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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.
THE OPENED DOOR
Holden was beginning to show signs of being high; that being the case, I wasn’t sure sharing another joint with him was a good idea. On the other hand, what else was there to do? I was still too pumped up from the events of the day to go to bed.
“One more, Holden,” I said. “I’ll share one more joint with you and then both of us need to get some sleep.”
“Sure,” he said. “I understand.”
Lighting the thing up, I took a drag and handed it to Holden. He smiled, then inhaled; by now he seemed to be getting the hang of the thing.
After that neither of us said very much. We just sat there in the darkness listening to the music and passing the joint back and forth between us. At some point he started to giggle and I knew he was off in his own little world. I was happy for him; glad I could help at least one of us experience a little happiness in life for free.
Curious, I decided to take a better look around the place.
“I need to go to the bathroom, Holden,” I said, reaching over and lifting his chin with my hand so his eyes were focused on me. He smiled when he saw me looking at him.
Damn! That’s one hell of a smile, dude, I recall thinking.
“Is there something wrong, Sean?”
“Um, no; why do you ask?” I replied.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I thought you said you needed to use the bathroom, but you’ve been staring at me for what seems like an eternity.”
“Uh, sorry,” I responded, suddenly aware I was still holding his chin in my hand, keeping his face focused on me.
“I guess, uh . . . I don’t know . . . I guess I’m a little high; like I said, sorry,” I added, quickly pulling my hand away.
What the hell was that all about, Sean?
“No problem,” he said, giggling at my discomfort. “I didn’t mind, but I was beginning to wonder if you had spotted a massive zit on my nose or something.”
“No,” I replied. “It’s just that you, uh . . . you have a nice smile.”
“Thanks,” he said. “You must be really high, Sean, not just a little; either that or you’re blind as a bat. No one’s ever said something like that to me before. My smile is pretty ordinary compared to yours. Yours is beautiful. But I appreciate the compliment; I really do. I’m glad someone doesn’t consider me totally ugly.”
He was stammering now, babbling on, and he was beginning to blush again. It made him look, I dunno, kind of different; even cuter somehow.
“Well, don’t let it go to your head, dude,” I replied. “You’re right. It’s probably just the weed. Whatever it was, I’ll be back.”
He didn’t say anything in response, just started giggling again as I stood up.
He’s high, Sean; some people get delusional when they’re high like that.
You better not tell Kevin a guy said you have a beautiful smile. You’ll never live that down if you do.
Walking to the bathroom, I used the facilities. When I finished washing my hands, I noticed the towel I was using to dry them was plush and luxurious; similar to those I had used after showering. They weren’t thin and worn like the ones we had at home.
Nice, I thought. It must be nice to be able to afford the best of everything.
Looking around, there were a ton of personal care products scattered all over the place. They were the higher priced ones too; not the cheap store brands my mother bought. A lot of them were things we didn’t even use.
Checking the medicine cabinet didn’t add much to the picture. He wasn’t taking any medications, at least as far as I could see. Realizing there wasn’t any more to be learned from the bathroom, I walked toward his bedroom. I wanted to see what it looked like and what kind of clothes he wore.
Before I got there, however, I heard his voice from the other room.
“Sean? Are you still here? Where are you, Sean? The cops are still looking for you. You shouldn’t have left; you’ll get arrested and I’ll never see you again.”
Great; he’s beginning to freak out, Sean.
He seemed to think I had left and that worried me. He was obviously confused.
This probably wasn’t the greatest idea you ever had, dude. He’s never smoked before and now he’s getting disoriented.
Hastening back to where he was sitting, I tried to calm him down.
“I’m still here, Holden. I didn’t leave. I just went to the bathroom. Remember? I told you I was going to the bathroom.”
“Oh yeah; that’s right,” he replied. “I don’t know. I must be confused for some reason. I was worried about you; worried you might have left and gotten arrested.”
“You don’t have to worry about that, Holden,” I said. “I’m here. I won’t leave you alone again.”
He smiled at me when I said that.
Stop doing that, dude, would you? Stop smiling at me all the time.
Then his head began drooping down toward his chest again. He was tired now, he needed sleep; he could barely keep his eyes open and that gave me the opportunity to take a good look around the room we were in. Like the rest of the place it was well furnished and he had lots of stuff, including the most up to date iPhone version and a ton of other electronics.
Turning my attention back to Holden, I took a long look at him.
Perfect, I recall thinking. Everything about this dude is perfect.
He was good looking; very good looking if I was being totally honest about it, at least in that well-washed all American boy kind of way you didn’t see much of in Cambridge.
He would fit in perfectly everywhere in America except for Cambridge; and yet even in Cambridge he fit in perfectly well behind the walls that separated Harvard Yard from the rest of the city.
He wouldn’t have fit in so well if he wandered a mile or two off campus in certain directions; toward the street where I lived, for example. In my part of Cambridge he would have been seen for what he was; a rich, good looking, kid wearing preppy clothes that were perfectly tailored to fit his small, thin, body.
Suddenly his head jerked up from his chest and he flashed still another smile. Like the rest of him, it was perfect.
Keep smiling at me like that and I might end up kissing you, dude.
Jesus, Sean, you’re getting as wacked out as him, the inner voice whispered. Give it a rest for crying out loud!
I was just kidding, I replied. It was a joke.
Taking still another look, the rest of Holden seemed perfect as well. His hair was perfectly groomed, his teeth perfectly white and perfectly spaced from the braces his parents had paid for when he was younger.
As best I could tell, his skin was perfectly smooth, without birthmarks, blemishes or any other sign of visible imperfection. A thin waist framed by small hips accented what seemed to me to be a perfect body for someone his age; just like his baby blue eyes called attention to his face, which was the most perfect thing about him of all.
I couldn’t take my eyes off his face or his grin; a little goofier now that he was high but still as perfect as ever as far as I was concerned. He was cute, no doubt about it; hot even my friends would have said.
Suddenly, I felt myself stiffening and could see my briefs beginning to tent just a little.
What the fuck is that all about, Sean?
Yeah, sure, you’re gay and he’s a dude, but that’s never happened before when you looked at a dude.
What if he sees you like that?
It’d be embarrassing.
Pressing my briefs back into place as best I could, I looked over at Holden again.
What is it with you, Sean, the inner voice whispered? Do you have the hots for this dude or what?
It has nothing to do with that, I replied.
I mean, I’m just a little horny right now. I never got to jerk off last night thanks to Kevin. It doesn’t have anything to do with this dude; with Holden.
If I was being honest with myself, Holden was more than good looking. He was cute and cute wasn’t a term I tossed around loosely.
Yeah, maybe he was the kind of kid my friends liked to bitch about; one of those rich, arrogant, preppies who led sheltered lives and looked down on the rest of us. He looked the part, no doubt about it.
In real life he had surprised me, however. If he hadn’t helped me out, I would be sitting in jail somewhere right about now feeling sorry for myself when I wasn’t worrying about what my mother and Kevin would think once they found out. I was grateful to Holden for keeping me out of jail; genuinely grateful.
But now he was totally out of it. He was high because of me and I felt guilty about that even though he was the one who had insisted on smoking. I could have just left him there on the floor I suppose, but I wanted to help bring him down gently from the high he was experiencing.
The best way to do that was to get him talking again.
“We should talk, Holden,” I said, gently shaking him out of the stupor into which he had fallen. “Tell me about yourself. Tell me everything I need to know about you.”
“Nothing,” he responded, giggling. “There’s nothing you need to know; nothing important about me. Unlike you, I’m boring and so is my life. I can’t think of anything worth telling you about.”
“Start with your home town, Holden. You said you were from some place in Virginia. I’ve never been out of Massachusetts. What’s your home town like compared to Cambridge?”
“McLean?” he asked. “McLean is totally different; boring, not exciting like Cambridge. It was the perfect place for someone boring like me to grow up. It’s a suburb of Washington, one for rich people; mostly white. Some of them work for the Federal government, but most work for one of the private contractors who feed off the government.”
“They even feed the troops overseas, Sean? Did you know that? The government doesn’t feed the troops. It contracts the job out to the private sector.”
“I didn’t know that,” I responded. “I’ll have to tell Warren. He’s the dude that owns Fat Boys. Maybe we can drum up some business feeding the troops; assuming they like sandwiches, of course.”
Holden started laughing hysterically and that made me laugh as well. I mean, it was kind of funny, but it wasn’t that funny and I felt like a doofus for laughing like that.
Eventually he regained control of himself.
“The point is McLean, Virginia, has to be the most boring place in the world, Sean.”
“Oh, yeah; why’s that?” I asked, anxious to keep him talking.
“I dunno. It just is. Everything is the same in McLean; the people are the same, the houses, the lawns, even the kids are the same. Everyone who lives there is driven. They want to succeed in life; make the most money, own the fanciest house, drive the nicest car, whatever. That’s why I’m here I suppose; I’ve always felt driven to succeed because that’s what my parents want.”
“My father is the head of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. My mother works for the Environmental Protection Agency. They’re very successful people and I’ve spent my whole life trying to please them; trying to make them proud of me. In between their careers and social lives, they doted on me. They gave me everything I could ever possibly want or need and made all the decisions for me.”
“Of course, it wasn’t just your parents you had to please growing up in McLean. You had to make your teachers proud, your minister. You had to make everyone proud.”
“You don’t sound too happy about it, Holden,” I volunteered.
“I’m not. Part of the reason this year has been so stressful is I’ve been on my own; had to make decisions for the first time in my life. I’m not used to that. It scares me because I don’t know anything about the real world.”
“But I shouldn’t complain I suppose. It wasn’t that bad. It just seems like there was always someone I had to please; the soccer coach, the neighbors, my grandparents, even my classmates. But I can’t honestly complain about life. We live in a community of million dollar homes. I went to the finest private schools. But it gets boring after a while; you know what I mean?”
“I mean, when do you get to please yourself, Sean? You spend your whole life trying to please others and then one day you wake up and realize you don’t have any identity at all except as an extension of all those people you’re trying to please; the people who’ve been making all the decisions for you.”
It was a little confusing understanding what he was trying to say, but he was obviously frustrated with his life in some ways. Why was beyond me. The way he described it, I would have switched places with him in a flash.
“What about your brothers and sisters?” I asked. “What are they like?”
“I was an only child, Sean; no brothers or sisters. Heck, I never even had a best friend growing up.”
“That’s hard to believe,” I said; “why not?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “I mean, no, that’s wrong. There’s a reason for that, but I can’t tell you. Let’s just say I was always afraid of becoming too friendly with others kids, especially boys. I was afraid they would be disappointed with me if they knew who I really was.”
That made me wonder. On the face of it, he seemed to be trying to hide something; and yet the way he said it was revealing. Did he want me to know?
Come on Holden; tell me more.
“So who are you?” I asked.
He looked at me hesitantly and I thought for a moment he was about to say something. But then he just shook his head.
“No one,” he replied. “I’m no one. The point is I had trouble making friends. My parents sheltered me from life a lot and I guess I was kind of shy.”
“And I was only interested in being friends with certain kinds of boys in any event,” he added.
“Oh yeah; what kind of boys would those be?” I asked, curious by now.
“I don’t know,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “Bad boys, I guess; I mean, all the boys in McLean were good boys like me; dutiful, boring, whatever. I was looking for someone different; someone bad. But all the bad boys must have lived somewhere else I guess. They didn’t live in McLean, that’s for sure.”
“The point is I never had a best friend in life and spent all of my time trying to please others. Then I ended up getting into Harvard where my parents wanted me to go all along; being the dutiful son, that’s what I did even though I wasn’t certain I wanted to go here. And now here I am smoking pot with a very bad boy indeed.”
Looking over, he grinned at me. It was hard to know what to think.
He was lonely, that much was obvious, but was there more to it? Could he possibly be gay or was I reading too much into his words?
I was still debating the question when Holden slumped over on to the floor. He was gone now, completely wacked out, and I doubted I would get anything more out of him that evening; and it was late after all, well after midnight, and I would have to be up early the next morning.
It was time for bed.
“Come on, preppy boy,” I said, helping him to his feet. “You’re definitely primed and ready for some sweet dreams tonight.”
He giggled but allowed me to wrap his arm around my neck and didn’t resist as we staggered down the hall toward the bedrooms I had seen on my way to the shower.
“Which one of these is yours?” I asked.
“It doesn’t matter,” he replied. “Do whatever you want with me. Uh, sorry; I mean put me wherever you want.”
What the fuck does that mean, Holden? Do whatever I want?
It made me wonder again. It was almost like he was teasing me; that somehow he had figured out I was gay and was dropping little hints he was gay in order to get me to put a move on him.
No way, Holden; no way I’m going to make a fool of myself by doing something stupid like that with someone like you.
Trying to keep focused on the task at hand, I looked into the first room. It was pretty much empty and the bed wasn’t made up.
It must be the other one, I recall thinking.
A quick glimpse confirmed I was right. The second bedroom was filled with stuff and the bed was covered with sheets and a blanket. You could tell it hadn’t been made up in days, however, and that was annoying.
Setting Holden down in a chair for the moment, I pulled the blanket and top sheet off his bed.
“How can you sleep in a bed with messed up sheets like this?” I asked, disgusted but not really expecting an answer from someone as far gone as he was.
“Didn’t your mother ever teach you how to make a bed properly?”
“The maids used to change the beds at our house,” he responded. “I’ve been waiting all my life for someone like you to show me what to do with a bed.”
Then he started giggling again.
Jesus, Sean, are you sure he’s teasing you?
Maybe he really is gay.
Or maybe he’s totally stoned and just being silly, I replied.
“I’ll make up this bed for you tonight because you did me a favor,” I said, shaking my head at just how far gone he was. “But I’m not a freaking maid service, Holden. If you want to be friends, you’ll have to show me you can do a better job of making your bed. Unlike you, apparently, I have some standards when it comes to the bed I sleep in.”
“I’m glad one of us does,” he countered.
Typical, I thought; always has to have the last word too.
When I was finished making his bed, I walked over to the chair and helped Holden up. He had almost fallen asleep and was still disoriented. I hauled him over to the bed and sat him down on its edge.
“Do you think you can get yourself undressed?” I asked.
“No,” he responded, giggling again. “Either you’ll have to do it or you can just tumble me over and I’ll sleep in my clothes.”
Oh, yeah, sure; make me do everything, Holden.
I loosened the buttons on his shirt.
“Hold up your arms,” I said and he did.
I pulled the shirt off, then the t-shirt he was wearing beneath it. It had the Harvard logo on it and was similar to ones worn by some of the dudes I knew even though they weren’t students at Harvard.
At least this dude’s the real thing. He’s earned the right to wear it.
Looking at his upper body, I remember being surprised. I had expected him to be one of those 98 pound weaklings; and while he wasn’t a body-builder by any means, he was in better shape than I thought he would be for someone who had probably never worked a day in his life.
His body was hard and tight, without any flab or lingering baby fat. He had nice arms and a decent chest and cute little nipples that were standing up straight. But what I liked most of all was how totally smooth he was. He was like me that way.
Pushing him over on to the bed, I pulled off his shoes and socks. Glancing around the room, I didn’t see what I was looking for.
“Uh, well, do you usually wear pajamas to bed or what?”
“Like Marilyn Monroe, I usually sleep in the nude,” he replied. “Do you know who Marilyn Monroe is, Sean?”
There it was again, the arrogance; at least I considered it arrogant and that was annoying.
“Is that your girlfriend, Holden?” I asked, deliberately playing the idiot he seemed to believe I was.
“She’s probably the closest thing I’ll ever have to a girlfriend,” he responded, giggling; “although Roger seems to think I’m a dead ringer for her. But, no, Marilyn Monroe was an actress and . . .”
“Stuff it, genius,” I interjected, cutting him off.
“I know who Marilyn Monroe was. And you know what? You may be blond, have blue eyes like her, and be about the same height, but you don’t look anything like her, Holden.”
“You don’t have her boobs for one thing,” I said, reaching over and touching one of his nipples with my finger to see how he would react.
He started laughing hysterically again and that proved contagious. Soon enough I was laughing just as hysterically. But despite my best efforts to get him to help he was still totally out of it and refused.
Great; I’m going to have to get him completely undressed.
Unbuttoning his pants, I pulled them off. Then I pulled off his briefs as well. I took a quick peek, not that I was interested, mind you; I just wanted to see how we compared, at least that’s what I told myself at the time.
But it was impossible to tell because he was completely relaxed and I was too embarrassed to take a really long look.
You wouldn’t want him getting the wrong idea, Sean.
Rolling him on to his side, I could see he had a nice butt; small, round, and perfectly proportioned, just like Kevin’s; although somewhat larger, of course, because he was older than Kevin and bigger.
It was perfect for someone his age.
Awesome butt, dude!
Embarrassed to be staring at it, I pulled the sheet over his body, then the blanket. He would be asleep soon enough thanks to me and he would get that good night of rest he was hoping for.
I was glad about that.
Looking around his room, my eyes were drawn to a painting on the wall of two boys staring out at the ocean. You could only see their backs in the painting, but they were naked and that shocked me. I mean, they weren’t little kids. They were definitely older, teenagers; and they were naked and I was surprised to see their butts staring down at me from the wall like that.
Why the sudden fascination with butts tonight, Sean?
I didn’t have a clue.
“Um, well, good night, Holden. I’m going to sleep over in that other bedroom.”
“You don’t have to do that,” he replied, giggling. “This bed is perfectly capable of sleeping two. I won’t molest you, Sean.”
“Very funny,” I said. “But the last time I slept in a double was with my brother eight years ago. I may not have my own room at home, but at least I have my own bed.”
“What a shame,” he replied. “When I was younger, I always wanted a teddy bear; a warm, cuddly, one. But another boy told me stuffed animals were only for girls so I never asked my parents for one. But I’m over that now and you’d be perfect.”
“Dream on, Holden,” I said.
With that I turned around, walked across the hall, and secured my backpack. The bed didn’t have any sheets or blankets, but it was better than nothing. Stripping off my shirt and pants, I climbed on to it.
How the fuck did you end up here, Sean, sleeping in a Harvard dormitory? Oh, yeah, forget that; residence hall.
What a joke!
This is the closest you’ll ever get to being a Harvard man, the inner voice whispered.
Like I give a shit, I responded.
And yet, looking around the room and thinking about it, I remember being envious of Holden.
This is nice. Big rooms, hardwood floors, your own bedroom and only one other person sharing the bathroom; I could get used to being a student here. But that’s the way it is, isn’t it? Some guys get all the breaks.
Holden is going to end up a winner without ever having to try; and yet no matter how hard you try, you’re going to end up a loser, Sean, just like your father.
That’s life, isn’t it?
I could hear water splashing in the shower down the hall when I woke up the following morning. Rousing myself, I peeked out the window. Massachusetts Avenue was already coming alive. Looking across the room, I spotted a clock on the wall. It was 6:50 a.m.
Shit; you’re going to be late, Sean!
Without my mother to wake me, I had overslept and now I only had ten minutes to get down to the kiosk. Pulling my pants and shirt on, I quickly lifted the backpack on to my shoulders and started to head toward the door.
“Where are you going?” I heard a voice from behind asking.
Turning around, Holden was standing there, a towel draped around his waist, his hair completely wet, and water dripping from the rest of his body. In the morning sunlight, I remember being surprised again. He looked good, very good, and I could feel just the hint of movement in my groin.
“I have to get to my job down in the Square,” I said, turning around again so he wouldn’t see. “I have to be there by 7:00 o’clock.”
“You’ll never make it,” he said; “not dressed like that and especially not carrying that backpack. I was up earlier listening to my scanner. They’ve opened the gates, but campus security and the Cambridge police are still looking for you. They have a good description of your clothes and that backpack. They’ll nail you the minute you step out the door.”
It wasn’t the kind of news I wanted to hear and it flustered me.
“What the fuck would you suggest then?” I snapped, not having slept very well the previous evening.
I was tired.
“Sorry,” I added, realizing it wasn’t his fault. “I’m not mad at you, but why the hell are the cops still on my case? For Christ’s sake! Who the fuck am I, Osama bin Laden or something?”
“You don’t look anything like that guy, Sean,” Holden replied, laughing. “Unlike you, he’s one ugly dude. As for what I’d suggest, I suggest you wear some of my clothes instead of yours. You’re more muscular than me so the shirt might be tight, but other than that we’re about the same size. My clothes should fit well enough.”
“I would also suggest you leave that backpack here with me for now,” he continued. “I could deliver it to you later today if you want; or you could come back this evening and pick it up, whichever you prefer.”
“You must think I’m an idiot, Holden,” I said. “Do you really think I’m going to leave $4000 worth of pot here with you?”
Damn! Why did you tell him how much it was worth, Sean?
“I’ve never considered you an idiot,” he responded, apparently not flustered by what I had said; “but I’ll be happy to change my mind if you walk out of here in those clothes wearing that backpack.”
“You think you know it all, don’t you?” I said, more rattled than ever. “You think you’re the only one with a brain around here.”
“Oh, please, let’s not go there again, Sean,” he responded. “I don’t want to fight with you. I just want to be friends. So no, I don’t know it all. No, I’m not the only one with a brain around here. I’m just trying to be a good friend. But feel free to do whatever you want. You’re not an idiot. You’re perfectly capable of making the smart decision.”
By now more time had passed and I needed to get to my job, but what if Holden was right? If he was and I already knew he was at some level, it would be stupid not to do what he was suggesting.
“Okay,” I said. “You’re right. But I need to change quickly.”
“No problem,” he replied. “I laid some things out on my bed for you.”
Racing across to his room, I started stripping my clothes off again while Holden just stood there staring at me. He had even left out a clean pair of briefs so I pulled off my own and changed into those. Then I pulled on the pants and shirt while he tossed me a light Harvard jacket to ward off the morning chill.
Looking into the mirror on his wall, I was amazed. For a moment I remember thinking I actually looked like a student at Harvard; at least kind of.
“Look, Holden, I’ll leave my backpack here,” I said, “but I know where you live. If you try messing with me by taking any of that marijuana, I’ll kill you. I swear. I’ll kill you because there are dudes out there who’ll kill me if I don’t pay what I owe them; capiche?”
He looked at me seriously for a moment, then burst out laughing.
“I was with you until that very last word, Sean, but now I feel like I’m in one of those ridiculous episodes from The Sopranos. You don’t even look Italian. You look Irish to me; more to the point, you sound Irish. But I understand. I’m not going to mess with your weed.”
“Here’s a key to get back into the building and my cell number,” he added, shoving them into my hand. “If you want me to deliver the stuff to you later today, let me know. Otherwise, just give me a call and we can arrange a time to meet back here tonight.”
Tucking the things he had given me into the pants I was wearing, I opened the door and raced down the stairs to the Yard.
Walk, Sean, don’t run; it may make you late, but you’ll draw more attention to yourself if you run.
Walking slowly down to the gate behind Widener, I exited on to Massachusetts Avenue. Dressed as I was, the cops never gave me a second glance. Once outside, I turned right and walked down to the Square. It was a couple of minutes after 7:00 o’clock when I arrived at the kiosk.
Tony just stood there glaring at me.
“What’s with the fucking look?” he asked. “Did you mug some student from Harvard on your way here this morning, Sean? Is that why you’re late?”
“It’s a long story,” I replied.
“It’s a long story,” he sneered back at me, shaking his head, obviously in a lousy mood already.
“Do you think I give a shit how long it is, asshole? You’re still late. Do it again and you’re fired. Now get to work, you lazy son of a bitch.”