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SUMMARY: Two boys from dissimilar backgrounds, one trying to stay out of jail, the other privileged and seemingly destined for greatness. Thrown together by chance and only imperfectly aware of just how much they need one another, the boys struggle to connect across the many divides that separate them and slowly begin to recognize they may share more in common than they could have ever imagined. And yet whether they’ll be able to overcome their fears, doubts and insecurities and open up to each other remains to be seen. 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. Unless otherwise noted, all of the characters in the story are fictional; any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. While some of the places described or mentioned in the story are fictional as well, others may be real. However, some liberties may have been taken with the truth to enhance the story. 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 you are fully capable of understanding and legally consenting to reading a work of adult fiction.
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NOTES: Please check these notes every week. If there’s something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so. October 12, 2015: Chapter 11 is narrated by Sean.
THE OPENED DOOR
Watching Holden leave, I remember being mad at myself. He was about to tell me he was gay, at least I was pretty certain he was. But I had let him walk away without doing so because I wasn’t sure how to react if he told me.
Never having told anyone I was gay, I remember thinking it must be hard to tell someone that, especially another dude your own age. I had tried to make him feel comfortable if he wanted to tell me. I had told him it wouldn’t change how I felt about him; told him my little brother was gay.
There was a part of me that wanted to tell him I was gay too; and yet never having told anyone because I didn’t want to risk my father finding out, the whole thing was confusing to me.
What are you so afraid about, dude? He isn’t going to tell your father.
Maybe not, but how do you respond when someone tells you something like that?
You tell him the truth, Sean. You tell him you’re gay and you like him and hope he feels the same way about you.
But what if he doesn’t feel the same way? What do you then?
Or what if he does for that matter? What do you do next; where do you begin?
You’re overthinking this too much, Sean. You need to stop thinking so much and trust your instincts.
I had been watching as Holden walked away and by now he had disappeared into the distance. Turning around, I looked up at the house and saw it was darkened. Everyone was in bed.
Climbing the stairs, I turned the key, opened the door and made my way up to my bedroom. In the darkness I could see the outline of Kevin’s body silhouetted against the sheets by the moonlight.
Stripping off my clothes, I quietly made my way to my bed. Then, climbing in, I pulled the sheets over my body, rolled on to my side, and closed my eyes.
“How was your date today, Sean?” Kev whispered across the darkness.
“Oh, jeez, don’t start on me, Kevin,” I replied, “not at this hour. It wasn’t a date. I just took someone who’s never been to a Red Sox game to Fenway Park so he could see what it’s like; that’s all. I’m doing the same thing with you tomorrow. Does that mean we’re having a date?”
“If that’s what you wanted, it could be,” he said. “But you don’t. That’s why I invited Bobby along. He’s going to be my date tomorrow.”
“Fine;” I said. “Just don’t start making out in front of the crowd with him. They won’t be as supportive as me and I don’t want to get beaten to a pulp defending you and Bobby.”
“We can take care of ourselves, Sean,” he replied, all bravado as usual.
“Oh, yeah; then remind me again why you even need me tagging along tomorrow? I’m sure you’d rather be alone with Bobby than have me hanging around.”
“I would,” he said. “But Mom won’t let Bobby and me go to the game alone. She thinks we’re too young and we’ll get molested. I don’t have the heart to tell her Bobby and I would be perfectly happy to be molested; besides, they’re your tickets. It would be rude to tell you to butt out.”
“Oh, jeez, thanks; I love you, too, Kevin.”
“Apparently not as much as this new friend of yours,” he replied. “The game ended hours ago. Bobby and I watched it on television and it was over around 4:30 p.m. It’s after midnight now. Where the hell have you been and what have you and that dude been doing?”
“Look, Kev, Mom gets to ask questions like that because she’s our mother. You’re my brother and I don’t have to account for every minute of my life to you.”
“Is he cute, Sean?” Kevin asked, ignoring my effort to silence him. “Is that why you’re so late this evening? Were the two of you making out somewhere? Do you like him? And what’s his name again? You told me last night, but I forgot.”
“His name is Holden,” I said. “He’s a student at Harvard and he did me a favor; that’s how we met. And, yeah, I like him because he’s different than most people I know; genuine, not always playing the angles like you and me.”
“But is he cute, Sean? You haven’t answered the question. Is he cute like Bobby? Does he turn you on as much as Bobby turns me on?”
Is he cute?
Yeah, he’s cute. He’s definitely cute. And as for turning me on, yeah; he does. But there’s no way in hell I’m going to tell you something like that, Kev.
“Look, Kevin, am I allowed to have a guy friend without you asking whether I think he’s cute?”
“No. You’re not; because you’re gay, too, Sean. Both of us know it. You’re just too stubborn to admit it to me for some reason. Somebody has to help you come to grips with reality. Being your little brother and loving you as much as I do, I figure I should be the one.”
“Okay, look; if I was gay, I would say Holden is cute. He looks like the all American boy. Everything about him is perfect; perfect skin, perfect teeth, perfect eyes; whatever. And if I was gay I suppose a guy like that would turn me on. Can I please get some sleep now?”
“We can’t stop now, Sean,” he responded. “This is a breakthrough for you. You’ve admitted he’s cute and turns you on. So what did the two of you do after the game this afternoon?”
“We had dinner in Harvard Square. Then we went back to his room and I helped him out with some of his school work.”
“Omigod! I don’t believe it. You went back to his room, Sean? Where does he live?”
“He lives in a dorm in Harvard Yard. Excuse me, residence hall; they call dormitories residence halls at Harvard. He’s a student there.”
“Are you seriously telling me this friend of yours goes to Harvard?” he asked. “I thought you were making that up.”
“Yeah,” I replied. “He does.”
“And you’re telling me you helped him out with his, uh, school work; nothing else, just his school work? Is that it?”
“Look, Sean, don’t try to play me. I can believe the dude goes to Harvard. I can believe you went back to his room. But helping him out with his school work? That’s asking me to believe a lot, dude.”
“It was math,” I said. “You know how good I am at math. He was having trouble with an assignment he had and I was able to help him figure it out.”
“Okay, math I could believe,” Kevin replied. “You’re a freaking genius at math. But something more must have happened. It’s after midnight. You can’t stop now, Sean. I want to know all the details, especially the juicy ones. I want to know who did what to whom?”
“For crying out loud, Kevin, get your mind out of the gutter. Stop being a perv all the time. We didn’t have sex and we’re not going to have sex and that’s all you need to know. It’s late. Get some sleep; otherwise you’ll be tired during the game tomorrow.”
Kev settled down, but I had problems falling asleep. I had never asked him to tell me about his personal life. But now, for whatever reason, I was curious; and being curious I was the one who ended up breaking the silence.
“Are you still awake?” I whispered.
“No. Why do you ask?”
“Um, well, I was just wondering . . .”
Do you really want to ask him that, Sean?
“Wondering what?” he asked.
“Do you and Bobby, um, you know, actually do stuff together? You don’t have to tell me the details, but I was just curious if, uh, if . . . oh, jeez; never mind.”
“If we’re having sex; is that what you’re asking, Sean? Because if that’s what you’re asking, yeah; we have sex. Not as much we we’d like because it isn’t easy finding a place where we can have any privacy. But we do. Does that bother you?”
“I don’t know,” I responded. “Maybe a little; the two of you are still pretty young and that worries me. Do you know about safe sex and all that stuff? I don’t want you getting AIDS and shit like that.”
“Yeah; we know about safe sex, Sean. And it’s not like we’re doing the butt stuff either. We’re still thinking about that. But we do the other stuff; you know, kissing, making out, and . . . uh . . . sucking dick when we can. Stuff like that.”
I remember gulping. My fourteen year old brother and his boyfriend were more experienced than I was. It was shocking; more than that, it was annoying.
“Um, well, do you like that?” I asked.
“Jesus, Sean, we’re gay. We’re into dicks, not vaginas. So, yeah, both of us like it. Why would you think we wouldn’t like it?”
“It’s not that I think you wouldn’t. I mean, gay dudes aren’t the only ones who do shit like that. Some of my friends have girlfriends who suck dick. How different could it be having your dick sucked by a boy than a girl?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve never had a girl suck my dick. You haven’t either.”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“You know what it means, Sean. We’ve been over this ground a million times. I’m positive you’ve never had sex with a girl; and the reason for that is you’re gay. But it’s not like you have to tell me, of course. It’s your issue, not mine. But if you’re ever willing to face up to it, I can probably teach you how to suck dick really good.”
“You wish,” I responded.
“Actually I do wish I could suck your dick, Sean. But it probably won’t happen for a billion years the way you repress everything. Think about that while you’re dreaming tonight; think about me about me sucking your dick like you want me to.”
Just hearing him say that made me go hard and that was annoying because I knew there was no way I could get off with Kev in the room.
“You are so perverted, Kevin,” I replied, annoyed; “so fucking perverted. You shouldn’t be telling me stuff like that. I’m your brother.”
“That’s why you love me so much, Sean, because I’m honest.”
That was how our conversation ended that evening. Kevin fell asleep pretty quickly, but I found myself tossing and turning most of the night.
Is that what you want, Sean? Do you want to have sex with Holden? Is that what this is all about?
Yeah, I do, I responded; but it’s about more than just sex. I really like Holden and hope he feels the same way about me. That’s what I really want; someone I can share my life with. And, yeah, if we’re kindred spirits, I want to hold him and make love to him and let him make love to me.
But it’s not just about sex. It’s about actually loving someone. I wish I knew how to do that because I think Holden might be the one for me.
I woke up early the next morning. Looking over, Kevin was lying on his side facing away from me. He had kicked off the sheets during the night, leaving most of his body exposed, including his back and butt.
Kevin had always been a good looking boy. Now that his body was filling out, I remember thinking he had a very nice body and an especially terrific butt. It was small and round and firm. I remember being jealous of Bobby although Kevin had said the two of them weren’t doing the butt stuff yet.
But how long will that last?
I decided to let Kevin sleep in that morning. He needed the sleep a lot more than me. By now I was used to making it through the day on less than eight hours.
After cleaning up, I set about doing some of Kev’s chores for the day. I had to be careful about that because my father would have been mad if he knew I was doing them for him. He didn’t really like Kevin very much. He never had.
What he would tell you was he thought Kev was lazy and much too big for his britches. But I knew the real reason. He never liked having sons who were smarter than him; and while I had always done my best never to let him see that in me, Kevin was different.
He was proud of being smart and didn’t care who knew. Unlike me, Kevin was honest; totally honest. It was one of the things I admired about him the most.
I had just finished taking the trash out to the dumpster and had come back into the house. My mother was sitting at the kitchen table and she was crying.
Oh, Jesus, what now? Why is there always so much drama to deal with in this freaking zoo?
“Hey; what’s this all about Mom?” I asked, trying to comfort her. “Why are you crying? You know I don’t like seeing you cry.”
She looked at me momentarily and then started crying again even harder. She would tell me, but not until she was finished sobbing her heart out.
Soon enough she regained her composure and the story came out in bits and pieces.
“I just went in to get Kevin up for church and he told me he wasn’t going,” she said. “That’s why I’m crying.”
“You know, when you don’t go to church, Sean, it makes me sad; very sad. But you always have some excuse that helps me overlook it. You tell me you aren’t feeling well or you have some job you need to do; and you do go occasionally to keep me happy. But when I asked Kevin why he wasn’t going to church this morning, he said he didn’t believe in God anymore.”
“Do you believe that, Sean? He doesn’t believe in God. It was like a dagger through my heart when he said that. Do you think he really doesn’t believe in God anymore?”
She was in agony and there was no way I was going to pile on. My mother had never had much in life. The only things important to her were God and her children and she saw the two as being connected; that God had placed her in this world to bear children and bring them up as good Christians.
I understood what she was going through. She was thinking her whole life had been a failure and she didn’t deserve that.
“Mom, he’s fourteen years old for crying out loud,” I said. “Every fourteen year old boy begins to wonder about things like that when they’re his age. It’s natural. It’s also natural for a fourteen year old boy to push his mother’s buttons.”
“He’s at a stage in life where he’s trying to become more independent,” I continued; “trying to break away from the control you and Pop have always exerted over him. Of course he still believes in God, Mom. He’s just trying to get you riled up and he’s done a pretty good job of it too. I’ll talk to him.”
She looked at me and I could tell she was grateful for what I had said.
It gave her hope.
“Thank you, Sean,” she said. “I could force him go to church. I could tell his father what he said and your father would whip him and make him go. But I don’t think that’s what Jesus would want, Sean; do you? I don’t think Jesus would want the boy whipped and forced to go to church.”
“No, Mom; you’re right about that. That’s not what Jesus would want. Why don’t you go ahead and get ready for church and I’ll talk to him. Okay?”
“Thank you, Sean. You’re a wonderful son.”
Climbing the stairs again, I found Kevin in the bathroom fiddling with his hair.
“Are you proud of yourself?” I asked.
“What do you mean; proud of what?”
“Proud you reduced your mother to tears,” I replied. “Does that make you feel good; that you hurt her like that? It wasn’t enough to tell her you weren’t going to church today? You had to drive the dagger through her heart by telling her you don’t believe in God anymore.”
“Oh, come on, Sean,” he said, defensively. “When was the last time you went to church? I know you don’t believe in that nonsense. I’m old enough to have my own opinion and my opinion is that God doesn’t exist.”
“We’re not talking about your opinion, Kevin,” I responded. “We’re talking about your mother. You hurt her. You made her cry. Why couldn’t you just tell her you weren’t feeling well or make up some other excuse?”
“If I told her I wasn’t feeling well, she might not let Bobby and me go to the game,” he replied, defensively. “Like I said, I’m entitled to my own opinion.”
“This is America, Kevin,” I shot back. “You can believe whatever you want; but you know what? Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one, but some people are one and that’s what you’re being right now; you’re being an asshole.”
“You can believe whatever you want, shithead,” I continued. “What you’re not entitled to do is to hurt your mother so bad she ends up crying like that. You need to grow up, Kev. This is a woman who made a mistake marrying our father when she was too young to know any better. She never had an education. She never had anything really except four sons she loves and devotes her life to.”
“And this is her reward? To have the one thing she clings to, the one thing that gives her hope, thrown back in her face by some fourteen year old wise-ass; some little shit who knows he’s a lot smarter than her but isn’t smart enough to realize he doesn’t even come close to her when it comes to simple things like showing a little kindness?”
He looked at me for a moment defiantly; then I could see the tears welling up in his eyes. He knew I was right.
“I’m sorry, Sean,” he said and just by the look on his face I could tell he was sorry.
“Sorry doesn’t cut it, Kevin,” I continued, determined not to let him off the hook that easily. “I want you to go downstairs and apologize to her for what you did; tell her you’re sorry and didn’t mean it. And then I want you to go to church with her.”
“Yeah, right; are you going to church, Sean?” he asked, pushing back.
“I am,” I responded. “To make her happy, I’m going to church today; and if you don’t, you’re not going to the Red Sox game. Neither is Bobby.”
“Bobby’s looking forward to that game,” he responded, concerned. “When I told him about it yesterday, he was excited. I don’t want you screwing it up for him.”
“I’m not,” I said. “It’ll be your fault if he doesn’t get to go. Take it or leave it; if you don’t want to go to church, you can spend the rest of the day at home telling Bobby how you humiliated your mother. I don’t think he’ll be any happier with you than me. He would never do something like that to his mother.”
I’m not sure it would have worked with Kevin a year or two down the road. Like everyone else in our family except Mom, he was hard-headed. But he knew I loved him; more importantly, he knew he loved his mother and realized now he had made a mistake. So he did what I had told him to do and that made everything better for her.
Not only did Kevin go to church, her oldest son did as well and that gave her hope; it was the only thing that kept her alive. When you’re poor and don’t have hope any more, they bury you
So I was proud of myself for a change. I had done the right thing, not because there was anything to be gained by doing it but because of what would have been lost.
You never want to lose hope.
Later, when we got back to the house, I pulled Kevin aside.
“Thanks for doing that, little brother. It made her happy. Isn’t it amazing how little it takes to make someone happy?”
“I guess,” he replied. “But it only postpones the issue, Sean. I really don’t believe any of that stuff anymore and I don’t think you do either. It isn’t right to lead her on; to make her think I still believe when I don’t.”
“And you’re absolutely positive of that, a hundred percent positive; that God doesn’t exist?”
“No; I’m not positive, Sean, but that’s what I think.”
“And you think it’s worth hurting your mother for something none of us are certain about? Being honest is good up to a point, Kev, but holding your tongue isn’t the same as being dishonest.”
“I’m not sure I understand,” he replied.
“Well, take you, for example,” I said. “You know you’re gay, Kev, but you haven’t told Mom. Is that being dishonest?”
“No;” he responded. “She wouldn’t understand and she would probably go asking Pop about the whole thing; and you’re right. The asshole would probably toss me out of this place after beating me to a pulp.”
“He would, Kevin,” I said; “and you’re right too. She wouldn’t understand what being gay means; and when Pop told her, she would blame herself for being a terrible mother even though both of us know that isn’t true. It’s not her fault. You don’t have to believe in God if you don’t want to, but the point is we don’t have to walk around rubbing that in her face every day.”
“You can tell her part of the truth; that you don’t believe Jesus wants people to worship in fancy buildings with stained glass windows that cost a ton to heat in the winter, especially when there’re so many people in the world the money could better be spent on. Where’s the harm, Kevin?”
“But you don’t worship at all, Sean. It’s all a lie.”
“I try to do what Jesus tells us to do in the Bible,” I said. “I try not to lie. I try to be good to people. Not that I always succeed, but I try. I mean, look how patient I am with you, you little perv.”
I wasn’t nearly as good as I tried to pretend, but he had never really seen that part of me, the bad part; and I think he understood what I was trying to tell him.
“Okay; I’ll do it your way,” he volunteered; “partly because I love Mom and partly because I love you, Sean.”
“You see. It isn’t that hard, is it?” I said.
Later still, around 11:45 a.m., the doorbell rang. I managed to get to it first and there was Bobby.
“Well, well, looks who’s here,” I said; “if it isn’t the little perv’s perv.”
“I love you, too, Sean,” he said, giggling.
The giggling made him smile and the smile reminded me Kevin had excellent taste and had shown it in his choice of a boyfriend. In a lot of ways, Bobby was everything Kevin wasn’t; shy and quiet, in particular. But he was definitely as cute as Kevin. Bobby was altar boy cute.
More than just being cute, however, the two boys were good for each other; pushing one another to excel in school, comforting each other when problems arose at home. They were perfect together and I was their co-conspirator, helping them keep their secret.
Like Kevin said, my mother was clueless when it came to things like that so it wasn’t a problem with her. But my father wasn’t a big fan of Bobby. He thought he was too soft, too cute for a boy, and he wore an earring after all. He still didn’t like Kevin hanging around with him.
But somehow I had always managed to find a way to keep the old man’s nastier instincts in check; and going to the game today would help I thought. Queers weren’t into sports after all, only real men like Pop and his brothers.
Soon enough we were off to the T in Central Square. Kevin and Bobby were horsing around like boys that age always do. I was happy for them although I wondered how long their friendship would last given the expectations of both families.
They’re both freshmen in high school, Sean. Maybe it’ll last all four years. Things are finally getting better in this country for gay people. They’ll be even better in four years. And who knows? Maybe there’s a wedding in their future. I would like to be there for that.
Unlike the previous day, today’s game was never close. The Red Sox destroyed the Yankees; systematically, brutally, and much to our collective delight. I guess it was somewhere around the sixth inning when I heard my phone vibrate. Knowing how nosy Kevin was, I didn’t want to answer it with him around.
“I’m going to the john,” I told the boys.
“Could you get Bobby and me a couple of hot dogs while you’re at it?” Kevin asked; “after you’ve taken your wizz and washed your hands, of course. Lots of mustard and onions for me; I like them spicy. Bobby prefers eating them naked. You love naked wieners, don’t you, Bobby?”
Bobby just smiled and nodded.
“What do I look like,” I replied; “the Bank of America or something?”
“You look like my sweet older brother,” Kevin said, smiling at me; “the one who loves spoiling his little brother and his little brother’s friend.”
“We’ll see,” I responded, realizing he had already won just by smiling at me.
When I finally got to the concourse, I retrieved my phone. There was a text message waiting for me.
need 2 see u 2nite. dinner? my treat. where? when? holden
I quickly punched in my response.
ok but i pay 4 me. the square; 5:00. xtra innings? i’ll let u know. sean
Sending it off, I turned, made my way to one of the concessions, and bought Bobby and Kevin their hot dogs. After adding the condiments to Kevin’s, I returned to where we were seated.
“These dogs ain’t cheap,” I said; “be sure to say thank you.”
“Thanks,” they shouted in unison.
“I added a special ingredient to yours, Kevin.”
“Oh yeah,” he replied. “What?”
“It’s a special creamy sauce,” I said, rubbing the hand holding his dog against my groin.
“Cool,” he said, totally unfazed. “I love that stuff; although I imagine there won’t be much of it knowing you, Sean.”
That caused Bobby to burst out laughing and the two of them to high five one another.
Why do you even bother trying to one up the little perv, Sean?
Like I said, the game was never close. The Sox destroyed the Yankees that day, completing the three game sweep and making for a perfect weekend.
The three of us found our way out of Fenway Park and headed back to Cambridge. When the train got to the Central Square station, Bobby and Kevin said their good-byes. I had already told them I would be going on to Harvard Square.
That had caused Kevin to roll his eyes at the time, but he didn’t get on my case in front of Bobby.
He just winked at me as the train began pulling away.
It isn’t what you think, I mouthed from the platform.
He grinned, then blew me a kiss.