The Boy on the Plane

Chapter 12


In middle school, walking from class to class was brutal. Even if nothing happened, you had to worry that it would, so it was always terrible, especially for a boy with anxiety issues. Gym was, too, but you kind of expect that when you’re timid and small and weak. You’d think you’d be safe walking down the hall.

I hadn’t been. Boys had learned quickly I wouldn’t stand up for myself, wouldn’t fight back, and the most hormonal ones took great delight in showing everyone how manly they were. They proved it by picking on the weakest of the weak.

I’d get bumped and my backpack stripped off and thrown down the hall or stairs. I’d learned quickly not to carry anything in my hands. When I’d done that, whatever it was would be knocked out of them. Sometimes teachers would see. They never seemed to do anything to the brutalizers. They did tell me to grow some balls—in polite words but with no empathy at all. Maybe they had problems of their own to deal with.

Now I have Terry, and as we’re both freshmen and both on the academic track with several AP classes, we have pretty much the same schedule. This means we can walk from class to class together. Our only difference is that I’m taking French and he’s got Spanish.

I’m not bumped now in the halls. Is it because I’m with someone? Or because that doesn’t happen much in high school? Or just not in this high school? Whatever the reason, the fact I don’t come home with bruises and am not late to some classes because I’ve had to retrieve my backpack—often a number of times on the same journey—makes school just that much nicer. I’m not worried all the time now. This feels really good.

Terry. I need to talk about Terry. He comes over a lot, comes home with me after school. We both live close enough to the school to ride bikes there. I learned from Terry that he rides his bike to school every day. No buses for him! I ask Daniel what the chances are I can get bike. I know they’re expensive and I don’t have any money.

He gives me a funny look. “You remember that custody hearing, don’t you? You do have money: $2,000 a month. I got the first check yesterday. I was meaning to discuss it with you at dinner tonight. It’s up to you what we do with it. Probably open a bank account, but they pay such low interest, maybe not. Your decision.”

He pauses, looking carefully at the check. “It looks like this came from an account that appears to be a trust fund. I think they put the money in a fund that will pay you monthly so they don’t have to do it. This is better for you. There won’t be any misses and then haggling and getting the courts involved again. The money will be there every month till you’re eighteen.”

“But that money is supposed to go for my upkeep,” I say. “My food, my clothes. You should even take money out for putting me up here, like rent or whatever you’d call it. It can’t all go to me.”

“Well, okay, how much food are you going to eat? That could reasonably come out of that money, but what else? Nothing, I think. You can buy your own clothes with what you get, and paying me anything to live here is a ridiculous idea. You can pay for anything you want or need, including a bicycle. I think you should open an account. That way the check can go into it each month, and we won’t have to worry about cashing it anywhere else. It can be automatically deposited, and you can take out whatever money you want to keep on hand. We can open the account today. They probably won’t want to give you any money until they can clear the check, but I can cover whatever you need till then. We can go bicycle shopping after dinner.”

I say yes, let’s, and we go shopping. Tomorrow I’ll go to a nearby bank and open a savings account. I’ll have a bank account and money! My own money. I’ve never had more than $5 before. My mom always bought me what she thought I needed. I went without anything else. Asking her for money was something I learned not to do.

So now I have a bike, a really good one, and I ride it to school, and after school, we come to my house. We have about an hour, usually a little more, before Daniel gets home. Two boys— two young and horny boys—and an hour of privacy.

Usually we swim first. We get naked together on the back patio because it feels so sexy doing that outside. The warm air, the breeze, the naughtiness of stripping out where anyone could see us—even if they can’t—all ratchets up the excitement. We’re always both hard by the time we’re nude.

Then we race for the pool and jump in. We swim laps and have water fights and wrestle a little. Eventually we’re no longer hard, and then we practice diving from the diving board. We usually stay in the water a good half hour, unwinding from the pressure of school. But by then, we’re too horny to stay in the water.

The first time was really special. Every time afterwards has been, too. But by now we know what to expect. That’s good, too, but doesn’t quite match the excitement, the emotional onrush, of that first time.

“You ready?” My voice doesn’t sound like mine. I am breathing funny as well. We’ve only been in the pool a short time, but neither of us is thinking about swimming. It’s what we know is coming next that has us both squirming.

“Yeah!” he says, sounding quite a bit like I had.

We get out and dry off. Both of us are stiff.

“In your room?” he asks.


We go inside through the sliding glass door that leads from the patio to my bedroom. We are both nervous, which intensifies the atmosphere. I’m not sure what to do next, but I sit on the bed and pat it next to me. He comes and sits.

“What do we do?” I ask, though I know the answer. I should reach over and feel him. I really want to do that and want him to do it, too. The thing is, I don’t know what comes after that.

“Can I touch you?” he asks. He sounds even more nervous than I am, which I hadn’t thought possible.

“Please do,” I say, sounding way more formal than I feel, and then I laugh, a laugh that forces itself out and loosens the tension.

He giggles, which I love hearing as it means suddenly we can relax a little. This is exciting and sexy, but it’s fun, too. Not weird or full of anxiety. Fun.

He takes hold of me, and without asking I do the same. It feels strange, putting my hand on another boy’s erection, a hand that’s only used to the feel of mine. But different it is. I do more than touch. I let my fingers and palm roam around, touching everything—all over his penis, his scrotum, the pubes that are just beginning to grow. While I’m doing that, I move my other hand to his chest and slowly rub all over it, sliding my hand lightly from his hip to his shoulder up and down over one side of him, then doing his front.

He groans.

He’s feeling me and doing a great job of it, too, and I find myself pressing my boner into his hand and slightly rocking. He gets the idea and begins a very light stroke going, up and down, up and down. I press harder. Then I realize I’m moaning, too.

I take my hand off him. “Hey!” he says. I giggle. “Let’s get farther onto the bed,” I say.

He lets go of me and we move up onto the bed, lying side by side, looking at each other. I find that distracting and drop my eyes to his boner. I take hold of it and begin stroking again, not firmly, not quickly. I want this to last, although I’m not sure that’s possible for either of us.

He does the same for me. God, this is wonderful! I begin moving around on the bed uncontrollably, edging this way and that, tightening my butt muscles, thrusting. I’m getting close to going off. He is too; I can tell by the way he’s thrusting his stomach toward me now and the way his groans are getting more guttural.

“You want me to keep going?” I gasp.

“Hell, YES!” he cries, and a moment later, my hand is slippery. I keep stroking though, but with much less pressure. Very lightly. Barely touching his tip as I know how sensitive that gets. He’s breathing really deeply now and finally flops over onto his back.

I watch him recover. His erection isn’t going away. Mine’s like that, too. After I’m done, it stays hard for a long time. I reach over and, smiling at my audacity, very lightly brush the tip of his.

He jumps as if a bee just stung him. We both laugh.

“Um, I don’t think we’re quite done yet,” I say, trying to sound professorial, like I’m scolding a recalcitrant student. He rolls back onto his side facing me and says very seriously, “Uh, I need to go home. Homework. Forgot all about it. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I roll over on top of him. He’s laughing now, but I’m not. Instead, I’m thrusting my boner hard on whatever it’s rubbing against. I can’t really control myself against his stomach and then his thigh and then his pubes and his stomach again. I’m getting close.

“Here,” he says, and makes a loose fist that he places right next to his still hard boner. I’m a quick study. I thrust into it. Perfect! I only need to do that three more times and he’s the one who’s slippery now. Which makes his fist feel a hundred times better as I work until I’m finished.

I roll off him and onto my back just like he did. He does the same and we lie there together, treasuring the moment.

When I feel I can talk again without panting, I say, “That was so neat. I loved that.”

“Me, too. Much better than by myself. Somehow, not having complete control—or maybe it’s being with someone else who’s enjoying it, too, I don’t know—makes it more exciting, more everything.”

“You know what? I think we should make this a regular thing. You come over after school and bring all your homework, then we can swim, fool around, then begin doing homework together so we’re busy with it when Daniel comes home.”

“Works for me,” he says and grins.

I’ve been wondering about something, and now I feel so relaxed, so at ease, I think I should go ahead. Maybe it’ll be a huge mistake, but I don’t think it will.

“Terry? I need to tell you something. I’m gay. Well, maybe. I’m pretty sure I am, though. And I don’t want to be doing this stuff with you and then you find out later about me and think I was taking advantage of you. I’m doing it with you for the same reason you’re doing it with me: to find out what it’s like, to enjoy it, to enjoy each other. They taught us at school that this is something a lot of, maybe most, boys do, either at our age or younger. Most boys aren’t gay, and what we just did wasn’t really a gay thing, either. It was a boy thing. It was two boys having fun. It was a learning experience. But I can’t keep doing it with you without you knowing that. About me, I mean.”

He is quiet just long enough for me to start worrying. For me, being me, that takes about two seconds. But then he says, “I don’t think I’m gay. I get crushes on both boys and girls, but again, that’s supposed to be normal. I don’t really have a crush on you at all. I just like you a whole lot, much more than some crush, but I don’t like you in a love sort of way. I like spending time with you, being with you. Is that okay?”

“Sure! I don’t love you, either. But I want to do this with you, even though I don’t love you. It’s fun and feels great and why shouldn’t we do it? As long as we both like it.”

“I like it more than you do!” he says, and I hear the humorous challenge in his voice. I don’t even bother to look at the clock. I simply attack him and we roll around on the bed, laughing and squealing and eventually not laughing and squealing but breathing hard, and then we need a long rest again and this time, looking at the clock, I say, “Damn! No time to dress. He should be home by now. Any second! Into the pool!”

We’re already naked, which saves time. We rush back outside and leap into the pool. We’re just coming up for air when I hear the garage door rumble up.

We learn about a new house rule before Terry goes home. “Now assuming you guys are in the pool wearing the togs you were born in, when you hear that garage door opening, you have time to leave the pool and be fully dressed by the time I get into the house.”

Terry is sitting with us while the rule is being laid out. Daniel says it is terribly inappropriate for him to see Terry naked, and even seeing me is a little dicey. He really didn’t see either of us naked this time, anyway. When he saw we were in the pool, he called out to us that he was going into the living room, and we both needed to get dressed. Assuming we weren’t in bathing suits. Of course, we weren’t.

When Terry is gone and the two of us are eating dinner, I have a point to make. “Uh, Daniel?”

He knows me as well as I do him. He hears my tone of voice and gives me a very defensive, wary, “Yeah?”

I have to fight to keep the smile off my face. “This rule. It’s a house rule, isn’t it? For the entire house? I mean, fair’s fair. So, I just want to make sure we both understand it. We should to get a bell or gong or something. When I come home and you’re here, I can ring it so you and your boyfriend, or friends, can leap out of the pool and get dressed long before I’m confronted with that ugly sight. I am a young, impressionable boy, remember.”

He gives me a look, and I can’t stop from bursting out in laughter. Then he says something so unexpected I laugh even harder.

“What do you mean, ugly?”

Terry is much more sociable than I am. That’s good for me because I end up involved in things I’d never have been exposed to if it were just me all alone. The school has all sorts of activities that are available to enrich the students’ lives and give them an outlet for their talents. Some are part of the curriculum, like art classes, band, orchestra and choral groups. Most activities, though, occur after school. For those liking physical activities, there are all the sports you can think of. For the boys: football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, lacrosse, soccer, wrestling, gymnastics, track, cross country, swimming and diving.

For the girls: softball, volleyball, basketball, tennis, soccer, gymnastics, field hockey, track, cross country, cheer, dance team, swimming and diving. I’m probably leaving a few out. What I find so amazing here in California is that girls go out for sports as much as boys do.

All those activities have eager participants, and at this school there are no cuts. You might not actually participate in inter-school meets if you aren’t good enough, but you are part of the team if you want to be.

But non-physical activities are available as well. Like photography, auto mechanics, wood and metal shops, the school newspaper, debate team, the math, chess and computer clubs, the yearbook, and cooking. Some of these were actual classes back east, but here, at this school at least where academics are emphasized, they’re still available and earn participants letters of completion, but they don’t count for school credits.

Left alone, I’d have joined none of these. But I am with Terry, and he is an active participant, not the recluse I’ve always been.

“What club are we going to join?” he asks me during the first week of school. After school that day the commons is full of students walking around, looking at all the posters and flyers promoting the various activities. Each club or activity has set out their materials and sign-up sheets on a card table. Kids are manning the tables and talking to the ones strolling past who might be interested in what they’re pushing.

Terry wants to join something. He wants me to do it with him. Strength in numbers, he says. Besides, we can always quit if we don’t like it.

He’s learning which of my buttons to push. He’s already discovered how negative I can be. I haven’t disappeared into my shell yet in front of him. He tends to keep me loose just by being there and being my friend.

I don’t really want to join anything and so don’t answer his question about which one to join. I’m thinking of afternoons in the pool and my bedroom and how they’ll be cut back by club attendance. Any club. Do I really want that?

He doesn’t persist but just wanders around, looking at the tables, and I wander with him.

He lingers at the photography table. I’m not interested in that; as he has questions for the kid working the table and then picks up an album of pictures and begins turning pages, I move on. I see the cooking table and wonder if that would be good for me. I think it might be, but I like learning to cook from Daniel and don’t want preconceived notions when he’s telling me how to do something. We really bond over our time in the kitchen. Plus I see only girls have signed up, and me being the only boy with a mess of girls while I’m still trying to keep my secret? No. So I leave that table and move on.

I come to the table for the school newspaper. Most of these tables are manned by seniors. This one has a kid who I’d swear is a freshman; he looks even younger than that. But I’m pretty sure he’s a freshman because he’s in the same French class with me. It’s second-year French; most schools teach the first year of languages in the 8th grade; then we get our second year as freshmen in high school. I can’t be sure that that’s true here, but I do know he’s in that class with me. Anyway, he sees me stop. Not too many kids have stopped, and from the look on his face, I guess maybe he’s eager to talk to someone.

He stands up all eagerness. He’s shorter than I am, and I’m not very tall. “Hey!” he says. “You’re in my French class. You’re, uh, hold on, it’ll come to me, no, no, don’t say it . . .”

I have to laugh. He’s so earnest, so determined, and he should just be laughing. He isn’t. He has his face screwed up in a concentrating frown, and he runs his fingers through his hair and tugs on it. His hair is long, and with the finger action, one bang falls over his eye. He sort of jerks his head in a practiced, unconscious way and his hair cooperates and flips back, and he suddenly smiles like a sunburst and he yells, “Rob!”

“Well played,” says a voice behind me; Terry is standing there grinning. He speaks to the kid. “What are you doing here, Daryl? Shouldn’t an adult be running this table, not a fifth grader?”

Daryl isn’t offended. From his grin, I get the idea it would take a lot to offend him. But I have to agree with Terry: Daryl does look young.

“Hi, Terry.” He turns to look at me. “He knows I’m not a 5th grader because the two of us were in Mr. Hodges 5th-grade classroom together. If you’re hanging with him, be careful. He lies like a firefly.”

I squinch my forehead. “A firefly? I thought it was a rug.”

“Anyone can say rug. I like to be original.”

“Even when it makes no sense, too,” Terry kicks in and laughs. Evidently these two know each other well. “Rob, this is Daryl Hasserly. Daryl, this is my friend Rob Tressman. He’s a freshman like us.”

“So,” Daryl says, looking at me, “are you interested in the paper? It’s great. You get to know all about everything that’s going on in the school, who the movers and shakers are, and a lot of them are nice to you because they want to get good press. For me, what I like most is I get to write, and even though it’s my first year, maybe I can even have a column. Can you write? Are you any good?”

“Uh, sure,” I say. “Don’t know about good, but I can write.”

Terry picks up a copy of the newspaper, glances at it, and asks, “How can you be recruiting, Daryl? You’ve been here as long as we have—less than a week.”

“My brother is the editor this year and was supposed to be running this table,” Daryl explains. “He got grabbed by the principal on his way out here, and he told me to get my butt down here and sign people up. So far it’s been easy. No one’s stopped. Other than Rob.” He looks at me and grins, then continues.

“We need two staff reporter/writers and a photographer. Those three positions are open due to graduation. I’m taking one of the reporter/writer positions. Rob, you can have the other if you can write.” He turns to Terry. “Sorry, Terry, but they always get someone from the photography club as their official photojournalist.”

Terry grins. “I’m in luck then. I just signed up with them. So my boy Rob and I just filled your quota. You can pack up and go home.”

“Great!” Daryl squeaked. I guess he’s also going through the voice-changing thing.

“Hey!” I complain. “I never said I was signing up.”

“Sure you are,” Terry says, laughing. “You need to write the captions under my great photos.”

I try to look undecided, but there’s something about the way Daryl looks at me that makes me want to get to know him better. He reaches out his hand to me. I realize I’m supposed to shake it, and I do. He smiles at me and holds onto my hand longer than he needs to. Is he trying to tell me something? Or is he just taking this as me committing to working on the paper with him? I’ve got some questions for Terry in the swimming pool later.