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Chapter 9: The End Of A
It was Sunday morning. Daniel sat at the breakfast table feeling tired
and thoroughly miserable. It was 10.30 am, a bit late to be having
breakfast, but he’d been late getting up. He’d spent a sleepless night
tossing and turning as he struggled to work out how he’d gotten himself
into this mess and trying to think of a way to get himself out of it.
After dismissing the more radical alternatives, at least some of which
involved murder, he’d narrowed his list of possible options down to
three. None of the three were particularly appealing:
Option one: he could do nothing. This would leave him completely in
Ben’s power. Daniel had no doubt at all that the youngster would use the
tape he had made yesterday to force the teenager into further such
sessions. Daniel’s mind went into overdrive as his imagination conjured
up some of the possible scenarios that were in store for him. They all
involved him being naked, almost all of them were humiliating, and some
of them were even downright painful.
Option two: he could catch the little shit on his own and beat the crap
out of him until he agreed to hand the tape over. This one certainly had
its appeal. On the downside, there was a strong likelihood that if he
did something like this, Ben’s parents would find out. Then the whole
story would probably come out, Jason would get to know, and even
Daniel’s own mother would get to know. There was no way Daniel could
face that sort of humiliation.
Option three: Daniel could go to Jason and admit that he was gay. This
would give Ben one less weapon in his armoury. Then, assuming that Jason
still wanted anything to do with him, the two of them could go after Ben
together and hopefully convince the younger boy that it was in his best
interests to hand the tape over. Unfortunately, Daniel was convinced
that once Jason found out that his best friend had been keeping a secret
like that from him, it would be the end of their friendship.
What a choice to have to make. In reality it looked like no choice at
all, since both options two and three involved a strong chance of him
losing Jason, and the thought of this was far more painful than anything
that Ben might come up with. It looked like the only thing that he could
do was to sit back and wait to see what Ben had planned.
“Daniel, you could at least try to eat something,” said the boy’s
mother, lowering the newspaper that she’d been reading.
“I’m not hungry,” Daniel replied, pushing away the untouched bowl of
soggy cereal that had been sitting in front of him for the past ten
Carol Marshall laid the newspaper down on the table and gave an
exasperated sigh. “You’ve had another falling out with Jason, haven’t
“No, it’s nothing like that.”
“You sure? The only thing that ever causes you to lose your appetite is
when the two of aren’t speaking.”
“I told you. It’s nothing to do with Jason.”
“Do you want to tell me about it, whatever it is?”
“No, there’s nothing to tell. I’m just not hungry.”
Mrs. Marshall reached across the table and laid her fingers gently on
the back of her son’s hand. “Look, Danny, I don’t want to pry or
anything, I just want to make sure that you know that you can tell me if
anything is worrying you; anything at all. I know that sometimes some
things are hard to talk about. I know that sometimes it must be hard for
you not having a dad around. But please don’t be afraid to talk to me;
you might be surprised at just how understanding I can be.”
As Daniel looked up into his mother eyes, he suddenly felt like a little
boy again. Maybe this was a fourth option. He could tell his mother all
about the mess he was in, she’d listen and give him a hug and tell him
not to worry, and then she’d sort everything out for him, just like
she’d done when he was small. It was so tempting. She was his mother,
she’d know exactly what to do, mothers always did. His eyes misted up.
As he opened his mouth in preparation to letting it all pour out, there
was a loud knock on the front door.
Daniel leaped up from his chair, the spell broken. “I’ll get it.”
He couldn’t believe that he’d been so close to telling his mother
everything. As he hurried out of the kitchen and into the hallway, the
knocking at the door came again, hard and impatient. Whoever it was,
they didn’t like being kept waiting. Daniel reached the front door and
pulled it open. “Jason?”
Outside it was raining heavily. The fourteen-year-old was standing on
the doorstep, dripping wet, his hair plastered down on his head. He
stood stiffly, his arms at his sides, his fists clenched. His face was
pale and his mouth was compressed into a thin line.
“Is something the matter?” Daniel asked. “I was coming over to your
house later. Come on in, you’re soaked through.” He reached for his
Jason stepped back, shaking his head. “No. I don’t want to come in.”
“Why? What’s wrong? You can’t stay out there, it’s peeing down.”
“Were you at Billy Stanton’s house yesterday?”
Daniel stopped breathing. Somehow Jason had found out. “What’s Ben been
saying?” he asked.
“Were you at Billy Stanton’s house yesterday? Just answer me.”
“Yeah, I was. But...” Daniel stopped, not sure what excuse he could
Jason nodded. The corners of his mouth had turned down into a sneer. He
shook his head and ran his hand through his sodden hair. Daniel was
unsure whether there were tears in the boy’s eyes or whether it was just
“Tell me what Ben’s been saying?” Daniel demanded, stepping out into the
“Oh, he hasn’t said anything to me,” said Jason, sharply. “But him and
Billy had plenty to talk about to each other. They were together in
Ben’s room this morning, giggling about what you got up to yesterday.
Your sick tie-up games. They didn’t know I was listening at the door.”
Jason’s face was like stone and there was a tremor in his voice as he
spoke. “You want to know what else they were laughing about?”
Daniel silently shook his head and took a step towards to his friend.
Jason continued to back away. “They were laughing about me and you being
partners and touching each other and everything, and how stupid I was
for not realising that you were gay.” He paused and drew in a deep
shuddering breath. “Is it true? Are you gay?”
“Jason, let me explain.” Daniel had started to shake. Things were
running out of his control.
“Are you gay?” Jason repeated, his voice rising to a shout.
“Yeah, I think so. But you don’t understand...”
“I don’t understand?” Jason cut his friend off. Even with the pouring
rain, there was now no mistaking the tears in his eyes. His voice rose
further, in a crescendo of anger and hurt. “It’s you who doesn’t
understand. All this time I’ve been getting stick at school about how I
MUST be gay because of the way I look, because I’m smaller than most of
the other boys, because I have a face like a girl, because I haven’t got
much hair round my dick yet, any reason they could think of. All this
time you’ve watched this going on, knowing that it was YOU who was gay.
We’re supposed to be best friends, but you go behind my back making
deals with my brother so that you can get your hands on my dick. What
sort of best friend would do that? Well it doesn’t matter any more. I
don’t want to be your friend anymore.”
“No!” Daniel sobbed. He rushed forwards, his hands out. “Jason, please,
you’ve got to listen to me.”
“Stay away from me. I don’t want anything to do with you. Just keep
away.” Jason spun around and rushed away into the rain.
Daniel stood and watched his best friend disappear around the corner. He
was trembling, his tears mixing with the rain running down his face. He
looked back towards his front door. Standing there was his mother, her
mouth open. She looked upset, angry, disappointed. She’d heard
everything. She’d heard him admit that he was gay. There was no way he
could face her. Not after this. With a loud sob he turned away and
started to run.
“Daniel!” His mother called to him, her voice made flat by the rain.
He ignored her. He had to get away. He didn’t know where he was going or
what he was going to do when he got there. He just knew that he had to
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