Shades of Gray: A tale of the 1950’s
I was confused.
Gray was gorgeous and I was unable to stop thinking about him.
School morning-assembly was almost painful. My class stood behind his in the school-chapel, and every morning I would have to stand and enjoy the blond curls on the back of his neck.
I was fascinated by his slim shoulders and the fragility of his neck, but…
I was confused about sex.
I suppose I didn’t really know that was what I was confused about… at 13 sex wasn’t sex…
It was having a wank, maybe in class or the bogs or on the cross-country course.
Some boys were more fun than others and if you thought a boy good-looking then he was more of a catch than one of the uglies, though they were easier!
Confusion had only come with Gray.
I had spent most of a year admiring him in chapel, but as we weren’t in the same class I couldn’t just go up and grope him or pass him a note… It wasn’t done like that.
Unwritten school rules said it happened by accident.
That something set it off… seeing the boy in the next desk playing with himself, or something.
You didn’t set it up, or admit you were attracted to a boy, that would be fairy.
We didn’t know what “gay” was, the word hadn’t been invented yet… but we did know what effeminate was, and mooning over another boy was definitely not on the school timetable.
Sex was fun, it was dirty and it was naughty, but…
But, what I wanted from Gray wasn’t dirty or naughty.
I couldn’t fit Gray and dirty into the same thought.
It felt like the way older mates talked about girls.
They wanted to date girls that allowed liberties, but they didn’t want them as girlfriends.
They wanted the quiet, clean shy ones for girlfriends.
I didn’t think of Gray in a soppy effeminate girlfriendy kind of way. Boys in a Welsh mining valley in the 1950’s weren’t wired for thinking in an effeminate way, it wasn’t a good preparation for a lifetime underground.
I wanted Gray as a more than special friend, but I couldn’t think of him as a soppy girlfriend type friend, nor I had found could I think of him as a cock-fun, wanking, bum-funning mate.
Those would have been easy, acceptable. Friends would have understood… Wanking, cock-sucking and bumming… dirty, but at 13, fun and naughty!
But… wanker! cock-sucker! and bum-boy!… were all insults.
So where did that leave me?
I had wanked over thoughts of Gray.
Gray had tossed me off.
I had seen Gray wanking with Trev! …
All dirty, all naughty but…
But… that wasn’t my Gray., the Gray I wanted him to be.
It wasn’t the Gray I had admired all year.
It wasn’t the Gray I had kissed in the late afternoon sun on the grass in the woods, or even the Gray I had kissed amongst the wet raincoats in the school cloakroom.
That Gray wasn’t a wanker or a cock-sucker and he certainly wasn’t a bum-boy, not my Gray!
I didn’t want to do dirty things with him, or even to be naughty for naughtiness sake.
All I wanted was to be with him, to be able to say anything I liked, and see him smile and feel the warm softness of him, hold his hand, stroke his hair.
I loved the whiteness of his blond hair, the smoothness of his skin, the softness of his lips… especially the softness of his lips.
I wrote “loved” there, I meant to write “liked” but it came out wrong.
When we kissed amongst the raincoats his lips were so warm and soft and his cheeks got so hot.
I was so excited… and then he copped a feel! I thought I’d explode! It felt incredible…
I wished that I had thought of it. Then I wished he hadn’t!
It wasn’t what I wanted… I wanted him to want me, me… not my cock or bum… but I wanted him to touch it again.
Terry had arrived, and the moment was gone…
A regret remained that I hadn’t groped him and a regret that he had groped me…
Then the unbearable wait until next time.
Next time was only a day away now.
All the parental fussing had been coped with. Notes carried back and forth between mothers. In our village only the newsagent had a phone.
There was a new prisoner of war escape film on at the Hanbury cinema, and we had used that as an excuse for me to stay over at Gray’s. The film changed halfway through Saturday, so the evening performance was the first showing, and it finished courting-couple late.
Things were going well so far!
That might not last though.
Gray said that this was the first time anyone had ever stayed over with him.
No-one could predict what sleeping-arrangements his mother would dream up as “proper”.
I didn’t care what she decided… but I was scared.
I had no idea how to behave with him.
The idea of sleeping with him (assuming that’s what his mother decided!) was a whole new country.
What if it was all too embarrassing.
What if his dad disapproved.
What if his sister made sly hints about him having a poof boyfriend to sleep with.
In fact they turned out to be nice, friendly, welcoming and they said how sensible it was not to walk home across the pit in the dark. We put my gym-bag with my pyjamas on the bed in his room. I wasn’t old enough to have a suitcase and back-packs wouldn’t be invented for another thirty years.
But one question had been answered…
His mum had decided that a camp-bed on the floor would just make his small room impossible.
His bed was too narrow for two to share in respectable comfort, so she had used her ingenuity to put us head to tail in it like sardines so that my feet would reach his waist and vice versa.
It wouldn’t have worked if we were taller but at 13 it worked fine. A pillow at each end and the bedding tucked in across the middle and the problem was solved!
Good for his mum, brilliant! I loved her too, already!
She made us tea, with home-made cake and jelly and tinned peaches with evaporated milk, and we both knew she had made an effort on Gray’s behalf. When we cleared the dishes, Gray gave her a big hug.
She gave us some money to buy ice-creams. Wasn’t that nice of her?
The cinema queue wound round the corner when we got there.
Gray asked if I wanted to go upstairs, to the balcony.
I said no, that I wanted to just sit with him, that there was plenty of time to snuggle later, that I wanted it all to last as long as possible!
He gave me a very funny look, while he tried to work out what I was thinking.
I tried my best to explain…
“This is the first time we’ve been out together. We can never, ever, go out together for the very first time again. I want tonight to go as slowly as possible, to last as long as it possibly can.”
He thought about that, and said…
“You mean, we don’t have to cram everything into tonight. We can do other things for the first time some other day… is that what you mean?”
“Yes.” I said gratefully, glad that he understood.
At that moment we were just friends standing together in a cinema queue. The change to boyfriends, budgies or lovers could happen in its own time.
Something would happen later. We could hardly share a bed without something happening. What it was, and when and how… could happen at its own pace. We both understood that there was no need to rush it.
If he had been a girl, her father could have breathed a sigh of relief!
The film was as good as promised. We had ice-cream in the interval. Gray provided the money but It was me that stood in the queue.
It was so different from just a couple of weeks earlier. There was no Trev rushing to fit everything in and doing everything far too fast.
With my new-found purity of spirit (don’t smile!) I couldn’t be sure what the two of us would have made of the boy that screwed his girl while Trev and I watched…
It all seemed a world away at that moment.
We sat in the dark with only the occasional pressure of his knee against mine to remind me that we were more than just mates. It was a nice reminder, but every time it happened my cock twitched so that I had to struggle to ignore it.
That was something else that I didn’t want to end any more quickly than it had to.
The film ended and the National Anthem struck up. We stood politely until the last notes died away. Here and there an ill-mannered soul pushed their way through, perhaps to catch the last bus to their village but more likely because they were never taught any better!
Gray said that his mum had suggested that we go to the Assirati’s ice-cream parlour, just down from the square.
The Assiratis were friendly people, Italians. Friends of my mother. They had been interned on the Isle of Man during World War Two. They asked after the film. It felt funny really, after all, they had been prisoners of war themselves!
I said the film had been good and that I would have a milk-shake instead of ice cream because we had already had one in the cinema (a pity really, it had been factory-made while the Assiratis made theirs in a little room out the back). Then…
Gray said “No, let’s have a coffee. I’ve never had a coffee, it would be a first,” and smiled!
So we had coffees, for both of us a first, a grown-up drink, appropriate somehow for two thirteen year old boys that were growing up fast.
Then we walked down to the bottom of the square where there was a steel handrail with a view across the valley towards the lights of the colliery and the highest pit-waste heap in Europe (so we were told). It was 400 feet high and you could see the sea from the top. Villagers had gone up there to watch the fires of the Cardiff Blitz. I was forbidden to climb it, so I never had. The primary-school friends who weren’t friends any more since I went to the posh school spent their spare time playing up there, so I played on my own now.
Gray moved his hand from the cold steel rail to rest it on top of mine. I felt the cold shock as his chilled palm rested on my hand, and the pleasure as it warmed to match mine.
A velvety black night and a warming hand resting on mine.
I was so happy I could have burst!
When we got back to Gray’s home his mum was ready to make us supper… scrambled eggs or cheesy-toast?
No question, cheesy-toast for me.
Gray hesitated and then chose the same.
I was glad… I hate the taste of scrambled eggs!
I realised what I had been thinking, my cock twitched and I ignored it…
That wasn’t the Gray I wanted tonight…
OK, maybe tomorrow, but not tonight!
Then she started to bustle about, locking the back-door, putting out the milk-bottles.
Gray said… “Time to turn in Mum, thanks for everything”, I joined in.
Gray went over and kissed his mum…
“Night, night Graham”
She was on her best behaviour too!
Up in Gray’s room he carefully shut the door. We had heard his dad snoring. He had had an early shift and had turned in early.
Then we heard his mum come up the stairs and the click as she turned off the landing light.
Gray turned off the light in his room. I was about to protest when he opened the curtains wide and the light from a full-moon flooded the room with a pale silver.
“That’s why I wanted it to be this weekend and not wait till next” he whispered.
He took his shirt off, and the spectral beauty of his silver thin ribs and chest made me gasp.
If I had thought him cute when wet then this moonlight was beautiful beyond belief.
I took my shirt off too, and he sighed, gently reached across and ran his hand down my ribs. It was slow and almost as if he was counting them. Just as it started to tickle I placed my hand over his, and pressed his hand against my chest.
“Your heart is going at a rate,” he said.
I put my hand on him… his was racing too!
“Probably the coffee!”
“I don’t think so…”
He started to drop his trousers, and turned away from me.
I understood… I was on the horn too… big time.
I turned away as well. I wanted to have him too, but I didn’t want it to be that Gray.
I wanted the other Gray, the one that had wanted moonlight!
He hopped into bed and I followed… not head to toe, but beside him, our thin cold shoulders together.
It was suddenly cold and we needed to hug each other to get warm again.
The hug lasted until we were too hot for comfort, our cheeks on fire with the knowledge of the slim naked body next to us.
The bed was too narrow for us to lie side by side, and Gray turned (or maybe I turned Gray) so that his hip was nestled into my tummy. My arm was under his head and the other draped across his chest. I stroked his chest, a bit like stroking a puppy. Not to rouse him, but because his silky smooth skin was too nice to keep still.
“That’s nice” he whispered.
“Yes, thanks ever so much for setting things up for tonight”
“That’s OK, it’s been worth it hasn’t it!”
“Yes, it’s been fun”… and I kissed his ear!
He turned his head and reached up and kissed me on the lips. A closed-lips kiss that said everything. He was kissing me but taking his time as well. I hugged him! He kissed me again!
The kissing became continuous, a rolling of softness and nerves on any surface within reach.
I loved the feel of the lobe of his ear, and then the warmth of his cheek, the rolling softness of his lips… and the slight taste of cheesy toast… I do love cheesy toast… and I did love Gray!
“I love you Gray”, whispered softly into the ear I was kissing.
“I love you too…” There, he had said it !
“Whatever shall we do?”
“Whatever it is, we shan’t have babies!”… and he giggled.
We tried to stifle the giggles in his pillow, and slowly calmed down.
“Tonight is special” he said.
“I wanted my first to be special, and I wanted it to be us… and it is.”
I could hear a break in his voice, a gulp that was nearly a sob.
I couldn’t speak, so I hugged him fiercely.
I hugged him to me, and went back to stroking him. He stroked me too, but the only parts he could reach were my arm and the leg I had draped over his. It felt nice when the hand on my leg reached up to my bum and pressed me towards him, a sort of backwards hug.
I flexed my bum in response and he patted me. “Naughty, I’ll get the wrong idea!”
I laughed. I felt so happy.
The night might never end. We had no intention of ending it, and there was no chance of us going to sleep until we had!
I kissed him again on the lips and went back to stroking him. I had stroked his chest for a while when my hand moved down onto his tummy. He sighed in appreciation.
My hand moved back and forth, down onto the edge of his hip, staying away from anything that might end things.
I felt the soft hairiness, the curls that nestled in the fold of his hip, and started to play with them. He patted my bum playfully… I curled his hairs around my fingers.
He was rhythmically pressing my bum so that his bum stroked my front. I was conscious that my cock was now so hard and so sensitive that it was impossible to ignore.
I had unconsciously picked up his rhythm and was thrusting myself gently against his leg.
“This is nice” he said.
At that moment the edge of my hand snagged on the hardness of him…
“Oh wow, do that again!”
“It’ll all be over if we do.”
“I know… But we have to… I can’t not.”
“I wish it would last forever… but I’ve got to…”
My hand descended, fingers folded gently around him.
He raised his knee and my tightly sprung cock shot into the gap between his thighs… his hand closed over it… and we were lost!
Lost in the moment that lasted forever and lasted no time at all. My hand gently brought him pleasure.
I still couldn’t bring myself to think of it as wanking him!
His hand held me while my hips thrust into the gentleness of the nether mouth formed by his fingers.
We kissing, wetly now, not frenching but with our lips open, gasping our excitement, tongues tipping now and then.
“Are you crying?” he said… “No, that’s you!”… “I know it’s me, I can’t help it”… “Are you OK?”… “Yes, I’m so happy I can’t help it!”…
The stroking and kissing and thrusting continued and became more frantic…
“I can’t help it…”
Warmth flooded into my hand just as my heart exploded all over his leg!
“Oh, I love you!” and “I love you too!”
“Whatever shall we do?”
“Whatever it is, we shan’t have babies!”
We both giggled… a good line was worth repeating! and, it was so true.
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