The Education of Tyler Prescott

Chapter 11 - Testing

About 10 AM Saturday morning, TJ drove up to my house. I went outside to meet him, and we walked over to Cole’s house. Cole met us at the door, and the three of us went upstairs to his bedroom to change. None of us had any problem being naked in front of the others, so we changed quickly, went downstairs, and walked out to the pool.

“Oh Wow!” TJ exclaimed. “This is Simply Fabulous.” The air was a bit cool even though it was heated, so all three of us quickly jumped in the pool and began to swim. When we had swum a few laps, Cole got the ball we had used for water polo and we played keep away. Cole threw it to TJ. I lunged towards TJ, but he quickly threw it back to Cole, who missed it but retrieved it and threw it back towards TJ while I swam back and forth between them. The next time Cole threw it to TJ, he threw it a little short, and I grabbed it, putting TJ in the middle. Cole and I threw it back and forth until one time when I caught the ball, TJ lunged at me, grabbed me around the waist, and pulled me under.

I let go of the ball as TJ and I rose to the surface with him still holding me. He pulled my head towards him and kissed me soundly on the lips. I felt his tongue explore my lips a little, but I didn’t open to him. After a moment while we both tread water, he broke the kiss and whispered in my ear, “Oh, my dear boy, you Do taste delicious!”

I was embarrassed, because I was sure Cole was watching us, but he said nothing, and we continued with the game.

When we tired of swimming, we got out of the pool, grabbed our towels, and went into the house. I showered first, and when I came out, TJ went in to the shower. When he emerged, and Cole went into the shower, TJ came to me, hugged me, and kissed me again, his tongue probing my lips. This time I opened up to him and felt his tongue deep in my mouth where our tongues seemed to dance around for a few moments. Tonguing was new to me and I immediately loved the thrill it sent through me. When we heard the shower go off, we broke our kiss. I turned my back as Cole came out because I was very hard,

After we had all dressed, we went down to the kitchen, where Cole’s mom served us sandwiches, lemonade, and some of her homemade cookies. Later, TJ and I went to my house and climbed up to the garret where we played video games.

Between games, TJ asked me, “Did what we did this morning make you uncomfortable?”

“Only because I was sure Cole was watching. Do you think he understands?”

“Oh, I certainly hope so,” and with that he pulled me over and kissed me once more, tonguing hard as I reciprocated. As we kissed, I felt him beginning to pull my shirt up over my head. We broke the kiss and he removed the shirt before we returned to kissing. I felt his hand moving slowly, caressingly on my chest. His right hand continued to explore my chest while his left hand explored my back.

Finally, he pulled back, looked me deeply in the eyes, and asked, “Did you like that?”

“Oh no,” I said. He looked a little crestfallen. “I didn’t like it, I loved it!”

He beamed as only TJ could beam and asked, “It didn’t make you uncomfortable?” I silently shook my head and put my shirt back on.

Ae sat on my bed, TJ asked me about Billy. Somewhat reluctantly, I told him, much as I had told Cole. By the time I finished, we were both in tears.

We sat in silence for a few moments before TJ said, “Do you think that’s why you’re reluctant to try your feelings out now?”

I nodded and told him about my vow.

“What do you think he would say if he knew he was the reason why you found it so hard to make friends?”

I hadn’t ever thought about it that way. I finally answered, “He’d say I should stop being so stupid. In fact, I can hear him saying it.”


            I sighed and said, “I guess I should try harder to make friends.” He smiled, and we left it at that.

            In early March, we began to get occasional days that warmed up above freezing. One Saturday, Cole, his mother, and I went to the farm to go skiing, knowing that the skiing season would end all too soon. Gliding through the woods, I saw buckets hanging on many of the trees. When we stopped for a breather, I asked about the buckets. Cole said, “They’re collecting maple sap which Grandpa will boil down to make maple syrup and maple sugar. C’mon. We’ll show you.”

Emerging from the woods, we came out near a small, wooden building which seemed to be sending forth a very sweet smell. I had seen it before and others like it, but I never knew what they were for. The building had a little cupola on the top from which smoke and steam poured out. The three of us went in. It was very hot inside and Grandpa Greene was busily at work.

“Why is he boiling the sap?” I asked.

“Because maple sap is only about 2% sugar, so he has to boil off a lot of the water content. It takes about 40 buckets of sap to make one bucket of syrup. C’mon,” he said, grabbing a couple of old metal spoons and a small cup of hot syrup.

Outside, Cole poured a little hot syrup on the snow where it quickly hardened. Handing me a spoon, he said, “Taste it.”

It was the most luscious taste, very sweet like maple candy might be. Cole poured around the rest of the hot syrup and we gorged ourselves.

“That is wonderful!” I said. He and his mom agreed. Cole returned the cup and the spoons, and we continued skiing.

The next weekend, TJ and I took our long-awaited drive north, so we could see the mountains covered with snow. As we rode, he asked, “Do you still wonder if you’re gay?”

I nodded my head and said, “Yeah. I guess I do because, while all that we’re doing feels good and even right, I won’t know until I’ve at least tried to kiss a girl.”

“Then we’ll have to get you a date with a girl,” he said, laughing.

“I don’t even know how to get a date with a girl.”

“Well, I never had that problem, but I suppose the way to do it is to start talking to girls and see if there’s one you could get a date with.”

On Sunday, I pondered the problem. It was true that the only girls I knew were the ones who had helped on the Haunted House. “How can I get to know more of them?” I wondered.

The next day, before my first class, I began by saying hello to the girl sitting next to me. I asked her what she thought of the book we were reading for English. She turned up her nose and said she couldn’t really understand it. “Strike one!” I thought.

Later, before our math class, I asked a girl sitting next to me if she understood the last problem we had for homework. She laughed and said it was easy. “Strike two!” I thought.

At lunch time, instead of sitting at my regular table, I sat at a table that already had three girls and two boys at it. I tried to enter into their conversation, but all they were talking about was petty school gossip. “Strike three!” I thought, looking over at my usual table, where TJ seemed to be explaining to the others what I was doing. They were all trying to sneak looks without appearing too obvious.

I usually sat between two girls in French class, both of whom were quite cute. We struck up a conversation about the French homework. Neither of them seemed either snooty or distant, so we had a good chat. I left the class thinking, “Not a homerun perhaps, but maybe a single.”

On Tuesday, one of the girls was absent but the other, Rebecca, was again sitting next to me. Again, we talked about homework. Then I asked her a few questions about her family and snuck in one about whether she had a boyfriend. I thought I was being really clever, but TJ told me later that I was far from subtle. Anyway, she had two brothers and a sister and she had no current boyfriend. “Okay, this might qualify as a double.”

We had no French class on Wednesday, but on Thursday I got bold and asked her if she’d like to go for ice cream or something after school. She gave me a lovely smile and said yes. Between classes I texted mom and asked her to pick me up at the ice cream parlor around five. There was a spring in my step as I moved to the next class thinking, “That’s gotta be a triple.”

I met Rebecca on the steps of the school at dismissal time. I was nervous, and I think she was too as we walked down the hill to the ice cream parlor. She got a hot fudge sundae and I got a chocolate milkshake. Over our ice cream, we chatted about where we came from. She had been born in Bristol, New Hampshire. I told her about growing up in Missouri and our move to New Hampshire. She asked if I thought the move had been a good one and, thinking back to what I had said to my parents a few weeks before, I said I thought it was. I found out that her father worked in the clothing store and I told her about my father’s work at the University.

She laughed and asked, “Psychology? Does he try to figure you out?”

“Well, at one point he did before we moved up here, but I haven’t caught him doing that since. Maybe he’s given up trying to figure out a teenage boy.” We both laughed.

Just before 5 o’clock, we left our table and looked out the door to see if my mother had arrived. She was sitting there in the car with the engine running. I offered Rebecca a ride home, and she smiled and accepted, so I opened the front passenger door for her, introduced her to Mom, and then climbed into the back seat. Rebecca lived a little bit north of town in a fairly new development. When Mom pulled up in front of her house, I got out, opened the door for Rebecca, and gave her my hand as she stepped out. I told Mom I’d be right back and walked Rebecca up to the door, where she rang the bell and waited for her mother. When her mother opened the door, Rebecca introduced us before telling me she had had a wonderful time and disappearing inside.

When I climbed into the front seat, Mom said, “Well, she seems like a very nice girl.”

I said something noncommittal like, “Uh huh,” while thinking to myself, “Don’t get your hopes up too high, Mom.” We rode home talking about school. She enquired about some of the Haunted House group, so I filled her in.

In the house, I ran upstairs and called TJ. I told him all about what happened and said I thought I might take her to the freshman dance a week from Friday, if she didn’t already have a date. When I asked her the next day, she smiled and said she’d be very happy to go with me.

On the night of the dance, with Dad driving, I called at her house and walked her down to the car. This time I opened the back door of the car for her and then went around to the other side and got in beside her. When Dad dropped us off at the high school, I asked him to pick us up a little after 10 o’clock. We went into the school gym, which was decorated with the usual streamers and posters and had strobe lights and a sound system set up by Paul.

People were just arriving, but the music had already begun, so I asked Rebecca to dance with me. It was not a slow dance, and we never actually touched while we danced, but we both had a good time. We danced once more together, and then we agreed to split up and dance with others for a while. I danced with a couple of girls but didn’t find either one of them very interesting.

When Paul put on a slow dance, I quickly found Rebecca, put my left arm around her waist and held her hand with my right hand. I got as close as I dared, hoping to feel something down below, but there was nothing. Halfway through the dance, she let go of my hand and gripped me around the waist, so I put my other hand around her waist which immediately got us closer, close enough so that it would have been hard to slip a piece of tissue paper between us. She laid her head on my shoulder. I could feel her heart beating; I could feel her breasts on my chest; I felt nothing inside me. “Did this mean I was really gay?” I wondered.

When the fast dances picked up again, I noticed there were several boys dancing with other boys. Across the gym I saw TJ dancing with Bruce. He looked over and gave me a quizzical smile. I shook my head and he pretended to look sad.

I did dance with Rebecca a few more times, and I also danced with TJ a couple of times. I told him I’d call him when I got home.

The last dance was another close one and again Rebecca and I danced as close as we possibly could. Nothing! When the dance ended, I took Rebecca’s hand, we found our coats in the hallway, and went out front to look for Dad, who was waiting patiently in the parking lot. Again, Rebecca and I sat in the backseat. When she reached over, I took her hand and she inched closer to me. At her house, I escorted her to the front door. Before she rang the doorbell, she leaned in and kissed me gently on the mouth. I returned the kiss.  Then she said, “Thank you, I had a wonderful time.” She kissed me again, this time exploring with her tongue. I reciprocated once more, but still felt nothing. Finally, she broke the kiss, pushed the doorbell, and walked into the house when her father opened the door.

Back in the front seat of the car, I said to Dad, “I can’t wait until I get my driver’s license!” He laughed and drove us home as we chatted companionably together. When I got into the house, I said, “Hi” and a few pleasantries to Mom, before going up to my room, where I called TJ.

“Well,” he said, “Did anything happen?”

“We danced three slow dances together, and I felt nothing. When we got to her house, she kissed me twice on the lips, the second time tonguing me, and I felt nothing. She’s a nice girl, and I wouldn’t want to hurt her, but I’m pretty sure now that I’m gay.”