Next day Sno rowed me and the girls ashore. It was sometime in the afternoon, I don't know exactly when. It was kind of a bad day for me... and I guess it was for Sno too, because we didn't exactly try to talk much. I don't know what I could have said anyway. I think we were kind of bringing Lisa and Ellen down too, so it pretty much sucked for all of us.
Sno gave me some money and hugged me, kissing the top of my head and inhaling me at the same time. I could barely stand it. Then he hugs Lisa and Ellen, and we said "goodbye" just like that – one word each. After that, and without another look at us, he gets back in the dingy and starts rowing back to The Chance. While he's rowing he's facing our way, but he's not looking at us - on purpose I suppose. The man who couldn't get enough of staring at me won't even look now.
But I could understand that. It's hard for me to look at him, too.
"C'mon," I told my sisters, "Let's go find a phone." We all turned around and headed up the beach to the marina. By the time I looked back, Sno's face was just a dot of black in a sea of white. I wondered if by that time he was watching me too. I hoped so.
I dialed the phone and fed money into it, but let Lisa do the talking. I just wasn't up to it. I felt pretty bleak, like I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do now. It wasn't just that Sno was gone, either – it was that the whole thing was over. The fears and he adventures and yes, the sex too, but more than that: just everything. We were going back home where we'd live with our parents and we'd go to school and it'd be like nothing had ever happened.
Sno was going back to Ivory Coast – his contacts on the radio had told him it was safe now, he'd said. So he was going to resume his life and I was going to resume mine and where our lives had intersected for a while was now in the past. Well, at least I'd learned a lot about myself, and Sno got some hot sex with a cute young boy out of it, so I guess we both came out ahead. I suddenly realized that I still didn't know his real name. Fuck man. I'm so stupid.
We took a cab to the airport and waited there for six hours until my dad showed up to claim us. We stayed the night in some luxury hotel and flew back to The Hague the next morning.
Oh, I was glad to see Mom and Dad again, don't get me wrong. It's just that... my horizons were expanded I guess, and there seemed to be a lot more to life now than just parents and school and hanging out and video games.
After just one day at home, telling our made-up story over and over, we were back at school. We'd already missed three weeks, so now we had to make up for lost time. That sucked too, but at least it kept my mind off of other things.
Speaking of things that sucked – I didn't have any classes with Evan Simone. Not one. How fucked up was that? It would have given me at least one thing to look forward to, and I didn't even have that. He was still around – I'd pass him in the halls sometimes – but he never even looked my way. I don't think he even remembered me.
Once I was more or less caught up with my school work, I started to get bored. I tried playing Halo II, but it just didn't seem... all that interesting. Blowing away animated characters on a computer screen wasn't doing it for me. Slowly, over the course of a few weeks, I began to realize what my problem was.
I was lonely.
I still had my old friends, and my sisters of course, and my parents, but that just wasn't the same as... as having someone to hold and... and maybe kiss and... stuff. At the same time, I realized that I'd always been lonely – I just hadn't know it before.
And I knew what to do about it, too. It might not work – I knew that – in fact, it could easily blow up in my face and be the biggest disaster of my life, but by god, I was going to do it. I was going to see if Evan... liked me. I was going to ask him out.
Yeah, it took awhile. I hardly know the guy, y'know. I just have no idea how he'll react. He might be a homophobe for all I know. He might want to kick my ass or something. And he just might tell everyone at school that I'd ask him too, and then I'd be known as "one of the fags".
Well, at least there were others. Three guys and two girls for sure were gay – they were out of the closet, and would straight out tell you if you asked. And there were two more guys and three more girls that everyone just kind of assumed were gay, although they never said so. So it wasn't like I'd be the only one, at least. God, can you imagine being the only one? Because at some point in the past, someone had to be the first. That must have sucked rocks. Imagine the balls that must have taken. I couldn't have done it.
I might lose some friends... but maybe I'd gain others. Lisa told me that lots of the girls think gay guys are hot... Yeah, seems kind of backwards to me, too. She's been harping on me sometimes about whether I'd asked Evan out yet or not. Y'know... it's weird, but I think Lisa attitude about it is what gave me a lot of the courage to go ahead and finally do it.
"Oh – uh... hey... uh..."
"Ryan." God – doesn't he even remember me at all? Crap!
"Oh yeah, Ryan. We had Civics together last year, right?"
Okay – good, he remembers something, at least. "Yeah. Nothing this year though..."
"Yeah, I know. Too bad."
"Yeah..." It is? It's 'too bad'? Does that mean something? Does he wish we had classes together? Should I abandon my script? Holy fuck man, what do I do?
"You're the one who was kidnapped last summer, right? What happened? What was it like?"
"Uh..." Shit man, that's not what I want to talk about! Okay – I'm going back to the script. I can't think right, so it's my only hope. I've rehearsed it enough times, maybe I won't look like a total fool. I can already feel sweat breaking out on my face. Great – I bet that's attractive. "Yeah – that was me. Uh, listen – I was gonna ask you if you wanted to go see a movie or something sometime..."
That was the best I could do, even after rehearsing it a thousand times. Just like Sno said. Like something out of The Brady Bunch.
"Heh, dude... the way you put it, it almost sounds like you're asking me on a date or something," he says with a smile that looks kind of forced. Me, I thought it was obviously asking for a date. Now I have to do it again? So much for my script.
"Uh... yeah. I am, actually..." I can't look him in the eye now, but I'm still watching his face for clues. I can hear my heart racing, pounding in my ears. God damn this is hard.
The smile disappears. Oh fuck... He looks around like he's afraid someone might have heard. Okay – I have a practiced line for that, so I might as well use it, for all the good it'll do. "Nobody else has to know or anything..."
See, the idea was, maybe he'd like to go out with me, but is afraid of what everyone might think. So this way he knows that I don't intend to out him or anything. I thought it was kind of clever when I put that in my script, but now it just feels lame.
And he's not saying anything, either. For a long time. Aww shit, man. It fucking figures.
"Okay Evan – don't worry about it. Just thought I'd ask is all... And... I'd kind of appreciate it if you wouldn't tell everyone..." It was worth a try, anyway, whether it would do any good or not. "So... see ya around then."
I start walking away. Brilliant end to my script, don't you think? God I'm an idiot. Well, I guess I can stop fantasizing about that, then. Fine. Guess I'll have to look somewhere else. There's this one girl in Algebra who-
"Hey, Ryan? Uh... what movie?"
Turned out, he had a crush on me! And we went to the movie and then back to my place and made out and he let me suck his dick and then he fucked me all that same night! And we lived happily ever after!
Yeah well... I wish.
We went and saw – guess what – Batman. He's kind of hung up on that, I think. I mean, he's like way too far into it. He knows every damn little detail, and I couldn't very tell him 'I don't CARE, Evan! Now kiss me!' could I...
I held his hand sometimes during the movie. That was as far as I got, and I'm not sure he was even comfortable with that, for god's sake. So no, no blow-jobs for me. Afterward, he begged off that he had to go home, so as far as I was concerned, the date was a total bust.
But when we saw each other at school the next day, he did come up and talk to me. He was kind of nervous, but at least he made the move. Good thing, too, because I wasn't quite sure exactly what was going on... was he gay? Did he like me or not? Why had he wanted to go out with me in the first place, y'know?
We met after school at the soccer bleachers, so it would look like we were just watching the girl's team practice, and we sat far enough away from everyone that I could finally really talk to him. About something other than Batman, I mean.
No, I don't think he had a crush on me like I do him, but at least he said I was cute, so that's something, and thank god for it. At least I know where I stand now. When I ask him, he says flat-out that he's gay. But the problem is that he's just terrified someone will find out, and when I asked him why – if it was his parents or something – and he said no, it wasn't that, it was, to quote, "Just everybody."
That girl he always talks to? She's his beard. Apparently he took her on a date once – for cover, y'know – and they went and say yet a different Batman, and she noticed his hard-on. He said that he almost died – his words – but that she was so cool about it, he went ahead and came out to her. He said it was pretty obvious anyway, and that they'd been friends since grammar school before that.
He took her to one of the Batman's with Robin in it, see. He thinks Robin is even hotter than Batman, and so with the two of them together – he thinks they're secretly sleeping with each other – and so on and so forth and on and on and on and I swear to god, Evan, PLEASE stop with the fucking Batman!
Needless to say, I was his first boyfriend. If you can call it that. In my book, holding hands barely qualifies for 'boyfriend' status...
But that's as far as I get for two goddamn weeks. TWO GODDAMN WEEKS! Oh, I tried to kiss him a few times, when we were alone in either his room or mine, but he'd always back off and pretend like nothing had happened. I want to make out, and he wants to play Halo II. Yeah, I used to be into the game, but now, dammit, I'm into something else.
Lisa isn't helping, either, saying sly things when we go up to my bedroom together, winking at him when we leave the house, stuff like that. I keep having to reassure him that she's cool about it too, but he doesn't know her, so I guess he doesn't trust her like I do. I've told Lisa to cool it around him, but I swear, it's like she can't help herself sometimes, and poor Evan is so skittish that I just feel sorry for him.
Anyway, one day I finally do get to kiss him. We're at his house and he's getting ready to go to the Mall with me, and he's standing in front of his closet shirtless and I've just got too, y'know? So I tap him on the shoulder and then push him up against the wall when he turns around and I kiss him. No tongue or anything, but yeah, it was pretty hot. To me, anyway. It wasn't a really long kiss – I didn't want to freak him out or anything – but it was long enough.
Afterwards, I'm looking into his eyes and he's looking anywhere else.
"Uhm... you okay, Evan?"
"Yeah... yeah. Fine. I'm fine."
"Well... did you like it?"
He swallows audibly, "Yeah."
Evan's kind of dark – I think there may be some Indian in him – but I can still tell that he's blushing hard. Normally, I'd think it was just adorable, but right now, I'm wishing he weren't embarrassed. I need him to get over this. I really do. I need him bad, you might say.
"So... want me to do it again?"
At least I got to first base. No tongue yet – I don't want to scare him off completely, but I can tell he's getting into kissing anyway. I let go of his arms and feel up and down the sides of his stomach and chest, while he lets his arms rest on my shoulders.
It was a longer kiss than before, but I have to break it off a lot sooner than I wanted to. For one thing, I'm getting just incredibly excited – and I mean cum-in-my-jeans excited - and I'm not sure how much longer I can control myself. As for him... well, at least he glanced into my eyes for a little while before he started looking off to the side.
I back off from him and pretend to be interested in his aquarium. I'm trying to give him some space, sort of a signal that it's over for now, and we can go back to how we usually are. "Okay, we'd better go now, before things start to close."
"Uh... yeah," he says.
He looks at me funny for a while after that, and I mean for a day after that, but at least he's not pretending it didn't happen. I'm making progress.
Fucking slowly, though. Evan's such a kid, in a lot of ways. Kind of reminds me of me, back when-
I have an idea.
"Hi Sno. It's me."
"... it's... R-Ryan?"
"Yeah. Can you talk? Is it okay?"
"How... how did you find me?"
"World-Wide Web, Sno. There's only one Minister of Medicine in Ivory Coast. Although it took me a little while to find out that they call it 'Cote d' Ivoire' instead, but after that, yeah, it was easy."
"Ah. Well. I see. It's... it's good to hear from you, Ryan..."
"Yeah, me too, Sno."
"You made it home all right, then? No problems?"
"No problems, Sno. Everyone bought the cover-story. Everything is fine."
"Well that's good. I was worried. So... what... that is, I mean to say..."
"My summer vacation is coming up in a few weeks, Sno. I thought maybe you... well, if you can get away, I mean... uhm... Maybe you could come give me some more sailing lessons?"
"... Sailing... what?"
"I told my folks that I wanted to learn how to sail, and I knew a good instructor. I think they agreed to it because I've been bugging them about me getting a motorcycle since I turned sixteen, so they'd rather have me do anything except that. By the way – that's legal age here."
"Heh. Yeah. I'm all legal now. So... ya free?"
"I... uh... hold on a minute, Ryan. Let me look at my schedule. When do-"
"June second to sixteenth."
"Ah. June second... to... got it. Hold on."
"It looks like I could clear a hole in my schedule. But, I won't have time to sail The Chance all the way to-"
"Portugal. I told them the instructor lived in Portugal. And I thought of that, Sno. You could just rent one – I have a phone number for a place. Ready to copy?"
"You seem to have though of everything, Ryan. I'm impressed. Then again, I usually was."
"Yeah, well... So you'll do it? Got a pencil yet?"
"I'm just... I never thought... Yes. Yes – I will, and I do. Go ahead with the number."
By the time summer vacation came around, I'd managed to convince Evan to come with me for the "sailing lessons". I didn't tell him anything else about it, though. As far as our sex goes, we were up to hand-jobs by then, and he'd even let me give him head once. He still had some growing up to do, though, and even if two weeks might not be quite enough time, he ought to be a lot more comfortable with gay sex by the time the 'lesson' was over than he was now, for sure.
When we got to the dock, I saw Sno and his rented yacht waiting for us. He was wearing his usual all-white sailing clothes... and god damn man, he really looked good. Me and Evan were going to be wearing Speedos most of the time, although he didn't know that yet.
Yeah, I know – and I really do hope I don't shock poor Evan into a coma or something when I start making out with Sno – and then suggesting a three-way - but man... I gotta do SOMETHING, y'know? I'm dying over here! Sucking dick once in almost half a goddamn year is just not acceptable!
I run up and hug Sno hard, leaving Evan behind. That wasn't part of any act, either. It really was good to see him again.
"You brought lots of lube?" I asked him. Look – I was horny and desperate, okay? I know it wasn't a very romantic thing to say.
"Uh... a case. Ryan? Who is-"
"Evan. Evan Simone, remember? He'll be coming with us. He's my boyfriend now."
"Oh. Oh, I see. Uh... yes. I see." I know that look, and that tone. He was looking forward to sex with me and now he thinks it's going to be all about me and my new boyfriend. Heh. Poor Sno. I'll just let him think that for awhile. Am I too mean? Well hey – Sno's getting TWO sixteen year old boys out of it this time – that ought to make him happy. So he can just sweat for awhile.
So introductions are made – I'm not mentioning anything about sex yet – and off we go for our "lesson".
A little while after getting the sail up, me and Evan are sitting next to the helm while Sno is up at the bow stowing the extra sheet-line. It's time to put my plan into action.
"I'll be back in a minute, Evan. I gotta talk to Sno."
"Oh. Uh... okay..."
So I go up to the bow, knowing that Evan's watching me.
"Hey, Sno? Stand up for a second."
He does, and looks at me a little curiously, "Yes, Ryan?"
"I really have missed you..." I say, and wrap my arms around him and pull him down to kiss me. For a long time. A long, long time. With tongue and everything. God, I'd missed that.
When I let him go, he glances back at Evan and then at me. "Uh... I thought..."
"Just play along, okay Sno? You'll be glad you did. Now go back to coiling up the rope. I gotta deal with Evan for awhile."
"Uh... Ryan, what are-"
"Sno? I promise you – it'll be okay, all right? Just do what I tell you for now. You can have your way with me later."
"I can... ah. Well... all right..." he says with a look on his face that's just precious. God this is fun. Okay – now for the touchy part. C'mon Evan, I know you like men, get into it. I have a secret weapon to spring on him if he doesn't seem receptive to the idea, but we'll have to see what he thinks first. I go back to where he's sitting next to the helm.
"What the hell was that all about?" he asks me.
"Sno was my first lover," I tell him, "He taught me everything I know about gay sex. Actually... pretty much everything I know about sex at all."
"Well, not 'lover' exactly, but yeah, we had sex. A lot. We may not be 'in love' – at least not the way you're thinking – but we're really close, anyway. I hope you'll like him too, Evan..."
"You mean... you set up this whole thing just so you could be... with him?"
"Him and you. Look, the truth is: you're driving me fucking crazy, Evan. I mean it. I want you so bad it just hurts, okay? And it's been like that for me since day one. Yeah – I had a crush on you last year, for god's sake. So... I sort of need for you to learn how it's done, okay? Sno taught me – he's really cool – and... Well, I'm hoping he can teach you, too."
"You... you want me to have sex with him?"
"He's pretty hot, don't you think?"
"Well... but he's so old! And... he's black..."
Uh-huh. Well, I think I know what to do about that.
"Sno!" I yell up to the bow.
"Take off your shirt!"
"Just do it, Sno!"
He does, and then stands there facing us, wondering what he's supposed to do next. Nothing, Sno. You're doing more than you know already. Evan here – the Dark Knight fanatic, remember? – is probably really into six-packs and pecs. Which I – being the cute one – don't have.
Evan's jaw drops. "Holy cow..." he whispers.
I'm a fucking genius.