It was about six weeks to the new millennium. Some folks disagreed. They said the new millennium wouldn't start until 2001. I guessed that was true, but if 1999 was part of the 20th century, then 2000 must be part of the 21st. Kinda like a day-old child. He wouldn't be one until he was 365 days old, but he'd still be in his first year during that time.
Anyway, Kyle and I had chatted about the new millennium and what it meant, apart from the Y2K bug that was scaring everybody shitless. "Everybody's sorta focusing on it," Kyle mused. "It might be a good time for people to throw away their old baggage, and take a totally new look at things, and start fresh. I know that's supposed to happen every new year, but maybe people will think more this time around."
"Well, dude, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now we've got a technology paper to worry about."
Next day, we had English Lit, which was pretty cool 'cause I really enjoyed the novel we had to study: To Kill A Mockingbird. That book rocked. On the other hand, the pressure of the exams and the late night study was getting to me big time. I was totally stressed out. "You wanna hit the gym for a while?" I asked my bud.
"Cool! We haven't done that for ages."
We did the whole circuit, which worked wonders for my tension. It seemed to dissipate with each drop of sweat. Kyle looked a whole bunch better for the exercise, too, judging from the impish grin on his face.
"Your dick's not getting any smaller," he observed in the showers.
"And your fucking nose won't be getting any smaller, either, if you don't cut the crap."
"I dunno why you're stressing out. You're pretty damn clever, and you cream most of the papers. Not that kinda cream."
"Don't you ever think about anything else?"
"Yep. I've been thinking about the hike a lot, lately."
"Me, too. I'm really looking forward to it. Never been on one before, except for day trips with Carol."
"I'm gonna check if Wingnut can come with us. He'd love it. Steve's coming. And I'm gonna phone Darren to see if he can get a week off from his summer job."
"Yeah, I like Darren. He's neat."
"Man, it's gonna be so fucking cool to get back up into the mountains and just chill out for a while with no school hassles."
That afternoon when school had finished for the day, Kyle had done his usual disappearing trick and gone to the comp lab. What the fuck was he doing up there? Writing a fucking book? I stood below the window where he usually sat so that he had a view of the pool, and yelled, "Get your fucking ass down here! Let's jet!"
"It's a good thing I can lip read," he laughed as he bounced through the door, and into the schoolyard. "You'd have been on detention if you'd yelled 'fucking'."
"What the fuck do you do up there, anyway?"
"You must be writing your whole fucking life story."
All of Friday, I was looking forward to the old boys swim meet to be held that afternoon after school. So was Kyle. It was too bad for him that he swam like a stone. I thrashed two of the old boys in the butterfly; Darren and some other dude that Kyle had complained about 'cause the guy had always beaten him. Kyle came fourth. But that wasn't the end of it. Alan and his fuckface goonies were watching. "Hey, Mark!" the blimp yelled. "Great swim, dude! Well done for beating Kyle!" It was obvious that the fuckwits were using my win as an excuse to belittle my bud, which made me totally red-faced, especially since the whole damn team could hear their guffaws. I glanced at Kyle. He was making an effort to ignore the assholes, but I could see that he was totally pissed off.
In the freestyle, Ross and I touched the wall almost simultaneously. He'd won by a split second. And Kyle? The poor bugger was beaten by us and Jumbo, but the free wasn't his best stroke, anyway. That didn't stop Alan and his deadshits from giving Kyle a hard time from the stands, though. Jesus! They made me so fucking mad! But it was Ross who strode up to them like he was gonna rip their fucking arms off. "Hey, you guys. Swim, or shut the fuck up." And when Ross was mad, it was like whoa!
Amongst Alan's braindead followers was a new guy. He'd been on the swim team for a while, but dropped out… probably 'cause we all thought he was a moron. So he pipes up, "Hey, I can beat Kyle."
"OK, I'll put you in the breaststroke."
Cool! I thought. Kyle was third best in the school at breaststroke, so he should be able to cream the guy. But Kyle obviously didn't agree. He asked Ross to put the guy in the backstroke race, but Ross declined Kyle's suggestion.
It wasn't my bud's best day. Not only did the dude beat Kyle, but beat him by two body lengths. All hell broke loose in the stands as Alan and his brain surgeons gave Kyle another barrage of abuse. Meantime, the swimmer was parading around the joint like he'd won a fucking gold medal or something. It was time to talk to my friend.
"Hey, what happened? Did you feel sorry for him or something? You should've creamed that race, Kyle."
"Maybe. Maybe not."
I was obviously talking to one miserable dude. "Those guys are really getting to you, huh?"
"Nope. I'm just swimming like a fucking jerk."
"Thanks. I needed that."
"Whoa! You said it, not me!"
"Yeah, well, whatever."
"Don't get mad at me! I'm on your side."
"You're fucking mad at me. I can see it."
"No, I'm mad at my fucking self for thinking for one second that I'd get some support."
"I don't believe what you're saying. You're being a jerk."
"Yep. A real little jerkoff."
"Well, fucking whatever. Shit, Kyle, you need to cool off before we say things to each other that we don't mean." That comment seemed pretty weird coming from me. I'd often said things to Kyle in anger that I didn't mean, but I'd always regretted it afterwards. What also concerned me was that Kyle was supposed to be clubbing with Steph, Carol and me that night, and, if he was gonna continue to be on such a downer, he'd spoil it for all of us.
Apart from that, I'd won a few races and did well in the others, but there was no "hey, Mark, you did great today" from him. He was too obsessed with the crap he'd gotten from Alan and his goon squad to think about anything but his own depression. Hey, maybe he learned that from me.
As it turned out, we didn't go clubbing. Steph's 'rents were being pretty strict with her time 'cause of the exams, so we all rocked down to the mall for a quick pizza. Kyle seemed to have come to terms with his bad day, and was in pretty good spirits again. On the other hand, Carol and I had a helluva argument, and I had to take her home early. At least Kyle had accepted my invitation to sleep over. I needed his company.
"You fucked Steph yet?" I asked as we stripped down to our boxers, and got ready for bed.
"You know what I think?"
"I'm gonna hear it anyway."
"I think you're scared that you won't live up to her expectations. It's all in your head, dude."
"So what was the argument with Carol about?"
"Don't change the subject, Kyle. Besides, I don't talk about the fights I have with Carol."
"You're pretty pissed off. I guess you were expecting to have a night of lovemaking."
"Well, at least you called it lovemaking."
So we got into bed, laid on our backs, and chatted about girls for a while. "Listen up, Kyle. Fucking a girl doesn't require a degree. You don't need to be Einstein. Even fuckwits like Alan can do it. Hmmm, maybe that was a bad example."
"That's not the point, Mark. I know heaps of guys fuck themselves stupid, but I'm talking about Steph."
"So? She's a girl, and she likes you. She thinks you're a hunk."
"That's the problem. I've never done it before… well, except for one time, and the girl said I was fucking like a damn ferret."
That cracked me up big time. "OK," I said, once I'd gotten my breath back, "it was your first time, dude. That's understandable."
"You don't get it, Mark. You used to go with Steph."
"So?" Then the penny dropped. "Oh, I see. You're worried that she might compare you with me. Is that it?"
"Listen, dude, it's not like some fucking contest. It's not like the swim meet today. It's not like I win and you lose. Anyway, you're forgetting something. I don't go with Steph any more. You're the dude she wants."
"It's a fucking lot to live up to, though. You're… well, y'know."
"A total hunk."
"Hey, you're pretty OK yourself, Kyle. Don't underestimate yourself. Steph doesn't waste her time with losers, if you know what I mean."
It was obvious by the two bulges under the covers that we both had serious boners. The other thing that was obvious was Kyle's smell. It was a wicked fucking smell that reeked of sex, and played games with my mind, but there was no way I was gonna mention it. I also noticed that while I was talking to him, and just staring at the ceiling, he'd have his head turned so that he was looking at my face. Actually, it was more like studying than looking. Occasionally, I'd roll my head and glance at him, but the closeness of our faces made me kinda nervous. There was also something about his hazel eyes that penetrated my defenses, and caused me to feel vulnerable. He had a way of giving a silent moment an incredible intensity, as though he were saying much more than words ever could. It was kinda scary, and it made me wonder if Steph had experienced the same thing. "Has Steph said anything about your eyes?"
"Yeah. She said they're kinda dreamy."
"Is that it?"
"Nothing. Anyway, dude, I'm buggered. 'Night."
"'Night. Hey, thanks for asking me to sleep over."
"No prob. Just don't touch my cock while I'm asleep."
"I won't, I promise."
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