Encounters

by Rafael Henry

Elly

The beach cabin.

Elly, short for Elliot, is a boy aged 12. Alex, not short for Alexander, is another boy aged 12. They met on a beach in Norfolk on August 3rd 1960.

Alex is what some English people call 'posh'. He speaks 'nicely', is well nourished avoiding what nowadays we call 'junk food', and has just completed his first year at a school not that far away, but far enough away to justify living there with sixty others amongst five hundred and fifty more who attend on a daily basis. Alex is about average height for his age, and slightly taller than Elly. Now, Elly is not posh. He lives in Wells Town and trots off every day to the local 'Secondary Modern' school which caters for the boys and girls who 'failed' their Eleven Plus Examination……an academic test taken by a large percentage of all children in their last year of Primary education to see if they are suited to a more academically challenging programme of study from the age of eleven or twelve to possibly as old as eighteen.

When I say Elly is not posh, that doesn't mean he isn't a thoroughly agreeable individual, and the same can be said of Alex. If you put the boys together, they make a handsome couple, in every respect. If anything, Elly is the less outgoing of the two, although Alex has a chunk of that English 'reserve' about him……a touch of that 'speak when you are spoken to' business. Elly, with that distinctive regional accent that's quite different to anything else you will hear in the British Isles, makes his sentences 'go up' at the end, rather like the Aussies do. Another nice contrast between the two boys is the colour of their hair….. Alex's being a very fetching nutty blond colour………almost a deep gold, and Elly's, a lovely deep chestnut brown. Bodily, Elly is the slightly heavier build but both sport flat tummies and no superfluous fat. Alex is the swimmer, and Elly the football fanatic.

In terms of their physically maturity, the two boys are at a similar stage. Their treble voices are still intact, just. Their legs sport some downy hair, as do their forearms and top lips, but insofar as I know at this moment, none elsewhere in those places which are not normally visible. It would be fair to say that Alex's emotional development has been forced, rather, by his educational experience at his City Independent school.

As some of the readers of this piece will know, leaving home aged eleven or sometimes much younger, for long periods without seeing your family, makes you grow up in some ways by necessity a little earlier than a boy like Elly, safe, on a daily basis, in the bosom of his family. So voice change, or whatever you want to call it, beckons in the not too distant future, which leaves Alex in an interesting condition, not lost on one or two of the older boys at school. Thoughts of a sexual nature are never far from both boys' consciousness, and Alex had found friends at school who were willing the share a little bodily intimacy from time to time, which was nothing unusual for eleven-year olds sharing a room. Then a year later, Sam took an interest in him. Two years older than Alex, and more worldly, Sam had introduced the younger boy to more advanced pleasures of the flesh than he had enjoyed, hitherto, with a pre-pubescent room-mate. With Sam, Alex had simply lapped it all up, so to speak.

No such opportunities existed for Elly. He had begun to have 'feelings' himself, albeit by himself, but without the means to express them with another human being. There were boys at school, and others he had met around the town who had attracted his attention and were of interest, but he lacked an insight into himself to fully understand his desires. Elly knows he's at the beginning of something new in his life, just as his mother has explained to him, rather badly. He feels he's ready, but for what….exactly?

07.45 am, August 3rd 1982.

It's Elly's 'must-go-to' place, and he goes there most days in the summer holidays, whatever the weather. Of course, it's Wells beach. For those who have never been, it's a beautiful place……..a mile long stretch of sand punctuated by several islands of raised sand dunes, ideal for kite flying when there's a breeze, which is almost all the time, rising to a full-on North Sea gale. At the back of the beach is a deep line of pine trees offering protection to the reclaimed landward side fields, a favourite grazing place for the thousands of migrating geese that visit the Norfolk coast.

Elly has parked his bike against one of the pines that overlook the beach that the retreating tide has left two shades darker than the untouched warm, dry sand upon which sits the colourful single row of beach cabins. There must be a hundred of them, painted in many colours, with steps up to open verandas, pitched roofs overhanging shiplap sides.

The call of the geese. He looks up at the familiar sight of birds in flight, arranged magically in echelon, sometimes changing the leader, wings beating in unison, with sound. There must be five hundred at least. Slowly the shadow of the gathered mass passes over the darkened sand, and is gone. Elly watches until they out of sight, then looks seaward. There's a figure on one of the sand-duned islands, some two hundred yards away. The figure disappears, before appearing again a few seconds later. He stops to pick something up, examines it for a few seconds before discarding it. He walks on. There are two distant dog walkers, but apart from them, there's no one else on the beach because it's just eight in the morning. Too early for other visitors and locals with their children.

Alex has seen the boy…….and he's sure it is a boy. Pretend you haven't seen him Alex.

Alex looks again from a position behind the dune where Elly won't see him. Yes, it is a boy. Even from this distance he can see him quite clearly…….white shorts and a striped tee shirt tucked in. Early morning clouds cast their shadows as he emerges from his hiding place. Without thinking, Alex makes his way to the top of the sand island. He feels the breeze in his hair. Don't look now Alex, because the boy has moved closer.

Most of Elly's friends are away. Nothing fancy….no exotic locations because Wells is not a well-to-do place. His father goes fishing from the quay in a thirty footer painted red and white, Perkins marine diesel powered. His mother goes out cleaning for better off folk in the town. His sister is at the shop in the High Street six days a week, nine 'till five thirty. Elly walks on the beach most of the time, because it's free, healthy, and what he wants to do……just walk and think and wonder about things that have for a while now been on his mind. He sees the figure that stands like a sentinel atop the heavy sand bank edged with the grey green spiky marram grass that miraculously survives in sand, living on salt water. The boy he sees is dressed like him…….for the warm outdoors, waiting for visitors to arrive……perhaps to infiltrate a group that will accept him…….or just to wander the day through. Elly turns away and walks slowly towards the row of painted huts, built over long wooden posts to guard against exceptionally high tides. A wave of disappointment floods Alex's mind……mild panic even. No, don't go! Then the boy stops and turns, as if he knows Alex. Alex is instinctively friendly, instinctively gestural. Carpe diem, Alex.

Elly sees the raised hand, thinks for a few moments, and then begins to walk towards it. Alex waits. Both boys feel a fluttering in their tummies.

08.10.

The two boys sit with their backs against a solid mound of marram, a few feet apart, looking back towards the beach cabins on stilts. When they met, they immediately exchanged names, as boys do. Then their inability to start any kind of meaningful conversation embarrasses them both. There's a reason. Finally Alex manages something.

'Are you a local Elliot? He asks, keeping his eyes firmly on the boy next to him, who was still looking towards the shoreline.

'Yes.' Is Elly's brief answer, looking momentarily at Alex. 'Are you?'

'No….well kind of……….not in Wells. We don't live actually in Wells. A bit outside, but near enough to bike here.'

'Where's your bike Alex?'

'Behind that over there.'

Alex gestures towards the long row of painted huts.

'What…….one of those huts?' he asks, surprised. In his mind, those wooden constructions are just for the wealthy…….things you know you will never enjoy.

'Yes. That one with the blue and white stripes…….just to right of the steps up the dunes behind.

Alex was aware of the ensuing silence. He needs to alter the focus of the conversation. Well Elly did ask.

'Do you swim Elly?'

'Yeah, of course I do!' he answers quickly, as if he needed to keep his end up.

'I like running too.'

'Are you good at it Elly?' Alex asks, wanting to give the boy sitting next to him, playing with a spike of marram, a chance to brag a little.

'Quite good.'

Elly has the legs for it.


They were sweating when they got back. The morning August sun was higher now, and the boys' had been quite competitive. Elly felt good because he had made Alex work hard to keep up with him. He knew he had the edge on him. Oddly enough, that pleased Alex. A compliment was appropriate.

'Your good Elly…….way better then me.'

Elly looked down and smiled, still breathing heavily.

'So are you Alex.'

The ice was nicely broken. Both boys are excited because they are on the very edge of becoming friends, and both of them want to be.

'Do you fancy a swim Elly?'

Elly thought for a moment. He wasn't prepared to get wet……no kit.

'There's spare stuff in the hut? I've got the key.'

'What stuff? Asks Elly.

'I don't know……swimming kit. You can borrow mine.'

'What about you?'

'I'll find something. Don't you want to?'

Well, of course he does want to. Elly has just been given an invitation to one of the most desirable places on earth as far as he is concerned. It's a place he thought he would never go…….not in a million years. The boy looks back at Alex who hasn't taken his eyes off him.

'Ok then.'

There are four padlocks to undo, then a steel bar drops down and the door is unlocked with a long grey key, and they are inside. The light from the open door is the only light. Alex hooks back the door.

'Do you like it?' asks the expectant Alex.

'Yeah! It's fantastic.'

And so it is, lucky people.

'My grandfather bought it ages ago……like fifty years ago. It's been rebuilt twice since then.

Elly looks around. He sees a sink next to a portable cooker, and cupboards underneath, shelves with shells on and a couple of wooden model boats, some bunting hanging from corner to corner, various spades, bats and balls and a bucket for visiting children to be amused with……and a thick line of string which did for a clothes line with things pegged on to it…….boys things…….Alex's things…….spare things to replace wet items as and when. Along one wall was a long wooden box with what looked like two mattresses on it.

'That folds down so you can lie on it.' explained Alex.

'Does it?'

'Yes, like this.'

Alex showed Elly how it works. The lid folds down to form a narrow[ish] double bed. Then he put it back up again. Elly looked disappointed. He thought how lovely it would be if he could lie on it. Alex had put the bed back into settee mode just as his face had flushed.

'You can wear those?' Alex says, pointing at the line with swimming trunks pegged on, long since dried. Elly looks at the navy blue briefs.

'Thanks. What about you?

'I'll go in like this.'

With the door ajar, no one can see inside the hut, besides there's no one out there yet….too early. Alex slips off his shorts, and then his underpants which he drapes over the back of a folding chair. Alex thinks nothing of being seen naked by another boy…..or anyone come to that. Elly looks at the nude figure for as long as he dares, before looking away, slightly embarrassed……a little warm in the face, and in his mind, excited. Still naked, Alex stretches up to unpeg the navy trunks. Elly looks again. He thinks the back view is as good as the front……almost. Alex holds the small item of clothing up for Elly's inspection.

'Do you want to try these?'


It was a relatively short time when both boys were naked together, but they were significant moments as they pretended not to examine each other visually, but all that time one being very aware of the other. Alex liked what he saw, just as Elly was interested in Alex differentness. He had never seen one like that…….sans peau. He had been warned not to force his back.

The boys had run into the water, tide about half way up. They had run knee deep through the water and played 'catch' for a while, then just relaxed on their backs in just a few inches of water enjoying the warm sun on their bodies. At one point earlier, Alex had almost lost his shorts as Elly jumped on him. As Alex held onto his new friend, he didn't want to let go, any more than Elly wanted to be released from such a firm grip on his back. It was at that exact moment that both boys began to imagine the possibilities that this day might offer.

'Have you had enough Elly?'

'Enough of what?

'Enough of the water!'

'Oh. Why? Do you want to do something else…….like play in the hut for a while?'

'Yes…..if you do? Do you?'

Both boys smile. It is indeed time.

'Race you back?'

'Yeah!'


Elly beat Alex by a good ten yards. They'd left the hut closed up but unlocked. Alex was first in, closed the door and went over to the side window, slid the bolts across, and opened it a little, allowing as much light in as was necessary to see each other clearly. Alex took off the white shorts he had worn to bathe in, and pegged them on the makeshift clothes line. Then he sat down, naked, on the box with the long foam cushion on it which amounted to a single bed. He looks at Elly.

'Are you scared then?'

'No.'

Elly slips off the borrowed swimwear. Alex takes it from him and pegs the trunks on the line next to his shorts. The two boys face each other just inches apart.

'Elly?'

'What Alex?'

'Your hair's wet.'

'Is it?' answers Elly.

They both laugh. There was a nervous tension in his response.

'Can I dry it for you?'

Elly nods his head smiling. Alex needs to know something.

'Do you like me Elly?'

Elly nods again.

'How much?'

'Lots.' Is Elly's immediate reply

'Really?'

'Yeah. Me?'

'Yes….loads.'

I think the boys needed some mutual affirmation before either felt it appropriate to go on and do what they both wanted with each other. Elly waits, whilst Alex finds the courage to ask….

'Then can I put my arm around you?'

Alex puts both arms around his new friend's neck. Elly naturally draws closer to Alex's body. It's the beginning of things for both boys. Elly responds to Alex's gesture by holding Alex around his middle, drawing him up against him. It's Elly's, perhaps not so subtle way of letting Alex know he's aroused by his friend's touch, and his body. The idea of a sexual encounter with another boy both frightens and excited him. It has all come about so quickly.

Alex resists the overwhelming temptation to kiss Elly. He knows he could be instantly rejected by such an overt attempt to seduce him.

There are palms on Alex's bottom. They have slid down his back and have come to rest on both of the boy's buttocks. Alex can smell the warm of Elly's body, the skin mottled with little rivulets of dried salt. He presses his mouth against Elly's neck. He can taste the salt. Both boys' breathing has quickened. With one hand firmly controlling Elly's back to prevent any possibility of escape, he uses the other to provide a stimulus that all boys enjoy, be it in the waking bed or elsewhere. The bulbous little skin clad object is different now. He remembers how his filled the mouth of his friend that morning, naked save for his opened dressing gown, standing in front of the wooden bench.

Elly quickly responds by taking Alex into the palm of his hand, testing the mobility of the egg shaped forms. The sheer pleasure it gives Alex makes him bite Elly's neck….not hard……nothing to leave a mark. Then Elly turns his head towards Alex, their short breaths mingling. The grip they have on each hardens onto compressed and engorged shafts. It's time.


There was room for both boys, just, on the makeshift bed that configured this way is intended as a seat. They had managed things reasonably well despite Elly's 'wrong hand' which held things up for Alex. No such problem for Elly. In Alex's expert, and let's face it, more experienced hand, he was there in short order. At the very last, Elly had let Alex go, so both boys watched just as his orgasm mounted, and then suddenly spasmed and released. There hadn't been much to see, as Elly's head fell back and sideways away from Alex's eyes. Alex kept looking, intent on a thorough visual examination of the boy's still erect penis, noting how different it was to his own. He thought it a wondrous thing….shorter and thicker, shrouded by the almost transparent sheath of skin, now retracted, and bearing it's fruit of one large drop of clear viscous liquid. Conscious that he had taken his pleasure first, Elly quickly brought Alex to fruition onto his tummy amid several sharp exhalations. Elly lies back, relieved not to have disappointed his friend at the first attempt. Immediately afterwards, Alex surprised himself by allowing himself to boil over with affectionate feelings for Elly. As for Elly, how strange it was to be held like this by another boy……and how wonderful it all felt. There was a strange and compelling warmth that both boys felt for each other. There was none of the usual guilt post self-induced orgasm………more a sense of joy that they wanted so much to know more about each other.


The walk took them to very far end of the beach to the west, long after the last hut became just a dot behind them, and the dark blue green pines of Holkham looming in front of them. They had talked about many things in the hour since they had lain together on the makeshift bed…….family, school, their different backgrounds, and about things they hoped for……..and sex of course. Alex had been forthcoming on that subject, which had enthralled Elly. By the time they were in sight of the cabin again, both boys had expectations born out of their observations of each other. Was their meeting just chance this morning, or was their some instant 'chemistry' involved.

'I saw you wave your hand Alex. I thought it might be someone I knew.'

'Is that true Elly? Are you sure?'

'No, not really. You looked nice……interesting.'

'How, exactly?'

'I don't know……all of you I suppose.'

The boys looked around the almost deserted beach. Two dog walkers were quite a distance away now. They stop to face each other, as they realise their conversation has become more focussed.

'Can I tell you what I like most about you Elly?'

The gap between them has closed now. Elly feels two palms slide between his arms and his body and come to rest on his bottom.

'That?' enquires Elly.

'Yes,that…..those things.' Responds Alex.

'Not my other bits then?'

'They're nice too, but these are very special. What about me Elly?'

'The bit at the front.'

'My face?' asks Alex

'Yes……and other stuff.'

'Ah, that's a plus then?

'Yes…….to my minus.'

'That's very arithmetical Elly.'

'Or magnetic. Are we like magnets then?

'Opposite poles attract?'


I can't tell you how excited we were to have met each other, and by now you may well have guessed who Alex is? Yes, it's me. We were like two magnets drawn by chance to each other, the coming together as magnets do with a clunk, and difficult to separate. Our relationship became a physical one almost immediately, with the 'getting to know each other better' stuff having to go on hold for a while, following some wonderful fondling of our bits, which inevitably led to the spilling of our immature seed….slightly more in my case than Elly's. It was the first time Elly had seen a boy ejaculate. He spent a minute or two playing with it……gathering a sample on the tip of a finger and working it between finger tip and thumb.

'What do you think Elly? Weird isn't it?'

'No, not weird. I like it.'

It's an exciting time for a boy…..all those changes, and not without its angst from time to time, but then that's all part of it, is it not?

We saw each other on the beach and liked what we saw. We swam and played games, touched each other's bodies as we played, and realised that boyish sex was ours for the taking.

We saw each other many times in the following four weeks of the summer holiday that Elly had left. I had a little more, but in my last week I saw nothing of him.

The pattern was the same each day. I would unlock the cabin no later than nine in the morning……..and wait for Elly to arrive on his bike. By this time we had got to know each other very well, quite apart from the games we played, that no doubt our respective parents would not have approved of. I made a note in the little book I wrote notes in. It was August 14th. I still have that book. I quote a fragment from it………..

Tues 14th. Elly was late this morning and had been crying about something. He wouldn't tell me what it was about, but it worried me. I know something is wrong but he still won't say. Then I told him something. Something really private just between us.

It was such an intense morning, almost all of it spent in the hut together. We always spent the first hour or so lying on the bench affair that let down into the makeshift narrow double bed doing what most boys had already done in their beds shortly after waking, and before their mothers told them to get up. After the first day, we had agreed to postpone that pleasure of the flesh until we were together at the 'fuck hut' as my father referred to it one morning at home. My mother and father were talking in their bedroom over tea. I overheard that part of the conversation. I once worked out dates and so on, and realised that I was probably conceived in the 'fuck hut'. I know they did it in there. To my intense embarrassment I saw them at it one afternoon. I had gone off to play on the sands, but had forgotten my bucket which I needed to collect a local delicacy, samphire. By the time I got back to the hut, dad was on my mother's back and going for it big time, with his bottom going up and down. By the age of eleven, I knew where a penis had to go in a woman's body to make a baby. It appeared that dad's willy was in something else. I already had an idea that this kind of activity was possible. Boys at school had made jokes about it……even making odd comments to me directly…….rude things about bottoms, and sometimes mine in particular.

Of course what we did those mornings is of little interest to anyone else, so I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, over the four weeks Elly and I spent together, we managed to experiment sexually this way and that way, and upside down and backwards.

Love is a funny thing. You want to shout about it. We were not averse to walk the beach with our arms over each other's shoulders, or a hand on a bottom. I remember kissing my beautiful friend smack on the lips and not worried in the slightest that we might be observed. I was proud, intensely proud of Elly, and everything that he was. To me he was perfect….gentle and kind.

I always asked Elly to wear the things he wore when we first met, as would I, mostly. I would walk behind him just for the sheer joy of watching his buttocks move, clad in white cotton, and the very necessary securing underpants visible underneath. It was the fashion then…….everything had to be close fitting and as revealing as possible, and consequently boys underwear became lighter, briefer, and to me, far more alluring. Thank goodness, privacy was just a short walk away, whenever it was needed. Our needs were met within minutes of Elly's arrival at the hut, always by nine in the morning. There were at least two more 'rest' periods in the day.

Weekends on Wells beach tended to be busier than the weekdays when Elly and I met at the hut. My parents would be in attendance only on weekends. They knew people who had adjacent huts, some of whom I knew used their cabins at other times during the week. They would have seen the two boys together, playing or just strolling on the sands……and no doubt wondered exactly what the son of the owners of the hut next door was up to. Sooner or later, someone was going to say something…..and they did.

'Darling.'

'What Mum?'

'We were thinking that perhaps you spend too long by yourself at the hut.'

Of course alarm bells sounded in my head. I had to decide quickly whether to go on the defensive, or say nothing. I said nothing.

'You're only twelve Alex. You could meet all sorts down there. Have you met anyone Alex?'

There was a brief pause….

'Yes……and don't worry, it's not a man.'

'Well, what is it Alex?'

'Has anyone said anything Mum?'

'No…….not exactly.'

'I get it……they have haven't they. It's just another boy Mum. He's my age. He comes most weekdays.'

As soon as I said that, I felt my face warm dramatically. Inwardly I was laughing. I should have said every day. Words eh?

'And how long has this been going on…..with this boy?'

'What do you mean, going on? He's nice. We're friends. We just hang out together.'

'And have you shown him the cabin?'

'Yes Mum.'

'Is there anything else Alex…….anything you want to talk about? How long do spend with him in the cabin Alex?'

I felt like saying, long enough.

'Not that long, not really. We can talk about stuff in there. It's private.'

'So it's private is it?'

'Yes.'

That would be enough for most mothers……enough to suggest that their son was in some sort of emotional entanglement with someone of his own sex, and which almost certainly involved some sexual activity between them. At least it was someone his own age……this time. But next time……..when this one is over, what next?

The question that my mother had on her mind no doubt, but didn't ask it, was what were we up to? That I wasn't about to tell her.

I could have told her. Perhaps that might have been better to have done so. I could have told her all about Elly….the object of all the love I had in me, and how I was shocked at the intensity of my feelings for him, and my irresistible urge to physically commune with his body. I literally wanted to be in it, and joined with him. I think the most wonderful thing about it was how our loving, if that's the right word, was an expression of our affection for each other, which as the books say, is how it should be.

One morning Elly asked me if what we were doing was wrong. We talked about it for at least an hour. He obviously had one or two doubts, but I explained how I saw things. The physical stuff is at best an expression of love for each other. It's as simple as that. In the end he was satisfied, and what we did together after that became more advanced, more powerful, and ever more meaningful. We became joined in several ways.

If she knew, I don't know what my mother, or father for that matter, would have thought about it, apart from realising that they probably had a gay son. Perhaps it would precipitate a discussion, but I knew, sooner or later, that such a discussion would be inevitable. The question was, how would they take it?

I knew I wouldn't see Elly once his term had started. Perhaps, deep down inside us, we knew that it was a fleeting experience, and was such a precious thing that would just fly away like a bird into the clouds and become a treasured memory.

Looking back, I'm sure that it was right. Some things are too wonderful…too powerful, that we can't handle them for too long, and are best left suddenly and forever, but never ever forgotten.

One night, just before Christmas, I told my mother what had happened on and near those golden sands. I'd had a tricky term at school, work wise and socially, and was in an 'angry young man' mood with my parents. I'd sneaked a can of beer from the cupboard which had made me more outspoken than usual. Quite out of the blue, my mother had made a veiled reference to my friendship with Elly……..something to do with Elly sounding like a girl's name, and a pity it was a boy and not actually a girl. It made me extremely cross. The whole thing had obviously been preying on her mind. I rather turned on her……..

'So what's wrong with that then? I said, angrily.

'It's just a little odd don't you think? A boy using a girl's name?'

'No. Anyway, it's my business. He was……..'

I didn't finish my sentence, but my mother wasn't finished……..not by a long chalk.

'He was…….what?'

'He was…….just nice. He liked me. I liked him. We liked being together.'

'In the hut…..together?'

'Yes, in the hut.'

'Where no one could see you.'

'Precisely.'

'So I had better not ask you what happened?'

'No. You might be shocked.'


At least I had got it over with. My parents knew now…….what I was likely to be. Later, my father had what he called a 'serious talk' with me, outlining, as he saw it, the dangers inherent in 'those kind of relationships'. Fair enough, they were worried. He also asked me if I had any friendships at school 'of that type'. I didn't use the word 'admitted', opting instead for a simple 'yes'. Then he asked me if it all started on Wells beach in the summer.

I thought for a few moments about how to answer that question, and sounds and feelings and memories of my beautiful friend Elly flooded my mind.

I found I just couldn't speak. Suddenly I was overwhelmed and helpless. The weight upon me was intolerable. Then a very different kind of love enclosed me.

The End.

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