I was first to reach our corner the following morning and waited for about five minutes before I finally noticed Ben approaching. As usual he was dawdling along with his school bag over his shoulder, his white school shirt hanging out over his grey trousers, and looking as if he didn’t have a care in the world.
‘Good morning,’ he cheerfully said as he reached me.
‘Morning to you too,’ I replied.
‘You do any better yesterday afternoon?’
I shook my head.
‘Fuck it. You pair are hopeless. You know that don’t you?’ he said with a grin.
‘We went around to my place, but the brats were home from school already, so all we could do was study. How about you?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Come on, I know you. If you weren’t with me, you would have been out chasing some skirt. You wouldn’t just go home alone like that, unless it was to . . .’
‘Moi? Never. On both counts,’ he replied with a wicked grin.
We walked on towards school, with each of us thinking about our own little problems, but neither of us saying anything.
This was something unusual for us, but it was nice, all the same. I guess I just liked being in Ben’s company, more than anything. It didn’t matter what we were doing, or weren’t doing for that matter, just so long as we were hangin’ together.
And if I was to be totally honest with myself, I guess that I still had feelings for him that were more than just feelings of friendship. They may not have been entirely appropriate and I knew they would never be reciprocated, but they were still there nonetheless, gnawing away at me.
And then there was Guy. And how I felt about him was unlike anything that I had ever felt for anyone, including Ben.
Just as we were about to cross one of the intersections a car stopped abruptly in front of us both. It was white, with a red stripe and the driver quickly leant across and opened the front door.
‘Come on, hurry up you pair. Get in,’ Guy said to us both.
We obeyed and quickly jumped in, taking our usual spots; me in the front seat, while Ben grabbed the back seat.
‘Hi,’ Guy said to us as we shut the doors.
I looked across at him and smiled. He smiled back, but made no effort to get the car moving.
‘Christ, I think I’m gonna be sick,’ Ben said from the behind us, giving us both a belt up the side of the head at the same time.
Guy turned around and quickly said, ‘You want to walk?’
‘No, sir,’ Ben answered, throwing himself back onto the seat and grinning at us both.
Guy just shook his head then pulled out into the traffic.
‘So! Just what is it with you pair exactly?’ Ben asked us after our having traveled no more than a block.
I glanced across at Guy, who looked like he was blushing.
‘What do you mean?’ I asked Ben, turning in my seat to face him.
‘You know exactly what I mean. When are you going to stop pussy-footing around and get serious?’
‘Give us a break,’ Guy answered.
‘What do you expect us to be doing?’ I asked him.
‘Uh . . . you know.’
‘No, I don’t know,’ Guy replied. ‘Perhaps you should explain it then?’
Guy shot me a sideways glance, which was followed by a wink.
‘Hey! I saw that!’ Ben said from the back seat.
Guy just ignored him and pushed a tape into his tape deck, turning up the volume as he did so.
The sounds of KISS soon filled the confined space of the car, with the speakers thumping out…
‘I was made for loving you baby. . .’
‘You were made for loving me. . .’
‘What the fuck is this?’ Ben yelled out.
I reached over and turned the volume down slightly so that we could talk.
‘One of the songs that we picked out for Snowy,’ I answered. ‘It’s KISS. Do you remember them?’
‘Yeah, I do. All that make-up and stuff. And are you serious?’
‘Yeah. Why not?’ I asked him.
Ben just shook his head and sat back in his seat, grinning.
‘We’ve got a few other surprises for him too,’ Guy said, as he turned the volume back up again.
We pulled into the school car park a few minutes later, with the music still ringing in our ears, then after parking the car and getting out the three of us headed up towards the school buildings.
I let Ben and Guy walk a few steps ahead of me, as I tried to sling my bag over my shoulder, and as I watched them both walking up the path I couldn’t help but think of just how lucky I was to have them both as friends. Having an old friend like Ben, and a new boyfriend like Guy, it made me feel happy in a way that I couldn’t ever recall feeling before.
They stopped and waited for me to catch up to them. Both of them were smiling. Both of them were looking out for me.
I hoped that this feeling, and these friendships, would last forever.
* * *
We made it through another morning, then at lunchtime Guy and I told Ben that we needed to go and see Snowy and give him the tape we had made.
‘What the hell for?’ he asked us.
‘Just so he can have a listen to our ideas before the next rehearsal,’ I answered.
He looked at us both warily, then asked, ‘Just what the fuck have you pair been up to when I’ve been leaving you all alone. You were supposed to be using that time constructively.’
‘Oh, we were. We were just working on the musical,’ Guy replied, acting all sweet and innocent.
Guy pulled the tape from his pocket and waved it at Ben, saying, ‘And here’s the evidence to prove it.’
We found Snowy in the staff room, going through some papers and marking them.
He looked surprised to see us when we knocked on the door, but beckoned us to come into the room.
Thankfully, there were no other teachers about so we crossed the room and sat down, as directed, in the comfy old lounge chair opposite him, then waited patiently, while he finished marking a paper.
Eventually he put his pen down, took off his glasses and looked up at us.
‘Well, what can I do for you boys?’ he asked us.
‘Err . . . actually sir,’ Guy started, ‘it’s what we can do for you.’
‘Really? And what is that, Mr Harding?’
Guy fished the tape from his pocket and passed it to Snowy.
‘It’s a few ideas that we’ve come up with sir. Just some songs that we thought might suit the musical.’
Snowy took the tape and turned it over in his hands slowly, as if he was waiting for the music and the inspiration to jump right out at him, then looked back up at the three of us.
‘Ideas that you three have come up with, you say?’
‘Actually sir,’ Ben piped up and said, ‘it was just Tim and Guy.’
‘Hmmmm . . .’
I shot Ben a glare, but he just winked back at me.
‘I think that you’ll find it useful, sir,’ Guy said to him. ‘We’ve put a few songs together that we think will suit, and we’ve put them into some sort of order that we think they could be used in. If you listen to it you will see that it actually creates a bit of a story.’
‘Please have a listen to it, sir,’ I said to him. ‘I’m sure you will like it.’
‘Oh, I am sure that I shall boys. Thank you.’
Snowy put the tape down on the table in front of him and picked up his glasses and pen. It was time for us to leave.
‘Rehearsal tomorrow afternoon then, sir?’ I asked, rather tentatively.
‘Yes, Tim. Three-thirty in the auditorium, as usual.’
I nodded, and then Snowy looked back down at his papers and sighed.
Without any further prompting, we got up and headed for the door.
‘And boys,’ Snowy said, calling after us. ‘Thank you for this. I’m sure it will be great.’
We nodded and then left, but by the time we got to the bottom of the stairs we were all smiling. We could already hear the music playing somewhere behind us.
‘Do you hear that?’ I asked Guy, grabbing his arm excitedly. It was the first track on the tape. The Monkees and ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday.’
Guy just grinned at me.
‘Just what exactly have you pair done?’ Ben asked us.
‘We wrote his fucking musical for him,’ I answered. ‘If he’s smart enough to realise it.’
‘In two afternoons, you wrote a whole musical?’
‘Well, we just picked out a few songs. Threw them together into some sort of order and voila . . .’
‘Man, this I’ve got to see,’ Ben responded.
‘Come around home this afternoon,’ Guy said to him. ‘We’ll play you the whole tape. We’ve got another copy.’
* * *
Math and History were the two classes we had after lunch. We breezed through those in no time and before we knew it we were in Guy’s car with the windows down and the music blasting, attracting disapproving stares from teachers and students alike as we blasted out of the car park.
‘You’re going to get a reputation of some sort for all this reckless behaviour,’ Ben tried telling Guy as we sped towards his house.
‘What about the hoodlums that are with me?’ Guy asked, having to raise his voice above Cyndi Lauper, who was singing ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’.
‘They already had that reputation,’ I answered.
‘. . . yeah, girls just want to have. . .’
When we reached Guy's house I got out and opened the gate, allowing Guy to drive down the path to where the garage stood in, a well cared for garden behind the house, then shut the gate behind him, before walking down the path myself.
‘Nice yard,’ I heard Ben say as he got out of the car, nodding his head approvingly.
‘You have been here before,’ Guy said to him.
‘Haven’t been out here though, only saw it from up there on the landing, and even then part of the view was blocked off.’
‘Yeah, I suppose that’s true. Anyhow, yeah, it’s nice, but the yard is too big,’ Guy said rather matter-of-factly.
‘The bloke who has had to mow it every week this summer,’ Guy answered, grinning. ‘Me.’
The three of us walked up the path to the house and onto the landing, before Guy let us in the back door, into a sunroom that was bright and airy and smelled vaguely of native wildflowers. Even though I had only ever been here a handful of times, I already loved this house.
After dumping our bags inside the back door, Guy led us to his room.
His bed was unmade, dirty clothes were piled up in one corner and the place was nowhere near the perfect room we had been in previously.
I was standing beside the bed and happened to glance down at the sheets. There was a stain there. Familiar and unmistakable.
I looked up and noticed Guy staring at me, grinning.
‘I was thinking of you,’ he whispered.
Embarrassed, I turned quickly away and went over to Ben, who was shuffling through some magazines. I picked one up and glanced at the cover.
It was a bodybuilding magazine, with a photograph of a muscly jock, blonde with deep blue eyes, displaying his biceps on the front cover.
‘What do you read these f . . .’ I started to ask Guy, but when I saw him smiling I stopped, then quickly flicked through a few pages of the magazine I was holding.
There was no need to ask why Guy read these, they were hot. Damn hot! And what better way to perv on muscly, half-naked hunks without attracting attention to yourself, than in a magazine about bodybuilding.
‘Okay then, where’s this tape?’ Ben suddenly asked, interrupting our moment.
Guy picked up a tape from the table beside his bed and threw it at Ben, who caught it easily before walking over to Guy’s stereo.
‘So Ben, do you actually have a girlfriend? Or are you just full of shit?’ Guy asked.
For a little while Ben didn’t answer. I watched as he flicked open the tape deck and dropped the tape in, before shutting it again and pressing PLAY.
Guy pulled up his blankets, covering the telltale stain, then he and I sat down on the bed, while Ben plonked himself down on the floor and rested up against the wardrobe door.
‘Not at the moment,’ he finally answered. ‘Why, are you offering?’
Guy shook his head and said, ‘I’m afraid not lover boy, I’m already taken.’
I felt Guys leg brush gently against mine. I wasn’t game to look at him. I could feel his gaze on me, and I somehow found it kind of weird that we were acting like this in front of Ben.
My mind was racing. The two hottest guys I knew were in the room with me, talking about boyfriends and ‘being taken’. My mind suddenly raced off somewhere else.
‘Well if you are taken, I wish you would act like it,’ I heard Ben say through the swirl of thoughts and emotions that were flying around inside my head.
‘If you two are going to get it on, then I wish you would stop fucking around and just do it.’
There was music playing, but I couldn’t hear it. My palms were sweaty and I was suddenly very hot.
‘You got any cool drinks?’ I asked Guy, quickly changing the subject and trying to think about anything but this.
‘Yeah mate,’ he answered, ‘let’s go to the kitchen.’
He got up and held out a hand for me, while Ben watched. I took it and he pulled me to my feet, then we left Ben sitting in the bedroom, innocently reading one of Guys muscle magazines and quietly bopping along to the music, then went out into the kitchen to get us all some drinks.
Guy got some glasses from the cupboard and then went to the refrigerator.
‘Will Coca-Cola do you?’ he asked, while leaning on the open refrigerator door.
I walked over to him and looked over his shoulder at the contents of the refrigerator. In doing so, I put my hand on the door also, accidentally placing it directly on top of Guys’.
He wasted no time in reaching up with his thumb and gently stroking the edge of my hand. Almost involuntarily, my fingers contracted around his and we turned our heads and looked directly into each other’s eyes.
Never before had I looked so deeply into another person’s soul like I had at this moment. Never before had I felt what I was now feeling.
I found myself trembling. And I found myself growing hard at the thought that this boy I so admired actually wanted me just as much as I wanted him.
From down the hallway the music came wafting through to the kitchen.
I couldn’t recall what song it was from the tape, but it was slow and easy and nice.
Guy let the refrigerator door shut of its own accord and held out his other hand for me, which I took without hesitation.
He pulled me to him, wrapping one arm around my waist, placing one arm at the back of my neck, and letting my head fall onto his shoulder.
I held him close to me. I could feel his hot breath on my neck. I could feel his firmness rubbing against my own, and as we swayed and shuffled in slow motion around the room, the distant sounds of the music provided all the fuel we needed to light this fire that had been simmering between us.
Our groins were grinding together. Our hands slid down to each other’s buttocks. Our steps were short and little more than shuffles.
Ben would have been proud of me if he had bothered to come out of the bedroom. I felt sure of that.
When we heard the music stop, we stopped our shuffling. I lifted my head and looked directly at Guy, who was smiling at me.
I could feel myself, as hard now as I had ever been. As was Guy.
There was something cold and wet in my jocks, evidently some pre-cum that had oozed forth, and I idly wondered if Guy had the same problem.
When I glanced down at him my questions were answered, as a small dark grey spot had appeared against the lighter grey of his school trousers.
We both giggled.
Guy brought up one hand and gently stroked my cheek. Then he leaned over and kissed me.
I kissed him back. Eagerly. I sucked his hot, spent breath into me. His lips parted and I thrust my tongue deep into his mouth.
It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I wanted more.
His hand reached down and rubbed my hardness. I felt like I was going to come right then and there, but before another word could be spoken, or another breath taken, we were interrupted.
‘Ahem,’ someone said.
We stepped back from each other, our pants clearly tented out for anyone to see, and we looked around.
Ben was leaning against the doorway, with his arms folded across his chest, simply grinning at us.
‘And about fucking time too,’ he said to us both.
Guy and I just looked at each other in total embarrassment.
‘Boys, that has to be the HOTTEST scene I have ever witnessed. Do you know that?’ he said with that familiar grin of his. ‘Damn that was hot.’
Guy turned away and quickly pulled his shirt out to cover his embarrassment. I soon did the same.
‘Christ, I’ve seen all that before boys,’ Ben joked. ‘You don’t have to worry about me.’
‘How long were you standing there?’ I asked him.
‘Long enough pal. Long enough.’
‘And what do you mean it was hot?’ I demanded. ‘You’re the straight one here. Remember?’
To that, he just winked at me.