That summer I was often in my bedroom with Trent. We were both just 14, and we were best friends. In the summer, best friends can spend a lot of time together. Spending time outside was what we usually did, but when it got too hot, we’d decide to go in. Two 14-year-old boys, sweaty from the heat, alone together in a bedroom. And it was totally innocent. Damn!
I greatly regretted the innocence. I liked Trent. I liked him way too much. He was that cute: clear skin, slight ski-jump nose, bright, deep blue eyes, light brown hair which covered his head like a medieval helmet after a haircut, then grew long enough that it hung long over his forehead and into his eyes. I so wanted to brush it aside. Just reach out and gently move it to the side. Lovingly slide it away while staring into those blue lagoons of eyes.
Couldn’t. Trent was straight as an arrow, and modest and uptight about any and everything. I couldn’t even talk to him about that pervasive subject of boys our age: jerking off. He’d blush and get quiet, and if I persisted, he’d leave.
He was my size, slender and fit. I wasn’t the only one who thought he was cute. It was apparent the girls at school felt the same, as I saw them looking in his direction a lot. Pissed me off is what it did. Pissed me off even more when I saw him looking back.
I wasn’t modest like him, or straight as an arrow, either, for that matter. I liked looking at the other kids, too, but mostly at the other boys. Man, some of them really turned my crank. But none did more than Trent.
We weren’t in school now. It was summer, mid-summer, and hot as a blast furnace outside. I took my shirt off much of the time when I was outside. Trent never did that. I asked him why not, and he’d do that blushing thing of his that made me feel like ants were crawling over my male parts, but he’d hem and haw and not say anything. Wouldn’t even talk about not wearing a shirt. Jeez! Drove me mad. Why couldn’t he talk about his feelings?
I’d tried once to find out what girl he liked. “Sarah likes you; did you know that?” I’d asked. I didn’t know what Sarah felt, actually. I did know she’d thrown a glance at him now and then, but so did most of the girls. I wasn’t going for truth and honesty here; I was going for how he felt about the nuisance gender.
How did he respond? He said, “Not as much as Madison likes you! You should ask her out.”
So much for finding out if he liked girls. He was good at changing the subject when it became uncomfortable, and any mention of his private or romantic emotions certainly qualified as a discomfort inducer. But he had to have the same feelings I was having. We were at that age, awash in hormones we’d never had before. I just wished I could talk to him about what I was feeling, what he had to be feeling.
Some of the boys at school talked about little else. I’d hear them in the john, in the locker room, even in the cafeteria when it was just boys at the table. Talking about jerking off. Lots of that. One boy talked incessantly about checking out the girl who lived next door who didn’t close her curtains all the way at night. He said he didn’t, either.
Some of them even talked about actually getting it on with a girl. No one talked about getting it on with another boy. But yeah, we were all randy as stallions at stud, and most of us weren’t too shy to talk about it. We liked to talk about it. Relieved the pressure a little. Confirmed we were normal. Everyone felt the same urges now, and everyone talked about them—except those few of us who didn’t, like Trent. Well, I didn’t join in that much, either, but that was because I didn’t share the common interest in girls, and of course couldn’t let on about my interest, which was different.
I wanted to tell Trent I liked him. Liked him like that. Wanted to do things with him. I’d never kissed anyone, and I didn’t want my first kiss to be with a girl. That’d be icky. I wanted that first kiss to be with a boy, and not just any boy. And I didn’t want just a kiss, either. I wanted to touch Trent, rub my hands up and down his body, make his squirm and pant, and I wanted him to do that with me, too. What I wanted more than anything was for him to like me as I liked him. I daydreamed about being naked with him, both of us stripping down slowly, watching him blush, watching his eyes as they filled with desire.
But I couldn’t even start to talk to him about anything like that. Torture, that’s what it was. And it was even worse now that it was summer and we were together all the time. Watching him. Wanting more than that. Not able to do anything about it.
No, it’s misleading to say there was total innocence in my room when I was with him there. He was innocent. I was a mass of wanting. And none of that wanting was innocent. Not innocent at all.
“It’s too hot outside,” he said when we’d just come in.
“Hot in here, too,” I said, and then, cleverly I thought, I added, “I don’t need this,” and shrugged out of my shirt and was then only wearing my shorts and shoes and socks. I thought, well, why not, and took them off, too. The shoes and socks, not the shorts. I wanted to. Heaven knows, I wanted to. But he’d have blushed and gone home. I could get away with half-naked. Not with naked. Not with Trent.
Trent looked at me. At my bare chest, then my eyes. I don’t know what my eyes were showing him, but it was something because his blush came, and he remembered he was supposed to be home by then, and he left.
Damn! But kinda funny, too, how my less-than-subtle actions affected him, if I wanted to look at it that way, and maybe it was to be expected, because it actually wasn’t all that hot in my room.
There had to be a way. Trent had to be feeling at least some of what I was feeling. Maybe he didn’t have the same feelings for me that I did for him, but he must have had those feelings. Sexual feelings. Even if he liked girls, I’d have loved to talk to him about being 14 and sex. Talking about this stuff would have taken some of the pressure off. I needed to talk about what I was feeling, and talking to my best friend was who I wanted to talk with.
I’d known Trent since second grade. I think I’d been in love with him since third. Mom thought of him as her second son because he was at our house so often. Our house was nicer than his. I liked his parents a lot. They were great, but they didn’t have as much money as we did. Our house was nicer, and while Trent never said anything about it, I think it embarrassed him that he lived in an older, lesser house. It was just outside town with outbuildings and a chicken coop jammed together in a weed-covered backyard, nothing like the spacious backyards in town.
His dad wasn’t a farmer, but they lived in an old farmhouse. He was an independent painter, competing with several companies in town for work, and work was spotty. Trent’s mom was a secretary in town and made some money but not a lot, not really enough. They were doing okay, keeping up with their bills, but cutting corners, not putting much in the bank, and the house they were renting was about all they could afford.
How did I know all this? Trent wasn’t embarrassed about them. He loved them and was proud of them. He felt comfortable sharing their financial woes with me. It had occurred to me that perhaps Trent wanted an outlet for his concerns about money and how it felt living with the limitations he had to bear just as I wanted an outlet for sharing my thoughts about sex.
In any case, Trent preferred coming to my house, and so that’s what we did.
The next time we were in my room together, I kept my clothes on. I didn’t want him scurrying off again. Life was better when we were together. The heat reluctantly softened a few degrees about dinnertime. Trent ate dinner with us occasionally, more in the summer than during school terms, and he did that day. We didn’t talk about what had happened the day I’d undressed a bit and he’d looked into my eyes, so I didn’t get to see him blush. But I kept my clothes on and he didn’t run off again, either.
The heat wave continued and in fact intensified. Trent and I spent more time in my room than outside. We had air conditioning, and it was running almost constantly.
Trent didn’t come over the next day. I phoned him, asking where he was. Trent didn’t have a cellphone, one of the few kids at school who didn’t. They did have a landline, though.
“Where are you?” I asked.
“Too hot to ride my bike over there. Besides, have you looked outside?”
I was on my cellphone, so stepped over to my window and looked out. “Yeah. Looks hot and sunny.”
“Look to the west.”
I couldn’t do that from my room, so I told him to hold on and went downstairs and outside. It was hotter than yesterday, and the air was oddly still. I looked upward and to the west and saw some ominous black clouds. They were a long way away, though, and didn’t seem to be moving.
“You’re not afraid of a few dark clouds, are you?” I asked, snickering.
“Not as much as the heatstroke I’d have riding over there.”
“You‘re a pussy,” I said. “Tell you what. I’ll ride over to your house.”
Boys my age can be brats. Goes with the territory. I said that to be conniving. I figured he really didn’t like me seeing how he lived, and that my threat of going there would get him off his butt and over to my house.
It didn’t work.
“Hope you don’t die on the way over. Too hot for me to go out and drag your sweaty corpse in out of the sun. I’ll let the crows have their way with you. Free meat.”
“See you in few,” I said, ignored his crack and disconnected.
He was right; it was darn hot! I had a better bike than he did; mine was a 21-speed lightweight one; his was a rusty, no-gears, fat-tired Schwinn. It was an easier ride for me than for him, yet I was still only at the halfway mark when I felt the effects of that sun. Wow, that sucker was like a weight on the back of my neck. I also noticed that the day was rapidly becoming less bright than it had been. I was riding eastward and so wasn’t sure why this was because the sky was still high and sunny in front of me. I saw a patch of shade just ahead and stopped when I reached it. I kept thinking about Trent’s heatstroke comment. While resting, I looked at the sky behind me and saw why the day had been darkening; the black clouds were no longer in the far distance. They were almost above me.
Yet the air hadn’t cooled at all. It might even have been hotter.
I heard a rumbling then and saw the black clouds were directly overhead.
I still had several minutes to go and shoved off the curb I had my foot on. I took off, riding harder now, trying to ignore the heat, thinking unpleasant thoughts about thunderstorms and lightning. When I felt the first drops of rain, they surprised me. They weren’t a bit cold. They were warm, almost like a warm shower.
I was drenched by the time I got to Trent’s. I rode up his dirt driveway. It was packed so hard from cars running over it that even with the hard rain it hadn’t gotten muddy. I rode past the house to the back. There, I was afforded a sight I wouldn’t have thought I’d see in a thousand years.
Trent was sitting in the rain, coming heavier now, on top of a table. He was naked except for some old gray briefs.
I stopped and stared, and my thoughts, the thoughts that seemed with me 24/7, sexual longings, lustful wishes, hit me like a ton of bricks. Almost naked. Water running off his beautiful skin. Probably slippery skin.
“No air conditioning,” Trent said when he saw me, and he grinned.
I didn’t say anything back. I just stared for too long, then said, “That looks good to me; I’m way too hot,” and I dropped the bike and began to undress. He watched as things came off. He didn’t blush this time and didn’t scurry off.
I was down to my boxers and he was still there, still watching, the warm rain beating down on him, running off him. I’d never seen anything so beautiful. My boxers were covering my excitement, the only thing covering my excitement, yet the rain had soaked them and they weren’t hanging loosely as usual. They were wet and had formed themselves around the evidence of my feelings so that it was obvious what seeing Trent, sitting mostly naked in the rain, was doing to me.
The hell with it, I thought, it’s now or never, and I shucked off my boxers. I stood still, letting him look; letting him know.
He let me know, too. He smiled.