Dancing on a Star
Copyright © 2018 by Ronyx
All Rights Reserved
Chapter 32
I still can’t believe that Mom and I talked earlier. We even talked about me having
a boyfriend, and she seemed to be okay with it. I guess she did need time to adjust
to me being gay. I hope she doesn’t go in the opposite direction and try to find me
a boyfriend. Now, that would be funny.

I went into the family room and worked on my homework. I figured it might be a
couple of hours until Jimmy showed up at the door. With basketball practice, and
Tracy helping the team with their dance moves, I would probably not get to see
them as often. Lyle asked if he could stop by after school, but I  don’t know if he
will.

I was reading a short story for literature when the doorbell rang. I looked at the
clock. It was too early for basketball practice to be over. Mom answered the door,
and I could hear a boy’s voice, but I didn’t recognize him. Soon, Mom entered with
Murray trailing behind.

She asked, “Do you feel like company?” My face reddened when she grinned and
winked. I’m glad Murray didn’t see her.

“Yes, Mom,” I responded. She smiled and left the room. Murray stood looking
down at me.

“How are you, Jack?” he asked.

“I’m okay,” I said as I cleared away my homework assignments from the bed so
he could sit beside me. I held up my literature book. “I’m trying the read The Mask
of the Red Death.”

He sat down, laughed and said, “Spoiler alert. They all die in the end.”

“Thanks,” I giggled as I closed the book. “I guess I can stop reading it now.” We
sat a few minutes in silence. I assumed he stopped by for a reason, but he seemed
nervous. He kept twiddling his thumbs like my father does sometimes when he’s
deep in thought.

Finally, I broke the silence. “What brings you here?”

He shrugged his shoulders. “I dunno. I thought I’d stop by and see how you are.”

I laughed and responded, “You just saw me a couple of hours ago at school.” I sat
and stared at him.

“Is something bothering you?”

He again shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I dunno.”

I giggled and said, “At least we’re getting somewhere.”

He sat up and looked at me. “How well do you know Jeff?”

I was surprised by his question. By the tone of his voice, it seemed like he might
be interested in him.

“Why do you ask?”

“I dunno,” he said again. “I was just wondering, is all.”

Suddenly, I realized where this was heading. Murray liked Jeff! I don’t think he had
heard that Jeff was my boyfriend, or he wouldn’t be asking. Besides, after our
conversation this afternoon, I’m not sure Jeff was anymore.

I know it is wrong, but I thought I saw my way out of the situation with Jeff, and
we could still be friends. I could hook him up with Murray! Murray was a good-
looking guy. Jeff might even like the idea.
“He’s a pretty nice guy,” I said. “He’s
had a tough time at school, so he’s careful who he talks to.”

Murray’s face reddened as he asked, “Do you think he’d talk to me?”

“Why?”

Murray became extremely nervous. “I…I…was just wondering if he might want to
go out with me sometime.”

I started giggling. “You’re cute when you get nervous.” His face reddened even
more.

He asked, “So what do you think? He’s your friend. Do you know what kind of guys
he likes?”

“Those with a heartbeat,” I laughed. When I finished laughing, I said, “I can’t
speak for him, but I think he might like the idea. The only way you’ll know is if you
ask.”

His face reddened, “I was hoping you would do it for me.”

“Why?”

“I dunno,” he replied. “I’m just not used to this. Emily says I should, but I’m not
sure. What if he says
no?”

“He won’t,” I assured him. “I’ll tell you what.” He nodded his head. “He may come
by later. I’ll kind of mention that you like him. Okay?”

He smiled and responded, “Okay. Thanks, Jack.” He got off the bed and looked
down. “Let me know what he says, okay?”

“Yeah, sure,” I responded. “See you tomorrow at school.” He nodded and left.

A few minutes later, my mother entered the room. “Who was that? He’s really
cute.”

“Mom!” I shrieked. “Stop it! And no, to what you’re thinking.” She laughed and left
the room.

                                                **********

I was working on a homework assignment when someone knocked on the door. My
mother answered the door, and then Jeff entered the room. My mother looked in
and gave me a puzzled look before leaving.

Jeff approached and looked down. In an angry voice he asked, “What the fuck is
wrong with you? Why did you talk to me like that at school?” I looked over to see
my mother peek into the room.

“Shut up, Jeff,” I snapped. “My mother can hear you!”

He looked over at the door and responded, “I don’t care. Let her hear.”

I rose from the sofa, grabbed my crutches and headed toward the door. Jeff
followed behind me. I wanted to leave so my mother couldn’t hear our
conversation. I knew we would probably get into a very heated argument.

“Where are you going?” Jeff asked as I hobbled down the sidewalk.

I turned and replied angrily. “Trying to get rid of you. Why don’t you just go on
home.”

He grabbed my arm to stop me. My first instinct was to raise my crutch and hit him
with it. Instead, I continued down the sidewalk. He pleaded, “Talk to me, Jack!
What is wrong with you?”

“You’re an asshole,” I said angrily. “That’s what’s wrong with me.”

“Why? What did I do wrong?”

I looked around at the neighboring homes. I was afraid someone would be
watching us arguing on the street and call the police. I asked, “Are your parents
home?” He shook his head and told me they were still at work. “Good. Let’s go
there and talk.” I trailed behind as we headed to his house.

He wanted me to come inside, but I thought it would be best if we sat on the porch
stoop. That way I could leave quickly if things got out of hand. He sat beside me
and tried to grab my hand. I pulled it away.

“What’s wrong, Jack? I thought we were boyfriends?” he asked sadly.

“No,” I replied sarcastically. “I’m a boyfriend when no one else is around.”

“What’s that mean?”

I looked him directly in the eyes and replied, “It’s just not going to work. I told you
we were too young for this.”

Tears started falling down his cheeks. “But I love you, Jack.” He tried to hug me,
but I held up my arms to prevent him.

Tears started to form in my eyes. “I know you think you do, Jeff. But it takes more
than just words.”

“What’s that mean?”

“I mean if we are going to be boyfriends, then we have to be able to commit
completely to each other.”

Hesitantly, I reached out and gripped his hand. “Neither of us are really ready for
that right now.”

He replied tearfully, “I am. I promise.”

“What about Tracy and Jimmy?” I asked.

“What about them?”

I replied, “Can you honestly say that you won’t have sex with them anymore?”
When he looked away, I knew I had won my argument. “You can’t say it, can
you?” He looked tearfully at me and shook his head.

“And I can’t promise you that I can’t have sex with
 someone else.” He hung his
head and started crying. “Jeff,” I said tearfully as I squeezed his hand tighter.
   
“We’re just not ready for this boyfriend thing. I don’t want us to keep fighting. I
care to much for you to keep doing that.”

He looked tearfully at me and asked, “But you don’t love me?”

“Yes,” I assured him. “I do love you. I just don’t think I love you enough. Do you
understand?”

He nodded and replied, “I think so.”

He wiped his eyes and asked, “What about still being friends with benefits?”

I chuckled and replied, “Sure.”

He grinned evilly and asked, “What about being friends with benefits now? My
parents aren’t home.”

“That’s not a good idea,” I explained. “I think we need to think about this for a few
days.”

He frowned and agreed, “You’re probably right.”

“Besides,” I informed him. “I have something to tell you.” He gave me a puzzled
look. “You know Murray, right?”

He smiled and replied, “Everyone knows Murray. He’s one of the hottest guys in
our class.”

“You gotta promise me that you won’t say anything.”

“About what?”

“Murray wants to date you.”

Jeff shrieked, “What! Are you serious?” I explained to him about Murray’s visit and
how he had asked me if Jeff would go out on a date with him.

“Are you shitting me? Murray Reynolds wants to go on a date with me?”

I giggled and replied, “Well, that is if you’re not my boyfriend anymore.”

His face saddened. “You won’t be mad?”

“No,” I replied as I gave him a hug. “I won’t be mad.” As funny as it seemed, we
spent the next fifteen minutes talking about him and Murray. When we left my
house, I was expecting to have a horrible argument. It ended up with us talking
about him dating another boy. I guess it just reinforced that we really weren’t
ready for a committed relationship. I was just glad that Jeff and I were still going
to be friends. However, we still had to work out the friends with benefits thing.

                                                 **********

After dinner I was sitting on the porch. Tracy came home earlier, and I thought he
would stop by and see me. However, he later got in the car with his mother and
they drove away. I guess he was going to rehearsal.

I noticed Jimmy and Lyle walking toward the house. Jimmy was talking
animatedly, and Lyle was laughing at something he said. “Hey, Dirtwad,” greeted
Jimmy with a laugh.

I ignored him and spoke to Lyle. “You know you’re judged by the company you
keep, don’t you?”

Jimmy shot back, “Then I guess he keeps good company.”

I roared with laughter when Lyle said, “Don’t bet on it.” Jimmy sat on my right and
Lyle sat down on my left. Jimmy asked me how everything was going.

“Okay, I guess,” I responded. “How was practice?”

“It’s going great,” answered Lyle. “We’re starting to come together as a team.
Usually that doesn’t happen until about halfway through the season. I think what
Tracy is teaching us is beginning to play off.”

“We’ll know in a couple of weeks when the season starts,” remarked Jimmy. We
spent the next half hour just chatting. Most of it was about school. Jimmy tried to
talk about a couple of boys, but when Lyle and I didn’t seem interested he stopped.

“I guess I better head home,” he said as he stood and stretched. “I’ll leave you two
love birds alone. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” We laughed as he headed off
down the sidewalk.

We sat uncomfortably for several minutes without speaking. Finally, I asked Lyle if
he would like to go inside and get something to drink. “Yeah, sure,” he answered
timidly.

Lyle held me around the waist as I hobbled into the house. I was getting around
much better, but I  didn’t want to complain. His arm around me felt good. My
mother turned when we entered the kitchen. She took one look at Lyle’s embrace
and looked into my face. I know I was blushing brightly. She gave us a puzzled
look, and I asked her if we had any soda in the refrigerator.

“Sit down, Boys,” she said as she motioned for us to sit at the counter. She
grabbed two Pepsis and placed them in front of us. She then pulled out a big bag
  
of potato chips and poured them into a bowl. She poured a cup of coffee and sat
down across from us. She looked at Lyle and asked who he is because she had
never seen him at the house before.

“I’m Lyle Landers, Mrs. Craft,” he answered politely.

She responded, “Please, Dear, call me Helen.” I was astounded. Except for Jimmy,
she had never asked any of my other friends to call her by her first name. Yet she
asked Lyle as soon as she met him.

“Yes, Ma’am,” he replied as he looked over at me. She began asking me how
school had gone, and if the boy who had shoved me yesterday had given me any
more trouble. I told her that he had been suspended for ten days.

“Did you see what happened?” she asked Lyle.

He replied, “Yes, Ma’am. I protected Jack.” He looked over at me and smiled.

My mother watched the exchange and asked, “How did you protect Jack?”

“I…um…kinda got in a fight with Clayton.”

“My husband said that Jimmy and another boy did some serious damage to the boy
who hit Jack. Were you that boy?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” replied Lyle as he again glanced at me. My mother sat back and
smiled. She rose and said that she had to begin dinner, and she asked if we could
go into the family room. She grinned when she said that she wouldn’t disturb us.

“Mom!” I said excitedly. “Stop it!” She laughed as she turned and opened the
refrigerator door.

It was strange to see how she had changed in just a week. Before, she hated me
and didn’t want me as a  son. Now, it was as if she was playing matchmaker. I
guess Lyle had made a good impression on her. However, in a way it seemed
unfair. She immediately didn’t like Tracy and Jeff. I think it was because she saw
them as effeminate. Lyle didn’t act that way. Unless you knew he was gay, you
would probably not expect him to be. He appears like the boy next door type. I
began to wonder if she was encouraging me to date Lyle so she wouldn’t have to
explain to others why I was hanging with a gay boy like Tracy or Jeff.

“What was that all about?” Lyle asked as we sat on the sofa. He pressed his body
next to mine and our legs rubbed together. Any other time, I would look at the
door to see if my mother was watching and quickly move away. With Lyle, I didn’t
feel I had to do that.

I replied, “I think my Mom likes you.”

He gave me a surprised look and asked, “Does she know you’re gay?”

I laughed and said, “Yes, but it has taken a while.”

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“Long story,” I responded. “Maybe another time.”

“Okay,” he answered. I turned on the television and we watched a rerun of LA Law.
A couple of times he brushed his hand against mine, but he would look at the door
to make sure no one walked in.

He spoke nervously, “Can I ask you a question?” I gave him a puzzled look and
told him he could ask me anything. It surprised me when he asked, “Can we go out
sometime?”

“You mean like on a date?”

His face blushed a bright red. I couldn’t help but laugh at how cute he appeared.
“What’s so funny?” he asked.

“You’re cute when you get all nervous?”

He gave me a serious look. “You think I’m cute?”

I grinned and said, “Yes. I think you’re cute.”

He blushed and replied, “I think you’re cute too.”

“And to answer your question,” I replied. “Yes.”

“Yes?”

“Yes,” I said. “I would like to go out on a date with you.”

“Cool,” he replied. I reached down and held his hand as we watched the show.        

Lyle rested his head on my shoulder, and it felt comfortable. I never felt like this
with Jimmy, Jeff or Tracy. If they had done it, we probably would have ended up
naked on the floor and sucking each other. With Lyle, it was different. I think it
would have broken the mood if we did try to do something.

He looked up into my face and asked, “A penny for your thoughts?”

I smiled and kissed him on his cheek. “I don’t know,” I replied. “I’m feeling kind of
good.”

“Me too,” he grinned as he kissed me on my cheek. He sighed deeply and rested
his head again on my shoulder.

We jumped apart when the front door opened. I could hear my father’s voice in the
kitchen talking to my mother. A few minutes later, he entered the family room. He
stopped suddenly when he saw Lyle sitting beside me.

“Your mother said you had company,” he said. “I thought it was Jimmy.”

“No, Dad,” I replied. “This is Lyle Landers. He’s in my class.”

My father reached out and shook Lyle’s hand. “Lyle Landers?” he asked. “You Ken
Lander’s son?”

Lyle responded, “Yes, Sir.”

My father started laughing and said, “Well I’ll be damned. Ken Lander’s boy.” He
again started laughing.

“Your father is one of my attorneys.”

“He is?” Lyle asked in amazement.

“He’s also a good friend,” my father added. “We play golf on Saturday mornings.”

Lyle’s face reddened as he asked, “You’re Jerry?”

Dad gave him a puzzled look. “Yes. Has your father mentioned me?”

“Uhh,” stammered Lyle. “I’ve heard him talk about you.”

A mischievous grin appeared on Dad’s face as he asked, “What has he said.”

Lyle tried to avoid the question, but Dad kept insisting that he tell him. Finally, he
admitted that his father says that Dad sometimes changes his score in the middle
of a game.

“What?” laughed my father. “Ken’s the one we have to watch out for.” Dad sat
down beside Lyle and they started talking. He asked Lyle if he played sports, and
he seemed interested that he played basketball. When he asked Lyle how the team
looked this year, Lyle explained how Tracy was helping them learn ballet.

“Are you serious?” asked my father excitedly. He looked over at me. “Did you
know about this, Jack?” I nodded my head.

“Well, I’ll be damned,” responded my father. “A boys’ basketball team learning
ballet.”

Lyle asked worriedly, “You don’t think it’s wrong, do you?”

“Hell, no,” replied my father. “I’ve heard of the college teams sometimes doing
things like that, I just didn’t think high school boys would do it.”

I said, “They’re really getting good, Dad. I think they are going to surprise a lot of
teams this year.”


“No doubt,” laughed my father. “I’ve seen Tracy practice. If they add some of his
moves on them, they won’t know what hit them.”

“That’s what we’re hoping, Sir,” replied Lyle.

My father rose and patted Lyle on his leg. “You’re welcome by here anytime, Lyle.”
He looked over at me and winked. “We hope to see more of you.”

“Dad!” I said excitedly. “You’re worse than Mom.” He left the room laughing. A
minute later I could hear them talking in the kitchen. I couldn’t make out what
they were saying, but I did hear Lyle’s name mentioned a few times.

Lyle looked at the time on his phone. “I better be going,” he announced. “Mom will
be expecting me home for dinner soon.”

“Okay,” I smiled. We stared into each other’s eyes. I know he was thinking the
same thing as me. Should we kiss goodbye?

“Well,” he sighed. “I guess I better go.”

“Okay,” I replied hesitantly. When he started to stand, I grabbed his arm and
pulled him back onto the seat.

“What?” He asked, “What do…” I leaned in and kissed him on his lips. He pulled
away with a surprised look on his face. I panicked thinking I had made a mistake.
Then he smiled, leaned forward and kissed me.