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The Talon House

Love Transcending, Chapter 1


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Love Transcending, Ch 1

Formerly Known as Boundary Waters Canoe Trip- Uncensored Version

Copyright 2004-2006.

All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced by any means, without the written permission of the publisher.

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

This story involves relationships between underage boys. If you are under the age of 18, or it is illegal to view this type of material in your country, or are otherwise prohibited to do so, read no further.

Update 4/16/06: I know it's been forever since BWCT was updated, so I'm re-posting the original 7 chapters to allow you to re-acquaint yourselves with the story. Also, I've renamed the story to the above title, as it is more inspiring to me than the former. If you've read the story before, you will notice that some name changes have occurred, to protect the character's identities, which should have been done originally, as well as a lot more detail that i should have gone into originally. That's all for now.

Comments and/or constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated. Send any responses to bwctadmin@cox.net

As my parents drove me to a new Boy Scout troop on the third Monday in November, I didn't know how I was going to like it. I was nervous and jittery. I had butterflies in my stomach. To be honest, I didn't think this troop would be able to top the one I was coming out of.

Let me rewind a little bit. One night in the late summer of 1994, as I came downstairs from my second floor bedroom for an after-dinner treat, I overheard my parents talking about my father's job. The printing company he worked for had divisions all over the United States, Hammonton, New Jersey being the one he currently worked at. He had already been transferred three times in the past: from Connecticut to Illinois, from there to Kansas, and from Kansas to New Jersey. Thus, I was not surprised to learn that he was once again being transferred, this time to a town unknown to me, by the name of Mason City.

After overhearing that juicy bit of information, I quietly crept back up to my room and dug out an atlas, to see just where this "Mason City" was. Upon researching, I discovered there were two such cities in the country, one being in Illinois, the other in Iowa. To be honest, I didn't care which state the town was in, as long as it wasn't New Jersey.

My heart leapt at the thought that I would finally be leaving New Jersey forever, kissing the stuck up Italians and disrespectful Puerto Ricans of that small town goodbye forever. Don't get me wrong, I was not the racist type; however, I had good reasons to despise those I encountered in Hammonton.

Most of my classmates had a large portion of their relatives living in that same town, or very close by. Thus, those of us who did not have native ties to the town felt set apart from the rest. Every day for six years, I was constantly reminded that I just didn't fit in there, and it was hell from start to finish.

The prospects of moving to a new state, attending a new school, and having a fresh start were the answer to my prayers. My life in New Jersey, a life of humiliation, shame, and abuse, was hell from moment one, and lasted six excruciatingly long years. I had once given up on the possibility that one day, we would move away from my personal hell, but at long last the end of my imprisonment was finally in sight.

I was completely in favor of moving, not only because it would give my father a bump in position and pay, but because there was nothing for me in New Jersey. I had no friends, no real life to tie me down.

Unfortunately, leaving that hell hole had one great negative amidst a sea of positives. I would have to say goodbye to Boy Scout Troop 86, a troop I had been in since cub scouts, over 4 years prior.

We had a blast every night we met, as well as during camping trips and summer camp. The kids were pretty off the wall: some were amateur comics, some trouble makers and aspiring criminals, and some nerds. I felt most comfortable with the smart kids, as I wasn't too great about "letting loose and having fun," something that I had lost interest in two years earlier. It kept me a certain distance away from some of the most interesting boys, but I was still able to be friends with them to a point.

My social anxiety was not without cause. That year was an especially trying time for me, as I was just then coming to the realization that my feelings toward other boys weren't just a passing phase. I knew I was missing out by not trying harder to overcome my social handicap, but at the time I had no useful coping skills, and it was hard to be around certain boys without feeling a depressing sense of longing and desire, which I knew would never be fulfilled.

I contemplated quitting Boy Scouts altogether, simply because I wondered if it was even possible that any troop could lead me to experiences as fun and exciting as those I had in troop 86.

Regardless of my disappointment surrounding my withdrawal from the troop, I made peace with the idea that I would find just as great a troop out in Iowa, and would make new friends and create a whole new book of memories to cherish.

The rest of the Harris clan, my older brother and sister, was devastated upon reception of the news. Doug Jr was just into his senior year of high school, Janelle just starting her freshman year. Emotions ran high and several items were broken in my siblings' battle to stop the inevitable from happening, but in the end, they lost. My father wasn't about to halt his career advancement to settle the nerves of his prima Donna daughter and law-breaking son.

Many preparations were made in the months that followed "the announcement." We flew out to Iowa in late august to look at houses in the area. We saw a few but were not impressed, until we gazed upon a 1-story ranch with a lot of potential. The entire family was pleased with the accommodations. The house was small, but it sat on an overly large piece of land considering the size of the house. There was a huge front yard and an even larger back yard, with a stream 50 yards down signaling the end of the property.

Inside the house lay a small kitchen/dining room with a connecting half-bath, large living room, a tight-quartered but manageable full bathroom, and three bedrooms.

I immediately staked out my bedroom. It was actually the largest bedroom in the house. On the downside, it was designed as a young school-aged boy's bedroom, with built in desks and bulletin boards. It was a little pre-teeny but I knew that I could make it my own with a little work.

My brother and sister also claimed their new domiciles, my sister figuring how much room she had to stow her junk, my brother looking for ways to hide his smoking, drinking, and drug use in the basement bedroom.

As if my parents had any choice, they decided to purchase the house, and began the long and tiresome process of setting up a mortgage and the like. The weeks seemed to drag on for me, as I was more than tired of living in New Jersey, and very eager to get a change of environment. We set our moving date to the first week in November, 1994. That meant, unfortunately, that my seventh grade year would be broken almost in half at two different schools.

And so began another hellish few months at Hammonton Middle School in wonderful Hammonton, New Jersey. It was pretty rough for me, emotionally and physically. As I started breaking the news to what FEW friends I had there, word spread around and almost every one of the bullies in my grade made sure to give me my share of harassment before I left for good. I was constantly being called a fag, a loser, and other equally vulgar epithets.

Being pushed into lockers was a daily occurrence at that point. I even got so upset at one point with something one of my enemies did to me that I tried to fight back, and got sent to detention the last week that I was to attend Hammonton Hell School. I remember spending those boring days sitting quietly in detention, watching the clock tick ever so slowly, eagerly awaiting my last day. I suppose it was just as well; that was three days less that I would be available to the school bullies to harass and intimidate me.

As the bell rang on the last Tuesday in October, my final day at HMS, signaling my release from detention, I rushed home and started helping make sure all my stuff was properly packed, checking if I left anything behind, and learning about the route we would be taking from there to our new home in Iowa.

We pre-packed most of our personal belongings before the movers showed up, labeling the boxes we intended for the movers to take, and leaving a small amount of gear out, packed in suitcases, which we would live out of during the trek to Iowa.

Monday, we secured all that was of our belongings after the movers had finished packing up the house, and slept at the Holiday Inn, deciding to begin our trek in the morning. That was one thing I loved about traveling: the hotels. Nothing was more exciting than spending time playing around in the pool, relaxing in a hot tub, or lazing around in the sauna. I loved the idea that I got to experience an unscheduled "fall break" while other kids were stuck in school, listening to their teachers drone on about things that were virtually meaningless to 13- and 14-year olds.

We had our share of good hotels in the three days it took to drive to Iowa. We could have made it in two days, but my father didn't push it, since he didn't want his kids sleeping in the car all night. I was glad we paced ourselves and took time to sleep in real beds. I used the extra time to relax and imagine what my new life would be like in Iowa.

Upon arrival on Thursday at our new home in Mason City, we discovered that the house was not quite ready to move into, and therefore spent another two nights at a Holiday Inn. To be honest, I was becoming tired of fast food and cramped quarters, so I hoped the moving company would arrive soon.

Friday morning, the movers arrived, and we immediately began unpacking the boxes as the movers brought them in. It was fun to decorate a brand new bedroom, deciding where a good place was for this, where I would put that, and deciding how I wanted my living space to communicate to me. I loved having almost two weeks off from school in this whole "settling in" process. There's nothing like an unscheduled vacation to revitalize the spirit.

Knowing how hectic it would have been to send us kids off to school during unpacking week, we escaped another week of school to help out at home.

On Friday following the movers' arrival, my mother reluctantly informed us kids that it was time to go look for new schools, so I went with my mother to Roosevelt Middle school in the most embarrassing vehicle known to man: the station wagon…….white, no less! Talk about social suicide! Anyway, my brother Douglas Jr (17) and sister, Janelle (15) made their way to Mason City High in my father's beloved '87 Camaro…..Lucky bastards.

The weeks went on, and once we were settled, my father began inquiring about Boy Scout troops in the area. It was recommended by people he knew that I might like troop 41. They were a smaller group, which can be bad in terms of its exposure to more activities, but good in that the leaders could give more personal attention to each scout.

So there I sat, in my father's Camaro, wondering if I shouldn't just give up scouting, just the same as I had done with playing the saxophone. I didn't have much time to debate both sides of the issue, as we quickly arrived at the designated meeting place.

My father and I entered the building and followed the voices of young boys through the hallways until we arrived at the meeting room. I immediately ditched my father, to introduce myself to the other scouts, while my father talked to the scoutmaster.

I really didn't get a good impression from the troop in the beginning. They met at the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus, in what was a small lounge area across the hall from the main banquet room. The scoutmaster was a man named Gary. He was a little less than middle aged, with brown hair and a mustache. He was a goofy guy at times. His son, Chris, was a member of the troop. There were just a few boys, but each of them seemed to fit well together as a group:

There was Jason, the brain. He was a fairly nerdy lad, complete with frizzy hair and a geeky voice, but he was cool to listen to and have around. I came to learn a lot about computer assembly and maintenance in the proceeding years.

Travis.....Wow, what can I say.....He was a preteen God. Tall and slender he stood, with a handsome face, and glasses that seemed to reinforce my perception that he was smart, funny, and an all-around nice guy. You can bet my eyes followed him around a lot.

Nate was the clown. He was a short boy, with brown curly hair, with a medium complexion, one consistent with his Latin heritage. He was very amusing, and fun to be around. Nate and I spent a lot of time joking around at the meetings, which we knew we shouldn't have been doing, but that never stopped us. His father, Tony, was an assistant scoutmaster in the troop. I liked him a lot. He was a very nice man, and fun to joke around with.

Then there was Nick: Son of a preacher man. Yep. He was quite a large lad, though quiet and soft spoken. He was very intelligent and witty at times. He wore thick glasses with quite a cheap and ugly frame, if I do say so myself.

And how could I forget Chris? I never believed in the old saying "good things come in small packages" until I discovered Chris. He was a very handsome boy; about 12 years old at the time. He had yet to hit his growth spurt, so he was quite immature physically. He still retained his adolescent frame, had a little bit of baby fat left. It didn't matter though.

His personality was bright and magnetic. His face was alive with a glow that I had never seen before. He seemed very down-to-earth, very "real." He never appeared to be "putting on a show" for anyone, instead living his life by his rules. I had never met a boy with such an electric vibe about him.

In my eyes, he was delicious. Everything about him was perfect. He wasn't the typical Adonis, but he had such an alluring presence that I just couldn't get enough of him. I inserted myself as closely into his life as I could as I got to know him. Something about being around him just made me feel good to be his friend. He made me feel good about being myself, something I had trained myself not to do in the past. I found myself questioning the entire foundation upon which my self-image was based, as I discovered how well I treated others; those who actually desired to see me for who I was.

Chris' friendship invoked feelings which I had never known before, those I wished not to know in the past, and those I hoped I would one day come to experience.

Though I had known quite certainly of my attraction to boys, I had not developed my first infatuation until I met Chris. He was my first crush, and, I hoped, he would one day be my first love. I spent many a day checking him out when his back was turned, wishing silently that he and I could get into some trouble together.

Though I knew then what I wanted, my damaged self-esteem kept me that small distance away from confronting Chris and myself about the feelings burning inside of me. I felt as though I had nothing to be desired by anyone, no reason to be loved. I wished the abuse I suffered over the years wasn't taking such a toll on me, but I truly felt as if the continuous reliving of those bad experiences was completely out of my control. I was broken, out of touch with myself, damaged goods.

It was difficult some days, when Chris and I were together on a camping trip, or at a scout meeting. Though he did make me feel better about myself, I still refused to consider the possibility that I would ever be good enough to be his boyfriend, assuming he was actually gay, of course. Thus, for those few short months we spent together, I denied my nature and kept my developing love for him a secret.

Gary ran the troop for a few months after my arrival in Iowa, but things were not going well overall. The guy tried his best, and we did do some cool stuff, but it still was never a great troop. We just couldn't seem to attract large numbers of new scouts to our troop, as there were several other well-established ones in town. Regardless of our inability to strengthen the enrollment, Gary did his best to give us 6 boys the same experiences enjoyed by the larger troops in town.

It was at summer camp, I found out, that Gary and Chris would be moving to Arkansas at the end of the summer. I was very saddened to see Gary, a (mediocre) scoutmaster, and my crush Christopher, leave my life for what I thought would be forever. Oh how I wished I could have kissed his cherry lips just once, taste his sweet breath and run my hands along his smooth body.... But, I soon realized it was not meant to be.

On the last night of camp, we had a traditional camp wide bonfire, complete with comedy skits and classic camp songs. It was a most enjoyable occasion for all who participated, as well as those being entertained. ALMOST everyone went back to their camp happy that night. I could tell that Chris was saddened that his life would soon be disrupted, his friends left behind, and he would have to begin his new life in Arkansas. I, too, was uncertain how I would cope with his absence. If nothing else, he was a great companion when I had so few.

I caught up with Chris as we were entering our campsite. Now, I'm not the bravest person in the world, but I needed to say goodbye, and do what I could to comfort the boy that I was now completely sure I was head-over-heels in love with. "Hey Chris, you wanna bunk in with me tonight?"

Chris' expression remained dark. He sighed and responded, "No, that's ok. I'm just going to sleep by myself tonight. I don't feel like being with anyone else right now.

It was breaking my heart to see Chris in such a state, and I came over and threw my arm over his shoulder, gave him a sideways glance and gave it another go. "Come on, please? How about we stay up all night and play rummy? Just you and me. Sound good?"

Though I was almost certain he was going to turn me down, a gloomy Chris soon lit up with joy. "Sure! Just let me go get my stuff!"

I smiled to myself as he skipped off toward his tent, coming back moments later with two armfuls of gear.

Chris and I dashed over to my tent, which, lucky for me, held a vacancy. He trudged into the tent with his sleeping bag slung over one shoulder, dragging along the ground as he walked, and a gym bag with his clothes.

"Make yourself at home," I welcomed my guest.

He threw his open gym bag into the corner and it promptly exploded, its cotton contents spilling out all over the corner of the tent. "Thanks," he replied. We both burst out laughing, then quickly quieted down.

There was a moment of awkward silence between us. Neither of us knew where to take the rest of the night. Well, I did, but I wasn't sure Chris would go for something THAT x-rated.

"So…." Chris sighed. "What you wanna do?"

I knew it was a bold move to even suggest it, but I was dying to get a look at him in his skivvies, so I replied "Well, first thing's first. I'm sweating like a pig in these clothes." I began to undo my shoes one by one, throwing them in the corner of the tent, and then stripping off my rank smelling socks and throwing them in a bag.

Chris hesitated, but soon followed suit. I continued ripping off my outerwear until I was in just a pair of cotton boxers. I didn't normally wear boxers, however it is a bit embarrassing wearing underwear on a camping trip where other boys would see me. Briefs left nothing to the imagination, and I feared such embarrassment, especially at my insecure age of fourteen.

I hoped he wouldn't find it strange for me to strip down to almost nothing, but frankly I had good reason. It was still over eighty degrees out, and the humidity was so high you could cut it with a knife. And after all, Travis and Nathan paraded around scantily clothed all the time, and no one thought them odd.

Chris took more time getting undressed, as he was quite bashful. After spending an inordinate amount of time fiddling with his shoelaces and taking off his socks, He finally lifted his shirt over his head, and I got the first close-up of his upper body. He was kind of stocky, but not in an unhealthy way. His chest and stomach were smooth and hairless. His pink nipples were erect, probably due to the rapidly chilling night, I thought, despite the warm day it had been. He looked away from my face as he quickly removed his pants and slipped under his sleeping bag. DRAT!

"So, wanna play a game?" I suggested.

"Nah, I'm not feelin' too well," Chris shrugged. He was such a gloomy Gus it was breaking my heart.

I have always been a good-natured person, and it was tearing me up to see him like that. Uncertain if he was ready to accept a hand of comfort, I looked down at my lap and replied, "Don't worry, Chris. You'll make new friends down in Arkansas."

"It's not the same!" he exclaimed. His face was flushed and his eyes watering. "I don't want to leave! It's not fair."

"I know bud," I attempted to console my friend. "Please don't cry." I dug up some courage and brought my hand to his soft cheek, wiping away the tear with my thumb.

Chris was a bit startled by the contact, then his face softened from fear to relief. He lurched forward and wrapped his arms around my shoulders, pulling me tight into him as he cried. I whispered soothing words to him as he cried himself out.

After a few minutes, we separated, then quietly lay down in our sleeping bags, facing each other. We were ENTIRELY too close for two boys to be on a hot summer night. Our faces were inches apart. I began to feel like this was my only chance; my one defining moment. I needed it, and I thought he did too. I reached my hand over to his face, softly caressing his cheek. His eyes were alive with a sparkle I had never seen before.

That sparkle held not only a deep admiration and friendship, but something more. For the first time since I had met him, I saw the love he had for me. I knew then, that we held that connection I had been seeking for so long. His eyes called to me, his lips begged to be kissed, his body yearned to be held. In my hands I held my true love, the boy I was meant to be with.

I gently cupped his face in my hands and brought it closer to mine, until we were a mere quarter of an inch apart. I felt his breath on my lips, the heat from his body made me tingle all over. The stiffness in my pants began to make itself known as hormones began surging through my body at incredible rates.

I looked into his eyes for one final confirmation that this was what he wanted, and prepared myself. I took a deep breath and brought my lips to his, closing my eyes and feeling myself become one with the boy that I loved so much. The kiss seemed to last hours. The taste of his lips was delicious, a sensual delight the likes of which I had never experienced. I gently caressed his chest and stomach as we continued our lip lock. I felt so intimately close to Chris, but soon, kissing wasn't enough. I wanted more. Suddenly, I rolled towards him, forcing him down onto his back, pulling myself on top of him. We never left eye contact the entire time.

Chris was in shock. He had no idea what was going on. He was hypnotized by the awesome feeling of this new intimacy we shared together, the barrier we had broken, and the newfound love surging through his heart. I could feel his hardness pressing against mine as I paused momentarily, looking into each other's eyes again, then joining our lips once more for a second round of kissing.

Chris was tight lipped when the first kiss came about. I suspect he felt inexperienced and unable to simply "go with the flow." This time though, he was ready to receive it. His lips softened, and he opened his mouth slightly. For the first time I got a taste of his sweet candy breath, his tongue brushing against mine. He moaned softly when he came up for air.

We kissed for about ten minutes when I broke the kiss and looked into Chris' eyes again. In just that short moment, they had gone from a depressing gray, to a most wondrous shade of blue.

"Matt," Chris began, "that was... The most awesome kiss ever."

"I was so afraid," I responded, "that you wouldn't like it, but I just had to. I love you so much. I have since the day I first met you. I'm gonna miss you so much."

"I don't want to leave you," Chris stated. "I have never felt this way about anyone before."

"Neither have I," I answered back. "Let's not think about tomorrow. At least we have tonight."

I leaned back down and resumed kissing my newfound love. Our passion was intense, for I knew this night would have to be enough to last me the rest of my life. Lightning does not strike twice, and true love comes along just as often. Maybe one day, I thought, we would be together again.

I began softly grinding my crotch into his, to which Chris responded in kind. My mind was reeling. I couldn't believe this was happening right then. Here was the boy I loved, in my arms, returning the affection I was giving him. Soon our soft grinding began to pick up the pace, but I knew this was neither the time, nor the place. Many pairs of ears around the campsite would soon know what was going on, had we continued. I broke the kiss and put my finger to his lips.

"Chris, we should slow down."

He began to pout. "I don't wanna."

"I know Chris," I replied. "God, do I know. I just…..I don't think I could go any further with you and be able to live with myself. I miss you already, and you're not even gone yet. If I took you further down that path, I couldn't bear to see you go. Its breaking my heart already. Maybe someday we'll get to see each other again."

"I hope so," Chris wished. "I wish that you could come with me."

"I know," I responded. My heart felt as if it had been ripped from my chest, for that was what would be happening to me the following day, when Chris and his father would get in their car and drive out of my life forever. I couldn't take the unpleasant thoughts in my head any longer. I was determined to push them out of my head and just enjoy the moment. "Let's just lay here together for a while." And we did just that. For the remainder of the night, we remained locked in each others arms, attempting to defy sleep, so that we could both cherish every last moment we had together. .

With my last waking breath that night, I decreed: "I love you so much, Chris. I don't care what it takes, some day we'll be back together again."

"I love you, too," Chris responded. Chris began to cry quietly as he attempted to fall asleep, my arms wrapped around him lovingly.

I kissed his face and neck as his tears slowly faded, sleep overtaking him. He had an emotional evening, and was quite obviously exhausted. I, on the other hand, had become quite used to misery, and made peace with the fact that our little dream would end in a few short hours. I never slept that night, instead mentally recording every sight, sound, smell, taste, and sensation of the embrace.

I took in the moment, letting it fill my heart with all the strength I felt I would need to survive however much time we would be apart, in hopes to one day re-unite and give our love a second chance to blossom. It was the most intimate experience of my young life, and I will cherish it forever.

The following morning, I found my love still in my arms, I spooned behind him, my morning erection poking his thigh a little. The warmth of the moment was sensuous. If only we could have stayed in bed. But, I knew it was time to get going. "Chris," I gently nudged my love. "Wake up."

"Mmmm……too early…." He mumbled.

I thought to myself, 'I know what'll get him out of bed in a hurry.' I then pounced on his torso, pinning his arms back on the floor, my erection now pressing into his abdomen. He was now fully awake, his liquid blue eyes alive with spark and color again.

Chris looked at me with a mock-annoyed expression and mumbled, "You rang?"

I giggled and replied "Hey there sleepy head, you wanna take a shower?"

Chris' morning grogginess faded almost instantly, and he grabbed the back of my head, forcing my face to meet his in a passionate, loving kiss. He broke the kiss, after first retrieving his tongue from the back of my throat, and responded "Hell yeah!"

It was still early, and we were the first ones out of bed, which was rather odd since neither of us got much sleep that night. Though, I suppose it's understandable. It was after all the last day we'd see each other for god knew how long.

Chris and I decided to whip up some breakfast for the scouts and leaders, putting better use to the nervous energy we held for the impending separation. Gary and the other leaders were surprised to wake up to the smell of bacon, eggs and pancakes.

Since I despised eggs with every fiber of my being, I made Chris in charge of their preparation, while I cooked the bacon, then set it aside to stay warm, and started pouring some pancakes onto the griddle. I wasn't the fastest cook in the world, but my culinary aptitude did not go unnoticed.

Gary, Tony, Chuck, and Fred were drawn from their tents to the heavenly aroma emanating from the cooking area, and each praised us for our excellent initiative. They then made the rounds, calling everyone to get dressed and get their mess kits to have a fresh cooked Saturday breakfast.

Chris and I laughed and joked with each other and the younger scouts as we dished out our culinary delights. All the scouts enjoyed the hot, fresh cooked meal. Chris and I covered for each other so we could each get a hot dish of our own creation. I was pleased with our efforts, and planned on stealing a moment before we left camp that morning.

Everyone was exhausted as we broke down the tents and kitchen area, splitting the gear into the vehicles driven by Gary, Tony, and Chuck. We all had a long week at camp, and were ready to go home and sleep in our own beds.

Chris and I stole a moment alone before we left, each of us not sure what to say. Chris' eyes were tearing up, my own were misty as well. I looked into his eyes and fought for a few words that he would remember in the years to come.

"I don't really know what to say," I started. "I'm…. Last night meant a lot to me. I've never cared so much for anyone as I do for you. Just…." I fought sob and continued. "Just promise me that you'll remember me. Remember last night."

Chris was freely crying at that point, and was too choked up to do anything but smile and nod, his red cheeks and tear-tracked face illustrating the true torment this separation brought to his heart.

I wrapped my arms tightly around him in my feeble attempt to bring comfort to his misery. We held that embrace for ten minutes, while both of us vented our overflowing emotions. I felt as though I'd never be able to let go of him that morning. It would be like me letting go of the only thing that sustained my life.

With much pain, and a few heated bellows from the adult leaders, we reluctantly separated. I fixed my shirt with my hands, then gazed over at a distraught Chris, who wasn't moving to do the same.

I approached him and straightened out his shirt in a fatherly manner, then smiled at my love, hoping that my smile would bring him some light, then threw my arm around his shoulder and dragged him off toward the rest of the troop.

Though they were intent on getting on the road, no one questioned our absence, and obvious emotional release. To them, we were just two good friends saying goodbye. To Chris and me, we were saying goodbye to a piece of ourselves, and it was the hardest thing either of us had to do.

As if that goodbye wasn't bad enough, our last scout meeting together the following Monday was even worse. I wanted so badly to kiss his sweet lips one last time, to feel him in my arms once more, but I didn't want to invoke the same type of feelings that were coming out last Saturday night. It would have been too hard on both of us, not to mention that it would freak out the rest of the scouts and adult leaders, by acting "inappropriately" as they would say, with a boy 2 years younger than myself, whom I had only known a few months. My heart broke as I looked at Chris, who was obviously distraught.

We each politely said goodbye to each other, reminding each other to write or call, then briefly hugged and separated. I remained as straight-faced as I could when I gave Gary my farewell handshake and hug, then watched as they got into Gary's truck and drove away.

I kept an eye on the dark blue Ford pickup until it was down the road and out of site, then walked around to the other side of the building, where I could be alone for a moment, and bawled for a few minutes.

I knew my father would give me the third degree when he saw me so broken up. He was a "Man's man" and wasn't caught being emotional very often, save for angry. Luckily, I managed to pull myself together in a few minutes and fool my father into believing I was fine during the entire trip home.

Once I did arrive home, I hurried myself to my bedroom, locking my door for privacy, and crawled onto the bed, seeking for the darkness of sleep to give me a few hours peace from my painful, lonesome, depressing reality.

There I was, facing the cold truth that my ship has sailed. My one true chance at finding happiness was gone. It broke my heart to think that, but I've always been a realist. I had to stare my future in the face that night, forced to make peace with the fact that I would never find love again.

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