He pulled my head to him and kissed me gently…on the lips.
As he drew back an expression of horror engulfed his face.
“Oh, God!” he exclaimed.
Turning, he fled from the restroom.
“Mitch,” I called after him, but he was long gone.
I flushed the urinal, washed my hands, and hurried to class.
Mitch was there in the back of the room with his head down. He seemed to be crying. I wanted to reach out to help him, but I decided maybe he needed time on his own.
The history class droned on. I wasn’t really paying much attention. I couldn’t stop thinking about Mitch and what had happened.
Is he gay? I wondered. Was he just experimenting? I didn’t know.
Suddenly, I became aware that the room was silent. Looking up, I saw Mr. Conklin, the teacher, looking expectantly at me.
“I’m sorry, sir,” I said. “I guess my mind was wandering.”
“Gary, you looked a million miles away. Is there something troubling you?”
“Well, uh…no, sir. Nothing.”
“Then please pay attention. I asked you if you knew the date of the Battle of Lexington and Concord?”
“Yes, sir. It was April 19, 1775.”
He nodded and went on with the class. I tried hard to focus, but I kept finding myself thinking about that kiss.
As we exited the classroom at the end of the period, I looked at Mitch, but he was very studiously looking away from me and hurrying out of the room.
When I arrived home after school, Mom asked how my day had gone, and I simply replied, “Fine,” fixed myself a snack, and went to my room to start my homework.
The assignments took me much longer than usual that day because I continued to have difficulty focusing.
During supper, I managed to keep up a conversation with Mom, but I have no idea what I ate. I always tried to be polite and open with her. She’d had a hard life. Her husband, my father, died in a boating accident when I was two. Mom got a job working in the local bank, and she steadily rose through the ranks, supporting the two of us. She was a very caring person. She respected my privacy and was very supportive of me. Nevertheless, I wasn’t ready to tell her about Mitch.
That night, I lay in bed thinking about Mitch. I’d known him ever since kindergarten. We got along fine but had never been really close.
An image of him naked came to my mind. I could visualize a lot of the boys naked as I’d seen them in the locker room and showers. I often crushed on one or another of them. I felt a familiar stirring in my groin. My hand automatically found its way down and encompassed my now hard cock. I must say I loved jerking off. I’d only been doing it for about a year, and I never tired of it.
As usual, I moved my hand up and down on my boner, giving special attention to the extra sensitive area right below the head. It wasn’t long before I came. Using a tissue, I cleaned myself off. I rolled onto my side, closed my eyes, and tried to sleep. The last thing I remember was replaying the scene with Mitch which had taken place in the restroom.
Oh, God! What had I done? Well, I knew what I’d done. I’d kissed a boy. It was totally impulsive, and as soon as I realized what had happened, I pulled back and ran from the restroom.
I fled to my next class, sat in the back, and laid my head on the desk, tears running from my eyes.
I couldn’t cope with what I’d done. Did it mean I was queer? I never thought I was. But the fact was that I enjoyed that kiss.
I wondered what Gary was thinking. Was he as surprised as I was? Did he like the kiss? Did he think I was gay? I knew that he was. Everyone in school knew about him and had known for years.
I tried to pay attention to Mr. Conklin, but my mind kept wandering. Fortunately, he didn’t call on me. He did call on Gary, who was obviously also in a fog. I wondered what he was thinking.
As I left the classroom at the end of the period, I couldn’t look at Gary.
When I got home after school, I was grateful Mom wasn’t home yet. I grabbed something to eat and fled to my bedroom. Emptying my book bag, I tried to concentrate on my homework. It was nearly hopeless, but I finally managed to get the work done just in time for supper.
Mom called and I went down to the dining room table where my parents and my older sister Megan were waiting. Both my parents asked me about school, and I managed to mumble something. They looked at each other and Dad shrugged. Lately, I had become moody which Mom said was due to being a teenager. Dad was on the strict side. I guess that’s because he’d been in the Marines, but he didn’t usually come down hard on me.
As soon as I could politely do so I returned to my room. I tried to read but half a page later I was unable to remember what I’d read.
At last I called, “Goodnight,” down the stairs, and receiving answers from my parents, got ready for bed.
I’d taken to sleeping naked lately because it made it easier to jerk off. I’d no idea whether my parents knew I did that, but they were pretty tuned in to me, so I suspected they did.
I lay, gently playing with my cock until it grew hard. I began rubbing harder and found myself picturing a naked Gary. I had always thought he was beautiful. Not handsome; beautiful. As I pumped, I imagined him doing me, and when I came the feeling was even more powerful than usual.
I cleaned myself off and lay back, trying to sleep. I couldn’t get the question─am I gay?─out of my mind.
While I wondered if Mitch was gay, I was sure I was. In fact, I couldn’t hide it. I was the stereotypical gay. My gestures and my voice and my interests constantly gave me away. I hated most sports, although I enjoyed swimming. I loved art and music. There was an art studio set up in our spare third-floor bedroom. I spent a lot of time there. I didn’t play an instrument, but I thoroughly enjoyed singing.
So, I supposed that Mitch knew I was gay. But was he? Clearly, he was very embarrassed about what had happened, and I had no idea how to approach him.
The next day I thought about that over breakfast and on the bus to school. Mitch didn’t ride on my bus, so I didn’t see him until the buses were unloading and he got off his. He looked around as though he was scared. Seeing me, he turned away and walked─almost ran─into the building.
I realized I had forgotten to give the usual attention to my hair that morning, so I stepped into a restroom and stood at the sink, looking in the mirror. I suppose I was a rather vain person. I took great care with my hair and my clothes. My hair was very fine and blond; my face was pale and clear. I examined it, as I always did, for signs of acne, but happily I didn’t find any. I ran a comb through my hair until it lay just right and then went to my homeroom.
I didn’t see Mitch again until third period when we both had math. Again, he sat in the back of the room, and when I arrived, there were no empty seats near him. I looked at him, but he deliberately avoided my gaze. Shrugging my shoulders, I sat at a vacant desk and got my math book out of my backpack.
I never spoke to him that day, or the next. By the third day, I decided I needed to act. Mitch was clearly avoiding me, and that made me very uncomfortable. I wrote a note, asking to talk with him, and slid it through the ventilation slot of his locker.
I overheard other kids talking about him. Their comments suggested that they had no idea what had happened. They only knew he had suddenly changed from an outgoing, cheerful boy to a morose one. Of course, being fourteen, we all knew about mood swings, but the kids said they thought his was extreme.
I received no answer to my note, so I continued to write several notes a day, asking to talk. That continued for over a week.
At last, one afternoon, I found a carefully folded paper on the floor of my locker. Spreading it out, I read, “Leave me alone. M.”
I wrote on the bottom of the note, “No, I won’t. We both need to understand what happened. G,” and returned it to his locker.
I continued to write notes every day. One morning, when I opened my locker, there was another folded piece of paper on the floor. Opening it I read, “Meet me at the front exit at the end of the day.”
I was elated. At last I’d gotten a positive answer. The day seemed to drag by even more than usual, but eventually the dismissal bell rang. I quickly collected my homework assignments from my locker and hurried out front to sit on one of the concrete benches.
He wasn’t there. I waited. My bus departed. Fortunately, I’d ridden my bike to school that day.
The flow of kids coming out of the school slowed and then stopped. I decided they were all gone. But where was Mitch? I hadn’t seen him come out, and he couldn’t have missed me.
After another fifteen minutes, I heard the door open. I turned and saw Mitch standing in the doorway. Slowly, he walked down the steps and sat on the bench beside me.
Although I tried to avoid Gary, I began to find notes in my locker asking for us to talk. I wasn’t about to do that. What could I say? But he was persistent. Notes kept appearing, several times a day. I tried to ignore them, but that didn’t work. He just wrote more. After receiving many more, I wrote back, telling him to leave me alone. That didn’t seem to change anything. At last I decided I had to try talking with him, so I wrote a note, telling him to meet me after school. I put the note in his locker.
When school let out for the day, I waited until nearly everyone had left. Then I waited another few minutes before going out the door.
Gary was sitting, waiting.
“I was hoping you’d have given up and left,” I said, sitting beside him.
“Nope,” he replied.
“You’re not gonna quit, are you?”
I heaved a deep sigh and sat silently for a bit before saying, “Gary, I’m scared.”
“Of maybe being gay. When I kissed you, it was to prove to myself that I wasn’t. But I liked the kiss, and I can’t get it, or you, out of my mind.”
“I liked it, too,” he said, smiling. “Do you know that you’re the first boy to kiss me since first grade?”
I smiled ruefully and asked, “So, what can I do? I still don’t know if I’m gay, but I’m afraid I might be.”
“Why are you afraid?” he asked.
“You know why. You know how gays get treated, and I know my father hates gays. If he found out, he’d kill me.”
“Actually, I get treated pretty well by almost everyone at school. It’s different outside of school. Store clerks smirk and sometimes even imitate the way I talk or move. You’re right, it’s not easy. But you don’t act or talk like me. You won’t give yourself away.”
“I suppose,” I said.
“Tell me about your father,” he suggested.
Again, I gave a deep sigh. “Most of the time he’s really good to me, and I love him. But he’s an ex-Marine, and he has no respect for gays. He said once that they should all be exterminated. Damn, he sounded like Hitler. I’m terrified that I’ll do or say something that gives me away. Even if he saw me talking to you,” I continued, “Dad would blow up!”
Then Gary asked the key question: “So, do you think you’re gay? You must have some idea.”
“Like I said, I don’t know. Do I crush on boys? Yes, and,” I blushed, “I crush on you. Do I crush on girls? No. Never. Do I look at boys in the locker room? Sure. I think all boys do some of that, just checking out how we compare with each other, but I think I do it much more than most. And I like doing it.
“Sometimes I think it’s just a phase I’m going through and I’ll grow out of it. But recently I’ve begun to doubt that. More and more I feel attracted to boys. I even want to have sex with them. Is that normal?”
“You’re asking the wrong boy,” Gary replied. “I’ve known I was different probably from the time I was four or five. Of course, the question of sex didn’t really come up until I was eleven. Sure, I played with the boners all little boys get, but I didn’t connect that playing with sex. I remember the first time I thought about that. It was when I was eleven that I woke up with a boner one morning. I played with it for a while, and it seemed to feel especially good. Although nothing happened, I enjoyed it. Then I began to search the internet for information about boys touching themselves, and some of the sites I found talked about being gay. Wow! Did I learn a lot!”
I laughed a little. I hadn’t dared to do that on my computer for fear my parents would check my history on it.
“Damn. It would be so much easier if I could talk with my parents.”
“Would it?” he asked. “From what I’ve read, most gay boys say the hardest thing they ever did was come out to their parents.”
“Oh, so I guess I’m not alone.”
“Not at all, and I don’t think you need to come out to them. You can still keep exploring.”
“Where? I can’t do anything at my house.”
“You could come to mine,” he suggested. “At least there I could show you some of the stuff I’ve found on the internet.”
Hmm, I thought. I wondered if that was something I wanted to do. I decided that I did. I really needed to find out more than I currently knew, and I understood I couldn’t do that safely at home.
After school the next day, Mitch and I rode our bikes to my house. I introduced him to Mom, and after the mandatory teen snack, we went up to my room.
Pointing at the computer, I asked, “Are you sure you want to see what I’ve found?”
“Yeah,” he replied.
I turned on the computer and fiddled around for a few minutes until I located a site with naked teen gay boys. Mitch looked with amazement.
“How do you find these sites?” he asked.
“By talking with other gay guys and finding sites they mention.”
“Are they legal?”
“Oh, I doubt very much that they are, but that doesn’t stop me.”
“Couldn’t pervs be watching?”
“I’m sure they are, but they can’t connect to me or track me down, so I don’t really care.”
By then we were both hard. I reached over and gently massaged Mitch’s package through his pants. He looked at me questioningly and I said, “We can do as little or as much as you want.”
As though in a trance, he stood, unfastened his belt, and dropped his trousers. He removed his shirt and stood there in just his boxers. I stood and removed my shirt and pants. Then I dropped my boxers as well. Looking at me, he did the same.
We faced each other naked. I was surprised because, not only was he hard, he had a good six inches. I led him gently to my bed, where I pulled down the covers and we lay facing each other. I moved his head to me and kissed him softly on the lips. He was hesitant at first, but then he moved into me and returned the kiss, hard. I explored his lips with my tongue, and he opened up.
Soon we were rolling on the bed. I stopped for a minute and asked, “So, what do you want to do?”
“What are the options?”
“Well, we could just lie, one on top of the other, and grind together until we come, we could jerk each other off, or I could give you a blowjob. Your choice.”
“Um, could we just grind?”
“Sure.” I rolled on top of him, lying so that my cock was touching his. Then I began moving slowly forward and back.
He moaned and I kept going until we both came.
When we finished and I lay back, he said, “Oh my, that was better than doing my pillow.”
“You haven’t seen anything yet. I got up and got a rag to clean us both off. Then I lay down beside him.
“How many times a day do you come?” I asked.
He blushed and said, “Three or four.”
That told me what I wanted to know. If I waited a few minutes, we could go again. We lay side by side and talked.
“So, do you think you’re gay?” I asked.
“That’s not really a test,” he replied, “because if two straight kids did that, they’d both come.”
“But to be honest with you, I realize I’ve been saying that I didn’t really know. In fact, I guess I do, and I’ve known for quite a while. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself let alone anybody else.”
I turned on my side and began caressing his chest. Then I moved up and kissed him again. After a moment, I began kissing, first his ear, then his neck, and then down to his chest. I paused for a moment to nibble on his nipples as he moaned quietly. I kissed down past his belly button, took hold of his cock, which was once again hard, and licked around its base. As he groaned, I took his balls into my mouth, rolling them about for a bit before I moved to his boner and began licking from the base up.
He moaned again, but he didn’t tell me to stop, so I continued to lick up and down but not yet on the tip.
At last, I took him in my mouth, tonguing his tip and then moving down until the whole six inches was in my mouth.
Slowly and gently, I slid up and down his cock. I could feel him growing tense and I knew he’d come soon. Then, suddenly, he exploded in my mouth ─ once, twice, three times. I gagged for a moment on his cum but was soon able to swallow some of it down.
Lying back, I kissed him again, depositing the rest of his cum in his mouth.
“Oh, God,” he said. “I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. I never knew doing this would be so good.”
“Do you know,” I asked, “that was the first time I’ve done it? I’m glad you liked it because I sure did.”
“I don’t know if I can do that to you yet,” Mitch said.
“That’s okay. Just do what I did. Work your way down my body with your lips and tongue. When you get there, jerk me off.”
That’s what he did. I was a little sad that he hadn’t given me my first blowjob, but he probably hadn’t been thinking about doing it for anything like as long as I had.
As we finished and lay beside each other, he asked, “So, can I come again sometime?”
“I giggled. You told me you come several times a day.”
He giggled with me and said, “You know what I mean.”
“Sure. How about tomorrow after school?”
He nodded and said, “I think I’d better get home. I told Mom I’d be working on some homework with a friend, but if I’m late she’ll begin to ask questions.”
We rose and went into the bathroom to clean ourselves off. Then we got dressed and walked downstairs to the front door. As he opened it, I turned his face toward me and gave him a goodbye kiss, deep and hard. When I released him, he bounded down the steps, turned and waved, then rode his bicycle down the street and out of sight.
Well, that was interesting and very satisfying, I thought. I wondered if we’d keep this up. I really hoped so, and that he would suck me soon.
I returned upstairs and worked on my homework until dinner.
At dinner, Mom asked me about Mitch, who he was and what we were working on. I told her where he lived, that we had met at school, and that we worked on math homework. Since Mom knew I was gay, her next question was a given. “Is he gay?”
How should I answer that? After a moment I said, “Probably.”
She nodded. “Just be careful,” she said, “I don’t want you getting hurt.”
I hugged her before I went up to my room.
Oh my God. What happened at Gary’s house had blown my mind and my cock. I giggled, thinking that I couldn’t wait to see him again.
I ate supper and did my homework, but my mind was in Gary’s bedroom.
When I went to bed, of course I fantasized about Gary and, despite our earlier activities, I shot my load again.
At school the following day, I didn’t see Gary until lunch. We sat together but said nothing because there were others present. At the end of lunch, Gary asked, “Are you still planning to come to my house after school?”
My heart began to beat faster and all I could do was nod. I couldn’t wait until school was out for the day.
We knew we were safe in Gary’s home because his mother had some job interviews and wouldn't be home until 5:00.
In his room, we pulled into a long, passionate kiss. Then slowly, Gary unbuttoned and removed my shirt. Moving his hands gently over my torso, he unbuckled my belt and dropped my trousers to the floor. There I stood in nothing but my underwear, which was tented out to the point where I was uncomfortable.
I did the same for him and then we both removed our boxers and fell onto the bed, front to front.
He sucked me again and brought me to an ecstatic climax. This time, I reciprocated. I’d had a lot of exciting thoughts about doing that. A few things I’d thought might be nasty, but in fact, all was good. Very good. Exhausted, we lay side by side and rested. I even dozed for a few minutes.
I was awakened by feeling a hand moving gently over my chest and stomach. I lay enjoying the sensations with my eyes closed. At last, the hand moved down to what was by then my rampant boner.
I opened my eyes and said, “Wait. I know how we can do each other at the same time.” I moved so that my head was at his cock and took it into my mouth. Immediately, I felt his tongue on my boner. We took our time enjoying the feelings, but at last we both felt the stirrings in our balls, and before long we were coming in each other’s mouths.
With no warning, Gary’s door opened. Gary and I pulled apart and met the eyes of Gary’s mother, who was standing, mouth open, in the doorway.
Gary and I quickly began putting our clothes on as she walked into the room.
Looking at me, she said, “Mitch, I think you’d better go home.”
“Please don’t tell my parents,” I begged. “My father will kill me!”
“Don’t you think they should know what their son is doing?” she asked.
“No! I mean it. My father will beat me.”
“I’ll have to think about what I’m going to do,” she said. “Needless to say, I’ve never been in this position before.”
I finished dressing, grabbed my school bag, and walked hastily past Gary towards the door, again saying, “Please!” I ran down the stairs and out the door.
I stood in my bedroom, holding my trousers up with one hand, as Mitch fled the room.
“Mom,” I asked in a halting voice, “What are you going to do?”
“Finish getting dressed and come down to the living room,” she said and walked out the door.
My hands were shaking as I buttoned and belted my trousers before putting on my socks and shoes. Mom knew I was gay, and I didn’t think she’d be too upset with me. But I was very worried about Mitch, who meant what he said. I’d met his father, who could be gracious and kind, but who took no shit or disobedience.
In the living room, Mom looked up at me and said, “Sit.”
“Gary, I know you’re gay, and I guess I’m not surprised with what you were doing, although I thought we had a little more time before this sort of thing began.”
“I’m sorry, Mom.”
She thought a moment and then asked, “Are you sorry about what you were doing, sorry about getting caught, or sorry about what might happen to Mitch?”
It was my turn to think, and I realized that I hadn’t been thinking before. When I spoke, I was very quiet. “I guess it’s all three, but mostly, I’m worried about Mitch.”
“Well, you weren’t really doing anything bad except disobeying his father.”
Continuing, she said, “If I ask you not to have sex until you’re older, say until you graduate from high school, would you be willing to do that?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “Now that I’ve experienced it, I’m not sure I’m strong enough to resist.”
“Okay. At least you’re honest. I guess I’m going to have to put limits on what you do. Gary, I’m mostly concerned about your health, both physical and mental. Are you aware that serious diseases can be passed between people having sex?”
“Yeah, but both of us were virgins, so we wouldn’t have those diseases.”
She nodded. “The first limit will be that you practice safe sex and use a condom if you ever have sex with anyone else, or even with Mitch if he has other sex.”
I nodded. I wasn’t sure where she was going with this, but I knew she wasn’t finished.
“When did you start doing this?” she asked.
“Only very recently. What you saw us doing when you came in was the first time we’d tried that.”
“No anal penetration?”
God, she knew more than I thought she would. “No, Mom, none. How do you even know about that?”
“Well, as a mother of a gay boy I’ve had to educate myself. I guess we should have talked about this sooner.”
“If it’s any comfort to you, Mitch and I both think anal sex looks gross, and we have no plans to do it.”
She nodded. “Okay, now let’s talk about the mental health of you both. I know at your age sex can become a fixation. You probably want it as often as you can. But it can take over your life to the point where you’re addicted to it. I don’t want that to happen with either of you.” She thought a little and then said, “If I asked you two to limit yourselves to twice a week, do you think you could do that?”
I nodded. “I’m still more worried about Mitch than anything else.”
“I’m aware of that, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens between him and his parents.”
“You’re not going to tell them?”
“No. I don’t think it’s my place to out him, but I will tell them if you break our agreement.”
Standing, I hugged, saying, “Thanks, Mom.”
At dinner that night, I asked, “Mom, why did you come home early today?”
She laughed and said, “Well, I got a new job today, but I couldn’t begin it until tomorrow, so I decided to come home early.”
“Congratulations,” I said, while I thought, Damn, if that wasn’t good news-bad news. Maybe I’ll need to put an alarm on the front door.
That night I called Mitch, who I thought would be waiting anxiously to hear what Mom would do.
When he answered the phone, I said, “Good news, Mitch.”
“She’s not gonna tell them?”
“Not if we play by her rules.” I told him what Mom had said and what her rules were. When I finished, he said, “Thank her for me and tell her I’m sure I can obey her rules.”
I finished my homework and went to bed, of course fantasizing about Mitch. After all, Mom hadn’t said anything about that.
I continued to go to Gary’s house, where we worked on homework.
We waited for a week before we again indulged our passion.
When we finished jerking each other and later sixty-nining, I moved back so that we were facing and grinning at each other.
Before I went home, we had a wonderful, gentle kissing session. Although we both grew hard again, we decided not to do it a third time because then we’d barely have the strength to walk.
We went to his front door together, and I rode home.
At supper that night, Mom asked, “Mitch, who’s the boy you’re doing your homework with?”
I froze because I knew immediately what was going to happen. I tried to stall. “Just a kid from school,” I replied.
Mom looked at Dad, who said, “You didn’t answer your mother’s question. Who is the boy?”
Looking down at my plate I said, “Gary Caldwell.”
“What!” my father yelled. “You’re spending time with that homo? You know how I feel about queers. How could you do this?”
“He’s my friend,” I said quietly.
“Has he tried to rape you?” Dad asked.
“No, of course not.” I was glad he didn’t ask about blow jobs.
“You are to stay well away from him,” Dad commanded, “and if he ever tries to involve you in sex, you have to tell me right away.”
“Dad, what do you have against gays?” I asked. “Did one try to rape you?”
He stared at me with his mouth agape. “No. If one had, I’d have killed him. You don’t know about them,” he continued. “They’re perverts and disgusting.”
“How do you know about Gary?” Mom asked him.
Turning to her, he said, “I’ve known ever since we went to a kindergarten play and I saw him. Even then he was flamboyant and disgusting.”
I took a chance and asked, “Was he gay then?”
“Yes, of course he was.”
“So he was having sex when he was five?” I asked.
“No, obviously he wasn’t, but he was gay. I knew it then and I know it now.”
“So, if he was gay when he was five, then being gay and having sex don’t necessarily go together?” I said innocently.
“That’s logical, Dad,” Megan put in. Mom reached over and touched my sister’s hand in a quiet signal to stay out of this.
Dad glared at Megan and then back at me. “I don’t care what’s logical. You are to stay completely away from him. Do you understand?”
“I won’t!” I exclaimed. “He’s my friend!” I ran from the table and up to my room, where I locked the door and sobbed.
When I eventually calmed down, I must have dozed off. After all, following our two rounds of sex and then the emotional dinner, I was worn out.
I awoke when there was a gentle knock on my door.
“Who is it?” I asked, knowing that if it was Dad, I wouldn’t unlock it.
“Megan,” came the quiet reply.
I climbed off the bed and unlocked the door. She came into the room, and I locked the door again before sitting beside her on my bed.
“Mitch,” she said. “You know how Dad feels about gays. Of course, what he doesn’t know is that you’re gay yourself. He thinks he’s trying to protect you.”
Megan knew I was gay? Did everyone in the world except my father know?
“After you left the table, Dad said he was going to get a therapist for you to talk you out of your feelings.”
I began to interrupt, but she held out her hand. “Both of us know that won’t work, but going to the therapist will give Dad the feeling that he’s done something to help you and perhaps the therapist can assist you in dealing with Dad.”
I nodded, thinking that just about anything would be worth a try.
At school the next day, I told Gary what had happened and that I had an emergency appointment with a therapist after school. I also told him what Megan had said.
He commiserated with me but said that seeing the therapist might be worth a try and it wouldn’t do any harm.
At the end of school, Dad was sitting right outside in his Buick, waiting. I loaded my bike into the car and climbed in. The traffic was heavy as we drove to a side street in the shopping area. There Dad parked the car, and I took my bike out of the car, telling Dad I’d ride my bike home in case I needed to decompress. I leaned it against the side of a house which had been converted to offices and we went in.
Dad gave the receptionist our names. She said she’d inform the doctor that we’d arrived.
“A doctor?” I asked.
“He’s a psychiatrist,” Dad responded. Then we waited in silence.
About ten minutes later, a door opened, and a man said, “Mitch Harrison?”
“Yes, sir,” I said standing. Dad stood too, but the doctor told him the sessions were private. Dad didn’t like it, but, after an inner struggle that was apparent to all of us, he simply nodded and sat back down.
The doctor invited me into his office. When we were both seated in comfortable chairs, the doctor said, “I’m Doctor Gleason.” He was not a great deal taller than me. What hair he had was curly and turning gray. He had a bit of a tummy, and he walked with a limp.
“I received a phone call from your father saying that this was an emergency. Mitch, I want to assure you right at the beginning that anything you say to me is totally between you and me and that I will never divulge what you say without your permission. That’s a legally binding agreement. Now, can you tell me what’s been happening?”
I breathed deeply and began. I told him about Gary and that we were friends. I didn’t tell him about what we’d been doing, but I told him that Gary was gay and that I was too. I said that when Dad found out I’d been spending time with “that queer,” he got very angry and ordered me to stay away from Gary. I told him I wouldn’t, and then I went to my room, where I cried myself to sleep. I told him about Megan talking with me and that it was she who convinced me I should talk to a therapist.
He nodded quietly and said, “It sounds to me as though your father wants me to cure you of being gay. Does that seem to be what he wants?”
“Probably,” I said. “He hasn’t actually said that, but I’m sure he thinks that if I’m gay, there must be something wrong with my head.”
We talked some more, and then he called Dad into the office.
When we were all seated, Dad asked, “Doctor, can you help Mitch?”
“That depends on what you mean by ‘help’,” Doctor Gleason replied.
“He’s queer. Can you cure him?” asked Dad.
“I believe what you’re asking for is called ‘conversion therapy’, in which the patient is changed from being gay to being straight.”
Dad nodded and I froze. What the hell? I thought.
The doctor continued, “First, I can tell you that such therapy doesn’t work. It’s been tried often and in some cases has led to the patient’s suicide. Second, such therapy is illegal in this state.”
I silently breathed a sigh of relief.
“Now, if you want me to help your son deal with his sexuality, I can offer my services, but I can’t change him. He’s not sick. As far as I can see, he’s fine just the way he is. It has been demonstrated that a small percentage of the population is gay, and every study done points to the conclusion that homosexuality is genetic, and that the gay person was born that way.”
“But Mitch has never acted flamboyant or queer,” protested Dad.
“There’s a whole range of behaviors which can be displayed by a gay boy, but that doesn’t change his internal knowledge of who and what he is,” the doctor replied. “Many gay men do not give any outward signals of their sexuality.”
Oh my, I thought, that’s the second time he’s said “sexuality”.
“Well, if you won’t help him, I’ll find somebody who will,” said Dad, standing. “C’mon Mitch, this has been a waste of time.”
I remained in my seat.
“I told you to come,” Dad said as his voice rose a little.
“I’m not a dog, Dad. I don’t answer to commands like that. I think I’ll stay here for a while,” I said. “I want to ask the doctor how he can help me.”
Dad sighed, glared balefully at me, and stormed out of the office.
When he was gone, I turned to the doctor and said, “Thank you. I’m afraid Dad is living in the Dark Ages.” Then I told the doctor about Dad being an ex-Marine and about his very macho outlook.
The doctor smiled and said, “I guess I ushered him into the twenty-first century. What your dad doesn’t know is that there are gays everywhere, even in the Marines.”
We both laughed. I was feeling so much better, but at the same time, there was the fear of how I would ever survive at home. That was what I told the doctor.
“Mitch,” he said, “I’m sorry this has been, and will be, so hard on you. If things get too bad, I can find you somewhere else to live for a while. Here’s my card. If you ever feel unsafe or suicidal, I want you to call at once. I have an answering service which will put you through to me immediately. If you don’t feel safe, get out of the house.”
I never thought a doctor or therapist would ever say that.
I thanked him, put the card in my pocket, and left the office.
I watched Mitch load his bicycle into his father’s car and then get in. As they drove away from school, I followed them on my bike at a distance. Since there was a lot of traffic, I was able to keep up. Mitch’s father eventually parked the car. Mitch unloaded his bike, leaning it against a building, and they went into a house that had a sign outside naming several doctors.
After a long wait, Mitch’s father came out alone and looking very angry.
Uh-oh, I thought. This can’t be good.
About 15 minutes later, Mitch walked out, appearing to be deep in thought. Looking up and seeing me, a grin spread across his face. I did love his smiles; they were beautiful.
“How did you get here?” he asked.
“I followed your dad’s car,” I grinned. “Do you want to come to my house for supper and tell me what happened?”
“Yeah. I’d like that very much,” he said, smiling.
We biked to my house. As we rode slowly, he swore me to secrecy before he told me about what had happened. I was appalled that his father would treat him like that.
“What are you gonna do?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I really don’t feel safe in the house with him there,” he replied.
I said that he could probably spend the night at my house.
At home, I told Mom what was happening to Mitch. She was very sympathetic and said he could stay with us as long as he needed to but reminded us of her rules.
Mitch decided he should call his mother and tell her where he was, so she wouldn’t think that he’d just run off. Fortunately, she and his father had cell phones with separate numbers. He called her and told her he was at my house. I heard him tell her he didn’t feel safe at home, and he’d be spending the night with me. He listened for a moment but then he said, “No, I’m staying here.” Again, he listened for a moment and then said, “I love you too, Mom,” before he switched off the phone.
He turned to me and gave me a thumbs up as he sighed. I hugged him and he hugged me back. “I’m just so grateful to you,” he said.
He thanked my mother and we settled down to do some homework before dinner. Neither of us could concentrate very well, but we did get some done.
In the evening, after finishing our homework, we got ready for bed. We used the bathroom together. I talked and joked as we did.
Mitch seemed very down. He didn’t even laugh at my jokes as I tried to cheer him up. In bed, neither of us felt like having sex, but I spooned gently against him, and soon we were asleep.
In the morning, we showered together but didn’t have time to play around. Mitch of course had no clothes with him except the ones he’d worn the day before. Fortunately, we were near enough the same size that I could loan him some of mine. We dressed and went down to breakfast. Mom made lunches for both of us and, after we’d finished breakfast, we rode our bikes to school.
At the lunch table, a couple of kids remarked that the clothes Mitch was wearing were more my style than his, but we didn’t explain.
After school, since neither of Mitch’s parents would be home, Mom drove us to his house, where he picked up his computer and some clothes.
On the way, Mitch told me that he had another appointment with Dr. Gleason on Saturday. He knew his father would be billed for it and would have a fit, but he was going just the same.
Saturday morning, we biked over to the doctor’s office. He went in while I did some shopping and then returned to the office to wait for him.
When Mitch emerged, he looked thoughtful. I asked him what the doctor had said, but he said he’d tell me when we were home.
In my bedroom, I said, “Okay. Spill it.”
Mitch said, “I wanted to see the doctor to ask him if he thought I was too young for sex.”
Oh, no, I thought.
“When he asked,” Mitch continued, “I told him reluctantly what we’d been doing. He asked me if we did things other than sex together, and I told him about homework.”
He paused for a moment, and I nodded to encourage him to continue.
“After he thought for a few moments,” Mitch went on, “he said that I was clearly physically old enough, but, ideally, sex should be part of sharing life. If sex was the only thing we did, then he thought it could eventually be destructive.”
I was relieved that the doctor hadn’t told him he should stop.
We agreed that, since he was living at my house, we could do other things, like shopping, going to movies, and playing video games together.
From then on, we did just that, and I realized that the doctor was right. We needed and, in time, developed a balanced relationship.
On Monday, we walked to school. I became aware of a car following us. I turned to see if I knew the driver. It was Mitch’s father. He pulled up beside us and ordered Mitch to get in the car. Mitch refused and started running towards the school. Of course, he couldn’t outrun a car, and his father was at the school waiting for him.
“Mitch, get in the car.”
“No, sir,” Mitch replied.
“Do I have to carry you and put you in?” his father asked.
“If you do, I’ll scream, and a lot of kids will come to help me.”
His father thought for a moment. “I thought I raised you to be obedient,” he said.
“You did,” Mitch replied, “but obedience isn’t always right. I still have a brain of my own.”
His father shook his head, sighed, climbed into his car, and peeled out of the parking lot.
Throughout the week, the scene was repeated with variations in the conversation. Mitch’s father insisted that Mitch go with him, and Mitch refused.
By the next week, we no longer saw his father. At first we wondered what had happened, but we concluded at last that his father had simply given up.
Six weeks after Mitch came to live with us, my doorbell rang. Going to my door, I opened it but kept the screen door locked. Standing before me was Mitch’s dad.
I heard Gary’s doorbell ring, and in a few moments, he called me. I left the kitchen where we’d been snacking and went to the door. When I saw who was on the porch, a wave of cold fear ran through me. Gary and I were the only ones in the house, and his mother wouldn’t be home for another hour.
“What do you want?” I asked in a none-too-friendly tone of voice.
“To talk with you,” he replied quietly.
“Well, I don’t wanna talk with you,” I said and began to close the door.
“Will you at least listen to what I have to say?”
“No,” I said. “I know that you think I’m depraved and disgusting, and I don’t want to hear any more.”
“Would you believe that I’ve changed my thinking?”
I looked at him for a moment. Was it really possible that he had changed or was it just a trick to get me to talk with him? I didn’t know. But I did know that Dad had never lied to me. He was a straightforward kind of guy, and I’d always known that what he said was what he believed.
I asked Gary, “What should I do?”
Instead of answering me, Gary said to Dad, “We’re alone here right now. My mom will be home in about an hour. Why don’t you come back then?”
“I can’t talk with him now?” Dad asked.
“No. Come back when Mom is here.” He closed the door in Dad’s face. I heard Dad go down the steps and a moment later, I heard his car drive away.
“What do you think he wants to say to you?” Gary asked.
“I’ve no idea, but I guess we’ll find out soon.”
When Gary’s mother came home, we told her what had happened. She said she thought we’d been wise but added that I’d have to talk with him at some point.
Ten minutes later, the doorbell rang. Gary and I went to the door and sure enough, there was Dad. Gary opened the screen door and let him in.
We went into the living room, where Dad and I sat, well away from each other. Gary’s mother came in and introduced herself before she and Gary went into the kitchen and closed the door.
Looking at Dad, I said, “Well?”
“Mitch,” he began, “you probably know that at first I was very angry that you disobeyed me.”
We sat silently for a few moments before he went on. “After I left Doctor Gleason’s office that day, I did a lot of thinking. I went online and looked up research on homosexuality. One of the first things I found was the Kinsey Report and I moved on from there. I read a lot. I also looked up conversion therapy and the websites said just what the doctor had told me. Then I went back to see the doctor with some questions. He was very kind but very direct. He told me that unless I changed, he didn’t think there was any chance I’d get you back.
“Mitch, I love you. Mom told me that you were afraid you’d be unsafe in our home. I guess I understand where that’s coming from, but I can assure you that you’d be perfectly safe. I have a lot more understanding now of what being gay means and where it comes from. I’m sorry for everything I’ve said about it. I don’t think you’re depraved or disgusting. I’m not sure I’m happy with your having sex at your age, but, if you are, I won’t interfere, as long as you’re with someone your own age and you’re safe.
“I want you to come home. I miss you and I love you. Please give me another chance.”
By then, silent tears were flowing down both our faces. I’d never seen my father cry before. What should I do? I wondered. I did love him, and I did miss him. Would I be safe? I asked myself.
At last I said, “I need some time to think about it. I’ll give you an answer tomorrow.”
He nodded, stood, and went to the door. “Thank you for listening, Mitch,” he said, and then he was gone.
I wiped the tears from my eyes before I went into the kitchen and told Gary and his mother what Dad had said.
“What are you gonna do?” Gary asked.
“Like I told him, I need to think about that. I want to believe him, but can I? I just don’t know.”
I went up to Gary’s room to be alone with my thoughts. Since it was the weekend, we had no homework which had to be finished that night.
Later, when Gary and I went to bed, I still didn’t have an answer. I told him that I’d rather not have any sex that night.
“That’s fine,” he said and simply held me. It took me a long time to go to sleep. I lay staring at the ceiling, with thoughts running through my head. When I finally got to sleep, I still hadn’t decided what to do.
Oddly, when I awoke in the morning, I knew the answer. After breakfast, I called Dad and asked him to come over to Gary’s house. Fifteen minutes later he was there, and we were sitting once again in the living room.
“Dad,” I said, “I want to believe you. I hadn’t thought that you’d ever change your beliefs about gays, but I’ll try to believe you because, as far as I know, you’ve never lied to me. I’ll come home later today, but there are some conditions.”
He looked at me questioningly.
“First, you have to use the term ‘gay’. I don’t ever want to hear words like ‘queer’ or ‘faggot’ at home.”
“Second, you’ll let me visit Gary or any other classmate when I ask.”
Again, he nodded.
“Third, and most important, you won’t try to change me. I am who I am, and if that disappoints you, I’m sorry, but I can’t change, and I wouldn’t want to even if I could.”
A third nod.
“If you agree, I’ll be home in time for supper.”
He rose. “I do agree,” he said, “but you’ll have to cut me some slack because old habits die hard. Mitch, you’re my son, and whether you’re gay or straight, I love you. Just remember, it’s a journey I’m on, and I’m not finished yet, but I’ll do my best.”
I reached out and hugged him awkwardly. He hugged me back and left.
Going into the kitchen, I told Gary and his mom what had happened. Gary stood up and hugged me, firmly. Then, to my surprise, his mom did the same.
Gary and I spent the afternoon together ─ talking, playing computer games, and yes, sharing our love.
At five o’clock, I rode my bicycle home, leaving some of my clothes with Gary in case I needed them.
Going into the house, I was greeted by Mom and Megan, who both gave me big hugs. Dad came into the room and hugged me too. There were four pairs of teary eyes.
Mitch called me that night. I’d been worried about what his father might do. I answered the phone and quickly asked, “What happened?” without even saying hello.
“I’m okay,” he said. “Everyone’s been very kind and understanding. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”
“That’s great! I’m really happy for you. But don’t be a stranger, okay?”
“Never,” he said. “I owe you and your mom a lot, Gary. I love you and I always will.”
“I love you too,” I said, making little kissing sounds on the phone.
He giggled and we hung up.
That night when I was in bed, I wondered what the future would bring. Would Mitch and I stay together? I knew that often young love didn’t last, but I also knew that even if we decided to find other partners, we’d always be the best of friends.
Many, many thanks to Mike for this awesome website and to my editors for all their help.