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Leaving Home

by Victor Thomas

I was fifteen years old when I finally figured out that I was gay. I knew I liked looking at other boys for the last couple of years before that, but I thought that was perfectly normal. When most of the other boys my age started becoming interested in girls, I never did. I didn't think much of it at the time; I figured I was just a late bloomer, so to speak. My friends and classmates were always talking about girls, and what they would do with them if they ever got the chance. All I thought about were boys and what I would like to do with them if I ever got the chance.

I'm Jeremy by the way, I just turned eighteen in November, I'm a senior in high school in a small town in Kansas, and I'm gay. Yeah, that's right; I'm gay, a faggot, a cocksucker, whatever you want to call me. I like boys and I'm no longer ashamed of that fact. I wasn't always proud but over the last three years I've learned to accept who and what I am, and everyone else can kiss my ass if they don't like or accept me.

Kyle and I have been friends since we were both babies. In fact, both our mothers have pictures of us together in our play pens together. I'm three weeks older than Kyle. When we finally started school we became even more inseparable than before. I feared all that would change if Kyle ever found out my big secret. It was the only thing I ever kept from Kyle.

I suppose it was inevitable that Kyle would figure out my secret, but I never expected his reaction. I thought he would cuss me out, break off our friendship, maybe even try and beat me up, but the last thing I ever expected was for him to be totally accepting of who and what I was.

Kyle, like most of the other boys was forever talking about girls. Everyone was always bragging about all the girls they had fucked, and Kyle was right there among them. If the truth were known, most of them were still virgins, although you would never guess by all the talk. All the talk about girls made me uncomfortable so I didn't join in on the conversations, but I did listen and play along with everyone.

Kyle had finally gotten a girlfriend, Susan, and was going out with her every chance he got. He had set me up with a girl named Dawn. I liked Dawn and enjoyed going out with her, but I was never quite comfortable with dating. I think Kyle somehow sensed that something was wrong but he never said anything. I went out with Dawn for several months, in fact I still date her on occasion, and the four of us go out on double dates almost every week.

I guess what finally led Kyle to figuring out that I was different was when the four of us would go out together I never seemed all that interested in doing anything with Dawn. While Kyle and Susan would be making out every chance they got I was reluctant to even hold hands with Dawn, let alone kiss her or anything.

Kyle finally confronted me one night about this. "Jeremy, can I ask you a personal question?" he asked. "I just want you to know, that you are my best friend and nothing will ever change how I feel about you."

I was nervous as hell when he started talking to me. I just knew that he had figured out my biggest secret, but I also somehow knew that he wouldn't care. His reassurance that nothing would change comforted me, but would he really feel that way when I told him the truth.

"Sure, Kyle, ask me anything you want."

"Jeremy, please forgive me if I'm wrong, but somehow I don't think I am wrong. And if I'm right than nothing will change between us. Please believe me. Are you gay, Jeremy?"

It was as if a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Kyle knew the truth but didn't seem to mind. Of course I hadn't actually confirmed anything yet. I was nervous as hell and was shaking slightly, but I was finally ready to tell Kyle the truth.

"You're not wrong Kyle. I am gay. I've known for the last three years but was always afraid of telling you or anyone else. You know how my parents are, how the kids at school are, and the kind of church I'm forced to attend. I was afraid that if I told you that I would lose your friendship and that's the last thing in the world I wanted. We've been friends since we were babies and I didn't want to lose that. Can you understand that? But how did you figure it out? I thought I was being so careful."

"Thank you for trusting me Jeremy. You asked how I figured it out. I must tell you it wasn't easy at first. It was a series of little clues that finally led me to reach my conclusion. When all the other guys are talking about girls and bragging about how many girls they have fucked and all the usual bullshit, you didn't seem to join in. It was like you weren't interested. But that wasn't the only thing. I noticed that when we were in the locker room your eyes seemed to roam a little more than normal. It's perfectly natural for guys to check out other guys and see how they measure up, so to speak. All guys do it, even if they will never admit it, including me of course. I know that you're bigger than me."

That caused him to smile and let out a small laugh. I smiled back at him.

"Yeah, I noticed that as well, Kyle, but you have nothing to be sorry about. You're bigger than a lot of the guys as you no doubt noticed."

Kyle's face turned red, but he smiled at that.

"Thanks Jeremy, but let's change the subject. I'm not comfortable talking about other guys dicks."

"You're right Kyle. I'm not completely comfortable talking about stuff like that myself. But surely that wasn't enough to convince you I was gay. There must have been something else."

"I think the final clue was when we were going out with Susan and Dawn on dates. Susan and I would be making out like crazy but you and Dawn would just sit there. You never seemed to even want to hold her hand, let alone kiss her or make out with her. That's what really got me to thinking."

Everything made sense. I thought I was being careful but my natural reactions had given me away. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that Kyle had figured things out like he had. I was relieved that I was finally able to be honest with him and that he seemed to be so totally accepting of me. I just wondered if anyone else knew. If Kyle had been able to figure things out, what about others.

"So who else knows about me?" I asked.

"No one, as far as I know," he answered. "I hear other guys talking shit but you know how guys are. They call everyone and everything gay on occasion, but it doesn't mean anything."

"Thank god for that."

"So, do you have a boyfriend that I don't know about?"

"No, I don't have a boyfriend, yet," I answered. "I haven't really been looking for one, what with the situation at home and my church. I'm just trying to get through high school and then I'll worry about finding a boyfriend after that. My parents would have a fucking shit fit if they ever found out I am gay."

"I have a cousin over in Riverton who's gay if you would like to meet him," Kyle said. "He lives far enough away that no one here has to know. I think you might like him. He's a nice guy and he's sort of cute. At least you could meet him and form your own opinion. You never know."

"Wait a minute. Did I just hear you right? You said he's kind of cute. Is there something you're not telling me, Kyle?"

"No, I'm not gay if that's what you're getting at. I just like to think I have an open mind and I can admit if I find a guy good looking. There's nothing wrong with that. I think you're cute, and for what it's worth, if I was gay I would go out with you in an instant. I'm just saying."

"Thank you Kyle. And for what it's worth I think you're really cute as well. If you weren't my best friend I would consider dating you as well, but I think it would be too weird. I think it would harm our friendship in the long run. But you're not gay so it's only speculation anyway. But I would like to at least meet your cousin and see what happens. What can it hurt?"

"I'll call him later and see what he says. In the meantime I think I need to head for home. I need to finish my homework and it's almost dinner time. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Thanks Kyle. I have one more question before you go. Do you think Dawn has any idea about me? You said it yourself; you noticed I didn't want to make out with her or anything. Do you think she may have come to the same conclusion?"

"Maybe. I hadn't thought of that. I have heard her mention it to Susan a couple of times, and Susan has asked me herself. She may not know for sure that you're gay, but she probably suspects at the very least."

"That's what I was afraid of," I said. "I think I should probably talk to her and try and clear things up. Maybe if I explain the situation to her she'll understand and not be to terribly upset. I hope not anyway. That's all I need is for the rest of the school to find out about me."

"That might be a good idea, Jeremy," Kyle said. "Good luck."

The next day at school I asked Dawn if I could talk to her after school about something important. She agreed to meet me a local restaurant where a lot of students hung out. I told her I would buy her some ice cream and we could talk in private. I know she had to be wondering what was going on but she agreed to meet me.

I was nervous the rest of the day. I dreaded this conversation, but I knew I needed to have it and clear things up. Hopefully she wouldn't be too upset with me when I told her my secret, but I would also understand if she was.

Right after school was dismissed I quickly ran out to my car and drove to the restaurant. Dawn pulled in five minutes later, came in and smiled at me. We both went up and ordered a hot fudge sundae, and then found an isolated booth near the back.

"Thank you Jeremy for asking me here today, and thank you for the ice cream," she said. "Is there a particular reason you wanted to meet me? I hope it isn't anything bad. I really like you."

I dreaded what I had to tell her but I knew I couldn't keep leading her on like I had been. She deserved better.

"I really like you too, Dawn," I said. "Please just listen to me and let me try and explain what's going on. I want you to know that you have done nothing to me, nothing to make me not like you. I love going out with you, and I would like to continue being friends and even continue going out together, but we can't be boyfriend and girlfriend."

I could tell that Dawn was starting to get a little upset, but I couldn't blame her. After all I had just basically dumped her.

"What's going on Jeremy?" she asked. "Is it something I did? Please tell me what it is you think I did."

"You did nothing, Dawn, absolutely nothing if that's what you're thinking. Like I said, I really like you, I really enjoyed going out with you, and would like to continue, but only as friends. It's me, not you."

I hesitated for a few seconds and stuttered as I tried to work up the courage to tell her what I needed to say. I finally decided the best way to tell her was just to say it and hope for the best.

"I'm gay, Dawn. Like I said, it's nothing you said or did. It's me. I thought if I went out with you maybe I could change. I really wanted to change, but I know I can't. I guess I knew all along I couldn't really change, but I had to try."

"You asshole," she screamed at me. "You knew you were gay and yet you kept leading me on, letting me believe you liked me. How dare you use me like that?"

She then pushed my sundae into my lap, causing it to run all over my shirt and down my pants. Then she picked up her sundae and dumped it on top of my head and watched it run down my face.

"Stay away from me. Just stay the fuck away from me. It's one thing to be gay Jeremy, but you had no right to use me like you did. Now I know why you never seemed to want to even kiss me or even hold hands. And I thought we could have something together. I guess I was wrong. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone your secret, but please just leave me alone."

I sat there just staring at her, while chocolate syrup and ice cream ran down my face, onto my shirt and down into my lap. I felt like a complete fool. I could see others watching what was going on as well. Whether or not they heard what we had said I don't know. I hope not, but word of this was bound to spread all over the school by noon tomorrow. I guess I did deserve what she said and did. I could see her point of view. I did lead her on, at least a little bit, even if it wasn't my intention.

With that, Dawn jumped up from her seat and stormed out of the restaurant and to her car. I just sat there looking stupid as I tried to clean myself up as best I could with napkins. I got up and went into the restroom and washed up and went out to my car to go home. I just hope my mom isn't home when I get there. I would hate to have to explain all this to her. I just hoped word didn't get back to her or dad about what had happened, especially about me being gay. There would be hell to pay if that happened.

My parents were real religious, attending the Faith Bible Church here in town. If the doors were open, my mom went to church. Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night, Thursday night prayer meetings, revival every few months. No matter what the occasion, she went to church and I was forced to go along with them on Sunday morning.

My dad wasn't nearly as religious as my mother, but he still went along with her, mainly I think to keep the peace as much as anything else. He didn't always go on Sunday evening and very rarely went on Wednesday night, even though my mom tried to get him to. As I got older she slacked up on me somewhat. I had to go on Sunday morning, but was allowed to skip on Sunday evenings and Wednesday evening, although she tried to get me to go.

Anything that might be considered fun was forbidden by my church. No movies, no school dances, no parties with friends other than with other members of the church. We did have television but not cable and even that was somewhat restricted. The regular channels were bad enough, let alone all that crap on the other channels. A lot of the people in the church, including the preacher's family did not have television. Sports were considered fine by my dad, even though the church didn't really believe in even that.

It seemed like hardly a month didn't go by that the preacher, Brother Fraser, didn't talk about gays during his Sunday morning sermon. If he wasn't talking about gays, he was going after President Obama and liberal democrats for ruining the country. And mom and dad agreed with everything he talked about.

Hillary was the spawn of Satan and Bernie Sanders was even worse. How someone could be worse than the spawn of Satan I have never been able to figure out. If either one of them was elected president that was the end of our country as far as they were concerned.

Donald Trump is considered to have been sent by god to save the United States from the godless democrats. Ronald Reagan was the greatest president since Lincoln. From what I have read in history books and seen on old TV shows Reagan could not be elected dog catcher in my small town today. He would be considered too liberal and too willing to work with the other party to actually get things done. You get the idea how whacky my church and my parents were. They claimed to be Christians but from what I have read in the bible they seem to be almost the opposite of what Jesus had said and done. I haven't been able to reconcile that in my mind.

You would have thought the world was going to end back in 2011 when Obama repealed 'don't ask, don't tell', for the military. But the world didn't end and so they eventually forgot about that and moved on to the next outrage.

The shit really hit the fan last summer when the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal nationwide. Jesus, that really set the whole church off like nothing I'd ever seen or heard before. And just within the last few months that stupid bitch in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples became a hero to the members of my church and others with similar views about gays.

You can understand now why I didn't want anyone, especially my mom and dad, to discover that I was gay. There was no telling how they would react, but I knew it wouldn't be good. I was really scared about what would happen to me if they somehow found out. I have heard about kids being kicked out of their houses, beaten, and in extreme cases even killed. I didn't think they would go to that extreme, but I wouldn't be surprised if they kicked me out onto the street. And my dad has been known to hit me on occasion in the past and he has hit my mom on a few occasions as well, although I was never beaten up really bad.

It all started when my mom was snooping around my room one day. I thought I had my porn stash well hidden, but somehow she managed to find it. Why she was looking would become clear when I arrived home from school that day.

I arrived home from school to find my father home from work early which was unusual because he didn't normally arrive before five o'clock. As soon as I walked in the door he yelled for me to get into the living room.

"Jeremy, get your ass in here right now," he yelled.

Right away I knew I was in trouble. Dad very rarely uses that kind of language. It's not very Christian after all.

I walked into the living room, wondering what I could possibly have done to make him this mad. "Hey, dad, what's up?" I asked.

"Sit your ass down and shut the fuck up, you little faggot. Don't say a fucking thing until I tell you to."

By now I was really scared shitless. He had called me a faggot. Had dad somehow discovered that I was gay? How could he have found out? The only person who knew was Kyle and he wouldn't have told anyone. I had sworn him to secrecy when I had come out to him two weeks ago. Oh shit, I thought, I had also told Dawn and she had gotten really pissed off at me. Had she told someone? There had been talk at school, but I had never actually been confronted with anything, so I thought she had gotten over it. Could she have said something to my parents? That was the only thing I could figure.

Dad was sitting in his recliner and mom was sitting on one end of the couch so I walked over and sat down on the other end from my mom.

"Jeremy," my mom said. "I've been hearing these rumors for the last couple of weeks, rumors I just couldn't believe. Rumors that you are gay. I thought to myself not my son, my son can't be gay. He's a good boy, a good Christian. But I decided to have a look in your room just for my own peace of mine. And guess what I found?"

I had no sooner sat down when dad jumped up from his chair, leaned over and grabbed a magazine off the table and walked toward me. He rolled the magazine up in his hand as he walked. I immediately had a pretty good idea how they had found out for sure.

"How dare you bring this faggot shit into my house," he yelled, and then took the rolled up magazine and hit me on the side of the head as hard as he could, before throwing the magazine on the floor in disgust.

"Well, damnit, I asked you a question. Are you a little faggot?" He then backhanded me, nearly knocking me off the couch. "Answer me, damnit."

I was shaking so hard I could hardly think. I also had tears in my eyes and could hardly see my dad by now. "Yes, dad, I think I'm gay," I said, cringing, waiting for him to hit me again.

He raised his hand to hit me again but my mom quickly stood up and stepped toward him. "Stop," she yelled. "I will not have you hitting our son, even if he is a faggot."

I couldn't believe my own mother had called me that, although I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised.

"He's no son of mine," dad said. "You must have gotten with someone else right after we were married. There's no way this little queer is mine."

To my shock and dad's as well, mom drew back her hand and slapped him across the face.

"You know damn good and well that he's your son," she yelled. "I have never cheated on you and I never will. I'm a Christian and I don't do that sort of thing. Now you go sit down and let's talk about this."

I had never, in my entire eighteen years, heard my mother use that kind of language and certainly never expected her to actually slap my father and stand up to him like she just had. Also, I had done some figuring a few years ago, and I was born seven months after mom and dad's wedding anniversary. She may claim she has never fucked around since they were married, and I believe her, but clearly they had before they were married. Maybe she wasn't as good a Christian then as she claims to be now.

"Yes, dear," he said meekly looking at her. He then turned and looked at me again. "As for you, young man, go to your room and think about this. I'm calling Reverend Fraser and find out what to do about you. Now get out of my sight."

Me and my dad were never that close to begin with, and now with this I'm afraid we'll be further apart than ever. Me and my mom weren't a whole lot closer, but at least she seemed to care about me, at least somewhat. I've always had the feeling in the back of my mind that they really didn't want me to begin with, like I was some sort of accident.

About an hour later, dad came barging into my room, grabbed me by the arm and dragged me into the living room, where Reverend Fraser was waiting for me.

"Sit down and shut up," he yelled as he roughly pushed me into a chair.

"Jeremy, your father tells me that your mother found some magazine in your room earlier today. Some pornographic magazines. Gay pornographic magazines. You care to explain this to me? To your parents?"

"Mom, dad, ever since I was about thirteen I've known I was different. I didn't like girls like most boys my age. I like boys. I think I'm gay dad. I haven't quite figured all that out yet, but I'm pretty sure I'm gay."

Dad started to get out of his chair, but Brother Fraser put his arm out to restrain him.

"Hold on a minute, Tyler," he said. "Let the boy speak."

"How can you be gay, Jeremy?" mom asked. "You've dated girls in the past. You just had a double date with Kyle last Friday. Are you sure you're gay? Maybe it's just a phase you're going through. You said it yourself; you haven't quite figured everything out yet. You're just confused."

I knew I wasn't confused. I knew exactly who and what I was. But I was beginning to think that maybe I should just go along with them. You've heard the old expression 'go along to get along'. I only had three more months before I graduated high school. I had no idea what I was going to do after high school, but I knew I had to get out of this town and away from these backward redneck motherfuckers.

I had an idea in my mind about what I could do to get away from this place. I had to keep everything a secret until then, however. Only Kyle, my best friend in the world knew what I was thinking about.

About a year ago a boy I knew had graduated and joined the navy. He came home on leave about three months ago and was telling me all about it. He'd been in less than a year and had already made one deployment overseas, going to four different countries over in the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf area.

I knew that was my ticket out, but I didn't want anyone, especially my parents, to know where I was. If they wanted nothing to do with me then I felt the same way. To hell with them, to hell with the church, and to hell with this town.

I just had to hold my parents off for three more months and I would be free to be whoever I wanted to be. I had just turned eighteen back in November so I was legally an adult. I didn't have to have their permission and they didn't have to know anything.

"You're right, mom. I did date Dawn. We just broke up last week as a matter of fact. I told you I was still trying to figure things out. When you found the magazines did you also notice that there were a couple of them with women in them as well? I really am confused about this whole thing. I've been praying real hard every night for God to change me. I still think about boys on occasion but I think I like girls more. Brother Fraser, I would appreciate it if you and the church could pray for me as well. The church doesn't have to know the circumstances, just tell them I'm undergoing some trials and need God to help me through everything."

I looked at him with pleading eyes.

"Of course we'll pray for you Jeremy," Brother Fraser said. "I always pray for you and every member of the church. We still need to discuss this, however. We can't ignore the fact that you still think you might be gay. We need to help you before it's too late."

I'm sure it's too late, I thought to myself. I don't think there's anything that can make me change. That plus the fact I like being gay and have no desire to change. Of course I wasn't about to say anything like that, not when I was so close to getting out of here.

"Whatever we can do, Brother Fraser," dad said. "I can't and won't have a fag for a son. If you or the church can't help Jeremy then he's out of here. He can go to hell as far as I'm concerned."

"Well, Tyler, you've probably heard of these special centers run by various churches, centers that take young people and help them to see the light. There's a place out in western Kansas that I know about. It takes young boys who are acting out, who think they are faggots. It's sort of like a boot camp for faggots, if you will. Besides the physical training there are also several psychologists and other professionals there to help cure wayward boys. If you want, I can get you more information about the place. The program lasts for two months and when the boys come out they are completely straight, ready to find the right girl, get married and start a family."

"That sounds like a good program, Brother Fraser," dad said. "I'll stop by your office in the next few days and we can talk about it. In the meantime, Jeremy, you go back to your room and pray about this."

I stood up to leave, but just as I was about to leave Reverend Fraser stood up as well.

"Before you go, Jeremy, let's all pray for you, for god's guidance with your disease. Can we do that?"

The only thing I'm praying for right now is for this bullshit to be over, I thought to myself, but I went along with it in order to keep the peace.

"Would you please?" I asked. "I've been praying about this for over a year and it seems to be working. Maybe if all of you are praying for me as well I can finally be cured. That's my biggest desire, to be cured of being gay. I hate myself for the feelings I have about other boys."

I guess when the situation calls for it I can bullshit as well as the next person. Maybe if I could convince them I was trying to change they would back off a little. I knew I would never be able to please my father, no matter what I did so I gave up trying years ago, but this was different. My dad was threatening to kick me out if I didn't change and I had no doubt he would do just that.

I put my plan into motion the next day. Right after school I asked Kyle to drive me over to Joplin Missouri, the nearest city to where I lived. I wanted to go visit the navy recruiter and find out what I had to do in order to join. This was my ticket out.

The recruiter, Chief Petty Officer Wilson, explained that I would have to take a series of tests, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), to see what kind of job training I could be sent to, I would have to pass the physical and then I would be ready to enlist. He scheduled the test for this upcoming Saturday.

The test results came back the following week. I was qualified for several different jobs, everything from supply, to data processing, to electronics. Electronics was my best area so the Chief recommended that field and told me I was guaranteed school if I passed the physical and background checks.

Chief Wilson had already prepared all the paperwork I needed to enlist. I signed everything that same day. All I had to do was go to Kansas City next week to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), pass the physical, finish up my paperwork and I would be ready to go.

Right before I started all this I had rented myself a post office box so my parents wouldn't find out what I was planning. I was scheduled to graduate high school at the end of May and set my date to leave for boot camp for the following week, June 6, 2016. I told no one except for Kyle.

My parents still treated me like shit most of the time, and dad still hit me on occasion, and called me a faggot, but at least they hadn't kicked me out. My dad wasn't quite convinced I was completely changed, even though I made a big public show of praying and asking for prayer every week in church. I only had to hold out for a few more months and I would be free from all the bullshit. Graduation couldn't come soon enough.

It was my intention to leave this town and never come back, never visit or call my parents, or anyone other than Kyle. I intended to stay in contact with him but no one else. If my parents didn't want me, than I would grant their wish. Let them just wonder what became of me, not that they would probably care.

I still wanted to tell my parents and their church how I felt but I had to resist until the last Sunday before I left. I had a plan for exactly what I wanted to do. I told Kyle what I was planning and he just laughed before agreeing to help me with everything.

Right after my mother had found those magazines and my confrontation with my dad and the preacher, I had been forbidden to see Kyle, but I didn't let that stop me. I saw him every day at school, and we still hung out after school, before my dad got home from work, that is, and I would sometimes sneak out and see him.

I skipped school on the following Wednesday and Kyle drove me to the recruiters office. From there I took a bus to Kansas City and got my physical. After that I was given more paperwork to sign, had my fingerprints taken, and took the oath of enlistment. I was now sailor in the United States Navy. I would leave for boot camp on June 6th.

The next three months were rather uneventful so I'll skip ahead to my last week of school. Not that my dad didn't still yell at me on a regular basis and even hit me on occasion, but then some things never change. I just took it and thought about my plans for the final embarrassment of them and leaving home forever. I only had a week until I graduated and I would be out of here.

Graduation day finally arrived. The ceremony was on Saturday at two o'clock in the gym. It was all I could do to hold back my feelings for this school and this town, but I kept my mouth shut. My feelings would become known tomorrow morning at church, and on Monday morning I was out of here. I would finally be a free man.

I had everything ready to go. I had been gradually boxing everything I wanted to keep and taken it over to Kyle's house to store. Everything else I was leaving at my parent's house to dispose of as they wished. All except one old pair of jeans which were a little tight but still fit. I cut them off as short as I possibly could in preparation for tomorrow morning.

Sunday finally arrived. My last Sunday in this town, in this church. Tomorrow morning I would be a free man. I woke up at my normal time, got ready for church in my best clothes. I called Kyle just before leaving home for the last time and he told me he would be waiting for me at noon. I grabbed my backpack right before walking out the door and getting in the car.

The sermon today was about, what else, the latest gay outrage being forced on the country, and good Christians. How ironic, that on the very day I intended to tell the church and my parents off, that the preacher would talk about something like this.

Church normally lets out at noon on Sunday so at ten minutes till twelve I slipped out of my seat and made my way to the back, with my backpack. I quickly called Kyle to be sure he was ready for his part in my little plan, and then slipped into an empty classroom.

I quickly stripped out of all my clothes, including my underwear, and grabbed the pair of cutoff jeans I had prepared. Opening the door, I quickly stepped into the main sanctuary. I heard a loud gasp and several people turned around to look at me, including my parents, who looked like they were in shock.

Even the preacher was speechless, probably for the first time in years. He just stood there with his big mouth hanging open.

I quickly made my way to the front of the church. I stopped just in front of the pulpit, turned around and faced the congregation.

"I have something to say to all of you before you leave, especially to my mom and dad and Reverend Fraser. I'm gay. I have always been gay. I was born gay. I suck cock and get fucked in the ass. I fuck other guys in the ass. And I like doing it. I'm not ashamed because I have nothing to be ashamed of. God made me this way."

I heard a huge collective gasp from the entire congregation, then everything became deadly silent.

"This is the last time any of you will ever see me. I'm leaving this fucked up town and this self-righteous, fucked up church right after I finish with this little goodbye."

I then reached down, unbuttoned the tight shorts I was wearing, turned my back to the audience, dropped the shorts to my ankles and shook my bare ass at them.

"This church, this town, the school, and my parent's can kiss my gay ass. Fuck it all. I'm out of here."

I quickly pulled up my shorts and ran to the side door in front of the church before anyone could react and try to stop me. Kyle would be waiting outside for me to take me away from here.

Just like he said he would, Kyle was waiting for me. I quickly ran to the passenger side and jumped in. He took off as soon as my door was closed.

"How'd it go?" Kyle asked me.

"Just like I planned," I replied. "This will probably drive mom and dad from the church. They were all so shocked they didn't have time to react. It was perfect. I wish you could have seen it, Kyle."

"I wish I could have too," he said. "Not that I want to see your ass but it would have been worth it just to see the reaction. You do have a nice ass after all."

"What? Did I just hear you say I have a nice ass? You're the straightest guy I know. You like girls, as gross as that might be."

We both laughed. Kyle has told me in the past that he thinks I'm cute so this shouldn't come as much as a surprise, but still it's one thing to think a guy is cute and another to say he has a nice ass. Still it was a nice compliment.

"You're right, Jeremy, I love girls. But that doesn't mean I'm so chickenshit to not notice a cute boy as well, and you are very good looking Jeremy. If I was gay I could easily fall for you. I'm just saying. Not all straight people are assholes."

Kyle has always been my best friend and now we were even closer. He was the only person in this town I cared anything about, the only person I would be keeping in contact with after I left tomorrow.

"Thank you, Kyle. You're a good friend."

"I'm your best friend and don't you forget it."

We both laughed at that. I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

"You're right about that, Kyle. You're the best friend a person can have. Thanks."

"Where to now?" he asked.

"Well, stop somewhere so I can get properly dressed and then over to Brad's house."

Brad was Kyle's cousin who lived in another town. Kyle had made arrangements for us to stay at his house tonight, and he would drop me off at the recruiter's office tomorrow morning. From there I would take a bus up to the Kansas City MEPS station and then fly to Chicago from there and report to the Great Lakes recruit training base to start boot camp.


This story is part of the 2016 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Chocolate Spread". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 7 April 2016 to 28 April 2016 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:

Chocolate Spread
Please rate Leaving Home 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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