Mike and Jeremy are discovering that some people already know that they are boyfriends.
Jeremy never thought his life would become so complicated!
This is a sequel to the story One Perfect Boyfriend.
It was the last day of 2014, New Year’s Eve, a Wednesday. Jeremy was doing his laundry. Every other week he washed clothes: shirts, jeans, occasionally khakis, and his underwear, t-shirts, boxer briefs, and socks; and towels. Alternate weeks he washed sheets and towels. He did it this way to keep his water, gas, and electricity use as low as possible. Low use equaled low utility bills.
He moved the underwear from the washer to the dryer and turned it on. Then he loaded his shirts in the washer, added detergent, and turned it on. As he walked from the laundry room to the living room his cell vibrated in his pocket. That made him laugh as he answered the call.
“What’s so funny, Jeremy?”
“Hey, Mike. My cell’s on vibrate and that reminded me of a Dilbert cartoon, and it makes me laugh.”
“So… you gonna tell me about this funny cartoon? Or not?”
“Okay, I’ll tell you. So Dilbert is in a psychiatrist’s office complaining that his pager — that’s a pre-cellphone thing — feels like it’s vibrating when he isn’t receiving a call. The psychiatrist tells him it’s something called phantom-pager syndrome and there’s no treatment for it. Dilbert says he doesn’t want to treat it — he wants to relocate it.” Jeremy laughed again.
Mike was quiet. He didn’t laugh, he didn’t say anything.
“Well? Isn’t that funny?” Jeremy asked, followed by a chuckle.
“Sorry, I don’t get it.”
“Think about it Mike. Where would he want to relocate a vibration he feels in his pocket? What’s it next to?”
After about ten seconds Mike started laughing. “Okay, okay, I got it, sort of. So what are you up to on New Year’s Eve?”
“Doing my normal every-other Wednesday night laundry. Underwear, socks, shirts, jeans, and this week’s towels.”
“Yeah. The alternate Wednesdays I do my sheets and that week’s towels.”
“Kinda sucks to waste New Year’s Eve doing laundry — just sayin’ — don’t you think?”
“I can see how others might think that. But I didn’t have anything else to do, so….”
“I can fix one of your problems. You come over here. To my house. Have dinner with us. Watch the New Year’s Eve celebrations on TV including the fireworks from San Francisco. Spend the night sleeping with me. Spend New Year’s Day with us, watching football on TV. If you’re into college bowl games. Hanging with the triplets. They’re thirteen now, so they are a lot of fun. Then have dinner. We don’t have classes until Monday, so we still have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for doing whatever we want. How’s that?”
“Sounds good. But I can’t leave my laundry until it’s washed, dried, folded, and put away. Maybe staying over at your house three nights in a row isn’t such a good idea. Your folks might start to get ideas about us. But, since I don’t have anywhere else to go for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, your invitation sounds good. You’re going to have to talk to your folks and get their okay.”
“Oh, I already did that. I wanted to be sure. You’re okay today and tonight, or New Year’s Day and night, or both. I choose both. Which do you want to choose?”
“Do your folks know we’re boyfriends?”
“No, not yet.”
“I think staying over tonight and tomorrow night could be a problem.”
“Maybe. We probably shouldn’t push things too fast. You could come by for dinner tonight, then come back tomorrow morning for the full New Year’s Day TV football bowl game experience, then stay over tomorrow night, then we do whatever on Friday.”
Jeremy laughed. “That’s not pushing things too fast?”
“I told my folks that your mother and her boyfriend went to Texas for a vacation, and they wouldn’t be back until sometime next month. They wanted to know why they’d leave you over the holidays, and I said your mother doesn’t pay much attention to you, that she seems to think you’re an impediment to the things she wants to do, which includes moving to Texas where her boyfriend wants to get a job in the oilfields. I said you want to graduate from Las Lomas High with an A average so you can get a scholarship to U.C. Berkeley or U.C. Davis and etcetera, etcetera. My granddad, you met him, is very interested in figuring out how you might be able to stick around here despite what your mother wants to do. He’s a semi-retired attorney and he knows how to get things done.”
“Damn, you’ve been busy!”
“Yes, I have. Let me see if I can entice you about dinner tonight. We’re having Mexican. Tamales, enchiladas, and tacos. Black beans. Mexican rice. All homemade by my mom.”
“I love Mexican food.”
“Yeah, tell me about it! Every time I come to your place we have burritos or tortilla chips and salsa.”
“You figured me out. Okay, dinner tonight. I can’t turn down a homemade Mexican meal.”
“Then how about tomorrow morning? Come for breakfast and watch football on TV. Then stick around and have dinner with us. My granddad will be there. If you want, we can talk to him about some of your problems with your mom and Leo. Then we can play video games. Then go to bed. Together. Then on Friday we can do whatever.”
“You sure it’s okay with your folks?”
“Then we have a deal. What time do you want me to get to your house?”
That night, New Year’s Eve, after watching the celebrations from around the world, Mike and his parents convinced Jeremy that since it was so late, he should stay overnight.
Mike cuddled against Jeremy’s back and let out a sigh.
“You feel so good, Jeremy,” he whispered. “This is the way I want to go to bed every night for the rest of my life.”
Jeremy giggled. “You’ve gotta be careful where you’re putting that rod you brought to bed with us.”
Mike burst out laughing, and Jeremy kept saying, “Shhhh!” until the laughter stopped.
“Why the shhhh?” Mike whispered.
“Because we don’t want your folks to come in here and see us in bed naked, you all scooched up to me, and with your prong between my thighs,” Jeremy whispered in reply.
Almost as if it was on cue, there was pounding on Mike’s bedroom door. “Hey, keep it down in there!” Mike’s dad shouted. “Go to sleep!”
“Okay, sorry!” Mike replied, loud enough that his dad would hear what he said.
Jeremy felt Mike starting to pull away. He reached back and grabbed Mike’s right butt cheek and pulled, keeping him in the cuddled position. He whispered, “Your dad didn’t say anything about changing how we’re connected together. I like it this way. Let’s stay like this for a while.”
“I like it, too. Let’s give my folks time to get to bed, then there are some moves I want to show you.”
“Show me moves? How am I going to see them?”
“Oh, you won’t have to see them. I’m going to let you feel them!”
They waited about ten minutes, then Mike started his showing. “See, showing is better than telling!” he whispered.
That made Jeremy laugh, because that was one of the things his Creative Writing teacher kept harping on, ‘Show, don’t tell!’ and Jeremy had told Mike that phrase and what it meant. They used it when they were working on homework or studying for a test.
After about a forty-five minutes of action and entertainment, Mike whispered, “Let’s go to sleep. I’m exhausted”
Jeremy whispered his reply, “Sounds like a good idea.”
A few minutes later the two boys were asleep.
New Year’s Day morning arrived and Mike’s alarm woke them at eight-thirty.
When they walked into the kitchen Mike’s brothers, the triplets, were all sitting on one side of the table eating cereal.
“Hi, guys,” Mike said.
“Morning Mike, Jeremy,” Joe said.
“Morning, guys,” Jeremy said.
After getting the cereal and milk, Mike and Jeremy sat across from the triplets.
“Where are the folks?” Mike asked.
“They went to granddad’s house. They’re watching the Rose Parade,” Joe said.
They ate a few spoonfuls of cereal.
“Jeremy, you want toast or a bagel?” Mike asked.
“I had so much to eat last night that this cereal’s going to be enough.”
Mike asked, “What are you guys going to do today?”
Again, Joe replied, “Watch some football. Play with the stuff we got for Christmas.”
Jeremy found it interesting that Joe seemed to act as the spokesperson for the triplets.
Tom smirked. “You two get any sleep last night?”
‘So much for Joe acting as spokesperson for the triplets,’ Jeremy thought.
“Uhh… yeah,” Mike replied. “What, you think we played video games all night?”
All three of the triplets giggled, simultaneously. From then on the conversation was like a stage play.
Paul: “Nah, no video games,”
Joe: “You guys were sort of noisy last night,”
Tom: “Kept us awake.”
Paul: “We kept poking each other so we could stay awake.” Then he chuckled.
Mike: “How were you poking each other? Your beds aren’t that close enough to do that.”
Paul: “We were all in my bed. And it’s none of your business why.”
Jeremy: “So why did you want to stay awake?”
Joe: “You two were messing around. We figured we could learn something.”
Mike: “Yeah, we were joking and laughing. Dad came by and told us to be quiet and go to sleep.”
Tom: “That’s not what Joe meant.”
Joe: “Yeah. I meant messing-around messing around.”
Mike: “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Paul: “Lemme ask you a question, Mike. Are you and Jeremy boyfriends?”
Tom: “You heard me. Are you and Jeremy boyfriends?”
Mike closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He looked across the table at the triplets, then turned and looked at Jeremy who raised one eyebrow and shrugged his shoulders. Mike turned back to the triplets and replied, “Yes.”
The triplets made fists and pumped them up and down.
Joe: “Fantastic! We knew it! It’s about time you told us, big bro!”
Mike: “So how did you know? And what did you mean by saying you knew it and it’s about time?”
Paul: “When you first brought Jeremy home what… two months ago? Anyway, the way the two of you look at each other we could tell you were hot for each other’s bod. We kept wondering when you’d spring the ‘we’re boyfriends’ bit on us and the folks.”
Mike: “When you say I ‘brought Jeremy home’ it makes it sound like he’s a puppy.”
Paul: “You know what I meant.”
Tom: “Last night you two were sort of noisy. Remember your closet and our closet back on each other, so last night you were doing the hot breathing and moaning thing, so we knew you were doing the nasty.”
Jeremy: “And what do you three, at thirteen years old, know about ‘doing the nasty’?”
Tom: “Think about it, we’re in the eighth grade in middle school. We probably know more about gay sex than the two of you put together.”
Jeremy looked at Mike. “Have things changed that much since we were in middle school?”
“I guess,” Mike replied.
“When you two were in middle school, so many years ago,” Joe said, “gay kids were probably all in the closet.”
Paul explained, “It’s not that way anymore. Lots of gay kids are out and no one cares.”
“Well, maybe there’s still a few troglodytes that are homophobes,” Joe said.
“Mostly the religious nutcases,” Tom added. “So, tell us when you decided to be boyfriends.”
Mike and Jeremy told how they got together to do homework and spend the night playing video games.
“So, we found games that were more fun,” Mike said.
“Like last night, ‘eh?” Tom said, which made the triplets laugh.
Looking to change the focus from him and Mike, Jeremy asked, “Do you three have gay friends?”
“Sure,” Tom replied, “like, we really don’t care. Gay, straight, bi, trans, whatever. It’s all the same. If someone’s a good guy, or girl, that’s all that counts. Who they like to have sex with doesn’t matter.”
“Do any of your gay friends have boyfriends?”
“Yes, some of the guys, and some of the girls have girlfriends.”
“What’s your school’s attitude about gay kids? Like, is there a GSA?”
“We go to Foothill Middle School. There’s no GSA. I don’t think any of the middle schools have a GSA. They probably think we’re too young to know about it, or something. As if.”
“Las Lomas High has a GSA. Mike, does Northgate High have a GSA?” Jeremy asked.
“Yeah. I go to some of the meetings, when there’s an interesting subject. How about you, Jeremy?”
“I haven’t gone to any of the Las Lomas GSA meetings.”
“In other words,” Paul said, “you’re in the closet.”
“Yeah, that’s accurate. Maybe now that I have a boyfriend I should go to some of the GSA meetings,” Jeremy said. But he still felt uncertain.
The rest of New Year’s Day was consumed by football on TV, playing some of the video games the triplets got for Christmas, and watching the movie Maleficent on Netflix.
They had roast chicken with a salad, baked potatoes, and asparagus for dinner.
Mike and Jeremy were a little more circumspect with their lovemaking than they had the night before. So when they came down to breakfast on Friday morning there were no snide remarks or questions about what Mike and Jeremy had been doing.
Both Mike and Jeremy decided on bagels and cream cheese and coffee for their breakfast. They sat down and started to eat.
“Where are the folks?” Mike asked.
“They went to Safeway and Trader Joe’s to buy groceries,” Joe said.
When everyone was finished eating, Tom asked, “What are you two doing today?”
“I don’t know,” Jeremy replied. “It’s up to Mike.”
“What I suggest is that we start by getting the dishes into the dishwasher and put the cereal boxes away.” Mike said.
“Now what?” Paul asked, after the table was cleared.
“How about we go to San Francisco?" Joe suggested. “If it’s okay with our folks.”
“Cool idea!” Tom and Paul said, in unison.
“I don’t know about that,” Mike said.
The triplets’ mom didn’t think it was a cool idea. “No way!” she said, when they got home and the triplets asked for her okay. Their dad’s opinion about their idea was, as he demanded, “Who thought up this stupid idea?” Fortunately for Joe, no one could ‘remember’ who had suggested the idea.
Both Mike and Jeremy were relieved that they didn’t have to act as escorts for the triplets. “I’m not sure who suggested going into San Francisco,” he said, “but I know neither Jeremy nor I would want to have to keep track of — and babysit — thirteen-year-old triplets in downtown San Francisco. We’d end up losing at least one of you,” as he pointed his finger at the each of the triplets in turn, “and we’d end up being blamed.” He jabbed his thumb into his chest then pointed it at Jeremy.
Joe’s expression was a combination of relief that Mike didn’t identify him as the originator of the idea, and irritation that Mike agreed with their folks.
“Aw, we don’t need babysitting. It would of been fun,” Paul said. “Maybe mom and dad should take us into the city, huh?”
“It would have been fun,” Tom stage-whispered the grammatical correction.
“That’s what I said,” Paul growled at Tom.
“You said ‘of’ not ‘have’ and ‘of’ is not correct!” Tom growled back at Paul.
“It oughta be correct!” Paul responded.
“That is an even worse idea,” their dad said, interrupting the boys’ argument. “Downtown San Francisco is going to be jammed with people shopping. I know what it’s like trying to keep you three in tow.”
“What if we go to downtown Walnut Creek?” Joe asked.
“It’s okay with me,” their mom said. “But it depends on whether Mike and Jeremy are interested in taking you.”
“We’re thirteen years old now, we should be able to go downtown by ourselves,” Tom said.
“Almost thirteen and a half,” Paul added.
“Thirteen is too young for you to bike all the way to downtown Walnut Creek by yourselves,” their dad told them.
“We wouldn’t bike. You’d drive us there and pick us up after. Please?” Joe asked.
“I’d drive you there and back. However, it’s up to Mike and Jeremy. They have to be willing to go with you,” their mom said.
Mike looked at Jeremy and raised his eyebrows, in that way asking Jeremy if it was okay with him. Jeremy shrugged his shoulders and nodded a yes.
“It’s okay with us,” Mike said. He turned to the triplets. “The rules are: you carry your cellphones with you and make sure they are charged and turned on; you stay with either me or Jeremy at all times; and if you want to buy something you have to use your own money.”
They responded, “Yes!” “Cool!” “Fantastic!” That started a wild triplets-only discussion about where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do.
Their dad pulled Mike aside. “You need some money?”
“No, thanks. I have my credit card, so I’m good. I’ll let you know what I’ve spent when we get home.”
“I’d rather give you the cash because that sets the maximum that you should spend.” He handed Mike six twenty-dollar bills. “As an extra incentive, you can keep whatever is left over, and don’t come asking me for more money. This is for your entire day with the triplets and Jeremy, including everyone’s lunch and snacks, but not including things any of the triplets decide they want to buy. Okay?”
“Okay. Thanks, dad. This is very generous.”
His dad laughed. “You won’t think it’s so generous when you find out how often and how much those three walking stomachs can consume.” That made Mike laugh.
“What was so funny?” Jeremy asked when Mike rejoined him.
Mike told what his dad had said about the triplets being walking stomachs. That made Jeremy laugh. “What time are we going to leave?” he asked.
“Let’s go ask my mom.”
They decided to leave at ten-thirty and to be picked up at four o’clock.
“If you need to be picked up earlier, or later, then call my cellphone number,” she told them.
The trip downtown was a lot of fun. The triplets were well-behaved, were funny and fun to be around, caused a lot of double and — more appropriately, perhaps — triple glances from passers-by and store clerks. Jeremy, Mike, and the triplets rode the free trolley up Main Street to Target and looked at clothes and electronics. They went to Lettuce, a soup, salad, and sandwich place, where they had lunch and where Jeremy understood what was meant by the “walking stomachs” comment their dad had made. After lunch they went across the street to the Lesher Center for the Arts and went through the Bedford Art Gallery to see a show of sculptures made from Legos which all five boys found very interesting. They walked through the downtown and looked at a lot of different shops, went to the Broadway Plaza section of downtown and the Nordstrom’s and Macy’s department stores, stopped for frozen yogurt, went to the Apple Store, Urban Outfitters and The Jeans Company and Gap and Banana Republic, stopped for cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory, and, finally, to the Barnes and Noble bookstore where Mike called his mom at four o’clock and arranged for a pickup at four-thirty.
When they got to Mike’s house the triplets had to provide a step-by-step location-by-location store-by-store recounting of their day. Mike and Jeremy excused themselves and went to Mike’s bedroom and, with the door open and after removing their shoes, flopped on Mike’s bed. Both boys fell asleep almost immediately.
Mike’s dad happened to walk down the hall about a half hour later and saw them stretched out, asleep. He smiled, then told his wife who had to sneak a look for herself.
“They may only be sixteen years old, but they don’t seem to have as much energy as the triplets even though they are only three years older,” she said.
“It reminds me of that joke that my dad likes to tell Mike: ‘After sixteen it’s all downhill.’ That might be more accurate than Mike would ever admit,” he said. That made them both laugh. That laughter woke both boys, but they didn’t move and kept their eyes closed.
“You know Mike couldn’t have picked a better boyfriend than Jeremy. I really like that boy,” Mike’s dad said. “He’s smart, and focused, and knows what he wants and how to get it.”
“I agree, and he’s good looking. And the triplets love him, and so does Mike’s granddad.”
“I think it’s turned out to be a great New Year’s. Everything has come together so easily this year.”
“I agree. Now it’s time for bed.”
Their footsteps could be heard as they walked down the hall.
After waiting a few minutes, Jeremy whispered in Mike’s ear. “So everyone knew we are boyfriends. So much for my being in the closet. And here I thought telling your family would be complicated.”
Jeremy lay thinking for a few minutes. Then he said, out loud, “I have a question, Mike. Do you think your folks were talking just outside your bedroom door on purpose so we’d hear them?”
There was no response from Mike, who had fallen back to sleep. But from the open closet door Jeremy was sure he heard giggling coming from the triplet’s bedroom.
Thanks to Cole Parker for editing One Complicated New Year
If you enjoyed this story,
you can read the other stories in the series on Codey’s World:
|One Warm Coat|
|One Best Friend|
|One Perfect Boyfriend|
|One Complicated New Year|
|One Sexy New Neighbor|
|One Cute New Neighbor|
|One Questionable Outcome|
|One Satisfactory Outcome|
|One Confusing Phone Call|
|One Acceptable Outcome|
|One Life Changed|
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