The Barn by Cole Parker

Chapter 7

New town.  New life.  Opportunities afresh.  Only thing is, you’re still you.

Some explicit language in this chapter.

My senior year.  It had started the week before, and I was in the swim of it now.  Funny how all the other seniors were going about their business, talking about graduation already, talking about college, or getting jobs.  Talking about boyfriends and girlfriends.  Some talking about marriage.  A lot of talk about next year, the future; they were feeling the onset of adulthood and of this being their last year together with all the other kids they knew so well, all the kids they’d grown up with.  There was a recognition that they were soon to be in charge of their own lives, that what they thought and did now might be important.  Funny how when you’re new to a school, you hear all this talk but aren’t part of it.  Funny and distancing.

Anyone who’s transferred to a new high school as a senior knows how tough that is—at least, if they’re anything like me: friendly but not outgoing, not one to assert himself with strangers.  An edge-of-the-crowd type of person.  The seniors at this school all knew each other.  It was a small town where these seniors not only knew most everyone in town but had gone through eleven years of school with each other.  Now, they were about through with their schooling, their lives were going to change, and there was a new coming-to-the-end excitement that brought them together.  They all had a lot on their minds, and I wasn’t part of any of it.  I was an outsider.

There were other roadblocks in my way of becoming one of them.  I mean a few significant ones rather than the several small, trivial ones.  The most significant one was me, how I was.  I’m one of the odd ones out in a school setting.  I’m nice; I never say anything mean to anyone; I never gossip about anyone; I ask if I can help when I see someone needs that.  Besides, I never cause any problems to anyone.  Teachers, staff, other students, bus drivers, janitors—anyone.  I treat them all with respect.  I was raised that way, and I liked putting that into practice.  I was comfortable with myself.  I was also ordinary-looking, so didn’t attract much attention at all.  And, I was also a serious student because I knew my life would entail doing something where a college degree would open the door for me.  I was very quiet.  All those things were guaranteed to keep me from being noticed.

Kids like me blend into the background.  If you don’t speak up, don’t try to be seen, you aren’t noticed.  And that was how I was.  Couple that with being new to the school, which meant anyone would have to work to get to know me, and I was basically your invisible kid.

I was alone among my peer seniors that last year, just as I had expected to be, had prepared myself to be.

The only thing that kept it from being pretty depressing was Chip.

Our basketball games in the barn, along with my training sessions with Chip, had ended with the end of summer vacation.  When school resumed, there wasn’t time for daily basketball games.  Our group could have played on the weekends, but it seemed everyone had other things to occupy them now, other friends to associate with.  Although I hadn’t made friends with any seniors, I had made a friend.  More than a friend, really.  I had Chip.

We were still spending as much time together as we could.  Still getting to know each other.  He felt the same way about me that I did about him, and we were in the early days of being in love.  Hopefully everyone with a human soul has experienced this.  It was the first time being in love for both of us.  Everything in the world seemed to have changed.  The most commonplace things took on a newness, a brightness, things we’d never paid attention to before now were catching our eye.  It was difficult to concentrate in school.  But the strangest thing of all was, neither of us seemed able to keep our feet on the ground.  We seemed to be floating half the time.  Floating and reaching out for each other, because my need to touch Chip was incessant as was his to touch me.  To make contact.  To be together. 

When we weren’t together, we wanted to be, and when we were, we needed to be touching.  And if we were alone, the touching wanted to be more than touching.

My mother asked me why I was smiling so much.  She was right, I was because when I was home or anywhere else where Chip wasn’t, and I happened to think of him, I’d smile.  Couldn’t help it.  Didn’t want to help it.  I’d smile, and it made my mother nervous because I never used to do that.  Now I smiled all the time, and she asked why.

What could I say?  That I was in love?  With whom?  Of course she’d ask that.  So, no, I couldn’t tell her.  We were keeping it secret.  Doing so was too important to Chip.  But I had to come up with some reason for my odd behavior, i.e., smiling.  So I told her I was emailing a couple friends back home—I still thought of and called where we’d lived before ‘home’—kids she knew, and that they kept sending me stories about funny things that were happening there, and when I’d think of the latest escapade they’d mentioned, I’d smile.

Mom tended to be invasive.  I had to wipe my computer history all the time because I knew she snooped.  Now, she wanted to know what the funny stuff was.  That was easier to handle.

“Mom, come on.  These are teens.  What do you think they’re writing me about?  Sex!  They’re writing about kids we know and the sexual complications they hear about.  It’s funny, and I’m not going to talk to you about that.  Adults don’t know anything about sex, and I’m certainly not the one to talk about it with you.  Ick!” 

So that took care of that.

Chip and I were individual kids, each with his own personality, his own sensibilities.  We wanted to be close, we wanted to be in contact when we were together, and we wanted to know all about each other.  We shared feelings and intimacies, all bringing us closer together.  One of the really great things was how much we thought alike and that so much of what I felt, he felt, too.  Like with sex.

Sex was difficult to arrange.  Both our moms were of the stay-at-home ilk, so while we could be together at each of our houses, intimacy of the kind we wanted—‘wanted’ being way too soft a word for our desires—wasn’t possible.  We didn’t want either of them to know we were gay.

That was another thing, that label.  I wasn’t sure it fit either of us.  I’d never felt what I felt for Chip with anyone else.  He said the same about me.  And we did want to do things, wonderful things with each other’s body.  But, while I’d had crushes on other boys, none compared to this.  This didn’t feel like a crush that would run hot for a week or two and then fade.  This felt so much more than that.  It felt to me that Chip made me more than I’d ever been, and when I was with him I was somehow bigger, more substantial.  It was hard to put into works how it felt.  Saying I felt bigger just sounds silly.  Silly, yeah, but maybe being in love with someone does make you a little silly.  It’s such a glorious feeling.  With Chip, I felt like a part of me that had been missing had now been found, yet I hadn’t known I was missing anything.  Now that I knew him, he felt like someone I never wanted to be apart from from.

Chip had as little experience with someone else, with sex, as I did but said he’d never considered himself gay.  He told me he’d watched some porn on the internet, girls with girls, boys with boys, girls with boys.  He asked if I had, and I’d said yes but not a lot.  I told him I probably liked the boys with boys best, but much of it I thought kind of nasty.  He said that was exactly like him, that the boy/boy stuff turned him on the most, but a lot of it wasn’t that arousing, especially the stuff with butts.  I agreed; some of what the boys did was okay, but some wasn’t, certainly not what I wanted to do. 

That made me think about it.  I realized what I wanted wasn’t just intimacy but affection with the person I was with, love if possible, and neither love nor affection seemed to be much a part of the porn I’d seen.

I was surprised and very pleased when he said he felt the same way.  I suggested that when we began to do things, we take it little by little so we would both be comfortable with what we were doing.  His smile told me how very glad he was that I’d suggested that.  So, that’s what we did on the few times we were able to be at one of our houses when the mom of the house had gone out.

I got the impression right away that those internet boys had no idea what they were missing.  What we did was touch each other after getting naked.  Just getting naked was almost heart-stopping exciting and should be something that deserves its own book.  But, moving past that wonderful act and the feelings it created, this is about what came after that: touching.  Saying we touched each other doesn’t sound like much, sounds so much less exciting than what it actually was.  I’d run my fingers lightly over his entire body, his naked body, barely touching it, but using a feathery touch, making circles, adding and subtracting pressure.  Getting to know his body intimately though my fingers.  I touched the very sensitive places and the less sensitive.  I’d blow on his skin while touching it.  Lick it.  Smell where I’d licked.  Touch it again.

Hey, I can imagine someone saying that’s not sex.  Well, those people are missing out.  Because it was sex.  And it was wonderful.  Oh, we did some of the other stuff we’d seen, too, but not a lot of those things at first.  We didn’t to anything involving bottoms other that the same caressing as with all the other skin there was to caress.  I agreed with Chip; I couldn’t see how that bottom stuff was sexy at all.  We did touch the stuff up front.  That was really good.  But only one of the things that was good.

You know what I really liked?  Cuddling.  I never saw much of that in the porn I’d seen.  But I loved it, and Chip did, too.  Both of us naked, him holding me, or me holding him.  Our bodies melding into each other.  As much total skin contact as possible.  One could whisper in the other’s ear that way.  One could run his fingers over the front of the one being held.  The one being held could move around a bit while being cuddled, making all the points of contact come alive with a glut of sensory feelings.

I liked to cuddle, too, while lying on our sides, both of us naked and facing each other, pressed together.  I’d rake my fingernails very lightly up and down his back.  When I’d reach his lower back, he’d instinctively respond by pressing his lower body away from the teasing—meaning toward me, pressing into me.  Often that led to activities that couldn’t correctly be called cuddling.

We of course brought each other to the top and over it with our hands, but, in a way, I found that simply jacking off Chip and he me wasn’t as satisfying as the less obvious stuff.  Holding each other provided an immediate intimacy.  We were together, breathing together, existing together.  When you’re being brought to orgasm, when that’s the objective, you sort of forget about who was doing the work; what was happening became about yourself, what you were feeling, and way less about who was doing what they were to you.  It became mechanical, and while certainly enjoyable, it didn’t seem so much like two people sharing the same feelings.  I liked the togetherness of Chip and me most.  That was what felt like love.  If we met the peak of ecstasy while not really reaching for that, when it happened because of what we were doing together for pleasure, well, that’s what turned me on the most.

We had yet to do anything oral other than kissing.  Well, we’d kissed other body parts, too, but not below the waist.  We were working toward that.  Before meeting Chip, when thinking about the boys I crushed on, I’d wondered about that.  I wasn’t sure it appealed to me, having another boy in my mouth.  Well, them doing it to me, I wouldn’t have a problem with that, sure, but vice versa?  Now, I found I had no reservations with that thought with respect to Chip.  We just hadn’t moved along that far yet.  We were enjoying the hell out of what we were doing.  We were still feeling our way, adding just a bit each trip forward.  And man-oh-man, that trip forward was so great.

We were taking things slowly.  We were learning about each other and not rushing the lessons.

And you know, the fact we were going so slowly, learning to do what we were doing so very well, not moving on to the next thing just because it was there, was helping the love we felt for each other grow.  The very slowness was building a foundation for our love.  We were establishing roots.  Our love was growing roots.

And cuddling was a big part of it.  Snuggling.  Fitting together.  Loving it.  A big, big part.

+    +    +    +

There was more to my senior year than Chip.  But he was the most important part for me.  More important than preparing for and taking the SAT.  He was involved with that.  We studied together.  It was a way we could be together at both of our houses that wasn’t a bit suspect.  Both families were happy with our friendship because they’d both been worried that we wouldn’t make any friends in a new setting.  We both had, with each other, and they were content.

But the second big thing about my senior year was basketball.  Chip tried out for the team.  He made it, of course.  He was head and shoulders above any of the other players trying out.

They had a new coach that year.  The old one, who hadn’t been much of a coach from what I overheard everyone saying, had retired.  The new one was young, not quite thirty yet, and he was full of energy.  This was also his first coaching experience, so he didn’t know he was supposed to be a tyrant like so many coaches are.  He was friendly, and because of that, the kids responded to him with energy, and more importantly, their attention.  They wanted to please him and so listened to what he said and tried their best to do what he asked them to.

He allowed anyone attending the school to try out for the team and allowed anyone who wanted to watch to be in the gym during tryouts.  So I was there, watching.  Mostly watching Chip, but watching everything that was going on, too.

Chip made most of his jump shots when shooting by himself at the tryouts and all of his foul shots except one.  19 of 20.  When the coach had kids play two on two, he still made most of his jump shots, even being guarded, and when he missed, he was right there for the rebounds, right in the correct position I’d showed him how to establish, and he got most of them. 

The two-on-two games the coach had the kids get into not only showed him who could score, but also gave him the opportunity to see who could play decent man-to-man defense.  Chip excelled there, too.  The work we’d done in the barn had paid off.

There was no question Chip, although only a junior, was the best player on the floor.  There were four seniors trying out, kids who’d played the year before, and you could see they had experience.  They knew what to do and how to do it.  They were also both taller and heavier than Chip.  But they were also a skill level or two below him.

When the school team was chosen, Chip was one of the twelve kids.  He told me after their first practice that it was a shame that they didn’t have an assistant coach because these kids all needed to work on both offense and defense, and the coach could only teach one of those at a time, and it would be more effective if they could break the team in half and work in smaller groups on each side of the game.

Chip grinned at me.  “The coach told us this but said the school didn’t have the budget to pay for an assistant.  I could see why he needed one.  So I volunteered you.”

“You what?!”

“Yep.  I told the coach I had just the guy for him, and there wouldn’t have to be any pay involved, that the guy would do it just because he loved teaching basketball and working with kids.  I started to say cute kids but decided not to.  He might not have realized I was joking.”  He laughed.  I wasn’t finding this at all funny.

“But, but—”

“What?  You’re a great teacher, you know the game, you’re older than the majority of the kids on the team, you’re nice, and they’ll listen to you.”

“I’m no basketball coach.  I’ve never even been on a team.”

“And you’re too modest.  You coached Carl and Phil and me.  Anyway, stop protesting.  The coach wants to meet you.”

So, I was in the coach’s office the next day.  He was a nice guy and never unpleasant or intimidating while asking me a bunch of questions.  He explained why he needed help and said that Chip had raved about me, and he’d give this a try if only just to keep Chip happy.  He said he’d never seen a kid as good as Chip and to have him on the team was an amazing experience for him.

So, I joined the next practice and worked on defense with six boys at a time.  The coach told me after practice that he loved what he’d seen, and I became an assistant coach.  This meant I spent all Chip’s practices with him and would mean when the season got underway I’d be going to all the games with him, home and away.

Ohio high-school basketball is played in different divisions, with small schools playing against each other to keep the competition fair.  We were in the division that included the smallest-enrollment schools.  We didn’t have great players other than Chip, but neither did the schools we were competing against.

I’m not going to describe all the games they played.  I’ll just say that Chip made an overwhelming difference.  We won all but three games and lost those because those schools had better players overall.  Chip still scored pretty much at will in those games, as in all the others, but they had much more balanced scoring, and our guys, even with my defensive efforts, just couldn’t stop them.  We ended the year in the division playoffs but were finally beaten in the quarterfinals by a team from a small school just outside Cincinnati.

Chip became a hero at the school.  That posed a problem.  He was adorably cute, an athletic hero, and a somewhat bashful guy—the type girls want to mother.  Or just have as their boyfriend; many of them are willing to do anything to achieve that status.  That’s a problem for a closeted gay boy not wanting any part of that.

It was easy to deflect them during the training period before the season and during the season itself.  Before the season, no one knew who Chip was.  Being cute, he still attracted some girls, but he said he wasn’t dating while in training and so thwarted any attempts the girls made to latch onto him.  He made the same excuse during the season.  But afterwards, when he was the most recognized kid in school, it was harder to put them all off.

We talked about it.  I told him he needed to date.  He was adamantly against it.  But he was also adamantly against coming out.  He needed a basketball scholarship to go to college, and his wish was to play college ball.  It was what he’d dreamed of since he’d found he was a pretty good at basketball.

We were sitting in a coffee shop after school, a place lots of kids went for food after starving through their last few classes each day.  We’d been chatting and were constantly being interrupted by girls coming over to say hi.  Several of them left slips of paper with Chip with their phone numbers on them.  One of them left her number on the back of a selfie she’d taken, one of those selfies where the kid in the picture isn’t wearing any clothes.  Yeah, that kind.  The naked kind.

“This is why you need to date,” I said, showing admirable patience.

“And just how is that supposed to work?”  He held up the naked picture, studied it a moment, grimaced, and said, “Do you think this one is going to be satisfied with a quick peck on the lips when I bring her home after a date?  More likely she’ll be trying to blow me while I’m driving her home.  At the very least she’ll have her hand in my pants.”

“You have a point,” I said.

“Yeah, but probably not a hard-on.  That might be a giveaway, don’t you think?  Besides, dating would mean less time with you, and I’m not going to give that up without a fight.”

“Can’t you think of some way to stop them?” I asked.

“You’re supposed to be the smart one.  I’m the sexy sidekick.  You should figure something out.”

And as I took a sip of my Diet Coke, I did think of a way.  Just like that.  Maybe it was desperation that inspired me, inspired by the flock of girls batting their eyes at him.

“Maybe I have an idea,” I said.  “You’re new here, just like I am.  No one knows your past.  So, simply say you were going steady with a girl back home, and neither of you wanted to break it off when you left, and until you or she cuts the cord, it wouldn’t be honorable to date anyone else.  Just tell them you’re going to remain faithful to her until then.”

He stared at me for a moment, then got that quirky grin of his, the one that made me want to lean across the table and ravish him on the spot.  “That could work,” he said.  “You’re a genius.”

“Well, maybe it’s that I’m more horny than smart.”

He brushed his hair off his forehead in the cute way he always did and grinned again.  But his eyes had a different sort of look when he said, “I’ll settle for that.”

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This story is Copyright © 2018-2019by Cole Parker. The image is Copyright © 2018-2019by Colin Kelly. They cannot be reproduced without express written consent. The original image is from under the terms of Creative Commons License CC0. The Codey’s World web site has written permission to publish this story and the image. No other rights are granted.

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This story may contain occasional references to minors who are or may be gay. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG (in a more enlightened time it would be rated G). If reading this type of material is illegal where you live, or if you are too young to read this type of material based on the laws where you live, or if your parents don't want you to read this type of material, or if you find this type of material morally or otherwise objectionable, or if you don’t want to be here, close your browser now. The author neither condones nor advocates the violation of any laws. If you want to be here, but aren’t supposed to be here, be careful and don't get caught!