Once Upon a December


I had just turned eighteen in October of 1995. I was a junior in high school at the time and still lived with my parents. I had enough credits to graduate early but I was still extremely naïve at the time and a little immature so my parents felt that it was best for me to complete my senior year and graduate with the rest of my class rather than start college a year early when I wasn’t ready. I didn’t agree with them of course; I felt that I was ready to be out on my own even though I had no job, no money, and the only car I had to drive was my parents old dodge that technically still belonged to them. I pretty much felt stuck back then. I was too old to stay home and be under my parents thumb but too young to go out on my own if I expected to succeed in anything. I was pretty pissed off in those days, but looking back now, I see that my parents were right, and I was better off staying where I was. Things were tense at home though, I was angry a lot and there were things going on in my life that I couldn’t discuss with my parents, in fact, there wasn’t really anyone that I could discuss them with.

I felt so alone but I was scared to let anyone in, even my friends at school, I was sure they would never understand; so I kept everything bottled up inside, thinking it was safer that way.

It was easier when I at school. I became really good at hiding my feelings. I was kind of a hood back then so my brooding, stand-offish, personality fit me pretty well. I used to have a problem with being bullied when I was younger, it really affected me a lot, made it hard for me to trust people, and I started getting into a lot of fights with other boys. I pretended to be tough, hard hearted, and mean. I didn’t bully other kids myself, but I didn’t let anyone push me around anymore. That’s how I kept people from seeing me as different or weak. My dad always told me to be a man, to stand up for myself, and never let anyone see my softer side. I think, in some ways, he was ashamed of that part of me, so I did my best to hide it.

When I was home it was harder to hide who I was because my family has always been really close and always in everyone else’s business. It always used to piss me off to have someone care too much about me. They asked questions that I couldn’t answer, and anytime I had a problem my mom would always want me to talk about it, but what could I say to her? How could I explain what I was really thinking or feeling? I was too scared that she would reject me and that was something that I just couldn’t deal with.

I dreaded holidays like thanksgiving and Christmas when the entire family would get together for dinners. Everyone always seemed so happy and they expected me to be happy too, when all that I really wanted was to be left alone. Having to deal with the constant flow of relatives over a two week period was more than I could take. I felt so out of place, even in my own family, I felt like I didn’t belong. Usually I would hide away in my room, or just hang out in my aunt’s basement and watch movies until my dad found me and forced me to come back upstairs and spend time with the family. I hated it though; I didn’t understand why these people just wouldn’t let me be. Why did it matter to them if I was around or not, why did they even care? I think, in a lot of ways I was jealous. My siblings (my sister and I are the youngest of seven kids) and cousins were all getting older, starting families, and their spouses and children were now a part of our regular family get togethers. I knew that I would never have that though. Even if I did find someone that I wanted to spend my life with, I could never tell my family about him, I could never bring him to family dinners, or weddings, or reunions. That part of my life would always have to be a secret and I greatly resented it. I knew that I deserved to be happy, just like everyone else, but I was certain that no one would understand or accept me for what I was. There was just no way that I could tell my family that I was gay. Even if they annoyed me most of the time, I was too afraid of losing them.


Christmas that year, I was told, was going to be spent at my uncle’s place in Lancaster. I was less than thrilled. Lancaster was quite a drive from where we lived and even though my uncle’s house was really nice, it was very small; too small for the number of people that would be coming from out of state to celebrate Christmas with us. The last time we’d gone to my uncle’s for anything I ended up being crammed into a twin bed with my cousin Joey. We were twelve at the time so it didn’t really matter but I just couldn’t imagine having to share a bed with him now, especially all things considered. I think my dad kind of sensed my hesitation because as we were loading the luggage into the van he told me that after discussing it with my mom, they decided to book three rooms at a hotel near my uncle’s house. One room for them of course, and then my twin sister and I would sinop escort have our own rooms. My eyes lit up when he told me that, he smiled.

“You’re an adult now.” He said. “So I figured you deserved some privacy.”

“Ugh…don’t remind me.” My mom brought out a bag full of gifts she’d wrapped and put them in the back of the van. “I never thought the day would come when my last two babies would be all grown up. It seems like only yesterday that I brought you both home from the hospital, time sure does fly by fast.”

“Yeah well I’m ready to grow up.” I told them. “I’m sick of being treated like a kid all the time.”

“Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up, Sess.” My dad shut the hatch and looked at me. “You got it pretty good right now, when you’re on your own though, life gets a lot more difficult.”

“Yeah, I guess.” I stuffed my hands in my coat pockets and slid into the back seat of the van. I knew he was only trying to give me some good advice but in my mind, life would have been much easier for me on my own, and no one was going to convince me otherwise.

It was dark when we finally entered Lancaster. My sister and I had been arguing most of the way in the back seat like a couple of little kids and by this time our mom was ready to kick us both out of the van. We couldn’t help it though, we were tired, and hungry, and quite frankly my ass hurt from sitting so long. Mom agreed that we all needed to eat so we stopped at a Denny’s to grab dinner before heading over to the hotel. By the time we reached the hotel it was nearly midnight and I was exhausted. Just on the short ride from the restaurant to the hotel I had fallen asleep in the van. I woke up to my dad shaking me and saying, “We’re here Sess, wake up!” I opened eyes and looked up at him sleepily. “I’m awake.” I yawned.

“Good,” He grumbled. “I was just about to slap you across the face.”

As soon as we had checked in I grabbed my bag and headed straight for my room. I’d get seven or eight good hours of sleep in before we had to head over to my uncles and I was ready to crash. Once I reached my room I dropped my bag on the floor and flopped down on the bed. I laid there for the longest time, just savoring the moment. It was the first real taste of independence I’ve ever had and I didn’t want to forget what it felt like.

My parent’s room was just a few doors down, next to my sisters, so they could keep an eye on us I supposed. I didn’t care where their room was though really, I was in heaven. I could sleep naked, walk around in my underwear, jerk off, whatever I felt like! It was so amazing not to have to worry about someone suddenly barging into my room and disturbing me. I imagined that this was what it felt like to be on my own and have my own place. There was a TV in my room, a microwave oven, a small refrigerator, and a coffee maker. It was so nice and there were so many things I wanted to try, like sitting up all night watching scary movies while guzzling down an entire two liter of pop on my own. That would have to wait though, I was way too tired for any of that now, but there was still time. We were going to be there for four days and I planned to spend the least amount of time with the family that I could get away with.

There was one thing though that I was dying to try and I knew that it couldn’t wait. I got up, stripped, and headed straight for the bathroom. I was going to relax in a nice hot bath and spend as much time as I wanted doing it. We had three bathrooms at our house but only one with a full bath and every time I decided to relax in the tub someone always managed to ruin it by banging on the door and demanding that I hurry up. Not this time though, this time I had the bathroom to myself and I intended to take advantage of that fact.

I stepped into the water and dipped down slowly, letting my body get used to the heat. The bathroom was hot and steamy but it was comfortable that way. I completely submerged myself up to my neck and just sat there for the longest time enjoying the privacy that I had so craved.

It was so quiet and peaceful, I had to be cautious not to fall asleep, but damn I was so relaxed. I laid my head back and closed my eyes imagining that I was in my own place, soaking in my own tub. If it were real, I would have the freedom to do whatever I wished, even have a lover who lived with me. He would come home after a long day of work, ready to spend a quiet evening at home with me. At first he would wonder where I was when he didn’t find me sitting in our living room. Eventually he would make his way to the bathroom and discover me in the bath. He’d lean over and kiss me and I would kiss him back, wrapping my arms around him in a loving embrace. He’d strip his clothes off, leaving them on the floor as he climbed into the hot water, sitting behind me with me between his legs, and he would hold me close against him. I imagined my lover kissing my neck while his hands explored my body. His hands would feel so good sivas escort on me, touching me, caressing me.

He’d make love to me right there in the tub and afterwards, we’d go to bed together and fall asleep in each other’s arms. This was my fantasy, but more than that, it’s the kind of life I wanted. For years I had been confused and frightened. I even thought that there was something wrong with me. I was pretty sheltered growing up. I knew what homosexuality was but not enough about it to really understand what I was feeling. My family just didn’t discuss things like that; so for a good part of my adolescence, I was in the dark. I was fully aware of my sexuality now though, even though I’d never had sex, or even messed around with any men, I wasn’t opposed to watching x-rated videos, or even looking at dirty magazines. My preferred form of eroticism though was my imagination. I had an endless collection of erotic stories and poems in my head, though I didn’t dare write any of them down, I was none the less fond of acting them out, in graphic details, in my mind. When I was alone, it didn’t take me long to get aroused either. My little fantasy about my lover in the tub with me had left me with a massive erection.

Apparently, I wasn’t so tired that I couldn’t have a little fun with myself before bed. I let my hand slip down into the water and immediately found its way to my rock hard appendage that had been waiting down beneath the soapy depths. My fingers danced playfully over wet flesh and I felt myself shiver just a bit. It felt so good to have this “me time” without fear of being discovered. I let my mind wander. Here he was again, my phantom lover come to aide me in my quest. I felt his hand on mine as we both wrapped our fingers around it and began to slide, in perfect rhythm, up and down along the shaft. I moaned, and bit my lip as hot water splashed my face. I drew my knees up and spread them wide as I continued to vigorously stroke my cock. My imaginary lover kissed me and I opened my mouth as I kissed him back. His mouth was hot and sweet. I could almost feel his body pressed against mine, his lips on my face, my neck, and my chest. I was breathing heavy now, completely taken over by this fantasy. My body shuttered, I put my free hand over my mouth as I felt myself cum suddenly. I opened my eyes and looked up at the empty room. My fantasy lover was gone, but the memory of his sweet kisses lingered in my mind. I slept well that night.


I woke the next morning to my dad beating on my door yelling at me to get out of bed. “For fucks sake,” I sighed, “He’s going to have the entire hotel pissed off at us.”

“Sess, we’re going to be late!”

I shuffled across the room and opened the door. My dad, who’s usually awake before the sun was even up, was standing in the hall way dressed, shaved, and looking bright and chipper. I, on the other hand, probably looked like something that had just crawled out of its grave.

“Seriously?” I glared at him, “It’s nine am. We wouldn’t be late even if we were still in Ohio.”

“Just get dressed and meet us in the lobby. We’re going out for breakfast first.”

I nodded half-heartedly and yawned. “Okay, be right there.” I said as I shut the door again.

I flopped down on the bed again and thought, ‘there is something seriously wrong with my family. No work, no school, and yet they still insist on getting out of bed before noon, who does that?’ I’d never been much of a morning person and I was quite certain that there was some law somewhere about sleeping in during vacations but apparently my father had never heard of that law. Regardless, I didn’t have much of a choice. My parents weren’t about to let me skip out on “Family time,” especially not on Christmas Eve.

I threw on a clean change of clothes, ran a comb through my hair, then grabbed my coat, and staggered out into the hall and down the stairs.

The lobby was littered with more insane people who refused to sleep in on their vacations. They all seemed happy enough, some were in a hurry, and some were just standing around talking. Little kids ran back and forth, laughing energetically, probably excited about the impending arrival of Santa Claus. I didn’t share their enthusiasm. I had stopped believing in Santa Claus about the time I realized that my dick wasn’t just for pissing.

My dad was standing near the desk and when he saw me coming down the steps he looked up, all smiles, and waved me over to him. “Your mom and sister went to the lounge to get some hot coco.” He told me. “It’s pretty cold outside so if you want to join them go ahead.”

“No, I’m good.” I stuffed my hands in my pockets and yawned again. My dad grinned then ruffled my hair, I grimaced. I really hated it when he did that.

“Suit yourself.” He shrugged. “I’m going to go warm the van up then I’ll pull around front and pick you all up, so just wait in here, okay?”

“No problem.” I tried tekirdağ escort to force a smile but it was just too damn early to be cordial.

He strolled outside, humming jingle bells to himself, while swinging the ring of keys on his finger. I wondered if his biological kids were as easy going and jovial as he was. I had, of course, met them a few times but since they were much older than me, and had moved out of state when I was still pretty young, we didn’t see them all that often. Even my biological dad was friendlier than I normally was though. In fact, most of my family had the same bright, good-natured personality that I seemed to lack, which had me suddenly wondering if I’d been adopted or something and never told about it.


I went over and slouched down in one of the lobby chairs while I waited. It was a bit too cold for my taste, the lobby itself was chilly from the people constantly coming in and going out. I figured I’d warm up once I got into the van so it really didn’t bother me all that much; at least the cold air woke me up a bit more. While I was sitting there though, I noticed a man standing a few feet away from me and talking on a mobile phone. It wasn’t like the smart phones that we have today. This thing was huge, and had a really long antenna. It looked more like a cordless phone than a cell phone but for the 1990’s I guess it was pretty cool. I watched him as he stood there talking, or arguing, he didn’t look at all happy with the person on the other end of the conversation, but that wasn’t what first stood out to me about him. What really got my attention was the way he looked. As crazy as it seemed to me, he almost completely resembled the fantasy lover that I had created. He was tall and slender, but with a good build. Not overly muscular but also not scrawny. He looked to be somewhere in his mid to late twenties and God was he beautiful! He had light brown hair that framed his face. The back was slightly longer than the hair in front, his bangs fell teasingly over his forehead and in front of his eyes, and the sides partially concealed his ears. His eyes were blue-grey, like a stormy sky. Everything about him was perfect, his nose, his lips, the shape of his jaw line; even they way he was standing, leaning one shoulder against the wall, the phone up to his ear and his other hand reaching up as he brushed his fingers through his thick hair.

My heart was suddenly pounding in my chest and I thought to myself, ‘I have to meet this guy. If nothing else, just to find out his name.’ I waited until he’d ended his conversation and stuck the phone inside his coat pocket. Now was my chance, I would walk over to him and strike up a conversation. I didn’t know what I was going to say. Anything was okay I supposed. I could talk about the weather, or ask him about his phone. My dad had a similar phone but I could play dumb and act like I’d never seen one before. I just needed an excuse to go up to a total stranger and start talking to him. While I was worrying over what to say, the guy had walked outside and I panicked. I couldn’t lose him, not before I found out who he was. I leapt up from the chair I was sitting in and followed him. He was standing outside the main entrance, smoking a cigarette and looking kind of annoyed. I walked over and stood beside him. He didn’t seem to notice me there. I was a little relieved because I still didn’t know what I was going to say to him and now that I was standing so close to him I was beginning to get slightly nervous. It was strange, as though he had this aura that radiated out around him and the closer you got to it, the weaker you felt. He took a hit off his cigarette and exhaled the smoke slowly. He seemed lost in thought, transfixed on something far off and way beyond my line of sight. The cold air didn’t seem to bother him either even though I was freezing. When he took a second long, slow, drag off his smoke I realized that I had the perfect opener. I looked up at him, took a deep breath, and mustered all the courage I could and asked him for a smoke. He turned and looked at me though his expression was emotionless. “You don’t even look old enough to smoke.” He said flatly.

“I’m eighteen!” I told him, a little too enthusiastically.

“Hmm…” He shook a cigarette lose from his pack and held it out to me. I grabbed it quickly, my hands shaking. “If you’re cold you should go back inside.” He told me.

“No…I’m fine.” I lied. I was really cold, I didn’t like winter, and I didn’t like being cold, but I couldn’t walk away from him, I still didn’t know his name.

I held the cigarette in my hand and stared at it like I had never seen one before in my life. I must have looked really stupid but I couldn’t help it. I had momentarily lost the use of my brain and all I could do was stand there, listening to my heart beating inside me like a drum at a heavy metal concert. He glanced down at me and rolled his eyes then reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a lighter that he used to light my cigarette for me. “Thanks.” I think I squeaked but I wasn’t sure, I just know that he got a slight smirk on his face and I thought ‘crap, he’s going to think I haven’t gone through puberty yet!’

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