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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. December 7, 2015: Chapter 19 is narrated by Sean.
THE OPENED DOOR
Jesus, Sean, is he ever going to come back?
I had been sitting on the floor in Wigglesworth next to the door to Holden’s room for hours waiting for him to get back, but there was still no sign of him and by now I was tired. I was beginning to wonder whether he was ever coming back.
That would have been reason enough to worry because there were parts of Cambridge you didn’t want to be wandering around alone in late at night. That made me nervous. But by now I was also worried about something else, something more personal.
I was worried whether Holden was planning to dump me.
Earlier in the day he had left a message on my phone saying he didn’t have time to see me that evening. I had returned the call on my break, but he didn’t answer his phone or return the message I left.
That’s where the worrying began.
For some reason Holden had decided to blow me off completely and that surprised me. He had never done something like that before. He was always the one counting down the hours until we were together again; and now, just like that, he didn’t have time to see me for some reason.
I tried to brush it off at first. Having nothing better to do at the end of my shift, no deliveries to make or suppliers to meet, I went home after work and up to my room. Closing the shades, I climbed onto my bed and just laid there for hours thinking about things.
But no matter how hard I tried, I kept coming back to that call from Holden.
What’s so important he doesn’t even have time to call, Sean?
Thinking I might have missed something, I listened several times to the recorded message he had left.
“Sean, this is Holden,” he had said in an emotionless voice. “I can’t see you tonight; not at all. Something’s come up, something important and, um, personal, so I won’t be available to see you this evening; or, uh, to speak to you either. Uh, well, that’s it for now. I’ll give you a call tomorrow sometime; if I can that is. This problem has me flustered so that’s all I can say.”
It made me wonder what was so personal he wouldn’t have time to get together whenever he finished or even have time to call.
There’s something missing here, Sean, I said, as I listened to the message for the third or fourth time.
Then I recognized what was missing. Holden always ended his calls by saying he loved me, but for some reason he hadn’t said it on the message he left. That’s when the worrying began to turn more serious for me.
Is he dumping you, Sean? a voice asked, hesitantly.
No, don’t be ridiculous, I replied, dismissing the thought.
Holden loves me.
Getting up, I decided to go for a walk. Soon enough I found myself back at Harvard. I was hoping to run into Holden, but quickly realized how ridiculous that was. Walking over to Wigglesworth, I climbed the stairs and knocked on his door. But there was only silence.
Frustrated, I made my way down to Memorial Drive and found myself retracing the steps the two of us had shared along the Charles.
I guess that’s where the worrying kicked in big time.
Did he finally realize we have nothing in common?
Or maybe he got tired of waiting for you to tell him you love him. You do love him, Sean, don’t you?
But you never told him that, dude; you never told him you love him. Maybe he got tired waiting for you to say it.
By now it was dark outside; the more I thought about things, the darker my thoughts became.
Maybe he was surprised you let him fuck you, Sean. Maybe he’s just not interested anymore now that he’s had your ass.
Holden had told me more than once how masculine I was; and by now we had talked enough for me to know there were times when he wondered about his own masculinity. I had done my best to reassure him about that. The whole thing was crazy as far as I was concerned.
But then I had grabbed his legs while we were down on the floor and pulled him forward toward me. He had wrapped them around my body in an effort to pull me closer still. The whole thing had happened so fast and then his eyes were telling me what he wanted and I realized I wanted the same thing too.
And yet as much as I wanted to do it, I resisted. I wanted him to do it first. I thought that would put any lingering doubts he had about his masculinity to rest.
Maybe you were wrong about that, Sean.
He definitely liked doing it to you, but maybe he thinks less of you as a guy for letting him do it? Some guys are like that you know.
But not Holden, I protested; Holden isn’t like that.
Are you sure, Sean?
I was pretty sure, just not a hundred percent sure.
He had offered to let me do it to him once he finished after all. I had been the one to suggest we hold off until the Board acted on my petition.
Maybe that was a mistake, Sean. Maybe he’s thought about it and decided you’re not man enough for him.
The more I thought about things, the more I convinced myself that was the explanation.
I mean, what else could it be? It’s not like we had argued about something.
That has to be it, Sean. You let him do it to you and now he thinks you’re too femmy for him. He wants someone more masculine.
That’s why he’s blowing you off.
I began to recall some of the things he had said once he had done it to me the previous evening.
“I’ll probably want to do it a few more times before dumping you,” he had said.
“I could change my mind about letting you do it at all, you know.”
It was pretty clear now he was dumping me and I realized there was nothing I could do about it. He had fucked me and there was no going back. I wasn’t a virgin anymore. But I didn’t want it to end like that; to let Holden blow me off without letting him know I loved him. If he still wanted to dump me after that because of what I had let him do, I would have to live with it.
But he needed to know why I had done it; that I had done it because I loved him.
Exhausted by the mental gymnastics I had just been through, I headed back to Wigglesworth. Holden had said he was going to be out for the evening, but that didn’t matter. I was willing to wait however long it took for him to get back and that’s what I had been doing for hours now; just sitting there on the floor beside his door waiting for him.
It had occurred to me by now that perhaps Holden wasn’t planning to come back that evening at all; that he might have found someone else and was planning to spend the evening with him. He said it was personal after all.
But I needed to tell him I loved him no matter what. I needed to say those words.
So I was determined to stay there no matter long it took. If he never showed up that evening, I was planning to stay all night and then the next day as well. If that meant I needed to skip work, so be it. I was going to be there whenever Holden finally showed up.
It was after 2:00 a.m. when I heard footsteps climbing the stairs. Looking up, I saw Holden approaching.
“What are you doing here Sean?” he asked, surprised to see me.
“I wanted to see you tonight,” I replied. “There’s something I need to tell you, but where have you been? I’ve been sitting here for hours waiting for you.”
“I’ve been walking around Cambridge thinking about things,” he replied, opening the door and letting us in. “I even walked over to your house at one point, but it was dark so I decided to come back.”
“Why have you been walking around for hours?” I asked, pressing the matter. “If it’s because you’re trying to find the right way to tell me you’re dumping me, you don’t have to worry about it. I already know.”
He just stood there staring at me blankly for a couple of moments, as if dumbfounded.
“Why would you think I was going to dump you, Sean?” he asked. “I love you. Don’t you realize that by now? How many times do I have to tell you that?”
I was stunned to hear him reaffirming his love after the mental anguish I had been through.
“You love me?” I replied. “That’s why I’ve been sitting here forever tonight waiting for you; because I love you, Holden, and wanted to tell you that before you broke up with me. I know I’ve never used those words before; I don’t know why. It’s just been hard. But it’s the truth. I love you. And I want you to know that.”
“You love me?’
“I do, Holden. I loved you yesterday. I love you today. And I’m going to love you as long as I live.”
I thought hearing the words would make him happy, but instead tears began streaming out of his eyes. He was crying, but silently; without the sounds that usually accompany tears.
Leaning over I embraced him and held him as tight as I could.
“I still don’t understand,” he said, trying to regain control. “I don’t understand why you think I was planning to dump you?”
“Um, well, I thought maybe you were upset because I had never said I loved you before; or, uh, that maybe you were ashamed of me for letting you, um . . . you know; for letting you make love to me last night like we did. That maybe you thought I wasn’t, uh, you know, masculine enough for you.”
“That’s crazy, Sean,” Holden replied, agitated. “What you did last night is the most incredibly loving thing anyone has ever done for me in my life; and if you think I don’t know why you did it, forget about it. I know why.”
“I know you think I still worry too much about how masculine I am and you’re right about that. There are times when I do. But I’m getting better about that, Sean. I don’t worry about it so much; and after what you did last night, I’ll probably never worry about it again.”
“You’re the most masculine dude I’ve ever met,” he continued. “And last night you did the most masculine thing any guy ever could. You shared yourself with me; completely, unconditionally, and without expecting anything in return. If you’re man enough to do something like that, I don’t see why I should worry about how masculine I am.”
“Look, Sean, as much as I enjoyed last evening, I’m looking forward to the weekend even more. I can’t wait for you to do the same thing to me; in fact, since you’re already here, why don’t we just go ahead and do it right now?”
“Okay, maybe we should,” I responded, “at least as long as you do it to me again.”
“It isn’t a competition, Sean,” he said. “We don’t have to keep count. It’s about loving and being loved and you’ve already made me happier than I ever thought I could be.”
With that he took me by the hand and led us down to the bedroom.
“You still haven’t told me why you’ve been walking around tonight, Holden?” I asked before he could start undressing me.
Holden looked at me for a moment, then sat down on the bed, buried his face in his hands, and started sobbing.
It was unnerving seeing someone I loved so much totally distraught like that.
“Hey, what the hell is this all about?” I asked, sitting down and embracing him. “What did I do to make you cry? Whatever I did, I’m sorry, Holden. I’ll make it better; just give me a chance to make it better.”
“It isn’t you,” he responded, sobbing. “It’s Roger.”
“What the fuck did that asshole do now?” I asked. “I’ll kill the dude; I swear it, Holden. I’m going to kill him. Either that or you’re going to have to promise never to talk to that jerk again. What the hell did he do to make you cry like this?”
Looking over at me, Holden started to say something, then looked away and started crying again.
“I can’t tell you,” he sobbed. “I can’t. And I can’t promise I’ll never talk to him again either. I have to see him again; at least one more time.”
That brought forth a new round of tears; if anything, they were even more intense this time.
I was holding him as tight as I could, but feeling helpless as well by now.
“It’s going to be okay, Holden,” I whispered. “Everything’s going to be okay. I love you and you love me too. That’s the only thing that counts; that we love one another.”
“I wish,” he replied, trying to gain control of himself. “I wish that was the only thing that mattered, but I want you to be here with me all the time, Sean. Now that I’ve found you, I can’t stand the thought of us being apart.”
“I’m here for you now, Holden, and always will be,” I responded. “I promise. Nothing will ever change. I’m going to be here for you.”
He started to sob again and that made me feel even worse.
“Tell me,” I said. “If you don’t tell me what’s wrong, how can I fix it? If you love me, Holden, you have to tell me. Tell me what’s wrong.”
After that the story came out in fits and starts. How Roger had told him that morning there was a problem with my petition and then left him hanging cruelly for the rest of the day. How Roger had explained that evening he knew I was peddling marijuana on campus and had shown him the video of me delivering some to him.
And then finally and only with the greatest reluctance, he told me what Roger was demanding in exchange for not telling the Board of Governors about me.
By now I really did want to kill the guy. I wanted to rip the freaking tongue out of his mouth and beat him to death; and if I had thought doing that would have comforted Holden, I probably would have done it that very evening.
But Holden just wanted me to embrace him so that’s what I did. I held him for what seemed like forever until he was cried out; and once he was, I tried to reassure him again.
“Listen, Holden, this is not the big deal you think it is. First of all, there’s no way in hell you’re ever going to have sex with that dude. No way! We’ve committed to one another and you’re the only person I ever want to have sex with; and if you think I’m going to let that jerk touch you, you’ve got another think coming. That’s never going to happen, Holden.”
“What’s the worse he can do?” I continued. “He can tell the Board of Governors I used to sell marijuana on campus and they can decide not to admit me. Up until a couple of days ago, I had never even thought about going to college here; and the only reason I’ve been thinking about it lately is because I know it’s important to you.”
“Yeah, sure, I would like that as well. But if it doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world, at least not for me. I would feel bad if you got caught up in all of this and had to withdraw from Harvard. But Roger doesn’t have the evidence on you like he does on me.”
“Look, Holden, there are tons of people who live happy lives never having gone to Harvard. We can too. I can keep doing what I’ve been doing; working and saving some money. It might take a little longer now that I’m not selling marijuana anymore.”
“But I can get another job in the evenings; maybe a couple of jobs on the weekend. Who knows? Maybe you were right. Maybe I should offer to tutor some of your classmates taking that math course.”
“The point is I’ll get the money together somehow and go to community college; and I’ll be a lot happier doing that than having you sleep with Roger, that’s for sure. The important thing is we’ll still be together.”
“Yeah, but what kind of life would that be?” he asked. “I mean, you working all the time to save money and never being able to spend time with me? That’s not what I want.”
“It won’t be easy,” I replied, trying to reassure him. “But we’ll make all the decisions together; I promise. And we’ll figure out a way to make it work for us. You can count on it, Holden. Like I said, the important thing is we’ll be together.”
After that the two of us went to bed.
True to his word, Holden allowed me to make love to him in the most intimate of ways. To say it was awesome doesn’t even begin to describe the experience. I don’t really know how to describe it.
It was late by the time we finished and Holden insisted he didn’t want to do it to me again; that he was too exhausted. In the end, I wrapped my arms around him and held him tight; and occasionally when I fell away during the night, he would turn around, wrap his arms around me and hold me tight.
Like I said, the whole thing was awesome, incredible really; certainly far better than I was expecting when I arrived earlier that evening.
Then I had been concerned Holden was about to dump me. Now I knew for certain he loved me; indeed loved me so much he had been thinking about doing something he didn’t want to do precisely because he loved me.
What the hell is being admitted to Harvard compared to knowing Holden loves you, Sean?
It’s nothing; nothing at all.
At some point we fell asleep, exhausted by the emotional turmoil the two of us had been through that day. I woke up around 6:15 a.m. the next morning. Early as it was, I was surprised to see Holden just lying there staring at me.
“Did I ever tell you how beautiful you are, Sean?” he asked when he saw me open my eyes.
“Did I ever tell you how crazy you are, Holden?” I responded, smiling at him.
We kissed each other and I think it was a close thing for both of us that morning, but before things got out of hand Holden told me what he was thinking.
“Um, I’ve been thinking we need to tell Professor Jeffords about all of this, Sean. Not that there’s anything he can do about it. But I’m certain Roger will follow through on his threat to tell the Board of Governors about you if I don’t show up tonight and have sex with him.”
“I’m still willing to do that,” he continued, looking into my eyes to see if I was having second thoughts about that. “I’m still willing to have sex with him so he doesn’t tell the Board about you. But I don’t want Professor Jeffords walking into a meeting of the Admissions Committee or talking to the Board about you and being blindsided like that if you insist I can’t have sex with Roger.”
“Are you okay with that?”
I understood his concern immediately and realized he was right.
“Absolutely,” I responded. “There’s no way you’re ever going to have sex with Roger, Holden; and you’d be missing the point even if I was willing to let you do that. At some level you’re still convinced Roger is a decent and honorable human being. But he isn’t, Holden, and it has nothing to do with smoking marijuana either.”
“The dude is evil; and being evil, he’s not going to keep his word if you do have sex with him. Yeah, sure, he’ll be only too happy to have sex. Then, having done that, he’ll still tell the Board of Governors about me.”
“People don’t like to admit it, Holden, but evil does exist in the world. Roger is someone without a shred of decency. He’s evil pure and simple. But you’re right, of course; we need to tell Professor Jeffords and I need to find out how I go about withdrawing that petition of mine before the Admissions Committee meets. That’ll make it even harder for Roger to try getting you expelled.”
“I could call Professor Jeffords this morning,” Holden said. “See if he has time to meet with me at the end of the day and I could tell him the whole story if he does. I feel like all of this is my fault so I don’t see why you should have to meet with him.”
“No,” I responded. “If you can set up an appointment, I want to be there. I want him to hear the story from me. I’m the one who’s been selling marijuana on campus after all. I never should have put Professor Jeffords or you in a compromising position like I did.”
“It’s not your fault,” he replied. “Everyone should have the right to go to college if they want, not just people with money like Roger and me. But I understand. I’ll call and see if we can come by at the end of the day. I’m not letting you take the rap for this by yourself. I should have thought about all of this in advance; and I never should have said a word about you to Roger.”
“Whatever,” I replied. “Just let me know what happens. For now I guess I should get ready for work even though I’d rather be spending the day with you.”
While I showered and got dressed, Holden raced across the street and bought a couple of muffins. I was just about to leave by the time he got back.
“Here,” he said, handing me one; “a muffin for my favorite studmuffin.”
“Yeah; I bet you say that to all the boys,” I replied.
“Just the cute ones like you, Sean,” he replied. “Oh, yeah, that’s right; I keep forgetting. No one’s as cute as you so you’re the only one I say it to.”
I grabbed the thing and headed for the door. Turning, I embraced Holden and the two of us kissed. Good as it was getting something into my stomach, kissing Holden was even better.
Stepping back, I looked him in the eyes.
“I meant it last night, Holden,” I said, softly. “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” he replied, opening the door and letting me out.
It wasn’t like Tony had undergone a personality transplant since I had threatened to quit. He was still in a lousy mood when I arrived that morning. But I could see he was trying not to take it out on me. Much to my surprise, he even asked whether I had any ideas how to keep the place profitable.
I volunteered a couple of suggestions and he seemed happy to have them. Indeed, he went out of his way to compliment me; at least to compliment me the best he could.
“You’re smarter than you look,” he told me at one point that morning.
It made me laugh hearing him say it.
I had just finished at the kiosk when my cell rang a little after 10:00 a.m.
“We’re on for tonight, Sean,” Holden said. “Professor Jeffords has an evening course at Cambridge Latin, but he can meet us back at his office around 8:00 p.m. Does that work for you?”
“Sure,” I responded.
“Do you want to come over to my place after work? I could get a pizza from Pinocchio’s and we could have that for dinner before we go see him.”
“Sure; that sounds good. I’ll see you a little after 7:00 p.m.”
The rest of the day passed uneventfully; a little too slowly for me knowing what the end of the day would bring, but without all the drama I was used to. It was funny in a way. Even Warren behaved and the rest of the guys took note of that.
“Ever since the two of you talked, Warren’s been acting funny. What have you got on him, Sean?” they asked. “Do you have pictures of him in bed with a little boy?”
It made me laugh.
“I’m good, guys, but I’m not that good. I just told him we were going to sue his ass off for sexual harassment if he didn’t cut it out. That seems to have had the desired effect.”
Finally the end of the day arrived. Walking toward Wigglesworth, I was conflicted. No matter how hard I tried or certain I was I had done the right thing, knowing I wouldn’t be going to Harvard was disappointing.
Reaching the Dexter Gate, I looked up.
TO GROW IN WISDOM
As I stood there staring at the words above me, I realized everything that had happened was my own fault. In my haste to raise money for college, I had tried to cut corners by selling pot. It was a mistake and now I was paying the price.
But after thinking about it some more, I realized things could be worse; much worse.
If Holden had never opened the door, you’d be in jail, Sean. You wouldn’t have been there for Kevin when he needed you to be. You wouldn’t have told Tony off or helped the guys out by getting Warren off their case. Most important of all, you would have never met Holden.
Let it go, Sean.
If nothing else, you learned some lessons in life; more to the point, you don’t want to let this come between you and Holden. You love him and that’s all that matters.
Isn’t it amazing, dude, how love endures all?
Just the thought of seeing Holden made me smile and that quickened my pace as I walked through the gate into the Yard.