Tim was the first out of the car when we made it back to the house after lunch, and the first thing he said was, ‘Oh, shit!’
‘What’s wrong?’ Guy asked him.
‘Bloody ‘phone is ringing!’
While the other three of us, being Sam, Guy and me, all extricated ourselves from the vehicle Tim ran up the path, fumbled with his keys in the back door, then let himself inside. Matt and Luke didn’t come home with us, preferring to walk home instead.
‘I’d have just let the bloody thing ring!’ I said to Guy and Sam.
‘Yeah, we know!’ they both chorused, which was followed by a giggle.
We had all had an enjoyable day on the water today, although the others had been there for a while before Sam and I finally made it down to the lake. Then afterwards we had lunch at one of the cafés along the boardwalk, where we ran into the guys that we had met the other night, Scott and Justin.
To be honest, I still wasn’t sure how to take these guys, but I do have to admit that I was kind of fascinated by the young guy, Justin. There was just something about him that was a bit different, at least from all the other guys that I am friends with, yet at the same time he also made me feel a little uneasy.
I mean, I know I’m not gay or anything, but there was just something about the guy that sort of… well… attracted me to him. Does that make sense? I guess for some it might, but for the guys who I live with, well, I just don’t think they’d understand, with the possible exception of Tim, maybe!
And I sure as hell know that Samantha wouldn’t understand!
‘It’s for you, Sam!’ Tim suddenly called out from the back door, snapping me out of my daydream.
‘Thanks. I’m a comin’!’ she replied and hurried up the path ahead of Guy and me.
Or would she understand, I wondered?
‘So, that was a good day then?’ Guy said to me.
‘Yeah, it was,’ I answered.
‘And that was good of Justin to tell you and Matt about the job on the boat.’
‘Yeah, I reckon so,’ I replied.
‘Nothing what? Come on, give!’
‘Well, you did seem to be a little, ummm, distracted today at lunch. We all noticed it!’
‘What the fuck are you talking about?’
Guy simply shook his head and just then Samantha re-appeared at the back door.
‘That was work,’ she said. ‘One of the girls has called in sick tonight and they can’t get anyone else to cover for her.’
‘Well, you can’t afford to knock back the money, babe. You should go in.’
‘You sure you don’t mind?’
‘No, of course not,’ I replied. ‘Just go.’
‘Thanks honey. I’ll make it up to you when I get back,’ she said, as she quickly kissed me.
‘You better,’ I replied. ‘I have a witness here, you know!’
‘Hey, you leave me out of this!’ Guy remarked, and while the three of us may have all laughed, there was still something hanging in the air between Guy and me that needed to be aired, even if now wasn’t the time.
* * *
Tim and Guy said that they needed to do some studying for University, and Samantha said she needed to shower and ready herself for work, so while she was in the bathroom I lay down on the bed that we shared, with my arms folded behind my head, just staring at the blank ceiling and turning things over in my own mind.
These past few weeks have been fairly confusing for me, I have to admit, and as much as I tried to think that Guy was imagining things today, I couldn’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a hint of truth in what he said. And if that was actually the case, and everyone had noticed that I was a little distracted, did that everyone include Sam?
Fuck! I hope not!
I could hear the water running in the bathroom just down the hallway, and so I closed my eyes and started to imagine myself walking into there, seeing the shadow of her figure through the shower curtain, with steam rising toward the ceiling. I imagined I was undressing, figuring that I would surprise her, and as the image of me dropping my clothes to the bathroom floor was conjured up in my mind, I slid my hand into the top of my shorts, surprising myself when I found that I was already erect, with the head of my cock sticking out of the top of my jocks.
Taking things into my own hands, I let my fingers slide down a little further and started to massage my balls, while letting the palm of my hand rub against the firm shaft, all the while imagining that I was getting closer and closer to the shower curtain and the firm, tanned, naked body that lay beyond it.
Hers was the body I worshipped, and she was right there.
As I stroked myself, building up a steady rhythm and feeling the familiar tension start to build up inside me, I imagined I was right there in the bathroom, edging closer and closer, reaching out for the shower curtain, ready to surprise her.
Just a little further now. My hand is on the curtain. I can feel the shiny fabric as I close my fingers around it.
In one quick motion I pull the curtain back. A startled shriek came from inside the shower, and I find myself staring at Justin, who yells at me in surprise, instead of Samantha!
As my eyes fly open I see only the blank ceiling above me.
Confused as all hell now, I let go of myself and sat up, shaking my head and with my heart pounding inside my chest.
This can’t be! It just can’t! Why the fuck would I be fantasizing about him?
I sit there for a few minutes more, then slowly it dawns on me that the shower is no longer running and that Samantha will be back here in our bedroom any minute now. Swinging my legs over the side of the bed I put my feet back on the floor and lean forward, putting my elbows on my knees and burying my head in my hands and hoping to hell that I won’t have to get up in the next few minutes and have Sam see me with a hard-on tenting out my shorts.
I would have fun trying to explain this one, I reckon!
Thankfully, things started to settle back down after a minute or two, and just as well, because it was just after that when Samantha waltzed back into the room, looking and smelling all fresh again.
‘Are you all right, babe?’ she asked, looking all concerned when she saw me sitting there.
‘Yeah… just a bit of a headache,’ I answered, while lying through my teeth.
‘Well then, you better take something for it, then have a lie down.’
‘Yeah, I think I will.’
I sat there and watched her finish getting dressed, before she came over to me and stood in front of me, letting me wrap my arms around her waist and pull her into me, and letting me nuzzle my face into her lovely breasts.
‘Hey, I thought you had a headache?’ she demanded.
‘Yeah, well, I ain’t gonna let it ruin my life though,’ I cheekily replied.
‘Well, you’ll have to save that for later, lover-boy. Right now, I have to get going!’
‘Don’t be late then!’ I said to her, giving her another squeeze as I did so.
‘I won’t be. I promise!’ she replied, while leaning down and kissing me.
After allowing myself to be dragged up onto my feet I followed her out to her car, kissed her goodbye and then watched as she drove away, seeing her pause briefly at the gate and wave back to me before turning into the laneway and heading toward town.
I was lucky to have her, I knew that, but as much as I loved her I couldn’t help but feel that there was something missing in my life, something that I hadn’t done yet, or experienced yet. Because of that, I also felt that in some respects I hadn’t lived. I hadn’t yet experienced all there was to life, and that left me in a quandary.
As I started back toward the house, I was feeling slightly confused, but when I reached the concrete path that led up to the back steps I decided not to head inside, but to go for a walk instead. I headed out through the back gate and off down the path toward the beach, though without any real idea of where I was going, just knowing that I wanted to get out and clear my head for a while.
Or at least try to!
As I made my way along the now well-worn path to the beach, listening to the native birds in the trees around me, and hearing the inviting sound of the surf rolling in up ahead of me, my thoughts were quickly filled with images of Samantha, the girl that I knew I loved.
What troubled and confused me however, was the fact that almost as soon as she had appeared, someone else came and pushed her out of the limelight, with the image of his naked body standing there in the shower, once more sending a tingling sensation through my loins.
In the past, whenever I had previously had the type of thoughts that I was having now, something had always seemed to happen which put things right for me, whether it had been talking to Tim, or someone else coming on the scene to distract me yet again, even if only just for a little while.
This time, though, things felt different! This time I reckoned it would take quite a bit more than just a chat with someone, or to be distracted by someone else, for me not to give in to the feelings that were surging through me.
By the time I reached the beach, where I stopped at the end of the path and simply leaned up against a tree, choosing to just stand there and watch the waves rolling in, I was more confused than ever.
‘Fuck it!’ I said allowed, knowing that no-one would hear me. ‘Just what do you want out of all this, Ben?’
In the past, if there was something that I wanted, I just went out and got it. It was as simple as that.
Things have changed since then, however, and I couldn’t do that now, because there was so much more at stake. Life was so much more complicated now, even in a dead little town like this one. I was torn between what it was I already had, and what it was I thought I wanted. And it was driving me crazy!
I found myself asking myself if I thought I really was attracted to guys? And did I really want to try it with another guy, or was this just another horny, teenaged fantasy?
Well, yeah, there was definitely an attraction there… or maybe it was just curiosity? I’m not too sure! But either way, who could I admit that to? And if I did want to go down that road and actually try something with another guy, who the hell could I do it with?
Tim? Nah, I don’t think so!
Guy? Definitely not!
Matt? Another definite no-no!
Luke? Hmmm… he’s a maybe, but I somehow doubt it!
So that brings me back to Justin!
As I’ve said, there’s definitely something about the guy that attracts me to him, or maybe he just intrigues me, I’m not sure. Either way, he’s a guy I would definitely like to get to know better, although I’m not quite sure what he may think about that idea… or what his boyfriend might think of it, for that matter.
Amidst all this confusion, there was another question that kept motoring around in my brain as well, and this was the ‘mother of all questions’ as far as I was concerned.
Just what the fuck does it mean if I am thinking about guys in this way?
Does it mean I’m actually gay too?
Holy shit! No way!
But if the answer is no, then how come I’m thinking about what it would be like to have someone like Justin do THAT to me?
Oh man, I can’t fucking handle this!
* * *
It was almost dark when I got back to the house, on what I could feel was going to be an oppressive summer night. Dark clouds were hanging in the western skies, hovering just behind the mountains to that side of town, threatening to swamp us with their contents.
Despite the impending storm, I didn’t quite feel as if I was ready to go back inside just yet and so I stopped for a few moments near the back gate, sitting on an old stump and watching the lightshow that was dancing beyond the mountains, silhouetting their bulky forms against the coming night.
I could see that there were lights on inside the house, and someone was moving around in the kitchen, but from where I was sitting I couldn’t quite make out just who it was. That didn’t bother me though, as thoughts that were as tumultuous as the clouds I was watching were still swirling around in my head, leaving me just as dazed and confused as I had been when I first went out this afternoon.
No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t decide what all this meant. It was just too much to contemplate.
It was the first drops of rain that eventually got me moving, however, just intermittent splatters of water signalling what may, or may not, follow. That was when I got to my feet and headed toward the gate, crossing those last twenty yards of empty ground, only to be stopped in my tracks when I noticed it for the first time; the old Ford pick-up that was parked in the yard.
I knew that I’d seen it around someplace before, but just at the moment I couldn’t quite place it.
I don’t know how long I stood there for, with my hands on the gate latch and just staring at the old truck, but when I heard the familiar squeak of the screen door at the back of the house I snapped out of my daze and turned my attention back toward the source of the sound. I saw the familiar figures of Matt and Luke, who must have made it back in one piece, coming out of the house, followed by Scott, then Tim and Guy.
Now the penny dropped! That’s whose truck it was!
But what about Justin then? Where was he?
I wasn’t game to move, just in case someone noticed me standing there in the half light, and so I remained as still as I possibly could. All of a sudden my mouth went dry and my heart started beating frantically inside my chest. I was certain that Justin would be coming outside any second now.
With baited breath I watched and waited, all the while getting progressively wetter and wetter as the frequency of the raindrops increased.
I couldn’t move though. I knew he would be coming out to join them on the back verandah any second now. He was probably just using the bathroom or something. Yeah, that must be it!
I watched and waited, with my stomach becoming tied in knots, but still nothing happened. The five of them were still only talking, and Justin never came outside.
A few moments later Scott waved farewell to my friends and ran for his truck, dodging raindrops as best he could, but still getting splattered in the process. When he slammed the door shut and shoved the key into the ignition the truck roared into life, then the lights came on and he started backing out of the yard, making a frightening grinding kind of sound as he tried getting the old girl into gear.
While the truck backed around in an arc to get out of our yard, the headlights washed over me momentarily as I stood quietly behind the gate, and I heard Luke say, ‘There’s Ben! Over at the gate.’
I glanced back in their direction and found four sets of eyes all looking at me, but my feet remained rooted to the spot.
‘Hey, Ben!’ I heard Guy call out. But I couldn’t answer him.
‘Do you think he’s all right?’ I heard Matt say.
‘You guys head inside, will you. I’ll go and see what’s up,’ said Tim, my eternal saviour. Separating himself from the rest of them, he jumped down off the verandah and started toward me. The others remained where they were for a few moments, all curious as to what may be going on, no doubt, but Guy soon opened the door and hurried them inside, which was good of him, I thought.
Tim was drawing closer and closer, and not taking his eyes off me, his face etched with concern.
I watched him watching me and tried a wan smile, but his expression didn’t change at all. I wondered what it was that he would be looking at right now; a rain drenched, forlorn looking teenager, with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
I wasn’t sure what I expected him to say, but somehow figured it would have been a little different to the, ‘Are you all right, mate?’ that he came out with.
Not knowing what to say, I just shook my head.
‘You want to talk about it? Is it anything to do with what we were talking about this morning?’
Once more, I said nothing.
‘Look Ben. I want to help you here. You know that, don’t you?’
‘Yeah, mate, I know.’
‘It’s… it’s kind of complicated,’ I eventually managed to say.
‘Isn’t it always?’ he replied, with a wry smile.
It was still trying to rain and there was thunder and lightning rolling around above us, and here we were, both standing out in the middle of it, getting progressively wetter and wetter. Tim opened the gate and stepped closer to me, placing a hand on my chest and feeling the dampness of my t-shirt.
‘Come on, Ben!’ he said. ‘Let’s get out of this before we both end up catching the flu or something!’
He then put his arm around my shoulders and tried to get me to walk toward the house with him, but I stopped just inside the gate.
‘What’s up?’ he asked.
‘Let’s go over there,’ I said, pointing toward the skillion roof alongside the garage. ‘I need to talk, but not inside, all right? At least, not yet!’
‘Sure thing. Whatever you want mate,’ he replied, so we headed in that direction and got in under the roof and out of the rain, which was now starting to come down quite steadily.
Amongst the assorted stuff that was there, there was an old bench, along with some shelving and a table and boxes of junk, and so we sat ourselves down and looked out at the rain, which we could see clearly in the light from the windows of the old house.
‘You know what we were talking about this morning?’ I eventually said to him.
‘Yeah, about you not wanting people to think you may be gay, just because you live here?’
‘Well, I think maybe it goes a little deeper than that!’
‘Well, you’ve known for ages that anything, or anyone, that I think is hot is likely to get my motor running!’
‘Errr… yeah… it has been known to happen, I suppose,’ he replied with a chuckle.
‘Yeah, well it’s happened again,’ I said to him.
‘Is that all that’s bothering you?’
‘You don’t understand though. Something happened today that’s just sent me right over the edge. I just don’t know anything anymore. I don’t know what I want… or who I want! Do you follow me?’
‘Not exactly mate! What happened?’
‘You probably wouldn’t understand it if I told you.’
‘You could always try me!’ he said in a quiet, though serious tone.
I looked across at him and noticed him studying me intently. It felt like we had known each other forever. He knew me better than almost anyone else, and if ever there was anyone I really could talk to when I had a problem it had always been Tim, so I guessed I was going to need to do it again.
Leaning back against the wall and looking out into the darkness, I took a deep breath and told him everything, from the time we got back to the house after lunch and Samantha went for a shower, my jacking off while imagining it was Samantha, only to be confronted with an image of a hard and naked Justin. After that, the rest of the afternoon seemed a total blur, and I told Tim as much.
‘So, what’s the big deal then?’ Tim asked. ‘I seem to recall you getting all hot and bothered at the sight of me and Guy fooling around at home that time, and that didn’t cause you to want to join in then! And even if you’ve had a fantasy like this now, you’re not the first person to do so, mate.’
‘Yeah, but it’s the first time that I ever imagined anything like that! I just want to know what the fuck it all means! I’ve spent all afternoon thinking I really might be gay after all! It’s all just so bloody confusing, ‘cause I really do love Sam, but…’
For a long while he said nothing, as he obviously turned over in his own mind what it was I was saying, or trying to say.
‘Come on, mate. Please say something!’ I urged.
With a sigh he too leant back against the wall of the garage and looked out into the night, where rain was still falling steadily.
‘Do you want to have sex with Justin? Or do you want to have sex with any guy?’
‘Honestly, I don’t know!’
‘Have you ever had sex with another guy?’
‘But the desire is there, somewhere!’
‘I guess… maybe… I just don’t know!’
Tim just nodded, then after a while he said, ‘I don’t think you’re gay, Ben. As a matter of fact, I’m dead certain of that!’
‘I wish I could be as confident!’
‘Look, it’s not uncommon for straight guys to be attracted to other guys, it happens all the time. You may well be attracted to Justin in some way, I mean the thought of him naked it does turn you on after all, doesn’t it?’
‘Well, I suppose in a way… yes!’
‘That doesn’t surprise me that much, really.’
‘Why is that? You just said you were certain I wasn’t gay! What then?’
‘Listen, Ben, we all noticed it at lunch time today… all of us except Sam, I think. We could see that you were interested in him. Even Scott could see it I think.’
‘Fuck. Was I that transparent?’ I asked.
‘Yeah, pretty much,’ he answered.
‘Shit! So, what do I do, then? How do I find out if I really am gay? And if I’m not gay, then why do I feel this way about another guy?’
‘No one can tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, or if you are or aren’t gay… only you can decide that. But I would have thought that the answer to your other question was obvious, mate.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Well, did you ever stop and think that if you weren’t gay, then maybe you’re simply a double agent then?’
‘Surely you’ve heard that term before, haven’t you? Like… you work for both sides!’
‘Huh? Now you’re talking riddles!’
‘Jesus, Ben! For a smart guy you can be clueless sometimes! It means you’re probably bi!’ he laughed.
I didn’t think it was particularly funny myself.
But maybe he did have a point there!