Simon and Me: A Gay Coming-of-Age Love Story

Fifteen-year-old Jayden knows for certain that he’s gay. Ever since moving to upstate New York, he has had a major crush on Simon, a handsome, dark-haired, blue-eyed boy who lives right next door. What happens when Jayden hosts a sleepover in his secluded backyard tree house?


Simon and Me
A Gay Coming-of-Age Love Story

Maxwell Carlsen

Copyright 2019 Maxwell Carlsen

Cover Photograph Credit: Dmitry Naumov /

Chapter 1

June 1986

I'd tried last night. I'd tried the day before that. But, I couldn't. I just couldn't do it. You know, masturbate—to women. I was gay. I was officially giving up any hope of being bisexual. I tried to do it while thinking about a babe I used to know, but all I could do was fantasize about being naked with Simon, my new friend and neighbor. And . . . Pete, the boy who was my neighbor on the other side of my house. At least, if I were bisexual, I could marry a woman. Now, I'd never be able to get married. I couldn't even come out; if I did, I’d be ostracized. Gay people weren’t liked. I wasn't even sure whether my own family would accept my sexuality.

I'd moved to a small town in upstate New York two weeks ago, from Arizona. My buddies and I were fifteen; we'd be sophomores in the fall. Now, it was summer.

Simon didn't know about my sexuality—nor did anyone else, for that matter. He was so cute. Very cute. And he had a nice body and smile. I loved his fun personality. I was in love. Simon was my first true love. I'd had a crush on a boy, Vinnie, in Arizona, but it had been minor compared to the love I felt for Simon. I wanted to be his lover.

“I’m going to Simon’s house. Okay?” I asked Mom.

“Okay. Be back for dinner.”

I darted out the kitchen door.

I'd had a girlfriend in the seventh grade, but I hadn't been sexually attracted to her. She had been a babe, too. But I broke up with her before summer vacation, mainly because I had been confused about myself and about the idea of being with a woman.

I wanted men, especially attractive men, just like Simon. Now that I'd admitted the truth and really thought about it, I planned to wait to come out until college. Hopefully, by then, I wouldn’t be harassed and beat up, like I would probably be at my new high school, if they knew the truth.

Our new house had a two-car garage. It was two stories high and had a large basement. Most homes in Phoenix, where I was from, had a carport and were one story, with no basement. My room here was larger than the one I had in Arizona.

I was an only child. My father's previous wife had died before they could have children. He and my mom had adopted me, because they couldn’t have children of their own, which was a good thing for me. I just knew I’d hate to live in foster homes.

I often wondered who my biological parents were, but my parents loved me very much, and I couldn’t imagine life without them. They loved me unconditionally—or so it seemed, anyway. Would they accept my homosexuality? I worried about that a bit.

Simon’s older brother, Rob, who had Down syndrome, answered the front door. Unlike Simon, he was as tall as a giraffe and had broad shoulders. He had turned eighteen recently, and he was also going to be a sophomore in high school. He worked out a lot in his family’s weight room, more so than Simon. He was pretty cool; and he was really talented with art.

“Hi, Jayden. How are you doin’? Simon is in the bathroom,” Rob said, inviting me inside.

“I’m doin’ well. I hope things with you are good,” I said as Rob smiled and shook my hand. He was a little too rough, but I knew it wasn't intentional; he was being nice to me.

I followed Rob back to the family room and eyed his easel and professional watercolors set which faced away from me.

“What are you painting?”

“You and Simon, together, like in a picture,” he replied. “Isn’t that nice?”

“Oh, thank you! Could—” then I realized I should ask his parents, “could I have it when,” I stuttered a little, “when it’s finished?’

“Sure!” Rob cheered like a cheerleader. “You can have it. It is for you,” he said.

Although I felt so happy, I didn’t want to take advantage of a disabled man. “Thank you," I said, "but I’ll have to ask your mom first.”

“Okay,” Rob said with a giant’s big grin.

I smiled widely back. “May I look?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied.

I looked at the painting. “Great job!” I cheered. “It should be in a museum.”

“Thanks,” he replied.

His painting was very realistic. It was a close up of us.

“Where’s your mom?” I asked, hoping she wasn’t around, so I could flirt with Simon.

“Outside,” Rob exclaimed, pointing to the backyard.

We chatted for another minute, and then I left Rob to his painting and walked down the hallway to the bathroom.

Bang! Bang! Bang! I pounded, but not too hard, on the door. “Quit beating off in there,” I ordered. “Now.”

“Hold on a minute, please,” Simon replied. A very short while later, the toilet flushed, and then the sink ran.

“Hi, Jayden,” Simon chimed, stepping into the hallway. “Let’s get Pete and go to the treehouse.” His smile revealed his perfect pearl white teeth, which made him even more handsome. He had dark hair, and his eyes were just as mesmerizing as expensive diamonds. He wore a fluorescent green muscle shirt, which showed off his handsome muscular arms and hairless armpits. He wore lime green shorts. I loved his hairy legs.

I was taller than Simon and Pete. Simon always wore nice clothes, like Guess jeans. He even had a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses, as his parents made more money than mine. I hoped he was gay, like me, so we could be lovers someday, in love together, making each other very happy. I hoped Simon would love my sandy-blond hair and handsome green eyes the same way I loved his beautiful eyes. Whenever I thought about having Simon in my life, my chest started to tingle. I really wanted to have him as my lover.

I walked a step or two behind him and to his side. He was carrying his new Elton John music cassette. Then, we arrived at Pete's house.

“The Blue Lagoon,” I cleared my throat, “was a cool romance,” I told them. Simon, Pete, and I had watched it two days ago on HBO at Simon’s house. My house had cable, but not the premium channels, and neither did Pete’s. Simon was lucky. His family also owned a VHS player!

“I love it when the guy beats off when the girl doesn’t put out,” Simon said, and I chuckled. “He can’t get his cookies, so he has to do something to relieve sexual tension,” he added, “like all men.” I laughed, and he smirked at me.

“Who would you be with on a deserted island?” Simon asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied, although I knew I’d want to be with Simon. That’d be awesome. Just the two of us, naked, all alone with nothing to do but to love each other. We’d be lovers forever and ever.

We listened to "Blue Eyes" on Simon’s Elton John cassette tape. "Blue Eyes" was my favorite Elton John song because Simon had beautiful blue eyes.

Pete had very gorgeous brown eyes and short brown hair. He was cute, but I had the hots for Simon. Besides, Pete was my buddy.
“It’s so cool when the bad guy and his minion escape Bond by flying their car to the man’s fortress on that small Chinese island,” I said.

“Yeah, the special effects are too cool, like when the car is transformed into an airplane at the flick of a button,” Simon added.
“I like the ’74 AMC Matador—and I’d love to drive one when I get my license, just like the really cool one in The Man with the Golden Gun—or, I’d drive an AMC Hornet, like the one Bond drove and flipped,” Pete said. “It was so awesome that the stunt driver could do such a flip.”

“Yeah. The car’s interior had been gutted, and a new and lighter one added with weight distribution more conducive to performing the flip. And a roll cage was added,” I said. “I read about it in Playboy.”

“What? The Madonna issue? You wish, douchebag.” Simon nudged my shoulder hard, smirking as he said it.

“Okay, I saw it on TV,” I admitted, grinning because the boy I was in love with had touched me.

“We need to watch The Omen when it’s on. HBO or Showtime will have it soon. One of them has been showing ads for it lately,” Simon explained.

“I want to see Damien, the kid born of a jackal—the devil child. The Antichrist. You have to pound a metal stake with a sledgehammer through his head to kill him,” I said. “There is also a sequel, when the kid’s older. He’s so cute,” I said, being a comedian. “He’s so handsome,” I added, raising my eyebrows up and down for several seconds.

Simon, and then Pete, burst out laughing.

“Satan sodomized Damien, putting an evil seed deep inside of him and making him the devil’s child,” I proclaimed. “And we’ve got to stop him.” I held my hands on my hips with mock severity, showing that we were going to save the world from the Antichrist.

“Hee-haw, hee-haw, hee-haw,” Simon joked. “Satan planted his seed up Damien’s ass, and it grew and flourished, making Damien pure evil.”

I said, “There was this movie I saw parts of years ago. A man on a motorcycle is taking a mannequin to a remote scientific station in the desert, where there is another man. It seems like he's taking the mannequin to use for companionship, since there are no women around. A giant scorpion attacks the man, and he leaves the mannequin when he escapes. If it was just you and another dude, would you just be a faggot, or would you remain abstinent?” I asked.

Simon smiled. “You’d be a faggot,” he replied. “And I’d make out with a mannequin.”

“You’d have sex with it?” I asked.

Simon shrugged and rested his hands on the back of his head. “You’d fuck a pumpkin,” he said. He smiled widely as he swiveled his stance a little. “Have you guys ever?” he asked, lowering his voice. “Beat off?”

I smiled as Pete nudged my arm, but not nearly as hard as Simon had.

Simon said, “How ‘bout we slap the monkey?”

“Let’s,” I replied. My heart beat up and out of my chest, and my chest whirled with love.

“Let’s,” Simon repeated. “It’ll be fun,” he said.

“I’d like to,” Pete replied.

I was gay, so of course I would enjoy doing it with two other guys!

“Oh, all right,” I said, almost pretending to have second thoughts.

“In the tree house. So we won’t be bothered,” Simon explained, and we left Pete’s house for my backyard.

I couldn’t wait!

Chapter 2

My new backyard had a treehouse, and a large pond farther back. The treehouse had a window, with curtains, and a pirate flag on a short pole at the very top. I had stocked it with an old cot that had rusty springs, a small black-and-white TV, and my dual cassette tape player, placed on a small shelf that the previous kids must have left behind. Fortunately, Dad had two extension cords that together reached the treehouse.

“Go,” Simon said.

I climbed the ladder to a large horizontal branch, then made the switch to another ladder, made of thick rope.

After we each climbed up and inside, Simon played "Blue Eyes." All of us got naked and quick. Simon was beautiful; he wore only his Swatch watch and shark tooth necklace. My new calculator watch looked really nerdy compared to his watch, which was mostly red and yellow and had drawings on the face done by a well-known modern artist, whose name I couldn't recall. I wanted to worship every millimeter of his handsome body from the tippy top of his head down to his feet and handsome toes. He was wonderful! Pete was cute, too, but I loved Simon. My anus and heart tingled as we stood there. My insides felt absolutely exhilarated. I had never been so much in love before.

“Let’s wrestle,” I said, standing there and playing with myself as Simon watched. “Come on,” I said, but what I really wanted was for him to give me oral sex.

“Please,” he said, “not now.”

I watched him and Pete standing there, stroking themselves.

“Please, just wait until another time,” Simon said.

I finished first, thinking about Simon, and then Simon finished, and then Pete. I had only been in New York for two weeks, and the three of us were already best buddies.

I loved being naked with them. I had never been naked with other dudes, except for swimming during phys. ed., when we changed into our suits in the locker room at my old school. That was the first time I'd seen other guys' penises in person; it had been an awesome experience.

I was going to be with Simon, I hoped, and very soon. I wanted to feel his warm body against mine and to French kiss his beautiful lips.

Chapter 3

I played "Shock the Monkey" on my Peter Gabriel cassette tape as we stood in the treehouse. I wanted to play my Prince’s Purple Rain cassette, but the left side of my dual tape player had eaten the tape a few days ago, leaving the ribbon all wrinkled and completely useless.

“Lisa was on all fours, and her ass was right up there, all for me. I fucked her good. Then, I orgasmed,” Simon bragged.

I knew he was lying.

“I’m still a virgin,” I said. I still wanted Simon to make love to me.

“Me, too,” Pete said.

“I lost it before you two little boys. I’m a real man,” Simon showed off, humping the air in front of him for several seconds as he stood.
“Let’s play a game. I want to play Dungeon and Dragons,” I said. From beneath the cot, I pulled out the wooden box I had made in woodshop last school year and lifted the game out.

“Okay,” Pete and Simon replied. We sat cross-legged and continued listening to Peter Gabriel as we played.

I was the dungeon master, Simon was a handsome fighter character, and Pete was a thief. We played the game differently from the way it was intended to be played, making it easier for us.

Our characters travelled through a forest, fighting a hellhound along the way, and then neared a labyrinth.

“When you guys enter across a walkway over the boiling, oil-filled pool,” I warned, deviating from the game module, “there’s no one inside, it seems.” I thumbed through the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons monster manual I got for my thirteenth birthday, looking for a vampire or something evil like Damien, in The Omen movies. I'd bought The Lost City game module at a toy store in the mall in Arizona, before our move to New York. It was our favorite. The good thing about my family moving to upstate New York, other than meeting Simon, was that I finally had friends who were interested in playing Dungeons and Dragons.

I was going to use this game to my advantage. I'd concocted a plan a few days ago. It was time to put it into action.

Chapter 4

“There is a room to the left, and a moaning sound is coming from it,” I explained to Simon and Pete as we played Dungeons and Dragons. “What do you do?”

Simon nodded. Then, he glanced at Pete, saw his nod, and said, “We go in.”

“Okay. You crack open the door very quietly and slowly, and then you see,” I said, raising my voice a little with a big smirk, “two men having sex on a round bed. They’re doin’ it doggie-style. And they don’t notice you staring at them. One’s wearing a gold-colored mask. You realize that he might be Zargon.”

Pete giggled as Simon rubbed his chin.

“In your opinion, are they well endowed?” Simon quizzed.

“You can’t see. Their weapons, a sword and a trident, are on a chest near the bed, along with two large shields, a helmet—like a Roman soldier’s helmet—and their clothes. They moan and enjoy every minute of their lust, as you watch and get hard-ons. You two want to join them. Make love to them, and let them make love to you.”

“I’m horny just thinking about making love to a young man,” Simon replied. But he sounded like he was joking.

“Let’s wrestle,” Simon suddenly said. He glanced at Pete and then looked at me for the longest time, "Naked."

We removed our clothes. Pete and Simon both had beautiful bodies, but I loved Simon. I wanted to be alone with him and to be his lover. My anus tingled as I stood there, naked, in front of the young man I was in love with.

“On all fours,” Simon ordered me, and I did, spreading my ass, hoping he’d make love to me.

Simon wrapped his arm around my neck, pushing me down on my belly. I felt his hands all over me, but not on my penis or ass. Pete joined in the fun, holding Simon’s legs as I tried to get my body upright.

Simon’s body was very beautiful. I wasn’t going to be a virgin forever. Maybe, someday, when we were older, I’d lose it to him! We wrestled and practically hugged each other. It was so much fun!

Awhile later, we each sat cross-legged, still naked, in a circle facing each other.

“Have you guys heard this one?” I asked. “Simon goes to Pete’s house and there’s a group of dudes there.”

They listened intently as I continued.

I said, “Pete explained, ‘See that barrel?’ and then he pointed to a regular-sized wooden barrel. ‘See the hole on the side?’ Pete asked Simon. ‘You can fuck it whenever you want,’ Pete explained. ‘Go ahead. Fuck it now.’ And Simon did.”

Simon just smiled as Pete crossed his arms, waiting to hear what would happen.

“So Simon fucked the hole and then said to Pete, ‘That felt really, really good. I can fuck it whenever I want to?’ Pete scratched his head for a second." I mimicked the action and then continued, “Pete said, 'You can go for it with the hole whenever you want, except on Tuesdays.’ Simon asked, ‘Why not on Tuesdays?’”

I smirked as I looked into Simon’s beautiful blue eyes.

“Pete explained, ‘Because on Tuesdays, it’s your turn to sit in the barrel.’”

Simon and Pete giggled.

“See? Great tale!” I said, with my heart tingling. “Great tale!”

Chapter 5

After we finished playing Dungeons and Dragons, we got dressed and climbed down from the treehouse. It was time for dinner.

“Please, can I borrow your Elton John tape?” I asked. “I’ll be careful with it.”

“All right.” Simon handed it to me.

“Thanks! See you later,” I said.

Simon and Pete waved as they headed in opposite directions toward their homes.

I smiled as I went inside.

After dinner, I listened to "Blue Eyes," in my bedroom wishing I could lie there in my bed, snuggled up to the blue-eyed boy I was in love with.

Then, Dad woke me. I had fallen asleep thinking about Simon!

“Brush your teeth. Then, you can go to bed, if you’d like,” he said.

I smiled as I got up and walked to the bathroom. Then, Dad went back to the family room.

As I brushed, I hoped Simon would love me back, someday, if he was like me and not straight. But, he might feel afraid to come out to me. I would have to be patient.

Mom and I were going to the mall tomorrow, and I had invited Simon and Pete to come along.

Chapter 6

At the mall, which was a forty-five minute drive, Pete and Simon got into an argument.

“Please, stop,” Pete said. “It’s not right to assume I’d be alone for the rest of my life.”

“Okay. I’ll shut up, if that’s what you mean.” But Simon added a rebuke: “I’m not going to tell you a lie, though, just to make you feel good.”

Their argument involved Billie, the girl Pete liked. Simon’s point was that Pete would die without a wife if he didn’t take a chance and ask Billie on a date, because all the beautiful girls would be taken as we got older.

Simon had told us that he was going to get married as soon as he got his degree in psychiatry, because he wanted to be a family man.

“Simon, I’m just joshing!” Pete said and laughed, nudging Simon’s arm. “I’m not pissed, dude. Only a comedian,” Pete said. He made life a lot of fun!

As my mom shopped, the three of us walked to the KayBee toy store to look for baseball cards for Pete. Pete had a huge collection, especially of older cards. He planned to sell them to pay for school so he could get a medical degree in psychology. I hoped he would earn his degree. I was going to become a pediatrician. We’d all go to the same medical school. Maybe I’d be out by then. I prayed that Pete, and especially Simon, would be okay with it.

“How many Goodens do you have now?” I asked Pete. “How many, including his rookies, do you have?”

“I don’t know. I would have had two of those clear card-holder pages filled with his ’86, but that offer I told you about was a scam—the seller in Baseball Cards Today magazine never mailed the order. So, I’m out fifty bucks. His ad was too good to be true, and I fell for it. Fifty bucks for what I ordered was way too cheap. The scammer knew a lot of people would fall for it. My dad called the baseball card magazine to inquire about the seller, and the editor said that the seller ripped them off, too—the seller never paid them for the ads. That scammer is a smooth-taking sociopath; he convinced the editor to run his ad before he'd paid. What—an—asshole.”
“Have you complained to the post office?" I asked, hoping he'd already done so. "It’s a federal offense to commit postal fraud.”

“Yes. There is an investigator. He replied to our letter of complaint and asked for complete information regarding the case. He also wanted to know whether or not the scammer had ever sent the cards. He wrote that the name the scammer used is an alias that he sometimes goes by when committing fraud.”

“That sucks, big time,” I replied. “Maybe you’ll have to testify in court.”

Pete replied, “No. The scammer will probably not be caught, I assume.”

“Yeah, life sucks, sometimes,” Simon said as we arrived at the KayBee toy store in between Sears and the food court entrance.

West End Girls by the Pet Shop Boys was playing over the intercom in the KayBee store.

“Oh, look at this!” I shouted as we neared a large-scale radio-controlled tank in a plastic display case. There were several boxes of the tanks stacked on one side of the display; each one was huge! What fun this would be!

“Hey, do you guys think it’d make really cool tank tread tracks in the dirt?” I asked, looking at Simon.

“Yeah, but some toy tanks you’re not supposed to use in dirt. They’re made for bare floors or carpeting,” Pete replied, as Simon nodded. “What kind of tank is it?” Pete asked. “Is it American?”

“No. It’s West German. A Leopard. See the iron crosses on the turret?” I gestured, liking the feel of being in charge.

“Yeah, it’s West German, but what would really be awesome would be a Soviet-made T-62, like the ones used in the Eastern Bloc. With Polish, or maybe East German, markings. Now that’d be totally awesome,” Simon said, looking at me with a cute smile. He was so handsome. I couldn’t help but be attracted to his face and body.

My eyes were glued to the tank in the display case for a while, and then I checked out the radio controller next to the tank; it was replete with a long antenna and a plethora of buttons, switches, and levers, as well as a large steering wheel.

“I want one just like this, one that shoots real BBs—something we can use in the forest. We could shoot at those targets that stand up on the ground, like BB gun targets. This store probably sells them,” Simon said.

Pete and I nodded and grinned.

“We each could get different Cold War tanks to fight against each other. Now, that would be cool,” Pete said. “Maybe for Christmas, we each could get one,” he added, looking at the back of one of the boxes. “See, there’s an East German T-64, Israeli Merkava, U.S. Bradley, and a British tank—or maybe it’s French—I can’t tell.”

“All right,” I said. “I’m going to ask my parents, and hopefully, each of us can get one.” Christmas was five months away.

There was no price sign on the tanks, and we didn't see the other tanks on display anywhere. Why didn’t the toy store stock the other kinds of tanks?

Simon got the attention of an employee who was a babe, who must have been around twenty-one, stocking dump trucks and other construction toys at the end of the aisle. “Excuse me, ma'am. How much are these tanks? And will you be getting in some of the other kinds, like the T-64, soon?”

“They’re ninety-nine ninety-nine. We’ll get some more in as soon as the manufacturer makes them. They’re in high demand. Everyone wants one. Even some girls,” she said.

“The girls who want one are, like, too cool,” Simon said. “I’d play with them.” He smiled.

Pete nudged Simon. “I’m sure you’d play with them,” he said with a big smile.

Simon grinned, making me worry. Maybe he really was straight.

“We’re gonna have to come back,” I said. “And soon.”

Chapter 7

Mom drove Simon, Pete, and me back home from the mall. Pete had bought an entire box of baseball card packs. He wouldn’t open the box to let us see them, though. He planned to leave them sealed, hoping they’d increase even more in value because they were unopened. Simon sat between Pete and me on the bench passenger seat behind the driver—no one sat next to Mom. I wanted to spend as much time as possible close to Simon, and I couldn’t help but enjoy spending time with Pete, too, because he was cute.

“I’m going to keep them unopened and in perfect mint condition. Their value will most likely go up over the next few years, and I’ll sell them for a hefty profit with my other cards to help pay for medical school. I bought them as a smart investment. I just know their value will go up. Last year’s set by this company has quadrupled in price. Gooden’s card from last year’s set sells for seventy-five dollars alone,” Pete explained.

"How much money do you send on cards, each month?" Mom asked.

“About twenty dollars. I invest most of my money in cards and new comics, but mainly baseball cards. I also have some basketball and football cards, which aren’t as valuable—at least, the ones I have aren't valuable.”

We ate lunch in the treehouse. Mom made us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and we each carried up a can of Coke, too. I loved watching Simon flex his handsome muscles when he strained to climb the ladders.

In the treehouse, we ate as we played Dungeons and Dragons until dinner, when Pete and Simon went home. After dinner, Mom and I went grocery shopping.

“Do you like Toaster Strudels?” she asked, grabbing a box from the freezer, as I nodded. “Okay,” she said, which made me wonder if she'd already known the answer to her own question.

“I want to go to the mall again, to get a radio-controlled tank,” I told her. “It’s made of high quality, and it’s something I really like,” I added.

She answered, “You’ll have to ask your father.”

“Mom. We don’t have to get the Toaster Strudels, so we can save money for the radio-controlled tank. It costs about a hundred dollars,” I said. “Really, we don’t have to.”

“It’s all right,” she said. “But we’d have to watch what we buy, if you were to get it.”

“All right, Mom. I love you,” I said.

“I love you, too,” she replied, as I hugged her from the side.

“Let me push the cart,” I said, being very helpful. I really wanted that radio-controlled tank.

I wondered if the company that made the tanks would make to-scale jet fighter toys, like a Soviet SU-22. That would be awesome!
I decided that I would write the company, letting them know of my product idea. Mom and Dad had bought me an electric typewriter before I'd begun high school; it's positioned between my desk and bed. I’ll ask Simon and Pete to also send letters, so maybe we could convince the company to make them.

Mom asked me to put two jugs of milk in our cart. Just as I was turning from the shelf to the cart, a Marine, around eighteen years old, walked by in his uniform—he was so hot! But Simon was the one I wanted.

Chapter 8

The next morning, Simon and Pete came over. They sat on the ranch style fence that surrounded my front yard. I walked on the fence, careful not to fall.

“Climb down from there, carefully. Now,” Mom called out to me from the kitchen door.

I ignored her for a second.

“I’ll come down as soon as I reach the corner. I won’t break a slat. I don’t weigh that much. I weigh one hundred sixty pounds. Not enough to break the slats.”

“Jayden! Climb down now! And carefully,” she ordered. I hesitated and then obeyed.

After I was on solid earth, she went back inside and closed the door.

“Do you guys ever think, like, that your mom’s just a bitch?” I asked, even though I had never once in my life even imagined calling Mom a bitch.

“No, I never have,” Simon said, and then he looked at me. “Your mom doesn’t want you to become a eunuch. Don’t call her a bitch. Do you want to fall and rupture your balls on the fence?”

“My mom’s nothing like that. She’s pretty cool, at times,” Pete explained.

“A eunuch has ruptured balls?” I asked, not knowing what a eunuch really was—but I wanted to know.

We each stood under the tall oak tree on the side of my house. "A long time ago, some boys, like around ten or a little older, maybe, were castrated. The reason was unclear—it had to do with them serving their king or emperor, and not being a threat, since they couldn't have sex, because they had no balls. Get it? See?” Simon quizzed as he educated me.

“That’d suck!” I said, wanting to be a great lover and have a lot of sex with Simon.

“My English teacher explained it to us earlier last year—I'd had no idea before then, either. It’d suck not to fuck,” Simon said, making me feel horny—and lucky to not be a eunuch!

We went into the backyard and headed to the pond to look for turtles, frogs, snakes, and other boy treasures. On the walk, Simon lectured Pete and me all about l-o-v-e.

“Tell Billie how you feel about her,” Simon advised Pete. “If you don’t tell her, you might miss out on l-o-v-e, with a lover you choose.”

“Okay,” Pete replied as I listened. “But . . . she might turn me down.” He shrugged and explained, “She’s a babe and has many guys after her, I’m sure. What if she laughs at me? And I feel embarrassed?”

“Be proactive. Go get that girl—and don’t hesitate to kiss her good,” Simon ordered him, and I agreed by nodding.

“Okay. I’ll call her.”

I tilted my head downward as I smiled at Pete, hoping he’d find l-o-v-e. But then, what about me? Should I let my gay feelings about Simon be known to him?

Chapter 9

The next day, Simon’s parents rented a James Bond movie on VHS. Simon, Pete, and I had a great time watching it. Then, we talked in Simon’s family room.

“That was so cool, you know, when Jaws bit through the thick chain. I’m gonna have teeth made of metal,” Simon said. “But, in reality, a person’s jaws aren’t strong enough to break a thick metal chain.”

“Yeah. But Jaws was a great character. I liked it when Bond put the broken lamp bulb to Jaws’s teeth and it gave Jaws a little electric shock,” I replied. “And I liked it when Bond’s Lotus was changed into a sub, replete with a missile that flew up from the ocean to the helicopter hovering above with the bad guys,” I told them. “Bond movies are just too cool.”

“I’m going to be Bond for Halloween,” Simon said. “I’m just right to be him.”

“I’m going to be a KGB agent. All I need is a KGB badge—like the one I saw on a television documentary. Now, that’s cool. And I’d like to have a Makarov and a replica holster to complete my outfit,” I explained.

“You could be an East German Stasi. I believe a lot of them have Makarovs. I’m going to get the girl, every time. Like Bond,” Simon said, making me wonder again whether he was gay. Maybe he was bisexual.

“I’ve decided to ask Billie out on a date to see a movie tomorrow night,” Pete said. “I’m going to be brave.”

“Great,” Simon and I replied, hoping Pete would get the girl!

Later, Pete went home and phoned Billie.

“Billie and I are going out on a date tomorrow night!” Pete phoned me and explained, deliriously happy.

“Cool,” I replied.

Chapter 10

The next day, Simon and I played games on his Intellivision videogame system. Pete went to his cousins’ house for the day, but his date was planned for tonight, right after dinner.

First, we played Donkey Kong; Simon had the highest score in every game. He was nice, though: he let me play twice for every one time he got a turn. We played Burger Time several times, and I played well, considering I hadn’t played it very much.

Then, we played Axis and Allies, a board game about World War II, until dinner. I played the Axis, and he played the Allies; he won, leaving me to surrender when he took Germany and then Japan, just like in real life.

We watched The Neverending Story on Showtime, even though Simon and I had each seen it when it first came out in the theater, before I'd even moved. Noah Hathaway was attractive, but Simon was more handsome, to me. Simon’s personality and great looks meant he could be a movie star, like Noah.

“Noah sucks as an actor,” Simon joked. “He’s worse than you,” he said.

“Yeah,” I replied.

“The girls at school think he's a good-looking boy,” Simon said. “I’m jealous.”

I smiled. Simon had nothing to be jealous about.

“Does anyone make a game like Axis and Allies, but about the Cold War?” I asked. “That would be really neat to play.”

“I haven’t seen one, but we could design our own; let’s make one about the Iran–Iraq war. There’s this company that makes hexagon-shaped game pieces that are blank but with different colors, so we could write on them what we need. I can get a large sheet of poster board with a hexagon grid that we could use to draw the map of Iran and Iraq, where the war is taking place. Do you want to go to the library tomorrow and look for books about the war?” Simon asked.

“Great idea! Let’s,” I said. “Maybe my mom could drive us,” I added with a nice smile. Simon and I were close buddies, and my love for him was very strong. I really wanted to be his lover. Eventually, I was going to make my move, but right now, I didn’t have the guts to do it. What if he wasn’t gay? Would he tell everyone at school? Then what? I’d be the new kid at school. I'd be called a fag. I didn’t know what I should do.

“Did you know that some of the soldiers in the Iran–Iraq war are as young as twelve? I saw it on CNN,” Simon explained. “I have a hard time imagining me fighting in a war, and we’re already fifteen. I’m too young to fight in a war,” he said, making me feel my love for him grow even larger, due to my sudden concern for his well-being and health. I could just French kiss him and hug him so tightly right now. At just the thought, my penis started throbbing.

“Why don’t we go to the treehouse tonight, without Pete,” I schemed. “We can do some fun things.” I cracked a big smirk. “Let’s have an orgasm together,” I said.

Simon smiled at me and gazed into my eyes. “Okay,” he said with a smile.

Was Simon gay? I had to find out.

After dinner, I asked Dad if Simon could spend the night in the treehouse. Dad said he could!

I wondered whether or not I should be open about how I truly felt about Simon. Would he reject me? I knew I was cute and handsome, as girls at school had said so. Maybe Simon was gay, or at least bisexual.

While I waited for Simon to come over with his sleep things, I listened to "Blue Eyes" again and again in my bedroom, wanting to have love, like Pete might, soon.

Then, Simon arrived. We weren’t able to wish Pete good luck, because he arrived home late right before his date.

Simon and I went to the treehouse and sat on the cot.

I leaned over and kissed Simon's cheek.

Then, he kissed me lightly on the lips, and we hugged!

The next day, Rob, with his mom’s permission, gave me the watercolor painting of my secret boyfriend and me, which I later framed and hung over my headboard.

About the Story:

Fifteen-year-old Jayden knows for certain that he’s gay. Ever since moving to upstate New York, he has had a major crush on Simon, a handsome, dark-haired, blue-eyed boy who lives right next door. What happens when Jayden hosts a sleepover in his secluded backyard tree house?

About the Author:

Maxwell Carlsen is an author of gay coming-of-age love stories. Maxwell lives in the southwestern United States.