What Goes Around

Teenage scout




If it’s possible to be born ugly then I was born ugly. A huge nose with a notable bump on it dominated my face. I was also born with a deviated septum. In layman’s terms that meant that one of my nostrils was completely blocked with unwanted cartilage. The second nostril was partially blocked. It made it impossible for me to breathe without keeping my mouth open all of the time. I looked like an imbecile. I was also completely uncoordinated. I mean if you soft tossed a ball to me I couldn’t catch the damn thing if my life depended on it.

I remember as a five year old playing in the class ‘orchestra’. My instrument was the triangle. All I had to do was hit it in time with the music. I couldn’t get it right so I just banged away whenever. I’m probably the only five year old to ever lose his instrument for incompetence.

I got my revenge at Christmas, though. It was pageant time and our class did the nativity scene. I was proud to be one of the three kings. My one line was ‘I bring Frankincense’. The teacher threatened to take my part away during rehearsals because I wouldn’t speak up enough. I was determined not to lose out again. On the big night the auditorium was packed with parents. My moment arrived and I yelled out as loud as I could, “I BRING FRANKENSTEIN!” Bedlam ensued, and I was the hit of the concert.

Anyway, I digress. I was in the middle of describing myself. It wasn’t all negative. I had two strong attributes. First, I was quite intelligent, so much so that the school had me skip a grade. Always being the youngest in the class worked out fine scholastically, but socially it was a disaster. I had a tough enough time making friends anyway and now everyone in my class was thinking a year ahead of me. Add it all up and I was your typical lonely nerd.

My second attribute was between my legs. I was big, I mean really big. I also went through puberty early. How many twelve year olds have a cock pushing eight inches already? I did! In primary school, however, my size wasn’t worth a pinch of salt. My parents also constantly preached that I should keep that part of me private, so I kept it under wraps. I was also very sexually naive. I was eleven going on twelve before I realized mine was ‘different’.

My cock was also ‘perfect’. Let me tell you a story of an incident that occurred much later in my life that illustrates that fact. In my mid thirties I took a vacation in Florida. There I met a rich doctor in a gay bar and we ended up in his hotel room. He proceeded to fall in love with my cock. He said that between his practice and his gay activities he had seen thousands of cocks. Mine, he told me, was the most perfect he had ever seen. To back it up he offered me a free apartment, a free car, and a weekly salary. All I had to do was return with him to Long Island and make my cock available to him whenever he felt the urge. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I already had too many roots holding me down in Canada to even consider it.

The real story I want to tell you about began when I was eight years old. I was in the fourth grade. Looking back, I was a good kid, never getting into trouble—or so I thought. It was recess time and I was alone as usual. A much bigger and older boy, for no apparent reason, decided to bully me. I saw him coming, realized his intention, and took off running. Going to a teacher was not an option. To do so meant more bullying later when the teacher was not around. So I ran… and ran. He was slowly catching up and I was getting tired. I took the only option I could think of. I ducked into the boys’ entrance of the school.

Just inside the entrance was a short set of stairs leading up to the first floor. There at the top of the stairs stood the immense figure of a teacher, one Mr. Headley Stokes.

“What are you doing in the school during recess?” he bellowed. “You know it’s against the rules!”

I was like a deer in the headlights. I was petrified. Nothing came out of my mouth.

“Be off with you,” he continued, “and don’t let me catch you in here again!”

I meekly departed. I was only in the yard a few moments when the same bully spotted me. The chase was on again. Desperate to escape, and thinking like an eight year old, I ran back to the building, only this time I chose the girls’ entrance. Mr. Stokes, however, was one step ahead of me. By the time I realized he was standing at the top of the stairs it was already too late.

“How dare you disobey me!” he shouted.

He never did ask me if I had any valid reason for being there, and I was too scared to open my mouth. Think of it. A two hundred pound man in a rage shouting at me from on high was a petrifying sight to an eight year old.

He immediately took me to a small office down the hall and strapped me. It hurt like hell. But in the end the physical pain did not hurt as much as my perceived social injustice of it all. I never felt guilty and in no way did I deserve the punishment. I hated him for it.

Fast forward a couple of months in the same school year. I was working away at my desk at an assignment that was especially difficult. I was determined to do a good job. Now most boys would purse their lips, grit their teeth or perhaps stick their tongue out to the side to show determination. I could do none of these because I had to keep my mouth open. Instead I involuntarily would lift my tongue and press against the roof of my mouth. Now it so happens that under your tongue at the very back sits a small gland that produces a good part of the saliva that occurs naturally in your mouth. As I found out the hard way that day, if you lift the tongue hard and quickly enough a spurt of saliva comes out. (You can try it yourself) With your mouth closed it’s no problem but of course mine was open. A spray of saliva flew out all over my books.

The eagle-eyed teacher spotted what occurred. She immediately marched down the aisle and declared, “Young man, you are spitting in my classroom!”

Looking back now I wonder how it is possible to spit with your mouth open? No matter to her. She didn’t need an explanation. She had seen it with her own eyes and that was good enough for her.

She told me to wait in the hall and she disappeared around the corner. She reappeared moments later with Mr. Stokes in tow. Mr. Stokes didn’t require further explanation either. If the teacher told him she saw me spitting there was no defence for it. I was strapped… again!

I mean how many eight year olds, even badly behaved ones, get strapped in a school year, let alone twice? Not only that, I felt that neither of them were deserved. God, I hated that man!

I couldn’t even discuss the matter with my parents. In those days the teachers were Gods and if they said you deserved punishment then you deserved it, no questions asked. If I had said anything at all there was a good chance my parents would have added to the punishment. Even as an adult I never bothered to tell them.

At the end of the school year our family had decided to move. The new house was in a different school district and I was happy if for no other reason than I was getting rid of Mr. Stokes.

The events of the following two years add little to this story other than to show the gradual realization that I seemed to be much bigger than other boys and that my member could attract some attention.

Oh, I must tell you that there was an incident that occurred in grade six that could have ended in a deserved strapping. The girl that sat in front of me was a pain in the ass. She had very long pigtails and she loved to irritate me by swishing them back and forth across my desk while I worked. If I complained to her she would increase the swishing. Now in those days the ball point pen had yet to appear in the market place. We were learning to write in pen and ink and each desk was supplied with an inkwell. I got so mad at her one day I grabbed one of the pigtails and stuffed it in the inkwell. Of course she screamed and pulled. The ink soaked pigtail made pretty blue splotches all over the back of her yellow dress.

I was hauled down to the principal’s office for punishment from the boss man himself, Principal Shewfelt. He was a kindly old gentleman probably close to retirement. Before deciding on the appropriate course of action he asked me to tell him my side of the story. As I was telling my story he tried hard to keep a straight face but he failed. He laughed out loud. Drawing himself together he gave me the mildest verbal reprimand you can imagine before sending me back to my room.

I was punished, though. When the girl’s mother presented my parents with a dry cleaning bill my allowance was cut off for a month.

The following year was my first at junior high school. It was an exciting time. You got to stay with your home room teacher for half a day before changing classrooms during the afternoon. Afternoon classes included subjects such as Phys. Ed., Music, Art and Shop. Moving from class to class made me feel like a young adult. I was happily striding down the hall that very first afternoon when I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks. My joy turned to dread. There ahead of me, towering above the students with his arms crossed, was Mr. Stokes. I was shell-shocked. Looking back, he was probably smiling at the passing students but all I saw was a scowl. I had to get past him to reach the next class. I hugged one wall and looked the other way as I passed. Thankfully, he didn’t call me out.

I was thankful, too, that I didn’t have him as a teacher in any of my classes. In fact, I never had him in subsequent years, either. I must truthfully say we never spoke to each other in school in my entire junior high school career. Whether he remembered me from primary days I did not know and I didn’t care to know. I certainly knew how to carry a grudge big time.

Phys. Ed was fun that first year. We showered for the first time. I confirmed that although I was the youngest in the class, I had the biggest cock by quite a bit. I eventually learned that size is not everything. In fact, today I prefer a cock that is much smaller than my own. However, as an almost-teenager, size was everything. I was often called horse.

I made some decent friends that year too. I know that in part at least it was because of my lucky gift. I had one friend I was particularly close to. In case he ever reads this story let’s call him Josh. Josh always carried a short rope in his pocket. Whenever the two of us found ourselves in an isolated spot, usually once or twice a week, he would attack me. He was bigger, stronger and more athletic than I was and invariably would overpower me. He’d then pull out the rope and tie my hands behind my back. Pulling my pants down he would abuse my cock for long periods of time, sometimes up to an hour or so. He introduced me to jacking off and that’s the way each session would end. The cums were dry initially, but by the end of the year I was making copious amounts of sperm. I quickly learned to love the attention and after a while I never struggled much when I was attacked. We often hiked in a valley nearby and I used to look for isolated spots to visit. A couple of times he took me to friends of his and the scenario was the same. Josh’s friends liked to abuse me too. Even in high school a few years later Josh and some six or seven buddies from his school football team attacked me, got me down on the ground and abused me. They didn’t jerk me off but they sure took their time mauling me. It was fun. Josh’s endowment was about half my size and he very rarely sought reciprocation. He eventually wandered out of my life, married and became a high school teacher.

I digress yet again. Now back to my tale. I was heavily into the Boy Scout movement in those days. I just loved, and still do, the out-of-doors. For every hike, camp out or canoe trip I was front and center. At the conclusion of that first junior high school year, all of the troops in our district, some six or seven in all, organized a two week camporee, as they called it, in the highlands of Haliburton. Some four or five scout leaders were our chaperones. In the end about fifty scouts signed up. Of course, I was one of them.

I could hardly wait for the day, I was so excited. After a long drive I remember arriving at the camp dock ready to be transported to our camp site. I rushed from the car only to run into a rather large man who was blocking my path. It was Mr. Headley Stokes dressed in a Boy Scout leader’s uniform! I couldn’t believe my misfortune. I inwardly groaned and said to myself, ‘Not again!’


Only one other boy from my troop attended the camp, so I found myself among strangers for the most part. Once again I tried to make new friends and once again I failed. It didn’t upset me, though. Over the years I had learned to enjoy my own company. In addition, the camp activities were well organized and there was always lots to do. I was quite happy.

I had also come to terms with Mr. Stokes. I simply was not going to allow his presence to spoil my fun. I would avoid him at all cost—not a small feat by any means when you consider that the two of us were occupying the same four-acre island for two weeks.

My plan was put to the test the second morning. Mr Stokes announced that he was taking eight boys on a two-day canoe trip at the end of the first week. Interested boys had to sign a sheet posted in the mess tent. Now, understand that I lived for outdoor adventure, and canoe trips were at the top of the list. I debated the pros and cons of signing up before the call of the wild got the better of me.

Some twenty boys signed up. Headley decided on a contest to test our skills in order to pare the number down to eight. The first test was a one hundred yard swim race. Now I was no Mark Spitz, but I could splash around pretty good. I finished in the middle somewhere and I realized I had to do better on the subsequent tests. Next we had to display our paddling skills by negotiating a short obstacle course. My partner and I excelled. Many boys floundered, unable to make their canoes behave. We, on the other hand, glided around the sharp turns effortlessly. I saw only one other canoe that could match us. In the final test we had to prove we knew what to do if the canoe capsized. We deliberately filled the canoe with water and then ‘saved’ ourselves. Most boys abandoned their craft and swam the short distance to shore. We and perhaps two others got behind the canoe and kicking with our legs we pushed the boat to shore. Those who retrieved their boat were the only ones to pass this test. I was supremely confident my name would be among the selected few.

I raced to the mess tent the next morning to confirm the results. Scanning the posted list I didn’t see my name. I figured I had been careless and skipped over it so I checked again. The third time through reality sunk in. I wasn’t going on the trip. That was strike three for Mr. Headley Stokes!

Despite the setback I continued to enjoy myself. I especially liked the large bonfires and the sing-along that ended each evening. Near the end of the second week Mr. Stokes announced that he would be leading an all-day hike through the woods the next day. I was game for that!

The hike began innocently enough. Mr. Stokes was describing in great detail as well as telling anecdotes about the flora and fauna about us. Many scouts were clinging to his every word. He was quite knowledgeable and it seemed he had created a mutual admiration society. I knew better, though. The man was evil!

I soon broke away from the main group and worked my way up to the very front of the pack. I was alone again and that was the way I preferred it. I was merrily hiking along at least fifty feet ahead of the nearest scouts when I heard a commotion to my right. I turned my head towards a berry patch and looked up into the face of a huge black bear. The bear was so close he could easily have reached out with that gigantic paw of his, knocked me down and had me for lunch. Thankfully I was not on his menu that day. It seemed the bear was as surprised and scared as I was. He took off! I found my voice and yelled, “BEAR!” as loud as I could. The closest scouts ran up and saw the bear, which was now several yards away. The three of us yelled together. By the time the next scouts arrived the animal had vanished. We excitedly told our story and were met with total skepticism. We were later accused of making up the whole incident. I didn’t care. I knew what I had seen.

We eventually found ourselves at a small lake deep in the woods. Mr. Stokes announced that we would all go swimming. He had ‘forgotten’ to tell us ahead of time about the swim, so no one had their swim trunks.

“No problem,” he said, “we’ll just skinny dip”.

Mr. Stokes began to strip. Like robots, all but a handful of us who kept their underpants on followed his lead. Looking back now I believe the whole purpose of the trip was to allow Mr. Stokes an opportunity to do a little ‘sightseeing’ at the lake.

What happened next was an event that shall stay transcribed in my mind forever. As my big wang sprang into view scouts began turning their heads and staring at me. Within minutes I felt a hundred eyes looking in my direction. They weren’t looking at my face either. It was amazing. In a matter of a few moments I had gone from a zero on the popularity charts to a ten. Some scouts wanted to get up close by coming over and talking to me. Others wanted me to join their little cliques. I preferred to freelance. I admit it. I preened, walking up and down the shoreline revelling in the attention. I felt a new power I’d never had before. I never did go in the water.

Mr. Stokes called me over and spoke to me. Mr. Stokes, a man who hadn’t spoken a single word to me in over four years, began to treat me like a long lost friend. The subjects he touched on weren’t earth shattering; I can’t remember a single word that he said. He probably asked if I was enjoying the hike, blah blah blah.

He called me over twice more before the swim session ended. As we walked back to camp I held my head a little higher.

Had I been a little older, or perhaps more mature, I would have sat down with Mr. Stokes and tried to ease the turmoil in my head over his perceived misdeeds—both ancient and recent. After all, the strappings were now ancient history, but the canoe trip was recent. Unfortunately I didn’t, and he remained a pariah in my books.

That night one of the strangest events of my young life occurred. It began innocently enough. With my new-found popularity established, one of my tent mates asked if he could share my sleeping bag. I knew what to expect, and I welcomed it. I was such a slut! We both got naked and, sure enough, he began to play with my cock. We were so tired from the hike that it didn’t last long. We fell asleep entangled in each other’s arms. I would have slept that way all night if a soft hand had not shaken my shoulder.

“Wake up,” a male voice demanded.

I awoke to a blinding light in my eyes. I could see nothing but I didn’t have to. The voice was unmistakeable. It was Mr. Headley Stokes and he had just caught me naked in bed with another scout!

Speaking softly he added, “Come with me.”

I quickly put on some shorts, my t shirt and some shoes, and followed him meekly through the woods. My heart was pounding and I assumed the worst. He was heading for a strap or its equivalent, of that I was certain. I resolved at that moment that it wasn’t going to happen even if I had to scream blue murder and wake up the whole camp. I wasn’t scared any more. I was mad.

We silently entered the mess tent and Mr. Stokes lit a large Coleman lamp above our heads. He pointed to a table and said, “Sit down.”

Almost magically a deck of cards and a cribbage board appeared. I still have no idea where they came from.

“Cut the cards,” he directed.

I did and we began to play. Understand, readers, he never said one word regarding the purpose of this get together. He never asked if I wanted to play—nor did he even ask if I knew the game of cribbage. So we played, and played… and played.

It was all so strange. There was no conversation save that associated with the game itself. The only other noise was the constant hum of the Coleman lamp. The area was completely deserted except for us and I had no idea what time it was.

The only real conversation occurred when I spotted a skunk wandering into the tent. I urgently whispered a warning to Headley.

“It’s your deal,” he said stoically.

I kept nervously looking around trying to keep track of the animal, half expecting it to spray us at any moment.

Headley finally realized how agitated I was and addressed the matter. “Don’t worry about the skunk. He’s just looking around for scraps. If he goes under our table just don’t move your feet too quickly.”

Of course, I promptly lost sight of the animal and in my mind there was no doubt it was under our table. Believe me, I didn’t even twitch a muscle. Eventually—without mishap—I spotted the skunk wandering away. The game continued.

I don’t know how long we played in the end. It was probably a couple of hours. Only the excitement of the situation kept me awake and alert.

Then, without warning he announced, “Time to go to bed.”

We packed up without fanfare and he walked me back to my tent. I remember him asking if I needed to pee before going back to bed. Since we had seen each other naked earlier that day I thought nothing of us standing side by side emptying our bladders. I don’t know if he looked me over again. I assume he did. I also can’t tell you if he had an erection. I didn’t care to look. When we reached the tent he said a simple goodnight and was gone.

I was left totally perplexed wondering to myself, ‘What the hell just happened?’

Looking back now, as I often do in this tale, and based on facts that I haven’t related to you yet, I eventually concluded that Headley Stokes was a lonely man who was inept at socializing with others, even young boys. By playing cards with me he was allowing me to enter his private world. It was a way of showing me that he liked me and he wanted me to like him. He genuinely wanted me as a friend. Never was there even a hint of anything sexual in his approach, not even an innuendo. Stupidly, I kept my grudge.

Sadly, camp ended the next day. I could have stayed another month. We rolled back into the city and I reconnected with Josh. The summer continued.

I reckoned I wouldn’t see Mr. Stokes again until school reconvened in September. How wrong I was!


It wasn’t long after my return from camp before all of my old routines resurfaced. One of those routines was reading. I loved to learn, and nonfiction was my favorite genre. As an example I inherited an old outdated set of encyclopedias. I read every volume from cover to cover.

And so it was that one evening a week or so after camp I was quietly reading in my room when mother came to my door.

“There is a gentleman here to see you,” she said.

‘What?’ I said to myself. ‘Why would a gentleman come to my door to see me?’

“Who is it, Mom?” I asked.

“He says his name is Headley Stokes,” she replied.

I was flabbergasted! I didn’t want to see this man, let alone speak to him—and in my own house no less. ‘How did he get my address?’ I wondered. I certainly didn’t give it to him.

The solution was easy. “Tell him to go away, Mom.”

Now, in those days the word pedophile was completely unheard of by the general public. Articles on sexual abuse in the news media did not exist. In fact, my parents saw absolutely no evil intent whatsoever in Headley’s visit. Quite the opposite, in fact. Mother was forever encouraging me to make more friends—any friends—so she was thrilled that Headley was taking an interest in me and she was appalled at my response.

“I’m shocked,” she replied. “This gentleman has come all this way just to see you. It’s the least you can do to come out and talk to him!”

Mother could be a very demanding woman. Her voice told me she wasn’t going to take no for an answer. It was an argument I couldn’t win, so I dragged myself out.

Now, understand, readers, his presence was a shock to my system. He seemed to lack the social skills that say you ask first. No telephone call… nothing!

We sat in adjoining chairs in the living room, staring at each other. Headley was beaming. I was stone faced. We sat in awkward silence for a while before Headley tried to initiate a conversation. I say tried because it takes two people to make a conversation. Unless you want to count the occasional grunt as a response I continued to sit in silence. I certainly didn’t initiate anything. The plain truth was my behavior was abhorrent. I was rude to the nth degree. I hated being in his presence again, and I did everything I could think of to show him that.

My poor attitude seemingly had little effect on him. He worked for well over an hour trying to get me involved. He changed topics several times, but if you asked me today what he said I wouldn’t be able to recall a single word. I wasn’t listening too hard. As was the way with Headley, he suddenly stopped, in midsentence it seemed, said he had to go, and was out the door in a matter of seconds.

Mother had apparently been listening from around the corner. I was immediately harangued over my offhanded manner. Once again she preached to me how important friends were. Yadah, yadah, yadah. This should have been an ideal time to explain why I felt the way I did. Why I didn’t puzzles me to this day. After half a dozen ‘Yes, Moms’ she began to wind down. I asked if I could go to my room and she threw her hands up in disgust.

Now you would think that Headley would have gotten the message, wouldn’t you? I couldn’t have been more blunt. The average person would have accepted it and moved on with their life. Headley wasn’t your average person. He was so enamored with me—or perhaps with my equipment—that he tried again.

It was perhaps ten days or so later. I was sitting in the living room watching our state of the art black and white, seventeen-inch TV. It must have been the weekend because Dad was watching with me. Another knock on the door. Dad answered it and there, larger than life, stood one Headley Stokes. Dad, like my mother before him, welcomed him in like a long lost war buddy. I didn’t bother running. There was no point.

Headley took a seat and Dad proceeded to have an animated conversation with him. It’s fair to say they seemed to enjoy each other’s company. I just sat there. Mother came in from the kitchen and invited Headley to stay for supper. He accepted, of course, and I groaned inwardly.

Now, my mother was the world’s worst cook! As a youngster I couldn’t understand the fuss about steak. In our house it was a tough gristled slab of meat with the appearance, the texture, and the taste of shoe leather. Fried eggs were not cooked until the yolk was rock solid and the first inch of the white was a crispy black. She made a new dish once, something she rarely did. Dad and I couldn’t eat more than a mouthful, it was so bad. She got very upset and threw the food into the dog dish. The dog wouldn’t eat it either.

Since we never ate out when I was a child, I always assumed this was the way food was supposed to taste. Believe me when I tell you I ate to live. I certainly did not live to eat. Anyway, let’s return to my tale.

While Mom prepared supper, Dad got up and disappeared, no doubt to his tools in the basement, leaving me alone with Headley. I was more obnoxious than I was on his first visit if that were possible. It was a shame that I lacked the wisdom and maturity to properly address my issues. At the very least I should have thanked him for showing interest in me and then, as gently as I could, told him that I had no interest in him. Instead, I was mute as much as possible, and the air remained tense. Thankfully, Mother soon rescued me by inviting us all to the dinner table.

Headley devoured his food as if it were a feast fit for a king. He had made a friend for life in Mother. I just sat there poking at pieces of carrot, which I hated so much. As I watched Headley’s plate empty, I finally figured out how he got so big. For dessert mother served her rice pudding that she always made from scratch. She baked it in the oven until a black crust formed on the surface. The she’d break up the crust and mix it in with the pudding below. Headley ate that too!

With the last morsel gone Headley patted his stomach and declared, “That was delicious. Thank you so much.”

I was still poking my carrots trying to find enough courage to swallow them quickly.

To this day it boggles my mind that he liked the food. If he was faking it he sure did a great job of it. Mother asked him if he would like to come back for another meal. ‘No, no, no!’ I said under my breath.

Nothing much else happened that evening. Headley did give me his address, neatly printed on a piece of paper. Mother was thrilled when he told me I could come over any time. I gave him a very definite maybe.

Now what do you think, dear readers? Did Headley get my message yet? If you guessed nope then you are correct. If nothing else he sure was persistent!

A week or so later the now familiar knock came again. This time Headley entered carrying a full shopping bag, which contained a part of his private stamp collection. Mother was happy to see him again and she quickly cleared the dining room table to provide space for his collection. I know now that Headley was allowing me to enter his private world again, hoping to create a lasting friendship. All I knew at the time was that I hated stamps. I much preferred comic books and baseball cards. If he had called first, I would have told him that.

It became apparent that what turned him on with his collection was finding printing imperfections. His shopping bag was full of packages that all contained the exact same stamp! He had thousands of them. The stamp was a World War II-era German one. I found myself staring over and over and over at a portrait of Adolph Hitler! He showed me examples of badly printed stamps he had already found. The ‘imperfections’ were no more than a partially missing letter or a small smudge. He handed me a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass and told me to get to work. He never asked me if I liked stamps, nor did he ask if I wanted to help him. He assumed it. Headley was like a kid in a candy store. I was bored to tears.

We both worked away for perhaps twenty minutes or so when I suddenly yawned. I couldn’t help it. But then I thought, ‘Hey, that’s a good way to show how I feel,’ so I yawned again. The second one was forced. It was louder and more prolonged. Like the first two, a third yawn didn’t have any effect, either, so I upped the ante.

“I’m sorry,” I explained, “but I am really tired and I need to go to bed.”

Headley hardly said a word. He packed up the stamps and was gone in mere moments.

That was the last time I ever spoke to him. We did see each other on occasion in the school hallways but we ignored each other. When I graduated to high school I thought he was gone from my life for ever. Not quite, however…

Many decades passed. I was an old fart by now and quietly retired. I still loved to read my nonfiction books. My library was full of them. I also occasionally looked at the obituary columns in the paper—not out of morbidity but rather to learn about other people’s lives and what they had accomplished. I was doing just that one day when a headline jolted my senses. It read Headley Stokes, Educator and Boy Scout Leader.

Naturally I read the article with great interest. I learned a lot about him. For instance, he was born in England (as I was) and (also like me) he immigrated to Canada with his parents as a young boy. But what struck me most about the article was its writer. He was not a reporter. Rather, he was obviously Headley’s lifelong partner and lover. He admitted meeting Headley as a student in his class and he was also a member of Headley’s scout troop—facts eerily similar to my contacts with Headley. He went on to describe Headley in glowing terms, using such words as kind, caring, loving and generous. Reading between the lines, the article spoke to me of a long-lasting and very successful relationship.

When I finished the article I sat back and thought long and hard about Headley and my relationship with him. First, I concluded that I was happy for him. Although it wasn’t me, Headley had found the love he was looking for. I thought about how, apart from the strappings, he had treated me. Apart from his looking, what could I accuse him of? He had always been the perfect gentleman, displaying many of the qualities mentioned in his obituary. Not once could I recall an incident that was remotely sexual.

Yes, he was perhaps eccentric. Yes, he was socially awkward. On the other hand, he possessed qualities we all wish we had. Yes, I still believe he erred in strapping me but, hey, don’t we all make mistakes from time to time? I certainly erred in not forgiving him years earlier.

Why did Headley select me as a potential friend? The easy answer is that he liked what he saw at the lake that day, but I now believe it was a lot more than that. He was a boy lover but he wanted not just any boy. The boy had to be gay. When he saw me preening up and down the shore that day he thought he had found a gay boy. When he caught me naked in bed with another scout that night his suspicion was confirmed.

I then quizzed myself with a series of ‘What ifs?’. What if the strappings had never occurred? What if I had forgiven him early in life? What if I had listened to Mother, made him a friend, and gone to his house? My conclusion was that it could have been me that wrote that obituary.

And so, dear readers, if you are looking for a villain in this tale… the villain in the end was me. Headley was the good guy! Telling this story was the only way I could think of to apologize to a friend that could have been.

Rest in peace, Headley Stokes.

Author’s Note

As I said at the outset, this is a true story, every word of it. If by some miracle somebody who knew Headley reads this story, I would love to hear from you. If I am incredibly fortunate I might hear from his lover. That would be super special!

I kept the obituary for a few years, but I moved. When one moves some things tend to get lost. The obituary was one of those, so I don’t even have his partner’s name to go by.

For anyone who is interested, and there may be one or two, I got the nose operation in my late teens. With the cartilage and the bump removed I look like a movie star… well, kind of. I could at least give Boris Karloff a run for the money! I got an unexpected bonus, too. I could smell for the first time. We humans may not be able to smell as well as a lot of animals but I can tell you my world was enriched by the smell of fresh-baked bread and the flowers in the garden. I learned what farts were all about, too!

My mother still tells me off occasionally. But then at age one hundred and three I reckon she has earned the right to tell off anyone she wishes to. I did learn over the years how important and true her advice had been. Friends are important!

Finally… a heartfelt thanks to my editors, and please consider donating to AwesomeDude.

Regards to you all,


Photo by Dan Senior at Unsplash