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The Go-Between

by Rafael Henry

Act 2

Richard didn't want to pursue the photograph issue. Otta had, in his way, told him that it was something private. Richard would respect that. They had been friends a long time and he wouldn't do anything to jeopardise their relationship. They had shared something together for some time ago now, and in matters physical, they had now gone their separate ways. It was a private thing between them. No one else knew, or ever needed to. In terms of personality, Richard was more rugged…..a bit of a man's man really. At seventeen, he was two years older than Otta. He'd be leaving soon, but Otta had two more years to endure.

After they had changed the nature of their relationship, for want of a better term, Otta had been bereft. Richard had moved forwards in his life….made a decision which he realised would hurt Otta, so he was pleased, relieved in fact, when Otta informed him one morning over the morning papers before breakfast in the Boys' Common Room about Philip.

It had been a chance encounter. You know the kind. Just the two of them left in the changing room… nudity ……a glance or two at the other boy….that the other boy had noticed. They had shared the shower because they were alone and nobody would see them. It wasn't a just matter of saving water. One thing led to another and before they realised quite what they were doing, both boys had ejaculated semen into the other's hand. A moderate amount in Otta's case, but hardly any at all in Philip's….a detail of little concern to either boy. Conversation was minimal at the time, and frankly unnecessary in that situation, but both boys had made notes to self that they would like more of the same……a lot more actually.

Thus Otta and Philip began a clandestine sexual relationship which was not on an intellectual plane in any way because Philip wasn't a very intellectual boy, albeit alarmingly attractive with his blond curls, slim build, smooth circumcised penis which grew to a surprising length when erect [which was embarrassingly frequent], and last but not least, his unfailing demands to have his bottom felt in an intimate way, with or without clothing. Otta, on the other hand, is artistic and sensitive, not to mention showing signs of a sexual precocity that hadn't gone unnoticed by older boys…..Richard, a day boy, in particular. The older boy had noticed the attractive and sometimes rather coy younger boy in the playground at breaktime….stopped him playing on some pretext, chatted him up, and Otta duly impressed, went for it.

Richard's home was in the city centre, not more than a ten minute walk, so Otta could visit Richard's bedroom after school two or three times a week. There wasn't much sex they didn't have. Otta took to Richard's penis and all that meant, like a five year old takes to ice cream. The only time he was denied that particular pleasure was when it was going in the other end. He claimed on several occasions to have experienced a prostatic orgasm, [the little blue book hadn't mentioned that] but Richard was not convinced. It was in fact perfectly true….he had. It tended to occur after Richards first orgasm which Otta had arranged hastily and before any undressing had been achieved, which was of great interest to both of them. Otta was always immaculately turned out…..nicely finished grey trousers, polished shoes, an absolutely gravy free navy jumper with duck egg around the 'V' neck, tie done up [ not a Windsor] with no button visible at the neck, and of course something simple yet tasteful underneath his trousers, and changed daily. Fingernails? Need you ask? The boy could have been a model for a school uniform company.

Richard's second orgasm would take much longer, after the necessary preparation, hence Otta's bizarre claims. Fifteen minutes was not unusual for a really satisfying copulation. Then everything changed for Richard and his more than accommodating boyfriend.

Otta had found Philip by default really. Six months later that had changed too. To cut an unfortunate story short, Philip had been caught stealing from blazer and trouser pockets left in changing rooms or on the pegs, not to mention other things going missing from unlocked tuck boxes. Crime prevention officers were consulted and then coins planted as bait in blazer pockets were painted with an invisible material that when touched by human hand, showed up bright pink and was impossible to eradicate from human skin, despite Philips best efforts at the wash basin. Hands were inspected, and Philip was forced to admit his anti-social behaviour. Upshot…..he left the following morning. That's how it goes. It's the same with sex between boys, especially between boys of different ages. Richard and Otta were in that category……the older boy who knows better, or should do, seduces [not in this case] the many faceted and ultimately attractive boy more than a year his junior, and a physical affair results. That is a situation that has to kept private, and away from prying eyes and ears, and above all, away from the Authorities. As the sex they had occurred out of school, they were never discovered coupled together.

Apart from Richard's new interest in girls, and what new delights they might offer him, the situation with Otta worried him. There had been a scandal that term and the boys concerned were both sacked. A third former was on the receiving end of a sixth formers cock, willingly because there was never any dishonourable or coercive sex, and somehow the little fellow's people found out what was going on. If what they were getting up to in Richard's bedroom [both his parents were out of the house] ever came to light, that would be curtains as far as his career ambitions were concerned. It was a no-brainer. They would remain friends, but the hanky panky was over.

Philip? Well, that was unfortunate. Since then, Otta has been annoyingly celibate, and as needs must, getting off solo and in the privacy of his own bed after lights out, with the aid of his imagination and memories, and a ready supply of tissue he kept under his pillow. He had noticed that his semen had progressed nicely towards the kind of thing Richard would produce, and now in pleasing amounts. Gone was the thin watery stuff that kids delight in when they first get something to brag about to their mates in the playground. He was, however, quite a way behind his erstwhile lover in the distance stakes. When in urgent relief required mode, Richard could propel a burst of his semen so far that it would actually clear his head and land on the bedhead. On one famous occasion, Otta was sucking him for all he was worth, whilst waggling his index finger as far inside Richard's rectum as he could reach. Sensing his friend was very close to giving him a right royal mouthful, he left off suddenly. Richard, in panic, gripped the organ that could have passed for an iron bar easily, and brought himself off in a jiffy. The resulting stream of ejaculate hit him full in the face, causing both lads considerable amusement. Meanwhile, back to those oiks in the playground…….

'Hey guys, I came last night.'

'How many times?'

'No…….I came… know… spunk. Loads of it.'

'Yeah, beard !'

The boy strokes his chin pretending to be Jimmy Hill.

'No shit…I did!'

And so on and so on. One quiet boy with pristine skin [slightly tanned] and who was known to have his mother iron his PE shorts and probably his underpants too, has said nothing thus far. He would very much like to start sex with somebody for the first time in his life, and overhearing this exchange, is in fact thinking…..shall I ask him to prove it? Sadly, he never dared to ask. Most decent folk would have willingly accommodated him, despite his overt effeminacy. A better reason than that is usually required before a willing boy is turned down for something casual behind the bike sheds surely?

The coach, at the next roundabout, veered off the A14 and right onto the road for Diss. They were still the best part of an hour from the City. There had been silence between Otta and Richard for some minutes, but Richard, ever one to spot something interesting had noticed the boy in the seat in front of them. He was on his own, his blazer occupying the window seat. The boy sat in the aisle seat, so that meant he was quite visible to anyone in the middle of the back seat. He had his left hand in his trouser pocket, deep, and towards his middle. Every boy does it, and is very often unaware that he's doing it, and also unaware that a.n.other can see him doing it. In my day it used to be called 'pocket billiards'. It probably still is, and don't tell me you haven't enjoyed a private fiddle in your time. The chances are, you have.The pleasant sensations derived from that activity, at least in my case, always resulted in an erection, and a more than passing desire to finish the matter off satisfactorily as soon as an opportunity presented itself. You can't really do that on a team coach, so PB has to suffice.

The image of the boy, head to one side and eyes probably closed, intrigues Richard. He decides to have a stroll to the front of the bus and have a word with a friend in one of the front seats. This will allow him a better look at the boy on his way back down the aisle. Sure enough, the boy's eyes are tight shut, unlike his mouth with is half open. The boy's hand is moving in a rhythmic fashion, quite slowly, but clearly applying pressure on the testis with what looked like all four fingers well above where you would expect to find his testes [Richard is well up on human biology]. Richard stops briefly to watch. The boy is quite unaware of him. Richard feels in his pocket and finds a screwed up tissue, extracts it, and drops it onto the floor of the aisle. As he does so he studies the boy's face. It is indeed a strange coincidence. After a few seconds he sits back down next to Otta. He gives him a little nudge in the ribs.

'Are you awake?'

'Well I am now. I was just dozing.'

'Can I see that photo again please? The one of you and your friend you were looking at….the two of you together looking like you'd just come out of a very wet hole in the ground?'


'I'd like another look, if you wouldn't mind?'

Otta felt for his wallet in the inside pocket of his blazer. He took it out, opened it and slid the photo out and handed it to Richard. He took it from Otta, and held it both hands.

'Yes. He is. He's just a slightly older version.'

'Who is?'

Richard turns towards Otta, and in a low voice, he explains his theory.

'The kid in front of us…..he's the boy in your photo, but just a little older. It's amazing. It could be the exact same person.'

Of course Otta hasn't seen the boy, so he can't really comment…..yet.

'Watch this Otta. I'm about to exercise my prefectorial authority.'

Richard leant forward so he could just reach the boy's shoulder. He tapped it gently. The boy's head moved smartly to his left to see who or what had disturbed his reverie. His eyes, not completely open, moved from his shoulder to Richard's face.

'Hello.' Richards says with a faint smile.

The boy notices Richard's tie, but fails to respond.

'Would you mind picking up that bit of paper on the floor there please? We don't want to leave litter on the coach do we?'

'No sir.' The boy answers.

He keeps his hand in his pocket as he slides out of his seat, stands with his back to Otta and Richard, bends double and with his right hand, picks up the piece of tissue. He turns to face them, his hand quite obviously hiding something personal.

'What shall I do with it sir?'

'Oh I'll take it, thanks.'

The boy hands the fragment of tissue to Richard, who smiles benignly, and after a glance at Otta who is mentally photographing the boy's face, sits back in his seat, hand still in trouser pocket but it remains still from then on.

Richard turns to Otta.

'Well? What do you think?'

'Yes, you're right. That's really weird isn't it?'

'That's what I thought. What else did you notice…..before you saw his face? What else about him?'

'When he picked up the tissue?'

'Yes. When he picked up the tissue. Did you notice anything?'


'What then?'

'Just what one would notice when a boy…does that?'

Richard smiles at Otta.


'And…….it looked quite interesting.'

'I thought you'd like that Otta. I'd say just up your street. Agreed?'


Otta said that word slowly and deliberately, and with an air that suggested it was a bit more than just a vague possibility. The boy did remind him of Tom….the muddy oik in the photo, his erstwhile best friend who had quite suddenly and inexplicably [at least to him] gone out of his life for ever.

The truth of the matter did no favours to either Otta or Tom. It was shortly after Otta had acquired the useful information from the little blue book about sex that his mother had given him. After that first successful experiment in applying gentle friction to his hardened penis had resulted in his first proper orgasm, Otta had quickly become more adept at the art, and had communicated his new found knowledge to his friend Tom. Tom had immediately requested a practical demonstration which Otta Brown gladly provided, to the total delight of Tom. Great, you say…all part of a young boy's essential education. I wholeheartedly agree. But somehow, and we will never know quite what transpired between Tom and his mother, a whiff of perversion emanating from the Brown household had been smelt.

It was all done to protect Tom from harm. Despite his protests and tears, Tom was never to go to Otta's house again. That was it….final.

Otta had liked what he had seen when the boy picked up the piece of tissue dropped deliberately by Richard. What he had noticed was something he always made a mental note of in similar situations that occur randomly many times during a school day. A boy drops a pencil on the floor, or picks a ball up in the playground……he stands with his hands in his pockets…..or he finds himself walking behind him, sans blazer. We all notice such things.

Encouraged by Otta's reaction, and thinking certain thoughts, Richard decides it's time to have a few words with the boy in the seat in front of them. He tells the boy to move over to the window seat, and sits down next to him.

'Sorry to pull rank on you just now. I suppose I should have set an example and picked it up myself. By the way, I'm not sure of your name. Michael isn't it?'

'No. It's Thomas Lomax…..or just Tom. I didn't mind doing it.'

Now that is weird. Even the same name….Tom the Muddy, and now Tom the Lookalike But Not Muddy.

'Are your friends with Otta then?' asks Tom the rather beautiful.

'Ah, so you know him then?'

'No….well not really.'

'You must do if you know his name surely?'

'No. I just heard someone call him that. I thought his name was unusual. It is isn't it?'

'Yes I suppose so. He's a very nice boy actually. If you would talk to him you'd like him. He knows you .'

'Does he?'

'Yes he does. He likes you. He said so. He said you remind him of a friend he once had. They used to have fun together……you know, chucking balls around, playing boy's games…sleepovers…that sort of thing.'

'Why does he like me?'

'Ask him. By the way, he wants to know if you got there ok?'

'Got there? Got where?'

'Yes…. there . Did you?'

'What do you mean?'

'I mean…did you get there ? Did it happen? When you had your hand in your pocket? I could see what you were doing. Don't worry, we all do it. Otta was just worried that you might not have got there….you know….got a result? I interrupted you, remember? So did you?'

The boy turns a nice shade of pink. At this point he could turn away in annoyance, and that would be that. It's a matter of chance really. It might just work. The boy doesn't turn away.

'So, you still haven't answered my question. Did you get there? Yes, or no?'


'Oh. Well that's a shame. I'm going to sit a couple of rows up front there. I'll make sure no one comes past me. Otta said that if you didn't get there, he would like to help you. Just get up and ask him if you can sit next to him. He wants you to. He's quite shy so you need to tell him you need a little help. That's all you have to do. Just say that. Just say, 'can you help me please'. That's all you have to do.'

Richard stood up and moved into a seat two rows forward. From there he could prevent any traffic going to the back of the bus. He had studied the boy in some detail in that time. There was definitely something there. Not for him…not now…but there was for his friend Otta. He was sure of it. He glanced back. Excellent! He could see the back of the boy with his hands holding the two corners of the seats in his row standing in front of Otta. He saw the navy jumper sitting nicely half covering the boy's bottom. He liked the way it came to rest in that way.

What Richard had said to him had excited Thomas Lomax. Standing there, his arms away from his body in that way seemed to be asking Otta to look at him. By the age of fourteen, with a flat tummy, a hard penis is something that cannot be hidden easily behind a couple of layers of material. The boy has made no attempt to hide it. Richard wondered what Otta could see as the boy stood in front of his friend. If he was still excited, the tell-tale bulge in his trousers would be obvious to Otta. Surely that's an invitation?

He saw Otta move towards the centre of the back seat allowing the boy to slide past his knees towards the window seat. He smiled, pleased with his work.

He knew he wouldn't get any feedback from Otta until Monday morning, but that wouldn't matter. He would quite enjoy a weekend of speculation. He looked back again. Both boys were now hidden by the seats. He saw another sign for a Norfolk village pass by as the coach lumbered it way noisily along the A140. In twenty minutes they would reach the outskirts of the City. It would be all over by that time, probably well before that.

Perhaps this would be the start of something new for Otta? It would be good for him if it was. He was glad they had maintained their close relationship, albeit a different one than it was a year ago. It was a platonic one now, but in many ways just as deep, if not deeper. He had wondered on occasions if it was really love? Perhaps it was? Otta had used that word on many occasions, but he had been much more guarded in its use. After all, he was the senior partner in the relationship, and therefore, quite rightly, felt a greater burden of responsibility for the younger boy. He began to think of the sex they had enjoyed together, and felt his penis harden as a result. He thought of what the two boys on the back seat might be doing at this very moment. He slid his hand inside his trousers because his penis had swollen rapidly, and it was uncomfortable now and he needed to make adjustments. He imagined Otta's face as he admired its beauty just before their first proper time together. He often thought about that first Saturday afternoon with Otta. Surely that was love? There were tears afterwards…not just Otta's but his too. He had kissed the younger boy's body everywhere as an act of worship almost. Of course he had loved him. He was now sure he still did, but in a new way, and in a way he hoped would not be diminished by time. He told himself that he was not going to look back.

Otta was last off the coach, apart from the boy. He was the very last off. Otta waited as the boy gripped the handles of his cricket bag left by the driver on the warm and warm smelling tarmac that adjoined a neat strip of cobbles planted their as a pattern to relieve the expanse of grey. There were three cars left in the parking area in front of the Chapel, and overlooked by the sandstone statue of a national hero…the usual place for parents to pick up their children. It was a late one. It was eight thirty already, although hours from sunset.

The boy's mother looked nice in summer floral dress, white shoes, all smiles as the boy walked towards the car dragging laden bag by the handle at its end. She holds the boot of the Volvo Estate open as the boy struggles to lift the navy blue object into the vacant space, the word 'Newbery' writ large in white letters on its side.

Otta thought about helping, but in an instant knew he shouldn't, or rather could not. He kept watching from a proper distance, and felt both warm and cold because nothing had been decided between them. Such ghastly doubt……such ghastly uncertainty. It meant more waiting before he would know, just like it was with Richard, and then poor sad Philip. He wondered where Philip might be at this moment, or even, God forbid, if he was still alive. He thought again. Of course he was still alive! Despite his stupidity he would still be loved by those whose act of physical love had created him. He watched as the car, so quietly, moved away, the boy turned away, answering no doubt, questions from his mother.

'Did you have a good game darling?'

The boy answers just as he should, without feeling that he really wants to. His thoughts are elsewhere too. He turns his head towards the window to see if Otta is still there, but he's not there. He remembers the boy in the photograph, and thinks how strange it all is?

It's a place that Otta often goes to when he needs time on his own. It's a special place where special things were said in quiet corners when they were sure they would not be overheard.

If you happen to be passing, you might wander in, curious, and for no particular reason, and find him there…..or someone just like him?



This story is part of the 2016 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Cold, Wet, and Muddy". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 3 June 2016 at noon, to at noon on 30 June 2016 (times in UTC) is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the competition home page.

The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:

Cold, Wet, and Muddy
Please rate The Go-Between with the impressions it left you with

Either while reading this story, or afterwards, I found it to be/had/made me (Tick all that apply)

An emotional read
Written with rhythm and pace
Thought provoking
Well laid out (paragraphs etc)
Technically well written
Written with good use of grammar and syntax (this does not mean pedantic use)
Easy to read
It invited me in
I could not put it down
Cheering (made me happy)
I identified with at least one of the characters
It felt like it was about me. I know it wasn't, but it felt like it
The plot was tough to read. (a tough [good] experience, not hard to read)
Not just prose, but almost a 'tone poem'
There could be spelling/grammar/punctuation improvements
Interpreted the picture well

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