A Different Road
Chapter 5
I felt really bad on my way to school. The expression on my father’s face when he
said that my mother had left was tormenting me. I was the reason she was gone.
They had spent nineteen years building a relationship; and now she had left because
I was gay.

Dad kept telling me that it really wasn’t my fault. He said they had been having
marital problems for the past few years, but they didn’t want me to know. He said
he had almost left on several occasions, but he had stayed because of me. He tried
to reassure me that it was all right. In fact, he thanked me. Because she had
decided to leave, we could now keep the house.

Another thing that bothered me was seeing Brett again today. I had skipped out in
the afternoon yesterday, so he didn’t see me in chemistry class. I never returned
his phone calls or text messages. Why worry about it. We weren’t friends anymore.

I was heading to my first period class when Brian, one of our offensive linesmen,
stopped me in the hall.

“Corey. Why didn’t you come to practice after school yesterday?” he asked. “Brett
was off his game and the coach made us run ten laps.” I was really in a bind. Dad
was going to come to school today and talk to the coach, but I hadn’t thought
about having to confront my teammates about why I had decided not to play.

“Um,” I hesitated. “I just don’t have the time to play. My grades are slipping and my
old man is really on me. Besides, he wants me to help out more at his office.” Brian
looked at me, knowing I was lying.

“Come on, Corey,” he said suspiciously. “This is your boy, Brian. You know we go
back to the first grade. That’s a bunch of shit. You’re getting straight A’s and
you’re not helping your dad out. You don’t know the first thing about architecture.”

“He’s got me doing odd jobs around the office,” I said hurriedly.

“Yeah, whatever,” he said disgustedly. “You wanna desert the team when we’re
facing our toughest competition Friday night, well then fuck you.” He turned and
stormed down the hall. I saw him a few minutes later talking to some of the other
players. They looked over at me and gave me disappointed looks. I walked past
them without even speaking.

“Fucker,” I heard Tommy, the other wide receiver on our team, say as I walked
past. I guess I was going to lose all my friends now. Brett and my teammates had
pretty much made up the people I talked to at school. Without them, I was going to
be a loner.

“Hey, handsome.” Charlie ran up and grabbed my arm as we walked down the hall
together. Several students stopped and stared as we walked by. It was unusual to
see one of the star football players walking arm in arm with the school’s resident
lesbian.

“You managing alright?” she asked. “Want me to kick anyone in the shins?” We
started laughing.

“No, Charlie,” I laughed. “I think I can handle it.” I stuck out my arm and showed
her my biceps. She reached out and felt their hardness.

“Ummm,” She said seductively. “Makes me think twice about being a dyke.”

“Yeah, right,” I laughed. We continued down the hall arm in arm. I was almost to
class when I saw Brett and Cindy walking toward us. Charlie noticed them also. She
slammed me up against the locker and gave me a deep kiss, sticking her tongue in
my mouth.

“Bye, Lover,” She said loudly enough for Brett to hear. Then she turned and walked
away. My face was red with embarrassment. I think half the school saw the kiss. I
am sure it would be the center of conversation- at least until lunch. I did catch
Brett’s shocked expression as he walked past me. I was pleased. We both could
play the game- even if I was faking it.

                                              * * * * * * * *  

“Come on, just one time,” I pleaded with Brett. We were fourteen and I was
spending the night at his house.

“This is just too gay, Corey,” he insisted.

“How else will we be able to do it with a girl if we don’t practice?” I asked.

“I’d rather wait until I do it with a girl,” he replied.

“Fine,” I pouted. “If you don’t want to, then fine.” I rolled over and turned my back
away from him.

“Shit,” he muttered. “Now you’re mad.” I started smiling to myself. I knew he was
breaking. I had asked him if we could kiss. I had been looking at his soft, red lips for
years and I always wondered what it would be like to kiss him.

I had tried a few times when we were having sex, but he would always turn his head
away from me before I was able to. A few times, I would lick around his neck and
work my way up to his mouth, but he knew what I was trying to do and turn away.

“Shit, Corey,” he exclaimed. “This is so gay. All right, just once. But if you tell
anyone, I’m going to kick your ass.” I smiled to myself.

I rolled over and lay on top of him. I knew it would probably be my one and only
chance, and I wanted to make it good.

My heart was pounding as my lips approached his. He closed his eyes and grimaced.
Our lips touched lightly at first. Then I took the back of his head and pulled him in
closer. I could feel his heart pounding against my chest. He began to return the
kiss. I opened my mouth and let him stick his tongue into mine as I continued to
passionately kiss him. I could feel his cock begin to harden under me. I rolled
around on him, our hard cocks rubbing against each other. He was moaning slightly.

We continued kissing and rubbing our bodies together for about two minutes. He
then took my head and pushed it down to his cock. I took him completely in my
mouth and deep throated him. He continued moaning as he thrust into my mouth.
A few minutes later, he erupted and I swallowed his warm cum. I moved my way up
his body to give him another kiss. He turned his head when I approached his
mouth. He never let me kiss him again.

                                             * * * * * * * *  

When I walked into class, he was again sitting in the front row beside Cindy. They
were talking, but he stopped and watched me walk to the back of the room. Cindy
watched him watch me. She grabbed the side of his head and gave him a quick kiss.
I could see him still watching me out of the corner of his eye as he returned her kiss.

I did the assignment instead of falling asleep. I was all right as long as I didn’t look
down at the front row and see Brett’s curly hair from behind. A couple of times he
would look back, but I would always look down at my paper so he wouldn’t know I
was looking at him.

About halfway through class my cell phone started vibrating. Without the teacher
seeing me, I carefully took it out to see who was calling. Instead, there was a text
message from Brett.

MEET ME AFTER SCHOOL

He turned around several times to see if I had received his message. Each time I
ignored him. I wanted him to leave me alone. He’s the one who didn’t want to
continue our friendship. I couldn’t imagine him saying anything to me that would
make me feel any better.

My phone began to vibrate again. I looked at the message. Again, Brett.

PLEASE

I knew he wouldn’t leave me alone until I messaged him back.

NO

I watched him take out his phone and read the message. He looked back sadly at
me. I met his eyes briefly and then looked away. I felt I was going to break down
again. I gathered my books and told the teacher that I didn’t feel well. She wrote
me a pass to go to the clinic.

I went outside, sat down at a bench and put my head in my hands. I was trying
hard not to cry. I thought I could get past Brett and move on, but it was hurting
more each day. His repeated efforts to get me to talk to him were heartbreaking.   
I knew he was feeling guilty by what he had done, but I didn’t want to talk to him
and absolve the pain he was feeling. If he were hurting as bad as I was, it wouldn’t
be enough.

When the bell rang, I got up and headed back inside. As I stepped into the hallway,
Brett put his hand on my shoulder.

“Corey,” he said softly.

“Don’t Brett,” I insisted sternly. “Just leave me alone.” I looked into his hurt face as
tears formed in my eyes. I turned and headed off to my next class. I could hardly
see my way with the tears that were in my eyes. I took my sleeve and wiped them
away. Several students noticed and gave me a questioning look. I looked away and
hurried on to class. When I walked in, I bumped into another student, almost
knocking him to the ground.

“Sorry,” I apologized quickly.

“It’s okay, really.” I heard a soft voice say. I looked up and was staring into the
smiling face of Adrian, Reverend Baker’s son.

“Hi, Adrian,” I said. I had forgotten that he was in my calculus class. It was my
favorite class and I always sat in the front row. I now remembered him sitting
towards the back. He was so shy that most students paid little attention to him.

I looked at him carefully. He was an attractive guy, but his shy demeanor made him
almost unnoticeable. He was six foot tall and probably weighed about 180. His dark
hair was cut short and he had dark brown eyes. It was obvious that he wasn’t
athletic because there was very little tone to his body. He wasn’t overweight; he
just didn’t look particularly muscular.

“You alright, Corey?” He asked as I walked over to my desk. “My dad was pretty
hard on you the other night.”

“I’m all right,” I assured him. The bell rang and Ms. Everett walked into the class
and asked everyone to take a seat. Adrian looked around and then sat down beside
me. I was puzzled why he would move from the back of the room to the front.

“You don’t mind if I sit here, do you?” he asked. I just shrugged my shoulders.

“I’m not doing well in this class,” he said shyly. “I thought maybe you could help
me.”

“Sure. No problem.” I looked over at him and smiled. He returned an embarrassed
smile.

“It’s just that my dad’s going to take away my car if I fail this class,” he said.

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” I laughed. “He might even threaten that you’ll go
to Hell.” We both started laughing.

“Listen, Corey. I’m really sorry about the other night. He was way out of line
attacking you like that.”

“You don’t have to keep apologizing for your dad, Adrian,” I assured him. “I don’t
hold you responsible just because your father is an asshole.” He looked  at me with
a hurt expression.

“Sorry,” I said.

“It’s all right,” he replied. “I don’t have any friends because of him. He criticized
everyone I brought home. After a while, I just quit having friends.”

He looked away and starting taking his book out of his backpack, but I could tell he
was trying desperately to blink away tears. Ms. Everett handed out the assignment
and told us we could work together as long as we remained quiet.

“Why are you taking this class?” I asked. “It’s not mandatory.”

“My Dad.” He looked at me and frowned. “Says he doesn’t want me loafing in
school. You know- idle hands.”

I finished the quote, “Are the devil’s workshop.” He nodded.

“If he only knew what I was doing with these idle hands.” He looked at me and
blushed. We both began laughing. The teacher looked up and asked us to get quiet.

“Yeah,” I laughed, holding up my right hand. “In that case, I’ll never go to Hell.” We
started laughing again. Ms. Everett warned us that she was going to separate us if
we didn’t get quiet. I knew she wasn’t serious. I think she was happy to see Adrian
finally talking to someone.

We worked together the rest of period without any more interruptions. We would
look over at each other, hold up our hands and then start giggling. For someone so
reserved, he was fun to be around.

I could also tell why he was failing the course. He had no idea what we were doing.  
There was no way he should have been placed in the class. He admitted that he had
struggled all through school with math classes. He had squeaked by with D’s in his
algebra classes. He only passed because of his quiet demeanor. I think teachers felt
sorry for him because he struggled so hard.

“I don’t understand this at all.” He put his head in his hands and sighed. “I just
know I’m going to lose my car.”

“Come on, Adrian.” I tried to sound cheerful. “I’ll get you through this. We’ll study
together.”

“Yeah, right.” He looked at me. “Someone like you would help someone like me.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Star football jock helping the preacher’s son,” he said sadly.

“Ex-football star,” I informed him.

“Really?” he said surprisingly. “What happened?”  

“It’s kind of personal.”

“I see.” He looked into my eyes. “None of my business.”

I looked over at him and smiled. He returned the smile. I was afraid for a minute
that I had been a little too abrupt in my answer. The bell rang and we began to get
ready to leave.

“Want to join me for lunch?” I asked. I really didn’t know where he went for lunch.
In the four years we’d been in school, I don’t recall once ever seeing him in the
cafeteria.

“I don’t eat lunch in the cafeteria,” he replied. He patted his backpack. “I brown bag
it.”

“Oh, okay,” I frowned. I was really hoping that we could spend some more time
together. I was beginning to like him as a friend, even if he did have an asshole for a
father. He must have noticed the disappointed look on my face.

“I have enough for two. That is, if you’re interested.”

“You sure?” I didn’t want to eat his lunch and have him go hungry.

“Yeah,” he said. “But I don’t eat in the cafeteria.” We got up and I followed him out
of the classroom and down the hall. He headed to the south side of the building and
walked outside. There was a small wall that ran around the sidewalk. We walked
over to it and sat down.

He opened his bag and handed me half of his club sandwich. He then opened up a
bag of potato chips and placed it between us. The sandwich was really good. It was
better than any I had ever had in a deli.

“Mmm,” I said. “This is really good. Who made this?”

“Me,” he said shyly. “I make most of my meals. My Mom and Dad are never home.”

“Well, this is really good.” I said licking the mayonnaise from my fingers. “Would you
marry me?” I laughed, but then noticed the shocked look on Adrian’s face.

“I’m sorry, Man,” I apologized. “It was just a joke. I didn’t mean anything by it.”

“It’s all right,” he said smilingly. “Forget it.” We continued to eat in silence.

Occasionally, we would look at each other and smile. I was beginning to like Adrian.
He was so different from most of my jock friends. I didn’t feel I had to hide things
from him. He already knew I was gay, and he was still willing to talk to me.

“Adrian!” I heard someone yell excitedly. “There you are.” I looked up as Charlie ran
up and gave him a huge hug. “I was worried about you.”

“Corey!” She shrieked and ran over and gave me a hug. “I didn’t know you guys
knew each other.”

“We just met.” Adrian blushed as she looked back and forth at us with a smile. She
looked at me and noticed the confused look on my face.

“We’re cousins,” she said as she wrapped her arm around Adrian. “But  we’re more
like brother and sister.”

“That means Reverend Baker is your...” I didn’t even finish the sentence.

“Uncle,” she frowned. “You know him?”

“Does he know him?” Adrian began to laugh. “He told him to fuck off the other
night.” He began to blush. Charlie gave him a surprised look and began laughing.

“In seventeen years,” she walked over and hugged him, “I’ve never heard you cuss.
I see that Corey is having a positive influence on you.” We all began to laugh.

“Just don’t tell Dad,” he said worriedly.

“Right, Adrian,” she laughed. “I haven’t talked to your father in four years.
Remember, I’m the black sheep in the family.”

“You too?” I laughed holding my hand up. She slapped it. Just then the bell rang.
We began cleaning up our mess. We headed into the building. Charlie pulled me
back and let Adrian walk in front of us. She leaned up and whispered in my ear.

“Be gentle, Corey.” She looked at Adrian. “He‘s fragile.” She walked ahead and
grabbed him by the arm. They darted off down the hall. I was left wondering what
she meant by her last statement.

                                               * * * * * * * *

“You ever wonder who you’ll end up falling in love with and marrying some day?”
Brett asked me. I had just turned fifteen a few weeks earlier, and he was spending
the night.

“Yeah.” I looked over and saw him lying on his back looking up at the ceiling. “You,”
I said to myself. He looked over at me and smiled. It was as if he had read my mind.

“She’ll be real pretty and have huge boobs,” he grinned. My spirit immediately
deflated. For a brief moment I thought he was thinking the same thing as me.

“Kids,” he continued. “I want lots of kids.” I was becoming more depressed as he
continued to talk. By this time I had already accepted the fact that I was probably
gay. I had dreamed of Brett and me spending our lives together. It was the first
time we had ever talked about the future.

“Sounds good, Brett,” I said sadly as I rolled over and turned away with a tear in
my eye.

“And I‘m going to have sex every night,” he said as he spooned me and placed his
hard cock against my ass. He pulled out the Vaseline, applied some to his cock, and
rubbed it against my ass. It was the first time we had sex and I didn’t enjoy it.

                                              * * * * * * * *

I looked around for Adrian during the afternoon, but I didn’t see him. I did see
Charlie once and she gave me a goofy smile. Just when I thought I had her figured
out, she becomes another mystery.

Brett looked disappointed when I went to chemistry class and took another seat on
the opposite side of the room. My new lab partner was a shy girl named Sheila. She
seemed overwhelmed that I had sat beside her. She tried to start several
conversations with me, but she always ending up nervously giggling. Girls.

Brett watched me the entire period. We were supposed to be taking notes, but I
didn’t see him write anything down. I guess he was depending on his new partner-
Jason Alvarez. He was a stoner who was always staring off into space. If Brett was
depending on him, then he wouldn’t get today’s notes.

When the bell rang, Brett marched over to me, grabbed me by my arm and started
to pull me away.

“Corey, we need to talk,” he insisted as he roughly led me to the door.

“No, we don’t,” I said angrily as I sucker punched him in the jaw.

“Rule Number 37. “Don’t put your fucking hands on me again,” I said angrily as I
walked out. He was staring unbelievingly at me while rubbing the side of his face.


Chapter 6                                   Return to TMJ