Friends Like These
by David Heulfryn
Max waited until my naked body was safely under my duvet before he turned off the light. I always liked this moment which had become a ritual whenever we went to bed at the same time. Max always looked so sweet as he stood by the light switch, naked, looking over me.
“Rick asked me an odd question today,” I said as Max settled into bed. “We went round to his place after school and were in his bedroom, just messing about. We played games on his computer when he asked me if I fancied him.”
“What did you say? Do you?” Max asked.
“I couldn’t stop laughing. I think I hurt his feelings as he went into a bit of a strop.”
“He doesn’t fancy you, does he?”
“No, definitely not. I think he was just curious. I told him I didn’t, but he couldn’t understand why. You wouldn’t believe what he did next?”
“What?” Max asked.
“He stripped down to his underwear and made me look at his body. We never shower at school, so we’ve never seen each other naked. He asked me if I thought he looked sexy. I told him he looked handsome, but I didn’t fancy him.”
“What brought all this on?”
“He’d asked a girl out, and she turned him down. At least, that’s what he said. He didn’t tell me who as he said it was embarrassing, and he wondered what was wrong with him.”
Rick was my best mate; we’d been best mates since we first met at school when we were four. For some reason, we became inseparable from the first day. Mum said I cried when I had to leave him when she picked me up after that first day. Rick cried as well. He knew me better than anyone except for my brother. He knew I was gay before I came out and didn’t care. So I was surprised he’d asked me that question. Rick cried and sat on his bed. He was upset that he couldn’t get a girlfriend, and I seemed to have made it worse by not saying I fancied him.
“You really don’t fancy him?” Max asked, “Not just a little bit?”
“No.” I said emphatically, “any more than I fancy you. I couldn’t imagine doing things with him any more than I could imagine doing things with you. I suppose I think of him as the brother I never had.” I laughed.
“Cheeky bastard!” Max threw his pillow at me. I tossed it back at him.
“I explained that to him. He seemed okay with that. But you know what it’s like, Max. Just because you’re gay, you don’t fancy every boy you see. And it’s not about looks. I said Rick looked handsome, and I meant it. I told him that he looked as sexy as any other boy at school, but because we were mates, I just didn’t feel that way about him. Then I laughed and told him to put his trousers back on.”
What Rick did next gave me an erection. He joked about me not fancying him and started to dance seductively in front of me. I was still sitting on the bed, so his crotch was at my eye level. He was quite a good dancer, and I watched as his little cock and balls jiggled in his underpants. Then he grabbed the waistband and played with it, teasing me by pulling it down to reveal his hip and then a few of his pubes, and he accidentally pulled it down too far, and I got a good look at his cock. It was only a few inches and was soft, his foreskin wrinkled at the end of his knob. Rick went bright red and quickly dressed.
“That’s really the first time you’ve seen his cock?” Max asked. “Never at sleepovers.”
“No, we would always get undressed in the bathroom. Rick then asked me what I thought.”
“Thought of what?” Max was confused.
“Oh, his cock. He wanted to know what I thought of his cock. I told him I wouldn’t tell him as that would be so gay.”
“Rick laughed when I said it too, but I told him it looked cute.”
“Cute! You certainly know how to kick him in the balls.” Max laughed.
“He wanted to see mine,” I said softly.
Max asked what happened next.
I told Rick I was hard, but he didn’t seem to care. He wanted to see mine. I was nervous, and my erection subsided, so I agreed. I stripped naked in front of my best friend for the first time. He looked at my crotch, eyeing up my cock and balls. He suggested we compare and stripped naked before I could say anything.
Rick seemed more developed than me. He had more pubes, and his cock was slightly longer. We didn’t measure but just agreed by looking at each other. As we were getting dressed, Rick asked me if I’d started masturbating. I told him I had. Rick said he’d been wanking for about a year. I knew I was a late developer.
“Rick asked me, now that I’ve seen him naked, do I now fancy him.”
“You can’t blame a boy for trying.” Max quipped.
“Well, I didn’t. I told him I saw you naked most nights and didn’t fancy you.”
“Min!” Max was annoyed. “Why did you do that?”
“Sorry, Max. It just slipped out. I didn’t mean to, but I needed to explain that just seeing someone naked doesn’t make you fancy them.”
“I suppose, but as long he doesn’t spread it around school.” Max sighed.
“He won’t. He’s never been one to get into spreading rumours and gossip.”
“You didn’t tell him about us sleeping naked in the same single bed?” Max was worried, “Not everyone would understand. They might get the wrong idea about us.”
“It’s okay, Max. I didn’t. But now he knows I sleep naked, I think he’s going to try it.”
“You’re still friends, despite you not fancying him?” Max asked.
“Yes, he was just upset that the girl turned him down. I think he’d make a great boyfriend. He’s fun to be with and is actually quite sexy. But he asked me when I would find a boyfriend.”
“Have you asked anyone out yet?” Max asked.
“Nope. I just don’t seem to know many boys my age who have come out. But I’ve stopped looking. I want some time to be me for a change.”
“How’s that going, Min?”
“Sometimes I miss training for gymnastics, but then I remember the stress and how tired I would always feel. Only now that I’ve stopped, I realise how tired I was. I think I’ve been growing up too fast, getting too focused on gymnastics and school. It’s given me a chance to be with Rick more. He’s a great mate. We have so much fun; his Mum sometimes tells us to calm down. It feels great to behave like a kid again.”
Max laughed, “So I can expect you to be silly and childish from now on.”
I dashed out of bed and jumped on Max. I tickled him and wrestled him. Max curled up. I grabbed his duvet and threw it on the floor.
Max was giggling, “Stop it, Min.” But I continued to tickle him.
Max squirmed and then tried to fight back. He was stronger than me and grabbed my wrists, and like a crocodile with its prey twisted until I was now on my back on the mattress, Max straddled my chest, his hands still holding my wrists.
We lay still, panting.
I giggled as I looked between Max’s legs. “Your cock is between my tits. If you get hard, it’ll touch my chin.”
Max laughed and jumped off me. “Get to bed before Mum and Dad wonder what all the noise is.”
I slid off his bed and skulked back to mine. Max grabbed his duvet off the floor, fiddled with it until it was straight, and got back into bed.
“Just be careful, Min. You are growing up, and people will expect you to act more grown up and not have any more tantrums.” Max chuckled.
“I pwomise to be good.” I mimicked a little kid.
“Now, if my Min is back to normal. I want to tell you what happened at school today.”
“I hope it’s interesting.”
“More curious than interesting,” Max said. “Pete spoke to me.”
Pete was Max’s friend who disowned him when he came out as gay. All of Max’s mates supported him, and Pete was thrown out of their group of friends. They didn’t want anything to do with him if he was going to throw homophobic slurs at Max.
“I’d noticed that Pete had been looking depressed for some weeks now. After what he said to me, I wasn’t about to speak to him, but I was worried. You can’t just throw away years of friendship like that. It seems Pete felt the same way. And this morning, he was walking past me as I was at my locker. He said he was sorry. I didn’t get a chance to speak to him as he carried on walking.”
“That’s a shock,” I said.
“It was. He’d not even tried to speak to me before.”
“So, is that all?” I wanted to know more.
“Well, I tried to find him at lunchtime but couldn’t. He was avoiding me. In class, he sat in his usual seat away from me and would dash out at the sound of the bell. But I finally caught up with him as he walked home.”
“What did you say?”
“I didn’t know what to say as I caught up with him, so I just said, hi. Then I asked him if he was alright.”
Max and Pete diverted to the park to sit down and talk. Pete apologised again for how he treated Max when he came out. Max listened as Pete confessed his feelings. He felt Max had been lying to him for years, making him feel stupid and naïve. The homophobic abuse he shouted at Max was just a knee-jerk reaction. Pete said he wasn’t homophobic and felt ashamed at what he’d said. It was what he thought a red-blooded bloke should say when confronted with a gay friend. He was wrong.
“Then he made a confession to me,” Max said. “He said that he had feelings for me.”
“As in… sexual?” I wondered.
“Yes. That’s why he reacted so badly. He admitted to having a crush on me since we first became friends at secondary school. My coming out three years later made him feel foolish like he’d wasted the past three years, and now I had a boyfriend. Well, let’s just say it fucked him up.”
“So, you’re saying he’s gay?” I asked.
“Yes. He’s kept it hidden for years because his Dad is always going on about queers and how disgusting they are when he sees them on telly, so Pete has sort of hidden who he really is. He made me promise never to tell anybody. So I trust you will keep it to yourself.”
“Definitely,” I said. “I would never out someone against their will.”
“So, have you now made up?” I asked.
“We will do. It really hurt me what he said, but I understand. I don’t agree about why he did it, but we need to make up. He says he’s been miserable since it happened.”
“But it’s not up to you to make it up to him, Max.”
“I know. But he’s struggling. I promised him I won’t tell our other friends and that I would start talking to him at school and gradually bring him back. I’ll tell them that he’s said he’s sorry and that I’ve accepted it. I’m sure they’ll not hold a grudge if I don’t.”
“You are very forgiving.”
“I’ve learnt that I have to be. I’ve lived with you for thirteen years.” Max chuckled.
“I think you’ve got that the wrong way round, Max. I’ve had to forgive you for the past nearly fourteen years. I’ve told you before. I’m perfect.”
“Yes you are, Min. Even your imperfections are perfect.”
I smiled, “Thanks, Max. You’re perfect, too, including your annoying habits.”
“I love you, Min.”
“I love you too, Max.”
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