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It Was the Kind of Night...

A story by e

"It was a dark and stormy night. It was the kind of night when little girls hide under their pillows and old women... " Yeah right. Who am I kidding? Write a short story, she said. Could I get any cornier than that?

What does it matter how corny it is? I don't have anything worth saying anyways. I never have. I'm the kind of guy who people forget as soon as they turn their back on me. I can engage a person in conversation and five minutes later they've forgotten my name. I'm bland. I'm boring. I'm quite forgettable.

I clicked on the 'start' button and hit shutdown. There wasn't any point in continuing. I was just gonna fail anyways. I hung my head as I pushed back my chair and stood, stepping towards the door. I sighed.

I pulled my bedroom door closed behind me and ambled quietly down the hall. I didn't want to wake anyone. Despite it being Saturday morning, mom would be getting up early to prepare breakfast for my dad who would be leaving for work. Then she'd tidy up the kitchen and start the laundry before showering and leaving to get her hair done and do the grocery shopping for the week.

I stepped past my older sister's room. She wouldn't be home yet. Not on a Friday night. She'd be out with her boyfriend. He'd be trying to get into her pants, she'd be fending him off. I wondered whether she'd give in with this one. Or would she preserve her reputation of being a cock tease. The joke around school was that her favorite color is blue, because that is the color of the balls of every boy who'd ever dated her. She'd dated some real lookers too. Not half bad. If I could get boys like that they certainly wouldn't go home with blue balls. No way.

I trod lightly on the stairs as I made my descent. I didn't want them creaking on me. I didn't want to wake anyone. I stopped when I got to the bottom. I contemplated going back. I really needed to get an "A" on this assignment. That's what it would take to raise my final grade to a "B." I couldn't really afford to get a "C" in English. But my heart wasn't in it. Not tonight.

I was supposed to be spending the night with my best friend Kyle. We'd been best buds ever since second grade. We weren't neighbors, really. We weren't even in the same class in school. But we were in the same Cub Scout den. His mom was the den mother. My family had just moved into the neighborhood and I didn't know anyone. My mom signed me up for Scouts so I could meet some friends. I had no sooner than arrived for the first meeting when Kyle just walked right up to me, introduced himself, and the rest is history.

Summer was a mere two weeks away. School was almost over. The days were quite warm, but I shivered in the cool night air. Probably should have grabbed a jacket. I swatted the side of my face as I heard a buzzing in my ear. Damned mosquitoes. Should have put on some repellent too. Too late now. I was halfway out to the woods on my way to my favorite spot in the whole world. As late as it was, there shouldn't be many mosquitoes left anyhow.

Kyle had come over after school, but he didn't stay. I couldn't figure out what the problem was. It's not like I had wanted to do anything that we hadn't already done a million times before. Why did he have to be like that?

I reached the old fallen oak that hung out over the swamp. It had been lying there forever or at least since sometime before we moved in. I loved to come out here. It was so peaceful. I sat in the crook between two big branches and lay back, gazing up at the stars. The night was a symphony of sound. The rustling of the leaves as the cool breeze blew through them, the chirping of crickets, and the bellowing of the frogs. There was even a hoot owl in a tree somewhere on the other side of the water. The moon was waning. It had been full just two nights ago. I watched as the clouds quickly blew past.

There were clouds in my heart too. But those weren't blowing away. They were just hanging there, getting darker and heavier by the minute. I felt a tear welling in my eye. I'd certainly shed enough of those today. I closed my eyes as I drew a deep breath. I held it momentarily, then expelled it quickly, hoping that my sorrow would go with it as it dissipated into the night air. It didn't. Instead it seemed to become thicker and heavier as I drew in the next breath.

I slapped at my ear thinking I'd been attacked by another mosquito. But it was only that tear. It had rolled down my temple and found its way into my ear fooling me into thinking it was something else. I wished it was.

I remembered the first time we'd argued, Kyle and I. Well, it wasn't really the first time, we'd had petty arguments before, but this was the first time we weren't going to be friends anymore. He'd spent the night at my house. We'd been trading baseball cards. He had a whole bunch of new ones. I had a few older ones. He offered all his newer cards, more than a hundred. He wanted all my old ones, about thirty of them. It might have been a fair deal, but I didn't want to part with a couple of the Hall of Famers. I picked out three and told him he could have the rest. The deal was done. The next morning as he was packing to go home and I was putting my cards away, I couldn't find the three cards I'd kept for myself. Kyle had them. We argued. He claimed I had given him all the cards. It might have come to blows if Kyle or I were the fighting kind, but we weren't. My dad had to intervene. Kyle went home with the cards he came with and I kept all of mine. It took a couple weeks for us to become friends again. That was four years ago and we were in the fifth grade.

I felt a chill as the sky darkened when a big cloud crossed in front of the moon, blocking what little light there was. The crickets and the frogs grew silent. The leaves grew louder as the wind picked up a bit. The owl hooted. I could feel the goose flesh as it rose on my arms and spread up my back and onto my neck. It was well off in the distance, but I could hear thunder rolling across the night sky. It was one of those long, rambling, rumbling, rippling ones that come in waves and just when you think it is done, it starts up again. This one began in the southwest and finished to the north. I didn't notice the lightening that caused it. It was too far away.

I thought back to fourth grade when Kyle and I had become interested in the same girl. Her name was Sandi and she was a pretty little thing. Just as cute as a little girl could be with short curly blonde hair and green eyes. She looked like an angel. She lived three doors down from me and we had played together at times. It was always little girl games. Things like hopscotch, jump rope, Barbies, and house. Boys weren't supposed to play those kind of games, but I didn't mind when I was with her. Truth be told, I rather enjoyed those games, though I would never admit it to anyone. I considered asking for a Barbie of my own on a few occasions, actually I wanted Ken, but I ended up asking for a jump rope instead. My mother even bought it for me, with my dad's blessing. He said prizefighters use them to increase agility and foot speed. I never used it, though. Sandi moved away shortly after that and I forgot all about little girls.

It wouldn't have mattered if she'd stayed. She chose Kyle to be her boyfriend and broke my heart. But that was only half the reason my heart was broken. The other half was that Kyle chose her. Not me. Her. Even back then, for reasons I didn't yet understand, I was in love with my best friend and he was in love with somebody else.

This time I noticed the lightning. It was impossible not to. I could feel the searing heat as it split a tree about a hundred yards away. The thunder nearly knocked me off the tree and into the swamp. I scrambled to my feet and scampered down the trunk reaching solid ground just as the heavens opened, dumping buckets of water on top of me. The rain hit so hard it nearly knocked me over. I ran towards the house, but I might as well have been swimming. The trail leading back from the swamp was a river and I was covered with mud by the time I reached the door.

I knew better than to go inside dripping wet. I hesitated a second before stripping out of my clothes, all of them. I opened the back door, stepped inside, and headed down the stairs to the laundry room in the basement. I looked for a towel, anything I could use to dry myself, then use for cover to hide my nakedness. I was shy, modest as my mom would say. I was not proud of my body and aside from Kyle and the guys in the locker room; no one had seen me naked for years. I really didn't want them to start now.

My only hope was that everyone was still asleep or at least still lying in bed and that the rain would hide the sound of my walking up the stairs and down the hall to my room. I headed up the stairs, turned left through the kitchen and made my way around to the stairs leading to the second floor. I covered my important parts with my hands and took the steps two at a time, not worrying about the noise. It was more important to hurry. I scampered quickly down the hall and entered my bedroom breathing a sigh of relief.

I paused for a moment to catch my breath, then reached into a dresser drawer, pulling out a pair of white briefs and pulling them on. It was my usual nighttime attire. Hurriedly I closed the window I had left open earlier in the evening. The rain was coming in and I could feel the wet carpet beneath my feet it as I pulled the window shut. Still moving quickly I yanked down the bedclothes and jumped beneath them, pulling them back over me as I did. Ahh, warm at last. I fluffed my pillow and lay on my back staring up at the ceiling though it was too dark to see.

I remembered the first time Kyle and I had made love. That's how I thought of it anyways. In reality it was nothing more than mutual masturbation. I never touched him. He never touched me. No matter how many times we'd done it, it never progressed any further. But to me, it was making love. I watched him intently, every time. Memorizing every stroke. Savoring every squirt. I longed for him, with every last living cell in my body, I longed for him. It was pleasure. It was torture.

It was over. "I don't do that anymore." That's all he said. I didn't comprehend it and continued stripping out of my clothes. I stood there naked. He was fully dressed. "I'm not gay." He added as I just stared blankly. I stammered out a response. It was incoherent. I blinked and he was gone.

That's how it ended. Almost twelve hours ago. He had accused me of nothing. But he had accused me of everything. "I'm not gay" he said. But it implied that I am. Until now I had never given it much thought. Until now, it had just been me, in love with another boy. Until now, I had never thought about loving anyone else. Until now, being gay had never mattered.

Now it did and I was alone because of it. It felt like I would always be alone. I want to die. But I don't want to die alone. I want him to come back, climb into my bed and take me into his arms. Then I could fall asleep. Then I could never wake up. Then I could die happy in the arms of the one I love, even if he doesn't love me.

It's stupid, I know. I'm young. My whole life's in front of me. I'll find somebody else. But not tonight. Tonight I need to mourn. Tonight I need to cry.

Another flash of light. Another thunderous boom. More pounding of rain against the window. It is a dark and stormy night. It is the kind of night when heartbroken boys hide themselves under their pillows and cry themselves to sleep.

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