Taking Off the Mask

Chapter 14

I was in the clouds the rest of the week. After kissing Dion in his bedroom, we were growing much closer. He sat with us at lunch each day, and he would come by my locker after school and ride home with us. The Three Musketeers were now the Four.

On Wednesday night, my mother and I ate dinner alone. Janet was at a friend’s house and wouldn’t be home until late. As I was making a salad, my mother looked over at me and smiled. “Someone is in a good mood,” she said happily. “What’s that tune you’re humming?”

I hadn’t realized that I had been humming. I had to stop and think, and then I realized that it was the song that Dion said he liked when I asked him earlier in the day what kind of music he listens to.

“Just a song Dion told me he liked,” I responded. She looked over and gave me a puzzled look. I then remembered that I had never mentioned Dion to her.

“And who is this Dion?” she asked. “Is he the reason you’ve been walking around with a smile on your face all week?” I could feel my face begin to blush. It only made her laugh louder. She placed the food on the table, and we sat down.

“Spill it,” she insisted after we began to eat. “Who is Dion?”

As we ate, I told her about Dion. She was happy that he was Nurse Dorothy’s son. She became worried when I told her about how he had been affected by his brother’s death, but she seemed satisfied when I told her about my discussion with his mother.

“He sounds like a wonderful young man,” she said after I told her about him. “When do I get to meet him?”

“Friday,” I replied. “Nurse Dorothy invited us to a barbecue.” I told her about our invitation to dinner. She was going to call Dion’s mother later and see if there was anything she could bring.

“Do you like him?” 

“I think I more than like him,” I confessed. My face began to redden. It seemed strange to be discussing liking another boy with my mother. I knew she accepted me being gay, but I wasn’t sure if she was prepared for me taking the next step by having a boyfriend.

“I want you to be careful, James,” she warned. “You two are very young. Don’t jump into anything you’re not prepared for.”

“I learned my lesson with Donovan,” I replied. “This time I’m not making any mistakes.”

She looked at me and smiled. “Have I told you lately how happy I am that you’re my son?”

“Not in the past couple of days,” I laughed. “But it’s still always nice to hear.”

After cleaning up the dishes, I went upstairs to my room to work on my homework. An hour later, my mother knocked on the door and entered. “I called Mrs. Carter,” she informed me. “It’s all set for Friday. I’m making a peach cobbler.”

“Peach cobbler!” I responded excitedly. “You haven’t made that in ages.”

“I also invited Dion for dinner tomorrow night,” she added.

“But we’re going there Friday,” I replied. “You’ll meet him then.”

“I know,” she said. “But I want to meet him without a lot of people around.”

“You want to interrogate him,” I replied angrily. “I told you he’s not like Donovan.”

“I just want to be sure you’re not jumping into anything too fast.”

“I’m not, Mom,” I insisted. “You have to trust me.”

“I do trust you, James.” She patted me on my leg. “There’s nothing wrong with me wanting me meet my son’s boyfriend.”

“Promise me you won’t say or do anything to embarrass me,” I begged.

“I’m your mother,” she laughed. “Of course, I won’t.”

“I’m doomed,” I moaned into the pillow. She laughed on the way out the door.

I didn’t see Dion the next day at school. I passed his locker several times, but he didn’t show. I was beginning to worry about him because I thought he might have gotten sick and couldn’t come to school.

“What’s wrong with you?” Jackie looked across the table at me as we ate lunch. Interestingly, Roy hadn’t joined us either.

“Have you seen Dion today?” I asked worriedly. She shook her head.

“Where’s Roy?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied. “I haven’t seen him all day, either.”

Just then, Roy and Dion came walking into the cafeteria. Roy had his arm around Dion’s shoulder, and Dion was smiling broadly. His eyes lit up when he saw me.

“I did it, James!” he said excitedly. “I think I’m going to make the baseball team.” I laughed as he did a little dance beside the table.

“The coach was really impressed,” remarked Roy. “We stopped by his office after second period, and he took us out to the baseball diamond and had Dion try out.” Dion sat down closely beside me.

“He thinks I can be a starting pitcher.” Dion was hardly able to contain his excitement.

“Coach Weaver thinks he has one hell of an arm,” exclaimed Roy. “With me catching, we’re going to make a good team.” He reached over and fisted Dion.

When Dion and Roy went to the cafeteria line to get a bite to eat, Jackie looked over and smiled. “I can’t believe the change in Dion,” she said. “He’s nothing like he was a week ago.”

“I know,” I responded. “Can you believe it?”

“Yes, I can.” Jackie smiled warmly at me. “He’s really in love.”

“No he isn’t,” I replied embarrassedly.

 “Are you kidding?” she exclaimed. “His eyes light up every time he sees you.” She reached across the table and held my hand. “I guess we both found our someone special.”

“Yeah,” I replied. “I guess we did.” We looked across the cafeteria as Dion and Roy stood in the cafeteria line talking animatedly to each other. Jackie squeezed my hand tighter.

After lunch, I walked Dion to his fourth period class. I hadn’t seen him all day, and I just wanted to spend a little time together.

“Are you still coming to dinner tonight?” I asked.

“I guess,” he replied. “I’m nervous, though. You sure your mother won’t mind?”

“Are you serious,” I laughed. “She’s dying to meet you. I told her all about you last night.”

“You did?” He looked questioningly at me. “What did you tell her?”

I looked around to see anyone was listening. “I told her you’re my boyfriend.”

He grabbed my arm and stopped me. “She knows you’re gay?”

“Yes,” I replied. “She’s known for about two weeks.”

“And she doesn’t care about us seeing each other?”

“No,” I insisted. “She’s happy for us.” He gave me a disbelieving look.

“I have an idea,” I said. “Why don’t you spend the night?”

“I can’t. Tomorrow’s a school night.”

“So? You can walk to school with me and Jackie.”

“I’ll have to ask Momma,” he responded. I handed him my cell phone. He took it and walked away a few feet. I could hear him trying to persuade her to let him spend the night. Finally, he hung up and walked back over to me.

“She said it would be all right as long as your mother calls her later.” Just then the bell rang. We ran to Dion’s class. He was entering just as the teacher was closing the door.

“I’ll call her!” I said excitedly as I tore off down the hall. I was going to be late for my class, but I didn’t care. Dion was spending the night with me!

We all met up after school and headed to Mickey D’s for something to eat. When I told Jackie that Dion was spending the night with me, she raised an eyebrow. I began to blush, knowing what she was thinking.

I suggested that she and Roy come over after dinner and we would play a game. Roy said he would pick up a movie at Blockbuster. We argued for ten minutes on what we would watch. Jackie insisted on a love story, but we wanted a thriller. Jackie sulked when we voted on it. Of course, she lost. She tried to make Roy feel guilty by not siding with her, but he said that guys have to stick together.

He dropped me and Dion off at Dion’s house. Nurse Dorothy said she would drive us back to my house. She was looking forward to seeing my mother again. As soon as we walked through the door, I heard the pitter patter of feet bounding down the stairs.

“James!” Marky shouted. I opened my arms and he jumped into them. “You wanna throw a ball?” 

“Sure,” I said, much to his delight. “We’ll throw a ball while Dion gets his things together.”

“Where’s he going?” Marky asked.

“He’s spending the night with me,” I said. His face lit up.

“Can I stay at your house, too?” he asked excitedly.

“Not tonight.” His smiling face immediately turned to a pout. “But maybe the next time.” I placed him on the ground and started tickling him. He squealed and tried to get away as Dion descended the stairs.

“Stop, James!” he screamed. “You’re making me pee my pants.” Dion and I started laughing when he stood up and had a wet spot in the front of his shorts. Tears started to well up in his eyes. I reached out and took him back into my arms. I put him down quickly when I felt the front of my shirt getting wet. Marky started giggling.

“My pee’s on your shirt.” He pointed out the wet stain and started laughing. Dion laughed and grabbed Marky’s hand, leading him upstairs.

“I’ll be back in a minute,” he stated. “Momma’s in the kitchen if you want to go see her.”

Nurse Dorothy was happy to see me. We chatted casually while waiting for Dion to come back downstairs. After a few minutes, it dawned on me that she was interrogating me like I had warned my mother not to do with Dion. I guess she was trying to make sure that I was a good match for her son as well.

Dion came down a few minutes later with a bag containing his clothes. Nurse Dorothy questioned him about what he’d packed. When she was satisfied that he hadn’t forgotten anything, we went outside and got into the car.

Dion started to climb into the back seat with me, but Marky jumped in first and plopped down beside me, wrapping his arms around me. Dion laughed and got in the front seat. Sitting in the backseat with a five-year old for a twenty-minute drive across town can be an experience. He had me sing every song he learned in the pre-school he attended. Surprisingly, many of them I remembered from when I had attended years earlier. I guess some things never change.

When we arrived at my house, he ran into the kitchen where my mother was fixing coffee. “Are you James’s mommy?”

“Yes, I am,” my mother replied while she knelt to speak to him. “And who are you?”

“I’m Marky,” he said proudly. “Do you have any milk and cookies?” Nurse Dorothy started to scold him, but my mother said it was all right. She poured three glasses of milk and set out a plate of chocolate chip cookies. Marky grabbed a handful and started eating.

My mother and Nurse Dorothy headed into the living room with Marky in tow. I grabbed the two glasses of milk and the plate of cookies. “Come on,” I said to Dion. “I’ll show you my room.” I led him upstairs and into my room. He walked around and stared at the posters on the wall. He then looked over the books I had in a bookshelf. He stopped when he came to my computer.

“This is yours?” he asked. I nodded my head. “Cool.”

I walked over to the door and closed it. I then leaned against it. “Come here.” I held out my arms. He walked across the room and gave me a hug.

“Why are we over here?”

“I don’t want Marky running in and seeing us doing this again.” I leaned in and kissed him. We kissed passionately for several minutes. My cock was hard as a rock when I pushed it against Dion’s body. He responded by pushing back. We stood grinding our erections into each other.

I reached down and started stroking him through his pants. He moaned into my mouth, and then he reached down and grabbed mine. I thought I was going to erupt.

“Hey, let me in!” Marky tried to open the door, but our weight prevented him from entering. “What are you guys doing?”

“Damn!” exclaimed Dion. He kissed me one last time before walking across the room and sitting on my bed. I watched as he rearranged his cock. I did the same before I stepped away from the door and let Marky enter.

“Why wouldn’t you let me in?” He bounded into the room and started looking around. Dion looked over at me and smiled. Marky found the small basketball and a hoop attached to the wall. Soon we were playing a game of HORSE.

“Marky!” Nurse Dorothy hollered up the stairs. “It’s time to go.” 

He begged her to let him stay, but she told him he couldn’t. I felt bad when he grabbed me around my waist and started crying. I promised him that he could come back and spend the night some other time. He stopped crying and cheered up.

“Promise?” he asked.

“I promise.” He gave me a final hug and then ran down the steps and into the car.

Mom went all out to prepare dinner. Janet was eating at her friend’s house again, so it was just going to be the three of us. For once, I wished that Janet was with us because it would have prevented my mother from embarrassing me.

Dion and I set the dining room table while my mother finished up in the kitchen. I couldn’t believe all the trouble she went to just to impress Dion. She had prepared a pork loin in a pineapple sauce, asparagus tips, scalloped potatoes and homemade rolls. We only ate like this at Christmas. She also announced that she had made an apple pie.

The interrogation began as soon as we sat down. She wanted to know everything about him. She asked questions about his family, his growing up and his school work. She was pleased to find out that he was an excellent student with a high GPA. In a way, I was glad she had questioned him. I learned more about him during dinner than I had in the month we had known each other.

She didn’t mention his brother who had been shot. I had told her the night before that it still bothered him and that he didn’t like to talk about it. He became embarrassed when she asked him when he knew he was gay. I choked on my milk when she boldly asked him if he was still a virgin. However, I did wait anxiously for him to answer the question. I was relieved when he finally confessed, after much prodding by my mother, that he was.

I guess in fairness to Dion, she related my rather uninteresting history. She told him every embarrassing story about me since I was born. Dion was amused by her narratives. He had to stop her several time because he was laughing so much.

By the time we had finished the pie and ice cream, we both knew about each other pretty well. In a way, I think it was her intention. She was making us see the other person, and then realize if we were interested in what we saw. In her own subtle way, she had both of us remove our masks and let the other see what was behind it.

After dinner, she went to her office, leaving Dion and me to clean up. I enjoyed the closeness of working with him. We would rub up against each other or reach out and gently touch as often as we could. I remembered back to the first time we spent together during detention just a few weeks earlier.

I looked over at Dion and watched him putting dishes in the dishwasher. Tears appeared in my eyes. He looked over and stopped. “What’s wrong?” he asked worriedly.

“It’s more like what’s right,” I responded, wiping the tears from my eyes. “I think I’m falling in love with you.”

He walked over to me and wrapped his arms around me. “I love you, too,” he whispered in my ear. I pulled back and kissed him gently.

“Hrrumph.” We jumped apart when we heard my mother clear her throat behind us. I know my face was turning a scarlet red. She looked at me and grinned. “I thought you two were being just a little too quiet in here.”

“Mom!” I yelled. “I think you sit around all day trying to think of ways to embarrass me.” She walked out of the kitchen, laughing all the way back to her office.

After cleaning up, we went into the living room to watch television until Jackie and Roy arrived. Dion sat closely beside me, resting his head on my shoulder as we watched a program on MTV. I closed my eyes and enjoyed his warm body next to mine. I wondered if my life would always be as happy as I was now feeling. Mr. Wilbur said that he and Paul shared twenty-six years together before Paul died. I hoped that Dion and I could do the same.

One thing still puzzled me, however. It had bothered me for weeks, and I wasn’t sure if Dion would want to talk about it.

“Can I ask you something?”

“I guess.”

“There’s something I don’t understand. When we had detention, you were there for stealing food from the cafeteria. You never did tell me why.” After witnessing the look on his face, I realized that I may have been wrong in asking him. He sat up, and I thought he was going to move away. He sat quietly for a minute before speaking.

“As you’ve seen, Momma doesn’t have a lot of money. There are still four of us at home, and then there’s Marky. He’s my older sister’s boy. Momma takes care of him after he gets out of preschool until Cheryl picks him up at seven and takes him home.” He paused, and I wasn’t sure if he was going to finish telling me.

“When he would come home in the afternoon, he would always be hungry. Sometimes I fixed him a bowl of cereal or something, but most of the times there would be nothing for him to eat.”

“So, you took food for him?”

“I know it was wrong, but I couldn’t stand to hear him cry because he was hungry. Each day I’d manage to take something- an apple one day, a banana the next. Then one day Mr. Marshall caught me.”

“And you ended up in detention?” He nodded embarrassedly.

“He was going to suspend me, but after talking to Momma, he just gave me a week’s detention.”

“Was she mad at you?”

“No.” I watched as tears formed in his eyes. “She felt bad because she didn’t know that Marky would come home hungry. She said I should have told her. After that, she has always made sure we have cookies and milk after school.” I took his hand and squeezed it tightly. After a long kiss, we rested our bodies against each other and continued watching television.

Jackie and Roy arrived around six-thirty. We sat on the living room floor and played a game of Monopoly. Like he was when we played Sorry with Mr. Wilbur, Dion was ruthless. I thought he would help me out, but he didn’t. I begged him to sell me some property, but he refused. He landed on Broadway and Park Place, and within an hour he had wiped all of us out of money.

We next decided to play a game of Spades. He and I were partners. Roy was a good player, but Jackie sucked at bidding. I thought by about the fifth hand, they were going to break up. It was comical to watch them argue back and forth. They soon started kissing every time they made a bid. After a while, Dion and I started kissing, even if we lost. It felt good to be able to show him affection without worrying how someone would feel about it.

Jackie and Roy left around nine-thirty. Mom came out of her office and we went into the kitchen for another piece of apple pie. She kept looking at us and smiling. I think she was genuinely happy to see us together. I considered us two of the luckiest boys in the world. Both our mothers knew we were gay, and they both approved of us being together.

We kissed my mother goodnight, and then we headed to my bedroom. Dion looked around the room; I think he was trying to figure out where he was going to sleep. “You can sleep with me,” I suggested. “The bed is big enough for both of us. Or I can make up the couch downstairs, and you can sleep there.”

He hesitated a moment, and then said, “I can sleep with you.”

“You don’t snore, do you?” I kidded.

“No,” he replied. “You don’t pee in the bed, do you?” We both laughed.

“If you feel something wet, it won’t be pee.” I sat on the bed and laughed hysterically. We joked around a few more minutes until Dion asked if he could take a shower before going to bed. I told him the bathroom was across the hall.

He surprised me when he began to undress in front of me. I watched intently while he removed his clothes and folded them over the back of a chair. Soon, he was standing before me in just his boxers. My dick was throbbing inside my pants.

His body was beautiful. His dark skin was illuminated by the light of the lamp at my computer table. He had a light dusting of hair on his chest with a nice trail going from his belly button to the top of his underwear. His legs were hairy and muscular. He had the body of an athlete, although he had never played sports.

“Damn,” I said admiringly. Our eyes met, and the world seemed to stop. I let my eyes continue to roam over his body before looking back into his handsome face. He just stood and let me enjoy him. Finally, he turned and disappeared from the room.

I wanted to pull out my cock and jack off while he was in the shower. He had turned me on, and I was in desperate need of relieving myself. I decided to wait, though. I was hoping that maybe we could masturbate together after we got in bed. All I had to do was get him as turned on as he had gotten me.

I heard him turn the shower off, and a few minutes later he walked back into the room. I was hoping that he would be naked, but he had put his boxers back on and was toweling off his wet hair.

He walked over and sat down beside me, letting our legs touch. “Are you going to take a shower now?”

“Yeah,” I responded nervously. I knew he was waiting for me to undress in front of him, like he had done for me.

I stood up and removed my shirt over my head. My heart was pounding inside my chest. Dion was staring at me. I could see the anticipation in his eyes. He stared intently as I unbuttoned my shorts and let them drop to the ground. Unlike Dion, I wear tighty whiteys, so I knew he could see my erect cock poking out through the material.

Finally, I took a deep breath and pulled my underwear off. I was now standing naked before him. I watched as his eyes roamed over my body. I could tell by his reaction, that he was pleased with what he saw. I reached down and stroked my cock a couple of times, turned and walked across the hall to the restroom.

Once inside, I leaned against the wall, trying to catch my breath. My heart was almost beating outside my chest. I couldn’t believe I had just stripped naked in front of Dion. My cock was still throbbing. When I showered, I had to be careful not to wash it too vigorously for fear of cumming.

After toweling off, I tip-toed back to my room. I had the towel wrapped around me because I had left my underwear lying on the bedroom floor. When I entered, Dion had turned off the lights. A candle was burning on the bookshelf. I squinted my eyes and reached for my underwear.

“Don’t put them on,” he whispered. I looked and saw him lying naked on the bed. His cock was hard and extended almost to his belly button. He opened his arms, and I walked over and lay on top of him. He wrapped his arms around me and held me tightly. Our cocks were grinding into each other, and I could feel him breathing heavily into my neck.

“Do you want to do this?” he asked nervously. I leaned back, looked into his eyes and kissed him. He moaned and thrust himself into me. We kissed passionately for a few minutes, and then he rolled me over onto my back, while he lay beside me. He kissed me again, and then he began to run his tongue down my neck.

I let out a soft moan when he started nibbling at my nipples. He licked around them, as he reached down and wrapped his hand around my stiff cock. I grabbed his hand and stopped him.

“I’m almost ready to cum,” I warned him. I had been edging ever since he had stripped in front of me. I knew it wouldn’t take much to make me cum.

He leaned down and engulfed my cock into his mouth. He gagged slightly at first, but then he continued to suck me. I threw my head back on the pillow and reveled in the wonderful sensation I was feeling. Several minutes later, I felt cum begin to rise from my balls. I reached down and lifted his head off my cock.

“Oh, God!” I moaned as the first volley of cum shot out. Soon, several more blasts erupted onto my stomach. Dion continued to gently stroke me until I was drained. He brought his mouth to mine and kissed me deeply.

Afterwards, he took a towel and cleaned the cum off my stomach and cock. I couldn’t move. I remembered back to when my mother had asked what it feels like when two people have sex. There was no way I could possibly describe what I was feeling.

As Dion lay beside me, I could feel his cock poking into my leg. I reached down and wrapped my hand around it. He turned and lay on his back while I stroked his large cock. My cock is about six inches long and average width. His is about an inch longer and much thicker.

Wanting him to feel the pleasure he gave me, I leaned over and started licking his chest. I loved the feel of his hair against my tongue. Unlike my smooth nipples, his had a small amount of hair circling them. I rolled my tongue around them as he squirmed on the bed. His eyes were tightly shut as he enjoyed what I was doing.

I ran my tongue down his chest, nibbling gently at the hair. I let my tongue travel the thin trail leading to his black, thick pubic hair. He moaned and gently grabbed the side of my head, placing my mouth to his stiff cock. Like me, I knew he probably was close to cumming. I stroked his cock several times, and then I placed my mouth on his cock head. I could hear him moaning softly, as I got used to its thickness. I slowly sucked him deeper. After several minutes, I could feel his cock swell inside my mouth.

“James,” he whimpered. “I’m going to cum.” I started to pull off, but he erupted into my mouth. He lifted his body and shoved his cock deeper as he continued to cum. I began to swallow quickly. He soon relaxed, and his body went limp. I knew he was feeling the sensations that I had felt earlier.

With my hand still stroking his cock, I scooted my body beside him, leaned in and kissed him gently. He pulled me on top of him and kissed me passionately, shoving his tongue into my mouth as he tasted the remains of his cum.

After a minute, I pulled away and lay my head onto his shoulder. He continued to wrap his arms tightly around me. “I love you,” he whispered softly into my ear.

“I love you, too,” I whispered back. We must have lay there about five minutes holding each other, saying nothing. We didn’t have to. We had removed our masks and were lying completely exposed to each other. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I started crying into his neck.

“What’s wrong?” He lifted my head and looked into my eyes.

“Thank you,” I replied tearfully, “for taking off your mask.” He tightened his arms around me and didn’t say a word. I think he somehow understood what I was saying.

After several minutes, I got up and crept across the hall to relieve myself. On the way back to bed, I handed Dion his underwear to put on. I was afraid my mother might stick her head in the door in the morning, and I didn’t want her to see us lying naked in bed together.

Once in bed, I lay on my side. Dion wrapped his arm around me and pulled me into him. I relaxed in his arms and fell asleep. We must not have moved throughout the night, because when my alarm went off, we were still in the same position.

I guess my mother figured she had impressed Dion with the dinner the night before, because for breakfast we had a bowl of cold cereal and orange juice. I tried to avoid eye contact with her because I was afraid she would be able to tell that Dion and I had sex the night before. I also wasn’t sure if she had peeked in the room and saw us spooned together in bed. If she did, she didn’t say anything.

On the way to school, Dion and I walked side by side with our arms touching most of the way. Jackie kept looking over and staring at me. I knew her well enough to know that she had something to say; however, she was holding back because Dion was with us.

I didn’t have to wait long. As soon as Dion headed off to class, she pulled me aside. She looked into my face, which made me feel uncomfortable.

“Something’s different about you,” she said. “I can’t put my finger on it. Wait! I know! You’re in love. Look at you. You’ve got it bad!”

“Shut up, Jackie,” I said embarrassedly. She grinned and studied me some more.

“You and Dion had sex last night!” she shrieked excitedly. I looked around to make sure no one had heard her.

“Would you shut up, Jackie, before someone hears you.”

“So, you don’t deny it?” She grabbed my arm and pulled on it.

“Jackie, I can’t tell you when Dion and I have sex.”

“You did!” she squealed. “I knew it!” She grabbed my arm and led me down the hall to my first period class. She kept looking over at me and giggling. I know my face was as bright as a Christmas tree bulb.

We met after school to go to Dion’s house for the barbecue his mother had planned. I could tell by the way Roy kept looking at us, that Jackie had opened her big mouth and told him about me and Dion having sex.

Roy dropped us off at my house. Since my mother and Janet were going, we decided to ride with them and show my mother how to get to his house. Roy was going to wait for Jackie while she ran in and changed clothes. He said they would meet us there.

Marky came running out to the car as soon as he heard the car doors slam. “James!” he shouted as he ran out and jumped into my arms. I picked him up and gave him a big hug. When he noticed my mother, he ran over to her.

“Did you make me some more cookies?” he asked as she bent down and gave him a hug.

“I made you something even better,” she replied. “How about a peach cobbler?”

“What’s peach cobber?” he asked. We all started laughing. Dion picked him up and we headed around the house toward the backyard.

Nurse Dorothy was already at the grill barbecuing chicken and ribs. My mouth started watering when I got a whiff of the smoke rising from the grill. I looked around and saw Mr. Wilbur sitting in his wheelchair under a shade tree. I walked over, knelt down and hugged him.

“I am so glad you’re here,” I said excitedly. I hadn’t expected Nurse Dorothy to invite him.

“It’s good to get out of that damn room for a change,” he huffed. “Besides, Dorothy wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re here.” Just then Dion walked up, knelt behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist.

“Hello, Mr. Wilbur,” he said. Mr. Wilbur noticed his gesture and then looked up into my eyes.

“Hello, Dion,” he replied. “It’s good to see you boys together.”

“Dion!” Nurse Dorothy shouted from the back porch. “Would you come help me bring out the tea?” Dion gave me a quick kiss on the cheek.

“I’ll be right back,” he said as he trotted off towards the house.

“I’m not imagining what I just saw, am I?” Mr. Wilbur asked after Dion left. I sat down on the ground in front of him.

“What did you just see?” I knew what he was talking about, but I thought I would tease him.

“Two boys in love,” he said wistfully. “It’s written all over both your faces. It reminds me of two other young men a long time ago.” I leaned in and gave him a hug.

Tears welled up in my eyes as I spoke softly. “He did it, Mr. Wilbur. He took off his mask, and I’m in love with the boy behind it.”


Taking Off the Mask is completed. Did you enjoy the story? I would love to hear from you.

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