Copyright © 2010 -
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this novel are either the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.
Gathering up the dishes, we hurried back to my campsite where my mother had already packed a portable cooler full of sandwiches for lunch, and my father had gathered up the two fishing rods and his tackle box. Looking at my watch I saw that it was almost ten thirty, and realized that we had actually cut things a little close.
"We ready to go guys?" my father asked.
"Yeah, Dad," I replied.
"Good. Simon, you grab the cooler, and let's go," he said. Picking up the cooler, I began to walk with my parents and Terry towards his campsite, and my first time fishing with anyone other than my dad.
Terry and I walked side by side the whole way, just slightly ahead of my parents. The two of us got to know each other better and found that, aside from baseball, he and I had quite a few other things in common, one of which was a love for computers. It seemed that when Terry wasn't out with his friends playing some baseball, or riding his bike, or just going to the mall to hang out, he was practically glued to the computer, surfing the Internet.
We also talked a lot about our home life, especially where we lived. It was a little upsetting to know that he lived in Kitchener, which was quite a way's drive from where we lived. Even though we lived so far apart, we both decided to make the best of the time we had together. From time to time, I did notice my parents looking at us, but I paid it no mind. I was happy, and enjoying the company of my new friend.
It wasn't just being in the company of a new friend that I enjoyed most of all though. There was something about Terry that drew me to him and made me want to spend as much time with him as I could. Several times I found myself checking him out, especially his face, which had skin that looked so soft, and the fair sized bulge between his legs, which was tucked away in his jeans. I felt a stirring in my groin, and tried, with limited success, to hide my growing predicament from being noticed. Once or twice I swore I had caught Terry checking me out as well, but decided I was imagining things.
Before long, we had arrived at Terry's campsite. Terry's father had just finished packing the rest of the stuff he needed in their cooler, and was gathering up his fishing gear when he saw us.
"Terry, give me a hand with this will you?" he asked.
"Sure thing, Dad," Terry said, and went to help his father. Terry picked up the tackle box, while his father gathered up the fishing rods.
"Hi, my name's David," Terry's father said, holding his hand out, which my father readily accepted. They shook hands and then David introduced my parents to his wife, Kathy, and daughter, Emily.
"This is my wife, Anna, and my son, Simon, who I understand you've already met," my father said.
"Briefly," David said, chuckling slightly. "You know how teenagers are; always moving."
"Don't I know it," my father said, smiling at me.
"You have a very good looking family," my mother said to Kathy.
"Thank you. You and your husband are pretty lucky to have a son like Simon."
"Yes, we are. I'm afraid that Craig and I haven't paid as much attention to Simon as we have wanted to. Both of us have jobs that are very demanding, but we're trying to change that."
"I understand. David and I have our hands full as well, but we manage. Besides, it doesn't look like Simon turned out any worse for wear."
"No, it doesn't, he's a very well adjusted young man. He has plenty of friends, and for the most part, stays out of trouble. I know that what he needs is his family, which is what this trip is about; doing something together as a family. We spend so much time apart that I'm afraid we don't get many opportunities to be together."
"Well, Simon and Terry seem to have become good friends in a short amount of time," Kathy said, looking and Terry and me as we sat at the picnic table with Emily.
"Yes, they have. I'm sure they're going to miss each other after the weekend is done," my mother said with a sigh.
"Where about do you live?"
"We live in Burlington. You?" my mother asked.
"Kitchener, at least for now. We'll be moving in the next couple weeks. We still haven't found a new home yet though," Kathy said. "We want to move somewhere closer to where David will be soon working. It's not as much of an issue for me as I can easily transfer to a new school, but David's job is taking him to Burlington, and the commute from Kitchener is just too far."
"So you're a teacher then?"
"Yes, I've been teaching elementary school for a few years now," Kathy said. "David's a computer systems analyst, and most of the time, he's contracted out to various companies through a consulting firm located in Burlington. He used to be able to work from home, but the firm has decided to centralize all its employees, so that means we have to move."
At that moment, David announced that he was ready to head down to the pond where he planned to fish. It seemed as though he and my father, like my mother and Terry's mother, were getting along really nicely. Equally, Terry, Emily, and I were having fun talking to one another. Despite the fact that she's a girl, she's a very pleasant person to hang around with. The fact that she also likes baseball doesn't hurt things either.
Terry and I left the table to help our fathers with the fishing equipment, the two of us ending up carrying the coolers for them. We said goodbye to our mothers, and Terry's sister, and then left.
Since David knew where we were going to be fishing, we followed him, and my father who walked beside him, staying behind far enough back that Terry and I could talk. Our fathers, I noticed, were also busy having a conversation.
"It looks like our sons are getting along really well," my father said to David.
"Yes , it does, and I'm glad. Kathy and I have been worried about Terry."
"Oh? I thought Terry had quite a few friends."
"He does, he just doesn't spend as much time with them as he used to. He spends a lot more of his time on his computer surfing the Internet."
"Yeah, I've noticed the same with Simon, though he and Brad are usually together. Not as much these past few years though," my father said.
"Actually, Kathy and I have begun to suspect some things about Terry," David said.
"You think Terry might be getting into trouble?" my father asked.
"No, Terry's always been a well behaved kid, it's just that, he's never really shown much interest in girls. He gets along with his sister okay, which is surprising as me and my sisters fought constantly, but I don't think I have ever seen him with a girlfriend. He's never mentioned one to Kathy or me at least."
"You think he might be gay?" my father asked.
"I don't know. He might be. I don't even think he knows himself whether he is or not."
"And how do you feel about it if he is?"
"He's my son," David said. "I love him no matter what."
"That's good to know. My brother is gay, and he and his husband have been together for five years now."
"They got married then?" David asked.
"Yes, a month after the government passed legislation which allowed gay marriage."
"Took the government long enough," David complained.
"Yes it did. I don't know enough about Terry, but Simon I do know. And I have a feeling that he is gay as well. Anna and I have discussed it, and both of us will support Simon no matter how he turns out. His happiness is our primary concern."
"If they're both gay, and they're starting to fall in love with each other, we might have a problem," David said.
"Yes, I know. With you living in Kitchener, they'd both be heartbroken not being able to see each other."
"That's true, but it won't be for long. As I told you before, in a couple weeks we have to move closer to Burlington because of my job. Actually, I've seen Burlington, and it appears to be a very quiet and clean town."
"That's exactly why Anna and I moved there to start our family. We liked the friendly atmosphere in Burlington. It's rare to find a place this comfortable," my father said. "Why don't you and your family join us next weekend for dinner? I could show you around, and it would give Simon and Terry a chance to be together."
"You know something?" David said. "That's not a bad idea. When we get back, let's run it past the girls to see what they think."
"Oh, I'm sure they'll be all for it," my father answered. Then looking back to Terry and I he called out, "Simon, Terry, hurry up! We're almost there!"
"Coming, Dad!" I called back.
"Dude," Terry said quietly to me. "Did you ask your Dad if I could sleep over in your tent tonight?"
"Oh shit, no! I forgot. Sorry, Dude," I apologized. "I'll ask him when we get to the pond."
"No sweat, Dude," Terry replied with a smile.
The rest of the walk to the pond was spent in silence, and I was left with my own thoughts. Namely, what was it about Terry that made me feel so comfortable around him? Never before had I felt like this, and it was beginning to scare me, even though I liked it. All I knew was that there was something about Terry that drew me to him. The more I thought about the two of us spending time together, the more excited I became.
"Alright boys, we're here," my father announced.
"Hey, Dad," I said. "I was wondering if Terry could spend tonight in my tent. His has no shelter from the sun and it's unbearably hot inside it at night."
My father looked at David, who nodded. "I don't have a problem with it, Son." I looked over at Terry, and he gave me another one of his smiles.
Fishing with my Terry, and our fathers was a lot of fun. We actually managed to catch a fair amount. Well, some of us, that is. The only fish that I managed to catch were too small and I released them. Terry, on the other hand, did manage to catch a couple fair sized fish, as did my father. Terry's father also caught a few small ones, releasing them back into the pond as well, but he did catch one good sized fish. In total, we spent a good four hours by the pond, fishing and talking. The food in the coolers had disappeared a long time ago, as had the cans of pop that we had brought with us. I found the whole time spent at the pond to be very relaxing, and I had a lot of fun, mostly because I was with Terry.
"All right boys," David called out. "Time to pack it in and head back to camp."
"Okay, Dad," Terry called back. "Let's go, Dude, time to show the old men what we can do."
"What we can do?" I laughed. "You're the one that caught all the big ones. The ones I caught wouldn't be big enough to put in a sardine can."
"Aw, they weren't that bad!" he said, slapping me lightly on my back. "Besides, I had more fun being with you that catching some smelly fish."
"Yeah, I did too," I said softly. Gathering up the cooler, in which we had put Terry's fish, and the fishing gear, we walked back to our fathers. Terry had his arm around me, his hand resting on my shoulder the whole time, and I found I liked it, pressing into him closer than I normally would.
"Oh, oh," my father said to David, watching us walk towards them. "I think it might be happening."
"You're probably right," David sighed, seeing the two of us together. "I don't want to confront them though. It would just scare them."
"I agree." By that time we had already met up with our fathers.
"Terry caught a real good one, Dad," I said. Terry let go of me, allowing me to set the cooler down and open it. Our fathers looked inside at the fish."
"Wow!" my father exclaimed. "That's a big one. It must be a good eight pounds."
"Good job, Son!" David said, smiling at Terry who beamed proudly.
"You had no luck then?" my father asked me.
"Nah, I caught some smaller ones, and I let them go."
"That's okay, Son," my father said, putting his hand on my head and ruffling my hair.
"Dad!" I said, trying to put my hair back in place, the three of them laughing.
"Yo, Dude," Terry spoke up. "You should get your hair cut short and spike it a little. It would look good on you."
"Never thought of doing that," I said.
"Okay you two," my father said, laughing. "You can discuss hair styles on the way back to camp. Let's get going before your mothers and sister think we've gone native," this last comment making all of us to laugh. We picked up the rest of the gear and made our way back to Terry's campsite.
The first thing I noticed when we arrived at the campsite, was that my mother was busy packing some stuff into another cooler while Terry's mother and sister were busy taking down the tents.
"What's going on dear?" David asked Kathy.
"Well honey, Anna invited us to join them at their campsite since it has a lot of shade and more than enough room to fit two more tents."
"But we have three tents dear," David pointed out.
"I know that," Kathy snickered. "But I'm sure Terry and Simon would be willing to share a tent."
"Actually, Mrs. Long, I had already asked Terry if he wanted to stay in my tent as his was so hot when I came here this morning," I told her.
"That was really nice of you, Simon," Kathy said. "Your mother was commenting about the heat as well."
"Well I think it's a wonderful idea," my father said. "David, do you think you could get the park to refund you for tonight?"
"I'm sure I could get the deposit back for the campsite, but not the admission. I'll contact the park staff as soon as we get everything moved to your campsite."
"Sounds like a plan," my father said. "Simon, Terry, you want to help get the tents packed up?"
"Sure thing, Dad," I said, and Terry and I went to Emily who was having some difficulties with her tent. With all of us helping out, we had Terry's campsite broken down and packed in only an hour. Carrying everything to our campsite proved to be a little more of a challenge, but we managed. Even though we were exhausted from working in the heat as we had, we still needed to put up the two tents. Thankfully we'd be working in the shade.
Terry and I started unpacking and putting up his sister's tent, while my father and Terry's father set up the other one. Meanwhile, our mothers were busy unpacking and sorting out the food, putting the fish we caught earlier into a single cooler. Emily stayed with us and talked to us while we worked. Even though she didn't know much about pitching a tent, she helped out whenever she could.
With Emily helping us, Terry and I had her tent up in only a few minutes. Likewise, our father's had the other tent set up as well. Finally exhausted, the five of us sat at the picnic table while my mother gave a can of pop to Terry, Emily, and myself, and a beer for my father and David.
Now, you wouldn't think it, but my mother is an experienced camper, and while the rest of us were finishing off our drinks, she had a good sized fire going, and a pot of water already atop the grill. She then walked to the table with the cooler that had the fish.
"All right, supper's only waiting on someone to fillet the fish," she told us. "Since it was Terry and David that caught the fish, it's up to the two of you to do it," she said looking at my father and me.
"Well, Son," my father said, "I guess we'd better get to it then. The sooner this gets done and we eat, the sooner you and Terry can get his gear set up in your tent.
For the next fifteen minutes my father and I carefully made fillets out of the fish that were caught. It was a good thing I had been taught how to prepare fish in scouts, or I'd have been lost. In the end we had enough fish prepared for everyone to have a second helping. With the last fillet done, we put the parts of the fish that were discarded into a paper bag, and put the bag into the now empty cooler.
Dinner was simply perfect. The fillets were cooked in a frying pan, and my mother used just the right seasonings to make them turn out juicy and delicious. Along with the fish, she also cooked up some vegetables and had put some potatoes in tinfoil and cooked them on the grill. We still had some coleslaw left over, and we had that as well. It's too bad we weren't able to have a freezer outdoors; otherwise we could have had some ice cream after dinner.
"David, Terry, you're on dish detail!" Kathy's voice announced. This shocked me as I was sure my mother would have been the one to get them to do the dishes. What surprised me even more was that the two of them wasted no time gathering up the dishes and making their way to the washrooms. Less than fifteen minutes later, they came back with everything washed and dried. Terry put down his load for my mother and walked over to me.
"Okay, Dude, let's get my stuff in your tent."
"Yeah," I said, and together we gathered up his things and carried it towards my tent.
"Hey, Dude, this is some tent," he said as he opened the door, pulling the zipper all the way open.
"Yep, my dad bought it for me just before we came up here. Actually," I said chuckling, "I didn't even want to come up here at all. The last time we came I was miserable the whole time, having to do everything they wanted."
"Aw man, that sucks."
"Yeah, but this year is much different. My parents wanted to make up for that last time, and they have."
"Oh? How's that?" he asked.
"If they hadn't dragged me up here, we wouldn't have had a chance to meet you and become friends."
"Yeah, that's true."
"So, I'm glad I'm here, and I'm glad that I met you," I said, and for a long time just looked at him as he started to put things into the tent. There was no denying it anymore; I knew in my heart that what I felt for Terry was more than just a friendship. All I could think about was keeping how I really felt about him a secret. I couldn't risk the friendship we had, and if it meant I had to hide these feelings from him, then I was willing to do that.
"You awake there, Simon?" Terry asked me, snickering.
"Yeah, sorry man," I said, gathering my wits once more. "Just got lost in thought for a minute."
"Well the next time you decide to let your mind wander, you might want to think about giving it a map," he laughed.
"Why you little..." I laughed and tackled him, causing the two of us to fall into the tent.
"Yeah, I think they sold some maps at the entrance to the park," he said giggling wildly under my assaulting fingers as they tickled his rib cage.
"Do you give?" I inquired, momentarily halting my attack.
"No," he said, catching his breath. "I think it's my turn!" he said, suddenly pushing me off of him and rolling on top of me, his fingers tickling my ribs relentlessly. It was hard to breathe with me laughing so hard.
"Okay! Okay! I give!" I gasped.
He stopped tickling and looked into my eyes. "Hmmm, I don't think I believe you," he smiled mischievously.
"No, I swear, I gotta go pee!" I said giggling and struggling to get up.
"I win?" he asked, letting me get up.
"You win," I said, smiling back at him as I left the tent and ran to the washrooms.
Ten minutes later, I was back in the tent. Terry had already arranged his things in the tent, putting his sleeping bag next to mine and his bag beside my belongings in the corner.
"Hey, Dude, I could have helped with that," I told him closing the door to the tent after I got in.
"Nah, I was able to get it," he said. "Look, I'm sorry I got carried away earlier."
"Hey don't sweat it."
"No, I mean it. Sometimes when I get worked up like that I can't stop, especially when it's with someone I like."
"Well, Terry, I like you too. You're a good friend." Suddenly Terry's face fell, and he seemed to withdraw into himself. "Hey, Dude, what's wrong?" I asked him.
"I'm afraid I could lose you as a friend," he practically whispered.
"Not going to happen. No way and no how," I said resolutely.
"Look, you remember when I told you about all the friends I had back home and how I played baseball and stuff with them?" he asked me.
"Well, I don't. I mean, I used to, but I don't see them much any more. Actually I rarely ever see them at all," he confessed.
"But why would you lie to me about that? I like you, and we spend lots of time together. I think you're pretty cool."
"That's just it, it wasn't me that didn't want to be with them, they just suddenly got busy all the time, and the only time I really was able to talk to them was at school, and even then we hardly talked."
"Okay, that's not right. Why would they do something like that?" I asked, moving closer to him.
"I'm afraid that if I tell you, you'll hate me," he said, and I saw a tear fall from his eye.
Reaching out with a hand, I wiped the tear away from his face with my finger, and lifted his face so I could look at him. "I could never hate you Terry. Please tell me."
"I came out to them, and they couldn't handle it. I'm gay, Simon. I'm gay and I think I'm falling in love with you," he said.
He said that and the tears began to fall from his eyes. All of a sudden, my fears faded away. The feelings that I had begun to feel for Terry and that I had hid, came out onto the surface, and I started to cry with him.
"Simon, why are you crying?" he sniffled.
"Because, I can't keep living a lie anymore. Until I met you, I never thought I could love another guy in this way, but I do. I'm gay too, Terry, and I know I love you." Terry immediately wrapped his arms around me and we sat in the tent, hugging each other close and crying softly on each other's shoulders.
After a few minutes we separated and I looked into Terry's eyes, seeing in them the love he had for me. I was in love with Terry, and all uncertainties were washed away with the tears we shed. Allowing our lips to touch for the first time, we kissed, still holding each other tightly. The kiss was uncertain at first, but soon became as strong as the love we both felt, allowing that love to flow between us and fill us with a contentment that we never knew was missing.
"David tells me your brother is gay is that right, Craig?" Kathy asked.
"Yes, it is. He and his husband have been together for five years now."
"We were at his wedding," Anna said. "It was a very beautiful ceremony."
"Oh? Was it a large one?"
"Not so large," Craig said sadly.
"Yes Dear, it wasn't as big as he would have liked, but it was still very nice. His husband's family wasn't too accepting of their son being gay. They didn't come, even though they were invited."
"Oh that is just awful!" Kathy exclaimed.
"His family are devout Catholics, and there is no reasoning with that bunch of conservative bigots," Craig said bitterly.
"That bad?" David asked.
"Yes, the day they found out their son was gay, they kicked him out of the house. That was when he was sixteen years old. Darryl loved his family though, so instead of going to the authorities, he found a place to stay and got himself a job. That's where my brother first met him."
"And they've been together since?" Kathy asked.
"Yes. Tim was twenty at the time, but despite the age difference, they quickly formed a bond, and soon, Darryl was living with Tim. With Tim's help, Darryl finished school, and is now a teacher with the Halton Board of Education. Tim is a veterinarian with Animal Aid in Burlington. What we're most amazed with is that the two of them do a lot of volunteer work, and they regularly donate a lot of their time to Habitat for Humanity."
"Wow, that is amazing!" David said.
"Yes it is. What's more, I think that Simon is going to end up following in Tim's footsteps and become a veterinarian. He used to spend a lot of time with his uncle and absolutely loved helping him look after some of the animals that he took home for extra care."
"You must be really proud of him," Kathy said.
"Yes, we are," Anna replied.
"We don't know what Terry wants to do. He spends most of his time up in his room, and the only thing that seems to capture his attention is his computer and the Internet," David said.
"Have you asked him what he likes doing on the computer?" Anna asked.
"Not really. He doesn't talk much about it really," David replied.
"Well, maybe you should ask him. Maybe he's found something that he wants to do with his life."
"I hope so. He's been so alone lately that Kathy and I are worried about him."
"Well, he seems to be getting along really well with Simon," Anna said.
"Yes, in fact, I don't think we've heard from them since they went into the tent together," David pointed out.
"You think they've fallen asleep in there?" Kathy asked David.
"Well, only one way to find out," he said, getting up from the table they were all sitting at. He made his way over to the tent and pulled down the zipper to open the door. Peeling back the door to look inside, he was greeted with a sight that put a smile on his face. "You all have to come and see this," he whispered, looking back at everyone.
Getting up from the table, they carefully made their way to the tent. David pulled the door open as wide as he could allowing everyone to look inside. Lying together with my head resting on Terry's chest, we slept, unaware of our parents looking down upon us.
"That has to be the most beautiful sight I have ever seen," Kathy cried.
"Oh that is so cute. Honey, go get the camera. We need to take a picture of this," Anna said, a tear falling from her eye.
Craig ran to get his camera, and making sure there was enough room on the memory card, brought it over to the tent. He pointed the camera at Terry and me, and took several pictures, forever capturing our first night together as boyfriends.