My Freshman Experience

by Joel Young

Chapter 25

An Unexpected Ending

Adam and I were disappointed that our weekend at the cabin had been cut short by bad weather. At the same time, it was good to have an extra day to prepare for the last week of classes.

I went to church with Adam on Sunday morning, and we spoke to Reverend Stuart after the services. "Have you talked to anyone about using your scholarship?" he asked me.

"Yes," I said. "I met with Mr. Hancock. He told me about what it covers. It's a very generous scholarship!"

"It is indeed!" Reverend Stuart said. "I know of several students who used it for a study abroad semester. It paid for everything – even airfare."

After Sunday brunch in the cafeteria, Adam and I went to our rooms to study. I practiced my presentation for Astronomy, and I reviewed last week's notes from my calculus class. I tried to give full attention to my work. I was distracted, however, by something rattling around in my brain. I wasn't sure what it was, but I felt as if something significant was about to happen. "Maybe Adam's premonitions are rubbing off on me," I joked to myself.

"How was church this morning?" Mitch asked when he returned to the room after playing tennis with a friend from down the hall.

"It was good," I said. "Reverend Stuart asked me about my scholarship. He said some people use it for study abroad."

"Cool!" Mitch said. "Maybe you could take classes in Paris this summer. I'm sure Adam would love it if you could go with him."

I was startled by what Mitch said. That's what had been churning around in my subconscious all afternoon. Could I use my scholarship to go to Paris with Adam this summer? Would Adam want me around when he finally got some time with his family? Would my parents even let me go?

"That would be pretty great," I said to Mitch. "But, it's probably too late to make arrangements for summer school in France."

"Maybe," Mitch said. "But you won't know if you don't ask."

"I'll think about it," I said. "How was tennis?"

"It was fun. Roger isn't the most experienced player," Mitch explained. "But we had a good time, and I worked up a sweat. I need to go take a shower." Mitch got his caddy from the closet. Then, he turned to me and asked, "You gonna' be around this afternoon? There's something I want to talk to you about."

"I'll be right here," I assured him. "I'll be the guy with his nose in a book."

Twenty minutes later, Mitch came back to the room. His hair was sticking up from being dried off with a towel. "Hey, don't comb your hair," I suggested. "That spiked-look makes you seem kind of … rebellious. You know, like the bad-boy type that all the girls like."

"Yeah?" Mitch asked. "I've been thinking it's time I should make some changes."

"Why is that?" I asked

Mitch stumbled for an answer. "I don't know; just because I guess."

I went back to my studying. Mitch got dressed without running a comb through his hair. He began working on the final project for his physics class.

Later, Mitch said, "You didn't like Danni; did you?"

"Is that what you wanted to talk to me about?" I asked.

"Yeah, kind'a," he answered.

I thought Danni had been down-right rude and inappropriate at the cabin, but I didn't want to say anything too critical. After all, Mitch seemed to like her.

"It was a difficult weekend for all of us," I said, trying to be diplomatic as well as to dodge the real question Mitch was asking.

Mitch looked up from his project. He was grinning. "After everyone went to bed on Friday night, Danni came back to the living room. She said she was frightened by the storm, and she wanted me to go back to her room with her."

"I figured as much - since you came and asked for a condom," I said.

"She was my first, Joel," Mitch said. "I'd never gone all the way before. I know I shouldn't have taken advantage of her, but she practically threw herself at me! And, I was really tired of - well -you know - of being a virgin. I mean, it's embarrassing when you graduate from high school and haven't even done it once."

"Mitch!" I said. "You have no reason to be embarrassed! Lots of guys wait until they're a little older."

"You didn't," Mitch said. "Unless you lied to me."

"I wasn't lying to you," I said quietly. "I don't always share the full story, but I try not to lie to anyone – well, most of the time. I did tell a lot of lies in high school so that people wouldn't find out that I had a boyfriend."

Mitch nodded his head. "I do the same thing sometimes – for different reasons, of course. I think most people do."

"Yup," I said. "Even at good Christian schools like Oberlin."

"There is one good thing about the Protestant schools like Oberlin," Mitch said. "At least we don't go around feeling guilty as much as the Catholics do."

"Amen, Brother!" I said. "So, you're okay with what went on with you and Danni?"

"Well, it wasn't what I thought my first time would be like," Mitch said. "I never thought it would be a one-night stand. But really, I'm just glad that I've finally had sex with a girl! Is it terrible that I feel that way?"

"I don't think so," I said to Mitch. "But, was it just a 'rite of passage?' Or did you feel something for Danni?"

Mitch thought for a while. "I don't know," he finally said. "She's a good-looking girl, and I was attracted to her. I liked that she turned to me when she got scared. I wanted to protect her; like a guy looking out for his girl."

"So, you did have feelings for her?" I said.

"Yeah, I guess I did," Mitch said thoughtfully. "But, I knew that having sex with her was just that and nothing more. I enjoyed it, but . . ." Mitch hesitated.

"But what?" I asked.

"Oh, wow," Mitch said. "Believe it or not, I don't think I'd do it again – with Danni that is." He paused momentarily. "She acted like she was obligated to do it with me - just because I was in her bed and tried to comfort her during the storm. It felt like she was going through the motions but had no real interest in me. I'm not sure she even liked it."

"She didn't say that, I hope!" I thought that Danni was just the type of girl who might turn on a guy after sex.

"Not in so many words," Mitch said looking a little somber. "But, well – this is so embarrassing! After I - - - came, she asked me if I was done. Then, she just sort of pushed me away and went to sleep."

I decided to risk offering an opinion. "It sounds to me like Danni was using you."

"I felt more like she was providing a service to me – in exchange for not having to be alone," Mitch said. "I'm pretty sure she wasn't – you know – satisfied – in that way – like I was. I didn't feel used until she ran off with another guy at the restaurant – without even saying goodbye. That bothered me."

"Look," I said. "Sex doesn't have to be like that. With the right person, it's totally different. Afterward, you feel great, not used."

Mitch laughed. "With Danni, it was great while we were doing it, but I felt rejected when we were done."

"So, what now?" I asked.

"I'm going to wait for someone I know and care about," Mitch said. "And, somebody who cares about me."

"What about you and Beth," I asked. "Do you think things will change because of Danni?"

"I wasn't planning on telling Beth anything about what happened," Mitch said. "Why? Do you think I should?"

"No, I'm just asking," I said.

"It's not like Beth and I are going steady. We've never talked about being exclusive," Mitch said somewhat defensively. "And, she made it clear that she wasn't interested in anything like that with me, at least not now."

"But, if you were exclusive with Beth, would you tell her about what happened?" I asked.

Mitch considered the question before answering. "If Beth and I had made a commitment to each other, I wouldn't have done anything with Danni."

"Good answer!" I said. "So, why do you want to make changes in your life? I mean, why now?"

"I just feel more grown up now, and I want to keep trying new things," Mitch said. "Isn't that one of the reasons for going away to college?"

"Yeah, I guess so," I said. "But, what changes are you going to make?"

"I've always been a follower," Mitch said. "And sometimes, I've done things that I didn't want to do, just to fit in. I'm gonna' stop doing that. And, I want to . . ."

I waited for Mitch to continue his thought.

"I want to be more like you," he said.

I was shocked. "Why on earth would you say that?" I asked. "Mitch, I'm an emotional wreck! I get upset about little things I should just ignore, and people can read my face like a book. Everyone can see that I'm in love with Adam – even when I think I'm hiding it. I tear up at the drop of a hat. People say I'm too sensitive, and that I should man-up. Mitch, I want to be more like you; you know – calm, cool and collected."

"That's just an act, Joel," Mitch said. "Really, I'm … pretty self-conscience around other people, and I always think that somehow, everyone is better than I am. I want to be more like you are – not afraid to stand up for yourself; always able to take the upper hand when someone challenges you."

"You know what you really need to do?" I said. "You need to see yourself as other people do. Mitch, you're smart and kind, and just as good looking as any guy on this campus. And, you've got a great sense of humor. Dude, you're the whole package."

Mitch seemed embarrassed. "You think I'm good looking?"

I hesitated to answer truthfully, but then I just said it. "That first day we met when you were going to the Financial Aid office, I had to force myself not to think about how cute you are."

Mitch gave me a Cheshire Cat-like smile. "Yeah, I know," he said. "I could read it on your face. But, I wanted to be your friend anyway. I mean, you are pretty cool. But I do have to admit; I was a little more comfortable around you once you hooked up with Adam."

"Me, too," I said.

Mitch and I went back to our studying. There was absolutely no tension between us, despite how honest we had just been with each other. At dinner time, we took a break to get some takeout submarine sandwiches. We ate in our room without talking. We were both concentrating on school work.

The next day, I decided to talk with someone in Administration about the possibility of studying abroad. So after my Astronomy presentation, I went to the Cultural Exchange Office. There was a sign on the door saying that the office was closed until fall. "Please See Ms. Sanborn in the Ombudsman's Office Concerning Any Study Abroad Questions," the sign directed.

"Is it too late to arrange a study abroad program in Paris for this summer?" I asked Ms. Sanborn when I was able to meet with her the next morning.

"That's a good question," Ms. Sanborn said. "I'm just filling in for Mrs. Solarin. I'm sure we could still handle all the arrangements here at Oberlin. The problem would be finding a college that would accept another student at this late date. Is Paris the only place you'd consider?"

"For this summer, yes," I answered. "If that doesn't work out, I might consider other places when I'm a sophomore or junior."

"May I ask why you waited until the last minute to look into this?" Ms. Sanborn said.

"Well, I only found out last week how much assistance my scholarship provides," I said. "And, it was only last Sunday at church that Reverend Stuart told me it could be used to cover study abroad expenses."

"I see," Ms. Sanborn said. "But, why are you only interested in Paris for this summer?"

I decided to risk full disclosure. "That's where my boyfriend will be."

Ms. Sanborn laughed quietly. "I should have known!" she said. "I'll do a little digging and get back with you. Are there any particular colleges you want me to contact?"

"Adam has been accepted into the program at the University of Paris," I said. "Could you start there?"

"I'll see what I can do," Ms. Sanborn said.

After dinner that Tuesday night, Adam and I went back to his room. I had decided not to tell him about trying to go to Paris that summer. But, Adam broached the subject himself.

"Have you given any thought to what Reverend Stuart said?" he asked.

I pretended I didn't know what he was talking about. "Said about what?"

"About using your scholarship for a study abroad semester," Adam said. "Maybe you could take some classes at the University of Paris this summer – with me."

"Would you want me there?" I asked. "You haven't had any time with your family for months. I wouldn't want to get in the way."

"You've got to be kidding!" Adam said. "Joel, you're the most important person in the world to me. I love you with all my heart! Of course I want you with me. I want you to meet my mom and dad – and my brothers. They'll adore you!"

I felt my heart skip a beat. I was so moved by Adam's profession of love that I started to tear up. He came over and took me into his arms.

"I can't stand the thought of being away from you all summer," Adam said.

"I feel the same way about you," I said as I pulled him tighter to me.

We sat down on Adam's bed. "What about coming to Paris with me?" Adam asked. "Could you at least check into it?"

I smiled at Adam. "I asked about it earlier today," I said.

Adam's face lit up. "Really? What'd you find out?"

I told him about going to the Cultural Exchange Office and then talking with Ms. Sanborn. "It may be too late," I said. "But she's checking on it for me."

"Oh, my God!" Adam said. "Maybe we really can spend the summer together!"

"I want that so much, but I'm afraid to get my hopes up," I said.

I stayed in Adam's room that night, and we made love. We felt so close to each other. Our orgasms didn't seem like the culmination of a sexual act. They were more like a deepening of our bond with each other.

I didn't hear from Ms. Sanborn on Wednesday. On Thursday, I stopped by her office. Sandy said Ms. Sanborn was out for the day but that I could have an appointment for the next morning.

"I spoke with the International Studies Coordinator at the University of Paris," Ms. Sanborn said at our Friday meeting. "I'm afraid it's bad news, Joel. Their program for this summer is full, and they're not accepting any more students from the United States."

I sat quietly as I realized that what I had desperately wanted was probably not going to happen. But, I wasn't ready to give up. "What about other programs in Paris?" I asked.

"I learned quite a bit about how these programs work," Ms. Sanborn said. "Oberlin uses a private company that specializes in arranging study abroad programs. The company has on-going relationships with universities around the world. But, the University of Paris is their only program in France. I'm sorry, Joel. I wish I could have done more."

"That's okay, Ms. Sanborn," I said while struggling not to show how disappointed I was. "I knew it was a long shot. I really appreciate you looking into it for me." I got up to leave and then stopped. "You've been very kind to me this entire year. The students at Oberlin are lucky to have you."

Ms. Sanborn seemed touched by my compliment. "That's very nice to hear," she said. "Ombudsman jobs are sometimes very challenging, but I've enjoyed working with the faculty and students here at Oberlin."

"Enjoyed?" I said. "Are you leaving?"

"I am," she said. "I've been accepted into law school at the University of Michigan. I'm moving to Ann Arbor next month."

"Congratulations!" I said. "U of M is a very good school, and you'll be a great lawyer."

"I'm excited about it," Ms. Sanborn said. "But, I'll miss Oberlin. There are a lot of fine people here."

"None more so than you," I told her. "May I give you a hug?"

Ms. Sanborn got up, and we hugged. "Take care, Joel," she said. "And, always be true to yourself."

After leaving Ms. Sanborn's office, I walked across campus for my last class before finals week. I felt sad and disappointed. My hopes for going to Paris this summer were over, and I was thinking about how hard it would be to say goodbye to Adam.

I ate dinner with Adam that Friday night. When I told him that I wouldn't be able to go to Paris, he was obviously disappointed. He hung his head and didn't say a word. When he looked up and stared into my eyes, we were both overcome with emotion. "Let's get out of here," he said.

Although we had barely started eating, we took our trays to the conveyor belt and left the cafeteria. Adam and I walked toward his dorm. It was a beautiful spring evening in southwestern Ohio, but I couldn't enjoy it. I just felt like crawling into a hole and hiding.

In his room, Adam and I lay on the bed, holding each other. "Promise me you'll come back to Oberlin for your senior year," I said.

"I promise," Adam said. "And let's promise each other not to . . . be with anyone else."

"I promise," I assured him. "I'd never risk losing what we have."

Tenuously, Adam asked, "Even if Komiko is home for the summer?"

"Yes. Even if Komiko is home," I told him. "I'm yours, and only yours, for as long as you want me."

"What if I want you right now?" Adam asked with the devilish voice he frequently used when he felt frisky.

About 10:00 o'clock the next morning, I left Adam's dorm to go back to my room and study. The first of my five final exams was early Monday morning, and I needed as much time as possible to make sure that I was fully prepared for the week ahead.

Finals weeks seemed to drag on and on. Each day, I had a knot in my stomach from anxiety about my tests. My mom and dad had spent so much money on my tuition that I was determined not to disappoint them.

I expected to feel relief when I finished my last final exam on Friday. Instead, I was exhausted, and my heart was breaking. Adam and I were both leaving campus the next morning, and we wouldn't see each other again until the fall semester. Somehow, I had to find the energy and the willpower to go back to my dorm and start packing. I had plans to meet Adam later.

Mitch had finished his exams that morning. He was all packed up when I got back to our room. His dad was helping him carry his stuff down to their car.

"Well, I guess this is it," Mitch said to me. "It's been a great year. I'm really glad that Sam moved out on me and that frat-boy roommate of yours was such a jerk. Otherwise, we might not have roomed together."

I nodded my head and pointed at Mitch. "Sophomore year – you and me – roommates again!"

"You got it, Man!" he said. Then, he hugged me. "Take care, Joel."

"You, too," I said. "I hope you enjoy your job at Shoney's. Just show the customer's that cute smile of yours, and you'll make a fortune in tips! I'll call you over the summer."

I started packing after Mitch left. Soon, my home for the last nine months was stripped bare. Emptied, it looked like every other dorm room in Pilgrim Hall – an oblong, cinder block box - painted stark-white and devoid of any personality.

I had just finished packing when Peter and Tom stopped by to see me. It was hard to say goodbye to them, too. They both had become my good friends, and I would miss their company over the summer.

"Thanks for all the help with Chemistry," I said to Peter. "You were a life-saver!"

"You're welcome," Peter said. "And, thank you for all your help with, ah, you know."

"You guys were meant for each other!" I said to Peter and Tom. "All I did was listen while you were working things out."

"Sorry I was such a jerk last semester," Tom said. Then, he came over and hugged me. "Have a great summer, Joel. Don't spill any bedpans on yourself!"

"I won't. And, you be careful with that landscape work," I teased back. "Remember - turn off the mower before you clean the blades!"

Then, Peter gave me a hug.

"So, when do you start work at the summer camp?" I asked Peter.

"In a little less than two weeks," he said. "Even though this will be my third summer as a counselor, I have to go through orientation – again!"

"You guys will still get to see each other, won't you?" I asked Peter and Tom.

I'm only an hour away from Cincinnati," Peter answered. "And, I have a car. So, we're good." He quickly turned toward Tom. "Right?"

"Yeah, we're good - as long as you don't get any ideas about messing around with the other camp counselors," Tom said with a twinkle in his eye.

"I won't," Peter responded. "As long as you don't get interested in any of those shirtless lawnmower jockeys that you'll be working with!"

"Pinky swear!" Tom said. He wrapped his pinky finger around Peter's.

"Aw, that's so sweet!" I said. "Hey, are you guys coming back to Pilgrim Hall?"

"Of course," Peter said. "We're staying put - together. How about you and Mitch?"

"The same," I said.

"Okay," Tom said. "See you next semester, Neighbor!" Tom slapped me on the shoulder as he and Peter left.

I walked over to the off-campus house where my car was parked. After backing out of the garage, I stopped and went to put the key and a thank-you note in the homeowner's mailbox. I drove back to Pilgrim Hall and loaded my stuff into the car. Then, I drove to Wesley Hall to spend the last night of my freshman year with Adam. I knew I wasn't supposed to park on campus, but I did it anyway. After all, I was fairly sure that Public Safety wouldn't enforce parking rules on move-out day.

"Are you hungry?" Adam asked me when I got to his room at about 7:00 p.m.

"No, not really," I answered. "Are you?"

"Not really," Adam said. "Do you want to take a walk?"

I had been thinking all day about my last night with Adam, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. "No," I said. "I want to go up in the bell tower – and get naked."

"Whaaaat?" Adam exclaimed. "Why do you want to get naked in the bell tower? It's eerie up there – and filthy!"

"I want to be with you - someplace memorable," I explained.

Adam burst out laughing. "Never in a million years would I have thought you'd want to have sex in the Oberlin bell tower!"

"I don't want to 'have sex' there," I corrected. "I want to make love - with you – at the highest point on campus."

"You never cease to amaze me," Adam said while shaking his head. "You look like the perfect boy-next-door, but there's a shameless rascal hiding behind that cherubic face!"

"Does that bother you?" I asked.

"No! Seriously, I'm not complaining," Adam said. "In fact, that's one of the things I love about you. So, if you want to make love in the bell tower – I'm all in!"

I thought about making a joke about being 'all in,' but I refrained.

It was starting to get dark by the time we got to the chapel. Fortunately, it was unlocked. Adam and I went in through the front door. The place seemed deserted. The stairs to the bell tower were hidden from view behind the choir loft. Adam turned on a small light and led the way up the narrow steps that seemed to wind around like a corkscrew. The stairwell looked as if no one had swept it in years. There was a weathered, wooden door at the top. Adam opened it up, and I saw huge bells in a room with big, open spaces to the outside.

The bell tower reminded me of Victor Hugo's story of Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I could picture a lonely, deformed man hiding in a belfry trying to avoid capture by a cruel and unforgiving fifteenth-century society.

It gave me the creeps!

"What's wrong?" Adam asked. "Have you changed your mind?"

"No," I answered. "But, you were right. It's eerie up here!"

"Let's look out onto the campus," Adam suggested."

Adam and I leaned on the stone sill of one of the open spaces. We had a bird's-eye view of the university. We were high enough up to see a large part of the sprawling campus made up of classroom and office buildings, dormitories, the track and field facilities, the library, and the student center. We were still low enough, however, to see individual people going about their end-of-the-semester business. We saw forsythia bushes and magnolia trees sprouting their spring colors. It was breath-taking!

"This sort of changes your whole perspective of Oberlin; doesn't it?" Adam pondered out loud.

"Yeah," I answered. "This looks like the university I pictured when I applied here. I thought my freshman year would be as idyllic as this view. I never knew it would be so challenging."

"It has been a tough year for you," Adam said philosophically. "You probably never expected that your first roommate would be a jerk-face frat-boy – or that you'd have an enemy like Sean."

"That's true," I said. "And, I certainly never thought I'd almost quit college in my first semester - because a minister slapped me across the face! That was the worst part of this year - fighting with the religion department. And, being investigated by campus security wasn't any fun, either."

"And the best part?" Adam asked with a smile that let me know the answer he wanted to hear.

"You - of course!" I said. I looked into Adam's eyes. With complete sincerity, I said, "I never thought I would find love likes ours."

"What we have is precious, Joel," Adam said. "It's a gift. No matter what happens in the future, you will always be part of me; and I hope I will always be part of you."

Adam and I put our arms around each other. I could feel the wind blowing against my back as he pulled me tightly to him. Then, we loosened our hold on each other just enough to allow for some soulful kisses. I couldn't get enough of Adam – his manly body; his brilliant, artistic mind; his handsome and incredibly expressive face; his warmth; and his kindness. And, those amazing eyelashes always made me feel weak in the knees. I loved everything about Adam, and the only thing I wanted was to be with him.

"Didn't you say something about wanting to get naked?" Adam asked.

"I did," I answered as I started to pull up on Adam's shirt. "I'm glad you remembered."

Adam assisted me in pulling his shirt over his head. Soon, my shirt was off, too. We pressed our bare chests together as we resumed kissing passionately. I felt Adam's hand caressing the bulge in my jeans. I had to do the same to him.

We were both hard, and I was tempted to move things along quickly. But the feelings I was experiencing were new and exciting. There was the wind hitting my back. Adam and I were mostly outdoors and exposed. We were high above the ground, however, and no one could see us. To me, it was a magical moment that I wanted to savor.

I began kissing Adam's neck – one of his most sensitive erogenous zones. He let out a soft gasp and said, "Don't stop. That feels amazing!"

I was more than happy to do as Adam wanted. I loved running my lips all over his neck. I turned him around slightly so that I could explore the back of his neck as well. I don't think I'd ever done that before, and Adam loved it! I decided to go all out, and I began licking him. Adam shrugged a little and moved away. "That tickles!" he squealed.

"I'm sure it does," I said as I leaned forward and made contact again. "Take a deep breath and let it happen. You'll get used to it."

I was right. It didn't take long before Adam allowed me to cover his entire neck with slow, erotic kisses and long strokes of my tongue. I lingered a long time before asking, "Do you like it?"

"You have no idea!" he said. "If you keep doing that, you're going to make me cum in my pants!"

"Well, making you cum is one of the main objectives here," I said. "But, let's branch out a bit first. I'll come back to your neck. I promise!"

We separated and took off the rest of our clothes. Standing in the open air of the bell tower, we embraced, sensually pressing against each other. The warmth of Adam's body drew me in as I felt the wind wrap around my exposed skin. I felt as if the outside world was trying to push me somewhere that I didn't want to be, and Adam was the only thing I could hold onto for safety.

There was a bench in the bell tower that people who played the carillon used. Rather than kneel on the dirty, stone floor, I dragged the bench over to the window. I kissed Adam and then sat down. I ran my hands over his lower body, admiring the beauty of his masculine form at the peak of its strength and fitness. I placed my hands on his sides, and I pulled his rigid cock against my mouth. I craved an intimate, physical connection with Adam.

I rolled my lips and tongue around the shapely head of his engorged penis before taking him fully into my mouth. I reveled in the firmness of his manhood with its silky outer layer that covered the magnificence of his erection. I loved stimulating the nerve endings that sent intense sensations of pleasure throughout his body. I felt rewarded when he gripped my shoulders with both of his hands and gasped. "Oh, God, Joel!" he said. "This is heaven!"

I pleasured Adam orally for a long time, but I was careful not to stimulate him too quickly. Rather, I went slowly, backing off frequently to prolong our intimacy – intimacy that we might not have again for months; intimacy that I secretly feared might be our last.

Worshiping Adam's cock was pure bliss for me. I loved everything about it – the girth of his rigid organ that fit perfectly in my mouth; the feel of my tongue on the hot, shapely head of his cock; and the feeling of fullness I had when he was all the way inside. I could have continued like that for hours, but too soon for me, Adam pulled away.

We traded places, and Adam took me into his mouth. The sensations I felt were overpowering! After several minutes, I gave in to my most primal urges to be consumed by physical ecstasy. I couldn't control my compulsion to seek the ultimate release of a mind-blowing orgasm.

"I'm going to cum!" I warned Adam.

Adam released me from his mouth and took my throbbing cock into his hand. Slowly, he caressed and stroked me until I moaned loudly and exploded. I almost lost my balance. Instinctively, I grabbed on to Adam's shoulders. He stood up and pulled my naked body to his. I was still leaking semen as our cocks rubbed up against each other. Adam rotated his hips while pushing hard against me. It was a spell-binding moment, and I reached orgasm for the second time.

Adam held me in his embrace. I opened my eyes just as the campus street lights turned on for the night. Mentally, I was floating in the clouds that seemed closer than ever before. I took a deep breath and savored Adam's love for me.

When I remembered that Adam's physical needs were still unmet, I moved the carillon bench into the center of the bell tower. I lay down on the short, hard, narrow strip of wood and scooted my body so that my head was resting on one end of the bench and my legs were hanging off the other end. I pulled Adam on top of me and began to kiss his neck again – just as I had promised. I raised my legs, and Adam mounted me with his feet still on the floor. He pushed against me, seeking entrance. I felt him slide in easily, lubricated by both his pre-cum and the copious semen of my double orgasm. He rested his torso on my chest and lifted his neck so that it was fully exposed to my lips. I kissed and licked his chin, neck, and throat as he began to thrust into me. His movements were demanding, and I felt dominated by Adam. I loved it!

I could feel Adam becoming tense as we continued to make love on the carillon bench in the bell tower. Adam began moving his neck around so that I could stimulate just the right places. His cock pounded into my ass, and I could feel his balls slapping against me. I opened my eyes so that I could watch his face. His eyes were closed, and he had the most wonderful expression of rapture. The intensity of his movements grew, and he let out the loud moan of orgasm as he emptied his seed into me.

We lay spent right there on the bench. We clung to each other, knowing that once we separated, it might be the beginning of the end.

Adam and I slept in his room that night. We woke up dreading what we had to do next. Our actions were almost robotic that morning. We showered and dressed; ate a quiet breakfast in the cafeteria; and took the last of our things to the cars. Neither one of us wanted to speak the words, but we had to say goodbye. I was determined to be brave and strong, but my emotions wouldn't be controlled. I broke down right there in the parking lot of Wesley Hall. Adam tried to console me. He cradled me in his arms. "I love you, Joel," he said. "We'll be together again soon. I promise!"

"I love you so much, Adam," I said through my tears. "I'll be alright – just as long as you come back to me."

My mind was on auto-pilot as I drove home to Detroit that Saturday morning. All I could think about was being away from Adam, and I felt as if the world were coming to an end.

But just when you think things couldn't get worse, life has a way of throwing you a curve-ball. Twenty-five miles from my home, the rear driver's side tire of my car blew out, sending me swerving across several lanes of traffic on I94. I fought desperately not to hit anything. With God's grace, I managed to pull off safely onto the right shoulder of the freeway. I finally brought the car to a stop. My heart was pounding, and I was shaking. Cars were flying by me, and no one stopped to help.

After a few moments, I realized that I was on my own. I had never changed a flat tire before, but now I had no choice but to give it a try. I found the jack and managed to inch the back of the car up off the ground. When I tried to loosen the lug nuts, the tire started to spin. That's when I figured out that I should have loosened the nuts before jacking up the car. I started over, and this time I was successful in removing the flat tire. I put on the spare and hand tightened the lug nuts before reversing the jack and lowering the car back onto the ground. I tightened the nuts with the lug wrench. When I lifted the flat tire into the trunk, I noticed blood on the back of my right hand.

Back in the car, I used tissues to soak up some of the blood. I had scraped my knuckles up pretty good. I guess I had been so anxious about changing a tire on the busy freeway that I hadn't even felt it when I injured myself. Remembering that my mother had insisted I carry a first aid kit in the car, I went back to the trunk and found it. I cleaned off the scraped area with an antiseptic wipe, applied some Neosporin, and wrapped the injured part of my hand with a gauze bandage.

The whole flat tire thing had rattled me, but I was able to calm down enough and finish the drive home. "Maybe this was a good thing," I thought to myself. "If Mom or Dad asks why I'm so upset, I can blame it on the blown tire - without even mentioning David."

Something sounded wrong with what I had just told myself. Then, I realized that I had used David's name instead of Adam's. I started wondering if I still loved David more than anyone else. "Don't you dare go down that path!" I chastised myself. "You and David are over; you still have a chance with Adam!"

Mom and Dad were home when I arrived, and they seemed excited to have me back for the summer. I was glad to see them, too. But, being in Detroit again felt surreal – as if I were watching my homecoming from a distance. Mom flipped-out when she saw my bandaged hand. She insisted on cleaning and treating my scraped knuckles herself. Dad went to see if the spare tire on my car was tight enough.

"Yup!" I thought to myself. "After one year of college, I'm still the little boy who can't be trusted to take care of anything without help from his parents."

The next morning during the social hour at church, my mom made sure to let everyone know that I was home for the summer from my first year at Oberlin. I know she was proud that I was a student at a Wesleyan college, but I felt like she was showing me off like some prized trophy. And, when she told everyone I was interviewing for a summer job at her hospital, I was embarrassed. Wouldn't that just make people think that I couldn't get a job without relying on nepotism?

Mom and Dad took me out to eat after church. I told them all about finals week, and that I was pretty sure I had done well on all of my exams. I mentioned that I had considered using my scholarship for a study abroad program in Paris, but that it was too late to apply for this summer.

"Oh, darn!" my mother said. "That would have been wonderful! Your dad and I could have come to visit you. Paris is the 'City of Love,' you know. And now that you're slim again, I bet the girls would be lining up to get a spot on your dance card!"

"My dance card?!? I thought to myself. "What year is this? 1871?!?"

Then, the insult about my weight sank in, and I felt myself getting angry.

I headed upstairs as soon as we got home. "Your interview at the hospital is at 8:00 o'clock tomorrow morning," my mother reminded me. "Wear a jacket and tie!"

"Is my purple jacket okay? Or would the orange plaid be better?" I hollered back sarcastically.

Before I got to my room, I heard my mom speak to my dad. "What is wrong with that son of yours?" she asked in her snarky tone.

"What are you majoring in at Oberlin?" Mrs. Chen from Personnel asked me at my interview the next morning.

"Math," I answered. "And I'm considering a minor in Business Administration."

Mrs. Chen did not comment and went on to her next question. "Do you have any experience in healthcare?"

"Well, only as a patient," I said. "But, both of my parents are healthcare professionals. Hearing about their work while I was growing up has made me appreciate how important hospitals are to the community."

"And how do you think you could assist us this summer?" Mrs. Chen asked.

I had to stop and think about that question. I didn't know which hospital departments hired students for summer work. "I'd be willing to work anywhere there is a need," I said. "I'm particularly interested in customer service, and I think I could contribute in any job that involves interacting with the public."

"So, you're a people person?" Mrs. Chen responded while rolling her eyes at me.

"I'm sure you hear that from just about everybody," I answered. "But, I enjoy helping to solve problems for people, even if it as simple as giving directions."

The rest of my interview lasted only about ten minutes. Before I left, Mrs. Chen explained that she was meeting with other candidates all that week. "We'll call next Monday or Tuesday if we have anything for you."

When I got home and told my mother about the interview, she seemed annoyed. "You're obviously a very good candidate," Mom said. "And, I told them what a good student you are. I thought they'd make you an offer on the spot!"

I wanted to tell my mother that, for all she knew, there might be better candidates than I - nursing students or biology majors for example. But, I didn't say anything.

I hung around the house all day on the following Monday, but I didn't get a call from the hospital. I decided to do some shopping for summer clothes on Tuesday. After all, I was tired of being inside, and we did have an answering machine.

"You got a call this afternoon," Mom said as soon as I came in the door from my trip to the mall."

"From the hospital?" I asked.

"No," Mom said. "Ms. Sanborn from Oberlin wants you to call her back."

I was disappointed that the hospital had not called, and I had no idea why Ms. Sanborn would want to talk with me. But, I called the university immediately and asked to be connected to the Ombudsman's office.

"Are you still interested in Paris this summer?" Ms. Sanborn asked. "A spot has just opened up at the University of Paris. It's yours if you want it."

I was shocked - and ecstatic! "Yes! Yes! I'll take it!" I hollered.

"I thought you would," Ms. Sanborn said. "You'll have to come back to Oberlin to sign some papers. You'll fly out of Louisville next Tuesday - a week from today."

After the phone call ended, I found myself jumping up and down with excitement. "I'm going to Paris! I can't believe it! I'm actually going to Paris!" I exclaimed.

"Oh, that's wonderful!" Mom said. "What happened?"

I told Mom all that I knew – a spot had opened up unexpectedly, and Ms. Sanborn had somehow wrangled it for me.

"But what about the hospital?" Mom asked. "I'm sure they're going to call you."

I looked at my mother as if she were crazy. I wanted to yell, "Screw the hospital! I'm going to summer school in Paris – with Adam!!!" But of course, I said nothing of the kind.

I forced myself to calm down. "Oh, yeah," I said with all the feigned concern I could muster. "Wow, what do you think I should do?"

"I don't know," Mom said. "I sort of pushed the Personnel Department pretty hard to get you an interview. It doesn't seem right just to back out at the last minute. I mean, that could reflect badly … on … well, both of us."

"Mom," I said. "Mrs. Chen was interviewing all last week. I'm sure there are plenty of other people who want a job at the hospital this summer. And besides, think about how great Paris would look on my resume – studying abroad - paid for by a scholarship that I won in a regional oratory competition!"

"Well, I suppose," Mom said. "But still …"

I played my wild card. "You're right to be concerned," I said. "But what about all the fun we could have if you and Dad flew over to Paris to visit me!"

Mom called my dad and told him that I was leaving for Paris in a week. "And we're going for a visit while he's there!" she announced - as if Dad had nothing to say on the matter.

The rest of the week went by in a flash! Mom and I did more shopping. I listened to tapes to learn a little more French, and my parents worked with a travel agent to plan their trip to visit me. I talked with Ms. Sanborn three more times to make sure I had all the information I needed.

Several times, I tried to contact Adam at his grandmother's house, but there was never an answer. "I guess I'll just have to surprise him when I get to Paris," I decided.

I never heard back from the hospital.

Dad drove me south on the day of my departure. We stopped at Oberlin so that I could fill out the massive amount of paperwork that had to be completed. Ms. Sanborn had already left campus, so Mr. Hancock helped me. When I was done, Dad drove me to the Louisville International Airport for my early evening flight.

"I'm so proud of you, Son," Dad said to me after I had checked in with the airline. He hugged me and told me to be careful in Europe. "Mom and I will see you in August, but you better call us every week!"

Dad waited with me until we heard the boarding call for my flight. We hugged again. "Don't worry about me, Dad," I said. "I'll be fine – and I'll call every week!"

I walked down the ramp to the plane, and I showed my boarding pass to the stewardess. "You've been upgraded to first class, Mr. Young," the lady said.

It took me a moment to understand what was happening. But when I realized what was going on, I almost fell over. Adam was sitting in a first class seat – beaming at me. "Please, take your seat," the stewardess said. She pointed at the empty seat next to Adam.

My legs felt shaky, but I managed to walk toward Adam. He stood up and hugged me. "Surprise!" he said.

As we waited for take-off, Adam explained that he had given up his place at the University of Paris. "I can work on my art projects anywhere, and I don't need the college credits. But, I do need you," he said.

Adam held my hand as our plane achieved lift-off.

"I love you more than anyone or anything," Adam said to me. "Let's have the adventure of our lives!"


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