He was standing at the kitchen counter angrily piercing the wrapping of his Hungry Man when the baseball bat came through the window with a loud SMASH . He dropped his fork and ran to the dining room. He saw a couple of boys scattering, running away through the neighborhood, down the streets, through yards -- doors slammed. “Shit…” He surveyed the broken glass scattered across the the floor. The evening wind gently stirred the sheer curtains. He took one step forward and a shard pierced his foot. “God-DAMNIT! Fucking worthless kids.”
Justin was already in a mood. His wife was out at a function to “network,” which Justin knew just meant she was going to get drunk, flirt with other real estate agents, and then call him to come pick her up. He was so sick of taking care of her. He wasn’t a man who expected his wife to constantly cook and clean and maintain a certain weight. His mom raised him single-handedly after his father left, so he knew the the unfair burden women often take. But in his marriage, it was almost as if he was expected to be that perfect wife.
Becky constantly harangued him about his weight, his receding hairline, the meals he cooked, and his lack of charisma. He had gained weight, sure, but his tendency towards depression — an inheritance from his father, or so his mom had claimed — made him rely on food as comfort. He started to take antidepressants, but that only increased his appetite. Becky thought he was weak for needing the pills, so he settled for his big belly and melancholia. He couldn’t do anything about his receding hairline, though Becky constantly suggested plugs. He tried Rogaine, but it just caused a severe rash, which caused Becky to make her most hurtful comment when drunk one night, “You’re so ugly, Justin.” He didn’t let her know he cried the entirety of that night in bed, his body shaking at his sobs... What am I doing?
As for his charisma, he never was an extrovert. The personality quizzes he took always identified him as an introvert, though he didn’t need a quiz to tell him that. At first Becky was attracted to that, but like the other women he dated, they soon tired of his inability to successfully socialize. “I can’t bring you anywhere,” Becky would say. The only person he felt that ever appreciated his quiet ways was his old friend Ryan, from high school. They could spend hours in silence and feel as if they were having the richest of conversations. But after that one night, they could never share each other in silence. The feelings surged in his chest at the memories. He shook them off and started the cleanup.
He swept up the shards and went to his desk. This wasn't the first time he had to call the insurance company for damages to the house. One morning he'd woken up to find the siding of his house damaged, only to later discover it was Becky, drunk, the night before.
They had house insurance through State Farm. The agent who helped them earlier was a nice enough woman. Bad about returning phone calls, but seemed, to Justin, competent enough.
“Hello, is Alyssa there?”
“No, she has actually left us. All of Alyssa’s clients have been transferred over to our new agent, Jake. Let me transfer you to him. One moment, please.”
“Thank you.” He held his cell phone and looked at his bored reflection in the foyer mirror. I am fucking ugly, he thought. He shifted his weight to find a more pleasing angle, then winced as pain shot up through the foot cut by the glass.
Justin heard a laugh through the receiver. Then a deep, but friendly voice.
“Haha, hello? Is this Justin? Sorry, sir, I didn’t get a last name.”
“No, no. That’s fine. Hi, is this Jake?”
“Yes, this is Jake. I apologize for the mix-up with Alyssa. It’s been a messy transition of clients. But how can I help you?”
“Oh, no, that’s really not a problem. Sorry if I sounded frustrated, I just stepped on my foot and there’s glass. Well, that’s what happened. It sounds so made-up” he laughed, “but a baseball bat came through my window.”
Jake laughed in response, “Well, you’d be surprised all of the claims we process. Usually though it’s the baseball, and not the bat that breaks the window.”
“Yes, haha, that’s exactly what I thought.”
“Well, that’s not a problem. Is there a time that’s best for me to come by?”
“Would sometime… this evening, be okay?”
“Yeah, that’s not a problem. We know many of our customers think it’s an inconvenience for us to come by -- haha, well our most considerate customers -- for us to come by in the evening, but it’s just part of our job. So do you want to say, an hour from now? Is that… yeah, that will be around 7:15-ish?”
“Yeah, that’s great. If that’s not an inconvenience.”
“Not at all.”
“Perfect. My wife is gone for the evening anyway, so it’ll just be me.”
A pause. “Okay, perfect. Well, I’ll see you in an hour, Justin.”
As the sun set began to set, the evening cooled, and a breeze coming through the broken window brought the smell of the dawning fall. Justin had planned for a night in. The TV dinner, and some TV. He was in a stained t-shirt, and some old running shorts. No underwear. Maybe I need to put on some underwear before Jake gets here. At the thought of Jake and his voice, Justin’s dick stirred. He smacked himself in the face before he could feel anymore and he went soft. He undressed and looked himself in the mirror. A hairy chest, a belly, unkempt scruff around his face, droopy eyelids. A caveman, Becky would say. An oaf.
He took a shower and made sure to avoid his crotch to avoid any excitement. New boxers, better shorts and a clean t-shirt. He looked in the mirror again. Better, he thought. Ugh, why the fuck do I even care?
He returned to his uncooked meal and put it in the oven and watched some TV. His heart was beating fast and he kept looking out the hole in the window. A couple on a casual stroll walked by and confusedly looked in. Nosy-rich-fucks, Justin thought. He looked at his watch. 7:08pm. He looked outside again and a red sedan was parking along the curb. Fuck.
He decided he’d act like he hadn’t noticed. He worried over many, if not all, interactions with other men. He just didn’t see eye to eye with guys. His mom always used two words to describe Justin: quiet and sensitive. Why is he not performing to academic standards, his teacher would ask. He’s quiet and sensitive. Why doesn’t Justin have any friends? He’s quiet and sensitive. Why hasn’t Justin had a girlfriend yet? He’s quiet and sensitive. Maybe he needs a male role model, someone would suggest to his mom. No, would come his mother’s swift reply: he’s got me.
The knock at the door. Justin’s heart beat faster. He hoped Jake wouldn’t be like the manly-men who usually came for repairs to the house. The plumber that came by last summer kept on sneering at Justin’s lack of plumbing knowledge. “Why the fuck do I need to know how to change the ‘flapper’ or ‘handle arm’ of a toilet?” he’s ask his wife. “You could at least try to be a little masculine and learn some handy-work,” came Becky’s response.
Justin opened the door. A beaming face greeted him. Justin’s shoulders suddenly relaxed. “Hey, are you Justin?”
“Yeah, and you’re Jake, right?”
“Yeah, I hope you don’t mind me parking on the curb.”
“No, not at all. Sorry, come in.”
“Beautiful night. So where’s the damage?”
“Right through there.” Justin pointed to the dining room.
Jake walked before him. Justin surveyed Jake as he walked ahead. His red State Farm polo tucked into his khaki pants. His ass was big and was snug in his pants. Justin pretended not to notice that fullness.
“I’ve cleaned up the glass for the most part.”
“What?” Justin didn’t like to hear the disappointment in his voice.
“It would have been better for the claim had we had the shards as they were right after the accident, but it’s really not a problem.” Jake looked up and smiled at Justin. The last soft streams of evening light fell over his face. All was dark in the rest of the room. Jake’s smile made his chest swell. The roundness of his cheeks and his button nose made Justin’s hardened face soften. Ryan had made that same face the night Justin last saw him.
After Justin and Ryan’s high school graduation, his mom threw him a small party that was mostly attended by family, one or two other friends, and Ryan. Justin didn't drink out of respect for his mom, as her father and Justin’s dad were both alcoholics. But Ryan did. After everyone left late in the afternoon, Ryan and Justin helped his mom clean up, then she went to bed for her shift early the next morning. They went to Justin’s room and laid on his bed like they normally did for hours upon hours. Faint evening light pressed against his blinds and the A/C unit silently hummed.
They were talking about what they wanted to do now that they were “men” ready to be sent out into the world. Justin said he hadn't a clue, but Ryan began elaborating in his excited drunken voice a detailed life with college, a marketing job, and some kids. “Haha, that's awesome, Ryan. I'm jealous you've got it all figured out. I'm just grasping at straws.” Justin, smiling, turned to Ryan. Ryan was frowning and his eyes were brimming with tears as he stared up at the ceiling. “Wha-what's wrong?” asked Justin.
“None of that is even worth it if you can't be there with me.”
Justin froze. What could he say?
“I'm not… are you…?”
He continued to stare at Ryan, whose breath quickened. Without breaking eye contact, he inched his face closer and closer to Justin’s. He kissed him.
Justin suddenly felt dizzy. Without meaning to he let out a moan… he couldn't. He grabbed Ryan by the shoulders and pushed him back.
“No. I can't. My mom…”
He couldn't finish. But he didn't need to. Ryan stood and left the room. Justin sat frozen and heard the front door slam shut.
“Do you have any material to temporarily cover the hole?”
“The window,” said Jake, not indicating the annoyance the question deserved.
“Oh yeah, of course, the window." He laughed in embarrassment. "Sorry, the window. Also worrying about my wife. She hasn't text in a bit. A little distracted.”
A pause. “Yes, I hope she’s fine.”
“She's at a real estate networking function. She attends them fairly frequently. I don't mind, gives me a little time alone haha, away from the wife.”
“Yeah. My ex actually used to attend those.”
“Maybe my wife knows her. What's her name?”
A pause. “Oh… his name.” Jake shifted uncomfortably.
“Oh cool. Yeah, maybe she knows him.”
Silence. Jake blushed. “Yeah, lemme just take these pictures right now and take some of your information and I'll be on my way.”
“I'll leave you to it.”
Jake grabbed a slim silver digital camera from his pants, but it dropped it as soon as it came out of his pocket.
He bent over to pick it up. His ass. Its fullness, like the seams of his khakis would break.
“Fuck.” Jake pulled up and grabbed at his hand. He turned and looked with a concerned look at Justin.
“I apologize for my language. I think I just got a shard…”
Justin saw blood streaming down Jake’s finger.
“Oh fuck, man. Lemme get you a paper towel or something.”
He brought in some paper towels.
“I have a first-aid kit in my car. I don't think I have tweezers though.” He looked up from his hand to Justin. “Would you mind?”
“Oh shit, yeah, of course. It's up here.” They walked up the stairs.
“Is it still bleeding pretty bad?” Justin looked over his shoulders. Jake’s eyeline was right at Justin’s ass. He looked up quickly.
“Yeah, it’s pretty bad but I think it's slowing.”
They continued through the upstairs hall. The light was off in the hall and in the bedroom as they passed into the bathroom. Justin flicked the fluorescent light on. He opened the medicine cabinet and grabbed the hydrogen peroxide and the tweezers. His swift movements knocked over a bottle. Jake reached down to pick it up. They both looked at it: Justin’s bottle of lube.
“Whoa hahah sorry about that. Shit, that's embarrassing haha.”
Jake blushed. “No, haha I mean, guys need what they need.”
He grabbed Jake’s hand and unfurled his injured finger. He carefully starting searching for the shard. He could hear Jake’s breathing stop and small whines strain in his throat.
“Haha I hope this doesn't hurt.”
“It hurts a little, but I don't mind it.”
Justin looked up, but Jake continued to direct his eyes downwards.
After what seemed to be an agonizing hour, Justin located the shard and extracted it.
“There we go. Here’s the culprit.” He showed Jake the tiny shard then poured the peroxide over the wound. He loved watching the chemistry of the bubbles and the blood. He grabbed a bandage and bound it around the finger.
“Thank you.” Justin looked straight into his eyes. A smile spread across his face. His eyes seemed to twinkle beneath the light.
Justin flicked off the light and began to head through the bedroom. “Yeah, when I was cleaning up I was scared a shard would…”
He felt a tug at his hand.
The streetlight broke through the window and fell over a silent Jake.
“Is everything okay?”
Jake rushed forward and put his lips to Justin’s. Jake pulled away.
“I'm… SO sorry.”
Without a word, Justin grabbed the back of Jake’s head and pulled it back towards his lips.
Their bodies pressed and rubbed together as they made out. Slowly, and deliberately at first, then with an intensity unknown to Justin. He couldn't help but moan as Jake dug his tongue down into this mouth. Justin could feel Jake’s dick hardening against his khakis. He moved his hands from behind Jake’s head down to his ass. He grabbed at the thickness. Jake sharply inhaled in response.
Without warning Jake dropped to his knees. He burrowed his head deep against Justin’s crotch. He then began to unbutton his shorts. He ripped them down. Justin’s hard cock popped out of the fly of his boxers.
Jake plunged his mouth over Justin’s cock.
“Ohhhh fuck…” Justin moaned.
He then ripped Jake up from his knees. The look of bliss on Jake’s face then began to look confused.
Justin dropped to his knees and began to lick the fly of Jake’s khakis. He slowly undid his belt, then the button. He unzipped the pants, all while looking up at Jake’s round face.
Justin saw the outline of the hard cock against the white briefs. He grabbed at the band of the Hanes and slowly inched them down. His cock bobbed up as the briefs passed over. A drop of precum gleamed in the weak light.
Justin looked at the dick with a want he'd never known in life. He slowly, but with some trepidation, let the cock slide into his mouth. He was dizzy at the sensation of this hard bit of man throbbing inside his mouth. He'd never experienced the euphoria of a hard cock in his mouth.
He licked and sucked with such hunger. He pressed his nose into the dirty blonde hair surrounding Jake’s dick. He loved the smell. The sourness of this man. This is what I've always wanted , he thought.
He then wrapped his hand around the shaft to get more precum. He noticed Jake’s stomach begin to tremor.
“I'm gonna…” Jake began to moan.
Do I want it? Justin began to wonder. Yes, fuck yes I want this come. He began to pump the shaft even harder. The vein below the dick began to throb.
“Here it is, I'm coming I'm coming…”
A huge gush of warm saltiness flooded Justin’s mouth. His eyes rolled into his head tasting this man. He swallowed and desperately tried to pump more out of the dick.
“Fuck… you're one of these expert married cocksuckers, I see.”
Justin licked his lips. “Actually, that was my first time.”
Jake was pulling up his underwear and khakis. “Are you serious? Your mouth was amazing. I thought you'd been doing this for a while.” He tucked in his red State Farm shirt. “This isn't your first time, right…”
Justin didn't like feeling as if he'd been in a vulnerable position. He got up from his knees and pulled up his shorts. “Yeah, it was, but let's not talk about it.” He avoided eye contact.
His phone buzzed against his pocket. Eight texts from Becky. The euphoria he felt, that high, suddenly plunged into that familiar place of shame he felt so hard in his chest.
“I'll let you out.”
“Oh okay. Are you okay?”
Justin didn't respond. He kept walking. Down the staircase then his hand on the door.
“Okay,” Jake said, without hiding the frustration in his voice. “Here's my card. I'll call you tomorrow. Thanks.”
Justin wouldn't look up. He shut the door and the tears suddenly, predictably came. He darted upstairs and into the shower. The hot stream allowed Justin to feel as if his hot tears were just the water scouring his skin.
He dressed and drove twenty minutes to the civic center. Becky was sprawled out drunk on a bench. A half-smoked cigarette was stuck in her fingers. He picked her up and buckled her up in the backseat. He parked in the garage and lifted her tiny body up the stairs and into bed, slipping each high-heel off.
And he laid down in bed beside his snoring wife. He thought of the kiss. Jake’s lips. His faint cologne. The odor of his dick. The taste of it against his tongue. But it was the kiss he kept returning to. Elation, yes. And then the face of Ryan came to view. The memories and sensations of his friend coalesced into the look of betrayal that Ryan left him with.
Why didn't I follow him?