Coming Out, Coming Back and Coming Out Again
Coming Out Again
At the Leisure Centre on Monday Mike and I tried to behave as normal as possible but I confess it wasn't easy. I really wanted to behave with the same freedom as we had had in France where we could go hand-in-hand all the time, and wear our silly tee shirts. That seemed to be the pattern we had slipped in to there, and it was difficult to go back to pretending we were not a couple.
We did our training. Neither of us did really well because we had not done too much exercise in France, except in the bedroom of course, but that used a different set of muscles than those used for swimming. And we were more focused on each other than the technicalities of swimming properly.
Then in the leisure section Mike and I were always right next to each other all of the time. I really couldn't tell if the others noticed, and I really didn't care too much.
We showered and got our lunch. Mike and I had agreed to wait until my four closest friends were left. So we sat at a table for six, Mike next to me, my friends Darren and Ashwin on the other side, and Colin and Alastair on either end. Darren is a year ahead of me, and a lot bigger. He is sort of the unofficial leader of our group. But we've known each other for about six years and I was pretty sure that if he accepted us the others would be OK as well.
I glanced at Mike and put my hand on the table. He put his on top of mine, and then I looked at Darren and took the plunge.
"Darren, there's something Mike and I need to tell you about ourselves. We've sort of become a couple and thought we should come out to you guys about it."
Darren looked straight back at me, while the other three boys sat there looking a little nervous.
"Tell me something I don't know." Said Darren. " We've been watching you all morning trying not to get into each others swim shorts and make out all over the place. And now you're holding hands like lovebirds. It's disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourselves."
Oh God, were we that obvious? I instinctively started to pull my hand away, but Mike held on to me. I could feel he was shaking a little. Darren continued.
"Easton, I'm really, really disappointed in you. I've known you for all of these years and now you do this to me. I tell you, I don't like it."
" I'd thought that because we had been friends for so many years that……"
"Easton, shut up and listen to me! I don't care if you are gay or not, that's not the problem. The problem is what is sitting next to you."
Mike tightened up completely, and I got ready to stand up and walk away from my friends.
"Oh relax, John. It's just I'm disappointed that here you are, choosing your first boyfriend, and the best you can do is pick from the gutter this really poncey wimp from some snotty public school who thinks he can swim but really all he can only do is a little doggy paddle while we all glide past him? I thought you had better taste than that."
Then Darren broke into a big smile.
"Seriously, you two look great together. None of us mind, we'd sort of guessed before you went off to France. So relax, we're not going to give you any hassle."
We all relaxed and started to laugh at how Darren had taken us all in. Then Darren spoke again.
"But seriously, guys, try to tone it down in public. There might be others who don't take it as well as we all do. No public displays of affection if possible – keep that for the bedroom if you can, and not in front of us or other guys from school. OK?"
I turned to John.
"I suppose we can't wear our special tee shirts, then? Too bad, I thought they'd like them."
"What tee shirts?" asked Darren.
I pulled out my phone and scrolled down to my favorite picture of us in the tee shirts and showed it to Darren.
He just roared with laughter and passed the phone to the others. All of them just burst out laughing. Too bad for Colin, he'd just taken a big swig of Coke and ended up snurking it all over his shirt.
"Fucking Hell! I can't believe you two had the courage to buy those shirts and then wear them in public like that. Maybe you've got more balls than I thought."
"Last time I checked I had two, but let me check again."
I stood up and started to unbuckle my belt on my shorts.
"OK, OK, just kidding," laughed Darren, "my treat for ice cream all round. Who's that guy in the picture next to you? Some perv trying to pick you both up?"
"No. That's Mike's Dad."
"Mike, you mean your Dad let you buy those. Wow. Mine would kill me first."
"No, my Dad's girlfriend had them made. She's something else."
"I give up. It's far too complicated for me to understand." said Darren. "It's all over my head."
And so the ice as broken, and Mike and I had taken our first step into the world as openly gay.
Darren came back with the ice cream, and we all started eating away. Then Darren said he had one last thing to say.
"Mike, even through we haven't known you too long, we all like you. And any friend of John's is a friend of ours. As I said earlier, do be careful. The world is full of bigots. But let me say this to you both. If anyone, and I mean anyone, from school or anywhere, tries to give either of you any grief, they'll have to go through us first to get to you. We have your backs just like we know you have ours. That's what mates do, they stick together. Good luck. We'll see you tomorrow."
We all gave hugs all around, not big, big ones, but enough to reaffirm that we were all friends.
Later, when Mike and I were back in his room at his Dad's house, I realized how tense both of had been but how happy we were that our friends were still our friends, and that we had accomplished the first level of acceptance. And for the first time we knew that it wasn't just the two of us against the world. We had a group of friends that made our position stronger and better than we could ever have imagined.
No doubt there would be more difficulties and hurdles but we both felt that between us we could cope. Of course, the biggest hurdle was what the hell we were going to do when Mike went back to school.
Well, if you read "The Elephant in the Room" you'll know how it all worked out in the end. Mike's father managed to get a lot of people together to help Mike take a special exam and Mike was able to get a last minute place in my school for the next year. Wow, I couldn't believe it. The thought of us being split up when he went back to boarding school had been worrying me more and more, and suddenly it was all OK.
Both my Mum and Mike's Dad were very accepting of our relationship. I'm still not sure if my Dad even knows I have a boyfriend, he's so engrossed with the economics of Brexit. I started to have sleepovers at Mike's place on Fridays and Saturdays unless there were family events that one or other had to attend. But no sleepovers on school nights.
You'd think adults would realize that if you give teenagers all of their basic needs like food, sleep, money and sex, then they would be better equipped to do homework. But despite the enforced sex ban on school nights, we both did better in school because we were happy and we helped each other out with homework and stuff.
Mike made the swim team, even though Darren kept teasing him that he only got on the team because he was the only member to compete in doggy paddle races, so he was bound to win everything.
And Liz did work things out with her job in Bristol and with Mike's Dad so they are going to get married some time after Christmas.
Will it all last? God only knows. I'm still only fifteen, and have a long way to go. If we make it, I'll be in heaven. If not, it will have been the best time of my life, so far.
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