The story is copyright © 2016 by "It's Only Me from Across the Sea". All rights reserved.
I looked across the house dayroom on the first day of term and was captured. He was new in a sea of new boys, almost freshly minted, and golden as a sovereign.
Well, no, he wasn't. Sovereigns aren't alive. And 'alive' is most assuredly what he was, is, will always be. Or something.
He was new. Wait, I said that before. Well, he'd taken my breath away. And, perhaps even worse than that, he'd caught my eye, and held it.
I waited, as the prefect called the roll, to see who he was. I could have talked to him after the roll, but he was new and I'd been there two years already. This was the start of my third year. He'd be fourteen or so and I was, well, not the three or so years older you'd expect because I have the true joy of an August birthday which means I'm always the youngest in my year. Come to that, so might he.
Not that this is important. I'm senior enough for it to be considered wrong in a social way to speak to him. But I'm close enough to have stuff in common? Yeah, I'm close enough to have stuff in common.
I just wonder what stuff.
His name's Smith.
Actually, since we have several Smiths, or should that be 'Smith boys', or 'boys: Smith', his name's Smith N, just before Smith S, and just after Smith K.
Who would call their kid 'S Smith'? The war wasn't that long ago, and saddling a poor kid as SS is just not too clever. Unless he's the famous Simon Smith, of course, but I can't see an Amazing Dancing Bear. Good song, that.
There's probably a comma between 'Smith' and 'N'.
Ha, "The name's Blathering, Arthur Blathering!" I am and it isn't. I'm Turner, T; Terry Turner. Well, we go by surnames, as I expect you guessed, so I'm just Turner because more Turners we have not got, not in this house anyway.
I was right about blathering. I don't usually blather. Well, as a paradox, something we just learned about in English, I blather when I'm tongue tied. And Smith N got me tongue tied. And I don't really know why.
See, I'm already deeply in love with the love of my life, and twitching of the gentleman's area over Smith N plus a heady breathlessness is surplus to requirements. I know that feeling coz I have it anyway. And, though the love of my life doesn't know it, because I haven't dared tell him yet, he's standing right beside me. And I think he likes me back, but not in that sort of way.
It's one of those awful secrets. Homosexuality has just been legalised this year in the UK, and the press has been absolutely vile about perverts. It's been plain awful. And I rather hope I'm not homosexual. I'm just me, not a pervert. I'm a boy, dammit; just Terry; just Turner. I'm waiting for this to be a phase like people say and to pass. Apparently it's just a crush and a passing phase. That's just as well, because I'll have to wait until I'm over 21, which is a fucking long wait.
Or a long wait for fucking.
Which, to be fair, I'm not sure I want to do.
Or, I am sure. And I do, but I'm not sure I want to do it with the Love of My Life, who has now gained capital letter status without moving a muscle..
Actually I do.
But that's a whole nother story and a fantasy about being on my back with my legs in the air like a TV aerial yelling "Fuck me Harder!" while trying to be quiet so no-one hears, and with Jamie Belkin, for he is the LoML, getting all out of breath and sweaty and meeting my every need as I give myself to him.
I've gone hard.
In the dayroom.
I hope no-one notices, though I half want Jamie to notice.
Time goes very weirdly when your mind plays tricks on you. All this went through my mind between the Smiths and Warren.
And I know Turner comes between Smith and Warren, but we're called out in year groups, so I'd answered before. There was a Travis, though. I vaguely remember hearing a Travis.
Anyway, down to chapel and then back and to lessons.
"Aren't new boys tiny?" Jamie said on the way down, to me and no-one in particular.
"There's a golden one!" My mouth opened and the words came out, much to my surprise.
"Boys aren't golden."
"True, that, but this one just gave me that impression."
But he'd disappeared into the crush. "One of the Smiths I think."
"We've got far too many Smiths."
"Let's change their names to Robinson."
"We'd have too many Joneses!"
I wanted to say "I'm your twat, though", which worked badly, and on so many levels, but I chickened out.
And then we were sitting together, in chapel, in silence, me with my thigh pressed against him, trying as hard as I could to beam "please love me" thoughts across the trouser junction and into his head. New boys were in front of us by a couple of rows.
"I see what you mean about golden," he whispered to me, "That's one hell of a tan. His parents must be loaded."
"He certainly didn't get that in Bognor!"
Almost no-one went abroad for holidays, no-one that I knew, at least. This was 1967! It cost a fortune to go anywhere exotic. We went to Pwllheli in North Wales each year. Exotic that was not, though we did get wind tanned with a bit of rust for good measure!
A hymn, a psalm, a lesson, a couple of prayers and a blessing later we scrambled back to the house, grabbed our books, and headed to lessons. Jamie, of course, never received my telepathy. I wondered, sometimes, if he was sending me messages I ought to be hearing.
Nah, not a chance. If it was a phase he was either through it or hadn't started it yet, or it was all a lie, just to lull us victims into a real sense of insecurity. And Jamie'd started talking about girls . Well, so did I, but he seemed to actually know some!
Term was interminable. I cycled to school each day from our London commuter dormitory suburb, arrived at eight, mucked around with Jamie, went to lessons, lunch, more lessons or games, and cycled home. Thinking was not required, nor desired. I'd already worked out the the British Public School, as opposed to the British public school, was a way of beating the individuality out of us, sometimes literally, while creating middle class, middle aspiration, middle ability candidates to be the administrators we once sent to run the British Empire, something we do not now have.
We were at school six days a week, and every other Sunday we day boys had a full Church of England chapel service there, with sermon. Yuck. The poor boarders had to go to one every Sunday. Every afternoon we had games, sport, except Wednesdays when we pretended to be soldiers. Some Saturdays we were 'invited' to watch the school playing matches against other schools, sometimes against hefty great blokes from real rugby clubs, too. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we had two lessons after games.
About three weeks before half term my eyes met Smith N's across the dayroom again. It was peeing down, and, instead of team games, we'd abandoned the pitches and it was House Games. This meant we were all waiting in the dayroom for our house's turn in the gym in PE kit: shorts, singlet, and for those whose dried arrangement had been watered, the ubiquitous jock strap with our names in traditional biro in the waistband. And socks and plimsoles, of course, with the plimsoles whitened so that the whitening would run in the rain. All good for discipline and empire!
As my eyes met Smith's he lifted the waistband of his shorts high, high enough to raise the bottom hems to expose the pale crotch, where he was not golden at all, tight enough to frame his equipment in taut fabric. And the little bugger winked at me, I'm sure he did.
I was sure everyone saw. Saw my blush, I mean, and I have no idea to this day why it mattered if they did.
This boy and I had not ever exchanged a single word, and yet I swear he was flirting with me, even offering... something. And it wasn't something that LoML was offering, even if Smith was teasing me!
So, naturally, I looked at him for far too long.
I looked away.
What I noticed, apart from an expanse of alabaster lower abdomen, was how lovely his legs were.
That was the second time I got hard over him, er, in front of him. Jock straps have their uses!
When I looked back all was lowered away and he was grinning.
Now, I'm not stupid. I know a signal when I see one. That was a signal. Jamie never gave me signals. And I didn't even know what 'N' stood for, and N was giving me a very clear signal.
And, for me, it was wholly ambiguous.
Was he pulling me in only to smack me down, or was he pulling me in for something far more interesting?
So I looked away again.
This game had no rules that I knew. And it felt as if I was betraying the love I gave Jamie but never received back. Jamie I loved. N? N I wanted. Jamie was adoration, N was pure curiosity and lust.
There was another problem, too. Surely we weren't meant to be attracted to boys that were far too young? N seemed nowhere near starting puberty. Jamie was well into it, like me. Jamie had bits one could do things with, if he was interested, that was. N had, well, actually I had no idea. We all saw each other naked in the showers all the time, but N? Somehow he and I had ever coincided. Or is that showercided?
So I retreated into my faux-heterosexual shell, and flirted with Jamie. Well I pissed him off, more than anything else, I think. He told me on more than one occasion to quit it.
My life seems to be a failed love story.
What I want to happen is to be able to cuddle, and kiss, and spend real time with the LoML, quality time, snuggly time, and yes, hot and steamy and inept at first and probably rather messy time.
What I get is a much exercised right hand and a severe disappointment and an aching heart and loneliness even when I am standing, sitting, being with him.
And then I see N out of the corner of my eye.
I don't love N. I don't know N. But N is dirty, overtly sexual when Jamie is clean and pristine.
I want N. I love Jamie.
And what the fuck does 'N' stand for?
And, just for good measure, why me?
Today I noticed something. Well, two somethings. As usual in the boxroom I changed next to Jamie. A quirk of alphabetical order means our lockers are opposite. Ok, I changed opposite him, then, not next to.
Jamie has the most beautiful body. He's sleek and slim and not quite wiry, not exactly, but hard muscled with those long distance runner's muscles. I'm his height, but a little more covered. I've noticed Jamie's body before, though that's not why I love him. I adore his body, too. I dream about it in that Peter Pan time between waking and sleeping, and then fail to dream about what I want to dream about, which is a lot more than my right hand!
What I noticed about him today was much more personal. I looked, truly looked, at his cock. I was sitting and he was standing, so it was hard not to look. I've never studied one before. I just like the feelings mine gives me. I noticed the sleek skin, and the gentle taper to the tip of his foreskin, and how his wasn't too long or too short, but came to a point, like penne pasta. It was as if you could write with it.
We're about the same size, he and I, and have a similar lack of modesty. You don't get to stay modest with 70 naked boys queuing and shoving to cram under four shower heads, even if you start off a scaredy cat!
I noticed that even his cock was beautiful. That was the first thing.
I'm starting to realise this love I have for the LoML is fruitless, but he makes me feel happy to be alive, makes it worth coming to this awful school day after day.
The second thing I noticed was N, walking past from the hot pipes where he'd probably gone to get his towel since he had it modestly around his waist. Obviously that goes against our lack of modesty, but he is only fourteen or so. I've been noticing N a lot. I suspect he's noticed my noticing, too. Scary. Anyway, as he walked past David Oldfield his towel dropped right to the floor. Happens.
Then he bent right over to pick it up, and stood up facing David. David's a well known fancier of smaller boys, and I watched N face him down and heard the tail of his "... all you're going to see, too!" as golden legs and torso and white swimming trunks patch headed for the showers under a haze of yellow gold hair.
The little bugger is pretty sure of himself.
Does he know what he does to people?
I was still in my jock, and it was very lucky I was, too. And no, I did not go and see everything in great detail in the shower. I waited until I was safe to unveil my accoutrements without having my eye out on the tip!
Ha! That makes me sound enormous. I'm not. I'm pretty normal in the cock and balls department. It just knows when to stand up and salute, and that is never at a convenient time. Hard as nails, then. Not my balls, obviously.
See, the third thing of the two things I noticed was that I got rock hard for the dropping of a golden towel, but not for the study of the beautiful penis on the front of the LoML.
Maybe Jamie's the phase. Maybe reality is N, and boys like N. I want N. I'd like to get to know him.
I have in a way. N is for Nigel, not a name I ever found sexy, not before, anyway. I like one Jamie, several Johns, and Petes, and Rickys, a couple of Ians, and one very hot Zach! Er, what I meant was the sound of them. But Zach is very hot. Jamie is the boy I adore, but he is indisputably not hot, though he is handsome. And 'N'-igel is the boy I want.
And Zach, it seems.
Zach has dark hair to Nigel's gold, and he's in another house, so the chance of doing more than sharing lessons with him is non existent. We may not socialise with other houses.
I was in the dayroom and I overheard the juniors doing the unthinkable. They were using first names! That's how I'd learned his name, his real name.
This is not done! We have standards to uphold! We are the future administrators of a non existent empire!
It was nice to hear them, though. No-one's called me Terry here, just Turner. I dislike being called Terrence a lot, but Terry works well enough. I think I'd have preferred Jerry, but I like the name Jeremy even less than I like Terrence.
So Nigel's a good name, and he makes me squirm inside.
I'd like that, too, being made to squirm inside by Nigel's presumable perfect scale model. His voice hasn't broken yet, so there can't be much to wield, but his body language in the boxroom that time seems to show that he's well aware of what to use it for.
He's not handsome, not even pretty, but he's sexy as can be, and his legs are, well, hard to describe. He's square set. Not fat, not stocky, just square. Nigel looks as if he is potentially powerful. And his legs are real boy's legs, perhaps a little shorter than they ought-a, but the most delicious sight. For me they're perfect.
That's silly. For him they're perfect! I'm taller. On me they wouldn't reach the ground.
He's so different from 'my' Jamie, the waning LoML.
I wish Jamie weren't waning.
I still have that TV aerial vision, but its starting to be shared with Nigel. And now with Zach.
Fat chance of any of them.
I didn't get Jamie for Christmas. I sent him a card, almost sent him my love. He sent me nothing.
I wondered about how to send Nigel a card, which would have been so fucking stupid. I don't know his address, but I will, soon. And his birthday, which is weirdly interesting. We get a list of the entire school in the Lent Term, which it is now, and that has birthdays and addresses in. Well, will have.
Nigel is thirteen. 17 February 1954. He's an Aquarius. I'm a Leo. He'll be fourteen next month. I'm not sure why that's important. I think that everything I learn about him makes him more mysterious, too.
That's just stupid.
I'm reading his horoscope each day just in case it gives me a clue. I still read LoML's. 25 November 1951. Sagittarius. Hasn't ever given me a clue, though.
I wonder if I dare wish him a happy birthday?
He's very good at rugby. I mean very good. Unusually good. He's made Scrum Half on the Under 14s school team. Probably something about his being square and powerful.
He's got a birthday present of sorts already. He's been selected to play on Saturday 17th, under 14s against St Bees. It's a home match.
I'm going to watch.
God, he's a tough little bugger.
Not many people watch the Under 14s. There was me and no-one else. We'd all been ordered to School Watch Match for the First XV, also home against St Bees, so I did, for a while. I was with Jamie until he wandered off with a group of others.
I'm getting used here.
How can I be getting used by someone who has no idea he's even important to me, and has loads of other friends? He may be the LoML, but I am not the LoHL. Ok, you figure that out.
So I drifted in a studied aimless way to the Under 14s pitch.
This pitch has bunkers and Great War trenches compared with rather less imperfect First Side where the First XV play.
I almost had no idea he was really playing when I looked at the field. Couldn't see him at all at first
Our shirts are red and blue. Our shorts are blue. Our socks are blue. Usually our skin is pink and his hair is glorious gold.
I am more than very attracted to a very wet rat in a universal mud colour. I can picture him now as I saw him then, when I found him, finally. Mouth slightly open, golden hair turned to mud, once red and blue shirt plastered to him in mud, shorts mud coloured, socks mud coloured, looking so muddy and determined I wanted to weep with joy.
Even the ball was mostly mud coloured,
He was standing in the muddy middle, right at the midpoint of the field, about to get the ball away to the Fly Half.
God, he's a tough little bugger.
Déjà vu. Hmm. No. Déjà dit.
We were not winning.
We weren't losing, either.
And that's when I fell for him.
Seems it's not a phase.
I did cheer him on, and the team. A lone voice yelling "Come on College!" and a couple of "Well done Nigel!" and a few other things. I wanted to yell "Happy Birthday!" That seemed unwise.
I'd love to say he scored an amazing try and won the match for us. He did make a couple of tries possible, and he got flattened more times than I could count. And, once, he stood up and looked at me and I swear he smiled at me.
Or is that when I fell for him?
He got muddier as the game ground on. There's a pun in there, not one worth repeating. He wasn't golden any more.
Except his power made him glow gold, at least to me.
He must have been frozen as well as soaked through. I was cold, and I had my raincoat and scarf on.
He was just wearing rugby kit.
Can you be in love with two people at the same time?
My feeling for Jamie was changing, slowly, subtly, from adoration to liking. My feeling for Nigel was changing from 'WOW!' into love. Not that you can love someone you don't know.
After the whistle blew for No Side and we'd lost by three points, and they'd done the lining up to applaud the victors who then lined up to applaud the losers choreographed dance, I took my courage and went up to him.
"You look like you had a good time?" I'd not spoken to him before. "I came to watch. You're the only one from our house on the team and I thought you deserved a bit of support." Lame excuse or what?
"Thanks. I heard you cheering."
"Hard not to. I was the only one doing it!"
"We could have won."
So that petered out.
I thought about offering to wash him down.
"You can if you want to?"
"I can what?"
"Wash me down."
"I didn't think I'd said that out loud." I was mortified. Except he'd said I could.
"You didn't. I imagined it."
"Cheeky Little bugger!"
"Not so much of the 'cheeky'."
And he winked.
"Remember when I lifted my PE shorts up high in the dayroom last term and caught you looking? You told me then, with your eyes. Come to that I caught your gaze at roll on the first day of last term. I'm not wrong, am I? I thought you might, we might..."
He grinned. "Look, I've got to go right now. No wash down today. We have a team shower and a match tea. But please don't go home before we talk." And he turned away without giving me a chance to answer.
I hadn't even wished him a happy birthday.
I'm not sure how I got back to the house. I think I floated. It's a fair distance, about half a mile, almost all of it up hill. I never noticed a single yard.
For the first time since I met Jamie I didn't muck about with him at the end of the day. We often play-wrestled. It was the only way I could touch the one time LoML. Suddenly I was finding that I didn't want to.
I waited, scared shitless. Not sure what of, exactly, but trembly nervous, with time dragging worse than waiting outside the headmaster's study to be beaten. Weirdly similar feeling, too.
"Cleaner, though. How was the tea?"
"Was bollocks, as usual!" and he smiled.
We both chose the same time and stopped.
"You first, and my name's Terry."
"I'm not wrong, am I, Terry? There's something?"
"There's something, yes. I'm rather scared though."
"I'm not scared. That's not the right word. I'm nervous, some. But that's coz this could be real."
"You've watched me, I know you have. I've flirted with you. Come to that with loads of other boys, too. Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs. Is there any chance you might be a prince?"
"I've watched you. I loved the towel dropping for Oldfield!"
"You can be a bit dense. I dropped that towel for you!"
"He liked it, though."
"And you, Terry? Did you like it?"
"Yes, no, well, er..." And I saw he was looking nervous again. "Actually, yes. I liked it a lot."
"So, what's the 'yes, no, well' stuff?"
"Me. I'm still afraid. I never dreamed..."
"Terry, you cycle pretty much past my house. Cycle home with me."
Not much was said for the mile and a half we rode. I followed him. There was too much traffic to ride two abreast.
We met his mum at the front door. His dad was still at work. They have a shop, by coincidence in my town. I asked to use the phone to tell my folks I'd be later than they expected and was asked to stay for tea. We went to Nigel's room while his mum made it.
"I never expected to fall for you," he said. "I expected it would be someone my own age, well, if at all. But I did. I have. And I had no idea how to get to talk to you or tell you or find out anything about you."
"I'll tell you a secret I've told no-one else, ever. For the last two years I've adored Jamie Belkin, past tense, wanted him, needed him, been too afraid to let him know and now you've arrived in my life like a smash and grab raid and got hold of my heart! It's yours whether you want it or not. Not his. Yours."
"We're a bloody romantic pair, aren't we?" He took me by the paw and sat me on his bed, sat down next to me. "Look, I can't help it. I need you to kiss me, and now. I don't want anything else yet. I don't even know how to kiss. But I want to be kissed, and by you. I've fallen for you, Terry Turner. If you want me, here I am."
I'd not kissed anyone, ever. Moustachioed aunts don't count. I took Nigel into my arms. We had to stand up or fall over. I wasn't ready to be a heap on the bed with him, not then. We fitted together, the squareness of Nigel, the difference in our heights, and he felt strong in my arms. He felt right.
I, we, made a mess of the first kiss. Noses are a design fault for kissing.
Tongues came later.
That first kiss I held him, in my arms, feeling his taut muscles, exploring the bits, polite bits, I could reach, feeling his lips so soft where his back was iron hard. I'm sure we were both rock hard in the undercarriage department, but that never entered my head. I had live, strong boy in my arms, smelling slightly of carbolic soap. And he was holding me tight, kissing me back.
"Boys! Tea's ready! Kettle's just boiled!" came his mum's voice up the stairs.
"We'd better go down," he said.
I paused, hesitated.
He took my hand, the reallio trulio newlio LoML did. "Come on. Mum knows I like you; she knows I'm queer, so does dad. They're fine with it. They knew I'd bring a special boy home one day. I just don't think they expected him to be a couple of years older, nor that he'd be as handsome as you are. Just think of the beautiful babies we'll make..."
I actually didn't mind meeting his mum. I thought I would, but she didn't embarrass him or me. Cheese on toast, tomato ketchup, and tea.
And a birthday cake.
With 14 candles.
I still hadn't wished him Happy Birthday, not until the cake. Nearly failed then, too. I didn't expect wet eyes. Mine, I mean. I couldn't see whether his were wet, too.
I wish I could have stayed longer after tea. I had to be back home just after six, and it was well after half five when I left.
And we stayed downstairs.
Sunday was a big frustrating anticlimax. Yes, I had his number. Our phone's in the hallway. Apart from our religion, which is the keeping of all phone calls to the absolute minimum, there was no privacy. No, it wasn't Sunday chapel, so it was going to be Monday before I could see him.
And we'd only kissed. Once and well, but we'd only kissed.
"You look happy," dad said at lunch.
Oh. Don't I usually look happy? Hmmm. "School's going better than usual."
"Whom did you have tea with yesterday?" Not only was dad a stickler for grammar, he'd been out until late yesterday. I'd beaten him home, unusual for a Saturday,
"Nigel Smith, about half way between school and here."
"Not heard of him before."
Now what. Dissemble, you fool. "Not surprising. He joined us last term." The truth is always better than a downright lie. You can hide in the truth. Nothing to recover from later, either.
"A bit young to have you round to tea?"
"In a way." I was stalling. "He was the only one from our house in the junior matches against St Bees yesterday. I went to give him some support. We got chatting. We cycled home together. His mum asked me to stay to tea. I found there was birthday cake, so it was rather nice. I don't mind that he's younger. He doesn't seem it when you talk to him." Stop it or you'll gush!
"Better have him round for a return match, then. Right, who wants pudding?"
Monday, I got to school at the normal time, around eight. Mucked around with Jamie as usual. Didn't muck around with Nigel, also as usual. The year divide is a tough thing. Our eyes met, though, a couple of times. And I knew we needed to talk, properly and long.
After lunch I found a note in my locker. So did Nigel.
We both left school at almost the same time each day, though I was earlier, so we both, in tune already, reckoned we could cycle together if I hung on.
Leaving school at six in the winter when I do normally means it's very dark. At seven, when the new boys get out, it feels darker and colder. We met at the bike racks, both struck dumb. It's not easy knowing you love a boy and he loves you back and not being able to grab hold of each other because you're too shit scared of what other people are going to think. If this were a co-ed school and one of us were a girl...
But it's not, and I'm not, and he's not.
We waited until we got to his house to talk.
We didn't get inside the front door before he leapt into my arms and kissed me, there behind the front hedge, With tongues.
He's wonderful to hold. There's a boy behind the kiss to get to know, too. I want to know him, Nigel Smith, aged fourteen and two days, not just how he feels and tastes.
We had to figure it out.
And I had no idea how my parents would react.
"Can you come in today?"
"Too much homework. Plus supper's in half an hour."
"... to get to know each other?"
"Good. Yes, yes please... Nigel?"
"Yes?" he was looking a little lost.
"I have no idea how we're going to make this work, but I'm already hook, line, and sinker in love with you. It's really important that you know that."
I found I was embraced in a vice of arms. Then I found he was crying.
"Good tears," he snuffled.
Then I was, too. "I never... knew... love hurt... s'much." I managed to get the words out.
"Terry?" A small voice.
"I'm not ready to do things." Smaller voice.
I was and yet I wasn't. He was too precious, vulnerable. "Nor me, not really." And I told him what I wanted most was snuggling and kissing. My brain flitted to TV Aerials and crossed that thought out at once. "What I want, Smith N," I heard a giggle at that, "Is to be your very best friend in the world, and to learn how to be your boyfriend, and to be us, not you and not me. And anything else that happens will, when we both want to."
"I don't want to disappoint you by being scared?" Still a small voice, but better, less worried, well, less-ish.
"I told you. Snuggling, cuddling, kissing, and anything else can happen when we're both ready, together."
"I love you more and more." And he kissed my nose by standing on tiptoe.
"I don't know much. What I know is that you're more precious to me than just doing all that sex stuff the press has been talking about as perversion. The sex part? That's going to be very private and very us and be what you and I want to do, both of us. I think I want to spend my life with you, Nigel Smith, if you'll have me. If boys could marry I'd ask you right now."
The school term was, again, interminable. I must copyright that phrase. Actually, it's a bit shit. But it dragged. No half term in the Lent term because it was a short term. Only nine and a half weeks. That made it feel longer, because it wasn't broken into halves.
We were planning a week under canvas in the New Forest in the Easter holidays. Just him and just me. We were going by bike. His parents approved. Mine had met his when we put the plan to them. My parents approved. Approved of the trip. It was character building. Manly. They haven't been told about us officially. His folks know already, and approve. Maybe they've spoken to mine?
I was learning that being homosexual, queer, didn't mean you had to be less manly. It wasn't like the radio and the TV, with awful, posing, camp characters. Nigel's all boy, I'm all boy. He played rugby, and played it hard. I came into my own from the spring onwards. I sailed, won a place on the school team last year, expected to keep it this year, maybe captain it next. We're tough in different ways.
I can't imagine being without him. We're equals.
And yes, I've washed him down when he's been cold, wet, and muddy.
And at other times, too.
In private. Our love is not public.
We snuggle, comfy in our skin.
When we make love it's delightful, and private, though our chances are a bit restricted. We have high hopes for the camping trip.
And no, neither of us is 'the girl'. We're both confident in who we are. Girl, girlie, or even submissive are not it.
We're just Nigel and Terry.
I still have his note from my locker that Monday.
And he said 'yes'.
So we will, when we can. And, while we can't, we'll campaign for it.
Why 'Aufgestellter Mausdreck'?
The title, Aufgestellter Mausdreck, comes from my childhood. I had thought of 'Drowned Rat', but that doesn't really describe the boy in the picture. Rat he is not. But the rodent image reminded me of something from my childhood.
When I was young my father, a refugee from Hitler's vision of Vienna, often referred to me as an Aufgestellter Mausdreck when I was doing something that seemed amusing to him, especially when I felt that what I was doing or trying to say was important. He refused to translate it for me. The literal translation is an obviously inappropriate thing to call your small son. And yet it was done with affection.
Being careful, I checked the usage of the term. It was common in Southern Germany and in Austria as a slightly teasing term of endearment for a young boy, up to mid teenage. It may not be so common today, but works well in the period of the tale
It took me a long time to even work out the words used and how they were spelled. He had a heavy Viennese accent, and I spoke no German. I was fifteen and learning German in school when I worked it out, finally. Not that our school German/English dictionary was any real help!
I looked at the picture long and hard, and saw a tough, small, actually quite important boy, a key player in the game of Rugby Football, probably the Scrum Half. Other than the Captain this player is very much in charge of immediate direction of play. His performance is vital to the outcome of the match.
You will find many attempts at translations of the words. Merge them together, look at the picture, read the story, and you may understand the title the better.
Or ask a denizen of the area, That works, too.
This story is part of the 2016 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Cold, Wet, and Muddy". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 3 June 2016 at noon, to at noon on 30 June 2016 (times in UTC) is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the competition home page.
The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:
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