Losing Tim

by Nigel Gordon

Chapter 3

Black Country 1961

As I have said, I was already used to selling my body before I got to London. I had started when I was nearly thirteen and been introduced to it by Chris. I had first met Chris a couple of months before my thirteenth birthday. I had gone to the swimming baths to meet a friend from my Junior School, Michel; he had gone to the Grammar School but was the only one of my Junior School friends I kept contact with. We had agreed to meet one Saturday, and I got to the baths early, so was already in the water by the time Michael arrived. He was with two friends from his school who I knew and a third, smaller boy, I had not seen before and I could not take my eyes off him. Michael spotted me in the water and waved. I waved back. The smaller boy next to him smiled. I flung myself onto my back and started to float; it was either that or sink as my knees gave way; I had never seen a smile like it. The group went up to the hatch to get changing baskets and then vanished into the changing cubicles. Michael into one, his two school friends shared one and the smaller boy into another. I lay floating, watching his door, then a hand caught my shoulder. It was Dave from the Scouts' Swimming Club; he wanted to know if I was swimming in the house team at the school gala. I told him yes, then found myself having to tell him which events I was in and what I thought my chances were. By the time I turned back to look at the cubicles, the smaller boy's door was open and there was no sign of him. I look around the pool but could not see him, so decided he must have gone to the refreshment area.

I started to swim down towards the deep end, intending to climb out and see if he was in the refreshment area. Suddenly there was a massive splash, water going everywhere. A mass of long, dirty blond hair popped up next to me. A hand pushed it back from the face and the deepest blue pair of sparkling eyes looked out at me.

"Hi, I'm Chris," I flustered for a moment unable to find a reply, there was no need to, he continued, "Michael said you were Peter and that we should be friends". I laughed and put my hand on his head gently pushing him under the water.

From the start, Chris was my big secret. I don't know why; it was just that I felt there was something different about him and that it would not be wise for my friends, the few I had to know him, more importantly, it would not be a good idea for my parents to know about him or at least not meet him. Maybe it was just that I was being excessively possessive.

That first day in the pool I was definitely possessive, never letting him out of my sight. We swam together, dived together, and competed to see who could swim the farthest underwater. This later led to a game that resulted in the first intimate contact between us.

One of us would stand on the centre line of the pool width our legs wide apart, the other would then back up as far as they could and try to dive down and swim between the other boy's legs. Of course, as you swam through the legs you would inevitably touch them.

We were playing this game with Michael and his two school friends. I had found out from Chris that he did not go to the Grammar. As the game progressed, I noticed that when it was my turn in the centre, Chris would touch me a lot more than the accidental contacts of the other boys. So, as I swam through his legs, I let my hand slide along his thigh. The next time Chris went through my legs he slid his hand up my swimming shorts. After that, it became a definite grope. I regretted the fact that Chris was wearing the new style tight trunks that were just coming into fashion; it was not possible to repay the compliment. The tight trunks did, however, make the outline of his cock clearly visible, so next time I went under I cupped my hand over it as I came through. Chris smiled when I surfaced.

We swam and played for a couple of hours, sometimes with the other boys, more often by some unspoken understanding just the two of us. Then the whistle went for the end of the session and the pool emptied. As normal there were more people wanting cubicles than there were cubicles, Chris suggested that we share.

The two of us slipped into a cubical. As we entered, I turned and shut the door, then struggled for a moment to shoot the out of alignment bolt home. Just as I got it to slide into place, fastening the door, a pair of hands slid down my sides, caught the elastic of my swimming shorts and yanked them down. I turned around. Chris was standing there, his trunks down by his ankles, his short fat cock erect, smiling. He put his hands on my shoulders and pulled me towards him. For a moment we stood, our naked bodies pressed tight to one another. Then we kissed.

"I like you," I said when we parted.

"I should bloody well hope so", Chris replied, gently running his hands over my body.

Banging on the cubical door reminded us of where we were and that others were waiting for changing cubicles. We quickly dressed and exited the cubical. Michael was waiting by the vending machine, drinking a cup of chocolate. His two school friends had not yet exited their cubical. Michael said they were going down to Bescot Park to try out a model glider and did we want to come. Chris told him that he could not as he had to get back to his uncles to do some work and as I wanted to stay with Chris as long as possible, I also declined to join them.

Our time together that day was though going to be short. I had to be home quite early; we had visitors coming over. Chris had invited me to go over to his uncle's with him but I had to decline. So, the two of us walked down the road a short distance and sat on a bench in the war memorial gardens discussing our likes and dislikes. Quite soon it was time to go home. Chris walked with me, his uncle lived on Friar Park and the route there went close to where I lived. On the way we made arrangements to meet up the following day, I also gave Chris my phone number, which quite impressed him. This was still an age when most people did not have phones at home. We only had one because my father's work required it.

That evening my mother kept complaining that I was not paying attention. Of course not, I was miles away thinking of Chris. I was also coming to a great understanding about myself. I think I had known I was different from the time I was 8 or 9, though I had never put a form to that difference. Knowing you are different is one thing, understanding the nature of that difference is another. Just at the point where my schoolmates, even the ones who I from time to time played around with, were starting to get interested in girls, I realised I wanted a boy. Not just any boy, I wanted Chris.

That Sunday I was up early and told mum that I was going up to the park. She reminded me to be back by two for Sunday lunch. I grabbed a bottle of Tizer out of the pantry, Cola had not yet become all dominant, and exited the house as rapidly as I could without raising suspicion. Within 15 minutes I was at the park. Some 20 minutes before I was due to meet Chris. I doubt if any 20 minutes has ever seemed so long. The next five seemed even longer.

Suddenly there was a hand on my shoulder. I turned to look into a pair of piercing grey eyes. Yes, I know it should be piercing blue, but Chris's eyes weren't blue, or at least not the pure deep blue you associate with blonds. They were a bluish-grey, more towards grey than blue. Like the colour, you get on carbon steel when you quench a white-hot blade in water. Like the blade, they seemed to cut deep within you. There was a cold sparkle in those eyes, like a glint of sunlight on a katana, the sword of the samurai, as it flashes through the cutting arch.

Those eyes caught and held me, arms enveloped me and hugged me tight. He said he was scared I would have left. He had missed the bus and had to run all the way. I never bothered to think from where, it was, for me, enough that Chris was there.

We sat upon the swings. Between competitions to see who could go the highest we talked of many things, though now looking back I see we never once talked about Chris. In fact, we never were to talk about Chris, though I could not know that then.

The morning summer sun grew warm, and we left the playground to the younger kids who arrived to splash in the paddling pool. Not wishing, by common consent, to join the older boys on the expanse of grass where they played their ball games, we made our way off to the side of the park. There, hidden behind the bowling green and tennis courts, surrounded by partial wood, was a small grassy bank upon which we lay, shirts off, enjoying the sun, Tizer and being close to each other.

Our hands may have touched that day and once Christ rolled over and tickled me. There was nothing more. No need for it, we had what we wanted, to be together. The distant church clock struck one and soon I had to leave. I asked Chris to come down for Sunday lunch, there would be plenty, and I could always phone ahead from the phone box and warn mother I was bringing a friend back. He said that he would like to but had to work that afternoon.

My parents were due to be away the next weekend, so I suggested that he come over and stay. For a moment he was silent then said maybe, he had my number and would give me a call if he could, but that we could meet up on the Saturday. With that, he leaned over, kissed me, then pulled on his shirt, got up and left. I lay for a moment on the grass, finished the Tizer and then started, shirtless to make my way home.

That evening Chris rang me. He could not say if he could stay the weekend but if he could he would be over on Friday night. He checked my address again. The week dragged, made longer by end of term exams in which I had to work really hard to stay near the top of the class. I got home early that Friday to find my parents had already left, leaving me ten shillings to get myself something from the fish and chip shop if I wanted any over the weekend. I really fancied some fish and chips for tea but dared not go out in case Chris called. So, I made myself an fromage au gratin and sat in front of the TV eating it with slices of dry bread and some cider. Later, still in front of the TV and with even more cider I scoffed a packet of cheese biscuits.

By ten, no call had come, or to be precise no call from Chris. My parents had called to see that I was OK, also George the Librarian called to tell me a book I wanted from the library had come in. Nothing though from Chris. Feeling tired and a bit drunk, I had consumed most of a bottle of cider; I went to bed, quickly falling asleep.

The ringing of the phone woke me. I switched on my light and checked the time. It was 2 a.m. Then I made my way downstairs and picked up the phone.

"Peter?" a voice asked before I could say the number. I recognised Chris's voice, though it seemed on edge, almost in tears. I confirmed it was me.

"Can I stay with you tonight?" My chest tightened, I said yes, what else could I say, and asked where he was.

"In the phone box on the corner of your road." I opened the front door and looked up the road. In the light of the phone box was a diminutive figure. As I opened the front door, he put down the phone, opened the box door and ran down the road, jumped over the gate and was up the path and in through the door before I had put down the phone. I closed the door behind him. Chris stood there, tears rolling down his face. He looked a mess; his shorts and tee-shirt were grimed with what looked like oil. Oily handprints covered his arms and legs. I opened my arms and Chris fell into them and started to cry.

When he finally stopped, I took him through to the kitchen and made him a cup of hot sweet tea, in those days it was the panacea for everything. Once Chris seemed a bit calmer, I suggested he should get cleaned up, he asked if he could have a bath, also did I have any clothes he could borrow as his were a mess. I took him upstairs and ran the bath, whilst it was filling, we went into my room to sort out some clothes. Chris was a bit smaller than me, I had just started on that first spurt of growth that comes with the onset of puberty, so I had a lot of stuff that was a bit too small for me. He selected a pair of shorts, pants and a tee shirt and went and put them in the spare bedroom, where mother had made up a bed in case, I had a friend to stay; it was a double bed. He then went into the bathroom. I heard the taps being turned off, then a call asking if I could help.

Entering the bathroom, I found Chris standing, tears in his eyes. He had tried to pull the tee-shirt up over his head. As I entered, he tried once more but winced with pain. I went to him and took the tee-shirt pulling it over his head. Across his back were three or four broad red marks. This scared me, what had happened to my friend? Slowly and carefully I proceeded to undress him. On the side of his chest was a massive bruise, red weals covered his arse and upper thighs. His pants were red with blood that had oozed from his arse. He was shivering with cold on what was a warm night. I wanted to call a doctor, but Chris said no, he just wanted a bath, and could I help him?

Once he was in the bath, he stopped shivering. Carefully I washed him being as gentle as I could, though he winced a couple of times. Then I got him out and dried him, put him into a spare pair of pyjamas and took him through to the spare room. As I put him into the bed he reached out and put his arms around me.

"Stay with me?" I nodded, got up and went and switched the lights out, then returned and slipped into bed next to him. He pulled himself up against me and sobbed on my shoulder till he fell asleep. I lay there with my arms around him, wanting to protect him but feeling totally inadequate not knowing what I was protecting him from, until eventually, I joined him in sleep.

It was late next morning when we woke. Chris had awoken before me as when I opened my eyes, I was aware of him looking down into my face. He leaned forward and kissed me.

"Thanks Pete"

"For what?"

"Not asking questions."

"Here's one, hungry?"


We dressed and went downstairs. I cooked some bacon, fried bread and beans. One good thing about my father's family is that all the males are taught to cook from an early age. Probably due to the fact that a lot of the family had an interest in the hotel and pub business, and it was presumed that the kitchens would be run by male chefs. By the time I was ten I could, if need be, cook Sunday lunch and a couple of times had had to when mother was ill, and father got called out on an emergency. Unfortunately, I have never been very good at washing up, Chris though appeared to have a natural talent for that.

He still winced from time to time and I was concerned. I suggested going to the clinic, but Chris was insistent that we should not, he did ask if he could use the phone and a few moments later I heard him say "Doctor it's Chris". After that, he dropped his voice and I could not hear what he said, the phone was in the hall by the front door and I was in the kitchen. Chris came through and said his doctor would be coming to see him soon.

About 20 minutes later there was a knock at the front door and Chris looked out the window then ran to open the door. He let in a large man carrying a medical bag. He was vaguely familiar as a doctor who I had seen call at the house a couple of times to speak to father.

He gave Chris an examination, announced there was nothing broken but some nasty bruises. He then turned and asked me how long Chris could stay with me. I told him my parents were away till Tuesday so Chris could stay till then. He said that was OK and that he would square stuff with Jack. Then he gave Chris a couple of ten bob notes and told him to stay off the game for a bit and get his clothes cleaned. With that, he left after giving Chris some tablets and telling him when to take them.

Christ took one of the tablets, that the doctor said were a painkiller. Quite quickly he complained of being very tired and asked if it was OK for him to go and lie down. I said yes and that I would take his stuff down to the laundrette.

When I got to the laundrette Mavis, one of our neighbours was there. She saw the tee-shirt and shorts; I had dumped the pants in the bin, and presumed they were mine. I said I had an accident cleaning my bike and did not want mother to find out. She took them off me and told me to get home, she would put them in with her Dave's wash, that was always oily, him being a mechanic, and that she would drop them off later.

When I got back to the house Chris was still asleep on the bed, so I went downstairs and read a book for a bit. About an hour later Chris came down and sat next to me, asking me about the book, I offered to find him a book to read.

"Naw, it's the lot better if you read it to me." So, I did. Over the years I was to know Chris I was to read to him a lot. He loved Asimov and Mary Renault, whose "The Last of the Wine" I must have read to him half a dozen times. It was only years later that it occurred to me that Chris was unable to read himself being functionally illiterate. I can only wonder if I had taken the time and taught him to read as I was reading to him if things would have worked out differently.

After about an hour of reading, I made some lunch and Chris took another tablet; he was soon feeling drowsy again and went to lay down. Probably just as well as Mavis dropped in with the washing shortly after and wanted to check that I was OK. If she had seen Chris, she would have been worried, there was a clear bruise down the side of his face.

Just after Mavis had gone there was a knock at the front door. I went to answer it and found it was the doctor who had been to see Chris earlier. He asked how Chris was and I told him that he was sleeping. The doctor nodded and said he better see him, so I took him upstairs. He looked in on Chris, then took me to one side and explained that Chris would sleep a lot that day. The effect of what had been done to him and the painkillers. He then asked me if I knew what had happened. I shook my head. He told me that some older boys had been very nasty to Chris, but that we had to keep it a secret otherwise Chris would be in a lot of trouble for doing things he was not supposed to do. He also told me that Chris would be a lot better tomorrow and that he would call again that evening.

Chris woke late afternoon and seemed a lot happier. We played a couple of games of chess Then we watched TV for a bit. Again, I made tea and after Chris washed up, also washing up the stuff from lunch. He then took another tablet, but this time did not feel sleepy, just slightly dozy, so he lay on the settee next to me, his head on my lap, watching television. The doctor came again about eight and seemed happy with Chris, telling him not to take the green and white capsule unless he had problems getting to sleep.

About nine-thirty Christ suggested that we go to bed. There was no discussion, just a general default agreement that we would be sleeping together. This time we climbed into bed without pyjamas, our naked bodies pressing tight against each other.

"I suppose you want to know what happened?"

"Yes, but you don't have to tell me," I replied, though I very much wanted to know. He pulled me to him, we kissed.

"I better tell you. Mike, one of the older boys where I live has some friends with motorcycles. He goes out with them most weekends. Friday afternoon he said I could go with him and ride a motorbike." At that, I felt a bit let down. Going out on a motorbike was more interesting than meeting me. I also realised that Chris did not live at home.

"He took me over to the White Elephant." I knew the place, an area of old spoil heaps, the largest of which looked like the head and back of an elephant. There were a lot of trails there and it was popular with youths on motorcycles. My friend Mark had taken me there a couple of times and allowed me to ride his trail bike.

"There's this like gang that hangs out there, Mike's a sort of member. When we got there, it was light, and they were racing round the track. I got to ride on one of the small bikes."

"Then it started to get dark, and they built a fire and sat round drinking cider. There was this big man, all black leather and a beard, he was the leader. Mike took me over to him and told him I was queer. He laughed, stood up and undid his belt, pulling it out and dropping his trousers. He had nothing on underneath, and he stank. Told me to suck his cock. I said no so he hit me with his belt a couple of times, then I sucked him, and the others. If I weren't doing it the way they wanted, they hit me with their belts."

"One of them pulled my shorts and pants down and started to stick his cock in me. I screamed, it bloody hurt like that. Mike shoved an oil rag in my mouth and held it there as the biker fucked me. Then Mike fucked me and a couple of others. After that, they all had a go up my arse."

"When they had finished, they put me on the back of one of the bikes and dropped me off at the marketplace, I walked here, lucky I remembered your number." With that, he started to sob again. I put my arms around him and pulled him tight against me. His cock was hard and pressed into me.

For a while, we just lay there holding each other, enjoying the closeness and warmth of each other's body. Then slowly, by some unspoken understanding, we started to move our bodies in a rhythm of desire, pressing flesh against flesh, mouth against mouth. Our hands sought out each other's member with the increasing urgency of desire in our young bodies, a desire that was soon spent and after which we slept.

The doctor came again the next morning and seemed much happier about Chris, who was now much more his usual self, or at least the boy I knew from the baths and the park. Looking back with hindsight I doubt if I ever knew what Chris's true self was, then I doubt if Chris did either.

That though was for the future. At the time we were just two boys finding a need in each other that we could mutually satisfy, though in many ways we were totally different.

The doctor called back just after one and told us he was taking us out for lunch. Mavis must have seen the car and came across to investigate. Chris told her that he was staying with me whilst my parents were away. That was fine, they had already told Mavis that I would have a friend staying. What was not good was the clear bruise on Chris's face. The doctor told her that he was a doctor and that Chris was his nephew, also that Chris had been in an accident a few days before, which was why he was calling round regularly to check that he was alright. This satisfied Mavis, who clucked that if we needed anything that we should pop over and see her. Then she asked about Sunday lunch, but the doctor answered that he was taking us out for lunch.

He took us to a hotel in Walsall where we ate, then to the cinema to see a film. Both Chris and I were quite dozy by the time he got us home, though it was only late afternoon, as a result shortly after the doctor had dropped us off, we went and got into bed and were both quickly asleep, only to be woken a few hours later by a knocking on the front door. It was the Doctor; he had come back to see Chris and told him that everything was OK with Jack and also; he had squared things with Steve; I had no idea what he was on about. He then gave Chris a couple of pound notes saying that Jack had sent them and suggested that we go to Dudley Zoo the next day.

We did not go to the zoo, instead; we went into Birmingham and spent most of the day going around the museums, including the science museum, where we spent most of the afternoon. Before going there Chris dragged me into the Town Hall. There was a lunchtime organ recital on. The woman at the door took one look at the pair of us, two twelve-year-old grubby boys and let us in free.

For the first time, I heard Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. The hall was nearly empty, but we sat out of the way near the back. As we sat listening to the music, the waves of sound washed over and through us. Chris edged closer to me and slipped his hand into mine. I looked at him and saw he was sobbing gently, and the tears were running down his face. As soon as the music ended, he stood up, pulled me up and almost ran out of the hall, I followed him. He was standing outside, looking back into the hall, not for me but looking at the Organ.


"My da was an organist, that was his favourite," he paused for a moment, shook himself, then looked at me and smiled, "come on then we have to be there by two for the steam engines."

In the two years that were to follow that was the only time, I remember Chris talking about his father. I do not think he ever mentioned his mother, although I was to learn a lot about her later from Terry. That though was in the future.

We got down to the science museum in time to see the massive steam engines working and to listen to the mechanical orchestra play. After that Christ took me to a café to get some tea. He appeared to know the place and be known there. The man behind the counter knew his name and a couple of youths seated at one of the side tables acknowledged him. That day I had my first hot dog and my first Cola, though it was to be many more years before I could buy Cola in the shops.

There seemed to be a lot of boys hanging around in the café. Mostly sipping bottles of coke, trying to make them last as long as possible, or playing pinball. One of the half dozen or so men who were seated at tables in the café got up and walked over to us. He asked if we would like to join him for another coke. I thought this was strange but before I could say anything Chris said we had an appointment. He made some comment about lucky chap and returned to his table.

We finished our hot dogs and cola, Chris went up to the counter and said something to the chap behind it who smiled at him. Then we left, catching the bus back to Wednesbury.

That night we watched TV then went to bed. Two boys, friends, finding warmth and company with each other. In the years to come, I would spend a lot of time with Chris, that day though was our day.

I woke the next morning to the sensation of Chris stroking my body. He was running his hand down my chest and across my stomach. I opened my eyes and looked into his, then raised my arm and put it around his neck and drew him down next to me.

"It's ten-thirty," he commented.


"We better get up, clean up and I better get back to where I live." It hit me that time, he had not said home, only where he lived. I asked him where that was. He was evasive about the answer and I never did find out from him. To be honest, one got the impression that he was not there much and that it did not really matter.

"Come on, let's get cleaned up."

"I prefer it here with you."

"Peter, we've got to get up."


"Your parents come home today."

"Shit!" it hit me. Two twelve-year-olds alone in the house for four days. It did need cleaning up. Chris seemed experienced at it. Well before one, when my parents were due back, the house, if not clean, was at least tidy.

I asked Chris to stay, but he said he had to get back to where he lived. At the suggestion he should come back that night and stay he shook his head. I assured him there would be no problem with my parents. He pointed out that he did not think they would let us sleep together, anyway he had arranged to work tonight. I was puzzled. What sort of work could a twelve-year-old be doing at night?

Just after one Chris left. He told me that he would be staying with friends in Birmingham for a couple of days but that we could meet on the Friday afternoon. We agreed to meet at the swings in the park at 2 p.m.

Although my parents had said they would be back about one it was well after six when they got home. Dad immediately went out to the club, leaving mother to sort out all the luggage and the washing. I got the distinct impression that things had not gone well over the weekend.

That week I was kept fairly busy getting odd jobs done and packing my stuff for scout camp the following week. Our kit was going to be taken up by van on the Friday, although we would not go to camp till the Monday.

The Friday morning seemed to drag on and on. To make matters worse, it was raining. I began to fear that mother would not let me go out. The weather did clear up a bit late morning, and the sun came out about noon. As soon as we had lunch, I made an excuse to get uptown and go to the park.

I was there early and went and sat on the swings. They were damp from the rain and a bit uncomfortable to sit on, it was also a bit chilly. The brief glimpse of the sun at noon having now vanished, not surprisingly as England were playing at Edgbaston and dad had gone to watch the test match but had never thought to take me, though if he had offered this time, I would have been most annoyed as it would have meant missing Chris.

I sat on the swing for a bit. An older boy, about fourteen came and sat on the swing next to me. He started to talk and asked if I would like to go somewhere warmer and have some fun. I told him I was waiting for somebody. He smiled and said he might see me some other time, then got up and walked off. It started to drizzle. I looked at my watch, only half-past one. Should I go and shelter till two? I was just pondering the question when I saw Chris, coat pulled up over his head, running down over the grass. I got up off the swing and ran up to meet him. We ran under the nearest big tree and took shelter, just as the heavens opened.

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