I jumped when Dr. Avery barked, “Well, Dorian. I’m waiting.” I looked around nervously as everyone stared at me.
Jade took my arm and whispered softly, “Don’t Dorian.” I started to rise, but she pulled me back down.
“I’m waiting!” Dr. Avery shouted loudly.
On my right, Jerry asked, “What’s going on?”
I started to rise again, but Seth stood and approached Dr. Avery. “He doesn’t want to go with you, Sir.”
“Young Man,” Dr. Avery spat angrily, “I don’t think this is any of your business.”
Cameron hurried over and stood between them. “I don’t understand why you’re asking Dorian to leave.” He looked over at me with a puzzled look on his face.
Dr. Avery ignored him and ordered, “Dorian, come with me!”
“No, Sir,” I heard myself respond timidly. “I’d rather stay.” His eyes narrowed as he looked at me and then at the others. Without saying anything, he turned and left the room. Seth and Cameron approached and stood before me.
“Are you all right?” Seth asked worriedly. Jerry protectively put his hand on my shoulder.
“I think so,” I replied. My voice trembled, and if Jade wasn’t holding my hand, I would have been shaking violently. Several emotions were surging through me. I was embarrassed because everyone in the room was staring at me, and I was angry with Dr. Avery for insisting that I leave the meeting. I was certain that he was on the phone informing my father of my rebellious behavior.
Cameron looked down at me. “Would someone tell me what’s going on? I’ve never seen Dr. Avery so upset.” I remained silent for fear that if I tried to talk, I would become too emotional.
Jade leaned over and whispered in my ear. “Perhaps you should tell him, Dorian. He might be able to protect you. That is one of the reasons we’re here.”
I looked at Jade pleadingly, “I can’t. You do it.”
She asked, “Are you sure?” I nodded my head as she squeezed my hand tightly.
Seth sat down, and Cameron returned to his place in the middle of the circle. Jade slowly rose and looked around at the group who were eagerly awaiting an explanation. There was a muted gasp when she announced, “Dorian’s last name is Gale. His father is Senator Gale who is now running for vice president of the United States. Dorian’s presence here is a threat to his father’s political ambitions.” She sat down, gripped my hand and asked me if I was all right.
“Thanks,” I replied. The room was silent as everyone stared at me.
“Fuck me!” Jerry hissed under his breath.
Cameron asked for everyone’s attention. He then proceeded to assure me that who I was would have no influence within the group. I was a member like everyone else, and that my father’s position would not affect anything that the group decided to do. He assured me he would talk to Dr. Avery about my involvement. He explained that Dr. Avery was very supportive of having a gay organization on the campus, and he didn’t see how my participation could possibly be a problem.
I wanted to tell him that he didn’t know my father and the influence he wielded. I was now afraid that with one phone call to Dr. Avery, Campus Pride could be dissolved.
The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing the election of officers in two weeks and what everyone thought should be the objectives of the Campus Pride. Cameron cited several campus police reports of harassment of students last year because of their sexual orientation. He thought that the group should focus on making the student body more aware of the problems that existed. The guy with the pink striped hair argued that we should host a dance during homecoming weekend. Everyone laughed when he said he had a new blue dress he was dying to wear.
When the meeting was adjourned, Cameron approached me as I stood with Jade, Seth, Sydney, Amanda and Jerry. “I want to assure you, Dorian, that I will do everything I can to insure that you maintain your membership with Campus Pride. I’ll schedule a meeting with Dr. Avery first thing in the morning.”
“It won’t matter,” I replied worriedly. “If my father doesn’t want me participating, then I probably won’t be able to.”
“Bullshit,” spat Jerry. “You’re a man now. He can’t tell you what you can do.”
I looked up with a worried look and replied, “You don’t realize how powerful my father is. If he wants me to come home, he’ll find a way to do it.”
“He’ll have to come through me first,” Seth sneered angrily. “I don’t give a shit who he is.”
I giggled when Jerry puffed out his chest and fisted Seth’s hand. “Me, too.”
“Okay,” laughed Cameron. “You two studs calm down. I don’t think we have to make physical threats. The purpose of Campus Pride is to stop violence, not create it.” He looked somberly at Seth and Jerry. “Let me talk to Dr. Avery first. Then we’ll go from there.” He shook everyone’s hand and thanked us for attending the first meeting. He said he hoped we would return next Tuesday. He told Seth he was very glad that he and Sydney had attended, and he hoped that he would consider being an officer. Seth told him he’d consider it, and then he left.
Jerry asked, “What are you guys going to do now?”
“I’ve got an exam tomorrow in physics,” Seth replied. “I’m going over to the library to study.” He looked over at Sydney. “You want to come with me?” Sydney nodded her head.
“So much for studying,” Jade laughed as Sydney’s face reddened.
“Let’s go,” Seth said as he grabbed Sydney’s hand and pulled her away.
“Don’t forget,” Jade hollered out. “You’re going to the library to study.” We laughed when Seth lifted his hand and flipped her off.
Jerry looked down and asked, “What about you, Dorian?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know. I guess I’ll just go back to my room and study, too.”
“Nonsense,” replied Jade. She looked over at Amanda. “How about going to get a pizza somewhere?”
“I’m game,” responded Amanda.
“Me, too,” agreed Jerry. He looked at me. “Dorian, you in?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “Sure, I guess.”
“Come on,” Jade reached down and grabbed my hand as she reached over and took Amanda’s in her other. “It will be fun.” Jerry put his arm around my back as we walked out of the room.
Amanda suggested that we eat at the Little Italy Pizza Parlor. It was across campus, and it took us about thirty minutes to get there. Jerry had a car, but Jade and Amanda said they would rather walk. I was surprised when they held hands as we headed to the restaurant. Jerry reached for mine once, but I pulled it away and gave him a warning glare. I wasn’t sure if Dr. Avery and my father were having someone trail me to observe my activities. If Cameron hadn’t already said that he had invited Dr. Avery to address the group, then I would have assumed he was there only because I attended.
The pizza parlor was crowded and loud as we entered. We had to wait twenty minutes for a table. We were finally seated at a booth at the front of the restaurant. We decided we would get an order of breadsticks and share the largest pizza they had. Half was the deluxe with everything but anchovies. Jade said she was watching what she ate because she wanted to participate in basketball, so the other half contained just cheese.
As we waited for our order, Amanda and Jerry wanted to know more about my life, but I only gave them the short version. I told them that since my father had been a politician my entire life, then my life had been very guarded. I tried to avoid mentioning that Dad was extremely rich, but Jade told them about Carlton, my limousine driver.
“Fuck me,” Jerry laughed. “You have your own chauffer?”
“Actually, he’s my father’s,” I replied. I rolled my eyes when he enthusiastically asked me if he could ride in it sometime.
“Now you,” I said in an attempt to change the subject.
He shrugged his shoulders. “Not much to tell,” he responded. “I’m the black sheep of the family. I came out to my parents when I was fourteen.” He laughed nervously. “That went over well.”
Jade asked, “What happened?” I could tell by the expression on his face that the experience must have been difficult.
“Dad had a shit fit,” he replied. “He’s a deacon in a large church, so I’ve had to listen for the past eight years how I’m going to spend eternity in hell.” He laughed nervously again. “I think I’ve been there since I told him.”
Amanda asked, “What about your mother?”
“She does what Dad tells her to do,” he replied. “You know, the devoted wife thing.”
“Must have been rough,” Jade responded sorrowfully.
Jerry shrugged his shoulders. “Not really. They’ve pretty much left me alone. Of course, I didn’t have much of a social life, though. I was the good son, you know. Went to school, made good grades, and then got the hell out of their house. Coming here has been a retreat.” He looked over at me and smiled warmly. “I think it’s just gotten better.”
The waitress brought the pizza and breadsticks to the table, and we started to eat. Jade gave a brief description about her background. I guess she wanted Amanda to know a little about her. I had heard it before, so I spent most of the time looking around the room and watching other people as they dined. I noticed a table toward the back with four guys who appeared to be gay. At a table a few feet away were seated two athletic looking guys with their dates. They would whisper something to each other, and then they would look over at the table with the four guys and laugh.
I was startled from my reverie when Jade asked, “Did you hear what Amanda asked you?”
“What?” Jade giggled and rolled her eyes.
“She wants to know if we want to go back to her apartment after we eat?”
Jerry announced excitedly. “I’m in!”
I was getting tired, and it was after eleven. However, I knew Jade wouldn’t take no for an answer. “I guess,” I yawned. “But I can’t stay long.”
The waitress brought the check and placed it on the table in front of us. Amanda reached for it, but I snatched it from her hands. “My treat,” I announced.
“We can pay our share,” Amanda insisted, and Jade agreed.
“Okay,” I laughed, “It’s my father’s treat.” I pulled out a credit card. “He told me to use it anytime I wanted, so I guess I will.”
Jade started laughing, “He’d die if he knew he was buying dinner for four gay students.”
“Then we should have gone to a steak house,” I replied. “The next time we will.”
We laughed when Jerry responded enthusiastically, “I’m in!”
It took about twenty minutes to walk to Amanda’s apartment. Fortunately, it was in the direction of my dorm, so it wouldn’t take Jade and I long to walk back. It was a typical college apartment- small and cramped. There was a room no bigger than my bedroom at home that comprised of the living room and dining area. Clothes were cluttered around the room, and shoes were strewn all over the floor. A small kitchenette was to the left, and a narrow hallway that looked like it led to two bedrooms was on the right.
“Sorry for the mess,” Amanda apologized as she removed clothes from a blue loveseat and tossed them aside. She then removed a potato chip bag and a pair of dirty socks from a recliner and tossed them on the floor. “My roomie isn’t the neatest person in the world.”
“You have one of those also?” I laughed.
Jade walked over and picked up a basketball jersey that had Amanda’s last name printed on the back. “Wait a minute,” she giggled. “Messy roommate? This looks like yours.”
Amanda snatched the jersey from Jade’s hand. “Okay,” she laughed. “I confess. I’m not the neatest person in the world, either.” She sat on the loveseat, patted the seat beside her and asked Jade to join her. Jerry sat in the recliner, and I looked around the room to see if there was any place for me to sit. Seeing none, I sat on the floor in front of Jerry.
We sat around talking for about twenty minutes about the classes we were taking. It worried me when Jerry implied that he thought most freshmen teachers’ main objective was to fail freshmen. “Weed out the weak,” as he put it.
I got nervous when Amanda rose and walked over and turned off the overhead light. Only a small light from the kitchen illuminated the room. “There,” she said as she sat back down. “That’s better.” A minute later, she leaned over and started to kiss Jade passionately.
I bristled when Jerry leaned over and started rubbing my shoulders. I was becoming nervous that he thought that the night might end in sex. It was becoming obvious that was the girls’ intention. I was angry at Jade because she had put me in such a precarious situation. She could at least have walked me back to the dorm and then returned to Amanda’s apartment.
Amanda stood, put her hand out and pulled Jade from the loveseat. “Let’s go to my room,” she said. I watched as they walked down the narrow hall and into a bedroom on the right.
I jumped when Jerry slid from the chair and sat down beside me on the floor. Before I knew what was happening, he had pushed me on my back, straddled me and was trying to ram his tongue into my mouth.
“Get off me,” I pleaded. Since he was much larger than me, I was struggling to break free.
He sat up, but remained positioned over my body. “What’s the matter, Baby? Don’t you want this?”
“No,” I insisted. “I wasn’t planning on this to happen.”
“But it did,” he said lustily as he lay across my chest and started to kiss me. “I want you so bad.” He reached his hand under his body in an attempt to grab my crotch.
“Don’t!” I shouted. When he squeezed my limp cock, I slapped him. “Stop it!”
He sat up and balled his fist. I closed my eyes and waited for the impact of his hand, but he didn’t hit me. Instead, he rose and sat down in the chair. He placed his head in his hands and muttered, “I’m sorry.”
I quickly got up and headed for the door. “Me, too,” I replied as I opened the door and walked into the brisk, cool night.
Sydney and I were taking notes as Dr. Petry, our English 101 professor, droned on about transitive and intransitive verbs. I was having trouble staying awake. Besides Travis’s loud snoring that kept me awake, I was also bothered about what happened the night before in Amanda’s apartment.
I couldn’t understand why Jerry assumed I would just want to freely have sex with him. When he slid off the chair and sat beside me, I think he actually thought I would willingly make out with him and have sex. He didn’t even ask me if I was interested, he just assumed I would play along.
Maybe that is what ordinarily happens on a college campus, but I wasn’t prepared for it. As much as I hate to admit it, I am still a virgin. I wanted my first time to be something more than just a non-committal fling on the floor of someone’s apartment. Up until that time, I had enjoyed being with Jerry. He was attractive and outgoing. I enjoyed the wonderful sense of humor he had displayed all evening. However, engaging in sex with him had never occurred to me.
I was also upset with Jade. I was angry at her for leaving me alone in a stranger’s apartment with someone I had just met. Obviously, she had no problem jumping into bed with someone she had just met. She could at least have spoken to me alone and asked me what I wanted to do. Instead, she just left with Amanda to go to her bedroom without even looking at me to see if I objected.
The entire evening had been a disaster. I went to the meeting hoping to make new friends. Instead, I was embarrassed by Dr. Avery in front of the entire group. I was hoping that my identity could be protected, and I could enjoy my life without living in the shadows of my father’s political position. It was becoming increasing more difficult to protect who I was. Travis and my dorm mates knew. Now, the members of Campus Pride were aware of it. I was sure my college professors knew who I was. None of them said anything, but I could tell by the way most of them greeted me when I entered their room that they knew I was Senator Gale’s son. I was a status symbol to them. They could brag to their colleagues and friends about me. It happened to me in high school, so I know it was occurring in my college classes. And since Dr. Avery had personally enrolled me in their class, it added to the prestige.
Jade walked into class twenty minutes late. She seemed embarrassed as she quickly glanced back at me. She approached Dr. Petry and handed him a note. He read it, nodded and told Jade to take a seat. She slowly made her way back to her seat behind Sydney.
As she sat down, she quickly looked over at me and mouthed, “I’m sorry.” I frowned and turned my head. Even though she had now become one of my best friends, I still felt I was entitled to be angry with her.
Dr. Petry finished lecturing, and the class groaned when he told us we had to go to his webpage and complete a lesson that would be due on Friday. It was the third one he had assigned. If it were like the others, I would be spending a lot of time in the library.
I tried to hurry from the classroom, but Jade grabbed my arm as soon as we walked out into the hallway. “Leave me alone, Jade,” I muttered angrily.
“Dorian,” she pleaded. “I’m really sorry.”
“What’s the matter?” Sydney asked as she walked up.
“What’s the matter?” I turned and scowled at Jade. “My supposedly best friend left me alone last night in an apartment with some guy who wanted to get into my pants while she went to Amanda’s bedroom and had sex.”
Sydney gasped, “What!” She looked over with an astonished look at Jade. “You didn’t!”
“It’s not as bad as it sounds,” insisted Jade. “He was with Jerry. You met him. He’s a nice guy.”
“Yeah,” I spat, “That’s exactly what I thought when he shoved his tongue down my throat.”
“What!” Sydney shrieked excitedly. She then turned to Jade. “What in the hell happened last night?”
We continued to walk from the building before other students heard our conversation. I walked quickly in front of them hoping that I could get away. However, Jade ran up beside me and grabbed my arm.
She looked down and said angrily, “Stop acting like a spoiled, little brat.”
“What!” I shouted. “Me?”
“Yes, you,” she replied. “Grow up, Dorian. We’re not in middle school anymore. I’m nineteen years old, and if I want to have sex with someone, I will.”
“Well,” I pouted. “You didn’t have to leave me alone by myself.”
She started giggling. “I thought I was doing you a favor.”
“Yeah,” she replied. “Jerry is kind of hot. I thought you’d like being left alone with him.”
“Well,” I huffed. “I didn’t.”
Sydney stepped between us. “Would someone please tell me what is going on.”
Jade explained how we went back to Amanda’s apartment after leaving the pizza place. She said that she and Amanda really hit it off; and as they sat on the loveseat, Amanda whispered in her ear that she wanted Jade to go to her bedroom. I rolled my eyes when she told Sydney how close Jerry and I seemed to be getting the entire evening, so she thought it would give me a chance to get to ‘know’ him better.
“Well, I didn’t want to get to ‘know’ him better,” I remarked emphatically.
Jade asked, “Why? It’s just sex.”
“Because,” I replied sadly. I turned and started to walk away. Jade reached out and grabbed my arm.
“Wait, Dorian.” She looked deeply into my eyes. “You’re afraid to have sex.”
I tried to pull away. “Leave me alone, Jade.” Sydney put her arm around my back and patted it.
“It’s okay, Dorian,” she said softly. “Everyone gets nervous the first time.”
“I’m not nervous,” I insisted emphatically. “I’m... I’m... saving myself.”
There was a ten-second silence until Jade burst out laughing. “Saving yourself! Jesus, Dorian, that is so sophomoric.”
“Fuck you, Jade,” I replied angrily. I tried to walk away, but Jade grabbed my arm and stopped me.
“Okay,” she said. “I’m sorry. But come on, Dorian. We’re in college now. No rents telling us what to do. This should be the time we’re discovering ourselves.”
“You could at least wait until your junior year to ‘discover yourself’,” I said as I put up my hands and made a quotation mark.
“I’d be twenty-one then!” Jade shrieked. “Besides, I’ve been ‘discovering’ myself since I had my first girlfriend at thirteen.”
“God, Jade,” I hissed. “Too much information.” Sydney snickered off to my right.
Jade asked, “Don’t you ever think about sex?” My face started to redden.
“Of course,” I replied nervously. “But I don’t want to jump into bed with the first guy who looks at me.”
I was surprised when she stated, “But Jerry is really into you. He’s really sorry he tried to force you to do something you weren’t ready to do.”
“What?” I assumed he would be mad and never want to speak to me again after the way I had acted.
“No really,” Jade insisted. “He was still waiting out in the living room when I got ready to leave. He walked me back to the dorm. He was worried he fucked up and you wouldn’t want to see him again.”
“Well, I don’t,” I replied.
Jade started to giggle. “Liar,” she smiled. “You know you do. He’s cute.”
Sydney giggled when my face started to redden. “You do like him!” she shrieked.
“No, I don’t,” I insisted as I started to walk away. They ran up and walked beside me.
“It’s okay to be afraid,” Sydney remarked as she reached down and took my right hand. Jade held my left hand. “When the time’s right, you’ll know.”
I looked up at Jade and asked, “So he wants to see me again?” She smiled and nodded.
Sydney suggested that we go get something to eat, but it was too early for lunch. “I need to go back to the room and get my sociology book,” I informed them. “Class isn’t until one. Why don’t we meet up at noon for lunch?” We agreed to meet at a student cafeteria close to the building where our class was located.
“See you then.” I waved as I began to walk back to the dorm. Fortunately, Travis wasn’t in bed asleep when I left earlier. I guess he had finally decided to attend a class. In fact, the entire floor was quiet as I walked down the hallway.
When I unlocked my door and entered the room, I stopped suddenly. Dr. Avery was sitting at my desk. He turned and looked angrily at me.