Closet Keeper

Closet Keeper

A Story by Nathan Thompson

His birthday so far had been the usual uneventful, typical, 21st birthday affair. He had consumed quite a lot of drink, though not nearly enough to get him drunk; not that he wanted to get drunk. Getting drunk loosened the tongue, apparently, and he wasn’t about to risk that. Thankfully, however, the night was coming to an end. It was 4 in the morning and he didn’t have to fake tiredness anymore, all that was left was a drunken chorus of the happy birthday song, slightly altered into “Happy Birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you look like a monkey and the smell like one too.” Jack clapped and made some half-hearted “yay” sound when they eventually got round to it. His friends weren’t the most musical, mature or, at this moment, sober group that he’d ever met but he’d known them for as long as he could remember and they’d always been good mates. Although if he had to be honest, they weren’t his closest friends, not anymore. Of course, he had excuses, university, work, family…not so many excuses really. He made excuses, that was it, illness was a good one although he’d used it so many times now some of his friends thought he had been struck down with some kind of terminal disease, some of the smarter ones had sussed that he was lying, some of the really smart ones had also worked out why he lied a lot but had the decency to keep it to themselves for the time being, either that or they wanted to be completely sure before they said anything. The optimistic part of Jack believed that they knew but kept his secret, the realistic part of him, however, felt they just weren’t that sure. Intelligence amongst his friend’s wasn’t in great abundance.

“So then lads, are we calling it a night?” said Jack trying to keep the hope out of his voice.

“Don’t be stupid! It’s still early,” said Simon, one of his oldest, and now, more annoying friends.

“Actually its only early cause it’s late, really late,” said Jack with an increasingly downhearted feeling, he knew he’d have a while to wait yet.

“What do you fancy doing, Jack?” said John, taking a swig of the Bud in his hand.

“I wouldn’t mind going home to tell you the truth,” said Jack, faking a stifled yawn.

“No you don’t, Jack” said Simon, “the night is still young and it’s your 21st. You can’t go home yet, there’s loads for us to do.”

“Is there f**k!” said Jack getting slightly worried at the look of mischief in Simon’s bloodshot eyes and the smile that looked more like a sneer.

“Course’ there is, if you know where to go,” said Simon, the look in his face becoming more menacing every second. Jack was starting to become even more unnerved, he noticed that Simon wasn’t nearly as drunk as he was making out.

“Where else is open now?” asked Jack knowing full well what Simon was thinking and feeling his own panic rising, “the Casino, is that what you’re thinking? You know I’m skint?”

“No, not the Casino, don’t want to finish the night there, it’s all dull and quiet and expensive. Nah, what you need is a night of guaranteed fun. You see, I know something bout’ you Jackie boy, something you’ve kept to yourself for years” Simon wasn’t smiling now but was looking into Jack’s eyes with uncompromising nastiness. All while Jack was think no, no god, please no Simon, don’t!

Simon smiled as if the look of fear he saw was confirmation of his suspicions. “I knew it,” he said gleefully, some of the other lads was watching the exchange some curiously, one or two others watching Simon reproachfully as if they expected him to say the same thing Jack expected.

“Know what,” said John throwing aside his Bud and looking at Jack.

“That ole Jackie boy here,” said Simon placing a companion arm around his neck to stop him sprinting away, “is in fact: still a virgin.”

At that moment, Jack felt as though he would s**t himself, completely out of relief. His heart that was now beating against the inside of his ribs felt like it had missed a beat and a horrible feeling of heartburn came on him and came back under control and his breathing became easier. He didn’t even notice how bad he felt till it was gone.

Of course he was still a virgin. He hadn’t been part of the how-many-shags-can-we-get-before-we’re-twenty group and had made no attempt to be part of it. Still it was a bit embarrassing, especially since the entire group were laughing at his expense, barring one or two that looked almost as relieved as Jack felt; still it could have gone worse, it could have gone much worse.

“You b*****d,” whispered Jack so only Simon heard him. Simon just pretended he didn’t hear.

“So I propose that we get this lad a shag tonight gen-tle-men, what do you say?” there was a chorus of agreement, at different volumes. There wasn’t one form Jack.

“Tempting lads but I really should be getting back.”

“Don’t be daft Jack,” said Simon, his grip on his shoulder tightening, “we’ll see you get a decent bird tonight and I know just the place, a place where even you can pull.”

“Oh where’s this then,” said Jack sarcastically, “a brothel?”

“Yep,” replied Simon happily.

“What? I was joking Si.”

“I wasn’t” said Simon, “come on, I know the perfect place.”

“Wait a minute,” said Jack raising his arms to try and get out of Simon’s grip.

“What?” said Simon, getting impatient.

“I don’t want to pop my cherry with a prossie!” said Jack getting angry.

“Why not?”

“Yeah come on Jack,” said John laughing, “it’ll do you good to get your c**k out and start using it. You’ve got to lose your virginity some time 

“That’s it,” said Simon smiling at his new ally, or unwitting accomplice.

Why? Why do I have to lose it? Do I somehow get arrested by the sex police, have my balls removed and confiscated? Given to a poor unfortunate who was born without balls who might actually use them? The words came to Jack’s throat but self-preservation made them go no further. Simon hadn’t mentioned Jack’s other secret and Jack was fairly sure he knew it, or at least suspected it and was doing everything he could to wind him up about it. Right now he was having fun watching his discomfort rise but if he thought he wasn’t getting any fun this way he might just blurt it out to see what would happen. He was like that.

“I can’t afford it, look I’m skint,” it was a weak excuse and like all predators Simon smelt weakness.

“Like I said, it’s your birthday, it is up to us to make sure you have a good time, isn’t that right lads” another hearty cheer in different volumes, “now, come on lads, let’s see how much we can raise for the get-Jack-a-f**k fund.” The fund raised £57.78p: apparently, enough to get a not bad priced prossie. It was a waste of course, and Jack hated wasting money, but he would have happily seen it thrown down a drain then do with it what Simon intended him to do with it. In the end Jack just sighed and said “fine, lead on!” The walk through town, past closed shops and other stragglers of the night trying to find taxi ranks was one of the worst in his life. While Simon lead the group through the streets Jack was trying to find ways out of this but whatever he thought of was just another thing that would turn Simons suspicions to certainty.

“You don’t have to do this, Jack,” said another of Jack’s oldest friends, Steve.

“Ah well, it’s like John said, isn’t it? I have to lose my virginity some time,” said Jack with a fake smile and a confidence he didn’t have.

“That’s not what I mean Jack!” said Steve sounding serious, “look, I know what this is about alright, well I think I do anyway.”

“I think Simon’s made it clear what this is about Steve,” said Jack weighing up his friend, “we can’t have a virgin in the group, what will all the girls think?”

“We both know it’s nothing to do with you being a virgin,” Steve was trying hard not to ask what he really wanted to ask. If this was another time he’d be laughing but right now he just wanted to be sick.

“Well, I don’t,” said Jack.

“Well, we’ve just been hearing rumours. Not seen you in a bit, and well…look it’s…just don’t do it alright,” Steve was getting frustrated and that just made Jack feel guilty. He was trying to help and Jack wasn’t doing anything but making it harder for him.

“Simon seems determined not to let me get out of this, what you suggesting, bop him on the head and pretend he walked into a lamp post or something when he wakes up?”

“No, I’m suggesting you give the prossie the cash, make a few groaning noises through the door and ask her to say what a big dick you have and how good you were. All the usual bollocks you tell people about sex after you’ve just done it,” Steve finished glad to finally get to the point. Jack thought about it for a second or two, it was an obvious solution really but still.

“Simon would know, he’d find out.”

“How would he find out? He’s not exactly going to go in the room and wank, while he watches your pale arse bobbing up and down on some prossie, is he? You’re the one who…” Steve broke off.

“What?” said Jack looking indignant.

“Nothing,” said Steve letting out a sigh, “do what you like, Jack, and f**k Simon, he’s just being a dick. But listen, these places will get loads of people who don’t wanna lose their virginity this way and don’t wanna go through with it. You won’t be offending anyone, so long as the brass house gets its money, they won’t give a s**t. Just…think about it.”

“Thanks,” said Jack quietly, Steve nodded and moved away, looking slightly relieved.

At last they came to a dingy, second-hand bookshop, “here we are boys and…well boys,” said Simon, looking annoyed when no one so much as tittered.

“A book shop, Simon?” said Jack smiling despite himself.

“Not a regular bookshop birthday boy, it is in fact…a closed bookshop,” said Simon with a wink and nudging him painfully in the kidneys “ and above said bookshop is…well you get the picture.” He banged on the door a few times. It was answered by a man, a big man, a big tattooed man, a big tattooed scary man, who grinned when he saw Simon.

“Alright Simon,” he said opening the door enough for everyone to get in. Everyone shuffled in to the tight hallway. He looked around at the half dozen faces and turned back to Simon. “So? Which ones the lucky fella, then?”

“Here he is, Mike,” said Simon draping a hand on Jacks shoulders and pushing him forward, “here’s the birthday boy.”

“Happy Birthday,” said Mike gruffly.

“You’d think so, wouldn’t you?” said Jack before he could stop himself. Mike looked a little shocked then smiled.

“Don’t worry yourself lad, I promise Sarah will be gentle,” Jack groaned, Simon had planned this all along, probably for days. And from the look on it he wasn’t in it alone, some of the others wasn’t meeting Jack’s eyes, Simon seemed to be the only one really enjoying himself.

“Got the money?” said Mike turning from Jack and addressing Simon.

“Here you go,” said Simon taking out the get-Jack-a-f**k fund out of his pocket and counting out £40 which he handed to Mike and then handed the rest to Jack.

“This is for Sarah, be generous,” he said with a sly smile, in that minute Jack could have punched him.

“Don’t worry, I will be,” said Jack with his mouth and I now hate you, you complete b*****d with his eyes.

“Come on up then, she’s just through here, who else here wants a session?”

A few of the lads claimed they would, Simon didn’t and neither, to Jack’s relief, did Steve, hopefully he could keep Simon occupied while he was in their “doing” the prostitute. He looked at the lads that had chosen to have a session. One of them was married and another had a girlfriend, he shook his head, these were the men he was afraid of losing face in front of? He wished he’d just said “f**k it, I’m off home” but he hadn’t so he was here. How’s that for unfair? This was his birthday, and because of dickhead, cheating friends, he was miserable.

Mike led him upstairs to a red door, and banged on the door, none too gently either.

“Come in, Mike,” said a voice on the other side of the door, which sounded seductive, or at least tried to, Mike thought it sound a bit rehearsed, which it probably was.

“In you go lad,” said Mike, holding open the door, “you have 30 minutes, should be enough for a virgin eh?” he finished this with a wink and Jack felt his face redden, both through humiliation and anger. Did everyone have to know? All his friends…well acquaintances, he hadn’t considered them friends in a long time, strangers on the street and now bouncers for brothels. Still, he decided he was going to stay away for a while, until he got himself together. Maybe not even then, they felt part of a different life now.

Jack stepped through the door, it felt like he was crossing the threshold to hell. Although, it was a nice looking hell, the bed looked comfy as well as inviting, the wall-paper was a nice purple, the carpet a rich red. He wondered who’d picked the décor and almost laughed Interior decorating, now!

“Won’t be a second, darling” said a voice from behind a door that Jack assumed was the bathroom. Darling? How old was this ‘Sarah’?

The door opened to reveal, to Jack’s surprise, a young, attractive girl, not much older than he was stepped out. She was brunette, and didn’t look anything like he expected, perfect figure, not to fat, not to thin. She was wearing a ridiculous skimpy thing that didn’t suit her at all. It looked like she was wearing an over-sized �" and not over-sized by much �" handkerchief. She would have looked more seductive in a classy suit. She was that kind of attractive. She was just the kind of girl he used to think were absolutely gorgeous. She reminded him of Jennifer Wallis, he couldn’t help thinking about her all the time when he was younger, now he wondered what it was about her he couldn’t help thinking about. Could it have been her taste in hairstyles?

“Hmm, you are a good-looking one,” said Sarah smiling and looking him up and down, “now if you’ll come in here, you need to shower first.”

Jack nodded silently and followed her into the bathroom.

“Look, erm…showering won’t be necessary,” Jack muttered silently.

“Well I’m afraid it is, its policy you see. Gotta make sure, you’re…well you know,” said Sarah trying to be tactful and failing.

“Oh, no I’m sorry I meant…erm…listen” Jack reached up and turned the shower on to muffle any sounds.

“I mean I can’t…have sex with you, sorry,” she looked a bit shocked but didn’t really bat an eyelid.

“Oh well, that’s ok we have other girls here and I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea…”

“No! I mean you’re beautiful but…it’s me…I’m…” Jack couldn’t get the words out, for the first time in his life he was going to reveal his secret, a secret he hadn’t told anyone, and to the last kind of person he ever thought he would do, he mumbled something completely unintelligible.

“Sorry, what was that?” said Sarah politely, without any hint of her former flirtiness. Jack took a deep breath and said, for the first time in his life, two little words.

“I’m gay.”

The silence spread for a few seconds, Jack stood stock still unable to breathe, unable to do much of anything. Finally, and thankfully, Sarah broke the silence.

“Oh, well that explains it,” she replied curtly, taking a dressing gown off the back of the door and slipping it on “don’t worry about it. It happens all the time.”

“What?”

“Gay guys, come in sometimes, take it you haven’t told your friends yet then?”

“Not told anyone yet,” replied Jack, shocked at the information himself. Sarah looked a little incredulous, then smiled. The dressing gown made her look much better.

“Well, I feel honoured,” she turned the shower off and led him to the bed to sit down. He wasn’t wrong about the bed, at any other time he might have asked about where they got the mattress. Sarah stood in front of him and smiled, “are you ok?”

Jack looked up at Sarah and was surprised to see what looked like genuine concern on her face.

“I’m…fine, I think,” Jack smiled, though his hands were shaking slightly, “actually I feel better than I have in while.”

“So you haven’t told anyone before me?”

“Well, a few of my friends in university guessed and well, I didn’t deny it. But, actually spoke the words, no, only to you.”

“What about your parents, do they know?” she asked sitting down next to him.

“Well, I’ve not told them but if my uni mates could work it out then they…”

“…probably don’t know,” Sarah finished, Jack winced “sorry but from what some gay friends have told me their parents more often than not didn’t have a clue, even when it was staring them straight in the face. Would they be ok with it?”

Jack shook his head, “don’t know, maybe. My dad might be a little iffy about it and my mum…well she might be upset about me not getting married and giving them a grandkid.”

“I think you’d better tell them, it’ll be easier if you get it out of the way. Do you mind if I smoke?” asked Sarah taking out a pack of f**s.

“No, by all means. Are you allowed to smoke in here?” Sarah lit one up, blew out some smoke and turned to him looking amused.

“I think since that this is a knocking shop and I’m a w***e they might be a little bit more miffed about that then unlicensed smoking.”

“Oh,” Jack laughed, “sorry, stupid I know but I’m not really thinking too well. Can I have one of them?” she handed him the pack and held up the lighter as he lit up his cigarette.

They waited there a few minutes as they both finished their cigarettes, watching each other blow the smoke, which hung in the room like a cobweb, the smell of smoke heavy in their nostrils, Jack’s mind was going round in circles. Strangely enough though, he was still feeling good, really good. Talking like this to someone felt like a weight was being lifted from his shoulders. He looked over at Sarah sat there with a hand on her leg and the other still holding her cigarette, her look of concern gone to be replaced with one of boredom. She was quite interesting, she was still gorgeous but the cigarette made her look older. She was certainly smart.

“Do you enjoy working here?” he asked innocently.

She turned to him and regarded him coldly, she then turned away, finished her cigarette, snubbed it out and said simply, “f**k off.”

“I’m sorry,” he said looking stricken, “I only meant…”

“What is a beautiful girl like you doing in a s**t hole like this? Well f**k off. What I want to do is my business ok?”

“I don’t need to know what a beautiful girl like you is doing in a place like this. I know what a beautiful f*****g girl like you is doing in a s**t hole like this! I’m not judging, just asking if you like it.”

“Oh,” said Sarah, “sorry I suppose I’m a little defensive about it, why do you want to know?” Jack shrugged.

“Just curious really, you’re beautiful, clever, got a good way with people, just thought you might like something…” Jack was going to say better but thought it would be tactless.

“So you are judging then?” she said, “don’t worry, I’m not going to fly off the handle again. You were very complementary and I suppose you have had a bit of a shock,” she took a deep breath, “I like it. Simple as that, really.”

“Fair enough,” said Jack.

“And look, what was the first complement you gave me.”

Jack thought a second, “Beautiful?”

“Exactly, my looks, yeah I’m clever but no one notices it. And like I said, I like it so let’s leave it at that.”

“Ok,” said Jack.

Another silence, minutes just ticked away, neither one of them knowing what to say to each other. They both had another cigarette each and Sarah told him to jump in the shower. “Why, we haven’t had sex and we’re not doing either?”

“Exactly, I think your friends might work it out if your hairs not at least wet, don’t you?”

“Do they often get their hair wet in the shower before sex?” Jack asked curious.

“No, but they do in the after sex shower.”

“You have a shower specifically for after sex?” Jack asked with a smile. Sarah laughed

“Just get in the damn shower before I go and tell your friends you’re an arse bandit!” Jack was so shocked he laughed too.

After he came out he dried his hair so it wasn’t dripping on the carpet but was still clearly wet, he dressed and looked at Sarah and took out the notes that Simon had given him to use as a tip.

“Here,” he said holding it out for her to take. She shook her head.

“No you keep it. I’ve enjoyed our conversation, and besides I didn’t exactly do anything to earn it did I.”

“You did more to help me than anyone else ever has,” said Jack with such conviction that Sarah actually blushed, “besides its not mine but my mates and their not having it back” she picked up the money.

Sarah turned to a small mirror on the wall and laughed, “Hmm? not done that in a while, blushing, I mean.” She sighed “You better get going, virgins don’t usually last ten minutes.”

Jack couldn’t help laughing this time, everyone knew he was a virgin but whereas before it would have embarrassed him or made him angry, now it just made him laugh. “Do you want to do something some time?”

Sarah, smiled “I can’t, sorry.”

“Oh,” Jack tried not to look so downhearted.

“Look, you’re a great guy, but, well, I’m a prostitute.”

“Yeah but let’s face it I’m not exactly looking for a committed relationship or anything am I?” Jack pointed out.

“Oh…good point,” Jack looked round for a pen, and gave up.

“You got a pen?” he asked, “and some paper?”

“Yeah, in the draw there,” she said indicating a bedside cabinet. Ignoring the many condoms and condom wrappers, sex toys and other item beyond name or description he located a pen and small receipt which, surprise surprise, was from Boots for condoms and quickly jotted his number on the back under his name and handed it to her.

“Here, my number, you know in case you change your mind.” She took it and tucked it into the pocket of her dressing gown. She walked to the door and opened it for him.

“You better get going…erm,” she pulled the paper out of her pocket and looked at it, “…Jack.”

“Thanks, hope to see you again.” She gave one last smile and closed the door behind him.

He walked back downstairs to find Steve and Simon looking at him curiously.

“Hi gents, you guys still here?” he said, his good mood still shining through. Simon and Steve exchanged glances.

“How was it then?” said Simon looking nervous.

“Brilliant,” said Jack truthfully, “haven’t been so happy in a long while.”

 Simon smiled, turned to Steve and said, “ok, Steve, come on, pay up?”

Steve smiled and handed over a handful of banknotes, “oh well, thought so, win some lose some.”

“What was the bet about then?” said Jack looking slightly annoyed, Simon just grinned

“Oh I bet, Steve here that you were gay and he said you weren’t and I win.” Jack was thunderstruck.

“You were betting on my sexuality? And what do you mean you win? Sarah was great!” Simon just laughed.

“Hey she is great, but she’s no prossie,” he said still laughing at Jack’s face, he was more confused than anything.

“What do you mean she’s no prossie, this is a brothel, isn’t it?”

“Of course, but I only rented the room from, Mike. And Sarah is, well, don’t be annoyed, especially not at her, but she has a gift for helping people come out of the closet.” Annoyance was the first thing that went through his head but then he broke into a laugh.

“You guys don’t…you know, mind me being gay then,” Simon and Steve exchanged glances and Steve replied “Course not, you’re not the only gay guy in the village you know?”

“What would have happened if I wasn’t gay then?” said Jack.

“Oh, she would have mentioned about having just had a VD check and that she was just waiting for the results, really puts the punters off for some reason,” Jack laughed again, no wonder Steve was trying to tell him not to do anything and just talk to Sarah.

“How did you hear about her anyway, how do you know she’s good with people coming out of the closet?”

“Well,” said Simon looking at Steve again and getting a nod in return, “she helped Steve and me here a lot when we first came out, you know you’ve missed quite a bit being in uni.”

Jack just stood there astonished, “Oh, and Jack,” said Steve, “Happy Birthday.” 

© 2011 Nathan Thompson


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I like the logic of this story. Sometime hard to face the truth for fear of not understanding. The story started with a party and ending with good friends accepting their friend for what he desire to be. A very good ending to a outstanding story.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on July 20, 2011
Last Updated on July 20, 2011

Author

Nathan Thompson
Nathan Thompson

Manchester, United Kingdom



About
Well, hi there all...erm...I'm Nathan, I'm 26 and I live in Manchester, England (for the people who consider England too small a country to know where it is, it's that weird shaped one just above Fra.. more..

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