The Secret Lover

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Across the journey of a high school musical production, a romance unfurls between a 16 year old student and one of his male cast members. Their secret love becomes increasingly difficult to hide as their emotions overwhelm them.

Submitted: October 02, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 02, 2018



It was late afternoon in Melbourne. I paced up and down Flinders Street waiting for my date to arrive.  

The summer burned endlessly, the heat everywhere, like a thick viscous soup. No hideaway was out of reach from the suns unmerciful fingers. Even beneath the shade of the platform, the steel beams burnt so intensely, you could brand yourself at a single touch. 

My hands embedded themselves naturally into my pockets, my body hot and perspiring. 

The station stunk of deodereant, sweat, bodies, and in some places, the coppery aroma of urine. 

People were everywhere, and mouths moved with agitated exuberance. 


“She can’t just keep us in as long as she feels like…" One boy muttered, his back learning against a vending machine. "Some of us have work to get to.” 

He looked young, young enough to be in high school, but old enough to be a threat. 

Two other boys listened to him mouth off, their backs to me. 

They shared hair styles: trendy fade cuts, short on the sides, combed on the top, sophisticated, yet defiant…

I couldn't help but notice their white school shirts, pasted with perspiration to their backs, or their iridescent skin, youthful and bronzed by the sweltering sun. 

The speaking boy, shifted his gaze toward me… I turned away before I could attract anymore attention to myself. 



The soft voice caught me off guard. I recognised it instantly. 

There she was, standing before me in a baby blue blouse, fluttering in the burning wind. If she wanted to make an impression on me, she certainly did… her blouse complemented her eyes perfectly. It was her blue eyes that initially enthralled me and drove me to speak to her. 

“Claire!” I exclaimed.

Somehow her eyes were bluer in the scorching light of the afternoon.

I couldn’t help but admire them. She had the most striking blue eyes I’d ever seen in my life. So alluring… so full with untold stories of love and lust… it was almost hypnotic… I found it impossible to turn away. 

A mild breeze stole a curl of her hair, planting it squarely across her forehead, breaking the symmetry of her facial composition. She brushed it behind one ear absently. 

“Oh, Masie, I’ve missed you.” 

In seconds, she was hugging me. Her arms were curled around my waist, warm and pleasant over my body… I loved her touch, her affection, her intimacy… it relaxed me… 

“It’s so hot, I’m really disgusting right now… you might not want to hug me…” 

“Why, cause you’re sweaty.” 

She giggled. 

I giggled too. 

She stood there, smiling stupidly, taking it in that I was there, standing before her… it felt really surreal to have a girl admire you like that… to have another person so lost in the moment, so elated to see you. 

“I missed you.” 

“You said that already…” 

“Oh shut up.” 

She slapped my arm… an insignificant sting. 

From there, her fingers descended down my arm, trailing to my palm, to where it merged with my hand… Fingers between fingers, skin across skin. She seemed pleased at the touch. 

“I’ve missed you too.” 


We said nothing as we looked into each others eyes. 

“The singing lesson went longer than I thought it would…” she started. 

Even a blind man could feel the energy of her smile, colouring her every word. 

“It’s fine… I wasn’t waiting that long anyway.” I reassured. 


“How long is it until opening night?”  I asked. 

“Three weeks.” She gloated. 


“A little nervous…” 

“You’ll be amazing. I love your voice. Anything you do is amazing.” 

“Stop, you’re just saying that.” 

“No… I mean it, you astound me every time you sing.” 

She blushed warmly, her head lilting to one side, coy and flattered.

I broke her trance. 

“Shall we eat?” 


Her hand found mine, and we walked like that, for a while, through the streets of Melbourne, until we came unto a small cafe. 

“This is the place” 

She said finally, before entering, me following behind her. 


We sat down at a table, and began to read the menus, aware of each other’s presence but saying nothing, beside an occasional glance. 

A Vietnamese waitress approached us after some time, her tone laced with charming indifference. 


I drifted off as Claire ordered her meal. When it was my turn to answer, I told the waitress that I’d get the same as her. 

“No,” she objected. “I’ll get you the teriyaki soup so we can both share it.” 

“Okay… sounds good." 


The waitress took our menus and soon we were facing each other. 

The conversations around us droned on like a continual static in the background. 

Claire’s smile was warm, but pained nonetheless. There was something on her mind that she wasn’t saying… 

It took her a while, before she finally broke.  


“I wish you’d text me more often.”

I sighed. 

“I know. I’m sorry… you know how it’s like. Uni get’s busy… there’s always so much things I have to do… I just don’t have time to talk… I really wish I could… You know I hate to make those excuses…” 

“I know.” 

Claire sighed dejectedly, her eyes falling to the table surface. 

“But…” she added,  “holidays are coming up…” 

The inflection at the end made it almost sound like a question. 

“What are you doing for holidays…” 

I laughed nervously… 

She laughed in response. 


I laughed again, only my laugh was too forced to be genuine. 

“I was planning on catching up on all my lectures… I’m so behind…” 

Her face lost a trace of it’s elegance.

Her youth vanished a little. 



By the time we’d finished eating it was twilight. 

There was still an energy to the day. It was the only thing keeping me buoyant at that moment… the sweet aroma in the air… the sexuality of everything that only summer seemed to provide. 

We walked to a near by park. 

The lights were starting to turn on, but it was still very warm, warm enough for me to walk around in just a shirt and shorts, and still feel uncomfortably hot. 

We found a spot beside a small pond. 

Swans approached us, expecting to be fed bread crumbs, but we had nothing… I had nothing… at least Claire still had something… an air of elegance to her, an expression of grace and interest, and commitment, however small, to whatever we had left between us.


Claire lay down beside me on the grass. 

We lay like that, beside each other, for a while.

I took off my shoes and socks, she took off her sandals.

As we relaxed, she lifted her head onto my thigh, above one knee, just below my abdomen. It took her a few moments of lolling her head from left to right, to find the right positon. Then she sighed peacefully, smiling up to me... in a state of bliss I could only dream of. 

I glided my fingers over her forehead, into her hair. 

She closed her eyes and murmured something incomprehensible that sounded like joy, so I continued, my fingers weaving and curling... stroking, massaging... carving paths of love through the strands, occasionally pausing to scratch. 

She cooed at my touch. 

We remained like that… voiceless and contemplative... for an endless amount of time until she began. 

“I love spending time with you, Mason. The dinner and this walk, it has just been so beautiful. Thank you for taking me here…” 

“It’s my pleasure, Claire.” 

I winced at myself as I said it. 

Claire continued, unaware of my internal conflict, “This is really vulnerable, for me to say this… but…” 


She waited for me to question her… "What baby", or something of equavilent... so that she wouldn't have to feel so alone, so vunerable in her speech... so that she would know I was there to support her... to save her... 

But I didn’t save her. I let the silence ring, unresolved and drifting. 

After some time, she eventually realised I wouldn't respond... so she continued anyway: 

“I think I’m falling in love with you, Mason.” 


I couldn’t answer. 

The silence graduated from tender to uneasy, uneasy to awkward, awkward to uncomfortable, until eventually, she sat up and checked her phone. 

She made sure to shift away from my body on the grass… the distance was both relieving and unnerving. 


I had to say something… to acknowledge her… to save her from her vulnerability. 


She turned to face me, her expression blunt and direct. 

“We’ve been dating for three months… I’m not ready to say I love you yet… because I want to be truthful, and it takes me time to say something as… as large and profound as I love you…” 

“Yeah, I get that…” 

“I’m not saying I don’t love you… I care for you, I want you to be happy, I love spending time with you, but I just…. And you know… it might change. I just think it’s too early to say I love you… I know it’s been three months, but we don’t see each other every day and…” 

“Well I want to see you more, but you’re never available.” 

“I’m busy… there’s always so much things to do… I’m behind on assignments, uni is killing me, work is killing me, the musicals are taking so much time. I actually have no idea how I manage. I just manage to survive… let alone have time with you…” 

“I get it you’re busy.” 

Her face looked away, again that professional tone, that addressed me so distantly, absently, like I was a client of hers. 

“I want you to be happy.” 

“But what do you want?” 

“I dunno what I want…” 

“What is that supposed to mean?” 


I stammered. 

“Well, do you care for me or not?” 

“Of course I care!” 

“I know you’re busy Mason, but you can at least pretend that you’re interested.” 

“I am interested.” 

“Are you?” 

She looked at me then, with genuine inquisition, searching my face for my voiceless answer.

Every furrow of my brow, every contortion of my lips was an admission of something… and I felt so naked before her, so exposed. 


I stammered. It sounded hideously inauthentic. 

She looked away in what seemed like disappointment. 

“I wish I could understand you more Mason…”

I sat in silence, listening… judging myself with her every word. 

“I love spending time with you… but every time I’m around you… it’s like you’re not here… I mean, you’re here, but you’re not… as if, you’re holding something back from me… Is there something you want to say?” 


“I won’t be offended, just tell me the truth. I don’t want to waste my time.” 

I looked down, thinking of possible responses. I’m depressed, I have social anxiety… I’m exhausted for time, I’m always exhausted with life… everything is exhausting… I’m… 

But I said nothing. 


She picked up her iPhone and flicked through it for a while before she finally said, “My train comes in 10 minutes, would you like to walk me there?” 

“Sure.” I managed. 


We got up, put on our shoes and sandals, and began to drift back toward the station, not a word said between us. 

The meaning of the silence was obvious to both of us. 

I kissed her goodbye on the cheek, gave her a hug, and she was gone. 


I sighed, a sigh of remorse, of relief, of isolation, of loneliness, of fear, of concern, of desperation, of everything I could possibly think of, but not of love, never of love. 

This was not the first time. This was expected. 










David, my singing teacher flashed his hands before me. 


“Stop, stop.” 

I obeyed. 

“I want you to really listen to these words. I want you to feel their weight. Each word is heavy with emotion. Really feel what Billy Joel is saying. ‘I know that I can’t live without her.’ You can’t live without her. This is someone, you care so much about, that you literally can’t spend a day without her next to you.” 

Dave searched my eyes for my understanding. 

Unsatisfied, he continued, "Or… or, She’s got a smile that heals me. He’s inferring that he’s wounded, that he’s hurting alone, but with her next to him, her smile alone heals all his pain and suffering. Can you hear the raw emotion and the weight to those words?” 


“So I want you to be vulnerable. Because love is vulnerable. It’s about opening up to the one person you trust and feel utter devotion to and letting them catch you, with all your insecurities and self doubts. And I’m not seeing that Mason. Don’t be afraid to open up here, this is a safe space.” 

He paused, analysing my reaction. 

I felt rigid and catatonic before him…

“Outside, in the world, there’s judgement, and we wear these masks, this armour to protect us from getting hurt, but that’s fear giving us the illusion of protection. We can only really find love, if we let all that armour go. Do you know what I mean?” 

I nodded.

Dave sighed. 

“I just want you to be vulnerable. Really be vulnerable for me.” 


We began singing again… although after a few bars, Dave stopped me… obviously unconvinced. 

I shifted awkwardly before him. 


Just when I thought the silence would never end, he asked me, 

“Do you have a girlfriend?” 

I hesitated. 


“Have you ever had one before…?” 


Although my response was lifeless. The words fell from my lips lethargically. 

“Well, what did you feel?” 

“I’ve never…”

“You never had a girlfriend?”
“No.” I sighed. “I’ve never been in love with anyone of them…” I winced at my response. 


I felt the nervous tension building around us again, so I corrected myself, before the atmosphere could grow any more awkward than it already was. 


“Well, that’s not true… there was one… And I… I loved… her. That was my first. I loved her…” 






Diary entry 2015: 


When I think about you, I see moments frozen in time. 

The first time I met you, I was auditioning for the part of the Baker in Into the Woods. 


As the talent auditioning were all of a relatively high standard, David, the director, was taking photos of the students, in the style of a family portrait, to help him decide who to cast based on appearance and chemistry between the other characters. 

And so I was standing in the middle as the Baker. Cinderella, currently played by Kaity, a beautiful girl both in looks and personality, was standing to my left, The Witch played by Stephanie, a frail colleague of mine with a hooked Italian nose that suited the Wicked Witch a little too well, although no one could publicly admit that, was to my right, and my two adopted stage children, Red Riding hood and Jack were beneath me, both played by Claire and Nick. 


Claire was only a year younger than me, but she was quite slim and youthful, so the audience could easily believe that she was my stage daughter. In actual fact, I played her lover two years prior to that moment when the school did the production of Legally Blonde. 

And Nick… well I’d never met Nick before. I’d been doing the musicals for the past two years, so I knew every face in the music department… at least I thought so… But Nick, he was a new hidden talent, and it unsettled me. 


There was a sense of importance, standing there, at the centre of the family, the father, of these stage children.

It was an honourable feeling being a lead.

Yes there was ego, and narcissism, and self love and vanity… but they weren’t as important as this feeling of family, that I felt then… this feeling of belonging to something larger than myself.

The world was such a lonely place, and being in this musical… well, it at least made me feel like I was apart of something, like I mattered somewhere. 

If only I could be cast as the Baker, so I could continue this feeling… this feeling of responsibility, this feeling that I was needed for something… that somewhere in some place in the world, even if it was a small public High School, people depended on me, me of all people, to deliver… to perform… to hold the show together… 

Imagine if I was sick… how could they perform without their lead… What if I got into a car accident on the way to the opening night and couldn’t perform? What would they do? I had no understudy. 

It was humbling to think that you mattered that much to a group of people… when acceptance and worthiness is starved in seemingly every other place. 

Respect is a hard thing to earn… or rather, such an easy thing to lose, with a few words uttered. 

And at least here… I was respected, at least momentarily. 


Nick swapped with Sam for the role of Jack, Kaity swapped with Rebecca for that of Cinderella… we posed, and Dave, captured the image. 

Photo after photo, until Dave was happy with his choice of casting. 

He’s facial expressions were subtle, not giving anyone… even the most talented of the actors, the slightest hint of praise. 


I’ve said it before, but, being captured there, in that moment, it all just felt so perfect, so special… 

Or maybe I’m just saying that because you were there. 

Because I wanted to make an impression on you… 

I wanted you to care for me… to be infatuated with me…  


That was the first time I met you. 

You came up to me at the end of the audition, and the first thing I noticed was your smile. 

Your smile was so infectious, so large, it consumed your whole face. 

I fell in love with you right then and there, based off your sweet compassionate smile alone. 

But you were beautiful… the definition of beauty. 

You had perfect strawberry blonde hair. It took all my power to resist running my hands through it… just to see what it felt like… And I’m sure your smooth caucasian freckled skin felt equally as beautiful but it was forbidden to touch. 


You were just so special to be around. I found myself gravitating toward you everywhere I went. 

I didn’t want to make it obvious to you, or anyone else, who may have been watching, but every time you stood beside me and said “Hello”, I would just die inside… a peaceful death of relief and ecstasy with your every word.  

The first time you came up to me in those sweet shorts and striped school shirt, with the two top buttons undone… always undone… I remember spilling out words of congratulations… admiring your every acting choice, your every delivery. 

How natural you were… how great an actor… 


You blushed immediately. 

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking… but I felt like you loved spending time with me… just as much as I loved spending time with you. 

Every time we saw each other, we were both just so happy, so relieved… like we didn’t have to feel tense about life or anything any longer…  


The auditions were held on a Thursday and a Friday. All the applicants were nervous over the weekend as the cast would be revealed that Monday. 

Over the weekend, it became incredibly clear to me, that the only reason I wanted to be cast at all as the Baker, was so I could spend time with you…so that I could have an excuse to be forced beside you… to interact with you on stage and off. 


David would print the winning names on a single A4 sheet of paper, and pin that to his famous “musical theatre” announcement board… located just outside the music department… 

It was impossible to avoid. 

Even the kids who had no interest in the musicals, found themselves attracted to the small gathering around the small A4 sheet. 

From a distance, one could only see the printed Google images of woods and trees, surrounding the A4 paper, and several HD pictures of previous musicals. 

The arrangement was stunning… it made you forget that the announcement board your little 16 year old heart was palpitating over, was just a small high school musical production. 

Nonetheless, the letters printed in Times New Roman font, was bound to make you either the most euphoric boy on the planet, or the most miserable.  

Well, on that Monday, I can vividly remember coming in early, just to read it… 

Why is it that the most traumatic moments, are the ones we remember… 


Past years, I hadn’t bothered to read it. My friends had come to me later in the day exclaiming, have you read the cast list? Or patted me on the back shreiking congratulations… There was always such high anticipation surrounding it. 


Now, as I approached, a few others I recognised from the audition turned toward me, giving me no signs of congratulations or commiserations. 

As the words grew into view, you could literally feel your heartbeat rise in frequency and your body grow stiff with apprehension. 

There it said it: Into the Woods Cast: 

Baker, Mason Dzellovich. 

The first punch missed. 

But I had to read more, as there would be no point doing the musical, if not for another name… your name… 


Cinderella: Kaity McCormack. 

Little Red Riding hood: Claire Whitney. 

Witch: Stephanie Bowers. 

Jack:  Nicholas Marsh… 

Yes. There your name was. We were at last bound together. We would be forced to see each other every rehearsal of every week. I had excuse to lose myself in your blue sweet eyes with every line I delivered. 

My heart was so pleased. 



The next vivid memory I have, is of walking beside you on the lunch break of our first Sunday rehearsal. 

It was a week from summer vacation, and Dave wanted us to have a full day rehearsal on the weekend, so that we could cover every scene, thus allowing us to practice what we’d rehearsed over the holidays. 

The cast were walking to the shops nearby. I drifted behind them, as did you. 

We were alone together, talking together for the first time… bound by this beautiful musical for the next six months. 

I was euphoric. 

I walked by your side, listening to every word that you said. 

You told me that you’d seen me perform the year before, perform in Legally Blonde… really! 

Then I didn’t have to prove myself to you… 

You already respected me. You already appreciated me. 

You were as nervous and giddy as I was, at least I thought so. I wanted to believe that. 

You’re stupid jokes were infectious. How could I not laugh. Even a fart joke was an excuse to laugh because there was so much happiness bound inside of me. 

I wondered if people thought it peculiar that we were walking together alone, laughing, so far from the rest… but I didn’t care. I was with you. 

Besides… People were always too preoccupied with themselves to notice someone else’s flaws anyway. 

But the euphoria could only last so long… I had to leave early that day… All I wanted in life was to spend a few hours walking beside you… but I had to be ripped away, for some stupid doctors appointment. 


The next few rehearsals were a blur of time and colour. I know we rehearsed every Tuesday and Thursday after school. But what happened during those times escapes my mind.  

Only definitive moments, I remember, like snapshots in time. Only few are permanently captured. 


One of them is when we screwed up the opening scene. Knowing Sondheim of course, with his complex harmonies, and intricate lyrics, and pulsing chords, it was hard to pull it off as it is… but we’d had six weeks of rehearsals just on this one opening scene. 

David wasn’t pleased. 

By the first few opening lines, he was already furious. 

I can still see him, in his chair, his hand supporting his jaw in a sneering arrangement of judgment . 

“You’ve had six weeks to prepare this piece and it just isn’t up to standard.” He even went as far as to say, 

“If you can’t fix it for me, I will have to reconsider recasting the parts as this is just ridiculous.” 

“I’ll give you 20 minutes to rehearse the scene up stairs, and then I want you back here, to perform it again.” 


We ascended the stars, seething with Dave’s criticism. 

In the empty classroom, Kaity, who was played by Cinderella burst into tears. She’d worked so hard to get this role. It was her first lead position… and to be now threatened with recasting… she was inconsolable. 

It wasn’t her fault, we tried to explain, it was all our fault, as a family… we were all equally to blame. 

We held on to each others words… and it’s only now in retrospect, that I realise how beautiful that moment was. It was the first time, that we really bonded as a family. It was the first time we supported each other, and were unified by our mutual sorrow of failing to perform, of being inadequate… 

How much love I had for that little Into the Woods family… how much I miss every moment of it. 




There’s a mix of visual images in my mind. 

Moments like sitting in the auditorium seats, waiting for Dave to give us his usual criticism and praise, after a day of solid rehearsal. 

We’d all be relaxed and exhausted enough by 6 pm to be uninhibited in our affection. 

At least, that’s how I felt every time you touched me. 

You’d ascend the auditorium stairs to where I was sitting beside friends, wearing those beautiful shorts that dangle just above your knees, and your white school shirt, so loose on your body… You’d always say something ridiculous like, there’s no seats left for me, I’ll just have to sit on your lap Masie. 

And all the other girls would laugh and giggle.

The joke wasn’t complete until you were on my lap… 

Your shorts could only cover so much… 

Your bare skin, over mine, just felt so relieving, so soothing, so relaxing, like Opium injected into my veins. I melted into the chair… And my reaction was appropriate for the joke too… the setting… the facade was perfect. The perfect joke. 

You’re skin was so smooth and pure and beautiful. Pale white, freckled… those dark brown sun spots, such a contrast to your pure milky white skin. A tickle of strawberry blonde hair on your calves, almost hairless… the skin of a beautiful beautiful boy. You’re skin melted onto mine… I was in heaven. And you were so close… Your long strands of orange hair was all over my face, your scent was everywhere. On your clothes, on your body, I wanted you to stay sitting on me forever.

The oiliness of your hair… the muskiness of your clothes. This really was as close as I could get to heaven… 

The only thing I feared… in those moments, was getting hard. 

And the more I feared it, the more it seemed to happen. 

Maybe part of you wanted to feel it. I don’t know. Maybe you were searching for it… so that you could affirm what we felt was real… so that you could know for sure.

At times, I did… and I’d get so red and nervous… I’d perspire and be a mess, but you’d never say a thing. You’d keep sitting on me, melted into my skin, a part… no, an extension of me. 

Sometimes, if I was lucky, you’d grind your body into me… an exaggeration of the joke. 

I was the luckiest boy on Earth. 

That feeling of you on my lap…  You in all your softness… I never wanted you to leave my body. I would hold you to me for an eternity if I could… and every second would be just as blissful as the last.


Just writing this, stirs another memory… 

It was a Sunday, and Mrs Stawn, the food teacher who also happened to be the producer of the Musical, had cooked up the entire cast a free lunch, for our efforts rehearsing, giving up our weekends. 

I was talking to someone, some girl, and you were listening and I knew you were getting jealous that I was talking to Melissa, yes it was Melissa. 

I was trying to hit up Mell. And you were jealous and so you kept coming over to me, trying your hardest to win my attention, my affection. 

But I wouldn’t budge… I liked playing hard to get… I wanted to see what you’d do. 

With Millie in my line of sight, and her words saturating my ears, I could feel your hands enveloping my wrists, playing with the skin of my neck, your chin perch itself in the grove of my shoulder, your cheek rest against mine.
Millie would slap at your freckled hands… stop it… I’m trying to talk to Mason. 

I know you are, you’d laugh. 

Soon, you were rubbing your smooth silky skin all over my arms… your face was literally pressed against mine. Cheek to Cheek. 

Your hands would cover my eyes, and I could feel your perspiring hands on my face. How intimate it felt. How sexual… how alluring. It was so forbidden, and yet, it was so easily performed. 

A minute later, you were on my lap, laughing. 

You guys are disgusting. 

It would only make you increase velocity. 

You’d get so close to me… daringly close, staring into my brown eyes… Sometimes your lips were so close, I could smell the scent of your breath… But not only your breath, the smell of your body odour and your clothes which had the same Sharpie permanent marker stain on it from the past two days, which meant you hadn’t bothered to change shirts yet… which meant your shirt was dirty… consumed with the scent of you… the smell of oily skin, dried sweat on old dirty clothes, disgusting… yet beautiful nonetheless.  

Your lips, so red and wet when you bit them playfully, or when you shook your long strands of hair over your eyes in a mockery of orgasm… your lips, your eyes, your hair, your skin, the freckles on your face. It was all too much… 

I couldn’t take it. I was madly in love with you.

In all the sensations, all the sensitivity, all the touching, your skin, the paleness of your skin contrasted with the brownness of your freckles, and your blue eyes, and your strawberry blonde hair… it all seemed to merge into one colour… the ripe colour of orange, if orange can be in any way or form a scent as well as a feeling… you were orange. I associated that indistinguishable beautiful smell of you and all your qwerks and all your perfection with the colour of orange. So I loved the colour orange. Just as much as I loved you. Orangey blonde, after all was the colour of your hair.  





When you stared at me on those days, when it was already a public inside joke that you and me were a thing… (but only a thing for humour… no one would take it seriously… that we really were in love…sometimes I wondered if you really did feel the same or if it was just a joke after all. Surely you had to feel the same… I knew you were an amazing actor, but those touches… that sensitivity, the ecstasy… it had to be real. It had to…), 

but when you stared at me on those days, only a few inches away from my face, your breath merging with mine, I just wanted to run away with you… to some private place… some secret place where I could kiss you over and over and over on the mouth, until one of us died, or we were both caught. 


I just loved you so much. You were everything I loved in a boy and more. Soft, musical, romantic, beautiful…. I wanted to kiss you then and there so badly… But I couldn’t. Not in front of everyone. That would be suicidal. 

But god I wanted to. 

Millie ending up hating you for that, for poisoning her any chance with me… for “pretending” to flirt with me, so that she couldn’t… I remember her distinctly yelling at you to stop, foaming at the mouth in resentment… she stopped trying after a while… perhaps she concluded that we were gay after all… But whenever she shouted at you to get off of me, I pleaded with my eyes for you not to. And somehow you understood. 

I loved you. 

I couldn’t say it with words… but maybe my eyes were enough. Eyes after all are the window to the soul, are they not…? Perhaps I did say to you how much I loved you, in those endless moments when we were lost in each others eyes… using the facade of a game… just by staring… 



On the same day, we were walking back to the East wing where rehearsals were temporarily held. The theatre was closed for some unknown reason. 

It was at that point, perhaps five months into the rehearsal process. 

We were familiar enough, for you to jump onto my body, and for me to feel completely comfortable holding you in that position, with you legs ridiculously around my waist, and your hands encircling my body. You were like my little ward, both in the musical and out. So playful, so youthful, so alive with affection and sexuality. 

I carried you back to the East Wing. You were light. It was easy to hold you in my arms. 

Each time your body was against me, and your arms were wrapped around my neck, I could feel your skin, your body, your scent… orange… an again, I was reminded of how unconsciously intoxicated I was with you… how madly in love. 

I just wanted to take you away somewhere… where we could be together alone.  


It was the conclusion of the rehearsal. Dave was telling us about forms we should fill out, tickets we needed to sell, lines that needed to be imperatively learnt, and finally, that we only had a few weeks left. 

I felt sad about that… because I realised suddenly, that we wouldn’t have an excuse to be together anymore. It made me terribly sad. 

And I think you felt the same, because as soon as Dave said that, you put your hand over mine. 

It was the first real sign of true affection that I ever received from you, that wasn’t concealed within a joke. 

I remember turning toward you in shock as well as crazy paralysing infatuation. 

You were kinda patting yet stroking my hand simultaneously… like drawing concentric circles on my skin. It was sexual as well as loving. And I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t even breathe actually. 


Your hand was just so soft… so warm. I could feel the sweat building on your fingertips, your affection in every cell of your skin. 

You were performing this so slowly and deliberately, and my mouth was watering for you, and whole body ached for your touch. 


By the time Dave had finished talking, you had already traced your fingers right up my arm and down again. 


Every time I turned toward you, you were looking away, as if nothing was happening between us… but your hand never stopped in it’s motion…  it’s path of surreptitious seduction. 


When the rehearsal was over, I chased after you, yearning to ask you if you wanted to go somewhere… somewhere secret, so we could keep touching each other… or kiss… yes, kiss for the first time on your sexy wet red lips. But we never did, and you were gone. Somehow I couldn’t catch up to you… your dad was driving you home before I could even say goodbye. 

What a coincidence that it was raining that day. 

I had to ask Lachlan Elstone, the year 12 drama captain, to drive me home, because I felt too sick and alone to wait for my parents. 


You were becoming ever more touchy and sexual every time we saw each other at rehearsals. With every conversation, you would whisper, “I love you Masie,” and although it was a joke to the bystanders listening, I knew you meant it. You’d make us laugh, by saying, “I love you more than your wife does,” (referring to my stage wife, the Baker’s wife) but your eyes told me every time that it wasn’t just a humorous skit. 

We would hold hands every chance we could get. Every time I thought no one was watching I would connect my fingers with yours. 


I just wanted to kiss every one of your fingers. I wanted to taste every inch on your body. I wanted your mouth to envelop me, I wanted my hands spilling through your oily red hair… 

I just wanted you so badly. I wanted everything about you. I wanted to be consumed by you and live inside your body so I could always be a part of you… the things I thought of didn’t even make sense, I was so blindly and utterly in love. 


But the funny thing is, every time someone caught sight of us, holding hands or being affectionate… I would let go… my hands would retract into themselves like a turtle into it’s shell… 

And you would be left hanging. You never seemed as concerned about it as I was. 

With every journey your fingers took up the bare skin of my arm… I would always have something derogative to say… like “that’s so gay.” 

But you knew I loved it as much as I knew I loved you. You’d never stop regardless, and I’d purr at your touch. 

At times, you’d pretend your hand was the “thing” from the Addams family and you’d let it walk around my body, making sure to stop at the most daring of places. God you killed me. I loved you so much. 


On the day of the production’s Opening Night, I knew I only had a few more days left of forced time with you… our physicality escalated. 

Your talent and the casts talent… and I guess mine too, was a given, was unquestioned… the audience always applauded us as we exited the stage or finished a number… and the applause was always genuine and enthusiastic, never polite. 

We felt like Stars exiting the stage. Nobodies from a suburban high school conquering the world. 

The best times in the musical, where when most of the ensemble was on the stage… and I had the freedom to be alone with you, side stage in the wings, in the dark. The stage was alive with life and sound, so no one could hear us, or see us for that matter. It would be you and me, so I could afford to do riskier things. 

I never actually broke the topic of how much I loved you, nor you to me… even today, I still wonder how you’d feel if I showed up to one of your performances, and embraced you after the curtain closed… would you still recall everything we did together…? all those feelings… all that affection… would you feel awkward…? would you resent me for sexualising you…? for betraying your friendship with lust? 

One night, side stage, I was pretending to be a mad Transylvanian … or rather, Gomez from the Addams family… and you were Morticia… and I would impersonate Gomez, kissing you right up your arm. 

At the time, you only wearing this adorable T shirt, so I could get my lips right against your flesh. My mouth traced every inch on the skin of your arm. 

Again, the sexuality was hidden in the joke of it. If people saw, they would just think I was joking…  but I kissed you far more passionately than I kissed anyone, even to this day. 

Other times, I would get crazily close to your lips but I’d never kiss, I couldn’t ever. There was just this force that stopped us. 



Soon, the play was over, and I didn’t really see you much after that. 

I was miserable and I knew you were too. We tried to meet each other at recess and lunch but it just wasn’t the same. 

Things never seemed to work out… eyes were everywhere… new eyes that didn’t understand the relationship between us… and I couldn’t reveal any affection to you while they were around. It was a secret I just couldn’t expose… so you’d get agitated… you’d reach for my hand or try to be affectionate, but I’d pull away. 

Our relationship was diminishing… the cover of the musical was dead. 


So I asked you to join choir after school, and to my utter relief, you did. But it wasn’t the same. There were eyes everywhere and I couldn’t get away with what I did during the production.


There would be nothing like that closing night, when it was the last time I saw you side stage in the Wings, in your costume, and I held you so close against me that our bodies were practically touching and I could feel everything from you, and both our lips’s were only about a centimetre away from each others and your breathe so utterly intoxicating. 

How could I possibly resist? But I had to.


So choir was nothing like that, but we continued to see each other regardless there. 

The only times I could really be intimate with you was after choir when people started leaving. I would plead for you to wait, to rehearse one song on the piano with me… but your dad was always waiting. 

That was always so depressing. 

Maybe you were punishing me… for not having the courage to hold you hand at lunch time… in front of my friends. 

Sometimes at choir, you couldn’t wait for the other vocalists to leave, and you’d clutch my hand within yours… I’d leave it there… nervous sticky fingers… the wet beautiful caress of your palm on mine … but people would notice… they always noticed… and I’d recoil. 

Eventually, they all speculated you had a crush on me. 

You would always deny it, as would I… It was a joke we’d say. 

But I couldn’t hold it off any longer. 

I couldn’t pretend I didn’t love you, when I adored your very existence… I worshipped you…


On the best days, Dave would dismiss us early from choir… either we were insufficiently practiced enough for Dave to adequately conduct us, or we were so good, Dave would reward us by leaving early. 

The vocalists would pack up the room, invert the chairs on the tables… and then they’d be gone… we’d be together… 

Your dad wouldn’t pick you up until he knocked off from work at 5:30, which meant, we’d have a full hour to our selves. 

On those days, I’d warily take you to the private music rooms where students got one on one piano lessons…where no one could see us or disturb us… and I would play the piano for you. 

I’d be nervous… always nervous… as were you. 


If I only knew Dave wasn’t upstairs on his computer… marking assignments or arranging music… if there was only the certainty that he wouldn’t come down to the private music rooms as he occasionally did to knock on the glass… to tell the kids to leave the area… no practicing after hours without permission… if I only knew we were safe to do whatever we pleased without someone finding out… I would have kissed you right then and there on your mouth… I would have eaten your entire face. 

God. I desired you so much. I was having dreams about you. Every waking minute of my life was spent thinking about you. I longed for your touch. My body craved and screamed for you. Ached for you. Burned… You were on my mind from the moment I woke in the morning to the moment I succumbed to sleep. You consumed me. 

Every second I dared to touch myself, it was because of you. 


On one of the fortunate days, when the choir was dismissed early… we descended the stairs to the private music rooms… there we stayed for an hour, your back against one wall, mine against another, our legs enfolded over each other. 

You were telling me about an amateur musical you were in… I forget the name… 

That there was this scene in the second act, where the kids are obsessed with the tongue… the french kiss as they call it. 

You talked about it for so long… I loved the way you bit your lip every time you thought about something that intrigued you. 

It was so seductive. 

With every whisper of the word kiss, or tongue, or mouth… or sex… I just… I just wanted to kiss you so bad… 

Just release myself of these chains and do it… to finally feel you in my mouth… your saliva… your lips… your scent… your skin… your wetness. 

I was so close… so close. 

I was aching so deeply… my body yearned for your kiss… but I didn’t. 

I didn’t. I wish I did. But I didn’t. 

Some days, you were so sensual… so touchy… so physical… so restless… your hands were literally everywhere… your cheeks red and flourished, our fingers intertwined between us in a mess of sweat and delicious affection. 

My whole body trembled at your touch. 

I wanted you so so badly. But I couldn’t. 


The fear of someone finding out was just too strong. 

What if Dave appeared suddenly in the window and caught us… doing something unspeakable.

I’m not ready to face the world… to have that label put on me… to be an outcast… to be a minority.. it’s scary. The world is so scary. 

But how much I regret it now… How much I regret it to this day. There has never been a love that burned so strong as you… 

If I had at least tried… 

If I had at least explained to you what I felt… 

Let me speak my mind… Let me release these toxic words from my lips… let me explain what I’m feeling, so that you’d understand, I was interested… I was infatuated… I was deeply and blindly in paralysing love… and I did care… I cared so much… I just couldn’t show it… and you couldn’t understand… 

If I only said: 

“Can I kiss you… I want to so bad… I want to kiss you so bad… I want to touch your lips with my lips… but I’m scared… god I’m scared… I don’t want people to know… I don’t want people to find out… but I want you in my mouth so badly. Would it be okay if we go somewhere more private…” 

Why couldn’t I say that. 

Why didn’t I have the courage to try! 


Somehow the forces equated themselves out… cancelled each other out in endless equilibrium… every time I found myself on the verge of telling you how badly I wanted to kiss you… my heart would feel like running away to die somewhere in a miserable chaotic mess. So I was always caught on the edge… on the verge of endless climactic euphoria with you… wanting to give you my all, but only centimetres short… 

The worst thing is, I presumed you presumed that I wasn’t interested. 

How defeating… how demoralising… how could I tell you that I loved you. 

I wanted to tell you with my eyes… but you wouldn’t even look at me anymore. 

The risk… the risk… 

The risk of discovery. The shame, the shame… 

How much I’ve changed… I wouldn’t care so much now… but back then… at 16, reputation was everything. I couldn’t taint an exceptional record with… with that… 

With the love of another boy… a beautiful beautiful beautiful boy. No one would understand. No one was gay at my school. 

The risk was too heavy. 


What if I had… what if I had said something and kissed you in that moment… when your hair was falling over your eyes, and your eyes burned such a strong blue under the florescent lighting of the music room. What if I had just shut your mouth as you were talking by kissing you… what if my hand slithered its way up your shirt, onto your naked body… 

Let it all go and lose myself to your wet methamphetamine kiss, let your love devour me to the point of social extinction. 


I wish… I wish… If only… If only… All these scenarios in my head. 

Maybe you would have followed me… if I told you, “let’s go somewhere more private…” 

Maybe you would have taken my hand, and I could’ve led you to the oval, or the old music rooms that nobody uses, that used to be the old uniform shop, or under the stage stairs where the gym teachers store the gym mats… or if anything… in the dreaded boys toilets… we could have made love in a toilet cubical… Be silent if someone came in… stand on the toilet seat so they couldn’t see two pairs of feet and discover us there in our delicious sexual ecstasy… Something… Anything… Just not a scenario… just not a fantasy in my mind… an actualisation… a real kiss… if only I had the chance… the privilege.. the honour… the unattainable high… The heroin in my veins. 

If I could only have you just once… just once… in the safety of a closed room… in the protection of isolation… in the euphoria of seclusion. 

You would liberate me… truly liberate me. 



One time, with my arm around your shoulders, and my fingers dangling beside your face, you were bold enough to lick my hand. 

Someone else was sitting behind us in the auditorium chairs and noticed, so I had to make light of it somehow… “Did you just lick my hand?” 

And you replied so sheepishly… “Yes”. 

You burst into laughter.  


Eventually, when I had the courage… I reminded you of that time you licked my hand… and I dangled my fingers again before your closed lips… 

You brought my fingers, first, against your lips, and then into your mouth to which you proceeded to suck on them… you began to suck on my fingers… 

If that wasn’t an admission, what was? But I never had the courage to go through with it. We never even kissed… 

I was always too scared shitless to do anything, so you eventually found someone else who could, and I’ve still been alone ever since. 


I always look back on those days with fondness. When I think about your name, the memories always flood back, resurface, like a tennis ball submerged under water… 

No matter how many times I try to keep it down, and forget about it, drown it… somehow your name keeps remerging into my periphery, whether it be on social media or by someone talking about you in third person… and those memories always flood back, that tennis ball, no matter how many times you try to hold it down underneath the water, it’ll always rises, again and again, back to the surface…. Well that’s my memories of you. No matter how many times, I think I’ve moved on… at the hint of your name, or the sight of another boy with the same texture of skin, or the same brown sun spots, or the same brilliant blue that your eyes posses, or the same orange tussle of your hair… you always reappear, you always resurface in my mind, like that stupid tennis ball, tugging at my existence. 



I’m sure there’s heaps of more memories of us together… hidden somewhere deep in my subconscious, but I can’t recall them… 

No wait… there’s one more I remember… 

I remember they day our costumes for Into the Woods had arrived… and we had the chance to try them on for the first time. We both got changed together. I was putting on my overalls and you were putting on a yellow T shirt with dirt smears on it, which reflected the free spirit and carelessness of your character… I got a peek at your body. I was pretending to act as a cover… a shield of decency to cover you from anyone else who might be watching as you got changed, but the only one watching was me. I was taking in your whole body, your contour, your smoothness, and it was all just so beautiful. If I could only run my hands across it and kiss every little inch of your perfect body. 

But only in my mind. 


More images, resurfacing… 

Months later… after we stopped talking. 

I went to see you in your musical production of The Little Mermaid.  

You fell into my arms at the sight of me… and I knew instantly, just by the urgency of your touch, the tightness of your embrace, that you still had some feelings for me.  

Its terrifically sad what time will do to you. 

How time will make your forget, and diminish the love you once felt. 

And eventually, age you, drowning you with wrinkles, withering the beauty your bodies once possessed… All that love you felt so strongly… just a remnant of a time in another life, in another body that you can only imagine belonged to you. 


I miss you so much. 

It was so painful to embrace you again… to stir those old feelings of haunting debilitating love. At the reprise of your touch… part of me, no… all of me… wanted to hug you forever… to never let go… to run my hands up and down your back, and press your body against me… but how could I do that… when your parents were there watching, and my friends were beside me… if we remained in that position any longer, they would start to question. And yet we were still here, still there, holding onto each other, your embrace growing ever more tighter… when will you let go, Your parents are starting to laugh. Maybe you hugged me so tightly because you knew just as much as I did that we were moving on. My eyes were stinging… my throat sore. If I was a stronger boy, I would’ve held you forever, but I had to break… I was so helpless… so torn… so broken to break your embrace… but the eyes around me, around us were so penetrating, so poisonous… I wanted to hug you forever but couldn’t. 



It depressed me so much knowing that I couldn’t have you. It just wasn’t fair. You have other people now in your life that you love… and I couldn’t be that boy…. The boy that stole your heart. I loved you so much and I could never even kiss you. 

I miss you and still love you so much. 


Those are all the memories that I can remember… the rest are lost in a blur of colour and time… 






“Good, what did you feel? Describe to me what you felt.”  


It was Dave,  asking me about love… 

“Singing is all about being vulnerable… expressing your deepest most desires. What did you feel…” 


“I… I felt complete.” 


“I just felt so happy, every second with… with… her.” 

Dave seemed convinced with my response. 

“Good. Use that. Let’s try it again from the bridge.” 

Dave returned to his seat behind the piano, and I began: 

“She comes to me, when I’m feeling down, inspires me, without a sound, she touches me, and I get turned around.” 

“Much better!” He exclaimed. 

“She’s got a way, about her… I don’t know what it is… but I know that I can’t live without her. 

She’s got a way of pleasin, I don’t know what it is, but there doesn’t have to be a reason, anyway…” 




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