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Swimming with Parker

by (and ©) Matthew Oswald

Chapter 6

My entire body was covered in a sheet of ice as Parker, holding the camera at arm's length, made his way over to my bed.

"Yes, that's right - I'm gay," He continued to the camera, never losing his smile. "Sorry girls, but don't feel left out... boys are out to. You know why?"

Parker reclined on my bed, and turned the camera toward me. My eyes widened and my breath froze in my lungs. I couldn't have been giving them a flattering angle.

"This is my friend. People call him Harry. But I call him mine." He turned the camera back toward himself. "Now, you may be wondering why such a handsome boy like him is with a guy like me..."

He put on a wry expression, considering that.

"I dunno... guess it's his never ending streak of bad luck. But, anyway we got a little bit of a problem... that maybe, you guys can help us out with..."

I was having an out of body experience. I was truly paralyzed by what I was seeing here.

"... you see, he wants to end it with me, because he doesn't want to ruin my life. He has to break things off with me before I get hurt." He stared at the camera, hard.

"He's afraid you all will hate me. You'll want to beat me up. Hurt me. He thinks all my friends will leave me if they find out I'm gay and that it will be us against the entire world. He doesn't want me to go through that. He wants..."

His voice trailed off for a moment, and for the first time I could remember, I saw a chink in the carinval. He recovered fast.

"He wants to protect me."

He reclined back on my bed, putting his head on my pillow, arm around his head... and still held the camera steady. He looked so calm, so cool... so in command, that it was almost ominous.

"If you do hate me, that's cool, I guess. That's your opinion. Gay isn't okay, after all. Not in my school. Not in yours."

I found myself slowly sitting on the floor.

"We haven't known each other too long," He smiled. "Yet, he's become my everything. People who don't think that Romeo and Juliet stuff can happen to them... well, it can... take it from me, your entire world can get turned upside down in one big hurry."

Parker was still smiling, I saw something in his expression that didn't fit with the carnival. His eyes were getting red, and his lip shook just a little.

"Do you all hate me? Really? I couldn't stop it anymore than I could stop a hurricane. Can you all truly reach down deep into your souls... and find that anger you've reserved for, whatever, and direct it at me because I was born this way? Because on June 17th, 2011, I was destined to meet my friend... and get swept away?"

He paused for a moment. I noticed then, his eyes began to water, and his voice began to crack. What I was seeing was that fake confidence crumble away like a falling castle. The carnival illusion was popping, balloon by balloon.

"... there's no wrong answer here," He said, wiping his eyes.

I put my head in my hands, and found my own eyes tearing up.

"My friend thinks you can... my friend hopes you can, because that will prove he's right about everyone, and that we're just a big mistake."

I shook my head, feeling so low and miserable.

"Just vote this video down if you agree with him... prove him right."

He was now crying. This was no longer a show for him, not even a long shot. The carnival had skipped town, and I don't think it was ever coming back. I watched him, transfixed.

"Please..." He sobbed. "Tell me I'm scum. Tell me I'm worthless because I love him... prove to me that this world is as heartless as he thinks it is. Hate me for how I was born. Vote this down and ruin my life, please. Because that's the only way I'm going to let him go." He looked at me and he heaved a shuttering sigh. "That's all."

He stopped recording then, lowering the camera, and burst into tears. We'd shared tears before, but nothing like this. He was bawling without restraint, holding my pillow to his face, shivering as though he were alone on Pluto.

He was drowning.

I was possessed by a determination I'd never imagined I could be. I scrambled over to my bed, rushing up to him. I grabbed Parker so tightly, tighter than I'd ever grabbed him before.

He grasped me, and buried his face into my shoulder, and we stayed like that for God knows how long.

I stroked his hair, I patted his back. I couldn't imagine the amount of guts and bravery it had taken to continue that... he had fallen apart, and yet... he had still seemed so strong.

"I'm so sorry," Parker finally whispered. "I... I had no right to do that to you."

I shook my head, and kissed his forehead furiously. "It's done, and ... I don't give a shit. I love you, and nothing is going to change that."

I would have never guessed in a thousand years what was about to happen.

* * * *

The video went viral in under eight hours.

It began to appear on internet forums on homosexuality. A handful of bloggers bumped into these links and were inspired to write about it.

Within twenty-four hours, it had thousands of views.

News of the video spread like wildfire. It wasn't long before someone forwarded it to a reporter at The Boston Globe. Being gay herself, she was so inspired that she wrote a piece on it and linked Parker's video.

In two days, articles began to appear in the The New York Times. Newsweek. USA Today. LA Times. Washington Post. Chicago Tribune.

We browsed the headlines together on the Web, Parker and I... in silent awe.

"Courageous Boy Comes Out, America Listens."

"Skateman847 Challenges World To Hate Him."

"Ruin My Life, Please - A Boy's Last Stand Against Bigotry."

Within three days, it was the most talked about story in the country on News Broadcasts. Parker's video aired on prime time, Channel 7, in full.

The following morning, it became a discussion topic on The View.

"Here is a boy, with such courage..." Whoppi Goldberg was saying. "I mean, I know he's not the first one to do something like this, but it was the combination of a lot of things that just reached out and touched people's hearts... I think."

"You're absolutely right," Sherri Shepherd replied. "I'll say the first part of the video was hokey and showy. It's what you'd expect from a kid trying to get attention... but it was that emotion at the end... that desperation that captured the audience. You saw this boy in such pain... and you knew, you just knew there was no way this was staged, or done for publicity. I'll be honest, I just wanted to hug him... and I think most of America did to."

"You could see the fear and pain, sure... but let's not forget, this kid happens to look like Justin Bieber with short hair. That didn't hurt." Elisabeth Hasselbeck added.

"Oh it wasn't just his looks..." Shepherd laughed. "Come on."

I laughed. So did Parker.

Within five days, the video had over 5 million views.

That was also the day the newspapers found out who we were. It was likely someone who knew one of us and saw the press coverage who called in with a tip.

By the 50th call in a row, my mother was screaming.

"Kyle, next time you want to come out of the closet, please don't do it on National TV!"

Yeah, she didn't really understand what had happened. The good news was, my folks took it ... pretty damn well.

Within a week, Parker and I were getting flown to New York first class.

The next day, I sat nervously next to Parker, as Piers Morgan interviewed us. I was absolutely terrified, but Parker... he was absolutely brilliant.

"Now, this is something of a phenomenon that happens every so often involving sites like YouTube..." Piers was saying. "It's like a bolt of lightning. It can strike anyone, and before you know it, you can be a celebrity. Now Parker, are you surprised by the amount of attention your video received?"

"Oh ... we were shocked," Parker answered, and I saw no hint of the carnival act. "I mean, we were just absolutely floored... I thought, y'know, some of my skateboarding fans might click on it, and sort of cast their vote... but I could have never imagined in a million years... that so many people would see it."

"What do you think it was about your video that so inspired people?"

Parker chewed his lip. "Um... well... you'd have to ask people to be sure, but I think it's just because so many people see performances and get jaded... but sometimes, someone really does scream for help, and when they do... people notice, y'know? I think most people are fundamentally good... and when they see someone who's truly hurting... like I was... they do get moved. And they do want to help, anyway they can." He looked out over the audience. "Thank you all."

The audience applauded and cheered. God, I couldn't believe he was mine. "If you had something to say to other kids like you, what would it be?"

Parker looked a little uncomfortable, but looked square at the camera. "You aren't alone. People ... can be really mean sometimes. They can scare you into pretending to be something you aren't. After a time, you can almost forget who you really are."

He looked at me then, and I smiled, my eyes glistening.

Parker looked back to the camera. "Just, whatever happens, don't let a good thing pass you by if it comes along. Be brave, and don't let happiness slip between your fingers."

"Yeah..." Piers said, nodding, as the audience went wild, cheering. "Excellent."

Once the audience's cheers died down, I got the next question. "Now, Kyle. How'd you feel when Parker did what he did?"

I swallowed nervously. "Well... I mean... I was scared. I... well, you could see in the video, I was pretty much stunned stupid."

"You knew he was streaming live?"

I nodded. "Oh yeah... I was scared shi... er, I was very scared." I was worried I was sounding a bit too much like Rainman.

"Do you still believe the world is a cruel place?"

Next to me, I felt Parker take my hand. I took strength from Parker's presence nearby.

"Well, you'll just have to check the votes and see for yourself, Piers," I managed.

It was the one time in my life I think I made millions of people chuckle, including the host himself, and even got to be just a little snooty.

Once the laughter was done, Piers then looked to Parker. "Now, it is my understanding that your father is a Presbyterian priest. How'd he take the news?"

Parker rolled his eyes toward the audience. "Yeah, that was a... ehm... fun discussion."

The entire audience laughed. They loved Parker, he had them all around his finger, and he wasn't even trying. I hadn't seen the carnival act since it faded away on his video.

"It didn't go well," Parker admitted. It was my turn to take his hand. "My father... well, he's in a denomination that frowns upon homosexuality... and whatnot."

There were several "ahws" from the audience.

But Piers was smiling, a smirk a bit too much like Parker's.

"Well - we usually reserve these kinds of things for day time TV," Piers said. "But as it so happens, your father is here with us tonight... and he asked us if he could say a few words to you. Would that be all right?"

Parker's face paled, and it was my turn to hold his hand and give him strength. He squeezed back... completely shocked.

"Okay," he said, timidly.

Parker's father stepped out onto the stage from behind us. More than a few boos and hisses could be heard from the audience as he came up behind us.

He was a nasty looking man, with military-cut grey hair and a firm face that just seemed like it belonged at the pulpit, damning people to hellfire for their sins. He was wearing his silver collar and black uniform, marking him of the priesthood.

Parker looked terrified now, but I held his hand and leaned over, whispering to him. "Don't worry... he won't kill you on live TV."

Parker leaned back over to me. "You don't know my father..."

He stood behind Parker's chair, and planted two hands firmly on Parker's shoulders. The entire audience fell so silent I could hear a pindrop.

"Son..." He began. "... When I learned of... who you are, my initial reaction was one of anger. I was... disgusted. I even felt betrayed... by you. By God... and I didn't know what to say or do..." There was clear emotion in the older man's eyes. They were the same ice blue as Parker's.

"I prayed for guidance... and all the time, I watched the news. I saw people responding to you. Being inspired by you," He took one hand off Parker's shoulder, and reached into his pocket, and removed a slip of paper. "I found this... it was a comment on one of the news articles about your video."

He put on a pair of spectacles and read it with a shaking hand.

"This was posted by James, in Cincinnati. A year ago, I found out my son was gay. I discovered him with his lover... and I forbid them to be with each other. I told them how... disgusted... I was. My son left the next day, and I never saw him again. A found out, a year later, my son took his own life following a break-up with his lover. Before he left the world, he wrote on a piece of paper, "I'm alone.'

Parker's father kept his voice steady, but his eyes began to leak tears. I tried to keep my eyes dry, but it was hard.

"I can't help but wonder, if this boy had posted his video a year sooner ... maybe I'd have taken my anger and directed it somewhere else. There was no sin or evil in his eyes, and if I had spent long enough to look into my son's, I'd have seen the same thing. My son would have known he wasn't alone, and he'd have known that I would always stand by him. God bless this boy... and God forgive me."

Parker's dad lowered the letter.

"I'm so proud of my son," he said in a failing voice, and Parker was crying now. "And I love him. And I will always stand by him."

The cheers became deafening, as Parker stood up from the chair and hugged his father. "I love you too, Dad."

His father kissed him firmly on top of his head, and hugged him back.

I smiled and, for the first time in my life, I wasn't even slightly embarrassed to cry.

* * * *


Two weeks after Parker streamed the video, I gave my mother the pictures I'd taken of Parker... at his request. I had completely forgotten about them.

On his own merits, she could have probably had some success with Parker... but now that he was an Internet sensation, let's just say she didn't bother with starting small.

LL Bean paid $20,000 for the underwater shots I took with his sweatshirt.

An ad rep at Levi's saw the underwater stills I'd taken of Parker in his jeans... and not only paid $25,000 for the footage and right to use it, they booked him for a second shoot which netted about $100,000.

I had been careful to edit out everything after that, of course.

After seeing his football poses and throws, Nike booked Parker for a football commercial that would air during next season, and paid Parker $200,000. He also got to meet many athletes, including New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.

The reel itself got Parker spots in magazines like Boys Life, Teen and Vogue, where he modeled everything from swim suits to boy scout uniforms and formal wear, and even told his story about how we'd met.

Parker's previous success at running a semi-popular skateboarding/snowboarding channel drew attention from professionals, and soon, Parker was modeling skateboards and accessories. Tony Hawk even invited Parker as one of his personal guests for the Summer X Games. While there, he got to present a special award for the most inspiring young athlete.

I got to go with him for that.

The overall income from TV appearances, interviews, commercials and photo shoots netted him $493,500 after taxes. Despite almost all of it being Parker's, he insisted our family's split it 50/50, saying none of this would have happened if it wasn't for me. In the end, our folks each had substantial trust-funds set up for us when we turned 18.

For a time, we didn't think it would end...

Two months later, fame became a fickle friend... and to be honest, we were happy to see it go. Mid-August rolled around, and the phones stopped ringing... and all both of our families could do was breathe a collective sigh of relief.

While I'm sure Parker could have continued milking it to some extent, his parents, my mother, and him had come to the unanimous decision that enough was enough. My mother had been Parker's agent throughout, handling negotiations, scheduling, arranging transportation and working out the contracts. He had all but become an honorary member of our family.

The four of them decided it was time to start thinking about high school, without any distractions. I couldn't have been happier with that - it meant Parker would be around all the time again.

While Parker was out of town, I took some bold steps of my own... inspired by what he'd taught me about the world. They didn't seem so against us after all.

I started up my own Facebook page, and almost everyone in my grade had accepted my friend request. A few guys had told me they were happy for me, though privately.

What surprised me were the girls, however. Over half of them congratulated me publically on my wall. They were relentless. They wanted my advice on everything, it seemed... I think it's because I was the only guy they knew that was *completely* safe. Being a semi-celebrity didn't hurt either. One even asked me who I thought they would look better with and listed two guys in my grade.

Among these girls was Ginny Morris, a girl in my grade, who would become the second most important person in my life. I swear to God, you can't make this shit up.

Harry and Ginny.

We had begun chatting very regularly online. She had been so impressed by my "courage." She eventually revealed to me that she was a lesbian, and too afraid to admit it publically. She told me I was the only one who knew, and I think I really liked that she trusted me so much.

We agreed to meet. I suggested a movie and Applebees - she countered with McDonalds and the bowling alley, then - later that evening - kicking ass in Black Ops on Jason's Xbox 360 together.

I liked her style. She was pretty, quiet... and very artistic. Her hair was blood red most of time, though occasionally she would dye it pink or blue for a day or two. She absolutely loved reading as well. She had a rapier wit, and could even out-sarcasm me once in awhile.

I particularly liked it when she cut and styled my hair. It was long enough for her to do almost anything with, and I let her get creative. She shortened it overall, but left a few bangs and used liberal amounts of moose and gel.

Parker *loved* it, and was now always playing with my hair. He told me I kinda looked like a young Matt Dallas when my glasses were off. Once, when we were hanging out with Ginny and Jason, he asked her if she could dye my hair purple... but I had to tell her over my dead body. Even Jason told me he'd pay to see that.

Anyway, Ginny became a lifesaver while Parker was away on a shoot or something. She had become my best buddy.

No, I wasn't afraid of what this school year would bring.

I sat in my room, staring at Parker's YouTube profile. It had won awards now for popularity, one of the most viewed channels in all of America.

I stared at the video Parker had streamed. Approximately 20,200,000 views. Forty thousand comments. 156 video responses. What's more, was that such a high percentage of people had rated the video up or down. Well over 10 million.

Of all the votes, 90% had voted thumbs up.

I smirked, and shook my head. Yeah, I guess I had it all figured out. The world was such a terrible place.

There was a knock at my door.

"Come in," I said.

The door opened and Parker came through. The only thing that changed about him since the start was that he was wearing designer clothes now. Designer clothes he had been given for free.

"Ah, if it isn't my little world traveler," I stood, and planted a kiss on his lips.

Parker smirked at me, and gave my ass a pinch. "I'm just so glad it's over. I think I caught some tabloid journalist trying to plant a camera in my shower last week in Arizona. She claimed to be the maid, but I found her highly suspicious."

"Nah, that was me," I jested. "Only way I could see you every day. That being said... I'm sorry to say, I'm breaking up with you... I saw your father instead, and mmmmph... I love me a man of God."

Parker threw his arms around my neck. "I'll tell him you said that. He might take it as a compliment."

I leaned forward and gently kissed him, our mouths opened together and we played a game of tongue wrestling, as I eased him over toward the bed at sat him down.

In the two months since we'd begun, we had adapted to our new... condition... as I hoped we would. The incessant, burning desire to spend every second with each other had become a tempered, kindled love. I was sad to see him go for a few days on this shoot or that, but we kept in touch by phone every day for an hour or so... and knowing that he thought of me was enough, even if I wanted to hold him.

It made the time we spent together so much more pleasant now.

There was never any fear. No sense of urgency... no gross overreactions, always ending in one of us being too afraid to continue, and the hot confused arguments and fights that happened as a result. We didn't have to hurry anything along, as though we were both afraid that this would end at the stroke of midnight and one of us would turn back into a pumpkin. As an example, we had even talked about having anal sex a few days ago, once things finally quieted down. Parker had just smiled and told me we'd do it on a special occasion. I sensed he was a little uncomfortable with the idea. While my birthday wasn't for another six months... Christmas would be sooner, though I wasn't quite sure how to broach the topic to Santa.

I had meant what I said that day at the lake. He didn't need to perform for me, like the consummate model. Or meet all my expectations. I think he finally started believing me.

Besides... if I played my chips right, I could get it sooner. I suspected he just might trade it for me letting Ginny dye my hair purple. He seemed really into that idea. I would have to ask him later.

I broke apart from him. "Okay... close your eyes." I whispered.

Parker smiled and did that.

I reached under my bed and removed a family-sized meatlovers pizza from the local pizza shop.

I told him he could open them, and he looked at the pizza.

"Um... I don't get it..."

I smiled. "This is my room... and about two months ago, someone very important to me... changed my life here. He actually gave me true hope by risking everything... and I hope he..."

That was as far as I got before Parker took the pizza from me, put it aside, and all but lunged at me, his eyes and smile shining brightly.

He kissed me deeply and ran his hands down my face, across my chest. I closed my eyes, losing myself in the moment.

Finally he lifted his mouth from mine.

"How'd I do?" I asked.

"My perfect date," he said. He rose, moved over to my bedroom door, and locked it. "Though I'm pretty sure I clarified that it was a naked rock concert orgy. Was I not clear?"

"I can queue up some Led Zeppelin," I offered.

Parker laughed. "Now, can I ask... what's *your* perfect date?"

"Oof, put me on the spot, why don't ya?"

Parker smiled.

"I'll get back to you on that, but I'm pretty sure it involves you naked."

"Oh, you're easy!" Parker exclaimed. He flexed off his stylish vest and t-shirt, and removed his belt. He took off his jeans and boxers in a single pull. His luscious penis was quickly filling up. He walked over to me, swaying his hips, and peeled the socks off his feet, using the toes of his other foot - that was a neat trick.

"Any more inspirations?" He asked, throwing his arms around me and pressing his hot body into mine.

"Help me out," I said, my breath catching in my throat as I gently rubbed my hands down his sides, and caressed his boner.

He smiled, and kissed me.

"Now that you mention it..." Parker said. "After all this, can you believe that I've still not seen *you* naked yet." He said, putting a hand on his hip, and flexing his fledgling boner into me, almost accusingly. "I find you guilty of being clothed and sentence you to become eyecandy... for as long as I wish!"

"Harsh judge, harsh," I smirked, but was already removing my own designer clothes. I have to admit, I was getting into fashion. Maybe this could be a career for me. Parker laughed and helped me, so the job would be finished sooner. Once my shirt was off, I took off my glasses and unbuttoned my jeans. Both Parker and I slid them down, along with my boxers, exposing my six-inch boner.

Parker took a moment to drink me in, taking a deep breath. "Oh wow..." He reached down, gently stroking my cock with his agile fingers. "You're so hot..." he whispered to me.

"I think I got it. My perfect date is... to sleep with a celebrity," I whispered, kissing his neck.

Parker smiled. "You missed your opportunity. My fifteen minutes are over..."

"No..." I corrected. "You'll always be my celebrity."

He smiled, and hugged me tight so our cocks rubbed together. He stood on his tip-toes and kissed.

We slipped down into my bed, and Parker straddled me, our penises still touching. "I believe the score is 2-3?" he asked.

"Well, considering you are putting me and Jason through college... I suppose it's only fair to call it even if you like," I suggested.

Parker lay ontop of me, his mouth covering mine for a moment. "Nonsense... you can't put a price on the service you offered..."

He kissed me between my nipples, and then traced his tongue down my chest, and gently slid off me, to cradle my cock in his hand. He gently guided it to his mouth, and began to suck.

I had thought it would be hard to top the way he'd made me feel before, but this was out of this world. He was so tender, gently rubbing my balls with one hand and sucking slowly.

I got the impression he was looking forward to repaying me for months, and was going to take his sweet time about it.

He even slid a hand underneath me, with a little help as I flexed up, to slip a finger into my ass and rub it from the backside.

"Oh man," I said, blinking gently. "I can see why this made you wild."

Parker removed me from his mouth and gave the side of my cock a lick. "Oh shoot... you know what? I'm running late for an interview with Oprah, gotta cut this short..."

I grabbed his head and forced it back down on me, gently. Parker giggled, even while my cock penetrated his mouth.

"Oprah has two options... she can wait or watch."

He looked to me and his eyes twinkled. I knew he wouldn't be going anywhere. Never again.

He sped up his work and I spread my legs out, gasping. He gently rolled my balls around as he sucked, harder... faster... sweat began glistening every part of me, as I could feel the tension building like a tsunami in my balls.

I don't know how long this went on for, but it couldn't have been too long. I remembered faulting Parker for it ending so quickly. I had expected to at least come up for air two or three times... but I had a feeling Parker wouldn't have had to come up once either.

I closed my eyes, and shuttered. Parker took me in completely, as I fired everything I had, clenching the bedspread between the fingers of both hands.

While I hadn't particularly enjoyed the taste of Parker's spunk, it seemed Parker delighted in mine. Such pleasure in his eyes, it was almost as if he had gotten off himself.

After about a minute, Parker released me half-flaccid from his mouth, but took me in his hand and gently licked my head and shaft, making sure he got every drop.

"Jesus..." I said, grasping my forehead. "Holy shit... that was incredible."

Parker slid up next to me, and we just lay next to each other, naked on the top of the bed. He smiled at me, and turned on his side, giving me a great look at him.

"I don't think any person in history has had a better two months than me," Parker said, gently rubbing my chest. "And it's all thanks to you..." He slid up next to me and put his bare leg over mine.

I turned toward him, putting an arm around him, letting our naked bodies intertwine.

"Oh please," I finally said. "You... saved me from myself. Hell, you changed everything for me..."

Parker smiled and gently played with a lock of my hair, running it around his finger.

I was speaking from the heart.

"Dude. If I had my way, we'd have never met."

I blinked and rubbed his arm. "What do you mean?"

"When I first saw you, I felt so... attracted to you. But I would have never found a reason to be with you. Never in a million years." He ran his hand over my face. "I was too scared, but you weren't. You thought of the corniest thing you could come up with... and you gave me a chance to be with you..."

I grinned. "Hey, that corny idea paid off."

"True... but I'd have been too much of a coward to call you." Parker smiled. "Every bit of courage I've gotten these last few months... it's all been from you. You've taught me..." He was getting emotional now. "... you taught me I don't need my carnival. You've given me the strength and confidence to be myself."

I smiled, and gently kissed him. Our faces were inches apart.

"You're the one who became the posterboy for every gay male under 18 in America," I said. "I couldn't pulled that off... you just have a gift. You can just reach out and touch people's hearts... take it from me."

I ran my hand over where his heart was. I felt it beating. I loved it.

"If I didn't have you, I'd have never been brave enough to try," Parker whispered.

I smiled. "Well... I got you one-upped, considering I had no life before you, Parker... and now, I do. For the first time ever... I have friends. Friends like Ginny, who actually want to hang out with me. I have... I feel I have something to give this world... and it's all thanks to you."

I moved my head forward and pecked his lips.

"I am really... truly... happy..."

Parker smiled. "Me too."


Disclaimer: All celebrity interactions in this chapter are fictitious, and do not reflect what these celebrities believe or may have said in a similar situation.

The original inspiration for this story came from two places: The first is the idea of modeling underwater, especially in clothes, is really hot to me. Those who've read my other piece "Daniel and Cody's Unspoken Gestures" have probably guessed that I have a raging underwater fetish.

The second part of this inspiration was the idea of the bullied kid on YouTube that got caught on camera essentially fighting back and winning against his bully... moreover, the world-wide renown it received. If you missed that one, just check out "Zangief Kid" on Google. I've read many more stories about how it's inspired bullied children to fight back and be brave. It proved, to me, under the right set of circumstances, a kid on camera can impact the world by making a courageous stand. I couldn't think of a more courageous stand for a kid to make than what Parker did. Who knows? The beginning of the end of homosexual prejudice could very well come from a kid like Parker, falling apart before the entire world. While prejudice can be taken up by even good people, and it is daily, it takes a truly cold heart to see a good kid cry and not feel anything but hatred for him.

I hope it came off at least a little convincingly. It's also why, I feel, continuing this story would risk these characters becoming stale. It was these two inspirations playing together that really brought the characters to life for me. While I love them dearly, and hate saying good-bye to them, writing more without the proper inspirations - I feel - would risk that love that makes them seem so alive to me.

That being said, I never say never. If inspiration hits me, I will begin a new story, detailing a new adventure... and if it can work for Kyle and Parker, I will do so.

Thanks again for reading, and I wish you all the best.

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

* Some browsers may require a right click instead