by Rafael Henry
As I lie in bed at home at 35 West Hill, Highgate, I realise that my life is in danger of getting over complicated.
I thought I had a better future with Charlie, but he's turned turtle now, preferring to be all laddish with his footballing mate. That's ok, because we'll always be friends, at least I hope so. They talk about girls now, trying to impress their mothers no doubt, not to mention their proud fathers who are mightily relieved that son is showing signs of not being gay. You can just imagine the conversation their parents might have in bed over the morning cup of tea.
'Do you think Charlie's taking an interest in girls now darling?'
'You know darling, I think you might be right.'
I can just imagine it, can't you?
Proud father takes another sip of his tea. God's in his heaven and all's right with the world.
No such conversation in my house. The subject of girls has never been raised by my parents, or me come to that, not that I dislike girls, or find them unattractive. If I'm honest about it, they don't really do it for me, at least not yet. You don't get to my age and miss out on playground talk, so I know what fucking is. I've seen a couple of girls on the beach who I could have happily slip my four inches into. Having said that, there were a number of the other sex too who would have been candidates, but suffice it to say, I have yet to fuck anything.
Talking of which, Robbie does it for me. Sorry, I'll rephrase that. Robbie does it for me, but he doesn't, if you see what I mean? I know he'd like me to do it for him. I would too but I'm not confident when it comes to it.
I'm thinking, while I lie here in my warm bed, about the ballet class yesterday. I'm thinking about what the boys wear for ballet. I'm thinking about that blond headed boy deftly slipping off his 'normal' pants and putting on the little knickers they wear so nothing shows through their tights. The boys, so Robbie told me, wear the same little pants as the girls, before the boys graduate to a dance belt. Marco's belt were like pants too with something at the back. Otto's were different. Don't worry, I had a good look. At the front the seam divided his balls right down the middle, one either side, so he looked like a girl whose swimming costume is too tight round her willy. Exactly like that…..like two large eggs either side of the uncomfortable looking indentation. He saw me looking in wonderment at his nethers.
'Would you like to see one Tom? I can see you're interested.'
He pulled down the front of his tights and showed me.
'You see? It's no mystery Tom. It's just practical…..it's a necessary thing.'
I could see that.
I couldn't make up my mind between the blond boy in the knickers….Robbie's lovely little sexy body naked, or Blue Eyes showing me everything he had, front and back. I opted for Blue Eyes, and I'll tell you why in a moment.
The image of his face…the eyes and his mouth….and then the gradual revelation of his body worked very nicely. I'm not into it on a regular basis, but I really felt like it this morning. I'd planned my finale as he holds his penis towards me. He's standing and I'm sitting on the bench. All the others boys are watching us and holding their little willies in anticipation of what Blue Eyes was going to inflict on me. He's been looking at me all the time and I've been studying him. His penis is good and hard as he withdraws his foreskin back over the swollen glans. He begins to masturbate inches from my face. His breathing quickens and I'm ready and waiting to accept the splashes of his semen. The boy with the long blond hair strokes my back……
That was the plan, but it all ended some way before that.
Of course one is always interested in the results of our labours. I look down onto my tummy to have a look at what mother nature has provided for me. The result doesn't accurately reflect the experience, but it's a considerable improvement on six months ago when the result could be summed up in one Latin word….nihil.
Yes, this particular fantasy did focus on beautiful Blue Eyes, and it all worked a treat, as I said. The reason I had selected him from a very strong field, was interesting, at least to me. I have his phone number . Otto had written it down at Marco's insistence, and given it to me at the end of our brief chat in the hall. It was a London code as I would have expected. I put the little scrap of paper in my pocket as Marco walked off to get changed with the other boys, which was where I wanted to be as it happened, but Otto had more to say.
'Marco likes you Tom. Is that a surprise?'
'Err, yes……no……I mean, I don't know. Should it be?'
'No. Come on Tom, have a think about it will you?'
'Give him a call. He will show you how to do the exercises safely…..how to do things properly. He's very young but he has experience. He could teach you. Why not let him teach you useful things Tom? I'm sure Robbie would want you to don't you think? You like him do you not?'
'Yes. Yes, I think so. Yes he's nice.'
'Well then, give him a call. You can arrange to meet at his house maybe. Where do you live Tom?'
I told him I lived up Highgate Hill.
'So that's easy then. He's almost your neighbour.'
Marco lives with his mother on the edge of Hampstead Heath, two doors down from where George Orwell lived apparently. That's about a fifteen minute walk from here, and very close to my Catholic Grammar School….literally five minutes away.
I phoned Marco last night. Our sleepovers are a Fridays only thing at Charlie and Robbie's, and then fortnightly at the most, so I'm in my own bed and dozing after a rather nice five minutes half an hour ago. Marco goes to an independent school in Highgate ironically, and rather a posh one at that. If we swapped house, it would reduce our travelling time to and fro school to about zero.
I have arranged to go round to his, after school tomorrow. Every time I think about it, my stomach turns upside down. Marco is going to show me how to do all the ballet exercises properly, and all the other stuff like the kit you need. He's about my size, referring to his complete figure, not individual features, so he said everything should fit nicely.
I keep thinking about Robbie, and I feel guilty. Firstly, I've recently had a extremely vivid pictorial cum and he wasn't in the picture, and that may well have upset him had he known. Secondly, I'm going to be putty in Marco's hands, hopefully, and Robbie is not going to be there, and neither will he know about it either.
I can deal with my guilt, and if I'm right in what I suspect, Robbie will be the ultimate beneficiary. That's plan A.
I turned down Thoresby Avenue. About a hundred yards down the road I saw a boy sitting on the wall with a school bag at his feet. He was looking in my direction. I thought at first it was Marco. It wasn't. It was the long haired blond boy I had seen at Robbie's class two days earlier. I recognized his uniform. It was the school in Highgate about five minutes walk from my house, and the same one that Marco went to. As I neared the seated figure, I recognized his smile. He raised his hand, but didn't stand up. I sat next to him on the wall.
'I thought you were Marco.'
'He's not coming. He's had to stay at school. He let me come to meet you instead. Is that ok?'
' Let you come?'
'Yes. Are you disappointed I'm not Marco?'
'Do you want to walk for a bit? We can leave our stuff here. I've got a key.'
He opened the front door of the house with the Yale key with a piece of yellow string attached to it. We put our bags just inside the door.
From there, it's a very short walk to the Heath. You can use the paths and then cut across the grass up to Parliament Hill. The benches were in use so we walked away from them and lay on the grass to admire the view of London. It's an amazing view, with all the big buildings below you in the haze. You can see right over into Kent from there. Two boys were trying to launch their kites, but not having much luck.
'They need someone to hold them up for them. Shall we help them Tom?'
That's what it needed…….someone to hold the kites as high as possible so that the breeze caught them, and then up they go. The two boys were pleased. We sat back on the grass and watched as the coloured objects darted this way and that under the precarious control of the boys. I broke off a seed stalk of dry grass. I still didn't know his name. It was Peter.
'So how did you know my name Peter?'
'Robbie told me. I've known him for years…ever since we started ballet. He's way better at it than I am. He could be really good.'
'So what's stopping him then?'
'He doesn't think he's that good….and his parents aren't rich are they?'
'No they're not. Does it cost tons of money then?'
'If you want to go to a specialist school it does….thousands every year.'
'Like what school Peter?'
'Like the Royal Ballet. Like that!'
'Oh. A bit like Billy Elliot then?'
'Robbie's better than he was.'
'He was good though, wasn't he.'
'Yeah. Did you see it?
'Did you cry when he got accepted by the school?'
'Yeah, I think so.'
'I did too.'
We lay in the grass looking at the view while peter told me about himself, and I told him about myself. The two boys had packed up their kites and gone. There were long silences between things he had to say and things I wanted to say. We had got to a point when neither of us needed to say much. We were comfortable with each other. Moments later, Peter had a question.
'I know you're best friends with Robbie. Have you got room for another one?'
I smiled at him. His hair had fallen over one eye. He was looking straight at me with those inquisitive eyes of his…well, the one I could see. I thought I would tease him a little.
'Oh I don't know really. Robbie might not like it.'
I watched as his eye looked away from me, just for a moment before it came back to me.
'Sorry Peter. Of course I have room for you. Do you want to shake on it?'
He answered by taking the ends of my fingers.
'Will this do Tom?'
'No. I want you to do it properly.'
'Like you do with Robbie?'
'No I don't Peter. I never have, not like that. I wouldn't know how to.'
'So, would you if you knew how?'
He didn't want to let go of my hand, and I was glad he didn't.
'How do you feel now Tom?'
'Excited. How about you?'
I've made a new friend.
'What time is it Tom?'
'Five to five.'
'Have you got to get home soon?'
'No, not really. I should be back by seven though.'
'Have you got tons of homework?'
'No, not tonight.'
'Shall we go?'
'Get our bags from the house. Do you want a drink?'
Marco had given Peter his own key to the house. Very often they left school in the afternoons at different times for various reasons……some activity or other, so it was better to wait at Marco's place on those days than hang around the school gate waiting for him to appear. No, this was a far better arrangement which meant he could get on with homework quietly in peace. When Marco turned up, he would get them both a drink of something and they would sit and talk for a while, or whatever they both felt like. Both Marco and Peter's parents worked, and they wouldn't see them until well after six, so their time was theirs and uninterrupted.
Marco had found Peter attractive right from the start. Who wouldn't have done? Peter had welcomed Marco's overtures, and being an older boy by some way, had found it all rather flattering. Marco had found Peter a willing partner who had quickly learnt to do what Marco liked. It wasn't just that of course……they found that they had other interests in common too, like the ballet. They would change out of school clothes and practice the various disciplines together in Marco's room. That's when it all started. The shower afterwards. Marco loved covering Peter's beautiful little body with the gel and rinsing him off with his hands under the warm water. Peter let Marco put his hands anywhere he wanted to. Peter enjoyed that, and his body was responsive, as of course so was Marco's. Peter had asked Marco if he could pretend to be his little girl. Marco said that there wasn't anything he'd like better, so they began to play that game. When they were ready, Marco undresses Peter and lays him on his bed. They cuddle, which turns into kissing quite quickly. Peter knows by now that it's not something that can happen just like that, but Marco knows exactly what to do. Peter waits, and then it happens.
From the outset of their relationship, Peter had no qualms about the practicalities of accepting Marco's love. Doing those things that Marco asked him to do was his way of loving Marco back. Getting properly prepared for sex was a nuisance, but a necessary one if things were to run smoothly and without undue discomfort. Then there was the issue of Marco's semen. Again, Peter willingly accepted what Marco had to offer into his young body. The first time was a shock…….of course it would be for anybody, especially as Marco gave him little or no warning of what was about to assault Peter's sensitivities. That was naughty of Marco, but afterwards, in a moment of panic that he might have put Peter off sex with him for ever, he apologized amid kisses and cuddles. Peter, tearful and joyful all at the same time, was forgiveness itself. Later that afternoon, they made love again, this time in a different way.
I watched as Peter opened the heavily panelled front door with the coloured glass window in it. It shut with a nice solid sound behind us. It sounded so quiet in there. We picked up our bags and Peter asks me if I want a drink.
'Just a glass of water I think.'
'Would you like to see Marco's room Tom?'
We laid our blazers on the bed in the corner, Peter's navy blue with crimson braid round the lapels and sleeves….very posh……and mine just plain navy and in my view just as smart and somewhat less pretentious.
Peter went and stood by the window the other side of the room, which had a view to the left of the pavement that led to the pathway up the slope onto the Heath. Peter had his arms folded as I reached him. I put my fingers on the horizontal wooden bar that divided the large sash window, and leant my chin on it. I could see the side of Peter's face, mostly hidden by his hair in varying shades of blond as it made its way down in waves from his forehead and past his ears onto his neck. I looked at his top lip that showed the tiny golden hairs above his lips. His face looked flushed.
'Are you ok Peter?'
Peter just nodded without looking sideways and directly at me.
'You're thinking about Robbie aren't you.'
It was more of a statement than a question.
'I suppose so, a bit.'
'I thought you were.'
'Is that wrong Peter?'
'No of course it isn't.'
There was an air of conviction in Peter's tone. It immediately reassured me. It was obvious that we had an opportunity to 'do something' if we both wanted to. I don't want to, and I don't know how Peter's feeling.
'So do you want to go now Tom…..go home I mean?'
'No. Is it ok if I stay for a while?'
'Of course. It's nice isn't it?'
'Yes it is Peter.'
Peter turned towards me, and looked down….and then up into my face.
I smiled, and so did he.
I was home an hour later, and in a strange mood. I didn't really want to speak to anyone, and was short with my mother, and had to apologize.
'Never mind darling, I expect you've had a difficult day.'
In some ways I had. I had been rude and found myself wanting in the light of my mother's unconditional love, wretched boy that I am.
Standing by the window in Marco's room just an hour ago, Peter had put his arm around my shoulder and I had responded. We had held each other like that, and with no words spoken. I could smell the day on him, and the perfume of the skin of his neck. Robbie smells like that sometimes, and I suppose I do too.
We lay on Marco's bed and talked like friends do, face to face.
'So will you stay until Marco comes home?'
'No, I don't want to. I'll go when you do.'
We didn't speak for a few moments. Then Peter says…
'Robbie's very good. Can't you persuade him Tom?'
'To do what Peter?'
'To have a go……get an audition or something. Otto's tried to tell him. It's almost as if he's ashamed of being really good at something.'
'What….do a Billy Elliot?'
'Yes. Why not?'
I was promised a treat for my last birthday. I thought of one or two things I'd like to have done, but there wasn't anything I wanted to do that my parents would have approved of, so it was left that when I had an idea it would be considered.
My last conversation with Peter gave me the idea. I'd noticed the article with more than a passing interest. It was in last Sunday's Sunday Times. The show had been running for quite a while, and although I had seen the film, I was intrigued by this article. It was about recruitment for the stage production of Billy Elliot, and about the boy who was taking over the lead as Billy. Being in a stage play in London equals educational disruption, so there must be a regular turnover of boys to play Billy. I liked was I was seeing. On a scale of one to ten, he was fairly close to top marks, this lad. Time to mention it to mum.
'What a lovely idea Tom! Perhaps Charlie would like to go?'
'He hates all that stuff mum.'
'Well what about Robbie then? He'd be perfect.'
When I got home from school on the Wednesday, the tickets were on the kitchen table, and they were good ones right at the front.
I knew where the theatre was, because I had noticed the huge hoarding over the entrance to the theatre on a school music trip to Westminster Cathedral which is a five minute walk away, and it's close to Victoria Station.
I hate the Tube and I always use the bus if I can. Our journey involved one change at Trafalgar Square. We had time so Robbie and I did the usual….a stroll round the Square looking at the tourists climbing onto the lions to have their photo taken. I love all the crowded places around the centre of town. All human life is there, as they say. We sat on the edge of one of the raised up pools with a fountain in the middle that looked like some weird sea creature spitting out water. There's always something, or someone, to look at. Robbie noticed him too. He was about Robbie's age. Neither of us said anything, but we didn't need to.
The 'new' Billy Elliot was amazing, as was the whole production. We were surrounded by excited boys and girls, and the atmosphere was totally gripping the whole way through. There are three scenes that were too much for the girl sitting to my right. Affected myself, I looked to my left at Robbie, eyes wide and his face wet with tears, shining in the reflected light from the stage.
Robbie was quiet on the bus. We both were, as the 24 made its way through the traffic towards Camden Town. We were lucky. The two fronts seat, nearside, were empty when we climbed the stairs. It's the first place you look when you get near the top of the stairs. Robbie sat next to the window, looking out to his left at the passing shops and streets most of the time, his long legs, mostly uncovered as his shorts rode high up his thighs. He has the limbs of a dancer, his elegant arms and hands held together at his front.
I didn't want to distract him because he was a long way away…..somewhere I knew not where, but I would have laid a bet that that place was the Victoria Palace Theatre, where our hero in blue shorts and red singlet danced the afternoon away to his enthralled audience.
It wouldn't have mattered if the show had been good or bad. As it happened, it was fantastic, at least I thought so. But that's not the point.
The point is, it would seem to me, that if you want to do something badly enough, you can probably do it. Billy Elliot did didn't he?
We had just passed Camden Lock when Robbie turned towards me. I thought there was something wrong.
'What on earth's the matter Robbie?'
He looked at me for more than a few seconds…… ..
'I'm going to try Tom.'
'Try what Robbie?'
'To get an audition……to White Lodge.'
Everybody in the dance business knows what White Lodge is. It's the junior section of the Royal Ballet, located in Richmond Park. Otto had mentioned it several times to Robbie, according to Peter, but Robbie had been generally disinterested. I'm sure, deep down, Robbie was in fact very interested but lacked the confidence to even think about applying to audition.
When Robbie dropped his bombshell on the bus, a surge of……I don't know quite what it was. A mixture of excitement, pride, fear, and of course a wave of joyful affection for Robbie.
'Am I stupid Tom?'
'No of course not! You're more talented than you realise Robbie. One day you could be brilliant dancer….everyone says so.'
'Yes! And I'll tell you this Robbie……I'll do anything for you…..to help you in any way. You must know by now don't you?'
'Know what Tom?'
I looked at Robbie and smiled. He looked back with a blank expression.
'You don't do you. You don't know. You've no idea have you.'
'I have Tom, but I can't say it.'
'You don't have to say it…….but just feel it. That's all you have to do.'
We stayed on the bus a couple of stops after the point we would have got off, so we could find the man who supervised Robbie's class…the man called Otto……Otto in the tights and the weird thing he wore underneath that separated his balls in that funny way. Robbie said that the class after his would still be running and Otto would be there still.
The door to the warehouse was open, and once upstairs we had access to the hall. Robbie said there was ten minutes or so until the end……the last class of the day. There were about ten girls going through various routines. Amongst them were three boys who looked around ten…..that sort of age. They all wore black tights and white tops. The nearest boy was about ten feet from where I was standing. I could tell he had nothing under his tights. The whole class, as part of the exercise, turned towards us. I looked at the little thin dark boy who saw me, and then looked away. Otto took no notice of us. The woman went on playing the piano in the corner, directed by Otto.
Otto sent the girls and the three boys to their separate changing areas and walked over towards us.
Of course Robbie had to make his excuses to Otto for not being at his class that afternoon.
'Oh how marvellous! How was it?'
'It was brilliant Otto…..really brilliant!'
I could see that Robbie was ready to tell Otto his news.
'Go on then Robbie.'
He told him.
'Do you think I have a chance?'
'Of course, but it'll mean more work Robbie……..lots more work.'
'I don't mind. I want to….I really do.'
No one would have disbelieved him. You only had to look at his face.
'I know you do Robbie….and you do have a chance. You have a passion for dance. Everybody should have a passion for something , whatever it may be….and you have the talent. Now you need to work Robbie, like you've never worked before…..and with passion . Talk to your parents Robbie. If you want it, I will make the arrangements. You have to be ready by February.'
Just before we left, Otto took me aside. Robbie couldn't hear Otto's words.
'Did you know that he loves you? Don't tell me that you don't know that Tom? Of course he does. I see it in his eyes, and I can see it in yours too. Look after him Tom. He needs you now. He needs you more than he can say……..more than he will say. Take care of your friend. Will you do that for him, and all of us Tom?'
Of course I will…….my beautiful boy……no, our beautiful boy.
Motivated boys at our school, or any decent establishment, do more than just their schoolwork. Some struggle academically and need all their resources just to keep their heads above water. I think it's a matter of putting one's different interests in separate boxes, and open them when it's their turn to be opened. Robbie has his ballet which he does at certain times, and I have my art and music. Each thing we do has its place.
Robbie and I, and Charlie for that matter are going to cope with the modern exams we will take at fifteen or so. I'm not saying any of us three are brilliant scholars, but we can comfortably handle the fairly basic rubbish they chuck at us. Robbie knows now what he wants to with his mind and body, and so do I. Charlie? Well, I'm not sure about him. He's able enough but lacks a particular direction, and he's girl mad right now, and prefers to hang out with like-minded boys who are not really my cup of tea these days. That's not to say I don't miss his company, or what he had to offer during those nights we shared when I slept over. I particularly miss that nice poky thing he keeps tucked up in his pants, not to mention a lovely pair of squishy testes, and the complete package superior to mine, at least at the moment. Not that's there's anything wrong with mine……..just a tad less advanced that's all. No, I'm quite happy with what I was given, as is Robbie I might add. He's showing signs of getting somewhere, or rather getting something at long last, when the poor boy has the energy. He's working hard as you can imagine. He's working to make a dream come true. At the moment it is a dream. There are times, as a not very good Catholic boy, that we are expected to think about others, silently, asking for intercession. Believe me I'm trying. As I send my various requests, he is always there.
I still go with Robbie to the Saturday class. I don't go every week, but most of them, and I love being with them. I've made an arrangement, or rather come to an arrangement with Otto, the man who is basically in charge of the whole thing. I like him…….he's funny, and really loves his pupils. He's very patient with the ones who are there for the exercise as far as I can see, but a great teacher for the ones who really want to achieve, like Robbie.
Otto lets me work there. I sit and draw the figures as they work. Everybody knows the drawings by Degas don't they? Well, substitute the girls in tutus for boys in black tights…..either the long ones down to their ankles, or the little nifty short ones that look like old fashioned girl's knickers, and quite interesting when the younger boys prefer not to wear anything underneath. The problem is that the boys move all the time. My art master quoted a French artist the other day…..a man called Delacroix. I quote… .. 'If you can't draw a man falling from a high window before he hits the ground, you can't call yourself an artist.' It's true. So with that in mind, moving figures are now meat and drink to me, and it's the perfect excuse for looking. I can sit where I like in the hall, or stand, and the changing area is not off limits. The boys love it, and give me lovely knowing smiles as they just hold the pose as they change……just for a couple of seconds to be sure I've noticed. They are very aware of how beautiful they are, and they want you to see them. Very occasionally an unfortunate will sport an erection, which he will not try to hide. I think it's rather sweet. The last thing any of the others would do is to comment. Otto would be very cross if he saw it, but it does happen from time to time.
Robbie models for me at home now. Sometimes Peter comes too, if he's free. They've know each other from their years at ballet. Peter is at Highgate which ironically is a lot nearer my place on West Hill than our Catholic school over at Hampstead, so he just drops in from time to time. It's all done by text message of course. Easy as pie. Both of them are great models and we have a session at least once a week. I have to say that the sessions are much more productive if I have Robbie on his own. It's less productive if Peter is with him. They're more or less the same age, and they have a tendency to misbehave. I wish I could show you what those two look like as they stand, or lie before me, but I just have words to play with here. There's no doubt that it's an erotic process, at least for me and quite often for them too, as my 4B pencil wanders around their bodies lying together exploring with my eyes those intimate places. Yes, it's intensely erotic, made more so of course because I find then both so attractive. They know that, so they both play up to it. They know exactly what does it for me, so much so that usually the drawing session turns into something quite different. The trouble with Peter, if that's what I might call it, is the fact that he knows so much. Robbie and I never knew about the finer points, but Peter had been tutored by an expert…….Marco, alias Blue Eyes.
Marco had befriended Peter four years ago before he even started ballet. They were both at Highgate Junior School and lived near each other. Peter was overwhelmed by Marco's attention to him and their relationship became a physical one quite quickly, despite the fact that Peter was just nine years old. They had experimented with sex and liked it. One thing led to another.
I think, for Robbie, the drawing sessions do him good. They represent something quite different from the stress of his preparation for the great day……the day of the audition at White Lodge. He can relax and let his mind wander while I get on. It works well. I have four A3 sketchbooks full now. These alone guarantee me a grade A the summer after next. No one else will have anything that compares with these documents. I'd like to see the faces of the examiners when they see this stuff, but there's nothing erotic or sexual in them, unless you find drawings of naked boys erotic? I suppose that's all in the eye of the beholder. No, I'm always careful not to record those moments when Robbie anticipates in his imagination the end of the session, and when our alternative activity starts! When Peter's here it's worse as you can imagine. I just put my pencil down and watch the two of them. Peter's not my friend in that sense…..he belongs to Marco……but Robbie is, and I'm a bit jealous of their playfulness, but quite happy to lend him to Peter for a half hour or so. I know they're only playing, and why not?
I usually have the two of them lying together which I know isn't the best idea if I want to get something done. That's when the trouble starts.
'Can you two lie still please?' Robbie looks at me.
'It's your fault.'
'Putting us like this. Peter keeps poking me with his thing.'
'Peter, can you not poke him please.'
'I can't help. It's Robbie's fault.' Peter says.
'Of course you can help it.'
'I can't. Robbie keeps touching my bottom.'
'Well don't Robbie. Leave his bottom alone please. You don't know where it's been.'
The boys turn onto their backs at this point, propped up on their elbows, both smiling at me, but I have the answer to the problem.
'Ok, I want a standing pose now.'
That does it. I pose the boys standing together, arms folded, but not touching this time, and watch their testes relax and hang a little lower and their penises slowly deflate. Order is restored, at least until the end of the session.
I have another sketchbook. I reserve that one for the poses I couldn't show to an examiner. My art teacher, yes, but not an outsider. These are the drawings I make of Robbie a little before cuddles time. These are the drawing we both like best. He knows what's going to happen when the drawing is done. Robbie finds it all very exciting, and so do I, and often we don't get that far because we just can't wait any longer to get our hands on each other. Both artist and model are naked. The drawing is intimate because I love those parts of him. I pose him so I can see those delicious areas of Robbie's lovely body, and then I draw them. Robbie and I look at what I have done together. I hold him as hard as I dare hold this delicate opening flower of boyhood, as he holds me. What I need now from him he will give me……what I have in within me for him, I will soon give him. We are just two boys together…..joined in our own way, and I love him, and in the way I want to, and how he wants me to, just as he loves me in the same way. There are times when Robbie is my food, my drink, my life, my everything. I know this will pass all too quickly so we must seize the day, as they say. All too soon he'll be gone, and I'll be alone.
Usually, 'cuddles' come last in the order of events, but as I've suggested, not always. I usually meet Robbie outside the main entrance of the school, and we bus over to Highgate together on drawing days. There are a few other boys on that bus too, and we're careful to 'behave' in public. Reputations once made are very difficult to undo. So far, so good, in terms of keeping our friendship out of sight, but once in my makeshift bedroom cum studio it's different. There, with no parental interference, we can be what we want to be.
I can always guage Robbie's mood on the bus……what sort of day he's had and so on……and what he will need from me later, if anything. Sometimes it's nothing, and sometimes it takes precedent over everything. Everybody knows what 'it' is, and descriptions can become mundane and tedious, but there's a place in my mind for a painted picture that suggests something fine and beautiful…something that expresses the feelings that two people share and find deeply satisfying. I don't know if what we do in a physical way you would call sex, or just playfulness? Whatever it is, we both want it. It happens in different ways. Robbie has his coy way of telling me on the bus that a nice little play is top of the agenda when we get to number 23 West Hill, and I'm not going to argue the point. We go straight upstairs and undress each other, which is our guarantee that our playfulness will result in Robbie having at least one cum, and almost certainly, me too. It's an intensely erotic experience for both of us as we remove each item of our uniform…..blazers on the door hook, shoes neatly away, and anticipation building in our tummies….nerves almost. I put my arms around Robbie and smell his hair and the skin on his face……feel the softness of a jumper, so smart in navy blue. Our mouths meet long before we are naked, and breathlessly undo things that need to be undone. I'm inside Robbie's grey trousers now, and I can feel the soft material that still covers Robbie's excitement, for excited he is. I go lower and grasp the testes that are withdrawn in the way that young boys' do…..tightly hidden. Mine are larger and Robbie accesses them easily and gently squeezes them between his fingers.
He stands before me now, naked torso, hard and tight from relentless exercise, as good as any gymnast, and he watches as I begin to reveal him.
Come closer Robbie. He obeys. Turn round Robbie. He does because he knows. It's that part of him I can't resist, and that part of him that gives Robbie so much pleasure.
'Can we lie down now please Tom?'
Of course. Robbie does lie down and the way he does tells me everything I need to know.
Today I took my pleasure first because Robbie wanted it to be that way. It is my time now to give thanks for all that we are together…..all we can be……all we want to be……all we should be……together in our temple. Loving is love itself, and we are consumed in the fire of love…..burning, burning, and then washed cool with our tears.
It's two weeks until Robbie's second audition. He got through the first one, but so did a lot of the others. The second one is the one that finally sorts out who has the chance of a career as a dancer. Christmas has come and gone, and I'm snowed under with schoolwork. Most of it is tedious stuff which I can do without a huge amount of effort, so I do enough to get by. Art and music take pride of place…..and Robbie's future, which will, ironically, mean that I will lose the most precious thing I have. His life is dominated by a last effort to achieve a standard in his chosen media that will win him a place at ballet school. These are anxious days.
I didn't see Robbie the day before the audition, not that I wasn't thinking about him. They interview the parents as well as the boys and girls, because without his parents' support all the way through, Robbie wouldn't make it. Although the School is not residential, travelling costs mount up, and then there's the question of fees. On the morning, I think I was as nervous as I imagined Robbie would be. I usually meet him on the corner five minutes from my house on West Hill, and close to our bus stop. Thankfully he wasn't there, which meant he hadn't chickened out of the whole thing, which I always thought was a possibility given his natural, and at times endearing, lack of confidence. There was always a possibility with Robbie that he would do that. Some Highgate boys passed me, looking very superior in their deep pink braided blazers. They don't give the likes of us a second look.
I couldn't eat lunch, and afternoon school was filled with a game of rugby. The weather was mild so it wasn't as bad as it might have been, but still something to be endured…..got through……survived without any particular injury……joyless, and then all washed away under warm water at the end in the familiar white tiled room, steaming with hot water and boys. There's no conversation, just the sound of water against skin, and splashes on concrete floor. There are several bodies to each shower head, and the touching of flesh is unavoidable…elbow against elbow, bottom against bottom, thigh against thigh, arm against buttock, and always the smell of cheap soap and hair wash. There are thin boys, little and big boys, one or two rather overweight boys who detest any form of games, boys with tiny penises and invisible scrotums, and one boy with dangly dick and balls to match who is often mentioned in casual conversations about the amount of semen one should produce by the time you reach the age of thirteen. It doesn't mention that in the book my mother gave me to read……'A Catholic Boy's guide to Puberty and Beyond'. Help!
I met Peter at the bus stop at the top of West Hill, or Highgate West Hill to give it's correct title. I wasn't expecting him, but I had thought of him during the day, knowing that he would be anxious too. If Robbie's audition is successful, it will be as much Peter's doing as anyone else's. I was pleased to see him.
'Hi Tom. Are you busy?'
I told him I wasn't particularly, apart from the usual ton of useless and repetitive 'sums' I had to do before school tomorrow, not the mention some French vocab.
'Can we walk for a bit?'
'Yeah……do you want to dump the bags first?'
We headed for the Heath, and soon found a vacant bench. A group of school kids wandered past....three boys, not Highgate, who looked year eights, and one girl. I looked at Peter. He'd noticed I'm sure the one I had noticed. I looked at him.
I smiled. Don't play the innocent with me my boy.
To be fair, the one who had caught our eyes did have more than a sideways glance at Peter as he passed by. I don't blame him. As boys his age go, Peter would be at the top of anyone's wish list, but he's heavily involved with Marco currently. If he wasn't, and Robbie didn't exist, I would be into his ballet knickers on a daily basis. Of course I've seen him as he is , so to speak, a number of times when he's pitched up for a life drawing session. When he and Robbie start messing about, I'm sorely tempted to get involved, but thus far I have resisted joining in their silly games…naughty boys. There's no doubt there are times when a frisson occurs between them, but as we well know, they get excited at just about anything at that age don't they? I am of course, at the ripe old age of fourteen, far more in control of my feelings…..or am I? No, not always. I know for a fact that Peter and Robbie have enjoyed some togetherness in their time as friends, because Robbie told me about it.
Peter is in a contemplative mood, as I am. It's also February, and there's a nasty biting wind blowing across the Heath.
'When do you think we'll hear something Tom?'
'I don't know. It's an all-afternoon thing, so not until tonight I suppose. He said he would text. Are you cold Peter?'
'Umm, a bit.'
'Shall we go back to mine? When's your bus?'
Peter looked at his watch.
'It doesn't matter. They go every ten minutes or so.'
'So, do you want to?'
Neither of my parents get back from work before six thirty, and probably later than that. They both have jobs that can keep them at work. The clock in the hall stood at ten to five. We hung our coats up on the stand and went upstairs to my bedroom in which my bed in the corner was one of the less significant objects in the room which is dominated by art equipment, paper all over the place, and my beloved cello. I love the sound that thing makes……not this one when I play it, when other people play theirs on a CD. I don't practice enough.
I know Peter and I were preoccupied with thoughts of Robbie and how he had fared over at White Lodge, and neither of us had said much on the way from the Heath to West Hill.
It was all quite natural. We took our blazers off and without any discussion I went and lay on my back on the bed. Peter followed me. He stood looking down at me.
'Can I lie on you please Tom?'
'Yes of course.'
With my legs together, and his either side of them, I took the weight of Peter's body. His head fitted perfectly below my chin, face to one side, and I found a comfortable resting place for my hands on each of Peter's buttocks. Two minutes later we were both uncomfortable. Peter rolled sideways, put his hand inside his trousers and made the necessary adjustment. I did the same. Back into position, we fitted together nicely, side by side as it were.
I could feel the firmness in Peter's bottom as I moved the palms of my hands around the muscles as I imagined a masseuse would work. I know Peter likes what I'm doing because he moves against me in response. I'm wondering, as a first thought, about what exactly lies beneath the grey material of his trousers. I survey Peter's hips with my finger ends, and then around the raised forms of his buttocks and a little way between them which, given the position he's put himself in, is easily found. Peter knows this little game. A few moments later……
'Nice. Very nice.'
'Would you like to know what colour?'
'Have a guess.'
I guessed right. It wasn't difficult.
Peter left a half hour later to get his bus. We'd had a very pleasant play together but we'd done nothing that Robbie would have considered a betrayal of our friendship. We'd both wanted to, but it didn't seem right for either of us. It amused me to watch Peter put his blazer on over the rather obvious bump below. All my fault I suppose, not letting him have his way.
Having seen him out of the front door, I bizarrely opted for some cello practice, but I couldn't concentrate and gave up after ten minutes and put the sheet music to one side. I lay back on my bed and thought about Peter. I breathed in hard and slid my hand inside my trousers and gave my penis a squeeze through my underpants. It was hard. I undid the clip that held things together and slid down the zip. I looked at the white material now distorted by my erection. At that moment my phone beeped. It was a text from Robbie.
My heart missed several beeps as I read it. It just read……It was ok. can I see you?
I texted back…… . Yes. When?
Yours, now? came back moments later.
It was neither good news nor bad. I tried to hide my disappointment. Robbie looked exhausted and was tearful in my arms. The day he described was a gruelling affair designed to test twenty five eleven year olds to the limits of their physical and emotional endurance. At the very end of his day, he was interviewed by three people…..two men and one woman, and on his own, not with his parents. They had been interviewed earlier. The interviewers sat behind a desk while Robbie sat on a wooden chair in front of them. The woman asked the final question……… .
'Robbie. You have worked hard today, and we thank you for that. We think that you have done yourself justice in what you've shown us. I want to ask you what you think you will do with your life if your application to White Lodge is unsuccessful?
'I don't know. There's nothing else I want to do.'
'Thank you Robbie. That's all we needed to know.'
The two men and the one woman smiled at him.
'You can go now Robbie.'
Robbie had to wait two weeks for the letter informing him of the decision. It arrived on the Saturday morning. He'd run down the stairs every morning after the audition when he heard the letter box go. That last Friday night he'd not slept well, and didn't hear the postman in the morning. His mother had deliberately left the envelope on the floor by the front door. It was his to open of course. It seemed cruel to wake him, after all it was more than likely to be bad news. She had been warned at the School that the chances were extremely remote that Robbie would be successful. Let him find it for himself.
Robbie woke, and the sinking feeling in his tummy that he had become used to when he remembered, returned. He opened his bedroom door and took the few steps to give him a view down the stairs to the front door. He saw the pale cream envelope lying there on the mat. Just the one item of post this morning, he thought. That was unusual, and no junk mail?
The letter was addressed to him.
He opened the envelope in his bedroom, tummy in a whirl. It contained a single sheet of paper. He glanced at the heading….impressive in embossed black type.
Dear Robert ……it began.
Robbie often came round to Number 23, our house on Highgate West Hill, about ten on a Saturday morning. Unlike the boys at Highgate, we had no school on a Saturday morning. My mother let him in.
'Oh hello Robbie. Tom's upstairs in his room.'
Tom's expression when she had opened the door to him had worried her slightly. She was aware of the situation. She watched as Robbie walked across the hall and then disappeared from view. She heard his footsteps on the wide stairs that led to the upstairs hallway and Tom's room that overlooked the street, quiet save for the occasional passing car, tyres noisy on the wet road. She walked to kitchen and put the kettle on to make a pot of tea, and tried to listen knowing she would hear nothing.
Robbie didn't knock on Tom's bedroom door. Tom was lying on his bed reading. It was a heavy paperback catalogue of the Sickert exhibition at the Tate that his father had bought him at the end of their trip there, all colour and light.
Tom looked sideways and saw Robbie standing there. Robbie's solemn expression gave Tom no clue. He put the book down and swung his legs off the bed, stood up and walked across to his friend.
Robbie's face was unreadable……but it was the face that wore so many thoughts and feelings…so many highs and lows…..so many emotions. Tom said nothing because he knew. Robbie was telling him his wonderful news with his filling eyes and faint smile.
Robbie took the letter from his pocket and handed it to Tom. Tom unfolded the cream coloured sheet of heavy paper and read it…..the words blurred now. He didn't need to read further than the first line. He looked back at Robbie. Tom heard Robbie's unspoken words…… . .
'Will you love me…….now?'
Tom put the sheet of paper on the bedside table, while Robbie followed his best friend. They stood facing each other for a few moments before Tom made the first move. He held Robbie's head in the palms of his hands and gently tilted it upwards towards his own face. Robbie could feel the warmth of Tom's hands on his ears. They both had so much love in them to give each other, and both boys were ready now to give everything they had.
Tom and Robbie made each other's bodies free for loving in that gentle way boys like them needed. Robbie gave Tom all the signs that he was Tom's boy this morning and how they loved each other in a physical way would be Tom's decision. It wasn't in a way that needed any kind of preparation or forward planning……..just a loving from their mouths and lips and tongues to satisfy Robbie's deep desire to give thanks to his friend for his loving kindness and support.
Both boys were breathless at the end. The end had just come for Tom.
The boys lay together, close, their skins cooling.
'Can you believe it Robbie? It's actually happened.'
'What……that just now?'
'No, you daft bat…….getting in to White Lodge.'
'I know. I keep having to read the letter over and over again. It's just the beginning though.'
'The beginning of the beginning?'
'Or the beginning of the end?'
They laughed. Then Tom asked… ..
'Was it nice then?'
'Yes… that… .. just now.'
'Of course it was. It got me nicely in the mood.'
I made Robbie go down stairs and tell his good news to my mother. I stayed in my bedroom. He was gone for some time, and when he came back he was quiet. Robbie is a boy who wears his feelings on his shoulder. I can always tell when there's a bit of upset in his world. My mother has a soft spot for Robbie…..most mothers would have, and I also know she would be so happy for Robbie. When he told her his news she would have made a fuss of him for sure. Robbie, being the boy he is, would have responded to her kindness….arms around shoulders and a few tears no doubt. I know everything is going to change now, and I have to let him go. He has a new life just about to begin……new friends and challenges he knows nothing about at this moment, which will take him to new places….places where I shall not be. There will be no dramas…..no big goodbyes…..just a fading away I expect. That's what I want for him. Once Robbie asked…… . never let me go . Today he knows I have to.
Three months later.
I haven't seen much of Robbie, or Peter for that matter, and I'm feeling slightly rejected if I'm honest. There were a load more formalities before Robbie's place at White Lodge was confirmed, for example a means test on his parents' income which would determine how much they would pay towards Robbie's training. I had the impression that he would go for free. He'll be out there in Richmond Park for three years before graduating to the school in Central London when he's fifteen, assuming he makes the next step up. Before he goes he has to attend weekend classes at White Lodge, so our routine Saturday afternoon class in Hampstead are over. Peter still goes, but my reason for being there no longer exists. Apparently Otto took the good news with a shrug of his shoulders and dismissed Robbie's achievement as just another pupil who had benefited from his inspired teaching. Robbie had gone straight to Otto to tell him the good news before coming to tell me in the wonderful way he did…..just with his expression. I'll never forget that moment. Otto had kissed him gently on his forehead and sent him home, before turning in that rather dramatic and theatrical way of his, and disappeared into his office. If I was a teacher, I could imagine how Otto felt at that moment. I think I would have settled back in my chair, hands behind head, and thought to myself….job done.
Even my old friend Charlie was beginning to disappear from view. He was on girlfriend number two I think, if not the third. He was aware that I wasn't particularly interested to hear about his exploits with the opposite sex so he and I just exchanged pleasantries over lunch, provided there was a space next to him in the dining hall. I hardly saw Robbie at school, and his bi-weekly visits to Number 23 weren't happening now. I didn't question it, but accepted that he had moved on, and all he could think about was his move to White Lodge. It would mean boarding, with just the occasional weekend at home. Normal school holidays don't apply apparently. It would be a labour of love for Robbie, and complete commitment on his part, not to mention his family.
I do see Peter from time to time, but he wants to talk about his problems with Marco most of the time. That relationship worries me, but I'm not entirely sure why. He doesn't seem happy to me. I think he entered into an over-sophisticated sexual relationship with Marco before he really understood what he was getting into. I blame Marco for that. It was never like that with Robbie and I. Yes, we had forms of sexual fulfilment, but what we did was a result, or an expression of, our affection for each other. It was never something we just did for the sake of it. I know I'm looking for love, insofar as a fourteen year old boy can know what that is between himself and another boy….or girl for that matter. In my case it's boys, and I'm beginning to think it always will be. I don't want sex with Peter, although he's one of the most beautiful boys I've ever clapped eyes upon…and very sweet with it. He will do it because it feels nice and it makes him happy in the short term. I've explained to him how I feel about it…..and then give him a massive cuddle, and try hard not to let things go any further.
I'm sure my mother has realised a few things about her son…..a mother's intuition and all that stuff. The good thing is that I have her undying love, whatever or whoever I turn out to be. That will never change.
I think I've already mentioned that both my parents have demanding jobs so I'm often here at home on my own some time into the evenings. I've always dealt with that perfectly well, and it has had its advantages from the privacy point of view. My mother is quite high up in Wandsworth Social Services, mainly on the training side. She has never talked much about her job and what it has entailed over the years, but she has always had a social conscience which I suppose is just as well in that line of work. Recently there was an influx of families settling in London, and elsewhere, from the Middle East. A week or so ago she mentioned a mother and her ten year old son who had been housed in a flat a couple of streets away from us. In the next sentence she had announced that we needed a cleaner. Within two seconds my father and I had put two and two together and got four, as you do. If I was twenty five years old I would have asked this woman to marry me. I like looking at other human beings and this one would bare the scrutiny of Leonardo DaVinci. My impression of both her and her son was one of civilised intelligence. That might sound patronizing but I think it's true. The son, rather thin with large and slightly different looking blue brown eyes, was equally beautiful…..a sort of middle eastern version of Peter in a way. She had two jobs. The first one was cleaning in the local primary school which her son attended. After that she came to us, with the boy. My mother had dropped subtle hints that if I wasn't too busy with my own homework, perhaps I could help Hala improve his English, or anything else he was struggling with.
They obviously had very little money judging by the way Hala was dressed. Everything he wore was second hand. His grey shorts were ill fitting, and his grey jumper…..well, needed replacing. I mentioned it to my mother.
'Can't we do something about Hala's school clothes Mum?'
I've always been rather particular about how I look. I don't mind getting filthy in the line of duty, but I shower afterwards, and I keep all those other places scrupulously clean, particularly the most private ones. I see Hala as a sartorial challenge.
Hala has rather taken to me which privately I'm quite chuffed about. Not only that, but tomorrow I'm taking him to our local M and S to kit him out, all expenses on us. He's already thoroughly investigated my bedroom and all the contents of my cupboard and chest of drawers while I watch him with some amusement. In the short time I've been working with him, I've realise that his mind matches the brightness and alertness of his face. He is actually a clever little critter, and in a couple of days, he's going to be a nicely dressed one too. You may have guessed already….I like him, and as it happens, so does Peter. I don't suppose Robbie will ever meet him, the way things are now.
Peter turned up after school on the Monday……the day I was taking Hala to get kitted out. I explained to him what we doing and he wanted to come too. Ok, no problem. We knew exactly what we were after, because I had checked on Hala's preferences last Friday. Everything was pretty standard except for one item that was more personal. He'd checked out what I wore, and he had said he wanted the same. Excellent. That's my boy.
That part was simple……two packs of five and all the same……plain and simple, and very nice. We tried three pairs of shorts on, rejected the ones with useless pockets and again, opted for the simplest style, and just big enough….two pairs. Six polo shirts followed, then eight pairs of socks, and two nice quality grey jumpers. Peter found the shoes, black with two Velcro straps.
Hala insisted that he try everything on when we got back about five thirty. His mother was still there. She wouldn't be finished until six. Hala was duly presented to her…his face beaming with pride. He looked perfect standing, hands casually in pockets, as pleased as punch. The old stuff went straight into the bin.
Peter and I had supervised the transformation from scruffy, very worn and not very nice……to smart and clean. We had even put him in the shower. Peter towelled him off, while I opened packaging and selected the new stuff. Hala, as we could see, is a pretty boy in every respect. He could easily pass for a European, his skin tone a very light tan, working well with his very dark brown hair. Just before he left with his mother, school bag on one shoulder, I had an idea. I had kept all my revision notes and test papers for the entrance exam I'd taken several years ago for the grammar. Hala's intelligence and attitude to work shall be put to the test, starting tomorrow.
With the front door closed, Peter turned to me wearing that expression I knew well.
'Can I stay for a while please Tom?'
We had talked about 'things' before, and Peter was aware of my views on his behaviour. He also knew that I was thrilled that Robbie had won a place at White Lodge, but I was also hurt by it. That could never be Robbie's fault, only my emotional failing, albeit understandable.
'Come on then, but not for too long. I've got tons of work.'
The last thing Peter needs is rejection. His relationship with Marco had become tricky to say the least. The last year for him has been too colourful, and in my judgement he needed another year with just ordinary, run of the mill friendships like most kids have. He needed a really boring year socially so he can take stock.
We took our shoes off and lay down on my bed. I made the first move by putting my arm around him. He wriggled himself closer. It was all very tempting. I could feel my penis swelling, and I imagine, arrogantly I suppose, that Peter's was too. We began a conversation about not doing things just because we felt like it, and that it wasn't any kind of rejection of him, but out of respect for Robbie, not to mention Peter himself.
'Will you always feel like that Tom?'
'No, not always….just for a while…..until Robbie has got a bit more settled.'
It would have been so easy. Peter made sure I could see he was hard, and I wasn't about to hide mine, or able to, come to that. It would have been so easy to slip my hand into his pants and feel that lovely hard object…..and his little balls that rest at its base. It was a close run thing, but nothing happened beyond my caring gestures.
'Why do you do that Tom?'
'Because I love the smell of you, that's why.'
'Isn't that a bit weird?'
'Dunno. Does it mean you still like me?'
'Yes it does.'
'Can I help with Hala?'
'Yes, why not. How's your maths?'
We had three sessions a week with Hala. Peter was here for one of them, and concentrated on Hala's basic arithmetic. The other two, I worked on his reading and grammar. I had decided, on the advice of my mother, that if progress was slow it wasn't a good idea to push Hala, but let him progress gently at his own pace.
That wasn't the case. He was responsive from the start. Peter was brilliant with him, and just what he needed to give his life a different an interesting new direction. We had a gift which we wanted to give to Hala, and if you were to look into those beautiful blue brown eyes you would see a boy's mind and spirit more than capable of accepting it. My mother had made a point of telling me not to ask Hala about his life prior to his arrival in England. I could only speculate, and try that little bit harder to help him.
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