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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. November 2, 2015: Chapter 14 is narrated by Sean.
THE OPENED DOOR
“I don’t know, Holden. I’m not sure about this.”
It was Friday evening and Holden and I were having dinner at a cafe in the Square we liked. He had just told me his faculty adviser had invited the two of us to the Red Sox game the following night. I wasn’t sure what to think about that.
“I mean I like the Sox and would love to go to the game, but I don’t know anything about this dude you’re talking about. I’m not really great around strangers in the best of circumstances. I’ll make a fool of myself around some professor from Harvard.”
“You need to stop thinking about him as someone who teaches at Harvard,” he responded. “Think of him as another Red Sox fanatic like yourself. The two of you will have a ball at the game talking about the team. I’m the one who’s going to feel out of place because I don’t know anything about the Red Sox except what you told me last Saturday.”
“By the way, he wants us to have dinner at his place in Boston before the game as well,” Holden added.
“Dinner? You’re kidding,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Why would he want to have dinner with us? You told me he wasn’t married. This guy isn’t some kind of perv, is he?”
Holden looked at me strangely for a moment and then burst out laughing.
“Professor Jeffords? Don’t be ridiculous, Sean. Not that he’s bad looking. He’s actually a very distinguished looking man for his age, but you can tell he was very good looking when he was younger; at least I think so from the one picture I’ve seen of him back then. I don’t know whether he’s gay, but I doubt it; and he would never do anything with a student even if he was.”
“How do you know?” I asked.
“I just do,” he responded, shrugging his shoulders. “I mean, it’s hard to explain exactly, but everyone loves Professor Jeffords. His classes are oversubscribed every semester because he makes them so much fun. He’s the most popular teacher on campus. Unlike most of the rest of the professors, you can actually talk to the man.”
“You’re going to like him, Sean,” he continued. “Everybody likes him and you’re going to like him even more because he knows as much about the Red Sox as you; maybe even more.”
Oh, come on, Holden, be serious; some Harvard professor knows more about the Red Sox than me?
Forget it, dude!
“I doubt it,” I replied, relenting a bit. “I’d probably be okay with the game, I suppose, but dinner? For crying out loud, Holden, the dude is going to serve us some weird foreign food that will smell funny and probably make me puke. I mean, he teaches at Harvard after all; all those dudes are into food that sucks like that.”
Now it was Holden’s turn to roll his eyes.
“Oh, come on, Sean. I don’t know what he’ll serve, but think of it as the price you have to pay for a free ticket to the game. Besides, it’s not like we had any big plans for tomorrow night other than spending the evening together at my place. We’re doing the movie thing tonight so that’s pretty much out. What else is there to do in Cambridge on a Saturday evening?”
“Admit it, Sean; there’s nothing you’d rather be doing than taking in a game at Fenway Park tomorrow night.
He had a point, an excellent one, but I wasn’t about to admit it.
“I don’t know about you, Holden, but I can think of one or two things I’d rather be doing,” I said, grinning at him. “You’ve been bugging me about them all week.”
He looked back at me blankly for a moment; then a light went on in his head and he started to giggle when he realized what I was talking about.
“Going to the game doesn’t mean there won’t be time for other things,” he responded. “You promised you’d spend tomorrow and Sunday night at my place so we’ll have plenty of time for what you’re thinking about. In fact, we don’t even have to wait until tomorrow evening. You’re more than welcome to stay tonight and get an early start on whatever you have planned.”
“Um, I can’t do that, Holden,” I said. “You know that. There’s no way I can leave Kev alone overnight with my father. Besides, I was just kidding about that other stuff. I don’t have anything planned because I’m not sure I’m ready for something like that.”
“Really; you don’t have anything planned?” he said, and I could tell he was disappointed just by the look on his face.
“I was hoping we could, um . . . we could . . . I don’t know; maybe take things a little further this weekend if you know what I mean.”
“Not that we have to rush,” he added. “I’m willing to take things as slow as you want. It’s just that, uh, you know . . . it’s been driving me crazy all week thinking about the weekend.”
I could appreciate that. Just thinking about the possibilities had been driving me nuts as well.
“Yeah, I know,” I said. “It’s been hard for me too. But we need to stop talking about it; otherwise I’m going to explode just thinking about it. Let’s finish up here and get in line for the movie.”
With that we split the bill and the two of us headed off. Even as we continued talking about other stuff, my mind drifted off to the weekend again.
I remember wondering whether I had let Holden get too invested in what might happen. He had been after me to stay at his place every night that week and I wanted to. But, knowing I couldn’t, I had been holding him off by dropping little hints about what Saturday night might bring.
There was a part of me that wanted the evening to be special for Holden; more than just special if I was being honest about it. But even knowing what I wanted to happen, I was nervous about the whole thing. Never having done something like that before in my life, I didn’t want to embarrass myself.
“So what do you want to do, Sean?” Holden asked, interrupting the powerful feelings I had aroused just by thinking about what might happen the following night.
“Sorry,” I replied. “My mind was elsewhere. Do about what?”
“About dinner and the game tomorrow night?” he asked. “If it worries you that much, I’m not going to force you to accept the invitation. But you’ll have fun if you do. I know it. Professor Jeffords is a really cool dude.”
“Okay,” I responded. “I know you like this guy and he does sound pretty cool, at least the way you describe him. But if I puke from eating some weird ethnic food and embarrass the shit out of you, you’ll only have yourself to blame; and don’t expect me to save your ass if he puts a move on you either, Holden.”
“What if he puts a move on you, Sean?” he responded, grinning. “You’re the Red Sox fan he’s probably been lusting for all his life. Do you want me to save your ass?”
“I do,” I replied. “Just like you don’t want Tony messing with my ass, I don’t want no dirty professor messing with it either; although, other than Warren, I doubt anyone could be nastier than Tony.”
Hearing me say I was willing to do it, Holden whipped out his cell phone and called the dude. I heard it roll over to voicemail.
“Professor Jeffords, it’s me; Holden. I’ve talked to my friend and we’d be delighted to take in the game with you tomorrow night. I have your address and I’m sure Sean can figure out how to get to your place on the subway. We’ll be there no later than 5 p.m. like you suggested.”
“Both of us are looking forward to the free meal as well,” he added, winking at me even as I stuck a finger into my mouth to let know how much I appreciated him lying like that.
“Thanks for inviting us. If anything happens, feel free to ring me up.”
“He was out,” Holden said, turning to me. “I left a message.”
“Yeah, I heard. If anything comes up, I’ll be sure to ring you up too, Holden,” I said, rubbing my groin ever so briefly, then patting him on the rump.
Even though no one was looking, I had never done anything like that before in my life and I was shocked I had done it now. I think Holden was even more shocked because he looked surprise, at least at first. Then he just grinned at me.
“Be sure to do that, Sean,” he replied. “I’m looking forward to you ringing me up like that.”
I remember blushing when he said it.
The movie we attended that evening was one of those cheap foreign films always playing in the Square that were impossible to understand. It didn’t interest me much and soon enough I found myself bored. But the evening had never been about the movie for me. It was about being with Holden.
At one point, he placed his hand on mine on the armrest we shared in common. I remember going hard the moment he did it.
It was funny in a way; if my little brother or anyone else had done something like that, I would have pulled my hand away quickly. But I didn’t pull my hand away when Holden did it. In fact, I was glad he had done it. It felt good.
Later, after both of us had removed our hands from the armrest, I waited until he put his back on and then placed my hand on top of it. It just felt right somehow.
After the movie was over, we stopped at still another cafe. The Square was littered with places like that and we lingered there for a long time. Finally, I walked him back to his room and stepped inside momentarily.
“Are you sure I can’t persuade you to stay tonight, Sean?” he asked, his eyes pleading with me.
“Uh, probably not,” I responded, tempted. “But there’s something I did want to mention to you, if only briefly.”
“What?” he asked.
“Do you remember how I told you I’ve been thinking about not selling marijuana anymore?”
“Sure,” he said. “You’ve mentioned that several times. Have you decided what you’re going to do?”
“Yeah, I have,” I replied. “I told the dealers I was finished peddling the stuff earlier this week and made my final deliveries last night. I’m done with it and I’m glad about that.”
“That’s terrific, Sean; I would have been fine with whatever you decided to do because I know how much you need the money for college. But it was obvious selling it was bothering you. I’m proud you decided to stop. Congratulations.”
“Thanks,” I said. “That means a lot coming from you. But, uh, I need to ask something else.”
“Sure; ask away.”
“Were you being serious when you invited me to share that apartment your parents rented for you this summer?”
“Absolutely,” Holden responded, and I could see by his eager reaction just how excited he was about the prospect. “Are you taking me up on that offer?”
“Would Kevin still be part of the deal?” I asked. “I mean, I’ve been looking for a place for the two of us most of the week, but everything I look at in Cambridge is so expensive. I was thinking maybe I should take you up on that offer, but I need a place for Kevin as well.”
“Of course, Sean; I told you he could share the apartment with us. And, uh, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the two of you could even share the same room if you want. I know you haven’t told him you’re gay and he might get suspicious if we shared the same room. But we can work around that if you still feel like you need to keep it a secret from him. The point is, I love you; and I love everyone you love as well.”
I couldn’t believe the offer he had just made.
He loves you, Sean. He really does. Do you love him?
Then tell him you do.
“I . . . I . . . I like you, too, Holden,” I stammered. “And, uh, not just for offering to share the place with Kevin and me. I like you because . . .”
Before I could even finish the words Holden was kissing me; and it wasn’t the chaste kind of kiss we had been exchanging all week when I left his place. This was the real deal, the most passionate kiss I had ever experienced in my life. As we stood there embracing, it was obvious how aroused each of us was.
We were grinding against one another, feeling each other up. I knew immediately I would never get out of his room unless I stopped kissing Holden.
He resisted my efforts to do so successfully several times. But eventually I was able to squirm out of his grasp and we just stood there staring at one another.
“Please, Sean,” he whimpered? “Please stay.”
But by now I realized there was more that remained to be done that evening and I couldn’t do it by staying.
“I wish I could, Holden, but you know why I can’t; besides, I want to talk to my little brother about all of this.”
“Okay,” he said, sighing. “I’ll let you go for tonight. But not tomorrow night, Sean; you promised you’d sleep over tomorrow and Sunday nights. It’ll kill me if you back out at the last moment.”
“I won’t, Holden. I promise; and, uh, as for the apartment, I’ll give you something toward the rent. It may not be half exactly because I’m going to need to save up enough to get a place for me and Kevin in the fall when school starts again. But I’ll give you as much as I can. I promise.”
“Forget about it, Sean,” he replied. “I know how tight money is for you, what with saving for college and now this. So, no; I absolutely refuse to take any money from you, especially since my parents have already paid for the place.”
“Uh, well, thanks, Holden, I appreciate that. I’ve been thinking about things a lot this week and, uh, it looks like I’m probably going to have to postpone going to college for a couple more years. I’m still going to do it. It’s just that it costs a ton to live in Cambridge, but that’s where I need to rent.”
“Kevin loves Cambridge Latin and it’s the perfect school for him; plus Bobby goes to school there as well. I could rent further out and save a ton of money that way, but Kev and Bobby are good for each other and I don’t want to do that to them.”
“You can’t do that, Sean,” he objected. “You can’t postpone going to college. Once you do, it’ll be one thing after another and you’ll never go.”
“I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t have any choice,” I responded. “I need to get Kevin out of that house even if it means postponing college. In any event, I guess I should be going even though that’s not what I want to do.”
Leaning forward, I embraced Holden, hugging him longer than usual. I remember being proud of myself. Usually Holden was the one who initiated our embraces, but by now I was comfortable doing so.
“Listen, Holden, I don’t want you to ever forget how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. But the most important thing I don’t want you to forget is I like you. I like you more than anyone in the world. I’m sorry for not telling you sooner. It was just hard to see how you could ever be interested in me. The thing is, I’m not sure I deserve someone like you. But if you’ll have me, I do want to be your boyfriend.”
“Of course, Sean,” he said. “That goes without saying, you being my boyfriend. You need to stop worrying about things so much. You don’t have to be anyone other than yourself for me. That’s the person I’m in love with.”
“Okay, thanks,” I replied. “It’s just that sometimes I think this is too good to be true; and if it is, I’ll blame myself for that.”
“It isn’t too good to be true,” he replied. “It is true. I love you. You like me more than anyone in the world. That’s all that matters. In any event, when I am going to see you tomorrow?”
“Um, I was thinking maybe I would come by around noon and just hang out here while you study. I can use your computer to figure out where we have to go and we can take the T into town whenever we have to. If you get tired of studying before then, maybe we could go for another walk down by the Charles. I liked that.”
“That sounds fantastic,” he said. “See you tomorrow, Sean.”
Ordinarily, it wouldn’t have taken very long for me to get home. But that night I found myself walking around aimlessly for a long time. I was trying to clear my head. Holden had helped with some of my issues, but others remained and I was trying to figure out how to approach them best.
Finally I made my way back to our darkened house and went in. Everyone was in bed and asleep, as least as best I could tell. Tiptoeing up the stairs, I stripped off my clothes and climbed into bed. I remember waiting for Kevin to say something.
All my life he was the one who initiated our conversations, but tonight he was silent. Figuring he must be asleep, I rolled over and closed my eyes; but I couldn’t sleep. I needed to talk.
“Are you asleep, Kevin?” I whispered across the darkness.
“Yes,” he responded.
It was a little unnerving. Unlike me, Kevin wasn’t into one word conversations, even humorous ones. I had always counted on him taking the initiative and then me trying to fend off his barbs, but tonight he hadn’t given me something to respond to. I was on my own.
“Um, well, there’s something I need to tell you,” I said.
“Ah, well, I think I’m . . . um, no, that’s not right; I mean . . . I’m gay, Kevin.”
I expected to hear some witty retort I would have trouble fielding. But he didn’t respond that way. He was more serious than usual.
“I’m glad to hear you say that, Sean,” he replied; “really glad. I’ve been wondering for a long time what I did to make you not want to tell me. Hearing you apply the word gay to yourself makes me happy. But why are you telling me now, in the middle of the night?”
“I’m telling you because you’ve been right all along. I never told you before because of Pop. You know how the man is; and, well, I figured I could run interference with him better for you if he thought I was straight.”
“That worked well for a long time, but it’s getting harder now that you’re hanging around with Bobby so much. It won’t be long before you and Pop butt heads again and you tell him the truth.”
“You’re right about that, Sean,” he said. “The only reason I haven’t already is because you keep asking me not to. Up until now that’s been fine. But as much as I love you, Sean, I don’t think I can do it much longer. I’m sorry.”
“You shouldn’t have to,” I replied. “It’s his problem, not yours. Look, Kev, I’ll deny it if anyone ever asks, but you really are the best little brother a big brother could have. I want you to know that; I want you to know I love you.”
“But I’m also telling you because I’ve met someone; someone I like. I think you already suspected that, but now you don’t have to guess anymore.”
“We haven’t done anything much,” I continued; “not really. I mean, we’ve slept in the same bed together and hugged one another. And I guess that’s another reason why I wanted to tell you everything tonight because I’m going to be staying at his place tomorrow and Sunday night while you’re at Bobby’s house; and, um, I think there’s a chance we might end up doing something.”
“It’s what both of us want, but I’m nervous. Were you nervous the first time with Bobby?”
“I was a wreck,” Kevin said, calmly; “a complete basket case. And Bobby was pretty much the same way.”
“The whole thing started out as a comedy of errors; and then at some point he just leaned over and gave me a quick peck on the lips and I liked it. So I returned the favor; and before you knew it we were rolling around on the floor completely entangled in each other’s arms and legs. One thing led to another and it wasn’t long before the two of us were naked.”
“I won’t tell you what we did next, but it was the most fantastic experience in my life. And you know what, Sean?”
“It keeps getting better every time. I just love Bobby so much and I know he feels the same way about me; and loving and being loved like that, there’s nothing like it. It’s totally awesome.”
“You’re so lucky, Sean,” he continued. “Holden has his own room and the two of you can take all the time in the world. I wish Bobby and I were as lucky as you guys, but we’re always listening for some door to open, always worried about someone walking in on the two of us. It’s going to be better for you and Holden. It’s going to be a beautiful thing, Sean. Believe me; it’s going to be beautiful.”
“Um, well, thanks, Kevin,” I replied, reminding myself there was still one other thing I needed to tell him. “The thing is, I’m just really nervous.”
“You don’t think Holden is nervous, too, Sean?” he asked. “He’s going to be as nervous as you. You just need to take it step by step. Start with a kiss. Let him respond. What to do comes pretty naturally. You may be a virgin, Sean, but you’re not an idiot; at least not most of the time.”
“For you, it’s all about making Holden feel good,” he continued. “There’s nothing like it; making someone you care about feel good, feel loved. It’s the best feeling in the world. And Holden will be trying just as hard to do the same thing for you. From everything you’ve told me about him, he’s a cool dude.”
“Thanks,” I said. “He really is. I’ve never felt this way about someone. It just feels right to me.”
“It is, Sean. It’s who you are. It’s who Holden is. Both of you have been waiting for tomorrow night all your life and now it’s almost here. You need to get some sleep tonight, Sean. You may not get much tomorrow night.”
“Okay,” I said. “Um, and thanks little brother. I appreciate the support. But there’s one other thing I need to tell you.”
“Holden’s parents have rented an apartment for him in Cambridge this summer and he wants me to live there with him. I’m going to do it and we’re going to share a room together; and that’s still another reason I wanted to tell you.”
“Because we’ve talked about it and we want you to come live there with us as well.”
“No way,” he replied, vehemently. “There’s no way I’m going to do that. You guys need your own space. It’s one thing to be a pain in your butt when we’re sharing a room here at home, Sean. If there’s going to be a pain in your butt at that apartment, it’s going to be Holden, not me; besides, I don’t want to hear the two of you moaning all night. Like they say, two’s company; three’s a crowd.”
“Maybe,” I said. “But what with all this new found maturity you’re showing tonight, I figure we can make it work somehow. And then there’s Bobby, Kevin? Didn’t you just say the two of you always have to sneak around; always worry someone might barge in on you? You’ll have your own room, little brother, so you’ll need to remember to stifle the moaning as well.”
Silence engulfed the room and for a moment there was no response. It was apparent Kevin was processing the possibilities I had just opened for him.
“Uh, well, even if I wanted to, I’m not sure Mom and Pop would let me do something like that; let me live in an apartment with you and some stranger, I mean.”
“Do you, Sean?” he added. “Do you think they’d let me do something like that?”
And by then I knew the answer he wanted to hear, which also happened to be the correct one.
“Pop doesn’t care, Kev; both of us know that. He’ll be mad I’m leaving, but only because he likes the rent money I bring in. As for you, the sooner you’re out of this place, the happier he’ll be. To him you’re just another mouth to feed. He doesn’t love us, Kev. He never did. The only person he loves is himself.”
“As for Mom, I’ll talk to her,” I added. “Unlike Pop, she does love you. She loves you a lot and she won’t want to let you go, at least not at first. But she also knows what Pop’s like and wants what’s best for you. She’ll come around in the end; though she’ll probably also want you to come visit her at home most days after school.”
“And probably even some nights, too,” Kevin chimed in. “That would give you and Holden more privacy.”
I couldn’t see it, but I knew he was grinning the moment he said it.
And then I heard his sheets rustling.
“Are you wanking over there, Kev?”
“Jeez, can’t a guy have any privacy around this place?”