An Accidental Romance

Chapter 4

Thursday, June 6 — Saturday, June 9

Jordan and Mike stayed with us for two more days. We kept the same sleeping arrangements. Jeff became Jordan’s shadow. It’s not unusual for a boy his age to attach himself to a slightly older boy who pays attention to him and doesn’t speak down to him. Watching them, I grew even fonder of Jeff and told myself I’d spend more time with him when Jordan wasn’t in the picture.

Funny, but Jordan was able to spend time with Jeff without relinquishing any of his own maturity. Sometimes an older kid will lose some of that when hanging with a younger kid; he’ll adopt the manner and attitude of the younger kid. Jordan didn’t do that. He remained himself.

Along with our ping-pong table in the finished basement, we had a pool table. Dad wanted things for us and our friends to do when we had visitors. He liked the idea of our house being the neighborhood hangout rather than us disappearing for long periods of time. I enjoyed both tables and got pretty decent at both sports, if you can call pool and ping pong sports.

Jeff loved playing pool, although at his age some of the shots were difficult. He just wasn’t tall enough yet. He’d managed to get a small wooden crate from a hardware store in town, charmed his way into getting it free, and he’d stand on that sometimes for shots where he had to stretch to reach the cue ball. He’d spent a lot of time practicing, and he was good enough that he could give me a good game. If I tried my hardest, I could beat him most of the time, but it was more fun to keep the games tight, and really, there wasn’t that much difference between us.

Jeff took delight in beating Jordan. He didn’t trash-talk him, though. That wasn’t in Jeff’s character. He was nice at everything, even winning. But he did have a competitive spirit and loved to win.

I watched them play. Jordan wasn’t nearly as competitive as Jeff, but he was just as nice. He cheered for Jeff when he made a difficult shot. He even high-fived him when Jeff won, which he did regularly. Jordan didn’t seem to mind at all. Me, I was more competitive than that. I’d have gone nuts, losing that often. Jordan, it didn’t bother. He seemed to be more about enjoying the moment, the artistry of the game itself, seeing Jeff happy; his own winning wasn’t a necessary part of that.

Mike wasn’t even as good as Jordan and so didn’t take up my offer to play very often. But when Jordan and Jeff challenged us to a game of eight-ball, their team against ours, he didn’t have much chance to decline. I thought it would be interesting, but we should prevail as I was the best player and could carry Mike easily enough.

They won the break, and Jordan broke all the balls apart, hoping at least one would fall. None did. I thought the best strategy would be for me to follow Jordan every time, meaning Jeff would follow me and Mike him. I had the whole table to choose from after Jordan’s break, and I easily sank three striped balls before missing a difficult bank shot. That left Jeff with a moderately hard shot, but he made it and ran three more solid balls. He ended up leaving no shot at all for Mike.

Mike missed, leaving very little for Jordan. Jordan studied the table, then buried the cue ball behind a couple of solid balls. I had nothing.

“So that’s how you want to play it, huh?” I asked, my voice dripping with sarcasm. “Dirty as a sewer rat.”

Jordan grinned. “Oops,” he said, then laughed when Jeff did, and they high-fived each other.

That was how the game proceeded. I never had a decent shot after that. I could have done the same, not giving Jeff a good shot, but instead, I tried the very difficult shots I had, with no thought of trying to leave Jeff nothing. I didn’t make a single one of them.

Mike was no help, and they beat us rather soundly. It was a good strategy, Jordan playing defensively against me, but I didn’t like losing at anything, and so I was grumpy afterwards. Mike didn’t care. He was simply glad the game was over.

That was the last night Jordan was at our house. His mother was taking the two kids back home. They were needed at the divorce hearing. They’d be asked which parent they wanted to live with. They were old enough for their wants to be given some weight, especially Jordan.

Our house seemed rather empty after they’d gone. I did have more time for Jeff. We played pool and ping pong, swam some and went to the park together to play soccer, usually with Mike joining us. I could see Jeff improving, playing against older kids. He didn’t give an inch.

Mike kept bugging me to ask Jessica out. I guessed she was bugging Maryann to tell Mike to tell me to ask her out again. I guess there was a tacit understanding that the previous offer of oral sex was still on the table. Mike was all for it.

I was undecided about that. It seemed such a personal act, if that’s the right wording. Oral sex seemed special, not the sort of thing to be doing with just anyone and only for the fun of it. Sure, it would be fun, but a whole lot more than that in my mind. ‘Fun’ sounded frivolous, and this seemed a lot more than frivolous to me. I loved the idea of doing that, the whole bit of getting naked with someone, petting to the point where oral would just follow naturally. Emotions would be running high, hearts beating rapidly in cut time, passion coloring everything we were doing, and oral sex would be a natural outgrowth of what went before. It would be enhanced by the feelings we had for each other, how close we were, how we thought and felt about each other.

But doing it with Jessica? Doing it with Mike and Maryann right there? Doing it with someone I kind of liked but not that much?

But. Yeah, that was the right word. But. Just but. I wasn’t made the way I’d have to be to do that with Jessica. I was more serious, perhaps, than a lot of boys my age. I thought things through. If I was going to get that deeply involved with someone, I wanted it to matter. I didn’t want it to be casual. Not just something done for fun, as a fling. And certainly not with an audience listening and speculating on what every sound meant. Maybe giggling.

But—that word again—I was being pressured. I kept putting Mike off with one excuse after another. He was starting to get pissed at me.

Then Jordan came back.


The hearing had been held. The decision wouldn’t come for a week or so, maybe longer. Jordan’s mom was staying in the house back there in their small town. Ownership of the house would be part of the divorce settlement, and she wanted to be able to say she was living in it if and when she was asked. Her daughter would be staying with her. Jordan was given a choice. He told Mike he wanted to come back here; he liked staying here and being friends with us much more than staying there and living without his dad, who was living part of the time in a motel. Staying there, he’d have no way of getting around. Staying with his mom would suck, too, because he was as pissed at her as he was at his dad. Right then, he didn’t want to live with either of them.

Mike told Jordan he’d need to be the one to ask me about staying at our house; he wasn’t talking to me at the moment. He was pissed at me because I was causing him to be bereft of oral entertainment. For some reason known only to girls, I guess, Maryann didn’t wish to do this unless Jessica was there backing her up, doing it, too; that made no sense to either Mike or me, but we were obviously missing the wisdom gained by having the extra X chromosome, and he didn’t want to sleep over again while I was being obstinate, nor was he talking to me. I was costing him his first blowjob, and he was letting me know how much he resented that.

Jordan, however, had no problem asking if he could stay with us; he wanted to sleep where there was more room and better sleeping arrangements, and Jeff and I were glad to have him. Jeff, because he’d taken to Jordan in a big way, and me, because maybe I could bounce my confused feelings about Jessica off him. Because he was gay and didn’t have an iron in this particular fire, he might be able to offer me a useful perspective.

It would mean talking about sex, which I never liked to do, but for some reason or other, I didn’t feel as reluctant to talk about it with Jordan as I did with Mike. That puzzled me, but I hadn’t a clue why that was. It just was something beyond my reckoning. I had to live with that.

Jordan was usually a quiet kid. He seemed more in his element with Jeff than otherwise. When he’d been with Mike and me, he’d almost never spoken unless spoken to. With Jeff, they seemed to converse just like any two friends. I had to find a way to break the ice with him. I’d never seemed to have had that chance, though, because when he’d stayed with us before, Jeff had made it a habit to be with him all the time.

I figured out how to solve that problem this time. I was proud of myself.

“Jeff,” I said after Jordan had phoned me and asked if he would be welcomed in our house again temporarily, this time without Mike, and I’d agreed, “Jordan’s going to be staying with us again. However, and I know this might disappoint you, I think it would look better if he slept in my room like Mike always did. It’s the age thing. I know you two were fine before, sharing a bed, but we don’t want to give Mom anything to worry about, and there’s no reason he should sleep with you this time. He’s my age, and us sleeping in the same room just seems more appropriate. But I wanted to talk to you about it, not just spring it on you and make you think you didn’t have a say in the matter. Of course, you do. This is your house as much as it is mine, and he’s your friend as much as he is mine. I’m simply thinking about propriety.”

Jeff watched me carefully as I spoke. I wasn’t usually so serious when I talked to him, and he could hear the difference. When it was his turn to talk, he took a moment. Then he said, “Thanks for asking me. That was really nice of you. And I agree, it would look better if he stayed in your room. Just don’t cut me out the rest of the time he’s here, okay?”

I smiled at him. “When did you grow up and I didn’t notice?”

He laughed, then gave me a high five. First time ever. I must have handled this correctly.

Dad and Mom welcomed Jordan back. He’d fit right in when here before, and they liked him. Thought he was a good influence on Jeff, too. And maybe he was.

That first evening, the three of us played ping pong, two against one, taking turns being the one, then watched a movie and it was time for bed. Up in my room, I pulled out the mattress Mike always used from under my bed, told him that was for him, then started undressing. He followed suit, but I quickly stopped with just my shirt off. I paused and sat on my bed. If I didn’t chicken out, eventually I’d be talking about blowjobs, and doing that when I was mostly or all the way naked seemed inappropriate. Unseemly. So I left my jeans on.

Jordan had been watching me undress while he did the same, and in fact was keeping pace with me. He had his shirt off, but now stopped, and when I sat, he did, too, on my computer chair.

I didn’t know how to start. He waited a bit, then said, “This has something to do with why Mike isn’t here, doesn’t it?”

He didn’t seem as shy as he’d been the first time he was here. He wasn’t all that forward, but he didn’t seem as intimidated as he had been then. I remembered Mike saying he was better when he got to know people. Maybe that explained it.

“You figured that out? Wow. But, yeah,” I said, “in a roundabout way, it does. I feel I can talk to you about this, and I want to. I want an independent opinion. It’s, well, personal, and I don’t like talking about this kind of stuff with Mike, but you’re like an innocent bystander and he’s almost a brother. I think I can talk to you about it.”

“Sure,” he said, standing up to pull his jeans off.

I stayed on the bed. It didn’t seem to affect him this time. He pulled off his jeans leaving him in only his boxer briefs. He didn’t make a move to remove those. Maybe he slept in them. Or maybe he didn’t want to be naked when I was mostly dressed. I wished I’d stop overthinking everything, stop being distracted!

I forced myself to talk. Even with it being difficult.

“You know I’m dating Jessica. You were at the movies with us.”

He waited to see if I’d go on. When I didn’t, he said, “Yeah, sure.”

This wasn’t getting any easier. I had to do it. SO DO IT!

“Okay. Here goes. I’m having a problem with our relationship. She wants to go a lot faster than I do. I like her okay and all, but I just don’t feel ready for what she wants.”

I stopped to take a breath. Then another one.

“What does she want?” He wasn’t dropping his eyes now. His were boring into mine.

Another breath, then, “She wants to give me a blowjob. And she wants to go on a double date with Maryann and Mike, and they’ll both do it, too. Uh, each with their own partner.”

I was sweating now. I wasn’t sure why, but I was.

“And you’re not ready for that?”

“Right! That’s exactly it. I’m not ready. We haven’t even seen each other naked yet. It’s too much too soon. I mean, I like the idea of oral sex. That sounds great. But I don’t want it from Jessica. And I don’t want it on a double date. I don’t want to reciprocate, either. The whole business is just wrong! It feels sleazy. I’ve never done it before, so there’s that, too. Maybe if I had, this wouldn’t seem such a big deal, but I haven’t. I haven’t done anything with anyone other than Jessica, and most of what we do, she starts. All we’ve really done is felt up each other, and we’ve never been totally undressed to do that.”

I stopped to breathe again, then said, “I have no idea why I can tell you this, and I can’t Mike. He’s my best friend and we know everything about each other. But I can’t talk about sex with him. That’s crazy, huh?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. But I can think of several reasons why that would be a problem.”

“You can? Why?”

“Well, why don’t we come back to that? That’s a different subject, maybe for another day. You’ve made a good start, but I can tell there’s more troubling you. Why don’t you finish before you lose your nerve?” He grinned at me, and for some reason, that made it easier.

“Okay. Jessica is making a lot of noise to Maryann, and so she’s pestering Mike about setting up the date, and I’ve backed off a couple of times now. So Mike’s getting mad. He wants what most boys would want, and I’m getting in the way. He wants to know what’s wrong with me, and I don’t know how to explain it to him any better than I have. So, what should I do?”

He was playing with the elastic band on top of his boxer briefs. I sure it was unconscious, but it was distracting. I turned away. Waited.

“I know what I’d recommend, David, but this really has to be your decision, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t you figure out what you should do, what would make you happy, and do that? Why do you need help? You’re not an indecisive guy. You stand up for yourself. You would have hit me on the soccer field if Jeff hadn’t been there. That was a quick decision, and it would have been the wrong one to make, but it was there, in your eyes. You’d decided, then changed your mind, which was a split-second decision. If you can decide things like that, meaningful ones, so quickly, what’s the problem here? Do you know? Or is that part of it. Do you know what you want?”

Wow! That was fast. It had occurred to me before and now did again: this kid was seriously smart! And he was right on the mark. I didn’t know. Or, I did know, but I wanted a couple of things, and they were opposites fighting against each other.

“You’re no help,” I said.

He laughed. I was suddenly almost as mad as I’d been on the soccer field. He was laughing at me again! I did NOT like to be laughed at.

“Hey,” he said, “I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing at a situation that you know how to fix and are doing everything you can to avoid going there.”

He stopped, the bastard! I’d thought for a moment that that he was going to tell me what I knew, the way out of this. And then he didn’t.

“So if it’s so easy, tell me. What should I do?”

He gave me a look, then his voice got a little softer, a little more supportive. “I’ll make it easy for you. I’m going to tell you a story about me, and you can tell me what I should do, okay? So, I’ve got a boyfriend, and we’ve just gotten together. I’m like you, very innocent, completely inexperienced. I love the things we’re doing, but then he gets more aggressive. He wants to do anal. He immediately starts in blowing me and insists I do the same. I tell him I want to go slowly. He says that’s kid stuff, he wants more. He gets a little rough, and I pull away. He gets mad, says next time, we’re going to go all the way.

“I spend a lot of time thinking about this. I do like him. He’s cute, and he likes me, and he’s the first boy I’ve been with this way. I don’t like him getting pushy, though. Taking over. Being controlling.

“Then he calls. He wants us to have a date the next night. Says his parents are out of town, and we’ll have the whole house to play in. Tells me to be there at six and we’ll order a pizza and then start making out. The one who’s not naked can get the pizza when it’s delivered, or if we both are, which we’ll almost certainly be, he’ll go. He says it’s kind of sexy, letting people see him naked, especially when he’s hard. Then he repeats that he’ll see me at six the next night and makes a kissing sound and hangs up.

“So I have to decide what to do. I really don’t like what he’s wanting to do. I’m undecided about the whole thing right now. I like it that we’re dating. I like being able to tell people I have a boyfriend. But I don’t like him taking charge, or it not being a totally equal, fair, honest, two-way relationship. Of him not listening to me about going slow. So, I’m lost. What should I do? Give me your advice.”

I don’t have to puzzle over it. “It’s not the relationship you want. It’s not the right one for you. You’re demeaning yourself by staying with him. You need to find someone who’ll listen to you and not push you where you don’t want to go. This guy just isn’t the guy for you. He’s in this mostly just for himself. Dump him!”

He looked at me and didn’t say a word. I looked back, then couldn’t meet his eyes and turned away.

“Easy, wasn’t it?” he said, his voice now compassionate.

It might be an easy choice, what he was suggesting, might be the right thing to do, but that wouldn’t make doing it any easier.