This is a mobile proxy. It is intended to visit the IOMfAtS Story Shelf on devices that would otherwise not correctly display the site. Please direct all your feedback to the friendly guy over at IOMfAtS!

Finding Tim

A Fourth Alternate Reality

by Charlie
With editorial assistance from Dix and John


I'll try to keep my imagination under control now, sticking to the facts as I saw and heard them, or as they were told to me not more than second hand. It was quite a summer. The nine oldest cousins-Willie, Bob, Nels, Junior, Gary, Louise, Jude, Kevin, and Noreen-spent two weeks with their four uncles-Tim, Franklin, Phil, and me-at the Pike Lake cabin. The uncles had assumed that they would have to be the leaders of the group, and that between them they'd have to spend almost full time entertaining the kids.

How wrong we were. Willie, at the ripe old age of "almost seven" was the unrivaled leader of the group. They all slept together in the middle room on their huge mattress on the floor-an idea that actually worked out very well. Willie got them up in the morning, and told those who were able to dress themselves to get on with it. He sent the others off to the uncles for that job, and then led the pack into the big living room/dining room for breakfast. We had to hurry in to help with breakfast or they would have done it all themselves, at who knows what risk!

During the day we hiked; Willie insisted upon leading and the uncles brought up the rear, carrying the smaller ones when and as needed. We swam; Willie and Bob, at ages "almost seven" and "almost five" swam like fish, and had almost since infancy. Nels, only seven months younger than Bob, was a swimmer, but not quite a fish. The rest, while totally unafraid of the water, were paddlers, loving the water, the narrow sandy beach, and the long dock. The group spent hours there playing with all kinds of water toys, boats, and each other. Willie was disappointed that there wasn't a diving board, but accepted the fact that boards really didn't work at lakes.

We played all kinds of games: board games, card games, outside games like Kick the Can and Capture the Flag, and games the kids dreamed up-usually with very complicated rules that changed as the game went along to suit the convenience of the player announcing the new rule. We would usually pair the younger kids with the older ones to make fair teams, but Willie usually would exclude himself (in order to have "even sides") to be referee, banker, umpire, or some other version of majordomo.

I'd love to say that for two weeks never was a tear shed, but realism has a place in life. I think there might have been a day or two in which we escaped tears, but no more. But the bad moments passed swiftly and were infrequent.

We took the kids up to Lake Superior, where the three swimmers were allowed to swim with two of their uncles while the other two climbed rocks with the paddlers. Even the big water of the big lake didn't intimidate these kids, nor did its temperature, at least ten degrees colder than Pike Lake.

Tim and I took Willie, Bob and Nels up to Iron River High School, this time giving Coach Harry Wilson more than a week's notice. Tim conducted what he called a "diving clinic" for all of the divers that Harry had assembled-nine this time. This crop of divers was much better than the group that had assembled four years previously. Their program had become much more intensive and they were now accustomed to diving from the five meter platform.

Tim asked Harry where he found competition for his divers. The response surprised Tim. "We compete with four other schools: Manistique and Ontanogan in Michigan, Ashland, Wisconsin, and Duluth. We are the best because we started our program earlier, but the others are close rivals. I don't like to brag, but I think it is some of the best high school diving anywhere. I have one kid with a scholarship to IU this fall and another to Ohio University. Billy Carson was glad to get Frank."

"I'm impressed," said Tim. I think Fargo and Grand Forks would like to compete with you. I'm going to see if I can get the University to host a meet. Would you come?"

"It would be expensive to get to Grand Forks. If we could provide the transportation, could the university house and feed us?"

"I don't see why not. We might even find some subsidy for the transportation."

"That would be fantastic, but much more than we would expect."

"At the University of North Dakota we like to do more than people expect. And for icing on the cake, I'll invite Billy Carson to come up and be the head judge."

"Wow, the kids would love that."

At that moment Willie did a double flip off the one-meter board, sliding into the water like a pro. When he came up he got applause from the onlookers, including Harry. Harry asked Tim, "Is that the boy that was here four years ago. Billy Carson's son?"

"Yes, that's him."

"He's terrific. He wouldn't like to dive for Iron River some day, would he?"

"He might like to, but Bloomington High I am sure has it's eyes on him, probably already."

At that point Willie came up and said, "I've never been off a 5-meter platform. This should be fun."

Harry asked Willie, "What do you usually dive from?"

"Oh, the 10-meter platform. Bob and I both dive from there regularly when we're at the university pool. At the Y they just have springboards.

I said, "Let's see what you can do at five meters. Jump a couple of times before you dive to get your timing right."

"I know that, Uncle Tim. I had to do the same thing at ten meters."

Harry looked at me and asked, "How old is he?"

"Almost seven."

"And Bob?"

"Almost 5."

"And you're just going to let them go at five meters-a new height for them-without even walking over next to the platform?" We were standing across the pool.

"I can get there before someone drowns, and so can you. But we won't be needed. They're like fish. And I don't want to engender any reason for fear."

Willie jumped twice, and then did a simple swan dive. Then a jack knife. They were pretty good. He didn't get his timing quite right, but he looked pretty good. Then Bob came up and asked, "Can I try from five meters?"

"Sure you can; take some jumps first."

Bob's third jump was a front dive, and an amazingly good one at that. He and Willie then traded dives for about a half hour while the uncles, Harry, and the high school kids still there provided an enthusiastic audience. "Almost five" and "Almost seven" really ate it up.

Nels didn't pretend to be a diver, but he was willing (at age three) to jump in from the one meter board and swim across the pool. He pretty much matched Bob jump for dive.

When we left Tim promised to be in touch with Harry about the possibility of a meet at UND. Harry invited us to come over and use his facilities any time we wanted.

One day we were joined by two others uncles: Dick and Jeff. They drove down from Camp While Elk to spend the day with the group. They would have liked to have spent more time, but they had a camp to run, and simply couldn't be gone that much. We considered taking the boys up to see the camp, but decided that a group this big of kids younger than camp age would be disruptive. We were glad for the chance for the "cousins" to meet and get to know two more of their "uncles." On the way home we made a quick stop in Ironwood to meet two others, Uncle Paul and Aunt Amanda. We would have liked to spend more time, but it's a long way from Pike Lake to the Red River. Because they didn't live in Grand Forks, the children never really got to know their Michigan family as well as their Dakota family.

The two weeks ended more swiftly that we wanted. A group of children so full of life, kindness, joy, and energy would be hard to find. The four uncles had a wonderful time with the kids, and returned them to their parents at the end of the two weeks reluctantly, and full of praise for the parenting jobs that were reflected in the nine products we had spent our time with.

Nate arrived in Grand Forks in the middle of the summer, ready for football practice. He moved into one of the second floor guest rooms in our old house, and Toppy reported that he seemed to be fitting in well. He was a little startled by the fact that the five other residents seemed to wander around the place naked quite a bit. Toppy reported that it took a week or so before Nate was comfortable with that, but he was fitting in. There had been no sexual activity or invitations-yet.

Jumper gave Roger Springer, captain of the team for the second year, the job of introducing Nate to the team and crossing the hurdle of his being, as far was we knew, the only gay player on the team. Roger chatted with Tim about the matter, but decided to go by his own instincts.

Roger spoke to Nate before the first team meeting and they agreed on a course of action. When the team met for the first time, everyone introduced themselves, beginning with the old-timers. When Nate's turn came he gave his name and told that he had been quarterback for New Leipzig. After fielding the "Where's New Leipzig?" questions, he went on to say, "Listen, I want everyone to know that I'm gay. I was in the closet all through high school. I went looking for a college where I didn't have to be in the closet and President Tim assured me that this was it. I sure hope so. I wanted it to be out in the open from the very beginning."

Ralph turned to the group and asked, "I'm not going to ask if that's a problem for anyone, but I will ask if anyone wants to talk about it."

"What's to talk about?"

"Just how good a quarterback are you?"

Jumper answered that with, "You know I was coach at New Leipzig. He was my star quarterback for four years, beginning as a freshman. With Al starting and Nate as secondary, this team is going to be a real threat."

Nothing more was said about Nate's being gay. But he was worried about the next day when everyone would be undressing in the locker room. Roger said, "Don't worry. We're going to handle that."

Nate came into the locker room, got his locker assignment, picked up his uniform and equipment, and carried it all over to his new locker, along with his duffle of personal equipment, underwear, jock straps, changes of clothes, etc. He got everything settled in the two lockers that were assigned to each member of the team, and it was time to change. The other members of the team were ahead of him: some were partially undressed, a couple were naked, but no one was moving to put on any equipment or uniforms. Roger came up from the next row, stark naked, and sat down on the bench opposite Nate. Soon the entire team was circled around, all of them as naked as Roger. By this time Nate had his shoes, socks, and shirt off and was removing his tee shirt. It was very clear that everyone intended to watch him strip, so he decided to get on with it. He told Roger later, "I tried my damnedest not to get hard, but with everyone watching I couldn't help it. But then I noticed that several of you were just as hard, so I just kept going."

Soon Nate was as naked as everyone else. Roger said, "OK, now we've all crossed that hurdle, and we can forget about it. Gay or straight, we're all built the same. Get a good look now, at everyone, and then we won't have to be sneaking peeks for the next week or so."

Nate burst out laughing, and soon everybody was. Nate said, "I wish there was something different about the way a gay man looked, then I'd know who to hit on."

Two or three said, "Any time, Nate, any time," and that pretty much ended the whole thing. Roger reported that there had never been any problem at all, and Nate confirmed that. Roger later explained to both Tim and Jumper the method to his madness. "I wanted everyone to believe that the purpose of the whole thing was to help poor Nate get over his embarrassment of undressing in front of the rest of the team. But I never really thought that would be a problem for Nate at all. I really thought that there might be one or two, maybe more, of the rest of the team that was uncomfortable undressing in front of a gay man. That could have led to unpleasant comments, who knows what. By recruiting the team to all get naked and go watch Nate undress I shifted the focus away from each individual considering that he was now naked in front of Nate. It worked, and one of the guys did tell me that he would have been very uncomfortable undressing in front of Nate, but that before he realized it, he was. End of problem."

Tim had replied, "Roger, you need to watch out that you don't get tripped up in something like that, but it seems to have worked. Great."

"I know I was taking a chance, but I was pretty comfortable it would work."

About a week later a young man, also a freshman on the football team, came up to Nate after practice and said, "Hi, Nate; I'm Pat Lewis. We haven't seen much of each other because they have me working with the defense."

"I've seen you at practice. You looked like you could be a threat to me when I ran the ball."

"I hope so, or at least to our opponents' quarterbacks."

"What's up?"

"How would you like to go to the movies tonight?"

"Sure, what's playing?"

"Airplane is on. It's kind of stupid. The previews for Blue Lagoon are almost pornographic. There's something else around, but I'm not sure what. Does one of those interest you?"

"I'm game for either. Do you know the times?"

"If we do Airplane, we eat first, but pretty quickly. If we do Blue Lagoon we head to the theater right now and then we eat afterwards. We'll have time; we could eat anywhere."

Nate said, "Tell you what. Let's see Blue Lagoon and then you come back to my house for dinner."

"House? Not room ? Where do you live?"

"Believe me, it's an interesting place. I have a room in the house President Tim lived in before he became president. There are four other guys and one girl living there. They're an interesting group. We'll miss dinner together, but we can eat leftovers if there are any, or cook something that we find in the kitchen."

"Who cooks?"

"We take turns, but it's not my turn today. I need to call them if I'm not going to make dinner."

The Blue Lagoon was an interesting choice for a first movie to see together. It served to jump start the inevitable discussions of sex that a curious straight young man and a newly out gay young man would have together. Pat admitted that his original invitation was out of curiosity, and also because he sort of felt sorry for Nate because he evidently didn't date anyone-male or female, gay or straight. Pat had admitted that he was nervous about asking a man to go to the movies, dinner, or anything else that might be considered a date. Nate said, "You can ask a man to go to the movies and there is nothing to it. I can't."

"Nate, I think you could, especially with the football team. You know us well; we aren't gay; you know it; we know you know it; a trip to the movies is just that."

"Is that true for tonight?"

"Well, you did pick The Blue Lagoon. What do I make of that?"

"That I understand Airplane is a terrible movie."

"Or that you're sexier than you make yourself out to be."

"I'll admit that Christopher Atkins is one sexy boy."

"Funny, I was going to say that Brooke Shields was one sexy girl."

"Neither one had many clothes on, did they?"

They both giggled, and then burst into laughter. They'd gotten past the roadblock that is sometimes found between gay and straight friends.

That was as they walked from the theater to Tim's house, well, to Nate's house. Toppy had cooked baked chicken and there was plenty left over, along with mashed potatoes. Nate got out a bag of frozen peas and cooked some for them while the microwave heated the chicken and potatoes. They sat down in the kitchen and had a pretty good dinner.

"Do you eat this well every night?"


"Who buys the food?"

"Toppy or Murray."

"Who are they?"

"They're both sophomores-transferred here in the middle of last year. From Mankato State in Minnesota. They're gay, but I don't think that's why they transferred. Somehow they knew Tim, and he invited them. I think they were finding a lot of pressure at Mankato for Murray as a wrestler and Toppy in the band. Tim invited them to live here-they run the house. Tim says that I am to think of them as friends and as landlords. They're nice guys."

"Any sex? You said they're gay."

"Not yet. No suggestions. I think they're happy with each other."

"Who else live here?"

"Arnie and Fyn are both divers. Evidently they're pretty good. They practice endlessly. They live with a girl named Margie."

"THEY live with a girl named Margie?"

"Yep. I gather she's Fyn's girl. I think they plan to get married. But now they seem to be a threesome."


"I haven't the slightest idea."

"Interesting. You have quite a group here."

"And they are all very nice, interesting people. Come by for dinner Friday night and meet them all."

"What time?"

"Dinner is usually at six. It can be later if the cook has a conflict."

"Who's cooking on Friday?"

"I am."

"Are you any good?"

"Come and see."

Well, at least in Pat's opinion, Nate was a pretty good cook. Dinner was ham steaks, and Nate had cooked them with pineapple and brown sugar. They came with baked potatoes and more frozen peas. It seems that peas were the vegetable that everybody could agree upon, and it was the staple vegetable. They had peas at least every other night. Eventually they would tire of that and ban peas for a while, but that wouldn't come for several months!

Nate and Pat's friendship continued as the summer drew to a close. Pat lived in the dorm and ate with the team. Since Nate was on the team, he could join Pat for meals when he wanted. Pat also found that he was welcome at Nate's dinner table whenever he wanted, as long as they knew a day ahead. Just before the beginning of the fall semester, Nate came to Tim and asked if it would be OK for him to invite Pat to room with him at Tim's house. "The room is big enough for two, and we could easily get another bed in, or bunk beds."

Tim smiled and said, "Or a double bed."

"Pat isn't ready for that. I'm not even sure that he is ready to room with a gay man. But we've become pretty good friends, and I don't think he's too enthusiastic about living in the athletic dorm with the football team. I'd like to invite him, but I needed your permission first. And I don't know what would happen to his space in the dorm."

"I want to talk to the others living there first, but I am sure that you can invite him. There's no problem with the dorm space. We are always short rooms and will be glad to have a spare."

"I've already talked to the others, and Toppy spoke for all of them, saying they'd love to expand the circle again. I take it that I was the last expansion."

That evening Pat and Nate ate dinner together in the team dining hall. Nate then suggested they go for a walk; he wanted to talk.

"What about?" asked Pat.


"What about us?"

"I'd like to invite you to come room with me at my house. The room is plenty big for two."

"You're serious?"

"Of course."

"Why would you want to add a person? You have that lovely room; you won't save any money by having a roommate; you can't be lonely with the other five persons in the house."

"Pat, I like you. I enjoy your company. And, I think you would be more happy with me than over in the football dorm."

"You're right about that; though Barry is a nice enough roommate."

"You don't have much in common with Barry."

"Football, that's it."

"Come live with me. And listen, Pat, I need to make it clear that this isn't a sexual invitation. I'm looking for a roommate, not a partner. But I can't promise that some people looking from a distance might not draw their own conclusions."

"I don't give a damn about that. I've heard a comment or two just based on our friendship. But they haven't been hostile comments, just comments."

"So will you come?"

"I think I'm committed to the dorm."

"I talked to Tim-I had to before I could invite you. They'll be glad to have the extra space available in the dorm."

"You've got this all figured out. What about your housemates?"

"They like you. I think they'll be glad to have an extra guy to share the cooking. That comes with the deal, you know."

"It's a deal."

"Great. Let's go over to the house and tell the others."

After telling the rest of the group, they went up to Nate's room. Nate said, "We need to add a bed. We can add another twin, or get bunk beds. Tim joked that we might want a double bed, but I told him that that wasn't what I had in mind."

"Tim said that?"


"He wouldn't object to a double bed in here?"

"Why would he? He and Charlie sleep in a king size bed."

"He and Charlie are partners."

"And we aren't. But as far as Tim is concerned we can sleep any way we want."

"Would you like a double bed? Or a queen size bed?"

"It's hard to image that without a sexual relationship. We don't have a sexual relationship. Or do we?"

"No. But let's try sharing a bed tonight."

"All I have is the twin."

"If we can enjoy sleeping together in a twin, a bigger bed won't be a problem."

"Is this a sexual invitation? You're straight. At least I thought you were."

"I thought I was. No, I think I am. And I honestly don't know whether this is a sexual invitation or not. What if I spend the night and we'll see what happens?"

"You'll have to make the first moves, if there are any first moves. You want to go home and get a change of clothes, tell Barry you'll be gone, get a pair of pajamas?"

"I should go tell Barry, and also tell him he's losing a roommate. I'll get clothes. Do you wear pajamas?"


"Neither will I."

"Suit yourself."

"Birthday suit."

"Fine by me. This is getting interesting."

Barry was understanding. In fact, he said that he had a friend who would be on the hockey team and would like to get into the athletic dorm. Barry would like to room with him. Pat was pretty sure that Tim could work it out, and told Barry to talk to him.

"To Tim? He's the president of the university. He doesn't get involved in dorm assignments."

"He will in this case, because he owns the house I am moving into."

"You're going to live in Tim's house? Is that where Nate lives?"

"That's right."

"I hope you are going to give me a tour sometime."

"A tour and dinner. Soon. But I have to get settled in first, and learn the ropes about mealtimes. I have to share in the cooking."

Barry said, "That's sounds so cool. And living in Tim's house. Did he live there when he was a student here?"

"I think so. I really don't know the details, but I'm sure I'll learn them. Nate and I will have you and your new roommate over for dinner was soon as I can work it out."

"Great. I'll be alone tonight, then?"

"Yeah. I'm heading over there now."

"I'll talk to Dr. Tim tomorrow about this room."

"I'm sure it'll work out."

Of course, it did. As long as Tim was just filling empty spaces he didn't mind getting involved in housing. He just didn't want to ever do anything that would mean somebody lost out on something they were counting on. To Tim, that would be taking unfair advantage of his position.

OK, now we are contemplating two naked boys sleeping together for the first time in a twin bed. One is definitely gay. The other clearly is wondering about it. I don't suppose that any of my readers out there are thinking that nothing would happen that first night. Well, nothing happened. Both boys admitted to a lot of fantasizing during the night, and off and on hard-ons, but they kept their hands (and other things) to themselves.

In the morning Pat said, "I dreamed of letting my hand roam a little last night, but I guess I wasn't ready. Maybe tonight."

"No rush. In fact, we don't have to ever do anything. That isn't why I invited you to live here. Today we have to decide on a bed."

"A queen size. There's room. It was fun sleeping next to you last night, but it got a little crowded. With a queen size we can be as close together as we want, or far apart."

Nate said, "I guess we should offer to buy the bed. It really isn't Dr. Tim's responsibility. I think we should talk to Toppy or Murray. Dr. Tim told me that I should think of them as my landlords."

Toppy heard their request and simply said, "Let's go this afternoon and pick out a bed. I have a furniture budget that will pay for it. But listen, Nate and Pat, stop with this Dr. Tim business. He wants to be called Tim, in person and all the time."

"I don't relate to calling the president of the university by his first name."

"It's his first name, his last name, and his only name. He likes people to use it. Please do."

"How do you know him so well?"

"It's a long story; we'll tell you sometime. It ended with Murray and me being Tim and Charlie's caretakers at their cabin in Michigan last summer. We got to know them, and a lot of their friends, very well. When we came here, we were invited to sort of continue as caretakers here. It's been fun."

Two days later a queen size bed was delivered to Nate and Pat's room. It arrived in the afternoon while Nate and Pat were at football practice. Toppy had it set up in their room, and had the twin bed moved into a storage area in the basement. He found queen size sheets and blankets in the other guest room and made up the bed for Nate and Pat. Having showered at the gym after practice, they were ready to eat when they got home, and Murray had dinner ready. Nothing was said about their bed.

After dinner the seven "kids" sat around a while, and then Pat headed up to his and Nate's room to do homework. A minute later the others heard, "Oh, wow. Come here, Nate, and look at this."

Nate headed upstairs and his exclamation was about the same as Pat's had been. The rest followed, and saw the neatly made bed, with Pat and Nate now bouncing on it. "It's great."

"It's just what you picked out in the store," said Toppy.

"Yeah, but now it's here, and it's ours, and we can sleep on it. In it. Who made it? You didn't have to do that."

"Don't worry, I won't from now on."

"Thanks. Thanks."

Fyn said, "Well, let's see you two climb into it."

Without thinking, Pat and Nate stripped off their clothes and dove into the bed. The rest cheered. Pat grabbed Nate and hugged him, and said, "I think it's time."

"I think it is, too," said Nate.

The others understood, cheered them on, and quietly left the two boys alone.

The next morning at breakfast Murray said to Nate and Pat, "You know, Tim says that there's some gay and some straight in everybody. I think you learned that last night, didn't you, Pat."

"Indeed I did. More than a little."

That night Nate said to Pat as they headed upstairs to their room, "We need to talk."

"About last night?"

"What else?"

"You sound upset."

"No, not really. But we need to talk."

By now they were in their room, each sitting in his desk chair, facing the other across the room. Pat said, "OK, you're not upset. But things aren't completely hunky-dory either, are they? What's the problem? I thought things sort of went your way last night. At least your dick seemed to enjoy it."

"Oh, I enjoyed it. And I'll enjoy it again. But I'm worried about two things. They've been bothering me all day."

"Spill it, Nate."

"First, am I pushing you too far or too fast?"


"Am I setting myself up for a fall. I enjoyed the fling last night, but you're straight. Where can it go?"

"OK, both of those are legitimate issues. The first is easy. No, you aren't pushing too far or too fast. I'm a big boy. I took my clothes off last night all by myself, and jumped into bed without being pushed. My hands found your dick before you reciprocated. There is no room for guilt on your part."

"OK. I wasn't really worried about that, but I had to lay it on the table."

"Thank you for that. But it's now been taken off the table. Your second issue is more complicated."

"I know what you're thinking. Why would I invite a straight guy to be a roommate, if my main goal in life was to find a gay partner?"

"Well, that's a reasonable question. Since you asked it, why don't you try to answer it?"

"I can't. I really like you Pat. I'm going to enjoy living with you. But I guess deep in my heart I hoped that we might become partners. That doesn't make sense, does it. Gay guys don't go looking for partners among their straight friends."

"It makes sense to me. I think you knew more about me than I knew about myself. Listen, Nate. I'm struggling. For eighteen years I've been straight, or thought I was. Then here I am in the locker room, staring at this very attractive gay guy. And I'm getting hard. Thank goodness I wasn't the only one in the room getting hard. (God knows what that means.) I didn't know what to think. I still don't. But our relationship moved pretty fast. And all of a sudden you're talking about our being roommates. You didn't imply any sexual implications to your invitation, so accepting it was easy. I loved the idea of rooming with you, and here you were offering it without demanding any kind of commitment. Then the discussion of the bed came up, and I realized that I had gotten myself in pretty deep. But you didn't push, I did. I still don't know where this is leading, or where I want it to lead."

"Oh, Pat, it doesn't have to lead anywhere. We're good friends, and I want that to continue."

"It will, Nate. And if we want it to continue, we don't try to push past friendship to something else, at least not too fast."

"I agree."

"But that leaves open the question of what is going to go on in bed at night."

"What do you want to go on?"

"Nate, I think the question is what do you want to go on? Are you going to be full of regrets if we have a sexual relationship, and then I decide that I really am straight? Hell, that's wrong. I'm clearly not straight or last night wouldn't have happened. I'm bisexual. But what if I decide that I'm more straight than gay, and want to find a girl to marry? Do you understand what I'm asking?"

"Yes. Why don't we take sexual orientation out of the mix for a minute. What if you were a girl? We become friends. We become more than friends. We sleep together. But then we grow apart. We decide that we really aren't meant for each other. Am I going to regret the sexual relationship?"

"I guess that's pretty close to the issue."

"Everybody faces that. Do you avoid sex until you know you have 'the one'?"


"Some people do. In today's world, most people don't. I guess it's already too late for me to decide I want to wait. Think about last night."

"OK, lets bring sexual orientation back into the mix. It seems to me our being gay nuances the question in three ways?"

"How's that?" asked Nate.

"First, I not only need to figure out if I love you, but if I could love a boy, any boy. And I think that means some physical experimentation. I don't think I could make a commitment to any boy without that."

"OK, that's reasonable. What else?"

"In today's world very few homosexual boys, or men, don't have some kind of sex before they find a partner."

"That's true, but it doesn't make it right. And third?"

"Where does one draw the line? In boy-girl relationships, there is a pretty clear line. Fucking. Putting the penis into the vagina. Short of that the girl is a virgin; so is the boy. Sure, some few kids like to be completely 'pure,' whatever that means. But most do something. At least they kiss, and it isn't a big deal. They dance close, rubbing pelvises and breasts. Hands roam. Maybe clothes come off, maybe not. Maybe there is an orgasm, but the boy may still have his pants on."


"True, but I can assure you it's happened."

"To you?"

"Yeah, to me."

"That's a story I'd like to hear some time."

"You get the point. With boys there isn't the line. There isn't a specific thing you do to lose your virginity."

"Some would say ass-fucking."

"And I guess others never ass-fuck. My point is, boy-girl relationships can be tested sexually short of fucking, and they can claim a level of innocense. Without the clear line, what we did last night will be considered by some as losing our virginity."

"I don't think the hand jobs we gave and got last night qualify."

"Maybe not, but how far can we go and you still be able to say to some future partner that he is your first?"

"Life's complicated, isn't it?"

"And so is sex."

They were quiet for a while, and then Nate said, "You seem to be saying two things. Tell me if I'm wrong. First, you'd like our sexual relationship to continue, perhaps progress. Am I right?"


"Second, you seem to be saying that maybe, just maybe, you could see yourself in a life relationship with me, whatever that might mean. Am I right?"


"That's a big, 'Yes,' isn't it?"

"If someone had even hinted like that when I first walked onto this campus I would have been upset. Certainly in total denial. But we live and learn. I've learned that I'm at least somewhat bisexual. I'm open to learning more. But no promises. But you understand that, I'm sure."

"Of course. We'll go to bed tonight and see what happens. And the rest of the time we'll be good friends and see if something further develops. If not, I want to stay good friends."

"So do I. Now, two things have to be clear about our nights," said Pat.

"What are those?"

"First, you don't have to wait for me to make the first move. That was your rule up to now, but it ends, right now. OK?"


"Second, both of us have the right to say, 'No.' More than the right, we have the obligation to say, 'No,' if things are getting uncomfortable. Both of us have to be confident of our partner's willingness to say, 'No,' or we'll be hesitant about suggesting new things. Agreed?"

"Completely. You know, Pat, I liked your use of the word partner."

"It sounded nice, didn't it?"

"Yes, it did. We'll see."

They turned toward their desks and pretended to do homework.

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead