Keon assumes he’ll be disowned by everyone that matters to him if they find out he’s gay;
but then again, no one has ever said he was all that bright.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve cried myself to sleep. I think the first time was just after my thirteenth birthday. That was kinda the time I realized I liked guys. I don’t mean just liked guys either, I mean I LIKED guys. That meant I was a faggot, fag, arse bandit, batty boy, fairy, and everything I was sure my mates hated. Worse than my mates turning against me though was the thought of my dad turning against me. Not that he’d ever said anything bad about gays, but I was still fairly sure he would lose it at the thought of having a gay son. I wouldn’t have wanted to live if I’d lost Dad’s love. It had been just Dad and me since he and Mom divorced when I was five, and her new ‘friend’ didn’t like kids.
Of course my discovery also coincided with the discovery that most of my teammates and mates had some weird fascination with boobs. I mean boobs, seriously? Of course that soon led to my becoming aware of the fact that there was now a chance I might say the wrong thing. You know, like saying, “Ewww,” when one of my mates said something creepy, like he buried his face in some chick’s big boobs. I also began to realize that I might focus my attention on the wrong part of a mate’s torso, or simply look at one of them for too long, so over time, that led to me spending more and more time on my own, and I guess I kinda became a bit of a loner, well except for football. Nothing was going to keep me from playing football.
Then in my grade ten year, I met Theo. Theo was the new kid in school and he was in my homeroom. He was a bit taller than me and seriously skinny. Add the reddest hair I’ve ever seen and some serious freckles, and he was … wow! After school on his first day we were both walking in the same direction, and a couple of blocks from the school, he caught up to me and started walking with me.
“Hi, I’m Theo,” he announced.
“Hi, Keon,” I responded.
“You live near here?” he asked.
“Yeah, on 58th street,” I replied.
“Hey, me too,” he said with a little excitement in his voice.
“What number?” he asked.
“10” I said.
“Hey I’m in 26, like four houses down,” he responded with a little more excitement in his voice.
Having unparalleled quickness of mind, I noted, “You musta just moved here then, cause I’ve never seen you before.”
“Yeah. We got here two days ago. Dad got transferred here for work. We had two weeks to find a place, pack all our shit, and move,” he said, sounding a little annoyed, “I had almost no time to even say bye to my mates. It right fuckin’ sucked.”
“Yeah that would suck,” I responded.
“So you like football?” he asked, quickly changing the subject.
“Yeah love it,” I replied.
“Cool. You play on any teams?” he asked with an obvious bit of interest.
“Yeah, I’ll be starting with the under 18’s in a couple weeks,” I announced, “and starting in November we got indoor too.”
“Way cool,” he responded, “Who do I gotta see to register?”
“My old man,” I said laughing.
I noted that it was a week past the deadline, but I didn’t think there’d be a problem since he’d just moved here, and I was right. When his dad came to register him, the league made an exception, and he was in the under 18’s the next day…and on my team.
It didn’t take long to kinda forget the loner thing too, cause we became best mates in no time. Of course he didn’t help my ‘I like boys dilemma’ at all. I won’t even mention the thoughts I had that first night after I went to bed. Hell, in the months after he arrived, I’d find myself standing in front of the mirror naked pretending I was looking at him. Pretty sad, I know, but I did it. He didn’t help my crying myself to sleep problem either. Now though, I didn’t just cry myself to sleep just because I was afraid of being found out. I often cried myself to sleep because I knew the boy I was falling in love with would never love me back, not the way I wanted him to anyway.
That little issue aside though, life was pretty good for the most part. Hanging with Theo, football, school, wandering the mall, skateboarding, and keeping the closet door tightly closed and locked, kept me occupied quite nicely. Of course that wasn’t always easy with Theo by my side half the time. Especially the few times we had a sleepover. My blood-flow was often seriously misdirected when he stripped down to his briefs. I never dared stand facing him unless I was sure my baggiest t-shirt covered everything almost down to my knees. I mean like, what if he saw what he was doing to me? God, I’d die.
Then one day he did. Well he didn’t see it, he felt it.
We’d just got back to my place after a rather hard fought game and were more than a little excited by our win. We were changing back into our regular shorts, when for some inexplicably stupid reason, I allowed myself to get into a wrestling match with him. After rolling around on the floor for a few minutes, and an easily understandable change in the direction of my blood flow, he pinned me. When he rolled on top of me, he froze and the look of shock on his face was unforgettable.
“I’m sorry,” was the only thing I could think of to say.
Then the totally unimaginable happened. Without taking his eyes off mine, he leaned in and kissed me.
Okay … so now I froze. I expected a shit kicking, but a kiss? I was like almost in shock. I must admit I recovered rather quickly and kissed him back. When we finally broke the kiss, he flipped over onto his back and started laughing.
“Do you know how fucking long I’ve wanted to do that?” he asked, “What’s wrong with us? Like how did we not know?”
“Well maybe we have our closet doors closed a little too tight,” I suggested, “Oh yeah, and you never touched my dick before.”
“I didn’t touch it this time,” he responded, “You damn near stabbed me to death with it.”
And that was it. The dick was out of the bag, so to speak, and love was in the air. We went from spending half our time together to spending pretty much all our time together. And from that day on, no more tears. Okay, so once in a while when I was in a Dad will hate me if he ever finds out frame of mind, but that didn’t happen very often anymore. Damn, life was good
The fear of outing ourselves to anyone was still alive and well. But as careful as we were, a couple of months after that unbelievable, life-changing kiss, a couple of our teammates, Reggie and Kyle, kinda cornered us at Timmy’s (that’s Tim Horton’s doughnut shop for you non-Canadians). Reggie spoke up first.
“You and Keon…uh…you guys are…uh…kinda really close…yeah?” he questioned looking at Theo.
“It’s totally cool if you are,” Kyle quickly added.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Theo demanded, “Why would you ask a question like that?”
“Everything you do,” he replied, “Like you’re always together, the way you look at each other sometimes, the touches, some of the things you say. They’re kinda…like things people…I dunno…like people who’re real close do.”
“But hey, it’s all cool,” Kyle reassured again.
“So you’ve noticed some shit and you think we’re gay for each other and in love or somethin’?” Theo asked sounding a little threatening.
“Well we wondered,” Kyle replied, “But it’s all cool with us. It really is, guys.”
“And so what if we are?” Theo asked after a rather lengthy pause.
“Geez, how many times do I gotta say it’s cool?” Kyle asked sounding a little frustrated.
“Oh fuck,” were the only words that came out of my mouth that whole time, and apparently they were the only ones they needed to hear, because they were immediately met with big grins from both of them.
“So?” Reggie queried looking right at me.
Theo looked at me and I looked at Theo. I think we both knew there was no way out. We knew Reggie and Kyle could be trusted, so eventually, we simply looked at them and shrugged.
“Yes!” was their simultaneous response.
Then Kyle looked right at me, and with a kinda stupid grin on his face said, “I think Reggie’s kinda cute too.”
After just staring at him for a few seconds, I wondered, ‘Holy shit. Did we just have a group coming out?’
“What? You and Reggie?” I asked, as I slowly came to my senses.
“You guys really need to start paying closer attention,” he replied laughing, “Yeah, me and Reggie.”
“No shit,” Kyle added, “How did you not notice? I mean we had you guys figured out ages ago.”
“I guess we were kinda preoccupied, maybe,” Theo replied.
“Ya think?” Kyle questioned laughing, as he reached across the table to give Theo a little smack.
Okay, so we’d definitely just had a group coming out, and it was a kinda, ‘Wow!’ thing, to say the least. And what a difference it seemed to make too, like for all four of us, and right there and then. I mean we were suddenly free…okay freer…but that was so totally cool. Our twosome quickly became a foursome (get your mind outta the gutter, geez), and for the rest of the year, at school, the mall, or just hanging out, it wasn’t unusual to see the four of us together. We were still pretty much closet cases, but it was seriously nice to have company.
Life went on with few, if any, glitches for pretty much the rest of the year. Then for some stupid reason our student council decided to have a Sadie Hawkins dance. Apparently one of the girls read about some weird American comic strip, Li'l Abner, I think. She read that some butt ugly girl, I guess the, “homeliest gal in all them hills,” Sadie Hawkins, had a race against some obviously very scared guys. Whoever she caught had to marry her. So after that, some girls who I guess couldn’t get dates, decided to have Sadie Hawkins days. The idea being that girls ask guys for a date or to go dancing. Dumb, right? I thought so, but what I thought didn’t mean shit.
Now it may have occurred to you that most gay guys don’t have girlfriends, so Theo, Reggie, Kyle, and I were fair game. Theo got attacked first. Katy Jones cornered him in the back of the maths class. He tried to say no, but got the whole ‘where’s your school spirit?’ shit thrown in his face, and he was done. I almost made it to English the next day, but made the mistake of stopping by my locker. Janice Mulder was waiting for me. Reggie and Kyle didn’t do any better, though it actually took a couple of days for someone to trap Reggie and another three days before Kyle met his doom. Now we all had dates…with girls. Of course Kyle had to bring up, ‘what was the protocol if there was going to be a slow dance’…like ewwww.
Then far, far, far, too soon it was Sadie Hawkins day, and lucky us, we got to spend the day with our dates. Surprisingly though, it wasn’t all that bad. Katy and Janice were actually kinda cool. Not surprisingly, they decided we needed to go to Timmy’s before the dance. Yay! So anyway, it’s 9:30 and Theo and I, were at Timmy’s, on time, and were waiting for the girls to show up…a half hour late. I guess that’s a ‘so what else is new’ thing with girls.
Anyway, about ten minutes into our wonderful little chat, Katy announces, “You two are such a cute couple.”
“What?” Theo sorta demanded.
“Don’t get your shit in a knot, lover boy,” she said with a grin, “Your closet door is still intact.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Theo asked.
“Ever hear it takes one to know one?” Janice replied.
“Huh?” was my rather eloquent response.
“Why do you think I waited for you by your locker?” she asked.
“We figured if we had to date guys, why not date guys who were as interested in us as we were in them,” Katy said laughing.
“Holy shit,” Theo exclaimed with a laugh, “Fuck, seriously?”
“Not to disappoint,” Janice replied, “But not all girls are interested in guys.”
“What the hell makes you think I’d be disappointed?” Theo asked with a grin.
“Well obviously not you,” Katy replied laughing.
“Or me either,” I added with a chuckle.
And that was the beginning of a rather fun evening, and since the four of us danced together, nobody knew who was dancing with who. Yep, I think I quite like gay chicks. I got to dance with my boyfriend at a school dance and nobody had a friggin’ clue. Reggie and Kyle survived the evening too. Reggie, however, could have been scarred for life. I guess his date accidentally squeezed his junk. Thankfully, Kyle was able to make it—I mean him—feel better after the dance.
Oh yeah, and Katy promised they wouldn’t out us…or Reggie and Kyle. Okay, they really have been paying attention I guess. That in itself was worth a chuckle, although I’m not sure Reggie or Kyle would have agreed with us at the time. In fact, they were a tad freaked out when we first introduced them to the girls the next weekend. But they quickly got over it. Interestingly, we gained some knew friends over the next couple of weeks. Obviously Katy and Janice, but also Annette and Sheila, and Brady and James. Like, wow, who knew? In case you care, Annette and Sheila were Brady and James dates for the dance.
The girls even came to a couple of our football games, and we went to a couple of their rugby matches. Now that’s a right scary sport, geez. Then towards the end of our spring football season, for the first time ever, we realized we could actually be in the playoffs. Since this would be our last season of football, we all made a commitment to seriously go for it. In a couple of weeks we found we had one game to go, win and we were in the playoffs, lose and the season was over. Well we won! Not only did we win that game, but we won our quarter-final game, our semi-final game, and then this great big trophy that said City Under 18 Champions. I think it’s safe to say we were just a little bit thrilled.
The best part was our entire fan club were there for our last game, and the ten of us just had to go out and celebrate. Katy and Janice had introduced us to an awesome club across town soon after we met them. At the time, we didn’t know how awesome it was till we got there. Within five minutes of arriving the first time, I saw two guys kiss, and nearly peed myself. Katy just laughed at me and told me the look on my face was priceless. I’m sure it was. It was a club where we could actually be ourselves, and tonight, our night of victory, there couldn’t have been a better place to be, and it was absolutely awesome.
However, once the celebrating was over Theo and I were more than a bit disappointed to see the football season done, well…football done, actually. After 18 we were no longer kids, so no more city sponsored teams. Dad wasn’t too thrilled about losing his two favourite players either. I mean Theo and me by the way, not Reggie and Kyle.
With football done, the only significant thing left to look forward to before summer was graduation. Dad was almost as excited about it as I was. He took me shopping to buy a new suit, shirt, tie, shoes, and even socks and underwear. Hell, he even picked out a ‘Class of 2016’ lapel pin. Surprisingly though, with the big ceremony and dance coming up, and his excitement about it, he never once asked who I was taking, or if she was cute, or whatever. In fact, for the last three years he had never mentioned dating or girlfriends. I mean, isn’t that what dads are supposed to do?
Still, it had never occurred to me that there could have been a reason for that until a week before our grad ceremonies. Theo and I were laying on my bed watching Manchester United play Liverpool when there was a quick knock and dad just walked into my room. There was no time to react and of course we weren’t exactly on opposite sides of my bed. When he simply grinned at us, walked over, and handed me a little box and Theo a matching box, we were both kinda shocked.
“Well, you gonna open them?” he asked.
So obediently and quickly, we opened them.
The next thing we knew, we were both holding up pendants. Mine had the right half of a heart and Theo’s had the matching left half.
Then Dad grabbed my arm, pulled me up into a hug and said, “You know shithead, you’re my son. I love you, and I couldn’t be more proud of you. And…you coulda bloody well told me three years ago.” Then he grabbed Theo’s hand and pulled him up into the hug.
When we recovered and our grins began to match Dad’s, we…well Dad…decided we were going to Blink, (that’s a high class restaurant by the way), for an evening meal to remember. Not to say he made me feel at all foolish that evening, but he had pretty much figured out I was gay when I was fourteen. And he had been totally aware of my relationship with Theo, maybe not from day 1, but definitely from day 21. I guess with grad coming up, he’d finally become tired of waiting for the big ‘coming out’ ceremony. And Dad being Dad, decided to have a ‘bringing’ out ceremony. Maybe one of the reasons why I love him to bits.
Of course now I’m wondering how I could have been so stupid as to doubt Dad’s love for me. But then I never did say I was all that bright…come to think of it, neither has anyone else, hmmm?
Anyway I know I shouldn’t really need to say it, but I can quite happily say, since that day there’s been, “No More Tears.”
Okay, so maybe there were a few when Theo asked me to marry him, but hey, I’m allowed.
Thanks to Colin for editing, prepping, and posting this story for me.
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This story may contain occasional references to minors who are or may be gay. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG13 (in a more enlightened time it would be rated G). If reading this type of material is illegal where you live, or if you are too young to read this type of material based on the laws where you live, or if your parents don't want you to read this type of material, or if you find this type of material morally or otherwise objectionable, or if you don't want to be here, close your browser now. The author neither condones nor advocates the violation of any laws. If you want to be here, but aren't supposed to be here, be careful and don't get caught!