The next morning I awoke, James moved at some point, no longer was on me, but next to me without touching me. The early morning light gave me a glimpse of him. He was so peaceful, unlike when we first went to sleep. I was glad to se him sleep well. James started to stir slightly; he opened his eyes for a second and shut them. I took my hand and ran my fingers though his hair. He sighed and continued to lay there only moving his leg out until it touched mine.
"How are you doing," I asked very quietly.
"Fine," he said.
"Sleep okay last night?"
"Um, yeah. "
"Good you needed your rest, I was worried about you." He smiled, then opened his eyes and took a deep breath. Peace was there, there in his heart. I just knew it.
"I'm gon'a to get up and get ready for work," he said. He gave me a quick hug, I felt the warmness of his body against mine, reminding me of that night how comfortable he felt there in my arms. It also reminded me that two boys don't act this way towards each other, but he needed me and I was there. Soon we were both up getting ready for work. The burn on my back was incredibly hot. I went out to the deck and cut a section of plant off, and brought inside. James was in the kitchen getting his lunch ready.
"Would you be a pal and help me out here?" I handed him the aloe, and turned around. He spread the gel on my back, then knelt down and did the backs of my legs.
"What a relief that is. That feels so much better, thank you."
"Your welcome. I got to get going soon," he said.
"Hope you have a good day," I said watching him put together the last few items for his lunch.
"Thanks Shawn, the same goes for you. Bye"
All through the day I thought of our weekend, how much fun we had. I found my self, thinking of him all that day. I returned home to find him going through the kitchen.
"I was just trying to find us something for dinner," he said, briefly peering out from behind a cupboard door.
I walked over to him and gave him a big hug.
"Just thought you might need that," I said, but then thought, actually I needed a hug too. After thinking about him all day, I wanted to be close to him again. He smiled at me, a quick but warm smile.
Again I watched James as he cooked us supper. He moved through the kitchen with so little effort. Things were getting done but he made it look too easy. "James is there anything I can do to help?"
"No you would just be in the way" so I left him to his job. I studied his face and the way he moved. His sun bleached hair, dark tan and athletic build. He moved with grace and with confidence. There was something else I admired about him just couldn't put my finger on it. I went to the other room to turn on some music. I sat in the couch looking outside; daydreaming while the music was playing. "Who is that," I heard from the other room.
"Sounds good," he said.
"The cd is Human Clay. It's been out for a couple of years. My favorite song is 'Arms Wide Open'. It's really cool. You heard it before?"
"Sounds familiar. Haven't heard the whole cd, but I think I've heard that one song before."
So we like the same music apparently. There were lots of things I liked about him, as my thoughts returned to the boy in the rain. How lonely he must have been struggling against the elements, no sympathy, no comfort, at a time when he needed them the most. I thought about my mom and dad and how lucky I was. I had taken so much for granted growing up. That was a lesson reiterated almost every day. I watched the clouds as I continued to listen to the music.
"Dinner will be done in just a few minutes," he said. I went to go wash up. When I returned he had our two plates out and was just getting us some water to drink.
"How did you do that so fast"?
"You know, you cooked fast, then I went to go pee wash my hands and face, and you have dinner on our plates just like that"
"Magic I guess, now see if you can make that food disappear." We sat down to enjoy a most wonderful meal. He was a great cook. We talked about school again how we were glad to be out and how we missed it.
After dinner I went and took my shower and came out in my usual sleep shorts. James went to go take his shower, when the phone rang.
"Hi dear, how are you doing?"
"Just fine mom."
"Good. Would you and James like to come over and eat tomorrow night?"
"Would love to mom, you can meet James."
"Looking forward to it dear. I haven't had much of a chance to talk to you, what is James like?"
"You'll get to meet him tomorrow, I'll let you decide mom."
"How was work today?"
"Just fine mom, was on the computer just about all day. Lisa still has me updating inventory on a weekly basis, plus the data entry stuff. I actually made a spread sheet for some of my data entry, just so it's easier to impute then I convert the information over to our program, it's very simple."
"You have done a lot there in a very short period of time. I'm real proud of you dear. I worked for years before I made the kind of progress you have in a few weeks. Your dad is proud of you too."
"How is dad?"
"He just got home, worked late again. Usually happens every Monday now. They just keep adding to his workload, I don't know how they expect him to get it all done. Makes me mad sometimes the way they treat your dad. So what time can you two come over tomorrow?"
"We can be there by six, maybe earlier. All depends when James gets off, sometimes he works late, and sometimes he gets off early. Well not early but on time for him. He is at work at seven in the morning, they take half hour lunch, then he gets off around five."
"That's still a long day."
"I know mom, but then sometimes he can get off early on Friday afternoon."
"Wish I could do that."
"I know me too. Guess I better go mom, see you tomorrow."
"I love you dear."
"Love you too mom. Bye."
I sat down on the couch, watching, as the sun was getting lower in the sky. The clouds were hardly moving, they seemed motionless, and the air was still and warm. I could hear some birds outside singing away but not much else. James walked in from his shower and went to the kitchen for some water. He came back and took a big drink. "My mom just called, she wants us to come over for supper tomorrow."
"I'd love to meet your parents. When?"
"Around six", I said. How was the world of surveying today?"
"Went pretty good, we had a small job today, we finished it and went on to another. Just getting started on that one. Looks like we are going to be doing a lot of cutting for awhile."
"Sounds like hard work."
"It isn't that bad, sounds worse than it really is. I kind of like it actually. All you do is pace yourself so you make it all day. I'm getting the hang of it, how you don't have to swing hard, it's more how you cut than how hard you swing."
"What about that sunburn, you ready for another treatment?"
"It is better, but yeah I could use a little relief from the burn."
"Be right back then." He was gone, then back with another cutting.
"We re going to have to do something to get that plant to grow faster. Poor thing looks like it's been mutilated." He had a way of getting a giggle out of me. Wasn't so much what he said but more the way he said it. I laid face down on the couch. James sat next to me and began applying the aloe. Again the relief was wonderful. "Your back still feels hot. You need to stay out of the sun for a few days."
"Know what you mean. Just walking across the parking lot after work the sun hit my back. Even with a shirt on I was cooking."
"How was your work, today?" he asked after finishing up on my legs.
"Went pretty good. I made a new spread sheet so that data entry is easier," I said sitting up right on the couch.
"You are so smart."
"No I'm not."
"Are too." He gave me an angry scowl.
"Am not." Then he back handed me in the chest again didn't have a chance to react.
Then he went to wash his hands and came back.
"Feels good to sit here and relax." I said
"I know I like being able to look outside. It's so cool having a big window like that." James was sitting on the other side of the couch, head back, looking outside.
"I hope you don't mind me wearing a pair of your shorts, they're so comfortable."
"Wear'em on your head if you want," I said, then jumped out of the way as he reached out to hit me but his hand narrowly missed me.
"Your gonna pay for that."
"Have to catch me first," I said standing beside the couch, out of his reach.
"I'll get you later," he said, "like when you're asleep."
"You wouldn't do that."
"You just wait," he said, giving me this mean look. Well as mean as James could look, didn't think there was a mean bone in his body. I carefully sat back down, waiting for him to hit me, but it didn't come.
We both watched the sun as it was setting. The colors were all so brilliant, with lots of yellow and bright orange and just a few red colors. The sun set colors kept changing until they became more pastel, softer, more red than yellow, still some orange. The colors continued to fade, until there was darker blue, some purple still a little red but it was going.
"Don't know why but I'm suddenly tired tonight he said and drifted in a sideways motion falling over till his head landed onto the couch right next to me."
I looked down at him in his half sitting half laying down position. "You can use my leg as a pillow if you want."
James shifted his weight again and laid his head down on my lap, more so on my thighs and placed a hand up on my leg. He lay there on his side facing away from me. I put one hand on his chest and my other hand once again ran through his hair. I moved my hand all across his chest feeling the strong muscles in his chest. I couldn't get over the fact how incredibly strong he was. He was moving his hand up and down my leg where his head was. I was enjoying that as well. Shelly use to do the same and she always liked how strong my legs were. Wish she were the one laying here, but instead it was a boy. I felt so close to him, in ways that I didn't understand. I wasn't sure what, but something was pulling me toward him. He was like a friend but better than a friend. I felt a bond growing between us, as we shared our feelings and emotions with each other. James was so very sweet, so kind, his heart was made of gold. I enjoyed the time we had on the weekend and going to the lake. I liked feeling his strong muscles wishing I could be as strong as he was. I loved spending time with him and now was enjoying being close to him. I was struggling to understand all these feelings in my head. I wandered if something was happening to me. I wasn't gay, or least didn't think I was. Well I couldn't be, I still liked girls so how could I be gay. Never really talked about it to anyone at school, didn't even know anybody that was gay. There was one or two that I had a suspicion of being gay but that was all. Just the way they acted, kind of like a girl. I wasn't like that and neither was James. We both were normal boys. So what then about these feelings, attractions maybe? Was that it, an attraction to a boy? He was a great looking guy. He could have all the girlfriends he wanted. His sun bleached hair was so bright on the top layers, and as I ran my hand through his hair I could see the under layers became more golden mixed with some light brown hair. Below that was some dark brown hair, hidden completely, where no one could see it. He lay there content to be with me, still moving his hand around on my leg. He was feeling my thighs, knees and calves. He felt the bones on the front of my calves and the muscles along the back of them and back to my thigh again. At times it seemed strange what was developing between us. Anyone else would have thought it strange, anyone from the outside would have thought we were lovers. We weren't lovers. Didn't know exactly what we were, but not that. When I tried to compare it to what I felt before, what I had seen with others, my total experience, yes this was a different. Not easy to explain. When I thought of just him, and me and blanked out what I was taught, everything I had seen, blanked out everything else I had ever come to know, and thought of just the two of us it seemed very natural. Felt natural. I was comfortable with him, felt warmness between us that I didn't feel with others. I liked touching him and enjoyed his touching me. I couldn't explain it, couldn't put it into words. Didn't know how to explain it to anyone. It was a feeling and nothing more. It was an experience that didn't deserve to be complicated by words. Just a mutual feeling and expression of that feeling, but nothing more. I shouldn't try and confine it to words. Sometimes when I think, I tend to put my thoughts into words. But this feeling was bigger than all that. Different than any experience or feeling I had before. It wasn't possible to put into words what I felt. The emotion, the feeling that I had was just that. Something that needed to be left alone, let it play out on it's own. Allow this feeling to grow and choose it's own course, without me defining it, or directing it. I wonder what he was thinking now. Was he feeling the same emotions and feelings that I was? If I couldn't explain it to myself how could I ask him about it? Did I dare? What would he think, me asking questions about how he felt about me? He would probably think I was gay, and that didn't sound like something I wanted to talk about. My eyes left him and looked back outside to see the sun had set. There was very little color, mostly dark gray sky, no wind, night was taking over. James rolled over on his back, stretched out his arms in a yawn.
"You ready to go to bed soon? He asked.
"I think so, my eyes are so tired." I still had my hand on his chest rubbing him down to his stomach and back. He must have enjoyed it, he didn't move right away. He lay there for a long time.
He slowly rose up to a sitting position, stood up turned around and offered out his hand. I met him half way with mine and he pulled me up so easy. I turned for the bedroom and he followed. I went to the bathroom first and then crawled into bed. James followed suit and returned to the bed as well. Once in bed he moved his leg over until his foot was touching my foot. He then placed his arm across my chest diagonally; hand down on my stomach near my waist. I had no way to get my arm around him seeing how his arm was over top of mine so I just moved it out until I was touching his side. I was relaxed, sleep was over taking me. I was in that have wake half sleep state when I heard the whippoorwill again that call so young so vibrant never ceasing calling, calling me home. That night, as I slept I had a dream. It was about me and Shelly and James together at the lake. We swam out to the middle of lake, a long distance to swim, and a very long way back. Exhausted and tired, we lay down on our beach towels there in the sand. The heat from the sun felt good, and the tired feeling from the swim acted together, as I floated along, drifting, with no real direction. Soon I felt someone kissing my back and the back of my neck. I thought it must be Shelly giving me small light little kisses, but when I turned around it was James. Facing him now, he kissed my chest up to my neck with his hands all over me. It was so erotic, he was turning me on so. I couldn't believe what he was doing, but it felt so good, that I couldn't stop him. Suddenly I woke up only to find his hand on my shoulder and not somewhere else. I was surprised by the thoughts, the thoughts I just had and the dream and how I enjoyed it so much. I was confused as well, not sure what I should think. Not sure if it was right or wrong. It felt so right while I was dreaming but now was I feeling guilty for having these thoughts. Guilty some but much more confused. Not the sort of thing a normal person would think about or dream about. What was happening to me? Was I enjoying the company of another boy more than I should? Was James now my boyfriend? Defiantly my friend, for sure he was a boy, but I wasn't ready for a boyfriend. Didn't think I was like that. I didn't know what to think for sure. I didn't have a sudden urge to kiss him, so maybe it will pass. My confusion about all of this was troubling to me, and left me in an ocean of uncertainty. What would become of this I wondered? I reached out to him as he slept, placing my hand on his stomach. Just touching him brought me some peace and reassurance. Slowly I drifted back to sleep, thinking about my strange dream. In the morning I woke remembering my dream and how awkward I suddenly felt around James. As we both got up and dressed I didn't say much to James. I was feeling a little guilty, even though I didn't do anything. I shouldn't have felt so guilty, but I couldn't help it, it was there. Right there at the front of my consciences. Like watching a waterfall, impossible to look at anything else. Impossible to see anything else, or to ignore it. James on the other hand was his usual happy self as he was most every morning.
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