not one of them had much affect on me at all.

As I stood there alone in the middle of the road I couldn't take my eyes off him. The way his ass filled every bit of fabric in his jeans gave new definition to the front of my own. He more swaggered than walked. This boy had the world by the balls and he knew it. He was way older and way wiser than I was.

They were talking as I stood immobilized. I wasn't going to take my eyes off him until he disappeared. When they got a suitable distance away from our meeting place, Greg took a look back over his shoulder at me. He knew I would still be watching him and I knew he'd turn to check to see if I was still watching him. It left me disgusted with myself for letting him catch me standing there like some goofball, totally captivated by him. His head was cocked slightly to one side, and there was that smirk back on his face. Once he saw what he was looking for, he turned his head away in a flash as though he didn't cared about it at all, and he didn't look again.

I felt like a fool. I didn't know what was wrong with me, but I couldn't get his face out of my brain and it made me sick to my stomach. I made up my mind I didn't like Greg. He was everything I hated about guys. He was arrogant and cocky and hung up on himself, and not only that, he seemed to know exactly what I was thinking.

He was dangerous and I'd avoid him if I could. What he made me feel could get me into more trouble than I was ready to get into. I only knew one gay boy at school, and he was up against it all the time. Everyone picked on him. The boys despised him when they found out he was gay and the teachers despised him for not standing up for what he was. I could see that was a double edge sword that cut you either way you went and I'd avoid it if I could.

That night I woke up seeing Greg's eyes. He seemed like this gigantic cat, watching the mouse he was about to eat, waiting for just the right time to pounce. I'd never met anyone so self-confident or self-assured, but I lived in a small town, and as much as I needed to know about him, I couldn't afford to take the risk. Greg was someone I needed to leave alone.

I didn't have a clue why I was thinking about him. I'd met the guy once and everything I knew about him told me he was a prick. We hadn't exchanged two dozen words, but it wasn't the words I was worried about. He seemed to know plenty about me. He knew more about me than I knew about myself. He thought he was in control but I wasn't going to get caught playing his game. I was smart enough to know better.

I always wondered why I hadn't chased after girls the way my friends did. They disappeared from our group one by one, each finding a girlfriend until I was the only one left. Only I never developed an interest in girls. Maybe I was a late bloomer, or maybe meeting Greg told me everything I needed to know about why. I was a loner now and it was best to keep it that way. I didn't want anyone to know me too well and especially I didn't want anyone to know more about me than I did.

Greg invaded my brain when I was least able to prevent it. I would wake in the middle of the night with his eyes, lips, and that chin scar figuring vividly into my dreams. The other thing that nagged me was the imprint in his jeans on the right side of his leg. Its definition was remarkable for a clothed boy and that image frequently woke me out of sound sleep for purposes best left untold.

Why this got my attention more than other things I noticed about him, I wasn't sure. I took a passive interest in the boys in the showers after gym. I made sure I got a locker close to the boys I found most intriguing. Some guys popped a woody from time to time in the shower, though I'd only witnessed half-woodys in my classes. Thank heaven I was never one of those who became suspect once they hit wood while cavorting about with other naked red-blooded adolescents.

There was always talk that so-and-so had gotten on a hard. To do it a second time was the kiss-of-death if the first time didn't do it. You became persona-non-grata even amongst your best friends while at school. No one dared to befriend such a randy lad without fearing the label would become his as well. Adolescence wasn't a good time to part with your peers on such things as a woody in the shower. While they all seemed overjoyed to see one, once the novelty wore off the questions were still left to be asked.

I had a certain interest in my friends as they matured. I'd never been overly curious - just comparing notes in my own way, when we were of an age when boys like to talk and brag about what they've done and with whom. These activities never led to anything but a need to relieve the tension once I got home after an evening of hearing about how my friends were getting laid. Now I was waking at night with only one thing on my mind.

Upon discovery I'd always masturbated to one degree or another. At first it was as often as I could find privacy. Then it was once a day because it needed to be done, no matter what was said in Sex-Ed or amongst the teenagers who claimed to know blind boys with hands filled with warts. I would need to take my chances if I hoped for a few hours of sleep each night. I'd monitored my hands carefully and saw an eye doctor more than most.

After a couple of years, it became upon wake-up, and before retiring, as needed all other times. Greg's presence in my brain had altered my timing on this and I found him interrupting my sleep night after night. I'd wake long before dawn and go at it until I was worn down, using his face until it finally faded, that sneer of his, the bulging in his jeans, those eyes, all used to get me where I needed to go.

For the first time there was a face and a person attached to the fantasy that now powered my fist. The most worrisome thing was that the image of him did not leave me alone when the relief came. For the first time I couldn't depend on once being enough to cause me to drift on wings of ecstasy and toward a few more hours of sleep with messy weapon still in hand. Greg was having his way with me whenever he cared to visit my brain.

At fifteen I knew a secret about myself that no one else knew. That's to say that no one else could possibly be certain of it. I certainly hadn't been certain of it until I met Greg. For the first time in my life I was left to question my sexuality and my feelings about another boy, and then deciding there was no question at all.

I knew fifteen was a bit late to start going through a stage of any duration. There were no provisions at school for any oddly colored stages. While I stole glances of naked guys because it excited me in a mild way, it wasn't the same as dreaming about getting Greg out of those skintight jeans and next to me naked in my bed, or his - I was easy. The evidence was mounting and I was already feeling guilty. I had never once lusted after girls and now I could no longer say that about boys.

When faced with the truth it's best to yield or you risk living a lie.

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