Do ducks quack? Do dogs bark? Have our protagonists managed to muddle up their thinking and blow things way out of proportion? Hell, yes ... what fourteen year-olds don't from time to time? The story continues from Carl's viewpoint once again. Let's listen as our Lilliputian gay boy continues the narrative...
I stop about three feet in front of him and just sorta lower my book bag down by my feet. By this time I'm looking at the ground in between his legs. I'm feelin' kinda numb and dead inside. I just wanna get this over with so I can go on home and feel numb and dead in a place a little more comfortable and a lot less public.
I hear him clear his throat ... a sorta 'huhhmmm'. Next I hear a sorta sigh and then what sounds like a choking sound. None of this sounds consistent with what I expect to be hearing and so I dare to glance up towards his face. What I see just kinda shocks me to my roots! His face ... that handsome, gorgeous face ... is kinda screwed up like he's tryin' really hard to keep his emotions in check. I don't mean angry, screaming at me, really pissed off type of emotions, either. He looks like he's just a few seconds away from bawlin'.
Then he finally speaks: it's in a kinda quivery voice. I can tell he's trying hard to maintain.
"So, Carl, where's my Double Bubble gum?" He gives me this half-assed, shit-eating grin, all the while using his knuckle to wipe the corner of one eye and then the other.
I can't believe it! Not only isn't he yelling at me but he's trying hard to come up with some friendly banter. He's trying to make up to me ... as if he had anything to make up for! He'd even found out my name!
I say, "Sorry, dude, I'm afraid I grabbed you the Dentyne instead." Then I just sorta lose it. I feel the tears rolling down my cheeks and then I say ...
"I'm sorry, dude - I'm so ... so ... sorry."
He looks at me like he doesn't know what I'm talking about. But then he walks up to me kinda fast. I start to hold my hand up cuz I'm still half thinking I'm gonna get knocked on my ass. But what he does next really surprises the crap outa me. He just grabs my shoulders and pulls me into him and holds me in this tight hug. He's so tall that he just kinda rests his chin on the top of my head and squeezes me in really close. I'm sniffing and I can hear him sniffing and I'm pretty much getting his tee-shirt soaked. He's doing a good job of pasting down my cowlick with his own saltwater. But, God ... It feels wonderful to wrap my arms around his back and squeeze him into me just as tight as he's squeezing me.
It must have been a good two minute squeeze and sob-fest till we both kinda push away when we hear someone give a wolf whistle. I nervously glance in the direction of the sound but it isn't directed towards us. Some kids are whistling at some girls up the street. In fact there isn't anyone around us. Everyone's busy pulling bikes out of the racks or climbing on buses or getting in their parent's cars. I don't think anyone observed our little Romeo and Juliet scene. I'm not worried so much for myself - I just don't want this cool guy to get tainted by me. This isn't some kinda gay moment anyway - just an emotional one. Well, at least I figure it's just an emotional thing for him - it's definitely a gay moment for me! I'm sportin' a major woody! (Yea, right ... a major three inch woody!) There are times when having a small dick can be helpful though - like not being all that easily spotted in your cargo pants.
We're both dragging our knuckles across our cheeks, lookin' sheepish, trying to salvage a little dignity. "Do a favor for me, will ya, Carl," the guy sniffs.
"Sure thing, dude," I say, my voice breaking a little.
"Will you come up to my locker with me while I get my homework assignments? And then I'll walk home with you a ways, if that's alright?"
"Okay, dude ... but only if you'll do me a favor, too."
"Just name it, Carl," he says.
"Well then, how about tellin' me your name so I can call you somethin' besides 'dude'," I smilingly ask him.
He laughs - right from the belly, not something forced. God ... he's going to be an easy person to like. Like? Heck ... let's tell it like it is, man! I've fallen all the way for this bozo. It goes way beyond like. It's a lot closer to 'lick' than like. As in 'I would like to lick him from his nose to his toes'. I'm just gonna have to play it kinda careful, though. I still don't know if he realizes I was perving him in math class. 'Hmm, just what was his take on that anyway?'
He bends down and picks his book up from the planter while I lean over and pick up my book bag. Then he puts an arm across my shoulders and we start walking towards the building.
"My name's Richard" he says, "Richard Bambrough. But you can go ahead and call me dude if you want to."
"Okay, Richard ... dude," I answer. "But, you know, it might be a good idea not to do the arm over the shoulder thing on school grounds. Tongues might start to wag, ya know?" To be honest, I love feeling his arm there, but I'm still worried about him getting a reputation because of me. He pulls his arm in, reluctantly it seems to me.
"Oh, hmm, thanks, Carl. It's a good thing you're here to keep me outa trouble."
'Me - keep him out of trouble? What, am I going to have to become this poor kid's Chad or something? Wow ... actually that's a kinda neat feeling.'
"Today I haven't put a lot of forethought into anything, it seems," he continued. "It's sorta like I've just been reacting instead of thinking. I mean, I sure managed to embarrass the hell out of you and I really didn't mean to, honest".
"I know that, Richard. At least I know it now. I guess I'm just running on overload these days, what with our moving and the new school and everything. Heck, you were just tryin' to be nice to me and I don't really know where my head was at: up my butt probably."
Richard chuckles. I'm gonna have to try and make him laugh more. I sure love hearing it. I love seeing his face lit up in a smile, too. It really makes his dimples stand out.
We're only a few feet beyond the front door when he guides me into the lockers. I set my book bag down while he starts doing a combination on a locker.
"So, Richard," I say, looking around, "your locker's nearly at the front door, huh?" He nods his head, still working the combination. "So, how come you didn't grab your homework before you went outside to wait for me?"
I swear I can see him blush a little.
"Well ... uhh ... I didn't want to take a chance that I might miss you."
"But," I continue, "how did you know I would go out the front door and not out the side door?" He's blushing big time now!
"I uhh ... well I..."
"DUDE!" I practically yell out. Looking around, I lower my voice and ask ...
"You've been checking me out, haven't you? You already knew I would leave by that door and you knew I walked home from school, too! You gave yourself away when you told me you would walk with me a ways." His face is the color of a stop sign now.
"All right ... all right. I admit it!" He looks up at me, sorta pensively. "I've been checking you out since you first came into our class last Monday." Then he looks down at the ground and seems to hesitate, I guess trying to decide if he's going to continue with whatever else he has to say.
"And, I suppose the only reason I can admit that so easily is because - well, because of the way I caught you eyeballing me in class today." He looks up at me again. "Admit it, Carl ... you were really giving me the twice over, weren't you?"
Now it's my turn to blush. He definitely has me dead to rights there. Hell, I wasn't just eyeballing him: in my fantasy I was down in his pants, rooting around in his cellar, so to speak. I was doing num-nums on his yum-yums.
"Well," I reply, "I guess we're both kinda outed now, huh?" And this is accompanied with my Opie grin.
"NOW I know who you remind me of," he says, putting his hand up to his mouth and giggling.
"Don't you say it! Don't you damn well say it," I laugh, play smacking him in the arm.
"Okay, I won't ... I won't" and he holds up his hands to ward off my evil, pretend blows. His smiling face is practically shining at me. God, he's gorgeous. AND HE'S BEEN CHECKING ME OUT!!! How cool is that, I ask you!
"I've already embarrassed you enough for one day," he chuckles at me, "but do me another favor, will you?"
I nod in the affirmative, grinning like crazy.
"Next time yer in Mayberry say 'hey' ta Andy fer me!" And then he busts up laughing. I'm laughing with him and pretending to beat on him like I'm really indignant or somethin'. Then I glance around me, to see if the hallway's clear - it is. I stand up on my tiptoes and plant a quick kiss on his handsome nose. He stops laughing and just stands there, quietly, with this sorta half smile on his lips. I'd swear his eyes have started misting up again.
"Thank you, Carl, I really needed that. How about we go somewhere private so you can give me a few million more of those?"
"How about I take you home with me," I answer. "My Mom won't get home for a couple hours yet and I can show ya my room. In fact ... I'll show ya anything ya wanna see," and I wiggle my eyebrows at him.
He giggles, blushes, and then just nods his head while his face lights up with that infectious grin of his. He grabs his homework, slams his locker closed and we turn towards the doorway. As we start walking he slips his arm over my shoulder again. 'Should I remind him again? Nah ... screw it! This feels too good. Let the old tongues wag.' I slip my arm around his waist and adjust the tent in my trousers, - ok, pup tent! I kinda glance down at his circus tent and grin. Maybe I'm gonna get to play Ringmaster when we get to my house!
We walk out into the bright sunshine and into a new day... a new day for the both of us and a new beginning! God, I'm sure glad we moved to Boise!
So did ya hear the popping sound? I'm sure the boys are glad they have that rather awkward introduction behind them. And little Carl's hoping he's going to get the chance to play circus ... ha, ha, ha! But let's give these Ringaling Brothers the chance to know one another first.
I'm Paul Schroder, and my email address is around here somewhere. Why don't ya use it?