Jeremy's Swimming Lessons

by Smokr

Chapter 17

When I woke up, the sun was just coming up. I sat bolt upright and threw the sheet off of myself. I had a lot to do today, and I wanted to make sure I got the chores done before noon.

I couldn't help but think about the swimming lessons. Chet, Howie, me, and Mitch. I prayed I wouldn't be hard in those swimming trunks when Mitch saw me, but I wanted him to be hard in his. I knew that was weird, but I was just so embarrassed by the thought of him seeing me in those tight, revealing trunks, especially with a boner. And I knew the size of mine would be so obvious in those trunks. It would just be humiliating!

I hoped that the big talk with Mitch after the lessons went well. I wanted it to be over already. The thought of it made my guts churn. I hoped the marijuana cigarette helped Mitch feel more relaxed and able to talk, and had him feeling chatty and open. I was dying to see his reaction to what Chet said he and Howie planned to say in front of us. I begged God to let Mitch be calm and accepting, if not just like us. I could live if he wasn't one of us, so long as he didn't hate me, or even worse, say anything to anybody.

But, God, please! Please let Mitch be like me! And please let him like me! Oh, God, please!

By the time Dad and I were done with chores, Mom had lunch on the kitchen table.

I tore through it, then went to my room and got clean clothes ready, and thought about the swimming trunks Chet had given me. I wasn't about to change at the pool, so I got them out of my dresser to put on under my jeans after the shower. I held them up and looked at them. They were so small! My white briefs were larger. They were so embarrassing to wear in public, but in front of Mitch... Oh, God! But I didn't have any others to wear.

I took a fast shower, then put the trunks on. They felt... weird! So... just, weird. I pulled my underwear on over the trunks and looked in the big mirror on the back of my door. The underwear hid the trunks completely. I shook my head and took my underwear off.

The trunks showed off everything I had. It looked like I had a sausage and two golf balls tucked in them. It was going to be so embarrassing to be seen in them by Mitch.

"Oh, geeze," I groaned, and pulled on my pants and shirt.

The movement only made me notice how the trunks felt even more. It got harder and harder, and it felt so... just neat!

"Geeze!" I groaned again.

I knew that Chet knew how they felt, and what they made my prick do. He'd seen when I had tried them on in front of him and Howie. They'd said that the material had made them hard, too, at first. They both knew I would be hard in them, in front of everyone, and Mitch.

"Bastards," I grumbled.

I shook my head and resigned myself to a humiliating day. I just hoped it was worth it, and that Mitch and me ended up talking and being friends. Well, better friends. Okay, I admit it, I hoped I ended up having sex with him. Wow, did I hope that!

I made sure my boner wasn't visible by picking out a long shirt. I finished getting dressed and ready, then went downstairs to ask dad if he was ready.

"Still want to see the game?" I asked hopefully.

He nodded, then said, "I'm going to finish this article, and then we'll head out."


I tried not to grin as much as I was. I didn't want him to know how much I was looking forward to things. We said bye to Mom, then got into the car and headed to the field. We were really quiet, which was pretty unusual. We usually talked when we were going somewhere. That made me a bit suspicious and a bit worried.

He coughed to clear his throat in that way he did when he was going to say something important. And like he had when he had sat down next to me in my room and began that talk about growing up and girls and sex things. I immediately went on full alert.

"You know, Son, I understand how you're changing. I went through it too at your age."

I cringed inside, sensing another 'talk' coming. I nearly groaned out loud.

"You're almost fifteen, and going to high school, and going out for the school team. Seems girls are entering the picture as well."

"Dad, we already had this talk, remember?"

I couldn't look at him at all! I heard him laugh softly.

"No, don't worry, I'm not going to have that talk with you again. I just mean..."

He was quiet for so long that I ended up looking at him. He was watching where he was driving, but I could tell that he was think really hard.

"What I mean, Son, is... well, I remember when I was your age. Things were changing a lot. And, well, in the mornings... well, my body had one of those changes."

Oh, God!

"It's perfectly normal for boys your age to have things happen to your body at night, and in the mornings."

"Dad, geeze."

"Now, Son, just listen to me here. I just want you to know that it's perfectly normal to have certain urges. Especially at night and in the morning. And it's normal to take care of those urges."


This was worse than the sex talk! This time it was about something that had really happened, and that they knew about. And even worse...

"Your Mom wasn't shocked or anything-"


Holy crap!

"Oh, now, your mom knows about such things. How do you think you got here, anyway? You're old enough to know the whole stork deal is baloney."

He glanced over at me. I was beyond embarrassed. My face felt like it could burst into flames at any second. He honestly didn't look comfortable or anything either.

"She wanted me to start waking you up in the mornings so you don't have to deal with your mother doing so. Just in case-"


I mean, come on! Was he trying to give me a heart attack? Or some kind of sexual complex? Or what?

He slowed down and turned into the parking lot of the store.

"That's why I've been waking you up lately. And I understand that probably isn't much better when you're alone and... well... probably wanting some privacy."

Oh, for Pete's sake!

All I could do was put my face in my hands and just pray he would shut up soon. And wonder why he was pulling into a parking space at the hard goods store.

"That's why I want you to go into the store and get yourself an alarm clock. Set it to wake you up in time to do things you want to do, have a shower, and have breakfast in time to get on the bus."

He put the car in park, then pulled out his wallet and handed me a five-dollar bill. I took the bill and got out of the car as quickly as I could. I found the alarm clocks and got one. Back in the car, I handed the change to my dad. He told me, "Keep it, for a hamburger or whatever later with the guys."

"Thanks, Dad."

"You're welcome, Son. If your mom asks, we had a talk, and that's all you have to say about it. Understand?"

I nodded, praying that Mom didn't ask. Oh, God, please don't let her ask!

We were quiet for the drive to the ball fields. When we got there, Chet's team was ahead, 4-1 in the fifth inning. We got sodas and watched Chet make several big plays and his team win, 7-3.

It was very weird to sit there with my dad among all those people and watch Chet play, and know what he looked like naked. Not only what he looked like naked, but to know what his penis looked like fully hard, what it felt like, what it tasted like, what he sounded like when he had an orgasm, what his semen tasted and smelled like, what it felt like on my hands and fingers and other places.

I found myself wondering how many others there were like us. There were so many guys there that at least a few others were homosexual too. At least, I really hoped so.

I don't know how many times I thought of how no one there knew about Chet or me. I hoped, anyway. Not only that we were like that, but that we had done those things with each other.

As guys Dad knew came and said hello and moved on, I tried to act like I always had. Like nothing was different from when they knew me weeks ago. I thought the same things when guys I knew from school or the neighborhood came by. I was just the same old Jeremy and they were the same old friends.

When the game ended, Dad and I headed toward the dugout to talk to Chet. We caught him as he was walking out of the dugout with a couple other guys. I called his name, hoping he wouldn't be too embarrassed to be seen talking to a freshman. He smiled and waved us toward him.

"Hey, Jer, good to see ya!" he said, grinning nicely and holding out a hand to my dad. "Hi, sir!"

Chet not only didn't seem embarrassed to see me there, he seemed to be glad to see me. He and my dad shook hands, then Chet introduced us to the guys he was walking with. A couple of them were familiar from school, but a couple weren't. Turns out the older guys had already graduated from high school.

"This is Jeremy and his dad. He's a frosh at school and on the school ball team. He's got a good arm, and as fast as he is, he'll probably be a good base stealer. I haven't seen his hitting yet, but I think he's got the muscles and eyes to probably be a good hitter." It was embarrassing having a senior talk about me like that. "I think he's gonna be a real Romeo, too. The way he talked up a freshman girl at this party we went to the other weekend."

Oh, my, God! I could have hit him so hard! Why do you smile and laugh when you're incredibly embarrassed and want to be angry? What's with that? Geeze!

Dad was grinning at me. That only made it worse!

"Did you get a kiss?" one of the older guys asked, nearly laughing.

Oh, I so could have just punched him!

"No," Chet said, grinning in that way that told me he was about to embarrass me. I cringed so much! "I saved her virtue by pulling Jer out of there before he could sully her."

Oh, God, did I intend to get him back! Sometime, somewhere, somehow!

"Too bad," one of the other older guys said, making them all laugh, including my dad.

"Come on, guys," one of the guys from school said, grinning. "You're embarrassing him in front of his old man." At least someone understood! "But," he said to my dad, "you should probably get used to it. Rumor around school is your son is gonna be real popular with the girls, in a big way, if you know what I mean."

My thoughts went something like this...

OH! You... holy... geeze!... jerk!... cripes!... Oh, God!... no... he didn't just say that... no way... oh... geeze...

Somebody nudged me with an elbow. I was stunned to see that it had been Dad, and he was grinning at me, red-faced.

I don't think I had a coherent train of thought for quite a while. I don't even know what was said for a while. I just wanted to shrink down to the size of an ant and crawl away unnoticed. By the time I was able to think and comprehend again, they were talking about the game, how well Chet and the other guys had played, and about the team they would play against next week. I stayed as quiet and inconspicuous as I could while they talked. Finally, the guys started talking about getting home and getting cleaned up, and Chet said he had swimming lessons to give in just over an hour. His grin at me sent most of my blood supply into my face.

"So, you want to ride with me, Jer? Or should I pick you up at your place, or just meet you later?"

He hadn't pointed out that I was in the swimming class, and he hadn't mentioned the class then, either. I was really glad of that. And embarrassed that he was pointing out that we were hanging out together at all.

I wasn't sure I wanted to admit that I was riding off with him in front of his friends or not. I didn't know what they would think. They might even think less of Chet for hanging out with a freshman.

"It'd save some time if you just rode with me now. If your dad don't mind," Chet pointed out.

"Not at all. I think he was hoping you'd ask to give him a ride," Dad said. "Just don't forget your responsibilities at home," he added to me.

I nodded.

"Great. Well, good to see you again, sir," Chet said to my dad as he shook his hand again.

I couldn't help but think of what that hand had done to me, where it had touched me, and now it was shaking my dad's hand. How embarrassing!

"Good to meet you boys. Keep an eye on my boy. Don't let him despoil any maidens tonight. He's only fifteen, after all."

He winked and grinned at me, making my blood rush back into my cheeks. If it had even left.

The other guys laughed along with Dad and Chet, and broke up and walked toward the parking lot, leaving me with Chet and Dad.

"I'll have him home by dinner, sir. Though he might want to head back out with us later, if that's okay," Chet said.

"I imagine so. Just so long as no alcohol or loose women are in your plans."

"No, sir," Chet said, laughing. "Though I can't guarantee I can keep the girls away from him. School rumors are pretty hard things to combat, you know."

"Yes, well, maybe I should have named him Chip, as in off the ol' block," Dad said, turning red and grinning.

Do you know how close to fatal embarrassment can come? I sure did right then! Very, very close, that's how close!

"See you for dinner, Son," Dad said, then gave me a hard pat on my back and walked away.

I gave Chet the best glare I could manage. He chortled and messed my hair. I sighed, worked on toughing up the glare, and straightened my hair back down.

"Come on stud, I really need a shower."

I walked with him to the parking lot and his car. Girls waved and giggled as we walked by. More than one actually looked at me. It was really... weird! Sort of uncomfortable, really. I was walking next to a senior, a famous ball player, and a homosexual. And I'd done tons of things with him.

And walking with those swimming trunks rubbing my parts, well, you know. It got all hard. I was glad they were tight enough to keep it from poking out the front of my pants. Wow, did those trunks feel... neat-o! Wow!

When we were in his car, I laid my hands in my lap as natural as I could and hoped that Chet didn't notice. Chet looked over at me and grinned, but kept his eyes on my face, so I was sure he hadn't. But his grin at me made me pretty sure what he was thinking, or at least what it had to do with. I rolled my eyes. He grinned wider.

"What?" I asked.

"You're just so cute when you're embarrassed."

I shook my head, sighed, and looked out the side window, grinning.

"You know, Jer, no one sits with their hands neatly folded in their laps like that, unless they're trying to hide something, or they're a girl in church."

I tried to keep the grin from growing even more, tried to turn it into a frown, but I just couldn't.

"Yeah, so cute," Chet said, grinning.

As quickly as I thought of it, I punched his shoulder.

"Awww," he said sadly. "Even hit like a girl in church."

He put the car in gear. I waited. When he stopped at the exit, I hauled off and walloped his shoulder almost as hard as I could.

"Son of a bitch!" he cried, grabbing his shoulder and staring at me.

"Respect the arm that can throw home from the outfield wall," I said, grinning.

"God, damn!" he cursed, rubbing his shoulder. "All right. Fine. Damn!"

"And if you ever compare me to a girl in church again, I'll let you have it all."

"Oh, you did not hold back on that one," he said, still rubbing his shoulder.

"Wanna find out?"

He pulled into traffic, glanced at me, then shook his head, saying, "No thanks."

I felt quite a bit better, but I still felt like I owed him quite a bit for the comments in front of my dad. So much more.

"Mad?" he asked.

"No. Not really. But that sucked."

"It was hilarious."

"It was embarrassing."

"That was why it was hilarious."

"Fuck you."

"If you want."

I shook my head and laughed, and threw in an eye roll for good measure. And, oh, God, did I want to! Those swimming trunks were rubbing my erection as the car bounced along the road. They even felt great rubbing and cradling my nuts. They were driving me insane.



"How can you wear these things and not have a boner all the time?"

He looked over at me, obviously confused.

"These trunks."

"Oh! You've got them on now?"

"Yeah, duh."

He laughed, then said, "You get used to them after a while."

"I sure hope so."

He laughed again, and I could tell he was thinking something that would embarrass me. I sighed, then asked, "What?".

"Mitch is gonna love 'em."

I blushed so hotly. I would just die if he saw me having a stiffie in them! I'd just die!

"By the way," he said offhandedly, "Howie says he's got something to tell you."

He tried not to grin more, but he wasn't doing very well at it. And I had to know!

"He said he'd tell you, not me," he answered.

"When?" I asked excitedly, hardly able to keep from shaking it out of him.

"Sometime today."


I could have beaten it out of him!

"Don't know. We'll see."

Oh, Christ!

"About Mitch?"

"Not sure, but I guess so."

Now I was going to die of anticipation!

I tried tricking hints out of him the entire way to his house, but he was careful and didn't reveal anything. By the time we pulled into his place, I was sure he didn't know anything, that Howie hadn't told him anything at all, other than he had something to tell me.

I gave up on his knowing anything, and began only thinking of his shower. I wondered if he wanted me to shower with him. I sort of wanted to, and I sort of didn't. I was sure I would if he asked me to, but I was also sure I would be angry with myself if I did.

I wanted to be with Mitch, but I didn't know if Mitch wanted to be with me. I wasn't so worried that he wanted to be with Howie now. I believed Chet when he said that he and Howie were together, and happy with each other, and that Howie wouldn't do anything with Mitch because he liked Chet and he knew I liked Mitch. I trusted Chet, and I trusted Howie almost as much as Chet. Even if Mitch wanted to with Howie, Howie wouldn't with Mitch. I was nearly positive of that. But there was still that nagging doubt. That pestering worry.

We hurried into his bedroom and he stripped down in front of me. I was already hard, and seeing that made it almost painfully hard. Chet was really something. His body was lean and strong, and he had nice hair in the right places. He was smiling at me the whole time he stripped. I could tell that he was fully hard before he got his pants off. By the time he reached for clean clothes and a towel, I had to adjust my boner a bunch of times.

"You can strip down, too," he said, grinning at me as he walked to the door.

I shook my head, just barely, and stayed sitting on his bed.

"Not going to come watch?" he asked from the doorway.

"Nah. I'd end up making a mess in the swimming trunks."

He laughed and nodded, then walked out of his room. I sat there, wishing that I had the guts to go watch him shower. I wished I could go join him, and have sex, and do it for hours, and not feel like I was doing something wrong.

It wasn't that homosexual sex seemed wrong, not anymore, it was that I wanted Mitch. Badly. So very badly. There was simply something so irresistible about him. He was so perfect. It was like he was sex incarnate. Not just sex, but...

I gulped, actually gulped, as I thought...

Not just sex, he's love incarnate. I fucking love Mitch.

Then I was suddenly imaging that Mitch was down the hall in the shower. I was sure that my dick got even bigger. The skin on it felt so tight! And the weird material of the tiny Speedo trunks rubbed it and made it almost impossibly hard. I wiggled my hips a bit, and the head of my prick rubbed against the material, and I know it leaked a big blob. I pushed my hips forward, making the trunks rub my head, then pulled my hips back. Forward and back. It was working! It could get me off!

I leaned forward and put my elbows on my knees and stayed perfectly still. By the time Chet came back, dressed and prepared and looking incredibly attractive, I was still hard, and sitting very still.

He messed my hair and smiled at me. I sighed disgustedly, gave him the miffed glare, and smoothed my hair down.

"Gosh, you're cute," he said, grinning at me.

"You just want to get in my pants," I said, grinning and blushing.

It wasn't that I didn't want him to get into my pants, it was that I wanted Mitch to. And I wanted in Mitch's pants. And I wanted to be with Mitch. Just sit and talk. Just look at him and talk to him. Hear his voice. See his smile. Touch his hair. Kiss his lips. Make him feel like he made me feel.

"Sure I do," Chet said, still grinning at me. "We got over an hour before we have to get to the pool."

It was tempting, but it just wasn't right. It didn't seem right. I wanted to, but I didn't want to. It was maddening. Frustrating and confusing.

After a few seconds, he grinned wider and said, "You've really got it bad for him, huh?"

I swallowed and hoped I wasn't blushing as much as I was sure I was.

"I remember," he said, still smiling at me. "Had it that way for Howie."


"It changes. I still love him, the putz."

He laughed a little, and even blushed some.

"But you do stuff with me."

"Yeah. But we wanted to find others, so they wouldn't be alone like we were for so long. It's so hard to find someone. That's how the poker party got started. We found others, mostly through the swimming lessons. And they found others."

"So, you guys do stuff with the other guys?"

"Not after finding them. Once or twice to sort of introduce them to it, then we sort of encourage them to find someone. And introduce them to the other guys."

"How many of them did you find with the swimming lessons?"


"That's all?"

"Yup. The rest of the guys were found by them."


"I think you're the last."


"Well, we won't be giving any new kids any lessons. The next new kids to take lessons will be next summer. By then, Howie and I will be busy with getting set for college or something. Won't be doing the swimming lessons. So, I guess, it's up to you and the others to find the next freshman guys."

"Wow. I'm the last guy you and Howie will find?"


"Wow," I said again. It seemed almost like some kind of honor. "I'm really glad I took those lessons."

He laughed a little, and messed my hair again, then said, as I straightened it and gave him the glare, "I am too. Of the guys we've found, I really think you're my favorite."

I laughed, then asked, "Why?"

"Well, mostly, to be honest, you're the cutest, by far." I laughed and blushed. "And you've been the most fun, too. Really willing, and adventurous, and probably the most exciting. I mean, you're just a lot of fun! And hung!"

I felt my face get really hot. I laughed and wished I could look angry. I wasn't angry, I just felt silly laughing.

"Howie said he thought you were the most fun, too. We were talking about how you were probably our last student, last night."

"Where is Howie?"

I had expected him to show up by now, probably in his swim trunks, and probably hard and wanting to mess around.

"Can't guess?"

That raging jealousy suddenly raced through me.

"With Mitch?"

"Yup. Jealous?"


I knew he knew that I was lying. He shook his head at me. I rolled my eyes at him.

"You'll be glad he is," he said.


"Trust me, you will."

"He meeting us here, or the pool?"

"At the pool. So, what do you want to do until then?"

He elbowed me and grinned. I rolled my eyes and shook my head.

"Yeah. Not," he said. "Wanting to wait until you find out about Mitch?"

I didn't know. I didn't know why I didn't want to with Chet, other than I wanted to with Mitch. I knew that even if Mitch showed up and wanted to be with me, that we probably wouldn't today or tonight. I had no clue how we could be alone anyway. Even if we talked and he was the same, and wanted to, we just couldn't. I wondered how we ever would. I began to think it was stupid to wait for Mitch. How could we ever do it together? Where? When? I hadn't even thought of it before. I'd just assumed we'd be together and never worried about where or how.

"I don't think me and Mitch will."

"What? Why not?" he asked, looking confused again.

"Where are we going to... you know... go?" He shrugged. "Even if we both want to, how can we?"

"You'll find a way."

"Yeah, right."

"Trust me, if you guys want to, you will."

I shrugged it off. The realization that I had no way to be with Mitch made me feel lost and very lonely. There was no hope that we could be together, even if we wanted. It was simply sad.

"Hey, Jer, honest, you'll find a way."


"Hey, you will."

"Look, can we just forget it?"

"You want to forget about Mitch?"

NO! I want to be with him! More than anything, ever! I have to be! I must!


"Then don't give up. Howie and me didn't think we would find ways to get together. But we did."


"Well, we rode our bikes to the woods outside town. We stayed over at each other's houses when we could, and when our folks were asleep, we got together in the basement at his house, and in the spare bedroom here."

I saw that there were ways. Just not what I had expected.

"You know, I've been waiting for you to ask," he said.

"Ask what?"

"About Howie and my plan for talking with Mitch after the swimming lessons."

"I thought we were going to wait to talk with Howie about it."

"Oh. Well, some things. But there's some things we can sort out now."

I wished I had the balls to talk to Mitch about those things. It just seemed impossible. So risky.

But with Chet and Howie there, I hoped it would really be possible.

Then he went to his dresser and pulled out that funny cigarette. I was so excited! I couldn't wait! I felt myself grinning really widely.

With Chet and Howie helping, and the weird cigarette, I just knew that I would be talking to Mitch about stuff!

"When the lessons are over, and after we talk with Mitch some, we'll go to Carl's place. He knows we're trying to find out if another guy is like us, and we're bringing him over. We talked to him about it a couple of times, and he's cool with it. He knows someone we know really likes the new guy, and we're bringing him, too."

"So we'll talk to Mitch about it over at Chet's?"

"Yup. In the basement, playing cards. Just the five of us."

"Oh. That could maybe work."

"Yeah. And if you can call your folks and get permission to stay over, that'd be great."

"Stay over at Carl's?"

"With the team. Some of them. Mitch and me, anyway."

"Are you serious?"

"Sure. Your dad probably knows about team sleep overs. He probably won't be surprised. You can say you didn't know about it until today. You got asked today, and you called to see if it was okay."

I knew he'd not told me about that part of his plan so that it would be true, so that I wouldn't have to lie to my parents. It still seemed like a lie, though.

"I don't know."

"Well, think about it. We'll spring it on Mitch after the lessons. See how he reacts. It'll be after he's probably pretty sure that Howie and me are homosexual."


"Howie and me are going to make it pretty clear we're together. That we're homosexual. Don't worry, you can act as surprised and shocked and upset as he does, so he doesn't know you are if he isn't. Okay?"

I swallowed. It seemed to be getting complicated.

"We'll see how he reacts to sleeping over at a place with Howie and me, all but knowing we're homosexual. If he wants to stay over, that'll pretty well make us sure he is, too. If he don't want to, it won't mean he isn't, just that he's not willing to be that daring. We'll sort of sniff out which. Okay?"

"You sure about this?"

"We've used it before."

"You have?"

"Yeah. Once the guy wasn't, still isn't, I guess, but the other time, he was, and Terry still comes to the poker parties."




"But, what if he... what if he's not? What if he..."

"By then, he won't be surprised I don't think. Okay?"

Oh, God! No, it wasn't okay! It was insane!

What if he wasn't homosexual? What he flipped out? What if he got upset? What if he got angry? What if he hated me for having homosexuals as friends?

I was breathing fast. And suddenly sweating. As if I had been running the mile. I felt queasy. I started shaking.

Chet said, "Shit," and pulled me toward him, making me sit so that my back was against his chest again, like yesterday. He put one arm around me and rubbed my chest with his other hand.

"Oh, God," I panted.

I was sure I was having what they call a panic attack. I had all kinds of emotions swirling around inside of me, clashing and crashing.

Chet held me and calmed me down. I was getting better. I wasn't panting any more, I wasn't shaking so badly, and I stopped sweating.

When I was almost normal again, as if I could be normal, Chet asked, "Better?"

I nodded.

"Scary?" he asked next.

I nodded again.

"Remember how you handled talking to him at school? He's just one of the guys. He don't know about you. He won't know, as long as you don't tell him. Howie and I are going to. You watch him and follow his lead."

I nodded. It seemed safe. If Mitch got weirded out, I would too. If he seemed interested, I would too. As Chet and Howie started revealing hints, I would watch Mitch and go along with his reactions.

It could work.

We talked about the plans for a while, then were quiet for a while. It was nice to sit there in his arms. I felt safe with him. He didn't try to touch me down there, and he didn't try to get me horny. He just held me and we talked, or were quiet.



"It's about time to head down to the pool."

I shifted forward and felt my guts shift even further.

"Do you want to call your parents and ask if you can sleep over with the team?"

I swallowed, then after a few seconds, I nodded. He offered a few suggestions as he led me to the phone in the hallway. I dialed my phone number. Mom answered.

"Hi, Mom. Um, can I talk to Dad?"

"Sure, hon. Just a second."

After a few moments, I heard Dad say, "Yes, Son?"

"Uh, I just got asked to stay overnight with some of the ball team. Sort of a team-building night. Is that okay?"

"Oh, sure."


"Do you need to come home to get any clothes or anything?"

"Uh, no."

"Okay. So I guess we'll see you tomorrow sometime. Do you know what time you'll be home?"

"No, not sure. I guess I'll get a ride around noon or so."

"Okay. Fine. You have a fun night, and get to know your teammates."

"You sure it's okay?"

"Sure it is. You're getting older, and have responsibilities away from home now. Just don't expect to get out of all your chores."

"I won't."

"Fine. then. We'll see you tomorrow sometime. Best call in the morning, and let us know... what time you'll be home."

I heard how he had changed what he was going to say, and I wondered what he was going to say at first.

"Okay, I will."

"Good. Then have a nice night, Son."

"Thanks. Bye."


I hung up the phone, and said, "Okay."

Chet smiled and patted my shoulder.

"Well, let's get going," he said.

I followed him out of his house, and I was shaking and sweating again by the time we got to his car.

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