You feel that new rush of excitement. And you think of him. Dozy, the prefect, and Mr Walls, the junior House Master, are just finishing their rounds and give your Form I dormitory ten minutes of talking time. They switch off the lights and surround your nervous anticipation with darkness. Around you the other boys compare their days on the sports field and chatter themselves to sleep. You stare up at the ceilings of white, pressed metal patterns that you can only make out with the help of the moonlight and memory. Your entire body is in your throat, beating. Beating at a hundred kilometers per second. Waiting for the chatter to turn into “Good nights,” to turn into deeper breathing. And while you wait, you talk yourself into and out of doing this thing again. Just this morning you promised yourself, “Not again. Never, ever, ever again.” But tonight, as the nasal noises signal to your brain that it is time, your arms take over, moving your fingers out from under your covers and curling them around the steel frame of your hostel bed. Your immature biceps flex as you lift your teenage body off your mattress, and the lat muscles that you’ll work so hard on over the next five years, barely but silently swing you onto the floor. You pause under your bed, listening into the silence.
You’ve done this before. Practiced in the art of being silent, of crawling as you hunt with your desire in the maze of bed legs and boot lockers. You silently negotiate with the darkness to get from under your bed to under his without rising a suspicion, raising alarm in the many boys under whom you are submarining while they sleep. Eyes adjusted, senses programmed, your body on complete autopilot that leaves you to convince that part of you that still thinks this is a bad idea, that it is only temporary: An experiment; a phase. You know exactly where every metal trunk obstructs and taunts. You also know he will be awake and waiting too.
Why him, you wonder for a sliding moment. He is so unpopular. Such a girl, a poefter. So mocked and teased by the older boys at hostel. Maybe that is exactly why: You know that he won’t say anything, won’t repeat a word of this to anyone. After all, he is the faggot. Everyone can tell. And they do tell him in high-pitched, mocking voices when he tries to bowl a ball in an afternoon game of alley cricket. You, you are not a faggot. You bowl that red ball perfectly. After all, you don’t want to kiss him (even though you can feel the hesitant desire in his lips) and don’t want anything more than this passing moment of self-pleasure (even though you can hear his body asking you for more).
You slide underneath his bed—a temporary double bunk of testosterone—and listen to the breathing around you; so accustomed already to the shallow snore from the bed to his right and to the deep, slow breathing on his left. Both neighbouring boys, asleep. A moment of relief, followed by deeper anticipation and the tingle of exhilaration. You feel your own breath coming to you in short, quick spurts. You hesitate at this last point of possible return. Again, your arms take over in their blinding desire, leaving the rest of you pressed against the linoleum. Slowly, silently they crawl up and over the corner of his mattress and find the flap where it meets his duvet. Your fingers gently pry the two apart, walking themselves to his warmth. Towards where it always is, waiting. In the practiced ritual that is already seven days old, you find it: His hard, eager, barely-pubescent penis, already freed from his pajama shorts and awaiting your arriving palm. His hip lifted, opens a cave for you to enter.
You’ve liked the feeling of his erect penis from the very first time you felt it, even before you felt it hard for the first time. Before, when you were showering with him and all the other boys, you dared sneak a peek and you liked what you saw. But you despise his effeminate affectations, hate how he flicks his fringe when trying to play sport, and fume when he always has the answers during prep—you’re repulsed by the social liability it is to know him. But his dick is that of a real boy and, sissy or not, you can’t help but want to touch it again and again.
Stroking it now, you can feel his body find your beat. Your rhythm together has always felt strangely comforting—in this, doing this, sharing this—the tandem of arm and hips—and it feels for a moment as if you truly are in this together. If you were completely honest with yourself, you would say that this was more than just boys’ misbehavior, experimenting, sexual jockeying, selfish. You might even see that you like him for more than this one conflicted moment of your day. But that thought is buried deep; won’t come up to the surface for many years. When it is too late to do anything with it.
Not a single word is exchanged, not even a whisper. No eye contact. No connection except for your one arm extended into the sanctum of his sheets and into the sweaty loins of his desire for you. You feel your own penis, stiff and pushing against your own pajama shorts, as your back lifts lightly off the cold floor to reach closer into him.
Over the next few visits, this will stop being enough. You will want to see him hard and not just feel his hardness. You will want the pleasure of seeing his hips rocking towards you in that most primal of thrusts. So this nightly ritual will expand to other parts of the school grounds: Broken-into classrooms on bright, solitary afternoons; deserted ablution blocks in forgotten corners of the school estate; behind the cricket pavilion long after the first team has finished their practice but before you are all summoned to dinner by the long ring of the buzzing hostel bell. You don’t know this now but somewhere in you—much closer to the surface than your other buried thoughts—you want to see him being brought to the peak of his pleasure. Something that hasn’t happened between the two of you yet. A prize that you take for yourself only once you are back in your own bed, afterwards. You will always refuse to kiss him, and the Penthouse magazine you will lure him into those future shadows with, will give you even more cover to support your often-mumbled assertion that, “You’re only doing this because there are no girls around.”
Suddenly his hips stop gyrating. And then his whole body jerks in death-like spasms. This has never happened and it frightens both of you. It feels to you as though his toes have curled into balled fists (of pleasure? of pain?) and his legs and body shake with a sensation you’re sure he hasn’t had before. You realize what has happened and your vision blinds you. It is the brightest of white in the darkness under his bed and there is a zinging in your ears. But you know that you aren’t where he is now, in some forth dimension of bliss. You are consumed by the animal of fear. Afraid of being discovered—that these midnight movements have woken the innocent—and judged guilty by your wrist full of virgin semen, you withdraw quickly. You don’t hear the change in his breathing. Or feel his rushing heart beating. You don’t smell the milky chlorine freshness of his white, lumpy cum on you. Your own erection has disappeared; blood evacuating it and your face with immediate, shocking speed. All you know is that you’re back in your own bed, rushing back through your own thoughts, repeatedly, repeatedly, and trying to listen through them to find a sound of someone, anyone, moving in the silence. You are petrified that they may have heard something.
As the shock subsides, shame takes over your body. You feel homesick for your parents and your one, older sister, your home in the suburbs and the family dog. Anything familiar. And you start to cry. Tears that caress your cheeks in a, “Hush now, you’re a big boy. The biggest. This is normal, hush. You’re going to be okay, hush.”
On the other side of the room, still in his bed, unmoved, the same tears are matching the same longing. But they’re longing for you too. Confused by the fireworks that you just went off inside his eyelids, the boy you just brought to his first orgasm wraps himself in his A-Team duvet and dreams of being anywhere but here.