by Rafael Henry
I've had a letter from Uncle. It's hand written in nice blue ink on thick buff coloured notepaper with his address printed at the top…….Broad View etc etc. He writes to me quite often and I love getting a letter from him. As you know, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. He's my saviour really and goodness knows where I would be if he hadn't stepped in when my father left us.
He's invited me to stay at Broad View. I think he's probably about eighty now and very old fashioned, like his house which he refuses to modernise. He's a very clever man and I know he must think I'm very dim in comparison, and not particularly interested in things academic, but that has never got in the way of him loving me. You can tell when someone does. There's something in the way they look at you without words. In his case words are never needed, just the acts of a kind and generous man.
Uncle spends quite a bit of time in London where he has a flat in NW8. When he's up here in Norfolk he always invites me to Broad View, sometimes just for lunch and a drive into the countryside, or in this case, to stay for a couple of nights. Here's his letter.
Uncle had never married, and I had heard rumours amongst other members of the family that he had little interest in women. I never knew quite how to interpret that, and never asked. As far as I was concerned he was Uncle and I was me and that was that.
About six, after tea, I 'phoned his number and got Mrs Cutforth, his housekeeper, and told her we would like to come. She told me that Uncle, who was still in Town, had left a message for me in the event that I could visit. We would be collected from the House at two in the afternoon by Pointer in the Armstrong.
Pointer was bang on time, and held the door open for David and I. The car smelled of old leather and oil, and the faint odour of cigarette smoke on Pointer's black and faded uniform, plus peaked cap. We sat in the back of course, while Pointer drove us down the busy city streets, past Thorpe station and out on the country route to Broad View. David loved every minute of it. We didn't speak, allowing the smooth running of the old motor to sing for us instead as the fields ran by. I glanced at David from time to time and he returned my smile with one of his own. He's put on his best clothes….a nice white 'Sunday' shirt and neatly pressed shorts that came halfway up his thighs, small scar on left knee, as he sat on the leather seat….and perfectly polished black shoes. How will I explain how I came by this immaculate person two years younger than myself…..this dark beauty, and will Uncle know ?
If Uncle had guessed, you would never have known. Mrs Cutforth had put us in separate rooms, but fortunately next to each other. Mine was quite small, but David had one of the big bedrooms which overlooked the garden, and was resplendent and looking very pleased with himself in his old fashioned double bed. Uncle was in his own room on the same floor but at the back of the house. The heavy dark stained doors of our bedrooms opened and closed with alarming creaks.
Over dinner the first evening, David responded perfectly to gentle questioning by Uncle, who I think was warming to David's unassuming brightness. After dinner, we sat in front of a coal fire in the small snug, David enjoying the motion of a Charles the Second rocking chair, chatting about our lives at school, and what we might do when it was all over. I know I want to be an artist. Nothing else really interests me, apart from my swimming….and cricket of course. Uncle is disappointed……..I know he is, because we've had lawyers in the family for generations and I would be next after my father, and Uncle of course. I could never do that. Dear old Uncle is just going to have to live with it I'm afraid. David's different. He and Uncle get into a conversation about Latin which visibly excites Uncle, but not me. I'm so pleased that they get on.
At the end of our stay Pointer delivers us back to school in the old Armstrong, but not before Uncle bids us a fond farewell. He's taken to David, as I hoped and thought he would. A few minutes before we left, and while David was collecting his things together, Uncle had a word.
'Well Jon, I approve of your choice of friends. He's not the only one is he?'
'No Uncle, it's just that he was there on his own. It seemed unkind to leave him at school. He's nice isn't he?'
'Yes Jon, he is.'
I think Uncle had realised how important it was to me that he had enjoyed David's company.
I had texted Bryn each night from Broad View, and then he would phone me straight afterwards. That was our system. I'd talk to him under the covers.
'So, how's it going Jon? Does Uncle approve of David?'
'Oh yes…..two of a kind they are……clever buggers. He likes him.'
'Well that's good isn't it?'
'You don't seem too sure?'
'No, I am sure. We didn't do anything.'
'Oh. What….lack of opportunity?'
'In a way, but it didn't seem right somehow. Not there….not with Uncle there. I don't think we ever really thought about it.'
'So what about you then……all alone in bed? No private thoughts?'
'You're not going to tell me then?'
'I don't need to tell you do I?'
'Yes you do. Were they all about David? You could have snuck in there couldn't you?'
'No, not really. The doors make a massive creaking noise. It was about you. I'm nervous Bryn……about Sunday.'
'I don't know……I just am.'
'So what were you thinking then…….in bed all alone you poor thing?'
'About you of course. About the time we spent together. That's all.'
'Yes. I haven't done anything……not here. I want to though.'
'Can you wait 'til tomorrow?'
'Do you know what hurts me more?'
'No, go on.'
'That you don't trust me.'
We had a bit of a discussion on that one, as you might imagine. It's always going to be an issue when one of you is older, and you're still a boy……barely a teenager.
I read in Uncle's paper yesterday that Cliff Richard is in more trouble by the sound of it. Can you imagine it……..my mother's favourite pop star? Oh dear.
Bryn wanted to know how David got on with Uncle. I said it was all fine, and that Uncle didn't know anything about David and me.
'Where shall I meet you?'
'I'll be there by two in the afternoon. That's the earliest I can get into my room. I don't know which room it is yet, but when I arrive, I'll text you ok? Then come over when you can…..as soon as you can. Promise?'
Pointer dropped us off at the House just before twelve. There were loads of people coming out of the cathedral after their morning service, their coats waving about in the wind and women holding onto their hats and hurrying to the cars parked opposite the school chapel. It had rained all the way back from Broad View. I sat behind Pointer with David tight against me. I managed to get an arm behind his back with my palm gently massaging his back between his blazer and jumper. It's a sign from me to him that I care about how he's feeling, and he responds to my gesture by moving tighter against me. It's his sign to me. We hadn't spoken much that morning, and I had the impression that he was a bit disappointed that nothing had 'happened' while we were at Uncle's place. It's not that I don't want him, I do, but I can't stop thinking about Bryn. I feel so nervous I can't tell you, but I've just got to wait until he texts me. It was five to two before my old Nokia told me I had a message. I looked at the screen. It was from Bryn.
'look 4 mr parsley, u know where he is'
'c u there'
'mr parsley' was a sixteenth century composer, and I knew exactly where to find him. He's pictured on a plaque which is fixed onto one of the huge Norman pillars on the left hand side that hold up the nave in the Cathedral. We'd left Uncle's place in our Sunday best, so I didn't need to do much to get myself ready to meet Bryn.....blazer on, a glance at my rather dull hair arrangement, and to make sure my blue and red tie was straight, and my shirt tucked in properly. I left the empty House via the back door which gives onto the wide pathway that runs alongside the north wall of the Cathedral, then through the massive open wrought iron gates, and then immediately left and into the Close and on to the main entrance in the newly built entry complex. The interior of the building struck warm in contrast to the February breezy chill. Within a second or two I saw him, sitting just in front of Osbert Parsley's plaque, on one of the wooden nave chairs. I didn't want to surprise him, so I walked up the south aisle and crossed the centre of the nave in front of the altar, keeping my eyes on him the whole time. I stopped about twenty metres away from him and stood still……..and waited, arms to my sides.
I watched and waited for him to look up and see me. Moments later he did, smiled and lifted one hand to tell me he had seen me. With a movement of his hand, he gestured me forwards. I sat to his left.
'So is that what I'm in for then? Hundreds of blue blazers in front of me every day…..and hundreds of pretty faces like yours?'
'Maybe………but not so pretty I'm afraid. We're a bit of a motley crew really.'
'Well, that's not what I'm looking at right now. Are you ok?'
'Uhuh…a bit nervous though.'
'Seeing you I suppose.'
Bryn's room was directly over the main entrance to the Hotel. It wasn't the budget room he'd paid for because there had been some sort of mix up. They weren't busy so they had upgraded him to one of their best rooms. I went over to the large window and looked out over Tombland and the statue of Edith Cavell.
'Patriotism is not enough. I have no bitterness towards anyone'.
She said those words just before the Germans shot her as a spy at dawn in Belgium almost one hundred years ago now. I turned my back on the window. Bryn was sitting on the edge of the wide double bed. I imagined that he could hear my heart beating.
'We haven't said 'hello' yet Jon…….not properly.'
Bryn stood up.
'Come on Jon……..come and say hello.'
I walked over to where he stood, arms to my sides, my heart beating audibly.
'Did I ever tell you that you are a beautiful boy?'
'Well you are.'
He took off my blazer, and I turned to watch him hang it over the back of a chair. When he came back, he undid my tie, folded it neatly and put it on the bedside table by the lamp.
I can hardly remember the next five minutes, and then lying with him in his bed. I remember his soft hands on my body……his mouth on mine, and mine on his. I remember his hands in my hair and down my back. I remember his lips on my chest……the fingers making circles on my tummy. I remember the beauty of his naked body, so firm and strong. I remember the hoping……the hoping that it wouldn't end there…..the hoping that he would go on…….go on to find more of me……to reach into me. I remember Bryn enclosing me as I held his beautiful head…….I remember that time when it came, so gentle and loving, so long and strong, almost unbearable as time gradually passed as I faded into his arms once more. Our bodies hot now, and uncovered in the heat of the room. I can see him now as I have never seen him before. I climb on him to get more of his face. My knees wide apart and across his chest.
'Darling, no! Don't do that………please Jon…….'
I remember Jem and how it felt then……the last time we had together……..when he took me to a place of pleasure for the first time. Bryn will be different. Bryn is older. Bryn is full grown. Bryn is full of his love which he will give to me in a sudden and exultant and perhaps painful intrusion, but I must have his loving now. Or so I thought.
It wasn't to be that cold afternoon in our hot bedroom, but if I had been able, it would have been.
He tried to defend himself but he had no answer to my tickling assaults……the side of his chest , under his arms, as I lay on him. Poor defenceless Bryn, too weak from laughing now to stop me.
I closed my hand around him, his hand over mine to prevent any movement, and held him hard. I whispered into his ear…….
'Resistance is futile Bryn.'
'Umm, yes it is.'
I'm sitting on his chest and he can see my back. He can't stop me. I can feel his hands holding my sides as I begin. I'm on my knees now and I can feel his breath on my skin. He's touching me now where Jem has gone, so soft and wet. I can wet him now as I move his skin. I hold my tongue against the place where the secreted beads of clearness appear. His mouth has gone…..he has gone……as I drive on, as his head lies sideways on the pillow….
'Darling Jon, darling Jon……'
He told me it was going to happen, as I sat more upright now, my hands around his hips and I'm ready to accept him onto my body. Suddenly it hits.
It must have been a good five minutes before he spoke.
'Are you shocked Jon? I'm really sorry.'
'Not in the way you think Bryn….at least I don't think so.'
I'm sure he was more shocked than I was, and I'm sure he never intended to go that far with me, and certainly, in the cold light of day, would never have let me do what I did. Was I shocked? Well, yes I was. I was shocked by the size of him to start with. He really did fill my mouth. No, not with that…….with his sheer physical presence. I don't think I got more than one third of the way down him. He's uncircumcised but the skinny bit slid straight down and right out of the way so the head part was wonderfully available. I'm well aware of his sensitive parts but I doubt if I was that skilled at it but I knew from the outset that it would work, and boy, did it work! Afterwards, I lay on my back next to him with it all warm over my tummy and around my bits where it had dribbled down. I kept my hand not so much on it, but in it. At one point I looked at the palm of my hand. It was covered. I think that's what shocked me….how much there was. I finished him quite slowly with my fingers as I felt his hands grip my hips hard. Our time was fast approaching. I say our time because that's what it was.
He said he needed to get me sorted out quickly, and by 'sorted out' I mean cleaned up. I think it's psychological or something…..the need to get back to normality as soon as possible in the 'down time' just afterwards? All I could think about was what I had just done to him, but also the other thing……the probability that he never intended it to happen at all. But it had happened.
We got under the sheet and I worked my way into his arms. He began to cry. I knew what he was thinking. He's just had sex with a boy of fourteen, and he's an adult, but I did my best to reassure him, which to a person like him was not easy. I told him that I loved him come what may, and that I trusted him, and he could trust me completely, and what had happened was our business and always would be until, and beyond, the end of time. He gave me one of his special smiles and kissed my forehead.
'It doesn't change anything I'm afraid Jon. I'm afraid.'
'No Bryn, please!'
He wanted to get me dressed. He left my pants and trousers until last needless to say, by which time I was an embarrassment to myself. I looked at him, straight in the eyes…..
'I can't go back like this Bryn can I?'
I sat back on the bed with my arms supporting my weight as I leant back. Bryn sat beside me and attended to my need. I watched his fingers work their magic on me, my white brief underwear hooked under my testicles, and my trousers open around my hips. I like it this way as much as any other because of its immediacy……the spontaneity. I watched as Bryn did me……..no fist because frankly I'm not big enough, but with his fingers. I could see he was enjoying it. To me it's still a classic way to come, and come I did, but with no big drama……no grunting and groaning or crying out, but just so very nicely by the hand of my lover. Almost as a premonition seconds after the glorious spasms of pleasure had finished, I wondered…..was this just the beginning……..or the end?
Monday morning……the Interview.
I saw Bryn in the playground at break the next morning, with what looked like four interviewees being shown around the place. I saw him again at lunch but I don't think he saw me, at least I hope not. He texted about four thirty asking if it was ok to phone. I told him it was, but I was walking on the field with David. I asked him how the interview went.
'Yeah, not bad. I think I'm in with a chance……if I want it.'
'If I want it'…..four words that told me everything.
'They asked me if I would accept the job if it was offered to me. I said I probably would, but it would depend on my other interviews.'
'But you haven't got any others have you?'
'No, but they don't know that.'
'Well then. Do you think they will offer it to you?'
'I've no idea. It went quite well though, although the Head of Department kept looking at me weirdly.'
'Weirdly? What's that supposed to mean?'
'No idea…..just like he was thinking something about me, that's all. Anyway I'm leaving now. I can't afford another night here. I suppose it's all the tension. The interview lasted most of the day and I'm tired Jon, and a bit down if I'm honest.'
'Is it because of me Bryn? You know…..what happened.'
'Partly maybe. It wasn't your fault Jon. Sorry, I've got to go.'
David was kind to me that night. I've had all the trouble over Gerald, and now Bryn. What made it worse was all the babble of the other boys back from their bloody half term holiday and full of all the things that they'd done, and there's me all miserable. David would never know why of course, but he's like that. He would never want to pry into my private thoughts and feelings.
We wandered over to very same wall behind the Junior School where Gerald and I had our last conversation. I'm feeling desolate and abandoned. There seems no point in trying to hide how I feel and as I cry my heart out, he's holding me around my shoulders as I shudder my way through it all.
Later that evening, I decided that it was all an exercise in getting things out of proportion, and with David's help I'm feeling better. He sounded like my mother……….'I think it's your age Jon', laughing at me. He's so sweet, and so very sensitive to this pathetic heap of boyhood…..me.
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