My Boyfriend

by Victor Thomas

Chapter 1

September-October 2001

I drove home, took a quick shower and got dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I then drove out to Mark's farm, southwest of town.

I could see several other cars already there, and there was a fire burning in a small clearing near the barn. I quickly got out and joined my friends. Mark already had hamburgers on the grill, and several guys were roasting hot dogs over the open fire. I quickly grabbed a stick and stuck a dog on the end, before holding it over the fire. In only a few minutes it was cooked, a little overcooked actually, as it was kind of black, but I grabbed a bun, added some ketchup, and enjoyed it.

Some of the guys had brought some beer as well as various kinds of soda, so I grabbed a beer, opened it, and drank about a third of it in one swallow. After everything that had happened earlier, I needed to relax, at least a little, and I knew that alcohol would help. I didn't intend to get drunk, but a couple of cans wouldn't hurt.

A few minutes later, Mark announced that the hamburgers were ready, so I jumped up, along with most of the others, and walked over toward the grill. I finished my first beer while waiting to grab a burger.

Suddenly, my ears perked up. I recognized his voice. It was him! I turned and looked. There was Brian, talking to some of the guys. He was wearing a pair of tight jeans and a t-shirt. He was gorgeous! His voice was musical, so happy and full of life. He was smiling. That's one thing I loved about him; he was always smiling.

He looked in my direction and our eyes locked. I looked away, instantly overcome by a wave of panic. I didn't know what to do. I felt like an idiot for being so afraid. Gathering all my courage, I walked over to him.

I talked to him and the guys. Brendan was there, and so was Robert, which was somewhat of a surprise. Todd joined us a minute later, carrying a burger in one hand and a beer in the other. I quickly went and grabbed myself another beer and rejoined the group.

While Brian and I were speaking with the others, our eyes kept meeting. It was clear there was something between us; I just didn't know what. All the old questions, hopes and doubts flooded my mind. I was drowning in a sea of uncertainty… lost in a universe with delights beyond imagining and terrors to freeze the soul.

I had to get away, just for a while. I had to think. I drifted away from Brian and my friends, and walked to the edge of the pasture, just behind the barn.

I downed the beer I had been holding, wishing I had another. I was so nervous I was trembling. I knew what I wanted, but was afraid. I wasn't a coward. I had reason to fear, but still… I leaned against the well-worn wooden fence and closed my eyes tightly, shutting out the entire world. I was so confused. I didn't know what to think. I was terrified of what could happen, but I really, really liked Brian. What if he was the one I'd been waiting for all my life? My mind traveled down the paths I'd trod before, going over the possibilities and dangers yet again, coming no closer to a solution than ever. I was so upset I was almost in tears.

I'd decided to take a chance on him a dozen times, and I'd decided not to dare the risk just as often. I had to make a decision or go out of my mind.

I heard footsteps; someone was coming! I opened my eyes and fought to reign in my emotions. What I couldn't share, I had to hide. I'd grown rather adept at hiding my feelings from others. I fought to pull myself together. I had only seconds. The façade had to go back up.

The footsteps drew nearer, rounded the corner. It was Brian. He'd followed me. He looked at me for a moment before he spoke.

"Why did you run away earlier, Scott? I thought we were becoming friends. Did I do something wrong?"

He spoke with an earnestness that made me feel we'd already been friends forever. Why did I feel as if I already knew him? His bright eyes peered at me. I felt as if he could look into my very soul.

"I'm sorry," I said. "I…"

I actually could not speak. I couldn't tell him what was running through my mind; the stakes were just too great. I was in hell. Before me was a boy who I really liked, but I couldn't begin to tell him of it for fear. For fear of rejection? Yes, but for far greater fears as well; the fear of being exposed, the fear of others knowing that I was different, that I dreamed of other boys at night, instead of girls. All I wanted was someone to love and someone to love me back, but because I was different, I couldn't even try for that love the way others could. Once again, I desperately envied all my classmates. How wonderful it must be for them to be so open and free!

He was looking at me with infinite patience and… understanding. I'd nearly forgotten he was there, so lost in my own thoughts had I become. It was almost funny. I hadn't been able to get him out of my head and now that he was standing in front of me, I'd almost forgot he was there.

He could clearly tell that I was distraught. His eyes were filled with compassion. I felt safe in that gaze in a way I'd never felt safe before. I closed my eyes and swallowed hard. When I opened them, he was still peering at me, standing there as if he'd wait forever. He didn't push me, didn't prod me, he just… waited. A meek, but genuine smile played across my lips. I looked into his eyes and took a deep breath.

"I ran because I was afraid," I admitted in a low voice.

No one would ever know how hard it was to speak those words. I could have more easily jumped from a plane, without a parachute.

"Afraid?" he repeated quietly, as if turning the concept over in his mind, fitting the piece into a puzzle he was carefully putting together.

I was trembling, despite my best efforts to prevent it. I had to escape the private hell I lived in, and yet the mere attempt was harder than anything I'd ever done before. I summoned all my courage. I had to make the attempt. Mine wasn't a life to live. Maybe Brian would slug me in the face. Maybe he'd spit on me and tell me what a freak I was. Maybe he'd tell everyone about me. It didn't matter anymore. I had to try. I owed myself a chance at happiness, even if the risk was beyond measure.

I wasn't a coward, far from it. I'd taken many risks in my life. What was life if one did not live it? This was but another risk, but so much more, for it wasn't my body that was in danger; it was the very essence of what was me. I'd made up my mind. I would not run from this danger a second time. I was no coward. What I was about to do required courage almost beyond belief. I quickly downed my third beer to help settle my nerves. There would be no more debating, no more hesitating. I'd make my stand. I would either prevail, or be destroyed. I gathered up all my courage.

"I like you, Brian," I said finally. I hesitated before going on, my heart pounding in my chest. "A lot." I paused yet again. I'd never been so awkward, nor so inept with my words. I knew the words I wanted to speak, and yet it took a supreme effort to force them from my lips. I wanted to be eloquent, impressive, instead I was a bumbling fool. Finally, I just blurted out, "I think I might love you, Brian."

There, I'd said it. It was out and I couldn't take it back. No matter what happened, there was no way to undo what I'd done. I felt like I'd just condemned myself to a long and painful death. I looked into his eyes, knowing that the fear in my own was plain to see. He held my life in his hands. I'd literally given him the power to destroy me if he chose.

He looked at me. I couldn't read him. He stepped toward me and I had to fight to keep from flinching. I really expected him to punch me. I really expected him to knock my teeth out. I looked deeper into his eyes and read understanding there, but yet I was still afraid. I couldn't hope that he would really understand. I couldn't let myself have that hope, for fear it would prove false.

At last, he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me tight.

"I never would've had the balls to say that," he said quietly. He leaned back and peered into my eyes, his hands gently gripping my shoulders. "But I'm glad you did."

I looked into his eyes. What I read there filled my heart with joy and forced all sad and painful thoughts from my mind.

"I know it seems impossible so fast, but I really like you too, Scott. I can't explain it. I don't know why. I just know that I do."

I understood him perfectly.

He hugged my close once more. I held him tight, practically crushing him in my arms as I choked back my tears. I never wanted to let him go. I don't think I'd ever been as happy as I was at that moment. At last, I had someone to love, and someone to love me. The fears fled from my mind and left only the possibilities, only the potential joys. The entire universe shifted. My whole life changed.

We stood there holding each other close, for as long as we dared. Our friends were just around on the other side of the barn, and the likelihood of being discovered increased with every moment that passed. Still, we held one another tight. Our long search was over; at last, we'd found each other.

We finally broke our embrace exchanged phone numbers, and hugged yet again. Then he departed, returning to the fire. In case anybody was watching, I waited, then followed a few minutes later. I saw him once again talking with friends. I quickly rejoined them, my eyes meeting Brian's over and over again as we talked. There was so much I wanted to say to him, but it would all have to wait. We were surrounded by others and couldn't speak freely in the least.

I was bursting with joy as I drove home. I felt like I could walk on air. My mom greeted me as I walked in the door.

"Scott, what happened to you?"


I stared at her. She had a perplexed look on her face, halfway between surprise and curiosity.

"You just look… happy," she said.

I smiled. I guess my mood was quite obvious. I mean, I'd barely walked in the door and she read me like a book.

"Yeah," I said. "I am!"

I leaned down and gave her a great hug. My mother is rather small, only about five foot six, and thin. At sixteen, I was already six feet tall and weighed a hundred and sixty-five pounds. Whenever I hugged her, she seemed to get lost in my arms.

"What happened?"

"Just a good day," I yelled over my shoulder, heading for my room.

I felt a pang of sadness that I couldn't share with her the real reason for my happiness. There was just no way she could understand. Besides, I wasn't about to tell my parents about my sexual preferences, not her and sure as hell not dad. He'd absolutely freak! He thought I was some kind of football playing stud, which I guess I was. But I knew he'd go nuts if he found out I was into guys. The very thought of telling him filled me with terror. No, I'd never go there.

Actually, I wouldn't have talked about what had happened with them even if I'd fallen for a girl. We just never talked about stuff like that.

Neither of them had ever breathed a word to me about sex. I was sure they'd both faint dead away if I said 'penis' or 'condom' or any such words in their presence.

Sex was just something we never discussed, as if the topic didn't even exist. Anything vaguely related to sex embarrassed the hell out of them. If we were watching television, dad would get all uncomfortable if a bra commercial or something came on. He'd grab up a paper and start looking at it. If any douche commercials came on, he was right out of that room fast. Mom was about the same. If a couple started making out on the screen, she'd suddenly remember something she had to do in the kitchen. I'm sure they'd both bolt from the room if I started talking about sex. There was no fucking way I'd ever tell the I was in love with a boy!

The momentary sadness left me quickly. Nothing could spoil my day. I had a boyfriend at last! And what a boyfriend! Brian was cute beyond my wildest dreams. I loved everything about him; his hair, his face, his voice, his body, the way he smiled, the way he talked, just… everything!

I lay on my bed and thought about him. I couldn't get him out of my mind, and I had absolutely no desire to do so. I had been so alone and then… bang, he was in my life. I'd waited for someone like him for so long, and suddenly, there he was.

I looked around my room, at my stereo, my computer, my CD collection, and my sports trophies. I couldn't wait to show him all my stuff. I was particularly proud of my trophies. I'd played football for as long as I could remember, and my team had won many games. I loved football and it was something I was good at. I couldn't wait to share that with him. I wondered if he played for his school. I wondered a lot of things. I was in a daze the rest of the night. I couldn't sleep well. My mind raced, all with thoughts of Brian. It was like my whole world now orbited around that beautiful boy. How had I survived all those years before I'd met him? it seemed almost impossible. I couldn't imagine life without him.

My head was still spinning. I nearly couldn't believe it had happened. My life seemed like a dream. My heart had been right. There was something between us. I was so happy I kept tossing and turning, before I finally left the house and walked around the streets of Chouteau.

My hometown was small, but I didn't mind. Perhaps I would have, but I had Brian now and that's all I needed. I walked downtown. There were old, tall buildings on either side of Main Street for a couple of blocks. There was a barber shop, a beauty parlor, a gym called The Ab Crunch , a bar called the Short Horn, with a large sign painted on the window of a cow's horns, two small restaurants called the Buckboard and the Chouteau Café . There was an antique store, a drug store, a hardware store and a few other shops as well. Down near the river on the east end of town was another restaurant called the Old Mill Inn , the Riverside gas station and convenience store, and then the park.

I walked into the park. I looked around at the huge old trees, the picnic tables, the open-air pavilions, and at all the playground equipment, with the swimming pool on the south edge. I sat on a bench and looked out across the park. It was fall but it was still warm enough to enjoy. The park was peaceful and I imagined myself there with Brian, holding hands as we walked around.

I wished we could walk hand in hand, but I knew we had to be careful. Boys like us couldn't be open about what we were. I tried to pretend that I didn't care what anyone thought of me, but the truth was, I did care.

I knew that a lot of people wouldn't approve of him and me. That thought made me uncomfortable, but I was determined not to let it bother me. At last, I had a real boyfriend and I wasn't going to let anyone else ruin it. Besides, no one else would ever know.

I was already having romantic thoughts about him. I could picture us walking in the park, then maybe sitting and watching the moonlight side by side. I closed my eyes and imagined him drawing me closer and pressing his lips to mine. The mere thought of it made me smile. I couldn't wait to be in his arms.

He looked so very fine without a shirt. He had very nice muscles; I loved the shape of his chest and the way his biceps bulged. He wasn't quite as muscular as me, but I liked that. I liked him being smaller than me, although there was barely an inch difference between our heights. I'd dreamed about a boy like him for the last several months. My life was quickly becoming that dream. I almost wished I could hold myself in this moment forever, right before it all started between him and me. I was blissfully happy just anticipating what was to come. I wouldn't have stopped time even if it were within my power, however. As wonderful as this moment was, I couldn't wait until I saw him again, and he really held me in his arms. Just being with him made me happy.

I wondered back through the park and into the streets of Chouteau. Most of the houses here were old, like the one I lived in. Most had been built fifty or more years before, although a few newer ones had been constructed here and there.

Once I arrived back home, I undressed and crawled back into bed, dreaming about what the future would bring.

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead