literature

Homecoming

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Star Quarterback. Blond hair. Captain of the soccer team. Blue eyes. Top of the wrestling squad. Tight abs. Star of the swim team. Even tighter ass. Most Likely to Succeed. Above him. Cheerleader magnet. Sweating. The Cupid's bow. Kissing. White teeth. Laughing. Tanned skin.


Releasing.


Will woke with the last orgasmic gasp, his hand already on his hardened dick that jutted out from his boxers. He gave a couple of tugs – almost unconscious of his actions – before turning and looking at the form of his sleeping wife. Should he ...? No. Jan had enough hang-ups about sex without him constantly compounding the problem.


He slipped out of bed and into a t-shirt. Glancing at the clock he couldn't believe that it was so early. 5:46. Why could he never wake up feeling this aware on a work day? And why could he never enjoy sleeping in on the weekends? He felt more than heard the bedroom door click shut behind him and stood there leaning against the cold wood for a while.


He hadn't thought about him for years, hadn't seen him for .... close to 20. Why now, and why such a graphic reminder of the one afternoon they'd shared the day before College? His hand moved back to his dick, now softening. No. Not now.


Pushing off the door, he padded down the hallway, past his son's room where he could see blue and white flickering under the door. He tapped once and opened, sure this once that the teenager's demand for privacy would go unnoticed. There was Mikey, sprawled over the bed, his TV spooling through the holding screens of a non-broadcasting cable channel. He flicked it off. In a few years he'd be off to College too. Will shook his head at the thought of Time and it's movements, sometimes molasses-slow and at others lightning-quick.


Leaving Mikey to his slumber, Will descended, managing to avoid the stair that creaked and he had been meaning to fix for ..... a while. Maybe he'd do that today. Sure. Add it to the list. Again.


His study lay at the other end of the house, through the kitchen. He flicked on the Mr. Coffee, blessing Jan and her pre-bed routine once more, and sat down at his desk, the black leather chair giving out it's customary puff of air.


He sat back, fingers laced behind his head. Finally alone, he allowed his mind to swirl back, first to the dream. His body still coursed with desire, alive to every sense. How had the dream started? His brow furrowed as he tried to remember. Talking on a porch. Peeling off of clothes. Holding tight, muscled body under his fingers, slick with sweat, heavy with heat and lust. Whispered nothings. The smell of jasmine permeating the mist. Night birds. Crickets.


Not that that was how it happened.


They'd been driving, talking everything about nothing. Two buddies, unlikely as that was. A friendship started in grade school as much through geography and parents as anything else. He was always stellar. There was never anything less than exceptional about him. He glowed. That was what he always remembered. Life was always good around him. Nothing worried him. Everything was fun.


And that afternoon they'd driven out of town and into the woods. For what reason? He couldn't recall there ever being a reason. They just did. That was enough. Sat on a log. More talking. And then a hand on a thigh. An admission. A question. An acceptance. Clacking of teeth. Hands rough on shirts. Twigs sticking into ribs. Leaves in questionable places.


A love had blossomed and quickly died. Not out of shame, not out of guilt, not out of disgust. Sat in his chair in his study in his house with his wife and his son asleep upstairs, Will could see it for what it was. It was a culmination. Where else could their friendship have gone? All events had laid up to that one afternoon. A joyous celebration, a meeting of bodies and minds, of ideas, of thanks given and received.

No promises had been asked for, none had been proffered. The air was leaden with the future. It pressed onto them, applying pressure. That had been their valve.


Outside Will's house the car had come to a stop. He put one hand on the latch and pulled, clicking the door open, but he kept it closed.


“I love you, Jack.”


“I know.”


He hadn't waited to hear anything else. That was enough. He bowled from the car and walked straight into the house, not looking back. He stood in the hall and listened to the car rev and pull away. Silence had greeted him and he gave the house his own silence along with his tears.


Will wiped his eyes again. That had been the last time they'd spoken. Two different Colleges, two different lives. He had never attended any reunions that Will had been to. Maybe he'd look him up, Homecoming was approaching, after all.


He stood, legs leaden, heart barely pumping, and returned to the kitchen and the coffee. Yeah. Homecoming.


The clock blazing on the oven said it was past 6. He headed out to the porch for the local paper, in time to see a black BMX disappear down the sidewalk, barrelling out cocooned rolls of news. He unwrapped and flicked it open.


The coffee cup slid from his nerveless fingers, the mug cracking as it hit the ground, brown liquid flowing from it, creating a miniature lake, a river, a waterfall.


“Born and raised in the town, Captain Jack Freeth was killed by a roadside bomb on Saturday while trying to retrieve the body of an Afghan soldier. His efforts to adhere to the soldier’s code – leave no man behind – and stop the Taliban seizing the body of his comrade have made him a hero in the Afghan National Army.


Captain Freeth's commanding officer, Major Simon Banton, praised his bravery and selfless sacrifice.”

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