First Time for Everything (2 page)

BOOK: First Time for Everything
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Sam

 

 

D
EAR
C
ODY
,

Did you ever wonder why I went to the prom with Jamie? I mean, she and I have been friends since 4th grade. It wasn’t that she couldn’t get a date. She did a huge favor for me that night. I can spare you all the details. Let’s just say it gave me the chance to experience the night with you, even though we weren’t really together.

I looked over at you when “Story of My Life” was playing—you and Tori were dancing so close. Funny, that song seemed so appropriate at the moment. I was the one who wanted to be dancing with you. I wanted to feel our faces against each other, your breath against my cheek, your strong arms squeezing my back. I could almost smell that musky cologne from Hollister I knew you were wearing. I imagined our bodies moving together with the beat of the music, pressing harder and harder against each other. I’d have given anything for that.

You know, that after-party we all went to was pretty fun—at first. But after a while, I felt the ache in my heart surfacing again. I knew I wouldn’t be the one going home with you. I wouldn’t be the one kissing you and falling asleep in your arms. That killed the night for me.

 

 

H
EY
C
ODY
,

How are things going for you there, guy? I felt like shooting you this e-mail even though we spoke yesterday. I really look forward to our phone conversations. I’m glad that we talk more frequently these days. Guess it took a while to settle into a routine there.

This last time we spoke, I felt like I needed more time to tell you about something. But I didn’t know how to begin. Hell, maybe it’s just easier for me to hide behind this message than hear your voice this time. I’m not sure of what your reaction will be. It’s much easier to write this than to speak about it in person or over the phone.

Sorry to sound so mysterious, but I’ve done a lot of thinking, and there is something I’ve been keeping from you. In fact, I started several other e-mails to you—right around the time you left for college—but never sent any of them.

I hope you’ll read all of this, although I’m not completely sure where it’s headed.

Cody, there is something about me you don’t know. Even though we became close friends really fast, there still are parts of my life that I don’t share with everyone. At least not at first. And I’m sorry I didn’t share this with you sooner.

I really don’t know where to start… so I guess I’ll just dive in and see where it goes. So, here it is.

I knew I was different than most guys my age, probably around 6th grade. Just wasn’t sure what it was. Did you know that I was a Boy Scout back then? I don’t think I ever mentioned it. I dropped out after two years—I hated it. But during spring break one year I went to a Boy Scout camp, which actually wasn’t too bad. It was a huge gathering of about 50 troops somewhere in Wisconsin. I’ll never forget one night there. A bunch of us were sitting around in our tent talking. It was like 8 of us. I didn’t contribute much to the conversation since I never really felt connected with those guys. Some of them thought I was a studious, quiet straight-A student. Others probably thought I was just plain weird. To be honest, I didn’t give a fuck what they thought of me. I knew I’d be dropping out soon. That particular night, one of them reached into his backpack and pulled out a Penthouse magazine. He had snuck it out of his dad’s den and brought it with him. Everyone rushed to gather around him, including me, as he went through the magazine page by page.

My reactions were nothing like what the other boys had. I mean, I’d seen photos of naked women before, but never with a group of other guys looking at them. The thing was, I didn’t really care what the girls looked like. I mean, they were pretty and everything, but I didn’t feel like scrutinizing and commenting about each one like they all were doing. Some of the guys got pretty graphic in their comments, and I even laughed at the jokes they made. I felt kinda bad about that. I just didn’t get it, though. Page after page, all the women looked alike. I wondered why I wasn’t having the same experience they were. After all, I liked girls. I really did—just not in that way. Maybe in time it would come.

But it never did. I remember a few weeks later I was at the drugstore with my mom. While she was shopping, I wandered down the magazine aisle. I saw Penthouse and Playboy and a bunch of other men’s magazines I’d never heard of. I thought back to the night in the tent. But something a little farther down the stand caught my eye.

There on the shelf was a special edition of a guys’ fashion magazine—their swimsuit issue. On the cover, in full view for everyone to see, was a very fit muscular guy in a Speedo. He had a smooth and developed chest and a very prominent bulge. His perfect body and contoured suit reminded me of the male divers in the Olympics. I couldn’t stop staring at him. My heart was pounding. I wanted so bad to open that magazine and look at the rest of those guys in their swimwear. Every single one of them. Some would be smooth, some hairy. Some would be wearing Speedos. Some would be in square cuts and some in board shorts. I imagined obsessing over each guy, just like the boys in the tent had done with the photos of the women. My hands were shaking as I reached for the magazine. Even just one glance would be worth the risk that someone might see me. I couldn’t help myself. But then I saw my mom not too far away, so I pulled back and walked away quickly. All I knew was that I needed to get back there someday. I was determined to figure out a way to get a look inside that magazine.

After that day, I stopped thinking something was wrong with me, because it didn’t feel wrong. It felt perfectly natural. But I knew it was just a phase I was going through. Part of growing up and maturing. I read that a lot of guys went through it. I was sure I’d soon be having the same feelings about the girls in Penthouse.

Cody, I know you’ve figured out what I’m talking about. You’re not stupid. But please don’t delete this yet. There’s one more story I need to tell you.

One day after gym class in 7th grade, I had to go back into the locker room. I can’t even remember why. Maybe I left something in my locker. It doesn’t matter now. Anyway, I thought I’d be alone, but was surprised to see Scott Kolar and Dave Sailor heading into the shower room together. They were both on the football team back then too. Maybe they had just finished a special practice or something. I don’t know. All I knew was that I had a clear view of them from behind, completely naked. Their bodies were perfect, like the swimmer on the magazine cover, like the Olympic divers. I had a hard time not staring. I told myself that I was just admiring their bodies—that’s the kind of body I wanted someday. Broad shoulders and strong legs. Arms that not only had baseball-shaped biceps, but well-developed triceps too.

But deep down, I knew there was more. I wanted to be in that shower room with them—to see how they looked from the front and how they interacted with each other. Did they stand next to each other in that room? Did they horse around while they were showering? Did they look at each other’s dicks and compare? Did they slap each other’s asses? As stupid as this sounds, I felt my knees get weak thinking about it. I wanted to be with them, naked in that shower room. And I wondered what it’d feel like to have our bodies, wet and soapy, so close to each other. Hot water and steam pounding against the three of us.

I know I don’t need to say any more. My secret is out.

Yeah, Cody, I’m gay. I wonder if you had any idea. I hope what I just wrote doesn’t repulse you. But I’ll never forget how I felt that day, and I’ve never been the same since. You are my friend, and you need to know this. This is how it’s been for me—it was nothing I ever chose.

But there’s more. As you and I spent more time together, I began to… well… I found myself falling in love with you. I know you might freak out when reading this, and I understand that. Maybe I shouldn’t even be telling you this, but I’ve already come this far. More than anything I want us to stay friends and have nothing change between us. But every minute we spent together made my feelings grow stronger. I tried to fight them at first. But I couldn’t.

I ask myself, how can things stay the same with us, now that you know this? Will you still want to see me when you come home on break? Will you be uncomfortable if I ever put my hand on your shoulder again? Will you be thinking that I constantly want to get into your pants? I hope our friendship is more than that, but I’m afraid that this news may put a wedge between us. That scares me. I don’t want to lose you, Cody. I worry that our friendship will never be the same. But I had to tell you this. It has gone on too long, and I am tired of hiding and pretending. I hope you understand.

Sam

 

 

C
ODY
,

For some reason today I thought back on your graduation day. Even though it was only four months ago, it seems like forever.

Do you know how much I hated seeing you in your gown? I mean, you looked kind of cool in it, but I knew what it really meant. An end.

And when your mom took the photo of the two of us, I was happy for that, but deep inside, my heart was hurting. I actually could feel a physical pain. People were celebrating around us, but all I could think about was an end to life as we knew it—as short as it had been. I knew we still had the summer ahead of us, but it wouldn’t be the same as every day in school. And besides, I knew that your internship thing would be taking up most of your time.

I’ll never forget that weekend at the beach. Man, what a cool time we all had. I would have preferred it’d been just the two of us, but that sure was a fun time, wasn’t it? I have to admit, when we made that bonfire in the sand, and I was sitting in the circle across from you, I wanted so much to come over and sit next to you—rest my head on your chest, feel your arm around my shoulder. But I knew it wasn’t to be and had to be content just watching you across the fire. I remember the flames lighting up parts of your face as we all were talking. Once or twice, it seemed like your face really lit up when you looked directly at me. And I was good with that. Well, good enough, because I had to be.

 

 

H
APPY
B
IRTHDAY
again, Cody!

It was great to chat with you this morning. I’m glad we’ve been able to talk and text more lately. It’s not the same as you being here, but it makes me feel like the distance isn’t quite so far.

So, now you are 18 and legal—so they say. I hope you were able to go out with some friends tonight to celebrate, like you thought you might. Man, I’d love to be there with all of you guys.

As I said on the phone, things are going OK here. Of course, that’s all relative. Jamie and Julie and Derek and the rest of the guys always tell me to tell you hi. I don’t think they know that you and I have been talking almost every day now. I know it’s not always easy for you to call me, but my heart skips a beat when I see your name on my phone.

Cody, I don’t mean to sound desperate. Fuck, I don’t know how I mean to sound. I’ve reached the point that I don’t care anymore. With us talking more often, the tension level has gotten worse. Not between us, but within myself. There is something I need to talk to you about, and it can’t go on any longer. And if you are any kind of friend, which I truly believe you are, nothing will change between us. I hope not.

I’ve written five other e-mails to you over the past month and never sent one. None of them sounded the way I liked. So I really want to talk more with you—a lot more—this weekend. I’ve reached the point that this can’t go on any longer. I wish it wasn’t so late now. You’re probably still out with your friends anyway.

Maybe I can call you tomorrow so we can talk. Really talk. Not just the routine “hey, how’s it going” call. All my feelings need to be out in the open, because I’m afraid it’s gonna hurt our friendship otherwise.

You know, Cody, I don’t know what I’m afraid of, really. It can go one way or another. It’s time.

Sam

 

 

H
EY
S
AM
,

I just got in. Some of my friends from the dorm took me out for my birthday. We had a fun time, and it’s, like, two in the morning now. Otherwise I’d call you right this minute. Yeah, we really need to talk.

I was shocked to see six e-mails from you and had no idea what the hell was going on. I mean, we just talked this morning. Not that I’m complaining—and thanks again for the birthday call, btw. But with all those messages, I was sure that you had awful news to share. Or you were somehow in trouble and needed my help.

It took so much courage for you to write what you did, and even more to send it to me. I then realized you had written all those e-mails at different times and in different states of mind. I wish I’d known more of what had been going on with you these past months. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not blaming you. It’s me, Sam.

The thing is… I mean…. Hell, I’m gonna just say it right here and now. Sam, I am in love with you. Yeah, you read that right. After everything you wrote to me, it wouldn’t be right for me to hold back my feelings. I’m so sorry you’ve been struggling with our friendship. No. That’s not the right word. There is so much more than friendship between us.

I began to feel it after we’d been hanging out with each other for a while. But I was an asshole—I couldn’t admit it to myself. I kept pushing those feelings away and tried to ignore them every time they surfaced. I told myself it was just that we got along so well, and that you had been a friend to me from my first day at Whitman. But it became completely clear once I started college. There hasn’t been a day I haven’t thought about you and wanted to be with you. But in a way more than we ever have before. I’m sorry you had to suffer because of my insecurities. I’ll never forgive myself for that.

And my feelings for you became stronger the more time we spent together too. I was scared, though, scared of making any advances to you, scared of being rejected. My mind is a jumble of emotions right now, so this might sound all fucked up. But I have to tell you, when I was in middle school, I had the same kind of thoughts that you did. But I pushed them all aside. There was absolutely no way I was gay. I could barely even say the word. It was just a phase, as you thought. But even though I hated moving around for my dad’s job so much, in a way it made things easier for me. It seemed like whenever I settled into a school and made new friends, we had to move again. So I never really had to answer too many personal questions—like why I didn’t have a girlfriend. I even remember a few girls asking me out, but I always told them we’d probably be moving soon, so it’d be better to just stay friends. At each school, it was always easy for me to meet a ton of people, but I never got super close to them. That is, until you came along. You know, spending my final semester of high school in a new place could have been a really shitty experience. But instead, it was the best semester ever—all because of you.

BOOK: First Time for Everything
6.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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