In The Picture

by Ivor Slipper

I didn't get to see the picture until a few days later. Indeed I hadn't even realized anyone had taken one – or any come to that - as I guess there are probably some others around. You see we aren't allowed to use cell phones on campus. They can't ban us from having them as everybody's got one, that's just how it is these days. But if you have one with you it has to be kept in your backpack or placed in your locker. I guess a couple of the guys decided to take a chance and get theirs out. Face it, you'd only have it confiscated for the day, or if one of the teachers was in a bad mood that day you could also end up sitting in detention.

Anyway, for something like this it was worth the risk. Almost wish I'd thought to get mine out, but I was too slow, too busy looking at what was going on. After all it isn't every day that you see two of your fellow students hugging and kissing in public!

Yeah, Ramon Diaz – that's him in the pale grey wife-beater and those emoji design shorts, holding the red rose in his left hand and Carlos Martinez in the blue sweatshirt and blue jeans - were making out in public. And not just like walking in the corridor holding hands, or having a quick kiss when there were only a few people around. Nope, this was in full view of a hundred or more of their fellow students!

You can see hanging in the background a couple of the college's keyword banners. There's about a dozen of them around. They're intended to remind us of the college's ethos and to help instil in us the things that are important beyond just learning. Seeing those two there though is very amusing. 'Good Judgement' and 'Courage'. Well, I'm sure it took courage for them to do that with so many watching. I'm much less sure about the good judgement though! The college forbids any 'personal displays of affection'. That's not on any of the banners by the way, just stated loud and clear in the handbook we all received when we started here. Now, you can't have a much more obvious display of personal affection than this, can you? Of course the college has a non-discrimination policy – also enshrined in the handbook – so it didn't make any difference that it was two guys standing there and declaring their love for each other. I'm sure though that for most of the onlookers it came as much more of a surprise than it would have done had it been a boy and a girl.

Actually, it's interesting to look at the picture to see the varying reactions of the onlookers. Their friend Ricardo, who is sitting to their left is, I think, smiling happily at what is happening rather than laughing. Elsewhere there are mainly looks of puzzlement and slight surprise. Daryl Carter, who is sitting just to their right in the blue top, looks puzzled and slightly disapproving. Guess that isn't too surprising as he is a top jock and the star running back. Then there's Mary-Beth Kelly on the extreme left who has her mouth wide open in shock and total surprise. The scream she let out a few seconds earlier was very high in the decibel count. I should know as that's me, Dale Hoffman, sitting two away from her with the fringe and in the red polo. What did my expression convey I wonder? I hope it conveyed a mixture of surprise and pleasure for them as that was what I was definitely feeling.

I just hope it didn't betray any jealousy, or perhaps envy would be a better word. I'm not jealous of either of them as they're not my type. But I am envious that they've got the guts to stand up there and declare their love for each other to the world at large. You see I'm still very much in the closet along with my boyfriend. That's him sitting next to me, the good looking one. Ethan Wilson is his name. I just adore that thick black hair he has on top of his head and can't get enough of running my fingers through it. He always tells me he hates me 'messing it up', but then he comes back for more. Plus he gets his own back by playing with mine and my fringe.

But, as I said, I think those two are so brave. Declaring their love for each other in front of that audience, plus I wonder what they've had to go through at home. I share some classes with both of them so I know Ramon is of Mexican origin, although his parents immigrated here before he was born. Carlos though is from Guatemala and his family only came here about ten years ago. So, both of the come from Catholic backgrounds and I know how that church looks on homosexuals. I don't know how devout either of their families are, but I suspect neither would have looked that kindly on their sons declaring themselves to be gay.

I guess if they had the balls to do it then I, or we, shouldn't be so scared. But...

Ethan and I have known each other since we were little kids. We were born about the same time – he's actually a month older than me, something he never let's me forget – and we happen to live on the same street, just a couple of houses away from each other. I suppose because they both had babies at virtually the same time it was natural that our mothers would become friends. I'm an only child while Ethan has a sister and a brother who are both several years older than him. They have both now left home. Indeed there is such an age gap between them and Ethan that I've sometimes wondered if he was an unplanned accident, although you'd never guess that from how his parents regard him. Come to that, I might well have been an accident myself as my parents are about the same age as his and my mom didn't have me until she was forty. Who knows - it's not really a question you can ask, is it?

Maybe because Ethan's mom had been through it all before mine turned to her for advice after I was born. Again, I don't know if that's true, but I do know we were always best friends from as far back as I can remember. Our moms got together a lot during the day when we were small so we spent a lot of time playing with each other and that continued as we got older. We started school together and always tried to sit with each other. I know some of the teachers thought we must be twins, although as you can see we look nothing like each other. We both turned out to be into sports as we grew up, with little league baseball taking up a lot of our time. That was before Ethan's parents had a pool installed in their backyard which was when swimming began to dominate. That's still the same now as we are both on the school team. We're also on the school track and field team, both of us being middle distance runners.

As for school, as we've grown our interests have diverged somewhat. I'm into languages and subjects like geography and history while Ethan is a whizz at math and is also great at science. I must admit that since we started at junior school we have always made a point of doing most of our homework together. That's meant that he's been able to help me with the subjects I'm poor at while I can help him on those he has struggled with. That's not to say we cheat and copy each others' answers, it's just that sometimes we can explain a problem in a way the other can understand better. I guess it is a bit like one on one teaching.

Just before Ethan's parents had their pool installed I managed to persuade my Dad to build me a tree house. Guess I was about nine or ten then. He did a grand job with it and it gave us somewhere to go where we could be totally private, but the parents knew where we were so didn't have to worry about us. It was a fair sized little house and we had a couple of bean bags up there we could lounge in, plus, and this was the big thing, there was room to lay out a couple of sleeping bags. That meant we could spend the night there.

Of course we'd been having sleepovers for several years before the tree house was built. It seemed that sometimes we spent alternate nights in each others' bed. It wasn't quite like that, but equally it was more than once a week or just at weekends. We also had accumulated clothes at each house as it had become the norm for each of us to throw our dirty clothes in the laundry basket at whichever house we were sleeping at. Mind you, it would also be fair to say that a lot of the time the dirty clothes were just discarded on the floor before being picked up and laundered by whichever mom it was!

Initially we must have been sleeping in jammies I guess, but my memory only goes back as far as us sleeping in our briefs. They started off as white, but then became Superman, Spiderman, Captain Marvel or whatever as we grew a little older.

In some ways it was best to sleep at my house as I had a double bed while Ethan only had a single. Not that it mattered much when we were small, but it became more significant as we had grown older. Two fairly well built teens in a single bed just isn't comfortable, except perhaps in winter when you want to snuggle together. Summer though was the opposite - you wanted to sleep together but you didn't want tight briefs around your lower regions, so they came off. We'd never had any hang ups about undressing in front of each other or seeing each other naked, so being naked in bed together was no big deal.

And for some years our being naked together was all very innocent. We'd often end up wrestling on my bed – Ethan's being too small for that – or having pillow fights that often turned into tickle fights. Those occasionally ended up with willie tickling as we called it. But then the hormones started to kick in, which fortunately for both of us, came at more or less the same time. Willie tickling took on a new dimension and became willie stroking or rubbing with the aim of seeing which one could be made the biggest.

One afternoon during the summer vacation, it had been raining and instead of being outside and using the pool, we were in Ethan's bedroom lying alongside each other on his bed. We started tickling each other and I felt my willie start to grow. My hand reached out and found his, also growing but still inside his shorts. I started to rub it and it grew a bit more. He stopped ticking me and instead pushed his shorts down – he wasn't wearing any briefs – so his willie was immediately visible. I gently rubbed it some more encouraging it to grow and he started to make some odd noises. He told me to stop because he thought he was going to pee, so I did. But then he told me to carry on, so I did. Suddenly he groaned loudly and jerked and then a little liquid came out of the slit.

"Oh shit! Told you I was gonna pee."

I looked at it. "That's not pee." I said and wiped a little of it on my finger.

"Eew, gross!" Ethan exclaimed. "Now what you gonna do?"

I don't know why, but I moved my finger under my nose and smelled it.

"Definitely ain't pee."

And then I stuck out my tongue and licked my finger. Ethan pulled a face.

"That's grosser still! What's it taste like?"

"Dunno. Nothing much. There's a bit left. Try it yourself."

He hesitated before taking a couple of drops on his finger, smelling and licking as I had.

"Well?" I asked

"Sure ain't pee!" he declared.

"Told you!"

"Wonder why that happened?"

"Dunno. Wonder if I can do it? Wanna try?"

So he rubbed my already hard willie but without any visible results.

However, there was now a new dimension to our willie rubbing which we were keen to explore whenever the opportunity arose. Ethan continued to produce little amounts and a couple of weeks later while in the safety of the tree house one night, I had my first emission. We both ceremoniously tasted it and declared that it was different to Ethan's.

It wasn't until we went back to school after the summer vacation and had started our Sexual Health class that we found out that what was coming out of our piss slits was called semen and was what was used to make babies. There was a very brief period of panic where we both worried if by eating the others' produce we were each going to have a baby, but soon learned that only girls could have those.

Now we knew exactly what we were doing it became our number one activity. Not to say we did it more than anything else, but it was the thing we enjoyed doing together most. Sleepovers took on a new dimension and we started to really cuddle together in bed. There was nothing better than lying behind Ethan and slowly jerking him off while feeling my dick nestled in between his legs. Yes, willies were a thing of the past, they had morphed into dicks or pricks and were definitely something to be proud of. As were the hairs that had started to grow around them. We checked those regularly and once again Ethan led the way as his dark hair slowly formed into a little bush that I enjoyed running my fingers through. Mine came more slowly, were much paler and could still be counted individually long after that was impossible with his.

It was after I jerked him off in his bed one night that Ethan rolled over and planted a little kiss on my lips. As soon as he did it he recoiled and a look of fear started to appear on his face.

"I'm sorry, Dale... I dunno what came over me... I'm sorry."

Momentarily I'd been shocked until I realized it was what I'd been wanting to do to him for some time. I put my hand round his neck and pulled him back toward me until our lips touched again. They stayed locked together for a time before I opened mine to let my tongue run along his; they opened and allowed my tongue to enter where it began a slow dance with his. A new stage in our relationship had been reached.

After that kissing became our most enjoyed and most frequent activity. Not just mouth to mouth, but we quickly discovered the joy and pleasure that could be had from kissing almost every part of the others' body – ears, neck, chest, nipples, stomach, even toes. But best of all was the dick! I thought I'd gone to heaven the first time Ethan kissed mine, but that was nothing compared to how I felt when he started to let his tongue roam round it. And as for how I felt when he took it in his mouth and started to move his lips up and down...

Once I'd recovered from that experience it was my turn to return the favor. We'd discovered a new most enjoyable activity! It wasn't long either before we discovered that it was possible for us to pleasure each other in that way at the same time. That, we both agreed, was the best of all.

Slowly as time passed we realized that our relationship had changed. The physical pleasures we gave each other were great, but there was something more and greater between us – we were in love. We hated being apart and when we were text messages flew between us to keep us linked. Because we'd always been such close friends I don't think our parents noticed anything had changed. Several times we discussed telling them. Ethan was sure his parents would accept him being gay. I was less sure of mine. This wasn't because I had ever seen them display any anti gay sentiments, more a feeling that they, especially my mom, would be disappointed and upset because there wouldn't be any grand-kids.

In the end we decided to wait until we were seventeen before we told them. At that point we'd probably be going off to a new college anyway, but if they did object we were of an age where we could leave home. Not that either of us wanted to do that as we really wanted to get a good education rather than go into dead-end jobs just to survive. We also decided that we would not take the final step and have full sex until that time. I suppose it was a sort of symbolic decision because by the time that Carlos and Ramon publicly declared their love for each other, we had done everything that was necessary to make that final act feasible, and hopefully not too painful.

So that was what we'd decided, but now those two had come out in front of the student body. There hadn't been an uproar at the time and as far as I knew the teaching staff had decided to ignore it. Ethan and I had spent most of the next two evenings and nights talking about what had happened and what we should do. Should we carry on as we were, hiding our feelings for each other in the shadows; or should we step out into the light?

Tonight our two families are getting together for dinner. We eventually decided that it was time for us to put them in the picture and reveal our true feelings for each other. I did suggest to Ethan that perhaps we should both pack a bag before dinner, just in case we get thrown out, but he is much more confident about how it will be received. He says both our moms will be delighted to have another official son. I hope he's right...


This story is part of the 2019 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: By Any Other Name". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 8 March to 29 March 2019 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 challenge home page.

The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:

2019 Inspired by a Picture Challenge - By Any Other Name

In The Picture

You may tick as many statements as you wish. Stories my also be discussed in detail on the Literary Merit forum

It grabbed my attention early on
I had to know what happened
I identified with at least one of the cast
Gritty - it had an edge to it
Realistic - it could have happened that way
I found it hard to follow
Good characterisation
I feel better for having read it
It was romantic
It was erotic
Too much explicit sex
It had the right amount of sex, if there was any
Not enough explicit sex
I have read and enjoyed other work by this author
I will seek this author's work out

Current Results

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead