Age of Discovering

by Rick Beck

Chapter 1

© OLYMPIA50 2017 all rights reserved

For David


It's risky to fall in love while you're still in high school.

Glenn, the new boy, seems to have a thing for Eddie. Gordon, Eddie's friend, sees them wrestling in the showers. It's not Eddie that has Gordon's attention.

Each time Gordon sees Glenn, he's with Eddie. Glenn isn't like the other boys. No boy has gotten Gordon's attention the way Glenn did. He wanted to find a way to get to talk to him, hoping they have something in common.

The few times they cross paths, Glenn is audacious and rude. He's also hot and well built. Gordon is convinced that under his audacious facade beats the heart of a nice boy. How to get that nice boy to appear required a plan.

Making a plan to get the attention of a boy you don't know is tricky. Gordon would need to have some good luck and he hoped for an accidental meeting with Glenn alone.

It wouldn't be easy.

Falling in love rarely is.

The New Boy

High school was cool enough, I guess. My grades were better than average, but not much better. Music and art were the subjects I liked without exception and I excelled in both.

I didn't care all that much for gym any more, but I could still hold my own playing ball. When I was younger I played on a softball team and I could still belt a ball quite a ways.

Most boys were way too competitive. It was only gym class. Softball was only a game. It was meant to be a fun way to get exercise.

The outcome of a third period softball game was never in question. The best athletes played on one team. The less athletic boys wanted to play with their friends and have a good time. They didn't care if they lost. It was a game.

It was always the same my senior year. No matter the game, the teams were always the same. The one team always picked the best boys, while the other team picked their friends. Should an athletic boy be chosen by the other team, he refuse to play with them.

High school was predictable when it came to boys and the games they played. Because I could hit a softball well, I was picked third or fourth by the more athletic team. I didn't care who won or lost a softball game in gym, but if given the choice, I'd go with the winners. I admired the less athletic boys for their courage.

In gym we played with a time limit. By the time you hit the showers no one but the really competitive boys even remembered what the score was or who won. With ten minutes to shower, get dressed, and get to your next class, there was no time to replay a softball game.

Apparently my taste for competition didn't mature with my appreciation for music, which I became more passionate about by the time I reached high school. Making music made me want to make more music. Playing softball in gym made me hungry. That's because the period after gym was lunch time for me.

I'd played the guitar since I was ten. I tried to play like my guitar playing heroes, but not at first. My first guitar was a second hand acrostic my parents got for me. I decided I'd learn to play it.

One day I began to develop my own style. I'm sure I was borrowing from several guitarists I liked. I learned on an acoustic guitar and I could practice in my bedroom. It's how I relaxed before going to bed.

In my senior year of high school, the base school closed. The military kids transferred to Chambersberg High School. As with most changes at school, it was a surprise to the students. No one mentioned a change was coming.

On a Friday in December the announcement was made, 'The base school is closing. The students will be incorporating with our student body. I don't need to remind you that Chambersberg High is to be welcoming to them. Thank you.'

The base kids were no doubt seen as the outsiders. Kids who moved into the area after I did were the townies. Kids who were living in the area before I came along were farm kids. There were probably fifteen or twenty kids who transferred in on the Monday after the announcement was made.

It was mostly boys and they immediately delighted in setting their sights on the best looking girls. The girls were all a glow over boys who had been around the world and who offered to take any number of girls there.

Needless to say, the boys going to school at Chambersberg High, weren't as thrilled by the new boys as the girls were. The difficulty in the local boys' argument was immediately apparent.

Most of the new boys seemed to be tall and lanky and most of them had a clean cut well scrubbed look. They were outgoing and self-confident.

Most local boys didn't know how to compete with the new boys.

Boys who'd previously had the most successful with local girls weren't happy.

I had no objections to the newcomers. A few were in a couple of my classes. They did have a look that separated them from the locals. It was in their posture and how they carried themselves. To me they were just other boys and two I met in music class played guitar.

It gave us something in common and we talked guitars and guitarists. I told them I had my own band. I mentioned that the Mad Monks practiced three days a week in one of the school's band rooms. A month after the kids from the base came to stay, no one remembered the displeasure their arrival caused. Since January another dozen boys from the base school began to straggle in to Chambersberg High.

Spring came a bit early my senior year. Feeling the warm sun on my face was glorious. Going outside in gym became the rule and not the exception. Being the final months of my school days, I didn't let much bother me.

I didn't even mind softball or other outdoor activities in gym. It was just nice to have most of an hour outdoors after so many months of sharing the gym with ninety other boys who had third period gym.

Time was marching on. My life would begin to unfold once I graduated. Like with so many other things, I had to experience it to find out the direction I'd take and where my future would take me.

Gym was a nice way to use up one more hour. Fresh air and physical activity in the middle of the day kept me awake and it got my juices flowing. My next period was lunch and my three afternoon classes included art, than music, and my science class.

There were three seniors in the Mad Monks, my band. About the time spring rolled around. The band were on cruise control. There were gigs on our schedule with spring dances and the end of school parties. Birthday parties were scheduled a week or two in advance, so we expected to play an event once every week or two.

There was studying for finals. I had two term papers to complete. I still had to attend class and keep my ears open for reviews to get an idea of what would be on the final exam.

I'd expected to have some difficulty in high school. I knew to be careful so I wouldn't be singled out by boys who had certain beliefs about how boys should be. Minding other people's business was a big part of a bullies curriculum. Academic endeavors got less attention.

My guitar gave me some help once I reached high school. One of the bands at school had lost its backup guitarist to graduation.

I tried out and I became a member of what was then The Monks. This provided the cover I needed. No one asked me why I didn't take a girl to the dances. I played at the dances. If I wasn't playing at the school dance, I was playing a gig with The Monks else where.

Being gay meant staying alert. I wasn't interested in explaining my feelings to anyone. I had no interest in going down that road, until there was a good reason why. I was in my senior year now and there hadn't been a good reason. I didn't feel the need to discuss something as private as my sexuality with anyone.

Other boys could say anything they wanted. I didn't regard it as anything I was required to comment upon. Mostly the comments I got involved my music. No body is going to like everything I did. I didn't insist they like it. I minded my own business and I hoped other boys did the same thing.

My entire time in school, there had been a growing demand by gay people to have equal rights. There was always the people who said gay people had the same rights as anyone else and they weren't going to get special rights no one else had.

When I was ten and playing my first guitar, I knew, if I was gay, I was excluded, denied equal rights by a culture that had no tolerance for anyone who was different. I didn't need to be a genius to know that keeping a low profile in school was the best thing for me to do.

I didn't have any close friends. I didn't plan it that way, but that's how it turned out. My band mates and I were friendly but we weren't friends, although I spent more time with them than anyone.

My life was good and I didn't see any change coming before graduation. That was until we went outdoors to play softball for the first time in gym. For the second half of March it was surprisingly good weather.

I breathed deeply and drank up the sun. It was glorious. There had been a first day we went outside in gym each year but never this early in the year. It was wonderful but nothing new by my senior year.

On my first at bat playing softball, I was ready to rock and roll. The first pitch had been too high and outside but the second pitch came aching in right over the middle of the plate. I hammered over the outfielders' heads.

It was the same each year. No one remembered how far I could hit a softball. The outfield didn't play that far out my first at bat and I waited for a fat pitch. I was standing on home plate before they ran the ball down.

I could still hit a softball a country mile. I got a homer like that every year and then the outfields backed up when I came up.

Being able to hit meant I was on the team with the better athletes.

We all knew who was going to win before the first pitch was thrown.

I didn't miss playing team softball after school, but it was a cool way to waste a period in gym. I wanted to do well when we played softball. I still enjoyed the game. I'd lost interest in most games by my senior year.

My athletic skills bought me a pass with the more mouthy boys in gym class. What I did, I wanted to do well. i paid no attention to the chatterboxes who insulted everyone.

The bullies weren't out yet. They'd take a few days to find the targets they wanted to torment. With gym being optional your senior year, the least athletic boys wouldn't take another year of gym.

I wondered why certain guys liked picking on weaker kids.

I'd always seen the name callers and bullies as being afraid they might be singled out. By picking on the weakest boys they thought they were diverting attention away from themselves. For that reason, I didn't pay much attention to the loud mouths. They'd pretty much ignored me over the years. They didn't know I'd taken dance classes. It's why I quit taking dance before I went to the high school.

I didn't need to please anyone but me and maybe my parents. If someone thought they could push me and not get pushed back, needed to give it some more thought. Maybe I never had to fight because of my sense of self. It wasn't about being tough or being a bad ass, it had more to do with self respect.

My father warned me once I was a teenager, "Gordon, you'll run into all kinds in high school. Most boys are OK. Some might think they can push you around. If you let them push you, they'll never stop pushing. If you need to fight to protect yourself, go ahead and fight," my father said.

"The thing you need to know about fighting, you don't need to win a fight to leave a lasting impression on the other boy. If you hurt that kid enough, he won't want a piece of you again. You come to me if you're having trouble that you can't solve by yourself."

"A word or a nasty comment needs no response. If someone puts his hands on you and you need to move them," he said.

Measuring up to the level of the morons wasn't much of an aspiration. Mostly the loud moths were yelling to keep people away. The kids they picked on wanted nothing to do with a physical confrontation, which made them a larger target. I never liked seeing a kid being bullied but it wasn't my job to keep order.

I did what I needed to do to avoid confrontation. It had little to do with fear and a lot to do with being gay. I had decided to keep a low profile. Homosexuality by its nature is highly personal. It wasn't something I felt obligated to share, unless I decided to share it.

On this nice spring day, every thing was mellow. We were all playing nice together. The insults were all about playing softball and some guys thought that insulting each other was part of the game.

It was the next inning, after my home run and I trotted over to the water fountain, thinking I'd earned a cool refreshing drink.

I'd spotted Eddie ahead of me in line. It wasn't Eddie who interested me. He was playing grab-ass with a kid I didn't know. Something about the new kid got my attention.

"Hey, Eddie," I said, looking past Eddie to the new boy who bent to drink his fill.

"Hey, Gordon. Nice hit. You sure got all of that ball," Eddie bragged, patting my backside and giving me the opening I was looking for.

"It was a fat pitch," I explained, as the new boy finished drinking, glancing disinterestedly past me.

I stared straight at him. He was totally handsome. I wanted him to make eye contact. I had to know who he was.

"What are you staring at?" he suddenly wanted to know, as he caught me staring at him for longer than it took to get a good look.

"Oh, I don't think I know you," I said, pushing my luck.

I still had trouble keeping my eyes off him. I cursed myself for letting him catch me looking at him. I knew better. I usually did better, but I'd never had a boy make me feel what he made me feel.

I felt a little dizzy as my eyes drifted back to him. I wanted to know who he is.

When Eddie caught me looking at the new kid, he did what came naturally for Eddie.

"Glenn, this is my friend Gordon. He hit the homer they ran down in our field last inning." Eddie said, with a broad smile.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

"I saw him," Glenn said, failing to show how impressed he was. "You always stare at boys you don't know, Gordo? Or am I a special case? Is my fly unzipped?" Glenn said abruptly, looking at the front of his gym shorts.

"Like I said, I didn't recognize you. I was wondering if I'd seen you before. I didn't mean to stare, and my name is Gordon."

"I've never been where ever you think you saw me, Gordo. So so you didn't see me," he said sullen and unyielding. "I am here though and now that you've had a good look, you'll recognize me next time. If there is a next time."

"He was in Berlin when the other base kids transferred in. He didn't come to school right away," Eddie explained. "He just came when he felt like coming. We should all be so lucky."

"Berlin?" I said. "That's cool. I've never been anywhere."

"How sad for you. I had business there. Once I got home, what is home now, I took a few weeks before I decided to come to school."

"You didn't go to the base school?" I asked.

"I did when my dad first got stationed here. We didn't have a place then. I went to Berlin and when I came back, they'd bought a house and that was a nice hit."

"Thanks," I said, unable to be any more creative than that.

Eddie and Glenn walked away together. Eddie pushed Glenn. Glenn pushed Eddie back. They both laughed.

'That's where I came in,' I thought. 'What an unusual boy.'

The next time I looked, they were wrestling to prove some superiority. Eddie was smaller. He was slippery and he ended up holding onto Glenn from behind.

Glenn protested vehemently. Eddie laughed and he held on tight. In spite of Glenn looking more muscular, Eddie maintained control.

I got my mind off Glenn, walking back to the field where my team was playing.

I wondered what it would be like to hug Glenn like that. It was an idea that appealed to me. I'd prefer hugging face to face. That way there was the possibility I could plant a kiss on his lips.

What was wrong with me? I'd never felt like this before. I may have a rich fantasy life, but Glenn was quite real. I knew his name and not much more.

There wasn't much school left. In a couple of months we'd all go our separate ways. There wasn't much time for me to make an impression on Glenn. He didn't know I was alive, and what was going on between him and Eddie?

They were back to shoving each other the next time I looked. My daydream was working on what came after the kiss.

'Dream on,' I thought.

I sat with my team and waited for the inning to end.

I looked back to where I met Glenn. What a sexy guy.

Glenn was different. It wasn't just his good looks. It was how he made me feel. That separated him from the rest of the boys. Glenn had something boys I'd known all my life didn't have. I couldn't give it a name but he had it and I wanted more of him.

I located Eddie and Glenn on the softball field next to ours. My eyes kept coming back to Glenn. Then the whistle blew. Our time outside was over.

I lost track of Glenn among 90 boys walking ahead of me and going into the locker room. My next class was lunch. I could take my time and avoid the rush. I was in no hurry.

Eddie and I had always been friends. He was a nice boy. He wasn't big but he was scrappy. Glenn's size and his muscular build indicated he should be able to overpower Eddie but it didn't work out that way. I wondered if the two of them were an item.

Would two boys who were going together be that open about having physical contact. I didn't think so. But what did I know?

It was a couple days later. I hadn't found a way to get close to either Eddie or Glenn. I'd gotten accustomed to showering after gym as the last of the boys were leaving the locker room for their next class.

Getting sweaty inside was a bit more intense than when you were outdoors in the fresh air, but I decided to be sure I didn't offend anyone at lunch. It was bad for the reputation if kids refuse to sit near you because you smell.

As I wet myself down to soap myself up, Eddie came into the showers with Glenn close behind. They wee at the other end of the showers.

Eddie pushed Glenn and Glenn pushed Eddie back. Glenn ended up behind Eddie this time. Eddie slipped from Glenn's grasp and ended up behind Glenn again.

Their nakedness made this combat somewhat more exciting to watch than what I saw them doing earlier in the week.

The steam from two dozen steaming showers creating a mist between us. I didn't think they saw me. They were preoccupied with each other. I'd never seen two naked boys wrestle before.

I reminded myself I was in no hurry. Locker doors slammed as fourth period boys arriving to dress for gym.

My showering habits were always the same. Taking my time and

showering late meant not being in competition for space with 90 other boys. With only three of us in the showers, I had no difficulty seeing Glenn. I didn't do much showering but I did a lot of watching.

Their physical had my full attention. I could always eat when I got home after school. I'd already been caught spending too much time looking at Glenn. I couldn't take my eyes off him. He was naked and he slipped out of the hold Eddie had on him and he ended up behind Eddie.

It was beginning to look like they were struggling to see which one could get the other to sing soprano first.

I was familiar enough with Eddie to have noticed he had quite a body, including his nearly perfect butt. I knew how he'd built his bubble butt, and I had no trouble believing he'd turned a head or two in the boys' locker room.

The idea Glenn was grinding against Eddie's backside was breathtaking. I didn't know any one who had the balls to wrestle naked with another boy in the school showers. I was sure that I'd make use of the image. They were too busy to notice me.

I'd seen Eddie naked in dance class each time we went into the bathroom to get into our costumes. Our dance instructor loved for us to wear costumes that went with the dances we were doing.

Eddie had a dancers body at twelve. At seventeen it had only grown bigger and better defined. Glenn held Eddie close, as Eddie wriggled to get free. For good measure Glenn lifted Eddie off the floor.

This gave me a view of what was now an erection as it appeared between Eddie's legs. The more Eddie struggled the more prominent Glenn's penis became.

Along with the physical contact came laughter and joking.

"No way you're getting that thing up my ass," Eddie giggled.

"Best not give me any ideas, Edward. I can't resist a dare," Glenn said.

Their laughter didn't equate to the danger I calculated Eddie was in should Glenn score a direct hit. Glenn looked determined as Eddie trying to slip Glenn's grip on him.

I was no authority on such things but there was no way Glenn was getting his dick up Eddie's butt. If I kept watching, I thought I might learn a thing or two about how far horny boys would go.

They were both having a good time in spite of their dangerous positioning. Eddie kept wiggling while he giggled. He didn't appear to understand how much pain he'd be in if Glenn score a direct hit on his sweet spot.

I was sure Eddie would let me know if that happened.

I knew Eddie didn't wear underwear and he wasn't the least bit bashful about showing off his body. Once he stripped down in the boys' room at dance class, he was in no hurry to get into his costume. He always made a point of taking a leak, while I got into my costume. Then he'd check the mirror to make sure he looked OK.

He didn't care if I watched him and I would sit on the small bench in the boys room and wait for him to get dressed.

I didn't think he was giving me an invitation to join him, but I was sure he intended for me to see him naked and watch him.

Dance class gave me plenty of time to be around Eddie and to see how well built he was.

Eddie was taking dance class long before I joined the class and he was still there when I stopped attending just before high school.

Watching Glenn and Eddie feeling each other's body was the most erotic thing I'd seen two boys do. I had no thoughts about joining them. That didn't mean I wouldn't learn by watching.

While most boys avoided physical contact in the locker room, these two were having fun while making as much physical contact as they possibly could. How they overlooked the possibility some straggler might wander into the showers late, I don't know. It's the first thing I thought about when they first arrived.

I wondered how many other boys might play around in the showers when they thought they were alone. I'd never thought of it before. There was always a straggler who might walk in at any time. That could mean a rumor being spread around the school.

Eddie didn't interested me. I knew he had a nice body, but I saw it all the time. I never felt like seeing him naked was a sexual thing. After seeing him naked with Glenn, it was definitely sexual.

Glenn was turned on by Eddie. It turned me on. It was daring and wildly sexual. I rarely had sexual thoughts about boys at school. Those thoughts were reserved for my bedroom late at night.

Being the only boy I saw naked when I was twelve, I liked seeing Eddie naked. His was the only boy's naked body I saw back then.

I wasn't attracted to Eddie. I wasn't attracted to most boys. The risk involved in letting a boy know I liked him was far greater than any reward I thought might come out of it. Now I wasn't so sure.

I would have plenty of time after high school to admire boys. I planned on admiring a lot of them, but I had no interest in rumors being spread about me in school. It wasn't worth the risk.

Eddie and I became friendly if not friends. We saw each other two evenings a week. I saw much more of him than he saw of me.

If Eddie noticed me watching him back then, he didn't let on. I wasn't positive he didn't get naked so I would watch him. I learned long after leaving dance class, there were people who liked being seen naked.

We were the only two boys in dance class. We stuck together. Getting to see him strut around naked was incentive for me to keep going to dance class and stick close to him. He was the best show in town, but looking was as far as it went. It was as far as I'd go.

Even then, while being exposed to Eddie's nudity, I had no interest in seeing any of the dozen girls in dance class naked. We danced with the girls. I stayed friends with two of those girls. There was no attraction or romance. We were friends then and now. The only thing Eddie and I had in common was dance class.

All the girls in dance class liked dancing with Eddie. He was far more graceful and athletic than I was. I don't know if Eddie had romantic feelings for any of the girls or not, but he dated Bonnie now and they'd been a couple for at least two years.

I bit my lip to keep from becoming any more aroused.

They finally separated. Glenn dodged under a shower and Eddie got under a shower across from him. Their laughter echoed as the steam began to obscure my view, but not before Glenn looked my way.

If they'd seen me watching their playfulness, neither let on. Then I remembered watching Eddie in dance class. Was Glenn like Eddie? Did he like being watched, being dared to be dangerous. If they got off on the risk they were taking, they got away with it this time.

With no activity and no one coming or going, the steam billowed more densely upward from the floor.

"That was the second bell," Eddie said. "We got to get out of this place. I'm always late for fourth period. You are a very bad influence on me, Glenn."

"I try," Glenn said. "You're fun, Edward."

Eddie laughed loudly.

Glenn turned his back. The steam took over. There was nothing left for me to see.

I finished up with a sudden blast of cold water. It got my mind off them and on lunch.

I headed for my locker.

Thoughts of Glenn went with me.

I reminded myself I was hungry. As attractive as Glenn was, I knew I'd be seeing him in my dreams.

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