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SUMMARY: Two boys growing up together in an idyllic beachfront community share a passion for baseball. One excels at the game and plays it with reckless abandon; the other, less talented, studies the game and those who play it, hoping someday to share what he learns with others. Best friends since childhood, the two have seen how baseball can bring them closer together. Now, having just graduated from high school, it’s about to show them a crueler side of the game. Baseball is about to separate them even though neither wants that to happen. You can find a longer synopsis of the entire story here. Please note that italics are typically used to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself.
WARNING: This story is a work of adult fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Unless otherwise indicated by context, all of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs portrayed or mentioned in this story are fictional, not depictions of real people, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs. Please note that the story may describe, depict or otherwise include graphic portrayals of relationships between men and/or adolescent boys that are homosexual in nature. If you do not like or approve of such discussions or it is illegal for you to read such material, consider yourself warned. If you continue to read this story, you are asserting that you are fully capable of understanding and legally consenting to reading a work of adult fiction.
NOTICE: This story is my property and protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. It may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author. However, you may not use this work for commercial purposes or to profit from it in any way. You may not use any of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams, clubs, or other fictional locations described in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon the story in any way. If you share this story with others, you must make clear the terms under which it is licensed to them. The best way to do that is by linking to this web page.
NOTES: Please check these notes every week. If there is something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so. September 30: If you haven’t already done so, I would encourage you to read the introduction to Part III you can find here.
SUMMER BOYS, SUMMER DREAMS
Just over ninety miles north of Rehoboth Beach at the other end of the state, the main campus of the University of Delaware is located in Newark, Delaware; and while I much preferred Rehoboth Beach because of the sun, the sand and the surf, Newark had the advantage of being about as far away from my mother as you could get while still being in Delaware.
That was a definite attraction for me.
Around the beginning of August I borrowed the car from my parents and drove up to Newark. I was about to start my senior year in college and had decided to make a change. It had taken me longer than a lot of my classmates to get there, but I was tired of living in the dormitories. Even the best of them left a lot to be desired; and while my decision wasn’t spurred by the reason a lot of guys did it — a girlfriend and the active social life that brought — I wanted to move off campus and find a place of my own.
I had checked around and discovered there were apartments off campus that wouldn’t cost very much more than living in the dorms, at least if I could find a roommate to help share the expense and a part-time job to pay for my share of the added cost.
I didn’t think finding a roommate would be difficult. It seemed like the places I was looking at were constantly turning over. But they always filled up pretty quickly and that made me think lots of people were looking to exchange their dorm rooms for something a little nicer.
Finally I located what I thought was a really nice place at a rent I could afford if split two ways. It was going to be available starting September 1st, which was good. Some people started renting August 1st just to lock in a good place before people like me began looking around. But money was tight and I couldn’t afford the luxury of renting a place that would be empty for most of August.
The place I found had two bedrooms, a spacious living room, and a good kitchen with new appliances. The bathroom had just been remodeled as well and it was in a nice neighborhood within easy walking distance of campus. Although more expensive than the other places I had looked at, it was just about perfect from my point of view. When I asked about the place, however, the rental agent told me the owner wasn’t really interested in renting to students.
I had just about given up hope for that place and was closing in on a deal somewhere else when the agent called me back and told me the owner had suddenly relented.
“He’s starting to get nervous. He spent a ton of money refurbishing the place and it’s been sitting on the market for over three months. He’s willing to consider renting to a student now. If you’re still interested, I can let you have it for the price we discussed if you can come up with the deposit I mentioned as well as a $1000 escrow to cover possible damages. You would get that back at the end of the year when you give up the place if we don’t have to make any major repairs.”
Assuming they were split two ways with a roommate, I could afford the deposit and the monthly rent. But that additional money they wanted to put in escrow for damages was steep, at least compared to most of the places I had looked at. It was a lot more than people usually asked for in Newark; and even assuming a two way split, it would definitely be a stretch for me.
But it was a really nice place, the best one I had seen by far; and since I knew I wasn’t planning to throw any wild parties, I was pretty sure I would get the money back if I chose the right roommate. Not having the money, I swallowed my pride and called my parents that evening to discuss the whole thing with them.
I explained how I was planning to get a part–time job that fall and would be able to pay them back after I did, but needed to borrow some money upfront if I was going to rent the place I wanted.
After hearing me out, they agreed to put up the additional bucks for the escrow account and I went ahead and rented the place starting the first of September. I was happy I had found such a great place, happier still when the rental agent told me I could even move in a few days early.
Before returning home, I posted a bunch of flyers around campus indicating I was looking for a roommate, what the rent and the deposits would be, and giving the address so anyone interested could check out the place, at least from outside. I put my cell phone number on everything I scattered around campus and then headed back to Rehoboth Beach.
Like I said, I was looking forward to having my own place even if I was going to have to share it with someone. It would be larger than what I was used to and more private as well. I was twenty now and it seemed to me having my own place like that would seal the deal as far as me being an adult.
Back home in Rehoboth Beach, a week passed, then another, without any calls about the place. By that time I was beginning to get a little nervous. It would be hard financially, but I figured I could carry the apartment by myself for September if I really had to. But after that it would definitely be a problem.
I decided to take a long weekend and head back up to Newark. By now the freshmen would be starting to move in; and while I doubted any of them would be looking to share an apartment off campus, I thought their arrival would force some of the other students to fish or cut bait as to whether they were going to live in the dormitories or look for a rental off campus.
I figured a fresh set of flyers might catch their attention as well. Being around for the weekend would also give them a chance to look at the place, meet me in person and see whether I was someone they could live with. Having responded to some notices the previous year myself just to see what might be available, I knew it was important to meet the person you might be spending a year of your life with. Living in a dorm was definite proof of that.
I arrived early Friday morning and put up a ton of new notices. Doing that made me nervous because I quickly discovered everyone and their brother was looking for someone to share an apartment with and all of the other places were cheaper than what I was asking.
I had checked out a lot of those places and knew they weren’t nearly as good as the one I had rented. But money was definitely a factor for most students and suddenly I realized I was at the top end of the rentals being advertised. That made me worry.
Friday night and Saturday passed without a nibble. By Sunday afternoon I was beginning to get frantic.
How the hell are you going to pay for this place without a roommate, Hunter? Why didn’t you rent someplace cheaper? This could be a disaster!
When my phone rang, I answered it quickly.
“Hi. This is Hunter. How I can I help you?”
“Oh, hi,” the voice on the other end of the phone responded. “My name is Cameron; Cameron Harper and I, ah, I saw your notice on the bulletin board at the University Center about the apartment you’re looking to share with someone. Is it still available?”
“It is,” I replied.
“A couple of people have come by to look at it and I’m expecting to hear back from them soon,” I lied. “But you’re welcome to come over and take a look if you want.”
“Sure,” he responded. “I’d like to do that if possible. Could I come by, say, in the next half hour or would that be inconvenient for you?”
“No, that’s fine,” I said. “Do you know where it is? Do you need directions?”
“I guess I’ll be taking a taxi,” he replied. “I don’t have a car myself and I’m new to this area so I guess I should probably take a taxi so I don’t get lost.”
“Whatever,” I said. “I’ll be here when you arrive.”
“Thanks,” he responded. “See you soon.”
It seemed kind of strange, him taking a taxi I mean, because the place was fairly close to campus. I wondered what he meant when he said he was new to the area, but put it out of my mind. I figured I would find out soon enough.
Looking around the place, I could see it was pretty empty. I hadn’t moved anything in yet or bought any furniture to fill it up. But I couldn’t think of anything I could do to make it more appealing on short notice so I contented myself with reviewing some of the positives I had listed on the flyers I had spread around campus.
The doorbell rang not long after that. Figuring it must be him, I took one final look around and then opened the door.
“Hi, I’m Cameron,” he said, extending his hand. “You must be Hunter.”
“That’s me; Hunter Allen” I responded, shaking his hand; “nice to meet you, Cameron.”
I was surprised at how young he looked, but I wasn’t about to let that deter me as long as he could pay the rent.
“So let me show you around the place,” I said, ushering him in. “It’s really a very nice apartment, the best I’ve run across since I’ve been in Newark; and it’s in a terrific neighborhood as well.”
“As you can see, it has a really big living room area here,” I continued, spreading my hands to emphasize the point.
“And high ceilings and crown molding too,” he added, staring up. “This is the first place I’ve looked at that had those. That’s a very nice touch.”
I hadn’t even thought about those things, but made a mental note to myself to add them to the list of positives if the dude decided not to rent the place.
“The place is pretty empty right now, of course,” I continued. “It’ll look a lot nicer when it’s filled up. I don’t have very much stuff myself so you’re more than welcome to help furnish it if you want; if not, I’ll probably pick up an old couch and some other things at one of the thrift shops in a few weeks when I have the money.”
“Over here is the kitchen,” I said, moving him in that direction. “As you can see, it’s big too and all of the appliances are brand new. I’m not much of a cook myself so that’s kind of wasted on me. But I suppose it’s a feature if you’re into cooking.”
“I am,” he replied, “and this is very nice; very nice indeed.”
“There’s a ton of shelves for dishes, pots and pans; and it has a pleasant view of the park over there,” he added, pointing it out through the window above the sink.
I hadn’t really noticed that before either, but he was right. The park was nice.
“Yeah,” I said. “I hadn’t noticed that park but, then again, I haven’t spent very much time here either, at least not yet. I plan to move in next weekend, probably on Sunday.”
“There’s only one bathroom so we’ll have to share that,” I continued, leading him out of the kitchen and over to the bathroom. “But it’s big as well and pretty awesome. It has all new fixtures and a really terrific shower.”
“And a separate tub as well,” he added. “I wasn’t expecting that, but it’s nice. Sometimes I like taking long baths.”
“Well, you’ll probably have it to yourself then,” I responded. “I’m into quick showers myself.”
“The bedrooms are over here,” I continued, leading him off in still another direction.
“I was thinking this one would be mine,” I added, pointing out the one I had planned on taking.
“But, you know, they’re bedrooms after all and they’re really about the same size; so either one would be fine with me if you have a strong preference.”
By now I was trying to do whatever I could to accommodate him.
“No, I’m fine with either,” he replied; “and since you found the place, you should take the one you like best.”
“So what do you think, Cameron?” I concluded. “Are you interested in the place? I know it’s more expensive than some of the others you may have looked at, but it’s definitely better. Feel free to walk around the neighborhood if you want. It’s very nice; quiet too.”
“I actually did that before I came up here and I liked what I saw,” he replied. “It has some really wonderful old shade trees.”
“Plus it’s only a stone’s throw from the campus so it’s not like you’ll be miles away like a lot of the other student rentals,” I added. “You’ll be able to get back here pretty quickly during the day if you want and not have to spend time hanging out somewhere on campus waiting for another class just because the place you rented is so far away.”
“That’s terrific,” he said. “Being close to campus would be a real convenience, especially since I don’t know my way around that much.”
“On the downside, I guess there’s one other thing I should mention,” I continued, knowing I had omitted the damages escrow from my latest set of flyers.
“This place is so nice the owner didn’t really want to rent to students so he’s asked for a $1000 damage deposit upfront. We’ll get it back once we vacate the place, but I know it’s a lot steeper than a lot of other places you may have looked at.”
Then I crossed my fingers and held my breath because I knew it might be a deal killer.
“You’re right about that,” he said. “That’s a lot. But I can put up half if you’re interested in renting to me.”
I remember being surprised it hadn’t fazed him. At the same time, I figured I should know a little more about him before making a final decision.
“Well, I guess we should talk about that then,” I said. “I mean, this is the first time I’ve ever rented a place off campus. I’ve lived in the dorms up until now and had a few roommates. Some were okay; some not. I tend to think of myself as an average kind of guy, not too tall, not too short, not too loud but not too quiet. I think I’m a reasonably sociable person, but I’m not that big a partier either,” I continued.
“I don’t know. I could be wrong, but I think probably my worst shortcoming as a possible roommate is I’m not that great when it comes to cleaning up. I mean, I’m not talking really gross, like missing the toilet when I take a wizz or getting drunk and barfing all over the place; probably more like leaving my clothes scattered around, but hopefully that won’t be a problem since we’ll each have our own room.”
“That being said, what would you say is the biggest thing I might find annoying about you?” I asked.
“That I’m gay?” he replied.
“Some people don’t like that and I’ll understand if you prefer renting to someone else.”
I remember being surprised, him coming right out like that and telling me he was gay. I mean, he seemed normal enough. He didn’t talk funny or walk funny or anything like that; and it wasn’t like he had to tell me, of course. It wasn’t really my business and he would have been perfectly within his rights not to tell me.
“Um, well, I . . . I mean, um . . . I’m . . .”
“Shocked?” he asked. “Is that the word you’re looking for, Hunter?”
“No,” I said, finally able to get an actual reply out of my mouth.
“It’s just that, well, you kind of caught me by surprise; coming out and just saying it like you did. But, no, I don’t have a problem with you being gay. It’s not like people choose what they are. So it doesn’t bother me you’re gay. I’m fine with that. Now if you had told me you fart a lot or something like that, that might bother me.”
He laughed when I said that and seeing him laugh made me laugh as well. I could feel the tension that had been there for a moment quickly dissipate.
“I do,” he said. “Fart, that is. Not a lot, actually, and usually quietly; you know . . . those silent little ones that can be killers sometimes. But I don’t think my farts are actually that stinky either.”
“Well, good,” I responded. “I’m glad to hear that because I’ve been known to cut one every once in a while myself. So it sounds like we’re pretty similar that way.”
“Are you sure about renting to me, Hunter?” he said, suddenly turning serious.
“The reason I wanted to tell you I was gay upfront is because I like being honest with people; and I do know it bothers some people, even people who aren’t necessarily flaming bigots. So if you have any doubts or any questions about it, feel free to share them.”
“Um, not really,” I said. “There are a lot gay people on campus and most of the students are pretty supportive. So it’s not like it’s that big a deal. I mean, I guess I should ask whether you plan on doing a lot of partying here with friends, but I’d ask that even if you were straight. I don’t want to lose that damages deposit.”
“No,” he responded quickly. “Like I told you on the phone, I’m new to this area, a freshman actually, and I don’t have any friends, at least not yet. Plus I’m not a real big partier either. I’m more on the quiet side. I mean, don’t get me wrong. There’re probably times when I can be as big a drama queen as anyone else, but actually I’m fairly normal; at least I think so.”
“Um, well, maybe this isn’t the right thing for me to ask,” I said, “but do you have a friend . . . someone . . . I mean a boyfriend; someone who might be spending a lot of time over here?”
“I do have a boyfriend, Hunter,” he said, “but he’s going to school in California. He’s at Stamford. We don’t see that much of each other these days now that he’s headed off; and he wouldn’t be spending any time here so that shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Oh, that’s too bad,” I said. “I mean you and him being on opposite coasts like that. I have a friend who plays minor league baseball and I don’t get to see him very much either these days. But don’t let me give you the wrong idea. It isn’t a problem. You can have him over if he comes for a visit. It’s just that, you know, sometimes roommates have friends who seem to take up permanent residence and that would bother me.”
“But you’re welcome to invite your boyfriend or anyone else over, just so they don’t take advantage of it.”
“I understand,” he said.
“By the way, maybe I should ask as well,” he added, grinning; “do you have a girlfriend who’ll be spending lots of time here?”
I remember laughing to myself about that, but it was a fair enough question and I told him the truth.
“No, I don’t,” I responded; “no girlfriend, at least here at the University.”
“Will you be spending time back home visiting her on the weekends?” he asked. “Not that I’m plotting to have a lot of wild parties here while you’re away, but I guess I should ask.”
“No, I don’t have a girlfriend back home either, not at the moment at least,” I said. “And I don’t get along that well with my parents either so I’m afraid you’ll have to put up with me most weekends as well.”
“Not a problem,” he responded. “Me and my parents aren’t that close either. So, um, do I pass the test of what you’re looking for in a roommate? I’m definitely interested in the place if you haven’t already rented it.”
“I haven’t,” I replied. “And you passed with flying colors.”
We talked some more after that about when he planned to move in. Because he was a freshman, he wanted to do it as soon as he could, perhaps the following Tuesday or Wednesday. That was fine with me.
He had brought his checkbook along and made out a check for the first month’s rent and the various deposits. With that settled, I gave him his key to the place.
“I guess I should call a taxi,” he said.
“Look, the campus is really close to here and I’m headed over there anyway,” I replied. “Why don’t I just show you how to get to the campus from here and save you the money?”
“Thanks, that would be great,” he said.
So that’s what the two of us did. We walked back over to the University Center and I think he was happy to learn how close to campus the place really was.
“Listen, Hunter, about the apartment,” he said. “You mentioned you didn’t have very much stuff you were bringing; furniture for the living room, dishes, pots and pans, things like that.”
“I don’t,” I replied. “I’ve never really had any need for things like that. I mean, honestly, I’m not into that stuff and figured I’d just pick some up as the year progresses and I have the money to do so. But if you have things you want to bring, feel free; just don’t bring anything you really care about. As clumsy as I am, I’ll probably end up breaking something.”
“That’s why I was asking,” he responded. “I mean, I may already have a lot of stuff like that I could bring, but I wouldn’t want you to think I’m trying to take over the place. You found it. It’s your place. But I’m willing to help furnish it if it doesn’t bother you.”
“Honestly, Cameron, it isn’t a problem. I’ve got the stuff I need for my room, but you’re paying half the rent so bring whatever you want. It’s not like I’m going to show up with a ton of stuff for anything other than my own bedroom. I doubt I’ll bring anything else.”
“Okay, thanks,” he said. “I’ll see you next weekend then. It was nice meeting you, Hunter. I’m looking forward to my first year here and to being your roommate. If I do stuff you find annoying, be sure to let me know. As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m big on communicating and hope you’ll be the same way.”
“Sure,” I responded. “I hear you. You should feel the same way too; free to complain if something I do is annoying to you.”
With that he took his leave and I went down to the bookstore and picked up a few things I knew I would need for class that semester. Then, after pulling down the flyers and notices I had put up on Friday, I climbed back into the car I had borrowed from my parents for the weekend and headed back to Rehoboth Beach.
With nothing better to do on the drive down the Coastal Highway, I spent some time thinking about my new roommate. He seemed like a nice enough guy. He was cute; kind of distinguished actually, which was unusual in someone younger.
Maybe it’s those clothes of his, I recall thinking.
They were conservative but classic and pretty stylish as well.
That dude would fit in good at some Ivy League college. I mean, he dresses like a preppie, but doesn’t seem snobbish like one. He’s pretty down to earth, actually, kind of normal for someone who’s gay.
Maybe you could improve your own wardrobe by keeping an eye on what he wears, Hunter. You’re going to need to be thinking about stuff like that more now, at least if you want to land a job somewhere by the time you graduate.
Yeah, and you definitely want to land a job, Hunter. Otherwise you’re going to be mooching off of Mom and Dad after you graduate and that’s definitely not something you want to do.
I started to think about what I wanted to do when I graduated, but quickly abandoned the effort. The idea of finding a job wasn’t that appealing to me.
It’s still early, Hunter.
You’ve got the whole year to think about depressing stuff like that.
This is the year, dude; this is your senior year, the year you finally have a really good time at college. Enjoy it.
Not knowing what else to think about, my mind drifted back to Cameron. He had impressed me actually, being honest and straight-forward about being gay like that.
If I was gay, I wonder if I would have the courage to do something like that; to just come out and tell people I was gay?
What do you mean, if, Hunter? a voice deep within whispered softly. You are gay, dude. Both of us know that. You can hide it from now until kingdom come for all I care, but both of us know you’re gay.
Oh, give me a break, I replied, annoyed. How do you know I’m gay? I fucked Mary Ellen, didn’t I? Doesn’t that count for anything? Besides, what if I am gay? There’s nothing wrong with that. Cameron’s gay. He seems like a nice guy.
Yeah, but unlike you, dude, he’s not hiding it from anyone, the voice whispered.
Neither am I. What makes you think I’m gay?
You’re in love with Ethan, Hunter, the voice responded. When are you going to admit that to yourself?
Is that the best you can do, I replied, annoyed; I’m gay just because Ethan used to be my very best friend? Give it a break, dude. I mean, it isn’t as simple as you seem to think. It’s more complicated. I mean, yeah, sure, I liked Ethan back then, but I never had sex with him. It was Mary Ellen I fucked. I could be bisexual for all you know; it’s not like you have to be one or the other. Who knows? Maybe I’m even straight.
Yeah, right, the voice responded. How many dates have you been on these last three years, Hunter? How many of those girls on campus anxious to get it on have you fucked the last three years, dude?
Big fucking deal, I replied. So I haven’t had the most active social life. I’ve been busy with other stuff. That doesn’t make me gay.
Whatever you say, Hunter, the voice replied; if that’s what it takes to make you feel comfortable, keep hiding it.
Damn it! I told you before. I’m not hiding anything, dude. I’m just not sure; and even if I was, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to put up a sign on my door telling everyone I’m gay when I don’t even know I’m gay for sure? Do straight guys put up signs on their doors announcing they’re straight?
You’re pathetic, dude, the voice replied. You didn’t just like, Ethan. You loved Ethan. Both of us know that. And now you’re using him as an excuse not to come out. You can be in love with him in your dreams all you want, but Ethan’s gone, dude. He’s moved on with his life. You need to do the same thing, Hunter. You need to forget about Ethan and find someone to love.
Yeah, right, I responded. Like who? Cameron? He already has a boyfriend.
That’s what you always do, Hunter, the voice replied. You pick someone you know you can’t have and use him as an excuse for sitting in your freaking little closet waiting for Ethan to come sweep you off your feet. It ain’t going to happen.
You don’t know anything, I said.
I know you’re gay, Hunter, the voice responded. Grow up, dude! If Prince Charming is out there looking for you, give the dude some help. Hiding in some closet isn’t going to make it any easier for him to find you.
Looking up, I could see the signs for Lewes. I would be home soon enough now and I remember thinking it was amazing how quickly the drive from Newark to Rehoboth Beach passes when your mind is somewhere else.
It’s also pretty amazing people can drive like that and not end up killing themselves and just about everybody else on the road, dude.
I remember smiling at that. It was true, so true. My mind had been off somewhere else. But now that I was home at last, I had better things to do than to think about stuff like that; or any of the rest of that stuff either for that matter.
I didn’t like thinking about stuff like that. It always depressed me whenever I did.
That last week at home before college started again passed quickly enough. Mostly I did a little of everything that week; a little packing, a little swimming, a little talking to some of my high school friends or kids I had coached over the years. The night before I left to go back to campus, I walked down the boardwalk to Ethan’s favorite spot, scrambled up on to the railing like we used to do, and stared out at the ocean.
Even though we had drifted apart, I was still following Ethan’s career pretty closely all these years later. He was doing well for himself and I was glad about that even though I missed him a lot. The promotions, first to Baltimore’s AA affiliate, the Columbia Crush, and then to the Triple A Portsmouth Tide, hadn’t slowed him down very much.
I mean, yeah, sure, it took a little while for him to adjust to the higher level of pitching. But he had adjusted soon enough and was hitting the ball real well these days. As always, he owned the left side of the infield. Nothing ever got by the dude; and knowing just how good a ballplayer he was, I was still convinced he was going to make it all the way to the top.
It was just a matter of time; just a matter of paying his dues. And when he made it to the top, I remember thinking I could be proud of myself for pushing him to sign the contract. It wasn’t what I really wanted, but it was the right thing for Ethan and I had always wanted the best for him.
I had paid a price for that, of course. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time now. By the time the minor league season was over, I was back in college; and unlike that first year when he sometimes came up for a visit, these days he was spending his time off in Florida or some other warm weather spot honing his skills.
He only had time for an occasional visit back home to see his Mom and that kid she had adopted, whatever his name was. I had never met him. And there were rare occasions when he would he would fly into Philadelphia, drive down to Newark and spend a day or two with me reliving old times. Like I said, that was pretty rare, but it was always great to see him and I think he felt the same way.
I was proud to be his friend; his best friend, he still insisted, although I found that hard to believe. I used to joke about it with him, but there was a part of me that liked hearing him say it. However he felt, he was still my best friend, someone I admired more than anyone else in the world, someone I wanted to be like; and every time Ethan succeeded I felt like I succeeded a little bit too.
I remember thinking there was something special between us, at least for me, and there were times when I was pretty sure there was for Ethan as well.
But can you call something like that love, Hunter?
I mean, to me love was kind of a strange word to use when talking about how I felt about another guy; but back then when we were growing up, who knows? Maybe I had loved him in a way. We were best friends and sometimes friends are pretty tight. I didn’t know anyone who had been tighter than the two of us; and what if I had been in love with him back then just a little? What was wrong with that?
Not that it mattered very much now, of course. That was a long time ago and everything had changed. The physical moves had come first; to Shoreham, Columbia, and finally to Portsmouth. But along the way the rest of Ethan had moved away as well. It wasn’t just his body that had moved away; as time passed, his mind, his heart, and his soul had each moved away in turn.
Staring out at the ocean, I recall wondering whether it was time for me to move on as well. I mean, Ethan had always been my very best friend, the person I cared about more than anyone else; and he still was. I had never made another friend like him after he left Rehoboth Beach and I was pretty certain I never would
But maybe that little voice had been right. Maybe it was time to move on, to begin making new friends.
And yet moving on was hard for some reason.
Maybe there was a part of me that still loved Ethan a little; and if there was, it made you wonder.
How do you give up on someone you love?