A Boy Named James,

by Jolyon Lewes

Chapter 1

Autumn 1968

In the 1960s I went to an all-boys boarding school in Southern England, leaving in 1965 at age nineteen. Three years later, I went to my first school reunion. Some people go to brag about all they've achieved since leaving school, some go to rediscover the scenes of their crimes: crimes that might involve smoking, drinking, sex, or all three, possibly at the same time. Some go to thank their former teachers for inspiring them and some go for sentimental reasons, to see again places that for them have special significance. Some even go to meet old school mates and chat about the old times.

I was in the latter camp when I turned up for the 1968 reunion. The boy I particularly wanted to see, no longer a boy now, of course, was - and is - a bit younger than me.

We'd lost contact soon after I'd left school which was a pity as I'd grown very fond of him, very fond indeed. I often wondered what he looked like as he grew older and whether he was married, something that was on the cards last time we'd met. I had a few photos of him and kept one in my wallet. It was in the form of a little ragged rectangle, a black and white photograph of the school tennis team. Eight boys stood in a row, each in white shirt and shorts and holding a racquet. The image of him was tiny but you could see his sportsmanlike body and make out his chiselled chin and good cheekbones. At eighteen he was the least tall member of the team but his shorts were the shortest by far, resulting in his thighs being bare all the way up. That's why I liked that little photo.

I wondered whether he'd grown stouter since I'd last seen him and whether he'd grown any body hair. If ever I saw him again would I be disappointed or would there be a moment of magic as we shook hands in greeting? When I saw his name down for the school reunion I knew I had to go as well.

The reunion began with a wine reception and I quickly realised there was nobody there from my year. What a fool I'd been - so excited was I to see my friend's name I hadn't checked for any other names from my year. You'd have thought that three years after leaving school some Old Boys would want to turn up and swap notes with their peers about university, careers, love affairs, cars and so on but of my year there were none. Nor was there any sign of my young friend.

A nice chap called Gus Harrington came up and said hello. He'd taken a shine to me when I was fourteen and he was an eighteen-year-old prefect, often inviting me to his room for tea, toast and a friendly chat. He liked to touch my legs but never in what I thought a threatening way. He was now the school's under bursar and had helped organise the logistics of the reunion, which included arranging overnight accommodation in the local area. I thanked him for fixing me up with a nice B & B and he said he hoped I would enjoy the reunion and gave me a curious wink before politely drifting off.

At the dinner I sat with seven men; all complete strangers to me, and wholly engrossed in what each other had done at university, in commerce and in bed since leaving school. I needed to get away and after the speeches and toasts managed to slip out unnoticed in order to make my way to my B & B in the village.

I turned a corner and came face to face with another Old Boy. It was Norris, who'd been a year below me.

"Well, if it isn't Lewes!" he smirked, moving to bar my progress. "Didn't think you were the sort to come to these affairs."

"I'm not," I muttered, keen to have nothing to do with him. "And I'm leaving now, so kindly let me pass."

"Hoping to see your boyfriend, were you? His name was Ellis, wasn't it? I always knew you fancied him. It stuck out a mile...."

I looked at Norris. What did he know about my feelings for the boy? I felt myself blushing.

"Cute little thing, he was," said Norris. "Used to flutter his pretty eyelashes at me, he did. And Christ, how he liked to show off those gorgeous legs of his! I thought he needed taking down a peg or two, I did. Oh, not in so much of a hurry now, are you? Wanna hear what I did to him?"

"Why should I care, Norris? Get out of my way, please."

"But you're blushing, Lewes. I knew you had the hots for 'im and I'm right, aren't I? And how could you forget those shorts he wore - indecent, they were! You could always see more of him than was proper!"

I was sweating now. I couldn't deny my feelings. "OK, so I did like him. What's it to you? "

"Quite a lot, as it happens, mate," said Norris. "Cos I had the hots for 'im too. Only he wasn't interested, cos it was you he wanted. So I had to make life difficult for 'im. Planted some fags in his locker once. When they were discovered he got caned. I liked that a lot."

"You bastard, Norris. That was a vile thing to do."

"Served 'im right," said Norris, showing his teeth in an ugly grin.

He told me he'd lusted after Ellis's smooth and perfect body and sweet face and had wanted to seduce him but had been rebuffed at every approach. He said Ellis had told him he already had one good friend and didn't need any more.

"And that good friend was you, wasn't it, Lewes?"

Norris then proceeded to tell me with obvious relish how he enjoyed seeing the results of the caning.

"Lovely fat cane marks on his fat little bum and on his upper thighs. Poor kid had no way of hiding 'em when he was in his rude little shorts. He only had to bend forward a bit and the marks on his bum came into view. Bloody delicious! "

While he was talking, Norris was watching me carefully.

"Hey, Lewes, you've got a bloody hard-on thinking about 'im!"

Embarrassed, I thrust a hand in my pocket and tried to quell my excited willy. Then I pushed past Norris and made my escape. I sped to the outdoors where I tried to tame my rigid willy as I walked through the village towards my B & B.

The unexpected meeting with Norris had shocked me and I found myself trembling slightly as I walked. The arousal generated by thoughts of Ellis dissipated and I reflected on my visit - it had been a total waste of time and money. I knew I'd never see him again but at least he must be alive, or he'd never have put his name down for the reunion. I wondered why he hadn't turned up and then began to worry that he'd had an accident or something.

Norris saying he'd been competing with me for Ellis's favours worried me too. I wondered whether he'd been lying, just to wind me up. Oh hell - I was still in love with Ellis, years after I'd last set eyes on him. I wanted to get to my room at the B & B and go to bed and make myself dream about him just like I used to do.

The lady at the B & B had given me a key and I let myself in, and climbed the two flights of stairs to my room. As I opened its door I realised I must have left my portable radio switched on for I could hear music playing softly.

September 1960

I began at the boarding school in September 1960, joining the Fourth Form. I was a few months short of my fifteenth birthday and was at last in long trousers. At my previous school we had to wear grey short trousers, which I thought barbaric, especially as mine were by far the shortest in my year group. Since the age of eleven I'd hated having to wear shorts of any kind. At the new school I did, of course, have to wear shorts for PE, cross-country running and football. We were forbidden to wear anything underneath our sports shorts but mine were just long enough to avoid the instances of indecent exposure suffered by boys more physically developed than me and with shorter shorts.

Inevitably, there were times when even my shorts failed to keep me decent, like in the gym when we had to do handstands. In those days PE shorts had no inner lining and were quite loose so if you were upside down the legs of the shorts obeyed the laws of gravity and it wasn't unusual to see a boy's private parts and a large chunk of his bottom fully exposed. For reasons I couldn't explain I found the sight of an attractive boy's bottom thus exposed to be far more exciting than to see the same boy totally naked in the showers.

Some older and more sporty boys wore jockstraps and were therefore able to keep their genitals safe and out of sight but jockstraps don't cover your buttocks so if you valued your modesty you really couldn't win.

My lack of sporting prowess was noted at my new school but I wasn't persecuted as cruelly as at the other place. There was humiliation from time to time which I'll describe in due course. There were some good points, too. Rugby was not compulsory and played only by a few dozen fanatics, so I was in the football set. I wasn't any good at it but at least unlike with rugby I had some idea of the rules. For cricket, we older boys wore long whites. However, the Under 15s cricket team had to wear shorts, stiffly-starched white shorts of astonishing brevity. The players weren't happy with this but if I tell you the team was run by the school chaplain you can draw your own conclusions about the nature of his proclivities..

Academically, I went from strength to strength, winning the Form Prize at Speech Day in the summer of 1961. A year later I managed a highly satisfactory haul of O Level results so my parents were pleased they'd moved me to this school, though not half as pleased as I was.

Now in long trousers all the time except for a couple of hours a week in the gym or on the sports field, I felt my self-confidence building. Indeed, instead of feeling permanently self-conscious in grey shorts I was now able to look at other boys in shorts and try to gauge whether they were happy about it or whether they were embarrassed, as I'd been.

At this school grey shorts were mandatory for boys in the First and Second Forms, i.e. for boys of eleven to thirteen. After that long trousers were optional and most but by no means all Third-Formers took that option. I'd be lying if I denied enjoying the sight of the boys in grey shorts, especially if the weather was cold and if the shorts were on the very brief side. And so began the Schadenfreude that has lasted all these years - a malicious enjoyment of others' misfortunes.

In January 1962 I became aware of a tall, rather graceful Second-Former of thirteen called Martin. Everyone seemed to be talking about him. He'd turned up for the Spring Term in a light-grey suit with shorts so brief they were hidden by his jacket and retreated to the very top of his thighs when he was seated. A side-on view of him sitting on the end of the refectory bench was highly rewarding, if you like that sort of thing.

On Sundays Martin wore a darker grey suit with shorts reaching well down his thighs. Standing beside him one freezing Monday evening in the quadrangle, waiting for the doors to the refectory to be opened, I asked him why he didn't wear the longer shorts every day. He tugged down in what looked like despair at the hems of his tiny shorts.

"Wrong colour," he said. "Only Sixth-Formers are allowed dark- grey so that nice suit has got to go. It's a pity because it was new this term, like this light-grey one. From now on I've got to wear this light-grey one. My mother's from Paris and that's where this suit came from. In France boys' shorts are much shorter than in England. Another light-rey suit is on its way and I hope its shorts aren't as short as these."

Again, he tugged at the hems of his little shorts and I felt a hard-on forming. He said he wasn't sure which was worse - everyone staring at him or the way the wind froze his legs.

Then he said that because his light-grey suits were new he'd have to wear them for at least two more years. These were the days when boys like Martin had no say in what they wore. It was a situation I knew well, having had to wear short trousers at my previous school - and not just for school for I had to wear them until I was fifteen during school holidays for formal things like church and visits to relations.

I looked at Martin. His thighs were pink with cold. Raising my eyes to his face I saw there were tears in his eyes. I wanted to give him a hug.

A month later his new suit arrived, with shorts of even more spectacular brevity. Martin was in shorts until he joined the Fourth Form. As he grew taller his grey shorts seemed to grow briefer by the week. No other boy had shorts like his. He was talk of the town.

One calm, bitterly cold afternoon I was sitting on a metal bench beside the hockey pitch watching a match. Rather to my surprise, Martin appeared and asked if he could sit beside me. Like me he was wearing his gabardine raincoat, kid gloves and school scarf. The coat reached to the top of his knee socks.

"Be my guest," I said, feeling a stirring in my loins.

Martin took off his coat, folded it neatly and put it on the bench beside me. Of course, he didn't want his bare thighs in direct contact with that freezing metal. The summer suntan on his legs had long gone and his thighs were very pale. I felt a bit guilty wrapped warmly in my raincoat and my loins began to stir more strongly. He watched the hockey but it no longer held any interest for me, his long, smooth thighs being a much more arresting sight.

"It's starting to snow!" he said and sure enough, a few flakes of snow were falling from the leaden sky.

I watched as a snowflake landed on his right thigh and stayed there, showing no sign of wanting to thaw. Then a second flake joined the first and soon there were several flakes sitting proudly on each of his lovely thighs.

"Your legs must be freezing, " I said, pointing a gloved hand to his right thigh. "The snow on them isn't even melting."

"Yeah, they're really cold," said Martin, "they always are when I have to be outside in weather like this. Take a glove off and have a feel, if you like."

He was inviting me to touch his bare leg! Not wishing to appear rude, I accepted his offer, removed my glove and rested my hand, palm up, halfway along his right thigh. I chose palm up because I didn't want him to think I planned to close my fingers over his leg and give it a stroking and also because the backs of your fingers are more sensitive than the fronts and yes, his skin was as cold as could be. Instinctively, I turned my hand over and brushed the snowflakes off his thigh.

"Nice warm hand," said Martin. I wanted to give him a hug.

A couple of minutes later he said he'd get warmer by walking so he stood up and put on his raincoat and set off to walk around the hockey pitch. Before he left he looked at me with a little smile and said thank you.

"I like you, Lewes," he said. "Lots of older boys stroke my legs whether I want them to or not but you're a real gentleman."

I had to remain seated because my state of arousal would have been plain to see, even with my coat on. My thoughts about Martin were anything but gentlemanly and I knew I'd have to have a wank later, thinking about him and I wondered if he realised he was responsible for inspiring thousands and thousands of glorious wanks, not only mine but those of the scores of other boys who lusted after him.

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