THE JIGSAW PUZZLE

by Pink Panther

The story continues to move along, but as is so often the case, things have to get worse before they get better, so read on and enjoy! As always, feedback is more than welcome. Please send your comments to archimedes294@hushmail.com , and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

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CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

October 2009

My chat with Dad definitely helped, but it hasn't solved the main problem. Mum's still doing her business as usual routine, like if she ignores it, it'll go away. I thought Dad might have talked her into doing something about it, but he hasn't, not yet at least.

But why I am waiting for Dad to sort it out for me? I'm nearly sixteen, aren't I? I can deal with it myself. My first thought is to use the book and the leaflets that Claire gave to Mum, but I've no idea where they are. It doesn't matter. I'll look on the internet.

I go onto Google and search for "support groups in the West Midlands for parents with gay children". I'm concerned that I might not find anything suitable, but several results appear. I begin to check them out. The first entry looks very promising. Most important of all, it's got a Birmingham contact number. I take a deep breath and call it. On the third ring it's picked up.

"Beth Goodwin," a lady's voice says.

"Hi," I respond. "My name's Ian. I'm enquiring about the support group for families with gay kids."

"Can you tell me where you fit into that?" she asks gently.

"I'm gay," I tell her. "I came out to Mum and Dad a few months ago. Dad's sort of okay with it, but Mum's finding it hard. I was hoping that if we came to one of your meetings it might help her to understand."

"Oh, I see," she says, sounding very friendly. "So how old are you, Ian?"

"I'm fifteen. I'll be sixteen in February."

"Well, we've got a meeting a week on Tuesday," she says, adding that the meetings are held at a community centre on the outskirts of Birmingham and begin at 7.30. "You and your mum would be very welcome," she concludes, "but obviously I'd need to speak to her first. Ask her to call me, would you?"

"Yes, of course!" I respond. "Thanks!"

A week on Tuesday will be during the half term break. That ought to help. My next challenge is to persuade Mum to pick up the phone.

0 o 0 o 0 o 0

We've just finished eating. This is it, the best opportunity I'm going to get.

"Mum," I begin. "I've been in touch with a group that supports families with gay kids. They've got a meeting a week on Tuesday. Of course, I can't go on my own. We'd have to go together. The lady who runs the group says she'd need to speak to you. Would you call her please? I've got the number."

"And what would going to this meeting achieve?" Mum asks.

"You've been worried about me being gay ever since I told you," I respond. "But that's all you do, worry about it. Don't you think meeting some other parents with gay kids would help?"

"I'm not sure it would," she argues.

"I'm not sure either," I counter, "but I think it would. And you're not going to know if you don't give it a try are you? And what harm can it do?"

"Where is it?" she demands.

I give her the details, including the starting time.

"Well that's not very practical, is it?" she argues. "How am I supposed to get home from work, cook dinner and get us to a meeting at that time?"

"Mum, it's half term," Claire points out. "I'll be at Damian's so you won't have to worry about me. And Ian can get a meal ready for when you get home. He's perfectly capable."

"Even so, I don't get home much before six," Mum objects. "It'd still be too much of a rush."

"Mum!" Claire protests. "Leave work early for once! Apart from holidays you never take time off. I'm sure other people do. Do it! It's important."

"Give me the number," Mum says, looking daggers at me and Claire. "I'll speak to this lady; see what she has to say. But I'm not making any promises."

"Thanks Mum," I say, smiling at her.

After clearing the table and loading the dishwasher, I make my way upstairs.

"Why didn't you tell me what you were going to do?" Claire asks, emerging from her room.

"Sorry," I answer. "I didn't think about it. Thanks for what you said. It really helped."

"It'd have been much easier if I'd known what was coming," she says reprovingly. "You did a pretty good job though."

"Thanks," I acknowledge. "I'll remember to keep you in the loop next time."

I settle down to my homework. I'm right in the middle of it when there's a knock on the door. Mum appears.

"I've spoken to Mrs Goodwin" she says with an obvious lack of enthusiasm. "She seems nice enough. I'm not sure what good it's going to do, but I'm prepared to take you if that's what you want."

"Thanks Mum!" I say, jumping out of my chair to give her a hug. "I really appreciate it."

"I hope you're not getting any silly ideas," she says, looking concerned.

"Of course not," I assure her. "Going to this meeting isn't about me. Okay, I'll get to meet some other gay kids, but that's not why we're going. You've always been a rock for me. But you've struggled to come to terms with me being gay and it's time we did something about it."

0 o 0 o 0 o 0

It's Friday evening. We've just finished dinner when I get a call. It's Jimmy.

"Hi man!" I greet. "I wasn't expecting you to call. What can I do for you?"

"Tomorrow," he says. "Can we meet in town? I need to talk to you."

"Yeah, okay," I answer guardedly. "Usual time?"

"Can you make it earlier?" he asks.

I'm expected to be in for lunch at one o'clock. I usually leave to go to Jimmy's place as soon as we've finished. If he wants me to meet him earlier than usual, it'll have to be in the morning.

"How about half past eleven?" I suggest.

"Yeah, okay," he says. "Meet in Starbucks, yeah?"

"Yeah," I agree, "I'll see you there."

We end the call. Hmmm! I'm not sure what he wants to talk about, but I've got a strong feeling that I'm not going to like it.

0 o 0 o 0 o 0

The following morning I'm in my bedroom doing my homework. I'm hoping to get most of it done before I go to meet Jimmy. There's a knock on the door.

"Come in!" I call.

Dad appears.

"Hi Dad!" I say, turning to face him. "What's up?"

"I understand you've talked Mum into taking you to a meeting," he says quietly.

"Yeah," I say grinning. "I'm really looking forward to it."

"I'm pleased you've taken the initiative," he says. "Well done!"

"Thanks!"

"I hope you're not thinking of it as somewhere to find a boyfriend," he continues.

"No way!" I assure him. "Mum was worried about that too. Well, it's not going to happen. I want us to go because I think it'll be good for Mum to meet some other parents with gay kids."

"Fine!" he says, smiling. "But make sure you remember that. You might find it really boring. What would you do then?"

"Dunno," I answer. "I hadn't thought about it."

"You'll need to pretend you had a good time even if you didn't," he says, looking at me intently. "Going to this meeting is just the start. The important thing is to keep Mum involved. You don't want to give her an excuse for not going back."

I understand totally. Mum needs to get to know the parents of some other gay kids and it's not going to happen in one meeting. Whether I enjoy myself really doesn't matter.

0 o 0 o 0 o 0

It's Saturday. I arrive at Starbucks just before 11.30. Jimmy's already there.

"Hi man!" he greets. We make our way inside. "This is on me," he adds.

We order coffees and take them to an empty table.

"So what was it you wanted to talk to me about?" I ask as we sit down.

"I've met someone," he says. "We're going to be boyfriends, or at least I think we are. I didn't want to tell you on the phone. You deserve better than that."

"Oh," I say, realising that I should have seen this coming. "So how did it happen?"

"We met at college," he says. "I was working out in the gym. I could see him sort of looking at me. I knew straight away what he wanted. So I got chatting to him. We went back to my place and one thing led to another, yeah?"

"Cool," I say, feeling rather deflated. "So what's he like?"

"Craig's my age," he tells me, "a bit taller than me, and slim. Not as cute as you, but he's not bad. We get on really well, yeah?"

"Nice!" I say, trying to hide my disappointment. "So does he do construction too?"

"Nah, he's on a business studies course. But he lives with his mum in a flat on the Monkswood, so we sort of understand each other."

I get that totally. They've had similar lives, live in similar places. They connect in ways that Jimmy and I never could. There's not much else I can say.

"So how far have you gone?" I whisper, leaning across the table.

"Well, we haven't gone all the way yet," he says. "Craig's never been with anyone before. I wasn't going to make that mistake again."

"Cool," I repeat. "So does he know about . . . er, the older guys you go with?"

"Yeah," he answers. "I had to tell him. He'd have caught me out if I hadn't. He was okay with it, yeah? He knows what it's like, not being able to have stuff other kids have got. I've told Rob and Steve too. I can see them during the week, but weekends are for me and Craig."

"Well, I hope it works out for you," I say, doing my best to sound positive.

Only I'm not. My brain's like totally scrambled. I've known all along that having sex with Jimmy was a short term thing. One of us was going to meet someone and that would be it. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon. I guess now that he's at college, Jimmy's had opportunities he wouldn't have had while he was at school.

So now I'm on my own. The three guys who've helped me out since I split up with Anthony have moved on. I know they were only fuck buddies, but that's not the point. The bottom line is that right now I've got nobody, and that's going to be hard.

0 o 0 o 0 o 0

It's Wednesday afternoon. In a couple of days, we'll finish school for our half term break. This afternoon, we got back early from our cross-country race. I would have gone home on the bus with David, but I wanted to go into town to buy some art materials. Having bought what I needed, I return to the bus station just as school comes out.

At the stop next to ours, I see Gareth's friend, the boy who went into the toilets with Zav. He's on his own. Gareth and his other friends are nowhere to be seen. I wouldn't normally approach a kid as young as that, but I need to talk to him, and this may be the only opportunity I'm going to get. I stroll across to him, my heart pounding.

"Hi!" I say, as nonchalantly as I can manage. "Gareth not here today?"

"He's got football training," the boy answers.

"Oh, right!" I respond. "I'm Ian. I met Gareth back in the summer when I was on holiday in Portugal. His sister's in my class. They've got their own place out there. They invited us to visit them, yeah?"

"I'm Dominic," the lad says, eyeing me intently. "Are you friends with Gareth's brother too?"

"Yeah," I admit. "Sort of."

"I thought so," he says, giving me a knowing grin. He lowers his voice. "Would you like to come to my place?"

I swallow hard.

"Will that be okay?"

"You can't come on the bus with me," Dominic says. "Someone might see us. Get the next one. It's the one-seven-eight. Get off at Westfield Drive. I'll meet you there, okay?"

"Okay," I tell him.

I stroll away, annoyed with myself for not handling that very well. It's pretty obvious that Dominic will expect us to have sex. I should have told him that I just wanted to talk, but I didn't. Shit! I wonder if he's still going with Zav. If he was, this afternoon would have been an obvious opportunity, so maybe he isn't.

A few minutes later I'm back at the bus station. All the grammar school kids have gone. I check the display board. The next bus is due in five minutes. I wait anxiously. If this goes wrong, I can kiss goodbye to everything I've worked for.

But I told Dominic I'd go and I'm not going to let him down. Right on cue the bus arrives and I get onboard. We cross the bridge to the far side of the river, heading past the cricket ground to the leafy suburbs beyond. `Westfield Drive' flashes up on the display unit. I ring the bell and make my way towards the front. As I get off, Dominic's waiting for me.

"Hi!" he says, smiling. "I'm glad you came. We live just round the corner."

He's already changed out of his school uniform. In skinny denim shorts and a striped polo shirt he looks even smaller. Quite cute, in a way, but far too young for me. A short walk along one of the side-roads brings us to a large detached house. It's not as stylish the Marshalls' place, but still pretty impressive. He lets us in and leads me up the stairs, ushering me into his room. After closing the door, he sits on the bed.

"So are you an only child?" I ask, sitting down next to him.

"I've got an older brother, Marcus," he says. "He's just started at public school. I was supposed to go there next year."

"So why aren't you?"

"When I was seven, I went off to boarding school. I'd been there nearly three years. It was summer and I'd just had my tenth birthday. I started . . . er, doing stuff with one of the older boys. Well, the next term we got caught. We were both sent down. They said I shouldn't go to a boarding school again, so my parents sent me to the day school where I'd been before."

"Is that the School Gareth went to?"

"Yeah."

"Right! So how old's Marcus?"

"Thirteen, he'll be fourteen in December."

"And are you thirteen yet?"

"No, I won't be thirteen till June next year."

"Right! So do you and Marcus do stuff together?"

"Yeah," he says, grinning. "Actually it's pretty weird. When I got thrown out of prep school he was all `Oh that's disgusting, doing dirty stuff like that.' But last Easter, when he was home for the holidays, I was lying in bed one morning after Mummy and Daddy had gone to work. Suddenly he came into my room and got in bed with me. We started messing about. Five minutes later I was lying on my tummy and he was fucking me."

"Wow! D'you like that?"

"Yeah! I love having it up my bum! That's what Jeremy and I were doing when we got caught."

"So does Gareth do that?"

"No, we just suck each other off."

"You hang out with Xavier Stanford, don't you?"

"I used to," he admits. "Who told you that?"

"Nobody told me," I respond. "Last term I was just coming out of the physics lab about five to four when I saw you come up the stairs and go into the toilet. A few seconds later, Zav followed you in. When neither of you came out, I knew something was going on. So I crept into the toilet. The two of you were in the stall. I looked under the partition. He was fucking you."

"You haven't told anyone, have you?" he demands, sounding alarmed.

"No, don't worry."

Not strictly true, of course; I told Dean but he's safe. There's no need for Dominic to know.

"You said you used to hang out with Zav," I probe. "So I guess you don't do that anymore."

"No," he says firmly. "And before you ask I don't want to talk about it, okay?"

"Fair enough," I say. "Back when I was in Year Eight, Zav used to pick on me, calling me `gay' and `queer'. I mean, like he isn't. Last year he tried to fuck me in the toilets. Somehow I managed to get away from him."

"Was that when he got the black eye?"

"D'you remember that? Yeah, he tripped over my foot and hit his head on one of the washbasins."

"Cool!"

"Yeah, well I didn't tell you that. You don't know anything about it, okay?"

"Yeah, course!" he says, giving me a conspiratorial grin.

"So you weren't with Zav a few weeks ago when he got caught?"

"No," he says grinning. "That was scary! I wouldn't have wanted to have Broadhurst quizzing me. I was still worried as it was. I thought one of the other boys might say something. I'm sure at least a couple of them knew what Zav and I had been doing."

He reaches across, putting his hand right on my dick.

"I thought you'd be hard," he says, looking disappointed.

"Sorry," I answer. "I like boys my age and older. I came here because I wanted to talk to you about Zav. Well, somehow you got away from him. That's as much as I need to know. Sorry if I've messed you about."

"Won't you just show me your cock?" he asks. "Come on! I promise I won't tell anyone."

Rather nervously, I undo the top of my school trousers and pull down the zip. In one movement, I lower my trousers and boxer-briefs so that they're around my thighs. Reaching across, Dominic runs his fingers over my prick. After ten days with no sex, it gets hard in an instant.

"Nice!" he says admiringly. "I've never taken one as big as yours."

That is a surprise. I've got five inches with thickness to match, not bad considering I'm not quite five feet five, but it's nothing to write home about. I don't know Marcus, but Zav's around five feet ten. I'd always assumed he was quite well supplied in the dick department. Apparently, he isn't.

"So mine's bigger than Zav's?" I query.

"Oh yeah," he says. "His is only the same size as Marcus's. Yours is longer and thicker. I'd love to have it up my bum, only it'd hurt."

"Just as well that we're not going to do it then," I respond.

"I wish Gareth would fuck me," he says wistfully, "but he seems scared to try it."

"Have you got any lube?"

"Yeah."

"Then here's what you do. Put some on his cock. Then get him lying on his back. You kneel astride his chest, like facing him. Then you sit on his dick. You'll have to hold it so that it goes up you, yeah? Then you do the work, you understand?"

"Oh yeah! I get it! Have you done it? You must have!"

"Possibly," I concede, grinning at him.

I start to pull up my briefs.

"Are you sure you don't want me to suck you off?" he asks. "Come on! You're as hard as a rock. Surely you don't want to go home like that?"

I hesitate.

"It's okay," he assures me. "Nobody's going to find out."

That's it. I'm as horny as hell. I simply can't say no. He's on me in an instant. To say that I can tell he's done it before would be a gross understatement. His technique is amazing. Within a minute, my cock's tingling like you would not believe.

"Dominic," I gasp, struggling to get the words out. "I'm going to cum!"

Predictably, he keeps right on going. It's unbelievable; the best blow-job I've ever had. `Awesome' doesn't even come close. Finally, he pulls away, licking his lips.

"You make lots of spunk, don't you?" he says, grinning.

"Yeah!" I agree, pulling up my underpants and trousers before he tries talking me into anything else. "Quite a bit."

Five minutes later, I'm on my way home. I just have to hope that Dominic sticks to his end of the bargain and doesn't tell anyone what we just did.