A Delicate Situation
I walked around in the drizzling rain for what seemed like hours. I wasn’t sure what
the proper protocol was for this sort of thing. Since I’d never had an older brother,
I didn’t know how long it would take before I could safely return.
When I did return, the door was slightly ajar. I slowly peeked in to see if the girl
was still in the room. Travis was alone in his bed, and he appeared to be asleep. I
quietly entered and began removing my clothing. With my boxers on, I climbed
into bed. After lying down, Travis sat up in bed.
“Sorry about earlier, Dude,” he apologized in a whisper. “I thought you’d know
what the underwear on the door meant. My brother and I used it all the time at
“It’s okay,” I responded in a hurtful tone. I still resented him for making me stay
out in the cold, drizzling rain for hours with nowhere to go.
“Well, anytime you want to get laid, do the same thing and I’ll know not to come
“Just make sure it’s a girl,” he laughed. “I don’t want no homo shit going on in
here.” He laughed again and lay back. A few minutes later, he was snoring loudly.
I hardly got any sleep. Travis’s loud snoring kept me awake most of the night.
Every time I’d get close to falling asleep, he’d dispel a loud burst and wake me up.
By morning, I was ready to scream from listening to the irritating noise across the
I was also upset by his homophobic remark. I’m sure he suspected I was gay,
although we’d only shared a few words. He probably discussed it with his parents
when he escorted them downstairs yesterday. His father surely gave him some
fatherly advice about sleeping with one eye open. However, the room was as much
mine as it was his. If I wanted to entertain a male guest, which I was not even
considering, then who was he to set the rules? The more I thought about it, the
angrier I became. By morning, I had decided that I was not going to be ruled by
Travis as I had been for years by my dictatorial father.
I awoke from a light sleep when Travis climbed out of bed. He was naked as he
stood in the middle of the room and stretched. He looked at me as he did it. I think
he was challenging me to stare at his nude body to see if I would react. I rolled
over and turned away from him. A minute later, he left the room.
I climbed out of bed and went to the closet to find something clean to wear. It was
a little past eight, and I had to meet Sydney downstairs so we could go to
breakfast. After finding something suitable to wear, I stood in the middle of the
room and removed my underwear. As I began to dress, Travis came back into the
room. He had taken a shower and had a towel wrapped around his waist. He
stopped when he saw me standing naked before him.
“Damn, Dude,” he remarked scornfully. “Ain’t you hit puberty yet? You still got the
body of a little boy.”
I quickly put on my underwear, and I was reaching for my shorts when he grabbed
my arm. “Didn’t you hear what I said? You look like a fucking girl.”
I turned and shouted, “Fuck you!” He balled his fist, and I closed my eyes and
winced, waiting for the blow. Suddenly, he backed away. I think he realized the
consequences that he would have paid if he hit me.
“Just stay out of my face,” he snarled as he dropped the towel and reached for a
pair of athletic shorts lying on the floor from the night before. We occasionally
exchanged angry glances as we dressed.
I hated him. He didn’t even attempt to get to know me. He had probably expected
to room with a jock, someone he could share his sexual exploits with, perhaps to
even share. I wasn’t someone with whom he could toss a football or stand in the
shower and talk about baseball. We came from two different worlds. There was no
way I was going to last the year rooming with Travis. I’d be lucky to make it a
Sydney noticed my angry mood as soon as I walked off the elevator onto the first
floor. “Uh, uh,” she quipped. “What happened?”
“I’m going to hate this fucking school,” I spat. “I wonder if it’s too late to transfer?”
She grabbed my arm and led me outside into a cool, brisk wind. It wasn’t raining
like the night before. I was still tired from spending a restless evening, and the cool
breeze felt good on my face.
Sydney glanced over and asked, “Want to tell me what happened?” I sighed
deeply, and then I told her about Travis’s first night tryst and his homophobic
remark. When I was finished, she was as upset as me.
“Fucking moron,” she said angrily. “Don’t worry,” she assured me. “Guys like him
flunk out after the first quarter anyways. The come here to party and never study.”
“I won’t make it that long,” I replied. Just then, someone called out Sydney’s
name. We turned to see a tall, lanky black girl running toward us.
“That’s Jade,” informed Sydney. “She’s my roommate. I asked her to join us, but
she said she had things to do. I guess she changed her mind.”
Jade ran up, bent over and tried to catch her breath. “I’m getting too old for this
shit,” she laughed as she stood and faced me. “Hi,” she extended her hand to me.
“I’m Jade Hamilton, Sydney’s roommate.” Her eyes scanned my body before she
looked over at her roommate. “He’s even cuter than you said he was.” I glanced
over at Sydney, and she smiled slightly as her face reddened.
Jade took my hand and started leading me away. “You’ll get used to me.” It
surprised me when she grabbed Sydney’s hand and held it while we walked.
Several students noticed us, but no one seemed to care.
I immediately liked Jade. Besides being pretty, she was witty and extremely funny.
I was jealous of Sydney because she seemed to have been paired with the perfect
roommate. Even though they’d only known each other for a day, they appeared to
have known each other much longer.
We went to a pancake house for breakfast. Sydney and I sat together, and Jade sat
across from us in the booth. After ordering, she immediately began to tease us. “So
have you two set a date for the wedding?”
“What?” I was taking a sip of coffee and almost spat it across the table.
Jade started laughing. “Sydney couldn’t stop talking about you last night.” She
winked playfully at me. “I think a June wedding would be perfect.”
“Jade!” shouted Sydney. “Would you stop it!” Sydney’s face was turning a bright
Jade sat back and smiled. “Well, he is a cutie. If I swung that way I might be
I had just taken a sip of coffee and began to choke. Sydney patted me on my back
until I could breath normally again. Jade laughed as I wiped coffee from my chin.
“Sydney told me you were gay, Dorian. I just wanted to get everything out in the
open so we can all be good friends.” She reached over and took my hands in hers.
“You are cute as hell, though.”
Breakfast was entertaining. I couldn’t remember being so open before. It was
exactly what I needed after the horrendous night I’d spent. We spent two hours
talking about ourselves and getting to know each other. I already knew about
Sydney’s brother, but I wasn’t aware that her parents were separated. Her father
was an electrical engineer who had met a younger woman and was now living in
Seattle with her two children. She said she was still dealing with it, but attending
college would give her a chance to focus on other things.
Jade and I shared a similar past. She came out to her family when she was
thirteen. Her father was a minister, and he rejected her as a daughter. She said
her life was miserable after that. She said dinnertime was especially bad because
he would say grace and always end it with her repenting someday of her sinful
ways. She had two older brothers who also shared her father’s sentiments.
However, she was strong willed, and she refused to let their prejudices determine
her outlook on life. She always tried to discover the good nature in people to
counter the negative attitudes of her family. I admired her for that. While I had
become a recluse at home, she had involved herself with life. Not only had she
graduated as valedictorian of her senior class, she had been a student member of
the Board of Education in her district, starting forward for the girls basketball team
and editor of her school newspaper. By being valedictorian, she had received a
four-year scholarship to the university. She explained she was not trying to brag
about her accomplishments, but rather to point out that it was important to rise
above adversity. In one morning, she had made more of a positive impact on me
than anyone I’d ever met my entire life.
I was last to describe my background. Sydney and Jade listened attentively as I
told them about my authoritarian father and how I’d withdrawn from life. Tears
filled our eyes as I told them about how lonely I’d been for years. They seemed
surprised when I told them how I felt my appearance was a curse, and how little
confidence I had in myself. When I finished, I was embarrassed because, unlike
Jade, I had never taken a stand to make my life better. I had acquiesced to my
solitary life, and I was now hoping to make a new start.
Jade seemed surprised when I finished. “As cute as you are, and you’ve never had
a boyfriend?” I embarrassedly shook my head.
“I don’t find myself all that cute,” I stated sadly. “I’m short, thin, and I have a body
of a twelve year old. That’s what Travis said this morning.”
“Who’s Travis?” Jade asked. I then explained what had happened since his arrival. I
told her about the girl in the room and how I had to spend the night in the rain. She
became livid when I told her about his homophobic attitude just an hour earlier.
“You’d better be careful, Dorian,” she warned. “Guys like him can be dangerous.”
“I know,” I replied.
“However,” she said. “The main reason I came here was because they have a very
supportive policy concerning students with different lifestyles. They won’t put up
with any shit. The university also have a very active GLBT organization, too.” Her
eyes lit up as she looked at Sydney and me. “I was going to join it. Why don’t both
of you join with me?”
Sydney jumped at the opportunity. She said it would help her better understand
her gay brother. She couldn’t wait to call him and tell him. I was a little more
hesitant about the prospect of joining a gay group. I feared I would be outing
myself to Travis and other students. I didn’t know if I was yet ready to do that.
Another reason I didn’t want to join was because my father was running for
reelection. Even though I hated him, I didn’t want to be an embarrassment to him
if it was discovered that I was active in a gay organization. He was, after all, one of
the most important members of the state. He would be running for his fourth term,
and there had been rumors that he was on a short list as a vice presidential running
mate. I could become a delicate situation for him to explain.
Of course, when I tried to explain my fears to Sydney and Jade, they tried to
assure me that I was now a man and could make my own decisions. Jade insisted
that coming out would be the first step to building self-confidence. She seemed
pleased when I told her I’d think about it. She looked over at Sydney and smiled.
“He’s going to do it.”
So at breakfast, I acquired two friends- two good friends. As we walked back to the
dorm holding hands, I’d felt like I’d known them all my life. Perhaps my life would
have been different if I had.
Travis wasn’t in the room when I returned. The room was a shambles, though. In
one day he’d managed to turn it into a pig sty. His clothes were all over the floor,
and several beer cans were on top of his desk. It appeared he’d had some of his
buddies in before he went out, probably to play football again. I didn’t know if I
should tidy the room up for fear that he’d be mad if he came back and got angry
that I’d touched his personal property. However, I refused to live the rest of the
year in a messy room. I kicked his clothes into the closet, took the beer cans and
deposited them in a trash container in the hallway.
Since no one seemed to be around, I decided to take a quick shower. The water
was warm so I decided to remain longer than I had the day before. I had my head
back letting the water flow comfortably down my face when I heard the door open.
A minute later, a guy walked naked into the shower area. He was large and beefy
with a ruddy complexion. I averted my eyes from him as I turned and shut off the
I heard him say, “You don’t have to go, Cute Thing.” I quickly glanced at him. He
was stroking his small cock in an attempt to make it hard. He laughed loudly as I
wrapped my towel around my waist and fled from the room.
I got up early the next morning to go to the administration office to register. I was
to meet Sydney in the lobby at 8:00. We were going for a quick breakfast before
we had to attend an orientation meeting.
Travis was sleeping when I climbed out of bed. He had come staggering into the
room around 2:30 and plopped down in his bed without even undressing. He was
snoring loudly as I dressed and left the room. At first, I thought I should wake him
so he wouldn’t be late for registration, but I figured if he’d been concerned then he
wouldn’t have spent the night drinking with his buddies. If he missed his scheduled
appointment, then he’d have to suffer the consequence that most classes would be
closed, and he’d have to take those that no one else wanted.
Jade was waiting with Sydney when I exited the elevator. As the day before, she
was smiling broadly. She hugged me and kissed my cheek when I approached.
“There’s my little brother,” she exclaimed cheerfully as she wrapped her arms
“What?” I laughed as I stepped back and looked at the color of my arm. “I don’t
think so,” I laughed.
“Forget it, Dorian,” explained Sydney. “You’re all she talked about last night. She’s
adopting you as her little brother, so you might as well get used to it.”
“That’s right,” remarked Jade as she grabbed my arm and started to lead me from
the dorm. “Get used to it, Cutie.”
Breakfast was as enjoyable as it was the previous day. We went to a Dunkin
Donuts and got coffee and a dozen crème doughnuts and went outside to eat. The
sun was shining brightly and students were already scurrying down the sidewalk.
Most students had arrived over the weekend and were busying preparing for the
opening of classes on Wednesday. Freshmen had to attend orientation sessions
where we would be assisted in selecting classes. From looking over the class
offerings, it appeared my freshman year in college would be nothing more than
another year of high school. Since I was a liberal arts major, I was required to take
When we arrived at the building for our orientation, we were divided into groups
and assigned a room number. Jade and I were in one group while Sydney
disappointedly had to join another. We were taken to a large computer lab where
we would register online for our classes. There were several people standing
around whom I assumed would probably assist us.
After sitting down, a large man asked us to get quiet. He introduced himself as Dr.
Swanson. He said he was the assistant dean of the university, and he would be in
charge of our orientation session. As he began to speak, a student entered the
room and handed him a piece of paper. After reading it, he looked out over the
room and asked, “Is there a Dorian Gale present?”
Jade glanced over at me. My face began to redden as I stood. “Yes, Sir,” I
He then announced, “You’re to accompanying this young lady.”
“Where to?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said sharply. “Just do it quickly.” I glanced over at Jade before
gathering my materials, putting them into my book bag and leaving the room.
Once in the hall, I asked the young lady who appeared old enough to be a senior
where we were going.
“To President Avery’s office,” she informed me as she quickened her pace. I almost
had to run to catch up with her.”
“Why are we going to his office?”
“I don’t know,” she responded. “I’m only an assistant. They just told me to come
get you.” I tried to think of what I’d done wrong since arriving. I’d seen Dr. Avery’s
name in most of the material I’d read. He had been president of the school for over
fifteen years, and he was described as a pioneer in the field of higher education.
Enrollment had doubled during his tenure.
I followed the assistant to the third floor of the administration building. She
directed me to Dr. Avery’s office where I was introduced to his secretary. She
asked me politely to have a seat in a large leather wingback chair. I looked around
nervously as I waited for him to see me. I still couldn’t think of anything I’d done to
warrant a visit to his office. Besides, I thought, doesn’t the Dean of Students
usually handle disciplinary problems?
After waiting for about ten minutes, the secretary led me down a hallway to the
President’s office. He was standing at the door waiting for me. He was tall, square-
jawed with grey, thinning hair. He looked very authoritative in his dark blue suit.
His countenance reminded me of my father. “Dorian Gale,” he remarked
enthusiastically as he shook my hand. “It is an honor to have you attend our
school.” He pointed to another leather chair facing his desk. “Have a seat.”
He sat down and shuffled some papers on his desk. He then looked at me and
smiled broadly. “Dorian Gale,” he said again in a reverent tone. “Senator Jonathan
Gale’s son. What an honor.”
Suddenly, I realized why he wanted to see me. I was a trophy student, like the star
quarterback signing to play for the school. I was a senator’s son, another
achievement for his professional portfolio. He opened his desk drawer and handed
me a packet in an ornate binder.
“What’s this?” I asked as I opened the binder.
“It’s your schedule,” he informed me. “Everything has been taken care of for you.
I’ve seen to it that you have been assigned the best professors. I think you will be
very happy with the selection. I’ve also provided you with the names of top-notch
graduate students who will tutor you in case you have any problems in your
classes. We here at the university want to make sure your educational experience
is an enjoyable one.”
I thumbed through the papers and looked at the courses he had selected for me.
As I did, rage began to build up inside me. I stood and faced Dr. Avery. “Why are
you doing this?” I asked angrily, “What if I wanted to select my own classes?”
His smile quickly changed to one of astonishment. “What on earth do you mean,
Dorian? You have a remarkable schedule. I’ve personally taken care of it.”
“But why?” I asked indignantly. “Because I’m a Senator Gales son?”
“But of course,” he replied. “You’re not just an ordinary student. Your father is one
of the most important men in this state. He has worked effortlessly to make this
university one of the best schools for higher learning. Through his leadership in the
Senate, he’s helped the school attain hundreds of millions of dollars through grants
and other legislative actions.”
“I’m not my father,” I replied rudely as I laid the binder on his desk. His eyes
narrowed in anger. “I’ve done nothing to deserve this. Thank you, but I’d rather
make it here on my own.” I hurried from his office before he could stop me.
On the way back to the registration building, I was seething with anger. Not once in
the past few years had my father even noticed my existence. He hadn’t even
attended my high school graduation. My mother had come alone. Now, however, I
was a means to attain the perks he probably thought he deserved for the work he
had done for the university. One of the things I’d hope to accomplish by leaving
home was taking control of my life. I didn’t want him or my mother involved in my
As I approached the registration area, my cell phone rang. It was my father. I
hesitantly answered it. “What the hell is going on?” he shouted into the phone. “I
was interrupted in the middle of an important foreign relations committee meeting.
Dr. Avery said you were very rude in his office.”
“I just wanted to make my own schedule,” I responded meekly into the phone.
Even though I had decided to make my own decisions, it was easier to do when I
thought about it. Confronting a father I’d feared for years wasn’t quite as easy.
“Bullshit!” he barked. “Dr. Avery is an old friend of mine and he went out of his way
to make sure you’re being taken care of properly. Now, you march your insolent
ass back to his office and apologize, or I’ll be down there this afternoon and drag
your ass to his office and make you do it!” he shouted. “Do you understand me?”
I knew he meant it. After being a senator for over twenty years, he was used to
having his way. No one ever refused his requests. If he said he’d get in his car and
come see me, he would. He’d probably bring along several state patrolmen just to
intimidate me even more.
“Well?” he screamed. “I’ve got to get back to my meeting. I don’t have time to
deal with this stupid shit.”
“Yes, Sir,” I replied timidly. He hung up the phone.
I reluctantly made my way back to Dr. Avery’s office. I was sure he wouldn’t be
happy to see me again. If my actions before had warranted an immediate call to
my father, then I knew he had been deeply offended. He was sitting at his desk
when his secretary led me to his office. He had an angry scowl on his face as he
handed me the ornate binder.
I knew he expected me to leave, but I sat down in the leather chair. “I’m sorry,
Sir,” I apologized. I was trying to seem as remorseful as possible. I’d decided on
the way to his office that if I had to submit to their authority, then I could play the
game to get what I wanted out of it also.
His scowl turned to a warm smile. “It’s quite all right, Dorian,” he remarked. “Your
father and I are only doing what we think is best for you.”
“Yes, Sir,” I remarked agreeably. “Could I ask one favor of you?”
“Of course,” he smiled. “Anything for Senator Gale’s son.”
“Well, Sir,” I began. “I made two good friends yesterday, and I think I would do
much better if they were in my classes to help me. Is there anyway they could get
the same schedule as me?”
“That would be no problem,” he replied smilingly. “Just give me their names and I’ll
take care of it.”
“Sydney Newcombe and Jade Hamilton.”
I went to my dorm room when I left Dr. Avery’s office. Thankfully, Travis wasn‘t
there. He’d probably gone to the orientation. He did leave the room a mess again.
I usually like to make my bed when I get up in the morning, or at least throw the
covers over so it looks more presentable. I wouldn’t be surprised if Travis had
never made his bed or put away his clothes. The room looked like it had the day
before when he left. After tidying up a little bit, I sat down and looked at the
schedule Dr. Avery had prepared for me.
I had three classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He had enrolled me in
English 101 from 9:30 to 10:30. My next class wasn’t until 1:00. It was Sociology
101. My last class of the day was Math 201 at 3:00.
On Tuesday and Thursday, I had two classes. Unlike the other classes that ran an
hour, they were an hour and a half. At 8:00, I had Modern Biology. I didn’t mind
the early start; however, I probably wouldn’t have time to eat breakfast on those
days. Then at 1:00, I had World Civilization.
Looking over the schedule, it didn’t seem much different than being in high school.
All the classes looked boring, but at least none looked too difficult. I’d been a pretty
good student throughout high school. I wasn’t a straight A student, but I did
manage to make good grades. I guess if I’d applied myself more, as my mother
was always harping, I would have probably done better.
I started to go online to find out what books I’d need for the courses when my cell
phone indicated I had a text message. It was from Jade.
Meet us downstairs Lil Bro
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