Love - Existentially

by John Teller

Part 9

Book Six - When Englishmen were boys

(A short heads up. After When Englishmen were boys is completed, this entire tale will continue with the remaining books of the story of Alain and Archie et al, where they existentially merge with each other.)

Stuart Begbie.

Meredith blows the first whistle. Every boy freezes and is silent. Meredith blows the second whistle and all hell breaks loose as each boy scrambles to get in line. One boy (from the 4th form) isn't quick enough – bravado, perhaps – as he ambles to his line. Meredith points a finger at him. "To my room, Boy!" He'll get an after-school hour detention at the very least.

I'm towards the back in my line and I can see Michael organizing the 1st form. It's the job of the 6th form students and prefects to organize the lines. Michael is wearing a smile as he puts 'his boys' in line, stopping occasionally to straighten a tie or a collar, and then flick a friendly finger at each one he needs to stop by. He's on the other side of the line and I manage to catch his eye. He gives me a quick, hidden smile. Meredith blows his whistle. The 1st form march in single file into the school: then the 2nd: then the 3rd... to the Great Hall.

I don't see Michael during the morning break, nor, because he goes home for his meal, do I see him at lunchtime. I catch a glimpse of him talking earnestly to Arthur Brookfield during the afternoon break, but then he's gone into the upper house. I catch the bus after school, and I'm miserable on the long journey home.

Mother is sipping a gin and tonic while she's cooking the dinner when I walk into the house. I go to her, and she gives me a peck on the cheek.

I nod my head towards the study. "Is Father home yet?"

"Yes. He got in about ten minutes ago. Go and get changed for dinner. It will be ready in about twenty minutes."

The table is set and dinner is out when I go down to the dining room after I've showered and changed. Mother and Father are already at the table. I sit down and adjust my napkin.

Father looks at me. "How did your day go?"

"Fine." I giggle. "Baker got detention for being last in line. Meredith was furious at him."

Father laughs. "Old Meredith. He must be nearing retirement age. He was old when I was there. That was the old school though." Father smiles. "Before your time. Thank goodness. The roof used to leak in our classroom. Meredith put a bucket under the leak, and all through lessons we had to listen to the constant dripping. It wasn't so bad when the bucket was part full, but when it was empty it used to ping like radar."

Father picks up his wine glass and takes a sip, and his smiling eyes are bright as they meet mine. I've heard the tale before, but it's still funny. While he's in a good mood, I take the opportunity to bring up the matter of going to the swimming baths on Saturday afternoon. "Father, can I go to the swimming baths on Saturday afternoon? Clifford and Sam from school are going and I said I'd ask if I could go with them."

Father looks at Mother.

She pulls a face and shrugs her shoulders. "He's growing up now. We'll have to let the strings go sometime. It's only the swimming baths. If it was a rave somewhere, I'd say not. I don't trust these Teddy Boys."

Father grins. "Most of the Teddy Boys are ok. It's a brave new world out there, thank God. At least they won't be spending six years fighting a God-forsaken war like we did."

Father's comment makes me grimace inside. He'd managed his time as a Major during the war, doing duties in the UK. Not like Michael's Dada who had suffered so badly during the war. Money and position was Father's passport to safety. I don't hate him for it, because he always has a good word to say for the real soldiers who fought in real battles. It was Grandfather who wangled it, actually. I suppose he was just looking after his only son.

I take a drink of my lemonade. "Then I can go?"

Father nods. "Yes, of course you can." Then he grins. "But whatever you do, don't drown!"

I grin back at him, and snort. "I've just done my fifty lengths at school!"

I'm in my bedroom. It's cosy in here. A three-quarter bed and a modern, light-oak wardrobe, and a light-oak dressing table. A row of shelves where I keep my Corgi racing car collection, and by the bed is the Dansette record player I had for my last birthday. Red and cream it is, with legs. Twenty-three guineas it cost, and it's a multi-player that can play four records consecutively. I'm in to 45's now and not the old 78's. I select four from my collection and place them on the player. I have to keep the noise down, Father says. My parents are watching television downstairs. I undress and put on my pyjamas. Then I lie on the bed and play the music and think about Michael. My selection reflects my mood. The first song is Elvis singing; I Want You, I Need You, I Love You. Then Guy Mitchell; Singing The Blues. Then Elvis again; Don't Be Cruel. Finally, the one that brings tears to my eyes; Jesse Belvin, Goodnight My Love, and the beautiful words burrow deeply into my soul as I turn over onto my front and bury my face into the pillow and cry my love for Michael. I want him here with me.

I'm in his strong arms and he's kissing me passionately; exploring; fondling; manipulating, and I shudder with pleasure when my relief sends shock waves as my essence courses through my precious parts into the warm hand of my lover.

Should I do it again? No. Not tonight. I'll play Jesse Belvin on repeat. Goodnight, Michael my love. I really do love you. I'm going to be in your arms on Saturday in the swimming baths, and I'm going to make you know how much I want you.

Michael Johnson.

Thursday. It's raining and it's cold and it's not a night for hanging around. I'm thinking Stuart will have caught the school bus. If he has any sense he will, but when I walk out of the school gates and look down the road, there he is, standing by the same wall he was sitting on when last we met. I'm partially angry at him... but also relieved.

I reach him, and I'm sure he can see the concern on my face when I tell him, "You should have caught the bus. It's too cold to be hanging around here!"

He pulls his overcoat tighter, tucks his yellow scarf deeper into it, and pulls his leather gloves further over his hands. We begin to walk down the hill. "I'm ok. I didn't want to miss you. I can meet you Saturday afternoon. I'll wait for you at the bus station in Brooklands."

My own gloveless hands are buried in my pocket, but when he says that, I take out the one nearest him and squeeze his shoulder, and then put it back in my pocket, and I'm thinking how nice it was to touch him before I say, "I've been thinking. Would you like to go to the cinema with me some time? That's if you can arrange it? Invasion of the Body Snatchers is on at the Odeon from the 27th. Alex is on days that week, which means he'll be in to look after Dada every evening."

Stuart grins up at me. "I'd love to, but I'm not sure if my parents would let me go. Because children are only allowed in with adults, I'd have to tell them I was going with you to see that one."

I feel silly now. Of course, Stuart is right. I hadn't thought about that. But Stuart's grin has eased my guilt. I grin down at him. "Sorry. I forgot you were still a child."

Stuart looks feigned daggers at me. "Hmmffff! You sound like my Father!"

I laugh. "Sorry. We'll go and see Laurel and Hardy then."

Now we're both laughing, and Stuart thumps me on the arm. Things are becoming easier between us, and I'm surprised that I'm not particularly shy with Stuart. We continue walking, saying nothing, but giggling every now and then. Stuart breaks the semi-silence. "Have you got a record player, Michael?"

"No. We haven't got a television either. Just the wireless. Why do you ask?"

Stuart shrugs his shoulders. "I was just asking. I've got a Dansette." His lovely blue eyes have a devilish sparkle to them when he continues. "I was playing some music for you the other evening."

"For me?"


"What were you playing? See You Later Alligator because I'll be chasing you round the swimming baths biting your legs?" Stuart bursts out laughing at my remark. His laughter is infectious, and soon, we're both laughing. It takes us a while to stop, and even then I can't keep the amusement out of my voice. "Well. Are you going to tell me?"

Again our eyes meet, and again that devilish sparkle is in his eyes. "I daren't. You'll laugh at me. I'll shout it to you just as I get on the bus. You won't be able to laugh at me then." I don't push it any more. The ambience between is just right and I don't want to spoil it. I can wait. We're near the bus stop now. Instead of waiting under the corrugated asbestos roof of the bus shelter, we lean against the side wall of the cinema and wait for the bus. We're quiet. I know why. Whatever the name of the song is, it will have something to do with what is happening to us. We only have to wait a few minutes before the bus turns out of Eastern Road and then stops at the bus stop. While the queue is getting on the bus, we saunter towards it. Stuart puts his hand on my arm. "I'll see you at school tomorrow."

I nod. "What's the name of that song?"

Stuart starts to walk away from me, and then he turns with a grin on his red face. "Jesse Belvin... singing Goodnight My Love."

And he's gone before I can say anything. And then it dawns on me that I have got a crush on him, and now he's told me the name of the song, I'm pretty sure he's got one on me.

Stuart Begbie.

Saturday. 1.45. I've got to the bus station early. I don't want to miss Michael. I'm nervous as hell. Since Thursday at the bus stop we haven't seen each other long enough to be embarrassed about the name of the song I told him I played for him, even though I was embarrassed when I told him what it was. He'd grinned at me when we were in the lines on Friday morning, so I know he's not angry at me. I've brought my yellow swimming trunks. It took me a while this morning to decide which ones I would wear. I decided on yellow because they match my hair better than the red or blue ones. Also, these ones are not quite as tight as the other two pairs I have, which is important because I know what's going to happen as soon as he touches me... and I won't be able to hide it. I know I'm not as tall as some of the others in my year, but having seen them all in the showers, compared with them, I'm not lacking in size down there. In fact, I'm bigger than most. And I've got more hairs. I was sprouting them when I was twelve, and I could produce my essence at the same age. A few of the boys in my year haven't even got hairs yet!

Michael's bus is here. I look at the bus station clock. 2.05. Five minutes late. I watch the passengers getting off. He's here. He looks super when he's not in his school uniform. Well polished black shoes and a nice overcoat and a blue scarf around his neck, and it looks as though he's had his hair trimmed. He looks older. He sees me, and a lovely smile crosses his face. He hitches up the blue bag he's got around his shoulders and makes his way towards me. I grin at him. "I was getting worried. I thought you hadn't been able to make it."

He gives me a first-form flick on the head. "Don't be daft. There's no way alligator was going to miss biting your legs." He bares his even, white teeth. "I've sharpened them up for you."

I laugh. "Only my legs?" Wow! Where had that come from? I was speaking my hidden thoughts.

Michael laughs. "Well, anything that gets too close to my alligator teeth, then. You'd better be careful."

His words are arousing me and I can feel it swelling in my underpants. God, I'm going to have a full-time job hiding that all day. I don't respond to his last remark. Instead, I give him a cheeky grin.

The swimming pool is the same size as our school one: fifty yards. Each side of the pool are cubicles for changing, and there's another room for hanging our clothes after we've changed. Michael asks me if I've got any valuables, so I give him my wristwatch and the change from my pocket. He counts it, and then adds it to his own and says, "You get changed while I take these to the treasurer. I'll meet you in the water."

And he's gone, and I go into a cubicle and undress and then hang my clothes in the other room on a peg. When I get back to the pool, I don't see him, so I assume he's changing. I walk halfway along the pool before I see a space large enough to dive in without hitting anyone, and then I dive in and swim to the other side. The water is warm and tastes of chlorine. I pull myself up and sit on the side. The pool is full of people of all ages and both sexes, and I know we won't be able to swim lengths without bumping into someone, but the number of people in here will make us almost anonymous, unless we are stupid and start kissing, or something daft like that. But that's most unlikely. I also have a good look around to make sure there's nobody who knows me. I can't see anyone. Good. People will probably think we're brothers... or something like that.

Michael is here. He walks along the pool, searching for me. I don't shout to him. Instead, I slip off the side and watch him. It gives me a chance to observe him almost naked. He's wearing tight, dark-blue swimming trunks that don't hide anything. It's a good job I'm in the water because I become aroused when I see that he's well-endowed in that department. My fantasies had not been far away from the truth. He's not built like Mr Universe, but neither is he a wimp. He's fit and lean, and the legs that have carried him to so many victories are well muscled. I've seen enough for now and decide to put him out of his misery, so I swim across to him and grab his foot. He looks down at me, grins, and bares his teeth. Then he dives in, and I watch him turn and swim underwater towards me. I know what's coming and I try to evade his hands, but I can't, and he grips my left leg, and I feel his teeth sink into my calf.

He surfaces and grins into my face. "That was starters."

I grin back. "What's for the main course?"

Immediately, his face reddens, and he becomes shy, and then he's got me by the waist and throws me towards the centre of the pool, just missing a middle-aged, bald man, who is trying to do some serious swimming. I swim back to him, and he holds out a hand. Now he's laughing and the shyness has gone. I take his hand and go closer to him. Then I turn away from him, loosen my grip on his hand, and swim away. When I stop, he's beside me. He asks, "Shall we go to the deep end? There's more room there." We swim almost to the end of the baths, and Michael, while holding onto the drip channel that runs alongside the pool, supports us both. My hands are on the arm that is holding the drip channel, and I squeeze it and look into his face. He smiles a shy smile, and then asks, "Why wouldn't your chums come with you?"

I'm about to tell him another lie, when I stop myself. I hate lying to Michael. And one will lead to another. I think my face goes red when I answer him. I drop my head. "I told you a lie, Michael. I didn't ask my chums." Slowly, I lift my head to see his reaction.

I'm expecting him to be angry with me, but he just smiles. "I thought that was the case."

Now I look directly into his eyes. "You're not angry with me?"

He smiles. "No... not at all. Shall we see if we can get on the diving stage? There's not too many on there at the moment."

I grin. "Just so long as you don't expect me to dive off the top one. I'm afraid of heights."

Michael grins. "You've got to pay some sort of penitence for lying to me." He looks up at the six-tier diving stage. "Dive off the fourth one and I'll forgive you for fibbing."

I laugh. "You rotter! I'll do it off the third."

Michael shakes his head. "The fourth or we're not friends anymore."

I look him in the eyes. "And if I do, we will be friends?"

His eyes stare into mine, and he nods. "You go first. I want to see you take your punishment!"

I turn away and swim to the steps at the end of the bath, and my heart is racing as I climb them, because Michael, unwittingly, has just presented me with an opportunity to show him how much I really care for him. I reach the fourth stage, but I don't stop there. I continue to climb the steep steps and I don't stop until I'm on the top stage. I hope Michael is getting the message. I make my way to the edge of the stage and look down at the people in the water below me. To say that I'm petrified would be an understatement. I can hardly breathe, and I feel a small amount of urine escape from my bladder into my sodden swimming trunks.

The lifeguard, sitting high on his vantage point, notices that I'm about to dive from the top stage and blows his whistle and waves his arms to clear swimmers from the space below me. It seems to take an eternity for them to move away, and then a deathly silence descends on the place as everyone in the pool watches me. Only experienced divers and fools do what I'm about to do. But I'm neither. I'm in love with Michael, and I'm about to prove just how much I want him to be my friend. He's watching me now, and there's a dark frown and a worried look on his face. My heart is pounding as I set my feet exactly right on the edge of the stage, and then put my arms straight above my head.

Michael Johnson.

I'm grinning as Stuart swims away, and I take in his lovely, slim, small body, as he climbs up the steps out of the bath and makes his way to the diving stage. He throws his head back and slicks his hair away from his forehead, and begins to climb the diving stage. I really should have made him dive from the third stage because, really, that's high enough, but just to be playful with him, I told him the fourth. He reaches the fourth stage and I'm still grinning, but the grin disappears from my face as he continues to climb. He goes to the fifth stage, and then continues right to the top; to the sixth stage. The stupid boy! I hope he's going to jump, and not dive! My breath is coming in short gasps now, and I'm really worried. I want to shout to tell him to stop, but if I do, I just know it will be the wrong thing to do. Stuart, by his actions, is telling me how much he wants to be friends with me.

The people in the baths below the diving stage clear away to the sides as the baths attendant blows his whistle, and look up. Very slowly, the din of the place lessens until it's almost a deathly hush. Stuart settles his feet at the edge of the diving stage, and then slowly raises his hands above his head to a perfect point. I'm feeling almost sick now as I watch him, as if in slow motion, as he launches himself into the dive. It takes until he's dropped to the level of the 3rd stage before he straightens out, and then he's not in slow motion. He's hurtling at breakneck speed towards the water, which is twelve feet deep. Now, my hands are clenched, and my neck muscles are tensed as I take the water with him, and then I breathe in and hold my breath. It seems like an eternity as I watch the bubbles scatter on the disturbed surface, and there's no sign of him. Now, I really am feeling nauseous!

Stuart Begbie.

My legs are trembling; I feel sick to the pit of my stomach; in fact, I feel I want to wretch, but I have no choice if I am to win the man of my dreams, and I launch myself into the void. I try to do what I've seen good divers d, and try to reach the right position before I hit the water. It seems as though I've overdone it and I may not hit the water right. I defy my brain telling me to shut my eyes and concentrate on trying to stay straight, and when I hit the water, I know I've done it almost right. But now I've got to arrest the dive, and as I hurtle through the water I bend my body and twist my fingers to try and deflect the angle of dive. The bottom is rushing at me and I'm scared as hell, and then the depth of the water and the angle of my body and hands stalls my descent, and I pull up about a foot short of the bottom. But now, because I haven't breathed since well before I launched myself from the diving stage, I'm almost out of air. I need to get to the surface, so I manage to get a push with my feet on the bottom of the baths, and I launch myself upwards. It seems to take an eternity, but then I break the surface and take in a great gasp of air.

Michael Johnson.

I watch Stuart break the surface of the water and gulp in air. He shakes the water from his head and looks at me, and then swims towards me. He reaches the side, grasps the edge of the pool, pulls himself out and sits on the edge, looking down at me almost nonchalantly as if what he had just done was a matter of routine. I look up at him. "You scared the life out of me!"

His face is serious. "Am I forgiven for telling you that lie? Are we friends?"

Our eyes are locked now. I nod. "Yes."

His eyes become fierce. "Special friends?"

I nod again. "Special friends, if that's what you want."

Still his eyes are fierce. "But, is it what you want?"

I stare at the boy above me: into his eyes that touch my soul. I allow my eyes to wander over the rest of what he is: his absolutely beautiful features; the long neck that melts into slim shoulders; the small nipples in the centre of pink circles; his lovely tummy disappearing under his swimming trunks; the continuation of his skin on the thighs that are flattened because he's sitting on them; the boyish knees that are battle scarred; the slim, but well-formed calves: he is completely beautiful. I look back up into his eyes, and they are expectant. I try to speak, but I can't, so I nod.

Suddenly, this lovely creature becomes a bundle of fun. He puts the underside of his foot on my face and pushes me away. "See you later, Alligator!" And he dives off the side and begins to swim away. I'm after him immediately, and before he's got far, I've got hold of his foot. By now we're in water that's in my depth, and I stand and drag him back to me. He's squealing and laughing as I sink my teeth into the back of his silky thigh. Not enough to leave a mark, but enough to arouse me. He squirms free, gets around my back, puts his arms around my neck and wraps his legs around my waist. I tuck my arms under his thighs and hold him in a piggy-back. Any doubts about how I felt about him are literally washed away as he clings to me, and I hold him tight. He rests his chin on my shoulder and pushes the side of his face against mine. We stay like that for quite a while, just ambling through the water. Then he speaks. "Michael, I'm glad you're my special friend."

I turn my face up to him. "Why are you?"

He looks into my eyes. His answer is almost matter of fact. "Because I'm very fond of you."

I stare into his eyes. I can't speak. Especially, I can't say that I'm fond of someone, even though, by now, I know I am very fond of this small boy. Instead, I just smile and then lower my eyes.

Stuart Begbie.

Although Michael doesn't say anything when I tell him that I'm fond of him, I can tell that it's only shyness that is stopping him telling me that he's also fond of me. It doesn't bother me; I've sown the first seeds of affection in him, and now I must wait for them to grow. While he's got his head down, I bonk him on top of the head with my closed fist. "Shall we play a game?"

He lifts his head, and he's grinning. "And what game would that be, Young Master Diving Expert?"

I laugh. "You stand with your legs open and I'll dive off the side and through them without touching you."

Michael has a huge grin on his face now. "And what's the forfeit if you touch me?"

I give him a cheeky grin. "I'll have to dive off the top stage again."

Michael grabs my calf, and squeezes it hard. "No way are you ever going to do that again! No, I'm not playing!"

His serious face makes me giggle. "Okay then. No forfeits. Just a game. Go on! Stand out there!"

Michael wades out a few yards and adjusts his position so that he's standing with his legs open wide. I stand up, and dive in and swim through his legs without touching them, and then surface beside him with a big grin on my face. Michael is grinning, too. "Well done!" he says, "My turn now?" I nod, and he swims away. When he gets out of the baths, because I'm out of my depth, I beckon for him to go further along the baths, so he walks along the side and I reach a place where I can stand comfortably without having to jump up and down to keep my mouth out of the water. Michael dives in and I watch him swimming towards me. He gets to my legs, and when he's halfway through, I deliberately close them to make sure he touches me. He stalls in the water, grabs my leg and pulls me down, and we're wrestling underwater. I'm nearly choking, because I'm bursting to laugh, and when I feel his teeth on my bum, I have to scramble as best as I can to get to the surface. I'm really choking when he surfaces and grins at me. He lifts me up into his arms so that I'm well out the water, and waits until I can breathe properly. My legs are wrapped around his waist... he's supporting me with his arms under my bum, and I have my arms wrapped around his neck. I look into his eyes, and he suddenly becomes serious. So do I, and I'm fuming inwardly, because if we were on our own, in different circumstances we would kiss. It lasts for only a few seconds, and then he throws me away and we swim to the side and clamber out and sit side by side when he says, "You cheated!"

"Serves you right. You shouldn't have made me dive off the top stage."

"I didn't make you dive off the top stage."

"Yes you did."

"How did I?"

"Because you're so shy."

Michael's head goes down. "I can't help it."

We're sitting close together and our bodies are touching at the hips. I move my leg and place it deliberately against Michael's. I feel him return the pressure. I look at him. "Michael, I'm not shy. Will you let me do things for us?"

Michael's head is still down and I see him stifling his feelings. And then he nods. And then he lifts his head and grins at me as if nothing has happened between us. "Shall we see how many times we can swim across the baths without being hit by Baldy?"

I grin at him and look for the bald, old man. He's just done a turn at the end of the deep end and is beginning his next length. I point at him. "Come on then, before he mows us down!"

Laughing, we dive into the water and swim across, and every time Baldy gets near us, we do our dash across the pool. We play that game for ages and then tire of it and play other games. Sometimes it's Michael doing his alligator act, and sometimes I do it. By the time we're finished, I've touched Michael almost every place on his body, and Michael has done the same to me. The only place that has remained sacrosanct is our private parts. Mine has been aroused for most of the time, and I've noticed that Michael's have too.

I've been clock-watching all afternoon, and when six o'clock shows on the big clock at the end of the baths, I tell Michael that I have to be home by seven. I expect him to be disappointed, but he isn't, and says "Okay. Let's get our clothes and then we can have a cup of tea in the café before we go. Is that okay?"

I smile, and nod. We collect our clothes and select a cubicle to dry and get changed. We're not in the same one, nor are we next to each other. Michael is quicker than me, and he's waiting when I exit the cubicle. We go to the treasurer and Michael redeems our valuables by handing over the numbered rubber ring that's been on his wrist. Then we go to the café. Michael insists on paying, and he brings two mini-packs of shortbread biscuits to eat with our cups of tea. While we're seated at the small table, we can't stop giggling at one another. Today has been an adventure; a journey of discovery for both of us. I'm hoping Michael is feeling as I am: other than actually doing sexy stuff with him, it's as good as it gets.

We finish our tea and biscuits, and then Michael asks me, "Is there anything else you need?"

I look him straight in the eyes. "No. I've had a perfect day. Thank you Michael."

This time, he doesn't drop his head. He looks back into my eyes, and smiles. "So have I. Thank you... Stuart."

I drop my head now and fiddle with the biscuit crumbs on my plate. I'm doing this because I know that what I'm about to say cannot be done with eye contact with Michael. He will shrivel into nothing if he sees me looking at him. "Michael, I want to be more than your special friend. I think I love you." I keep my head down, and wait for a reply.

It seems to be an eternity before Michael answers, and then it doesn't come by words. Michael's hand comes across the table, and he squeezes my hand so tightly, and for so long, that it hurts. I'm ecstatic. He doesn't need to say anything. What will follow now may take some time, but I now know for sure that Michael feels as I do. Then he tells me, "It's getting late. We need to get you on your bus or you'll be in trouble."

I look up at him, and grin. "Come on then."

Giggling, we pick up our bags and leave the swimming baths. The cold February air hits us, and Michael fusses over me, adjusting my coat and scarf to keep out the cold. Only when he's satisfied he can't wrap me up any better do we walk in the dark to the bus station. We're about halfway to the bus station when suddenly, Michael grabs my hand and asks, "Are you okay?"

I squeeze his hand. "Yes. I'll be discreet at school. Shall we meet by the church?"

"Yes. But not too often. Will you be alright getting home late some evenings?"

"Yes. I'll tell my parents that I'm staying over for rugby practice. Shall we go swimming again next week?"

"Maybe. Maybe we can do something else. I'll think about it and we can talk when we meet after school."

"Okay." Michael insists he sees me onto my bus first. It arrives. I turn and look up at him. "See you Monday. Enjoy the rest of the weekend."

Michael nods.

I take a seat on the bus by the window and look out on my new love. He's got his overcoat collar turned up and looks a lonely figure. I could almost cry that I'm going back to my nice, warm, detached, central-heated house, and he's going back to his cold terraced house. The world isn't fair. The bus pulls away... he does a single, slow nod of the head, accompanied by his eyelids closing and opening slowly, and I know that again, in his own shy way he's telling me that he loves me, and I return his secretive signal, accompanied by a warm smile.

During the ride home I put my hand inside my overcoat and fondle that which has been aroused for much of the time I was with my new love. One day, if I tread carefully with Michael, he will be doing this for me. And more, I hope.

Michael Johnson.

Saturday night and the city is coming to life, but I see none of it as the bus stops and starts on its journey to my home. Instead, I see only the small boy who I'm in love with, and whose small body has been my delight all afternoon. He's absolutely stunning, and I know that he's now another Craig Thomas; my very first sexual boy need. But he's not a Craig Thomas. Stuart is much more. The emotions I'm feeling are far deeper than I had for Craig. In fact, I'm a crazy mixed-up kid right now. Elation; sadness; need; love; all are jumbled together to create this mixed-up kid. Am I a homosexual in a world that doesn't tolerate homosexuality? That would mean that I'm worse than a leper; as is Stuart if he's like me; as are so many people, both male and female. One thing I am certain about now I've almost tasted the fruits of homosexuality, is that I want more.

Stuart Begbie.

Although I'm happy, tears are falling from my eyes and onto the pillow. Today, I think I've won the heart of my beautiful Michael. I'm still not sure he wants to do those things with me though. I think he does. More than once I caught him ogling my body, and every opportunity I had when we were in the swimming baths, I flaunted my body to his eyes. Not only did I do that; a number of times I pushed my obvious arousal against his warm skin. At one point, when we were at the side of the baths, I was sitting on his upturned thigh with my arms around his neck and my legs wrapped around him, and I pushed myself into him. He couldn't possibly have failed to feel how I was feeling. God, I love him, and I want him so badly!

I turn onto my front and push the pillow under me. I kiss it, and then push it slowly down my body. The pillow is Michael. He goes lower, kissing me lovingly on each step of the journey to that he desires, and then I feel his lips embracing me. Deeper. Oh my God! Please don't let me down Michael! Not now I've got you to love me!

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