Naptown Tales

A Dance to Remember

By Altimexis

barometer showing change toward fair, purple background

Email Codey’s World

DISCLAIMER: The following story is a fictional account of two young teenage boys who are in love. It contains references to gay sex, and anyone who is uncomfortable with this should obviously not be reading this story. All characters are fictional and any resemblance to real people is purely coincidental. Although the story takes place in real locations and establishments, the author takes full responsibility for all events described and these are not in any way meant to reflect the activities of real individuals, nor actual school policies. The author retains full copyright of this story, and of stories based on these characters.

Please note that this story is the third in a series of short stories known collectively as Naptown Tales. The first, Broad Ripple Blues, was originally written for the Gay Authors Summer Anthology. A Dance to Remember was similarly written for the GA Fall Anthology, and it appears here in a teen-appropriate format. The series of stories can be found on my GayAuthors Page and on the Naptown Tales Page at Awesome Dude. Slightly modified versions of these stories that are suitable for younger teens can also be found on the Altimexis Page at Codey’s World.

I can’t believe it. Where did the summer go? It seems it was just yesterday that school let out, and here it’s the first day of school again. I’m now a freshman in high school and entering the final phase of my public education. Never in a million years, however, did I dream when eighth grade let out that I’d be starting my first day of high school by walking into the building, hand-in-hand, with my boyfriend.

Wow, the whole thing still makes my head spin. Was it only a couple months ago that I met Jeremy? It seems like I’ve known him forever – we’re so much in love. It was just happenstance that we met. I was in Broad Ripple, getting an ice cream cone on a horridly hot day and although he’d never admit it, he was there to check out the boys. I guess I was too, since I could have gone to a Ben and Jerry’s a lot closer to home.

In any case, we might never have gotten together, had it not been for that cloudburst that had us racing back to his house, seeking cover from the torrential rain and hail. Even then, we might never have fallen in love had it not been for the power going out. With nothing better to do than to talk to each other and, well, fool around... I really believe we were meant to be.

But coming out? In high school? What was Jeremy thinking? Still, when I think about it, he was right. We could never truly be ourselves unless we’re out. Coming out was the right thing to do, but boy, this is the Midwest. The Bible Belt, you know? I was really nervous about it, but Jeremy had already been there, so to speak, thanks to the infamous ‘gym incident’, and he assured me our school has an active GSA and that we wouldn’t be the only out couple.

For better or worse, we were already out when the school year started, thanks to an incident that happened at the Fashion Mall a couple weeks before, while we were picking up some new threads and doing our back-to-school shopping. This kid I know, Barry Smith, came up to me and asked what I was doing hanging around a ‘faggot’. I just up and told him that ‘faggot’ was my boyfriend. I still can’t believe I did that. Something inside of me just snapped and I wasn’t going to let Barry get away with calling Jeremy that. Never mind that I outted myself and confirmed the rumors about Jer in the process. After that, there was no going back.

We had a trial run a week before the official start of classes, when we gathered at the school for orientation, to get our class schedules and locker assignments, and to have our class pictures taken. I was really surprised at how well the other kids seemed to take it, seeing Jer and me with our hands entwined. Sure, there were some assholes who called us names, but a lot of kids we knew actually came up to us and told us how cool it was that we were brave enough to come out.

I was totally floored when the president of the school GSA came up and asked us to run for the Freshmen Student Council. I still can’t believe I let Jeremy talk me into it, but he promised to help me with my campaign. I know I didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting it, but maybe it’ll be a way to get past everyone thinking of me as the gay kid. I guess we’ll see next month when they hold the election.

Anyway, I was outside the school’s side entrance, waiting for Jeremy to arrive, when I spotted him exiting one of the buses. I waved to him and watched his whole face light up when he spotted me. Nothing makes me feel better than to see the way that smile takes over his face, perfectly framed by the long golden strands of his hair. I love the California surfer look and for reasons beyond me, he seems to like my wavy brown hair and hazel eyes.

As he caught up to me, I reached out with my hand and he grabbed it firmly. We entered the building together, hand in hand, to face a new world together.

Whereas school orientation and registration were a bit of a circus, this felt entirely different. I could sense the eyes of people staring at us as we passed. I realized then that orientation was just a dress rehearsal and the first day of classes was the real thing.

I heard someone mutter, “fags,” as we passed and I turned to see who said it, but saw no one looking our way. Jeremy squeezed my hand even tighter and said, “Don’t let them get to you, David. They’ll never have anything a tenth as good as what we have.”

I looked at Jer’s face and immediately got lost in his beautiful blue eyes. I felt our lips inexorably being drawn together as we come very close to kissing each other in public, but neither of us was really ready for that yet, and so we turned our heads to face forward, drawing strength from the feeling flowing through our joined hands.

As much as I hated to let go of Jer’s hand, we had to go our separate ways. We only had a couple classes together. I guess we were lucky to have that much, considering that there’s nearly a thousand freshmen in our school.

Morning announcements seemed to take forever, but then something caught my attention.

“Just a reminder to everyone as we start a new school year that Homecoming is just around the corner. The homecoming game will be on Friday, September 28, with our annual homecoming dance on Saturday, the 29th. It’s not too early to start thinking about purchasing tickets, which are available right now from your student council officers and at the bookstore. All are welcome... even our freshmen. Come one, come all, and bring a friend....”

‘Homecoming,’ I thought to myself. ‘Our homecoming dance.’ Somehow, I just knew that Jeremy and I had to go, but holding hands in school is one thing. Going together to a dance as boyfriends is an entirely different matter. I really wanted to go – to be out and proud, but I knew that if we actually took to the dance floor, someone was gonna take exception to it. Homecoming is all about football and there would be jocks everywhere. The announcements ended with, “Welcome to a new school year, and have a blessed day,” reminding me of just where we were. Our district might be one of the more liberal ones in the state, but this is still very much the Bible Belt.

Jeremy was even more reluctant when I saw him at lunch. “Are you kidding?” he practically shouted. I almost told him I was, but then I gathered up my resolve and answered him.

“Jer, I really want to go. Look, I’m running for Student Council and I need to get out there and be visible. Going to the dance is one way I can do that. And besides, I like to dance and it’ll be fun. There’s nothing more I’d like than to dance with my boyfriend.”

“And never be seen alive again,” Jeremy said only half in jest.

“Would you two like to join us at our table?” I heard someone ask from behind me. I turned around to see it was Gary, a junior who befriended us a couple of weeks ago. He and his friends came to our rescue when someone tried to rough us up, and we just sort of clicked, you know? I was really surprised that a junior would want to be seen with a couple of freshmen, let alone gay freshmen, but who are we to argue? Jeremy and I got up and followed him to a large table nearby. Already seated there were his girlfriend, Lisa, his best friend, Darren, and Darren’s girlfriend, Mary. Also at the table were the GSA president, a senior named Paul, and another guy whom he introduced as his boyfriend, Sam.

Mary asked us how things were going in school so far and both Jeremy and I said things were fine. Paul asked us if anyone had hassled us and I was relieved when Jer answered that except for a few snide remarks, no one had given him any trouble.

“How about you, David?” He asked me.

“Pretty much the same,” I answered, and then I remembered what Jer and I were discussing before we switched tables. “Hey Paul, I do have a question for you. When I listened to the announcements this morning...”

“You mean you actually listened to that crap?” Lisa asked and everyone laughed. “One of the first things you need to learn is how to tune those out so you can concentrate on better things, like finishing off the homework you forgot to do the night before, or thinking about making out with your boyfriend,” she said and everyone laughed even harder than before.

“Anyway, seriously,” I continued, “when I heard about the homecoming dance, I thought it would be fun for Jer and I to go together. More importantly, I thought about how much fun it would be for us to dance together. Are you guys going to be going, will there be other gay couples there and do gay couples dance together at these things? Jer’s pretty freaked out about the whole thing.”

“Wow,” is all Paul could say at first. “Sam and I will definitely be going to the dance and we’ll be going together, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a gay couple actually dance together at a school function. I take that back... I’ve seen girls dance together, but girls dance together all the time, whether gay or straight. Sam and I will spend most of the night eating and chatting with friends. If we do dance at all, it will be with girls. That’s just the way it is.”

“So they don’t allow guys to dance together?” Jeremy asked, surprising me by taking up the offensive.

“Of course not... I mean, of course they don’t discriminate against us,” Paul answered. Changing his tone to sound like a radio announcer, he continued, “This school does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender or sexual orientation, and all students who violate the student code of conduct will be suspended or expelled, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

“So what you’re saying is that if David and I get up to dance, even though we have every right to do so, we’ll be harassed for it....”

“And maybe even beaten up while certain teachers turn the other way,” Paul added.

“Isn’t that a bit harsh?” Darren asked. “I mean, sure, there are some real assholes in this school, but most kids are accepting, and it’s not like you two are weaklings or anything.”

That’s true – Jeremy and I both work out, and it shows. We aren’t muscle-bound jocks or anything, but we can certainly hold our own.

“And we’d have your backs,” Gary added.

“I think you guys should,” Mary said. “It’s your right, after all, and it’s something worth fighting for.”

“It could kill your chances of being elected to the student council,” Paul warned me. “It’s one thing to get positive name recognition by going to the dance, but quite another thing to ‘flaunt’ your being gay.”

“I hear what you’re saying, Paul,” I replied, “but I think Mary’s right... being able to exercise my right to dance in public with my boyfriend is even more important than getting on the council. Someone has to forge the way.” I can’t believe I was being so bold – it’s was so unlike me, but I was really worked up over this.

“I’ll tell you what,” Paul said, “I’m going to talk to some of the more senior GSA members and to our faculty advisor, and if necessary, to the principal. If everyone says it’s not a good idea, then I’d strongly advise you to wait... get on the student council, change things from within, and shoot for dancing with your boyfriend at the junior prom. If the others feel as you do, however, then I’d say go for it, and I promise that you won’t be alone. At minimum, Sam and I will join you on the dance floor.”

“You have a deal,” Jeremy answered on our behalf. He knew I’d go along with it.

Over the course of the next week, Jeremy and I settled into our school routine, attending classes and studying together at his house or mine after school. We both decided to go out for the freshmen soccer team and managed to make the first cut. We were pleased that not one of the boys going out for soccer made a big deal of the fact that Jer and I are gay. Sure, there was some joking around, but no one seemed to feel uncomfortable undressing in front of us or taking showers with us – if they were, at least they kept it to themselves. Perhaps our being gay really didn’t matter to most kids any more.

At Paul’s suggestion, we made it a point to try to invite ourselves to eat lunch with different groups of freshmen each day, so that I could increase my visibility in running for Student Council. As I guess could be expected, some kids said words to the effect of, ‘go away, faggots,’ but most at least let us sit with them. A lot of the kids were more interested in gossiping with each other than talking to us about what I could do to represent them on the council, but I doubt that had anything to do with my being gay.

About a week later, Paul came up to Jeremy and me in the hallway. “Well, I’ve done some asking around and there’s a consensus that it’s high time we show straight kids how to really dance.”

“Alright!” Jeremy yelped as we all bumped fists.

Paul continued, “I spoke to the principal, who’s old enough to be my grandfather, by the way, and although he admits he doesn’t understand our ‘lifestyle choice’, he’ll support us one hundred percent. He said he’d shut the dance down at the first sign of trouble and bring in force, if necessary, to remove any trouble makers.”

“Good deal,” I said. “So it’s a go!”

“It’s a go. It’s time to make history at this school.”

Between our class work, soccer practice and campaigning, the month seemed to fly by and, before we knew it, the homecoming weekend was upon us. The school canceled the Friday afternoon classes and we had this big pep rally in the gym, and then Jeremy and I played in the freshmen soccer game before heading home to wash up and get ready for the big football game.

Jeremy and I went to the game with Gary, Lisa, Darren and Mary, and we all had a wonderful time. Even though I’m a diehard vegetarian, I did sneak in a hotdog when I thought Jeremy wasn’t paying attention. There’s just something about a hotdog and sports.

“Hey,” Jeremy said as he caught me scarfing it down, “What was all that about cows and pigs being mammals and having brains like ours and being intelligent?”

“Actually, I think this is a turkey dog,” I contemporized.

“Turkey my ass. And what was that about how poultry are raised in giant food factories where they have no room to move around at all? Hypocrite!”

“OK, OK, so I slipped,” I admitted. “This is my very last one, ever.”

“Yeah, right,” my boyfriend countered. “All those times you dissed me for eating meat, when you’ve probably been sneaking it in all along.”

“No, Jeremy, I swear! Tonight was the first time in more than a year. I really am a vegetarian. I just got carried away by the game.”

Darren started laughing hysterically. “You should hear you two. You’re arguing like an old married couple.”

“We are an old married couple,” I said as I reached around Jeremy and pulled him into an embrace, planting a kiss on his cheek. Jer reached around my back and pulled me into a half-hug as well, helping to keep us warm in the late September chill. We stayed that way, with our arms around each other, for the better part of the evening.

After the game, we all went out for ice cream at the Cold Stone Creamery nearby, where Jeremy continued to rib me mercilessly for having eaten meat. Gees, it was only a hotdog, for Christ sake! OK, so I fell off the wagon, but it was just one time!

Anyhow, after we finished our ice cream, we all drove to Jeremy’s house down in Lake Shores, which is on a peninsula, surrounded by the river and by Broad Ripple, where Jeremy and I first met. Jeremy lives in a really cool house – it’s more of a mansion, actually – with a pool out back and a boat dock. It was too cold to go swimming or anything outside, but he has a huge game room downstairs with a pool table and a ping pong table, and even a pinball machine and an old juke box. Jeremy’s parents were home for a change, but they were cool about letting us all hang out.

We all had a great time playing around and just talking. What great friends! It’s so cool that they accept us, even though we’re only freshmen, and the fact that we’re gay doesn’t even seem to matter.

Around one in the morning, Gary and his friends all left and Jeremy and I retired to his bedroom, which is larger than the living room in my house! The next morning, we didn’t even bother putting on our clothes as we headed downstairs to get something to eat. We knew that Jer’s dad was undoubtedly out playing golf with a client – something even more important than spending his time in the office, as Jeremy explained it to me. Jer’s mom was undoubtedly down at the Medical Center, making rounds on her patients and then catching up on her journals.

Me, I can’t understand their lifestyle. What good is having all that money and living in a huge mansion if they never have any time off or get to see their son. Jeremy and I have vowed we’ll never live that way ourselves – we’d be happier living in a shack as long as we have each other and have the time to enjoy our lives together.

I’m not complaining that Jer’s parents aren’t around though, and it’s sure nice having all those toys and the privacy to play with them, and with each other. Maybe we’d even take the boat out on Dawson Lake today if there was time. I know Jeremy would rather have his parents around, but Jeremy’s boyfriend is happy with things just the way they are.

Looking at the kitchen clock, I saw that it was already 2:30 in the afternoon! Scratch the idea of taking the boat out – we were supposed to meet up with a bunch of kids from the GSA at Paul’s house at four. Jeremy and I raided his fridge and satisfied our appetites.

After eating, we started making out, which very quickly led to more... I can never get enough of Jeremy’s body. He’s just so sexy and I can’t help myself.

We took another shower, which of course led to some more fooling around, and then we dressed and headed out to Paul’s house to meet up with other GSA members. Paul lives on the west side in a large house in a heavily wooded subdivision called Summerset. Because there are no good bike paths leading across town, we caught a ride with Gary and his friends. His Explorer had plenty of room for the six of us.

When we arrived, we were directed around back to a humongous deck overlooking a small canyon. There were already at least thirty or forty kids there. It surprised us that so many GSA members would come out on a Saturday. Paul ordered from Papa John’s and we all gorged ourselves on pizza.

After a while, Paul made a loud whistle with his fingers in his mouth – I always wondered how people do that – getting everyone’s attention. “Alright, everybody. We’re here in preparation for the dance tonight. First of all, I’d like to thank David and Jeremy for having the balls to remind us all that sometimes, you have to fight for what’s right.”

Paul asked us to stand and I could tell that Jer was as embarrassed as I was.

Paul continued, “David and Jeremy are freshmen, and I think it’s really cool that they had the guts to come out at such an early age. David’s already running for the Freshmen Student Council, so you can tell, these boys are gonna go far.”

Everyone broke into applause, and I could feel my face turning red, as did Jeremy’s. After the applause died down, Paul continued, “So thanks to Jeremy and David, we’re gonna take our right to be who we are tonight. Now I’d like to get an idea, how many same sex couples here plan on dancing together tonight?”

Jeremy and I of course raised our hands immediately, as did Paul and Sam. There were a few hands raised by people I didn’t know, and then a few more, and then some more. As more hands were raised, people seemed to gather confidence, and pretty soon there were perhaps twenty hands in the air. As they say, there’s strength in numbers. It’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people who’d be at the dance, but at least Jer and I wouldn’t be alone.

This is excellent!” Paul exclaimed. “Now one thing I want to do is to make sure that no couple goes out on the floor alone tonight, just in case. I want to see at least two same sex couples on the floor at any time you guys are dancing, and I’d like our other members to watch their backs. You got that?”

Everyone nodded their heads in agreement. He continued, “Now if there is any trouble, don’t get into a fight. The school has a zero tolerance policy for fighting and even if you don’t start it, you’ll likely find yourselves with a five-day suspension or even with an expulsion if it’s your second offense. I don’t want to see anyone here expelled for dancing with your partner, so if someone taunts you, just leave the floor and tell one of the faculty advisors.

“If someone actually does hit one of you, I want the rest of you to do everything you can to keep the fight from escalating. It won’t look good if we get into a free-for-all. Just get the hell off the dance floor and get help from the faculty advisors. The principal has assured me he will call in the police if he has to.

“So is everyone ready?”

We all cheered, and then went back to eating pizza and talking with each other. Jeremy and I had a great time at Paul’s pre-dance party, and we got to meet several other out couples who planned to dance. We also met some kids who were thinking about coming out, but were scared shitless about what their friends would think.

It’s hard to stay in the closet when you do things like attend GSA meetings, but this being the Midwest, being out is a very big deal. There was one kid in particular who really had Jer and me worried. He’s a sophomore and his name’s Trevor. His parents are Evangelist Christians and he was afraid that if his parents found out, they’d ship him off to a church camp to get him ‘straightened out.’ I couldn’t relate, but I sure felt sorry for the guy.

We all agreed that it would not be a good idea for Trevor to come out tonight. We told him to lay low and just dance with girls. I suggested that he invite Jeremy and me to a party at his house sometime, along with some of his straight friends. Then he could gauge how his parents react to him being friends with an ‘out’ gay couple. If things went well, once his parents got to know us better and become comfortable having us around, he could then break it to his folks that he’s also gay. We promised to be there for him all the way.

Before we knew it, it was time to head to the dance. Jeremy and I and our friends all piled back into Gary’s Explorer and we headed to the Student Center, where the dance was being held. Things were pretty formal, with many couples being dropped off in limos. Jer may have money, but we’re just not the limo type. Besides, we were going to be making a big enough scene on the dance floor as it was.

Gary parked the Explorer and Jeremy and I walked in with the others, hand in hand. As we entered the dance hall, a big burly kid who looked to be a total jock, seeing our joined hands said, “What do you know, here come the fags.”

The next thing I know, Jer grabbed me in a hug and his lips were on mine. I could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he applied pressure with his lips. Surprised, I only hesitated for an instant before I started to kiss him back. We didn’t do any tongue or anything – we were just making a point. After we separated, Jeremy smiled and said, “You got that right.” He grabbed my hand firmly and we made our way further inside.

There were no assigned tables like there are at the prom, so we quickly grabbed a couple large tables for the GSA. Pretty soon, we’d all arrived and just continued to get to know each other better. Ironically, we were all having such a good time that none of us even thought to get up to dance.

Then the band started playing one of my absolute favorite slow songs – one that I knew Jeremy loved, too. I looked into Jer’s eyes and I could tell he wanted to dance to it. I got Paul’s attention and he and Sam joined us in going up to the dance floor. Gary, Lisa, Darren, and Mary also joined us, as did two other gay couples, a lesbian couple and a few other straight couples. It seemed as if the GSA was sending a whole delegation to the dance floor.

Jeremy and I wrapped our arms around each other as we nervously began to sway and step to the music. My heart pounded as if it wanted to escape my chest, but there was no place on earth I’d rather have been right then.

Partway into the song, someone bumped into me, hard, almost sending me sprawling. Figuring it was an accident, Jer and I kept dancing, but then someone bumped into us again. We tried to move to another section of the dance floor, but we got bumped again and this time we did fall to the floor. Darren and Mary helped us to our feet and made sure we were alright.

None of us saw who bumped us, so we went back to dancing. It didn’t take long, however, and we’re soon back down again, dancing with the floor. This time all our friends stopped dancing to help us up and made sure we were alright.

A faculty advisor came up to us and asked what happened. I told him that Jeremy and I were dancing when someone bumped into us, twice, knocking us to the floor. The advisor looked at us with a scowl before saying, “I’m under strict orders to make sure you’re afforded the same rights as every other student here, even though your kind are destroying the American way of life.”

I was shocked to hear one of the faculty advisors, a teacher, admitting he hated us. He continued, “I may not be able to keep you from dancing, but I damn well can make sure you don’t create a disturbance. Since you can’t seem to dance without falling down and disrupting things, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“What?” I shouted. “We weren’t doing anything.”

Gary came to our defense, saying, “You mean to tell me that someone pushes them to the floor, and you’re going to punish them for it?”

“If they’re creating a disturbance, they can’t stay. You either, for that matter,” the advisor announced.

“But that’s not fair,” Mary chimed in. “They have as much right to be here as any of us.”

By now everyone had stopped dancing as a crowd formed around us. One of the assistant principals came up and conferred with the advisor. He nodded his head a few times as he listened to what the advisor had to say, but I couldn’t hear what was said.

Finally, the assistant principal shouted to everyone, “Listen up. If you’re on the dance floor, you had better damn well be dancing. Otherwise, you need to sit down, or you will be asked to leave. There will be no pushing, shoving or other disorderly conduct. There will be no discrimination against other students based on nationality, race, or sexual orientation. However anyone who is disruptive will be asked to leave.”

Then in a lower voice directed to Jer and me, he announced, “Since these two boys were unable to dance without being disruptive, they’re going to have to leave the dance, and that’s final.”

No!” shouted a big kid I didn’t recognize. “They didn’t do anything but try to dance. I say, ‘let ’em dance.’ If they can’t dance, then no one dances.”

“Are you looking to be removed from the dance, too?” the assistant principal asked.

“Then you’ll have to remove us, too,” a large African American student shouted and the crowd cheered. Not everyone was cheering, and it sounded a bit half-hearted, but the fact that so many kids were coming to our defense was amazing.

Next, the principal came up to see what was going on. He conferred with the assistant principal, and then came up to us. He asked me what happened, and I told him. The black kid came up and told the principal that although he didn’t see who pushed us, we definitely were pushed. Then he reiterated that if we were forced to leave the dance, he would too.

The principal answered him with a sheepish smile, “Now, we can’t exactly kick our star quarterback out of the homecoming dance, can we?” I was totally floored to hear that it was the quarterback who came to our aid. “Would you be willing to make an announcement to everyone?” the principal asked the quarterback. He agreed and they both moved to the podium.

The principal got everyone’s attention and introduced the quarterback, who then addressed the whole crowd.

“Hi everyone. I think you all know me, but for those of you who don’t, my name’s Tyrone Richards, and I’m your first string quarterback. We played a great game last night, don’t you think?”

The whole crowd erupted in a loud cheer.

He continued, “We all came here tonight to have a good time, and to dance with our girlfriends and our boyfriends, or whoever we choose to. A few minutes ago, a couple was pushed down to the floor not once, but twice, by someone who didn’t approve of who they are. In my grandparents’ day, I wouldn’t have been allowed to dance tonight because of the color of my skin. In my parents’ day, I wouldn’t have been allowed to dance with a white girl, even if we both wanted to.

“Although no one will admit to seeing who pushed tonight’s couple, it would seem the only reason they were pushed is because they’re both boys. Now I know some of you here feel that being gay is a sin against God and that gays are all going to Hell. I’m not here to change your beliefs, but unless they’re screwing each other on the dance floor, what business of ours is it if they want to dance?

“Just as with black couples two generations ago, or with interracial couples a generation ago, it’s high time we let gay couples dance if they want to. It’s not up to me to tell any of you who you can love... that is something that’s between you and God.

“Now let’s get back to having a good time!”

The principal took the microphone from Tyrone and said, “Thanks, Tyrone. I want to reiterate what Tyrone said tonight and to remind everyone here that everyone has a right to dance with the partner of their choice, regardless of their nationality, the color of their skin or their gender.

“Now if anyone has a problem with that, I suggest you leave now, before we make you leave. Above all else, tonight is about having fun and respecting each other.”

With that, the band started to play the same song again and Jeremy and I got back to dancing. This time we were able to dance the whole way through without getting pushed or bumped at all. The next song was a fast one and we stayed on the dance floor and danced to that one, too. In all, I think we danced six or seven songs in a row before we sat back down, both of us sweating profusely.

Seeing Jeremy with sweat beading up on his forehead, he looked so sexy, I wanted to jump his bones right there. He seemed to be thinking the same thing, because he leaned forward and kissed me softly on the lips. I could see the desire in his eyes, and I’m sure he could see the same desire in mine.

Thankfully, Darren brought a tray of glasses filled with punch to our table. Not knowing what to expect, I sipped mine slowly at first until I was sure the punch wasn’t spiked. I knew that alcohol wasn’t allowed, but you never know what kids will do if they think they can get away with it. Jeremy and I sure needed cooling off and we gulped the punch down after thanking Darren. After a short while, Jer and I returned to the dance floor and stayed there for another set of songs, until the band took a break.

Our clothes were sticking to our bodies by now, but I didn’t care. We were having a great time dancing with each other, and dancing with our friends. Before the night was over, I danced with Lisa, Mary, a few other girls I knew from middle school, Paul, Sam, and some of the other boys from the GSA, including Trevor, who seemed emboldened by the evening. I even danced with Gary – I’m not sure what went through his head as he cut in, but the mischievous smile on his face told me it was all in fun.

On the way to our cars in the parking lot, Paul fessed up and said, “I’m sorry I had to knock you guys down like that.”

Jeremy and I both said, “WHAT?” at the same time, startled by his revelation. “Why the fuck did you knock us down?” I asked.

“It’s something we planned out with the principal. We were afraid of what someone might do to any gay couples that chose to dance together tonight. We thought it likely that someone would make trouble, so I came up with the idea of creating an incident early in the evening to diffuse tension and build sympathy for gays. Tyrone is a good friend and was more than happy to play along.”

“So the whole thing was planned?” Jeremy asked with incredulity.

“Yup. Even the asshole faculty advisor played his part perfectly.”

“Man, I can’t believe you guys did that,” I said. “I was wondering why you and Sam didn’t come to our defense.”

“We didn’t want to draw any attention to ourselves, in case someone noticed that we’d knocked you down. Pretty slick, huh?”

Jeremy started laughing hysterically and pretty soon we were all laughing.

Later, Gary dropped us off at Jeremy’s place and we had a late night chat with Jer’s parents, who surprised us by being home. They had a good laugh when we told them about the planned deception that we didn’t even know anything about.

Once we bid them ‘goodnight’, Jeremy and I went to bed and spent another night in each other’s arms.

“Dave,” Jeremy said as I closed my eyes, “I love you so much.”

“I love you too, Jer. I had a great time tonight.”

“The best, my love,” he said as he hugged me tight.

As I drifted off to sleep, I knew that I’d never forget the dance, and the great weekend we had together.

The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope in editing this story, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Codey’s World for hosting it.