The Treehouse – Chapter 1
The only life I ever knew had been ripped from me when my mom divorced my stepdad in the spring of 1980. My stepdad was the only thing worth a damn in my life, and losing him and our home in Dallas was a double whammy. My private hell went from bad to worse when Mom left Bill and forced me to move with her back to her hometown of Zavalla, Texas, population seven hundred; Salute! Sure, Bill was a drunk. But he wasn’t a mean drunk. More than that, he made time for me, which was more than I could say for my mom. When Mom wasn’t working, she was drunk or high. And if Bill said or did something to piss her off, she could fight like a wildcat.
I’d never been very good at fitting in. At least in Dallas, I had my friend Davy. The two of us had been close all the way through sixth grade when Mom upended my life and we had to move. Here in Zavalla, I didn’t know anyone. And the other boys already had their cliques and groups and I was too different to fit in.
They were farm boys and rough necks. They wore their hair short, wore button-down shirts, and acted tough. A scrawny boy who wouldn’t turn twelve until the end of August, with long auburn hair touching my shoulders, and eyelashes girls would kill to have, didn’t fit in.
I gripped the railing on the bridge and looked down at the languid river. Its brown water invited me to jump and end my pain, suffering, and humiliation. The last few days of school had been the worst yet. It had started the afternoon when Coach Watson had sent us to the showers at the end of PE. He had us running around the track at the high school for forty minutes. We were hot and sweaty, so when I hit the locker room, like several other boys, I stripped and headed to the shower.
I wasn’t the only one stealing glances, even if nobody else would admit it. A couple of the guys already had hair above their penises. The boy next to me in the shower was Danny Carver. He was closer to thirteen than twelve. He had a small, tight bush of pubic hair over a penis that was three inches when soft.
Seeing the older boy’s penis sent a flurry of butterflies through my stomach and before I realized it, my body betrayed me. My own penis, bald and thin, sprang to life, all nearly three inches pointed at the showerhead.
Danny took a step away, “Gross, Bryan. What the fuck? Are you some kind of fag?”
As soon as Danny spoke, the other boys in the shower saw me and laughed, calling me names like fag, queer and sissy. By the end of the last day at school, every boy seemed to know about it. My life was over.
Now, as I clung to the side of the bridge, my hands were wet from sweat, my feet dangling over the ledge. I could barely see where to put them through the blur of tears. Soon, none of it would matter. My chest heaved as a sob tore through me. They wouldn’t have me around next year to pick on. Nobody would.
I let go and stepped off.
I felt nothing but relief as I walked home from school on that last day of the seventh grade. My joy at an entire summer to relax and play were tempered by the memory of Cheryl Alsop’s snide comment just before after the last bell of the year. I had been cleaning some pens from my locker, tossing them into my nearly empty backpack when she came up to her locker, a few down from mine. She glanced at me and sneered.
She puffed out her chest, “Good thing you’re a lezbo dyke. No boy would want to be with a girl as flat as you.”
She slammed her locker and puffed out her b-cup sized chest as she walked past me. My eyes stung at the insult. Kiss a girl one time and everyone thinks you’re a lesbian!
She was still in earshot when I shot back, “Screw you, Cheryl. At least I’m not the fuck-toy of the eighth-grade football team.”
She faltered, but recovered without a backward glance. I didn’t know if she had sex with any of those eighth graders, but you know how rumors are. But that cuts both ways; I guess that’s why she thought I was a lesbian. After all, she caught Wendy Kennedy and me trading a kiss a few weeks before in the girl’s locker room. Of course, if she knew what Wendy and I had done over at Wendy’s house a few days before that, it would have cemented my reputation. It didn’t help that I was all tomboy.
I blame my dad for that. He swore he wanted a girl when I was born, but I’m not sure I believed him because we did so many things that you’d think a father and son would do. He taught me how to hit a ball, start a fire, sail a boat, and almost anything else you’d expect a dad to teach his son. For as long as I could remember, I wore my hair short, like a boy. I also wore jeans and shirts instead of dresses, skirts, and blouses.
I could take the dyke comment. The entire reason me and Wendy kissed was because we were both really curious. But the quip about my chest, that hurt. Here I was thirteen, the summer before my eighth-grade year and my tits were no more than mosquito bites. Cheryl’s boobs were the size of apples. Even Wendy needed the training bra she wore when we made out. Not me. I had two bumps on my chest, a little swelling. But my nipples were scarcely any larger than any boy’s. I hated how Cheryl was right. None of the boys paid me any attention. But they drooled over her and some of the other more developed girls.
I kicked a pebble on the side of the road as I neared the bridge over the Angelina River when I spied a boy climb over the railing on the side of the bridge. If anyone looked worse than me, it was him. I recognized him as a new kid in the grade below me. I knew nothing about him, but his head hung down and he looked to be crying.
Then he jumped.
I dropped my backpack and yelled, “Hey you! What the hell are you doing?”
I raced down the side of the embankment that led to the edge of the river. I pulled off my Keds and left them on the riverbank and dove into the river. Fortunately, the river wasn’t very wide where the bridge crossed. But it was deep in the middle, where the boy jumped. A few powerful strokes and I reached where he landed. Then I dove.
He was sinking toward the bottom. I scissored my legs, cutting through the water faster than he sank, and a moment later I grabbed his hand and reversed, kicking toward the surface. I pulled him to the shore and dragged him out of the water. His Keds, which nearly matched my own, could have dragged him to the bottom. Water streamed out of them, as well as his pants and t-shirt.
His eyes were unfocused when he let out a piercing scream. I stood up and swore, “What the fuck, dude?”
The boy’s eyes fluttered open. He had eyes of golden brown to match his auburn hair. When he saw me, he stopped screaming, as though maybe there were worse things than being rescued.
He snapped, “Why’d you do that? I knew what I was doing!”
I blinked in surprise before tearing into the ungrateful shit, “The fuck you say? Nobody in their right mind tries drowning themselves. What the fuck’s wrong with you?”
The boy’s tears stung his eyes, “Why’d you go and do that? I wanna die.”
I stared up at the boy who had just dragged me from the river. He wore blue jeans and one of those button-down shirts with the silver snaps instead of buttons. He was taller than me. I think I’d seen him at school, but I was sure. Water sluiced from his short blond hair, his shirt, and pants.
The boy’s face softened at my tears. He sat beside me and asked, “Aren’t you the new kid in the sixth grade? Why’d you try to kill yourself?”
It was clear he wasn’t going anywhere, so I sat up and pulled my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them, “Y-, yeah. I hate it here. Everyone hates me.”
The boy scoffed and shook his head. Water droplets splattered everywhere, “That’s bullshit. I don’t hate you. Of course, I don’t know you either. Should I?”
It wasn’t an offer of friendship, but neither was this older kid calling me names. I rubbed the water and tears from my eyes and ran my eyes over him. His face was strong; he had a square jaw compared to my own narrow features. His lips were thin and wide. Moreover, the open expression on his face made me wonder if I could trust him. He certainly couldn’t be any crueler than the boys in my class. My voice was ragged as I explained, “The other boys have been teasing me since I got here, calling me names and hitting and picking on me when the teachers weren’t around.”
The other boy flashed an apologetic look, “Sorry, man, that sucks. What’d they call you?”
I felt the tears well up, “Fag, queer. Shit like that.”
My mom would have slapped the shit out of me if she’d heard me cussing like that. She was a “do as I say, not as I do,” person. But I liked the taste of the profanity on my lips. It felt right. The way the boy talked, he certainly didn’t care. He stared at me, running his eyes from the top of my head to my soaking wet feet. “You’ve got longer hair than any of the boys. They all wear it short.”
He bit his lower lip as he looked at me pensively, “And…” he trailed off, without finishing his thought.
I looked the boy in the eyes. They were green, like a sea before a storm. I murmured, “What?”
He shrugged, “It’s just that you’ve got a really pretty face. It’s shaped like a heart. And you’ve got long and pretty eyelashes.”
I wanted him to shut up. Was this what everyone else saw? Instead, he added, “And you’ve got nice lips, like a girl’s.”
None of this was what I wanted to hear. I blinked at more tears threatening to spill down my cheeks. Even my savior thought I was gay. I didn’t know what to say, so I laid my head against my knees and let the tears return.
Finally, the boy said, “Well, are you? Gay, I mean.”
I wanted to raise my head and shout at this kid who didn’t know me at all. But the worst of it, I felt confused about it all. I’d be lying if I said the first time I’d looked at another boy’s stuff had been in the shower a few days before. No, even before that, before Mom divorcing Bill, Davy and I had seen each other naked a few times. He even talked me into touching him down there. It had been exciting and fun. I got a stiffy, and I loved how it felt when he touched me.
I thought back to the last time I had spent the night over at Davy’s. It was a Saturday afternoon. His parents had gone out, and we were alone in the house. They hadn’t been gone long when he smiled at me conspiratorially, “Hey, you want to see what I found in my dad’s closet?”
We’d known each other most of our lives. That mischievous look, coupled with some of the things we talked about, left little room to doubt that whatever it was would be naughty. So, naturally, I said, “Sure, what’d you find?”
He pulled Penthouse magazine from under his mattress and patted the spot next to him on the bed, “Check it out, Bry. This is some sweet shit!”
He showed me some pictures of naked women. They had huge tits and hairy pussies, and the way they stared back at us made me feel all weird inside. More than that, I was soon sporting a stiffy. After flipping through a few pages, Davy said, “Jeez, I’ve got a boner the size of Texas. I gotta get some relief.”
Without batting an eye, Davy pulled his shorts and underwear down. One thing I liked about my best friend was his sense of proportion. He was bigger than Rhode Island, but nowhere as big as Texas. His stiffy jutted into the air nearly four inches. He even had a couple of errant strands of hair growing at the base of his penis.
We had already seen each other’s packages a few times before. Even touched each other’s stuff. But this was the first time I saw him wrap his fingers around his little pole and stroke it. Before that day, I’d never even heard of masturbation, let alone seen it in action.
“Come on, Bry, I’m not putting on a fucking show. Let’s see it, man.”
I shucked my shorts and underwear. I’d have felt worse if Davy had teased me. But he was cool. When he saw my two inches, he shrugged, “You’ll get bigger.”
I mimicked Davy’s action on my own stiffy, and even though it felt good, I didn’t feel like I needed to moan like he did. After a couple of minutes, he said, “Here, Bry, let’s trade. You do me and I’ll do you.”
I wasn’t bashful with him anymore. So, when he wrapped his thumb and forefinger around my boner, I let him. The feeling of him touching me was a lot better than when I had been doing it. A moan slipped from my lips as a wave of bliss washed over me. After a bit, he stopped, “Come on, dude, jack me off.”
I wrapped my fingers around his stiffy. Unlike Davy doing me, he was big enough to use all of my fingers. I slid my hand up and down his shaft and he moaned again and again. I slowed when my hand grew tired, but he urged, “Don’t stop, it feels awesome.”
Egged on by my best friend, I kept jerking on him until a loud moan ripped from his mouth and his stiffy jerked in my hand. A blast of clear liquid shot from his penis and landed on his chest. Another pooled at his piss slit when I pulled my hand away. I was stunned. I had seen nothing like it before.
Davy laughed at the perplexed look on my face, “Been doing that for a couple of months now. Those are my baby makers, dude.”
I shook the memory away and looked back at the boy who had just pulled me from the river. “I don’t know.”
The boy’s stormy eyes studied me, like he was deep in thought. The silence was painful until he gave a firm nod and climbed to his feet, “I don’t give a fuck about that. I’m Aaron, by the way. What’s yours?”
I craned my neck to see his face, “Bryan. Are you going to leave me alone now?”
Aaron shook his head and offered me his hand, “Nope. You look like you could use a friend. God knows I could. Come on. You wanna see something cool?”
Copyright 2021 – Caliboy1991
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