Aaron is always ready to fight.
Perhaps a summer spent in a less stressful atmosphere will allow him to relax.

Dear Dylan,

I’ll see you in just a week now!  I can hardly wait.  Seems like forever since I hugged you goodbye at camp.  I’m so sorry for what happened.  When your dad wrote me that he’d read the email I sent you and found out you were gay and said he’d forbidden you to write me ever again, that you wouldn’t be going to camp again, and that I was never to write to you again, either, I cried.  I did!  It took me forever to get over it, and I’m not sure I ever really did.  You were the best friend I’d ever had.  Losing you hurt more than anything. 

When you wrote me today and said your mother had finally laid down the law to him, that he had to let you be you, and if you were gay that’s who you were and still the best son a man could ever dream of having, I could hardly believe it.  You said she told him she’d rather have no husband and a happy son than a depressed, moping and surly son along with a stern, hard-headed and cold-hearted husband, so he had to choose.  Is he really going to counseling?  And are you really happy again?  This is all such great, great news!

But the best part of it is you’re coming back to camp!  Okay, you’ll probably be disgusted with me, but I screamed when I read that.  Out loud.  Too much out loud because my mom yelled out, “What’s wrong?!”  I was too happy right then to tell her!  Okay, okay, full disclosure; maybe I had tears on my face.  Again!  But we won’t talk about that, huh?

You’re coming back!  In just a week.  Oh my God!

There’s so much I want to tell you.  I have a lot to catch you up on.  First, you were right.  My attitude is mine to control.  That’s so true.  I’ve been working hard on improving.  I’m trying so hard not to fly off the handle at the barest insult or tease.  I’m staying calm and mostly happy.  It’s a work in progress and may always be, but I’m not the angry kid you met last summer any longer.

Anger-management classes have helped, too.  They teach you techniques to help keep you on an even keel.  I’m still taking them but don’t need them nearly as much anymore.  Maybe it’s just because I’m older.  I am 14 now.

Speaking of which, I’ve been thinking about that, too.  About how your age, 16, says you’re two years older than I am, but the reality is there are only 14 months between us.  I’m almost 15; you’re only just 16.  Funny how much better 14 months sounds than two years.  I’ve been thinking about that a lot.

Some great news: my mom is better.  They found what the problem was and are treating it.  She still needs periodic hospital visits for treatment, but our worries are over, and she’s getting the care she needs.  She’s better and, ta da, she’s getting a job!  She spent a lot of time with the person at the hospital who’s in charge of insurance issues and they became friends.  It turns out, people with incapacitating problems like my mom had can get financial assistance from the state.  I hadn’t known, but Mom had applied for it several years back, and somehow the request was never processed.  The insurance lady pressed the carrier, the matter went to mediation, and it was resolved in our favor!  Not only is she now getting a monthly check, but she got back pay with interest for what she should have been paid all those years. 

So we’re not poor now.  Not rich for sure, but much more comfortable.  And the part about a job?  With all the time she spent with the insurance lady, that lady’s office clerk recently retired, and my mom’s going to get her job.  She starts next week when I’m returning to camp.

Now something about me.  Remember what you did with me on that beach on the island?  I sure do!  I’ll never forget it.  Well, I think it kick-started something in me, or it was just a coincidence, but puberty started for me big time right after that.  I’m three and a half inches taller than when we said goodbye and weigh over 100 pounds now!  I’ve got hair where I never had it before.  My voice is changing, too.  And there are other changes that maybe you jump-started, but I’ll wait till I’m there so you can see that for yourself.  About that, though, let’s just say I’m not embarrassed to be showering after gym now.  Although, that’s something else.  Remember when I said I don’t feel much arousal, how I didn’t get crushes, how I thought I might be asexual?  Well, that’s not a worry any longer.  I’m like every other boy in the showers now.  I’m that way in both how I look and what happens when I pay too much attention to any of the other boys showering, especially the cute ones.

Shaun—you remember Shaun, my cabin mate—told me I should see a doctor about not developing like I should be, and I did that when I got home.  Mom asked the lady in the hospital, and she got me in to see this doctor.  A lady doctor!  I had to get naked right in front of her.  She poked and prodded and touched me down there and asked all sorts of really embarrassing questions that I had to answer truthfully.  Talk about blushing!  Then she took some blood and had it tested and told me that some of my hormone levels were low, just like they are at the very beginning of puberty, but rather than treat it, I should come in for more testing every two weeks to see how my levels were progressing on their own.  And I did that, and she says I’m okay without any help.  My levels are all normal now.  Maybe that’s why I have to be careful not to get excited in the showers—and other times, too.  I had no idea a guy could get a boner so easily and often, and why I see so many boys in the school hallways with a jacket or backpack being carried in front of them.  I’m doing the same thing now!

Anyway, that’s where I am.  I can’t wait to see you.  In just a week, too.  I’m so excited!  But I do want to mention something else, just because.  Well, because I can’t hold it in, I guess, and maybe you’re wondering.  It’s this: when I thought I was asexual, when nothing really got me sexually excited, I always had this wonder about crushes other kids would talk about.  I never had much of that, but I did seem to notice cute boys more than pretty girls.  I never paid much attention to it, though.

Lately—and you might think I’m changing the subject, but I’m not—I’ve been thinking of something, thinking about it more and more as it’s getting closer to camp time.  It’s about what you did in that special clearing in the woods with Micah.  When I think about that now, I feel things I never did back then.  I can see it all in my mind, you being in that clearing.  I sort of live it in my mind.  The only thing is, I see you there, you doing things like you did, but there’s no Micah in what I’m envisioning.  There’s someone else.  Doing what you two were doing.  And loving it!

Yeah, I think about that a lot.

Your friend,  See ya soon,

The End

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