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I Feel Ya

STORY: The evening was warm and moonless. The only light was the odd firefly bobbing about as we three slipped into the cool waters of the dark pond. We had stripped off our clothes to skinny dip in a pond of this Virginia boy’s family home some 30 years ago, my partner and I.

"I Feel Ya", 36" by 36", oil on wood, 2020 - painted by the author, David Jester

We had met him at a coffee shop in Downtown Charlottesville, THE gay hangout at the time. He was adorable. Sexy, tall, dark-haired lean. We flirted over coffee and I remember thinking him a bit tragic and pained. He had just moved home from Boston, I remember, though he never said why. He began to ease, laughed, and joked around a little. We exchanged numbers, landlines, and went on our way, charmed. Meeting new people was rare for us, cloistered on a gentleman farm ten miles outside town.

We had never done a three-way, so our hearts pounded in our chests at the thought of something scary and new. Not sure if we’d gain something or lose it in the process.

The call came at midnight. The boy was drunk, slurring his words, and soon we were making our way along the dark country roads to meet him. We dimmed the car headlights as we entered the dogwood-lined driveway per his request, so as not to wake his parents. It was a grand estate home. He slipped out of a side door to meet us and urged us away to the back of the house and the pond.

We kissed, caressed, nibbled ears, then stripped each other. It was hot, one of the hottest experiences of my life. As we finished, I was pressed up against the shore, the boy on top of me, my partner in front of me, and I thought this was heaven.

A light in the house suddenly came on and the fear of getting caught turned the boy frantic. Dry clothes went on wet bodies. We snuck to the car. The boy was acting weird. Quick goodbyes were said and he disappeared into the darkness. We were aglow. It was terrifyingly fun.

I started calling his number the next afternoon. No answer. I called every day for the next five days or so. Still no answer. I thought, he didn’t like it; I am out of his league; he thought we were stupid; or whatever.

Finally, his mother picked up the house phone. She was weary. It turns out he didn’t answer for any of the reasons I had imagined. He had killed himself.

—David Jester


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