Sawyer, age 16
Shirts discarded and arms entangled around torsos, the young men rolled around the bed as if wrestling. Hidden, she watched from the doorway in fascination, not disgust or horror. Her mind struggled to make sense of something her heart had already accepted. As the boys’ lips met in a sensual kiss, she brought her hand up to cover her surprise. She knew, instinctively, the act happening in front of her was what Sawyer had been missing, seeking, craving.
Knowing she should look away, afford them privacy, she couldn’t unglue her eyes from the awkwardly arousing scene transpiring before her. Hands roamed, cupping ass cheeks; hips and tongues thrust in simultaneous dances. Red basketball shorts and tight gray boxer briefs slid down firm, muscular legs followed quickly by black shorts and black briefs moving down a second pair of toned legs. She’d seen the male anatomy in Health class, but the young men on the bed were aroused from their sensuous exploration and she felt her eyes widening in impressed awe at the size of their...male anatomy. Sawyer, the dark haired one, reached a hand down and grasped the other boy; the act was reciprocated and a delightful display began to play out before her. Mouths, teeth, and tongues clashed as hips thrust and fists pumped; rough breaths, sexually charged, resonated in the otherwise silent room.
She knew she should have left, should have allowed him this intimate moment, but it was too late; an ill-timed sneeze, obstructed by a quick pinch to the nose, but not thwarted completely, literally blew her cover.
She froze in the doorway as two heads, rosy-cheeked and breathing heavily, popped up and fists quickly abandoned that which they craved to hold tightly. The lip she bit and the tears which sprang to her eyes weren’t for herself; her heart broke for Sawyer. She knew he had worked to cover up the feelings and longings in his heart; she knew he strived for normal and easy and drama-free. Her heart was hurt for him, not because he was her boyfriend and had been caught making out with another guy, but because she knew he was already struggling and the challenging, uphill strife he faced would be a burden on his beautiful heart.
With shorts quickly replaced and shirts pulled over heads, the two young men stood awkwardly in the middle of the room, warily observing her. She wondered who would speak first and what those infamous first words would be.
“So, um, Josh, this is Katie. My girlfriend. Katie, this is Josh.” Sawyer had the decency to look embarrassed, but Katie wanted to ease his discomfort. She had fancied herself in love with him for a while, but in her heart she’d known there was something missing when they were together. Watching him at that moment, she knew she’d never seen her best friend look so alive, so interested, so radiant.
“Hi, Josh, it’s nice to meet you.” Katie smiled at Josh who seemed a bit more freaked out by the situation unfolding in front of him than Sawyer or Katie. Turning to her boyfriend, Katie spoke, “Hey, Sawyer, maybe you and I could have some time to talk and you could call Josh later?”
As if roused from a hypnotic state, Sawyer blushed and nodded. “Yeah, um, that would be good. So, I’ll see you at school tomorrow, Josh. Um, maybe we could, um....yeah, bye.” Sawyer’s stumbled words were enough of a reason for Josh to hightail it from the room without a backward glance.
“Okay, so that was awkward all around. Want to get out of here and talk about what just went down?” Katie held her hand out to Sawyer and he knew in that exact moment that he would love her for the rest of his life; aside from his twin brother and cousins, she was his heart and best friend.
They left his house with him wondering in absolute horror what would have happened if his brother or parents had been the ones to walk in on him in bed with another guy. Reaching the main park in Torey Hope, they walked to the shelter house and perched themselves on top of a picnic table. Facing each other, sitting cross-legged, their knees touching, Katie reached for his hands.
“So, you know I love you, Sawyer, and that will never change. I think if I can witness what I just saw and still profess my love, I’m pretty solid in this relationship.” He smirked and saw her smile at him in relief. “However, I think there are some things we need to get out in the open. First, I’m sure this is pretty obvious, I’m breaking up with you.”
Sawyer threw his head back and laughed. Feeling the pent up frustration and anxiety leave his body calmed him. “Katie, I’m sorry for what you just saw...no, I’m not sorry you saw it, and I’m not sorry it happened; I’m sorry I didn’t share my feelings with you before you had to walk in on it.” He leaned in and kissed her gently, “I will forever love you, as my best friend, Katie. But, you’re right, we can’t be together, not in that way; it wouldn’t be fair to either of us.”
They sat silently for a moment. Sawyer, deep in thought, his dark eyes focused on their hands. He appreciated Katie giving him the time he needed to gather his thoughts.
“So, I think I like guys; I think I’m gay, Katie-girl.” He said it on a whoosh and then sat apprehensively as if the universe was going to strike him down. In a strangled whisper he repeated, “I think I’m gay.”
She felt those words in her soul; the relief he felt in speaking them, the fear he felt in admitting them. But the words from his mouth spoke of more to her heart; she heard his despair, his doubt, his dismay.
“Sawyer Morgan, look at me. You are gay. You’re not a murderer or a pedophile or a thief; you have a great family and friends, they will support you no matter what. It will be harder for some of them at first, but they will come around. If they don’t, you’ll always have me.”
She was taken aback at the vehement shaking of his head and his quick, “No! I’m not ready to tell anyone else.”
She rubbed his hands in hers and raised an eyebrow. “Why not, Sawyer? Your family loves you like none other; they are one of the most loved families in Torey Hope. They would never not stand behind you.”
“That’s just it, Katie. I can’t tell them right now. This is brand-new to me; I’m just admitting it and accepting it. If I tell them now, they will have to deal with the stress and possible embarrassment and drama it may bring; I can’t do that to them right now. What if it causes problems at The Center? Let me figure this out within myself a little more first, then I can break it to them.” His dark brown eyes pleaded with hers.
“Well, I want it stated on record that I think you’re making a mistake, but I promise to support you; as long as you’re not endangering yourself, I’ll let you keep your secret. And it will be my secret, too.” She squeezed his hand and felt his body relax. “So, how about you tell me about this revelation. How long have you known? How do you know?”
“I think I started suspecting when I was about twelve. I remember seeing some guys at The Center who had taken their shirts off to play basketball, and I thought they were absolutely beautiful. I’d seen girls and women in swimsuits and felt nothing, but an attractive guy with his shirt off made my heart beat faster.” Sawyer’s eyes had a faraway look as he recalled the vast difference in feelings he’d had for males and females.
“Then, I met you and I wanted so badly to just fall in love and be normal. I’m so sorry, Katie, I really haven’t been fair to you at all. It’s not that kissing you isn’t nice, but it doesn’t light me on fire like kissing Josh does. I’m so very sorry you had to find out this way.” Sawyer’s head hung in shame.
“Sawyer, don’t apologize.” She felt tears build in her own eyes as the tears began to spill out of his. “I’ll admit it was a bit of a shock to walk in and see that. But, if I’m being honest with myself, I really wasn’t that surprised. I love you and kissing you was nice, but I never felt all the butterflies and glitter that the girls talk about when they are gossiping about kissing boys. Seeing you with Josh, the way your body responded to his, knowing that our bodies had never responded to each other in that way, I knew in my heart that you were meant to just be my best friend.” They dried their tears; they both erupted in laughter when Katie quipped, “At least you were gay before me; I’m not sure I could stand the social outcasting if the rumor started that I turned you gay.”
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