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Author’s note: this is the first installment in a ten-part series.
All of a sudden, here he is, the guy. I suppose I had forgotten about him over the summer. But when I see him in the locker room, walking toward where I am sitting on the bench, the memory of him comes back with a flutter in my stomach. This is the guy who I kept seeing around campus last year, who always seemed to catch my eye, even if it was from far away. I must have met him at some point early on, maybe during orientation last year, or maybe at some party, so that afterward, when we saw each other, we were in that awkward category of recognition where it’s not clear if we are supposed to say hello or otherwise acknowledge each other’s presence.
Most likely he would have faded into that nebulous mass of familiar faces on campus except for the odd feeling I got whenever I saw him, something simultaneously unsettling and exciting. That, and he always seemed to light up whenever he saw me. He would grin and give me a little nod whenever we passed each other on the quad.
These thoughts speed through my mind as he walks toward me, now.
He stops at an empty locker across from me and throws some clothes down onto the bench, a gray and white striped rugby shirt and blue shorts. He looks at me and there is a flicker of recognition on his face. He smiles, the same grin he flashed at me all last year when we’d see each other around campus. I smile back.
“Hey,” he says.
“Hey,” I say.
I figure he is having the same thoughts as me. He had probably “forgotten” about me. I was one of those people he’d met once or twice during freshman orientation, or we’d chatted while drunk at any one of the endless parties that had continued well into the fall. But not since then. I wasn’t a friend or really even an acquaintance, just someone he peripherally “knew”.
“Rec soccer?” he asks, nodding at my cleats and laces, which are lying on the floor.
“Yeah,” I say. “You?”
“Yep. I need the exercise.”
“Me too,” I say, laughing.
I really do need the exercise. My schedule this semester is insane. Against the advice of my advisor, I signed up for two of the hardest classes in the chem major simultaneously. On top of that, I am taking an upper-level politics class and an intermediate algorithms class in the comp sci track, since I am trying to decide if I want to add a major in either, or both, of these departments. I am also treasurer of the Persian Student Association, thanks to my troublesome and persistent friend, Mahan, who nominated me last year in spite of my objections.
Looking at my calendar as classes were about to start, I realized I was going to have to schedule in some regular exercise; otherwise, I would never make time for it. I had an extra half-credit of wiggle room, so I perused the various recreational module classes offered through the athletics department. I scrolled past soccer, not really giving it a second thought. Once I reached the end of the page, though, nothing else really stood out except for swimming, but the thought of wearing a swimsuit in front of a ton of people… I gave it a hard no. On impulse, I scrolled back up and clicked the link for soccer.
I told myself I would take it easy and just enjoy the game. It was just way to wedge some aerobic exercise into my week, nothing more. I had played on competitive club soccer teams from fourth grade through middle school. As a freshman in high school, I played on the JV team and made varsity the next year, the only sophomore to do so. For my size, I was surprisingly fast, and I excelled as a midfielder. The one year I played varsity, our team placed third at state, the best our school had ever done. I was in summer training before my junior year when I suffered a complete tear and detachment of my quadriceps tendon and had to quit.
My parents were devastated. But, honestly, for me, the injury had been a relief. My body really wasn’t cut out for soccer. By sixteen, my proportions were all wrong. I was too tall and too bulky. I’d always trended toward stocky, but once I hit fifteen or so, I started to put on weight quickly, both fat and muscle. As I filled out, the game became more and more of a grind, and the huge time commitment strained everything else in my life.
Mostly, I had been playing soccer so zealously in an attempt to be the perfect, well-rounded scholar/athlete I thought I needed to be to get the best scholarships, get into the best colleges, have the golden career that my parents — achievement-obsessed immigrants from Iran — expected of me. After my injury, I doubled down on my studies to make up for my perceived deficit. I took math, science, and Farsi courses at the local university in the afternoons and evenings on top of my high school courses. To keep fit, I would train in the weight room with my soccer buddies in the mornings before class. I guess it’s fair to say I worked myself harder than ever.
In the end, I got bahis şirketleri into the schools I needed to in order to appease my parents. They were a little upset that I chose to attend the farthest possible school from them, on the opposite coast, but they couldn’t argue with the brand name. I needed a break from my family, and going away to a place where I didn’t know anyone felt like the best way to do that.
For a while at least, I felt I had found the freedom I was seeking when I got to school. I quickly met a group of guys who became good buddies. We drank and smoked weed together, something I’d never done in high school. I went to parties. I met a ton of people. I made out with girls and had even drunkenly hooked up with a few of them. For the first time in my life, I felt unburdened.
Pretty soon, though, the intensity of college kicked in. My AP courses and college credit had waived me out of most of the intro classes required for my major, which meant I was taking relatively intense courses as a first-semester freshman. My friends continued to party pretty hard and I joined them when I could, but I ended up drifting away from the social scene and just studied really, really hard. I didn’t really miss the parties, honestly, or the socializing. I was truly absorbed by my work.
I decided not to go home over the summer, and placated my parents by landing a paid internship at a nearby pharmaceutical company. I worked really hard there, too. Everyone I interacted with at the company was older and had a family, so there wasn’t really anyone to hang out with. When I wasn’t in the lab, I worked on computer programming projects, and worked out in the small gym in the apartment building where I was subletting. It was lonely, but again, I loved the work I was doing and found myself ever more enamored with the world of chemistry and chemical engineering. After a brief trip home in August to see my parents and sister, here I am, back for my second year of college, facing another daunting semester.
And here he is. I watch his back as he unbuttons and removes his shirt. He has a farmer tan that reveals he was probably wearing tank tops all summer. He is slim. Well, not slim, exactly, but his frame and musculature are definitely set slighter than mine, and I can tell he is generally a thin, lanky guy. But there is also an intriguing thickness to him. It looks like he is carrying some extra weight, like maybe he never shed that freshman fifteen, or maybe twenty.
My heart is thudding hard in my chest. I find that I can’t tear my gaze away from him.
He is my height… ish — so tall — but maybe an inch or so shorter than me. He has sandy brown hair, slightly curly, gone a bit shaggy. Typical white guy college hair. He has a few days worth of stubble on his face. He unbuckles his jeans and steps out of them. He’s wearing gray boxer briefs. They’re tight. They hug the contours of his round ass and they bite ever so slightly into the softness at his love handles.
“Fuck,” I whisper, audibly.
He swivels to look at me. I look down, quickly and pretend to be frustrated lacing up my cleats. My head is spinning. Why the fuck am I sitting here, staring at this guy? And why is my cock hard?
He puts on his rugby shirt, which is a size too big for him. My heart skips a beat when I see him pull on his blue shorts. They are quite short. The shiny material somehow makes his ass seem even rounder, and most of his lightly hairy thighs are exposed. He sits down on the bench and turns to face me as he puts on his shoes.
By now, I’ve gotten both my shoes on and I am adjusting the laces, bending forward, mostly to hide my erection. I look up at him again. He has pulled his cleated foot up on to the bench to pull the laces tight.
Unable to stop myself, my eyes track up his hairy legs to his crotch, which is pointed right at me. His shorts are riding up, showing me the insides of his thighs. There is the slightest bit of flab there, not really enough to rub together, except at the very top of his thighs as they disappear into his shorts. There are two little bare patches there, and I imagine them as landing strips, my thumbs pressing into them. I am momentarily consumed with the idea of pushing his legs apart, opening him up.
I see the diagonal outline of his soft dick pointing downward across the crotch of his shorts. The tip of his cock bulges less than an inch from the hem. And suddenly, I am acutely aware that his asshole is pointed right at me.
I look up to see him gazing at me with dark green eyes and a cocked eyebrow. His lightly furry forearms flex, tightening the last of his laces. I feel my face flush with embarrassment; there is no way he hasn’t seen me staring at him, at his body. I seize up with fear. Is he going to call me out, get angry? But he just smiles his friendly smile.
“See ya out there,” he says, standing up and walking toward the exit facing the athletic fields.
I watch him leave, bahis firmaları unable to take my eyes off his body as he walks away. I sit, stunned for a moment on the bench, trying to process what has just happened.
I get up and hurry into one of the stalls in the bathroom at the far end of the lockers. I pull my achingly hard cock out of my shorts. I am so hard that the head of my dick is in actual pain, blue-purple, and leaking like crazy. It takes just about two strokes before I come, hard. I shoot six or seven streaks of jizz across the toilet, hitting everything, the seat, the handle, the wall. As I ejaculate, my mind swirls with the images of his inner thighs, the hairiness of his legs, his perfectly round ass, the sheerness of the blue fabric stretched across his asshole.
I grunt as my orgasm recedes and I catch my breath. My leg and butt muscles are shaking from clenching so hard.
What the fuck is happening to me? I look at the streaks of my jizz on the toilet and the wall. My mind burns with shame. I’ve never had that kind of reaction to a guy before. I am not sure I’ve ever had that kind of reaction before.
“I’m not gay,” I whisper, through clenched teeth, as I tuck my softening cock back into my shorts and try to quickly clean up the mess I made.
“I’m not gay, god damn it,” I say again, frustrated that the wad of toilet paper I am using is mostly just smearing cum around, making more of a mess.
I am already late for the soccer class. I throw the dripping wads of toilet paper into the toilet and kick the handle to flush, wipe my hands on my shorts and run out to the fields.
Everyone in the class is sitting on the grass alongside the large soccer field by the time I get there. The guy is sitting at the edge of the cluster of students and I see him turn to watch me jog up. I avoid his gaze and take a seat at the other end of the group. The instructor, a petite blonde woman, nods grimly at me as I sit down, and then continues talking about class logistics. I’m not really listening, I hear her mention “skills”, “teams”, “scrimmage”, but there is a powerful rushing sound in my ears, a fog in my mind. My whole head feels hot.
“Sound good, everyone?” the instructor says.
Everyone stands up and begins to jog across the field. I follow, clueless as to what is going on but I figure I’ll just follow the crowd.
After about a minute, my legs warm up and the running starts to feel good. There is tightness in my left thigh, but overall my legs feel strong and healthy. It feels great to run on grass again, in cleats, to feel my body float through the air, mid-stride. My head starts to clear, lift out from where it had been during the events of the locker room.
After the warm-up run, we do some dribbling and passing drills. I am definitely rusty, and it feels like I am doing everything in slow motion, but the familiar rhythms of handling the ball — feeling it connect with the different parts of my foot — everything seems right. It is a relief to find my skills are mostly intact, and it’s wonderful to be outside in the bright sun, doing something I know so well, free from the anxiety of being judged and evaluated by coaches, teammates, parents.
I am so happily in the moment that I mostly forget about him. Every once in a while, I see his blue shorts flash in my peripheral vision, but the sight of him doesn’t register with anxiety like it did before. I notice that he is also quite skilled and clearly knows his way around the ball. I observe this without any accompanying crazy feelings, just casual appreciation. I must have overreacted, before. It is the stress of starting a new semester, of my anxiety-inducing course load. It must have gotten to me, in a weird way, all at once. I chastise myself for getting so worked up about nothing.
For the last 20 minutes of the class, we sit and listen to the instructor drone endlessly about the rules for our scrimmages. This is useless; there are some students who have clearly never played soccer before and who are completely confused, and the rest of us don’t need any introduction.
I fiddle with a piece of grass. I look over at him. He is leaning back on his elbows with his head turned up to the sky, legs splayed out in front of him. He turns to me and smiles, waves his head back and forth, miming the boring lecture we are getting from the instructor.
I chuckle. Again, I’m relieved. See, nothing crazy is happening. What happened earlier must have been some weird quirk. Who knows, maybe we would even become friends.
“OK, that’s the game in a nutshell, folks,” the instructor says. “Now, one more lap around the field and you’re dismissed.”
Jogging around the field, my left leg starts to really tighten up, so I take it slow, and stop at the far end of the field to stretch. And then he’s there, standing next to me.
“Hey man, are you OK?”
“Yeah,” I say, hooking my left foot and pulling it up into my hamstring. “I just kaçak bahis siteleri have an old injury, and… I need to, um…”
I lose my train of thought as I meet his eyes. Instantly, there is the unsettling feeling again. The composure I’d had, moments before, evaporates. It’s like he is emitting some sort of magnetic field. His body is maybe three feet from mine, and I am aware of every single inch of it.
“And you need to stay loose,” he says, smiling.
“Yeah… I guess,” I manage to say.
“You know, I think maybe we met before, but I forget your name. I’m Jamie,” he says. He extends his hand. I take it. It is smooth and warm. His touch sends shock waves through my whole body.
“Amir,” I say. Our eyes lock. “Yeah, I think we must have, um, met… at some point,” I say.
“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Amir… again,” he says.
We are standing alone now, far away from anyone else. I want to say something normal, to diffuse the disquieting energy I feel. But I don’t manage to say anything. Jamie, however, seems totally unbothered. He waits patiently for me to finish stretching. Is he aware of how anxious I am feeling, of the effect he is having on me?
We jog back to the locker room side by side. At our lockers, he bends to unlace his shoes, giving me another view of his ass. My cock starts to swell again, so I turn my back to him to get into my locker and get changed as quickly as possible. I have gotten into my jeans, but not my shirt, when I hear him speak.
“You seem like a pretty good player.”
I turn and see that he is also shirtless, and is still in his little blue shorts. His chest and belly are slick with sweat. I feel myself flush, and know that my cheeks and forehead must be bright red.
“Thanks,” I say. “You too.”
I see him look at me for a beat, taking in my body. Then he meets my gaze again, and squints. “Damn, Amir, you’re a fucking beast,” he says.
I laugh, awkwardly, and look down at my body, turn my palms toward him in tacit acknowledgment of his comment. I don’t know what to say. I see the sweaty hair on my chest and belly, my broad pecs, the muscles of my arms. I’d been ribbed all through school for being so hairy. Is he making fun of me?
“I wish I could remember how I know you,” he says. “We never…?” He furrowed his eyebrows at me as he trails off, questioningly.
Adrenaline hits my stomach. “Never what?” I ask. My voice cracks and sounds inappropriately loud.
“Hmm, I don’t know,” he says, using his shirt to wipe sweat off of his chest. He is looking at me so oddly. He turns back to his locker to finish changing. I do the same. After a moment, I hear his locker slam shut. “See you on Thursday, man” he says, walking off.
“Yeah,” I say. I watch him go. My heart is still beating like crazy and I can feel blood pulsing up into my head. My cock, once again, is rock-hard. I consider going back into the stalls to jerk off, but instead I just sit on the bench for a minute and close my eyes, trying to catch my breath and come back to my senses.
“I’m not a fucking faggot,” I mouth to myself. “No fucking way.”
I repeat these phrases to myself over and over. Eventually my head spins back into control. I regain a sense of calm just as a bunch of other guys come into the locker room, whooping and yelling. I stand up and collect my things. I see that Jamie has left his shirt on the bench. Impulsively, I grab it and leave the locker room.
Back in my dorm room, I throw my bag and Jamie’s shirt onto the floor. I strip out of my clothes and wrap myself in a towel, then go to my computer to check my email. I am reading an mass email from one of my chem TAs when my roommate Pete walks in.
“Hi Pete,” I say, glancing at him.
He doesn’t answer and looks a little annoyed. I had been matched with Pete randomly this year. He is really quiet, quieter than me, and we are still getting to know each other. We had agreed when we met at move-in that we didn’t care if the other was undressed in the room, but the way he looks at me now makes me wonder if maybe he does care.
I get up and grab my bathroom stuff, then go down the hall to shave and shower. There are no other guys in the bathroom, thankfully. I need to clear my head.
I have been in the habit of shaving twice a day since I was about sixteen. My beard comes in fast, and my parents have always been very particular about never appearing unkempt.
“No fucking way,” I repeat, over and over to myself, as I skim away the dark growth of hair from my face.
But moments later, under the hot water of the shower, my mind returns to the memory of Jamie’s smile, the curves and features of his body as he laced up his shoes. He is so familiar, somehow. His body feels familiar to me, like I have touched him, held him. But how could that be? I’ve never so much as looked at another guy’s body before, certainly not like that, with such… lust. How could this guy be so instantly magnetic to me?
“Wow, someone’s in a good mood,” I hear a voice say.
I jump, startled to see Tim standing a few feet away from me. I was so lost in my thoughts that I hadn’t heard the door to the shower room open.
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