(Based on an actual event in 2015)
When it was announced in assembly that there were going to be auditions for the Christmas show, I took no notice. It might be fun to watch but that was all.
I was a gawky Year-8 at an all-boys school. The school was great on 'doing things', most of which I was no good at. I couldn't run, so athletics and ball games were out. I tried tennis and swimming. Tried to take part in football and rugby and failed. Not only had I got poor co-ordination, but I was not interested in trying harder. My mother put me in for music lessons but after a few terms of trying different instruments I gave them all up. Everyone knew that I was useless. I never got picked for anything, not even knockabout playground games. Instead I hung around with a couple of other misfits.
Actually I had an interest that was almost an obsession. His name was Keith Bland and he was in the year below me. I saw him on the first day of the new term. Slim and quite tall for his age. Unfashionably long dark brown hair. Hazel eyes and lashes that any girl would envy. To my shame I even noticed that he had a very attractive-shaped bottom. I was captivated and took every opportunity I could to see him, in assembly, in the playground, moving between lessons. Obviously since he was the year below me I could not actually meet him, or hang around with his friends. I knew that I was the youngest in my year and he was probably the oldest in his, so in reality we were only about 3 months apart in age. But the Year 7/8 divide is a big one. He did not know that I existed, but I was smitten. I used to have long conversations with him in my head. I became a stalker.
My mother was in the habit (how do mothers know to do this?) of rummaging through my school bag when I came home, in search of notes from teachers about things that were happening, or money to be taken in for something or other. Obviously I cleared out anything incriminating like sweet wrappers before she could find them.
This time she found a note from the drama teacher about the pantomime for the end of the Christmas term. Auditions for Cinderella were on that Friday afternoon, which would also be the rehearsal time. Just under three months to get it together.
"You should do this. It would be good for you."
"Why. In what way will it be good?"
"Well, you would be joining something and working with others. You need some social activity." Mothers talk like that.
I was going to get nowhere by arguing, so on the Friday I went along to the school hall. There was a bunch of boys who like me had been told to be there. Another small group of super-keen ones who evidently went to one of these StageCoach Saturday morning training sessions. Some who actually wanted to be involved. And Keith.
I knew I would end up as something like a peasant or courtier. If this was Shakespeare I would be a spear-carrier. The teachers auditioning us were going to decide who got what part. As this was a boys' school, any female parts would be acted by boys. Why we did not bring in girls from our sister school, I had no idea. I dreaded getting a female part, no matter how small. Usually in a panto the 'male' lead was the principal boy (girl) while the female lead would also be a girl. Our school would of course reverse that and have a male female lead.
One at a time, in front of all the others, we had to step forward so that the three teachers involved could hear us read a piece of something and answer a few questions. I said I had not acted before. I read the extract from a story, reasonably well. Then it was a matter of sitting down and watching the rest going through the same process. I was entranced when Keith auditioned. He had a lovely voice, not too light, and very well spoken.
Barney and Jeff, the court jesters of Year 8, were already marked down as the Ugly Sisters, and seemed to have already worked out a joint approach to the audition, so they were a shoo-in for those parts.
And that was it. We all went home. The casting would be up on the notice-board on Monday. I sensed that a lot of the casting had already been done. Everyone who volunteered would get a part, but what?
On Monday morning as I went to put my kit in my locker, Barney and Jeff swept up to me and made exaggerated bows. "Your Majesty" they chorused. I told them to stop arsing around and wandered over to the Notice-board. There was a huddle around it and I heard at least one voice say "…not fair", so someone was actually disappointed with what they got. I got a punch on the arm from one of my form. Then I looked at the notice. Prince Charming. Me. There must be a bad mistake, so I double checked. And I got the shock of my life. Cinderella was Keith. We would be acting opposite each other. My knees felt weak.
My mother was, of course delighted. When I protested that I only got the part because I was one of the tallest to audition, she denied it although I was sure it was true. After all, I had never been on stage before.
Scripts were handed out, along with a load of stuff about rehearsal schedules. Some of the better musicians in the school orchestra would play, along with the Music Master on piano. The Art GCSE mob would do all the scenery. A few mothers would do the costumes and make-up. My heart stopped right here. I had forgotten that you wore make-up on stage. Still, everyone else would be done as well.
Keith and I did not meet until the first rehearsal on Friday. At least I had a proper reason to talk to him. He seemed quite excited about it all, even though he would have to wear dresses. I felt him next to me, standing on my right. We awkwardly introduced ourselves. He was a little shorter than me. It was fantastic to have an excuse to talk to him openly, even though it was nothing like the conversations that had run through my brain. Everyone was excited and had to be called to order several times.
We looked through the rehearsal schedule. It was all very carefully worked out so that pretty well everyone had something to go through every week. Actual rehearsals would be every Friday afternoon. There would be two performances on the last Saturday of term, with a dress rehearsal on the Thursday before. The dress rehearsal would be open to the whole school. That Friday would be for any repairs and adjustments needed.
"We should have some rehearsals of our own, to get all the lines and moves right" said a voice from heaven. It was Keith, but I was on another planet. "Yes" I gabbled. "Let's do that". When I had calmed down we had a proper talk and decided to find somewhere to meet where we could work through our scripts. Obviously he had far more to do than I did. After all the Prince only appears at the Ball, then trying on the glass slipper, and at the Wedding scene which closes the show. But he wanted to work on even those bits. This boy was a pro.
The next Wednesday we found an empty classroom at break, and had a bit of a run-through. There was a lot of noise outside and we were interrupted several times. At the end when the bell went I said that we would meet on Friday, and maybe work something better out then.
My mother was delighted when I asked if we could rehearse at our house. I think she would have had the place redecorated if it helped me to 'socialise'. I was detailed off to get the phone number for Keith's mother, and they had a long chat. About what? I have no idea. Anyway it was decided that Thursday afternoons after school would be good. Keith would come home with me (a walk), we would rehearse for whatever time we needed, then he would have tea with us, and my Mother would deliver him home afterwards.
I was going to have this angel to myself every Thursday.
It all seemed to work well. We went through our lines until we knew them by heart, and even made a few improvements that seemed to make the dialogue smoother. The trouble was that I could not concentrate with Keith so near me. I kept imagining him as my princess, to be kissed. I imagined him in a dress. We would sit together on the settee in the Sitting Room. I always seemed to end up sitting on his left, our legs touching. I wanted to touch him but I dared not. I had to be satisfied with the little contact we had. Keith did not seem to notice when I sometimes let my right leg move against his left, by accident. I wondered what he was wearing underneath. I wanted to talk about all sorts of things, while he seemed to want only to rehearse. I wanted to hold his hand (how thrilling!) and even put my arm around him. But with my Mother in the house only a few feet away, that was impossible.
Every Thursday night, after one of our rehearsals, I found it hard to get to sleep as I had fantasies about him.
Ordinary rehearsals were better, or worse, depending on your point of view. There were lots of other people around so we could not get close. School rehearsals were about getting the stage moves right. Keith and I had three big scenes together: at the Ball, where the Prince dances with Cinderella, the trying on of the slipper to find who it belongs to, and the wedding which is the end of the show. Keith obviously had lots of other scenes to appear in while I didn't, so I spent a lot of time watching him from the 'wings' or sitting in the hall looking up at the stage. It was a real torment being allowed to be so close to him and yet not make any contact.
Keith wanted to rehearse the actions as well as the words. Basically, Cinderella gets to the Ball, dances with the Prince, does a runner at midnight leaving her slipper behind. Next after the interval, Prince tours the country trying to find the owner of the slipper, finds her (after business with Ugly Sisters), Prince and Cinders embrace. Curtain. The last scene is the wedding, which is really just a way of getting everyone on stage for the curtain call, wild applause, photos, and everyone goes home. So we had to try and dance, then embrace, and in the final scene walk forward had in hand, then I was to turn to Cinders, take her hands together in mine, and kiss them. The End.
Our first go at dancing was hilarious as neither of us had done it before and had not the slightest idea of what to do. In the end my Mother appeared to find out what all the laughter was about. I was secretly annoyed with her as I was having a heavenly time 'trying' to hold Keith and dance. Anyway, she showed us how to stand and what to do and how the 'man' should lead, so I suppose it was quite helpful.
The wedding scene was simple. Stand together, hold hands, walk forward, turn towards each other, I would kneel, take his hands and kiss them, we would separate, stand up, face audience, walk forward and lead the bowing. Job done. We went through it again and again until it was smooth. There was no dialogue in this scene. I fact there was very little dialogue between us at all.
Keith was very mysterious about his costume and would give nothing away, even though I asked.
Finally, it was the day of the dress rehearsal. The school hall was full. Three classrooms were set aside as dressing rooms. One had all the extras, one was for me, my page and the other male principals (as I was told we were called), and one was for the female principals. It was clear that my first sight of Keith dressed up was going to be live on stage. I needed to go to the loo for a nervous pee, so I walked past the open door of his dressing room and peeked in. I saw Keith and I'm sure I caught sight of a flash of pink underwear. Was he going the whole way in dressing in character? Maybe he always wore pink? Had he borrowed pants from his sister? Had he got a sister? I thought he looked over at me and smiled, but maybe he was just having a joke with someone else.
I was so nervous and excited that I nearly wet myself while peeing.
When we got our turn on stage for the Ball I was knocked back by Keith. He was delivered to the stage by a sort of trolley made p like a coach, pulled across in front of the scenery. He stepped out and I saw him in a long green dress The dress was made of some floaty gauze material. What I thought was a wig turned out to be his own long hair that had been brushed and put up somehow. He seemed to have earrings on, and a necklace of something sparkling. He obviously had properly done make-up that completely changed his face. It was all dazzling. At first I thought I was looking at a girl. The audience wolf-whistled loudly. My insides went to water.
Somehow we got through the dancing without falling over. I could not help looking at him all the time, which fortunately was exactly what was wanted for our parts. When midnight struck and 'she' ran for the coach, I wanted to run after him.
The slipper scene was next. This started with Barney and Jeff arguing about who the thing would fit. Keith was on stage wearing a ragged outfit that looked like a ripped T-shirt. I saw this from the wings. I entered with my page, both of us wearing the same clothes we had on for the Ball. I was wearing black britches and a white shirt, with a red jacket over the top. I wore white stockings and shiny black shoes. The scene ran as we rehearsed it. The Ugly Sisters were superb, then Cinders had her moment of trying on the slipper after which I knelt, took her hands in mine, and said my lines which ended "will you be mine?" Cinders said "Oh yes" and the scene was over, the curtain came down. But the way "Oh yes" was said sounded as though it was truly and personally meant. I wondered whether anyone else heard it like that.
One more scene to go. Lots of dancing in the Palace Ballroom. I entered stage right, Keith came in stage left. I suppose I expected him to be wearing the same green dress, but he had on what was probably a rather swanky bridesmaid's white dress, the same hair, but with a twinkling tiara on top. She was stunning. We got to the end where I had to kneel down, take her hands, and kiss them, I did my bit but as I drew her hands to me He leaned forward and brushed his lips against mine. That was definitely not in the script. I looked up in confusion to see a radiant smile. I got to my feet rather shakily, we went to the front of the stage, took a bow, and the curtain came down. There was lots of applause. I was in complete confusion.
In the disorganisation of getting everyone off the stage after the curtain came down I lost sight of Keith. I quickly got out of my costume and went to his dressing room. As I entered there was a barrage of cat-calls:" Looking for your girlfriend?", "She's gone off with her boyfriend", and more. I looked all around, my face was burning with shame and embarrassment. But Keith had gone, probably home.
It all happened without warning, and in front of the whole school. Everyone saw it. What would school be like tomorrow? What would the two Saturday performances be like? I wanted to talk to Keith but I hadn't the courage to go around to his house. Our house phone was in the hall, much too public to use. It was a horrible time as all I could do was wait.
I hardly slept that night, I was so filled with conflicting emotions. Never had I expected my dream to actually come true. Now it seemed it had and I had no idea how to deal with it.
School was rough, but not as bad as I expected. The Ugly Sisters had stolen the show and were the centre of attention. I got ragged a bit, but it slowly dawned on me that most people who saw the show would think that the kiss was part of the script and not something that happened unexpectedly.
I saw Keith in the playground but he was with his own group and didn't come over to talk. In the afternoon there was a quick cast meeting to talk about some problems that came up at the rehearsal. Most did not affect me and amazingly no-one mentioned the kiss except one teacher who said that we seemed to work well together.
The Saturday matinee was a great success. The Sisters carried the show. When the coach appeared it got applause, and Cinderella stepping on stage got a gasp from he audience, especially the mothers who let out a chorus of 'Ah's'. She seemed to float serenely rather than walk. This time in the wedding scene I knew what to expect so when it came to the moment I was ready. Instead of looking down at her hands, I looked up at Cinders. But I got more than a brush of the lips: this time it was full-on and no mistaking. I felt pressure growing in my pants, it was so arousing.
Somehow I got through the rest of the play. I did not obviously fall over the scenery, or bump into anyone. In the last scene where Cinderella and I walked to the front to lead the curtain call there was a lot of clapping and whistling. Afterwards, I went looking for Keith. We had an hour and a half of dead time before the evening performance began. Sandwiches, fruit and squash was laid on in the school dining room, which is where I found him. Again, he was among a group of his year all laughing together. I sat as near as I could and eventually the group broke up and I could get near him. He had got out of costume and wore jeans and a shirt, but still had his make-up on. I noticed that his eyelashes seemed longer than I remembered when being close before. The eye-shadow accentuated his girlish appearance. He had lipstick on.
"Are you enjoying it?" he asked. I fumbled something about "yes, very much" but I had no idea whether the question was about the play or the kiss. Anyway, it was 'Yes' whatever.
The evening performance was a riot. Rumours had been going around that the Ugly Sisters had planned something special. They had, a whole lot of new business involving the audience. Everything seemed supercharged, everyone was in a hyper state. I had never experienced that feeling before. At first I thought it was just me until I realised that the whole cast was infected with wanting to more and better. It was contagious.
Our last scene, to which I had been looking forward with equal amounts of dread and excitement, finally came. Cinders and I walked on to more sighs from the audience, I knelt with what I thought was an extravagant bow and took her hands. I knew what was coming so I leaned forward and looked up. Her lips met mine. Like an electric charge I felt her lips touch mine and then, no mistake, I felt her tongue between my lips. I nearly collapsed. We broke, and somehow I stumbled to the front of the stage to do the final bow. My face felt hot with the thrill of what had happened
After we had got out of our costumes, there was a sort of party laid on in one of the classrooms. Obviously Barney and Jeff were the centre of attention and were pushed to do the whole thing over again, which was hilarious. Eventually Keith and I were together on the outskirts of all the fun. As we came off the adrenalin high we just flopped. We found a quiet corner to sit and talk.
"Did you enjoy it?", I decided that this time it must be the kiss that we were talking about. "Yes" I said. "I loved it".
Then in a quiet voice that only I heard, he said "can we have another rehearsal and do it properly?". And I felt a soft hand creep into mine.
And that is how our Mothers found us. We had come off the high of being on stage, and were both now tongue-tied and not knowing what to do next, and suddenly very tired. We were discovered still sitting together, holding hands. Keith's Mother and mine caught us by surprise. His Mother said "Looks like the Prince has found his Princess". We both looked up in confusion and released hands. We got lots of parental praise for the show and before we split up I just had time to ask if Keith could come to our house in the school holidays that had now officially begun. But it seemed that the Mothers had already made an arrangement, because all they did was confirm it. It did not occur to me then to wonder how the two of them arrived together to find us.
On the way home my Mother chatted about the panto and what a good production it had been. She talked to me and obviously did not expect a reply. Near home she said "Keith and Mrs Bland are coming over tomorrow and we're going shopping". I must have muttered something about "Do we have to?" because she half turned to me and said "Mrs Bland and I are going shopping. You two boys can stay at home. Don't wreck the place."
Now this was strange because my Mother never did shopping on a Sunday, something about it being a day of rest. It meant that Keith and I would have time together. I wondered how much, but anyway it was wonderful news.
They arrived mid-morning and my Mother got some coffee and squash and biscuits ready. It was odd to have Keith back in our house without needing to go through our lines. He and I went off to my room. In all the last few months I had never taken him there: we always just sat together in the Sitting Room. I showed him my Xbox and a few games that I had. Then there was a knock on the door.
"Can I come in?" It was my Mother, and it was odd because she normally knocked but then came in without asking. "We're going out now. I think maybe we'll stay out for lunch. We should be back about three. I'll call before we come home. Do you think you'll be alright here on your own? Usual rules: don't burn the place down, don't open the door to strangers. There are sandwiches in the fridge for lunch, and crisps and fruit."
"We'll be OK" I said.
"Right then, we'll be off. See you later. Have a lovely time." And they left.
We heard the door close and a car drive off. Keith and I looked at each other awkwardly. Neither of us knew what to do next. How did we stop being boys playing with computer games and move on to something else?
In the end it was Keith who did it. He was sitting next to me on the edge of the bed. "Should we rehearse again? We could do the wedding scene". He stood up and pulled me to my feet. "You stand over there and I'll stand here, then we walk in like on the stage". I got in position and walked towards him. As we came together I went down on one knee and held out my hands and took his. I looked up at his face, he bent down a little and our lips met.
It was not the best kiss in all history, but it was electric and it broke the barrier. I stood and we hugged each other rather inexpertly. Now I was a little taller than Keith who had to look up to me as we embraced and kissed. Neither of us knew properly what to do with our tongues so it was also rather messy. But there was no hurry, no audience, and we could take as long as we wanted. I put my left hand behind his head and felt the softness of his hair. He had a faint delicious personal scent.
Somehow we found ourselves sitting on the edge of the bed again. He took off his shoes and as he did so I noticed that he wore white socks with little ruffles around the ankles. I took my shoes off, then we were lying down face to face. Neither of us knew what to do with our hands so we hugged and stroked and rubbed each other's backs. I tentatively started fumbling with the buttons on his shirt, but they seemed to be the wrong way around. Keith moved away slightly to give me more room to reach them. Eventually I managed to get the top two buttons undone.
"Your buttons are funny. Is your shirt inside out?"
"No, it's a girls shirt."
There was quite a long pause. "I like wearing girl's things."
There was a longer pause while I digested this. I remembered the flash of pink pants. Perhaps I had not been mistaken. "Do you mind?" He sounded anxious.
"No, its exciting. Do you wear girls things at school?"
"No, but my Mum lets me wear them when I'm at home. I usually change after school."
"What about the play? I thought you wore something pink."
"That was just for you."
"How do you mean?"
"I put them on and I hoped you would see."
"I did. I thought it was some kind of mistake. What if someone else had seen?"
"I was going to say that I was dressing for the part as a girl."
"Did anyone else see?"
"I don't think so. Anyway no-one said anything. I didn't even know if you saw them?"
"I did..…and you wore them just for me?"
There was a much longer pause. Then in almost a whisper Keith said "I love you."
"I love you too" I said and then we kissed again, getting a bit better at it this time.
I had seen some porn magazines that were going around the school. What I was seeing and feeling now was nothing like that. In some of the magazines people did not seem to been enjoying themselves, or liking the people they were with. Some of them seemed to be hurting each other. I just wanted to hug and stroke Keith, to feel the warmth of his skin, to hold him and cuddle him, and feel the softness of his hair.
I managed to unbutton his shirt properly and found that underneath he was wearing a light-yellow vest decorated with a rosebud at the neck. Keith undid my shirt but all he found was a T-shirt underneath. We stroked each other. I marvelled in the softness of his skin. Somehow I found I was touching his left nipple through the material and he made a small mewing sound. He started to do the same to me.
I did not know how far he would let me go in touching him and I didn't want to do anything that would put him off me. Tentatively I slid my hand down towards the waistband of his jeans. I felt him move slightly giving me more room to move. It felt like an invitation. Keith followed my moves but tugged up the hem of my T-shirt so that he could slide his hand up over my chest. Now it was my turn to make whimpering noises.
Girls jeans are not like boys' and do up the wrong way. I had a bit of a tussle to get the button undone and then work the zip down. In the end I had to kneel up and use both hands. He lay on his back looking up at me, and when I got the zip all the way down he arched his back a little. I realised that he was helping me to get his jeans off. I pulled them down and was able to remove them altogether. The frilled white socks followed. He lay in front of me, wearing briefs that matched his vest. There was a small bulge at his crotch that I longed to explore. My angel.
Keith pulled me down to him and said "My turn". He pushed me over so that I lay on my back and unzipped my jeans and got them off me. My socks came off and he sat up and looked me over while gently touching and stroking my skin. I lay passively and let him.
Then we were lying face to face again with more kissing and stroking. The bulge in my pants was getting quite tingly and I rubbed myself against his thigh. I could feel he had an erection. We rubbed each other until I suddenly had a feeling like needing to pee. Before I could do anything about it I felt the strange sensation of a strong pulsing of my penis. When it stopped I was in confusion because I could feel dampness in my pants and I thought I must have wet myself. I told Keith I needed to pee and managed to get off the bed without him seeing what had happened. I got to the bathroom and took off the damp pants. I found another pair in the laundry basket and changed into to them instead. Looked closely at my penis, wondering whether I had broken or damaged something.
Keith was sitting up on the bed when I got back. I sat next to him. He took my hands and said "Did you get the sparkles?" I looked confused and he said "Sometimes when I get a feeling in my willy I rub it hard and then I get the sparkles and some juice comes out of it. It's alright. It feels nice."
It was strange to get a lesson in sex education from a boy younger than me, but he knew more about this than I did. The atmosphere changed and suddenly we both felt the need for food. In the fridge we found the sandwiches. Finally some understanding dawned. Everything had been prepared. We had been deliberately left on our own. This must have been planned by the two Mothers. I felt an idiot for not realising this, but at the same time really happy that we had nearly four hours of freedom. Four hours with my angel.
The two of us sat at the kitchen table, both still in our underwear, and ate and drank and talked.
"When did you start wearing girl's things?" I asked
"My sister is two years older than me. She used to dress me up in her things. I like it a lot. She got me to wear all her dresses and things. Then one day my Mother caught us. My sister got in trouble and I had to tell my Mother that I liked doing it and I wasn't being made to dress up. Then she had a long talk with my Father and said that I could go on doing it but I must only ever do it in the house and not outside where other people might see. She said I should only wear things that were right for a girl of my age. My sister gave me some clothes of hers that she had grown out of. I used to wear them around the house. I really liked it. My Mum asked me if I thought I wanted to be a girl. I said no, I was OK being a boy but I liked dressing up. I think my Father had a bit of a problem but he agreed in the end."
"When I got a bit older my Mother said that I could have some clothes of my own that were not old ones from my sister. So she took me shopping for pants and socks. And we went to some charity shops and bought some dresses. I loved having my own special things. I loved dressing up for the panto and doing it where other people could see. I did it properly."
"You looked amazing. The first time at the dress rehearsal I thought you were really a girl. I like it even better when I found it was you."
"It felt wonderful, all soft and girly. I wanted to be your princess."
"You said your Mum told you not to wear girls things outside the house. But you came like that today."
"That was for you. I told Mum that you were special to me and she said in that case as long as we went straight from our house to yours it was alright."
So I knew about the dressing up and his sister and how he knew about sparkles. As an only child I had no-one else my own age to talk to about these things
Somewhere around this time the phone range. We had forgotten about the Mothers coming back. To our surprise it was half past three. They would be back by four o'clock. Keith and I got busy tidying up and getting dressed. We had not made much mess so there was no panic.
The Mothers had evidently had a good time together. They casually asked what we had done and seemed satisfied with our non-committal answers. Certainly we were not going to tell them what really happened, but perhaps they already knew that.
Then my Mother asked whether we would like it if Keith had a sleepover. We looked at each other is disbelief. I think I may have said something like "Yes please". Keith just nodded. "Good" said my Mother. "We thought you might so we stopped at her house and collected some things. Mrs Bland handed over a bag to Keith. "Your wash things and night things are in there, and some clean clothes for tomorrow. I'll come and collect you tomorrow after tea. Be a good boy and have fun."
When Mrs Bland had gone my Mother started getting tea ready. We were in my room and I heard her opening the laundry basket to get a wash-load. I remembered the damp pants but it was far to late to do anything about it. I felt a bit guilty as I heard the washing machine start up. After a while she called us down for tea. She was not to know that we had only had our lunch about an hour before. Keith and I did the washing up while Mum got on with some household jobs upstairs.
We sat in the Sitting Room after tea and played some Xbox games on the TV. Mum joined us and chatted about the day and what she and Mrs Bland had done. Time seemed to drag when Keith and I just wanted to be alone. I faked tiredness and Keith picked up the message. Mum told us to get showered and go to bed.
"I've been thinking about that. Keith, you could sleep on the couch but it is a bit lumpy and public. We've got an air mattress you could sleep on in the bedroom…"
"Mum, he can share my bed. It's big enough for two" I said.
My Mother seemed to consider this for a moment before agreeing that it would be alright. "Close your bedroom door and don't make too much noise. I'll knock on your door in the morning but I won't come in." I gave her a big hug and a whispered 'thank you'.
The two of us could hardly wait to get upstairs. Mum called me back: "I've put a box of tissues on the table by your bed, just in case of any spills or messes." So she had noticed the damp pants.
In my room Keith asked me what he should wear in bed. I said "What do you wear at home?" and he said "In the summer a nightie, and when its cold some pyjamas". I asked what his mother had put in the bag. Turned out it was pyjamas, along with fresh underwear for tomorrow. The pyjamas had blue bottoms and a white top decorated with butterflies. Definitely meant for a girl. I said that I usually wore pyjamas unless it was very warm.
Keith went to shower first. I wanted to go with him but we thought it best if we went separately.
He looked lovely in his pyjamas. We hugged and kissed and fumbled inexpertly with each other.
As we lay together he said "I used to look out for you at school. I always tried to see where you were so that I could look at you. I wanted to meet you and talk to you but it was difficult…". I was stunned. I said "I used to try and watch you all the time." So while I was trying to see you, you were trying to see me?" We had been stalking each other.
At some time we must have fallen asleep in a tangle of arms and legs. If Mum had come in in the morning she would have found a pile of boy. And some used tissues.
All that was twelve years ago. School was very difficult. We couldn't meet easily, being different year groups. Anyway we had to avoid anyone knowing that we were boyfriends. I think some people guessed. The panto helped, because we got teased for being the Prince and the Princess, but I don't think many realised that we were serious. There was one incident that turned in to an assault with Keith in A&E with a broken cheek-bone and bruising to his neck. I was not there to defend him, or I would have gone berserk. We found out that the boy who did it actually fancied Keith and tried to pull him. When Keith resisted the boy beat him up. He was excluded permanently and the school discovered that its no-bullying policy was not as robust as it like to imagine.
Keith and I met as often as we could and spent most weekends together. Sixth Form came along, and I left school the year before him. I went away to University to study architecture. The following year he went to college to do a course on music and drama studio management. Inevitably we drifted apart and each of us had other partners. We met during holidays and the old spark was there. I went in to a practice and he worked for a studio. Then I had a letter from him one day. He was setting up on his own to specialise in classical music, and he wanted some help. We met to talk about his plans. Some eight months later I left the practice to help him full-time as business manager. And that is where we are today.
We discovered the The Mothers had played a bigger part than we knew in our relationship. They first met about half way through the panto rehearsals and got on well together. They found that their sons were both loners and were growing together. They both suspected that their sons were gay. So they did everything to could to strengthen the bond. We already knew that the day they left us alone, and that first sleepover, was all arranged. But they did more. They understood that we had set out on a difficult path in life and did everything they could to provide a safe and secure place where we could learn about ourselves and each other. They saw that there was no point in keeping us from the real world. So they set out to give us strength to cope. The day when I learned all this from my Mother was the one when we told them that we wanted to get married.
I hope that next year we will be able to adopt a child.
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