You can't ever let people know that you don't know. You understand? Everybody understands that. It's rule number one. Otherwise you look completely stupid. The last thing you want, is to look like an idiot. That's the worst, because then you'll be the nerd on the outside. It's a question of survival.
I don't need to tell you how something gets to be - the thing of the moment. Sometimes it's really insane, but everybody's doing it. And if everybody's doing it, you join in. Even if it's stupid.
Homo - everybody was a homo. The teachers were all homos. Anybody you wanted to insult, was definitely a homo. Even if you just wanted to piss someone off, they were a homo.
First time I heard it, 'homo', I didn't know what it meant. I just kept thinking, 'homosapiens.' Yeah, yeah, you don't have to tell me, that was idiot. It was good I kept quiet. Well, when you don't know, you don't open your mouth. That's rule number two - staying silent.
During break I decided I'd ask Michael. I'd be kind of casual. Of course, I don't need to tell you that either. I'm not going to come straight out and ask, am I? Michael was a mate, but still, you don't want your mates looking at you like your a dumbnut. I picked my moment, nobody else was around. That was good, don't need others joining in. Don't need anybody thinking I don't know.
"Mike, hey," I said, all very casual. "How's it going?"
"Oh hi, Davey," he replied, "yeah, good, you?"
All my mates called me Davey. It was okay, I guess, better than David. David was reserved for my parents. My brother used Dave. Davey, David, Dave, I didn't like any of them. Don't know why my parents chose that name?
I asked my mum that question once. You know what she said? She said we wanted to give you and your brother names that couldn't be shortened. Your dad and I didn't want you being called by a nickname. Well they named my brother Paul, so I guess they got it half right!
Anyway, where was I. Oh yeah, talking to Michael, my mate Michael. I don't know why nobody else called him, Mike, or Micky, or Mikey. That's weird, isn't it? So, I asked Michael, "What's with all this 'homo' stuff?"
"Dun know," he replied. "Everybody's calling everyone a 'homo'."
Well I knew that. I wasn't getting any closer to discovering what it meant, 'homo.' I had to think what to say next. I needed more information. Then it came to me, just like that.
"But nobody really is a 'homo', are they?"
I hoped I hadn't put my foot in it. He didn't answer immediately. 'Shit,' I thought, I shouldn't have said anything. Jesus it's like riding a roller coaster. One false move, lean out too far, and wham! You fall out, then it's a hell of a long climb back up.
"Nah," he replied finally. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. "Well Jenkins could be. He looks like a homosexual."
Lucky break or what? 'Homo', homosexual, not homosapien. But maybe they're connected. Never mind, that was all I needed to know. For now.
My dad was never around very much. It's for that I was always a bit scared of him. Because I didn't know him so well. That and because I was always with my mum or nan. Always, I mean, whenever I was at home with an adult. Yeah, it was not knowing him too well, but maybe it was also because when I really misbehaved, my mum would say "Wait till your father gets home."
Nothing more than being told off by him ever happened. Still, I was always careful when he was there. Thinking about it, I was often such a little shit to my mum that I deserved a good spanking to put me in my place.
She'd read a book by some 'expert', on how to raise your kids. Can you believe that? I had parents that needed to study about bringing up their children. That book said you shouldn't hit your kids. I suppose I should be grateful to whoever that guy was who wrote that book. I know if I was the parent I would have ignored the book.
My best friend Ryan, we'd known each other since we were seven. Ryan was not so lucky. I mean he had a great dad. I really liked Ryan's dad. Ryan's dad built him a fantastic 'go-kart' when we were young. It was like the formula one of go-karts. A crate for the seat, on a thick plank of wood. It had big wheels and even a steering wheel.
Ryan was Irish, and Catholic, the two things pretty much go together. I'm not saying that had anything to do with anything. Ryan's mum ruled their house. Yeah, one day I was round there, we used to always be in and out of each other's houses. Well, he'd done something he shouldn't have. I can't remember what exactly. But his mum got real angry. She took a stick from the cupboard and chased him down the hall trying to whack his arse.
He'd never talked about that. I saw it though, so after that I knew he got whacked if he did something wrong. I never bothered him by talking about it. He'd never said anything, so I was not gonna embarrass him. But I did see things a bit different after that.
So, yeah, um... getting back to my dad. Like I said I was careful around him, but that didn't mean I couldn't talk to him. Well, this time he was home, he'd finished his supper. My dad never ate with us, he had his own meal when he got in. On a tray, in front of the tele. Perfect time I thought, so I said, "Dad, can I ask you something?"
"Yes, what is it son?"
So I came straight out with it. "What does the word homosexual mean?"
He looked at me directly. Maybe he wanted to see if I was being serious. That's why he said, "Why do you ask that?"
So I told him, "Well the boys at school keep using it and I don't know what it means."
I got to hand it to him, he dealt with it pretty well. At least to begin with. Must be difficult when your kids take you by surprise with a question on sex. It's like the inevitable, 'Where do babies come from?' So he told me it was two men who liked each other, a lot. Who were a bit more than just good friends.
By the time he'd got that far with his explanation I was thinking, wow, that's me. You see I've always liked boys, much more than girls. In fact there was one boy in particular at school who I really liked. I never told him of course.
You'll have to guess which one it was. We're all in that black and white photo. All except Eric, he was the one behind the camera, but it wasn't Eric. Yeah, that was taken some years later, but he's in there, with me and the rest of the boys.
So my dad kind of spoiled his explanation as to what a homosexual was. Maybe he wasn't sure that I understood when he said, 'a bit more than just good friends.' He was probably right, I wasn't exactly certain about that. Anyway to clarify things, he said, "It's a nancy boy."
See what I mean, spoiled it. Just as I was thinking I'm a homosexual, he says that means you're a nancy boy. Well we don't use that name these days, but I knew a nancy boy was a sissy, a boy who was too girly.
So yeah, I was confused. I was a boy who liked boys, not a boy who was girly, or a boy who liked other boys who were girly. Well at least I kinda new what 'homo' meant now.
I guess I worked out the whole homosexual thing for myself, kind of. It happened on the bus to school one morning. Yeah, yeah, it's odd the way things happen to you. It was still dark in the mornings when I took the bus to school. I was always on the top deck. This was London, big red buses, double deckers.
So I'm aimlessly looking through the window. Practically got my nose on the glass. Occasionally wiping the glass as it mists up. You couldn't see much. Like I told you, it was still dark out.
The bus pulled up at a stop. I was looking out the window. A light was on in the house in front of me. First floor bedroom. I saw the bed, the curtains were open. Then I saw a boy about my age, thirteen. He had his PJs on. I watched. He pulled off his top, now he was bare chested. My cock was hard immediately.
Okay, my cock was hard a lot of the time, but this was a bit different. My heart was beating fast, really fast. BaBoom, baboom, baboom. Oh wow, couldn't take my eyes off him. He sat on the edge of the bed. He was gonna pull the bottom of his PJs off.
Shit, shit, shit... the bus pulled away.
That was it. That was the moment I knew I definitely liked boys, and a bit more than just as good friends. Still wasn't sure if I qualified as homosexual. I thought I probably did and my dad had made a mistake about the nancy boy stuff. He wasn't a homosexual, so he couldn't properly know, could he?
I determined to be careful about all the homo stuff at school. Didn't want any of the boys getting the wrong idea. Well only perhaps, the one special one, but that was never gonna happen was it?
I used to look for that boy in his bedroom, nearly everyday. I fantasised about him. I thought about calling at his house. That would be just too weird though. He most probably was straight anyway, just like the special boy at school. It's hard being a homosexual!
This story is part of the 2017 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Black and White Boys?". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 11 March to 1 April 2017 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:
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