Life of Troy

A Short Story

by Brian Stoll

Copyright © 2010 by Brian Stoll. All rights reserved.


The beach is a nice, quiet place to relax and think. At least when someone is there at the right time. The time when the sun is gradually sinking behind the horizon. The waves are gently rolling, the sound reciprocating off the shore. Anyone could get lost in their thoughts. Someone like me. I am sitting here on that very beach, thinking to myself about what most teenagers my age probably think about: love. That one day I might just find true love… then there are the thoughts that come racing back through my mind: that I won't.

I am a little taller than average, and look pretty much average. With the short blonde hair and deep blues eyes, I'm just a typical teenage boy, but there is a contrast that separates me from the rest. I am gay and have known since I was thirteen, and I'm having a pretty hard time dealing with it. Who wouldn't? There are only two people who know this secret that I carry; they are my two best buds.

Like I said, I was sitting there on the beach just relaxing, watching and listening to the waves bounce off the shore, and thinking. I spent a lot of my free time down there; it's a quiet place away from reality. I was just relaxing when out of the corner of my eye I saw someone coming in my direction. Oh no, it's probably Mom, I thought. She was wondering where I was and she's seen me sitting over here. She's probably going to want to know what's wrong and I just don't want to talk about it right now… Wait a minute, it's not Mom, it's someone else. Phew, but who is it? As they got even closer, I figured out who it was. It was a guy from a grade above me in school. His name was Ryan McCloud. A little shorter than me, he has green eyes, brown hair and a medium tanned athletic body. He was just one of the many popular kids in school. He and I had never really talked much, because, well, I'm not really all that popular, but he sure is hot. He sat right down next to me—and when I say next to me, he practically sat in my lap—and started talking to me.

"Hey Troy, whats up?" he asked.

"Not much. You? I countered.

"About the same, just out for a walk."

"On the beach! I didn't know you live down here."

"Oh, I don't. I just like to come down here. It's kinda peaceful and quiet, don't you think?

"Why do you think I come down here, because it's crowed and noisy? Of course I think it's quiet!"

"You're a smart-ass, you know that?" he said with a laugh.

"Yeah, I've been told that many times," I replied with a slight smile.

"So do you live around here?"

"Yeah, my house is actually four houses down from here."

"I see. I bet you spend most of your time down here, then."

"Sometimes, but not all the time. Well, if you don't live down here then where?"

"About nine blocks from here."

''Oh, and what street might that be?"

"Third Street."

"That must be a long walk."

"Na, it's not really all that bad. I'd better split, though. My mom probably has dinner done and is wondering where the hell I am."

"Ok, will see ya later Ryan," I said with a smile.

He returned the smile, got up and started to walk away, then he stopped and turned around.

"You wanna hang out before school tomorrow?"

"Yeah sure. Where do ya wanna meet?"

"I was thinking we could meet at the pier, maybe grab a bite to eat, then walk to school."

"That sounds like a plan. What time ya wanna meet there?

"Like seven-thirty? That should give us plenty of time to eat and get to school.

"Yeah that should be fine. Will see ya then."

"I'll be there."

He turned back around and walked away. I sat there, wondering why he wanted to 'hang out' all of the sudden, or why he even sat down and talked to me. Like I said, we never really spoke, in or out of school. I have no idea, I decided. I'll ask him tomorrow. Anyway I think I'd better get going home. I got up and walked to my house. When I got home, I walked in the back door, into the kitchen, and there stood Mom as usual. She was in front of the stove, cooking dinner.

"Where were you at?" Mom asked

"Down by the water, just thinkin'."


"Just things."

"What kind of things? Are you okay? Is something bothering you?" she asked, her voice full of concern.

''You wanna know whats bothering me? I’m gay and feel all alone. I bet you wanted to hear that, didn’t you!” That’s what I wanted to say, but I didn’t. Instead, I just brushed it off. "Like I said, just things. Yeah I'm fine, I just like a quiet place to sit sometimes."

"Well I would have to agree with you there, I myself like to sit in peace sometimes, but anyway, dinner should be ready within the next half hour or so."


I left the kitchen and when I got to the living room, Dad was in his usual spot, doing his usual thing. He was in the recliner with the t.v. on, sleeping. Deciding there was nothing useful to do in the living room, I headed up to my room.

I got up to my room and fell on my bed, still wondering why Ryan wanted to meet before school. Is he gay? No, no, that couldn't be. He's one of the most popular kids in school, so that can't be it. My thoughts were interrupted by Mom yelling to me from downstairs, saying that dinner was ready. I shuffled downstairs and into the kitchen, where Dad and my younger brother were already seated at the table and Mom was setting plates of food in front of them. Good lord, they are such lazy asses. I grabbed my plate and headed to the stove to start filling it with the spaghetti mom had prepared.

"I can get that for you, you just go and sit down," Mom said, trying to take the plate away.

"No Ma, I got it. My feet and hands are not broken, unlike some others I know."

She smiled at me, while my father and brother both sneered at me. Hey, what can I say? I speak my mind, even when no one else wants to hear it. That's how I am. We pretty much ate in silence for the rest of the meal. After dinner was done, I told Mom to go and relax, and that I would clean up. She thanked me as I started grabbing dishes from the table and placing them in the sink, and she left the room. For some reason, out of the blue my brother came over and started drying the dishes.

"Oh I was wrong, your hands aren't broken," I said as I nudged him with a smile.

"Yeah, I thought about what you said earlier. Mom's always cooking, cleaning, and doing other things while we just sit around; apparently I didn't notice how much she does. I think she deserves a little help.''

"Well I'm glad we agree on something."

We finished up the dishes, and when we walked into the living room Mom was sitting there, watching t.v. and crocheting. I kissed her on the cheek and told her I was heading to bed, and that I'd see her in the morning. Jesse did the same. I headed up the stairs and into my room. I sat on my bed for a minute, then decided to get on the Internet. I logged on and started surfing a couple of my favorite porn sites. Halfway through one of the movies, Jesse nearly scared the shit out of me.

"Well I thought so. A faggot, are you? Jesus Christ."

I was at a loss for words. He'd snuck in and I hadn't heard him come in. I didn't know what to do; I couldn't lie to him and tell him it had just popped up. How long had he been standing there? I should just tell him, I thought, but by what he had just said, I didn't think he would react to me very well. Ah, to hell with it. I'll tell him.

"Jesse, listen…."

"Listen to what, Troy?"

"Yes, okay, I'm gay!"

"Well no shit. Why?"

"Because I'm attracted to guys."

"Well, good for you, what the hell for?"

Before I could answer him, he turned around and stormed out of the room. Damn it, why couldn't it go better than that? I shut the computer off and went over to my bed, where I laid down and started to cry. I couldn't help it. I'd just told my brother I was gay—or he found out, however you want to put it—and it didn't go well at all. About an hour later, there was a knock at my door. It was Jesse.

''Who is it?” I asked, my voiced cracking because of the crying.

"It's Jesse. Can I come in?"

"Yeah I guess, unless you're coming in to yell at me again."

"No, actually I came to apologize," he said as he walked into my room. "I acted like a dick, and I really didn't mean to."

"Then why did you? I'm already upset as it is."

"I could just imagine how hard it is."

"You have no idea."

Jesse closed the door, walked over and sat on the floor beside my bed.

"Did you want to talk about it?" he asked.

Wait…one minute he is yelling about the situation, the next he wants to talk about it? What the hell is going on?

''Yeah, but I have to ask: why did you yell about it before, and now you want to talk about it?"

"Well, I kinda thought about the way I reacted, and it wasn't the way I should have. I should be more supportive."

"Thank you."

"…What's it like—you know, being gay?"

"It's a bitch, I tell you. You're afraid to tell anyone because people don't really easily accept you, and you hardly accept yourself, sometimes."

"Does anybody else know?"

"Yeah, Byron and Chad."

"They haven't told anyone, have they?"

"God, I hope not… you won't tell anyone, will you? Not even mom or dad!"

"No! Won't tell a soul, it's between you and me."

"Thanks Jess, I really appreciate it."

"No problem. If you ever need to talk, I'll be here."

With that, he got up and left the room. I wiped away the tears that were left, grabbed a pair of boxers and headed to the bathroom to shower. I turned on the water and got it at just the right temperature before I hopped in. The water felt nice cascading down my body. When I got out of the shower, I was so exhausted from everything that had happened that I decided to just go to bed. I set my alarm, and when my head hit the pillow I was out.


I woke up at about six-fifteen to the blaring sound of my alarm clock. I turned the damn thing off. I got out of bed, grabbed some clothes and took a shower. After I was done showering, I went to my room and looked at the time. Holy shit it's seven-fifteen. I've got to go, I'm supposed to be at the pier in fifteen minutes! I grabbed my bag and raced down the stairs. When I got downstairs, mom was starting breakfast.

"Where are you going so early?" Mom asked as I passed the kitchen.

"I'm meeting a friend down at the pier. They wanted to hang out before school," I said as I turned around and went into the kitchen.

"So in other words, you're not eating breakfast?"

"No, I'll pick something up down there."

"Okay, do you need any money?"

"Na, I've got five bucks, Mom."

"Nonsense, you'll need more than that."

She walked over to her purse, pulled out a twenty and handed it to me.

"Mom, you sure?"

"Yes, and make sure you get something good to eat. I could go all day worrying that you didn't eat much for breakfast, you know it's the most important meal of the day."

"Yea, I know. Thanks Mom."

I walked over, kissed her on the cheek and said goodbye to her and Jesse, then headed out the door. When I got to the pier, Ryan was standing there waiting for me. I was running a little late.

"How's it going?" I asked as I walked up.

"Good. You?"

"Fine thanks."

We started walking down the pier, market stands on either side of us. As we walked down farther, it widened out a little, and there were tables and chairs to sit at. At the very end, there was a carnival with a ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl…you know, the typical things you find at a carnival. We walked over to the edge of the pier, and started taking about school and such things.

"So, what do you like to do in your free time?" Ryan asked

"Well, when I'm not doing homework, I like to play around on the computer and listen to music."

"I see. What kind of music you like?"

"All sorts: country, rock, some rap… how 'bout you?"

"Mostly rock and rap, I never really listen to anything else."

"Oh. You play sports, don't you?" I asked with interest.

"Yeah, I play football and basketball. Do you play any?"

"Na, never really had an interest in playing for some reason. I love to watch, though."

We walked over to a hot dog stand and the guy kind of looked at us funny, but he gave us what we wanted. We really didn't talk much while we ate. Afterwards, Ryan looked at me.

"Troy, can I tell you something?"

"Yeah, go ahead."

"Well, um, I wanted to tell you that…" he trailed off and there was a slight pause

"Tell me what?" I prompted, looking at him kind of puzzled.

"That I think you are cute and that I like you."

My jaw dropped. Did he just tell me that he thought I was cute? Wow, I was right, he is gay…oh my word. He saw the look on my face and quickly began to talk.

"I'm sorry if I upset you, because I don't know if you are; but I'm gay and I thought it would be best if I told you."

"No, I'm not upset. I have a little confession of my own."


"I'm gay too."

The look of worry and fear fled away from his face and was replaced with happiness. I told him that I thought he was hot, and his face turned three shades of red. I laughed.

"Come on, I think we'd better get going so we're not late for school," I pointed out.

"Yeah, my mom will kill me if I'm late."

"Mine too."



"You think we can get to know each other better?"

"Yea, I think that's possible."

We strode down the pier and made our way toward school.