Warning: Before you begin reading, you should be aware that this story centers around a brutal and violent event involving the main character. Several scenes in this story may be upsetting and disturbing to some readers.
The banquet hall was quickly becoming filled with happy, exuberant teenagers. Loud music was blaring from the speakers and each teen entered in the same manner- throwing up their arms and gyrating their bodies to the amusement of those who were watching.
When Troy Neal took his place at the entrance, the room broke out into loud applause and shouting.
Someone hollered, “There he is!” Our own Tevye!”
“Bravo!” Someone else shouted. Troy stopped dancing and took a deep bow.
“Thank you, my fellow comrades,” he shouted above the noise. He then broke out into a Russian dance, much to the delight of his admirers.
Just hours earlier he had performed in his high school’s musical production of Fiddler on the Roof. He had acted, sung and danced his way into the hearts of the audience. They gave him a standing ovation and three curtain calls.
As he made his way through the crowd, he was stopped frequently and given hugs and handshakes. He tried to appear humble, but he was basking in the attention. His tall, lanky body towered over many of the well wishers.
“Hey, Gorgeous.” He looked down and grabbed the petite brunette who had wrapped her hand around his arm.
“Claire!” He took her and lifted her off her feet. “My sweet little, Tzeitel.” She giggled and hit his chest.
“Let me down!” She laughed as she pulled away from Troy. “People are going to think we’re committing incest.”
“I don’t think so,” he laughed as he whispered in her ear.
Claire was his neighbor and best friend. It was she who had talked him into performing in the play. He had objected at first, but she persisted until he finally relented.
“You’ve got more talent in your little finger than everyone who’s trying out,” she insisted.
“I don’t know, Claire,” he had said. “I’d die of fright on the stage. I can’t see me getting up there and letting everyone watch me make a fool of myself.”
“Nonsense,” she persisted. “You play the piano better than our musical director,” she continued. “And I’ve heard you sing. You’ve got a wonderful voice.”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Sitting here in the den and singing isn’t the same as doing it in front of a thousand people.”
“It won’t be a thousand,” she giggled. “Maybe more like eight hundred.”
“I can’t do it,” he insisted. However, after a week of persistent nagging, he finally relented and went to an audition that was held after school. He was immediately assigned the role of Tevye. Mrs. Connors, the drama teacher and director of the show, couldn’t have been happier. With Troy’s raw talent, the show was destined to be a success. As she smiled at the boy making his way around the room, she knew she had made the right decision.
“Hey, Mrs. Connor.” Troy walked up and gave her a hug.
“My dear, sweet Troy.” He bent down and she kissed her cheek. “You were wonderful. I am so happy for you.”
“I was only doing what you directed me to do,” he responded humbly. “The credit should go to you.”
She stepped back and smiled at the handsome boy before her. His blue eyes twinkled in the dimly lit room. She took his hands and squeezed them. “You really have no idea how talented you are.”
He looked down and shrugged his shoulders. “Everyone’s been telling me that, so I guess it must be true.”
“Modesty,” she laughed. “You’ll go far.” She turned his body and hit him gently on his back. “Now go out and get the attention you deserve. You’ve earned it.”
Claire once again grabbed his arm and led him around the crowded room. Suddenly, the DJ started playing “If I Were a Rich Man.” Everyone shouted for Troy to go onto the dance floor. He grabbed Claire’s hand, pulling her into the center of the applauding spectators. They danced for a minute before the others joined them. When the DJ started to play a faster song, Troy and Claire left the dance floor.
“I’m thirsty,” Troy announced. He walked over to a table with a punch bowl. A girl behind the table poured him a glass of the pink beverage and handed it to him.
“Thanks, Val.” The girl dropped her head and smiled. “It’s not spiked is it?” She looked up and giggled.
“Too bad,” he replied. She giggled again as she looked at him shyly.
“Ohhh,” laughed Claire as she reached for a glass of punch. “Someone’s got the hots for someone.”
“That’s her problem,” Troy said. “She’ll get over it.”
“Who will get over it?” Troy turned and smiled at the boy before him.
“Hey, Will.” Claire watched as Troy’s eyes lit up at the sight of Will. Even after three months of dating, he still blushed whenever he saw Will.
Claire had been instrumental in them getting together. She had known since they were thirteen that she and Troy were gay. When other friends their age began to notice the opposite sex, they didn’t.
They were sitting on her bed one night and she looked over at Troy. “Do you think of me naked?”
“What!” Troy shrieked. “Jesus. What kind of question is that? Of course I don’t think of you naked. What are you trying to do, make me puke?”
“That’s my point,” she said. “We hang out all the time. I’ve even seen your willy inside your speedos.”
“Claire!” Troy shouted. “Holy shit! Would you shut up?”
She ran her hand across her flat chest. “Do you ever think about looking at my titties?”
“That’s it,” Troy huffed. He got off the bed and started to put on his shoes. “I’m going home.”
Claire reached out and stopped him. “Seriously, Troy. Why don’t we think about things like that?” He looked into her face and saw tears in her eyes. “Everyone else talks about it, but not once do we mention people we like.”
“What are you trying to say?”
“Do you think we’re gay?”
He sat back down on the bed and rolled around laughing. When she became more sullen, he sat up and looked at her.
“Do you think you really are?”
“Yes,” she nodded as she started to cry. “I think I like Melanie Crawford.”
“What!” he shouted. “She’s a dog.”
“She is not,” pouted Claire. “Besides, she likes me.”
“Are you serious?” asked Troy. “How do you know that?”
“She told me,” Claire confessed.
“Last week,” answered Claire. “She even kissed me in the girl’s restroom.”
“Ewww,” laughed Troy as he fell back on the bed and started laughing. “You are gay.”
“I know.” She started crying again. “Are you mad at me?”
“No, Silly,” Troy replied as he gave her a hug. “I could never be mad at you.” She continued to cry for several more minutes before finally wiping her eyes dry. She looked at Troy and grinned.
“Now me, what?”
“Who do you like?” She giggled when his face began to redden.
“I knew it,” she squealed. “Who is he?”
He grabbed Claire’s hand and squeezed it tightly. “You’ve got to swear to me you won’t breathe a word of this to anyone.”
She crossed her heart and looked at him with anticipation. “I promise. Now who?”
He looked around the room and then whispered softly, “Gilly.”
“Gilbert Eidelman!” Claire shouted. Troy put his hand over her mouth.
“Shhhhhhh,” he said. “Someone will hear you.” She pried his hand from her mouth.
“You like Gilbert?” she asked incredulously. “He’s a dork?”
“I know,” Troy said excitedly, “But last week we were in math class and you know how he sits next to me?” Claire nodded her head. “He stuck his hands inside his pants and started playing with it. I couldn’t stop watching. When he let the head pop out over the top of his underwear, I thought I was going to cum in my pants.”
“Ewww,” shrieked Claire. “You didn’t have to tell me that.” She lay back on the bed and laughed hysterically. She rose up and looked at Troy’s crotch and then lay back on the bed and continued laughing.
That was the beginning of a close bond that was unbreakable. Over the years they had shared their darkest secrets with each other. Even now that they both were dating, they still relied on each other for advice.
The second week of rehearsal, she noticed Troy watching Will whenever he would rehearse his lines. He’d stop whatever he was doing and take a seat while he performed his role of Lazar Wolfe.
“He’s cute, isn’t he?” Claire had asked as she sat down beside Troy. Will was reading one of his lines. His brown hair glistened from the lights above. Occasionally, he’d look over at Troy and Claire and smile. Troy was falling deeper into his gray eyes.
“Someone’s got it bad,” Claire said after Troy and Will exchanged a prolonged stare. She giggled when Will stumbled over his lines. “You both do,” she laughed. After rehearsal she walked up to Troy. She was holding Will’s hand.
“We’re going to Pizza Hut,” she announced. “Want to join us?” Troy frowned. He knew what she was doing. Lazar may have been the matchmaker in the play, but she was being one offstage.
Since that night, Troy and Will had been dating. They had engaged in heavy petting, and had even played with each other by putting their hands inside the other‘s pants when they attended a movie, but they had yet to have sex.
Will reached out and grabbed Troy’s arm and started to pull him away. “Where are we going?” Troy asked as he looked at Claire with a puzzled look.
“I got to pee,” replied Will as he continued to pull Troy across the crowded room. Each time Troy would stop to talk to someone, Will would wait impatiently for a minute before pulling him away.
Once inside the restroom, Will quickly pushed Troy against the door and began kissing him.
“I thought you had to pee?” Troy smiled breathlessly when they finally pulled their lips apart.
“I want you.” Will reached down and started to unbuckle Troy’s pants. “Now.”
He had unzipped Troy’s pants and snaked his cock out before Troy grabbed his hand.
“Don’t, Will,” Troy demanded huskily. He looked down at Will’s hand around his swollen, erect cock.
“Please?” Will begged as he dropped to his knees. “Let me do this.” He opened his mouth and took the head of Troy’s cock in his mouth.
“We can’t,” insisted Troy as he stepped away and placed his cock back inside his pants. Will rose and frowned when Troy zipped his pants up and walked over to the sink.
“Why, Baby?” Will walked up behind him and wrapped his arms around his waist. He let his hands drop and began rubbing Troy’s erect cock.
“We can’t,” insisted Troy. He turned and faced Will and kissed him. “We talked about this. I promised my parents we wouldn’t do anything until we graduate.”
“That’s four months away,” moaned Will. He reached down and cupped his hand around Troy’s hard cock. He leaned in and started kissing him passionately. “I want you now,” he said lustily. “I can’t wait four months.” When he started to once again unzip Troy’s pants, Troy stepped away.
“There’s nothing I want more than to make love to you,” Troy said.
Will leaned in and rubbed his erection against Troy’s. “Then go home with me tonight and fuck me.”
“I can’t,” sighed Troy. “I promised my parents. You did, too,” he reminded him.
“I know,” responded Will as he put his head into Troy’s chest. “I just can’t wait four months.”
Troy kissed him gently. “I promise,” he smiled. “On graduation night we’re going to make up for all the lost time. We won’t be able to walk for days.” He leaned down and kissed Will more passionately. Will moaned when he snaked his hand inside his pants and grabbed his ass.
“You sure?” Will asked hopefully. “We can spend the night together?”
“I’m sure,” Troy grinned. “But soon.”
Suddenly, someone started pounding on the door. “Come on, open the door. I gotta piss!”
“Shit,” laughed Will. “I forgot I really do too.” When they later opened the door, Tommy came rushing in. He had played one of the minor roles in the play.
“Jesus, Guys,” he hissed as he pulled his cock out and started pissing into the urinal. “Next time, use your bedroom.” Troy and Will smiled as they walked out.
“What took you so long?” Claire raised an eyebrow and grinned.
“We didn’t,” said a dejected Will. He lightly touched Troy’s hand and walked away.
“Did you two get into another fight?” Claire asked as she watched Will walk away and started talking to a group of students.
“No,” sighed Troy. “It’s just he’s always..”
“Hey, Guys!” A petite blond stepped up and grabbed Claire’s hand. “Hey, Sweetie. You were great.” She kissed Claire on the cheek.
“You weren’t so bad, either,” she laughed as she stood on her tiptoes and kissed Troy’s cheek.
Allison was Claire’s girlfriend. They had been dating for about a year. Allison played volleyball for their high school. They had met when Troy had insisted that Claire attend one of the games on a Saturday afternoon. She had refused, claiming she had better things to do on a weekend than watch a bunch of girls slapping a ball over a net.
When a ball went out of bounds and landed in the bleachers, right into Claire’s lap, it had been Allison who trotted over and retrieved it. She stared into Claire’s face when she was handed the ball.
“God, Troy,” she said excitedly after Allison returned to the gym floor. “I think I’m in love.”
“Jesus, Claire,” replied Troy. “All she did was come and get the ball.”
“But didn’t you see the way she looked at me?”
“No,” laughed Troy. “But I saw the stupid look you had on your face.”
Claire spent the next hour watching every move Allison made on the court. Occasionally, Allison would look into the stands and smile after she’d made a good play. Even Troy was beginning to wonder if there was a certain chemistry between the two girls.
His suspicions were confirmed as he and Claire were leaving the gym. They had stayed around after the match and talked to a few friends. When they exited the building, Allison was waiting outside with her gym bag draped over her shoulder. She looked around the parking lot and then back at her watch.
Claire smiled as they passed. She turned to see Allison scanning the parking lot. She left Troy’s side and walked back to Allison.
“Do you need a ride?” she asked. Allison smiled and looked around the parking lot one last time.
“My brother was supposed to pick me up,” she said angrily, “but he’s probably playing basketball and forgot.” She looked at Claire and smiled. “You sure it’s no bother?”
“Of course not,” insisted Claire. They walked back over to Troy.
“We’re taking Allison home,” she informed him. He raised an eyebrow and grinned down at Claire. She started blushing.
She dropped Troy off at his house before driving off with Allison. He had tried for the remainder of the day to call her on her cell phone, but she didn’t answer. He didn’t talk to her again until Monday morning, when she came to pick him up. Surprisingly, Allison was seated in the passenger seat where he usually sat. Since then, he had been accustomed to riding in the back seat.
“Seriously,” Allison said. “You guys were really good.” She took Troy’s arm and held it. “And you,” she said. “You were terrific. You should have heard all the nice comments people were saying about you when I was leaving.”
“Thanks, Allison,” Troy responded humbly. “I’m sure they were saying the same thing about all the cast.”
“Well, you were the star,” she said. She turned to Claire. “How much longer do you have to stay?”
“I don’t have to stay,” insisted Claire. “I want to stay.”
“Sorry,” responded Allison. “I didn’t mean it that way. I just thought since it was Saturday night, we could...” She wiggled her eyebrows. “You know.”
Troy grabbed his ears. “There are just some things that I don’t want to know.” He could hear them laughing as he walked away.
The microphone started squeaking when Mrs. Connors took it from the student who had been acting as the DJ for the evening.
“May I have everyone’s attention?” The room slowly became quiet.
“I want to thank all of you for attending the after party. Needless to say, the play was quite successful. We had a sold out audience.” The room broke into applause.
“We were successful because of one young man,” she looked around the room. “Where is our Tevye?” Troy tried to hide, but several people started pushing him towards Mrs. Connors.
“There he is!” she shouted. “Let’s give Troy Neal a hand.” Again, the room broke out into thunderous applaud.
“Speech!” Someone shouted. Soon, several more people were shouting. Mrs. Connors handed an embarrassed Troy the microphone and stepped away.
Troy stood staring out into the audience. He didn’t know what to say. He saw Claire and Allison standing in front of him. Behind them was Will.
“Ahem.” Troy cleared his throat and then pounded on the microphone. It made a loud thumping sound as he asked, “Is this thing on?” Everyone in the room started laughing.
“I want to thank all of you for coming out tonight and supporting us,” he said. “I feel a little embarrassed standing here. I’m not the only one who performed tonight.” He looked around the room.
“Would everyone who had a part in the play, please come up here and join me.” Soon over twenty students were standing around Troy. “These are the stars of the show.” Everyone started hugging Troy as the room once again erupted into applause. Mrs. Connors walked up and gave him a hug.
“You really are an extraordinary young man,” she whispered in his ear above the loud cheers.
It was almost one before everyone started leaving. Troy threw his arm around Will and begged him to leave. “I’m so tired,” he moaned. “It’s been a long day.”
“Aw, you poor baby,” laughed Will as he tried to steady his friend on his feet. “Come home with me and let me give you a back rub.”
“Nice try,” Troy grinned. “I’ll take a rain check. Right now all I want to do is crawl into my nice warm bed.”
“I can make it warmer,” said Will as he wiggled his eyebrows.
“I’ll take a …”
“I know,” interrupted Will sadly. “You’ll take a rain check.”
“Now you’re learning,” responded Troy as he patted Will on the back. They made their way over to Claire and Allison. They were sitting at a table. Allison was leaning against Claire with her eyes closed.
“I see someone else is tired, too,” remarked Troy as he sat down in a chair and rested his head on Claire’s other shoulder. “Can you take us home?” He looked at her with pleading eyes. “Please?”
They got up and started to make their way across the banquet hall. It took several minutes because people kept stopping Troy and congratulating him on his performance. Once they made it to Claire’s car, he plopped into the backseat and rested his head against the headrest. Will got in and scooted close to him.
“What a night,” he sighed as they pulled out onto the road. He reached out and lightly smacked Claire on the back of the head.
“Ouch.” She started rubbing the back of her head. “What was that for?”
“Don’t ever ask me to do another play.”
“Why?” She stared at him in the rear view mirror. “You were a hit tonight. Everyone loved your performance.” Will took his hand and squeezed it.
“Whatever,” he said as he rested his head back. “Just don’t do it again.”
“Too late,” giggled Claire. “We’re doing West Side Story in May. I’ve already signed you up.”
“No!” Troy moaned. Will leaned over and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
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