Conversations With Myself

A Novel by Altimexis

The Whispers of Time
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Book Two • Chapter 4 – Digital Music

June 1979 • Chris-13

When Dad dropped me off downtown at the University, I felt strangely like I belonged there, but man, I was a good foot shorter than everyone else on campus. I was only thirteen years old and surrounded by college kids. Of course there would have been a lot more students around if it were a weekday and not Saturday, and if classes were still in session. Yeah, my junior high was still in session, even though the university had already let out for the summer. Five weeks ago, before the first time Chris-17 contacted me, I would have been petrified, but now I felt confident. Some of the worst bullies at school – the kids who’d always tormented me – were now my best friends. Everyone knew that I could take it and dish it right back, so no one bothered me anymore.

Dad had wanted to park the car and take me inside. He wanted to meet with Professor Dawson himself, but they’d already talked on the phone at length about his program and my progress in school. What was the point? The last thing I needed was to show up with my ‘old man’ in tow. It was bad enough I had to rely on him for the wheels to get there, but he certainly didn’t need to drop his nickels into a parking meter on top of it all.

Dad insisted on seeing that I got into the building OK, so when I reached the heavy old wooden door, I turned around and waved at him, and then I went inside. In contrast to the outside, where there were college kids milling around all over the place, the place seemed deserted inside. I actually did get a little apprehensive as I approached the massive, ancient stairway that led to the second floor. The fluorescent light fixtures that hung from the ceiling looked like something out of an old World War II movie, and there was a constant hum coming from them. Letting a smile take over my face, I grabbed onto the rail and started to climb.

Here I was, a thirteen-year-old seventh grader, and I was attending a weekly program for high school students that taught them advanced college-level math and physics. That was sooo totally cool. I was also secretly gonna be helping Professor Dawson build a kind of time machine, so he’d be able to visit with himself in the past. I would have liked to have tried it out, too, but how much could I say to a six-year-old version of me. I’d be just too young. Professor Dawson was an older guy, close to forty, I guess, so he’d have plenty to say to his younger self.

When I got to the top of the stairs, I looked around until I saw the room number Dad had given me. On the frosted glass pane that made up most of the upper half of the wooden door, was printed the name, ‘Professor H. Marion Dawson’. I was in the right place! Light filtered through the translucent glass, and inside I could hear what sounded like two or three young teenage voices having an animated discussion about something.

I reached up with my hand and confidently knocked on the glass. The talking stopped immediately and a loud, booming voice said, “Come in!”

When I slowly opened the door, inside I saw a balding, middle-aged man with thick glasses and a really goofy smile, and with him were three boys who were all older than me. If I had to guess, I’d say they were fourteen or fifteen years old, and they were all pretty cute. Then it hit me – I’d just admitted to myself that three teenage boys were cute.

I’d been thinking a lot about my sexuality lately, and was coming to the realization I was probly queer. I didn’t want to be queer, but it was hard to deny the feelings I had. Since my best friend had said it wouldn’t matter to him, I felt a lot better about it, but I was worried that Mom and Dad would never accept it. For that reason alone, I was to keep it a secret.

It was funny, but before my contact with Chris-17, I’d have never had the courage to even think about the possibility of being queer, let alone rationalize it. My contact with him had definitely changed my life dramatically for the better. Next time we spoke, I was going to have to ask him if we’re queer.

Walking up to Professor Dawson, I extended my hand to him and said, “Professor Dawson, I’m Chris Michaels.”

“Hello, Chris,” he answered. “I spoke at length with your father about you, and of course I’ve had contact with your counterpart via my counterpart. We have a lot to discuss, and I’ll be sure to make the time to meet with you later.

“In the meantime,” he continued, “we need to get you up to speed on the math you’ll be using in your studies and for your ‘project’. What you’ve been studying in school up to this point is nothing more than arithmetic and – the basics of how to do computations with numbers – but you haven’t a clue when it comes to the use of mathematical formulas. We’re going to change that.

“What I’d like to do today is to pair you up with a student who’s about your age. He started with me last summer, so he’s a fair bit ahead of you, but I know he’ll be happy to help you get started. His name is Frank Sanford, and he’s in the seventh grade at Washington Junior High in Mehlville.

Professor Dawson walked me down the hall and around the corner into a room where a boy was doing some reading by himself. He looked up when we entered, and my voice practically hitched in my throat. Frank Sanford was one of the most strikingly handsome boys I’d ever seen. Unlike mine, his complexion was flawless, and he had long, flowing golden blond hair that reached nearly to his shoulders. Behind a pair of huge glasses with amber frames was a pair of amazing, deep blue eyes. He was wearing a tight-fitting tank top that left his shoulders bare and left little else to the imagination. He wore a pair of skin-tight jeans and there was a pair of sandals on the floor next to his bare feet.

Wow! I couldn’t help but stare, but then he seemed to be staring right back! I wasn’t sure if queers could fall in love, but in that instant, I knew I was in love. I wanted this boy, and I wanted him bad. Could he possibly feel the same way?

When Professor Dawson cleared his throat, I looked up at him and noticed that he had what could only be called an amused look on his face. “Frank,” he said, “this is the boy I was telling you about. Frank Sanford, meet Chris Michaels. Chris, meet Frank.”

“Hey,” Frank said as he flashed me the most beautiful smile, and I smiled back. I wondered if I’d have a chance to kiss those beautiful lips – did I really just think about kissing him? It was then that I realized I was hard – painfully hard – but rather than being embarrassed by it, I kinda wanted him to know! When our hands made contact, it was the most incredible thing I’d ever felt in my life. The feeling was electric.

“Well, I’ll leave you boys alone so you can get... ‘acquainted’,” Professor Dawson said. “Don’t forget to spend at least some of the time studying,” he added as he closed the door behind him. What the hell did he mean by that?

After he’d left, we continued to stare at each other, neither one of us quite knowing what to say. Was Frank as attracted to me as I was to him? If he was queer, how could two queer boys tell each other how they feel, especially when they’re only thirteen?

Finally, he said, “I guess we should get down to studying.”

“Yeah, I guess,” I responded, but neither one of us moved.

“Why don’t you pull up that stool and sit next to me,” he suggested, “and we’ll start by going over some of these lecture notes Professor Dawson uses in his introductory class.”

“OK.” I pulled up the stool he’d pointed to and set it down right next to him and toed off my sneakers. When I sat down on the stool, it turned out I’d placed it so close that we were touching from our shoulders to our knees. The feeling of body contact was incredible. Frank sharply inhaled, and then I turned to look at him, just as he turned to look at me. Our lips were just inches apart and as if drawn by a magnetic force, they came together. The feeling of kissing Frank was everything I’d ever dreamt a kiss could be and then some, and then his lips parted and our tongues became involved.

Without even thinking about it, our arms went around each other and we pulled ourselves closer together. I worked my hands through his blond locks, reveling in their silkiness. My dick was so hard, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it ripped right through my jeans.

When we finally came up for air, Frank just said, “Wow!” and then he smiled at me and touched his forehead to mine. Our arms were still around each other, and it felt great.

“Yeah, wow!” I agreed. “That was incredible. Where’d that even come from?”

“For a while there, I thought that ‘cum’ might be the operative word,” he said with a giggle. Much as I loved hearing him laugh, I just didn’t get it, and when he saw that, he said, “You, know, ‘cum’… ‘c’, ‘u’, ‘m’… it’s when you, you know, when you jerk off and it comes out.”

“Oh —” I said as realization dawned on me. He was making a sexual joke – a play on words – a pun. “So like, did you cum?”

Pulling his head back and shaking it a bit, he said, “Nah, but right now, I’m so close, I think if you breathed on it, I would.”

“Me too,” I admitted, and then I said, “So I guess this makes us queer, huh?”

“More like bein’ queer makes us do stuff like this,” Frank countered, “but ‘queer’s not a very nice word. You know in New York, there was a big riot like, ten years ago at a place called ‘Stonewall’. It’s what they call a ‘gay bar’. The police raided it for the umpteenth time, and the patrons had just had it. For the first time, they stood up for themselves and decided they weren’t gonna take it any more. They fought for what they’re calling ‘gay rights’.”

“Gay,” I said, “I never heard of gay bars and gay rights before.”

“There are a lot of us out there, Chris. I like the word, ‘gay’. It sounds a hell of a lot better than ‘queer’. How much better to be happy and gay, than to be queer and strange.”

“Gay,” I said again. “I could get used to that word, but how do you know so much?”

“’Cause when I figured out I like boys and not girls, I decided I’d better read everything I could find on it. I have to hide it from my folks, ’cause they’d flip if they found out —”

“Same here,” I interrupted.

“A lot of people seem to think we’re crazy, but we aren’t crazy,” Frank said. “We’re gay!” I loved the way he giggled when he said that, and I giggled right along with him. He was cute – no, he was adorable.

“I guess we should get down to going over this crap,” I suggested reluctantly.

“It’s not crap, Chris,” Frank challenged. “This stuff really is useful, and it’s fun. You’re gonna need to learn it, but I think you’ll like it.” He pulled out the stack of lecture notes he had with him and grabbed the set labeled ‘primer for the zeroth lecture’.  “Professor Dawson will get you your own set of notes when you meet with him later. Now the important thing to remember is that numbers are nothing more than a representation of physical objects and measures... you don’t need physical things to work with numbers and number systems. The four binary operators we learn about in elementary school… addition, subtraction, multiplication and division… are actually properties of the number system that help to define it. The fact that one and one is two, and that you can add sequences of numbers in any order and always get the same result, something called the superposition principle… basically defines how a linear number system works.”

I knew that to most kids our age, what Frank was saying would make no sense at all, but to me, it was crystal clear. He made it seem so simple, and I just got it. Compared to the endless hours spent with my parents and flash cards trying to memorize the addition and multiplication tables, this stuff was trivial. By the time we were ready to break for lunch, I understood the concepts of integers, rational, irrational, real, imaginary and complex numbers. I understood squares and square roots, and exponentials and logarithms. I understood what a function was and instantly saw the tremendous power associated with the concept.

At the end we discussed what algebra was and how it was merely the application of these concepts to the real world. Frank didn’t even need to show me how to solve equations – I figured out how on my own. He did need to show me how to solve simultaneous equations, but he only needed to show me once. As soon as I understood the concept, the rest came easily.

“So did you bring lunch with you?” Frank asked when it got to be noon.

“I didn’t even think about being here for lunch,” I replied.

“No problem,” he said with his trademark grin. “I’ll save my PB&J for tomorrow, and we can go grab a bite at Danforth.”

Slipping on our shoes, we headed out of the building and across campus to a stately old building with a sign, ‘Danforth University Center’ out front. As we walked inside, Frank explained, “This is what they call the ‘Student Union’ at other colleges, but here, the Student Union is what they call the undergrad student government. I learned that the hard way.”

We walked up to the grill and he said, “Today’s my treat. Order anything you want. Next time, you can pick up the tab.”

“You don’t have to do that,” I started to complain, but he interrupted me and said, “But I want to,” and then he lowered his voice so only I could hear it and added, “boyfriends do that for each other, after all.”

“Boyfriends… I like that,” I replied quietly, and he grinned in return. Man, did I like being around him.

We both ordered hamburgers, fries and cokes, but Frank blew me away when he asked them to make his hamburger ‘rare’.

“I didn’t know you could make a hamburger ‘rare’,” I stated.

“Sure you can,” Frank replied. “I like my steaks that way, too. All you have to do is ask.”

Wondering how it might taste, I told the student taking our orders, “Make mine rare, too.”

When our orders were ready, Frank slathered ketchup, mustard and relish on his, while I added ketchup, lettuce and tomato to mine. We both got some ketchup for our fries.

When I bit into my burger, I couldn’t believe how wonderful it tasted until I looked where I’d just bitten into it and saw how red the meat was. It almost made me sick, but then I thought to myself about how good it tasted and I forced myself to ignore the way the meat looked. I could have never done that before my contact with Chris-17.

“This is really delicious,” I told Frank with a big grin on my face.

“I told you it’s much better rare,” he replied. “There’s nothing worse than overcooked meat.”

While we ate, we chattered up a storm, telling each other about ourselves. Frank told me he was an only child, whereas I told him I had an older brother and an older sister, both of whom were already in college. We found that neither one of us cared for sports, that we both adored science fiction and had read a lot of the same books and seen the same movies, and that we both liked mellow pop music like Paul Simon and The Carpenters. We had sooo much in common!

We started talking about music in general, and Frank mentioned that he’d gotten an eight-track tape player for his thirteenth birthday. I’d gotten a stereo cassette recorder for mine, and I was jealous that there was so much more selection in eight-track tapes.

“That’s why I wanted an eight-track,” he said, “but now that I’ve got one, I don’t think they’re gonna be around much longer. The tapes are bulky, you can’t record on them, and you can’t rewind them.”

“I’ve seen eight-track recorders,” I mentioned.

“Yeah, but I can’t imagine trying to use one,” he countered. “Even if they weren’t so expensive, if you make a mistake, you have to play the track all the way through to get to the spot where you want to record over it. You can’t back an eight-track up… it’s a continuous loop.

“The compact cassette, on the other hand, is just like a miniature reel-to-reel tape. You can fast-forward, rewind and record to your heart’s content. Maybe you can’t find as many pre-recorded cassettes, but you can record your friends’ records.”

“That’s exactly what I’ve been doing,” I noted. “The only problem with that is that, not only do you end up recording all the scratches and pops in their records, but you get tape hiss on top of that.”

“There’s something new called ‘Dolby’ that gets rid of the hiss,” Frank countered, but then I replied, “Yeah, but it also gets rid of some of the music. I’ve heard Dolby, and the music kinda sounds like it’s under water or something. It doesn’t sound as alive as listening to it on a record.”

“Maybe it just needs to be perfected,” Frank suggested.

“I’m sure it will be,” I agreed, “but you know, I was thinking… calculators are gonna replace slide rules because they’re faster, and much more accurate. Calculators are digital, like computers, so you always get the same result, no matter how many times you enter the same numbers.

“Why can’t they do that with music? If the music could be converted to a stream of numbers, recorded on tape, and then converted back to sound, it should sound perfect. Even if the tape wears thin, the numbers should still be there.”

“I like the idea, Chris,” Frank said, “but something tells me you’d need a tape cassette the size of a book to record music if it were digital… and the tape player would probly be as big as one I saw for recording TV.”

“Maybe if they used a light beam instead,” I suggested. “You could take a disc, like they use for records right now, and make it silvered, like a mirror. You could then poke holes in the mirrored surface so it would interrupt the light beam. The holes could represent the ‘zeros’ and the reflective parts could represent the ‘ones’.”

“That’s an excellent idea, but you’d need a disc the size this table to fit all the ‘ones’ and ‘zero’s on it. Unless you used a laser beam,” he added as an afterthought. “If you used a laser beam, you could probly shrink the disc down to something the size of the label on today’s LPs. ’Course the laser would be the size of this table, then, and it would cost a small fortune, so it wouldn’t help you much.”

“Lasers are getting smaller and cheaper,” I countered. “Edmond Scientific sells a laser that’s not much larger than my cassette recorder, and it’s under a hundred bucks. I’ll bet you anything that by the end of the next decade, they’ll have lasers smaller than this pen,” I said while holding up my ‘Bic Click’, “that cost only a few dollars.”

“You’re probly right about that,” Frank agreed, “and if you are, then music probly will be digital. Your idea for a digital disc will very likely replace records and tapes completely. Can you imagine bein’ able to carry your entire music collection around in a small suitcase?”

“Someday, I bet you’ll be able to carry it around in something the size of a deck of playing cards,” I suggested.

“That would be sooo groovy!” Frank exclaimed.

“Except a digital disc wouldn’t have any grooves,” I laughed. “Speaking of which, how many grooves does the average LP have?” I asked with a devious smile.

Without hesitating, Frank answered, “Two… one on each side. The grooves form a continuous spiral from the outside to the inside.”

“I take it you’ve heard the joke before?” I asked.

“No, but it’s a pretty obvious trick question,” he answered. “Most people would probably take a wild guess, or they’d try to take the length of play on one side of the record in minutes, and then multiply it by 33 1/3 RPM, which is what I almost did myself, but then it hit me that the groove is continuous from start to end.”

“You’re a pretty smart guy, Frank,” I said, and then lowering my voice, I added, “and handsome, and very, very cute.”

“I’d say the same thing about you,” he replied, and then sighed and said, “I guess we’d better get back.”

On the way back, we stopped in Professor Dawson’s office. He asked us what we’d covered so far, and he seemed to be impressed with my progress and told us to try and finish up the ‘Primer to the Zeroth Lesson’.

No sooner was the door closed behind us, however, than our tongues were inside each others’ mouths again. I was rock hard, instantly, and I could feel Frank’s boner poking me in the thigh.

When we finally broke our lip-lock, Frank said, “I think I’m falling in love with you, Christopher Michaels.”

“I feel the same way,” I replied, “but can two boys love each other?”

Frank put both of his hands squarely on my shoulders and looked me in the eyes and said, “There is absolutely no difference between a boy loving a girl, and a boy loving another boy. None at all. Don’t you ever let anyone tell you otherwise.”

“Tell that to my parents,” I griped.

“Unfortunately, mine are the same way,” he complained as well. Then sighing, he said, “Let’s get back to work.”

It only took about another two hours to get through the rest of the primer. It was mostly a matter of getting the nomenclature down, and the concepts were pretty easy for me. I’d heard the term, ‘vector’ before, but now I fully understood the concepts of complex vector functions and how they could be used to represent the physical world.

“OK”, I said, “I understand how a vector can have a magnitude and direction that are functions of time, but why not consider time to be just another dimension?”

A smile lit up Frank’s face as he replied, “Now you’re talking General Relativity. That’s one of the more advanced lessons… one we’ll probably study together.

“So shall we go on to the ‘zeroth’ lecture?” he asked.

“Do you think it’ll be OK with Professor Dawson?” I asked.

“He never objects to us studying ahead,” Frank answered, “and he’ll come get us when he’s ready for us. It’s either we go on with our studies, or we could —”

“Much as I’d like to… you know… we’re on a roll, so would you mind continuing with the ‘zeroth’ lecture?” I asked.

“I don’t mind at all,” Frank answered. “I’m enjoying watching you learn every bit as much as I like making out with you.”

The ‘zeroth’ lesson was fascinating. It covered the concept of infinite numerical series and how functions could be defined in terms of them. For example, the base of natural logarithms, the number ‘e’, could be defined as the sum of the reciprocals of the factorials of all integers. That was really cool. It was elegant. The exponential function could then be defined as the sum of all of the ratios of the domain, raised to all integral powers, to the associated factorials of the integers. It was so simple. We then defined a pair of complementary functions, sine and cosine, based on adding a complex component to the series. The functions were periodic, with a period that defined the number ‘π’. I immediately realized that the sine and cosine functions could be used to describe any type of wave.

It was as I was writing out on the chalk board a formula for what I would later learn was something called Euler’s identity – a formula that wasn’t actually in lecture notes, that Professor Dawson knocked on the door, then entered the room.

“You don’t usually knock before entering,” Frank noted.

“The door isn’t usually closed,” Professor Dawson answered, “and I usually don’t need to worry about whether my students will have their clothes on or not.”

Man, did I feel myself blush when he said that, and Frank turned red all over – even his shoulders turned red. I think our jaws dropped down to the floor, too.

“Don’t act so surprised, boys,” Professor Dawson, continued. “I noticed how you looked at each other. I know just what it’s like. I too used to have a boyfriend, back before he was lost in Vietnam… before our government gave up looking for him.”

It was amazing what I could see in the professor’s face at that moment. ’Course both Frank and I were shocked to learn Professor Dawson was gay, but there was a lot more to his expression than just that. I could see in his eyes how much he’d loved his boyfriend, and how painful it was to remember him. I couldn’t help myself – I threw my arms around the professor and hugged him with all my might. He hugged me back!

Clearing his throat and releasing me, he said, “Boys, there’s a lot we need to discuss.” Turning to me, he said, “Chris, it’s obvious you’re exceptionally smart. I don’t often take kids as young as the two of you, but when I learned of your OTT project, I figured you were way smarter than most. It’s no surprise, then, that you’re catching up with Frank so quickly. And Frank, you’re no slouch, either. I’ve been trying to figure out how best to help you for a while now.

“Of course, OTT changes things. I have a very good reason to need to see you more than once a week.”

“OTT?” Frank asked.

“I’m sorry, Frank,” I answered, “but I can’t tell you about it.”

“Actually, I think it might be a good idea to bring Frank into the loop,” Professor Dawson suggested. “If Frank is going to be your boyfriend, he needs to know, and he’ll probably figure it out anyway.” The professor then proceeded to explain how he and I had been contacted by our future selves, and how OTT began in the first place.

“It seems to me you could really mess up time,” Frank said when Dawson was finished. “I don’t think you can actually change the past,” he went on to explain, “but only create alternate realities. Each time you make a connection with a past self, you create a branch point in the flow of time. After each of these branch points, there are two different versions of time… the original one, and a new one. If you do it enough times, the fabric of time itself will become so fragmented that reality will have no meaning anymore. It’s either that, or nature will find a way to collapse all the different versions of time into one.”

“That’s an intriguing thought,” Professor Dawson commented, “and it’s quite plausible. It certainly would be a way to deal with the issue of the paradoxes that would otherwise almost certainly result.”

“Such as if you do something in the past that results in the death of your father, so you couldn’t go on to invent the technology in the first place,” I interjected.

Precisely,” the professor exclaimed. “It wouldn’t matter if you kill your father in one reality, because the original reality in which you invented TTT would still exist.

“The scary part… the part that scares the fuck out of me —” Frank and I both gasped when we heard Dawson cuss. “Is that the only thing I can think of that would unite all the different versions of time is a spatial singularity… a black hole. Time itself ceases to exist in a black hole,” he explained.

“That’s what’s gonna happen!” Frank suddenly cried out. “I can feel it. If we continue what we’re doin’, a black hole will form that will swallow up this whole region of space.”

“Maybe it would be better if I’d never existed,” I suggested. “If I’d never invented TTT, none of this would be happening.”

“But you can’t change the past!” Frank challenged. “All you’d be doing is creating another reality… one without you. And if there’s gonna be any hope of finding a way to prevent the end of time, you’ll be the one to do it.”

“Fuck!” I said for the first time in my life.

“Double-fuck,” Frank chimed in.

“There’s a more pressing issue, boys,” Professor Dawson went on. “It seems that in the future, the Russians are going to acquire TTT and try to use it for their own purposes. Obviously, we can’t let that happen. What we think they’ll do is to use David, my boyfriend, to get to me. What we need to do is to prevent David from falling into enemy hands in the first place.”

“When did he disappear?” I asked.

“1960,” the professor answered.

“I didn’t think we had troops in Vietnam until after Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961,” I related.

“Actually, Eisenhower sent American ‘advisors’ there in the mid- and late 1950s,” Frank countered.”

“The U.S. Government never even acknowledged David’s loss,” Professor Dawson said with obvious bitterness. “Our first official casualties were in 1959, when two of our advisors were killed. But David wasn’t official. Acknowledging the loss of medical personnel would have been tantamount to admitting that Eisenhower was planning for a full American troop engagement. How much easier it was to ignore the requests of David’s homosexual lover than to admit our troops were involved as more than advisors.”

“Well, since it would be impossible for me to go back to before I was born —” I began.

“Actually, twelve is the end of the line for you, Chris,” the professor interrupted. “The changes in the structure of your brain are occurring far too rapidly in childhood and early adolescence to permit your brain waves to match precisely enough. There’s a risk we’d end up scrambling your brain, in which case you’d never go on to invent TTT in the first place.”

“Which would leave us with a paradox,” I surmised.

“Not to mention that I’d lose the boy I love in the process,” Frank added, “and there’s no fuckin’ way in Hell I’m gonna let that happen.”

“So I guess we’re gonna be sendin’ you and you alone back to 1960, or maybe 1959 to play it safe. We’d send you back to 1972, and then 1965, give or take.”

“Why can’t we go back directly to 1969?” Frank asked.

“Because the technology only works for up to seven years,” I answered.

Interesting —” he said, and then added, “You do realize that preventing David from falling into enemy hands will only create a new reality in which he isn’t captured, don’t you? The reality in which the Russians get hold of the technology will still be out there,” he countered.

“Yes, but we only need one reality from which to continue our work in the future,” Dawson explained. “If we can find a way to restore time to a single unbroken path, we can prevent what might literally be the end of the world. We’ll never get a chance, however, unless we can save at least one timeline in which we still control TTT.

“I’m going to need a lot of help from the two of you to get OTT off the ground in this time period,” the professor continued, “and to help me help my counterpart in 1965 and 1972 or thereabouts to do the same. A single day a week just won’t be enough, particularly since you still have a lot to learn before you’ll be of much help.

“Of course there’s school to consider and although summer’s almost upon us, OTT’s likely to continue well into the fall, and beyond. It’s already pretty apparent that the junior high and high school math and science curriculum will be absolutely of no use to either of you. You do need to continue your studies in history, literature and the like, however. What I propose we do is continue your math and science studies here at the University on a full-time basis, and hire a tutor to teach you everything else. Eventually, we’ll be able to enroll you in basic humanities courses here as well, but you’re not ready for that, yet. By the time you’re fourteen, you’ll be full-time college students, so high school will become irrelevant.

“How will we get here every day?” I asked. “My parents would never go for it.”

“When your fathers get here, I’d like to meet with them,” Dawson countered. “You let me do the talking, and they’ll be begging me to take you into the program.

“What we’ll do is I’ll put the two of you up in my house during the week, and you can stay with your parents on the weekends. You’ll share a room,” he added with a grin on his face.

A shared bedroom with Frank – spending four or five nights a week in the same bed with him? I could definitely go for that!

The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of David of Hope and Anthony Camacho in editing this story, as well as the support of Awesome Dude for hosting it.
This story is purely fictional and any resemblance of characters to real individuals other than named historical figures is purely coincidental and unintentional. Some characters may be gay and at times engage in homosexual acts. Because the story explores characters at various stages of their lives, they may be underage during early sexual explorations. Obviously, anyone uncomfortable with this should not be reading the story, and the reader assumes responsibility for the legality of reading this type of story where they live. The author retains full copyright, and permission must be obtained prior to duplication of the story in any form.