Sometimes things happen that you think you’ll never be able to live down.
But is that really true?
It wasn’t entirely my fault. It was circumstances. That was it. Circumstances. Lots of life is, you know. It could happen to anyone, if the circumstances were right.
I was up late the night before. I’d left an essay for Mrs. Gallagher’s class till too late, as usual, and was working on it when Mom yelled at me to go to bed. I yelled OK back, but still had a long way to go to finish the thing.
When she came up later, I was still hard at it. She stuck her head in my door and tut-tutted sarcastically but spared me the it’s-your-own-fault, you-put-it-off-too-long, go-to-bed-now talk I’d already heard too many times. I just kept thinking and writing.
Part of what I thought was how lucky I was, being able to write on my computer. I’d write something, then delete a few words and add better ones. I’d move entire paragraphs to different positions in the essay, see what that did, how it sounded, and then move them again to test them elsewhere. When finished, I’d spell-checked the thing and made the needed changes. And all the while, I was wondering how anybody ever wrote essays longhand or on typewriters.
I was up till almost midnight, but finally printed it out and hit the sack. I was dead tired. Too much thinking, too late an hour. I didn’t even have the energy for how I usually rewarded myself for going to bed when it was time. Not that I didn’t want to. I just fell asleep thinking about it.
And so I slept later than I should have the next morning and had to skip my shower in the rush to get to the bus on time. This left me even hornier than usual and still tired, tired only as someone can relate to who’s been yanked out of bed still fast asleep by an unsympathetic and, as usual, short-tempered mother who’s worried about being late herself.
But I barely made it to the bus on time. I was at the beginning of the route, one of the first to be picked up every morning. I had to be standing at the curb in front of my house to be sure the driver would stop. Some drivers stopped and honked if the kids weren’t there. Mine, a woman with weird eyes, didn’t do that, except for the kids she liked. Me, she didn’t even acknowledge I was alive.
The bus was practically empty. I took my usual seat and settled in for the 40 minute ride by putting my backpack up against where the window met the back of the seat, used it for a pillow, and was asleep again before the bus had pulled away from the curb.
Kids got on the bus as we followed our route. I was left alone until, finally, the seats were filling and someone sat down next to me. Through blurry eyes, I looked to see who it was. I didn’t recognize him.
It was a new kid, a boy about my age. He had long blond hair, and a long face as well. He was looking at me just as curiously as I was looking at him. I struggled into an upright position on the seat to give him more room, setting my backpack on the floor next to where he put his.
“Hi,” he said, and I yawned as I ‘hi’-ed him back. He laughed, which made me do the same. I think that laugh broke the ice I usually felt meeting new people, or it seemed that way. His eyes sparkled, and I had the feeling he noticed the same thing.
“Hi. Late to bed, or something else in bed?” Then he laughed again. “Oh, I’m randy, by the way. Well, my name is Tommy, but I’m randy.”
He wiggled his eyebrows at me.
I couldn’t believe he was talking to a stranger this way. I was going to say something, but he beat me to it. “You are too, huh?”
I frowned, wondering what he was talking about, until he pointed and asked, “Morning wood, or do I turn you on?” And laughed again.
I looked down and blushed. It was very obvious. Yeah, I guess morning wood would be right, but it had never happened on the school bus before. But then, I usually didn’t take a nap going to school, either, and I’d usually taken care of my urges the night before or in the morning after waking up.
As I said, it was just circumstances.
The way I was sitting, there was no question what Tommy was looking at. It was tenting out my pants in all its glory. Tommy was still laughing, and then, slowly, he reached over and wrapped his hand around it.
“What are you doing?” I gasped, and tried to jerk back, but he was holding on and there wasn’t anywhere to jerk back to anyway. They didn’t build school buses with students’ comfort in mind.
“What, you don’t like this?” he responded, and began rhythmically squeezing his hand, not stroking, just squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, squeezing.
My god! I was 14, and it never did take much for me to get off, and I was horny anyway, and now this?
“Stop!” I said, the urgency I was feeling making my voice shrill. He grinned, and didn’t stop at all.
“I’m going to come! Stop!” I hissed desperately.
He did. But it was too late. The rush came anyway, and as he watched I started jerking in my seat, filling my briefs with spasm after spasm.
In the distance I became aware of a vague roar, and as it became louder, it also became more distinct. Suddenly, I was awake, and opened my eyes to see half the kids on the bus standing and elbowing to see me better, roaring with laughter, some of the girls blushing but not looking away, some of the boys cheering along with their laughing. There I was, sitting with my head on my backpack, sprawled out with the front of my pants wet and poking out, my hips still bobbing up and down sporadically.
More of the boys started shouting and clapping, and then everyone on the bus was.
There was no Tommy. There never had been. Only me, wondering how I was ever going to live this down, or even survive the day with my khaki pants showing exactly what had happened.
I got off the bus with my books held in front of my pants, accompanied by the jeers, laughter and jokes from the kids who’d been with me and witnessed what I’d done. I ignored them and walked off as quickly as possible, trying to blend into the mass of kids arriving at school. It was hard to act normal, but I tried. I figured what I’d done would be all over the school by lunchtime, and the more I acted like nothing had happened, the more likely it was that anyone hearing about it might think it was being exaggerated or even made up.
I had Mrs. Bowerman for first period Math. It was trigonometry, and I enjoyed the class, but not Mrs. Bowerman. She was old and nasty. None of us liked her.
My pants had dried by then, but the stain, especially at the edges, was pretty easy to see. I kept a three-ring binder in my lap so it wouldn’t be noticeable. Then what I was dreading happened.
“Keith, come up here and show us homework problem 6 on the board.” Mrs. Bowerman’s eyes were boring into mine.
Oh God! I could go up and work the problem, but walking back, I’d be in perfect view of everyone sitting at their desks, and I was sure a lot of them had already heard the rumors and would be staring at my crotch.
Mrs. Bowerman was holding a piece of chalk out for me, looking at me, and I didn’t know what to do! I just couldn’t go up there. No way, no how.
“Mrs. Bowerman, I don’t feel good. I need to go to the restroom.”
“Yeah, to pump out another one,” I heard someone whisper to someone else behind me. And a couple of snickers.
Mrs. Bowerman was never easy, and she wasn’t this time either. “You can go after doing the problem on the board. Right now, Keith.”
So, I fled. I grabbed my books, still holding the binder in front of me, jumped up and ran from the room. Mrs. Bowerman said something in her raspy voice, but I didn’t even hear what it was.
I thought of leaving school, but I was a long way from home and my mom would kill me if the school told her I’d cut. I took my second option and went to the boys’ room. I thought maybe I could somehow get the stain cleaned off.
I pushed into the empty bathroom and dropped my books on the edge of one of the sinks. There were never any paper towels because the kids would use them to stuff up the toilets. So I got several of the small individual pieces of toilet paper, dampened them in a sink, and wiped at the stain.
And wiped and wiped. It didn’t seem to be doing any good. It did seem to be leaving little white specks of shredded paper all over my crotch as the toilet paper disintegrated. I tried using warm water and wiping harder. That had an effect, but it was on me, because of what was underneath where I was rapidly wiping with warm water.
When I couldn’t see the stain any longer, mostly because of how wet my pants had become, I thought I’d better dry off. We had those hot-air drying machines. I pointed the nozzle down and pressed the button and hot air came out, but the machine was too high up on the wall to do much for my pants. By the time the air reached my crotch, it wasn’t hot anymore and was more of a weak breeze than a useful storm.
So I stood up on the sink, then turned on the machine and leaned against it so my crotch was right up against the nozzle. This time I got a lot of hot air, right on the wet place.
And that heat, combined with all the wiping I’d been doing, really did a number on me. I had no intention of getting hard, but I did. Big time hard. And it felt so good, all that wet warmth, I simply couldn’t help but begin to move my hips just a little. In and out, toward and away from the machine. It was an unconscious sort of thing, brought about by my circumstances.
Unconscious, instinctive, whatever it was, it was what I was doing when the vice-principal walked in.
“What the Sam Hill are you doing?!”
I jumped off the sink. My face couldn’t decide whether to be bright red or pale white. I think it decided to be white. Mr. Johnson wasn’t someone you messed with. He was huge, the school’s football coach as well as vice-principal, and as the school disciplinarian, he had a reputation for sometimes stepping over the line with kids physically. I’d never faced him before, and found I was shaking, him yelling at me like he was.
“Uh, I was trying to dry off my pants, sir.”
“No you weren’t. I saw what you were doing.” He pointed at my crotch, where my recent hard-on was deflating but still pushing against the wet part of my pants. He scowled, then yelled, “Pervert! Come with me!”
He turned and slammed out of the restroom. I had no choice. Wet pants, tented pants, whatever, I followed him. At least there was no one else in the hall.
He strode rapidly down the hall toward his office, a force no one would want to confront. I meekly followed behind. When we got into his office, he grabbed my shoulder and pushed me into a hard chair in front of his desk, then sat in his own chair. My shoulder hurt where he’d squeezed it.
“You’re Keith Perryman, aren’t you?” I nodded.
“I heard you were jacking off on the bus today. Then I see you doing the same thing in the boys’ room—I guess that’s what you were doing even if I’ve never seen anyone else doing it quite like that—when Mrs. Bowerman reported you’d left her room without a pass.” His voice was angry and very, very loud. I winced when I heard him shout out I’d been jacking off on the bus. I wondered who else could hear him through the walls.
“What the hell’s the matter with you, boy? Jacking off on the bus, then in the boys’ room where anyone can see if they walk in? Answer me!”
What could I say? I wasn’t good at talking to adults, especially ones who were yelling at me and red in the face. I did the best I could. “Uh, well sir, I wasn’t. Not on the bus, not in the boys’ room. I wasn’t.”
“Don’t lie to me, boy! That’s not what I heard, and not what I just saw. I guess I’ll have to have some of the kids that saw you on the bus come in here and we’ll find out. And if you weren’t getting yourself off in that boys’ room, just what the hell do you call it? I saw your hips rocking back and forth. Tell me? Huh?”
“Well, sir, I was drying my pants,” I said shakily.
He scowled. “And why were they wet?”
“I was trying to clean them off.”
“And they needed cleaning off because..?”
He was still angry, and I was still scared. I’d never faced an adult that was this mad at me before, except my mom, and I knew what was what with her. I had no idea what this man might do.
“Uh, they got stained. On the bus.”
“But you just told me you weren’t jacking off on the bus. So, what was this stain you were cleaning off? You’d better not be lying to me here, boy. I don’t like liars any more than I like boys playing with themselves at school. Or on the bus where all the girls can see.” His glare was constant, his intimidation very real.
I shuddered. “Can I tell you what happened?” It came out almost a whisper.
“God dammit, boy, that’s what I’ve been trying to get you to do! Tell me!”
“Well, I didn’t get much sleep last night, and I fell asleep on the bus. Then I had a dream, one of those dreams, uh, I’m sure you know about them. When I woke up, all the kids were laughing and the front of my pants was wet. I guess I had one of those emissions I heard about in Sex Ed class. Then, Mrs. Bowerman wanted me to go up in front of the class, but my pants were stained and I just couldn’t. So I went to the boys’ room to clean them the best I could, and you came in when I was trying to get them dry.”
I stopped and looked down at the floor. This day kept getting worse and worse. If he kept yelling at me, I was afraid I’d cry, and I desperately didn’t want to do that.
I don’t think Mr. Johnson and sympathy had ever met. Maybe it was because of the job he had, and the type of kids he dealt with every day. I wasn’t a kid like that, I wasn’t a kid who was used to being in trouble, but how was he supposed to know that?
“Some story! But I know what I saw. I walked into that bathroom and saw you pumping your hips. Explain that, buster.”
I couldn’t. I’d told him the truth. I just hadn’t said anything about what that warm air on those moist pants felt like. If he thought about it, he’d have to know. But I wasn’t going to tell him. How could I?
“I can’t. I wasn’t doing that.”
“Are you calling me a liar?” His voice’s pitch rose about two octaves. The volume went up with it.
“No sir. I just can’t explain something to you that I wasn’t doing.”
“You’ve got detention for a week. I’ll think about this. Maybe have you explain all that about your emission to the school at our next assembly. How’d you like to do that? Huh? Huh?! I’ll think about it. Detention all week. Get back to class.”
“But my pants are still wet. Can I at least dry them?” Where I got the nerve to ask that, I don’t know. Maybe it was the thought of returning to class with wet pants after what he happened on the bus this morning. Maybe it was that I was getting a little angry. That stuff he’d said about talking about this in an assembly was simply mean.
“No. Back to class. The wet pants are your fault. Live with it.” He glared at me. I didn’t have the guts to glare back. I got up and left. And with the last ounce of defiance in my body, I went back to the boys’ room, took off my pants, and held them in front of the hot air nozzle. I didn’t have long till the bell, and I needed those pants dry.
I was standing like that, no pants on and wearing wet briefs, when two football players walked into the boys’ room, joking with each other. They stopped joking when they saw me.
They were both huge, compared to me. They looked at me, standing there, and I simply looked back.
Number One said, “Hey, isn’t that the kid who dropped his pants on his bus and jerked off with everyone watching?”
Number Two grinned. “Yeah, I think so. My girlfriend was on that bus. She told me all about it. She said this kid must be one of those exhibitionist guys she’s read about. They talked about them in sex ed, too. Guys that want everyone to see their junk.”
One asked, “Really? They like people to see them doing that? Gross! This guy must really have a screw loose, whipping it out and jerking it for everyone to see, even the young kids and girls.”
Two said, “Really weird. Look at him! He looks a little like a psycho, doesn’t he? Look at his eyes! I’ll bet he was just waiting for someone to come in, all undressed and waiting. He’s all ready to start jerking again, now he has an audience.”
I had to say something, even though I was afraid these guys were working themselves up to pounding me whether I said anything or not.
“No, no. That’s not what happened on the bus, and not now, either. I fell asleep on the bus and had a wet dream. Now I’m just trying to clean up my pants and dry them. That’s all. Honest.”
Numbers One and Two looked at each other, then both said at the same time, “Yeah, right.” Two raised his hand and they high-fived each other, grinning, before Two said to me, “OK, get on with the show. You wanted someone to watch. Well, here we are. Get busy.”
One grinned at him, then looked at me expectantly.
“Hey guys, come on! I’m just drying my pants. Give me a break, will ya? So far this hasn’t been my best day ever, and it’s still only first period.”
Two ignored me and said to One, “He’s just drying his pants.”
One said, “Sure he is. Well, then let’s help him. Those tighty- whities look wet, too.”
They advanced on me. I was trapped in the corner between the wall and the sinks. There was nowhere I could go.
Two grabbed me, and One yanked my briefs off. Two let go of my arms, but then yanked my khakis from my hand. I thought they’d punch me out then and I cowered accordingly, but they didn’t. They simply turned and both walked out. I could hear One say, “These’ll dry much better spread out in the sun on the front lawn, won’t they?” and Two answered with, “Yeah, especially if they’re down near the front sidewalk, way down there.” And I heard them laughing.
I looked around. The only thing that was loose in that bathroom I could use to cover myself with was the little squares of toilet paper. Trying to cover myself with them would be worse than nothing at all. I tried to visualize me with little pieces of paper stuck all over my dangling parts and shuddered. I took off my shirt and wrapped it around myself but it would only cover half of what needed covering, either the front side or the back. I wondered if I had time to get to my gym locker. I could put my gym clothes on if I could get there, but the bell was about to ring.
I didn’t see I had a choice. Kids always swarmed into the restrooms at class break, and the idea of a bunch of boys coming in here and finding me like this didn’t bear thinking of. Someone would certainly decide if I didn’t have any pants, I didn’t need a shirt either, and I’d be in even worse circumstances after that.
I went to the door, looked out, and saw only empty hallway.
The gym was at the far end of the hall from where I was. Without pause, holding my shirt around my frontal nether parts as well as I could, I took off running.
I’d got maybe a quarter of the way down the hall when the bell rang. Classroom doors began banging open and kids flooded into the hallway.
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