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Finding Tim

A Fourth Alternate Reality

by Charlie
With editorial assistance from Dix and John


The painting of the inside of the house was completed by early October. It meant that we had time for other things. I had been thinking that adding a little relaxation to the schedule was a good idea, but Tim would have none of it.

"Look, Charlie. You need to get a job. You need to get going on your archery practice, and that means finding a range. I need to keep up my practice schedule, study, and we have to move on the endowment scheme with Prexy. That appointment's tomorrow, you know. And tonight, I'm going to tie you up, remember?"

It amazed me that he found time to include sex in his schedule.

Felix joined us for dinner that night. Compared to when we first met him, it appeared that he had lost twenty years. He smiled, kept himself well-groomed, exercised-mostly by taking long walks-and was eating well-even when we didn't feed him. Larry told us that he couldn't remember how long it had been since Felix had looked this good.

Yes, we called him Larry. Tim got tired of calling him Coach Knudsen and having the first words out of his mouth be, "Call me Larry." Tim gave up.

That night Tim headed for the bedroom a little ahead of me. When I arrived there, he was sitting on the bed holding a rope in his hands. "You don't have to, Charlie. After all, I asked to be tied up."

"I have no idea what you have in mind, but I'll risk it."

"Clothes off. Lay down on the bed."

I did, and I was soon securely tied in the same manner that I had tied Tim. I wasn't afraid, but I certainly didn't know what was coming. I wondered if I was going to get shaved, but I suspected that Tim had something else in mind. Tim left the room and took a long time before he came back-stark naked.

"I don't think you need an orgasm tonight; better to be a little frustrated."

With that he kind of snuggled in next to me and slowly jacked himself off. He took his semen and rubbed it over me, especially on my face. "I think that's all you get tonight."

I was getting hard, simply in frustration. Ice took care of that. Then he left the room again, coming back after a while. He sat down on my chest, where he could stick his dick in my mouth and said, "Suck it."

I said, "No. Suck it yourself."

He tickled me unmercifully. "Are you going to suck it?"


More tickling.

"OK, OK."

It was back in my mouth immediately, and I sucked him. But he pulled it out just before he came, and let it go all over my face.

I was hard again, and again ice took care of that. The kid really knew how to frustrate somebody.

Then he got out a dark glass bottle. He let me read the label: Gentian Violet. I had never heard of it. "What's that?"

"You'll see." He opened the bottle and the top had a applicator stick with a swab on the end. It was dark purple. He made sure it wouldn't drip and brought it over to my balls. He very carefully painted my balls purple! It took several dips in the bottle, but he got my balls painted a perfect purple, with no drops. I didn't dare move while he did it, I didn't want purple all over everything."

He let it dry about ten minutes and then said, "I feel sorry for you. I guess I'll jack you off."

He did, rubbing my cum all over my stomach and chest. Then he untied me, and said, "You need a shower."

I certainly did, and headed there immediately. The cum washed off, the purple didn't. "What is this stuff?"

"Its an antiseptic and also a permanent stain. It comes off when the skin flakes off. I think it should be gone about the same time my hair grows back."

He was right.

From time to time we did play tie up games. We both found them to be sexy. But we did agree to a rule: Nothing that couldn't be put right by the next morning!

Tim had it worse than I did: He had to change in the locker rooms for both diving and gymnastics. I had been surprised that he had let me shave him. He certainly knew that I would've stopped if he had asked, but he hadn't. He explained, "I always wondered what it would be like. Now I know. I just might keep it shaved. Would you like to stay purple?"

"No. What did you tell the boys in the shower?"

"That you were into kinky sex."

"You didn't?"

"That's for me to know and you to find out."

He finally admitted that he had simply told his fellow athletes that he wanted to find out what it was like. They had accepted that, though I assume that most thought it had something to do with sex with me-after all we weren't in the closet.

Our visit with Prexy was dramatic.

"I didn't expect you back this soon."

"He doesn't move slowly on anything, sir," I said.

"I can see. Explain this all to me again."

Tim did. He wanted to establish an endowment fund from which each year's interest would be divided across the faculty and simply added to their salaries.

"It won't make much of a dent. We have about 500 faculty members here. If you raise a million dollars the interest would be about $50,000. That's only $100 per faculty member. And you'll never raise that kind of money."

"If we raise ten million that would be $1,000 per faculty member. With the average salary at just over $10,000, it would be a significant increase. That's the fund goal, then. Ten million dollars."

"Slow down, Tim."

Tim simply ignored Prexy and continued, "How big is the Board of Trustees?"


"Fifty thousand dollars each is close to a million. That'll be our goal for average gift from the Trustees."

"Tim. A little reality here."

"When do the Trustees meet?"

"Early in November."

"I need an hour with them. And I'll bring along several other students. My first job is to recruit the right ones."

"Tim, this needs a lot..."

"Can I have the hour?"


"I'll take that as a 'Yes.' I need an appointment with the University attorney to draw up the legal terms of the endowment we'll create."

"I give up."

"Good thinking," I said. "You can't slow him down."

"Do I want to?"

"I don't think so."

Tim had already targeted a half-dozen students that he had met in classes, or just moving around the campus. With his reputation, picture in magazines and papers, unusually small size, and Tim, he was widely known, and had met a lot of the students. He put together a five-man team. (This was the 1960s. Even though there was a woman on the team, it was still five-man.)

They put together a great looking presentation brochure, entitled "To Be a World Class University." It included a personal letter from Tim, explaining why he had chosen to attend the University of North Dakota: People here were warm, friendly and accepting. They had imagination. The seeds of greatness were there. He talked about Tim and the enthusiasm everyone had shown.

Prexy introduced Tim and the other four of us to the Trustees, who were clearly unaccustomed to having students speak to them. But Tim had a presence in a group that was almost electric. You would've thought his short stature would've been a strike against him, but he used it. Standing at the head of the table he was only slightly taller than they were, seated. But they never took their eyes off him. The other four of us had bit parts. This was the Tim show, maybe Tim II. All he needed was a trampoline.

He even joked about a trampoline, and said he didn't care who bounced as long as the checks didn't. And unlike many fundraisers, he had done his homework on who could give what, and he wasn't afraid to ask. He pointed out that about half the trustees weren't in a financial position to give large gifts. For example the faculty representative wasn't paid enough-and this fund was intended to help fix that. But about half were men of great wealth. To get the average gift of $50,000 the fund needed, half of the trustees would have to give at least $100,000, and there were, he pointed out, two present who could give at least double that-perhaps as much as a million dollars each. (A lot of heads turned and looked around the table at that! Of course, Tim did not name names, but they were there and they knew who they were, and they knew Tim knew who they were.) He told them they were trustees, now it was time to lead.

Prexy looked white as a sheet. You just didn't talk to these men like this. Tim did.

Then the questions started. Tim was ready with answers to all of them. Some he handed off to one of us-we had anticipated most of the questions and were prepared. One or two were given to Prexy, and one to the University attorney.

Then Tim handed out pledge forms and envelopes. "Gentlemen, this campaign cannot go forward until we have pledges in some amount from each of you, and a total of at least one million dollars."

He sat down, handed a pledge form to the four of us, and one to Prexy. Then he took one himself, filled it out, folded it carefully, put it into an envelope, folded over the flap, laid it on the table and looked up expectantly. In five minutes he had an envelope from each trustee, the five of us, and Prexy. He opened the envelopes, looked briefly at each form, added them in his head, and announced: "The campaign has begun. One hundred per cent of the trustees have just pledged one million, three hundred and twenty-two thousand, six hundred dollars. Congratulations."

I thought Prexy was going to faint.

That night Tim asked me, "I wonder how much we would've gotten if they had known you had purple balls and I had lost my pubic hair to a sex fiend."

"At least double."

The next phase of Tim's endowment campaign got off to a rocky start. He and his little group of students did their homework and came up with a list of North Dakotans who could and should be supporting the University in a major way-including all of the major employers of college graduates. It was an exhaustive and impressive list. Then his committee, now expanded to 11, started the research on each individual and his or her business-even in the sixties some of the businesses were owned or run by women. That was slow going without access to today's internet. They started with the Grand Forks and Fargo areas and soon had a list of 23, for whom they could confidently put reasonable target amounts to, and for which sufficient biographical information had been gathered.

He was ready to begin, and visited Prexy to review the campaign approach and get permission to begin. Prexy was still nervous about the whole thing, and insisted that each visiting team include a faculty member. Tim reluctantly accepted. The first visit was a disaster. They visited a local owner of a major grocery franchise. Tim's goal was $18,000. Don't ask me how he came up with numbers like that, but he did, and could justify them with research data regarding the business. The presentation had gone well, with a very minor role assigned to Dr. Petersen, the faculty member of the team-on the grounds that this was a student campaign; it was unseemly for Dr. Petersen to be asking for money for himself. Tim asked for a contribution, and when asked for a suggestion of how much he said, matter of factly, "I think a gift of $18,000 is reasonable, given Super Shop's profitability."

The grocer had said, "Wow. That's a little steep. I think that I could do $5,000."

Dr. Petersen, whose personal idea of a large gift was $250 chimed right in, "That's so generous of you."

Tim about died. He only barely held his tongue, even in the car going home, and Dr. Petersen had prattled on about their success.

Two more adventures similar to that and Tim had had it. He talked to Prexy, who still felt that faculty presence was needed, but suggested other faculty members. After two more screwed up visits, one of which netted nothing, he took the bull by the horns. He went with two of us to the man he considered the best prospect in Grand Forks, Fred Milson, operator of a chain of sporting goods stores and the largest contributor to the gymnastics fund.

I questioned whether it was wise to hit him twice, so close together. Tim replied, "Charlie, this guy has so much money he doesn't know what to do with it. We're doing him a favor, and he gets a kick out of being a leader, a benefactor. I want to recruit him as the Chairman of the Campaign Advisory Committee."

"I've never heard of such a committee."

"Neither have I, but we need a title for Milson, and I think an advisory committee made up of major donors is a good idea. After all, it's their money."

The rest his history. Milson was delighted, to the tune of $250,000. The report to Prexy was a little delicate, after all Tim had broken a specific instruction. It went something like this:

Tim said, "Sir, I want to report on my visit to Fred Milson."

"Who went with you.?"

"Jim and Charlie."

"Both students. What faculty member?"


"Tim, that wasn't our agreement. I'm a little upset."

"OK, I don't blame you. Perhaps I should give back this pledge." Tim handed over the envelope.

Prexy opened the envelope, took out the form, and let his jaw drop.

Before he could speak, Tim said, "I would like to request the elimination of the faculty presence rule, before they screw up the whole campaign. They simply think too small."

"OK, you win. I'm just flabbergasted by this."

"I'm not. Actually, I had targeted him for $325,000, but when he named $250,000-without me even mentioning a number-I decided that I'd settle. But I'll get the additional $75,000 before I'm done. Probably for gymnastics. I like Milson, Charlie and I invited him for dinner next week. Would you like to join us? Oh, yes, the cost of the meal will get charged to the campaign."

Milson had responded to the dinner invitation with a question, "What's it going to cost me to come to dinner?"

"Another ten grand."

"I can't afford eating at your house."

"Come anyway, we'll talk about the ten grand later."

At this point Tim had a really great idea. He went upstairs to visit Felix. "Felix, can you cook?"

"Hell, yes, I can cook. I'm a good cook. But it isn't much fun cooking for one."

"How would you like to cook for four-five counting yourself?"

"What's the occasion?"

"Not only cook, but get paid for it. I'm entertaining Prexy and an endowment donor named Fred Milson next week. Charlie and I can't be in the kitchen, and the campaign fund is paying for the dinner-it can pay you to cook it."

"It's a deal."

"Do it up right. I love lamb. How about a leg of lamb? You plan the rest of the menu. Surprise us."

"You're on."

Felix was a good cook. The dinner was wonderful. Prexy was impressed. Milson was delighted, saying, "I remember seeing your picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated and thinking, 'Wow, that's some kid.' Now here I am a dinner guest. And it cost me only a little more than a quarter million dollars. My investment manager would suggest that it wasn't a very good investment, but I'm delighted."

Tim was always ready with the right answer. "For just $75,000 more we'll list Milson Sports as the official sponsor of the University of North Dakota Gymnastics Club, and put it on every piece of paper we print for the next year. And you get another dinner invitation."

"It's a deal."

Tim turned to Prexy and said, "I told you so."

Milson looked puzzled, and Tim explained the whole story. Prexy was looking around for the biggest hole he could find to slip into. Milson, on the other hand was laughing uproariously. "You have a figure for everyone you visit?"

"Of course. Any good fundraiser does. You have to be prepared to answer the question, 'What should I give?' Sometimes you don't wait for the question, depends on the situation. You offered $250 and I took it. But I told Prexy I'd get the additional $75. I didn't think this soon, however."

"And then you have the balls to tell me this?"

"Without balls you don't get anywhere as a fundraiser. Prexy is still learning that. But I wouldn't tell that story to everyone. Some people are special and can deal with a story like that. I figured you correctly."

"I think I'll tell my secretary that you're only allowed one appointment per year."

"That's fine. I'll make the best of it."

"Tim, you're welcome anytime. You're the best fun I've had in years. Nobody else has the balls to talk to the boss like that. If you need a job after college-or during college-come and see me."

"I'll keep that in mind. I'll need to work somewhere, and we own this house in Grand Forks, so here is where I plan to work."

"You're a committed Grand Forkian?"

"I'm not sure that's the word, but, 'Yes.' I like it here. Charlie likes it here. We'll stay. We have to go away for graduate study, but we'll be back."

"When you and Charlie need personal sporting goods, you just come over to the main Milson's store, pick out what you need, and tell the clerk to put it on Fred Milson's tab. He'll check, find your name, and send you on your way. Don't hesitate."

"Thank you."

"I wish that Mrs. Milson could've met you. She'd have swooned, and then cursed because you're gay. She hated the idea that some men weren't available. Said all the really cute ones, except me of course, were either taken or gay. In your case, she was right on both counts. She died in a fall from a horse as she participated in a steeplechase. She was like you, participated in two sports and good at both. She was also a sailor."

"She sounds like quite a woman. I'm sure you miss her."

"I do. But maybe getting involved with your gymnastics club will fill a little void. Never hesitate to ask for help when you need it. You've got a angel."

"Come to practice. We'd love to have you. Every afternoon from 4 to 6. I'm there most days. Weekend afternoons as well."

"I'd love to."

As he left, Prexy told Tim and me, "This was the most incredible evening I have ever spent. I'm in awe of you. Tim, you don't plan to come back here and work in a sporting goods store, do you? You're going to be looking for my job."

Tim just smiled. Denying it would have forced him to abandon his commitment to truth telling.

We spent Christmas with Tim's folks and New Year's with mine. We brought Felix along to Minneapolis, but he stayed with Tim's folks while Tim and I headed briefly down to Indianapolis. Hal's family hosted Christmas dinner for everyone. I'm not sure I could count them all, but think Tina, Hal, Tim, Carl, partners, parents, and assorted friends. They set up a long row of card tables in the basement and seated us all. Everyone brought food, including two turkeys and a ham. We all overate, sang carols, told stories, told everyone we loved them, and most of us fell asleep watching some Christmas special on evening TV. Hal said, "You know, five of the original gang aren't here. If we add them, their partners, and so forth, it'll take a barn to hold us all."

"I'm looking forward to it," I replied.

Tim hugged Hal and said, "If we have the people, we'll find the place. And we'll get the people. Count on it."

We all did.

As the year went on, Tim and I talked a lot about Felix, and felt sorry for his lack of sexual fulfillment-even experience. We decided on a course of action. Tim was heading to Bismarck to meet with three potential donors. It would be our first night separated since our commitment-only the second since his birthday-he had spent one night in the Indiana U dorm. Before he left he went up to Felix' apartment on the third floor.

"Felix, I'm going to be in Bismarck tomorrow night. It's my first night away from Charlie since our commitment. He's going to be lonely."

"You know, Tim, you're going to be separated often as time goes by, you both will have to get used to it."

"I know, but the first time's tough."

"What about you?"

"I'll manage. But I'm worried about Charlie. Would you go down and spend the night with him?"

"Sure I will. But I don't see what difference it makes whether I'm in this apartment or your guest room."

"Don't use the guest room. Sleep with him. He doesn't want to sleep alone."

"He doesn't want to sleep with a septuagenarian year old man either."

"I'll bet he does. And he'll be horny. He always is by eleven at night."

"Tim, what're you suggesting?"

"Exactly what you think I'm suggesting."

"I can't. Charlie wouldn't. You're not serious."

"I am serious."

"Does Charlie know about this conversation?"

"Of course. He wants you to come. Very much, Felix."

"I can't. It isn't right."

"Why not?"

"It's just.... You know."

"No, I don't know."

"But Charlie's your partner."

"Yes, he is. And we've agreed to limits. He wouldn't do anything without my knowing about it. He wouldn't let you fuck him, and he wouldn't fuck you. I can't explain that rule. There's no logic to it. But it's our rule. Everything else is on the table. Well, the bed. And we both want you in that bed. The invitation's coming from me so you'll know that Charlie isn't doing anything behind my back."

Tim and I had decided that Felix would be more comfortable the first time with me, because I was older-not near his age, but not perceived as a child, as he might think of Tim.

"I'll have to think about it."

"Charlie'll come up and get you tomorrow night. Don't go to sleep before eleven, or he'll have to wake you up.

Tim left at noon, with a goodbye kiss. I took Felix out for dinner at a little cafe near campus that we could walk to. He went back to his apartment after dinner, having said nothing about the conversation with Tim. I studied for my two law courses, read a while, did the routine clean up around the house, and headed for bed about 10:45. I left my Jockeys on and walked upstairs to Felix' apartment. He was sitting in the living room in his pajamas.

"I knew you'd come. Tim said you would, and you guys are as dependable as a railroad."

"Felix, please come downstairs with me."

"I can't, Charlie. Even if I didn't have moral qualms, I'm an old man. I can't keep up with you. I have no experience, I wouldn't know what to do."

"Felix, your life has been a glorious success, and a dismal failure. If you look around at all the people-former students, friends-that love you, you know that you've done a lot of good in the world. But the world has denied you something that should've been at the heart of your life. It's never too late. Please come downstairs with me."

"You really mean it?"

"I really do. And so does Tim."

He stood up. There was both fear and eagerness on his face. He moved slowly. I took his hand and we walked downstairs.

"Felix, are you hungry or thirsty? I think I'd like a Coke. Would you like tea?"

"How about iced tea?"

"Let's go down to the kitchen. If this were Tim and me going for drinks before we went to bed we'd be naked. I think we should be."

Felix looked panic stricken.

"Felix, you can't have sex with your pajamas on. Take them off."

He just stood and looked at me. I walked over and unbuttoned his pajama top, and slipped it off. He didn't try to stop me. I unsnapped the bottoms and let them fall to the floor. I touched his penis, and it got a little hard. "Let's go downstairs for that tea, Felix." I gently pushed him toward the stairs. Walking behind him, I slipped off my Jockey's and followed him downstairs. He headed for the kitchen, but I guided him to the living room. I didn't want him hiding himself behind a table. I went to the kitchen and put water on to boil.

Back in the living room, I sat down facing Felix. "Feeling a little uncomfortable? Embarrassed?"


"Good. It's sexy, isn't it."

"Yes. You know, Charlie, I've really never had sex with anyone. I think it's a little late to start."


"I don't know. It just is."

"No, it isn't. It's never too late. It's time to find out what you've been missing. I hear the tea kettle. I'll go get your tea."

In the kitchen I poured boiling water over loose tea in a pot, let it steep while I fixed two glasses of ice, and poured Coke into one. Then I poured very strong tea through a strainer into the other glass, added a little water, stirred, put a lemon wedge on the rim and took it to Felix. I came back and got my Coke and a sugar bowl. Felix added sugar and drank.

"Drink it slowly, Felix. When you drain the glass your world gets turned upside down."

We made a little small talk about Tim's diving as we both drank our drinks. Then we were finished. I walked over to Felix, gently took his dick in my hand and led him upstairs. He didn't resist. We got to my bed, and I gently pushed him down, and we covered up. I hugged him tight, and we lay there a long while. Then I kissed him, and slowly worked down his body. Nipples, belly button, public hair, balls, dick, dick head. He shuddered as my tongue licked his dick, circumcised like nearly all Midwesterners' were.

"Oh, God, Charlie. I don't believe that."

"Shhh. Just enjoy. Relax."

He did, and my tongue played with his dick, then his balls, then his dick again. Soon he was in my mouth, and I was moving up and down. Up and down. Spurt. He could've been a teenager! I moved up to kiss him and share his cum with him. I wasn't sure how he would react, but he was eager. We lay there a long while-it was 1:00 a.m. or so. Then, very tentatively, he asked, "May I do you?"

"You sure as Hell better," I replied.

He moved fairly directly to my dick, first using his hands, and then very slowly his tongue and whole mouth. His lack of experience was obvious, but his desire to please easily compensdated. I came, and said, "Swallow it, Felix, it's all yours. Take it." He did.

We hugged, and slept. In the morning I said, "That was wonderful last night, Felix. Tonight Tim'll join us."

He didn't say no.

I'll have to say that I hadn't been sure how I'd like having sex with a senior citizen, even one I had gotten to know and love. He was a little shriveled, not only in the parts that showed, but also the nether parts. I thought I'd have to put on an act so that he would think I was enthusiastic. Wrong! Sex with Felix was great. It's always fun to 'break someone in,' but that is usually with someone younger. To 'break in' a septuagenarian is a rare experience. It was a real turn on. And Felix was so appreciative, you couldn't help but enjoy the experience. I got hard from Felix' ministrations just as from Tim's, or Franklin's, or Phil's.

That night we had a three-way. Tim sucked Felix while Felix sucked me. Then Felix and I took turns on Tim. We had a ball. Tim found, as I had, that sex with an old guy can be as much fun as sex with a young guy.

Felix wasn't into hand jobs much. He said that his hand had had all the practice it needed. The mouth was where it was at. Over the years he sort of hinted that he'd like to be fucked. But Tim and I stuck to our limits, and Felix never had that experience with us, but it didn't totally elude him. He find a partner his age for about a year, while we were in graduate school in the East. He hinted that they had fucked, but we weren't sure. The partner became ill and moved to Florida to be with grandchildren, and we never met him.

We developed a routine of having sex with Felix about once a week. We told him he was always welcome about eleven o'clock, and he often showed up. If a week or so went by and he hadn't visited us at eleven, one of us would go up and get him. Since my first visit to him in pajamas, he had slept nude. We always coaxed him downstairs by leading him by his dick. He never protested.

One night we brought him down and he said, "Guys, tonight I just want to sit here and watch you two. Do what you would've done if I hadn't come down. I crawled in bed, and Tim spooned in in front of me. We started to sleep. Felix couldn't stand it. "You mean you don't have sex every night?"

"Not every night, Felix. Come crawl in between us."

He did, we didn't have sex, and we all three slept like babies. Felix joined us for breakfast. He didn't say much, but finally he observed, "You two really love each other. I could feel it between you. I felt Charlie's hand slip over my hip to Tim. And Tim wiggled, obviously for Charlie, but I was there."

Tim said, "For you too, Felix."

"Thank you, boys. But I'll never separate you again. If we sleep together, I'll be behind Charlie."

We could never coax him between us again.

I am, of course, ahead of myself. The Felix story stretched over years. Incredibly, he was a wonderful lover. It just accentuated the tragedy of his life. We were so happy that it didn't have to end in just the slow playing out of that tragedy.

This story can't be told in a linear way; it has to jump around. So I'm back to our first fall in Grand Forks. Tim had quite correctly given me two tasks: Get my archery going, and find a job. I went to work on both.

The archery was easy. This was the land of hunters, and clubs were in abundance, though ones with the range and targets for the standard F.I.T.A. competition rounds were in shorter supply. I joined the North Dakota Bowman's League, and got practice rights at three clubs in the area, at two of which I could easily shoot the F.I.T.A. round. It took two or three weeks of daily practice before I got back to the level I was shooting in Minneapolis. However, by Thanksgiving time I shot a personal best, 1258-one point higher than my exceptional round in the Cedar Rapids tournament. My fellow archers in Grand Forks were duly impressed!

A job proved to be easy as well. My first impulse was to think about the Red Cross. There was no office or chapter at the University nor in Grand Forks, and there should've been. I visited the state headquarters in Bismarck, introduced myself, told them a little about my experiences in Des Moines, and gave them a copy of my book. After a little casual conversation, I asked about efforts to get a program started in Grand Forks; it had been tried a few times over the years, but without success. Needed services were provided through the Fargo office. I suggested that I would be interested in trying to get a college/city chapter started. The conversation eventually led to an invitation to come back in a few days and discuss specific plans.

By the time I returned I had developed a complete outline of what a Grand Forks college/city chapter would look like, accompanied by an enthusiastic letter from the President of the University endorsing not only the programmatic concept but also me as its director. The fact that the President of the University was already on board clinched the deal. Needless to say I didn't give them any clue that I had an inside track to Prexy through Tim!

I was employed one-third time, set my own hours, and was given the general directive to get a program going. The bottom line was simple, I needed to generate a contribution and revenue stream that paid my own salary, ran the office and all the program. That would consist of a blood collection system feeding the Fargo blood bank-which served Grand Forks; Red Cross courses in life saving, water safety and first aid; funding campaigns; and disaster planning. The students really got into the disaster planning, and we got quite well organized. Over the years we sent well equipped and organized groups off to fight floods, tornados, and other natural emergencies. Little did we know how important that planning and experience would one day be! By June of our first year we had achieved our one-year goals and the program was paying for itself. My job was secure, and, in fact, I was a well-respected leader in the Red Cross in North Dakota. That somebody as young as I, with only the little experience that I had in Des Moines, could pull this off was quite startling to the powers in Bismarck, but not to Tim!

Team diving competitions began in January, and the North Dakota Fighting Sioux swimmers and divers were on track for their best season ever, led by a little kid from Minneapolis, who was as much Pied Piper as he was Olympic level diver. Everybody loved him, practiced harder because of his example, sought out his advice and counsel, and got back the love and support that Tim knew were essential to athletic success. He had refused to be team Captain, but did agree to be Co-Captain with Harry Jensen. The fact that he was gay, had a partner, in fact a partner who was around a lot and didn't avoid showing public affection, seemed not to phase them. Every now and then there would be some kind of insult from another team and it seemed to bring everybody together. I could almost graph faster swim times and increased diving points in meets that included some kind of insult. Tim may've been a little gay kid, but by God he was their little gay kid and nobody had better mess with him.

Harry became a good friend, along with his girlfriend Lida. We were pretty sure that he and Lida would get married. They often came by for dinner following practice. Tim's diving practice was generally in the morning-from six to about 8:30 except Tuesdays and Thursdays when he had an eight o'clock morning class. He worked with the gymnasts in the afternoons. But during the swimming season he reversed his practice two or three days a week so he could be with the other divers.

We had the team for dinner several times during the season. Felix would cook-he refused to accept pay unless the University was paying-and the whole team pitched in with the clean up. The big house suited that kind of entertaining, and it made us even more glad that we had bought it. One evening, after one of these dinners, Larry, Tim and I were sitting in the living room; Harry, Lida, and Felix were there also. Larry said, "Tim, you're really the coach of this team. Especially the divers, but also the swimmers."

Harry added, "And the Captain. Larry and I are just back-up."

Tim tried his damnedest to be modest in this kind of situation. He knew they were right. But he also knew that they both were largely responsible for the climate in which he could both excel and lead others. He tried to say that, but it got a little maudlin. I decided that I needed to take Carl's role, "Guys, we all know the team would fall apart if any one of you wasn't there. Can we leave it at that?"

We all laughed. There was true mutual respect in the room. And that respect, which extended to the entire team, was responsible for the Fighting Sioux swimmers and divers becoming North Central Conference champions. Tim walked away with Conference honors in both platform and springboard. He also entered NCAA meets around the northern part of the country, and always came in first.

Tim didn't see any reason to travel all around the country to enter the top national meets. "Charlie, a score is a score. I can compare without doing all the travel. I'll travel to the NCAA National Meet and the open Nationals in the summer."

An interesting phenomenon developed: If Tim wouldn't go to the mountain, the mountain came to him. The top divers from around the country started showing up at northern regional NCAA sanctioned meets that they would ordinarily have skipped. This was solely to compete against Tim, whom they knew would be the man to beat at the national championships. He remained the man to beat all year. That year second place medals were as rare as B grades. He walked on water. I walked with him. Larry walked with him. Harry and the whole team walked with him.

There was one sour note. The North Central Conference did not have women's swimming and diving, and Tim found this unacceptable. This was before the Federal Government got into the act on sex discrimination in athletics. Tim insisted that there had to be coed swimming and diving the next year, and he would personally put his prestige on the line to insure that there was competition somewhere. Larry readily agreed. Fred Milson said he'd help raise needed funds. Dr. Stevens, Athletics Director, was willing. Prexy just grinned, looked at me, and mouthed "roller coaster." I winked.

Gymnastics was fun. Tim had enough money to bring in a good coach for a weekend 12 times during the year. The rest of the time he was the coach and inspiration for the little group. On the coaching weekends he claimed private time with the coach on Friday night and early Saturday and Sunday morning. Of course, he couldn't actually claim private time, but the others simply didn't show up for the odd hours that Tim was willing to work. The coaches were willing for the simple reason that the word was out-thanks to Coach Burns at Minnesota-that Tim was the ghost competitor who would be the man to beat at the Mexico Olympic trials and at the Olympics. They all wanted to see for themselves! Coach Burns was their first visiting coach.

John and Frank, from Tim's St. Paul club, each took a coaching weekend. The honorarium for the weekend was good pay for them, compared to the little that the St. Paul Gymnastics Club could afford from its fees. But I think they would've come for free just to have a weekend with Tim. They both assured him that he was greatly missed in St. Paul.

Tim and I talked to John about next year. Would he be interested in a full time coaching position at UND? We expected our fundraising to make that possible the next year. John indicated that he felt a commitment to the St. Paul club that he had started ten years before. Tim then asked if he would object to Frank's being offered the position, and did we think he would accept. John was quite honest: Yes, he would miss Frank. But it was time for Frank to move on-he couldn't remain an assistant coach at a small club all his life. It was only half time and his retail sales job was less than challenging. John would be delighted to see Frank move up, and was sure that Frank would accept. We weren't yet ready to act, but kept the conversation in mind. John agreed not to tell Frank.

Tim was really getting good. Most of the coaches agreed that he was already a shoo-in for Mexico, and would probably take medals. None of them could believe that he was not the product of a top level gymnastics program. When they saw his local competition they were amazed that he could survive in a program that feeble. Tim's response was always, "You're here to make us less feeble."

The kids tried hard, and got a chance at a level of coaching not usually available to novices. But novices don't win competitions, and the group mainly competed with themselves. But they got along, loved Tim and were loved right back, and really enjoyed their time in the gym. But Tim knew that they needed more, and he and I thought long and hard to come up with an idea. I think, in fact, that the actual idea was Felix's-produced one night at dinner while we pondered the problem.

Felix said, "Why don't you host a small individual meet here at the university, and open it to a range of ages that would include high school and college? There are enough small programs in the area that would like to come, and the idea of mixing the high school and college kids is different. Since you aren't involved in an NCAA or NCC gymnastics program, the fact that their rules wouldn't allow such a mix doesn't make any difference."

It was a wonderful idea. There were, in fact, a lot of little gymnastics programs around the Dakotas and northern Minnesota. Tim called it the Dakotasota Gymnastics Day for ages 14 through 21. If you had ever medaled in a sanctioned meet you were invited to compete, but you couldn't get a medal-that excluded precisely one person: Tim. He knew that if he competed it would ruinously tilt the competition and kill the meet. The group had enough money in their gymnastics fund to cover the costs of hosting the meet. Both high school and college kids from around the area came, competed, and enjoyed themselves. And they enjoyed rubbing noses with Tim! But much more important, they found each other. The Dakotasota Gymnastics Day became an annual event, until UND had an NCAA sanctioned gymnastics program. Then Morehead State University became the host and it continues today. And because of that event, and the fact that all the gymnasts got to know each other through it, gymnastics became more popular and better organized throughout the two-state region.

About the middle of February I got a telephone call from Hal's father, John. They would be heading back to Boston in late April and wanted Tim and me to join them in a rented Ford Econoline van (a fairly new kind of vehicle in those days). "No, Charlie that's not stated correctly. Hal wants you to come along. He was really embarrassed when he was home at January semester break saying how important it was to him that you come-you Charlie, not Tim, not the Gang, not Sue, not his coach, not me or Hazel. For some reason having you along is very important to him. But he was reluctant to call you and ask; he felt that would be putting an unfair demand on you."

"How did he think I was going to get there if no one called me?"

"This is very emotional for Hal. But I was sure that you would want to be called, so I made it my job. I hope you don't mind."

"I would only have minded if you hadn't called. What about Tim, and Sue, and the others? Who's going?"

"Hal isn't asking the others to stay away, he's just desperate for you to be there. I sort of assumed that if you came, Tim would come. Sue's coming. I don't know whether anyone else from Oklahoma might come. I'm going to ask the Johnson's-they had a wonderful time last year. The rest of the Gang is a problem. We can't make the same big deal this year that we did last; I don't have a house to rent, and the van only carries eight. Sue and Hal, Phyllis and me, you and Tim, and the Johnsons fill it up."

"Don't worry, John. The Gang's coming to terms with the fact that it can't be at all of the sports and other special events of every member of the Gang. We all realize that we have to pick and choose carefully. They would go to support Hal if he needed them. But it appears that I'm the one that's needed this time, and I'll be there. For sure."

I shared the conversation with Tim, and we both immediately wondered what the big deal was about my going to Boston with Hal. Tim said, "Hal's a pretty well-put-together guy, but we all have foibles. Hal's dealing with something, and we all need to support him. You must go, and since I seem to be welcome, if not demanded, I'll go along as well. Sounds to me like I may get to know Sue better."

"You already know Sue pretty well, if my memory of your trip to International Falls isn't failing me."

"There's room for a lot more exploration," Tim responded.

The race was on Monday, and Hal wanted Sunday to relax in Boston, and look again at the course with his coach. We needed Friday and Saturday to make the drive, so Thursday everyone headed for Minneapolis. It turned out that none of his Oklahoma friends could come-it would've been a long trip-so just the eight of us would be heading to Boston this year.

We had dinner with Norman and Betsy Thursday night; Carl and Carol joined us as well. We saw Mom and Dad pretty regularly-they were frequent visitors to Grand Forks, and we came down to Minneapolis from time to time. We hadn't seen Carl or Carol since New Year's. Tim and I got to speculating about the reason that Hal was so desperate that I be along on the trip.

Betsy said, "I know. But I don't know whether I should tell you or let Sue tell you."

I said, "That brings an awful lot of questions to mind. I'm not sure where to start. I guess with, 'How do you know?'"

She looked at me with a rather disdainful look and said, "Charlie, don't you realize that the POGs talk to each other almost as much as the Gang does?"

"POGs?" That was Tim.

Norman said, "You guys are a little dense. POG, Parent of Gang."

"You really use that term?"

"Sure. And we talk a lot. You know, that Gang has taken its parents on some real roller coasters. We've all survived. In fact, I think we all agree that it has been worth the ride. But consider what we've experienced: OK, we knew you were gay, no big deal. But you came home from camp in love with your counselor, and infatuated with the six other boys. Then we had the 40 letters business. Tim, we found that as hard to deal with as you did. Then, while you were telling us about your never-failing love of your camp counselor, you get a girlfriend-with which you have a sexual relationship. And Charlie thinks its fine. In fact, he moves in with a gay roommate, and not to play cards all night.

"Franklin's mom finds Franklin would be in love with his camp counselor except he's already taken. Then the little affair in the woods with Hal. Then Phil, love literally at first sight. Jim and Andy's parents don't yet know whether their boys're gay! Tom sleeps nude with you when you're there bringing him back to life after his girlfriend's death. You arrive to visit Ronnie in the middle of the night. Ronnie's really hot for you, and finally ends up with fabulous group sex with the Gang-including you. Hal's folks were the first to experience how odd, and wonderful, this Gang is. All the POGs have been on quite a roller coaster. Talking to each other is our safety bar."

"You seem to tell all, and that means that you're told all by your sons."

Betsy continued, "I gather that none of the Gang had the kind of open relationship with their parents that you had, Tim, though Ronnie and Franklin came close. But they all learned from you and their parents learned from Charlie. He's given us all some pretty tough advice regarding how to respond to what your teenager tells you. And I think all of the parents have listened. Charlie, your advice has been discussed pretty extensively by the POGs.

"In any case, Hazel and I've been talking about Hal. He's very troubled by the question of whether he's gay. It isn't that he's upset with the idea of being gay; rather he's worried about whether it's fair to Sue to marry her if he's gay. It really has him troubled. He has talked to Sue, and it has her troubled-not that he is gay, she's worried that she might lose him because of his fears of being gay. It was Sue that told Hal that he has to settle this, and you've been chosen as the person to do it. I hope you're up to the task. You have an incredible success rate with the problems of the Gang, Charlie, I hope you don't let Hal down."

I said, "It sounds like it's going to be an interesting trip. Hal's a really nice kid, I'm not worried. We'll have a good time talking together."

Tim chimed in, "My guess is that you won't limit yourselves to talking."

"No telling secrets in front of your parents, Tim."

Everybody laughed at that.

That night Tim and I had just settled into our spoon position when the door opened and Carl and Carol came it. We could see in the light from the hall that they were as naked as we were, and Carl-at least-was well aroused. Nothing was said, they just slipped into the bed (a little crowded), and spooned behind us, Carol behind me and Carl behind her. Having Carol's softness behind me and Tim's hardness (take that two ways) in front of me made going to sleep a real pleasure. I was sorry that only Carol and I got to be between two persons, but I didn't offer to trade positions!

In the morning Tim and I had to move quickly to set off for Boston. We didn't have time to explore the possibilities of the sleeping arrangements. But we did trade off in the shower, and I showered with Carl and Tim with Carol. That allowed for some pretty intimate exploration and scrubbing, but nothing more. It was certainly clear that Carl isn't all straight!

John and Hazel, Hal's parents, picked us up early Friday morning. Hal and Sue were already in the van; we picked up the Johnson's at their home and we were off-John and Hazel in the front seats, the Johnsons in the middle with Tim between them, and Hal, Sue and I in the back, Sue in the middle. We had a long drive ahead, in pretty cramped quarters, but it was a group that got along well, liked good conversation, and were excited by the trip. Despite the obvious discomforts, we were all looking forward to the time together.

Conversation started with us catching up on the activities of the others. Tim and I told of our adventures in Grand Forks, his diving and gymnastics, and my shooting. We talked about our fundraising efforts and warned everyone to watch the news, because the announcement of our reaching the campaign goal would be newsworthy.

The Johnsons were next. Coach (Hal refused to call him Herb and all of the Gang followed suit; it was clear that he liked it.) talked about his cross country and track teams this year. They were better than he had ever had before the Hal years, as they were being led by boys that had worked with Hal, some for three years. He wondered how long the "Hal effect" would last. Mrs. Johnson told of the joy she had had for four years watching her husband respond to coaching Hal. And she told, very frankly, of how so much excitement had returned to their marriage since the last trip to Boston, when they had observed the Gang in action. "You have no idea how that trip changed our lives."

It was fun to watch Tim interact with the two of them that morning. Very slowly he took their hands and got them holding hands. That put their hands in the middle of his lap. His hands slowly moved on top, and soon they were both aware of Tim's hardness. I watched them both-nobody else, but Tim, seemed to be aware of anything-react as they became aware of the sexuality of the situation, but Tim held his hands firmly on theirs. Finally they became comfortable with the situation, and once they had crossed Tim's line, he sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the situation, which he reestablished quite often all that day-we sat in a different seating arrangement on Saturday.

Hal and Sue told of their adventures in Oklahoma. Hal loved it there and Sue was loving Hal, and the University. Hal had refused an athletic scholarship for the same reasons that Tim had, but the University had granted him an out-of-state tuition waiver. Sue lived in the dorms, but Hal had an off campus apartment. Not wanting to start rumors, Sue always got back to the dorm each night, but that didn't mean that she didn't spend a lot of time with Hal. Hal had become a good two-miler, and was winning races for the track team. His marathon practice schedule was as grueling as ever, except that Hal thought of it as recreation. They were talking marriage, but it was probably a year off.

John and Hazel clearly missed Hal. They had visited in Oklahoma several times to watch Hal race. In between life was pretty dull. Hazel said, "For four years we enjoyed living with one of the most exciting teenagers you can imagine. It's tough to lose him. But it's time for him to be out on his own. That's the way the world's supposed to work. Still, we miss him."

All of that, with all of the comments, questions, jokes, reactions, and so forth, took all morning. We had lunch in Madison and Ronnie and his folks joined us-arranged well in advance by Hal. Ronnie was doing well in his second year at the University of Wisconsin, but his only romance was the romance of particle physics, not of girls and boys.

Somewhere around Chicago Sue broached the topic that we knew was coming, but we had more or less expected Hal to raise it. Her words were, "Charlie, Hal really needed you to come along on this trip. He has a problem, and I'm afraid that if we don't get it settled, it may undermine our relationship."

Tim said, "You're going to be a little more explicit, aren't you?"

"Of course. Hal asked me to make this speech, because he wanted it very clear that I'm supporting him in this. Hal's feeling uncertain about his sexuality. He's afraid that he's gay and that marrying me would be unfair to me. I've no reservations whatsoever, but Hal's truly concerned about not getting me into a hurtful relationship."

Hal spoke up, "Please understand, I'm not afraid of being gay. Hell, my two best friends, well not counting Sue, are gay. Hell, add in Franklin and three of my best friends're gay. But you guys all have gay partners. I'm talking about marrying a girl. I love her. I love having sex with her. But I love you guys and I've loved having sex with you. Am I gay? If so, what am I doing talking about marriage?"

Sue continued, "Don't try to answer here. I've given him all of the obvious answers. He wants time with Charlie. He wants to talk, and do more than talk-you know what I mean. Charlie, don't give me any of that crap of 'If you can't talk about it you shouldn't do it'-I'm not doing anything. Tim; Hal and I are pretty certain that you'll be OK with this, but we know it's a lot to ask."

Tim said, "Whoa, slow down. One step at a time."

Sue continued, "OK. One, Hal needs time with Charlie. Two, it's going to involve a physical relationship of some sort. Three, they need your permission, Tim."

Tim said, "You didn't need to ask, but I'm glad that you did. And the answer is, of course, 'Yes'."

I said, "Are we going to talk more here or leave it to Hal and me?"

Sue said, "Leave it to you and Hal, who will spend the night together. And that leads to number four: Charlie, may Tim and I spend the night together."

Tim said, "Wow, I hoped that was coming!"

I said, "Down boy." Then I turned to Sue and said, "Of course. It's going to be an interesting trip. And a delightful one, I know."

Coach Nelson spoke up, "This is the most unbelievable conversation I've ever heard. First, that you had it at all is mind-boggling. That you had it in front of Hal's parents and his coach and his wife is.... I'm not sure what the word is. A couple of years ago if I had heard this conversation I would've put you all down as a bunch of, I don't know, maybe perverts is the word I want. Love was straight, monogamous, and was supposed to wait for marriage-though that violation was usually winked at. Phyllis and I learned a lot a year ago on that trip to Boston. We learned that your Gang's quite different, but has a set of rules that's probably better than the rules I grew up with. You all put love first. And love's more than sex, and more than just between one boy and one girl. You love as a group, while you still have a special place for your particular partner. Just watching you put a sparkle back into Phyllis' and my love for each other."

Tim jumped in, "I could tell that this morning."

"Tim, you just blow my mind," said Phyllis. "Be honest, were you issuing an invitation this morning?"

John spoke for the first time since Sue started all this, "This morning? Am I missing something?"

Coach continued, "Charlie didn't miss anything, but I don't think anybody else noticed."

"Noticed what?"

I said, "OK, I certainly wasn't going to say anything, but you opened Pandora's Box, Coach."

"Go ahead," said Phyllis.

"Tim's sitting between Coach and Mrs. Nelson. He encouraged them to hold hands. Think about where their hands would've rested. It got hard."

"Wow!" said Hal.

Tim said, "OK, Mrs. Nelson, let's just say, for the sake of argument, that it was an invitation."

Phyllis said, "Herb and I've talked a lot since last year's trip. Could we accept your game rules? We've struggled with that and don't have an answer. But the second question we have answered to each other very firmly: Not with your Gang."

"Why? We're all adults now."

"Two reasons, and we've actually talked about this, and feel very firmly about it. As Tim says, 'It's non-negotiable.' The first is that you, as a group, are Herb's students. He only coached one of you, but you're a group and can't be separated from Hal. Professionally and morally you're simply off limits. But the second reason is really more important: If we had some kind of physical relationship with you it wouldn't be for love, but for our amusement, education, titillation, self-gratification, whatever. You guys all said it: Love has to come first. While you're an exciting group, wonderful, the joy of Herb's professional life, and the revitalizers of our lives together, we're not part of your circle of love, and you're not part of ours. We're friends, colleagues, associates, but not lovers the way your Gang is. We're not going to pretend otherwise in order to have a chance at sexual experimentation or gratification. But thank you, Tim, for your implied offer this morning."

Hazel spoke at last, "This is the point where someone is supposed to point out how exceptional we all are. I guess I just did that, didn't I? But what I really want to say is, 'Thank you all, first for creating a climate in which we can all be honest with each other, across generations. Second, thank you all for taking advantage and actually being honest with each other.' I guess what I want to affirm is that this is healthy and good. We're all better people for being able to take part in a conversation like this. How you all work out the details of your relationship doesn't really matter. You're making value judgements based on a well-thought-out set of rules, and I respect you all."

John said, "But I have to disagree with one thing, Hazel. If you applied your first rule to the Gang, Charlie and Tim couldn't be partners. The professional relationship ends at some point; it's hard to define exactly when. I'm not sure that your professional relationship with Hal has ended, but it isn't lifelong. I needed to say that because Charlie needs to have that challenged for his own self-respect."

Coach replied, "I didn't mean any implications for Charlie and Tim. And I accept your point, John, that the relationship isn't lifelong. But Hal and I, and therefore by extension the Gang and I, still have a coach-student relationship that I wouldn't think of breaching."

Hal spoke up, "I guess that what I need to say right now is, 'Coach, you're fired'. But I truly would rather have you for a coach than a lover. I think your analysis of the relationship between the Gang and our coaches is correct. But you'll never stop Tim from pushing the line!"

We all looked at Tim, and damned if he didn't have the Nelsons' hands together in his lap. And they weren't fighting it.

We spent the night in a motel in western New York, not really in a town but a cluster of services at a Thruway exit. We got four rooms, and we all headed our separate ways, Sue and Tim heading to one room and Hal and I to another. As soon as we were in the room Hal turned to me and said, "Thanks, Charlie. I can't believe that you and Tim are as open as you are. If that kid was mine I don't think that I would want to spend the night without him."

"You're spending the night without Sue, you know."

"I know, and she truly understands."

"I'm not sure I understand."

"God, Charlie, I'm not sure that I do. But I have this fear that I'm gay and could be hurting Sue if I marry her. I wouldn't hurt her for the world."

"So, just why are you here and not in bed with Sue?"

"Make love to me Charlie. Don't just have sex with me. Make love. Do your best to make me love you. I've got to know. Please."

His eyes were pleading; his whole body was. I looked at him in a new light. He was handsome, strong; I'd already explored his legs of steel. I certainly didn't have to make an effort to make love to Hal. I gently took him in my arms and kissed him, long and deep. He certainly didn't need any urging to return the advance in kind. Soon we were on the bed, fully clothed, wrapped in each other's arms, exploring tongue, teeth, lips, and more. Our noses got in the way, and we took a breath and started again.

Hal's legs were the sexiest thing about him. My hands moved there, and felt him through his jeans. I eased his jeans off and just moved my hand up and down his legs. He had very little hair on his legs, and what he had was light colored-they looked bare. They looked delicious. I started kissing at his ankles and worked up, finally stopping at his Jockeys. "Hal, you have the most wonderful legs, but it's time to explore what's between them." I pulled down his shorts, exposing his cock, as hard as his legs. I kissed it, sucked it a little, and then moved to his mouth again, hoping that he would take the cue to start on me.

He did, of course. Hal was more direct. He opened my fly and put his hand in, working around my briefs, till he was grasping my balls and dick. He massaged them quite a while, finally saying, "Let's get our clothes off."

We each stripped and quickly were hugging and kissing again. I had long before decided that 69 was the most loving way that we could end the adventure, and I slowly worked us into that position. We went very slowly, but finally we were in each other's mouths, glorying in the experience, and shooting ourselves into each other. We both ate contentedly, and finally separated with kisses on the end of each other's penises. Then we were kissing, and Hal pulled the sheet up and we were ready to sleep.

We might have been ready for sleep, but our bladders weren't. I was the first to need to hit the toilet, followed quickly by Hal. I started to speak, but Hal's hand stopped me. "Not tonight. Just love me. We'll talk tomorrow."

We went to sleep hugging, except that I kept one hand free to roam Hal's legs!

Hal woke me early. "Do you love me enough to do that again?" he asked.

I did. He did. Not much was different from the night before. Afterwards Hal said, "Thank you, Charlie. Loving you's the easiest thing in the world. God knows I'm gay."

I had this terrible letdown when I heard that. Had our night been the thing that would break up Hal and Sue?

Editor's Note: I should stop here, and make you wait in suspense. It's called a cliffhanger. But that has never been the intention of this story. First, you know how it's going to work out; remember this is "Happily Ever After." But more important, I would like my readers to think about the happy things these boys are doing while they wait for the next episode; not stew about whether Sue is going to lose Hal.

Hal continued, "Yes, I'm gay. We've both always known that. But nothing last night compared to my nights with Sue. 69 was wonderful; lets do it again. But it doesn't hold a candle to fucking Sue. Charlie, that's the most unbelievable experience in the world."

"Hal, I've had intercourse; it's wonderful. But it doesn't hold a candle to 69 with Tim. I guess that tells us a lot. I belong with Tim. You belong with Sue. We're both gay. We're both straight. I'm more of one, you're more of the other. Life is wonderful."

Sue and Tim were right across the hall. Hal was so excited he ran to their door without thinking that he was naked. Luckily no one was in the hall. He knocked on the door and Tim-naked as a jaybird, and obviously just getting out of bed-let him in. He headed straight for Sue who was climbing out of the bed, equally naked. They fell into each other's arms, onto the bed, and were lost to the world. Hal didn't have to say anything, Sue knew instantly that he had overcome his problem. Sue had proven the old adage that you had to be willing to let something go for it to be truly yours.

Editor's note: Well, I had to push and shove the reality of the Fighting Sioux. The North Central Conference began in the 1920's, but swimming and diving weren't added until 1970-for men only. Women's aquatics came later-1981. The stories of gymnastics in North Dakota are completely fictional. In fact, except for some basic geography and program offerings, all of the stories of the University of North Dakota are pure fiction. Its President, if she or he should ever read this, can only dream that Tim was real.

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