Probably I was very lucky as a child growing up because my parents tended to rather spoil me. I suspect now that was due to me arriving several years after both of my brothers. Tom was twelve and Alan was eleven when I was born, which was quite a difference.
I'm sure both my brothers loved me, but in many ways I existed in a different world to them. They also got on very well together, no sibling rivalry there. They were in different grades at school which probably made life easier for Alan as he always had Tom around to protect him – not that he ever seemed to need protecting. Both were very much into sports at school; football, baseball, basketball – basically anything that involved a ball and they would be playing it.
None of which is to say that they neglected me, but apart from family mealtimes we had little interaction. A lot of that was no doubt due to the fact that it soon became evident I was not going to follow in their sporting footsteps. I proved to be very uncoordinated and with two left feet despite their efforts to teach me when I was about to start at school and before they both moved away to college.
Thus, as I started my journey through school life, one thing I dreaded was PE. There were some exercises I could do, but once an inanimate object was introduced disaster ensued. I could run, provided it wasn't a sprint, but swimming was the one sport I really enjoyed. Somehow I came into my own in the water and my usual lack of coordination vanished.
So, I wasn't an athlete but I did devour books. I could happily spend all day reading during school vacations. While the other kids would be out riding their bikes around the neighborhood or gathering at the park for games of football or baseball, I liked nothing better then to sit in an easy chair in the backyard under the shade of a tree. With my book, a cooler with some cold soda and a few snacks I would be happy for hours while being transported to some magical world where I could vicariously participate in the adventures of various heroes.
I also found school to be academically easy and being a straight A student quickly became the norm. I was lucky in that the school had a very strict non bullying policy, so my somewhat nerdy nature never led to any real problems for me. Now when I said at the start that my parents tended to spoil me that didn't mean that I was showered with all sorts of toys and trinkets. This was in any case in the days before computers and the Internet changed everything. No, what I meant was that they didn't force me to do anything I didn't want to do. I had virtually no friends, never went on sleepovers and never had anyone to spend the night with me. I didn't know the word back then, but I was a budding iconoclast.
You can thus imagine my shock and horror when as we were eating dinner one evening my mom turned to me and said,
“Adam, your father and I have been talking and we have decided that this summer you should go to camp.”
I almost choked on the piece of chicken I was eating at the time. Coughed, spluttered and replied,
“Why? I don't want to go to camp. I'm not interested in going to camp.”
“Your brothers both enjoyed going to it. Couldn't wait to get there as I recall.”
“That was them. I'm not like them. I don't enjoy sports and games like they do. I like to be on my own.”
“Ah, and that's another reason,” she responded. “You spend too much time on your own. You're fourteen now, you need to learn how to integrate, get on with other people and make friends.”
We argued for a while longer, but when my father added his voice in agreement I knew I was doomed.
There was also another reason why I didn't want to go to camp, but it wasn't one I could voice. Puberty had struck a year or so ago. Perhaps my father had discussed the birds and bees with my brothers but he certainly never did with me. Probably had my brothers been closer in age to me they would have explained things to me. As it was I had to find out for myself.
My search for explanations started the morning after I had my first wet dream. That occurred on a Friday night and I was horrified when I awoke to find my pyjama trousers wet and sticky. I thought I'd simply wet the bed and was disgusted with myself for doing so. But then I realised that wasn't the explanation as I removed my pyjamas, changed the bed and took 'the evidence' down and into the washing machine before mom was awake. When she came down later and saw the tumble dryer running she simply thanked me for being thoughtful and doing the washing for her. I had thrown a few other items into the machine as well to make it a little less obvious as to why it was running.
After breakfast I got my bike out and rode into town. I spent the entire morning in the library and when I emerged some hours later I had the answer to the question of what had caused my nocturnal emission. Not only that, I had the inkling of an answer to something else that had been puzzling me and which became more obvious as the months passed. I liked boys!
That was the only good thing about PE at school. I could see other boys in a state of almost complete, and sometimes complete, undress. Of course I couldn't stare. I didn't dare make it obvious I was looking. We may have had a non bullying policy at school, but I didn't want to be classed as a fag. However, a surreptitious glance or two was always possible and I think I became a master at doing so. It was even easier to see things at the pool, where, rather to my parent's surprise, I had become a frequent visitor the previous summer. They had been happy that I was out of the house while I was delighted that, it being an outdoor pool, I could lie on the grass pretending to read a book while actually boy watching. I quickly learned to do this while lying on my stomach to hide the inevitable reaction whenever anyone interesting came into view.
So now I knew what it was all about. I would usually come home from school, go up to my room and undress. Once naked I could stand in front of the mirror on my wardrobe door and play with myself while thinking of what I'd seen during the day. At night I'd lie in bed and toss myself off while picturing whichever boy I fancied at the time.
Everything there was under my control, but how on earth was I going to cope having to sleep in a room with several other boys when I'd never shared a room with even one? I was sure to spring a boner and someone was bound to see. Then the rest of my stay at the camp would be misery – and I was going to be there for three weeks! It was a ghastly thought. The days were going to be little fun as I read through the available activities from the prospectus mom handed me after our meal was finished. But the nights? They simply did not bear thinking about, but think about them I did.
As the time for my departure grew closer I worried more and more. I thought about climbing a tree and falling out in the hope of breaking a leg, but was too scared. I wished I could catch something contagious or the camp would burn down. Anything to stop me having to go there, but nothing occurred and so one Saturday afternoon in June my parents dropped me off at Camp Jehoshaphat – so named according to a note in the prospectus because everything there was jumping...
One of the few things I had liked on reading the details of the camp was that we would be accommodated in small cabins of just six boys. That, I reasoned, reduced my chances of being caught looking and indeed, with any luck, there might not even be another boy in mine who I wanted to look at.
The camp was located about two hours from the town where we lived. I guess you could say it was on the edge of wilderness as it was several miles from the nearest town with the last mile or so of the approach being down a dirt track. Good thing the weather was dry that day. I had no idea what happened if it was wet, but I did notice some sort of phone in a box where the track branched off from the road, so perhaps you called the camp and they sent something like a tractor to collect you. Anyway, we didn't have that problem so drove into the centre of the place. There were two or three large buildings and then off to the side were an array of cabins, almost equal numbers of large and small.
We got out of the car and went into the building that was marked as being the office. There to meet us was the owner, James T. Sloane according to the sign on the desk he was sitting behind. The name didn't fit for someone running a camp, but his appearance definitely did. He was tall, white haired with a beard. His face was lined and sunburned, but his eyes sparkled as he stood up to welcome us. He was also well built and quite old looking, although most adults looked old to me, but I guessed he was about the same age as my parents. He was dressed all in blue denim with a bandanna round his neck. When he walked round the desk to shake my father's hand I saw he was wearing cowboy boots, but no spurs! He definitely fitted my image of an old time cowboy, other than the lack of the requisite spurs. Apart from them the only other thing missing was his horse!
Introductions made and forms signed he then hollered “Taylor” and after a few seconds the door opened and this fit looking young guy came in, dressed in shorts, t-shirt and sneakers. I was told that Taylor would be the counsellor for the hut I would be staying in which was named 'Kiowa'. Then it was time to get my things out of the car, say goodbye to my folks while trying, without much difficulty, to look unhappy at being here, but not upset enough to need to shed a tear as they drove away.
We then walked across to my hut. As we did Taylor briefly explained how the camp operated. There was a mess hall where meals were served. I knew there was a rota for us kids to help prepare meals and clear away after, although there were a couple of cooks. Another large hut with a stage where entertainment would happen in the evenings. There was also an area for a fire pit for barbecues and where 'gatherings' would take place in the evenings. He didn't explain that further and I didn't ask what they involved. One other hut he pointed to contained the showers and toilets. He also pointed out the fields where games such as soccer and baseball were played and the lake. That was suitable for swimming once you had passed their ability test and there were also canoes, rowing boats and a couple of small yachts. Around the lake were woods and I could see that they merged into hills as the camp was located in a sort of bowl like depression. I had to admit to myself that the surroundings did seem quite pleasant. With any luck I'd be able to take myself off each day with a book and find somewhere in the woods where I could read in peace.
When we arrived at the hut and Taylor led the way in I found that it did indeed contain six beds with a space just inside the entrance where stood a small table. Then came the beds, or perhaps bunks would be a better description, three on each side. Beyond them was another door which he told me led to a toilet and basin which we could use if the need arose at night because we weren't supposed to be outside the hut after lights out, which apparently came at ten pm.
The four beds at the far end were already occupied. Taylor introduced me to Wayne, Jeff, Donny and Bryan, said that he'd leave me to unpack as he had to go back to the office to wait for a few more arrivals because he was the counsellor for both this hut and the nearby one named 'Cree'.
It soon became evident that the four knew each other. Indeed they went to the same school, but in a town that was a good fifty miles in the opposite direction to where I lived. They'd also been here before – for the last four years apparently and thought it was the greatest way to spend some of the summer vacation. I quickly decided that their little group wouldn't want to expand to include me as it was very evident that my interests and theirs were vastly different. That suited me, as long as they didn't decide to gang up on me. I'd read stories about boys being picked on and bullied at camps. I had no wish to find myself trying to get into an apple pie bed at night, or being stripped naked and having my dick and balls boot blacked. Hopefully they'd be too busy enjoying their activities during the day that they be too worn out at night to do anything other than sleep.
I guess it must have been half an hour later when Taylor came back bringing with him the final member of our group. That was the first time I saw Mark. He was quite tall for a fourteen year old, two to three inches taller than me I thought. He had what I'd call 'dirty blond' hair that formed a fringe over his forehead and was long and straight coming down the side of his face and to below collar length on his neck. The striking thing about him was his face. He just gave off an air of happiness. He was smiling and showing a set of perfect white teeth. Hazel eyes that seemed to hint of mischief. He was well built, but definitely not fat – just fit. There was just something about him that appealed to me and I sensed myself starting to go hard just looking at him. Fortunately Taylor suggested that he just dump his bags on the remaining bunk and we'd all go down to get something to eat after which he'd take us on the full tour.
So that was what we did. Naturally the other four walked together which left me with Mark. Luckily he seemed willing to lead the conversation and when it came to finding out where we both lived, it turned out we both came from the same town! In fact he only lived a few blocks from me, but his house was in the catchment area for both the other junior and high schools which sort of explained why we'd never met. Still it meant we could compare notes about teachers and lessons and see how each school differed.
Because it wasn't a proper mealtime we could only get toasted cheese sandwiches, but those followed by some ice cream filled some holes and should keep us going until the evening. After eating Taylor took Mark and I on the full tour leaving the other four to their own devices. Mark kept on enthusing about all the possibilities. “Hey, we've gotta get canoes out Adam.” “Hey, we've gotta go sailing, Adam.” “Hey, we've gotta swim over to the island Adam – you can swim can't you?” I nodded my head. “Great!This is gonna be so much fun.” And when he found out they had some horses - “We've gotta go riding, Adam!”
It was sort of infectious and I found myself being carried away with his enthusiasm, so I thought I'd get my own back. “Hey, we've gotta go climb that peak, Mark.” I said pointing at one in the distance. “Hell, why not! Great idea Adam,” he replied and laughed out loud as he finished. We both knew that the peak I'd pointed at was at least thirty miles away.
Taylor had informed us while we were on the tour that each day there were organised activities for which we could put our name on lists in the mess hall, but we didn't have to join those. After he'd left us Mark said that we'd see what was on offer each day for the next day and then if we wanted to, join. I was amazing myself that I was letting him carry me along with his enthusiasm; after all I was the boy who just wanted to go and find somewhere quiet to read one of the several books I'd packed. But he was so totally different to anyone I knew at school that I wanted to be with him, although I couldn't really understand why he'd want to be with me. After all I was pretty unremarkable – brown hair with a normal parting, grey eyes, average height, average weight. You certainly wouldn't pick me out in a crowd.
When we got back to the hut Wayne informed us that there was a six-a-side soccer contest between all the six berth huts. It would be played on a league basis over two weeks with each hut playing the other twice. Winning hut would get a prize – as yet unspecified. I said I couldn't play as I was useless, but he and his pals didn't believe me. They said we should get changed and go down the field and have a practice kickabout. So now I had my first real problem, getting changed in a small room with five other boys. Well, I managed without giving too much away, but while I kept on my white briefs, the others removed briefs and pulled on jocks. I'd never had the need to own one of those.
Once we got to the field and started kicking the ball around it very quickly became evident that what I'd said about being useless was absolutely correct. I couldn't pass the ball and I definitely couldn't tackle, so it soon became the five of them with me as a virtual bystander. That was until Mark had the idea of me being in goal. It did get me out of the way but the funny thing was that after a short while I started to understand what I was supposed to be doing and could use my brain to cut down the angle anyone had to shoot at. I still couldn't really catch the ball properly, but I could slap or punch it away and the goals we'd be using were smaller than for a normal game.
In the end I didn't do that badly and Mark was always telling me I was great. Rubbish I knew, but it made me feel part of the group even if nothing much was said by the other four. After we'd finished Donny suggested we had time for a shower before dinner. I'd been dreading taking a shower, but also looking forward to it – provided I didn't get caught looking. It was quickly apparent that Wayne, Donny, Bryan and Jeff had no hang ups about being naked and within a couple of minutes were playing grab ass. Mark and I stayed out of it, but I saw he was also looking at what they were putting on display, and like me he was getting a bit of an erection.
Dinner wasn't bad – burgers, beans and fries followed by ice cream and then there was a film show in the main hall. It was a sci-fi come horror movie, but nothing special.
The next day dawned bright and sunny, so after breakfast which was good and plenty of it, before which Mark and I had showered again, he and I headed down to the lake. Once we'd proved to the counsellor we could swim we were allowed to take out two of the canoes and spent most of the morning going round the lake in those. I was surprised that I managed without capsizing more than once – we'd been shown what to do in a capsize situation before we left the dock. When we got back we had time for a swim before lunch and spent most of the afternoon walking in the woods. I was surprised how easy I was finding it to talk to him.
Late afternoon it was time for our first soccer match. We won fairly easily, mainly because Mark was good and I did manage to make a couple of saves which earned me a bit of praise from the four – plus of course, Mark.
In the evening there was a barbecue and everyone came to that as there was no 'normal' food available. Some of the counsellors provided entertainment afterwards in the form of music and song and some of the kids also preformed, if they wanted.
Mark was sleeping in the bunk opposite mine and the next morning as I got out of bed I was treated to the sight of him bending over dressed in a pair of a sort of rosy pink colored shorts with a grey trim and side pattern, in order to tie up the laces on his grey sneakers. I just had time to pull on my briefs and shorts as he finished putting on his grey t-shirt and turned toward me. The t-shirt had some sort of weird lettering on the front so I asked,
“What do those letters mean, Mark?”
“Fuck off,” he responded.
I was taken aback as I couldn't believe the boy I'd started to know and like over the last couple of days would talk to me like that.
“Hey,” I said, “there's no need to be like that. I only asked a simple question.”
“That's what they mean, Adam. You asked and I told you.”
He was trying hard not to grin as he said that.
“Hang on a minute while I find mine that says 'Screw You'.”
“Bet you haven't got one.”
“And I bet that doesn't really say 'Fuck off'.”
He stepped across the gap between our beds.
“How much you wanna bet?”
His grin grew wider and he started tickling me. Nobody had ever tickled me and I hadn't realised I was ticklish. But I started laughing and trying to get him to stop and I collapsed on my bunk with Mark on top of me and as we rolled around I realized that I'd got hard and I could feel he was too. And if I knew that so must he, but although he stopped tickling me he made no real effort to get off me until Donny asked if we two lovebirds were going to get breakfast.
Mark and I spent most of the day together again. In the morning we took out a two person yacht taking it in turns to steer or crew. Of course he was better at steering, but I was starting to get the hang of it by the time we brought the yacht back. After lunch Mark decided we should go fishing, so we got some rods from the office and took out one if the rowing boats. I proved very good at catching crabs, so Mark ended up doing the rowing as well as catching a couple of fish, both of which he released and tossed back.
After that it was time for another soccer match, which we again managed to just win, and dinner. That night they served pizza with salads. When we'd eaten we all wandered back to the hut as there was no organised entertainment that evening. We'd been there a little while. The four of them were down the far end talking; I was lying on my bunk talking on and off to Mark who was sitting on the table.
“You two want to play some cards?” Wayne suddenly asked.
“What we going to play?”
“How about poker – strip poker?”
Mark's right hand shot up and the smile I'd come to like seeing so much appeared on his face. “I'm in. Come on Adam. This is gonna be fun.”
I wasn't at all sure about that. I knew the rudiments of poker, but I was no expert and I had a feeling they might be quite good. I was worried about what would happen to my dick not just if I lost but also as any of the others got down to just their underwear – or indeed nothing. But I had little choice other than to agree.
We established the rules. Everyone had seven items of clothing – sneakers, socks, t-shirt shorts and briefs. Whoever, won the hand could decide which of the others had to remove an item which would be taken off in that order. Then we sat down on the floor and battle commenced. Alright, it wasn't battle and it was actually quite good fun. It did seem that they were picking on one or other of us which I guess was understandable. And then after a few hands three of which Mark had won, I clicked on what he was doing as each time he won he had Donny remove something. So that was what I did when I won the next hand. Mark and I were sitting next to each other and as soon as I told Donny to remove his other sock, Mark gave me a nudge and a smile. So Mark and I concentrated on Donny and before too long he was sat there in just his briefs. Naturally comments were made, especially from Wayne. I wasn't saying much as by this time I was down to just my shorts and briefs while Mark also still had his t-shirt.
The next hand Mark won and I fully expected him to tell Donny to remove his briefs. Indeed Donny's hand went to the waistband in anticipation, but Mark told Wayne to take off his last sock. Donny grinned and gave Mark a sly wink. Didn't do him much good as Bryan won the next hand and to Donny's evident disbelief told him to take off his briefs. Donny went to just push them down while staying sitting but Wayne told him to stand up and take them off. I got my first full on view of another boy's dick and balls and felt myself go semi hard as they came into view. At least I wouldn't have anything to be ashamed about if I had to take my briefs off as Donny was about the same length as me but a little thinner, and with some hair. When he sat down again he went to put his hands over his genitals, but Wayne told him they had to be visible. With that the game continued and the moment when I had to take off my briefs soon arrived.
I think had I been the first I might well have refused, but it seemed nobody was taking much notice of Donny so I did it. What I hadn't allowed for was that, based on their games in the shower, the others had seen Donny naked often before, whereas I was new. Thus all eyes were on me as my briefs came down and my dick reacted to the attention it was getting, which surprisingly perhaps, didn't lead to any nasty comments suggesting I must be a fag.
The game went on and soon Mark was removing his briefs which gave me, and everyone else a surprise, as his dick was uncircumcised, which was very unusual back then. Comments duly came but Wayne insisted the game should continue. In the end it was just him and Bryan both down to their briefs. Wayne won that hand so Bryan removed his which was the point at which I got another shock because once he'd done that Wayne told Donny to come and remove his, saying that the first one naked was always allowed to to do that. What was really interesting though was that as Donny took Wayne's briefs down it was evident that not only was he hard, but his dick was also a couple of inches longer than any of the other five on display.
That game had taken a couple of hours, so it was almost time for lights out. Just after both Mark and I had got into our bunks Wayne came up and said he was pleased we'd agreed to play and hoped we'd enjoyed the show. Mark told him we were looking forward to tomorrow evening. Surprisingly, I also felt the same – it had been fun of a sort I'd never experienced. Maybe coming to camp wasn't going to be as unpleasant as I'd feared.
I put my head on my pillow and pulled the sheet over me. I felt sure I'd go out like a light, but I could hear noises from the other beds. I had a feeling I knew what they were doing! A feeling that was reinforced when I heard the sound of feet on the floorboards, then saw a torch flick on a couple of times and whispers. I sat up and looked over to Mark's bunk. He seemed to be asleep but in the moonlight that illuminated part of it, I could see movement. That was enough for me. I leaned down, pulled a sock out of my sneaker and set to. With all that had happened that evening it didn't take long, but it was surprisingly big.
While we were eating breakfast the next morning Mark suggested that today we could go for a hike up into the hills. It sounded a good idea to me. Frankly, anything that involved spending time with him would have sounded good – probably even cleaning the shower block! After we'd eaten we went to the office and the counsellor on duty gave us details of the various trails. One led up to a viewpoint, so that was the one we decided to take. We got some sandwiches from the canteen, filled our water bottles, put the sandwiches in our backpacks and set off.
It was quite a climb, although the track was only steep in some places. I wasn't as fit as Mark though so we had to stop a couple of times to give me a rest. After a couple of hours we came to a little plateau. It was grassy and warm in the sun. We sat down and admired the view. You could see the camp down below and little ants swimming and canoeing! After a couple of minutes Mark took off his t-shirt and I quickly did the same. He dug into his backpack and pulled out a bottle of sun tan cream which he rubbed on his face, chest and arms before offering it to me. I hadn't been bright enough to bring any, so I gladly accepted. We lay back on the grass, side by side, almost, but not quite, touching.
I guess I must have dozed off as I came to with Mark shaking my shoulder.
“Reckon we need to turn over before we get sunburned. Will you do my back Adam?”
How could I refuse? So I did his back and then started on his legs. As I was working on them he pulled up his shorts to expose more of his thighs for me to touch. I hoped he wouldn't turn round as I was getting an erection. I stopped and lay down on my front so he could attend to me. When he got to my legs he worked his hands under the hem before pulling the elastic waistband down a little and rubbing some cream there.
When he stopped he asked me to turn over. I didn't want to because of what would become evident to him, but it was Mark, so I did as he asked. He was kneeling beside me. He looked at my erection, smiled and looked at me.
“I've got one of those too, Adam. Look.” So I did and indeed he had.
“Have you ever...?”
He didn't need to finish the question as I knew what the rest of it was. I shook my head in response.
“Do you want to...?”
Again the question didn't need finishing. I couldn't trust myself to speak so this time I nodded my head.
He smiled down at me.
“I never have Adam, but I want to.”
He pushed his shorts down so his dick bounced free as he wasn't wearing briefs or a jock today. My eyes we glued to the head which was peeking out of the foreskin. I managed though to push my own shorts and briefs down to my knees allowing my now hard dick into the open air and, for the first time ever, to be closely looked at by another boy. He lay down alongside me and stretched out his left hand to touch it. My dick was so hard it bounced at the touch and I felt a sort of electric current pass through my body.
“I'm scared of touching yours, Mark, with all that skin. I might hurt you.”
He laughed, but not in the least unkindly. “The skin slides up and down very easily and sorta lubricates it. You won't hurt me unless you're rough and I know you're not that kinda boy.”
So I stretched out my right hand and for the first time ever touched not only another boy's dick, but also a complete one. He reacted in the same way as I had and as I slid the foreskin gently back and then forward, I saw what he meant about lubrication. Jeeze, I was missing out I quickly decided. We were both so pumped up it was only a matter of minutes before we both came. Mark first and more than me.
It took us a few minutes to recover. When we had we decided to eat our sandwiches and afterwards lay down on our fronts. Our bodies were touching and we were looking at each other. I'd never felt so happy and just wanted this to continue. We did jerk each other off again in a much more leisurely manner before deciding to return to the camp.
This isn't the place for a day to day account of the rest of my time at Camp Jehoshaphat. Suffice to say that the strip poker evenings continued on a regular basis and I quickly got to the point where I didn't give a damn if I lost. We didn't win the soccer tournament, but came an honourable second to 'Sioux' who eventually admitted to having three in their cabin who played for their respective schools. I also got to ride a horse, but only because Mark said he wouldn't climb up to the viewpoint the next day unless I did. I didn't think he mean that, but I wasn't willing to take the chance – and it was something else I was glad I did.
We managed to get up to the viewpoint thrice more. Once on our very last full day. By now we were holding hands whenever we could on the trail - and anywhere else where nobody was around. We'd also got to the point where what we were doing wasn't just a mutual jerk off. Hands were roaming over bodies, nipples were being licked and sucked, kisses were being exchanged. We agreed as we walked back from our last session that we needed to organise a sleepover for the following weekend after camp ended. I said it should be at my house as I had two twin beds in my room from when Tom and Alan had shared it. Plus which Mark had a sister who was a couple of years younger than him which wasn't ideal.
After a grand final barbecue round the campfire, sing song and what have you, we returned to 'Kiowa' for the final time. There was no poker that night because Wayne and company were being collected early in the morning. I started to pack a few of my things and came across some books which I'd never even looked at during the past three weeks. I'd changed, and it was nearly all down to Mark.
Wayne, Jeff, Donny and Bryan did indeed leave early being collected just after breakfast. Saying goodbye was a bit awkward as handshakes weren't their thing and hugs didn't seem right. So we just sort of said 'cheerio' and things like that, although Wayne said they'd be back next year and hoped we would too.
Which just left Mark and I. We just sat and talked and then walked round the camp for a while. We didn't feel in the mood to do anything 'special' as it would have been too risky. Finally collection time arrived and we grabbed our stuff and walked down to the collection point. I was hoping that both our parents would arrive at the same time but Mark's father turned up first. Mark introduced me to him and we had a little chat. He seemed a pleasant person. Just as he was loading Mark's things into the trunk, my parents arrived. That meant introductions all round and when they'd been done...
“Mom, can Mark come for a sleepover next weekend? He only lives a few blocks away.”
Mom stepped back in surprise. Me asking for someone to come for a sleepover was comparable I guess to being struck by lightning. She recovered her customary poise fairly quickly though.
“Well... yes. Of course. We're not doing anything next weekend are we dear? But, his parents will have to agree.”
“Oh, we'll be very happy to get him off our hands for another weekend,” said Mark's father with a laugh.
The parents exchanged phone numbers and addresses. Mark and I had a quick hug before getting into our respective cars.
“So, it seems you've made a friend. Is he into books like you?” Mom asked.
“Not really.” I said and then proceed to outline a few (but definitely not all!) of the things we'd done.
“It seems like you enjoyed the camp?” Dad asked.
“Yep – and I want you to book me in for next year.”
Dad turned his head round in shock to look at me and the car nearly went off the road.