Hoxton

by William King

Hoxton, by William King

"We can meet at Warren Street."

"Ah yeah, I guess. If you want."

"You know where it Is?"

"Course."

"It's the nearest station to where I live."

I knew we were arranging to meet up, but I never really thought about going to his place. Still, that was good.

"What time?"

"8 pm. Is that good for you?"

"Yeah, it's fine. How will I know you?"

"We meet in the ticket hall. Where the machines are. I'll find you! What will you be wearing?"

I thought about it. It's cold out.

"A blue and grey jacket, blue woolly hat."

"You got something easy to see?"

"Ah... yeah, I'll have an orange bag. That okay?"

"I'm really looking forward to meeting you."

"Me too."

"Friday then, 8 pm."

"Friday."

"Bye."

"Bye."

Shit! I suddenly realised I had no way of recognising him. Oh well, too late. At least I'd done it. I never thought I would go through with it. I thought about it a lot, but I never actually believed I could do it. This was like... I don't know, what would you call it? A blind date!

The next day dragged, I could hardly wait until Friday. I kept thinking stuff, like what if he doesn't turn up, or if I don't like what he looks like, or maybe he lied. He said he was my age. He sounded okay. Sounded okay, what am I saying? You can't tell anything from a phone call. Suppose he's a serial killer! Nah, anyway you don't get more public than an underground station. If it doesn't seem okay I can just make some excuse. Yeah, I can just say 'sorry, but something came up.'


I was early. No surprise there, I'm always early, but I didn't want to mess up. I'd spent a long time getting ready. Well no, not really getting ready, more looking in the mirror, telling myself I'm okay. I actually asked myself if I met me would I be attracted, how narcissistic is that?

I was nervous. This was it, the ticket hall. It's not exactly so big that you wouldn't see anyone waiting. There was nobody. People walking in and out, coming home from work or maybe going out for the evening, it was Friday, the weekend. Maybe we would go for a drink. No, he said he lived not too far. His place? Then what?

Nobody around who looks my age. Maybe he's late. The clock says five past eight. I can't stand here forever. It's only been five minutes. I move around, look around, still don't see anyone.

Wait. Wait a minute. That guy. Yeah, could be him.

Fuck, it is. It must be. He's coming over. Deep breath.

"Hi."

I was right. He's pretty hot!

"Hi."

"You're Kevin?"

I guess he needed to confirm I wasn't just anybody who happened to be hanging around.

"That's me. And you're Ishmael."

He smiled.

"You just got here?"

"Well no," his smile got bigger. "I've been watching you for a couple of minutes."

"Oh. I never saw you."

"I tell you something..."

"What? Go on!" Now it was me smiling.

"Well..."

"Oh come on. We've met. Tell me."

"Don't get mad."

"Promise."

"So, I'd decided this. I would get here early so I could see you arrive, then if I didn't like you I would just leave."

"You didn't leave." I think his smile just broke his face! "That means... you like me."

"Yeah I do. Let's go. We need to get a bus to my place, it's not far, but too far to walk."

I liked him too. So this was a good start. I told you he was hot. He had those eastern good looks, black hair, tanned skin, beautiful eyes.

On the bus he told me he shared a flat with his two older sisters. They were always there, which kind of stopped him from doing anything, or meeting anyone.

I leaned close and whispered, "They don't know you're gay?"

"No. But don't worry, they won't be there. They've gone away for the weekend and aren't back until Sunday."

"And there's just the three of you?" I had to ask. I wanted to make sure there were no parents, boyfriends, whoever.

"We've got the place to ourselves. You can stay overnight."

I wasn't expecting that. I never thought past the meeting up part. Remember it's the first time I've done this, so you can't expect that I would think of everything.


His room was the first door off the hall. It was pretty spartan, an old sofa, old fireplace, looked like it didn't work. Every house had old fireplaces, usually blocked up, or ripped out. Quite funny really, one set of people come along and modernise these Victorian terraced houses, convert them into two or three apartments, rip out all the old stuff. Then years later things like caste iron fireplaces become trendy and other people pay loads of dosh to stick them back in. My mind sometimes wanders off like that when I'm nervous.

"There's only a single bed," he sounded apologetic.

"That's okay," I felt my cheeks getting warm at him mentioning the bed. I sat down on the old sofa and he came over and sat next. Close. Our legs were touching.

I gazed around the room. The one thing I hated was the poster he had on the wall over the fireplace. A sexy, half naked lady with pouting big red lips. I could understand he didn't want his family knowing he was gay, but that was going a bit far. That's like being in the closet and slamming the door.

He leaned across. His hands were suddenly all over me. His lips found mine. I responded. Look it was what it was, even if it might seem kind of yuck to you, it really wasn't. I needed someone. Okay, I admit I was horny as hell, so was he.

We stopped messing around like that. Well he did, he pulled back and asked if I wanted a drink. That was a wise move, because it was building up real fast and I think he didn't want it to be all over in five minutes. So you see there was something between us. I think.

He started telling me about where he lived. Like it's weird perhaps, I mean I've lived in London all my life, but I don't know Hoxton, it's in the east, I live in the north. London is big. So he's telling me about Brick Lane and the restaurants and shops, then about the street art. Ishmael could have been some sort of tour guide for East London, the one thing he didn't want to talk about was his family.

We finished up back together rolling around on the sofa, kissing and touching... and, ripping our clothes off. Well, not literally ripping our clothes, but you know what I mean. I liked Ishmael and he liked me, which was great. Oh, I already told you that. I know it was a blind date, but I was still looking for some kind of relationship.

I got two major surprises that night, yes I did stay the night. The first surprise should not have been, if I'd picked up on the clues. Being right there in front of me, that poster. It came out in the conversation which happened between the sofa and the bed. He told me he was a top, actually it was worse than that, he told me he liked girls, guys and girls.

Call me odd, naive or whatever, but I always thought of sex between two guys as working both ways, if you see what I mean. The second big surprise came in bed. Now I'm not going to paint a detailed picture, but it ended up with us face to face and him on top. Yeah, I'm not very experienced and I really didn't know how easily you could do it like that. Easy for him, I was left kind of vulnerable, sort of holding him off.

Don't get me wrong, the sex was great, but that was unexpected. That's all I'm going to say about it. The disappointment for me was that it became obvious pretty quickly that Ishmael wanted a boy for sex and he wasn't looking for anything more.

I didn't sleep well squeezed in a single bed and got up early. I took a shower while he was still sleeping, which upset him when he woke up.

"I wanted us to shower together," he whined.

I never said anything, because he meant he wanted sex in the shower. He made that very obvious. Well too bad, I was tired and wanted to go home. So I made that excuse I'd talked about and told him I had stuff to do.

"Can we meet up again?"

"I don't know," I told him. I didn't want to come straight out and say no, it wasn't all bad, it just would never work.

It was cold and grey waiting for the bus, and a long way home. As the bus pulled away I said to myself, goodbye Hoxton, goodbye Ishmael, then I just stared out the window as the world went by.

Talk about this story on our forum

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

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead