When I Learned

Chapter 1

 

I was six years old when I learned that I liked boys better than girls.  I started school and Mrs. Murray, my first-grade teacher didn't say my name correctly.  I was already kind of used to it, because my parents are weirdos and they picked my first name to be nice to a really rich old man in my dad's family, so I was stuck with Freyne.  It's supposed to sound like train, but with an F instead of a T, but lots of people said it like Fry Knee.  I thought my last name was easy though; Gandy.  That can't be that hard.  I guess someone had trouble with the handwriting on my registration forms or something, though, because she said my first name right, but called my last name as Candy.  All the girls in my class, and there were a lot of them, laughed at me and from that day on, no matter how much I tried to correct them, my name was now Candy.  A few of the boys called me that too, but they didn't seem to like the giggly, dumb old girls either, so they called me by my first name.  Thus, my determination that boys were better than girls. 

I was nine years old when I learned that I liked boys much better than girls.  My parents insisted that I go to Sophie Clark's birthday party, even though I didn't like her, because Sophie's dad and my dad did business together a lot.  Not only did I not like Sophie, but it was a swimming party and I didn't know how to swim very well.  My mom told me that everyone would understand if I didn't want to get into the water.  Sophie didn't.  I was walking around the pool watching the other kids swimming and wishing I knew how when she came running up behind me and knocked me into the pool, at the deep end.  Her twelve year old brother Jackson dived in to save me.  He took me to his room after we got out of the water, so that we could both change clothes.  He gave me a t shirt of his to wear while their mom washed and dried my clothes.  I took my shirt off, dried my upper body with the towel he gave me, and then put his shirt on. It looked like a dress on me, and I said so, probably with a bit of a pout.  I took everything else off under it while he went into the bathroom to get undressed.  When he came out, he was wearing his mom's fluffy pink bathrobe.  He said that way I wouldn't feel so bad about wearing a dress.  Best of all, he stayed in his room with me and let me sit on his bed and played video games with me until my clothes were brought back by his mom.  I liked him WAY better than his sister.  I didn't even mind when he said that he thought my nickname of Candy was cute, just like me. 

I was eleven years old when I learned that I liked boys too much and girls not enough.  By this point, I had a best friend that I spent as much time with as possible.  Ironically, it was my nickname that got him to decide that we should be best friends.  I needed some persuasion especially after hearing his reasoning.  "Your name is Candy and my name is Kane.  We just gotta be friends."  His humor might not have improved in the two years since I had met him, but I finally gave in because he followed me around everywhere whether I wanted him to or not.  It turned out that we did have a lot in common, but as expected everyone at school quickly got used to seeing Candy Kane together.  The moment in question came when I was over at his house one afternoon and we were in the woods behind his house.  We were climbing trees and he was talking on and on about girls because all the boys at school did that all the time, all the boys except me, that is.  As he was talking about Julianne Rogers, I looked up the tree at him, since I was on a lower branch.  I suddenly realized that he was wearing no underwear that day and that I could see EVERYTHING.  I also realized that I liked seeing it.  It didn't dawn on me that day as he talked about Julianne and some of the other girls, that he never once grabbed his crotch and adjusted like the other boys at school did when they talked about girls. 

I was fourteen when I realized that I hated my parents, I hated Great Uncle Freyne, and most of all I hated my life.  That was the year that I, and everyone at school, found out that I was not just named for Uncle Freyne, I was named to be gay, literally.  Our freshman literature teacher insisted that everyone use a format for our written assignments which required that we put our initials at the top of the paper.  As Felicia Grant and I shared the same initials, we were told to use all three initials to differentiate our work.  That was all fine and dandy for Felicia Louise Grant, but the moment the kid in front of me saw the top of my paper, it was the end of my life.  Or at least I wished it had been.  I wanted to die on the spot as the girl in front of me snickered, and then laughed, and then called out to the whole class what the initials of Freyne Alexander Gandy spelled out. 

I was sixteen when I admitted to myself that I was gay and that it had nothing to do with my parents' horrendous lack of good sense or good taste in picking names for their offspring.  It was once again a swim party at Sophie Clark's house and once again, I was forced to go by my parents.  Although my folks believed that Sophie's parental units would be present, once I arrived it became doubtful that the elder Clarks even knew about the party as they were gone for the weekend.  As teenagers, the other party attendees thought that was a good thing.  As before, I did my best to avoid the pool, but just like when we were nine, Sophie pushed me in.  I had taken swimming lessons at the YMCA for years until the staff at the place refused to let me enroll anymore.  I was deemed unteachable, and advised to stay on dry ground where I so clearly was meant to be.  My childhood hero, Jackson Clark, who was supervising the party in his parents' absence, once again dove into the pool to rescue me.  In my obsession over preventing Sophie from pushing me into the pool, I failed to watch where I was going and fell in completely on my own.  Jackson.  Unlike the previous time however, he wasn't wearing a swimsuit.  He just had on some white gym shorts from his college.  They were white until they got wet that is.  When we got out of the pool, everything he had, and there was plenty of it, was clearly displayed for all to see.  I opted to stay outside at the party this time, because I knew at that moment that I could not be trusted to be alone and naked with Jackson Clark.  He went inside and changed and I thought that was the end of things. 

I was eighteen when I came to the conclusion that being gay was not only ok, but very, very nice.  I went off to college to make something of myself.  My parents expected me to become an architect, and I expected to become an out gay man.  I had chosen a university far from my home so that I wouldn't run into anyone I knew.  Well, that wasn't entirely true. I did know one person at the college, but as he was a senior and I was an incoming freshman, I thought it would be easy to avoid him.  I was wrong.  When I arrived at the dorm to check in, I was told that I had been reassigned to share a different room.  I asked why and the sophomore at the front desk of the building just shrugged.  He had no idea why it was changed, but it was and I was holding up the line.  With my new room number in mind, I climbed the stairs with my luggage in tow as the elevator was out of service.  I opened the door to my home for the semester to find Jackson Clark inside waiting for me wearing what looked like the same white shorts he had on when he saved me from the pool that second time.  

He grinned as he greeted me with, "This time you can't avoid changing clothes in the same room as me.  I finally get my piece of candy without having to bribe my sister to throw you into the pool anymore." 

"You paid Sophie to throw me into the pool?" 

"Both times," he grinned unrepentantly. 

"Why would you do that to me?  I could have drowned," I complained as I dropped my suitcase, making sure it landed on his foot, I might add. 

"Ow," he yelped.  "I did it for very good reasons," he defended as he hopped around rubbing his sore toes.  "That first time I did it because I didn't want to be at that dumb party any more than you did.  I paid her to dunk you, so we would both have an excuse to stay in my room for the rest of the afternoon."  He sat on his bed with his legs spread and I was suddenly reminded of when I had seen up the leg of Kane's shorts, only the view was considerably more developed in this case.  "You really should thank me for that, by the way.  I had to do the brat's chores for a month on top of giving her the five bucks, because she got grounded for nearly drowning you." 

"Ok, I can forgive you for that one, because I was ready to drown if it meant getting away from that stupid party," I told him.  "The month of extra chores is on you, though.  You should have been more specific about making sure it looked like an accident." 

"Hello, you've met my sister," he countered.  "I did tell her to make it look like an accident.  Sophie is incapable of being subtle." 

"Ok, yeah, that's also a given," I had to concede.  "What about the party when I was sixteen?" 

"That one I have no excuse for other than being blinded by your beauty," he told me with a bit of a blush.  If not for the blush, I would have thought he was teasing me.  "Remember when you were nine and I told you that Candy was a cute name for a cute boy?  Well, you were a lot cuter when you were sixteen, so I got stupid and tried to recreate the first time.  I was hoping to get you into my room alone again.  Video games were not what I was hoping for that time." 

"Wait, what are you saying?  You thought I was cute when I was sixteen?" 

"You're catching up," he grinned and spread his legs wider.  "I'm gay and best of all you are too judging from the attention you are paying to my dick." 

I was 19 when I came out to my parents and Jackson's.  He graduated, and got a job and an apartment in the same city as our school.  I moved in with him.  Sophie gave me the money Jackson had paid her to dunk me.  She said I deserved it for making him wait so long before I started dating him, since she knew that he had wanted me since we were kids.  A little disturbing to think he had a crush on me when I was nine, but I'm not complaining too much.  

By the way, I was 24 years old when I learned Jackson wanted us to get married.  I was 28 when I learned that he and I were finally cleared to adopt our son, Devlon Clark.  I was 32, this year, when I learned that Sophie taught her daughter to call us Uncle Jack and Aunt Candy.  And people wonder why I still hate girls.