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The Move

Chapter 1

By Doug Smith

This story is a work of FICTION. The events described have only occurred in my mind. Any similarities to actual events or persons are strictly coincidental.

The author retains the copyright, and any other rights, to this original story. You may not publish it or any part of it without explicit authorization from me.

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I was tired. We just moved into our new house and all I had done was move furniture, unpack boxes, hang pictures and pretty much anything else my parents wanted me to do. I hadn't even had time to unpack my own stuff not that I really cared. I had unpacked one box since I start school tomorrow but everything else is still in boxes in the corner of my room. I'm not looking forward to school. Plain and simple: moving sucks. Starting over at a new school sucks worse not that I've ever done it. I've just known other kids who have. This move especially sucked since I knew my parents did it because of me.

I looked at the boxes and thought 'fuck it'. They're not going anywhere. Besides, I wasn't even sure I wanted to unpack everything. Some of it I hadn't even wanted to bring but my parents insisted. They said I might not want things now but someday I might and I'd be sorry if I threw everything out. For the most part the box in question contains my karate trophies. Karate was something I had done for ten years but now I didn't want anything to do with it.

I had unpacked enough to start school so I just laid on my bed and stared at the ceiling. All I could think about was how fucked up my life is. I'm only sixteen. I should be enjoying myself. I should be having fun with friends, playing sports even though I never played on a school team, and doing all the things sixteen year old guys do. I used to be like that. Now I'm miserable. It's like my life has been on auto-pilot and I'm just going through the motions. I know it's my fault. I just can't get back on track.

Everything was fine until a little over a year ago. I was a typical teenager. I had a lot of friends, played my guitar and worked hard at karate. I did fairly well in school and even though I wasn't a genius I did get good grades. I also had Aaron. He was my best friend. I had other friends but Aaron was special. We did everything together. We had been best friends all our lives. He and I were born a day apart in the same hospital and we'd been together ever since.

I was also gay. I guess I still am or at least think I am. I say think because I haven't thought of a guy in that way for over a year. In fact I've never really thought about any guy other than Aaron like that. I mean, I looked at other guys. I love how a hot guy looks but Aaron was the only guy I ever wanted.

Girls? Girls are okay. A lot of my friends back home were girls but they weren't girlfriends. I really didn't have any desire to have a girlfriend. I did have sex with a girl once. I know I shouldn't have but I did. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't toe curling either. Now sex with Aaron? That was toe curling but I'm getting ahead of myself.

My being gay might have been a problem for some best friends but it wasn't for us. I thought it would be. I thought our friendship would be over if he found out how I felt. I didn't think he'd freak knowing I'm gay, he wasn't that type of guy. There wasn't a mean bone in his body. Knowing I'm gay and that I fantasized about him? I thought that could be an issue.

It's not like he didn't know I loved him. I'd told him that, all the time. He'd just say he loved me too. I assumed he just said it because I did. I took it to mean he loved me as a friend and assumed he thought I meant it the same way. No matter how many times we both said it, it never sunk in.

Was I ever wrong. Loving Aaron wasn't a problem at all. That was because he really did feel the same way. Looking back it should have been obvious but at the time, with both of us trying to fit in, we were blind to each other's feelings. Neither of us could see or could believe how the other felt.

That all changed one night when he slept over. How it happened isn't important but suffice it to say that if life was good before we knew then it was fantastic afterwards.

Once we knew how we both felt we were completely in tune with each other. Any anxieties either of us felt about ruining our friendship evaporated. There were no more secrets. We could tell each other anything. We could practically read each other's minds. We often completed each other's thoughts or spontaneously said the same thing. That kind of freaked our friends out but we just smiled at each other.

I remember one time we decided to test how 'in sync' we actually were and tried sparring blindfolded. We always sparred together but being blindfolded was definitely different. We were in my backyard beside the pool. Watching us must have been like watching Luke Skywalker trying to hit that stupid ball in Star Wars. It was fun since we knew each other's moves. Things got more difficult once we added different moves. That's when Aaron caught me in the balls. I wasn't wearing a cup since we were just fooling around and it hurt like hell. He caught me square.

My mother had been watching. At first she thought it was funny. She didn't think it was so funny when she saw me go down holding myself. That's when she said to stop fooling around not that I was going to continue. I really didn't need my mother around at a time like that either. She didn't know what to do and it was pretty embarrassing. Fortunately, Aaron had a way of making things feel better but that was later... in private.

Yes, life was good. At least it was until the accident. That's when he went away.

'Went Away,' I frowned. I can't even say he died and worse yet he died in my arms. When it happened it was like part of me died as well. I wanted my life to end too. I wished it had. I even tried to end it a few weeks later. That's why I'm so fucked up now. Everyone says I'm depressed. I know my parents are concerned. They've tried to help but nothing has worked. I've even been in counseling for the last year. Everyone says I need to accept things and move on. The problem is I can't.

I still can't believe my parents thought we had to move. They didn't even say anything until two days before we got on the plane. How fucked up is that? I didn't even have time to say good-bye to my friends, not really at least. Last week I was living my fucked up life just outside of Chicago and now I'm here halfway across the country in cowville. Maybe I shouldn't call it that but that's what my friends in Chicago called it. Cow Hampshire to be specific.

It's actually New Hampshire and while there may be cows around I haven't seen any. Maybe they're up north. We moved to southern NH which is just an extension of Massachusetts. There are malls, office buildings and traffic. There are no really tall buildings but it's still pretty urban.. We moved to a small town just outside a couple of larger cities. They aren't large by Chicago standards but they're good size. I'm sure it's an okay place but I don't understand why we're here. My father just came home and said we were moving. He said he got transferred and didn't have a choice.

I may be slow at times but I'm no idiot. Actually, I'm not slow. Like I said, I get good grades. I knew my father was a senior litigator in his law firm. He wasn't in charge of the department but that was because he liked to spend his time on cases. I don't believe they told him he was being transferred. If anything they would have asked and he would have been given the option to say no.

It's not like it's even a better job. The other night I heard a little of what he said to my mother before they realized I was there. He was a senior litigator there and he'll be a senior litigator here. He just said there was an immediate need in the Boston office.

Money couldn't be the reason either. We're pretty well off financially. Both my parents are professionals. My mother is a shrink,... ah, sorry psychiatrist. She makes pretty good money. Maybe not as much as my father but I know she does okay. I don't really know how much they make together but I know money isn't an issue.

There is also my brother Scott. Yeah, he's only seven but he had friends. He was used to his school. Why change all that so abruptly?

And then there are the Michaels. They are Aaron's parents and my parents' best friends. Why would you leave your best friends if you didn't have to?

The only conclusion I came up with was that they did it because of me. Maybe that's being self-centered but they've been telling me I need a new start, to forget what happened. I know they're upset I haven't been able to accept things and move on. I see this as their way of forcing the issue.

I know they knew about moving long before they said anything. They had to have been planning it. There is no way they could have done all this in a week. Maybe God works miracles in six days but it takes people longer. How could they have a new house and everything moved in that time? It's obvious they didn't want to tell me beforehand and that pissed me off.

I'm sure they had all kinds of reasons why they didn't tell me. Things like: "It's for your own good."... "We didn't want to upset you."... "You need a new start."... "It would have been difficult saying good-bye to your friends."... "We know it's difficult but it's time to move on." Mostly I think they didn't want to deal with me being in a bad mood while they were making plans. Maybe that made it easier at the time but they're going to have to deal with it now.

I know I'm sounding like a jerk. I'm really not. For the most part I'm a good kid. I don't give my parents trouble and I'm pretty clean cut. I don't have any piercings or tats and I don't drink or do drugs. I guess I'm weird compared to some of my friends. Basically, I'm the type of guy I'd like to date. I take care of myself if you forget that little suicide attempt right after Aaron died. Good thing I didn't succeed. I still remember the look on Scott's face when I woke up in the hospital.

I also really do love my parents and know they love me. We have a good relationship despite everything that's been going on. They make sure I have what I need but they don't spoil me. Yeah, they gave me a jeep for my sixteenth birthday but part of the deal was that I'd take my brother places when he needed a ride. I also had to help out more around the house. I didn't mind, I love my brother. Scott is a great kid. He might be a little shit at times but there isn't anything I wouldn't do for him.

The thing is I thought I was doing better. I was actually enjoying myself when school started last month. I was hanging out with my friends, working out more and playing my guitar. The only thing I wasn't doing was karate. Aaron and I had done that together and it just wasn't fun any more. Unfortunately when you've enjoyed doing something for ten years and suddenly give it up then people notice. I think my parents use that as a litmus test to judge whether I'm happy or not. They won't think I've 'recovered' until I take it up again.

Like I said, karate was something Aaron and I had done together. We were both going for our black belts. I actually got mine when I turned sixteen. My father made me. It was part of the deal that came with the jeep. I did it then I quit. I was kind of a jerk about it. As soon as I got it I tossed it to my father, said "I quit", and walked to the car. I felt bad as soon as I did it but I was pissed off. It wasn't the same without being able to practice with Aaron in the area we had converted in his father's garage. I know my father was really upset. He didn't say a word the rest of the day.

This whole move bothers me because I'm convinced they did it because I haven't been able to move on. Yeah, I've been an emotional wreck since he 'went away' but like I said, I thought I was doing better. Now I'm not sure what to think.

Aaron was the best friend a guy could have. He was part of me and that helped make me who I am. That may sound corny but it's true. We spent so much time together people thought it was strange if they saw one of us without the other. We were always at each other's house. It was like having two families. We even had clothes at each other's house. I wonder what my parents would say if they knew I still had some of his stuff.

I especially like his red square cut underwear we ordered from one of those on-line websites but that's another story. Suffice it to say that he looked really hot in them. They're in my bureau now and sometimes I hold them when I get really depressed. I can still smell him when I bury my face in them.

My mother tried to convince me this move is a good thing. She pulled out all kinds of shrink stuff. I'd be able to have a fresh start where nobody knows what happened. I wouldn't be constantly reminded of him. I could put it in the past and move on. I guess them disrupting everyone's life showed they loved me but we should have talked about it. I didn't need to move.

I know my parents feel bad too. They loved Aaron like their own son and they knew how much I loved him. Maybe I didn't want them to find out how we felt about each other the way they did but they were okay with it. They were both supportive which surprised me. Actually, my mother was supportive. My father thought it was a phase between two friends and that we'd grow out of it. He wasn't non-supportive though.

Aaron and I should have been more careful that afternoon. We really didn't think anyone would be home so early. Normally nobody was home after school since Scott stayed at an after school program most days. How were we to know three of my mom's patients canceled their appointments and she chose that time to come home to do housework? Specifically to put laundry away... in my room!!!!

We must have jumped three feet when she opened the door. I wonder what she really thought when she saw her then fifteen year old son naked in bed with his best friend. Fortunately we were under the blankets but she didn't have to see much to know what was going on. She obviously saw enough, our bare shoulders clearly visible, Aaron on top of me, our arms around each other and our clothes piled on the floor.

We thought we'd be in a world of trouble if our parents ever found out but my mother was really cool about things. She was actually embarrassed. She stuttered through an apology and said she'd like to talk before Aaron went home. Then she walked out and closed the door. Needless to say being caught by my mother changed our mood rather quickly. We just laid there holding each other. Laying here now I can remember it like it was yesterday.

Aaron put his forehead against mine and I could feel his breath. "I love you you know. Just remember that, okay?" he said as I looked into his eyes.

I couldn't help but smile. "I know that. I love you too. More than I can ever show you. Maybe she'll understand. She didn't seem too pissed... or shocked. You know she loves you as much as she does me so let's not worry about it. She's a shrink. She knows there are gay people in the world. She might not have expected her son to be one of them but she isn't stupid." Then I started snickering.

"What?" he asked.

"I was just thinking. She said she wanted to talk to us before you went home."

"Yeah, I heard her. What's so funny?"

"Well, she didn't ask when you're going home" I said smiling and rolling us over, hugging him. "We should finish what we started."

I licked his lips and put my mouth over his. He responded by holding me tight and returning my kiss.

"You're bad," he chuckled. "I think she meant sooner rather than later."

"I know but who knows what is going to happen. I want to feel you next to me as much as I can."

"I'll always be next to you. She can't stop that. Now let's go 'talk'."

"I know and you're right."

We sat up and reached for our clothes. I handed Aaron his shorts and t-shirt but before giving him his boxer briefs I brought them to my face and took a deep breath.

"You're a perve you know. You want me to leave those here for you to use later?"

"Nah," I laughed. "I've already got a pair. You take these or your mother will wonder why you keep loosing your underwear."

"My mother doesn't know anything about my underwear. I buy my own clothes," he pointedly stated as he pulled his shorts on. I watched, looking at his lean, smooth torso above his shorts. He laughed and said my mother would probably appreciate it if we were both dressed when we saw her, smacking me playfully on the head. I grabbed him, pulled him back down and kissed his stomach before standing up and getting dressed to get ready for 'the talk' with Mom.

The clock read almost eleven when I turned to look at it. 'Shit,' I thought, 'I must have fallen asleep.' I was a little pissed for not unpacking more stuff. Oh well, it'll still be there. I knew I had been thinking about Aaron since there were tears in my eyes. I was mad that he wouldn't be with me always like we had said. It really is true that nothing is forever. I wondered if I'd ever find love like that again. He and I completed each other. No matter how things changed over the years we were always able to keep that special bond. Now it was gone. He was gone.

I looked in the corner at the pile of boxes left to unpack. Some I'd just put in the closet. Some had clothes I hadn't worn in a year, not that they didn't fit or anything, they just represented a different life. I had picked them out with Aaron or more often to please Aaron. He liked it when I showed off a little. Another box had my karate trophies. Other boxes had books and CDs. I'd probably get around to those but there wasn't any hurry. The only thing I really had to unpack were the boxes with clothes I actually did wear.

I felt I should go downstairs to say goodnight to my parents before I went to bed. I'd been in a bad mood all weekend and they knew it. Thinking about Aaron for the last couple of hours hadn't helped any either. I knew I'd get used to living here. After all, what difference does it really make. Yeah, I was enjoying myself more this year but I was still just going through the motions. What's the difference if I do that in Chicago or I do it here?

Around eleven-thirty I decided to go say good night to my parents. I wanted to get a good night sleep so I could get up and go for a run before school. I hadn't had time to run in a few days and was anxious to work off some stress. Even though my life had changed a lot in the last year I still tried to keep in shape. I'd feel even more depressed if I looked in the mirror and didn't like what I saw, physically at least. I'd map out a route if my computer had internet access but since it wasn't hooked up yet I'd have to do it the old fashioned way and pay attention to where I went so I wouldn't get lost. I wasn't worried, the town wasn't that big but I hadn't really left the house yet.

I heard my parents talking in the living room as I went into the kitchen but they stopped when they saw me. They did that a lot. I'd already heard enough to know they were talking about me and I frowned to let them know it. I came downstairs to show them I wasn't 'as mad' but hearing them pissed me off again.

"I'm going to bed. I want to get up early so I can run before school."

"Are you all unpacked? Do you have everything you need for tomorrow?"

"I'm fine. I fell asleep and didn't finish but I've got enough for tomorrow."

"Dan," my father said looking at me.

'Here it comes,' I thought.

"Try to give this a chance. Nobody knows you here and they don't know what happened. You have a chance to start over. It's like you have a blank sheet of paper. What you write on it is up to you. Make it a good story. Who knows, you might find a nice girl."

That set me off. What kind of crap is that? "First, I'm gay dad. You know that. I'm not going to find a nice girl. I know you thought Aaron and I were just experimenting or it was a phase but that wasn't it. Mom knows that. You don't know how much I've wished...," stopping before I said it.

Maybe he had a point. I always equated my relationship with Aaron as 'being gay'. It wasn't like I'd ever thought of having a relationship like that with anyone else but then again I always had him. I liked both girls and guys. It's just that a hot guy makes me feel different than a hot girl not that both aren't nice to look at. Regardless, I wasn't going to discuss it with him. It was something I'd figure out for myself.

"Wished what Dan? Wished you aren't gay? Nobody here knows you are gay. I still don't believe it. I'm not sure you do."

"No Dad. I accept that I'm gay. It's you who doesn't. I just wish... Never mind." How could I tell them I wished it was me and not Aaron.

"Dan, don't talk like that. I know you and Aaron had a special friendship. Some people never get to experience that.. I understand that but I also think you should keep an open mind. See what happens. Please don't just tell people you're gay."

"I'm not going to say anything Dad. It's nobodies business but mine anyway. You don't have to worry. I'm not a flamer or anything. People don't look at me and immediately think I'm gay. It's not like many people even knew back home."

"This is your home now."

"I don't feel like it is. At least not yet. Everything and everyone I know is halfway across the country and it was just last week that I was going to school there. You should have told me about this earlier. I don't believe you just found out about your transfer last week. There is no way things could have happened this quick, having this house, all our stuff moved, everything. You both say I need to talk more, to be more open about things. That goes both ways."

I hadn't wanted to get into this but my father pushed the wrong button. Don't get me wrong, I love my parents. It's just that they sometimes get too 'parenty'.

"Dan, honey," my mom started. "We know you're upset. Maybe we should have told you but we made a decision not to. You're too angry about what happened with Aaron. We didn't want to make you more upset. But for your information this is a good opportunity for your father. We didn't just move to give you a fresh start."

"Yeah, right," I said sarcastically.

"Your father is right. This is a new start for you. It will be good for you. You're going to be in a new school and meet new friends. Things will work out. You'll see. Aaron would want it to work out for you. You know that."

I knew she was right. Aaron would want that. It was me who wouldn't let myself be happy.

"At least I don't have to talk to that counselor any more."

"No, but you do still need to go to counseling. We talked about that."

I just sighed and nodded. "Anyone will be better than Ms. Furry Fingers. How does she expect people to listen to her when she looks like that?"

"Dr. Jacobson is well respected. I'm sorry you didn't like her. We'll find someone here. I'll talk to people at work to get some recommendations. Just remember, it's time to move on. I know you won't forget Aaron but it's time to move on with your life. You're only sixteen years old. You have your entire life in front of you. Aaron isn't here."

I really didn't want to get into it again. That's all everyone said: "You're only sixteen"... "Move on"... "You've got your whole life in front of you"... "You'll find a nice girl and be happy." Deep down I knew they were right. Everything except that last part of course. The jury was still out on that. I wanted to be happy but I couldn't get what happened out of my head. Maybe I just wanted to feel sorry for myself a little while longer.

"What's the point?" I said. "I'm going to bed so I can go running before school."

"You remember you have an appointment with the guidance counselor at eight o'clock, right? You'll have to be ready at 7:30 so I can take you. Your jeep and the other car won't be here for a couple of days. Until then we all have to carpool. You and your brother will have to be dropped off. Scott is staying after school like before. I assume you can get home. It isn't that far."

"I know but you're not coming to my appointment with me, right? "

"No Dan, we've already filled out all the paperwork. The guidance counselor just wants to meet you to go over your schedule. She said she wants to get to know you. It's a small school so things will be different than you're used to. She doesn't know anything about what happened the last year other than your grades have slipped. She'll probably want to know why. Try to have a positive attitude."

I didn't answer. "I'm going to bed. Good night."

"Check on your brother. He's in his room. I don't think he's asleep yet. I'm sure he wants to see you."

"Okay," I said as I turned to go upstairs.

My father called out. "You know, there are a quite a few karate studios around. Have you thought about going back to it?"

I stopped at the bottom of the stairs. "You know I can't do that Dad. Just drop it... Please."

My father sighed and just said to think about it. I knew he was proud of me when I did well at tournaments. He kept saying it helped my thinking and allowed me to control my emotions. It would take more than karate to control the emotions I had now. I didn't say anything else and walked upstairs.

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