Behind The Silver Screen
By Jerry Miller
The birds singing outside Mike's bedroom window brought me around from sleep. My head was still on his chest. My hand cupped his soft cock and balls. His breathing was even and smooth. His heartbeat was solid. Be strong heart, I told it in my mind. Never stop beating; never stop loving me. Never abandon him and leave him lifeless.
Mike's fingers started to stroke my arm; his lips kissed the top of my head.
"You're awake?" I asked.
"I didn't mean to wake you."
"I know, but I felt something wet on my chest."
I reached up and wiped tears from my eyes. I hadn't realized that there were any.
"You've been crying again?"
"I didn't think I was."
"What were you thinking about?"
"How wonderful it is being here with you. But I was also thinking about when youíll be gone."
Mike brought his hand up and brushed my hair wistfully, kissing me softly again on my head.
"I have two months with you, Michael. I don't want to spend them crying. I know there will be difficult moments, but we have years of togetherness to cram into the next eight weeks or so."
"I know you're right," I said, resigned.
"Will you write me?" he asked, his voice sounding hopeful.
"Yes," I said with enthusiasm. "Will you write back?"
"Yes, of course. Iíll always need to know how you are doing. It will keep me going knowing all I can about you and that I can write back to you."
I turned my head to face him. "Do you have any idea how much I am going to miss you?"
Looking deep into my eyes he said, "Yes, about as much as I am going to miss you." I could see he meant it.
"Yeah, I promise."
My hand was still on his cock and I felt it stirring. My fingers moved to encircle it and I gently began to stroke it.
"We don't have much time before we have to get ready for work," Mike said, "But that does feel good."
"Okay, I can be quick about this then," I said moving my head down towards his dick and I started sucking on it.
"Nice, but swing around so I can do you too," he said.
I did. We made love to each other with our hands, lips and tongues. After we finished each other off, we took our shower together. We found the shower romantic and intimate as we washed each other with our hands and kissed each other with the spray cascading over our heads. I was trying so desperately to memorize everything about him. There wasn't a part of him that I didn't clean or kiss.
On the bus to work, we held hands and talked about what we would do for those last weeks together. Barely getting to work on time, we practically hung over each other. We constantly reprimanded ourselves for it since we didn't want others to know. I found out later that we did a terrible job of hiding it. Every chance we got to be alone we were kissing and groping. The locker room was our safe haven. The world didn't exist there and no one else mattered.
Then Mike had the idea to go behind the silver screen and make out while the movie was playing. We found it exciting and daring. We could peek through the holes of the screen and see patrons watching the movie totally oblivious to us. I loved being there and watching the different colors of projection light sear through the screen, across his body especially if I had my hand on his cock. The look of pleasure and excitement on his face burned into my memory.
As school wound down towards graduation, I was suffering from mixed emotions. Ben kept after me, asking what was going on with me. I had drifted away from him when Mike came into my life. I told him everything was great, even between him and me. He and I hung out together when I worked at Northtown, but I tried my best to work downtown as much as possible. Jay had become lost in my mind; I pushed his memory back into the lost recesses where those you still cared about resided, but kept it at a very safe distance to avoid the pain.
Mike and I had several weekends together at either his house or mine. It was great that our parents visited relatives out of town so often.
One night, Ben suggested we go to the drive-in and see a double feature of two older John Wayne movies. The Northtown had played "True Grit" the summer before and I had become a huge John Wayne fan. I asked Ben if I could bring Mike, and he said finally he would meet the guy I always talked about. I was relegated to the back seat of Ben's '65 Ford Mustang. Mike and Ben hit it off, especially when Ben told Mike all the stories he knew about me. I watched "Sons of Katie Elder" and "El Dorado" while they conversed. I felt left out of their conversation. I wanted so badly to make out with Mike. When Ben went to the rest room and snack bar, I told Mike what kind of horny state I was in. I was relieved when he told me he was too.
Since Ben had a car and a driver's license, we three would go out together sometimes. We hit every drive-in theater in the county.
Two weeks before graduation, Ben and I were in the Northtown locker room changing into our street clothes. We were to pick up Mike downtown, but Ben decided to hit me with his little bombshell.
"I know, Mike," he said.
I turned around to face him. "What are you talking about?"
"I think I have figured it out."
"The two Mikes."
Oh great. I didn't need this now. I don't think Ben hates gays, but I wasn't in the mood to find out for sure.
"What about Mike and me?"
"You know what I'm talking about."
"No, Ben. I don't." Determined not to give anything away.
"Don't get me wrong, Mike, I like him. He's seems to be a great guy."
"Well," he said. I could tell he suddenly felt uncomfortable. I decided that he had been my friend for so long that I had to tell him the truth. I felt like I owed him that.
"Ben," I said, "I trust you."
Ben turned to me and said, "Then why didn't you tell me?"
"What is it that you think I should have told you?"
"That you're gay."
I turned around and sat down in the chair. I looked up at Ben.
"Could you have told me if you were?" I asked.
Ben's facial expression changed as he thought about it. When the realization of the situation hit him, he began to shake his head.
"No, I don't think I could have."
"Do you hate me now?" I asked.
"No, I don't. You're my friend, that won't change."
"I'm glad," I said as I put my clothes on.
"You and Mike?" he asked.
I moved towards him and looked him in the eyes.
"I love him and he loves me."
"I figured that out."
"Is that how you figured out I was gay?"
"No. Jay told me."
"What?" I said slightly peeved.
"Whoa. Don't be mad at him. I asked him. Give Jay some credit. He gave it up reluctantly."
"I pressed him to find out why the two of you had your falling out. I had suspected as much. When Jay confirmed it and told me he couldn't handle having a gay friend I gave him hell for it, but he just shrugged it off and walked away from me, but not before he made me promise not to tell anyone else."
That was some comfort and relief, I guess. "So you are okay with Mike and me?"
"Yeah. I wouldn't have guessed Mike was gay," he said.
"Huh? How can that be?"
"It's kind of complicated. But I would feel more comfortable if he was part of this conversation."
"I understand," Ben said. "I feel like he's a friend too, you know."
That night after we picked up Mike, Ben explained to him how he found out and asked him not to be mad at me. Mike understood and insisted on sitting with me in the back seat at the drive-in at Miller's Grove.
Ben politely excused himself and said he would watch the movie from the snack bar patio. Mike and I discussed Ben knowing and figured it wasn't going to hurt anything.
We made out a little and then I think we both felt kind of guilty that Ben was sitting alone. We found him and sat down at the table with him. Feeling content that we could not be overheard, we explained everything to Ben. Ben was very supportive and happy to be included in the secrecy. Mike and I both understood Ben's confusion over Mike's not being gay, but he accepted it.
Ben and I graduated on the first Saturday in June. Mike was there. Ben and I were present when Mike graduated the next day. We went out together to celebrate. We had a big dinner and a night of cruising the town. Since none of us liked alcohol, there was no drinking, just three guys enjoying that moment in time. Always in my mind, though, was the awareness that Mike would soon be leaving me.
Mike had given his two-week notice. Approaching his last day at the theater I felt anxious. The last two months had gone by quickly. Mike and I had fallen more in love each day. I had to remind him that he was straight and he always restated that he was just queer for me. I just laughed at the absurdity of it.
For the weekend before Mike was to leave for boot camp, I had requested off the three days of time off from both theaters. Mike and I planned on spending the time in a motel room, and Ben volunteered to chauffeur us to one in Middletown off I-75.
In that room, I felt like I was on my honeymoon with the man I loved. We spent the entire time making love, eating some and making more love. We talked, we cried, we laughed, we cried again. Sunday, when we awoke in the morning we just held each other, never wanting to let go. We cried some more in each other's arms.
"I know," he said, "Me, too."
I buried my face into his chest and cried, "Don't get hurt, please, don't get hurt."
"I won't. I promise." He rubbed my head with his soft touch.
"You make a lot of promises, you know?"
"Yeah. Well I intend on keeping those I make to you."
"I'm going to miss you so much."
"Me, too." He said with a quiver in his voice.
I had an idea and I had to try it, I really had to.
"Mike, you still have a chance not to go. You and I could take the bus to Canada and stay there until this crap is over with."
Mike just smiled at me and shook his head. "I don't want to run, Michael. That isn't me."
I understood and I was proud of him. But being understanding and proud didn't help my situation. I guessed I was just being selfish.
Finally, we showered and got ready to leave. This would be our last moment together before he left the next day. Ben would be there to pick us up in an hour. I put my arms around him and held on to him for all I was worth. He did the same with me. No words were spoken. We had said everything. Our bodily expressions were all that was needed. When we heard Ben signal with his car horn, we kissed, a lover's kiss, a lover's goodbye kiss.
Mike and I climbed into the back seat and Ben drove off. Mike put his arm around me and held me. My hands were clutched in his left hand. My eyes watered, I couldn't help it. I felt his tears dropping on my face. This was the hardest moment we would ever share together, the moment when we felt our own personal sorrow that our time was over. I didn't think about the time when he would come home; I only thought, deep in my mind and heart, that I would never see or feel him again, that this was it.
Ben knew that Mike had to be home by six so his family could have their going away dinner with him. He took the long way back to the house. When he pulled in front of Mike's house, I didn't want to let go. It was only when Ben called out to me that I released Mike. Mike got out and retrieved his duffle bag. He shook Ben's hand and thanked him. Ben wished him luck and God speed. Mike brought his face to my window.
"Goodbye, Michael. I love you with all my heart. Thank you for loving me," he whispered in my ear.
"I won't stop, you know."
"I'm counting on that. I'm coming back for you, I promise."
"Please." I said. With a sense of urgency mixed with fear, I reached for his hand and squeezed it. His lips brush past my cheek, and then he turned and went up the steps into his house.
I don't remember Ben driving me home or even taking me inside up to my room. Ben was there all night. Because he was a true best friend, I told him my fears. He held me telling me that Mike would be fine. That night as Ben held me, I hung on to his words: "Mike, his love for you will keep him strong and safe. You'll see."
The End of Chapter Six.