The warning signs:
He lived with his parents.
He rode his bike because he didn't have a car.
He liked cartoons.
He got my sense of humor.
He was smoking pot with the bagboys at a grocery store.
On their own, none of these things mean everything, but put altogether, how did I not realize that I had picked up an underage boy in a grocery store parking lot. I mean, he looked over 18.
His profile hadn't listed an age, but I assumed --
I was now the posterboy for "contributing to the delinquency of a minor." We'd drank, smoked pot, and he'd sucked my dick.
I was going to prison.
But first I was going to take a long hit off the joint he rolled. I briefly pondered buying some off him and offering him a beer just to cover the points spread.
"Want to go back inside?" he asked. Yes. I wanted to go back inside with him, alter the timeline and meet him when he was eighteen. If I couldn't do that, I wanted to go inside and freak out about the fact that he never told me he was jailbait, and I wasn't intelligent enough to ask him how old he was. But I thought that might ruin the mood, so I asked "How long have you known John?"
"Since we were kids." Right. When they were kids. As opposed to now that they were in high school together. I ---
I remembered something from an online argument in one of the chatrooms. A sixteen year old was talking about his twenty year old fuckbuddy, and when people harangued him about legal issues, he'd linked them to a website about state laws. In our state it was perfectly legal for someone under twenty-two to fuck around with someone over sixteen. I was under twenty-two.
"How old are you?" "Seventeen."
I did the legal happy dance in my head. Morally, I was still less than thrilled. I just couldn't picture myself driving a white van and hanging around tech school parking lots. I was too good for that. Only grocery store parking lots for me.
"My friends tell me I give great head." Nice segue.
"You're amazing. You should be teaching classes." Instead of attending them in a middle high school.
"I've always wanted to get fucked, but never had the courage to ask anybody about it. It's why I decided to meet someone online today."
There were so many ways this could go horribly wrong.
1.) His parents could find out. Being absolutely terrified about his parents discovering his sexuality, he could lie and say he'd been seduced. Neither of us would ever be able to go out in public in Nowheresville again without facing some sort of ridicule.
2.) His parents could find out, and he could be completely honest with them, and they could fuck up his life anyway.
3.) Miss M. could hear us through the thin walls, if she hadn't already, and start telling everyone in the neighborhood, and her family, and his family, and my family, that I was fucking teenage boys. Goodbye any sort of political career (which is a moot point at this stage in my life, but at the time it was still a nearly improbable possibility).
4.) He could suggest a threesome with Johnny, who I'd known since Johnny was eleven. That would never happen. Johnny was cute and all but he was Johnny, just a kid. I couldn't be attracted to him any more than I could be attracted to his fri-- Bugger.
5.) No one would find out, and we'd end up having a secret relationship which would do wonders for us sexually but distract him from his college applications.
6.) We would end up in a relationship so wonderful that he would come out to his parents, introduce me, and then they would beat me to death with their collection of Gideon's Bibles.
7.) We would end up in a relationship so wonderful that he would come out to his parents, who would pretend to love me while secretly pooring arsenic into my Cherry Coke until I died.
8.) We would end up in a relationship so wonderful that he would come out to his parents, who would really love me, and want to spend some time camping or something with my family who would kill me when they found out I'd been fucking a seventeen year old boy.
There were hundreds of variations on these thoughts involving angry mob justice, Jerry Springer, NAMBLA meetings, and various other things I never wanted to be a part of my autobiography if I ever became famous. But we connected on so many levels before I found out how old he was, and it wasn't as though he were thirteen, or mentally retarded or anything. He was nearly a consenting adult.
I was nearly kidding myself.
I decided to make it a non-issue. We spent some time talking about how long he'd wanted to get fucked, why he wanted to get fucked. If he was sure it was a great idea to get fucked by some guy he'd just met on The Internet. The fact that I really wanted to fuck him, but really didn't want to fuck him up. I suggested we wait.
He kissed me. That boy could do anything with his mouth.
At this point, age was a moot point. I still wasn't going to fuck him until he'd really thought about it, but it was because I didn't want to see him make a mistake, not because he was seventeen.
His hands went down to my zipper again. I took his hand and led him back upstairs.