'The Beatles Receiver Will Receive Receipts.'

'The Beatles Receiver Will Receive Receipts.'

I'd begun the second page, was two lines in for God's sake, and I had to burst into tears.

The sound of the fan heater on the floor by the prefect's desk was the only thing left to hear except for my hiccuped bawling; the scrawling of the pens of the thirteen other boys in detention had miraculously stopped and so too, it seemed, had their breathing.

Then some bastard had to go and be kind.

When the dam had finally broken I'd lain my head on my folded arms on the desk in front off me and sobbed. It might have been a minute; or it could have been a week, and then a warm hand attached to a caring arm slid across my back and pulled me towards whoever it was until I was being hugged against their body and comforted. Almost as an afterthought my brain had catalogued the continuing sounds in the room. After the utter you-could-hear-a-pin-drop silence of my initial wailing outburst there was a distinct in-drawing of breath all around me as I was hugged. I didn't care. The anguish that had caused me to break down was still there, but now my brain was finding it was intrigued. Not only did the person comforting me have a nice smell about them which I liked, but who they were was a complete mystery.

I mean, I had hopes ... or should that be wishful dreams? I knew exactly who I'd like hand and arm to belong to, but I had to face it, the likelihood of that happening was so far from the possible I almost snorted in derision.

I continued sobbing as I railed at the unfairness of life in general and of my life in particular; I sniffed because my nose was all bunged up from my sobbing, and I almost wailed -- but heroically managed not to.

The one thing I hadn't planned on was falling asleep. I mean, crying in front of your peers is bad enough. But when push comes to shove everybody likes a bit of drama, and I could, maybe, possibly have got away with it by saying I'd just heard that my old and faithful hamster had snuffed it. But how do you get away with falling asleep on a mystery person who is comforting you?

I woke up in bed, roused by the early morning light flickering across my face as it filtered through the rustling leaves of the oak tree outside my bedroom window.

It had been a dream! Obvious really, considering nothing that interesting had happened to me, ever.

I wasn't normally good in the mornings, but that morning I was and leapt out of bed, showered, thought about shaving but didn't bother, and ... well, you can guess the third part of the morning ritual.

My parents had left early so I made coffee, poured a bowl of cereal and was just about to get the milk out of the fridge when I remembered a small but important fact. I went to a boarding school. Yes, I'd wanted to go to a day school. I'd wanted to live at home, catch the bus in every morning and stay well within my close-knit circle of friends. But my parents, with their peculiarly sage parental sensibilities, had decided I should board.

'I had a wonderful time ... wonderful, and further more it'll make a man out of him,' I'd heard my father telling my mother -- who was the only family member even vaguely on my side. That had torn it. I think it had been the fond 'wasn't our youth wonderful' tone he'd adopted as he'd reminisced. Or perhaps it was his warm smile as he'd described the floggings and the sexual deviation. Whatever it was I'd ended up at a boarding school and not a day school so all this, waking up in my own bed, showering and such was ... a dream, too. On reflection it had to be: I hated coffee.

I don't think I actually heard a chuckle, but I'm sure there was one from whoever the damn creature was that was taunting me with these peculiar dreams.

I woke up in bed again, but this bed wasn't my comfortable queen sized one, with its super wuzzly-warm feather and down duvet, at home. Rather, it was a thin straw mattress on a squeaky set of springs cramped up against a radiator that mostly didn't work and made a hideous pipe banging sound when it did. Typically, it was cold and the room was bloody freezing.

This time I had a shit first, didn't need to shave at all as I never had, and was last in the queue for the showers, in a line of boys that stretched out of the bathroom door.

Dreams are peculiar things: sometimes they were far-flung and fantastical and you knew that they were a dream from the get go; this definitely hadn't been one of those. Other dreams are closer to reality than you'd ever want to get ... unless of course you're a pragmatic realist, and then good morning to you. I'm just not interested.

This dream had been one of the latter, and to be truthful I didn't know whether or not it had finished. For all I knew I might well have still been dreaming.

It was only the reality of having to hop up and down on the cold floor because I had forgotten to put on my slippers that decided me. Yep. This was my life in all its splendour. I was at boarding school, I was awake, and very soon I'd have to go and get breakfast and be off to class.

"What day is it Phillips?" I asked the next boy in line. He frowned at me, which was only natural as normally nobody spoke until after breakfast.

"Saturday," he said, then frowned and added, "why?"

I shrugged. "Oh, you know," I managed, smiling brightly. "It's always good to know what day it is, isn't it?" Phillips gave me an odd look and sidled away from me as far as he could whilst still keeping his place in line. He ended up next to Brent, the boy ahead of him. Unfortunately he trod on the corner of Brent's towel and as Brent moved, the towel, which he had had loosely wrapped around his waist, fell off.

General frivolity ensued, which included a lot of laughing, some cursing, and Brent giving Phillips a fat lip. Consequently the mighty Alan Bowers, a prefect who was soaping himself in one of the two working showers, strode out naked, like a Greek god, and quelled the rowdy rabble by putting us all in detention.

"But sir!" I began, whining with indignity from the back of the queue.

"Oh very well, Catvern," he said, "obviously you're not to blame." I should have recognised his sarcastic tone and shut up. Instead I sniggered, poked my tongue out at Brent, and was given detention for that instead.

There comes a moment in every gay boy's life when he realises for the first time that he is actually gay. I'm not talking about the secretive fumblings that most boys go through at some stage or other. I'm talking about the OH YES, SO THAT'S WHAT I AM! moment. The FUCKING HELL! I'M GAY! instant. If you're lucky you ease yourself into it. And if you're exceptionally lucky nobody gives you grief, your friends remain your friends, and all is well with your world.

I outed myself that morning in the bathroom. I sniggered, I poked my tongue out at Brent and then, just before Bowers gave me detention I made the stupid, stupid mistake of looking at him ... naked.

And I thought I knew myself after all the nights and tissues I'd spent thinking about Alan Bowers and his utterly ripped and fantastic body: he wasn't the first eleven hockey captain for nothing.

"Detention Catvern." Bowers said in his oh so sexy voice that sent shivers cavorting down my spine. And instead of elbowing Brent in mutual commiseration at the rotten behaviour of the prefect class, I stood there and ogled his cock - well, it was worth a good ogle. The thing was that as I ogled it started to grow. In front of my eyes Bowers started to get an erection, and damn it all so did I.

I was like a mosquito caught in amber -- though there was a part of me screaming to run, or at the very least make a crude joke that would break the moment and cover my faux pas -- I couldn't move. I was awestruck and I could see in Bowers eyes that he knew it.

Brent came to the rescue, though it wasn't his intention.

"Catvern's got a stiffy!" He sniggered. "Catvern's a poof!"

So I hit him, which I thought was quite reasonable under the circumstances, and was dragged off to the dormitory screaming that Brent was a liar, a dickhead, a moron and a probably a pansy to boot.

I was gated. Under house arrest for a day. Which wasn't too much of a hardship as I could snooze in my cubicle and lounge around whilst the others had to go to lessons. After the boys had gone to morning lessons and the cleaners had finished with their floor polishing machines the house became deathly quiet. There was an almost total lack of sound that was really quite worrying, considering I was in the middle of Stephen King's 'The Shining.'

Halfway through the morning I heard a door open and slam shut in the distance, then the squeaky sound of rubber soles on polished linoleum got louder and louder, came closer and closer until the dormitory door swung open and shut with a finality that had my heart beating like a hip-hop track. Silence, then the footsteps started again, getting ever closer and somehow, it seemed to me, more and more menacing.


I screamed in fright as Bowers' head appeared around the edge of my cubicle.

"What?" He yelled back at me in shock, his eyes wide, nostrils flaring. Then he started chuckling. "What on earth are you doing?"

I felt myself blush. I'd tried to hide under the bed when the squeaking footsteps had approached, but changed my mind at the last minute and slid into a space I made between my raincoat and duffel coat on the hanging rail. I stepped smartly out.

"You were hiding." He smiled.

"I was not!" I said, trying to look nonchalant.

"You were scared," he said in a kindly tone. I blinked, unsure what to say or do to recover my aplomb. "Weren't you?"

Slowly, I nodded. "Yeah, well it was deathly quiet in here and I was miles away, reading. And then there were footsteps and I ...." I sniffed. I really had been heart-poundingly scared and now I felt stupid and couldn't stop shaking. Bowers walked forward and to my surprise took my hands in his and looked at me closely.

"Don't worry kiddo, I've been scared too."

My eyes opened wide with surprise. "You have?"

"Mmm," he nodded. "Whatever people think of me I'm a person just like you are."

I shook my head "No, you're not. You're a ... you're a ...." I petered off, blushing furiously.

"A god?" Bowers said self-deprecatingly and rolled his eyes. I took the opportunity and breathed in his scent which was enough to make me want to swoon. He sat me down on my bed, sat down next to me and began chewing on the nail of his index finger. "I'm not you know, I'm really not. And it's not a good thing for people to think, especially those you care about." He took a deep breath. "Being on a pedestal is bad enough, but worse when you know you're not worthy of it." I turned in amazement to look at him and saw tears silently rolling down his cheeks. He'd shaved that morning and had nicked his chin, and though his hair was swept back into what had become known around the school as a Bowers' Wave, he looked far more human that godlike.

I prodded him in the ribs and he giggled, though it was a low giggle as his voice was a bass. "You're ticklish?"

He tsked. "Of course I'm bloody ticklish, Algy."

My eyebrows shot up. "You know my Christian name!" I said, ecstatically. I couldn't believe it. Here I was sitting next to a true god, who admittedly didn't think he was a god, and he knew my name! Mentally I was dancing around the room. In fact I took another deep breath of his scent, then realised he was looking down at me. I blinked nervously.

"I fart, too." He said and winked. I don't know what my reaction to that was but he looked at me disgustedly and stood up.

"Don't go," I pleaded. "I mean ... oh, I don't know what I mean, but sitting there with you was really nice." Like a whiny child I pulled on his arm and reluctantly he sat down again and pursed his lips. We sat like that, in silence, for a minute or two. Then he cleared his throat.

"The reason I'm here Algy, is that I don't want any more stupid adoration. I'm really not what you think I am. And I'm not looking for a fag, besides," he chuckled, "I couldn't pay you even if I was, and ... and I'm already in a relationship with someone. Someone I love very much.

"Oh," I managed, forcing unbidden tears back where they came from. I hated the girl whoever she was, though it was obvious she was from our sister girls' school which was the place most heartbreaks could be tracked back to. I made plans to finagle enough chemicals from the lab to blow it up and then ....

He smiled as he said, "Yes, I love him very much." And my plans for educational demolition screeched to a halt.

"H ... h ... him?"

Bowers frowned at me. "Him, yes. Him. I'm ... I'm gay." He managed, blushing. "Like you are."

"Like I am?" I squeaked. How the hell did he know?

"Yes," he said firmly, "like you are."


And so it seems that dreams do come true. Though not always in the way one would like them too. I suppose the first part, the writing lines in a classroom with others on detention, was purely prophetic as 'The Beatles Receiver Will Receive Receipts' wasn't used that year.

In fact it was actually a self-fulfilling prophesy as it was Alan Bowers who introduced the new detention line when he became head boy the next year, but only after we'd become friends and I'd told him about my dream.

Two terms after that I was the prefect who took a class of fourteen for detention. And when one of them broke down in tears I quietly dismissed the rest and ... Well, he was only five months younger than I was, and as we were both members of the GSA it was only a matter of time ....

And for your prurient delight I'll let you in on a little secret, just in case you're interested. Ten years on we're still happily living together, and occasionally we get together for a night on the tiles with Mr. and Mr. Bowers-Smith.


'Algy's Dream' by Camy (written on day 11 of NaNoWriMo 2010)

With thanks to those who know who they are.
Any mistakes are mine, and mine alone.


Feedback would really be appreciated!

You can email me at: camy.sussex(at)gmail.com


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